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Sykkuno didn’t quite know what to expect with his senior year of high school. He was incredibly nervous to graduate and go to college but at the same time, he was so ready to leave. High school wasn’t necessarily bad for him, yeah he went through a bit of bullying but that didn’t stick around much past sophomore year. Junior year was kind of awkward for him because, for some reason, girls started noticing him more but he was never really interested in anyone so it was mostly just feeling bad for rejecting people. Now, he was a month into senior year, and honestly, it was going how he expected. A lot of work, anticipation, but mostly just living the best you can knowing you might never see your friends again after graduation. 

For Sykkuno, his closest friends were Toast, Leslie, Lily, and Poki. The five of them were planning on going to the same college, and buying a house together when they can afford it, so he wasn’t too worried about that. They have known each other since the beginning of middle school and despite some fights, they always made up a day later. It was just hard to stay mad at each other because that’s time they could have been hanging out instead. 

Unfortunately, the brunette had a full schedule with no off periods ( NOTE: Their schedules will be block schedules meaning they have 8 total classes, but periods 1-4 are Monday/Wednesday, periods 5-8 are Tuesday/Thursday while Friday is all eight classes). His other friends had periods 1 and 5 off which meant they got to sleep in. He was a little jealous. But only a little. 

The first month of senior year had been, for lack of better words, boring. It was the same people he’s known for his three years of high school, there was no new stupid drama, there weren’t even any fights yet, which is crazy. And he knew all the tea because if anyone loved the drama, it was Poki. So while Sykkuno avoided that stuff, Poki loved to talk about it with their little group even though no one really cared. 

It was lunch, the group taking one of the tables outside that they usually sat at. It was the five of them plus Rae, Poki’s friend, and Scarra, Toast’s friend. Sykkuno always brought lunch from home considering their school’s food tastes like cardboard. Poor Rae was the only one who had to eat the food they served at Falcatraz (the nickname Toast had dubbed Falcon High School). Next to her, Poki pulled out the extra sandwich she often made for her friend before turning to the group with a sly smile. 

“So, I heard there’s a new guy coming to school today.” She smiled, a devious glint in her eyes as she intertwined her fingers underneath her chin. Their school was in a small town so it was relatively uncommon to get new students. So naturally, this gained everyone’s attention. Lily perked up at this, quickly swallowing the chip she had been eating. 

“Oh yeah! He was actually in Michael’s first-period class.” Her high-pitched voice chirped. Michael Reeves was a year younger than him and her boyfriend. While she did get teased a lot for dating a younger guy, he was a nice person and really funny. Poki grinned at the information, leaning forward to look at her inquisitive. 

“Really? Do tell.” Lily was oblivious to what Poki was trying to figure out but in all honesty, she was a rather nosy person. Sykkuno kinda felt bad for whoever this new guy was because Poki was going to be sniffing out his deepest darkest secrets. Although she was understanding if people wanted her to back off so long as he told her that, the new kid would be fine. 

“He wears all black, has a face mask on all the time, and Michael says he wears jewelry and shit. But get this,” she giggled, rubbing her hands together with a smile. She was a bit of a gossip too. “He’s mute.” Sykkuno’s eyes widened, unable to think of anything to say. He’s never met someone who was mute. And almost instantly, he just knew this poor guy was going to get swarmed by the bullies at their school because it happened to him when they learned he stutters when he’s nervous. 

“I heard that he’s a drug dealer and he doesn’t talk in case he outs his gang.” It came completely out of the left-field, even for Poki. Toast sighed, setting his garbage in the paper bag he brought for his food. He tossed it into the trash near them. 

“Or, you know, he’s actually mute. Occam’s Razor, Poki.” He grumbled and she rolled her eyes, pouting into her can of Dr. Pepper. The rest of lunch was spent with the group brainstorming about this mysterious new kid but Sykkuno was never one for rumors, he just hoped he was a nice person. At the sound of the bell, they threw away any trash they had left before entering the building again to head to their last period of the day. 

For Sykkuno, he had Digital Art with one of his friends Sean McLoughlin. They had met last year when getting put into the same US Government class together. He was an incredibly funny guy and was one of the nicest people he had ever met. Sykkuno offered him a smile as he took a seat at the table in the corner next to him. Felix Kjellberg sat in the other seat next to Sean, a foreign exchange student from Sweden who was also hilarious and nice. He transferred to their school freshman year and he was, unfortunately, going back to Europe at the end of the year. 

“Alright, quiet down now.” The teacher called, waiting until the classroom was silent. At the front, standing next to her, was a guy their age in all black, his hands in his pockets, and he looked like he couldn’t care less. “This is Corpse, he’s new to the school and he’s mute. That means he can hear but can’t talk. I expect you all to treat him with respect.” Much like Lily had described, he was wearing a black face mask and his black curly hair fell over his forehead, and a bit over his eyes. There were bags underneath his dark brown eyes, and he was looking everywhere except the people in the classroom. 

“You can take a seat Corpse.” The teacher smiled, and finally, his eyes clicked to the only empty seat between Sykkuno and Felix. Slowly, he made his way over and pulled out the chair to sit. She began to describe the assignment they’ll be doing for the week before leaving them to their own devices, and once everyone started talking amongst themselves, Sean was the first to greet their new tablemate.

“Hi, Corpse! I’m Sean, nice to meet ya.” He enthusiastically greeted, and Sykkuno could’ve sworn he saw a bit of fear flash in Corpse’s eyes before it disappeared. He brought his hands up and made some motions before stopping halfway through. Digging through his backpack, he pulled out a notebook and wrote something before lifting it up for them to read. 

“Nice to meet you.” It read and Felix introduced himself quickly after with Sykkuno following suit. Corpse’s eyes lingered on him for a bit longer than the other two and if it made Sykkuno blush a little, no one had to know. It wasn’t until he heard Sean chuckle did he look away. 

While Sykkuno didn’t know sign language, he could recognize it when he saw it. It was distinct from the way that Sean was moving his hands in such a deliberate fashion when addressing Corpse. The black-haired man widened his eyes in surprise before saying something back. Sean laughed, picking his pencil up to begin on his assignment. 

“My sister has a friend that’s deaf so she and I taught ourselves sign language,” Sean explained and after that, they spent the class making small conversation (with the Irishman translating what little Corpse said) and once the bell rang to signal the end of the school day, they packed up their stuff before taking their separate ways. Sykkuno met up with his groups of friends, deciding to leave out the fact he met the new kid for now, and once they left the building, they heard a bunch of shouting a little away from the school. 

Out of curiosity, they approached the crowd of students making the noise and pushed their way through so they could sort of see what was happening. In the middle were two guys, one of them was Jake who was Falcon’s resident bully, and the other was Corpse. Sykkuno felt his stomach drop. He knew this was going to happen because if there was anything Jake was good at doing, it was picking on people who were different from the norm. Which is what Corpse was entirely from being mute to what he wore. 

“Not gonna fight back pussy?” Jake sneered, shoving Corpse back who quickly caught himself. Sykkuno felt his stomach drop, knowing all too well how this felt. He opened his mouth to say something but Rae beat him to it, her arms crossed over her chest. 

“Leave him alone Jake, it’s not his fault you're so insecure about your own masculinity.” A chorus of ‘Oooooohs’ arose from the crowd and Sykkuno watched as Corpse signed something that made the handful of students who knew sign language laugh. That pissed Jake off and he reeled back, landing a punch right on Corpse’s cheekbone. He stumbled backward, holding his face, and with a glare, he stood right back up and grabbed Jake’s wrist when he threw another punch. He tugged his arm so he caused the jock to trip over his feet and as he was coming down, Corpse connected his elbow to Jake’s nose. 

The football player reeled back in pain, a hand coming up to hold his nose. Sykkuno’s jaw dropped, amazed by the fact Corpse was able to defend himself against someone as big as Jake. And not only did he defend himself, but he also won. Against Jake. In a fight. The said jock was dragged away by his friends in case his nose was broken. As for Corpse, he forced his way out of the ground, a hand still to the side of his face, and stalked in the direction of the neighborhood closest to the school. 

Soon enough, the crowd dispersed and Sykkuno was so tempted to chase after Corpse but stopped himself. He probably wanted to be alone and it wasn’t like the brunette knew him well enough so it would be weird. They began walking towards the direction of Leslie’s house where they often hung out after school for an hour or two. 

“Oh my god, guys, the new guy is a total badass.” Poki cheered, a huge smile plastered on her face. Toast scolded her, mentioning how he could’ve seriously been hurt if he decided not to defend himself. Sykkuno was worrying his lip before he glanced back in the direction Corpse had gone in. 

“Do you think he’s okay?” Lily awed at his concern, patting his back comfortingly. 

“I’m sure he’s fine, though he’s gonna have a bruise for sure.” Leslie supplied, unlocking the door as they got to her house. Toast and Sykkuno spent the first hour finishing their homework before joining the rest of their friends in playing Super Smash Bros on the Switch. Sykkuno lost horribly but they didn’t judge him. 

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Ever since he was a child, he was ridiculed. It started when the kids in his elementary school found out he was abused by his parents. For some reason, they found that to be hilarious. Then, it was because his parents were arrested. Followed by his year in the foster system and then when he was adopted by his childhood friend’s family, it was another reason to be made fun of apparently. Finally, in middle school, his voice started to deepen greatly and since it was different from everyone else’s he was bullied for that too. 

His friend, Mykie, was the only person who had treated him with kindness through everything. They had known each other since elementary school and her parents had quickly become family to him. They didn’t know about his situation at first, and when they found out, they did everything in their power to legally remove him from his parents. And it worked, however, the legal system wouldn’t let them adopt him right away. They had to go through a year-long process to ensure they were competent enough to raise another child. But they had welcomed him with such open arms, he was unsure how to react. He closed himself off to them for so long, and they never pushed him, but he remembered how much they cared for him. And he slowly grew to accept their love. 

The summer before freshman year of high school, Corpse had woken up with no voice. They took him to the hospital and essentially they found he had a condition called GERD. His stomach acid was degrading his vocal cords and they put him on some medication. From then, his voice came and went randomly until halfway through freshman year where he lost his voice completely. After a month with no sign of it coming back, he and Mykie decided to learn sign language. They picked up fairly quickly on it and after almost a year, they became proficient at it.

Towards the end of his sophomore year, his voice came back to him but it wasn’t what he remembered. It was so much lower and raspier than it used to be and he didn’t quite understand how it happened. But the doctor had said it was normal and that he’d have to take extra care of it because if he loses it again then it probably won’t come back. After that, he was extremely careful with what he ate and made sure to never skip on his meds. 

The rest of his sophomore year after that, everyone was suddenly buddy-buddy with him. The attention was so uncomfortable but he didn’t know what to do. So, he pretended those people never bullied him in the past and after a month of that, he fooled himself into thinking they actually liked him. His first girlfriend was named Delilah, one of the most popular girls at the school. This relationship destroyed his perception of his voice. 

She was so nice at first, talking about how hot his voice was, but eventually, she started to show her true colors. Delilah would put on this mask around other people to make it seem like she was so kind. She just loved to brag that she was dating the guy with the hot voice. But the second they were alone, she either ignored him completely or insulted everything about him. 

“Every time I hear you talk it’s like someone is sticking fucking nails in my ears.” She would growl, before going back to her phone. Corpse was positive she was cheating on him and he decided he couldn’t take it anymore. He broke up with her and the next day at school could only be described as hell. 

Just like that, a flip switched and he was on everyone’s shit list again. Delilah had spread a lie saying he cheated and abused her. And now everyone at his school thought he was an asshole, great. Not that it matters. He endured the rest of the year, getting drunk far too often than he’d like to admit, and a week before junior year was supposed to start, he lost this voice again. This time, it didn’t come back. 

Corpse had never been so relieved when he got the news they were moving to a completely different state. He would have a clean slate and hopefully, go undetected for the most part. Of course, he stood out. I mean, he did wear all black, jewelry, and a face mask. But he figured if he didn’t wear a face mask, that would give them a reason to hate him despite the fact he was mute. When he was 8 years old, his dad barged into his room with a broken beer bottle. He was screaming at him before swinging the bottle, causing the sharp end to cut open a gasp going from his right cheekbone down diagonally to end underneath his lips. They, of course, did not take him to the hospital, and Corpse was forced to take care of it himself. It didn’t heal properly and the scar that was left looked uneven and gross.  That was the reason he covered the bottom half of his face. 

Though he had to admit, his fourth-period class was already his favorite. He decided to take Digital Art as photography was something he was interested in. Mykie would often have him help with her photoshoots for her the YouTube channel she started and over the months, he grew proficient at it. He had hoped to get a table to himself but there was only one spot open at a group of three guys. 

The enthusiasm of the first guy scared him, however, he seemed so genuine that Corpse decided to actually talk to the guy. Plus, he knew sign language which made a little part of his dead heart happy. However, that wasn’t the most interesting part of that class. No, it was the shy guy in a green hoodie that caught his attention. 

His voice was so soothing in such an odd way and as he spoke to him he could hear no judgment. Sykkuno, he learned, covered his mouth every time he laughed or smiled and for some reason, he felt himself getting pulled towards this guy. He didn’t understand why and he honestly didn’t want to dwell much on the reason. 

And then, of course, he was all but jumped when school was released. He expected this to happen, to be honest, I mean, his style of clothing was odd enough to cause it. The guy was no doubt a football player and Corpse tuned out most of what he said. Until he heard a girl behind Jake make a comment on his masculinity. Corpse would have laughed if he didn’t hate the sound of his voice.  

Get fucked’ He signed eliciting a laugh from Sean and a few other people. In all honesty, he didn't expect Jake to actually throw a punch. So when he felt the all too familiar feel of it against his cheekbone, he saw red. He was his dad standing over him with a sneer, his knuckles bloodied. Without thinking, he grabbed Jake’s wrist and pulled him forward, bringing his elbow up to crack his nose with the momentum. The yell was what pulled him out of his thoughts and he immediately let go of the jock. He felt absolutely sick with himself. 

He pushed his way out of the crowd, holding his cheek as he headed to their new house. The area he got hit throbbed uncomfortably and when he barged into the house, he ripped off his face mask and headed to the bathroom. His cheekbone and part of the skin around his eye were already turning purple. He frowned, moving to head to his room when Mykie all but snuck upon him.

“Corpse! What the fuck happened?” Her blue eyes were wide and she tentatively touched the injury. He winced and Mykie grabbed his hand to drag him to the living room, sitting him down on the couch and rummaging through the freezer to put some ice in a Ziploc bag. She also wrapped it in a paper towel so it wasn’t too cold before holding it against his cheek and eye. Mykie was looking at him expectantly and with a sigh, he knew he wasn’t getting out of this. 

‘Some jackass picked a fight he couldn’t win. I’m fine’  He assured, taking the ice pack from her so she wasn’t totally babying him. She frowned though, picking at her lip with her teeth which caused Corpse to softly flick her nose to make her stop. When she worried, she would do that until her lips started to bleed. This was his way of helping her stop. 

“I’m assuming you handed his ass to him.” Corpse smirked at that and Mykie giggled, going upstairs to grab her backpack. She pulled out her homework and started it so he decided to do the same. Luckily the bruise was on the left side of his face so he was actually able to write. Around 5, Mykie’s mom walked in through the garage door, setting her purse down on the island. She had blue eyes like her daughter with blonde hair but Mykie got a lot of facial features from her father. She smiled at her two children before noticing the ice pack.

“What happened?” She gently moved the ice away from his face so she could properly examine it. She was a nurse and Corpse trusted her to see if it was fractured by any chance. He doubted it but couldn’t hurt to know, right? 

“Some guy tried to beat him up. He didn’t succeed of course.” Mykie answered for him, as he was currently grimacing in pain as her mom prodded his cheek and around his eye. She shook her head, setting the ice pack on the table for a moment. 

‘I might’ve broken his nose’ Corpse signed with a smile which earned one of those signature mom glares. She was also against how many fights he got in at their old school but even she understood he never started them, just finished it. 

“It’s gonna be bruised for a couple of days but you’re fine.” She finally smiled, giving him a kiss on top of his head before handing him the ice which he put on his eye again. It was the girl’s turn to cook dinner and they agreed on spaghetti. He loved it when they cooked although Mykie’s dad was amazing at cooking any kind of meat. Corpse just felt like he didn’t match up to any of them but he was learning. Slowly. 

By the time dinner was ready, her dad came home and they sat down at the table to eat. Mykie very briefly explained Corpse’s bruise (which earned him a proud high five from her dad) and they all sat there to share anything interesting that happened to them today. Corpse didn’t share much like usual, only bringing up that he met someone who understood sign language.

Per tradition, Mykie’s dad and Corpse were on dish duty and then after that, he retired to his room where he was joined by his adopted sister where he could vent about anything else he wanted to. He actually didn’t have much to complain about, but before he could sign that, the image of a cute guy in a green hoodie popped into his head. 

He spluttered on the water he was drinking, earning a confused glance from Mykie. The last thing Corpse wanted to do right now was to go down that rabbit hole. 








Chapter Text

It’s gotten to the point where the fourth period was the highlight of Sykkuno’s day. Well, the highlight of his day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The rest of the week kind of dragged on. And to think he almost didn’t take Digital Art, only picking it because it sounded easy (it’s not) and he needed the credit to graduate. He was lucky enough to have Sean in that class, where he also met Felix through the Irishman, that made him enjoy the class even though it was initially a lot more work than he thought it would be. But now, there was a good chance that he started to enjoy it more because of his new classmate. 

Corpse has been at the school for a week now and despite being mute, he was hilarious. Sean would often translate his jokes for us and they made Sykkuno laugh way more often than not. Though he would admit the day after the dark-haired guy got in that fight with Jake, he felt so bad for him. You couldn’t see a majority of the bruise, though the opposing purple blotched peeking out under his mask and curved around the corner of his eye. Felix had praised him when they walked into class that day, calling him a ‘badass’ for breaking Jake’s nose. But Corpse had looked so ashamed of himself that while the other two were talking amongst themselves, Sykkuno leaned over to quietly ask if he was okay. Corpse was initially surprised, which confused Sykkuno because obviously he was going to be worried. 

‘I’m fine but I don’t really want to talk about it’ He wrote because the brunette couldn’t understand sign language. Sykkuno decided not to push it, however, his mind started brainstorming ideas of what that could possibly mean. Why would he feel ashamed for defending himself against a bully? To him, it just didn’t make sense but Corpse probably felt bad for breaking Jake’s nose. No matter how deserved it was. 

After that first week, Corpse had become good friends with not only Sean and Felix, whom he sat with at lunch, but also, surprisingly, Rae. She didn’t make new friends often, much like the rest of his friend group she was, to an extent, an extrovert. But, she also happened to be in the same grade as Corpse, both of them being juniors while the rest of them were seniors, and she had the same classes as him on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She has yet to convince him to come to sit with them, she says it's because he doesn’t do well with groups of people, which Sykkuno understood, but Rae insists it’s because he has a girlfriend. 

That made his stomach drop and he wasn’t sure why. She gestured towards the table where Corpse, Sean, Felix, Anthony, Ethan, and a girl he didn’t recognize was sitting. The girl in question had long platinum blond hair, bright blue eyes, and was currently leaning against Corpse showing him something on her phone. She was gorgeous and even though it made him feel sick, for some reason, he supposed it made sense. 

In that class, the teacher wanted them to go out in a group and take pictures of things around the school that they could use for their project. The four of them decided to go together, joking around as they took random pictures of people in the hallway (with their permission of course) or things on the walls that they thought were funny. The image of that girl leaning against Corpse wouldn’t leave Sykkuno’s mind and eventually, he just had to know. 

“Uh, C-Corpse?” Sykkuno cursed at the stutter but no one mentioned it, Corpse looking at him expectantly. As normally as he could muster, Sykkuno smiled fiddled with the camera in his hand, not looking at the taller guy. He hoped he looked normal at least. “Rae says you have a girlfriend.” Well, at least he didn’t stutter that time. 

He decided to look up at Corpse because the guy was mute as he was greeted with a confused look. For a guy who hid half of his face, his eyes were very expressive. Sykkuno snapped a picture of a locker decorated in balloons for someone’s birthday. 

“She has blond hair I think? Blue eyes?” Corpse seemed to be thinking before realization dawned on him and he nearly dropped his camera. He definitely would have if it wasn’t hanging by a strap around his neck. He was signing something, which Sykkuno didn’t understand, but Sean started laughing so hard he had to lean against the wall so he wouldn’t fall. 

“W-What’s so funny?!” Sykkuno couldn’t help but blush however, Felix was just as confused as he was. At least he wasn’t the only one who didn’t know sign language. After far too long, Sean composed himself and wiped away a tear before looking at Sykkuno with a far too big smile. 

