Hey guys! Here's the first part of Fated! Since this has gotten relatively popular in comparison to my other stories, and since this is so old (or at least it seems like it) I've been fixing the chapters up a bit. But don't worry about that! Ignore me! Nothing dramatic will change, since I'll only fix up the final version for publication. Just enjoy the better writing, if you're coming back, or if you're new...Enjoy! Woohoo!


One would think, after two and a half years of high school, Nicholas Lan would remember to set his alarm clock. Yet, it wasn't until his mother screamed and the smell of smoke rose up into his nostrils that he snapped his eyes open with a flash.

Nick looked around hastily, seeking out the source of his mother's frenzy—"It's burning, damnitt, no! It's ruined, ah!—within the confines of his own room, when his gaze fell upon the green digital numbers of his clock.

"Damnitt!" he cried, suddenly yelling just as chaotically as his mother, flinging himself out of bed. "Damn damn damn damn!"

He staggered about his room wildly, thrusting a pair of jeans on his legs and the first clean shirt he encountered over his head. He ran his hand through his dark brown hair; it felt a little greasy and he could kind of feel it sticking up where his fingers left it, but he didn't have time to shower, or even wash his hair in the sink.

"Damnitt damnitt!" he shouted again, his outbursts combining with his mother's to create a great cacophony of half-crazed voices. He threw another look at the clock. Already eight o'clock. He cursed again. If he kept missing early morning practice, coach was bound to kick him off the basketball team, and what would he do then? He would almost definitely become the laughingstock of Tyler and his friends, and he had to prove to them that he was better than that. He spent enough time laughing around their insults concerning his unsatisfactory height and wiry muscles; he didn't need to deal with anything worse.

There were dreams still shooting through his head: of making the perfect slam dunk right at the end of the game, and the whole team lifting him up on their shoulders. He would never have any problems again. It would be a straight shot through the hoop—a straight shot to popularity.

Of course, there had also been his dream tackle when he was on the football team, and all he had gotten was mouthful after mouthful of turf; there had been his dream homerun when he was on the baseball team, and all he had gotten was a lump on his head from the fast pitch; there had been his dream sex when he was dating Amy, and all he had gotten was a face-full of laughter after the boys had convinced him she wasn't worth it, and then took her for themselves…

This time would be different. He could be cool; he could be great; he could be popular. All the jocks would want to be him.

Nick rushed to school at a dead run.

When he made it to the front entrance, he paused to gasp for breath—running half a mile wouldn't have him so winded if he had the body any player on the basketball team should have—and opened the door. He hurried to the locker room, where the team members were all lounging, skipping first period.

As soon as he entered, Tyler, a senior with huge muscles and chocoate skin, cat-called him with a half-grin twisting his lips.

"There he is!" he called, getting up to punch Nick in the arm, causing his winded body to stagger slightly.

"Hey, calm down, calm down!" Tyler shouted, pretending to steady Nicholas. "Don't be fainting already, it's not even practice yet…wait!" He looked back at his snickering boys. "Practice is over already!"

"Sorry guys," Nick heaved as Tyler sat down, his friends chuckling around him. "Where's coach?"

Tyler shrugged his heavy shoulders.

"It's not like you need to know anyway. You're practically off the team."

Nick's heart leapt into his throat, when Tyler suddenly grabbed his hand with a mockingly kind look in his eyes.

"Don't worry, Nick-Nick, you can always try out for volleyball next season, right guys?"

He nudged his boys with his elbow, and they broke into peals of laughter. Tyler then looked up into his eyes, and abruptly thrust his hand away from Nick's with a yell.

"Hey man, what'cha trying to hold my hand for?"

Nick's eyes dilated in shock.

"I wasn't—"

"Fag!"

"I'm not—"

Tyler's boys laughed.

"You got a crush on us, Nick-Nick?" they teased. "Is that why you're on the team? So you can see us changing in the locker room?"

"Get a good look at our dicks when we're showering?"

"Wanna take it up the ass?"

"No! I—!"

"Fag! Get out!"

Choking on his rebuttal, Nick swung his gym bag over his shoulder.

"Can you guys at least tell—" He cut off when they started talking loudly amongst themselves, pretending he wasn't there. Nick turned around and stepped to the doors, taking the handle and trying to keep his lips from trembling. This wasn't fair; why did they have to be like this? What was wrong with him? He sighed, opening and then closing the door on their jeers. It didn't really help all that much, though.

Oh well. Maybe they would like him more tomorrow if he came to practice on time. He'd probably deserved that, anyway.

Nicholas walked down the hall, attempting to smile at Erin as she came toward him, beaming and waving with a pink slip in her hand.

"Getting back from practice, Nick?" she asked, blushing prettily.

Nick's eyes burned slightly as he blinked back tears.

"Uh…yeah."

"Are you alright?" she inquired, stopping slightly with concern playing across her face.

"I'm fine," Nick spoke brusquely. Erin eyed him uncertainly, but turned away anyhow, saying goodbye before she vanished around the corner.

Nick swallowed hard, walking forward. She probably was getting fat, just like Tyler had said. Nothing good enough for him. Especially when he started going to practice again. He watched his feet clap down one at a time on the tile dispiritedly.

He was about to step up the stairs to his classroom, when something flashed out of the corner of his eye. Not an ordinary flash, but a bright gleam of light that made splotches of color wink before his eyes. He turned anxiously. The light was emitting from the open door of the girls' bathroom. Nick tilted his head slightly so he could get a clear view of what distracted his peripheral vision, without looking like he was trying to peek.

But then he gasped at what he saw, and all pretenses fell as he froze, openly staring through the door. After a moment, he released his held breath, threw a look over his shoulder and then checked both sides—just in case—before nonchalantly stepping into the bathroom. He had to get a closer look. He didn't think about there being any girls in there. If there were, they would be too busy gaping what was right in front of his eyes. Could it be real…?

