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Coffee and Fruit Snacks

Chapter Text

A rough week, with nights spent under his desk at work, was finally at an end. It was Friday and everything would stop until Monday. No more take-out lunches and cold left-over dinners from the breakroom fridge. He was getting home-cooked meals all weekend, even if he had to make them himself. Which he usually did. Because his lover, bless his artistic heart, would completely forget to feed them.

So when Jack stepped over the livingroom threshold and found Pitch, dear lord, right there at his writing desk, coffee mugs stacked three high, looking like a deer in the headlights with one of those stupid dried fruit strips literally hanging from between his lips, he wasn’t even a little bit surprised.

Jack closed his eyes for a second, dropped his head in his hand, then dared to ask on a sigh, “Did you even eat dinner? You know, real food?”

But he already knew the answer.

 

 

Chapter Text

Pitch was lost to an artistic trance. Ideas flowed like water, words coming to mind as easy as speech. Whole pages were flying by, concepts turned to language turned to literature by the mere movements of his hands-

There was a terrible beeping coming from the kitchen. Jack's damn alarm. He was long gone to work by the time Pitch woke up, but left plenty for Pitch to remember him by, some reminders less annoying than others. That fucking alarm. Pitch ignored it. He was on a roll and it would be a crime to stop now-

He couldn't ignore it. It was terrible. Jack picked it because it was terrible. With a growl, Pitch threw himself out of his chair and into the kitchen, heading straight for the incessant beeping to shut it off. He turned around to storm right back to his desk, but...

But he was already in the kitchen. His flow was already disrupted. And his stomach was growling. Making a detour to the fridge, Pitch plucked out one of many conveniently meal-sized leftovers that Jack had made over the weekend. They would last about half the week before Pitch would run out and resort to snacks. Which reminded him, he needed more of those cute little shark-shaped fruit gummies...

And so began another Tuesday.

 

 

Chapter Text

Pitch was here for his morning cheesecake filled, sugar-coated pastry of choice. It was cheap food and cheaper coffee, but if he wanted anything better, he would have to leave campus and that just wasn’t happening. Not every morning. Not every semester. Frankly, Pitch Black was far too lazy for that. He barely made it here as it was.

"What the fuck is a fancy?"

Testament to his abilities prior to coffee, Pitch had no idea someone had walked up next to him. He looked like an undergrad, but Pitch had been fooled before. He could have been up all night in a lab and didn’t have to teach today. That would explain the rumpled hoodie and severely injured jeans. But undergrad was much more likely. Especially if he was not already fluent in to-go coffee shop menu lingo.

"It's one of the special twisty long ones with cream inside,” Pitch answered, using his fingers to illustrate the shape.

His peer did not seem impressed, "...What the fuck did you just do with your fingers?"

"Gesture?"

A dark eyebrow rose, which struck Pitch as odd and he didn’t know why until he realized the rest of his hair was pale. Maybe he needed an extra shot in his coffee this morning. "That wasn't a gesture. That was a dirty sexual descriptor. But seriously, what the fuck is a fancy?"

Pitch promptly gave up on this conversation. He was not looking to get called a sexual predator this early in the morning, "Anything on the top row."

They fell into silence, pondering the menu anew. Pitch already knew what he was getting, it didn’t change much from day to day, but for some reason beyond his understanding, he wanted to wait and make sure this stranger safely navigated the donuts and didn’t just say fuck it and leave.

"You ever have days where you're like, ‘fuck it, I'm not gonna take in anything today. I should just sleep,’ but you know that even if you only take in, like, fifteen percent of what you hear, you'll still need that fifteen percent more than you need the sleep?"

Pitch was a little weirded out at how accurate his internal thoughts were. Clearly, the rumpled hoodie and injured jeans were not merely fashion. Perhaps he needed the coffee more than Pitch.

"...No, I definitely love my major more than that.” Also, Pitch regularly ditched his classes. If he didn’t feel up to it, he didn’t go. Which wasn’t to say he didn’t miss anything; his professors knew their stuff, they just never minded if he stopped by the office to catch up later. It was a split second, heat of the moment decision that had him saying, “I am going to buy you a fucking fancy."

It made very little sense to Pitch when that declaration was not met with joy, but a sort of tortured, torn look. The pale-haired… teen? looked up at the menu, then tilted his head the rest of the way back and groaned, "...Ugh, God, fuck, I don't even like this place. Why can't I afford a dorm?"

To be fair, Pitch shared the sentiment, except, "How would a dorm make this better?"

The stranger was very forthcoming with his reasoning, "’Cause then I could just make myself pancakes."

Everything within Pitch stopped at those words. Pancakes? Homemade pancakes? "Seriously?” He couldn’t help the tone of incredulity. Who would choose to cook over instant food? But it did re-fuel Pitch’s urge to buy this person breakfast. He stepped up to the counter, “Two large coffees, a Bavarian cream twist, and a strawberry sugar braid and I think I'll keep you,” Pitch said as he turned and faced the stranger again.

"What?” He sounded more perplexed than shocked, “Keep me?"

"Yes,” And it wasn’t strange at all how badly Pitch wanted him to agree. There was the chance he sucked at cooking, but it probably wasn’t any worse than this place and Pitch wouldn’t have to make it here to have his shitty-but-likely-not breakfast, “I have a dorm and you are welcome to it so long as you make enough pancakes for me to have some."

The stranger seemed hesitant, reluctant, but… agreeable, maybe even hopeful? Pitch was hopeful. "Are you for real? You don't even know me."

Pitch gently pressed one of the coffee cups into his hands, a symbol for their deal, ready to be sealed.

"I'm about to know you."

Chapter Text

“Pitch, I need you to fund the installation of paintball guns on the front of my car.”


 Jack knew and accepted that Pitch was eccentric. It came with the whole artist/writer/spoiled rich kid/refusing to grow up thing. He didn’t mind. Jack wasn’t perfect, either. But Pitch did trip him up sometimes, like now, when he stepped into the livingroom to discover that Pitch’s already odd collection of antique and unique birdcages, minus the birds because Pitch was terrible at keeping anything alive and he didn’t want to risk it with a real pet nor did he care to clean up after anything and the noise would drive him crazy in a flash, looked to have quadrupled over-fucking-night.

His lover was in the process of installing yet another hook in the ceiling to hang a shiny copper cage with accents the colors of sunsets (It may be a weird collection, but Pitch had excellent taste,) when he looked over his shoulder and explained, “They had a sale.”


Jack carefully compared the pictures on his phone of the shattered… vase-thing that was no longer in the living room to the photos in the listing online, then scrolled over to the price tag and…

Groaned helplessly, burying his face in his arms. So much for replacing it before Pitch noticed it was gone.


It was in no way unusual for Jack to find the sink stacked artfully with dishes on Friday night. Which made it a Saturday chore to deal with it. Jack had the sleeves of his hoodie rolled up, the dishwasher nearly full, and the sink completely empty when he turned back to rinse off his hands and Pitch appeared at his shoulder with one more plate, “Sorry.”

That was alright. The dishwasher wasn’t full yet and his hands were still covered in whatever it was Pitch had last night, so he bent down, slid the plate into place, stood back up and found one more bowl in the bottom of the sink.

“Oh, come on!”


Pitch groaned, gesturing almost wide enough to smack Jack in the face from the passenger seat as he pulled into, then through, yet another parking spot, “Oh my God, Jack, just fucking park.”

“Not yet.”

“Why not?”

Jack shrugged, unable to explain and not caring to try, as he drove past a spot he didn’t like.

Pitch buried his face in his hands as if that would block it all out, but the desperate need to get out of the car wouldn’t leave him and he had to pick it back up and say something, “Jack, we’re going to be late. What was wrong with the last five spots?”

Jack was unapologetic, “It didn’t feel right.”

“This is why I like to stay home.” 


Pitch eyed the sopping book in his hand impassively. Jack had warned him about the whole book shelf-fish tank proximity thing but it would just be his luck that the first piece of literature to die would belong to Jack. That took it from an, ‘I told you so,’ situation to a, ‘Damn it, Pitch, why don’t you ever listen to me?’ and one of those was always so much worse than the other.

The book wasn’t even that important. Jack never read it. He just had his name on the inside cover.

So Pitch merely shook the water off, patted it dry, slid it back into place on the shelf, and promptly, purposefully, forgot all about it. Jack never needed to know.


The problem with liking tea but also being absent minded was that Pitch had a terrible tendency to over-steep his tea. He would heat the water with the microwave because anything slower was intolerable (and resulted in all of the water boiling away,) then put a tea bag in the cup and immediately forget to take it with him from the kitchen once his mind had determined the tea needed time alone to steep that was not regulated by a digital clock with an alarm attached.

But he didn’t have the patience to try again, so sometimes he just over-sweetened the tea to cover it up, like today. Today, Pitch picked up the sugar shaker and held it over his cup for a handful of seconds before stirring it in and taking a sip.

...He knows he picked up the sugar because it’s a very distinct container but all he tasted was...

Salt.

“Fuck,” He cursed aloud, yelling into the other room at his damned lover who always did this and Pitch had no idea why because, “That isn’t funny, Jack!”

But all he heard back was delighted cackling and a cheerful, unapologetic, “Yes, it is!”


“Jack, we need a new ceiling fan.”

“Why, what’s wrong with it?”

“It’s missing.”

…”What?”


Jack was long gone to work before Pitch woke up. He slid out of bed, took one step into the hall, and… heard a tweet?

Followed by another. It seemed every step Pitch took was trailed by a high-pitched chirp until the whole apartment was filled with the sounds of bird song, except it was always the same, every chirp the same tone, same length, same pitch, same everything, obviously mechanized and totally fake and oh God, so annoying.

By the time he made it to the living room, he was thoroughly done with the noise and he hadn’t even figured out where it was….

Oh God.

Seriously?

Pitch’s eyes widened as he took in the sight of every single one of his precious bird cages housing the horrid, demonic, furby-like creation that was the Perfect Polly.

When Jack arrived home later, it was to the distressed sounds of a tormented man, who looked upon him with wide, terrified eyes and cried desperately, “How do you turn them off?”

Jack couldn’t answer. He was laughing too hard.


“What happened to my book?!”

Pitch didn’t run, per se, he was just out of the door in seconds.

Chapter Text

“Um.”

Pitch’s attention was immediately… half on Jack. The other half was doing research. And by research, Pitch meant he was utterly lost on Wikipedia and loving it. “Yeah?”

“I know I’m just sleeping on your couch…”

“Uh huh,” Pitch automatically replied.

“And that this is a temporary situation, in general…”

Not if Pitch had anything to say about it. Jack turned out to be an excellent cook.

“And that I’m not really supposed to be leaving my stuff here, because I have a place and all…”

Pitch nearly snorted aloud. Jack barely had any stuff to speak of.

“But there has got to be a better place for my clothes than the dining table.”

...That was a good point. Pitch’s eyes shifted sideways to look and sure enough, more than half of the thing was covered in freshly washed, neatly folded clothes. Somehow, the clothes made it here but never made it back home. When Jack said some off-hand thing about taking a load to the cleaners, he’d dropped rolls of quarters on the kid and told him about the laundry room downstairs and apparently eliminated his need to leave campus altogether. Or something.

“So grab a drawer and fill it,” Pitch shrugged and went back to his laptop.

Which meant he missed Jack’s flat stare entirely as the unimpressed teen worked through the logistics of this.

There was, in fact, a second bedroom in the dorm, because every living space on campus was intended to be shared, but Pitch bought both slots because he wanted to live alone (So much for that.) It had no furniture in it, however, save the bedframe and bare mattress, because Pitch did not actually need a second bedroom. The dining table was a terrible place to pile his clothes, yes, but it was better than the floor of an empty room.

The bathroom was so stuffed with things, Jack was surprised a human still fit in there to use it.

Pitch had a couple dressers in his room, and Jack could probably shuffle things around to fit his clothes in, but… Jack’s face turned red and he stopped thinking about it.

Which left the only other living space in the dorm.

And so Jack’s first drawer in Pitch’s place was in the fucking kitchen.



It took Pitch a week to realize some pots had been moved.

Chapter Text

Pitch’s face was buried in the surface of the table, fingers tangled in his hair. The frustration rolled off of him in waves and even Jack, coming back from a class wherein he just learned all the project planning he was doing was useless because the professor changed the parameters on a whim, felt bad for him.

It was hard to tell how serious of an issue it was. Pitch sometimes reacted like this to running out of tea, but it felt different this time. He wasn’t moaning about tea, for one. He was oddly quiet, save a distressed sigh here or there, and Jack approached cautiously to sit in the chair beside him.

“Everything okay?”

“No,” Pitch moaned moodily.

“What’s wrong?” Jack was terrible at this. He was usually the one things didn’t work out for and he didn’t have the luxury of many people who would try to comfort him. Nor did he have much practice at comforting. There was always someone else to handle it, and Jack hadn’t been close enough to anyone to insist on doing it himself.

“I have to retake a class.”

That actually didn’t sound bad at all. Jack’s had to retake a class once. Or twice. Did high school count? “Because you failed it?”

