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The Kid Next Door

Chapter Text

Thick smog made Jay’s hair stick uncomfortably against his neck as he slithered through the alleyways of the Isle. Silently, he ran at the market buildings outer wall, using it as a push-off point to climb to the rooftop of the warehouse beside it. Loud clanging and hollering could be heard from down the west road as a few men stood around a dumpster fire, beer cans littered the ground around them; Jay groaned when he saw his father passed out on a pile of trash some feet away from the group. Dropping down the drainpipe of the warehouse, Jay squatted near his father. Immediately he held his hand up to his face trying to block the odor of vomit and alcohol that was coming off of him in waves.

“Dad? Dad, c’mon, let’s get out of here,” Jay muttered, shaking his father’s shoulder. The man barely budged and swatted his hand away when he attempted to shake his shoulder again.

“Would you fucking quit that?! Go home, Jayden,” Jafar hissed, turning his back to him and slinking deeper into the soiled clothes he had used to prop himself up. Jay moved forward again and almost immediately jumped back as his father heaved and retched across the pavement before falling unconscious again. Sighing, Jay propped his father up slightly to prevent him from choking and slunk back off into the night. Yet another night in an empty house was less than appealing at the moment, and so Jay once again clambered to the rooftops.

The wind was merciless on the roofs, but it pulled his sweat-slicked hair away from his face as he peered up into the night sky. The cloudy overcast prevented him from seeing the stars, and the faint glow of the streetlights was barely enough to light his way as he jumped soundlessly from rooftop to rooftop in search of foolishly left open windows.
A small window was left cracked open, and Jay instantly recognized it as the De Vil House. The bitch always came into the shop demanding better prices for some of the more exotic animals they had acquired. Jay could easily recall the last visit she had made, cursing at his father and spitting in his face as she snatched up her latest purchase and left. A few days later, Cruella had a new purse and vivid red nails that reminded Jay just a little too much of fresh blood. Knowing he could at least get a few new items for the shop, he smirked and glanced quickly inside to see if anyone was in the room. Nothing. His smirk widened to a full blown grin as he clambered through the window into the small tattered room.

Torn furs littered the floor, and peeling wallpaper revealed yellow smoke stained walls that oozed out water and mould. Making quick work of a few of the cleaner mink scarfs, Jay sauntered towards the closet hoping for the jackpot: a fur coat that Cruella would just have to conveniently buy back once she realized it was gone. The closet door creaked quietly as he pulled it open and Jay froze waiting to see if anyone had heard him. When no lights came on, he allowed himself a small breathless laugh to relieve the tension and pulled the door open the rest of the way.

Inside was not at all what he expected. An array of rusty spikes protruded from the walls, and dirty bloodstained rags made up most of the flooring that wasn’t covered by grisly looking traps. One still had the remnants of its victim’s blood coating the teeth. Shuddering, Jay was about to close the door and leave, when a rustling sound came from somewhere deep within the dark of the closet. Holding his breath while unsheathing the small blade he kept in his leather jacket, Jay crept further forward into the closet. The rustling continued from under a small sheet in the farthest corner, and in a burst of courage Jay flung the sheet back and met the dark eyes of a small boy who shrunk back so fast his head hit the wall with an echoing thump.

“Shut up,” Jay hissed, turning towards the doorway again. The boy seemed too afraid to argue, but Jay did not miss the way his eyes flickered from the knife in his hand to his face and back again.

“Wh-who are you?” the boy whispered when it appeared the coast was clear and Jay tucked his knife away again. Instead of answering, Jay felt around for a light switch as he gently closed the closet door over again. When he found the small dangling chain, he pulled and a single lightbulb flared to life above Jay. The boy’s features finally came into focus as he squinted at the sudden light.

A dusting of golden freckles was marred by a fading blue bruise along the boy’s right cheek and his body seemed to curl in slightly on itself, unconsciously on the defensive, as the boy shifted to a crouch. His hair stood out starkly in the drab room, a mixture of white tips and black roots that placed the boy as Cruella’s son, Carlos De Vil. Despite this, Jay had a hard time placing his age because of his slight frame, the simple black and white polka-dotted shirt hung lightly off his sharp collarbones but the intelligence behind his eyes was unmistakeable.

“I asked you a question,” Carlos grumbled, crossing his arms grumpily. “If you’re going to so rudely come into my room, I want to know who you are.”
Jay gawked at the boy as he glanced around his….room. Was this whole damn family deranged?

“The people call me the King of Thieves, but you can call me Jay,” he offered cockily, crossing his own arms as he made sure to tower over the small boy. “And I was just leaving, actually, but first-“his voice cut off as he snagged a small red beanie off the floor and pulled his hair back out of his face before pulling the beanie on.

“Hey! Give that back!” Carlos growled, scrambling to his feet. Too late. His hand closed on empty air as Jay ran out of the door and swung back out the open window, laughing wholeheartedly as he stuffed his pickings into various hidden pockets in his jacket.

“JAY!!” Carlos screamed and Jay looked back just in time to see the boy being pulled back from the window by his hair. Ignoring the gnawing feeling of guilt that struck his chest as he watched Cruella shove the boy away from the window with a resounding crack to the face. Jay forced himself to turn away and pulled the stolen beanie further down over his ears. What he didn’t see was the devastation in Carlos’ eyes as he watched the only gift he’d ever received from his father bound away through the night.

Chapter Text

Carlos watched as Jay bounded through the night and tried his best to hold back the tears that threatened to spill over. Blinking hard he screamed his name, the desperation making his voice crack brokenly. Behind him a light clicked on and sharp footsteps echoed as his mother burst through the doorway. Carlos was shaking and as he turned around his despair quickly changed to dread as he took in his mother’s bedraggled appearance and the blind rage that radiated from her. “Mother, mother please, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-“

Crack.

Carlos whimpered as his aching, bruised cheek flared to new life as he clutched his face and cowered as his mother pulled him from the window.

“You insolent child! You stupid-“his mother’s hand had closed into a fist as she pummeled her words into his skin, “-stupid child! How dare you interrupt my beauty sleep! Get back in the goddamn closet or so help me-“she screamed throwing Carlos against the wall by the closet door as she fumbled angrily with the door.

Carlos could already feel fresh tears forming as he tried in vain to crawl away. He screamed when Cruella clamped his ankle hard enough to bruise and dragged him, kicking and screaming, back towards the bloody closet. Cruella gripped the collar of his shirt and Carlos gasped as the sudden movement momentarily cut off his breath before he was thrown back skidding along the floor back into his cell of a room. Slowly he sat up, attempting to crawl towards the door even as he could hear his mother fiddling with the chained lock she sometimes used.

“Momma, momma please no,” he begged, softly banging against the doorframe. “Please, I’ll be a good boy, I promise, I’m sorry-“

“One more word and you won’t see food for a week,” Cruella hissed through the door.

Carlos shrank back his shoulders shaking as he curled up against the floor. The seeping cold of the house seemed to pierce through his skin as overwhelming despair struck him.

“It’s gone,” he whimpered, “why did he have to take it?”

Carlos reached out for a rag stained in blood imagining the simple warmth that his beanie used to provide him. “Dad, where did you go?” he whispered as his exhausted grief slowly dragged him into slumber.

“Carlosss, oh Carlosss,” a voice laughed from behind the snow pile in front of him. Carlos ran towards the voice a bright grin plastered across rose gold cheeks as his little three year old legs carried him through the heaping snow piles.

“Daddy!” Carlos giggled as a tall man popped out and grabbed him around the waist, hoisting him into the air. “There’s my darling boy,” the man smiled, rubbing Carlos’ winter-bitten nose with his own before putting him down.

Carlos grabbed a hold of his father’s hand as he led him back towards the top of the hill and the sled that waited for them. Carlos clambered to the front of the sled eagerly grabbing the reigns and waited in nervous excitement for his father to push him down the hill. But the push never came. Carlos turned around his little brow furrowing,

“Daddy?”

Carlos’ father was nowhere to be found, the red beanie he had been wearing to cover his head laid half-covered in snow as Carlos scrambled towards it. Picking it up Carlos glanced around his voice cracking as panic took over him. “

Daddy?! Daddy, where are you?”

No one answered and when he glanced down he gasped as he saw his mother stood waiting at the bottom of the hill. He ran towards her, anxious tears threatening to fall as he raced forward down the hill. His momentum proved too fast for his little legs and he tumbled; flipping end over end down the rest of the hill and landing a shivering, bruised mess at his mother’s feet. Whimpering he reached up his arms towards Cruella.

SMACK.

The crushing force of his mother’s hand across his frozen face shocked Carlos and he looked up, betrayed, to meet his mother’s seething look. “You little bastard! You took him from me! You took him from me!” she wailed, screaming and hitting Carlos until his blood stained the snow beneath him. “Momma, no! Stop, Momma, please! I’m a good boy, I’m a good boy!”

Carlos woke with a start, fresh tears making hot tracks down his dirty face as me continued to whimper. He carefully pulled himself up and attempted to clean himself up. Readjusting his shirt and pulling a small hand through his curls he wiped viciously at the tear stains on his face, ashamed. With a sigh he reached towards the door and wiggled the lock but as he expected it held firm, locked from the outside until his mother saw fit to release him. Carlos’s blood boiled as he threw the red rag away from him in disgust, thinking about the wretched boy who had taken his most prized possession from him. His anger set him to work as he pulled out the pins he kept on his person and began to work at the doors lock. Hoping that his mother had not pulled the chains across the door and had merely locked the knob in her tired rage Carlos continued to work the lock until he heard a soft snick and the knob twisted under his hand.

To his relief, the door swung open quietly and Carlos was able to creep quietly from the room. Glancing towards his mother’s room he heard her soft snores drift through the door. He allowed himself a grim smile as he thought that her snore may just be the only thing soft about her. Knowing he had only a few short hours to find Jay and retrieve his beanie Carlos quietly slipped down the stairs two at a time and out the dilapidated door to the street of the Isle.

