Le nuove storie sono in alto.

Personaggi: Leo, Blaine, Timothy, Matt
Verse: Broken heart syndrome
Genere: /
Avvisi: Fluff, Slash, Slice of life.
Rating: PG
Prompt: Written for the WRPG (Mission 02: Hospitality, Industry)
Note: So, apparently, this is the new trend. I'm writing a story that falls into the Glee category without actually being a fanfiction of Glee anymore, and while it pretends to be a fanfiction when it's really an original story, it almost actually becomes an Homestuck fic.

Riassunto: Leo's having Matt over for Christmas, and this generates an incredible amount of extra craziness in the Anderson Karofsky-Hummel household, because Leo gets in a frenzy, Blaine has to bear with the knowledge that Matt and his husband live in a world of their own where nobody else is allowed, and Timmy is just curious to meet this insanely tall human being.

Christmas is not a festivity to Leo, it's a war.

Having been raised by Kurt Hummel – basically the incarnation on Earth of Santa's crazy interior designer elf – in the very heart of that Midwestern Winter Wonderland that is Lima, Ohio, Leo officially starts with Christmas preparation in mid-November and ends around December 23th at the latest. If anything exceeds the time window, that is considered a catastrophe and nobody wants to talk about that, or being around Leo for that matter.

When he was a kid, Kurt would involve him in the preparations, whether Leo wanted to be involved or not. There was no end to the things Kurt had to do to secure a perfect Christmas for his family. He would roam the state, visiting every greenhouse worthy of his attention, to find the proper tree while everybody else was still busy with Thanksgiving, and then enslave Dave to bring it home on the roof of the car.

Then he would choose the color scheme of the tree – which was different every year, of course – and consequentially the colors of the decorations in the rest of the house. After that it was time to decide what kind of illuminations he wanted both inside and outside the house, and of course which one of everyone's beloved Christmas characters would show up in their garden in the form of a life-size wooden statue perfect in every detail.

One year it was Rudolph, another one it was the Gingerbread Man, the next one Santa himself, but never the same character two years in a row. One glorious year Leo convinced Kurt to have Jack Frost – his all time favorite winter character – sitting on a big snowball, and it was a real tragedy to do without him the next year, when Kurt proved to be adamant on his different-character-every-year policy even facing the tears of disappointment of his five years old son. That year they had a stupid lame elf, and Leo hated its guts all the way till the time came to take him in.

Next on the list was the picture for the cards to send to family and friends, which required not only the collaboration of Leo – who was actually dressed up and posed like a doll well past the age when such a thing is shameful for both parents and child – but also Dave, who never wanted more out of the family than when they had to take the Christmas picture. Clothes, setting, combination of the family members, pose and words to write on the card were carefully chosen by Kurt during the weeks before the actual shooting, and nobody was allowed to go on with their life until the photo was exactly as he had pictured it in his mind, which would prove to be almost impossible more often than not.

As they were gradually getting closer to Christmas, Kurt would decide the menu of the lunch he would give, choose the centerpiece, the tablecloth, the placeholders that would arrange everyone in a suitable order – not to be broken, of course. Despite the military rigor, that would actually be a necessary measure when Finn, Santana, Rachel, Dave and Blaine were sitting at the same table. There were powers to balance and personalities to keep separated as at a round table for a peace treaty. Leo still remembers how his father would place him as a divider between Blaine and Dave, which was cute to see back then – his ten years old self in a designer outfit, all grumpy and pouty to be seated next to the man he hated the most in the whole world – now it just freaks people out, since he married said man. Every time he tells some old story of his childhood and Blaine ends up being in it, people look various shades of uncomfortable. At the beginning, this would annoy him. Now he has fun with it, much to Blaine's dismay, never missing the chance to stress the fact that, by the time he was six years old, Blaine was already a man.

Last but not least, the presents. The majority of them had already been bought by the end of the first week of December – Kurt never liked the crowd in the shops much – but there was always some little present to buy here and there, and of course there was Dave's present from Leo. As a kid – even a very young one – Leo had an allowance that would allow him to buy his parents Christmas presents, which he did. But they were little things a kid could buy and, despite being very proud of what he could buy on his own, it was important to him to buy Dave and Kurt proper presents, so he would arrange to go out with one father first and then the other to choose the perfect thing that his parents would basically buy for each other on his behalf.