There, in the middle of the bathroom, surrounded by some sort of odd, piercing silver light, was a rip in the world.

His eyes were riveted to what was on the other side of the tear. It was like…a look into another dimension or something. There were tons of young people, lined up before a huge building. The sky was a radiant gold—it almost hurt his eyes—but he could barely see it for the crowd of tall people, all speaking softly to one another as they progressed down the line. Tall, yeah, they were tall all right. What was that girl—six foot? But they were all so beautiful and straight, their features coming in mixes of silvery hues or golds. That girl would blow everyone away on the cat walk. It wasn't just the girls, though. The guys were almost…pretty…with angular, distinct features, and the same striking colorings. They too stood amazingly tall.

It was the beauty and height that made him wonder if they were even human.

One woman's eyes shifted to him, and he quickly jumped back, only for her to look over him passively, as if he weren't even there. They couldn't see him, then. It was like a one way mirror. Shocked, he stepped around the tear, first worriedly, then analytically. It rose about five inches off the floor, stretching up to about ten inches shy of the ceiling. When he went around to the back, it disappeared from sight entirely. He approached it from behind nervously, but when he finally swallowed his fear and reached his hand out to where the tear should be, his fingers simply went through, like there was only the air there that was supposed to be there. Returning to the open rip, Nick paused in puzzlement. It appeared that this rip was 2-D from the outside, yet the people inside suggested almost limitless depth.

Nick milled this contradictory information through his head. He pulled his hand through his hair. He tapped his finger against his jaw. He made intelligent sounding musing noises beneath his breath. He flicked his eyes back and forth.

And then he just gave it all up and reached his hand forward.

When his fingers brushed the surface, they again felt nothing but air. Bemused, he thrust his arm out further, and, to his amazement, he saw it on the other side. Nick pulled back his arm with a startled cry. But then the curiosity became a hunger in his eyes. If his arm could go through, then certainly his whole body…

He wouldn't even have to go for long. He could be back by the end of school.

Nick pushed himself through with closed eyes.

As soon as he got through, he was engulfed by the huge crowd. The line was moving rapidly, and the current of tall individuals swept him along like a leaf caught in the tide.

"Hey," he called out, attempting to address a woman to his left. "Hey, what is this place?"

Ignoring him entirely, or more likely, not hearing him over the chatter, she continued forward, stepping through a tall door. Nick was about to locate someone else to direct his question at, when he was suddenly tugged through the same door by the arm. All in a rush, Nick stared up into an older woman's face; she smiled, drew out a glass syringe topped with a lethal-looking needle, and thrust it into his wrist before he could protest. She drew out a vial of his blood as a cry began building up in his throat—what if she had just given him some weird alien disease!—drew out the needle, patted his arm with a wet wipe, and sent him off.

Disoriented, Nick hardly took note of the voices falling on his ears from every angle. He was thrust down further, the whole group eventually arriving at an upward and a downward staircase. A woman between the two was holding a clipboard and pointing her finger, muttering:

"Acidic: up, basic: down, basic: down, acidic: up, basic: down, basic—"

Her eyes fell on him and she looked down at the clipboard.

"Acidic: up."

Nick complied wordlessly, making his way up the silver stairs with a large group of women, intermingled with a few men here and there. Frankly, he felt more comfortable with the girls. They didn't completely tower over him.

When they got up the stairs, there was another woman with a clipboard, but this time she was pointing down a corridor of rooms and handing out keys.

"6.2:204, 5.9:220, 6.5:217…"

Almost faster than he could blink, there was a key in his hand—251—and he was stepping down the hall. Standing in front of the high silver door, he briefly considered the wisdom of stepping into an unknown room, but this fear was soon pushed aside. What harm could it do? He had the key in his hand, so he could leave whenever he needed. He put the key in the lock, turned it, and stepped inside.

The room was small and cozy looking, softly lit by greenish flames that burned from numerous candles hanging on bronze chandeliers and burning on glossy countertops. A large bed sat in the middle of the room, covered by the transparent silk of an elaborate canopy. It was so silent that he nearly had a heart attack when a hand landed solidly on his shoulder.

"Come on, young man, let's get you cleaned up for your wedding day!"

Nick turned around slowly to see an old man, over a head taller than him, beaming down into his face. The man wore an outfit resembling a tuxedo, though it rippled silver in accordance to the odd gleam in his eyes and the color of his hair.

"Come now, young man, don't gawk. This is a big day for all of us, and you definitely need to be bathed for the occasion."

"What occasion?" Nick inquired anxiously, hoping he would finally get some answers. He was led through a side door into a bathroom, when he was quickly disappointed.

"What occasion!" the man repeated, as if relishing the punch line of a good joke. He took down what looked like a towel, even though it sparkled under the lamp hanging at the ceiling, and laid it beside the deep tub. "What other occasion than the day in which you are wed to your fated one?"

That gave him a little bit to bite on. The man started running the water. "Huh, wed? What do you mean, fated one?"

The man grinned at him as the water poured, steam rising from the heat.

"Oh, look, now you're just fooling with me." He chuckled. "Of course you know every Eralis is bound to their perfect mate once they turn nineteen."

He stood up, finishing off the water before standing up, and gave Nick a little wink.

"Trying to be hard on this old man."

"But I'm not even nine—"

The man just stepped out with a small wave.

"Finish washing in half an hour. The maids will be here soon to pretty you up."

And he was gone like that.

Stepping quickly after the man, Nick came to the door just as it closed in his face. He pulled the latch to follow after him, but it stopped short with an ominous click. Nick's face went white.

Locked. "Wait!" he yelled into the door. "I'm not messing around! I really…!"

He forced himself to breathe in and out, deliberately cutting off his words. None of that would help him; the man obviously didn't believe a single thing he said. He reached into his pocket where he had put the key. Rational. Drawing it out, he extended his hand to put it in the keyhole, and was met with another shock.

No keyhole?

