Personaggi: Leo, Matt
Verse: Broken heart syndrome
Genere: Drama
Avvisi: Angst
Rating: R
Prompt: Written for the WRPG (Mission 01: Purple, Green, Indigo)
Note: Since writing about Kurt and Dave's son instead of actually writing about them, and deciding Blaine has a story with said teenage boy wasn't enough, Leo and Matt (both original characters) usually cosplay, roleplay and generally talk about Homestuck. This entire verse is a mess. Have fun!

Riassunto: Leo's having a very rough time, as it more and more often happens these days. He feels like he needs a break, and the only break he can afford to take right now is with his friend Matt in New York.

The bus from Columbus arrives in New York at 2 am. The lamplight in the parking lot has been broken since Leo can remember, so all the bus drivers keep the bus lights on to let people see where the fuck they're going.

Getting off the bus, nobody is speaking. A ten hours drive through the nothingness of the highway usually does that to you. It destroys your will to socialize, if you ever had one. And if it doesn't, the person sitting next to you for the most part of those ten hours probably takes care of that instead. Buses are way cheaper than flights, so more weirdos are able to afford them. Another happy perk of being broken!

In the distance, sirens whine continuously. This city is never really quiet. There's always some criminal to catch or someone to scrap from the ground after an incident. It's like nothing ever stops, and it's tiring even thinking about it. Leo used to love New York when he was younger. It had all the lure of the big city and the reasons why he would fly there – it was first class flights back then – were wild and exciting and made him feel all grown up an important. Now some very specific areas of the city are off limits for him – even if he's not totally aware of avoiding them – and the only reason why he drags himself here is because Matt doesn't ask many questions and he has a bed he's willing to share.

Leo never has any luggage – just his ever present backpack – so he leaves the queue of worn out men and women to retrieve their suitcases and accesses the subway, which looks eerie at this hour of the night with its flickering neon lights and the occasional junkie scowling at him when he passes by. He walks all the way down to the end of the platform and finds a bench nobody's sleeping on. He sits down, stretching his long legs on it to occupy as much space as he possibly can. He doesn't want to risk anybody getting too close.

The display over the track says the next train is in fifteen minutes. It'd be a good time to listen to some music, if his player hadn't died two days ago. He's got the charger with him – he always does – but he hasn't seen a viable plug since Kurt thrown him out of the house a week ago. This time it was because he was a little tipsy, the time before it was because he was with someone. But it wouldn't matter, really. The truth is, Kurt doesn't want him to ruin the perfect family picture he and David and Tana make together. He can't stand the fact that the boy he was before doesn't exist anymore. This is him now, but he's not exactly as Kurt wants him, and so he has to go.

Usually, when Kurt slams the door on his face, he sleeps around. Finding someone willing to take him home is not that hard. Then, all it takes is to give them enough reason to keep him 'till morning, and he's got a talent for that. After that, he spends the day around until it's time to find another place to stay. It's not as hard as it seems, but it's tiring and he barely sleeps at all. That is why sometimes he needs a place to catch his breath, somewhere he knows he won't have to earn his stay. And that place is never ever Kurt's house.

The train arrives on time, and it's almost empty. He chooses one of the last coaches and sits down again. He doesn't need to check the route, he knows it by heart. In fact, he keeps his head down, distractedly looking at his shoes. It's his favorite pair of All Stars, navy blue with a black Hawaiian floral print stripe on the outside. He bought that in Maui three years ago and he barely wore anything else since then. When he saw them in the shop window, he fell in love with them – love is not common between him and clothes, so when it happens it must be fulfilled at any cost – and he was excited that, given the flowery pattern, they didn't come only in girl sizes. He remembers himself as he suddenly stops talking about his latest fixation – whatever was at the time – and enters the shop as if compelled by an external force. He remembers that part of the day, he never thinks about the rest of it.

The trains stops again and he stands up, pivots around a pole and slips out of the coach in a fluid motion. It's 2.30 am and the station is empty. He's the only one who gets off. Out of the subway, the sirens are still whining in the distance but the city looks abandoned. This is a poor neighborhood, such as you can't find in Lima, which is a little, simple town but it's not poor. Most of the families in Leo's neighborhood are middle-class, and even when they are not, they're still not as poor as some of the families here. He comes from a place of small houses, with their own driveways and enough space to accommodate families of four and fives. Here, everywhere you look there are only tall buildings with twenty or thirty tiny apartments inside, where couples with one or two kids live in an almost suffocating space.

