Carlisle rolled over from where he had awoken with his head buried in Donnovan's pillows to find his boyfriend already up and pacing around the room, throwing various items of clothing into a sports bag. He still seemed grumpy, Carlisle thought.
'Are you going to the gym?' he asked groggily, and winced at the sharp pain that ran through his head.
'Yeah,' Donnovan said in a low voice. 'Are you okay?'
'No, my head feels like it's going to fall off. I hate hangovers,' Carlisle whined. 'Do we have any painkillers?'
'No, you finished them yesterday,' Donnovan sighed. 'Do you want me to go buy some?'
'Would you mind?' Carlisle smiled sweetly; he knew he was pushing it, even for him.
Donnovan sighed again and left the room without another word, dropping his gym bag to the floor with a dull thud. Carlisle waited until he heard the main door slam shut before jumping out of bed, grinning to himself as he pulled on one of Donnovan's t-shirts.
'Carlisle what the fuck?!' Jasper demanded as the blond hurtled into his and Noah's room a few minutes later with barely a knock.
'Oh don't be so coy Jasper I told you I'd be coming in to get Donnie's presents,' Carlisle chided. Jasper simply groaned and rolled back over in Noah's bed as Carlisle retrieved a number of gift bags from his dresser.
Back in his own room, he stashed the bags in the bathroom, pulled off the t-shirt and climbed back into Donnovan's bed, a small gift box held against his bare chest beneath the covers. Eventually he heard the main door open and he closed his eyes when Donnovan entered their room a few moments later.
He heard Donnovan sigh softly as the mattress depressed beside him beneath Donnovan's weight.
'Carlisle,' he called gently, patting Carlisle's thigh through the duvet. Carlisle peeked up at him with a smirk on his face.
'What?' Donnovan asked.
'Happy birthday, Donnie,' Carlisle grinned, propping himself up on one elbow.
'What?' Donnovan repeated, a disbelieving smile cracking his stony expression. 'I thought you'd forgotten.'
Carlisle smiled as he pulled himself into a sitting position to kiss his boyfriend softly.
'How could I forget the day someone as wonderful as you came into the world?' he said softly. 'Pretending to forget seemed like a good idea at the time, but it probably wasn't in hindsight,' he mused. 'Sorry.'
Donnovan simply shook his head with a gentle smile and kissed him again. Carlisle drew the small box out from under the covers as Donnovan's lips moved against his; it felt so good to have him properly reciprocate again.
'This is for you,' Carlisle grinned as he pulled away.
'Yay, thank you,' Donnovan returned his smile. 'Do you still want these or was that just to distract me?' he motioned to the box of painkillers and the glass of water he was still holding.
'It was but I definitely still want them,' Carlisle groaned, swapping the gift box for the medicine. Donnovan chuckled and begin to unwrap his gift as Carlisle helped himself to the pills.
'Are you serious?' Donnovan gaped at him in disbelief as he revealed the gold lettering on the lid of the red leather box he found beneath the wrapping paper. Carlisle nodded in encouragement and Donnovan opened the box to reveal a black and gold watch, ticking softly.
'Carlisle, this is way too much,' he protested, running his fingertips along the velvet cushion beneath the polished timepiece.
'No it isn't,' Carlisle insisted. 'I saw you admiring it when we were last in France so I had them hold it.
'But that was months ago,' Donnovan said, wide-eyed.
'I know but you're just so picky sometimes, I have to act as soon as you show interest in something,' Carlisle laughed, planting another quick kiss on his smiling lips. 'And speaking of France, my mum sent you some clothes and stuff from Paris - I think they're hers but I didn't look at them yet. They're stashed in the bathroom and I'm under strict instruction to have you call her so she can wish you a bon anniversaire.'
'I'll definitely call her later,' Donnovan promised. 'Thank you Carlisle, really.'
'My pleasure,' Carlisle grinned back. 'And now, your final present.'
'There's more?' Donnovan laughed.
