Pt. II

"You know," Quan observes idly, the corners of his lips fighting to quirk upwards as Derik maneuvers the arms of the new bear 'Quan' back and forth in a sort of obscure dance that makes Quan think of tribal spells and voodoo, the secrets of which would be known, of course, only to Derik and the bear itself, "…for the captain of the football team, you can really be a dork sometimes."

Derik blinks up at him, his antics pausing for a fraction of a second before he scoffs, "Psshhh…" and waves Quan off. "You kidding me? I am the definition of awesome." Turning his head to the bear, he directs his next question to it. "Isn't that right, Quan? Isn't that right?"

Whatever Quan might have said in reply is interrupted immediately by the significantly higher-pitched, makeshift 'voice' of Quan-the-Bear (narrated, naturally, by Derik).

"Oohh, yes, Derik," Quan-the-Bear pipes up, paws lifting to either side of its snout – guided by Derik's fingers – as though gasping in awe, "…you are the man."

Quan choke-snorts around his laugh and places a hand at the small of Derik's back, ushering him gently away from the shooting booth. "Okay, right. C'mon, Derik, let's leave this poor girl alone…how many drinks have you had?"

"Dri—?" Derik huffs, theatrically aghast, though he allows Quan to lead him. "I have not been drinking," he defends himself. "What, I can't act five if I feel like it? Why'd you even win me a bear if I'm not allowed to play with it?"

Stomping the urge to kiss Derik's pout on the spot, Quan clears his throat, but his smile refuses to dip. "You are…allowed to act five as much as you want, I guess. You just…" When he ventures a glance, Derik's doleful look hasn't dipped, and it is verging on incapacitatingly distracting. "You…" Drawing a breath, he pointedly looks away. "You just do…an impressively good job of it, that's all."

"Hn." Derik's look evaporates back into a neutral expression as quickly as it came. "Yeah, well…it got you to smile, alright? That was the important thing."

When Quan opens his mouth, nothing comes. There's a warm, pleased rush of feeling that stalls in his throat, and he looks away as he bites down on the reaction. Silliness.

A distracted call of, "Have a nice night…I think you're a beautiful couple!" follows them from the booth they just left, the crowd swallowing them up a second later, and Derik smiles.

"And there, see? She thinks we look good together…" he asserts, and Quan half laughs, but can't quite formulate a reply, still hung up on the last thing Derik said. "Now all we gotta do is go out and…buy curtains. Pick out…flower patterns or some such shit."

"Floral patterns," Quan says automatically, but Derik only nods.

"Yeah, flower patterns," he repeats. "That's what I said. Pick out furniture…curtains and the lot like a couple legit fags."

Quan sighs, a frown itching to settle into place. There's a lot he could say, a lot he wants to say, but he's not even sure how to start, let alone how to proceed from there. So, eventually, what comes out of his mouth is, "And do you want that? Ever?"

Derik, judging from his blank expression, has already forgotten what they were talking about. His question, "Want what?" confirms that guess, and Quan purses his lips.

"Nevermind," he dismisses the inquiry with a headshake. "It…wasn't important."

"Quan-"

In search of some, any, form of distraction, Quan's attention lands on the Ferris wheel and an amused, almost teasing smile curves onto his lips. "Hey," He cuts Derik off and nudges his head forward, indicating the looming structure across the way, "…wanna go for a ride?"

Derik's reaction, when he catches Quan's drift, is immediate, his lips pursing and eyes narrowing suspiciously. "Really?" he quips back. "Like…seriously? The Ferris wheel?"

Quan shrugs, keeping it casual. "Sure, why not? Could be like your…ultimate come back." Clearing his throat, he takes on a makeshift stage voice, spreading his hands to either side of him as though introducing a title screen: "And here we're back, ten years later, as Derik Carter returns to ground zero for a grand face off against his greatest childhood fea—ahh!"