Matt lives in one of these decaying old buildings, at the end of a street that presents nothing else except for a tiny convenience store and a small gray park that looks dangerous during the day, let alone at night.
The front door has been broken since the first time he came here more than five years ago, you only need to push it to get inside.

Third floor, apartment 4C. He counts the floors as he climbs up the stairs – Matt said there was an elevator once upon a time, when the building was new, but then it broke down some time around the '80s and the owner had it removed, so now there's only an empty space in the stairwell. He rings the doorbell and waits, ears tensed to catch the slow rustle of Matt's steps from the bedroom, but it never comes. The guy is usually home by two o'clock every night, but sometimes clients don't want to leave the restaurant or his boss keeps him there for an extra hour to clean the kitchen. Leo sighs and slides along the wall, curling up in a ball on the floor.


Sometimes clients just hate you and want to see you burn in the hell of a kitchen you've been working for the past ten hours. Matt is quite sure about that, because it's either that – people being douchebags – or someone up there personally hates him for something he did in his previous life.

They usually enter the restaurant two minutes before his boss is about to declare the kitchen close, so he's forced to wait on them. A table must be prepared. A kitchen that has been just cleaned must be readied at once and, of course, cleaned again after. A smile has to be retrieved from the deepest abyss of your darkened, annoyed, now homicidal soul.

Matt is a very very calm and steady person – people who don't know him sometimes think he's almost lethargic – but tonight he has been a step away from murder. He was ready to go home – just waiting for permission – when the couple entered the room. He was short, sturdy and arrogant, and she was a cheerleader. Not that Matt thinks every blonde girl with a shrill laugh is a cheerleader. She was actually dressed as one. And he knew they were going to be trouble the moment they sat down, not even asking if the kitchen was still running.

The guy was trying to impress her with what he clearly thought was self-confidence and was just bad manners, on account, Matt thinks, of a very small penis and not much else to show for himself. She was okay as far as girls with no brain go – again, not a prejudice, she opened her mouth and suddenly the entire human race took a step back in cognitive development – but she had an incredibly annoying voice and suffered from a chronic inability to decide what she wanted to eat. She kept Matt there waiting for an order for about twenty minutes, changing her mind at least three times until she ended up having just a salad, that she changed for a burger after she got it. Burger that she sent back because there was mayo in it – something that she hadn't asked Matt not to put in it. All the while the guy was treating him like a lower human being and making funny remarks – which weren't funny at all, actually – about Matt's strong Texan accent.

Matt is very proud of himself for having stirred clear from a double homicide. But after a night like this, all he wants is to fall on his bed, get to sleep fifteen hours and possibly be ready enough to go back to work tomorrow. It would be all he needs, really. It's not that much. Unfortunately, he knows from experience that the nights he needs peace the most are those he gets the least of it. And his knowledge of how his life usually goes is proven right once again as soon as he reaches the main door of his building.

There's nothing visibly different about it, it's even half closed as it usually is but he senses something. A vibration in the Force, he would say. He instantly knows the moment he steps into the building that this night is not over. He doesn't know how he knows – maybe he's really got a sixth sense or maybe it's just because he's unconsciously aware that it's been long enough for Leo to show up again – but he's not surprised when he glimpses what looks like just a bundle of clothes on the floor in front of his door.

Matt never knows when Leo will come around, but he always accepts his presence as a fact. After a day such as today he'd naturally have preferred not to find him here, but here he is and Matt sees no point in wondering why tonight of all nights. No matter the explanation he could come up with, Leo is here and he will take care of him because that's what he does, and that's why Leo is here. At least it's proof that he's still alive.

He steps right in front of him and sighs. “Come on, bro. You gonna get yourself dirty... ier than you already are,” he says. Matt never acknowledges the ridiculous amount of time that passes between one of Leo's visit and the other. It would only make the situation worse to count the days Leo has been out there fucking around. So he always acts like they have seen each other two hours earlier, or even less, and he never ever asks why Leo showed up. “Floor's filthy.”

Leo looks up, following Matt's endless legs. His big blue eyes look even bigger now that he's so skinny. "Wasn't that bad," he says. His voice is just a murmur, that's how he speaks these days. Everything in him screams insecurity. His only acts of bravery and self-assurance – throwing himself at people and acting out - are exactly the wrong ones.