“Of course not!” Suddenly Pitch was upright, offense clear on his face. Jack did not mean to do that. It smoothed right back into cocky boredom, so Jack figured they were still okay. “I fucking aced it. But you see, I took it ten years ago and-”

“Wait, ten years ago?” Jack knew he was supposed to be comforting, but what the fuck? “How old are you?”

Pitch blinked, but answered without pause, “Twenty-six. Why, how old did you think I was?”

“Twenty…” Jack trailed off, his eyes unfocusing as they gazed at the table, back-counting and not quite believing himself, except it was just a matter of minus ten and a fourth grader can do that, “You’ve been in college since you were sixteen?”

“Earlier, technically,” Pitch answered in the same matter-of-fact tone he’d taken on since Jack started asking easy questions, “There was this thing called dual enrollment and I wanted to try it, and then I liked it, and then I hated high school, so I got my GED and flipped all my teachers off on my way out.”

“Literally?”

“Almost,” Pitch amended with a casual tilt of his head, “I liked my art teacher, so I tipped my top hat to her, instead. That is literal. I was actually wearing a top hat at the time and I did actually tip it.”

Jack sat in stunned silence for several seconds before he spoke in awe, “You’re incredible.”

“You’re incredible,” Pitch rolled his eyes, waving his hand dismissively, “I’m just a rich kid who likes college. Except right now. Right now I hate college. Credits are stupid anyway, and who wrote these rules?”

It took a moment for Jack to shake himself, but he did it, “It’s supposed to be a weight system. Why do you hate college? Why do you have to retake a class you aced,” and here Jack gave Pitch a pointed look, “ten years ago?”

“Apparently credits expire after ten years.” Pitch sounded very unimpressed with this.

“But you already got that degree,” Jack reasoned, “and you can get prereqs waived.”

“I didn’t get that degree,” Pitch corrected primly, “It was the graduate class that made me choose this masters, but it didn’t do anything for my bachelor’s, not really, but it is required for my masters, and it’s expiring.”

“How does that even work?” Jack cried before he could think better of it. Surely a part of comforting others was not getting worked up himself, “How did you take a graduate class at sixteen and what advisor let you do it and how… Is that how masters work?!”

“It had no prereqs and the system has no filter for freshmen taking five thousand level courses. The advisor I stopped going to when they said I would surely fail the class. And it actually depends on the university you attend, but here, at this one, as long as the credits are in my history, they count, no matter when I took them, as long as it was within ten years.”

Of course Pitch would, Jack thought. Of course. “Surely that can be waived, too.”

Pitch nodded miserably as he tilted forward and dropped his head back to the table, “That’s what I was told.”

“Then why are you upset?” This was a ray of hope. Why would the waiver be Pitch’s source of pain?

“Because nobody wants to tell me exactly who it is I need to get the waiver from,” He moaned, “I’m afraid it might be the advisor I told to fuck off back when I did it. And I have to get the form from… some office. One person said the registrar, one said advising, whatever. They want me to run all over campus to get one sheet of paper filed, and I don’t even know where I need to file it, all to waive the credit for a class I have the credits for so I can graduate, again, eventually.”

Two sentences in and Jack was already back on his feet. He knew instant cocoa wasn’t his best, but Pitch liked it when he added extra cocoa, extra cream, and those fake little marshmallows he found somewhere in bulk. He understood, now. Retaking the class would be less of a chore, Pitch was just too bored by the thought to do it. But the alternative involved paperwork, worse, paperwork he was responsible for, that he had to plan to get filled out, that nobody would care about but him if he didn’t deal with it.

That was, like, seventy-five percent of Jack’s life, but Pitch did everything in his power to avoid it. Dealing with things was the one thing Pitch did not do and as ridiculous as it was to Jack, he figured Pitch would be way less interesting without such a glaring flaw. Also, Jack would still be sleeping under his desk and eating out of vending machines, so there was that.

As Jack stirred the cocoa, he wondered at himself. Pitch hadn’t asked him to do this. Jack knew it would please him, but Pitch had been quietly sitting at the table, mourning his situation, not asking Jack for his help. Now he was making customized instant cocoa because Jack had asked, because Jack wanted to do something when Pitch was so upset, and that was kind of… new.

He set the prepared mug down next to Pitch and watched with an odd satisfaction as that spiky head of hair curiously lifted and those metallic eyes lit with surprised glee when they saw what it was. The smile on Pitch’s face was so grateful as he pulled the mug to him that Jack spoke up before the thanks he already knew was coming could spill from Pitch’s lips, “I’ll see what I can find out for you. See if I can’t just get it handled tomorrow.”

After all, Jack was used to it. But the way every worry seemed to melt right out of Pitch made all the running around campus he would have to do absolutely worth it.

Chapter Text

Pitch often did not get dressed for the day and Jack honestly didn’t blame him, but tonight, when Jack came home, it was to find Pitch curled on the couch in a sweater he had never seen before.

A sweater that fucking dwarfed him.

The words were out of Jack’s mouth before he could rethink them, “How did you even find a sweater big enough to do that? Is that a 4XL?”

“3XL,” Pitch answered without missing a beat. Jack didn’t mean to be insulting; it just happened sometimes. Once in a blue moon, it was even charming. Pitch had gotten awfully good at rolling with it though, “I wanted to feel what it’s like in your world.”

“Did you just call me short? Asshole,” Jack’s tone was offended, but his smile was anything but as he came closer and sat on the edge of the couch, indecently close, and placed a hand on Pitch’s thigh, rubbing his thumb into the fabric of Pitch’s pajama bottoms.

A moment later and Jack was bent over, pressing his face into the fabric and rubbing his cheek from hip to knee like a happy cat.

Pitch’s brain promptly short-circuited and all he could do was stare at his affectionate lover. That had been… adorable and charming and so hot.

Jack noticed Pitch’s silence and quirked an inquisitive brow, a slow grin spreading over his lips even as they were still pressed into Pitch’s knee, “What? These are my favorite pajamas.”

Which prompted Pitch to clear his throat and explain, “I know, that’s why I wear them. Sorry, you just made me hard.”

“Oh did I?” Jack’s grin became amused as his hand drifted down and in, digging under all of the excess fabric of the sweater to find Pitch’s cock and-

And then Jack blinked in surprise at his boyfriend’s crotch, “Well, shit.”

Pitch laughed, “I wasn’t exaggerating.”

“Clearly not,” Jack agreed, squeezing lightly and feeling out the erection he really had not expected to find, “Too bad I can’t see what I’m doing.”

“You could always just take it off,” Pitch offered, melting back into the cushions as Jack’s fingers wrapped around him.

“I could,” There was a secret thrill to feeling Pitch’s cock covered in the super soft fabric of Jack’s favorite pajama pants, and it was the only thing holding him back from reaching under the waistband as well, “But seriously, why do you even have it? A 3XL? I could make a fucking tent out of that thing.”

“I dare you,” Pitch said, quick but soft. The idea of Jack curled up small enough to ‘camp out’ in this sweater was too cute to pass up, but as Pitch spread his legs and let his head fall back against the armrest, he had to admit his priorities were elsewhere, “but later.”

“Right,” Jack chuckled and it shot straight to Pitch’s dick, “Later.”


 

Pitch was already half asleep when he felt Jack tugging at his sweater. He’d hardly opened his eyes when Jack’s head suddenly popped up beside his through the neck hole. Understandably, Pitch was confused.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s chilly,” Jack chirped, fucking chirped, and curled his knees up under the large hem of the sweater, too.

“There’s a throw right there,” Pitch gestured lazily with a… end-of-sweater-sleeve, because a 3XL was longer than Pitch’s arms.

“So?”

...It took a second, but Pitch’s brain finally woke up enough to see Jack’s point. It was a fair point, too. With an amused, delighted chuckle, Pitch wrapped both sleeve-dwarfed arms around Jack’s body, bare except for the sweater around them both, and cuddled him close, “No, nevermind. You’re right, of course. Ignore me.”

Jack settled sweetly against Pitch’s neck, an indulgent little smile on his lips.

“Don’t be silly, Pitch. I never could ignore you.”

Chapter Text

“Nooo, don’t come in…” Pitch moaned dramatically, rolling onto his back, then onto his side when his head ached, then onto his back again when he couldn’t breathe that way.

Jack smiled when he opened the door. Pitch was being really fucking cute about being sick, even if he was also being a whiny brat at the same time. “You literally cannot stop me.”

“You’ll get sick,” Pitch whimpered pitifully. Guilt was his only weapon in this state.

“I promise to retreat as soon as I’ve made my attack,” Jack soothed, setting the bowl and glass of juice he was carrying on the bedside table, “We don’t even have to touch.”

“We don’t have to touch! The disease is airborne, Jack! I will infect you just by breathing, ” Pitch started with a cry, with a grand gesture, but his volume and energy shrank quickly, until it was hard to hear him and his hands were limp at his sides, “I’m poison. This whole room is poison. You’re breathing poison, Jack. Save yourself! Leave before-”

Jack caught the exact moment when Pitch’s eyes finally took in what Jack had put in that bowl, and he smirked when Pitch lifted his head to get a better look and asked, “Is that chicken noodle?”

“Homemade,” Jack confirmed, picking the bowl back up to bring it closer for Pitch’s inspection, going so far as to lift the spoon so Pitch could see the thick noodles and array of vegetables all for him.

It had the opposite effect. Pitch hesitated. The soup smelled wonderful, even to his dulled senses with lack of appetite. He was sure it tasted amazing. But this felt… off. Weird. Like it was too much. Too perfect. This was the kind of thing you read about in books or saw on TV. Real people didn’t do this. So this couldn’t be real. Could it?

“...Really?”

That disbelieving tone did funny things to Jack. Was this really that big of a deal? Isn’t this what friends did? “Yeah. You keep me around to cook for you, right?” Settling down on the edge of the bed while Pitch was too distracted to whine about it, Jack pressed the spoonful of soup closer, “That’s not gonna change just ‘cause you’re sick. Especially ‘cause you’re sick. Who else is going to make sure you eat right?”

No one. Pitch licked his lips and felt it as his resistance faded. He wanted that soup and there was no reason why he shouldn’t have it. Jack made it for him, and he was the only person in the world who would spare a thought for Pitch right now. Also it smelled wonderful and it was right there and Pitch suddenly had the spoon in his mouth, humming happily at the taste.

It was only when Jack laughed that Pitch realized what he had done, but there was no time to rethink it and no room for regret when Jack had a second spoonful at his lips, already. Half the bowl went that way before Pitch realized that Jack was still in the room.

“I’ll never forgive myself if you get sick from this,” He swore. It would be just his luck to bring ruin upon someone who did him a favor.

But Jack just shrugged. He couldn’t get over how sweet it was that Pitch would rather be miserable alone than risk a little discomfort for Jack. Life usually went the other way for him. So he stayed right where he was and grabbed up the orange juice, with a straw for easy drinking.

“That’s okay, because I already forgive you. Just get better, Pitch.”


Jack came to slowly. His nose was completely stuffed and his head felt like it was full of cotton. His throat stung and his chest ached and none of that mattered suddenly when he heard the click of a plate on the countertop.

An odd panic took him over. He was sick, yes, and that would make it hard to pay attention in class. And he did have class today that he couldn’t afford to miss, but that wasn’t what he was suddenly worried about.

He was supposed to cook breakfast for Pitch. If he didn’t, Pitch didn’t eat. If Jack didn’t get up early enough, he wouldn’t have time to cook. Jack felt like death, but Pitch needed to eat.

Which made it all the more strange when he opened his eyes to see Pitch up, dressed, with a mug of coffee in hand, stirring a pan on the stove. Jack was too shocked to do anything but stare, muddled brain refusing to process what he was seeing. Because he couldn’t be seeing this; Pitch didn’t do this.

A moment later and Pitch spotted him, surprise on his face for only a second before he was setting down his spatula and coming over, a second mug picked up off of the counter that was… for him, apparently, and Jack had no idea what to do with that. Pitch made him coffee? Pitch made him breakfast. Holy shit.

Pitch set both mugs on the side table and turned his hands to the task of helping Jack up, a thing Jack hadn’t realized he needed until he tried to get up on his own and his head burst with pain, his back aching with each attempt to move. Being sick was awful.

“How are you feeling?” Pitch asked in a warm tone.

Jack didn’t even hesitate. He wasn’t one for lying. “Like shit.”

Pitch chuckled and settled Jack upright, then pressed the mug into his hands, “Have some coffee. Breakfast is almost ready.”

Jack already had a mouthful of coffee before Pitch was done speaking. Coffee was life-giving. And it was perfect; when had Pitch learned exactly how Jack likes his coffee? When had Pitch learned how to cook? “I see that. But first, who are you and what have you done with Pitch?”

This time Pitch laughed, going back to the stove to turn over the eggs and plate the bacon, “He’s bound and gagged in the closet of his bedroom. I’m his good twin; more reasonable, more responsible, and more handsome. How many eggs do you think you can handle? Is your stomach upset?”

Jack felt nothing from his stomach. He might as well not have one. Which meant eating a normal portion was probably safe. “Let’s start with one and see if my appetite returns. The dorm doesn’t have a closet.”

“Oh?” Pitch feigned surprise, scraping the eggs out of the pan and bringing a plate over to Jack, “My mistake. I guess I’m him, then.”

