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Things that are not Felix’s finest moment:

“That’s not a good match,” he says, and watches Dimitri wilt from a sunflower into a small and recently kicked puppy in the way only Dimitri can. “I mean,” and watches Sylvain laugh and run a hand through his hair the way he might if he’d been freshly stabbed.

Whatever. Right? It’s not like it matters what Felix thinks. It definitely doesn’t matter to them , because nobody told Felix they were dating. Well, they did. One second ago. But they didn’t tell him before that, so clearly Felix’s opinion here is inconsequential. It’s not like they need Felix’s approval to “date”, “romantically”. Maybe they look a little hurt. But they’ll get over it.

Felix says, anyway: “You’re both too big. It’s not balanced.” And watches them visibly relax, for whatever fucking reason. Dimitri actually looks relieved. Sylvain laughs again, less stabbed this time, and claps Felix on the shoulder. They do look good together, albeit disproportionate. Sylvain’s smile is warm and so are his eyes, like Felix’s go-ahead is what lets him be happy with Dimitri, which is nuts, because since when did they even like each other?

“It’s like,” Sylvain says, largely bigging in Felix’s proximity in a way that suddenly feels a lot more illegal than it was pre-Sylmitri von Dimivain. “Two trucks, you know?”

“No,” Felix says honestly. Dimitri, who absolutely also doesn’t know, smiles and kisses Sylvain’s temple, which is fine. Dimitri being happy—it’s good. Laughing easily? It’s good. Giving that fond face to Sylvain? Sylvain, who is Sylvain, and not somebody else, like, for example, Felix? As a random example? That’s also fine. It’s good. Truly and genuinely.

 


 

“Since when,” says Ingrid, flatly, when Felix marches into her apartment and announces, “We’re best friends.”

“Since childhood,” Felix says, slightly offended.

“Best is pushing it,” says Ingrid, eyeing him like he’s a wet cat dripping suspicious motives all over her doormat. “You need money?”

“What—Ingrid!”

Ingrid relents. “Obviously we’re friends,” she says, and then reluctantly amends, “best friends, fine. I just always thought the day you call someone your best friend is the day you’re about to, I dunno, kamikaze off a bridge.”

Felix, slightly more offended but only because she’s a little bit right, looks at her.

“But give me your swords if you are,” Ingrid adds.

“I changed my mind about being best friends,” Felix says.

“There you are,” says Ingrid, and smiles. “Something wrong?”

“No,” says Felix. “Dimitri and Sylvain are dating.”

“Oh,” says Ingrid. “Cool.” Resumes peeling a carrot, which is definitely not for her, because she’s never peeled a carrot in her life or possibly even washed one before shoving it into her face.

Felix doesn’t think she understands. “Each other.”

“Cool,” says Ingrid again, moving onto a beet. A beet .

“They kissed in front of me.”

“I’m so sorry,” Ingrid deadpans. “Your virgin eyes.”

Felix smacks his hand down on the kitchen bench and sends a thing of ginger flying off the table. “Ingrid!”

“What,” Ingrid snaps. “Pick that up.”

Unable to voice his actual concerns, Felix goes with: “Why do you have beets?”

“Juice,” Ingrid says, like this fucking explains anything.

What?

“Juice cleanse,” Ingrid says, more impatiently, like this fucking explains anything.

Why? ” Ingrid has never drunk anything she could be eating. Felix stares at her.

Ingrid says, or mumbles, really, “Dorothea,” and Felix wishes to be a thing of ginger, sent clattering off the table and coming to rest gently by a bag of dog food, mildly bruised. Everyone he knows is in fucking love, or something. Fucking in love. Fucking in beds. Probably.

(He retrieves the ginger and makes his exeunt.)

 


 

Maybe fucking in not beds? Sylvain is a freak. Not that Felix is contemplating this, in his free time, or any other time. Maybe cars.

 


 

On a motorbike, maybe? No, that doesn’t make sense.

 


 

They don’t even have a motorbike. Felix has the motorbike. Why did Felix think of motorbikes? Of his motorbike? In his own garage, where Sylvain and Dimitri are not, and won’t be, which is fine?

 


 

Dimitri texts him to “hang” “out” “tomorrow” a week after The Reveal and Felix is texting back “no” before he can even think about it.

“Why,” says Annette, whose apartment Felix has crashed.

“Because,” says Felix, which is a perfectly good Felix answer but which he generously amends, “they’re just going to be gross.”

“Are they usually gross?”

Yes, but just in the Dimitri and Sylvain ways, not the Dimitri and Sylvain way. “Couple gross.”

Annette makes a face. “C’mon, Felix, you’re a grown-up.”

“So are they,” Felix snaps. “They shouldn’t be doing that stuff in public.”

“What stuff?” Annette says, completely baffled. “Being in love?”

Felix wants to say “yes” but knows he can’t defend it, so just pokes angrily at his vegan broccoli roast, which Annette is experimenting with and is bad. There’s also meatloaf, which is not vegan, but was left over from before Annette was vegan (two days ago) and which she didn’t want to waste. He stabs it.

“Stop stabbing the meat,” Annette says unhappily, “it’s been through enough.”

For Annette, Felix’s best friend, he complies. “Do you think I hurt his feelings,” he says instead of apologizing to the meatloaf which he kind of weirdly feels like he should do.

“Dimitri?” Annette ponders. “Maybe you should read his reply.”

Because Dimitri would reply to an emoji specifically sent to head off any further replies, which Felix has learned. Felix looks at his phone. Dimitri has said, OK!

“He’s fine,” Felix says, secretly wondering if maybe Dimitri’s heart is broken beyond repair.

“You’ve shattered him,” Annette mourns, deadpan. Felix sighs and takes another bite of broccoli. It’s burnt. “Um, Felix, not to be rude, but how long were you gonna stay?”

“Do you need me to leave,” asks Felix.

“Well, no,” Annette says meekly. “But it’s 1AM and you’re still eating dinner.”

The first question that should have occurred to him was how did it get to be 1AM , but in actuality it’s why did Dimitri text me at 1AM ?

Is he with Sylvain? Are they both awake?

If they’re both awake, are they doing… activities?

Or maybe only Dimitri is awake, because he’s an insomniac. Maybe Sylvain can’t fix him. Maybe somewhere in his yearning heart he yearns yearningly for Felix, and so the heart that yearns led him to text Felix to hang out at 1AM because he is lying awake torturing himself to—

“Felix,” Annie says. “You’re staring at the birdseed.”

Or Sylvain’s had a freak out about being in a committed relationship and needs someone to talk him down from freaking out. Is that what “hang out” is code for? Perhaps it is such that they both know the missing piece to Sylvain’s damaged heart is something only Felix can provide, and now they are calling for him in their hour of need and—

“Felix,” Annie prods.