Breathing suddenly didn't matter near so much as he fell into the common panic of all humans when they find they are locked in a strange room and don't know when—or how—they'll get out: he beat at the frame, tugged at the handle, shouted for help, all in a violent, adrenaline-driven madness.

As he was in the midst of this, the door opened, and he tumbled forward with a surprised cry.

"What is this?" a woman spoke from above where he was face-flat on the carpet, irritation heavy in her voice.

"Not bathed, anything, young man?" said another.

He was immediately yanked to his feet by the arms. Two middle aged women—both intensely blonde—took him by either shoulder and marched him straight back to the full tub. Utterly unaffected by his yelps, they stripped off his clothes and pushed him into the water.

"Hey, I—"

He was submerged. When he at last splashed up, shampoo was worked vigorously into his scalp, and he was dunked again.

"Fate, you're a feisty one!" the taller of the two remarked as she pulled him up and applied conditioning cream to his medium length hair. "A little bit nervous, are we? A little bit too eager perhaps? So eager you forgot to get treatment for your poisoning?"

Nick was confused beyond witless when they finally drew him out of the water and placed the strange towel about his waist. It was really soft.

"Come on now, we hardly have time for the rest!"

"The rest?" Nick questioned worriedly.

"The rest" turned out to be lotion rubbed down his skin, scented oil taken through his hair—special attention being applied to those stupid ringlets that curled up at his ears and the back of his neck—, and makeup applied to his eyes. After all this was done, he was put in a pair of satiny gold pants that flared out and fell over his feet. The maids muttered to themselves about trying to resize what was likely the shortest pair of pants in the world, before deciding they would just have to do—there wasn't enough time. A shirt with belle sleeves and wide shoulders that refused to keep from sliding down his arms was then put over his head, the torso catching snuggly around his waist.

"Go now," the shorter soothed, touching his bare shoulder and pointing to the bed. "Soon you will meet your fated one."

Eyebrows creasing curiously, Nicholas moved through the cast of candlelight and shadows to sweep open the canopy and sit up on the elaborate bedspread with his arms around his knees. The women exited with a click of the door that seemed almost sacred.

Nick laid his head against a bedpost uncertainly, revolving questions and slight fear swelling within his chest in an uncomfortable bubble. What was this world he had stepped into? What was all this about his "fated one?" Who would she be? What did it mean that he would be wed? Would she be pretty? Would she try to do something…weird? Like plant a parasite in him or something? Drink his soul? When would he be able to get back home?

The door was suddenly opened, and Nicholas caught his breath, admonishing himself for not running through the door with those maids when he'd had the chance. Approaching him from outside of the gauzy transparency of the canopy was a tall silhouette. Well, that was a no-brainer. He was starting to get a little worried though. If she was taller than him, then it would be that much easier to…do whatever she might want to do to him. Hopefully it would be enjoyable, at least. He cut the thought processes, though, as the figure came so close, it was almost identifiable. It slowly came forward, then leaned down to carefully part the canopy.

Staring straight into his face with an anxious expression was a beautiful young man.

The man gasped, running a hand through his pixy like hair. Nick only saw gold in those soft locks that stuck up almost stylishly to frame the man's face—that's all the freaky candlelight would allow—before a hand reached out and cupped his cheek, bringing him closer to the man before him.

"Oh, fate…" the man spoke in a smooth tenor, all but speechless. Shockingly gold eyes were melting as Nick dared to breathe. "You're beautiful."

And then he leaned in and kissed Nick fully on the mouth.

Nick reeled back in surprise, eyes wide, but the man didn't seem to notice as he simply crawled up on the bed with him.

"I was so worried," the man confessed, his face alight with sincerity as he stroked his fingers through Nick's hair. His fingers were really gentle. "I was afraid I would be unsatisfied, but no…"

Putting out his hand, the man gave his fingers a slight twist and blew out a stream of air.

Immediately a strange jewel-like flower bloomed in his hand, the stem cut off at about three inches. The young man looked up, admiration gleaming in his almond shaped eyes, and placed it behind Nick's ear.

Nicholas eyed him in amazement, touching the petals. They were soft.

"How…?"

The man eyed him softly, taking his hand and then kissing it.

"I'm a magician; that is my skill. What is yours?"

Nicholas had a small moment of relief. Of course—he was a magician. He had probably pulled that flower from his pocket, or sleeve. No, he corrected himself, not his sleeve. The man was wearing a vest that was cut off at the shoulders, so that his arms were bare, toned muscles almost looking oiled in the odd candlelight. Nick experienced a brief stab of jealousy. If he could look anything like that…

"Your skill?"

"Oh..." He looked up into his eyes. "Um, skill? I don't know…"

How about being a loser?

"Perhaps singing?" the magician prompted him. "You have such a lovely voice."

He laughed, snorting a little. "Yeah, right."

"Dancing?"

"If you like watching me trip."

"Um…do you play an instrument?" He looked about as if he expected to see a trombone hidden under the pillow or something.

"Hell no."

"Speak to animals? I could conjure up a—"

"What? I don't speak to animals."

The man was starting to look a little stressed, but his face eventually loosened into a smile.

"That's alright…if you're shy. I can wait."

Nick shrugged. This was another world, after all. "Whatever."

The man quickly masked his confusion with glowing eyes. He curled his body around Nick, causing Nick to shift around in discomfort at the proximity. Soon, however, the magician sighed, and Nick's body un-tensed as a wave of absolute contentment rolled over him. He let himself fall against the magician's chest, eyes closing. He was just starting to get used to the rise and fall of the man's breathing when careful lips fell on his eyelids.

"See, you don't have to be nervous," the magician soothed. "You can just relax. I'm so happy. Aren't you?"

He had to stop himself from nodding his head.

"I-I can't stay here," he at last admitted with a slight stutter. "I need to get back."

"Back where?" The man was puzzled. "This is where you're supposed to be."

"Back home." He was starting to pull back out of the man's arms. "I'm not...from around here."