Now, if this was a funny, relaxed bonding moment between him and Dave, it would turn into a mission from God when he had to go out with Kurt to find something suitable to give Dave. His father would drag him all around the city – and that city could sometimes be New York, depending on what they were doing at the time – until Leo's eyes would literally beam with recognition, looking inside a shop window. In retrospect, Kurt was just trying to help, but the whole procedure was stressful nonetheless.

That is why he sworn that, as much as he loved Christmas, he would never become like his father when he grew up.

Unfortunately the oath was completely pointless, since the imprinting had already happened long before he made it. Kurt's idea of Christmas was already molding Leo's very festivity core, and that was perfectly clear, if not to him to everybody else, by the time he moved in with Adam. Their brand new, awfully small and messy house wasn't spared from the Christmas frenzy at all.

A tree was bought and with that enough decorations to cover their house and probably the whole college dorms too. Even Leo's room, usually the scene of a nuclear fallout, was tidied up and subjected to a full Christmas renovation. There were stickers of snowmen on the windowpanes, angels hanging from every handle and elves scattered all over the place. He even organized a small dinner party for the two of them and Annie the day before the family one he was going to attend at his parents' house.

His heart was slowly turning red and white like a candy cane. It was just a matter of time.

And then, one day of November, in his late 20s, almost completely out of his darkest hour, married and with a five years old son, he had woken up to find out that the transformation was complete. As far as Christmas was concerned, he had turned into his father.

It took him five minutes to accept his fate, really.

It took Blaine a little longer to get used to his lazy younger husband turning into a Christmas Nazi killer machine once a year – it took him a few years, to be honest, during which the number of their children tripled – but he did get used to it. So, he thinks he's ready to deal with him this year too, and that's where he's totally and catastrophically wrong.

Since the moment he was allowed to invite Matt to their annual Christmas lunch and, most of all, since the moment Matt called to say he was coming, Leo has been on cloud nine. Matt has a very special place in his heart. The guy was there when Leo had nobody else to turn to. He took him in, cared for him, gave him a place to stay and take a breath from the mess his life was at that time. And he put up with him, with all his coming and going, and never asked for anything in return.

Blaine is aware that, without Matt, he probably would have had nothing to return to and fix.
In some way, he and Leo own him everything they have now. That is why Blaine instantly agreed to have him for Christmas. He is even ready to bear with their inside jokes, that cultist language they use and their excess of intimacy and indifference for each other personal space.

What he hasn't prepared for is his husband's frenzy.

Leo is like his father, but not quite. He wants the house to be decorated, but he doesn't care about interior design. He doesn't choose color schemes or the perfect style. He just wants the house to look festive, and to smell of chocolate and cinnamon. He needs to feel the Christmas spirit. On December, his life must feel like he's living in one of those Christmas movies where the entire family get involved in the holiday madness, then Christmas risks to get ruined but it's obviously saved in the end. Possibly without the risking part.

And unlike Kurt, he likes to do things with his hands.

No place is more alluring to him than the Jo-Ann Store around Christmas. The first time ever Leo told him he was going there, Blaine had to wonder who was that young man claiming to be his husband but acting anything like him. He couldn't understand why in the world Leo would want to even pass by a store that he mostly associated with old ladies, crafty moms and preschool teachers. He didn't even know Leo was aware of such a store! It turned out Leo not only knew the store very well, but also knew how to use most of the things that were sold in there.

Leo has known how to use a glue gun on a piece of felt since the age of ten, and he still can't change a tire for his life. As far as stereotypes go, Blaine still wonder how nobody noticed he was on the gay-side before he was fifteen.

So, Blaine is not surprised when the door opens and lets in a gust of cold wind and snow, a huge cardboard box, followed by his husband and another tiny box, behind which he supposes there's his son. “Hi dad! We're back,” Leo says, putting down his box on the living room table, and taking off his gloves.

Blaine shivers. He's sitting on the couch, feeding one of the twins on his lap, while the other is in the sleeper next to him. “Every time you say that, a part of me crawls in a corner and cries,” he says, tilting his head back to have a kiss.

Leo chuckles and leans down to kiss him. “It didn't look like that last night,” he jokes.

“What didn't look like that last night?” Timmy asks, wandering blindly across the living room. Leo grabs him by his hood before he can crush against the sleeper and knock his sister over.

“Where are you going?” Leo asks.
“I don't know,” Timmy protests, trying to look around the box he's holding, and failing. “I can't see anything!”
Leo snorts, but tries not to be too obvious about it. Timmy is in that phase where children are filled with self-importance and get offended very easily. Blaine mocks Leo, saying he never came out of it.