Jack giggled, then stopped and groaned when it hurt his head more. He had a forkful of eggs instead. “No, but… really. What is this? You never do this.”

“You were sick last night, Jack,” Pitch said softly, petting Jack’s hair gently before going to the stove for his own plate. When he came back, he sat close, but still gave Jack some space. He didn’t want to crowd him; just help. “You barely ate dinner and don’t think I didn’t see all those winces. You need to rest, but I know you can’t skip class, so I, you know, decided to let you sleep in.”

It was interesting to note that making all of these decisions and carrying through on the plan was all less awkward than telling Jack about it now. “But I also knew you’d feel bad if breakfast didn’t get made, so I decided to relieve you of the guilt and just made it myself. So you can just rest until class time, and I’ll handle dinner so you can just rest after, okay?”

Jack was impressed, despite himself, and… touched. There was a lot being said here that Jack was too cotton-brained to think through, but he felt looked after and valued and considered and that was all he needed to know right now. He smiled, and took another bite of his breakfast. Pitch was actually really good at making bacon, holy shit. “Thank you.”

Pitch smiled right back and playfully winked, now that the awkward was over, “You’re welcome. Get well soon, Jack. I hate cooking.”


“I’m going to get you sick,” Pitch whined pitifully from the middle of their bed. He was gently propped up on pillows and buried under several layers of blanket, one fluffy and the rest kind of thin. It was more about the nesting than the actual warmth and Jack stopped questioning that years ago. “And you’re the breadwinner in this relationship.”

“That’s cute, Pitch,” Blatant lies sometimes were. “Now eat your soup.”

As if granted sudden strength by the will of the Gods, Pitch perked up to scope out the tray in Jack’s hands, “Chicken noodle?”

“You know it is,” Jack chuckled, unfolding the legs of the tray to sit over Pitch’s lap, a key piece of furniture in their home. Sick days weren’t the same without it.

“I love you, too,” Pitch replied, as if that was the normal response to that kind of thing, and sat up so he could lean over the bowl and breathe in the steam, humming happily the whole time.

Jack leaned over, too. To run his fingers through Pitch’s hair and drop a kiss on the top of his head, “Feel better. I’ll be here if you need me.”

“Even when you shouldn’t be,” Pitch agreed, eagerly spooning his first taste of liquid ambrosia, “You always are.”


Jack drifted out of unconsciousness slowly, as if floating up from the bottom of a lake. Hazy light filtered through his eyelids until he blinked them open to see the sun high in the sky through the window.

A sight that promptly shifted him into panic mode. He overslept! He never oversleeps. His boss was going to kill him, maybe fire him, and then he would be jobless and then homeless, or rather living off of Pitch’s money, and his spastic, rushed attempt to get out of bed combined with his sluggish, uncoordinated limbs resulted in an ungraceful flop right out of bed and onto the bedroom floor.

The change in orientation brought new facts to light, such as Jack’s inability to breathe through his nose and a sudden pounding headache. Jesus Christ, he was sick again.

Jack groaned, and stayed on the floor.

Which was how Pitch found him seconds later, when he opened the bedroom door, “I thought that sounded like the collapse of a thousand generations of productivity. How are you feeling?”

Jack answered into the carpet, “Like shit. I’m fired.”

“You’re not fired,” Pitch replied smartly, kneeling next to Jack and rolling him over in the most gentlest way you might rotate a sack of potatoes, “I called you in first thing in the morning. You’re not expected at work for two days at least.”

Jack made a distressed little sound, “It’s not that bad. I could have gone into work.”

Pitch hummed his agreement and lifted Jack into his arms, then carefully set him back on the mattress and pulled the blankets up around him, “Yes, where it would have gotten worse. I heard those coughs last night, Jack. You can’t fool me.”

“You need rest,” He continued, fluffing the pillow and pushing Jack’s hair out of his eyes, “so don’t worry about work. I’ve ordered in lunch and dinner, did you know you can time-delay that kind of thing now? Your clothes are in the wash, the fish have been fed, and there’s fresh pots of both coffee and tea waiting for you in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure which one you would want when you woke up.”

“I want bacon.” Somewhere in the middle of all that, Jack had closed his eyes and stopped pretending to fight. It wasn’t like he wanted anything but what Pitch was offering, anyway. In fact, he wanted more. Bacon was just as much a sick day ritual as anything. When Jack was sick was the only time Pitch gave him whatever he wanted, no questions asked, no whining after. It was just hard to… stop . To indulge himself without strings attached. To step back and let things handle themselves.

“Whatever you want, Jack.”

But now he opened his eyes to smile up at the love of his life. Pitch made no sense at all. He was amazing. “I forget sometimes that you can function without me.”

“Of course I can,” Pitch answered easily, leaning down to place a kiss on Jack’s brow, “but why would I ever want to?”

Chapter Text

Coming home to weird things was fairly normal for Jack, and yet he never failed to flip out about them, anyway. As he stared into a shallow bouquet of what looked to be lawn clippings, Jack thought to wonder if that could have been because Pitch was determined to get weirder and weirder to keep him on his toes.

They were arranged about as gracefully as cut grass leaves could ever hope to be and, unless Jack was mistaken and he didn’t think he was, were spritzed with shining glitter. Bemused and slowly sliding into a tailspin of exasperated confusion, (Glittery lawn clippings, seriously?) Jack turned to the only person in this apartment that could potentially, potentially because he didn’t always, explain the botanical phenomena in the middle of their dining table.

“Babe, what the fuck?”

Pitch shrugged, “I saw it on Tumblr.”

Chapter Text

“So what are we doing for Thanksgiving?”

Pitch was trying to be casual. They hadn’t talked about it, but it was a holiday and the college would be closed and Pitch wanted to ensure Jack at least took that day off. He worked far too hard not to.

“Oh, shit,” Jack cursed and turned around in his chair to face Pitch, abandoning his textbooks on the kitchen table behind him, “I meant to tell you: I’ll be spending it with my sister back at my place, so you don’t have to worry about me being all alone in the dorm, okay?”

That was actually not Pitch’s worry. Although Pitch’s worries, such as they were, took a backseat the moment Jack offered up some personal information. Out of respect, Pitch never interrogated him, but when Jack opened the door…

“Sister?”

“Yeah. I mean, I think her foster family would rather I just celebrate with them, but our traditions are a little different and they’re pretty cool about the situation, so…”

“Foster family?” Pitch repeated in interest, and then, “Hers?” Not Jack’s?

Who didn’t seem to have any clue just how interesting he was being to Pitch right now, “Yeah. Since I was old enough to be emancipated, I didn’t need one. They’re really great. They treat her just like a daughter even though it’s temporary, but still let me have her for all the, yanno, family holidays and things. So I’m picking her up from there in the morning and she’s staying overnight.”

Pitch was sure that if he were the kind of person who was so inclined, his heart would be melting at this revelation. Instead, he was burning with curiosity. He figured that Jack had no contact with parents, but having that confirmed only added more questions. And now there was a sister? Pitch could not wait to meet her. Was she anything at all like Jack? If she was, Pitch was going to like her.

“Excellent. Then I’ll bring the turkeys,” because Pitch could not imagine that Jack did not cook his own meal given everything he’s seen these past months, “and some sparkling cider and you can bring the tradition and a guest!”

“A guest?” Jack repeated, disbelief painting his voice like he couldn’t believe his own flesh and blood was being reduced to the status of a party attendant, but then, “Turkeys?”

“Of course. Don’t you cook them two different ways for variety?” Pitch asked, but he really had no idea how most families celebrated. Thanksgiving wasn’t really a European thing.

By the look Jack was giving him, that was not how he did it, “It’s just the two of us, Pitch. Two turkeys would go bad before we could eat them.”

“The three of you,” Pitch corrected mildly, “and I will put away a lot of turkey.”

The uncertain expression that adorned Jack’s face was priceless, in Pitch’s opinion, “I, um… I mean, I’m not trying to be… Don’t you have a family to be with on Thanksgiving?”

He was so sweet, and yet so American, “You mean my family across the pond?”

If the uncertainty was priceless, the sudden sheepishness was a treasure, “Oh, right. Um.” And then Jack was smiling, and it was the cutest thing Pitch had seen all week, “Care to join us for Thanksgiving, Pitch?”

He was hilarious. Pitch loved it. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Jack.”

Chapter Text

Honestly, Pitch had no idea how long he had been at this game by now. He woke up to Jack’s alarm in the kitchen and ate lunch for breakfast, naked because he went to bed that way, got up that way, and didn’t see the point in adding more laundry to the pile when he was going to be taking a shower, anyway.

Which was still sound logic even after his shower when he settled on the couch and turned the system on. He felt about writing that day the way he felt about putting on pants: it just wasn’t going to happen. He figured productivity might come to him, but it would be after a couple hours of stunning pixels and yelling at the screen.

Productivity never came. Instead, it was Jack’s voice that jarred him out of his gaming trance. He was very familiar with that tone of disbelief. It meant Pitch was doing something generally frowned upon in most establishments again. Good thing Pitch didn’t frequent all that many establishments.

“I’ve had fantasies like this.”

Pitch quirked an eyebrow and turned his attention outward, less on how he felt and his personal opinions and more on the bare facts of his situation at hand. The plate from lunch was still on the coffee table beside him. He never managed to comb out his hair post-shower. The soundtrack of the game was looping over and over as it waited for the press of a new button. Somewhere along the line, Pitch had wound up on the floor, ass planted on a throw pillow, lying down with a knee bent and his dick out. Pitch supposed playing video games naked could be a fantasy for some...

“...They were sexier in my head.”

Chapter Text

"You're terrible. Why do I love you?"

Jack flopped face first onto the couch after abandoning his briefcase at the door, his shoes a couple feet in, his jacket by the coffee table and his tie… Well, he was probably laying on his tie.

Jack didn’t care. It had been a long day at work. "Because you're terrible too, and it amuses you," he said as he rolled onto his back. one hand behind his head and the other unbuttoning his shirt because collars were a bitch and he wasn’t taking it anymore.

Pitch knelt over him, lowering himself to Jack's chest even as he worried, "Do you need an early night?"

But Jack just smiled and pulled him the rest of the way down, "I need my boyfriend."

The way Pitch looked at him made the cheesy line worth it. “You have him,” He said simply, taking over the process of unbuttoning Jack’s shirt, “I take it you had a bad day?”

With a pained groan, Jack dropped his head back over the armrest and grumbled irritably, “The next time they drop a last-minute design request on me, I’m gonna design a pretty fucking maze and see if anybody fucking notices.”

Pitch, the beautiful man that he was, propped his chin up on Jack’s chest and innocently offered, "Would you like me to set the office on fire for you?"

"I think that's arson, so no,” Jack rejected with a smile. He couldn’t deny it was a pleasant thought, just setting it all on fire and walking away. But, “I don't want you to go to jail because I need you for warming my bed." As if that was all Pitch ever did for him.

"I hate when you have to sleep at work," His lover lamented, turning his head to rest more comfortably against Jack’s naked collarbone.

"I hate when I have to sleep at work too."

"The bed feels lonely without you."

That was sweet, except, "Don't you mean the house?"

"Mm, no,” Pitch murmured honestly, “I don't like it when you're here while I write."

Jack snorted, torn between amusement and offense, "You're supposed to miss me all the time."

"Says who?" Pitch demanded, lifting his head to meet Jack’s gaze.

"Says every romantic anything ever."

"Well obviously they've never met you," Pitch dismissed with a toss of his head.

"Fuck you." Pitch was not too pretty to be held accountable for this.

"Please."

The tone wasn’t mocking or dismissive. It was honest and just this side of pleading, and took all of the wind out of Jack’s sails. He couldn’t even pretend to fight with someone who clearly wanted him that much.

And he wanted Pitch, too. He did. It was just… He was tired, and still upset from the day, and still thinking about all the shit his bosses had said to him over every little thing and ten minutes on the couch wasn’t enough to undo it all. Still. "...I might be too stressed to get it up, but you're usually pretty good at distracting me, so..."

Pitch didn’t look upset at the news. He looked remarkably serene in fact, and it untensed the knot in Jack’s chest just that much more. The kiss Pitch graced his lips with was even better. "If nothing else, we'll have fun trying."

Jack smiled as he returned that kiss with one of his own. No pressure. That was just how Pitch was and Jack honestly didn’t know how he could have remained sane this long without him. For all his crazy faults, Pitch was always exactly what Jack needed at the end of his day.

"I love you."

"I love you, too"

Chapter Text

“Oh!” Pitch crowed, noticing the box balanced in Jack’s hands as he shut the door behind him, “Donuts!”

“Yeah, I have no idea who left a Cosmo magazine out at work, but check this,” That was all the warning Pitch got before Jack’s phone was sailing through the air toward him, “I thought we could try it.”

It was an article, or what passed for an article in Cosmo, about an infamous sex tip. It involved donuts and penises and Pitch saw no downside, zero negatives to this idea. “I’m in,” and he didn’t even know whose penis was getting the glazed halo yet.

Jack’s pleased grin said he knew as he tossed the box onto the coffee table and started shedding clothes like bad habits. Pitch suddenly regretted putting on pants and immediately got to work fixing this mistake.