People call me the King of Thieves, but you can call me Jay…

There was only one family that a boy like that could come from and Carlos was less than keen to make a run in with the Agradinians as he carefully manoeuvered through the overcrowded streets. His small body wove easily between passing bodies and the creaking carts of half-rotten food that passed him as people mulled about during the day. Up ahead Carlos could hear the beginnings of a street squabble as a hulking man towered mercilessly over another mostly hidden form. Creeping closer Carlos was able to make out the angry words being tossed back and forth between the two.

“You trying to make a fool of me, boy? There’s no way you just happened to come across a jewel encrusted comb at the exact time I’ve lost mine? You give me my comb back right now or I’ll-“

“Now, now, Gaston,” a familiar, laughing voice cut through, “It really, truly, is a shame that your comb went missing but I do have one here that I’m more than willing to sell you, for a more than reasonable price.” The grin on Jay’s face laughed openly at Gaston’s red face as he juggled the comb in question from hand to hand. What caught Carlos’ eye was the red beanie on his head the newly “acquired” item fit seamlessly into his grubby leather-clad ensemble.

Stepping forward Carlos snatched the beanie from Jay’s head and found his wrist caught in a vice grip as Jay turned his patronizing grin from Gaston to Carlos.

“You’ll just have to wait a minute, Gaston, it appears I have more important matters to discuss,” Jay offered over his shoulder as he attempted to pull Carlos with him along the alley. A hulking hand gripped Jay around the collar and attempted to haul him back but Jay swung back using Carlos’s small body as a bludgeon to break Gaston’s hold on him.

“Hey! Stop that you little runt!” Gaston yelled as Carlos kicked at the hands that attempted to grab at him and Jay pulled Carlos back to his feet again and reached for the boy’s hand. Their eyes met for a single moment as they realized the scene they had caused before Jay was half-dragging, half-running through the streets with Carlos’s hand firmly latched in his.

“Run, Carlos! Run!” he hollered as Gaston and his henchmen began their pursuit.

For Christ’s sake, I just wanted my hat back.

Chapter Text

Jay wove seamlessly through the crowd despite the obvious dead weight that Carlos was becoming as they continued to run. Jay was suddenly jerked backwards as Carlos tripped over an uneven patch of road, beginning to pull Jay down with him. The two boys tumbled back, Jay nearly crushing the smaller boy beneath him as he landed. Grabbing the younger boy he rolled them both under a market stand as Gaston and his men hurtled past. He pressed his hand to Carlos's mouth as the younger boy started to speak and was startled when he bit his palm.

"Ow! What the fuck was that for?" Jay grumbled, rubbing his palm against his thigh. Carlos pushed against his chest impatiently.

"Would you get off me? You're hurting me," Carlos huffed, as Jay easily sat up and pulled the boy up with him as they made their way back into the throng of people.

"Sorry 'bout that, kid. And what's with you stealing my hat? You weren't even trying to be subtle about it, and I mean if you're going to be a thief you might want to work on-"Jay stopped talking as he took in the outraged glare that Carlos had levelled his way.

"You're joking right? YOUR hat?!"

"Uh yeah," Jay pointed to himself as he slipped the hat back onto his head. Carlos's eyes widened in shock as he stared at his hands in betrayal.

"But how did you-?"

Jay laughed and wrapped an arm around Carlos as he led him into a quieter alleyway.

"You were a little too busy trying to breathe to worry about what I was or wasn't taking out of your hand," Jay winked at Carlos, "But let's talk, because really I can't have you getting killed with those God awful thieving skills of yours."

"I'm not a thief, you idiot! You are!"

"Well, obviously."

Jay shut up when he saw the anger in Carlos's eyes turning to tears.

"That's MY hat, Jay. I want it back, now. You wouldn't understand but that hat's important to me and I just- just, please, give it back," he said, reaching his hand out expectantly.

Jay took in the pathetic sight of the boy in front of him and tried to remember his father's lessons. Trick those who try to play fair. Always keep your head up. Swipe and run. There's no team in I. No mercy or pity on those who cry. Lie, lie, and lie.

Yet, as Jay took in the heartbroken look on Carlos's face he found his resolve to keep the tattered beanie dissolving. A tightness filled his chest and he was forced to take in a deep breath and avert his eyes.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Guilt was entirely foreign to him but as he watched Carlos shake his hand and sniffle in frustration he found his own hand reaching up to give the boy his property back. Pulling the beanie off he looked down at it unable to fathom how a shitty, tattered old thing could mean so much to the boy. Hoisting it up above Carlos's head a small grin tilted the corner of his mouth.

"You can have it back as soon as you tell me what's in it for me," he raised an eyebrow in challenge.

Carlos gapped openly at Jay and his face turned a dark shade of red.

"You BASTARD! Give it BACK!" he screamed and before Jay knew it the boy flew at him; a little whirlwind of small, angry fists and teeth. Holy shit, the kid was biting him like some kind of rabid dog. Throwing the hat down he used his now free hand to press his fingers into the boys jaw, trying in vain to make the boy release his grip on his bicep. Anger pulsed through him as he leveled the boy with a quick kick to the groin and Carlos gasped crumpling to his knees. Jay pressed a hand over his bleeding arm before looking up at Carlos: his mouth bloody and his eyes streaming tears down his flushed face.

Despite himself, Jay found he actually liked the little shit; and he'd just proven he wasn't as useless in a fight as Jay had previously thought, though he would never make it alone it was nice to see that under all those tears and bruises the boy still seemed to have some fight left in him. Sitting back down Jay cursed quietly as his arm started to throb and tossed the beanie back towards Carlos. Carlos scrambled desperately towards the hat and stopped when Jay placed a booted foot down on his hand. Carlos glanced up and met Jay's eyes carefully, swallowing.

"You earned it, kid. I haven't met someone stupid enough to try to fight me since Mal in the fourth grade," Jay grinned down at the confused boy as he lifted his boot off the prized article of clothing and stepped back, placing a light hand on Carlos's shoulder.

Jay watched as Carlos sat back clutching the hat tightly to his chest before placing it carefully in his jacket pocket. He made note that despite its obvious importance the boy seemed less than eager to wear the hat himself. After a few moments of silence Carlos glanced up at Jay through his long, golden lashes.

Long, golden, lashes? The hell. But Carlos did have long lashes, and his warm brown eyes looked endearingly bright against his bruised face. Almost like chocolate…

Jay shook his head of his thoughts, pushing the overwhelming feelings that came with them down as well as he realized that Carlos had been attempting to talk to him.

"Uh-what?" Jay asked, and watched as the boy flushed nervously.

"I said: So now what?"

"Oh, uh," Jay laughed softly pushing his hand through his hair, "Well, I guess now we go teach you how to be a real thief, if you want..?"

Carlos eyed Jay skeptically but nodded standing up and reaching a hand out towards Jay.

"Alright, but I have to be back before noon or my mom will realize I'm gone and uh," Carlos's voice caught slightly as he attempted to laugh. Jay placed a comforting arm on his shoulder and ruffled the boy's hair affectionately.

"Don't worry about it, okay? I've got you now. We will have you back in time, but hey, uh, no offence or anything but your mom's kinda a piece of work," Jay muttered, smiling down toothily at the kid.

That earned him a real, heartfelt laugh from Carlos as he led him back out into the marketplace.

"Oh, you have no idea."

The sad part, Jay thought, glancing worriedly down at the fresh bruises that covered the young boys face and poked out of his collar, was that he was pretty sure he knew exactly just how bad it was. Still, he vowed to himself he would not allow harm to come to his little fighter so long as he was able to. A warmth spread through his chest as he squeezed the younger boy closer into his side and smiled down at his laughing, freckled face.

Scratch that. If anyone dares to take the smile off his face, they better hope I never find them because it will be the last thing they ever do.

"C'mon Carlos," Jay started to jog ahead and heard Carlos groan from behind him as Jay started to take off down the street, "the first thing we need to work on is your cardio, you can't steal anything if you can't even get away," he laughed as he heard the boy grumble something about just buying things instead before they both took off towards the Hell Hall.

Chapter Text

For the next few weeks Carlos and Jay were inseparable as they continued to meet up early in the mornings to run through the streets; making sure that Carlos was home before noon so he could do the chores that Cruella left for him. Carlos had not been this happy in several years and the more time he spent with Jay the more at home he felt with the boy. Jay had taken the time to train Carlos and he could see the difference in his own body as he ran beside Jay now instead of trailing behind him. The near constant running had given his legs the strength needed to carry him from one end of the Isle to the other and in the last week Jay had even started teaching Carlos how to climb and scale the buildings. Carlos's fear of falling kept him from climbing quite as high as Jay but together the two boys were capable of wreaking havoc anywhere they went. As it was, Carlos was eager to see Jay and continue building the treehouse Jay had promised him. He turned the last corner onto Jay's street and searched for him, careful to avoid the goblins that squatted near the trash cans until he spotted Jay.

"Hey, Jay!" Carlos called to the boy ahead of him as he wove through the crowds towards him, waving.

Jay was leaning against the steps of his father's shop, their usual meeting spot. The older boys face was troubled until he found Carlos's eyes in the crowd and his demeanor shifted. Carlos watched as his shoulders relaxed and a lazy smile graced his face. He tried not to let the fact that Jay was attempting to hide that he was upset get to him but found himself reaching for Jay's forearm as Jay turned toward him.

"Hey, what's wrong, Jay?"

Jay stiffened at Carlos's touch and glanced down at Carlos's hand on his arm. Carlos removed his hand awkwardly and tried not to let the flush he felt crawling up his neck reach his face.

"I'm fine, Carlos," Jay attempted to smile but Carlos could see the start of something brewing behind his eyes.

Carlos huffed and crossed his arms. "Jay," he warned.

He watched carefully as Jay attempted to get his thoughts together, knowing full well that the subject would not be dropped until he explained himself.

"Dad didn't come home last night, that's all," Jay muttered, rubbing the back of his head and staring intently at his boots.

"Do you want to go looking for him?" Carlos asked, trying to meet his friend's eyes. He stepped forward and tried to look up at him but Jay turned his back to him, his shoulders shaking.

"Jay, it's okay, we can find him, it'll be fine-"Carlos started, putting his small hand on Jay's back and rubbing circles into the leather.

"Just drop it, Carlos, please."

