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Do They Tremble

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It wasn't that Mark didn't care about personal hygiene; that had never been the issue. Mark liked to be freshly showered, he liked his teeth to be brushed, and he liked his hair to look like hair instead of Brillo Pad. It was just that, as per Mark's complex and (to lesser minds, at least) occasionally unjustifiable system of mental categorization, some things were necessities and others were luxuries. No one had ever died from having too many stains on his sweatpants.

Presumably, anyway.

Eduardo nodded along in agreement when Mark explained this to him via emphatic gestures and very small words, and then he said, with exaggerated enunciation, "You have not eaten in thirty-six hours."

Which was a firm and irrefutable argument, and Mark maybe felt sort of light-headed now.

"I need to get this program up the week before classes start," he said anyway. He'd had this conversation so many times, so many fucking times, and why was it that no one ever listened to him around here? "It's very important, Wardo, there's a limited window here. If I don't get this up in time, it becomes obsolete, and if it becomes obsolete, then I just spent the last week coding for recreation. Do you, I don't know, get that?"

"I hear what you're saying," said Eduardo. Mark pursed his lips, halfway certain he was being condescended to. "But if you don't ingest something soon, you're going to die."

"Don't be an idiot," said Mark.

"Have you developed a method of surviving without food?" asked Eduardo, sounding curious. Mark glowered at him.

"Are you mocking me?"

"Yes," Eduardo replied.

And really, how had he even gotten into the suite? "Did Chris invite you over?" asked Mark. Eduardo laughed. Mark added, waving a hand, "I could go at least two weeks, probably. I'm not sure because those studies tend to be inconclusive—"

"I wonder why."

He was getting the idea that this conversation hadn't been worth looking up from the computer to have. "If you were that concerned, you would have brought me food," he said, biting his thumbnail.

Eduardo squinted at him suspiciously. "And if I bring you food, you'll take a break from your life-changing programming—"

"Why would you—You're being condescending," Mark said, petulant. He grabbed a pen from his desk, tapping it against his raised knee. There was a ketchup stain directly above a frayed hole, and he aimed for the space between, wondering if he should burn these pants when all was said and done. "It is important, it'll potentially change—"

"—the way students connect with their friends," Eduardo finished for him. "Yeah, I've heard. It's impressive, I promise. So if I bring you pizza or something, you're going to eat it?"

Mark tapped the cap of the pen against his bottom lip now. "What kind of pizza are we talking about?" he asked.


"Yes, fine," Mark agreed, rolling his eyes. Feeling fairly assured the conversation had reached a stopping point, he spun his desk chair back to the computer and started typing, pen dangling from his teeth. At Eduardo's incredulous scoff, he grinned, and the pen jiggled, the vibrations tickling his lip.

Of course, however, he couldn't be held responsible for unforeseen developments, and by the time Eduardo returned with a paper bag under his arm, Mark could only wave him away, desperate not to lose his train of thought.

"Mark," Eduardo said, dramatic and despairing. His fingers were buried in his hair, teasing it into unruly tufts. Mark's own fingers itched to leave his keyboard, to follow, but he couldn't quite decide if he wanted to smooth Eduardo's hair into place or muss it further, and anyway, he was busy. "This sandwich is for you," Eduardo told him, waving the half of a sandwich he'd wrapped neatly into a napkin. "It's a good sandwich, I promise. I went all the way downtown to get it. Please, for the love of christ, eat the sandwich."

"Wardo," he said, saving with a keystroke. "Eduardo. I'm in the middle of—this is a critical part of the process, okay? I know you don't understand, just take my word for it. I need to—"

A warm hand caught his jaw. He stopped mid-sentence in shock at the jolt of unexpected contact, blinking hard to clear his blurring world. Eduardo held his face still, fingertips pressing into Mark's skin gingerly as he crouched before him.

"Mark," he said. "I will feed this to you. Is that what you want? Because I will do that for you."

Mark dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, tonguing at it nervously and frowning. "Has anyone ever told you you sound uncomfortably sincere?" he asked. His chin knocked into Eduardo's palm on every word.

"I'm sincere," Eduardo assured him. "I'm very sincere. Just say the word."

