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The first time is in a bathroom.

Mark cocks an eyebrow at Eduardo from across the room, almost a challenge. Eduardo’s never been one to back down, especially with Mark, but he smiles at him, jovial, as though you set me up never happened, as though they’re two friends who knew each other in college and are now, possibly, acquaintances at best; they see each other all the time but never quite have time to catch up.

(Eduardo has a lot of friends like that.)

Instead, though, instead of false pleasantries, Eduardo grabs him by the arm, hard enough to hurt but not bruise, and he all but drags Mark out of the room.

“What the fuck,” he hisses through his teeth.

Mark frowns. “What?”

“You’re – you can’t just do that.”

“I made eye contact, Wardo, I don’t think that’s a crime, or that I need your permission.” Mark steps back, now, crosses his arms over his chest, and on anyone else it would look defensive – but Mark doesn’t have anything to defend, doesn’t care about anything, and Eduardo just snorts.

“Fine. It isn’t a crime. But I’m going to get back in there –” He points, every intention to go, to leave Mark behind for once, but Mark’s pulling him back, away, and into the bathroom.

“How can I show you I’m sorry, Wardo?” Mark asks, and then drops to his knees, slamming him against the bathroom stall.

Eduardo blinks, and shakes his head. “Don’t call me that,” he barely manages to get out, and then Mark’s getting his jeans open, pulling out his cock, holy shit. “Fuck,” he breathes out.

Mark sits back on his haunches, looking up at him, and there’s a question in his eyes – because Mark, Eduardo reminds himself, isn’t enough of an asshole to do – that without consent. He nods, biting down hard on his lower lip.

Mark doesn’t start slow – no, he wraps his lips around Eduardo’s cock, sinking down as quickly as he can – and – fuck – his nose is touching Eduardo’s stomach, hands gripping at his thighs, and he can hear people outside of the bathroom, and he turns his head into his arm, muffling his noises that he can’t fucking manage to keep quiet, and Mark’s loving it, humming around his cock, sliding up and down with a practiced air that Eduardo really doesn’t want to be thinking about.

He comes and the only warning he gives is a whimper, but Mark swallows down each pull without complaint.

Mark pulls off, smirking up at him, and Eduardo can only stare for a moment before tucking himself back in. “I –” but he can’t think of a way to finish that sentence because Mark just blew him in a bathroom, what the actual fuck.

Mark stands up and for a horrifying moment it looks like he’s going to kiss Eduardo, but he turns and leaves before that can happen, leaving Mark to himself.

He feels guilty but this isn’t something he’s equipped to deal with; he can’t get a blowjob from Mark, of all people, in a bathroom at a banquet (and thank god he’s fairly quiet, because that would have been bad) and he’s been in love with him since before he can remember but that doesn’t make a difference because Mark is a dick –

He closes his eyes and sits back at his table.

After a few moments, Mark comes from the same way Eduardo had, his eyes scanning over the room before landing on him.

The moment is charged, hot, and Eduardo swallows involuntarily, grabs his drink to have something to hold onto.

Mark smirks, the subtlest tilt of the corners of his lips, and he winks before walking over to Chris.

It’s as though nothing’s happened, after that – but Eduardo lets out a shaky breath, shaking his head, because there’s no such thing as nothing between he and Mark.

That’s the way that it should be – but this isn’t going to happen again, Eduardo tells himself, convinces himself.

(And if he dreams about wet, pink lips stretched around his cock, lips stained with just the lightest tint of red, well, that’s no one’s business but his own.)

Eduardo isn’t going to let it happen again.

He’s going to keep going to the stupid fucking meetings because he has to, because he has an image to keep up, but he’s not going to let things get out of hand again; he won’t talk to Mark if he has to, he’ll be the juvenile one about this if that’s what it takes.

And then he shows up, and Mark shows up, looking fucking perfect in a suit, and Eduardo wants to do all sorts of stupid things like kiss him senseless and peel off every layer until Mark’s writhing under him – but mostly, he wants to fuck him, hard, wants to see Mark come fucking undone.

He has a hotel room here, and he swallows, shaking his head, walking over to Mark before he can convince himself that it’s a bad idea.

“Mr. Zuckerberg,” he says, smooth, manners impeccable as always. He holds out his hand, key card tucked safely in the palm of his hand.

