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The Next Day

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Demetri’s eyes opened slowly. The sun was shining through his blinds, creating a bright streak of light that caused him his eyes to squint. He needed to start closing that blind before he went to sleep.

Demetri tried to rub his eyes awake but he found he couldn't move his left arm. A heavy weight prevented it. In fact, he couldn’t move his entire body given that Eli was currently clinging to it like a monkey.

He didn't know when in the night their positions shifted this drastically. Demetri had fallen asleep laying across from Eli, he remembers his face being the last thing he saw before his exhaustion from the previous day had finally overtaken him. But now here they were.

The memories from yesterday slowly came back to Demetri. He groaned quietly as he realized it wasn’t all a bad dream. Then again, not everything that happened yesterday was all bad.

Running.

Fighting.

Blood.

A kiss.

Demetri was still hung up about that last bit. He stayed still as Eli softly snored into his neck. Demetri held back the urge to wake him up and talk about it; Eli looked cute when he slept.

Eli’s leg was hiked up and laying across Demetri's hips. His other was stretched out. Eli’s right arm was under him but his left was wrapped across Demeteri’s chest and looped its way around him. Eli’s chest was pressed closely against Demetri's. He was wrapped around him like a monkey.

Demetri’s arm was under Eli’s neck, his arm looped around him resting on his left shoulder. His face was close, close enough that Demetri could feel his soft breath as he breathed out.

Eli’s eye was an ugly black and blue color, but the swelling had gone down a good amount. The cut on his cheek was still prominent and cuts surrounding his face were scabbing. Despite all of that, the peacefulness on his face as Eli slept made him look beautiful.

Demetri didn’t want to wake him up. He looked at peace, and after yesterday he definitely deserves the rest. Despite learning to fight and despite learning to defend themselves, the same bullies seemed to follow him wherever he went. People like Kyler would always torture people like Eli. Demetri didn’t want to wake him and only for him to realize yesterday did happen, and they’d have to face the consequences from it all. Demetri didn’t want to ruin his peace.

So he didn’t. At least not immediately. Demetri’s neck was hurting as he contorted it to look at Eli, so instead, he looked at his ceiling, the slight breath from Eli causing him to get goosebumps along his arms. Absentmindedly, Demetri stroked his right hand up and down Eli’s arm. He didn’t wake up. Part of Demetri hopes he wouldn’t only so he could stay like this. It was nice.

He did wake up eventually. Demetri didn’t know how long he stayed like that awake, but it wasn’t long enough. Eli woke a little panicky. He always woke up that way, he never just slowly woke up. It was always quick and sluggish.

When Eli woke up his eyes met Demetri’s. Both seemed to realize the position they were in. Both immediately blushed but made no effort to move.

“Hey,” Demetri said. Idiot, he thought.

But Eli grinned. “Hey,” he replied sluggishly. His eyes were squinting from the sun. His right eye seemed to be more closed from the bruising.

“What time is it,” he mumbled, eyes barely open. He wondered if he was aware of what he was doing, but it became clear he was when his arm around Demetri’s waist tightened and he closed his eyes again.

“Um,” Demetri said as he craned his neck to look at his clock. “9:32.”

“Ugh,” Eli groaned. He buried his head deeper in Demetri's arm. “Your mom here?” he mumbled.

“No, she works Sunday mornings at the vet clinic.” Demetri paused, hesitant to ask the next question. “So...you wanna talk about it now?”

Eli didn’t move for a moment, which didn’t seem like a big deal, but the steady breathing on top of his chest Demetri had felt suddenly paused. Shit, what the hell did that mean?

Eli finally moved. He detangled himself from Demetri and sat up. His hair was messy. Purple strands going everywhere as his bed head remained unbrushed. He was slouching and squinted his eyes and he sat up in the bed. The dark purple hoodie he borrowed from Miguel matching.

“If you’re asking if I regret it, I don't,” he assured. He sounded serious too. The tiredness from earlier is gone.

“Well, um, I don’t either.” Demetri sat up. “I definitely don’t.”

The pair kind of just sat there for a moment in silence, unsure what to say next. Demetri felt stupid. He should know because Eli, no matter what, is his best friend and he should know how to talk to him.

“So, that makes us...?”

Demetri hoped Eli would say it. It’s not that he was afraid too. It was because if Eli said it, that would make it true, it would make it real. Demetri was never more sure of something in his whole life.

“Together.” Eli paused. “Boyfriends...?”

