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04 August 2011 @ 05:05 pm
mark/eduardo fic: mulligan (1/2)  
Title: Mulligan
Author: oflights
Pairing: Mark/Eduardo, Eduardo/OMCs, Eduardo/OFCs, and Mark/OMC
Rating: NC-17
Warning(s): sex, language, angsty.
Word Count: ~13,600
Disclaimer: This story is based on fictional representations of the characters in The Social Network; I make no claims of ownership of anyone or anything and oh God please don’t Google yourselves, people.
Summary: Based on this prompt for slasher48 ; in which Eduardo discovers he's kind of an asshole, breaks his own heart a few times, breaks Mark's heart, and then has to fix it.
Note 1: ANDREA. This fic! And you! lol this was not meant to be this long but then it was, and I'm sure you don't mind ;D but if you do I am sorry. I hope you like it because, miraculously, I sort of do, and I love you, so I want you to like it. :D

Note 2: Thanks so much to Julia (goldendoods) for reading this when I was stuck, and to my Team Pride Chatzy peeps, who are all amazing and so freaking helpful. And THANK YOU times a billion to listentokelly for the making the notes, which are linked sporadically throughout the fic. CLICK THEM THEY ARE AWESOME.

Note 3: (ahahaha so many notes /o\) a mulligan in sports (namely golf, shut up) is a second chance. just FYI. okay fic time now! enjoy!


The way they make up is sort of anticlimactic, though Eduardo imagines that, following a dramatic laptop smashing and a 600 million dollar lawsuit, everything else would have to be. They are both at one of Dustin’s parties, which is only different from the usual conventions and corporate events they see each other at because it forces them to be in closer proximity.

Eduardo tends to skip these things, but he is tired tonight, and not in the mood to be contrary or bitter, so he goes and gets drunk like he’s in college again, because Dustin’s house is like a time warp of immaturity, Neverland for businessmen. Mark has always liked to consider himself the leader of the Lost Boys, and so of course he’s getting drunk with them, that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that, instead of playing video games all night and politely ignoring Eduardo’s existence, he winds up with him out on Dustin’s porch, breath puffing out damp and misty in the cool night air.

They aren’t screaming at each other, which is good, but they’re not reciting poetry, either—everything they’re talking about feels heavy and absolutely drenched in the past. Eduardo wants to shake himself like a dog, shake it all off and just be drunk and at peace for a while, but Mark is Mark and is always so focused when he’s drunk, so determined and ruthless.

“This is fucking stupid, we’re fixing this tonight,” Mark says with belligerent, intoxicated conviction, and Eduardo shrugs and thinks fine, deciding he probably won’t remember this in the morning, and he can just go back to his comfy resentment and anger when he wakes up.

But when he wakes up on Dustin’s couch, Mark is shoving water and aspirin at him, and Eduardo looks at him and absolutely cannot hate him. It’s almost terrifying, how much he can’t hate Mark in that moment, how he can’t really feel the opposite, either, but still can’t find any of that hatred he’s been clinging to for years. He feels lighter without it, like something tied to him has been cut off, and it feels strangely good. This is the peace he’d been chasing after with alcohol, and Eduardo can’t really believe that he’s finding it in a tentative, almost shy smile from Mark.

Eduardo remembers enough of the conversation from the night before to know there was a sorry, there was some resistance to it, and then some grudging acceptance. But feeling resistant to an apology just feels silly now, pointless, and it really does take so much energy to hate someone. Eduardo doesn’t have that kind of energy anymore, has many more things going on to channel it into. He says, “Thanks, Mark,” and they spend the morning together in hangover solidarity, ignoring Dustin waking up and doing an exaggerated double take when he finds them watching Phineas and Ferb together.

Because he’s Dustin, though, he doesn’t actually say anything, just starts crowing about Agent P and shoving himself onto the couch with them, flinging his legs over Eduardo’s lap so that his feet are in Mark’s. And after that it’s simple, casual, and almost ironic—it is so much easier to not hate Mark than it is to hate Mark, and Eduardo despairs of years of carrying that kind of weight around with him.

They are not friends, that is the important part—not the making up, or even what eventually comes after—no, they are not friends, but they are not enemies, either. Instead of ignoring each other they talk, but they don’t go out of their way to talk, and Eduardo makes sure to keep himself from doing so. Going out of his way for Mark is dangerous, because he knows it won’t happen two ways.

They talk, and sometimes they drink, if they both happen to be in a place that serves alcohol. Dustin starts throwing more parties because he thinks he can instigate something but Eduardo is careful to only attend a few, no matter how many happen to coincide with when Eduardo is in town. Okay, all of them are when Eduardo is in town. And Eduardo is in town a lot because of work, and not for any other reason or person.

To prove this, he picks someone up at one of Dustin’s parties. This one happens to be in a bar, and for the birthday of someone Eduardo doesn’t actually know, but Eduardo likes bars and he likes sex, so he goes to the party and he talks up a girl and eventually brings her back to his hotel room. She’s not a Facebook employee but a gym friend of the birthday person, so Eduardo feels absolutely no guilt about sleeping with her and then leaving for his flight the next morning without waking her, paying for another day at the hotel because he’s a gentleman and he can afford it.

Eduardo isn’t invited to the next party; he only knows about it because of Facebook. At first he is righteously offended and hurt and angry, and he’s sure it’s Mark’s fault, for some reason (not that this is Mark’s party, because Mark doesn’t throw parties, he just goes to Dustin’s). He mentions it to Chris and Chris thinks he’s absolutely nuts.

“Are you—Eduardo, first of all, I think you have an open invitation to Dustin’s house always. You’re Eduardo. Second of all, what on Earth would Mark have to do with you not being invited to Dustin’s party? They are not the same person.”

So then Eduardo feels silly, and anyway, he is not supposed to be taking any of this personally, is he? He’s not. He’s above that now. He just passes through the Bay Area, and he’s only looked at San Francisco office space, he hasn’t actually firmed anything up yet. He is not a big part of their lives, not really a fixture at their parties, so it’s stupid to read into these kinds of acts. He is Dustin’s old college buddy, Mark’s acquaintance, and Chris’ sort of friend, and he likes it that way for now.

In New York Eduardo hooks up with friends of friends, not because he’s lonely, but because he likes sex. Sometimes he gets fucked and sometimes he fucks and he rarely, if ever, gets anyone’s number, because this isn’t like that. It is hard to put down girlfriend or boyfriend roots when you’re living Eduardo’s life, and he doesn’t exactly want to. One of his friends, Shauna, who he would never sleep with because he has too much respect for, warns one of her flirty female friends about him, laughing and joking about it with an underlying edge of seriousness.

“Be careful with this one,” she says. “He’s a heartbreaker.”

At first Eduardo is shocked, and he wants to argue with her. He had always been one of the good ones before, the guy you bring home to your parents, who spends the extra money on a nice corsage for prom not because he wants to get laid, but because he wants his date to feel like a princess for a night (and if he does get laid then that’s just an awesome bonus, really). He used to be the one that girls would talk about like this: “Ugh, guys are assholes. Why can’t all guys be like you, Eduardo?” He had sort of liked being that guy.

