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the physicality of art

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Son of a-!

Of course, that's the crux of the problem, isn't it? That they're both sons of their fathers. Sworn enemies before they knew what enemies were or why that was them.

Pran nips Pat back. This tussle has gotten way out of hand. One minute they were fighting over the last mint. The next, eyes landed on lips and Pat spat out some nonsense about being the better kisser.

"How would you even know? You don't know how I kiss." Pran stuck his face in Pat's and rolled his eyes and maybe the effect went over wrong.

Because Pat just breathed and said, "You don't know how I kiss either, my technique."

Which is a bunch of bullshit because for as much as girls have made eyes at Pat since they were young, Pran's never seen Pat kiss any of them.

"Ohh, the engineer's technique?" Pran had smirked. "Kissing is not a problem to be solved. It's an art."

"Last time I checked, you don't use a brush to kiss. It's all about the angles and balance, physics." And Pat, that prat, dipped him down like they're about to samba.

Pran shoved him off. And for good measure, shoved him again. But Pat used - damnit, physics - to overbalance him and pull him close by the front of his shirt. "What? Afraid? Afraid you'd lose?"

"Who's afraid?" Pran ignored the commotion in his ribcage, how loud his heart sounded in his ears, like the beat of a hundred drums. He wasn't afraid. He wasn't. To prove it, he moved his face closer, halved the distance between them.

It was warm being that close to Pat. Pran could feel the heat of his skin, the pull forward with the way Pat's eyes bore into his and then onto his lips.

The first touch of their lips was tentative, a soft, dry brush.

"Is that all you've got?"

Pran's smile dies on his lips as Pat pulls him back by the back of his neck for a real kiss.

Now they're here, Pat's hands curved around the shape of his skull, his own fingers stuck in between Pat's hair, gripping, tugging, just to hear Pat's harsh exhales grow harsher.

Pat nudges his thigh up higher so that Pran's seated on it. Pran pushes back, caging Pat in against the wall. If that results in just the friction he was seeking, well, he's not about to moan about it.


Because the thing is, as much as Pran doesn't want to admit it, Pat is a good kisser. Right now he's sucking on Pran's lower lip like he's savoring. Pran can't concentrate beyond the wet suction, the absolute focus that Pat has whenever he's trying to win.

Which just won't do. Pran licks Pat's upper lip, tongue going slow enough, steady enough, meaning business enough that Pat gasps and opens his mouth. Opens his eyes too.

They stare at each other, mouth barely touching. And this line, this line is back between them, delineating one territory from the other. His. Not his.

But this line, unlike the line between their properties, is not physical. It evaporates in a blink.

Pat grabs him around his waist and pulls him in flush. Pran goes. He would conquer whatever Pat lets him take.

That's the game. Do you dare? The answer's always yes.

Pran flicks his tongue over Pat's tongue. It feels strange, new. Especially when Pat shudders under him and grips his shirt almost hard enough to rip.

Especially when Pat licks him back, hands incongruously gentle around his ears, cupping his face.

Pran thinks his cheeks are probably crimson by now. He feels hot from the tip of his nose down to the curl of his navel. Tight. Everything feels curled up tight. Their tongues, their arms around each other. His toes, the way they're desperately curled in his sandals.

"Pran." Pat detaches from him and shoves his face into the crook of his neck.

Pran holds him by his head, fingers patting Pat's hair instead of tugging. "What? You give up?"

Pat licks him right where his face is buried, a hot stripe along the column of Pran's neck.

Pran gasps. Oh.

Pat smirks against his skin and opens his mouth again to suck.

Pran tilts his head away to give Pat space. And then tilts it right back and shoves Pat off. "Are you trying to give me a hickey?!"

Pat looks unrepentant. "I can't?"

No. Not yet. Not when they're not yet--

"My friends would see. They would tease."

"Your friend who? Wai?" Pat kisses the last of the question hard onto his lips.

Pran kisses him right back because he's the better kisser, okay? Kissing is not all physics, it's also a dance, art.

