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0 hours

Staring up at the ceiling he thought hard about why and how this had happened. Really there was no reason for it, totally none. Yet here he was. Desmond blinked at the ceiling in a sort of half daze half stupor that was really the same thing trying to figure it all out. It was really unfair to wake up in a bed that wasn’t yours, especially when you hadn’t expected to wake up here in the first place. He squeezed his eyes closed and pinched himself. His eyes shuttered open a moment later, hoping. Same yellow ceiling. Not his.

Fuck.

Slowly he reached up and rubbed his face. Or he tried to. His arm was currently under arrest by… fuck he did not want to think about that. Not really. He simply used his other hand to do so instead with a sigh. He started whee the alarm clock started going off and quickly looked over at it. The clock read nine thirty. Next to him the body moved and he stiffened a little as they roused themselves and, leaning over him, slapped the alarm silent. Desmond just stared at them, wide eyed. Up close they smelled like sex, expensive cologne, sweat and a night of drinking and Desmond could see the way their muscles rippled under their skin.

Only once the clock was off did they seem to realize that there was someone else there and after a moment turned lamp-like, amber, eyes on him. They blinked at him tiredly and Desmond pressed back into the pillow. “Well, this is different,” they said and blinked at him, licking their lips. Then they closed their eyes for a few seconds, as though it was too much of an effort to keep them open before they fluttered open and they pushed off of him and rolled out of bed. Desmond’s eyes were glued to them as they stood up and stretched facing away from them. “I’ve got work, so just see yourself out,” they said and that was rather startling, though really Desmond didn’t know why he was surprised. They weren’t exactly nice during the rest of the day, he doubted they would be to some random one-night stand.

Desmond forced himself to say something when they turned back to look at him with a slightly questioning eye, as if they thought he was stupid. “Right,” he said, his voice maybe was a bit too high. They just looked away and walked towards another room, which Desmond realized was the bathroom, Desmond watched them, it was kind of hard not to, they had a really amazing ass and oh my god Desmond should not be thinking about their ass this was a bad idea all over!

Once the door closed Desmond leapt out of the bed and stood naked in the middle of the room, nothing was familiar but he quickly found pieces of his clothes, which were scattered around the room with some others in the semblance of a trail from the door to the bed. He dressed quickly and located his wallet, phone and keys still in the pockets of his jeans and jacket before he left quickly. He didn’t know where he was, or where the fuck his motorcycle was.

When he left the bedroom he was more than a little bewildered to see where he was. He was in a fucking mansion… A MANSION. Who the fuck actually lived in a mansion Apparently they did. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck! He scuttled down the hall and pulled out his cellphone, thank god it still had some juice left. First he had to get out of here and then he had to make a call. 

It seemed to take him forever to find the exit and he darted right out the door with hopefully none the wiser and walked quickly down the long driveway. He pressed number three on his speed dial as he walked.

“It’s too early for this man,” Clay whined through the receiver.

“Thank god you’re awake! I only called-

“Four times, I know,” he groaned. “I’m a step away from hung over, what do you want?” and Desmond heard the blankets on his friend’s bed rustling as a near silent protest about Desmond calling him.

“Can you come pick me up?”

“Pick you up? What the fuck? Where are you?”

Desmond looked around for a street sign, by now he’d left the driveway and was walking along a street. “I have no fucking idea.”

“Well, that’s nice,” Clay sighed. Desmond found a street sign quickly after that though and told Clay where he was. “What the fuck are you doing there? That’s like on the other side of town,” he groaned. “Do I have to come pick you up man, can’t you like… catch a cab?”

“Yeah, I can totally catch a cab in the middle of fucking rich old white people central,” Desmond bitched right back.

Clay gave a great huffing sigh of someone who was long tormented. “Fine. But tell me what you were even doing there.”

“Well, at this particular moment? Performing a surreal walk of shame.”

There was silence or a moment on the other end, “Did you go home with some creepy old man Desmond? I thought we talked about this.”

“Fuck you. No, I didn’t. I… well you’ll never believe me.”

“Try me,” Clay droned.

“Okay,” Desmond said slowly. “Who’s the hottest guy you know?”

“You.”

Desmond rolled his eyes so hard they almost fell out of his skull. “I’m being serious,” Desmond said as he heard Clay stumble around his room.

“Fine,” Clay chuckled. “We’ll go with with play boy number one; Ezio.”

“No. Think sportsman and actually gay.”

“He’s so gay man, and still Ezio, he does that baseball thing.”

“He so isn’t and think less… promiscuous.”

Clay was silent for a moment except for some mic noise. Then the silence grew pregnant. “Holy shit you’re joking!” he suddenly exclaimed.

“Nope.”

“I thought he was strait!”

“Not if my memory of last night holds any water he isn’t.”

“Daaaaaaamn. You just got the ass that half the fucking school lusts after, you realize this right? Well, at least the half that isn’t into that pancake-face Ezio,” Clay said excitedly.

“Yeah. I know,” Desmond said awkwardly. “So you coming to get me or what?”

“Yeah yeah, I’m coming,” Clay said as Desmond heard him stumble out of his house and curse from the sun. “But, just so we’re on the same page and I’m not totally off base here. Who’s bed did you wake up in this morning?” he could hear the smirk in Clay’s voice and a car door slam shut over the mic.

Desmond felt his face grow a bit warm just even thinking about it. “Altair,” he said, barely loud enough to be heard, as if someone was going to pop out of the bushes and attack him. Like maybe one of the girls who liked to flirt with him near every damn day.

“Okay last question before I actually have to pay attention to the road so you don’t bitch at me for driving and talking at the same time.”

“I have such a bad feeling about this…”

“He good?”

Desmond was silent for a few seconds, his mouth working mutely, like a keyboard smash on mute. “Amazing,” he finally said. He heard Clay snort. “Just get over here,” he whined. Clay said he’d be there as quick as he could and then hung up. Sheepishly Desmond looked behind him, back the way he’d come, and could see Altair’s… fucking mansion (still who lived in a fucking mansion it was ridiculous!) through the trees. He pressed a hand to his face and looked away before walking in a random direction, hopefully towards the direction Clay was coming from.

This was his life. Of course this was his life. Only shit like this happened to Desmond Miles.

Chapter Text

-45 hours

Desmond could feel his leg start to shake as he listened to his math teacher drone. His stomach growled a little, he was ready for lunch and the bell for second lunch just couldn’t come fast enough. He jiggled his leg, staring at the clock and not even pretending to pay attention to his Calc class. Not like most kids were either, there were a few but the majority of this so called AP Calc class was eager for lunch and talking. The teacher was new and had seemingly resigned themselves that their class was shit. Desmond knew that of course. There was a reason he was an entire year younger then everyone despite being a senior himself.

Then, finally, the bell rang and Desmond jumped to his feet and was out the door before the echo had even faded. He walked quickly out of the pod, throwing his backpack across his back as he did and stepped out into the open air hallway. The heat of the winter sun blasted him. It was November here and Desmond was still in T-shirts and jeans. Though so was everyone else so it wasn’t that weird. He walked quickly down the hallway, the breeze from the nearby ocean throwing up the litter on the gray floor and down the stairs with the rest of the mass, making a b-line for the cafeteria.

Desmond was always impatient when it came to food and he rocked back and forth on his heels in the pizza line. As he waited Clay slipped into line next to him. “You’re ganna get caught one day,” he told his blonde friend boredly as he grabbed his styrofoam tray.

“Like I give a fuck,” Clay said with his characteristic smile and grabbed one as well. “Also Lucy’s been looking for you.”

“Oh boy,” Desmond said sarcastically. “About?”

“Something about an English assignment,” he said thoughtfully as they waited in line to get to the milk and À la carte items.

“Shit,” Desmond muttered, it was the one class he had with kids his own age.

“She going to skin you?”

“Something like that,” Desmond lamented.

“So I should keep the sporks away from her then,” Clay grinned at him and Desmond just gave him a very unamused look. “Also apparently there’s a party this weekend.”

“There’s always a party,” Desmond drawled and picked out two cartons of milk and set them on his tray.

“Not like this,” Clay said his hand having darted to grab his own carton before the sliding glass door of the fridge had closed all the way. “It’s an Auditore gig,” and Desmond turned to look at him.

“Like we could get into one of those,” he said, maybe only a bit bitter. Ezio Auditore was old money and old blood in the city, which was weird since he wasn’t Cuban, since usually they had the market cornered on both those things! But regardless, the second son of the family was one of the most popular and good looking guys Desmond had ever met, and he was loaded.

“Not by that pancake-face,” Clay said as Desmond punched in his lunch code to pay. Desmond rolled his eyes upwards a little, Clay thought Ezio had a face like a pancake, it was silly but who was Desmond to say otherwise. “His brother’s back from college for some reason and apparently he’s throwing one. Everyone who wants to come is invited,” he continued as Desmond waited a step away from the register as he pulled out his wallet and shoved three bucks at the lady for his food.

“And how’d you hear this?”

Clay didn’t answer till they’d bullied their way out of the crowded cafeteria and into the big courtyard where people were sitting under the pavilion eating. They headed towards the band room and auditorium though. “I heard some of the guys in gym talking about it.”

“Because they are, of course, a wealth of knowledge.”

“They are when it’s Yusuf.”

“Oh,” Desmond said thoughtfully. If one of Ezio’s close friends was talking about it it had to be true. They arrived near one of the overhanging crosswalks that connected two of the school buildings where there was a large, bench-like, concrete, planter. The rest of their group of friends were already there, and like Clay, were an entire grade below Desmond even if they were all the same age. Well, except Rebecca, but she was just a brain freak.

“Lucy’s looking for you,” Rebecca said from Shaun’s lap, effectively making it near impossible for him to eat his lunch. She had a Red Bull in hand and her headphones perched just behind her ears. Shaun was trying to use both his hands at the same time while also dealing with a lapful of energetic girlfriend and having a trouble at it.

“So I heard,” Desmond sighed as he and Clay sat on the planter. “Where is she?”

“Not a clue,” Rebecca said with a grin and sipped her Red Bull.

“So I get to be surprised before murdered. Awesome,” he sighed before turning into his food. If he was going to get chewed out he might as well do it on a full stomach.

“Soooo,” Clay said, “That party-

“You mean the one Federico Auditore is throwing” Rebecca asked excitedly and Shaun gave a wordless cry of protest when she leaned over his lap so far she looked maybe about to fall off and he really couldn’t use either of his hands as they were now required to hold her in place.

“Yeah!” Clay said, just as energetically. Desmond looked between the two of them like they were insane and sent Shaun a sympathetic look. “We’re totally going.”

“When is it?” Desmond actually jumped at Lucy’s voice. He swallowed, but she didn’t look particularly angry, not yet at least.

“Tomorrow night,” Clay said and scooted closer to Desmond so she could sit on his other side. Thank god too. “The only thing is, you know, it’s on Shark Key.”

“I’ve gone further,” Rebecca said. “I’ve gone all the way to Marathon for one once. Too bad it was shit.”

“That’s cause Marathon is shit,” Shaun said without any inflection.

“Anyway,” Clay said. “We’re totally all going, right?” he asked.

“I need a ride,” Lucy said, “Dad took my car.”

“Again? What’d you do?” Clay asked.

“Got a B on a bio test.”

“Dude, your dad is so weird,” Rebecca proclaimed, Lucy just shrugged. “He isn’t even Asian either!” that made Lucy giggle and Clay laugh.

“That’s cause there are no Asians here,” Clay reminded them all. Really there were probably a grand total of five Asians in their entire school, if that. “I’ll give you a ride,” Clay added.

“I bet you will,” Rebecca muttered soft enough so that only Desmond and Shaun heard and Shaun was now busily choking on his sandwich from laughing.

“Desmond,” Lucy said and he leaned around one blonde friend to look at the other one. “Did you do your homework.”

“Of course I did,” he lied. Shit. She just gave him a look and he knew she knew. Were girls like… wizards or some shit? How did they know when men lied? “No,” he confessed.

She just made this put off noise that showed exactly how she felt about that. “I am not failing this class because of you Desmond,” she said sharply.

“I know. I’m sorry,” he said quickly. “I had a lot of chem homework last night okay?”

“But dude, you’re an ace at chem,” Rebecca said and he turned around to just glare at her. She gave him a cheeky grin.

“You need to actually read the material if we’re going to get this assignment,” Lucy tore his attention away from the other girl.

“I know. I will, I promise,” he said.

“Good,” she said with a nod. “Because if I don’t get an A and my dad grounds me… well-

“I get it!” Desmond yelped, terrified. Holy shit he did not want Lucy to be pissed at him. They were friends yeah, but she could be scary sometimes. Clay snorted. “I’ll do the work,” he whined. “Just don’t kill me.”

She rolled her eyes at him, “I’m not going to kill you.”

“Oh thank god.”

“Just maim you a little.”

“Luuucy,” he whined and she laughed.

“So besides Desmond’s perhaps imminent death and that idiot’s party, what else is going on?” Shaun asked, he seemed to have given up on his lunch as a whole now and just had his arms around Rebecca’s waist.

“Lot of nothing,” Clay said, and really, when Clay said there was nothing going on, there really was nothing going on. He was in everyone’s business and had more gossip and knew more rumors than any girl Desmond knew. “Unless you count the fact that Ezio has a new fling, but that isn’t really news or interesting to anyone.”

“Nope.”

“There a betting pool yet?” Rebecca asked.

“Not yet,” Clay admitted. “Though I haven’t talked to the theater kids yet, so I’ve yet to hear if they started one.”

“So the only interesting thing is this party?”

“Uhm,” Clay tipped his head back as he thought, staring up at the bright blue November sky and maybe giving himself retina damage by looking into the sun. They all sort of leaned towards him, since Clay could tell you the most interesting gossip. “No,” he said at last.

“Well, that’s disappointing,” Desmond said.

“Yeah, sorry,” Clay shrugged. “Also, I’m going to Smathers after school if that counts.”

“Why?”

“Some volleyball thing I saw. Co-ed,” he grinned. Desmond saw Lucy roll her eyes. For a smart guy Clay was amazingly stupid sometimes. “Wanna come?” he asked them.

“For a while, I got work today,” he half frowned.

“I’ll come by,” Rebecca said enthusiastically, Shaun didn’t look too pleased by that. Desmond didn’t blame him, the ginger turned into a lobster when his girlfriend (inevitably) dragged him out to the beach, and she would for this, and probably make him play. The idea of Shaun playing sports was on the side of hilarious.

“I can’t,” Lucy said, “SGA meeting.”

“Damn, okay,” Clay said. “Well, that’s the end of my usefulness today I can tell,” he joked and hopped to his feet, grabbing his tray and Desmond’s and going to throw their trash away.

Chapter Text

-40 hours

Desmond pulled up to the beach curb, his bike’s engine thrumming. It was an older Kawasaki, that he’d gotten cheap from some older man up the Keys before he’d even gotten his license. When he’d gotten it it’d been red, but now it was matte black and chrome, the pipes wrapped in some black industrial tape. It’d also been in a lot worse shape then now. He’d spent the two years between moving to Key West and getting his license to fix it up till she purred like an angel. He pulled off his helmet and reached down to turn off the engine before slinging his leg over the side and getting off the bike, who’s pipes crackled softly from recently being warm.

Smathers was one of the manmade beaches in the city and definitely the biggest and well trafficked thanks to how close it was to the airport. Right now was the off season though and while still in the eighties and nineties out there weren’t a lot of people out and about. But he did hear some people calling nearby and shrugged off his shoulder as he went to find the source of the noise, which Clay had assured him there would be people around, which was good enough for him.

He climbed up the stairs set into the small dune and headed for the twin volley ball nets set up in the sand for anyone to use. There was a group of about twenty kids, all of them from school (though only a few Desmond could recognize by name) mingling around the nets in their swim wear. Well Clay had been right about one thing, plenty of cute girls. Cute boys too. Oh the benefits of living in a city where it was warm three hundred and sixty days out of the year. He spotted Shaun’s red hair amid the mass as well as Becca’s traffic cone-orange board shorts and halter top. Desmond was thankful to be wearing sunglasses or he would have been blinded by her clothes.

“Desmond!” he looked away at his name and saw Clay, who was waving him over. He went quickly. “Why’re you still in jeans man?” he asked.

“I literally just got here, cut me some damn slack will ya?” Desmond sniped right back.

“Yeah yeah, okay, we’re about to start so undress already and-

Desmond was laughing, “Only you could tell someone to undress with that much lack of care man,” he said, Clay just smiled ruefully at him.

“We’re ganna split into teams in a minute,” he added. Desmond nodded and dropped his backpack next to the other stuff that was clearly from the high school kids. He folded up his jacket and stowed it inside along with his shoes and socks and the rest of his clothes till he was just in his swim trunks and sun glasses.

When he rejoined them he found Shaun, “Where’s your sunblock?” he asked knowing Shaun would keep some on him. The brit just sent him a dirty look but handed the small tube over and Desmond slathered some quickly on his shoulders and upper arms as well as his face and ears.

“Okay!” he heard Clay call. Of course he was. Desmond had a feeling he’d been the one to help organize this entire thing, even though he claimed he’d just found out about it. Clay was forever doing ten things at once, and it honestly wouldn’t have surprised Desmond if this was one of them. The crowd quieted. “I honestly didn’t think so many people would show up holy shit you’re a fucking mob!” and there was some general laughter. “So we’re ganna a have four teams of six, since there are so many of you and we’re just ganna have some fun for a bit before seeing if maybe we do some matches later on,” he said throwing one of the volleyballs between his hands. “It’s ganna be gym class style with captains picking teams, so everyone will get to play and so you guys aren’t assholes,” more general laughter. “So our team captains are me, Rachel, Stephen and Altair,” Desmond felt his eyes automatically track around the crowd for the three of them even as they stepped up next to Clay. “I’ll go first, then you, you and you last till we’re out of people,” Clay told the other three, pointing at each in turn, who nodded. “Desmond,” as if Desmond was surprised and he trotted up to stand behind Clay.

The teams were divided up quickly and Rebecca ended up on Altair’s team, Shaun (picked near last) on Rachel’s. But that was fine, it’d do them both good to not be attached at the hip. Seriously they were probably the most guilty couple of gross amounts of PDA, that said nothing for Shaun’s habit of sugary sweet pet names for her. Once the teams had ben arranged they squared off and basically just hit the ball back and forth for a while. Most of the players really weren’t that good, but it didn’t matter, everyone seemed to be having a good time. Desmond was one of the better players, but that was mainly thanks to his good hand-eye coordination developed from years of playing video games as a kid.

After a while though some of the others brought up switching teams around and doing some sort of fun contest. So they all jumbled together again and new teams were picked, though Desmond ended up on Clay’s team again since he got first pick. He saw that at least Stephen looked annoyed by that, but said nothing since he really wasn’t a confrontational sort. Some people opted out of the tourney including Shaun and enough did that they reduced the teams down to three. Altair was the captain who stepped down so he could just play and Rachel quickly snatched him up after Clay had made his first choice.

“You wanna serve man?” Clay asked him once they got onto the sand, Rachel’s team waiting while they played against Stephen’s since she was the only team with a full six players.

“Sure,” and Desmond snatched the ball out of the air when Clay threw it to him and walked to the back as his friend told the others where to stand around the net. “Ready?” he called to his team and several glanced back to give him a nod. He nodded himself and tossed the ball into the air and as it fell back down he hit it across the court and over the net.

The skirmish lasted a good while, people diving into the sand to keep the ball up in the air as often as possible and there was more than a little friendly insults as well as some cheering from the sidelines. In the end though Stephen’s team won by two points and the entire team high fived and slapped shoulders and in general were obnoxious winners.

Before the next match started, between Clay’s team and Rachel’s, Desmond went over to his back pack and checked his cell phone. It was six forty-five and he had to be at work at eight. He did some quick math and knew that he could get home, shower and get to work in not too much time. Not enough time to play an entire set though and this didn’t look like it was going to end any time soon, as he heard talk of people saying they should order pizza from a place on Flagler that apparently did amazing pizza.

“Hey, Clay,” he said once he was back on the sand.

“Yo,” Clay spun around from talking to one of the others, ball in hand, smile on his face.

“I won’t be able to stay the entire next game, that cool?”

“What? Yeah sure man, all good,” he beamed at his friend, “I’ll ring Shaun in to take your place or something,” and they both laughed. “Okay!” he yelled turning away from him. “Rachel prepare to get your ass whooped!” he called holding the ball above his head and stomping over to the blocked off area.

“Kiss my ass Clay,” she called back and stuck her tongue out at him from her side.

“Babe, I would lick your ass if you let me,” and everyone laughed and a few catcalled while Rachel turned red with embarrassment and anger, even though they all knew Clay was just playing. Honestly Desmond didn’t know why he was surprised his friend was single, he was obnoxious.

“C’mon man, lets just play,” Desmond said elbowing him hard in the ribs as he followed after and slipped the ball out of Clay’s hands, deciding he was going to serve the start again like last game.

Less than ten minutes later he’d given up his position as the server to play the net. Might as well have some last bit of fun before he had to go. Across from him was Altair, standing easy on the other side of the net as they waited for the ball to be served. Then it sailed over the net and was pushed forward to the other side of the net, Desmond tracked the ball the entire time, waiting for a chance. Then someone missed and the ball thudded into the sand on Rachel’s side. Desmond let out a whoop along with the rest of his team.

The other side conversed for a brief moment, it was their serve, by their rules at least, and Rachel stepped to the corner of the line to punt the ball. Desmond watched it arch towards the net towards him but saw it was going to fall short of the net, meaning that Altair was going to hit it over the net and behind Desmond. He saw the other boy brace himself as if he was about to jump and when Altair left the ground to reach the ball Desmond was right there with him. 

He extended him arms to push it back even as Altair hit the ball and Desmond got to watch it sail right through his fingers and his eyes widened behind his sunglasses before

When Desmond came to, however many moments later, there were two faces hovering over him. “Desmond,” Clay was calling his name. “Desmond,” he called again and Desmond could hear the white noise of people talking in worried tones beyond the two faces. He expected Clay, but why was Altair leaning over him? It took him a second to work that out. Oh right, because Altair had spiked the ball right into his face. “Earth to Desmond, can you hear me?” Clay’s hand gently shook his shoulder.

Desmond turned his head a bit to look at his friend. “Yeah,” he said dumbly.

“You okay?” Altair asked and Desmond’s attention was drawn to the other boy who’d put him here, on the sand.

“I think so,” he said blinking and then stood up, the two quickly gave him space. “How long was I down?” he asked neither of them in particular.

“About three minutes,” Clay said, “Long enough to freak me out,” he frowned deeply.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Altair asked again, “I’m sorry about that,” he added quickly.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Desmond said shaking his head slightly and inspected his face with his hand. “I think this is my cue to go home and get ready for work,” he added to his friend.

“Yeah,” Clay agreed and helped Desmond to his feet. He could support himself.

“What happened to my shades?” he asked once he was vertical.

“Uh…” and Altair guiltily held out his Costas. One of the lenses was broken. “Sorry,” he said again.

Desmond puffed his cheeks out for a moment before taking them, “It’s okay, I needed to get a new pair anyway,” he sighed and folded them up.

“You okay to get your butt home?” Clay asked.

“Yeah. Really, I’m fine,” Desmond waved him off as he dusted sand off his back and hair.

“That’s good,” Clay said with a slight smile. “He’s all right everyone, stop clucking!” he called to the others.

“See you tomorrow,” Desmond told his friend who nodded and he made his way over to his bag where Shaun intercepted him. “I’m fine,” he said before Shaun could even say a word.

“Okay,” Shaun accepted it, “Want a ride home?”

“No. What part of I’m fine did you not hear?” Desmond scowled at him, squinting up at him as he dug in his backpack for his jeans. He’d forgo his shirt for the ride home and just wear his jacket. Too lazy to put it on really.

“Sorry for being concerned,” Shaun snapped.

“I’m fine, okay?” Desmond grumbled. “Seriously it was just a volleyball.”

“Yeah one that’s left an amazing red mark on your face,” Shaun said sarcastically. Desmond blinked at him. “What? Altair spiked it into your face. Of course there’s a mark!” and Shaun almost looked like he’d start laughing.

“Wonderful,” Desmond grumbled and stood up and pulled on his pants. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he added.

“Go to the hospital if you black out.”

“Thanks dad, I sure will,” he said with a sarcastic roll of his eyes as he pulled on his jacket and zipped it up. As he pulled his backpack strap over his head he waved at the others who were watching or playing and headed back towards his bike.

She was right where he left her and he was glad to sit astride her. He felt he had bit of a burn on his face, wonderful, and he had to buy new sunglasses. Oh it’d be fun to ride home that was for sure. He sighed and dug his keys out of a side pocket before starting his baby. She rumbled to life between his thighs. This was seriously the only girl he ever needed. He pulled on his helmet, clipping the chin strap into place and flipped up the kickstand before pulling out onto South Roosevelt, he made sure to gun the engine just a bit harder then required as he passed by the volleyball game, startling one and he heard at least one whistle loudly after him. Desmond grinned to himself as he squinted into the wind.

Chapter Text

-21 hours

Desmond was leery as hell as he followed Clay into the band room. Well, not really the band room, they might get skinned if they went in there. But the band and chorus room were on the same hallway that was connected to the big auditorium, it was also like the only hallway that was actually inside aside for the ones in the main office. There were more than a few band nerds eating their lunch on the tile floor, talking and ignoring the two non band members.

Clay peered into the band room, where yet more band kids were. Seriously, did they fucking live here? Desmond had no idea how band kids worked, he sort of just assumed they had a lot of sex and then budded to create freshmen band nerds. He probably wasn’t that far wrong actually, which was the terrifying part. He was however fearing for his friend’s safety when he opened the door, sure that someone who either yell at him or just devour him whole. The band in Key West was really good, but they were also kinda terrifying, and really serious about what they did. “Clay,” he said anxiously, since a few sun bronzed guys with more muscles then Desmond were sort of giving them both a look, as if they knew they didn’t belong there.

“There he is,” he heard Clay said, “Hey Rauf!” he called suddenly and slipped into the band room. Wary to be by himself Desmond followed after. Oh this was such a bad idea.

“What’re you doing here Kaczmarek?” asked the older boy when they neared, “band room’s for band members only during lunch. Desmond recognized the other guy, mainly from football games. He was Band Captain. During the marching season, like now, he had a shaved face but Desmond recognized him more with a beard, mainly because he was one of the few who could actually grow one (Cubans had trouble growing facial hair it seemed). He wasn’t exactly a big guy, but he looked bigger then he was and was one of those badasses who marched with a fuck off huge sousaphone in half time shows.

“Hey, I was in band once, I consider myself an honorary member,” Clay said with that damn sly grin of his.

Rauf sighed, “What is it?”

“Just turning the rumor mill,” and Rauf laughed.

“I should have known, what you got?” and Desmond watched, more then a bit amazed as Clay spilled on gossip he’d told the others just earlier that lunch. “I swear you’re worse then a girl, bud,” he told Clay when he was done.

“Yeah and you band kids have the best gossip. Oh, also, theater kids started a betting pool for Ezio’s new fling. Jeremy and I are keeping on tabs with the pool and it’s a five buck minimum buy in.” Desmond realized now that his friend was probably the reason most of those dumb betting pools actually started and made any money. Yet another of the ten things Clay did at once.

“I’ll keep my money on this one,” Rauf said simply. 

“Damn, you always pick good times though,” Clay pouted.

Rauf just smirked, “I think you should slow down Kaczmarek, you’re scaring your friend,” and Clay finally looked at Desmond who was looking at him like was the first time he’d ever seen his friend ever.

“What?” Clay asked.

“Dude,” was all Desmond said, eyeing him. Clay grinned at him broadly.

Then Clay turned away from him, “So I shared my laundry, what you got?” and Desmond saw him whip out the mental notepad he kept that allowed him to remember entire classes nearly verbatim without notes as well as collect the most useless gossip.

“Well, we’re playing Marathon next week and—“ Desmond half tuned out after that. The rivalry between Key West and Marathon was legendary. The thing was though that Marathon, for a school two times smaller then them, had a really impressive football team. Now the Conchs were nothing to scoff at, but the Dolphins and them always went back and forth with win loss and whenever there was a game between the two teams they ended up on front page of the sports section of the Citizen and usually on the front of the main paper as a note that there was news about them. So much drama between two schools barely thirty miles apart.

The gossip column was only interrupted when the bell rang. “Well, have to go, later Rauf,” Clay said and then was dragging Desmond away with a wave. Rauf just seemed amused as they entered the hall again which was now even more filled with band kids, some going into the band room or leaving the building for their classes. 

“Why did you make me suffer through that?” Desmond asked once they’d grabbed their backpacks from where their friends were and agreed they’d meet at the party later and see who drew the short straw to be the designated driver, though Desmond would see Lucy later in English.

In typical Clay fashion however he didn’t answer. “You see that guy in the band room with Rauf?”

“There were several,” Desmond said with a groan as he headed towards chem, Clay for history.

“The one in the Captain office.”

“I wasn’t paying attention, no,” Desmond admitted.

“Well, I was paying attention. It was Yusuf Tazim.”

“Yeah, so?” Desmond rose a brow at him as the climbed the stairs up to the second floor with the rest of the mass.

“He’s been there every day this week, and he’s not in band, not only that he’s in the Captain’s office. Only the band leaders are allowed in there.”

“I don’t really see where you’re going with this,” Desmond sighed and they stood outside the pod doors to Clay’s class as Desmond’s was at the other end of the building, and he had to stop at his locker along the way anyway. “It’s some mad conspiracy isn’t it?” he asked as a pair of freshmen shoved between them, “Excuse you!” he snarled after them and flipped them off, they stared back at him briefly with put off eyes and muttered apologizes even as they continued to hustle to class.

“Dude, the mad conspiracies are the best though! Do you remember last year when I accurately said that Malik and Leo were going to be a thing, and two months later it was?”

“That’s just because you’re weird and way too interested in the lives of other people,” Desmond said blandly.

“Only because mine is so fucking boring,” at least Clay didn’t front.

“So tell me your conspiracy,” Desmond sighed, “I have to get to class.”

“Okay, get this,” Clay said and drew him close. “I totally think their a thing.”

“Rauf and Yusuf?” Desmond blinked at him.

“Yeah,” he nodded eagerly.

“You’re nuts. Yusuf’s strait as a damn arrow.”

“So not.”

“How do you know?”

“I have gym and bio with him.”

“So what, does he ogle other dudes in the locker room?” Desmond sent him a look.

“No,” Clay admitted at length. “But I actually have classes with him, you don’t cause you’re a high and mighty bad ass senior pants,” and Desmond gave him a light, playful, shove.

“I think you’re seeing what you want to see,” Desmond informed him.

“I’m calling it now, before semester’s over, Rauf will have jock ass.”

“Uhg, you’re so fucking weird man,” Desmond said. “Betting pools on how long Ezio will keep a girlfriend and conspiring who’s going to date who before it even happened, regardless of the fact that one of them is probably strait. Can’t a jock and a band geek be friends and you not conspire?”

“Where’s the fun in that though?” Clay asked with a pout.

Desmond rolled his eyes, “Go make a shipping chart or something, I have chem,” and he stepped away from him.

“The fact that you know what a shipping chart is is suspect,” Clay called after him, Desmond replied with a smart, one-fingered salute and Clay laughed as he shoved through the doors into his classroom pod.

Desmond headed towards his locker and switched out his books, taking out the ones he’d need for afternoon classes for the ones he currently carried for his morning classes. By now the breezeway was  a lot emptier, the bell would be ringing soon and Desmond hustled to his class. The tardy bell ran as he was entering the pod and he quickly went in through the side door, since their teacher kept the one to the breezeway locked.

Thankfully his teacher was pretty chill and didn’t mind that he was late, they were staring at their computer still and the class was busy talking. Desmond quickly found his seat at the lab table. His permanent lab partner (if only because they shared the same desk) was Caterina, a razor sharp ginger who honestly scared the living crap out of him and was one of those scary feminists who would make you fear the day you had a dick. But that was on her bad days, which weren’t that often (though it was super obvious when she was on her period), and normally she was pretty nice, and really smart. She was also insanely pretty.

“You’re late,” she noted.

“Gossip mill was talking my ear off,” Desmond explained with a shrug, they were good lab partners and Caterina sort of made it her business to make sure Desmond kept up in class since she refused to do work on her own as she was no one’s mule. As such, Desmond was never late for class unless he couldn’t help it, he liked to stay on her good side.

But she grinned at him, “He does have a big mouth for a little guy doesn’t he?”

“He could talk Sookie under the table,” Desmond groaned and Caterina laughed, Desmond grinned at her. “He’s got some weird conspiracy theory about a new romance.”

“Oh? Tell me?”

“No, cause it’s dumb and he’s insane,” he scoffed.

“I guess I’ll find out eventually. He’s usually right.”

“Don’t tell me you believe his bullshit,” he gave her an exasperated look.

“Well, he does seem to know eve- oh, hey Altair,” Caterina cut off when the said senior came to stand in front of their desk.

“Hey Cat, I actually wanted words with your desk mate real quick. Sorry to break up your gossip,” he said amused.

“If this is about yesterday, I am seriously totally fine,” Desmond said looking up at the older boy, not like he hadn’t heard it all up and down from his parents when he got home with a big red mark on his face, or this morning from his friends. Lucy liked to mother hen them, and while normally didn’t mind the reason was embarrassing and he just wanted to forget it ever happened.

“What happened yesterday?” Caterina asked.

“Nothing happ-

“I hit Desmond in the face with a volleyball.”

“You what?” she whisper yelled.

“It was an accident,” Altair said raising his hands in defense and taking a step back. Even the big bad football player had a good respect for the fire cracker that was Caterina Sforza.

“How dare you,” she said, obviously not mad, but making a play at it and grabbed Desmond by the shoulders and pulled him into a hug, his face dangerously close to her breasts. “If you harmed my precious lab partner I will kill you Altair, since no doubt the teacher will give me someone sub par to be my partner, like you,” she said smartly.

“I’m fine though!” Desmond put in and pushed himself out of the danger zone that was Caterina’s cleavage. “Seriously, I’m fine,” and he dusted some non existent dust off himself.

“Everyone,” the teacher called as Altair opened his mouth to reply, at last ready to start the class and Caterina flapped her hand at Altair who darted back into his seat as he started to call role. Before he left he sent Desmond another apologetic look and Desmond just rolled his eyes, pulling his homework from where he had put it in his textbook, next to him Caterina was doing the same, only from her binder. He really hoped this whole volleyball thing wouldn’t continue, it was starting to grow old.

Desmond found Clay as they were walking to their cars after school was over and clapped his friend on the shoulder with both hands. “So how’s the mad conspiracy?” he asked, slinging an arm across his shoulder as they walked to the back of the parking lot. Here there was always a few spaces open, it was just a bit of a walk. Better then being jammed up at the front of the lot though.

“Still mad,” Clay said, throwing him a grin. “Also Shaun said he has a thing on Saturday he just found out about, parents sprung it on him, so he can’t drink tonight. He’s going to be the DD, easier that way.”

“Yessss,” Desmond did a fist pump into his side. “Well, at least we won’t have to draw straws for this.”

“Agreed,” Clay nodded, “I mean this is the first, and probably only Auditore shin-dig we’ll be going to, we should totally be able to enjoy ourselves.”

“Well, except Shaun,” Desmond said.

“He can drink some tea or something,” and they both laughed. “We’re still all meeting there at nine thirty, got it?”

“Yeah, I’ll be there,” Desmond said, “Though I don’t really know where Ezio’s house is,” he frowned as they came to Clay’s car, a beat up beach cruiser that had sand worked into every crevice as well as a large window decal of Salt Life on the back window and a myriad of insulting and funny bumper stickers, half of which were peeling off or faded from the heat.

“Call me when you get to the top of Shark Key, I’ll guide you in, since knowing you you’ll get there after me.”

“You make it sound like I do it on purpose,” Desmond pouted as his friend opened his car door.

“Know you, you probably do,” Clay said giving him a look.

“Okay, I’ll call you,” Desmond agreed.

“Get ready to have an awesome time,” Clay said excitedly and slid into his car and slammed the door closed. Desmond gave a curt wave to his friend before walking a few spaces over to his baby and pulled on his jacket and helmet. She was rumbling to life a moment later and he managed to slip out of the parking lot before Clay and before a good deal other cars who honked at him and yelled out their windows. Desmond just hurled insults right back at them and darted out onto Flagler.

Chapter Text

-12 hours

The party had already started to move outside by the time Desmond arrived. More then a few people turned as he pulled up on his bike, as it wasn’t normal, and from the first floor a few people yelled at him, hollering drunkenly. Desmond revved the engine back at them and two or three girls cheered. Desmond just grinned as he pulled off his helmet.

The house was massive. Like most houses it was up twelve feet, the actual ‘first floor’ up a flight of stairs. There were two floors on top of it as well as an enclosed underside, effectively making the house four floors tall. It was white stucco and had a metal crimp roof and looked like it was packed to the gills with people. The top two floors had no lights on, but the first and ground floor were both blazing with light. Desmond cut the engine and looked back up to the first floor in time for the door to be shoved open and a familiar blonde head zipped down the concrete steps like a bee on crack.

“Des!” he cried.

“Hey. What time this thing even start?”

“Apparently nine, weirdos,” Clay said. “Federico made a grand proclamation a little bit ago when the booze got brought out that everyone had to surrender their keys upon entering the house, and all the good alcohol is on the first floor.”

“Well, that’s good.”

“Yeah, and apparently his weird suuuuuper strait edge boyfriend is guarding the liquor table and the keys like a rabid dog.”

“You didn’t see?”

“Nah, handed them to Shaun, he relayed the information.”

“But… you aren’t drunk yet.”

“I got here like ten minutes ago. Now c’mon, I told Lucy I’d be right back and there is this super creepy guy trying to hit on her from across the room.”

“Who?”

“No clue. He’s big and bald and super leery.”

“Right, lets go keep her safe,” Desmond said though really he should have let Clay go do it on his own. He didn’t know how his friend was so obtuse. He followed Clay up the stairs, two of the girls on the deck who’d seen him on his bike eyed him but he just ignored them. Last thing he was interested in right now was a one-night stand.

He’d just made it past the foyer when they were ambushed. “You,” a guy with strait black hair to his shoulders was suddenly in his space. “Hand over your keys,” he ordered.

“Uh,” Desmond leaned back, a little uneasy about having his personal space invaded like this. “Sorry?”

“Vi,” someone came and laid a hand on the black haired man’s shoulder. “Stop scaring the kids,” the shorter man (though only by a little) scowled over at the new one. Desmond looked and his brows went up. Wow. Apparently Ezio wasn’t the only Auditore to have really good genes. He recognized Federico Auditore only because he’d been a senior the year before Desmond had been a freshman and thus he’d sort of been everywhere even when he was gone. Unlike Ezio though he didn’t have a baby face. Desmond sort of stared at him. Holy shit he was hot. “Sorry about him,” Federico said and gently pushed the other man away. He just seemed like he was having a bad time here. What had Clay said? Super strait edge? Yeah, and an Auditore party could ruin any strait edge guy’s mood. “If you drove here you’re ganna have to forfeit your keys,” he said with a charming smile.

Desmond wasn’t able to respond in a timely manner. Seriously all his brain was thinking was ‘fuck he’s hot fuck he’s hot fuck he’s hot’. How did people be in the same room with him and not jump him? Oh right, crazy strait edge boyfriend who looked pissed at existence. Desmond needed to say something. “Wow,” and he felt his face turn into a flame.

Federico just laughed and Desmond felt himself being glared at by a very obvious Vi who did not look amused at all (but neither would have Desmond if some high schooler had just made a terrible pass at his boyfriend). “Keys,” Federico just said, thankfully ignoring Desmond’s lack of filter and his furiously red face. Desmond quickly looked away and fished his keys out from his pocket and handed them to Federico. “You can put your helmet and jacket in the closet if you want,” he added pointing to a small closet off to the side. Desmond nodded, ducked away and did just that, if only to get away from both of them.

Fuck fuck fuck. And where was Clay? He had no clue. He quickly hung up his jacket and put his helmet on the floor, out of the way before closing it and turning back around. Hotitore and Vi had, thankfully, left so Desmond didn’t have to walk past them to go find Clay. He left the foyer quickly and followed the sound of music, which was surprisingly soft for a party like this. Not to say it wasn’t loud. But it wasn’t so loud that you had to yell at each other to be heard. It was a very appropriate volume for a party.

He found Lucy, sitting alone. Oh shit. She looked pissed too. Okay well maybe alone wasn’t the best word for it. There was a leech of a guy sitting on the arm of the sofa she was sitting on, very obviously hitting on her. Oh this was not good.

“Hey!” he called and slid right up next to her. She looked at him half relieved, half irritated he wasn’t Clay. She wasn’t about to knock one knight for another though. Desmond knew very well that Lucy wasn’t normally the sort who needed a guy to step in and ‘save’ her. But the very fact that this guy was still sticking around meant he wasn’t getting the hint. “You seen Bec?” he asked. She just shook her head, “C’mon then,” and then he was up again and grabbing her hand and pulling her away, leaving the irritated bald guy behind.

“Thanks,” she said once they were far enough away.

“No sweat. Where’s Clay?”

“You tell me! He said he was going to get you and then ‘poof!’ he vanished,” yeah, she was not happy at all. Desmond would have to seriously sit Clay down and have a talk with him. Honestly this was starting to get out of hand.

“No idea. I got ambushed by the older Auditore for my keys and the next thing I knew he was gone.”

Lucy sighed, “That is so like him.”

“Sorry,” he said and grabbed her hand and gave it a comforting squeeze. “Lets get a drink?”

“Please,” she said wearily.

It took them a good minute or so to find the refreshments, it didn’t help that there were people everywhere and they had to dance and weave around them. Finally they came to the table filled it bottles. “Oh hello gorgeous,” Desmond said.

“You’re weird,” Lucy informed him.

“What? I can appreciate the aesthetic of liquor bottles,” Desmond said defensively. “So what you want?”

“Something sweet,” she said, knowing Desmond would take care of her.

“You got it!” and he grabbed a bottle. Desmond was seventeen, but as soon as he was legal he was getting his bar tending license. It was a good job to have here in the Keys, as it was a tourist town. And even if he didn’t stay here after he graduated bartenders were like nurses, they could get jobs anywhere. Desmond had recently also become really interested in trick bar tending. Where they threw the bottles around and made a spectacle of it. Normally Desmond wouldn’t show someone, as he was still learning and only knew a few tricks and really was still rather shit, but Lucy looked like she could use some cheering up. So once he got his hand around the spiced rum he tossed it end over end before catching the neck again. She smiled at him as he opened the bottle and poured a bit into her glass. In went another flavor of rum and then he topped it off with some Coke. “Here you are my lady,” he said with as best a charming smile he could manage.

“Thanks,” she said gratefully and took the drink before sipping at it. “Mmmmm,” she added approvingly. Desmond shot her a cheerful look as he busily mixed himself his own drink. He knew most of the people here would just drink it strait, shooting it like they’d never drink again (heathen) but Desmond didn’t need to shoot or chug to enjoy himself. “Shall we go find the big mouth?” he asked once he had his own drink.

“If you want,” she rolled her eyes, unimpressed.

“You know he gets distracted by shiny things. I doubt he meant to forget where he was going,” he was trying really hard to placate her. He didn’t want them to fight. Hell Lucy had only just done being annoyed at him for falling behind on his English.

“Fine,” she huffed.

They once again weaved through the crowd and ended up on the back deck. The deck was wood and was lit by the moon, the light from the inside and tiki torches along the balcony, as well as from below. When Desmond looked over the edge he saw that there was a  fire pit going on down there. Like it wasn’t hot enough out here already! But the view was amazing as the house was on the water, as most houses on Shark Key were. Lucy joined him at the balcony. “Imagine getting to wake up every day to this view,” she sighed wistfully and took a drink from her cup.

“Yeah. With the rising sun right in your eyes.”

“Desmond,” she said in exasperation and gave him a shove that made him chuckle.

“No, it would be pretty great,” he agreed.

“There you two are!” they turned when they heard Clay’s voice. “Where’d you wander off to I was looking for you?”

“We were looking for you,” Desmond said since Lucy was currently ignoring their friend.

“Well… damn,” he laughed. “Having fun so far?”

“So far,” Desmond agreed. “You have anything to drink yet?”

“I did two shots of Jäger with some seniors if that counts,” Clay said with a cheeky grin.

“Euck,” Desmond made a face. “That stuff is like cough syrup.”

“Hey, I like it. Also Becca did a shot with me too. Some sort of awesome spiced rum. Not Cap, better.”

“Nice,” Desmond nodded.

“Honestly I’m a bit disappointed.”

“Huh?” Desmond blinked at his friend.

“It’s just like any other party, only the drinks are better. It’s boring, and the music sucks,” he said as some shitty Skrillix song came on.

Desmond laughed, “We could fix that,” he said with a sly grin.

“No,” Lucy butted in.

“We could,” Clay agreed, grinning back.

“Oh fuck. You two are going to get the cops called on us,” Lucy said sharply.

“No we won’t,” Desmond said quickly.

“You did last time at Rosa’s party,” she reminded them.

“That wasn’t our fault,” Clay said defensively. “If Ugo set his pants on fire by accident that isn’t our problem.”

“You bring your iPod?” Desmond asked his friend.

“Always,” and he fished it out from his pocket.

“You aren’t,” Lucy said slowly.

“Oh, we so are,” Desmond said cheerfully and quickly downed the rest of his drink, which was getting low as it was.

“I don’t know you. I have no idea who you are or where you came from,” and she pressed a hand to her face. Desmond and Clay both laughed.

“You know you like it,” Clay said sidling up to her. She sent him an unamused look but nothing else about her body language was actually disapproving.

“No, I don’t,” she said even though now even she was smiling.

“Yesssss you do,” he needled her playfully.

“C’mon Casanova, lets do this,” Desmond said and grabbed his friend by the sleeve and hauled him inside.

Chapter Text

-10 hours

You’d be hard pressed to find one person at the party who hadn’t enjoyed when Clay and Desmond had slithered to the sound system, an amazingly nice sound system too, and unhooked some old monster iPod that looked like a first gen. Des had stowed it where it could get found later as Clay had hooked up his own iPod to a special party mix he made for when they went to parties and it was boring as fuck; like this one was turning into. Too many people, too much liquor, but nothing actually interesting to do. That and you couldn’t actually dance to dubstep. As great as the music was it wasn’t club music, and thus was shit to actually dance to. Not to mention Skrillix? Were you fucking kidding him?

That had been about an hour ago though now and the party’s gears had turned from some party a college kid (like Federico) might throw, to something that you’d get a DJ to throw. Or at least play music to. Clay was playing DJ with his iPod and a mixing app he had and Desmond was glad to see Lucy sitting next to him.

Desmond scuttled between people who were dancing and laughing and running around to Clay. “Oi,” he said shoving himself between Clay and some other girl who’s name Desmond didn’t know, Clay didn’t probably know, and who Lucy was giving the evil eye. She made an annoyed noise at him but he ignored her. “I think its time for some drinking,” he said.

“Ooooh yeah,” Clay agreed, grinning broadly and he waited until Desmond had made it back to the liquor table before he made the sound of a record being stopped as Desmond climbed onto a chair the music abruptly halting.

Several people turned to him, confused as to why the music had suddenly stopped. Desmond raised a bottle of he didn’t know what. It honestly didn’t matter. “Now where my alcoholics let me see your hands up!” he whooped and on cue Shots started to wail over the sound system as Desmond took a shot strait from the bottle. He could be a heathen sometimes too, it helped that he was now only interested in getting drunk. Before he hadn’t. Now he was. The crowd roared and threw their hands up like the good little drunk bunnies they were. He did a short bit of dancing on the chair before deciding that was an amazingly bad idea and hopped down.

He made his way back towards Clay and handed him the bottle. “For you my good king,” Desmond laughed and fell into the now empty space on Clay’s other side where the unknown girl had been earlier.

“Excellent,” and Clay took a shot and passed it to Lucy who was a good enough of a sport to not ruin their fun and did a shot as well. She was the sober one here though and they all knew it. She wasn’t a big drinker but she knew that once Clay and Desmond decided that they needed to make a party more fun they had an unspoken agreement to just get smashed. Desmond would probably regret it tomorrow, but fuck it; it was Saturday.

Desmond settled next to his friend with a content sigh. “Party is definitely good now,” he said cheerfully.

“Ha! No shit,” Clay said.

“You wanna go hang? I can man the iPod,” Desmond said and looked around his friend to Lucy.

“I think—“ in a rare moment of personal understanding Clay actually got what Desmond was doing. Clay, for all that he was very into everyone else's business and knew what to tell anyone to get them to get into someone else's pants, was very unaware of his own potential love life. It seemed drunk Clay was personally insightful though. “Yeah, thanks,” and he shoved the iPod at Desmond and got up, dragging Lucy with him without so much as a request. She did not look upset in the slightest however.

Desmond scrolled through the music on the playlist looking for something good to follow up Shots that was actually good for dancing. He found a remix of Alejandro and fitted it into the mixing app for a pre-listen, shoving the headphones over one of his ears. He adjusted the speed a little and as Shots ended it came on. Desmond wasn’t as good with the app as Clay, but he could work it well enough.

He looked up when a girl slid up next to him. He recognized her, but not by name, only her face. She was a senior, friends with Caterina, had brown hair twisted into intricate braids, and a smile that was both alluring and cunning like the edge of a knife. This was a girl who knew what she wanted. “Hi,” she said.

“Hey,” he said, trying to sound easy going.

“So you’re the one who got this place going?”

“One of the master minds yeah,” he agreed casually like it didn’t matter.

“I’m Maria.”

“Desmond.”

“I’m glad someone saved this party, usually they’re so dull.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. Ezio has them all the time. They’re kinda boring, people just come because they know they can get free drinks.”

“Huh, wouldn’t know, I never come to Ezio’s parties.”

“Maybe you should start,” Maria said and her smile flashed.

“I dunno. I’m starting to think I’m too cool for these things,” Desmond joked as Shots faded away and Lady GaGa got to smash itself against the walls from the speakers.

“Well, I wouldn’t mind if you did,” she said and pressed her leg up against his. Even a little drunk Desmond’s brain was going ‘abort! abort!’ he wasn’t interested in having a one night stand and if Maria was friends with Catarina he’d also probably end up a conquest. It wasn’t like under a different circumstance he wouldn’t hit that like Mjӧlnir but the very fact that he could spell Mjӧlnir properly meant that, well, girls like Maria were way out of his league.

“Heh, yeah, well, he kinda lives far away,” Desmond said awkwardly.

“Really? Where do you live?”

He just blurted out the first key that came to mind, “Ramrod.”

“Oh,” she said but looked like she was drawing a blank. Not a surprise, Ramrod was just a small key between two that people in Key West actually knew, Big Pine and Summerland. Desmond only knew because Shaun lived there.

“Mile marker twenty-seven,” he supplied.

“Oh,” now there was recognition, “Yeah, that is pretty far,” she agreed.

Thankfully he was saved when Shaun appeared. “Des,” he said leaning down to be heard, “I think you should go outside.”

“Huh, why?”

“Some guys are touching your bike-

Desmond was up and walking away before Shaun had even finished. The mix would play on its own without him needing to touch it. He didn’t have to look back to see the disappointed and annoyed look on Maria’s face. Thank god for Shaun. And if someone was messing with his bike they better be praying to god or he was going to fuck them up. No one touched his baby!

He went out to the front balcony and true to what Shaun had said there were some guys gathered around his bike and some… random bitch sitting on her. Desmond was going to kill someone. “HEY!” he yelled, “Get the fuck off my bike!” and he ran down the stairs, amazingly clear even a bit drunk.

“This is yours?” one of the guys asked, some big asshole looking guy. It was that bald guy who’d been trying to hit on Lucy earlier. He was huge too and Desmond felt tiny next to him.

“Yes,” he said bravely. “Now get off,” he snapped at the girl who was so drunk her face was red which contrasted starkly with her dark blonde hair.

“Oh c’mon, we were just having some fun,” another guy said, this one with shoulder length, wavy, black hair.

“Yeah and it’ll be real fun when I make you pay me back to get it fixed if your fun ruins my bike,” he spat.

“I think you need to relax little man,” the bald guy dropped a big hand on his shoulder in a comradic way. Desmond narrowed his eyes at him.

“I think he needs a drink,” said a third, blonde hair, slicked back, blue blue eyes.

“Get the fuck off me,” Desmond batted the big meat hand away, “and get off my bike,” he added, keeping his mind on the track that his bike could get broken if it was laid down. He didn’t have the money to fix her either. He was saving up for something else. Fuck. He didn’t want to deal with this!

“Awww, c’mon man. I think she adds to it,” the black haired boy said and slung a drunken arm over his shoulder. “Pretty bike. Pretty girl. They go together,” he laughed and the others laughed with him. 

“I said get the fuck off me,” Desmond shoved him away. They just laughed again. He went up to the blonde girl, since she nor they, were any help at all. “You need to get off,” he told her firmly hoping she understood him. As it was she was so wasted he didn’t know if she could even hear him.

The big bald asshole grabbed him by the shoulders with both hands, “Don’t be such a damn spoil sport little man,” he joked.

“Oi,” and they turned around. “What are you doing here? Fish food wasn’t invited to this party,” and Desmond had never been more happy in his life to see a group of footballers. That being said he was almost never happy to see them since when he did it had usually involved them picking on him. It was Ezio, several of his closer friends and a good few other guys from the team.

The bald man released Desmond and he almost fell onto his own bike from the force of it. “You got a problem with us being here pretty boy?” he asked.

“Yeah, so fuck off,” Ezio said firmly, arms crossed over his chest to make his already large arms look even larger. “Or I’ll call the cops for trespassing.”

Desmond knew that that threat really shouldn’t have been as big a deal as it was. Like… why would Ezio call the cops bringing them to a party full of underage kids drinking? Clearly that made no sense. But, the others, who were obviously too drunk to realize that Ezio’s threat held no water, looked a bit worried. Some part of Desmond’s brain that was still functioning fit the pieces together properly. Ezio had called them fish food and he honestly didn’t recognize any of the guys here. So they were probably Marathoners. What the fuck were they doing here all the way down at Shark Key? Did they really come all this way just to crash a party? Must have.

The black haired boy sneered at Ezio, “Fine. Sibrand, get my sister,” he ordered and turned away, stalking away as best he could while not walking a crooked line.

“See you next week,” the bald one said and bared his teeth at them before following after as the blonde with the slicked back hair picked the girl of Desmond’s bike and basically had to carry her since she was too drunk to walk.

“Fucking assholes,” he heard Ezio say but really wasn’t listening since he’d turned his back on the group and was looking over his baby. He quickly decided she was okay, which was good, because he would have lost his shit and maybe firebombed something if she wasn’t.

“They didn’t fuck it up did they?” he looked up quickly. Altair and Yusuf were standing next to his bike while he sat on it, making sure the black haired boy’s sister hadn’t managed to do anything to her while on it.

“No,” he said.

“Well, that’s good!” Yusuf said, half hanging off Altair with a lazy, friendly grin. “Those guys are assholes.”

“Fish food,” Altair agreed.

Desmond hesitated before saying, “Thanks for showing up.”

“Eh,” Altair shrugged.

“You kidding?” Yusuf almost laughed, “Ezio looked like he was going to have an aneurism when he heard Cesare and his crew had shown up at his house,” and now he did laugh. Altair just disengaged Yusuf from him and the other boy had to stop or he’d fall over. He spread his legs a little to find his balance, and at least didn’t sway. Still, Yusuf was so wasted. “Fucker,” he added and then spit. Desmond cringed, that was so gross he didn’t even know where to begin. At least it was on gravel.

“Well, he’s gone now, so Ezio can chill out,” Altair ended calling over his shoulder. Ezio just flipped a rude gesture at him. Altair sighed, “C’mon Youy, lets go calm down that hot head before he puts his fist through a wall or a window or something,” and he grabbed Yusuf by the arm and pulled him away. Desmond stared after them feeling like he was in the middle of an episode of the Twilight Zone.

The fuck just happened?

Chapter Text

-8 hours (1 am)

The party was still going on at full force. Desmond didn’t know how it was possible, but it was. He was pretty drunk by now, not ‘I shouldn’t be allowed to be alone right now’, more like ‘I can’t walk a strait line but who cares!’ sort of drunk. It was nice and the music was good and Desmond felt awesome. After the incident with his bike a few hours ago Ezio had offered to keep it in the garage, since unlike cars a motorcycle was a lot more fragile and easily fucked up. Not to mention someone had already messed with it. So he’d put it in Ezio’s garage and been happy with that.

He was now manning the iPod. Clay and Lucy were… somewhere, and he could see Becca writhing on the makeshift dance floor. Shaun was sitting next to him looking grumpy and very much sober. Shaun only danced when he was buzzed. But he wasn’t going to stop his girlfriend from having a good time, as if she’d let him!

Suddenly, Clay was crawling between him and Shaun. “Clay! What the flying shit, get off,” Shaun yelled and tried shoving Clay away. He just fell right into Desmond’s lap.

“Dude, dude,” he got real close to Desmond’s face and had it been anyone else but Clay it would have been uncomfortable. “I organized a truth or dare game. You’re coming.”

“I am?”

“Yes. You are,” and then he rolled off Desmond and onto the floor with a bang. “Ow,” and then he was on his feet. “C’mon,” he grabbed Desmond up to his feet.

“Where are you two idiots going?”

“Truth or dare, no DDs allowed though, it involves shots,” Clay said wickedly.

“Wonderful, as if I’d want to play that stupid game with you Neanderthals anyway,” Shaun rolled his eyes.

“Exactly, so man the music. Not even you can screw it up,” and he ruffled Shaun’s hair, which had remained perfectly styled all night till then. Even as Shaun yelled after then Clay pulled Desmond away and downstairs.

The room under the house was much quieter, though they could still hear the music pounding away. There was a gaggle of students down there including Lucy, who they sat on either side of. Desmond was sort of lost on what was going on but he listened when Ezio was telling everyone the rules. If you were picked you could do truth or dare. If you picked dare you had to do it, or you had to take a double shot. Truth you had to answer truthfully and if someone called you on your shit you had to take a double shot.

Predictably, Ezio started. He picked some girl named Haley and Desmond only paid half attention after that. Some people had good dares, like daring some guy named Mark to do a hand stand, and others were stupid, like chug a bottle of beer. Desmond got dared to drive his motorcycle, he took the double shot for that one after Lucy elbowed him in the ribs. There were some truths too, like who’d you’d lost your virginity to, if you’d ever stolen anything, why did you break up with such and such. He saw Clay soaking in that stuff and all the rest of it too honestly. His friend was so god damn weird.

“Desmond,” Ezio proclaimed and he started. “Truth or dare?”

He could go for truth, but he didn’t want to tell any of these assholes actual personal information. He could handle some more booze if it came to it though. “Dare,” he said.

Ezio looked practically gleeful. Weirdo. “I dare you to…” he paused, as though thinking, “Kiss Clay,” oh, imaginative, “with tongue,” pulling out all the stops.

Desmond leaned around Lucy to look at Clay. Clay was looking back and Lucy was looking at the both of them. “You mind?” he asked his friend.

“Better then drinking that five dollar vodka,” Clay declared and they kissed without further preamble or even looking uncomfortable about it. It probably should have been weird. But it wasn’t. They’d gone out for about a week as freshmen before deciding it would be better to just be friends. He let Clay slip his tongue into his mouth for a moment before they pulled away, the dare complete. Desmond forgot what a good kisser Clay was and his drunken mind contemplated asking Clay about being friends with benefits. Not sex benefits, but kissing benefits cause he wouldn’t be able to look at Clay if they actually fucked. It’d be too weird. Lucy’s face when he checked was bright red, though not from embarrassment. The rest of the players were quiet, staring. Were they surprised? Or were they weirdly turned on by two guys (guy friends at that) kissing? “Wow, weirdos,” Clay declared, breaking the silence and gave Desmond a wink. At least one of them was saying what they were both thinking. But then Clay always was better at that then Desmond.

Desmond wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, “Okay, my turn,” he said and rubbed his hands on his knees. “Caterina,” he said to the red headed senior, “Truth or dare?”

“I don’t think I could follow that one up,” she laughed. “Truth.”

Damn. Desmond was better with dares. He had to think now. “If you had to date any girl in the school, who would it be, and why?”

“What’re you my history teacher?” Caterina teased, the others laughed.

“Just answer the question,” Desmond muttered.

“Hmmm,” she thought for a moment, “Probably Thorpe,” she said at last. “Cause she’s more of a badass then any of you boys,” he said fiercely. No one even bothered to tell her otherwise. Desmond didn’t know who Thorpe was, but if Caterina said she was a badass, she probably was. “Good enough?” Desmond nodded. “Okay, now I’m going to pick— Lucy,” she smiled sweetly at the blonde girl. “Truth or dare?”

“Uh… truth,” she said carefully.

“How turned on were you just then watching Clay and Desmond kiss?”

Lucy didn’t answer, she just stared at Caterina with a fractured smile. Desmond was looking up at her from where he was leaning on his bent knees and knew Clay was eyeing her too. After a second she cleared her throat, “I think I’ll take the shot,” she said, though that itself was as damning as any actual confession. Caterina didn’t push though and Ezio poured Lucy her shot, which she knocked back with a face. “Uhg, that stuff is rough,” she said, face a bit pinched. “I don’t want to go, I’m going to give my turn to Clay.”

“Excellent!” Clay said cheerfully, rocking backwards and forwards a bit where he sat. “I’m going to piiiiiiiick— Jason. Truth or dare.”

“Dare, ya’ll are pussies-

“Take off all your clothes,” Clay chirped before the guy could even finish.

“I-I’ll take the shot,” he stammered. Clay chuckled as the other boy shot the vodka.

“Dude, what the hell?” Desmond said from around Lucy’s back as Jason picked someone else.

“What? He’s good looking, and he’s always bragging about how big his dick is.”

Desmond gave a disgusting snort. “Really Clay,” Lucy sighed.

“What? Not like he did it,” Clay made a face. Desmond rolled his eyes at his friend before focusing back on the game. It lasted a while longer and Desmond ended up doing another shot for refusing to give up who he’d lost his virginity to and the circumstances behind it.

After that Desmond stood, wobbling a little. “Ditching out on us?” someone asked him.

“As much fun as I’m having with you alcoholics, I need to go piss,” and without further explanation left the downstairs room and went back up to the first floor. There was some weird slow song playing, but no one seemed to mind as there were quite a few couples on the dance floor. Desmond by passed them and went to find the bathroom.

He found one on that floor but it was locked. Not only that but once he realized what he was hearing he realized someone was having sex inside. Oh wow fucking gross. Still, he had to go piss really badly. There were no other bathrooms on the first floor so eventually he ventured to the second, which was marked as off-limits. Still, no one saw him as he went upstairs.

He’d never been so happy to see a toilet in his life. It occurred to him only once he was in the bathroom that he could have just taken a leak outside. His drunk brain wasn’t the best at having rational thoughts though. He shook and zipped himself back up, washing his hands before stumbling back out into the dim hall; and right into someone.

“Oh, sorry, sorry,” Desmond said quickly, and he knew his speech was slurred, though not significantly.

“That’s okay,” they said but he couldn’t quite make out who it was as the lights were off on the top floor (a deterrent probably) and he’d been so focused on finding a bathroom he hadn’t looked for a light switch so the only light came from downstairs and the stairs. Still it was definitely a guy (as if the voice didn’t give it away Einstein) with some strong arms, since he’d basically caught Desmond when he almost crumpled after running into him. What was he doing up here? “I didn’t know you swung that way Miles,” they added, hands on him, though more so he didn’t fall over, which in this disorientating light was a very real possibility.

“Swing?” he asked stupidly.

They chuckled, “Yeah,” and his thumb came up to touch his mouth. Oh. Fingers were quickly traded for lips and while Desmond wasn’t quite sure who he was kissing damn they had a wicked mouth. He found himself pushed up against the wall and his arms went around the other boy’s shoulders as they pushed their tongue into his mouth.The other guy slid a hand up his flank and pushed his knee between Desmond’s legs. Oh, okay. This was… kinda awesome actually. Hadn’t he just been thinking it would be awesome to do some kissing? Or had that been a while ago after that dumb dare with Clay? He couldn’t remember and time sort of was hazy at this time. Either way he wasn’t complaining.

He gasped when they broke apart for more then just a chance to suck in a fresh breathe and groaned a little when he started to kiss and suck on his neck and grabbed at his back. His mouth moved lower and lower, leaving kisses and fade-able red marks on his neck and across his collar bone before moving back up and taking possession of Desmond’s mouth again. Desmond sagged against the wall, drunk and pliant and then suddenly horny when the boy grabbed his crotch. “How’s you like to come home with me?” he asked with a silky tone in Desmond’s ear and squeezed him through his jeans.

“Fuck yes,” Desmond said, forgetting all about his stance on one-night stands. He was drunk and this guy was amazing and right now all he wanted was to be somewhere flat and preferably horizontal and see if this guy’s wicked mouth was as good other places as it was on his neck.

They grinned and nuzzled into his neck, “I was hoping you’d say that,” and then took a step back. “I’ll call a cab. Meet me downstairs,” and then he was gone. Desmond stared at where he’d just been, still a bit out of breathe and now with a it of a hard on. Wow.

Chapter Text

-7 hours

He wasn’t quite sure where he was. But he figured that was okay as the boy, who he still didn’t know, unlocked the front door of their house and they stumbled inside. The cab ride had been interesting and very… hands on. He couldn’t say he was complaining.

Inside it was cool, a relief even from the short time in the hot Floridian night. It was like outside the sun had never gone down and it was still hot as hell out there. A pair of hands came onto his hips as he tried to figure out where he was, or what the place looked like. No good however, he was too drunk. “You need to be quiet,” the Boy told him, “my gramps is asleep.”

“Okay,” he nodded, and then he was being pushed from behind down a hall and up some stairs and down another hall. Finally, fucking finally, they made it to a bedroom. “Can we get naked now?” he said cause he’d lost his filter a while ago.

“Yes,” the Boy groaned, sounding like he wanted to do nothing but.

He pushed the Boy back into the door, kissing him and their hands fumbled at their belts and zippers, tugging drunkenly at their clothes. The Boy was wearing a buttoned shirt and it was seriously too damn complicated to undo and kiss at the same time. He pulled back and undid his shirt, under it he was deeply tan from being out in the sun. As he undid his shirt he heard a thud. Oh that was his pants. Okay. 

Desmond stumbled back slightly when he was pushed backwards, as he was still actually in his pants, though they were just around his ankles now. He actually almost fell but again the Boy caught him and after a second he just stepped out of his pants and shoes. As soon as he was he was being pushed back again and it felt like a long way to the bed. Finally though the back of his knees bumped against it and he sat. The Boy tugged off his shirt before shrugging off his own.

“I am lucky tonight,” Desmond heard himself say, looking up at him. The Boy chuckled, a dark, pleasant noise. He was so fucking hot it should have been a sin with a flat stomach, lean and skinnier then him, he could almost count the Boy’s ribs and there was some hair on his chest and down the center of his stomach vanishing below the line of his pants. He was still in his pants and all Desmond could think was ‘he needs to be naked right now.’ The Boy ran his hands through his hair, messing it up, as he tugged at the button of his jeans. Then they were sliding off his hips and pooling on the floor as he stepped out of them and his shoes.

His back found the bed spread and the Boy straddled his lap and kissed him again, deeply, his tongue taking possession of Desmond’s mouth. He moaned shamelessly and raked his fingers down the Boy’s flanks, gasping when the Boy moved to kiss and suck on his neck. Desmond ran his hands through his hair, down his back and across his shoulders, rolling his hips upwards needing more then just press, needing friction. The Boy groaned into his shoulder and returned the favor before sitting up and rolling off him.

Desmond tugged off more of his clothes, socks being lost somewhere beyond the edge of the bed, he didn’t care. He’d only just gotten them off before grabbing the Boy, who was doing much the same, and pushing him further onto the bed, settling between his legs. 

They pushed against each other, all lips and mouths and grasping hands against skin that made the air feel especially cold on his skin. They were both trying to get the other down, though he saw the Boy mirroring his own grin, neither of them would be disappointed with however this first part ended.

Eventually he got the Boy pinned, grasping his wrists by the side of his head, legs tangled up together so he was straddling one thigh. They were both panting a little and he enjoyed watching the Boy just pant, drawing in lungfuls of air and look way too fucking amazing doing so. He grinned a mischievous grin and leaned down, almost kissing him, but then pulling away.

The Boy groaned, “Oh for fucks sake Miles,” he huffed and his hands flexed before becoming fists. Desmond licked his lips before actually kissing him. The Boys hands flexed again and pushed his tongue into Desmond’s mouth. They held there until they couldn’t breathe and even then Desmond was pretty sure breathing was vastly over rated. He nipped at the Boy’s throat, kissing down his skin and let go of his wrists because his hands became more interested in his hips. The Boy rolled his hips, he responded in like as his nose and lips slid down the skin of his chest and he wrapped his lips around one of his nipples. It got him a grunt like a whine.

His brain was a steady interchanging mantra of ‘I want to fuck this kid’ and ‘I want this kid to fuck me’, he really didn’t care at this point and from the way the Boy was moving under him he was clear he didn’t either. They both just needed it, whatever it was. It was driving him fucking crazy.

When he was suddenly grabbed and flipped over he had to close his eyes. Wow that was not the funnest thing in the world, not drunk anyway, definitely not drunk. He didn’t feel sick, just dizzy. Lips pressed to his but he was slow to respond and then they were gone and they crawled down his body like some sort of strange animal and his eyes flicked open and he looked down when he felt a gentle prodding on his crotch. He groaned, loudly. “Shhh,” the Boy shushed him, “Don’t be so loud.”

“Maybe I wouldn’t be if you gave me a reason to shove my fist in my mouth,” Desmond said, he wasn’t even sure if he was making any sense. He probably wasn’t.

“Mmm, I’ll put something else in your mouth,” the Boy promised lowly, but it was obvious a promise for later. Right now he was more interested in pressing his face into the inside of Desmond’s thigh or into the hollow of his pelvic bone. He grit his teeth wanting something else to happen but having a feeling that asking for it would just make him make him wait longer. Eventually he did get what he wanted, a hot, wet, mouth pressing against the beginning of his erection through his briefs. He groaned, softer this time as the Boy mouthed him through his underwear, making his hips twitch. 

He was eternally grateful when hands came up to his hips and pulled down his briefs. His legs bent at slightly awkward angles to manage getting them off, as the Boy didn’t want to sit up, but eventually they were shoved off the edge of the bed with the rest of his clothes. He sighed, deeply, when the Boy finally took him into his mouth. He’d been so right, this Boy’s wicked mouth was just as good on his lips as it was on his cock. He shifted a little, nearly a squirm, riding the wave of pleasure from the pit of his stomach.

The problem with drunken one night stands, especially when you were as drunk as the both of them, was that you tended to get whiskey dick. This time was no different and Desmond had a seriously hard time actually getting and maintaining a full erection. The Boy didn’t seem to mind though, head head smoothly moving up and down on his cock, seemingly enjoying that nearly as much as Desmond was receiving it. He’d never actually thought he’d meet a guy who really liked giving head, he sort of assumed they were myths, but yeah, totally blew that stupid thought right out of the water.

Long after his jaw should have started to hurt the Boy finally lifted his mouth off of him and he missed it almost immediately. The Boy kissed his way up the line of his stomach and chest, stopping to give one of his nipples a lick before settling easily between his legs and kissing him. It was a messy thing and Desmond hooked his legs around his thighs, pushing upwards.

“I’d really like it if you’d fuck me,” Desmond breathed when they were apart for more then enough time to snatch a lungful of air.

“And I would really like to,” the Boy said, lips a ghost along his jaw and damn that was distracting, “But I don’t think any fucking is going to happen tonight though.”

“Whiskey dick?”

“Even though I hate whiskey,” and Desmond snorted grossly, covering his mouth. The line wasn’t that funny, but drunk it was hilarious. The Boy grinned widely, showing off white teeth.

Once Desmond had gotten ahold of himself he said, “Yeah well, I really liked what you were doing with your mouth.”

“Mmmm,” the Boy thumbed across his nipple. “I’d like to see what your mouth could do,” he smirked, devious and playful.

Desmond flipped them over, a slower motion then the previous time, which was more helpful for his head honestly since he really didn’t want to be dizzy again, definitely not when he was about to go down on a guy. He kissed his lips, briefly before sliding down his body, licking, kissing, and gently bit on the curve of his hip bone. He hated and smelled like sweat and Desmond wanted to devour him. He’d have to rethink his agenda on one night stands after this.

He nuzzled against the bulge in the Boy’s underwear, drawing his tongue several times along the length before maneuvering his legs out of them. It was a lot less complicated then trying to get Desmond out of his since he was willing to sit up long enough. They ended up being flicked across the room by the Boys foot and Desmond caught he ankle before he could put it back down. He pressed a kiss into the inside of his ankle and then trailed a line of them up his leg. “Fuck!” the Boy suddenly yelped when he brushed his lips against the inside of his knee, slightly under it, and he jerked his leg away.

Desmond eyed him, suddenly delighted, “Oh, you’re ticklish,” he said.

“Don’t even think about it Miles,” he growled, eyes flashing, though he couldn’t recall the color they were.

“Or you’ll what?” he teased, grin broad and mischievous. He slipped his hand back under his knee, barely grazing his skin. The Boy twitched and squirmed out of reach. He followed and in a few seconds it’d fallen into something like a grappling match. He pulled, the Boy pushed, and he tried to get the Boy under him again. The motions passed in a harsh whirl of too much movement and blurred vision that almost made him sick. The growls and hard won little bubbles of giggle-like laughter he won from the Boy mare then made him ignore anything else. He liked his laugh, the way he tried to keep it quiet and how he seemed to refuse to acknowledge that he was ticklish.

Eventually he did get the Boy under him again, they were panting again and there was more sweat on the Boy’s chest, and on his own as well, his cheeks were colored and his lips were curled in a smile, a bit shit eating. He pressed his mouth to his needfully and reached down to stroke the Boy, who groaned against his mouth and Desmond managed to wriggle his tongue into the other boy’s mouth. He still tasted a bit like booze. Then his hand left his cock and slid gently against skin just so, the Boy bit his upper lip when he jolted, and shoved him. “You’re an ass,” the Boy informed him. Desmond laughed at him, softly and checked his upper lip, which hurt from where the Boy had bitten it. It hurt a little but it didn’t come away bloody. The Boy was frowning at him, and he gave him a chaste kiss to apologize before going down on him to apologize further.

The Boy groaned when Desmond ran his tongue along his length. A hand shifted through his hair, undemanding, simply there, and he took the Boy’s cock in his mouth. He was only half hard and after a minute he realized he probably wasn’t going to get any harder, or if he did he wouldn’t keep it. Fucking whiskey dick.

Unlike the Boy, who clearly enjoyed it, Desmond was not the biggest fan of giving head. It hurt his jaw, even though the Boy wasn’t much bigger then average and definitely not the biggest guy he’d ever sucked off. He also had a really terrible gag reflex, which tended to make it hard to give head as just touching the back of his tongue tended to make him start to gag. Still, he liked watching the receiver squirm and that’s what kept him down there because fuck did this kid wriggle. In a good way though. He really wished he wasn’t so drunk now because if he moved like this just from getting blow he really wanted to see what he did if Desmond fucked him. He sucked on the head of the Boy’s cock, looking back down at what he was doing, thinking that, that he’d really like to fuck this kid. A little voice in the back of his head said that come the morning he was going to not think this and would beat himself up over this. He told that voice to kindly shut the fuck up he was busy and didn’t have time for sober or rational thoughts.

Finally he had to stop. The Boy sighed, long and deep and blissed out, one hand petting his hair, the other on the bed spread, clenching and unclenching. Desmond didn’t move from where he was though, feet half hanging off the bed from where he was laying between his legs. He rested his head against his thigh, staring at the Boy. Lying there he realized that they were actually in the dark, it was the first time he’d noticed, though not total darkness, as there was light coming from a string of blue pipe lights that framed the head board like some sort of child’s night light, enough to see by in the pitch darkness, but not enough to wake you. There was also light coming in from around the blinds on the window.

He had no brain to mouth filter. “Wow.” The Boy snorted, face twisting into an amused smile that squeezed his eyes closed a little. He pressed his face briefly into the Boy’s thigh before saying, still without a filter, “I wish I was not so drunk right now. Cause I really want to fuck you.”

“I thought you wanted me to fuck you,” the Boy said, amused.

“Both,” he droned, nibbling on the flesh of his thigh a little. The boy gave a soft, dry, chuckle. He felt insanely heavy as he lifted himself up on his arms and pulled himself forward. He was getting tired, seriously tired. He dropped a kiss onto the boy’s mouth and it turned deep without his intention and the Boy wound his arms around his neck, legs curling around the back of his knees so they overlapped and his legs rested between Desmond’s.

“I think,” the Boy said and licked his lips, not his lips, Desmond’s lips, it made him light headed in a good way, this guy’s fucking mouth, “that we’re done?” It was only a bit of a question. As it was neither of them could get it up enough to actually come but they weren’t unsatisfied either. Desmond had never had sex in his life where he hadn’t come and felt like he was okay with it, even if afterwards and he went and finished himself because the sex had sucked so much he hadn’t during it he didn’t usually think of sex without it. But he was okay with this. Maybe it was the booze talking. Maybe not, he’d just be awake far longer then he wanted to be if he was dead set on finishing. Since even getting head he hadn’t gotten hard, not all the way, and he wasn’t wasted enough to not know that the Boy gave fucking great head.

“I think,” Desmond agreed, with a slight groan and rolled off him and next to him. He yawned and covered his mouth, somehow he knew that if he turned his head he’d be able to see the electric clock on the bed table, but he doubted he’d be able to read it. The air was cool again, he could finally focus on the temperature against his skin, and he got a few goosbumps before he was being tugged under covers. “Wow, you aren’t making me leave,” he said, wouldn’t have been the first time he got kicked out after sex.

“Your bike is at Ezio’s,” the Boy grumbled, sounding as tired as him. “And you’re drunk. I’m not that much of an asshole,” he said. Desmond didn’t complain, the bed was big, and soft. He stared up at the ceiling and his eyelids grew heavy before slipping shut.

He slept.

Chapter Text

>1 hour

Desmond was at one of the many corner, Cuban run, deli and markets. He’d been walking a bit and found it and needed food and water. So he’d bought a big bottle of water and a cheese bread. As the cheese bread was cooking he chugged the water and tried not to look at the windows.

After the initial adrenaline of leaving Altair’s house had passed he realized how much he fucking hated the sun. He was hung over, but could function, though function was subjective at this point. He checked his phone and saw he’d missed a call from his mom earlier this morning. His parents knew he’d been going to a party and that Shaun was driving, his mom liked Shaun and knew he’d get her boy home safe. But he hadn’t come home last night. So she was checking in on him, though it wouldn’t be the first night he’d just crashed at Clay’s after a party since he lived in Key West, not where he even was, or fuck where Desmond even lived. It was easier and faster to just go to Clay’s after parties or movies, and sleep it off. Her mom wasn’t the biggest fan of Clay, but at least he didn’t try to get Desmond into drugs.

So he stepped to the side of the store, he could smell his cheese bread and his stomach rumbled hungrily, and called his mom. She picked up on the second ring. “Hey baby,” she said into the receiver.

“Hey ma,” he said back, squinting in the light, “I’m not dead. This is not a call from the great beyond.”

She laughed, he loved making her laugh, “Have fun last night?”

“Tons. My phones ganna die though and I’m waiting for a call from Clay and I-

“Mirda, cheese bread,” the Cuban lady behind the counter called, her accent so awful he almost couldn’t understand her. 

He moved over to saying, “I’ll be home soon.”

“Okay baby, be safe.”

“I will,” and he paid for the water and cheese bread with cash as he hung up. He got a text while waiting for his change. ‘Outside.’ Thank god. He thanked the woman, who ignored him, and went outside. Clay’s car was waiting against the street and his friend leaned over to unlock the door for him as he shoved some of the flat cheese bread into his mouth. It tasted like heaven. He slid into the passenger seat. “How’d you find me?” Desmond asked around his food.

“I could smell the shame on you from a mile away,” Clay said, he glowered at his friend who just grinned widely at him. “I was passing by and saw you in the window, duh,” he said and put the car into drive only once Desmond had put on his belt. “So where to?”

“I need to get my bike,” Desmond said and rubbed his face.

“So Ezio’s?”

“Yeah,” he grumbled and took another bite of his butter and cheese heaven. He had to hand it to the Cubans, their food was fucking amazing. “So, you know what happened to me-

“Hardly-

He didn’t even stop talking, “How’d you end up?”

“Got drunk, made an idiot of myself, Shaun shoved me in his car and took me home. I think other then you he’s the only one who got laid.”

“Lucky git,” Desmond muttered.

“What?”

“What?”

“What?” Clay gave him a look.

“What?” Desmond gave him a slightly bewildered one back as his teeth dug into the bread.

“What are we even talking about?’

“Fuck if I know.”

“Also that’s not your shirt.”

“What?” he’d said that word way too much in the past fifteen seconds.

“That shirt you're wearing, it isn’t yours. Not the one you were wearing last night at least.”

Desmond looked down. He was wearing a buttoned shirt. “Oh fuck,” he muttered.

“Is that Altair’s-

“Shut up Clay!” he yelled. Clay just laughed, loud and obnoxiously.

“That is so Altair’s shirt! Oh my god Desmond you fucking dope,” and he smacked the steering wheel as they waited for the light to get on US1.

“Shit,” Desmond said looking at the shirt, it was a bit small on him too which was the weird part, but bigger shouldered. How the fuck? “Fuck,” he said again.

“Wanna go back and give it to him?”

“Fuck no!”Desmond yelled and Clay just laughed harder. A car beeped at them as the light was green and Clay turned right onto US1 to head off Stock Island.

“Well, at least now it doesn’t look like you’re going back to Ezio’s in the same clothes,” Clay said helpfully, stopping laughing so he could focus on driving.

“Guuuh,” Desmond groaned and looked at his cheese bread.He decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and just wanted to eat his feelings. He shoved the cheese bread into his mouth without further comment.

Clay didn’t speak again till they were on Boca Chica. “So,” he started. “Wanna talk about it.”

“No. Fuck you,” Desmond grumbled.

Clay smirked widely, “Aw, c’mon buddy, what’s an embarrassing one night stand story between friends?” he asked cheerfully. “You said he was good. He give it to ya?”

“No,” he muttered.

“Oh? I didn’t know Altair was like that. So you-

“No,” Desmond did not want to have this conversation. The fact that Clay could do so with such nonchalance was creepy as all fuck too.

Clay eyed him as they passed the adult store that was one of the only buildings on the Key other then the Naval base where Desmond lived and Rockland Key near the bridge that connected Boca Chica to Big Coppitt. “You did get laid last night didn’t you?” he asked.

Desmond glowered at him, “You’re not going to be happy till I tell you are you?”

“Fuck no,” he said cheerfully. “So just make it painless and tell me on your own, cause you know I’m not above ripping out teeth.”

Desmond crammed the last bite of his cheese bread into his mouth as they crossed the bridge onto Big Coppitt. “Fine,” he said, crumpling the bag his bread had been in and dropping it onto the floor of Clay’s car. “We were both really drunk, neither of us could get it up. I got some really good head out of the deal and learned that Altair’s ticklish. The end.”

Clay didn’t say anything, but just watched the road. They passed the Circle K in silence, there were several boats there, filling up for a day on the water. “That’s it?” Clay asked as they came up on Shark Key.

“I’m not giving you the nitty gritty so you can save your breathe,” Desmond huffed. “Fuck you should really worry about your own sex life and not other people’s Clay.”

“Yeah see I would, but I don’t have one,” he said as they turned onto the long and narrow Key.

Desmond squinted at him, “You’re fucking dumb,” he said.

“Hey!”

“You get a kiss last night? At least?”

“The only person I kissed last night was you, Dessy buddy.”

Desmond groaned, “Man, we’re going to have to have a talk,” he said.

“Sure, whatever you say,” Clay rolled his eyes.

“I’m serious. We’re having a talk. Lunch at El Seboney, got it?”

“Mmm, you paying?”

“No, you can pay for your own food, I’m not your boyfriend.”

“Too bad,” Clay sighed. Desmond eyed him, “What? Don’t look at me like that,” he made a face at Desmond who made a face right back, one slightly pinched and skeptical. “You’re good boyfriend material,” he shrugged.

“So are you.”

“So why aren’t we dating?” Clay asked, pulling into Ezio’s driveway.

“You know why,” Desmond said as he put the car in park. “Cause you drive me fucking insane,” and Clay laughed. “And cause you’re my best bud and the last thing I want is to actually see you naked,” he made another face. Clay grinned. “Now wait here till I get my bike keys and helmet,” he said and slipped out of the car as Clay nodded.

He padded up the stairs to the first floor and knocked. The scary black haired man answered, his hair pulled back into a tiny bottle brush pony tail. Federico’s boyfriend, Vi, short for something no doubt. “Hey,” Desmond said.

“Can I help you?” he asked, he was surprisingly polite actually. That wasn’t how he remembered it last night.

“Uh, I came to get my keys and helmet for my motorcycle,” he said, “it’s down in the garage.”

“Okay, come in,” he opened the door a little wider. The man closed the door, “Your helmet’s in the closet, I’ll go get the keys,” he said and left him in the foyer. Desmond stepped over to the closet and opened it.

“Uh…” he stared at the kid who was actually sleeping in the closet. He leaned down, grabbed his helmet and then softly closed the door. He turned back around as Vi was coming back.

“I think these are them?” he asked, holding the round key out to him with the star key chain on it.

“Yeah, that’s it. Thanks,” Vi was a lot less scary today actually. Maybe he’d just gotten some last night. Damn it seemed like everyone except him and Clay did last night. He took his key back, “Also, there is someone sleeping in the closet there.”

Vi’s eyes got sharp, “Oh. Thank you I’ll take care of it,” Desmond so did not want to know what that meant at all. “I’ll open the garage for you,” he added.

“Yeah, thanks,” and then was going for the door. Vi pressed a button by the door as he left and closed the door after him. Below the garage door was rattling open as he pounded down the stairs. From the front seat Clay waved at him as he went into the garage, pulling on his helmet and clipping it into place. He wheeled his baby out of the garage and wondered where his sun glasses were. Damn he’d have to buy another new pair. Once she was in the middle of the driveway he threw his leg over her and sat comfortably before leaning down and fitting the key in. She ticked three times before rumbling into life. He gave a thumbs up to Clay who did in turn and pulled out of the driveway.

Before kicking up the kick stand he sent Clay a text with the last juice of his battery, ‘el Seb at noon. Be there or I am ganna beat your skinny white ass.’ Then he kicked the kick stand up and fiddled with his leather jacket a second before sending her as quietly as possible out of the driveway. As soon as he hit pavement he gunned it, switching up into second gear with a roar and shot down the street, wind whipping in his face. He passed Clay in his beach cruiser, and his friend honked after him. There were no cars when he reached the stop sign at the end of the road and turned right onto US1, back to Boca Chica.

It was a simple matter in getting home, flashing his ID to get past the guards and onto the base. He took a few turns and then was pulling into the drive. The cutting of the engine made everything sound suddenly so quiet. 

With a groan he got off his bike. He needed a shower and when they got to El Seboney he was getting a strong cup of Cuban coffee. The door was locked, his parents weren’t home. He unlocked the front door and shoved it open.

The house was military issue for the most part, though his mom had since painted the walls blue- Sea Sky Blue. Or some other sort of stupid name- and saved them from the bland military white and cream walls that really he was used to by now anyway, It happened when you were a military brat, you tended to get used to boring white and beige walls. There was a note on the fridge, ‘Gone to Marathon’. He wrinkled his nose. Why the fuck did they go to Marathon? Friends maybe, or something to do with the base there, something like that.

But that meant he had the house to himself, which was always good. He hung his jacket up in his room and took off his clothes, and Altair’s shirt. He held the shirt up and frowned at it before tossing it into the hamper. He’d give it back, maybe, if he ever talked to Altair again. As it was it looking like a ‘I don’t even want to know you exist let alone talk to you’ sort of meeting last night. He went and took a shower wondering if he could just drown himself instead of having to face Monday.

Chapter Text

3 hours

El Siboney was always busy, always. It was one of the more popular restaurants on the island, hell, one of the more popular ones in the entire Lower Keys. The deco inside was yellow with Indian chiefs and generic Cuban paraphernalia and plastic red lands and knick knack. Today was no different, especially on a weekend, and especially at noon, but the fact that it was packed was sort of a good thing.

Desmond got there before Clay, parking down the block, as the tiny lot (lot, ha! it was barely street space) was full, though there wasn’t a line out the door. He could smell the roasted, pulled pork from down the street as he walked towards the squat building that was bigger on the inside, like the T.A.R.D.I.S. There was a bit group in front of him, waiting just inside the door but he wriggled through, the sound of people talking and the scrape of cutlery on plates masking most other noises. The place wasn’t cool, but it wasn’t hot like outside either and was very much still below body temperature, making it comfortable enough. 

He got the attention of the girl behind the girl the low slung counter as he was making up a tray of imported Mexican beers by rapping on the plastic covering. She gave him a slight questioning look, “Two,” he said to be heard over the din. She nodded and then was gone from behind the counter. She returned a moment later though and showed Desmond to one of the small tables to the left of the door by the small low set bar where a few haggard Mexicans were devouring their food with silent prejudice.

The waiter showed up before Clay, he was big, Cuban, and had slicked back black hair, his red shirt a bit tight across his chest. “What can I get you?” he asked and set down two waters in thick plastic, red, cups, his English good, so he was Conch, not a migrant or a refugee.

“I’ll have a Coke, I dunno what he wants,” he nodded at the empty seat. His waiter nodded and was gone. Desmond didn’t even pick up the menu, he knew the entire thing front and back by now, as it was a favorite for their group of friends as it was fast, cheap and amazing. The waiter came with his Coke and a small basket of buttered, pressed, Cuban bread, and asked if he wanted to order. As he did a flicker of yellow caught the edge of Desmond’s eye and Clay was sliding into the seat opposite him.

“Can I get a Sprite,” Clay piped up and when the waiter left he chugged his water. He looked haggard, but not hung over. That had been earlier.

“Hello to you too,” Desmond said as Clay grabbed some of the bread and crammed it into his mouth. Like Desmond he didn’t bother with the menu, he knew it front to back as well and between the four of them they’d tried just about everything in the last four years.

“Sorry I just… I just got fucking chewed out by my dad, and that was after getting off the phone with Lucy. Did you know she’s pissed at me?” he looked confused, maybe a bit hurt, and a lot scared.

“Why’d your dad chew you out?”

“Cause I didn’t get home till like three this morning,” he laughed hollowly. “He was pissed, though I wasn’t too drunk. Apparently a bit after you left to piss and never come back I passed out in Lucy’s lap,” well that explained why she was probably angry. “Next I woke up Shaun was manhandling me into the back of his car. I think, and I’m not sure mind you, but I think I got a face full of boob from that.”

“Lucy’s boobs?” Desmond asked as the waiter brought Clay’s Sprite and filled both their waters.

Clay didn’t answer cause he was ordering. “I’ll have the number two,” the waiter nodded.

Desmond gave his friend a leery look then gave the waiter his order, “And I’ll have the number three, and the fried yucca.” Their waiter nodded and left. “Did you face plant into Lucy’s tits Clay?”

“I… think so? Becca was in the front. Fuck I do not remember, I was just fucking gone at that point.”

“So what was she pissed about? You all up in her cleavage?” he would not put it past her honestly.

Clay disassembled some of the bread as he said, “You know, I’m not entirely sure. She just called me, pissed, and said I was a terrible person and I needed to get my priorities strait and blah blah blah, you know how she can get.”

Desmond nodded, he did indeed know how Lucy could get. He loved her to death, she was his friend after all, but she could be like Shaun: scary, intense, and slightly over the top. Lucy could go into melt down mode when she acted like the world was going to end at all times. But he supposed with a stepdad like the one she had he couldn’t really be surprised. 

“You got any idea?” Clay asked, finishing off his second cup of water.

“Yeah, several,” he said, giving his friend a look.

“Welp, I’m all ears,” he said and propped his chin on his fists looking at Desmond with all the attention of a five year old to super hero cartoons.

“Well, you have been giving her weird mixed messages lately,” he said.

“I what?” he sat up strait, clearly confused. “You’re ganna have to run that by me again.”

“Well, you hang out with her nearly as much as me, you’re always flirting with her-

“Hey!” Clay looked indignant, “I flirt with everyone,” he said matter-of-factly and Desmond chuckled.