“Here, let me,” Leo says, taking the box from his son's hands and putting it down on the table next to his own. Then he helps Timmy undress, since he's pulling at his scarf and he's more likely to strangle himself than taking it off.

“Dad! Dad!” Timmy says excitedly, wiggling away from his coat. He places both hands on the arm Blaine keeps bent to hold Logan against his chest. He is not jealous of his siblings – Blaine invested him with too much responsibilities to be really jealous – but he never misses the chance to touch his fathers and make his presence known every time they're holding one of the twins. “We bought tons of stuff!”

“I had a feeling you might have,” he says, glancing over at Leo. “Did you pillage the store?”

“There wasn't much left to pillage,” Leo comments. “But we got what we went there for. We have a lot of work to do.”

“Now?” Timmy asks, looking up. Logan follows his voice with adoring eyes.

“No, after lunch. Go wash your hands, I'll fix something up,” Leo answers. He waits for the kid to run to the first floor bathroom, and he sits next to Blaine, kissing him once more. “How was your day?”

“I got puked on twice, and I've changed a number of poopy diapers incredibly high for these two tiny things,” he answers. “How can they poop so much is behind me.”

“You promised me they will learn to clean themselves some day,” Leo reminds him.

“Well, Timmy did, so I just suppose they will do the same,” Blaine says very seriously, as this was a real scientific conversation.

“You suppose?”

Blaine shrugs. “Pooping is not an exact science,” he says.

Leo chuckles. “Right. Anyway, I'm sorry you had to stay here alone with them,” Leo says.
He rarely apologizes, but there's nothing he knows better than the dread of being left alone in the house with two newborns set to cry, poop and being hungry always at the same time. Blaine was out of town for three days last month and Leo almost had a breakdown.

That is why Blaine decided to take a break from work at least until the twins won't be so very tiny anymore. By then, he hopes Leo won't be so scared to do something wrong all the time and it'll be possible to leave him alone with them without him going insane. Taking a break wasn't a suffered decision, anyway. Blaine is so in love with the twins that he would spend hours just looking at them – he has always been emotional, but he's even more so now – so staying at home during these first few months to take care of them is not a burden at all. The only one complaining is Dotty, but nobody listens to her. Exactly as nobody listens to Mark, who's been trying to get in touch with Leo for two days now, but Leo is too busy decorating the house for Christmas to send him the fifty pages he wants, provided he wrote them at all.

“Don't worry,” Blaine says, leaving a kiss on his husband's forehead. Logan squirms between them, trying to get their attention. “As long as you have the heir with you, I've got everything under control.”

“That much I can do. Actually,” Leo says, gently pushing Harper's nose with a finger. She curls her lips in a concentrated pout as he tries to see what's happening to her face, “he's gonna help me decorating, so if we get these two beans napping, you've got yourself a free afternoon.”



Despite a rocky beginning and the problems they still have dealing with two babies instead of one as they had planned, they have managed to slip into some sort of routine very quickly, possibly because Blaine made sure that it was established more around them than the twins.

He always put his kids first of course, but he knew that organizing his time and Leo's by only taking into consideration the children's needs wasn't going to work. He had tried it with Timmy – who's half the burden the twins are – and it didn't work. He and Leo need time alone, and Leo need to deal with things his own way in his own time, especially if it's something he has never done before.

So, Blaine gets more things done if he always takes care of feeding and changing the twins, rather than insisting on Leo doing that for once. In exchange, Leo prepares all their meals and usually helps Timmy with his homework too. As far as the twins are concerned, Leo takes them to sleep – something he likes to do because he can sing – to give Blaine time to relax and possibly spend some time with his older son. Blaine knows that if he keeps quiet and leaves him be, one day Leo will grab a bottle and feed Logan and Harper as if it were nothing special. Or he will take them out for a walk alone.

It was the same with Timmy. One day he was ignoring him, the day after he was playing together with him, blowing his nose and scolding him for something bad he had done. Now he acts like a father with him. He just needs to learn how to be a father of three.

That is exactly what happened today. After lunch, Leo took the twins to his and Blaine's bedroom, leaving his two men to tidy up the kitchen. They cleaned the table, swept the floor, and Blaine unloaded the dishwasher and loaded it again – him being reigning house champion of dishwasher's Tetris – as Timmy carefully dried all the dishes and put everything away. By the time Leo is back the kitchen looks brand new, and they can move to the living room table, where all the Christmas magic usually happens.