“Corpse says that’s his sister.” Felix broke out laughing after that, causing Sykkuno to hide his face in his hands. He was so embarrassed and he would have to kill Rae later for putting that idea in his head. Well, he was probably just going to babble to her because he could never actually yell at her. 

“S-Sorry,” Sykkuno muttered, putting too much attention on the pictures he already took. Out of the corner of his eye, Corpse was making a motion as if he was laughing as well. Of course, no sound came out but the group decided to take a photo together after that before heading back to class. As Felix and Corpse went on ahead, Sykkuno pulled Sean out of earshot of the other two. He was most certainly blushing but at least his friend was nice enough not to tease him.

“H-Hey, I was, uhm, wondering if maybe you could teach me sign language?” Sean grinned at that, putting an arm around him with a sly smile. 

“Awh, does Sykkuno have a crush?” Okay, Sykkuno takes back what he said about Sean. He was most definitely mean enough to tease him. He sputtered, pulling away from the arm around his shoulders with an even bigger blush. Sean was, at least, considerate enough to chuckle quietly. 

“Sure Sykkuno. Text me whenever you are free.” They caught up to the other two before they noticed anything was wrong and shortly after they got back to the classroom, the bell rang to signal the school was over. They gathered their things, Corpse and Felix going together towards the doors since they lived fairly close together. Sean walked with Sykkuno to his little group, and the shorter of the two made the other promise he wouldn’t tell any of his friends because he could not handle the teasing right now. Sean promised but he knew that wasn’t going to last for long. 

After Sykkuno left Leslie’s place, he spent the next two hours before he actually had to be home at Sean’s. His parents were very kind and Sykkuno met his four older siblings. It turns out that one of his sister’s best friends is deaf which explains why he knew sign language. He took him up to his room, which was really nice with a nice gaming set up in the corner, his bed in another, and his dresser next to the door of his closet. He had a few posters hanging on his wall here and there and was fairly clean. 

Sean was a really patient and good teacher, starting with the basic alphabet. He gave him a sheet that showed the hand motions for each letter and they practiced first with Sykkuno spelling out his name. He was able to get that down pretty quick and after that, Sean taught him simple gestures like ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ which was easy enough for him. Sykkuno was told that the next time they meet, he will be taught some more universal gestures. It was getting late so Sykkuno bid them all farewell before walking the block to his house. 

“Hi, sweetie. You were out later than usual.” His mom greeted with a warm smile, setting a bowl of chicken and dumpling soup on the table for him. Sykkuno smiled, setting his book bag on the couch before digging into his food. He loved his mom’s cooking; she wasn’t able to do it often because of work. 

“I’m sorry, mom.” Sykkuno apologized, worried he was going to get in trouble. It didn’t happen often but he did just stay out two hours later without a warning. “There’s this new kid at school who is mute and my friend is teaching me sign language. I-I thought, you know, it would be, uhm, nice and-” Her laugh caused him to stop and she placed a kiss on his cheek, beginning the dishes as he finished eating. 

“I raised such a kind boy.” She was smiling again. “So, is this new kid nice?” While she wasn’t looking at him, he could tell she was listening to him. It was one of the things Sykkuno loved most about her; she always set aside time out of her busy day to listen to him. No matter how small his problems seemed to him. 

“Yeah, he is. He’s really funny. Jake picked a fight with him on his first day though, I felt really bad.” His mom frowned at that, drying her hands once the dishes were done and sitting down at the table across from him so her son would have her undivided attention. 

“Is he okay?” Sykkuno giggled at the involuntary mom's voice. She had told him that even though he was an only child, all of his friends were like her children. She was just such a kind woman. Sykkuno finished his soup, cleaning out his bowl, and putting in the dishwasher before starting the device. 

“Yeah, he defended himself and totally broke Jake’s nose.” He heard the click of his mom’s tongue, it's what she did when she was disappointed. She doesn’t like violence. “Hey, at least someone stood up to Jake.” She couldn’t argue with that, remembering how this kid made her poor Sykkuno feel. She had tried everything to get the school’s attention and they always reassured her they were handling it. But they weren’t, of course. 

“Well, I’m glad you made a new friend. It’s very sweet you’re learning sign language to talk to him.” She caught onto the blush painting his cheeks, pinning him with all too knowing look. He couldn’t hide from her in fact, he was positive she knew before he did. Sykkuno could clearly remember how terrified he was to come out to his parents, scared they would disown him for being gay. And while his father was furious, his mother hugged him, told him that she loved him just as much as she always had and that she wouldn’t let anything happen to him because he was her son. 

“Y-Yeah. I’m gonna finish my homework and go to bed. Uhm, I love you.” He kissed her cheek before grabbing his bag and beelining down the hall to his room. Sykkuno closed the door, sliding down the object till he was sitting, hands covering his face. He knew he knew the second he saw Corpse that he was totally screwed. 

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If he was being honest, Corpse wasn’t expecting to make any friends at this new school. He just wanted to graduate and move on with his life. But Digital Art class completely changed that and, in a sense, so did Jake. Sean and Felix were two guys that were just...genuine. He enjoyed being around them because they were, by all means, fucking hilarious, and through them, he met Anthony and Ethan, two more hilarious guys. Ethan was the only other junior in that group which was nice in itself. Then, after the fight with Jake, this girl named Rae started talking to him. She was complimenting him about the incident, which made him a bit uncomfortable, but she was enjoyable to be around so he decided to humor her. Plus, she was the one who insulted Jake’s masculinity so she had all his respect for that. 

And then, there was Sykkuno. Sweet, cute, shy little Sykkuno. He didn’t quite understand his feelings towards him, he probably just really wanted to be his friend because...yeah. He really couldn’t explain why he felt himself getting pulled towards Sykkuno, his personality was just so magnetic. He remembered how nervous he got when the brunette thought Mykie was his girlfriend. Corpse wanted to clear that up right away, he didn’t want Sykkuno to think he was dating someone. But...why? 

After school that day, Mykie made him come with her to the nearby wooded area for a photo shoot. She had just finished recording a video of her new makeup style that was inspired by a forest and so, she just had to take pictures in a setting that fits. So, he grabbed his new Canon EOS R5 camera that Mykie’s parents gifted him for his birthday. Corpse had felt so bad, finding no reason that he deserved such a thing. So he spent a solid month doing extra things around the house in a way to pay them back. 

They spent about an hour in those woods, making sure not to stray too far from the view of the neighborhood. He took about 20 photos, going through them all with her before she decided it was enough and they went back to the house, uploading the photos on the computer. For the next 30 minutes, he mindlessly went through and edited the pictures to make it look like how Mykie wanted them, the rest being sent to a folder where he kept the extra photos because he still liked them. 

As he sat there, watching her put her video together, his mind flashed back to Sykkuno. The way his face scrunched up when he was examining something on the camera, or how he covered his mouth every time he laughed or smiled, and even the way he bit his bottom lip whenever he was concentrating on something. He couldn’t get the image of a blushing brunette out of his head. And the more he thought about it, the more it all made sense.

Even back when he was dating Delilah, he wasn’t that interested in girls. He dated her because he just wasn’t used to people being interested in him. Maybe if he dated someone, he would be normal and the torment would stop. But it only made things worse and in the back of his mind, something told him he would never be happy with a girl no matter who it was. At the realization, he felt his throat clench, his chest constricting uncomfortably. He felt like he couldn’t breathe but he knew he didn’t have his facemask on. 

With a shaky hand, Corpse leaned forward to tap on Mykie’s shoulder, gaining her attention. She took note of his expression right away and abandoned the computer to sit next to him, a comforting hand on his shoulder. 

“Corpse? What’s wrong?” She asked, rubbing his back in circles so he could focus on them. He wasn’t sure why he was freaking out. It’s not that he was against the idea of being gay but the more he thought about it, the more anxiety it gave him. He swallowed the lump, quickly signing ‘Nothing, I’m going to bed’ before all but running out of her room. She called his name but he ignored her and shut the door, locking it. 

No, what if her parents disown him for being gay? He couldn’t go into the foster system again, the one year he spent in it was absolute hell. Corpse didn’t know their opinion on the matter and quite frankly, he didn’t want to find out. And if he told Mykie, she might tell her parents. He had to keep this to himself. 

Corpse wasn’t able to sleep that night, sluggishly getting ready for the day with a shower and getting dressed in a baggy black hoodie, black skinny jeans, and black combat boots. He almost forgot to put on his rings but remembered at the last minute. He and Mykie walked the short distance to the school, doing his best to ignore her glances. He adjusted the facemask over his nose, waving goodbye once they entered the school. 

In his US Government class, he took a spot next to Rae, who greeted him way too enthusiastically for being awake at 7:30 in the morning. But she took notice of his mood almost immediately and the bags under his eyes. 

“Hey, what’s up?” Rae asked, flipping her ombre hair over her shoulder. At first, Corpse was just going to tell her that he didn’t sleep well but...the thought of keeping this to himself was too much for him to bear. If he could tell anyone, it would be Rae. If there was one thing he could say about her character from the very short time he started talking to her, it was that she was trustworthy. She just didn’t seem like the person to tell secrets, even if her best friend was Poki, one of the biggest gossipers of the school. So, in his notebook, he wrote out ‘I’ll tell you after class’ and tried his best to ignore the bile that rose in his throat. 

Corpse had pulled her into a hallway that didn’t have as much foot traffic as others in the school. She was looking at him with a raised eyebrow as he pulled out his phone to type out what he wanted to say to her. His heart was hammering in his chest as he turned his phone around for her to read.

“‘You can’t tell anyone about this.’ Yeah, of course, Corpse. Your secret is safe with me.” She smiled, patting his arm as he began typing again. This time, though, he hesitated before he could show her what he put and she noticed that. Ever so observant Rae. “You don’t have to tell me if you’re not ready.” He shook his head, flipping the phone around for her to read. She didn’t read it out loud but her eyebrows shot up before an all too happy smile crossed her lips. 

“Oh, Corpse, there’s no reason to be scared about that. I’m proud that you were comfortable enough to tell someone!” She chirped, giving him a tight hug that he felt a little too awkward to reciprocate but she didn’t take offense to that. “But I won’t tell anyone, I swear. It's yours to tell, not mine.” Corpse felt that went a lot better than he had anticipated and she didn’t make it a big deal which helped him calm down.

Today was the day Corpse finally let Rae convince him to sit with her group of friends. He knew Sykkuno, of course, because he’s been on his mind all week. But he wasn’t sure about the other people she was friends with. He’s heard about Poki from Rae but that was about it. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he didn’t have the same lunch period with Sean and Felix so most times he sat by himself. Rae took notice and has been trying to get him to sit with her for three days now. He was nervous about meeting her friends but it was also depressing to sit by himself at lunch so might as well, right? 

“Hey, guys! This is Corpse, he’ll be sitting with us from now on.” Rae took her spot next to Poki, thanking her friend for the sandwich because she didn’t want to eat the school’s food that day. Corpse awkwardly sat next to her and another guy he did recognize. However, Sykkuno shot him such a warm smile, it made his heart flutter. 

“Oh, hey Corpse!” His voice made his brain melt and at the moment, he was thankful he was mute because if he talked right now, it would just be absolutely gibberish. Under the table, he was playing with the rings on his finger when Sykkuno spoke up again. “I don’t know if you’ve met them yet but that’s Poki, Leslie, Lily, Scarra, and Toast.” He introduced each person down the table but he wasn’t paying much attention. He was too focused on the sound of Sykkuno’s voice. It made him relax completely, his worries washing away completely. The sudden lack of tension in his body was noticed by Rae, and he reasoned with himself that she couldn’t possibly know the reason why. 

“I didn’t know you knew each other, Sykkuno.” Rae’s smile was innocent but Corpse knew the implications behind the question. She was too damn observant. 

“Oh, we uh, we have Digital Art together.” The brunette answered simply, going back to his meal without dwelling on it. Rae let the subject drop as well, allowing time for her friends to either praise Corpse for breaking Jake’s nose or ask questions to get to know the guy. Despite the fact Corpse wasn’t good in social situations, every time he felt himself getting overwhelmed, all he had to do was make Sykkuno laugh or talk to feel his body fill with warmth and his worries dissipate.

Chapter Text

Corpse didn’t expect his new school to actually be...good. He wasn’t talking about the teachers or the curriculum, no, he was referring to his peers. Yeah, Jake and much of the other jocks were total assholes. But this was the first time he actually felt like he had friends. Sean, Sykkuno, Rae, and so many others actually made the effort to get to know him. And as fucked up as it was, he felt part of it was because he was mute. In his past experiences, everyone turned fake as soon as they heard him talk but now, he didn’t have to worry about that. 

Ever since he told Rae he was gay, he’s been spending a lot more time with her. He had, essentially, turned into her GBF, as she would put it, and he was her shoulder to lean on. She would vent about her home life, boy troubles, or even about Poki if her gossiping started to piss her off. Corpse didn’t understand why she would talk to him about this because it’s not like he was the best at communicating, to begin with. 

The rumor about him and Rae dating reached him pretty fast. The high school they attended was pretty small. Luckily, none of their friends believed it, which he could care less about, to be honest. The only person’s opinion he actually cared about on the subject was Sykkuno’s. And he accepted the reason why a month back but every time he even thought about it, he felt himself grow sick. Sykkuno was probably straight. 

Corpse had yet to show them his face. He was unsure how they would react to his scar and he really didn’t want to tell them how he got it. Whenever people found out about his past, it either ended in two ways: One, he would be treated like some lost cause, or two, he would get ridiculed for it. While he didn’t expect his new friends to do either of those, he couldn’t help be anxious about the fact it could definitely happen. 

“So, you and Rae, huh?” Mykie had said with a smile one day, laying on his bed while scrolling through her phone. She was distracting him from his homework because she had nothing better to do and all he did was shoot her a bored expression. She tossed her phone to the side, rolling onto her belly to look at him completely. 

“Hey, it’s okay. Rae is very pretty, kinda crazy, but I like her.” Corpse didn’t look at her this time, his eyes way too focused on the keyboard in front of him. He felt the bile rise to his throat, his hands beginning to shake as guilt overtook him. He should have told her the moment he found out and now she was going to hate him for keeping this from her for a month. But who knew what her parents would do if they found out. His reasoning was justified, right? 

Mykie was sitting next to him, holding his shaking hands between her own steady ones. She was whispering soothing words, pulling him to the bed so he could get away from the computer for a bit. He could barely hear her asking him what was wrong and when he met her own blue eyes, the guilt increased 10 fold. He was so ashamed of himself for keeping this from the one person who was always there for him no matter what happened. 

‘I’m gay’ He signed, not able to meet her gaze. Quickly, he added ‘Please don’t tell your parents’ and that’s when he felt her embracing him in a hug. He hadn’t noticed he was on the verge of tears but Mykie could always make him feel better despite everything that was going on with him. 

“I’m so sorry for my comments, Corpse. But I’m so proud of you for finding yourself.” She smiled, wiping away his tears before allowing him to go back to his homework. Well, that had gone a lot better than Corpse thought it would. She promised she wouldn’t tell her parents, but she assured him that they wouldn’t be upset with him. He didn’t know if that was true and he didn’t want to risk it. 

That dinner, it was the boys' turn to make dinner. Mykie’s dad said he would grill the steak while Corpse was tasked with the mashed potatoes. Now, he was not a cook by any means, and admittedly, he was a tad bit embarrassed he needed Mykie’s help because he had no idea how to make mashed potatoes (but they ended up bomb ass fuck so it’s okay). The girls decided they wanted sweet corn as well so Corpse felt he could make that since it just came out of a can. 

If he were being honest, he was quite proud of himself. Mykie only instructed him on what to do, so he actually made the mashed potatoes. At first, they were worried he added too much milk to make the potatoes creamy but Corpse thought they came out pretty damn good. He even cooked up some bacon and chopped some green onions to give them the option to make loaded mashed potatoes. Which Corpse absolutely did because he loved that shit. 

Mykie’s mom gave him so many compliments, he wasn’t sure what to do with them. I mean, all he did was mash some potatoes, what’s so impressive about that. But she seemed to enjoy it so that was good enough for him. Even Mykie wasn’t giving him any shit about it and she loved to tease him. Though, Corpse believed that the steak was the best part of the meal. 

Their dinner was interrupted by a knock on the door, Mykie wiping her mouth with a napkin before getting up to open it. She was expecting a new make-up pallet and so she all but ran to answer it, a smile on her face that quickly dropped when she recognized the two people standing in front of her. Corpse didn’t have to see them, he heard them address his sister and he just knew. His fork clattered to the plate, his body moving to stand up on its own. 

“You are not welcome here.” Came the voice of Mykie’s dad, standing next to his daughter as his arms were crossed over his chest. Corpse could barely feel the hand belonging to her mom on his back. No, he only saw the faces of the people he couldn’t consider his parents. They looked worse for wear, but their eyes were the same. They still held the hatred they always have for their son. 

“Adam! We’re so happy to see you!” His ‘mother’ cried, such a fake and grating noise to his ears. She tried to go in for a hug, but Corpse took a step back. Mykie’s mom took her place in front of him protectively, her hand placed in front of her to stop the woman. Momentarily, anger flashed in her eyes before turning to look at him, essentially forcing herself to cry. His ‘dad’ had stayed silent, glowering at the scene in front of him. Despite the fact he wished he wasn’t afraid of him, he was a giant of a man. Part of him knew if he wanted, he could hurt everyone here. 

“Don’t you keep me from my son!” She screeched and Corpse steeled his heart to finally meet her eyes, signing to her that she was not his mother. Her eyebrows shot up, seemingly unsure of how to address the situation. Mykie had slowly made her way to his side, holding his hand in a way to comfort both of them. She was shaking. 

“He’s mute.” Mykie’s dad explained, his eyes never leaving the other man in front of him. Silence overcame them, his ‘mom’ taking her place next to her piece of shit husband. They seemed to be having a conversation without saying anything before his ‘father’ finally broke out in such a bitter laugh. It reminded him too much of how he acted when he was drunk. 

(SKIP PAST THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ THE DEROGATORY TERMS)

“Not only did you turn my son into a faggot, but now you’re telling me he’s a retard.” His brown eyes darted over the jewelry Corpse adorned himself with. He had such a look of disdain on him, he couldn’t help but stare at the floor. His ‘father’ had no idea how accurate he was. 

“Get the fuck out of my house.” Mykie’s dad growled, uncrossing his arms as he stared the pair down. Usually, Corpse would have cherished hearing him curse, it was so rare, but all he wanted to do was get away. Mykie had since left his side to grab a nearby phone, in case they refused to do as her dad asked. But after several moments of tension, they finally left. 

“Are you-” Her mom started but Corpse was already running out of the back door, hoping the fence with a rush of adrenaline. He could feel the tears, feel how tight his throat felt, and he just had to escape. They found him, how the hell did they find him? And what the fuck did they want? In the back of his mind, he heard Mykie calling his name but he couldn’t stop. He had to keep going. He just needed to get away from everything. 

Corpse found himself running through the woods near their neighborhood, his foot getting caught on a tree root. He stumbled, cutting his hand on a rock as he fell. The pain grounded him back to reality, finally taking in his surroundings. In the distance, he could make out the lights of the neighborhood, and carefully, Corpse decided that he was far enough. The tears had never stopped and now that the adrenaline has worn off, he took note of how his chest was heaving. The events that took place maybe 30 minutes ago came crashing down to him, causing the teen to drop to his knees, leaning back against a nearby tree. The cut on his hand hurt but he couldn’t find it in himself to care, gripping at the strands of his hair as the sobs wracked his entire body. He would give anything to be able to scream right now. 

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The last thing Sykkuno expected at nearly 7 pm on a Wednesday was to get a phone call from a frantic Mykie. They had exchanged phone numbers about a week ago when Sykkuno had needed a model for his assignment. Rae and Poki were unavailable and Corpse had suggested that Mykie would be more than open to the idea. So they had done a quick photoshoot and until Sykkuno was sort of satisfied with the pictures. 

“Sykkuno? I need your help. Something happened and Corpse ran off.” She was crying, that much he could tell, and he felt his stomach sink at the idea that Corpse was in danger. No longer caring that he had school the next day, Sykkuno pocketed his phone, grabbed a hoodie and flashlight before exiting his house. Mykie said she was going to look in the woods nearby while her parents drove around for him so the brunette decided he would meet up with her there. 