“What?” says Felix, an entire head of broccoli hanging off his fork. Florets akimbo. Annie’s budgerigar is in a cage opposite her coffee table, eyeing him. They have been in a staring contest for the past forty seconds. Annette is also staring. At him, not Bugle. Who is her budgerigar.

“Are you fine,” says Annie.

“I think I need to sleep,” says Felix. Opens his mouth to say something about his keys.

“Why don’t you take the sofa,” Annie suggests, gently taking away his broccoli. “I don’t think you should drive.”

Felix closes his mouth. There’s no broccoli in it. Strange.

“Thanks,” he says.

The next day he brings around some of Ingrid’s Vegetable Juice as an offering, which she made too much of so she could keep some to impress Dorothea and then predictably hated it, only to find that Annette’s decided not to be vegan anymore.

 


 

Broccoli-induced nightmares, he’s decided:

Dimitri and Sylvain are large. Larger than him, but also, exaggeratedly large. The bed they’re in is even more exaggeratedly large. Also, they’re in a bed.

“Felix,” says one of them, then the other, in the same overwhelming voice.

It’s warm.

They’re warm. Dimitri’s palm has swelled to the size of a bowling ball and rests gentle on his waist. Warm, warm. Heat radiates from the spot. Sylvain’s fingers, bowling alley hot dog-sized, caress the side of his face and send sparks flying from each point of contact. “Felix,” he says, soft, the way he’s only heard Sylvain sound when he’s talking to Dimitri and is a recent development. “Felix.”

Felix opens his mouth to reply but he feels like he’s choking.

They’re kissing. Sylvain and Dimitri, not either of them and him. Who would even think that? Their bodies are both so large but fit together so well, slot against each other, hands roaming and mouths sliding. Felix is small and increasingly distant but the heat is inescapable; they grow, encompassing the space, leaving him dwindling against the advancing maw of—

Something smells like fish.

Felix startles awake. His cat is yawning nasty cat-breath in his face. She smacks a paw against his throat and he decides it’s time to get up.

 


 

Felix spends the day hunched over Mercedes’ kitchen benchtop like a party guest who also happens to be a mutant gremlin. She is his best friend.

He turned up with a basket of vegetables, because apparently that’s what all his friends are obsessed with now. Mercedes, being herself, did not question her sudden appearance at the address she’d given him for emergencies four months ago and never used—just smiles and accepts the basket of mostly botanically classified fruits and legumes and invites him in, and would he like some carrot cake?

Neither of which he likes. “Okay.”

She makes carrot cake. He watches and does not help, because she would presumably like it to be finished at some stage. His phone buzzes twice; the obnoxious text tone Sylvain had set for himself, and which Felix hasn’t really figured out how to remove. It’s a catcall followed by Sylvain’s own bastard voice saying Sylvain’s own bastard name.

“Are you avoiding them?” she asks him, after he’s tried to discreetly scrape the icing off his slice and shove it in his mouth. He coughs. She smiles and scrapes the icing off for him, much neater with her knife than he was with his finger.

“Who,” he says.

Mercedes looks back up at him from the icing and smiles more. Too knowingly. “Dimitri and Sylvain certainly do seem happy,” she comments gently.

Felix scowls.

“I know they want you to be happy too,” she presses. “If something’s bothering you, I’m sure they’d rather you talked to them about it.”

“I’m happy for them,” Felix says stiffly.

“But shouldn’t you also be happy for you?” she asks. Felix doesn’t want to answer and so shoves a second slice of cake in his mouth and promptly chokes on the crumbs, so she politely thumps him on the back. “You’re welcome here any time, you know, but I’m sure Sylvain would like to hear back from you.”

“Thanks for the cake,” Felix says.

“Oh, you’re welcome,” Mercedes says merrily. “Come by whenever you like.”

 


 

When Felix gets home Dimitri is not there—just a handwritten note left on the fruit bowl that says he’s out with Sylvain. It’s stuck to the banana, so Felix rips it off and then rips the banana open and jams the whole thing in his mouth at once, which is a thing that makes sense to do. He briefly contemplates eating the note and then realizes that’s fucking stupid because he doesn’t want anything of Dimitri’s inside him. Also it’s paper.

He and Dimitri have been living together for going on a year now while Sylvain pisses his money away on a huge studio apartment which he shares with the two dogs he bribed the landlord to let him keep instead of just getting a pet-friendly apartment. Dimitri never used to text to “hang out”. They just did it. Sylvain would show up with pizza or board games or that time he brought over a huge crate of dildos to throw at each other, which was an activity, supposedly, and then they didn’t do that, because what the fuck. It’s probably still somewhere in Sylvain’s apartment and Felix doesn’t care to question why he owned it in the first place, mostly because it doesn’t really bear questioning because what else would you do with dildos, anyway. (And Felix does not think about the shoving of objects up anyone’s crevices, least of all Sylvain, who is dating Dimitri, and so whose crevices are Dimitri’s business only.) The point is that “hanging out” was not at any point an actual activity that Felix had to be invited to, because it was implicit that they would all be there.

Now it’s Dimitri&Sylvain , inviting Felix, because they’re no longer a unit.

Felix drops back onto the sofa and stares at the ceiling.

It’s not like it matters .

Whatever. Like, whatever. It’s not like they aren’t friends. Dimitri still texted him to hang out, so they still want him around, or whatever. So there’s no reason to feel left out. And he doesn’t.

He doesn’t, actually. Sylvain and Dimitri would hang out plenty without him, since they constantly wanted to go and do stupid activities that Felix didn’t care about, like going to the beach or socializing. So being left out of their Goings On isn’t actually the issue.

But he’s mad. He’s pretty sure he’s mad. So there is an issue.

“OK Google,” he says out loud. “What’s wrong with me.”

“Based on chatting with you, I’d say nothing,” says his phone. Adds a smiley face.

“Fucking suck-up,” Felix mutters. Also, the Corporations know he’s depressed now.

If it’s not being left out of activities, what is it?

Does he feel abandoned? But they want him around. Sylvain’s texted him three more times since he got home, which he barely noticed since he usually ignores Sylvain’s texts anyway. It’s always just the GIF keyboard. So what else?

Does it bother him that they’re dating?

No. They’re in love. Good for them. Pretty gay.

Felix frowns.

Does he miss them?

Maybe they’re paying less attention to him now. This is a stupid thought. Felix isn’t a fucking goldfish, he’ll manage fine without their constant attention. He’s not a child of divorce. It’s not like he needs Dimitri’s adoring puppy-dog-eyes-that-he-achieves-with-one-eye on him at all times. Or like he needs the way Sylvain lights up into a big grin when Felix enters the room to feel joy. His cat jumps onto the sofa and steps directly on his crotch, which makes him wince, but it’s a small price to pay when she curls into a purring lump on his lap.

She’s warm and her presence is calming enough that his eyelids start to droop. Life is good. Who needs Dimitri and Sylvain, anyway.