Timmy climbs on a chair and kneels on it, so to be tall enough to work freely on the table's surface. He grabs his box and starts taking out tools and materials looking like he knows exactly what he's doing. Blaine is so fascinated by Timmy's self-confidence around these things that he sits down too to observe him as he does things he himself knows nothing about.

This is not the first time Leo and Timmy do some project together. They started with fingers painting when Timmy was very young. There's a whole gallery of his masterpieces on the wall of Leo's office, showing the evolution of his son's painting skill through time, from two to approximately six years of age, when he stopped wanting to paint with his fingers because it was a thing for little kids. Then they moved to polymer clay – which is something Timmy goes crazy for, so it is expected to be a long lasting passion – but Blaine knows for a fact that one of Leo's Christmas presents for Timmy this year is going to be his very own first resin figurine to paint – just like those Leo paints –, and Blaine can't wait to see his son's face when he'll open the box and see it.

“So, what are you two making today?” He asks, as pieces of colorful thin cardboard are taken out of their packages and placed in orderly manner on the table.

“Cardboard characters and felt stockings,” Timmy answers. He can't look up because he's too busy sorting out the pieces of felt by color and size, but he's not ignoring his father. In fact, he continues to speak. “Dad's gonna let me use the glue gun this year.”

Blaine can hear the excitement in his voice and chuckles. Apparently, he's gonna witness one of the many rites of passage his son will have to face. Who could have known! “Good for you,” he says. “Can I help?”

Timmy thinks about it for a moment, and then grabs some black cardboard and gives it to his father, together with a pair of round tip scissors and a pencil. “Draw circles on the cardboard and then cut them. We need two sizes, smaller for the eyes and bigger to make buttons and such.”

“Timmy doesn't like to cut,” Leo explains with a smile as he gives his son some pre-cut shapes he can use to draw the characters on the cardboard.

“It's boring, so you can do it,” Timmy decides. He bends over on the table, keeping the cardboard still with his whole body as he carefully draw the silhouette of a snowman, his tongue out in concentration.

Blaine accepts his sad fate with a patient sigh – after all newbies are expected to do the most boring jobs – and he concludes that he can very well make some conversation while he draws circle after circle. “So, did you hear from Matt? When is he coming?” He asks.

Leo has laid down a sheet of paper, and on it he's placing polymer clay balls. He carefully made them one by one, all the same freaking size. “He'll get here on the 23h. It's a long trip, so I thought he could arrive one day early and get some rest before the dinner.”

“And spend more time with you,” Blaine jokes.

“That too, yeah.” Leo smiles. He doesn't even bother to defend himself because it would be pointless. Blaine knows how excited he is to have Matt in the house.

“Things with his family are still bad?” Blaine asks. He knows Matt and his parents weren't in good terms back then, but it was more than ten years ago. Things change. Even Leo, who still hates Kurt enough to avoid him as much as he possibly could, found some common ground with him. Sort of. He's working on it, at least.

“Last time he heard from them was five years ago. His cousin was getting married, and his mother specifically called him to tell him not to come,” Leo says. “This answers your question?”

“Geez,” Blaine comments. “Every time you think your faith in humanity is restored, there's always someone ready to prove you wrong.”

Unlike all the other children who look like they're not listening to the nonsense their parents say, but they actually hear everything, Timmy is a very serious kid, so he always kinda looks like he's listening to something and judging the crap out of it too. “Who's Matt?” He asks, without looking up. He drew three snowmen and now he moved on to Rudolph. The reindeer's red rounded nose is pretty challenging, so the inches of tongue out of Timmy's mouth are slowly increasing.

“He's dad's friend,” Blaine answers. “A very tall one.”

“Taller than Adam?” Timmy asks. Leo and Blaine keep track of his height since he was a baby, and seeing his marks on the door going higher and higher is one of the things that make Timmy prouder. He declared a long time ago that he wants to be tall when he grows up – he's absolutely convinced that it will depend on him – and so tall people fascinate him as if they found some height secret they might be willing to share.
At the moment, the taller person in his life is Adam, who beat the ultimate record by being even taller
than his fathers
, something that Timmy, in his infinite love and adoration for both his parents, would have never thought possible, until one day he was old enough to see with his own eyes that it was an undeniable truth. So, being shorter or taller than the current champion is a very important matter to him.
It's the first question he asks right after the name.