"But, Jay-"

"I said: Drop. It," Jay snapped, turning back towards Carlos angrily.

Carlos shrank back, afraid of the sudden shift in Jay's mood. When Jay raised a hand out towards him, he flinched and raised his own hand in response. Their hands met and Jay quickly wove their fingers together and pulled Carlos into his chest. Surprised, Carlos allowed Jay to just hold him, smiling as he felt Jay rub small circles into the back of his hand with his thumb; his face pressed into Carlos's curls as he steadied his shaky breathing. Carlos wrapped his free arm around Jay's waist and nuzzled affectionately into the older boy's chest. After a few moments Jay raised his head back out of Carlos's curls and smiled down at the boy.

"Thanks, Carlos, I'm sorry I snapped at you things are just-"

"Hard?" Carlos offered, squeezing the hand he still held lightly.

Jay glanced down at their joined hands and laughed lightly, squeezing Carlos's hand back before dropping it.

"Yeah," Jay laughed, "but that's just the way it is though, right?"

Carlos narrowed his eyes in confusion, "It doesn't have to be this way, Jay. We don't have to be unhappy. We could-"

"We could what? Carlos, there's no way we're going to get away from our parents. Just gotta keep moving forward, right?"

Carlos frowned. It was true, despite how cruel his mother could be he knew he would never get away from her, not truly. He had tried that, once when he was younger, to get away, to find the one person who had always loved him unconditionally…

"Uh, hello, earth to Carlos, earth to Carlos, come in Carlos," Jay laughed, waving his hand in front of his face until Carlos smirked and slapped his hand away.

"Alright, alright, enough talk. Are we building my treehouse today or what?"

At the mention of the treehouse, Jay's face lit up as he led Carlos around the back of his father's shop. Around the corner, a mess of materials was laid carefully out in a stolen cart and Carlos ran forward to take in the treasures Jay had found in the night. Holding up a small star covered tapestry Carlos smiled, running down the alley and letting the cloth flow out behind him.

"Look, Jay! I'm a shooting star," he giggled, watching the older boy roll his eyes at him.

"Come here, idiot, I have something for you," Jay grinned holding his hands behind his back.

Carlos's face lit up as he raced back to Jay bouncing on his toes impatiently and trying to peer around Jay's back but he kept turning away from him.

"Jayyy, come on, please, what is it?"

"Do you think you deserve it? Have you been a good boy lately?" Jay teased and Carlos groaned trying to reach around Jay's back.

"Now, now," Jay clucked his tongue and Carlos stopped trying to reach around him. "Be a good boy, Carlos."

Carlos huffed impatiently and tried his best to stand still plastering his best begging face on before he looked up at Jay.

"Jay, please, can I have my present? I've been a good boy lately," he added a soft lilt to his voice and he knew he had Jay in the bag.

He looked up at the older boy and immediately flushed a deep red as he took in Jay's thoroughly flustered face. Both boy's faces were bright red as Jay scrambled to get a hold of himself before taking his present out from behind his back and placing it in Carlos's hands.

"Uh," Jay cleared his throat," It's an old dog tail that I found and made it into a chain, you know kinda like how I wear leather, I just figured you'd want something that was just uniquely you and with your mom's past I just thought-"

"Jay, it's fine," Carlos smiled and fastened the chain to his shorts shaking back and forth giggling, "You know, mom always said that dogs were vicious pack animals so it kinda makes me feel better with this. Kind of like a reminder that I don't have to be afraid. And it's from you so I think I'd love it either way."

Looking up, Carlos met Jay's overconfident smirk with a smile of his own. "I'm glad you like it, Carlos."

Carlos moved back towards the cart of stolen goods and picked up one side as Jay come up beside him and grabbed the other.

"Ready?"

"Ready."

Chapter Text

The summer months passed by way to quickly for Carlos' liking, sure there was still the daily chores and his mother to deal with it, but that was it; he could spend the rest of his days and, more often than not, his nights running around the Isle with Jay. Thinking back Carlos couldn't help but smirk at the memory of Jay tripping over a beam and toppling into a laundry basin below him, soaking and grumpy. The summer had given him something he had not had since he was a small child, someone he could count on, a mentor and Carlos hoped, a real friend. It was these high hopes that had led him to agree to meeting Jay's other close friend, Mal.

"She's pretty alright once you get to know her," Jay assured Carlos as they walked back towards Hell Hall; a bucket of stolen fruits and vegetables weighing down Carlos's small frame.

"I'm still not sure, I mean her mother is-"

"Maleficent?" Jay smirked but Carlos could see this playfulness was mostly a front, even Jay was afraid of the evil fae.

"Yeah," Carlos agreed, "And besides I've seen some of her so-called "pranks" in action and I already have enough people who pick on me, I'd like to, you know, refrain from letting that number get any bigger."

Jay bumped his forehead against Carlos's, making the small boy look at him.

"Would you chill, bro? I've got you, don't worry. I'll even tell her to be nice."

"Uh-huh," Carlos was unconvinced.

But yet here he was waiting by the run-down bakery for Jay and Mal to show up, his face buried in the small hand-held game he had fixed awhile back. He was just clearing level five when he heard footsteps approach a small smile played at the corner of his lips as he chanced a glance up, hoping it was Jay. It was not.

"What are you smiling about, de Vil?"

Carlos started and shifted his bag further up his shoulder turning to see the most frightening woman on the island, other than his mother.

"Uhm, hello, Maleficent," he murmured, stepping out of her way with wide eyes. Beside her, Carlos could see Mal struggling and attempting to shrug off her mother's grip on her neck and she gasped and stomped her foot in frustration when that seemed to only cause her mother to grip her tighter. Carlos could see Mal was clenching her teeth as she offered him one of her signature glares. His eyes were drawn back to Maleficent when she lowered herself down to his level, allowing him to see and feel the full force of her glowing, green stare.

"Little urchins like you really shouldn't be running around all alone you know-"

"He's with me though," Jay said, slightly out of breath as he came up to the group; looping an arm around Carlos's shoulders with an easy smile directed at Maleficent's glowering form.

Maleficent straightened and rolled her eyes shoving her daughter, Mal forward. Carlos jumped slightly as the beastly girl hissed at being released.

"Run along then brats," Maleficent sighed and turned back towards her tower.

Carlos shrunk to hide behind Jay as Mal stepped forward, a green eyed glare meeting Jay's eyes. Carlos watched as the two stared one another down, an obvious battle for dominance being played as Carlos watched Jay's chest huff with effort. They continued to stare intently at one another before Mal's eyes flashed and Jay turned his head away, groaning.

"Alright, fine, fuck," he grumbled, rubbing at his eyes as Mal smiled mischievously at Carlos.

She reached out a hand and forcibly pulled him from out behind Jay, pushing his forehead up so she could meet his eyes better. Carlos gulped and forced himself to not shake as she appraised him with cold, calculating eyes.

"Hello, de Vil. Hungry?" she asked, pulling a blackened piece of stale bread from her bag and holding it under his nose.

Carlos stared between the bread and Mal's innocent expression before slowly reaching his hand out to take the offered food.

"No!" Jay snatched the bread out of Carlos's hands and threw it across the road.

"Hey! Jay, what was that for?" Carlos watched as his piece of bread was picked up by a slimy goblin as it ran out from behind its trash can home. Carlos watched in horror as the goblin groaned and dropped to the ground, shaking.

"What the-"Carlos gasped as the goblin was transformed into a growling Rottweiler. The dog whined, confused and then its red eyes met Carlos's and he turned sprinting away as the dog started to chase him down the road. He screamed as the goblin-dog chased him down the winding roads, gaining ground as Carlos took a short cut through the power plant. He could barely hear Jay's frantic yelling and Mal's keening laughter as the two chased after him.

"Climb, Carlos! You idiot, get up a tree or something!" Jay was yelling and Carlos could see the gnarled apple tree that leaned over the school ahead of him. He scrambled up the tree and didn't stop until he could feel the trees branches cracking under his weight. The dog barked and growled up at him and Carlos struggled to keep it together as Jay and Mal finally caught up. Jay kicked the mutt away and it whined loudly before running off when Jay growled at it. For Mal's part, she seemed to have not stopped laughing and was bent over now with tear tracks making their way down her cheeks as she tried to reign herself in.

"You're such a bitch sometimes Mal, you know that?" Jay snapped as he started to climb the tree towards Carlos who stayed shivering in the topmost branches even with the dog out of sight. Mal stopped laughing at that. She sighed and crossed her arms sourly.

"It's not my fault the stupid goblin ate the bread. He wasn't supposed to eat it," she smirked, peering up at the two boys as Jay got as close as he could to wear Carlos was perched.

"But a dog? A dog spell, Mal? You know he's afraid of them," Jay protested and Carlos sighed.

"It's okay, Jay. I should have known she wasn't going to be nice."

"You got that right, pup. Not sure why you expected anything different I mean I'm sure you've heard of me-"

"Yeah, whatever, Mal. You've done enough. I'll see you later," Jay said dismissively.

Mal's jaw dropped. Apparently she wasn't used to this side of Jay.

"Whatever, Jay. Come talk to me when you get that stick out of your ass."

Carlos watched as Mal stalked away towards a blue haired girl sitting on the steps. He cleared his throat carefully and started to slowly descend the tree.

"Well, uh, she seems…interesting," Carlos offered with a small smile. Jay was still fuming when Carlos reached the branch he was leaning on and Carlos reached out to touch his shoulder.

"Dude, it's fine, really. Lesson learned, no food is safe when offered by Mal. It honestly could have been worse-"

"You're too trusting, Carlos," Jay snapped, turning towards him with a scowl. Carlos frowned. When had this turned into a fight between them? "I won't always be here to stop people from messing with you, and I mean, you know I'd like to be there but at the same time like what the fuck man? For a self-proclaimed boy genius you're kind of an idiot."

Carlos flushed uncomfortably and looked down at his feet.

"Sorry," he mumbled quietly. "I just thought that maybe, you know, maybe she would want to be my –"

"You're friend?" Jay supplied with a bitter laugh. "I've been "friends" with Mal for coming up six years and even then she's still a bitch most times. No one wants to be friends here, Carlos. We're villains, or did you forget that?"