Who needs…

When Felix wakes up, it’s dark outside and his spine hurts. He has been abandoned by his cat, proving once and for all there is no love in the world. Dimitri’s bag has been placed neatly in the corner, on the floor, which is fucking stupid because why place it down gently if you’re just going to leave it on the fucking floor anyway? Sylvain’s coat is hung up on the coat hanger; it’s the only coat there, because Felix and Dimitri’s coat hanger is the other sofa and it also houses socks.

Which means Sylvain is here.

Felix turns his neck, which hurts. Dimitri’s bedroom door is closed.

Are they in there? Maybe if he listens quietly—

There’s a very loud, very sudden crack and then Sylvain makes a bizarre half-crazed laughing sound, followed by creaking, followed by a distinctly Sylvain-sounding moan. Then a Dimitri-esque growl. Then Felix stops listening because he’s looking in vague horror at his pants—there’s a cat pawprint on them but more importantly—

Wow, is that it? And he’s kind of so offended that he apparently finds Dimitri sexy—Dimitri, who gingerly reaches into pots of boiling water to pinch out a piece of conchiglie and check if it’s cooked, Dimitri who had to be taught to wash rice and who burns socks because he thinks you have to iron socks—that he barely registers what this means. Dimitri? And Sylvain , whose entire life is just sitting around in locations, waiting for someone to try and take off his clothes. Sylvain whose first reaction to any vaguely elongated object is to hold it to his crotch and wink. That Sylvain? That Dimitri?

Fuck ,” comes a breathy voice from Dimitri’s room. “C-c’mon. C’mon, Dimitri— ah .”

Isn’t this weird ? He’s listening to his two best friends have sex. This should be weird and gross. But—

Hey, did Dimitri break his headboard?

There’s a strangled noise, followed by: “ God . Where the hell did you learn to do that?” And then a sheepish: “I Googled it.”

Felix cringes. Then smacks his own lap, which actually solves no problems and causes some pain.

Wait, does Felix want to be in there ?

There being Sylvain? No, Dimitri. No, both. Wait, neither. Felix scrambles off the sofa and knocks over a vase.

The creaking pauses.

“Felix?” comes Dimitri’s muffled voice. Oh, goddess, but this means they came in and saw him asleep on the sofa and then went into Dimitri’s room to fuck anyway . Seiros. Was he drooling? Does that matter?

Dimitri isn’t coming out to find him and Felix sure as hell isn’t going to reply, nor is he going to think about the reason Dimitri isn’t coming out to find him, which is probably that he is in the middle of the things, ‘the middle of things’ being Sylvain. Felix grabs the first coat he can find (Sylvain’s), and his keys, and his cat, and crashes out the door before he realizes he didn’t need to bring his cat and opens the door again in time to hear Dimitri say, “Felix?” again. He releases his disgruntled cat back into the apartment. “Felix, was that you?”

Felix slams the door.

He presses himself against it for a second and tries to collect himself. Okay. Okay.

Okay.

Then he takes out his phone and calls Annette.

 


 

Dimitri: Dear Felix,

Dimitri: I am very sorry that you overheard us yesterday. It was deeply inappropriate of Sylvain and me to engage in such activities in a home you share, knowing you were nearby. I am truly apologetic and ashamed and I hope you are not too uncomfortable. Please come home soon so I may apologize in person. I promise it will not happen again.

Dimitri: Your friend and roommate ,

Dimitri: Dimitri.

Felix: jesus christ

 

Felix comes home the next day armed with a box of chocolate chip cookies and a bruise on the shin, both from Annette, the latter for making her come get him in the middle of the night and the former to apologize for the latter. Dimitri opens the door immediately when he kicks it (hands full of cookie), Sylvain-free, and looks so relieved to see him that he doesn’t even look embarrassed to be shirt-free, also.

“Felix!” he exclaims, at the same time as Felix says, “You look like a whore.”

“What?” Dimitri looks down and goes red. “Oh. Oh, goddess, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Felix says, averting his eyes and shoving his way back into the apartment.

“No, truly, I’m so sorry, and after what happened yesterday, and—”

“It’s fine,” Felix says again, more snippily. “It’s not like I haven’t seen you before.”

“I—yes,” says Dimitri, thoroughly flustered. He runs a hand through his hair. “Felix, I—I really am sorry for what happened—”

Felix sighs and dumps the cookies on the bench. “Dimitri. It’s your apartment too. You can fuck whoever you want. I’m not mad.”

“You—you’re not?”

“I left because I didn’t want to hear it. That’s all.” Felix opens the box and tosses a cookie at Dimitri’s head, which he catches, looking a little dazed. “Where’s Sylvain?”

“He’s not here,” says Dimitri, thoughtfully munching the cookie. “I thought it would be best to have this conversation were he not—here.” Felix glances up in time to get a faceful of Dimitri’s puppy eyes turned on full blast, which is infuriating because they’re unbeatable and Dimitri never even knows he’s doing it. “Felix, I can’t help but feel you’ve been avoiding both of us as of late, and I have to—I have to ask, if you take issue with our relationship or if it makes you… uncomfortable, then I would like to—that is, I should like to come to some sort of—I don’t want you to be upset, and—”

“Shut up,” Felix advises, so Dimitri does, looking dolefully anxious. “I’m glad you two are together. You seem happy. You love each other, or whatever. It’s fine.”

“Felix…” Dimitri says helplessly. “We love you too, you know.”

“Oh, for god’s sake,” Felix snaps. “Don’t talk to me like you’re my divorced parents.”

“No, Felix, I—”

“I said I’m happy for you.” Felix heads for his room and trips over the cat. “I’m gonna take a nap. Annette’s bird screeched all night. Stop being anxious.”

“Oh,” says Dimitri in a small voice. “I’ll try.”

 


 

Felix does not nap. He stares at the ceiling, productively.

Things Annette said to him before stomping off to bed:

  •         “Do you like Dimitri?”
  •         “Do you like Sylvain?”
  •         “Do you like both of them?”
  •         “Can I sleep now?”
  •         “Just kiss them and stop coming over to mope! You’re bumming Bugle out.”

Felix is not being kissed by Dimitri or Sylvain. Felix is unkissed and giving depression to a budgerigar. This is fine.

He stares at the ceiling more.

Sylvain! announces his phone in Sylvain’s irritating voice. Felix picks up the phone.

 

Sylvain: u ok?

Sylvain: did me and dimitri make u mad

Felix: it’s fine

Sylvain: which felix brand ‘its fine’ was that

Felix: bye

Sylvain: ok

Sylvain: sorry if ur mad

Sylvain: promise we wont do it again

Sylvain: love u felix

 

That again. Felix drops his phone on his pillow and closes his eyes.

 


 

Chaotic dreams find him again and there isn’t even broccoli to blame, this time.

Dimitri is a tree and Sylvain, a python with the head of a Sylvain, is steadily climbing him, winding around each branch. “Felikssssss,” Sylpython hisses. “Felikssssssssssssssssssssss.”

