Title: Murphy's Law

Author: Tabitha

Rating: R for Jael, who is R-rated even when he's not doing anything. No, really. You'll see.

Summary: Sam knows the quickest way to ruin a friendship is to sleep with your friend's little brother, but two men can keep a secret if one of them goes to boarding school just as long as he doesn't come back… (SLASH)

Feedback: If you don't mind.

Warnings: This is a SLASH story, meaning that there will be BOYS GETTING IT ON with other BOYS. If you have a PROBLEM with this LEAVE NOW and do NOT bother flaming me because, a, you were WARNED and, b, I will LAUGH at you. This is the last time I will say this.

Chapter 1

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

When Sam thought about college, it had always been as a far away necessity. Sure, he imagined himself as the next great script writer and had frequent daydreams of his name attached to a multimillion dollar movie script, but college just seemed like a pit stop on the way to a great life. It had taken him until this, the beginning of his second year, to really get used to it.

It helped that he had Denny. He and Denny had known each other since they were in Kindergarten, when Sam had dropped his ice cream in the sandbox and Denny had beat some kid up for his and given it to Sam. It had been Sam's quick thinking (and a bribe in the form of extra graham crackers) that had kept the kid from telling on Denny. The incident had more or less set the precedent for their entire friendship.

Sam had wanted to room with Denny, but he and Denny were doing two completely different majors in two completely different buildings. Sam was majoring in Dramatic Writing at the arts college while Denny was studying Criminal Law at the law and justice college. Sam was instead rooming with a kid named Landon for the second year in a row, a total party boy who spent most of his time club hopping when he should have been studying. At least Sam knew how to balance.

Since he and Denny weren't rooming, they met up in one of their rooms whenever their conflicting schedules would allow. Sam usually sprawled out on Denny's bed, much like he was doing at the moment although classes didn't start until Monday, while Denny whined and bitched and complained about every aspect of his orientation day.

"—and then she blew me off," Denny was saying, lower lip jutting out in the beginnings of a world-class brood. "I mean, seriously, what was her problem? I'm amazing."

"Her loss," Sam said even though he didn't entirely agree. Sure, Denny was good-looking with the longish sandy hair, blue eyes, and tanned skin, but Denny was also an asshole. It took a special kind of person to put up with him. "You deserve better, man."

"You're not about to suggest a guy, are you? Because that's your thing, not mine."

Sam rolled his eyes. "I already told you. If my sexuality is a problem for you then I'll stop jacking off to your picture at night. No big deal."

"You're disgusting."

"So's your face."

Denny was about to reply with some equally mature but the shrill sounds of Shakira filled the dorm room. Someone was calling him. Sam raised an eyebrow at the new ring tone, but decided to save his ribbing until after Denny had gotten off the phone.

Would you like a belly shirt to go with that ring tone, gay boy? Sam thought with a smirk, impatient for Denny to get off the phone so he could hit him with that zinger.

"Yeah? Oh, hi, Mom. No, I don't always answer the phone like that. It's Sam's bad influence." A pause. "He is not. He hasn't been angelic since he was in the womb."

Sam grinned. He loved Mrs. Hastings and she loved him.

"What? You're kidding. Seriously? Are you sure he wasn't fooling you all? His SAT scores couldn't have been good enough to get in—okay, okay, I'm kidding. Ugh, right now? Can't he call a cab?" Denny gave Sam a pained look. The meaning was obvious. Mothers. What a pain. "Okay, fine, I'll go pick him up. Yeah, okay. No, right now. I promise. Okay. Bye, mom." Denny slapped the phone shut and pegged it at the bed. "Well, damn!"

"What's wrong?" Sam asked, sitting up. "Shakira's decided to retire to the mountains, leaving you at a loss for ring tones?"

Denny looked around for something to peg at Sam, found nothing, and grumbled. "Jael's coming here. Like, attending. He told Mom not to tell me until he arrived and he's at the airport waiting for us."