The thing was, Carlos had forgotten. For the past summer he had forgotten that he was at the bottom of the social totem pole. In a summer of almost bearable pain, with laughter, treehouse building and with all the time he had spent with Jay he had honestly thought he had made a friend. A real friend who understood him. Glancing up at the darkened face of his "friend" he was hit with the overwhelming reality of it all. They had never been friends, it had merely been a way for both of them to get by. An old wound seemed to rip its way through his chest and he suddenly was struggling to breathe. He began to spiral into an array of masochistic thoughts as his vision began to blur with the weight of the pain starting to press down on him. His mother's voice echoed in his mind.

You're useless, no better than a mutt – you are the reason everything is ruined – you will never find anyone who loves you – I can hardly tolerate you – I wish I'd gotten rid of you when I still could you useless, stupid, ugly, bitch-boy!

No, no please, no. This can't be happening.

But it was. He could see it in the dark, brooding look on Jay's face, could see his world closing around him once more as he was cut loose and left to float untethered in the darkened void he knew as his life. Carlos was being abandoned, again.

"I-I thought that we…that we were friends," he managed to choke out. Jay's face lit up with realization but it was a moment too late, Carlos was already running away from him and up the steps to the Academy. Carlos ran all the way to his locker before the grief really hit him. Punching his locker he let his head fall against the closed metal door, fighting the wounded sob that threatened to spill past his lips.

"Well if it isn't little Snivel de Vil," said a booming voice as a hand landed on his shoulder.

"Oh fuck this," Carlos muttered, allowing his hurt to be channelled into anger as he turned around and punched his attacker square in the jaw. The boy toppled backwards and Carlos climbed on top of his chest letting his fists hit the boy again and again.

Who even needs friends anyways …..

Chapter Text

Jay stood on the school grounds dumbfounded as he watched his friend sprint away from him. He had not seen the boy so hurt since their first meeting and the look of complete betrayal in his eyes was burned into the back of Jay's eyelids as he sighed and rubbed his face, contrite. He was at a complete loss of how to fix this and really it wasn't Carlos's fault at all.

I just- I just can't handle the thought of him-

*Carlos's frail body covered in blood and dirt slipped into view, the boy was whimpering in the dark and no matter how fast Jay ran he couldn't reach him in time…not before-*

No!

Jay shook his head as tears bit at his own eyes and he sunk down against the tree trunk he was leaned against. His anger had nothing to do with Carlos, not really, it was his own deep-rooted fear that one day he wouldn't get there fast enough, and Carlos would be taken away from him. His fear had caused him to lash out and pushed Carlos away when all Jay had really wanted to do was pull the boy close and wipe the fear out of his eyes for good. Jay rubbed the tears from his own eyes before they could fall, unable to show emotion as easily as Carlos could. He groaned as countless images of the boy hit him at once: Carlos smiling up at him, laughter making his eyes sparkle with boyish joy; Carlos angry with his eyebrows pinched adorably; and his personal favourite: Carlos blushing, the pink climbing up from his neck to his ears and his front teeth biting down on his bottom lip.

"Fuck," Jay breathed, letting his head fall back against the apple tree.

"So, are you going to talk to him or do you want me to try first?" a gentle voice asked him as he felt the grass beside him shift and a small hand touched his arm.

"Thanks, E, but I screwed this up and I better be the one to fix it," Jay reached out and grasped Evie's hand, giving it a small squeeze before letting it go.

Evie smiled up at him and nodded, understanding his desire to be alone even before he said anything. She kissed the top of his head as she stood up and brushed her blue skirt off.

"It'll be okay, Jay. He cares about you way too much to not take you back," she said as she turned to walk away. Jay smiled, wishing he could believe her.

After a moment Jay forced himself to stand and jogged up the stairs to the Academy, hoping to find Carlos before the bell rang for first period. He was not prepared for what he saw when he got down to where he knew Carlos's locker would be. Carlos was on top of Greg Gaston beating the life from him as hot tears made their way down his nose and dripped onto his hands. The boy wiped his face against his shoulder as he wrapped his fingers around Greg's neck tightly. Jay watched as Greg started to struggle under Carlos's grip, trying, in vain, to shake the boy from his position kneeling on his huge chest. Jay stepped forward and placed a hand on Carlos's shoulder as Greg finally lost consciousness.

"Carlos, Carlos, that's enough, he's passed out. Let go," Jay whispered, softly pulling on Carlos's hands.

The rage seemed to leave Carlos all at once as he crumpled back into Jay's arms, thick sobs shaking his entire body as he slipped down off of Greg's unconscious form. Jay carefully picked up the grief-stricken boy and carried him gently to the boy's bathroom at the end of the hall, leaving on-lookers staring wide eyed at the two. Jay made sure to glare at a couple of the girls who started to whisper as they passed by, trying to ignore the comments they made as he shouldered the bathroom door open, but he was able to catch a few words.

"What's de Vil's problem?"

"Do you think Jay has a thing for him, I mean I've seen them together all summer-"

"Oh gross, Jay wouldn't lower himself to Snivel's level-"

Jay slammed the door shut behind him, grinding his teeth together viciously to keep his biting reply at bay. He gently placed a squirming Carlos down on the ground and was shocked when the boy moved to hit him as well. He easily blocked the boy's clumsy blow grabbing his wrist as Carlos's face crumpled and he growled, pulling away from Jay entirely and turning his back on him.

"Leave me alone, Jay."

Jay stepped forward, hesitating to reach out to the boy again.

"Carlos, please, let me explain," Jay murmured, leaning against the door to block Carlos's way.

"You made your point abundantly clear, Jay, I don't really want to hear about how much you regret spending your summer with me. I get it. We aren't friends, we never were, it was just an amusing way for you to pass the time-"

"Shut up!" Jay yelled, clenching his fists together as he finally met Carlos's eyes. He watched as Carlos recoiled, his face solemn and unreadable even as he waited for Jay to speak.

"If you don't know what the flying fuck you're talking about you shouldn't talk," Jay growled, trying desperately to calm himself so he could work things out with the stoic boy standing in front of him.

"I-I'm sorry, about earlier, okay? I didn't mean for that to come out as harsh as it did and I was just, just, I don't know…frustrated?"

Carlos opened his mouth and Jay glared at him until he rolled his eyes, but waited for Jay to continue to gather his thoughts.

"It freaks me out okay? That everything could set you off and that you're so overly sensitive to-"

"OVERLY SENSITIVE? Are you fucking kidding me Jay?! So sorry that my triggers are so bothersome to you. Don't worry though, I'm not your problem anymore, so move," Carlos screamed, getting in Jay's face as he tried to shoulder the older boy aside.

Jay groaned, shaking his head miserably as he pushed Carlos away from the door and himself.

"No, Carlos, that's not what I meant either, I just-"

I just can't admit how much you mean to me…it's weak. And I'm afraid, I'm so damn afraid of losing you if you knew how I feel, if you knew just how much I DO care about you….

"Just what, Jay? Please, by all means continue considering you won't let me out."

Jay looked down at his boots and tried to swallow past the lump of fear in his throat.

"It scares me that you're triggered so easily because one day I'm not going to be there and-and you're going to need me and I won't make it in time and you'll be-"his voice broke as a soft sob bubbled to the surface.

The atmosphere abruptly changed as Carlos gasped at Jay's small admission. Jay could barely see past the tears marring his vision but he felt Carlos step closer to him, could sense the change in his breathing as he looked down at his sweet, freckled boy.

"I-I'm not going anywhere. I didn't realize, I thought that you hated me, that I was just some plaything for you. I never even thought that you were just…worried about me," Carlos murmured so softly Jay could barely hear him. Jay choked on bitter laughter as Carlos reached up to wipe the tears from his face. He grabbed Carlos's neck and brought the boys forehead to his, attempting to smile. Carlos met his eyes and a soft blush crept up his face making Jay's stomach flip uneasily.

"Of course I worry about you, you stupid boy. You're my best friend," Jay whispered, rubbing his nose affectionately against Carlos's.

When he looked down at Carlos again he saw something fade out of Carlos's eyes and his face turned a bright red in embarrassment.

"Uh, yeah, you're my best friend too, Jay."

Suddenly, as if realizing just how close the two were, Jay stepped back, a bright blush coloring his own cheeks as he pushed his hair out of his face habitually. He wiped his face with one hand and barked a laugh trying to dispel the tension that seemed to hang in the air between the two boys.

"So, uh, are we good then?" He outstretched a fist to the boy as he gripped the handle to the bathroom.

Carlos seemed to recover quicker than Jay did, a grin plastering his face as he bumped his fist against Jays.

"Yeah, we're good, man."

The buzzer for first period went off just as Carlos opened his mouth to say something more but he closed it when Jay shrugged his shoulders and yanked the door open, letting Carlos pass in front of him.

"I'll see you third period then, right? For science class?" Carlos asked as Jay stepped out of the bathroom behind him.

Jay grinned, "Well, duh, who else is going to take notes for me?"

He laughed when Carlos stuck his tongue out at him and ran off to find his first class. Sighing he felt more than heard Evie saddle up beside him, easily looping an arm through his as she watched Carlos dart through the mass of kids.

"I like him, Jay. He's good for you," she said, glancing up to meet his eyes as they started to walk towards trigonometry. "But you really should tell him how you feel."

That stopped Jay short and he whirled Evie around to face him, holding her at arm's length.

"What are you talking about?"

Evie rolled her eyes, a small giggle escaping past her lips.

"It's so obvious, Jay. You're in love with him. And you really should tell him how you feel. I know love is kinda this taboo subject but, like I said, I think he's good for you. The Juliet to your Romeo, the Brains to your Brauns," she laughed as she pulled Jay along the halls again, continuing to babble on; but Jay was no longer listening.

I couldn't actually be in love with him, could I?

Chapter Text

Carlos was distracted all throughout his first day after his meeting with Jay in the morning. He couldn't seem to shake the sneaking suspicion that there had been more in the air between them than hurt feelings and forgiveness. The more he played the moment before Jay called him his best friend the more Carlos thought the boy had wanted to say more to him. He found himself drifting off into yet another daydream as Mr. Foul droned on about physics.