They collapsed on the couch in a pile of eager limbs, a tangled heap of laughter as they playfully wrestled over the right to kiss where and how they wanted, and it was hardly any time at all before both of them were flushed and hard and ready to grab the box of donuts and turn one into a glorious, glazed cock ring.

No surprise, Jack shoved it down on his cock and laid back like he was the hottest shit ever, and if Pitch did not actually think Jack was hot shit, he might have been annoyed. Instead, he took a bite out of the donut.

Jack’s sputtering sounded mildly outraged, but Pitch was taking another bite so he couldn’t be sure, “You’re not supposed to go straight for the donut!”

Pitch looked up, “Says who?” But only briefly because there was more donut to eat.

“Says… Says-” Jack obviously had no clue but Pitch was patient. He had donut to hold him over. “Says sex! Says everything!” And he sounded far too sure of himself for spouting words that had no meaning. “It’s a blow job, not ‘New, creative ways to feed your lover’!”

Pitch only had the inner ring left, and he shamelessly nibbled around Jack’s cock to get it, “I really don’t see why it can’t be both.”

Jack seemed to have lost the ability to speak for the moment, hips lifting off the couch as Pitch licked the last of the glaze away. He regained it shortly after Pitch sat up, grabbing a second donut and shoving it down on his dick anew, “Do over! Try eating the dick a little, this time.”

WIth a wickedly amused smile, Pitch leaned down again, “I didn’t think you were into biting, but if you insist…”

Suddenly Jack was three feet away on the other side of the couch, “Don’t play, Pitch.”

Pitch collapsed on the couch laughing. He had been in no way prepared for the image of a skittish Jack pressed against the arm of the couch with a donut between his legs. No one could have been prepared for that. It was too good.

But Jack had a point, too. The cock deserved some attention and despite the exasperated eyeroll he earned for plucking another donut from the box, Pitch made sure his lover was more distracted than irritated when he put it between his lips and crawled across the cushions to him.

It was Lady and the Tramp, except less romantic and more ridiculous, when Pitch held the donut up for Jack to take. He quirked an eyebrow but didn’t hesitate in playing Pitch’s game, biting into the sugary pastry and holding onto it even after the older man pulled away again, swallowing his bite and settling between Jack’s legs.

“I fail to see how this is my fault when you brought home Krispy Kreme,” He accused, but if Jack meant to respond, it was muffled by fried dough and swallowed up in a moan as Pitch finally delivered on the promise made by a Cosmo magazine sex tip.

Chapter Text

It was ridiculous, Pitch knew. As many times as he said so, Jack was not his property. Jack was barely his roommate; Pitch had no claim to him. They were not dating. They were hardly flirting. Jack could laugh and touch whomever he wanted.

So why did Pitch feel so God damn possessive?

“Jack,” Jamie laughed, leaning his chin on his hand, “that’s not how that works.”

“Hush, Jamie. I might be on to something.”

“You’re not. You’re definitely not.”

As Jack made some silly declaration about how at least it made him feel better, Pitch cleared his throat and tried, again, to get back to his grading. He had already resigned himself to only working on the multiple choice and true/false questions, far too unfocused for anything even remotely resembling an essay answer.

Giggling, or maybe it was maniacal cackling but to Pitch’s ears it sounded like gleeful giggling, made him glance up again where he had the dubious pleasure of witnessing Jamie wrap his arms around Jack in a hopeless attempt to take the pencil from him while Jack refused to give up on what all three of them knew was not going to result in a correct answer.

“Fine!” Jamie relented, returning to his own notebook with a decisive air, “I’ll work on passing this class, you can work on failing it.”

“I bet people said shit like that to Einstein, too.”

Pitch and Jamie snorted in unison and it just made Pitch hate him more.

This was stupid. Pitch was immature, but he was not this immature. Determined to get over himself and extend an olive branch, Pitch got up, went to the kitchen, and picked up his kettle, “Would either of you like some tea?”

Jack eyed him warily, “Would I have to make it?”

Pitch… offered Jack a lame look, “I can make tea.”

“Well, of course you can,” Jack emphasized, finally tearing out his failed page and crumpling it, “but you don’t.”

Prior to this moment, Pitch had at least understood himself. Now, he was fucking confused, because he was actually irritated that Jack was spilling what were not secrets about their relationship dynamics in front of someone that was not, according to Pitch, included in those dynamics and there was no reason for it, but he felt it anyway.

It was not like Pitch was ashamed or concerned. He didn’t usually care if anyone knew about his pet, Jack. It was even a bit of a joke between his fellow grad students. But Jamie. Jamie was not allowed to know. Pitch wanted to look like he took care of himself and Jack in front of Jamie and how fucked up was that?

What was even happening, here?

He didn’t know what to say, so he turned back to the stove and continued making his tea.

“Pitch? Are you okay?”

Jack’s tone of concern grated on Pitch’s ears. Normally he basked in the attention, but with these weird feelings bubbling up that demanded he look more capable than this, he didn’t want to hear it right now. He controlled his voice though, because the whole point was to not sound upset, “I’m fine, Jack. Why do you ask?”

The sarcasm was thick and damn Pitch, but he liked it, “Because you’re making tea.”

Now was not the time to be attracted to Jack. Pitch was so mad at himself.

“You only have limited time to study, I didn’t want to interrupt.”

There was a suspicious quiet behind him, but Pitch didn’t have it in him to turn and watch the silent looks he was sure Jack and Jamie were exchanging right then. He was wise enough about his own foolish stupidity to know seeing evidence of a close relationship between them was not going to make anything better.

He was so focused on not looking that Jack’s sudden presence beside him came as a complete surprise. His silly ‘pet’ stole the tea bag right out of his hands and took control of the mug, too, “I appreciate the thought, but worrying about you is a far worse distraction than making tea.”

Now was not the time to be attracted to Jack. Pitch was so mad at himself, but how could he not feel ever so slightly satisfied by a statement like that?

And fighting about it would be suspicious. Pitch really didn’t make his tea when Jack was around, because Jack always did this and Pitch always let him, which made this a bigger deal than it was worth. With a tight smile, Pitch nodded, “If you insist.”

But Jack didn’t look satisfied and Pitch couldn’t whisper a word of how he was really feeling, so when he returned to his grading, he shut his bedroom door behind him. Maybe if he couldn’t see them, he could focus. Maybe if he couldn’t hear their banter. It didn’t work. Holy fuck, it didn’t work. Pitch was left staring at his papers, pen in hand, doing nothing but trying to appear normal for when Jack would inevitably open his door.

Jealousy was a bitch.

He still found a smile to put on his face when Jack set a steaming cup of tea on his desk, shutting the door quietly behind him.

“Thank you.”

“Anytime, Pitch,” Jack returned the smile, but there was a nervous edge to it, and Pitch saw it coming when the undergrad leaned his elbows on the desk and asked, “Are you… getting sick or something?”

“You’d know if I was sick,” Pitch replied with a sweet, indulgent smile. Without Jamie in the room, he could enjoy the attention and Pitch hated himself for being so fickle about it.

“You’re right. You wouldn’t be able to resist whining,” Jack laughed, but it fell away quickly, “Something’s obviously wrong, though.”

Pitch cleared his throat. Even if he had the intention of admitting his irrational feelings to Jack, now wouldn’t be the time to do it, with Jamie waiting in the other room. Instead, he stuck an apologetic look on his face that begged Jack to forgive him and said, “I don’t mean to be a dramaking, I swear. It’s just happening that way.”

Jack laughed again, and Pitch felt better, but the goal was to end the conversation quickly without ruining Jack’s study time any more, so he continued before Jack could get any words in, “I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to interrupt. I don’t think there’s anything you can do, but I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Jack was unsold, “Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?”

Pitch felt a stupid smile pulling at his lips. Now was not the time to be attracted to Jack. He grabbed up his tea to hide it, but the look in Jack’s eyes told him he wasn’t fooling anyone, “Go study, you.”

“Alright, alright,” Jack shook his head, reopening the door, “Just knock when you need a refill. I’ll appreciate the excuse to check up on you.”

Fuck. Jack. Stop being so God damn charming. Pitch’s heart couldn’t take this. “Fine. Deal. As long as you promise to stop comparing yourself to Einstein.”

And that got him the carefree laugh Pitch loved to hear. His heart was so, so screwed.

 


 

The knocking system was really working out, Jack thought as he heard the fourth knock of the night and got up from the dining table. Jamie gave him a knowing smile that Jack honestly didn’t understand, but whatever. As long as everyone was smiling again.

He opened Pitch’s door to grab the mug and…

“It’s still half-full.”

Jack was confused, but Pitch just batted innocent eyelashes at him and it was too charming, too cute for him to do anything but laugh and fetch more tea.

Chapter Text

Jack timed it. Sixty minutes. Well, sixty-two now but what was two minutes next to an hour?

He didn’t exactly remember how this had become a thing. There was petting and fluffing and petting and one day Pitch offered to blow dry his hair and Jack didn’t think it could hurt anything and suddenly there was this.

Apparently, Jack’s hair reached a previously unseen level of epic fluffy when it was blow dried and Pitch could not help but run his fingers through it, the way a more sane individual might absently pet a soft rabbit or cat for a while.

This had long since ceased to count as merely a while.

“This might be the gayest thing you’ve ever done and that’s a tough competition.”

Pitch rolled his eyes. Jack could feel it. “Don’t be silly. I still have my sequined quinceañera dress in the closet.”

Jack snorted at the clearly flawed reasoning, “Don’t be stupid, Pitch. Straight men crossdress all the time. Straight men don’t, however, compulsively pet another man’s hair for an hour.”

There was the kind of pause that made Jack think Pitch hadn’t noticed the time slipping away, “I might give you that. It is a fairly reliable homoerotic seduction technique.”

“Oh? Is that what’s been happening for the past hour?”

“Not at all,” Pitch smiled, and Jack knew something shameless was coming, “but I won’t be upset if that’s where it leads anyway.”

It probably would.

Chapter Text

The first thing Jack thought upon waking up was that this was not where he went to sleep.

It was only one room over, but still, he had not put himself in Pitch’s bed.

He sat up to look around, understandably confused, and a little bit alarmed. How did he get here? There was only one really possible answer, but Jack wasn’t ruling out being drugged and fondled in his sleep, even if he was convinced it would have had to have been by someone who wasn’t Pitch, because Pitch was just too straightforward for that kind of thing.

Case in point, the sleepy voice next to him explained bluntly, “You looked uncomfortable on the couch, so I put you here.”

All of the alarm just melted out of Jack. There really had been only one possible answer. Pitch moved him. That didn’t make it any less strange. “On your bed?”

“Where else?”

“The other bed?”

Without any more emphasis or change in volume, Pitch managed to sound offended, “It has no sheets.”

Still, the last time Jack had slept in another boy’s bed had been a slumber party in grade school. After puberty, it sort of became a thing you didn’t do unless you were, like, super best friends and passed out drinking or something. Otherwise, “But isn’t this... “ Fuck, he didn’t want to actually offend Pitch. He really liked these living arrangements, but it was the kind of thing Jack needed to know, so he could figure out where he stood. He would just wonder about it forever if he didn’t say something now, “I dunno, kind of gay?”

He shouldn’t have been worried. Pitch didn’t even open his eyes when he shrugged, “Well, I’m kind of gay, so I guess that works out.”

Except that now Jack was worried about other things. Like Pitch being gay. And putting Jack in his bed. And things like that.

He must have been quiet too long, because Pitch opened one eye to look up at him, “Does that bother you?”

Jack just shook his head. He didn’t know what words would have left his lips if he opened them, so he didn’t.

“Good,” Pitch liked that answer, and closed his eye again.

Jack was kind of freaking out though, because somehow that didn’t tell him at all where he stood, the way his initial query was supposed to. Now he was wondering, “Do you, like… want to date me?” That was a fair question, right?

“I would love to, if you were interested,” Pitch answered curtly, dismissively. As far as he was concerned, it wasn’t important. Factually true, but unimportant, because Jack had more important things to do than date him.

“But it’s fine if you’re not. I don’t want to put that pressure on you,” He continued, rolling onto his back and running one hand through his hair, taking a deep breath between points to wake himself up since Jack insisted on real conversation this early, “You’re miserable enough without having to wonder whether or not I’m only letting you stay here because I want to fuck you.”

That was so fucking thoughtful, Jack didn’t really know where to go with it. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that Pitch was telling the truth; it just wasn’t his style to lie. Half-truths, sure, when advantageous. But no lies. Pitch would have him if he offered himself, and Pitch just backwards asked him out without making it sound like he’d done any such thing.

Backwards. It was how Pitch did everything.

Like, he didn’t even bother to ask Jack his fucking orientation. And Jack thought that was kind of important, so he went and offered what he could, “I might be… a little bit gay.”

But Pitch just raised one of his weirdly thin eyebrows, “Only a little bit?” like he thought Jack was just humoring him or something.

“Mostly going off what kind of porn I like.”

The brow was lowered. “That’s a pretty good indicator.” But his tone was weird, like it wasn’t the only indicator and Jack was missing something.