Sam froze. "Jael's here?"

"I don't want to be looking after his crazy ass all the time!" Denny complained. "I'm twenty years old. I'm young and sexy and how am I supposed to get any if I have to spend all my time making sure my baby brother isn't getting any?"

Despite himself, Sam had to smile. "I doubt you could stop Jael from getting any if you tried."

Denny grumbled again. "We should go pick him up before he gets pissy and calls Mom and she calls me and gets pissy and then I get pissy and take my anger out on the nearest available punching bag, also known as your face."

Sam grabbed Denny's phone and tossed it back, then took his good sweet time straightening the bed sheets and pillows. When he couldn't stall any longer without looking like he was stalling, he grabbed his coat.

"Alright, let's go."

It wasn't hard to find Jael at the airport. He was running his fingers along the arm of a very good-looking man in full view of everyone, leaning up to whisper something likely suggestive in his ear.

Denny seemed unsure whether to scream or yell first. Sam was equally at a loss for words. Jael had been sixteen the last time he'd seen him and his hair, the same color as his brother's, hadn't been decorated with blue tips. His ears hadn't been pierced either—certainly not three times on the right and twice on the left—but he had been wearing tight pants much like the ones he was wearing now. His shirt said I Love My Weiner and he was carrying a bunch of blue suitcases that matched the dye in his hair.

Well, no, Sam thought as the man, obviously embarrassed, began to unload his cart and put Jael's things on it instead, he was having someone carry the bunch of blue suitcases that match the dye in his hair.

"Slut!" Denny finally screamed at last, getting the attention of a series of people in addition to his brother. Rather than look insulted, Jael seemed to take it as encouragement if the way he sauntered over was any indication. Denny rubbed his temples. "Give me strength…"

Sam rubbed his shoulders. "Relax. I'll get his bags."

He left just as Jael walked up, moving around the teen and over to the poor, enamored man still loading the cart. The man stopped staring at Jael's ass long enough to eye him suspiciously as he approached.

"Friend of the family. I'll take those, thanks," he said, taking possession of the cart. As a nasty afterthought, he added, "You'll probably never see him again so you might want to try someone who isn't barely legal."

Sam didn't turn to see the impression he'd left. Denny had an arm around Jael's shoulders and a smile on his face when Sam pushed the cart by them, which he took for a good sign. When Jael had been sent to boarding school, Denny had been every bit as pissed as his parents.

Then again, Jael had been naked and handcuffed to his parents' bed at the time.

Denny started the car and Sam loaded the bags into the trunk, trying to fit all of them into the small space. The small bags seemed to be much heavier than the larger bags, as though Jael had decided to store tissue paper in the big suitcases and rocks in the small ones. Still, Sam didn't complain. He just tried not to pull something.

"Here, I got it," purred—yes purred—a voice, helping Sam lift what looked and felt like a bowling ball bag into the trunk. Sam nearly dropped the suitcase as he stared down at Jael who smirked back. "You were struggling. I figured I should lend a hand."

"I'm—I'm good," Sam said after Jael had helped him get the little blue monstrosity in the back. Jael closed the trunk, then watched him expectantly as Sam shifted from foot to foot. "Um. You've gotten… taller?"

"No, I haven't," Jael said and it sounded like Bzzzt, try again.

Thankfully, Denny impatiently honked the horn and saved Sam from this torture. He called shotgun and nearly dived into the front seat, deliberately not glancing at the rearview mirror. Instead, he turned on the radio and he and Denny sang loudly and obnoxiously along the entire way back to the campus.

"What do you think are my chances that my roommate is gay?" was the last thing Sam heard Jael say. Denny absolved him from his best friend duties for the rest of the day so he could help Jael settle in and catch up with his little brother. Sam, restless and alone, headed back to his dorm for a nap.

To his surprise, Landon was actually inside when he opened the door. He had his huge headphones on and a book open in his lap. Sam very nearly died of shock.