'Just me,' Carlisle smirked, wrapping his arms around Donnovan's neck and pulling him down onto the bed. Donnovan chuckled as he slid the watch box onto the nightstand and kissed his boyfriend happily.
'You're far more valuable than a Cartier watch,' he mumbled.
'Oh, strong words,' Carlisle said with a mischievous grin. 'Are you gonna prove that?'
'I thought this was supposed to be my present?' Donnovan smirked.
'So it is,' Carlisle purred, pushing Donnovan onto his back before crawling on top of him and kissing him deeply. 'I feel like I've been waiting forever to do this,' he sighed, already uncomfortably hard.
'What are you going to do?' Donnovan asked throatily.
'Well first,' Carlisle grinned slyly, inching Donnovan's t-shirt up his torso and over his head, hands instantly exploring his exposed skin. 'I'm going to suck your dick until you're begging me to stop,' he purred, moving his lips to Donnovan's ear. 'That could be a while, if it ever happens,' Donnovan hummed appreciatively, his hands sliding to squeeze his boyfriend's ass.
'And then,' Carlisle kissed the shell of his ear softly. 'I'm going to sit on that gorgeous face of yours so you can fuck me with your tongue.' His hands moved to work at Donnovan's belt buckle as his boyfriend gasped and lifted his hips to allow Carlisle to remove the thin strip of leather from his waist.
'And then?' Donnovan grinned lustily, rolling his hips upwards as Carlisle repositioned himself to straddle his pelvis.
'Then,' Carlisle lowered his head so their lips were brushing as he continued in a whisper. 'I'm going to ride you so hard until there's at least enough cum dripping from my ass to make up for the last three days.'
'Oh god I love you, come here,' Donnovan groaned, grasping the back of Carlisle's neck to pull him into a frantic kiss.
'Are you okay?' Noah asked for the fifth time that afternoon. Jasper suggesting they go out for lunch had been normal enough, but Noah had started to suspect something when Jasper insisted on taking him to his favourite cafe, and his uncharacteristic silence on the drive over had made Noah uneasy.
He knew they were due to have "a conversation" about what had happened yesterday, but Jasper was insistent that there was something else they needed to discuss first; Noah had figured by now that was probably what this impromptu lunch date was about.
'Huh?' Jasper looked up from the salad he'd been pushing around the plate for the past ten minutes. 'Oh, yeah, I'm okay,' he assured Noah once again.
Noah sighed, putting down the half sandwich he'd been eating back onto its plate. 'Jasper, just tell me what it is. You're making me nervous.'
'Sorry,' Jasper bit his lip. 'It really isn't that big a deal, just... or I don't think it's a big deal anyway, but I think you might...' he trailed off with a sigh. 'But I know you'd definitely want to know before we...' he gestured back and forth across the table between them. '...I dunno, before we "define" anything... or whatever...'
'Big deal or not, we won't know what I think until you tell me,' Noah pointed out, growing more impatient by the second.
Jasper sighed heavily. 'You're right... okay. Um, so... yeah, okay,' he steeled himself, and took a deep breath. 'David LLewellyn is my grandfather,' he blurted the last part out just to get it over with; Noah spluttered into a poorly timed sip of his coffee.
'What?!' he demanded, wiping his mouth with a napkin, ignoring his burnt tongue; Jasper winced at his reaction.
'David Llewellyn as in...?' he asked, disbelief and shock fighting for dominance over his expression.
Jasper pursed his lips and nodded, 'It's not that big a deal though...' he tried.
'No, your grandfather is the one paying for my scholarship, that's the kind of thing you should definitely tell someone before you start fucking sleeping with them,' Noah hissed, incredulous.
'I know that and I'm sorry, but please hear me out,' Jasper pleaded, glancing around the small cafe. No one seemed to be paying them any attention, which helped. 'Yes, I knew you were on a scholarship, and I had heard my grandfather was donating one again this year, but I swear I never heard your name or saw your face until I met you in the dorm. I didn't connect the dots, I mean. Not until Carlisle asked you about it that night we went to Alibi, so I knew then for maybe an hour but that was definitely not a good time to tell you, and then -'
'We kissed,' Noah muttered darkly.