There are enough girls, though, that like the guy that Eduardo is now, and there are more than enough guys. Eduardo doesn’t mourn his old reputation for very long—it’s not realistic, he thinks, to stay like that and live on two different continents.

“‘Nothing gold can stay,’” Eduardo says one night, a little drunk, a little lame, lounging in bed all sated and sleepy with a guy he’d picked up in Chelsea.

“Oh my God,” the guy says, laughing into his pillow, choking on cigarette smoke. “Robert Frost? This is so not going to work.”

Good, Eduardo thinks, and he never sees the Chelsea guy again.

Eventually, he does open an office in San Francisco, but only because it’s practical for his job, and it’s not like he’ll spend more time there than in New York or even Singapore, where he still dabbles sometimes. Eduardo is a businessman, and all the best businessmen these days have mobile lives they can drag across the world to wherever the best opportunities are, and he is good at what he does. His real friends are in New York, and in Singapore, so he’ll probably only spend a small fraction of his time in San Francisco, when it’s necessary.

He throws a New Office Party, though (that’s a thing, it really is), and invites all the Facebook people. He invites Dustin to show that his feelings aren’t hurt and Mark because it would be weird and sort of petty not to. He doesn’t invite the gym girl because he had never gotten her number, and hadn’t wanted it.

Chris RSVPs and comes even though he had been the one to ask if a New Office Party is actually a thing (it totally is), and Dustin and Mark don’t RSVP but of course they come anyway, because they’re 12, but Eduardo shrugs it off and hands them drinks and smiles.

Dustin is weird and evasive that night but Mark isn’t, so Eduardo talks to Mark politely but no more than he talks to everyone else at the party. He is excellent at hosting parties, one of the many things his upbringing had prepared him for, and every time he refills a dip bowl or introduces someone to someone else, he feels like his mom would be proud of him.

His father would probably be less so—he would look at these things as a woman’s job, and wonder why Eduardo doesn’t have someone yet to do this for him. Sometimes Eduardo makes up a girlfriend to tell his father about, usually a phony teacher or an imaginary secretary, just to hear his father make a pleased sort of rumble and forget to ask what shares he had accidentally signed away that day.

At one part, Mark helps him make onion dip in his office’s little kitchenette, talking idly for some reason about cooking classes he’s been taking.

“And they taught you how to stir onion soup mix into sour cream?” Eduardo asks, fighting to put some derision in his voice so he won’t sound as fond as he feels. The sight of Mark stirring the dip so carefully, biting his bottom lip in concentration like this is an incredibly arduous task, is really, frighteningly endearing. “You should get your money back.”

Mark shrugs his tone off, though, in that infuriating way of his. “No. We learned a chili mac recipe last month—no, seriously, it’s amazing. I cook it twice a week now.”

“Chili mac? Gross,” Eduardo says, forgetting himself for a minute and pulling a face. Suddenly Mark is grinning at him, and that’s disturbing. Eduardo carefully schools his expression back into polite interest and speaks just as Mark starts to.

“I can make it for—”

“You’re done with the dip, right?” Eduardo says, voice rising a little when he starts to get an idea of what Mark might have been starting to say. He dismisses it as ridiculous, his overactive imagination, and takes the bowl out of Mark’s hands, pointedly avoiding his frown. “Come on, I’m not gonna let you hide in here. Mingle, Mark, these are more your friends than mine.”

He loses Mark in a huddle of programmers and talks to Chris, determined to talk about anything but Mark. They wind up gravitating towards each other again, though, getting drink refills, and Eduardo doesn’t exactly know what to do with the fact that in a room full of people Mark knows and probably even generally likes, Eduardo seems to be his favorite person to seek out.

His 21-year-old self would be thrilled about this, excited like a schoolgirl. A part of him does feel like that, that same part that notices the way Mark’s eyes sparkle more now than they ever did at school, how they are clearer and brighter and maybe, well. Maybe they’re beautiful. But that’s stupid to think, the kind of thought he’s been careful to avoid since the dilution. He shoves it out of his mind and tries to focus on his discomfort, the fact that they are not enemies but certainly not friends, and even when they were friends, it wasn’t right to think about Mark like that, it wasn’t healthy.

They are both drinking, but Eduardo is not drunk, because it is rude to get very drunk at your own party. It is also rude to avoid guests and that is why he never shakes Mark off, keeps talking to him through the night, gets him more beer and listens to him talk about chili mac and egg white omelets and peach sorbet. Guests drift out and he says goodbye to them, and Dustin comes over and speaks to Eduardo directly for the second time that night, and it is only because he is standing next to Mark.

“I’m your ride,” he tells Mark meaningfully, and Mark rolls his eyes.

“Relax, Dustin, I can get a cab.”

Dustin’s eyes flick between Mark and Eduardo, and Chris is watching them, worried, always worried now. Eduardo smiles at both of them because this is no big deal, and to prove how small of a deal it is, he says, “I’ll drive Mark home, it’s not a problem.”

If anything, Dustin is more disgruntled by that, and suddenly Eduardo is 100% sure that he been excluded from that party on purpose, with ill intent. He had never actually thought of Dustin as someone capable of ill intent, had always thought of him as complicit in the dilution only by staying out of it. It makes Eduardo look at him differently, frowning, wondering what other parts of Dustin he has missed.

But then Chris is dragging Dustin off, pinching him in the elbow and waving goodbye to Mark and Eduardo. There are still a few party guests left but not many, and it isn’t long before Eduardo is nudging them towards the door and smiling goodnight. He turns back and—and Mark is cleaning up, clumsily stacking clear plastic cups designed to look like cut crystal. He gives Eduardo a quick grin when he catches him gaping and gathers a too-large stack into his arms, shrugging.

“Do you throw these out, or.”

“Yeah,” Eduardo says, not really thinking about it. Mark shrugs again and then maybe mutters something about waste and now it’s Eduardo being pinched, by himself, because he’s sure he’s slipped into a dream world.

Then he forces himself out of it, forces himself to take this in stride and accept it like he has learned to accept so much about his life.

They finish cleaning up together and Mark is a little drunk and a lot chatty; it is familiar and nice and reminds him of Kirkland, a time he generally doesn’t like to think about. He allows the attack of nostalgia, though, because they are the only ones here, there is no one else to see his weakness for Mark and pity him for it (and he pities himself and how he acted back at school, how he couldn’t see), and because it doesn’t really matter. Tomorrow they will go back to their lives, which only occasionally and casually intersect, and none of this will matter again.

He drives Mark home even though it is very far out of his way; Mark doesn’t mention this and so neither does Eduardo, even though he starts feeling silly about it halfway through the ride. Drivers have their high beams on the farther they get out of San Francisco and they flash across Mark’s face, illuminating his eyes and the slack, relaxed contours of his face. For a second Eduardo is captivated by the tip of his nose, for no reason at all, and he shakes himself and forces his eyes back on the road.

Mark’s house is small and swallowed up by grounds, a sprawling, well-tended lawn stretched around the driveway that snakes through. Eduardo idles the engine and looks over to where Mark seems to be hesitating, face tense now, staring down at his lap and clicking open his seatbelt slowly. Then he looks up and says, “You should come inside with me.”