Blaine frowns, as he tries to mentally compare the two men. “Let's see...”

“Yes, he is,” Leo answers, easily enough. “Matt is definitely taller than Adam. A lot taller, actually.”

“Of course your father would know that,” Blaine says. Leo pretends he didn't hear that.

Luckily, Timmy doesn't get sarcasm yet, but he looks up. “Really?” He asks, bewildered. Is there any limit to how much a person can grow? “How tall?”

“Well, I think you will see that soon. He's gonna stay with us a few days at Christmas,” Leo answers, standing up and taking his tray of little polymer clay balls with him to the kitchen where he will cook them in the oven. “Actually, I think you will like him. He's very funny.”

“Is he now?” Blaine asks, arching an eyebrow. He thinks he cut enough eyes and buttons for one day, so he stands up and follows his husband. Timmy rolls his eyes, sensing the change in tone in his parents' voices. Now they will hide in the kitchen to kiss, and then smooch forever. By the time they're back, it'll be summer again.


On December 23th – a date that, in the Anderson Karofsky-Hummel household will be compared from now on to the Moon landing or the Berlin Wall fall as far as enthusiasm and emotional investment are concerned – the house itself seems to shake in anticipation of Matt's arrival.

The house is so shiny as Blaine has never seen it before with Leo inside since the day he bought it.
Rooms have been tidied up, bathrooms have been cleaned, children have been bathed, and the t-shirt of the great occasions has been put on some very skinny jeans of which Blaine was mildly suspicious but didn't say anything about.

Matt called a couple of hours ago, checking in with Leo and assuring him that, despite the snow in New York, the airport was still open and his flight had left on time, but Leo was in such a frenzy after the call that Blaine had to sent him playing videogames with Timmy to calm down. It was either that or knocking him down for good with a baseball bat.

That proved to be a great idea. Matt is expected to arrive any minute now, and Leo and Timmy are still sitting on the carpet, shooting at pink baloons and collecting coins as they ride little dragon-like creatures that look like dinosaurs but, as Blaine's been instructed multiple times by his own son, are something called Drath. He doesn't know and doesn't want to know more than that. Blaine is pretty content just with sitting on the couch and trying to read a book over the pew pew sound and the annoying music of the videogame.

When the doorbell finally rings, Leo pauses the game without warning – something he never does because there's a gamer rule in the house, and in fact Timmy instantly protests – and drops the controller on the floor, running towards the entrance, his socked feet padding on the parquet. "I get the door!"

Blaine doesn't even move, he just keeps reading. Hopefully, withouth the music, he will finally manage to finish this page. "I wasn't even dreaming of doing that for you," he says. "Anyway, if you moved so fast any other day of the year, we would have a lot more free time, you know that?"

"Shut up, Blaine!" Leo screams from the entrance, and then opens the door with a big, beaming smile.

Behind it, Matt is smiling. The mask of usual calmness and perfect relaxation as always straightening his features, making him look a lot sweeter than his sharp bone structure should make possible. "Hey, bro!" His smile widens, as he shivers a little. With his simple purple hoodie and a pair of jeans, he is – as always – pretty underdressed, especially for this time of the year in Lima, Ohio

Leo shamelessly throws his arms around his neck and hugs him. "Ah! You made it!"

"'Course I made it," he says smiling. He hugs Leo tight and smiles against his cheek as he leaves a small kiss there. "Even with my messed up sense of direction, it'd have been pretty impossible to miss your house. Looks like a freaking Harrods Christmas window minus the London look. "

Leo chuckles. "Hey, first rule of the house, never mock the motherfucking decorations, bro." He instantly falls back in their common language. "Christmas is a silly human tradition, but it's tradition and you get to respect that. But I can compensate for the missing London look by offering you tea." He grabs him by the hand and drags him along. "Come inside, I don't want you to freeze on my doorstep. It'd make a bad impression with the neighbors."

"You know what, I was expecting it to be colder. Instead look at me, came all the way down here without freezing my ass," Matt says conversationally as he walks in the sitting room, following Leo, and then stops when he sees everybody there. He lifts a hand to wave in mid air. "Hello, family!"

Leo smiles stupidly, as he always does when he's insanely happy. Having Matt meet his husband and children means way more than just a friend being introduced to his family. It's one of the most important people in his life meeting the others, having some of his loves in just one room. That always makes him happy, even more so when it's Matt who actually made it possible for all of them to be here. "So, you already know Blaine, of course..."