'Yeah, that happened, so...' Jasper mumbled.
'That was months ago, you still could have told me since.'
'I know, and I probably should have,' Jasper said glumly. 'But I honestly didn't think you'd even give us a chance if I had,' he sighed.
Noah considered that for a moment. 'Yeah, you're probably right...' he admitted.
'See? I know I'm stupid and selfish but I honestly haven't felt this way about another guy in so long... I just wanted you to give me a chance. This doesn't have to change anything.'
'I need to leave,' Noah told him, shaking his head and feeling entirely trapped by the situation. He didn't want to cause a scene in a busy cafe on a Saturday afternoon, but he couldn't tell Jasper what he wanted to hear without allowing himself time to properly process this information.
'No, please, I want to leave,' Noah sighed.
'You've barely touched your food,' Jasper pointed out, a desperate tone edging his voice.
'I'm not hungry,' Noah told him stiffly. 'I drove us here so I'll drive us back if you want but I'm going now.'
Jasper nodded gloomily and gathered his things to leave.
'Noah I'm sorry,' he mumbled as they left the cafe.
'Don't,' Noah sighed, fishing his keys from the pocket of his jeans. 'We'll talk later.'
Neither said anything else on the ride home, the uncomfortable silence drowned out only by the radio.
'Noah?' A happy voice answered the phone after two soft rings.
'Ryan,' Noah breathed, a bright smile appearing across his glistening face. He had gone for a run almost as soon as he and Jasper had got back to Cartwright Hall, needing to escape from Jasper's wounded puppy expression. He had worked himself harder than usual, and was already sore and out of breath by the time he'd flopped down onto a grass bank near the sports pitches to call his best friend.
'Dude, I was actually just thinking about calling you - I just walked past your house like twenty minutes ago,' his friend laughed.
'Really? You're home?' Noah asked as an unexpected pang of jealousy hit him.
'Yeah man, just for the weekend. The joys of going to school an hour away,' Ryan laughed again; just that sound alone was making Noah feel a lot better.
'Yeah...' Noah sighed. He and his best friend had gone to different universities after leaving school, but Noah's had still been a lot closer to his hometown before he'd moved here.
'Speaking of which, how's your fancy new school?' Ryan asked. 'Are you too good to call your old buddies now?' he joked, but it wasn't bitter.
'Have I really not called since I got here?' Noah wondered. Ryan and some other friends had tried to call him a few times but when he thought about it he couldn't actually remember ever calling them back.
'No, you bastard, you haven't,' Ryan laughed.
'Sorry,' Noah grinned.
'So why the radio silence? Is the work really tough?'
'No, well, I mean yeah, it is, but that isn't really why I've been... distracted...' Noah sighed again. He hadn't really planned on telling anyone about what was going in any time soon, but he just had to talk to someone. He was always slightly jealous that Jasper had Carlisle and Vince and even Donnovan to talk to, stoic as he was. And he knew they were his friends too and would listen if he needed them, but Jasper had known them so much longer, so he felt awkward bringing anything up. Ryan had been his best friend since they were six - he knew he could trust him with this.
'Actually, I...' Noah continued. 'I've kinda started seeing someone...'
'Aw really? That's great!' he could hear the smile in his friend's voice, although he was still dreading the inevitable: 'What's she like?'
'Actually, um...' Noah bit his lip, telling himself that the best way to do this was just to do it. 'It's... another guy?'
'Oh...' Ryan sounded rightfully surprised. 'Wow, shit, okay... seriously?'
'Wow,' he repeated. 'I mean, that's cool with me and everything, just... out of everything you could have possibly said there that was the last thing I was expecting to hear,' he laughed.
'That makes two of us,' Noah smirked.