"Please. I live here, you forgot?"

Only Matt's unshakebale calm stops him from wincing at the sight of the black-and-blue mark next to Leo's lips. This is not the first time Leo shows up a little bruised here and there, but they are usually signs that someone grabbed him too roughly – it's easy to leave marks on him now, even when you are gentle – but this one is pretty big, going from the corner of his mouth to almost half of his left cheek, and it's still bluish, meaning that it has been a strong blow and it's recent, let alone that it's on his face. It looks too much like a punch for comfort.

Matt pushes the question aside for the moment. He has learned that the only way to deal with Leo is sort out the priorities and take one step at the time. The first thing to take care of now is to get him inside and feed him, since he probably didn't eat anything on the way here, if at all in the past few days. Instead, he smiles and holds out his hand towards Leo to help him stand.

Leo grabs his hand, his long fingers closing around Matt's and clinging to them. There's always some sort of urgency in the way he touches him, as if he had been waiting for hours the moment to do so, which is probably true considering that his need for comfort and contact is what pushes him to jump on a bus to New York.

Once he's on his feet, he doesn't let go of Matt, tho. He just stands there, looking nervous, his head a little bowed and his backpack hanging from a shoulder. This is the way Matt is used to see him now. "So? You were around?" He asks, using his free hand to open the door.

They both know Leo is never just around New York – first because he lives 600 miles away and he has no reason whatsoever to come here, and second because New York is a dangerous place for him – but that's a code for You needed a place away from Lima . Leo appreciates Matt's choice of words. "Sort of, yes," he answers. He's forced to let go of Matt's hand when his friend steps aside to let him inside the house first.

This is not exactly politeness, Matt wants to get a good look at him and this is a more unobtrusive way to do it, instead of plainly ask him to be inspectioned. Leo's jeans and hoodie have seen better days and are ready to be set fire to, and his shoes are falling apart. Everything looks filthy, him included. He's clearly not been in his own home for at least a week – and Matt is not sure it has been his choice at this point – and he needs a shower and a good twelve hours of sleep.

"How's it goin'?" Matt asks casually as he closes the door and drops his bag on the couch. Luckily, he managed to tidy up a little two days ago, so the house looks good enough. Not that Leo would mind, but a warm, welcoming place always has a good effect on him.

"It's fine," Leo answers, but his voice says it's not. Besides, he never says his life sucks. When your life is in a persistent state of continuos sucking and not one day passes without it being bad, being fine means that he has not tried to cut his wrists just yet, which is a good thing. Even though Matt is quite sure Leo would never try to actually kill himself. He's destroying himself day after day, but it's not a completely deliberate act. Not as it would be if he popped too many pills and got it over with.

"Great. You hungry? I am," Matt says, heading for the kitchen. It's very small but functional, and that's all he needs from a kitchen since he spends barely any time home, let alone cooking. But, despite not being a cooking person himself, he understands the importance of having at least three proper meals a day. And he knows for a fact that, when left alone, Leo forgets to feed. And once again this is even scarier than if he starved himself on purpose. It means that he's so out of it that he can't take care of himself.

"I had a Snickers at the last service station," Leo declares as if it was enough to keep him going for the next two days. He sets his backpack down next to a kitchen stool. He never keeps it more than three feet away from himself. Matt is used to look around knowing that he will always find it somewhere next to Leo.

"'kay, but you see this shit, bro?" Matt opens the fridge and starts scavenging for food. He retrieves half a roasted chicken with some potatoes, and puts it on a plate, showing it to Leo. "It's half a ton of chicken, you gotta help me out here."

That chicken is in no way half a ton, but Matt always exaggerates the amount of food he has left in the fridge to give Leo the extra push he needs to accept his food offering. In fact, Leo nods and heads towards the kitchen cabinets to start setting the table, before remembering that he's been on the floor for the past hour and his hands weren't that clean even before. So, he stops at the kitchen sink first.

Matt takes another good look at him. If he thinks about Leo just about a year ago, he doesn't recognize the kid that is in front of him now. Leo has always been slim, but never skinny, never so sick-looking as he is now. And despite being dressed casually – actually Matt doesn't remember Leo ever wearing something that wasn't a shirt, a pair of jeans or a hoodie – he has never been so unkempt. It's almost like he doesn't care at all about himself, which is probably true. At some point his brain just switched off and Leo stopped being not only who he was before but himself altogether. He just stopped being somebody, for a lack of a better term. He went as close as possible to erase himself without actually dying.