"Oh, shut up," Landon said without lifting his head. "My parents will kill me if I flunk out so I've got to get back on track this year."

Sam shuffled over to his bed and jumped on it. "Have you declared a major yet?"

"Not even! I'm almost twenty. How the hell am I supposed to know what I want to do with the rest of my life?"

"You can't stay in college forever, you know."

"Wouldn't it be pretty cool if I could?"

"…not really."

"That, my friend, is because you are a downer."

"Or because you're an idiot."

"Or both."

Unable to find some way to argue with this, Sam conceded and buried his head under the pillow. He thought of Denny, wondered if Denny thought it was weird that, outside of the mandatory car ride, he'd shied away from being alone with him and his brother. And if Denny hadn't noticed today, what would Sam do if he and Jael continued to pursue some kind of weird sibling friendship? If Sam was lucky, Jael would screw up and put himself on Denny's shit list and fast. His psyche couldn't handle the stress of being with Jael and Denny.

A corner of the pillow lifted, revealing the end of a pencil eraser and a brown eye. "You alright man? What happened?"

Sam sighed. "Nothing."

"Nothing like your girlfriend broke up with you or nothing like your boyfriend broke up with you or nothing like your girlfriend became your boyfriend then broke up with you?"

Sam stared at him.

"It's happened," Landon said defensively.

"Right. Actually, it's just… well, there's this freshman and I—okay, do you know Dennis Hastings? Over at the law school?"

"No, but I'm going to say yes so you won't stop talking."

"Ha. Well, Denny's little brother—they're two years apart—Jael is here and he's. Well, he's. He's just… I'm not sure there are words in the English language to describe what Jael is."

"Is he, uh, into guys?"

"Oh, you have no idea," Sam poked his head out of the pillow briefly to survey Landon's lanky, athletic form. "He'd probably do you."

"I'm a ladies man, Sammy boy."

"That's what five of Jael's 'friends' said."

Landon whistled. "Thank goodness he's gay or I might have some competition."

Sam laughed, although he'd gotten nowhere near the real problem. He was trying resolutely not to think about it, especially not when Jael was around, especially not when Denny was around, and especially not when he was around both.

"Anyway, his parents caught him in an awkward position with the boy they paid to cut the lawn and they sent him off to boarding school for two years. Now he's going here."

"Huh," Landon leaned back in his swivel seat and turned it around. "Sounds like it's going to be a pretty interesting year."

"Again, you have no idea…"

Sam made it until Monday. He and Denny hung out in Denny's room, occasionally going out for coffee or to visit some clubs, and he didn't see Jael all weekend. The novelty of his arrival had worn off and Denny had fallen immediately back into his routine of complaints. Sam had never been more thankful to hear him whine.

He was on his way to his first Playwriting class of the year when he collided with someone and sent both their books skidding along the grass.

"Shit, sorry," he apologized, bending down to pick them up.

The victim chuckled and sent Sam's blood running cold. "Still as clumsy as ever, huh, Sam?"

He straightened stiffly, once again face-to-face with Jael Hastings. That defeated the purpose of avoiding him all weekend.

"I've gotten better," he managed. "I used to send the person flying, too."

"I have excellent balance," Jael said, pushing his hair out of his face and lowering one lid in a wink. "Plus, I'm flexible."

"Plus, what are you doing here?"

"I have class here. Duh."


"Uh, yes? I'm majoring in Drama." Jael tilted his head curiously. "Are you majoring in Drama, too? Denny wouldn't tell me, the ass."

"Um. Not quite." Sam glanced at the sky and wondered when God had decided to hate him. Of course—of course—there was always the possibility that he was just a spaz. After all, Jael hadn't done anything out of the ordinary since he'd arrived and it had been awhile ago and he hadn't exactly been sober at the time and— "Want me to walk you to class?"

—and Sam was really asking for it, but if Jael could act normally then why couldn't he?

