Title: One Moment
Authoresses: VoodooPanda and ANT-chan
Rating/Genre: Romance/Drama/Humor/NC-17 (for far too many things XD)
Summary: Sasha Adelais has resigned himself to the single life at an early age. He's awkward, nerdy, short, and distressingly girly. Not dating material. Or at least, no one but Aiden Patroclos has ever seemed to think so.

Super Special Warning of Awesome Disclaimers: These characters, this plot, and this setting belong to us. They may not be used without permission. Also, this is slash! Yaoi! Gayness! If you didn't get it by what our author name is, then this is your only warning!

One Moment

Prologue: Just One Moment

"Nnn... Can't... reach... Poe!" The short brunet stretched his arms as high above his head as he possibly could, struggling to reach a thick, black-bound volume. Even though he stood on tip-toe, precariously perched atop a chair, he was still at least a foot away from his prize, a book of the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe. He gave a little jump, in hopes of obtaining his goal, but failed miserably, and in doing so, slipped from his perch, arms waving, and crashed to the floor, his fall somewhat cushioned by a haphazard pile of books below.

"Ow..." he muttered, straightening his glasses, which had been knocked askew by his spill.

"Are you... haha... are you okay?" His already flushed face darkened in embarrassment. He glanced up in dread, his eyes confirming his fears - the sound hadn't been a delusion.

Standing at the end of the aisle was an older teen, tall and lean with short dark hair. Hazel eyes were twinkling at him in amusement. His tall form was slouched slightly against the bookshelf, his hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter. "You uh..." the man cleared his throat, "You need some help?" The newcomer's grin was bright and slightly devious.

He blushed harder. The brunet extricated himself from the pile of books and smoothed the wrinkles out of his black vest with as much dignity as one could muster after falling into a pile of books in front of a complete stranger.

Refusing to meet the taller male's eyes, he cleared his throat and said, "Ahem. Yes, yes, I'm all right. Could, ah, could you just pretend that didn't happen? I'm not exactly proud of my lack of coordination and grace." He finally turned his blue eyes upwards, and they widened slightly. "Oh, my, you're tall," he mused.

The elder could've laughed at the other's embarrassing spill, or his large, round glasses, or even how his thick, chestnut bangs fell into his eyes, only to be blown up by an impatient huff of breath. Instead, he chose to chuckle at the boy's oddly formal manner of speech.

"You're an odd one," he chortled.

A dark brow arched and full, pink lips quirked at the corners in a wry half-smile. "Hmph. As if I haven't heard that one before. I'm Sasha Adelais. You?"

The other's smile softened a bit in greeting. "Aiden Patroclos." At the smaller teen's widened eyes he laughed, and continued: "Family's Greek, if ya couldn't tell. But you didn't answer my question - you need help?"

Sasha was grudgingly silent. Aiden strode further into the aisle, hazel eyes trained on the top shelf. "Which book were you looking for?"

The brunet bristled. "You were watching?"

"Just for the split second before you fell. Uh... sorry?" Aiden held up his hands in a show of peace. "I would've tried to catch ya, but I ain't that fast, so..." he shrugged. "Your secret's safe with me, kid, I promise."

Sasha drew up to his full, rather unimpressive height, glowering indignantly. "I am NOT a 'kid,' for your information. I am one year away from a legal adult. The correct term would be 'teenager.' Get it right, or go away."

Aiden leaned slightly away from the irate teen and laughed. "Woah, ki- Sasha, calm down. Didn't mean anything by it."

Sasha, despite his ruffled feathers, pointed to the top shelf. "You can make yourself useful by retrieving that copy of Edgar Allen Poe's collected works. Seeing as how I'm vertically challenged."

Aiden wisely chose not to comment, easily plucking the leather-bound tome from its perch. "Edgar Allen Poe, huh?" he said, turning the book over in his hands. "Not bad, but not my thing really. Here." He handed it over.

Sasha took the book with a slight frown, hugging it to his chest. He raised a brow in light-hearted sarcasm. He spoke, in a tone that was more good natured than insulting, "I wouldn't imagine a person like you to be able to appreciate it." He pointedly eyed the man's physique, which was toned from what had to be meticulous exercise. He could plainly see the way the man's muscles stretched the fabric of his T-shirt. By all appearances the man looked like a stereotypical jock - tall, toned, and boyishly handsome.

But the elder teen rose to his challenge. "Nah, you're right. I prefer Homer and Dante any day."

Sasha's brows shot up, disappearing beneath his heavy bangs. "Oh, really?" he asked, genuinely surprised. "I would have figured you for the football idiot type."

