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with your messed up hair (and your feet still bare)

Chapter Text

Oliver checked his watch. It was already quarter to five- the other rugby captain was late to their meeting.

He paced the empty classroom, his red school jumper tied around his waist nicely, and he huffed. Was Flint even planning to turn up? How the hell were they supposed to organise the pitch timetable if he wasn't even going to-?

Marcus always came in with an entrance, shoving the door open and walking in holding a bottle of water. "Right, let's get started."

Oliver looked up, and shook his head. "Made me wait, didn't you Flint?"

"You know what they say, always make em wait for it." Marcus winked and grinned. "Plus I'm here now , aren't I?"

"You are. Didn't bring Pucey and them, I see."

"You didn't bring Weasley or Bell, did you?"

Oliver shook his head, leaning against a desk. "Let's talk then."

"So, I want the field from two to four tomorrow."

"Er, well I need it from one till five."

"Well that's fuckin greedy. Just go twelve to two, asshole."

"One to three."

"I'm busy after four, I need it until then."

"I'm busy before one."

"I'm getting the field from two to four, prick."

Oliver reached for a nearby clipboard. "Mate, don't be so stubborn. We're not allowed out the whole rest of the week, man."

"Don't be so annoying." Marcus snatched it from his hands. "I know that you guys need the extra practice, but-"

"Mate, take any other day!"

"I want tomorrow."

"How will we decide who gets tomorrow?"

Marcus made a snarky noise. "Simple, Wood. I'm getting it."

Oliver groaned. "Man. Seriously."

"What'll you give me?"

"Excuse me ?"

"For the practice slot tomorrow, what'll you give me?"

Oliver scoffed. "I'm not giving you shit."

"Then I'm using it from two to four."

"No."

"What the bloody hell do you even want?"

"Hmm... alright, your history notes."

"My history notes? That's it?"

"And you've gotta help me with my English essay."

"Uhm. Fine."

Marcus crossed his arms. "Well, good."

Oliver sighed. If reasoning with Marcus Flint was as easy and non-violent as this all the time, he might even get on with him. Though, it did irk him that the man was going to get all the credit for his essays and notes.

"I just need to go to my locker. We're practicing from one to five tomorrow, and you can take some other slot this week. Kay?"

"Kay. Shake on it?"

"As if I'd touch off you." Oliver proffered his hand anyway, though.

"Wow, that's fuckin rude."

"Shake on it, and shut it."

Marcus grabbed his hand, and shook it. His grip was tight and his hand was warm. "It's a deal, Wood."

Oliver's hand was surprisingly soft, and he squeezed. "Alrigh'. Kay, going to get my shit from my locker, so."

"Cool. I'll come with, I have to get my maths book anyway."

Oliver let go first, then led the way, heading down to the first locker area. The place was empty, save for the Patil sisters, sitting cross legged and looking through their chemistry textbooks.

The boys approached the lockers, Oliver bending over to get to his. Marcus coughed and then crossed his arms. "Bottom locker? That sucks, man."

"Yeah? And you've got a what?"

"Top locker." Marcus smirked. "Kind of fitting, no?"

"Excuse me?" Oliver grabbed his history folder, as well as his english copy. He slipped up and leaned back against the locker and raised an eyebrow. "What's that mean?"

"I mean, we're top of the league, and where's your team again?"

"Only the beginning, man. Nothing's set in stone, ay?" Oliver pressed the copy against Marcus' chest. "Especially if it's something like your temporary lead."

Marcus rolled his eyes. "You really are an asshole , Wood."

"Says you . Here's all the shit you need. We can look at the English essay another time."

"Thanks." Marcus took the book and flipped it open. "See you around, Ollie."

Oliver rolled his eyes. "See you."

Chapter Text

Marcus unbuttoned his top buttons and tugged the collar of his shirt down, sighing. He'd just marched in to find Oliver to check up on the progress of his English essay, leaving Pucey and Zabini by the doors. He cocked his head when he spotted Oliver walking to his second class of the day.

"Yo, Wood!"

"Er, hi?"

"How's that essay coming along?"

"Wha?"

"The English essay Wood, keep up."

"Yeah. Just-" Oliver tripped over his words before he cleared his throat. "Just- were we not gonna do it together?"

"You wanna do it together? "

"That's what we agreed on, I thought. That I'd help you with the essay."

Marcus hummed. "Sure. When are we meeting up then?"

Oliver shrugged. "Whenever."

"After school tomorrow?"

"Fine. Where?"

Not Marcus' place, definitely.

"Yours, Flint?"

"Uh... No, maybe we can grab coffee?"

"I don't do coffee dates with lads, sorry."

Marcus frowned. "It's just to do a fucking essay, Wood."

Oliver sighed. "Alright, fine. Coffee."

"Give me your number."

Marcus took a pen and wrote his number on Oliver's palm. "There you go. See you tomorrow then?"

"You could have just put it into me phone. But yeah, see you tomorrow."

He continued on his way to class, ignoring how Marcus glared at him.

Marcus huffed and then turned on his heel, heading to class. Once a day was more than enough times to talk to Oliver Wood.

 




After school tomorrow just couldn't come soon enough.

Oliver was waiting at the Costa, sipping an iced coffee and flipping through his English notes. He couldn't believe he was going to be doing something with Flint that wasn't, well, rugby.

Marcus showed up soon after, fresh out of training and looking clean and awake. His hair was damp and he smelled strongly of Lynx, and Oliver noticed that he'd neglected to shave.

"Hey, Wood."

Oliver barely gave a nod, but he was polite all the same, scooting over across the bench as Marcus went up and ordered a drink.

Marcus came back with an iced black coffee, sipping it and then sitting down. Oliver pushed the folder to the centre of the table. Marcus grinned. "So, have you finished your essay yet, nerd?"

"I wrote notes. Look, did you even read Macbeth?"

Oliver furrowed his brow.

"What?" Marcus made a face. "Of fucking course I did."

"Cool. Tell me what happens."

The bigged boy coughed. "Well. Macbeth wants to be king. So he kills the king and becomes... er, king. And then Duncan kills him."

"Okay," said Oliver with a sigh. "Not exactly. And you mixed up Macduff and Duncan. Duncan is the king-"

"Look, man. Just do my essay."

Oliver shook his head. "No. Better to do it together, so you'll actually know it."

"Look, you're the best in the class and I've barely read the play. Why put yourself through that?"

Oliver considered for a moment, then shrugged. "You're right. Sorry for wasting your time."

He made to stand, and for some reason- for some damn reason- Marcus didn't want him to leave.

"Wait, no-"

"What?"

"No, please help me with my essay."

Marcus Flint was being nice .

"You just said you wanted me to just write it up for you."

Marcus huffed. "I'll help, okay?"

Oliver sighed. "I said it was fine! I promise. I'm not offended. Just let me help, yeah?"

"Okay. Grand."

Oliver sat down, straightening up his folder. "So... Macbeth."

"Mm. Yep. So, the main themes are betrayal, good versus evil, and the supernatural. I wrote down points, and then a structure for writing an essay."

Marcus tugged it towards him and looked it over. "You're like... really good at this, man."

"Right. Thanks. Uhm, so I guess- I guess you didn't bring any paper or shit to write on, but I didn't ask so that's fine. Can we go back to yours or some shit and we can do it together?"

"I... you don't want to come to mine. Yours?"

"I don't?"

"Trust me."

Oliver shrugged. "We could go to mine, I suppose. My mum is home though. She might be a little, er..."

Uncomfortable? Annoyed?

Marcus gritted his teeth. "Sure, fuck it, you can come to mine."

Oliver grabbed his folder. "Will your parents be home yeah?"

"My dad..." Marcus swallowed. "Might be home."

"Oh? Well, I've been told I'm good around parents."

Marcus huffed a laugh. "Let's hope so."

Chapter Text

Oliver had his arms crossed as they started to approach the estate, the place just about hidden by a row of trees.

Marcus looked distinctly uncomfortable, but he led the way anyways, not holding much of a conversation.

Oliver tried to keep pace with the man. "So what's, your place like?"

Marcus paused, too long to seem natural and then he sighed. It was better to just rip the bandaid off, he supposed.

"Look, Oliver..."

"Mm?

"My dad is a drunk, and my mom left." Marcus sounded nothing like he usually did on the field, all his bravado gone. "We live in a trailer."

Oliver didn't respond, but Marcus knew it wasn't pitying, nor was it disgust or anything like that. He was just there, with him.

Marcus huffed. "Feel free to bail, but if you tell anyone I'll-"

Oliver crossed his arms. "I know, I know. Fuck me up, beat my head in."

"I will, no one fucking knows that I'm-"

"Were you about to call yourself trailer trash or some shite?"

Marcus rolled his eyes, empty can as they walked. "Well it's fuckin true, ain't it?"

Oliver shrugged. "If you want."

"Stop being so fucking nice right now. You hate me."

"I do. You're scum, but it's my job to say it, innit? Not yours."

Marcus laughed, despite himself. It was a bright, harsh noise that Oliver found he rather liked. "Come on, let's work on this fucking essay."

They walked down into the estate, Oliver with his hands in his pockets as he followed Marcus.

Marcus brought him to his double-wide, unlocking the door and calling out to his father, who didn't answer.

"He home?"

Oliver followed him inside, looking around curiously. The place was surprisingly neat, but he supposed that was understandable considering the size- easier to clean a small space. He felt embarrassed and guilty that that was his first thought.

"Guess not." Marcus sighed and then gestured to his bedroom. "After you."

Oliver slipped inside.

Okay, so it was messy. That wasn't a huge deal.

Marcus' clothes were strewn about the place, Oliver sitting on the bed and pulling his folder from his bag.

"Sorry about the mess, I was working until six this morning."

Marcus grabbed a notebook and a pen. Oliver blinked. If he had been working until six, that meant that he'd gotten at most an hour or two of sleep, if at all.

He did look tired, actually.

"Until six? You didn't sleep, so?"

Marcus shook his head. "I'm working again tonight until three, so I'll sleep after that."

"Jesus Christ, Flint. What the fuck?"

"Why are you working that long?"

Marcus stiffened. "Some of us don't have parents to pay the bills, Wood. Now, Macbeth?"

Oliver looked a little hurt but nodded. "Cool. We'll go through the plot by act, then tackle the essay."

"Alright, yeah. You start."

Oliver went through the play, making sure Marcus was taking notes, and testing him by asking him questions about the story as they progressed. He pointed out the key moments that were important to include on an essay on themes, Marcus nodding silently all the while.

It had been two hours before they finally got through taking notes. Marcus groaned. "The essay still isn't finished. I only have one more day."


Oliver huffed. "Well, knowing what to do for the essay is more important than writing it. But we can still get it done."

"That's easy for you to say, you're good at English."

"Keep your pants on, we can actually start the essay now. So just give it an intro, that you're gonna talk about the themes of betrayal and shit."

Marcus sat there, motionless, and Oliver sighed as he sat beside the man. He reached over and grabbed the pen, leaning into Marcus' side as he started to scribble down an intro. Marcus looked shell-shocked at the sudden physical contact, and he cleared his throat. "Thanks."

"Yeah, yeah."


Oliver flicked his wrist as he finished the paragraph, hand bumping against Marcus'.

Marcus suddenly felt very, very warm.

He swallowed hard and then pulled his hand away. "You wanna do something with English after school?"

"Huh?"

"You're just- fuck off , Wood. You're good at English, that's all."

"Oh. Like, in college?" Oliver chuckled, ignoring how Flint was cussing him out. "Actually, yeah. I want to study English and Maths."

"Shit, really? That sounds difficult."

"Difficult, yeah, but I really... want to. And I want to study PE, teach it maybe."

"That suits you." Marcus nodded and then read over what Oliver had written.

"So, your first point-"

The front door suddenly slammed loudly.

Marcus winced. "I- stay here, I can deal with him."

"Are you s-?"

Marcus got up and left the room, and Oliver heard more things slam, and then a raised voice.

When he came back, he closed the door behind him. "Sorry, Ollie, you should go."

Oliver pursed his lips. "Uhm-"

"Please, now."

As Oliver moved to leave, he felt Marcus grip his wrist and grumble into his ear, "And don't forget. I'll fucking waste you if you tell anyone."

Chapter Text

Hi Marcus. I'm going to send pics of my essay, feel free to copy it.
I wouldn't do this only I know you have a tough deadline.
image.png received.

Thanks.
Sorry.

Don't be. Are you safe?

Why do you care? He's always like this.

I care because you're my friend - Oliver deleted the message, electing not to hit send.

You're right Marc. I don't care. We just had a deal, that I'd help you with the essay.

Yeah, well, you did. No need to pretend anymore.

Pretend ?

I'm not a charity case, Wood.

Yeah, you're not. I don't feel pity for you in the slightest.
People have shit home lives all the time, doesn't mean they're forced to be assholes. That's your own decision.

Fuck you.

You probably want to. And don't complain when people try to do nice things for you.

Marcus didn't reply to that, and it felt less like winning than Oliver expected it to.

About twenty minutes later, Oliver texted-
Please tell me you're safe though. I'm worried.
Please

Maybe Marcus's phone was off.

Ignore me after if you want, never text me again, whatever, just tell me rn that you're okay

Marcus didn't reply that night, or in the morning either. In fact, he was late to school the next day and looked like he hadn't slept at all.

Oliver stopped him, catching up to him like Marcus had caught up to him a few days back. "Flint."

"What do you want? Gonna rub some more salt in, is that it?"

Oliver took a second to take the remark without a rebuttal. "I'm glad you're okay. That's all."

Marcus snorted. "Yeah, sure you are. Thanks for the stupid essay."

Oliver huffed, itching at his neck. "Man, if I'd said I cared about you, you would've called me gay or something."

Marcus looked at him. It looked like Oliver hadn't slept either. The older boy stiffened. "Jesus, you really don't know when to stop do you?"

"Marcus-"

"Look, I don't know where you heard that I'm gay, but making fun of me for it twice in twenty four hours is a low fucking blow, Wood."

Marcus's voice had dropped to a hiss, and he walked off as soon as he was finished talking.

Oliver was left behind him in a stunned silence. What the fuck had just happened.

Chapter Text

Oliver hurried after Marcus quickly, grabbing him again. "Flint, stop walking away from me..."

Marcus flinched away from him. "What do you want? "

"I didn't know that. You think I would slag you for that? Marcus, look, can we talk? Not in a corridor?"

Marcus swallowed hard. "Yeah, whatever. Classroom?"

Oliver dragged him to an empty classroom, closing the door behind him.

"Look. I'm- I'm sorry, alright? I shouldn't have said that. I just figured you would be... y'know."

Marcus frowned. " Y'know ?"

"That you would get angry if I said I cared. That you would make fun of me. So I'm sorry for that. I- I was really worried, I barely scraped twenty minutes of sleep."

"Twenty minutes more than me." Marcus swallowed and then scrubbed at his face with his hand. "Dad nearly broke my phone after work this morning too, I have to take it in to the Vodafone after school.”

He looked exhausted.

"Look, I'm sorry I just- I'm an asshole."

"We're both assholes, then. Can we be even, there?"

Marcus nodded, and then sighed. "Thanks, for worrying about me."

Oliver moved over and sat next to Marcus on the table. "Yeah. I'm a worrier. Mum always says I worry about other people more'n myself."

"I hardly deserve it, Wood." Marcus scratched his palm and then rested his face in his hands. "Fuck."

"Also... you're gay?" Oliver whispered it, even though they were alone.

Marcus was stiff. " Please don't tell anyone."

This was a very different Marcus to the one that had threatened to kill him if he told people where Marcus lived.

"I won't. It's not my place. Look, I know this is... out of nowhere, but do you want to stay at mine for a few nights?" Oliver sighed. "I want you to... be safe."

Marcus looked over at him, and then laughed. "Your parents would take one look at me and throw me out, Wood."

Oliver chuckled. "One look at you? What would they see? Heh, if they threw handsome fellas out, they would have thrown me out a long time ago."

Marcus looked like he was going to reply before his attention snagged on handsome and he went pink. "Shut up, you know what I meant."

Oliver snorted. "Sure. They'd see thug . Whatever. I'd tell them to let you stay."

"Why would you let me stay with you? You hated me, last I checked."

"I don't want to worry about you all the time. And we were just about friends, last time I checked."

Marcus sighed. "I... maybe for a night or two, I really need to sleep."

He must have been desperate, to accept the offer.

"Cool,” said Oliver. He then leaned against Marcus, sighing. "I'll text you my address tonight and... you can come over?"

He had tilted his head, and Marcus could feel him breathing lowly and warmly against his neck.

Marcus slowly reddened, hoping that Oliver wouldn't notice, but he didn't move. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." Marcus's voice was slightly choked.

"Are you okay?"

"M'fine, Wood." Marcus still didn't move.

Oliver shifted slightly, hand brushing off of Marcus' thigh.