The man still didn't seem to understand. His eyes were tensed carefully, as if to catch some hesitation in Nick's face that he hadn't caught before, some fear. Then his face fell in absolute despair.

"Oh." His lip trembled, and a goldish flush spread through his cheeks as his thin eyebrows creased. His pupils were so wide there was hardly any color left. And then:

"You…don't...I'm not…" He coughed, quickly pushing away from Nick, almost as if to wipe away tears. "That's alright…if I'm not acceptable, I will…be content to live…a life of solitude…"

"No, no!" Nick cried, disbelieving. This man, who could probably win over every girl in his school with one smile, was worried that he wasn't "acceptable?" Nick could hardly understand how the guy had any interest in him at all. It must have been the dim lighting. He got up on his knees. "It's not you, it's me. I told you, I'm not from around here. See?"

He spread his arms wide, and then stood up on the bed so his entire body was portrayed.

The man looked him up and down, wiping at his face a bit more before looking Nick in the eyes.

"You're beautiful," he spoke fervently.

"Sure, sure," Nick allowed, "but you guys are all silver and gold. I don't even have blonde hair. And don't you see how short I am? You guys are about six feet or taller. I'm five-six." He wasn't even going to touch on the inequalities regarding bodily proportion.

The man nodded, his eyes squinting. All sadness had gone from his face. He was really thinking about it. This was working.

"So you're saying…"

"I came over here by accident. There was a portal, in the girls' bathroom, and I saw all you guys on the other side, so I went through…"

The magician gasped.

"Another world?"

"Pretty much. I came from a place called Earth."

"Oh…" There was a different quality to the man's voice now. His eyes were wide again, but almost in…wonder as he looked Nick over again and again. Starting to feel a little awkward, Nick sat back down. But still the magician would not tear his eyes away. His lower lip dropped. His hand reached out before falling to the bed. "Oh," he said again. It was hardly even a whisper. There was a look in his eyes, like he'd just seen an angel fly down. He'd apparently never seen a guy from Earth before. Nick was not an angel. Just a kid who couldn't even wake up for early morning practice three times a week.

"It's no big deal. I just have to—"

"Do you know what this means?" The magician's voice was soft, awestruck, like whispered magic. "You said a portal, correct? A portal opened, and you found it?"

"Yeah…that's why I have to go find—"

A single word, like a prayer:

"Fated."

"Huh?"

The man gazed into Nick's eyes intensely, before taking his hand.

"You don't have to leave; we were meant to be together, from the beginning of time."

"What?" His mind wasn't keeping up with the sudden shift from "I will be content to live a life of solitude" to "we were meant to be together."

"That portal was there to bring us together." The man's hand caressed his face, and Nick blushed at the sudden wave of feeling that coursed through him.

"Um…I don't think so. Fate…well I don't really believe in it."

The man's expression fell into utter shock.

"You don't…what? You…honestly think it's a…"—The man coughed, face paling, hands trembling—"…a, a coincidence,"—the man shuddered, as if he had just suggested eating small children—"that there was a portal waiting for you on the day of matching—a portal that brought you to me almost instantly? If it hadn't been there, you and I—"

"Whoa, calm down, calm down," Nick eased him, wincing as Tyler's voice from earlier entered his mind. "I'm sure there's a…reason why it was there, but it was probably just an accident that I found it." An idea sparked in his mind then. "Hey, I bet you guys use portals to get to other planets, huh? That's how I found it."

The man shook his head. "We've never heard of other worlds. We don't have the ability to

travel to them anyway, even if we had."

"Oh, well, I don't know. But I mean, I'm sure this was all a big mistake. I'm not even nineteen yet. I'm only sixteen. If it was really fate, the portal would have come then…"

The magician was so puzzled, Nick could tell.

"You really…are from another world. But don't worry, it was fate. Nothing else could have brought us together like this." Before Nick could react, the man swooped down, and, taking his face, kissed him softly. The magician pulled away and looked back to Nick, whose face was tensed in a shocked expression. He smiled, and Nick could feel it shake his heart a little. That smile rushed right into his bones like a warm breeze.

"Don't be afraid."

And then the man was kissing him again—softly, little sweeps of mouth against mouth. Nick sat rigid, too frozen to do anything but hold his spine erect and keep his eyes wide open. But he sure wasn't pulling away. Tyler and his boys had been right all along. He was a fag, a downright fag. The man—this man who he didn't even know—wrapped his arms around him, pulling him in closer, and he didn't flinch; he didn't yell; he didn't protest. He just fell against the man's chest a little and put his hands on his thighs to keep from losing his balance.

He was a fag. His lips started to tingle beneath the careful press of another guy's, and he froze up even more. But the man's lips only moved along his jaw, up to his ear, and whispered again:

"Don't be afraid."

The magician's hand extended to part the canopy and push it back. He put an arm around Nick's shoulders, and brought out the hand that had moved aside the canopy before their faces. He closed up his fist, shaking it experimentally as if he were about to cast a set of dice. And then, with a little flourish and a smile that plunged into Nick's eyes, the magician spread the fingers of his hand—a hand that did not hold the small trinket Nick was expecting—and blew a stream of air onto his palm.

A scattering of bright silver stars spilled from his open hand, shooting about until they settled into place in the suddenly limitless black-blue sky surrounding them. Constellations pieced together before him, shimmering familiarly. A dull flash caught his eye, and he turned to see the canopy melting down into the bedposts, and then, take the bedposts with it. Alarmed, he looked below, only to realize that there were more stars and sky beneath them—the melting bed would just drop any second. He screamed, looking to the magician desperately, but the bed simply pooled out into a milky oval of rumpled white silk, keeping them aloft. The plush pillows remained, glowing in the opalescence of the stars. Reaching out just over the lip of the silk, the magician touched a star, causing it to throb slightly. Soon a more powerful light began to break from it, crashing out sporadically, with a high-pitched ring, to eclipse the magician's hand before receding again. The star then seemed to tear from its shape, shattering into rays of piercing silver. It expanded hugely, and Nick had to cloak his eyes with a hand, only barely able to see as the magician caught the now huge circle of light from beneath and pushed it away. It floated off, and by the time he could open his eyes all the way again, the moon hung in the sky.

