When Jean got home, he was actually happy. After gradually losing hope, he managed to get lucky and snagged a trial shift at a bakery nearby – though the trial was just a formality and he was already practically hired. The owner was impressed with Jean’s knowledge, and his French background was rather handy as well. He was going to have to thank his mother for forcing him to learn classic French pastry recipes during the next weekly call.
He was eager to tell Marco about his luck. They could celebrate or something, first day of university done and the high chance of him getting a job. They could go out for.
Jean went over to the moderately sized whiteboard Marco had bought for them to keep track of their schedules, which was hung on the wall beside the front door above the small table where they kept various miscellany. It was divided into seven columns with thin pieces of duct tape and both of them filled in their schedule for the week with a colored marker, red for him and green for Marco.
Marco’s class had ended at 3:30, but he had work from four to seven. He might be too tired to go out anywhere.
Scratching the back of his head, Jean mused. “I mean, I could cook something special instead. I did buy a ton of stuff this afternoon for lunch.” Deciding that was the best solution, Jean went to the kitchen to go through what they had to try and decide what to make. He was in the middle of setting aside ingredients for easy access did he realize that one, it was barely five; and two, he was making dinner for his male roommate to celebrate surviving the first day of university and getting a part time job at a bakery, not his girlfriend to celebrate an anniversary.
Marco was male. A guy. A dude. His 100%, XY-chromosome holding roommate. He had a dick. A cock. A penis.
And freckles. And really nice brown eyes. And the warmest smile. And—
And he was a boy.
Jean put everything back to where they were and left the kitchen. They were ordering take-out for dinner.
Jean had just finished showering when he heard the front door shut. He normally took showers right before bed, but after being too distracted to do some of his assignments, he need to feel pellets of hot water pound against his back.
“Jean?” he heard Marco call, accompanied by jingling keys being dropped into the small bowl they kept at the entryway.
“Here!” Jean called back, through the bathroom door. He wiped down enough to not leave a lake with every step he took and wrapped his towel around his waist before leaving the bathroom. “Hey, how was class and work?”
“It was good. I got—ah!” Marco’s sentence cut off as he tripped and went sprawling to the floor, landing with a cringe worthy thud. Jean rushed over.
“Shit, you okay?” The fall had sounded more than a bit painful. Jean helped Marco to his feet, concern turning into something else as he saw how red the taller boy’s face had gotten. His freckles were prominent.
“Uh, um, yeah, whoops, clumsy m-me, haha,” Marco replied, refusing to look at Jean. “So, uh, you just show-ah-er-ered?”
Since Marco seemed fine, if a bit jumpy with a cracking voice, Jean let him go. He pushed his damp hair from his face, “Yeah. I couldn’t concentrate and felt like taking one early today. Anyway, I’m too lazy to cook and you’re probably tired after class and work, so want to order in? We can pig out on junk food to celebrate getting through the first day of classes and I pretty much landed a part time job.”
Marco finally looked at him, a proud smile on his still pink tinged face, “Really? That’s great! Where?” Just as quick as he had looked up, his face shot down and to the side again. Jean frowned, puzzled, but didn’t say anything. Because he was definitely not staring and thinking about how adorable red ears were.
“A bakery a couple block from school. I’ve got a trial shift but the owner said it was really just formality and I pretty much have the job.” Jean shivered at a drop of water that crawled down the back of his neck, quickly wiping it away. Marco fidgeted in front of him. “So,” the shorter boy cleared his throat, “preferences for take-out?”
“No,” Marco squeaked, before coughing and repeating in a slightly less high pitched voice, “I mean, uh, no. Not really. Whatever you want. I’m, uh, I’m going to the bathroom. Order whatever.”
Marco rushed past Jean before the confused boy could even think to respond. One moment Marco was in front of him, fidgety and nervous for whatever reason, and the next the bathroom door behind him was being slammed shut.
Scratching the back of his head and staring at the closed bathroom door, Jean sighed and headed to his room. He was beginning to feel cold.
Freshly clothed, and hair as dry as he could be bothered to get it with a towel, Jean gathered up all the various take-out menus they had collected and went through them, trying to decide what he and Marco would enjoy. By the time Marco had showered and dressed in comfy looking pyjamas, Jean was on the phone ordering some Japanese food from a pamphlet he didn’t know they even had. It even had discount coupons that were still valid.
Jean motioned for Marco to get closer and pointed at the items he had ordered as he listened to the person on the other line repeat his order. When Marco nodded with a smile, having no complaints, Jean confirmed their address and cut the call.
“Food’ll be here in thirty or so minutes,” he told Marco.
It took a little less than thirty for the delivery boy to arrive. Jean paid and Marco grabbed cutlery and drinks, setting everything on the coffee table in the living room. Marco turned on the TV, sending Jean a pleading look when a Disney movie was playing on one of the channels.
Jean rolled his eyes to avoid looking any longer and let Marco do what he wanted. The other boy cheered and happily began eating his food as the musical number came to an end.
“Mhmm, this is so good,” Marco sighed, biting into his meal.
Jean nodded in agreement, “Yeah, we should order from here more often. It’s not too expensive either.” Jean was a bit distracted. When he glanced at Marco to reply, his eyes were drawn to Marco’s mouth. Because he had a bit of the sauce at the corner of his lips. No other reason than that. It was distracting and Marco didn’t notice it.
After watching Marco accidentally smudge the spot into a bigger splot, Jean reached out unthinkingly and swiped his thumb across the area, then licked his thumb clean.
Maroc froze as did Jean when he realized what he had done.
“You, uh, sauce,” Jean explained oh so eloquently.
Marco blinked, his complexion steadily increasing in redness.
“So you were saying something before you went crashing to the floor when you got home, right?” Jean abruptly changed the topic, focusing on his own food with determination.
It took Marco a moment to respond. “Oh, yeah, uh, these juniors in my psych course, Bertolt and Reiner, invited me to a party this Friday.”
“Oh,” Jean replied. His body tensed for reasons he couldn’t figure out. He remembered Reiner, but he had no clue who Bertolt was.
“Yeah, well, Reiner did most of the talking, they invited pretty much all the freshmen. They’re part of a fraternity and are holding some kind of party to welcome all the freshman/mark the beginning of the school year. I didn’t know if you had heard about it.”
Jean shook his head, “No. I had Reiner in my seminar this morning but I booked it out of there as soon as I could. He was also busy chatting up Annie.”
Marco frowned, “Annie? Really?”
Raising a brow, Jean nodded, “Yeah, why so surprised. Annie’s pretty hot. Scary, but still hot. Those two got along really quickly by the end of class.”
“Oh, well, I just...I thought Bertolt and Reiner were dating, that’s all.” Marco glanced at Jean, as if gauging his reaction.
Jean shrugged, “It’s not our business. Anyway, you wanna go?”
It was Marco’s turn to shrug, “It sounds like fun but I don’t go to parties all that often and I don’t want to go alone.”
Jean smiled and clapped a hand on Marco’s shoulder, “I’ll be there with you so no worries on that end. Besides, first official college party. It’s a rite of passage.”
Marco beamed at him and Jean felt his cheeks heat up faintly.
They resumed eating and watching the movie for a while until Marco asked, “Hey, uh, just wondering, but what would you think if Reiner were dating Bertolt.”
“Hmm? Well, I wouldn’t really care. They can do what they want. Why?” Jean glanced over.
Marco just shook his head, smiling as if he were both relieved and pleased, as he continued eating, eyes glued back to the animated drawings dancing across the screen.
Jean rolled his eyes. Marco was strange.