Aiden smiled dryly. "Gee, thanks."

"So, aside from your good taste in reading material, are you the typical jock? You know, cheerleaders? Drunken parties? Beer pong? That's the sort of thing usually associated with the moronic jocks that attend my school."

"Hah! I've been to my fair share of parties, but I never have more than a few drinks. Hangovers aren't conducive to a seventeen credit-hour schedule. I'm usually the guy the frat boys hate."

"Oh? And why is that?"

The dark-haired teen flashed a smirk. "Because I'm the one that'll go in there bright and early after a party and very loudly remind all of them that they have class and practice. And as for cheerleaders, I could do without 'em. I've met some cool ones that can actually speak and think at the same time, but most of 'em are too airheaded and stereotypically blonde for me. Gimme an intelligent brunette any day." The last part was said with a bit of teasing charm, his grin blatantly flirtatious.

And Aiden meant it. He was pretty picky when it came to who he found attractive - both men and women. But the kid was cute, and feisty too! His first impression had been right. The younger teen was odd, though Aiden found it worked strangely in his favor. 'Whoa, down boy,' he chided himself, 'The kid said he was seventeen. He's still in high school. Off limits.'

Sasha willed his cheeks not to flush that embarrassingly girly bright pink they tended to favor and averted his eyes. Aiden's flirting was probably just a stupid joke anyway. "I'm very glad to know that I haven't been wasting my valuable time talking to a drunken idiot," he said. He hoped he didn't look as flustered by the elder's words as he felt.

"Glad to have not wasted your time!" Aiden chirped, grinning. The boy's cheeks had gone the cutest shade of pink.

"Well... Then... I suppose I should be going, then." Sasha retrieved a black-and-white checkered messenger bag and tucked the book of Poe's work into it, then slung it over his shoulder. "I've got to get home." As he was turning to leave, something occurred to him. He was running away like a coward! Sasha Adelais was anything but. He took a slow, calming breath, turned back to Aiden, and gave him his best flirty smile. "I almost forgot." He grabbed the man's wrist, took a pen from his pocket, and scribbled something on the back of his hand. Even after the dark digits were inked into Aiden's skin, he let his fingers linger a moment longer than necessary on his arm. "If you ever desire some intelligent company, I can be reached at this number. Perhaps we could discuss our literary preferences over coffee?"

With that, he whirled around and vanished around a corner before his blush got the better of him, leaving the other male and a pile of scattered books in his wake.

Aiden stared blankly at the spot the where Sasha had vanished, and then slowly looked down at the phone number written on his hand. The kid wasn't only feisty - but assertive too! 'Seventeen,' he mentally warned himself. It was quickly becoming his mantra. But... damn. 'I'm going to end up calling it, aren't I?'

"Lead us not into temptation," he quoted sardonically, "Yeah. Right. Temptation just gave me his fuckin' number. Shiiiiitt..."

"So you were flirting with that little brunet! Hah, I was wondering why his face was so red. Really, brother, I never took you for a pedophile." Aiden glanced up sharply at the familiar voice and came face-to-face with... himself. Sort of.

Aaron Patroclos was standing casually at the end of the aisle, an easy-going smile on his face. It was like looking into a mirror, and would've been disturbing if he hadn't been dealing with it since birth. Aaron came over and slung an arm over his brother's shoulder. "Wow, he gave you his number? Maybe I should call it and pretend to be you. I bet I could get through a couple of dates with him before he noticed."

The other's eyes narrowed into a mock-glare. He knew his brother was joking. "Yeah, you do, and I'm telling your girlfriend."

Aaron hissed. "Geez, cruel."

"Then don't be a fuckin' smart ass, little brother."

This time it was Aaron who glared. "Only by three minutes," he muttered darkly. They both couldn't hold back their smirks. It was an argument they'd been having almost since the day they learned to talk. "Speaking of Aya, you'd better clean up those books. Or I'll tell her how you mistreated them."

Aiden's eyes widened in genuine terror, and he quickly knelt to tidy the fallen books. "Jesus, you'd better not! Your girlfriend is scary!"

"Hey, if she has it her way she'll be the head librarian at the National Archives. She's gotta start early." When Aiden had completed his task, Aaron checked his watch. "Let's go get something to eat. I'm starving! You were taking forever in here!"

So here's the prologue of this epic (as in sheer length) tale. It's set in a fictional island nation called the Crimson Isles. We have a brief explanation of its location and culture on our profile, if you're interested! Thanks for reading, everyone!