It had been too long since Mark had slept, too long since he'd eaten, his head too light for his shoulders now, code scrolling past each time he closed his eyes. There was no part of this exchange that did not leave him vaguely bewildered, and he couldn't think to work it out. Did Eduardo want to feed him? That probably wasn't normal, but it sounded appealing, almost. He could keep typing, and if he could keep typing, maybe he could finish, maybe he could stumble the two feet to his bed and pass out atop the sheets.

He cocked an eyebrow, willing to see how far Eduardo would take this. Eduardo set the sandwich on Mark's knee and leaned in.

It was difficult to breathe with Eduardo close enough that his exhales tickled Mark's cheek. Mark swayed into him unconsciously, swallowing when Eduardo steadied him with a hand to his shoulder. He held Mark securely, kept him upright by that one point of contact. With his free hand, he twisted off a piece of sandwich, and then he brought it up to Mark's mouth, his fingers just brushing Mark's lips.

"Open your mouth," he said. Mark did.

He popped it in and retracted his hand, eyes downcast. Mark chewed automatically, nodding at Eduardo when he realized it was grilled chicken. It could have been made of the hopes and dreams of the unwashed masses at this point, for all Mark cared. He bit down on a slice of tomato and licked his lips, swallowing.

Eduardo had torn off another piece in the interim, but he hovered uncertainly instead of feeding it to Mark. Mark squinted at him, wondering if his cheeks were pink. "Is this—you wanna feed yourself now?" Eduardo asked.

Mark jutted his chin forward and crossed his arms. "No."

"Okay," said Eduardo faintly, as if maybe he were talking to himself and not to Mark at all. Mark titled his head and waited, parting his lips when Eduardo pressed the next piece of sandwich to them.

The tip of his index finger slid into Mark's mouth. Mark's tongue flicked over it, grazing the nail, and Eduardo made a noise like he'd choked on his own breath. He pulled it out with a slick pop.

And Mark—well, all at once, Mark was hard in his sweatpants, dick straining, rubbing against the fleece lining because he'd forgone boxers when Chris gone on strike against dealing with Mark's laundry. He fought the urge to grind his palm against it, to squirm in his seat, and instead held Eduardo's gaze, aware he was issuing a challenge but utterly unsure what that challenge was. He chewed, deliberate and slow.

Eduardo fed him another bite. This time he rested his fingers against Mark's lips as Mark chewed. They tickled, and Mark went warm all over, the rise and fall of his chest embarrassingly uneven.

The fingers fell away once Mark finished chewing, stroking Mark cheek, Eduardo's thumb tracing to and fro across Mark's lips in soft, slow sweeps. Mark gave into the urge to nibble at it, tonguing it and sucking it into his mouth. Eduardo groaned, tossed his head back. He'd flushed to the tips of his ears, his throat working furiously.

He sat back when Mark—with great reluctance, for the record—relinquished his thumb, falling back on his ass ungracefully and resting on his elbows. He was hard, obscenely so. Mark palmed his own erection through his sweatpants in a kind of aching, awkward solidarity and then slid out of the chair. And then—and then he couldn't bring himself to move, suspended in time as he scowled at the carpet by Eduardo's left knee. The crease in Eduardo's pants was ruined, and didn't that just serve him right, how old did he even think he was? Mark heard him cough and scowled harder. Gathered his courage and crawled toward him.

"Watch the sandwich," said Eduardo, his voice cracking. Mark rolled his eyes and nudged the napkin with his knee, ignoring Eduardo's grumble of disapproval. It was Mark's room anyway, after all.

Eduardo's eye went wide when Mark straddled him, his ass dragging over Eduardo's cock through the fabric of their pants. "Oh, shit," he said, hands soaring up to rest on Mark's hips. "Oh god, are you—Mark. Mark," he repeated, a bit frantically, "you didn't finish your dinner."

Mark tensed, going up on his knees. Eduardo's hips pumped with him and then fell, his head thumping back against the carpet. "You've had three girlfriends," said Mark, holding himself above Eduardo. He thighs twinged. "At Harvard you've had three girlfriends, obviously, since I met you, not—I don't know how many girlfriends you've had in total, that doesn't matter. Of those three, two were Asian and one was ethnically ambiguous—"

"Ethnically ambiguous," Eduardo echoed, managing to make it into a protest. Mark huffed.

