Ten minutes after Lorene's call, Quan's arms are full of his very giggly, very affectionate girlfriend.

"Quu-uuaa-annnnn…" Chloe turns his name into about four syllables too many and a good five to ten seconds worth of sound. "Youuuu…mmm…" She punctuates that 'sentence' with a giggle and nuzzles him, her arms looped around his waist, face tucked against his chest and weight almost entirely supported by him. "You…should have come…been…there with me. It was fuuuun…" Her hands slide up, climbing his sides and catching behind his neck like a lasso.

Derik watches the display like he's waiting for her to catch fire.

Quan clears his throat. "Ah…Chloe, honey—"

"I think…" she begins again with all the sober gravity of a runaway circus, "…you…should kiss me…"

Perhaps this wasn't the best idea after all.

"Er." Under Derik's watchful eye, Quan tries to figure out how to turn 'No' into an explanation that would actually make sense. "Look, Chloe. I think maybe it'd be best if—"

But then she's tugging, whining that he ought to come down because he's too tall for her to kiss without his cooperation, and after another keening, "Quaaannnn…" he consents. Dipping with what he intends to make a quick, hushing kiss, he brushes their lips.

And she latches on.

She arches up, fitting her body into his like a cat as their lips lock, and Quan doesn't groan – he's proud of himself for that – but he does shudder, because she's close and small and soft in all the right places. She smells like her perfume and shampoo and tastes sweet and alcoholic on his tongue.

Never before has he been more acutely aware of Derik's eyes burning into him, even after he shuts his own eyes, and it has no right to turn him on more, because what kind of sadistic fuck likes forcing this kind of a show on someone? But it does. God, it does.

Maybe he is an exhibitionist after all.

When they pull apart, her eyes are still shut. She gives a contented hum, dipping her head and mumbling, "You…taste good…" into the base of his throat so that her lips brush there along his skin. Clearly, there's a deity out there that wants him to die of blue balls.

Somehow, they make it to her car.

Where in this case 'somehow' translates to, 'Quan carries Chloe bridal style because when they attempt to walk the distance, she trips every four steps,' and where 'her car' actually means Lorene's car, because—as Quan finds out after calling her back in frustration—they apparently decided earlier to just pitch together and go as a group.

Lovely. Now he's left with—


Quan shuts his eyes. Chloe is laid out in the back seat, he's outside, leaned up against the hood of the car, on the phone with Lori, and Derik is…

Still with him, amazingly—waiting beside him and sending broodingly distasteful looks in the direction of his cooing girlfriend.

"Just leave her there," Lori suggests, sounding distracted and not at all concerned with the possible gravity of the situation. "She'll pass out on herself soon enough anyway, trust me. Don't sweat it, and I'll get her home when I'm through…"

Quan doesn't like this idea. Opening his eyes again, he frowns up at a full blanket of stars—more visible out here in the dark parking lot than in the middle of all the fairground lights—but eventually, he answers, "Yeah, okay. I guess I'll just watch her for a bit, 'til she does that. Call me back when you get her home safe?"

"Yes, Mr. Perfect," Lori answers. "Just one thing for me?"


"Teach Derik that trick you do where you honestly give a damn what happens to your girlfriend."

In spite of himself, Quan winces. "Right. I, um—" She hangs up.

Derik spares him a glance. "So. You want me to head out now, or what?"

Quan looks up, surprised. "What for?"

"Uhh…" Derik gives him a look which suggests the answer to that should be beyond obvious. When Quan waits for a proper response, Derik rolls his eyes. "Well, let's think. Drunk off her ass and obviously horny girlfriend plus dark parking lot plus alone time equals…"

Derik's implication dawns on him.

"I'm not going to have sex with her," Quan says, defensive—as if the suggestion alone is totally ridiculous, which it is—except, from the look Derik gives him, Quan wonders immediately if he's gone and strung his own noose. "What?"

"You're not? And why the hell not?"

"Because—" Chloe's a virgin. "We—we, uhh…" Quan frowns. "We're just not to that stage yet. Is that such a big deal?"

Derik's disbelief intensifies. "You haven't even fucked her once ye—?"

"Will you keep it down?" The words come out in a hiss and Quan glances in to where it looks as though Chloe is indeed starting to pass out, as predicted. Mainly to increase the distance between their conversation and her ears, he moves around to the rear of the car. Derik follows, and when Quan props himself back against trunk, he catches the now thoroughly amused glint in his friend's eyes.

