The Goddamn Muffin

Chapter Three

Teigue sighed as he crossed the street, thick, cold raindrops drenching him as he did so. The last week had been pure hell. Work had been hit with an onslaught of business, and he'd been caught up in that. He'd seen Marin twice since last Sunday, but both times he found he couldn't bring himself to ask about whatever had Marin so upset.

And something definitely had the other man upset. Marin was increasingly quiet and withdrawn, even with him around. And though Marin was getting closer, physically – he'd practically crawled into Teigue's skin the few times Teigue had seen him last – he seemed to be losing things emotionally. But it was Friday, and that gave Teigue the entire weekend to straighten the brunette out.

Smiling a bit, he was a bit distracted as he turned the corner onto Marin's street – distracted enough that he totally missed the young man hurrying around the corner, hood pulled up over his head to shield himself from the rain. They collided quite solidly.

Teigue managed to keep his tenuous grip on his standing position, but the other young man went sprawling, his hood knocking back to reveal light brown hair and beautiful blue-grey eyes.

"Marin?" Teigue asked, a bit perplexed.

"Teigue?" Marin's voice sounded a bit garbled, but Teigue chalked that up to the rain as he helped the unfortunate young man to his feet.

"Fancy meeting you in a place like this." Teigue murmured, smiling. Marin smiled a bit hesitantly, and made no move to remove his hand from Teigue's light grip. "Where you off to?"

Marin's eyes narrowed a bit, then softened. "The park."

"The park." Teigue repeated disbelievingly. With good reason. It was raining buckets out.

"Yes. Come with me?" Marin asked, blinking rain from his eyes.

"Right. Of course." Teigue replied, brushing a stray lock of hair from Marin's face. Marin's grip on his hand tightened a bit before relaxing, and they walked to the park in silence, Teigue trying in vain to think of some way to breach the subject he'd been dancing about all week.

It wasn't until they reached the park, and Marin was sitting next to him on one of the few covered benches, that he managed it.

"Marin, babe?" Teigue asked. He watched as the familiar scowl that came with any nickname surfaced then faded – that at least, was normal. "Why're we here?"

"I have to meet someone here." Marin replied, scooting a bit closer to him on the bench.

"Really." Teigue drawled, though it wasn't a question, but an invitation to explain more.

"Really." Marin confirmed. Then suddenly he was staring straight into Marin's pretty eyes. "I promise I'll explain after, okay? Just… hold your patience?"

"Everything? Including why you were acting so odd this week?" Teigue asked, one hand going to gently hold Marin's face in place as Marin tried to look away.

"… yes." Marin replied quietly, sitting back down next to him and leaning against him heavily. Teigue wrapped an arm around the shorter boy, giving him a half-hug.

It wasn't a long wait. Five minutes at the most that was passed with Teigue telling short little tales about his escapades at work. He managed to make Marin actually laugh when he described the incident with the paper clip and the water cooler that had flooded half the floor.

He wasn't sure how long the man had been standing there before both he and Marin noticed him. A few moments at least, though he was standing outside the little covered bench area, getting soaked. The man stepped inside when they both fixed their attention on him, closing his umbrella as he did so. Marin stiffened under the arm Teigue had draped over his shoulder.

Teigue was at once taken back by the resemblance between the two. Though the newcomer's hair was a fair bit darker, he had the same color eyes, the same nose. He was bigger in build though, with thick shoulders and a wide face. He was young looking, but definitely older than Marin. A brother or cousin, perhaps?

"Marin." The man's deep voice rumbled as he cast a depreciating look at Teigue. "You're a fag?" The man inquired calmly, with no trace of inflection.

Marin nodded, studying the ground in front of the bench. Teigue glowered.

"That's sick." The man replied in that same calm tone of voice. Marin didn't reply, just curled closer to Teigue.

"In any case." The man seemed to dismiss Marin's sexuality. "I came to apologize." The man paused, as though waiting for Marin to reply. "I am sorry." The deep voice actually seemed to hold a bit of emotion to it. "What happened – it was never meant to get so out of hand."

Teigue just let the words sink in slowly, resigned to the fact that he wouldn't understand most of this meeting until it was long past.