He leaned in, kissing Marcus on the cheek. Marcus turned his head, kissed back, on the lips. Fuck, were Oliver's lips soft. He hoisted Oliver onto his lap, letting the boy kiss down his neck, sucking hickeys into collar, biting hard and leaving marks, undoing his shirt-

Except he hadn't just done all that. That hadn't happened. Wait. Fuck .

Marcus just realised he'd imagined Oliver kissing him.

Oliver stood up, flattening his jumper. "Cool. I'll see you tonight so."

Marcus couldn't reply, but he forced the words out. He must have looked insane. "I. Yeah. Tonight. See ya, then. Er, mortal enemy , or whatever we're pretending to be."

Chapter Text

Marcus had done a lot of scary things in his life, but he couldn't ever remember being this nervous before.

He adjusted his bag strap, and then tightened his grip on the chocolates he had bought after work for Oliver's mom, biting the bullet and making his way to the door.

He knocked.

Oliver answered.

He looked good in sweatpants and a baggy hoodie, apparently. He smiled, only adding to how handsome and charming he appeared.

"Oh, you actually came?"

Marcus had come, and he'd dressed up slightly too. He looked good.

"Said I would, didn't I?"

"Yeah, thought you'd chicken out, though. Come in, mum's cooking dinner. You're not vegetarian or vegan are you?"

Marcus snorted. "Do I look vegan or vegetarian?"

He watched Oliver as the man turned and walked back into the house, biting his lip. It was unfair, that Oliver was that pretty.

"Mum! Guest!"

Oliver's mom hummed happily from the kitchen, where the gorgeous smell of chicken and garlic wafted down to them.

Oliver turned to Marcus. "I'll bring your things upstairs. I set up the guest bedroom for you!"

"You really don't have to, I can carry them-"

Oliver reached to Marcus' wrist, holding him to get him to let go of his kit bag. "Let me."

Marcus went pink, and let go of the bag like Oliver had burned him. "Thanks."

Oliver rolled his eyes. "Don't be so fuckin' proud all the time."

Marcus shook his head and then muttered his thanks, going into the kitchen instead of replying.

Oliver's mother was standing at the hob, boiling pasta by herself. She turned slightly, and smiled. "Hello! Marcus, I presume?"

Marcus put on his best smile and nodded. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Wood."

"Please, call me Maura."

She was a portly woman, hair tied neatly in a bun.

"Maura." Marcus nodded and then held out the box of chocolates. "Thank you for letting me stay the night, I'll be out of your hair tomorrow."

"You're such a darling," she said as she took the chocolates. "Stay as long as you like! A friend of Oliver's is always welcome."

Marcus nodded. "Do you need any help?"

"I'm okay, thank you... I think Oliver's setting up the room for you now, he could probably use a hand?"

"Of course, of course." Marcus thanked her again before going to find Oliver.

Oliver was struggling to stuff the duvet correctly when Marcus came in. The guest bedroom was bland, more of an office really, and a mattress was lying in the middle of it.

Marcus reached for it and took it out of his hands, finishing the job and tying the buttons. "There, Wood."

Oliver sighed. "Oh, shush. Did you meet mum?"

"She seems really nice." Marcus swallowed and then put the duvet on the bed, flattening it out. "She looks like you."

"Excuse me? I resemble a forty year old woman?"

Marcus snorted. "No, dumbass. You have the same eye colour, and your noses are the same."

He really had been looking at Ollie, hadn't he?

"Stalker, much?"

"I'm not blind, Wood."

"Yeah, well, I didn't notice your... stubbly chin, or... whatever." Oliver shrugged. "I'm not in the mood for arguing, forget I called you a stalker."

"Doesn't sound like you’re not in the mood, Wood." Marcus shrugged. "It's fine. Hardly the worst I've been called."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah."

Marcus grabbed the pillow off him and put the cover on. Oliver huffed. "I'm taking care of you, tonight."

"Why? I've taken care of myself for years, dude."

"Yeah, and now you're tired all the time and-" Oliver groaned. "We can't stop arguing, can we."

"Seems not." Marcus huffed. "Why does it matter, Oliver?"

That was the first time Marcus had called him Oliver. He liked it.

"Traditionally, friends don't argue all the time."

"Traditionally, I don't have friends." Marcus shook his head. "You don't have to take care of me."

"I'm not babying you."

"Never said you were."

"You implied."

"Okay, Mr. Future English Teacher." Marcus rolled his eyes.

"Fine, I'll let you take care of yourself. I'll go downstairs and set the table and stuff. I'll call you down for dinner, yeah?"

"Thanks, Wood."

Oliver headed down, and Marcus could hear him and his mother talking between themselves. Marcus looked around the bland decor of the guest room, before eventually heading out. As he crossed down the landing, he saw that Oliver's bedroom door was ajar.

Against his better judgement, probably, he pushed the door open gently.

The walls of Oliver's bedroom was decorated with rugby posters, and print photographs hung up on fairy lights. He had a double bed, the covers messy and undone, with his school uniform tossed atop it.

He had his jerseys nicely folded by the wardrobe, beside his kit bag. He had English notes stacked neatly on his desk, beside an unlit vanilla scented candle. A peek in the trash can showed a lot of crumpled sheets of paper, as well as a used can of deodorant.

It was... Oliver's. Which was an obvious statement, but it just all reminded Marcus a lot of Oliver.

He huffed and then shook his head. The room was so... Oliver.

It smelled amazing, too.

"Marcus! Dinner!"

He jolted, and then left the room, closing the door behind him and making his way downstairs.

For sure, it smelled incredible.

Chapter Text

Oliver was plating up dinner, looking happy as he sat the food down at the table. Maura urged Marcus to sat at the head, her sitting to his left.

"What would you like to drink, Flint?"

"Uh, water?"

Marcus usually only had water at home. Oliver nodded, filling his glass politely. Maura tutted. "He has a first name, Oliver. This isn't the rugby pitch."

"Right, sorry mum. Sorry, Marcus."

Marcus went pink. "That's fine, uh- Oliver."

He took the glass gratefully and took a sip. "Can I help with anything?"

"Just tuck in, mate."

Maura smiled as she started to eat. "I hope it's up to scratch..."

Marcus laughed softly. "I live on takeout and beans on toast, I'm sure it'll be the best thing I've eaten in a while."

He tasted it. It was definitely the best thing he'd eaten in a while. By far .

"Robert is working late tonight, he won't be home till twelve, maybe a little after."

Marcus nodded. "Night shifts suck."

Oliver smirked. "Marcus knows all about that. How long were you working the other night?"

Marcus paused and then swallowed. "I work around eighty hours a week, give or take a couple of hours."

Maura widened her eyes. "Eighty hours?! For God's sake, that's ridiculous!"

Marcus shrugged and then smiled at her. "That's okay, Maura, I need the money so."

"Surely your dad-"

Oliver cleared his throat, loudly. Marcus gave him a look. Had he not - had he not told Maura his situation?

Marcus took another bite, a sip of water. "My father doesn't work, so I'm the only income."

Maura nodded. "That must be difficult. I'm sorry."

"I'm used to it."

Oliver sighed. "Sucks. But anyway, yeah. Marcus is on our rival rugby team!"

Maura smiled. "Oh? Good to see people can be friends regardless of sports."

Oliver grinned, brushing his leg against Marcus'. "Yeah- Oliver is the best in our classes, he's been helping me to catch up on my work."

"Far behind, are you?"

"Don't have much time for studying." Marcus smiled softly. Oliver didn't think he'd seen him smile properly before.

Oliver sighed, exhausted. "He hadn't even read Macbeth yet. We started it over a year ago!"

Marcus rolled his eyes. "I have better things to do."

"Like work your life away..."

Maura slapped at his hand. "Oliver, don't be rude."

Marcus winced. "I won't be going to college anyways, it's not like it matters. "

"You won't be going to college?"

Marcus snorted. "I'm gonna work myself to death supporting me and my da, so I think I'll have my hands full."

Maura didn't reply, eating. She clearly disagreed, but it seemed she didn't think it her place to comment. Oliver, however, apparently thought the opposite, and scoffed. "That's so unfair."

"Not all of us get to leave here." Marcus shrugged. "I'm going to fail my exams anyway."

"You don't have to if you just-"

"Oliver, you don't need to bring your ego to the table. Stop giving Marcus grief and eat your dinner in peace." Maura then turned to Marcus, and smiled. "What do you work as?"

Marcus looked shocked that someone had stood up for him, and he cleared his throat. "Oh, uh, I'm a mechanic, and I work in the factory on the other side of town at night."

"Do you like the work? Besides being absolutely exhausted."

"It's fine, I guess? It helps that I'm strong."

"That's nice. Is the food okay?"

Oliver had been silent since his mother had snapped at him.

"It's amazing, Maura- I can't cook anything like this."

She chuckled. "Oh, so charming..."

"Yeah, he is," said Oliver. He looked to Marcus, mouthing an apology when Maura wasn't looking.

Marcus shrugged at him and smiled, mouthing that it was fine. "You guys are too nice to me."

Oliver smiled back, his leg against Marcus' again. Marcus reddened slowly over the course of the meal, from the proximity.

After the meal, Oliver took all the plates and began to wash them. When Marcus offered to help, he was brushed off by the man.

"S’my job, innit? You're the guest."

From living in London, Oliver's Scottish accent had almost completely left, but sometimes- just sometimes- it came through fully, with a nice pleasant chirp at the end of his sentences.

Marcus huffed. "C'mon, let me help with something."

"Alright, fine. Can you clean the table and brush the floors quickly?"

Marcus nodded and stepped around him, cleaning off the table efficiently and then brushing the floor.

It was almost... domestic.

Chapter Text

Oliver eventually finished up, washing his hands before wiping them off of his pants. "Alright. Do you want to do anything now? It's only nine thirty."

"What do you usually do for fun?"

"Well. I watch TV, or work out." Oliver blushed a little as he leaned against the counter. "Or, er, write. But that all sounds boring, probably. I hope you know I was joking earlier, whenever I said anything that came off as critical."

Marcus shrugged. "Again, not the worst I've heard,” he mumbled, putting the brush away. "You write?"

"Um. Sometimes."

"What do you write?"

Oliver snorted. " No. I'm not talking about that with you."

"Why? Thought we were friends."

"You'd make fun of me!"

"For what? Writing? C'mon, I have much better things to make fun of you for."

"I- I write poetry. "

"Shit, really? Anything good?"

Oliver blushed and crossed his arms. " I think it is."

Marcus shrugged. "That's good, then. You wanna publish them?"

"I could never."

"What? Why?"

"I'd be so embarrassed."

Marcus frowned. "You shouldn't be embarrassed about your writing. What you should be embarrassed of is how your rugby team is doing."

"Shut up. It's only 'cause coach let a bunch of first years in. Had to after leaving in the Potter kid last year." Oliver groaned, putting his head in his hands. "Bollocks."

Marcus had expected an argument, rather than a complaint about his own team. He raised his eyebrows and then shook his head. "Fair enough, they'd be lost without you anyways."

Was that a compliment?

"They would? I mean- I mean, they would."

"But yeah, my poetry. It's good, I just... it's kind of pointless, if you get me."

"Pointless?"

"My poems don't, like, go together."

"So? Neither do- who was that one dude we studied last week? Keats?" Marcus huffed. "That doesn't make it pointless."

"I guess. I could- I could let you read some of mine, if it pleased ye."

"You'd let me read it?"

"Um, if you wanted to."

"Sure."

Marcus Flint was nice, when he was on his own.

Oliver brought him upstairs, flipping through a small paperback journal. He mumbled to himself, looking through what he'd written. Marcus glanced at the desk, seeing something scribbled down. He grabbed it, holding it in front of him. 



i feel

grass, wet, fresh dew fresh from the night before
you knock me down and
you break me
i could stop it you
but
i let you

i like it
the closeness
a reprieve from this
numb, repetitive duty

i take this break with reckless abandon

this clock ticking away
tick, tick, tick

eventually, it'll stop



Oliver saw him reading it, and he squeaked. "That one's not finished!"

"What's this one about?"

" Nothing, give it here."

Marcus held it out of reach. "Tell me?"

Oliver took a long pause.

"Rugby is just exhausting. Can I have it back now?"

Marcus shook his head. "Exhausting? Like, you're tired after practice?"

"I'm tired of the whole bloody thing, right now. That's what it means. Some days I don't even want to go to practice."

"What?"

"It's just tiring to show up. They don't even listen to me anymore, they're all-" He cut himself off with a huff. "No, they're fine. It's fine. Just give it back."

Marcus frowned, and then gave it back. "Oliver, you know you're a great captain right?"

"I... okay. You don't have to say that."

"Do I look like someone who says shit he doesn’t mean?"

"Yes."

Marcus looked hurt. "Uh, okay."


"No." Oliver sighed. "No, I don't mean that. That's just me being stubborn about letting you call me a good captain. Please don't think I meant that."

"Look, I know I'm an asshole, but-"


"You're not.”

"I'm not?"

"No. What were you gonna say, though?"

Marcus hesitated. "You don't need to look like I'm going to mug you every time I say you're good at something."

"I don't look like that. Compliment me."

Marcus snorted. "You're a decent captain, wood."

Oliver gulped. " Okay ."

"That looked painful, you okay?"

"Go again."

Marcus hummed, thinking. "You're really good in English, you're gonna kick ass in college."

"Mhm?"

"You're a fuckin amazing goalie."

Oliver grinned. "Heh."

"Plus all the girls are practically gagging to get with you."

Marcus froze for a second, and then played it off. Oliver let it settle. "They're what?"

The bigger boy shrugged. "Don't you hear them in the hallways? They'd die if you asked them for their notes , nevermind to prom."

Oliver scoffed. "Mate, that's just your imagination."

"Denial isn't cute, Wood."

"And flattery doesn't get you anywhere." Oliver shook his head. "Well, I've never been asked out, so."

"Shit, really ?"

"Never, man. Not even for like, coffee. Never been on a date."

Marcus looked confused. "I would have thought-"

"Nope,” he chuckled. "Turns out people don't dig brunettes, eh?"

His Scottish accent resurfaced slightly there, a sharp twang on the vowels.

Marcus violently shoved down the warm feeling that gave him, and he shook his head. "Brunettes have way more fun than blondes, though."

"Huh? What's that mean?"

"It's... blondes have more fun, y’know? The saying."

Oliver blinked. "Yes."

Marcus looked awkward. "Nevermind, it was stupid anyway."

"No!" Oliver grabbed Marcus' hands and groaned. " Not stupid, kay? Do you wanna watch some TV or something? Do some homework? I can help you with Maths or English..."

Marcus looked down at their joined hands. "Uh... TV."

"Sounds like a plan."

Oliver dragged the boy downstairs, sitting against him on the couch as he flicked through the channels on the television. They eventually settled on Bake Off, Marcus surprising Oliver with his interest.

Marcus seemed happy to watch it, tucking his leg up under himself as he sat.

Chapter Text

Oliver still had his own English essay held tightly in his hands when Marcus came over, shaking his own slightly.

"What'd’ya get on the essay, Wood?"

"Oh, uh." Oliver reddened slightly. "Eighty-six. You?"

Marcus looked delighted. "Seventy-two!"

"Seventy-two? "

Oliver grinned. "Flint, that's bloody amazing. Barely anyone can get above a fifty!"

He leaned in to give Marcus a quick hug. "Wow. You've really listened to me, huh?"

Marcus shrugged off the praise and reciprocated the hug. "I couldn't have done it without you, man."

He had pulled double shifts for most of the previous week, and Oliver had been letting him borrow notes and things when he could.

"Mate, I'm so proud of you."

Marcus shivered, slightly. Not like his dad had ever said anything like that.

It must have shown on his face because Oliver's expression softened. Marcus cleared his throat. "Wanna study together for the calc test this week?"

"You want to study maths with me?"

"I mean, sure? You could probably use the company, nerd."

"Cool."

Oliver tugged at the hem of his jumper, cocking his head. "So, are you gonna stay over this week?"

Marcus frowned slightly. "What? You want me to stay at your house again?"

'Well. I just- I wanted to offer. If you're working-"

"No, I uh- I booked a couple of days off." Marcus cleared his throat. "I could stay?"

"Do you want to?"

"Your mom could probably use help with the leaky dishwasher anyway-"

"Marcus."

"What?"

Oliver sighed. "You're not the handyman. But sure. And we can cook if you want."

Marcus went pink. "You guys wouldn't let me pay for anything, it's the least I could do-"

"Marcus, it's fine. Thank you!"

Marcus whined. "Okay... at least let me get your mom something  for letting me stay?"

"No, Marcus. I appreciate you fixing the dishwasher. Get whatever you want but don't worry too much over it, okay?"

Marcus swallowed and then nodded. "Thanks, Wood."


 
Marcus swallowed his nerves and knocked on the door again.

He probably shouldn't have been nervous, he'd already been to the house and met Oliver's mom. It wasn't a big deal.