Nick blinked, amazed.

"H-how…I…" He could barely speak. With a look over at the beaming magician—a brilliant shock of gold amidst the silver and blue—he asked in wonderment,

"Who…are you?" No one could pull the night sky out of their sleeve, whether they had one or not.

The magician sidled up closer, and took Nick's hand, placing it palm-up. He crooked a finger of his other hand, summoning the star at the end of the handle of the big dipper. The star sang softly—Nick batted his eyes in a flurry of lashes—and flew over to settle in his hand. The purest light washed over the magician's face, somehow illuminating those gold eyes further, rather than washing them out. Turning his face back toward Nick, he put the star into the boy's open hand, curling Nick's fingers into a fist so sheaves of light broke from between his fingers. Nick could feel the star pulsating within his hand, like a small heart, his own hear stuttering in response. He looked up at the big dipper with a short handle, over to the magician, and back to the light flooding from his closed hand. The heart beat, the light slowly withdrawing. Nick quickly opened his hand. All that remained was the star's silver imprint on his palm.

The magician kissed him.

"This picture was so beautiful in your mind. A gift to you from your Earth. Because you cannot be there, I will bring it to you."

Nick's startled eyes went wide. His breath rasped. As if to make up for time lost in those brief seconds of holding a living star, his heart pounded rapidly. This was…this was…

Impossible.

Soft eyes caught his, seeming to beckon his soul forward. Hands came up to take his face, pull through his hair, and Nick's lower lip fell. This touch was different. There was a new intensity as the magician's hands touched his neck, fell down his back, coupled with an ironic sense of ease that had him leaning forward into the magician's lips without a thought. With every full press of that mouth came an echo of satisfaction and…kindness that sunk into his skin to pulse like an ember within his chest. The magician pushed him down into the pillows so gently, Nick didn't even notice until careful hands were trailing down his stomach. He felt the magician grasp his shirt, and he didn't know why, but he just raised his arms over his head, dropping them into the mass of pillows, and arched his spine so it would slide right off. The magician stopped kissing and touching him for a moment, lifting his head slightly to look Nick over, eyes kindling softly before he reached out a cupped hand and buried his lips into the fluff of brown hair right above Nick's left ear. Nick could see that the man's other hand was slowly slipping open the buttons of his sleeveless vest, and Nick froze, his cheeks going pink. Great, now he wouldn't be able to help noticing all that perfection. The magician stopped pulling open his vest immediately, looking into his eyes.

"Is there something wrong?"

"No," Nick spoke quickly, smiling and then laughing lightly when the man's look of concern only deepened.

"If you're afraid…" he spoke uncertainly, starting to pull the open section of his vest together.

Nick suddenly grabbed his hand as he was replacing the lowest button. The magician looked back over at him intently, and Nick flushed, pulling his hand back.

"Uh, sorry," Nick mumbled embarrassedly. "That was weird—"

The magician abruptly threw off his vest, tossing it off the pool of silk so it sunk into nothingness. Before Nick could say anything about it, the magician sunk against him, sliding his arms around his back so they were chest-to-chest. Nick felt the man's skin, hot and supple, and it didn't really hurt too bad that his arms were so big and strong. The magician breathed into his ear, and his heart leaped against his ribcage. He was being kissed again, and any inhibition was swept away. Bliss was melting through him, and he didn't mind when he realized they were both erect. The magician rocked his pelvis against him, and surge after surge of intoxicating pleasure pressed through Nick's body as gently as the man's rolling hips. He inhaled in small gasps as the feeling began to intensify. The hand at his back slid down, dropping into his pants.

The moment broke. He jolted, breaking out of the gyrating rhythm he hadn't realized he'd joined. The magician only pulled from Nick's lips and held his confused eyes as he took the waistline of Nick's pants, bringing them down. Nick almost pulled them back when his erection sprang free, but the magician swooped his head down and kissed the side of it. By the time Nick recovered from the bout of sheer astonishment that had brought on, his pants had been successfully peeled off and thrown from the bed.

"Fate, you're beautiful," the magician sighed, sliding his hands up Nick's thighs as he trailed his tongue up the boy's length. Nick shuddered with pleasure, blushing self-consciously when the man looked up at him from between his legs. The man only smiled warmly, before sticking his own finger in his mouth. It came out wet and glistening, and he eyed Nick carefully.

"You know how this works, right?" he asked. "Just relax. I'm going to get you used to it so I don't hurt you."

"Used to…what?" Nick asked warily. What was going on? He sat up, pulling out of the man's arms slightly. Released for a moment from the magician's touch, he suddenly took stock of both of their complete nakedness, a shock of pain shooting through his chest.

The magician was perfect.

"Don't worry," the man spoke soothingly, not seeming to understand the tightening of Nick's eyes as he got up on his knees. "I promise it won't hurt. I'll use my magic." Those muscles moved beneath his skin as firm as steel. A heavy pain dropped onto Nick's shoulders as he remembered who he was.

"To what?" Nick asked, his voice ringing out bitterly. It was all back, sharper than ever. There was the man's cock, long and hard. Probably nine inches. Wasn't Tyler's only eight and a half? His thighs were taut, golden hair brushing down them lightly. His torso was a ripple of musculature, without any of the stretch-lines he'd seen Tyler and his boys get. Radiant skin and hair glowed amongst the stars. He was so…impossible. Nick could never look like that, never be like that, not if he went to practice every single day, not if he worked out for hours, not if he got laid a thousand times.

The magician's eyes widened in horror, and he sprang forward to catch Nick against his chest.

"No, don't cry!" he exclaimed, "I promise I won't hurt you! I promise!"