Blaine stands up from the couch and shakes his hand. "Hi, Matt. How are you?"
Hearing the noise Leo just made after opening the door, Timmy stood up to see what was going on and watched the stranger's entrance with curiousity, but he's cautious. So, he takes three steps forward to have a better look, but remaining in Blaine's safe surroundings.

"I'm fine, thanks," Matt answers, nodding at Blaine with a smile. "Thanks for having me,".

Leo points at Timothy. "And the blondie hiding behind his father is Timmy," he says with a smile.

"I'm not hiding!" Timmy says, instantly stepping forward to prove it.

Matt chuckles, amused at Timmy's instant display of bravery. "'Course you're not hiding, why would you? Ya look straight out some fairy tales book, lil' prince, you know? You seem cool," he says, his strong Texas accent seeping through each word that comes out of his broad mouth. He stands right in front of Timmy in all his impossible height, and then he kneels, lifting an arm. "C'mon, gimme a high one. I'm Matt, nice to meet ya."

Timmy looks at him in complete awe. Matt is the longest, tallest human being he has ever seen. He can't even believe his eyes. Matt must definitely be a giant, there's no other explanation. That, he thinks, that is how tall I wanna be. He gives Matt a big five, his initial ditrust of him dissolving into admiration. "You talk strange," he notices, tho. He is not that used to hear different accents, except when his dad takes him on holiday somewhere far far away where they don't even speak English and he doesn't understand a word.

"That's cos I'm from Texas, lil' bro," Matt explains, nodding, as he pretends to wear a cowboy hat and tilts it. "The Lone Star State. All hail the mighty State! So wonderful, so great!" He half-sings the anthem of his motherland.

Leo chuckles, shaking his head. "You're such a clown!"

Timmy beams. "I know where Texas is!" He exclaims, happily. School is not exactly is favorite thing – except for sports, he plays a lot of them – but he does his best to get good grades because he knows it's important. So, every time he actually knows something and he can show the world that he knows it, he simply has to say it. He lost count of the times his teacher rolled her eyes and told him to raise his hand to speak before actually speaking. "It confines with New Mexico and... Oklahoma and... Louisiana!" He frowns, shaking his head. "But I've never been to Texas. Isn't it right, daddy?"
He keeps track of all the places he has been – he's even got a map on the wall in his room for that –, and at such a young age he's been in a lot of places already.

"No, honey. You've never been to Texas," Blaine confirms.
"Great, you're not missing out," Matt smiles, standing straight on his legs once again. "A bunch of cows, some men with a very weird accent, cowboys and deserts. It's prettier here, innit?"

He doesn't know about that. He likes Lima, and he likes snow, but when he goes visit his aunt Tana – the older one, not the girl he's in love with and whom he's gonna marry, who's also is his aunt Tana – at her holiday house in California, he really likes the sea too. So he's pretty sure he would probably also like the desert. And he likes all the animals.

"I like cows," he says. But then the long, articulate speech he was about to make on farm animals and the like just disappears from his mind, as he gets distracted again by Matt's impossible height. "You are taller than Adam for real."

Leo chuckles. "I told you he was."

Matt laughs his deep, throaty laugh. The kid is something. "Hey, you wanna try and see the world from up here?" He asks. A lot of kids come to the restaurant where he works, and he's used to deal with them. The older ones can be tricky and the very small ones are too easily scared, but he's got no problem with children Timmy's age, especially if they are amusing like him.

Timmy beams. No offer has ever been better than the one that has just been made to him. He turns to Blaine, almost jumping on the spot. "Can I?"
Blaine scoffs a little laughter. What can he say? Apparently all the men in his life are destined to fall in love with this insanely tall human being. "Of course you can."
Matt leans in and takes him from under his arms, turning him around in mid air with a little bounce and then placing him effortlessly on his shoulders. "Now sit. Don't worry, I've gotcha."

"Whoa!" Timmy drapes himself around Matt's head like an headband. "Look, dad! I can almost touch the ceiling from here!"

Blaine spent a fortune on a house with ceilings so high that you can bring a 7' tall Christmas tree inside and still have room for an entire new tree just on top of it, so Timmy's sense of measures is a little messed up, but he's cute anyway. "I think you just bought him," Leo says to Matt.
Blaine chuckles in amusement and tenderness. "You're so very tall, powder puff."