It wasn't.

He put his hands back in his pockets and waited.

Oliver was in the shower- he'd had practice for a few hours before heading home with Marcus. The sound of the water was calming to Marcus, and he almost didn't notice when the front door unlocked.

"Maura? Oliver?"

Marcus froze. "Uh, hi sir."

Robert Wood looked into the kitchen at him, furrowing his brow. "Maura home?"

Marcus cleared his throat. "Uh, gone to the shops. Oliver's should be out of the shower soon, though."

Robert nodded and loosened his jacket, stepping across the kitchen. "The dishwasher-?"

"Burst pipe." Marcus held up the pipe in question. "I replaced it, tightened everything up and gave it a rinse cycle, it should be working now."

It helped with nerves, focusing on the work.

Robert looked at him a little oddly. "Good one. Good job. You're- did Oliver give you your money yet?"

He pulled out his wallet and pulled out a fifty. Marcus went pink. "No, sir you don't have to-"

"Hm? Well, your pay-"

"I'm Oliver's friend! " Marcus was red now.

"What about me?" Oliver came in then, towel in hand as he dried his hair.

Robert looked to him quizzically. " This is Marcus?"

Oliver nodded, leaving the towel to hang around his neck. "Oh. Uh, yeah. I forgot to tell you-"

"He's helpful.”

Marcus looked at Oliver. "He tried to pay me."

Oliver chuckled. "You deserve it, though."

Robert sighed and put his money away. "Sorry. Hello, Marcus. I feel bad for not having met you properly before."

Marcus looked very awkward. "It's nice to meet you too, Sir."

"Please don't call me sir.'

"Uh... Mr. Wood?"

"Robert."

" Robert ." Marcus nodded. "Thank you for allowing me to stay here..."

"Of course. If you're a friend of Oliver's, then..."

Oliver smiled. " Thanks , da."

Marcus nodded. "I am a friend of his, yeah," he said with a bright smile. He then looked at Oliver. "The dishwasher is all fixed now."

"I gathered. Thanks. Will we go up to study?"

Marcus nodded and then held his hand out for Robert to shake. "It was nice to meet you."

Robert shook it, beaming. "Firm handshake."

Oliver groaned. "Dad, leave him alone!"

Marcus laughed. "It's okay, Ollie."

He paused for a second at the nickname, and then just played it off.

Oliver started for the stairs, Marcus thinking he hadn't noticed. The brunette was, in fact, blushing hard and trying his best not to let it be visible in the slightest. 

Chapter Text

Marcus followed him, leaving the kitchen and jogging up the stairs.

Oliver leaned against his doorframe, Marcus able to smell the freshness of pleasant coconut shampoo off of his hair.

"Welcome back. So you fixed the dishwasher and sucked up to my da?"

Marcus went red again. "He thought I was a handyman !"

"Well, you look like one!"

Marcus huffed. "Hey, it looks good."

"What does? The stained jeans? Sweat soaked shirt? Yeah, that looks good."

Marcus huffed and then crossed his arms. "Shut up."

It did look good.

But Oliver wasn't going to admit it. "Whatever. You'd look better in something else."

"Oh? Like what?"

"I dunno. Anything." Oliver cleared his throat. "I don't mean you'd look better in anything ."

"Sounded like that's what you meant, Wood." Marcus snorted.

Oliver scoffed. "Fuck off."

He'd gone red. What did that mean?

"Go on, give me specifics. What would I look best in?"

Marcus laughed. "A ballgown ?"

Oliver tossed Marcus a light, pink t-shirt and a pair of soft grey shorts. "Shush."

Marcus shrugged and then started to change into them, washing himself off quickly before coming out in the shorts, the shirt held in his hand and his chest on display. "Your dad seems nice."

Oliver's gaze hung on Marcus' back, before he shook his head. "Um. Yeah, yeah, he's nice."

Marcus pulled on the shirt, a size or two too small and stretched tight on him. "Hm?"

"Hm? Nothing." Oliver scratched his neck. "Nothing."

Marcus shrugged and then sat down on the bed. "So, studying?"

"Huh? Sorry, uhm..."

Oliver thought that the pink looked nice, against Marcus' tanned skin. "Studying yeah. What do you wanna?"

"Maybe some History?"

" History . Cool. Cool cool cool ."

Oliver reached into his bag and pulled out his English textbook.

"Are you okay?"

"Hm? Yeah, let's study."

He flipped the book open. It was upside down. Marcus raised an eyebrow and then reached out to turn the book the right way around in his hands. "You sure?"

"This is my English book."

He seemed... out of it?

Marcus looked worried. "Are you feeling alright?"

He leaned forward and pressed a hand against Oliver's forehead, which just made it worse really. Oliver stuttered, leaning back on the bed until he hit the wall. "I, um, I'm fine."

"Look, I'm fine. Would you get off me?"

Marcus pulled back quickly, feeling stupid. "Uh, sorry."

He didn't mean to make Oliver uncomfortable .

"No. You didn't do anything wrong. Sorry. I'm just weird."

"What's wrong?"

Oliver put his book down, fetching his History book and setting it out. "So what do you need help with? Revising the chapter we're on or a previous one?"

"Uh, the one we're on ?"

"Right."

Oliver started to go through it, pretending he hasn't acted out until he could finally calm down. He looked really into it, interested in the topic he was going through with Marcus.

"Did that help?"

"You know it always does."

Oliver felt his cheeks heat up when Marcus' rough calloused fingers brushed against his wrist to take the book from him. "Cool, we can take a break now and do some more study later."

Marcus nodded and smiled. "That sounds good. What do you want to do now?"

"Anything. Er. Do you want me to show you how to cook, actually?"

“Heh. Wood, I'd love that.”

Chapter Text

Oliver went back downstairs with him, his father in the front room while he brought Marcus to the kitchen.

"What'll we make for dinner?"

"What do you have? "

"Pasta, we've got chicken, steak, beef... vegetables. We could make a stir fry?"

"You're the chef!"

"Well, what do you think? Do you like stir fry?"

"I'll eat whatever is put in front of me, dude."

"Okay, then we'll make stir fry. I can show you how!"

"Please do." Marcus stretched up to grab the wok for him, getting the things Oliver couldn't reach.

Oliver reached around Marcus' thick chest to reach the vegetables that Maura had put in the fridge.

He reached around again to grab the beef, the fridge-cold packet brushing against Marcus' stomach and making him shiver. Marcus shuddered and then shut the fridge. "Hey, that's cold!"

"Whine about it," mumbled Oliver, setting up the cutting board and the wok. "So first you need to cut it up into pieces, yeah? And we're gonna fry them on the wok, make em nice."

"Okay, I can chop stuff if you want?"

"Yes please."

Oliver got the vegetables ready, watching Marcus cut the beef.

He sighed when he saw Marcus doing it wrong. "Look, like- like this."

He reached to direct Marcus' wrist as they cut, chopping up the beef efficiently. Marcus went pink, and let Oliver guide his hands. "Thanks, Wood."

Oliver didn't reply, quickly helping Marcus cut.  "Alright. I'm gonna oil up the pan, keep cutting. When you're done, throw em in. Make sure they're evenly sized."

Marcus nodded and did the rest of it easily, putting them in the pan when he was done. "Hey, what next?"

"Now I'm gonna put in the vegetables."

"And then what?"

"Pepper, salt, that shit. Do we want sauce?"

"Yes." Marcus went to the cupboard. "Black bean?"

"Yep."

Marcus got it and opened the jar, pouring it into the wok.

"Not too- much , oh."

"Is that too much?" Marcus pouted. "It seems right."

"It..." Oliver gave Marcus a once over and grinned. "Never mind. It's perfect."

Marcus grinned back and then hip bumped him to the side. "It smells good."

Oliver's heart skipped. "Mhm!"

"Are you okay? You're very flushed."

"H-huh? No, I just." He reached over to put the heat on under the pan, then tugged at Marcus' shirt. "Can I tell you something. Don't ... overreact."

"Uh... yeah, go ahead."

"You look good in my clothes. It's... it's just nice."

"I... you think I look good?"

"Wearing my shirt, my shorts."

Oliver was so close. His breath was on Marcus' neck, for god's sake.

"They're kinda tight."

"That's what makes you look so good." Oliver huffed. "I mean . It really accents your... body."

"My... body ." Marcus sounded confused. Surely Oliver didn't mean...

"Like, you're buff, dude. So it being tight really- oh, shut up . You know what I mean."

Marcus was blushing hard. "Thanks. You uh- you too?"

"Me too? I'm not wearing a tight shirt."

"Still, you- nevermind."

"I what?"

There was a long silence.

Marcus took a deep breath. "You-"

Oliver turned abruptly. "Fuck, they'll be burnt , hold on."

He quickly flipped the meat to cook the other side.

The moment ended, and Marcus cleared his throat. "Is it alright?"

"Yeah yeah, it's cooking! So, uhm, what were you...?"

"Oh, nothing."

"You sure?"

Marcus gulped. Was he sure? "I... you just look good too, that's all."

He mumbled it, and then checked on the stir fry.

Oliver smiled. "Thanks. You said before girls were all over me or whatever, too."

"Yeah, they are."

So was Marcus, but Oliver didn't need to know that. Oliver scoffed. "Maybe you're just blind."

Marcus snorted. "You're the one who thinks I look good dude."

"Well, you do."

Was Oliver just trying to boost his confidence? "Wow, you really know how to make a guy feel good about himself."

Oliver scoffed. "Fine, I'll shut up. Not like you've anyone else to tell you that... wait, do you?

Was Oliver asking if Marcus was seeing anyone? The boy was acting really oddly tonight. Marcus laughed. "You're asking if I'm dating anyone?"

"No." Oliver shrugged. "Just asking you about your life I guess."

"You're the only person I hang out with, man."

"Really? Your team-"

" Aren't my friends, man."

Oliver frowned. "You seem chummy with Pucey and Higgs at school."

"They're fine, I guess? Pucey is probably my best mate, but still."

"So that makes me your second best friend?"

"Yeah, duh Wood."

Oliver checked on the food, humming. "That's depressing."

Marcus frowned. "Is it?"

"Well, I'm your rival captain , and I'm your second best friend?"

"Yeah, you're a great fucking friend."

"Really?"

"Uh, yeah? I mean, sure."

Oliver nodded. "I'm glad you let me have you over."

"I'm glad you have me over!"

The two stayed in the comfortable silence together, finishing up cooking the stir fry and plating it up. "Our dinner. And now y'know how to make stir fry!"

"Yeah, I do. Learned from the best, too."

"Shush. My mum's the best."

The front door then opened. Speak of the devil.

"Hi Maura!"

Maura gasped when she entered. "Is Marcus staying over!"

Oliver grinned as he watched her envelop Marcus in a huge hug. He chuckled. "Yeah, he helped me make stir fry for us for dinner!"

Maura sighed, addressing Marcus. "And you didn't make enough for the whole family?"

Marcus paled. "Oh, I... I didn't realise- Oliver didn't say-"

"I'm joking, kiddo."

Marcus huffed. "Sorry!"

"Does he ever do anything but apologise?"

Oliver huffed. "He's just anxious all the time!"

Marcus pouted. "I'm right here."

Maura ruffled his hair. "I know! Oh, did you fix up the ol' dishwasher?"

"All fixed now, works like a charm."

"Lovely. God, he's a keeper, inn'he?"

Oliver reddened. "Hmph? Yeah. Yeah, should have him around all the time."

"And leave my da all alone? Where can I sign up?"

Oliver scoffed. "Just stay here forever."

Maura looked between them and chuckled. "You're lovely to have around, anyway."

"Thanks, Maura." Marcus looked happy, and then looked at the stir fry. "I am sorry that we didn't make enough though."

"Don't be!"

Oliver smiled weakly. "Let's sit and eat, yeah mate?"

Marcus helped her with the shopping quickly. "I met Robert, today."

Maura sighed. "Oh, God help you. Was he alright?"

"He thought I was a handyman and tried to pay me." Marcus chuckled. "He seems nice, though."

"That'll be Robert. How did he think you were a handyman, you dressed in Oliver's clothes?"

Marcus snorted. "Nah, I just probably don't really look like I belong here."

She smiled. "You belong, Marcus Flint."

Maura, having packed everything away, then left the room, Oliver and Marcus alone now. Marcus sighed. "She's so lovely."

"Isn't she?"

Marcus smiled. It was softer than his usual one, but Oliver still saw it sometimes. "You deserve a nice mom like that."

"You deserve that too. I'm sorry your-"

" Don't bring up my mom, Ollie."

Oliver cocked his head. "I was going to say I'm sorry your dad isn't like that."

Marcus paused, and then nodded. "Sorry."

Oliver sat, and scratching at his neck. He felt he'd made the evening more uncomfortable than it needed to be. He sat back and cleared his throat. "Let's eat before it gets cold."

 

Chapter Text

It had been an odd evening. Oliver had called him good looking- complimented his body. The comments were still ringing to and fro in Marcus' head when he went to bed in the spare room, curling up in Oliver's spare blankets.

The thoughts of Oliver eventually gave way to the usual nightmares though, and after the fourth time gasping awake in the middle of the night, he couldn't handle it anymore.

Taking a blanket, he crossed the hallway to Oliver's bedroom. "Oliver?"

He hated to wake the other man up, but he didn't think he could handle another nightmare.

Oliver groaned, pulling himself up. "Mmf?"

"I can't sleep." Marcus's voice cracked, horribly.

"What?" Oliver propped himself up on his elbows. "Oh?"

"I keep waking up, and I just... can I sleep in here? Your floor is carpeted, so."

"You want to sleep in here? I, uh-"

"Just on the floor, I won't bother you. I'm sorry-"

Oliver shook his head. "No no, I was gonna say, you can sleep in the bed if you like. It's just I'm only in my boxers, but I'd rather you be comfortable in bed than on my floor."

"Are you sure?"

"If you're good with it."

Marcus slowly walked over to the bed. "Move over then."

He could hear the sound of Oliver shuffling over, moving the covers out of his way. He climbed into the bed and then curled up slightly.

"Thanks, Wood."

Oliver made a sleepy noise and pushed away from Marcus slightly. "I'll give you your space..."

"You're fine, Wood. Don't worry about it."

The man made another noise, pushing back. Marcus was inches away from skin to skin contact with the tired boy. Marcus could barely keep his eyes open, though, and within minutes he was asleep.

The calming noise of Oliver's breathing helped him go into his deep sleep, his night no longer plagued by bad dreams. He slept well, and deeply, and he didn't wake up until he felt Oliver start to move in his arms.

He opened his eyes quickly. In his arms?

Oliver was wrapped up in Marcus' thick arms, back arched and still breathing softly. His skin was so warm, and soft.

Marcus almost moved away on impulse, but the selfish part of him made him just cuddle Oliver closer, closing his eyes again and curling around the man. Oliver seemed to almost purr, tugging at Marcus' arm in his sleep. Marcus swallowed hard and nuzzled into Oliver's hair. It smelled like mint, kind of. Marcus loved it.

He glanced over to the digital clock. They'd usually get up at half seven- it appeared to be quarter to, which meant they had time to cuddle.

Cuddle.

What?

It wasn't as ifOliver would want to as soon ashe woke up, though.

"Mm, morning..."

Fuck. Go back to sleep, Ollie.

Marcus didn't loosen his grip, groaning softly in response. Oliver didn't seem to hate the situation, curling up against Marcus' body. "You're so warm."

Marcus almost made an embarrassing noise, but he just rubbed his thumb into Oliver's back. "Yeah?"

"Mhm."

Oliver grinned goofily and turned over, pressing his face against Marcus' bare stomach.

"You're like a big chunky pillow."

Marcus hid his blushing face in the pillow. "You're very cuddly in the mornings, aren't you?"

"I've never had someone to wake up to..."

Marcus hummed and kept tracing gentle circles onto Oliver's upper back now, probably feeling really relaxing.

Oliver smiled and nuzzled in a little more, squeezing the man. "Did you sleep okay?"

"Yeah." Marcus took a deep breath and then tugged Oliver up to cuddle him properly.

Oliver twined his legs with Marcus' and lay against his collarbone. Marcus had never cuddled with anyone like this before- it was so nice it was more than a little addictive. He wrapped his arms around him, warm and strong and keeping Oliver curled up with him. Oliver let his hand lie on Marcus' stomach, slowly tracing the ridges of his abs. "Why couldn't ya sleep? Bad mattress?"

"Nightmares." Marcus's morning voice was quiet and rough, his accent thicker than usual. "Sorry for botherin' ya."

"No, don't be. I like this a lot better than sleeping alone."

"You do? Even with me?"

"Especially with you." Oliver mumbled it under his breath as if he didn't want Marcus to hear.

Marcus didthough, and he bit his lip, cuddling closer and pressing his face to Oliver's hair. "This is nice, wood. Your bed is fuckin comfortable."

" You're fuckin comfortable."

"I am? Better be, you're on top of me."