And suddenly, everything makes a lot of sense. Eduardo is at once relieved and embarrassed about it—Mark wants to have sex with him. He can see it in his eyes now, see it written all over his face in the dim light streaming in from Mark’s front porch. That’s what this entire night has been about, that’s what the onion dip was about and the cleaning up and letting Dustin leave without him. Mark wants to have sex with Eduardo, for whatever reason, and this—this is Eduardo’s comfort zone. This is something he can handle now. They are not friends, that’s so important, because Eduardo doesn’t sleep with his friends. He can sleep with Mark.

He says, “Okay,” and then kisses Mark. His 21-year-old self is wagging his tail like a puppy inside of him, and Eduardo thinks of all those nights of sexual frustration, of hating feeling like that about his best friend, wondering what was wrong with him—and he gets to have that now. He lost everything else, everything he thought he was settling for and only realized how important it was after it was gone, but now he gets to have this.

He doesn’t think about whether it’s a good trade. Instead he kisses Mark, rough and deep, and Mark makes these delicious noises of pleasure and sinks into the kiss, until they are breathless against each other’s cheeks, and finally things make sense. Eduardo turns his car off and follows Mark inside, lets him tug on his wrist and watches him fumble his keys. The night feels slow and honeyed, and Mark doesn’t turn any lights on when they make it inside but there are a few low lamps here and there and a nightlight in the kitchen, bleeding out into the hall. Mark is somehow in sharper focus in the low light, and Eduardo lets himself look at every curl and eyelash, memorizing each and every one, until Mark makes this tiny, frustrated sound at the back of his throat and tugs Eduardo down into a kiss.

They walk each other towards the stairs attached at the mouth and Mark trips, brings Eduardo down on top of him with a grunt. Eduardo has to swallow down a concerned inquiry and instead just kisses Mark’s neck, tonguing the pulse point until his grunt of pain turns into a groan of pleasure. When he pulls away, Mark is looking at him oddly but panting slightly, eyes shining, and there is a moment where Eduardo is absolutely terrified that this is the wrong thing to do, that this could ruin everything.

There’s nothing to ruin, he tells himself stubbornly; his 21-year-old self is oddly quiet, but his 21-year-old self wanted so much more than this, and didn’t quite understand how unavailable it was. This Eduardo knows, and can’t care about losing things lost a long time ago, so he ducks down again, kissing hard until Mark is bucking underneath him.

“Up, come on,” Mark breathes out, chest heaving, and he pushes Eduardo to his feet and scrambles up himself. He takes his shirt off as he hurries up the stairs, dropping it over the banister, and he kicks his shoes off at the top landing. Eduardo unbuttons his own shirt but leaves it dangling from his shoulders, waits until he’s in Mark’s bedroom to start pulling it and the rest of his clothes off—he had learned a while ago that keeping your clothes confined to one room makes for a speedier getaway in the morning.

Mark is kneeling on the bed in boxers when Eduardo strips to his underwear, eyeing him hungrily. He moves sort of slowly towards the bed, caught by a weird, abrupt awkwardness, and Mark rolls his eyes and hooks his fingers in the waistband of Eduardo’s boxer-briefs, tugging him onto the bed with him. He pulls the briefs down and watches Eduardo kick them away and rubs his palm over Eduardo’s erection, watches him shudder with a grin, and that’s not how this is going to go for Eduardo. That’s not how he’s always pictured this, always wanted this, and suddenly he doesn’t quite care how Mark thinks this will work.

Ignoring the building heat at his groin as Mark keeps stroking him teasingly, Eduardo reaches out and tugs Mark’s boxers down his hips, shocking his eyes wide. He snaps the waistband just on the underside of his ass and Mark jumps, his cock bobbing up against his stomach. Eduardo ignores it to lean in and kiss Mark, tugging his bottom lip between his teeth and scraping his tongue against the roof of his mouth, pushing until Mark starts pushing back. It’s intoxicating, especially when they are so close that their cocks brush and they gasp, and Eduardo thinks he could stay like this, right here, forever, but that’s not the point.

“Mark,” he says, and Mark’s hands are still wandering between them, touching Eduardo’s stomach, his chest. He doesn’t stop even as he looks at Eduardo with heavy eyelids, lips red because Eduardo made them that way. “Mark, I want to fuck you. Come on.”

He is expecting Mark to put up a fight—Mark, who stared him down so coldly across a conference table, who runs a multi-billion dollar company he cut Eduardo out of practically with a knife. He does not expect Mark to widen his eyes, bite his bottom lip in a way that is thoroughly, incredibly addictive, and then say, “Okay.” Then he shifts back and pulls his legs out from under him, stretching out on his back. “Unless you want me on my stomach,” he adds when Eduardo doesn’t move, stays staring at the pale, smooth lines of him laid out for the taking. He moves as if to flip over and Eduardo is on him quickly, kissing him hard, fitting them together hip to hip and mumbling, “No, fuck,” against his teeth.

“Okay,” Mark says again, so easily, a little breathlessly. Eduardo continues kissing the breath out of him, grinding their hips together to hear Mark whine, and yes, he wants to see Mark’s face. It is not a sentimental thing, he promises himself, even as he lays uncontrollably soft kisses across his cheeks, the bridge of his nose, the jut of his chin. He wants to see what this does to Mark, what he does to Mark, because it’ll be the only time.

“There’s—” Mark tells him, breaking off into a moan because Eduardo is licking one of his nipples. “—lube and—” Eduardo drags his stomach over the sticky jab of Mark’s dick, thrilling when his eyelids flutter closed. “—and condoms in the nightstand.”

Eduardo snarls when thinking of why they’re there but definitely suppresses that stupid feeling, kissing it into a gigantic bruise around Mark’s left nipple. Mark is pushing his chest up into it by the time Eduardo is satisfied, muffling moans with his face turned into his pillow, and Eduardo guides his face straight with his mouth and hands, kissing him again. Then he grabs for the lube and gets it everywhere in his haste, a puddle on Mark’s sheets that he probably won’t care about. He still feels guilty, though, like that time he spilled wine all over a girl’s fine Persian rug, knocked it over with a flailing, knobby ankle, except more, because it’s Mark. And thoughts like that are why he should be fucking Mark already, not thinking. So he slicks his fingers with the lube puddle and slips one, then two, then three inside of him, bunching them up against his prostate and watching Mark’s hips rock and stutter, his face crumple in pleasure. He thinks he could make Mark come like this and suddenly wants to, wants to take him oversensitive and fucked out, mewling weakly against his shoulder as Eduardo pushes in. But he also wants Mark scratching him and moving with him, wanting it more than Eduardo wants it, wanting something only Eduardo can give him right now, and he wants that more. So he staves off Mark’s orgasm, until Mark looks like he might beg for it. He doesn’t, but it looks like it’s on the tip of his tongue and glinting in his desperate, watery eyes.

That’s when Eduardo fucks him.

They make the bed squeak, the headboard rattle against the wall. Mark has to brace his hands against it to keep his head from bumping and then his head bumps when he grabs Eduardo’s arm, digs his fingers into his skin. Eduardo knows it will bruise, that part of him always bruises, and he wants Mark’s bruises on him, wants something of this to last for the first time in a very long time. He knocks Mark up the bed sharply with a particularly hard thrust and Mark bumps his head, swears. Eduardo does not say sorry, though he thinks it.