The last part cuts off in light of Derik shoving up against him, and Quan's monologue dissolves into a bubbling snicker, only further agitated by Derik's obvious, failing struggle not to smile. "And who's making a dork of himself now, huh? Jesus…" He shakes his head, "…I'm not afraid of it still…I was like, what…ten?"

"Seven," Quan says, his brain providing the information like a happy little robot of the sort that always seem to show up in cheesy science fiction movies, spitting out stored data at the drop of a hat in the form of bleeps and numbers. He's not sure why he remembers it so precisely, but he does. "It was second grade."

"And anyhow," Derik continues undeterred, clearly on a one-way train track with this subject, "…I already told Lori I wasn't getting on it with her. When I said boring, I meant it. It goes in a circle x-number of times…and then you're done. Where's the appeal in that? It's like…paying money to sit in a chair…listen to some creaky noises, and wait for the ride to be over."

"Yeah, well…" Quan catches Derik's eye before he says, "…I'm not Lorene, am I? And I'm asking you to ride with me…" Even Derik, Quan figures, is bright enough to figure this one out. And he's right, because a second later, sure enough, still holding his stare, Derik huffs. It's a defeated huff.

"Right," he grumps back, already resigned. "Great. Sitting in a chair and listening to creaky hinges," he goes on, "…sounds awesome. Like…just what I've always wanted to do." When Quan's smile lights up, a good deal of the dissatisfaction latent in Derik's expression peters out like water draining from a sieve until there's something that might be an answering smile twitching there, fighting for ground at the corner of his lips where irritation used to be. He turns his head away. "Fucking…high maintenance…"

"I'm high mainten—?"

"Yes," Derik says flatly, but the both of them already headed over in the direction of the fated fair ride. "Yes, you are. I better get laid for this…"

"A high maintenance best friend," Quan repeats, quizzical and duly sarcastic, and Derik's eyes dart over, evidently very aware of both the sarcasm and the implication behind it.

His attention slides down – from Quan's eyes, to his lips, lower still and into a quick, sweeping once over – and by the time he makes it back up to Quan's face, Quan has to wonder if the faint hint of color in his friend's cheeks is a trick of the light, or genuine. Derik's tongue darts once distractedly over his own lips looking like a ravaged man who just glimpsed the edge of the desert and every bounty that an oasis brings before he pointedly turns his head away.

"Yeah," he says. "Sure, why not?"

Bullshit.

Quan keeps the thought to himself. Instead he says, shifting until his shoulder brushes against Derik's and speaking quietly enough that only Derik will hear, "Listen, if you'll quit whining about it…and manage to get through the entire ride without crying like a baby like last ti-" Derik shoves up against him and Quan stifles a smile but caves, sidling determinedly back closer and going on more seriously, "We can go back to your car, right after this if that's what you want, and do whatever you want, alright?"

That

Well, that gets Derik's attention, certainly. His eyes dart up, dark and focused, searching Quan's expression as if he isn't quite sure if he's being teased still or the intent behind the offer is serious, and there's no mistaking what he wants, but Quan knew that already. So, when Derik finds what he's looking for, his expression breaks like a mirror on concrete, shattering into a dangerously bright grin where each angle of it reflects a separate blinding glint of light.

"Great," he responds with convincing enthusiasm, and his grin melts together into a smirk that does not make heat crawl up the back of Quan's neck and threaten to set-up camp in his face. Except that of course it does. "Have I mentioned how much I love Ferris wheels?"

It occurs to Quan that perhaps he should start using sex as a motivator to get Derik to cooperate on other various ventures which he's otherwise whiney and obstinate about, and he tucks the thought away for more in depth examination at a later date. They line up, though the line is meager to begin with, and when the current ride ends, they make it to the front that first round. Derik hands over tickets, and the man manning the gate glances between them.

"You two are one cart?"

Derik replies without a moment's hesitance, "Yeah, we're together," but he must catch something in the look that response earns him, because a second later he opens his mouth to amend his statement – or clarify it – but Quan nudges him before anything comes out, urging him through the gate. He must decide it's not important enough to fuss over because he gives in with an eye roll and walks through.