His forehead was pressed against Jay's as it had been this morning and the charge between them made Carlos shudder in Jay's firm grasp. He could smell the light woodsy scent that seemed to permeate the air around them – a smell of evergreen aftershave and warm leather that followed Jay wherever he went. Carlos leaned closer to breathe in the smell more deeply and found that his nose brushed against Jay's when he did. Immediately a bright blush coloured his cheeks but he felt Jay intake a sharp breath at the contact.

" Carlos?" the older boy whispered and Carlos froze in response, waiting and hoping.

Slowly, Jay's mouth descended towards Carlos' until he could feel the heat of his lips hovering just above his own. He reached his hands up into Jay's long, soft hair, pulling the boy closer and just as their lips touched Jay groaned loudly pulling Carlos against him and –

"Mr. de Vil? The answer if you please?"

Carlos jolted out of his daydream and coughed to hide his growing embarrassment as the class turned to face him. He quickly glanced to the board trying to decipher the problem in front of him before anyone noticed that he hadn't been paying attention.

"Oh, um B. Radiocarbon is produced by collisions between fast neutrons and nitrogen nuclei present in the atmosphere."

Mr. Foul rolled his eyes but turned back towards his blackboard and began scribbling more notes out for the class, "That is correct, Mr. de Vil, but please, if you're not going to pay attention don't be so obvious about it."

Carlos shrunk back into his desk and tried his best to take decent notes and banish Jay from his thoughts.


Biology was the one class that Carlos could do without. Sure he loved physics and chemistry but biology just seemed so dull at times that the only reason he even bothered to show up was because he knew he would see Jay. As it was, Jay had plopped himself down into the spot beside him and had busied himself with throwing a crumpled piece of paper into the air and catching it. Carlos sighed and allowed his eyes to wander where he made eye contact with the blue-haired girl he had seen Jay talking to earlier.

"Hey, Jay, who's your girlfriend?"

Jay swung his legs up onto his desk and happened a glance towards Carlos as he continued tossing his paper ball. He chuckled.

"Which one, bro? I've had a few going for a while now."

A dull ache surfaced in Carlos' stomach at that but he managed to answer lightly, pointing in the direction of the blue haired girl as she touched up her lip gloss in a broken mirror.

"That one, Princess Blueberry or whatever."

"Evie?" Jay laughed, turning to give Carlos his full attention. "Evie's a close friend, more of a sister to me than anything, why? You like her or something?"

Carlos shook his head, shrugging, "I just see you two together a lot, that' all."

He watched as Jay's forehead creased and tried to smooth his own features out, his jealousy was most definitely not because he wanted alone time with Evie.

"I'm sure she would like you, you dress better than I do anyways," Jay smirked at him and Carlos tried to control the rapid pace of his heartbeat.

"Oh, um, that's nice," he managed.

"Hey, Evie!" Jay stage whispered and the girl turned around sharply when Jay through his paper wad at her hair.

"Jay! I swear if even one hair is out of place and – what?"

Carlos felt hands above his head and looked up to see Jay pointing at him and Evie before making childish kissing noises. Carlos shoved Jay away from him and rolled his eyes in Evie's direction. Evie, for her part, was wide eyed and trying not to laugh. Carlos glared at Jay and put his head on his desk, thoroughly annoyed with his friend for making assumptions about him. As if he could ever like Evie when he was already in love with –

"Hey, I was only kidding, Carlos. Lighten up, would you?"

"Whatever, Jay."

"Aw, c'mon, Carlos, I know you don't like her like that."

Carlos raised his head up off his desk slightly. "Then why would you act like I did? You made me look like an idiot," he grumbled.

He felt Jay run his fingers soothingly into his curls and sighed, leaning into the boy's touch.

"How about I make it up to you later then? After school?"

Carlos felt a grin break out across his face and punched Jay's exposed stomach playfully. Jay easily caught his hand, pinning it to the desk as his other hand left Carlos' hair to tickle at his exposed side. Carlos giggled happily, squirming and trying to pull his arm back out of Jay's grasp. He felt a pair of eyes on him and turned to see Evie and Mal grinning conspiratorially at them from their desks but was pulled away when the bell rang out.

Carlos was pulled from his desk by Jay and slung onto the boy's back as Jay made quick work of the hallways and out into the front yard. Carlos giggled when Jay readjusted him on his back and squeezed his thighs tighter around the older boy's torso.

"Where are we going?" he whispered into Jay's ear, hiding his blush against Jay's neck when he felt the older boy shiver at the touch of his breath.

"I found an old warehouse with lots of beams and a hidden second level, I figured we could use a new hideout. We can go now if you want, unless you'd rather wait around for the girls to catch up?"

"Another lovely meeting with Mal? Yeah, no thank you," Carlos laughed before digging his heels into Jay's sides. "Onward, my faithful steed!" he hollered as Jay laughed taking off towards the western side of the island.

"Technically, you know, I'm your faithful stud, not steed."

Carlos' eyes widened, unable to stop the onslaught of delicious images that came along with Jay's words. A familiar memory of a few weeks before involuntarily popped into his head.

The rains had soaked Jay and Carlos' clothes through before they had reached the warehouse they had stayed the night in, safe from the sudden storm for the time being. He'd turned to ask Jay when they would be able to leave, worried about his mother, only to be met with a half-naked Jay.

His words had died in his throat as he watched Jay peel the leather jacket of his muscled shoulders before letting it drop heavily to the ground. His cheeks burned as he watched Jay struggle against his wet shirt, his biceps flexing as the fabric caught around his shoulders. He hadn't been thinking, moving purely on instinct, when he had stepped close to Jay and reached to pull the shirt the rest of the way off. He'd felt the smooth warmth of Jay's abs as he slid his hands up to pull at the fabric and Jay had frozen at his touch. When the two had finally got the offending article of clothing off there had been a breath where neither boy had moved away from the other. Steaming breaths had intermingled as the two boys stood caught up in each other's eyes. Carlos had his hands still pressed against Jay's hard chest and Jay had instinctively placed his hands at Carlos's waist, his thumb toying with the edge of Carlos's jeans.

The moment had been broken when a clap of thunder had jolted the boys out of their heated moment and they had spent the rest of the night unable to look the other in the eye.

"We're here, buddy. Did you fall asleep?" Jay asked quietly as he set Carlos down, he hadn't realized how much time he had spent daydreaming.

Pretending to rub sleep from his eyes, he faked a yawn and smiled sweetly, "Yeah, sorry. It's been a long day, that's all."

Jay's eyes softened and he wrapped the younger boy in a hug.

"I'm really sorry we fought today. I hope you know that. And about the Evie thing… I don't know. She's just been on my ass lately about some things and I was more trying to bug her than you. I know you don't really know her."

"It's okay, Jay. Evie is great and she offered to make me a new sweater when we had Home Ec. today but I like – well I like someone else."

Jay pulled away suddenly, "Oh, yeah, who is it then?"

Carlos instantly regretted saying anything as he glanced down at his boots, shuffling awkwardly.

"It's, uh, a secret. I don't know how they feel about me yet and I don't want to mess this up."

Jay pulled Carlos' chin up and smiled, "Anyone would be lucky to be yours, Carlos," he said sincerely, reaching his hand down to grab the younger boys and pull him towards their new hideout.

"You really mean that?"

"Of course! You're a total catch," Jay laughed, squeezing his hand. Carlos' stomach flipped in response. "Just be direct, you know? Or even better, just walk right up to her-"

"It's a him, actually, Jay."

Jay stopped and Carlos thought he caught a slight blush creeping up Jay's neck as the older boy turned away from him. Carlos pulled on Jay's hand worriedly. He felt tears start to pool in his eyes. He had never considered that maybe Jay wouldn't be okay with him being gay. He had been so caught up in his crush on the older boy that it hadn't even occurred to him that he might lose him even as a friend for just being who he was.

"That- that doesn't bother you, does it Jay?"

Jay swung around quickly, "No! God, no, Carlos. I mean, that would make me kind of a hypocrite anyways."

"What? But, but you said you've had all those girlfriends and I've seen you flirt Jay and-"

Jay shrugged. "Doesn't mean I can't also dig dudes though; Carlos, I'm bi."

Carlos felt his world grind to a searing halt. It was bad enough that he had a crush on Jay, he had never thought it would come to anything, had foolishly assumed that Jay's interest in girls had meant that was all he was interested in but now, now that the chance of being with Jay, at being his boyfriend, had been dropped in front of him he couldn't resist. He didn't think. He reached for Jay, slipping his slender arms around the older boy's neck and pressed his lips firmly against his. After a moment, Jay's arms came around Carlos and pulled the younger boy close against him, their hips pressed together and the rapid beat of their hearts making both boys heave breaths between hot, open mouthed kisses.

After what felt like hours the two boys pulled apart and Carlos blushed scarlet, eyes brimming with embarrassed tears as he stared at his thoroughly confused friend.

"Oh, god, Jay, I'm so sorry, please I-"

"Shut up, Carlos," Jay whispered and then he kissed him again, hot, dominating kisses that forced Carlos' mouth open when he gasped and moaned.

Rain began to fall around them and thunder roared, but this time they didn't break apart.

Chapter Text

The rain had eventually forced Jay and Carlos to pull apart and head into the creaking warehouse. Watching Carlos giggle as he pulled Jay along towards the giant metal gate warmed his heart considerably as the boy stopped every few steps to press his lips against Jays, like he was trying to ensure that this all wasn't some sort of dream. It felt like a dream to Jay and he was struggling to not bolt away from Carlos as the severity of their actions started to sink in. Carlos undoubtedly loved Jay and that scared him more than he would like to admit. His life had not been one filled with love, affection and constant attention, but he knew that Carlos' hadn't been either. That served as a small balm to the intense anxiety that was creeping through his chest. He was so distracted in his thoughts that he barely noticed Carlos trying to get his attention until the small boy cradled his face between his hands, forcing Jay to look at him. He hadn't realized he had been avoiding the boys gaze and could see Carlos' eyebrows crinkling in worry.

"Are you okay, Jay? I mean, we can slow down if you want? We've got time to get-" he giggled, "-better acquainted."