He couldn’t find her but she was texting him saying she was too worried to wait and he understood. So, despite the logical side telling him to wait for someone, he entered the forested area with his flashlight turned on. He’s never done this alone at night before, it was dark and incredibly scary. The only comfort he had was Mykie texting him every now and then for updates. Sykkuno called Corpse’s name every now and then, jumping at practically every noise he heard. Just as he pulled out his phone to call Mykie, he heard something that sounded too much like somebody sobbing. 

Stumbling over the uneven earth below him, Sykkuno found himself in a small sort of clearing. Sitting against one of the trees, his flashlight illuminated an all too familiar figure dressed in all black, the light shining off of the rings on his fingers. His knees were pulled up to his chest, his head buried in his arms so he couldn’t make out his face but he knew without a shadow of a doubt it was Corpse. His body was shaking and occasionally, Sykkuno could hear the occasional shudder of his breathing. 

“Corpse?” Sykkuno said as softly as he could, approaching the raven-haired guy. Corpse didn’t look up but he did notice his body tense up slightly. The brunette set the flashlight down near them, crouching in front of the taller teen. Gently, he placed a hand on his shoulder, and finally, Corpse looked up at him. The first thing he noticed was how red and puffy Corpse’s eyes were. He was still crying but the next thing that stuck out to him as he wasn’t wearing a face mask. 

Without thinking, Sykkuno pulled Corpse into a hug, the younger man’s face resting on his shoulder while the brunette stroked his hair in a manner he hoped was soothing. It took only a second for Corpse to break down completely, wrapping his own arms around his torso. His body was shaking completely as he just let it all out. Sykkuno’s heart tore at how broken Corpse’s cries sounded. It didn’t hold the usual noises most cries had, just the sharp intakes of air. But even then he could tell how much Corpse was hurting right now. 

After several minutes of just sitting there in a hug, Corpse pulled back not looking at him. She was signing something, and while Sykkuno had been practicing for a month now, he couldn’t get all of it. My parents...too much...memories were all he could make out, the rest of it either unknown or just too fast for him to interpret. Sykkuno held his hands within his own, bringing them down to rest against his lap. 

“You don’t have to tell me, I’m just glad I found you.” Sykkuno smiled something that made the corner of Corpse’s lips tilt upwards oh so subtly. Even though it couldn’t be considered anywhere near a grin, he loved the way it looked on him. Faintly, he could make out the edges of a scar but decided not to linger on it. Instead, he was more interested in why one of his hands felt so slimy. 

“Corpse, you’re bleeding.” He frowned, pulling one hand away to get a good look at the cut. It was hard in the dark but it looked nasty. Corpse himself didn’t seem to care but Sykkuno pulled him to his feet grabbing the flashlight and checking the time on his phone. It was nearly 9 pm. “Do you mind if I call Mykie?” There was a sharp intake of breath before he eventually shook his head to show he didn’t mind. They started walking back towards the houses they could make out in the distance. He had told Mykie he found Corpse and that they were leaving the woods and to meet them at the edge of it. 

By the time they reached the neighborhood, Mykie was already there with her parents, all three of them looking unbelievably worried. His sister was the first to notice them, tears falling almost immediately and she charged them, grabbing Corpse in such a tight hug he was worried the poor guy might suffocate to death. Their parents were quick to follow suit and Sykkuno was a little impressed that Corpse didn’t break down all over again because he definitely would have. 

“Thank you so so much Sykkuno.” Mykie wiped her eyes clean, pulling him into a hug as well. Sykkuno giggled nervously, covering his mouth as they separated. He watched as their mom was already examining the cut on his hand. In the streetlights, it looked a lot worse than he thought. In the back of his mind, he set a note to wash his hands later because he definitely got blood on them. 

“It’s probably going to need stitches.” She wrapped it quickly, promising to clean it further when they got back home. But Corpse pulled his hand away, signing something to Mykie. Tell...to know...truth and he tried to make sense of what that meant but man, was his sign language bad. The three of them looked surprised, but when he signed it again, it was Mykie that addressed him. 

“Corpse wants us to tell you what happened.” She said carefully and Sykkuno was able to piece together what Corpse had signed from there. Waving his hands in front of him, he shot his friend another nervous smile. 

“Oh, that’s okay Corpse. I don’t want you to tell me because you think I deserve to know. I-I want you to tell me when you trust me. N-Not saying I don’t care! Because I do! I just, uhm, I don’t want you to feel, uhm, pressured?” Sykkuno stuttered, the giggling from their mom caused him to blush. Corpse seemed to study him inquisitively, before turning to face him completely. His face held such determination in it that it caused him to momentarily lose his breath. 

‘I promise I will tell you’ He signed and the smile that graced his lips nearly turned his knees to jelly. Corpse had one of the most beautiful smiles he had ever seen. 

“Okay, Corpse.” They offered to give him a ride home, which he took, and Sykkuno found himself feeling...uneasy. His mind flashed back to when they were in those woods, Corpse was signing something to him and he could only make out the words parents, too much, and memories. While Corpse didn’t look uncomfortable or scared to be in the car with them, he couldn’t help but wonder if they were the reason Corpse had run off that night. They didn’t seem like the type of people and they looked genuinely worried about his well being. If they were abusive, wouldn’t Corpse want nothing to do with them?

He found himself in front of his house sooner or later, sneaking in through his window. That was something he never thought he’d do but his parents didn't know he left in the first place. It was about the time they went to bed anyhow, and with a quick check, he did confirm that they had gone to bed. The bathroom next to his room was clean and he felt his stomach twist at the look of red pouring down the drain.

At least he could sleep well knowing Corpse was okay. Even if anxiety ate away at his chest about the situation his friend, maybe crush, was in.

Chapter Text

Corpse wasn’t at school the next day. Sykkuno expected that he would most definitely have to get stitches, but it was so hard to keep the events of last night away from his friends. They were wondering where Corpse was and Sykkuno had to play dumb and say he doesn’t know and he’s awful at lying so Rae caught on almost immediately. Luckily though, when he told her to just text him she let it go. 

But that didn’t stop Sykkuno from checking up on Corpse first thing in the morning. The second he woke up, the brunette opened his phone and clicked on Snapchat, taking a quick picture of his ceiling and typing ‘hey u okay?’   before sending it. He didn’t get a response right away, which was okay because he had to get ready for school. 

A snap from Corpse didn’t come in until halfway through the sixth period. It was a picture of his hand which was now wrapped in a bandage while he was sitting on those bench things in exam rooms. He wasn’t wearing a hoodie like Sykkuno was used to though he was wearing black sweats this time. The caption to the picture read ‘yes, ill be at school tomorrow’ which made Sykkuno feel a lot better. Glancing up to make sure the teacher wasn’t looking at him, he took a picture of his shoe and wrote ‘that’s good! I was worried :)’ before putting his phone away. 

He didn’t check his phone until after class was out, smiling at the notification bar announcing he had a snap from Corpsie (don’t judge). The picture this time was Corpse in the front seat of a car, the camera pointed at the closed glove box. ‘hey, can i talk to u after school?’ was the text and Sykkuno hated how that made his stomach do flips. Sykkuno took a picture of the green lockers typing ‘yeah sure!’ and he sent the snap before he gave himself a heart attack. 

The school day went by dreadfully slow, especially since he told his friends he couldn’t hang out after school. This was the first time in a long while where he actually canceled on his friends. And, admittedly, he did feel a little bad but after the day Corpse had yesterday, he needed Sykkuno a little more than they did. At least that’s what he told himself to feel less guilty about ditching his friends for someone he maybe has a crush on. 

When the bell finally rang to indicate school was over, Sykkuno essentially ran outside, pulling out his phone to make sure that Corpse saw his snap with his address. There was a text in their chat saying he had taken a screenshot. The brunette slid the phone into his pocket, holding onto the backpack straps on his shoulders. As his house came into view, so did the guy he was waiting for. Corpse was wearing black joggers, a white v-neck shirt, and his usual silver jewelry adorning his fingers, wrist, and neck. On his feet, he was wearing black vans. He could feel the blush on his face before he even reached his driveway. 

“Hey, Corpse!” Sykkuno smiled, feeling suddenly inadequate in the forest green hoodie and white skinny jeans. The raven-haired man looked up to meet his gaze, still wearing a black facemask but he could see he smiled back through his eyes. He stood from where he was sitting at the edge of his porch, signing ‘hello’ as Sykkuno came closer. 

“Sorry for keeping you waiting.” Sykkuno stopped in front of his friend, flipping his bag in front of him so he could dig for his keys. Corpse shrugged, using his hands to say ‘I didn’t wait long’ which made Sykkuno smile before he found his keys and unlocked the door. He invited Corpse in, closing the door after him as he tossed his bag on the couch. His parents weren’t home and won’t be for another three hours so he quickly shot them a message saying he had a friend over before heading to the fridge. 

“Do you want anything to eat or drink?” Sykkuno offered but Corpse only shook his head no, awkwardly standing in the middle of the living room. He giggled, grabbing a glass from the cupboard before filling it with water. He chugged the whole thing, hoping it’ll help him swallow his nerves before sitting down at the counter. Sykkuno patted the seat next to him and slowly, Corpse took it. Neither of them moved for a while, Sykkuno pretending to be more interested in the bag of chips he grabbed. Eventually, Corpse finally looked at him. 

‘Where did...learn...language’ Was all Sykkuno could get out of that one and he could only give him an embarrassed smile. Corpse’s shoulders moved in a way that would imply he was chuckling, the junior pulling out his phone and texting something, before turning it around so the brunette could read it. ‘Where’d you learn sign language?’  

Sykkuno felt himself heat up all over again, shoving a potato chip in his mouth to give himself time to think. He completely forgot he was planning on surprising Corpse with it later but it hadn’t even crossed his mind yesterday. He couldn’t understand everything he signed but it was definitely getting better at it. Sykkuno had to admit that while he could interpret sign language, he was bad at actually using it. 

“O-Oh uhm, w-well I just thought that, like, i-it’d be nice? U-Uhm, Sean’s been teaching me for a month b-but I’m still not good at it!” Sykkuno hid his nervous laugh behind his hand, not meeting Corpse’s eyes. “I-I can understand a little of it but, uhm, I’m really bad at actually using it.” He added, finishing the last of his chips. He didn’t hear the all too familiar sound of Corpse’s bracelets whenever he signed so Sykkuno assumed he was waiting for him. So when he was ready, he gave him his attention again. That’s when he signed again. 

“‘I can help teach you.’” Sykkuno laughed at the thumbs-up he was given, adjusting the hair across his forehead. He got up from his seat to throw his trash away, and to calm his nerves, before moving around the counter to stand across from him. 

“Okay, I’m ready.” Corpse pushed the hair out of his own face before he signed to ask Sykkuno what he knew. Sykkuno proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes embarrassing himself, messing up on simple phrases to the point where he had to hide in his arms before he exploded from inside. He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder, pulling him from his little cocoon of shame to be met by a maskless Corpse. 

‘You’re doing great’ he mouthed with an encouraging smile that was so blindingly amazing in every single way. Sykkuno couldn’t understand why Corpse hid his face, and he assumed it was because of the scar extending diagonally from his right cheekbone to over his lips, ending underneath his lips. It was uneven like it hadn’t healed properly, but Sykkuno thought it just added to his charm. 

“I-I  know you’re trying to be nice but I, uhm, I definitely made a fool of myself just now.” That pulled an even wider smile from Corpse’s perfect lips, making Sykkuno blush all over again. He definitely liked being able to see his maybe crush smile. Corpse relaxed slightly, the senior not knowing why he was tense in the first place, went back to signing using words that Sykkuno knew. 

‘Thank you for trying to learn.’ Sykkuno perked up at that, signing a very crappy ‘Of course’ back that was most definitely wrong in every way but hey, it made Corpse smile again so he was okay with it. They spent another hour trying to teach him but eventually, Sykkuno couldn’t take any more embarrassment. Corpse was sitting there, breathing in a manner that made it look like he was laughing. Sykkuno couldn’t even be mad because the man before him was so gosh dang cute. 

“Hey, what did you want to talk about anyway?” Corpse lost the smile and Sykkuno immediately regretted opening his dumb mouth. “N-Not that I don’t like hanging out! I-It’s really fun, I-I promise! I just-” Corpse shook his head, giving him a reassuring smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. 

‘I wanted to tell you what happened yesterday.’ The amount of anxiety that filled his expression hurt Sykkuno so much. He reached over to put a comforting hand on Corpse’s own, which did help him release some tension. Sykkuno pulled back after a bit, ignoring the look of disappointment that flashed in Corpse’s eyes because he definitely imagined that. 

“You don’t have to tell me if you aren’t ready.” Corpse shook his head at that, resting his elbows on the counter so he could sign clearly. 

‘I want to.’ He reiterated, pausing to play with a strand of his curly hair. Sykkuno just now noticed his chipped black nail polish. He pulled it off well. ‘Tell me if you don’t understand.’ He said, to which Sykkuno nodded so Corpse would know he understood that part. He offered a small smile, before beginning his story. 

‘Yesterday, while we were having dinner, my parents came to the house.’ Alright, one sentence into the story, and he was already lost. 

“But...your parents…” Sykkuno wasn’t sure how to phrase the question but with the confusion clearly plastered on his face, Corpse was able to piece together what he was trying to ask. But it became abundantly clear Sykkuno didn’t understand what he was trying to tell him so he resorted to his phone. 

‘I’m adopted’ And just like that, it all became so clear. Sykkuno felt so incredibly dumb for not realizing it sooner, Corpse, Mykie, and her parents look absolutely nothing alike. He then felt bad for assuming the people who adopted him were also abusing him. Corpse didn’t seem to be offended by the fact Sykkuno didn’t know and he instead continued with what he wanted to say. 

‘My real parents were abusive’ Corpse pointed at his head and then did a punching motion towards his ribs. Sykkuno was at least able to get that he was trying to say they were physically and mentally abusive (and he totally didn’t have to ask what abusive was in sign language). He then pointed at the scar on his face and pretended to be drunk. 

“So you got that scar when your parents hit you while they were drunk?” Sykkuno wanted to make sure he understood him properly. Corpse gave him a thumbs up before pretending to break what Sykkuno thinks was glass against the counter and then repeated the drunk motion. “Oh! You’re saying they hit you with a broken...beer bottle?” Sykkuno wondered why Corpse wasn’t just texting him but he guessed it was because this helped the other guy cool his nerves. Another thumbs up. 

‘Didn’t take me to get help’ He signed, waving off anything Sykkuno was about to say. ‘Mykie’s parents found out, called the cops’ At this point, the brunette knew he was communicating more through charades than sign language. He did appreciate it though because he didn’t have to interrupt as much as he thought he would. 

‘They showed up, tried to act like they care about me’ Corpse’s hands were shaking now, so Sykkuno moved to sit next to him again, offering him some back rubs. He pulled out his phone this time and from next to him he could see him typing ‘They called me the r-word’ and Sykunno began to wonder just how many times he’s gotten called that. Gently, he took the phone from his hands and set it down, wrapping Corpse in a hug that was almost immediately reciprocated. 

“I’m sorry Corpse. You don’t deserve that.” Sykkuno gave him one last squeeze before pulling back. The junior was staring at the rings on his fingers, before signing ‘But I do’  which upset Sykkuno more than anything. Just as he opened his mouth to ask what he meant by that, the sound of keys entering the lock of the front door caused Corpse to snap away, hastily putting the face mask back on just as Sykkuno’s mom entered the house. 

“Hi, sweetie. Oh! Hello there!” His mom had her black hair pulled back into a ponytail, wearing a professional pants suit for her accounting job. Corpse waved, his eyes squinting in a way that meant he was smiling. 

“Hey mom, this is the new kid I was telling you about.” Sykkuno gave her a hug and she shook Corpse’s hand with a smile that held some sort of devious momness behind it. His friend didn’t seem to notice and she just went on her way to the kitchen. 

“Oh, yes, he talks about you all the time. Corpse, right?” Sykkuno felt himself blush, hiding his face away from Corpse who was most definitely looking at him right now. Why did parents make it their mission to embarrass their kids? And why were they so freaking good at it? 

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It was oddly satisfying in a way to watch yourself get stitches. They numbed his hand so he couldn’t feel it but the way the needle and string sealed his skin together was enthralling. Or maybe Corpse was just messed up. Which was probably the more probable explanation. He had gotten stitches the same night he cut himself on a rock but when he woke up, he had completely forgotten he got hurt in the first place and was supposed to be taking it easy.  Corpse could even remember what he was doing, but all he did know was he fully extended his hand, which he wasn’t supposed to, and opened some of his stitches. 

Mykie’s mom had yet to go to work and ended up calling out to take him to the doctor’s, which he felt incredibly bad about, and they restitched his hand. And then, of course, his hand was bandaged up again and he was taken to a nice restaurant for brunch. Corpse insisted she didn’t have to do that but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was pretty sure it was her way of showing that she would always be there for him and it was so rare that she got time off anyway, he figured she would enjoy a nice meal herself.  

Then, Corpse had decided he wanted to tell Sykkuno about his past. Well, some of it anyway. It wasn’t because he felt like the brunette deserved an explanation. He genuinely felt like he could trust Sykkuno and out of all his friends, he was the most comfortable with him knowing. Though, he did receive a text from Rae earlier asking where he was at. She immediately knew something was wrong with his half-assed reply and he promised he would tell her. 

The talk had actually gone better than he expected. Sykkuno wasn’t put off when he removed his mask and he didn’t pity Corpse with what he went through. He had accidentally let a self-deprecating comment slip past his lips and was so thankful Sykkuno’s mom had gotten home at that time because he was not ready to explain himself to his crush. 

His mom was one of the kindest people Corpse had ever met. She had insisted he stayed for dinner, which he did, and she actually seemed interested in getting to know him. Corpse, for the life of him, couldn’t understand why Sykkuno kept blushing though. He thought it was funny the brunette talked about him enough for his mom to know his name without anyone introducing him. 

By the time Corpse got home that night, Mykie’s parents were already asleep. Their daughter was up in his room, waiting with the biggest shit-eating grin he had ever seen. He had told her where he was going and since she was most definitely some sort of psychic, she knew about his little crush. He hated how well she could read him. 

“How’d your little date go?” Corpse answered her with a middle finger, which she laughed at as quietly as she could. He decided to not bless her with an answer because that would add fuel to the fire. Mykie tried for about 30 more minutes before eventually giving up and fake sulking to her room. Corpse knew he wasn’t going to hear the end of it for a while. 

Corpse woke up an hour earlier than usual, his mind too active to actually allow him to get good sleep. He decided to take a shower since he accidentally forgot the night before and he just knew his hair was going to be extra poofy today. Did he spend a lot of time in the shower questioning his life choices? Yes, yes he did. 

By the time Corpse was ready for school, he was wearing a black t-shirt, black ripped jeans, and black leather combat boots. He finished it by throwing in a camo jacket and his usual set of jewelry. He might've put in a little more effort into his look today than usual and if it was because of a certain brunette, no one had to know. Mykie was already downstairs waiting for him, quirking an eyebrow at his outfit but he only shrugged. When he reached her, she was already circling him like a hawk, before standing on her tiptoes to adjust his hair with a smile. 

“There! You look bomb!” He rolled his eyes, their walk to the school was mostly her talking about the cute guy Anthony, but Corpse didn’t really know him. He was friends with Felix and Sean and he was funny but other than that, he had no clue. Corpse signed to her, saying she was simping hard to which she punched his arm but it made him smile nonetheless. It was a Friday, meaning they had all their classes today and Corpse especially looked forward to his fourth period Digital Art even though he thought the actual class was total bullshit. It was supposed to be a beginner course but their teacher acted like they were all experts at it. 

Just as he reached his first-period class, he was pulled by the arm into the corner where the lockers and wall met. Standing several inches shorter than he was a very upset Rae. Her ombre hair was pulled back into a french braid and she was wearing a black skirt with a wine red shirt that she tucked in. She completed her look with black booties. Corpse really could appreciate her style. 

“Where have you been? And what the hell happened to your hand?” She demanded, jutting her hips out as she held his bandaged hand in her own. For some reason, Corpse didn’t mind telling her. He trusted her, and he accepted this a while ago, but whenever he even thought about this in the past he would usually give himself a panic attack because he didn’t want to lose his best friend. But now, the idea of it barely made him falter. So, which quick thumbs, he texted out a simple explanation of what happened. Him being adopted, his real parents showing up, the abuse, them calling him two different slurs, running off and cutting his hand on a rock, though, he kept the fact that Sykkuno was there under wraps. He knew she would immediately question the poor guy for every little detail (and tease Corpse endlessly because she knew about his crush). 

Rae paused for a few seconds after reading, probably figuring out what to say before shooting him a genuine smile, standing on her tiptoes to ruffle his hair and ruin Mykie’s work which she will most definitely be offended about. 