Mark looks confused (and it’s adorable but Eduardo isn’t going to think things like that) until he opens his hand and sees the card.

It’s Eduardo’s turn to wink, and he raises an eyebrow before saying “Eight, please,” before nodding to the person Mark was talking to, polite as ever.

He walks away, smiling – because he’s got the upper hand here, now, and Mark’s not in control.

He is.

It’s a heady feeling, and he takes a moment to just breathe it in.


Mark isn’t late.

Eduardo’s waiting, and precisely at eight, he hears a knock on the door, timid.

“You have a key,” he calls out, smiling, eyes closed, and he’s lying on his back on the bed, feet hanging off the edge.

He hears the click and soft footsteps, and something like a whimper.

Eduardo’s only in his boxers, and he looks up when Mark gets in, raising an eyebrow. “You came.”

“Of course I did, Wardo, you fucking tease.”

“Don’t call me that,” Eduardo says, again, voice gently chiding, but he doesn’t mind so much, now.

He’s in control.

Mark nods, and there’s the softest smile on the corner of his lips. “My sincerest
apologies,” and there’s just the hint of a laugh in his voice. He leans down, as though to kiss him, and Eduardo turns his head away, shaking his head.

“No,” he whispers, soft, and Mark moves to his neck, sucks hard.

“Don’t you dare leave a fucking bruise,” Eduardo whispers, and Mark bites, once, before pulling back.

He moves down, as though to take off Eduardo’s boxers, but he stops him with a hand on his arm.

“I want to fuck you,” he whispers, low and dirty, and he quirks an eyebrow. “Is that okay?”

Mark nods, swallowing, thick, and Eduardo pushes himself off the bed and Mark down, slamming him against the sheets.

“Stay fucking still,” he whispers, and he can feel anger that he hasn’t felt in years boiling up in him, hot and wild.

Mark nods, bites down on his lower lip, and Eduardo thumbs it out of his mouth, shaking his head.

“Don’t you be quiet on me,” he hisses, “you don’t get to do that, you never shut the fuck up.”

He grabs the lube, slicks his fingers up quickly, sliding two into Mark right away.
Mark moans, loud, and arches his back.

“Stay still,” Eduardo snaps, and his voice is loud enough to echo around the room, “stay fucking still.”

Mark nods, “I’m sorry, Eduardo,” he breathes out, and he stays still, though he’s shaking.

Eduardo finds his prostrate, ramming his finger against it again and again, until Mark’s hips jerk, and he’s almost sobbing, “Wardo, Eduardo, please, fuck me, I need it, need you”, and how can he say no to that?

He slides into him quick, and he hisses through his teeth. “Shit, you’re so fucking tight,” he whispers, “can’t have been fucked much, have you, you fucking asshole, too busy with your website that meant more to you than I ever did, isn’t that right?” He grabs Mark’s cock, jerking him roughly, and underneath him Mark is panting, writhing. “Isn’t that right?”

“No – you always – always meant more –” He’s nearly sobbing, and Eduardo’s barely fucked him yet.

“That’s a lie,” Eduardo hisses through his teeth, biting at Mark’s neck, leaving a mark he’s sure won’t go away, “and you know it.”

“No!” and Mark’s protesting now, reaches up to pull him down, kiss him, but Eduardo shakes his head again. “No – Wardo – you have to know –”

Eduardo moves his thumb over the slit and Mark comes, back arching, words falling out of his lips without any connection to English.

Eduardo comes, too, and for a moment just lies there, resting against Mark.

After a bit, though, he feels dirty, like he’s used Mark (he deserves it deserves it that’s what he gets) and he sits up, runs a hand through his hair.

“Eduardo,” and this is soft, shy. Mark hasn’t moved, still slumped against the bed, and he reaches out to tangle his fingers with Eduardo’s. “Are you okay?”

He jerks his hand away, standing up, shaking his head. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
“You’re the one who called me here,” Mark says, and his voice is lower now, almost sad.

Mark doesn’t get to be sad.

“I’m leaving,” Eduardo says. “Check out whenever the fuck you want, I can afford it and so can you.”

Mark bites his lip but just nods.

He pulls on clothes without paying attention, and at the door turns the slightest amount.

Mark looks near tears.

I’m imagining it, he tells himself, because Mark isn’t a person, he’s the one who fucked him over for a company and nothing more.