Marin didn't move for a long moment, didn't speak, barely breathed. "I don't care." Marin finally replied, lifting his head from it's intent study of the ground. "It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does." The man shifted a bit, and Teigue was fascinated – he was nervous. "Do you still sleep with a deadbolt on your door?" Marin stiffened, but didn't move, or break their locked gaze. "Then it does matter."

"No." Marin replied, his tone wavering a bit. "Your apology. I don't care, it doesn't matter."

Color drained from the man's face. "I-"

"Words aren't going to help it, Justin. Just… leave me alone." Marin said, finally breaking their gaze and standing. Teigue followed, letting his arm fall from around Marin's shoulders to grab one of the shorter man's hands.

"But Marin-" Justin began again, but once more Marin cut him off.

"No. I don't want anything to do with you Justin. I don't care what mom told you, just leave it be. I don't want to hear it." Marin snapped, his hold on Teigue's hand tight. "Goodbye."

Marin's grip on Teigue's hand didn't slack until after they had left the park. It was still raining as they walked back to Marin's flat, and Marin slipped the hood of his jacket back up, effectively killing any conversation between them.

Teigue was patient. Lately he'd been nothing but patient, something he figured was good for him, but still irritated him a bit. He waited until they made it back to Marin's flat to strike up a conversation. Of course, there was the requisite shoe-taking off, and Marin fetched a towel to dry his hair, since he hadn't bothered with an umbrella or a hood when he'd started over the first time.

Marin deadbolted the door out of habit, noting that Teigue had already put his shoes on the little mat next to the door. He toed off his own, setting them next to Teigue's. His mind was chaotic, and all he wanted to do was snuggle close to Teigue and forget about everything. But he couldn't, he needed to tell Teigue something.

Teigue was propped on pillows, back against the headboard. Marin wasted no time in joining him there, kneeling in front of him to ruffle his hair a bit more with the towel before uncharacteristically tossing the thing on the floor. Marin ran his fingers through Teigue's hair, settling it from the rough handling. He was stalling and he knew it.

Moreover, Teigue knew it too. He caught Marin's hands by the wrists and gently pulled them away from his hair, though he missed the contact. He folded the pliant Marin into his arms, dropping a quick kiss on the brunette's forehead.

"Marin, hon." Teigue started, not too surprised as Marin buried his face into Teigue's shirt, one hand grasping the fabric tightly. He was, however, a bit surprised when Marin didn't protest the pet name, and took it as a sign of how upset the brunette must be.

Teigue shifted, pushing Marin away a bit so that he could see his face. "We don't have to talk about this now, if it's upsetting you that much." He murmured, gently wiping the tears from Marin's cheeks. Marin blinked, and two more tears liberated themselves.

Marin latched back on, and Teigue heard a hoarsely whispered, "Thank you." Teigue just smiled a bit and gave Marin a reassuring hug, stroking Marin's back gently until the brunette's tears stopped.

Teigue rather thought Marin would fall asleep there, and so was surprised when Marin started to speak, his voice quiet.

"Justin is my brother, as you probably realized." Marin's voice was quiet as he shifted a bit to lay next to Teigue instead of on top of him. "He's older than me by three years, so I suppose he's twenty-three now. He was always one of those popular guys, popular with girls, popular with other guys, immature and macho when he reached his senior year. I was graduating with him, something that irritated him to no end.

"He had this group of friends. I won't be disparaging towards them all, but they weren't the smartest people. There were two in particular, Vinny and Mack. Mack, well, he was an idiot. He'd do whatever Vinny would tell him to do, no qualms. Vinny had no conscience either, but he was much smarter than Mack or my brother.

"He seemed to have some sort of issue with me. I don't know why, I never did anything to him, I didn't even know his name until about a month before graduation. Vinny had heard enough of Justin's complaints about me showing him up academically. I'd been accepted to the university here, but Justin could only get into a state school.

"They'd been drinking or something. I could smell it when they came into my room that night." Teigue hugged the distraught brunette closer. "I got off pretty light, I think. If they had been less drunk, though… I was hospitalized for a few days for a concussion and a few broken ribs.