In the next moment, Pitch’s metallic eyes cut to the digital clock beside the bed, and he gave Jack an out, a way to leave without properly answering anything so he could pretend this conversation never happened if he wanted to, “You’ve usually started breakfast by now. Oh! Can you put chocolate chips in the pancakes this time?”

And again, it was so thoughtful that it struck Jack speechless. He hadn’t wanted to run, but that Pitch would let him if he did… And of course he made it sound like it was no big deal, like he didn’t actually care.

But Pitch cared.

And that was all the reason Jack needed to lean down and press a chaste, closed-mouth kiss to Pitch’s lips. It was sweet, and they lingered only a handful of moments before he was sitting back on the edge of the bed.

Because Jack cared, too. He cared about Pitch’s feelings, Pitch’s wants, Pitch’s moods. He cared about keeping Pitch happy. He actually cared about whether Pitch ate, or got any sleep, or got his work done.

“Sure,” Jack finally said, standing from the bed, “I’ll even add a chocolate drizzle on top, just for you.”

He didn’t know where this was going or where it would land, but it made Jack feel good to see Pitch smile like that, and he figured that was all that mattered for now.

Chapter Text

It had been a long flight. An insane drive after that. Jack understood just eating and going to sleep. Then there was jet lag and waking up in a weird place and Jack understood a day of rest.

Now he was getting antsy. Was the whole damn vacation going to be a surprise? “So what are we doing tomorrow?”

Pitch glanced up from his truly sinful chocolate cake to consider Jack, “Well, there’s this restaura-”

“Besides the food.”

Pitch stared for several seconds. Then shrugged, “I dunno. Sex?”

“Wait,” Jack was outright concerned now, “you don’t have a plan?”

“I have a plan. I know exactly where we’re going to eat every night.”

“But nothing besides eating?”

“What else would we do?”

“Pitch!” Jack struggled to keep his volume within acceptable levels for being in public, “We’re in Paris!”

“I’m aware.”

…Jack didn’t think Pitch was quite as aware as he thought he was, ”I’m getting a fucking tourist guide.”

Pitch went back to his cake with a shrug, “Well, if you want to spend your money on that…”

Jack did not have it in him to glare now that he knew the extent of Pitch’s plan. Really, he should have foreseen this. “We’re doing more than eating while we’re here, Pitch.”

“Well, yes, I assumed we would have sex.”

Jack buried his face in his hand because banging it into the table would be inappropriate, “Just… I’ll handle the days, you handle the nights, okay?”

Pitch could see that he was pushing his lover over the edge, so he conceded. A little bit. “Just don’t make me get up too early, alright?”

Jack planted both hands flat on the tablecloth and stared wide-eyed at his boyfriend, “Oh no, I wouldn’t dare.”

Pitch could muster a glare, “I’m serious.”

“So am I,” Jack calmly went back to his own dessert, a creamy cheesecake, “Eiffel Tower tomorrow. And we’re bringing the God damn selfie stick, because if we’re going to be in Paris, we’re going to take pictures of it.”

“Whatever you want, Love,” Pitch was exasperated, but he also loved this man and if he wanted to be a silly tourist, Pitch would do it. Also, the camera was an excellent point, “I can think of a couple pictures I might like…”

Across the table, Jack groaned and hid his face, “Oh God, Pitch, we are not making a Paris sex tape…”

Chapter Text

It was really just luck that Pitch checked the corner of his computer screen and realized Jack was late. It was unusual that he knew when Jack was coming home in the first place, but if Jack bothered to tell him he was coming home, it was a sure bet he’d be home then.

So Pitch picked up his phone and dialed.

“Hello?”

“Jack? I thought you’d be home by now.”

“Oh yeah,” Pitch could hear the smile in his voice, “I got a little distracted.”

“By what?” He didn’t mean to sound pushy or worried, but he was pushy and he was worried, “Where are you?”

“That little park two streets up.”

That was weird. “Why are you there?”

“I…” The worry ratcheted up at least ten levels when Jack trailed off like that, but the little huff of laughter soothed his nerves right back down, “Can you meet me out here?”

“What?” This wasn’t like Jack. Pitch was the crazy, middle of the night, distractions and bad ideas one. But Jack was the fun ride. “Okay.”

“Great. Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Pitch didn’t even shut his laptop down he was out of the door so fast.


 Jack had just thrown a whole handful of rocks forward when Pitch showed up. Not that Jack was planning to ignore him or anything, but it was an unconscious reaction that made him stop short. His boyfriend definitely hadn’t been planning to leave the apartment if he’d thrown on the only hoodie he owned and was still wearing his lounge pants.

Pitch dolled up in his collared vests and button down shirts was a look Jack loved, but there was something really sexy about Pitch in the kind of clothes Jack loved to wear, but only got to on the weekends and early nights. It felt like his influence infecting his lover, like the slow creep of his love physically manifesting in fleece and poly-cotton.

Jack grinned and turned back to the chalk lines on the sidewalk, hopping forward on one foot as planned.

“What’s this?” Pitch asked, breathlessness in his voice. He must have actually run.

“Hopscotch.”

“What?”

The dead tone was hilarious. “Hopscotch. Currently the variant where you toss a rock and can’t hop on that square.”

Pitch was quiet for a moment, then, “You just skipped, like, three squares.”

“I tossed a lot of rocks.”

This is what distracted you from coming home?” To me?

Jack gave Pitch an indulgent look over his shoulder, balanced on his toes and stable as a rock, “How often do I get to play hopscotch, Pitch?”

“Never, but how often do you need to play hopscotch?” Pitch countered.

It was a good point. Jack took another jump, because it wasn’t good enough. “As often as I want to. Come play with me?”

“This is ridiculous.”

“You’re afraid you’re gonna fall.”

“I’m not going to fall.”

“Then you should play.”

“I’m not a child.”

Jack snorted and laughed at the same time, kicking the tiny rocks away with his feet to reset the ‘board,’ “Coulda fooled me. Come on, just one go. It’s fun!”

Pitch rolled his eyes, but took a suspicious step closer, and it made Jack smile, “Hopping is not fun.”

“Hopping is tons of fun.”

“I don’t understand you,” but Pitch was joining Jack at the top of the board, so he stopped arguing and took his boyfriend’s hand, instead.

“Here, I’ll help you balance.”

“I don’t need the help,” but he didn’t shake Jack’s hand off, so he took it as a win.

Jack walked along, just barely keeping himself from hopping with, as Pitch neatly and expertly jumped from square to square, foot to foot. It was true, he didn’t need the help with balance, but holding hands was nice, so Jack just squeezed tighter.

“There, I did it,” Pitch declared as he stood tall beside the last square, “That wasn’t fun at all. We should go home.”

Jack laughed in his face and threw himself back into the squares, hopping backwards down the board and dragging Pitch along who, after a momentary stumble, caught the rhythm and began hopping too. It was almost like he actually believed stepping on the lines would cause something bad to happen and watching his lover be ridiculous in a normal way made Jack’s chest light and his heart race.

Or that could have been the love.

“Okay, now I’ve done it twice,” Pitch emphasized when both feet were flat on the pavement again, “Now can we go home?”

“One more time?”

Pitch’s shoulders sagged and he rolled his eyes again, but said nothing more before jumping back onto the board, this time with Jack in tow.

He couldn’t wait until they were across the board to pour his heart out, “I love you so much, do you know that?”

Pitch spun on his toes and hopped backward for the last two squares, a delicious smirk on his face, “I’m quite aware.”

Jack just went ahead and barreled right into him coming off the board. It was a shame his boyfriend saw it coming and caught him instead of falling flat on his ass. Jack kind of liked the feeling of falling like that.

He wrapped his arms tight around Pitch’s shoulders and pulled himself higher, legs coming up to cling at Pitch’s waist. Settled in his lover’s arms, Jack looked down and declared, “Okay, now we can go home.”

“Now?”

Jack nodded, “Now.”

“Are you sure?” Pitch pressed.

“Yes.”

“I don’t think so,” Pitch answered skeptically, “I think we need one more go.”

And then he went, Jack attached to his chest, hopping on one foot, barely balanced, across the board.

Jack was laughing so hard by the time he was done. Head thrown back, not a care in the world when Pitch turned away from the park and started down the street back toward their apartment.

Finally, Jack got a hold of himself and grinned, “That was perfect.”

Pitch nodded lightly, “I know.”

“You’re perfect.”

Pitch smirked, and it looked so good, “I know.”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Jack smacked him on the shoulder, and it made him laugh.

“Alright, yes,” The smirk became a smile and Pitch stole one sweet, little kiss, “I love you, too.”

Chapter Text

Jack sighed. Pitch had been at it for like… five minutes now. He knew they had a tool for getting corks out more easily in the kitchen somewhere, but Pitch was just pulling on the thing like a stubborn idiot. The cork was going to go flying when he finally got it out, if he got it out.

He wanted to be cuddling while he read, not trying to ignore Pitch’s pacing while he prayed that the bottle, at least, would not break, over a page he’d been staring at for five minutes now.

“Pitch, seriously, just go find the thing in the kitchen.”

“I don’t know where it is.”

“That’s why I said find it.”

“That’ll take too long.”

“It’s already taking too long!”

“I’ve almost got it,” Pitch argued, voice strained as he pulled, yet again, on the tiny little cork in the stupid bottle, “just a little bit more…”

Jack rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to retort when, with an itty bitty pop, the cork finally came free.

Followed by a very loud bang as Pitch’s elbow slammed into the wall behind him and cracked the drywall.

Jack shut his mouth and averted his eyes. He would really rather look at his book right now. It wasn’t even worth an, ‘I told you so.’

The room was quiet as Pitch stared at the hole uncomprehendingly. Eventually he looked at Jack, whose head was in his book, and slowly sidled over to block the view of the wall with his body.

Jack closed his eyes. Watching that sad, futile effort in his peripherals had been painful.

“It’s too late, Babe, I already saw the hole.”


 

Jack would like to say he couldn’t wait for the weekend, except that he had already ordered the interior paint and mesh over the internet and knew what he was doing with his Saturday and was not, in fact, looking forward to it. The repair process wasn’t on the forefront of his mind when he came home, but it jumped the list when he saw what Pitch’s idea of fixing the wall was.

He dropped his briefcase right where he stood because gesture suddenly became necessary to his point, “Oh my God, Pitch, drywall is not that hard to fix!”

Dispassionate eyes met his across the room, and Pitch seemed to shrug without moving his shoulders, “It doesn’t need fixing. It’s art, Jack.”

In the time he was gone, Jack’s boyfriend had framed the hole, literally placed an empty frame on the wall around the hole, and added a tiny, engraved plastic plaque with the title and medium and who does that?

“That is not art.”

Pitch’s brow furrowed in displeasure, “Who says?”

“You didn’t do it with the purpose of creating art,” Jack argued.

Pitch dismissed that with a little wave of his hand, “It’s incidental art.”

“That’s!...” but a note of uncertainty had entered Jack’s voice, “I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing.”

But Pitch only smiled to himself, because that hesitation meant that even if Jack still repaired the wall, Pitch had already won.

Chapter Text

Jack had felt more uncomfortable in his life, but he hadn’t been planning to revisit those feelings so soon. This had to be the fanciest restaurant he had ever been in. There weren’t even prices on the menu. Jack was terrified. Of the menu. He was terrified of the menu. He wasn’t even sure he could afford the water.

He was just wondering if it would be worth the embarassment to clarify to the waiter that he wanted the free water when Pitch spoke up and broke him out of his thoughts, “I’m not sure if I feel like beef or pasta tonight. Anything standing out to you?”

Jack was so nervous, he answered honestly, “The lack of prices.”

Pitch started to laugh, but cut himself short when he looked up and saw the wide-eyed fright on Jack’s face. Oh. He was serious.

“You don’t have to worry about it,” Pitch soothed, “I’ll cover it.”

“But that’s not right. I should pay my half,” Jack argued.

“Why?” Honestly, Pitch found that thought ridiculous, “Because I have nearly endless funds and you work for every penny? Because I don’t even think about money but you can’t stop? That means I definitely shouldn’t just handle this so you can relax?”

The slow blush creeping up Jack’s neck was adorable, as was the half-shocked, half-stubborn look on his face. He was actually going to argue this, Pitch realized.

“It’s not about that.”

“Then what’s it about?”

“It’s about… independence. About taking care of myself.”

His tone was so sure, so absolute in his certainty that he was correct. Pitch didn’t know the whole story, but he imagined this was very important to Jack. He should probably handle this carefully, if not delicately.

Because he definitely wasn’t going to handle it seriously. “You mean the way you cook all my meals, clean my dorm, file my paperwork, and organize our schedules?”

“Uh,” Jack started uncertainly, “I mean, I do a lot of that for me, really, so…”

Pitch rolled his eyes, “You know most people get paid for that kind of work, right?”

“...If it’s their job, maybe…”

“It practically was, Jack. We traded services for food and living space; that’s a kind of job. But nevermind that,” Pitch waved his hand dismissively, “because we’re dating now, therefore I owe you nothing for the sweet gesture of cooking me breakfast, except that I would be an asshole if that meant I wouldn’t even buy you dinner.” Pitch gave him a pointed look and continued, “So stop worrying about it and let me buy you dinner, Jack. The money doesn’t matter to me, but you enjoying yourself does. Get whatever you want. I’ll cover it.”