Dimitree says nothing, for he is a tree. But his eye (which he has, despite being a tree) telepathically communicates to Felix that what he saw (with his human eyes) will never happen again. Never, ever. Never, ever, ever will he see Sylvain and Dimitri kiss, let alone engage in other kiss-related activities. For the last time has Felix seen Sylvain and Dimitri ever go near each other, ever. Sylpython is eating a leaf off Dimitree’s head, lovingly. Lovingly? It’s oddly intimate. Snakes don’t even eat leaves.

“Never again, Feliksssssssssssssss,” Sylpython assures him with a mouthful of pine needles. Dimitree is growing pine needles now. They smell overwhelmingly of it, growing larger again, until they’re both distinctly human-sized and staring at him and pointedly not kissing. And somehow Felix still feels sort of left alone. Everything smells like fucking pine needles. And pine needles fucking? Dimitri is shedding pine needles onto Felix’s head, which has just the same vibes as Dimitri himself trying to be sexy, somehow; i.e. entirely incomprehensible.

Felix jolts awake.

 

Felix: you told me almyran pine tea would help me sleep

Dedue: Judging from the late hour, I am assuming it did not.

 


 

“And you are quite sure that—”

“Yes I’ll be out all night.”

“And, it is not—”

“Not for your benefit.” Felix scowls. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

Dimitri beams at him and does not stop wringing his hands in Dimitri Brand Anxiety™ while also being a golden retriever with his head stuck through a sunflower. “Oh, Felix—but I can’t help but feel I am chasing you out of your own apartment.” He looks so earnest Felix wants to kick over the laundry basket just to feel something that doesn’t make him want to kick over the laundry basket. “I do not want you to feel you must vacate the premises just to avoid Sylvain and me.” Sylvain-and-Dimitri, the new family unit. “We—” that is, Sylvain-and-Dimitri—“would feel terrible if you felt you had to schedule your life around us, or, actually, if you were so opposed to our being together that we had to schedule our dates around you—”

“Shut up,” advises Felix, so Dimitri does and reverts to being a wordless golden retriever. “Dimitri. I really am fine with you two. I just don’t want to watch you kissing. That’s weird.”

“Oh,” Dimitri says. “Oh, I suppose.”

He supposes ? “Do you not find that weird,” Felix says. “If I were just standing in a corner watching you kiss.”

“I suppose,” Dimitri says again. Grins in that way that suggests he’s about to say something that will make Felix want to knock over the fruit basket. “I only thought of it as being observed by a cat, or something, you know.”

Great, now he’s not even human to them. Felix is briefly interrupted with the vision of being gently kissed on the head by Dimitri and then Sylvain, as though he were just a little kitty cat with little kitty cat ears and paws, and then does not interrogate the emotions he immediately blocks himself from feeling. “I am leaving,” he announces. “Have fun. Don’t break your headboard.” And takes advantage of Dimitri’s total mortification to bolt.

The second part of Felix’s some-part plan: and that’s it, because he didn’t have a plan. He doesn’t even have his wallet. He took Dimitri’s, which has no credit card and one debit card and approximately twenty-six rewards cards from shops and cafés and restaurants that he had visited once, because he felt too guilty to refuse, and then did not take the cards out of his wallet because it might hurt the café’s feelings. The café, a building, which he would never see again. No cash. Dimitri keeps his coins in a purse and his banknotes in the purses of hard-done-by people on the street. Photo of Felix as a toddler bawling his eyes out which Dimitri claimed (to the threat of Felix’s flailing nails at his throat) to have thrown out about three times now. Felix could throw it out now.

He closes the wallet.

To recount what Dimitri had said prior to Felix’s disgruntled exit, it had mostly been a lot of “blah blah blah” but if “blah blah blah” were exceedingly polite, especially to a person he had been living with for two years and known a lifetime. Somewhere in amongst the blah was a promise, solemn and unbreakable, that the Events of last Incident would never again be repeated. Dimitri swore up and down that Felix would never again walk in on the two of them, triple-confirming the time Felix would be home so he could ensure Sylvain was out of both Dimitri’s bedroom and Dimitri well before that time. Felix’s anti-curfew is ten PM. Felix had offered to stay out later, but Dimitri had balked at inconveniencing Felix, and also if Felix shows up at Annette’s house all bedraggled and lost one more time she might foist more vegetables on him because she’d bought so very many during her veganism stint and was now dehydrating them, in her food dehydration stint, and dehydrated broccoli might be even worse than broccoli. Anyway Felix is banned from the apartment until ten PM unless he wants to see DimitriSylvain bone down.

And.

See, the arrangement was predicated on the fact that he did not, in fact, factually, want to see this. He didn’t. That’s why it was a fact. No boning for Felix, no sir, none to be had, not even in his own skeleton which was made of swords not bones. Felix set off on his short anti-bone pilgrimage to nowhere, which was not a pilgrimage by definition.

And thought of…

Well, there was nothing to do . That was the problem. Nowhere to go and nothing to do and no-one to do, also. Back home Sylvain and Dimitri were dating, which they were doing at all times. They might be eating dinner. Takeout, perhaps, unless Sylvain had managed to not faint upon seeing Dimitri and Felix’s kitchen again and had cleaned it to a usable level.

Maybe they were kissing.

Maybe they were holding hands. Cuddling on the sofa—the very sofa upon which Felix slept, with his body, might now be the location of a cuddle. To think this could happen in his very own neighbourhood. He’d thought such cuddles only happened on the news. On late night TV. But it could be happening to him .

Well, not to him. To Sylvain. And Dimitri. Who were dating.

Felix is on a park bench with nothing to do but imagine Sylvain and Dimitri’s date. (He could go have dinner, or call Mercedes. Ingrid might be free. He might order a drink or go for a short jog, or head down to the animal shelter and bond with a depressed cat to whom he related.) Nothing to do but think of Dimitri gently cupping Sylvain’s jaw, bringing their lips together. Sylvain might taste like the curry sauce they had for dinner, or like wine, not that Dimitri would know. What a waste, for the taste of Sylvain to remain a mystery so long as Dimitri was the only one he kissed. His cologne smelled nice and it might taste even sweeter off the skin of his neck, or it might taste like sweat and shitty alcohol, but Dimitri wouldn’t know.

Perhaps Sylvain would run fingers up the side of Dimitri’s cheek and slip them under Dimitri’s eyepatch. It would make Dimitri wince, the way it always did, for he didn’t like anyone to touch his eyepatch even when it was not on his face. The exception was Felix, and by extension Felix’s cat, who had taken an incredible liking to it. Felix frequently had to rescue it from behind cabinets and under chairs to be washed and placed back atop Dimitri’s bedside table. On the odd occasion Dimitri’s psyche shook apart and he retreated into a ball of himself or Felix’s left shoulder, Felix might feel it for himself as it rested on Dimitri’s cheekbone and the bridge of his nose, gently sliding the straps over his hair and brushing an awkward thumb over the faint red marks it left. It constricted his head, you know, and didn’t help his headaches one bit, but Dimitri wouldn’t not wear it, even at home, even when Felix told him it was quite alright. The raised white tissue where the ruined eye once sat was sensitive though not in the worst way and if Felix touched it Dimitri would shiver, and eventually relax, because it was Felix, and Dimitri trusted him.