Matt doesn't know exactly what happened. He never asked and Leo doesn't seem to want to talk about it. What he knows are the bits and pieces Leo gives away every now and then, and that Matt uses to put together the bigger picture. Leo was engaged with a girl when Blaine showed up again in his life. Leo was sure the two of them were going to be together again, but apparently Blaine disagreed and left again. From that moment on, everything went downhill.

Leo broke, that's the only way to describe how he's now unable to live his life. He barely reacts to what happens to him or around him. He doesn't think about the consequences of what he does to himself.
He just follows the needs and urges he has always had, but they are now twisted and aimed to destroy whatever is left of him. Matt knows that Leo's throwing himself at people is both a way to get revenge on the man, at least in his clouded mind, and a desperate cry for help. The point is Leo doesn't want anybody help but Blaine's. He's stuck in this loop where he hates this man with all he's got because he still loves him, and there's no way out of it. Sometimes it's too much even thinking about it.

Anyway, Matt doesn't delude himself. He is aware that he can't really fix him. He can only help him every time Leo asks for help, and give him the chance to take a breath before he goes right back drawning underwater. Matt swore to himself that he will always be there when Leo comes to him if that's what he has to do.
"D'you wanna go have a shower?" Matt asks, pushing away those thoughts and trying to focus on the task at hand, that is putting Leo back together. "I can set the table. Besides, that's my job."

Leo looks at him knowing that that is not an offer. In their world of coded sentences, Matt just told him that he has to have a shower and that refusing is not an option. Besides, he craves one. He has slept around, but it almost never was the case to stay for a shower. "That'd be nice," he murmurs.

Matt retrieves some sweatpants and a black shirt from his wardrobe and gives them to Leo.
Black, gray and purple are his colors of choice and almost everything he owns is in one of those colors. It wasn't really hard for him to find something suitable to play Gamzee when they were cosplaying. And he has always something suitable to lend to his Karkat when he needs clean clothes.

Leo notices the color combination – gray sweatpants, black shirt – and there's the smallest of changes in his eyes, but he doesn't say anything. He just turns around and walks towards the bathroom, his skinny self disappearing behind the door a moment after. Matt doesn't need to give him any other indications. They've been at it long enough for Leo to know what he can and cannot use and where to find it.

Matt sighs and walks back to the kitchen. He waits to hear the water flowing, and only then he puts the food in the microwave, and starts setting the table. After that, he waits for the chicken to be hot enough and divides it in two plates, giving Leo the biggest part and also the more potatoes. Then he sits on his stool and waits for him. Actually, he told Leo a lie because he is not hungry at all – he is too tired even for that – but he knows that if he doesn't have dinner with him, Leo will refuse to eat. The trick is to eat very slowly, let Leo finish his part and then offer him the other too.

Leo shows up fifteen minutes later. He's wearing the clothes Matt gave to him, which hang from his shoulders and hips. He washed his hair too, but he didn't dry it completely, so now his curls are less defined. "I think I finished your conditioner," he announces a little sheepishly.

Matt can't help but smile a little. Given the state his hair was in, it doesn't surprise him at all he needed all the conditioner he could find. There's no way out of those curls without. "Don't worry," he says, his voice a little softer. "You look good."

"Thanks," Leo says stiffly. Despite feeling a little more at ease than in any other place around Matt, it still takes time for him to let go. Right now, everything passes over him leaving no trace. He sits down and his stomach makes a very ominous sound.

Matt laughs, quiet loud actually, making him blush. "Eat, you must be hungrier than you thought," he orders playfully, pushing the plate towards Leo. And when Leo starts eating, he sets his mind to stun him with the tale of his adventure tonight. "You have no idea what happened at the restaurant," he says, picking at his food with fake enthusiasm. "It was ridiculous, dude, I'm tellin' ya. I'd have set the shit on fire out of this couple of idiots."

Matt proceeds to describe to him in great detail the couple that entered the restaurant right when they were about to close. He takes his time to tell him that the girl was still wearing her cheerleader uniform at that hour of the night and how she couldn't decide what to order for her life. And he doesn't forget to mention that the guy was treating him like he was some fucking minion or something. Leo just listens to him without saying anything. He mostly nods, making difficult to have a proper conversation, but he keeps eating the food in front of him, so Matt keeps going. "Man, you have no idea how much I wanted to tell him: dude, make no mistake, she's maybe gonna marry you but she's still gonna fuck the gardener."