“Fine,” Jack conceded, turning away to re-read the list of potential dinners in front of him, “but I’m not doing the bratty thing and buying the most expensive thing on the menu.”

“I hardly care, Jack,” Pitch rolled his eyes, “I’m not trying to flaunt my money. I’m saying the money doesn’t matter. Get what you want.”

“I heard you, I heard you. Stop ordering me around.”

“I will when you order your food.”

“Promises, promises. What’re you having?”

“I think the pasta I was considering before.”

“Good. That sounds great. We’ll have that.”

“Both of us?”

“We’ll split it.”

“...You aren’t trying to trick me into going cheap, are you?”

A mock gasp, “Pitch! Now would I do that?”

“Just for that, we’re ordering every dessert.”

“Now you’re just flaunting your money…”


 

Arguing aside, once Jack got over the surprise pricing, dinner went as it always did, minus worrying about the dishes later and the undergrad had to admit, that was a plus. He did make a point of swiping the check just to see what the damage was and openly winced in pain before handing it back. Those desserts had really hurt.

Jack supposed having a sugar daddy for a boyfriend wasn’t so bad. He didn’t feel like the no good leech he thought he would letting someone else pay for him, the way he had every time in the past. Jack could easily think too hard about it, but he would rather enjoy the rest of his night, so he looped his arm around the crook of Pitch’s elbow and allowed himself to be led home, instead.

But on the way, flashing, colored lights made sure Jack looked up. They were the kind of garish you couldn’t ignore, then brought a smile to your face when you saw them. There was longing in his expression, even as he rested his head more resolutely on Pitch’s shoulder and kept moving.

The lights couldn’t be ignored, however, so Pitch saw them too, and the look on Jack’s face.

“Do you want to go inside?”

Jack blinked out of the daze the arcade lights had put him in. They were mesmerizing, but he was on a date, “I thought we were going home?”

Pitch chuckled, “We were, but we don’t have to be. It’s still early and we’ve both done class on less sleep, so.” He paused, and gestured with his free arm at the bright entrance through which countless games could be seen, “Do you want to go in?”

Jack was not used to this. The idea of spending so much money and then, on the way home, choosing to spend even more money. There had always been a lot of planning to the way Jack spent his money on past-times, a finite time and spending limit to keep him within the bounds of being able to eat the next week.

But Pitch was footing the bill, and Pitch had no such limits.

With a little smile and an uncertain nod, Jack answered, “Yeah. Yeah, I do. C’mon!”


 

Arcades weren’t run on quarters, anymore. Jack felt rusty even just buying tokens, but Pitch was right at home. Getting off the ground was a little awkward as Jack tried to remember what games he was even good at, but flitting from game to game to game became half of the fun.

Jack was still terrible at skeeball, but he didn’t remember that until he was terrible once again at skeeball. Pitch was unfairly good at the basketball, until Jack started poking him in the side in the middle of throws just to fuck him up. They found an ancient relic of a game, based on a movie, that had been around at least fifteen years and as soon as Jack sat in the seat, he remembered how much he loved it and just how good he used to be at it.

He played the whole thing all the way through, Pitch generously paying to bring him back to life every time it was game over. Caught up in the action, the challenge, the way he played on despite the ache in his hands, Jack didn’t realize until the credits scrolled that he was actually kind of… lonely, playing all this time by himself.

He let the euphoria of a game well-played feed the smile on his face as he rested in the seat, but as soon as his heart slowed down, as soon as his hands were capable of free movement again, he looked up to the man he owed this night to, “How about we find something we can play together?”

“Sounds wonderful,” Pitch answered with an excited grin, and that was when Jack knew his boyfriend must have been bored even if he said nothing about it and let Jack continue to play. Fuck, he was lucky. “Any good at mowing down dinosaurs?”

“No idea,” Jack replied as he hopped out of the seat, freeing it up for the next obsessee, “Let’s find out!”

The first thing they found out was that Pitch didn’t really fit. Jack snorted a laugh as his boyfriend folded himself damn near in half trying to crawl into the little egg of a theater, nudging the curtains closed behind him. Pitch took up three-quarters of the bench, but Jack really didn’t mind that there was a leg between his legs and he discovered soon enough that it didn’t effect Pitch’s ability to aim, so what was there to complain about?

Jack turned out to be pretty good at mowing down dinosaurs, if not as good as Pitch, but the real winner here was every time one of them died and the spectacular ways in which they might have done so. It would be a special memory between them, when Jack straight up missed everything and collapsed laughing on Pitch’s knee to a mantra of, “Press the button. Press the button! God damn it, Jack, I can’t do this without you! Press the fucking button!” as the timer to continue playing ominously counted down.

Pitch got him back by leaving an entire room of dinosaurs to Jack alone for the full ten seconds that he could, but by the time they were both dead near the end of the game, it seemed they’d had their fill. Pitch laid his arm along the back of the bench and Jack took the cue, leaning into his side when he asked, “Time to move on, you think?”

“My hands feel pretty fucked,” the older man nodded, “How about yours?”

Jack laughed as he shook his out, snuggling closer since they weren’t playing on, “I could use a rest, yeah.”

As Pitch’s second arm left the plastic gun to wrap around him, Jack closed his eyes to appreciate the carefree comfort he had never had before. It was rapidly becoming obvious to him why some people spent every free moment of their lives looking for this. Jack still had obligations that were more important to him, but Pitch…

Warm lips pressed against his, and Jack leaned eagerly into that, too. They left as fast as they came, but Jack’s eyes were open now, staring up into a metallic gaze that reflected the changing colors of an intro screen. Pitch was being absolutely amazing tonight and Jack didn’t think twice about climbing his boyfriend’s chest, about tangling one hand into that dark hair to pull him back down for a longer, hotter kiss.

Jack still didn’t think he was any good at this, but Pitch seemed plenty enthused, so he didn’t worry about it. Worry belonged elsewhere in his life, but not here. He licked into Pitch’s mouth, testing out the feel of pressing his tongue against Pitch’s, against his teeth, against his lips. It was all still so new, but Pitch, he was so great, he made Jack feel as if they’ve been doing this forever. And he lost himself to it, for the first time that he could remember relying on someone else to keep aware and have his back just in case anything went wrong.

Which turned out to be a lesson of its own kind when an awkward voice interrupted them, “Um, I, uh… Are you gonna play, or…?”

Jack shot to the other side of the bench, except his legs were still tangled with Pitch’s, and he looked like an idiot.

But Pitch was unphased, extracting his feet from Jack and picking up their bucket of tickets with a pleasant smile, “No, sorry, we’ll move out of your way.”

Jack did not have that kind of grace, “Sorry! We’re sorry,” apologizing at least five times as he fled the scene, tripping over the step on his way through the curtain. He was mortified. He didn’t do things like this. He wasn’t the kind of teenager to be caught making out in a dark corner of an arcade, and as he rubbed his face to remove the last traces of the daze Pitch’s lips had had him in, he wondered how that could have changed.

To Pitch, it was one of the cutest things he had ever seen. Jack, who always handled everything like a professional, was freaking the fuck out over making out, of all things. It was hard not to smile, so he didn’t try. That is, until Jack turned on him.

“How could we let that happen?” he demanded, crowding up close so he didn’t have to raise his voice. Pitch was sure it would look like furious whispering to an outside party. “Why weren’t we paying attention? I can’t believe we just let that get away from us.”

Here was where the lesson was, when Pitch merely wrapped an arm around him to steer him away and explained, “I was a little bit busy kissing you, but what’s the worst that happened, Jack? So a couple people saw us.”

Jack let himself be tucked into Pitch’s side, turning his mortification outward again when he twisted his fingers in the hem of Pitch’s shirt, “What if they’d been upset?”

“Then that would be their problem,” Pitch declared, finding a spot between consoles to stop and regroup for a moment, “What we were doing is not illegal and it is not our life’s mission to be inoffensive.”

Jack chose this time to bury his face in Pitch’s chest. It was still a carefree comfort, whatever else, “What if it had gotten back to the college?”

“What we were doing is not illegal,” Pitch reminded, “and you can bet that I would hire the best lawyers to ensure there were no negative repercussions for you from being with me. Not only would that be unfair, but I would feel like a dick, so.”

Jack laughed against Pitch’s collarbone. It was so like him to end an eloquent argument with the word, ‘Dick.’

Amused as he was, Jack had to point out, “It isn’t right for me to change who I am because I can hide behind your money.”

“You’re changing nothing,” and Pitch was surprised that Jack even thought he was, “You’re relaxing the reins because your situation isn’t as dire. You’re enjoying life,” Pitch emphasized, tilting Jack’s chin up because this was just as important as making out, if not more, “and you just happen to be enjoying it with me.”

For silent seconds, Jack let himself admire how Pitch looked in the dark. The way the bright lights deepened the contours of his cheekbones and reflected off of his hair. But his boyfriend got away with everything; Jack couldn’t let him have it easy here, too. “Are you a secret romantic?” he teased, “I think you’re a secret romantic.”

Pitch’s eyes widened, “It’s not a secret.”

Jack laughed again, but hid it by pressing his face into Pitch’s neck, “That’s all so easy for you to say. You’ve had money all your life. You’ve done nothing but enjoy. How can I take advice about being responsible from you? Honestly?”

Pitch’s long arms wrapped tightly around Jack’s shoulders. It was hard to admit, but, “I wish you didn’t have such a good point.”

Fuck it all, but Pitch conceding somehow just made his argument sound better, “You have a good point, too.”

“So then,” Pitch ventured, resting his head against Jack’s, “can we at least agree that, for now, it’s not a problem?”

It was a bridge they could cross when they actually came to it, “For now.”

“And play more games?”

Of course. Jack smirked. “Air hockey?”

Suddenly Pitch had Jack at arm’s length, staring deep into his eyes.

“Jack Frost, I think I love you.”


 

After an intense mini-tournament Jack held against himself on the beer pong simulator, the worst teamwork video games have ever seen taking down zombies, and far too much money spent gambling with tokens on a hypnotic chance game, they took their tickets to the counter and discovered they didn’t have enough for anything a person would actually want.

So they settled for the stuff nobody wanted.

Pitch picked himself up a mug with the arcade’s logo on it and Jack spent the rest of the tickets on multiple ‘build your own straw’ kits that did not look like they would work at all. Jack maintained that wasn’t the point.

When they settled down to build straws and split a milkshake for second-dessert, Jack was struck with a feeling of deja vu that left him breathless. When he was sitting down in that fancy restaurant earlier that night, thinking that was all this date would be, he had no idea that a few hours later the entire experience would be flipped on its head and he’d have the best night of his life so far.

The awkwardness had melted away, the potential guilt was completely gone, there was milkshake dripped all over the table, and the night wasn’t even over yet. This time, when they finally decided to start heading home, Jack didn’t find himself rationalizing that it hadn’t been so bad. He found himself smiling, exhausted, a little sore, and excited for next time.

Dating had never been like this. Jack remembered nothing but pressure and money he didn’t have. Expectations that weren’t worth his time when he had his future and a little sister to worry about. Sex had never been a good enough reward for putting up with the circus, but the pure, simple happiness that Jack felt in that moment was hard to beat.

Clearly, Jack’s high school had been doing relationships wrong.

(Or maybe Jack had just been waiting for someone like Pitch.)

Pitch, who upon reaching the dorm spun on his heels to lean against the door with his hands trapped behind him in a mockery of bashfulness. Pitch, who after a night full of fun and laughs and joy wasn’t done being silly. Pitch, who batted his eyelashes and looked down shyly, but gave himself away by the smirk on his lips, and shrugged, “Well, this is me…”

Jack bit his lip to keep down his smile. There wasn’t a thing in the world that could keep him from playing along. “I guess this is goodnight, then.”

“Can I invite you in for coffee?”

Something changed in Pitch’s gaze and it took Jack a second to realize he was being seduced. Holy shit, how was he doing that? The man had barely moved and yet Jack knew, could read it all over him, that Pitch’s invitation was for a whole lot more than coffee.

A fact that might have bothered Jack if he didn’t know in his soul that Pitch was only showing off that he could.

So Jack showed off that he wouldn’t fall for it, all the while pretending to fall for it. With a half-step closer but a glance back down the hall, Jack tentatively replied, "I can't stay long. I really have to get home..."

The spell broke when Pitch’s arms latched around Jack’s body and pulled him in with a wide grin. If nothing else, Jack knew he’d passed the test, but honestly, who was keeping score? Somehow he got the door open and the next thing Jack knew, they were falling backwards into the kitchenette, warmth at his back and soft breath at his ear.

"Don’t be silly, Jack. You are home.”

Chapter Text

Jack elbowed the door closed, kicked his shoes off, and-

Dropped his briefcase.

There was a menu screen game preview playing on the T.V., casting its colorful glow over Pitch, who was stretched out on the couch, naked, his skin glistening in the shifting light. It must have been oil. It looked like delicious sweat, but he knew his boyfriend, and it had to be a scented, safe-for-internal-use oil.