Sylvain might touch his eye, now. Perhaps Dimitri would lean into his touch the way he always seemed hesitant to do into Felix’s. Perhaps Sylvain would give him that rare smile, that real smile, which Felix saw only on the rare occasion Sylvain felt raw enough to really exist. Perhaps Sylvain existed freely around Dimitri, and perhaps Dimitri had finally found someone he could wholly trust the way he—apparently—could not trust Felix.

Maybe they were touching butts.

Felix leaps to his feet. They’re carrying him back to his apartment before he realizes it.

It’s 8:47PM, which is too soon to guarantee that Dimitri and Sylvain are finished canoodling (Dimitri’s words) or fucking (Sylvain’s words). Over an hour to go until Felix can safely return, or else break his promise. If he returns home now Dimitri will surely yelp and fall off the bed, and then apologize, like it’s his fault. Then again, that would mean he’s on the bed. Which means Sylvain probably also is on the bed, since they’re joined at the hip now. Or at the hips. Waist. Ass. Crotch. Felix walks faster.

Over an hour until he’s guaranteed not to walk in on Dimitri and Sylvain in bed, which is why he has to get home now.

 


 

Felix’s cat winds around his ankles on return and mrrp s, which is nice, but nearly trips him into the coffee table which would announce his return in a way he doesn’t want it announced. He scoops her by the armpits and deposits her atop the fridge, where she deigns to stay.

Neither Sylvain nor Dimitri are in the living area of the apartment, which means they must be in Dimitri’s bedroom. There’s no thumping this time. No moaning. Felix hovers uselessly in the living room for several more moments, fumbling for a plan that fell apart at step negative one. Then he inches closer to Dimitri’s door (closed) and elegantly trips on the rug, which is bunching up the corners because neither of them ever straighten out their furniture and it’s skidded the rug into the wall, which Felix promptly crashes into.

He freezes. Nothing. They didn’t hear him. They must be otherwise occupied.

There’s a faint murmuring coming from behind the door, so he presses his ear to the wall. This doesn’t help at all with hearing them but it does make him feel more like an idiot.

His cat meows behind him, which gives him an idea: Felix lowers himself deliberately to the floor, on all fours, just like her, and presses his ear to the gap at the bottom of the door. The gap, of course, goes all the way around the door, but this does not occur to him until he is already on the floor, at which point it would be a concession of defeat to simply stand up on his legs. From this new, exclusively superior vantage point, new information is audible: okay, actually, it’s not information, it’s kissing and it’s wet. Gross. Damp moaning. Gross. His dick isn’t hard.

And… some words? Mid-kissing. Between kissing? Felix shoves his ear closer to the door. He can feel the door’s edge pressing a red line into the skin but he doesn’t care. He thinks he just heard his name.

“Ah…” The rustle of clothes being shed. Dimitri’s blazer, the one he insists on wearing on dates, even when the date is in his own apartment and spent rumpling him around on the bed. The fabric is soft and creases easy. Sylvain’s khakis. Too tight. They cling to his thighs the way he wants them to. Felix can see it, the way he always sees them, clear as day while he’s sat here on his fucking knees with his nose on the floor like a garden gnome of a voyeur who’s been kicked on his face. What the fuck is he doing. They’re in there, making out, making love, making embarrassing faces and noises and memories and Sylvain’s hands are probably in Dimitri’s hair the way Felix doesn’t get to touch it, and he’s listening at the door like a fucking creep. But they said his fucking name . He didn’t imagine it. He didn’t.

Sylvain’s laughing low and soft while Dimitri moans again. Is he touching him? He must be. Running those warm hands up the scarred skin of his sides, maybe leaning down to press kisses between his ribs. Felix adjusts his legs then adjusts his pants. He hears it again: “Felix…” Then: “Ah… I shouldn’t…”

Dimitri, then. Their voices are similar in the haze of lust, low and rough.

“Hey, it’s free to fantasize.” Sylvain. Are they both in on this? Felix kills a nagging hope: that Dimitri might have said the wrong name, that the one he wanted…

“Feels wrong.”

Sylvain laughs, but it’s the bitter one. “He’ll never know,” he mutters. “Can’t tell him.”

Can’t tell him what? Felix would be mad, but he’s the one listening at the fucking door. Pots and kettles, all black. Are they thinking of him?

There’s a light pause, where Felix imagines Dimitri might be stroking Sylvain’s face. Surely he’s on his back. Surely Sylvain is knelt over him, one knee between his parted legs, brushing back his hair, smirking down with his bangs hanging down in Dimitri’s face. Dimitri must be smiling, he must be, the way he smiles around Sylvain these days. Around the thought of him. Then: “I wish we could.”

It’s a little breathless the way Dimitri says it, very heat-of-the-moment delirious-bedroom-fantasy and deeply confusing. It takes a second to catch up. Could… what? Could tell Felix? What a conversation to have over blueberry waffles and tea in the early morning, stone cold because Felix makes it before he goes jogging and Dimitri’s still passed out when he gets back. Good morning, Felix. Thank you for breakfast. I moaned your name last night in bed. Goddess only knows why! Would you please pass the syrup, for I like the sticky texture?

Felix lightly thonks his forehead onto the floor, which is caked in cat hair.

“He’d kill us,” Sylvain says, to which Dimitri only snorts a dry agreement. “Me too. He’d have let us know if we could.”

Let them know what ? What could Felix let them know, what could he possibly let them in on, when they’re off having all their fun without him?

There’s a little more heated kissing. Dimitri murmurs between gasps for breath, “It’s been a long many years,” so low Felix almost doesn’t catch it. “A long time to spend waiting for a sign.”

Sylvain huffs out something that sounds like a fond, dry sort of laugh, then a bottle cap being flipped. “So I’ll take what we get.”

“Which is?”

“Well,” Sylvain says, suggestive, and drops his voice. “So what would you do if he was here?”

Dimitri groans, affected. “Goddess, Sylvain.”

“Hm?” Sylvain murmurs. Felix shifts and jams his ear into the gap at the side of the door, giving up on the floor at last. There’s a draught blowing straight into his earhole and it’s cold. A slick sound is audible which sends heat to Felix’s cheeks. Sylvain says, “If he let you touch him?”

“Please…”

Felix’s knees hurt.

“Do you wonder how he’d kiss?” Sylvain continues. “I reckon he’d bite, don’t you?” He waits for Dimitri to moan, for the distinct sound of fabric tearing, and there goes another fucking bedsheet, and then he says, “You’d wanna watch him fuck me, yeah?”