Leo gives him a little smile, which is a victory in itself, but it's also very hard to watch. He used to have the brightest and most open smile Matt had ever seen. The smile of someone who had never been really sad to the point of forgetting how happiness feels like. And it was true that Leo had everything he wanted – so no reason to be sad – but it was also true that it was very easy to make him smile, and now it's almost impossible. Sometimes Matt looks at him and thinks that Leo has never been equipped to be sad, let alone broken like this.

Leo takes off another little piece of chicken meat from the otherwise stripped bone. "Was he so bad?" He asks.

Matt nods. "Yeah, and he was ugly as fuck. But I kept my smile on and delivered," he answers, actually proud of himself. To work as a waiter, being a decent human being not particularly inclined to killing other fellow human beings isn't enough. You must have a zen attitude, and possibly have been trained by some legendary master in the very heart of China itself. Matt considers his hellish teenage years in Texas his training.

"I had no doubt about that," Leo comments, still chewing. He eats slowly, but constantly – that didn't change one bit – so he has almost finished the chicken. He left all the potatoes, but that's only because he likes to eat them after.

Matt has been eating even slower, and mostly all the potatoes, so his chicken is still basically all there. "Here, eat this too. I'm already stuffed," he says as expected. He takes his piece of chicken and moves it to Leo's plate. "I'll steal a potato in exchange."

Leo glares at him as he eats one of his potatoes. He knows exactly what Matt is doing and he hates him a little for that because now that he started eating for real, he's hungry, and he's not strong enough to refuse. Matt knows him too well. "Won't you need this for tomorrow?" He tries anyway.

"Dude, I've got a shitload of food in the fridge and my refrigerator is stuffed," he says, smiling. This is actually true. He brings back more food from the restaurant than he can actually eat. "Besides, it's not like I won't have anything else to eat tomorrow. Eat the motherfuckin' chicken."

That gains him another little smile from Leo. For a little while they just chitchat, talking about Faridh, Matt's collegue at the restaurant, who apparently, can make you wanna marry the shit out of whatever meat he roasts but he can't make a sauce for his motherfucking life. But that conversation dries out pretty quickly because Leo doesn't really know the man, so it's even harder for him to find three words in a row to say about him.

That's why at some point he decides to change the subject, maybe hoping they won't talk about him, which is actually quite delusional. "Everything's fine with you?" He asks.

"Sure," Matt smiles. He appreaciates Leo's attempt to be polite. "Everything as usual. Missed you, tho."

Leo looks at him, his long eyelashes still give his eyes a languid look. He finished the chicken, so he's now eating potatoes, one by one with his fingers. "I missed you too."

Matt arches an eyebrow, but keeps smiling. "Yeah? Could've come earlier then. Been busy, I get?" He finally nods towards Leo's face. "What about that?"

Leo instantly understands what Matt's talking about, but he fully believes that ignoring something will make other people ignore it too, even if it's big, awfully on the indigo-side and right there on his face. "What?" He asks casually.

Matt doesn't lose his smile. "The bruise," he says patiently, leaning against the back of the stool. "Some fight?"

Leo sighs and looks down, but there are no more potatoes there to distract him. By the way he's avoiding Matt's gaze and fidgeting on that stool as if it burned, this must be something shameful. "A disagreement," he concedes.
"Yeah?" Matt presses him, gently. "'bout what?"

Leo knows that he can avoid answering now, but Matt is going to ask him later. There's no way he's gonna leave it at that. "A guy in a bar," he finally answers. "He thought I should suck him off."

Matt never has the reaction you would expect. In fact, he didn't scowl at the clear action of violence. He arches an eyebrow, laughing instead. "Wow. How dare him," he mocks him.

Leo turns to glare at him very quickly, a look of outrage in his eyes. He's one step away from getting really really mad. Matt knows that – he knew that even before saying those words – and he's satisfied with it. He's always happy when he manages to get some sort of genuine emotion out of leo, especially when Leo feels so closed as he did when he came in.