'How did that happen?' Ryan asked, Noah laughed, feeling as if a weight had been lifted from his chest.
'He's my roommate and... I dunno, it just sort of... happened...' he shrugged even though Ryan couldn't see it.
'Okay, so what's the problem then?' Ryan asked.
'Who said there's a problem?'
'Noah, there is no way you would tell me something like that over the phone unless there was something else bothering you.'
'You got me,' Noah sighed and proceeded to explain the situation he had found himself in.
'Wow, that is kinda messed up...' Ryan commented when Noah had finished.
'Right? Like I'm definitely not overreacting?' Noah was grateful that Ryan at least could see things from his point of view.
'I dunno man, you definitely need to talk to him about it some more,' Ryan mused. 'If he's saying it isn't a big deal he has to have a reason for that. Maybe he hasn't even seen the guy in years, who knows.'
'Maybe...' Noah sighed.
'Well, either way, you have to ultimately decide what's more important,' Ryan told him.
'What do you mean?'
'I mean, if you like this guy and want to be with him... god that sounds so weird to say,' Ryan laughed. 'But yeah if you want to be with him you have to let it go, or else figure out how to pay your own way.'
Noah sighed again. 'You're right,' he knew Ryan was right. 'It's just... so weird,' he laughed.
'Yeah,' Ryan was grinning again. 'It's not weirder than you being gay though.'
'I'm not "gay",' Noah countered. 'I've never even considered guys before, it's just... Jasper is different,' he mumbled, feeling himself blush.
'You'll have to let me meet him some time,' Ryan laughed. 'Hold on wait though, do this mean that you've... done it with another guy?'
Noah snorted with laughter. 'Do you really want me to answer that?'
'Actually no, I'm still getting over this whole idea, we can talk about that some other time.'
Noah got back to Cartwright Hall to find Jasper loitering around the car park smoking a cigarette. He didn't notice Noah approaching until he was ten feet away.
'Oh shit, hey,' he stammered awkwardly, dropping the cigarette and stepping on the butt to extinguish it with his boot. 'Where did you go?'
'Running,' Noah told him, although he though his attire and sweaty hair would have made that obvious.
'You've been gone a while,' Jasper commented, falling into step beside him as they made their way to the entrance.
'Yeah, I called an old friend from home who I hadn't spoken to in a while, so time kinda got away from me,' Noah explained.
'I told him about you,' Noah piped up again after a short silence, once they'd reached the elevator.
'You did?' Jasper smiled at him, his expression more hopeful that it had been all day. Noah just nodded silently and pressed the button for their floor.
'Are you still coming to Donnovan's party tonight?' Jasper asked after another brief silence. Noah nodded silently again. Jasper took the hint and didn't say anything else until they were back in their bedroom.
'Are you mad at me?' He asked then, wounded puppy expression back on his face. Noah smirked at him with a soft sigh.
'I'm not mad,' he assured him quietly, taking him by the wrist and drawing him down to sit beside him on the side of his bed. 'It's just... kinda weird.'
Jasper shook his head, taking one of Noah's hands in both his own. 'It isn't honestly. My grandfather hardly has anything more to do with the scholarship than picking a candidate from a shortlist someone else compiles and signing a cheque someone else writes. I doubt he'd even react to your name if I brought it up,' Jasper insisted. 'But still, I suppose that's just my take on it and we've already established that I'm a selfish dick, so I'll completely understand if you want to-'
'I don't,' Noah's words had cut him off before he even realised he was saying them. But then Jasper smiled at him and he knew he had meant them. 'I mean, I do still find it a little weird... and you definitely should have told me a lot sooner, but... I don't want to... end this...' he trailed off. 'Not over that.'
Jasper's smile widened and he squeezed Noah's hand in his own. 'Me neither. I'm really, really sorry.'
Noah nodded. 'Thanks for telling me though. Just... could you not mention anything about... us? To him, I mean.'
'Oh god, definitely not,' Jasper laughed. 'Even the thought of telling him anything like that is absolutely terrifying.'
