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Griff didn’t even know his name the first time he thought about it.

It was the Alpha Kappa Taus kickoff-rush party and he was being handed another beer by one of the brothers, Michael or maybe it was Landon, and he happened to glance at the door.

He ended up spilling the drink all over his and the other brother’s, Landon it was Landon, clothe. He’s not normally that uncoordinated but something about the other guy. It was like his whole body just stopped working.

His legs felt all wobbly, his heart was pounding so loud he was sure he’d be able to hear it if not for the rush of blood through his ears which was drowning everything else out, and his face, he needed to cool off, fast.

Which was how Griff ended up in one of the bathrooms with his shirt off and his face dripping with water when the guy walked into the room.

Neither of them said anything. Again he couldn’t keep his eyes off the guy while the guy just smiled and headed for one of the urinals.

Nothing more happened because that’s when one of the other legacy, Todd in fact, rushed in and grabbed him for a ‘legacy pledge’ photo. But that was the first time Griff thought maybe it was okay to do more then just get off with a guy, like maybe like like, or more, a guy.

***

The next time he really thought about it was in the House too, only this time it was just the two of them.

They had gotten to know one another, he even knew Pete’s name, and become friends over the course of their pledges year. But Pete wasn’t Todd, Logan or Trip, he was Pete.

Which is why he’d said yes to the mad dash to the storage shed and back in the pouring rain to get the decorations to a party they both knew was going to be called off. He thinks he knew it would mean they’d have to take off their wet shirt, pants…everything. He wanted it.

He’s knees has stopped turning to jell-o and his face no longer felt like he standing next to the heater vent but he hadn’t stopped watching Pete and the world hadn’t stopped freezing for a heartbeat every time their eyes met.

That’s why he took the chance and did something he hadn’t done in over a year, and hadn’t done with someone new in even longer. Only this time it was different, it was more. He was defying gravity as he laid there on that couch with Pete.

He could love this, he could love…he really liked Pete.

***

He felt the same way all of sophomore year, through that summer and the next fall. Then came winter.

“What do you mean you’re moving out of the house? You can’t do that,” he wanted to give Pete a good shake, maybe if he did Pete would snap out of his funk and be normal again.

“I can’t deal with the sneaking around. The house is almost never empty. This isn’t what I want John,” Pete answered, marching out onto the baloney of the lodge they, and a number of other AKT, were staying over the first weekend of Winter break.

“Come on, it’s fun. It adds a bit of spice-“ come on he knew Pete had enjoyed it, he’s made sure of it.

“Right spice, something you add a bit of, but it’s all we ever do. Don’t you want to curl up on the sofa and watch a movie or spend all night in bed and then wake up in the morning? Have coffee and give me a kiss before you head off to class? Something more then just sex?”

He watched the snow fall, covering Pete in a light layer making him almost glisten and glow as the porch lights reflected off the flakes. Pete looked beautiful but he didn’t, couldn’t, respond. Did he want all that? With Pete? He liked Pete. He knew he did, maybe even…why wasn’t sex enough, why couldn’t they just get their rocks off.

***

Then came the worst week in his life and he couldn’t think about anything else but Pete and how he felt.

Which is why he’s here in the middle of the night when the hospital is empty except a duty nurse that’s fifty bucks richer and quit save for the steady beep of the machines and whoosh of air from the pump.

“You can’t…you have to make it Pete,” he whispered as he takes his lovers hand, “I told Todd, and the police, everything. He, they, know now. We can go on a date just like you wanted.”

He let out a sigh as he listened to his voice fade to be replaced with the sound of the machines but not another voice. Pete didn’t move.

“Come on Pete, you’re stronger then this, I’ll even take you to Cerulean you’ll love it. You just have to wake up,” he all but yelled at Pete, bring his lover’s hand up to his lips and closing his eyes as he waited, hoped, for some kind of response.

But none came, nothing happened at all. No twitch of his hand, no change from any of the machines. Nothing.

“I love you, I can’t lose you Pete,” he whispered at last, dropping back into the chair behind him, not letting go of Pete’s hand.

***

He loved Pete.

He smiles as he watched Pete sleep in the warm spring sun. They both should be studying, it’s why they had come out to the park but…he ran his hand through Pete’s light locks, watching as they slowly fell from his fingers strand by strand.

He could get used to this, “I love you Pete,” he whispered, smiling at himself, some day he’d say it to Pete when he was away…maybe.

“What was that?” Pete’s grogy voice asked as he started fluttering his eyes open, “did you just say-“

“Of you, I need a picture of you Pete. For my wallet. That’s what I said,” he answered, he could feel his heart beating so hard, he needed to calm down before it exploded out of his chest. He needed to breathe. Pete didn’t hear him.

“Okay, sure. That’s what I heard,” Pete reassured in a pacifying voice while pushing himself more upright against the tree behind him, a smile on his lips.

“Look, Pete, I don’t know what you think-“ he started, unable to stop himself.

“And I agrees, I need a photo…of you, too John,” Pete said simply with a wide smile.

“Thanks…maybe we can get Bozzy to take some, he loves any excuse to use that camera of his,” he suggested, ducking his head to avoid Pete’s smile, and hide his own.

The End