"But after that I couldn't sleep in my room without the dresser in front of it. Justin was shipped off to an aunt of ours, and I hadn't seen him since. I guess mom wanted us to make up, since she told him where I live." Marin murmured.

While Teigue was still reeling from this story, Marin slipped away from his grip, bur only moving so far as to straddle Teigue's outstretched legs. Marin blinked at him from inches away, the blue-grey eyes slightly red.

"Teigue?" Marin questioned, slender fingers going out to touch Teigue's cheeks gently. "I do care. I'm not as reluctant as I try to seem." Marin blinked tears back again, and Teigue practically melted.

"I know." Teigue grinned. "You're not as good at hiding it as you like to think." Teigue's smile grew as Marin's cheeks turned pink and he swatted at Teigue's chest.

"Spoilsport." Marin muttered, but he couldn't hide his smile. Teigue grinned, and leaned forward, snagging a quick kiss before pushing Marin onto his back and straddling the brunette's waist. Teigue stole a deeper kiss, Marin's arms coming up around his neck to pull him closer. Teigue braced himself up on one arm, leaving the other free to toy with Marin's hair a bit. Marin broke the kiss a moment later, and to Teigue's disappointment pushed him into sitting up, though he still sat on Marin's legs.

Marin gave him a hesitant smile before stripping off his shirt, and tossing it in the direction of the towel. Teigue just stared, wide-eyed. Marin smiled a bit more and gave him a short kiss.

"Nothing below the belt." Marin murmured, slipping slightly cold hands under the rim of Teigue's shirt. Teigue took a moment to process this, then smiled widely. Especially at Marin's phrasing. 'Below the belt,' after all, was dependent on where the belt was at the moment.

Morning found Teigue wrapped neatly around Marin. Both were shirtless, and Teigue reveled in the closeness. Marin's room was still dark, though the neon lights on the alarm clock proclaimed it to be nearing nine in the morning. For the first time Teigue noted the lack of real windows in Marin's room, only two small half-windows decorating the wall on his right.

Marin was breathing evenly next to him, the warm air puffing at the skin just below his collarbone. The brunette was slightly curled, his arms pulled to his chest and his legs bent slightly to tangle with Teigue's. His head was pillowed on one of Teigue's arms, with Teigue's free arm draped loosely over him.

Teigue grinned playfully, lifting his free arm slowly. Carefully, he snagged a longer lock of Marin's hair, slowly moving it so that it brushed against the tip of Marin's nose. Marin's nose wrinkled a bit, but smoothed out rather quickly. Teigue's smile grew, and he repeated the motion. Marin's nose wrinkled again, and the brunette bent his head closer to Teigue's chest, seeking to get away from the ticklish sensation.

Teigue was about to repeat the motion, when one of Marin's eyes slitted open sleepily. Teigue tried to look innocent, but it was ruined by the wide grin on his face. But apparently Marin was too sleepy to retaliate, for the brunette just shifted closer, burying his face against Teigue's chest. Teigue snickered, and Marin made some sort of complaining noise as his pillow rumbled.

"Awww, 'e's so cyute." Teigue cooed, poking gently at Marin's shoulder. Marin retaliated in a most unexpected manner, at least for him. Teigue couldn't muffle his gasp of surprise as Marin bit at his chest, then stilled once more.

"You little rascal." Teigue's couldn't stop smiling. Marin didn't reply, staying still but for his even breathing. Teigue was about to retaliate with a bout of tickling, when there was a knock on the door. Marin stiffened a bit next to him, but then relaxed, rolling backwards and off of Teigue's arm. The brunette let out a wide yawn, smiled with sleepy eyes at Teigue and stood up to wander over to the door.

Perry was on the other side, holding a telephone with a towel wrapped around his waist and dripping soap bubbles onto the carpet. Marin stifled a laugh and accepted the phone, ignoring Perry's speculative looks as he caught sight of Teigue and Marin's bare chest.

Teigue found watching Marin's expressions to be a most engaging pastime. He watched the various emotions flit over Marin's face, amused by the happy look that Marin practically beamed into the phone as he said hello, concerned as that look morphed into anger, more concerned as that anger changed to horror and concern.