Mark isn’t talking, Eduardo never imagined he’d be one to talk through sex, but he isn’t quiet either, and Eduardo appreciates that, at least. His eyes are screaming for release even as his voice stays low and whiney; he squeaks when Eduardo bumps his prostate and Eduardo bites his own lip hard to keep from smiling. “Shut up,” Mark grunts, seeing it anyway, and Eduardo hits that spot again and again to shut him up, and it works. Mark’s eyes roll back and his mouth falls open, and Eduardo sticks his tongue in the open o of his lips because he can.

Mark is close, and clenching around Eduardo so that he’s seeing stars, and he will be damned if he finishes before Mark, so he takes Mark in hand and watches the strokes of his hand play out over Mark’s face in waves of surprised pleasure. He seems continuously shocked, like he forgets, periodically, that they are having sex and then remembers all over again. Eduardo is sure he’s about to come but then can’t completely be sure, because he doesn’t look any more or less turned on, and of course Mark would make this difficult, make reading him impossible. When has he ever made himself clear for Eduardo?

But then he gasps out, “Wardo,” and comes, and about 30 different emotions slam into Eduardo at once. There is shock and anger, a ridiculous, bubbling anger, and even more ridiculous elation and love, and it all explodes out of Eduardo as Mark comes apart around him. He comes with a shout, surprising himself and Mark and he hides his face in Mark’s shoulder as he shudders through it, prays he won’t feel the inexplicable wetness staining his eyes.

After a while, Mark cups the back of his head and murmurs “Wardo,” again, and Eduardo’s spine straightens. He thinks I’m not Wardo anymore and that’s how he separates from Mark, gets rid of the condom and pulls himself together.

When he is back, Mark is smiling at him, and Eduardo thinks he should leave, right now, before those feelings come back and tear at him again, rip him apart from the inside out. He should leave. But Mark is smiling, and his eyes are beautiful again—they were always beautiful, Eduardo knows, and that’s why he should leave.

He doesn’t leave. Mark mumbles, “C’mere,” and Eduardo goes, flops down next to him on his stomach. He lets Mark whisper goodnight and kiss his shoulder, lets him fling a leg over his legs, and snuffle into sleep. And Eduardo lets himself, for once, for maybe the first time all night, enjoy the feel of Mark warm and soft and next to him, breathing gentle and steady; he lets himself want, for the first time in years, something more, something stupid, and something that will undoubtedly hurt him. He follows Mark into sleep and knows it’s the very last time he’ll ever follow him anywhere.

Eduardo wakes up to an empty bed and is both relieved and disgusted with himself for feeling relieved. He should not be afraid to be the one to leave—he has left so many beds, and it is not something he has ever felt guilty about. Mark is not his friend, so there should be no guilt here.

But there is. Because when he is dressed and goes down to the kitchen, there is a pot of coffee waiting for him and a note on a Post It that threatens to rip him in two. going to make you breakfast; i’m out of eggs. be right back. He crumples the note in his hand and, before he can stop himself, he shoves it in his jacket pocket. Then he leaves, getting into his car like he has done so many times before, and he backs out of Mark’s serpentine driveway, not thinking very much at all.



In the weeks that follow, Eduardo is able to convince himself that there was nothing different about that encounter, nothing to set it apart from the dozens of other one night stands he has had since college. Like most of the girls and guys Eduardo sleeps with, Mark is intelligent enough not to contact him, to take the glaring, extremely obvious hint that Eduardo’s morning after departure was meant to be. In fact, it is almost possible for him to believe that Mark had wanted the same thing, meant for the same thing—for a while, Eduardo can tell himself that the note still lying in a crumpled ball on his dresser means that Mark is just more courteous about his mornings after than Eduardo tends to be.

But he knows deep down that that can’t be true—Mark wouldn’t just make breakfast for anyone; it’s a miracle enough that he’d even want to for Eduardo. Mark had wanted something, something Eduardo has had to force himself not to want again. He can’t let himself think about Mark coming back with a carton of eggs, finding the bed empty and coffee not drunk and Eduardo’s car gone. He can’t, because sometimes it leads to his chest clenching painfully, like his heart is trying to eat itself or something, and so he doesn’t think of it.

His life goes on, as he imagines Mark’s does, only there are no more parties, no more intersecting. Mark had never been his Facebook friend and Eduardo wouldn’t let himself check up on him that way even if he were, but Dustin had been and now he is not. It takes Eduardo’s days to notice but he is not surprised, and he tells himself it is no real loss. Dustin had just been his old college buddy, and Eduardo has others.

He has Chris, who surprisingly knows nothing about the one night stand, or if he does, he doesn’t mention it. They get lunch sometimes and gossip about people they each know separately, and when Chris is in New York he gets along great with Shauna. Eduardo always feels particularly fabulous when he is getting cocktails with them, and most of those nights he doesn’t even bother to take anyone home with him. But some nights he does, and neither Chris nor Shauna really care; he had half-expected Chris to disapprove, but Chris only shrugs and says he had gone through that phase, too.

“I like having a boyfriend, though,” he says with the glowing, dewy eyes of someone in love. Eduardo remembers the look from the mirror, circa 2003. When he looks in the mirror now, he sees nothing, and he has learned to feel accomplished about that.

So there are people after Mark, guys and girls, and nothing is very different. Mark was not in his life enough before to miss him now, and he doubts things would be like this if he had been. He still goes to San Francisco, because he has an office there, of course, but he doesn’t see Mark, or Dustin, or any Facebook people, and Chris doesn’t count. He makes sure to be there neither more nor less than he had been before, and he is in New York the most, Singapore more than San Francisco. He is still Eduardo Saverin, businessman, and there are no epiphanies, no life-changing realizations, and not all that much regret.

It would be perfect if the dreams would stop, though.

They are sex dreams, and rarely about anyone but Mark. Sometimes they are rough and scary, and he makes Mark bleed, or Mark makes him bleed, and Eduardo doesn’t like that. He wakes up almost every morning he is not in bed with someone else sweating and sticky, and he feels 16 again, coming in his pants in the middle of the night. He starts sleeping naked, on a towel, embarrassed about his housekeeper doing his laundry, and he thinks about seeing a therapist, knowing that that’s something people his age do. He is not sure he wants to hear what a therapist has to tell him, though, so he doesn’t, goes about his days like the dreams don’t exist.

“I wasn’t sure if you were having a wet dream or a nightmare,” Shauna tells him one morning; she had slept off a wine buzz in his guest room and woken him up, eyes wide and concerned. Eduardo rubs a hand over his face and shrugs, Mark-style.

“I’m not sure either, to be honest.”

He starts going out almost every night, because those are the nights he doesn’t dream. He never, ever thinks of Mark when is with someone else, especially when he is fucking someone else, so he starts topping more exclusively. He makes guys and girls wince now and he feels bad but the dreams are being chased away slowly, and it’s hard for everything to be all okay when the dreams are trying to remind him that it’s not.