“I’m glad you’re okay.” She hooked her arm through his and led them to their class, the pair taking a seat next to each other. Since Corpse ended up hurting his writing hand, Rae offered to just send him pictures of the notes she took for the classes they shared. Corpse told her he didn’t really care anyway to which she scolded him much as a mother would. Since classes were only 30 minutes, the first three flew by so quickly. He was actually jittery by the time the fourth period rolled around. 

He found Sykkuno standing outside their classroom down the art hallway, scrolling through his phone. He was wearing a lime green hoodie with white skinny jeans, looking absolutely adorable as always. He didn’t notice Corpse until the guy was right next to him, giving his side a poke which caused him to jump. 

“O-Oh gosh, Corpse, you scared me!” He hid a smile behind his hand and Corpse was really getting tired of him doing that. “Oh! I like your outfit, camo looks good on you!” Internally, the junior thanked whatever god there was that he was wearing a mask because he was most definitely sporting a massive blush. It took Sykkuno about 20 seconds to realize what he said before his own face turned red. 

“I-I mean, y-you uhm, it looks good! I-oh gosh-Its a com-” They were interrupted by an arm wrapping around each of their shoulders, pulling them down to be level with that of Sean himself. He was wearing his typical smile, his hair pulled back into a man bun which worked well for him. Felix pulled up behind them shortly after, Sean grabbing his arm to pull him into the huddle next to Corpse. 

“Banged up your hand there aye Corpse?” Felix gestured towards the hand dangling next to him, and he quickly signed that he hurt himself while doing yard work. He got a look from Sykkuno but they accepted his excuse and the four settled into their tables shortly after. They didn’t do much in this class, the teacher just giving them a rundown of their first major project. They were to create a piece of art, whether it be digitally drawn or photography, of something that inspires them. Pretty fucking stupid if you asked him. 

Unfortunately, Corpse didn't get much time to talk to Sykkuno. The class ended sooner than it started, and he had to go to his fifth-period class that he had by himself. Well, he shared that class with Jake who still held a grudge against him for breaking his nose. Something that he’s feeling less and less guilty about the more he thinks about it. Most of it was spent with him getting thrown things at him by said jock or getting shoved into lockers before and after the bell. He didn’t feel like wasting energy to fight back because he’d end up getting in trouble for it. Jake was the golden boy quarterback of their school after all. 

The rest of the school day had gone by uneventfully, Corpse not getting much time to talk to Sykkuno. It was usually just a few words they were able to exchange at lunch but they did often send snaps back and forth throughout the day. Corpse felt like Sykkuno just wanted to check on him while he kept the conversation going because he was 100% selfish. But he has yet been told to fuck off, though he knew Sykkuno was too nice to do that anyhow. 

When the bell rang to indicate school was over, Corpse met up with Mykie to head home. She was happier than usual, talking his ear off about how Anthony asked her out on a date this weekend and she was going to make him help her pick out an outfit. ‘Your eye for fashion is amazing’ she would explain but Corpse was pretty sure she just wanted to torture him. 

The two had decided to do their homework separately, his adopted sister having a lot more to do since she was doing concurrent enrollment. She was definitely going further in life than he was. Halfway through his math assignment, his phone buzzed to indicate he got a notification. His heart flipped when he saw it was from Sykkuno. 

‘hey! do u maybe wanna work on the art project tomorrow? i was thinking that we could take pictures together :D’ The picture was of Sykkuno’s legs, clearly laying on his bed. The wall he could see was decorated in posters of anime, something he found incredibly cute. Of course, Sykkuno liked anime, how could he be any more perfect? ‘sure :)’ Corpse responded, a large smile plastered on his lips as he suddenly had a new motivation to finish his homework.

Chapter Text

Corpse was, understandably, nervous for today. Rae had called it a date, but it was not a date, they were just taking pictures for their project together. Just the two of them. Without Sean or Felix. Yes, it was not a date. 

It was the first time in a long time where he had actually woken up excited to start the day. Of course, Rae and Mykie knew about him hanging out with Sykkuno because he couldn’t keep anything secret from those two. Through the course of his time at their new school, as he and Rae got closer, so did Mykie and Rae. And sitting there now, on his freshly made bed with two evil smiles were the devils themselves. They insisted on helping him pick an outfit and even after saying he was perfectly capable of doing it himself. He learned a long time ago not to argue with them. Although, he did have to admit they picked a good look. 

After trying on probably 100 different clothes, they settled on a deep purple sweater that was just the right size too big. Printed on it was a skeleton hand holding a black rose, his favorite type of flower. The sleeves had a hole in each one so it could hook around his thumbs, keeping half of his hand covered, though he still wore bracelets because had to stay fresh. He wore three silver rings on his left hand and two on his right, his necklace was a bulky silver chain. He wore black, ripped skinny jeans and a black studded belt. On his feet were black leather combat boots. 

Rae and Mykie were able to pick up on what he liked to wear and even though he didn’t wear purple often, they kept saying it was his color. Corpse didn’t think he looked all that good in it but hey, he was talking to two of the biggest fashionistas he knew so he took their word for it. Mykie, of course, styled his hair and by that, all she did was make it not look like a bird’s nest. Every so often, she would condition his hair so it wasn’t overly poufy or tangled. She took better care of his hair than he did. But half the time, he couldn’t bring himself to care. 

Somehow, and he really couldn’t tell you how he had gotten here, he was convinced by Rae to let her put eyeliner on him. He didn’t have anything against guys wearing makeup, he wore nail polish after all (which Mykie was reapplying even though he could, 100%, do it by himself). But Rae had asked what the odds were of him putting on eyeliner, and he initially said 1 out of 50, but she told him those were bitch odds, and goddammit he didn’t back down from challenges. So here he was, after lowering his odds to 10, trying not to squirm as she applied liquid liner around his eyes. Corpse absolutely hated when something was this close to his eye but every time he moved he earned a glare from Rae. It didn’t take long, after about 2 minutes she pulled back with a huge smile, closing the eyeliner. 

“Damn, my best friend is HOT!” She exclaimed, Mykie coming over to admire her work. She circled him like a vulture, before offering him a thumbs up which he only flipped her off in turn because he was being tortured by these two heathens right now. 

“You should let us dress you up more often.” The blonde teased, handing him his black face mask so he could put it on. When Rae came over that day, Corpse had completely forgotten to put it on. Initially, it had confused him why she had squealed upon entering his room but he suddenly remembered he was not covered. But she had immediately told him he had no reason to hide his face, that his scar was sexy if anything. He didn’t know how to take that but he felt safe enough to leave his mask off. 

“Good luck on your date!” Mykie cooed, earning another middle finger from the guy as he walked Rae back to her house. It was along the way to Sykkuno’s place since that’s where they agreed to meet up. She was rambling about something but he was too focused on how today was going to turn out. He wasn’t going to lie and say he wasn’t nervous, because he was so incredibly nervous. He felt like he was going to vomit but he was sure Rae didn’t want to see that. 

She teased him a bit more before she finally went into her own home, Corpse taking a few calming breaths as he stared at the house at the end of the street. A part of him wished they lived further away so he could stop his hands from shaking so he opted to walk slower than usual. The black bag hanging from his shoulders that carried his camera equipment felt so heavy. He had to remind himself that it was just Sykkuno and that he would be fine because the brunette was one of the nicest people he had ever met. For once, Corpse just wished he could be normal sometimes. 

He was at the door before he realized it, decided he might as well get his over with. So, he brought his knuckles to leave two knocks, waiting awkwardly with his hands in his pockets. It didn’t take very long for the piece of wood to swing open, revealing a bright-eyed Sykkuno. He was wearing light blue skinny jeans, a lime green hoodie with a matching green (that had darker green stripes) scarf around his neck. It was fall so the temperature had dropped considerably compared to last week. Corpse could help but think he looked absolutely adorable. 

“Hi, Corpse! Come in.” Sykkuno smiled, stepping aside to let the taller man in. It was just like he remembered, with his mom typing away at her computer at the kitchen counter. She looked up from her screen to offer him a wave, which he did back before Sykkuno was next to him again with his sky-blue backpack. 

“Alright, mom I’ll be back later. Bye!” 

“Bye sweetie, have fun!” Was the last thing he heard when the door closed, the pair falling into step as they walked down the street. They didn’t have a particular place in mind, just taking pictures of things that they liked. Whether it be any light decorations they came across or how the mountains in the distance look on the horizon. They weren’t talking much, which was okay with the both of them, and Corpse often caught himself staring at Sykkuno, smiling behind his mask every time the senior did just about anything. He accepted a long time ago he was completely whipped for this guy. 

But one of his favorite parts about that morning was when they were approached by a gray cat. It had meowed happily when it spotted Sykkuno, who in turn knelt down to pick it up. He then turned to Corpse with just about the biggest smile he had ever seen, holding this cat to his chest with the utmost care. 

“Corpse this is Smokey! He lives with the people down the street.” Smokey was currently rubbing its little head against the brunette’s chin, Corpse being able to hear the purring from where he was standing. Gently, he held a finger in front of the cat’s nose, letting him sniff it before giving him some scratches behind the ear. Sykkuno giggled and Corpse had to pretend it wasn’t the cutest sound he had ever heard. 

“He likes you.” Sykkuno had said, kissing the top of Smokey’s striped head. Corpse dropped his head, watching as his friend just talked to this cat in that voice people talked to their pets in. And while he was distracted, Corpse decided to take his perfect opportunity and snatch a photo because that memory had to be immortalized. It was an amazing shot, Smokey had its mouth open mid-meow, one of his paws coming to rest on Sykkuno’s cheek. The brunette was smiling with his eyes closed, holding the cat in his arms like it was fragile. 

Sykkuno hadn’t noticed his picture was being taken and eventually bent down to let Smokey jump from his arms. With a hearty meow, they watched the gray cat strutted back down the street to his owners. They continued on their way, heading a bit more into town to take pictures of the lights that it was decorated with 24/7. They stopped at a cafe for a quick snack, Sykkuno ordered for Corpse because the cashier lady didn’t know sign language. He got an apple cobbler with boba tea while Sykkuno got a peppermint chai with banana bread. They decided to take a little break at the table outside the shop. 

“So, I noticed you’re wearing eyeliner.” Corpse nearly choked on his cobbler, earning a laugh from the guy sitting across from him. He drank some of his boba tea to clear his throat, glaring at Sykkuno which earned yet another giggle fit, before finally signing back to him in a way he hoped would understand. 

‘I lost a bet to Rae’ Sykkuno seemed to understand it, nodding his head in fake sympathy. 

“Ah, yeah. Rae does like to do that.” A sip of his chai. “But it looks really nice on you.” Corpse thanked the universe that he wasn’t eating that time but he also wasn’t wearing his facemask so he was sure Sykkuno could see the blush. If he wasn’t so sure that Sykkuno didn’t like him, he’d almost think he was flirting. 

After finishing their order, they decided to head back to the woods because, at this time of day, the sun shone through the canopy in such a beautiful way. It was Corpse’s favorite place to take pictures, especially with the sun’s position as it is. He hadn’t been there since that night his parents showed up and despite how his anxiety typically flared in the past, all he felt was a small pull at his throat. He pulled off his facemask, no longer in the public eye so he didn’t need it.

Sykkuno went in first with Corpse trailing behind after him, the ladder stopping to take pictures of any bugs or animals he saw while Sykkuno was more interested in capturing the rays of sun lighting up the forest from between the leaves. They were distracted and it wasn’t until Corpse had taken a rare picture of two fox cubs playing in the distance did they notice where they were. It was a break in the trees, the small circular clearing where Corpse had gone to after his…breakdown. And even though he hated thinking about that night, he couldn’t help but feel this place was serene now.

“You’re amazing at taking pictures, Corpse.” Sykkuno’s voice broke through his stupor, drawing his attention to the brunette who was staring at the photo of the two fox pups on his camera screen. He hadn’t looked at it and upon actually examining the piece, he thought it to be one of his most impressive ones yet. Well, second to the one he took of Sykkuno for obvious reasons. Corpse didn’t sign anything, instead, handing the camera to his friend so he could scroll through the pictures.

Corpse’s mind went back to when Sykkuno found him that night. He had look and sounded genuinely worried about him and that feeling was hard for Corpse to understand. He had been so used to people his age demeaning him and leaving him yet here Sykkuno was, hugging him and telling him it would be okay. He wasn’t even mad that Corpse got blood on his hoodie. That got Corpse thinking.

Whenever his friends would compliment him, Sykkuno would only smile and say thank you. Never once has he seen the senior blush at something some told him. But that wasn’t the case for him. Whenever he said something nice about Sykkuno, it would earn him a blush, nervous stuttering, and shy smiles. Part of him knew that he wouldn’t have that type of reaction to just anyone and part of him really really wanted that to be true. And there was really only one way to find out. So, ignoring the pounding in his chest, he tapped on Sykkuno’s shoulder to get his attention.

‘Can I talk to you?’ He signed with shaking hands, gently taking his camera back from Sykkuno and placing it back in his bag. They walked a few paces into the clearing, Sykkuno taking a seat against the trunk of a tree while Corpse decided to sit in front of him. He didn’t move for a while, unsure about how to go about this conversation before sighing and ultimately deciding to get to the point.

‘I like you’ But it seemed that was too vague because Sykkuno only smiled back with such innocence.

“I like you too Corpse!” If he wasn’t mute, he was sure he would have groaned because damn this guy is so pure and cute.

‘No, I like you more than friends’

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The last thing Sykkuno expected that day was for Corpse to tell him he felt the same way.

When he woke up that morning, he was a ball of excitement, getting ready in record time. He remembered not waiting long for Corpse showing up at his door, nearly fainting at the eyeliner framing his eyes. He was barely listening, his mind supplying too many thoughts about how hot he looked in eyeliner. And he thought about that the entire time. When they went to that café, he couldn’t help but bring it up, causing the poor guy to nearly choke (though it was funny). But he attributed the blush on his cheeks to the cold. He set a mental reminder to thank Rae later.

And he remembered watching Corpse take pictures of the animals in the forest, they were so good that Sykkuno felt inadequate compared to the talent this guy possessed. And even as Corpse sat them down in that clearing where they first really bonded, he felt like the last thing he deserves was someone as amazing as Corpse. So, imagine his surprise when he all but signed that he reciprocated Sykkuno’s feelings. He froze, and he was ashamed of it, but he couldn’t help it.

His mind stopped working, processing those hand motions slowly. Sykkuno didn’t quite know what to say or do. He was never good with words and when he was nervous it was always so much worse. He stuttered over everything he said, his brain not keeping up with his mouth really. And it was even worse when it came to his actions! He was clumsy, uncoordinated, and most of the time, he just made a fool of himself. But he realized his mistake now was that he showed no reaction to those words. And it showed on Corpse’s face.

The junior looked a mixture of self-consciousness, hurt, and sadness. Almost too quick for him to interpret, he signed that he was sorry and had to go. At that, Sykkuno actually cursed at himself. Not only did he freeze when Corpse confessed his feelings but it was the first time he even hinted at him being gay. And all Sykkuno did was freeze.

Sykkuno knew he had to act now. If he didn’t, he was going to ruin things completely. If he let Corpse leave right now without ever telling him he felt the same, he could never forgive himself. And so, as he watched the younger man being standing, he did the next best thing he could think. He grabbed his wrist, pulling him back down which also caused Corpse to look at him, tugging at his arm so he leaned forward to slam their lips together. It was sloppy in every sense of the word but it was Sykkuno’s first kiss so he let it slide. However, just as it started, his mind suddenly came back to him and let go of the other guy, pulling back with wide eyes.

“O-Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry Corpse! Y-You probably didn’t want that and, oh gosh, I totally messed this up, didn’t I?” Corpse placed a hand on his knee, drawing his attention. He had a smile, and actually smile with teeth and Sykkuno felt himself swoon. He just kissed the most handsome man on the face of this planet who didn’t seem to hate him for his terrible skills.

‘I thought you were about to… me so this is…’ Sykkuno could only shrug embarrassedly and Corpse got the hint that he didn’t understand all of it so, like many times before, he typed it out on his phone. I thought you were about to reject me so this is definitely better he supplied and Sykkuno felt the all too familiar blush heat his cheeks. He covered his mouth nervously.

“O-Oh gosh, no. I-I’ve, uhm, had a crush on you for the l-longest time. I-I was just, uhm, surprised you felt the same is all! This is so embarrassing.” Sykkuno whispered the last part but he knew Corpse heard it. But the next thing he felt was those ringed fingers gently grasping his wrist, pulling his hand away from his mouth. He was greeted by warm chocolate brown eyes that held so much affection, it made Sykkuno believe he’d been holding it back forever.

‘I love your smile’ Sykkuno snort laughed at that, Corpse’s hands coming to rest on his own again that prevented him from covering his face. He was embarrassed but the way Corpse was looking at him made him not care. Eventually, they fell silent, their hands resting in each other. A thumb was gently running over his knuckles, a small but content smile permanently on his lips. Corpse removed his hands one more time to sign something.

‘So, want to kiss again?’ Sykkuno once again found himself laughing, nodding his head between giggles. He felt a hand snake it's way to the back of his head and the thing he knew, Corpse’s lips were on his again. The kiss was much more coordinated his time and Sykkuno all but melted into the arms of his new boyfriend.

That night, Sykkuno got home a lot later than he intended. His parents were sitting on the couch and his mom took note almost immediately of his much happier demeanor. He already knew he wasn’t getting out of this conversation but he felt incredibly anxious about his dad being there. He wasn’t so accepting of his sexuality at first and eventually he…sort of came around to it. He knows that Sykkuno is gay and that won’t change. But they just never really talk about it. And as he sat there on the coffee table in front of his parents, it was hard for him to hide how uncomfortable he was about the situation.

“Sykkuno,” His dad sighed after a while, setting down his tablet so he could look at his son. “It hurts that you feel this uncomfortable to talk to me. And I know that’s my own fault. I’m sorry, I love you no matter what you identify as.” And just like that, the pressure was gone and he felt like he could actually breathe. All he wanted was for his dad to accept who he was and even if he wasn’t as comfortable with it yet, he was making the effort to be and that was more than he could ask for.

“It’s okay dad. I love you too.” His father wasn’t much for emotion so the most he got was one of those dad smirks but he’s learned to tell if they were real over the years and this one was. Progress was being made and he was hoping that he’d at least like Corpse when they met. Maybe he can introduce them as his friend first to get him to be more open to getting to know the guy.

“So, how’d your little date go?” But of course, his mom wouldn’t let him slide around that because, in her opinion, Sykkuno shouldn’t have to hide who he is. Which was an ideal he appreciated. And he didn’t necessarily want to hide it because this was such a big moment for him. It was his first relationship with the first person who was actually interested in him. He didn’t have good luck when it came to crushes. Until now anyway.

“It wasn’t a date, mom. It was for school.” Sykkuno mumbled, hiding his face in his hands as a way to brace himself for the next part. “But I may or may not have a boyfriend now.” There was silence, the brunette peeking through his fingers to meet his mom’s eyes who was smiling. She looked excited which was enough to calm his nerves somewhat.

“I’m happy for you, sweetie. He is such a nice kid.” She kissed his cheek, running her hands through his hair as he slowly made his way over to the empty spot on the couch. He was definitely blushing but couldn’t find it in himself to cover his face. He promised Corpse he would try to stop that habit.

“As the only one who hasn’t met him,” His dad started, really trying to get to know his son better. It warmed Sykkuno’s heart. “Tell me about him.” Sykkuno felt his face heat up all over again, unsure of where to start. But he supposed he should just warn his dad about the fact his boyfriend can’t talk because that would throw anyone off.

“Well, he’s mute. He said it was from, Uhm, GERD? Mykie, his sister, said basically stomach acid degraded his vocal cords to the point where he couldn’t talk.” His mom had taken to the bathroom to shower, leaving her two favorite boys to bond on their own. She had lectured her husband many times on how Sykkuno didn’t decide this and that he better accept him or face her wrath.

“So, he knew how to talk at one point.” It was more of a statement than a question but Sykkuno answered anyway.

“Yeah, I guess his voice was on and off for a couple of months but it disappeared over a year ago.” Sykkuno spent the next 30 minutes telling his dad about Corpse. He left out his past or that nice his parents showed up because that wasn’t his story to tell. It was one of the longest conversations he’s had in a while with his dad and he texted Corpse all excitedly in his bed that night.

That’s great Sykkuno! I’m glad you can talk to your dad now :) was the snap he got not even a minute later yet. It was a picture of the top half of Corpse’s head, his hair falling to the side because he was laying down. The eyeliner he once wore was gone. He still remembered how soft his hair felt, how his fingers ran through the stands so easily (which was thanks to Mykie conditioning it according to Corpse). He smiled, taking a picture of it because he knew his boyfriend, gosh he couldn’t believe he could call him that, liked it.