"Of course, of course, I'll be there in an hour at the most." Marin was saying as Teigue sat up, shucking the blankets.

"Who was that?" Teigue asked, curious.

"My mother. She fell down the stairs yesterday." Marin looked rather perplexed. "She's generally fine, but her arm is in a cast and she wants me to visit."

Teigue pouted a bit, he'd been hoping to spend the day with Marin. "You should go then."

Marin blinked, then smiled. "Come with me?"

Teigue wanted to say no. Meeting Marin's mother? But the prospect of spending the day with Marin, combined with the hopeful expression on Marin's face…

"Alright. When do we leave?" Teigue asked, pulling Marin to stand between his knees as the brunette got within grabbing distance.

"Half an hour? It's a bit of a drive out there." Marin murmured, his hands going up to tease Teigue's red-brown hair. Teigue smirked.

"How fast can you get dressed?" He practically purred, staring up at Marin with half-lidded green eyes. Marin seemed to consider this for a moment.

"Pretty fast." He replied, his voice slightly husky, and Teigue smirked as Marin leaned down and brushed his lips against Teigue's.

One hour and fifteen minutes later they were parking in front of Marin's mother's house. It was a well-tended little house, white siding and pretty gardens, the only thing missing the white picket fence out front. There was an attached one-car garage and paved driveway, and the small house was surrounded by similar houses that varied only in the gardens and colors.

Marin was driving a car Teigue hadn't realized the brunette had. It was a clean, shiny blue, with soft seats and a sweet smelling interior. Marin was a good driver, not that Teigue had expected anything less of him.

The drive had been pleasant, Teigue had chattered and Marin had listened. Teigue had learned that Marin's parents had split when he was four, and that his father had died two years later in a car crash. He'd lived with his mother after that, until he went to college, when he moved into the flat he was in now.

Marin's mother was short.

That was Teigue's first impression of the barely-past-middle-aged woman who answered the door, one of her arms in a sling, wearing a flowing skirt and a thick sweater. She came to a few inches below Teigue's shoulders, and had Marin's beautiful grey-blue eyes, and sported a head of dark, dark hair that was braided and reached to mid-back.

"Marin, dear." The woman gushed, her smile bright. "It's been too long since you visited last. Come in, and introduce me to your friend."

Teigue followed Marin into the house, and found it was just as neat and well-kept on the inside as it had been outside. Marin's mother led them to the living room, seating herself in a thick easy chair, leaving Marin to sit on the couch with Teigue.

"Mom, this is Teigue. Teigue, this is my mother." Marin murmured, with a faint smile.

"Marin!" Marin's mother scolded. Marin's smile grew a bit.

"Oh, right. Teigue, you can call her Susie. Mother, Teigue's my boyfriend." Marin said, slipping off his shoes and pulling his feet up to curl next to him on the couch.

"Wonderful to meet you, Teigue." Susie didn't even bat an eyelash. Teigue smiled.

"It's nice to meet you too, Marin's mom." Teigue grinned as Marin rolled his eyes.

"Marin, how about you get some drinks. You know where they're kept." Susie smiled agreeably at her son. "I would, myself, but…" She waved the cast on her arm a bit as Marin stood.

"Of course. I'll be right back." Marin said, stepping out of the room. As soon as he was gone, the expression on Susie's face turned from cheerful to worried. She totally ignored Teigue, who was watching her, curious, and looked towards the direction Teigue assumed the kitchen was in.

Seconds later, a mildly loud crash was heard, the stomping of feet, and the front door slammed. Teigue blinked in surprise, his head turning towards the direction of the door. His gaze was drawn back to Susie when she sighed sadly.

"Well, I suppose that was an apt reaction." She said quietly, her voice sad. Teigue just watched confused. Confused, that is, until a certain young man came into the room.

"It didn't go well, then." Susie said solemnly.

"I tried." Justin replied, totally ignoring Teigue. Teigue stood, collected Marin's shoes, as the brunette was probably missing them about now, and slipped from the room.