He leaves.

Eduardo misses Mark.

He misses him, and that’s silly, the silliest thing; because Mark shouldn’t be like that, shouldn’t make him want to do all sorts of stupid things. He shouldn’t want to hold his hand and kiss his stupid knuckles; he shouldn’t be pressing a thumb against the lightest mark that was left (it’s not there anymore but he can feel it, a phantom reminder of what Mark did, that he was ever there) and feeling as though he’s going to collapse.

He shouldn’t, shouldn’t, shouldn’t, but he’s never been able to do what’s good for him. He’s never been able to look at the bigger picture (as his father never ceases to inform him, voice heavy with disapproval; and he wonders what he’d think, if he knew his only son had fucked Mark Zuckerberg without so much as a kiss goodbye, if he’d be proud that he’d turned off his emotions or disappointed because he never really can), and now is no exception. He wants all of the silly, stupid things that he’s never wanted before.

He wants to hold Mark’s hand in public, and he wants to take him to work. He wants to kiss him goodbye, properly, and Mark’ll be late but he won’t mind, lips bitten red and hair a mess. He wants to fall asleep next to Mark, to the sound of his breathing, slowing.

But he can’t have any of that, and he’s not going to try – because Mark doesn’t want that, won’t ever want that. He’s not interested in anything like romance or love; he considers it a waste of time.

(In Harvard, he told Eduardo that, once, lying on his back on his bed.

“I don’t believe love is real,” he’d said, voice soft.

Eduardo’d looked at him, raising an eyebrow, and he knew that to be false, knew because of the way his heart stuttered when Mark was near. “What is it, then?” he’d asked, in a half-whisper. “That people talk about, if not love?”

Mark grinned, showing his dimples. “It’s infatuation, or want of something that can never be found.” He looked at Eduardo, then, eyes wide. “Want to feel important, to feel needed.”

“You’ve clearly never been in love.”

“I’ve never felt that strongly about anyone.”

And his heart had broken but he’d nodded, changed the subject, because there was no point in arguing with Mark.)

He doesn’t delude himself into thinking it won’t happen again; he lets himself think that Mark might want him enough to try again, might miss Eduardo like he misses him.
But he doesn’t do anything. They see each other at meetings, all the time (because now’s a busy time of year and Eduardo goes to everything and, apparently, so does Mark) but Mark doesn’t so much as spare him a glance, choosing instead to stand in the corner, nursing drink after drink.

Eduardo feels like shit, honesty; if he didn’t know better he’d think it was because of him that Mark seems so pulled in on himself, but it isn’t, can’t be, because Mark doesn’t care.

(He tells himself this time and time again and he doesn’t really believe it but he pretends – to do anything else would be insane.)


It takes three meetings like this before Eduardo snaps.

He goes to Mark quickly, grabs his arm. “I need a word,” he says, and smiles, all forced pleasantries and happiness.

Mark shakes his head, quick, and jerks his arm away. “I’d rather not,” and his voice is soft, scared.

Eduardo’s heart breaks. “Please,” he says.

Mark swallows audibly and then nods, following him out there.

There’s a moment where they just stare at each other before Eduardo drops to his knees, pushing Mark against a stairwell.

“Wardo – fuck – Eduardo,” Mark breathes out as Eduardo unzips his trousers, pulls out his cock, “you don’t – anyone could come out here.”

“Better be quiet then, right? And quick,” Eduardo says with a small smirk before sucking him down as far as he can.

Mark lets out a quiet breath – not quite a moan but almost, and Eduardo wants to kiss the sound from his lips, wants to pull him flush against him and kiss him until they’re both breathless.

Instead, he moves quickly on Mark, pulling him closer in that way, until Mark’s gasping above him, pulling Eduardo’s hair tight.

“I need – I’m going to –” and Eduardo gives a hum – and just like that, Mark’s coming, hard down Eduardo’s throat.

He stays there, against the wall, while Eduardo tucks him back in, quirks an eyebrow, kisses his neck, once.

And he wants him, so much, and Mark looks like he wants it, too – but this is payback, he thinks, this is because of everything that did and didn’t happen between them, and he’s not letting himself get too far into this, not letting himself fall deeper than he is.

“Goodbye, Mark,” he says, and smirks again before leaving.