He took a screenshot which Sykkuno found he didn’t mind as much as he thought he would. Most of the time talking that night was them going over basic rules. Corpse said he wanted to keep them a secret for a little bit, he wasn’t quite ready with everyone knowing he was gay yet. Sykkuno understood and honestly, he was glad that’s what Corpse wanted because who knows what his friends would do. But something told him this little secret wouldn’t last the entire week, there was no way Rae or Mykie wouldn’t find out about this.

But as he thought about the way Corpse smiled, how happy he seemed to be there with Sykkuno, he found he couldn’t care how anyone reacted. This had been the best thing to happen to him in a long time and he wouldn’t let anything ruin that.

Chapter Text

For how things usually went in Corpse’s life, this past month had been unbelievable. It was bad enough that he found himself a great group of friends, something he never thought possible, but he also ended up in a relationship with the cutest person to ever grace this planet. Corpse didn’t understand what he did to deserve such a wonderful boyfriend, most of the time he felt selfish for it, but he was going to enjoy it while it lasts. Because like everything else that happened to him, it was eventually going to go to shit. 

The first month of their relationship went exceptionally well, Corpse had met Sykkuno’s dad about two weeks ago. It was completely awkward since one of them couldn’t talk and the other didn’t know sign language. Since the ladder’s son wasn’t the best at said hand language, it was difficult. But eventually, they got the hang of it and he was a nicer man than he anticipated. Sykkuno had told him how hesitant he was to accept his son being gay at first and that formed a pretty low opinion of his father. He was expecting glares and snide remarks but Corpse could tell that he really was putting in the effort. So for Sykkuno, he was going to be happy for him. 

Just like he suspected, Mykie and Rae were able to fish out the information quickly. Mykie found out not even 3 days after the fact, noticing Corpse’s normal screw-the-world attitude had changed ever so slightly. Especially around a certain brunette who also seemed a little too happy to see Corpse. Of course, she also happened to catch them kissing when she oh-so-rudely barged into his room once. Sykkuno had nearly died of embarrassment that day and Mykie teased her brother endlessly for days after. And then, of course, Rae sniffed out their relationship during school. She noticed Corpse’s little glances towards the senior during lunch and since she knew for a fact that he couldn’t hide shit from her, Corpse ended up spilling the details to her. It took a little more effort to convince her not to tell the rest of their friends. 

It was October, Halloween was about 3 weeks away and Sykkuno had been insistent on doing a couple’s costume. It wasn’t like Corpse needed much convincing because there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his boyfriend. They weren’t sure what to dress up as yet and that’s why they were currently sitting in Sykkuno’s house, scrolling through costume ideas. It was a Thursday night, at about 6 pm and they had just finished eating. The brunette’s mom was upstairs showering while his dad was sitting on the couch watching TV. Sykkuno was suggesting things that were a little too cutesy for Corpse but every time he looked at him, he just couldn’t say no. 

However, the longer they sat there staring at the computer screen, the more Corpse’s mind drifted off. These past couple of weeks, as amazing as they were, also happened to be some of the worst. He couldn’t explain it, there was a lingering feeling of paranoia hanging in the back of his head for weeks now. Corpse felt like someone was watching him but every time he looked back, he would be met with a whole lot of nothingness. It was infuriated but in the end, he chalked it up to his chemically imbalanced brain. And as much as he wished to accept that, he was beginning to think he wasn’t crazy. That may be, perhaps, someone was watching him. It has begun to affect his sleep to the point where he would either pull all-nighters or sleep in Mykie’s room with her. He didn’t want her to know anything was wrong so he would pull the slick move of watching something with her and then “accidentally” falling asleep. He felt like a child sleeping on the floor of their parent’s bedroom. Though, the lack of sleep was beginning to catch up on him. 

It’s gotten to the point where Sykkuno has begun to say something about the deep bags under his eyes. But he insisted nothing was wrong because that was the truth. He had no proof something was off and he knows from past experiences that his brain isn’t always the most reliable. Sykkuno wasn’t convinced however but no matter how much he wanted to, Corpse couldn’t bring himself to tell him. In his mind, it was nothing that the senior needed to concern himself with. 

“Hey, you okay Corpse?” Sykkuno pulled him out of his thoughts, a comforting hand on his shoulder. He was wearing his mask so all the brunette could see was his eyes. Glancing back at the couch, he had found that Sykkuno’s dad had turned the TV off and probably went upstairs. He couldn’t even remember hearing him leave. So, he took his mask off and set it to the side, staring at the marble pattern on the counter they were sitting at. 

‘Yeah, just tired’ Well, at least it was a little truthful. Sykkuno gave him a skeptical look and since Corpse wasn’t one who handled disappointment well, he crossed his arms on the counter and laid his head down, not looking at his boyfriend. He already felt sick for lying but he didn’t want him to worry. The brunette didn’t say anything, instead of reaching over to massage his scalp. Almost immediately, Corpse melted under his fingers, his eyes sliding shut at the euphoric bliss that came from his massage. He wasn’t used to this treatment, he wasn’t used to actually being cared for. And slowly, his body followed suit, allowing the darkness to envelop his mind. 

Corpse didn’t know how long he slept. What he did know was that it was the best sleep he had gotten in a long time. He couldn’t explain it, sleeping next to your boyfriend while he’s rubbing your scalp just hits differently. And as much as he wanted to just lay there and enjoy it forever, he couldn’t. Especially when he felt a hand gripping his arm, pulling him from the grogginess of sleep. When he lifted his head to meet Sykkuno’s eyes, he was met with a faceful of tears, the other’s eyes focused on something in front of him. He looked terrified and that expression itself was enough to make his blood pressure skyrocket. Corpse turned to see what had freaked Sykkuno so much. And he felt everything around him. 

There, standing in the middle of the living room, was his biological father. One arm hung by his side while the other was raised, the light from the lamp glinting off the silver metal of the gun in his hand. He was swaying on his feet and Corpse immediately knew he was drunk. The front door hung on one hinge, the world outside the dark. The junior grabbed Sykkuno’s arm, pulling him behind him for safety. He hardened his expression, unwilling to allow his father to see what kind of effect he had on him. 

“We gave you everything,” He slurred, his free hand coming up to grab his hair. “You had food, a bed, and we fucking suffered for you.” His father took a step forward, and instinctively, Corpse took one back. But that seemed to infuriate the man. 

“Don’t you fucking move or I’ll shoot him.” He growled, cocking the gun to let him know he meant business. Sykkuno had since grabbed the back of his shirt. He could feel the shorter man shaking but he couldn’t focus on how guilty he felt. He had to keep Sykkuno safe. “You had it made for you. While your mother and I suffered in jail for being good parents.” Corpse glared, bringing his hands together so sign something he knew he wouldn’t understand. 

‘You are not my parents’ He seethed, earning a glare from the man who was supposed to be his father. The next thing he knew, the behemoth was charging for him and the couple had to stumble out of the way to barely miss the swing from his free hand. Sykkuno made a beeline for his phone sitting on the kitchen table and Corpse tried to grab his hand to pull him back to safety. He was barely out of reach. 

“You took our life, time to teach you a fucking lesson, faggot.” The deafening sound of a gunshot bounced around the inside of his head, a scream coming from Sykkuno piercing his ears, and a sharp pain coming from his throat as something was ripped out of him. But he couldn’t focus on any of that. First, he needed to disarm the man before him, and then he had to check on Sykkuno. The drawback from the gun gave him enough of an opening to get close enough to grab his father’s wrist that was holding the weapon, pulling it taut and swinging an arm up to hit his elbow, successfully dislocating the joint. In the back of his mind, he registered the sound of footsteps coming from behind him. 

Corpse watched the gun drop from his grip, his leg coming out to swipe the elder man’s out from under him. Despite the age difference, Corpse stood at the same height as his father, and while the other man weighed more, the teen had years of self-defense training on his side thanks to Mykie’s dad. Not to mention the alcoholism no doubt took its own toll on his health. The second his back hit the floor, Sykkuno’s dad came into view and jumped on the man, holding him down by the shoulders. He looked understandably furious. 

“Corpse, there are zip ties in the drawer next to the fridge.” His voice was low and eerily calm. It was something that honestly terrified Corpse. But he understood what he wanted so he got to his feet, rushing to the drawer he stated to grab the packet of zip ties. He grabbed two, helping him flip his father onto his belly, pulling his arms behind his back. He was struggling but it was pointless against two stronger men. They successfully got him secured and Corpse finally let himself check on Sykkuno. 

He was on the ground unconscious, his mom kneeling next to him holding a towel to his shoulder. She was crying, and Corpse couldn’t blame her because he already felt the tears running down his cheeks. Her phone was on the ground next to her, 911 already had been dialed with the dispatcher still on the line in case anything else happened. He dropped to his knees, grabbing hold of Sykkuno’s hand. His face was contorted in pain but he wasn’t responding to any touches. But he was breathing and had a pulse so that was good. 

The EMTs and police arrive not even two minutes later, the officers immediately handcuffing his father while the paramedics attend to Sykkuno (one attending to the dislocated elbow he inflicted on his dad). The last thing he wanted was to get in the way of the people helping Sykkuno and he let himself be whisked away by the police, even if he was constantly looking back in the house to see how his boyfriend was doing. 

They had placed him in one of the many police cars outside, most likely to ask him what exactly had happened but upon realizing he couldn’t talk, they had to find an officer that knew sign language. They didn’t find one, but there was a paramedic that knew it so they stood by to interpret. 

“Alright kid, just tell us what happened and your relationship to the suspect if any.” And so for the next couple of minutes, he told them exactly what occurred, that he was his biological father and his motives for the attack. They wrote down his story and began talking amongst themselves, Corpse’s eyes trailed on Sykkuno’s body attached to the stretcher. They were loading him into the ambulance, his mom trailing closely behind. He wished he could be there with him but he knew that he wasn’t allowed and it wasn’t like he deserved to comfort Sykkuno for something that was completely his fault. And he knew his family would hate him after this, and they had every reason to. 

Corpse was crying again by the time his own family pulled up. Mykie was the first one to reach him, throwing her arms around his neck as the two of them just sat there crying. Her parents came shortly after, giving him a squeeze before they began talking to the officers at the scene. The ambulance had since driven off as well as the car that held his degenerate father. Mykie pulled back after a bit, putting a hand under his chin to make him meet her eye. 

“How are you doing?” She asked softly. He wanted to tell her everything, how much he wanted to just disappear, and how this had just completely destroyed him mentally. And most importantly, he needed someone to know what he’s done. 

‘Sykkuno got shot because of me’ Was all she got from him, wrapping him yet another hug. She told him it wasn’t his fault, that he couldn’t blame himself for this. But he could and he will. His father was trying to get at him and he went through Sykkuno to get it done. How could that be anyone else’s fault but his own? And as they were leaving, Corpse got a glimpse of a beat-up brown car parked several houses down. Everything seemed to click. 

All those weeks spent in paranoia wasn’t his imagination. Each time he felt someone watching him, there was always that car in the distance. But it was something that wasn’t significant to his brain at the time. But now, the thought absolutely horrified him. His father was scouting him. He had been watching him for weeks and getting to familiarize himself with his routine. As much as the thought made him sick, he wished that he decided to strike when Corpse was alone. 

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Sykkuno knew that man before he started talking. He could see the features that he shared with Corpse. The light dusting of freckles on his cheeks, the same nose shape, and even the way his hair curled. It all happened two hours after Corpse fell asleep, his boyfriend snoring lightly in the seat next to him. As messy as his hair was, it was so soft. His reverie was broken by that man breaking down his front door, leaving the piece of wood hanging on a single hinge. From there, everything just escalated. 

He could barely process everything that was happening, the words that man was spewing cut him right to his core. He wanted to tell Corpse none of it was true, that they weren’t good parents and he has the family he deserves. But at the same time, he was honest to god terrified to talk. His mind was set on getting his phone. And so he took the first opportunity he got, barely coming within reach of him before the sound reached him and a sharp, burning pain enveloped his left shoulder. He dropped, his eyes shutting with tears as he held his fresh wound. He had never experienced pain like this and Sykkuno could practically feel his body going into shock. The last he remembered was blearily seeing his parents come rushing down the stairs before his world turned black. 

When he woke to the smell of antiseptic and blindingly white ceilings, it took a moment for him to recover his thoughts. Initially, he couldn’t remember how he got there but the more he willed his mind to think about it, the more it came back to him. Piece by piece, he was gathering a full story only to realize he has no idea what became of Corpse. The beeping hovering in his eardrums picked up in speed when he shot into a sitting position, immediately causing him to groan in pain as a set of hands gently pushed back to lay down. 

“Take it easy, sweetie.” His mom’s honey-like voice reached him, pulling him out of his stupor to look at her. Her eyes were red and puffy, her hair in a messy ponytail, but she was smiling, ecstatic to see that her son was finally awake. “You’ve been out for two days.” But he didn’t care about that. 

“Corpse? What happened to Corpse?” His throat was dry and his question came out as a mere whisper, his mom reaching next to her to help him drink his water. He gladly took it, the liquid never being so refreshing before. She wore a worried expression on her face which made his heart skip a beat, something that definitely showed up on the monitor he was attached to. 

“He’s not hurt if that’s what you mean. But…” She hesitated, combing out the strands of his hair. “I don’t think he’s doing too well mentally. He told us who that man was.” Her voice was ever so gentle, finally coming to meet his gaze. She was worried about his boyfriend, that much he could tell, and if he wasn’t so worried too he would’ve found it to be sweet. 

“Where is he?” Sykkuno would admit that he was a tad disappointed that he wasn’t here. From what Corpse has told him, he didn’t always have the most stable mind and he knew at one point he was suicidal or at least had suicidal ideation. Sykkuno didn’t think he would go that but the anxiety clawing at his chest made him question otherwise. 

“Don’t worry, he’ll be back. He’s spent most if not all of the last two days with you. It's very cute, by the way. But he had a doctor’s appointment he couldn’t skip. He should be here soon.” So that time waiting was spent on him getting questioned by a police officer and checked upon by his own doctor. He wasn’t focusing though, his eyes were trained on the open door of his hospital room. Admittedly, the immense pain his shoulder was in since waking up was a huge distraction and he ended up having to ask if he could have some sort of pain medication. They got him some pills, probably Tylenol, he honestly wasn’t sure, and he was at least able to take those without help. Just as he finished swallowing the second pill, his boyfriend walked into the room. Just from looking at him, he could tell his mom was right in every way. 

He was wearing the same all-black attire he usually does however the bags under his eyes were prominent, his posture was slouched and defeated, his hair was a mess that looks like he hasn’t taken care of it in days, and his eyes were filled with so little life. Much to his own surprise, he had ditched the face mask and he made a mental reminder to ask later. Sykkuno expected him to smile, to hug him, and say how worried he was and that he was glad he was okay. What he got, however, were two beautiful chocolate brown eyes filled with so much guilt and sadness. 

“I’ll leave you two alone.” His mom left a kiss on his cheek before walking out the door, leaving her son staring and his boyfriend who wouldn’t so much as look at him. Eventually, though, Corpse took the seat his mom was once sitting at. Now, his eyes were trained on the tiled ground, twirling the rings decorating his fingers. The silence became too suffocating for Sykkuno. 

“S-So, uhm, how was your appointment?” He stuttered awkwardly, trying to get something, anything, out of Corpse. But he was failing miserably, the younger man holding the same position he had since he sat down. Sykkuno felt the tears pricking at his eyes because he just wasn’t sure what he did to upset Corpse. Did he say something that made him mad? Did Corpse blame him for what happened? The doctor said he was most likely going to have a scar once his wound healed. Did Corpse not like that? Oh god, was Corpse going to break up with him? 

‘This is my fault. I’m sorry’ Corpse signed after what felt like an eternity, but his head remained unmoved. Sykkuno could see now that his hands were shaking, his knuckles turning white as he gripped his sleeves. He needed a hug, and that’s exactly what he was going to get. So, with very little precaution about his own physical condition, Sykkuno sat up without the support of the bed, slowly swinging his legs over the side so he was fully facing his boyfriend. As soon as his feet came into view, Corpse finally met his eyes. They were tearful and broken but he looked worried. 

His wonderfully amazing hands found their way on his good shoulder and side, trying to coax him back onto the bed but Sykkuno refused. Instead, he wrapped one arm (the one he could lift) around his broad shoulders while the other came to rest on his shaking hands. 

“I don’t blame you for this, I never could. Your father’s actions are not yours to take the fall for.” Sykkuno whispered into his ear, hoping his words would convince him. But things were never that easy and Corpse pulled back almost as soon as the hug happened. He was still meeting his gaze though, which was good, but this time his eyes were full of desperation. Like he was trying to get him to understand something but he just couldn’t figure out what. 

‘He hurt you to get to me’ His signing was sloppier than usual, making it hard for Sykkuno to understand but he was able to piece it together. And when the brunette repeated the same thing he said previously, Corpse let out a huff to show that he was exasperated.

‘How is this not my fault?’ The raven-haired junior was glaring at the bedsheets now. ‘If I had just done a better job of protecting you, you wouldn’t be here.” Sykkuno hated when Corpse said such things about himself, so, in the best way he knew how he decided it had to stop. His good arm came to rest a hand against his cheek, pulling the teen who was in much better shape to bend so they were level before Sykkuno closed the last few inches between their lips. It had done its job of successfully getting Corpse to stop signing such things, instead, those hands came to rest on his hips. His boyfriend didn’t pull away this time and Sykkuno allowed himself to be pushed back onto the bed.

It wasn’t until Corpse drew back did Sykkuno notice he was coaxed to lay down again completely. He shot him a look that could only be described as pouting which earned just the smallest of smiles from the junior but hey, it was better than nothing and the brunette was going to take that as a win. Sykkuno reached over to hold his boyfriend’s hand, they were still shaking after all, and he had to remind himself that Corpse struggles with bad anxiety. The past two days had probably hell for him but now that he’s awake, he would be there for him. 

“I’m okay, Corpse. They gave me some pain meds so I don’t hurt as much and I’ll be able to leave tomorrow.” He shot him the most reassuring smile he could, watching the tension slowly leave Corpse’s face. Sykkuno has learned to not cover his mouth around his boyfriend, mostly because the other would literally wrestle him to the floor and tickle him every time he tried. And maybe, just maybe, he was a little more confident in the way his smile looked. 

“So, my mom said you stayed with me the whole time.” Corpse blushed at that, a beautiful sight to behold. He remembered when they first started dating, he told Sykkuno he had been self-conscious of the light dusting of freckles on his cheeks and nose because of a previous relationship he was in. And personally, he couldn’t understand why because they were so gorgeous in every sense of the word. That was his little mission; make Corpse like his freckles because the way he blushed accentuated them beautifully. 

‘I wanted to make sure you were okay’ Sykkuno’s heart fluttered at the way Corpse rubbed the back of his neck. ‘But your friends were here too’ He signed quickly, acting like that changed anything. It didn’t, but Sykkuno was still appreciative they came to check upon him. When something like this happens, it really tests who your true friends are. Most would probably be put off by the fact some crazed guy after your boyfriend shot you, and while he trusted his friends more than anything, he was happy to know he had such an amazing group of people by his side.

“Our friends.” Sykkuno corrected, earning another small, embarrassed smile from his boyfriend. Sometimes, he would forget that the people they were friends with weren’t just being nice to him because they were Sykkuno’s best friends, but because they actually liked him. Corpse had explained it was a habit he picked up years ago. Another thing added to the list of how to make his boyfriend see he was worthy of people’s love. 

Just like the doctor promised, he was released from the hospital the next day. He had to wear a sling until his shoulder healed so as to not cause any further damage. They also prescribed Sykkuno some pain medication because tomorrow and the next day were most likely going to be bad. Corpse said he was going to be with him the entire time taking care of him, which Sykkuno said he could do that himself but who was he to say no. That day the brunette woke up, Corpse asked him to translate something for his parents. He agreed but was quite hesitant to say what his boyfriend wanted them to hear. It was him apologizing to his parents for causing this, forgetting their son shot for something that didn’t involve him, and for not telling him about his past because even though he didn’t think his dad would go that far, he was clearly wrong. But Sykkuno’s mom had waved the apology off, proclaiming that he did everything to protect her son which was more than she could ask for. And his dad eloquently said a 16-year-old was not to blame for the actions of his 40-year-old, deadbeat dad. 