“Then at the party you were all into hanging out with her, you danced with her even. You don’t fucking dance with anyone-

“That’s cause I’m the DJ,” he pointed out.

“Would you let me talk for like… five fucking seconds? Stop butting in,” Desmond snapped, Clay pouted but nodded. “Then you kissed me, cause of that dumb dare, which by the way, she thought was hot.”

“She did?” he asked as if it had never occurred to him, playing with the bread.

Desmond blinked at him, “Are you actually aware of the things that go on with your own friends or are you just totally into everyone else?”

“Well you guys are kinda predictable,” Clay said slowly. “Except this morning when I got a call that my best buddy had just rolled out of bed with-

Desmond clapped his hand over his mouth, “You are not to utter that name in my presence, got it?” he growled. Clay looked delighted but nodded regardless. Desmond took his hand away and wiped it on his pants. “So, that happened, and yes, she liked it, god you need to be more observant— and I never thought I’d have to tell you that since you see the weirdest shit. Like… Yusuf and Rauf, really?”

“It’ll happen!” Clay proclaimed. 

Just then their food appeared, big plates piled high with Cuban cooked pork, yellow rice, plantains and sweet sautéed onions and Clay had a tamale. Little white bowls filled with black beans to the point of nearly over flowing. A smaller plate with Desmond’s fried yucca and a vinegary and onion dipping sauce was placed next to his huge plate. They dropped the current thread of conversation, instead turning towards their lunch.

They both put their plantains in the basket where the bread had been, to eat later. Clay poured the black beans all over his food and cracked open his tamale. Desmond just smushed everything up together in a giant orgy of pulled pork, rice, beans and onions before started to eat. They ate in silence, only bickering a bit over the yucca which Clay tried to steal and Desmond stabbed him with his fork. Clay just looked offended when he did that.

Finally, when they were about half way through their plates, having satisfied their hung over stomachs Desmond started up the conversation again. “Also you fell asleep in her lap-

“Are you still on about this man?” Clay drawled.

“Yes. Yes I am, cause you’re an idiot,” and then he continued, “and then in the car Shaun basically shoves you into her chest. And you go home alone. You were complaining about not getting laid last night, well guess what, I bet Lucy would have taken care of that for you,” and he dipped a stick of yucca into translucent dipping sauce.

Clay played with his mess of a plate, which honestly looked like Desmond’s, even though it had started out a lot more organized but by now had just turned a mess of pork and additions. Then he looked up at Desmond from under his brows, “You really think she’s into me?”

“Are you blind?” Desmond asked.

“Uh-

“Don’t answer that,” because Clay would have just gotten lippy with him. “Yes. Yes she’s into you.”

“Yeah but she was into you too,” he pointed out.

“And she knows I am not on the market.”

“So, you’re saying I’m second best?”

“Compared to a gay man, yes. Which means you’re first in line for the actual straight men,” Desmond huffed and shoveled a few more bites of pork and rice into his mouth. “Don’t think of it as ‘second place’. I mean, you’ll never compare to an actual gay guy, girls love us,” and Clay kicked him under the table. He winced, that had hurt. “You’re just at the top of the list for actual, available guys, who wouldn’t be wigged out by lady bits,” he wrinkled his nose a little. It wasn’t like he was squeamish or anything, he just didn’t find them attractive at all. He’d still stare at a girl’s ass, but he was an ass guy, so sue him, and with the trend of boys in baggy pants or awful sports shorts with the boxers hanging out girls were some of the only good looking asses in the entire school really that didn’t horribly offend him as part of the male gender. He immediately thought that Altair always wore fitted pants and he probably-

WOAH! Back up. No. No. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. You are NOT thinking about Altair’s ass. Never. Ever. That ship had sailed and he wasn’t swimming after it.

“You okay?” Clay asked, yanking him back to reality.

“Yes.”

Clay was silent for a second, squinted at him, and then looked waaaaay too fucking smug. “You were justing thinking about him weren’t you?”

“No.”

“Yes you were.”

“No I wasn’t.”

“So was,” he jeered in a little sing song voice.

“We’re here about your love life, not mine,” Desmond growled and moodily scarfed down more Cuban food, starting to feel really full. El Siboney did that though as their portions could be shared by one and a half normal people, or a single bottomless hole that was a teenager’s stomach.

“Riiiight,” Clay said, clipping the T extra hard at the end.

Desmond scowled at him. “So what’re you ganna do about Lucy?”

“Nothing- OW!” Desmond kicked him, hard, under the table. “What the shit was that for?” he demanded.

“You fucking idiot. Ask her out,” Clay just looked uncomfortable. “My god, are you really that spineless? Cause I’ve seen your porn collection, you like girls.”

Clay didn’t say anything for several moments, instead just eating quietly, as if he could shove enough food in his maw to make Desmond forget the conversation. “What if she says no?” he asked weakly.

Desmond slapped his hand to his forehead. “If you haven’t asked her out by Monday I am disowning you,” he informed his friend.

“Should I ask her dad first?”

There was a long pregnant silence.

“No,” he said eventually.

“But what if she’s that kinda girl who’ll only say yes if daddy says it’s okay?”

“Trust me, the way she was last night, she won’t be.”

“I dunno,” Clay said.

“Just do it you giant pussy,” Desmond huffed.

Clay ate a bit more, “I will, but-

“But? But what? There are no buts here,” Desmond said sternly.

“I will okay, fuck. Buuut you think… maybe I could hear about your night?”

“You are such a weird dude, man,” Desmond told him.

“Oh c’mon I don’t mean like that. I don’t need graphic details, but you got to hear about my drunken debauchery. It’s only fair I get to hear about yours. I mean, we both royally screwed up in the relationship department and-

“No. No we did not,” Desmond put in. “Cause unlike you, nothing’s coming out of my fuck up,” Clay eyed him. “Noth. Ing,” he said pointedly. “You get three questions,” he added.

Clay looked absolutely thrilled. “He top or bottom?”

“No idea.”

“What do you mean you have no idea?”

“We were kinda back and forth. At one point we were both ganna do both,” he shrugged. Desmond had no problem doing either.

“How big is he?”

“No idea.”

“What? How the fuck do you not know? You had his dick in your mouth!” he whisper yelled.

“That’s four questions,” Desmond said smugly and turned into the remains of his plate.

Clay stared at him, scowling. “That’s a dick thing to do, man,” he said looking put off.

Desmond sighed, “He’s not the biggest guy I’ve ever seen up close, we’ll put it that way. And no he doesn’t have a chode or a little dick. God why do you want to know this shit?”

“Because I like knowing shit,” Clay said proudly.

“That’s it. That was four questions, one more then I promised.

“Oh fuck you.”

“No actually, I’d prefer if you didn’t,” and Clay kicked him lightly. Desmond kicked him back and it quickly turned into a very childish game of almost footsies where they tried to stomp on each other’s feet. It almost came to flinging rice and beans at each other before they stopped and Desmond told the waiter they wanted their check, and that Clay was paying for his own food. Clay just stuck his tongue out at him.

When they left the restaurant Desmond put on his glasses. He’d bought a new pair before coming here because riding around on a motorcycle without some sort of eye protection was just asking for trouble, and eye strain. “So, I held up my end of the bargain,” he said as they walked down the street towards their cars. “You have to ask Lucy out.”

“Yeah, I will,” though he had the tone of someone who would drag his feet about it. Desmond fished his phone out of his pocket and pressed 3-7, which was Lucy’s speed-dial. “What are you doing?”

“Shoosh,” Desmond said, still walking, phone to his ear as it rang. She picked up after a few rings. “Hey,” he said cheerfully.

“Did Clay tell you to call me?” she asked him, not bothering with pleasantries.

“No.”

“Oh, well, what do you want?” wow, she was pissed. He glanced at Clay. “Desmond?”

“I just wanted to know how you were doing,” he shrugged, Clay was looking at him, horrified, because he knew who was on the other end. “I missed you last night at the party.”

“Yeah well, I’ve had worse,” she sighed.

“Get lucky?” and Clay sent him a murderous look.

“Ha! I wish,” she said scornfully.

“You don’t saaay,” and he rose his brows at Clay a few times. His friend just smacked his hand over his face.

“Yeah. But, it didn’t happen, so what’s the point getting hung up on it… How about you?” well that was a subtle way of asking if he’d gone home with Clay.

“No. I passed out in the upstairs bathroom,” he said.

“Oh, well, sorry about that,” she sounded more cheerful now, easier to talk to. They were standing at Clay’s car now, his black bike across the street from it.

“Eh, better then waking up in the woods,” she laughed, cause he had done that. Shaun knew the parties that went on in the Middle Keys as he was from there and the Middle Keys had woods, Most of the Lower Keys didn’t, as they were either too populated, or not populated enough to warrant a party. He’d fallen asleep in some woods on Little Torch after cops had shown up, they’d run and he’d gotten lost. He’d been late to school the next day. His parents had been pissed. They didn’t mind if he went to parties and got drunk so long as his grades didn’t slip, he didn’t miss school and he didn’t drive drunk, especially on his bike. He’d been grounded from everything for three weeks for that fuck up.

She laughed, “Yeah, I suppose it would be,” she said. “What’re you doing?”

“I just got done having lunch with Clay and… oh, he wants to talk to you.”

“Does he now?” her mood became hard instantly.

“Yeah, be nice,” and he handed Clay the phone who was trying to deny it. Desmond just sent him a firm look and shoved the phone at him. Clay made a face and took it, giving Desmond a look of despair.

“Hey Lucy,” Clay said, trying to sound as chipper as he usually was. “Yeah I- No. No. Uh… I guess. I’m sorry okay? It was Shaun’s— Oh. No I didn-“ he glared at Desmond like he wished his friend would just burst into flames. Desmond made a sort of shooing motion as if to say, ‘get on with it’, and then tapped his wrist like he wore a watch, ‘I’m waiting’. “Hey, Lucy. Lucy. Desmond’s ditching out on me, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out? It’s Saturday how are you busy? Can’t you do it tomorrow? … Oh c’mon you’re killing me here. I just wanna hang out with—“ he scuffed his foot on the road. Desmond gave him a hard look, he better not screw this up. Clay had a fucking silver tongue, how was he fumbling this “Okay, I understand. No, really it’s okay. What about tomorrow?” he asked like a kicked dog. “But you just said- hey! Desmond what are you-

“Lucy, Clay’s trying to ask you out. Stop being your own cock block,” Desmond said, smashing his face up against Clay’s to talk into the mic.

“Desmond!” he yelled and lurched away. Then he was suddenly very interested in the phone call. “What? Yeah, he wasn’t lying. Willyougooutwithme?” he asked suddenly and looked very bashful, which was never a word he ever thought he’d use to describe Clay ever. “A- well I thought maybe we could go see the Avengers. Yes again, I know you like looking at Hawkeye’s butt,” and then he laughed, he’d probably just made Lucy flustered. But then Desmond didn’t blame her, Jeremy Renner had an amazing ass. “I thought you had a project? Why would you lie to- Oh. Oh. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, I’ll see you there then,” and then he hung up. “You asshole,” and he punched Desmond in the shoulder.

“You love me,” Desmond said cheerfully, taking his phone back from his blonde friend. “So you got a date,” he grinned broadly.

Clay tried to look annoyed, he really did, but it didn’t really work out. “Yeah… I do,” he said sort of like it was some sort of magical event that he’d only ever read about. Desmond laughed at him.

“Go get ready for your movie Casanova,” and he shoved Clay towards his car. Clay made a face at him and Desmond just kept grinning.

“And what about you? Ganna go find yourself a smoking hot cut of Arab ass?”

“Gooooo fuck yourself Clay,” and Desmond flipped him the bird. “Actually I’m going to go home and play Infamous in my underwear, so there,” and stuck his tongue out at him. Clay chuckled. “Have fun and I hope you get laid.”

“Please do not think of me and Lucy having sex. One, it’s creepy, and two, you’ll jinx me.” Desmond laughed loudly and pulled on his leather jacket, but didn’t zip it up. “Then stop thinking about me and Altair.”

“I would think you’d want me to jinx you,” Clay said, from his car, through the window.

“Coming from you it’d stop me from getting laid till I left this fucking rock,” he said sitting astride his baby comfortably.

“I bet Lucy wouldn’t mind a threesome-

“You’re fucking weird man. And I thought we agreed I didn’t want to see you naked,” and he put on his helmet, buckling it under his chin.

“Juuuust putting it out there. You said she didn’t mind that dumb dare we did.”

“Not happening. Tell her she can fantasize though. I don’t mind being fetishized one bit.”

“Good cause I-

“If you finish that sentence I am going to kill you!” he yelled. Clay laughed. “Go to your fucking movie,” and he leaned down to turn his bike on. She rumbled to life with a sexy growl.

“Have fun with your video games,” Clay called and Desmond sent him a salute as Clay rolled his windows up. Desmond flipped up the kickstand and made his baby roar. Clay shoved his face up against the window making a disgusting face at him. Desmond pretended to not see and gunned the engine. The Kawasaki bellowed and he shot off down the street, bringing his feet up onto the pegs as he barreled down Catherine Street.

Chapter Text

51 hours

Desmond had been trying to lay low all day. Thankfully most of the seniors he had class with ignored him, they usually did that as he was too smart for his own good sometimes, and a year younger then all of them. They tended to not like him for that reason, as they didn’t like it that a kid like him could one up most of them when it came to brains. He was seriously relieved when the lunch bell rang and he sprinted to the lunch room before the line got too long. He didn’t see Clay, that could be good, right?

Suddenly a big hand was being put on his shoulder and he stiffened, “Hey, Miles,” he peered over his shoulder. Oh good, it was only Ezio. No wait. Oh shit, it was Ezio!

“Hi,” he said as Ezio slid into line next to him with a cheerful grin.

“Man I was looking for.”

“You were?” shit, what if Altair had said something and Ezio had come to put the fear of god in him or something? Shit.

“Yeah,” but Ezio didn’t seem blood thirsty, in fact he was his usual friendly self. “I was wondering if you could do me a favor?”

“Depends,” Desmond said slowly, grabbing a styrofoam tray from the big stack of them to get his lunch. Fish burger and mac n’ cheese.

“I need to talk to your buddy.”

“Which one?” he wondered if he visibly relaxed. He couldn’t tell, he was a bit high strung and had been all day and he had Altair in his next class and he was not looking forward to that at all.

“Uh… Kaczmarek?” he asked.

“Clay? Yeah, what do you need to talk to him about?” and he told the lunch lady, a frumpy dark skinned, Cuban woman with a hair net and a mustache, what he wanted for lunch.

“It’s about the party last week.”

“What about?” he was getting a weird feeling again.

“Does your friend DJ?”

If he wasn’t being buffered forward by Ezio himself, and the line behind him, he would have come to a dead halt. “DJ?” he asked stupidly.

“Yeah.”

“Uh… not that I know of,” he said awkwardly. Well, this conversation was not turning out the way he’d feared or expected. “Why?”

Ezio just shrugged as Desmond grabbed a carton of chocolate milk, “Just wanted to know. Need to talk to him though.”

“Ah— yeah, sure,” he said, this was weird and fucking surreal. He wasn’t sure he liked it. This was also the longest conversation he’d ever had with the star baseball player in his life. Ezio was kinda… dumb, not like retarded or anything, but Desmond was in all honor classes; Ezio wasn’t in a single one.

“Great,” Ezio smiled at him and Desmond thought he had a really nice smile. No wonder he was a heart throb. Not Desmond’s type, but still really hot, like his brother, hopefully he’d grow out his baby face though and then he’d just be strait lady killer to the max.

“I can take you to him now,” Desmond heard himself saying as he punched in his lunch number. Ezio nodded as the other lunch lady rung up his meal and took it out of his account. Ezio’s tray was full of a la carte items and Desmond felt a twitch of jealousy but covered it up quickly, it was stupid. “So just uh, follow me,” and then he was moving through the loud, crowded, lunch room, pushing through the huge line that was wrapped around the room and going out one of the set of doors.

He led Ezio outside to where he and his friends sat. The others were there sans Shaun who was god knew where. Clay had a lunch box today, Lucy’s step-dad brought her lunch every day, and Becca lived in Red Bulls and Pringles. He still didn’t know how his friend was still actually alive with her eating habits. Clay and Lucy were sitting close together, thighs touching and Becca was talking animatedly to Lucy as she ate some Publix sushi.

“Woah,” Clay said, “Where the fuck you find that Desmond? In the bottom of the cereal box?” he asked and his friend looked way too dumb-happy to be legal.

Desmond laughed though Ezio he could tell was slightly weirded out. That happened a lot to people who actually didn’t know Clay, or were meeting him for the first time. “Yeah, and he even has kung-fu grip,” he said. Clay thought that was the funniest thing in the world. Becca gave Lucy a look as if to say ‘and you’re dating this guy?’ and Lucy just rolled her eyes. “He wanted to talk to you,” Desmond added.

Clay sobered in an instant and now was looking at Ezio with great interest, “Really?” he asked. Ezio nodded. “Well then come join us!” he beckoned. As Ezio sat Lucy and Becca got up and moved a few feet away to continue talking. Ezio sat on the other side of Clay and Desmond sat between the two groups, more interested in his lunch then what they were talking about, he had a feeling he didn’t want to know, and both for two totally different reasons.

Lunch was gone quickly and he pulled a book out of his back pack to read. He kept catching glimpses of conversation on either side of him. Words like ‘money’, ‘DJ’, and ‘party’ kept coming from the conversation between Clay and Ezio while words like ‘boys’, ‘date’, and ‘biology’ came from Rebecca and Lucy’s. He was pretty sure he was more terrified to know what the girls were talking about then his friend and the play boy were talking about. Seriously girls were scary and he was sort of glad he was gay sometimes. He tried to focus on his book and ignore the others and soon he’d just tuned them out.

He was grateful and freaked when the lunch bell rang. At least Ezio was leaving now. He watched the other boy go as he put his book away. “So what did Ezio want?” he finally asked Clay who was busily stuffing his face with the lunch he hadn’t eaten during lunch.

“Frem franms fmre thu vlee vraa for a varfee on astrvlay,” Clay said.

Desmond just stared at him, “You’re disgusting,” he said. “As your best friend I’m telling you you’re disgusting and need to chew and talk at separate times.”

“Vfeuk vou,” Clay rolled his eyes at him.

“Clay,” Lucy said and his friend’s head shot up and he swallowed his food when she walked over to them. He was just staring at her in slight awe and wow his friend had it bad.

“Yeah?” he asked, sounding all tongue tied. Yep, so bad.

She gave him a fond smile, “You have food on your face silly,” and she leaned down and brushed it off the corner of his mouth.

“Oh,” he said intelligently.

“I would not believe this unless I saw it,” at some point Shaun had shown up and he was standing with Becca behind Demond. Becca had her hand in Shaun’s back pocket.

He turned back around in time to catch Lucy saying, “I’ll see you in seventh period,” and then she gave him a peck on the lips and then turned back to Becca and Shaun and they left for class.

Clay looked like he wanted to melt into the concrete slab. “Dude. You okay?” Desmond asked.

“Just fine,” Clay said in a dreamy voice, totally watching Lucy’s ass as she walked away.

“Dude,” he said.

“Yeah?” he finally turned to Desmond again.

Desmond just blinked at him, a bit dumb struck. “You’ve been going out two days,” he reminded his friend.

“Yeah? And?”

Desmond rolled his eyes and got to his feet, grabbing onto the back of Clay’s collar and dragging him up. “Class. You have history,” and he shoved his back pack at him.

“Right. Right,” Clay nodded coming back to himself. Then he realized what he’d just done. “I wasn’t drooling was I?”

“No. Not yet at least.”

“Oh good!” Clay said enthusiastically. And then Desmond was hustling after him as he threw away their trash and was then practically running up the open stairwell. He caught Clay before he could vanish into his pod though.

“What did Ezio want?” he asked.

“He wanted to know if I wanted to DJ a friend of his party.”

“But you aren’t a DJ.”

“Music coordinator then,” Clay rolled his eyes hard. “But fuck it, I get money out of the deal!”

Desmond snorted but was smiling, “That’s great. When is it?”

“Next weekend. And you’re flying wingman.”

“You can’t have wingmen when you’re dating someone,” Desmond reminded him.

“I mean to keep people away and have fun and drink and shit,” Clay scoffed. “I need to buy some apps,” he said suddenly and then darted into the pod without another word. Desmond sighed and rolled his eyes before walking down the breezeway to his locker and getting his books and headed to chemistry. As he went he started to feel more nervous about the whole thing and wondered if he could fake a stomach ache and go to the nurse, or just hide in the boy’s bathroom.

No, he couldn’t do that. He sucked it up and slipped into the classroom and sat next to Caterina and hunched over, rifling through his book bag. “Hey Desmond,” Caterina said easily in greeting.

“Hey Cat,” he said distractedly, trying to not be noticed by the other seniors coming into class and also look for Altair so he knew if he was screwed or not. He still had Altair’s shirt.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Mmm? Yeah, totally cool,” he said.

“You have a good weekend?” she continued and when he sent her an unamused look she just smiled.

“Fantastic,” he said gravely.

She laughed slightly, “Well I know you had a good time Friday. What happened to you? You pass out somewhere?”

“Yeah, you could say that,” and his voice totally went up half an octave when Altair walked into class with one of his friends who was not in this class and oh my god what was going on!?!

“You okay?” she asked again as he seemed to try and crawl into his back pack.

“Yeah, just fine, I’m just looking for a pencil.”

“There’s one on the desk.”

“There is?” he pulled his head out of his bag, “Oh well would you look at that. Great. Just… great,” and he looked around. Altair was sitting though, two tables in front of and to the left of him.

“You’re acting weird today Desmond, are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, just fine,” he turned to Caterina. “Clay’s just got me jumpy and feeling like a third wheel.”

“Really?” she actually sounded interested.

“Yeah he’s got a girlfriend,” he said.

She blinked, “I don’t know if I believe you or not,” she said.

“No really. He’s going out with Lucy Stillm-” and then the bell rang.

“Class,” the teacher started immediately and Desmond had a reason to shut up. Good too cause he was not in a talking mood at all. He listened to the teacher and took notes when appropriate and kept glancing at Altair. It was like a nervous tick and wouldn’t stop. He really had to stop though, this was stupid. He concentrated on the teacher, both he and Caterina taking detailed notes. Then they said they were going to show a movie the rest of the class.

Desmond sat back in his chair as the lights got turned off and the movie turned on. There was actually cheering when the Bill Nye theme and intro started playing. He even saw more then one person bobbing along or mouthing the words. He grinned and tried to watch.

Except he kept getting distracted. At one point he swore he saw Altair look back at him and then started keeping an eye on him, wary as a rabbit with an eagle circling overhead. All that was missing was a quivering nose and a cotton tail. Then his brain took that image a bit too far and he pressed his hand over his eyes. Except something else was quivering and the cotton tail was attached to a pair of underwear. Wow he needed to stop, and all this happened in a few quick seconds. He really needed to get laid. Properly laid.

When he finally pulled his hand away he focused on Bill Nye and thought a lot of unsexy thoughts. He made about five minutes before looking at Altair again, he was sitting relaxed in his chair before, like something funny had occurred to him, his shoulders shook a little, though his laughter was silent. Desmond propped his head up on his fist and decided that watching Altair was a lot more interesting then Billy Nye. Potentially more destructive, but at least the back of Altair’s head was attractive.

He started when Caterina nudge him in the side and looked at her quickly. She gave him a look, “What?” he asked in a whisper.

“Are you seriously staring at Altair?” she asked back in a whisper.

“What?” he sounded almost panicked.

“You know he’s straight right?”

“Yeah…” no need to burst her bubble on that. No guy who sucked dick that good was any synonym of straight.

Caterina’s lips went thin a moment, “I don’t want you to get hurt,” she whispered, “So try setting your sights on a guy who’d appreciate you,” and he stared at her. He didn’t know Caterina cared. His brain to mouth filter must have failed him then. “Of course I care you insensitive jerk,” she said, frowning and he realized he’d said that bit aloud. She shrugged a little, “You’re a friend, and Altair’s a weirdo,” not a word of choice he’d use to describe Altair, but he didn’t know him, Caterina sort of did. At the very least she knew Ezio and Ezio and Altair were best friends.

“Thanks,” he said, cause he meant it. “I promise I won’t try to touch Altair inappropriately.” Woops! Broke that promise already and his fingers suddenly itched and wanted to crawl all over someone else’s skin.

Caterina laughed softly, “Try somewhere in the ball park,” she advised.

“Sure. Will do,” he smiled at her, glad that had been worked out with minimal embarrassment. “Doesn’t mean I can’t look,” he added with some raised brows. Caterina just rolled her eyes a little and he back to trying to focus on Bill Nye. This time his eyes didn’t go to the back of Altair’s head nearly as often as before. Well, it was a start he guessed.

Chapter Text

76 hours 

Desmond was, weirdly, a fan of Tuesdays, he was a fan of Tuesdays because Tuesdays weren’t Mondays, or Wednesdays. He had a awful track record with Wednesdays and Mondays were just shitty in general, for everyone, it was a universal law that Mondays had to be terrible and if they weren’t then you were some sort of weird freak of nature. Thursdays weren’t bad, and Fridays were pretty great too, but Desmond still liked Tuesdays. He also had club on Tuesday.

First though, he had to survive Chemistry. Now he said that but it wasn’t like it was anything bad. Like the day before Altair just ignored him and maybe because he was in easy line of sight but Desmond couldn’t stop stealing looks. He was going to drive himself insane by the end of the week at this rate and he wished this weird tension he was personally feeling wouldn’t be there. He had a feeling that if Altair had, in fact, been straight and thus been awful on Friday he wouldn’t have felt so damn edgy. But he wasn’t straight, and it was fucking with him since even Clay was convinced Altair was straight (until recently mind you) and that was saying something since Clay was convinced most of the guys in school were either gay, bi, or repressing homosexual tendencies.

Clay was also crazy.

The bell rang and it startled him. Shit. Where had the period gone? He packed up quickly as Caterina stood up with her stuff and left. “Desmond,” his head jerked up sharply, almost giving himself whiplash when a male voice called to him. Oh, it was just the teacher.

“Yeah Mr. B?” he asked, still stuffing his stuff into his backpack. The chem teacher beckoned to him as the rest of the class filed out and he bounded to the teacher’s desk once he’d collected his things. “You wanted to see me?” he asked.

“Yes,” Mr. B nodded, “I wanted to know if you were interested in tutoring.”

“Tutoring?”

“Yes, there are several kids who could use the extra help with their work in this class, and the school is trying to get grades up, so their instigating a new tutoring program. I was wondering if you’d be interested.”

“Uh- what days is it?”

“Any day you want really, but they start tomorrow.” Desmond’s mouth became thin, “It’ll look good on your transcripts,” he added.

Desmond bit his lower lip, “Okay. It’d be for chemistry?” 

“Yes. It’s up here after school tomorrow just so you can meet who you’re tutoring and then you can decide to go to another class if you want. It’s required that you meet at least once a week and check in with me when you do.”

“Okay,” he said, bobbing his head. Then he asked, “Do you know if they’re doing an English tutoring?”

“I believe so, you’ll have to ask Mrs. Shapell about it though as she’s the English head.”

“Right, of course.”

“Do you want me to write you a pass?” Mr. B asked him.

“Ah, yeah! That’d be great. I have English,” and Mr. B wrote him his pass and he ducked out, now not bothering to run to his next class.

He had Lucy in his English class, as it was the one class he had at his age level with the junior class instead of his actual graduating class. He slid into the desk next to her a minute after the bell after he gave the teacher his pass. “You do the reading?” she asked him quietly as the teacher let the class have a few minutes.

“What? Yes, of course I did, you think I want to get verbally abused by you for not doing the reading?” he teased and she giggled and gave him a playful push. “Though this book is soooo boring,” he groaned and hung his head, they were reading Brave New World and Desmond wanted to just lobotomize himself if it meant he didn’t have to read this shit. He wasn’t a scifi guy, he liked historical nonfiction and memoirs, or historical fiction, just not this garbage.

“It’s very interesting,” she insisted.

“It’s boring and I’d rather read Of Mice and Men again, and that actually put me to sleep,” and she laughed. “So…

“So?”

“Everything cool with you and Clay?” and she flushed. “I take that as a yes,” he grinned at her.

“It really isn’t any of your business,” she huffed, though not unkindly.

“He’s in everyone else’s love life all the time, thought it would be fair if I was in his,” and he grinned, she rolled her eyes. “But it’s good he hasn’t driven you up a wall yet.”

“I do know how to handle Clay Desmond, thank you,” she reminded him.

“Yeah but as a boyfriend?”

“Well he can’t be any more annoying then you are right now,” she sent him a look.

“Ouch. I think I actually need ice for that,” and that made her laugh again. Then the teacher told them to settle down and took roll. “Don’t forget,” he added in a whisper, “club today.”

“Do I ever forget?” she asked back in the same volume.

“I’m sort of waiting for you all to realize how fucking geeky it is and never come back,” and she had to cover her mouth to not disrupt the class, Desmond just smiled and tried to keep his head in the game.

‘Club’ wasn’t really a club, not a school club at least. They just called it club, like a code word so people didn’t know, because while fun it was a pretty low-on-the-totem-pole thing to do in terms of ‘coolness’ which Desmond thought was stupid. People who were worried about being cool were pretty stupid, but still he called it club as well, as he didn’t want to be that guy. Bad enough there were the crazy anime kids in school who always got the weird looks or dressed up randomly with their Naruto headbands, arm warmers, and furry tails. There was even a girl who wore a dog collar, every day, with a tag! TV never showed you how fucking weird high school students really were, or how mean they were, since there were more then a few comments about the weird anime kids and the Magic kids and Desmond didn’t want to be known as ‘the guy with the D&D club’. Last thing he wanted ever.

When he’d visited his cousin for the summer back when he was a freshman and his cousin had been really big into it and he’d gotten to play campaigns and still had the half elf he’d made that summer that came out sometimes to assist when adventurers fucked up and everyone complained about not wanting to get killed by a T-rex, or a leviathan or the fucking Tarrasque (that had happened to least once when they’d complained about fighting mind flayers), so the epic level NPC would show up and save all their asses. When he’d come home that fall he’d, naturally, told Clay, who had told Shaun and while at first he was worried they’d call him a dork for it Shaun had been into it and they’d gone to the local Borders (before it got closed down, fucking Barnes and Noble) and read the books together. Before the end of the first quarter of sophomore year (though Desmond’s junior year) Shaun and he were convinced they wanted to run a campaign, only it took until after Christmas to actually do as neither of them had that sort of cash to spend on the books.

The only problem after that was finding others who wanted to play with them. Clay was in by default, since Desmond did every stupid plan and game and club with him so Clay had to at least try it. Shaun convinced Rebecca pretty easily too, so that just left Lucy and Clay (Desmond still wasn’t sure how he convinced the, then serious faced, Lucy to do so but he wasn’t going to ask, just another of Clay’s many mysteries) got her to come to one of the later games. Which was better since the first few were rather… disastrous. But that had been a year ago, they knew how to do it now and they all could make character sheets in about twenty minutes, which was seriously good thing since Desmond liked killing their characters, or at least try to kill them, and send them on dangerous adventures. Shaun basically gave skill adventures which was less adventure and more ‘keep your twenty close for a skill check’ which were fun in their own ways.

His mom was home when he pulled up to the house and went in, “Hey mooom,” he called and swung into the living room where she was watching TV, “it’s Tuesday,” he said hanging off the edge of the wall.

She smiled at him, “I am well aware what day it is Desmond.”

“It’s club day,” he added, they changed club day every now and then to accommodate schedules, club day had been Tuesday since the start of school, but during the summer it’d been on Fridays.

“Oh,” she said with a nod, “I forgot,” she admitted. “I don’t know why you won’t let me and your father be here,” she laughed a little.

“Cause you’ll ask a lot of questions.”

“No I—“ he just sent her a look and she chuckled, “Yes okay, I suppose you’re right. When are the others coming?”

“Few minutes,” he shrugged and kicked his toe against the floor.

“Hmm,” and she got up, “All right, I’m going to go over to Jessica’s, I’ll be back to make dinner, don’t burn the house down.”

“We won’t,” he drawled, making the long, she ruffled his hair affectionately before getting her things to go to her friend’s. Desmond went to his own room and picked up the big white board they used as a map, and the small stack of D&D books he and Shaun had bought over the past year or so, and went back out to the kitchen. He heard his mom leave as he put the board on the table, it marked off in inch by inch squares with thin strips of duct tape and were colored over with every shade so they looked more black then silver.

He was coming out from getting the limited amount of figurines , his massive bag of dice, the white board markers, and the character sheet folder, when there was a knock on the door. He let the other four in and Clay snatched the green folder from his hands as they went to the table. 

Shaun sat at the head of the table and Desmond surrendered the markers to him and he quietly went about drawing the map, he was DMing club today. “Can I play Abel?” Clay asked leafing through the folder.

“Who’s that again?” Desmond asked.

“My cleric with the morning star.”

“No you idiot he’s dead remember?”

“No…”

“Mind flayers got him,” he reminded him.

“Damn-

“You don’t have any usable characters Clay,” Rebecca said and grabbed the folder from him. “Unlike the rest of us you don’t try and make yours not die and so always get the new weakling.”

“Shut up,” he grumbled, even though it was true, Clay died more then any of them, though Desmond usually made it a point to try harder to kill them once they got past level ten. Right now they all (except Clay) were level three, so he was still going easy on them. “You just remake the same dwarf every time,” he added, moody.

“That’s cause she’s a badass,” Rebecca said, leering and proudly yanked her character sheet from the ‘live’ side of the folder. The ‘dead’ side was much fuller though, and was usually used to NPCs if needed. She passed the folder to Lucy who tugged out an empty sheet and handed it to Clay who muttered to himself  but fished out dice and the Players Handbook from the pile and went to work making a new character. Lucy pulled out her own sheet and Desmond’s as well and handed him his monk.

In the time it took for Clay to finish his character, an elven warlock (since they were out a wizard this time), Shaun was ready to go. And in very un-Shaun-like form started them fighting a juvenile red dragon.

They were fucked.

Everyone ended staying for dinner, which was cool and rarely happened as often after club they were all ready to really kill each other and went their separate ways. But Shaun had killed Clay’s character, and Lucy’s character and almost killed Desmond’s before it ended and so now the only person they wanted to kill for real now was Shaun. Thankfully his dad came home before it resulted in violence- even if it would have probably been nothing more then tickling Shaun to death- and they put away the board and books and their few figurines. It was tacos for dinner and Desmond convinced his parents to let Clay spend the night even though it was a school night. Mr. Kaczmarek had said it was okay as well and that was the end of that.

When the others had left Desmond and Clay retreated into his room. “You only want me to spend the night when you’ve got something on your mind,” Clay said, eyeing him as he sat on Desmond’s bed.

“What I can’t just want my best friend to spend the night?” Desmond scoffed.

“What is it?”

Desmond rolled his eyes, “It’s nothing, you’re delusional. Smash Bros?” he asked, changing the subject.

“Hell yeah,” he said and Desmond pulled out his N64, the brick of the device had survived five moves and being dropped more times then he could count. Before he’d gotten his PS3 it was the only system he’d had growing up and probably had every (good) game for the system that was known to man and was in English. Also PS3 was an asshole with multiplayer and usually made you play online. 

They played for a while before Desmond said he had homework, and had to read more of Brave New World, which was going to slowly kill him, he just knew it. Clay did his own reading while Desmond did his calculus homework and his chemistry homework, to put off reading Brave New World and his bio worksheet which required more reading. But Clay just grabbed Brave New World before he could put it off more and read him the part he was supposed to read out loud, because Clay was the best guy you could have for a friend and knew Desmond was an audio and tactile learner, not a visual one. He even did voices, which was perhaps the greatest thing ever since he gave all the women deep, manly, voices.

He just put off the bio work and flopped down on his bed, next to Clay and jammed his pillow up under his head. “What’s up?” Clay asked.

“Nothing,” he said in a monotone.

“Yeah there is, c’mon,” he nudged him in the shoulder, “tell me.”

“I think I’m losing my mind.”

Clay laughed, “Welcome to every day of my life, man,” he snickered. “Now c’mon, what is it?”

Desmond groaned and pressed his face into his pillow, “You ever wish something did happen, just so you didn’t think about what didn’t happen?”

“I think? What do you mean?”

Desmond pursed his lips, not looking at his friend, and then said, “Okay so you’re in a situation and something looks like it’s going to happen. But in the end, it doesn’t happen, and something else happens instead. It’s still a good result, but you keep thinking about what didn’t happen instead.”

Clay laid down next to him, “Wanna give me an example,” and Desmond gave him a dirty look, knowing Clay wasn’t really that obtuse. 

“You just want me to say it,” Desmond grumbled.

“Yep,” Clay said with a too-wide grin.

“Fucking weirdo,” he grumbled and moodily said nothing. “I have Altair in chem class and… I might be staring at his ass-

Clay interrupted with great, annoying, loud laughter. Desmond sort of sat up and swung his pillow at him with enough force that Clay fell off the bed; it didn’t stop him from laughing however. “You’re a fucking asshole, I am never telling you anything again; ever,” and Desmond flopped down and pulled the pillow firmly over his head, sulking.

“Everything all right in there?” William called through the door.

“Fine,” Desmond yelled back, “Clay’s just having a moment,” and he shot a filthy look at Clay who was finally getting a grip.

“All right,” and his dad left.

“Okay. Okay,” Clay wheezed. “I’m sorry. But just, oh my god, you’re such a dope,” and he crawled back onto the bed with Desmond, he was facing the wall with his pillow over his head still though. “Heeeey, c’mon,” and he made Desmond roll over and snatched his pillow, “I won’t laugh again. Promise,” and he drew an X over his heart.

“You’re still a jerk.”

“That’s why we’re friends,” and he flopped down next to him so they were lying side by side. “So, you’re in chem with Altair.”

Desmond pressed the heel of his hands to his eyes, “And I sit behind him like a table or so and he sits on the aisle with me and I have definitely been staring at his ass today and yesterday,” and he shot Clay a look, daring him to laugh. Clay didn’t though.

“So what’s the problem? Guys look at girls they can’t have all the time,” Clay shrugged.

“Need I remind you; this is Altair, the fucking inside backer. Have you seen how big he is?”

“Well he did come to volley ball last week, so yes, I have, I’m sure you have a more-

“Don’t,” Desmond growled and Clay flashed him a grin but didn’t finish. “He’s pretty much been ignoring me, which is good but… Well you know, he’s got this whole ‘straight’ thing going on and I know he’s not above kicking a nerd’s ass for staring at his.”

“Even if he had said nerd in his bed.”

“It didn’t mean anything.”

“Yet you’re staring at Altair’s ass. You sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. I don’t want to want to look at his ass it’s just…

“He’s got a nice ass?”

“Yes!” he pouted into his pillow. “And I wish we had had sex, on Friday.”

“So you’d stop obsessing about his ass?”

“Yes.”

“I think you just have an ass obsession.”

“I’m gay Clay, kindly come up with an observation that isn’t obvious,” he huffed and Clay laughed at that. But that was a joke so it was okay.

“Get laid? I think it’s just pent up sexual frustration.”

“Gee, thanks, I never thought of that.”

“Not that it’s any of mu business but have you, you know,” he shrugged helplessly.

“Dude… you’re so fucking weird,” Desmond sent him a slightly grossed out look. “My masturbation habits are really no business of yours.”

“You said it, not me,” Clay said, holding his hands up defensively. “But really, get laid?”

“I’m not having sex with you if that’s what you’re implying,” Clay still bothered to open his mouth, “Or having a threesome,” he added and Clay closed his mouth; a wise decision.

“Well, you two aren’t the only gay guys in school. Find one and get fucked,” Clay said after a few seconds. “Or fuck, whichever you prefer,” he shrugged. “Or, you know, you could come on to him-

“That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard you say. And that includes the three some stupidity.”

“Whaaaat? He was obviously the one who wanted to get into your pants the first time. Maybe he’s interested.”

“Trust me. He isn’t interested.”

“You a mind reader or something?”

“Well. He kicked me out of his fuck off mansion, and he hasn’t even looked at me in the two classes we’ve had since Friday. So yeah, I can safely say he isn’t interested.”

There was another silence, “Come on to Ezio?”

“Claaaay,” he groaned, “Ezio isn’t gay,” and he shoved his face into his pillow again.

“Hidden gay tendencies.”

“No. No he doesn’t have those. God he’s straight, get with it,” he huffed.

“Well you wanted options,” Clay shrugged. “And since you aren’t interested in a threesome, which, by the way, I mentioned in passing to Lucy. After she pulled her hands off her face and told me I was weird and what was I thinking for even mentioning that I could totally tell she’d be into it.”

“No wonder you haven’t had a girlfriend,” Desmond said in as bland as he could manage. “Try not to fuck it up, kay?”

Clay made a dumb face, “You’re currently fucking up your love life for the both of us buddy.”

“I don’t have a love life Clay oh my god.”

“Dude, just grow a pair and flirt with him. Worst he can do is glare at you.”

“He’s kinda scary though,” Desmond said in a small voice.

Clay rolled his eyes, “At the least give him his shirt back, which I know you still have…

“Stop thinking whatever you’re thinking oh my fucking god you’re disgusting-

“I wasn’t thinking of anything-

“You so were! I saw it in your eyes-

“You’re delusional.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You’re still delusional.”

Desmond just kicked him off his bed.

Chapter Text

103 hours

He showed up at the tutoring class after school for the chemistry tutoring, apparently it also counted as community service, and Desmond was still short his community service hours to get the Bright Future’s scholarship. Which he really wanted since money was getting harder and harder to come by and while his dad made good money it wouldn’t get him through the college he wanted without serious loans. He wanted to go to UM, because it was pretty much the second best school in the state, only after UF. Also it was near by and Desmond would still be a minor when he went to college for the first year, and his mom didn’t want him going too far. She’d miss him. But he’d miss here so he’d suffer Miami to be able to stay close to the Keys, and his parents.

There were already a few people in the huge room, it supposedly was supposed to be a metal shop, or for auto, but KWH didn’t have that. So the big garage had been remade as a science classroom where the main subject was biology. As it was the biggest classroom they had it was ideal for study groups as they could spread out and not get in each other’s ways. There were three pairs already working, or probably, talking. He went up to Mr. B who was waiting behind the unfamiliar desk with his school issued laptop.

“Mr. B? I’m here,” he announced.

The old man looked up, “Ah good to see you Desmond,” and behind him the door opened. “And here are the rest of you, good, good,” he went to his laptop and no doubt brought up the sheet for groups. Desmond glanced around at the three other kids who’d shown up and tried not to pale because one of them was Altair, looking grumpy and sullen, the hood of his ash gray hoodie pulled up and over his head. The other two he didn’t know, a boy and a girl, the girl had looping, curly, red hair, and the boy had short black hair and wore a beanie and looked like he smoke too much weed. “Okay, Sofia, you’re going to be with Ugo,” and he motioned to the boy in the beanie.

“Okay,” and she towed Ugo away who looked torn between staring at Sofia (who was hot) and being irritated about his life in being here.

Behind him Altair huffed irritably, “Do I have to be here Mr. B?” he groaned, “I’m going to miss practice.”

“You’re almost failing my class Altair. You know the rules with sports, so yes, you have to be here,” Mr. B said calmly. “You two will be working together,” he added. “Make sure he stays on task Desmond, he’s a slacker.”

“I’m Altair’s tutor?” he actually squeaked and glanced at Altair who just looked put off by the entire world, Desmond included.

“Yes? Is that a problem?”

Yeap. Today was definitely a Wednesday. Only Wednesdays could be the awful and ruin Desmond’s entire week so easily. He looked at Altair again, who wasn’t looking at him. Oh joy, not only would he have to deal with Altair (who he’d had a one night stand with and still had his shirt and fuck he really didn’t want to think of that right now) but he’d have to deal with a pissed off jock who didn’t want to be here and thought the entire thing was stupid. Oh goodie. Desmond’s favorite; dumb jocks. Fuck his life and fuck Wednesdays. Still, he was the only one and he wasn’t getting out of this without a real reason. God fucking damnit.

“No, no problem,” he said thickly and was glad his throat didn’t crack. Then he left the desk and went to go sit down. He heard Altair follow a few seconds later with an intense sigh. Desmond sat, and Altair grabbed a chair and sat opposite him, sitting backwards in the chair and leaned on it, arms folded across the back, staring at him from under his hood.

“Miles,” he said as his form of greeting.

“Altair,” he said and swallowed and put his backpack on the table. He unzipped it to distract himself and pulled out the chemistry book and his notebook and a pencil. “So, where do you want to start?” he asked awkwardly.

“Not here that’s for sure,” and he looked down and pressed his forehead into his arms.

“Well you have to be here so you might as well make the best of it.”

Altair sighed again, “Whatever,” he muttered but looked up. Well this was awful in an entirely different reason then he was fearing would be awful. It wasn’t that it was awkward because of last weekend, in fact it was weirdly not awkward. It was like it hadn’t happened. Vaguely he wondered if Altair had been so drunk he’d just forgotten it. So that wasn’t why this was awful. No it was awful because Altair was a fucking dick who was going to drag his feet through this and make his life difficult and just be annoying.

Desmond took a calming breathe, “Tell me what you need help in,” he said. 

Altair didn’t say anything at first, and he couldn’t see what he was thinking as his eyes were shadowed. “Everything,” he said after a moment.

“Okay,” Desmond said slowly. “Where do you want to start with ‘everything’?”

“I’m really bad with the vocab,” he said.

“Okay, we can start there,” and he dug out his flashcards and a pair of scissors. He shoved the book at Altair, and cut two of the cards in half. “Write the words you have trouble with down,” and he handed the cut cards to him, “and the definition. Though not the one in the back of the book,” Altair scowled at him at that, “write one that makes sense to you.”

“And what if I can’t make heads or tails of this stupid shit?”

“Well, that’s why I’m here, now vamos,” and he flapped his hand at Altair. Altair muttered something to himself in Spanish, “What was that?” Desmond asked and enjoyed the look of surprise on Altair’s face at Desmond’s Spanish, even if it was slightly flawed. “Stop moping and get to, you only have to be here an hour.”

“What are you, my drill sergeant?”

“No. I’m your tutor, which with me might as well be the same thing,” and he flapped his hand at Altair again and went back to cutting the cards as Altair pulled a pen out of the pocket at the front of his hoodie and, starting at the front of the book, started to write definitions.

Clay lived in Smurf Village, so called because the houses were vaguely mushroom shaped and most of them blue in color. The roads in this part of the city were reminiscent of Old Town while not actually being in Old Town with trees covering the roads and the houses packed close together like sardines. But it was considered New Town because it wasn’t Old Town, which made no sense to people who didn’t live in Key West but to Conchs it made total sense. Also they lived in Florida and even living here for almost four years Desmond knew Florida was just sort of weird in general.

Clay and his dad lived in one of the blue, mushroom shaped houses under a thick canopy of old trees that actually weren’t in any danger of landing on the house should a hurricane blow in. Desmond kicked down the kick stand when he got there and hopped off his bike and upstairs to the first floor. The Smurf houses had a standard two floors, ground, and then the first floor. Some of the ground floors had been converted into apartments or secondary houses, or just rooms downstairs for extra space, or an extra room for the family. Clay’s downstairs was enclosed and it was his dad’s workshop and office. His dad was an engineer, but was never actually home it seemed like except to yell at Clay for something he’d done wrong.

He knocked, loudly, and waited, rocking on the backs of his heels before the door opened. “Hey Lucy,” he said when she got the door. He knew she’d be here, and he knew better then to show up at Clay’s house unexpected now that he and Lucy were going out. Not that he never would, but he wasn’t planning on it. She let him in and he snaked inside and they went back to Clay’s bedroom which was in the back of the house. “Could you give us a second?” he asked Lucy before going in.

“Why?”

“Because I need to talk to my friend about some stuff.”

“I can’t hear?” she pouted at him.

“Uh… not that I don’t love ya Luc, but no.”

“Is it about you-know-who?” Clay called from inside his room.

“Voldemort?” Lucy asked and he and Clay laughed.

“Not nearly as scary,” Clay said.

“And yes, it is about Voldemort,” Desmond said and gave Clay a significant look.

“Is this like… the gay equivalent to girl talk?” Lucy asked, eyeing Desmond.

“Yes, exactly. So now Clay and I need to have a moment, if you please?”

She huffed and pretended to look annoyed, “Okay,” and went back down the short hall. “Harold’s not coming home till late,” she threw over her shoulder, “I told Clay I’d make him dinner.”

“Wow you’re getting domestic already,” and he dodged a magnet aimed at his head from where she’d pulled it off the fridge. Lucy had pretty good aim and almost beamed him. He should have known better then to tease the varsity softball first base-woman.

“Want to stay for dinner?”

“Sure!” he chirped cheerfully and then ducked into Clay’s room and closed the door. Clay was on his bed, playing with his DS, he sat upright attentively when Desmond closed the door.

“So! Voldemort?” he asked sweetly and Desmond sat on his bed, “What’s new with Voldemort?” and he grinned widely.

“He’s the guy I’m tutoring in chemistry-

“NO FUCKING WAY!” Clay actually yelled.

“Will you shut up?” and he slapped his hand over Clay’s mouth before he could keep yelling.

Clay pushed his hand away, “Okay and? What happened? Was it weird? Did he do anything? Did he touch you inappropriately Desmond? Cause I will kick his ass for you if you want.”

Desmond chuckled, “No. Nothing even happened. He was just grumpy and didn’t want to be there cause he was missing football practice.” Clay looked like he was about to vibrate right out of his skin.

“So he didn’t mention Friday at all?”

“Nope.”

“Or Saturday?”

“Nope.”

“Are you going to give him his shirt back?”

“Nope— no wait. Yes. No… I don’t know,” and Desmond rubbed his face.

“Did you take my advice?”

“And what advice was that again oh great sage of relationship knowledge?” and he did some mystical hand motions for effect.

“Did you flirt with him?”

“What? No. Are you crazy-

“We’ve covered that topic of conversation quite a bit-

“I didn’t flirt with him. He looked like he was about to rip someone’s head off nearly the whole time. He really didn’t want to be there.”

“Well it isn’t all bad then.”

“Mmmm?”

“You still going to look at his ass?”

There was a silence that almost stretched into uncomfortable, “Probably. It’s really nice,” he added, as if that was any sort of defense at all.

“Well, then maybe you should make him want to go to tutoring is all I’m saying.”

“What do you mean and am I going to regret asking?”

“Well, tutoring sucks, no offense, but it does. And Altair’s a proud guy and really isn’t that stupid. He probably doesn’t like going to this. So, make him want to go?”

“And how do I do that? And why should I?”

“I dunno you’re the one who enjoys the view of him from behind, not me,” Clay said with a shrug. “And you said it wasn’t awkward, so… maybe he wouldn’t mind-

“Stop. Just stop,” and Desmond pressed his face into his hands. “Stop trying to hook us up. It isn’t going to happen.”

“But why not? I mean, you’re interested in him.”

“I think he’s hot. I don’t really know anything about him other then that and. Not exactly the best reason to get into a relationship.”

“So? People get into physical relationships all the time. Fuck, at the least do it because you want him to do obscene things to you.”

“And since when have relationships like that ever worked out from everyone?”

“Why are you so difficult about this? God you’re acting like a girl-

“Sorry for wanting something more out of a relationship then just sex,” Desmond grumbled and pouted at his friend. “Or even want a relationship with Voldemort in the first place!”

“Cause he has an amazing ass, remember? Also he isn’t as much as a dick as you’re pretending he is. He was seriously freaked out when he hit you in the face with that volleyball.”

“Uuuhg, don’t remind me of that,” he groaned and rubbed his face.

“So I’m saying. Flirt with him, get to know him maybe? If all else fails go to another party he goes to and get him drunk again and get that fucking sexual tension out of you, it’s nearly embarrassing knowing you.”

“Oh fuck you,” Desmond growled.

“If you want.”

“Shut up!” Desmond cried even as he laughed, “Not happening. You have a girlfriend now make her do that.”

“Yeah well she-

“Don’t wanna know!” and now Clay laughed.

“Okay so you going to do anything about Voldemort?” he asked.

Desmond sighed and pulled his hand down his face, “Well we’re only meeting on Wednesday for tutoring, he has practice all the rest of the week since the coach pushes practice on Wednesday back since it’s a school wide thing and mandatory for some of his players. So-

“He also comes to volleyball,” he put in, “Or he did last week. Not sure about this week. You coming to that tomorrow?”

“Can’t, I have work earlier then usual.”

“Damn. Okay,” he nodded. “So, Voldemort?”

“I guess…” he chewed his bottom lip. “If I can get him to not be so moody during tutoring I might, might, flirt with him and oh my god get that fucking grin off your face I hate you!” and with that he rolled off the bed and Clay hopped off after him as Desmond left. “Luuucccy,” Desmond whined as he went into the kitchen.

“What is it? Were you two playing nice?” she teased. On the stove a pot of water was boiling.

“Nooo, Clay’s being mean to me,” and he curled his arms around her waist and pressed against her back.

“Hey that isn’t fair, going to my own girlfriend for help,” Desmond just stuck his tongue out at Clay from over Lucy’s shoulder when he came into the kitchen.

“You boys play nice,” and she gave Desmond a pat on the cheek. “What was he doing?” she sent a look to Clay.

“Teasing me about my taste in men.”

“Oh… well,” and he and Clay laughed at the slightly uncomfortable and surprised look on Lucy’s face. He gave her another squeeze before letting her go and they watched Lucy make them dinner.

Chapter Text

154 hours

In the Keys, the high school sport you watched, and gave a shit about, was football. Sure there was baseball, but Desmond hadn’t been to a baseball game here in Key West in his life, and there was soccer and while Desmond thought it was pretty fun to play soccer, it was amazingly dull to watch. He’d played in elementary and middle school when they’d lived in Texas at Fort Worth, and hadn’t he gotten so much shit for that when he first moved here, being from Texas before moving to Florida. Though he was born in South Dakota so when people tried to call him a Texan he just flipped them off.

But football in the Keys, and especially Key West, was a big deal. The Key West Conchs (yes KWH’s sports teams were named after shells) and the Marathon Dolphins (and the fish, not the mammal) had a long standing rivalry a as wide as the Seven Mile Bridge. The Citizen aways reported on the games and there was enough trash talking about both team from the opponents to make anyone a bit ashamed.

Tonight there was a game at Marathon between the Dolphins and the Conchs. Like most games between the two teams the turn out was ridiculous. It was comparable to the Yankees playing at Fenway Stadium, that’s sort of how big the sport was in the Keys. Marathon didn’t have a stadium though like Key West did, it was actually their practice field, and their soccer field, and their everything field, as Marathon had one field. 

The home stands were packed with kids and adults wearing blue, gold, and silver, some in jerseys, others with faces painted, but most in just their normal clothes. The pitifully tiny Marathon band took up a sliver of their bleachers where as the Key West band (which had come this game, though this wasn’t normal) took up nearly half of the visiting bleachers. The visiting stands were just as insane too with people in red and black and silver, blowing air horns and yelling and causing a ruckus that only Key West kids could do. Key West might have been a shit school, but just about every kid who went there was proud of their Conchs.

He and his friends had found a place to sit in the grass, away from the mass that, seemingly, was the rest of the high school near the in zone. They weren’t the best seats, but none of them really cared. Of them only Becca and Clay really cared about football. Shaun was only here because Becca had dragged him, though he complained about it plenty, saying this was a stupid American sport and he didn’t know why he had to come to this game played by a bunch of meat heads. Lucy was here because Clay was here, though she also liked the sport, as a passing thing though. And Desmond? Desmond freely admitted he just came for the uniforms. That being said, he also did enjoy watching high schoolers beat the living hell out of each other.

Key West played defense first and Clay slid up next to him on the grass. Desmond gave him a side eyed look. “You’re thinking something stupid aren’t you?” Desmond asked.

“Not at all,” Clay said. “I was just wondering if you were coming to that party I’m DJing at tomorrow.”

“Where is it?”

“New Town, off of Flagler.”

“Yeah, sure, give me the address, I’ll be there. Lucy coming?”

“Nah, she’s got a thing. Grandparents or something.”” he flapped his hand a little at him as the players set up for the first play at the fifty yard line.

“Or something?” Desmond gave him a look.

“She just said it was a family thing okay? God don’t give me the third degree here.” Desmond just chuckled. “But you’ll come?”

“Yeah… why?” he narrowed his eyes at Clay who wasn’t looking at him but instead yelling as the ball was snapped and the Marathon offense pushed forward. The Key West line had their backs to this end zone and Desmond’s eyes found number 7, Altair, the inside backer, in the middle of the formation. Then his eyes darted to number 15 to his left who was actually on the line, Malik. Desmond felt his stomach drop a little. Why was he considering flirting with Altair again? They could both destroy him if they felt like and as friends he knew they’d gang up on him.

Then the play ended, Marathon had advanced four yards.

“Sorry what?” Clay asked, turning back to him.

“Why are you being so sure I’ll come?”

“Cause I want someone there to help me,” Clay said. “I’ve never done this…”

“Yeah, I’ll be there,” Desmond promised as the ball was snapped again and Marathon slowly made their way down the field. They made first down, then second down, then third down, and were now at the seventeenth yard line. They were closer to Desmond and his friends were now and they were standing to see better.

Marathon’s forward momentum ended there though as number 23 caught a fumble, and now it was Key West’s turn to get on the offensive. Desmond might have stared after number 7 as he walked towards their side lines.

“Dude, you have issues,” Clay informed him, following Desmond’s gaze to Altair’s butt.

“Shut up,” he hissed, embarrassed to have been caught. “You’re the one keeps encouraging me,” he added.

“Encouraging you?” Becca asked as the teams switched out offense and defense. Though Desmond saw plenty of guys on the Marathon side stay on the field, not a surprise, their school was less then half the size of Key West, they have player overlap.

“Nothing!” Desmond cried.

“Oh?” and Becca wormed her way over to him, “It is so something,” she said and gave Clay a look. He just shrugged at her. Well at least he wasn’t a traitor. “C’mooon, tell me,” she encouraged.

“No, screw you,” and Desmond pushed her away moodily.

“Awww, c’mon Dessy, don’t be a spoil sport,” Becca said sweetly.

“Desmond’s got the hots for one of the football players,” Clay blurted out, looking like he’d barely been holding it in. Desmond shot his friend a flaming look and Clay just smiled apologetically.

“That’s it?” she asked, suddenly sounding disappointed. “Man I thought it was something juicy.” Clay just laughed and Desmond looked offended. “What?” she asked him, “I have hots for the football players-

“Hey!” Shaun cried, hearing them.

“They wear those tight pants and just make me want to die,” she continued.

“Becccaaa,” Shaun whined, obviously not enjoying Rebecca’s fantasies. And since it was Becca they were probably sort of creepy. Desmond had seen her porn collection once- ON ACCIDENT HE SWORE TO GOD!- and it was full of super weird fetish porn. He didn’t know how Shaun dated her and wasn’t psychologically scarred from just their sex life. He didn’t ask, he didn’t really want to know honestly.

“What?” Becca turned to her boyfriend, “Well I think you would hot in tight pants too so-

“Oh god that mental image,” Desmond pressed the heel of his hands to his eyes. “Bec whyyyyyyyyy?” he groaned. “I did not need to picture Shaun in tight pants.”

“Screw you Desmond,” Shaun spat as a roar went up and they all perked up (even Shaun, and he claimed to hate football) in time to see the quarterback, number 10, Yusuf, throw the ball and was caught by one of their wide receivers ran to about the forty before getting tackled. The screaming on their side of the field was obscene as he’d just run about twenty yards.

“I don’t want to see you in tight pants ever Shaun!” Desmond called over the cheering that he’d just previously been participating in.

“Well I wouldn’t mind!” Becca yelled back and laughed. Shaun just looked appropriately mortified.

It was the forth quarter now, Key West was up by five, but Marathon only needed one touch down to pull ahead. There was about three minutes left on the clock and Marathon had the ball. Needless to say the yelling at the blue jerseys was pretty ins tense from their side, wanting them to choke, or mess up, anything, to not get that last touch down.

Except they were near the end zone and Desmond and his friends had migrated to the opposite end to be closer to the parking lot once the game was over but that also meant they were right at the line of scrimmage. Surprisingly few people were here too, though maybe that was because there was no where to sit here and people were lazy.

The ball snapped and before anything could happen the quarterback was sacked. There was an audible ‘OUUHH!’ of sympathy from both side’s bleachers as said quarterback was tackled to the ground by the outside linebacker. The ball slipped out of his hand, the linebacker grabbed it up and then he was just running. Their side of the field exploded in cheers, concern for the quarterback forgotten, and Marathon managed to catch him at the thirty yard line on the other end of the field.

Key West scored another touchdown in the next two minutes and then they sort of milled around the field a little as the clock sped down to zero. Either way the red side was going totally nuts with cheering.

The Conchs were celebrating too, smacking each other on the helmet and other various things jocks did when they won a display of masculinity. But now the game was over, it was hot out, and really Desmond was ready to go home. It was about an hour to get back home, hour and a half for anyone who actually lived on Key West and it was late and this now sucked since he’d ridden here himself.

“I don’t wanna drive home,” he groaned, leaning against Lucy’s shoulder tiredly.

“Well do you really want to leave your bike here?” Clay asked.

“Fuck no!”

“Exactly so stop compla-

Clay was cut off by a serious commotion coming from the field. They all turned to look and saw that several of the players from both teams had gotten into a fight. The rest of the team was quickly coming to stop them but when defense players decided they were apparently going to kill someone it wasn’t easy to stop them. He saw numbers 7 and 15 in the middle of it. “Oh shit,” Desmond heard himself say.

“Are they fucking serious! They’ll get kicked off the team for this,” Clay said.

“So what? Let ‘em,” Shaun said and then cowered when the other four of them turned and glared at him. One did not wish football players ill in Key West, even if they were sort of dicks sometimes.

Eventually, the fight was broken up and two Marathon players and a Key West player had to be helped off the field. He noted that Altair was helping his teammate off the field though Desmond couldn’t see who it was. “Well,” Clay said, talking over the cacophony of voices now all around them, some yelling about the fight. “That was not how I imagined this game to end,” he was surprisingly stoned faced.

“We’re so fucked this year,” Desmond groaned. “Goodbye tri county!”

Clay’s stoicism didn’t last (he was surprised it’d lasted that long honestly) “Look! Look!” he grabbed Desmond’s arm and Becca was looking over his other shoulder, fully into anything that would make Clay excited. He pointed and Desmond followed his line of sight to some of the Key West band kids checking on their fellow Conchs. The fighting Conchs and marching Conchs had an amazingly good relationship and the football team actually respected the marching band for spending more time on the field then even they did at times.

“What?”

“Number ten, look,” Clay shook him and Desmond looked harder.

“You have to be kidding! How do you do that?” Becca demanded looking at Clay accusingly.

“Do what?” Desmond still didn’t get it.

“Are you blind? Lucy, please tell me you see it,” Becca huffed to the blonde.

“I try not to get wrapped up in Clay’s conspiracy theories and gossip mill,” Lucy said, holding up both hands. “I’m sort of afraid if I give into them he’ll call me at two in the morning about them.”

“He won’t,” Desmond put in, “I trained that out of him for you in freshman year. He’d call me at four.”

“Oh so you do have other uses then just that you’re freakishly tall,” Lucy teased him. He made a face at her.

“That, look, oh my god Desmond if they leave before you see I’m going to kill you,” and Clay pointed more forcefully at the Key West quarterback. There was a guy in a marching uniform standing in front of him, he was short and had a close beard and…

“How the fuck did you know that?” Desmond looked at his friend with a look of amazement since that was Rauf clearly making sure Yusuf was all right. And not in a quick ‘you okay?’ sort of way either.

“Because I’m awesome!” and Clay punched the air.

“I think it’s cute!” Becca declared. “Band boy and a jock,” she cooed and then slid off Clay’s shoulder. “Practically a tomboy and a nerd,” she said sweetly to Shaun, who looked upset about being ignored so far, and kissed his cheek. He forgave her instantly because it was Shaun and he was the biggest push over imaginable. He looked away when they kissed because holy shit where they the two most grossly affectionate people he’d ever met in his life.

“Well, excitement’s over. I’ve been proven right, yet again, we won, good night I think,” Clay declared. At that Lucy leaned over and said something Desmond couldn’t hear, “And about to get better!”

“Ew,” and Desmond untangled himself from his friend, Lucy just looked amused and was more then happy to slide under Clay’s arm. “Uhg. I’m the only single one here, this is gross, I’m leaving,” he groaned because he was suddenly that weird third wheel with two different relationships. Clay laughed at him and Shaun and Becca were ignoring them now, but saying they were going as well.

“I’ll send you the directions tomorrow!” Clay called after him.

“Yeah yeah, I’ll be there,” Desmond called and headed in the opposite direction of the main parking lot, as he’d parked his bike in the bus loop on the other side of the school. Unlike the others who had parked down Sombrero and now had to walk to their cars. 

As he walked he asked himself why he didn’t have a boyfriend. The answer was blindingly clear. It was because he had both high standards, and apparently awful taste in men. Awful taste being he was constantly attracted to straight men. Well… okay, not all of them were straight, and Altair’s ass looked really good in those football pants. He was putting on his helmet as he walked, thinking it all over. Being around his friends was going to be insufferable now. Becca and Shaun were always disgusting and touchy feely and gross amounts of PDA all the time and he could tell in just this week that Lucy and Clay were going to be sweet and cute together. Before it had been okay because Clay and Lucy were both single. But now they were together and Desmond was that weird fifth wheel.

“Uhg,” he groaned and held his helmet with the heels of his hands, putting on his sunglasses for wind protection as he got to his baby. “Stop thinking with your dick oh my god you’re such a dude,” Desmond sighed to himself. ‘And don’t settle for the first guy who’ll pin you to the mattress,’ he added to himself mentally even as his brain brought up the fact that Altair could do that amazingly well. Nope. Nope. Nope. In a relationship for more then sex. Or that’s what he told himself as he tried to leave the parking lot.

Chapter Text

181 hours

The party was fucking boring. Desmond was never coming to another party again he swore to god. The only good part about it was Clay, but that was just because Clay made everything more interesting in general. But it was a lot of kids and a lot of booze and really not a lot to do. Clay just had his iPod on, playing a playlist, and not even doing anything interesting. Really the most interesting thing that was happening was a game of beer pong in the dining room.

Desmond leaned against his friend, “Remind me why you made me come here?” Desmond groaned over the music, some LMFAO monstrosity.

“Because I thought it’d be interesting,” Clay sighed.

“You’re getting paid for this?”

“Fifty bucks,” he proclaimed proudly.

“Wow they’re getting scalped so hard.”

“Yeah, I know right? You’d think it’d be more interesting then this,” he sighed. “Go get me another drink,” he ordered and pushed Desmond off him. Desmond stumbled to his feet a little. There was really little to do but drink at this party, at least at Ezio’s people danced and at some point he was sure he’d seen a game of SSBB going on on the big flat screen the play boy had. There was nothing like that. Just beer pong and wow was that fucking boring. Or it was for Desmond since he was good at it, he had excellent hand eye coordination, even when absolutely shit faced. Once he’d beaten an entire team and was nearly black out drunk. He only knew he’d won because Clay had told him after, as it was he only knew he’s played because Clay had told him afterwards!

He went to the drink table and grabbed one of the bottles of Capt and a two liter of Coke and went back to where Clay had set up by the sound system and poured Coke into most of the cup Clay had and then poured about five seconds of Capt into the Coke. He then poured the same for him. He didn’t even care about getting drunk, even drunk this party wouldn’t be any more interesting. “Cheers,” he said blandly to Clay.

“To fifty bucks,” and he tapping their red cups together.

“You should play some music we like,” Desmond said after a few songs. “Cause these are awful, and it isn’t like anyone seems to care either.”

“Like?”

“I was thinking Kabuto,” Desmond said mildly.

“Oooo, I like the way you think.”

“Or maybe some Scurvy Crew? And I always like Z-One,” he added.

“I think we’ll let them off easy,” Clay chuckled and Desmond saw him scroll through his iTouch to a mixing app. Desmond wasn’t quite sure how he did it. “We’ll go with something that’ll sound familiar.” And Desmond nearly laughed out loud when DualShAwks started playing over some stupid Lady GaGa song.

“Yes, fucking classic,” Desmond said approvingly and Clay sped the song up a little since DualShAwks was a bit of a slow dance song.

“Seriously, nothing is better then Doc Awk,” Clay agreed.

“I’m still a Kabuto fan,” Desmond said.

“Kabuto’s fine. But Doc Awk,” and they both laughed at that and Clay then started to free mix DualShAwks and Swaggerjacking since clearly Clay knew Desmond’s favorite song was Swaggerjacking. They were both slow and tasted like original 80s hip hop without talk of money, bitches, or drinking, but sped up a little and mixed together by Clay with a little of Red Queen added on top for some Resident Evil sounds thrown in it went amazing.

A few people noticed, no one commented though and Clay continued to remix Nerd Corps songs with rather amazing results actually. Then eventually he just stopped and played the Bassnectar remix of Lights because the song was flawless and anyone who thought otherwise would get a personal talking to with Desmond’s fist. Okay maybe not that extreme, but he really liked the song.

As the music played they continued to drink and finished off the last quarter of the bottle of Capt and the bottle of Coke on their own without too much difficulty. It was around midnight when Clay left him to keep the tracks going and maybe play with the mixing app he’d bought, while he went to the bathroom. Desmond popped in a headphone and fiddled with a song by Metric, but never pushed it to play, he ended up fucking it up anyway. Then Clay came back and actually showed, drunkenly mind you, how to work the app. Desmond remembered exactly none of it.

Clay played more Nerd Corps, even just playing straight Kabuto and Dr. Awkward and ZeaLous1, no one said anything about the music. The party was boring and no one danced even when Clay decided to play dancing music. It was just a lot of people sitting around, drinking, and talking. Wow how fucking lame.

“Next time,” Desmond said, it was one, “make sure the party is interesting before demanding I come. Holy shit this is way worse then Ezio’s party. I haven’t been to one this boring since we had to call the cops on the people down the street because they were setting things on fire.”

“Well, we could-

“We’re not setting things on fire,” Desmond sighed.

“Damn.”

“Yeah, you’re telling me,” and then he realized he had to piss really bad. “I’ll be back, try not to die of boredom,” and he patted Clay’s knee.

“I’m ganna be leaving soon anyway. I said I’d stay at least till one, calling a cab.”

“Right-o, be right back,” and he picked himself up off the floor where they’d been sitting and maneuvered himself through the party to the bathroom. It was occupied by someone who was busy throwing up their intestinal track. He was honestly about to knock when the most disgusting round of puke hitting water reached his ears and he did an about face and walked outside, since there was only one bathroom in the house.

The houses here on Flagler were pretty close together, but they still had back yards. This one was pretty much empty except for a few lawn chairs. No one was out here though since it was hot outside. All the better though since Desmond couldn’t pee with someone potentially watching him. He went to the fence and did his business with a sigh, humming to himself a little.

Behind him he heard angry arguing. “You’re drunk, go home.”

“Fuck you.”

“No really. You’re going home before you break something.”

Oh goodie. He finished quickly, not wanting to get caught in whatever was going to happen. “Fine,” they groaned. “I’ll leave,” and he heard some muttering as he zipped himself back up. “Where my keys?”

“Woah, no, you aren’t driving you fucking kidding me? You can barely walk Altair,” his head turned as he went to the door and he saw them in the drive way. It was Altair and some other guy, he wasn’t quite sure at this distance though.

“Then what?” he grumbled.

“Call a cab, or something, I dunno. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Altair grumbled and pulled out his phone, “I’ll… I’ll call a cab.”

“You do that,” and then they left Altair in the drive way by himself. Desmond stood there, looking at him, illuminated in the light of the porch and after a second realize he was shaking. Desmond didn’t know what was up but he knew it wasn’t good. He cast a quick look at the back door, Clay was waiting inside for him. But he wouldn’t leave without him, hell he probably wouldn’t leave the house until the cab was there. “God damnit,” he heard Altair say and something clattered to the ground. He looked to see Altair bend down to pick up his phone where he’d dropped it and promptly fell.

“Shit,” he cursed, too much of a nice guy to just leave someone who was clearly too drunk to stand on his own, and went over to Altair, pushing open the gate and went to the driveway. Altair was on the pavement looking very confused as to how he got there. “Altair?” he asked as he neared the older boy.

Altair looked up, his hands around his phone and in his lap, looking drunk, confused, dazed, amazingly vulnerable. Wow what an asshole leaving Altair alone when very obviously he was drunk and not in his right mind. He blinked at Desmond confusedly. “Altair,” he hunkered down in front of Altair. Altair closed his eyes and let out a long breath, “Altair, it’s Desmond,” he prompted.

Altair opened his eyes again and looked at Desmond and for some reason Desmond blushed. Which was ridiculous! He shouldn’t be blushing! Literally nothing was happening, but he was. “Miles?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s me, Desmond Miles,” he babbled, “Are you okay?”

“I… am really drunk,” he said.

“Yeah, I didn’t notice,” he said sarcastically.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this drunk before.”

“I dunno you were pretty drunk last week,” Desmond said and now when he had a reason to blush he wasn’t.

“Yeah, but I remember that. I don’t want to remember tonight, or yesterday,” his head rolled on his neck a moment before it hung.

“Why?” Desmond found himself asking. “You guys won yesterday,” he reminded him.

Altair gave a drunken, angry, giggle and suddenly Desmond was being grabbed by the front of his shirt and pulled close by a suddenly drunk and angry Altair. “Because I got kicked off the team,” he growled at him through his teeth.

“O-oh, yeah,” and Desmond tried to pull Altair’s hand off him because he didn’t want to get punched tonight. Getting punched was the last thing he wanted right now actually. “I imagine that would suck a lot,” he agreed.

Altair stared at him and he saw the momentary rage leave him and he seemed confused again. Like he didn’t understand why Desmond was suddenly so close. He let Desmond go. Oh good. “You’re going home?” Desmond asked.

“Yeah,” Altair said softly, looking down at his phone in his hands like he didn’t know what to do with it. Then he looked back up at Desmond, “Want to come with me?” he asked, like it was no big deal.

Desmond, appropriately, blushed. “No,” he said, his voice an entire octave higher then normal.

Altair gave a long sigh and looked down, “Course not,” he muttered to himself.

“Here, let me call you a cab,” Desmond said and reached for Altair’s phone. The other boy didn’t stop him and he picked it up only to find it locked. “You sober enough to unlock your phone?” he asked, since it was one of those pattern locks. Altair traced his finger across the screen and the phone vibrated, unlocking. Desmond then stared at the phone in his hand, he knew that most kids his age lived by their phones. Fuck he lived by his phone. He didn’t use it 24/7, but it had all the important stuff on it, and he felt a bit anxious without it on him because of the stuff he had on it. Potentially, he was holding part of Altair’s life in his hands.

He wasn’t strong enough not to go through some of the pictures. It was horribly weak of him but Altair was so fucking gone he wouldn’t remember anyway. He honestly had just intended to call the drunk kid a cab, but now he had Altair’s Droid in his hand and fuck it.

He had a boring amount of apps, nothing interesting except for a Pokedex app (what?) and the nyancat game that really stuck out as ‘weird’. The rest was standard, boring, apps. He opened the gallery and was surprised at it’s organization. There was an entire folder of ‘friends’ and also food he ate and that was weird. He scrolled through those rapidly but didn’t linger on them before finding his way to the main folder of unsorted pictures.

In that one he saw pictures from tonight, blurred images, kids playing beer pong, people smiling and laughing, a few images with him and Clay in the background talking and drinking. Then clearly of last night showing off a big bruise on Altair’s side he’d taken in a mirror and then one of Malik who had a black eye though was smiling. Huh. He didn’t think he ever saw Malik smile ever, even in his school pictures. Well that was weird. Pictures of school followed, more food, girls, and boys from school, white boards with homework assignments written on them. 

He passed all this very quickly and then. He came to the last one. Clearly Altair cleaned out his photos every week or so because that was the only logical explanation for why a picture of Desmond sleeping in Altair’s bed was the last picture in Altair’s main folder. He looked at the drunk kid in question and then just stared at him. ‘Wanna come with me?’ rang in his head and oh my god! He was going to murder Clay for having some sort of freaky ESP or something!

“The cab coming?” Altair asked him, squinting at him.

“Yeah, I have an iPhone, trying to figure out your Droid,” he lied. Altair ‘mm’d and slouched again on the pavement. Not quite knowing why he sent the picture to himself and then deleted the text once he actually got it and then called the tiny Key West cab company. He’d called them enough when he was drunk to just know the number as now he just wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. 

“Key West taxi,” said the man on the other end.

“Hi, I need a cab for my friend, he’s drunk.”

“What’s the address?” Desmond told him, “Someone’s on the way.”

“Thanks,” and he hung up and turned off the screen. “Cab’s on it’s way.”

“Okay,” Altair said tiredly.

“I’ll be right back, all right?”

“Okay,” Altair said again.

“You’re not like… going to die on me are you?” and Altair shook his head, making his ears flap. “Okay,” and then he darted into the house and found Clay, practically running into his friend.

“Hey there you are,” Clay said. “Cab’s on the way.”

“Yeah, great,” Desmond said, “Dude… I so have to show you something.”

“Could you make it sound a little less rapey maybe?”

“Oh my god Clay! Is your stuff all together?” Clay nodded and Desmond dragged him out of the house.

“Is that Altair?” he asked once they were outside.

“Yes, he’s drunk I called him a cab, he can have ours and we’ll wait for his now focus,” and he pushed Clay away from the door.

“Okay… Desmond what is-“ then his brows rose when Desmond shoved his phone under Clay’s nose. “Why are you showing me a picture of you sleeping?” 

“Dude, I used Altair’s phone to call the cab cause I’m dumb and forgot I had one and I’m a horrible, weak, stalker apparently and went through it-

“No no,” Clay interrupted, “I approve of this,” he said in a very serious tone.

This was on Altair’s phone,” he hissed.

He watched his friend’s face change, his mouth dropping open in a smile and looked at Altair still on the pavement, head down, shoulders bowed forward, looking like he’d fallen asleep standing up. “No shit,” Clay said delightfully. “Well, my dear buddy,” he continued. “I am now going to be insanely upset with you if you do not manage to nab yourself some of that hot Arab ass,” he was informed as a cab pulled up.

“Oh my god I can’t believe you really said that. We’ll finish this in a second,” and he went over to Altair and shook him because he was sleeping. “Altair, cab’s here,” he said firmly, “time to go home.”

“Right,” Altair grumbled.

“Clay, help me,” he called.

“God damnit why do I-

Get over here and help me,” Desmond snapped.

“Fiiiine,” and they managed to pull Altair to his feet with only a bit of difficulty. Once he was vertical it was easier since standing meant awake and he could mostly walk himself to the car. Clay opened the door and Desmond shoved him in, being nice enough to put him in a safety belt as Clay told the cabbie where Altair lived (Desmond didn’t want to know how Clay knew that) and then closed the door.

“And he’s good for it?” the cabbie was asking, jerking his thumb at Altair in the back seat.

“Hell yeah he’s good for it,” Clay assured him. “Just smack him a little or something when you get there to wake him up.”

“All right,” the cabbie didn’t seem too sure. But he pulled away as another was pulling up. He and Clay got into the back seat of that one.

“Going to crash with me?” Clay asked him.

“Yeah, can I?”

“After a revelation like that I might have to force you,” Clay joked and told their cab his address. Desmond chuckled and unlocked his phone as Clay talked, mainly about how he was right about everything and Desmond should really listen to him more. He wasn’t really listening though. He was sort of just marveling at the picture of himself, the one from Altair’s phone. Okay. This could work out.

Chapter Text

1 and 52 hours

Nothing interesting had happened at lunch, though apparently Ezio’s girlfriend had broken up with him, a two weeks before the closest bet of how long she’d last. It was because of what had happened that weekend. And of course, since it was Clay, and Clay knew god damn everything, they all heard what had happened.

Friday, after the game, there had been a fight between the Key West defense, and the Marathon offense, a real fight. One kid from Marathon had a broken nose, the rest was all just bruises, things that would heal. It reminded Desmond of the picture he’d seen on Altair’s phone of him and Malik all bruised up. But what had been the consequence of that was that Key West had lost three of it’s players because of fighting. Altair, Malik, and a kid named Johnny who was one of their wide receivers, had been kicked off the team. They’d effectively lost their power house defensive line and one of their receivers. It didn’t look good for Key West.

But beyond that, back to the original story of Ezio and girlfriend-of-the-year-number-three, on Saturday apparently some of the team and some had met some Dolphins by accident. As it wasn’t during school time the fight couldn’t be really counted. But the Conchs had made the Dolphins feel the pain of loosing two key members of their defensive line and a receiver. He didn’t know if Marathon had lost any members. But the fight was what caused Ezio and girlfriend-of-the-year-number-three to break up as she didn’t like that Ezio fought.

So that was the story of how pancake-face Ezio became single again. And Clay got to keep all the money cause he was the bookie and everyone lost; except him and Desmond honestly couldn’t help but wonder if Clay knew this was going to happen.

Now it was time for chem though and as soon as he stepped into the classroom he forgot about Ezio and girlfriend-of-the-year-number-three. Now he had to deal with chemistry. His eyes went unbiddenly to Altair, who was at his desk. Malik was there too, leaning against it and they were talking and looking at something in Altair’s binder. Desmond decided he didn’t want to know and sat next to Caterina.

“Hey,” he said in a friendly tone as he sat. She just looked sour. “Should I just pretend not to exist this week?” he asked her carefully.

“Did you hear about Ezio?” she demanded.

“Uh… yeah,” he said slowly. “Clay told me.”

“Then you know he’s a fucking animal.”

Desmond stared at her, “What…?”

“Uhg,” she just said in disgust and muttered something about ‘all men are the same’. Desmond edged away from her a little and his eyes went to Altair again. He could only see the back of his head and a bit of the side as he talked to Malik, who just before the bell rang straightened and quickly left. The teacher started class and Desmond payed about seventy-five percent of his attention to the teacher. The other twenty-five went to looking at Altair and the back of his head. 

He had issues okay? He knew this and had just stopped denying it. Better then being in denial because that got him no where and he still 1. wanted to get laid, and 2. wanted a boyfriend. Maybe not in that order but he wanted both those things and over the weekend he’d started to entertain the idea that he could get them both in one guy. He was being painfully optimistic to the point of pure fantasy but that didn’t mean he didn’t really like the idea of it.

Desmond started and nearly fell out of his chair when the the bell suddenly rang. He’d been day dreaming admittedly. Next to him he heard Caterina huff and finish packing her bag before getting up. Desmond quickly stuffed his own bag and was getting ready to leave when someone came up in front of his desk. He glanced up from his bag and did his best to not turn crimson. Altair was standing in front of his desk, bag over one shoulder.

“Hey Miles,” he said easily. Shit what if he remembered Saturday?

“Hi,” he said and then had to clear his throat, “hey what’s up?” he wondered if he sounded as painfully obvious to Altair as it did to him.

“Are you free after school?” and every stupid, bad, porn scenario flashed through his head in three seconds.

“Uh, maybe.”

“You available to tutor me?”

Oh. Oh right. That. Desmond had to stop letting his over active imagination get the better of him. “I thought you were only available Wednesdays?” and Altair glared knives at him.

“I don’t have football practice,” Altair said, his words tight and clipped as they fell off his tongue.

“Oh… right,” touchy subject. “Well I have work today but I can stay for an hour or so if you want,” he shrugged helplessly. “Why?”

“Doesn’t matter. I’ll see you after school,” and then he was gone. Desmond stared after him for a few seconds. Then he remembered he had English and practically fell out of his chair to get to class before the bell. His English teacher didn’t like him and he was on the edge of getting a D. No need to tempt fate by being late. Plus he still needed enough time to get to his chair and text Clay.

They were meeting in the library this time, because the classroom they would have been using was occupied. The Key West library was freakishly small with only about five double sided rows of books, a about ten computers, and a few tables. The back of the library was a glass wall with two tables for kids to work at. The librarian was also terrifying. Desmond had only been here a few times since he’d started going here and it in general people didn’t like coming here because the librarian would side-eye you so hard you developed a nervous tick.

Desmond was waiting for Mr. Sunshine to show up in one of the back tables, twiddling his pencil boredly. He had flashcards and the chemistry book and his notebook and an extra pen. All the things he’d needed last week, which had mainly comprised of Altair writing down words and definitions, Desmond seeing that Altair’s handwriting was shit and rewriting them so they were actually legible. That had made Altair scowl at him, but Desmond had just scowled right back.

He thought maybe they’d do diagrams the hour before he had to go get ready for work. Atomic diagrams and electron graphs. Desmond didn’t like ‘em, but their mid term would be on them he was sure. 

With a groan he hung his head back irritably. He’d been here ten minutes and Altair was a no show. They’d met at the previous room they used on Wednesday, and said they’d meet here after being kicked out. Now ten minutes had passed and he was getting annoyed. He ruffled his own hair and slumped forward now, propping his head up on his fists, pouting towards the window.

He turned quickly when the chair across from him moved and watched Altair slide into it. “Took you long enough,” Desmond said, letting his mood be obvious. “You get lost?”

“Sorry I had to put out a fire,” Altair said, in an equally irritable.

“Whatever,” Desmond huffed, “So, you doing good with those flash cards?” by Altair’s guilty face Desmond knew he hadn’t even looked at them. “At least tell me you have them,” he sighed.

“Yeah,” and Altair dug into his backpack, pulling out the halved flash cards.

“Good. I thought maybe we’d do something interesting since you should know most of these by now. But, since you don’t, we’re ganna review.”

“How are you so evil?” Altair asked, making a face at him.

“Hey buddy, this ain’t for me. I know what’s on the cards,” and he held up the first one. Altair got it wrong. He got the next six wrong too. The eight one he got right though, followed by another dozen wrong. They went through the entire stack twice, Altair only knew about five of them.

Desmond ran both his hands through his hair with a groan, “You’re killing me.”

“I told you I was bad at this,” Altair said, “I am failing this class.”

Desmond checked his phone, they still had a half hour, as Altair’s flash cards stack was massive. “Okay,” he sighed. “This time you’re ganna read the definition and tell me the word.”

Altair stared at him, “I can’t even spell most of those words, you want me to say them?”

“All right then smart guy why don’t you come up with a good idea?” Desmond grumbled. He was irritated about having to deal with a dumb jock, so sue him! Why had he thought Altair was good boyfriend material again? He’d literally drive himself insane with how stupid he was.

“I dunno,” Altair shrugged, “Flash cards don’t really work for me.”

“So what do you do?”

“Pray.”

Desmond stared at him for several seconds, “You just made a joke didn’t you?”

“It was bad wasn’t it?” Altair said making a slightly apologetic face.

“Awful,” and that made them both chuckle. “Okay,” he ran his hands through his hair, messing it up. “How do you usually study?”

“I don’t.”

“You don’t study?”

“This and English are the only classes I’m bad in,” Altair shrugged. “Everything else just… clicks,” and he snapped his fingers.

“Okay… just for reference, what’s your GPA?”

“Last year it was four point three.”

Dumb jock? Dumb. Jock? He had a fucking four point three! Not even Desmond’s grade was that high, and he was ranked in the top five of his class. That meant… shit that meant Altair was ranked higher then him. “So what’s the problem this year?” he asked, hoping he didn’t sound impressed or slightly turned on. Before Altair had just been stupidly good looking. Now he was stupidly good looking, smart, and one of those assholes who didn’t have to study.

“Senioritus?” Altair shrugged.

“So are you doing bad in your other classes?”

“A bit. Not like chem though.”

“And English?”

“I’m a native Arabic, Spanish speaker,” Altair said, “English is my third language,” and Desmond had thing very unsexy thoughts with that revelation. “So yeah, I always get Bs in it.” Bs. Like Bs were bad.

“Okay. So how do you learn stuff?”

“Doing it,” and that took Desmond’s brain out of shallow water and straight to swimming with the sharks. This guy was going to kill him. “Or writing it down.”

“Are you better at doing stuff in Spanish?” Altair nodded, “Well I can kinda speak Spanish,” he said and Altair laughed at him. “What?” he demanded.

“You sound awful,” Altair said.

“Not everyone is multilingual okay?” Desmond grumbled. “But would it help? I mean I’m getting extra credit for how well you do in class so it’s in my best interest for you to do good.”

“Might,” Altair said. “But I don’t do visual aides, they don’t work.”

“Okay,” Desmond said slowly, “What you’re a tactile, auditory guy?” Altair nodded. “Okay,” he said again thinking, “Then we’ll do like flash cards. Only no flash cards,” Altair rose a brow at him. “I’ll tell you a word, you tell me the definition, Spanish if you want.” Altair nodded. “Okay first one is,” he looked down at the flash card, “Activation energy.

Altair got more this way around, and when he missed them Desmond just told him the answer. If he could he said the words or definitions in Spanish, though that happened much less, and whenever he did Altair would smirk, probably finding his accent insanely amusing. Half an hour flew by and Altair started getting more and more words right.

Then Desmond’s alarm went off, not too loud though. “And that’s my cue to go,” Desmond said swiping it silent.

“Go?” Altair asked.

“Yeah. I have work.”

“Oh. Where do you work?”

“Bobalu’s,” he said putting his things into his back pack.

“So, tomorrow?” Altair asked. “Can you tutor me again?”

“Uh… I have club tomorrow,” Desmond said awkwardly. “And don’t you have things to do?” Altair didn’t answer him, Desmond eyed him, “Don’t you?”

“I kinda… need something to do during football practice. My gramps doesn’t know I got kicked off the team.”

There was a long silence and Desmond wanted to tear all the skin of his face off. Altair kept yo-yoing to the top and then the bottom of his ‘fuck me now’ list. Now Desmond was just an excuse to not go home, and to wuss out about telling someone they’d been kicked off a team. “O—kay,” Desmond said, eyeing Altair now with a bit of distrust. “Wednesday. Find something else to do tomorrow,” Altair frowned at him. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and then he grabbed his bag and was gone, leaving before Altair could say another word.

Chapter Text

1 and 102 hours

Desmond watched Clay’s ceiling fan spin. It was on full speed to help circulate the air with all the windows closed, the AC turned up since it was still warm out even though it was November. It didn’t actually get cool in Florida till mid December, with some cold snaps here and there, though never enough to see your breath. Right now they were suffering a mini heat wave. He was lying on Clay’s bed, arms out by his sides, legs hanging off the bed. He’d just come over after studying with Altair.

“Clay,” he said, Clay was at his desk doing homework.

“Yeah, good buddy?” Clay asked, hunched over his Physics homework.

“Am I just unattractive?”

Clay sat back and turned to look at him, “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

“Say it again, I have a hearing problem when it comes to stupidity.”

“Am I just not attractive to guys?” he pouted at Clay a little. “I mean it isn’t like a secret that I’m gay,” though he wasn’t public about it either. It just didn’t actually matter that he was out and didn’t make a big deal of it. The people who mattered knew.

“Well I think you’re attractive-

“Claaaaaay,” Desmond groaned.

“What do you want me to say?” Clay huffed. “Shaun’s as straight as an arrow and do you actually want to have to ask your parents about it?”

“Uhg, god no, please,” Desmond said and rolled onto his stomach.

“Exactly.”

Desmond sighed, “It’s just… he’s so hot, and I’m so frustrated,” and Clay laughed at him. “Not funny!” he cried.

“You kidding? It’s fucking hilarious.”

“Shut up,” Desmond grabbed one of Clay’s pillows with a miserable groan. “He’s smart, really fucking hot, could probably bench press me, and can speak three languages. Only a moron wouldn’t want that.”

“He is pretty much the whole package isn’t he?” Desmond sent him a look, “I knew it!” Clay cried.

Now Desmond laughed, “Don’t go over imagining,” he said. “He’s pretty big but not like… porn star big.”

“Oh good. Some porn stars have terrifyingly huge dicks,” Clay made a face. “How’d today go?”

“Okay, I guess,” Desmond practically said into Clay’s pillow and bent his legs into the air.

“So you flirted with him?”

“A little. He’s still chemistry illiterate. I don’t know why he’s in the AP class.”

“Credits.”

“I think it’s more that he’s taken all the others… that is really hot actually,” he added.

Clay closed his eyes with a sigh, “I do not need to know about your nerd boners Desmond.”

“Liar. You love knowing everything, including what turns me and our friends on cause you’re fucking weird.” Clay shot him a dirty look. “Brains are wicked sexy,” he said smugly.

“Which is funny since you aren’t using yours,” Desmond threw a pillow at him.

