public static void Romance()

by Hinotori (火鳥)


public static void Romance() {

Sean.IsFrustrated = true;

One of the most annoying things about being a geek was that people kept assuming you couldn’t get any.

…Okay, fine, so he hadn’t managed to get any just yet, but that wasn’t because he couldn’t!

…It wasn’t! He just wanted it to be special.

The Valentine’s Day event in WoW had only driven it home. It was time to act.

Clearly, Sean needed a plan.

Sean.Give(Brian, new Rose(Color.Red));

Sean leaned back in his chair and let his arms flop by his sides. He highlighted the first item on his list and changed the text colour to red.

A single red rose. That was completely unambiguous, right? He looked at his watch. He totally had time to get to the florist before his lecture that afternoon.

Sean closed the text editor and locked his screen before digging around the pile of laundry in his room to find the pair of pants with his wallet inside. He sorted through the pile of clean clothes to find his new “Roses are #FF0000” t-shirt and a newish pair of jeans with only one hole in them and ran a hand through his hair to muss his hair slightly – it was still kind of weird having it short, actually, he’d had a rather nice coder’s ponytail going before his mother had forced him to get it cut the month before – as he ran down the stairs.

“I’m going out!” he called, as he slammed the door.

Single red roses were somewhat more expensive than he had thought. The florist gave him an odd look as she took his money, but he couldn’t tell what caused it.

“Here,” he said to Brian, as he handed over the flower.

Brian blinked. “Um,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “Who is it from?” He looked like he was trying not to smile.

Damn, thought Sean. “My sister,” he said quickly. “Cara.”

“Oh,” said Brian, losing the amused expression. “I… thank her for me, but I can’t accept this.”

Sean took the rose back. “OK,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

Apparently the worst thing about being in love with somebody you’d been friends with for about as long as you could remember was that when you finally decided to take the plunge and ask him out, he didn’t actually notice.

Brian was a law student. They’d been friends ever since primary school, when Brian had nobly stood up for him during some incident Sean couldn’t even remember, but which had probably involved name-calling.

Brian was tall and handsome and intelligent, and didn’t seem to mind that Sean was kind of short and awkward and a giant nerd.


“Hey, let’s have lunch together today,” said Sean.

“Don’t we always have lunch together?” said Brian, looking confused.

“Um,” said Sean. He should have gone with making Brian a lunch box. But maybe Brian would think that was weird? “I meant, uh… outside. Not in the ref.”

“Sure,” said Brian. “The ref sucks, anyway.”

It was nice being outside, Sean supposed, but it wasn’t really a date as such. They didn’t really do or talk about anything different.

And besides, Sean got sunburnt.


His heart was beating in his chest so hard and fast that he could barely breathe as he attempted to casually say, “So I was thinking we could go see a movie tonight. I hear there’s a new Wachowski film out and I haven’t really forgiven them for the Matrix sequels yet or their fundamental misunderstanding of the basics of physics and programming, but they do good action scenes so I want to see it anyway.”

Brian blinked. “Is this a ‘you and I’ we or are we inviting the rest of the guys too?”

Damn, thought Sean. What if Brian thought it would be weird to just have the two of them? “Oh, everyone, of course,” he said, hating himself for chickening out. “I’ll just, uh… send everyone an SMS.” He dug around in his bag for his phone.

Brian was looking at him kind of oddly.

The movie was better than Sean had expected, actually. He ended up sitting next to Brian, which was good, and he and Brian shared a box of popcorn, which was even better, but there was no accidental hand-touching while reaching for popcorn and Sean wasn’t really about to try something with all their crazy most-assuredly-heterosexual and very nosey friends around anyway.

Brian gave him a lift home. Sean spent the entire time trying to come up with a new plan.

“Sean, I…” said Brian, hesitantly, as they pulled up outside Sean’s house.

Sean retrieved his bag from the back seat and stumbled out of the car. “What?” he asked, distractedly, still trying to decide whether an “I’m secretly in love with you” email would work or not.

“Nothing,” said Brian. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”





“Wake up, Neo.”



Sean let his head thump down on the desk.




“Wake up, Neo.”

if (Brian.Birthday.Equals(DateTime.Today)) {

Sean’s calendar saw fit to inform him that it was Brian’s birthday in two days, which meant he’d been working on The Plan for about a month now.

He spent a good hour on the internet looking up cake recipes before settling on a chocolate mud cake.

He bought the ingredients on the way home from uni. Sean dithered about wasting paper printing a recipe and risking damage to his laptop before deciding to bring the laptop downstairs. To be safe, he covered the keyboard with cling wrap.

After the third time he’d absently wiped his hand on his jeans and coated them in flour he decided that maybe aprons weren’t all that girly after all.

He dialled the oven up to 350 degrees and put the timer on for twenty minutes before picking up his laptop and heading to the lounge to check his email.

Twenty minutes later, Cara walked into the lounge with her hands on her hips. “So you know how our oven temperature is marked in Celsius…” she said, trailing off significantly.

“Shit,” said Sean. “Fuck. Damn.”

“What were you trying to bake?” she asked, laughing at him. “It’s totally black.”

“Chocolate cake,” he said. “For Brian. It’s… it’s his birthday.”

