Pat had started it, honestly. Pran would admit (silently, and to no one but himself) that he had escalated immediately and probably far beyond what Pat had been expecting, but come on. Pat had started slow by teasing him with the word boyfriend and a little playful jab with the seaweed snack. That wasn’t the problem. In fact, hearing Pat call him his boyfriend had made Pran’s treacherous little heart flutter in a way that both tickled and hurt. The problem was that Pran had started this bet already knowing he had lost, and when you enter a fight on the losing side, well… you have nothing left to lose.
Since he was still bored and it would be hours until his parents came home, once he’d finished his ill-gotten snacks Pat did what came naturally. He leaned back in his chair and put his hand down his pants.
He was feeling too lazy to pull up a video on his phone. He did what he usually did, letting his mind drift over diffuse feelings, or ideas, or memories. Like the time he made out with a girl and she was wearing very short shorts, and he slid his hands up her thighs as he kissed her. Or imaginary scenarios. Pat wasn’t that imaginative, but he had a vivid recurring fantasy of licking someone’s dimples, even though he’d never kissed a girl with dimples. Stuff like that.
Since he’d just spent an hour watching those dramas, it was natural those images were the ones that drifted into his mind. The flash of the scene he’d glimpsed, before Pa closed her laptop the first time: the dude in the three-piece suit, biceps pressing against his shirt-sleeves, leaning over the slim dude in the hoodie, his nice hands curled in overly long sleeves as if he might reach out. Before the frame where it all went wrong. Pat’s breathing sped up. Oddly, the images made him catch his breath rather than jarring him out of the moment, so he let the mental reel continue. Pat was a big believer in letting things play out without overthinking.
Pat has a bad habit, and the bad habit is that he’s started to really, really, enjoy riling Pran up.
Because Pran keeps on giving back as good as he gets, meeting Pat’s flirtations with his own teasing. So Pat keeps on being a little shit, leans in close, smooth and confident, just to see how close Pran will get in response, how he’ll try to throw him off.
It’s a scientific endeavor, really, because Pat hasn’t figured out what it is about the way Pran reacts that makes him want to stop trying to gain the upperhand, and he would quite like to.
Especially because lately, it feels like Pran might have already figured it out.
Pran starts counting off the reasons on his fingers. “My mother is across the hall. Your mother is basically across the hall. Your sister could come into your room and see us through the window. And, I don’t care what your dick is doing.”
A fatal lie. Pat snatches Pran’s raised arm by the wrist and drags his hand, palm turned up, inexorably forward until it rests firmly on Pat’s crotch.
“You care.” Holding Pran still, Pat’s other hand lifts and then lands between Pran’s legs, cupping him softly even as he presses Pran’s hand down firmly against his—yes, definite erection. “You know how I can tell you care?”
See, it’s not Pran’s fault that he’s getting hard. Anyone would be if Pat, made of muscle and smiles, whispered about his hard-on in their ear. And Pran is getting hard. The bright grin spreading across Pat’s face is confirmation.
And then Pran has, as often happens in his work as a designer and architect, a moment of clarity. Design is a set of flexible solutions to human problems. Pat is a human problem, and Pran…he has learned to be flexible.
Most people could not predict it, because outside the bedroom Fighter always lived up to his nickname. However, Tutor was a scholar and one of his favorite subjects was his P’. This new job at his father’s company was rough on him. There were many a day when Fighter would come home, dark circles under his eye, his shoulders tense. Tutor wanted to weep for him on those days. He didn’t though. He did this instead.