Jay allowed a small smile to grace his face as he pressed his forehead to Carlos' and sighed.

"It's nothing, I just wasn't expecting this, it's a little sudden, and I'm not sure we should keep going is all."

Carlos recoiled slightly and focused his attention on his hands as he wrung them between their bodies. Jay watched as Carlos attempted to form a sentence and before Jay could reach for him Carlos turned from him and started pulling the long chain that would lift the door open, pointedly ignoring Jay.

"Carlos, don't do this. Don't shut me out. We need to talk about all of this," Jay started as he followed Carlos inside and pulled the door back into place.

When he turned back to the boy he saw that Carlos had taken several steps away from him and was sitting on an old metal counter, tossing a half rotten apple from palm to palm. Jay moved closer to Carlos until his hips were between the boy's thighs and hooked a finger under his chin to bring his eyes up to his own.

"Carlos, it isn't that I don't want this, if that's what you're thinking. I do want this, hey!" he snapped when Carlos started to roll his eyes and turn away from him again. "I'm not kidding, Carlos. I do want this." He said each word slowly, trying to keep calm when Carlos finally faced him again, his face masked with confusion and hurt.

"But you don't want this, Jay. You're second guessing things, even now, when I've already pretty much thrown myself at you. Do you know how stupid I feel?" His words came out tightly as he fought the tears and flush down from his face.

Jay closed his eyes and forced a breath out of his nose. He slowly slid his hands from their place on either side of Carlos up the boys' thighs to his hips. He felt Carlos respond with a slight shiver and the small boys hands found their home tangled in the fabric of his shirt on his shoulders. Jay could feel himself shaking and the war within him raged on even as he pulled Carlos' hips towards his own and started trailing soft, chaste kisses up the boy's neck, along his jaw, across his freckled cheeks and nose before coming to hover over the small boys' lips. The anticipation that hung between the two slowed time down to a crawl and Jay felt as though every moment was caught, suspended in time as he tried to work past the fog of thoughts in his head.

Jay, it's pretty obvious you're in love with him….

A memory caught him even as Evie's smiling face faded away. His father, drunk and screaming in his face, threatening to lock him out of the shop, leaving him homeless, unwanted, unloved. The broken bottle had left a deep scar along his back when he had tried to run away from his father and had never truly healed, leaving a long scar from his right shoulder down to his left hip.

He could not be loved. Love was for the weak, the pathetic. Love was something to be toyed with, used as a weapon to make those around you bend to your will. And yet, there was another part of him that ached to know what real love felt like.

Love is what makes you strong….

He could not remember who had whispered those words to him, the memory was just a sensation of warmth, of safety, some soft spoken words and then nothing but aching, hollow darkness.

But I know Carlos, I know he would never hurt me, leave me, I feel safe with him. I know he is safe with me. And his smile makes my heart race and he wants this. He WANTS me. Is it really so wrong to let myself be loved? Just this once? And maybe, in time, I could learn to love him, truly and properly, in return?

Jay finally pressed forward and slid his lips over Carlos', clutching him tighter when he heard the other boy moan in relief after being made to wait so long. The kiss was more frantic, a hurried mesh of lips and teeth and tongue as Jay attempted to drown out the evil in him that would never allow this moment to occur. He let one of his hands climb up Carlos' chest, snaking under his shirt and tracing delicate patterns into his side, feeling Carlos giggle and squirm slightly in his arms at the light sensation. Carlos had wrapped his legs around Jay's waist, his hands making a mess of Jay's hair as he tugged on it, rolling his hips slightly against the older boy. Jay gasped and pulled back from the sensation, utterly overwhelmed, only to bite his lip to refrain from groaning as Carlos trailed hot, open-mouthed kisses along his neck, sucking slightly at the pulse point where his neck and shoulder met. His head fell limply onto Carlos' shoulder as he held the boys head to his neck and rolled his own hips much more forcefully against Carlos', making sure the younger boy knew the affect he had on him. Carlos whimpered in response.

"Wait, wait, Jay," Carlos pulled back suddenly and Jay smirked, seeing the younger boy flushed and his curls haphazard was much more appealing than he had thought it would be.

"What is it, baby?" he whispered, nuzzling against Carlos' neck and pulling him firmly into his chest.

"You've just been so hot and cold, I just don't want you to feel you have to do any of this, y'know, for my benefit or anything..." his voice trailed off as he blushed and pressed a light kiss to Jay's shoulder.

"Oh, honey, no," Jay brushed curls off of Carlos' forehead and kissed it, making the younger boy blush as he continued, "I just- I've never had anyone want me. I'm just not used to it. To feeling like I'm wanted, not needed. Mal, as much as she would rather die than admit it, needs me. Evie, needs me. They rely on me to protect them if need be, or provide for them when things get hard. I'm needed by them. It's the same with my father, he doesn't want me, he needs me. I serve a purpose to him; provide for the shop, raid the liquor store, steal money, steal food, and keep the family name a proud one. I just- I've never had someone just want to be around me, until I met you. And that's not to discredit the girls, I know they love me in their own way, just like I do with them. But with you it's so different. You follow me around because you like talking to me, you learned to parkour with me because you thought it was fun. You taught me how to build a baking soda bomb" he laughed at the memory and Carlos smiled encouragingly back, urging him to continue, "You've become the only thing I can really count on and I guess I'm just afraid that in getting close to you like this, that I'll lose you. And I-"his voice closed up uncomfortably at the thought, "I don't know if I could handle losing you. But please, believe me when I say I want this, I want you. I'm just afraid of what that might mean in the future if one day things aren't the same."

He ventured a nervous glance up at Carlos, feeling sick from having admitted so much, but knowing Carlos deserved the truth, even if it meant he was going to lose him. But Carlos didn't look angry, or hurt, or disgusted at his admission. He wiped the tears that Jay hadn't realized were falling until he felt Carlos' warm hand on his cheeks and then Carlos leaned into him, placing a soft, chaste kiss on his lips before pulling away with a bright smile.

"Jay, I promise, you have nothing to worry about. I can't even imagine a life without you now, and I've been alone for so, so long. I know what it feels like to not feel wanted, to feel like nothing more than a tool for someone else to use and throw away. My mother-"his voice wavered and he took a deep, steadying breath before he was able to continue, "She has always blamed me for my father leaving. I don't really remember a lot about my father, just fleeting glimpses of memories from when I was small. But I know he was the world to my mother, and when we were being shipped off here, he fought it. He wanted a better life for his son than what we have here. I'm not sure of all the details, but, he didn't make it, and my mother has never forgiven me for it. She said that I took her Ice Prince from her. She hates me, so I know how fucking terrifying it is, standing here and trying to pretend that I know what love is supposed to be, when I have no idea."

Jay attempted to hush the smaller boy as he shook in his arms, tears falling freely from both of their eyes but Carlos pushed back from his chest and tried to brokenly continue.

"So you might be saying that you know what it feels like to be needed but not wanted, and I know what it is like to be absolutely hated and never loved, but really they aren't that different, you wanting to be wanted and me wanting to feel loved. And I-I would rather try with you than with anyone else. You've been my best friend for so long, there really isn't anyone I would trust other than you. I know you don't want to just feel needed, but believe me when I say I need you too. You've been my protector, my best friend, my confidant, you've been everything I could have ever imagined and I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for you. Without you, I feel so lost. I would never leave you, and I hope that I could make you happy enough that you would never want to leave me either."

Jay pulled Carlos into his arms and sat them down in the corner he had set up earlier; there was soft pillows and blankets piled up so that the two just sank into the soft cocoon. Jay snuggled the smaller boy to him as they both shook silently sobbing into one another. There was so much hurt and past aching that had come to light. There was so much fear in attempting to love someone on the Isle. You could never be too careful in who you allowed in. Both boys had seen too much for their years, had pain that was reflected on their bodies in scars and in their minds in endless self-doubt. Jay struggled to comprehend how a mother could turn all her own mistakes and pain on the boy in his arms.

"You are the most amazing boy I've ever known Carlos. You're so smart, honestly, you have so much potential and watching you work never fails to amaze me. You have the cutest little furrow in your brow that you get when you're concentrating. You're so selfless and kind, much more than I could ever hope to be. I mean, you're practically good, if it wasn't for all the mischief you get into," he felt Carlos giggle against his chest and ran his fingers through the boys' curls gently. "You're so handsome, and I know you hate your freckles but they're honestly my favourite thing in the world. They make you glow, especially when you smile and-"

Carlos leaned up and pressed a kiss to Jay's lips, effectively shutting his rambling down. Jay kissed the salty tears off Carlos' cheeks before smiling down at him and pulling him closer so he could wrap his arms around him more firmly.

"Thank you, Jay. You mean so much to me."

Jay felt his chest swell with joy, this is what he had been yearning for. This is what had been missing with everyone else. This trust, and love that he knew he felt but was too nervous to admit yet. He would wait a little longer before he admitted so much, his body already feeling weak from the onslaught of so much emotion. He tried his best to remain open with Carlos, tried to remain in the moment for as long as possible. Yet, he could still feel his walls assembling themselves around his heart even as Carlos sat up suddenly and started fumbling around in his pockets for something.

"What are you looking for, babe?"

Carlos blushed when Jay called him 'babe' and Jay took note to make sure he called Carlos that much more often when they were alone. Carlos carefully pulled out something that was rolled up from his breast pocket and held it out to Jay.

Jay gasped when he saw what it was that Carlos was offering him.

"But, Carlos, you love that beanie-"

"It was my father's, and, um" he coughed slightly, searching for words, "I thought he was the only one who would ever make me feel safe, feel like I meant something. But you, you give that to me and so much more. I want you to have it. So you always remember how much I care about you, how much I truly want you, and so you always have a piece of me with you."

"Carlos, I can't – I can't take that from you."

"Please," Carlos pleaded, pulling Jay's hair out of his face and pulling the tattered red beanie over his head, "I want you to have it, please, Jay?"