"But, unanimously," he said, "not one of them had a cock. So the logical conclusion would be that cock isn't something you're looking for in a, whatever, a partner."

"Are you asking if I'm interested in you?" said Eduardo. He gawked up at Mark like Mark was speaking in tongues or something, and that was just—seriously unreasonable.

"Well, generally, yes, when you sit on someone's dick and they ask about your eating habits, you have to wonder if they're really all that into you," he said caustically. Eduardo burst into startled laughter.

"Yeah, you're right, just—" He managed to shrug against the ground. "Sorry."

"Are we... good?" Mark asked.

Eduardo hesitated, biting at his own tongue. "Will you go to sleep after this?"

"You're seriously trying to bribe me?" asked Mark, dubious and indignant and still much too hard to be having this conversation, or any conversation at all, for that matter.

Eduardo seemed to think about it, and then he nodded. "Yeah. Yes."

Rolling his eyes, Mark said, "Whatever."

With a snicker, Eduardo yanked him back down, and Mark's protesting thighs gave out. He tipped dangerously, just narrowly avoiding rewarding Eduardo with an elbow to the nose, and muttered, "Shit." But Eduardo just wrapped his hands around Mark's waist and slid him down until he was back where he'd started, Eduardo's dick sliding against his ass. He took a moment to be thankful neither of them was endeared to denim and pumped his hips, rubbing himself back against Eduardo's prick.

"Oh, jesus," Eduardo moaned. He lifted Mark by his hips and pumped up, and that was—nice, that was really fucking good, actually, but Mark wanted—

He grabbed Eduardo's left hand and hunched closer, sucked the knuckle of Eduardo's index finger into his mouth as Eduardo got himself off against Mark's ass. Mark's dick was so hard it hurt, and it twitched when he tongued Eduardo's finger again, let Eduardo slide it properly into his mouth this time. He hollowed his cheeks and sucked, whining high in his throat and pumping his own hips. Eduardo's right hand still guided him up and down, clenching against his hip.

"Mark, fuck," Eduardo breathed. He squeezed his eyes shut and surged up against Mark one more time as he came, and Mark sucked harder at his finger and ground back, loving the feel of Eduardo in his mouth, the ache of him pressing hard against Mark's lip.

He kept licking even when Eduardo's hips twitched away from the pressure of his ass against them, kept at it until Eduardo sat up and said, "I wanna—" And then he flipped Mark over, settled him back on his elbows, and shoved his hand into the waistband of his pants. Mark swore under his breath and strained up into the touch.

Eduardo jacked him off with a practised confidence Mark would be sure to subtly interrogate him about later. His fingers scrambled against Eduardo's chest until, frustrated and out of breath, he jerked Eduardo in by his shirt and fastened his mouth to Eduardo's neck. He sucked and nibbled as Eduardo stroked him, the slick sound of it all loud and beautiful to Mark's ears. And then when Mark's vision was whiting out around the edges, he tugged Mark up with a hand in his curls and slid his thumb into Mark's mouth, and Mark came against his own stomach, hands tangled inside Eduardo's fleece jacket, trying in vain to find bare skin.

Eduardo collapsed next to him in a tangle of long limbs. Without giving it much though, Mark leaned over and sucked Eduardo's bottom lip into his mouth, gave it a nip, and then rolled into him, tossed an arm over Eduardo's chest and buried his nose in the crook of Eduardo's neck. After a moment, Eduardo's arm wrapped around Mark's waist and snaked under his t-shirt, the fingers of other hand playing with the curls at the nape of Mark's neck.

"Hey," he said suddenly. "Do you think Dustin heard that?"

"I don't give a shit," Mark mumbled, because he'd happily give Dustin a repeat performance in a few hours if Eduardo would only shut the hell up and let him sleep right now, on the carpet in front of his desk with come drying on his stomach, Eduardo's nail tracing letters against his skin.

He drifted off to the sound of Eduardo's laughter.