He thinks he hears a quick whoosh of a sucked-in breath, something that sounds halfway like a sob, but he ignores it.

He has to.

He gets a call from Chris, some time later.

“You’ve been talking to Mark?” His voice is pinched, tight.

Eduardo closes his eyes, and shakes his head. “Uh – sort of. In a sense.”

“What does that mean?” and this is softer now, more tender, because Chris has always known about Eduardo’s feelings, because Chris gets it (because there’s always been Dustin, too, and better than anyone Chris understands).

“We – I’m a fucking idiot,” and he closes his eyes, tight.

Chris is silent, and then, “I’ll come over? You’re staying at a hotel, yeah?”

“Can I just – go to your place?” because he doesn’t want to be here any longer, because this hotel is too much like the last, the one where Mark was on his bed, moaned for him, only him, and it’s too much.

Chris is quiet, understanding. “Yeah, of course.”


Eduardo goes.

He goes and they don’t get drunk but they’re close, Chris not making him talk until the words pour out of him.

“I can’t kiss him,” he says, and his eyes are shut, “because – I don’t want to feel too much, I can’t let myself feel too much with him because he doesn’t feel anything.”

“That isn’t true,” and it’s not judgmental but it’s chastising, almost.

Eduardo swallows. “I know,” and he feels like he’s falling apart, “but I’m not letting myself get hurt again.”

“That doesn’t mean you have to hurt Mark.”

Eduardo opens his eyes, wide. “Mark’s – hurting?”

“Of course he is, you fucking idiot,” and this is angrier, now, because Chris has no tolerance for bullshit, “you keep fucking him and then – you leave him there, by himself. What the hell is he supposed to be?”

“Why won’t he talk to me about it?” and he leans back against the couch, closing his eyes.

“Would you listen to him?”

Eduardo’s silent; he knows the answer, because he won’t let Mark have anything that Eduardo doesn’t give himself. “No,” he finally says, soft, and bites his lip hard. “I just –”

“Talk to him,” Chris says, “when you’re sober, when you’re okay. Talk to him and it’ll all be all right.”

Eduardo nods. “Okay,” he whispers.”


He tries, with Mark.

He tries to talk to him, to send him something, but the words aren’t right; they’re never right, with him, because he can’t say anything without saying everything.

And so he goes to Mark’s house.

It’s modest for a billionaire, and Eduardo doesn’t let himself be surprised by that; instead, he just goes to the door, ringing the bell.

He hears a dog bark and Mark’s annoyed “One minute,” petulant like he was back at Harvard, and Eduardo closes his eyes past the nostalgia.

The door opens and Mark stares at him, eyes wide for a moment. “Wa – Eduardo,” he says, and his voice is soft, almost a whimper. “What are you doing here?”

Eduardo has a thousand words to say to him, a thousand apologies (he’s always taking, taking these days, and he can’t do that anymore, because that’s what Mark did then and they’re both different now and maybe he can let himself have this) but he rushes forward, cupping Mark’s face in his hands, and he kisses him, hard.

Mark lets out a real whimper this time, and his arms wrap around Eduardo’s neck. They stumble into the house, and Mark shuts the door behind them, still kissing him, almost as though he’s searching for something.

Eduardo pulls back and Mark follows with a whine, but he shakes his head. “Wait – wait,” he breathes out, voice shaky.

Mark does, and his hands curl into fists, as though he’s scared.
Eduardo never wants to see that look on his face again.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers, and presses their foreheads together, eyes shut tight. “I’m so sorry, Mark.”

Mark makes a soft noise and his hands are shaking when they wrap around Eduardo’s waist. “Please,” he whispers, a broken sound.

Eduardo shakes his head. “I don’t – I just want you so much,” and the words tumble out of him, “all of the time and it’s just sex for you but it isn’t for me, it’s never going to be and I don’t want to pretend that it is.”

Mark presses himself closer, flush against Eduardo’s body, and he kisses Eduardo’s neck. “It’s not,” he whispers, soft, and then, he pulls back enough to kiss him, slow and soft. “I want you,” he whispers, softer than before, and then, again, “please.”
Eduardo can’t say no to that, won’t, and he kisses him properly this time, because everything’s been building up to this; everything he’s ever wanted is right here, in his arms, and it’s the silliest and most true thing he’s let himself think in a long, long time.