After they clamor in and the gate to their cart latches shut, Derik immediately stretches out. He plops Quan-the-Bear down beside him, lounges back, props his feet on the empty bench opposite them and crosses them at the ankles, hands folding behind his head.

"So…" he says once settled, tossing Quan a lackadaisical, canine grin, "…you promise to hold my hand if I get scared?"

Quan snorts but doesn't answer right away. Instead, his eyes study the way the grated protective walls of their cart leave hatched shadows on Derik's face and neck; the way they sharpen the dips and angles of his expression as he shuts his eyes and leans back. And the way darkness seems to pool like cool liquid in the hollow of his throat. He turns his attention away, to the outside. With the sky fully dark, the fairground looks like Las Vegas, or a giant sea of glowing Mardi Gras beads and Christmas lights strung about over every surface available, spinning and gyrating like a go-go dancer.

Finally, he says, "Only if you promise to kiss me at the top." Like some sort of cheesy, tween girl romance. There's always a stolen kiss shared furtively at the top of a gleaming Ferris wheel, right?

Naturally, it's Derik's turn to snort.

But he doesn't wait 'til the top to move. Their cart lurches forward, and almost the same instant, his fingers lace into Quan's. Quan's eyes dart down, startled, to their entwined hands, because when had Derik moved his that close? And for a moment, he wonders if Derik actually is scared – or at least surprised by the abrupt jut of movement – but no, of course not. Other than his hand – the thumb of which is now curling down and shaping the inside of Quan's palm like molding clay in a way that makes the hairs on his arm prickle up with a warm shiver and sends a wash of heat through other parts of his body – Derik hasn't moved: his eyes are still shut, his heels still perched against the opposite bench and legs crossed at the ankles.

The cart lurches again – still loading on passengers, no doubt – and Derik's hand tugs, a twitch of movement, like a jerk on reins. "What—?" Quan starts to ask, but Derik shakes his head.

"Sit…" Another tug, "…closer…" he instructs.

"Bu-"

"What's the point of stuffing ourselves into a dark…" Yet another tug and a scoot and Quan is a bit closer, "…secluded cart at a…" Closer still, "…raggedy ass fair, by ourselves, if I don't even get to…" Again, and their legs are flat together, their shoulders bumping, and Quan can smell Derik's aftershave at this range. It's nice. Woodsy.

Quan's hand, lead by Derik's hand, lands – palm down – on Derik's thigh, flat to jean fabric and a scribbled hint of warm skin and tight muscle underneath. Quan's breath threatens to stall up in his throat, and then Derik moves. Unfurling from his lounged position, sidling close and snaking up against Quan's body until there are lips on his throat – hot, moist, and licking (No wait, Quan's brain mentions helpfully, it's Derik's tongue that's moist and licking, not his lips…) – and Quan conveniently forgets for a moment that he planned on saying anything at all.

"Get…to…?" he manages to ask vaguely and belatedly, and Derik's huff skirts warmly up the column of his neck.

"In," Derik says, which doesn't make much sense in the context of Quan's question until Derik urges the hand still laced with Quan's even further up and oh, of course it had nothing to do with Quan's question. Just Derik's dick. Which was…

Which…was…

Hard. And hot, under Quan's palm. And almost undoubtedly painfully tight in those jeans – something Quan is, incidentally, starting to be able to sympathize intimately with. He swallows, and curls his fingers over the bulge even as he says, "This…is a really bad place for this…"

"You picked it."

"People will s-"

"S'dark," Derik insists dismissively, and the words are a hum of vibration and a dancing of lips along Quan's collar bone. "No one can see, and if they're payin' that much attention…" Derik's hand leaves Quan's grip in favor of relocating to Quan's knee and then sliding up his leg—up, up, and in, along the inside of his thigh—and it's all Quan can do not to buck into the touch, "…let them look."