Nick couldn't stop the tears from spilling down his cheeks. What a wimp. Crying!

"Just stop!" Nick yelled, shoving the magician away. "Stop pretending you care!"

Alarm flashed deeply over the magician's face. "But…"

He thrust a few tears out of his eyes with his hand. "You don't want to HURT me? You don't want to? You just SIT there and I want to die!" He breathed out heavily, his voice faltering. "Do you think it's funny? To act like you think I'm worth anything?! I'm pathetic! But you keep spouting shit, like you don't notice! When's the punch line, huh? When are you going to make me pretend that I don't care when you laugh—"

He broke down, sobbing.

"Well I do care! It hurts! Goddamn it, it hurts! I'm so tired of being hurt!"

The magician was trembling, panic-stricken.

"What…how were you hurt before?" he gasped. When Nick only bent his back with agonized sobs, he put his hand on Nick's shoulder. "Please, tell me how you were hurt!"

Nick felt that warm hand, and looked up with wet eyes.

"How did you get like that?" he whispered. "Flawless."

"Flawless…?"

"What do you do?" Nick choked out. "Work out? Diet? Tan?" A tear slid down his face. "Please, just tell me how you do it. Please."

The magician shook his head, his brows tensed tightly together, and his eyes bright with an expression akin to terror. "What do you mean?" he asked. "By flawless? What does it mean?"

"Perfect," Nick gasped, the pain crumpling over him horribly. He didn't even know! "Amazing. Attractive. Cool. Buff. Wanted."

"But…you're so perfect too!" the magician declared, slapping his hands down on the silk before Nick's bent head. Nick startled, shaken by the sudden movement. "I'm perfect. You're perfect. In every way! Fate was so good to me."

Nick looked up into his eyes, drinking in the magician's sincere expression cautiously.

"It…was?"

"Yes!" the man replied immediately, a smile breaking out on his face. "Haven't I said it over and over? You're beautiful!"

"Really?" Nick asked, a skeptical edge creeping back into his voice. "I'm too short, too skinny, can't run a mile in under seven minutes, and can't get a girl to go to prom with me…well, Erin probably would, but she's…"

The magician lifted Nick's face abruptly.

"Your eyes are the most beautiful color I've ever seen." The magician reached back into his hair and pulled out the jeweled flower, somehow still entirely intact. "See the green? That was inspired by you. The only color I see in the people here is silver and gold. Your eyes are green! It blew me away, when I first saw you in the candlelight. This light does you better justice, though." He gestured out at the stars, then looked back at Nick, his eyes sparkling. "And your skin!" He turned Nick's face. "No translucence or gold sheen. Just white, like the inside of a flame. And that blush in your cheeks. Pink." The magician tousled his hair experimentally, before saying. "Your hair amazes me too. I've never seen it so dark and thick in all my life."

Nick blushed, lowering his eyes. "On Earth—"

Hands fell over his bent back.

"Your body is magnificent. Lean and tight." The magician looked down into his eyes meaningfully. "I want you, everything about you, for all my life. I will never leave you. I will never hurt you. Never. I will never see you as anything but 'flawless.' Anyone who did so before was blind. "

Nick exhaled, his voice shaking. His heart throbbed, and the star on his hand gleamed brightly.

"I…"

"Let me hold you," the man whispered. He opened his arms. "I will not hurt you."

Uncertainty tugged at Nick's heart, but then those arms reached for him, pulling him up onto his knees, and he fell against a solid chest.

"Now relax." Nick could feel the man's gentle voice vibrating in that strong throat. Hands were traveling down the curves of his waist, catching underneath his bottom to hoist him up onto the magician's lap, pulling his legs around his waist.

"I'm going to loosen you up. Don't be afraid."

The magician's hand feathered up through Nick's hair, catching the boy's head tight against his shoulder. A shallow vein of fear whispered through the air, and Nick instinctively wrapped his arms around the magician's neck, listening to the stars sing.

"Don't be afraid."

A slick finger was suddenly pressing up into his anus, causing his body to tighten. He was going to protest, ask what was going on, when the magician kissed him fully on the cheek, and absolute trust moved through him. As the finger moved inside him, he breathed out, letting his body relax against the man's chest. The magician moved his finger in him again, and it was somehow warm and slick, and…and it felt kind of good, really, especially after he sighed against the magician's shoulder, completely un-tensing. It was a light, yet full feeling that made him feel like he was floating a little. He pressed his heels into the blanket as the man's finger slid steadily up him, starting to arouse a headier feeling in him. A small gasp caught in his throat as blood rushed up into his face, his thighs and erect penis buzzing with a sudden flood of heat. Nick lifted his hips slightly from the magician's lap as the feeling became more overwhelming, and the magician, seeming to notice, started pumping his long, slippery finger faster.

He had to close his eyes, then open them, then close them again, then drop his head, then look up, then bite his lip, burying his face in the man's neck as heavy breaths pulled from his lips. He was so hot, but trembling uncontrollably, the sensations running through him causing him to pant. The magician was going faster and faster, reciprocating Nick's heightened breathing with stronger, quicker thrusts of his finger. Nick's hands had somehow moved from around the man's waist to in his hair, and he knew he was probably pulling it too hard, but his eyebrows felt like they were in a knot at the center of his forehead, and the pleasure shooting through his body as the magician moved his finger along a sensitive spot inside him, rolling against it with the pad of his fingertip, was making him—

Nick cried out, tearing his fingers down the magician's back and arching his insteps as he came with a hard slam. He flew on his orgasm for a moment, head back as he released. As soon as it was done, he instantly felt drained, lowering his sweaty forehead against the magician's shoulder, too exhausted to be self-conscious about the fact that he had just gotten semen all over the man's stomach. The magician pulled out his finger, smoothing the palm of his hand over the curve of Nick's ass.

"Did you like that?" he asked, pressing his lips into Nick's hair. Nick breathed out shakily as the magician brushed his lips down his neck, over his shoulder. He gulped, but couldn't summon up enough energy to lie.