“Wardo,” Mark whimpers out, and he pulls back, wincing, looking shattered. “I’m sorry – Eduardo,” because Mark feels bad, because Mark remembers –

“Don’t be sorry,” he says, voice a low murmur, “I like when you call me that,” and he licks at Mark’s bottom lip, kissing him again, letting himself taste what he never has.
Mark gasp-shudders and grabs Eduardo’s shoulders, pushing him back. “Bed?” he asks, finally, and his eyes are wide when he looks at Eduardo. “You can –” and he closes his eyes, tight. “I want you to fuck me again,” he says instead.

Eduardo nods, quick, and Mark drags him up the stairs, pushes him down on the bed to crawl after him.

It’s different, this time.

It’s different because he kisses Mark, now, when he pushes a finger in; he’s not trying to make it hurt, he’s trying to make Mark feel better than he ever has (because maybe if he can do that, Mark won’t leave him, won’t hurt him again) and Mark kisses him back before his jaw goes slack and his eyes all but roll into the back of his head.

Eduardo lets him move, this time, lets Mark shift his hips up against him, and he presses tiny kisses to the insides of Mark’s thighs before he pushes in, slower than before.

Mark moans, soft, in the back of his throat, and it’s slow, this time.

They have all of the time in the world, because Eduardo isn’t leaving, this time, isn’t trying to get this over with; if this is the only time it’s going to happen, if Mark’s never going to let it happen again (because why should he?) he’s going to make it something to remember.

Mark comes almost soundlessly, choking out a Wardo, reverent, and Eduardo closes his eyes and comes inside him, licking his way into Mark’s mouth.

He pulls out and tosses the condom aside before cleaning them both up, and he lies down next to Mark, holding him tight.

It’s better, this time, better because Eduardo holds onto him tight and kisses his shoulder, eyes sliding shut.

Mark clears his throat. “You don’t have to say,” he says, staring at his hands.

Eduardo sits up a bit. “What?” and this is it, this is Mark telling him to leave.

“I mean –” and he shakes his head, looking at him. “If you don’t want to stay. You don’t have to. I get it, you know. I get what this is.”

“What’s that?” Eduardo asks, and he’s ignoring Mark telling him to leave because if he doesn’t acknowledge it that means he can stay here forever, in this hazy area of twilight.

“Revenge,” Mark says, “and I deserve it, I know I do. It’s all right, though. You can – you’ve gotten what you wanted.”

“What did I want?” Eduardo asks, staring at Mark, and his hand tightens on his hip, almost imperceptibly. He’s holding onto Mark as tightly as he can because this is it and Eduardo’s not self-destructive to try this again, not if this is how it goes.

“I love you,” Mark sighs out, screwing his eyes shut, “all right, there, I’ve said it. You’ve gotten it – that – okay. You don’t have to stay to make me feel better, though, because – I’m a big kid, I’ll get over it.”

And Eduardo sees, with startling clarity, what Mark’s doing, what he’s saying, and I love you plays over and over in his mind. “What if I won’t?” he asks, before kissing Mark, and he whispers “I love you, too,” against his lips, because he does, because he never stopped.

Mark’s eyes are wide. “If you’re fucking with me –” and it’s one of the saddest things Eduardo’s ever heard. Mark sounds absolutely defeated, and he only shakes his head, smiling.

“I love you, Mark,” and he can’t keep the smile off of his face, and then, softer, “and you can’t get me to leave.”

Mark closes his eyes and then a slow, blissful smile makes its way over his face. “Okay,” he whispers, and his smile is blinding. “Okay,” and there’s another kiss, Mark rolling on top of him, still smiling.

He kisses Eduardo’s eyelids, feather-light and soft, and he says, “You made me believe in love,” quiet.

Eduardo wants to cry, kind of; but this is he and Mark and they’re finally there.

“You’re wonderful,” he says, because Mark doesn’t hear it enough and it’s true.

Mark shakes his head, rolling his eyes, “Stop.”

Eduardo laughs, bright, and he grins. “You are, I think you’re wonderful and lovely and fantastic,” and he’s giggling, bright.

Mark smiles at him, and it’s wonderful.

Eduardo falls asleep next to Mark, breathing in tandem with him, and it’s everything he’s ever wanted.

They’ll be fine.