“Syl vain —!” and at Dimitri’s wail and whatever obscene thing Sylvain is doing with his fingers now Felix breaks, leaps up and kicks Dimitri’s door directly in, which of course is not necessary, because it is not locked.

“FELIX?” Dimitri shouts, and at this point almost falls off the bed because Felix is now silhouetted dramatically against the light of the kitchen, standing in the doorway like he’s demanding a turn on the Xbox.

Sylvain is fully clothed, actually. He’s staring at Felix. There’s a distinctly Dimitri-shaped divot in the duvet where Dimitri was plopped a moment before Felix burst in like a jelly baby from a squeezed packet of jelly babies if the living room was a packet of jelly babies and Dimitri’s bedroom was the air at large. Dimitri scrambles back into it and then to cover himself with a discarded piece of clothing.

“You’re home,” he says, horrified, just as Felix says, “You were talking about me.”

Dimitri’s horror dials up to eleven. Twelve. “You were listening !”

“Eavesdropping,” says Sylvain, wearing an expression of mingled indignation and what shame would look like if Sylvain knew what shame was.

“Felix,” says Dimitri, recovering enough to look absolutely wretched. “Felix, I am so sorry. I’m so sorry. It’s unforgivable. I am so, truly sorry, and I—”

“What else,” says Felix.

“What?”

Oh, fuck it. “What else would you want me to do?”

Silence. Behind him, Felix’s cat hacks up a hairball and spits it off the side of the fridge, where it splats to the kitchen floor.

Felix says, “If I was,” then, “never mind,” and turns around and starts to walk out, but Sylvain says, “Wait.”

Felix stops.

“Felix?” Dimitri says, in a very small voice.

“How much did you hear?” says Sylvain, and from listening to him talk so much Felix hears the shift: his voice is analytical, gauging, figuring his next step, seeing what Felix will allow. Dimitri is still very much shirtless, and pantsless, and bare behind the polo shirt he’s using to cover his junk. It’s tented. Still. Even though Felix is just standing there. Sylvain shifts. His expression is still kind of unreadable.

“You want me to fuck you,” says Felix.

Sylvain raises his eyebrows. “Would you?”

“What else,” says Felix, again.

Sylvain stands up. Takes a step toward him, and then another; his whole demeanor's changed and Felix shivers when he realizes Sylvain is onto him. He’s sharp. His eyes are bright. No escape.

“Well, I’d touch you, of course,” says Sylvain. Almost conversational. And reaches out, slowly, so slowly, like he’s seeking permission. And Felix nods.

Sylvain’s knuckles caress the curve of his jaw, the jut of his cheekbone. “Then I’d kiss you,” he says, just as light, and Felix nods, and Sylvain so does.

Dimitri is still. Transfixed, covered with that scrap of fabric that looks carved in marble the same as the rest of him.

“Maybe I’d bring you over to darling Mitya, just there,” Sylvain continues. “And I’d ask if you want to touch his pretty cock.”

Dimitri inhales deep like a fine statue come to life. Felix watches his muscles ripple. His eyes are wondrous and bright. Like Felix is something worthy of worship and a little unreal. He shifts, the cloth sliding off his lap in a wave of unthinking, and he reaches, the way he’d reach to the sun or a distant star, and Felix goes to him. Falls into his arms and feels them close warm and tight around him. Dimitri clutches him as though he cannot believe he is there, and Felix shudders terribly when Dimitri mumbles, “Felix,” so close to his ear that his breath is warm against the skin of Felix’s neck. He feels delirious.

“How’s that,” Sylvain says, softly. The bed dips behind him; Felix turns to see Sylvain with a knee on it, watching them with all the hunger of a starving, scavenging fox. “Do you like my fantasy?”

“More,” says Felix.

“Demanding,” says Sylvain. The corner of his lip tugs up with the shirt he pulls over his head. “Well, you haven’t touched him yet, Felix—aren’t you going to bring my dreams to life for me?”

“Fuck you,” says Felix.

“You needn’t,” Dimitri murmurs, still so close by. Felix is pressed to him at every pane, his clothes to Dimitri’s warm, bare skin. “You needn’t touch me if you don’t wish it, Felix.”

Sylvain laughs. “Look at him, Dimitri. You think he doesn’t want it?”

Felix buries his face in the corner of Dimitri’s neck and shudders again, so much so that Dimitri lets out a little groan. There’s a sharpness in Sylvain’s tone. He’s got the measure of Felix in a way Dimitri’s humility won’t let him take. Seeing truths Dimitri’s self-consciousness won’t let him believe. Felix feels a hand at his back, feels it trail down his spine to rest above his ass. And press, a light suggestion.

Felix rolls his hips down. Dimitri’s breath hitches.

“You want it, Felix?” Sylvain asks him in that soft voice. “You want him?”

“Yeah,” Felix groans, breathless. “Dimitri.”

“Felix…”

The hand on his spine curves to the jut of his hip, stroking circles over his skin with a thumb. Sylvain’s voice comes closer. “You want me?”

“Yeah,” Felix croaks. “Yeah. C’mon.”

When he turns his head, it’s because Sylvain’s tilting up his jaw to kiss him again, still firmly nestled in Dimitri’s arms. Felix moans. He can’t help it. Sylvain kisses with an easy smile on his lips and the careless, single-minded focus of a man who figures he’ll probably die tomorrow. He’s shifting, turning in Dimitri’s grip to lean against his chest, so preoccupied he barely notices Dimitri fumbling with his fly until a warm hand closes around him and he cries out into Sylvain’s mouth.

Sylvain grins wider, moving to cup Felix’s face with both hands. Holding firm to the back of his head and running fingers through his hair until Felix is panting open-mouthed and clumsy into the kiss because Dimitri is relentless and unyielding, until Felix is dropping his head back on Dimitri’s shoulder and writhing between his legs from his touch. Dimitri kisses the side of his neck, then the underside of his jaw, and doesn’t stop.

“Good?” asks Sylvain.

Felix can’t find words. “Thought,” he manages, then: “Fuck.” Gasps, incoherent.

Sylvain’s hand is on Dimitri’s in a flash and Felix kicks out a leg, moans from the extra contact, but their hands are slowing. “Ease up, buddy,” Sylvain croons. “I don’t think he can talk.”

“Fuck—ugh, fuck you,” Felix says, scratchy and hoarse, going limp. Sylvain smiles. “Thought you wanted me… to fuck you.”

“Oh, I do,” says Sylvain. Dimitri’s hand is gently caressing the inside of Felix’s thigh. It’s extremely distracting.  Sylvain leans in. “I think Dimitri should suck your cock first, though. Don’t you?”

The sound Dimitri makes is so low it’s almost modest. Pure, distilled want and some delicious submission. When Felix peers back at him the look on Dimitri’s face says there’s nothing he wants more, like to get on his knees for Felix might be a gift from the goddess herself. He’s moving before Felix can do a fucking thing about it, pressing him back into the sheets and climbing between his legs. Felix has to stare. He’s still naked. Still fully bare and fucking glowing in the dim light drifting in from the living room. It’s like having an angel between his knees. An angel who is very definitely about to fall.