"You've really never tapped that?" Derik asks.

"Fuck you."

"You're such a faggot." It's almost a laugh, but it makes Quan's metaphorical hackles bristle. "You realize that, right? You've been with her for what, months now? And you haven't—"

"You're a jackass," Quan says, his glower deepening, and a pause follows. Then: "And you're one to talk—"

"I'm not a—"

"Yeah?" Quan cuts him off. "Well then neither am I, alright? Chloe and I are just…" He folds his arms over his chest, subconsciously defensive, "…taking it slow."

"So she's a prude."

"She's not—"

"You're gonna have to pick one or the other here."

Sometimes Quan wants to beat his best friend with a bat. Unfortunately, he's not sure what good it'd do. "You know, Derik," he says at length, "sometimes people get into relationships with each other because they like each other and want to, I don't know, get to know each other and enjoy each other's company. Not just for…" Another frown, "…going at it. Or whatever."


Quan glances over, and Derik steps in front of him. When Derik lowers his hands, palm flat to the trunk on either side of Quan's waist, Quan frowns down at him. "What?"

"Fucking," Derik repeats, and Quan watches Derik's lips move as he says it. "'Going at it' and 'or whatever' sound better if you just say it." Derik's knee wedges between Quan's thighs and taps against the bumper when his legs part; Quan doesn't swallow. "Fucking."

Quan feels his pulse trip on itself. "Er—"

"I think the truth is," Derik shifts his knee to give it just enough pressure to make it impossible to ignore, "both of you are prudes."

Quan chokes on a laugh. "I'm a—what? You're kidding, right? We just—we've…" He clears his throat. "Derik." He means to sound stern, but it comes out cracked and throaty. "This is a really bad place for—"

"—what?" Derik's hand moves in where his knee took up residence only a second before, fingers tracing and then cupping unabashedly at the bulge in Quan's jeans. Quan's lashes dip without his permission. "A bad place for…?"

"This…" The button of Quan's pants gives under the nudging of Derik's thumb, and Quan loses his train of thought.

"A bad place for me to jerk your cock?"

Yes. Yes, that exactly.

"Ahh…yhh…" Quan clears his throat, and his objections bat against the inside of his skull, but they sound sort of like the distant taps of someone playing ping pong in the opposite room: quiet and easy to ignore. Then Derik's hand is inside his jeans and Quan becomes significantly more dependant on his hands propped against the car hood to hold him upright. "Derik–"

"Shhh…" Derik's breath sinks into the skin of Quan's throat, his hand openly tugging now, and Quan's knees wobble embarrassingly. He's glad the car is stable. Oh, god, the car. This is Lorene's

"Derik." The name comes out in a squeak but Quan manages to shake his head, clearing his throat before proceeding. "Chloe, if she wakes up—"

"Then hush so she doesn't, huh?" Derik retorts, and it sounds—well, it's definitely a stupid idea—but it sounds like a brilliant idea because Derik's teeth are on Quan's earlobe now. He's successfully worked Quan's jeans down to his upper thighs and his second hand is joining the first: cupping, twisting, and encouraging.

Quan's knees are traitorous bastards that should be tarred, feathered and shot at dawn. "Oh…ah, fuck—" Quan has also had better nights as far as articulacy is concerned. Then Derik is sinking. It takes Quan a startled moment to catch on. "What—?"

But when Derik's on his knees, looking up at him with raised eyebrows in a way that says, 'Yes?' with all the smug-as-fuck arrogance a guy about to suck someone's cock can muster—which is apparently a lot—Quan loses his question halfway in.

"Problem?" Derik asks.

Quan shakes his head, so Derik smirks. And goes down on him.

Quan loses sight of the view for a moment, his lashes boycotting and refusing to open as heat and wet envelops him, and his fingers card into Derik's hair. Soft—fuck—beautiful blonde hair. Quan wars with the instinct to rock his hips, to buck into the heat of Derik's mouth because it's right there

And then Derik's phone rings.

Quan blinks downwards just in time to see Derik reach not to turn it off, but to flip the damn thing out of his pocket and open it. Without ever letting go of Quan's cock.

It's a bizarre sight to say the least, and Quan flounders for several seconds trying to process it. Derik has one hand full, still tugging wetly on Quan as he tucks his phone against his ear, and if he catches the 'What the hell?' look Quan tries to send him, he ignores it.