When he has to be in San Francisco, Eduardo is careful about who he hooks up with, because even though the Bay Area is big enough, fate can be funny sometimes. One night he finds himself chatting up a blonde girl, very young in certain flickers of light but old enough in others. He is talking about wind energy, because for some reason that charms people out here, and he is interrupted by someone snickering loudly behind him. He turns just as Sean Parker slinks around him, draping an arm around the blonde girl’s shoulder.

“Eduardo,” Sean says. “I see you’ve met Melody, my date. Awesome.”

“Melanie,” the girl pipes in, but Eduardo is too horrified and disgusted to actually pay attention. Eduardo excuses himself politely and then goes into the bathroom and vomits spectacularly. He leaves a big tip for the bathroom attendant because of the mess and then staggers out into a cab, hating just about every fiber of his being for a while.

He calls Chris, who is not on this coast this week, who he wishes dearly he could go to right now and maybe cry with his head in his lap for a little while. “Chris,” Eduardo says hoarsely. “I am Sean Parker.”

“Oh Jesus,” Chris says. “Hold on a sec, let me put the iron down for this.”

It takes a while for Chris to talk him out of joining a monastery (“You’re Jewish, sweetheart, I don’t think it works that way.”) and assure him that the lack of cocaine constantly coating his nostrils makes him and Sean Parker very, very different (“But this one time—” “No, Eduardo.”).

“What do I do?” Eduardo asks, for once allowing himself to sound as pitiful as he feels.

“Have you thought about dating? I’ve heard it can be fun.”

Eduardo remembers dating. He remembers dinner, small-talk, where are you from and what do you do? He remembers Christy, possibly the last actual girlfriend he had had, and what a disaster that had been, but maybe not because of the dating part. Maybe that part had been okay.

So he goes on a few dates where he does not have sex. The dreams come back, and they are awful, but he ignores them as best he can because he is not about to become Sean Parker in an attempt to fight them off.

One of the dates really works out, and so then he has an actual girlfriend, a girl named Laurel. She works at the MoMA and wears horn-rimmed glasses unironically and can actually make Eduardo laugh. She wrinkles her nose at his job but likes his suits and his obsession with The Weather Channel and it is good. For once, he can tell his father the truth, and that feels good, too. He makes an effort not to be rough with her but then it turns out she likes it, she gives as good as she gets and he gets scratched, bruised, and the dreams are going away, even on the nights he doesn’t spend with her. He is happy.

She finds Mark’s note on his dresser, near their three monthiversary, and smooths it out and asks about it. He shrugs and says it’s nothing, garbage, and, watching him carefully, she throws it away. Eduardo twitches with the effort not to dig it out of the trash, keeps his face straight and his body still, and he is fine until she scoops his trash bin up and says, “Fine, I’ll take your garbage out for you,” and bustles towards the door, swaying her hips back and forth busily. That’s when he pounces, grabs the bin away from her, and she whirls around and points a finger at him, face lit up with triumph. “Ah-ha!” she shouts, grinning. “I knew it. The good ones always have something, because otherwise they wouldn’t be single. Spill it, Saverin.”

Eduardo thinks it’s funny that he’s one of the good ones again because he’s fucking just one person. He certainly doesn’t feel like one of the good ones. He sighs and sits down on his bed tiredly, but he still pulls the note out. He crumples it up like he has to keep it that way, and it is not long before Laurel sits down next to him and nudges him with her shoulder.

“We’re having fun, right?” she asks, and he nods slowly, eyeing her warily. “Right, and to be honest I wouldn’t care about this if you just said ‘oh, it’s something I kept from an old girlfriend, it was a bad breakup but I’m working through it with you’. I don’t mind that, that’s normal. But avoiding it like this means it’s way more than that, and I am so not on board with dealing with that kind of drama, you’re not that good in bed.” Laurel smiles so that he knows she’s teasing, and pushes her glasses up her nose. He thinks he could have loved her before the dilution, before hurt and anger eclipsed everything else in his life, and then dealing with the hurt and the anger overtook that, but he wonders what the point of thinking that is. The dilution happened, and he has no idea what love is now, if it’s even real. Sometimes it feels like the world’s biggest hoax, 30% shares—reality is .03%, and he has learned to live with that. He has learned to earn it.

“Maybe we should break up,” Eduardo says, and Laurel sighs and takes the trash bin out of his arms, setting it on the floor. She kisses him on the forehead and thanks him for being a good boyfriend, then gets dressed all the way and leaves. He feels more like Sean Parker than ever, for some reason.

“It didn’t work,” he tells Chris, and Chris sighs noisily.

“I am not your therapist, you know.”

“I know,” Eduardo says.

He gets this idea, then, that maybe avoiding Mark was the wrong way to go. Maybe seeing him again, and seeing him again and not hating him, not loving him, not feeling anything for him, maybe that’s the way to prove that what happened wasn’t a big deal. Maybe that will stop the dreams, and help him purge the Sean Parker-ness inside of him. Maybe.

He doesn’t tell Chris his plan, which should maybe tell him that this is a terrible idea in the first place, but he doesn’t tell Chris, just drives out to Palo Alto one Friday when he’s in the city and goes to a bar he knows Mark frequents with Facebook people, the bar he had picked up the gym girl in. Mark is there with Dustin and a handful of other work friends, tossing beer nuts into each other’s mouths and totally ignoring a baseball game on the flat screen hanging from the wall.

Eduardo is way overdressed for the place but none of them actually notice him until he orders a beer and drifts casually over to their end of the bar, starting a bit when Mark’s eyes catch on him. “Oh, hey,” he says, lifting his beer and giving him an awkward half-smile. A few guys wave and smile back but Dustin is glaring like there should be laser beams shooting from his eyes, and Mark is just staring at Eduardo, face completely blank. Then he turns around and says, “Hey, we’re gonna—” and stands up.

At first Eduardo thinks that Mark means the two of them, and he panics but decides okay, he’ll do a little talking if the situation calls for it. They can officially bury the hatchet, remind each other of what the one night stand was—maybe he’ll go totally against protocol and apologize for leaving so sneakily.

But Mark isn’t the only one who gets up from the bar. A guy with black hair and very pale skin gets up and waves at everybody, too, calling out a collective goodnight in an accent Eduardo can’t quite place. He walks very close to Mark, almost touching, and he shoots a curious glance at Eduardo but only meets his eyes for a second. Mark doesn’t meet his eyes at all, instead striding out of the bar without a backward glance, and at the doorway the black-haired guy touches Mark’s hip.

Eduardo drops his beer bottle. They are gone, and Dustin might murder him.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Dustin demands, swooping in as the rest of their friends shift uncomfortably.

“I have no idea,” he says honestly, realizing that for the first time. “Is he—”

“Oh no you don’t. You don’t get to ask questions.”

“Dustin, come on. I just—”

“What are you doing here? No, seriously, what were you possibly hoping to achieve by coming here?”

“I don’t know,” Eduardo snaps, and he can’t stop staring at the door where Mark had left with that guy. “Who was that guy, Dustin?”

Dustin says, “Fuck off,” and jerks his head at the bartender, who politely asks Eduardo to leave.

“What? Why? I’m a paying customer.”