Dimitri says, hoarse, “May I?” and Felix nods mutely, because what the fuck else can he do.

The first touch of Dimitri’s lips is about as damning as an electric shock. He’s enthusiastic as he is sloppy, no finesse, just eager and animalistic and so fucking good. He does something with his tongue and Felix shouts and kicks Sylvain in the thigh—his hands fly back into the headboard and then down into Dimitri’s hair, scrabbling. Goddess. Was Dimitri born knowing how to suck cock like this or is Sylvain such an effective teacher in such a short time? He licks and sucks at Felix like he’s the best thing he’s ever not-tasted, and moans about it a bit, hands pressed tight to his legs and pushing them apart. Felix’s vision’s gone all fuzzy and strange, one hand buried in the hair at Dimitri’s nape still and the other clutching to Sylvain’s and squeezing so tight. He can’t keep track of the embarrassing noises he’s making anymore. Garbled strings of moans and gasps and repetitions of Dimitri’s name.

A hand covers his own on Dimitri’s head and he opens his eyes, bleary and teary and closed without his notice, to see Sylvain’s other hand caressing Dimitri’s crown. “C’mon,” Sylvain’s saying gently, and a light pressure—he’s pushing Dimitri further down on Felix’s cock, and Dimitri goes easy. Down to the root, his nose buried in Felix’s wiry hair. Lights burst; Felix’s head goes thunk back on the headboard and he swears so badly that Dimitri would surely be scandalized if he weren’t using his throat for other, funner things. The muscles in Felix’s legs start to go taut. Heat pools and then coils—he tenses—

“Wait,” Felix pants. “Wait. Wait, Dimitri—” Tugs fruitlessly at his hair, but Dimitri holds fast, clutching at his thighs and leaving fingermarks behind, swallows him right down until Felix sobs and thrashes and comes down his throat with a jerk of his hips. Dimitri doesn’t gag. The ageusia, in this instance, probably serves him well; Felix subsists on meat and bitterness but the blissful look on Dimitri’s face tells him he probably only tastes heat and pleasure.

Felix shoves weakly at his face again. Dimitri relents and slides off him, lips red and gasping a little. Felix runs a thumb over the damp corner of his mouth; he can’t help it. Dimitri swallows once and says, “Are you alright?” and the rough quality to it, nevermind the concern, the concern when Dimitri’s the one who’s just had the voice fucked out of his throat and sucked Felix’s soul out his dick, nearly makes Felix moan again. He pets clumsily around Dimitri’s face, his hair—slips a finger between his lips just to see it go. Dimitri closes his eyes when Felix presses his thumb down on his lower lip and the sight is too much; he pulls Dimitri up at once, propped on his chest, and kisses him hard. He can only taste remnants of himself in his mouth and it’s tantalizing.

“You seemed like you had fun there, Felix,” Sylvain murmurs. When Felix finally drags himself away from Dimitri’s slack, wanting mouth and manages to peer at Sylvain through the haze he sees him leaning back nice and easy on one arm, fly open, other hand wrapped lazily around his cock. He doesn’t look remotely perturbed to be left out; far from it, if the self-satisfied grin on his face is anything to go by.

Felix licks his lips. “What if I was.”

Sylvain shifts, leans closer, puts a hand on Dimitri’s back which makes him melt into Felix’s chest. “Why put a stop to it?”

He’s too close. Felix can count individual eyelashes. He can’t reply. Sylvain chuckles and kisses Dimitri deep, a firm hand on his jaw as is his trademark, apparently. “Scooch for me, babe?”

Dimitri’s gone pliant and obliges with a little hum, rolling aside so Felix can move. He watches them with a wide eye, pleading and a little hazy, and Felix leans over to kiss him again because he can. Dimitri’s hands are on his waist before he knows it, instinctive, and it takes Sylvain laughing and gently prying them off for Dimitri to relax. “Hey. My turn.” He brushes off Dimitri’s plaintive noise with a squeeze of his bicep (possibly selfish) and scoops Felix into his own arms to pepper stupid little kisses over his face. Felix squirms to kiss back which deters no-one; Dimitri is nuzzling into his waist and seems determined to stay there.

“We don’t have to do this,” Sylvain murmurs against his mouth. “Won’t blame you if you don’t wanna have all the fun at once.”

Felix snorts, right up against Sylvain’s nose, which winds up kind of not working and ends in Sylvain laughing. “Get on your back.”

“Yeah?”

Felix rears up; one hand either side of Sylvain’s chest, he pushes him back and down. Leans over him. “Maybe I want to fuck you,” he says. “Maybe I really want to.”

Sylvain groans. His hands fall back on the sheets, limp; eyes gone dark, there’s a light challenge in the way he gazes back up at Felix, eclipsed only by blatant, hooded desire. “Yeah?” he breathes again. “Well, I won’t stop you.”

 


 

The sun shines bright into Felix’s face come morning, and he shifts on his pillow, wrinkling his eyes. This is disconcerting on several levels. Felix rises before the sun. His window doesn’t face him. And he doesn’t use a pillow.

He opens his eyes.

The pillow is Dimitri, or rather Dimitri’s chest. This is Dimitri’s room. Sylvain is not here, but his pants remain in the corner. Dimitri is fast asleep. His arms, originally assumed by Felix to be a tangled blanket, are locked around Felix’s waist.

He wriggles. Dimitri doesn’t let go. Oh, he’s still naked. Oh, they’re both naked. So naked.

Something clatters in the kitchen; either a raccoon’s broken in again or Sylvain is making coffee.

Dimitri makes a sleepy sound. Felix looks around and Dimitri is idly chewing on his hair, which is fine. Whatever. Like, that might as well happen. There are more important things to interrogate right now.

Was that cheating?

Did that count as cheating? They were both there. Did Felix just start an affair? They knew about it, though. Because they were both there. Is Felix a cuck?

What’s a cuck? Felix can’t reach his phone to urbandictionary it because he’s glued to Dimitri and naked and his phone was in his pants pocket. Where are his pants? He looks nervously at his hair. Dimitri didn’t eat them, did he? Did that make sense? No. Did it? No.

Felix is halfway through awkwardly worming his way out from under Dimitri’s arms when Sylvain comes in. Also butt fucking naked and holding a hot cup of coffee. One cup. None for Felix and Dimitri, obviously, although the cup is dangerously full and Felix eyes it immediately. Sylvain’s selfishness is fine when it comes with a risk of coffee on the bare skin, where Felix prefers it not to be. Sylvain winks at him and takes a seat on the edge of the bed and then a sip, although the coffee must be scalding. “Morning,” he says.