Jay adjusted the beanie better on his head and offered a small, grateful smile to Carlos who beamed back at him. Jay reached for Carlos and the smaller boy launched himself into his arms, nuzzling his face into the crook of Jay's shoulder and sighing contentedly. Jay laid back into the pillows and pulled a blanket over top of the two of them, keeping one arm secure around Carlos the whole time as he leaned down to kiss the boy goodnight.

"Wait, wait, before we sleep-are we, um, dating now?" Carlos asked quietly.

Jay pulled Carlos closer and peppered his hair with kisses.

"Yes, baby. You're mine, and I'm yours. I promise."

He settled in with Carlos and listened to the pattering of the rain on the metal roof and as Carlos' breaths deepened and the boy fell asleep against him; he allowed his own eyes to drift closed feeling, for the first time in his life, truly content.

Chapter Text

Thirteen years earlier….
A young Cruella de Vil sighed as she watched in dismay as her husband played happily with the new woman in the village. Cruella could not see what was so great about her; she was plain and constantly filthy from tumbling around with her boys outside. But that did not seem to bother her love as he joyously swooped the youngest one into his arms blowing raspberries against the child’s frost-reddened cheeks. She moved away from the window and glanced down at her own child, Carlos who sat toddling quietly by the fire with his tools.
“Carlos, darling, what are you making for Mommy?” she called as she pulled the small boy into her lap. A small smile twitched at her lips as the small child held up a small toy dog with what looked like a new metal collar around its neck.
“Puppy!” Carlos squealed happily, showing the dog’s new collar off to his mother. A small twinge of guilt hit Cruella as she glanced at the stuffed dog, knowing that only a few floors below sat real dogs waiting to be turned into coats for her newest fashion line.
“Now, Carlos what did I tell you about dogs?”
“Bad dog!” Carlos said very seriously before erupting into giggles and nuzzling into the stuffed toy again.
“Cruella? Cruella, where are you?”
Cruella smiled and placed Carlos back down as she went out to the front entryway to greet her husband.
“Kai, love, I thought you would be home sooner, supper is waiting for you in the oven,” she greeted, stepping into his warm embrace.
Kai’s platinum locks dusted against his sweat-slicked forehead as he pulled his winter cap off and leaned down to kiss his wife. He could feel the uneasy tension in her body and rubbed her back gently, coaxing her eyes up towards him.
“Is something wrong, my darling?” he asked worriedly.
Cruella stiffened and stepped out of his embrace, taking his hand as she led him towards the kitchen. She sat him down in a chair and placed a hot bowl of soup in front of him. The silence hung heavily in the air and Kai seemed to sense the on-coming argument as he watched his wife twist at her curls, a tell-tale sign she was agitated. She leaned against the stove quietly and it seemed then that Kai remembered that his tot was not around.
“Where’s Carlos?” he asked, starting to stand up to search for him.
“Sit down, Kai! He’s playing in the sitting room, he’s fine,” Cruella snapped, smacking her hand loudly against the table.
“Alright,” Kai sighed, leaning back in his chair.
“Why do I see you with Gerda every time I look out the window, Kai? Every. Single. Time. I watch as you dawdle down the street, play with HER children, I mean, are you unhappy here?” Her voice was dangerously calm and Kai weighed his words carefully before he spoke.
“You know I love Carlos, he’s the greatest gift you’ve ever given me. But, with all the turmoil and torture that happens in this house how can we expect to keep him from it? When we met you had your skins shipped to you, and now- Now you skin them yourself and I can’t stand it! It’s disgusting Cruella! I thought fur would be a passing phase for you but you have kept on it, it’s obsessive, it’s not healthy! So yes, from time to time I escape and spend time with Gerda, because she does not have a basement full of horrors and I can actually enjoy myself with her.”
“How dare you?! You knew what you were getting into when you married me-“
“I admit if it weren’t for Carlos, I would never have married you Cruella. I knew I would be getting a son and I hoped a wife that could put her family above her obsessive need to harm animals but it seems as though that’s clearly not the case!”
Cruella opened her mouth but was cut off by Carlos screaming. Her eyes grew wide as she heard heavy thumps and growls from the direction of-
“The basement door,” she whispered in horror, “but he KNOWS not to touch that…”
“PUPPY NO!!!” Carlos screamed as Kai jumped up and ran in the direction of his son’s screaming.
Before the pair reached their son he had been surrounded by huge growling dogs that bit and scratched at him in their attempt to pass him on the stairs. Carlos reached out pleadingly towards his small puppy toy and was growled at by a large dog that picked it up and shook the toy to shreds.
“No!! Bad dog!” Carlos cried, reaching to try to pull his toy away from the growling animal. As his hand reached forward the dog dropped the toy and latched on to Carlos’ forearm, dragging him further down the stairs.
“Carlos?! Carlos!!” Kai cried as he raced down the steps towards his sobbing and screaming son. Kai kicked the growling dog off his son and pulled the small boy into his arms, racing back up the stairs and firmly shutting the door, sliding the lock into place.
“Carlos, baby, Daddy is here. Daddy’s here, it’s okay,” Kai soothed, taking inventory of his son’s injuries. The bite on his forearm was bleeding profusely and Cruella came hurtling through the doorway with a medical kit in hand.
“Oh, Carlos, you stupid boy! Why would you go down there? You KNOW NOT TO GO DOWN THERE!!” Cruella screamed, reaching to smack her son’s head. Her arm was caught in a vice grip and she glanced up into her husband’s murderous expression.
“You would blame Carlos? Our two-year old child, for your negligence in keeping that damned door locked so he can’t open it? Do you not see that this is your fault, Cruella?! LOOK AT HIM!” Kai demanded, holding the whimpering boy forward slightly so she could see the deep scratches and bites that marred his perfect baby skin.
“He was never supposed to open the door…” she murmured, tears blinding her eyes.
************
By the time Carlos was patched up and in bed Kai had packed a bag. He took one last look at his small son, sleeping soundly in his bed and placed a small kiss on his forehead.
“I love you, Carlos. I’m so sorry, son,” he whispered as he placed his own cap down on the boy’s bedside table.
As he closed the door quietly he glanced up towards King Beast’s Guards.
“He will be safe there, on the Isle? There won’t be dogs for her to hurt him with?”
“No dogs, sir. We cannot assure it will always be that way, but for now there will only be the villains and their children on the Isle,” a guard responded gruffly, ushering Kai down the hall.
Kai turned abruptly and made to push past the guards who easily blocked his way.
“Sir?”
“That’s my son! I can’t just leave him, he never did anything wrong! Let me take him, please!” he cried, fighting in vain to get back towards the room he had left Carlos in.
“Get off the boat, Kai. He has her blood, he’s as good as a villain himself-“
“But what about MY blood? That boy has goodness in him, I promise if you just let me raise him I could ensure-“
“You can ensure nothing, sir. He is a villain born and will be raised by his mother, ALONE, on the Isle. You have committed no crime, we cannot allow you to live among the tarnished.”
At that moment Cruella was pushed along the corridor from the other side, her hands cuffed and tear tracks apparent on her cheeks as she whimpered and stumbled along.
“Cruella!! Cruella, darling, please look at me!” Kai yelled frantically to his wife. She glanced up at him and her eyes hardened and she sneered at him.
“Guess you got what you wanted after all, Kai. No more crazy wife to bother you, it’s too bad you can’t save your precious son also,” she hissed.
“Cruella, please! Don’t hurt him, he’s just a boy. It wasn’t his fault-“
“It is ENTIRELY his fault and he will know it for every minute of his miserable life what a useless, stupid, pathetic, crybaby little fucking BITCH-“
“CARLOS!” Kai screamed as the doors to the ship finally closed, effectively cutting off Cruella’s taunts and forever cutting Kai away from his son.

Chapter Text

It had been a blissful three months since Carlos and Jay had decided to start dating in what Carlos now considered to be their “special spot.” In the time that had past the two had managed to keep their relationship a secret from the outside world, even Evie and Mal. Jay had insisted on the latter and Carlos tried not to let the fact that he felt like Jay’s dirty little secret get to him, but the hollow feeling of being used remained no matter how many times Jay assured Carlos that he cared about him. Jay continued to flirt with the school body in order to keep up appearances and routinely gifted some of his better finds to Carlos instead of taking them back to his father’s shop. Currently an onyx encrusted choker necklace warmed his neck.

The more Carlos thought about it the more he began to worry that maybe things were not as he thought they were when they started out. His constant panic attacks over making sure his chores and his homework were completed left little time for the two boys to spend any real “quality” time together as Jay had put it one day when they had been lazing about in their hideout. It wasn’t that Carlos shied away from being sexual with Jay, he was actually quite eager to be with his boyfriend, but he worried that the closer he allowed Jay to become the more it would hurt when things inevitably fell apart.
Pain cut across Carlos’ chest when he thought about the last time he had been with Jay and how callous he had been when Carlos had to excuse himself from their heated makeout session to run home and check on some of his more time-sensitive experiments. Jay had snapped at him gesturing to the very prominent bulge in the front if his jeans and complained that if Carlos’ experiments kept giving him blue balls that he’d destroy the stupid things himself. It seemed that Jay had stopped being Carlos’ friend the moment he had become his boyfriend. He no longer attempted to help him on his projects; often he just sat in his corner playing with the small electronic gaming device that Carlos had been able to somewhat restore for him. To put things simply, Carlos was desperate to prove himself to Jay, especially sexually if he thought things were ever going to take a turn for the better. It made sense, please Jay once and then he would go back to being the sweet, caring and protective boy that Carlos had started to fall for. This was just a rut caused by unanswered sexual tension.
*************************************************************************************
A mixture of nightmares and dreams caused Carlos to startle awake with a groan and rolled his stiff body up onto his elbows. The dust off the hardwood of the treehouse clung in clumps to his hair as he carefully pulled himself up, walking towards the curtain-covered window. Pulling back the grey rag he winced as early morning light filtered in and sighed.

Hell Hall stood drearily blocking most of the view of the rest of the Isle but just over the roof the tip of the castles in Auradon blinked cheerfully at him. Carlos leaned against the window ledge and took a few moments to take in the shift in colours as the sun rose further into the sky. Orange melted into pink as the glow illuminated the brilliant blues that crept out as the day started to set in. His mind wandered as he thought about Jay, who had been gone away to the other side of the Isle for the annual Traders Festival. According to Jay, it was the best three days of stealing he had all year and had left early in the morning leaving a note in Carlos’ treehouse as his goodbye. Carlos shook himself from his thoughts and returned his gaze to the sunrise in front of him.