Noah smirked as Jasper's lips pressed softly against his own.
'Sorry I'm absolutely gross, I really need to take a shower,' Noah laughed as a bead of sweat ran down the back of his neck from his hair.
'Mind if I join you?' Jasper mumbled, pulling him back in for another kiss.
Vince glanced at his watch again as he waited outside Bunny's studio at lunchtime on the following Monday afternoon. He'd been planning to surprise Bunny and had just assumed he'd be here without actually asking, but the door had been locked when he arrived and he hadn't shown up yet. The whipped cream on the Frappuccino Vince had bought for him was starting to melt, and the brush roll he'd convinced himself to bring along felt like it was growing heavier in his bag with each minute that passed; but he had to do this today. He'd decided to just wait five more minutes before actually calling Bunny to find out where he was when the blond boy appeared around the corner, walking with a girl he vaguely recognised beside him and an A2 portfolio case under his arm, the latter almost drowning him.
'Hi!' Bunny called happily when he spotted Vince, speeding his pace slightly and all but leaving the girl behind as Vince walked back up the corridor to meet them.
'Hey,' Vince smiled, trying to hide his giddiness from his face. 'Let me help you with that.'
'Thank you,' Bunny said with a shy smile as he exchanged the portfolio for the cardboard coffee carrier in Vince's hand. 'Is this mine?'
'The pink one is,' Vince smirked. Bunny giggled and walked to his studio door in step with Vince, his former companion apparently forgotten.
'Um, I'll see you later Bunny...?' she said awkwardly as he unlocked his door.
'Oh!' he spun around to face her. 'Yes, okay. Sorry.' She gave him an uncomfortable wave and raised an eyebrow at Vince before continuing down the hallway alone. Vince definitely recognised her - he just couldn't remember where from...
'How are you?' Vince asked once they were settled in the studio space, Bunny curled up on a pink beanbag that has appeared in the corner since Vince's last visit, while Vince opted for his usual low stool.
'Hm, I'm okay... I had some bad critique on my work this morning,' he pouted. 'But you came to surprise me with a yummy coffee so I'm happy now,' he smiled.
'I'm glad I could help,' Vince smiled warmly before taking a large gulp of his own coffee; it had cooled considerably waiting untouched next to Bunny's iced drink for so long, but he didn't mind. At this point he just wanted the caffeine to try and calm his nerves. 'Actually...' he started to say, but almost lost his courage halfway through. If he didn't do this now he never would, so he met Bunny's curious grey eyes and forced himself to keep going. 'Um, I have something else that might cheer you up...'
'Really?' Bunny's face brightened and he followed Vince to his feet as he stood to rummage in his bag. 'What is it?' Bunny asked, trying in vain to peer over Vince's shoulder.
'Close your eyes,' Vince instructed with a smile. Bunny complied with an expectant smile of his own, squeezing his eyes shut and holding out both hands. Vince allowed himself a moment to just gaze at the boy's delicate features without finding himself flustered under his stare before carefully placing the roll of canvas into his waiting hands. His heart was in his throat as Bunny opened his eyes - there was no going back now.
'Ooh, what is this?' Bunny asked, excitement colouring his words.
'Open it,' Vince smiled in encouragement. Bunny turned around to set the roll on the workbench behind him and gently undid the loose knot with nimble fingers. He rolled the fabric strip open, each wooden handle making a soft thud against the desk as it made contact, and stood staring as the brushes were revealed, wide-eyed and mouth slightly agape. After what felt like an eternity, he slowly turned his head to blink up at Vince with his big, round eyes.
'This...' he pointed to the gift with a trembling finger. 'This is for me?'
Vince nodded. 'I just thought you might like them...' he mumbled with a shrug.
Bunny looked back down at the brushes for another long moment before turning to Vince and hugging him wordlessly. Vince laughed, reminded of the night they'd gone to dinner, and held him gently.