Jael was surprised for all of five seconds before he knelt down to gather their things. "That sounds nice. I was starting to get the feeling I was unwelcome."

Sam went to help him, holding the bags steady as Jael separated their notebooks, pencils, pens, etc. His red hair tickled his nose as he kept his eyes resolutely on their task. "Not unwelcome, no. It's just…"

"Just what?"

"You… you're really… um, different. Um, physically. And I was just—surprised, I guess. I didn't know how to act around you."

Jael's hand brushed his as he reached over to slip their bags shut. Their eyes met and Sam almost didn't flinch.

"Leave the acting to me," he said, his hair falling endearingly against his cheek. "I like you for you."

Sam's breath hitched although they hadn't been doing anything even remotely tiring. Jael's eyes were the same blue as his brother's, but they seemed deeper somehow. Enchanting. They were drawing him in and he just…

Jael's little pink tongue ran along his lower lip, snapping Sam out of it. He sprang to his feet, wiping his mouth furiously. "We're—we're late for class," he said, voice squeaky with panic. He realized he was still holding Jael's bag and dropped it, making sure not to look anywhere near the younger boy.

He heard Jael stand slowly. "You still going to walk me to class?"

"I—I should—"

"Yeah. Yeah, I get it." He sounded almost sad, though his tone and voice were even.

Sam swallowed things he could—should—say and hightailed it to Playwriting before anything else could happen.

He was just being a good friend, he reminded himself whenever he thought back on it. He tried not to, but when he did, the whole thing really seemed like Denny's fault. He and Denny were supposed to be babysitting his rebellious sixteen-year-old brother, who was grounded for missing curfew two weeks in a row, but Jael wasn't the only rebellious one. As soon as his parents were out the door, Denny had called his crush of the moment and given Sam twenty bucks to take Jael down to Dairy Queen and come back around eleven.

Jael, of course, hadn't been in his room. There was a sophomore party going on. Had his parents really thought he'd stay in his room.

"My date will be here in like five minutes," Denny had said, highly annoyed at his brother's antics. "I don't have time to drive half-way across town to go pick him up."

"You think he won't be back before your parents get back?"

"I think he won't be back at all." That's when Denny had caught sight of the twenty dollar bill still in Sam's hand and grinned. "Unless I pay you to go get him."

Sam hadn't particularly cared either way, but he'd made a big show of not wanting to so Denny would fork over another twenty bucks. Then, he'd called a cab and gone to the party.

There'd been too many cars outside to park and Sam couldn't afford to make the cabbie wait anyway, so he'd paid the guy and weaved his way through the crowd of half-drunk underclassmen. He remembered feeling so much older than all of them, just because he was a senior and about to kill Jael's buzz.

Putting some of the least drunk teens through the Spanish Inquisition had helped him find Jael sprawled on the bed in the guest room upstairs. He'd been cradling a glass of wine, but had already reeked of alcohol. He hadn't even moved when Sam walked in.

"Jael?" Sam had said quietly, just in case the kid was asleep. No such luck. Jael's eyes had opened and blearily focused on him before closing again. "Come on, Jael, I have to take you home."

Jael had stared at the ceiling for a long moment before he slurred, "Did Denny send you?"

"Sort of. Want to go to Dairy Queen?"


"Me neither." Sam had reached the bed at that point. He had grabbed Jael's arm—his first mistake—and shook him gently. "Seriously, can you walk or do I need to carry you? How much do you weigh again?"

Jael's hand had covered his, then tightened seconds before the boy dragged him down into the bed. Sam still had no idea how it happened, but he'd found himself on his back on the bed with Jael straddling his hips and swaying unsteadily on top of him.

Sam remembered being very confused as Jael had broken up with his another one-week girlfriend a little over a month earlier. "How much did you have to drink?"

Jael had licked his collarbone in lieu of answering. Sam blamed himself from that point on. After all, maybe if he hadn't broken up with Derek, he would have been sexually satisfied by the time his best friend's little brother had decided that getting drunk and molesting him in a guest room at a party was a good idea. Maybe then he wouldn't have shivered, which was all the encouragement Jael needed to start kissing his neck in earnest.