"Y-yes," he spoke, voice shaking like his legs were around the magician's waist. "A lot."

"Good," the magician soothed, his voice like a lullaby. "Are you ready to continue?"

Nick exhaled. "Y-yeah, I s'pose…"

"Okay."

The magician moved his hand back down between his ass-cheeks, sliding up inside him with not one, but two fingers this time.

"Tell me if I hurt you in any way," the man whispered, then started slipping his fingers up and down. Nick breathed in sharply as he was stretched further. It didn't hurt, but it was a…fuller feeling, pressing up inside him tighter than before. The magician found the same weak spot almost instantly, but this time there was more pressure, and he was gasping so quick, hands like claws on the magician's shoulders. He arched upward, feeling the magician's knuckles brush his entrance as those fingers moved fully up into him. A third finger entered, and he moaned, shoulders tensed as he squeezed tightly around them, allowing him no escape from the torturous build-up. He breathed faster, and the magician pounded his fingers inside him, curving to press up against his weak spot each time. His face was tingling as he exhaled and inhaled wildly, breaths short and heavy. A whimper broke from his lips, then another, and another, punctuating each thrust of the man's hand. Faster, faster—his penis was swollen and unbearably tight, so close, so close…

He came again, loudly, somehow on his knees, feet drawn back behind him. He panted, his heart racing as the blood rushed into his face, breaths so quick his body was all pins and needles. He was feeling strange, eyesight a little off and even the sound of his own breathing distant, like this was maybe a dream, even though he knew it wasn't.

The magician broke in with his voice as he tipped Nick's head up, looking him in the eyes.

"Was that alright?" he asked. "Did it hurt, at all?"

"Yes…no…no, it didn't, um, hurt," Nick murmured, eyes sliding downward, lids falling with the heavy weight of fatigue. It wasn't unpleasant. Like being fulfilled.

The magician lowered him back down amongst the sheets and pillows. Good, now he could sleep. A smile touched his lips.

"Boy."

Nick's eyes snapped open, and the magician was looking down on him meaningfully, hands still cradling his head. And his penis completely erect, Nick noted dimly.

"What?" he asked.

"Can you please…tell me your name?" the young man asked, almost shyly. "I would like to know it, before we make love."

Nick wrinkled his nose. "Make…love?"

"Yes," the magician spoke, removing one of his hands from beneath Nick's head to stroke across Nick's opening indicatively.

Nick's face went scarlet. He looked over at the man's stomach, but it was completely clean. He wondered if the magician had used magic to do that. Then his eyes moved down to that long cock, poised and ready.

"Umm…like right now?"

"Would you like more preparation?" the magician asked softly, and he was really asking, eyes honestly sincere. "We can take as long as you need."

"Umm…yeah. That would be good." He was pretty scared, actually, the longer he looked at the man's cock. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. He should be going home, not doing this with some guy—

"Alright," the magician spoke, causing Nick's line of thought to crumble away as quickly as it had formed. "But first, your name?"

"N-Nicholas. Or Nick, whatever you want," Nick replied, face flushing when the magician smiled at him brightly. "…Yours?"

"Arian," the young man answered, before leaning down so he was just an inch away from Nick's face. "I am so glad to be yours, Nicholas."

And then he kissed him once, only barely pulling away afterward so his lips were brushing against Nick's as he spoke.

"May I ask you a question, Nicholas?"

Nick tried to ignore the feeling that surged through him when he replied into the magician's mouth.

"Sure."

"Are you worried I'll hurt you?" the man asked, and Nick squeaked when two fingers slid inside him again, not quickly this time, but languidly, rolling over his sensitive spot like shallow waves lapping up to meet the shore. The other hand trailed lightly down his neck as the magician pressed against his lips, tongue slipping into his mouth. Nick moaned softly, raising his hips. The man tasted good, like sweet water, and Nick tapped that tongue with his own hesitantly. The magician pulled away again, and before Nick could be disappointed, he dragged the edge of his tongue down Nick's neck, into the dip of his collarbone, and over his chest. Nick sucked in a breath when the magician's tongue lingered over his nipple, whole body tightening in a way that heightened his awareness of the fingers moving slowly inside him, torturing. That tongue swirled hot around his nipple till it was peaked, then shifted its attention to the other, the magician's fingers never ceasing in their careful slide within him. Oh God, he was so pathetic, he was going to come again, he could feel it. He bucked his hips, but then the magician pulled his fingers out, leaving him suddenly empty.

"Wha-what—"

"Nicholas," the magician addressed him, flicking those golden eyes up to meet his. "I promise not to hurt you."

Nick's heart pounded heavily as he registered the magician's meaning.

"Arian," he whispered, the word choked with fear as he shifted a couple inches back.

The magician ran a hand through his hair, eyeing Nick with an expression so profoundly compassionate, it took his breath away. "I promise." Arian spread Nick's stubborn legs apart with as much grace as possible before settling further between them, the head of his penis touching the inside of Nick's thigh. He leaned down, pressing to Nick's chest and took the boy in his arms.

"Are you ready?"

Nick blinked, swallowed, then nodded. "Y-yeah."

"No pain," the magician soothed him as the head of his cock, slick like his fingers, pressed up against Nick's suddenly contracted entrance. He took Nick's lips, and Nick breathed out as that tongue pressed into his mouth. There was nothing to be scared about, nothing, nothing, nothing at all…

The man penetrated him easily, and Nick inhaled with a flare of his nostrils, not because of any pain—there wasn't any—but it didn't seem possible that it could…oh.

The magician's hips pulsed gently, length gliding deeper inside him. It felt good, really, really good. Nick took more and more of the magician's cock in, exhaling into the man's mouth when his weak spot was found again. He put his hands through the magician's hair, pulling away from his lips to breathe. No, to gasp. He was gasping, so loud, the pleasure hitting him from every side, the warmth tight inside him, deeper and deeper.

