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The first time Jack realizes how deep the shit that he's in actually is is on some day in October, he thinks. Maybe the second. Maybe the third. Maybe the twenty seventh.

All he can distinctively remember is that it had been October.

Time-wise, of course.


Jack remembers everything else as clearly as he possibly can through the clouds of smoke surrounding the memory, which is pretty clear, anyway. He didn't get as high as he does now.


He remembers sitting in the attic, gazing at Mark and letting him blow smoke in his face. Jack pulled his hood up at some point. Mark called him a vampire and Jack had to resist pointing out that though I might not be a vampire, I'd have no problem with biting your neck and just makes the most vampire-y expression he can manage. It wasn't great, of course, but Jack managed to make Mark laugh, and that's good enough for him.

He remembers the topic drifting to prom and who they'll be taking, and Jack just says I'm going alone anyway because the only person he would actually want to take and actually feel comfortable with going is Mark, and Mark's probably taking either Sarah or some chick who he'll get off with the night after and then they'll all get to laugh over Mark's intense impressions of the way she sounded whilst getting her neck sucked that he'll most likely be acting out for them when they bail school after lunch.

And though sometimes he wishes he didn't, the thing Jack remembers most clearly is Mark laughing at his confession of never having kissed anyone before his expression switches almost instantly and he says that he's going to teach him to kiss. Jack freezes with an expression he prayed to God or Kurt Cobain or whoever rules Nirvana that it was unreadable and through the haze of smoke, his eyes still manage to follow Mark as he moves closer, rests a hand on Jack's knee and presses their lips together.

Jack's too shocked to move, but he can feel Mark going on, as determined as ever. His lips are soft and warm against his own and it takes every ounce of concentration Jack can muster to not whine or moan or embarrass himself otherwise when Mark's tongue swipes over his bottom lip. The kiss is short, feels like it froze the blood running through his veins and heated it up to a boil at the same time and when Mark finally looks at him after he's pulled away, Jack laughs and jabs him with his elbow, going what the fuck?? through the laughter and getting Mark in a giggle fit too.


The second time Jack wouldn't ever tell anyone except for maybe Sarah about, but it's probably the best thing that ever happened to him at that point.

They're in the attic again, but this time, the tension in the air is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

Mark's just telling him what he's been doing and how he really actually doesn't hate it, it's just the fact that his dad is making him do it that gets him driven up the wall. He looks more miserable than Jack has ever seen him, his hair is a dirty, greasy mess, he's got a black eye that's barely started healing right under his left eye and yet somehow, in some twisted sense of the word, it suits him.

They talk, they talk and then they go quiet for a moment, the tension tightening even further until Jack can hear Mark say I've been thinking.

For a fraction of a moment, the world stops spinning,
and then Mark's turning and his hands are in Jack's hair and his lips are mouthing at Jack's and Jack can't breathe he loves him so much, his brain is steadily going markmarkmarkmarkmark and he doesn't want this to ever end.

Mark pushes him onto his back on the old couch, not once letting the sweet, sweet sensation of contact break. His tongue is in Jack's mouth, exploring with determination and Jack's arms are wrapped around his neck like he's his last lifeline, lips moving against Mark's and the littlest whines sounding in his throat whenever Mark does something that just feels so incredibly good. Jack doesn't even have the time to worry about embarrassment at this point, all he needs is to be closer to Mark in any way he can, closer is good, closer means real.

A good few minutes later, when they do stop, Mark still chases at his lips with slow, sweet touches, like he can't believe what just happened. Jack can't, either, but he sure as hell won't complain.