Their friends were there when he was discharged, the entire group going to Sykkuno’s house to celebrate. The blood from his injury had since been cleaned and there wasn’t a single sign that there had been an altercation in that living room. But being there still made the bile rise in his throat and from the way Corpse was shaking and the fast rise and fall of his chest showed he wasn’t too any better either. He took his hand, squeezing it with a nervous smile. They would get through this together. Corpse was wearing his face mask again, explaining yesterday that his parents saw his face so he didn’t see a point in wearing it around them but their friends were still in the dark. They did, however, find out about their relationship which was to be expected. 

And even though they knew, Sykkuno noticed how Corpse seemed hesitant to touch him. Even if it was as innocent as holding hands or hugging. It took a lot for Sykkuno to accept that it wasn’t because Corpse didn’t want to, it was because he still believed he didn’t deserve the senior, especially after what happened with his father. So Sykkuno tried not to take it to heart, but he would be lying if he said it didn’t hurt just a little bit. 

As expected, his friends teased them relentlessly, especially Toast who was fake crying. He was spouting how proud he was like a dad, even giving Corpse a half-assed threat speech. ‘Hurt him, it’ll be 10x worse for you’ sort of thing and even though he hid it behind a shit-eating grin, Sykkuno could hear that there was some truth behind it. 

Their friends left at 8 that night, it was Monday tomorrow and they had to go back to school. Corpse lingered at the door, his hands practically glued to his side. He had to go home too but as Sykkuno went in for a hug, he took a step back and waved, before turning on his heel to walk down the street. 

The process of healing both physically and mentally was going to be rough, and Sykkuno had to remind him that Corpse needed to heal too. He can’t take his behavior personally. Now he just wished his tear ducts would understand that too.

Chapter Text

The following week was rough for Sykkuno. It was hard to adjust to not using his arm for most things, like getting cups out of cabinets or even getting dressed for the day. He could still use his hand but most motions that required his shoulder hurt too much. He felt so bad for making his parents and friends do just about everything for him. Especially Corpse, who came home with him every day after school to make sure he was cared for. He would make food for him if his parents had to work late, help him do simple chores, and before he got used to dressing one-handed, he would (much to Sykkuno’s embarrassment) help him change clothes. Appropriately, of course, because neither was ready for that. 

But despite him seeing Corpse every day, there was something off. His mind seemed to be lost in thought a lot more often than usual, whenever Sykkuno tried to talk to him, he would usually get simple responses like shrugs or nods. Whenever the brunette tried to hug or hold hands, it would either be met with resistance or avoided completely. It hurt the more it happened and Sykkuno just wanted to fix things. In his mind, he rationalized that he was still working over his own things about what occurred but a part of him was starting to believe there was something else going on that Corpse wasn’t telling him about. 

The worst part about this whole ordeal was the fact Corpse knew Sykkuno was hurting. He knew that each subtle rejection and the silence only made him blame himself, only made him cry to himself every time he left. What tipped Sykkuno off was the stares whenever Corpse thought he wasn’t looking, or just the very brief flashes of emotion that crossed his features every time Sykkuno tried to hug him. And yet despite knowing what his actions were doing to him, Corpse still did it. Sykkuno should be mad at him, he knows he should, but he can’t bring himself to be. 

They were sitting across from one another, Sykkuno munching on the grilled cheese that was made for him. Corpse hadn’t made himself one and instead opted to stare at the surface of the table. In fact, he’s been eating a lot less often after that night, only eating certain vegetables every now and then. He has expressed his concerns already but just like everything else, they were met with only a shrug. It was Friday now, his parents would be home in an hour and Corpse would leave for the day. He wasn’t sure if he’d end up seeing him this weekend and Sykkuno wanted to at least try to talk about it. 

“Uhm, Corpse?” The junior, who was wearing his face mask (another fact that worried Sykkuno) met his eyes. Unlike in the past, they were guarded and he couldn’t tell anything from them. But at least he got his attention. “Is everything okay? Y-You’ve been different since…” He trailed off, unsure of how to phrase what he wanted to say. But Corpse was able to get it and once again, his gaze returned to the table. 

‘I’m fine’ Well, at least he actually signed something for once. And if all the other evidence that has been piling up over the past week wasn’t enough to convince Sykkuno, the shake of his boyfriend’s hands would definitely do the trick. There was more than just his familial issues that were eating away at him and Sykkuno was determined to find out what. 

“No, you’re not.” He tried his best to control his voice but the hesitance still crept its way in. Corpse didn’t move and Sykkuno sighed, setting his plate to the side so he could pull himself to the seat next to him. He made a move to grab his hand that was resting on the table but Corpse immediately set it onto his lap out of reach. Sykkuno had to ignore the tightening of his chest. 

“Corpse, please. I-” His throat felt awfully tense and he had to blink away the tears already forming. But he couldn’t stop the quiver of his bottom lip or the way his voice sounded so shaky and uneven to his ears. “I can’t t-take his silent treatment a-anymore. What did I d-do to upset you? Please, I c-can’t do this.” Corpse looked up at that, his eyes unveiling the first emotions he’s seen in a while. Guilt, of course, it was guilt. He always seemed to blame himself for everything. Sykkuno watched through blurry eyes as he brought his hands back into view. 

‘It’s not you’ Corpse seemed like there was more he wanted to tell, his hands halted halfway through some words that Sykkuno couldn’t quite make out yet. ‘Please don’t cry’ Was what his boyfriend settled on instead and that made the tears come on full force. It all came crashing down from there. Sykkuno rubbed at his eyes, letting the water flow freely down his cheeks. He no longer cared about hiding it or the way he hiccuped through his words. 

“H-How could I n-not?” Out of his peripheral, he could see Corpse’s hand hovering over his shoulder. “Y-You’ve barely t-talked to me, y-you rejected,” He swallowed the lump in his throat, “rejected e-every h-hug. I-It hurts, Corpse. I-It h-hurts so m-much.” And just like that, the feeling of being enveloped in the arms of his boyfriend washed over him. It was such a comforting thing, something that always seemed to calm him. This was no exception and he found himself hugging back so he could sob into Corpse’s shoulder. Deft fingers worked on scratching the back of his head, the other hand rubbing circles up and down his spine. 

Sykkuno gripped onto his boyfriend’s hoodie like it was his lifeline, afraid that if he let go he would disappear. He was terrified that if he opened his eyes, he would wake up in the dark of his room, the alarm clock next to his bed glaring at him with bright red numbers that read some ungodly hour of the morning. He needed this to be a reality. He didn’t want to lose Corpse. But the hands that were coaxing him to be calm were on his shoulders, pushing him away every so slightly so he could meet the eyes of the man himself. He was barely able to interpret the apology the mute signed, his mind too focused on everything else. 

“P-Please Corpse, tell m-me what's wrong.” He was begging at this point but couldn’t bring himself to feel embarrassed by the fact. Sykkuno would do just about anything at this point, he was desperate to help his boyfriend feel better. But he didn’t know how to do that and wouldn’t know until Corpse just tells him. But the man in question looked conflicted, pained, and sad all at once, his eyes pinned on something above Sykkuno’s head before finally meeting him again. 

‘I want to but I’ Sykkuno let himself get hopeful, he knew it would end up with him getting hurt more, but he wanted to have faith that Corpse trusted him with everything. That Corpse trusted him with whatever he was hiding. ‘I can’t’ It seemed he was wrong. And it appeared that the raven-haired man didn’t trust him enough to even stay anymore. Because before Sykkuno knew it, he was out of his chair heading for the front door, only stopping to grab his backpack laying next to the couch. 

Sykkuno all but stumbled to the door, using his one good arm to hold onto his boyfriend’s hand. Corpse was stronger than him in every way and yet, he didn’t force himself out of his grip. It was a start, at least. The door was already open halfway and he choked around the sob clutching at his throat. 

“Don’t leave. Please.” He shut his eyes, a hand covering his mouth to muffle the noises he was making. Sykkuno hated the way he sounded when he cried and the last thing he needed was to give Corpse another reason to leave. He would endure the way his shoulder screamed in protest at the movement of it. The arm he was gripped pulled itself free and Sykkuno let his limb dangle, his legs finally giving out. His body dropped to the floor, the brunette bending over his knees so let himself cry freely. He knew relationships could be rough but he had no idea they could get this bad.  

Corpse’s knuckle gently lifted his head up, his body following suit with the help of his hand. He was still sitting except this time he was graced with the vision of his maskless boyfriend. His eyes were glossy and he cupped his cheek, placing a kiss on his forehead with the softest of lips. His eyes fluttered closed once more. 

“So...rry.” 

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Corpse felt like he was going to be sick. He had forgotten to put his facemask on, but it's not like it would have mattered because his hand was clamped tight around his mouth. Yeah, he was definitely going to be sick when he got home. 

“So...rry.” His own voice had sounded so unfamiliar to him. Despite him wanting it to come out clearly, it was more like a whisper. If he hadn’t caught the look of shock on Sykkuno’s face before he ran out of his house, he wouldn’t believe that the brunette heard it at all. It was deep, deeper than he remembered it being, and there was so much rasp to it. But more than anything else, it was painful. So incredibly painful to even form the word. 

Corpse was sitting in the hospital, his hands holding onto that of his sleeping Sykkuno. He looked so peaceful, despite the way his shoulder was wrapped and his arm secured to his chest. His cheeks were wet from tears, the junior positive that he’s cried all that he’s had left. It was because of him that Sykkuno was laying in that bed right now anyway. Had he just believed his own instinct that someone was watching him, he could’ve prevented all of this. But he was too stubborn. The brunette’s parents walked in, finally done dealing with all the legal proceedings for the moment. For the hundredth time that day, Corpse found himself signing an apology. Luckily, it was one of the few signs they knew. 

“Stop apologizing sweetheart, we don’t blame you for what happened to Sykkuno.” His mom found her way next to him, bending over so she could pull him into a hug. He wasn’t expecting it, but he wasn’t against it. He shed a few more tears, embracing her with just as much fervor. “You saved his life.” She whispered, pulling back to give him the warmest smile through her sobs. He wasn’t wearing his mask, they had seen it during the fight. 

“And you can’t blame yourself because that piece of shit was your dad.” Corpse caught the sneer on Mr. Shao’s face at the mention of his, in his words, POS dad. That didn’t make him feel better though but at least Sykkuno’s parents didn’t hate him. He looked past the man’s shoulder to see his adoptive mom walk in. She was wearing her nursing scrubs, another woman he didn’t recognize following in after her with a computer. 

“Good afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Shao. I’m here to check up on Thomas.” She smiled, Sykkuno’s father moving out of the way so she could get his vitals, relaying the information to the other woman who typed it down dutifully before leaving. Mykie’s mother made her way around the bed, putting her hands on Corpse’s shoulder and planting a kiss on the top of his head. He hadn’t talked to her since they left Sykkuno’s house. 

“I’m very sorry about what happened to Thomas, he is such a nice young man.” It occurred to Corpse that this was the first time they’ve met. He wished it was under better circumstances but he was thankful that his adoptive mom was assigned as Sykkuno’s nurse. There was no one he would have trusted more. 

“Thank you.” The nurse’s hand turned his head, signing to ask if he was okay or if he needed anyone. He shook his head, returning his attention to the sleeping brunette. “Corpse told us about his biological parents. You were very kind to remove him from that situation.” Corpse tuned them out after that, not wanting to be reminded of any of that right now. Instead, his mind drifted back to when Sykkuno got shot. His vision had turned red and if the brunette’s parents hadn’t walked in when they did, there was a good chance that Corpse would have done something incredibly stupid. The kind of stupid that would’ve ended with him going to jail. 

But that’s not what his mind was focused on at the moment. No, it was trained on the memory of the pain that pierced his throat. He wasn’t sure what caused it, but the more he thought about it, the more he was beginning to piece it together. In the back of his mind, he remembered hearing something underneath Sykkuno’s own voice. And now, he could recognize it as a scream. From him. He had screamed. His vocal cords had made a sound. And it hurt like a bitch. 

And so that’s how Corpse found himself in speech therapy. He had told his mom the day after and she took him to see his, in lack of better terms, throat doctor. He had asked several questions, such as if there were any other indicators or if he had changed his diet. In all honesty, Mykie started a new diet that she made Corpse participate in. He didn’t think that would have helped his voice. He didn’t think anything could. 

But he hadn’t been able to make a sound since that day. He spent an hour every day from 7 to 8 pm in speech therapy, doing many vocal warm-ups that either killed his throat or didn’t help. It was frustrating. While Corpse hated the way his voice sounded, there were so many things he wanted to say to Sykkuno. He wanted to tell Sykkuno how amazing he was, how much he appreciated him, and all the little things that he loved. His boyfriend was what drove him to actually work on getting his voice back. 

So why couldn’t he tell Sykkuno what was bothering him? 

It was easy. My voice is back , that’s all he had to sign. But every time he tried, his hands would start shaking and he no longer felt like he could breathe. He trusted Sykkuno more than anything, he knew that his boyfriend wouldn’t leave or hate him for how his voice sounds. He wouldn’t do that. Right? 

He thought that about Delilah too. Corpse believed she was genuine with him but it was all a facade. The longer they dated, the more he grew to despise everything about his voice. Every time he talked, she would sneer and insult him, throw whatever she was holding at him no matter how dangerous it was. And eventually, he accepted what she said. He accepted that his voice was disgusting in every sense of the word. Why would Sykkuno be any different? 

Corpse knew the answer to that. Sykkuno was the kindest person to ever exist, he was perfect in every way. He wasn’t the type to judge others based on what they sounded like and deep down, he knew that his being able to talk wouldn’t change their relationship. What he was doing was selfish and because of it, he made Sykkuno cry. And when he finally had the nerve to actually tell him, he managed to get out one word after a week of nothing. 

Corpse didn’t go to speech therapy that night. His parents were ready to leave by the time he got home but he chose to run past them and barricade himself in his room. They were knocking at his door, asking him to let them in; he just pulled his knees to his chest and cried. Why couldn’t his voice just work? Why did it have to hurt? Why did he have to fuck up everything good in his life? He left Sykkuno there crying. Alone. 

He stayed there, sitting on the floor for an hour before he heard another knock. A voice filtered in, one belonging to Mykie’s mom, asking if they could come in. Deciding he didn’t want to be alone anymore, he pulled himself off the ground and unlocked the door. He went back to his spot, grabbing the soft black blanket on his bed and wrapping himself up as he sat. The only thing visible was his face. The two adults entered the room, closing the door behind them and flicking the lights on. He winced at the sudden brightness but didn’t complain as they took a seat across from him on the floor. 

“Corpse? Is this about speech therapy? I know it’s frustrating but these things take time.” When he didn’t answer, it was Mykie’s dad that spoke next. 

“Is this about Sykkuno?” They knew they hit a spot when he flinched. Corpse knew he was going to have to come clean. They didn’t know he was in a relationship with Sykkuno. Hell, they didn’t even know he was gay. He was so scared to tell them, terrified that they would react in a way his biological parents would. He didn’t want to disappoint them. “Corpse, there was nothing you could’ve done.” 

Corpse let the blanket fall slightly to free his arms, pausing as he figured out what he wanted to say. He figured he should just go for it, rip off the bandaid and get it done. There was no way he could beat around the bush. ‘I’m gay and Sykkuno is my boyfriend’ He couldn’t look at them, Corpse didn’t need to see how much they hated him. Instead, though, he felt a pair of hands on his cheeks, making him look at them. They were smiling. 

“We know. And we love you no matter what.” She pulled him into a hug. “You don’t have to call us mom and dad but you are our son and we love you just as much as we love Mykie. Nothing will change that.” Corpse hugged them back like his life depended on it, letting himself cry on Mykie’s parents-no- his parent's shoulders. No more hiding, he was done. 

I promise Sykkuno, I won't keep secrets from you anymore.

Chapter Text

Sykkuno didn’t answer any of his texts or calls. Honestly, Corpse expected that and it was definitely deserved. He was, for a lack of better terms, an asshole for what he did to Sykkuno. In his mind, it was an absolute miracle that the senior hadn’t broken up with him yet. Still though, the silent treatment drove his anxiety up and it was not easy for him to deal with. 

And that’s how Corpse decided to show up at Sykkuno’s house, well past midnight on a school night no less. But he hasn’t been able to sleep the past week since they fought a little less than a week ago. Was this creepy? Probably. Would this end in them breaking up? Possibly. But Corpse needed to get everything off his chest because he wanted his boyfriend to know that he trusted him. He told him about his parents, he can tell him about his personal issues with his voice. 

Corpse was standing at the side of his house, staring at the window in front of him. He knew it was Sykkuno’s and the blackout curtains were closed so if the brunette was awake by chance, he wouldn’t see a man dressed in all black just staring inside his room. Yeah, definitely creepy. Adjusting his face mask, and thanking the universe that no one else was out for a late night walk, he let out any last hesitation with an exhale. A fist adorned with no silver rings, something he wasn’t quite used to, came up to light rap on the window in front of him. 

There was no immediate response, and the longer he stood out there the more he regretted it. It was fall dammit and he was the idiot that left the house without even a hoodie. He was just wearing his black pajama sweats and white v-neck t-shirt. He did remember to grab his face mask, the only important thing really. But just as he was about to bail, the currents pulled back to reveal a very terrified looking Sykkuno, his hair sticking up in all kinds of directions. Corpse was definitely regretting this now. Of course he was going to be scared, he was woken up by a knock on his window in the middle of the night. Anyone in their right mind would be scared. But when Sykkuno’s beautiful brown eyes landed on him, he became visibly relaxed, unlocking the window and sliding it open. 

“C-Corpse! You scared me!” He sighed, and Corpse felt his body shiver as yet another breeze of cold autumn air blew past him. In an instant, Sykkuno was pulling the raven-haired man towards the window, the junior having to hold onto the sill so he didn’t fall climbing into the room. He was all but pushed to sit on the floor, watching as Sykkuno pulled a blanket off his bed to wrap him up in it. Despite being clearly upset about their fight to the point of ignoring him, he was very worried about his well being still. “What were you thinking? It’s only 20 degrees outside, dummy!” He scolded and yet, it was still adorable. 

‘You deserve better than how I’ve treated you and I want to change that’ Sykkuno schooled his face. He sat down across from him and good arms length away, his eyes trained on Corpse’s hands. He was surprised that the other male was able to understand his signing word for word. He really has come a long way the past two months (though he still sucks at signing). 

“You really hurt me Corpse.” He wasn’t use to seeing Sykkuno so serious, and that’s how Corpse knew he really did fuck up. This talk may end up worse than he thought it would but he had to do this if he wanted to save their relationship. And it was the best thing in his life right now. Probably ever. 

‘You don’t have to forgive me and if…’ Corpse closed his eyes, not wanting to look at Sykkuno for this next part. ‘You want to break up with me, I understand. Just let me tell you everything first’ When Sykkuno didn’t say anything, he figured it was because he was waiting for him to start. So, he finally met his boyfriend’s gaze. 

‘When you got shot’ He definitely changed the motion for ‘shot’ to a more universal finger gun. ‘I screamed. The first time in over a year’ Sykkuno didn’t say anything so Corpse kept going. ‘Because of my throat, my voice was always deep so people would take advantage of that. My last relationship was abusive and she always insulted how I sounded so I developed self-confidence issues’ He had to stop a few times to translate certain motions at Sykkuno’s request. 

“So that’s why you didn’t tell me? You were worried I would abuse you?” Corpse caught the way the brunette’s voice quivered. He didn’t mean his explanation to come out that way because it most certainly wasn’t true. Frantically, he shook his head, bringing his hands together to start signing again. 

‘No! It had nothing to do with you, I know you would never do that. I didn’t tell you because of my own issues.’ Corpse wanted so desperately to hug Sykkuno but felt it would be inappropriate still. ‘I’ve been going to speech therapy and it hasn’t been working. When I said sorry to you, that was the only time my voice actually cooperated with me’ A few more words to translate but this was going better than he expected. 

‘I’m so sorry I hurt you and left you crying. I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I wanted to tell you everything. It just took me being a fucking idiot to get over myself’ Corpse brought his hand up to rest against his throat, opening up his throat say something, anything. But just like his nights spent in therapy, his vocal cords failed him. He mentally cursed at his luck. The only time he actually wanted to talk, he couldn’t even do that. Eventually, Corpse gave up after 5 minutes of trying, probably looking incredibly dumb with his mouth opening and closing over again. Silence fell over them like a blanket and the younger man was preparing himself for rejection. 