There are things that Leo has never wanted to do and he still doesn't – which gives Matt hope for the future, because it means that Leo is not so far gone as to accept to do anything, even things that have always made him uncomfortable, like giving oral sex. That spark of self-respect in Leo's eyes when he playfully suggested that the man didn't ask for the Moon, that How dare you! You know me better than that that lied in the glare he shot at him warmed Matt's heart. He doesn't turn it into a sappy thing, tho.

Instead, he laughs amusedly. "Sorry, man. Just joking. You're right." He leans in on the table, kneeling on the stool, and pulls back Leo's bangs to look at his face better from up close. The bluish tinge of the bruise fades to green at the edges, especially around his lips. It looks pretty rough. "Did he hurt you bad?"

"Yeah," Leo mumbles. He doesn't move away, but he doesn't look directly at him either. "He was drunk and he was angry because apparently he thought I was going to do it, something he decided for himself, of course. This and a couple on my stomach were his retaliation."

Matt cringes inside at the awful details Leo casually adds like that. This means it was not just a blow, it was a beating, which makes everything more worrying. "Men can be dicks," he comments smiling, though. He tries not to make a big deal out of it because he knows that that usually scares Leo away. He doesn't want to be scolded for the risks he takes, even when he very well deserves to be. Matt will find a way to do it without being so direct. He carefully touches Leo's face around the bruise with his fingertips. "We think having one entitles us to be one."

Leo tilts his head to the side and gives him a knowing look. "Luckily, I know for a fact that size is not indicative of how much you can be one," he says, hinting at the burden God blessed Matt with.

That is without any doubt a full-fledged joke. Matt knows he won the night. "Thanks, that's flattering," he laughs as he climbs off the stool and starts cleaning out. "You planning on stayin' a while?"

Leo seems hesitant, but eventually he decides to speak. "Can I stay a couple of nights? Kurt's leaving for Broadway in two days."

Bingo, again! Matt'd like to be so lucky and intuitive with lottery numbers as well. Leo's relationship with both his fathers have never been actually easy as far as he knows, but Leo and Kurt have never really found a way to deal with each other after Blaine entered Leo's life. Kurt has always been against him – no blaming him for that – but apparently he's not doing a very good job in dealing with Leo without Blaine either, which is sad but unfortunately very common. Matt's parents couldn't deal with him either, after all. Sometimes parents just can't do their job, that's proof enough of them being also human beings, Matt supposes.

Leo can't live under Kurt's roof for more than a couple of months before they fight and either he runs away or Kurt throws him out. Matt doesn't want to judge Kurt as he doesn't judge Blaine – he saw the man twice in his life and all he has of him are good memories, so he knows the story must be a little more complicated than what Leo makes it out to be, especially because Leo tends to see only his point of view – but he's the one who's dealing with the consequences of both Kurt and Blaine's actions, and sometimes that makes him a little resentful towards them.

"Fine by me," he nods as he puts everything away in the sink or in the drawers of the kitchen. Leo never stays for more than a couple of days anyway, and sometimes not even that long. It's not uncommon for Matt to wake up the day after Leo arrived to find him gone already. "Wanna get some sleep now?

Leo looks at him and nods. He's visibly restless. He keeps opening and closing his hands, his fingers are always busy combing his hair or pulling at his shirt. He tries to be casual about it, but his nerves are taking over and quickly hiding his hands in his pockets when he realizes what he's doing doesn't do him any good.

What pushes him to come all the way here to New York is always his need for closeness. He meets with tons of people every day, he gets intimate with most of them, but he's not close to anyone. Leo is not build to be alone. As much as he acts like he can do just fine on his own, he can't. He never could, actually. He's one of those people who need to feel loved all the time, and your love for him must be strong, your love declarations to him must be reiterated continuously.

So, it's easy to see how much his current situation is far from what he longs for.

While it's easy for him to find someone to fuck him senseless, he burned so many bridges in his own hometown that there's no one left there willing to tend to his needs. When Leo shows up on his doorstep, what he's really looking for is warmth, it's a hug. The fact that cuddles always turn into sex with him is just the way he deals with human contact when people he loves are involved. The two things are strictly connected for him, as if one thing was the direct consequence of the other. He always perceives sex as a form of love, another way – the best and stronger – to be with you.

What he lets perfect strangers do to him in the bathroom of a bar has nothing to do with any of this, it actually twists how he lives his sexuality. That is why it's horrifying that he does it on purpose, knowing what it will do to him after.