'Thank you,' the words came small and muffled from somewhere near his chest. "Really, really, thank you.'
'You're welcome,' Vince told him softly. Bunny lifted his head to gaze up at him, silent and expressionless, until Vince had to let him go before his self-restraint dissolved completely.
'I, um...' Vince cleared his throat as Bunny turned away to stare at the brushes again. 'I wasn't sure if they're the kind you use, but...' he shrugged again. Bunny's silence was making him feel a lot more awkward that he would have with anyone else.
'No, I do,' Bunny insisted, scrambling up onto the workbench to retrieve a thick white sketchbook from a high shelf on the back wall. He passed it to Vince with a mumble of 'watercolour', and left him to flip through the pages as he allowed himself to inspect the brushes more closely.
Vince thought he might actually like Bunny's watercolour work more than his oils as he browsed the thick pages coloured with portraits and landscapes alike. There were a few self-portraits he really loved, and he recognised Tae and Jason in a few of the paintings too. One thing he hadn't failed to notice which instilled a small spark of hope inside him, however silly it was, was that all the people Bunny had chosen to include in his work were male.
He stayed for almost an hour in which Bunny had insisted on painting his portrait with the new brushes, but they both had classes that afternoon. Vince heard someone call his name as he walked through the central quad, and turned around to see Carlisle approaching.
'Hey, where are you off to?' Vince smiled, coming to a halt to talk with his friend.
'The library, all very dull,' Carlisle nodded towards the building in front of them. 'What's up? You look pleased with yourself.'
'I gave Bunny his brushes,' Vince smirked.
'No way, well done!' Carlisle grinned. 'How did it go?'
'He liked them,' Vince smiled warmly, remembering Bunny's expression when he first saw them.
'Yeah but did he "like them" or did he "like them"?' Carlisle smirked with a pointed nod toward's Vince's crotch. Vince rolled his eyes.
'You are a horrendous pervert, did you know that?'
'Oh darling, you flatter me,' Carlisle grinned. 'You should try a designer watch next,' he suggested. 'It's done absolute wonders for my sex life!'
'Goodbye, Carlisle,' Vince chuckled, resuming his walk. Carlisle laughed and shot him a two-fingered salute before carrying on his own way.
Vince's phone started to ring almost immediately after he got back to his room at the end of the day. He pulled it out of his pocket to see Tae's name on the called ID.
'Hey man, what's up?' he answered cheerfully.
'Hi Vince,' Tae's voice sounded uncertain on the other end of the line. 'Um, I'm sorry if this is really out of the blue, but... did something maybe happen between you and Bunny today?'
'What? Why?' Vince asked immediately.
'I don't know...' Tae sighed. 'He came over here half an hour ago really upset about something, but he won't tell me what's wrong. But he was really adamant that I shouldn't call you when I suggested that, so I kinda just assumed...'
'Is he still there?' Vince asked, picking up the jacket he'd discarded onto his bed just minutes before.
'Yeah, that's actually why I did call... Jason isn't here this week and I have to go to a club meeting soon, but I don't really want to leave him on his own...'
'I'll be there in ten minutes,' Vince promised, grabbing his car keys and heading back out the door.
'Are you sure you don't mind?' Tae asked.
'Hey, thanks for coming,' Tae greeted him at his door a short while later.
'Where is he?' Vince asked, glancing around the empty common room.
'He's in my room, he wanted to be alone for a while,' Tae shrugged and then sighed. 'I just really don't know what's wrong, I haven't seen him this upset in a really long time.'
'It's okay,' Vince smiled reassuringly. 'I'll try to talk to him.'
'Are you sure you don't mind?'
'Of course I don't mind,' Vince assured him. 'He's my friend too.'
'He's lucky for that,' Tae smiled warmly. 'Okay well I should go to my meeting. Good luck, and you don't have to keep him here or anything if he wants to leave... some air might do him good.'
'I'll see what I can do,' Vince promised and Tae left with another grateful smile.