His hair was artfully mussed. His eyes lidded and lips curled in a cocky, terribly sexy little smirk. One arm behind his head, one knee bent to show off his proud cock, one arm dangling carelessly off the side of the couch where it loosely gripped the game controller.

Jack was speechless. And getting hard. And Pitch could obviously see that, because he chuckled and tilted his head invitingly.

“I tried harder.”

Chapter Text

“He doesn't do anything, right?”

“Pretty much.”

Jamie tapped his pencil idly against his notebook and wondered if Jack had even thought about that answer before giving it, “Like, he sleeps all day.”

“Right.” But Jack didn’t look up from his work.

Not that it was important, or anything. Jamie was really just procrastinating by latching onto a wayward thought. That didn’t mean the curiosity wasn’t killing him. “So how does he stay so thin?”

Jack shrugged and answered frankly, “Forgetting to eat helps.”

“That's not healthy.”

“And the dancing,” Jack added.

Jamie blinked once.

“The what?”


 

There was a loud, ominous thump from behind the bathroom door. Jack was sure it was nothing, but he panicked anyway. Just on the off chance that it wasn’t nothing. At the very least, he needed to make sure Pitch was conscious and responding.

“Are you okay in there?”

Pitch waited far too long for Jack’s nerves to reply, “...yes.”

“Are you sure?” Jack pressed, leaning against the door to hear better, “What happened?”

“The uh…” Pitch trailed off, and worried the fuck out of Jack, “I tripped.”

“Tripped?”

“Over the shampoo.”

“...On the shelf?”

“I have long legs.”

Jack was no longer concerned. “You tripped over the shampoo on the shelf.” Well, not really.

“That’s what I told you,” Pitch defended, tone cautiously indignant.

It was time to call him out.

“You were dancing, weren’t you?”

“No.”

“You were.”

“Was not.”

Jack sighed, “I don’t believe you. Pitch, I’m coming in.”

“Nodon’t,” Pitch made it sound like a single word.

“And then I’m calling your doctor.”

“That’s totally unnecessary!”

“So was the dancing, but you did it anyway.”

There was a long silence then, as Jack got out his phone and started looking up the doctor’s number. When Pitch finally answered, it was with the gravity of everything he held sacred and dear on his tongue.

“Jack, the dancing is always necessary.”


 

Pitch was in the middle of seeing just how long he could spin on his toes when Jack’s voice interrupted him.

“That’s awfully elaborate choreography for pointless kitchen dancing.”

“Dancing is never pointless,” Pitch argued, sashaying his way over and taking Jack’s hand.

The younger man was awkward about it, but he let Pitch pull him close. Oddly, ironically, this was the heaviest Jack’s steps had ever been that Pitch had seen. It was like the man was dragging bricks on his toes.

“Eh…” Jack considered, “I think that’s probably a matter of opinion.”

Pitch twirled, trying to force Jack into the light steps he knew Jack usually took, “Look, I’ve tricked you into my arms already!”

“It wasn’t a trick; I came willingly,” Jack laughed.

“Hush Jack,” Pitch held him close and swayed, “Feel the magic of the dance.”

“I’m feeling something, but I’m not sure it’s magic.”

That meant something was wrong, and Pitch instantly realized what it was. Turning on his heel, he started toward his bedroom, “We need music.”

But Jack pulled him back, “We need dinner. What were you doing in the kitchen anyway?”

Because it wasn’t cooking, that was certain. With wide eyes, Pitch remembered, “Oh! Waiting for you, of course. How was class?”

“Less eventful than the five minutes since I’ve come back,” Jack admitted with a smile.

The pleased smirk that pulled at Pitch’s lips was criminal, “Just as planned.”

Jack shook his head, but pushed on. He had stumbled across Pitch doing… ballet or gymnastics or something in their little dorm kitchen and he had to ask, “But why were you dancing?”

Warm hands felt their way around the small of Jack’s back and pulled him back into the silent rhythm of Pitch’s dance. The answer was no answer at all.

“I didn’t know I needed a reason.”


 

“I need a rose!”

Jack swore and chased after his boyfriend, “For what?!”

“To tango, Jack!” he called over his shoulder.

“But I can’t tango!”

“I can!” Pitch sounded way too confident about this, “That’s all we need!”

"So glad I have your doctor on speed dial…”

Chapter Text

“Hey, Pitch,” Jack’s voice filtered in from the kitchen, “You didn’t eat the last of my powdered donuts, did you?”

Pitch answered on instinct, “Of course not.”

Except the last bite of donut was literally on his tongue and as soon as Pitch realized what he had said, he swallowed.

Jack had heard the slight muffling, and gave Pitch a flat look through the doorway, “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” the hole was digging itself, Pitch swore.

Jack’s eyes flicked down to Pitch’s desk, lap, and fingertips, each covered in a fine white powder, “Then what’s that?”

Metallic eyes grazed his lap for barely a second before his lips were moving again, “Cocaine.”

Jack was so very unimpressed, and his expression said as much. He stayed silent, and let that speak for itself.

Without a question to answer, it seemed Pitch could also partake of the silence, and held Jack’s gaze. Even as his hands crept up to sweep the white powder off of his desk, as if removing the evidence now might help anything at all.

With a roll of his eyes, Jack broke and stormed into the living room, “God damn it, Pitch. I was really looking forward to snacking on those as I made dinner,” and flopped backwards into the couch cushions, pulling his knees up in preparation for a proper sulk. He did so much for this household, for Pitch. If he wanted to mourn some fucking donuts for a minute before he made dinner, he had earned the right.

Thinking fast, Pitch was already working on a solution. He might have been a selfish, irresponsible man-child, but he could find selflessness in his heart when it came to Jack.

Quietly as he could, Pitch shot off one last text before he picked up his cup, still warm, and brought it to the couch with him, “Would you like some coffee?”

“I don’t want your coffee, Pitch,” Jack shot back, freely rude because he was feeling bad and he knew Pitch would love him anyway. He would go back to being nice soon, he just needed a minute. “I wanted my donuts.”

Pitch didn’t blame him even a little. Honestly, it was a wonder Jack held up under everything usually. If he was going to slip, Pitch felt honored that he would choose to do it with him. Setting the cup aside on the coffee table, Pitch knelt between Jack’s feet and gently pushed his knees apart so he could nuzzle into the soft cloth that covered Jack’s cock.

He stiffened briefly, but inevitably relaxed. Jack’s arms stayed crossed and his eyes stayed closed but Pitch wasn’t doing this to please himself. He wasn’t here to tease Jack until he begged or keep eye contact to make it hotter. He was apologizing by method of his own choosing and Jack had the same freedom to accept or reject it as he would.

Smoothly as he could, Pitch undid the button and pulled the zipper down, exposing Jack to the air but covering him right back up with his mouth. Gentle coaxing with fingers and tongue brought Jack to hardness, and then Pitch began to suck.

Pitch took his time, slowly building up a rhythm between his squeezing hand and hollowed cheeks until those arms went lax, until they uncrossed and pale fingers wound their way into his hair. Jack tugged and Pitch let him, guiding his mouth back down on that delicious cock, until Jack pulled up and Pitch hummed with his lips sealed around the tip.

Icy eyes finally peeked from beneath heavy lids, and Pitch tried to say just how much he loved him through his gaze alone, and when he wasn’t sure that worked, used his tongue a little too. Jack was his everything. Jack made every day better. Jack gave his life purpose it would never have had, otherwise. And Pitch was honestly sorry that donuts had tipped the balance and made his usually upbeat lover upset. He would make it better, because that was the least he owed.

It took heavy licking and a firm grip, but soon every trace of that earlier stiffness was gone and Jack was a fluid mess beneath him. Pitch basked in it, giving Jack everything he wanted and feeling so very accomplished as he did. It didn’t matter that Jack was unusually quiet, because his body spoke for him and Pitch knew when he was close, knew when to pull back and get ready to swallow anyway.

A soft whine broke through the silence as Jack came, a bittersweet, salty taste on Pitch’s tongue. He wasted no time tucking Jack back into his pants and refastening the button while Jack panted, boneless, useless against the arm of the couch. When Jack caught his breath, Pitch took the opportunity to drape himself across Jack’s chest, to kiss his lips and lose himself in the easy, relaxed feel of Jack’s body just after orgasm.

It was several seconds and several kisses later that Jack turned his head away with the kind of waking jerk that came with just remembering something, “I’m still mad at you.”

Pitch nodded, “I’ll fix it, I promise.”

Jack’s brows furrowed, but he blinked sleepily and ruined the effect. He was too tingly to muster proper anger. Confusion was all he could do. “How are you going to fix it? You ate them, Pitch. They’re gone.”

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Jack startled, but Pitch merely rose to his feet and went to his desk to grab some bills, counting them as he made his way over. When he opened the door, Rapunzel was on the other side with a box in hand. Jack was so confused.

“Under twenty minutes, just like you asked,” she chirped.

“Perfect,” and Jack didn’t need to see it, he could hear the smile in Pitch’s voice.

With a little shrug, she handed the box over, “You didn’t say how many, so I guessed. Hope it’s enough?”

Pitch traded the wad of bills for the box and nodded, “It’ll do. Thank you so much.”

“Anytime, guys,” and with a little wave, she was gone again.

Pitch waltzed over with his head high and presented the box as a gift, setting it in the middle of the coffee table and opening the lid so that Jack could see inside.

Where a dozen donuts lay, dusted with powdered sugar and smelling so good they had to be fresh.

Jack didn’t know what to say.

Pitch did.

"That’s how.”

Chapter Text

“But seriously, Pitch, that dish thing you do…”

“What dish thing?”

“Where you magically make dirty dishes appear?”

“You mean my secret talent? What about it?”

“It’s cruel and unusual.”

“It’s magic.”

“About as magic as you managing to hold onto friends.”

“What do you mean? I’m a fucking delight!”

There was one short second of silence.

And then Pitch snorted at himself.

Jack had his mouth open to do the same, but shut it and shrugged, “Babe, you beat me to it.”

With a quirked eyebrow and a raised mug, “Cheers,” Pitch threw back the rest of his tea.

Chapter Text

“Oh my God.”

Jamie looked up in concern. There wasn’t a whole lot that could go wrong doing laundry in the basement of the dorm building, but one never knew. Especially when Jack was doing Pitch’s laundry.

Jamie couldn’t say he was all that impressed to know a grown man was making another grown man do his laundry for him, but Jack tried to explain once that it wasn’t a big deal and Jamie no longer brought it up. But now, maybe he’d found something? A note in his pocket from a lover Jack didn’t know about? A gift he wasn’t supposed to find yet? Who knew?

But as soon as Jack noticed Jamie’s attention, he shoved the-Oh God seriously?- tiny, silken thong deep into the bowels of the washing machine.

There were five silent seconds in which Jamie processed what he should not have seen and Jack’s cheeks achieved brighter and brighter shades of red.

And then Jamie was laughing, falling to his knees where he buried his face in folded arms, because Jack had sounded so scandalized. And it was just a little thong, but it was Pitch’s thong in Jack’s hands and that was fucking hilarious.

Jack swallowed thickly, shoving clothing item after clothing item on top until he just dumped the rest in to hide something that, honestly, nobody else in the room cared about, “We will never speak of this.”

“Are you kidding me? No! I’m going to bring this up at the first opportunity!”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“To see you turn this red again?” Jamie asked, pointing at Jack’s face, “I absolutely would.”

Jack rubbed his cheeks frantically, as if that wouldn’t just make the problem worse, then shoved the lid closed on the machine, “You’re the worst friend ever.”

“I am the best friend,” Jamie declared with his nose up and a terrible grin on his lips, “The kind who doesn’t even think it’s weird that your boyfriend wears a thong.”

"Oh my God, Jamie!”

Chapter Text

There were no proper lights. Dim red flooded the walls and floor and candles were lit to cast flickering shadows over the white, blood-stained sheets draped over the furniture. Grotesque, grinning pumpkins adorned every flat surface and bare, gnarled trees stretched toward the empty, creaking bird cages overhead.

Ambient sounds of the forest at night followed Jack on his way to the door. The lonely howl of a wolf sent shivers down his spine as he reached for the knob.

The whole thing was covered in web, stretched thin and spindly with spiders caught in the fluff. Beady, red eyes judged Jack for letting this happen to his apartment, but it was the crow on the branch behind him, the one so real his heart jumped when it caught his eye, that really made him feel guilty for opening the door.

Fog swirled around her ankles as she stepped inside. Every line of her body was tense, but Jack’s orders were clear. He stood back and let Rapunzel’s baby girl enter, alone but for his silent presence.

Her eyes scanned the walls, the trees, the floor, but still missed the disembodied hand that brushed her foot as she went by. The frightened shriek was muffled, but tore at Jack’s heart nonetheless. Why did Flynn think scaring the shit out of his little girl would be funny? He was probably right outside with a huge grin already on his face. Jack would never have done this to Emma. Only Rapunzel’s confident smile as the door closed them off kept Jack in place. If mom wasn’t worried…

Shadows moved in the dark. She turned, but the wrong way. The sound of chains clinked through the hidden speakers as a pale hand adorned with sharp, black nails reached out to tickle her shoulder.

With a scream, she launched.