His second swallow is dry and chased by a pant, and at Derik's urging, he opens his legs, suddenly far too hot inside his own clothes as Derik's fingers trace up his inseam and finally curl over his trapped arousal. A twitch of a turn is all it takes to spur Derik into lifting his chin up, and then, he's kissing him. The ride must have stopped loading by now because it's moving in a smooth circuit – click, click, click, with each pass – and the shadows of the outer frame roll over them like the fingers of ghosts as Derik's teeth dig at his lower lip and tug, pushy and wanting, before his tongue sweeps out and licks Quan open. Delving in. Tasting.

It's fast and messy, but Derik tastes like cotton candy and salt, and Quan wishes they were somewhere more private. Somewhere he could give in to this head rush, pivot and shove Derik up against something solid; sink his fingers into Derik's hair and take his time sampling his mouth, his neck, and his…

"You're so easy…"

Quan scoffs, breathless, and he isn't sure when his spare hand – the one not palming Derik's cock through his pants – made its way into Derik's shirt, but it's there now, fisted at the front of it and holding him close enough that he can see the glint of the carnival lights warming the canopy of Derik's lashes and reflecting in his too-blue eyes.

"And you're not?" is his only comeback, but he emphasizes it with a twist of his more southward bound grip at just the right angle so that Derik's lashes flutter for an instant, accompanied by a full-body shudder, and his lips part against Quan's mouth with a broken groan.

"Fuck-"

Derik's lovely like this, and Quan doesn't mention that he's never even thought about trying these things with another guy, let alone gone through with them. Derik is more than enough to try to deal with at the moment. Not to mention-

Something clinks against the outside grate of their cart. Nothing very big, but obviously something other than the natural cycle of the ride, and sure enough, the miniature projectile is followed almost immediately by a hearty shout from the cart behind them. "Hey faggots!"

In the fraction of a second before he jerks back himself, Quan feels Derik tense, and he whips his head around, squinting in and effort to make out the shapes of the kids – it sounded like a kid's voice, anyway – in the other cart.

"Think y'all can knock that off? Not everyone wants to see all that, and some of us would like to keep down what we just ate."

A small chorus of snickers from the other members in the cart, as well as one theatrical makeshift retching noise, follows in the wake of the comment – middle schoolers, if he had to guess – and before Quan can even begin to formulate a response, Derik is turning himself fully around in his seat, propping his elbows against the back of it and calling out to the instigators, "Hey! What's your name, kid?"

A shuffle of movement, and then a scoff. "Why should I tell you, perver-"

"He's Robert!" a second voice cuts in – another boy.

"Hey, shove off!" 'Robert' responds in a sharp reprimand, though that's quieter and not directed at them, so Quan barely makes that out over the distance.

Derik continues unabashed, "Nice to meet you, Robert. I'm Derik. Tell me Robert, have you ever kissed an ass before?"

Quan almost chokes, and he hisses, "Derik-" but Derik waves him off, shushing him.

"The fuck?" comes the response from the other cart, and Quan shuts his eyes, wishing he could sink into oblivion. "No!"

"Good," Derik responds, his tone flinty and bubbling with an undercurrent of the volcano Quan knows from experience is lurking there, waitingto erupt. "Here's the deal. Wanna complain again? And you can get firsthand, first time experience kissing mine, alright? And if that's not to your taste? I'll just break your head against the nearest brick wall I find as soon as we get out of here. Sound fun?"

More shuffling and a murmur of exchanged words so mingled together that Quan can't make them out, and for a bit, he thinks there will be a response, but then Robert's companions have apparently persuaded him to sit back down because he does, and Derik swivels back around and sinks back into his seat, looking some combination of seethingly pissed off and smug.

Quan opens his mouth.

"Little fuck," Derik spits, sure enough. "The hell does he think he is? 'Nobody wants to see blahbity blah shit blah,'" he mimics in an inordinately high-pitched voice, dripping with venom. "Pinheaded little shit prolly hasn't kissed a damn thing 'sides his mommy in his entire life…"

"Didn't you shove Terrance Rivers into his locker every day after English in tenth grade calling him a fag?"