“For what it's worth,” Sykkuno finally spoke, his tone much lighter than before. Corpse finally met his eyes, being blessed with the image of that smile he’s grown to love so much. Those dainty hands found their way to his cheeks, fingers looping under the part of his facemask that hooked around his ears. Sykkuno didn’t do anything for a while and after Corpse didn’t pull away, he pulled the piece of fabric off. “I think your voice is amazing.” The brunette leaned forward, Corpse following suit, and their lips met halfway. It was just as electrifying as the times and as the saying goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder (yes, he was aware it was only a week and yes, he knows he’s being dramatic). He wanted to stay like that forever but Sykkuno had more to say so instead, he pulled back and held his hands. 

“O-Oh my gosh, that was, uhm, so f-forward. Y-You probably didn't want m-me to kiss you, uhm. I-I am so sorry C-Corpse I-” The junior let out a silent laugh, wrapping his arms around Sykkuno’s shoulders to pull him into the warmth of the blanket. HIs boyfriend’s giggle was muffled in the fabric of his shirt, the smaller man adjusting so he was sitting between Corpse's legs, Sykkuno’s back to his chest. Slowly, the younger man dragged them backwards so he could lean against the bed. Corpse’s arms were draped over Sykkuno’s shoulders, his hands held up so his lovely boyfriend could see them. 

‘You can do that to me anytime baby’ He teased, grinning at the way the tip of his ears turned red. Sykkuno grabbed the blanket, pulling it to cover his face. Corpse smiled, dropping a kiss in the bed of very messy brown hair. As they sat there, he could feel his boyfriend begin to doze off and since it was a school night (and he really wasn’t trying to get either of them in trouble), he managed to pick him up bridal style to deposit him oh-so-gently on the bed, bringing the blanket to cover him. Just as he was about to leave, Sykkuno took hold of his wrist, weakly tugging him back towards him. Corpse could easily just wiggle free but the way his boyfriend staring up at him half awake was too adorable for him to resist.

And that is how Corpse ended up in the brunette’s bed, running his fingers up and down his back. It was close to 2 am now, he knew that his parents were going to kill him but this would be the best possible reason. They hadn’t spent the night together yet and Corpse found himself admiring how soft Sykkuno’s face was when he slept. This only solidified his belief that he was dating the softest boi to ever exist and at this point, nothing could change his mind. 

Corpse sighed, wrapping his arms around the man’s waist to bring him closer and shutting his eyes because fuck it, he was going to take the chance to cuddle if only to make up for everything he did. If Sykkuno wanted cuddles, he was going to get them. Because Corpse would do absolutely anything for the person he loves. 

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Sykkuno was woken up by his very upset mother. At first, he thought something was wrong and when he went to sit up, a weight held him down. Then, he remembered everything that happened last night, to Corpse pouring his heart out and to him basically asking his boyfriend to spend the night (with his eyes). The gears began turning in his head and he just knew his mom’s mind immediately went somewhere dirty. He blushed, pulling himself free from Corpse’s grip, walking over to his mom so he wouldn’t wake his boyfriend up.

“M-Mom, I promise nothing happened-” She huffed, clicking the tongue against the room of her mouth before leaving his room. Sykkuno already knew that he was most definitely going to be in trouble later and was going to die of embarrassment. Because that’s what his mom does best. 

Groaning, he made his way back to the bed to wake up Corpse, trying to not to giggle at the way his hair stuck up in about every direction. He was not a morning person, that much he could tell, but when he told him that his mom caught them together, he leapt out of bed with an all too red face. Well, at least he wasn’t the only one. 

Sykkuno offered him one of the many hoodies he’s... borrowed and the pair went downstairs. His mom was cooking breakfast with one of those looks that read you-are-so-dead-mister but she was polite enough to at least not kill Corpse. He was already apologizing profusely, stopping afterway through his explanation of what happened when he remembered she didn’t know sign language. She just waved him off, telling him that it wasn’t a big deal (a very clear lie), and after signing sorry about 100 more times, he finally left for his house to get ready for the day. Sykkuno hoped he wouldn’t get caught.

Of course, when they met up in front of the school it was very clear that he had too had been sniffed out. Corpse didn’t really get in trouble but he did say that he probably wouldn’t hear the end of it for the next week or so. Better than him, because Sykkuno got ‘the talk’ from his mom and he wanted nothing more than to just crawl into a hole and die. And then, Rae noticed their change in behavior basically forcing them to spill what had happened. Sykkuno did, he couldn’t hide things from her, and she chewed out Corpse for being, and these were her words, a dumbass. 

Honestly, he was envious of their friendship. Corpse told him a while back that Rae was the first person from this school that he really opened up to. It didn’t make him jealous by any means, and he was so happy that Corpse found himself more people he could confide in. Looking at them now, he let a small smile across his lips. Corpse had just told her that his voice was coming back and that he was going to speech therapy, and Rae had proceeded to hug him and babble excitedly about how she would give him things to say to effectively flirt with Sykkuno. Corpse flipped her off at that and eventually, they had to say goodbye. 

However, as he was about to just head in the opposite directions as he had many times before, a hand pulled him back into the arms of his boyfriend. They were wrapped around his waist and one came up to carefully pull his face mask down, planting the softest of kisses on his lips. He didn’t have time to kiss back as she was soon left alone, Rae giving him the biggest thumbs up as they went to their class. His face rivaled that of a tomato and all he could do was cover it with his hands. He just knew that the entire school was going to know about this by the end of the day. 

But, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t happy with the fact Corpse was comfortable with PDA now. Because he was very pleased with the change. So pleased, in fact, that the smile on his face hadn’t left until he reached his Digital Arts class. And the only reason it did was because he came face to face with Sean and Felix who were wearing, what he could only describe as, the biggest poop-eating grins he had ever seen. 

“Heeeeey Kuno!” Sean greeted, slinging an arm around his shoulders when he was close enough. Sykkuno already knew what they were going to say and he wasn’t particularly worried about it either; these were two of the kindest people at their school. And one of them had already known about his little crush. 

“I have extra condoms if you need them.” Sykkuno choked on air as soon as those words left Felix’s mouth, the Swedish man laughed as he watched Sean try and help the brunette get over his coughing fit. Leave it to Felix to immediately make a dirty joke. He should’ve expected that. 

“W-What are you-” 

“Don’t try to deny it, Sykkuno. The whole school knows about that little kiss with Corpse.” Sean smiled, his voice holding no malice in it. “I’m just a little hurt you didn’t tell me.” He wiped away a non-existent tear and at that moment, he was thankful Corpse finally showed up so their teasing would be directed towards him now too. 

Lunch wasn’t any better. In fact, all the attention was on them the entire time. Corpse was clearly way more uncomfortable with it and Sykkuno tried his best to comfort while holding his hand under the table. He was thankful Rae seemed to catch on, changing the subject to how she knew about it and even helped Corpse pick his outfit for their date-that-wasn’t-a-date. With everyone now talking to Rae about, the focus was no longer on Corpse and he seemed to visibly relax hey that.

“He better be treating you right.” Sykkuno jumped at the sound of Toast whispering to him, his eyes trained on the junior with a subtle glare. He knew for a fact the other guy liked Corpse but he was always a bit protective of him, they had known each other for many years after all. 

“He is, I promise.” Sykkuno smiled and Toast seemed to accept that. Though he knew his friend was going to have a little chit-chat, as he would call it, with Corpse at some point. His heart warmed at the thought, because thinking back on it now, he didn’t need to be envious of Corpse and Rae’s friendship because he had Toast. 

Corpse and Sykkuno walked back to his house together, the senior’s shoulder ached and he didn’t think he’d be able to do his homework on the computer. He had about 2 more months in the sling but the doctor’s told him that his shoulder wouldn’t completely heal for another year, maybe even longer. As much as he hated that, he was thankful it wasn’t Corpse in his shoes. 

The raven-haired man unlocked the door for them when they got there, only to reveal his parents, who for some reason wasn’t at work, as well Corpse’s mom sitting together at the table with the most innocent looking smiles. He could see past that though, they were planning something, he just knew it. 

“Welcome home, sweetie.” Slowly, Sykkuno closed the door behind him, flicking his gaze between the three adults. Corpse seemed just as suspicious as him so that made him feel a little better. Mrs. Mycal stood up from the table to approach them, her eyes nothing but kind. From experience, she was an amazing nurse and always made sure he was comfortable when he was still in the hospital. 

“Nice to see you again, Sykkuno. How’s your shoulder?” She didn’t make any moves to touch him, though he’s sure the medical mind wanted to. 

“Good…” He was too focused on his mom to really register what she was saying, the woman waving them over to the table which the couple hesitantly sat down at. And finally, their true intentions were revealed. 

“Boys, we don’t mind you two spending nights together.” She spoke deliberately and Sykkuno desperately wanted to escape to his room to get out of whatever embarrassing things she was going to say. “But we want to make sure you’re being safe. STDs are very serious and-” 

“Mom, oh my god.” Sykkuno groaned, hiding his face in his arms. There were no words to describe how mortified he was right now. Not only did she decide to have this conversation with Corpse, but she invited his mother along for the ride. 

“Don’t give me that look young man. Both of your health are very important to me.” Corpse’s mom spoke, and Sykkuno was glad his boyfriend was just as upset as he was. Everything about this situation screamed embarrassment. 

“Sykkuno, sex is a lot of commitment and-” Sykkuno stood up at that, grabbing Corpse’s arm to pulling him upstairs to the room with him. 

“That’s enough of that, thank you, Mom.” The adults started laughing and he actually came so close to cussing. They were evil, he knew that much for sure. To avoid overhearing any of their conversations, he shut the door behind them and plopped face down onto the bed, letting out a scream into the pillow. The bed shifted to indicate that Corpse was seated on the edge, patting Sykkuno’s back until he felt good enough to look at his boyfriend. 

“I am so sorry.” Corpse smiled, one of the most glorious sights to ever behold, and he pulled Sykkuno into his lap, sliding back to lean against the wall. Since they’ve been dating, Corpse has gotten a lot more comfortable with physical contact and Sykkuno was honestly a sucker for it. When they first became friends, he didn’t think Corpse would be the type of guy that not only loved hugs, but most of the time initiated it. It was cute, everything about him was cute. 

They decided to play Mario Kart on the Switch, making a deal that whoever loses has to give the other a kiss. A lot was at stake, clearly, but Sykkuno knew he would always lose because he was awful at this game. And Corpse, on the other hand, was a pro. But there was one time where Sykkuno somehow managed to get 1st place (he’s pretty sure Corpse let him win) and he threw his hands up triumphantly. Carefully, as to not accidentally wack his boyfriend in the face from where he was sitting on his lap. 

“I won! You owe me a kiss!” Corpse shrugged, tossing the remote onto the bed behind them. Suddenly, he was flipped around so they were face to face, one hand on his waist while the other tangled into the hair on the back of his head. Their lips collided together and Sykkuno marveled at the feeling. He didn’t think Corpse could get like this and he was most certainly not complaining. By the time he pulled back, he had left the brunette a blushing mess, leaving a soft peck on the tip of his nose as if he hadn’t just sucked out the air in Sykkuno’s lungs with that kiss. 

“Corpse-” Sykkuno hid his face in the crook of his neck, gripping the front of his boyfriend’s hoodie for dear life. “You are going to be the death of me.” He whined, basking in the glory that was his boyfriend playing with his hair. Corpse’s chest vibrated, and Sykkuno was able to register that as a chuckle. A chuckle that actual produced sound, though weak. It was like music to his ears. 

“I-” Sykkuno swallowed, focusing the way his black hair curled on the back of his neck. He knew what he wanted to say, and he’s known about it for a while now. But recently, part of him was starting to believe that maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t completely alone in how he felt. And there was no better way than to tell that person. So, he shut his eyes tight, ignoring the way his heart pounded in his chest. 

Sykkuno, just say it. It’s not that hard. 

“I think I’m in love with you.”

Chapter Text

I think I’m in love with you.

Corpse stared at Sykkuno with wide eyes, his mouth hanging slightly open. He wasn’t expecting him to say that because, in his mind, he was going to be the one to say it first. His boyfriend tended to be too shy for stuff like that but he also initiated a lot of their cuddles and kisses today. Not that Corpse was complaining, he loved when Sykkuno was forward. Because usually, it would end with the brunette in a blubbering, blushing mess which was beyond adorable. 

But this just left him speechless if you excuse the fact he’s mute. He wasn’t upset by the revelation, he’s pretty sure he’s been in love with Sykkuno since he first saw him. Corpse didn’t think he felt the same, and staring at him now, with his hands on his hips. The senior was all but straddling him, his arms loosely around his neck but he couldn’t focus on that now. Those words kept bouncing around in his head. And eventually, Sykkuno began to get up with tears brimming in his eyes. He took too long to answer. 

Corpse grabbed his wrist to pull him back down, earning a surprised squeak from the shorter man. He grounded Sykkuno on his lap, looking up at him with determination. He was going to do this right because his boyfriend didn’t deserve any less. 

“I…” His throat was dry and tense, the words coming out strained. If the TV hadn’t turned off from lack of use, Sykkuno probably wouldn’t have heard it. Corpse forced himself to swallow and meet his eyes once again. The tears that were forming have since disappeared and all he saw was encouragement. 

“Lo-” His vocal cords cut out halfway through and he felt Sykkuno start massaging his scalp with one hand.

“I lo-” Corpse’s grip tightened on Sykkuno’s hips, shutting his eyes to keep the tears back. He told himself he was going to confess his feelings when he was able to actually voice them. He wanted Sykkuno to hear the words leave his mouth. He could put up with his voice not working during speech therapy and he would gladly deal with the pain of talking so soon, he would do anything right now to just say those three words. 

Corpse didn’t realize he was crying until he felt those soft hands on his cheeks, pulling his attention to those warm brown eyes. He was smiling, brushing the curls that had fallen in front of his eyes away. He learned that whenever he was sad or overwhelmed, Sykkuno would do small little things like that. Corpse absolutely loved it (of course, he loved everything about the adorable man in front of him). 

“Don’t hurt your throat for me, Corpse.” He peppered his face with little kisses until Corpse was smiling, which didn’t take long at all. The raven-haired man found himself pulling him into a hug so he could hide his face away in the crook of his neck. And maybe sneak a little peck on his collar bone that definitely made Sykkuno shiver.  He allowed himself to pull away, running a finger up and down his wonderful boyfriend’s spine. Corpse didn’t understand what he did to deserve such a wholesome human being. 

‘I just want to tell you with my voice’  He signed, huffing as he flicked his throat. It didn’t hurt of course but it was his way of letting his vocal cords know he was upset with them. Sykkuno giggled, pulling a blanket off of his bed to wrap them up in. They had about 30 minutes before Corpse would have to leave for his therapy appointment and he was more than okay with them spending the rest of it cuddling. 

“You can always just sign it to me.” Sykkuno offered but Corpse absolutely refused to do that. He made it his goal to say it out loud and that’s what he’s gonna do. He shook his head vigorously making Sykkuno smile. 

‘The first time I say it to you, I want you to be able to hear it’ He was a little worried Sykkuno would be upset with the prospect of him holding out on saying it back but the way the brunette smiled, so wide and sincere, washed his anxiety away. Who knew all he needed was a cute senior to cute his anxiety issues. 

“And I’ll l-love you just as much.” The blush that crossed his cheeks made him swoon. The best part about dating Sykkuno was he learned how to do that on a whim. Did he use that to his advantage? Absolutely. Every chance he got. They spent the rest of the time cuddling just like that, Sykkuno situated comfortably on Corpse’s lap while the younger man would occasionally leave a kiss on his neck or get lost in the way his hair felt against his face. 

But all good things must come to an end and soon, his mom came knocking at the door to announce they had to leave. Corpse frowned, engulfing Sykkuno in a hug like he was never going to see him again. The brunette laughed, squeezing him back with just as much gusto. Corpse whined (his version of whining is making a pouty face) when Sykkuno removed himself from where he was sitting, giggling at him. 

Speech therapy was difficult, to say the least. It wasn’t what Corpse expected and it was an unbearably slow process. But at the same time, it was that way to ensure he didn’t hurt his vocal cords. They were very fragile at the moment so the hour was usually spent doing a few vocal exercises to strengthen his cords. They didn't do too many, for obvious reasons, but his therapist said as more time passed, they would do more difficult exercises until he was able to talk without his voice cutting out on him. 

And as always, his throat was in so much pain by the time it was over. For over a year, he hadn’t been using his vocal cords what-so-ever. There had never been a point where he wondered if his voice came back so he never just tried. In the back of his mind, he wondered if he would care about talking if he wasn’t dating Sykkuno. Probably not.

He had to eat soft foods for dinner, so his mom made him mashed potatoes. He didn’t eat too much because he didn’t want to deal with his acid reflux too much tonight. It always made it harder for him to sleep that way. But the texts he got from Sykkuno helped lull him to a peaceful rest. 

The week of their finals was stressful, to say the least, and Corpse definitely had several panic attacks. Sykkuno was just as nervous as him so when that week ended to indicate the start of winter break. Right now, Corpse found himself with their groups of friends at Leslie’s house. It was Toast, Leslie, Lily, Michael, Rae, Poki, Scarra, Sykkuno, Sean, and Felix as they were all taking turns playing Super Smash Bros. The rules were the last five people had to switch with the five that weren’t playing. Of course, Sykkuno lost every single time (it was a recurring theme) and Corpse did better than he thought. Admittedly, it helped that Sykkuno was sitting between his legs, leaning against his chest and Corpse wanted to show off for his boyfriend. 

After about an hour, Corpse signed to ask Leslie where the bathroom was. Sykkuno couldn’t see it so he was hoping Jack would be able to translate for him but instead, Leslie smiled and told him it was down the hall to the right. Corpse didn’t move, only staring at her with wide eyes. He didn’t know Leslie knew sign language. In fact, he distinctly remembered her not being able to understand it. 

‘How?’ The game had since paused, everyone’s attention was on Corpse. Usually, that would make him nervous but he trusted this group of people more than anything. Toast was the one to answer this time. 

‘Sean has been teaching us.’ Despite the fact Toast was a maniacal genius, he was a nice guy. 

‘We want to be able to talk to you.’ Lily signed with a smile. Her’s was sloppier than Leslie and Toast’s but he still appreciated the sentiment nonetheless. If he was tearing up a little bit, no one

‘Thank you, guys.’ Sykkuno was rubbing the back of his hand comfortingly, a small smile on his lips. Corpse had a sinking suspicion that his boyfriend was the mastermind behind all this. He decided to tell his friends he was getting his voice back and they were happy for him, but they didn’t pressure him into trying to say anything, which he appreciated. 

The rest of the night was spent planning things they were going to do over break. They wanted a white elephant which he was looking forward to. Never would he have thought that he would have such an amazing group of friends that wanted to include him in everything. It was an unfamiliar feeling but it was welcoming. 

Corpse was able to convince his parents to let him spend the night, they were in a huge group after all. The girls were going to sleep in Leslie’s room while the boys slept in the living room downstairs. They had gone to sleep some time ago so right now, it was just Toast, Sean, Felix, Scarra, Michael, Sykkuno, and Corpse talking in the living room now. Sean, Felix, and Michael were arguing about something he didn’t care much about while Toast and Scarra talked about what they were going to do when they graduate. Corpse and Sykkuno were on the couch, the younger man laying his head on the brunette’s lap as he played with the curls of his hair. They weren’t talking about anything and if he were being honest, the soft motions were enough to make him fall asleep. 

Maybe his life was really changing for the better. 

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Somehow, Sykkuno had managed to convince Corpse to bake cupcakes with him. They talked about cooking together once before but the raven-haired man insisted he was terrible at it. Sykkuno, on the other hand, loved to bake and he wanted to share that skill with his boyfriend. He was more than okay teaching him though. 

It was a Wednesday, but it’s not like they had school anyhow. Sykkuno had all the supplies set out in front of him and a pink apron tied around his waist. Corpse refused to wear an apron but he did ditch the black hoodie for a white v-neck instead. He decided to put on black ripped skinny jeans which was definitely an A+ look in his opinion. He didn’t think he would be into the goth look but Corpse pulled it off immaculately. 

‘I’m not good at baking.’ His boyfriend signed with a frown and Sykkuno giggled, pulling out several measuring cups before instructing Corpse what to do. The other man was able to follow them well and soon enough, they had perfect cupcake batter to pour into the muffin molds for baking. Sykkuno did that part because quite frankly, Corpse already made a huge mess and he wanted to make a full batch of cupcakes. 

Once they were poured, Sykkuno used the oven mitts laying on the counter to slide the baking pan where it needed to be. It needed to cook for about 15 minutes so he figured they could clean while they were in the oven. But when he turned around, he was met with flour being flung at him, landing on his apron. Corpse was smiling, his hands covered in the white powder. Sykkuno giggled, making his way over to where Corpse stood by the island. He grabbed as much flour as he could and proceeded to dump it over his black curls. 