“I just wanna have sex is that too much to ask?” Desmond huffed as Clay shot the pillow down. “I haven’t gotten laid since I was a freshman,” not Clay, another guy, equally as hot as Altair but actually dumb as a box of bricks with a rope fetish. That had been interesting.

“You have a hand don’t you?”

“And you know how helpful that is,” Clay grinned. “Don’t look at me like that, I know you have sex on a regular basis now that you have a girlfriend.”

“Threesomes still open.”

“No.”

“Just sayin’, you’re the one who’s complaining about wanting sex.”

“Not with you. God.”

“Thanks.”

“You know what I mean. You’re just not my type.”

“I am everybody’s type,” Clay declared.

“Not a fan of blondes actually,” Desmond smirked.

“Liar.”

“Nope. I like black haired guys.”

“Like Altair.”

“Yes,” and Desmond shoved his head into the pillow. Clay laughed. “I actually like ‘em tall, dark, and handsome, and not just saying that.”

“You’re acting like a girl right now you know. A love sick one.”

“Screw you-

“Please-

“Shut up Clay. And I’m allowed okay? Part of the being gay thing, I’m allowed to have feminine moments.”

“And yet you’re the least gay and feminine gay man I’ve ever met. We could go down to the Eight-oh-One if you wanted to see that.”

“Oh don’t even start, those girls are fabulous,” and Clay laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe when Desmond used a higher pitched tone and actually gave a sassy finger snap. Desmond grinned.

“I wish I had a video camera,” Clay wheezed. Once he’d gotten himself under control he said, “And I just had a thought. You want to get laid, why not go to the Eight-oh-One.”

“Oh, I dunno, cause I’m a minor,”Desmond gave him a look.

“You don’t have an I.D.?”

“My driver’s license yeah-

“Oh my God,” Clay interrupted. “Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t have a fake I.D.?”

“Cause I go to clubs all the time,” Desmond said sarcastically with a roll of his eyes.

“How do you buy drinks though?”

“Uh… I don’t usually. I just go to parties and drink other people’s liquor.”

“Give me a week, I’ll have a fake I.D. for you. Early Christmas present.”

“Yeah but Clay-

“I’m tired of hearing you whining about chasing Altair, kay? Mainly cause we both want you to get laid so maybe you can get some courage to flirt with him seriously. Now do you wanna just be legal or twenty-one?” he asked.

“Just legal. I don’t want an excuse to drink.”

“Okay,” Clay nodded.

“You really expect me to go to the Eight-oh-One?”

“I’ll come if you want.”

“What if drag queens hit on me?”

“Isn’t the point of going to gay bars of being hit on by gay guys?”

“Drag queens and gay guys are in completely different categories. Like queens and transexuals are,” he pointed out. “There are queens, and there are guys into queens.”

“What if Altair dressed in drag?”

There was a very long silence, “I think I just got an anti boner,” and Clay laughed. It wasn’t that Desmond disliked drag queens, he just didn’t like them like that. “God can you imagine that?” Desmond asked.

“Yes actually,” Clay said, way too amused. “It is so weird cause he’s got such a defined jaw, and abs.”

“Don’t remind me,” Desmond sighed. “But you’ll come with me? If I go to Eight-oh-One?”

“Suuuure. We could go to Aqua or the Bourbon if that made you feel any better? Or La Te Da-

“My mom goes to La Te Da,” Desmond said, Clay wrinkled his nose.

“Yeah that’s a no. But really, Bourbon or Aqua if the Eight-oh-One makes you nervous.”

“Aqua has a cover,” Desmond pointed out.

“So the Bourbon, not like we’ll be drinking,” he shrugged. “Hopefully you’ll get lucky.”

“Just not with some old weirdo.”

“Well I’ll be there and what else is a best bro for if not to pretend to be your boyfriend?”

“Just don’t expect me to kiss you.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it-

“Except you do,” Clay snorted.

“I dream about kissing someone else thanks.” Desmond grumbled into the pillow. “I’m sorry what?”

“You assholes and your stupid PDA,” Desmond bitched, meaning not just Clay and Lucy but also Shaun and Rebecca (who were awful when it came to PDA it was actually kinda gross sometimes.)

“Well, get a boyfriend! You have work tomorrow again?”

“Yeah.”

“Still coming to volley ball?”

“Yeah, for a while,” he sighed.

“Great. Try to keep your eyes in your head when Altair takes off his shirt,” and Desmond threw the other pillow at Clay’s head. It hit dead on.

Chapter Text

1 and 126 hours

There were more people at the volleyball thing then there had been two weeks ago when Desmond had first gone. But then since then he’d seen flyers advertising the new thing hung up around school. One with a boy and a girl on it in just their bathing suits, fighting over a volley ball.

He heard Clay talking to everyone but Desmond wasn’t listening. He was moody. His job had called and said he wasn’t coming in today. He was now only working Sunday mornings and Saturday nights. That was good he supposed, though he liked having more hours then that. Apparently they didn’t like him asking for two weeks off in December when he and his family were going up to South Dakota to spend Christmas and New Years with the extended Miles family.

Because of the size of the group and the limited number of nets the games were nearly strictly tournament style so everyone had a chance to play. Clay declared team captains and Desmond stood in the back of the group sulking. It was for that reason Clay overlooked him and didn’t pick him. In fact, quite a few other people were picked before anyone noticed Desmond’s tall ass in the back.

“Miles,” and his head lifted a bit to see who’d called him. “You’re with me,” Ezio said. Desmond slipped out from the back to Ezio’s team and Clay was staring at him like ‘you didn’t tell me you were here dofus!’ Desmond didn’t really care though. He was sort of only half here and with it. The rest was sulking over his lost hours.

Finally all the kids had been divided up. Clay had a white board with the names of the captains on it saying who would go against who. Desmond’s team wasn’t playing first though and Desmond sat on the sand out of sand kicking range. He was honestly surprised by the number of people here. There had to be some catch.

He started when several someones dropped down onto the sand next to him. Altair was next to him, Ezio next to him, and a few football players too. Then someone sat on his other side, Malik. Oh… uh… oh this was super uncomfortable.

They didn’t say anything to him though and watched the games going on. Ezio and Altair talked. At least the atmosphere wasn’t oppressive and weird. Desmond still felt awkward sitting between the guy he was having wet dreams about and said guy’s best friend. “Hey,” Altair suddenly said and it took Desmond two seconds he wasn’t talking to him. It was obvious when Malik turned and looked at his friend. Altair said something in Arabic. Malik snorted a laugh and cast a glance at Desmond who was doing his best to pretend they weren’t having an exchange physically over him. Malik said something back, smirking and at Altair’s reply Malik laughed properly, though still keeping it pretty contained, not like how Clay laughed. Somehow Desmond got the feeling Malik was laughing at something Altair had said about him

Oh that was a wonderful thought. Just… wonderful. Secret conversations in Arabic. He’d learned Spanish so people couldn’t talk about him behind his back, but this was just mean. Like he wasn’t in a bad enough mood already the guy he had a crush on was mocking him in another language no doubt.

Fuck it.

He got up from where he was sitting, dusted off his ass and then walked away from them. He heard them continue to talk in Arabic but Desmond was ignoring them because to hell with them both. He knew the volleyball games could last a while though, and truthfully, he wasn’t that into it. He was here because Clay had asked him to come, and as he was a supportive friend here he was

Of the three main, public, beaches in Key West Smathers was the biggest. It was also manmade, which anyone who lived here wouldn’t be surprised about. When people thought of the Caribbean they thought of dotted islands covered in palm trees, tiki huts, ringed in natural beaches made of soft sand.

The truth was anything but. The only island Desmond knew of that was actually covered in palm trees was Little Palm up near Big Pine. But then that had once been a movie set and they’d been planted there. The Keys also had very few natural sand beaches, most were made of stone and rocky. There were some of course, but those were waterfront property, and private, or just had docks built out to the deep water to avoid the rocks.

Some paradise.

“Oi,” he turned when someone came up behind him, startling him. He’d been staring at the water for a while and the whole dumb cruise ship thing which most people loved and loathed in equal measure. Altair had come up. Oh great what did he want? On a list of people he wanted to see right now Altair was near the bottom. “Coming?”

“Huh?” he asked.

“It’s our team’s turn at the net; coming?” Altair asked with a roll of his eyes.

“Yeah,” Desmond said, Altair was already walking away and he followed after him.

“Got our missing guy,” Altair said to Ezio, jerking his thumb at Desmond as they entered the sand court.

“Oh good,” Ezio grinned at Desmond, holding the volleyball in hand. “You’re up front,” he said and Desmond nodded, moving up to the front of the net. They were playing Clay’s team, made all the most obvious by Clay giving him a look from across the court. A ‘we’re not friends anymore since you’re not on my team’ look. Desmond didn’t think much of it; it was Clay after all. Ezio served and it barely cleared the net. The ball got hit back, sailing over Desmond’s head and it was saved by someone behind him. It hit the sand and his team got a point.

They played a while, first team to six (why six Desmond didn’t know) got to move on, the loser got a second chance to not be eliminated. Desmond got to hit the ball quite a bit too since he was mainly covering the front alone since the other person on the front was an idiot and didn’t know what they were doing. But hey it was a fun game he wasn’t going to be too hard on them about it and it meant that Desmond got to do more and field the ball more and distract himself from his mood about work.

They were at five-five now. It’d actually been a pretty intense match. Most of the people on Desmond’s team were football players too, meaning they were all competitive jocks. There were actually a surprising amount of football players. What had Clay done to convince them all to show up? He sort of didn’t want to know actually. But whoever got the next point would win so it was go time for a lot of these testosterone meat heads.

Clay’s team served. The ball arced over the net. Desmond watched it go and his team hit it back. The next hit went wild and out of bounds. This time Desmond’s team served, he wasn’t sure if those were the actual rules of volleyball, but it was their rules. Ezio was a terrible server though and as usual the ball barely cleared the net. It was hit a bit back into enemy territory before being shot high over the net into Desmond’s zone.

Desmond started to back up as the ball arced downward and then saw it was further back than he expected. He was already committed though and so jumped back, raising his arms as he did so. The ball had just touched his fingers when someone suddenly jostled him. He yelped and flipped the ball away for someone else to catch it as he was nearly tossed into the sand.

With a grunt Desmond tried to pick himself up from the sand to find himself half laid on. Then he heard the thud of the ball striking sand and saw it land on the other side. They’d won.

Now to deal with this thing trapping his legs. He turned a bit, trying to get free. Then he saw who it was. “What’s your deal?” he demanded.

“My deal?” Altair shoved himself to his hands and knees with a scowl. “I had it.”

“I had it,” Desmond said firmly.

“You were supposed to stay by the net.”

“I had it,” Desmond sort of glared at him. “You ran into me,” and Altair hopped to his feet. “Watch where you’re going,” he added, irritated and shrugged to his feet from the sand.

You watch it,” was Altair’s stellar comeback. Desmond didn’t have time for Altair’s petty bullshit and just turned away and left the sand court. He sat down in a huff, irritated, on the opposite side of the volleyball court from where Altair was.

Not five minutes passed when Clay showed up and sat next to him. “Hey,” he said.

“What?” Desmond short of growled.

“Wow what crawled up your ass and died?” Clay said, leaning back a bit.

“I’m not in the mood Clay,” Desmond said.

“What’s eating you? You were in a good mood at school. Now you get to see your boy toy running around half naked and you’re acting like he personally offended your mother.”

Desmond gave Clay an unamused look, “Work cut my hours,” he said moodily.

“Oh, well that sucks, isn’t it season?”

“Yeah. I’m going away for Christmas though-

“Wait you’re going away for Christmas?”

“Yeah, going back to South Dakota for two weeks this year.”

“… Well that fucking blows,” Clay groaned and leaned against Desmond. “I’m going to bored out of my skull. Who’s going to go to the beach with me Christmas morning? Or go drinking on Duval with? Uhggggg,” and he flopped fully into Desmond’s lap.

“Oh please. I thought you had a girlfriend.”

“She’s visiting her dad and his crazy girlfriend for Christmas,” Clay groaned painfully.

“Really?” they didn’t hear a lot about Lucy’s biological dad, who lived in some square state. Like Ohio or Kansas or Iowa or something. Some place with a lot of corn. Like he had any room to talk, he was from fucking South Dakota.

“Yeah.”

“And Shaun and Rebecca?”

“Shaun’s family from England is visiting and he’s already proclaimed he’ll be unavailable the entire break-

“Except for Becca.”

“Yeah, except for Becca. Which really can you blame him?” and he twisted so he now wasn’t laying belly down on Desmond’s lap but on his back. If it was anyone else Desmond would have felt weird. But it was Clay.

“You’ll still live. And Rebecca’s still around.”

“I guess,” Clay sighed.

“Think of it like this. Chance to get to know our lovable otaku better.”

“Hey, Bec’s not an otaku. How do you even know what an otaku even is?”

“Clay… you’re my best friend. You should be more worried if I didn’t know what an otaku was.”

“Well if that’s true then you should use it in the right way cause Rebecca is not an otaku.”

“Sorry. Whatever. You know what I meant,” Desmond sighed.

“Yeah I suppose,” Clay agreed.

“You’ll be fine without me. Like just… don’t set anything on fire and I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

“But I like setting things on fire,” Clay whined. Desmond just rolled his eyes and pushed Clay off his lap. “Dessssmonnnnd,” he whined.

“Are you five or something?” Desmond asked. “How’d you get all these footballers here anyway?”

“Promised them food,” Clay said and sat back on his thighs like a proper man-child and not a toddler.

“How did you get enough food to feed this many people?” Clay didn’t have a job so it was a mystery.

Clay grinned and pulled out a credit card. Desmond squinted at it to read it. “Harold Kac- Clay, did you steal your dad’s card?”

“What? You kidding? You think I have a death wish. Nah I convinced him to let me borrow it. I said it was for a club, like a ‘real’ one and not that ‘board game nonsense you and that Miles kid play’,” he shrugged. “And I told him it was for sports. So, win win for meee,” he said smiling widely.

“So food’s on you?”

“Oh hell yeah food’s on me!” Clay said.

“Clay,” someone called and his friend whipped around. “We’re playing our match.”

“Man the other team lose already? Dang. Okay, catch you in a bit and also early Christmas present is in the works,” he winked at Desmond.

“Uhg,” was all Desmond said. Clay laughed and got to his feet, going back to play volleyball. Desmond looked across the sand, between player’s legs and saw Altair and Malik again. They were talking and Malik was using some wild hand gestures. Desmond frowned and looked away from them. He needed to get over this. Too bad that didn’t look like that would happen any time soon.

Chapter Text

2 and 190

The Bourbon was pretty packed. But then it was Friday, one of the cruise ships was staying at port over night (for some reason, Desmond didn’t concern himself with what the cruise ships did) and Key West was jammed with people. There were the locals and there were the tourists and it was hell to get anywhere down town in a car. The street lamp and store front illuminated Duval Street was packed with more people than usual, though he knew it could get worse. At least it wasn’t Fantasy Fest anymore. That nightmare had been two months ago. But the main drag was filled with little electric cars and mopeds with wide-eyed tourists and real cars with cranky locals who probably on some level wished all the tourists would just set themselves on fire even though they were the life’s blood of the entire island chain.

The sidewalks were just as full of people on a Friday. It was easier to walk at least and they got into the Bourbon without any trouble. Desmond’s new fake I.D. felt like it was burning a hole in his wallet but it got him in.

There were… a lot of guys in here. Really Desmond didn’t know why he felt even a tiny bit surprised. It was across from the 801, where the drag queens danced, and the Bourbon was nearly a strip club. Only. Not a strip club. Gay strip club. Briefly Desmond wondered if he could get a lap dance here.

“Oi, Romeo,” Clay jabbed him a bit in the ribs, startling him. Desmond looked at him, slightly wide-eyed. “Don’t look like a deer in the headlights,” he said over the thumping music and dragged Desmond away from the entrance and they found a bar table and sat, “De— Hello, earth to Desmond. Do you read?” Clay called.

Desmond’s head snapped back around to face Clay. “Sorry. I just got distracted by the view,” he said with a complete shit eating grin.

“Well fantastic. So. What’s the game plan?”

“I dunno.”

“Wonderful! Same ole’ Des,” and he swung his bent arm across his chest in a ‘go get ’em’ sort of manner sarcastically.

“Shut up,” Desmond said. “I mean I’m not drinking so…

“Sodas?” Clay supplied. “I mean not everyone drinks, and we’re minors,” he added.

“Yeah,” Desmond said. “I’ll get us some. Coke?” Clay nodded. “Okay, I’ll be… right back,” and then he slipped off the stool. He heard Clay laugh and he sort of wondered what he looked like. He made himself calm down because he couldn’t get worked up over this. But good god would he get so much hell from his dad if he knew Desmond was here. He knew Desmond was gay and was totally okay with it. Well. For the most part. He’d met Desmond’s last boyfriend, and his brother’s myriad of girls and boys he’d brought home. Desmond was pretty sure William just wanted grandkids out of his children somehow and two sons who were busy into guys didn’t have the best prospects in this country.

Well too damn bad,

He went up to the bar. A bar tender got to him a few minutes later and he ordered two Cokes. He handed over some bills and was about to step away when the music changed dramatically. Desmond’s mouth fell open a bit when literally one of the hottest guys he’d ever seen was helped onto the bar dressed in possibly the tightest jeans he’d ever seen anyone wear and nothing else. The Coke’s nearly slipped out of his hands. Oh god. Oh god.

Desmond pointedly looked away and went back to their table when the guy started to dance and another guy hopped onto the bar. The bar cheered the bar dancers on and Desmond made his way back to Clay. The blonde was still there and so was… another man. Desmond hadn’t even been gone ten fucking minutes and Clay had already caught someone’s eye. It was some big, older, hairy, bear and Clay.

“Des,” Clay said when Desmond sat down and quickly moved to sit next to him.

“Who’s your friend?” the bear asked with a smile.

“My boyfriend,” Clay said without any hesitation. Oh wonderful. “Thanks babe,” and he took the Coke from Desmond and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“Everything okay?” Desmond asked and slid his arm around Clay’s waist without thinking. Clay was obviously uncomfortable and needed some back up and they’d already agreed that if anything happened they weren’t okay with the other was supposed to save them. Desmond hadn’t realized he’d have to save Clay though his his friend was such a smooth talker and could get himself out of jams.

“I was just making a new friend,” Clay said and took a sip of his soda.

“I can’t leave you alone for five minutes without you attracting guys like flies can I?” Desmond asked him, giving him a look he didn’t even have to pretend was unamused.

“What can I say? I’m adorable,” Clay gave him a cheeky grin though Desmond could see he looked so relieved Desmond was there for back up.

“Yes you are. Excuse us the rest of our party showed up while I was gone,” he gave the bear his best charming grin.

“Sure. See you around,” he said.

Desmond dragged Clay away. “Holy fuck thank you,” Clay said once they were away.

“You’re welcome. Creepy bear?”

Creepy bear,” he agreed. “Though I had a creepy twink make a pass at me while you were gone too.”

Clay,” Desmond groaned.

“What!?”

“How do you manage that? Two guys in like ten minutes?”

“Well I was alone and looked bored. Not exactly rocket science,” they found another table and sat. “So what’s the game plan?”

“Huh?”

“For tonight, to maybe get some ass, remember, the reason we’re here.”

“Oh… right. Uh…” Clay groaned at Desmond’s lack of anything. “Well I’ve never been to a bar like this,” he admitted. “Not really… my scene.”

“Well we can’t just sit here,” Clay said.

“Mmm, well,” he looked at the bar where three hot guys in nearly no clothes were dancing. He lost his train of thought.

“Oi!” Clay’s voice snapped him back around. “Ogling later.”

“Right. Right,” Desmond nodded. “Well I don’t just wanna wait around to get picked up. That’s boring and sad.”

“So what? Wanna hit the dance floor?” Clay had somehow made his Coke vanish. Desmond turned to the dance floor which had quite a number of people. It wasn’t packed to bursting, but it was plenty lively and the music was pretty good, even if not to his taste. “I’m gonna hit the bar up and get a lesbian to buy me a drink,” Clay grinned.

“Specifically a lesbian?” Desmond asked, brow arched.

“Yes. Though I’m okay if someone else buys me a drink too.”

“Why a lesbian?”

“Because they’re cool?” Clay seemed confused by the question in general. “Not like I’m gonna hit on her, wow rude as hell. But just cause I’m a dude at a gay bar doesn’t mean I can’t talk to girls. Right?”

“True…” Desmond sipped down the rest of his Coke. “So I’ll be on the floor, you the bar. If we need one another?”

“Put your phone on vibrate,” Clay said, “that’s really the only thing we can do since the music is so loud,” Desmond nodded. His phone was on vibrate already so it was good. “Meet up at midnight if not before that?”

“Sounds good,” Desmond nodded.

“Try to have some fun loser,” Clay said.

“And you don’t get slapped by lesbians,” Desmond said right back. They laughed and got off their chairs, parting ways.

Desmond made his way onto the dance floor. The music just seemed to get louder, though now he wasn’t trying to tune it out and hear Clay either. The DJ was good and Desmond let the music pound through his system till it felt more like his heart beat than his own.

Desmond honestly wasn’t a dancing sort of guy. He wasn’t a total white boy about it, but he still felt kinda awkward on a dance floor at times. However seeing some other people and how ridiculous they were dancing made Desmond feel better about it. Clay liked to tease him sometimes but really Clay was a white boy and danced like one and would unironically do the running man or sprinkler at parties. But then that was also Clay.

It started off kinda slow, since he was alone and all and sort of nervous about the whole thing. Why had he thought this was a good idea again? He didn’t know. Damnit. Then he just told himself he didn’t care. Cause no one else did. It went a long way in him loosening up and he actually found himself enjoying it. The music was good and even though he was alone he didn’t mind. He was having fun and knew if he texted Clay his friend would come dance with him. Though Desmond didn’t know if he’d be able to stand that sort of embarrassment.

A few songs passes and some guy came up to him. He was pretty cute, dark hair and pale with glasses and super skinny. Wow he was skinny. Desmond could imagine his ribs showing through his skin. Because the music was so loud he couldn’t really asked verbally but sort of made a motion to ‘ask’ if they could dance together. When Desmond didn’t stop him he joined in.

That lasted about two songs before Mr. Skinny-White-Boy decided it was okay to play grab ass. Desmond just shoved him away gave him a look like ‘not fucking cool’ and left the area. Desmond didn’t do getting his ass grabbed by random dudes even if he was looking to get laid just… like six minutes and ass grabbing already? He wasn’t that desperate. Fuck that.

Desmond ended up dancing with quite a few other guys. Some of them left and some Desmond left for grabbing or being creepy or being weird or making him uncomfortable. A few stuck around for a while and at one point he ended up between two guys and that had been pretty fucking amazing. He took a break somewhere in there and got some water. 

He could see Clay on the other side of the bar seeming doing some sort of trick with a napkin and a cup of water for two girls who were obviously there together. He also saw a drink in front of Clay and Desmond laughed to himself.

Desmond hung around the bar for a few songs mostly kept to himself, just to chill for a few minutes and watch the boys on the bar dance. Wow they were really hot. All of them. And really distracting actually.

He left the bar eventually to answer the call of nature and when he came back out the boys on the bar had gotten down. The music was still going though. He couldn’t see Clay from where he was, though checked his phone just to be sure everything was okay. He had a text. He checked it and saw it was from his dad. ‘When are u coming home?’

Oh. Well. Awkward. ‘I might be staying at Clay’s tonight,’ his parents thought he was at a normal high school party and not, well… the Bourbon. If Desmond was staying at Clay’s it meant he could be drunk and wouldn’t drive home. So long as Desmond was responsible they didn’t mind if he drank. That was good enough for them really. Sometimes Desmond did realize he had super cool parents.

That taken care of Desmond put his phone away and found himself back on the dance floor. He had about an hour till midnight when he was going to meet up with Clay and they’d go from there. He’d only just got into the groove when he felt someone come up behind him, only it was more of a feeling since they weren’t touching him. But he could sense their presence behind him and the feint puff of breath on the exposed part of his neck.

It wasn’t until near the end of the second song that the guy even touched him and it was a soft run of fingers down Desmond’s spine. It made him shiver in the heat of the club surrounded by writhing bodies and he tried to look over his shoulder. But the funny thing was, there was no one there. Well that was sort of creepy. When he turned back around they came back. So they were either playing the mysterious card, or hard to get to lure Desmond on.

Desmond could tell you it was working pretty well.

The guy wasn’t touching him again but that didn’t mean he wasn’t there and Desmond could see him out of the corner of his eye. This time it didn’t take as long for a touch, this time a hand pressed up against his flank, over his shirt and the other hand tangled up in Desmond’s fingers, lifting it about their heads as they moved together. Despite the fact that they were barely touching Desmond found himself seriously turned on. Not physically, no awkward boners, but it was just sort of erotic that in a crush of so many people bumping and grinding and thrashing they were hardly touching. 

When the next song came on the guy’s hand on his flank moved over and across to his stomach and just rested there, going no lower or higher. Desmond was more than a little secretly pleased when they also moved closer to him, nearly pressed up against Desmond’s back, though still not totally touching, only briefly brushing as they moved. It was sort of driving Desmond insane but he also didn’t want to see who it was and ruin what was happening. All he knew was that they felt hot.

They danced for a while, Desmond lost track of time actually. He wanted to see how far this guy would go and what he’d do next. He knew midnight was coming and he needed to go meet Clay. But he didn’t want to leave. If he left then the moment would be ruined and whatever this was would be over. He didn’t want it to be over.

A sort of slow song came on. It wasn’t really slow, but it was more for grooving and grinding. Desmond let out a long breath when Mr. Mystery pressed up against his back though didn’t do the bumping and grinding, which was good. Desmond would have hated him to ruin the moment. Instead he just moved the way Desmond moved, and took both hold of both his hands, putting them slightly above their heads so that other than back to front they couldn’t touch. His head sort of rested in the crook of Desmond’s neck, nose brushing against Desmond’s neck and jaw.

Desmond felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He ignored it. No way he was leaving until he found out who the fuck this was and they seemed to be dead set on keeping him in the dark. The song was about to end when his phone vibrated again. Damnit it all.

Desmond stopped, tugging his hands away and dug into his pocket, but entire body language signaling that he was annoyed in doing so. He was sort of pleased when Mr. Mystery stayed up against him, wrapping both arms around his middle. He had big arms, warm and muscular. He had three texts, one from his dad, two from Clay.

‘k, see u tomorrow’ was from his dad. Why did parents not type properly?

‘It’s midnight, where you at?’

‘Did you get kidnapped by that creepy bear who was lurking me earlier? Where are you?’ were the two texts from Clay. Behind him he heard a chuckle from Mr. Mystery reading over his shoulder.

Desmond texted back quickly, ‘with a guy. Don’t be a cock block’. 

A shiver shot up his spine when Mr. Mystery suddenly nuzzled him up behind his ear. Then in a voice that even over the music nearly made Desmond hard said, “You should come home with me.” Good christ someone shouldn’t be allowed to sound that hot. Ever.

“Ah—“ he said awkwardly. His phone buzzed in his hand. Mr. Mystery nuzzled against his neck again while he checked it, very gently nipping at his neck. ‘Get it! Get it!’ was Clay’s reply and Desmond actually face palmed.

“Hmmm?” Mr. Mystery asked, “How about it, Miles?”

Like a record put on hold everything came to a screeching halt. Desmond nearly dropped his phone and pulled out of their grip, turning around. There, as though he had every right to be there, was Altair. He was wearing a, tight, sleeveless shirt (like Desmond needed to be reminded how big his fucking arms were) and a pair of jeans that were just tight enough and a shit eating smirk. Desmond’s mouth worked a moment and then: “What the hell are you doing here?”

Altair stepped right back up into Desmond’s personal space. “Me? You’re the one with the fake I.D.,” he said and holy shit this was the guy Desmond had been dancing with nearly the past hour. Fuck his life. Right? How the hell was this even happening? Stuff like this didn’t happen. This stuff happened in movies or TV shows or books. This didn’t happen in real life. “What,” Altair asked when Desmond said nothing, just trying to remember how to make words, “cat got your tongue?”

Oh this fucking smooth asshole! “You asshole,” Desmond said.

“Is that a no?”

“I can’t even begin to deal with you right now,” and Desmond took a step back. He was just having trouble processing what was going on. Altair- Altair his crush Altair- was standing right there, in a gay bar, and had just been dancing with him. Unknowingly of course. But still, dancing with him. This was both the best and most mortifying thing ever. And now he wanted… fuck it was like Ezio’s party all over again; ‘How’d you like to come home with me?’

Altair grabbed his wrist, “Hey, wait a sec.”

“Let go,” Desmond said.

Altair let him go, and before he could say anything Desmond vanished into the crowd. Good god he didn’t want to deal with this right now. He’d come to the Bourbon to try and get over the fact that he wanted Altair to have sex with him. And now he’d just spent the past hour wanting the guy he’d been dancing with too have sex with him. Of course this was his life. 

Once he was free of the dance floor he texted Clay as he made his way to the bar. ‘Think it’s time to go.’

‘Why?’

He was about to answer when someone suddenly grabbed his arm and turned him, disorientating him. “What the hell is your deal?” he heard Altair demand over the music.

“My deal?” Desmond snapped right back.

“Yeah your deal. What something wrong with my face or something?” because Desmond had been really into him up until he saw who it was.

“No. Leave me alone,” and he walked away. He didn’t know why he was doing this. But he just couldn’t deal with Altair now. He’d spent the entire week with him after school (except Tuesday and Thursday) in tutoring him and it was both the most frustrating time of his life and rather insightful. Just… he couldn’t deal with Altair right now. Not when he was sort of a dick at school or volleyball and then… and then whatever the fuck that had been on the dace floor.

He went to a table and texted Clay to find him at it. He got a confirmation a moment later. He just wanted to leave now honestly. He’d totally ruined his own evening. He’d been having fun and then had not only been asked by Altair to go home with him, but he’d turned him down. Twice! There was something clearly wrong with him. He put his head in his hands miserably.

Clay sat down in the chair next to him but didn’t say anything. Clearly he needed a minute to get himself together. After a moment he sighed and dragged his hands away, mouth open to tell Clay he thought it was time to go. Only. It wasn’t Clay. “Are you stalking me?” he demanded of Altair who was the one sitting at the table.

“Don’t think so highly of yourself,” Altair rolled his eyes.

“Then why are you still following me!?”

“You never answered me,” Altair said, leaning over to him, partially to be heard over the music.

Desmond swallowed from having his personal space invaded by Altair. Then he made himself say something and it wasn’t what he intended to come out, “Since when are you even interested in guys?” Oh I dunno maybe the time you gave each other mutual head, or when he drunkenly asked if you wanted to do it after he got kicked off the football team, or all the fucking subtle, infuriating, flirting he did during tutoring where you weren’t sure if he was really flirting or not.

Altair gave him a shrewd look. “Have you ever seen me date a girl?” he asked. “And that’s not the point. It was a yes or no question,” he added quickly, giving Desmond a look.

“Ah— I…” yes his brain supplied. Yes I’d love to go home with you and let you do obscene things to me, preferably multiple times. Why wouldn’t he just say yes? He wanted to. God did he want to. To have a chance with Altair when neither of them were drunk. This was like one of his jerk off fantasies. So why wasn’t he saying yes?! Altair just kept looking at him, way too close and wow he was attractive. 

Say yes you idiot. Say. Yes. “N-“ he slapped his hand over his mouth at that. Altair rose a brow at him. No. You weren’t saying no. Why was this so fucking difficult? Maybe it was admitting he wanted some jock who infuriated him and hit him in the face with volleyballs and used him as an excuse to not go home and continue to wuss out about the fact that he’d been kicked off the football team. Or that the only times he seemed interested in Desmond was when he was drunk and ignored Desmond the rest of the time (except right now of course). Or that Desmond could never have the things he wanted even when they were literally right in front of him. This was his life. Of course this was his life.

Once he was satisfied he wouldn’t say no he removed his hand. Altair looked at him like he was a weirdo. Oh wonderful. Just what he needed. The next word out of his mouth was going to be the answer and it was going to be the right one. “Okay,” he said and wow he sounded like the biggest weenie ever.

“Okay you’ll go home with me?” Altair asked to clarify.

“Yeah,” and now that he said it hoped he didn’t sound too excited or— oh good christ Altair just kissed him. Sweet merciful god tonight was wonderful. He almost threw both his arms up in victory. But he refrained. It was just a short one but he was going to be getting more. Well at least Altair knew how to treat his one-night-stands. Even if he did kick them out in the morning but hey, that was understandable. “I uh… need to tell Clay I’m leaving,” he said sort of breathlessly.

“You bring your bike?” Desmond shook his head. He and Clay had come here together. “I’ll be outside then,” and left, his hand gently trailing along Desmond’s arm and the top of his hand for a moment. It was just a brief, innocent, touch but it was just as hot as when they were dancing.

Once Altair was gone Desmond felt like he could breathe properly and he slapped his hand back over his mouth. He stayed like that until Clay found him a few minutes later. “Hey,” Clay said said and then gave him a look. “You okay?”

“I’m leaving,” Desmond said.

“What? Why?”

Desmond was about to say a lie but then, “Voldemort,” he said.

“Volde-“ then Clay caught up, “Altair?” he asked. Desmond nodded. Clay latched onto his arm. “You fucking tell me what happened first,” he demanded.

“I was dancing and then this guy came up behind me but I didn’t know who it was. We just… danced.”

“Yeah and?”

“That was it and then I got your texts and…”

AND?” Clay pushed.

“I’m getting laid,” Desmond said and then laughed.

“Right on. Right on. So you’re leaving?”

“Yeah. He’s uh… outside, waiting.” Oh god this was actually happening.

“Then go,” and Clay practically shoved him off the stool. “Good christ I’ve been waiting like three damn weeks for you to get with. Why are you even still here?”

“Waiting for you?”

“Yeah well you could have just texted me. Have fun, don’t forget to use protection and-

“Clay. Shut up,” Desmond said.

“Shoo,” Clay waved him off. “I’m going back to the bar. Some lovely lesbians are missing my company.”

“Don’t forget you have a girlfriend,” Desmond reminded him.

“Pfft, I wouldn’t even try and do either of them. One is this butch lady who could probably snap me in half if I touched her or her girlfriend,” and he slid off his chair. “Also I get three questions tomorrow.”

Desmond groaned, “Fine. Later,” and he left Clay and headed for the door. As he walked he felt a bubble of excitement climb up his throat and then he was outside in the not so crowded sidewalk. Most of the tourists were back on their ship and the locals were either home or in bars. He spotted Altair a moment later and walked up to him. “Hey,” Altair turned and in the light of the street lamps Desmond could see the slight sheen of sweat on his skin and Desmond’s brain decided it wanted to lick it off. He refrained, thank god.

“Ready to go?” Altair asked.

“You driving?”

“Yeah, my car’s just around the corner,” and Desmond followed Altair when he walked away.

Chapter Text

0 hours

Desmond was still trying to catch up with the fact that Altair's hand was down his pants, his mouth attached to his neck. The ride to Stock Island bad been quiet, but not uncomfortably so, and nearly as soon as Altair had parked in the driveway had put Desmond in this situation. He wasn't complaining though. Wow was be not complaining. Not with Altair's hand down his pants he wasn't complaining.

Then suddenly it was gone and Desmond sighed softly. Altair was already getting out of the car though. "Coming?" he asked before closing the door. Desmond quickly undid his seatbelt and climbed out of the car, following Altair. Altair was unlocking the front door and went inside. The air outside had been warm and inside the air conditioner was on.

Last time he'd been here he'd been too drunk or too freaked out to appreciate the place. Altair's house wasn't a mansion. Not completely. But it was pretty fucking huge and well decorated with art. But not the nick nacky art. Like nice art. Paintings and small sculptures. It was a nice house. Nicer than Ezio's but also a lot emptier feeling. There was no feeling that a big family lived there like at the Auditore house. More just Altair and his parents.

He didn't get to continue to enjoy the architecture because Altair was dragging him along. Desmond smiled to himself as Altair flipped off the lights in the foyer and basically blind pulled him through the house. Altair's bedroom was as he remembered of. A pale, inoffensive, yellow color, with a big bed with pipe lights around the headboard. There were other pieces of furniture too. Two dressers, a desk with a computer, a closet and a door that led to the bathroom. It was also as big as Desmond's fucking living room! He only had a moment to appreciate the space before Altair was shoving him against the wall firmly and kissing him.

Desmond groaned softly against Altair's mouth. Good god he'd wanted to do this for three weeks. Sometimes it was a struggle during tutoring to not just plant one on the 'dumb jock' too. Especially when they did their studying in Spanish and Altair talked mostly in Spanish and Desmond found that pretty much the hottest thing in the entire world.

“H-horizontal,” Desmond practically gasped out between kisses because Altair had a thigh between his legs and something needed to be handled there that wasn’t being dealt with now.

“Yeah,” Altair said, his voice breathless and excited. Desmond shoved him away and they sort of stumbled back onto Altair’s bed in a tangle of limbs and grasping hands. Altair pushed Desmond onto the bed and Desmond let him but tugged him down for more kisses because Altair wasn’t the only pushy guy in bed tonight. Desmond had an agenda and that included kissing Altair and touching Altair and definitely head and if sex didn’t happen he was going to be so damn pissed. Three weeks since that shitty version of a one-night stand, he was getting proper sex out of Altair if it killed him.

Desmond reached down and grabbed Altair’s dick through his pants and Altair groaned into his neck. Then Altair was picking at Desmond’s clothes, nearly tearing them off him and running his hands al up and down and along Desmond’s skin. “O-oh,” Desmond breathed, breath a little short now from Altair doing that.

“S’good?” Altair asked, his hands on Desmond’s hips, still fully clothed.

“Really,” Desmond said. “Why are you still dressed?” he asked.

Altair looked down at himself, “I am…” he agreed slowly. Then he sort of laughed, “Would you believe me if I said I hadn’t noticed? I was just interested in getting you out of yours.”

“…oh,” what did Desmond even think of that? That no he didn’t really believe him because it wasn’t like the usual with the guys he had sex with. In his previous few (so few) relationships Desmond always bottomed if it came to that and gay guys were still guys and thus could be assholes in bed. More than one didn’t really know how to do much but get off themselves. Desmond always enjoyed it yeah, but he normally didn’t get off till he was doing aftercare in the bathroom with his own hands. Someone thinking of him as something other than an afterthought hadn’t occurred to Desmond, especially with a guy like Altair who was Mr. Macho-Man-Look-How-Straight-I-Am-I-Play-Football-and-Drink-Beer-Bwaaa. 

While Desmond had been in his own head Altair had mostly undressed and that made Demond distracted. God damn Altair was hot. Just so epically hot it made Desmond almost uncomfortable. Altair had a bit of a six pack and had muscular arms and shoulders and fucking pecs and those crazy muscles along your ribs Desmond didn’t know the name of. Desmond was… kinda tall and thin and while he wasn’t fat he wasn’t really buff either and his stomach was flat and soft and damn did seeing Mr. Adonis over there make him feel inferior as all hell.

“You okay?” Altair asked him, kneeling between Desmond’s legs in just his briefs.

“Yeah,” Desmond said, “You’re just painfully hot,” and Altair laughed. He’d never made Altair laugh before.

“Enjoy it while you can,” and Altair pressed his mouth to Desmond’s firmly. He grabbed Desmond’s hands and pressed them pointedly on his body for him to investigate. Oh this was so amazing Desmond might actually die from how great it was. 

Desmond slid his hands down and under the thin layer of fabric of Altair’s underwear and grabbed his ass. Damnit he even had a great ass too. Well Desmond knew that. It was one of the main draws for Desmond to go to football games; football player asses in those tight, tight, pants. But right now he could really appreciate what a fantastic ass it really was. Altair rocked his hips forward, the friction of cloth on skin was amazing and maddening, especially with Altair’s tongue in his mouth doing some rather wonderful things. How he forgot what an absolutely evil mouth Altair had Desmond wasn’t sure; but he had. It was nice to be reminded that Altair could do things with it that made him melt.

Altair kissed his mouth and lips and then down his jaw and throat and then down further and Desmond got goosebumps realizing what was going to happen. He didn’t push or prod though he did almost kick Altair in the ribs when he traced his tongue around the cusp of Desmond’s belly button. He never knew he was ticklish till just then.

“Ticklish Miles?” Altair asked him, looking at him from Desmond’s stomach.

“Not like you giggle-boy,” Desmond teased and gently ran his fingers behind Altair’s ear. Just like he bet would happen Altair’s shoulder shot up to ‘protect’ the ticklish spot and he lost a battle with keeping a smile off his lips.

“You’re awful,” Altair said.

“You’re the one who picked me up,” Desmond rose his brows at him.

“I might regret that,” Altair rose his brows at him right back.

“You don’t get to regret it until after,” Desmond said smartly.

“I don’t?”

“Nope.”

“And why would that be?”

Desmond leaned forward, making Altair sit up and then pushing him back a bit onto the bed. “Because first we’re going to have fun,” Desmond said with a smirk, voice low, and gently nipped at Altair’s lips before his head dropped. Altair gasped in surprise and delight when Desmond tugged his briefs down and ran his tongue up Altair’s cock now in his hand.

“Oh god,” Altair moaned, hips moving forward a bit. Desmond licked Altair’s cock again before sucking on the tip. Altair’s hand found itself in his hair and pushed his fingers through it and put a bit of pressure on the back of Desmond’s head. Clearly wanting to do deeper. Altair yelped when Desmond bit. Not hard, more like just making Altair aware that he did have teeth in his mouth. “Holy shit watch it!” Altair cried.

“Then don’t push me down,” Desmond growled. “Unless you want me to vomit all over you.”

“You wouldn’t,” Altair gave him a look.

“Wanna test my shitty gag reflex?” Desmond challenged. “And I don’t like being pushed down.”

Altair shrugged, “Sorry.” He ran an experimental hand through Desmond’s hair again as Desmond looked away from him and Desmond liked that. He didn’t really like giving head all that much but there were ways to keep him down here a while. Only one guy he’d ever been with had figured how to do it though and that’s why Desmond knew it could happen.

Altair didn’t figure it out though and soon the fact that Desmond’s jaw ached a bit grew too annoying and he got off, moving to kissing along the warm part of Altair’s stomach.  Altair continued to run his hands through Desmond’s hair and along  his shoulders and down his back. Desmond kissed and licked and sucked his way up Altair’s chest, leaving behind gentle red marks in the shape of his mouth on Altair’s skin. Then he was kissing Altair again and Altair pushed him back onto the bed and Altair gave him a very similar treatment.

Desmond moaned shamelessly when Altair wrapped his mouth around Desmond’s cock. It was a universal fact that all guys enjoyed head and if they said otherwise they were lying sacks of shit. Sometimes head was even better than sex and right now that was Desmond. He didn’t even know where Altair learned to do this since it was absolutely news to him that Altair even swung on this side of the Kinsey scale. But his drunken mind had insisted Altair gave really good head and his sober mind was busily agreeing. Because yes, Altair gave amazing head and it should be illegal to do some of things Altair was doing with his mouth. Desmond honestly didn’t know he could make some of the noises Altair was managing to get out of him, gasps and low moans that made him want to melt into the mattress. Damn Altair and his perfect fucking mouth.

Desmond was an absolute mess when Altair finally took his mouth away and by the absolute shit eating smirk on Altair’s face he knew Altair knew exactly what he was doing. Asshole. He kissed Desmond’s stomach and his chest before finding his mouth and Desmond wrapped his arms around Altair’s shoulders when he licked and sucked his way into Desmond’s mouth. Altair just had a wicked mouth all over and Desmond felt absolutely helpless before it.

Then Altair pulled away and Desmond blinked at him slowly. He just felt kinda slow all over quite honestly. His consolation prize was that at least Altair was flushed and his lips properly swollen. “You have a preference?” he asked.

“Hot and male,” Desmond said.

Altair snorted, “That is obvious,” he said, “I meant top or bottom?”

“Oh,” Desmond said stupidly. He wasn’t firing on all cylinders. He was having sex damnit, you weren’t supposed to have higher level brain functions.

“Or,” Altair nipped at his lips, “Should I just assume?” he asked into his ear and fuck Altair could turn on the sex phone worker voice like no one’s business when he wanted to. Desmond wondered if he could do it on command and if so would he please just send Desmond voicemail messages of him reading grocery lists talking like that. Or something. As said, higher level brain functions not supposed to happen when having sex.

“Bottom,” Desmond said, cause he didn’t want something dumb to happen like Altair assume he was a top. He could be, if he wanted to, and he really did want to see what sort of noises Altair made when Desmond had him pinned to a bed. But not tonight. If this was another one time deal Desmond wanted to get what he wanted and he’d been wanting this for three damn weeks. He wanted Altair to make him speechless and begging, because Desmond was not above begging to get how he liked it. He also had it on good authority that tops generally liked begging, it was an ego thing.

“Okay, and you go all the way?”

“Would we even be having this conversation if I didn’t? Desmond asked right back.

“Some guys don’t do it, I’m just checking,” Altair said shrugging and pushed himself up and then got off Desmond. Desmond watched him walk over to a dresser, unashamedly staring at Altair’s ass. It was a really fucking nice ass too. He’d gotten off to that ass several times since Ezio’s party and he wasn’t even sorry about it one bit. As Altair grabbed what he needed Desmond reached down and took his cock in hand and ran his thumb along the head. He sighed a deep sigh cause he was really hard and it felt really good and he knew he probably wouldn’t come till this was over. Damn his body sometimes.

Altair turned around, lube and condom in one hand as he closed the drawer and just stood there a few moments, watching. Desmond bit his lip and slowed so he could think in proper, full, sentences. “Going to stand there all night?” he asked.

Altair smirked, “You’re having some fun without me.”

Desmond took his hand away from his prick, “Then come do it for me,” and Desmond crooked a finger at Altair. Altair’s smirk turned almost evil and then he was crawling up the bed and between Desmond’s legs, kissing him. Altair’s hand went around Desmond’s cock and Desmond moaned.

Altair jerked fast and Desmond gasped, his voice seeming to go up an octave each breath and his toes curled. He was seriously about to come right there. Then it stopped and the groan of frustration Desmond gave was almost comical. Altair had brought him to the edge of orgasm and that was it, what an asshole. At least this was deliberate, with a promise (if that dirty kiss he’d given Desmond after the fact had been any indication) to follow up later, and not like some guys who would take Desmond to the edge and just… that was it. That usually left him finishing with his hand in the bathroom afterwards by himself while he dealt with after care.

For a moment Desmond’s face pinched when Altair pressed a slick finger against his ass. He hmmed in satisfaction when he got himself in order and it slid right on. Altair was sort of at Desmond’s side, mouth attached to Desmond’s neck, hand down between his spread legs. Altair was working up a serious hickey on Desmond’s neck. He was not going to be into it like he was now in the morning. He’d worry about that in the morning. Instead he was honestly more worried about Altair’s fingers as he worked a second into him and then a third making Desmond gasp laboriously.

Altair worked slowly, clearly in no real rush to open Desmond up. Desmond just let himself melt into the bed and tried to not think about the fact that he could feel Altair’s erection against his leg otherwise he’d get anxious. Not in a bad way, more in a ‘fuck me now’ sort of way. He was enjoying being well taken care of though and having his needs thought of and not like he was secondary just because he would let some guy stick their dick in him. So he was letting Altair decide when he thought they should move on.

He didn’t have to wait much longer as Altair pulled his hand out and Desmond took a slow, blissed, breath. Altair pushed himself up onto his knees. “Roll over,” he said and Desmond did enjoy how rough Altair’s voice sounded. Desmond did so, flipping onto his belly as Altair ripped open the condom. Desmond looked over his shoulder as he felt the bed dip as Altair moved around and straddle his thighs. A hand was placed on Desmond’s back rather gently and he gave a sort of breathy gasp when Altair pressed the tip of his cock against Desmond’s skin. Altair chuckled.

“What’re you laughing at?” Desmond shot over his shoulder.

“You,” Altair said and leaned over him, holding himself up on one arm and kissed Desmond. Altair swallowed Desmond’s obscene moan as Altair pushed himself in, his hand helping guide him in.

Desmond turned his head to breathe, “Fuck,” he moaned softly when Altair rolled his hips experimentally. Desmond felt his back bow a bit from the pressure and his eyes roll a bit into the back of his head. Good God that felt amazing. Then Altair was pretty much laying on top of Desmond, one arm around the front of Desmond’s chest, head on his shoulder. 

He could hear and feel Altair’s breath in his ear as he moved against Desmond’s back going slow at first before speeding up. Altair pushed himself up a bit, hand pressing into Desmond’s upper back to move quicker, push deeper and Desmond’s heart could barely keep up with the smacking of skin on skin. He was pretty sure it was about to give out if his voice didn’t do so first, each connection drawing a desperate cry from Desmond’s mouth.

Desmond’s fingers sort of hurt from clutching the pillow he was nearly face planted on and just he groaned when Altair slowed down. Fuck he had not had it this good in a while. Altair panted behind him, one hand holding onto Desmond’s hip, but wasn’t moving. Desmond licked his lip and looked over his shoulder.

“Something wrong?” he might as well have croaked.

“No,” Altair said and leaned down and over him seeking Desmond’s lips. “Nothing,” he breathed against Desmond’s mouth before sucking on Desmond’s lower lip. As he did so Desmond sort of squeaked when Altair made a point to push in to the hilt. Altair kissed him properly, firmly and took what was left of Desmond’s breath.

When Desmond could finally get some air Altair was sitting back up and a soft moan of surprise left him when Altair pulled out. The hell? He was about to bitch about it since, clearly Altair was still hard and hadn’t come, when he felt Altair pushing him over to roll onto his back. Oh. Okay. He was okay with that. He was even more okay with seeing Altair kneeling between his legs, his legs over Altair’s thighs. Altair wasn’t looking at him, but down, hand around his cock and Desmond sighed a loud sigh when he was back in.

He had to admit, Desmond liked it better this way. Well he liked it any way, but he liked being able to see Altair. He was really hot, it was almost shameful to not be able to see him in the dim light of just the bed side lamp and the pipe lights around the headboard of Altair’s bed. Altair had one hand the bed spread, the other under Desmond’s knee, pushing it upwards, towards Desmond’s chest.

It didn’t take long for Desmond to be out of breath again, his hands grabbing at the bed spread, head tipped back and digging into the pillow exposing the line of his throat. Altair was half leaned over him, holding his leg just so, panting, and Desmond had a perfect view of him. He reached down and grabbed his mostly limp cock which sent a tingle down his spine and his toes curl blissfully as he touched it, knowing it wouldn’t get hard but enjoying how it felt anyway.

Desmond was so not secretly pleased when Altair cursed  obscenely, English seeming to fail in what he wanted to say and Desmond was half sure it came out in Spanglish, or Arblish, he wasn’t quite sure. Mainly because he was too busy dealing with Altair thrusting firmly into him, letting his leg go to get pointed motions that made Desmond need to hold onto something. That something turned into the bed spread and one of Altair’s arms. Then it was like Altair melted and sagged a bit against him, Desmond’s lower back and ass in the air from how Altair had pushed him.

“Fuck,” Altair said in a short, vicious, tone, nearly too soft to hear, and eased himself out of Desmond who swallowed as he did so.

“You can say that again,” Desmond said.

Altair gave him a look, “Fuuuck,” he said and Desmond laughed as he tugged off the condom and tied it off to be thrown away. He sat back with a huff and leaned over as far as he could without falling to toss the used condom in the little trash can by his desk. Desmond looked down his body at Altair, still sitting between his legs, as Altair caught his breath. “Not half bad,” Altair said.

“I could say that same,” Desmond said.

“I’m not half anything,” Altair said with a smirk and leaned forward. He kissed Desmond briefly on the lips then down to the hickeys on his neck making Desmond twitch, they were currently more sensitive then his ass. Desmond gasped in surprise as Altair went down and wrapped his mouth around his soft cock, which wanted a lot of attention. “Oh,” he sort of squeaked. 

Desmond had only had a few other partners, and only one, other than Altair, actually made a point for Desmond to get off after they were done. Most of them had been when he was younger and boys were stupid as fuck and didn’t actually know how their own anatomy worked. Most thought cause Desmond went from hard to soft while getting fucked, that he’d come. Not the case. Desmond was just one of those guys who couldn’t maintain while there was a large, usually wonderful feeling cock, up his ass. Sometimes it was shocking how many people didn’t realize that was rather common. So Desmond usually had to finish by himself after cleaning up.

Not the case here. And god Altair’s mouth felt ever better this time around and he was even sucking on Desmond’s balls. Desmond groaned and wriggled furiously because he wasn’t used to this was stimulation all at once. He pressed one hand through Altair’s hair and pulled gently, the pads of his fingers scraping against Altair’s scalp. Altair made an encouraging noise and he tugged a bit harder, more encouraging noises. Desmond didn’t pull any harder though, he was too busy floating.

“I’m gonna,” Desmond groaned a few minutes later. Altair removed his mouth and finished it with just his hand, which was plenty. Desmond wasn’t really a shooter and instead just made a mess all over his cock, groin and Altair’s hand, gasping as he came. “Mother of god,” he breathed and then Altair was kissing him again. He barely had time to realize Altair was doing so though before he was gone again and getting off the bed.

Desmond’s head spun as he watched Altair go to the door of his bathroom and go inside. He heard the sound of running water, Altair washing his hands no doubt. Altair came back out a moment later and Desmond was going to get really used to seeing Altair between his legs and he plopped right back down there like he belonged there. “Oh,” he said in surprise when something wet and cool was pressed against his entrance. Well. That was new. Never had a guy clean him up before. Altair dabbed and then wiped off Desmond’s crotch and then folded the wash cloth over and put it back down between his legs. The cool towel felt good against his hot skin. “Thanks,” he said, actually meaning it.

“Think I ruined you enough tonight,” and Desmond actually snorted. “What?” he asked.

“You’re good. But I know what wrecked feels like,” he couldn’t help that it was sort of challenging. He did though. Guy who could keep Desmond down to give head? Ass wrecker. Desmond hadn’t been able to sit down comfortably the next day after that time. Altair was good and this had been sooooo good, but, not ruin worthy.

Altair just gave him a look. “High standards much.”

“If it makes you feel better you’re second on the list,”  Desmond said helplessly with a grin. Altair pouted at him. Desmond needed a moment to properly appreciate that sentence. Altair pouted at him. He didn’t even know Altair could pout. And wow it was cute. “Awww,” Desmond sat up, “don’t make that face, it’ll stay like that,” and he kissed Altair, arms around his shoulders.

Altair pushed him back onto his back and somehow they ended up under the covers. Under the sheets it was still kinda cool and Altair was a warm spot. Altair switched off the bed side lamp. “I’m surprised,” Desmond said.

“Hmm?” Altair asked, turning from the lamp to him.

“I kinda… expected you to kick me out honestly.”

Altair studied him for a moment before saying, “I could kick you out if you wanted.”

“No,” Desmond said quickly. “It’s almost two. I enjoy not being kicked out to find a cab at two in the morning.”

“I usually don’t kick people out till the next morning,” Altair said.

“Fair enough,” Desmond nodded.

“Now shut up and go to bed,” Altair said and to make a point closed his eyes. Desmond stayed awake for a few more minutes, watching Altair. He noticed when Altair fell asleep but not when he did.

Chapter Text

7 hours

Desmond woke to someone poking him. He blinked awake sleepily and saw Altair looking at him. "Mm?" he asked dumbly.

"Let go," Altair said. Desmond was then aware of what he was doing. He was cuddling Altair's arm, rather tightly. He made a noise that must have been an apology because he let go and Altair got up.

"Need to get up, huh?" Desmond groaned and pressed his hand to his eyes.

"Want a shower?" Altair asked, sounding way more awake than Desmond was.

"… I get one this time?" he asked, lifting his head off the pillow a bit to look at Altair.

"Gramps isn't here," Altair shrugged.

"Yeah," Desmond thumped back onto Altair's bed.

"You can use it after me."

"Can I just take it with you?" his dumb, sleep addled, mind asked and his mouth didn't have a proper filter to his brain yet.
Altair blinked at Desmond and then shrugged again, "If you want," and then he walked towards the bathroom, clearly not intending to wait for Desmond.
Desmond stared at the yellow ceiling wondering what the hell had just gotten into him before pushing himself up on his elbows as the water started in the bathroom. He made a face to himself. He… really wouldn't mind. Altair said he didn't care. After a moment of deliberating he got out of bed and headed for the bathroom.

He'd never been in here and it was small, but efficient. The hot water made the air a bit muggy as he closed the door. With only a slight hesitation he went to the shower and pulled back the curtain a bit, Altair was facing the spray, head down, letting the hot water splash over him. Desmond slid into the shower and put his hand gently on Altair's back to not startle him. Altair only twitched and then took the shower head out and handed it to Desmond. Bless hose heads.

The hot water felt really good, rinsing off the sweat and sex from last night. He was surprised when Altair suddenly touched his hair and realized he was… washing it. Oh this was freaking awesome. So not normal one-night-stand procedure but who the fuck cared? Desmond lowered the shower head and let Altair wash his hair before returning the favor. Altair had slightly shorter hair than Desmond, but he still managed to style it into a mohawk before Altair grabbed the shower head and washed the suds out. Desmond just grinned unashamedly at him.

They washed themselves separately and Altair got out first to let Desmond finish up. Desmond turned on some cooler water to give his back side a bit of not so rough attention and once he was done he stepped out of the shower, dried off and sat on the john. He sat there for a while, making faces to himself, waiting to see if something was going to move. He sat there a few minutes before getting up, putting a towel around his waist and checking himself in the mirror.

"ALTAIR!" he yelled at seeing his reflection. There was a huge hickey on his neck and chest. It started on the left side of his neck, up under his ear, covered the entire side of his neck, across some of his throat, down his collar bone and even on part of his chest. Good god what had happened to him! It looked like he'd been in some sort of weird fight, his neck discolored and tender.

The door opened enough for Altair to stick his head through, he was dressed, "Yeah?" he asked.

"Care to explain what the fuck you did to my neck?" Desmond demanded, pointing accusingly at the hickey.

"Never had a hickey?"

"This isn't a hickey this is a fucking bruise. How does someone even do this much skin damage?"

Altair shrugged, "You were liking it." Desmond groaned and ran his hand through his hair, glancing at himself in the mirror again. It was even worse when he looked a second time. "Want me to wash your clothes?" Altair asked out of no where.

"… What?"

"Want me to throw your clothes in the wash?" Altair asked again, raising his brows at him.

"Uh…"

"Or you can wear your dirty club clothes, makes no difference to me," Altair shrugged.

"Then what the hell will I wear?" Altair glanced down at the towel around his waist. "No," Desmond said warningly.

"I can give you something. Yes? No?"

Desmond thought about it. He was clean and didn't want to wear dirty clothes honestly. But if he said yes he'd be here another hour and a half at least waiting for his clothes to wash and dry. He looked at Altair who was just waiting for an answer but didn't seem concerned with the answer. "Yeah, sure, thanks," Desmond said.

"I'll lay something out for you to wear," and then Altair retreated, closing the door. Desmond looked back at the mirror and whined miserably. Just great. He had a giant hickey on his neck to clearly broadcast that he'd had a wild fucking weekend to the entire school. He was sort of sure that was the point. Good god how was he going to explain this to his father? He said he'd been at Clay's all night and he magically had a huge hickey on his neck. This was not going to end well. Well not like it'd be bad. His dad wouldn't flip out or anything, he'd just get a talking to about lying and probably safe sex or something. None of the things he wanted!

He sighed and gently rubbed his neck. It was awful and huge and for fuck's sake! There wasn't anything he could do about it other than wear a scarf or something. It wasn't cold enough for that yet though. It never really was. He couldn't wait for winter break when he'd be going up to South Dakota and would be wearing scarves and high necked shirts. Winter break was still two weeks away though.

Wasn't much he could do about now though. He left the bathroom. The bed had been made, with no sign that he and Altair had occupied it, and there were sweat pants and a shirt laid out on it. Altair was nowhere to be seen. Desmond undid his towel and pulled on the shirt and pants. They smelled like Altair's laundry detergent, clean and mild. He couldn't help but think this was the second time he was wearing Altair's clothes after sleeping with him. He both did and didn't hope this was a theme. At least this time it was on purpose and he hadn't, in a hungover, slightly terrified, daze, had grabbed the first shirt off the floor and thrown it on. The shirt too big on him, having been stretched out by Altair's wide shoulders, but the pants fit at least.

He left Altair's room. He was on the first floor, but there were stairs to a second and maybe even third floor. He'd never had the chance to appreciate Altair's house from the outside. The walls were pale coral and tastefully decorated, though it was like someone had paid to hang the things on the wall. He didn't bother trying to look in the other rooms, he just went down the hall to see if he could find Altair. As he got closer to the kitchen he saw that some of the pictures were personal. A young boy with his parents, smiling at the camera cheerfully. There were only a few, but they were all of, who he guessed was Altair with his mom and dad. He looked happy. Desmond wondered where they were, as he recalled Altair mentioning a 'gramps' but that was it.

The hall ended and he entered the kitchen. It was a huge, modern, thing with an island, and a bar that separated it from the dining room. The fridge door was open. "How long'll my clothes take?" Desmond asked the open fridge door.

Altair peered around it, having to lean back in order to see Desmond, "I put it on a short cycle, only like twenty minutes."

"Cool," Desmond tried really hard not to be awkward even though he was. He was standing in Altair's kitchen in Altair's clothes after they'd met at a club and had some really good sex. He didn't know how he wasn't supposed to be awkward about this.

He was about to say something to break the weird, brief, silence was but Altair beat him to it. "I'm making breakfast. Want some?"

Desmond blinked. Was this guy ever going to stop surprising him? He didn't know if his heart could handle it. "You cook?" he asked, surprised.

"Yes. Now do you want any or am I just cooking for me?" Altair rolled his eyes a bit.

"Uh, sure," Desmond said.

"Any allergies?"

"No," Desmond shook his head, "I kinda eat whatever's put in front of me."

Altair smirked, "Good to know. Go sit," he pointed at the bar where there were some stools. Desmond wandered over to it and sat as Altair continued to rummage through the fridge. Then he turned from it with a carton of eggs, one of those big, soft, Jimmy Dean, sausages, cream cheese, chives, green onions and a half gallon of milk all balanced in his arms as an unsteady tower. He set them all on the granite counter top next to the range, which was in the counter perpendicular to the bar. Altair opened some cupboards and pulled out salt and pepper, something that looked dastardly and red, a bowl, a small knife from the block in the corner of the counter and a whisk. It all went next to the food.

"So," Desmond said as Altair used the knife to cut open the Jimmy Dean, "didn't kick me out right away. Reason being?" he honestly was curious. Last time he'd literally been told to get the fuck out without so much as a 'good morning'. Now he was getting breakfast.

"My grandpa isn't home," Altair said, taking a frying pan off the hanger on the wall and putting it over some heat. "I don't bring guys home when he's home."

"What about your parents?"

"They wouldn't care."

Altair's tone was off, "Can I ask why?" he tested.

Altair looked at him, eyes hard, "No, you can't."

"Okay," well that was the end of that! No need to piss off the host after all. Altair made a few patties from the sausage with the red powder before tossing them into the frying pan where they started to sizzle immediately. "Thanks for making me breakfast," Desmond said. "My mom doesn't even make my breakfast," he joked.

"I always make breakfast," Altair shrugged.

"Even on school days?" Altair nodded, "I didn't know you cooked."

"Wanna make something of it?" Altair asked as he cracked an egg, one handed, into the bowl he'd gotten, not even looking at it, but at Desmond.

"Nope," Desmond said with a half there smile. Girls liked when guys cooked for them, Desmond knew that. Fuck that guys liked other guys cooked for them. Quickest way to a man's heart was through their stomach and Desmond was a living embodiment of such a stereotype. Cook him food or feed him and he'd do whatever you wanted, he wasn't too picky, he liked his grub! He almost said what he was thinking too, that it was hot, that Altair cooked. Though Altair breathed and it was hot so it wasn't like he had to find something attractive about Altair beyond his infuriatingly handsome face. "I think it's cool, I can't cook for shit. Unless cereal counts," and he made Altair chuckle as he finished cracking the rest of the eggs into the bowl.

"Maybe if you were six," Altair teased.

"Might as well be, my parents say so anyway," and Altair seemed amused by that. Good to know he could amuse Altair who even during tutoring was sarcastic at best, and a maddening flirt at worst. Desmond wasn't even sure if Altair was flirting with him during those times either. It was kinda like how Altair breathing was hot, anything that came out of his mouth sounded flirty. Hadn't Desmond thought last night that Altair could turn on the dark and sexy like no one's business? Cause he could. He shifted thinking about it. Yeah, don't think Altair's sex voice, bad idea. Such a bad idea. On a scale of one to bad idea that was a terrible idea.

Thinking about not thinking about it made Desmond think about it and he pressed his head to the counter embarrassed. At least he wasn't hard. That would be totally mortifying. He was just... getting flustered. Damn Altair.

"You okay?" Altair asked.

"Yeah," he sighed. There was a lot of sizzling going on and the sound of a pan flashing. Desmond looked up from his arms as Altair poured the eggs, now scrambled, into another frying pan. "Just thinking of a good excuse to tell my dad," because it was a much safer topic to think about then Altair's sex voice that was so rough and dark yet like velvet in his ears and what did he say about not thinking about it?!

"Your dad an asshole?" and Desmond knew what he meant.

"Not really," he admitted. "I just said I was at a friend's house, not at a club and I don't know how I'm going to explain this fucking thing," he motioned to the huge hickey on his neck. Altair grinned in fiendish delight. "Asshole," he added. Altair just hummed superiorly.

"You were liking it," Altair said smugly.

"Yeah well I don't always make the best decisions during sex," Desmond grumbled.

"Here," and suddenly a plate was put in front of him along with a fork, knife, and napkin. It was half of an omelet of a size he couldn't eat alone, and some sausage patties.

"Thanks," Desmond sat up and cut into the patties. He took a bite and wasn't expecting the heat. "Woah," he blinked in surprise a few times. Altair chuckled and put a cup of water in front of him. Desmond got out a thanks before taking a deep sip. It honestly wasn't that spicy, but the shock of it had made it seem more spicy than it was. Altair put his own plate down across from him just as an alarm went off a distance away. The laundry. Altair left and Desmond ate. When Altair came back he just leaned against the counter, not bothering to take a chair.

"S'good?" Altair asked him.

"Yeah," Desmond nodded, working on the omelet, which had the cream cheese and chives in it and a welcome respite from the hot meat. "Where'd you learn to cook?" he asked once he'd swallowed.

"My giddo, grandfather, owns restaurants all over the state. He taught me," Altair shrugged.

"That's cool. He own any here?" Altair bobbed his head, his mouth full of omelet. "He go to school for it?"

"Served as a cook in Vietnam and went to culinary school after," Altair half shrugged. Shrugged like it was no big deal.

"Wow. Seriously? That's so cool," Desmond wasn't even lying, that was awesome.

"I guess," Altair shrugged, "he's well known in the south. Some Food Channel shows have included them in show cases," he picked at his eggs, looking down, seeming disinterested in the topic. "He cooks really well, though now he mainly manages them now, too old to get behind the stone and flip pans. Did you even taste what I made?" Altair rose his brows at Desmond. Desmond had finished his food, pretty much inhaling it once he'd gotten over the hot sausage patties.

"I don't mess around with good food," was Desmond's only explanation. He leaned forward, "You going to go into the family biz?" he asked.

"Maybe," Altair shrugged, pushed his eggs around a bit before taking a bite. "I haven't decided," he looked at Desmond from under his brows. "You?"

"Me what?"

"What are you going to do."

"Go to MU and figure it out from there," he said proudly.

"Yeah? How you gonna get there? MU is one of the best schools in the state."

"I got the scores to get in. If MU doesn't work then UF or UCF," he shrugged.

"But you're into MU?"
"Hell yeah! And it's an excuse to come home every weekend, eat all my parent's food and do free laundry," Altair laughed down at his plate, Desmond grinned broadly. "Also it's too cold anywhere north of Okeechobee, I hate the cold."

"Same," Altair nodded and pushed more eggs into his mouth. Altair ate slow. Desmond kinda wanted to ask where Altair was going, but didn't. Wasn't really his business. Altair was just finishing his eggs when the dryer alarm went off.

"That was quick," Desmond said, surprised.

"I didn't put it on too long, it isn't like it was a lot to dry," and Altair beckoned him off the stool, no doubt so Desmond could change. "I'll get your clothes," Altair said and Desmond went into Altair's room. Altair went down to another door and opened it, going inside.

Desmond sat on Altair's bed and only then realized he didn't know where his wallet, phone, or keys were. Shit. He hopped back up an it took only a few moments of searching to locate his phone, plugged in, on one of the dressers, his wallet and keys next to it. He checked his phone, it was locked. He entered the swipe password and checked if he had messages. Just from Clay.

'You awake yet?' 'Need me to come get you?' 'Actually you're damn right I'm gonna come get you. You owe me three questions! You can do laundry and shower at my house.' 'Text me when you want me to come get you,' all in about the span of two minutes, literally as fast as Clay could type. He sent a quick text saying he could come and pick Desmond up. Somehow he knew Clay knew where Altair lived and didn't question it. It was just easier if he didn't.

The door opened, Altair came in, Desmond's clothes folded in his arms and set them on the bed. "Need me to call a cab?" Altair asked him.

"Nah, Clay's coming to get me, thanks," Altair nodded and gave Desmond some privacy. Yeah, right, privacy. Second time Altair had seen Desmond naked. No such thing as privacy now. Desmond took off Altair's clothes, looked around briefly before spotting a laundry basket and tossing them in before grabbing his own clothes and tugging them on. He was now glad he hadn't worn his Batman briefs last night and instead just the blue ones. Only problem was that his shirt barely covered his hickey and this was going to be a problem he just knew it. God damnit Altair.

He checked his phone once he pulled on his shirt, he had another message from Clay 'on my way!' Desmond chuckled and shook his head helplessly, he did indeed know how to pick friends it seemed. Desmond went and quickly checked outside the door, Altair wasn't around. He closed the door and stayed in the room. He had problems. He really, really, had problems. First the incident with the iPhone and now he was snooping around Altair's room. He just wanted to see what the other guy had in his room of interest. There was a TV but no game station, the computer was rather old and didn't look often used but he saw a space that clearly belonged to a laptop. He didn't have posters on his walls but instead wall scrolls of plants and Arabic calligraphy. There was one picture on the wall though, a family portrait. It was Altair, maybe three years old, sitting on his mother's knee, his father next to him and clearly his grandfather behind. His dad looked like him, but older. Desmond couldn't help but think damn Altair would grow up to be fine. Like he wasn't already hot as sin as it was.

There honestly wasn't much to snoop. Clearly Altair didn't spend a lot of time here, or if he did it was on his laptop, which wasn't here. So that was the end of that.

He left the bedroom after he located his shoes and jammed his feet into them. Altair was in the kitchen, finishing the clean up of breakfast. He looked when Desmond showed himself, "Thanks for washing my clothes," Desmond said.

Altair shrugged and looked back at his dishes, "Least I could do."

"My friend is coming to get me," he added and then his phone rang. He looked; text. 'Just turned off US1'.

"That him?"

"Yeah."

"Okay," and that was it. Less then five minutes later Clay called him for real and told him he was outside, at the end of the drive way, one he wouldn't go up since only serial killers or playboys had driveways like that. Altair at least walked him to the door. "Bye," Altair said, "I'll see you at school."

"Uhg, don't remind me," Desmond groaned, not even sarcastic. Don't remind him he had to sit in chemistry with this guy or tutor him and pretend he hadn't had Altair's dick in his mouth last night. He'd rather not have to deal with Altair ever again. But, life didn't work like that. At the very least he could make this as painless for himself as possible and just walked out, headed for Clay's car, and didn't look back.

Chapter Text

Clay waited a full five minutes, till they’d turned onto US1, before staring at him while they waited for the light. Desmond wasn’t saying anything, he was looking ahead and pretending Clay didn’t look like he was about to vibrate out of car. The light turned green. “So-

“Don’t be an asshole,” Desmond started off.

“Have fun?” and Clay had the worst shit eating grin on his face.

Desmond slouched in the car seat, folding his arms over his chest, pouting, “Yes,” he grumbled.

“That’s nice,” Clay said and kept stealing glances at him as they left Stock Island, heading into Key West. “So… I get three questions?”

“Three,” Desmond said shortly.

“Okay,” and Clay was quiet, clearly thinking very hard on these. “Better, or worse, than Alex?”

Desmond flushed a little, “Depends on what you mean by better or worse,” he said, Alex was his ex who’d moved away in sophomore year, well more like he went off to school since he was a senior and Desmond a freshman.

“You know what I mean,” Clay nudged Desmond with a grin.

“Ahhh…” Desmond thought about that, “Better,” he decided, “he isn’t a jerk like Alex was.”

“Fair enough,” Clay grinned broadly, he knew all about Desmond’s grief he had with his ex who while a nice guy was so far in the closet he was in Narnia with Dean Winchester, and that was even while he was fucking Desmond. He was also a bit of an asshole to him, all the time really, when he wasn’t being nice at least. “Okay, next question. Was he drunk like last time and all the other times he hit on you?”

“No,” Desmond said and was still surprised by that.

“This doesn’t count as a question; so no whiskey dick?”

“No,” and he shoved Clay a bit as they turned onto Flagler.

“Last one. You going to see him again?”

Desmond leaned against the car door, “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I mean I have class and tutoring him with him but…” he bit his lower lip.

“Do you want to?”

“I don’t know,” Clay turned onto a side street.

“Really?” Clay gave him a look.

“Well I mean… I guess,” he rubbed his neck, careful of the giant hickey. “Altair doesn’t strike me as a guy who dates. He seemed to be used to his one-night stands. I mean, have you ever seen him date? Once, since we’ve been going to school.”

“No,” Clay admitted as they pulled up to Clay’s house. “But multiple one-night stands?”

“I don’t wanna be someone’s booty call,” Desmond rolled his eyes and got out of the car.

“Hey man that shit goes both ways,” Clay said. “Or friends with benefits?”

“We aren’t friends though,” Desmond said as he followed Clay upstairs.

“Fuck buddies then?”

Clay,” he warned.

“What? It was an honest question is all. Also how the hell are you gonna explain that hickey to your old man?”

Desmond groaned, “I don’t know. I don’t wanna think about it.”

“Fair enough. Want some breakfast?”

“No thanks, Altair fed me,” Clay came to a stop in the hallway.

“He fed you?” Clay asked.

“Yeah,” Desmond said.

“Shower then? Wash your clothes?” and Clay was giving him a really weird look.

“Uh… no,” Desmond said, “I showered at his place and he offered to wash my stuff.”

“Desmond that isn’t normal one-night stand behavior.”

“Will you shut up already?” Desmond grumbled and walked past him into Clay’s room. “It was a one time deal.”

“All I’m saying is that maybe he likes you.”

“Altair doesn’t like me,” Desmond said and sat on the bed.

“You’re sure?”

“Trust me,” Desmond said, “he doesn’t like me.”

Desmond went home later that day. The hickey had gone down some by then but there was no denying that it was there either. Clay had suggested cover up, but with how purple it was there was no way he could do that. He hadn’t called ahead so didn’t know if his parents were home. He eased himself into the house and then froze. William was in the kitchen, making himself lunch. He looked up when Desmond came in.

“Have fun with Clay last night?” his dad asked.

“Ahhh. Yeah,” Desmond forced a smile and ease into his voice. “We had a lot of fun. I’m super tired still though, we were up real late so I’m just gonna take a nap,” and he tried to scuttle to his room without being noticed.

“Desmond,” William said and Desmond stopped and looked towards his dad in the kitchen. William had a no nonsense look on his face and shit he wasn’t fooled at all. “You going to tell me what you really did last night?” he asked.

“I was with Clay,” Desmond said.

“All night?”

“All night,” Desmond lied.

“Then where’d you get that hickey?”

“Uhm… We kinda both got drunk and made out?” honestly it wasn’t that far fetched. William knew Desmond and Clay had dated for about three months as freshmen.

William gave him a look, “No you didn’t drink since I know Harold keeps his liquors locked up with the express purpose of you and his son from drinking it. Now. Tell me what you really did last night.”

“It wasn’t illegal,” was the first thing Desmond said.

“I don’t care. Tell me, what you did,” William said firmly, “Or you’re grounded indefinitely instead of however long for whatever you did or didn’t do.”

Desmond sighed and slouched, dejected, scuffed his shoe on the floor. Tell dad about going to a club and get grounded for a bit but probably have to suffer the Talk from his grown, straight, father about gay sex, or don’t tell dad about going to the club and get grounded until the end of time? It was honestly a hard decision to make. Neither option was exactly great. Finally he decided to just do it. “Me and Clay went out to the Bourbon last night,” he said and sucked on his bottom lip.

“You what?” William asked sharply.

“We went to the Bourbon,” Desmond pushed his hands into his pockets, slouching further, looking every inch of the dejected seventeen year old he was.

“You went to a club?”

“Technically it’s just a bar-

“The most well known gay bar in the city,” William specified.

“Well,” Desmond looked up at William, “I would only go to a gay bar dad. I am gay,” and that was no revelation. William knew Desmond was gay since middle school and he’d decided he didn’t want to kiss the girl he’d taken to the dance, not then, or ever.

“You’re not eighteen Desmond-

“I didn’t drink if that’s what you’re worried about,” Desmond said, “Me and Clay just had sodas.”

“You still went to the Bourbon and didn’t tell me or your mother. And how did you get that hickey on your neck?” he continued.

Desmond sighed deeply and rocked back on his feet, “I might… not have slept at Clay’s place last night,” he said awkwardly. William’s silence meant to keep talking, “and went home with someone else-

“Desmond-

“I knew them!” Desmond cried before William could go full over protective dick head on him. “They go to my school. So don’t go thinking I went home with some weird older guy-

“Desmond,” William sighed. He rubbed his face and some muttering, all he caught was ‘just like his brother’. Great, he was being compared to his older brother, again. While not a fuck up Duncan was pretty damn close and an endless headache for their dad. Then William took a deep breath, presumably to not burst a blood vessel, “You said you knew this boy?”

“Yeah,” Desmond nodded, “he’s in my chemistry class,” and that at least seemed to reassure William some that his son honestly hadn’t gone home with some guy in his thirties.

“I don’t… want specifics, but just tell me you two were safe,” and Desmond turned bright red.

“Of course we were, I’m not an idiot, dad,” he said hotly, embarrassed and mortified he was actually going to have this talk with his father.

“Okay,” William sighed and rubbed his face. “Just so long as you’re safe you know me and your mother don’t really care that you’re… sexually active,” and man this was as awkward for his dad as it was for Desmond. Maybe more so but Desmond was about a thousand percent sure William wasn’t more mortified and horrified than he was right now.

“I am,” Desmond said, trying to be normal but really was trying to make his blush go down.

“Good. Now. You’re grounded-

“What? But dad-

“No but dad,” William said sternly. “You lied to me and your mother and went to the Bourbon instead of Clay’s-

“Clay was with me-

“AND,” William gave Desmond a stern look, “went into a club with a fake ID so lets have it,” he held out his hand. Desmond hesitated, “You can be grounded for three weeks if you don’t hand it over, or one week if you do,” William said. Grumbling Desmond reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet and handed it to his dad. “Grounded,” William said once he had the ID, “one week. No  activities after school, no club, no friends, no video games, no TV, no computer, no Clay,” he said Clay very specifically. “You go to school and you come home and you go to work and you come home. Understand?” he asked very seriously.

“Yesss,” Desmond groaned.

“Good. Now go to your room, we’ll get you when dinner’s ready,” and Desmond sulked his way into his room, closing the door behind him and throwing himself onto his bed. He grabbed a pillow and yelled into it. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was saying that just because it hadn’t been a hurricane a wind storm was good. He sulked there since he couldn’t do anything else and waited for dinner. He didn’t even answer Clay’s texts. It was going to be a miserable week.

Chapter Text

Desmond literally jumped when someone rapped their knuckles on his desk. Caterina looked over with Desmond and Desmond did his best not to pull off his best impression of a tomato. Next to him Caterina sighed, clearly disgusted in Altair for some reason (might have had something to do with Ezio getting back with his on again off again girlfriend Rosa) and looked away. The bell hadn’t rung yet for chemistry. “Uh…” Desmond swallowed awkwardly. He hadn’t talked to or really even looked at Altair in a few days. All he could think when he looked at him was what he felt like touching him, kissing him, fucking him. It made his overactive imagination run wild. He’d canceled tutoring saying he had work when he didn’t, since he didn’t want to be alone with Altair.

"We on for after school?" Altair asked him, standing in front of his desk, hands holding him up on it. Desmond’s eyes flicked down to his hands. Head out of the gutter Desmond. They went back up to Altair’s face. "Or you going to cancel again?"

"I can stay," Desmond blurted out. He hadn’t meant to say that. He had a week and a half before winter break and he was going to South Dakota. He just wanted to stay as far from Altair as possible. Clearly that wasn’t possible.

"Great. I might be running a little late though," he pulled out his phone. "Give me your number so I can text you when I’m on my way," and Desmond rattled off his number without even thinking. As soon as the last number was out of his mouth did he realize what he’d just done and wished he could snatch the numbers out of the air and Altair’s phone and pretend he’d never said them. "I shouldn’t be long," and then the bell rang. Altair turned away from him and went and sat on his seat. Desmond stared after him, mortified.

"You okay, Des?" Caterina asked.

"I just…" Desmond whined miserably. Why had he done that?

"Since when were you and Altair so buddy buddy anyway?" Caterina asked him. "I hang around him and that pig Ezio and not even I have his number."

"I… don’t-" but then the teacher got up and started taking roll. "I have no idea," he hissed at Caterina softly.

"Lucky," she chuckled a little, "I know quite a few people who’d give anything to be in Altair’s contacts-

"Ms. Sforza, unless you have something to share, please stop talking," the teacher.

"Sorry," she said and ducked her head, she gave Desmond a look with raised brows. Desmond just sank into his chair, staring at the back of Altair’s head. He shouldn’t be upset though. His crush had his phone number. That was supposed to be a good thing! Why did he feel so shitty then?

When school ended Desmond went to the library. He was allowed to have his phone at school in case something happened but as soon as he got home he had to surrender it to his dad. At least his dad couldn’t read his messages. He waited with his flash cards and the chem book and sighed. he looked at his phone, waiting for a text and dreading it at the same time. After a moment he brought up the conversation he had going with Clay. The thread was a few thousand messages long.

'i did something stupid'

'yeah? What?' Clay asked back and Desmond bet he was already home.

'Voldemort has my phone number'

'Grats!'

'CLAY!'

'wat? Don't be a limp dick this means you can text him and flirt. Man y i gotta be the one to tell you this?'

'but…'

Desmond was interrupted from texting Clay by three texts in rapid succession.

'they canceled' 'be there in a sec' 'this is altair btw'

'He just texted me,' Desmond told Clay and went back and looked at the conversation he was now having with Altair. Did he reply? Did he save the contact? He settled for saying 'k' because he was a wimp.

'wat he say?'

'just that he'd be here soon.'

'Excellent. Try and get a smooch ;)'

'CLAY!'

'lololololols'

'I hate you'

'<33'

'</3'

'ToT'

Desmond put his phone screen down when Altair pulled the chair out opposite him and sat. “Sorry about that. I was going to take longer but asshole canceled on me,” though Altair seemed weird for some reason, his words a bit jilted.

"Its fine," Desmond said and couldn’t look at him. "So, start with vocab? We’ll work on the homework after."

"Sounds good," Altair said. "How’s your spanish skills?" Altair grinned cheekily at him.

"About as good as your chem skills," Desmond scowled at him and Altair laughed. "I don’t know how you’re good at everything but chem," Desmond huffed.

"And English," Altair reminded him.

Desmond blew a raspberry, “Whatever. Fucking genius screw off,” and Desmond got the vocab. “What is this?” Desmond asked showing him the word. Altair told him. They went through all the vocab with Altair only missing a few.

"Can we meet over break?" Altair asked him when they finished and Desmond nearly gave himself whiplash he looked at Altair so fast. "I’ll forget all this shit over break and I’m not good at studying on my own."

Desmond’s mouth moved a bit without making a noise. “I’m going away for the break so. Sorry,” he said.

"Damn. Where you going?"

"South Dakota."

Altair blinked, “Why the hell are you going to that square state?”

"One; it isn’t square," Altair rolled his eyes at that, "Two; I’m from South Dakota. My family is there. My grandparents, brothers-

"You have brothers?" Altair interrupted and leaned forward and Desmond swore he actually looked interested.

"Uh… yeah. Two of them," he said awkwardly.

"I didn’t know that. They go to Key West?"

"No," Desmond shook his head. "Dylan’s like thirty and Duncan graduated before we moved."

"Wait… your brothers’ names are Dylan and Duncan… and you’re Desmond."

"Yeah?" Desmond said slowly.

"Did your parents name you all D names on purpose or…?"

Desmond scowled at him. “They’re family names since you’re so nosey about it. And what about Altair huh? Your parents named you after a constellation.”

"Yeah, cause I’m gonna be a star," and he gave Desmond the cheesiest grin ever. Why did he like this guy again?

"Oh please," Desmond rolled his eyes. "So, homework," and he opened the textbook. Altair groaned. "Oh c’mon it isn’t the bad."

"Chemistry is so useless," Altair huffed and thumped back in his chair. "Why do I have to learn it?"

"Considering you use it all the time I’m surprised you think that," Desmond said.

"Excuse me?"

"You told me you cook a lot," Desmond said and he wasn’t awkward till after he said it. He’d been good about not thinking about being at Altair’s house or Altair cooking him breakfast which of course led to less chaste thoughts. He pushed on, "Cooking is nothing but chemistry."

"Yeah but not like this," Altair tapped the open book. "This is all boring shit and has to be super exact. Cooking isn’t exact, and its fun!"

Desmond scowled at him, “You’re just trying to find an excuse to prolong doing homework,” he put the book in front of Altair, “Read,” he ordered. Altair groaned.

"And you?" Altair asked, giving him a look.

"I read it already when we started the chapter," Desmond said. He tried to get all the reading he had to out of the way when they started a new section so he didn’t have to draw out the torture. Also so he could reread it easier. Altair scowled at him but started to read the part they had to. Desmond knew it’d take him awhile. He checked his phone.

'where r u?' was a message from his dad.

'tutoring, I told you.' Then he went to the conversation with Clay, 'well nothing bad has happened yet'

'You save his number yet stalker?'

'I'M NOT A STALKER! And no'

'Why not?'

'Am I allowed to?'

'he saved yours I don't see why not' 'You should save it as Voldemort lols'

'oh shut up'

'ur the one who's too much of a pussy to save your crush's number on your phone just cause he fucked you before you had the balls to ask him out'

Desmond didn’t respond, he just ignored it honestly. He did bring up Altair’s texts though and clicked save on the number. He contemplated a moment before just typing ‘Altair’ into the name. “I’m done,” Altair said and looked annoyed.

"Finished already? that was quick," Desmond said.

"It was a short passage," Altair shrugged.

"Okay. So now the actual problems," and Desmond grinned, Altair just groaned. Desmond laughed softly at him so he wasn’t yelled at by the librarian.

Chapter Text

Everyone was crowded into Lucy’s little living room. Desmond was so sick of his house and his room he’d rather never see it again. Lucy’s mom worked at the Lower Keys Medical Center as a nurse and usually worked nights. Her step dad was out of town on some business trip. So the house was empty and that meant it was a perfect day for a party.

Which of course wasn’t what most people thought of when they thought of a party. They’d ordered pizza from Big John’s in the Key Plaza and Back to the Future was on in the background as they ate some of the best pizza on the island and Shaun set up the white board for D&D. It wasn’t club day, since it was Monday but no one but Shaun really had any obligations to be anywhere other than school tomorrow. Meaning they could stay out without worry since the last week of school was literally meaningless since midterms were after winter break. Except Shaun who had a long drive back home when they were finished.

"So how you going to kill us tonight Shaun?" Clay asked as he picked mushrooms off Lucy’s pizza for his since she didn’t do mushrooms.

"Oh I have some ideas," Shaun grinned rather diabolically and Desmond sighed.

"Why did I ever think it was a good idea for you to learn to DM?" he asked Shaun.

"Cause you wanted to play and no one else wanted to learn all the complicated rules," Shaun said matter of factly and put Becca’s crust in his mouth while he drew out the map on the whiteboard.

"Right," Desmond sighed. "I’m looking forward to being poisoned to death."

"I wouldn’t do that, Naga has antidote potions," Shaun said, carefully drawing out some squares on the board. "Also you have the ability to cure yourself."

"I do?" Desmond looked at his character sheet. Gerard was a newish character after Shaun had killed the last one. He wasn’t so up to date on what paladins could or couldn’t do.

"Yes," Shaun said.

Desmond reviewed his sheet. “Wow, I do, imagine that,” Desmond said. “The perks at starting at level ten for once,” he grinned.

"Cause I’m tired of you dying from kobolds," Shaun huffed.

"We shouldn’t be able to die from kobolds!" Clay cried.

"And yet you managed to fall off a tower during your first fight with them and were knocked out long enough for them to stab you. You deserved that," Shaun said, not looking at any of them and consulted his notebook full of horrifically diabolical things. They’d died so many times because of that notebook. Desmond was a much nicer DM and gave out sweet loot and rather easy enemies. He wanted them to have fun and fight shit. Shaun liked them to skill check and kill them.

"At least it isn’t Magic," Becca chimed in.

"How could that be worse?" Clay asked.

"You kidding? You’re all super competitive and want the best everything. Magic would be your worst nightmare come true."

There was a pause, “You seem to know a bit about the subject,” Desmond said.

"Yeah how do you know anything even about Magic?" Lucy asked.

"Uh…" now everyone was looking at Rebecca. "I… might have a deck," she said awkwardly.

"You have a Magic deck? Since when?"

"Fig got me into it!" she cried defensivly. "It’s really fun," she hunched over a bit.

"Becca. We’re all here playing D&D you honestly think we give a crap you play Magic?" Desmond asked.

"D&D and Magic are totally different levels of geek," Rebecca said. "Both equally frustrating-

"Well no Magic now. Board’s ready," Shaun put the white board on the ground between them and Lucy got off Clay’s lap to sit between him and Rebecca. "Ready?"

"This is a new campaign right?" Lucy asked around some pizza.

"Yes."

"Okay. That’s it, go ahead," she was looking at her character sheet.

"Okay," Shaun clapped his hands together, "this is the town of Magrid, you’ve all been summoned here by the mayor because children have started to disappear during the night-

Gerard entered the town, leading his horse along by his lead. Amelia and Naga were riding along on her back since Gerard was a gentleman and let the ladies ride instead of him. Marco was several hundred feet behind, panting after them as he tried to catch up. Gerard had told him not to poke that chest they’d seen along the way, but he had. One day the little halfling would learn.

Magrid wasn’t a big town. It had a town hall, an inn or two, a mill, a smith, a few stores, houses all around, and fields full of golden wheat surrounding it. He picketed his horse in front of the town hall and helped Naga down off his horse. Amelia didn’t need any help. Dwarves weren’t made for horses though.

"Where’s Marco?" Amelia asked as she adjusted her bow and redid her hair.

"Oh, he’s coming," Gerard said and pointed down the road to the rogue who was making his slow way up to them.

"Do we have to wait for him?" Amelia asked.

"I don’t want to," Naga agreed.

"You two don’t have to, I will," Gerard said.

"Too much of a good guy for your own good Gerard," Amelia said and went into the town hall. Gerard waited for Marco to show up and then he picked the halfling up and tucked him under his arm and followed after the girls.

"Gerard put me down!" Marco howled.

"Yeah, later," Gerard didn’t even notice the halfling’s flailing. He brought the both of them before the mayor who was talking with Amelia. Amelia was nodding sharply every now and then and Gerard let her learn why they had to do. Gerard just did what was needed of him and didn’t do most of the thinking. He had his hammer and his sword and he hit things with them or ran them over on his stallion. He let Amelia and, sometimes, Marco, do the thinking. He and Naga were there to go on adventures.

He set Marco down and Marco blustered and shoved him aside and went over to Amelia and the Mayor. The Mayor was frowning and Amelia looked concerned. Gerard and Naga were in peaceful, ignorant, bliss.

"It’s horrible," Amelia said to them. "Something is coming and stealing children. We need to find out what and why," her noble half elfish face looked so twisted when she looked like this.

"Lets go then!" Naga said enthusiastically, ‘Where do we start?"

"The mayor gave us the names of each of the families who lost a child. We should go talk to them," Amelia said.