“It’s gorgeous,” he breathed and startled when a firm pair of arms wrapped around his middle.

“I don’t know, I think I see something far more gorgeous right here,” a voice hummed in his ear, chuckling softly as Carlos felt heat rise to his cheeks.
Carlos turned into his boyfriend’s arms and played with the ends of his hair, shyly refusing to meet his eyes. He felt a hand pull at his chin urging his gaze upwards until he met dark chocolate orbs that sparkled with laughter.

“Hey Jay,” Carlos whispered, letting the older boy urge his chin up a little higher to kiss him.

“Hey yourself,” Jay chuckled, further nuzzling into Carlos and peppering kisses along his throat.

Carlos carefully pushed against Jay’s chest earning himself a disheartened groan from his boyfriend as he stepped around him and began searching for a clean shirt in a pile he had left on his desk the night before. He tried not to be too disheartened that it seemed Jay’s mind was set on seduction rather than asking Carlos how he had been the past few days. He heard a soft awkward chuckle from behind him when he set to work stripping his dirty white tee in exchange for a deep red one.

“What do you think?” Carlos asked, turning slowly so Jay could see the shirt from all angles.

“Hmm, no I don’t think I like that one,” Jay shrugged, slipping into his chair in the corner and putting his feet up onto a work station covered in various vials and bubbling beakers that hissed and popped quietly.

“Be careful, Jay, that station has-“

“Your works-in-progress; this being the chemical peel you’re working on for Evie for her birthday. I do listen to you, you know,” Jay grinned mischievously, “Now, back to picking your outfit. Next option please.”

Carlos was mildly surprised at Jay’s knowledge of his current work. He had been worried Jay was completely ignoring him when he came up to the treehouse but it seemed he had been paying attention after all. Carlos smirked at Jay and rolled his eyes, pulling the red shirt carefully over his head. He reached for a black and white spotted one and slipped it on easily, spinning quickly for Jay and playfully modelling the top as he leaned back on his desk.
Jay shook his head, “While I definitely enjoyed the performance babe, I think something different would look better.”

Carlos sighed, “Seriously, Jay?”

Jay raised an eyebrow and Carlos flushed, pulling the top off and turning back to his pile of laundry.

“Honestly, there’s not much left that I own,” he grumbled.

He started reaching for another white top, extending over the top of the desk carefully and hissing as the corner dug into his hip. Heat rushed to his face as he felt Jay step up behind him, resting a hand on his hip and reaching past him to easily snatch up the shirt he had been reaching for. The hand on his hip tickled against his side and Jay’s thumb hooked into the waistband of his black jeans gently tugging Carlos backwards. He involuntarily took a step back until he bumped into Jay’s hips and his eyes widened at the obvious bulge he could feel against his ass as Jay shamelessly grinded him.

“Jay,” Carlos choked out, gripping the edge of his desk when he heard Jay drop the shirt to the ground and trail a hand down his spine, scratching against his other hip.

“You’re such a fucking tease, Carlos, you know what you do to me,” Jay hissed, pressing firmly into Carlos’ ass and urging the younger boy to wiggle his hips against him.

Heat rushed through Carlos’ body and he whined, eagerly pushing back against Jay as his own arousal mounted on him. Jay easily flipped Carlos around, pushing him back onto the desktop and nipping at his mouth, demanding entrance. Carlos opened up to him willingly, a soft moan escaping him as Jay pressed further into Carlos, creating a delicious friction between the two that left even Jay gasping slightly. Carlos tangled his hands in Jay’s hair, pulling harshly to bring him even closer and carefully trailing hot licks and kisses along Jay’s neck, stopping where Jay’s throat met his shoulder to suckle a love bite into place.

“Shit, baby yes,” Jay groaned, teasingly running his hands up Carlos’ thighs and squeezing his ass to bring him harder into the frantic grinding of Jay’s hips. Carlos made quick work of disposing of Jay’s leather vest and mouthed his way down Jay’s chest, softly pressing open mouthed kisses against the trembling muscles beneath Jay’s honeyed skin. He winced a little when Jay wrapped a hand into his curls, tugging on them to urge the smaller boy on. He slowly started to slip down Jay’s body and then further down onto his knees in front of the boy, reaching for the buckle on Jay’s dark wash jeans.
A hand stopped Carlos’ trembling fingers from further undoing the front of his lover’s pants.

“Baby…you don’t have to, it’s okay, I know this is your first time with anything like this, we can go slowly,” Jay assured him calmly pulling Carlos’ face up gently by his hair, meeting his eyes worriedly.

Carlos hesitated a moment before smiling shyly up at Jay. He could see the way his boyfriend’s eyes had darkened with unbridled lust behind the caring look he was giving him. Despite everything that had happened between the two and despite the growing anxiety that clawed at his chest Carlos found he wanted to please Jay. He wanted to make the boy tremble and desire him, to make him realize that Carlos could be good for him, if not as a companion as he thought he had been, than at least as a lover. His wondered briefly if he looked as utterly wrecked as Jay did; lips swollen, hair tussled and bright red hickeys along his neck as he panted up at him.

“But, Jay, I want to.”

The hand stopping Carlos from undoing Jay’s pants slowly slid away and settled on his shoulder and a soft groan escaped Jay’s throat. Carlos pulled the offending article down and felt his breath catch in his throat as he stared at the huge bulge straining against the black boxers Jay wore. Carlos swallowed down some of his nerves and hooked his thumbs into Jay’s waistband, gently tugging it down as he placed hot kisses and licks around Jay’s navel and trailed a swift lick along the deep ‘V’ of Jay’s hipbones. Jay’s grip tightened slightly as Carlos pulled his boxers completely down and off. The scent of Jay’s arousal hit Carlos full force as Jay’s manhood was released from the silky confines of his boxers. A spicy musk that was entirely Jay hit Carlos and he struggled to control his breathing as he took in the sight of Jay’s engorged length weeping creamy precum from the reddened tip. He swiped his tongue along his palm, wetting it and then slowly reached out and gripped Jay’s cock firmly in this grasp. He felt the silky hardness glide under his palm and stroked Jay a few times hearing him hiss above him. Carefully Carlos touched his tongue to the tip of Jay’s length, giving a tentative swipe along the tip as he gripped the base firmly in his hand.

“Fuck,” Jay moaned, “Carlos...” his voice trailed off heatedly as he bucked his hips forward slightly towards Carlos.

Encouraged by Jay’s outburst Carlos wrapped his mouth around Jay’s tip, swiping his tongue along the sensitive underside of the crown before giving it a soft suck. His small hand pumped in time with his mouth as he worked Jay’s cock further down his throat. He was able to get a little over half in before he choked slightly and Jay pulled his head back to let him breathe before thrusting himself deeper down Carlos’ throat. Carlos moaned as he felt Jay take control of the movements and Jay slowly worked himself down Carlos’ throat until his eyes watered and he choked again. He swept his tongue along the tip again and again as he was pulled back tasting the salty-sweet of Jay as he pushed himself to try to swallow around him. Jay’s knees buckled slightly and he roared out a vicious groan as his hips snapped forward sharply.

“Fuck, you’re absolutely ruined, Carlos. You’re such a good boy, baby,” he growled, much to Carlos’ delight.

Carlos rubbed his hips against the floor, seeking any form of friction to take the edge off the raging hard-on that remained trapped in his own jeans as he braced his hands against Jay’s hard thighs and continued to lick and swallow Jay down, eager for his boyfriend to find his release. With a final swipe of his tongue Carlos swallowed Jay deeply and shuddered as the older boy yelled his lover’s name and a rush of salty warmth filled Carlos’ mouth. He eagerly swallowed as much of his boyfriend’s cum as he could. Pulling back with a soft pop, Carlos licked what remained from his lips and flushed deeply as Jay slumped gracelessly to his knees. Jay reached for Carlos and the younger boy happily fell into his love’s arms. Nuzzling into Jay he giggled as the older boy peppered kisses all over his face.

“S-Stop it, Jay!”

“You are absolutely amazing, baby. You know that right?” Jay panted, pulling the younger boy closer to kiss him deeply, groaning when he tasted himself on Carlos’ tongue.

Carlos blushed and smiled sheepishly, tugging on Jay’s arm so he would follow Carlos towards the pile of ratty blankets and pillows that served as his hideout’s bed. A sudden rush of anxiety had him voicing his insecurities quietly.

“So, I was okay, then?”

“Okay? Don’t be ridiculous, Carlos,” Carlos’ face fell and Jay pulled his chin up again, “That was the best blow I think anyone’s ever given me. You have nothing to be worried about, babe.”

Relieved and hopeful, Carlos giggled and pushed playfully against Jay’s chest. He squealed slightly when Jay rolled them to rest between Carlos’ legs where the evidence of his own arousal was still prominent. Jay rolled his hips forcefully down onto Carlos’ own and he gasped opening his legs wider for Jay. Jay smirked and leaned down to whisper into Carlos’ ear.

“You’re turn now, baby. Let me take good care of you,” he whispered huskily, reaching for the button at the top of Carlos’ jeans.

“Yes, please, please-“

“CARLOS? CARLOS?!! CARLOS DE VIL WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?!”

“Fuck, that’s my mom,” Carlos panicked, pushing harshly against Jay who groaned and rolled off his boyfriend.

“She’s such a buzzkill, dude.”

Carlos flinched and stared at Jay’s lazy form stretched out across his dirty makeshift bed. There was the nonchalance and the callous response he had thought would go away now that he had satisfied Jay. But to call him “dude” like he did in school, instead of “baby” was a new blow that had Carlos assembling his walls again.

I wasn’t good enough…why can’t I ever be fucking good enough?! I thought he cared about me…but maybe…maybe I am just his little fucktoy, not good enough, not worthy of his love…

“I-I’m sorry,” Carlos whispered, hurt.

“Wait, Carlos, I didn’t mean-“Jay started, sitting up.

But Carlos was already gone.