"Hey, baby," Derik says into the receiver, and before Quan can cuss under his breath, Derik licks him: a single, curling sweep over the head as if to prove a point. Quan's fingers resume their death grip on the hood of Lorene's car, and his eyes dart shut. "What's up?"

Quan's going to kill him. He's going to kill him. He's going to murder his best friend in a very passionate rage, and then Quan is going to commit ritual suicide out of pure, unadulterated shame and they are both going to burn in a very hot, very agonizing hell for—

Derik takes him back into his mouth. One, full, strong suck with the phone still tucked to his ear. Then he's talking again as soon as he frees up his mouth.

"Yeah, we dropped her off. We're actually out by your car still." A pause and a cup with his spare hand to Quan's balls as his tongue darts up the length of him. Then: "No. Yeah, we just decided to chill for a bit, talking and whatever. Yeah, just talking. No, Lorene, I'm sucking his cock—"

Quan chokes.

"—what the hell do you think we're doing?" Derik continues, not missing a beat. "We were bored of the rides so we're just hanging out a bit, yeah? What, you wanna talk to him? Sure, here."

And then suddenly Quan's desperately trying to signal 'no' but Derik's already pushing the phone into his hands, and Quan groans in frustration. Then just groans because Derik's mouth is all the way on him again, down to where he can feel the back of Derik's throat


"Lorene." Quan forces her name out with difficulty.

"Are you okay? You sound out of breath."

"Uh…hah, yes. I mean, no. I mean—" Quan clears his throat, half to steady his voice and half to muffle the groan that follows in wake of Derik's fingers sinking into his ass and hoisting him forward. "I'm fine. Your boyfriend is…" Derik sucks, bobbing deep enough that his nose nestles against the lowest 'v' of Quan's stomach, and Quan's lashes waver, his Adam's apple twitching in a swallow. "Amazing."


"Nothing." 'Your boyfriend's mouth is wrapped around my cock.' Quan shuts his eyes. "Forget I—forget it. It's not important."

After a brief pause, Lorene seems to shrug the oddities off and goes on to explain that she and the rest of the group will be hanging around for about another hour or so longer, and Quan does try to listen, but his heart feels like a derailed train in his chest. This is Derik's girlfriend talking at his ear while Derik's mouth bobs along his cock, and that has no right to make his toes curl in his sneakers and the roiling promise of release mount in his gut, but it does, it does, and he shudders with the effort to restrain it.

"Are you even listening to me?" are the first words he registers after a stretch of absolute distraction.

"Uh," Quan blurts into the phone and yanks his eyes up off of Derik's lips—slick and pink with use—and focuses on the stars instead. "Yes. An hour. You're busy still. It's fine we'll be…fine. I may just drive her home myself."

"You're sure?"

"God, yes," Quan breathes. Then, immediately realizing the nature of his response, he fumbles to backtrack. "I mean yes. Just yes."

Lorene giggles, Derik's tongue curls around his shaft, and Quan mentally thanks fate that she has been steadily imbibing alcohol because he's fairly certain there's no way this would have worked out otherwise.

"Hey, Quan?"

"Mm?" When he makes the mistake of looking down again, Derik meets his stare and Quan experiences a moment of panic as he realizes if he doesn't get off the phone now, he's going to finish down Derik's throat with Lorene on the phone. "Lori, look, I have to—"

"If you sound half that sexy in bed, you should come chat with me sometime. You know, if you get impatient waiting for Chloe to open up to you."

"Goodnight, Lori."

"Are you blushing?"

Derik winks, Quan's gut knots, his cheeks burn, and he can't breathe because—

Another snicker, and then: "Tell Derik, 'I love you' for me, okay? And say it in that voice right there. See if it turns him on."

Quan fumbles to hold the phone away from himself, covering the receiver with his palm in one hand and biting into his opposite fist with some cross-breed between a whine and a groan as his body convulses. Derik makes an infuriatingly self-satisfied sound as he swallows up the result of his efforts, and Quan thinks his knees might give out. When he works up the composure to check the phone again, Lorene has hung up, and Quan closes it with barely cooperative fingers.



"I can't believe—"

"You're welcome," Derik says, standing, and Quan pins him with an aghast look.