Derik blinks, and frowns. "Sometimes I called him a homo…or just a pussy…or twerp, or tech freak, or Mr. Whitley's personal, closeted, gay little cocksucking piece of—what does that have to do with this?"

Quan throws him a look and shakes his head incredulously. "Really?" he asks. "You don't see the contradiction there?"

To his surprise, Derik rolls his eyes. "Okay, whatever…it's different."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," Derik insists.

"Like…?"

"First," Derik says matter-of-factly, "…those little shits?" He nudges his thumb in a backwards motion to indicate the kids behind them. "Middle school, if that. What the hell business do they have snoopin' in on what other people are doin' in separate carts?"

"So…it…is your business what Terrance-"

"Second," Derik interrupts, "Terra is a fag."

"That's not his name."

"He's a fag."

"Implying that we're…not?"

"No, imply—I mean, yes," Derik corrects quickly. "We're-" Again, Derik cuts himself off, gritting his teeth, and eventually he throws Quan a look of his own. "Why do you have to make everything so complicated?"

"I'm one making things complicated," Quan responds, speaking in the best deadpan he can manage in a valiant effort not to let too much of his amusement seep into his tone for fear it'll set Derik off. More than he already is.

"Yes. You—look, Terrance…is a twerp, okay? He's a freaking…toothpick. What is he, five-five? Five-six? One thirty pounds max?"

"And that makes him gay."

"It makes him a loser. It means he's like…" Derik searches for the right words, hands open and motioning vaguely, "…begging to be knocked around a bit. He wears army print, baby-shit-green cargo pants and combat boots…to class. Daily. I don't even know if he owns a pair of jeans or tennis shoes, 'cause I've never seen him wear either."

"And…" The edge of Quan's lip threatens to twitch up, but he tames it, "…that's what makes him gay. I see. It all makes sense now."

"It makes him weird," Derik says, ignoring Quan's sarcasm. "It makes him really, really weird. And he hangs out with that creepy…cutter. Emo girl…thing. With the hair that…" He wriggles his fingers beside his head indistinctly with a grimace, "…looked like she jumped in an oil vat every day before school…and the black clown makeup."

"It's not that bad."

"It's disgusting."

"I still don't see what that has to do with him being ga-"

"Okay, whatever," Derik grumps. "He might not be gay…but he is weird." The ride slows to a halt, signaling the start of the unloading process, and Derik says, "Finally!" like they just reached a river at the edge of the desert. Quan resists rolling his eyes, but smiles anyway.

"You don't have some sort of awkward jock/geek crush on him, do you?" he asks, and Derik looks over at him with the expression of a man coming face to face with the live offspring of a wild sea otter mated with a flamingo.

"A…what?"

"I said-"

"No," Derik cuts in. "Ew, Jesus. Doesn't that only happen in movies?"

"Doesn't what only happen in movies?"

"The whole…" He clears his throat and motions to himself, "…exhibit A: charming, popular…dashingly good looking, if I do say so myself-"

Quan's face falls into his hands with a groan.

"-ending up with…" Derik emphasizes to speak over Quan's groan, "…exhibit…'X', who is super nerd galore. Only in movies do those two get together, and…even then, exhibit X isn't really an exhibit X. She's a hot chick with giant ass clown glasses and unbrushed hair posing as an exhibit X, and then at the end of the movie they brush her hair, ditch her glasses, throw her into the tightest red or black dress they can find, and—BAM! All problems fixed…" He thinks for a moment before adding, "Oh, and cleavage. She must have great tits hidden under her baggy nerd outfit."

