zrisj (zrisj) wrote,

the way we breathe (2/3)

Title: The Way We Breathe
Author: zrisj
Pairing: Mark/Eduardo
Rating: PG, eventually R.
Summary: TSN/Some Boys Don't Leave crossover. Mark's method of getting Eduardo to forgive him is to live on Eduardo's apartment floor until he caves and loves Mark again. Post-deposition.
Word Count: 1571
A/N: I don't own whatever's not supposed to be mine and I suck at proof reading.

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

Eduardo has to actually restrain himself on the couch one night. Mark’s doing that ridiculously, stupidly annoying ticking noise — a habit he never got rid off since tediously going through business meetings (Eduardo remembers, only for a small, smallsmallsmall tiny moment, that things had started going downhill from then).

He’s holding on to the armrest of the couch, arm clutched around it while his free hand flipped through the infomercials, the tip of his thumb pressing hard against the rubber buttons. His face is all blank with no room for calm or relaxation, but had all the space for anger, irritation, and Mark.


Goddammit, Mark.

“Goddammit, Mark.” Eduardo rubs his forehead tiredly for the third time for the best three hours.

There’s an abrupt stop of the sound coming from the hallway — fuck, Eduardo can’t even see Mark, but he’s still the most — ugh —

“What — what is it?” Mark’s hands appear on the floorboard and the boy pulls himself into view from the door frame. “Is the Price Is Right on? I didn’t think they showed that anymore at this time.”

A few mornings later when Mark wakes up, there’s a newly bought stack of canned tuna on the dining table and no sign of Eduardo.

Sometimes Eduardo’s father calls. The ring pierces the air, just right in the middle of Eduardo trying to enjoy his french toast because, for once, he’s distracted (from Mark) by the newspaper (from Mark) — and it’s like they both know who it is. And Wardo can’t help it, but his eyes switch from staring at the words on the paper that were starting to blur to staring at Mark like he’s asking, Should I answer it?

(It catches him so, so off guard when his expression mirrors on Mark’s face, but he can’t take a moment to react to that because his father’s on the phone.)

Of course he’s going to fucking answer it.

“Dad, good morning, yes?”

Eduardo knows that Mark’s burning holes into the back of his head, and he lets him. In his mind, he’s leaning back and against that gaze, letting go, letting it catch him.

Mark’s whole body is on the floor. He’s on his side, and you can only see from his hip and upwards from where Edurardo’s standing. His head is resting against his palm, his elbow propped up on the fake wood on the floor. He’s watching Eduardo with a sort of thoughtful look on his face — his lips all caught by his teeth, his eyes washing over Wardo’s whole being like he’s searching.

Sometimes Mark thinks about how things would be so much easier if there was a Ctrl+F option for Eduardo, and that’s honestly one of his most romantic thoughts. So he could look for Wardo, his Wardo that’s going to let Mark hold him in and against him and make everything else go far away.

Sometimes Mark thinks, Fuck, I messed up.

He wants to say the words. But from the lowest point of the room, Mark is looking up at Wardo, and Mark’s begging that Wardo would say it for him instead.

He never can, and he never could. Mark shifts and sits up when he catches the broken look on Eduardo’s face when the call ends.

Nobody ever comes into Eduardo's apartment but Eduardo, and Mark never leaves anyway. Even though it's not really his call or his right to have an opinion, Mark prefers it that way. Prefers it because when Eduardo flips the door open, he enters something with Mark, and the genius programmer likes to think that they're nursing the mess they made — the mess he made, specifically.

He thinks about just saying it whenever Eduardo reappears in his apartment. I'm sorry. The words are clear in Mark's head, days and days of thinking it over and he's finally admitted it to himself thanks to nobody's help. I'm sorry for acting out. But you failed to understand me and that hurt.

Mark waves it off, like always. It feels too sad, feels far too off on so many angles that it wouldn't be unacceptable. He can't even begin to imagine the drop of his stomach, the rock in his chest, and the hand around his throat.