"It's cool, innit? Maybe one day you gonna get that tall all on your own," Matt comments. He puts Timmy back down on the floor and then turns to Leo. "But what, did you trick me into coming into this snowy hellhole using two newborn twins as a bait and now you keep 'em hidden? I shall ask for a refund on my tickets."

"Don't get all sober on me. I never lied," Leo answers. "I actually have two grubs to show you."

Honestly, Blaine was fearing this very moment. Whenever these two are together, they progressively lose the use of English in favor of some sort of hellish lingo, coming directly from that weird comic, videogame, book or whatever it is that they both read. Soon they will start talking about trolls and doomed timelines and creepy creatures with clubs as weapons, and he will totally feel left out. "You have two what?" He tries to ask, knowing that he will be ignored.

"What's a grab?" Timmy asks too.

Leo doesn't answer to either of them, equally caught up in Matt and the thought of showing him his two tiny, perfect twins. "Follow me, they were put deeper inside the hive, because me and Timmy were playing Castle Cloud."

The twins have been soundly asleep in their nest-shaped bed for the past two hours. They're never so good, so Leo mentally thanks them for this special favor they're making him as he and Matt quietly enter their room. Matt gets closer to the cradle and looks at the two babies. They're pink and chubby, and they sleep very close together, almost using each other as a teddy bear.

He's excited to know Leo's kids, this is the first time he comes around since they've been born. He's seen pictures, of course, but that's not quite the same when it comes to babies. "You gotta know, we've been following the updates of Facebook", he says, referring to their old cosplay group. Leo posts pictures of his family on the social network whenever he can. The only thing that makes him more bearable than those sappy mothers posting lame poetry about their precious children is that he's stupid. Under the very first photo of the twins he posted, he wrote I made this, and that one was followed by other photos with similar captions. "How Logan doesn't seem to be able to ever stop crying and messin' around? We already call him Baby Sufferer."

Leo chuckles. "He's kind of a Baby Sufferer, indeed. He usually cries when his sister is not around, or when he thinks she's not there because he doesn't see her," he says, as he proudly shows him his two little sleeping beans. "This one is Logan," he points at the baby on the left without hesitation. People can't tell them apart, but they look very different to him already. "And she's Harper."

Timmy followed them upstairs, possibly because he wanted to understand what those grubs were. He must admit that he's a little disappointed to find out that they were just his little siblings. He looks inside the cradle, like Matt and his father are doing, and he doesn't do anything that could disturb the babies. He's a good big brother.

"Ah, you came along!" Matt exclaims, when he looks down and notices him. The twins are cute, and he looks at them with the obvious adoring smile he'd always thought he'd reserve for Leo's offspring, but Timmy's way funnier for him, because he's interactive. "Tell me, how d'you deal with these two nuggets? How do you baby even?"

"They are okay," Timmy says with a shrug. He always acts like he doesn't care much, but the truth is, he's very protective with his siblings. Nobody touches them or gets closer without him noticing. "But they cry a lot, and they never wanna sleep. But I can change them and give them their bottles, and they smell like cake."

"They don't smell like my kind of cake," he says, chuckling, as he sits on his heels in front of Timmy. "And you wanna know what that cake is?"

Timmy nods. Whenever someone talks about cakes you don't know anything about, you must listen to them. That's a rule. You never pass on info about cakes.

"It's a slime pie. A pie I make with the green sopor slime from my cocoon. And, Lil' bro, it tastes like a motherfucking miracle," Matt says with a creepy grin that instantly turns him into Gamzee.
Timmy blinks and actually takes a step back, turning to Leo. "Leo?"
"He's joking," his father says.

Leo's word reassure him, but not quite. So he keeps his distance. "What's a... you know, that thing you said."

Matt laughs, standing up. "You'll know soon enough. Very soon, actually."
He's brought Christmas presents for everyone, and he got Timmy all seven books of Homestuck, his very own collection, the new and improved collector's edition. When he told Leo, he had to make him promise that he was not going to steal his son's present.

All the noise makes Logan jerk and stirr. He mewls a little, drawing Leo attention to him. "We're waking up the little beasts," he murmurs. "Timmy, why don't you go see if daddy can put some tea on? I'll show Matt his room."

Matt's words made him very curious, but Timmy is always ready to answer a call to arms, since he's been taught to be the Responsible Child. He nods and disappears out of the bedroom and down the stairs.
"Your grubs are cool, bro. The big one too," Matt says, looking down at Leo with fondness. "You got a good thing goin' on here. I'm proud of ya. Happy for ya, too."