"Like a pillow..."

Marcus rolled his eyes. "I'm just a pillow to you?"

"Roommate, at this point."

Marcus snorted and then pulled him closer. "Wow, thanks."

Oliver sighed. "What time is it, mate?"

"We still have like ten minutes before we have to get up... or we could just blow off whatever we have to do."

"School, you mean?"

"Yeah, fuck school."

"Marcus, we can't skip school."

"Don't you want to stay here?" Marcus stretched back and then groaned.

Fuck, Oliver absolutely did.

Oliver managed to pull himself back. "It's school."

Marcus whined, and then tugged the duvet back up around them, his hand skimming against the man's abs. "You're such a good influence."

"I know right?"

Oliver groaned. "Marcus, you're so clingy!"

Coming from Oliver? "You're fuckin warm, man."

"Marc-"

"Oliver." Marcus huffed and then sat up. "Fine, fuck you."

He pulled his shirt off over his head and then groaned. "Can I use your shower?"

Oliver looked him over, then nodded. "I'll get dressed too."

Marcus nodded and jogged to Oliver's bathroom, turning on the shower and locking the door. Oliver pulled himself out of bed, blinking. He had just spent his morning cuddling with a man he once called his enemy. He pulled on a fresh pair of boxers and his school pants, reaching for his belt. He'd been so nervous around Marcus the previous day.

Was he... feeling...

The shower cut off as he finished getting dressed, and Marcus came out with just a towel wrapped around his waist.

Oliver gulped.

Okay, it wasn't 'nothing'.

His heart was fucking racing.

"Marcus."

"Uh, yeah?" Marcus looked up at him, scrubbing his hair with another towel. "What's up?"

"Ah. I'll get your uniform.”

Oliver left to head to the spare room where Marcus had left his uniform. He gathered it up in his arms and thought for a moment.

He was attracted to guys.

More importantly, he was attracted to Marcus Flint.

He felt like he was going to throw up.

Chapter Text

When he got back, Marcus still hadn't decided to put on underwear, instead relaxing on the bed with the towel wrapped haphazardly around his waist. "Thanks, Ollie. I doubt Maura would have wanted to see me in a towel."

Oliver was frozen. "I... uhm..."

"Are you okay?"

Staying at home with Marcus was starting to look pretty tempting after all. "I have your... I'll make breakfast. Full- full English. How do you like your eggs?"

"Hm? Oh, scrambled."

Marcus got up to take his uniform, letting the towel slip a bit as he pulled on boxers. "You're the best, man."

"You look-" Oliver huffed. "Okay, food. See you soon."

"I look?" Marcus reached out and grabbed his arm.

Oliver glanced down at his hand. "You... are good looking. Er, from one lad to another, y'know."

Marcus went pink, and then let go of him. "Uh, thanks. Sorry, I-I'll get dressed now."

"You- yeah, that's- that's the best."

"Are you... okay?"

Oliver couldn't stop-

"Yep."

He left, heading downstairs to make them a full breakfast.

They had time.

Marcus came down, looking a lot more put together than usual in his uniform, though he took off the jumper again quickly and pushed up his sleeves. "Need a hand?"

"M'good. Get plates and shit?"

"Sure thing." Marcus brushed past him on his way to get the plates. "What do you want to drink?"

"Can you make me a cuppa?"

Marcus hummed and then put the kettle on. "How many sugars?"

"Three, please. Milk, too."

Marcus raised an eyebrow and then nodded, making them both tea. "Smells fantastic, Wood."

It was domestic, the whole scenario.

"Thanks, babe."

Marcus dropped the mug. He dropped the mug, and it shamelessly shattered into pieces. He widened his eyes, and then swore. "Fuck, sorry-"

"No, no!"  Oliver huffed, turning the hob off and rushing to get the broom. "Be careful, get your food and eat okay? I'll take care of this."

Marcus grimaced and started to pick up pieces. "I'll buy you a replacement, I'm sorry Wood-"

The man was bright red.  "A replacement mug? Don't worry, mate. Mate. Buddy. Friend."

He coughed. Buddy had sounded weirder than 'babe' in his accent, to be honest.

Marcus laughed nervously. "Buddy?"

"Well, yeah. Just get your food, I'll tidy and explain to mum and dad..."

"No, let me clean it up- your tea is ready!"

"Your food is ready!"

Oliver and Marcus were both on their knees, cleaning up the pieces of the mug. Oliver had a brush in his hand, that Marcus reached for. "Let me-"

Oliver huffed. "I'm doing it!"

They were so close, on all fours leaning over the remains of the mug.  Marcus grabbed his hand instead, stopping him. "Oliver, let me take care of this."

"Why do you have to?"

"Because I fucking broke it!"

"It was my fault you broke it!"

Marcus swallowed but didn't let go of his hand. "You called me-"

"Yes, I did."

"Why?"

"It was an accident. I didn't mean to."

Marcus nodded, his face very close to Oliver's. "Yeah, okay."

"Yeah, okay, " mimicked Oliver.

Oliver's eyes were pretty. Gorgeous blues.  Marcus licked his lips, leaning forward before-

"Ollie?"

He pulled back quickly, flushing deeply. "H-Hi Maura!"

They had almost-

"Nothing! Nothing happened!"

Maura blinked and then widened her eyes. "Oh, Marcus your hand!"

Marcus had sliced his finger open a little, and it had dripped down into a little puddle of blood on the floor.  Marcus swore again and then rocked back onto his heels. "I'm sorry-"

"Stop apologising," snapped Oliver.

Marcus swallowed. "Can I have a tissue?"

"A what?"  Oliver nodded sharply. "Yes. Yeah."

He got Marcus a tissue, handing it to him.  Marcus wrapped his finger, swallowing hard before looking up at Oliver.  They had definitely just almost-

"Take care of your finger, I've got the glass, yeah?"

"I'm sorry, Maura- I'm sorry, Oliver I can-"

Oliver shook his head. "My fault."

He tidied up the glass quickly, putting it all in a bin bag before going to get the hoover to get rid of any tinier pieces of glass. Marcus washed his hand and then bandaged it tightly, standing to the side while Oliver cleaned it up.

 

Chapter Text

Oliver hoovered vigorously, taking his sweet time with the job. He didn't blame Marcus for dropping the thing. He blamed himself for- well, for saying something absolutely stupid. Marcus waited for him to be finished before speaking. "Oliver-"

"Yes?"

"I-" Marcus fell silent again and then made a fist with the injured hand. "Are you okay?"

"I think so. Your hand?"

"I've had worse."

They needed to talk about it, surely.

"You keep saying you've had worse, or you've heard worse... you deserve to feel good, not just less bad, y'know?"

Oliver didn't seem to be making much sense. "What?"

"I don't know."

Oliver bit his lip, putting the hoover away.

Marcus pushed himself off the counter and walked over to him  "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's... wrong. I just feel... different."

"Different?"

"Did we almost-"

Marcus went red as soon as he interrupted. "Yeah."

Oliver gave a long, worrying pause. "Cool."

"... Cool?"

"I don't know. That was just different. I didn't think... that that would..." Oliver cleared his throat. "Sorry. Did you want to?"

Marcus looked like he wanted to disappear. "I..."

Oliver coughed. "Sorry, I've something in my throat.'

Marcus laughed nervously. "Yeah, yeah. Don't worry."

"I don't know. I think so."

"You think so?" Marcus swallowed hard.

"Did you?"

"...Yeah."

The kitchen was completely silent. "Oh.”

“Is that a problem?"

"I don't think so, actually." Oliver washed his hands quickly, wiping the palms off his jeans.

"You don't..."

"No, cause- cause we both want to..."

"Oliver-"

Oliver grabbed Marcus by the collar and pulled him in close. Both boys were breathing heavily against one another's lips now.

Marcus looked terrified for a second, and then he huffed. "Fuck it."

Then, he kissed Oliver, crashing their lips together clumsily. Oliver kissed back, nipping at Marcus' lip, opening his mouth to let out a noise of surprise. Marcus pulled away far sooner than Oliver wanted him to, and he licked his lips, breathing hard. "Fuck."

Oliver gasped, as if he'd been holding his breath for an hour. "You're, uhm. A rough kisser, huh?"

Marcus laughed, and then shook his head. "Not usually, asshole."

"So usually what are you like then?"

"You really want to know?"

Definitely. "Yeah. Maybe not here, though."

Marcus hummed. "Upstairs?"

"Yes. Yeah. My bed. My bedroom, I mean.”

Marcus went pink again, and then gestured for Oliver to lead the way.

Chapter Text

Oliver dragged him to his room, closing the door behind them. He turned sheepishly to look at Marcus. "Hi again."

Marcus pushed him gently against the door, kissing him again. It wasn't as rough as the first time, and Marcus seemed almost nervous. Oliver pressed his hands against Marcus' chest, letting him lead. They pulled away, Oliver nudging Marcus' chin up and kissing at his neck. Marcus made a soft, high pitched noise at that. "Have you done this before?"

"What's this ?"

"With a guy!"

"No. No, never, man. Have you?"

Marcus opened his mouth, then paused. "Me and Adrian kissed when we were like... fifteen, or sixteen, but that's it."

"You and Adrian kissed ?"

Marcus went red. "It wasn't serious!"

"Still, Adrian?"

Oliver grinned. "Is that when you realised you were-"

" Shut up. " Marcus whined. "Can we go back to kissing?"

Oliver pulled Marcus back in, kissing slowly and softly, his grip tightening around the shirt.

Marcus kissed him back eagerly, before pulling away. "Is this- Is this serious?"

Oliver considered it. It was a valid question. "It's not casual."

Marcus looked relieved. "Okay, yeah. I really like you, Oliver."

"I really like you too, mate."

Marcus snorted. "Loser."

Oliver kissed him again, and again, kissing his neck too, and running his hands up and down Marcus' back. "You're so shit at kissing, mate, you need to step it up."

"Shut up, what do you want me to do?"

"Well, get bette r at it."

"You're gonna have to help me practice, then."

Marcus kissed him again, just a chaste press of lips. Oliver sighed. "I guess I'll have to, won't I?"

"Oh, don't act like it's a chore. "

"Well, I'm the one having to do all the work..."

Oliver pushed Marcus back to the bed, peppering down his neck with kisses before sitting upright beside him. "God, I thought I was going to fucking die sleeping beside you."

"I thought I was going to have a fucking heart attack seeing you come out of the bathroom."

"Really?" Marcus grinned.

Oliver nodded. "Fucking hell like."

"Working like a dog all the time has its perks, man. And you're not so bad yourself."

"Shut up."

"Make me?"

Oliver leaned in and pressed a hard kiss to Marcus' lips, pushing him back down to the bed in order to shut him up.

Marcus laughed and pulled him down too. "Good job, babe."

"Babe? Oh-" Oliver reddened. "Shut up. I'm actually such a terrible mess."

"And yet, I like you."

"And I... like you too. For no explainable reason."

"Hey, I'm a fucking delight!"

"Yeah? Sure you are."

Oliver moved to straddle the bigger boy, kissing him slowly, pressing his open palms on Marcus' chest. Then, his eyes went round, and he pulled off.

Marcus looked worried. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"We still have to get ready for school, that's what's wrong."

Marcus groaned, his fingertips playing with the hem of Oliver's shirt. "Mmf... fine, then."

"Tea. Food. Downstairs. Now."

Chapter Text

"Oliver."

Oliver stopped in his track, swiveling at the sound of Percy's voice. Percy furrowed his brow. "Extremely chipper today, aren't you?"

Oliver went a light pink. "What? I'm just the same as usual!"

"There's just... a spring in your step..."

"Do people even say that anymore?"

Percy sighed. "Most of the vocabulary I use has been lost to the ages, Wood."

"I'd believe it. Maybe I'm just having a good day, Weasley."

He saw Marcus in the hallway and then smiled softly to himself. Percy followed, huffing. "Did something happen?"

"What do you mean?"

"Something to make you have a good day?"

"Maybe I just... woke up on the right side of the bed?"

Oliver snickered at his own joke, Percy not understanding that the left side of the bed was Marcus' side, now. Percy quickly ran a hand through his ginger curls. "Huh. Well, good. I like seeing you happy. “You've got a nice smile, Wood.”

Oliver winked and bit his lip, pretending to look seductive. "Don't go falling in love with me, Perce."

Percy made a slightly disgusted face. "I couldn't if I wanted to, my friend."

Oliver feigned offense. "Are you saying that I'm not a catch?"

Percy made that little hmph noise of his and crossed his arms. "You're the ugly tuna the fisherman throws back into the water."

Oliver gasped, then smacked his arm. "You're not my best friend anymore, asshole."

"You're joking, but I heard Flint is staying at your place nowadays."

A pause. "And what about it?"

"Well, are you two-"

Oliver cut him off with a rushed, "we're not together," and Percy went quiet for a moment before continuing.

"Are you two friends? "

Percy raised an eyebrow at the boy, who had gone as scarlet as his jumper. Oliver cleared his throat. "Of course we're friends, he stays at my house."

"Since when?"

"Uh... a couple of weeks?"

Percy looked a little confused and stopped in the corridor. "A couple of weeks? And you never told me?"

"Are you my keeper now?"

"Well, I thought we were best friends? Are you just bored of me now?"

Oliver rolled his eyes and continued on, holding the door of the classroom open. "Marcus is nice, man."

"Since when have you had that opinion?"

"Since he's been practically fuckin livin’ with me, Perce."

"I don't understand how someone can just change overnight from your mortal enemy to letting them stay at your house in the first place.”

"You don't really know him, man."

Percy scoffed. "Do you?”

"Better than you!" Oliver took his books out and sat down. "My mom likes him."

Percy sat down beside him, a dramatic pout on his face. "Your mum doesn't like me?"

"Shut up, you know my mom loves you."

Percy looked worried, but he nodded. "I don't understand where this is suddenly coming from."

Oliver groaned. "What do you mean? "

"I just thought you hated him, and then you disappear from me for weeks, and you've been living together?"

Oliver bit his lip. "He needed a place to stay, okay? He's not so bad."

"He isn't? Alright... I suppose I trust your judgement."

"He really isn't, man."

Percy groaned. "I said that I trust your judgement, okay? Anyway, Oliver, do you maybe want to hang out after school?"

Oliver had made plans with Marcus. Ugh, this entire encounter had made his good mood plummet to the Earth’s core. Oliver paused. "Uh, we can meet up later tonight? Marcus and I were going to-"

"Oh, it's okay. Don't worry about it mate." Percy smiled weakly. "Just miss seeing you around, you know?"

Oliver frowned slightly and then leaned over to touch his arm. "We can hang out tomorrow? That movie you wanted to see is out."

Percy chuckled. "I recall you said it was ‘utter shite’?"

"Yeah, but my best friend likes it so."

"Then it's a plan."

Oliver grinned. "Love ya, Perce."

Chapter Text

Marcus was leaning against the wall at the back of the school, finishing off a cigarette. He hadn't smoked in a little over a week, and he started getting shaky in his last class. He glanced around when he heard the crunch of gravel, and quickly tossed the cigarette to the ground, crushing it under his foot.

He saw Oliver turn the corner, and waved lightly.

Oliver smiled at him and went over. "Hey."

Marcus cocked his head. "Yo. We still on for tonight mate?"

"Yeah. I'm going to the cinema with Perce tomorrow though, so."

"Oh yeah? I've never talked to the fella myself." Marcus bit his lip and looked Oliver over. "You gonna have a good time?"

"Yeah! I really missed him." Oliver looked really happy too.

"You're so handsome when you're happy, Ollie. It's so cute."

Oliver went red. "Shut up, no I'm not."

"Yeah, you are."

Marcus sighed. "I promise you."

"Cute." Oliver rocked up onto the balls of his feet, going for a kiss.

Marcus leaned in, then pulled back. He'd surely still taste of smoke- and he didn't want Oliver to catch on that he'd dipped back into his bad habit.

Oliver frowned slightly. "Uh-"

"Sorry, it's just- we're at school, y'know?" Marcus coughed. " Y'know? "

"And?"

"Could out you."

Oliver pouted but moved away again. "You ready to go?"

"Yeah, sure. What takeout we picking up tonight?"

"Mm, Mexican?

Marcus smirked as they walked together. "Mexican?"

"You got a problem with that, Flint?"

"Didn't think that was your cup of tea, mate."

"What would be my cup of tea, then?"

"Thought you were a basic fella who liked his Chinese. Couldn’t handle the spice, like. Have you got mints, by the way?"

"Yeah." Oliver took out mints and tossed them to him.

Marcus knocked back a few mints, crushing them in his mouth to try to rid his breath of the smell. "It's good I have work tomorrow night so. Something to keep me busy while you're out."

"Or else you'd miss me too much?"

"Miss kissing you."

"Kiss me after I beat you in practice, yeah?" Oliver grinned and tapped him on the chest. "You and your shit team?"

"Yeah, me and my amazing team."