“You’re upsetting my regular paying customers,” the bartender says. “Also you broke a beer bottle all over the floor.”

“A beer bottle which I paid for.”

“Go buy beer bottles and smash them somewhere else.”

Hysterically, that sounds like a good idea, and Eduardo leaves and has to force himself not to smash things. He’s not sure why he wants to smash things, what, exactly, he has to be angry about, but he does. Once he topples that urge, he is sitting in his car and forcibly fighting the urge to go to Mark’s house and smash things there. It takes a while to get over that, too.

Then it takes Chris 20 minutes to call him up and start yelling at him. “Danger, Will Robinson, there’s a wild Dustin around and he’s ready to take your head off, though I’m still not clear on why.”

“I had sex with Mark,” Eduardo says flatly, still sitting in his car outside of the bar, almost hoping Dustin will come flying out and attack him. “Like, four months ago. And he wanted to make breakfast and I left him. That’s what I do. That’s what I always do. So why does everything suck now?”

Chris is very, very quiet. And then he says, breathlessly, “My God. You are Sean Parker.”

“Sean Parker had sex with Mark?” Okay, now he knows exactly what he’s going to smash tonight. He will find him if he has to comb through every sorority house in the state.

“No, you idiot. God, listen to yourself—why do you think everything sucks now? You are not actually this stupid, Eduardo.”

“No, I think I am,” Eduardo moans, dropping his head back against the headrest and closing his eyes. He breathes harshly out through his mouth for a little bit, trying to control the mess of everything churning through his gut, and then says, “Chris?” in an impossibly small voice.

“Yeah?”

“Who was that guy?”

Chris doesn’t have to ask what guy Eduardo means. “They’ve been together for a few weeks.”

“Christ.”

“Eduardo, Mark doesn’t do one night stands. You should’ve known that. If you really forgave him—”

“I did,” Eduardo insists, because that is important. He forgave Mark, he can remember the exact moment it happened—he woke up hungover on Dustin’s couch and Mark was giving him water and aspirin, and neither .03% nor 30% really mattered then, he didn’t even think of it. He didn’t think of it when he was inside Mark, either, or falling asleep next to him, or listening to him talk about chili mac. He only thinks of it when he wants to try chili mac, or when he wants to wake up next to Mark every morning, and he doesn’t think of it with anger. He thinks of it with fear, this blood-curdling, nightmare-inducing fear. He can’t let it happen again.

“He’s not the same,” Chris says softly, gently, like the information could break Eduardo in pieces. It actually might. “He’s really not, and you should’ve realized that before you forgave him. You forgave 19-year-old Mark but you never gave 27-year-old Mark a chance.”

It still counts, he thinks wildly, but really he knows that Chris is right. Chris is always right.

“Okay. So how do I do that?”

“Do what?”

“Give 27-year-old Mark a chance?”

Chris hangs up on him. Eduardo glares at his phone and then curses because it starts raining; of fucking course it starts raining.

He goes to the tiny apartment he has here and develops a plan using a bottle of wine. The plan is basically to call Mark, then maybe take him to lunch, then awkwardly make him be another Chris, the same type of friend. It would be a douchebag move to try for anything more, he knows, no matter what he knows he wants. He does not want to be Sean Parker anymore.

So the next day, the plan has survived his hangover and still seems plausible, and he finds the number he had squeezed out of Chris the night before. He figures that on a Saturday morning, Mark will probably be working at Facebook, most likely alone in his office, so they’ll actually be able to talk—about what, Eduardo is not entirely sure, but he thinks he can wing it.

He is utterly unable to wing it, though, when someone answers Mark’s phone sleepily and it is not Mark, because Mark does not have an Irish brogue.

Eduardo hangs up and tosses his phone away like it’s burned him. Then he’s sure that he had dialed the number wrong and so he tries again, carefully dialing with sure, certain finger taps. He places the phone to his ear and nearly chokes when the same person picks up again.

“Hello?” The voice is clearer, and very, very vaguely familiar, like something he had heard last night on the other side of that wine bottle. Eduardo suddenly knows with growing horror who that person is, and it is confirmed when he hears another voice, breathless and muzzy with sleep, saying, “Who is it?” That’s Mark’s voice. That is definitely, definitely Mark’s voice, and he sounds like he’s naked. Eduardo doesn’t know how he can tell that Mark is naked by his voice, but in that moment he absolutely can.

“Dunno, babe,” says the voice with the accent, and Eduardo hangs up before the smashing urge comes back.

Okay, so calling absolutely did not work. It is not long before Mark and his whatever are calling him back, so Eduardo sticks his phone in a drawer and tries not to get hysterical again. It is a while before he can understand that there are methods of communication besides cell phones, and that Eduardo helped invent one. He pulls his laptop from his case and gets onto his Facebook and, holding his breath slightly, maybe ridiculously nervous, sends Mark a friend request.

And of course nothing happens, because Mark is probably still in bed with his…Irish person, and he is probably still naked, and it would probably be awkward to accept Eduardo’s friend request while naked and sitting next to his—that guy. Eduardo can wait. He is here on business, after all, and he has work to do, so he does it, and he waits, and he only checks his phone intermittently for Facebook notifications, checks the site sometimes only because his mobile notifications can be glitchy (and he will tell Mark that, when Mark accepts his friend request. Eventually).

He has to wait a long time, though, days, much longer than Mark should presumably be naked and in bed with someone (at least, God, Eduardo hopes so, and feels slightly sick at the alternative). He is basically crazy by the time he calls Chris again and demands Mark’s email address, and he should not still be on this coast, and is running out of work he can do here. Chris sounds very sad for him.

“What are you going to say in the email, before I give it to you?”

“‘Hi. How are you? I am good. We should get together sometime. Eduardo.’ How’s that?”

“Are you drunk?”

“Listen, if I say anything else I’m going to start asking questions about certain Irish people and their certain accents and their habits of being in bed with Mark on a Saturday morning, most likely naked, and answering his phone—who does that, by the way, answer someone else’s phone—”

“This is a terrible idea.”

“Chris.”

“I think he might be Scottish, anyway. Though you might be right, I’ve only met him twice. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes, you know?”

“Give me the email, come on.”

“Fine.”

He emails Mark exactly as he had said he would, and then he does it again, with a few more question marks and I know you’re probably busy, but and such, when Mark doesn’t answer him in the next few days. Eduardo forces himself to go back to New York at that point, but emails Mark again, deciding to take the Dustin approach and add some sad emoticons in.

There is no response, and Eduardo starts to get really, really discouraged. He thinks of a time when Mark and the Irish or Scottish guy wouldn’t be together and tries calling him at noon on a Wednesday, but Mark doesn’t answer. Calling too much would be weird and he hears Christy’s voice in his head, telling him to go for 47 texts, like a little devil on his shoulder. He ignores her and sends one text: this is eduardo, btw and there is no answer.

For a while, he thinks about giving up. He goes out and he has sex with a guy, bottoms for the first time in a long time, and wonders if he could do this with Mark, let go like this with Mark, and realizes how much he wants to. He is drunk and after it’s over he texts Mark want u to fuck me and then passes out.