Teigue found Marin on the front porch, curled into one of the deck chairs. Marin looked up when he came out, smiled faintly, then returned his gaze to the deck floor. Teigue let Marin's shoes drop with two small thumps onto the porch, and pulled a wicker loveseat to sit in front of Marin's chair, his knees touching Marin's lightly.

"Not what you expected?" Teigue questioned quietly. Marin just shook his head miserably.

"I don't want him here. He's supposed to go away and never come back." Marin stated quietly, his voice anguished. "He's not supposed to keep popping up everywhere, asking forgiveness for something that killed my trust in him." Teigue frowned as a few tears fell from Marin's shining grey-blue eyes.

Leaning forward, he pulled Marin into a light hug. "Sshh." Marin hugged back, burying his face into Teigue's chest and letting the tears go. They stayed like that for a few minutes, Marin crying softly into Teigue's chest. Teigue caught sight of the curtains moving in the large window behind Marin's chair, but he ignored it, it wasn't important, Marin was.

The door opened a moment later, and Marin's mother stepped out onto the porch. Her eyes were sympathetic when she saw Marin ensconced in Teigue's arms, but that didn't stop her from crossing the porch.

Marin stiffened in Teigue's arms at the sound of the door opening, but otherwise didn't move. He recognized the soft steps weren't his brother's, but he still didn't want to face his mother, who would no doubt insist that he give Justin another chance.

"Marin." His mother's voice was soft and soothing, and Marin could recall times that same voice had soothed his fears after a nightmare when he was younger – and when he was older. "Come on, dear, get your face out of that nice man's shirt and talk to me here." Marin almost choked, and he clearly heard the rumble in Teigue's chest that meant the redhead was amused.

"Yes, dear. Get your head out of – wait. No. leave it there." Teigue teased. Marin scowled and pinched Teigue's leg, though for the 'dear' or for the 'leave it there' he couldn't have said. Maybe both.

Wiping at his eyes, Marin sat up, closer to Teigue than he had to be, really, but Teigue wasn't complaining, and he wasn't going to either. His mother crossed the porch a bit to stand in front of them, sitting in Marin's deserted chair, as Marin realized that he had somehow gravitated over to the loveseat Teigue had repositioned.

"What?" Marin asked his mother, though he knew perfectly well what she wanted to talk about.

"Marin." Susie frowned a bit. "I know it's hard, but Justin really is sorry. He spent the last three years living with this – living with the fact that the little brother he was supposed to protect from bullies was his own target. He wants to fix things between you. You know I wouldn't have sent him over to your flat without being sure of it. He's been back from Germany for almost two months."

"Germany?" Teigue questioned, reminding the two he was there, though Marin hadn't really forgotten. Teigue was hard to forget or miss.

"My aunt lives there." Marin replied absently, leaning further against Teigue. Teigue draped an arm around Marin's shoulders.

"He spent two days writing that letter." Susie pressed.

Marin just frowned. "Where has he been staying?"

"Here, of course. How do you think I got to the hospital and back?" Susie asked, smiling a bit.

"Of course." Marin echoed, his voice a bit hollow sounding.

"I don't expect you to just forgive him right away. Just think about it, alright Marin? I don't like that my two boys don't get along." Susie said, her voice sad.

"I… yes, mother." Marin murmured. "I'll think on it."

"Good. Well, you're invited to stay for dinner tonight, but I don't think you'll be taking me up on that offer. But you're both invited for dinner on Tuesday. Justin will be here. I do hope you come." Susie smiled sadly. "I'm sorry I had you come out here to get shocked like that, Marin." She stood.

"It's alright." Marin said, his voice quiet. "I… maybe I'll see you then." Marin stood and hugged his mother, slipping on his shoes as she went into the house.

Marin sighed quietly as he quickly laced his shoes, hyperaware of Teigue standing behind him – probably lecherously eyeing his ass. Marin smiled a bit at that thought, amusement shooting through him, only to die out quickly. He could only describe what he was feeling as a numb sort of shock, as the anger and hurt had slipped away as his mother had talked.