"Your team is the pits, Wood."

"Say that to our trophies, man."

Marcus elbowed him in the arm. "Fuck off, you."

"Make me?"

The tanned boy grinned devilishly. “I will yeah.”

 


 

"Potter, you're not doing it right."

Oliver jogged over to the kid, moving him over slightly. "Look, you're just not doing it right. Yer a prodigy and all, but you need to work on yer kick."

He glanced to Marcus, their gazes meeting. Oliver rolled his eyes, and Marcus snickered.

"Captain? What's going on with your face?"

Marcus frowned and looked over at him. It was the Malfoy kid, his gear a little too big for him and brand new. "What?"

"You're smiling."

Marcus whacked him in the back of the head. "Shut the fuck up, kid. Go run a lap."

"I'm just not getting it, sir."

Oliver kept looking over at Marcus, clearly distracted. "Er, try again."

The kid tried again, Oliver looked on. He sighed.

"Was that it? Captain Wood?"

Oliver shook his head. "It's fine. Just focus on getting the ball then, and don't let your scrawniness be your weakness, yeah?"

He patted Potter on the shoulder, then glared back at Marcus. He furrowed his brow when Marcus mouthed something to him across the pitch. Marcus tapped his fingers against his temple in a mock salute and then barked at his team to get ready for a match. Oliver blew a whistle, summoning his team over. "Alright, game faces everyone, game faces lads. Weasleys, stop messing about and cop on, yeah?"

Fred grinned and winked at him.  "Maybe keep yer eye on the ball instead of Flint's ass then, Cap."

Oliver reddened, blowing the whistle again when some of the team started to laugh. "Excuse me?"

"Come on, Wood, you can cut that tension with a knife!"

Across the field, Flint blew his own whistle. "No fucking around this time, lads, we need to beat Wood's team."

Higgs snickered. "Yeah Marcus, instead of beating it off to Wood?"

Pucey frowned, elbowing him roughly. "Oi, mate. Watch your mouth."

Marcus raised an eyebrow. "You wanna repeat that, Higgs? Or is it not worth your teeth?"

Higgs looked around, then gulped. "Not worth m'teef, sir," he said in a very small voice.

"He just thinks you're soft on Wood recently."  "More like hard on Wood, eh?"

The boys started laughing amongst themselves, Adrian smacking whoever he saw mocking Marcus. "Next person who says some shit like that gets a knee in the balls so bad they won't be able to have kids."

Marcus took a step towards his team. "No, go on. Who has something to say?"

Nobody spoke.

"No, clearly someone has something they want to say."

"What's going on with you and Wood?"

Adrian began to roll up his sleeves. " That's it- "

"Nah, nah, Adrian, it's fine." Marcus walked over to who had spoken and then crossed his arms. "Maybe focus on your playing rather than my business, and you might get to stay on the team."

The boy nodded, sharply.

"Let's get to it then!" Shouted Oliver, stretching out and matching across the pitch to the other team's captain.

Marcus held out his hand to shake. "Ready to lose, Wood?"

Oliver shook the man's hand with a firm grip, and he chuckled. "In your fuckin' dreams."

Someone wolf-whistled, and Marcus rolled his eyes, dropping his voice. "Loser buys dinner?"

Oliver hummed lowly. "Sounds about right. Keep your head in the game. I know I'm irresistible, but keep your eyes to yourself yeah?"

"Pff, as if you can stop staring at me."

"As if you don't want me to stare at you."

Marcus snorted. "Stare at me all you want later, yeah?" Then, he pulled away. "You get first serve."

"Grand. See you on the other side."

Oliver blew his whistle three times, and the match began.

Chapter Text

Oliver stepped away from the showering area, grabbing a towel and drying his hair with it. There was very limited privacy in the changing rooms at the school, so Oliver tended to hang back a little later than the others so he could shower and change in peace without feeling looked at.

He pulled on shorts, loose ones that wouldn't stick to his wet legs, and he stretched out. His arms ached- honestly, his whole body ached. He couldn't wait to sleep early that night.

He knew that Marcus would be hanging back in his own changing rooms too- Marcus hated having people looking at him when he was showering. Oliver smiled. It was kind of funny that they'd had something like that in common, that they'd never known over the years. He had just pulled on his shoes when he heard footsteps, bare feet slapping against the wet tiles.

Marcus knocked on the doorframe. "You decent?"

"Decent-ish. Yourself?"

Marcus rolled his eyes and walked in, wearing a damp shirt and track pants. "As I'll ever be."

Oliver looked him over. "Shoes and socks, maybe?"

Marcus scoffed. "Shirt, maybe?"

Oliver winked and grabbed his shirt from his locker. "As if you can't stand the view."

Marcus sat down to pull his shoes on, quickly lacing them up. Oliver sat next to him, leaning against him.

"Man, I know you said loser has to buy dinner tonight, but I promise you really don't."

Marcus rolled his eyes. "Prick. You still want Mexican?"

"Sure, but seriously, you don't have to-"

"Ollie." Marcus rolled his eyes and kissed him. "I'm buying. I have extra money lying around, remember?"

" Lying around? "

"Since your mum won't let me pay rent."

"She won't let you pay rent 'cause you're a guest."

"Dude, I eat all your food, all the time."

Oliver grabbed him and pulled him in for a slow kiss, biting at his lip.

"Okay, you can pay tonight, but stop complaining that you're being treated like family."

Marcus went red and then kissed him back. "Fine, fine."

Oliver grinned and pressed a kiss to Marcus' temple, standing and then yawning. "Good. Finally listening to me."

"Shut up. We'll beat you next week, yeah?"

"You can fuckin' try."

"We fuckin will, Wood." Marcus went quiet for a minute, and then he leaned against the lockers. "Err, Wood?"

Oliver packed his bag, cocking his head just slightly. "Hm?"

"Do you still feel exhausted after practice?" Marcus frowned slightly. He bit his lip and tried again, at Oliver's confused expression. "You said in your poetry..."

Oliver let out a surprised noise. "Oh. You remember? Well... no, not as much recently."

He was going red at an alarming rate.

Marcus nodded. "Course I remember. Yeah? Why?"

"Well, in short... you."

Marcus blinked, and then went pink. "Me?"

"Yeah. You being around is... refreshing. "

"Refreshing? That's a funny way to say hot , Wood."

"You're hot too, is that good enough?"

Marcus grinned, and then kissed him. "Hell yeah. Why was it exhausting before?"

"It was just boring, you know? Repetitive."

"Oliver Wood, getting bored of rugby?"

Oliver groaned. "It's stupid. Whatever. If I hadn't gotten to know you, I'd never tell you that."

"Nah, it's not stupid." Marcus huffed. "I nearly dropped out of school so, I get it."

"You dearly dropped out of school? But your grades aren't that bad!"

Marcus snorted. "Ollie, please. I'm not exactly the college type, am I?"

"You could be. "

"You really think so?"

"I really do. But only if you want to."

Oliver brushed against Marcus as they walked out, the back of their hands bumping off of one another. Marcus chuckled and then shook his head. "You're too soft on me, Wood. The teachers thought I should drop out too. I'd have more time for working, then."

"Do you want to go to college, man?"

"Never really thought about it. What would I even do? "

"Dunno. I mean if you want to work right after school, then go for it man."

Marcus bit his lip. "How would I even pay for college, man?"

"Yeah. Yeah, you're right." Oliver pressed a kiss to Marcus' shoulder before they walked out to the car. "Sorry, babe."

Marcus rolled his eyes, and sat in, reaching over to squeeze Oliver's hand. "Nah, don't. One of us has to believe in me, right?"

"Mm. Well, I was always the smart one. Oh, and the pretty one."

"Damn right." Marcus snorted. "Are we stopping off for food on the way home yeah? My wallet's in my bag."

"We are. Mexican, remember? Go get your wallet, mate."

Marcus went to his bag, and furrowed his brow at all the text messages he'd received.

Marcus come home its really important
Marcus come home now u fuckomf ungrateful prick
Fuck you
Its your mother

"Shit." He sat back into the seat, holding his phone. "Shit,  that asshole."

"Marcus? What's going on?"

Marcus gripped the phone a little tighter, sounding pissed. "I might have to rain check on that Mexican, Ollie."

"Can I help?"

"It's my mum."

"What do you mean?"

"I think my mum is back in town, probably looting the trailer as we speak."

Oliver nodded quickly. "I'll give you a lift there, so."

"I'm sorry, about this."

"Don't be. Never. Let’s go.”

Chapter Text

"Daniel, now Daniel, where did you put it?"

Daniel was leaning over the counter, holding a mug of terribly bland coffee. "I don't fuckin' know. It's called losing things, Liz."

The woman with black frizzy hair that drooped down to her shoulders turned and sighed. "Well, come on. It's called- finding things? Have you heard of it?"

"You're proper psycho, you are."

Marcus unlocked the door to the trailer, and then stopped dead. "Mum?"

Elizabeth seemed to be frozen too, looking at her son.

"Marcus? Is that you?"

Marcus looked at his dad, and then back at her. "Yeah. What are you doing here?"

Daniel groaned. "She wants my fuckin' wedding ring. Can you believe her?"

Elizabeth made her way across to her son, smiling nervously. "Hey. I- I've missed you..."

Marcus rolled his eyes. "Come off it. You're getting married again, then?"

"Marcus, I'm serious. Every day I thought of you, of coming back-"

"But you fucking didn't, did you?"

Daniel snorted. "Yeah, you didn't. And this isn't Eastenders, you stupid bitch, put a stop on the fuckin' dramatics."

Elizabeth looked hurt and put her hands together. "You know why I left. Why I had to..."

This was surely another one of her scams.

"I was eight, and you left me with him." Marcus shook his head and then chuckled. "Who's the guy? Some old man with a good insurance policy?"

"He's not old," she clenched her fists. "Or a man. I'm marrying for love, this time, not because I got knocked up."

"I should've known you wouldn't understand."

"That's great. I hear they sell cheap wedding rings on eBay."

Marcus sighed. "Why did you come back, mum?"

"I do want the ring back. For my fiancée."

"Did you guys even get divorced? I didn't think to leave in the middle of the night when I was a child left room for paperwork."

Elizabeth opened her mouth, then closed it. "It's being done."

Daniel sipped his coffee, silent.

Elizabeth brought her hands to her sides. "I'm sorry for leaving you, I can't say that enough..."

"Yeah, you can't. So don't. Why did you call me back here, dad?"

Marcus would have to walk to Oliver's after this. "I was busy."

"Cause she's giving me a fuckin' migraine."

Elizabeth huffed. "You're being difficult."

"I don't give a shit."

"Just give her the fucking ring, dad."

"I don't have it, she's not listening to me."

"Where is it, then? Did you sell it?"

"No." Marcus didn't look like he believed him. Daniel scoffed. "I lost it. Do you hear me? I lost it. I'll find it, I just need this bitch out of my head."

"Too bad, neither of you ever seem to fuck off."

Elizabeth scoffed. "Make up your mind, do you want us to stay or to fuck off?"

"I wanted you to stay when I was a fucking kid, Elizabeth . And I grew the fuck up. Maybe you two should try it."

It had been almost a decade since she had seen Marcus last, and he had grown up into a tall, handsome, and very angry man.

It reminded her of his father.

Elizabeth scratched her neck, then nodded. "Okay. Then go, Marcus. You don't want anything to do with us, you don't have to be here then."

"Thanks for giving me permission." Marcus went into his room for a second, coming back out with a hoodie and a pencil case. "Right- Dad I have a match next week, in case you ever feel like showing up for once."

He stopped, to look at his mom, and then swallowed hard. Daniel looked up, slightly, but didn't respond.


"Bye, mum."

"I'll be there," said Elizabeth half-heartedly. "If you- if you want."

"You- what?"

"I'm in town, so I may as well... if you're okay with it."

"Do you even know what sport I play?"

"Footie?"

Marcus snorted. "Rugby, actually."

He took out his phone and texted Oliver, asking if he'd be able to pick him up.

I never left, still parked out here man

'I'll be there Marcus."

"Whatever." Marcus fished out a twenty and threw it down on the table. "Oliver's here, I'm leaving."

"Oliver? Who's-?"

Marcus slammed the door behind him. Elizabeth turned to Daniel with a confused look. "Oliver?"

"Boy's staying with him." Daniel groaned. "Whatever. Ungrateful arsewipe."

Elizabeth leaned against the wall of the trailer. "Maybe if you weren't a fucking deadbeat drunk."

"Maybe if you hadn't left us. "

"Maybe if I had taken him he wouldn't have to deal with a shite father like you."

Daniel chuckled and chugged the rest of his coffee, sighing after. "You're fucking pathetic. You'll probably be off once you take the ring."

"Where did you even put it?"

"I'm not fuckin' telling you."

"Where, Dan?"

"You can't have it. You can't have it, it's- it's for-"

Elizabeth starting checking the cupboards again. "What is it for?"

"In a tin, with a bunch of cash I've saved up. Okay? The closest thing to a college fund I ever fucking got to." Daniel grunted. "Fuck off, you. I'll be there at that match to support my son."

Elizabeth scoffed. "As if you'll be sober enough to show."

"We'll see, then."

"Suppose we'll have to."

Chapter Text

Oliver winced when Marcus slammed the car door behind him.

"That bad?"

Marcus set his jaw and then shook his head. "Just drive."

"Marcus-"

"I said to drive, " barked Marcus, as if he was standing on the field in front of his rugby team. He winced at how angry he sounded, and then hugged himself. "Please, just drive."

Oliver nodded, shaking slightly as he turned the ignition. "Okay, okay. I know it's tough but try to calm down, okay? I'm here for you."

"Oliver, I'm sorry-"

The brunette leaned over to kiss him on the cheek, shutting him up. "No, don't be, okay?"

Marcus swallowed and nodded, and they drove back to Oliver's place in silence, Marcus hiding out in Oliver's room immediately before Oliver could catch up with him. Oliver leaned by the doorframe and sighed. "Talk, babe?"

Marcus groaned from under the duvet. "My mom is getting married again."

"Oh?"

"She doesn't talk to us for ten fucking years, and now this?" Marcus swallowed audibly. "She said she'd be coming to the match next week."

"The match? Our match?"

"Yeah."

"How is that gonna go?"

Marcus pushed himself up and grumbled. "She probably won't bother, Wood. She'll have forgotten all about me again by then."

"But if she does-"

"Then I pretend she doesn't exist. Works out pretty well for me usually."

Marcus looked upset, really upset. If it had been a few months earlier, Oliver might have laughed at him.

But now-

Right now-

Oliver sat down on the bed next to him, leaning into him. He wrapped an arm around the boy, the sad, broken boy. It hurt to see someone who was once so arrogant and so rough around the edges broken down and softly spoken.

Marcus put his head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry."

"Never be sorry for your family. You're part of mine, now... if-if that's what you want."

"You want me to be?"

"I... don't not want you to."

Marcus snorted, and then shook his head and kissed Oliver soundly, bringing a hand up to his neck. "You're too good for me, Wood."

'No, you deserve it. You deserve to be taken care of."

"I do?"

Oliver nodded. "Mmhm. Yep. Do you want to do something to distract yourself?"

"Stay here with me?"

"Yeah. Anything."

Marcus kissed him again, and then again, slower, before pulling him down and cuddling into him. Oliver moved up, legs wrapping around Marcus' waist and cuddling him closely, not wanting to let go. Marcus chuckled softly. "Hey, Ollie?"

"Mm?"

"I really like you."

Oliver smiled and looked away, reddening again. "I really like you too. It'll be okay."

Marcus nodded and then grimaced. "She wants my dad’s wedding ring."

Oliver sighed, and then scratched Marcus's scalp a little. "Marcus, you can't fix them. Just let them work this out themselves."

Marcus groaned softly. "You're right, yeah."

Oliver kissed his forehead and then chuckled. "You should also get cracking on that essay that's due tomorrow, you know."

Marcus rolled his eyes and shoved him away, before sitting up. "You're such a good influence."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

Marcus got up, and stole one of his hoodies back from Oliver and pulling it on. "Come on then, the Byzantine Empire is waiting for us."

Oliver laughed and followed him.

Chapter Text

Marcus gave a huff, scratching at his neck. He was standing by the double doors that led from the changing rooms out to the pitch. "Alright," he said, addressing his team. "What are we going to do today?"

"Kick some arse," replied Adrian with a smirk. "Duh."

Marcus smirked. "Damn fucking right, Pucey. You ready to kick some arse, lads?"

They all cheered in agreement, and Marcus then led them out to the pitch. It was one of the hotter days of the month, the sun beaming down on them as they jogged out to their side of the pitch. Soon after, the Gryffindors came out of their respective changing room, Oliver leading them. Marcus stood out to the center of the pitch, waiting for Oliver to come over to shake hands.

"Wood," said Marcus, hands on his hips. "You ready to lose?"

Oliver smirked and held his hand out to shake. "I should be saying that to you, Flint."