Pat bounces his leg, all but helping Pran ride it, and no. Pran grips Pat by his hair again, pulls him off. "Pat!"

Pat blinks at him with a slow, sultry look, like he's underwater or half-drugged. "You can. I want you to."

"You want me to what?"

Pat doesn't budge, doesn't back down an inch. He drags his eyes down Pran's neck, his chest, down to where his shirt tails have come loose from his jeans, and then up to Pran's eyes again.

Pran stares back. No. No, he can't. Not unless he takes Pat down with him. He pushes off and grabs Pat, shoves him down to the bed to straddle him.

"Pran!" Pat's eyes go wide as Pran's slippers land -- pah-pah -- on the floor.

Pran smirks at him. Serves him right for suggesting Pran comes all by himself. As if he would consent to losing so easily. "Both of us," he says, "or neither of us."

Pat puts his arms back around him and gulps. The kiss that lands on Pran's lips is fuller and softer than all the other ones tonight.

Pran can't help kissing him back, the same open, soft, gentle. It's different this way, the drags of their lips over lips warmer. They kiss until the tongues come out to play.

"Like this?" Pat grips him around the waist and grinds up against him.

Pran gasps. Yeah. that's- that's good. He nods, grinding down in counterpoint.

Pat kisses the next gasp from him and they take off, testing different angles and speeds until they find a rhythm that punches groans out of both of them, makes their hands into fists with how tight they're gripping, trying to hold on, to not come first. To not lose.

"Baby." Pat's eyes have gone so dark.

Pran looks at him and his messy hair. He looks like a lover.

"Baby," Pat says again and slides his hands down to squeeze Pran's ass, to maneuver him closer.

"Fuck." Pran's hands scramble, tugging on Pat's hair, squeezing his nape. Fuck, he's so close.

Turns out Pat's closer. He full-body shudders, groaning into Pran's chest as he comes.

The sight of him, the sounds of him-

Pran lets go and rides it out, clutching at Pat like he's the lifeboat, like he's the safe house. If the way he manages to close his mouth after he catches his breath is in a small kiss over Pat's cheek, neither of them mention it.

Pat holds him and holds him. "Pran," his voice when he finally speaks sounds hoarse. "Can you stay? Sleep with me?"

Pran almost hits him but Pat curls his fingers back, holds his hand. "Sleep over. Just sleep. Please."

It's the please, the soft way Pat looks at him.

"I have to shower first. You have to shower too."

Pat starts to smile and that's when Pran runs for it. "Separately!" He shuts the door in Pat's face and storms into his own room for a fresh set of clothes.

They're going to have to talk about it. All these years they have managed to not talk about it, about what they really are. Some bastard version of frenemies. Friends clothed as enemies. But now-


Pran smiles to himself as he lathers up the soap. Now he's Pat's baby.

He clears his throat when he catches sight of his grin in the mirror after. He's fine. This is fine.

They're awkward after. Pat pats his bed and Pran crawls in, curls to face him. Pat smells good, like Pat, something Pran can't quite classify as another smell except just sexy, but also soap.

"Was it okay?" Pat looks nervous, like maybe he's waiting for Pran to grade him.

Pran nods. "You?"

Pat nods back, a small smile at the edge of his lips. "I won."

"Oie! What do you mean?" Pran's hackles rise out of habit.

"I got to make out with the hottest architect. I won."

"And I got the hottest engineer. So I won too."

Pat laughs at that, happy, and it makes Pran happy too. Like it's always made him happy to see Pat genuinely smile.

"What," Pran swallows, nervous. "What are we?"

Pat looks at him for a long time, serious. "Exclusive," he finally says. "I want us to be exclusive."

"What, your heart would break if you saw me kiss someone else?"


"Good. Same." Pran's eyes dart up to Pat's and then dart away at the glint, the happy he sees there.

For all that he got off with Pat earlier, he feels shy now. Because they're exclusive now.

"Boyfriends?" He asks, to confirm.

"Boyfriends." Pat tilts his chin up for a peck, smiles into it.