Quan lifts his head just enough to prop his chin in his hand and shoots his friend a dubious look. "Sometimes, Derik…you are so full of yourself…I don't even-"

Derik loops his arm over Quan's shoulder, stilling that comment midway and taking on the makeshift tone of a TV broadcast salesman as he says, "Act now on our limited time offer, and in a few minutes, you too could be full of Derik Carter…"

"One day," Quan promises solemnly, meeting Derik's Cheshire grin and teasing eyes without falter, "…I'm going to either break or dislocate your nose." That earns him a snicker, and Quan purses his lips. "You don't think I'm serious."

"Oh no, baby, I believe you," Derik says, his words saccharine and still amused, and Quan opens his mouth, but then Derik leans in. "And I'm very…" Derik's breath is warm on Quan's lips, "…very…intimidated…" and Quan can't quite make himself withdraw. So, the kiss that follows is soft, and since Derik doesn't add tongue, Quan lets it stay like that – gentle, and close-mouthed and…sweet? He doesn't realize his eyes have shut until it ends and they pull apart and his lashes flick back open to find Derik's gaze on him. "Sorry," Derik tells him quietly, finally sounding fairly serious, and Quan blinks.

"For what?"

As their cart comes up to its last stop, Derik shrugs, and he stands when the attendant shows up just outside to open their door for them. "Partly for bein' full of myself," he answers, "…but, you know…mostly for not doing that at the top in a nicer way before those brats interrupted. Figured…just maybe, you dragged me onto that thing for something other than a I-want-in-your-pants-now type of come on, and add to it two pint cock blockers…"

Quan snorts as he follows Derik out of the cart. "Do you even do anything other than 'I-want-in-your-pants-now' come ons?"

At least, Quan consoles himself, Derik has the tact to look wounded. Sort of. "I can be…" He hesitates tellingly, "…'romantic'…ish…" The wounded look degrades into a thoughtful frown. "At times…"

"Really."

"Yes, I-"

"What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for anyone?"

Derik opens his mouth, eyes glancing sidelong, and, "Shit!" he blurts, prompting Quan's eyebrows to twitch up.

"Shitting isn't very roman-"

"Nonono," Derik cuts in and pushes forward, quickly turning his head back around and urging Quan along. "That kid, that kid-"

"What about the kid?" Quan asks, freshly puzzled as he tries to glance back to the small gaggle of kids now unloading from the cart previously behind theirs.

"I know that kid," Derik hisses, now obviously trying to keep his head down and get them out of sight. "Fucking-"

As that information sinks in, Quan finally adopts Derik's panic, clipping back, "You know him?" even as he moves hastily with him to bury themselves in the crowd. "And you didn't notice earlier? What the hell kind of-"

"Shut up, okay? I didn't notice. I couldn't see him, and I don't know him very well," Derik defended himself. "He's like my mom's…coworker's…little nephew or something, I don't even know. I only recognize him 'cause he's been in our house a couple times before when she dropped by, but I never spoke to him-"

"Does he know your name?" Quan growls back, figuring that's fairly important seeing as Derik shouted it across the distance between their carts earlier, and Derik's cheeks heat up.

"Umm…I don't…think so…?" he responds with far too little self-assurance for Quan's comfort.

"Fuck-"

"I really don't think so!" Derik says again, this time comfortingly more certain, but there's still a worry line etched into his brow and Quan groans, pinching the bridge of his nose as they edge around yet another building and finally lean up against the back wall.

"Sometimes, Derik…I swear to God-"

"You believe in God now?"

"I fucking swear to God," Quan growls again, this time with forceful emphasis and ignoring the – rude and completely unnecessary – interruption, "…sometimes…you are such an idiot, I don't even-"

"Actually," Derik cuts in, again, "according to a lot of people, I'm an idiot pretty much all the-" When Quan rounds on him, shoving up off his perch, pivoting and bringing his hands down hard to the wall on either side of Derik's head (and doing a fairly good job of 'looming', if the wide-eyed reaction he receives is anything to go by), the sentence cuts off. Derik clears his throat. He blinks up at him, and it's a moment longer before he finishes, with just a fraction less gusto, "-time."