Marcus shook it, firmly. "Don't think mum or dad's turned up."

He glanced quickly around the half-filled stadium. Sure enough, he couldn't spot neither Elizabeth nor Daniel.

Oliver's expression softened. "Just try to focus on the game, Marc."

"Yeah, you too. And you'll need it."

The referee blew the whistle, and the game began.

Both teams played fairly well, the game tense as Marcus and Oliver's teams were successful at blocking any sort of forward attacks from the other. Marcus had been tackled several times, shoving off whatever unlucky Gryffindor had carried out the action. By half time the score was 6-5, in Marcus' favour.

Marcus jogged off, lifting his shirt and using the hem to wipe the sweat off of his forehead.


He could see Oliver grabbing a drink, talking to his team cheerfully. He looked happy despite the fact that the game wasn't going his way so far, which was one of the things Marcus liked the most about him.

He looked over towards the stands again, looking for his parents.


He was still looking around when he felt a hand grip his shoulder. He turned, and there they were- his mother and father, standing behind him. Both of them were wearing tight Slytherin jerseys, Daniel's hand still on Marcus' shoulder.

"Hey, mate," mumbled Daniel. "You er- you played really good."

Chapter Text

Marcus widened his eyes. "You guys actually fucking came."

Elizabeth smiled weakly. "Better late than never, huh?"

Marcus swallowed hard, and then stepped away from them. "So every time you didn't come was because you couldn't be bothered."

Daniel groaned. "Boy-"

Elizabeth shook her head. "No, no, Marcus, no."

"No, I'm right aren't I?"

"You're not."  Daniel wasn't making eye contact, and his hands were shaking.  He grunted. "Look, we're here now. You were so good out there."

Elizabeth shook her head again, more erratic. "Marc, look, maybe we weren't the best, but we're trying now, ay?"

"It's a little fucking late, Elizabeth. I raised myself- you didn't even know what sport I played."

"But now I do! And now we're here!"

"That doesn't fucking matter!" Marcus was almost shouting now, and Oliver could hear him from across the little bench area.

Adrian rushed over, reaching out to Marcus. "Mate, don't overreact-"

Marcus pointed at his father, forcibly lowering his voice. "You can't even fucking look at me, can you? It's because I'm right."

Daniel winced. "Marcus, stop it, I'm-"

"What, you're sorry? How many beers did you drink to feel sorry?"

"I'm sober, Marcus, I'm just-"

"For how long, though? You're probably thinking about what you're gonna drink as soon as you get home. Can you even afford it, now that I'm not paying for everything?"

"I'm thinking of it, but I'm not going to, okay?"

"Why not? What's stopping you? Don't say it's because you care about me."

Elizabeth opened her mouth, then closed it.  "I'm- I'm trying. Don't you want me to try?"

"Honestly? I'm okay on my own. Have been for years."  Marcus turned to Adrian. "Tell everyone to get their asses ready for the second half."

Elizabeth pursed her lips. "Marcus, your father is trying. He's a deadbeat, but he's trying."

Adrian went pale, standing there in the middle of the three of them. He looked to Marcus once again before glancing to his parents. "If he doesn't want to talk to you guys, then leave him-"

"Don't get involved," grunted Daniel.

"Don't you fucking talk to him." Marcus turned on his father and stepped between them. "He's my best fucking friend, asshole."

Then, he turned to address both of them. "I don't need you, either of you. All you ever did was fuck me over."

There was an awkward pause, then Elizabeth nodded. "We'll go back to the stands for the second half."

"You don't have to stay."

"You mean you don't want us to stay."

Marcus laughed bitterly. "For once, you're right." He swallowed hard, before turning to Adrian. "Let's go."

The Slytherin team jogged out, meeting the Gryffindors and playing out the rest of the game.  

 

Chapter Text

After a win by Slytherin, Marcus stayed back at the lockers to shower comfortably and change while the others went out to celebrate.

Oliver found him, lingering by the lockers and waiting for Marcus to be ready.

Marcus looked over at him. "You can come in, dude."

"Don't wanta make y'uncomfortable," said Oliver as he approached the shower area.

Marcus was washing himself down, turning off the tap and grabbing a towel to wrap around his waist.

"What happened?"

"They came." Marcus frowned a little. "For once."

"Your parents?"

"Isn't that... good?"

"Yeah." Marcus grumbled and then pulled a shirt on. "Why did they fucking bother?"

Oliver tossed Marcus the rest of his clothes- a pair of boxers and shorts."Maybe they felt bad."

Marcus pulled on the boxers and then finished getting dressed. "I don't really care how they felt."

"Marcus-"

"Why are you defending them? You're one of the only people I've told about what he's been like."

Oliver looked hurt. "I'm not defending them, I just- maybe this wasn't like, malicious... and they came together, I dunno."

Marcus looked irritated. "They could have come before, they just didn't fucking care."

"You're right, man. Honestly, they fuckin' suck. Are they still out there?"

"I hope not." Marcus grumbled. "I told them to fuck off, so."

"Did you really want them to?"

"I..." Marcus whined. "I don't know, but I don't need them."

"You don't need to need them. Well, I'm- I'm in support of whatever you're feeling, okay?"

"Thanks, Ollie." Marcus grimaced and then smiled grimly. "I kind of made a scene, didn't I?"

"A little."

Marcus chewed his lip. "At least you're buying dinner this time, right?"

"Yeah. Congrats, by the way."

Oliver pulled Marcus in for a quick kiss on the lips. Marcus pulled him in after they parted to kiss him again, before smirking. "Your offense is shit, Wood. You're too good for them, they need to get their shit together."

"Maybe it's just your aggression on the field. Maybe I should start inviting family members I hate, get me heated."

"Low blow, Wood." Marcus snorted.

Oliver kissed at Marcus' neck, slowly. "So, what'll we pick up tonight? Chinese? Thai? I can't do Mexican again."

"Mm, Chinese." Marcus laughed and then kissed him slowly. "You're affectionate today."

"You deserve it..."

Marcus chuckled and then stepped away to grab his bag. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, will you wait for me outside? I'll be a few minutes, I just need to grab my bag and get changed."

Marcus nodded and kissed him on the cheek, heading out to wait by the entrance.

Chapter Text

He pulled out a cigarette. Fuck it, he deserved a quick smoke after what he'd put up with today.

As he grabbed his lighter, he noticed two people skulking about nearby, talking loudly.  He scowled when he heard his father's voice, again.

"Jesus fucking Christ." He lit his cigarette and then stomped over towards them.

Elizabeth cocked her head. "Marcus, oh my god, you did so well!:

She held her arms out as if to attempt to initiate a hug.

Marcus just stared at her, and then took a drag of his cigarette. "Thanks. I started playing rugby to get out of the house more."

"You were amazing, I'm so proud of you!"

Daniel smiled weakly. "I'm proud, boy. Do you always play that well?"

Marcus raised an eyebrow at him. "Yeah, I do. I could probably go pro if I tried a little harder. Not that either of you care."

"Of course I care."  Elizabeth sighed. "You're our son!"

"Oh? Since when?"

"Since always-"

Marcus scoffed. "What, when you stayed out all night getting high and sleeping around instead of helping me with my homework? Or when you left? Or when you didn't even bother with a birthday card for the ten years afterward?"

Elizabeth's face fell. "I left for my own safety, Marcus, don't talk to me like that!"

"Then why didn't you take me with you?" Marcus's voice cracked. "You left me with him!"

"I couldn't take you with me, I- I couldn't think-"

Daniel huffed. "Marcus, how many times do I have to-"

Marcus' voice had risen again, and he cleared his throat. "You left for your own safety, but you left me behind knowing how he was," he  said, before he shook his head and glared at his father. "You were a piece of shit. You don't get to show up to one rugby game and make everything okay again."

"What can I fuckin do, then? Do I have to punish myself until I'm fuckin worthy of you?"

Marcus laughed. "That's what this is then? You just want me to make you feel better? Go fuck yourself."

"No, you go fuck yourself. I-I'll go to every single rugby game if I have to."

"Why?"

"Because- because I'm your dad. Dads are supposed to do that shit."

Marcus tutted. "Too fucking little, too fucking late."

Daniel rolled his eyes. "God, you're such a drama queen."

Elizabeth's eyes darted between them. "Dan-"

"Why don't you just cry about it?"

Marcus tossed his cigarette and clenched his fist. He pulled his hand back, quick to bring it into contact with the bigger man's jaw.

He grunted, and then stepped closer, making Daniel realise just how big Marcus had grown up to be. "Yeah, dads are supposed to do that shit, but I never fucking had one you asshole."

Daniel spat in his son's face.

Marcus hit him again, square on this time and hitting him in the face, his nose cracking under the force of it.  "Just leave me alone, you deadbeat piece of shit."

Elizabeth screeched. "Stop it, stop!"

Daniel didn't fight back, stumbling back as Marcus hit him.

Marcus wiped his fist on his shorts and then turned to Elizabeth. "I don't have to forgive either of you, and I'm not going to. I got this far without parents."

Daniel glared at him, then stormed off. Elizabeth sighed, approaching her son. "Look, I'm having an engagement party this weekend. I'd love if you could come, even if- even if you don't want anything else to do with me."

Marcus stared at her. "You want me to come to your engagement party. Does your fiancée even know about me?"

"Yeah, she does."

"What does she know? That I was the fuck up kid that you didn't care enough about to take with you?"

"She knows about our past, yeah." Elizabeth frowned. "I'm not proud of myself. Not in the slightest. She knows, and she hates me for it, and I don't blame her."

"And she's still marrying you?"

"Mm."

Marcus shook his head. "Why should I go?"

Elizabeth was silent.

"Marcus?" Oliver frowned as he walked over. "Who's this?"

Marcus pressed his lips together. "This is my mother."

She waved lightly to Oliver. "Hello!"

Marcus shook his head. "Just leave, Mum."

Elizabeth handed over a crumpled piece of paper. "My address. I'll- I hope I'll see you there on Saturday."

"Bye."

Oliver was pale, looking between the two. The air was cool, the sun slowly being hidden by clouds as it lowered in the sky.

"Marcus? Are you- are you okay?"

Marcus swallowed and watched as she turned to walk away. "I just punched my dad."

Chapter Text

Oliver was pale, looking between the two. The air was cool, the sun slowly being hidden by clouds as it lowered in the sky.

"Marcus? Are you- are you okay?"

Marcus swallowed and watched as she turned to walk away. "I punched my dad."

"You punched your dad."

Marcus nodded. "He- he made fun of me, asked me if I was going to cry."

Oliver gave a weak smirk. "That sucks. Don't cry, okay? Unless y-you want to, though."

Marcus was silent. "Can we go?"

"Uh, sure, but-"

"Takeaway. Chinese." Marcus glanced down and quickly crushed the cigarette. "Come on."

 


 

"Marcus? You haven't eaten anything."

Robert cocked his head slightly, looking at Marcus from across the table. The remains of their Chinese takeout lay in the center of the table, but Marcus' food was still all out.

Marcus swallowed and then bit his lip. "I... guess I don't have much of an appetite today."

Maura hummed. "I heard the match was a big success for you and your team, Marcus?"

Oliver huffed. "Hmph."

Marcus snorted, though he seemed a lot more subdued than usual. "Yeah, it was. Sorry, Ollie."

"Oh, fuck off."

"Language, Oliver!"

Marcus winked at him and then finally started eating, slowly. So was it back to the regular routine or not, then?

As he finished, Oliver hustled to tidy the plates and cutlery they'd used, putting away the trash. Robert and Maura retreated to the sitting room, and Oliver just began to hum. "I saw you struggle with your dinner, are you-"

"I'm fine." Marcus started to dry the washed plates and then sighed. "Look, I just wish they hadn't tried at all."

Oliver watched Marcus' hand go in slow methodical circles. "I know. Are you- are you going to go to that party?"

"Do you think I should?"

"I think..."  Oliver scratched the back of his neck. "I think... you could try, maybe. I'll come with you. And if anything happens, we can leave."

"You'd come with me?"

"I would, of course!"

"... Why?"

"Because you're my fella."

Marcus went red. "I... yeah, I am."

"Sorry, I thought that's where you wanted us to-"

"No, no I just- we never said anything." Marcus leaned over and tugged Oliver towards himself. "Boyfriends?"

"I think I'd be okay with that."

Marcus glanced at the door before bending down to kiss him quickly.

Oliver giggled and kissed him back. "Mm, will we have an early night tonight?"

Marcus nodded eagerly. "I'm fuckin exhausted, Wood."

"God, me too. I can't wait to cuddle up next to you," murmured Oliver, snaking an arm around Marcus' neck.

Marcus grinned and then kissed him again, nudging his head up. "You're so clingy, Wood."

"You love it to bits."

They went upstairs, Marcus flopping down on Oliver's insanely comfortable bed and wrapping himself in the duvet, like a cocoon.  After a couple of seconds, he pulled his shirt off and groaned. "Ollie, get me a shirt?"

Oliver looked his boyfriend over and gave an exaggerated groan. "Why, though."

"Uh, because it's fucking cold and you hog the blankets?"

Oliver rolled his eyes. "A, you've already hogged all the blankets yourself there, and B, you've got me to keep you warm!

Marcus laughed and then pulled the blankets tighter around him. "Yeah, okay."

Oliver tugged his shorts off, pushing back against Marcus before reaching for the light. "Comfortable?"

Marcus moved to wrap the blanket around both of them, before wrapping his arms tight around him. "Mm, very."

Oliver arched his back, letting Marcus grab his hips and cuddle up to him closely.

"Goodnight, Wood."

"Sh-sh-sh. Goodnight, Flint. You absolute softie."

Soon, Oliver fell asleep, and on any other night his calm regulated breathing would have helped Marcus nod off too, but tonight he found it more difficult than usual. He pressed his face into Oliver's head, trying to push all thoughts of his parents out of his mind in favour of focusing on how warm Oliver was, how nice it was to have someone to cuddle with at night.

Chapter Text

Hey, pucey. Mom's having a party this weekend. Me and oliver going. Will u come too?

hey lol ya am i invited??? hahahaha yea ill see u at urs will i?

Nah, come to olivers. I'll send u the address.

k mate hahaha will i bring some 🌿🌿🌿

Don't bother, it's fine, thanks though.

nbz

Chapter Text

The day of Liz's party, Oliver opened the door to Adrian Pucey. The man was dressed in a pair of joggers, some beaten up trainers, and a hoodie too large for him, half unzipped. Tufts of jet black chest hair could be seen against the collar of his tank top, and it stood out, looking oddly dark against his pale skin. His face was clean-shaven, his mouth tilted up in a smirk, and his eyes were wide and full of life. His black hair was scruffy, he had a messy curled fringe that stuck out in places.

He smirked even harder when he noticed Oliver was wearing one of Marcus' hoodies.

"Ay, domesticated are we?"

Oliver cocked his head. "I... uh-"

"Adrian, nice to meet you. This your gaff?"

Oliver stepped back as Adrian marched into his house.

"Uh, yeah this is my place. And Marcus's place, but I'm assuming you knew that?"

He looked at Marcus and raised an eyebrow.

Marcus was standing in the corridor, and he'd gone an embarrassed red colour. Adrian grinned at him and went over, grabbing Marcus and pulling him into a tight hug. He was strong, for the lanky fellow he was. "Hey, my favourite fa-"

"Hey," Marcus jabbed him in the stomach. "My favourite asshole."

Adrian chuckled. "Sorry, sorry. Forgot that's touchy. So this where you've been at yeah?"

Marcus nodded, glancing to Oliver. "Yeah. Oliver, I invited Adrian to my mum's party."

"You..." Oliver hummed. "Okay. What were you going to say, Adrian?"

"Hm? Nothing," said Adrian, flicking Marcus on the neck. "We heading out now or are we sticking around here or wha'?"

"Up to Marcus."

Marcus paled slightly. "Up to you. Your house."

"Your house too." Oliver looked at Adrian again. "Tea? Coffee?"

Adrian shrugged. "Pint?"

"It's four in the afternoon."

"A pint so," said Adrian, going off into the kitchen.

Oliver raised an eyebrow at Marcus.  Marcus sighed. "I'll make tea, I'll take care of him."

"I'm going to go put on jeans. Don't let him wreck our house?"

Marcus shook his head. "For fear of Maura's wrath."

"For fear of my wrath, asshole."

Marcus followed his friend into the kitchen. Adrian was scratching his neck, fridge open by him and looking through it. The boy looked back and frowned. "I don't see any beer."

"We're having tea."

Adrian stood, hands in his pockets as he kicked the fridge door closed. "Coffee, at least?"

Marcus rolled his eyes. "Alright, I'll boil the kettle."

Adrian went over to the table, hovering there. He glared at the small cat ornament that Maura had bought on holiday some year.

"So you and your boyfriend live together, here?"

Marcus considered it, then nodded.

"Cool. He seems like a wanker, but if he makes you happy."