"Together?" Gerard asked.

"We’ll make better time if we split up," and Amelia gave them each a map of the town, the houses they were to investigate marked with Xs. "We’ll meet back at the center square once we go to each house," Gerard looked at his map, he had three houses mapped. They all had three houses. Twelve children had been taken.

"Okay, I’ll see you guys," and they left the town hall and Gerard went to his first house.

A young, fairly pretty, woman answered the door. “Hello, can I help you?” she asked him.

"I’m Sir Gerard Stewart. I’m here to find the missing children. I’m sorry for you loss. May I come in and ask you some questions?"

"Sure," and she let him in. "So what can I do for you Sir Gerard?"

When Gerard went into the house he felt a chill down his spine. Evil had been to this house. He could feel it. He pretended like everything was normal. “When did your child go missing?”

"A few days ago."

"What time?"

"I don’t know. I went to visit a friend while he played in the house and after I went to the store. When I came back he was gone. The doors and windows were all locked when I got home," her voice was thick like she was about to cry.

"Don’t cry ma’am. Me and my friends are going to find your son. Do you have any enemies?" she shook her head, "Has any other strangeness happened to your family before this?" again a shake of her head. "Okay, that’s all, thank you," and he left. He went to the next house and felt the same feeling of evil in the house. The second mother told much the same story, as did the third, and there was still that lingering evil in the house.

He met back up with the others in the central square. “What did you find out?” Amelia asked them when they were all there and started with Gerard.

"The women said they had no enemies and all the children were taken while they were out of the house. I also sensed a lingering sense of evil in the house, but I couldn’t tell what it was."

"No idea?" Amelia asked.

"Nope," Gerard frowned.

"Well I found out that all the women had husbands who, in the past, weren’t loyal," Marco said, "and one of the husbands is at the very least dead. Any dead husbands for you?"

"All of my women were remarried," Naga said. "They’re husbands died and they remarried, had other children. The ones taken were from their first husbands."

"I found out that there have been strange things happening in the farms outside of town," Amelia said. "Animals slaughtered and all that’s left is there blood and really Desmond turn off your phone it’s gone off three times already-

"Sorry, christ," Desmond said and crawled over to his phone in his backpack on the couch. The others were giving him annoyed looks. "I didn’t think anyone would text me, my parents know I’m here," and other than the people in the room the only people who texted him were his parents,

"Well put it on silent," Lucy huffed.

"I will I will, keep going," he waved at them as he dug the phone out of his backpack. They went back to talking about the woman and the dead husbands and crazy missing children and animals. He checked the text and his eyebrows went up to his hairline. He had three texts from Altair.

'hey' 'you busy right now?' 'I'm bored and you're entertaining'

"You okay Des?" Clay asked and he didn’t realize he’d actually squeaked until Clay had said something.

Desmond stood up and went over to Clay and dragged him to his feet. “Hey!” Shaun called, “Where you going-

"Be right back," Desmond said and he pulled Clay down the hall and into the bathroom.

"I swear they’re worse than you two," Shaun huffed as Des closed the door.

"Hey man, what’s the big emergency," Clay said and Desmond shoved his phone under Clay’s nose. "… Oh," he said, eyes widening. "Well…"

"What the hell does that mean?" Desmond hissed.

"I think that’s what they call a booty call…" Clay said.

Desmond turned bright red, “I’m not a booty call!” Desmond whisper yelled.

"Uh… well… Altair seems to think so," Clay said and leaned back against the door. As they stood there another text came in. "What’s it say?"

Desmond looked at it, “Or is this a bad time?”

"Well you going to answer him?"

"I… What do I even say?" Desmond whined.

"You could say you aren’t a booty call… but…"

"But? What’s the but in there?"

"If you’re his booty call it could work both ways," Clay said slowly. "So you could… you know."

"Oh my god I-" he looked from Clay, to the phone, and then back to Clay.

"He’s into you," Clay said.

"He’s into my body, there is a difference."

"Who cares you get to have sex with your hot crush.  Tell him yes but you’re busy at this second and maybe in a few hours."

"What! Clay I can’t just-

"Oh for the love of god you’re ridiculous," Clay grabbed Desmond’s phone and turned away from  Desmond. Desmond cried out and tried to get it. Clay just shoved him away and typed out the text. "Here you go," he handed the phone back to Desmond. Desmond looked at it to see what trouble Clay had gotten him in.

'Busy right now. Later tonight okay?'

"Clay!" he cried miserably.

"Oh shut up I’m doing you a favor."

"You just made me a booty call!" Desmond whined.

"Eh, you’ll get over it. Now c’mon, I wanna keep playing," and Clay left the bathroom.

Desmond stared after him and whined loudly. Then another text came in. He didn’t want to look at it, but he did. ‘Great, text when you’re on your way.’

Oh he was so fucked.

Chapter Text

Desmond was waiting in the pizza line in the cafeteria the next day. Last night was still fresh in his mind and he really not looking forward to chemistry.

"So have fun last night?" Clay cut in line next to him. He looked at his friend, grabbed him by the shoulders, and shook him.

"Don’t you ever do that again," he said still shaking Clay.

"Hey hey! Hands off the merchandise," he pushed Desmond’s hands off him. "But you have fun?"

"I’m going to murder you in your sleep," Desmond growled darkly.

"That wasn’t an answer," Clay said as they got up to where they could take their styrofoam trays. "Have fun?"

Desmond blushed a little, “Yeah,” he said quietly.

"Then worth it!" Clay cried happily. "I get three?"

"You going to bother me till you do?"

"Yeap!"

Desmond sighed, “Then fine,” and he got himself some cheese pizza. Or what passed as cheese pizza. It was more like soggy cardboard with cheese on it and it wasn’t mac and cheese day sadly. “Once we get outside,” he said and Clay nodded also getting a pizza.

"Fine fine. No need to air your sexy lingerie for everyone to see," and Desmond jabbed him in the ribs for that.

They paid for their lunch and went outside. “Three questions,” Desmond gave Clay an annoyed look.

"Okay. What’d you do?"

Desmond flushed, “I don’t know why you care-

"Because you’re my best bud and I care about everything you do. Also it’s one of the only interesting things going around school right now. Everyone else is boring. You at least resemble something interesting."

"You need other hobbies," Desmond told him.

"Just answer the question before you have to tell the others," Clay said as they made their way over to their friends by the band room.

Desmond groaned and rubbed his face, “We jerked each other off. That was it. I have a curfew. Geeze you’re making this so much more embarrassing than it should be and that’s besides the fact that I was a booty call last night,” Desmond scowled at him.

"You got to touch your crush’s dick why are you complaining?"

"Because I can; that was question two-

"Hey no fair!" Clay cried.

"It is so fair! You’re a damn crazy person so to hell with you," Desmond said as they sat on the concrete bench around the planter.

"Fine. You going to call him again?"

"Who’s Desmond going to call?" Lucy asked.

"Does Desmond have a boyfriend?" Rebecca was right there with Lucy to look interested. Only Shaun looked uninterested that Desmond might have a boyfriend.

"What no-

"Yes," Clay said at the same time.

"I don’t!" Desmond smacked Clay’s leg. "He’s not my boyfriend, for fucks sake stop making this more than it is."

"Who is it?" Lucy asked with a grin.

"It isn’t Clay so he’s madly jealous at the moment, sorry Lucy," Desmond said and she giggled.

"Only cause I’m way out of his league," Clay said around the pizza he was trying to shove into his mouth in one bite.

"Yeah, way below me," Desmond said. "No offense Lucy, but you totally down graded."

She shrugged with a slight smile, “Ah well. He’s good for what he is,” and she leaned over and kissed Clay’s cheek.

"But really who’s the guy Desmond?" Rebecca asked, leaning over Shaun’s lap with her Monster and Cheetos as Shaun tried to eat his packed salad.

"There isn’t a guy," Desmond huffed.

"Then why’d Clay ask if you were going to call him back?"

"Because he’s totally delusional and thinks that just because two people breathe in the same area they should hook up."

"Hey. All my predictions are true," Clay said, sounding offended.

"Rauf and Yusuf," Desmond said as a way to prove his point.

"Okay that hasn’t happened yet. But it will,” Clay said.

Desmond rolled his eyes, “There is no guy. I don’t have a boyfriend and Clay no I won’t be calling my imaginary boyfriend back because if I had one he’d be a total flake.”

"Got our hopes up for nothing," Rebecca complained and retreated back to Shaun’s other side so Shaun could actually finish his lunch without his girlfriend practically lying across his lap.

"So sorry Rebecca. I’m sure you’ll live somehow between your anime and Shaun," Desmond said snippily.

"Heeey, no need to be a dick about it," Becca whined and frowned at him.

"Yeah, mate, chill out you know  she’s harmless," Shaun said giving Desmond a look.

"Sorry," Desmond hunched a little and ate his lunch. "I just want break to come."

"You’re telling me," Shaun said.

"I don’t," Lucy sighed.

"Why not?" Desmond asked.

"I’m going to see my dad for break and I really don’t want to. He has a new girlfriend and my brother told me she is craaazy."

"Yeah but you get to see Nick and your dad so suck it up you’ll be fine," Desmond said.

"I know," she sighed. "I’ll be by myself though. No friends, no boyfriend," she leaned over to kiss Clay on the cheek again.

"You’ll live. I’m going to South Dakota and seeing the entire Miles clan," Desmond groaned. "It’s some sort of reunion I think. It’s going to be absolutely insane since my dad has three brothers and two sisters."

"Wow," Lucy said, "You have a really extended family."

"Yeah," Desmond sighed. "So I envy you just having to deal with your dad and his crazy new girlfriend. I already know my dad and Duncan are gonna go at it."

"Can they even be in the same room without fighting?" Clay asked. Clay had met Duncan. He and William got along like oil and vinigar.

"Hopefully. Dylan’s going to be around and my mom, so they’ll make them play nice."

"That’s good," Lucy said.

"Also I’m going to South Dakota I think I beat you on shitty state I’m from," Desmond added.

Lucy laughed, “Iowa is really bad too though,” she said, smiling.

"You two are so white," Shaun said, "arguing about who’s from the worst land locked state."

Everyone looked at Shaun in annoyance, “Says the ginger from Britain,” Clay said, unamused,

"I’ll have you know that-

"Oh shut up Shaun you don’t even remember Britain stop acting like you’re from there just cause you have your parents’ accent," Clay said. Shaun scowled at all of them but then went back to his salad. "So, volleyball is still on for this week. Who’s coming?"

"I am!" Rebecca said cheerfully and waved from around Shaun.

"And you two?" Clay looked at Lucy and Desmond.

"I’ll try," Lucy said.

"Probably," Desmond said.

"Excellent," Clay grinned. "You wanna come over today?" Clay asked Desmond.

"Sure," and he pulled out his phone to text his parents about it.

"I don’t get to?" Lucy asked.

"My dad doesn’t like when you’re over and he isn’t-

"Like that’s stopped you before," Lucy gave Clay a look knowing he was full of bull shit.

Clay puffed out his cheeks. “Dude things babe, c’mon don’t be a killjoy here,” Clay whined.

"Okay. But I get to come over tomorrow."

"Done and done," Clay promised.

"So no club today?" Rebecca asked.

"We had club yesterday," Desmond said.

"Two club days?" she asked hopefully.

They all looked at Shaun, he looked up at them, “You mean you all want me to try and kill you again? One would think taking on a vampire coven would be enough for you guys for a week.”

"So is that a no?" Rebecca asked and gave him a pitiful look.

Shaun looked somewhat annoyed. “If Desmond wants to. It’s his stuff.”

"Sure. I don’t mind. That cool Clay? We can just talk there."

"Sounds good," Clay nodded.

Chapter Text

The last day of school was a mess. No one really gave a shit about what was going on and even the teachers didn’t didn’t actually really care. Everyone just wanted the day to be over. Desmond was included in that number. When the day was finally over he bid goodbye to his friends. School let out on the twenty-second and he and his parents were taking an early flight out of Key West to Miami and the to Dallas and finally landing in Rapid City tomorrow. So he had to go home, pack and get ready to leave for one of the longest days of travel in his life.

When he got home his mom was baking cookies. “Christmas cookies?” he asked hopefully.

"Of course they are," his mom said, "though not as good as the ones I could be making."

"Too damp?" he asked.

"Too damp," she agreed. "You all packed?"

"I just have to pack my gear," Desmond said, "Clothes are all packed up though."

"Good. Now. I just put the last batch in the oven and I have this bowl-

"I’ll clean it!" Desmond bounced into the kitchen, dropping his backpack and going to grab the bowl from the standing mixer and the baking spatula. Chloe laughed as he sucked the batter off the spatula and groaned. "You make the best cookies mom," Desmond said comepletly and utterly happy to get to eat the leftover batter.

"Well I’m glad you think so. I’m making them to give to some of the girls before we leave since I won’t be here for Christmas."

"And we get to take some with us right?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes we do," she said as Desmond started to scrape the bowl with the spatula. "I figure we can have them on the plane."

"You’re the best," and he leaned over and kissed his mom on the cheek.

"I try," she said. "Now finish that up and finish packing. Your father wants to be out the door by eight."

"You got it," Desmond saluted her and ate the rest of the cookie dough. "Can I have a cookie when they’re done?"

"Yes," she said. He nodded and washed out the bowl for her before retreating into his room, grabbing his backpack before doing so.

He took everything out of his backpack and put his books and notebooks away and got put things he needed in there. He put in a fresh shirt and underwear in there and his DS, his case of games, and a book. The rest was just for his toothbrush, deodorant and a little thing of toothpaste. Desmond traveled light.

Once he was packed he parked himself in front of his PS3 and started to play Uncharted. He played until his mom called him that the cookies were done and once he had two of them and a cup of milk in hand he was back in front of it. He was at once looking forward to and not looking forward to this family reunion. He wanted to see his brothers again, since he hadn’t seen them in a while, and his grandparents. But he had a hoard of cousins and he wasn’t exactly looking forward to seeing all of them. They were from South Dakota and were really conservative. They (of course) didn’t approve of Desmond being gay, or of Duncan being… well being Duncan really.

He tried not to think too hard about it, it’d just make him angry. Instead he just played Uncharted.

When dinner came around he went out to eat with his parents. “You all packed?” William asked.

"Yeap," Desmond nodded.

"Good. After dinner take your bag out to the car so we don’t have to do it in the  morning."

"Okay," he could do that. "What time do I need to wake up?"

"We’re living at eight, so be ready by then," WIlliam said. Desmond nodded. "How was the last day of school?"

"It was a fucking zoo-

"Desmond," Chloe cut in, "language. There are going to be children where we’re going so you need to watch your mouth."

"Sorry mom," Desmond said and pushed his food around his plate.

"Since unlike me my siblings all have grandkids-

"Daaaaad," Desmond groaned and slumped forward. "You have grandkids."

"More than," William said though was smirking.

"Ahg. Well bother Dylan or Duncan about that. Kids are so not in my future," he knew part of it was just William being annoying and having fun at Desmond’s expense. Still it sometimes got so old. "Not in this state at any rate."

"Oh come on Desmond, your father’s just having a go at you," Chloe said.

"I know but," he whined.

"I hate to see what he’d be like if any of you were girls," Chloe tutted.

"You kidding?" Desmond asked in exasperation. "Forget kids he’d glare at every guy who looked at us till they spontaneously combusted!" and William laughed at that. "He’d never get any grandkids if you had all girls. He’d scare all the guys away."

"Probably," William agreed, chuckling.

Chloe gently smacked William’s arm, “Well I would have something to say about that since you aren’t the only one who wants grandkids,” she said.

"Yes dear."

"Can I be excused?" Desmond asked, he’d cleared his plate by now.

"Yes," Chloe said and Desmond picked his plate and himself up from the table and put it in the dishwasher. There were no leftovers since they were finishing up all the food in the fridge as they’d be gone for a month more or less. So he put the pan in the sink to soak before it also went into the washer at the end of the night.

Desmond went into his room and saw his phone winking at him from his bed next to his controller. He sat on the bed and picked up his phone and opened it to look at the message and his brows went up. What the hell was Altair doing texting him at this time of night?

'You busy?' the text said and Desmond turned crimson.

'Why?' he texted back feeling like a complete wuss. Altair had texted him while he was in dinner.

Altair texted back immediately, ‘I’m bored.’

'How is that my problem?'

'Come over and alleviate it?' and Desmond turned red again. Another booty call. He pressed his hand to his cheek and felt it was hot.

'And just what does that entail?'

'You know.'

Yes. Yes Desmond did know. He wanted it. He also didn’t. Because fuck he wanted a boyfriend not a booty call. He didn’t know why he kept texting Altair though. ‘I can’t spend the night.’

'Okay.' 'Coming over or not?'

Desmond chewed his bottom lip. He was enjoying having sex on a semi regular basis. He grabbed the keys and his helmet. “Clay wants me to come over,” Desmond said as he went back out to the living room.

"What?" William asked, he was helping Chloe with the dishes. "Desmond we’re leaving in the morning."

"I know but he needs some moral support about Lucy," Desmond said and looked at his mom.

"Your curfew is midnight," Chloe said and gave William a look when he went to argue.

"I’ll be back by then-

"Oh, and take him these," and Desmond found himself being given a tupperware of christmas cookies. "I know Harold probably isn’t going to bake cookies for his son."

"Thanks," Desmond said awkwardly and went back into his room to grab his mostly empty backpack. He put the tupperware in the backpack. "I’ll be back before midnight, promise," he called as he headed for the front door.

"You better young man, we have an early morning tomorrow," William called.

"Yes dad!" Desmond called back and closed the door. He shouldered his backpack and pulled out his phone. ‘I’ll be there in a few minutes,’ Desmond texted Altair and got on his bike. His kawasaki sputtered and rumbled to life before he headed off base.

Altair opened the door for him when he rang the bell. “Hi,” Desmond said, he was a lot less nervous and awkward about it than last time.

"You got here quick," Altair said and didn’t seem surprised by that in the slightest.

With a slight wince Desmond took off his backpack and took out the tupperware of cookies. “Uh… these are for you,” because he couldn’t just go home with a tupperware of cookies, his mom would ask why Clay hadn’t wanted them since Clay was always into his mom’s home cooked meals. Herald didn’t really cook and Clay ate take out a lot since his mom had died.

Altair took the container with confusion, “You… brought me Christmas cookies? You realize I’m a Muslim right?”

"They’re from my mom," Desmond said awkwardly, "I told her I was going to Clay’s and she told me to take them with me so… cookies."

"Hmm," Altair looked at them, "They don’t look too bad."

"My mom made them; they’re amazing."

"Okay, I’ll eat them later," though Desmond got the feeling that Altair appreciated the gift of cookies more than he was letting on. Desmond didn’t think too much on it.

"I have to be home before midnight," Desmond said and followed Altair into his big, beautiful, kitchen where he put the cookies in the fridge so they wouldn’t get soft in the humid air.

"Okay," Altair said.

"So what’d you have in mind?" Desmond asked and wrung his hands a bit.

Altair turned and looked him up and down and Desmond had never had the experience of being completely disrobed by a pair of eyes until now. He honestly might as well have just been naked at that point from how Altair was looking at him. “I have some ideas.”

Chapter Text

Predictably there was snow on the ground when they landed. And not a little bit of snow either. Snowdrifts three feet deep at the lowest lined all the roads and Desmond just felt cold looking at them. But then he was also pretty cold. He still had all his winter gear from living in cold as hell places and though his coat was a bit run down it was plenty warm. Between his coat, a scarf, a hat with flaps (he didn’t care if he looked like an idiot it was warm), and some flannel lined jeans he was pretty snug. But leaving the airport was pretty much tortuous.

There was no one waiting for them. The Black Hills were pretty close to Rapid City but not that close. So they rented a car and Desmond was so glad his dad cranked up the heat. Then they got on A16, a two lane highway in the middle of nowhere that led to nowhere and reminded Desmond of US1. Only instead of water on either side A16 was lined with hills and forests in all directions. And snow. Don’t forget the snow. Not that he really could of course.

In the back of the car Desmond checked his phone. He had a few missed texts from Clay and one from Rebecca but nothing important. It was nearly ten now, they’d been traveling all day. Desmond was exhausted and he wasn’t the only one. “How far to pop-pop’s?” Desmond asked.

"About an hour," William said, he was driving.

Desmond looked out to the passing scenery which was nothing but dark forests that blended into a black sky full of stars and a sheet of snow that covered everything that wasn’t covered in evergreens. “Wake me when we get there,” and he leaned over to rest his head against the window and fell asleep a few moments later.

The sound of Chloe’s voice woke him up. “Honey, we’re here,” she said and was leaned around the seat to gently shake his knee.

Desmond yawned. “Oh great,” he covered his mouth.

William parked his car alongside a bunch of other cars. His dad was the middle child of five children, so not only did Desmond have a handful of uncle and aunts but a metric fuck ton of cousins. He knew not all the cars belonged to his aunts and uncles, some of them belonged to his cousins or his brothers. They were all staying at nanny and pop-pop’s house.

House was putting it lightly though. The Miles were old money in South Dakota. Pop-pop owned a few thousand acres of land that was used for all sorts of things from farming to livestock to real estate. They ‘house’ was an estate of three houses all on a piece of property called the Black Miles Farm, or the Farm for short. The main house was the largest and the members of the Miles ‘clan’ pop-pop and nanny liked the most were allowed to stay in it when they visited. Otherwise it was the other houses across the property,

His grandparents were pretty loaded and his aunts and uncles were always fighting over who would inherit what. William was the only one who didn’t care. He had his rank in the military and that was taking care of his family. So though Desmond was from wealthy stock he didn’t ever see the benefits of that except around Christmas or his birthday.

"Help me get the bags out," William said and got out of the car. The perfectly warm car was then invaded by a harsh blast of cold air. That woke Desmond more than anything. Desmond shoved himself out of the car to get it over with as William popped the trunk. Desmond grabbed his bag and his mom’s. William took his own and his mom got his backpack for him and her carry on.

"Can we get out of the cold now?" Desmond asked, a cloud of his own breath was hanging out around his head.

William said nothing just headed for the door where a warm yellow light was coming from. The door opened for them and Desmond sighed happily as he stepped into the warmth of his grandparent’s home. The place was old but amazing. It had been built just before the Civil war when Dakota was a territory and not two states. It had been renovated and expanded over the years. It was now entirely self sufficient with a well, solar panels, a big garden and barn on the property Desmond would remember seeing his nanny in when he was little. The only outside ‘help’ they had was a wifi bubble located on all three houses.

"There you guys are! Just in time. Weather said it was going to snow again tonight," Desmond recognized the voice without looking. It was his uncle Mark. Short, squat and fat Mark looked like nanny more than pop-pop and didn’t look a thing like him or William who both looked very much like a Miles.

"Well if it’s one thing this place could use it’d be more snow," William said sarcastically, "Hey brother," and they embraced.

His mom and Mark exchanged pleasantries as well. Then mark looked at him like he was something gross, “Desmond,” he said as his only greeting and didn’t even move to hug him.

"Hey uncle Mark," Desmond said, too tired right now to care that he was a homophobic asshole. Mark was one of the kids pop-pop didn’t like. He didn’t know why Mark was in the big house unless it was too early to go to sleep.

"Where’s ma and pop?" William asked, drawing Mark’s attention away from Desmond. All the better for it. As he did Desmond and Chloe took off their coats and hung them up in the closet and took off their boots.

"In the kitchen," Mark said.

"Excuse me then. You got the bags Desmond? We’re sleeping on the second floor."

"Got ‘em," Desmond said and gave his dad a tired salute.

"C’mon honey let’s go find where we’re sleeping," his mom said and picked up some of the bags. Mark helped too, which was nice of him, but he just chatted up Chloe and pretended Desmond didn’t exist. Thankfully not all his aunts and uncles were like Mark; just most of them. Some of his cousins were better but most of them were dumb white people who’d never left South Dakota. Desmond and his brothers were the ‘weird’ ones, black sheep if there ever were.

"Did I hear someone just got here?" and Desmond turned around because he knew and liked the sound of that voice.

"Dylan!" Desmond cried.

Desmond’s brother looked like their dad thirty years ago with black hair, gray eyes, and more muscle than old man fat. He came from the other side of the hall. “Hey kid,” and he gave Desmond a noogie and kissed their mother on the cheek with a “Momma.” Dylan was the worst momma’s boy you ever saw. “You just get in?”

"After a long day of flying," Chloe said and was relieved when Dylan relieved her of a bag.

"Well pop-pop said you’re sleeping just down the hall, I’ll show you," Dylan said and showed them the way. "Other than the flight how was your day?"

"That was it. That was the entire day," Desmond said blandly. "We almost missed our flight from Denver too so that was fun."

"Yikes. Here we go. Momma you and dad are in here. Des you’re down the hall with Duncan. Whenever the hell he shows up," Dylan shrugged. Dylan was more in touch with Duncan than their parents. William was a bit disapproving and Chloe just tried not to start fires that were hard to put out. She knew they talked more over email.

"Thank you dear. Make sure your father doesn’t stay up too late. I’m going to get ready for bed though," and she and Dylan set the bags inside the room.

"So where am I?" Desmond asked Dylan because as usual Dylan knew exactly what was going on and what to do and how to do it. Dylan was literally the perfect son. Thankfully other than the whole grandkids thing their parents didn’t expected Duncan or Desmond to be like Dylan.

"Down here, c’mon. Thanks Mark, I got it," he took the bag from uncle Mark and then turned away from him without a second glance. "So, how you been kid?" Dylan asked.

"Okay. I graduate this year."

"Yeah? Smarty pants," he ruffled Desmond’s hair.

"Hey!" Desmond forced it flat again. "I can’t help it Florida is a dumb state," he complained.

Dylan chuckled, “No you can’t,” Dylan agreed. “Here,” he added at a room two doors down. Desmond wasn’t kidding when he said his grandparents literally lived in a mansion. The place was massive and while it could fit every member of the Miles family easily only the ones who didn’t piss them off got to stay in it.

"Thanks," Desmond sighed and trudged inside. "I think I’m gonna hit the sack too. Who else is here?"

"Me, Mark, Denise, David, Jessie, Frank, Nathan-

"So like more than half of them," Desmond said cutting his brother off, not needing a full roster.

"Yeah, about. Duncan isn’t here yet though."

"Okay," Desmond yawned. "Now really, I’m going to bed."

Dylan chuckled, “All right kid. Want me to set a wake up call?”

"Sure," though Desmond was barely paying attention and he should have been because Dylan was smirking and a Miles smirking (even perfect, nice guy, Dylan) was never a good thing.

"Okay, see you in the morning, kid," and he ruffled Desmond’s hair again. Desmond just batted at his brother’s hand with a whine and closed the door. He had about enough energy to decide which of the two beds he wanted to sleep in, take off his clothes, pull on some flannel bottoms, and crawl into bed. He was out a few seconds later.

Chapter Text

Desmond was aware of something on his bed with him. He opened one eye tiredly, a bit jet lagged still. and was met by two grinning mocha colored faces. “Oh no,” he groaned into his pillow, turning away from them.

Dylan was a cruel, cruel, man.

"Daddy says it’s time to get up uncle Desmond!" one of them said cheerfully. Desmond should have know. He should have known that Dylan would do this. Nice guy Dylan was he liked playing tricks on people. Harmless ones, but tricks all the same.

"Nooo," Desmond complained.

The girls on his bed giggled and he heard someone from the door talking softly. He felt them get to their feet and started jumping and giggling. Any sleep Desmond was holding onto he lost and became very awake from two little girls jumping on his bed.

"All right all right!" Desmond cried, "I’m awake," and he sat up to prove it. Molly and Hailey giggled and stopped jumping. Then he was being tugged and that was kinda nice. Around the frizzy hair he could see Dylan standing in the doorway. He flipped his brother off since the girls couldn’t see. "You’re awful," he told Dylan.

"Get up lazy bones it’s nearly ten."

"I can’t with this all over me!" Desmond cried and wriggled his way out of the grip of two little girls.

"C’mon girls, let Desmond get dressed. Breakfast is still on by the way, and Duncan’s here."

"I’ll be down in a sec," Desmond said as the twins jumped off his bed and went over to Dylan who shepherded them out. "No more wake up calls!" he called after Dylan. Dylan just waved at him and left.

Desmond huffed and flopped back down on the bed. He grabbed his phone and saw it was nine thirty. He rubbed his eyes and laid there for a few more minutes before rolling out of bed. He pulled on a shirt and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and hair. Once he was presentable he went downstairs.

A good number of relatives were already there. And all the women were in the kitchen chatting like hens and the men were in the dining  room… also chatting like hens. Some kids were rolling around on the floor and there were a few babies being passed around and cooed over.

Desmond decided he wanted to go to the kitchen though. He was thirsty and could smell bacon, eggs, and pancakes and lots of other yummy things. There would be no shortage of delicious food while he was here. Desmond was looking forward to gaining about ten to fifteen pounds while on break because of how his family cooked. His aunts and adult cousins were in the kitchen chatting and he saw one of his little cousins sneaking some bacon off a paper towel. They saw Desmond saw them and froze. Desmond just put his finger to his lips and went to find something to drink.

"Desmond," his mom said, "you’re awake."

"Yeah," Desmond said, still kind of tired. "Dylan sent the twins to wake me up," he sighed.

"Oh really?" she grinned a little.

"Yeah. They woke me up by jumping on my bed," and she laughed a little as he opened the fridge and grabbed the milk. "When’s breakfast?"

"As soon as the pancakes are done," she said. He nodded and poured himself some milk and left the kitchen to get out of the way.

He hadn’t noticed them at first because he’d been tired, but now he did. They were sitting in the living room while two kids were playing on gameboys on the couch. Desmond went over to them. “I like the hair,” he told Duncan whose hair was literally the color of a cherry lollipop. Other than the hair Duncan had a similar face and build as him and Dylan and their dad, only unlike the rest of them could actually pull off facial hair. Which he was doing right now and had a short, trim, beard.

"Hey Des," Duncan said with a grin. Duncan had brought his partner with him and Desmond didn’t quite know what to call them at the moment. "Des, this is Jamie. Jamie, this is my little brother, Desmond," he introduced them. Jaimie had blue raspberry colored undercut, the top blue, the bottom blonde and contacts that made their eyes yellow. Two lip rings and a small gauge of plugs decorated their face and they had a tattoo on their neck of a unicorn.

"Hi," Desmond said without even blinking and shook Jamie’s hand. "What pronoun set do you like?" he asked since Jaimie didn’t look like a chick or a dude. Desmond had once mispronouned one of Duncan’s girlfriends and it had been like the world had ended. He’d been thirteen and they’d totally flipped out on him. Thankfully Duncan had broken up with them because he couldn’t deal with someone that touchy about a mistake from someone who didn’t actually know any better and hadn’t been told one way or another. So Desmond just always asked now when it came to Duncan’s partners.

"Girl," she said.

"Okay," and then Desmond turned to Duncan, "What the hell you do to your hair?" and he grabbed his brother’s hair and gave it a little tug. "Too cool for brown now?"

"Naaah," Duncan said and batted at Desmond’s hand, "Jamie said if we were going to see the family that we should match and brown and blue don’t really go together."

"I’m an art major," she supplied, and looking at her Desmond believed her.

"Does that mean she makes sure you don’t walk around with plaid shorts and plaid shirt?"

Duncan laughed, “No.”

"Damn. No offense Jamie, but you need to step up your game," he grinned.

"I do the best I can. He’s the toughest case I’ve ever had-

"Hey!" but Desmond and Jamie just laughed.

"Everyone," one of Desmond’s aunts called, "Breakfast is about to be served, go sit down," and Desmond took that as his cue to leave and went and sat at the big family table. Molly and Hailey sat on one side of him, grinning at him in a way he didn’t know if he was supposed to be afraid of or not, and on his other side was his cousin Nathan. Nathan was a good guy, not a Miles though since Denise had married a man named Jason Ford. Jason had died from lung cancer from being a chronic cigarette smoker, but Nathan and Denise were still around.

"Hey bud," Nathan said, Nathan was a good guy who lived in California most of the time and was about as liberal as his mother was conservative. Nathan and Denise didn’t get along very much, which was obvious since Denise was sitting down at the other end of the table with Mark. They were both staring at Jamie and Duncan with a look of horror and mild disgust. At least Duncan had a girlfriend this time. The last time a large portion of the family had gotten together he’d been dating a little blonde twink with frosted tips.

"Hey," Desmond grinned at him as the food started to be put down on the table. Several plates of bacon and sausage and pancakes and muffins and hash browns and more.

"Looks like you got some admirers," he grinned and looked over at the twins. Desmond turned and looked at Dylan’s daughters, they giggled and looked away.

"Oh joy," Desmond said, back at Nathan.

"How you doing in school?" he asked as the last few plates of food were brought out. It took a lot of food to feed everyone in the family and a lot of people to cook it all. Thankfully there was no shortage of hands to cook or put the food on the table.

"All right, I graduate this year."

"Yeah? Good for you," Nathan said.

"Alright everyone, you can eat now," nanny announced from one end of the table, pop-pop was at the other. The sound of plates moving and scraping against each other and things moving momentarily drowned out the sound of conversation. For a moment everyone was quiet as they got food on their plate, poured drinks from pitchers or pots and ate a few bites. Then the talking started again. A soft din accompanied with the scrape of forks and knives.

"How’s it feel back where it’s cold?" Nathan asked as they ate.

"I hate and love it," Desmond said, Nathan chuckled.

"Yeah that sounds about right," Nathan said with a grin.

"Uncle Desmond," Desmond turned away from Nathan to the twins who were practically sharing a seat. Asia, their mother, was sitting on their other side and keeping an eye on them.

"Yeah?" he asked.

"Me and Molly woke you up," and clearly Hailey was pleased beyond belief about that.

"You sure did," Desmond said.

"Do we get to wake you up tomorrow too?"

"No," Desmond said.

"Awww, why not?" Molly asked.

"Cause Duncan and his girlfriend are going to be in the room too. And Duncan gets super cranky when he doesn’t get his beauty sleep. And with a face like that he needs it-

"I heard that!" Duncan called from across the table and three seats down.

Desmond leaned over to his nieces, “And he’s got super hearing. Mice walking around wake him up.”

"Really?" the twins looked at him with huge brown eyes. They were six and believed anything.

"Yeap."

"What if Duncan doesn’t get enough sleep?" one of them asked, he thought it was Molly.

"He’s a super cranky bear-

"A bear!" Hailey squeaked.

"Yeap. A bear," Desmond nodded, next to the girls Asia snorted and laughed into a glass of orange juice. The girls didn’t look away from Desmond. "So no coming into the room to wake us up even if your daddy says so okay? Or else."

"Or else bear Duncan will eat us?" Molly asked, sounding worried.

"Yes-

"Desmond. Are you lying to our nieces?" Duncan suddenly asked, leaning towards him and jabbing his fork in Desmond’s general direction. Most of the table ignored them and kept eating and talking. They were one conversation amount a dozen.

"Of course not, bro," Desmond said with a grin.

"Cause Asia was just saying you was."

"Where the fff-" nope, no bad words or he’d get glared at by every woman on the table, "heck did you learn to talk? Jamie, what the hell happened here? Last time I saw my brother he was… well not an upstanding guy but at least could talk okay. I assume that isn’t your fault but-

"Oh go blow it out your ass, Des," Duncan said and Jaimie smacked Duncan’s arm and gave him a look. Duncan rolled his eyes.

Desmond grinned and went back to his breakfast. They ate, they talked and finally breakfast was over. On one side of the of the table William’s oldest brother, David, stood up. Desmond liked David. “Okay guys, few announcements, the ladies made us breakfast, so all you men report for clean up duty. After Duncan said he had the snow mobiles worked on so they’re up for some use if you wanna use ‘em. Jessie and Frank are organizing the meals for the next few days and Christmas and are going to head into town and maybe Rapid City if the roads are good for a supply run. Help would be appreciated. Parents also surrender your kids to Dylan. He’s going to have them out in the barn taking care of the animal chores,” and all the adults seemed happy that the kids were going to be out of the way and doing some chores. “Almost everyone’s here and I got a call today that Tony and Allison aren’t coming since Thomas broke his leg.” It took Desmond a moment to remember who those people were. Then he remembered; Tony was David’s son. “And that’s it.

Then nearly as one the entire big table of Miles got up. The people who’d helped cook breakfast got out of the way, pop-pop was helped back into his favorite chair, the kids and Dylan put on their coats and scarves and hats and boots and left the house and out into the snowy outside.  A large group was in the kitchen to help clean everything since there were no leftovers. They’re eaten everything. Desmond took a picture of the chaos in the kitchen as a bunch of adult men all tried to take charge at once and it nearly dissolved into an argument. He sent the picture to his friends with the message ‘wish I wasn’t here’. Then he put on his game face and let a towel get thrust into his hand so he could start to clean pots.

Chapter Text

Desmond was sitting on the floor with a bunch of his younger cousins in front of the Christmas tree. Desmond was one of the only teenagers in the family. Most of the others were either tweens or younger, or in their twenties. Only his cousin Anna was even close to his age at fifteen, but she and her parents were in Tokyo for Christmas. Probably better that way since a lot of the family disapproved of Anna's dad who was Japanese. They weren't a fan of interracial couples because most of them were bigoted assholes. For that reason most of them didn't like Asia on the principle that she was black.

So Desmond was the lone teenager but he was fine with that. He got along good with his little cousins and his older cousins so it wasn't a big deal.

Everyone was slowly making their way to the main house this morning, the kids no doubt waking up anyone they could. Desmond was tasked with keeping the little kids in order until everyone was awake and a the main house. So he had them playing duck duck goose. So they could run around without actually running all over the house, and help burn off all that extra energy.

In the kitchen some people were bustling around making some things like coffee and tea and Desmond heard them cutting fruit. The front door opened briefly, letting in a shock of cold air Desmond felt even in the livingroom and a few kids complained. Then the door was closed.

"Goose," Nicky tagged him.

Desmond lurched to his feet and Nicky gave a little yelp before taking off around the circle. Desmond let her do two laps before scooping her up. She shrieked as he picked her up and spun her before setting her back down, Nicky laughed the entire time. Desmond then went around the circle.

They played duck duck goose for a while more until the adults started calling each other and telling those who weren't here to get their lazy butts up it was Christmas and the kids were about to tear down the house for want of presents. Everyone eventually showed up and coffee and tea was poured and everyone sat in the livingroom.

David oversaw the presents. Everyone got one before anyone was allowed to open any. David lived full time at the Farm with nanny and pop-pop and made sure nothing happened to them. He basically ran this reunion and made sure there wasn't any fighting. It was impressive since no one had said one rude thing to Asia or given Jamie a snide comment.

Desmond had a feeling it had more to do with the fact that nanny and pop-pop were old and dirt and probably going to die soon than that they'd had a change of heart. No one wanted to be left out of the inheritance. Nanny and pop-pop were surprisingly liberal for old people who lived in South Dakota. Probably because nanny was part Lakota, and so unlike a good portion of the Miles family didn't have a problem with 'colored folks' or interracial marriages. As it was Chloe got a pass because she looked white though she was hispanic and as mixed as could be.

His family was so stupid.

A box with striped wrapping paper was dropped into Desmond's lap. He looked at who it was from. Nanny and pop-pop. It was fairly big, a bit bigger than his lap, but rather thin. When he shook it a little it didn't make any noise. He had no idea what it was.

"Okay, you can open them," David said, though that was mainly for the kids who looked ready to rip off the skin on their faces if they didn't get to rip open the presents. Happy cries from the kids quickly filled the air. Desmond worked on unwrapping his present and his mouth fell open.

"Woah," he said. He had an iPad sitting in his lap. He looked at his grandparents. For being super old both of them were active and with it and modern and even on Facebook (which was more than Desmond could say). Pop-pop winked at him and Desmond's smile grew huge. His grandparents were fucking awesome.

"Who's that from Desmond?" he looked over his shoulder at his mom sitting in a chair behind him.

"Nanny and pop-pop," Desmond said and started to open it. He wanted to go charge it. He heard his mom say something to his dad but wasn't really paying attention. He opened the box and pulled out the sleek iPad and found the charger and scrambled to his feet to find an outlet. he found one by the stairs that led upstairs and plugged it in before going back to the living room.

When he sat down someone handed him two envelopes. He opened the first one and it was a hundred dollars in cash. The other was a visa gift card for a hundred and fifty bucks. In ten seconds he'd earned two hundred and fifty dollars and he knew that was just the start. Buying for kids was easy, they wanted toys. Buying for teenagers or twenty somethings was not. Desmond foresaw getting a lot of money for Christmas this year.

Desmond opened several more envelopes, they all had some sort of money in it. Cash, checks, iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards. He racked up about seven hundred bucks pretty quick in various quantities of money in cards or cash or checks. He was pretty stoked about that honestly. Duncan seemed equally thrilled to get a thousand bucks from nanny and pop-pop along with the other money from aunts and uncles and cousins. Desmond was in the same boat as his relatives though. He had money from his job and he'd given the family members he liked (and were young enough to not laugh at him) money. It was easy and it let them get whatever the hell they wanted.

Then another box was put on his lap. This was from his parents. It was long but thin and kinda wide. He laughed when he opened it. "Macbook to go with my iPad?" he asked and turned around to them.

"We had no idea they were getting you that," William huffed.

"It's for school," Chloe added.

"Suuure," he grinned at them.

"You get it now instead of as a graduation present," William said.

"Do you like it?"

Desmond got up and kissed his mom on the cheek and gave his dad a one armed hug, "Love it," he said.

The rest of Desmond's gifts were clothes. Sweaters and gloves he'd never wear after this trip because he lived in Florida. He got some nice stuff though and got a last check of five hundred bucks from David. Desmond had literally made out like a bandit this year. Across all his relatives he'd gotten close to fifteen hundred dollars in money and gift cards. And an iPad, and a Macbook.

Once all the presents had been opened half the family went about throwing all the wrapping paper and boxes away while the other half went to make lunch, since the entire ordeal had lasted longer than expected. Desmond helped with the pick up and threw everything into a garbage can that had been brought into the living room to handle the sheer volume of plastic, cardboard, and gift wrap. When it was all done the kids were left to play with their new toys. Including Desmond.

He went and plugged his new laptop in his room before grabbing his iPad and finding an outlet closer to a comfortable char.

"You like it?" he looked and saw he'd sat right next to pop-pop.

"It's awesome pop-pop," Desmond said and reached over to give him a big hug.

"Good!' pop-pop said, "David said you'd like it."

"David knows where it's at," Desmond said and turned the iPad up. The first thing he did was create a security lock for it so no one could get on it or waste battery.

"I got one too," Duncan called across the living room, squeezed into an armchair with Jamie. "They're the big ones. Nanny and pop-pop did us good this year," Duncan beamed.

"Keep yours away from mine. No doubt it'll be full of weird pictures and viruses in no time," Desmond said and hugged his iPad closer to him. Duncan flipped him off and Jamie punched him in the arm for that and gave him a look that could kill a small animal. Desmond liked Jamie. She kept Duncan in line and controlled that bad mouth of his. Desmond spent the rest of the day on his iPad, stopping only to eat. Probably better that way since it was starting to snow pretty hard outside.

Chapter Text

It snowed New Years. Desmond was sitting and watching it snow in the dark. The New York New Years celebration was going on and while everyone wanted fireworks no one wanted to go out in the cold to do it. Not to mention a lot of the kids were asleep and it wouldn't do good to wake them. A bunch of the relatives had left by now. Most of the bigots were gone, since they were all in the other houses. Dylan was gone too. Desmond and his parents were staying a few more days.

Desmond had his iPad in his lap and when he wasn't watching the snow fall he was looking at it and playing on it. Since Christmas he'd downloaded at least two dozen apps, a few he even paid for. Next to him his phone buzzed. He didn't look at it. He didn't want to deal with Clay whining at him about being bored or lonely anymore. He was quite over it.

The clock continued to count down and it was pretty close to midnight. His phone buzzed a few more times. "You avoiding someone or somethin'?" Duncan asked, in the couch, Jamie's head on his lap, dozing.

"Huh?" Desmond looked up.

"Your phone," Duncan rose his brows.

"It's probably just Clay being annoying and whining," Desmond said but picked up the phone to look at it. Yeah a few messages were from Clay, mostly older ones that were all some variation of 'I'm bored' or 'I miss Lucy'. There were some from Becca too but those were days old. The new ones though were from Altair.

"Not Clay?" Duncan asked, meaning it must have showed on Desmond's face.

"Ah... no," he admitted and glanced around. No one was paying attention to them, their were watching the ball or were chatting, a few people were sleeping already. Half an hour till the ball dropped. "It's uh... a guy," and why the hell did he blush so much just even admitting Altair had texted him?

"Yeah?" Duncan asked, perking up a bit. "Boyfriend material?"

"I... don't know," Desmond admitted and rubbed the back of his neck and looked at the messages. One of them was a little older than the others. 'You busy?' 'I'm in old town to watch the conch drop if you wanna hang' which was weird since he and Altair didn't just hang out.

"Why not?" Duncan asked and Desmond tore his eyes away from the last two texts.

"Well-

"Not gay?"

"No no. He's definitely gay," Desmond said, "it's just... it's complicated I guess."

"Des, that's a facebook status, not an actual condition," Duncan said with a little grin. "C'mon, tell me. Honestly out of anyone here I'm the best bet to help with boy troubles," and though she was dozing Jamie punched Duncan's leg. "He got a boyfriend?"

"No."

"So what's the problem?"

"He's not exactly available," Desmond frowned.

"You just said he doesn't have a boyfriend."

"He doesn't have an anything. He doesn't date or have relationships. He just has one-night stands."

"Are you seeing him?"

"... sort of?" Desmond said awkwardly. He got up and went to sit next to Duncan. Duncan wrapped his arm around his shoulders.

"What's sort of?"

"We kinda... have a thing going on."

"Like a fuck buddy?"

"Sort of but we're not friends. More like," Desmond rubbed his face, "he texts me and I go over to his house."

Duncan rose his brows at him, "My little brother is a booty call?" and Desmond smacked his hand over Duncan's mouth.

"Don't say it out loud mom and dad are literally right there," he looked at their parents who were talking with nanny and one of Desmond's cousins on the other side of the living room.

"Okay okay, relax," Duncan pulled down Desmond's hand. "So it's complicated and this guy...?"

"Yeah?"

"What's he like?"

Desmond went to his phone gallery, he had a picture or two of Altair because yeah, sometimes they were in the same area and he ended up being in the shot. Or the entire shot. "That's him," Desmond pointed to him at the last volleyball day. Desmond had taken a picture of the wining team, Altair had been on it. He was smiling and hot and shirtless. He went two other to a picture from before that had been taken to Altair picking himself off the sand after diving for the ball. "His name is Altair-

"He's gorgeous," Duncan said and that got Jamie awake to peer over his shoulder.

"Wow," she agreed.

"Why is this a problem?" Duncan asked Desmond.

"He's way out of my league," Desmond said.

"Yeah? How? You ain't bad looking yourself Des."

"He's first string on the football team. He's literally one the hottest, if not the hottest guy in the senior class, he's rich, he's super popular, and his GPA is higher than mine," Desmond said.

"I still don't see the problem," Duncan said, " He sounds like Mr. Perfect to me. Hot and got all those things going for him."

"He's completely unavailable and a bit of an asshole."

"Well he's single," Duncan said, he was flipping through some of Desmond's photos. He had nothing bad on his phone so he wasn't worried about Duncan finding anything on there.

"Yeah and he has the emotional range of a grain of sand," Desmond said. "I tutor him in chemistry and go to volleyball with him. He's either super competitive, annoyed with life, annoyed with me, or making fun of someone."

"So he's a dumb jock basically," Duncan said.

"Basically! And I want a boyfriend. But just-" he huffed.

"He's emotionally unavailable even if you did ask him out. Not that he'd ever say yes," Duncan paraphrased.

"Now you see the issue."

"Were those texts from him?" Desmond nodded, "About?"

"Probably wanted to know if I would sleep with him tonight," Desmond said.

"Huh," Duncan frowned a little, "Well, that is a pickle bro. You like this guy?"

"I do, for some reason that is beyond me."

"Don't worry sweetie, I feel the same way about your brother," Jamie piped in and made Desmond laugh a little.

"Hey," Duncan whined.

"I don't know what to do," Desmond said. "I mean... I like this guy and I kinda like the things we do but-

"You wish it was more?" Duncan asked. Desmond nodded. "Hmmm. What do you think Jamie?"

"Do what you need to," Jamie said. "If you think you're okay with being as you are, then do it. If not, then drop him. He's nothing. Just a guy in highschool. I thought I was in love in high school and trust me; most of those boys are just jerks and not worth your time. If nothing else you have five months until you graduate. Where you going to college?"

"Top pick is Miami, then Gainesville and Orlando," Desmond said. He'd been working on his applications for all those schools for weeks along with his homework.

"Well all those places will have more guys to pick from," Jamie said. "And if you want, fuck this Altair until you find someone better. Cause trust me, if you're anything like your brother you won't have trouble finding someone who can give you what you want."

"Awww, thanks babe," and Duncan kissed Jamie sweetly.

"So I shouldn't worry about it?" Desmond asked.

"Nope. If you and Altair work out, go for it. If not drop him like a bad habit. You two aren't anything or exclusive," Duncan said. "And if you have to fuck him a few times to realize he isn't what you want, that's cool. If you are with a bunch of guys before finding the one who's good for you that's okay too. You don't have to settle Des."

Desmond smiled a little, "You're right," he said. Sometimes he felt like that though. He saw his friends all together and happy with their girlfriends and just wanted that. It was harder for him though since the dating pool was small to nonexistent. He didn't have to settle for the first guy who paid him any attention. "Thanks," he said.

"No sweat," Duncan said.

Desmond took his phone back and brought up his texting app. He didn't even look at what the other texts were. He just texted, 'I'm in South Dakota till the end of break. Can't' and didn't look when Altair texted him back because the ball was about to drop. He left his phone on the couch as he, Duncan, and Jamie went to go watch the ball drop.

Chapter Text

Duncan left the same day they did. Desmond liked being able to say goodbye to his brother at the airport and Jamie hugged him. The plane ride home was long and walking off the half sized jet onto the tarmac to get to the terminal was like getting hit by a dead fish that had been left in the sun a little while. Warm, damp, left a weird residue on your skin and smelled like low tide. It was January and Florida wasn’t aware it was the middle of winter and was somewhere around the low eighties or high seventies.

Desmond was happy to be home, though it was late. He had school in about three days and he needed to get over his jet lag.

He was lying in bed when Clay texted him. ‘You home?’

'Yeh.'

'Excellent. Sleep up, beach fun times tomorrow.'

'no'

'aww c'mon Des, live a little.'

'I just flew across like twenty states I get a day off. I'll see you on Saturday,' and then he wiggled out of his clothes, crawled under his sheet and played some dumb iPad app until he fell asleep. He had dreams about flying and looking out across the ocean from the deck of a boat.

Chapter Text

The first day back to school was about as much a mess as you could expect. The entire school district was stupid in that they had midterms after winter break. It was stupid and left most of the kids scrambling to remember everything they’d forgotten over break. Desmond knew from the dumb questions his classmates asked that most of them probably didn’t know their asses from their elbows and watching them the first day back when teachers started cramming old material down their throats was sad and funny; but mostly sad.

Key West was a school who was always getting new students after winter break. Snow birds came down from the north and spent the winter and spring down here and then during summer and fall went back up north. The regular, seasonal, students showed up in classes again. But Desmond recognized a not so regular student in one of his morning classes.

"You know who that is?" Desmond asked Clay in the one class they had together, which was an elective. He nodded at the new kid. The other seasonal kids Desmond knew. But not this guy. He was sort of built like a tank and had probably the most awful haircut Desmond had ever seen.

"Never seen him before," Clay said and Desmond saw Clay mentally running through his mental list of every seasonal kid. "I think he might actually be new."

The bell rang and Clay went and sat in his seat instead of practically hanging off Desmond’s desk. The gym teacher, who was teaching their health class this semester (because sterotypes were a thing for a reason), cleared his throat and started to call roll.

"Clay Kaczmarek," he called once he got to the Ks.

"Here," Clay called.

The teacher then squinted at the roll roster. “Kenway?” he asked.

"Uh, here," the new kid said.

"How do you pronounce your name? There’s a colon in there I’m not quite sure-

Desmond didn’t have to see his face to know the new kid was blushing, a bit uncomfortable by whatever his name was. Though really, a colon? Wasn’t it bad enough people were using apostrophes? “Connor’s fine, sir,” he said.

"All right, Connor," and the teacher made a note on his sheet.

Clay looked over at Desmond, Desmond looked back and he shook his head because Clay had a full on cheshire grin going including curled cheeks. Desmond didn’t know who Connor was, but he sort of felt bad for him. Health class was boring and consisted of nothing but reading. Tomorrow they’d be in the gym again but really gym didn’t really have a mid term other than running a mile.

The bell rang and Clay lurched out of his seat and straight for Connor. Desmond groaned and followed just so Clay didn’t eat the new kid.

"Hey," Clay said as Connor was putting his notebook into his backpack, standing next to Connor’s desk.

"Hi…" Connor said slowly.

"I’m Clay," Clay said, "this is Desmond. You new to Key West?"

"Yeah," Connor said, still sounding unsure. "We moved here two weeks ago."

"Yeah? That’s cool. What’s your next class?"

"English. I don’t really know where it is though," Connor was seeing Clay talking to him as an olive branch. And it was. But the olive branch might have barbs in it. Not the bad kind. More like hitchhikers. Clay was making a new friend and this kid looked way out of his depth. Desmond thought watching Clay make new friends was like watching a snake eat. It sounded bad, but really it wasn’t. Not really…

"Who’s your teacher?" and Connor showed Clay his schedule. "Oh I know where that is. Me and Des can show you. Right Des?"

"Yeah," Desmond nodded.

"Okay," Connor said and got out of his chair. They headed out of the classroom and the pod and out into the open hallway. "Is it always this hot here?" Connor asked.

"No," Clay said.

"It’s usually hotter," Desmond elaborated as they walked across the courtyard to the other building. "You probably won’t get used to it."

"You a junior?" Clay asked.

Connor shook his head, “Sophomore.”

"Well don’t feel too bad, genius here’s a fucking senior," and Clay clapped Desmond on the back, "and he’s not even seventeen."

"Really?" Connor’s eyes got big as he looked a Desmond.

"I’m not a genius. But yeah, I’m a senior. I’ve had a much better education than this state when I moved here, so they bumped me up a year," Desmond shrugged as they started up the stairs though Desmond’s class was on the ground floor.

"Where you from Connor?’ Clay asked.

"Massachusetts," Connor said, "originally. We just moved from Kitsap."

"Kitsap, where’s that?" Clay asked.

"Washington," Desmond said.

"You know where it is?" Connor asked, surprised.

"We were going to move there when it was still Bremerton," Desmond said, "My dad’s navy too."

"Really?"

Desmond nodded, “We live on Boca Chica-

"So do we," Connor got momentarily excited that he now knew someone who lived near him.

"Here’s your class," Clay piped in.

"I need to jet, you know how Mr. Finney is about being late," Desmond said. "See you at lunch Connor," cause he had no doubt Clay would get him to come to lunch. Then he took off and practically ran down the stairs to the far end of the building near the football field.

Desmond did his classes but was looking forward to lunch, if only to see his friends. During the lead up to lunch he forgot the ne kid’s name though he didn’t doubt he’d be there when Desmond went there. He got in the lunch line quickly and didn’t have to wait long, though Clay was nowhere in sight. On his way to the concrete bench Desmond saw he was right, new guy was there.

"Des, Des," Clay called as he got closer, Desmond thought Clay might need some adderall, he was way too excited. "Come hear Connor’s name."

"Isn’t Connor his name?" Desmond asked, confused and sat on the bench next to Clay, only Shaun was there yet.

"English name," Clay said.

Desmond cocked his head to the side, “You have two names?” Desmond asked.

"Sort of…" Connor said. "My legal name is-" and that was way too many syllables and consonants together for Desmond’s American brain to handle. "But I’m just Connor usually, except at home."

"Say that again I didn’t catch that," Desmond said and wiggled his finger in his ear to clear it out. Connor did. "Rah-ton-a-gu-doon?" Desmond asked.

At least Connor had some humor about it and grinned a little with a sigh. “Ratonhnhaké:ton, there’s a colon in it, and an accent on the E,” he said.

"There’s an E in there?" Desmond demanded but not in a mean way. "Man Connor- Connor is okay right?"

"Connor is fine."

"Okay good. Though I do wanna be able to say your real name. It’s a mouthful and a half though!"

"What is?" Lucy asked, she and Rebecca showing up with lunch, "And who’s this?"

"This is Connor, new kid," Clay said proudly.

"Hello Connor. I’m Lucy, this is Rebecca," Rebecca waved. She sat down, "Where you from?"

"Washington," he said.

"So Florida’s pretty rough?"

"I honestly don’t know how you people do it. It’s really hot here," he said and everyone laughed.

"Best person to ask is Shaun," Becca said and looped her arm over Shaun’s shoulder, "He’s from Britain and can’t be out in the run or else he turns into a lobster."

Connor looked at Shaun who looked as done as ever with all of them, “You don’t look like you have any claws,” Connor said.

"Thank you Connor," Shaun said and gave Rebecca a look. She just grinned and kissed his cheek.

"So," Clay clapped, "we’re going to the beach after school. Wanna come?" he asked Connor.

"We are?" Desmond asked.

"When did you decide that?" Lucy also asked.

"Just now," Clay said with a broad grin.

"You’re going to go swimming in January?" Connor asked.

"Oh yeah," Clay nodded. "Water shouldn’t be too chilly. Who’s game?"

"I can go," Desmond said.

"I’ll try," Lucy said, "My dad wants me to focus on studying for midterms."

"Shaun, Bec, stop making out for five seconds. You wanna do the beach after school?" because Shaun and Rebecca were indeed kissing. Desmond had never seen more gross amounts of PDA except when they were dating.

"Can’t," Rebecca called.

"I just want to go home," Shaun said.

"Okay, whatever, losers," Clay said and turned to Connor. "And you?"

"Uh… I don’t thin-

"Of course he is," everyone looked when a new voice said something. Desmond blinked in surprise. He’d never seen this girl before. All he knew was that she was hot and black and wore a fluffy dress. She was… really cute actually, aesthetically at least. Desmond could appreciate how much work she obviously put into appearing adorable.

"Ava," Connor said, suddenly nervous, "You know dad said-

"Dad can shove it," the girl said. "Hello, I’m Aveline. Connor’s older sister," she smiled.

Desmond and Clay looked between Connor and Aveline, then back for Connor, “Dude, your sister is hot,” and Lucy jammed her elbow into Clay’s ribs for that.

"I’m sorry about him. I swear he’s paper trained," Lucy said. Aveline laughed.

"It’s okay. I’ve dealt with worse. What was that about going to the beach?"

"Ava, dad said to just come home after school," Connor said, puffing his cheeks out a little irritably.

"That’s cool, I have to too," Desmond said, "I need to get my swim shorts. Also I might have tutoring. Beach isn’t till like an hour after school."

"Oh…" Connor said.

"We’d be happy to come," Aveline said brightly.

"Sweet!" Clay grinned widely. Clay looked at Desmond, "Tutoring?"

"I can cut it short for the beach," Desmond promised.

"Good," Clay said.

Desmond tapped the butt of his pencil on the table waiting for Altair impatiently. Finally he just got fed up and texted him ‘where are you?’ ‘answer your phone dingus’ he texted back when Altair took a bit too long to reply.

'I know you're eager to see me Desmond-' Desmond rolled his eyes at that, as if, 'I'll be right there, making an arrangement with a friend.'

'Well hurry up I can't stay an entire hour today.'

Desmond went back to pencil tapping. Altair finally showed up and sat across from him. “What’s got ants in your pants?” Altair asked, raising a brow and Desmond took a moment.

Over the break somehow he’d forgotten how Hot Altair really was. And yes Hot with a capital H. He hadn’t been paying attention to him in chem and now there was no one else there but the two of them and Desmond couldn’t help but be aware and be reminded why he had such a horrific crush on Altair. “I got plans,” Desmond said, “what took you?”

"I told you. I was making plans with a friend. So?"

"Flash cards and a few problems from the back of the book since there is no homework," Desmond said and pulled the flash cards out. Altair struggled with them, or seemed to. Altair seemed to trying but he got a bunch wrong. They went through them twice. "What’s up with you? You had most of them when we left."

"I didn’t remember them over the break," Altair shrugged.

"Fair enough," Desmond flipped open the chemistry book. "I need to leave at quarter till."

"Where are you going?"

"The beach," though it wasn’t any business of Altair’s.

"Huh," Altair said but nothing else, "Which ones do you want me to do?"

Desmond looked over the problems and circled the ones with a pencil. He guided Altair through some of the harder ones he appeared to his struggling on, Desmond redrawing some diagrams. At one point he took the pencil right out of Altair’s hand and was so startled by it he actually stopped for a moment. When Altair gave him a look he mentally shook himself. Focus Desmond. Don’t be a dude bro.

"Well that’s all of them," Altair said. "Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Sorry, I have club," Desmond said and put his stuff into his backpack. "Wednesday," he promised, "I’ll see you tomorrow," and then he was out of the library. He put the books he didn’t need into his locker and went out to his bike. He went home, said hi to his mom and grabbed his swim trunks. He shoved an extra change of clothes and a towel into his backpack and kissing his mom on the cheek said he was going to the beach and if he wasn’t home for dinner he’d call.

He arrived at Smathers a bit after they agreed to get there. Clay was there and so was Lucy. “Finally!” Clay called and got up from the circle they were all sitting in.

"Hey I’m here don’t complain," and then he spotted Connor and Aveline and two other guys who had their backs to him. "Who’re they?" he asked, nodding at them.

Clay grabbed Desmond about the shoulders, “You’re not going to believe who Aveline made friends with,” Clay smirked.

"Should I be afraid?" Desmond asked with trepidation.

"Come see," Clay said and pulled Desmond over. "Here he is," Clay said, grinning. Desmond stared. Sitting next to Aveline was the last person Desmond expected. He didn’t even know how Aveline did it. She’d made friends with him apparently. He was annoyed, jealous, and irritated all at once as well as mildly happy to see him since Desmond always appreciated seeing him shirtless. Aveline has two hot guys sitting next to her, one was Malik, who was interested in flirting with her, and the other was Altair who was looking up at Desmond like a shark looked at food.

Oh great.

Chapter Text

The water in January in Florida was nippy. Desmond didn’t mind though, neither did Aveline or Connor. Being raised in the north did that to you. Though Desmond still thought it was cold. He sucked it up though and was quickly used to it. Connor and Aveline didn’t even notice. They thought it was pretty warm. Which of course they would they’d just come from Washington.

Aveline was like something out of a fifties magazine. For a gay man Desmond thought she was smoking hot. Malik apparently did too. Desmond dragged Clay over as they sat in the shallows of the water, “Isn’t Malik gay?” he asked Clay lowly.

"Uh… I think," Clay said.

"Then what the hell it up with him and Ava?" Desmond asked, watching. It was so weird.

"Maybe he’s bisexual," Clay shrugged.

Desmond gave him a look, “You don’t know? Are you admitting that? Can I get it in writing?”

Clay splashed him, “Sexuality’s weird okay. I don’t pretend to understand how it works half the time. I just see people who go together. I mean I’m dating a cute as hell girl but I like dudes too,” he shrugged.

"I guess," Desmond agreed. "She’s really pretty," he said thoughtfully.

"She’s a senior too," Clay said.

"Really? She isn’t in any of my classes."

"Well she’s in Altair’s and Malik’s. Which is why they’re here."

"I still can’t believe Altair is here. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I have to see him at tutoring," Desmond sighed and leaned back, the tiny waves rolled against his back and shoulders. "He was late for tutoring because he was making plans with Aveline to come here, uhg," he was just annoyed.

Clay laughed. “What are you two doing over there?” Lucy called, she and Connor were sitting on the shore, toes in the sand.

"Guy talk, babe!" Clay called and waved at her. Lucy turned to Connor and said something but they couldn’t hear. "So Altair’s here. Next plan?" Clay asked Desmond.

"Try not to embarrass myself," Desmond sighed.

"You still doing that fuck buddy thing?" Clay asked him. Desmond shoved him and Clay flailed in the water. He sputtered and spit salt water. "I take that as a yes," Clay said as Lucy got up from the shore and waded slowly over to them, looking in pain from the cool water. "Hey beautiful," Clay beamed at Lucy. Desmond had to admit, he’d become a lot less bumbling about dating Lucy over the past weeks. Which was good. Desmond wasn’t used to Clay not having a quick and silver tongue.

"You two are over here by yourselves because?" she asked, standing above them.

"Gossiping, as Clay’s usual habit," Desmond said cheekily.

"You’re a better listener than me Desmond. I usually tell him to shut up before he can get too far along," Lucy said and Desmond laughed. Clay pouted at her. "You talk so much, Clay," she said and pet his hair.

"You get used to it," Desmond said, "or you just learn to tune him out-

"Hey!" Clay cried and Desmond laughed again.

"So we were thinking about going to Higgs," Lucy said, still running her fingers through Clay’s wet hair, "and showing Connor and Aveline West Martello Tower."

"That sounds awesome," Desmond said, it had been forever since he’d been to West Martello Tower. "We gonna do dinner?"

"Yet to be determined. C’mon, lets get dried off a bit," and she pulled Clay to his feet. Desmond clambered to his own feet and followed Clay and Lucy back to the beach where Connor was. Aveline and the older boys were on the dry sand, talking, all three of them laid out like gekos. "Hey guys," she called to make them look. "We’re going to go somewhere."

Aveline got up immediately and came over to them. “Where we going?” she asked.

"West Martello Tower," Lucy said and Aveline looked a bit confused.

"Oh nice," Malik said, "I’ve never been. Great excuse."

"I assume everyone has a way to get there?" Lucy asked.

"I just don’t know how to get there," Aveline said.

"You can follow Clay’s car," Lucy said and tapped Clay’s stomach sort of hard. Clay grunted and rubbed his belly.

"It is literally around the corner though," Altair said, "Pretty much impossible to get lost."

"She’d find a way," Connor sighed and Desmond snorted, Aveline gave her half brother (fun fact he’d learned while hanging out with them) a look and Connor looked down but seemed pleased anyway.

"Meet at West Martello then?" Lucy asked.

"Sounds like a plan," Altair said.

Desmond turned off his bike. West Martello Tower was an old naval fort built in the mid nineteenth century to protect Florida’s interests. It was a historic building now though and housed the Key West Garden Club. It’s sister fort up the street by the airport, East Martello Tower, was a museum of Key West history. Desmond had been to both of them more than once just out of boredom sometimes. West Martello Tower was right on Higgs beach and from the outside looked like a run down building. All the masonry was old and brick and was one of the few stone structures in the entire city.

He tucked his helmet under his arm and walked to the entrance of the Garden Club. Altair and Malik were already there, talking in Arabic and ignoring him. Desmond just sighed and resigned himself to being ignored. They were talking very intently and at one point Altair smacked Malik’s upper arm in a ‘you idiot’ sort of way. Desmond had no idea what they were saying though.

It didn’t take much longer for the others to arrive. Connor had his hair back now since it was wet and it actually helped. Poor Connor had a horrendous haircut, like he cut it himself, and he hacked it off a bit before it touched her shoulders. It also got all over his face. With his hair up Desmond saw that… he didn’t look too bad. In fact he was sort of cute.

"So what exactly is this place?" Aveline asked.

"It’s a garden," Lucy said, "in an old fort."

"Cool," she said. Entry into West Martello Tower was free. Which was a good reason to go there when you were bored. "Oh wow," Aveline said.

"Woah," Connor agreed.

The Tower was an Eden. Even in January the foliage was lush and thick, the greens vibrant and there were some flowers even blooming. South Florida didn’t abide by the normal rules of ‘spring’. Some flowers only bloomed during the ‘winter’ and others went through a leaf fall during spring. Florida flora was weird.

They wandered the old fort, following the stone path through the garden. The fort was literally ruins and in some places the trees and foliage had just naturally grown over the stone walls. Eventually though some of them moved faster than others and they got seperated. The fort wasn’t that big though so it wasn’t like you could get lost.

Desmond enjoyed being alone here and wandered around. At one point he ducked down to walk through a remaining arch where a huge tree had grown over, the tree’s roots hanging down from its branches. The other end was blocked though and he started when he saw it was Altair. He swallowed as Altair ducked down and entered the little area. Desmond tried to make a quick getaway.

Altair snagged his wrist, “Hey,” he said, stopping Desmond. He looked at Altair and felt uneasy. At least Altair didn’t look like he was going to eat him now. “You don’t have to act like I’m going to do something to you just because we’re meeting outside of school,” and outside Altair’s bed too. Desmond didn’t say that though,

Instead he said something much stupider. “You aren’t?” and why did he phrase that like a challenge.

Desmond found himself crammed against the wall of the very short arch. “I can,” Altair said lowly, right on top of him. Desmond was suddenly having a very difficult time breathing. He swallowed and Altair’s hands were on his hips. Oh good god what had he gotten himself into? He looked at Altair and couldn’t help that he looked at his mouth. Altair leaned forward to kiss him-

"Desmond!" Lucy called and Altair pulled back abruptly and left without saying anything. "Desmond where are you we’re leaving," Lucy called again. Desmond sagged against the old wall. His heart was racing. Holy shit that had really just happened, or almost happened. Holy shit. "Desmond?"

"I’m coming!" Desmond yelled back and pressed the back of his hand against his mouth. Altair hadn’t kissed him, but it had been really close. He sighed and pressed the back of his head against the old brick and tipped it upwards to stare at the old masonry. He kinda wished Altair had too.

"Des, c’mon," Clay called now.

"Coming!" and he shrugged off the wall and headed for the exit.

Chapter Text

After getting slightly lost Desmond arrived at the house he’d been looking for. He didn’t have a lot of friends on base. Well… none actually, until Connor at least. He didn’t consider Aveline his ‘friend’ exactly since she only hung around them occasionally and to make sure her brother wasn’t being a recluse. She hung out with Altair and Ezio’s crowd and according to Connor Ezio was trying to get into his sister’s pants. Up till that point he’d never seen Connor mad. He didn’t like the idea of his sister dating some creep (lets be honest here) like Ezio. Aveline ignored Ezio though, uninterested. Which really; good for her since Ezio had fucked probably every girl in the senior class.

Desmond knocked on the front door and waited. It was answered not by either of the siblings, but by an older man, their father he guessed. He looked like Connor, it was amazing. Or rather Connor looked like him Desmond supposed, except he was white and Connor was Native American, from his mom apparently. The man looked him up and down, “Yes?” he asked when Desmond wasn’t forthcoming with information.

"Oh— Hi Mr. Kenway. I’m Desmond Miles, a friend of your son’s," Desmond said pleasantly. "Is Connor here?" Connor didn’t have a cell phone and the land line had been busy the two times Desmond had called.

"Yes," Mr. Kenway said and opened the door for him, "Come in. Are you Bill’s kid?" he asked curiously, eyeing Desmond.

"Yeah," Desmond nodded and stepped into the house. There were still some boxes lying around, the family too lazy or tired to unpack them all. Desmond knew how that was, he still had a box in his closet he’d never fully unpacked and just slowly took things out of it as he needed them.

"Connor," Mr. Kenway called, "One of your friends is here," and he closed the door.

A moment later Connor came out of his room and was surprised when he saw Desmond, “Des? What are you doing here?”

"I tried to call, your phone was busy. So I just asked my dad if he knew the Kenways and where they lived. Wasn’t that hard to find," Desmond grinned.

"Oh, my mom’s on the phone with my grandma," Connor said, "they talk a lot," he made a face. "What’s up?"

"You wanna come over for club?" Desmond asked.

"Club?" Connor asked then it clicked, "You mean that thing you and the others were talking about?"

"Yeah," Desmond nodded.

"Sure… I mean," Connor looked at his dad, who was standing nearby but not over them while they talked, "Can I?"

"What is it?" Mr. Kenway asked.

"My friends come over and we play Dungeons and Dragons," Desmond said with a straight face. He saw Mr. Kenway’s lips twitch in amusement.

"I think that’d be fine. You need to be back before your curfew though Connor."

"I will be," Connor promised as the back door opened. Aveline came in, she was wearing a bikini now and looked like she’d just been out getting some sun the backyard.

"Hey Desmond," she waved.

"Hey Ava," Desmond called back, she came over to them, taking off her sunglasses.

"What’re you doing here?"

"Inviting Connor over in person cause the phone is tied up," Desmond said.

Aveline looked at Connor, “He wants me to come over and play D&D-

"No way!" Aveline cried, "Can I come? Please?" she asked Desmond. "Some of my friends back in Washington played but I could never go cause ‘I was a girl’," and she made a disgusted face at that.

"Sure," Desmond said.

"Give me like five minutes to get dressed," and she vanished down the hall and into her room.

"How long does this usually last?" Mr. Kenway asked.

"We usually end it at ten. Shaun has a long drive home and he has to be home by eleven on school nights."

"Are your parents home?" he asked.

"No," but then Desmond got what Mr. Kenway was getting at, "Two of my other friends are girls though, and they’re both dating the two guys that come over, and I don’t even like girls. We won’t be weird with Aveline," he promised. He’d never actually run into an overprotective dad for a girl before. It was intimidating. It was intimidating and he wasn’t even interested in girls.

"Daaad," Connor groaned, embarrassed, "They’re nice," he made a face at Mr. Kenway.

"I’m allowed to be concerned about my children," Mr. Kenway told Connor, who just rolled his eyes.

"Now what are you doing, Haytham?" behind Mr. Kenway a woman appeared, holding a cordless phone. Connor looked like her too, Aveline had some of her features as well. Clearly she was their mom.

"I’m not doing anything, dear," Mr. Kenway said, "Why must always be doing something?"

"Because you always are," she said fondly and patted his cheek. "Who are you?"

"Mom, this is my friend, Desmond," Connor said, "Des, this is my mom-" and her name had too many vowels and consonants together for Desmond to make heads or tails of.

"Ziio is fine," she shook Desmond’s hand.

"Oh good," Desmond said, "I can’t even say Connor’s real name right, and he’s been trying to teach me."

Ziio laughed a little, “Try it now,” Desmond did, “You’re close,” and she gave her son a smile. “And you,” she looked at Mr. Kenway, “Come with me,” and she grabbed him by the tie and pulled him away.

"Your mom’s cool," Desmond said.

"Yeah she is," Connor agreed.

Aveline came out of her room then. She was ‘dressed down’, with a minimum number of cute accessories, her hair pulled back into a simple pony tail. “Okay, ready to go,” she said with a smile.

"Alright, I don’t know if you wanna drive to my place or not? It isn’t that far."

"We’ll walk," Aveline said, "Where’s dad?" she looked around in some confusion.

"Mom dragged him away," Connor made a face as Desmond opened the door.

"Oh you met mom too?" Aveline asked, following them outside into the warm Florida winter.

"Yeah. She’s nice. Is it like a requirement of military dads to be hard asses?" Desmond asked, Connor closing the door and catching up with them as they walked to Desmond’s plce.

"I think so," Aveline said with a sly grin. "At the least having a scary military dad keeps the boys away."

Desmond groaned, “I know that feeling,” Alex had been terrified of Bill, even though Bill didn’t know they were going out. “So your friend played D&D?”

"Yeah," she nodded, "But it was a ‘boys thing’ and ‘no girls allowed’. Which is so stupid," she grumbled.

"Well Lucy and Rebecca both play, so you won’t be the only girl," Desmond told her helpfully.

"Great. Though I have no idea how to play-

"Me neither," Connor piped up at that.

"Don’t worry about it. We’ll teach you. As it is both me and Shaun are working on campaigns still. Today was just going to be a fun one-off day. So we’ll be able to show you," Desmond promised and they got to his house. Clay’s car was already there, parked next to his motorcycle.

When Desmond opened the door he found Clay and Lucy coming out of his room with the stuff. “Hey!” Clay called as he and Lucy dropped off the books and the white board. “You got him to come,” he grinned at Connor.

"Ava too," Desmond said as they came in. "You hear from Shaun and Rebecca?"

"They’re coming. They made a pit stop at Rebecca’s for… something. I don’t know Shaun was vague about the whole thing about why."

"… Ew," Desmond said and led Connor and Aveline to the table.

"Why did you have to say that!" Clay cried and pressed his hands over his eyes as Aveline sat, "I was pretending that wasn’t what they were doing!"

"Doing?" Connor asked, now sitting, while Lucy giggled.

"They probably stopped at Rebecca’s to fuck before coming to club," Desmond said and Clay made a pained noise like he was dying and promptly collapsed on the floor dramatically. Desmond went over to Clay and prodded him with his foot, "Ey, get up you big baby." Clay didn’t respond. He looked over at Lucy, "You have the most over dramatic boyfriend in the world, I hope you know that," he told her.

"You should see him in bed-

"Lucy, no!" Clay sat bolt upright and gave her the most pathetic look in existence.

"He sort of looks like that," and she patted his head, Desmond laughed.

"Lucy," Clay whined.

"You’re so dumb Clay," Desmond said and went back into his room to get the last things they needed for club.

When he came back out Clay was in a chair now and he and Lucy were explaining D&D to them. “So while we wait for Shaun and Bec to get here we can make your characters,” Lucy was saying. “It could take a while too.”

"Okay," Aveline said. "How do you make a character?" and Clay and Lucy looked at Desmond.

Desmond sighed, “Why are me and Shaun the only ones capable of filling out a character sheet properly?” he asked.

"Because," Clay said.

"Whatever," Desmond sat and grabbed the Player’s Handbook, and Clay pulled out two blank character sheets from the folder. "Okay so the first thing you’re gonna wanna do is pick a race," and he put the big book down between Aveline and Connor, opened to the picture of the races. "Then we’ll do class and your weapons and gear and stuff."

"How long do you think Shaun and Rebecca will be?" Connor asked, though sounded sort of like he didn’t want to know.

"If it was up to Shaun? Five minutes," Clay made a gagging noise when Desmond said that, "If it’s up to Rebecca… it could be a while," more gagging. Desmond threw a figurine at him to shut him up. Only when he successfully pinged Clay in the head did the blonde stop making gross noises and they helped Aveline and Connor with their characters.

Chapter Text

Desmond woke when something clicked. It wasn't a familiar sound he was used to, and was fairly loud. Loud enough to wake him at any rate. He grumbled and pulled one eye open with difficulty. He felt really sore all over and realized part of that was because Altair was sleeping on his shoulder, pinning his arm and making his shoulder numb. He could feel the bruise on his chest from last night under his collar bone, tender with Altair laying on it.

He blinked and wanted to roll over and go back to sleep but he couldn't. He currently had a heavy football player lying on top of him. Perfect. Also he felt like he had to do something. What was he supposed to be doing? He groped for his cellphone. He'd put it on the side table, plugged in, before falling asleep.

"Stop movin', sleepin'," Altair grumbled against his skin.

"Shut up," Desmond said and tried to wriggle from under him.

"Stop, movin'," and Altair slapped his hand on Desmond's arm, "Or I'll give you a hickey to explain to your dad."

"Fuck you," Desmond said, but lay still. That was something he didn't want though. Bill hadn't been thrilled about the big hickey from that time after the Bourbon and since then he'd told Altair no hickeys on his neck. He'd been pretty accommodating since then honestly.

Desmond lay there for a little while, staring at Altair's yellow ceiling, the morning light through the windows washing out the color of the walls. Judging by the brightness Desmond guessed it was sort of late. It was the weekend though, he wasn't worried about school. But why did he feel like he needed to be somewhere? He tried going for his cellphone again but Altair was awake enough to grab his wrist and make him stop.

"Can I at least check my phone?" Desmond demanded, cranky. He just wanted to look at the fucking time.

"No," Altair said obnoxiously.

"Yes," and he wiggled to get out from under Altair. Altair did his best to make sure he couldn't, including kissing him. Morning breath sucked, a lot, but so long as Altair didn't shove his tongue in Desmond's mouth it wouldn't be much of an issue. It, more than anything, stopped Desmond in his tracks and he lay still.

Apparently Altair was more awake than he thought too because he shifted and straddled Desmond's hips, keeping him pinned. Desmond just lay back and let himself be kissed. He deserved it damnit. Altair had been so annoying yesterday because now he couldn't avoid being around him. Aveline hung around her brother and she was friends with him so sometimes Altair was just... there. It was so frustrating. Friday Desmond and his friends went to the beach and Aveline and her friends decided to invite themselves. He had sand rash on his flank and ass from the rough housing. So Altair being sweet on him was deserved and appreciated.

With Altair distracted by kissing him and eventually moving down to kiss his neck and throat, Desmond managed to grab his phone. He groaned softly as Altair sucked on his neck and turned on his phone. It was nearly ten and his brain ticked.

"Shit!" he cried and sat up, throwing Altair off him.

"The fuck!" Altair demanded.

"Shit shit shit. I need to go," and Desmond scrambled out of bed to find his clothes. He made sure they were his clothes before yanking them on.

"What? Where are you going?" Altair asked, confused.

Desmond looked at Altair, he was sitting on the bed, naked, the sheets around his waist, his hair all lumpy from sleep and just looked so good. Altair licked his lips and fuck that was just unfair. Connor would understand right?

Shit no. Think with the head on your shoulders, not the one between your legs. He needed to go. "I'm supposed to meet Connor, oh," he looked at his phone for the time again, "fifteen minutes ago," he checked himself. Wallet, keys, phone, iPod, check. Jacket? Shit where had Altair thrown his fucking leather jacket? And where was his helmet? Shit how the hell did he even sleep so late?

"Over there," Altair pointed, sounding suddenly bored with him. Desmond looked and saw his jacket hanging off the chair at Altair's desk, his helmet was on the desk itself. He grabbed it and pulled it on, looking at Altair. Altair was laying on the bed, sheet still around his waist, one of his knees bent up to the ceiling, arms crossed over his chest. Desmond couldn't see his face but he looked positively irritated.

Desmond had no idea what Altair could be irritated about. This is what they always did when Desmond stayed over. Have sex, sleep, wake up and Desmond left. Sometimes Altair made him breakfast and he got to take a shower. But Altair never seemed to care. Now though. This time he seemed to care and was being moody about it.

Desmond stood there for a moment, holding his helmet, jacket on, Altair acted like he wasn't even there, like the first time after Ezio's party when he'd treated Desmond like an inconvenience. He made a face but realized he couldn't worry about this or Altair throwing a little temper tantrum like a five year old and not talking to him. He left when Altair grabbed his own phone off the side table. "Bye," Desmond said, Altair's eyes flicked up to him but he said nor did anything else and just called someone instead.

"Jerk," Desmond muttered once the bedroom door was between him and Altair and he heard Altair talking in loud, annoyed, Arabic. Probably to Malik. Whatever, he couldn't worry about Altair. As he headed for the front door he pulled out his phone again and called Connor's house.

"Hello?" Ziio picked up on the third ring.

"Hi Mrs. Kenway, this is Desmond."

"Desmond, hello. You know I've told you to call me Ziio."

"Sorry," Desmond said, "Is Connor there?"

"No, he went to go meet you. Is he not there?"

Desmond cursed a storm up in his head, "I'm running late. I was checking if he just went home."

"He isn't here. He left early so he wasn't late," and if Desmond didn't feel like a dick head now he definitely did.

"Okay. Thanks Ziio," and he hung up, outside now. He shoved his phone into a pocket on his jacket and jammed his helmet on, buckling it. He muttered hateful curses about Mr. Kenway who wouldn't get his son a cell phone, and got on his bike. He turned her on and she rumbled. He winced a little as the vibrations shuttered up his back. Okay, note to self do not do that position again in the future without fully stretching. He just sucked it up though and pushed his bike back so he could turn around and get the hell out of there.

--

Connor was still waiting for him when Desmond finally pulled up to him. The base had a lot of empty space at the bottom of the runway, perfect for what they were going to do. From here he could hear the ocean, lapping against the rocky shore, and above pilots were doing practice take offs and landings.

"I'm really really sorry," Desmond said after he'd turned his bike off and was taking off his helmet.

"It's okay," Connor said though Desmond could tell he was sort of jilted by Desmond being nearly half an hour late.

"No really. I'm really really sorry I'm so late. I slept in by accident," and the rest Connor didn't need to know, other than Clay no one else knew he was sleeping with Altair, and he wanted to keep it that way. "It won't happen again."

Connor frowned and then sighed, "Okay, I forgive you," Connor said.

"Great! Now," Desmond took off his jacket, having to tug his shirt back down when it rode up a bit, "you still wanna learn?" he asked. Connor nodded, "Okay, come over," Desmond beckoned and Connor went over to him. "So just sit on her for now, we'll work on getting her going and driving later," Connor awkwardly sat on the bike, getting on from the right, and wrong, side.

Desmond took the next half hour or so showing Connor all the knobs and gauges on his motorcycle. He taught Connor how to shift with his foot and how to get on and off the bike one without burning the shit out of his right leg and two without looking like a newborn deer. Connor listened intently the entire time and asked questions when he had them. Before Desmond knew he'd exhausted what he could say about riding a motorcycle without some real, practical lessons.

"How do you feel? Confident?" Desmond asked.

"I think I'll do okay," Connor said.

"Good. So start her up and just drive her in a straight line and brake. And you can't go too slow or she'll tip over. Effectively though it's like riding a bicycle."

"Okay," Connor nodded and leaned down to turn on the bike. Desmond shoved his helmet on Connor's ugly hair cut and clipped it in place. Connor swallowed and nodded again. He took his feet off the ground and put them on the footrests and gently turned down on the throttle. The bike rumbled and took off at a few miles per hour.

Connor drove to the end of the area they at and glided to a stop. "Wooo!" Desmond called after him and followed. "Good job," he patted Connor's helmet. "Now get off and I'll turn her around. Then you can do some turning and stuff."

"Okay," Connor said and put the kickstand down, seemed to think for a moment about how to get off the bike and hiked his leg over the left side.

Desmond sat quickly and drove in a circle back to Connor. "Okay, now just try and go in the circle," he pointed to the area they were in, which was a big circle of rock that had been cleared out for god who knew what.

"Okay," Connor said, much more confident this time. Desmond smiled as Connor drove off, going slow and kept pace just behind at a jog. Connor turned without mishap. Then Connor stopped again. "I do good?" Connor asked him when Desmond caught up with him.

"Yeah, you did great," Desmond said, grinning broadly. "So how do you like it?"

Connor sat on the bike a moment, looked thoughtful and then said, "How much do motorcycles cost?" and Desmond laughed. "No really. Maybe I can convince my mom to convince my dad to get me one."

"New ones are a few thousand. I got mine for a few hundred. But she's older and as a wreck when I got her. There's a pretty active bike community in the Keys though. You could probably find a cheap bike," and Connor tested the seat again. "I wanna get a nicer one at some point."

"But it's such a nice bike," Connor said.

"Yeah but there's no room for a passenger. That and I want a crotch rocket at some point."

"Why? Aren't they uncomfortable?" Connor asked and turned the bike off. Though motorcycles sipped gas so Desmond wasn't very worried about it.

"I'm... kind of an adrenaline junkie," Desmond admitted, it was part of the reason he liked whatever the hell he had with Altair. It was exciting. It was also why he liked having a motorcycle.

"I honestly wouldn't have guessed," Connor said.

"I'm kinda unassuming," Desmond agreed, "I don't feel the need very often. But dang, I just want a fast motorcycle and burn down Alligator Alley on it, or up seventy-five," he got a dreamy look in his eye for a moment.

"You really like motorcycles huh?" Connor asked.

"Yeap! I can even fix 'em. I basically repaired this girl from scratch when I got her. She needed nearly new everything except tires, forks, engine, and some of the gauges. So I had to learn to fix her up. It saves money on maintenance if I can just fix my own bike," Desmond said with a smile.

"Saving up for something?" Connor asked. Desmond nodded. "What?"

"Well besides college," Desmond hesitated a second. He hadn't told anyone this yet. It was a secret because he didn't want his friends (or his parents) to freak out, good freak out or bad freakout. Connor wasn't the kind of guy to 'freak out' about stuff though. He was really chill and just went with the flow. "I'm going to get a tattoo. Full sleeve. Eighteenth birthday present to myself."

Connor's eyes got big, "Really? Wow, that's really cool," Connor said.

Desmond nodded, "I've had this idea for a while. And I've been thinking about it for a while. So it isn't like I've just got a sudden craving."

"Full sleeve of what?"

Here Desmond blushed, sort of embarrassed, "I... drew my own design." He wasn't the best artist, but he'd shown it to the artist who was going to ink him up and they'd redrawn it for him to not look completely shitty. "Though someone with some actual talent redrew it for me," he added.

"That's still so cool. My dad would never let me get a tattoo."

"Heh... mine probably won't be happy either," he admitted. "Anyway, wanna keep riding?" he pointed at the motorcycle.

Connor looked at the fuel tank, then back at Desmond and nodded. "It's easier than I thought," he admitted.

"Yeap," Desmond agreed and Connor turned the bike on again. "Just be careful with her though. I'm saving up for the tattoo and I don't wanna have to buy new parts for her."

"Of course!" Connor said. He kicked up the kickstand again. Desmond stayed where he was this time, watching Connor drive in the big cleared out space for a while until his stomach complained it was hungry. Connor went back to his place for lunch.

Chapter Text

Clay ran full into him when the lunch bell rang. He hadn't been around during lunch, off on his timely mission to get all the good school gossip. Desmond nearly fell over but Clay grabbed hold of him before he did. When Desmond was properly vertical and could look at Clay he saw his friend looked excited enough to vibrate straight out of his skin.

"Clay... you okay?" Desmond asked slowly.

"I just found out some of the juiciest news, and it needs to be shared, right now," Clay dragged him over to the railing and out of the flow of traffic.

"What the hell has you so excited? You haven't been this twitchy since you found won that bet about Ezio's last girlfriend," Desmond said and leaned against the banister that kept people from falling off the second story open walkway.

"One. I was right, as usual. I went to the band room to get any good stuff from Rauf and dun dun dun!" then he leaned over to Desmond so no one could overhear, "Rauf and Yusuf were in the quartermaster's office together-

"Yeah... so?" Desmond asked.

"Yusuf was on Rauf's lap. And not like how friends do," Clay bounced a little. "I didn't stick around though. Cause I'm not a weird voyeur-

"News to me-

Clay smacked him on the shoulder, "Anyway! I was right, as usual. Though it isn't 'official' yet since I was talking with Ava and she said she hasn't heard anything. She also thought I was crazy by the way," Clay said thoughtfully.

"Because you are," Desmond stressed. "I mean you thought that just because two people are near each other enough they'll go out. Not to mention Rauf and Yusuf don't even have the same friends, at all. They just inhabit the same space sometimes during football season. It's weird man," Desmond frowned.

"But that isn't all," Clay said, like he hadn't even heard Desmond. Desmond sighed and just slouched against the banister. "Malik and Leo broke up."

"... What? When? How?" now that was sort of interesting to him since Altair's mood was directly influenced by Malik's mood, which could be good or great for him. So if something was eating Malik usually it made Altair more snappy and annoying and a dick head.

"Last night apparently. I don't know why, but Malik broke up with him. Malik didn't come to school today either because apparently Ezio threatened to do something horrible to him for breaking Leo's heart."

"Geeze," Desmond rubbed his temple. He had tutoring with Altair today too. Today might be a nightmare.

"Ava said Leo took it really hard," Clay was still talking, totally oblivious to Desmond's mental turmoil. "He went home from school early for something, not sure, probably just being upset."

"Geeze, what a bunch of five year olds," Desmond groaned. "It's a breakup, not the end of the world."

"Yeah well you know how Leo is," not that Desmond could deny that, the entire school knew who Leo was. He'd won a big art contest, nation wide, and it had been aired on the morning announcements and since then you couldn't not know who Leo was. He was a pretty happy guy, could sometimes be a bit sensitive, and sometimes a lot oblivious, but he was okay. Desmond had seen some of his art. He was good. "Tomorrow he'll be fine."

"I meant more Ezio. Threatening a guy for breaking up with his best friend? He's absolutely insane."

"Yeah..." Clay agreed, "Ezio's a big meat head though. I'm sure Leo and Altair will talk him out of actually inflicting bodily harm on him."

"For my sake I hope so," Desmond sighed.

"Yours?"

"If Malik gets beat up it'll piss Altair off and... well-

"Oooh, I get'cha," Clay nodded. Not that Altair would hit him. But it wouldn't be unlikely if Altair took out some of his emotions during sex. "Stay away from him then. Cause fuck that guy I will kick his ass if he hurts you," Clay said very seriously.

Desmond smiled a little, "Thanks man. Trust me, I don't plan on getting in the middle of it."