"The big one's not my doing. Blaine did most of the job," He plays it down as he walks along the corridor towards the guest room. "He was already polite when I met him."

"Yeah? I dunno. By the way the lil' blonde dwarf looks at ya, I'd say you've been at least as important in his upbringing." He follows him, one long step after the other, getting closer to Leo just to share the same warmth as they walk.

Leo smiles, sweetly. "Thanks. It's important for me when people say that... but you know that."

"'Course I know," he smiles too, affectionately, and reaches out for him, placing one of his long, wide hands on Leo's head and ruffling his already pretty messy hair. "You're doing a great job."

"Thanks. Shit! I do say thanks a lot, right?" He sighs and opens a door, showing him inside. "Here."
The room is smaller than Leo's, but it's a double nonetheless, and the bed is big. There's a huge window, a desk and a big wardrobe. "There was smaller room with a private batroom, but it's next to the twins' and you will thank me tonight."

"You shitting me, bro, I'm already thanking you," Matt walks in and drops his bag on a chair. "This room is twice the size of my apartment."
He opens the bag and takes out four presents he brought with him. The twins have the bigger one, a proper twin baby gym he found online, specifically studied with activities that involve both babies, in which they pull each other up, play with shared toys hanging from the structure and so on. "There's something for the lil' grubs in here too. There are labels everywhere, can't miss it," he says, as he passes the wrapped up presents to Leo. "Put 'em under those majestic Christmas tree you got yourself in the sitting room, will ya?"

"Oh, you shouldn't have!" Leo quickly says with a smirk as he goes through the boxes. "But I kinda like that you did. Is this for me?" He's got Matt the new Gamzee hoodies. Hussie got them out, like, ten days before, and Leo both threatened the life of whoever among their common friends had even thought about buying one for Matt, and basically paid a shitload of money to have them both shipped to Lima in about three days.

"That's for ya, yeah." The box contains a vinyl figure, but not a kit because it was custom-made, designed after a Gamkat fanart. He knows Leo will go crazy about it, scream in ecstasy and probably lose his husband after all the drooling he will do seeing it. But, Matt thinks a figure like that is worth ruining a marriage for a day or two. "No sneak peeks. Get 'em under the tree, now.

Leo frowns. "Are you throwing me out?"

Matt laughs. "I'm tryina get those presents under the tree, cos I know once they get there they're sacred and you can't take peeks anymore," he answers. He knows Leo's Christmas rules well enough to use them against him. But then he smirks widely, showing a bit of his teeth. "But if ya think I'm gonna let you out of here without some motherfucking cuddles first, bro, you're delusional."

Leo puts the presents on the desk and looks at him the same old way he has always looked at him, with a different kind of love that goes a long way back. "If you thought you were gonna stay here without cuddling me like a good moirail, you were delusional."

Matt wraps his arms around him, pulling him in for a tight, warm hug. He doesn't let him go for two full minutes, just standing there, hugging him without even moving a limb. Leo clings to him, grabbing his hoodie and hiding his face in his neck. It feels so good to have Matt here, to be able to hug him and talk to him in person. They text each other a lot, but they haven't seen each other often since the twins were born, and even before – when they were in the making, so to speak – there hasn't been much time. Leo misses this a lot. It's almost a physical need, one he realizes he has only when he can actually touch Matt.

Matt feels the change in him, he can read his body through the tensing and relaxing of his muscles, since there was a time when that was the only way Leo would let him know what he felt. "Don't start gettin' all emotional on me, now," He smirks and takes a little bite out of Leo's neck. "Your husband's downstairs."

"...and he knows what it means that you are here," Leo says, stubbornly refusing to let go. It's true, Blaine agreed on having Matt over knowing that he and Leo were going to stay too close to each other not to be uncomfortable for him on some level. "He's not even grumpy."

"That's cos he's a motherfucking saint," he smiles, kissing him on his cheek, on his forehead and only then, very naturally, letting him go. "Thanks again for having me. For good ol' times' sake when it was me havin' ya."

Leo smiles, and then sighs, before this becomes too overwhelming. "Okay. Enough emotions for now! I'll leave you settle. You can use the bathroom down the hall, towels are there. And when you feel like it, you can come downstairs, there's tea ready for you."
Matt smirks. "I'll be there before you can say motherfucking miracle out loud."

He leans in and kisses him on the cheek. "I'm counting on it. I brought you here for your miracles."
But indeed, Matt is already one on his own.
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.