Knowing all this, Matt is not surprised when Leo drapes himself around him the moment they are in bed. A more peaceful, enclosed space, and speaking in wishpers help them getting closer. It doesn't take long before Leo asks for a kiss and another, until Matt can expose the other bruises on Leo's stomach.

He makes sure of one thing before giving in, and that is Leo is present to himself while they are together.
This is the only thing he has always asked him, that Leo doesn't use him as he uses the other men he goes with. When Leo's in his bed, he must know where he is. But Leo's eyes are not lost for once, when he looks into them, so Matt's kisses get deeper and hungrier, as they cut a little piece of that night for themselves before falling asleep.


The first thing Leo sees when he wakes up is the giant poster of the Homestuck's Subjugglator on the wall. That alone would have given away whose room he was sleeping in, but luckily he doesn't need any reminder today. His mind is clear, he knows where he is and what he did last night. Plus, the smell from the kitchen speaks of milk and coffee, and he can hear the faint clinking of spoons. Not many people except Matt would be making him breakfast nowadays.

He would like to stay in bed a little longer, but he knows that if he waits Matt might show up with a tray – true story – and that would be very embarrasing. So, he yawns and stretches as much as he can, then rolls out of bed. He shows up in the kitchen yawning and scratching his head, and what he sees makes him burst out laughing. "What?"
Matt looks up and smiles at him; a bright, open smile that looks bigger under the white paint around his mouth. He wears a huge purple hoodie on a pair of skinny black jeans that makes his endless legs look even more endless. On his head, his old yellow and orange horns, as steady and natural as if they were real, in a mess of his wild black locks. He's dressed as Gamzee, given or taken a couple of details, and everything looks exaggerated in him this morning.

"What are you doing?" Leo asks, chuckling.

Before even speaking one word, Matt gives him a headband with chubby little horns on it, and Leo realizes that his black shirt and gray sweatpants make him a perfect Karkat. "Oh, so that's what we're doing," he says, smirking. Yesterday, he wouldn't have had the strenght to keep this up, but he woke up happy and Matt even painted himself gray. How can he not play along? "When I open my eyes in the morning, given that I do open my eyes in the morning, which is not a given with you fucker around, the last thing I want is to find you messing around with my fucking breakfast," he mutters grumpily as Karkat would do.

Only then Gamzee!Matt grins – a creepy smile that shows phony pointy teeth – and speaks to him, and luckily he's not sober. "Mornin' bro! Thought you could use some motherfucking miracle today," he says. And he's incredibly good at playing Gamzee, even his voice sounds perfect. "Wanna know what I came up with?"

Matt uncovers one by one all the bowls he's got in front of him on the counter, each one containing a different ingredient. Leo spots flour, eggs, and milk, but it's the little bottle of bright green food coloring that makes it instantly clear for him. "No fucking way," he says, chuckling again. Matt laughs, seeing his bewildered, happy face. For a moment it's like they were back in time, when Leo was sixteen and they would roleplay all day long. "I'm not baking you a fucking slime pie, you ridiculous, crazy, idiotic clown."

"Aw, come on, bro!" Matt comes around the counter, and he's all over him the moment after. "You know you wanna bake my pie. Bake my pie." His body invades Leo's personal space and his face occupies all his view. For a moment, all Leo can see, touch and smell is Matt, and the feeling is so good that is almost too overwhelming.

Leo smiles sheepishly. "Goddamnit! Fine, but only if you shut the fuck up," he says. "You're creeping me out."

Matt lets out a loud and eerie laugh before leaving the room, his eyes looking sleepy under the make up. Leo smiles looking at the ingredients on the counter. Making a cake was the last of his thoughts when he woke up this morning, but the idea of cooking is suddenly very appealing. It's been a long time since he prepared something for someone. It's been even more since the last time he baked a slime pie for his moirail, and it's about fucking time he does it again.


That's when the ominous sound breaks the silence, summoning images of pile of horns, asteroids, and a very scary troll gone sober. Leo had just picked up the bowl with the flour to start making the pie when he hears it. "Don't you fucking dare!" He screams, but the shiver he feels running through is body is so good that he doesn't move until he hears another honk just to shiver again.
Maybe later, when the pie is ready, he can try and see if their quadrant still works and shooshpap him out of sobriety. And this all might be weird but it feels like normality, and he's gonna cling to it as long as he can.

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