"Good," Clay nodded, the bell rang.

"Shit. I need to go-

"Wait wait, one more," Clay grabbed his arm.

"Clay-

"Fuck, fine. I'll tell you after school," and Clay released him. Desmond literally ran to his locker, grabbed his books, and then ran to his class.

He slid into the class sheepishly, "Sorry," he told the teacher. They just told him to sit down. Caterina gave him a look when he sat.

"You're late," she said in a whisper as the teacher took roll.

"Yeah someone was talking my ear off," and then he realized who he was sitting next to. Caterina was friends with Ezio and Leo and sort of friends with the rest of Ezio's group of idiots.

"What'd they have to say?" she asked quietly.

"Leo and Malik broke up?" hoping that phrasing it like a question meant he didn't really care.

Caterina's face went stony a moment and he hoped he hadn't just pissed her off, "They did," she said, "Leo took it bad. Ezio took it worse."

"So I heard- Here," he added louder, when the teacher called him. "He wouldn't... actually hurt Malik right?" he asked.

"I hope not," Caterina said. "He might need to talked off a cliff. Here!"

"Or kicked away from the edge," Desmond rolled his eyes and felt a surge of pride in making Caterina giggle. She didn't laugh or joke often so to get that sort of reaction out of her was a confidence boost.

"Is something wrong Ms. Sforza?" the teacher asked.

Caterina just shook her head and hung it, smiling. Desmond was glad when the teacher just said they were going to work on their midterm packets. Desmond pulled out his and went back to talking, since it wasn't so unheard of for them to work out problems together. "Do you know why Malik did it?" he asked Desmond, still keeping his voice down, he didn't really want Altair to overhear.

"Way I heard it Leo said he was cheating," and Desmond's eyes widened. Malik was cheating? "Or accused him of cheating. He thought Malik was doing something and Leo was being weird and clingy. It's been going on for a few weeks, surprised Clay didn't find out about it sooner."

"So Malik just cut ties?" Caterina nodded. "Shit."

"Yeah. They haven't been happy for a while though. Malik is joining the Marines when he gets out of school and Leo's really against the war in the Middle East."

"Trouble in Paradise," Desmond said flatly.

"Something like that. But they've been fighting for a while and now it just-" Caterina stopped talking and working when someone came up to the table. They both looked, Desmond tearing his eyes away from Caterina and tried not to gulp at Altair standing at their desk. "Do you need something?" Caterina asked sharply, annoyance instantaneous.

"I was wondering if I could get some help," and though he was looking at Caterina his eyes flicked over to Desmond briefly.

"Don't you have a tutor to make sure you don't suck at chem?" she asked.

"I do. He's sitting right there," Altair looked at Desmond and now he did gulp. "Which is why I asked."

Caterina looked at Desmond, clearly it was up to him. Shit. This was a terrible situation. "Uh... I guess it's okay," he said, trying not to be awkward. Altair went and grabbed a chair to sit opposite him, the chair in front of Desmond empty. While he did that Desmond sent Caterina a look like he hoped she caught on fire. Caterina just raised her brows at him and he settled down when Altair sat. "What are you having trouble with?" Desmond couldn't help but sigh. Now he couldn't even avoid Altair in chem. Perfect.

"Problem six," Altair said and gave the both of them the most apologetic, pathetic, look ever.

Caterina sighed a little, "Okay. So this is what you do-

--

Desmond arrived a bit late for tutoring. He'd attempted to meet Clay under the pavilion but Clay had had to go home because Harold apparently was in a mood and Clay needed to be home before he got there and stay in his room or he'd never be able to it. Desmond promised to call when he was done.

Altair was waiting for him, legs kicked out under the table and chewing on the end of a pen. He looked up when Desmond got close and Desmond felt himself stop slouching when Altair looked him up and down. He sat across from Altair. "Where were you?" he asked.

"Doesn't matter," Desmond waved it off. "So we're just gonna do vocab and work on the hand out," Desmond pulled out his and the vocab cards. "How do you feel about midterms?" he asked.

"Good," Altair nodded. "Though it's stupid they're after winter break. Do they do that in other states?"

"Not that I remember," Desmond said, "Though midterms are usually a big deal until high school," Altair nodded again and leaned back in his chair. "So we left off at problem thirty," Desmond said, flipping through the handout, "Or do you want to do the vocab first?"

Altair looked at him like he was thinking really hard about something. Or he thought Desmond was a moron. Which he wasn't, thanks, his GPA was one of the highest in the senior class. He had his arms folded and his lips pursed over to one side of his face. "Altair?" Desmond asked.

"I'm having a party the day after midterms," Altair said surprising Desmond, "You wanna come?"

Desmond blinked a few times, honestly not expecting that to come out of Altair's mouth. "Is it like a block party?" Altair nodded, "Booze?" Altair nodded again, "You have a better music selection than Ezio's parties?"

Altair snorted, "I was wondering if you'd ask Kaczmarek if he wanted to provide the music? Guy's got a good ear."

"I can," Desmond said and felt like he was having a weird, out of body, experience.

"What about you Miles? Gonna come?" and that did not have the reaction Altair probably thought it would because Desmond just felt turned on and his dick paid attention. Oh this was such a bad thing. Altair rose his brows at Desmond questioningly.

"Yes," Desmond said, surprising himself with how thin his voice sounded. He cleared his throat, "Yeah, sure, I'll come," and he was glad his voice didn't crack or do that weird thing it was just doing. "Is the party invite only?" Altair shrugged, "That isn't an answer you know," Desmond said, annoyed.

"Makes no difference to me. Ezio bothered me about having a party at my place since the last time he threw one everyone trashed the place. So we're having the end of mid term party at my place," he shrugged again, clearly he didn't give a fuck. But then Altair wasn't really a big party guy. "And I got the vocab, lets just work on the packet," he said.

Desmond's brain needed a few seconds to catch back up to what they were talking about, "Okay, sounds good," Desmond said and Altair pulled out his own packet.

--

Once Desmond got home from tutoring he called Clay. "Hey," Clay said, speaking low.

"Hey. How you doing?"

"Fine. Dad's home. I'm staying in my room."

"You okay?" he asked as he went into the house and waved hi to his mom who was sitting on the couch.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Clay assured him.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah yeah I'm sure. I ordered Chinese already and it's here so I can just warm it up when I'm hungry."

"Okay," Desmond said and went into his room, though he always got worried when Clay did this. Harold wasn't... a nice dad. He was overbearing and controlling and judgemental. He wanted Clay to be an engineer to take over the family business, but Clay wanted to be an astronaut. Clay wasn't even allowed to say the word astronaut in Harold's presence without making his dad mad. Since his mom had died Harold had started to drink a lot and while most days he was fine, some days he got really drunk and yelled at Clay. As far as Desmond knew Harold had never hit Clay, but scream at him for sure. "If you want to you can come over."

"Yeah, I know," Clay said, sounding haggard. "He's just mad cause work's been stressful. It's fine, I'm fine," but Clay was still speaking softly, Desmond knew so Harold wouldn't be reminded he was there. Though if Clay wasn't actually there he'd get into a lot more trouble. It was a weird cycle of stupidity with Harold.

"So you still had that thing to tell me?" Desmond asked as he shrugged off his jacket and backpack. He kept the phone tucked up against his shoulder as he hung his jacket up and put his helmet on the back of his door.

"Yes!" Clay said delightfully and back to his normal self. "I heard, from Ava, that Altair-

"Is having a party after midterms? Yeah, I know," and Desmond fell onto his bed, bouncing a little and rolled onto his back to stare at his ceiling.

"... You know? How the hell did you know before I told you?"

"Altair told me," Desmond said watching his ceiling fan spin.

"... He did?"

"Yeah. And you're invited too. He wants you to play music. Not for money, just to hook up your iPod."

Clay was quiet for a moment, "Did he personally invite you?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"Dude. I think he likes you."

Desmond sighed, "He doesn't like me Clay," he ran his hand through his hair. "We just sleep together okay? Half the reason he even likes being near me I'm sure is cause he likes to imagine I'm naked," he made a face.

"Dude, he invited you to his party-

"He invited me after he invited you you fucking idiot," Desmond huffed. "He was like 'Hey Miles will you ask Kaczmarek if he wants to play music at my party? Also you can come if you want, whatever, not like I care, cause I don't care about anything cause I'm a gold medal jackass,'" he said in his best Altair impression which had Clay laughing into his hand. Desmond wasn't very good at impressions. "Ask Lucy if she wants to come. Basically it's a free for all."

"Sweet. Well I know Ava is going, and she told me she's dragging Connor along."

Desmond made a face, "Seriously? That kid is way too quiet to go to a party like the football players throw."

"Yeah I figure, but Aveline knows what she's doing. She wants him to socialize with more people other than the two of us. I mean he barely talks to Shaun, Rebecca, and Lucy and spends a lot of time with you cause you both live on base."

"I guess," Desmond made a slight face. "Still his innocent naivety is kinda cute-

"Oh please don't start."

"Whaaat?" Desmond huffed and rolled onto his stomach, "I'm allowed to think boys are cute."

"What about Altair?"

"What about Altair? We're not dating. This isn't an exclusive relationship. But really, once Connor gets all that hair out of his face he's... pretty cute actually."

"The haircut is pretty bad isn't it?"

"I just want to shave it all off!" and over his side Clay laughed quietly again. "Apparently his mom cut it for him and while I like Ziio-

"Yeah it's horrible," Clay agreed, laughed softly.

"He'd look pretty hot in a mohawk," Desmond said thoughtfully.

"Anyone looks good in a mohawk, Des," Clay said.

Desmond thought about this a moment, "Yeah you're right." Clay didn't reply. "Clay? Clay you there?" he asked after silence.

"Yeah, I'm here. I think I need to go though. My dad's stomping up and down the hall and pacing in the living room. I think... I think I should go."

"You're fine?" Desmond asked.

"Yeah I'll be fine. Trust me if my dad ever smacked me I'd call the cops."

"Good," Desmond said.

"I'll see you at scho- yeah he just yelled my name I'll see you tomorrow," and he hung up before Desmond could say goodbye. Desmond pulled his phone away from his face and frowned at it. He wanted to help Clay. But he didn't... really know how. Clay could handle it. Harold wouldn't hit him. At least he hoped not.

Chapter Text

It was probably one of the weirdest experiences Desmond had, walking up to Altair’s house when there were people there. The place was huge. Whenever he was there though it was always just him and Altair and the place was empty. Now though there were a bunch of people here and it reminded Desmond of the party at Ezio’s all those weeks ago. There were cars parked all along the driveway and even on the street and the music was going.

Clay had drawn the short straw this time, so he was designated driver. Desmond hadn’t bothered to bring his bike either, Clay had picked him up. Clay also looked ecstatic to get to go into Altair’s house. Shaun hadn’t come, his aunt was coming to visit or something and his parents said he couldn’t go out and party (though really party was a strong word to use on Shaun when he mostly sat around drinking beer and complaining). Rebecca was also absent because she was still playing Far Cry 3 after finally scrounging up enough money to buy it. So that meant it was just him, Clay, Lucy and…Connor. Aveline apparently was bringing Connor.

“Can you not look so damn happy to be here, please,” Desmond sighed as they found their way to the drinks which was in Altair’s expansive kitchen, the bottles all lined up on the island. They’d left Lucy to find the drinks and she’d been happy not to have to go look for it.

“Hell no. I get to see where my best bro has been sleeping,” and Clay pinched Desmond’s cheeks.

Desmond batted his hand away, “Fucker,” he growled.

“This place is really clean too. I’m surprised. This what it normally looks like?” Clay asked as he opened a bottle of Sprite and Desmond filled three red cups with ice from a cooler on the ground.

“No. There’s usually more art on the walls actually. I think he took it down so it wouldn’t get ruined,” he said thoughtfully. “And the knife block isn’t there,” he added, looking at the counter where the knife block usually was. The fact that Desmond knew where the knife block usually was was actually a very serious concern for him.

“Any other differences you see?”

Desmond scratched the side of his neck before grabbing some vodka, “Not really. I mean I usually am not paying too much attention.”

“Doesn’t he normally make your breakfast?” and the only reason they were only having this discussion was because the- really terrible- music was so loud and there was no one else in the kitchen.

“I literally know what three rooms look like. The kitchen, his bedroom, and the bathroom,” he gave Clay a look before he could make some smart remark. Desmond poured vodka into two of the red cups and Clay topped them all off with Sprite.

“This literally sucks,” Clay moped, looking at his cup, Desmond was carrying the two with alcohol in it. “I don’t get to get drunk in Altair’s house. What a fucking waste.”

“Somehow I’m sure you’ll live,” Desmond said and they braved the crowd of people to find Lucy.

They found her, sitting on the floor by the large television that really was almost unrealistically big. It was also by the music center. They sat around her, “No where to sit?” Clay asked.

“All full,” she called over the music.

“Christ I can’t stand this anymore,” and Clay hopped up to his feet and pulled his iPod and an audio cord from his pocket.

“You seen Ava and Connor yet?” Desmond asked Lucy.

“No, but they aren’t here yet. Aveline texted me and told me they were just leaving. Something about their dad being a dick head… or something.”

“Yeah that sounds like him,” Desmond agreed. Haytham could be overbearing at times. Usually when Connor or Aveline wanted to do something and Haytham wouldn’t let them they had three choices. One was just go along with it. Two was call their mom and get him to let them do it. Or three (and this was a surprise to Desmond) tell their grandfather to come ‘kidnap’ them so they could enjoy themselves. Needless to say very rarely did they employ the first strategy.

“But they’re coming,” Lucy said as the music cut off. Several people looked at them and Desmond looked over at Clay who was bent around the entertainment system, standing on one leg and fiddling with something behind it. Then there was a low ‘wump’ of the speakers picking up a new system and music began playing again. Actual dance music too. Then Clay was sitting next to them again.

“Well that’s better!” Clay cried happily now that good music was playing. There were speaks all over the room for surround sound so they didn’t have yell over speakers that weren’t right behind them. “I made a playlist earlier and everything,” he said cheerfully.

“Why do you prep more to go to a party than you do to take your midterms?” Lucy asked him.

“I did fine on my midterms!” Clay insisted.

Lucy looked at Desmond, “He didn’t study for his biology final.”

“Dude, you suck at biology,” Desmond asked.

“Yeah so? I don’t need the credit cause I took two sciences last year,” Clay said defensively. “Besides I passed all my other ones,” Lucy rolled her eyes at him, “What? I did.”

“I never saw you study, ever,” Lucy said.

“You weren’t around me all the time though,” Clay reminded her.

“No. But I was around quite a bit,” and by the flush on Clay’s face Desmond knew what she was getting at.

“Okay Clay might like knowing about other people’s sex lives. Buuut, I don’t,” Desmond said and took two big gulps of his drink to help him forget he’d ever heard that.

“So, where’s Connor?” Clay asked.

“He’s coming. Aveline is too,” Lucy assured him.

“Great!” Clay said.

There was a lull in the conversation before Lucy said, “Does anyone else feel weird to be in Altair’s house?”

“No,” Clay said.

“Yes,” Desmond said.

“Why would you feel weird?” and Desmond kicked Clay for that. “Owww,” Clay whined. “What was that for, man?”

“You don’t even have the excuse of being able to get drunk stop asking dumb questions!” Desmond said.

“I didn’t think it was dumb,” Clay said as he sipped from his cup.

“So what’s weird?” Desmond looked away from Clay, to Lucy.

“I dunno. Ezio’s it wasn’t weird. I think he’s just more… accessible. Altair isn’t,” she looked at her cup, “I’m sure if I drink some more the feeling will go away,” she added.

“Yeah, probably,” Desmond agreed and they tapped the edges of their cups together and drank.

They were finishing their first drink when Connor found them. He looked completely and totally out of his elements here. He sat between Clay and Lucy, his terrible bangs hanging over his eyes. “Hi,” he said, slightly nervously.

“Hey Con, ‘bout time you got here,” Clay said.

“Yeah… Aveline was doing her hair,” Connor said.

“Want a drink? Desmond was just about to go get us some,” Clay grinned at Desmond who gave him a look. “Go on. I want Coke,” he added and put his cup in Desmond’s hands.

Desmond sighed, “Okay, you want something?” he asked Lucy.

“They have Jameson?” she asked.

“They do,” he nodded.

“Amaretto?”

“I’m not sure,” he admitted.

“If they do I want a Godfather and don’t even look at me like that I know you know what a Godfather is.”

He chuckled, “Okay. Want me to surprise you if they don’t?” and she nodded. “What about you Connor? You want something?”

“Uh… I don’t know?”

“Just get him something good, Des,” Clay said.

“Okay,” and Desmond picked himself up and made his way back to the kitchen. There he found several people arguing over some tequila and the proper way to take a shot. Desmond ignored them, poured Coke for Clay, some more Sprite and vodka for himself and after a moment found the whiskey. Not Jameson sadly but Lucy wouldn’t notice. He topped it off with Coke instead since there wasn’t any of that other stuff. He made Connor a fruity drink and one that would go down easy made with juice some club soda and some vodka. Not nearly as strong as Desmond’s or Lucy’s but he remembered Aveline had said that Connor had never had alcohol before. So he made a baby drink for Connor.

The others were talking when he got back, his serving experience helping him carry four big cups at once. Lucy seemed very happy with her whiskey and Coke. “What is it?” Connor asked him.

“Just drink it, it’s yummy,” he assured Connor.

Connor drank, “Fizzy cranberry juice… they make cranberry pop?”

“One, I mixed it and two; did you just say pop?” Desmond asked.

“Uh… yeah?”

“Connor, it’s soda.”

“Yeah, pop,” Connor said.

“Are you from Michigan or something?” Clay asked.

“Uh… no? Is pop wrong?”

“You say soda in Florida,” Clay said.

“Or Coke in the South,” Lucy piped in.

“Florida isn’t the South Lucy, don’t insult our amazingly shitty state like that,” Clay said. Lucy snorted.

“Uh…” Connor was very confused.

“Just ignore them, they’re stupid,” Desmond said.

“Oh,” and Connor drank. Well, chugged would have been a better description since Connor had finished his drink in five minutes while they talked. Lucy and Desmond had only had a few sips. “That was really good,” Connor said.

“Did you finish it already?” Desmond asked.

“Yeah. I feel kinda warm…”

“What’d you put in it?” Clay asked Desmond.

“Like a three to one ratio,” Desmond said, sounding confused, “And just some Absolute, nothing fancy.”

Connor blinked rapidly at them, “Can I get more?” he asked.

“Ah, sure. It’s in the kitchen. I used cranberry, some of the club soda, and the Absolute,” and Connor got up to find the kitchen. “…Why do I feel like I just did something really bad?”

“No idea. I’m feeling pretty good about it though,” Clay said with a grin. “What?” he asked when both Desmond and Lucy gave him unamused looks.

Chapter Text

Desmond was significantly more drunk than before. Not smashed, but he could feel it. It was why he was bouncing around the living room with about a dozen and a half other people while Clay played real music. Desmond was just happily enjoying his buzz when he full on bumped into someone.

That someone happened to be Aveline. “Oh, Ava,” he grinned widely at her.

“Hi Des. Have you seen my brother?”

“No,” he shook his head hard enough to make his ears move. “Why?”

“I can’t find him.”

“I’m sure he’s fine,” Desmond said.

“Would you help me look for him?” she asked.

Desmond thought about that a moment. “Sure,” he said nodding.

“Thanks,” and he followed her out of the living room. “Have you seen him at all tonight?”

“Yeah, and I made him a drink. A light one. He had another one and then I went to dance. Haven’t seen him since. He wasn’t with Clay or Lucy?” Aveline shook her head.

“Which is why I asked you to help me,” she said.

“Huh, okay,” he said nodding. They left the main part of Altair’s house and walked down the hall Altair’s room was off. Desmond noted that the family photos had been taken down and all the doors were closed. “Where are we going?”

“The back. Malik told me Altair has a back area-

“He sure does,” Desmond said without thinking.

She stopped and looked at him, “Excuse me?”

“Altair. His butt is nice,” Desmond said and then realized what he’d said, “Shit.”

She giggled, “Should I not tell them that?”

“Please don’t,” Desmond said and grabbed her arm pleadingly.

“I won’t,” she said but had a sly look on her face and they got to the back door.

“Thanks. So why are you looking for Connor?”

“Just wanted to check on him. He’s a drinking virgin and only sixteen, I wanted to make sure he was okay.”

“That’s… really nice of you,” Desmond said, pausing for a moment.

“Only way my dad would let us even come is because I said we wouldn’t get separated.”

Desmond snorted, “No offense Ava, but you had is-

“An asshole?”

“I was just gonna say uptight. But he’s your dad.”

“Step dad technically,” she said and opened the back door. Desmond didn’t even know this place existed. There was a pool back here and music from inside was piped outside and there were people swimming and drinking. For some reason Desmond felt really annoyed he didn’t know about this place. He’d been to Altair’s a bunch of times and never knew he had a back yard, or a pool, or that there was a dock and a boat there either. “So you go that way, I’ll go this way,” she said and pointed in opposite directions around the pool, Desmond nodded and they separated.

Desmond didn’t notice him at first, but then he saw Connor with a bunch of the football players, including Ezio. Mainly because Connor was acting in a very… un-Connor manner in that he playing beer pong and yelling whenever someone missed, or when they landed a ball. Desmond stood and watched for a few moments, trying to figure out what was going on because his brain was having a hard time rationalizing the shy, soft spoken, sober, Connor, with drunk Connor who acted a lot like a… well like a dude bro and was cheering along with Ezio and the rest of them whenever something happened.

Aveline found him standing there, “Find him?” she asked him.

“I think…?” Desmond said, looking at Connor.

“Where- oh,” she sounded equally confused by what she was seeing. “I was not… expecting that,” she admitted.

“Me neither,” Desmond said and they both cocked their heads to the side when Connor, a very drunken Connor it should be added, tossed a ping pong ball from nearly ten feet from the table and landed it perfectly in a cup on the back of the table. There was much rejoicing. “I think he’s fine,” he said.

“Seems like,” Aveline said. “Thanks,” and she left him there, to go where Desmond had no idea. But he did know he wanted in on this beer pong game.

Some time later Desmond was drunk. Like… significantly drunk. The kind of drunk where he might not remember everything that happened tonight tomorrow morning. He was still at the beer pong table and was playing a horse version of the game. Connor was… freakishly good at it.

Desmond was not.

He was taking another sip of the tequila (cause while they were still calling it beer pong there was no beer and they were doing shots of tequila instead) after his team failed to replicate Connor’s trick shot which, for the record, were completely amazing, and grinned when Connor fell. Not hard, but he definitely fell on his ass. He’d been drinking too after all since his teammates weren’t as good as him at beer pong. Desmond had purposefully gone on the other team so he would drink a lot since he wanted to get fucked up. When Connor didn’t get up right away he went over to the other side of the table and saw Connor was sitting on the grass next to the patio looking stupefied.

Desmond looked down at him, “You okay, Con?” he asked. Connor said something that was way too complicated to understand. “What?” Connor said some more stuff. “Connor,” Desmond knelt with a little difficulty and pushed Connor’s bangs with one hand so Connor would look at him. “English bro.”

“I’m drunk,” Connor said.

Desmond laughed, “Yeah you are. C’mon, lets get you some water,” Desmond said and helped Connor up. Connor swayed a little and Desmond took his hand and led him back inside and to the kitchen. Most of the booze was gone now.

“Can I have that?” Connor asked, pointing at a nearly empty bottle of vodka.

“No,” Desmond said and pushed Connor into a concave corner of the counter and got a cup and filled it with ice water. “You can have this,” and he gave Connor the cup.

Connor drank, “I don’t feel good,” he said.

Desmond was with it enough to know what that meant. “C’mon,” he dragged Connor to a bathroom, “Puke if you need to,” he told Connor.

Connor looked down at the toilet and looked like he was thinking hard about if he needed to throw up or not. “I think… I think I’m good to not puke,” he said.

“Oh good,” Desmond said since Connor had some long hair and Desmond didn’t fancy holding it back while Connor puked. “Lets go find the others,” and Connor grabbed his hand when Desmond left. He found Clay where he’d left him originally, Lucy in his lap and Clay looked pleased about something, what though Desmond didn’t know.

Connor sat next to Desmond, “There you are,” Clay said, “Where were you?”

“Connor and me were playing beer pong horse with tequila,” Desmond said.

“Wow. Really? Where?”

“In the back yard by the pool,” Desmond said.

“Altair has a pool?” Lucy asked.

“Yeah it’s pretty sick if I remember,” and noted that Connor was low lying on him a bit like he was asleep. “Me and Connor played and now I am really drunk, so is Connor,” Desmond said proudly.

“I can tell,” Clay said, “Lucy’s pretty happy too. Also apparently Becca is here.”

“What? When? Why?”

“She got lonely and wanted to hang out and get drunk,” Lucy said with a grin.

“Sup bitches!” and suddenly Rebecca was there and Clay squawked when she sat in Lucy’s lap.

“Becca!” Lucy hugged her friend.

“Hey!” Clay cried.

“Man why you complaining you got two cute girls in your lap,” Desmond said.

“They’re heavy,” he complained. “Also,” he nodded at Connor and Desmond finally looked at what Connor was doing. Connor had his cheek on Desmond’s shoulder and he hadn’t noticed before but he’d never let go of Desmond’s hand and was looking at it and tracing some nonsense patterns on the top of Desmond’s hand. It was kinda cute.

“Con,” Desmond said and Connor looked at him with big brown eyes hidden by his bangs. “You seriously need a hair cut man, or a new style,” and Desmond shoved Connor’s bangs out of the way so he could see.

“You think so?” Connor asked, slurring a little bit.

“Yeah. You’d actually look cute if you did,” Desmond said.

Connor suddenly flushed, “Y-you think I-I’m c-cute?”

Desmond grinned widely, “Yeah,” and he kissed Connor on the cheek. Connor turned bright red.

“Wow,” Clay said.

“What?” Desmond asked.

“I didn’t know Connor could pull off a cosplay of a tomato so spectacularly,” he said, having to lean around Becca and Lucy who were talking animatedly to each other.

“I could what?” Connor asked, “Wha’s cosplay?” he asked Desmond.

“It’s where you dress up as something, usually a character.”

“So like… Halloween everyone does cosplay?” Connor looked very confused by the concept.

“Sort of,” Desmond nodded.

“Hmmm,” and then Lucy and Rebecca jumped up from Clay’s lap, making Clay fall over.

“Des, Des,” and Lucy pulled him to his feet.

“Woah, what- What is it?”

“Do you know this song?” she asked him.

Desmond stopped and listened, “Yeah…” She grinned at Rebecca and somehow Desmond knew that wasn’t a good thing. “Why?”

“Dance with us,” Rebecca said.

“But… I don’t like girls,” he whined really pathetically.

“So?” Lucy asked, “Clay isn’t fun at parties unless he’s drunk and doesn’t dance.”

“What about Connor?” Desmond complained.

“Will you just stop being a wet blanket?” Rebecca asked.

“Uuuuhg, fine. But,” he added before the girls could drag him away, “No touchy below the belt.”

“Sure Des,” and they both giggled and he let Lucy and Rebecca drag him out to where a lot of the people were dancing.

Dancing with girls… was fun actually. A lot of guys moved like hunks of wood, sort of bobbing back and forth. Becca and Lucy dancing was all hips. It took him a song or two or realize why they wanted him with them. He kept the other dudes away from grinding on them. Sure he was gay but most of the guys here were too drunk to know or remember that. So he just had fun on the dance floor with Lucy and Rebecca bumping around and into them, making them giggle when he nearly fell a few times. The tequila was progressively hitting him harder and harder right in the liver. And in the bladder.

“Desss, nooo,” they grabbed his hands when he tried to leave.

“Girls, I’m about to piss myself. I need to pee,” he pleaded with them. That made them release them and they laughed when Desmond wasn’t ready for it and nearly fell. Oh that was wonderful.

He quickly went to find the bathroom he’d taken Connor to. When he got to the door he saw someone on their knees, head fully in the toilet vomiting. It made him feel queasy so he went find another. He found another upstairs but it was also full. For some reason he heard the shower going. The fuck? When he heard multiple voices from within he realized he didn’t want to know actually. He found another one, or he thought he did. The door was locked though and he couldn’t hear anything. When he knocked loud crying started and he quickly left.

Back on the first floor the toilet head was still there and Desmond still had to piss like nothing else.

Well. He did know where one other bathroom was.

He tried Altair’s bedroom. It wasn’t locked and he slipped inside. He probably shouldn’t be in here but whatever. He went to Altair’s bathroom and sat down to pee because he didn’t trust himself to aim while he was this drunk. He sighed in content. He was washing his hands when the bedroom door opened.

Shit.

He peered out into the dark room and saw a figure illuminated by the rope lights in the head board. Just from silhouette alone Desmond knew who it was. Altair. Well he’d get nowhere hiding in the bathroom. And no doubt Altair could see him. So gathering up his meager courage bestowed on him by the tequila Desmond left the bathroom.

Altair was fiddling with something on his desk but when Desmond came in jerked up and looked at him. “… What are you doing here?” he asked.

“Sorry,” Desmond said sheepishly, “I really had to pee and all the other bathrooms were occupied.”

“Oh,” at least he didn’t sound annoyed or mad. Altair cocked his head at Desmond and Desmond knew he should get the hell out of here. He headed for the door. “Wait,” and Altair caught his hand. “Wait,” he said again and then Desmond found his back against a wall. He swallowed as he found himself suddenly breathing the same air and occupying the same space as Altair. His breath smelled like alcohol and his eyes were slightly unfocused.

Desmond said nothing and just licked his lips, waiting to see what Altair would do next. Altair hand his hand around Desmond’s wrist, the other pressed against his hip. Looking at him Altair seemed like he was trying to figure out what to do in this situation now, something made a lot more difficult thanks to the alcohol no doubt. “Stay,” Altair finally said and kissed him. Desmond couldn’t help but melt. He loved kissing Altair. He found it was his favorite past time and he honestly wouldn’t mind being able to spend an entire night just making out. No sex. Just making out like the stupid, hormonal, teenagers they were. Desmond grabbed onto Altair’s shirt and Altair pushed him more firmly against the wall, hiking his leg up a little.

It took him a few seconds though to really realize what was going on. What was going on and that… he didn’t want this. He didn’t want to fumble around with Altair in the dark, away from everyone. It reminded him of Alex who would barely even look at him when they were in public. It hadn’t been healthy. This, this bull shit they did, wasn’t healthy. This stupid fuck buddy thing wasn’t what Desmond wanted. He’d never wanted this. He’d just sort of fallen into it without realizing it. Yeah it was nice. But he didn’t want to do this anymore. Jamie had been right; he didn’t have to settle and if it took having sex with Altair a few times for him to figure out, well at least he’d figured it out.

“Stop,” Desmond said, breaking away from Altair. Altair- drunk Altair when he seemed to really notice him, to actually want him- didn’t hear at first. “Altair, stop,” and he pushed Altair away from him a bit. There wasn’t much force in his hands though. He knew he just wanted Altair to stop what he was doing.

“What is it?” Altair asked, and though he wasn’t kissing or touching Desmond anymore he was still right up against him.

It would be so easy to say nothing. To just… let it keep happening.

“I don’t want to,” Desmond said, his voice amazingly weak it even surprised him. He cleared his throat and tried again, “I don’t want to have sex with you. Get off me.”

Altair blinked, surprised. Well tough shit. “Not now?” he asked.

“Not anymore,” Desmond said, “I can’t… do this anymore,” and he pushed at Altair again. Altair took a step back, still looking stunned Desmond had just told him off. “I don’t… want it like this,” and then he slipped out from around Altair and left the room. Altair didn’t stop him.

He found Clay and sat down behind him and draped himself over his friend. “Hey, wassup?” Clay asked.

“I wanna go home,” Desmond said, the previous encounter was starting to become hazy. He knew he’d been with Altair and told him no. But the specifics were starting to become fuzzy and he couldn’t remember exactly what had been said. He was really, really, drunk though so that was to be expected.

“Yeah?” Clay asked and checked his phone, “It is pretty late,” he agreed. “I’ll go find Lucy,” and he got up and went left Desmond. Desmond laid out on the floor feeling amazingly unsatisfied. He’d done something bad. But he couldn’t remember what. Well maybe not bad. But he’d done something that for some reason made his chest feel weird. “Hey, buddy, c’mon, get up,” and Clay helped him back up. Desmond didn’t know how long he’d been lying there.

He followed Clay outside to the long driveway and out of it and down the street to his car. Clay unlocked the doors and Desmond crawled into the backseat, Lucy into the front. Clay said he needed to go find Rebecca and he’d be back. He locked the doors when he left, which was for the better since it wouldn’t be good for him and Lucy to be wandering around by themselves right now. And they were both too drunk to operate the locks.

“Hey Lucy,” Desmond said, leaning back in the seat.

Lucy turned around in her seat, peering over the top of the head rest, on her knees, “Hey Desmond,” she said, smiling.

Desmond forgot what he was going to say. “You’re really fucking cute,” he told her.

She giggled, “I thought you didn’t like girls,” she teased him.

“Cute has nothin’ to do with what I want to do with their bits…” they both made a face and laughed at that. “Cute is just… cute. Like. You’re really cute. So is Clay. Wow. Clay is cute too.”

“That’s my boyfriend, Desmond,” Lucy reminded him.

“I sucked his dick before you did-

“Desmond!” she cried and leaned over to him so she could smack his chest.

Desmond laughed, “No. I didn’t. We just kissed hmmm… Clay was a really shitty kisser. I hope he’s gotten better,” Lucy laughed again. “But yeah. Clay’s cute. You’re cute. Becca’s cute,” he suddenly went limp as a realization hit him. “Shit.”

“What?” Lucy asked him.

“Everyone is just so fucking cute. All my friends. Everyone at the party. I just wanna kiss all of them,” and Lucy snorted. “What?”

“Even the girls?”

“Even the girls,” Desmond proclaimed. “I’m drunk enough to not give a shiiit,” and then the far door was suddenly opened. A large form was shoved into the other side of the car.

“Make sure he doesn’t throw up in my car,” Clay’s voice said and then slammed the door. Connor was shoved all up against Desmond.

“He’s super cute too,” Desmond pointed at Connor.

“He’s all right,” Lucy shrugged.

“Naw,” Desmond said. “Con, Con… Radodogedo,” he poked Connor a bit.

“Ratonhnhaké:ton,” Connor groaned.

“Yeah, that. Connor, get up,” and he pushed Connor up to bit so he could sit up. Connor was blasted. Desmond had never seen someone that drunk before. “Con… Con you okay?”

“I fine,” he slurred.

“Connor. Desmond thinks you’re really cute,” Lucy said.

“Ya doo?” Connor asked, still slurring, “I tink ur real cute too, ma’hn,” 

Desmond snorted, “You’re fucking drunk, dude,” he said.

“Yeaaaaaah,” Connor agreed, the door opened again and someone else was pushed in. Connor was now squeezed between the both of them.

“Connor,” Clay’s face appeared.

“Ya?” Connor asked.

“Do I need to give Aveline a ride home?” Rebecca started to laugh wildly. “Becca, what the shit?” he asked.

“You don’t,” she toned it down a bit. “Malik’s giving her a ride. Maybe not a ride home though,” she cackled.

“… I’ll investigate that later. Lets just get you idiots home,” Clay said and closed the door and climbed into the driver’s seat. Lucy immediately leaned over and said something into his ear. “Oh!” he said, “Well… that sounds fun,” and Lucy giggled happily. “Everyone put on your safety belts,” Clay ordered. It took some fumbling, but they all got their belts on, though Connor and Desmond had trouble finding and putting Connor’s on.

“All set,” Desmond said proudly.

“Great,” Clay said, slightly sarcastic, and drove off.

The ride to Boca Chicha was silent but not uncomfortable. Clay got onto the base just fine and drove to Desmond’s place. “Okay Des, this is you. Need me to help you to the door?”

“Pffft, no. Fuck you. I can do it myself,” and Desmond managed to untangle himself from his seatbelt and open the door on his own. He stumbled out into the warm Floridian winter night. He was about to close the door when Connor followed him. “Con, what’re you doing?”

“What?” Connor asked.

“Con, man, I can drive you home,” Clay called from the front seat, Lucy’s window rolled down.

“I cahn walk,” Connor said, “Not dat fah,” he was still slurring but he seemed to be able to stand on his own.

“You sure?” Clay called.

“Yap!” Connor said.

“Whatever you say man. Des, close the door so I can take Rebecca home.”

Desmond closed the door, “Night guys,” he said through the window and made Connor’s hand wave.

“Night,” Connor mimicked.

“Make sure he doesn’t die,” Clay told Desmond.

“Bye Clay,” and Clay rolled his eyes and drove off.

Connor sagged against Desmond, “I dun tink I cah walk ‘ome,” Connor said miserably.

“Ffff- Connor,” he sighed. “You can spend the night if you want.”

“I cahn?” he asked.

“Yeah. Clay spends the night all the time. C’mon,” and they managed to get to the door. Desmond struggled with the lock for a good five minutes before getting the door open. But he did get the key to work and they walked into the nice air conditioned house. “Shhh, my parents are asleep,” Desmond told Connor, finger to his lips. Connor put his fingers to his lips as well as Desmond closed the door softly and led Connor to his room.

Desmond was opening his room when slightly down the hall his parents’ door opened. “Desmond?” he looked and saw his father’s face emerge from the dark.

“Heeeey dad,” Desmond said, “We were trying to be quiet.”

“What’s Connor doing here?”

“He’s too drunk to walk home by hisself,” and Desmond giggled a little. William frowned at him. “And I’m too drunk to walk him. He’s gonna crash on the floor.”

William eyed Desmond. “Fine. Next time try not to drink so much. And you still have chores tomorrow I don’t wanna hear about your hangover.”

“Yeah dad,” and he shoved Connor into his room.

“Goodnight Desmond.”

“Night dad, love ya,” Desmond beamed at him.

William paused, “Goodnight, son,” and he closed the door.

“Oh thank god,” Desmond said to himself and went into his room. Connor was face planted on his bed, out like a fucking light, fully clothed with his shoes on. Desmond went over to the bed, kicked off his shoes, managed to wrestle out of his jeans and into some pajama pants and laid down next to Connor. He managed to get under the covers before passing out.

Chapter Text

The next morning Desmond woke because of two reasons. One, his arm was asleep and it hurt in a white noise sort of way. Two, he had to pee really, really, bad. When he finally did open his eyes he thought at first he was facing his wall and was all tangled up in his sheets. Upon a bit more observation he realized that the reason his arm hurt was because someone was laying on it and his sheets weren’t sheets, but rather an arm and a leg and he was up against someone’s chest.

He was ninety percent sure he’d gone home in Clay’s car last night. Had he just imagined that in a drunken stupor last night? Had he ended up in Altair’s bed again? This was really starting to become a regular thing. He did a self check. He didn’t feel sore like he’d had drunken sex. And the arms around him didn’t feel like Altair either. Bleary eyed Desmond leaned back a bit so he could see who he was snuggled up against.

Well. He wasn’t expecting that.

“Con,” he said and wriggled. He still had to pee really bad. “Con, wake up,” and he stated poking Connor in the face. On his cheeks and forehead and anywhere he could get his fingers. “Connor wake up I need to go,” and he tugged on his arm under Connor’s bulk.

“Eh?” Connor asked, eyes not opening, he sounded really hungover.

Move, I need to piss and I don’t wanna do it on the bed,” Desmond shoved him a little.

Connor whined unhappily at being shoved and rolled over and off of Desmond. Desmond, who’d been yanking on his own arm, wasn’t ready for it and he flailed off his own bed and onto the floor with a thud. “Ow,” he complained before navigating the process of becoming vertical again with the help of his bed and headboard with only minor set backs.

He walked stiff legged to the bathroom across the hall and sat because he didn’t have the mental functions to aim. His eyes closed and he tried to remember what the hell had happened last night.

He remembered dancing. And then meeting Aveline. He also remembered finding Connor playing beer pong like a fucking dude bro and playing himself. He drank a lot. And then after that? Most of it was blurry after that and a good part of it just black. He’d never gotten black out drunk before.

There was a knocking on the door which jolted him, “Desmond,” his father called, “you all right in there?”

“Yeah?” Desmond called back.

“You’ve been in there for ten minutes,” he said. He had? Shit he was hung over. “Also is Connor still here? His father called looking for him.”

“He’s here,” Desmond called back. There was no reply but he knew his dad had heard. Desmond got up and washed his face and brushed his teeth, his mouth tasting like death, before going back to his room.

Connor was still lying on his bed, back to the wall now, clutching one of Desmond’s pillows. Rubbing his head Desmond went and found his phone, which was lying on the floor nearly dead.  He plugged it in and sat at his desk. He had some messages. A few from Becca who was known to drunk text and lived up to that. A few of the messages were pictures from the night before, all of them blurry. The others were from Clay.

‘Connor make it home okay?’ ‘you awake yet?’ ‘I hope you two didn’t get alcohol poisoning, you were /wasted/ last night.’ ‘Text me when you wake up.’

‘I’m awake,’ Desmond texted back and finally checked the time on his phone. It was nearly noon. ‘Connor’s alive. He spent the night.’

His phone started to ring, that made Connor restless and roll around, trying to ignore the noise of Clay calling. “Hey,” Desmond said, leaning on his desk.

“How you feel?” Clay asked.

“Hungover,” Desmond groaned.

“Connor’s there?”

“Yeah, he spent the night and is currently hogging all my pillows.”

“Lucky bastard,” Clay said, only a bit sarcastic.

Desmond rolled his eyes, “You get to sleep in my bed all the time, shut up,” he huffed.

“Anyway. Wanna go to El Sib for lunch?”

“Eeehhhuuh,” Desmond rubbed his head, “Maybe. I’m pretty hung over. I’ll ask my mom if I can borrow her car since I don’t wanna drive my bike hung over.”

“Okay,” Clay said, “You just woke up didn’t you?”

“Well yeah-

“Can you stop talking, it makes the walls move,” Connor groaned from Desmond’s bed.

Desmond turned in his chair and looked at Connor, “Get up Con, we’re going to get hangover cures,” Connor moaned miserably. “We’re gonna have to introduce him to Cuban coffee,” Desmond said, sitting back right in his chair.

“Might actually put hair on his chest,” and Desmond laughed so hard her nearly fell off his chair. “C’mon man it wasn’t that funny,” Clay sighed.

“Whatever,” Desmond giggled, “Lucy still with you?”

“Yeaaaah, lazy bones is still hanging in my bed. Though I guarantee I had more fun with my bed mate than yours- Hey!” he cried at the end.

“She just smack you?”

“Yeah,” he whined, “on the arm.”

“You deserved it,” Desmond said.

Clay wasn’t speaking directly into the mic when he said, “Lucy Desmond said I deserved it… no that doesn’t mean you can do it again… we’re going to lunch… I’ll grab you some towels in a second,” and then back into the receiver, “Sorry about that,” but Clay sounded distracted. Somehow Desmond knew Lucy was walking around either half or fully naked to go take a shower. “So meet in like an hour at El Seb?”

“Sure. Becca coming?”

“No idea. I texted her, yet to get a reply.”

“You did see her walk inside right?”

“See her? Man she couldn’t even walk when we got there. I had to knock on the front door and hand her off to her dad. She was even worse than you two.”

“Geeze. Hopefully we won’t have to have an intervention,” Desmond teased.

Clay snorted, “She might be grounded,” Clay added. “If I don’t hear from her in forty five minutes we’ll just assume she’s asleep still.”

“Okay. I’m gonna get ready. Meet you at El Seb in an hour, maybe Connor can come.”

“Maybe?”

“His dad called my dad, sooo I think he might be in trouble. Haytham’s a hard ass,” he shrugged.

“Oh well. See you in an hour,” and Clay hung up.

Desmond then turned to Connor who was now lying face down on the bed, “You going to get up or what man?” Desmond asked him.

Connor pushed himself up onto his elbows, his hair hanging down in front of his eyes. “Des?” he asked, dumbly, as if realizing for the first time who it was.

“Yeah, man,” Desmond said, raising his brows at him.

That’s when Connor seemed to actually wake up and realize he wasn’t sleeping in his own bed, or was even at home. He sat up abruptly before nearly falling over from the sudden head rush. Desmond waited while Connor got his shit together, though watched with a bit amusement. Connor pushed his bangs up and out of his face, holding them on top of his head, “Did we sleep together?” Connor asked him.

“In the same bed yeah,” Desmond said, a bit amused.

Connor stared at him, “… I don’t remember last night,” he confessed. “Did we do anything?”

Desmond snorted, “Hell no man. You were too fucking drunk.”

“I was?” Connor rubbed his face, “I have the worst headache,” he groaned.

“Welcome to a hangover,” Desmond said. “Now go home and wash up, we’re going out to lunch?”

“What?” Connor squeaked, looking at Desmond through his fingers.

“After we go out and get drunk everyone goes to El Siboney or something for Cuban coffee and Cuban food. Now get up we’re meeting Clay in an hour.”

“We are?” Connor still looked sort of shell shocked.

Yeah,” Desmond got up and grabbed Connor’s hands, pulling him up off the bed. Connor was a wet noodle though and couldn’t get his feet under him quite quick enough. He ended up sort of falling on Desmond but they didn’t crumble to the ground and Desmond held him up. They ended up really close, faces almost touching. Connor’s face turned bright red and Desmond grinned at him. God he was really cute.

“Ah,” Connor got himself together and stood on his own, pulling away from Desmond, “Where are we going again?” he asked and ran his hand through his hair, slicking it back slightly.

“El Siboney, its a Cuban place down on Catherine street,” Desmond said.

“Oh, okay,” Connor nodded and went looking for his shoes. “Who’s coming?”

“Clay, Lucy, and us. Not sure if Becca will or not. She might still be dead to the world,” Desmond said as Connor found his shoes and put them on.

When he was done he turned back to Desmond, “… Are you sure we didn’t do anything?” Connor asked.

“Dude, you’re still in your clothes from last night,” Desmond said, because Connor was being stupid. Then he got a thought. “Why? Do you wanna do something?”

Connor turned red again, “I’ll see you in an hour,” and with jerky steps went to Desmond’s door. Desmond followed after him and made sure he didn’t get eat floor or something. He watched Connor walk off down the street from his front door, and Desmond admitted he might have been staring at his ass.

Chapter Text

Lucy and Clay were already there, waiting for them, when Connor and Desmond showed up. They had a table in the back, squeezed into a corner, away from the bright light coming from the windows. Lucy looked appropriately hung over, and Clay looked annoyingly cheerful.

“There you are,” Clay said, smiling at them when they sat. Connor chugged the ice water. They’d been home long enough to shower and change before Desmond was dragging him out again. Haytham hadn’t been home to stop them either, so that was a plus.

“Traffic,” Desmond said and rubbed an eye, next to him Connor was pouring over the menu.

“I ordered you coffee,” Clay said, Lucy was nursing her own cup of Cuban coffee already. It wasn’t the best here. But it was good.

“Thank god,” Desmond said and like on cue two cups were put down, one in front of Desmond, the other in front of Connor. They needed time to order for Connor though, so the waiter left.

“What is this?” Connor asked as Desmond dumped about six packets of sugar into his coffee. He was moving the coffee around in his cup. Cuban coffee, while liquid, was very thick, and very strong, though was a creamy color from the milk already added to it.

“Coffee,” Desmond said, mixing in the sugar and taking a sip. It hit him like a kick to the face. Say what you wanted about the Cubans, they made the strongest coffee in existence. Connor blew on it and took a tentative sip, and everyone laughed because it looked like he’d just sucked on a lemon.

“That isn’t coffee,” Connor said, “That’s liquid caffeine.”

“Same thing,” Clay shrugged, “And look at the menu, I’m starving,” he added.

“So how was the rest of your night?” Desmond asked Clay and Lucy as Connor took another sip of the coffee and looked at the menu.

Clay looked at Lucy and Lucy gave him a look, he looked back at Desmond, “Eventful,” was his wise remark. Under the table Lucy nudged him. “Yours?”

“Uneventful,” Desmond yawned, “Connor was too drunk to walk home last night… I think. We crashed literally as soon as we got inside. This guy,” he poked Connor’s shoulder, “didn’t even make it out of his shoes,” Connor looked at him from over the top of the menu, brows down over his eyes looking concerned.

Clay chuckled, “You remember last night?”

Desmond scratched his neck, “Parts of it. I remember beer pong horse. Connor’s good at beer pong-

“I am?” Connor asked.

“Yeah, don’t you remember?”

“I don’t remember really anything past seeing you guys,” Connor said, straight faced. “Is that normal?”

“No,” Clay said slowly just as the waiter showed up. They ordered and Connor seemed to pick something at random in a panic. “This was your first time drinking?” Connor nodded, “and you got black out drunk?” Connor nodded again.

“Good first time,” Lucy said, “Throw up?”

“I… don’t think so,” Connor said and he looked at Desmond, “I played beer pong? I don’t even know the rules for beer pong.”

Desmond laughed, “Well you were playing it last night, and despite being drunk as hell, you were super good at it. Better than me and I’m good at drunken beer pong,” he grinned.

“I literally don’t remember anything,” Connor said, sounding really confused. “I guess I had fun though, right?”

“It looked like it,” Desmond said. “How about you?” he asked Lucy.

“I remember most of it.”

“She got really drunk after Becca showed up,” Clay put in. “Thankfully for all of you, I remember all of it,” he grinned widely.

“Oh joy,” Lucy said, sipping her coffee gingerly. “Hopefully you were actually better last night than I remember-

“Hey!” Clay cried and gave her the most annoyed look, shocked she’d even say that. Desmond covered his mouth so he wasn’t snickering out loud and Connor didn’t get it. “You’re the one who always gets on my case about that stuff and you say that,” Clay frowned at him.

“Yeah but you don’t know when to stop talking. I just say enough so they don’t want to know anyway,” Lucy said smugly.

“And I really don’t, thanks,” Desmond said drinking from his cup.

“What else happened last night?” Connor asked.

“You and Desmond almost made out,” Clay said.

“Twice,” Lucy held up two fingers.

“Twice?” Clay asked her.

“In the car, you were getting Becca,” she said.

“What?” Connor squeaked and turned red.

“I honestly don’t remember that,” Desmond said truthfully.

“We almost did what?” Connor asked.

“Made out,” Clay said, grinning widely.

Desmond just shrugged, “I- I… sorry,” Connor told Desmond.

“Why?” Desmond asked.

“Uh… well… uh-

“Con, dude, it’s cool,” Desmond waved off whatever explanation he had.

“Oh,” Clay said, “He doesn’t know?”

“Doesn’t know?” Desmond asked.

“What don’t I know?” Connor asked, looking worried. Before Clay could say anything their food was brought. Desmond got his usual, Connor got steak, and Clay and Lucy were sharing a whole chicken. He poured the beans all over everything and ate a few bites as Connor said, “What don’t I know?”

“Desmond’s totally gay,” Clay said, mouth full.

“Don’t talk and eat at the same time, its gross,” Lucy said.

Clay swallowed, “Sorry,” he said.

“You are?” Connor looked at Desmond like he’d never seen him in his life.

“Yeap,” Desmond said and shrugged, “It’s Key West, we’re everywhere,” and he popped some pork into his mouth. It was the best cure for the hangover, rich, juicy, pork.

“Oh,” Connor said and looked like he was digesting that information. He looked at his plate and went about cutting his steak, not saying anything.

“So what’s the plan for today?” Desmond asked.

“Not being in the sun is what,” Lucy said.

“I meant besides that,” Desmond rolled his eyes.

Clay was staring at Connor, “Why don’t we give Connor a haircut?” Connor looked up sharply, cheeks full and made a ‘what?’ sort of noise. “Your haircut sucks, and you just moved here, you should get a new one. One that is better for the heat.”

Connor swallowed hard, “Like what?” he asked.

Clay looked at Desmond and grinned before looking at Connor again. Desmond knew what Clay was getting at. “How about a mohawk?”

“What?” Connor asked, “No way. My dad would literally kill me if I got something like that.”

“Yeah so?” Clay asked, “Can’t be a daddy’s boy your entire life Connor.”

“I bet your mom would think it was cool,” Desmond put in. “Aren’t you Mohawk?”

“Yeah… but I mean it isn’t… you don’t just get a mohawk.”

“Why not?” Desmond asked. “Not like there are any Mohawk in Florida to know you didn’t do X, Y, Z to get it or whatever. All we got are Seminoles.”

Connor frowned, “I don’t think so,” he said.

“Well what about an undercut?” Clay asked, “So you can keep your hair, not that I know why you would-

“You’re one to talk,” Lucy said, giving him a look.

“Huh? Shit if Connor gets a mohawk I’ll get one with him,” Clay said without pause.

Connor blinked, “Seriously?”

“Hell yeah. We’ll be mohawk buddies,” and he reached across the table to ruffle Connor’s hair. “Besides, guys with mohawks are hot. Right?” he asked Lucy.

“I guess,” she said.

“Right?” Clay turned to Desmond.

“They are,” he admitted, “too bad you never asked me out with a mohawk, I might have actually said yes.”

Clay snorted, “No you wouldn’t have.”

“Yeah probably not,” Desmond agreed with a cheeky grin.

“So?” Clay asked Connor.

“We’ll get mohawks?” Connor asked.

“Sure! It’ll be fun. I know a place that does good cuts.”

“Uh…” Connor glanced at Desmond, he was shoveling more rice and beans into his mouth, “Okay,” he said, though sounded unsure.

“Your dad will so get over it,” Clay promised, “Not to mention you can just wear it down, and boom; full head of hair,” Desmond didn’t have to look to hear the :D emoticon in Clay’s voice either. He did hear Lucy sigh though, she’d heard it too.

Chapter Text

The barber shop was on Flagler. There was no one waiting for a cut so they got to sit down. Lucy and Desmond sat in the waiting area as Clay told the barber what he and Clay wanted and that it needed to be together or else Connor would chicken out.

“Remind me why you’re dating him?” Desmond asked Lucy as Clay and Connor sat down in chairs next to each other.

“Hmm?” Lucy asked. There were two hair dressers and they both took one of the guys.

“Why you’re dating Clay when he’s crazy,” Desmond said.

Lucy was quiet a moment and folded her leg over her knee, “He’s cute, and he makes me laugh,” she said in a deciding tone.

“Yeah, he’s ridiculous,” Desmond agreed.

“Why?” Lucy asked.

“Cause personally? I think you’re way too good for him,” Desmond said and the buzzers started.

Lucy laughed a little, “Oh, I know,” she shrugged. “Just looking out for us?”

“Basically. Do you know how awful it would be if you broke up?”

“For who?”

“For me,” Desmond said and the hair cutting started. Connor had his eyes closed tightly. “Clay’s had a crush on you for like… ever,” Desmond gave her a look.”

“Awww, that’s cute. I didn’t know that,” she said.

“You talking about me over there?” Clay called.

“No,” Desmond called back.

“Yeah you are, I can feel it.”

“We’re not Clay. Now be quiet so the nice woman can finish your hair,” and Clay didn’t say anything after Lucy told him to shut up. 

“You’re welcome,” Desmond said, a bit smugly.

“Oh shut up,” she told him, giving him an unimpressed look. Desmond knew she knew what he meant. Without him they’d still probably being weird and not dating and Clay would be an oblivious idiot. It probably wouldn’t have ended well if they’d been allowed to continue as they had been. She rolled her eyes at him and looked back at the two boys getting mohawks. “Going to ask Connor out?” she asked him, not looking at him.

“What? Pfft, no,” Desmond said.

“Why not?” she asked and gave him a concerned frown.

“I’m pretty sure he’s straight,” he said. “And he knows,” he shrugged.

“Okay,” was all Lucy said. “And yeah he does look cuter without all that hair in his face,” she said.

“Huh?” Desmond said.

“Last night you said Connor was cute. And yeah, totally agree, Connor’s totally cute with a better haircut,” and as she said that Clay was finished with his. He jumped off the chair and checked himself out in the mirror.

“Awww yeah, I look awesome,” he said and paid his stylist. “Lucy, Lucy,” Clay bounded over to them, about as happy as a puppy, “touch my sides,” and he offered his head up for her.

She laughed, “Ahhh, fuzzy,” and she pulled his head forward so she could run both her hands against the sides of his head.

“Knew this was a good idea,” Clay said triumphantly was Lucy was done petting his hair and stood up, ruffled his short mohawk, and turned back to where Connor was. Connor still had his eyes closed tightly.

“Okay kid, you’re done,” the barber told Connor and patted his shoulder, taking off the bib.

“Oh I’m in so much trouble,” Connor said when he finally squinted his eyes open and saw that his hair was all gone on the sides. His mohawk hung over one side of his head showing that indeed, it was gone.

“It looks awesome!” Clay cried and went to help Connor stand since he seemed a bit shell shocked. “Right Des?” he called back.

“Hell yeah,” Desmond agreed and he and Lucy got up. Connor paid the barber and kept touching his hair, or rather, lack of.

“Here,” Lucy said, coming up behind Connor as they headed for the exit. “Hold still a sec,” and he held very still, though looked like he kept wanting to touch it. She pulled a hair tie out of her purse and used her fingers to card Connor’s hair back before pulling it back into a pony tail. “How’s that?” she asked.

“Wow Con, you look awesome,” Desmond told him, not even lying. He’d been right. Connor was cute with his hair out of his face, but with a mohawk, a ponytail, and the hair out of his face, he was beyond cute. He was fine as hell.

“I feel so weird,” Connor made a face and patted his head.

“Well you just cut off all your head weight,” Clay said, “And you donated all that mess right?”

“Yeah,” Connor nodded.

“Good. So, we both got new dos, which by the way, look fucking cool,” Clay stressed, “What do we wanna do now?”

“Uh… I have no idea,” Desmond said. “I got some chores I need to do before it gets too late though,” he added

“Movie?” Lucy asked, threading her arm around Clay’s. “Hansel and Gretel just came out-

“You just want to look at Renner’s butt,” Clay said.

“So?” Lucy asked, “I’m sure Desmond would appreciate it too.”

“Also, there are explosions,” Desmond added, “What do you think Con?” he asked Connor.

“I can’t afford it,” he said, “After lunch and the haircut, I’m broke.”

Desmond looked at Clay and Lucy and then back at Connor, “We’ll split your ticket.”

“What? No you don’t have to it-

“You can’t get home without me driving you anyway and if we’re going to see a movie might as well all go,” Desmond said, “So up for it?”

Connor blinked, “Yeah,” he nodded.

“Its decided, lets go!” Clay said cheerfully and they headed for their cars.

Once sitting the passenger seat with Desmond Connor said, “So it doesn’t look bad?”

“What? The haircut? Hell no. It looks cool.”

“Really?” Connor asked.

“Yeap,” Desmond reached over and touched the side of his head, “And buzz cuts are like my favorite,” he grinned and turned on the car. Satisfied Connor grinned at him and pulled on his safety belt. Desmond followed Clay out of the parking lot towards the theater.

Chapter Text

Altair was extra grumpy on Monday. As if Altair needed to be more irritated during tutoring. But he was. In fact he was positively pissed, and Desmond had no idea why. At least it didn’t seem he was mad at Desmond. Altair just seemed mad at the world. He just wanted to make it through the tutoring session in one piece.

They only had a few minutes left of their normal time when Desmond broached the hostility, “Are you okay?”

“What’s it to you?” Altair growled, and sat back in his chair, sinking into his hoodie since it was actually cold enough to wear one.

“Well you look like you’re about to rip my throat out,” Desmond said slowly, “Just wanted to make sure it wasn’t personal.”

Altair took a deep breath through his nose, like to calm himself. But his jaw was tight, he wasn’t calm at all. “I’m not going… rip your throat out, really that’s what you came up with?”

“What would you prefer murder me in my sleep? Because I could have gone with that one too,” Desmond said, cocking his head a little.

Altair sighed, “It’s not… nothing,” he grumbled, still annoyed, but deflated now. Then, like a kicked dog, he asked, “Enjoy the party last week?”

Desmond blinked, “What I remember of it,” he admitted.

“What you remember?” Altair asked.

“I got wasted,” Desmond said, “I remember like… half of it. You had a lot of booze,” he said.

Altair leaned against the table now, halving the distance between them. “You have fun though? Ezio told me you were out on the deck with them for a while.”

“Uh… yeah, I was,” Desmond said, “after that though I got like… nothing,” he waved his hand, “Remind me never to go to your parties again. I get black out drunk and that isn’t as fun as it sounds.”

“Huh,” Altair said and licked his lips, in sudden thought, which distracted Desmond immensely.

Desmond’s phone started to vibrate, and Connor’s face and name showed up on the screen, he answered it quickly. “Hello?” he asked in a quiet voice, since he was still in the library. He really hoped it wasn’t Haytham. Connor’s dad had already looked near about to burst a blood vessel when Desmond had dropped Connor off at home. He wouldn’t put it past Haytham to call and yell at him, though it was two days past now.

“Hey,” it was Connor, and he sounded so damn nervous over the phone, “Desmond?” like it could be anyone but.

“Yeah, that’s me,” he snorted a short laugh and turned away from Altair. He tapped the chemistry book so Altair would finish his homework but didn’t see if he was doing it.

“You still at your tutoring thing?” Connor asked, and sounded like he’d rehearsed what he wanted to say. Desmond thought that was sort of weird, Connor normally didn’t have this much trouble over the phone.

“Yeah, its almost over though,” he glanced at Altair who was staring at his chemistry book hard enough to set it on fire. “Why? What’s up?”

“I wa-was wondering if you wanted to c-come over after you were done?” Connor asked.

Desmond grinned, “Sure,” he said, “I’d love to come over. Your dad isn’t home though right? I don’t think he likes me right now.”

“No, he’s not. He and mom went out for the day, and Aveline has a date so-

“So there’d be no one home?” Desmond supplied and Desmond heard something snap, he looked over at Altair. He’d just snapped the lead of his mechanical pencil and was looking in his backpack for more.

“Yeah, that’s cool right? I mean technically I’m grounded until the end of the month but no one is home to enforce that.”

“Man Connor I didn’t even know you knew how to break the rules,” Desmond grinned.

“Sometimes,” Connor said, sounding more confidant now. “My mom has a Netflix account, we could stream something,” he said, and Desmond sort hoped there was a ‘and make out’ tag on there Connor wasn’t saying. Connor learning Desmond was gay had been a good thing. He didn’t know if Connor was himself, but it didn’t look like Connor did either. And Desmond wouldn’t mind being the experiment in this situation one bit. In fact he was sort of looking forward to it.

“Awesome, want me to bring popcorn? My mom practically lives on the stuff so we have like six boxes at home.”

“Sure. Though my parents will be home at like, seven, so you need to be gone before then. My dad would flip if he knew you were over. You’re a ‘bad influence’ on me. Or something.”

“Or something is right,” Desmond looked back over at Altair who was doing his work. “I’m almost done here so I’ll be there in like half an hour. Cool?”

“Cool,” and Desmond hung up.

“So do you need to go?” Altair asked, back to sounding angry, and glanced up from his work, “Also I thought we did this together?”

Desmond smiled nicely at him, “I can do the last few by myself,” he looked at what Altair had managed to do, “And you’re almost done.” Altair didn’t look amused. “Man, what the hell crawled up your ass and died?” he asked.

Altair scoffed, “Nothing— just… Its nothing. Just a bad day,” he ended in nearly a whisper and finished his homework in silence. 

Desmond frowned at him. “If you say so,” he shrugged.

“Done,” Altair said, finishing the last problem.

“Good,” and Desmond started to pack up. Altair shoved his things into his backpack and got up, since he had less things than Desmond. He lingered for a few seconds, which Desmond thought was weird and when he turned and looked at Altair questioningly Altair just turned and left. Weirdo. Hot weirdo he had a crush on, but a weirdo.

Once he was all packed he then had to go put his stuff away, he’d just do his chemistry homework during lunch, there were only like three problems, so he wasn’t worried. Then he headed home. Or rather he headed for Connor’s.

The door opened practically as soon as Desmond knocked, like Connor had been standing by it, waiting for him. He didn’t know if that was cute, or creepy. He decided on cute because Connor genuinely seemed happy to see him. “I brought popcorn,” he said, holding up a box. His mom wouldn’t miss it, and if she did she’d just go get more.

“Awesome,” Connor said and let Desmond inside. It looked nearly identical to his house in the way it was built, though everything on the inside was different. “I already started a movie, I hope that’s okay?”

“Yeah yeah,” Desmond waved him off and tugged off his jacket, stuffing as much as he could into his helmet. “What is it?”

“Master and Commander,” Connor said.

“Yeah? I’ve never seen that movie,” Desmond said, but he wasn’t a big movie guy past nerdy things. He’d rather play video games.

“Seriously? Its awesome,” and he took the box of popcorn from Desmond, “I’ll do this you go have a seat,” he was ordered.

Desmond went into the living room and sat on the couch, which was big and comfy. The Kenways had a big TV, and an Xbox, which was in use to stream Netflix. The Kenways all seemed like the type of people who had an Xbox just for Netflix too. He toed off his shoes and got comfortable. In the kitchen he could hear the popcorn popping, and he pulled out his phone.

‘I may or may not be over at Connor’s house, and I may or may not try to play two seats in the dark,’ he texted Clay.

‘Didn’t his dad say you were a bad influence on him?’

‘Which is exactly why.’

‘Also isn’t he grounded?’

‘No ones home.’

‘Yooooooooooooooo’ ‘give me the details later, got plans’

‘Weirdo’

‘Its why you like me <3’

Connor showed up with a big bowl of popcorn and set it next to Desmond, he sat on the other side of the bowl. “Why does your mom have so much popcorn?” he asked.

“She likes it,” he shrugged, “Healthier snack food than chips. So, Master and Commander?”

“Yeap,” and Connor grabbed the Xbox controller and navigated to the required screen to play the movie.

“And this is your favorite movie?” Desmond asked.

“One of them, yeah,” Connor nodded and then put his finger to his lips when the movie started. Desmond could appreciate that. Don’t talk over the movie. He dug his hand into the bowl and was content to munch popcorn while the movie played.

Chapter Text

Aveline got home before Connor’s parents did, clearly for an important reason since she opened the door carefully and dragged Malik inside. She clearly didn’t account for Desmond and Connor who both stared at her from the couch.

“Uh… Connor what are you doing here?” she asked.

Connor looked at Desmond, then back at his sister, “I live here,” he said.

“Aren’t you grounded?” she demanded.

“Aren’t you not supposed to bring boys over when dad isn’t home?” and he rose his brows, looking over Aveline’s shoulder at Malik.

“Yeah well you’re not supposed to have anyone over,” she said.

“I won’t tell dad if you don’t,” Connor said.

Aveline eyed him a moment, “Deal,” she said and then pushed Malik towards her room. She pulled her phone out from her purse, “Smile for my followers,” she said and Desmond had time to look confused when the flash went off.

“Aveline,” Connor groaned.

“Bye bye,” she waved and then followed Malik to her room.

“What was that about?” Desmond asked.

“What was what about?”

“The picture?”

Connor rolled his eyes, “Aveline uses instagram to document her lolita and fuel her selfie lifestyle and has like… seven thousand followers or something. She likes putting pictures of me on there sometimes.”

“She has instagram?” Desmond had made an instagram account like a year ago and had promptly become bored with it and forgot it existed.

“Yeah.”

“Seven thousand followers?” Desmond asked again.

“…Yeah?”

“How does your sister have seven thousand followers?”

“Cause she’s a cute girl who posts pictures of herself in cute clothes?” Connor seemed very confused about why Desmond wasn’t understanding this, clearly, simple concept. “Also lolita.” Desmond dug out his phone and went to the app store. “Are you seriously downloading instagram?” Connor asked.

“I want to see what your sister posts on it,” he said, “Also I was in that picture too,” and now he just left his phone to finish the download. “So what movie are we going to watch now?” he asked.

“Uh, I don’t know, you pick one,” and Connor handed Desmond the Xbox controller. Desmond started going through Netflix.

“Iron Man,” Desmond said and stopped on it.

“Never seen it-

“WHat?!” Desmond cried.

“I don’t really like super hero stuff,” Connor said.

Desmond stared at him, “We literally can’t be friends,” he said seriously. Connor snorted. “You’re watching it. At least tell me you’ve seen Lord of the Rings.”

“Yeah, they were okay-

Desmond made a pained shrieking noise and Connor laughed. “Everything okay out there?” Aveline called from her room.

“Your brother doesn’t like Lord of the Rings!” Desmond cried. Aveline laughed and closed her door again. “How do you not like Lord of the Rings?” he demanded.

“You mean Walking the Movie?” Connor asked.

“I literally can’t be near you oh my god,” and Desmond got up and went and sat on the armchair.

“Aww, c’mon Desmond,” Connor groaned.

“Nope,” and Desmond pressed play on Iron Man, “I can’t hang out with you till you’ve been properly educated about super hero movies, and watch Lord of the Rings, which is amazing by the way.”

Connor just rolled his eyes at Desmond and leaned back in the couch when the movie started playing. While the movie played instagram finished downloading and Desmond opened it to play around with it. He’d seen Iron Man over two dozen times, he didn’t really need to watch it to know what was going on. He fiddled with the app, figuring out how it worked sort of.

“What’s your sister’s instagram name?” Desmond asked, not looking at Connor.

“What?” Connor asked, Desmond repeated himself. “Black underscore lolita,” he said. “Why?”

“Because I’m following her,” he said and then started going through her timeline. The most recent picture wasn’t him and Connor like he’d thought, rather a picture of Malik’s face. He had to agree with the caption, ‘isn’t he cute?’ Aveline had excellent taste. Under that was the picture of him and Connor. “Do you ever look at your sister’s instagram?” he asked Connor.

“Not really, I see all her outfits in person,” Connor shrugged.

“Huh,” Desmond looked back down at his phone. Aveline was way more perceptive than Connor was apparently because her caption for them was ‘Connor and his totally-not-boyfriend-friend Desmond.’ He thought it was appropriate. He looked through the rest of her timeline. Most of the images were of her, all dressed up, or of her face, or of cute things she wanted. Now and then friends would pop up on her timeline, and Connor too. He saw some pictures from the after finals party in there but not many. Mostly though it seemed to be Aveline’s way to chronicle her lolita and her many outfits. Apparently she had dozens of outfits, and they all gave Desmond cavities because even he thought they were super cute. Apparently he and seven thousand other people thought that too.

Desmond took a picture of Connor, startling him. “What are you doing?”

“You’re the first picture on my instagram,” Desmond said.

“Uhg, not you too,” Connor complained.

Desmond snickered and started playing with the filters. He didn’t like most of them, they were stupid or made things blurry or off color. There was one that lightened a picture though, he used that since it was sort of dark. Then he posted it. He didn’t expect anything from it, but now he’d done something at least.

“Are you even watching the movie?” Connor asked.

Desmond looked at the screen, “How many languages do you speak? A lot. But apparently not enough for this place. They speak Arabic, Urdu, Dari, Pashto, Mongolian, Farsi, Russian. Who are these people? They are your loyal customers, sir. They call themselves the Ten Rings,” Desmond said, quoting along with the movie.

“Did you seriously just do that?” Connor asked.

“You know we might be more productive if you included me in the planning process,” Desmond said.

“Stop that it’s annoying,” Connor said.

Desmond grinned, “I know basically every line,” he said, “And I am watching it. I’m just looking at instagram too,” he grinned.

Connor sighed, “All right,” he huffed and Desmond looked back at his phone. It didn’t take him long to find the search feature and being him the first thing he searched was men.

He wasn’t disappointed.

“Thank god for instagram,” Desmond said to himself and quickly found the good tags to search for cute boys. Desmond followed a dozen in about ten seconds.

“Desmond why are you making those faces?” Connor asked after a few minutes of scrolling through the tag, which pained him in all the best ways. So many cute boys in the world, and so many of them were willing to get shirtless or pants-less. He loved the social media age.

“Not not Connor there are cute boys on the internet,” he said.

“What?” and Connor got up and came to stare over Desmond’s shoulder. “… Why are you looking at this?”

“Because I’m gay and like cute boys?” now it was Desmond’s turn to act confused as to why Connor was being so stupid about such a simple concept.

“Yeah… well…” Connor made a face and Desmond wasn’t exactly sure what it meant.

“What?” Desmond asked. Connor just looked, annoyed honestly.

“Nothing,” Connor said and went to go sit back on the couch.

“Jealous I’m looking at cute boys?” because that was interesting to him.

“No!” Connor said but by the flush on his cheeks he so was.

“Oh my god you so are,” Desmond couldn’t help but grin. “That’s so cute,” because Connor being jealous was like a kitten being jealous and wanting attention.

“Uh…”

“For the record, I think you’re pretty cute too,” and Connor flushed even more. “Also Aveline’s followers liked our picture, apparently we look good together,” he totally pulled that out of his ass, but Connor didn’t check Aveline’s timeline, he wouldn’t know.

Connor was about to say something when they both heard a car pull up in the driveway. “Uh-oh,” Connor said and they looked at each other with wide eyes. Connor lurched and grabbed Desmond’s hand, pulling him towards the back door. As they did Connor knocked on Aveline’s door, “Ava, dad’s home.”

“Shit!” they heard her cry from her room and then they were at the back door.

“Sorry,” Connor said, opening the door to the oppressive Florida winter.

“For what?” Desmond asked, “That was exciting. I’ve never had to sneak out the back of someone’s house before.”

“Connor?” Ziio called when the front door opened, “Aveline, we brought home dinner.”

“You should go,” Connor said.

“Yeah probably. I’ll see you at school,” he grinned and they both looked when the window to Aveline’s room opened. The screen was popped out and Malik slid out. The collar of his polo was popped, which wasn’t normal.

“Your dad sucks,” Malik told Aveline, who took the screen back.

“Yes he does,” and she gave him a kiss. “See you tomorrow,” and then she noticed Desmond and Connor.

“You’d be in more trouble than me,” Connor said before she could say anything.

“At least I get to kiss mine,” she stuck her tongue out at him and Connor turned bright red.

“See you later, Connor,” and Desmond knew he needed to leave. He and Malik went the same way around the house to the front where the Kenway car was parked, empty of its occupants.

“You and Connor dating?” Malik asked, giving him a side eyed look.

“Uh… no,” Desmond said awkwardly.

Malik just shrugged and headed down the street to his car. Desmond walked the other direction towards his house.

Chapter Text

The next day, when Desmond arrived at school, he noticed Clay fucking staring at him. He had no idea why though. All he knew was that Clay was being weirder than usual, and giving him the dumbest fucking look. Desmond occupied himself by bothering Connor during health class, flicking paper footballs onto Connor’s table with quotes from Iron Man until the boy glared at him. Desmond just beamed at him and Connor turned redder than usual.

Clay gave him weird looks for that too.

Thankfully he didn’t have to see Clay until lunch. He started when one moment he was in line alone, the next Clay had fucking aparated next to him. “So… Was this a conscious decision or did you just forget?”

“Forget?” Desmond asked grabbing his lunch.

“Wow you seriously forgot. That’s amazing. This is literally one of the best days of my life, I need a moment to fully bask in your forgetfulness,” Clay said, also getting his own lunch.

“Going to clue me in on what I forgot?” Desmond asked as they waited in line for milk and to pay.

“That… isn’t your shirt,” Clay grinned at him widely.

“What?” he looked down, it was one of his button up shirts he wore to work. “It totally is one of my shirts,” he said, “All my Ts were dirty so I had to wear a work shirt.”

“No, it totally isn’t,” Clay said and grabbed them both chocolate milk. “That’s totally Voldemort’s shirt.”

“Volde- what? WHat?” and the kid in front of him looked over their shoulder at him wondering what Desmond’s condition was.

“Yeah, that’s totally the shirt you wore when I picked you up the first time. It doesn’t even fit you how did you think this was your shirt?” Clay poked his chest.

“Oh my god… I never gave it back,” Desmond squeaked, completely mortified. Now he knew why this shirt was clean; because he never wore it. He made a point to never wear it. But he didn’t have any clean clothes this morning and so had thrown it on without thinking and now he was wearing Altair’s shirt.

“You idiot,” Clay laughed and then they were paying for their lunch.

“Oh god… and I have tutoring today,” Desmond was all at once anxious. Clay just snorted. “It isn’t funny!” Desmond cried and thankfully they were outside now.

“Sure it is. And how’d the thing with Connor go? You play two seats in the dark?”

“Nooo,” Desmond groaned, “Aveline came home and then I learned our friend doesn’t like superheros and-

“What? He doesn’t? Ew,” Clay said.

“Basically. I don’t think I can kiss someone who doesn’t like superheros,” Desmond said, only half serious. “Also I got an instagram,” he said as they came up to the others.

“You’re on instagram?” Rebecca asked.

“Yeah?”

“Holy shit give me your username, I’m going to follow you,” she said and whipped out her phone.

“You have one?” Desmond asked, “I never see you taking pictures though,” he frowned and sat between her and Lucy.

“I don’t really post, but I follow a lot of sports players,” she said.

Next to her Shaun sighed, “Rebecca like hockey players,” he said.

“What? Since when? Florida doesn’t even have a hockey team,” Desmond said.

“Yes they do! But they suck so it doesn’t matter,” Rebecca said, “Now really, instagram name.”

“Uh,” Desmond balanced his tray on his knee precariously as he dug around for his iPhone. “I’ve barely even used it,” he said.

“Yeah so?” Rebecca said as he brought up the app.

“DM, underscore,” Desmond said.

“Seriously? How’d you get that?”

“Uh… I picked it? I have no idea I just started,” Desmond said.

“Your first pic is Connor? Boring, take pictures of us,” Rebecca said cheerfully.

“This is weird, I actually do something that Rebecca does, its like an episode of the Twilight Zone,” Desmond said as he brought up his camera and took a picture of Rebecca hanging off of Shaun who really looked like he just wanted to have his lunch in peace. “Look happy Shaun, seriously.”

“I’m British, Desmond, we aren’t allowed to look happy.”

“You nearly have Rebecca’s tits in your face, I think that negates that,” and only then did Shaun notice them and Desmond caught the image of Shaun’s sudden ‘oh look at that’ face. “Perfect,” he said.

“Uhg,” Rebecca groaned, “Boys just have to make everything gross,” and she sat back on the seat.

“What? I was just pointing them out. I don’t even like them,” Desmond shrugged and imported the image to instagram. He didn’t bother with filters again and just posted it. And then turned to look at Clay and Lucy.

Lucy was practically in Clay’s lap and she was sharing some of her lunch with him. Her step dad had brought her grocery store sushi and seaweed salad. “Desmond, really?” Lucy asked as he got them just as Clay failed to get the seaweed all the way into his mouth and it flopped against his chin.

“Perfect,” Desmond snickered.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Desmond looked up when Connor joined them, just sitting on the ground in front of him.

“Just Instagram,” desmond shrugged.

“Yeah, my sister says that too,” Connor sighed.

“You sister has insta too?” Rebecca asked.

“Yeah.”

“What’s she post? Nudes?”

No!” Connor squeaked, looking mortified by the mere idea. “She posts her lolita and pink things and her boyfriend.”

“You sister has a boyfriend?” Lucy asked. “Since when?”

“Since yesterday.”

“Oh, so Malik did give her a ride at that finals after party,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca,” Lucy scolded, Connor just looked confused. Rebecca giggled a little.

“Well, yeah, it is Malik, how did you know?” Connor asked.

“Because only boyfriends get that stupid look on their face when you walk by in a hot outfit like ‘yeah, I’m going to take that off tonight,” Rebecca said, finding herself incredibly hilarious.

Desmond wasn’t the only one who sighed, but apparently Clay thought she was on the money because he leaned across his friends, basically across Desmond’s lap, to fist bump her. “I wanted to ask,” Lucy said abruptly, “Can we move club day?”

“Why?” Desmond asked.

“Because I have softball practice now. We meet every other day until full season starts, and it falls on club day.”

“Then yeah, sure. Why don’t we move it to the weekends?” Clay asked.

“I work weekends,” Desmond said.

“Wednesdays then?” Lucy asked. 

“I hate Wednesdays,” Desmond grumbled.

“Besides Desmond hating Wednesday, everyone cool with that?” Lucy asked.

“Yeah, seems fine,” Clay said with a shrug. “Any other news to share or am I free to go do my thing?”

“Like anyone would dare get between you and your thing,” Desmond said sarcastically.

“Good,” and Clay hopped off the bench, grabbed his backpack and went off.

“What’s his thing?” Connor asked.

“His gossip wheel,” Desmond said rolling his eyes. “Don’t worry about and don’t take him up on it when he asks you if you want to bet one something, you’ll lose.”

“What?” Connor was just so confused.

“Just don’t,” Desmond advised him.

“Okay…” Connor said, frowning.

There was a weird air during tutoring. In chemistry, when Altair had come in, he’d seen Desmond and gotten this look on his face. Not the same look Clay had been giving him up till lunch, but a look. Desmond had wanted to just crawl into his backpack and zip himself up. Now, as Altair worked, he kept… glancing up at Desmond. Just brief looks but Desmond noticed. And it was starting to stress him out and make him anxious.

“You got a problem?” Desmond asked him.

“Nothing,” Altair said, looking down at his work but Desmond could see his lips tugged into a bit of a smile. “You’re just… wearing my shirt,” and he found it amusing. Desmond flushed brightly and when Altair looked up and smirked at him he burned brighter.

“Not on purpose,” he said, thankfully not stammering.

“Looks good on you,” and Desmond hated him. He hated Altair so much because it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that he was cute, and could be charming and flirty, and had an fantastic dick, and perfect then… would be such a fucking prick. It was why he was so on board with being Connor’s experiment, because Connor wasn’t a prick. Connor also didn’t tongue tie him with a look and make all the butterflies that showed up when he was around Altair flutter into a storm only to just melt and sigh when Altair said something stupid or charming. He was fucking perfect and Desmond hated every atom of him.

“Kinda big,” Desmond said and tried not to think about the fact that he was wearing Altair’s shirt, not the first one no. But usually those were temporary and just in the morning when Altair sometimes made him breakfast and washed his clothes. He’d worn this shirt all damn day. “How the hell did you even know? It looks like a normal fucking shirt.”

“Too big on you, and you don’t wear red,” Desmond scowled at him, but it was true. Desmond wasn’t a red guy.

“What you notice what I wear?”

“I notice what cute guys wear yeah,” Altair seemed amused by Desmond’s sudden shocked face. “I mean, don’t you?”

“Sometimes,” he admitted, he honestly didn’t usually pay attention. Desmond was basically the worst example of a gay guy ever. “I didn’t peg you as a guy who cared what someone else wore.”

“Fair enough. I’m usually more interested in taking those clothes off anyway,” and the hair on the back of his neck stood up on end. “I ever going to get my shirt back or are you just going to keep it?”

“You can have it back— not right now though. I think the librarian wouldn’t appreciate me stripping in her library.” And while Altair didn’t say it his eyes and that smile that tugged at the corner of his mouth said he’d appreciate it. Desmond hated him so much. Altair was so fucking confident and sure of himself and knew just how to twist Desmond around his fingers and make him enjoy it. It was so fucking hot too. It made Connor’s stammering, flustered, puppy crush, seem flimsy and ill constructed. Altair knew what he liked and even if he didn’t like Desmond, he liked Desmond’s body and liked making it feel good.

“You should come over. I could give you your shirt back,” he said.

“My shirt- oh, right.” Obviously. If Desmond had Altair’s shirt of course he had Desmond’s shirt.

“Uh… okay,” he nearly stammered there. “How come I didn’t know you had a pool till the party?” he suddenly asked.

“… What?” Altair asked, giving him a look.

“I’ve been over your house like a dozen times. I didn’t even know you had a back deck.”

“I have a boat and dock too,” Altair said.

“You do- how have I been there twelve times and never seen it?”

“I don’t know. You ever look outside? Not like there aren’t windows everywhere.” Desmond opened and closed his mouth a few times, but had no come back to that. “Too distracted by me?”

Desmond drew back and scowled at him, stupid flirty asshole. “Yeah, totally you and not your giant mansion house,” Desmond said, rolling his eyes.

“So is that a yes?” Altair asked.

Desmond didn’t want to say yes. But he did want his shirt back. He didn’t remember what the shirt looked like. But he knew he wanted it back. “Yeah, I want my shirt back.”

He probably should have been more awkward about this. Sitting on Altair’s bed while Altair looked through his dresser for Desmond’s shirt. Desmond looked around while he waited, it looked the same as the last time he’d seen it. Wall scrolls, yellow walls and ceiling, ceiling fan, two windows on either side of the bed, the rope lights in the headboard. Every time Desmond looked at the bed he could see himself on it, naked. Fuck how many times had he been laid out on it? Enough times honestly.

“Ah, found it,” Altair said and tugged a shirt from the drawer.

“Finally,” Desmond huffed.

“I have a lot of clothes,” Altair shrugged and handed it to him.

Desmond took it and then stood up, then he turned his back to Altair and started to unbutton the shirt. He didn’t know why he was bothering, Altair had seen him naked and then some. But just a small measure of control in this situation was enough for him, since he was in Altair’s court here, in his house. He changed shirts quickly, yanking his T-shirt, which was washed and smelled clean, on over his head.

“The hell… you stretched it out,” he turned around to Altair, the neck of his shirt was stretched out, the shoulders had been too. It didn’t fit him anymore.

Altair shrugged, “I only wore it once. It was too tight.”

“Yeah and now its too loose uuuuhg,” he looked down at his shirt, “I liked this shirt too,” he muttered to himself.

“Well then just take it off if you’re upset about it,” Altair said.

“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Desmond asked, and was suddenly aware that Altair was very close to him. They were nearly touching.

“I wouldn’t be adverse to it,” Altair admitted and he felt the tips of Altair’s fingers brush against the hem of his shirt and briefly against the skin of his stomach. It made his heart do a summersault. “Wouldn’t be the first time I convinced you to stay either,” he said and fuck why did this guy make him so weak kneed? Desmond honestly was about to swoon. He hated this guy so fucking much.

“Yeah well-“ he didn’t get the rest out because Altair’s mouth brushed against his and he forgot how to talk. It was barely a kiss but it made Desmond’s stomach drop out and fuck he wanted Altair to kiss him so badly. His eyes lidded and Altair ran his hand up under his shirt, across his flank following the curve of his body to the small of his back.

He closed his eyes and sighed when his phone started ringing. Abruptly he turned away, breaking up whatever they’d been doing, or about to do, and fished his phone from his pocket. He didn’t look at the caller ID before picking up. “Hello?” he asked.

“Desmond?” Connor asked.

“Yeah. Con what is it?” he didn’t mean to sound harsh, but Connor had literally just interrupted.

“Oh uh… my dad’s not going to be home till late and my mom said since I’d been so good I could have a friend over for dinner. So I wanted to know if you wanted to come over?”

Desmond sighed and ran his hand through his hair, tugging it absently. “Yeah. Yeah I’d love to come over for dinner,” he said.

“Okay. You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine I just… nothing. Its fine, sorry for snapping.”

“Its okay. We’re doing tacos and nachos for dinner, kinda early-

“Okay. I’ll be there in a little bit.”

“Okay!” and Desmond smiled helplessly with how excited Connor sounded. “Also I told my mom you were teaching me how to ride a motorcycle. She wants to grill you.”

“Fantastic,” Desmond groaned and rubbed his mouth, Connor just laughed. “I’ll see you in a bit,” and hung up. He sighed turned back to Altair, “I have to go,” he said.

“Right,” Altair said, suddenly like a pin cushion, his body language hostile and closed off, his voice sharp and hard. “You know where the door is,” and frankly Desmond didn’t exactly blame him for his sudden attitude change. He had just blown him off rather spectacularly.

“I’ll… see you tomorrow,” he said and then saw himself out.

Chapter Text

When Desmond knocked on the door of Connor’s house he was met with possibly the last face he was expecting. “What are you doing here?” he asked Malik.

“I was invited,” he said, “Connor,” he called and stepped out of the way. Desmond stepped inside and a moment later Connor showed up, his hair all over the place. Malik gave Desmond a look and then left the two of them. Desmond closed the door.

“Con, the reason you got your hair cut is so it wouldn’t be in your eyes,” Desmond sighed at him.

“Yeah yeah I don’t like having it up when I lay down,” Connor said and ran his fingers through it, pushing it back and putting it into a ponytail.

“What’s he doing here?” he asked, meaning Malik.

“Aveline told our mom she had a boyfriend so Ziio said to invite him for dinner. And since dad isn’t home…”

“Perfect opportunity,” and Connor nodded. “So, tacos and nachos?”

“Yeah, though mom forgot something at the store so she had to go run and get it.”

“What’d she forget?” Desmond asked as he followed Connor into the house and into his room. Aveline’s door was closed.

“The meat,” Connor sighed, “She bought everything else, except like the most important part,” and Desmond snickered. “So we just have to wait till she gets back from the store,” he flopped onto his bed.

Connor’s room was a far cry from Altair’s. The walls were still regulation white and there were boxes everywhere still like Connor hadn’t bothered to fully unpack. His walls were plastered with posters of animals and nature, his ceiling fan creaked horribly too. He had a bed, unmade, and a desk, full of clutter and pens and no real room to even actually work on the desk, and a dresser, the top of which had a few things on it but was the only clear space in the room other than the floor. There wasn’t really anywhere to sit so Desmond just sat on the bed next to Connor since his desk chair had things on it too.

“Going to unpack any time soon or what?” Desmond asked him.

“Eeeehg,” Connor said, making a face. “I hate unpacking almost as much as packing.”

“I feel ya, but it’s been a month,” and Desmond laid back on Connor’s bed. “Feels good once you’re unpacked,” he added.

“I know, I just haven’t,” Connor sighed. “How was tutoring?”

Desmond’s mouth went thin, “Fine,” he said. “Altair’s still stupid as hell about chemistry though,” he sighed.

“Not an easy subject,” Connor said.

“I guess,” Desmond shrugged, “I’m still passing.”

“Could you tutor me?” Connor asked.

Desmond looked over him, “With what?”

“Science. I’m not… very good at it, and you’re two years ahead of me so I figure you’d be able to help,” Connor said hopefully.

“I dunno,” Desmond said, “I mean I got tutoring with Altair on Mondays and Wednesdays, club is on Thursdays now, I work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I only really have Tuesday open.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of stuff,” Connor said. ”And I’m cool with Tuesdays. You can come over, since I doubt I’ll be allowed to leave the house till next quarter, and help me with my science,” he smiled a little.

“I guess,” Desmond said, “I don’t think that’d be too much of a problem. Please tell me you know your vocab though?” Connor nodded, “Thank god! Altair is awful with vocab I want to fucking strangle him sometimes,” and Connor snorted. “So, your mom’s at the store, what are we gonna do till she gets back?”

“I dunno. Not much fun at my house,” Connor shrugged, “My dad changed the password for my Xbox account too, when he found me using it. So… no more Xbox.”

“Your dad’s a hard ass,” Desmond said, “More than mine even.”

“He’ll ease up in a week or two, maybe… hopefully. He goes hard for a while but always eases up. But I had three strikes so I got grounded.”

“Three?”

“Yeah, the party, the hair, and then back in Washington I stayed at one of the reservations all night without telling anyone. He was so mad I did that. To be fair I scared both my parents, they thought I’d run away, or been kidnapped or something.”

“Dang Connor, you’re a regular rebel aren’t you?” Connor just shrugged, but seemed pleased. “Kinda hot,” he added and Connor stiffened and flushed. “You know you can tell me if you like me,” he said. 

“Uhm, well—

“I mean I’m coming on pretty strong here, give me a bone.”

Connor was bright red and it was so cute. Desmond didn’t realize how nice it was to have someone into you on a sort of innocent level. “YeahIkindalikeyou,” Connor said.

Desmond grinned and sat up, “Not so hard huh?” he asked.

“Do you like me?” Connor asked shyly.

“Yeah,” he said, he could dig it. He didn’t know where Connor rated on the Kinsey scale, but if it was in the ‘down for making out with dudes’ part of it, then Desmond could get behind that. “Even more so since your haircut, mohawks are hot, you should spike it at some point, see what it looks like.”

“I think my dad would have a heart attack if I did that.”

“Eh, he’ll get better,” Desmond said. “You’re too cute to let your dad tell you what to do,” and Connor flushed again. Desmond just grinned and then leaned over and kissed Connor on the cheek. Connor kinda perked up and his back straightened in a kinda ‘oh he did a thing’ sort of way.

“Uh- uhm-“ Connor said, though seemed too shy to say whatever he was trying to spit out.

“What?” Desmond asked.

“I’veneverbeenkissedbefore, canIkissyou?” Connor blurted out.

“Sure you can,” Desmond said and moved the few inches to press a closed mouth kiss against Connor’s lips. Connor stiffened for a second and then relaxed. “Just like that,” Desmond said after it and Connor clearly didn’t know what to do with himself.