Demetri grinned ear-to-ear. That’s all he needed to hear.

Eli smiled wide too. His smile was huge and impactful. Demetri wanted to see it more.

Suddenly a thought hit him. A thought Eli might just slap him for.

“You could say we’re...Binary Boyfriends.” Demetri raised his eyebrows, smiling at his joke.

Eli laughed too, grabbing a pillow off Demetri’s bed and slapping him with it. “Shut up. That’s some nerd shit.”

He may have said it, but his tone suggested otherwise.

“Oh, nerd shit, huh?” Demetri surged forward, grabbing Eli by the back of the neck and kissing him again. This time it was deeper, more intense, and Demetri immediately felt butterflies form in his stomach as his grip on his neck tightened. Eli kissed him back as his hand moved to rest on the outside of Demetri’s thigh, causing Demetri to sigh into Eli’s mouth. He was giving Eli the same treatment he’d given Yasmine, except he meant it this time, this time he was one hundred percent sure of it. Eventually, Demetri needed to end it so he could breath. The moment he pulled back, he didn’t let go of the back of his neck and instead rested his forehead on his. Eli’s smile was there, wide and bright like he was.

Demetri would have kissed him more if it wasn’t for the fact that his phone began buzzing.

“Ugh,” he groaned, finally letting go of Eli’s neck and leaning backward to grab it. The caller was Miguel.

“Who is it?” Eli asked when Demetri didn’t pick up immediately. Demetri didn’t want to pick up if he was being honest with himself. He knew when he did, they’d have to talk about what they’re gonna do next. Talk to their sensei’s or not, deal with the Cobras and that piece of shit Kyler. Demetri didn’t want to ruin the small, happy bubble he had surrounded himself and Eli in.

“It’s Miguel,” he replied. Eli’s smile deflated a little, realizing the same thing Demetri had.

“You should answer,” Eli said quietly. Hesitantly, Demetri did, making sure to put him on speaker.

“Demetri?” Miguel's voice came through the phone. “Is Hawk with you?”

“Yeah, you’re on speaker.”

“How you feeling?” The question was directed towards Eli. Eli shrugged, before realizing he had to answer out loud.

“Everything hurts less. Still sore, but I’m not dying or anything.” He laughed a little, trying to make light of the situation. Demetri smiled for his sake, but did not like how Eli joked about it.

“That’s good.” He paused on the phone. “Have you thought about what we’re gonna tell senseis?”

“Fuck,” Eli groaned. He rubbed a hand over his good eye, tightly shutting his eyes. “Forgot we had practice today.”

“Where you can’t hide any of that,” Miguel said. Demetri guessed he was referring to his face. “We can’t just let them get away with it. I mean, what if they do it again?”

At that, Eli flinched. Without thinking Demetri grabbed his hand and pulled it from his face, squeezing it tightly in his. The hair falling over his face and his expression made him look less intimidating. It made him look younger.

“They won’t,” Demetri stated. “We won’t let that happen.” He looked into Eli’s eyes when he said it.

Eli still looked unsure. His hands were clammy, but he squeezed back. Demetris swore he’d keep this promise. He had to.

“Easier said than done,” said Miguel. Demetri forgot for a second that he was even there. “But we should still tell senseis, right?”

They all paused with nothing said in between them. The longer Demetri thought about it, he realized it would simply be easier not to tell them exactly what happened.

“What are they gonna do? They can’t even go to the police. They all think Kreese is some important war hero. He’s got them all tricked,” voiced Demetri

“Well, Sensei Lawrence could confront him about it? Even Kreese has got to realize this has gone too far after what they did to Eli?”

Eli snorted. “He’s crazy. Even if he doesn’t know he’d probably give em’ a medal. Trust me.”

Demetri hated to admit that it was true. The fucker did hit him in the face once, and maybe at the time Demetri was being a bit invasive of personal space, but he doesn’t think that warranted a bloody nose.

“Plus what if somehow Kreese turns this against us. I mean, did any of the Cobra’s get hurt?” asked Miguel.

Eli closed his eyes and groaned, not out of pain, but like he was remembering something.

“What?” Demetri asked worriedly.

“I think I might have broken Tory’s nose,” Eli cringed.

Well shit.

“Okay, usually I’d say ‘nice’, but in this scenario that doesn’t work out for us,’ said Demetri.

Miguel groaned over the phone. “I’m also worried about the dojo. Kreese wants to close our’s and if we somehow try to get some of his best fighters in trouble, I guarantee he’d bring up Eli’s and maybe even Sam’s past and try to close us down before the next tournament.”