“Fmm,” says Felix, whose face is kind of jammed into Dimitri’s torso due to his half-freed position. Sylvain makes an amused sound and then reaches over (Felix eyes the coffee more warily) and tickles Dimitri’s collarbone; Dimitri goes harrumph and releases Felix at once, still fast asleep.

“You get used to it,” says Sylvain. Felix briefly checks himself over to see if Sylvain has spilled coffee on him, but it turns out the hot spike in his gut was just jealousy. Good to know. “Hey. You good?”

“Put on some clothes,” Felix grumbles. “Whore.”

Sylvain laughs. “Me? We should bring a mirror in here, maybe, you know, or—” and yelps when Felix reaches around to poke him directly in the butthole. “Oh, that’s less sexy morning after, babe.”

“Shut up,” Felix grouses. “You’re out of lube because you’re a whore.”

We’re out of lube,” Sylvain corrects, and takes another long drink from his lava coffee.

“Gimme some,” says Felix. “Coffee. Not lube.”

Sylvain laughs again, then leans over to kiss him. “How’s it taste?”

“Shit. Brush your teeth.”

“Sylvain,” mumbles Dimitri.

They look at him. He’s stirring. The sun plays off his hair and eyelashes like he’s spun from gold. Bastard. Felix must not be in his right mind, because he reaches out without thinking and to touch Dimitri’s ruined eye. It makes him flinch, just for a second, before his good eye opens properly and sees that it’s Felix. His hand comes up to take Felix by the wrist, and Felix has to look away; there’s too much affection in his gaze.

“Morning, sunshine,” yawns Sylvain. He drains his coffee. “How’d you sleep?”

“I gotta go,” says Felix, just as Dimitri says, “Good,” which seems to make Dimitri rethink his answer since he immediately crumples. “Go? Where?”

“Home,” says Felix. Wait. “I mean, my room.” It’s the next room over, fuck.

“Did you forget something?” asks Dimitri, frowning.

“Yes.” No. “I shouldn’t be here.”

“Why?” asks Sylvain.

“I’m a cuck,” says Felix, who still hasn’t urbandictionaried what a cuck is. “Sorry. Bye. Thanks. Bye.”

Sylvain catches his arm before he can scramble off the bed and out the door, and it’s probably a good thing, because his clothes are still on the floor and he’d just have to slink back in anyway to fetch them. “What are you talking about? Felix, what?” And then, because Sylvain is obnoxiously big, he sort of flings Felix back onto the mattress and into Dimitri, where he lands with a huff.

Dimitri is now fully awake and himself, which is to say, really anxious about everything in the world. He’s sat up, knelt forward. “Are you alright? Have we upset you?” Goddess, he’s spiraling. “Felix, if we’ve—goddess forbid, if we’ve pushed you into anything you weren’t comfortable with, I—”

“No,” says Felix. “Not. That. Stop it.” He swipes at his face furiously. Seiros, this is all because he’s a fucking Pisces. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“We like you too, you know,” says Sylvain.

“No,” says Felix. “Let me out.” This isn’t fair. Why did he do this? All to not be the first name on Dimitri’s lips in the morning. He looks around for his pants; damn it, they’re by the door past Sylvain.

Sylvain’s face is too gentle considering it’s Sylvain . Also annoying, because he looks like he thinks he knows what’s going on and he doesn’t . “Felix. We like you too.”

“No you don’t,” says Felix. “You like each other. It’s fine. I have Annette and Bugle.” Bugle doesn’t like him, actually. “And Ingrid.”

“We do like each other,” says Dimitri, behind him. He’d cushioned Felix’s landing with his fucking big arm that looks like a tree and now he’s crouched on the bedspread like a sexy gargoyle. “But we also like you. Felix…”

“You heard us talking,” Sylvain says, like he’s talking to a child. Felix kicks him in the knee because that’s all he can reach. “You know that already, don’t you? You knew we wanted you.”

“You could have just got someone from Tinder,” Felix says.

“Ew,” says Sylvain as Dimitri says, “What’s Tinder?”

“You’re missing the point,” says Sylvain. “Here’s the point.” And he kisses Felix again. And he hasn’t brushed his teeth since the last time he kissed Felix, which was several minutes ago, so he still tastes like shit. And Felix doesn’t really mind. He’s melting back before he realizes, relaxing into Dimitri, who shifts again to accommodate him. “You get it?”

“It’s been a long time, Felix,” says Dimitri, softly. “I—we gave up on you, that’s all. But I’ve always… I…” A sniff. Oh, goddess. Dimitri isn’t even a Pisces. He would have been unbearable if he were a Pisces. “If you want nothing more to do with us, I—I understand, but I—”

“I think he does,” says Sylvain. Fucking smug prick. He’s still within kissing distance, so Felix does this and then bites him. “Ow.”

“I do,” says Felix, despite himself. His brain hasn’t caught up. It can do that later. “If.”

If what. If they want him?

Do they want him?

“I want,” says Felix. “To go to Olive Garden.”

What?

“And kiss,” adds Felix.

Dimitri frowns into his neck; Felix can feel it. “At Olive Garden? It is a family establishment.”

“No, separately.” This isn’t getting anywhere. “Date me too.”

Sylvain is beginning to grin. “Yeah, sure,” he says easily. “Sure, Felix.”

“Is that what you want?” Dimitri asks. He sounds wobbly again, so Felix firmly does not look at him. “Is… are we what you want?”

“Fine,” says Felix. “Yes. Fine.” He’s still naked . “Yeah.” He likes them so much. So much. “If you do.”

“Felix,” says Dimitri, and when Felix brings himself to look up he’s faced with a bright blue eye welling with light. “Oh, Felix… I never thought…”

“Why,” Felix says.

Sylvain snorts and abandons his empty coffee cup. He worms into their space, grinning when Felix grumpily accommodates him. “Come on,” he says. “Why would we? You’d think at some point over the twenty-odd years we’ve known each other you’d have mentioned wanting to bone down if you did.” Still grinning, he leans close enough to brush his eyelashes over Felix’s burning cheeks, butterfly kissing or maybe just headbutting, like he’s a fucking cat or something. “I mean, I’m always down to interpret generously, but you tell me my dick is stupid like once every two months.”

“It is stupid,” says Felix.

“Mm.”

It is stupid. “It’s dumb looking,” says Felix. “And you have—skin.”

“Mmhmm,” says Sylvain, looking delighted.

“And—and you,” says Felix, rounding on Dimitri, which doesn’t really work when he’s still all wrapped up in Dimitri’s arms, but Dimitri has the good grace to look startled anyway. “You have—” and runs out of words here so just smacks Dimitri on the part of his abs he can reach. This gets puppy dog eyes in return. “Ugh.”

“I see,” says Dimitri, not comprehending.

“You still gotta run back to your room?” Sylvain asks. He’s settled onto Felix’s stomach. Chin jabbing him uncomfortably. Shit-eating grin firmly in place.

Dimitri’s hands run slow and happy over his hair. His face, his chest, his face again.

“I could stay,” says Felix.