“Connor, Aveline, I’m home,” Ziio suddenly called from the front of the house. “Aveline open your door,” she added.

“Moooom!” they heard Aveline yell back, through the door.

Ziio walked past Connor’s room, “Ah, hello Desmond,” she said.

“Hi Ms. Kenway,” Desmond said cheerfully.

“Ziio,” she said.

“Right,” he said as she walked past to Aveline’s room.

“Aveline, door open,” and they heard her try the knob. “Aveline,” she said and then started talking in some language Desmond didn’t know. Connor looked mortified.

“Mom!” the door was ripped open, “Oh my god I can’t believe you just said that.”

“Well don’t make me repeat it in English. Now, door stays open when you have a boy over.”

“But mom,” she complained.

“Your brother has Desmond over with the door open.”

“Connor’s also a pussy-

“Hey!” Connor yelled, getting off of bed and going to look out the door. Desmond just stayed where he was, amused with just listening to what was going on. The following conversation between Connor and Aveline was only half in English, the rest in the language Ziio had spoken in before. Typical sibling argument honestly.

“Okay okay, enough you two,” Ziio finally said and pushed Connor back into his room, and assumedly Aveline back into hers. “Cool down and I’m going to start dinner. When you’re not so heated come help me make the nachos. Doors stay open.”

“Yes mom,” they both whined.

“Good. Desmond, Malik, feel free to ditch these two children if you feel the need,” and then she left and he could hear her doing stuff in the kitchen.

Connor groaned and threw himself onto his bed. “Do I wanna know?” Desmond asked.

“No,” Connor said intro his mattress.

“Okay. What language was that?” he asked.

“Kanien’kéha,” Connor said.

“Come again?”

“Kanien’kéha, Iroquoian Mohawk.”

“Oh, oh, that makes so much more sense now,” Desmond said. “Duh,” he smacked his forehead. Of course two Mohawk kids would know Mohawk. Connor snorted. “What? Just cause I’m good at science doesn’t mean I’m smart all the time, okay?”

“Yeah,” he sighed.

“Also, I’m hungry. Lets go help your mom.”

“Okaaay,” Connor groaned and pushed himself up. Desmond hopped off the bed and they headed for the kitchen where Desmond could hear beef sizzling in a frying pan.

Chapter Text

When Desmond got to school the next day and met his friends before the first bell Connor was doing his damnedest to pretend that he wasn’t looking at him, but he was. Aveline was hanging around too, looking cute as hell as usual. Her novelty to most of the school had already worn off and most people didn’t even look at her in her cute lolita anymore. She was sitting with her brother waiting for the bell, or Malik, one or the other.

Aveline grinned when she saw him, “Hey Des,” she said.

“Hey Aveline,” he said, “Hey guys,” and with a tired sigh, it was only morning and he was already tired, he sat down next to Connor and leaned against him. “I’m sleepy,” he said, putting his head on Connor’s shoulder and closing his eyes.

“Well class starts in, like, ten minutes,” Lucy said, “So I’d suggest waking up.”

“I don’t wanna,” Desmond complained and nuzzled against Connor’s shoulder like it was a pillow. Lucy laughed a little. Desmond dozed on Connor’s shoulder and didn’t miss or mind when Connor ran his fingers across the top of Desmond’s hand. “Clay here yet?” Desmond asked after a few minutes had passed, his friends talking around him.

“He’s not coming to school today,” Lucy said.

Desmond opened his eyes and looked at her, “Why not? He sick?”

“Uh-“ Lucy frowned. She made a subtle head motion and got up, Desmond followed.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I didn’t wanna bring it up in front of Connor and Aveline,” Lucy said, shrugging and now Desmond knew it had to do with Clay’s dad. Clay didn’t talk about his home-life much, and Shaun and Rebecca didn’t know much about it. Desmond and Lucy only really knew because they were closest to him, and Lucy had known Clay since he was in middle school.

“So?” Desmond asked, “Harold do something?”

“I got a text from Clay this morning saying his dad said he couldn’t go to school.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged.

“You call him?”

“I didn’t want to… in case-

“Yeah, I got it,” he nodded.

“He said he had to hide his phone too since his dad was acting weird.”

“Well yeah. Any idea why?”

Lucy licked her lips, “I think today’s the anniversary of when his mom died,” she said. Desmond felt the blood rush out of his face.

“Shit,” Desmond said.

“So that might be the reason. He’s not coming to school today though he said. He’d call us if anything happened.”

“Or call the fucking police,” Desmond said, “today sounds like a day Harold’s going to get wasted.”

“Yeah. But Clay’s safe in his room,” Lucy said. Desmond nodded. The bell rang. “And there’s the bell.”

“I’ll see you at lunch,” he said.

“Did you do the reading?” she asked.

Desmond froze, “…No,” he admitted.

“Desmond!” she cried.

“I gotta go to class, bye!” and he hopped back to where his other friends were and grabbed his backpack. “Hey Con, lets get to class.”

“Desmond I’m not going to fail because of you,” Lucy called, coming up to them.

Desmond grinned at Connor and then grabbed him by the wrist, “Bye guys!” and dragged Connor to their health class.

Desmond was at home, setting up for club when he got a text message. He frowned and picked it up and his brows went up when he saw who it was front. It was from Altair.

‘Where are you?’

His heart did a summersault. ‘Wat? :V’

‘Where are you? I’ve been waiting in the library for like twenty minutes.’

“Shit,” Desmond said. He’d neglected to tell Altair that tutoring days had been changed because club day had changed. He stopped setting up and sat down to answer this. ‘Sorry, I forgot to tell you, no tutoring today’

‘Perfect.’

‘I said sorry okay! I just forgot’

‘Why?’

‘?’

‘Why aren’t you here today?’ and for some reason Desmond read that as kinda hurt, like Altair might have been looking forward to it. Total flight of fancy, but he couldn’t help it.

‘Club day changed from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. So we’ll have tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays now, okay?’

‘I guess. What club are you in?’

Desmond stared at the big white board and D&D miniatures and all his D&D books and their folder with their character sheets. No way he could tell Altair he played Dungeons and Dragons. No way. He already was a nobody in school and anyone who knew of him knew he was a nerd. He didn’t need to be that loser nerd who played D&D too. So what the hell did he tell Altair?

There was a knock on his door, startling him. Right, his friends were coming over. He hopped to his feet, leaving his phone behind, and got the door. It was Aveline and Connor. “We’re not early, right?” Aveline asked.

“Nope, you’re fine,” Desmond said, smiling and let them in.

“Also I told my boyfriend what I was doing, he wanted to come,” Aveline said.

Desmond stared, “He did?” he asked as he closed the door. The mental image of Malik playing D&D was surreal to him.

“Yeah I told him no though. I didn’t know if you were okay with it.”

“Well, the more people there are the longer it takes and the harder it is to control. So it just depends,” Desmond shrugged.

“Well if you say its okay he can come next time?” Aveline asked.

“Uh… we’ll see,” Desmond said, “I need to ask Shaun since he DMs too and if we want more players since its harder on us when there are a lot of people.”

“That’s fair,” Aveline said and sat at the table with Connor. She instantly pulled out her phone to text something. Desmond went back into his room to grab the last few books, his big bag of dice, and the white board markers. Lucy was there when he got back. “I just let her in,” Aveline said as explanation.

“Thanks,” Desmond said, “Clay coming?” he asked Lucy.

“I haven’t heard from him all day. I doubt it,” Lucy said.

“Too bad,” he frowned.

“So Clay’s sick?” Connor asked.

“Yeah,” Desmond said, “Or faking it. He’ll probably be fine tomorrow,” and he handed the character sheet folder to Connor to find his character. He looked down at his phone and saw he had a few more texts.

‘Ur mother and i are going up to BP to visit friends tonight. B home late. Dont destroy house.’

“My dad is the worst texter ever,” Desmond groaned. His friends laughed a little at that. “And he’s got an iPhone too! Like what is even his damage?” he looked at his other texts.

‘Who’s in club with you?’ Altair had asked, ‘And where is it in school. At least I can come bother you for canceling on tutoring >C’

“Idiot,” Desmond muttered. ‘Club is at my house. So no, you can’t. And its with my friends. You’ll live and I’ll be at tutoring tomorrow.’ He finished just as the front door opened.

“Hello everyone, are we late?” Rebecca asked widely as she and Shaun just… walked into his house.

“Don’t you know how to knock?” Desmond asked with a sigh as they sat down.

“Knocking’s for squares. Also we brought booty, check it,” and Rebecca pulled a bottle of Coke from her backpack and a giant bag of gummy worms. Then she pulled out one of the smaller sized bottles of Captain Morgan.

“If you roll under a certain number, you have to take a shot,” Shaun said, with an evil smile.

“You’re kidding,” Lucy complained.

“Nope!” and he actually laughed. Rebecca seemed so pleased with herself.

“Where’d you get a bottle of rum?” Desmond demanded.

“My big sis is visiting for a few days. She bought it for me cause she likes to corrupt the minds of children,” Rebecca said brightly.

“Your sister’s awesome,” Desmond said.

Everyone got their character, Shaun drew out the map. “Okay you’re all starting here,” he pointed at a square that was a tavern, “Everyone roll for drunkenness.” They rolled. “Desmond, Connor, Rebecca, take a shot, your characters have minus-one to all skill checks.”

“Uuuuhg,” Lucy complained even as she took her shot. Desmond’s phone rang. “Desmond, turn it off before we start so it isn’t like last time,” she scolded him.

“Sorry sorry,” he fumbled with his phone as someone put a cup in front of him. ‘So that means I can’t come?’ Altair asked and Desmond was too distracted by downing the rum that he just wrote ‘no’ and turned his phone on silent. He had shit to do and Shaun had his ‘you’re hunting dragons’ face on. He needed to be with it, especially since he was probably going to be intoxicated before too long.

Chapter Text

When the last bell rang Desmond was out of his seat in seconds. He wanted to go, get tutoring over with, and then get home. He was still showing Connor how to ride a motorcycle and today they were going to practice, they hadn’t in a while because Desmond was busy but he was making time today. He was surprised when Connor found him at his locker.

“So,” Connor said, leaning against the locker, “You’ll be there right?”

“Yeah, I said I would didn’t I?” Desmond gave him a look.

“Well the last time you forgot and were late,” Connor made a face.

“That was a complete accidents I slept in. I got an hour of tutoring with Altair and then I’ll be over there, okay?”

“Promise?”

Desmond looked at him, “Yeah Connor,” he said, “I promise.”

“Okay,” and Connor smiled at him. Then to Desmond’s complete surprise kissed him on the cheek before darting away to catch the bus before it left. Desmond stared after him, his books half out of his locker and about to crash onto his foot. Connor had just kissed him. Usually Desmond was the one who did the kissing, even just little cheek kisses. He felt kinda warm cause he was basically totally corrupting Connor and it was fantastic.

He grabbed the rest of his books and notebook he’d need and went to the library to meet Altair. He was surprised when Altair was waiting for him outside of the library.

“What’s up?” Desmond asked.

“There’s some guys at our usual spot and the tables of filled with the chess club. There’s no room,” Altair said. Desmond frowned.

“The cafeteria then?”

“That place is really loud and there will be people in there for a while,” Altair said, and Desmond knew Altair wasn’t wrong. It was the same story for the tables out under the pavilion where kids hung out instead of going home or just leaving.

“I don’t know then, where should we go? We need permission to be in classrooms.”

“You could come over,” Altair said, “Just my grandpa is there.”

Desmond eyed him a second, “Is this some grand scheme to get into my pants?” he asked.

Altair looked him over a second, “I wouldn’t have to try this hard to get into your pants.” Desmond’s mouth fell open at that, Altair had just called him easy. “And it’ll be quiet,” he said, “unless you have a better idea?”

Desmond puffed out his cheeks, he didn’t really want to, but it was his fault they now didn’t have a place to study because he’d moved the days they studied to Tuesday and Thursday instead of Monday and Wednesday. And he didn’t want to have Altair come over to his house either. There would just be something wrong about a hot guy like Altair in Desmond’s plain house. Also for some reason he didn’t want Altair to know where he lived. “Fine,” he said. “I really really can’t stay more than an hour though, I’m meeting Connor for a thing.”

“What thing?” Altair asked and they both headed for the parking lot. Desmond pulled his backpack around front and shoved his books into it since he couldn’t carry books and ride. He needed to invest in some saddle bags at some point.

“Eh?” he asked, he hadn’t been paying attention.

“What thing are you going to do?” Altair asked.

“I’m showing Connor how to ride a motorcycle,” Desmond said, distracted.

Your motorcycle?” Altair asked.

Desmond looked over at him, “Well Connor doesn’t exactly have one now does he?”

Altair shrugged, “I guess. I’ll see you at my place,” and Altair turned and went to his car. He had a nice car, it a Mercedes and bright red and new and Desmond had been in it once, but he’d been too busy floating to pay attention to it and then Altair had jammed his hand down his pants and-

He shook his head as Altair backed out of the parking space. So not the right time to think about that. Desmond headed for his bike in the back of the parking lot and got on and headed for Altair’s place.

He was behind Altair enough to have to knock on the door when he got there. Altair answered the door and was greeted to the sound of things frying and the heavy tang of sauteing onions in the air. He blinked to try and get his eyes to not water. “Are you cooking already?” he asked.

“No, that’s my grandpa,” he said.

“Altair, who’s that?” a man called.

“My tutor, Giddo,” Altair called back and let Desmond in. A man appeared from the kitchen. He was old, really old but stood straight and had a short, but well kept white beard, and a full head of white hair he wore in a pony tail. He wore white chef’s jacket and a pair of… hammer pants.

“Hello,” the older man said, “Who’re you?”

“Uh… Desmond Miles… sir?” because he remembered that Altair had told him his grandfather was a Vietnam vet.

Then he smiled, “Hello Desmond, I’m Rashid. You teaching my stupid grandson something interesting?”

Giddo!” Altair cried.

Desmond tried not to snicker, “Chemistry, sir,” he said.

“Will you be staying for dinner?”

“Uh… no, sorry, I can’t. I’m only staying for an hour.”

“Ah, really?” Rashid gave Altair a look but Desmond didn’t know what it meant, Altair just rolled his eyes.

“We’ll be in my room, out of this gross onion smell.”

“Aye, respect your grandfather, boy,” Rashid scolded him. Altair wasn’t impressed and dragged Desmond to his room. He muttered to himself in Arabic.

“Your grandpa’s cool,” Desmond said. Altair gave him a similar look he’d given Rashid. “So we going to study on the floor? Your bed?”

“Let me get another chair,” Altair said and left again. Desmond then went over to the desk and sat down. It was clean and tidy and smelled freshly wiped down with something lemony. Altair came back a moment later and Desmond moved over so Altair could fit the other chair at the big desk.

Desmond pulled out the book and notebook he’d need. “So, ready to do the homework?”

Altair sighed, “I guess,” though he seemed more uninterested in it than usual.

“Good,” Desmond put the book down in front of Altair, “We’ll do the homework, then some vocab. If time allows I come up with something else for you to do,” Desmond grinned at him.

“You like tormenting me don’t you?”

“Perks of being your tutor,” Desmond said cheekily. Altair just gave him an unamused look. “Go on, you got homework,” he said, directing Altair to their chemistry.

After a painful bout of vocab Desmond was ready to call it quits. But he had told Altair he’d be here an hour, a whole hour. “So now what?” Altair asked him.

“Back of the book,” Desmond said. Altair groaned. “Hey, you need the practice,” and Altair looked a second away from snapping at him, but he didn’t. Instead he opened the chemistry book to the back.

“I don’t wanna,” Altair complained.

“Yeah? So? What’d you rather do then?” Desmond challenged.

He wasn’t expecting Altair’s answer, which was to suddenly kiss him. Desmond mentally flailed for a second before kissing him back and then he felt Altair’s hands in his hair and under his shirt and it was fantastic.

Desmond, quite honestly, lost track of time after that. He was just kissing Altair and didn’t want to stop doing that and he was all for just making out, and didn’t need anything to come of it. He just enjoyed the feeling of Altair’s mouth on his and Altair’s hands in his hair and his own around Altair’s neck. At some point Altair had moved to straddle one leg, but he honestly couldn’t remember when that had happened. But there he was.

“Fuck,” Desmond muttered when his phone started to ring. “Just a sec.”

“No,” Altair said, grabbing his hands and kept kissing him. His phone rang and then stopped ringing and Desmond forgot about it. 

It was quiet for a bit and then his phone started ringing again. “Altair, stop. It could be my parents,” and only that made Altair let his hands go. He didn’t stop though and was kissing up against Desmond’s neck and jaw. He didn’t recognize the number, “Hello?” he asked.

“Desmond?” Connor asked.

“Uh-

“It’s almost five,” Connor said.

“Fuck,” Desmond said.

“You’re still coming right?” They’d decided to just drive around the area this time, since it was fairly open. Desmond was momentarily distracted by Altair kissing him on the neck, under his ear and he didn’t realize how much he liked that till just then. “Desmond?” Connor asked.

“Yeah… shit sorry. Sorry I’ll be there in a few minutes. Okay?”

Connor sighed, “Really?”

“Yeah, really. I was just… just working,” and he finally pushed Altair’s face off his neck before the bastard gave him a hickey.

“Okay. I’m at your place actually,” Connor said.

“Who’s phone are you on?”

“Aveline’s,” he said.

“Okay I’ll be there as quick as I can. Bye,” and he hung up. “Okay, you,” he gave Altair a stern look, “What was that about?”

“What do you think it was about?” Altair asked raising his brows.

“I need to go,” Desmond said.

“Really?” Altair asked dully.

“Yes. I don’t have all day to spend making out with guys. I’m a busy guy, I got shit to do and other homework to do too,” Desmond scowled at him. Altair rolled his eyes but did get off Desmond’s thigh. He checked his phone. It wasn’t just almost five, it was after five. He groaned. “Why do you always make me late?” he demanded of Altair and rapidly got his stuff together. Altair muttered to himself in Spanish and Desmond was only half paying attention but it sounded kinda like ‘so he’ll take a hint’.

“Do the rest of those problems I told you to do. I’ll look at them in class. Now I really have to go,” and shouldered his back pack and left to Altair’s slightly forlorn ‘bye’.

As he was leaving Rashid stuck his head into the living room, “Not staying?” he asked.

“Ah, no, sorry, I’m actually late for something. Thanks though,” Desmond gave Rashid a little wave and walked out the door to his bike. He yanked on his helmet and jacket and headed for home.

Connor was waiting in front of his front door when he pulled up. “Sorry!” was the first thing he said when he turned off his bike. Connor frowned at him. “Really I’m so sorry. I just-

“Just?” Connor asked when Desmond didn’t have a perfect excuse.

No way he was going to tell Connor he’d been making out with Altair. “I turned my phone on vibrate and forgot about it until you started calling me,” he said. “I really didn’t mean to be late and uhg I was late twice in a row this sets a fantastic precedent doesn’t it?” he hung his head a bit.

“Its okay,” Connor said.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Connor nodded.

“So… aren’t you grounded?”

“Didn’t we agree I’m ‘sort of rebel’?” Connor asked with a grin.

“Your parents don’t know you’re here?”

“Nope. Mom and dad went out for the night, its date night on Thursday. I told Aveline if she didn’t tell them I came here to learn how to ride a motorcycle with you that I wouldn’t tell them she brought Malik over again.”

“Your sister sure it pushing her boyfriend’s luck,” Desmond said.

“As she puts it she ‘likes to live dangerously’,” and Desmond laughed at that. “So, we gonna do this?”

“Hell yeah,” and Desmond shoved his helmet onto Connor’s head. “Now, you remember what we did last time?” Connor nodded, “Okay, we’re gonna do that again.”

“Okay,” and Connor got on the bike. “Hey Desmond,” he said.

“Yeah?” Desmond asked, standing next to him.

Connor looked hesitant for a second, “Thanks,” he said.

For what?” Desmond asked, a bit confused.

“… For everything, really,” and then to his great surprise Connor tugged him down a few inches to kiss him, on the mouth. Desmond didn’t know how to respond to that at first before kissing him back. It was a one eighty from the guy he had been kissing not ten minutes ago. Altair was experienced and knew what he was doing but Connor was trying so damn hard to not suck that Desmond gave him points for that at the very least.

Connor was very careful of what his mouth was doing to not drool or suck on Desmond’s face or shove his tongue down his throat, and Desmond could appreciate that. Desmond held either side of Connor’s face, kissing him for a good minute before stopping. He sighed and he wasn’t sure quite what it sounded like, but Connor was smiling. “So- uh…” Desmond said, at a complete loss for words and let go of Connor’s face. “Right lets see if everything we did last time didn’t leak out of your ears.”

Connor chuckled a little, “Okay,” he said and reached down and turned the engine on.

Chapter Text

Desmond was on his way to lunch, he’d just come down from the stairs and was headed for the cafeteria, when he ran into someone. He hadn’t been paying attention, as he was trying to get his back pack zipped up after his hasty retreat out of class to get to lunch before the line got painfully long. So he ran into them quite bodily. “Oh, I’m sorry I was just-“

Altair glared at him, he’d run into Altair. Normally Altair didn’t glare at him too hard, just a more annoyed ‘I can’t believe I’m in your area’, sort of glare. This time though it was angry. Then to his surprise Altair grabbed him by the wrist and yanked him towards the library, but not into it. Rather Altair pulled him into one of the two bathrooms in the entire school (why there were only two bathrooms in the school Desmond had never figured out despite going there for three years) and shoved him against one of the super gross walls.

“What is your problem?” Altair demanded.

“M-My problem!” Desmond cried, “What’s your problem? You just dragged me in here like a bad high school jock cliche.”

“You were kissing Connor,” Altair said.

“Wha- First off,” Desmond snapped and shoved Altair, “How did you even know that? And two, I can kiss whoever the fuck I want, perks of being single. Including Connor, so what the hell is it to you?”

Altair scowled at him, “I don’t want you kissing Connor.”

“Well too bad,” Desmond scowled right back. “I can kiss whoever the fuck I want, without your permission.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Too bad,” Desmond said, “You’re not my boyfriend, I just sometimes fuck you, you don’t get to tell me what I’m allowed to do.” Altair stared at him for a second. “Don’t tell me you’re surprised,” Desmond said, angrily.

“I’m just surprised you’re so stupid!” Altair cried and put his hands on his head, clearly exasperated with Desmond. The late bell rang, and it was horrifically loud in the bathroom, Desmond did his best not to grimace. “Or that oblivious.”

“What?”

Altair rubbed his face, all the anger leeched out of him and now he just looked frustrated. Desmond didn’t understand why though. What the hell was this guy’s problem? “You’re dumb,” he told Desmond blandly.

“Then please, educate me,” Desmond was still sort of mad at him for dragging him in here and being fucking weird and hostile. “What the hell is your damage?”

“You’re really this oblivious?” Altair asked and even though Desmond was about to say something his mouth slammed closed when Altair said, though, “I like you.”

Desmond felt like his stomach had just fallen out of his gut. “You what?” he squeaked.

“I like you,” the second time Altair said it he didn’t sound so hesitant to downright nervous about it. Like he’d said it once and it was out there so there was no reason to hide it.

Desmond’s mouth opened and closed a few times, staring at Altair. “You like me?” he asked, after a second Altair nodded. With that information a lot of things started to make sense. Like why Altair bothered him in chemistry more, why he’d texted him on New Years, why he even bothered getting Desmond’s number in the first place. He remembered telling Duncan though, and Clay, that Altair didn’t like him. That he didn’t like Desmond. And then here they were. If they hadn’t been in the gross boy’s bathroom Desmond would have needed to sit down because he didn’t know how to handle that information, that his crush also… apparently had a crush on him.

“You’re so stupid,” Desmond told him.

What?” now Altair looked confused.

“I like you too you idiot!” Desmond cried. And it was amazing how genuinely surprised Altair looked.

Then he said, “Then what the hell are you doing kissing Connor?”

“I’m single, I can kiss whoever I want,” Altair scowled at him.

“I don’t want you to.”

“Well too fucking bad. You aren’t my boyfriend-

“Be my boyfriend,” Altair blurted out.

“What?”

“I want to be your boyfriend,” he said. “Cause I don’t want you kissing anyone but me.”

Desmond was totally floored. Altair wanted to go out with him. His brain kindly reminded him Altair was still closeted as shit and what it had been like last time to date a boyfriend in the closet. “Okay,” Desmond said, “But I have conditions.”

“C-confitions? What do you mean you have conditions?” Altair demanded.

“I have conditions,” Desmond said.

Altair scowled, “What are they?”

“One, you have to be out.”

“What-

“I dated a guy who wasn’t and I was miserable. I’m not dating a guy I have to be secretive around. You want to be my boyfriend, you need to be out.”

“Like… how out are we talking?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do I have to come out to my grandpa?”

“No,” and Desmond did some quick thinking, “but I want to be able to be with you at school, and in public. You don’t have to tell Rashid if you’re worried about what he’ll do or say,” because he wouldn’t risk Altair’s safety for his benefit. Duncan had dated enough gay and trans people that Desmond knew to not force them to make their lives too horrifically uncomfortable.

“Okay,” Altair said, “I can do that.”

“Good. Two, if we’re dating, we actually go on dates. No more of this just, Desmond come over and we can fuck.”

“Not even sometimes?” Altair asked.

“Well not all the time.”

“Okay,” Altair said, “I can do that too. Is that all?”

“Any questions about them?” Desmond asked.

“No. I mean… they’re pretty fair, I thought you were going to have some crazy conditions. Any more?” he huffed.

“Just one,” and Desmond smiled, “You have to kiss me right now-“ and Desmond didn’t even finish because Altair was kissing him. Desmond wrapped his arms around his neck and smiled the entire time, and it was better because Altair was smiling too.

“I have some conditions too,” Altair said when they were no longer kissing.

“Okay?” Desmond asked, arms still around his neck, Altair had his around his waist.

“No more kissing Connor or anyone else, but me,” he said.

“Of course, stupid. That’s the point of going out, exclusive rights to the goods,” he snickered.

“Two, I want you to stay away from Connor.”

“No,” Desmond said.

“No?”

“Yeah, no. Connor’s my friend. And I’ve done the whole possessive boyfriend thing before. Not interested in playing that game again. I won’t do anything with him, but he’s my friend and I’m going to continue to hang out with him.” Altair frowned at him, “Don’t look at me like that. How’d you like it if I told you not to hang out with Ezio anymore because I don’t like how he treats girls?”

Altair grimaced, “Okay,” he said, “I get… jealous when you’re around him.”

“Duly noted,” Desmond said, “Any other things?” he asked.

“Go out to lunch with me.”

Desmond laughed, “Right now?” Altair nodded. “Lunch is like, half over already.”

“I know, but we’ll go somewhere quick.”

“Okay.”

Altair took his arms from around him, “So, we’re going out?” he asked.

“If you’re out we are.” Altair’s mouth when thin, “I told you-

“No I know, I know,” he looked like he was thinking hard for a moment. “Give me the weekend? I don’t care about most people but I want to tell my friends that I’m… gay,” and Desmond smiled because he’d never heard Altair say it and it sounded hard for him to do so. “And not through someone else or something.”

“Okay,” Desmond said, “On Monday?”

“Yeah,” Altair nodded, “So… lunch?” he asked.

“Yes,” and Desmond kissed him on the cheek which seemed to cheer Altair up significantly.

“I’ll drive,” he said and Desmond followed Altair out of the bathroom and to the parking lot to his pretty, red, Mercedes. Desmond got into the passenger seat. Altair didn’t say anything as he started the car.

“So, where are we going?” Desmond asked as Altair pulled out of the parking lot.

“Somewhere quick,” and he pulled onto Flagler, “fast food I figure.”

So like… Burger King?” and thankfully they were already at the light because Altair gave him the most insulted look. “What?”

“You actually eat Burger King?”

“Sometimes,” Desmond said.

“Condition four; you can’t eat McDonalds or Burger King anymore,” and Desmond laughed. “That’s disgusting.”

“I don’t think its that bad. And I don’t eat it a lot. Just sometimes, or when its late and there’s nothing open.”

“Ew,” Altair said, still looking insulted as he turned onto First Street heading for N Roosevelt.

“So then where are we going?”

“Miami Subs,” he said.

“I’ve never been, is it good? Like Subway?”

Ew,” Altair said again.

“What?”

“How the hell are you so thin if you eat garbage like that?” he demanded.

“I have a fast metabolism,” Desmond said. “And Subway’s healthy-

“No it so isn’t,” Altair said.

“So is this place healthy?”

Altair paused, “Not healthy exactly, but it isn’t as bad for you as fucking Burger King and its more interesting than Subway. Uhg I can’t even believe I kiss that mouth.”

Desmond snorted, “You’ll have to show me goo places to eat then,” Desmond said slyly.

Altair gave him a look when they came up to the nightmare that was N Roosevelt. There was construction going on it and had been for two years. It was a nightmare since it was one of the three main roads to get into Old Town and most of the city. “You’re just saying that so I take you to fancy restaurants.”

“Is it working?” Desmond asked with a grin.

Altair gave him a look out of the corner of his eye as the light turned green, “A little,” he said.

“Then I don’t see anything wrong with that,” and Altair turned onto N Roosevelt and then turned almost immediately into a parking lot. Miami Subs was a white building with an aqua and pink sign that said the name and had a palm tree on it. Altair went around to the back to a drive through. “What’s good?”

“Everything,” Altair shrugged and Desmond leaned over to read the menu.

“Hmmmmm,” Desmond said thoughtfully. Altair was right though, it had more variety than Subway and the burger places. You could still get a burger and fries, but you could also get gyro and salads and hot subs, and ice cream and it was pretty cool.

“Know what you want?” Altair asked.

“I think so? What are you going to get?”

“The chicken pita,” he said.

“The gyro any good?”

“Pretty good.”

“Then I want that, and a soda.”

“Okay,” and Altair pulled forward to the speaker and ordered their food. Then they pulled up to the window. Desmond pulled out his wallet, “No,” Altair said.

“What?”

“No, put it away, I got it.”

“You sure?” he asked.

“I got it,” and Altair handed the man at the window his card.

“Thanks,” Desmond said and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. He liked that.

“Doing anything tonight?” Altair asked as they waited for their food.

“Yeah, why?”

“Why do you think,” Altair looked him up and down.

“I told you-

“You said all the time,” Altair interrupted him, “and I like seeing you naked,” and Desmond flushed brightly. Altair leaned over to soft of speak into his ear, “my bed looks better with you in it,” and nuzzled him. Desmond turned vibrant red.

“I-I have work tonight,” he stammered.

“What about after work?” Altair asked, mouth still near his ear.

“I’m to do anything after work,” Desmond said.

“Sir,” the man at the window called and Altair drew back. Thank God. Altair got their food and put the bags in Desmond’s lap.

“You’ve gone to parties,” Altair said as he pulled away from the drive through.

“I didn’t work weekends then,” he said. “I work weekends now.”

“Dang,” Altair said and that was when Desmond pulled out his phone. He needed to do something. “What’re you doing?” he asked as he turned onto George to get back quicker.

“Blowing someone’s mind,” Desmond said, texting Clay. ‘I have a boyfriend.’

“Huh?”

“I’m sure you’ll hear all about it on Monday,” Desmond said cheerfully as Clay texted him back.

‘???????’

‘I have a boyfriend’

‘Did Connor ask you out or something?’

‘What? No. Why would he?’ ‘Clay?’

‘Class man! Duh, and where are you?’

‘I’ll talk to you after school.’ “We’re late,” he told Altair. Altair shrugged. “I know you’re failing chem but I don’t want to,” and Altair sighed.

“Well  you can be late once. You’ll live.” Altair pulled into a now much more full parking lot, going up to the front “Get out,” and Desmond hopped out. “Ey, leave my food,” Altair called, still in the car.

“What? Aren’t you coming?” Desmond asked.

“I need to park,” Altair said, “I’ll see you in class.”

“Okay,” Desmond ducked back down to put Altair’s bag on the seat and leaned over to give him a quick, light, kiss. Altair had a really dumb look on his face when he got back out. “See you in class,” and Desmond headed for his locker as Altair drove off to find a place to park.

Chapter Text

Desmond found Clay at his car, though he was preoccupied by kissing his girlfriend. Desmond just waited, back to them, against the trunk, for them to finish. He knew Clay knew it was there, but he didn’t blame Clay for being more interested in his girlfriend than in Desmond.

Finally though Lucy did say goodbye and headed for where the car pool area was to where her mom picked her up from school. “So,” Clay suddenly grabbed him on the shoulders from behind. “What were those texts about?”

Desmond turned around, “I have a boyfriend.”

“As I surmised. Who? Connor?”

“Why’d you think that?”

“Because Ava gave me some super juicy news about him.”

“Yeah. What was it?”

“He’s planning on asking you out,” and Desmond felt his stomach drop out, but not like earlier. “Apparently this weekend… why do you look like you just saw a ghost?” and Clay looked over his shoulder. “Did I just blow up his spot? Shit I thought he’d asked you out already-

“Altair asked me out,” Desmond blurted.

Clay closed his mouth and stared at him. “Wait wait wait, back up, rewind. Did you just say Voldemort asked you out?”

“Yeah.”

“When!?” Clay cried.

“Today, at lunch, its why I wasn’t there.”

“And you didn’t tell me this till now?’

“We were in school!” Desmond cried.

“Horrible, weak ass, excuse,” Clay declared. “Altair asked you out?”

“Yeah… and fuck, fuck, I didn’t even think about Connor, fuck,” and he grabbed his bangs.

“Yeaaaah, that’s a pickle. But I mean, you’re already accounted for so… tough luck sort of thing?”

“Uhg I’m shitty,” he said.

“Why?” Clay asked. Desmond just grimaced, “Desmond, bro, what’d you do?”

“I… might have totally kinda made out with Connor yesterday,” Desmond admitted.

“Seriously?”

“Yeaaaaaaah, it was a whole thing. I went to Altair’s for tutoring since our normal spot was occupied- and don’t look at me like that we did study and I made Altair do his homework. We finished early and erm—

“And? Don’t leave me in suspense here. You didn’t suck his dick and then go and kiss Connor did you?”

“What! No no! Nothing like that,” Desmond batted at him annoyedly. “We just… made out and then I left cause me and Connor had a thing. And well… he kissed me and I kissed him back and we practiced riding my motorcycle-

“Well that isn’t the only thing he wants to ride-

“Clay!” he yelled and Clay howled with laughter. “And uhg yeah afterwards I totally taught him how to kiss and we made out for a while before his parents came home,” Desmond grimaced.

“Get in,” Clay got into his car.

“What?”

“Get in, its fucking hot out and I want to sit in the AC,” he said. Desmond went around to the passenger side and slid into Clay’s car.

“And Voldy asked you out today,” turning on the car and the AC, hot air blew through the car and they both cranked the windows down to let the hot air escape.

“Yeah.”

“And obviously you said yes.”

“Well… yeah. Am I a jerk?”

“For what? For going out with a guy you’ve had the most annoying crush on for like like three months? Hell no. Connor’ll have to get over it if he’s upset. But he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who gets like that.”

“Yeah but I mean… like I’ve been kinda… maybe leading him on a bit for a few weeks.” The AC finally kicked on and they rolled the windows back up, now sitting in the nice, cool, car.

“You have?”

“I told him I liked him-

Desmond,” Clay sighed.

“What?! Altair wasn’t in the picture okay? I only saw him other than tutoring since break and I didn’t fuck him since before break either. We didn’t even do it at his party.”

“Yeah… you didn’t. What’s up with that?”

“I don’t… remember,” Desmond admitted, “I was really drunk.”

“Yeah you were. You all were. Except me.”

“What am I gonna tell Connor?” Desmond asked.

“The truth?” Clay asked, “That you always liked Altair and now you’re dating him and you’re sorry you gave him the wrong impression?”

“Uuuuhg,” Desmond slid down in the seat. “I am a jerk,” he lamented. “I totally led him on and now… ‘sorry Connor I have a boyfriend, it isn’t you. I was totally just super horny and you were easy and cute and AHG!’” He pressed his hand over his face.

“You’re totally overreacting. Connor will understand.”

“Would you?” Desmond asked.

“What that you got a fucking boyfriend after making out with me? Been there, done that, read the terrible book, saw the shittier movie, and had to deal with the author and main actor hanging around being a leech,” Clay said irritably. “Or are we going to continue to act like Alex was a figment of both our imaginations and not a guy who was a shit bag to you.”

Desmond looked down, “He wasn’t that bad-

“He was borderline abusive and a manipulative dick. You did tell Altair you don’t date guys in the closet right?”

“Yeah,” Desmond sunk further into his seat. He knew Clay was just looking out for him, but he tried to not think about Alex. He was the best and worst thing that had ever happened to him and when he thought about him sometimes he… forgot that he was the worst thing for a reason.

“Good,” Clay said. “And if I got over it after having to watch you date a fucking ass face like Alex who didn’t give a shit about you, Connor can get over you dating a guy like Altair who, if he’s coming out, clearly does… He is coming out right?”

Desmond nodded, “He wanted to tell his friends himself. He told me he’d have done it by Monday.”

“Good,” and Desmond was still surprised how heated Clay was about the entire thing. He didn’t realize Clay had such a violent reaction to just bringing Alex up. The guy had been gone two years. “So, what are you going to do now?”

Desmond looked at the clock on Clay’s dashboard, “I need to get ready for work,” he said.

“You got like an hour,” he said.

“I know. Which is why I’m going to sit right here for another fifteen minutes before going home. Okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine,” and Clay sat back in his chair. “Also,” Desmond looked over at him, Clay grinned a little, “I’m happy for you, man.”

“You are?”

“Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be? I mean, you’re my bro and you like Altair, I’m not going to ask why, and if he likes you, well, who cares? If he turns into another Alex though I’m getting you a fucking restraining order.”

Desmond smiled a little, happy Clay cared so much, “Thanks,” he said.

“I’m serious,” Clay said, “I watched one guy fuck you over and say he loved you. I’m not doing that again. But I’m giving Altair the benefit of the doubt since he isn’t super creepy like Alex was. So, I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks, Clay,” he said, “For looking out.”

“I look out a lot, thanks. Not like you’d even notice Altair had a face if I didn’t remind you,” and Desmond laughed.

“He has a face, from the back, above his thighs. Its a really nice face,” and Clay snorted.

They lapsed into silence and Clay turned on some music. They sat there listening to Clay’s iPod for a little while before Desmond had to leave and get his ass to work. “See you later,” he said, grabbing his stuff.

“Bye,” Clay said, waving and Desmond headed for his bike, pulling on his helmet when he got there. As he did he got a text and looked at it. It was from Clay, ‘it’ll be fine <3’ and he smiled. He noticed he had another text as well, from Altair. ‘Where do you work?’

He answered it without thinking, still preoccupied with thinking about just what he was going to do about Connor. He didn’t want to hurt his friend. He really really didn’t. But what was he going to say when Connor either tried to kiss him, or tried to ask him out. He really didn’t want to think about it. But he knew it’d come up. He just hoped he had a few days to come up with something good.

Chapter Text

When Desmond arrived at work it was busy, and it stayed busy through most of his shift. It was season after all. Meaning it was still cold up north and it was warm in Florida and all the snow birds were visiting during their temperate season to get out of the cold back home. That just meant that there were a lot of tourists around.

And if there was anything a local hated and loved in equal measure, it was a tourist.

The restaurant Desmond worked at was mainly a local’s haunt though, as it was too far from Key West for most tourists, but it was still busy. Bobalu’s was an open air restaurant in a squat, wooden building that always had its windows open except when it was ‘cold’. There was a small bar and about two dozen tables with plastic table cloths and mounted trophy fish on the wall. On the furthest wall from the door a mural had been painted of the ocean. And at the end there was a little outside area with two tables.

Desmond waited tables on weekends. It paid for his gas and his motorcycle insurance and he put away a bit each paycheck for college though he was probably going to get a mostly full ride from the state. It was okay money, and he knew a few of the regulars by name.

It wasn’t until later that Desmond had a chance to take his break and he scarfed down some meatloaf nearly as fast as he could put it in his mouth. While he was on break a few more people came in, but he wasn’t paying attention to them. He was scrolling through his instagram feed. It was full of cute boys, so he was effectively utterly distracted.

His break was over all too soon though and he got up, gave his plate to the dishwasher and washed his hands to go back to work. There were only two waiters and now that Desmond was off his break the other could go on break. He checked the dining room and there was a family eating as well as some fisherman waiting for his food. There was also a couple in the little room outside, holding menus. Those were his tables, so he headed over there.

“Hello,” he said cheerfully as he approached. His brows went up to his hairline when the ‘couple’ looked up from their menus. “Just so you know, this is borderline stalker behavior,” he said.

Malik laughed at that, “What? I like this place,” Altair said defensively, “My gramps knows the owners.”

“I have never seen you here… ever,” Desmond said.

“I didn’t say I came here often,” Altair rolled his eyes.

Desmond shifted his weight to one foot, “So, what do you want?” he asked, taking out his order pad, because Altair being here or not he still had a job to do.

“We need a second still. But I want a Coke-

“Me too,” Malik chimed in, “and a water, with lemon.”

“Okay,” and Desmond left before they could say anything. He checked in on the family before getting their drinks. “So, you know what you want?”

“Yeah I want-

“You,” Malik cut in and then Malik yelped when Altair kicked him, hard, under the table. Desmond flushed a little and Malik looked way too pleased with himself despite Altair’s glare.

“Don’t make me call your girlfriend,” Altair threatened.

“Yeah? And say what?”

“That you’re being mean to me, again,” Altair said.

Malik rolled his eyes, “Guy’s sensitive,” he told Desmond with a smirk. Desmond chose to say nothing, not even knowing where to begin with these two.

“Anyway, I want the fish tacos special,” Altair said.

“Okay,” Desmond jotted it down and then looked at Malik expectantly.

“The fried fish basket, with grouper,” Malik said.

“All right, they’ll be out in a few,” and Desmond retreated, barely remembering to grab their menus.

He wasn’t even out of ear shot when he heard Malik, “I still don’t get why you like him,” and if nothing else that sent butterflies shooting through him. He went and put their orders in and brought the fisherman his order and went to find something to do. He decided to clean, wiping down tables so he wouldn’t have to do it later.

He kept glancing over at Altair and Malik’s table where they were leaning towards each other a bit, talking. Desmond swore a few times he caught them both stealing looks. It made him more than a little self conscious. Eventually he had to tear himself away to go smile and ask the family and fisherman were doing and then went to Altair and Malik’s table.

“Everything all right?” he asked.

“Fine,” Altair said.

“I’d like some more Coke,” Malik said, perfectly pleasantly, but his glass was maybe a forth empty. He just wanted to make Desmond do something.

“Sure,” Desmond said and left with Malik’s glass. He heard a ‘okay maybe I get it now’ from Malik and it took every ounce of will he had to not turn around and look. They were obviously staring after him.

While he got Malik his soda their food came up. He went back to their table, set it down and didn’t let them grab his attention before going off again. He put their food on a big tray and carried it to their table as the other waitress came off break. He set it down on a table inside the restaurant, and brought their plates to them.

“Here you go, fish tacos,” he set Altair’s plate down, “and the fish and chips,” and Malik got a plastic basket along with their sides.

“When’s your shift over?” Altair asked him before he could beat it.

“Uh,” he took a quick glance at his phone for the time. “When we close in like thirty minutes,” he said. Across the dining room the waitress was giving the family their bill.

“You busy?” he asked, still having not touched his food.

“Uh…” and Desmond saw where this was going. “Yes,” he lied. Altair gave him a look. “I got shit to do,” he said scowling, “and I do all my homework Friday night so I don’t have to over the weekend,” he added, which was true (most of the time if he didn’t go out).

“Alright,” Altair sighed a little and turned away from him to eat his food. Desmond left then, and took his tray and went back to the main area.

He checked on Altair and Malik a few times, refilled their water and soda but they didn’t bother him again. That meant he could focus on cleaning up so he wouldn’t have to be here late. The family and fisherman left, and no one else came in. Desmond and the other waitress cleaned the the dining room, and the bathroom, and did all their stocking they had to do.

He just had to get Malik and Altair out of here so he could close his till and go the fuck home.

Desmond went over to their table, they’d finished their food and were talking. “How was everything?” Desmond asked.

They both looked at him, “Good,” Altair said. “I’ll take the check,” he added as Desmond collected their plates. Desmond nodded and went to get it. He came back and put the check on the table and went to finish up the cleaning. He heard them talk, get up, chairs scraping the wood, and then walk out, clearly not needing change. 

Desmond went to get their bill and his brows rose. Altair had basically left him a hundred percent tip, which was like thirty bucks. He didn’t even know that happened. He looked at the door, to make sure they weren’t coming back, and then went to cash the money.

He helped finish cleaning and then grabbed his till and drawer and counted out the money. Pretty good, even for a Friday. Altair’s big tip had helped quite a bit too. He finished the stuff he had to do before finally being able to leave.

He was glad when he could grab his leather jacket and helmet and leave. He changed his shoes, throwing his work shoes into his backpack, and headed out, calling goodbye to the other employees.

Desmond stopped when he saw a red Mercedes parked next to his motorcycle. A very familiar red Mercedes. He went over to his bike and the window rolled down. He stopped next to the driver’s side window, where Altair was sitting, Malik wasn’t in the passenger seat.

“What are you doing?” Desmond asked.

“I know you got stuff,” Altair said. “But I want you to come over.”

“Altair I have homework,” Desmond said, frowning.

“Really? You’d rather do homework than come over?”

Yes? No? Not really. He was still reeling from the entire day. First Altair and then Clay told him Connor was going to ask him out and he still couldn’t believe Altair liked him. “No,” he admitted, because that was the truth.

“Then come over,” Altair said.

“I can’t,” he said.

“What? Why? You just said you wanted to,” Altair’s confusion was genuine.

“What are you doing here?” Desmond asked.

“Hm?”

“What are you doing here? Why did you come to my job?”

“I wanted to see you,” he said and why did that make his stomach do stupid things? He sounded so sincere and it did horrible things to him. “I only see you at school, I wanted to see you outside of school too.”

Altair just made it so hard to be annoyed with him didn’t he? “You could have seen me tomorrow,” Desmond said.

“Ah… insider information says I should probably not try and hang out with you tomorrow.”

“Oh my god did everyone but me know Connor was going to ask me out this weekend?” Desmond demanded.

Altair laughed a little, “I think just me-

“And Clay,” Desmond said.

“Well doesn’t he know everything anyway?”

“…Yes,” Desmond admitted grudgingly.

“And Malik. Not like anyone else cares,” Altair said.

Desmond sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “So you don’t wanna hang out tomorrow why? Weren’t you the one who didn’t want me to hang out with him?”

“I don’t want to cause a scene if you have to give it to Connor straight and then come be with me. I mean, I’m a jerk, but I’m not an asshole,” he said.

“Yeah you are,” Desmond said, giving him a look.

“You’re still with me and not him,” he said with a cocky grin.

“Unofficially,” Desmond reminded him. “You aren’t out.”

Altair scowled at him, “I told you, by Monday. I’m also telling my friends tomorrow.” Though he looked hesitant. Desmond didn’t blame him. Coming out could be nerve wracking. Desmond had done it when his parents had been angry at Duncan so it seemed less important. Of course they didn’t care if he was gay or not and William’s only comment had been ‘I’m not going to get any grandkids at this rate.’ “Which is also why I can’t hang out. Some of them might be weird.”

Desmond sighed, “Not tonight. Just… not tonight.”

“Can I ask why?” Altair asked.

“Because I still am getting my head around the fact that you’re… my boyfriend,” he admitted.

Altair laughed, “I am amazing aren’t I?” he said cheekily.

“Only sometimes,” he said. “Also, did you forget to get change?”

“Nope. All for you.” Desmond eyed him, “I always leave big tips for cute waiters,” he winked at Desmond who felt himself flush. “Or ones who do a good job.”

“Okay,” Desmond said.

“Lean down,” Altair said.

“Huh?”

“Lean down.”

Desmond did so, wondering why he needed to. Altair sat up a bit straighter in his seat, lifting himself up a bit since Desmond only leaned down to the top of the window. Altair grabbed his collar and yanked him down a few more inches to kiss him. Maybe it was supposed to be a quick thing, but it didn’t stay that way. Desmond kissed Altair back firmly and he sort of tasted like fish tacos and day old breath. He licked Altair’s lips and before he knew how his head was inside the car and just short of making out with him.

Then Altair pulled back, “You sure you don’t wanna come over?” he asked, and seemed just as flustered as Desmond by the sudden intensity.

“Do,” Desmond said, “Can’t. My parents expect me to be home after work.”

“Mmm, too bad. That could have gone somewhere,” Altair said with a smirk.

Desmond yanked his head out of Altair’s car. “I’ll talk to you later,” he said.

“All right,” and Altair shrugged a little. Desmond turned away and yanked on his helmet. “Also,” Altair said, Desmond looked at him, “You’re super hot in that jacket,” and Desmond flushed brightly.

“I’ll talk to you later,” he said again, firmer this time, Altair laughed and nodded, rolling up his window. Desmond threw his leg over his bike and started her up with a rumble. Altair pulled away from the parking lot and Desmond pulled out his phone, he sent a brief text to Clay. ‘We need to have lunch tomorrow.’ That was it. Then he pushed his bike back and headed for home.

Chapter Text

Desmond was waiting for Clay at the wharf by the Cuban Coffee Queen, in sight of the Half Shell, Turtle Kraals and Mac’s Sea Garden. He was sitting on his motorcycle sipping from a little styrofoam cup of cafe con leche he’d loaded up with sugar since there was no seating at the Coffee Queen. There was a line at the little sandwich and coffee shack (literally the building was about as big as his living room) as people from the Meadows came here for a Cuban breakfast, or a strong coffee before going to work. Clay said meet for breakfast, and he had stayed at Lucy’s last night and she and her family lived out in Old Town. So here Desmond was, waiting for Clay to finally make an appearance, last night vivid in his mind’s eye.

He hadn’t slept well last night, tossing and turning and finally waking up at four am and playing video games before going to meet Clay for lunch. Apparently he and Lucy were making a day trip up to Miami because Lucy wanted to go shopping. So breakfast it was. The Cuban coffee was helping him wake up, but he still felt like death warmed up. He wanted to go home and nap, or attempt to. He was dreading today and if he’d see Connor and what he’d have to say and do. 

He didn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings. But he had led Connor on and that hadn’t been fair but he hadn’t known Altair even liked him till yesterday! Sex notwithstanding since you could have sex with someone and not really like them. Desmond knew all about that after all.

He frowned into his coffee cup as his phone dinged.

‘Where you at?’ Clay had texted him.

‘Fire lane in front of ccq’

‘I see you!’

Desmond didn’t have to wait much longer. He got off his bike as Clay got in line and joined him. The line wasn’t too long, only two or three people deep. “So what’s up?” Clay asked Desmond as they waited in line.

“I don’t know what to do,” Desmond said, “about Altair- about Connor. Like what do I say to him? Also Altair came to my work last night with Malik and I know one hundred percent they were talking about me and staring at my ass all night.”

Clay leaned back, “Well its a nice ass I don’t blame them,” he smirked, Desmond gave him an unamused look.

“Can you focus here.”

“I am,” Clay said, still staring at Desmond’s ass. Desmond groaned, “Okay okay,” Clay laughed a little, “Sorry you walked into that one.” Desmond whined in annoyance at him.

“Is it weird Altair came to my work last night?”

“Yeah a little. He say why?”

“He said he wanted to see me outside of school,” Desmond said.

“Well I don’t see anything incredibly wrong with that. He should have set something up though and not just appeared. That was weird.”

“And the Malik thing, is that weird?”

“Well he literally just did what we’re doing now,” Clay said and then they came up to the counter. Clay ordered two cuban sandwiches, one cafe con leche, one chocolate mocha, and two pan cubanos. Desmond just got a pan cubano. Once they’d paid they left the counter to wait to be called. “What were we talking about again?”

“Altair and Malik visiting me at work.”

“Right right! Well I mean them talking about you is no weirder than what we’re doing right now. We’re talking about Altair and he’s not here and you have talked to me about his butt and shit. I’m sure they do the same thing. I mean Malik is basically a less attractive version of me,” he grinned.

Desmond gave him a look, making Clay laugh. “Okay so maybe not as weird as I though,” Desmond admitted. “I still… have no idea what to tell Connor.”

“The truth,” Clay said.

“I don’t wanna hurt his feelings though!” Desmond whined.

“They’re going to get hurt if you tell him or not,” Clay said. “Either you tell him and he hears it from you, or he sees it on Monday and feels cheated and knows you lied to him today.”

Desmond hung his head, “I know,” he groaned.

“Then why we having this conversation?”

“Because I’m a scardy cat,” Desmond whined and pawed a bit at Clay’s arms. “I also don’t like making my friends sad.”

“No one does. But you’ll make it worse if you don’t tell him.”

Desmond sighed. “You’re right. Uhg I should just call him and do it.”

“Don’t do that that’s mean,” Clay said.

“But-

“Do it in person. After we get breakfast. I can’t stay I need to head back to Lucy’s place to we can get to Miami at a reasonable hour.”

“Uhhhhg,” Desmond complained just as their food was called. Clay was given a plastic bag of wrapped up Cuban bread and a tray with his drinks, and Desmond just had his paper wrapped buttered bread. He opened it and dipped it right into his con leche. He’d thought it was gross when he’d first moved here, but it was how the Cubans did their coffee and it was surprisingly yummy.

“Stop belly aching, you’ll live,” Clay said and they started to walk towards Clay’s car parked over by the Half Shell which was still closed. “Just practice what you’re going to say, and don’t let him kiss you. Then maybe afterwards call Altair.”

“Why?”

“Remind yourself why you’re doing it?” Clay shrugged, “I mean you’re probably going to break the kid’s heart, might as well look after your own. And I bet Altair would want support too. I mean he’s coming out for you.”

“I hate when you’re smart and rational, you know that,” Desmond said, having scarfed down half his pan cubano.

“Yeah I know its amazing right?”

“Fuck off.”

“You’re the one who wanted to come to breakfast. Now, are we cool? I need to get back.”

Desmond sighed, “Yeah… we’re cool. I might call you after I talk to Connor though.”

“Okay. I might be driving.”

“Okay,” Desmond frowned and drank the last of his con leche as Clay got in his car.

“You’re not an asshole Desmond,” Clay said, rolling down the window as the car started. “You’re allowed to be with someone you’re attracted to and who likes you back. Connor will have to get over it. And if he can’t… well tough shit honestly,” Clay shrugged.

“Thanks,” Desmond said lowly.

“I’ll talk to you later,” Clay said and rolled the window back up and pulled out of the parking space. Desmond went back to his bike, gnawing on the other half of his pan cubano. He needed to just rip off the damn bandaid and get it over with. Easier said than done.

Desmond drove around Key West a few hours, hung out at Mallory Square even though nothing was going on, went to West Martello and saw the gardens. He was also reminded of where Altair had almost kissed him under that arch. It was closer to noon when he finally got his shit together and went back home.

He was hanging up his jacket and helmet when there was a knock on the door. He heard his dad answer it but it was muffled by his own door. Then there was a knock on his door. Desmond took a deep breath and answered it.

Connor smiled when he saw him. He had his hair pulled back and Desmond felt like shit. “Hey Con,” Desmond said, trying to sound normal.

“Hey. I was wondering. Are you busy?”

“No.”

“Oh cool so I can hang out?”

“I swear you’re supposed to be grounded.”

Connor laughed and Desmond let him into his room, closing the door behind him. “Yeah not grounded anymore,” Connor said cheerfully. In fact he seemed happier than usual and Desmond felt wretched knowing he was going to crush him. “So now I don’t have to sneak out all the time to hang out,” he sat down onto Desmond’s bed.

“Its almost like you like disobeying your dad,” Desmond said, sitting next to him, his leg jiggling restlessly.

“Heh, you know it,” Connor said.

“So you wanna play something?” he motioned to his game station and Connor nodded. Desmond got it all set up and they played co-op Dead Space 3, which was actually super fun. Desmond felt himself relax.

It was a few hours later when Connor paused the game and looked at Desmond. “What? Why’d you pause we were in the groove,” he complained.

Connor opened his mouth, nothing came out, he closed it. And shit this was where it was going to happen. Desmond was going to have to tell Connor it wouldn’t work and he was dreading it. “I really like you,” Connor said and shit didn’t that make him feel like an absolute asshole. “And well… I was kinda just… I mean if you wanted to-

“Con,” Desmond said, stopping Connor’s stammering and stumbling. “I need to tell you something.”

“What?” Connor asked, and he looked so hopeful. Desmond was about to crush that hope.

“I have a boyfriend.”

He watched the hope and happiness grain out of Connor’s face. He suddenly looked like he was holding back his emotions. “You have a boyfriend?” he asked, his voice odd and high and it cracked a little.

“Yeah I- I have a boyfriend now. So I know what you were going to ask. But I can’t,” and Desmond felt awful because just a second ago Connor had seemed so upbeat and now he looked like he was about to cry. “And I’m really sorry I led you on.”

“What?” Connor squeaked.

“I do like you,” Desmond said, “but you were… shit how do I say this without sounding like an asshole?” he rubbed the back of his neck. “I wouldn’t have minded being your first foray into guys and I was kinda just looking for something uncomplicated but I had this crush on this other guy and he asked me out.” And he hated how devastated Connor looked. “And I said yes.”

“Who?” Connor asked.

Desmond sighed deeply, “Altair,” he said.

Connor looked ahead, not at Desmond. He swallowed and Desmond said nothing. “I’ll see you at school,” and he got up from the bed and left, Desmond didn’t stop him.

Once Connor was gone Desmond threw himself onto the bed and groped for his phone. He thought about calling Clay, but Clay wasn’t around and he wanted a hug. He also didn’t want to tell his parents he had a boyfriend. Not yet at any rate. He’d wait a few weeks before telling them because he knew if they knew he’d never get to hang out with Altair after dinner and he had plans on what he wanted to do after dinner with Altair. He thought about calling Rebecca but she was relationship stupid. She and Shaun worked and no one knew quite how and she’d be no help.

For a stupid second he thought about looking through his message threads for Alex’s. He’d never deleted their conversation, even after two years. But that was a horrible, horrible, idea.

Instead he ended up calling Altair, curling into the fetal position a bit.

Altair picked up on the second ring. “Hello?”

“Hey. Can I come over? I know you said you were talking to your friends or something but…”

“But?”

“I wanna see you.”

“What’s the matter? Something happen?”

“I’m a fucking asshole is what happened,” Desmond said, turning into his mattress a bit. “I had to tell Connor I was dating you and now I feel horrible.”

“You can come over. All my friends just left.”

“You told them?”

“I told them.”

“What’d they say?”

“Only Ezio took it bad. He was just mad about how much I’d seen him naked.”

“Stupid straight guys.”

“Basically. But yeah, come over. I’ll make you something.”

“Like what?”

“Mmm, how about brownies?”

“I like brownies,” Desmond said in a small voice.

Altair chuckled, “Yeah you would. Brownies fix everything.”

“Yeah. Okay I’ll be right over,” Desmond said and got up.

“See you,” Altair said cheerfully and they hung up. Desmond put his jacket back on, grabbed his helmet, and left. He called to his parents he was going to see Shaun up the Keys and they told him to call if he wouldn’t be coming home. He took the long way out of the base so he didn’t have to pass Connor’s house on his way to Stock Island.

 

Chapter Text

Desmond sat in Altair’s driveway, on his bike, and scrubbed at his face. He honestly had been so upset that this was the one thing he’d thought to do but now that he was here he didn’t know if he should go in there. He was feeling way too many things right now, including a whole lot of guilt. Even though Clay was right, he was allowed to be with someone he liked. Still didn’t help him not feel like an asshole though.

After sitting there a minute he got off his bike and went to the door, taking off his helmet as he did. He knocked and Altair answered a moment later. Desmond deflated seeing him. He didn’t look any different than last night when Desmond had seen him, but that just meant he looked amazing. Desmond’s chest went all tight because shit this was his boyfriend and seeing Altair made Desmond realize how much he did like him and how much Connor had just… been an easy rebound. He was so shitty for using Connor as a rebound too.

“Hey,” Altair said. Desmond took a step forward and put his forehead on the meat of Altair’s shoulder with a sigh. “Everything okay?”

“I’m an asshole,” he said.

Altair didn’t say anything for a second and then, “I got the stuff out for brownies, wanna come help me?”

“Yes,” Desmond said pathetically.

“Okay,” and Altair pulled him inside. Desmond took off his jacket as he followed Altair into the kitchen and placed both it and his helm on the counter where he sometimes had breakfast. Altair had him wash his hands as he opened the brownie mix box. “So… any regrets?” he asked when Desmond joined him.

“About?”

“Saying yes to me?”

“Well other than being a shitty friend to Connor… no.”

“Good,” Altair said and leaned over to kiss him lightly. “I don’t regret coming out to my friends either,” he said softly, against Desmond’s mouth. No one should be able to make Desmond’s stomach turn itself into a knot like that. It should have been illegal. Desmond kissed him again. “Brownies,” Altair said before they got too into it since Altair seemed to be as into the whole kissing thing as Desmond was.

“Right,” Desmond said. Altair did all the ingredients and let Desmond do the mixing. They put nuts in the mix and Altair produced little caramel chunks for it too. Once it was poured in the pan and put in the oven and they shared licking the spoon and bowl clean before throwing it into the dish washer.

“So those’ll take a bit to bake,” Altair said.

“What were you doing before I called?” Desmond asked.

“About to binge watch Master Chef and eat a pint of ice cream out of the container,” Altair said without any shame. Desmond stared at him and was totally into that. “Ezio was kinda a dick before he left.”

“Sorry.”

“Its okay. I knew of everyone he’d be the one most upset. He’s known me since I moved down here when I was little so he was just kinda mad Malik knew before him. Also the whole I’ve seen him naked a lot and now he feels uncomfortable.”

“But you don’t… like Ezio,” Desmond said frowning.

“Nope,” Altair said, “Maybe for a day or two when I realized I liked boys,” he shrugged. “Straight people act stupid when you come out to them.”

“Oh I am well aware,” Desmond huffed. Back in Texas, before they’d moved, he’d come out to one of his friends and his first question had been if Desmond liked him, because he wasn’t gay. “He wouldn’t like… do something would he?”

“Naw. Leo’s his best friend and the gayest person I’ve ever met. Malik’s… Malik,” he frowned a little, clearly he wasn’t fully aware of just what Malik’s sexuality was either, “and Yusuf’s bi. So he’s surrounded by queer kids. He was just mad Malik knew first I guess. He’ll get over it.”

“Okay, good,” Desmond nodded. “And that idea of binge watching Master Chef sounded like a good idea,” he added.

“With ice cream?”

“Gotta save the ice cream for the brownies, we’re not wild animals are we?” and that made Altair laugh. Desmond found his new favorite thing; making Altair laugh.

“No, we’re not,” Altair agreed. “C’mon, movie room is over here,” and Altair led him down the hall he normally took to go to Altair’s bedroom, but took one of the earlier doors.

“Oh fuck you,” Desmond said. The room was fairly big with no windows while there was no TV screen there was a projector. There was also a huge couch that was more like a bed and there was a pile of pillows both on the bed and even spilling off it. In the center of the bed/couch was a table top and there was a table lining against the wall.

“What?” Altair asked.

“This is bigger than my living room and your screen is nearly the floor space of my bedroom,” Desmond complained.

“Sorry,” Altair said, but chuckled a little. “You can come use it any time,” and Altair closed the door and sat on the bed. “Take your shoes off before you get on,” Altair added as he was pushing some pillows out of the way to find a playstation controller and a remote. Desmond did so and joined him. Altair used the remote to turn on the projector and the room, which was nearly pitch black with the door closed, erupted into light.

Altair went to Hulu and put on Master Chef before leaning back contently, his phone sitting on the table in the middle of the couch counting down on the brownies in the oven. Desmond hesitated a second before remembering he was allowed, all that real estate was his. So he parked himself next to Altair and leaned against him. They shifted a bit to get comfortable and Desmond ended up under Altair’s arm and that was a good spot as far as he was concerned.

When Altair’s phone started to go off Altair extracted himself from Desmond to go take the brownies out of the oven, but left Master Chef running. Desmond waited. And he waited. The first episode was almost ending and Altair was still gone. Brownies did not take that long to take out of the oven. For some reason that made him nervous.

Desmond left the theater room and went towards the kitchen. He could smell the brownies and they smelled wonderful. He found Altair at the stove, stirring something. “What are you doing?” Desmond asked him.

“Eh?” Altair asked, turning his head around.

“You’ve been gone like twenty minutes,” Desmond said.

“Oh. I was making frosting,” he said seriously.

“What?” Desmond went further into the kitchen. The glass baking pan was sitting on the stone countertop to cool and Altair was stirring the contents of a pot quickly without looking.

“I said; I’m making frosting.” The pot was filled with a thick milky substance that had hunks of chocolate in it. “Milk needed to be boiled, but can’t do it too fast or you might burn it,” he said.

“How are you bad at chemistry?” Desmond asked.

“Uh… I’m not,” Altair said, breaking up some of the chocolate.

“What?” Desmond felt like a parrot, repeating the same thing over and over again. What was probably going to be a reoccurring theme while dating Altair; at least for a little bit.

“I’m an A student,” Altair said, “you think I’m actually failing chem? I have a ninety-eight in that class now.”

“Again; what? Why the hell did you need tutoring then?” Desmond demanded. Altair didn’t answer right away. “Well?”

“I didn’t know how to talk to you,” Altair said, looking at him, sort of guilty. “I asked the teacher if I could do tutoring even though I’m not bad at it.”

Desmond stared at him, his mouth open a little. “Our teacher was in on this!?” he cried.

“Yeah he totally was,” Altair admitted.

“You idiot! You could have just talked to me! Oh my god I can’t even with you,” and Desmond turned away. He was so utterly done with Altair.

“Yeah sure. Popular football player starts talking to the nerdy nobody in school. I thought you would think I was bullying you,” Altair said. When he said it like that, yeah Desmond could see where Altair was coming from. They had nothing in common at first glance other than that they both liked dick and if Altair just out of no where starting talking to him he would have thought Altair was having a go at him cause he was one of three openly gay guys at school. Malik and Leo being the others (according to Clay there were a bunch more in the closet and he was sure of that). Even if that line of thinking didn’t exactly work cause those two other openly gay guys were Altair’s friends. Still just because you had gay friends didn’t mean you couldn’t be a homophobe. Desmond had had family who were nice to him and were still raging homophobes who thought he was going to hell, but that didn’t stop them from liking him (though he almost wished it would).

“And yet you still acted like you hated me,” Desmond said.

“I was mad it cut into practice,” Altair said. “Football is important to me and I had to give it up a few days a week to be fake tutored for shit I already knew. I thought I could do it after practice was over, nope had to be during. So yeah, I was pissed about it- shit,” Desmond turned around and saw Altair taking the pot of now thick chocolaty stuff off the stove and he looked to be trying to save it from burning.

“You could have saved yourself grief if you’d just tole me,” Desmond said. “I mean what was I gonna do? At worst I’d have said I wasn’t interested, which lemmie tell you, after Ezio’s party that was the last thing I was.”

Altair frowned and didn’t say anything right away. Instead he grabbed a rubber spatula and started to pour the frosting over the warm brownies. “I’m not good at this,” he said, his voice sort of low. “Like… this,” he made a half motion as if to indicate Desmond. “I’m not that good at being a friend either. Like I honestly don’t see most of my friends outside of school. I like being alone. I didn’t know how to talk to you,” he wasn’t looking at Desmond now. “So I had to do something to… hang out,” he grimaced as he scraped the last of the frosting out of the bowl. “I’m really not that good at talking to people to make them like me.”

“Really I never would have guessed,” Desmond said sarcastically.

“Well it worked. Got you to go out with me didn’t I?” he offered Desmond the rubber spatula.

Desmond half scowled, but took the spatula to suck on, “You could have made it less painful on yourself if you’d just talked to me.”

“Probably,” Altair agreed and put the brownies in the fridge to cool down quicker so they could eat them sooner.

“Kinda wish you had,” Desmond said around the spatula, fitting nearly the entire thing in his mouth. “Would have saved me the fucking headache about wanting to kiss your stupid fucking face.”

“Not sorry about the stupid fucking face thing,” Altair said with a smirk. “But I don’t need tutoring. I was only in it to talk to you.”

“That is so horribly romantic I might actually throw up,” Desmond said dryly and made Altair laugh again. “And stop that I might actually start to like you for more than your ass if you do that,” and that didn’t make him stop, but Desmond hadn’t wanted him too.

Altair took the spatula out of Desmond’s hand, “Sorry, you’re going to have to deal with it,” he said, holding onto Desmond’s wrist, contemplated him a second before kissing him once, quickly, on the mouth.

“Damn and here I thought it could be a strictly superficial relationship,” Desmond said sarcastically. “How long you going to keep those brownies in there? Cause we still have a date with that pan, ice cream and Chef Ramsey,” he tapped his finger on Altair’s chest.

“Right right, how could I forget?” Altair said. “Few minutes.”

“Perfect,” Desmond said.

“Perfect—?“ and Desmond finished that kiss he’d stopped on last night, kissing Altair firmly.  Altair pushed him against the counter kissing him, Desmond putting his arms around Altair’s shoulders. He wasn’t going to get tired of this any time soon honestly. Altair was equally into it and they ended up making out for a few minutes until Altair’s phone started beeping again. “Still want those brownies?”

“Well you aren’t that tasty, so yes,” Desmond said and let Altair go. Altair grabbed the pan from the fridge and cut the brownies and put them on a plate. He handed the plate to Desmond and grabbed the pint of ice cream, two bowls, and some spoons and went back to the theater room. Master Chef was still playing when they got back. Altair turned the lights up a little bit and made them both brownies and ice cream. They both ate it silently while watching Chef Ramsey deal with semi competent cooks on the TV. Desmond had seconds, because he liked to eat his feelings, before he laid back next to Altair, leaving the rest of the ice cream to melt. Altair didn’t seem to mind or care though.

Altair made them both dinner at some point, way past the time they should have had dinner, and put away the brownies (having to throw out the ice cream). But they went right back to binge watching after that. Desmond remembered to text his parents before midnight to say he wasn’t coming home. Like he could pry himself away at this point. Desmond ended up falling asleep sometime during the season finale, pressed up against Altair’s side.

Chapter Text

It was a strange experience to wake up in a place he wasn’t familiar with. He’d woken up in Altair’s bed enough that it wasn’t unknown to him now. But when Desmond cracked his eyes and realized he wasn’t in his bed, or Altair’s, and had fallen asleep fully clothed, on Altair’s giant couch thing he was disorientated. He grumbled and sat up, looking around in the windowless room that was lit only by the Hulu home screen. He looked down at Altair who was sleeping still. What fucking time was it?

Desmond found his iphone on the table and checked the time. It was ten in the morning. He had a few texts from Clay. They could wait though.“Hey,” he nudged Altair gently.

“What?” Altair grumbled.

“Wake up.”

“Whyyy?” he complained and sort of tugged on Desmond’s arm as if to say to go back to sleep.

“Cause I need to go home.”

Altair sighed and opened his eyes, shit he was really cute when he just woke up, all sleepy and bleary eyed. “No,” he said stubbornly.

“Yes.”

“No, stay with me,” and Desmond wanted to. God damn he wanted to.

“Can’t. Not that I wouldn’t love to but I have to go to work in like an hour.”

“Uuuuuhg,” Altair complained, “that’s in an hour though,” he said.

“Yeah but I need to shower, get dressed and shit.”

Altair finally sat up and immediately put his head on Desmond’s shoulder, “You can shower here,” he said sleepily, “and I can give you some clothes.”

“Altair,” Desmond huffed.

“What?” Altair asked, looking over at him, “Not like you don’t like wearing my clothes.”

“I did that once and it was an accident,” Desmond frowned. Altair just kinda hummed in a ‘yeah, whatever’ sort of way where it was clear he didn’t believe that for a second. “Also you should make me breakfast.”

Altair sighed a little, “Fine,” he said. “Shower, then breakfast,” and he rolled off the couch, his shirt had ridden up in the back and Desmond appreciated it a lot. He grabbed Desmond by the hands and dragged him off the bed, “You’re coming with though,” he said, meaning the shower.

“Won’t hear me complain,” Desmond said grinning and went to Altair’s bathroom. Altair undressed slowly, but without any thought to the fact that Desmond was basically staring at him. Literally the most useless hot guy in existence. Desmond bet Altair didn’t even care that he was good looking. It was like, oh the sky is blue, I’m also incredibly attractive who cares moving on. Except Desmond cared, he cared a lot because Altair was a. his boyfriend, b. super hot, and c. had shown up in several dreams since November.

Altair glanced at him, “Going to undress or what?”

“Uh-“ Desmond hadn’t even taken off his shirt. He’d been so distracted by Altair’s body.

“What? Need help?” Altair asked and naked took a step over to him, tugging on the hem of his shirt and Desmond was made aware of how incredibly turned on he was right now. Altair was usually so fucking prickly, so to see him not be was weirdly arousing.

“You’re really awful you know that right?” Altair cocked his head at him.

“So is that a no?”

“Like, do you just think of ways to frustrate me?” Altair snorted, “Well?”

“No,” Altair said with a grin, “But I won’t deny how easy it is. Now really, are you going to get naked or what?”

No way this wasn’t going to end with someone touching someone else’s dick. No way it wasn’t. Even if Desmond had to touch his own, because damn was Altair so fucking unfair. One day he was going to get tired of the butterflies Altair gave him; but today was not that day. “Yeah,” and Altair let go of his shirt to turn on the water. Desmond practically threw his clothes off and winced at seeing the imprint of jeans on his legs and where his belt had dug into his skin in his sleep. Good job idiot, he thought to himself.

Altair stepped into the shower once it was clearly warm enough and Desmond followed. Like the last time they’d showered together it was surprisingly non sexual. They washed each other’s hair- which by the way was literally the best feeling Desmond had ever felt in his entire life and that included an orgasm- and Altair just rolled his eyes when Desmond gave them both shampoo mohawks. Altair washing him was also methodical but clinical, and that wasn’t going to fly today. If Altair noticed Desmond’s chub he was choosing to ignore it, which was frustrating cause all he wanted was Altair to touch his fucking dick.

When it was Desmond’s turn he followed Altair’s example and just washed him. Till he got to the belt area at least. Altair wasn’t interested like Desmond was by their intimacy, at least until Desmond made more than a courteous pass on his cock and balls. Desmond heard the inhale over the sound of the water and that was what he was hoping for. “You’re really not getting to work on time,” Altair said.

“I’ll live somehow,” Desmond said and changed the grip of his hand to be with more purpose. “Tell me you don’t like it,” he challenged.

“I do,” Altair said with a pleased grin and Desmond grinned and kissed him when Altair returned the favor. God was real that was all Desmond had to say on this situation. Altair let Desmond push him back against the tiled wall and that was awesome. Like just absolutely awesome. 

Altair was slow as he jerked Desmond off, full coverage from balls to helmet and it was frustrating. In a good way though. His own hand was moving quickly and Altair was much shorter breaths than Desmond was and had one arm around Desmond’s shoulders. He could vaguely remember that first drunken time, and Altair probably wouldn’t have minded doing either position, and right now he looked it. And fuck Desmond wanted him so bad right now like it was just unfair. He wanted to learn all the little sounds he made and if he bit pillows or scratched Desmond’s back or ripped sheets. So not the time unfortunately, but looking at Altair’s breathy, flushed, face, eyes lidded, his tongue licking his lips over and over again Desmond knew he’d need to know sooner rather than later.

“Like this, like this,” Altair said breathlessly and Desmond groaned when Altair pulled their hips together and wrapped his hand around both of them. Altair was looking at his collar bone but now and then he’d glance up at Desmond and they’d both blush. Sex was one thing, but this was a different sort of intimate they hadn’t done before. Not just ‘hey you’re super fine, lets fuck’ and that made it so much fucking better.

Desmond wasn’t surprised when he came first, he’d been ready quicker and the hot, flushed, warmth of Altair’s cock pressed against his, made him maybe too excited. He pressed his face into Altair’s neck, breathing hard, his legs feeling weak and shaky, once he’d finished, holding onto Altair firmly. His ended up kissing all over Altair’s neck and finishing Altair up himself after that and didn’t let him move until he was good and ready to let him. Altair just had his arms around his neck, using the wall to support him the same way Desmond was using Altair to support him, and greatly enjoyed the attention.

Then Desmond extracted himself from Altair and Altair definitely had a red mark on his neck. Not like the giant hickey he’d given Desmond that had gotten him eight shades of grounded, but it’d be there for at least a day or two. “Well that was fun,” Desmond said cheerfully.

“I’ll say,” Altair had a really pleased, dumb, look on his face. They rinsed the cum off and finished washing before getting out of the shower. “But really you’re going to be so late for work.”

“Oh well,” Desmond shrugged. “Why do you just have random, unopened, toothbrushes?” he asked when Altair handed him one.

“I save them when I go to the dentist… don’t even ask okay I don’t throw out perfectly good things.”

“You literally live in a mansion you could buy them.”

Altair shrugged, “Also useful when I have boys over I want to kiss in the morning but don’t like morning breath,” and turned on his own electric toothbrush.

Desmond paused as he squeezed toothpaste out onto the brush and looked at Altair in the mirror. “That was totally a hint wasn’t it?”

“That was totally a hint,” Altair said around his brush, raising his brows a bit. Desmond then went about brushing, for as long as Altair did, which was an abnormally long time. Finally though he could spit and rinse without feeling too weird and once Altair had done the same he found himself being kissed with tongue and yeah this was why you made sure you had at least not disgusting breath. Altair tasted all minty and it was awesome.

“Work,” Desmond said before the making out went on too long.

“Right, right,” Altair said, “Lemmie find you something to wear,” and they went back out to Altair’s room. “Go grab your phone so you can charge it a bit,” he added as he opened his closet.

“Right,” Desmond said and found his way back to the theater room and grabbed his phone. Altair directed him to a changer on a set of shelves from when he’d has an iPhone and Desmond plugged it in. Then Altair gave him some clothes, a nice polo with a pair of khaki shorts and underwear. “Do you wear shorts?” Desmond asked, “Like, not swim shorts.”

“Sometimes,” Altair shrugged as he pulled on his own clothes, sweats and a T shirt, not even any underwear and that thought was going to distract Desmond all day.

“Like these?” he looked down at the shorts he was wearing.

“Mhm,” Altair said, leaving the room, Desmond followed knowing breakfast was imminent. “Why?”

“No reason,” Desmond said.

Altair gave him a look, “There’s so a reason.”

“Uhh-

“Whatever,” Altair rolled his eyes and it was probably for the best since Desmond didn’t want to admit to imagining Altair in booty shorts. Like the kind the drum line wore during spirit week and had better legs than like half the girls at school. Ones that definitely showed a bit of cheek. He needed to move on to a new thought before that one ruined him though. “So when is work?”

“Like forty minutes,” Desmond said.

“So real breakfast?”

“Please,” Desmond said pathetically. Altair chuckled.

“What do you want?”

“Meat,” Desmond said before he could even stop himself.

Altair gave him a side eyed look, “That’s more a dinner entree,” he said and Desmond flushed. He needed to get his brain off sex.

“Uh… I don’t know. I’m not picky, you know that.”

“Okay,” and Altair picked things from the fridge and the pantry and Desmond didn’t know what the hell he was doing other than it smelled wonderful. Then Altair was putting what looked like a crepe down in front of him. “I assume you eat crepes?” he asked.

“I eat anything,” Desmond said and after trying to figure the best way to eat the dang thing used a fork and knife. It was a savory crepe with mushrooms and onions and sausage and it was spicy and amazing. Altair made another one while he ate and by the time he was done with it there was another one for him. This one had fruit in it and Philadelphia fruit cream cheese. “These are fucking amazing,” he said.

“You think so? My crepes aren’t that good,” Altair shrugged.

“Says who?”

“My grandpa. He’s professionally trained in French cuisine.”

“Well your grandpa can fuck off these are fucking amazing.”

Altair smiled widely, “Want another?”

Yes. God I’m going to get so fat dating you,” and Altair laughed and then cursed and apparently had messed up because he threw away the crepe he was making. He made a new one. “I want another sweet one,” he said.

“Okay,” Altair said, still smiling and then Desmond had another delicious tube of deliciousness set in front of him.

“Yeah, so fat and I don’t even care,” Desmond said and groaned in appreciation because Altair’s food was delicious.  Altair snickered and made another, though this one was for him.

“You have like ten minutes to get to work,” Altair said when he’d finished.

“Oh shit!” and Desmond jumped up and ran to Altair’s room and grabbed his phone, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to find a pair of socks. Though for a second he forgot where he’d put his shoes before remembering they were in the media room. Altair was eating his own breakfast when Desmond returned actually fully dressed. “Thanks for breakfast,” he said and kissed Altair on the cheek, since he was eating.

Altair grabbed him by the collar of his shirt before he could go grab his jacket and helmet, finished chewing, swallowed, and kissed him before letting him go. “You should come back for dinner,” she said with a smirk and welp that destroyed Desmond’s plan on not thinking about fucking Altair while at work.

“I… will think about it,” he said.

“Alright,” though Altair had that grin on his face like he knew Des was thinking about sex and that yeah they were gonna bang tonight. He went back to his breakfast. Desmond got his jacket, yanking it on. “You do look really fucking hot in a leather jacket,” Altair said, repeating what he’d said the other night at Desmond’s work.

“Maybe I should keep it on next time,” Desmond said, raising his brows.

Altair looked surprised a second, like he’d never thought of that, “Yeah,” he said and oh god Desmond had not expected him to agree. “That’d be really hot.”

“Okay I’m leaving now before you actually give me a boner,” Desmond said. Altair snickered. “I’ll text you while I’m on break if I’ll come over for dinner.”

“Okay,” Altair said leaning on the counter. Which wasn’t a problem until Desmond headed for the door and realized he had a perfect profile view of Altair bent over and the curve of his back.

“Seriously, fuck you,” Desmond said, Altair just grinned.

“You should-

“I’m leaving now!” and Altair laughed after Desmond as he opened the door and left. “Holy shit,” he said to himself once he was on the other side. “Holy shit…” he checked his phone, “Shit!” he was going to be late. He got his bike started quickly and blasted out of there, praying there were no cops on the way to Cudjoe because he would have so been pulled over.

 

Chapter Text

Desmond got home from work exhausted. It had been so busy at work today and it wasn’t until he got out of the shower and was raiding the fridge for a pudding cup that he saw the note on the door of the fridge. ‘Out for the night, don’t burn the house down. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. xoxo’ Desmond knew that was code for his parents being gone until tomorrow because thankfully his parents didn’t have sex when Desmond was around because they would be about as mortified of Desmond hearing them as Desmond would be of hearing it.

Sweet.

He immediately took off his pants. No parents no pants, it was the life Desmond lived and life was good. Attached to the note was two twenties for take out or for him to go get something. “Excellent,” Desmond said, mouth full of pudding and tugged them down from the fridge. He went back to his room and collapsed onto his bed tiredly and turned on his Playstation and checked his phone which he had plugged into his laptop. It was charging since it’d died while he was at work and he turned it on while he signed onto his Playstation.

Desmond started when his phone blew up and quickly laid out, nearly falling off his bed to do so, to check his texts. The ones from Clay were, ‘so how’d it go with Connor?’ ‘that bad?’ ‘or maybe good since I assume you’re with Altair?’ ‘text me tomorrow k?’ ‘yo, Des, wtf where you at? Why’s your phone off? :c?’

‘Phone died while at work. I’ll tell you about it later.’

Next he checked his other messages, he had one from his dad that just said ‘thks for letting us knw ur staying w/ shaun’ which he’d gotten last night but missed seeing it. His dad was such a useless texter like damn.

The few others were from Altair. ‘So coming over for dinner?’ Well shit he’d forgotten. ‘Miles you answering your phone?’ ‘Shit your phone probably died. Text me when you get home, I want my clothes back in a timely manner this time lol’

Desmond stared at the last part. Never in a thousand years did he tag Altair as the type of dude who’d end a text with ‘lol’. The only person he knew who did that was Rebecca and sometimes his mom. ‘You seriously lold at me.’

Altair replied quickly, ‘I am known to find you amusing.’

‘I’m home btw’

‘So I gathered. Coming for dinner?’

‘I’m super tired from work. Also parents left me money for food.’

‘As in, they aren’t there?’

‘Yeah?’

Clay replied between that, ‘Call?’

‘Sure’

Clay called him a moment later, “Yo,” Desmond said.

“Hey, so what happened? Everything okay? Was there crying?”

“No crying, as far as I know,” Desmond said, “Connor bailed right after I told him though.”

“You blame him?”

“No,” Desmond said slowly and then sighed, “I was trying not to think about it.”

“Yeah, it sucks,” Clay said, “but its over with. So what’d you do after Connor left.”

Desmond got a dumb grin on his face, “I went over to Altair’s.”

Oh? And what, pray tell, did you do?” Clay asked.

“We had brownies and fell asleep watching Master Chef-

“That is so boring!” Clay cried.

“Fuck you I enjoyed myself!” and then his phone beeped alerting him to a text message. “Hold on,” and he checked it. It was a picture of Altair’s car and it took Desmond several seconds to figure out what it meant. Clay was busy ranting about how Desmond never had any interesting gossip when Desmond cut in, “He just sent me a pic.”

“Please tell me dick pic. I am holding out for the first dick pic here,” Clay said.

“You are way too invested in my relationship for it to be healthy man.”

“I am having a hot, gay, boyfriend vicariously through you since my hot significant other doesn’t have a dick,” Clay said sarcastically.

“Well she could-

“She’s not into it.”

“Terribly sorry.”

Me too. Now what was it?”

“You know that really dumb internet meme-

“You mean all of them-

“Would you shut up for like ten fucking seconds!” Clay chucked, but he said nothing. Thank god. Fucking idiot. “The iPhone message one where one person is like ‘come over’ and the other is ‘I’m busy’ and then they say ‘my parents aren’t home’ and they text a picture of something ridiculous to emphasize how hard they’re coming over.”

“Yeah?” Clay asked.

“Altair just did that.”

Clay was silent for a second, “Desmond,” he said in a very serious tone, “I don’t mean to alarm you but I think your boyfriend might be a complete fucking dweeb.” Desmond laughed at that, putting his face in his pillow to not blow out Clay’s ears. “You text him back?”

“I’ve been talking to you.”

“Oh. He coming over?”

“I dunno,” Desmond shrugged.

“Seriously?”

“I’m tired okay! Shit a guy can be tired and not want sex sometimes it does happen,” he huffed.

“I guess,” his text beeped again. He glanced at it briefly and it just said ‘so?’. He’d get to it in a second. “Anything else?”

“Well unless you know what’s up with Connor, no.”

“Nope,” Clay said.

“How was Miami?”

“I hate shopping dude. Lucy tried on like no less than fifty pairs of shoes and only bought one pair,” Clay groaned.

“How long did she let you stay in Gamestop?”

Clay was quiet a second knowing he’d been caught, “Like almost forty-five minutes while she went into some smelly soap store.”

“See, not all bad.”

“Don’t make it sound like I enjoyed myself,” Clay growled.

“You did cause you like spending time with your girlfriend even if you’re weak as shit when it comes to shopping.”

“You’re as weak!”

“Please,” Desmond rolled his eyes, “I can enjoy it.”

“Uhg,” Clay groaned, “Okay. Bye, done with this conversation.”

Desmond chuckled, “Bye, Clay,” and they hung up and Desmond could focus on Altair’s texts.

‘I’m super tired’

‘So?’

‘I dunno how much fun I’ll be’

The reply took longer than usual, like Altair was trying to figure out what to say without sounding like he was fully thinking with his dick. ‘I liked last night just fine too.’ ‘Plus takeout is better when you share it’

‘You sound so sure’

‘As someone who’s eaten a lot of takeout, I can tell you it always tastes better when you realize you didn’t eat a whole lo mien by yourself.’

‘Lol k’ ‘you can come over’

‘Where do you live?’

‘Boca Chica base’

‘How will I get on?’

‘I’ll come get you’

‘Sounds good!’

Desmond sighed and put on pants and then shuffled around a bit before walking down to the front gate. He knew the guard on duty, a PFC with a long face that Desmond only knew by his velcro patch that said Hennigan. “PFC,” he said as he got off near the guard post.

“Mr. Miles,” PFC Hennigan said, giving him a simple nod. Desmond grimaced, but not much he could do about that. “What can I do for you?”

“I have a friend coming to visit.”

“All right,” he nodded. “What’s the nature of their visit.”

“Just to hang out, nothing terribly interesting.”

PFC Hennigan gave Desmond a shrewd look, “Are they like your friends that come by once a week?”

“Yeah,” Desmond grinned. “Well, he’s a guest.”

PFC Hennigan gave him another look, “All right. He’s a friend?” Desmond nodded, “He registered?”

“Not yet. This is his first time visiting,” Desmond said, “we’re gonna go to the VCC as soon as he gets here.”

“Sounds in order,” PFC Hennigan said and they waited until Altair’s red Mercedes pulled up to the gate, the driver’s side window down. Desmond waved. PFC Hennigan leaned down a bit to see into the window, “Name and purpose?” he asked.

“Uh, Altair, I’m here to see him,” he pointed at Desmond. PFC Hennigan looked at Desmond for approval and Desmond nodded rapidly.

“Make sure he gets registered at the VCC,” PFC Hennigan said and opened the gate.

“I will,” Desmond said as Altair drove through but stopped just inside. Desmond went around to the other side of the car and got in.

“So-

“Drive that way,” Desmond said, pointing. “You need to get a pass and have your car registered at the base.”

“Okay,” Altair said slowly and drove.

The VCC was like most of the buildings on the base, squat, grey, and ugly and the inside was as military issue as they came. William had, when they’d first moved here, given written authorization for Desmond to be able to register any of his friends so long as they looked to be the same age as his son. So all that needed to happen was they gave Altair a badge he could show the front gate whenever he wanted to get in, and had him write all his car information down for their records as cars not registered were likely to be searched and towed without notice. Desmond made sure Altair got on the guest list too unlike all but Clay who was just on the visitor list, meaning he could stay the night or even spend several days over. Though Desmond didn’t see that happen and except the time Desmond and Clay had played the entire campaign of Halo from Halo one all the way to Halo four across two different gaming stations over three days had anyone every stayed longer than just overnight.

Altair was looking at his pass badge as they left the VCC, and a sticker he needed to put somewhere in view for patrols to see. “I don’t have to actually put this on my car do I?” Altair asked as they got into the car.

Desmond took the sticker and put it up on the dashboard, “Nope. Dylan and Duncan always bring rentals when they visit and you can’t put stickers on those. So long as the sticker is visible.”

“Okay good,” Altair said, “So which way?”

“That way,” Desmond pointed right for the most part.

“You live here?” Altair asked as they pulled up to the house.

“Yeah. Why?” Altair said nothing, clearly to refrain from saying something insulting. “You expected bigger?”

“Uh… yeah?”

“Not everyone lives in a big house.”

“I know,” Altair said, “Forget I even mentioned it. No doubt its fine,” and they got out of the car.

Desmond was weirdly nervous about showing Altair his home. They didn’t keep a lot of stuff to decorate. No paintings or nick nacks or art or anything. Mainly just family photos. When you moved every few years you just kinda learned to not keep a lot of stuff. Not like Altair’s house which was awesome. Altair didn’t comment though except to say, “You should really paint the walls white is so boring.”

“My mom keeps meaning to but we’re always too busy,” Desmond grimaced. “Down here,” Desmond said and led Altair to his room. 

His room was pretty clean but Desmond suddenly felt like it was a mess, even though it was just Altair’s clothes sprawled on the floor. Desmond’s room was like a Tetris nightmare, with shelves carefully layered with books of the comic, manga, and novel variety, in front of which were action figures or Lego sets he’d put together. His walls had posters of his favorite movies and one or two hot, shirtless, guys because well he was gay as hell why wouldn’t he have eye candy in his room? His new and old laptop and iPad were in a neat stack on his desk which was cluttered with homework and his trashcan was overflowing with paper from math and english homework. The TV was carefully set between his bookcase and his dresser on a media table, his Playstation under it and the previous gen counsels he had next to the sides and out of the way. His games were crammed in whatever space was left there and a few of the cases also lay scattered on the floor, open, but empty, the discs laying shiny side up on the top of the media cabinet.

“Looks like a clean version of Yusuf’s room,” was Altair’s only comment. “I consider being able to see the floor of kids’ my age’s room a win,” he told Desmond.

“Seriously?”