"You know," Quan says, his tone more or less back to even now, "every now and then…just, you know, every once in a little while…you could actually let me finish my senten-"

Derik kisses him.

It's a clean, closed-mouth kiss to start off with—a warm, silencing press of lips—and Quan's eyes shut. He lets it linger like that for a moment, just feeling the heat of Derik's body, close like this, the push of his mouth as he moves, just a fraction of an inch, and the scent of him that belongs absolutely and only to Derik.

Then, he opens his mouth. Pushing in and tilting his head, Quan parts his lips and sucks, drawing Derik's lower lip into his mouth, trapping it with his teeth and finally painting it with his tongue, tasting and licking and-

The sound Derik makes—as his mouth falls open and his hips twitch up greedily like an overzealous hooker in a frantic attempt to grind—goes straight to Quan's cock. He's wanted to before, but more than ever – right now – he wants to fuck his best friend. He wants to hold Derik to the wall, strip off his—too-tight, in the way, irritating, totally pointless—jeans, slick his fingers, spread him open, and fuck into him to see what kinds of sounds he makes with a cock sliding into his ass.

"Fuck," Derik pants, "Quan-"

It's not fair.

Making some frustrated sound that might be a growl or a groan or both, Quan licks into Derik's mouth. He forces his way in, past his lips, and then deeper than that. And just that fast, the kiss is no longer even remotely tame. It's wet, and messy, and hungry, and Quan feels a giddy spike of satisfaction when Derik's hands find his hips, dig in, and cling. He rolls his weight forward, grating rough denim against denim and—fuck, Derik is hard as a rock—he slides his knee up and in, pushing it between Derik's legs and nudging them apart until Derik shudders and ruts up against him-

But even this isn't enough. Because Quan knows Derik will never let him have him. Not even once will Derik let him turn the tables because Derik lives, breathes, and exists for his pride, and no one—certainly not Quan—will ever be able to change that. Everything is a game, and Derik only plays to win.

He breaks the kiss. When he draws back, opening his eyes to really look, Derik is a flushed wreck—lips glossy and slick and bruised from kissing, hair amok, catching on the bricks behind them—and his pupils, when his lashes lift, are dark enough that he could have been on drugs.

"You're a tease," Quan informs him, meaning it absolutely.

But Derik only laughs, a chopped, breathless sound; it's still delicious enough that Quan leans in again, kissing him just to taste it, and Derik hums happily, shutting his eyes again. "I'm the tease…" he repeats without ever quite breaking the kiss and sounding appropriately two-parts surprised and one-part sarcastic when he says it.

"Yes," Quan asserts. "You-"

His phone rings.

Derik's grip on his hips tightens. "If you-"

Quan answers it. "Hey," he greets, and a smattering of indiscernible loud noises, interspersed with giggles and background shouting, answers back. It was Chloe's number, so when she speaks, he knows it's her even though what, exactly, she's trying to say is impossible to make out. A second later there's a pause, and then another female voice comes on, this time clear.

"Quan, you there?"

"Lorene," he says, surprised, and it shows that Derik is, too, "what's going on?"

"Oh thank god," she clips, sounding like she's been rescued from the prospect of having to take part in a science fair where wearing a shorter skirt to the final presentation wouldn't help her GPA. "I thought I was going to have to baby sit her all night. Look, we found this party going down just outside the park, okay, and we were bored, right? So, duh, we all go hang with this group of college kids with the alcohol, but your goody miss two-shoes over here-" Quan doesn't correct her, "-isn't handling her liquor well…and we're pretty sure someone's been slipping her something extra strong. So, if you don't want her demonstrating the splits to the next guy with a dick-"

"I'll be right over."


A/N: Just realizing how long ago it really was since I last updated this...oops? Sorry guys. Hopefully (and I honestly expect this will happen) the next (and probably final) chapter in this short will be up sooner rather than later. I hope you enjoyed this bit, in any case.