Marin almost jumped out of his skin as Teigue hugged him from behind, the redhead chuckling a bit at his response. He quickly relaxed though, leaning back against Teigue's chest.

"Yes, yes, you have a cute ass." Teigue murmured in his ear, and Marin scowled. Before he could retaliate, however, Teigue was licking his ear, his breath hot against the sensitive skin. Marin couldn't help it, he sagged back even more, practically going limp in Teigue's arms as the redhead bit down lightly on the top of his ear.

Marin closed his eyes and focused on Teigue – Teigue's arms wrapped around him, Teigue's chest expanding behind his back, Teigue's hot breath skittering over his ear.

"Come on Marin, babe. I'm sure your mom doesn't really want us to make out on her front porch." Teigue murmured in Marin's ear, amused by the slight shiver his words produced – or maybe it was because he was so close to Marin when he said them?

Marin pulled out of his arms reluctantly, and turned to scowl at him. "Call me babe one more time and we're never having sex. Ever."

Teigue blinked, rather shocked. "What?"

"You heard me." Marin was scowling a bit, but Teigue could see the laughter shining in those grey-blue eyes.

"My god, Marin. That's cruel and unusual punishment." Teigue protested, taking Marin's hand and tugging him into motion towards Marin's car.

Marin couldn't hide the small smile as he tilted his head towards Teigue. "I think it's quite fitting. Though maybe not so long? Just put it off for a year or so every time you say something silly like that?"

Teigue spluttered, then scowled petulantly. "But Maarin." Marin looked to be unsuccessfully stifling a wide smile. "If you do that, you'll ultimately be punishing yourself as well. It does takes two to tango, if you know what I mean." Teigue accompanied his last statement with a suggestive leer.

Marin smacked Teigue's chest with his free hand, digging out his keys. "It will be worse for you."

"You don't know that. I can make it hell for you too." Teigue repeated his lecherous stare, fixing his gaze on Marin's ass. Marin laughed outright.

"Eyes up, lover-boy." Marin teased, breaking their handhold to tilt Teigue's head up.

Teigue spluttered again. "Wait, no, that's not fair. If I can't call you names, you can't call me names."

"Hmm." Marin seemed to consider this, unlocking the passenger side door for Teigue. Teigue didn't get in until Marin had unlocked his own door.

"I'm going to be chaste for the rest of my life." Teigue moaned melodramatically, slouching in his seat. Marin started to laugh, trying in vain to put the key into the ignition as he laughed.

Teigue eyed his attempts with amusement. "That's it, you're never topping. You can't even get the key in the hole."

Marin choked, and laughed harder. It was contagious, seeing Marin laugh so much, and Teigue couldn't help it, he started to laugh too. They finally calmed a few minutes later, Marin's eyes watering, Teigue's stomach aching. Teigue smiled widely at Marin, who smiled happily back, and Teigue was hit with a sudden rush of affection for the brunette.

Leaning across the armrests, Teigue brushed his lips against Marin's gently, meeting Marin's half-lidded gaze with one of his own. Marin kissed back, but they kept the kiss soft and chaste.

"Thank you." Marin said quietly, his own expression conveying something soft and tender that made Teigue's toes tingle and his heart beat quicker. He felt his lips curl up in a real smile in response, not one of his quicksilver smirks or grins, but a genuine smile.

"Do you want to go out tonight?" Teigue asked spontaneously. "We could do the traditional dinner and a movie?"

Marin's smile didn't waver. "I'd like that."

"Let's go, then. See if you can't get that key in the hole this time, hmm?" Teigue grinned. Marin just rolled his eyes though, and stuck the key in the ignition, starting the car.

They rode in comfortable silence for most of the trip back to the city, Teigue half-lulled into sleep by the drive. It was only when they were about five minutes away that Marin spoke, startling the half-asleep redhead.

"Teigue?" Marin asked hesitantly. "Do you think I'm overreacting?"

Teigue blinked, trying to figure out what Marin was referring to. To him, there were two possibilities. One was the whole 'not-having-sex' thing, but from Marin's serious mien it was probably the second: Justin.