Cara just raised her eyebrows.

Sean.IsConfused = true;

The problem with having a best friend that you’d been stuck with since before the World Wide Web even existed was that they talked to your family. Worse, they talked to your sister. Having said best friend find out that the distinct smell of smoke in the kitchen was a direct result of your most recent attempt to bake was bad enough. Having him find out from your sister that it was intended as his birthday gift and would’ve ended up with him most likely getting his stomach pumped was infinitely worse.

Sisters sucked.

He’d run up to his room to hide – er, that is, study, since that was nominally the reason Brian was here in the first place – as soon as he heard the turn their conversation was taking. By the time Brian walked into the room, he was well-ensconced in trying to convince his mobile phone to sync with his iBook over Bluetooth.

Brian closed the door behind himself with a sharp snap.

“Sean… that rose you gave me. Who was it from?”

“Um… what do you mean?”

“Cara had no idea what I was talking about when I apologised to her earlier. So, who was it from?”

“I… well, I… I mean, I…”

“You are such an idiot. Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“Well, you kept acting like I was just being friendly! You know, like we’ve always been.”

“I was trying to make certain you meant what I thought you meant! Idiot!”

“Well, how was I supposed to know that?” Sean snapped.

“You were… Argh!” Brian took two steps closer, bringing himself right into Sean’s personal space, which was frankly a little frightening because Brian seemed pretty angry–

–And then Brian kissed him and Sean wasn’t really thinking any more.

Sean.IsEmbarrassed = true;

“Seriously,” said Brian. They were sitting on the bed – well, Sean was sitting, Brian was lying down, head propped up an elbow – in Brian’s room at his sharehouse. Sean was trying to get used to this whole “hanging out without a specific goal in mind” thing, because it still seemed kind of strange to be in Brian’s room without having any kind of excuse for it – he’d never been terribly good at just hanging out. “I didn’t think you even knew what sex was.”

Sean felt his cheeks heat up and knew, he just knew he was turning bright red.

Brian just grinned up at him.

Sean looked away, which meant he didn’t notice Brian reaching over before he was bodily yanked down until he was lying next to Brian.

Brian was idling trailing a finger up and down Sean’s side, over the fabric of his T-shirt. “‘There are ten types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don’t?’ What does that even mean?”

“Um,” said Sean. “It’s ‘there are one-zero types of people’ technically. One-zero is, uh, two in binary.”

Brian laughed, and Sean flushed again.

“I’m not laughing at you,” Brian assured him quickly. “I just think you’re cute, that’s all.”

Sean took a deep breath and tried to relax. His plans had never actually gone quite this far. “I- Have you always…”

“Well, you were pretty much on my untouchable list until I figured out what that goddamn email you sent me meant,” said Brian.

“Oh,” said Sean, faintly.


Brian propped himself up on an elbow again and leant over Sean. He rubbed his nose gently against Sean’s before kissing him.

It was different this time. Before it had been kind of unexpected and desperate, like Brian was trying to make a point. Now it was soft and slow. Sean liked kissing like this. Brian moved his head slightly and deepened the kiss, tongue sliding neatly over Sean’s lips and behind his teeth and Sean decided he liked kissing like this, too.

He’d somehow passed right through embarrassed and out the other side by the time Brian started levering his shirt off.

As Brian lay back down again and pressed up against Sean’s side, he realised that Brian was hard, too, which was actually pretty hot, if he stopped to think about it. Well, Sean had never really thought about whether people were hot or not before, but he was pretty certain that the kind of zing he felt when he realised that Brian was getting turned on had to be because he thought Brian was hot.

He was so distracted by kissing Brian that it took him a moment to realise that Brian was doing something with his pants.

“Oh god,” he said, and then “oh, god–“, too embarrassed to make noise, really, just kind of breathe hoarsely and hope he wasn’t making too much of a fool of himself in front of Brian.

Brian, who had his hand wrapped around Sean’s cock and was smiling at him again, eyes dark with some expression Sean didn’t quite recognise but he was leaning over to kiss Sean again, and Sean really wanted to do something so that he wouldn’t just be lying there doing nothing except moan quietly under his breath but then Brian moved his hand again in a different way and oh god

Maybe he’d said something out loud, because Brian shifted again, somehow rolling them over so that Sean was lying on top of him, feeling kind of breathless and taken-aback at the fact that he was fairly certain the hard pressure he was feeling to the side of his groin was Brian’s own erection.

It seemed somehow in the process Brian’s own pants had been removed.

This position still allowed for kissing, but after a while it became a little too much to concentrate on, what with trying not to fall off Brian and the kind of incredible fantastic wonderful sensation of whatever this was called, Sean wasn’t really sure but…

It came upon him somewhat unexpectedly, just all of a sudden everything was even more intense, and he hadn’t even know that was possible, and then he was shuddering and collapsing on top of Brian, who apparently didn’t seem to mind all that much that Sean had just… done that all over him, because he gasped out something incoherent with a shudder of his own and there was sudden heat against Sean’s belly.

“Oh,” said Sean. “Oh god.”

Brian was stroking his back gently as his heartbeat slowed to a gentle thump. “Yeah. Yeah, pretty much.”


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