"Really? Not just on the phone, no, but on the phone with your girlfriend, and you just—"

"Oh come on, chill out. She had no clue, and it made you so fucking adorable. Watching you try to keep yourself together, squirming…" Derik's hands are on Quan's hips, rubbing circles into his skin with his thumbs, crowding him in and preventing him from dressing himself again. Quan opens his mouth, but then Derik's lips are on his jawline and Quan is closing his eyes instead because apparently he can't not when it comes to Derik. "And you thought it was hot."

"I think you're insane is what I think."

"Turn around."


Derik's snicker is warm on his neck, and then Derik lifts his head so that in a fraction of an inch their noses would be touching and all Quan can see is blue. "'Cause I wanna fuck you, that's why."

Quan isn't quite sure what happens to his stomach in that moment, but he knows he goes from satiated and mildly irritated by Derik's antics to half-hard and dry in the throat in seconds. "That's—" After choking on the word the first time around, Quan clears his throat, trying desperately to stifle not only the rising burn in his cheeks but also the rising interest in the parts of him that already had their turn, thank you very much. "I don't think that's a good idea. Derik, if Chloe—"

"Chloe isn't the one who just sucked you off," Derik says. "And if you were really worried about her…"Quan jerks, biting back a startled yelp when Derik's fingers curl loosely back around his over-sensitve cock.


"You wouldn't have let me get your pants down in the first place, would you?"

Quan is certain there's a very special place in hell reserved for him when he dies and right now it's labeled, 'You Never Grew the Balls to Turn Derik Carter Down: Congratulations, this is for you.' When Derik slides his hand back, cupping the lower curve of Quan's ass, and dips his head, pressing a kiss into the niche between Quan's neck and shoulder, Quan's eyes shut.

"C'mon, baby…" Derik's voice is heat on his skin again and Quan wants so very much to spin them around and ask if Derik would like to volunteer to be the one fucked against the car for once. But then Derik says, "Let me fuck you…" and instead of any of that, Quan mentally swears, turns, and notches his legs apart. Derik's fingers are slick when they spread him open.

Quan touches his forehead to the hood of Lorene's car as Derik fucks into him, and his chest hurts. Because yes, he wants this. But it's too easy to fool himself. Derik makes it so easy when he slows his pace to something gentler than what he started with — when he slides Quan's shirt up to press kisses into the small of his back, to his shoulder blades, to his skin, and when he says, 'I love the way you look like this…' 'I love the way you feel against me…' 'I love all the sounds you make…'

'I love your skin.'

'I love your taste.'

'I love your touch.'

I love…

I love…

I love…

Quan is a wreck by the time Derik finishes, and he doesn't know what he wants. He doesn't know what he wants. But he knows he's terrified of needing something Derik won't ever be willing to give. They clean up, putting themselves back together. Derik catches his shoulder before he can pull away.

"Hey…" There's a pinch to Derik's brow. Genuine concern that makes it harder to draw breath into his lungs. Couldn't Derik ever, just once, let things be easy? "Are you alright?"


Quan frowns. 'I'm fine,' waits on the tip of his tongue it's a useless thing to say, since it won't be convincing even if he did. So he shrugs instead.


"Don't worry about it," Quan says.

"Hey." Derik holds hims still, more firmly than before when Quan tries again to leave, and the concern in his eyes is more serious now. "What is it, huh? Did I hurt you?"

Quan almost laughs. 'Yes, you're hurting me,' rings through his mind like a hollow gong, but, "No," is what he says out loud. "I'll figure it out," he says. "It's whatever. I'm just thinking, that's all."

Derik's grip eases, but he keeps watching Quan, his expression pensive, and torn, as though there's something he wants to say, but isn't sure he can. Or he doesn't know how. At length, he says with some obvious reluctance, "You know, if you need to talk…" He rubs a hand at the nape of his neck. "I mean, I'm here, yeah? We're friends." He holds Quan's stare. "You can talk to me. About whatever."

Quan opens his mouth. He wants to lie. Say: 'Yes, I know. Thanks.' He wants to let it go. Walk away. Leave, get this over with, get on with the night and go to bed. The words, "No I can't," leave his mouth instead.

Derik tenses. "Quan—"

"You know I can't," Quan snaps, and even as he says it, he wonders if he's going to regret it, but like a broken dam, it keeps coming. "I can't because you don't want to talk. You never want to talk. Every time I bring it up, you panic like just mentioning shit we both already know is going to tear your whole world apart, and I hate making you feel like that, so I shut up, but it's hard sometimes, okay Derik? I'm confused, and frustrated, and yes, I would like to discuss some things, but I can't with anyone because you're the only person who even knows and—"

"Hey, hey, hey, wait up, okay, just…wait a second," Derik says, and he's backed a foot away from Quan now, his expression a pinched scowl. "What are you even on about?"