“All my friends are disgusting,” Altair said looking around still, taking it all in, including the heavy curtains to keep the sunlight out. Not like Desmond ever opened the windows except in the dead of Florida winter anyway. “I like it,” he said, “you put a lot of time into what you like.”

Desmond deflated all at once, for some reason so glad that Altair found his room acceptable. Well they’d probably be fucking in it so he hoped it was acceptable. “Lots of wasted money more like,” Desmond said with a casual roll of his eyes. He sat on his bed and Altair joined him and kicked off his shoes. “So my dad left me forty bucks, what should we order?”

“Pizza’s always good,” Altair said.

“Mmm, yeah,” Desmond agreed.

“I think Big Johns delivers out here too. They make killer pie.”

“Never had it-

“You’re having it tonight then!” Altair said seriously and Desmond chuckled.

“Okay,” he said grinning. “You hungry now?” Altair shrugged, not really. “So what do you wanna do till we’re hungry?”

Altair looked him up and down, “I had a few things in mind.”

“Of course you did.”

“You’re the one who brought it up this morning.”

Desmond leaned back tiredly, “I’m not really in the mood,” he admitted and yawned. “Work was killer for some reason today. I just wanna eat, finish my homework and go to bed.”

“Sure,” Altair said. “Your Playstation got Hulu?”

“Mhm,” Desmond nodded.

“You ever heard of Almost Human?”

“No,” Desmond said.

“Hot black guy with blue eyes is one of the leads.”

“I’m listening,” Desmond said, finding the controller and going to Hulu.

“Its also pretty gay,” Altair said. Desmond gave him a look, “There’s literally a ball scanning joke in the first three episodes and they talk about sex a lot. It is pretty fucking gay. Also Bones from reboot Star Trek is in it.”

Desmond looked at Altair and was just, not in love, but so incredibly infatuated. ‘Talk nerdy to me’ really was a turn on and while it wasn’t really ‘nerd’ stuff coming from a guy like Altair he might as well have been talking about the epic romance between Kirk and Spock in The Original Series. “Sounds like fun,” Desmond said searching for it and playing the first episode. Desmond got up to turn off the light before finding a comfortable spot on the bed with Altair.

 

Chapter Text

At some point Desmond must have dozed off because he found himself waking up. He felt warm and there was a pleasant warmth all down his beck and the side of his neck. He hummed in his sleep and moved to stretch a bit only to find his body twisted up in someone else’s. “Eh?” he looked behind him and blinked a few times, but not really seeing, who was behind him. Then the vague shapes formed a face and Desmond had to remind himself that Altair was supposed to be there.

“I fell sleep,” he said groggily.

Altair just chuckled and that was a wonderful sound to wake up to. “Yeah you did,” he said softly and kissed Desmond’s neck.

Desmond made an appreciative noise, “Mmm, do that some more,” and he got himself comfortable again on his side. Altair kissed his neck, up to his ear and down to his shoulder and it was just in all really nice. Why hadn’t he had a boyfriend before this? Boyfriends were great. Barring Alex of course. Alex had not been great.

“Should we order pizza?” Altair asked, still kissing Desmond’s skin.

“Mhmmm,” Desmond said.

“Bad news is that they don’t deliver.”

“Damn. Does this mean I have to get up?”

“If you want excellent pizza I’m afraid so,” Altair said.

Desmond sighed, “Fiiiine,” he groaned like he was doing Altair a favor and Altair chuckled.

“Also your phone went off a few times while you were out.”

“Yeah?” Desmond twisted around and grabbed his phone, yanking on it to pull it off the cord. “Fucking Clay,” he grumbled when he saw who’d texted him. ‘Altair come over?’ ‘dude’ ‘Dude’ ‘DUDE!!!!’

“Never a dull moment with him huh?” Altair asked, clearly reading over his shoulder.

“Oh, you have no idea. He used to be that friend who called you at three in the morning to talk about goats.”

“Goats?”

“It happened,” Desmond said, rolling onto his back. He was about to text Clay back when Altair ran his hand up his chest under his shirt and he shivered all over. “Holy shit, man,” he said, looking at Altair.

“What?” Altair asked innocently, “I’m allowed to touch right?” Desmond couldn’t tell if Altair was honestly worried he’d done something wrong or not.

“Ah— yeah,” Desmond said in agreement after a second. Because why was he complaining? Get with the program Desmond. “Yeah you’re totally allowed to touch,” he assured him.

“Okay,” and Altair was definitely feeling him up under his shirt. He swallowed and looked at his phone. ‘I fell asleep. Took a nap. What is your deal?’

‘DUDE!!!!’ was Clay’s reply and Desmond groaned.

“What?” Altair asked and Desmond realized his shirt had been pushed up to his chest and he knew Altair was fit and toned as shit and he was just… not chubby but he didn’t have any muscles at all so he was just, well, flabby. Fuck what was he even doing with this guy?

“Clay’s an idiot, that’s all,” Desmond said. “So uh, pizza?”

“Yeah, I’m hungry,” Altair removed his hand and Desmond tugged his shirt back down as Altair crawled out from around him. Altair stretched, cracking his back and Desmond enjoyed the view of his back when his shirt rode up a bit. Totally, and completely unfair.

“Heeey,” Desmond said as Altair was putting on his shoes.

“Hmm?” Altair asked, looking at him nearly upside down.

“Can you take your shirt off?”

“Uh— why?”

“Cause I wanna see the goods duh,” Desmond said. Altair snorted and when he stood up he grabbed the back of the collar of his shirt and just pulled it right off. “You know, one day I’m going to just be used to this view,” Desmond said.

“Today’s not that day?”

“Today is so not that day,” Desmond said cause Altair was just so fucking hot and had abs and the fucking muscles along your rib cage and a defined V where he could see some veins and big fucking shoulders and arms. He had a scar from where he’d had his appendix taken out and unlike some guys Desmond had slept with wasn’t hairless. He had a happy trail and some hair on his chest and god he was just so hot Desmond could literally not get over it.

“No fuck you,” Desmond said when Altair flexed a little.

“I think so,” Altair grinned, and he didn’t do any cheesy poses he just was very clearly flexing his muscles on his stomach and arms.

“Ahg,” Desmond pressed a hand to his face, “You’re gonna put an eye out with those!”

Altair chuckled, “Sure I will. Now c’mon you got to ogle, I still have a hunger only delicious pizza can satisfy,” and when Desmond looked Altair was tugging his shirt back on.

“Okay,” and Desmond got out of bed and changed out his sweats and put on his flip flops. “You’re driving,” he said grabbing his phone and his wallet.

“Well your bike only seats one, so sure,” Altair said and Altair followed him out of the house and Desmond got into the Mercedes. “Wanna see a movie after? Its almost seven.”

“I have homework I still have to do,” Desmond sighed, “so no. Not tonight.”

“Okay,” Altair said starting the car. As they drove out of the base, a different PFC standing guard, Altair said, “Am I spending the night?”

“Uh-

“Or are your parents coming home?”

“They’ll be home tomorrow,” Desmond said. “They’re having a date night,” and Altair grimaced with him, knowing what that had to mean.

“So?”

“I mean, if you want. Not tired of me after spending all day with me yet?”

“I think that’s the point of going out with someone. You don’t get tired of spending all day with them.”

“Loser,” Desmond said.

Altair gave him a look as they started over the bridge to Stock Island, “Nerd,” he said and Desmond snickered.

They arrived at the pizza place, Big Johns, shortly after. It was in the Kmart center that had been completely refurbished from the ground up a few years ago after hurricane Wilma flooded the entire place with salt water. Just like it had everywhere else on the island. That had been fun. Hearing about twelve foot storm surge rising up and destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars in property, and cars catching on fire and driving down roads piled ten feet high with garbage and debris ruined from the storm.

It was nice inside, and very Italian chiche. It smelled nice at least. There was a cute girl at the counter to take their orders and next to the counter was a display case with various pizzas both New York thin style and deep dish style ones. “Hello, what can I get you guys today?” she asked but Desmond was staring up at the menu with was a board mounted above them, proclaiming all the things.

“I think we need a minute,” Altair said.

“No problem,” she said.

“I take it its all good?” Desmond asked.

“Yeap.”

“Should we just get a whole pizza, or slices?”

“The slices are pretty big so I’d say just slices.”

“Okay, hmmm. Okay I know what I want,” and he approached the counter. The girl smiled at him. “I want two slices, one with mushrooms and pepperoni, and the other one of those,” he pointed to a meat lover’s deep dish behind the display glass. “And a soda,” he added.

“Alright is that all?”

“And whatever he wants,” he said motioning to Altair.

“Miles, I can get my own-

“Nope. You bought last time,” Desmond said.

“Miles-

“Altair,” he gave Altair a look, “you made breakfast, I get to buy dinner.”

“Your dad’s buying it,” Altair grumbled.

“And your grandpa would be buying it otherwise. Whatever he wants,” he told the cashier who grinned at them.

Altair huffed, but did order. “Two slices of pepperoni, and a basket of mozzarella sticks— and a soda,” he added.

“Okay,” she said and rang them in, Desmond handed her the money his dad had given him. “Here you go you can have a seat and we’ll come give you your food,” she said handing them both cups and Desmond the change. Desmond thanked her and they got their drinks before going and sitting down.

It wasn’t until then that Desmond realized how awkward this was. They’d had sex before the whole getting to know you part of the relationship so while Desmond knew that Altair fucked like a champ he didn’t… really know anything about Altair. Altair seemed to realize this shortly after he did and the silence quickly became slightly uncomfortable.

“Well,” Desmond said, “this is weird.”

“Yeah kinda,” Altair agreed.

“I can’t even say this is the longest time we’ve been in the same space without you groping me,” and Altair snorted as he was taking a drink and it nearly came out of his nose.

“Don’t, make me laugh when I’m drinking. I spit.”

“Really I thought you swallowed.”

There was a silence after that, “I’ll give you that one,” Altair said taking a sip of his drink and Desmond snickered. “Good conversation though? Maybe not about school, or what I may or may not do to your dick later tonight,” and Desmond did flush a little.

Desmond leaned back, slumping against the booth. “I dunno,” he confessed. “Like I honestly don’t even know what we have in common to talk about other than that we both like dick,” he said and Altair winced. “What? You’re out remember.”

“I know,” Altair said, still sounding pained, “I’m just… not used to it. Could you go a little easy on me?”

“I guess,” Desmond huffed. “So, when you’re not at school, what do you do?” Desmond asked, moving the conversation along.

“Play video games, read, work out,” he shrugged. “I’m pretty boring honestly.”

“What do you like to read?” Desmond asked, honestly any information about Altair was good information. He knew exactly nothing about Altair.

“Historical fiction I guess,” Altair said, half shrugging, not making eye contact. “And like, horribly domestic slice of life stuff.”

Desmond squinted at him a second, there was something else that Altair wasn’t telling him. Something super embarrassing. But he didn’t know what, not yet at least. “That’s cool, what’s your favorite story?”

“Uuuh,” and man Altair seemed so uncomfortable about that question, “Nothing you probably heard of,” he said.

“Yeah so? Tell me,” he said sincerely.

“Well,” Altair said slowly, thinking hard, “One I’m rereading recently is called The Proper Care of Actors.”

“Yeah, you’re right, I’ve never heard of it,” Desmond laughed, “Give me another one, maybe I know it,” he coaxed.

“A Curious Carriage of Crystal and Cold,” Altair said.

“I think you just made that up,” Desmond said.

“No, I’ve read it,” Altair assured him. “Like I said, you probably haven’t heard of them.”

“Yeah,” and then a man came and put paper plates with pizza down in front of them along with a basket of deep fried cheesy goodness. Altair was right too, the slices were big.

“What do you do? Besides work,” Altair said, changing the subject.

“Game,” Desmond said and tried to take a bite of his pizza but found it way too hot. “Ride my bike around, hang out with my friends,” he shrugged, “I’m not very interesting either.”

“What do you play?” Altair asked.

“Everything,” Desmond scratched an itch on the top of his hand. “Shooters, RPGs, platformers, adventure games. I just play anything. I get bored easy,” he shrugged. “Though I’ve been filling most of my time recently with college applications.”

“Yeah? Where you wanna go?”

Desmond was right in the middle of eating and chewed quickly. “Miami,” he said. “I have all my community service, I have the grades, I’m getting a full ride.”

“You get in yet?”

“Uh… no,” he admitted. “But I got a two thousand on my SATs so I’ll get in for sure,” 

“Wow, that’s better than mine,” Altair said.

“Yeah, what’d you get?” Desmond asked, stuffing his face with more pizza.

“Sixteen fifty,” Altair grimaced, “I’m not good at taking tests.”

“Really? You have an awesome GPA though.”

“I dunno,” Altair shrugged, “Stresses me out. Not that I need to get a high score to get into the school I wanna go to.”

“And what’s that?”

“Le Cordon Bleu or Keiser,” Altair said, “I like food.”

“Me too,” and Altair humored him when he asked for a high five. “I really like food.”

“I never would have guessed,” Altair said sarcastically, looking at Desmond’s plate. Desmond had sucked down a slice and a half and half the mozzarella sticks.

“What don’t judge me.”

“You won’t need me to get fat-

“Hey,” Desmond complained, “I also run,” he said.

“Really?” Desmond nodded, “Like, fast? Or endurance?”

“Endurance. I’ve done the Seven Mile Bridge Run every year since I moved here. But yeah, I run a lot, though I haven’t recently.” He needed to get back into it actually.

“Hopefully you’re a better runner than volleyball player.”

“Thankfully you’re a better kisser than volleyball player,” Desmond said snidely.

“I don’t think that was as insulting as you thought it was,” Altair said.

“You beamed me in the face with a volleyball,” Desmond said.

“It was an accident,” Altair said. “You’re not like… mad about that are you?” he added.

“No,” Desmond shook his head. “Well, at first kinda cause you broke my sunglasses,” and Altair grimaced. “Its fine though I bought new ones,” he waved it off. 

There was another silence, this time filled with eating. It was still kinda weird. Desmond didn’t really know how to talk to Altair. They were so different and yeah they had a few things in common but really it was just one thing other than that they were both gay and Desmond didn’t know how to really open up without sounding like he was dominating the conversation, or just talking about himself. Altair wasn’t a conversation guy even to begin with either and he was sure had as hard a time talking as Desmond did. This is what he got for dating the guy he’d previously just fooled around with.

“So you have homework,” Altair said finally, “but your parents aren’t home.”

“Yeah,” Desmond said.

“Am I allowed to stay or?”

“If you want you can I guess,” Desmond shrugged.

“Okay. I need to stop at my house on the way back, get a change of clothes.”

“Sure, sure,” Desmond nodded. “And you were right, that was awesome,” he said looking down at the empty plates and basket.

“Told you,” Altair grinned.

“Why do I have a feeling you know where all the good places are?”

“Oh I totally do.”

“Lets stop at Publix before going back, I wanna get some stuff.”

“Okay,” Altair said and they got up, threw away their trash and went out to Altair’s car. They took the back way to the Publix shopping center and Desmond told Altair to stay in the car cause he’d just be a second. Altair didn’t complain.

Desmond calmed himself down when he went into the store and went to the ice cream aisle. He bought Snickers ice cream because it was necessary before going to where they had the shampoos and soaps and tampons. Only he wasn’t interested in those.

He hadn’t bought condoms in like two years. Alex never fucking bought condoms, he expected Desmond to keep them around since they never fooled around at Alex’s house. Plus was he got to buy the ones he liked. Any fling he’d had was at someone else’s place to, so he had no reason to buy new ones once he threw out Alex’s during a thorough room cleaning. And there were about as many choices for condoms as there were for how you wanted pizza and Desmond just stared at the section for a few moments, trying to figure out what box he wanted. He needed to figure it out soon, before the ice cream melted too.

Finally Desmond just picked some basic ones, in a size that would fit either of them and went to go pay. The girl behind the register rose her brows at him in a ‘oh someone’s getting lucky tonight’ sort of way but that was it. The ice cream and the condoms were both thrown into a plastic bag and Desmond went back to Altair’s car where Altair was looking intently at his phone.

“Miss anything?” Desmond asked, sliding into the seat next to Altair.

“Nope,” Altair said, putting his phone away. “What’d you get?”

“Ice cream,” Desmond said, showing Altair the top.

“Ice cream two days in a low?” Altair asked as he backed out of the space.

“What about the ‘I like food’ thing did you not get?” and Altair chuckled . Despite himself Desmond kept thinking about the box of condoms, even though they probably weren’t going to use them. He’d told Altair he was tired and he was but… sex was nice.

They stopped at Altair’s house so Altair could get some clothes and probably what he needed for school tomorrow. Desmond looked at his phone, no messages, good. Clay had found someone else to bother. Desmond waited and thankfully didn’t have to wait long. Altair came back and threw his backpack and a reusable shopping bag into the back seat before getting in. “All set?” Desmond asked.

“Yeap,” Altair said backing out of the long driveway.

Chapter Text

Desmond was doing his homework, very aware of Altair sitting on his bed, using his laptop. But it wasn’t weird. Altair had his headphones in and was watching YouTube videos while Desmond worked and played quiet music over his speakers. They’d eaten the pint of ice cream while watching something on the TV in the living room and then Desmond had wanted to do homework.

Now here they were and Desmond was finishing up his homework. He’d done all of it except the reading. He always saved that for last because he hated reading. He just hated reading even though he’d read game subtitles all day and the little extra notes in Dishonored you found. But sitting down and reading a passage for school? Absolute torture. He’d rather be maimed.

Desmond put away his text books and notebooks but kept out the book he had to read. The Poisonwood Bible, a boring story about some white mission people going to Africa to bring Christianity to poor black people who really didn’t want them around either. It was turn of the century and Desmond hated it. He picked up the book, which was about the thickness of a phonebook ten years ago, and went over to his bed.

Altair looked up at him when he came over, “All done?” he asked, taking off one headphone.

“I just have to read a few chapters of this damn book,” Desmond said, sitting down. “But I don’t wanna cause I hate it and hate reading and uhg,” he flopped down on the pillow.

“Which ones?” Altair asked.

“The first three chapters of book three, its like the teacher wants to kill us,” Desmond said dramatically, pouting at the ceiling. Altair picked the book up from Desmond’s chest and Desmond just wondered what would happen if he threw the book out the window. Like how much trouble would he get into seeing as it wasn’t his book. Outside it was also raining lightly from clouds that had moved in from the south. So he’d ruin the book. How much shit would he get for that?

He was so busy thinking about that that he started when Altair said, “The Judges. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars… They shall be thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. From Judges.” He paused a second, glanced at Desmond but Desmond didn’t stop him, he was just looking at Altair, holding the book, open to where Desmond had previously dog eared the page to show where he had to start. Altair continued, “Orlenna Price Sanderling Island, Georgia. Listen little beast. Judge me as you will, but first listen. I am your mother. What happened to us could have happened anywhere-“

Altair continued and Desmond just laid back and listened. Altair had a fantastic reading voice, clear and he didn’t mumble or talk too low and he didn’t stumble at all. Bonus was it was Desmond’s boyfriend and Desmond loved hearing him talk, even if it wasn’t in that sex phone voice but shit it was still really nice. Desmond was more of an auditory guy anyway, and in general just sucked at reading and understanding what he read. Altair reading to him was easier, and so nice. Soothing even, but not enough to fall asleep to. 

They finished the first chapter before Desmond realized it and Altair stopped here. “Can I get a drink?”

“Shit, yeah sure,” Desmond jumped off the bed. “You want water or something else?”

“Just water,” Altair said. Desmond fled the room and filled a cup before going back to his room. Altair was laying out on his bed now, though trying to take up as little space as possible on Desmond’s single bed, propped up by Desmond’s pillow. Desmond handed him the water and Altair drank before putting it on the side table. Desmond climbed into the bed next to him.

“Officially I feel like I’m six when my mom used to read to me.”

“Well dear do you want me to get you some warm milk too?” Altair asked, pitching his voice up and making Desmond laugh. “If you pay attention you’ll even get a goodnight kiss.”

Desmond gave him a look, “I better get a goodnight kiss,” he grumbled. Or a kiss right now. Damn he wanted that now. Christ he was like a fucking chicken. Blink and he changed thoughts without care of what he’d just thought. And he’d missed the first paragraph of chapter two good job Desmond.

Once he was paying attention he settled close to Altair and Altair moved his arm to be around Desmond’s shoulders to be more comfortable. It was awkward for Altair to turn the page but they both lived with it. Altair read the second chapter and then took another drink before starting the third one. Desmond was content to just listen, and actually pay the fuck attention, while leaning on Altair’s chest and he could hear his heartbeat. It was disgustingly romantic if Desmond did say so himself.

“And done,” Altair closed the book after dog earring the page. “Not so bad?”

“I need you to read me all my books,” Desmond said earnestly, looking up at him. Altair just kinda laughed. “Seriously I actually paid attention and I fucking hate books,” he groaned.

“It wasn’t so bad. I had to read this thing last year,” he put the Poisonwood Bible next to his glass and drank the rest. “Its more enjoyable on the second read.”

“Yeah, sure it is,” Desmond said sarcastically.

“So all your homework done?”

“Yeah,” Desmond nodded. “Don’t you have any?”

“I finished it while you were at work,” Altair said, shrugging a bit.

“Oh what now?” Desmond groaned when his phone started ringing. He half climbed over Altair to get to his desk and his phone. It was his dad. He put his finger to his lips to Altair and picked up. “Hey dad,” he said.

“Oh you’re still awake?”

“Uh…” Desmond looked at his alarm clock and shit it was nearly eleven, that was his weekday curfew. “I was just finishing up my homework okay? I was about to go to bed.”

“Sure you were,” William said in a knowing tone.

“Whaaaat? I was okay,” he huffed and sent Altair a dirty look at his shit eating grin.

William chuckled, “All right, Des. I was just checking in before you went to bed. You mom and I will be home after work tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Desmond said.

“Make sure you go to school.”

Desmond groaned, “Dad, Duncan and Dylan skipped; I don’t.”

“I’m just saying.”

“Goodnight dad,” Desmond said exasperatedly.

“Goodnight, your mom says goodnight too.”

“Night mom. Okay, bye, see you tomorrow,” and he hung up. “Fucking parents,” he grumbled and had to climb back over Altair to plug his phone in.

“What’d he want?”

“Checking up on me.”

“That’s nice of him.”

“You’d think. Also annoying.”

Altair frowned and then said, “My gramps barely ever checks in on me when he’s gone.”

“Yeah but I’m sure your gramps thinks you can take care of yourself. I’m the family baby and my worry a lot,” Desmond rolled his eyes. Altair just shrugged, looking like he wanted to say something, but didn’t. “But I do need to get ready for bed.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously. What when do you usually go to bed?”

“Like midnight or one,” Altair said.

Desmond grimaced, “Nope, not me. I need all the sleep I can get.”

“Okay,” and Altair followed him into the bathroom where he took out a toothbrush, unopened, and they brushed their teeth. Desmond didn’t feel weird about leaving Altair alone in his bathroom like he had this morning in Altair’s. He went back to his room and changed into his sleep gear, which was honestly just boxers.

Desmond put the Poisonwood Bible into his backpack and made sure he was ready to go in the morning since Desmond woke up half an hour before the first bell usually and just had everything in his backpack so he could grab breakfast and go. Then he crawled into bed. Altair had put on pajama pants while he’d been getting his shit together and turned off the light before getting in bed with Desmond. The fit was tight but Desmond wasn’t complaining about being pressed up against Altair.

“So what time do you wake up?” Altair asked.

“Like eight,” Desmond grinned.

“Do you not eat breakfast?”

“Not really, no,” Desmond said, “I just grab some granola bars and stuff.”

Altair sighed a little, “Okay.”

“Right, you eat a real breakfast,” and Altair made an affirmative noise. Desmond paused and then asked a bit cheekily, “So do I get that goodnight kiss?”

Altair chuckled, “Yes,” and Altair kissed him and god that was so good. Also wasn’t going to just end at one little kiss. Altair wasn’t going to be able to get away with just kissing him once for a while probably because Desmond just wanted more. It was light and sweet and Desmond’s stomach kept doing backflips, because like this morning it was an intimacy he wasn’t used to. He’d never had this. Not even with Alex he’d never had this. Not the way Altair’s hand cupped the back of his neck or curled around his flank against the bed that was kinda uncomfortable but worth it, or the rough breath against his face that smelled vaguely of mint. He’d never been this into kissing Alex either. Like Desmond was wasting his time when he wasn’t it kinda felt like. Though that could have just been the hormones of finally having a boyfriend talking.

He grunted when Altair ran his hand down his chest and around his hip, tugging him closer. Or maybe he was pushing Desmond against the wall. He couldn’t really tell.

“For the record your bed is really fucking small,” Altair told him voice rough and he cleared his throat.

Terribly sorry,” Desmond said sarcastically. “You’ll have to live with it.”

“Okay,” Altair said softly, lips so close to Desmond’s he could feel them and Desmond kissed him because that drove him crazy. Fuck this guy every single fucking thing Altair did drove him crazy! “I want you,” he said when they stopped for just a second with the very important making out thing. Desmond’s mind instantly jumped to the box of condoms he’d bought and stashed on his desk so Altair wouldn’t see. Though mainly so he wouldn’t bring it up because he didn’t wanna do it. Seemed it didn’t matter, Altair had Desmond’s ass on the brain.

“Uh…” he said awkwardly, because his stance still stood.

“I know,” Altair said, “I was just… reminding you,” and though Desmond couldn’t see he knew Altair had that annoying smirk on his face.

“Oh you don’t have to remind me you want sex,” Desmond said, “Cause trust me, I want you too.”

“Then…?”

“No,” and Altair huffed.

“Fine,” he said and Desmond literally, and this was super embarrassing, squeaked, when Altair’s hand ran up the inside of his thigh. “This okay though?”

“Yes,” Desmond said, sort of excitedly. Awesome part about being gay as hell was that sex could just be awesome hand jobs and kisses in the dark. He kissed Altair again and gasped when Altair pushed his hand down the inside front of his boxers. And now he was way too excited because he couldn’t breathe. Instead Desmond just snuggled against Altair’s chest and neck.

“Someone likes that,” Altair was amused because Desmond was so into it. He was more than a little hard already. But if you had a boyfriend as hot as Altair you’d get going pretty quick too. 

“Yeah,” Desmond sighed contently. He ran his fingers down Altair’s chest and stomach, following the contours of his muscles down to his groin. Altair wasn’t just playing with him now either, he was jerking Desmond off and fuck it felt fantastic.

“Oh thank god,” Altair sighed when Desmond finally put his hand down Altair’s pants and groped around. Altair already had a pretty impressive chub going on and it fit neatly in Desmond’s hand. Altair’s breathing deepened and at some point he grabbed Desmond’s face, pulling it up to kiss him. It made Desmond’s toes flare and he wriggled a little. Altair let go of him and hiked Desmond’s leg over Altair’s thigh, bringing their groins closer together and Desmond felt Altair’s knuckles brush the back of his hand every now and then as he worked Altair.

“Can we do what we did this morning?” Desmond asked breathlessly and fuck he was so close now. He wanted to feel the heat of Altair’s cock pressed up against his before he lost it though because he remembered that being unbearably hot.

“Mhm,” was all Altair managed to get out for that and they shifted around a bit. Desmond groaned appreciably when Altair got his big hand around the both of them. “Fuck,” though that sounded annoyed by something and Altair pulled away. Desmond got a ‘wha-‘ out in complaint before Altair pulled him close again, this time he was more or less straddling Altair’s waist. Well this was a nice view, Altair under him, legs on either side of his hips, illuminated by the light coming in from the street light outside through the window and blinds. He flushed thinking about what else they could do in this position. Altair fist slowed a bit, making Desmond shiver. “You thinking about what I’m thinking about?” he asked Desmond.

“That the view is nice?” Desmond asked a bit breathlessly. Altair nodded and Desmond leaned down to kiss him deeply, pushing his tongue right into Altair’s mouth without invitation. Not that he needed one of course. That was his mouth to kiss the fuck out of as much as he wanted. His hips moved with Altair needily and they needed to do this position another way at some point because Desmond did like the sense of power it gave him. Not even the same as the times he’d topped. It was different and he had a feeling it’d go right to his head once he rode Altair for real.

And that was the end of that. He gasped hard, managing to get out a few broken moans when he came, his hips pushing against Altair. Yeah. Cowboy was going to need to be a thing sooner rather than later. Altair managed to catch his lips and kissed all the breath out of him, continuing to jerk them both off. He knew when Altair finished when he found himself lifted off the bed a bit from Altair’s hips rising. Well that was really hot too. Everything Altair did was hot why was he even surprised? Altair let his mouth go so they could both breathe and Altair’s hand was slow against the both of them.

“Fuck you,” Desmond said.

“Hmm?”

“Now we made a mess,” and Desmond had to sit up. He made to get off the bed but Altair was still holding onto his cock and he squawked. “Le’go.”

“Hold on, I’m not done with you,” Altair said dragging him back down and kissing him. Okay that was nice but damn this guy. He’d kinda just wanted to cuddle and sleep and now he was kinda awake and wanted a ride. But he was strong and didn’t give in to the temptation. “Okay,” Altair said once he was satisfied with kissing Desmond and let him go.

Desmond nearly fell out of bed and went to find something to wipe up this damn mess. He didn’t bother turning on the light either which made it all the harder until Altair turned the flashlight on his phone on. He ended up finding some kleenex and wiped himself down before pulling his boxers back up properly and going back over to Altair. They both cleaned up that mess since Altair’s chest was all cummy and sticky.

“Okay now we’re really going to sleep,” Desmond said, since now it was midnight and shit they’d made out for like an hour before having sex for the second time that day.

“Okay,” Altair said with a chuckle. He tugged Desmond to him when he got into the bed and pulled Desmond’s leg over his waist again. At first Desmond was going to complain but it made the bed have a bit more space for them to share so he didn’t.

“We’re going to get burn out at this rate,” Desmond said idly.

“Oh I highly doubt that,” Altair said. And yeah Altair was right. Two teenage boys? Suffering sex burnout wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

“God go the fuck to sleep,” Desmond said.

“Goodnight Miles.”

“Night loser,” and Altair snorted and nuzzled him which made Desmond’s chest swell. Fuck he was so fucking ruined by this already. His life was going to suck because he just wanted to be around Altair and life didn’t correlate so damn school was going to be miserable.

 

Chapter Text

As usual when Desmond arrived to school he was invisible. It was amazing how he could feel like he was the center of the world to one person and then just slip back into being no one. He and Altair went to school separately, Altair had also gotten up before Desmond and despite not being at his house had made Desmond breakfast anyway. He didn’t know where Altair hung out before the first bell, and he was fine with that. Desmond didn’t want to be one of those clingy, needy, boyfriends anyway.

That didn’t mean he was looking forward to seeing his friends though. He felt Clay staring at him as soon as he got close. “What?” he asked Clay when he joined his friends, though noticed Connor wasn’t around.

“Can I tell them now?” Clay asked dramatically.

“Uh…”

“He’s been like this all weekend,” Lucy said, patting Clay’s head like he was a dog.

“Tell us what?” Rebecca asked.

“Please?” Clay asked pathetically.

“Fiiiiine,” Desmond sighed.

“Yes! Desmond has a boyfriend,” Clay said proudly.

“Wow! You’re kidding,” Lucy said, “Finally,” and gave Desmond a grin.

“Is it Connor?” Rebecca asked.

“Uh… Did everyone but me know Connor liked me?” Desmond asked.

“You mean it wasn’t obvious?” Rebecca asked.

“Well yeah it was but I mean like, to ask me out,” Desmond said.

“I guess. But did he ask? He was so worked up about it on Friday.”

Desmond felt sick again. He didn’t want to break that news, especially cause Rebecca seemed stoked that her friends were going to go out. “No,” Clay said.

“Well he did,” Desmond said. “But—

“But? You just said you had a boyfriend,” Rebecca said.

Desmond was, quite literally, saved by the bell when the first bell went off. “See you at lunch!” he cried and made a hasty retreat. He was a hundred feet away when he heard Rebecca and Lucy give a confused ‘What?’ Great. Wonderful.

He didn’t have to deal with his friends until second period where he had Clay and Connor for health. Connor was there and as usual sat in front of Desmond but didn’t look at or talk to him. Not that he was expecting anything else. He and Clay spent most of the class passing notes.

How’d they take it?

They were surprised Rebecca wants a full story during lunch.

Fuck. Fine.

Lucy’s gonna hate you tho

Wat? Y??????

Cause apparently Connor asked her for advice on asking you out

I’m so fucked aren’t I?

Basically

Is it awkward or is it just me?

Kinda

Great

You turned him down what did you expect?

Idk

Dumbass

Stfu

Desmond crumpled up the note Clay sent back to him and ignored him the rest of the class. When the bell rang Connor got up and still didn’t look at him. Desmond followed him quickly, leaving Clay scrambling behind them.

“Connor,” he called, Connor didn’t turn around. “Con- Ratonhnhaké:ton,” he said, catching up to Connor just outside the pod.

That made Connor turn around, “Leave me alone,” he said and then walked off. Desmond stood there, watching him walk away feeling like he’d just been kicked.

Clay ran into him a few seconds later, pushing him out of the flow of traffic. “You okay? You look like someone just died.”

“Connor’s really mad at me,” Desmond said. He’d been dreading this for a reason. Having a weekend with Altair had made him feel so good. Now he felt like shit.

“You should let him cool off,” Clay suggested. “I’m sure he’s still hurt.”

Desmond sighed, “Yeah,” he agreed. “I guess I was hoping it wasn’t that bad.”

“It’ll work out. Now I gotta jet,” and before Desmond could say anything Clay was gone, headed for his next class. Desmond sighed and headed for his next class too.

In the middle of forth period he got a text from Altair. ‘Lunch?’

Desmond felt conflicted, on one hand yes he wanted lunch with his boyfriend who didn’t make him feel like a piece of shit for going out with his crush. On the other Clay had probably told Rebecca he’d get the whole scoop. Desmond contemplated what to tell him. He settled for, ‘Can’t’ in the end.

‘Y’

‘Wanna have lunch with my friends’

No for texts after that. At least until he was standing in line for lunch. ‘I’ll bring you something. I know where you have lunch.’

Desmond stepped out of line, walking past a confused looking Clay who was still waiting. Desmond was looking at his phone as he walked out of the cafeteria though. ‘What is it?’

‘Publix sub?’

‘Yes!’

‘What do you want?’

‘Cuban. Extra peppers, and +vinegar’

‘Okay’

Desmond put his phone away and went to where Lucy, Rebecca and Shaun were already eating their lunch by the auditorium. Rebecca, as usual, was having a lunch of energy drinks and half of Shaun’s lunch plus a bag of chips. Shaun’s mom always packed his lunch with more food than he could eat alone (probably cause she knew Rebecca would be eating it too) and Lucy had what her stepdad had brought her. Today it was Checkers hotdogs and fries.

“No lunch today?” Lucy asked.

“Ah— my boyfriend’s bringing me lunch,” and he couldn’t help the flush that spread across his face.

“Seriously?” Rebecca asked.

“Yeaaaah,” Desmond said awkwardly. Lucy and Rebecca turned to Desmond expectantly when he sat down and it didn’t take him long to start fidgeting. “What?” god he wondered if he sounded as much like a weenie as he thought he did.

Well?” Rebecca asked.

“Well what?”

“You’re dating a jock douche bag?”

“Hey,” Desmond said defensively, “He’s not a douche bag. He’s… really nice,” kinda weird, but who wasn’t? “And I asked him out okay,” he huffed. Only a bit of a lie. He’d given Altair an ultimatum about their relationship and Altair had asked him but Desmond had made it happen in the end. “And it was before I knew what Connor was gonna do god don’t look at me like I’m a horrible person,” he said shrinking under Rebecca and Lucy’s disapproving looks. Though he was sure it had more to do with stomping all over Connor’s heart than him dating Altair.

“What did you tell Connor? He’s been avoiding everyone all day,” Lucy asked.

“The truth?” Desmond said.

“So you asked a guy out when you knew Connor liked you?” Rebecca asked.

“A guy I liked!” Desmond cried defensively. “You sound like one of those horrible friend zone bronies. ‘Oh I liked you first and was nice to you so you owe me sex.’”

“No Desmond, you sound like that,” Lucy said.

“Yeah. Connor was super stoked for the weekend and then you turned him down for some guy you barely know.”

Desmond stared at them feeling shitty all over again. It just felt sort of hopeless. He was the asshole here though. He’d led Connor on, made out with him, did like ‘coupley’ things with him and then… dumped him before they’d even done anything. He looked away from them, at the ground, miserable. He’d had such an awesome weekend and now felt like shit.

“Girls, c’mon, don’t be too hard on him,” Shaun said. “Er… or not,” he said and he could imagine they were glaring at him.

“Hey guys! Woah… okay what happened?” Clay asked.

“Desmond’s an ass,” Lucy said.

“Uh… Des?”

“I kinda am,” Desmond said pathetically.

“Did you tell then I’ve been having to deal with your dumb crush on Altair since November?” Clay asked.

“Well I didn’t… really they just kinda dog piled me,” Desmond sat with Clay as a buffer between the girls.

“Don’t even take his side Clay. You saw Connor. He’s heart broken,” Rebecca said.

“I’m not taking anyone’s side,” Clay said, holding his hands up, “I just wanna eat my damn lunch.” He looked at Desmond, “Speaking of, where’s yours?”

“Uh,” he flushed again, “Altair’s bringing me some.”

“Cool,” Clay said.

“Clay,” Lucy said sternly.

“What?” he asked. “Look I know Connor’s upset and so are you two cause you were super excited to see Connor and Desmond hook up and be happy, but life isn’t a cheesy romcom okay? Desmond and Connor aren’t together and—“ he trailed off and everyone looked at what Clay was now looking at.

“Uh, hi?” Altair said awkwardly, standing kinda in front of them.

Desmond jumped to his feet, “Hey.”

“I brought you lunch,” Altair said holding up a plastic Publix bag.

Desmond smiled, “Thanks.”

Altair pulled out a sub wrapped in a white paper bag, “I didn’t know if you wanted the half or the whole so I just got the bigger one,” he said handing it to Desmond. “Cuban, with vinegar and extra peppers.”

“Thanks,” Desmond said and gave Altair a peck on the lips. Since he was closer now he said, lowly, “Lucy and Rebecca don’t like you so…”

“Right,” Altair said awkwardly, eyeing the girls. “Well, see you at chem,” he said and walked away quickly.

“Gross,” Rebecca said once Altair was out of earshot.

“What?” Desmond asked. “Can’t you guys be happy for me?” He was honestly hurt right now. He knew Connor would have been mad. But Lucy and Rebecca? Lucy and Rebecca looked guilty a moment. “What Clay said was right too. I’ve had a crush on Altair since… well, since September actually,” that was the first time he could pinpoint a ‘I want that particular ass’ and not just a general ‘I want that ass’. Before that he’d sort of been aware of Altair’s extremely attractive existence and now and then went in and out of minor lust over a straight boy that never hung around because he knew when to not bark up that tree. November had changed to ‘I can get that ass’ and now he did. “I am sorry I hurt Connor’s feelings but I have feelings too,” he said once he sat down next to Clay again.

“Just disappointing,” Lucy said. “Connor talked all about on Friday apparently. Aveline told me all about it. And then just,” she made a short fart noise with her tongue.

“Well I’m so sorry I started going out with my crush,” Desmond said sarcastically and opened his sandwich. “Not like I didn’t literally have to shove you and Clay together because you wouldn’t ask each other out. I did and now I’m dating him just like you’re dating yours,” and Lucy flushed a bit in embarrassment. “And so far its fucking awesome.”

Lucy and Rebecca just huffed but at least didn’t bring it up the rest of lunch. Desmond managed to cram half of the sub down his throat and let Clay eat some of the other half before the bell rang. Desmond threw away what had been around his sub and ate the rest on his way up to chemistry. He was surprised when Altair was leaning on the wall just inside the pod.

“Hey,” Altair said.

“Hi,” Desmond smiled.

“Enjoy your lunch?”

“Yeah… sorry about that. They were upset I kinda… stomped all over Connor’s feelings,” he frowned guiltily.

“What about you feelings though?”

“That’s what I said!” He huffed, “They’ll get over it. Apparently everyone but me knew Connor was going to ask me out.”

“Well too bad for him,” Altair said, leaning over to him, “You’re with me,” and Desmond’s stomach did a backflip when Altair kissed him lightly. He heard a camera click.

“Clay!” he yelled, the pod was mostly empty thankfully. Clay just laughed. “I’ll be right in,” Desmond said and stomped over to Clay who darted away. “Damnit Clay!” he yelled and chased the blond across the pod and down the hall. The breezeways were still pretty crowded so there was a lot of dodging around people as Desmond chased Clay down the walkway yelling at him as he did.

He only stopped chasing Clay when he quite literally ran right into a door that was opening. He didn’t fall at least. “You okay?” Clay called from several feet away.

“I’m sorry,” the person opening the door said.

“Its fine,” Desmond said, rubbing his head and then lunged around the door when Clay got close enough to check on him. Clay screamed but Desmond tackled him and shoved him against a set of lockers and yanked his phone from his pocket.

“Is everything all right?” the person asked, confused and a teacher had appeared.

“Miles, what’s the meaning of this?”

“Nothing, Clay’s just dumb,” and he held Clay’s phone out of reach as he unlocked it, his password was literally just four zeros.

“Desmond gimmie my phone,” Clay said as the bell rang, trying to climb Desmond even though he just held it high above his head with both hands, looking at the screen as he did so. “C’mon I’m late for class now.”

Desmond opened the photo app and deleted the picture Clay had taken of him and Altair kissing. “Okay, here you go,” and he tossed Clay back his phone.

Clay looked at what he’d done. “Awwww,” he pouted.

“Get a life,” Desmond told Clay, shoving him a bit. “And don’t take pictures of me, I know you’re mad jelly but its creepy as fuck,” Clay frowned at him.

“Fiiiine,” Clay said like he was doing Desmond a favor.

“Boys, get to class,” the teacher said.

“Yeah Clay,” Desmond stuck his tongue out at Clay before walking back the way he’d come. He was just in time for roll call and the teacher gave him an unamused look.

“You’re late,” Caterina said softly when he sat.

“Dealing with something.”

“What? You need something?” she hissed and Desmond saw she was hissing at Altair who was turned in his seat to look at him.

“Uh, no,” Altair said.

“Uhg. Weirdo,” Caterina said.

“I dunno,” Desmond said.

“Oh please,” she rolled her eyes. “What were you dealing with?”

“Clay took a picture of me I didn’t want him to have so I nearly stuffed him in a locker and deleted it,” Caterina giggled softly.

“What photo?”

“Ahh— just something personal,” he said.

“Right,” she shrugged. After the teacher gave them problems to do on their own Desmond wasn’t surprised when Altair came over. “You know one day you’re going to have to learn to do chemistry by yourself,” Caterina said.

“Yeah probably. Today isn’t that day though,” Altair said and grinned at Desmond. His face heated up just a little bit but Caterina didn’t notice.

 

Chapter Text

The next week passed without any real incident. Lucy and Rebecca got over themselves, but Connor was still mad at him. Desmond’s wasn’t that surprised really. He just let Connor be, he’d come around eventually. He was glad though that after the first day Rebecca and Lucy had a change of heart and yeah it was shitty he’d stepped on Connor’s feelings, but Desmond deserved to be happy too.

And having a boyfriend was awesome. Especially Altair as a boyfriend since Altair was all about buying Desmond lunch every day saying that school lunches were horribly unhealthy for him. Which he wasn’t wrong about honestly. They weren’t really around each other at school otherwise though, just that shared chemistry class honestly. But that was probably a good thing since it meant they weren’t around each other all the time and Desmond was still sort of awkward around Altair when they were alone.

During the weekend Desmond started running again, because he wasn’t joking when he said Altair would make him fat. He did a circuit around the base or ran down to Bocha Chika and back which was about a mile. He ran past the Kenway’s house each time but didn’t stop, even though he wanted to; to apologize again. But probably wasn’t a good idea since he ran without a shirt and that’d be like rubbing salt in the wound.

On Tuesday he found Altair by his motorcycle, which as usual he parked in the back of the parking lot to avoid accidents. “Hey,” he said, in a better mood than he had after a boring, lame, day at school.

“Hey,” Altair said. Like Desmond had thought, literally no one gave a fuck Altair and Desmond were dating. They didn’t put it out there, but it wasn’t a secret either. Clay told him he’d heard a blip about it but it wasn’t ‘news’ like Ezio getting a new girlfriend.

“What’s up?” he hadn’t seen Altair all weekend, he’d gone with his grandpa up to Naples for something or another. He made sure to kiss Altair now, since he hadn’t been able to over the weekend, time to make up for and all that.

“You busy?” Altair asked and while he didn’t smile his eyes brightened after Desmond had kissed him.

“Not really. I have a project I should get started on and the normal amount of homework, but other than that,” he shrugged.

“Wanna come over?” Altair asked.

“Uuh—“

“We can do homework,” Altair said, “and I’ll make you dinner.”

“Uuuhg twist my arm,” Desmond groaned and Altair chuckled. “Yeah, that sounds great,” he said grinning.

“Good, cause I also wanted to talk to you about some stuff.”

Desmond made a face. “Stuff? Like… what kind of stuff?” cause ‘I need to talk to you’ was usually international code for bad news.

“Good stuff,” Altair promised. 

“Okay,” Desmond said.

“I can take your bag if you want,” Altair said.

“Okay,” and he handed Altair his back pack. “I’ll see you at your place,” he said. Altair nodded and they separated. Desmond put on his helmet and joined the line of traffic out of the school parking lot.

He got to Altair’s house before Altair got there. When he got off his bike he saw he had a missed call and a text. Both from Altair. The text was ‘key under pot next to the door. Stopping at grocery store, forgot something DX’

Desmond grinned to himself, Altair and his adorable emoticons. The only person he knew who used emoticons was Clay and Rebecca. He thought it was cute that a guy like Altair used emoticons. ‘Its coo!’ Desmond texted back and found the key and let himself in.

Desmond didn’t nearly have the self control to not snoop. Mainly he just wanted to find something out about Altair that he could relate to that wasn’t ‘we both like dong’. He started with Altair’s room and just started looking through stuff. Altair’s clothes were pretty boring, plain T-shirts, a few button downs, jeans and slacks, like five thousand hoodies hanging in his closet Desmond only did a courtesy glance of. He didn’t bother with Altair’s laptop; he wasn’t that nosey. He had a bookshelf with books on it, most of them cultural books and he had an entire shelf dedicated to cooking. Another shelf was war memoirs or stories told from the perspective of soldiers. Altair didn’t have nick nacks or anything and just wall scrolls of plants on his walls. Altair’s room left Desmond wanting.

He checked the media room next and found, to his great surprise, a PS3, a 360, and a Wii, and a video game collection that made Desmond choke. But the cases all had a thin layer of dust on them, showing they hadn’t been used in a while. But the collection was huge. Desmond had a feeling Altair just bought them to have them though didn’t know if he even played them. The DVD and video collection was equally as huge though unlike the games actually looked like Altair watched the damn things.

Altair honestly didn’t strike him as a guy who collected things. He went back to Altair’s room to see what he’d missed. Books were books but unlike the movies and games they were focused in genre or subject meaning they were actual interests and not just ‘I want this for my collection’ sort of thing.

When Desmond opened the big closet again he was greeted by Altair’s… collection of hoodies. He started going through them, just to see if he could find anything interesting. Altair had a hoodie or jacket of every color in both pull over and zip up style. Once he’d waded through those he saw a common theme. A lot of the hoodies seemed to resemble armor. But like… Spartan and N7 armor.

“Oh my god,” Desmond said realizing what was in front of him. “What a fucking nerd,” and he laughed. Then he came to one he remembered he’d wanted sofucking bad but it had been a limited run of some company not Bioware that looked like Shepard’s armor. He’d seen it but been poor so couldn’t get it and then it’d sold out. And his boyfriend had it!

Well.

His hoodie now.

Desmond pulled the hoodie out of the closet just as he heard the door open. “Desmond,” Altair called from the front of the house.

“Yeah,” Desmond called back and had a fantastic idea. He yanked off his shirt and pulled on the hoodie and zipped it up. Then he walked out of Altair’s room and found Altair in his beautiful, spotless, kitchen, putting stuff into the fridge.

“So I see you found the key,” Altair said, head in the fridge.

“Yeah.”

“Sorry for making you wait I was going to make-“ Altair turned around and saw Desmond standing in his hoodie smugly. “Uh. Hey Shepard,” he said.

“Mine now,” Desmond said and giggled evilly.

Altair chuckled and went over to Desmond and put his arm around Desmond’s waist. “Isn’t it hot in that?” he asked and with his other hand started to pull down the zipper hoodie. Desmond was, of course, not wearing his shirt right now. Altair stopped once he realized Desmond was shirtless under said hoodie.

“It is kinda hot,” Desmond said.

Altair just had a surprised look on his face and then to Desmond’s surprise took his hands off Desmond and raised them. “Not right now,” he said.

“Awww, c’mon,” Desmond whined. “I wanted to fuck.”

“Your bag is still in my car. And I wanted to talk to you first,” Altair said.

Desmond huffed, “You’re the one who said you missed me on your bed,” he said. Altair gave him an unimpressed look. “Fine,” Desmond rolled his eyes and went to get his backpack. Altair had finished putting away the groceries when he came back in. “So what did you wanna talk about?” Desmond asked, though he didn’t know how that could be more important than sex since they hadn’t had any in like three weeks and Desmond had gotten that more when he was just a booty call. Well except for last week when Altair had stayed over but that was more just fooling around sex. Desmond wanted the nitty gritty.

Altair pulled him into the living room, where there was a TV and a big couch and a coffee table and the sound system Desmond had nearly fallen asleep next to at the post finals party. Desmond sat next to Altair, but sat half cross legged on the couch looking at him. “Well, its February,” Altair said.

“Yeah? And?” Desmond didn’t know why this was important.

Altair squinted at Desmond like he thought Desmond was dumb. “What do you want to do for Valentine’s Day?” he asked. Unfortunately all Desmond could think was ‘shit’.

Chapter Text

The last time Desmond had thought about Valentine’s Day had been when he’d been going out with Alex. It had been a miserable experience, since Alex was closeted as fuck. They hadn’t done anything special and if anything Alex had just ignored Desmond extra on V-day which just hit home more and more that their relationship wasn’t anything noteworthy. So he didn’t really have the best memories about V-day, except for Rebecca and Shaun and it was like their free pass to make out in public as often as possible.

“Valentine’s?” Desmond asked.

“Yeah, its coming up this week-

“It is?” Desmond asked.

“Uh… yeah Desmond its the eleventh,” he said and Desmond felt some of the color leave his face. It was in three days.

“Oh,” he said, like he’d just had the wind kicked out of him.

“So what did you want to do?” Altair asked.

“Erm… well, I’ve never really, had a boyfriend during V-day,” Desmond admitted.

“Me neither,” Altair said.

“I’m not really, into Valentine’s Day,” Desmond said, hoping he didn’t sound too weird about it.

“Oh,” and fuck Altair sounded disappointed.

“But if you wanted to do something we totally can,” Desmond was quick to say.

“Well I was thinking maybe we could have like… a date date,” and Desmond nodded to that. He liked the sound of that. “And its on a Friday so you could spend the night?”

“I’d love to,” Desmond said and leaned over to kiss Altair on the mouth. That seemed to reassure him since Altair looked nervous about his suggestions.

“I dunno if this is too touristy, but we could go down to Mallory, watch the sunset.” Fuck that was lame and romantic and Desmond loved it.

“And walk down Duval after,” Desmond put in.

“Yeah,” Altair smiled a bit.

“So that’s what you wanted to talk about?”

“Yeah… I just, didn’t know if you wanted to do anything and I didn’t want to make plans without asking you,” he made a bit of a face.

“Where are we going to have dinner?”

“I’ve got an idea. But I want it to be a surprise,” Altair said.

“Okay,” Desmond said, he liked food surprises.

“So you had a project?” and Desmond groaned internally. Looked like he wasn’t getting laid for a while. Though he should have known a guy like Altair would want to do homework first and then fool around after wards. Not that Desmond was complaining really; except that he was.

“Yeah, for math,” Desmond said, “I have to build a bridge.”

“Oh, I have that project too. Do you have a partner yet?” Altair asked.

“No? I figured you’d have one.”

“Malik partnered with Aveline, Ezio with Leo, kinda out of the loop,” Altair winced a little.

“Well I don’t have one,” Desmond said. “And we have chem homework. Do I need to go over that with you?” he teased. Altair did chemistry just fine on his one.

Altair groaned, “No,” and Desmond snickered.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes. I’m never living that down am I?”

“Nope!” Desmond said. “And I thought I was lame,” he poked Altair playfully. “Couldn’t even talk to me. Aren’t you supposed to be the outgoing jock?”

Altair groaned and got up from the couch, “Homework,” he said and Desmond followed, as smug as could be. He grabbed his bag and sat down at the dining room table with Altair and dumped his stuff out. They worked on their homework for about an hour, teasing each other and playing a bit of footsies, when Altair closed his physics book and said, “So I had a question.”

“Yeah?” Desmond asked, working on his chemistry homework.

“What’s club?”

“What?” Desmond asked, looking up, a bit worried.

“Malik’s been bothering me about it since we started dating. Aveline told him she’s busy on Thursdays with club with you and your friends but won’t tell us what the club is. He’s been bugging her but she said you told her not to tell, so now he’s bugging me. What’s club?”

“Uhhhhh….” Desmond said fiddling with his pencil so bad he sent it flying and had to crawl under the table to retrieve it. Fuck what did he say? Well, it probably wouldn’t be too bad. Altair was kinda geeky himself. But D&D was awhole other level of nerdery. He sat back up and Altair was still sitting there waiting for an answer. “Its club,” he said lamely.

“Yeah but what is club? Like what do you guys do?”

“Ah— just, you know, hang out and play video games.”

Altair narrowed his eyes at Desmond. Shit, he didn’t believe that for a second. “Tell me,” Altair said in a no nonsense tone.

Desmond grimaced. It wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t like they played Yu-Gi Oh! that was literally way way worse than D&D and even Magic. “We play D&D on Thursdays at my house,” he said.

Altair blinked and said nothing for a second. “I don’t know why I thought it’d be anything but something like that,” he sighed.

“What? What did you think club was?”

“I dunno. Something illegal?”

“Seriously?”

“I don’t know!” Altair cried and Desmond snorted. “But seriously? You guys play D&D?”

“Yeah its uh… kinda an exclusive club,” Desmond said awkwardly.

“I see,” Altair said slowly. Then he sat back and picked up his phone and Desmond realized he was telling Malik right now! Oh christ. Perfect. This was why he didn’t tell people what club was. Desmond watched while Altair waited for a reply and Altair grinned when his phone dinged.

“What’d he say?” Desmond asked curiously.

Altair glanced up at him, though Desmond couldn’t tell if Altair was surprised Desmond knew he’d texted Malik. “He says I have weird taste in men; which he already knew,” and Altair shrugged like it didn’t even matter. “At least now he’ll stop bugging me about it,” and he went back to his homework.

For himself Desmond was done with homework. Well not that he was done but he was done. He got up from the table and Altair looked up when he came around the other side, yanked Altair’s chair out a bit and sat on his lap. “Pay attention to me,” Desmond said rather childishly. But he’d barely seen Altair all week. He saw Altair at lunch, at chemistry and maybe briefly in the morning. They hadn’t gone on a real date yet even. And Altair had been gone all weekend. Desmond was going to go crazy if his boyfriend didn’t pay attention to him and kiss him a lot. He got pecks and brief kisses in during the times he saw Altair at school but that so wasn’t cutting it.

“Ah—“ Altair started but Desmond stopped any stupid response from him by kissing him deeply. When Desmond was done kissing the hell out of Altair they were both short of breath and breathing each other’s air. “What was I saying again?” Altair asked breathlessly.

“That you were going to take this hoodie off me,” Desmond said deviously.

“Ah, right,” Altair said, “though I kinda like you in it,” he said even as he tugged on the zipper and started to pull it down.

“We can play dress up later,” Desmond said, nearly wriggling when Altair ran one hand up his chest. So much better when it wasn’t his hand. “Unless you wanna play the undressing game,” he said.

“You’re making a pretty compelling argument for it,” Altair said, his words littering little puffs of his breath on Desmond’s lips. Desmond licked his lips and then kissed Altair again and shifted his position so he was straddled one of Altair’s thighs, arms around his neck. They hadn’t made out like this in a while and it was awesome! “Undressing game?” Altair asked lowly when they parted. Desmond nodded enthusiastically. “Get up so I can stand,” and Desmond jumped right to his feet. When Altair got up Desmond wasn’t a little bit proud Altair had to adjust himself through his pants. It took more self control than Desmond realized to not step over to him and jam his hand down Altair’s pants.

Altair took him by the wrist back to his bedroom and closed the door soundly. Desmond had already removed his shoes when they’d started to play footsies, but now he took off his socks  and started to undo his jeans while sitting on Altair’s bed. He wanted Altair so fucking bad it was criminal.

“Huh,” Altair said, looking at him.

“What?” Desmond asked as he got his pants undone.

“I was right.”

“What?” Desmond asked again, cocking his head at him.

Altair came over to him and pushed him back onto the neatly made bed and took a knee on the bed, leaning over and kissing Desmond. “My bed looks much better with you laid out on it,” Altair smirked.

“If I didn’t want you so badly right now I’d complain about your shitty jokes,” Desmond said which made Altair chuckle. Desmond sucked Altair’s bottom lip, making him kiss Desmond again. He still wasn’t over how nice it was to kiss Altair. He didn’t know if he ever would be. “Also,” he gasped as Altair started to kiss his neck.

“Mmm?” Altair asked.

“Well, two things. No big ass hickeys. I was grounded for like a month cause of the last one you gave me. And two, I really want you,” Desmond said.

“Is that limited to neck hickeys?” Altair asked, nuzzling along his neck.

“Uh—

“Can I put them elsewhere instead?” Altair asked in his ear.

“Yes,” he practically yelped when Altair sucked on his ear lobe.

“And you don’t want the romance tonight, you just want the business,” he could hear Altair’s smirk.

“S-something like that,” Desmond said and he was hard now. Fuck Altair hadn’t even touched his dick and he was hard. He needed to get laid so badly.

“Okay,” Altair said and stood up, trailing kisses along Desmond’s neck and chest as he did. He went and got the lube and condoms and tossed them next to Desmond on the bed. Then he kneeled on the bed and kissed Desmond nice and long, tugging off Desmond’s jeans. Desmond undid Altair’s belt with some difficulty but he did get the damn thing off and Altair’s jeans slid right off without any problem or prompting. Altair was kissing his neck and throat when he tugged his shirt off. In the end the only bit of clothing left on was Desmond’s hoodie, though it was unzipped.

They ended up making out for a while, touching and kissing every part they could reach. It was wonderful and Desmond loved the feeling of Altair kissing him on the mouth and on his neck and down his chest. He didn’t mind in the slightest they were taking their time to get to the business. And when they did it was awesome. Altair took his sweet ass time making sure Desmond was ready, which he appreciated but quickly got frustrated with him about.

“C’mon,” he whined at one point. He was about to explode with want.

“All right, all right, relax,” Altair said and stood back up, they hadn’t made it much past the edge of the bed honestly, and grabbed the condom. Desmond sat up and snatched it out of his hand. “Des-

“I wanna do it,” Desmond said, looking up at him. Altair’s already flushed face brightened.

“Okay,” Altair said.

Desmond kissed Altair’s stomach and took Altair’s cock in one hand. He was kinda hard already from their fooling around but he could tell Altair needed some more attention. Altair groaned a little when Desmond kissed the head of his cock and then put it into his mouth and sucked on it. He might not be able to give head like Altair but he still knew how to make a dude cum with his mouth. He had Altair pulling his hair and panting in less than two minutes.

“Holy crap,” Altair breathed when Desmond let him go. He nuzzled into Altair’s groin before ripping open the condom wrapper. “I forgot you could do that,” and Desmond snickered.

“I’m unassuming aren’t I?” Desmond asked. Altair just made a noise in his throat as Desmond unrolled the condom down Altair’s dick. He kissed the head of Altair’s cock and lubed it up before laying back down.

“You’re awesome is what,” Altair said and dragged Desmond’s legs around his waist. Desmond smiled at him. He also moaned when Altair pushed into him.

“Finally!” he cried.

“Hey! I didn’t hear you complaining earlier,” Altair said and that kinda made Desmond laugh.

“I can complain some more if you want,” Desmond said sarcastically.

“No,” Altair said, giving him a look. Desmond just grinned cheesily at him. “Just… be quiet for once,” and that made Desmond laugh again. “Or that, that’s good too,” Altair said leaning over him and kissing him a few times. 

“Too bad you’re not funny at all,” Desmond said.

“I don’t have to be funny for you to like me,” Altair said moving his hips.

“Nope,” Desmond agreed and came out as a half moan. “I’ll be funny instead.”

“Save the funny for after hmm?” Altair asked and Desmond would have replied but he was too busy feeling good. He tightened his legs around Altair’s waist, pulled him against him. 

Altair started slow, to make sure everything was all right down there. “I did tell you to give me the business,” he said, trying to sound unimpressed but there was something really great about Altair moving in and out of him.

“If you’re so unhappy you can do it,” Altair told him smartly. Desmond made a face at him and said nothing but Altair did start to go faster, and harder. And Desmond was all about that. He held onto the side of the bed as Altair gave him what he wanted and he ended up swearing a whole lot because of it. He dragged Altair down, making him nearly face plant in Desmond’s chest. He grinned at him, Altair just huffed and found his pace again, this time leaning over Desmond, his heavy breathing mixing with Desmond’s. 

At one point Altair just got onto the bed with Desmond, pulling Desmond into his lap as he kneeled on the bed. It was an awesome position and the way Altair’s hips snapped upwards hit Desmond’s prostate at least once every three or four thrusts. Which was pretty good for someone not looking for it. It made Desmond arch off the bed, pressing himself up against Altair who put his hand up under his back.

Altair slowed down enough to press sloppy, open mouthed, kisses across Desmond’s upper chest and throat and Desmond pulled him up to kiss him correctly. He held the back of Altair’s neck and when they started to go faster again Desmond just hung onto his hair instead of the sheets.

He gasped and groaned when Altair pushed into him roughly as he moaned loudly. He sounded kinda broken and it was one of the hottest things Desmond had ever heard because it was sort of pathetic. That Desmond could make a guy like Altair sound like that was seriously hot. “Oh fuck,” Altair said softly, all the wind rushing out of him. “Fucking fuck,” he said looking right at Desmond with a blank sort of stare.

“You sure?” Desmond teased him.

“Uuuhg, not now,” and Desmond snickered. “Don’t ruin the moment, Miles.” And as if to make sure Desmond didn’t ruin the moment Altair kissed him. That was cool in Desmond’s book, especially when Altair gave a few more, weaker, thrusts into him, making him moan into Altair’s mouth before he finally pulled out. Fuck that had felt so fucking good. 

Desmond nuzzled against Altair’s jaw and neck. “Can we do that again?” he asked against Altair’s ear.

“But we just finished!” Altair said, looking at him.

“I know,” Desmond said, “but can we do it again?” he asked innocently, giving Altair his best smile.

Altair eyed him. “I guess,” he said.

“Yes!” Desmond said and threw his arms up.

Altair sighed, “Way to ruin the mood, Miles.”

Chapter Text

Desmond felt a bit nervous when Valentine’s Day finally rolled around. He knew it’d be fine. But he didn’t really know what to expect. Also he felt kinda silly having a heart shaped box of chocolates in his backpack as he walked from the parking lot to the school. He scanned the big parking lot as he did trying to find Altair’s red Mercedes but didn’t see it. He didn’t let himself get discouraged though, the parking lot was pretty big after all. He could still be here already.

Once he got into the courtyard he started scanning around for Altair’s group of friends. Unlike his own they tended to drift each morning. He ended up with his friends under the pavilion as he found the back of Malik’s head and started looking for Altair.

“Hey, Des, Earth to Des,” Clay said, yanking his attention away from his search.

“Huh? Yeah?” he asked turning around right.

“You okay?”

“What? Yeah, totally, I was just looking for Altair,” he said and sat next to Clay, his leg started to jiggle basically immediately.

“Wow. Dude, calm down what is your deal?” Clay asked.

“Well its my first V-day I’m with someone. Except you know who,” even after all this time Desmond still couldn’t say it in public. Only his friends knew he’d dated Alex, but other than Clay only after they’d broken up. It was too well beaten into his skull, don’t out your boyfriend even though he shouldn’t have to be closeted anyway.

“Oh,” Clay said.

“You get Lucy anything?” Desmond asked, since she wasn’t around, Shaun was also absent and Rebecca was listening to music literally loud enough to blow out her eardrums.

“Yeah, check it,” and Clay pulled out a box of candy and a little stuffed rabbit with a big ass lollipop stuck to its front paw. “Lucy isn’t a big fan of chocolates. So, candy,” Clay said, grinning. “Also they won’t melt in the heat,” and Desmond nodded, there was wisdom there. “Think she’ll like it?”

“I’m sure,” Desmond said. “What’s not to like about your boyfriend buying you presents— oh there he is!” he sat up a bit straighter, staring as Altair walked over to his friends. He didn’t get up right away. He didn’t want to be weird.

“Dude, chill,” Clay said.

“Right, sorry, just kinda anxious,” Desmond said, his leg still jiggling.

“You get him something?”

“Yeah, chocolates,” he said.

“Man you’re gross,” Clay said. “Fuck speaking of gross,” he added when Shaun showed up, his bus finally arriving. He didn’t seem to hear Clay though and both Desmond and Clay leaned back and away from Rebecca and Shaun since Valentine’s was literally the worst holiday involving those two. They were usually pretty tame when it came to PDA. But on Valentine’s they just used it as an excuse to make out in public. Shaun also had a huge box of chocolates he was very badly hiding behind his back.

Shaun tapped Rebecca on the shoulder as she was playing with her phone and she looked up, pulling her headphone down. “Shaun!” she cried, jumping to her feet.

“You’d think we’d be used to it by now,” Clay said, making a bit of a gagging noise as Rebecca wrapped her arms around Shaun’s neck and kissed the heck out of him. Shaun and Rebecca had apparently been dating since the summer of freshman year, before Desmond had moved from Texas and they’d just gotten more and more touchy feely and open about the fact that they sucked each other’s faces. Desmond had no issues with PDA in the slightest but Shaun and Rebecca knew how to take it to a new level of ‘can you not?’

“I’m gonna go see Altair, sooo,” and Desmond got to his feet.

“You’re going to leave me here with them?” Clay demanded, scandalized.

“Uh… yeah, I got a boyfriend to see and Lucy will be here soon sooo,” and he grabbed his bag. He heard Clay whine his name after him but he didn’t stop. His friend could be like a small, easily excitable dog sometimes and if you gave into his demands he never stopped.

Walking over to Altair and his friends was surprisingly difficult. Mainly because it was a bunch of jocks and as a general rule of being a nerd Desmond was wary of them. Not that he’d been bullied that much, but high school movie cliches ran deep. Really though high school movies were a huge lie about how high school really was and yeah there were some clicks. But there were no Plastics like in Mean Girls and most groups were weird and had loose connective ties anyway.

Much like Shaun and Rebecca Altair had his friends who seemed way too caught up in V-day and took it as their go ahead to make out first thing in the morning. Aveline and Malik weren’t quite doing that, but he was sure that the bag of Starbursts they were sharing was just an excuse to show off the fact that they could undo the wrapper with just their tongues. Ezio had his latest girlfriend on his lap while he talked to Altair and Yusuf, both of which were facing away from him, so it was no surprise Ezio noticed him first. He got the impression… Ezio didn’t like him that much. He didn’t know why but any time he found Altair and he was with the guy Ezio just was kinda bristly. He was too chicken shit to ask why Ezio didn’t seem to like him though so he just kept his head down and tried to ignore it.

Altair looked over his shoulder when Ezio’s face soured and Altair had literally the exact opposite reaction to seeing him. Altair brightened and while he didn’t smile Desmond could see he was happy to see him.

Desmond didn’t think about the fact that Altair’s friends were still around, at the very least aware of what was going on. He just went right up to Altair who pushed himself to his feet. “Hey,” Altair said, grabbing Desmond’s arm lightly and now he did smile. Desmond and his stomach needed to have a long discussion about this whole summersaulting shit. Altair was touching his arm. This had to stop happening. But it didn’t stop his stomach from doing that summersault in delight to Altair’s proximity. He’d get used to it eventually. Right? Part of him hoped he didn’t.

“Hey,” Desmond said, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” and he leaned over and kissed Altair and didn’t give a fuck about it. Altair’s hand tightened on his arm in a good way.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” Altair said and if Desmond didn’t know any better he’d almost call Altair giddy. And that was when the bell decided to ring. Fucking bell. “We still on for tonight?” Altair asked him.

“Well duh. My parents think I’m staying over at Clay’s,” it was sort of a complicated lie since his parents knew Lucy and Clay were dating so why wouldn’t they go out for Valentine’s too? Lie was Lucy was grounded (as absurd as that sentence was) so Clay and Desmond were going to be alone together on Valentine’s. Kinda extravagant for a lie but his parents had bought it.

“So no interrupting phone calls?” Altair asked as he picked his backpack up from the ground.

“Nope,” Desmond said.

“Good,” Altair said and kissed him again. Fucking stomach backflip again. That shit was getting old. Only no it wasn’t. It was fucking awesome. It was him just nitpicking the one thing about having a boyfriend that was slightly inconvenient. “I need to get to class,” he said.

“Wait wait,” Desmond said before Altair could follow Malik who was motioning for Altair to come on or they were going to be late. Desmond took off his backpack and opened the big pocket. “I uh, got you something,” and he flushed when he pulled out the red heart shaped box of chocolates.

“Oh,” Altair said as he took the box, clearly he hadn’t been expecting the gift. “Uh, I thought we were gonna wait till dinner?”

“We were?” Desmond said, giving a worried look that made his neck tight. He hoped he hadn’t just done something weird.

“Its cool,” Altair said quickly.

“Altair, if you don’t hurry up I’m leaving your ass to be late,” Malik called from the stairwell where he was waiting.

“Thanks,” Altair said and put the box in his backpack.

“So I take it I get mine later?” Desmond asked.

“Well-“ Altair started then seemed to remember they were in public. “Something like that,” Desmond grinned. “But really, class. I’ll see you at lunch,” and he gave Desmond one last, brief, kiss before darting off and heading for Malik who looked his usual grumpy self. He couldn’t hear what they were saying from this far away, but Malik looked like he was calling Altair an idiot.

Desmond watched them go before realizing he would be late to class too if he didn’t leave, and he had to stop at his locker and go back across campus. Good job Desmond.

Chapter Text

Honestly Desmond had expected Altair to text him sometime in the day about going out to lunch. But the bell rang and he still hadn’t gotten a text. So he went to the cafeteria instead to wait in the boring line. As he waited he texted Altair, ‘no lunch?’ since Altair bought him lunch like every other day it seemed like. He wasn’t going to complain in the slightest. It was awesome having a rich boyfriend who would pay for anything.

He didn’t get a reply, which annoyed him. He was nearly about to be able to grab his tray when someone tapped him on the shoulder. “Eh?” he asked and came face to face with Altair, he smiled. “Hey,” he said.

“C’mon, that shit’s gross,” and Altair dragged Desmond out of the line and out of the loud cafeteria.

“We going out to lunch?” Desmond asked hopefully.

“No,” Altair said. “I have a bullshit forth period, so I skipped out early and got something.”

“Mmmm, what is it?”

Altair gave him a look, “I don’t know if you even like me, or the fact that I feed you,” he said.

“Safe thing,” Desmond said and wrapped an arm around Altair’s waist. Altair stiffened a little before relaxing. He was still getting used to the whole, ‘being out in public’ thing. “I like you, I like food, what’s not to like?” he grinned at him. Altair just rolled his eyes a little and Desmond’s grin grew wider.

Lunch was at the other concrete planter in the courtyard, opposite where Desmond and his friends usually hung out. It was out of the way even more so though as it was next to the library building and no one liked going in there. The librarian was too scary. It was some styrofoam boxes in plastic bags and something wrapped in some foil. Pretty standard affair and not fast food.

Desmond put his bag down as they sat, “So I just sort of guessed what you’d like-

“I like anything,” Desmond was quick to say.

Altair gave him an almost annoyed look, “You can’t like everything,” he said.

“No, I can,” Desmond grinned.

“You’re impossible,” Altair huffed.

“Sure am!”

“God its like dating a dog-

“And you’re like dating a cat soooo.”

Anyway,” Altair said, “I got Cuban food for lunch, from one of my favorite places,” and he handed Desmond his styrofoam box.

“Yeah? What place?” Desmond asked, opening it. He hummed as he inhaled, cuban cooked chicken with rice and onions and smelled totally amazing.

“This little place on Catherine-

“No way,” Desmond said.

“Desmond-

“No no,” Desmond cut in since Altair seemed annoyed with him, “This is El Sib? I fucking love that place!”

“You do?” Altair said, sounding genuinely surprised.

“Yeah,” Desmond leaned over and kissed him briefly. “And to think I got you chocolates. Lame,” he huffed at himself.

“Well I enjoyed them,” Altair said.

“Good,” Desmond said. “And I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this,” he said, pointing at his lunch. Altair had got himself steak.

“So are you going to come over after school?” Altair said after they’d eaten a little. “I know you said you haven’t told your parents about me…”

“Yeah I told them I’m staying with Clay and we get to be alone on V-daytogether. Just like the last three years,” Desmond sighed. “So I’ll just come over to your house.”

“Okay,” and Altair said nothing more. While they hadn’t spent a ton of time together yet Desmond had already learned when Altair got all quiet though he had a burning question but was too awkward to ask.

“Yeah?” Desmond asked once he’d eaten a bit more.

“What?”

“What do you wanna ask me?”

“What makes you think I want to ask you something?” Altair asked defensively.

“Because you do,” Desmond said simply.

Altair sulked for another minute, stuffing his face, before he said. “So we both know why I don’t want my gramps to find out I’m gay but… what about your parents?”

“My parents know I’m gay,” Desmond said and stuck some rice and onions into his mouth.

“Yeah but… I’m a secret?”

“Well more like, if they knew I had a boyfriend, I’d never be able to sleep over anyone’s house ever again; ever,” Desmond said. “Not even Clay’s. Sure as shit wouldn’t be able to stay out past curfew on Valentine’s Day. I have two older brothers, and my parents have dealt with all of the horse shit. Especially my brother Duncan who has dated girls, boys, and everything in between. Since Dylan, he’s my oldest brother, started dating our folks have a very ‘no sleepovers if you’re dating’ policy unless its our friends, and our friends are the ones sleeping over. And good luck getting your partner to spend the night if you’re dating. My dad would glare you into non existence,” he said all this between bites. “Soooo, I’ll tell them about you eventually. But not till I’m done with you,” he smirked.

“I’ve never felt so used in my life,” Altair said.

“I’m sure I’ll make it up to you somehow,” Desmond said and that made Altair chuckle.

“I’ll hold you to it,” Altair said.

“I’m sure you will,” Desmond grinned.

“Your parents won’t be weird that I’m, uh… not white, will they?” Altair asked awkwardly.

“My sister-in-law is black,” Desmond said, “And Duncan dated every color. Honestly you’re like… the most normal boyfriend any of us has ever had.”

Altair ate a few more bites before, “Was that a compliment?”

“Maybe,” Desmond shrugged. Then he put down his box, “that was awesome, and delicious,” he said and wiped his mouth. As he did he ended up looking towards his friends. Clay was unapologetically staring at them. Desmond groaned and Altair made to turn as well, “No, don’t look,” Desmond said putting his hand up to block Altair’s vision.

“Is he always this weird?”

“Yes.”

“So I should just get used to it?”

“Yeah basically.”

“He’s obsessed with you?”

“Clay has no life and finds mine fascinating. So yeah, kinda,” Desmond shrugged.

“That’s not creepy at all,” Altair said, finishing up his steak. “Doesn’t he have a girlfriend or something to occupy him?”

“Yeah, he does. But he’s been dealing with my bullshit about you for a few months sooo, he’s invested.”

Altair glanced at Clay, “Weird,” he said.

“I tell him that on a regular basis, he’s well aware.”

“He isn’t like… going to stalk us on our dates is he?”

“What? No, of course not. He’s weird but knows boundaries.”

“Oh good. Cause Ezio had an ex like that. It was really really fucking creepy.”

“Yeah, nothing like that,” Desmond promised him.

“Good.”

“So do I get any clues to where we’re going to dinner?” Desmond asked.

“Just bring a collared shirt,” Altair said, “Its a nice place.”

“Oh dear,” Desmond said.

“You have collar shirts right?”

“Well like polos-

Altair groaned, “I have one you can borrow,” he said. “Cause this isn’t a polos kind of place.”

“Okay,” Desmond said sheepishly.

“What was that I said earlier about its like dating a dog?”

“You know just how to make me feel special huh?” Desmond grumbled as the bell rang. Altair threw all their garbage into the plastic bag. Desmond got his backpack and looked over at Clay again. He was getting his stuff and getting gone. Good at least he wasn’t watching them like a creeper.

“Don’t be mad,” Altair said and before Desmond could reply Altair kissed him. He tasted like awesome Cuban food so he was into it. “I like dogs,” he grinned.

“You’re such a piece of shit,” Desmond said.

“Yeah, but I’m your piece of shit,” Altair smirked at him. “Now lets get to class,” and he pulled his backpack on and grabbed Desmond’s hand. They stopped at Desmond’s locker before going to class together.

Chapter Text

When Desmond knocked on Altair’s front door he felt weird about it. It still felt weird coming over to Altair’s house since up till recently it had only been for booty calls. Now though it wasn’t and Desmond felt awkward. Somehow going over to your boyfriend’s house was more awkward than going over to your fuck buddy’s house. Maybe because he knew what to expect from Altair back then. Now he didn’t and it made him nervous and awkward because he didn’t want to ruin this chance he had.

Altair answered the door with his shirt only half buttoned, and buttoned crooked on top of that. “Uh, I interrupt something?” Desmond asked.

Altair looked down at his slightly rumpled shirt, “I was getting dressed,” he said and let Desmond in. “And you need to get dressed, what are you even wearing?” Altair looked him up and down with some disdain.

“What?” Desmond asked, he was wearing jeans and t-shirt. Though they were black jeans, and really nice, no stains or artificial staining.

“Do you own any nice pants?”

“These are my nice pants,” Desmond said.

“Uuuuhg,” Altair groaned and shoved him down the hall and into his room. “Undress, you can’t go to the place we’re going dressed like that,” he said.

“Fiiine,” Desmond grumbled.

“I made a reservation for later tonight, so we can watch the sunset first.”

“Sounds okay to me,” Desmond dropped his backpack off on the end of Altair’s bed and tugged his shirt off. Altair rebuttoned his own shirt before looking in his wardrobe.

“What’s your waist size?” Altair asked.

“Medium,” Desmond said. Altair’s head did nearly a hundred and eighty degree spin to give Desmond a look. “What?” he asked, sort of scared.

Altair just sighed and looked away and muttered something to himself, though what that was Desmond didn’t catch. Desmond took off his shoes and his pants and sat on Altair’s bed in his underwear. Lucky underwear cause yeah he was a guy who had lucky underwear. They were red and made his ass look great. Altair grabbed a pair of pants from where he had a bunch all nice and folded up and had Desmond try them on.

“How do they feel?”

“Kinda snug,” Desmond said sheepishly, they felt nice though, if a bit tight around the ass.

Altair’s reply was to shove his hand down to the front of his pants, making him give a little yelp as he started. “I think they’re fine,” Altair said with an amused smirk and gave Desmond a little squeeze.

“O-okay,” Desmond stammered even as Altair took his hand out of Desmond’s pants and out of groping range. Desmond had to reach down and adjust himself a bit because he’d been… kinda into it? Any time Altair was down his pants he was into it though so not a surprise. Altair gave him a shirt to wear too, it was a super soft button up and a light blue color. Altair was wearing a red shirt. “Do I have to wear different shoes?”

“No, you’re fine,” Altair said.

“Happy now?” Desmond asked, meaning his outfit.

“Yes,” Altair said and leaned over, kissing him. “You look very nice.”

“So uh, Mallory Square and then are we walking to the place or taking your car?”

“Its on the other side of the island, too far to walk,” Altair said.

“Ah, okay,” but Desmond was distracted by Altair’s arms around his waist.

“We could walk down Duval if you wanted,” Altair said, “before it gets too dark.”

Desmond nodded, “Anything’s fine really,” but he didn’t want to add on that he’d do anything if Altair was involved, he just wanted to spend time with his boyfriend. He knew that once the initial ‘oh my god I have a boyfriend this is awesome!’ clingy phase was over he wouldn’t feel like he needed to spend every day with Altair. It had happened with Alex so he knew he’d get over it eventually. But right now just damn he wanted to hang out with Altair all the time, both dressed and not dressed.

“All right,” Altair said, mouth close to his and thank god Altair kissed him again. “Though we’re never going to get out of the house at this rate.”

“You say it like its a bad thing,” Desmond grinned.

“C’mon, lets go. The walk’ll build up our appetites.”

“Okay,” and Desmond did let go of Altair.

“And uh,” Altair grimaced.

“What?” Desmond asked.

“I got you something. But-

“But?”

Altair just sighed and left the room, motioning for Desmond to follow. “Remember I said I’ve never dated anyone before?” Desmond nodded. “Never done Valentine’s Day with someone either.”

“Okay,” Desmond said slowly.

“So I didn’t know what to do, okay?”

“Altair what are you talking about?” Desmond said, they’d arrived in the living room.

“I went to the store to get you something and when someone asked if I needed help I panicked.”

“Okay?” Desmond was still waiting for what Altair was clearly stressing out about.

“I said I didn’t know what to get my girlfriend for Valentine’s.”

“Wow, you really did panic,” Desmond said since he was pretty sure Altair couldn’t forget he was gay as fuck unless he was.

“And the help kinda… convinced me to get you this,” Altair said like it pained him and then grabbed something on the couch. Desmond’s eyes widened. He’d been expecting something else. He certainly hadn’t been expecting a good sized white teddy bear with a bright red ribbon around its neck and holding a large heart shaped box of chocolate. Desmond didn’t move or say anything. He just stared at it. “Ah fuck,” Altair muttered.

“You got me a stuffed animal,” Desmond finally said. Altair looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him.

“Yeah— I can take it back if you don’t like it-

“What?” Desmond said, “No, its mine,” and he snatched the bear right out of Altair’s hands. 

Now Altair got to look surprised. “You like it?” he asked cautiously.

“It surprised me,” Desmond admitted, “but I’m man enough to admit I like cute and romantic stuff. And this is both,” and Altair looked so relieved, like he about to melt. Desmond leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Go get some scissors so I can cut the box and tags off,” Desmond said. Altair left and Desmond went and sat on the couch looking at his new bear. He’d seen a couple of girls around at school with stuffed animals or balloons or even flowers. He was kinda glad Altair had been too embarrassed to bring it to school. Not that he didn’t like but he didn’t want to take it to his classes. He would have felt weird and he knew he would have gotten some name calling because people were assholes.

Altair came back and sat next to him, handing him a pair of scissors. Desmond cut off the tag on the bear’s ear, then the ties holding the box to the hands. He put the box of chocolates on the table and looked at his bear very seriously. “So?” Altair asked after a second.

“Snow,” Desmond said.

“What?” Altair asked.

Desmond turned to Altair and faced the bear partially towards Altair as well. “That’s his name. Snow. And he knows nothing.”

Altair blinked, “So then is his full name Jon Snow?”

“No. What are you stupid? His full name is Snow Miles,” Desmond said matter of factly. Altair laughed.

“Of course, why didn’t I think of that?” Altair said grinning.

“And I think I’ll leave the chocolates till after we get back,” Desmond said.

“Or tomorrow,” Altair said, Desmond nodded. “So you don’t think its weird?” Altair asked.

“Its weird, but I like it anyway,” Desmond said and leaned over kissing Altair on the lips. They got distracted by kissing and Altair ended up straddling one of Desmond’s thighs and Snow was put to his side out of the way.

“We should probably get going,” Altair was short of breath when they broke apart, still really close.

“Do we have to?” Desmond asked.

“If you wanna see the sunset yeah,” Altair said even as he trailed his hand down Desmond’s chest.

“All right,” Desmond sighed. “Though its only four.”

“We’re going to walk Duval, remember?”

“Right,” Desmond said. ”One more kiss?” he asked hopefully.

Altair grinned and kissed him briefly, but fully and that was so awesome. Then Altair got off him. “C’mon,” and he held his hand out for Desmond and helped him up. “Dinner will be a much nicer surprise,” Altair promised.

“I liked Snow,” Desmond insisted as he followed Altair out of the house. “You going to tell me where we’re going?”

“Nope,” Altair said as he put on his seat belt. “Surprise,” he said firmly.

“Of course, dear,” Desmond teased him, leaning over the center counsel and kissing his cheek. Altair just grinned and put the car into reverse.

 

Chapter Text

If Key West was good at one thing it was celebrating. It was a city that revolved around holidays and celebration. Valentine’s was no different. Many of the bars had specials for couples, others had decorations.

Duval was filled with people. Not unusual of course. It was still cold up north. But it was date night for everyone in the city and lower Keys. They’d come out to eat, drink, have a good time and probably go home and bang. Desmond knew that was what he wanted to do.

Desmond held Altair’s hand as they walked on the sidewalk, just looking at stuff. There were a ton of t-shirt stores full of shirts with dumb slogans and imagery and little stores that sold expensive nick knacks and art galleries filled with commercial art and actual local artists. Most of the bars and restaurants on Duval also had some sort of Valentine’s Day decorations. Heart lights or hearts on their host podiums or special drinks written on chalk boards propped up on fences or as pop up boards.

Along the way to Mallory they stopped in some stores, looked at what was inside. They didn’t buy anything of course. Everything on Duval was overpriced and way too over the top for them. It was all touristy shit too. There wasn’t a lot on Duval locals actually went out and bought unless they were looking for cheap t-shirts or local art.

By the time they got to Mallory Square it still wasn’t close to sunset. “Well, now what?” Desmond asked.

“Mmm,” Altair looked around. “Well we could go see all the performers, then find a good location to watch the sunset. You know it gets so crowded during the sunset.”

“I… have actually never been here,” Desmond admitted.

What? What have you even done here and you live here?”

“I’ve been here three years, cut me some slack- what is that look on your face now.”

Altair took his hand out of Desmond’s very pointedly. “You’re weird.”

“Oh come the fuck on,” Desmond groaned.

“I’m making your do touristy crap for our dates now.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Super serious.”

“But that’s so… lame!”

“Some of its actually kind cool. Now c’mon we’re definitely going and looking at all the street performers now.” Altair took Desmond’s hand again and dragged him out to the big plaza. They looked at all the little booths selling jewelry and hot dogs and painted coconuts and other shit tourists loved. Then they watched each of the street performer shows. Desmond liked the magician/acrobat that was there who got himself out of the straight jacket.

By the time Altair had thoroughly dragged Desmond through all of the Mallory Square attractions it was closer to sunset and people were starting to show up in greater numbers. Desmond also saw locals showing up now, coming out of their homes to watch the sunset at Mallory.

Altair dragged Desmond to the edge of the Square and to the sea wall. There were no cruise ships in so they had an uninterrupted view of the sky that stretched across the horizon. It was still like twenty minutes before the sun would set and most people were ignoring the sun. Altair sat on the sea wall and Desmond sat next to him.

“See, not so lame huh?”

“Cheesy stuff,” Desmond scoffed.

“Literally says the absolute biggest nerd I know,” Altair said.

“You’re the one who owns like a thousand video games he’s never played.”

“I have,” Altair said defensively. “I’ve played all of them.”

“You beat any of them?”

“I get bored easy,” Altair shrugged. “Tourist stuff can be fun though. The rest of Mallory is actually kinda cool. You ever even been in the Mel Fischer museum?”

“What’s the Mel Fischer museum?” Desmond asked. “What? Was I supposed to know this?”

“You don’t- god you’re so fucking dumb.”

“Been here three years,” Desmond stressed again.

“He’s a really famous ship wreck diver. Found a sunken Spanish galleon full of gold and made of fortune. How the hell have you never even heard of Mel Fischer?”

“Because I’m blissfully oblivious to lame shit,” Desmond said, making a raspberry with his lips.

“You know Key West has an aquarium?”

“What? Seriously?” That was actually a surprise. The city was so small and aquariums were so big. How had he not heard of this?

“Yeah. Right around here,” Altair pointed behind them. “We’ll go some time. They have alligators. And sharks. And the ‘mall’.”

“I doubt its a mall.”

“Closest thing we got that isn’t a shopping plaza,” Altair shrugged. “Don’t be so judgmental. Key West is small,” he protested.

“I’m well aware its small,” Desmond said. “Oh, look,” he nodded ahead and Altair turned away. The sun was low in the sky and sinking fast. It turned the sky a riot of color. There were a fair amount of clouds in the sky, which did nothing but add to the drama of the setting sun. The clouds turned purple and indigo, the sky orange and red the sun a perfect blood orange hovering a few centimeters from the horizon. People were looking now, ignoring the street performers and crowded around the edge of the sea wall. More people joined Desmond and Altair on the sea wall but didn’t push which was good.

The sun kissed the horizon, shimmering as it sunk further and further down. Desmond reached down and put his hand over Altair’s. The sun burned his eyes but he didn’t look away either. There was something amazing about watching the sunset over the water. Something terribly romantic too that gave Desmond weird butterflies.

The last display of the sun was a searing hot eye slowly closing on the horizon. The afterglow would stick around for a while though. Desmond started when people started clapping and cheering. Had he just missed something? He rubbernecked around but all he saw was people’s legs.

Next to him Altair laughed. “They’re clapping for the sun,” he said.

“The sun? Its the sun.”

“They’re Floridians, they’re weird, leave ‘em alone,” Altair said, amused. “Now we should head back to my car. Our reservation is soon.”

“Okay,” Desmond said and they got off the sea wall. Altair seemed to hesitate before he took Desmond’s hand and that made him grin. Altair led him off the waterside and back towards Duval street. They walked back along the strip to the side street Altair had parked on and had to walk two blocks to get to his car. “Well that wasn’t as lame as I thought it was gonna be,” Desmond said truthfully.

“There’s literally nothing lame about a killer sunset,” Altair said. “That was a pretty nice one too.”

“Do you go down there often?”

Altair shrugged as he pulled on his safety belt, “Sometimes. Not too often. It is really touristy,” he agreed. “And I have as good a view from my dock-

“Oh fuck off,” Desmond growled. Altair snickered and turned the car on. “Rub it in rich boy.”

“Can’t help it,” Altair said. “‘Sides, this rich boy is buying dinner tonight. So I don’t wanna hear it.”

“Yeah yeah,” Desmond said and used his hand to mimic a mouth opening and closing while he rolled his eyes. “Where are we going?”

“Told you, surprise,” Altair said.

“I hate surprises,” Desmond said.

“That isn’t going to make me tell you,” Altair said. They were driving down Simonton Street now, headed south.

“Uhg!”

“You’re such a drama queen!” Altair cried, amused.

“I like knowing stuff,” Desmond said. “Clay rubs off on me sometimes.”

“We’ll be there in like five minutes. You won’t explode.”

“Well, not yet,” Desmond said dramatically. Altair just rolled his eyes. “So, regret that crush yet?”

“Every day,” Altair said blandly.

“Me too,” Desmond said and they both laughed.

They’d stopped at a light where Simonton met Truman. “Though really, I don’t,” Altair said and Desmond perked up when Altair leaned over to his side of the car to kiss him. “Not when you get that look on your face every time I do that.”

“Look? What look?” Desmond asked worriedly.

“That its the best thing you’ve done all day,” Altair said, smug as a motherfucker.

“Fuck you.”

“That is entirely the plan,” Altair said as the light turned green.

Desmond pursed his lips a bit, thinking to himself. They drove in silence for a few moments before he asked, “Seriously?”

“Seriously what?”

Desmond felt awkward asking when it wasn’t in the moment. He shouldn’t of course, but he did. “Do you bottom?”

Altair shrugged, “Once or twice.”

“That’s it?”

“What?” Altair sent him a quick look but kept his eyes mostly on the road. Desmond slouched in the seat, arms across his chest. “Whaaat? Now what’s the matter?”

“Actually just once or twice or are you just saying that?”

“Well I own a dildo if that answers the question-

“What? Wait- what!?”

“God you’re so excitable,” Altair reached out and pinched his cheek. “Yappy yappy excitable dog boyfriend.”