"You're a bit of a wanker yourself, Adrian."

Adrian scoffed. "Wha'? Me?"

Marcus looked at him and then sighed. "Adri, this isn't my old place you can't just... drink beer all day."

Adrian chuckled. "You're having a laugh? So we can't just chill out, smoke a joint?"

"No, we really can't. You didn't bring it, did you?"

Adrian didn't respond before he simply shrugged. "Brought it, but we don't have to smoke it I suppose."

"We are not smoking it."

"Smoking what?"

Oliver had his hands in the pockets of his ripped jeans, and he had a dark red polo on that clung tightly to his body. Adrian smirked.

"Weed, man. I don't want to disrespect your place like, so we don't have to smoke it."

"You brought weed?"

Marcus scratched nervously at his hands.

Adrian bit his lip. "Sorry. Thought it'd be a nice gift."

"Didn't know you were into that, Marc."

"He usually just smokes tobacco, don't worry."

"I wasn't. So, tea?"

"Coffee, in the end," mumbled Marcus, pouring Adrian and Oliver cups of it. "And i don't smoke anymore, Pucey."

Oliver brushed past Marcus on his way to make himself tea, while Marcus handled the coffee, settling beside him and bumping their hands together. It was cute, even if Adrian didn't like him very much.

Adrian smirked. "Cozy together, yeah?"

Oliver rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Are you dating anyone?"

"Me? Nah, mate. Not good lookin' enough, am I?"

Adrian sipped his coffee, watching the two of them.  Oliver stole a sip of Marcus's coffee before picking his tea up, wincing at how bitter it was. "Could be worse, you could be Malfoy."

"Tha' little fucker. He paid to get us all new uniforms though. We look strapping, don't'cha think Wood?"

"The captain looks pretty good." Oliver shrugged and then took a sip of his tea. "Won't stop us from winning the finals though."

"You will in your arse."

Marcus chuckled. "Shut it, Pucey. He's got that Potter kid, doesn'he?"

"Little shit," scoffed Adrian.

"A good player. Isn't that right  Marc?"

Marcus stuck out his tongue. "Beginner's luck and all that."

Oliver grinned, the first smile Adrian had seen from him. "Beginner's luck? And every time after that, Flint."

"Y'know. General luck."

Adrian snorted. "Yis always fight about rugby, yeah?"

Oliver waved him off. "Bickering, that's all. Oh, mom asked if you'd rather stew or chicken for dinner? She's keeping food for us."

After a second, Oliver sighed. "Are you staying here tonight, Adrian?"

Adrian looked between the two other boys. "I... I could walk home after the party, it's grand."

Oliver shook his head. "Don't be ridiculous, you can sleep in Marc's room."

"I don't mind."

Marcus smiled at Oliver. "Chicken, sure. We probably won't stay at the party too late anyway, I suppose."

Oliver nodded and texted her that, before biting his lip. "Sitting room?"

"Sure."

Adrian stood up, sipping his coffee as he paced around the kitchen. "You've a lovely place, man. Love it."

Marcus nudged him in the side as he led the way to the sitting room.

"Hm? Oh, thanks." Oliver blinked and then smiled slightly, following his boyfriend "Marcus helps my dad to fix up things, he's a sweetheart."

Adrian hadn't really thought of Marcus as a sweetheart before.

"Y'know, I can fix up the place too, pal. He's nothin' special."

Marcus squinted. "Fuck off."

Oliver raised an eyebrow at him. "Don't be a dick."

"M'not!"

"Marc, where's the remote?"

Oliver tucked a leg up under him and smiled gratefully as Marcus got it for him. "Thanks."

Adrian spread out onto the couch, his shirt riding up. He sipped his coffee again and looked at the two of them. "Hey, keep it PG lads."

Oliver rolled his eyes again. "What do you like to watch?"

"Whatever. Whatever's on at the time, like."

Oliver considered that and then tossed him the remote. "You pick, then."

"Huh?"

Adrian rubbed his thumb along the buttons, then shook his head. "Nah, you pick. What do ye like to watch, lovebirds?"

"Bake off," said Marcus, without hesitation. "...I mean, Oliver likes it.

Oliver smirked and then shrugged. "I like baking."

"He does?"

"Marcus is great for watching cooking shows with me. I'm... obsessed with them."

Oliver covered for him easily and then leaned against him.

Marcus kissed Oliver's cheek, then nuzzled him. His stubble scratched against Oliver's skin.

Adrian snorted. "Ye're so cute together. Come on, put on a bit of Bake Off so."

Oliver let Marcus turn it on, and then drank his tea, clearly not as into it as Marcus was.

They sat together in relatively comfortable silence until finally it was time to go and they piled into Oliver's second-hand Volkswagen golf.

"Directions?"

Marcus gave him the directions,  leaning back in the seat and rapping his fingers on the door.

Adrian groaned, getting comfortable. "Nice car. So, who's the top?"

After an awkwardly silent trip, they arrived outside of Elizabeth's place. It was an apartment block, red-bricked and sitting in a dodgy neighbourhood.

The lamp post by the door was bent, slightly.

Oliver smiled uncomfortably. "It's interesting!"

"We don't have to stay here long," Marcus reminded him. "We can go whenever we want."

Oliver shook his head. "I'm fine, I'm fine. Let's go in?"

"Apartment 13A, babe."

Chapter Text

Marcus pressed the buzzer for 13A.

"'Ello?"

Marcus took a deep breath. "Mum, it's Marcus. Buzz us in?"

There was no response, but the door clicked open.

Adrian pulled it open, walking in and starting to jog up the stairs.

Oliver held back a little. "Marcus, are you sure this is safe?"

Marcus nodded. "S'grand."

"You locked the car, yeah?"

"I did." Oliver reached for his hand, taking it and then following him up the stairs.

Adrian knocked on the door to 13A, to which Liz answered. She was in a 60s gown, with her hair curled and all- she actually looked decent. Adrian winked. "Hello, Marcus' mum. You sure you're not single?"

Liz raised an eyebrow. "Who the fuck are you?"

Marcus huffed as he got there. "Hey, mum."

Liz looked at him and smiled. "Hey, kiddo."

"Hi." Oliver smiled, staying tucked against Marcus's side. "You look lovely."

"You guys do too, you cuties. Come in, some of our guests have already arrived."

Inside, the shabby-yet-cozy apartment had been decorated for the wedding party, music blaring from an iPod connected to some speakers. There were people there, people none of the boys knew. Dressed in a leather jacket and a red button up, was a woman with hair coloured a deep magenta. "Here's my fiancée," said Liz, ushering them to the woman. "Tonks, meet my son."

The woman turned, and smiled, greeting Adrian. "Hey, nice to meet you."

Adrian smirked. "Nice to meet you too, babe-"

"I'm Marcus," interrupted Marcus.

Oliver blinked and then squeezed Marcus's arm. "I'm Oliver, this is Adrian. You're Draco's aunt, right? My mom went to school with you guys."

Tonks looked at the two of them. "Er, yeah. Hi. You are..?"

"Oliver Wood. Marcus's uh..." He looked at Marcus. "Mate."

Tonks nodded. "Ah, cool. Yeah, Maura, yeah? Married Rob Wood?"

"That's her." Oliver smiled. "She has some class photos at home, I knew Id seen you somewhere."

"Yeah. You probably know my ex, too, don't you?"

Adrian was nearby, messing about with a vase of flowers. Oliver thought about it. "Oh, Lupin isn't it? You're Teddy's mom."

"Ah, yeah. He's-"

"Our Chem professor, yeah."

Oliver smiled, a natural at being polite. "You're remarrying, then?"

"Mm."

Marcus sighed. "Well, you know all about my mother's shitty past as a con artist, don't you?"

Oliver widened his eyes slightly and looked at Liz. Liz chuckled. "Marcus, do you want a drink?"

Adrian wrapped his arms around both of the boys. "Some pints, miss?"

Oliver stiffened slightly. "Coke is fine, thanks."

Marcus nodded. "He's driving, and I'm not in the mood for drinks."

"So just me," said Adrian with a wink.

Liz went off to get them drinks, and Tonks looked to Marcus. "Sorry that this is so awkward."

Marcus shrugged. "Whatever. You're marrying a scumbag, like."

Tonks smiled. "Look, what she did to you was shit. But... maybe she's changed since then."

Marcus was silent as Adrian pushed a bottle of ice cold beer in his hands. "C'mon, cheer up, yeah? It'll be great."

Oliver took a can of coke, opening it and taking a sip. "Marcus, if you want to then I can look out for you."

"Look out for me?"

"I know you don't like getting drunk in strange places."

Marcus had never told him that, so Oliver must have picked up on it himself.

"Maybe a few drinks will... do me good?"

"If you want." Oliver smiled softly. "You're doing really well, Marc."

"Are you okay?"

Oliver looked around at everyone and shrugged. "I'm just here for you, so." Adrian had already worked his way through half a pint and was talking to a girl that looked a few years older than him. Marcus took a sip from his drink, nudging Oliver gratefully. Oliver chuckled and then leaned against the wall, looking to his boyfriend. "I'm your mate, then?"

"My very good looking mate, yeah."

Oliver snorted. "Oh, I'm swooning."

Marcus looked around. "Adrian is a lightweight, we won't have to hang about long. You know, it was your idea to come."

"Yeah, because you would have been mad at yourself if you didn't go."

"Yeah, well. Okay. We're here, and she's still a piece of shit."

Tonks cleared her throat, her hands on her hips. "Still here."

Oliver snorted. "Wanna head out soon then? You showed your face at least."

"Yeah, sure."

They mingled, as much as two people who definitely didn't want to be at a party could mingle, and eventually, Liz had returned to them, pissed as a yak.

"Y-y'know, Marcus, I shouldn't have left. God, what a handsome fella you turned out to be. More d-dashing than your father ever was. Don't'cha think? Shame ya couldn't stand up for yourself, though. He's right," she said with a drunken chuckle. "You're prissy. Needed your mam to take care of you the whole time." 

At this, Adrian was done with her. He was done with her making Marcus feel so awful. "You absolute tramp. Don't talk to my best mate like that, yeah? You walk around and act like y'aren't as scummy as Dan, but a'least he didn't leave. At least he didn't leave his son with an abusive pisshead. You're a fucking cunt, and you haven't apologised enough to your poor boy. You're lucky he was able to bring himself to be in your filthy fucking presence, bitch."

Everyone had gone silent.

"You've alri' taste in beer though. Thanks for the free drinks. We're leaving, yeah lads?"

Oliver was staring at Adrian as if he'd never seen him before, and he nodded before looking at the two women, settling on Tonks. "Congratulations, really."

Marcus looked up at them. "I, er, yeah."

Adrian started to march out of the flat, not bothered to look back if the others followed. Oliver walked out with Marcus, asking him quietly if he was okay as they reached the street outside. Marcus stepped to the car. His hands were shaking. Adrian was leaning against the car, and he sighed. "Fuck her-"

"You're pissed, Adrian. And you went off at my mam. Fuck off."

"Huh? Mate, I defended you-"

"No. You were out of line."

"Marcus, she had no right-"

Marcus huffed. "He's not allowed to say what's my place to say, Ollie-!"

Oliver shook his head and then opened the door of the car. "Someone had to fucking say it, Marc. It was about time someone around here gave a shit about you the way you deserve."

Marcus looked at Adrian then and sighed. "Look-I would have said it if you hadn't just-"

"What, stood up for you?" Oliver crossed his arms. "She was being a bitch, Marc."

"Fuck you-"

Marcus paled, then looked away. "I don't mean that. Fuck, okay."

He was shaking, and he made sure not to make eye contact with the other two boys.

Oliver looked at Adrian, worried. Then, he moved closer to Marcus again. "Marc... talk to us."

Marcus shook his head. He was crying.

Oliver had never seen him cry this much, so silently. He was so quiet as tears were streaming down his cheeks. Adrian pushed in. "Flint, focus up, okay, you're grand. You're grand, you're safe. He's not here. She's not here," he mumbled as he brought his hand to Marcus' cheek, wiping his tears away. "Mate, look at me. Yeah? Breathe."

Oliver watched them, unsure of what to do. "Marcus, it's okay."

Marcus huffed. "It's- it's not fair. It's not fair-"

"I know, it's not fair. People are shit. Life is shit. Nothing's fucking fair. But I'm..." Adrian looked to Oliver- a drunken grin. "We're here. Yeah?"

Marcus nodded. "Uh-huh?"

The fact that Adrian could reassure the boy while drunk made Oliver like him all the more. Oliver took his boyfriend's hand. "Yeah, Marc. We've got you."

Marcus looked up, then nodded again, less jagged now. "Okay. Will we- will we go home?"

Oliver pulled him closer, wrapping an arm around him. "Yeah. Adrian, do you need to grab anything from home?"

Adrian just slumped against the car door.

Oliver sighed, helping him into the car and then helping Marcus in. "Vomit in my car and you die."

Adrian chuckled. "What, you think I can't handle my drink? I'm insulted."

Marcus put his head in his hands, giving a long sigh. "You talk too much, Pucey."

Oliver snorted. "Just go to sleep, guys."

"Fuck off," said the two Slytherins in unison.

"Feeling the love, lads."

Chapter Text

They arrived back at Oliver's place, Marcus and him bringing Adrian in and heading up to Oliver's room. Adrian groaned. "Man, your room is so..."

Oliver frowned. "Gay?"

"Straight, actually," mumbled Adrian. "I staying in the spare?"

Marcus nodded, patting him on the back. "Mhm."

Adrian looked up at Oliver. "Man, okay. Don't get up to nought though."

"What would we get up to?"

"Well, y'know."

Marcus slapped him lightly. "Fuck off."

"Wood," whined Adrian. "Your boyfriend is bullying me."

"Oh, tragic. You need to change clothes?"

"Yeah, kind of."

Oliver threw him a shirt and shorts, rolling his eyes. "There you go."

Adrian pulled off his shirt, scratching his chest before starting to tug on the one Oliver had given him. "Man, you know what we should do?"

"What?"

"We should totally smoke a joint, man."

Marcus snorted. "Mate, shut up."

Oliver snorted. "You're so fucked up already, Adrian."

Adrian winked. "And you'll be fucked too, Oliver! That's the point! Come on."

Oliver raised an eyebrow at Marcus. "We are not smoking inside."

Marcus shrugged. "Hey, look-"

Adrian huffed. "Then we'll smoke outside, no big deal."

Oliver bit his lip. "If you want to."

"Hey, look. Still your gaff man."

"You're a guest, Pucey."

Marcus sighed. "Adrian, stop. We're not smoking, okay?"

Oliver held his hand out. "Marcus-"

"I don't want you to be uncomfortable!"

"Marcus, it's fine," said Oliver in a hushed tone of frustration. "I'd like to."

Marcus widened his eyes. "You do?"

"Yeah. I mean, I've never done it before."

"There's no pressure, dude."

"I want to, Marc." Oliver grabbed a hoodie. "Outside, though."

Marcus grinned, goofily- his eyes were still a little red from crying. "Cool." He turned to Adrian. "I have such a good boyfriend."

Adrian picked himself up and went to pat Marcus on the back. "Shut up."

Oliver snorted. "Right, get out guys."

Oliver thought that the cloud that rolled from Marcus' lips looked like as thick and fluffy as one in the sky would. Marcus sharply gasped the cloud back into his mouth and it went down his throat; he brought the joint back to his lips and he took another slow drag, eyes half-lidded as he stared down at the glowing tip growing dangerously close to his fingers.

Adrian grinned and grabbed it off of him, taking a drag himself. His eyes shut, his head tilted back, and a few thick, perfect smoke rings slipped free from his pursed lips. He winked at Oliver. "Your turn, Wood?"

Oliver accepted the blunt that Adrian held in his outstretched arm. “Show-off,” he accused. Adrian just winked again.

The three of them were in the back garden, around the cast iron round garden table Robert had D.I.Y.'d a few years back. Adrian was lying back in a plastic chair, he had discarded his stuffy jeans and was letting his legs get some air outside. Earlier that day, that kind of nonchalance would have annoyed Oliver, but after seeing him at the party it didn't bother him too much.

“This weed is some good shit, man,” Marcus remarked, voice a little thick, throat roughed up by the smoke. He watched Oliver intently as he took his first drag from Adrian’s weed. Oliver coughed, smoke puffing from his lips. Marcus chuckled a little. “It takes a minute, mate.”

Adrian sighed, stretching back, feeling the cold night air brushing the sides of his face. “Glad ye like it,” he said, before grinning. “Yeah, you know, uh, it’s a funny story actually, I got it from this guy I met at the, uh, well y’know I know him from…”

He trailed off because Oliver had come over to pass the joint but didn’t stop once the joint was passed. He took a drag, and as he did Marcus leaned in to quickly kiss Oliver’s neck. “How is it?”

Oliver coughed, smoke going into Marcus’ face. “I- it's… something.”

