le vice italien

It all started when Derren woke up naked, with a hangover, curled up in a strange bed next to another equally-naked man, smelling faintly of cheap beer and sex.

No, that wasn’t quite right, he supposed; it began when that godawful history lecturer from hell asked Derren to be his TA after a series of highly improbable instances in scheduling caused him to be in Mr Willoughby’s courses. Ten terms in a row. Ten. They had become quite familiar with each other in that time, in the strange sort of way coworkers do even if they detest each other with every fibre of their beings. (The Willoughby-Hale tension became a bit of a campus joke by the seventh term they had been together. It did not help that both men were very openly gay.) Mr Willoughby may have despised Derren’s constant verbal belligerence in class, but he had begrudgingly accepted that Mr Hale was quite the competent young man. On the other side, Derren had just begun thinking about applying to grad school, so he needed the money and figured it would be a good mark on his record; also, Mr Willoughby may have played a rather key role in Derren’s decision to switch from his intended maths major to European history, not that he would ever admit it.