But Eduardo arrives with a box in his hands, pushing the door open with his back against it. Mark moves to stand up and take it out of his arms to help, but before he could get to his feet, he sees another man in a tailored suit walk past their barrier.

Mark stops, and he thinks that the room's starting to shake. His toes curl, pushing his own back even harder against the wallpaper until his shoulder blades hurt, and he just stares, head tilted back to look at this stranger with his lips tiny and dark red.

Eduardo spares him a short glance as he passes him and flows into the kitchen to drop the box. "Don't — don't mind him, he, uh," he starts saying from the other room, letting out a ridiculously shy laugh. "He comes with the place." He returns back into view in the hallway with a folder in his hand, and Mark doesn't miss the smile that Wardo gives him — not Mark.

Mark bites his lips.

Eduardo comes home a mile over tipsy on martinis and Mark just simply closes his computer and lays it down beside him. He’s thought about this before — he knew this would happen at some point, but he didn’t exactly ponder over it.

“Mark!” The tone of his voice comes around in half-ways — he’s angry, he’s surprised, maybe even bordering delighted. Mark’s emotions come all halfway,too, but he can remember the last time he had seen Eduardo as drunk and — oh god.

“Wardo.” Mark can’t really breathe, and he hates to admit the anxiety that’s starting to creep up his fingers. He plants his palms on the floor by his sides and pushes himself against the wall slightly when he sees Eduardo start to stumble over.

“Mark, Mark, Mark,” he says, steadying himself with a palm on the wall once he was standing over the other boy and he just can’t stop saying his fucking name. “Mark,” he says once more before he slowly gets on his knees, hands on the floor, and goddammit, he needs to stop looking at Mark from behind his eyelashes like that before —

“Mark, you need to get out of my apartment.” Eduardo’s shaking his head slowly, and his eyes are all glossed over. Mark thinks about how he hasn’t heard Eduardo tell him to fuck off in that light a tone before.

When Wardo starts to reach out a hand to grip the sleeve of Mark’s shirt, he jerks his arm away. “Wardo — Wardo, no.”

They stare at each other for a long time, and Mark feels so stripped down under Eduardo’s gaze, and he hopes he’s not the only one looking at the other’s lips.

“Please, I can’t have you in my apartment,” Eduardo whispers, low, inching so, so much closer before his hands clamp back on Mark’s shirt. He hauls him up and it drags a strangled yelp out of Mark's throat.

Mark isn’t used to being touched at all — his initial reaction to anybody coming into contact with him is to frown, look at them dirty, and wonder why the fuck they’re even in the same room (and it’s the same treatment to Dustin, who makes an effort to barge into his office every once in a while to sling an arm around his shoulders and give him an update). But his hands shoot out and land on Eduardo’s broadbroardbroad shoulders, and he tries to push for a bit of air for breathing between them.

But Eduardo’s grip is nothing but tight and frustrating, and Mark’s slips and his whole body moves forward and the next contact is all mmphs and shivers and hands in awkward places. It’s all tension, tension, tension but they slip back into so, so many years ago in Eduardo’s stuffy singles dorm room. They weave into each other, click together like clockwork, and their grasps loosen and tighten all the the same time, but their breaths stay shaken.

It’s exactly the way Mark remembers it, but it’s still nothing that he expects — but it never is, at first. He always expects it all to be harsh, rough, hard, just like the way Mark’s always treated his Wardo. He thinks it’s because all that he’s ever kept inside can't help but get lost in translation and tremble out in flurries and shivers of soft and sweet.

But Eduardo pushes off and away and disappears. Mark doesn't try and look for him again, but he lies back on the floor, facing Eduardo's bedroom. He hears a train of profanities and a loud thud, but Mark closes his eyes and tries to not let it sting him. He almost can't believe the tired that starts to envelope him, though Mark decides to trust it and let it take him away.

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3
Tags: mark/eduardo
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