"I mean, I do want to forgive him, if only for my mother's sake. I know she's really upset about the whole thing, and I don't want her to be upset but how am I supposed to trust Justin again?" Marin rambled off, his hands clenching the steering wheel.

Teigue sat up straight from his slouched over position, and frowned a bit in thought. "Well, people do change, right?" Teigue asked, half-thinking out loud. "And there's nothing saying you have to outright totally forgive him right now. You could just get used to him again, slowly, you know? And then later decide if you want to forgive him. Then at least you can say you tried, and your mom probably won't be as upset if she sees you're trying."

Marin frowned a bit, thinking. True, he could try and see if Justin was really sorry. But would it matter if he was? There was no changing what he'd done. But by that same token, it was four years ago. Shouldn't he be letting go, at least a little bit?

"It can't hurt to try, right?" Marin muttered, half under his breath.

Teigue smiled crookedly. "If it does, I'll kick his ass."

Marin smiled a bit at that. "You're coming with me to dinner on Tuesday then?"

"Wait, what?" Teigue asked, confused.

"Dinner. Tuesday. My mother invited us, remember?" Marin teased. "Alzheimer's kicking in early?"

"But…" Teigue protested futilely. Then he decided that yes, he was going with Marin, so that if Justin upset his boyfriend in the least, he could retaliate on the spot. "Yes, yes, fine. But I want consolation sex."

Marin laughed, and Teigue smiled at the sound. "Consolation sex? I think you're making things up now."

"Now?" Teigue questioned innocently. Marin swatted him, but quickly drew his arm back as he turned into the parking lot he generally left his car in.

Teigue climbed out the car and grinned at Marin, who eyed him warily. "So, Marin. About that conversation we had earlier."

Marin blinked at him, face blank.

"You know, the one where you said you were putting off sex a whole year for every time I called you babe?" Teigue prompted, smiling predatorily.

Marin's cheeks turned a bit pink, but he nodded carefully, still watching Teigue warily.

"Would that mean a year from now?" Teigue asked, leaning on the hood of the car.

"I… suppose? Why?" Marin blinked, perplexed, then his eyes widened. "No! Not from now!"

Teigue pouted. Marin scowled. "That was sneaky." Marin scolded. "From now. Tch."

"What? I'm not feeling the love, Marin." Teigue kept his pout. Marin paused, looking solemn for a moment. Teigue blinked in confusion as Marin made his way around the car to stand in front of him, meeting his gaze square on. Marin put on of his hands on Teigue's cheek, looking far too sober for Teigue's liking.

"Teigue." Marin started, but paused, biting his lip. "I… you should. Feel the love, I mean." Marin bit his lip again after this proclamation, his eyes shifting a bit nervously. Teigue was floored. Then he realized just what it was that Marin was implying, and he burst out in a wide smile, scooping Marin into a tight embrace which the brunette returned with a choked sob.

Teigue paid it no mind, just focused on kissing Marin breathless. Marin responded almost desperately, and it was a few minutes before they broke apart, both winded. Teigue smiled widely, whispering quietly so that Marin could just barely hear it.

"I love you too."

Perry could hear them through his open bedroom door as he sorted through his dirty laundry, readying for a trip to the laundrette down the road. He wasn't sure what was going on, for all he could make out was laughter and Marin's steady exclamation of 'No!'

Stepping out into the hallway, he could hear Teigue's voice more clearly.

"What about sugar-pie?"

Marin's laughter floated down the hall. "No!"

"Hmmm… lovah-boy?"


"Rin-rin, bay-bee?" Teigue stretched out each syllable and Perry had to smile at them. They were so cute.

"Oh, god, no!" Marin dropped something in the kitchen with a loud clang and Teigue swore. Perry just smiled and left them to their own devices, going back to his room to sort laundry.

End. Hopefully that wasn't too horrible, or too late.

In any case, I do believe this was the last chapter for this story. I may (emphasis on the may) do a little sidestory for Perry. Such a neglected character. Hmm… who knows?

Anyway, thanks much to those who would review, I would do individual replies, but I'm being horridly terminally lazy this evening, so sorry.

Reviews are like raspberry tea. Mmm-mm good.