Jack had never seen anything like it. One second she was suspicious of a tree, and the next her tiny fists were elbow-deep in Pitch’s stomach. With wide eyes, he watched as she pushed him back with clawing fingers and flailing kicks, ongoing cries of pure, high-pitched rage drowning out every syllable of Pitch’s verbal attempt to defend himself, since his arms were busy trying to protect the important parts.

Suddenly, Rapunzel’s confidence made a whole lot of sense.

A gleeful grin lit Jack’s face.

“Yeah!” Jack shouted in encouragement, “Get ‘em! Get the bad guy!”

“I AM NOT THE BAD GUY!” Pitch’s harassed tone yelled back, “WHAT THE FUCK, JACK, HELP!”

...That wasn’t happening.

Chapter Text

There was nothing quite as soul-crushingly devastating to Jack’s self-esteem as slowly stripping down to nakedness in the middle of their bed and not even drawing a glance from his boyfriend, who was figuratively balls-deep in his laptop when he could have been literally balls-deep in Jack.

Jack counted the minutes, and after five of being spread eagle on the comforter, he thought words were in order.

“Babe, what are you doing?”

“Tumblr is on fire.”

“Actual fire?”

“Figurative fire.”

“Lame. Come to bed.”

“But Jack,” Pitch pleaded without taking his eyes from the screen, “the internet needs me.”

Jack didn’t doubt that. Pitch wrote beautifully and the internet was a grand space of textual expression and idea-sharing that he thrived in. But Jack was naked and tired and wanted at least one round before sleep. “The internet will still need you tomorrow. C’mon, Hashtag Guardian,” Jack mocked the name with his tone, but he was only teasing, “get in the bed.”

Pitch’s eyes slid to Jack for the first time, where they travelled all the way to his naked feet and back again, interest sparkling in their depths. Jack looked good like that, and it was a strong argument for shutting the laptop down.

So he did.

Jack’s grin was huge as the screen went dark and Pitch stood. He scrambled up onto his elbows and made room for his boyfriend. Jack’s arms were around Pitch before he was even lying down.

But that would be too easy.

As Jack pulled him in, Pitch rolled onto his side and spooned himself against Jack’s chest, then turned on his phone and opened the Tumblr app.

Jack only made it two seconds into dumbfounded silence.

“Are you actually serious right now?!”

Chapter Text

Pitch had been eagerly waiting all day for Jack to come home after work. Nearly every second following Jack’s incoming text had been spent hopping anxiously from foot to foot in and around the entryway, waiting for the moment when Jack would open the door and see him in his glorious robes and oh! Was that the jingle of Jack’s keys? Pitch hovered closer and restrained his bouncing so that he would be fully flat-footed when Jack turned the knob and-

“Welcome home!” Pitch cried with spread hands and a broad smile.

Jack paused on the threshold, eyed his boyfriend up and down, and turned right around, “I’ll be at Starbucks.”

“Nonono,” Pitch hurried forward and grabbed Jack by the shoulders, steering him further into the apartment, “I need you for the marathon.”

“What marathon? What am I doing?” Jack asked on a whine, letting his briefcase and lunchbox slip through his fingers and hit the floor with barely-heard thuds, “What are you doing? Where did you even get that costume?”

“What, this?” Pitch deposited Jack on the couch and went to fetch snacks, “I made it.”

“When?”

Pitch waved off the question upon his return and sat down to turn the TV on, “We’re watching Star Wars. It’s May fourth!”

Jack stared in clear judgement, but an amused smile was taking over his lips inch by inch and he couldn’t stop it, “You’re such a nerd.”

Pitch shrugged, “So’re you.”

“And if I didn’t love these movies so much, I totally would be bailing to Starbucks right now.”

“But you do and that’s a terrible lie.”

“But I do and I hope you got Reese’s Pieces and Dr Pepper because I am about to spend entirely too much time on this couch.” Jack grabbed for the snack bag Pitch brought over and began to rummage through it, “So what order are we doing this in?”

“Four, Five, One, Two, Three, Six, Seven.”

“Rogue One?”

“No.”

“No?”

“No, you are never getting me to watch that cruel joke of a tear-fest ever again. I refuse.”  

Jack laughed and popped the tab on his soda, “That’s fair. But do we even have enough hours between now and work to watch all of those?”

“If we don’t, you’re calling in sick.”

“I’ll probably be sick after all of this soda,” Jack snorted.

“That’s the spirit!” Pitch crowed, queuing up the first movie to play, “Besides, this should be a national holiday, anyway.”

He opened his can too, and Jack leaned into Pitch’s shoulder to tap their drinks together, “Happy Star Wars Day.”

Pitch rested their heads together with a pleased little grin, “May the fourth be with you.”

Chapter Text

“Found ‘em.”

Jack tried very hard not to roll his eyes at the sixth person to say that, walking by the clown fish tank.

Pitch felt no such need, even adding a derisive snort to his eye roll as if the tourists might still hear him.

“Pitch, that’s rude,” Jack chided, but his attention was already on a new tank, where an octopus was curled so tightly into itself that it might as well be no more than a ball with eyes. Something about it made him smile. If only he knew how to comfort an octopus.

“They think they’re clever,” Pitch defended, resting his chin on Jack’s shoulder to see what had caught his eye. He wiggled his fingers in a little wave to the hiding animal, “They’re not clever.”

Jack leaned his head against Pitch’s, amused by his passive spite. Pitch had never had to get along with anyone, had he? “Come on, there’s a touch pool over there.”

Pitch scampered happily along, more than willing to forget the unclever tourists in favor of petting the sand dollars. He loved the way the little starfish would cling to his palm. Animals were so honest, and he loved them. If only he could trust himself to be responsible for them.

He was in the middle of gently running the backs of his fingers along the shell of a horseshoe crab when Jack came up beside him. Despite his good intentions, the crab buried deeper into the sand to get away, and Jack laughed, “Hah, ‘Fuck you. I’m not a tactile crab.’”

Pitch pouted.

“Don’t worry, Babe,” Jack soothed with a comforting hand, “I’m sure it’s not you, it’s your fingers.”

Pitch rolled his eyes at Jack this time, and moved on to the starfish who always loved him. It was the crab’s loss, surely.

Jack watched him pick up one after the other, two at a time, placing them right back where he found them, and spent the time doing a little soul-searching. He thought it was amazing that the same delighted smile on Pitch and Emma’s faces brought an ever-so-slightly different feeling to his heart. It should have been exhausting, having a man-child for a boyfriend, and yet…

Boredom crept up faster. He was ready to move on long before Pitch was. He could barely stand staying still this long, much less for as long as it would take for Pitch to decide he’d petted the fish enough. And there were even more fish to pet, he could see. Best he move them along asap.

“Hey, Pitch, wanna go high-five the rays?”

“What?” his boyfriend’s head snapped up so fast Jack was a little worried for his neck.

So he just pointed to an open tank several yards away and said it again, “The rays.”

Pitch’s whole face lit up and suddenly he was setting all of his accumulated starfish back into the pool, murmuring sweetly to them, “Don’t worry, Darlings, I’ll be back,” and Jack was absolutely sure that was true, but at least he’d get a change of scenery for now.

And the rays were almost active enough for the both of them, swirling about the bottom and sides of their tank in a whirl of constant motion. They broke the surface all the time, their bodies waving rhythmically in the air. It only took a couple tries before Pitch got the hang of it, actually managing to high-five them as they passed. It was super cute and Jack was fine with watching for a while until he noticed…

Tunnels. Kids’ tunnels. And he didn’t know where they led, but…

“I’m going for it.”

Pitch almost missed looking over, so enraptured with the rays as he was, “Wait, what? Jack, no, those are for children.”

“I’m kid-sized,” Jack reasoned as he made his way over, “I’m sure nobody’ll mind.”

Pitch shook his head, but he knew he couldn’t stop Jack, so he went back to his fish with nothing more than an amused chuckle and a sense of resignation. If they got kicked out, he would make sure to tell the starfish who to blame.

Jack lied. He wasn’t actually kid-sized, but he was small enough to crawl through the tunnels. Just because it was tight didn’t mean he couldn’t do it, but it did take him almost three-quarters of the tunnel before he realized Pitch would totally get a kick out of this, but his thoroughly adult-sized body would never be able to fit.

Pitch was back tending to his beloved starfish when Jack snuck up behind him and draped his arms around Pitch’s shoulders, phone in one hand. He was startled, but not too startled to watch the tiny video that began to play, of crawling through the darkened tunnel to the immersive aquarium on the other side. The kids that smiled at the big boy in their territory were cute and the fish that swam by overhead and all around were absolutely gorgeous, but Pitch’s favorite part was the audio. He could hear Jack’s laugh as the kids ran by, he could hear Jack’s awe as a shark passed close, his giggle when a fish stared him right in the camera, and he swore he was falling in love all over again.

It filled his heart enough that he was finally able to bid farewell to his fish and follow Jack to the rest of the tanks, where adults were not only allowed, but welcomed.

Where he met the second love of his life, a beautiful eel that moved through the water with a grace unheard of on land. Pitch tried to hold back, but he found himself pressing his palms to the cool glass anyway, leaning in to watch it swim. “Gorgeous…”

Jack shrugged, but there was a small, amused smirk on his face, “He looks pretty evil, though.”

Pitch didn’t hesitate, “I’d hug him.”

Jack laughed, “Yeah, well you look pretty evil too, so.”

Pitch couldn’t be offended. Not only was it true, but the eel had swum right up to the glass to meet him, and Pitch was helplessly enamored.

That is, until he met the cuddle-size sharks. They were adorable. They were his people. They were his soul-mates!

...Save Jack.

The point was, Pitch loved them. Pitch adored them. Pitch wanted a picture of them, chasing the cute little hammerhead around with his phone. The shark was too fast, and every shot was blurry, but Pitch kept at it for a good fifteen minutes. Jack tried to help with his own phone, but fish in motion weren’t terribly good at posing. It wasn’t their fault, and Pitch forgave them instantly.

Still, if he couldn’t have a picture, then Pitch needed some other kind of souvenir. As soon as they had reached the end of the tanks, they made a beeline straight for the gift shop.

Where Pitch was thoroughly disappointed to find there was exactly zero eel merchandise, and he felt betrayed. That eel deserved far more love than that, more respect than that. He was a part of this aquarium, too!

And it was as Jack watched Pitch’s shoulders slump and the frown pull at his lips that he knew he had to do something. A quick glance around and he had an idea.

“Hey Pitch,” he called, grabbing up the closest majestic sea flap-flap plushie and waving one side of its body at Pitch, “High five!”

Pitch didn’t really feel like looking over, but it was Jack, and Jack deserved his attention even if he was feeling righteously indignant on behalf of a beloved eel. He should have known. He should have known that Jack could only make things better.  

The delighted gasp that left him took with it everything negative he’d been feeling. “Oh, Jack…” Pitch breathed, reaching out to cradle the chocolate sea pancake plushie that had been picked out for him. He loved it. Instantly, he loved it. And then he gave it a little high five and hugged it.

And took it straight home.

Where it still was some years later, on yet another Saturday Jack planned to spend getting some of the dust out of their apartment. It wasn’t often, but even the plushies needed dusting here and there, if not a wash, and every single time Jack did it with a smile because he couldn’t believe he was an adult, a working, functioning adult, with a huge collection of stuffed animals.

He blamed Pitch.

He blamed Pitch even as he took each plushie from its resting place. He blamed Pitch even as he set each one in the laundry basket for cleaning. He blamed Pitch especially when he pulled the wrong plush and started an avalanche of cute on his head.

He blamed Pitch thoroughly when he picked up the little brown ray they’d bought on a date way back in college, and cleaned the bits of dust from those adorable beady eyes. He definitely blamed Pitch for the way he gave it a tiny high-five before setting it in with the rest.

He blamed Pitch every day for shit like this, but he loved him even more.

Chapter Text

Jack was so proud of himself. Not that it was unusual for him to get his shit done or anything, but all of his papers, all of his homework, and all of his reading had been done by Friday night. Miracle upon miracles, Pitch had let him actually study on Saturday, so there was nothing Jack absolutely needed to get up early for on Sunday. He needed to get up, of course, but before that he was determined to enjoy the peaceful bliss of dozing in a warm bed under the pale glow of a morning sun through the window.

Until chaos crept in around the edges.

He didn’t recognize the slow chimes as a melody at first. Then he pointedly tried to ignore them, because he was dozing, damn it. But the musical box song was persistent and despite his best efforts, Jack recognized the classic Jack in the Box tune.

There was nothing for it. Jack opened one eye to stare down his lover, knelt nearby with the purest look of anticipation Jack had ever seen on his face.

“Are you joking, Motherfucker?”

Pitch just smiled.

Chapter Text

“I need it.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do. For the dining table.”

They were eyeing a, in Jack’s opinion, grotesque topiary elephant whose trunk was the longest and largest that Jack had ever seen. He quite thought it said more about the artists’ physicality than his skill, but Pitch was all over it.

As usual.

“Please no.”

“Jack, it’s perfect.”

“Pitch, no.”

Three days later, Jack stared in dismay at their dining table.

“Why has God blessed you with so much money when this is how you spend it?”

“Just wait until you see what I bought for the den.”