Marcus grabs Oliver’s hand, squeezing it. “Nice.”

Adrian had stood up, and went to clap a hand onto Oliver’s shoulder. “You good?” he asked, his eyes full of redness and concern in equal measure.

Oliver chuckled, “Yeah, it’s- it’s not too bad.”

“Yeah, man,” Marcus said, holding his hand out to pass the joint back to Oliver. “Take another puff, babe. It’s good shit.”

“He knows it’s good,” Adrian reminded him, “I’m the one who brought it, after all, heh?”

Oliver took a long drag anyway, savouring it, holding it in a long time like it was his last hit of the night despite figuring it was far from either. He held the smoke in for as long as he could before finally coughing it out again. “Was that how I'm s-” he coughed, again, “supposed to do it?”

Adrian groaned, scratching at his stomach under his shirt. “Yeah, s’grand, but don't waste it.”

Oliver raised an eyebrow, turning to Marcus. Marcus caught Oliver’s chin between his finger and his thumb, tilted it up, eyes steady on Oliver’s lips. “Don’t waste your exhale, he means. Blow the smoke at me.”

Oliver glanced up at all the wasted smoke blowing around the table and into the night. He took another quick drag, holding it in before blowing a steady stream of smoke directly into Marcus’ face. Marcus breathed the air in deep, his face an expression of pure bliss. “Ahh,” he sighed, puffs of shared smoke flowing out his mouth and nose at the same time. “Good shit.”

Adrian chuckled softly, the sound a low drunken noise in his chest. “You get so weird about weed, man.”

“Mm,” Marcus hummed like he was thinking for a moment. “Well, I like weed.”

Oliver thought for a moment too. “Do you smoke often?”

Marcus shook his head. “Mm, nope. Don't want to without you.”

Adrian groaned, grabbing the joint and enjoying it some more for himself. Oliver smiled, blushing, looking almost orange under the back porch light. “Yeah. Cool. I think… I like it too…”

“You better,” said Adrian, gesturing for Oliver to come closer as he exhaled smoke his way. “It wasn't too dear either.”

"How much?"

"Thirty-five quid, man. Good bit of it too. Not too bad, right?"

Marcus laughed quietly. "Ollie, I'm glad you're not like, freaking out."

Adrian snorted. "Well, it calms you down, do'nn'it?"

Oliver batted Adrian's hands away and took another mouthful of smoke, breathing it in and then blowing it back out. He coughed less that time and grinned proudly at Marcus.

Marcus smirked at him, then giggled. "You seem to be proud of yourself there, Ol," he said, leaning to pull Oliver into a quick kiss, leading Adrian to whistle loudly.

Oliver glanced to him, waving his hand to try to shut him up. Adrian grabbed the joint from him and took a drag, then blew some of the smoke between the two other boys' faces.

Marcus grinned. "I love you."

Oliver widened his eyes.

I love you?

He blinked, and then grinned dopily. "You do?"

Marcus shrugged. "Yeh. I suppose I do, don't I?"

Oliver pulled him into another kiss, laughing against his lips. M arcus kissed back, sloppy, biting at Oliver's lip. When he pulled back, he got ready to take another pull of the joint. "You don't have to say it back if you don't want to," he said, definitely wanting Oliver to say it back.  He held in the smoke and found himself pulled into a kiss with Oliver, the two sharing Marcus' smoke momentarily before Oliver pulled away, coughing.  He pushed Marcus away gently and then giggled. "I love you too, then."

"Gay," groaned Adrian. "Fuckin' gays, the pair of ye."

Marcus gave him the middle finger. "No shit, you knob."

Chapter Text

When started to rain, Adrian was shrieking when the cold water was pounding down onto his bare legs. He went into the house, the other boys laughing at him as he did. Oliver went in after, not wanting to get soaked as the rain started coming down harder on them. Marcus grabbed him gently by the wrist, pulling him back. "Hey."

Oliver looked to him, whining. "Hey, it's raining-"

Marcus pulled him in for a slow kiss. He pulled away, rainwater dripping down his face. "You really love a fuck-up like me?"

Oliver smacked his chest gently. "Y'r not a fuck up, Marc. Didn't peg you for a romantic either, though."

Marcus frowned. "Why so, asshole?"

"I dunno man, it's just... you're more of a subtle romantic!"

Marcus thought for a moment, then kissed Oliver on both of his wet cheeks. "Maybe it's the weed."

Oliver snorted. "Maybe it is."

The two then finally went back inside, and to Oliver's room, where Adrian had passed out in Oliver's chair, snoring to himself.

Oliver giggled. "I guess he was tired? Do you want to carry him to bed?"

Marcus stepped past him flopped back onto the bed, pulling his shirt off and groaning. "Do whatever."

"Marcus! I can't lift him, asshole."

"Which bed?"

"Your old one."

Marcus got back up, half undoing his jeans as he crossed the room. He grabbed Pucey by the shoulders, hoisting him up. "Grab him."

Oliver helped him, and together they took him to his own bed. "Fucker is heavier than he looks."

"He's a lanky fucker but a heavy fella all the same," said Marcus as the two set Adrian down. Marcus patted him on the head affectionately. "This turned out to be a good night, Wood."

"Yeah?"

"Mmhm."

Marcus kissed Oliver again before going back to their room and finally undressing and getting into bed. Oliver yawned and fell into the bed, whining. "We're going to be so tired tomorrow."

"You bet. Adrian will be moaning about his hangover, too.'

"You're dealing with him."

"Still can't believe you let us get high."

Oliver frowned. "Let you? I'm not your boss, Marc."

Marcus rolled his eyes, stretching out into the bed and trying to cuddle up to his boyfriend. "Yeah, but like. Come on. You know yourself."

"No, really. You can do whatever you want, Marc."

"I don't want to make you feel shitty though, man."

"You don't!"

Marcus huffed. "Well, I guess I didn't know you'd be okay with smoking weed, you seemed pretty pissed at first."

"I... guess I was?" Oliver rubbed his face and then groaned. "Needed to loosen up a little."

Marcus curled up against Oliver, spooning him and pressing quick kisses to the back of his neck, extremely affectionate as he wrapped his arms around his boyfriend.

Oliver felt strangely relaxed. He didn't like being considered uptight, but he knew where Marcus was coming from. The way that Marcus was smiling against the back of his neck, his humming low against his skin. He knew that Marcus felt comfortable around him, and that made Oliver feel calm and relaxed.

Or maybe it was just the weed that made him feel that way.

He fell asleep quickly, leaving the roller coaster ride of an evening behind.

Chapter Text

"Oliver!"

Maura had flicked on the bedroom lights, and she was standing at the door. Oliver jerked awake and moved to sit up before he realised that Marcus had him trapped in a loose hold. "Mom?"

She was holding Oliver's discarded clothes in her hand. "Oliver!"

What was she going to go at him for? Coming home late last night? The wet footprints they'd left all over the house? Adrian Pucey in the guestroom? The smell of weed? Marcus wrapping himself around him? Whatever it was, he would have to be tact in how he handled it.

"... Good morning?"

"Are you going to help your father with the shopping or not? It's eleven already."

Oliver swallowed, and then unwrapped Marcus's arms from around him. He was bright red as he got up. "Uh, yeah. I'll be right there."

Maura smiled plainly. "Oh, and who's the young man asleep in our guest room?"

"Adrian Pucey, he's Marc's friend. Mom-"

"Will he and Marcus help me with breakfast?"

"I..." Oliver shook Marcus gently. "Marc, wake up."

Marcus groaned. "Fuckin'- yeah, what-?"

"Mom wants to know if you'll help with breakfast." Oliver sounded so stressed.

"What? Yeah, hey, Maura- of course," he replied, climbing out of bed. He was still only in his pair of baggy grey boxers, and he scratched the back of his neck. "I'll help you, just let me get dressed."

Maura nodded. "And your friend?"

Oliver was completely red now. "Go wake Adrian, Marcus."

Marcus groaned. "Yeah, okay. Why are you in such a mood?"

Oliver looked at him. "Adrian is sleeping in your bed, remember?"

"Yeah, I remember. I brought him there, like."

Maura smiled. "I'll go get food out, okay?"

Marcus got up as she left, going around to grab a pair of his sweatpants. Oliver covered his mouth and sat down on the bed.

"What?" said Marcus. He then furrowed his brow. "Are you okay?"

"Marcus, we were in bed together."

"Yeah, we were." Marcus' face fell as he realised the implication of Maura walking in on that. "Oh, shit. Okay. Fuck."

Oliver still wasn't out, of course. He hadn't even caught on that he liked guys until his sudden attraction to Marcus had made him realise it.

"She didn't-" Oliver swallowed and then shook his head. "Just go get Adrian, please."

"Oli-"

"Marcus, please."

Marcus nodded and put on his clothes, pulling on a tight shirt as he went down the corridor to wake up his best friend. Oliver pulled a shirt over and put it on, calming himself down a little before going down to face his mom. Maura was getting out eggs and bacon and whatever else the boys might need for breakfast.

"Mom?" Oliver sounded like he was freaking out.

She turned a little. "Yes? Are you okay, pet?"

"I... Marcus, he-"

"Is there something wrong with him?"

He whined. "Why aren't you saying anything?"

She looked at him and leaned back against the counter. "About what, Oliver? I don't underst-"

"Me and Marcus, mom. React, do something."

"Do something about what?" Maura frowned. "Am I missing something here-?"

"We're dating, mom."

Maura just stared at him. She blinked. She looked surprised.

"I like boys." Oliver winced and then hugged himself. "I like Marcus. I'm sorry, but I do."

Maura looked confused as she went over to him, and she pulled him close to her, wrapping her arms around him. "Why are you apologising? It's okay, Oliver."

Oliver hugged her back, sniffing against her shoulder. "I'm sorry, I was so scared-"

"Honey, you were scared? Scared to tell me?"

He nodded.

"You never need to be scared to tell me anything. Okay? Whether you're gay, or bi, or anything else, you're my boy. You don't have to be sorry for anything like that."

"Then I'm sorry, for not telling you."

"Look, it's okay. I'm telling you," she said as she squeezed her son, "it's okay."

Oliver nodded. "I- yeah. Yeah. Marcus is my boyfriend."

"Marcus is your boyfriend."

Oliver nodded again, smiling this time. "He is."

"You like him a lot?"

"Yeah, loads, mum."

She chuckled. "Look, do you want me to leave you and your friends alone this morning and I'll go do the shopping with your father? You seem really stressed out by all this."

"I... I need to apologise to Marcus, for freaking out."

"Go do that. Do you want me to tell Robert for you, or do you think you want to?"

Oliver thought for a moment before looking up to his mother. "Can you tell him?"

She smiled. "Mmhm. Take care of Marcus, yeah? And..." She gave him a flat look. "I don't mind you smoking weed with your new friend, but will you warn me first?"

Oliver went red again. "I- yeah, sorry mom."

"Don't worry about it. I'll see you when I get back, Oliver?"

Oliver hugged her again. When she left to go to her husband, she passed Marcus walking down the corridor. She didn't make any comment, and Marcus carried on to the kitchen.

Marcus noted immediately that Oliver looked upset. "Ollie, I'm sorry if I got annoyed-"

Oliver rushed forward and hugged him tightly.

Marcus paused, then wrapped his arms tightly around his boyfriend. "Oliver, what's happened?"

"I told mom, about us."

Marcus glanced back to where he'd just seen Maura, then looked back to Oliver. "Oh? Shit, how did she take-"

"She's fine! Everything's fine. Fuck, I love you." Oliver sniffed. "I'm sorry, for freaking out a bit back there. She didn't even catch on at first, like."

"She didn't? We're so obviously in love, though." Marcus kissed him on the forehead.

Oliver froze. He gulped. In love? Jesus Christ.

"We're in love?"

Marcus raised an eyebrow. "I mean... aren't we...?"

Oliver didn't have to think very long or hard about it. "Absolutely." Oliver sniffed and grinned. "I love you."

It wasn't long before Adrian dragged himself into the kitchen. He had pulled on one of Marcus' jerseys and a pair of Oliver's shorts.

"Mornin', lovebirds."

Oliver smiled and leaned against Marcus. "Morning, Adrian. Sleep well?"

Adrian groaned. "Fuck yes. Like a damn log. Yourselves? How did my two favourite gay boys sleep?"

"Uh... great." Oliver smiled. "Tea?"

"Coffee," Adrian corrected, leaving over to switch on the coffeemaker. "Coffee, every night, every day. I'm also extremely hungover, so there's that."

"Well, don't drink so much next time," retorted Marcus.

Adrian snorted. "You're just jealous that I don't vomit after a few pints."

"At least he can get up before noon?"

"At least I can get it up, eh Flint?"

Marcus rolled his eyes. "Adrian, you're helping with breakfast and chores today."

Adrian whined. "It's a Sunday."

"And? Hop along, asshole."

Adrian gave him the middle finger, but went and grabbed a frying pan, searching for eggs.

"Tell me how ye like yer eggs and then fuck off n'let me work."

"Well done, thanks. Marc likes them runny though."

Marcus grinned and pressed a kiss to Oliver's neck. "Sitting room, so, since we're getting Adrian to cook for us."

The boys eventually had their breakfast together, taking their time as they finished all that Adrian had made for them. It was delicious- the eggs were made exactly as Oliver and Marcus had asked, and the bacon was perfectly crisp. Not bad, for a hungover lad.

"Adrian, have you ever considered being a chef?"

"I have in my arse."

They finished up and got ready for the day, Marcus telling Adrian to put his own clothes on before Oliver scolding him and reminding him that the boy was a guest. It had been an eventful morning for the boys, and Oliver felt that getting that off his chest and coming out to his mother had put some new life into him- like he'd taken his first breath of fresh air in so long, not even realising that he'd been missing out on it.

Chapter Text

Dearest Marcus Flint,

You probably thought I was joking when I said I was going to write you letters, didn't you? By now I hope you've realised that I was being completely sincere. If I can't be there to give you my love in person, I feel like the least you can have is some kind of physical message to remind you that, yes, I am alive, and, yes, I'm still ever so in love with you. Darling dickhead, don't forget. I think of you every single day. Every day I miss you more and more - I miss the comfort of your arms around me, when you squeeze me tight and tell me you love me. I miss waking up to you snoring loudly, and then mumbling incoherently when I nudge you in the side to shut you up. There's nothing I want more than to just pull you down to my level and kiss you. My cold hands on your warm neck, you twitch, call me a bastard or something. I pull you down and kiss you over, and over, and over again.

I want to bake with you again. Snuggle with you. Go to a party with you. I wish we'd had more time to do all of that. I wished we'd realised sooner that we could've been... this. I really can't wait to be coming back for Christmas. I haven't caught up on Bake Off, or Drag Race, so we can have a binge when I get back.

College is good, though. I have a roommate, named Steve. I've told him all about us, and I'd say he's sick to death of hearing about you and your rippling abs, perfect physique... but joking aside, he's great. Everyone I've met here so far is. And I've got our photos pinned up on my notice board - yes, and those stupid fucking postcards you've sent me from your trip to Dublin with Adrian and Percy.

I'm just still... so glad we didn't have to have some kind of epilogue, break up and say our goodbyes.

Write back soon!

-Oliver

 

 

 

 

Oliver,

You're such a tool. You actually wrote me a letter. God gave us iPhones for a reason, dipshit. But I guess I can try to be literate long enough to write you a response

So. What to say. What to say? Oliver Wood, you're a flaky bitch who pulled a disappearing act on me and I hate you.

...obviously that's a lie. Fuck, I love you to death. My heart aches for you, baby. Since the day you boarded the plane I feel like a huge part of me is just, missing. I'm happy for you, so fucking happy for you with the scholarship, but boy is it rough. It's just... so difficult that I can't hold your hand. Can't kiss you. Hold you. Fuck you. Everything about you is so bloody fantastic. And I can't wait for you to get back for Christmas. Can't wait for you to see the presents I got you. You're gonna love it. Maura's got a right kicker for you this year - yet another knitted jumper. Act pleased this time. Her heart wouldn't be able to take it if you do like last year and act like a brat again.

Let me tell you something. I was thinking about when we first started dating, and I was trying to figure out when it was that I first fell in love with you. I think the first thing I fell in love with was your laugh. At first, it was just a snarky laugh, whenever my team of fuck ups... fucked up. It got to my fucking core. Some days, it was all I could think about. But then one day... it was all I could think about... you get me? I was fucking obsessed with how... pretty the... fucking... the pitch, the timbre... just how happy it sounded. You're so confident in your stupid laugh, and it just makes me so happy to hear it. Whenever you'd laugh around me, I always felt so happy. I always love making you laugh. I hope this shittily written letter makes you laugh. I mean, how could it not. It's dumb, sappy, emotional... everything I'm bad at. It's stressful that you constantly make me end up saying shit like that.

By the way, let me just add; we won't ever have to write an epilogue, babe. Because our story is far from over.

With love,

Marcus