When he wakes up the guy is burning eggs at the stove in his studio, and it makes Eduardo’s stomach turn. Vomiting all over the guy’s floor makes leaving him that much more awkward, and by the time he is back out on the shiny New York concrete, he is smelly and tired and it is not the time to remember what he had texted Mark. So of course he does, then, and immediately wants to vomit again.

i’m sorry, he texts him over and over, creeping dangerously into Christy territory.

Chris calls him at some point and tells him to get it together. He sets him up with one of his boyfriend’s friends, a nice Cornell alum who works for a marketing company or something. “Do you think Irish or Scottish brogues are sexy?” Eduardo asks him over sushi. The guy shrugs. “I don’t. You can barely understand them.”

The guy doesn’t call him back for a second date; Eduardo is neither shocked nor dismayed.

It is Shauna who suggests going to the Facebook offices. “It can be like a big romantic gesture,” she says, and then she corrects herself when Eduardo just shakes his head continuously. “Okay, bromantic gesture. It’s a fine line with you, lover boy.”

“The last time I stormed through the Facebook offices, I smashed his laptop,” Eduardo reminds her, and Shauna waves him off and gives him an impatient scowl.

“Well then don’t storm, just walk. Idiot.”

So, again without telling Chris, Eduardo flies out to San Francisco, creating some work for himself so he doesn’t look or seem too pathetic, and then wanders over to Palo Alto again. He goes into Facebook like oh hey guys, just checking on my investment and smiles when people wave to him.

Dustin doesn’t wave, but he is also not fast enough to beat Eduardo to Mark’s office; for the first time in a while, Eduardo appreciates his long, gangly legs.

“Hey, Mark,” he says when he shuts the office door behind him, just in time for Dustin to reach it and punch it angrily. Mark looks up from his keyboard and narrows his eyes at Eduardo, frowning.

“Why are you here?”

“I wanted to, um. To talk.”

“I think I’ve proven that I can take a hint.”

Eduardo flinches. “That’s sort of what I wanted to talk about.”

“You’ve proven that you obviously can’t.”

Hurt, sharp and familiar, blossoms in his chest, and he tries to push past it, to remind himself that some things are worth hurting for. He used to know that to the point of ruin, and he is afraid to now, to let the knowledge consume him, but he thinks it’s the only way to get what he wants, or at least a small part of it.

“I’m sorry,” Eduardo says, and Mark snorts. “I miss you.”

Mark just looks at him. “You don’t even know me, how can you miss me?”

It’s true—he doesn’t quite miss Mark. He wishes for Mark, wants to know him enough to miss him. Leaving before breakfast made him lose so much and the most are the possibilities, the doors he had slammed shut for himself and for Mark.

“I want to know you,” he says, and that is, for once, stunningly, achingly true.

Mark sighs big, like this is irritating, but there are some things about him that haven’t changed, and now that Eduardo is looking, he can see how his eyes are glinting with something like challenge, maybe a little embarrassment. Suddenly, he knows exactly how Mark feels, and he wonders how he could have done this in the first place, not have seen all this. Mark doesn’t want to set himself up to be hurt again. He is just as scared as Eduardo is, and he has every right to be. But Mark has always been braver, in some ways.

He is going to say yes, Eduardo is sure of it. But Eduardo makes a case for himself anyway, because Mark deserves the effort. “What I did with you, I—I do that a lot, with other people. And I thought it would be the same with you, but it wasn’t, because you’re—you’re you. And I’ve always wanted a lot more than that, for a very long time.”

Mark grimaces, looking down. “I can’t—”

“I know,” Eduardo says. “I get it. I want to be friends.”

“Friends?”

“Friends. I want to see you when I’m in town, and when you’re in my town, and I want to go to lunch and drink with you and play videos games with—well Dustin hates me now, but with Chris, then. I want to get invited to the parties again and I want to be less—less of how I was, because I really did forgive you, Mark. I swear I did.”

“I was sure you hadn’t, when you left,” Mark says, frowning in a way that Eduardo wishes he could chase away with kisses forever. That can’t happen, though, not now, and maybe he is settling again. Maybe this is all there is to ever have, and that is his own doing. That hurts, too, and it probably always will, but Eduardo has learned to accept these things about his life.

“I know,” Eduardo says softly, apologetically. “And I am so sorry, I swear.”

“Ugh, stop apologizing, it’s weird. I feel like—I don’t know, you shouldn’t apologize. You have some freebie points saved up from the old days, I think.”

“No, it doesn’t work that way. I fucked up, and I’m sorry. There are no points, Mark. There’s just us.”

Mark is biting his lower lip now, thoughtful. He doesn’t know it’s driving Eduardo crazy, or maybe he does. Maybe he deserves it. “Friends?” he says again.

Eduardo nods, smiles, and sticks out his hand. “Friends.”

It is a while before Mark takes it, but he does.

continued here
 
 
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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
a-bomb: ag ♦ s^2ctheotherqueen on August 4th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
YOU SCARED ME! my eyes read too fast and i read eduardo/mulligan and i thought WHAT IS THIS BS?!
&allie;: celebs//got a girl in the waroflights on August 4th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
LOL. I should put something in: nothing to do with Carey Mulligan, even though I adore her.
built a blimp to save all the booksmikhale on August 5th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
oh god. you scared me. i thought. i thought there was going to be nothing but there's a continuation! which i will read in a few minutes.

i love this spin. to the natural progression of eduardo hurting and becoming an asshole. and how it turns out that mark's edges gets smoothened and eduardo becomes sharper and how they become incompatible. and BOYS! being stupid fail boys in love is always going to be my most favorite thing ever.

on to the next part!
Lady Agnewladyagnew on August 5th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
I love your Eduardo characterization! I think it's because you remember that he was once really in love Mark and capable of great jealousy and possessiveness, and his feelings for Mark are the great turbulent emotions of his life. I like that you remember that while Eduardo is basically a good person, he's kind of fucked up when it comes to Mark.
slasher48slasher48 on August 5th, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GODDDDDDDD.

ALLIE!

I CAN'T. I AM UNABLE TO EVEN.

CAN WE JUST START RIGHT IN WITH DUSTIN'S PARTIES? AND HOW EDUARDO DOESN'T GO TO MANY OF THEM ON PURPOSE? AND HIS DENIAL ABOUT BOTH WHO MARK IS AND HOW HE FEELS ABOUT ANYTHING, MUCH LESS MARK? AND MARK BEING ENDEARING OVER ONION DIP AND TALK OF CHILI MAC AND "I CAN MAKE IT FOR YOU" THAT EDUARDO JUST CUT OFF AT THE KNEES.

AND CLEANING UP THE CUPS AND "WASTE" AND MARK'S DRUNKEN CHATTER AND THEN EDUARDO IS MESMERIZED BY HIM IN THE CAR AND EVEN MORE SO IN THE HOUSE. AND I LOVE IT. HOW FUCKING WRONG HE'S GOT MARK. THAT MARK WON'T GO TWO WAYS. AND HOW COULD MARK BE EXCITED ABOUT COOKING? AND HE'LL BE IN THE OFFICE. HE'LL LEAVE. MARK IS A COLD UNFEELING ASSHOLE, RIGHT EDUARDO?