"Oh come on, don't bullshit me—"

"Okay fine," Derik snaps. "Fine. Okay? You want to talk? We'll talk. What do you want to say, huh? Do you want us to talk about our 'feelings'?"

Quan's grip on Lorene's car tightens and then he lifts his hands from the hood, folding his arms across his chest instead and meeting Derik's stare. "Maybe I do?"

"Alright." Derik opens his arms, palms up, to either side of him. "I like you. Right? Like, obviously. You're my best friend. You've been my best friend since God knows when. And now? You turn me on."

Quan isn't sure why that comment warms his cheeks, but it does.

"You, Quan Lee, my linebacker, you make my dick hard. So what?" Derik says. "What do you want out of me? A poem? Quotes from Shakespear?" Quan frowns. "Flowers and chocolate with a signed card, maybe? 'To Quan, from Derik: Thanks for blowing me the other day. You look great on your knees. I esecially love the way you—"

"Piss off," Quan snaps, but Derik grabs his shoulder when he turns to leave again.

"I'm fucking serious, okay?" Derik says. "What do you want from me?"

"I don't know—"

"Then maybe you should decide before you get pissed at me!" Whatever remained of Derik's patience is gone. "I'm willing to talk to you, okay? I'm right here, and I'm waiting. But if you don't even know what you want, then don't fucking expect me to, alright? I'm not a mind reader and I sure as hell don't have you all the way figured out yet, so just work with me…or don't expect shit out of me."

Quan waits. He eyes the gravel, and then the rest of the parking lot farther off, watching the shadows bend as the lights from the fairground flicker and shift. Eventually, voice barely louder than the shadows, he says, "Just get off, Derik…" and, to his surprise, Derik lets him go. Quan adjusts his jacket, pulling it tighter around him, and he examines the toes of his sneakers. "I'm going to take Chloe home."


When Quan breathes out, his breath is a ghost in the chilled air. "I'm sorry."

A long pause follows his addmittance. Then: "For what?"

Quan shrugs. "Making you angry?" When he finally manages to look up, Derik isn't the picture of stubborn frustration that he expects. Instead, Derik's hands are tucked into his pockets, his shoulders dipped in a defeated slouch, and his frown is far more worry than anger.

"I'm not angry," Derik says. "I'm just…" For once, he looks away before Quan. "I'm frustrated, I guess." A pause. "I shouldn't have shouted at you."

"I'll live." Quan turns to go, but hesitates a moment before opening the door to the backseat, and turns back to Derik instead. "Hey, Derik…Lorene wanted me to tell you something for her." He waits 'til Derik looks his way, eyebrows raised.

"Yeah?" Derik asks, casual.

Quan meets his gaze and holds it when he says, "I love you."

For an instant, Derik looks like a man shot — frozen still, panicked, floored, wordless — and then Quan turns away from him, unready to wait and watch for his expression to change as he opens the door and dips in rouse Chloe. She murmurs when he touches her, but cooperates, wrapping her arms around his neck when he motions for her to. She yawns as she tucks her nose against his neck. "Is Derik…alright?" she asks, groggy and still half-slurred.

Quan blinks as he arranges her better for carrying. "Derik?"

"He was shouting…he sounded upset…was I dreaming?"

Quan sighs, and tucks a kiss against her shoulder. "No, you weren't dreaming. He'll be alright. Come on," he prompts as he begins to move back. "Hold on. We're gonna get you home." She mumbles more as he lifts her out of the car, but nothing else is intelligible, and when he looks, Derik's eyes are still locked on him. "Goodnight," Quan says around his armful of girlfriend, and Derik opens his mouth, but his voice doesn't quite seem to be working yet, because after a long pause, he just nods. Quan leaves him.

Derik's eyes follow his every step until he's out of sight.

A/N: Bah. Okay, well, THAT took way too long. But um, yeah. This short is finished. The next installment in their story will finally be the sort of...implosion in their relationship and rocky road to recovery-ish that follows. Probably novella or novel length, since there's no way I can tell it all in a single or even several one-shots. Hope this was an acceptable conclusion to this round; sorry again for how unforgivably slow this is going.