"Oh, God," he whined. Now that the strangeness of a huge cock being up inside him was fading, the pleasure was thrilling through his body uncontrollably, rising up into his chest to beat against his heart and heat his blood. But…it didn't just feel good…there was something else, spreading through him, seeping into his bones as the magician clutched him tighter, breathing in and out with heavy breaths of his own. The man sped up, thrusting faster, bringing those high pitched whimpers back to Nick's lips. He could hear them slapping together wetly, and oh, oh god. Faster faster, keep going, keep going, don't don't don't stop.

"Nick," the magician cried out, and Nick's heart suddenly seemed to tear, like it had been wound up too tight. Feeling shocked through him, and he opened his eyes with a flash, up at the stars, brows pulling together. The magician had his face against Nick's shoulder as he plunged into him, and tears sprang to Nick's eyes as he threw up his hips in answer. This man wasn't doing this to hurt him. He wasn't doing it to make fun of him later. He wasn't doing it to make him look weak.

He was doing it because he wanted to. Nick sobbed, and the magician lifted his face to kiss Nick fully.

"You are perfect," the magician breathed, those words blooming right in Nick's heart. Too much! "You are so wonderful, so amazing." He arched up Nick's hips, lips falling over Nick's throat as he did so. "I am so, so lucky to have you—Nick!"

Nick was so close, so close, crying uncontrollably. This is what it was like—being wanted. He was wanted.

They came together, and Nick even let himself say the man's name as he came to climax, because nobody was going to laugh. The magician was just as breathless as he was, and tears were falling down his cheeks too as he pulled their bodies tight together, turning so they were both on their sides.

"Oh, Nick, you're so beautiful, so beautiful," he choked out, wiping the tears from Nick's eyes.

"Th-thank you," Nick stuttered. He didn't remember ever having someone say so many nice things to him. The stars sung in a way that made his heart ache, his palm glowing brilliantly. He tentatively trailed a finger down the magician's chest, slick with sweat. "So…so are you."

The magician embraced him warmly—God, he smelled amazing—then touched his nose to Nick's.

"Can I have you again?"

Nick blushed furiously, but tilted his head forward to quickly kiss the man's mouth.

"Yeah."


Nick squinted his eyes restlessly against a bright glare of light that penetrated right through his eyelids. Groaning, he settled deeper into the magician's arms, and smiled. Arian.

Last night…or morning, he supposed, since he'd left during first period, they had made love again twice more. Arian had taken him from the side the second time, wrapping Nick up in his warm arms, and then, after a bit of curious urging from Nick, the magician had helped Nick take the top, where he had dropped onto the magician's hardened cock himself and lifted up and down until they came.

After they were completely exhausted, Arian had pulled Nick in close, and then they had just talked. The magician had been saying something along the lines of being surprised that he'd gotten a guy, since his blood was so basic, and Nick had been trying to explain to him what basketball was. That must have been when he'd passed out.

But, before they had, Arian had told him that he didn't have to go, because they were going to be together forever. And…well, he couldn't really get back, could he? Nick had nodded his head in acquiescence, hardly believing any of it, and then they'd curled up in each other's arms, and fallen asleep. Fuck home. His mom couldn't get mad at him if he just didn't come back, could she?

The insistent light shot out against the edge of his vision again, and Nick, giving up on pressing his face into Arian's chest, opened his eyes. He lifted his head briefly to see the magician's serene face, still caught up in sleep, before turning his toward the source of that irritating light.

And froze.

There, in front of him, was the portal.

It had ripped jaggedly through the night sky to open up to…his bedroom. Nick exhaled sharply, turning back to Arian, who squirmed a little and tensed his closed lids at the movement. Nick threw his eyes back to the portal, the harsh reality of home right there forcing him to quickly re-evaluate his situation as he dropped his gaze to himself. They had been so warm, they hadn't pulled any of the blankets in the silver pool of bedding over themselves. He was completely naked, curled against the guy who had taken his virginity.

Nick's heart slammed down into his stomach. His virginity. Tyler's taunts immediately came to his mind. Yesterday hadn't been the only time he and his friends had teased him about being gay—his skinny, pathetic muscles and short build had left him an open target for things like that. And then he had just let this guy fuck him up the ass like he was a pussy. He hadn't even tried to stop him. He'd-he'd liked it. There was something really, really wrong with him. If Tyler ever found out…

The silver edging of the portal flashed again sporadically, capturing his panicked attention. There was his bed, his window…it was night-time already. He looked about at the night sky around himself, and choked. Really, what had he been thinking? His mother would be furious. And he had practice tomorrow. He couldn't get kicked off the team. And school. Had he really been thinking he could just ditch it all? For… Nick trembled. For a man.

Nick breathed out, shifting his eyes from the magician's once again peaceful face, then to the portal. If he left…

He had to. He couldn't let himself be such a wimp. He had to forget that any of this had happened. He had to be better than some loser faggot.

Nick disentangled himself from the magician's arms carefully, freezing when Arian murmured something that sounded a lot like his name. He checked to make sure his room door was shut on the other side, then quickly moved across the bed to the portal.

He threw one more look over his shoulder. Arian had wrapped his arms around a mass of blankets and pillows. Nick's heart fluttered for a second, and tears rose up in his eyes. But then he wiped them away quickly. Only babies and girls cried. Seriously. He turned his attention sharply to the portal, standing up before stepping through it.

Nick bowled over on the skewed blankets of his bed, tumbling off the edge and falling onto the floor. He got up stiffly, searching his floor for something to put on really quick before he went to go make excuses to him mother.

He picked up a pair of boxers, and before he could tell himself it was stupid, turned his head for one more look.

The tear had already sealed up behind him. Nick shrugged, pulling the boxers up his legs a little too violently.


I feel like the sex in this part is so bleh-which isn't exactly a good thing, since this is supposed to be the FIRST time. Maybe I'll come around and clean that up later... No, Nicholas...