No one said anything for a few moments as the facts sink in. Despite everything everyone has tried, even when Sensei LaRusso went to the police, Kreese has never been stopped. He doubted he’d let this stop him either. As much as Demetri hated thinking it, Kreese was smart. Smart enough not to be dumb enough to get himself in trouble.

“I guess...this means we’re not saying anything?”

Eli sighed heavily. “We can’t. If we do then LaRusso and Lawrence might go to Kreese, and we all know how that’ll end up.”

“But they might not stop there,” Demetrei said. His grip on Eli’s hand tightened.

“I guess we’ll just need to have each other’s backs, for real this time. We’ll talk to the others at practice today,” said Miguel. “Are you good to go, Hawk?”

Eli shrugged again. “Yeah, if senseis ask I’ll say I crashed my motorcycle or something so they go easy on me. They’d probably believe that.”

“Okay, well…” Miguel sounded hesitant. “I’ll see you guys later then.” Miguel paused. “They won’t do this again, Eli.”

Eli smiled a bit. “Thanks.”

Miguel hung up with a click, and then it was just Demetri and Eli again. Demetri wished they didn’t have to leave. He wished he could just lay here with Eli, where no one could get to them. Their little bubble. The moment Miguel called, that bubble was popped.

“You don’t have to go today. You can skip it, we can stay here.”

Eli nodded his head. “No. It will be like they won if I did.” Eli ran a hand through his hair and made a face when it got caught through the dirty tangles. “Can I take a shower?”

“Yeah, take some of my clothes. I think there's an old Game Of Thrones t-shirt of yours laying around, unless that’s too nerdy for you, of course?” Demetri smirked.

Eli huffed out a laugh and gave a small slap to Demetri’s head as he stood. “Shut up.”

Eli scavenged through the drawers of Demetri’s room, finding the very shirt and a pair of jeans. Demetri was taller than Eli, but they were both pretty lanky and skinny, so they were around the same size. He could maybe cuff the jeans.

Once Eli had gone in the bathroom, Demetri sighed, flopping backward and sprawling himself across his unmade bed.

It was weird. Everything about this was weird and amazing at the same time. He wished the context of him kissing Eli had been different, but he thinks that it never would have happened otherwise. He still wanted to kick all of Cobra Kai’s asses, but he guesses he could thank them for that.

Actually, no, he still just wanted to kick their asses.

Again, as he was lost in thought, he didn’t realize time had passed until Eli came out of the shower, fully changed into a pair of jeans far too long for him, and a t-shirt with a direwolf printed on it with the quote “winter is coming”. The image brought a smile to Demetri’s face. He looked like old Eli for a second, especially when he was younger, and wore clothes far too large for him. Eli’s mom was never the best shopper.

“You wanna go now? We can go to McDonald's and get some hashbrowns if you want?”

Eli was fiddling with his hands as he stood in the doorway. Demetri sat up.

“Actually, I was wondering if we could just stay here until practice?”

Demetri's cheek probably flushed. He felt them and his neck heat up when Eli spoke.

“Um, yeah, sure...what do you want to do?”

“I kinda just wanna...rest, like earlier.”

Demetri suddenly realized what he was asking. The heat on his face seemed to cool down all of a sudden.

“Oh, okay.” He reached a hand out. “Come on.”

Hesitantly, Eli then made his way towards the bed again, running a hand through his damp hair that had been messed up probably by a towel. Demetri laid his head down as Eli settled his body right next to his, where it had been when they woke up that morning. His head was a little lower this time, low enough where Demetri could easily run his hands through his damp hair. He refrained from doing so, for now.

Eli slowly wrapped his arm across Demetri's waist, squeezing tight as his legs found their way hiked up again across Demetri’s hips. Eli was warm, a body that Demetri was all too used to, but still completely new to as well.

He could get used to this though.

“Thanks,” Eli muttered, so quietly that Demetri could have missed it if he hadn’t been paying so much attention to him.

Demetri leaned over and kissed him right below his hairline. “Of course.”

Eli sighed happily, a small grin slowly disappearing as he closed his eyes and dozed off. He fell asleep as fast as he woke up.

Demetri didn’t. He’d rather feel the rise and fall of Eli’s chest against his, and watch as his eyes twitched as he slept. Demetri also finally gave in and began running his hand through his damp hair, taking all that was Eli in.