"Stop—" he'd said weakly, grabbing Jael's hips to pull him off. The instant his fingers made contact with Jael's hip, he'd began grinding down and coherency had left him for awhile. Things were a bit of a blur after that. He remembered Jael whispering for him to relax, he remembered the steady, insistent pressure of those hips moving and working against his own. He remembered Jael's hands sliding beneath his shirt and his own, traitorous fingers tracing along Jael's spine. He didn't know where Jael had produced the lube and condom from, but his next memory was of inching his way into Jael as gently as he could because Jael had, of course, been straight at least ten minutes ago.

At least, that's what Sam had thought.

He remembered being very exhausted and smelly and so fucking guilty afterwards as Jael more or less passed out under him and snuggled up against the blanket like the innocent, straight sixteen-year-old he was. It all seemed so surreal. Sam really didn't like to think about it.

He had gotten Jael home eventually, and before Mr. and Mrs. Hastings had returned, and he and Jael had never mentioned it again. Sam would have said Jael didn't remember it if it wasn't for the fact that Jael's partners after that point were exclusively male. Denny noticed the change, but he didn't know the cause, and Sam blamed himself every time Jael was caught in a compromising position with one boy after another after another.

Apparently, Jael just really liked the sex…

Sam found it hard to focus in any of his classes. Every moment, unbidden, he'd get a sudden flashback to that night. The way Jael had whimpered his name. The way Jael had began to taste less like cheap wine and more like gummy bears. The way Jael looked when he climaxed.

Rather than getting him excited, each image just made him feel more and more loathsome. He'd taken advantage of a drunk teenager. He'd taken Jael's virginity. He'd practically—literally—corrupted his best friend's little brother. Even if he told Denny about it now, what good would it do? He'd be twice as pissed to have been kept in the dark for so long.

And Jael… Sam shivered as he recalled Jael's tongue along his lip. Jael had kept his distance before, but…

He walked back to his dorm in a daze, so out of it that he almost missed the hushed conversation going on inside. The door was open a crack so Sam peered inside. Jael was in his dorm room, which couldn't be a good thing, and so was Landon. To be more specific, Jael had Landon pressed up against the wall.

"He warned me about you, you know," Landon said and looked very uncomfortable to be trapped between a wall and a boy five inches shorter than him.

"And yet you still end up in this position." Jael was about as innocent as a baby rattlesnake. "I like to think of myself as influential as opposed to scary."

Landon pressed himself further against the wall, then caught sight of Sam. "Dude!"

Jael turned around as though he'd been doing nothing out of the ordinary and, for lack of a better option, Sam pushed open the door and stepped in. Landon wasted no time in grabbing his bag and racing out the door past it, slamming it shut behind him. Sam had a feeling Landon would be scared to death of Jael for the rest of the year. He was generally alright with "alternate lifestyles", but he probably wasn't used to being on the receiving end of any of it.

Sam put his bag on the bed and eyed Jael warily. "So your next target is my roommate?"

"We were just talking," Jael said, unruffled. "But I really came here to see you."

"I was afraid of that."

"Then let's not beat around the bush. I'm guessing you didn't tell Dennis that you fucked me when you picked me up from that party two years ago?"

If Sam had been drinking something, he would have spit it out. As it was, he choked on his own spit. "Wh-What—"

Jael sat neatly on Landon's bed, watching Sam with a calm but firm gaze. It was obvious that he wouldn't be deterred, distracted, or thrown out until he'd finished saying what he had to say. Whether or not Sam died of asphyxiation before then seemed irrelevant to him.

"I remember everything. I always have," Jael continued. "But you seemed to be trying your best to forget it so I didn't say anything."

"So… so why are you saying anything now?"