Sykkuno bursts out laughing, the top of his boyfriend’s head was coated with flour. Corpse grabbed him by the shoulders and shook out the powder so some of it would fall onto the brunette. He giggled once more, wrapping his arms around Corpse’s torso.

“It’s snowing!” Sykkuno cooed, earning an exhalation of air that resembled him laughing. Sykkuno rested his chin on Corpse’s chest, reaching up so he could pat the powder out of his perfect curls. The junior planted a kiss on his lips, far too short for Sykkuno’s understanding, before pulling away to start cleaning the kitchen. He pouted but followed suit. 

They somehow managed to get all the flour cleaned up after having another food fight and when the timer went off, he pulled the cupcakes out of the oven to set them on the freshly sanitized island. Corpse had since pulled out the vanilla frosting and Sykkuno got to work on transferring it from the container to the piping bag. He was just about to wipe off the icing when Corpse took hold of his wrist, bringing his hand up to his mouth to lick all of it from his fingers. He knew what he was doing, he knew that he was just trying to make his flustered. 

And it most definitely worked. 

“C-Corpse! Y-You can’t just-” He squeaked, covering his incredibly red face. All his boyfriend did was pluck the piping bag out of his other hand to start decorating the cupcakes. Shakily, Sykkuno filled the other bag before doing the same but the blush never left his cheeks. His mind lingered on the feeling of Corpse’s tongue. This man was really going to be the death of him. 

The cupcakes came out a little worse than he expected but in their defense, this was Corpse’s first time doing this and Sykkuno’s hands hadn’t stopped shaking since the...previous event. But, they did turn out delicious. Corpse gave him many compliments, Sykkuno told him it was a team effort, and they were back to cuddling on the couch. The raven-haired man has since gotten a lot more comfortable with physical contact. At first, it was simple hand-holding and hugs but he was a little reserved with it. Now, his favorite thing to do was to catch Sykkuno off guard to make him a blubbering mess. 

But he wasn’t the only one that could play that game. Corpse may not get as embarrassed as he does, but he’s learned how to make him smile or blush. It wasn’t easy though because his boyfriend was one of the calmest people he’s ever met. There were very few things anyone could do that would make Corpse lose his cool. He had seen it once when the news about them dating first spread. Jake, of course, took it upon himself to terrorize Sykkuno about it. Since his first interaction with Corpse, he tended to avoid him so that meant the brunette got the brunt of it. However, the junior found out about it and it was the first time he’d seen him so mad. He assumed he was like that too when he got shot but he was unconscious for that. 

It took everything in Sykkuno’s power to convince Corpse not to beat up Jake. He really didn’t want him to get suspended for beating the crap out of that bully. Even if he did deserve it. 

One of Corpse’s favorite things was when Sykkuno would be sitting on his lap like they do many times, and he would take the opportunity to drop a kiss on his neck. Each time, his ears would be graced with a sharp intake of air, his hands always intensifying in its grip. While neck kisses didn’t have the biggest effect on Sykkuno, it most certainly did on Corpse and he used that to his advantage. If he could get around his embarrassment anyway. 

“Hey Corpse?” He spoke up after a while, focusing on how the little braids he put in Corpse’s hair. His head tilted ever so slightly to show he heard him. Sykkuno’s fingers halted in his hair, instead, he observed the waves in his hair. 

“When I leave for college, what’s going to...happen to us?” Corpse turned around in his spot to face Sykkuno, cupping his cheek. His thumb stroked the skin along his cheekbone as he met his gaze. 

‘I will always be by your side.’ Corpse signed before pressing their lips together. It was a gentle kiss that reaffirmed the words he just said. Sykkuno smiled into it, wrapping his arms around his shoulders. 

‘You’re stuck with me.’ Corpse added after their little make-out session. Sykkuno giggled, slapping his arm gently because he couldn’t actually hurt him. 

“I’m glad to be.” They spent the rest of that night cuddling and kissing, imagining the future they would have together. Sykkuno had no doubts anymore; he and Corpse were in this for the long run.

Chapter Text

To say Sykkuno was nervous was an understatement. No, his mood at the moment was holy-crap-is-this-really-happening-I-feel-like-I’m-about-to-puke with just a hint of excitement. This day had approached faster than he expected and he desperately wished he could turn back the clock. He was sure if he was ready for what comes after and with everyone else chatting excitedly around him, he felt he was entirely unprepared. 

Yup, today was graduation day. 

They were lined up alphabetically backstage of the stadium the big day was being held at. That means Sykkuno wasn’t by his friends, the people he desperately needed to see at the moment. It took all of his strength not to have a panic attack this morning but now it was impossibly hard to prevent it. He remembered it clearly; his mom woke him up at 7 to get ready. Early that month, they had gone shopping for his graduation outfit and decided upon a lime green long-sleeved button-up tucked into a nice pair of black trousers. A black belt and black dress shoes put it all together. He, of course, wore the forest green robe zipped up completely over his outfit. 

Corpse had been there, of course, getting dressed up himself for the occasion. Sykkuno thought he looked absolutely dashing. He was wearing actual dress pants that definitely didn’t hug his rear with a button-up similar to Sykkuno’s except black tucked into the waistband. His curly locks were pulled back into a man bun, the first time he’s ever seen Corpse’s hair in that style. He liked it very much. Very, very much. 

And the best part? Corpse wasn’t wearing his facemask. He has long since ditched the piece of fabric about two months ago around their friends, however, today would be the first time he didn’t wear it in public. Sykkuno hadn’t asked it from him and he assured Corpse that he didn’t have to for his sake. But the mute man insisted, signing that he wanted to. Though he didn’t explain why that was and the brunette couldn’t find it in himself to push the topic further. 

Since their first date months ago, Corpse has taken to wearing more eyeliner. Mykie and Rae practically jumped at the opportunity to teach him how to put it on and they learned he was a natural. To this day, the look of it still made Sykkuno’s knees weak. But now, he was able to appreciate the make-up with the addition of a maskless face. Most times, he wonders how he was able to snatch up such a perfect human being before anyone else. 

The moment he spiraled into a panic attack, Corpse was there with his soft eyes and warm hands to lull him into a calm state. Sykkuno focused on the way his boyfriend’s arms held him right, the sound of his heartbeat against his ear bringing him back to reality. This wasn’t a big deal; he could graduate and he will be successful in life. He had Corpse by his side after all. 

Corpse signed to him that he would be okay, and he believed him. Now, he was clinging onto the memory of what those hand motions looked like, the quivering in his body slowly dissipating. If only Corpse could see him right now, but he knew he’d be watching him from the crowd. As juniors, his boyfriend, Rae, Michael, and Mykie wouldn’t be graduating. The four of them would be waiting for the rest of their group, screaming at them as they walked the stage and hugging them once they found each other outside. He would miss them but since he wasn’t going to a college very far from here, he’d see them often. 

“Sykkuno?” The brunette in question opened his eyes at the sound of a female voice, meeting the friendly face of his grade’s counselor. Mrs. Rynearson was holding a bowl full of plastic gold coins, placing it on his outstretched palm as she smiled once more. She was about 6 months pregnant, her maxi dress unable to hide the bump. “It has been a pleasure to be your counselor. You have a very intelligent mind and I know you’ll do well after today. Good luck.” 

Sykkuno accepted the hug she gave and watched as she moved onto the person after him, telling them something that was unique to them. She was honestly the best staff member at the school; she took the time to get to know the students assigned to her and she actually cared about their wellbeing. Whenever he was unsure about what he wanted to do, she was there to help him figure out what kind of person he wanted to be. 

It wasn’t long before he heard the music fill the stadium, the students around him quieting down as the teachers began to direct the students. He took a deep breath, grabbing the sides of his robe as the line began to move. The lights of the well-lit area momentarily blinded him, barely able to follow the person in front of him to their row of chairs. He was relieved that he got there without tripping over himself (the real challenge would be walking up to get his diploma) and managed to sit down successfully, flicking his green and gold tassel away from his face. A few rows ahead of him, Poki turned around in her seat and waved to him, her gold robe making her look gorgeous. Her hair was pulled back into a french braid and her make-up was done naturally to compliment her already flattering features. He waved back with a shy smile. 

The principal began her speech but Sykkuno couldn’t pay much attention. His eyes were scanning the crowd of people in the stands around them, hoping for a glimpse of Corpse. He didn’t have any luck, which was expected, and soon enough the Soluduatorian took the state to give her speech. He didn’t know who she was really, only recognizing her as the quiet girl in the back of the classroom. Her speech was a little awkward but he had to give her props because he would be dying if that were him. 

And then, Toast took the stage. He was the Valedictorian of their year with a GPA of 4.45. To this day, Sykkuno still doesn’t understand how he was able to get his grades that high and no matter how many times Toast explains it to him, he still wouldn’t understand. Sykkuno was there when his best friend wrote his speech, they all helped on it as a group, and it came out a good mixture between comedy and sentimental. When he was done, Sykkuno made sure to cheer as loud as he could with the rest of his friends, Toast sticking up a peace sign as he took his seat once more. 

Then, the names began getting called. Starting with Toast, the Salutatorian, and then going down the list of the top 10% of their class. After that, it was alphabetical order. Like they practiced at the school, once the teacher at the end of your row rises, the students sitting there would as well, following the teacher up to the stairs where they would wait for their name. Sykkuno was a ball of nerves at this point, fiddling with the plastic coin in his fingers. 

“Natalie Sade.” 

Deep breath in. 

“Hector Serenor.” 

Deep breath out. 

“Austyn Shade.”

Deep breath in. 

“Sykkuno Shao.” 

His mind hyper-focused on the stairs, making sure his usual clumsiness wouldn’t embarrass himself in front of thousands of people. The sound of his friends screaming his name barely registering in the back of his mind. Thankfully, he successfully made it up the stairs and looked up from the floor to meet the eyes of the four counselors, vice-principal, and principal. He shook the hands of the counselors first, offering the shyest smile he had. As the vice principal was the one reading off the names, he only gave him a friendly nod before finally meeting the principal. 

“Congratulations, Sykkuno. It’s been a pleasure to have you at school.” She pulled him into a hug, accepting the small coin afterwards as he gave her attention to the next student. He exhaled, descending the stairs with ease and finding his place in his row once more. Poki gave him a thumbs up from the row and he giggled, the weight once crushing his chest gone. 

Soon enough, all of them received their diplomas and the principal began giving her closing speech, giving them luck for the things they will do in life from now on. The venue fell silent, anticipation clawing at everyone as she asked all the graduating students to rise. With one last congratulation, a cheer erupted from everyone as hats flew about. Sykkuno felt a laugh leave his throat and for the first time in a long time, he didn’t feel embarrassed about it. 

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Words could not express how proud he was of Sykkuno. The month leading up to graduation, he had never seen his boyfriend so scared and Corpse could do almost nothing to help him feel better. And he understood because this was the start of his adult life. It was a lot to take in and Corpse knew that he wouldn’t be any better a year from now. 

Seeing the brunette after the ceremony, the biggest smile on his face that he didn’t even cover, it made his heart flutter. The second he reached their group, Corpse scooped him up in a hug and spun him around; the laugh that left him gave him new life. His feet touched the ground again and they were pulled into a group hug by Rae, Michael, Mykie, and his parents. And soon enough, there was Poki, Toast, Sean, Felix, Scarra, Lily, and Leslie were there to rejoice through a lot of tears that even Corpse couldn’t keep back. 

A party between just them was thrown at Sykkuno’s house. With permission from all their parents, they were allowed to drink alcohol under the condition that they couldn’t leave the house until the next day (car keys were given to Mr. Shao upon arrival). It was the most fun Corpse has ever had, watching Sean and Felix get into a heated beer pong battle that Felix definitely lost. Toast, Lily, Michael, and Rae all played Beerio Kart and Corpse had to say that the losers were equal amongst the four. Toast turns into a disaster player when he’s drunk. 

Sykkuno, Poki, Mykie, Leslie, and himself decided to get drunk over a game of Uno. Corpse would be lying if he said he wasn’t targeting Sykkuno because he was just the absolute cutest when he wasn’t sober. The brunette was a very touchy drunk but only with him. Every time he turned to face him, he would be attacked with hugs or kisses; Sykkuno would drag him to the couch downstairs to just lay there and cuddle. Of course, Corpse made sure to cut off his alcohol supply at some point (the pouting was hard to resist but he didn’t want Sykkuno to puke), and somewhere around 4 in the morning, his boyfriend had passed out on the floor. 

He chuckled, holy shit it actually made a noise , and picked up Sykkuno bridal style. Corpse had made sure to have the least amount of alcohol compared to the rest of his friends. He’s been drunk before and he knows how much it sucks when no one is able enough to take care of the other. So, he took that role upon himself. His feet were steady as he ascended the stairs to Sykkuno’s room, placing him in the bed ever so carefully. He mumbled, and Corpse smiled, pulling the covers up to his shoulders and making sure the box fan was set on the highest speed. 

Corpse grabbed the pile of pillows and blankets set by the stairs and stopped at each of his sleeping friends. He would gently lift their heads, sliding the pillows under them and covering their bodies with the blankets. There was just enough for everyone and when he felt that they would be good enough, he retrieved the bottle of Advil from the bathroom nearby and set it on the counter. In case they woke up before him, he wanted them to have the option of taking a pill or two with the hangover cause lord knows they’ll need it. 

He was relieved to finally be able to sleep next to Sykkuno, his shirt and pants coming off to just leave him in his boxers. The funny thing about alcohol: it’s consumption makes you feel incredibly hot and not in the good way. He sighed, pulling the covers to just his waist. Corpse was laying on his stomach, his head resting on his arms folded together. He wasn’t quite tired yet, slowly coming down from the tipsiness he felt earlier. The angel sleeping next to him seemed to wince at something in his dream so Corpse only did what was right; he reached over to run his fingers through his hair and down his back. He wanted to wish sweet nothings to him but whispering was something he could not do yet. The last thing he wanted was to wake him up. 

But Sykkuno didn’t rouse any further, a content smile crossing his lips. Corpse grinned, pulling himself closer to the brunette in case he got any more nightmares. He recognized the fact that watching Sykkuno sleep was probably considered extremely creepy, and maybe it was the alcohol speaking, but he was entranced by how soft his boyfriend looked. How carefree he was when he slept. A hand came up to push the fluffy locks of hair out of his way, pressing a small kiss to his forehead.

“Mmmm...Corpse.” Sykkuno groaned, wrapping his arms around his bare torso. This wasn’t the first time he’s seen him shirtless and this most definitely won’t be the last. In the dark, Corpse could make out those doe brown eyes peering up at him, those beautiful lips smiling ever so slightly. 

“Thank you for taking care of me.” His voice slurred, from being drunk or tired, he didn’t know. There was no point signing back, he wouldn’t be able to see it anyway, so Corpse opted to run his hand up and down the curve of his spine. Sykkuno hummed, and the white noise of the fan fell over them like a comfortable blanket. Corpse’s eyes slid closed, finally feeling as if he could fall asleep. But Sykkuno seemed to have other plans. Because all of his focus was locked onto the feeling of his boyfriend’s lips leaving kisses all over his chest. 

He sucked in a breath, his hold on Sykkuno only tightening. Corpse liked drunk Sykkuno. He liked him a lot. Slowly, his hand slid up his back, coming to rest in those gorgeous locks. Corpse knew the game Sykkuno was playing and he was more than willing to fight back. 

Corpse tugged at his hair, a dirty mewl left Sykkuno’s lips at the action. Corpse growled, he honest to god growled, and latched onto the soft, porcelain skin of his boyfriend’s neck. Any alcohol in his system was gone, the blood rushing elsewhere as he sucked, bit, and licked the skin he had access to. The noises Sykkuno was making were not helping his case what-so-ever. 

But he knew that he couldn’t take advantage of him when he was drunk. So, he detangled his fingers from Sykkuno’s hair, the man whining at the sudden lack of contact. Instead, Corpse gently rested his hands on his hips. He wished he could tell him why, but his voice was failing him due to the earlier consumption of alcohol and it was too dark for him to sign anything Sykkuno would be able to see. However, like many times in the past, Sykkuno seemed to understand what was causing his hesitation. 

“Corpse,” He said softly, his fingers coming up to play with his hair. “I promise I’m not doing this because I’m drunk. I...I want this. I’ve wanted this for the longest time.” Corpse pressed their foreheads together, exhaling in a fashion that he hoped conveyed how unsure he was. He feared that when Sykkuno woke up, he would regret all of it. 

“I promise.” He whispered, emphasizing the state with a passionate kiss. The raven-haired man got the message; he could feel the desire through every moment their lips connected. He was Sykkuno moaned into his mouth when he tugged at his bottom lip with his teeth drove Corpse over the edge, pressing Sykkuno back into the bed as he trapped the older male beneath him. Never once did their lips disconnect and for once, Corpse allowed himself to let loose. 

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Bonus POV Switch: 

Sykkuno’s head was spinning, the world around him unstable the second he opened his eyes. It took several minutes to get used to the bright light filtering in through the window, the sound of the box fan whirring next to him, and it took him even longer to process the figure standing next to his side of the bed. He could make out the familiar outline of Corpse’s curly hair. 

When his surroundings came into focus, his boyfriend helped him sit up and handed him two white pills. He picked up a bottle from the nightstand, the label reading ‘Advil’ and Sykkuno smiled at the notion. Corpse really was just a big, edgy, teddy bear. 

“Thank you.” He coughed, accepting the glass of water as well. Corpse left shortly after, and only then did he register the delicious smell hanging in the air. His stomach growled and he quickly downed the medicine, getting himself out of bed and totally not almost falling to change clothes. After finding a pair of gray sweat pants and a white v-neck shirt, he entered the adjoining bathroom. His hair was a mess, of course, and as he was in the process of squeezing the toothpaste to brush his teeth, he noticed the purple peeking out of the side of his collar. And the memories of last night came rushing back to him. 

Sykkuno didn’t regret it, not one bit. And at least Corpse marked him in an area he could easily cover. Though, the entire time he was doing his morning routine in the bathroom, his eyes were glued on the mark. 

By the time Sykkuno joined everyone downstairs (wearing one of Corpse’s black hoodies), they were already happily chowing down on pancakes. His boyfriend was at the stove, finishing up the last batch of breakfast while a plate sat next to his mom for him.

“Good morning Sykkuno!” She chirped a little too loudly for him but he reluctantly sat next to her with a groan. His head hurt so much. Perhaps he shouldn’t have had that much alcohol considering it was his first time. But at least his friends were suffering just as much as he was. “Corpse was up and making everyone breakfast before I even left the bed.” She giggled, getting up from the table to make sure he didn’t need any help. 

He got lost in the taste of these heavenly pancakes, cementing in his mind that Corpse was absolutely perfect in every single way. He cooked for him a few times but most of the time he was too anxious that he’d mess it up, so Sykkuno never pushed it. But now, he would have to try harder to drop the subject a lot more. 

Sykkuno was happy to hear that no one ended up puking last night. He would’ve felt terrible if his parents had to clean that up plus he couldn’t imagine how embarrassing that would be. Throughout the day, they slowly dispersed as their hangovers either improved or their parents picked him up. They made the promise of hanging out a ton over summer before college and when Toast left at around 3 pm, it was just Corpse and Sykkuno in the house. His parents had since gone grocery shopping meaning they’d be gone for at least three hours. He’s never met two people who enjoyed grocery shopping more than them. 

“Finally. I love our friends but with a hangover...they can be a little much.” Sykkuno sighed, slumping down on the couch. He pressed the palms of his hands into his eyes until he saw white, the feather-light touch of Corpse’s fingers brushing against his elbow captured his attention as it always does. 

Water and a cold towel were offered to him, which he took graciously, and the second Corpse was settled on the couch, Sykkuno rested his head upon his wonderfully comfortable thighs. The towel came to sit on his forehead and he would occasionally sit up to drink water but other than, he was completely content just laying here, running his finger along the thin scar on Corpse’s palm from when he cut it. 

“I love you so much, Corpse.” Sykkuno smiled up at him, those dark brown orbs stealing all of his attention. Everything about him was mesmerizing and Sykkuno had no idea how to control himself around the man. “I don’t know how I would’ve survived senior year without you.” The corner of Corpse’s lips curved upwards, those amazing sexy hands caressing his cheek ever so softly. 

“I love you too, Sykkuno.” And while those words sounded so incredibly strained, he heard them loud and clear, the deep rumble in Corpse’s chest bringing him so much comfort. Yeah, high school was rough, but when you have a cute, selectively mute boyfriend, it makes you feel like you can conquer just about anything.