Vince's stomach clenched as he crossed the room towards Tae's bedroom. He had no idea what could possibly be wrong with Bunny; he'd seemed perfectly happy when he'd seen him earlier that day.
When he pushed the door open, Bunny was lying curled up on his side on the bed, his back towards the door. He muttered something Vince couldn't understand as he sat down on the edge of the mattress, but the shakiness of his voice made Vince's heart hurt regardless.
'It's me,' he said softly. Bunny bolted upright and stared at him; Vince noticed the brush roll lying next to him on the bed once he moved. His face was pale apart from his eyes and nose which were red from crying, the kohl pencil he usually wore around his eyes smudged and mottled.
'I said not to call you,' Bunny whimpered, eyes filling with tears. Vince didn't hesitate to pull him into a hug even as he resisted. His protests were short lived however, and Vince was soon gently stroking his hair as he broke down against his chest.
'Bunny, what's wrong?' he asked softly, but that just made him sob harder, his hand balling into a fist at the front of Vince's shirt. Vince let him cry and held him tightly even though it felt like his heart would break, not knowing what was wrong. He pulled back slightly once Bunny seemed to have calmed down a little and cupped his cheek with one hand. Bunny reluctantly dragged his eyes to peer up at him, his bottom lip quivering. He looked so miserable that Vince almost wanted to cry himself.
'Oh Bunny, talk to me,' he encouraged softly. 'What's the matter? Is there something wrong with the brushes?' he wondered why the brush roll was even here in the first place. Bunny shook his head, taking a deep breath.
'N-no, they're p-perfect...' he whimpered, lowering his gaze once again to stare at his shaking hands.
'What is it? You can tell me,' Vince said softly, feeling so utterly helpless. Bunny sniffed as a fresh tear rolled past Vince's thumb on his cheek and splashed onto the cuff of his hoodie, leaving a vague black stain on the pink fabric.
'I...' he started, but cut himself off with a hiccup. He steadied his breathing and tried again, voice shaking. 'I-I thought... You...' he sighed and sniffled again, seemingly changing his approach. 'I... I'm... g-gay...' the last word came as a whisper and he hung his head further, choking back another sob.
'Okay,' Vince murmured, heart in his throat. If that was what Bunny was so upset about... 'What's so bad about that?'
Bunny lifted his gaze to look at him again, but that only resulted in another large sob as more hot tears spilled down his cheeks. He squeezed his eyes shut and buried his face in Vince's chest again. Vince could feel his reply vibrating through his rib cage more than he could hear it: 'Because you're not.'
Vince squeezed him tightly and waited for the fresh barrage of tears this admission had brought on to subside. He leaned his head down, stroking Bunny's back gently, so his lips were next to his ear.
'Hey,' he whispered, unable to suppress his smile despite everything else. 'Who says I'm not?'
Bunny lifted his head, starting at Vince warily. Despite the tear stained cheeks and swollen eyes, he was still the most beautiful person Vince had ever seen.
'Chloe from... earlier... she said...' his speech was interspersed with sniffs and gulps as he tried to stop his tears, but there was a new hint of hope in his voice. 'She said you slept with her friend... a girl...'
Shit. That was probably how he had recognised her. It was unfortunate it had to be her he'd spoken to; if he'd asked around enough Vince was certain he'd eventually run into someone whose male friend he'd slept with as well.
'Maybe I did,' Vince shrugged. 'But Bunny, I'm bisexual... I like boys as well as girls,' he clarified at Bunny's confused expression, and watched his eyes widen in understanding.
'Really?' he whispered.
'Really,' Vince smiled gently. 'Particularly adorable little blond boys who like pink coffee,' he muttered, fixing Bunny's heavy fringe back into place. Bunny let out a small laugh of disbelief as Vince grinned at him.
'There you go,' Vince said softly. 'Don't cry any more, okay?' he gently wiped the remaining tears from Bunny's cheeks with his thumbs. 'Not because of me.' Bunny nodded with a shy smile and a final sniffle.