"Because I could easily ruin everything for you just by going to my brother and telling him what happened. You know how he loves to jump to conclusions. He'd probably skin you alive with a soup spoon."

Sam's heart was a lead weight in his chest. "Are you—would you—"

"I might," Jael examined his cuticles. "Of course," he began, standing. " You might want to keep me quiet."

"What do you—"

Jael pushed him back on the bed and straddled him, a move so reminiscent of that night that Sam was frozen for a moment, caught in a memory. Jael's lips on his temple brought him back.

"What do you think I want, Sam?" Jael whispered, breath hot on Sam's ear. "What are you willing to do to keep me quiet?"

That was just it. Sam shot up, causing Jael to fall in an undignified heap on the floor. He ignored the slight discomfort in his pants as he stood, glaring down at his best friend's little brother.

"You're seriously trying to blackmail me? And in exchange for what? Sex that you can get anywhere else?"

Jael stretched out on the floor, his leg brushing Sam's sneakers. "Of course not. That's stupid."

"Then what the hell are you doing?"

"I'm not here for sex," and he had the nerve to sound insulted by the very idea. "I'm here for you. I want you to be my boyfriend."

Sam was too stunned to be angry, too stunned to do anything but gape at the short, scrawny boy lying comfortably on his dorm floor. He could hardly remember what he'd been angry about.

For the first time in what was probably forever, Jael's cheeks turned red and he sat up to avoid having to look at Sam anymore. "I've never had an actual boyfriend before. I've had plenty of sex. More sex than anyone my age has a right to have, actually. Hell, I was in the bathroom with a kid I met on the plane only five minutes after landing. Sex is not what I need right now."

"Damn," Sam said, impressed.

"What I need—what I want—is a boyfriend and I was thinking, well, you were my first gay fuck so why not make you my first boyfriend, too?" Jael glanced up at him through his bangs, biting his lower lip in a way that was ridiculously adorable. "It makes sense, doesn't it?"

"Not really. I mean, don't you think Denny will find it just a bit odd that we're dating out of nowhere?" Sam asked and then remembered why he'd been so angry. The fire behind it had faded, however, leaving him exhausted and nervous. "You aren't really going to tell him about—you know."

Jael was impassive. "I might. If you turn me down, I will."

And thus we reach a stalemate, Sam thought wryly, considering his options. On the one hand, he could say yes. Jael seemed like he honestly wanted a boyfriend and Sam hadn't had one in so long that he wasn't entirely opposed to the idea. However, on the other hand, he could turn Jael down. Aside from the fact that Jael was a highly sexual being, he really wasn't Sam's type. And even though he'd be avoiding awkward questions from Denny, he'd also have his internal organs given back to him in a bowl once Jael told his brother who had led to his initial deflowering.

Who was he kidding? This was no stalemate. Jael had him cornered and they both knew it.

Sam ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. "You know I hate you, right?"

"Denny won't find out," Jael promised, a hint of a smile on his face. "I can pretty much guarantee you that. We can be secret boyfriends and kiss in dark corners and go to movies in trench coats and huge sunglasses."

"And you won't tell your brother? About anything? Ever?"


Sam wasn't sure how much Jael's word was worth, but he shook on it anyway. What choice did he have?

Jael got to his feet and kept going, pushing himself up to press a surprisingly chaste kiss to the corner of Sam's lips. "I've got homework. Walk to class together tomorrow?"

"I guess."

They watched one another in silence for a moment. Sam was aware he looked exhausted, frustrated, and perhaps a little desperate, but he couldn't read anything but pure content on Jael's face. Sam wondered how long he'd been planning this, if this was what he'd truly wanted or if he was being forced to settle. Sam wondered what was going on behind those placid blue eyes.

Most of all, Sam wondered what the hell he'd just gotten himself into and how long it would take for the shit to hit the fan.

Jael left with a soft smile and Sam fell into bed, covered his head with a pillow, and did not sleep at all.

A/N: I actually have nothing to say. Um. My foot's asleep?