“Ahg!” Desmond batted at him playfully. “I didn’t know that.”

“You don’t know a lot of things about me,” Altair said both serious and to be annoying. “Also we’re here,” he pulled the car into the parking lot of a bed and breakfast that also had the swankiest sushi place in a hundred miles attached to it: Ambrosia.

Desmond’s eyes got big. “Woah,” he said.

“Surprised?”

“Yes,” Desmond said. “You said you’re paying?”

Altair snorted, “Yeah. Go easy on me. My gramps will get suspicious if he sees a huge bill at a place like this. Though he’s used to me buying expensive dinners on holidays.”

“How come?”

Altair’s brow twitched like he was trying not to let some tell show. “Cause I’m usually alone,” he said.

“Oh,” Desmond said, feeling sorta bad for him. “Well you aren’t alone this time,” he said to try and brighten the suddenly dim mood. “I’m here.”

“Yeah,” Altair said, sounding sort of relieved. “Shall we? Our reservation is for seven-fifteen,” he glanced at the clock and it read seven-ten. Desmond nodded and they got out of the car.

Desmond went around as Altair clicked the button to lock it and went right up next to him, getting right into his personal space. Altair looked slightly uncomfortable by the sudden invasion of his space but he also didn’t stop Desmond when he leaned in real close. Desmond got the wonderfully satisfying experience when Altair’s entire face turned red when he whispered “I wanna see your toy,” into his ear.

Altair swallowed thickly. “Lets just make it through dinner,” he coughed to clear his throat. Desmond laughed at him a little.

“Lead the way. I’m excited. My parents promised to take me here for my eighteenth birthday,” Desmond said grabbing Altair’s hand.

“And try not to be weird-

“No promises bud,” Desmond grinned.

“Well don’t say shit like… what you just said,” Altair stammered.

Desmond snickered. “All right. Now we gonna go or not? I’m hungry.” Altair nodded and led him into the restaurant.

Chapter Text

By the time they got back to Altair’s house it was almost ‘late’. They’d spent a long time at the sushi restaurant, eating, talking, and playing a long game of footsies. Once they’d finished they’d stopped at the DQ on the way home and Desmond had bought dessert. Now they were back at Altair’s and Desmond was full and actually kinda tired.

“I’ll be honest,” Desmond said as Altair pulled up to the house. The outdoor light went on from the proximity and Altair turned off the car. “I really don’t want to walk from the car to the house. I am so full.”

Altair snorted a little. “But if you don’t who’s gonna help me eat those chocolates in that box I got?”

“Well,” Desmond pursed his lips at him. “I guess.”

Altair grinned, “All I have to mention is food and you’ll do basically anything, huh?”

“Not anything,” Desmond said and got out of the car. Altair followed his example and they went into the house.

“So, what? What food doesn’t cover sex does?” Altair teased him as he unlocked the front door. Even after a minute in the heat of Florida winter the cool touch of the AC was a welcome respite.

“Well I am a guy,” Desmond said. “I like both those things. Like you’re any different Mr. I-was-too-scared-to-ask-my-crush-out-so-we-just-had-hookups.”

“You never asked me out either,” Altair said defensively.

“Yeah well, you’re you.”

“You just motioned to all of me,” Altair said.

“Exactly.”

“You’re really dumb,” Altair huffed. “Which is weird cause you’re sooooo smart,” and Desmond grinned when Altair gave him a peck on the lips.

“I’m very smart,” Desmond agreed. “Smart enough to know I need to lay down for like an hour and digest all that amazing food we just had.”

“Wanna watch a movie?”

“Depends. What kind?”

“I have First Class on blue ray, its my favorite.”

“You like the X-men?” Desmond asked and Altair nodded.

“Also James McAvoy is pretty dreamy,” Altair said and Desmond followed him to his media room. On the way he grabbed Snow from the couch.

“Can’t say no to those pretty blue eyes huh?” Desmond asked, half teasing, half serious.

Altair looked over his shoulder as he opened the media room door, “I like brown better,” he said simply. Desmond’s face heated up a little at that. His eyes were brown.

“You’re doing that thing I hate again,” Desmond said.

“What?” Altair asked, concerned.

“Being sweet.”

Altair sputtered. “You are just the most sarcastic person I’ve ever met, and Malik is my best friend,” Altair said with a grin.

“Yeap,” Desmond said proudly and went into the media room. He stepped out of his shoes and threw himself onto the big couch. He maneuvered himself around a bit and took off his belt as Altair went to the collection of cases along the wall and pulled out a blue-ray. He fed it to his PS3 and joined Desmond on the couch. Desmond couldn’t get comfortable though. “So maybe a dumb question-

“You mean you ask others?”

Desmond gave him a look. “You mind if I take my pants off?”

“Only if I can too,” Altair said.

Desmond snorted, “Yes. Please,” and he yanked his off, tossing them off the big couch bed. “Better,” he proclaimed, stretching his legs out in front of him, holding Snow to his chest. Altair took his off as well with a content sigh and flung them and his socks off to the far wall. He started playing the movie before looking over at Desmond, then down. “Don’t even start,” Desmond said.

“What?” Altair asked, innocent. “I can’t admire how sweet you look with Snow?” it was only sort of teasing and Desmond felt the old butterflies spontaneously spawn when Altair leaned over to nuzzle him. They ended up kissing a bit while the movie started. “Okay, enough of that.”

“Seriously? You’re gonna hold off on make-outs for a movie?”

“My favorite movie,” Altair stressed. “And yeah, I am, shush,” he said and pointedly pressed his finger to his lips to make sure Desmond knew he was serious. Desmond just smiled at him, thinking he was silly, but did shush.

Desmond had seen First Class enough times to not need to pay super close attention to it. Every now and then he’d look over at Altair who was completely engrossed. Like he hardly even noticed Desmond when he decided he wanted to sit against Altair and just mechanically fit Desmond under his arm, against his side. Altair was not kidding when he said this was his favorite movie. And yeah, it was a pretty good movie, but Desmond didn’t get why it was Altair’s favorite. At least not until the training montage and the gun scene between Charles and Erik.

“Oh my god!” Desmond suddenly cried, startling Altair.

“What? What’s the matter?” Altair asked, finally tearing his eyes away from the screen.

“You fucking fanboy,” Desmond laughed.

“I— what? Yeah? I like the X-men,” Altair said, pausing the movie. Of course he did. He didn’t want to miss a single moment.

“You don’t own a single X-men comic,” Desmond was just grinning ear to ear. Good to know Altair was his own version of complete nerd.

“They’re on my iPad,” Altair said automatically. “Otherwise I’d own too many and it’d clutter up my room.”

“Even better!”

“I don’t… why are you so happy? I’m worried. I’ve only seen Kaczmarek this happy, and that’s when he learns something juicy.”

“Its just its so cute.”

“What?”

“You.”

“Me?”

“Yeah you. Shipping Charles and Erik, god the look on your face- ah you’re blushing!” he cried and let go of Snow to sit up. Altair’s face was bright red. Even in just the light from the projector Desmond could see Altair’s mortification that someone knew about his shipping. After a second he just covered his face with both hands. “Oh don’t be embarrassed,” Desmond said and tugged on Altair’s wrist. “I think its sweet.”

“When you say it it makes me feel dumb,” Altair said, voice muffled by his hands.

“What’s dumb? That you have a ship? We finally have something actually in common now! This is great.”

Altair peered at him from between his fingers, “It is?”

“Yeah. Though I’m not much into X-men. I’m more a Steve Rogers, Bucky guy.”

Altair stopped, stared at him through his fingers, then dropped his hands. “You’re serious right now,” he said.

“Yeap.” Desmond leaned over and kissed him. Altair prickled half a second before relaxing. “I think its great,” he told Altair.

“Do not tell Kaczmarek,” Altair said sternly.

“I don’t tell him anything about us honestly,” Desmond shrugged.

“Good,” Altair said.

He got that look in his eye like he wanted to ask something but didn’t. “What is it?”

“I kinda wanna get back to the movie,” he confessed.

Desmond snorted, “Yeah. I’d think so,” he said and settled back down. As he did his phone, which were in his jeans, beeped. “Damnit, hold on.” He crawled over Altair to get to his jeans and fished his phone out of the pocket. “Aw, shit,” Desmond rubbed the back of his neck, reading the text he got from his dad.

“What’s the matter?” Altair asked.

“Just my dad reminding me to be home before midnight.”

“What time is it now?”

“Nine thirty,” Desmond said.

“Well that’s still two and a half hours from now. Its half way over,” Altair beckoned him. Desmond texted his dad back saying he’d be home by then and then crawled back over to Altair. Altair welcomed him back under his arm and Desmond snuggled close. “Wouldn’t it be easier to tell your parents?”

“Fuck no. Then curfew would be at ten,” Desmond huffed. “It was for Dylan, Duncan, and it’d be like that for me.”

“Well we’d just have to budget time better then,” Altair said, squeezing Desmond’s shoulder.

“Pfft, yeah. C’mon, play the movie so we can watch the lovebirds totally destroy each other.”

“Don’t remind me,” Altair grumbled and made the movie play again. This time Desmond was really watching Altair’s face, glancing at him more often. It made him smile. Altair was just so into it. So into watching these two characters have such an intense relationship. As the movie was drawing to a close and they were on the Cuban beach Altair actually closed his eyes at the bullet scene. Desmond just grinned. His boyfriend was absolutely adorable.

Finally the movie was over and Altair looked down at Desmond. Desmond was looking right back and smiling hugely. “Did you even watch the movie?”

“Parts of it. You were much more entertaining to watch,” he sat up again. “For a jock you sure do like geeky things.”

“A jock is just a sports nerd,” Altair said.

“Mhm,” Desmond went and straddled Altair’s thighs. “I like knowing we have more things in common than the obvious,” he told Altair and kissed him again. Altair made an agreeable noise in the back of his throat and kissed him back.

This time around Desmond was a bit more aggressive than usual. He was super into it and their conversation on the way to Ambrosia came to mind. So he just went for it and Altair reciprocated but he thought he detected a hint of hesitation a few times Desmond kissed him. He wrote it off as imagining it and when he pushed his hips against Altair’s Altair pushed back in like. There wasn’t much to hide behind with the thin fabric of their underwear. Even better that Altair wore boxer briefs.

Desmond put one hand down between them and he felt Altair move awkwardly. Warning bells started to go off for Desmond. “You okay?” Desmond asked him.

“Yeah, uh-huh,” Altair said in a very uncharacteristic way.

“No, really. Do you want me to stop?” Desmond said seriously. Altair had that look again. “You can tell me.”

“Yeah I—“ he blew a raspberry. “Its really dumb. I get uncomfortable when pushed into things. Anything.”

“So, you don’t wanna have sex?”

“I didn’t say that,” Altair scowled at him.

“Oh good cause I thought we were about to have the tamest Valentine’s ever,” Desmond said.

“I just,” he huffed. “Just move,” and Desmond got off him. “Lets go to my room. I’m super careful about where I let guys around if nothing else.”

“Cause your grandpa?”

“Basically.”

“Hey man, whatever you’re comfortable with.”

Altair eyed him. “You’re so chill about this. Last guy I asked to stop cause I was uncomfortable called me a huge drama queen.”

“I’m just chill in general,” Desmond said. “That and I’ve been in uncomfortable sexual situations before.”

“Really?”

“My last boyfriend. The really jealous possessive one? Yeah, he made me uncomfortable a lot,” Desmond said.

“I don’t, do I?”

“Nope,” Desmond beamed at him. “I always feel great with you.” That made Altair smile too. “So whatever you want.” Desmond followed Altair out the room, scooping up his jeans and shoes as he went so he could leave them in Altair’s room and he wouldn’t have to look for them before he went home.

Altair’s room was soothing when they got in there. Desmond assumed that had to be a reason Altair felt comfortable in it. Once Desmond closed the door he was pleasantly surprised by Altair kissing him. This time there was no hesitation or uncomfortable vibes. Desmond kissed Altair back without guilt and wrapped his arms around his neck.

“Been looking forward to this,” Desmond managed to get out between their lips being connected. Altair grinned a little at that as he kissed Desmond again. They stumbled to the bed, hardly separating to walk properly and Desmond pushed Altair onto his bed and followed after.

They took their time. Not like Desmond had to race home (yet) so they could afford some time. The rest of their clothes were pulled off and pushed off the edge of the bed. Altair’s skin was warm under Desmond’s hands and the cold air of the house made them both shiver.

“I’m too cold for this,” Altair complained at one point.

“Its your house. Why the hell is it so cold?” Desmond asked even as he crawled under the covers.

“Because it doesn’t feel cold when I’m fully clothed!” Altair said and that made Desmond laugh. Altair caught him with a kiss, half pulling the blanket away from Desmond’s chest.

Altair made his way under the covers with Desmond and pressed himself flush against him. There was a fair amount of grabbing, grinding and kissing, mapping out each other’s mouths and face and necks with their lips. Desmond was especially interested in the warm expanse of the side of Altair’s neck up to his ear which was warm and smelled like expensive cologne.

After a while Altair pushed him away and reached over to the side table. Desmond barely noticed. “Its like, ten fifty,” Altair announced.

“What?” Desmond’s head shot up and he looked at Altair, holding his droid. “Already?” He made an annoyed groan.

“Would your parents get mad if you stayed over ‘Clay’s’?” Altair asked.

“Probably. They’re super suspicious on Valentine’s Day when me or my brothers weren’t home by curfew. I’d prooobably get grounded and my dad would ask if I snuck off to another club,” he grimaced.

“Geeze. I thought hard ass military dads were just urban legend,” Altair said.

“Nope. They’re real and I have one,” Desmond said. “I need to leave at eleven forty five to get home on time. Like, out the door, on my bike.”

“Mmm,” Altair put his phone back down and rolled over to face him. “Well we can do something about this in that time at least,” he said and Desmond moaned when Altair started to jerk him off. “Tomorrow’s Friday. You should spend the night,” he said huskily.

“Uh-huh,” Desmond nodded in quick agreement. They’d literally spent over an hour just making out and giving themselves blue balls. It’d been pretty great of course but that didn’t mean Desmond wasn’t thinking about what they could have been doing. Altair touching his dick was pretty high up on the ‘absolutely awesome’ list though, right under Altair sucking his dick and Altair fucking him. Basically anything involving Altair was on the list honestly.

Altair rolled onto his back and dragged Desmond with him. “Uh-oh,” Desmond said with a grin.

“Uh-oh?” Altair asked.

“I like the view too much from here,” he said.

“You’re stupid,” Altair teased him, his hand still working diligently over Desmond’s cock. Desmond reached down to play with Altair too since he was doing such a good job with Desmond. “Ah, yeah. That feels good,” Altair grunted, head tipping back a little, eyes lidding.

“So we’re just gonna… finish tomorrow?” he asked.

“Well I don’t know about you, but I planned on finishing tonight.” Desmond chuckled. “Sequel tomorrow.”

“Mmm, I like the sound of a sequel,” Desmond said, leaning down to kiss Altair gently.

“Who doesn’t like a sequel,” Altair agreed with a slight smile.

Desmond didn’t bother to hold on when he had to come. He just did it and it felt great. Like ninety percent of all orgasms, it was the best one he’d ever had. To be fair it was better than most because he didn’t have to do it himself. Altair was more than happy to do the entire service for him and his grip was just right. Hand jobs were a bit of a nice change too since before they’d started dating it’d been a lot more penetrative and Desmond could appreciate a good hand job. Not his favorite, but he liked the variation.

“That felt awesome,” Desmond said, breathing hard, leaning over Altair, supporting himself with both hands.

“I’d hope so,” Altair said and ran his now sticky hands up Desmond’s torso, dragging pre and cum up. Both sexy and unsexy at the same time. “My turn?”

“Uh-huh,” Desmond said and pushed Altair’s hands off him, holding them in both of his. Altair looked up at Desmond impatiently while he got his breath back. “Okay,” he said and released Altair’s hands and ducked down under the blanket. Altair gave a surprised cry that turned into a deep groan when Desmond went down on him.

“Fuckkk,” Altair groaned and grabbed Desmond’s hair tightly before his grip loosened. Desmond just sucked Altair’s cock, focusing mostly on the head since putting too much in his mouth would trigger his gag reflex and he’d vomit. Literally the most bullshit thing in the world was a gay guy with a super sensitive gag reflex. Especially when sleeping with a guy who could deep throat like a champ. Talk about insecurity.

Altair didn’t mind that Desmond used his hands as much as his mouth because of that. Desmond would hope not if the way his body moved when he finally came. Desmond made sure to pull the blanket away so Altair didn’t make a mess all over his bed. When he was done Altair was just staring at the ceiling, blissed out and happy. Desmond crawled back up next to him.

“You’re deceptively good at that,” Altair said, glancing at him.

“I do my best,” Desmond said and kissed him on the cheek. Altair turned his head and they ended up making out again. “Mm! Time,” he added.

“God damnit your parents are seriously killing the vibe here,” Altair grumbled and grabbed his phone again. “Eleven fifteen,” he said and dropped it back on the table.

Desmond sighed. “Right. I should probably think about cleaning up to leave.”

“Shower?” Altair asked, Desmond nodded enthusiastically. They rolled out of bed and went to Altair’s bathroom.

“I think I left a mess on your sheets,” Desmond asked as Altair turned on the water.

“I’ve literally made worse.”

“Gross,” Desmond said.

“What? I was thirteen too,” Altair said and made Desmond laugh. Altair kissed him. “That’s gonna be a problem for us?”

“What?”

“We both like making each other laugh.”

“Aaaah, excellent,” Desmond said and pulled Altair into the shower. “Have to admit,” he said as he lathered up some soap in his hand. “Not looking forward to school tomorrow?”

“Why?”

“Why do you think?”

“Kaczmarek?”

“Yeap.”

“He’s such a weird dude, Desmond,” Altair said. “How do you stand him?”

“Same way you stand Ezio. He’s my friend.”

Altair grimaced, “Okay, I deserved that one.”

“Yeah, kinda.”

“Doing anything important tomorrow then?”

“Well, other than you, no,” Desmond said cockily. Altair flushed a little and made himself busy with washing.

“Valentine’s Day sex is cliche anyway,” Altair said.

“You wouldn’t even know,” Desmond gave him a look.

“Got me,” Altair smirked and raised his hands in a ‘what can you do?’ sort of way, his palms facing Demond. “Ahg, Desmond, again?” he complained when Desmond washed his hair and immediately put his hair into a mohawk.

“I think mohawks are hot, sue me,” Desmond said and brushed Altair’s suds filled hair just so to make a perfect mohawk. “You’d look hot as hell in one,” he added.

“I cut my hair when spring football starts,” he said. “The entire team gets the same haircut. Its really stupid and really traditional.”

“That means?”

“Probably not getting a mohawk unless everyone is like ‘lets get mohawks and look like a bunch of tools’.”

“Altair. Hate to break it to you. You’re a football player in high school. You are, by definition, a tool.”

“Fuck off Miles,” Altair said making Desmond snicker at Altair’s pissy face.

“Long as this tool stays around you can be anything you want,” Desmond said and gave Altair’s cock a few tugs.

“You are gonna get grounded if you keep that up,” Altair grunted. “Cause I don’t think I’d let you leave.”

“Promises promises,” Desmond said. Altair had that look in his eye, the ‘I’m going to hit that’ look he got like when he’d call Desmond over before winter break. Huge turn on. Altair was also right. At this rate he was going to get grounded again.

“Finish up,” Altair said and tore his eyes away from Desmond so he could breathe properly again. “Sooner you leave and we deal with school the sooner you can come back.”

“Now that’s a promise I like the sound of,” Desmond said, nuzzling him. Altair hummed a little before Desmond pulled away and finished washing up. Altair finished at about the same time and they stepped out of the shower. Desmond gave himself a thorough drying before going to get his clothes. He yanked on the clothes he’d come to Altair’s in earlier that afternoon as Altair meandered out of the bathroom, towel around his waist, hair still dripping wet.

“Nah, no problem. I’ll just be over here, in pain,” Desmond said, looking Altair up and down several times.

“If I wanted you to be in pain I wouldn’t be wearing a towel,” Altair said and sat on the bed, pulling one leg up to rest on it horizontally.

“Oh you dick,” Des hissed a little, squinting at Altair who just smiled pleasantly.

“Yeap,” Altair said nicely. Desmond pulled on his jacket. “I should buy a leather jacket,” he said thoughtfully.

“No way. One of us needs to have a cooler jacket than the other. You have all those hoodies-

“Well one less since you stole that N7 one of mine.”

“You got to enjoy it plenty. Not like you even wear it. Besides you know you like taking if off me way more than wearing it,” Desmond stuck his tongue out at Altair.

“That was fun,” Altair agreed. He got up and went over to Desmond, pushing his arms out to either side and put his own right next to Desmond’s. “Too narrow for me to wear,” he frowned.

“Yeah, cause its my leather jacket.”

“I’ll just have to enjoy it in other ways,” Altair said, grabbing the bottom. He began to zip it up very slowly as he said, “Like you wearing nothing but. Or a white-T underneath. That’d be pretty hot.” Desmond felt pretty warm by the time he had zipped it all the way up, his breath tickling Desmond’s face.

Desmond checked his iPhone. “Aaaand, I have to go,” he bemoaned.

“I’ll walk you out.”

“In your towel?”

“No one else is here,” Altair shrugged and they left the room. Altair stopped at the media room room. “You want to take Snow?” he asked.

“Mmm,” Desmond gave it a moment of thought. “No,” he said and saw Altair’s heart drop a little. “He should stay with you, so you can think of me when I’m not here.”

Altair looked at him, “That is the corniest line I’ve ever heard,” Altair said blandly.

“Oh c’mon that was good.”

“I’ll hold onto him,” Altair said and went inside to get the stuffed animal.

Desmond picked up the box of chocolates on the sofa and his helmet on the kitchen counter. They stood at the door. “Well, see you tomorrow,” Desmond said.

“Try not to fall all over yourself when you see me like you did today,” Altair teased him.

“Right,” Desmond said and leaned in to give him a kiss. Altair cupped his face in one hand when they kissed. “Never gonna get tired of that,” he didn’t mean to say it aloud, but he ended up doing so. They both blushed a little.

“Snow wants a goodnight kiss too,” Altair said and used the bear to block his face from Desmond’s view.

Desmond chuckled, “Of course.” He gave his bear a peck on the head. “Now before I get grounded,” he said.

“Yes. Go. If you get grounded I’m going to have to sneak into your house-

“That would be amazing-

Go,” and Altair practically shooed him out. Desmond grinned the entire time and half stumbled out the door. He put on his helmet and went over to his bike. He got on and looked at Altair’s house. He could see part of Altair’s face looking through the curtains. Man his boyfriend was so cute, trying to act like he wasn’t a big, shy, idiot.

He turned his motorcycle on and headed home. He got home just in time too. He said goodnight to his dad, who was still awake, and went to bed with a smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Altair stared up at the ceiling of his room. He hadn’t fallen asleep yet. He should. He was tipsy and tired. It was way too late for him to be awake. But here he was. Awake.

He looked over at the person next to him. Desmond Miles was out like a light. He slept on his back like a corpse. Altair blinked a few times at him, still surprised. He was sure he hadn’t been that drunk to crash into Miles like that. Yet, here they were.

Allah help him he was a complete moron. His grandpa was home. He shouldn’t have brought a boy home. He rubbed his eyes and groped blindly for his phone. His fingers met cool glass and he pulled it to him. He opened the screen.

‘I did something stupid,’ he texted Malik.

‘Where the fuck are you?’ Malik texted back. ‘Did you drive? If you drove I’m gonna beat your stupid ass!’

‘Taxi. I’m fine <3’

‘Don’t you heart emoticon me Altair >:C’

‘I brought a boy home.’

‘Idiot.’

‘Special boy. Made an exception.’ ‘What do I do?’

‘Kick him out.’

‘He’s asleep already.’

‘Kick him out in the morning. Az finds you with a guy could get ugly.’

‘Yeah. Shit.’

‘Go the fuck to sleep. You can have a panic attack about it later.’

‘Why would I do that?’

‘GOOD NIGHT Altair’

Altair put his phone back and stared at the ceiling a bit longer. He closed his eyes but they didn’t stay closed for long. At least he thought they didn’t. The next time he opened his eyes his alarm was going off. Shit. Time to get up. He shifted and reached across his bed. Why was he on the far side of his bed again?

When he opened his eyes it took every ounce of power he had not to freeze when he saw Miles staring at him. He played it cool and acted like nothing was weird. Yeah totally not weird a straight football player had another guy in his bed. Nothing weird about that at all. Well to be fair, he usually didn’t bring home his school mates. He either hooked up with guys who went to Marathon and didn’t give a fuck, or with the cute gay tourists who came to party and have a good time and didn’t give him a second thought. Better yet he didn’t have to talk to any of them long. All he had to do was flash them his pretty amber eyes and smile a little and most of them were all set.

Still. No one knew that. Well except Malik. But Malik was always was the exception for everything wasn’t he?

“Well,” Altair said slowly, acting unaffected even though he wanted to crawl out of his skin with Miles fucking staring at him. “This is different.”

He needed to diffuse this and get Desmond out of his fucking house. His gramps was probably at work already, it was safe to get him out without anyone seeing. What was a good excuse to get a guy out of your bed and house that wasn’t supposed to be here? First things first, get away from Miles. He got out of bed. Now the excuse.

“I’ve got work, so just see yourself out.” It came out meaner than he intended but just went with it.

Altair made sure he was paying attention, he seemed shell shocked by the entire thing. Useless. “Right,” he squeaked, his face bunching up in a way Altair could actually describe as cute. Okay, situation dealt with, now Altair needed to go somewhere else. He remembered the text message conversation he’d had with Malik last night. Have your panic attack later. Yeah, great idea. Don’t have it in front of this guy for starters.

Altair went to the bathroom and closed the door. He put his ear to the wood and listened. Miles fumbled around, stumbling a bit and Altair winced when he heard Miles trip on his jeans. He was even more useless than Altair was. Then he was gone. Altair opened the door slowly and peered outside. Room was empty save for his clothes from last night scattered around the floor. He checked outside his room, sticking his head out and saw Miles basically bolt to the front door and out. Once he was gone Altair breathed a sigh of relief.

Back in his room Altair grabbed his jeans from last night, yanked them on and sat on the bed. He stared at one of his wall scrolls across from him and put his hand on his face. Now that he could stop for a second his heart was racing. Not full blown panic attack. He thought he’d kept it together pretty well. He texted Malik, source of calm. Ironic since Malik was like, the most unstable guy Altair knew.

‘You awake yet?’

‘Yes.’

Altair just skipped to calling him. “Have fun last night?” Malik asked when he picked up.

“Shut up,” Altair muttered.

“Well you’re not in full freak out mode, so I’d consider this an improvement compared to when you accidentally brought that tourist kid home.”

“Don’t remind me,” Altair said, hand pressed to his eyes. “Its… different.”

“Oh yeah? And how is it different for my numb skull friend?”

“I did something really stupid last night. Kinda worked out.”

“Except the freak out bit.”

“Mm,” Altair said.

“So, what’s different?”

“Well I found out my crush is gay, so that’s the good different part,” Altair said in a candid way to mask how stupid he felt. It was so stupid. He was stupid. He didn’t even know how to deal with it.

“Wait… he is? Nice. This is good. You gonna tell me who it is?”

“No,” Altair said. He always kept his crushes and feelings for guys bottled up. Malik knew he liked someone, but not who. He was just… scared. Plenty of shit to be afraid of. His grandpa finding out he was gay and throwing him out. Altair’s fantastic social skills that made it difficult for him to talk to people and who knew what ignorant shit would come out his mouth. He was fine when he could fake it, when he could pretend it didn’t matter. Scared of rejection. And there went the stomach drop. Good job Altair, you just made yourself sick.

“Alright,” Malik huffed. “You get him to leave though?”

“Yeah,” Altair said. Of course he’d never come up with a good reason for them to stay. Then what? Then Altair would have to talk to them and ruin everything is what. Better they weren’t around. “Uuuuuhg. I’m a fucking idiooot.”

“You’re fine,” Malik said.

“No. I’m an idiot.”

“Alright, fine, you’re a moron and a fool. Feel better?”

“A little.”

“Weirdo. You should just fucking talk to him Altair. Like, he’s gay, and you’re hot. He’d probably say yes-

“No. No no no absolutely not,” Altair said firmly.

“Fine,” Malik scoffed. “Whatever. Be weird.”

“You like my weird.”

“Yeaaaah,” Malik huffed. “That all? I was going to hang out with Leo today,” though he didn’t seem as thrilled about it as he used to be.

“Yeah. That’s all. Thanks. Malik,” Altair said stiltedly.

“Yeah yeah. Now make yourself some cookies or something I’ll see you later.”

“Heh. Yeah,” Altair said.

“Don’t use all the sugar in the house though. You know Az gets all grumpy when you use all the sugar.”

“I know.”

“Okay. Later,” and Altair said goodbye.

He hung up and then hung his head. “You idiot,” he muttered to himself and dragged himself out of bed to the bathroom like he’d planned in the first place. He shook himself a little, took off his pants and got into the shower.

Chapter Text

Sophomore year Altair had had four classes with a new military kid who'd shown up three weeks after the end of winter break named Desmond Miles. Altair had thought absolutely nothing of him at first. For Altair school was just something he did every day but the people in it were wallpaper. He didn't care about them. The only bright point in the entire boring place was JV football practice in the fall. Only varsity played spring football but it wasn't as popular as fall football and there weren't really any games. It was basically just practice and practice games. Since fall football was over though Altair just sort of existed in school. He hung out with his friends when they asked but otherwise just went home and found something to do.

They'd had a big project due for history and everyone had been freaking out about it. Altair had finished it the first week they'd been given it because he had nothing better to do that week. Today it was due and they were starting presentations. Doing twenty two presentations would take days at the glacial pace this class went at. Altair sat in the back of the class with his hoodie up and quietly listened to his music. He was a good kid and never caused any trouble or gave the teacher a hard time, their eyes just slid off him and he was partially sure half his teachers didn't know what he actually looked like anyway.

There were four presentations today and the first three were drawn out and stumbling. Altair paused long enough to hear the topic and decide he wasn't interested in it before zoning out again. Instead he wrote in his notebook. Not a journal, Altair didn't have nearly an interesting enough life to keep a journal. But he kept a notebook of thoughts and ideas, letting his mind spin ideas and theories out for later research or reference.

The last presentation finally came and Altair nearly groaned in relief. His was tomorrow and he couldn't wait. The last person of the day was a kid he didn't recognize meaning he was probably a seasonal student. The only reason Altair stopped for more than a brief moment was because the kid seemed actually halfway confidant about his project. Altair paused his music to listen for a minute or two before inevitably realizing this kid was as bad as the rest and going back to his own thing.

Altair kept his music off the rest of class and then his presentation was over. Altair blinked. He’d just willingly listened to some kid’s project about… what? He literally couldn’t remember. Weird.

The bell rang shortly after and Altair went to his next class. Malik was in this class and they sat right next to each other. Malik sat up front but to the side and Altair sat in the furthest seat possible from the teacher’s desk. Altair glanced around his brow furrowed. How had he never even noticed that he had this kid two periods in a row?

“Mal,” Altair muttered, leaning across the aisle some.

“Hmmm?” Malik asked, taking his textbook and notebook from his backpack.

“Who’s that?” he nodded with his head to the mystery boy.

“Who? Huh. Not a clue. New kid I think,” Malik said. Altair nodded and listened when the teacher called roll call. Desmond. Definitely a new kid, he hadn’t grown up with anyone named Desmond. That was the thing about little cities like Key West. You really did grow up with all the same kids. There were a handful of elementary schools, two middle schools, and a single high school for the entire lower keys with only Sugarloaf between Key West and Marathon to give the upper lower keys kids a break from the thirty plus mile commute to school every day. That didn’t include the christian schools around but no one really paid them much attention and they were microscopic in comparison. So when you went to school in the lower keys, you knew basically every single kid by around middle school and by high school you met the rest because there were literally no other options. At least not for Key West kids. You could go to Marathon if you lived around Big Pine or wanted to drive, but that was about fifty miles one way and no one wanted to do that on US1 where the speed limit was forty-five and one hundred percent torturous.

Altair forgot about Desmond after that class. He didn’t care a lot about his classmates other than his little circle of friends so that he didn't remember some kid he'd never met didn't mean much to Altair.

A few weeks later Altair saw Kazmarek hanging out with the new kid. Back when they'd been in elementary Altair and Kaczmarek had been acquaintance friends through virtue of being in the same class five days a week for an entire year. He wasn't surprised to see the crazy blond had made a new friend, if he remembered right the kid had had spectacular social skills even at third grade and literally everyone had been the kid’s friend. What was a surprise was seeing the two of them sitting super close together with said new kid at lunch. Like uncomfortably close. Like heads were almost touching close.

Altair never got that close with his friends. Unless they were girls friends didn't get that close. Mainly because boys were literally the dumbest people on the planet and it wasn't rare Altair lamented the fact that he was gay because boys were just so stupid while every girl he knew was amazing and brilliant and with it. He wasn't even a little bi either so there was nothing for it. Regardless, guys just didn't get that close because ‘no homo’ or whatever.

Then he'd finished walking past them on his way to the car to get lunch and that was the end of the thought. Any care he had was gone and he didn't worry about it anymore.

By the end of the year Altair realized he sat about two seats behind Miles in their geometry class. Two seats and the kid had a runner’s ass. It was literally the most distracting thing in the entire world too.

During the summer he didn't have to see Miles at all. Of course not, they hung out with different people. Altair and his grandpa visited family in DC over the summer. He didn’t have a big family but it was family.

His mom had been a first generation American with Azrael being brought over from Israel when he'd been a boy. Eve had had no had no siblings. Altair's dad had come over from Syria for college and got a green card when he and his mom had gotten married. Azrael had a brother though and they had two kids, a boy and a girl and they both had kids like ten years younger than Altair. Still it was something at least and they were all they had since the rest of the family was still back in the Middle East.

Altair had liked DC. He and his gramps went to the Smithsonian and saw all the big impressive law buildings. They went to theater shows and toured the country’s capital for a few weeks. They'd had fun and his aunt and gramps cooked every night, nights they didn't eat in they went to eat somewhere that one of Azrael’s old friends owned. The food was always fantastic and by the time vacation was over he’d gained like fifteen pounds.

Then the vacation had ended and they went back home. And wouldn't you know it but the day after they got back Altair was going into Key West to grocery shop and fill the fridge up again when someone ran by his car. He followed them boredly with his eyes as they ran past as he waited for a break in traffic and then perked up.

It was that Miles kid.

He was super tanned now, dark as hell from the sun and maybe some actual ethnicity in his blood, shirtless and wearing shorts, just running down the side of the road thinking nothing of it. Altair stared after him. He stared for so long he actually missed an opening and had to wait again. What the hell was that guy doing? Why the hell was he hot ? Like runner’s ass aside he’d never given the kid another thought and the, there he was, hot and shirtless and sweating his ass off in the hot Florida morning.

Altair went to the store and did his best not to think about it. He was going out again the next day to hang out with Ezio around the same time and wouldn’t you know it. Miles was out there again.

From there it somehow became a habit that Altair somehow ended up at US1 around the time Miles ran by, either he went to the gas station or he was going somewhere or he showed up specifically to see the shirtless wonder. Miles never missed a fucking day. After two weeks Altair knew he had a problem and it was weirding him out.

Malik was literally the only person in Altair’s entire life who knew he was gay. The only one. Malik had… a complicated sexual orientation Altair didn’t try and understand and Malik didn’t mind that he didn’t. It was something along the lines of ‘they cute and smile a lot? I’d fuck it’ and that was about the end of the criteria. Basically Malik was a bigger whore than Altair until he’d started dating Leonardo during the summer of sophomore year. As in, he’d get a hookup (or two) every party they went to. It was weirdly low key though and no one knew Malik was like that, except Altair.

So when Altair had a relationship issue, he went to Malik. Probably not the best idea since Malik didn’t really ‘do’ relationships, but he was the only one Altair could complain to about boys to.

They were hanging out at Altair’s, Altair was making lunch, Azrael was out at work, training a new chef at one of his restaurants. “So there's this guy that runs every day down US1.”

“Lots of runners on US1,” Malik said, not looking at him, but at his phone.

“Yeah but I keep going up there around the time he’s there and see him run by.”

“So eye candy, big deal.”

“I mean I’ve been going there like every day,” Altair said. “I’m kinda concerned.”

“He hot?”

“Yeah.”

“Eye candy,” Malik said, still looking at his phone.

“He’s one of our classmates,” Altair said. “I think I… kinda like him?”

Malik stopped looking at his phone and very deliberately turned off the screen and set it down. Malik didn’t give a shit about Altair’s relationships or his dumb closet crushes or the guys he hooked up with. Malik didn’t care about any of that stuff. What Malik did care about was Altair’s mental health, which could sometimes be a bit strained by being a gay orphan raised by his conservative Muslim, grandfather. Crushes for Altair were terrible things. He didn’t do anything halfway so when he liked someone he… could get a bit obsessive or do stupid or unhealthy things.

“You what?” Malik asked.

“I think I like him?”

“Have you talked to him?”

Altair looked down at the frying pan he was working with. “Well… no,” he admitted awkwardly.

“So he’s not gay.”

“I dunno?” he shrugged, not looking up.

“Altair, don’t chase straight guys, it leads to nothing. Well not nothing. It leads to bullshit really.”

“I’m noooot,” Altair huffed. “I don’t even know him. He’s just cute and seems pretty smart.”

“And probably also straight as fuck with a girlfriend. Don’t even bother. Forget about it.”

“Yeah, probably,” Altair agreed, but in the back of his mind he knew it wouldn’t be as easy. He’d been checking this kid out on the low all semester without even realizing it. “What if I have a crush on him?”

“I’ll throw my fucking phone at you for crushing on guy you’ve never talked to again ,” Malik said, giving him a dark look. “And who you’ll never talk to either cause you’re a huge baby about talking to new people.”

“I’m shy okay, leave me alone,” Altair said defensively.

“You’re such a weird fucking jock, bro,” Malik said.

“I don’t need to be outgoing. I have you and Ezio for that.”

That made Malik laugh. “Yeah you do,” he said, grinning. “And is that done yet? It smells awesome and I’m starving over here,” he complained.

“Soon,” Altair said meanly.

“Weh,” Malik whined and Altair just grinned at him and went back to cooking.

Chapter Text

By the time senior year rolled around Miles was a full on problem for Altair. Junior year he'd had nearly every class with the kid again then in a bizarre turn of events he had only one class with him in senior year. Chemistry, where he sat in the back of class with Caterina Sfortza, the raging liberal feminist at school. She was friends with Ezio and Maria so Altair was a peripheral friend of hers but they didn't really hang out. He always heard them talking though never dared to look back except if they got loud. They got along pretty well apparently, that worried Altair a bit.

 

He did have other things to worry about than that though. Like being first string running back for the football team. Compared to Malik and Ezio Altair was a pretty lithe guy, with a lower forty and magnetic hands. Yusuf, who'd somehow pulled first string quarterback out of his ass this year and had become a god over summer, loved throwing the ball exactly where Altair could be in about four seconds.

 

Football was the main time Altair spent with his friends. They rarely came over his house and they rarely went out together. So school and football were their main interaction points. This was completely because Altair hated socializing and being with his group of friends who could be loud and rowdy and completely draining in every way.

 

They played skirmish with the second string a lot and Altair and Yusuf spent a lot of time together during practice. The year before Yusuf had barely made benchwarmer for varsity, he had been the third backup quarterback and that was mainly because the coach had felt bad for him. Needless to say he's never gotten to play last year. This year though Yusuf was first string and threw like a fucking god. Every throw landed exactly where it was supposed to, which was to say; right into Altair's hands. No idea how that had happened since Yusuf had been away most of the summer. Altair didn't care, so long as Yusuf continued to throw the ball right into Altair's hands like last year's quarterback was sometimes bad at.

 

As first string there were plenty of scouts for college teams that came down to Key West looking for talent. Even their little school had several show up and look at everyone. Nearly all of them scouted Yusuf for his amazing throwing arm, and a few less than that scouted Altair. He felt bad when he told them he wasn't interested. He and Malik were planning on joining the Marines once school was over.

 

Malik's family was low income and didn't have the money to send either of their boys to college. Malik also didn't have the grades to get Bright Futures and while he was a good lineman he wouldn't get a full ride. The only way to get through college for him would be to apply to scholarships, FASFA and anywhere under the sun, work himself to death, or join the military. So he was enlisting as soon as they graduated, so he could serve his two years then get the fuck out of there and go to school to be a lawyer like he wanted.

 

Altair didn't have that problem. His gramps could afford to send him to just about any school he wanted, and he was on his way to getting a full ride from Bright Futures, and he was scouted by major colleges all over state. He had opportunity but he was enlisting too. His gramps had served in Vietnam and his dad had served in the navy a few years on a land base before the accident. He wanted to be part of something bigger than him. He also didn't want Malik to be alone. They'd promised each other they'd enlist together when they'd started high school and there had been no change of plans. His gramps said the two of them were idiotic for wanting to actually be part of the military. He hadn't agreed with his daughter marrying a seaman either, but he had resigned to let Altair make his own choices and mistakes in life.

 

The scouts still gave Altair their cards and said to call them if he changed his mind. He threw them out when they were gone. He didn't want to play football in college. He wanted to cook, and go to a culinary school, get a minor in English. Altair had plans for college and they didn't include the ball and chain of a college football team. He loved playing the game but not forever. Maybe even in college he could come out a little, get an actual boyfriend. Not that he could ever tell his gramps about him.

 

Football was also one of the only times he didn't have the back of his mind on Miles while at school. Like, Altair had it bad. He'd never had a crush this bad before. Not ever. Not even when he first had realized he liked boys and specifically the cute Cuban boy in his homeroom in middle school that had lasted an entire semester. This was his first crush that had lasted so long, like just years .

 

It didn't get any better as Altair learned more about the kid either. Straight A student, always had something to actually add to any class discussion they had. He was nice to everyone and anyone Altair asked about him always had something good to say about him like he helped them study for a test or helped them with homework, even straight copying homework. He'd been part of the cross country team the first year he'd been at school but in senior year he'd stopped running for whatever reason. He also had a fucking motorcycle . Altair could hardly handle that or their junior year when he had homeroom with him and half the time he'd show up to class wearing his leather jacket. It was a proven fact after all that people were a hundred percent hotter in leather jackets. And that didn't include the fact that he was cute as hell. He was an absolute white boy. But a white boy with some actual genetics like his family was from Eastern Europe or Eurasia, maybe even some Spanish for how well he just tanned right up in the summer.

 

Altair was completely hopeless but as senior year came around he also hadn't even talked to the kid. Instead he just watched from afar, way too scared to say anything to him. Altair didn't want to ruin the illusion about Miles he had that he was gay and find out he was straight. He didn't have a girlfriend but he hung around the Stillman girl so much he thought they might be a hookup. Not like nearly everyone in junior year didn't want to bang the hot Lucy Stillman. But then they were also all seventeen and most guys wanted to bang anything they could.

 

Still she seemed like a good match for him. She was smart, nice and didn't let anyone, especially guys, push her around. Altair did his best not to think about the fact that like most guys Altair had the misfortune of crushing on Miles was probably straight as you could get.

 

Weirdly though for as nice as Miles was and how much good people had to say about him when Altair made small conversation, he didn't have a lot of friends. Basically just four and Altair only knew the names of two of them. Sounded kinda like Altair except everyone in his graduating class knew who he was and more than a few girls would shamelessly flirt with him in class or between classes. He would, and this was awful of him, just push them off on Ezio. It was why Ezio couldn’t keep a girlfriend, because Ezio just turned into the rebound all the girls Altair turned down. Ones Ezio didn’t pick up someone else in their little group would. Gave Ezio the bad reputation as being a womanizer. Furthest thing from the truth of course, but you had to kinda dig to get to that part of Ezio that wasn’t just wannabe playboy with a charming smirk and a lot of his dad’s money.

 

So instead he just kinda watched from where he was and gave himself plenty to do at home so he didn’t think about his crush.

 

Then Ezio’s party had happened. Then everything Altair had thought he’d known about Desmond Miles was suddenly different. Once he’d stopped freaking out about bringing a boy home from a party by accident he’d just sat around in a happy daze.

 

His crush was gay.

 

And like really gay. Like gave really good head gay. It was surprising how many gay guys gave shitty head too. The ones that gave good head were usually pretty ridiculously gay though.

 

As Altair made himself breakfast the day after, it was Sunday, he just stopped what he was doing and then checked around to make sure Azrael wasn’t around. The old man was home but wasn’t in the kitchen area. Knowing he was alone and free of any shameful (Malik assured him was completely imaginary shame) repercussions Altair did a little dance. His crush was gay and this was the best day of his entire fucking high school life .

 

He was so caught up in being excited he missed when Azrael came into the kitchen from down the hall. “What are you so excited about?” he asked and Altair jumped a foot and his face turned bright red.

 

“Uuh-” Altair said intelligently and was now very focused on their breakfast.

 

“Something good happen?” his gramps prodded.

 

“I did really good on a test last week,” Altair lied. He hated how good he was at lying to his grandpa. The man had raised him since he was eight years old. Still his grandpa was also a moderately conservative Muslim who prayed five times a day and who didn’t allow any pork products in any of his restaurants or the house, at all. He didn’t go so far as to vote Republican in elections but that was mainly because the assholes who’d drafted him to serve in a bullshit war overseas had majority been Republican and his gramps held a grudge a mile long and fifty years wide. So no, Altair wouldn’t tell his gramps why he was really happy.

 

“Oh? That’s wonderful, Altair,” Azrael said and Altair felt a bit guilty. “You sure it isn’t something else? Like... a girl?”

 

Jed No! Nothing like that,” Altair cried. Furthest thing from the truth imaginable actually!

 

Azrael just chuckled, “Yes yes, of course. Now mind the bacon, you’ll let it burn,” he said, coming around the counter. Turkey bacon, Altair had never had pork bacon. It always smelled delicious though.

 

“Yes jiddo ,” he huffed a little as Azrael eased himself up onto a stool.

 

“No girls interest you at all, ibn ?” Azrael prodded.

 

Altair’s face wrinkled, “No. They’re all crazy.”

 

Azrael laughed. “Well my boy, I can tell you one thing, that does not change as they get older. Now, how’s our breakfast. Anything special today?”

 

“I made poached eggs,” Altair said. He liked poaching eggs. It was a weird, fun, thing he enjoyed. It was a weird thing that he called making breakfast with poached eggs fun. All his friends said he was a fucking weirdo about food but none of them complained about it or when he got it in his head to invite them all over for dinner because he felt like cooking a huge amount of food. It was just him and his gramps here and they didn’t eat big meals. All his football friends did though. “And I found clementine marmalade in the pantry, I thought it’d taste good in a pancake but I haven’t made them yet.”

 

“What about a crepe?”

 

“I felt like pancakes,” Altair shrugged. He had the flat top on the stove getting hot next to him as he tended the bacon. Azrael nodded.

 

Altair finished the bacon and put it aside on bunch of paper towels to absorb the grease. Then he turned his attention to the flat top and his pancake mix. He had perfected pancake. Was still shit at crepes, but Altair could make a perfect fucking pancake. He stirred it a bit to make sure the marmalade was thoroughly mixed in and then dropped three small cakes onto the lightly greased flat top. They were a bit misshapen and once they were solid on the bottom he threw them out. He always made enough batter for three mess ups, which was how many he needed to figure out the consistency. His next ones were perfectly round medallions about as big as his palm. He poured four of them.

 

“So what are you doing today?” Azrael asked as they watched the pancakes cook.

 

“All my friends are still recovering from the party,” Altair said. Azrael frowned disapprovingly. His gramps would love nothing more than for Altair be a good Muslim boy and memorize the quran and pray five times a day. Altair had a way more relaxed relationship with Allah and Islam than that though. Frankly he was of the mind still that if Allah was soooooo great he wouldn’t have stolen both of Altair’s parents. Though it was also a bit difficult to worship a god and practice a religion where your sexual orientation wasn’t really accepted. Altair usually just prayed once or twice a day, most of the time at sunset, and maybe also in the morning at sunrise if he was awake for that. He sure as shit had prayed five times on Saturday, happier than he could remember in recent memory that his crush was gay as hell.

 

“You had fun at the party?” Azrael asked and Altair realized he’d started smiling without realizing just thinking about Miles.

 

“Yes.”

 

“You didn’t drive home I hope?”

 

“Of course not! Jiddo I am responsible,” Altair said. “I took a cab, everything was fine. You know how I feel about drunk driving.”

 

“Good,” he said. Altair would never ever ever get behind a wheel drunk, or let someone who was drunk drive him anywhere. A drunk driver had killed his parents. It was never going to happen.

 

“But yeah, I had fun. I liked hanging out with all my friends,” Altair said and flipped the pancakes over. They were perfectly golden brown on the bottom except where the skin of the clementines showed through a bit.

 

“Good. You should spend more time with them,” Azrael said.

 

“I see them every freaking day,” Altair groaned. “And they are exhausting. Do you want juice, or water with breakfast?”

 

“Water.” Altair turned away and went to the fridge. He poured water for his gramps and juice for him and got plates and silverware. He put an English muffin on the plate and then some of the turkey bacon and put two poached eggs on each of those. By the time he’d finished that the pancakes were done and he put two of the half sized pancakes on each place with a pat of butter and a little powdered sugar.

 

“A breakfast fit for a king,” Altair said and handed his gramps his plate.

 

“At least it isn’t Waffle House,” Azrael said and bowed his head over the food a moment before eating. “Though very… American.”

 

“I’m American jiddo ,” Altair reminded him dryly.

 

“Mm!” Azrael agreed. “Yes, next Sunday we will have Israeli breakfast though. I will cook.” Altair smiled brightly. He loved when his gramps cooked. He didn’t do it all the time because they honestly rarely ate together, Azrael staying out at his restaurants or traveling or Altair wasn’t home. Sunday they usually shared all their meals though. At least, if Azrael wasn’t called away, as he often was.

 

“Promise?” Altair asked.

 

“You have my word ,” his gramps said very seriously. “I will have to ask a friend to send me some things from the mainland. One cannot get any good breakfast bread down here,” he nodded sagely at that. “Or cheese.” Altair was still smiling. “Yes, this will be a good thing. I will teach you. Would you like that?”

 

“Yes,” Altair said. “I really would, jiddo .” Azrael looked up at him, food in his mouth and sticking slightly to his mustache, and smiled back. Altair already couldn’t wait till next week.

Chapter Text

Altair didn’t even manage to make it to his bed. He’d just stumbled to his front door, struggled with the lock and key for probably twenty minutes, and then passed out on the couch. His flank hurt from the fight he’d gotten into on Friday night and when he finally woke up at noon he felt like death. He’d been so drunk last night. Like more drunk than he’d ever been. He didn’t like getting black out drunk since black out drunk Altair could do and say things that sober Altair would regret in the morning. Mainly he was worried if he got too drunk he’d unintentionally out himself in front of people he didn’t want to out himself to. But last night he’d gotten as close to black out drunk as he’d ever gotten.

He groaned into the couch cushion and rolled over with some difficulty. Cheerful noon sunlight streamed through the big windows and Altair hated them. He hated everything really. He lifted his head somewhat and saw Azrael sitting in the chair across from him. That woke him a bit.

His grandfather was disapproving. “Good morning,” he said.

“Uh… morning?” Altair said.

“You missed breakfast,” he said.

Breakfast?

Breakfast!

Altair turned his head back into the couch cushion. Right. His gramps was going to cook breakfast this morning. He was going to show Altair how to make Israeli breakfast. As if Altair wasn’t depressed enough he’d missed his gramps making breakfast. And missed out on something like a cooking lesson. He sighed heavily into the couch, not moving and wishing he was dead.

Across from him Azrael got up with a grunt. “Moderation, Altair.” Altair lifted his hand up with his thumb up in possibly the most sarcastic posture he could afford at the moment. “And you were out very late last night. I’m not punishing you, but knowing you missed breakfast is punishment enough.” Altair pumped his arm back and forth, thumb still raised. Nailed that right on the head. “I’ll be home for dinner, put the steak I have in the sink into the fridge when it finishes defrosting.” More thumbs up. “If you need me, call me.” As Azrael left he ruffled Altair’s hair and Altair just groaned loudly as if in great pain.

The door opened, closed and a minute or so later Altair heard Azrael drive away.

Meanwhile Altair was doing his best not to cry. He’d been looking forward to today and then drunk Altair had ruined everything. He ended up not crying but it didn’t make him feel any better. Instead he just laid there on the couch in misery, knowing he’d missed breakfast and feeling like shit for it. Eventually he crawled off the couch to the media room. It had no windows and was wonderfully dark. He took off his shoes and pants and crawled onto the comfortable, huge, couch. He turned on his projector and cable box and watched the Food Network for a while.

As he did last night started to seep back in from the back of his mind. He remembered going to that party. Kaczmarek had been the DJ there. He’d only gone because Ezio was going. Malik had wanted to go but he was grounded for fighting those assholes in Marathon. Miles had been there too. Altair had only been vaguely aware of them while he focused on getting as drunk as he could without blacking out. Then he’d started acting mean and like an asshole and they’d kicked him out. Kicked him out, drunk as a skunk, and hadn’t helped him get a cab or nothing.

Well. Miles had.

Altair got a warm fuzzy feeling remembering. Miles had been super nice to him when he was drunk. And genuinely concerned about him too. Miles had called Altair a cab, because he was a nice guy who didn’t just leave people hanging. Not like Ezio who’d found the prettiest girl at the party and after a few rounds of drinks had ended up banging her in the back of his car around the block. Altair didn’t have to see it to know it’d happened because at one point Ezio had been at the party and then he just… hadn’t been. Ezio didn’t just leave parties unless a pretty girl was involved. Not that Altair was much different. So long as he wasn’t one of Altair’s classmates cute guys could lead Altair around by the nose and he’d definitely left a block party with someone a few years older than him to get head around the corner more than once.

Fuzzy feeling was gone. Altair grumbled to himself as he watched Paula Deen make cat-head biscuits. As in, biscuits literally as big as cat heads. They were huge. He hated making biscuits, unless they were Pillsbury.

As he sat there he tried to just think about the end of the party. The part where Miles was. Went quite a ways to making him feel better, especially since he felt like absolute shit. Between the fight on Friday and being told on Saturday he was getting kicked off the team, and now missing breakfast with his gramps, Altair was in a completely terrible mood. Thinking about cute boys helped though. Especially Miles. Miles was literally the cutest boy. He wasn’t ‘hot’ really. Not normally. He’d stopped running over the summer, which Altair had been very upset about, and those were times he was hot. Really he was just a really tall, sort of socially awkward person who liked making people laugh and had a clever brain. But he wore clothes that didn’t really fit him very well and he needed a haircut and looked like he ate junk food all the time. Not exactly what Altair would define as ‘hot’. But he was cute. Definitely cute enough that Altair had jerked off to him at least once.

Well okay more than once.

The fact that Miles had just… showed up and been Altair’s guardian angel last night had just been so nice though. He wished more people were like Miles and were just genuine and good and-

God this was getting out of hand. “You’re stupid,” he told himself. “You haven’t even talked to him.” He rubbed his eyes miserably. Well. He had talked to Miles. Kinda. He’d had to be forced into it and it was all Malik’s fault really.

Malik’s dad was their chemistry teacher’s best friend. Malik had convinced Mr. B to put Altair in the tutoring program and ask Desmond to be a tutor. So Mr. B was officially the second person who knew Altair was gay and Malik had done all of it. Mainly because Altair was way too awkward to just ask himself but Malik could talk to anyone, anywhere, no problem, and be their friend by the end of the conversation. Not Altair. To Altair what Malik had done was an absolute miracle.

And he’d also completely blown it the first day of tutoring and been grumpy and pissy and probably Miles thought Altair was a weirdo with anger issues. Well there went the warm fuzzy feelings again. Altair needed to stop doing that. He already felt like shit. He didn’t need to add onto it by having depressing thoughts about his crush. He’d much rather have nice thoughts about his crush. Like them literally doing anything to Altair that wasn’t destructive. Like literally anything. Touching, kissing, smiling at him. He was pretty easy to please. It’d probably never work out either so he just satisfied himself with the fantasy. He could be happy with the one time they’d gotten naked together. Having a second time would be nice too but he doubted that’d happen. Altair did one-night stands for a reason.

He’d probably make an exception for Miles though.

He’d definitely make an exception for Miles actually.

Altair started day dreaming at that and spent a while imagining Miles naked, half watching Paula Deen. Altair had ‘rules’ concerning guys in his life but Miles was the complete exception. He would love if they spent the night. Just one more night. It’d ruin Altair, but he’d be too happy to care. What a mess he was in.

Before it got too late and he was significantly less hung over than earlier he crawled out of the dark media room and went to put the meat in the fridge and drank half a gallon of water. It was four and he was finally awake to have a semi normal day. Useless. Instead he went to take a shower and jerk off before going back to watch more Food Network before Azrael came back home and tried to keep hold of that warm fuzzy feeling so he didn’t feel so shitty about the entire weekend.

Chapter Text

When Altair woke up he felt great!

He felt even better when he really woke up and was aware that his fantastic dream hadn’t been a dream. He’d been pretty sure it hadn’t been a dream but he hadn’t been sure. The fact that Miles was in bed next to him was proof enough that he hadn’t dreamed it though.

Altair just laid on his side watching Miles sleep. Maybe kinda creepy but Altair didn’t care. He was in Altair’s bed and Altair was awake what else was he supposed to look at? He was pretty sure the point of sleeping with someone was to enjoy them the entire time they were with you. Or something.

Altair sat up and did his best not to move so much and found his pants in the pocket of his jeans that had been pushed off just to the side of the bed. It was still alive but just barely. Alive enough for Altair to lay back down and open his camera. Now this was definitely probably creepy but damnit Altair needed something.

He took a picture of Miles sleeping and got his arm a bit too close to him. Miles grabbed Altair’s arm and snuggled it, making Altair smile. He took a picture of that too because he wanted to. Then he reached behind him and with some wiggling managed to get his phone on the bed stand. That taken care of Altair just laid there and watched Miles sleep. He grinned to himself because of the kid’s huge hickey. Hickey Altair had given to him. If anyone out there was curious if Miles was available hopefully this would broadcast that he probably wasn’t.

Not that Altair would ever work up the balls to actually ask him out. There was no way he could or would do that of his own free will. He’d rather get run over by a truck than have that sort of anxiety riddled nightmare made flesh by asking his crush out. Maybe if he could be obvious enough though Miles would get it that Altair liked him and do it for him. Pipe dream but Altair was all about pipe dreams.

He laid there a while before he had to pee. He tried getting his arm out of Miles’ grip but no dice. He resorted to just poking Miles until he woke up. He made a sleepy noise and squinted at Altair. “Let go,” Altair said. Desmond grumbled a little but did let go. Altair got out of bed and realized he felt nasty. Sweaty and sticky and he’d slept in his bed like that. He needed to shower and change his sheets or he wouldn’t be able to deal with it.

“Need to get up, huh?” Desmond asked and rubbed his eyes.

If Altair felt nasty he couldn’t imagine how Miles felt. Altair had wiped most of it up but he still probably had sticky spots all over from cum and lube. “Want a shower?” he asked.

Desmond blinked at him and raised himself up a bit, “I get one this time?”

Altair shrugged. Well he wasn’t about to have a freak out like last time so he wasn’t so worried about Miles getting the fuck out or what he’d do if he told or something. He’d been very deliberate last night when he’d found Miles dancing out at the club. He wanted to save and savor that memory too cause it was so fucking hot. Altair hated being surprised by things but when he premeditated bringing a boy home he was prepared to deal with it. “Gramps isn’t here.”

“Yeah,” Desmond said.

“You can use it after me,” Altair said. Cause he hated being sticky like this. Loved the sex part, hated the next morning if he didn’t shower before bed and he was all sticky and gross.

“Can I just take it with you?” Desmond asked.

Altair’s brain came to a full stop. He was contemplating what sheets he’d put on his bed after Miles left and what he’d have for breakfast. But that could wait. Full stop, Miles wanted to shower with him. To not come across as too desperate or enthusiastic he just shrugged, “If you want.” When Miles looked away and up at the ceiling Altair retreated into his bathroom.

Altair put his hand to his heart briefly, it was pounding. He told himself to just be cool. Miles hadn’t gotten up immediately so he could just pass. Either way Altair still had to take a piss. He turned on the shower to get warm and did his business and stepped into the shower. He tried to just make his mind blank, standing under the water. If his mind was blank he wouldn’t worry about what it meant if Miles waited till he was done or if he joined Altair.

He did end up joining Altair though and Altair’s brain just went through everything that could possibly mean. He wasn’t even sure he wanted Miles in here with him. So he just distracted them by handing Miles the shower head. Altair managed to get his shit in order enough to see that Desmond wasn’t making it weird and was just going about his business of cleaning up. What did Altair do a situation like this? He never showered with another guy before. Did he leave them alone? Was he supposed to help?

To stop from having a panic attack right there about what he should do he just did something and got some shampoo and started to wash Miles’ hair. Miles paused, shower head down, and looked confused a second before getting a look on his face Altair could only describe ‘happy dog’. It was stupid and also cute and Altair was glad he’d done this right. Altair was equally thrilled when Miles started washing his hair for him and was more than a little disappointed when Miles washed his own body and Altair finished quickly.

Well that was over and Altair got out once he was clean. Miles stayed in and Altair didn’t ask after him, he could do whatever he wanted. Altair checked himself in the mirror to see if he needed to shave, he could go another day, and grabbed a towel and left the bathroom.

Altair dried off and dumped the damp towels in the hamper and got dressed. Then he pulled the sheets off his bed and put them in there too. He remade his bed and nearly jumped out of his skin when from the bathroom Desmond practically screamed, “ALTAIR!”

Altair stood there terrified. What the hell? What had just happened? What had he done now? He went to the bathroom door hesitantly and opened it slowly. He ended up just sticking his head through, “Yeah?”

Desmond was standing in front of the sink, towel around his waist, looking out of his mind. “Care to explain what the fuck you did to my neck?” Miles demanded, pointing erratically at the big hickey Altair was actually insanely proud of. Well at least it wasn’t anything important and Altair had freaked out about nothing.

“Never had a hickey?”

“This isn’t a hickey, this is a fucking bruise. How does someone even do this much skin damage?” he whined and self consciously had his hand on the side of his neck.

“You were liking it,” Altair shrugged at him. Well, moving on. “Want me to wash your clothes?” He had to do a load to clean his sheets and clothes from last night before his gramps came home so he wouldn’t be wiser to Altair having a boy over.

“What?” Desmond asked, caught off guard.

“Want me to throw your clothes in the wash?” Altair said like Desmond was a particularly dense child. Miles made some sort of stupid noise and Altair rolled his eyes. “Or you can wear your dirty club clothes, makes no difference to me.”

“Then what the hell will I wear?” Altair couldn’t help but look down. Honestly if Miles just stayed half or mostly naked while he did laundry he really wouldn’t complain. “No,” he growled.

Altair chuckled to himself. “I can give you something. Yes? No?”

Miles pouted and folded his arms over his chest. “Yeah, sure, thanks,” he finally said with a bit of a sigh.

“I’ll lay something out for you to wear,” Altair said with a nod and closed the door. He pursed his lips in thought and went to his dresser. He pulled out a pair of sweats and a big shirt and put them on the bed. Then he gathered up both their clothes on the ground and tossed them into the hamper. He put Miles’ wallet and keys on the other bedside table and plugged his iPhone into a charger he kept around for Malik who used an iPhone and chronically forgot his charger when he stayed over all day. Then he grabbed up the hamper and went to the laundry room in the house and threw everything into the washing machine.

When he was done he checked on Miles who was awkwardly standing outside his room in the sweats and shirt. “So uh… thanks,” he said.

Altair shrugged, surprised by how calm he was honestly, “I figure what’s the point in being weird after one-night stands.”

“Yeah, guess that’s kinda your thing,” Miles said. Altair was sure he didn’t mean it to sound mean, but Altair still felt bad. It wasn’t that he didn’t want a boyfriend, he just had no idea how. Fuck he couldn’t even talk to his crush unless he was forced! How the hell was he supposed to get a boyfriend? On top of the fact that he was super closeted which was stressful in and of itself.

“Something like that,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound dejected. “I’m going to make breakfast, you can have some if you want,” he added. Altair did like feeding people and his heart jumped at the thought of cooking for the guy he liked. God sometimes Altair wondered how he was alive when he felt like this cause right now he was almost too gay to function. “Since you’re going to be here till your clothes are done.”

“Oh… yeah, thanks,” Miles said, a bit flustered.

Altair went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. He didn’t eat super big breakfasts all the time. Usually something simple except for Sunday. He went all out Sunday. Bagels with gravlax sounded good. His gramps loved the stuff and made it twice a month, though it never lasted long.

He pulled out the salmon and found some capers in the door. He contemplated the herbs in the crisper. Chives? That seemed a bit too much bullshit for him this morning so he went without. He did grab the block of cream cheese though. Miles was hanging around the kitchen’s entrance, not quite knowing what to do, when Altair closed the fridge door. “You can sit down you know,” Altair said.

“Sorry, sorry,” Miles said. “At the table?” Altair just looked at him like he was an idiot. Miles just decided to sidle away and Altair turned away with a roll of his eyes. “So uh, what are you making?”

“Just a bagel. You eat fish?”

“I eat anything,” he said.

“Good.” Seriously. The amount of people Altair knew who didn’t eat fish in the Keys was staggering. He physically couldn’t wrap his head around people who lived in literally one of the most diverse sea ecosystems in the entire world, and didn’t eat fish. He heard Miles pull out a chair at the table as Altair got the bagels.

Altair cut two of them and threw them in the toaster oven before taking the gravlax out of the bag and laying it on the cutting board. He glanced over at Miles who’s eyes got really wide when he pulled a big knife out of the cutting block. Altair smirked a little. People were always impressed with the big knives, especially the really sharp ones that could get the super thin cuts required with fish like this. He cut towards the tail, sheering off thin strips of cured fish and put them on the board next to the fish. He laid each one out till he was satisfied with how much fish he’d cut. Then he packed the fish back up and put it away. As he finished the toaster went off. Altair fished them out with a butter knife and spread cream cheese on them before laying the gravlax on top in a sort of bunched manner. He put a few capers on top of all of them and put them on separate plates before taking them over to the table.

Miles eyes went wide when Altair put the food down. Altair didn’t even notice that he’d just made something out of a food advertisement and ate as he pulled out his phone. He had a text from Ezio and Malik.

‘Lets go out on the boast today! Yusuf and Malik already agreed, so you have no choice, you’re coming.’

Altair rolled his eyes, ‘Then what was the point of asking me?’

Malik’s was appropriately knowing, but not too knowing. ‘Find some fun last night?’ he could almost hear the forlornness in Malik’s voice. Malik couldn’t go out anymore because of Leo. Leo wasn’t super sensitive, but he didn’t like parties and was a serious introvert. Malik used to go with Altair to bars all the time, then he’d started dating Leo and that had just stopped.

‘Yes actually’

His phone beeped. Ezio again. ‘Because I like you to feel like you have a choice lols’

‘You’re an idiot. I will be there in a little bit, I’m doing some laundry then I’ll come over.’

‘Sounds good!’

‘Older or younger?’ Malik’s text came in nearly at the same time as Ezio’s.

‘Younger, I think?’

‘You think?’

Altair looked up at Miles under his brows. He was just quietly munching his breakfast contently, looking around but not at Altair. He was in Altair’s class but he wasn’t sure how old he was. As it was Altair was young for their grade and wouldn’t be eighteen till January. He had to assume Miles was seventeen like him, but a few months younger. He had no real idea though. ‘Idk.’

‘Not jail bait?’

‘Ew no. Like few months.’

‘Oh? I know him?’ ‘Altair if you’re not responding its cause I do now you better tell me.’

“That was really good,” Miles said, distracting Altair from Malik. “I’ve never had fish like that.”

Altair shrugged, “My gramps likes it like that, so he always makes it.”

“That’s cool.”

Altair looked back down at his plate, he’d only eaten half his bagel and a few bites of the other half. Miles’ plate was completely clear. He looked at the text from Malik. ‘Crush material.’

‘!?!?!’ ‘Actually him or wishful thinking?’

‘Actual.’

‘(^_^)b’

‘That is the worst emoticon I’ve ever seen’

‘(^u^)b’

Altair stared at his phone. His friend was an absolute fucking moron sometimes. “Bad news?” Miles asked.

“What?” Altair looked up. “No, why would you say that?”

“Because you look like you’re about to break your phone. Maybe you should put it down?”

Altair glared at Miles next and the kid stiffened. “I’m going to go check on the laundry so you can leave. I have plans.”

“Yeah, sure, right,” Miles said and swallowed.

Altair got up and went to the laundry room. He’d only put the wash on a short cycle and it was already done. He threw just Miles’ clothes into the dryer and cranked it up on high. He checked his phone again.

‘So ETA?’ Ezio had texted him.

‘Half hour.’

‘Eggcellent!’

‘Fuck you!’

‘Lols’ ‘Malik said you were in a pissy mood.’

‘Fuck you!’

Altair leaned against the wall moodily. He shouldn’t be in a bad mood. He should be happy if anything. Though Desmond’s clothes wouldn’t take but another ten minutes in there and he could throw the rest of his laundry in there once that was done and go to Ezio’s.

The door of the laundry room opened slowly. “Hey uh… How long is this gonna take?” Miles asked cautiously.

“Like ten more minutes.”

“Oh. Okay. Where did you put my phone? I need to call Clay to come get me,” he continued shyly.

Altair did his best to not just say something rude. Or something that’d probably land  him in mental hell later. “Its charging on my desk.”

“Ah, okay. Thanks Altair,” he said, smiled a little and left. Altair stood there wondering what the actual fuck was the matter with him. He’d just been sort of pissy and then Miles had said his name with a small smile and he felt a thousand times better. Like how did that happen? How did he just now feel completely good and okay because someone smiled at him?

He was out of control.

Altair rubbed his eyes and left the laundry room. Miles was sitting at the table with his phone, keys and wallet on the table, talking. He hung back to not interrupt. “-Pick me up? Don’t sound so fucking happy its creepy as fuck. Yeah.” Miles sighed widely, “Did I say three? Fuck okay three, gezus,” he groaned. “Fucking weirdo— it isn’t a compliment, Clay. Just come now and don’t speed I’ll be ready by the time you get here. Thanks. Shut the fuck up I will punch you.” Then he hung up. Miles rolled his eyes and went back to tapping at his phone.

“Hey,” Altair called and Miles looked up. “I’m going to get some stuff ready for where I’m going, your stuff should be dry when the dryer buzzes.”

“Okay, thanks,” he said. Altair left him there and went back to his room.

‘Did your body do stupid shit when you first started dating Leo?’ he sent to Malik.

‘Like?’

‘Like unnecessary bouts of happiness?’

‘LMFAO. You fucking loser. But yes.’

‘Fuck’

Altair put his phone on the charger and got a bag out. He put a few towels in there and some sunscreen. He dug his mask out from his closet and put them in there with the rest of the stuff. He’d have to get his big water cooler for going out since he knew his friends were all irresponsible. They’d all bring soda and not water and complain about being thirsty and dehydrated. Idiots.

He finished packing his bag and changed his clothes, putting on his swim trunks and a t-shirt that used to have stuff on it but was so sun bleached it didn’t matter anymore.

When he left his room with his bag the dryer was going off. He caught Miles going into the laundry room and Altair grabbed the big water container to fill from the purifier attached to the sink. Miles didn’t come out to change, he just changed right in the laundry room. “I put the clothes you gave me in the washer,” he said when he came back out.

“Thanks,” Altair said.

“Thanks for washing my clothes,” he said even as he pulled at the collar of his shirt to both pull it out and attempt to hide the huge fucking hickey Altair had given him. There was no hiding it though. It was gigantic and Altair was a little proud. Altair just shrugged. “Clay should be here any minute so uh… I’m just gonna grab my shoes and wait for him outside.”

“If you want,” Altair said and didn’t stop Miles when he did just that. Altair listened for the car and turned off the tap when the container was full enough. A car came and Altair heard it drive off a moment later.

Altair sighed a little. Well that hadn’t gone too badly and he hadn’t freaked out like the first time. So good news was he could function around Desmond. That was good to know. He really wished it wasn’t just a one-night stand thing. Or maybe they should have more of those. Because fuck he really wished he could do things he saw his friends do with their boyfriends and girlfriends. Even if it wasn’t a boyfriend it was more appropriate to be more friendly to someone you actually knew and didn’t just fuck.

He shook his head a little and went back into the laundry room. He tossed the rest of the clothes into the dryer and turned it on. Then he went out back to his dock where his gramps’ boat was. He grabbed his spear gun and flippers from the storage box and went back inside. He scooped up his bag and water jug and texted Ezio ‘omw’ as he locked the door on his way out.

Chapter Text

Altair didn’t get Christmas. Well he did but he didn’t. His gramps was Muslim, he was raised Muslim. Didn’t practice that much anymore but he knew enough about it to be an expert and had read the Quran front to back like half a dozen times. So the whole huge big deal Christians made about Christmas just didn’t apply to him. Altair and Azrael didn’t celebrate Christmas but his grandpa still liked to get him a gift during the holiday break, mainly so he had something to say when his otherwise Christmas celebrating friends all talked about their presents. Even though that didn’t make a whole lot of sense since half of Altair’s friends were also Muslim and didn’t celebrate Christmas either. He supposed it was the thought that counted though.

For him Christmas was a time to just not do anything. He got to sit home, by himself, all day, and do whatever he wanted, like read, or write, or go swimming. It was fantastic and there was no social obligations and he could not wait. Malik had also been badgering Altair about just trying to hang out with Miles over break instead of being an absolute weenie and only seeing him during tutoring or when he texted him to fuck. He was still sort of stunned he had a booty call and Malik had laughed at him for a good twenty minutes when he’d told him. Not what he’d wanted out of the entire thing, not at all, but he wasn’t really complaining.

Altair was reading on his phone. Some really trashy thing he was embarrassed he even read but he just couldn’t put it down. It was super sappy and romantic and no one knew he read this kinda stuff. Like literally no one. He would die if someone knew. Not the first time he’d read the story either. He’d read it like six times, it was just his favorite. Today had been the last day of school and he planned on binge reading for a few days while he didn’t have school or football practice since spring practice wouldn’t start up again till March. Not that he had to go, but usually the exiting seniors practiced with the JV team to beat them into shape a bit.

An alert popped up on his phone. Though less of an alert and more of just a reminder. He had one set for every Friday because he was stupid and liked to be reminded to think about his weird fucking love life that was more of a sex life than love life. It was just a picture of Miles, sleeping, that he’d taken the week before. Honestly Altair just liked having a new cute picture of Desmond as much as he did having sex with him once a week or so. He rolled over onto his back and pulled up his text messages. He had like five unread, all from his friends, and he was so not interested in looking at them. Instead he selected Miles’ conversation.

'You busy?' He waited a few seconds and when Miles didn’t answer right away he sulked a bit. He was probably busy that was all. Busy or having dinner. Shit. Altair needed to make dinner and he realized it was like seven and he’d had nothing since lunch because he’d been so engrossed in this story he literally couldn’t put down.

Altair took his phone with him, scrolling and going back to his story, while he walked to the kitchen to find some leftovers. His gramps had made meat loaf the other day and there was still some left over. He threw some and some perfectly sized red potatoes into the microwave. He was eating when Miles texted him back.

‘Why?’

Altair texted back immediately, 'I'm bored.' Only kinda lie. Bored, and he honestly just wanted an excuse to see Miles’ cute face and touch his penis. Altair smiled dumbly to himself. He really liked Miles’ penis.

‘How is that my problem?’

‘Come over and alleviate it?’ Honestly Miles could just come over and exist and Altair would be thrilled. Probably wouldn’t be too exciting for Miles or make him too happy to just sit there for Altair to stare at, but Altair did not what did make him happy.

‘And just what does that entail?’

Altair rolled his eyes. ‘You know.’

'I can't spend the night.'

Altair frowned at his phone. Couldn’t spend the night? Then what the fuck was the point? He wanted a new picture. Still he supposed beggars couldn’t be choosers and he’d rather see Miles than not. ‘Okay.’ ‘Coming over or not?’

Altair had to wait again. God damnit he hated waiting. At the very least it let him finish his dinner, sulking and not looking at his phone. Why didn’t Miles wanna spend the night? He knew he liked sleeping in Altair’s bed after sex. He did it all the time.

After a few minutes he got a text back. ‘I’ll be there in a few minutes.’

Altair looked down at himself. Well, he needed to not be wearing a ratty pair of pajamas and an Avatar: the Last Airbender t-shirt. Wasn’t a good look. He quickly ate the rest of his dinner and put the dishes away before going to change. He was literally still trying to figure out what was ‘too much’ or ‘just casual enough’ when the doorbell rang. He ended up just throwing on a boring polo and jeans and getting the door. “You got here quick,” Altair said.

Miles winced a bit. So he knew he’d shown up way too quick and eager. Okay at least they were both aware that Miles was the way thirstier one of the two of them. So long as they could independently agree on that Altair was fine. “Uh…” stalling. He took off his backpack and opened it up. “These are for you,” he pulled out a plastic bin and held it out to him.

Altair looked at the bin and took it slowly, turning it to look at what was in it. “You brought me Christmas cookies? You realize I’m a Muslim right?” This was weird. Like Miles knew this was weird right? Not that Altair didn’t appreciate the cookies or anything but it seemed culturally insensitive to give a Muslim Christmas cookies. Not to mention being given a box of cookies out of nowhere was kinda weird. Altair only ate Christmas cookies when he went over to Ezio’s and Maria baked herself into a frenzy. But he didn’t take them home with him.

“They’re from my mom,” Miles said and scratched his neck awkwardly. "I told her I was going to Clay's and she told me to take them with me so... cookies." He sounded guilty about it. For lying to his parents or for giving Altair the cookies and not Kaczmarek Altair had no idea. Probably both.

Well at the very least he could be appreciative. It was the first time Miles had ever given him anything. “Hmm, they don’t look too bad.” They were kinda cute actually and had sprinkles on them and were in Christmassy shapes like reindeer and snowmen and a Santa hat. They had just the absolute minimum of frosting decoration on them too, like Mrs. Miles had wanted to go all out but realized it was a lot of work and Altair was getting a second or third batch where she couldn’t be bothered to put in as much effort as the first batch. He didn’t blame her. Decorating baking was a fucking nightmare. Still it was nice she put the effort in anyway.

“My mom made them, they’re amazing,” Desmond informed him.

“Okay. I’ll eat them later,” he wasn’t super into sweets. No one else was allowed to eat them though. He wanted to eat them cause Miles had given them to him. He nodded for Miles to follow him inside and closed the door.

“I have to be home before midnight,” Miles said as Altair went to put the bin in the fridge so the humidity wouldn’t get to them.

“Okay,” Altair said.

“So… what’d you have in mind?” Miles was positively nervous again. Altair thought they were over this part.

Altair looked him over. Fuck he looked so hot in that leather jacket it was criminal. Leather jacket and jeans was a classic, good, look. Bit of helmet hair but that was unavoidable. Altair would have to pull on it some to make it ‘right’. The more he thought about it the more excited he got. All at once he went from only mild interest about any sort of bedroom activities to really into it. Like Miles around just flipped a switch in him and suddenly he just really wanted to get Miles naked on his bed. “I have some ideas.”

Miles swallowed, nervous and excited too now. “Gonna share?”

Altair went over to him and he saw how Miles got all flustered when he unzipped his jacket very slowly. “I think I can be convinced to explain it to you.” He could see it in his eyes, he was into it, and any nerves Miles had just evaporated. Altair loved that, that yeah Miles was sometimes really awkward and nervous in Altair’s house but as soon as he knew he was getting laid it was like nothing else mattered. And Malik called Altair thirsty. He’d obviously never spent even a nanosecond looking at Miles. The kid made Altair look well hydrated. “You have a good argument?”

“I mean, we both know I have a smart mouth,” Miles said. “I guess I need to remind you?”

“Uh-huh,” Altair said, hoping he didn’t sound too peaked himself. He had an image to maintain after all. “Though the kitchen floor isn’t good for your knees,” he said with a smirk and Miles flushes a bit. He zipped Miles’ jacket up a little bit so he could grab it easier and pull him towards his room.

Chapter Text

Christmas came, it went, and Altair didn’t even notice. It was sunny out, and warm, and he and Malik were out on his back deck. The others were there too but they were hanging out in the pool. He and Malik were sitting in the lawn chairs, separately reading on their Kindle and phone. Altair wasn’t a big swimmer and Malik wasn’t a bit rough houser outside of football. Which was what the others were doing. Ezio and Yusuf were grappling about while Leo sat on the edge cheering them on. Altair only looked up every now and then from what he was reading at them before just rolling his eyes. Morons.

Once Yusuf and Ezio were done trying to drown each other they settled down to actually relax. “So what are we doing for New Years?” Yusuf asked, hanging onto the side of the pool. He wore his hair back in the ponytail when he swam and he looked weird without his headband.

“We’re doing something for New Years?” Altair asked. He didn’t like the sound of that one bit.

“Got plans,” Malik said, not even looking up.

“Oh yeah? Like what?” Yusuf challenged. What could possibly be more important than hanging out with their friends for New Years?

“Me and Leo are going out.”

“We are?” Leo asked.

Malik looked up from his Kindle at his boyfriend, “Yes. Unless you had to do something?”

“No. That sounds fun,” Leo said, beaming. A rare thing nowadays it seemed. Malik seemed to do less and less that made Leo happy. Altair barely noticed. He just knew because Malik complained to him that Leo sometimes got on his nerves and he seemed to be saying nothing right lately. Which led to very few bright Leo smiles for Malik.

“See, busy,” Malik said, immediately ignoring Yusuf again.

Yusuf blew a raspberry. “How about you Altair?” he asked. Altair just shrugged. “That isn’t an answer. Me and Ezio are going to watch the Conch drop. You coming?”

“Maybe.”

“He’ll come if we drag him,” Ezio said, leaning next to Yusuf. “You know how A is.”

“At least give me the dignity of my full name,” Altair huffed.

“You’re A when you’re annoying. Suck it up,” Ezio gave him a smart ass look and Altair glared. “Come down town with us. You won’t explode. Not like I don’t know you and Malik don’t go clubbing which is like the exact opposite of delicate wall flower.”

“Don’t make it sound like we’re clubbers Ezio,” Altair grimaced. “I only go so Malik doesn’t feel awkward when the drag queens hit on him.” Malik glanced at Altair out of the corner of his eye. They both knew they went clubbing so Altair could get laid and little else. Malik was a good fall guy though. Even if Leo didn’t like when Malik and he went out together. Mainly because he was never invited. Which would defeat the point of Malik being the only one who knew Altair was gay and unlike Malik Leo had a bit of a big mouth when it came to secrets.

“You still go out. So come out.”

“I’ll think about it,” Altair said.

“Uhg. You hear this Malik?” Ezio asked.

“Only because I have no choice right now,” Malik said boredly. His eyes hadn’t moved in the past two minutes or so, just trying to read the same three sentences over and over again while also actively listening.

“He listens to you for some reason than me. Which, fuck you Altair, we’ve been friends longer you should listen to me over Malik.”

Altair and Malik traded a look, “Why are white people so stupid Malik?” he asked in Arabic. Malik just shrugged. Yusuf was just as oblivious. He didn’t speak Arabic, he’d just never learned. “Thinking they know shit.”

Maybe if we keep this up they’ll go back to trying to kill each other,” Malik said blandly.

“Hey! Stop that you two. No fair,” Ezio scowled at them both.

“And that’s why I listen to Malik, and not you, Ezio,” Altair said and stuck out his tongue.

“Malik, tell Altair to stop being a spoiled sport,” Ezio insisted.

“I’ll think about it,” Malik had still not looked at any of them really, still trying to read his Kindle. Altair scowled at him.

“Pft, fine. Good enough I guess,” Ezio said. Then he and Yusuf swam away. Altair turned the other direction when Leo came over to Malik, touching his shoulders and chest and leaning down to maybe say something in his ear. He wasn’t a weirdo who watched his friends have moments with their partners. He dutifully went back to reading, ignoring everyone else.

Malik had spent the night. He did that when he was wanted to murder his younger brother but didn’t want to get arrested. Kadar was like Malik on steroids of completely fucking terrible human being, except unlike Kadar Malik didn’t try and hide the fact that he was an asshole. Kadar tricked everyone into thinking he was just this sweet little junior high student who never did anything wrong. Including his parents. Malik loved his brother but also wanted to fucking strangle him like three times a week. So he came over to Altair’s when Kadar was too fucking annoying to deal with another second.

Altair was making them breakfast. Malik was sitting at the bar texting Leo. Then at once he sighed and tossed the phone onto the counter. “Now what?” he asked Malik.

“Date’s canceled. Leo’s pissed off at me,” he said and rubbed his eyes.

“What’d you do?”

“Nothing!”

“You sure?”

“I think so? I just asked where he wanted to go and he got mad. Accused me of ‘lying about making plans’ or some fucking bullshit. Uhg,” he made a face.

“You two okay?”

“Fuck if I know at this point,” Malik groused. “Ever since I told him about joining the Marines after school he’s been so fucking pissy with me. About everything.”

“That sucks.”

“I was gonna have a nice date tonight and make up some ground maybe, but nope. Canceled. For fucking nothing. Why do I even bother, bro?”

“Because…? I dunno,” Altair shrugged. “I’m like the worst person to talk about relationships with, Malik.”

“Boy do I know that Mr. One Night Stand, and master of the booty calls.”

Altair flushed, “I don’t-

“Yeah yeah. Save it,” Malik waved it off.

“You can, y’know, rant at me if you want. Better than bottling it up.”

“That’s what you do.”

“Exactly.”

Malik sighed. “Maybe we should just break up?”

“Seriously? You’d break up with Leo? Do you not still like him?”

“I mean, I do,” Malik complained, “but all he does it stress me out now. Oh what am I gonna say that accidentally makes him upset this time? Like I just wanted to know where he wanted to go out and now he’s mad at me. Uhg,” he folded his arms.

“Sorry,” Altair said. “Spending the night again then?”

“I guess,” Malik moped. “We could go out though. Ezio and Yusuf are going.”

“Eh,” Altair shrugged, rinsing some mushrooms for the sauce he was making.

“You should definitely go out.”

“I would really rather not,” Altair said. “I enjoy having to not spend every day with those two. They exhaust me.”

Malik laughed, “Yeah. They can. Why not invite Miles?”

Altair nearly cut himself while chopping the mushrooms. “That is a terrible idea,” he said.

“No,” Malik said. “I think it’d be a good idea. Why haven’t you just asked him out yet?”

“Do I look like a guy who dates to you?”

“I mean just cause you’re fucking easy doesn’t mean-

“I’m not easy!” Altair cried, insulted.

“Its an excuse, bro,” Malik said. “That is exactly what you need for him. I’m tired of you moping about and complaining to me.”

“You like that I complain to you. Makes you feel important,” Altair gave him a look.

“I mean… okay,” Malik agreed at a stretch. “But still. You need an excuse to see him out of the context of random banging. I think it’d be good for you.”

“That is an awful idea,” Altair said again.

“Just fucking do it. My god,” Malik huffed. “Stop being a fucking weenie and pining over this guy. Who you still don’t even talk to outside of tutoring.”

“Tutoring I don’t need,” Altair reminded him.

“Yeah you do. You need it to talk to him otherwise you’d spontaneously combust from all the bottle gay,” Malik teased him. Altair scowled at him.

“That is still your fault,” Altair said, using his knife to point at Malik.

“I made it happen, yeah, you can thank me later. And you better do something soon.”

“Why?” Altair blinked at him.

“Snow birds are coming for school next semester. Who knows who’s gonna show up and be like ‘oh that Miles kid is hot’ and ask him out before you. Then you’ll really be shit out of luck.”

Altair stared at him. He hadn’t even thought of that. That someone else would just figure out what Altair already knew, that Miles was a nice guy, pretty cute, and totally single and available. “I dunno,” Altair said, looking away.

“I’ll text him if you want,” Malik said.

“I dunno.” Malik just huffed but said nothing. He’d said his piece. He knew not to push anymore or Altair would just totally shut down. Altair went back to making their late breakfast in silence. Malik went back to playing with his phone.

Later, after it had gotten dark and later, and Altair had had time to really think about what the fuck he was gonna do, he came to a conclusion. He and Malik weren’t going downtown, but were watching the ball drop in New York City on the wall screen. Though they both had smaller screens in front of him. Altair tossed his phone over to land on Malik’s stomach with a grunt.

“What?” Malik asked, looking at him.

“You text him,” Altair said.

Malik blinked, not understanding. Then he understood. “If I do you are agreeing to go down to Duval,” Malik said.

“Yeah, sure fine, whatever,” Altair said, trying not to think about it. So long as he didn’t dwell on this shit he wouldn’t freak out.

“Okay,” Malik opened Altair’s messaging app. “He under anything?”

“Uh, you’ll see,” Altair said.

Malik laughed, “That’s kinda adorable,” Malik told him with a smile. “You and your damn emojis.” Then Malik typed something out. “And sent.”

“What’d you say?”

“You busy?”

“Don’t just text that,” Altair smacked his shoulder. “That’s what I ask if he wants to come over.”

“Well, don’t you?”

“We’re you the one who told me to spend real life time with him?”

“I guess you’re right. Meaning I was right,” Malik agreed. He texted something else. “Asked him if he wanted to go watch the Conch drop. That better?”

“Yes,” Altair said.

Then, they waited. At first Altair wasn’t worried, then minutes started to tick by and he started to get more and more anxious. Malik was looking at something on his phone, not keyed into Altair who was regretting letting Malik anywhere near his phone. Why had he let that happen? He shouldn’t have let Malik do that. Desmond probably thought he was weird for asking that. Why would he even wanna spend time with Altair anyway? They had a strictly physical thing going on and no way Desmond would wanna just ‘hang out’ with a jock and his friends. That would have been bizarre for everyone. Not to mention if his friends saw he’d have to explain it and then it could get awkward and-

His phone dinged. Malik picked it up. “What’d he say?” Altair asked.

“He said: I'm in South Dakota till the end of break. Can’t.”

“Oh,” Altair said. He realized he should have remembered that. Desmond had told him that twice. He’d never felt so relieved and simultaneously disappointed though.

“Well, too bad.” Malik handed his phone back to Altair. “Try again at something when he comes back.”

“Right,” Altair said, staring at the texts. He felt really let down for some reason. He didn’t know why he’d expected anything. ‘Okay’ he texted back. Then he put his phone to the side and didn’t really focus on anything for a while until midnight rolled around and could focus on the New Year.

Chapter Text

Altair was running a bit late for class. First day from winter break and he was running late. Perfect. He’d made a mess for breakfast and had to rush out of the house after cleaning up. He still ended up being late though. He was walking to his class as one of the last few people in the breeze way. As he was headed to class he noticed, because he really couldn’t help but notice, a girl standing off to the side, staring down at a card in her hand like it was a treasure map. What was odd about this girl was that she was probably the brightest thing Altair had ever seen. Altair wasn’t even a little bi but the aesthetic. She was so cute in a dress with lace and buckle shoes and had a pink Hello Kitty backpack. He slowed and came to a stop next to her.

“Excuse me,” he said. She looked at him. “You new?”

She smiled sheepishly. “What was the hint?” He pointed at the card in her hand. “Oh, yeah. I can’t remember where to go. Could you help me?”

“Yeah, sure,” Altair said and went over to her. The card had her schedule printed on it. “You’re in my class,” he said.

“I am? Well isn’t that lucky!”

“Well there’s only one AP Calculus class in the school,” Altair said. “C’mon, we’re late anyway.”

“Thanks for showing me,” she said. “I’m Aveline by the way.”

“Altair,” he said, being friendly but really just wanted to get to class. Calculus was his least favorite and he just wanted to get it over with.

He showed her into the pod area and to the room. They entered and half the class looked at them, the other half ignored them. Their teacher scowled disapprovingly at Altair. Mrs. Lopez loved Altair, he was her straight A student who was never late and while he never raised his hand if she needed someone to come up to the board ‘randomly’ to solve a problem Altair would usually get it right.

“Sorry,” he said, hunching a bit and retreated to his seat. Malik wasn’t in his Calc class. Malik hated math and thought Altair was a lunatic for taking AP Calculus.

Aveline introduced herself to Mrs. Lopez and was told to find a seat. She ended up not sitting next to him, but diagonally from him. Altair just got