WHO CARES THAT HE CAN BARELY STOP HIMSELF FROM MAULING YOU. WHO CARES THAT HE LIES DOWN IMMEDIATELY, OFFERING HIMSELF UP FOR THE TAKING, WHEN YOU ASK? WHO FUCKING CARES THAT HE'S COMPLETELY DUMBSTRUCK AND FASCINATED BY HAVING YOU IN HIS BED? FUCK. NOT TO MENTION THAT HE FOLLOWED YOU AROUND THE PARTY, OFFERED TO COOK DINNER FOR YOU, AND STAYED TO CLEAN UP.

AND. OH MY GOD. THEN HE. MARK. OH MY GOD MARK. MARKKKK. I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING ELSE BUT THAT WHEN I THINK OF THE NOTE "GOING TO MAKE BREAKFAST FOR YOU". AND THEN EDUARDO LEAVES HIM THERE WHEN HE WENT SHOPPING TO GET HIM EGGS TO MAKE HIM FOOD. HE WENT FUCKING SHOPPING AND WAS GOING TO COOK FOR HIM. AND EDUARDO LEFT. HE LEFT! MY HEART TRIES TO EAT ITSELF WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT TOO.

I LOVE THE LITTLE INSIGHTS WE GET INTO EDUARDO HERE. HOW HE MISSES BEING THE GOOD GUY BUT ACCEPTS IT. HOW HE KNOWS HOW IT FEELS TO BE IN LOVE BUT WANTS NOT TO BE IN ANYTHING WITH ANYBODY. HOW HE STUBBORNLY INSISTS THERE'S NOTHING TO RUIN AND THEN WHEN MARK COMES, REALIZES QUICKLY HE WAS LYING TO HIMSELF. HOW HE IS CONTENT TO BELIEVE THAT MARK GOES ON WITH HIS LIFE, CONTENT TO THINK THAT HE'LL BE FINE WITHOUT THEM, BUT THE DREAMS STILL PLAGUE HIM WHEN HE'S NOT EXERTING THE ENERGY TO KEEP HIS SEVERE DENIAL MAINTAINED. HOW HE VOMITS SPECTACULARLY UPON REALIZING HE HATES SEAN PARKER BECAUSE HE IS A MIRROR OF HIMSELF.

LET'S NOT EVEN MENTION HOW EPIC THE PERIPHERAL CHARACTERS ARE. DUSTIN IS PHENOMENAL WITH HIS PROTECTIVE BIG BRO SHTICK AND CHRIS IS A++++ AS WARDO'S EXASPERATED THERAPIST AND THE FRIENDS WHO WARN ABOUT HIM AND THE SUSHI DATE GUY WHO DOESN'T DATE HIM A SECOND TIME AND THE IRISH MAN WHO'S FUCKING MARK WHILE EDUARDO HAS A MELTDOWN...ALL FUCKING INCREDIBLE. I LOVE DUSTIN RACING EDUARDO TO MARK'S OFFICE, RIGHTEOUSLY PISSED OFF THAT EDUARDO FUCKED UP LIKE THAT. I LOVE CHRIS TELLING HIM WHAT'S WHAT AND THEN HANGING UP WHEN HE'S ALL "HUH?" I LOVE IT.

I LOVE THIS. I AM SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, SO HOOKED. I AM BARELY ABLE TO WAIT LONG ENOUGH TO READ THE NEXT PART TO TELL YOU ALL THIS, I SWEAR TO YOU.

AND NOW THEY ARE FRIENDS AGAIN! OH THAT WILL NOT LAST -- IT IS A CERTAINTY! EDUARDO IS A JEALOUS FREAK (WHO WANTS TO SMASH SEAN PARKER AT THE THOUGHT OF HIM GETTING TO MARK TOO, I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF AT THAT PART) WITH A HATRED FOR IRISH BROGUES AND DARK HAIR AND MARK SOUNDING NAKED WHEN HE'S NOT AROUND. THERE WILL BE FUN TO BE HAD SOON. LOTS AND LOTS OF FUN.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH ALLIE! THANK YOU FROM MY TOENAILS TO MY SPLIT ENDS FOR THIS. IT IS INCREDIBLE AND I'M ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH! :DDDDDDDDDDDDDD
rosepetalfallrosepetalfall on August 5th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
Can I just cut in and say you're the best?
slasher48slasher48 on August 5th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
SHE IS SHE IS SHE IS. ♥
what is it doing in a teapot?: two of mesavetomorrow on August 6th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
I shall also cut in (terribly sorry!) and say that, Andrea, damn your wonderful comments. I always hope I get to leave a comment before you do, because every time I read a fic and see your comment on it, I just want to go all "WHAT ANDREA SAID" and leave it at that, because your comments are pretty much the best comments in this fandom (yeah, I stalk your comments, it's weird, I know). ♥

Shutting up now.
slasher48slasher48 on August 6th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
Ehehehehe, um, sorry?

It's your fault for stalking me, obviously. :PPP

BUT NO NO. DON'T AGREE. FEEL FREE TO JUST...ADD THINGS. IN YOUR OWN COMMENT. LIKE HOW FABULOUSLY HYSTERICAL IT WAS TO HAVE THEM WATCHING PHINEAS AND FERB. OR HOW GROSS EDUARDO'S SELF-DESTRUCTION ENDED UP BEING...

Ahaha, thank you, either way! ♥♥♥
what is it doing in a teapot?: jesswavesavetomorrow on August 6th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
Haha, yes, I should cut down on the stalking.

GUHH, DON'T YOU EVEN START. But yeah, I shall definitely write a fangirly comment of my own ;)

Seriously though, you're wonderful. ♥♥♥
slasher48slasher48 on August 6th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Re: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD--
Nah. ;)

OKAY I WON'T. YOUR TURN ANYWAY.

Aw, babe. ♥
pretendhappyend: Jesse dimplepretendhappyend on August 17th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
But there is. Because when he is dressed and goes down to the kitchen, there is a pot of coffee waiting for him and a note on a Post It that threatens to rip him in two. going to make you breakfast; i’m out of eggs. be right back. He crumples the note in his hand and, before he can stop himself, he shoves it in his jacket pocket. Then he leaves, getting into his car like he has done so many times before, and he backs out of Mark’s serpentine driveway, not thinking very much at all.

My heart, omg ;______;
Lady Agnewladyagnew on August 24th, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
It’s true—he doesn’t quite miss Mark. He wishes for Mark, wants to know him enough to miss him. Leaving before breakfast made him lose so much and the most are the possibilities, the doors he had slammed shut for himself and for Mark.

this line! oh, my heart, it hurts for Eduardo. I'm reading this story for like the fourth time and I think I definitively say that my favorite part ever ever is how Eduardo let his fear make him walk away from Mark the morning after, and how this regret haunts him for the rest of the story. Just the knowledge that you were once too scared and stupid to walk away from something you wanted with your whole heart, and you have to live with that--God. You write that so beautifully.
*Senn*senn815 on January 3rd, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
goodness I love this new characterization of Eduardo! (poor, stress-vomiting Eduardo)

His freak out sessions with Chris are GOLD.
whollypossesswhollypossess on January 6th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Mark used a semicolon in a note; I am officially in love.
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