'Come here,' Vince murmured, pulling Bunny back against his chest. He rested his head on top of Bunny's as his arms snaked tightly around his waist to hug him back.
They stayed like that for a while, until Bunny's breathing had slowed and evened, and Vince wondered if he might have fallen asleep.
'Are you okay?' he asked softly. Bunny nodded, removing himself from Vince's arms to sit up straight.
'I'm sorry,' he mumbled.
'You have nothing to apologise for,' Vince smiled. 'Do you want me to take you home or anything?'
Bunny shook his head. 'I don't like it there,' he admitted softly. Vince had suspected as much - Bunny had never specifically complained about his roommate, but he never seemed too happy when he did bring him up either, and his small studio space was a little too lived-in for someone who was happy with their living arrangements.
'Okay,' Vince smiled. 'What would you like to do?'
'Um,' Bunny blushed, looking at his knees. 'Can... could I stay with you?'
'At my place?' Vince's heart started to race, caught unawares by the idea. Bunny nodded quickly.
'Of course you can,' Vince agreed. He'd give Bunny his bed and sleep in the elevator if that's what he had asked him to do.
Bunny stayed quiet on the short drive back to Cartwright Hall. Vince brought him to the 7th floor and unlocked the door of the suite. Carlisle glanced up from where he was tangled up with Donnovan on the sofa and raised a hand in greeting. Vince nodded at him with a shy smile and steered Bunny into his bedroom.
'Would you like some tea?' he offered. Bunny nodded, slipping his backpack from his narrow shoulders and looking around the room.
'Okay, wait here,' Vince instructed. 'Um, if you want there are some pajamas in the bottom drawer of the dresser there, and my bathroom is just through that door,' he pointed out the various places, not entirely sure if he could even handle the sight of Bunny wearing his pajamas.
'Thank you,' Bunny smiled again, and Vince left the room, closing the door gently behind him.
'Not a word,' he muttered to Carlisle as he passed the sofas on the way to the kitchen.
'Wouldn't dream of it,' Carlisle smirked. 'Is he okay?' Bunny's eyes had still been noticeably red when they'd come in.
'Yeah he is,' Vince assured him as he filled the kettle. 'I'll tell you about it tomorrow.'
'Damn right you will,' Carlisle muttered, turning his attention back to the show he and Donnovan were watching. Vince typed up a quick text message to Tae letting him know that Bunny was okay and was staying at his place, and he would explain tomorrow. Although he'd probably have to let Bunny do that - he didn't know how much they knew.
Back in his bedroom, Bunny was sitting on the edge of the bed reading the back cover of one of Vince's DVDs. He had changed his t-shirt into one he'd apparently brought with him and had borrowed a pair of Vince's pajama pants that were noticeably too big for him, but he'd rolled them up at the ankles to improve the fit. The grey smudges and redness had vanished from his now fresh face, and he had taken his hair down to hang loose about his shoulders.
'Can we watch this?' he asked, holding up the DVD.
'Of course,' Vince smiled, handing him a mug before setting up the movie.
'Is it okay to put subtitles, please?' Bunny asked. Vince smiled and nodded, adjusting the settings in the menu.
He settled back against the pillows on his bed and held his arms out to Bunny, who was still sitting awkwardly on the side of the mattress. He smiled and crawled over to curl up next to Vince. This time he eventually did fall asleep, his head resting in the crook of Vince's shoulder.
A/N: Hello! I just wanted to say in case you don't read my other story The Scientist and the Stargazer (and if you don't why not?!) that I mentioned I've set up an author tumblr account which you can find at vertebraewrites dot tumblr dot com. There's literally nothing on it yet but I have a few character sketches and stuff which I was thinking of posting, and I've been wanting to try to sketch some of Reuben's house but I'll let you know here if I ever do post those anyway in case you don't have a tumblr to follow. Also if you have any questions or requests or want a oneshot or want to send me any prompts or literally anything, my ask box is always open :)