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I got the urge to write a little creepy storyline for Drew and Lyren in the Modern AU–their whole relationship is creepy, but I felt like demonstrating how creepy it was, haha. I may write more chapters in this vein for the two of them. Enjoy!

Lyren, can you kill me or something? Drew typed on his phone. Can you like, turn out to secretly be a creepy internet stalker after all and just come and murder me right now? Please?

Killing you would be a waste. If I were a creepy internet stalker, I’d probably kidnap you and make you into my sex slave or something, Lyren teased. He always answered right away.

Drew giggled, then stopped because he was sitting by himself in the food court and even if he obviously had his phone out, it was weird to sit there by himself and laugh. The longer he and Lyren talked, the less worried they both got about seeming inappropriate, which meant that Lyren could make jokes like that and it wasn’t weird. They were just friends, and friends joked. Even that would be fine. I’ll star in your child porn if it’ll get me out of going to Frederick’s again this weekend.

You like going to Frederick’s, Lyren reminded him. Remember? You have this whole embarrassing crush on him that you’re hoping he’ll reciprocate someday? Spending time with him is a good way to do that.

Drew started to type out an answer, but before he could, there was another message. Besides, it’s a good excuse to get some quality peeping in.

Drew’s face was so hot that he had to suck more of his drink through the straw before he could answer. It’s not peeping! It’s not my fault he sleeps in his underwear! He should never have told Lyren about that after the first sleepover.

Drew had, predictably, nearly died at the study sleepover at Frederick’s that first time, even before Frederick had taken off most of his clothes to go to sleep, Then Silas had done the same, and Drew had been stuck and had had to follow suit or look wimpy, and just when he’d about managed to calm down, stupid, stupid Silas had made a stupid comment about Frederick’s modesty that had made Drew pretty sure that Frederick normally didn’t wear his underwear to bed.

It had been a bad time all around. Worse even when Frederick, fucking oblivious, had suggested they make it a weekly thing.

Drew loved him so much but he was so stupid and it was so endearing. Dammit.

No, Lyren’s message back agreed. But it’s not his fault that you looked.

Was I supposed to not look at him all night??

You didn’t have to keep looking after he closed his eyes.

Drew nearly choked on his drink. I never told you about that!

I can read your mind through your phone, Drew. Hormonal boy sleeping next to his crush who’s mostly naked? Of course you looked. Surprised you didn’t pull his waistband back and get a peek.

Drew had considered it, but decided the risk of getting caught was too great. That would have been super creepy. Besides, I saw enough.

Not all of Frederick was sleeping, huh?

Drew sent a blushing emoji in response.

Sorry, it was okay for me to ask that, right? Lyren asked. I don’t want to seem gross.

It’s fine, Drew said quickly. He liked having someone to talk to. He didn’t want Lyren to go back to worrying that Drew was going to call the police on him because he admitted to knowing that boners existed. God, Lyren. I’m the one telling you about how I perved on my friend, if I didn’t want you talking about it I’d talk about the weather instead.

Okay, okay. Just checking. Lyren sent. Then, In that case, I should probably tell you that if I were you I’d have gone for a look under the cotton.


Might have even tried to pull them down if he’s a heavy enough sleeper, let him think he did it himself in the morning.

Now Drew was imagining doing that. Dammit Lyren, now I’m imagining that!

Imagining Frederick without clothes on? Must be novel for you.

Drew glared at his phone for a second. I’m in the mall!

That’s what the waistband of your undies is for.

Drew just sent an angry face, even though he wasn’t really angry. And then he waited until nobody was looking and adjusted himself.

Anyway, Lyren sent while Drew was doing that. What’s the sudden problem with underwear sleepovers? You’ve been managing just fine.

Drew made an agitated noise in his throat. Even though he’d kind of brought this up because he’d kind of wanted to talk about it, he was still reluctant. He’d sound stupid. It’s nothing. Just the usual nerves, I guess.

Liar. You’re always nervous, but you’ve never asked me to kidnap you for child porn before. What’s up?

So that’s a no on the kidnapping?

I’m sure you’d make a great porn star, but my guess is there’s a less extreme solution. Or there will be if you tell me what the real problem is.

Drew sighed, laying his head on the table, then regretting it when it was sticky. You’re going to laugh.

I swear I won’t.

Drew knew that. Lyren always took him seriously, even when he was being stupid. It’s TMI.

More TMI than telling me about your mall boner?

Fair enough. Drew sighed again, defeated. As he had perhaps intended to be from the beginning. It’s my underwear.

The ones currently holding your mall boner in place?

Yes, Drew answered. They’re tighty-whities.


I guess. They’re kid undies. Frederick and Silas both wear regular ones.

Ah. I see the problem.

Drew figured he should say it anyway. I feel like a little kid when we go to bed.

And it’s hard to get Frederick to notice a little kid.

Yeah. Drew felt stupid. It was a stupid thing to be upset about.

So get new ones.

Don’t have the money for it, Drew said. He got paid to do the work he did at the ven Sancte house, but he was saving that for university, not wasting it on stupid shit. He only allotted himself a little bit of money every month and there wasn’t room there to waste it on clothes he didn’t need. Spending money to buy a new pair of shoes that he did need was hard enough. I’m not going to ask the foster family for it when there’s nothing wrong with what they bought me, and I can’t waste my own money like that. It’s silly.

It’s not silly if it’s making you feel bad, Drew, Lyren said.

It’s fine. He felt a little better being able to vent about it. Thanks for listening. It know it’s dumb.

It’s not, Lyren insisted. Hey. I’ll pay for it. I’ll send you some money. You got a PayPal or something?

Drew felt warm, not just from embarrassment but from the sincerity in that message. Lyren just wanted to help. No, Lyren. That’s dumb, don’t waste your money on me. I’ll be fine.

It’s fine, Drew, Lyren texted. Drew wished he could see him. I’ve got a good job, it’s not that much for me. You’re right, it’s silly for you to be upset about it when it’s so easy to fix. Just let me fix it for you.

Drew hesitated for a long minute. Part of him wanted to, but part of him knew not to.

Please, Drew? I just want to help.

Drew bit his lip, slowly typing out his answer. Okay. If you’re really sure you don’t mind, Lyren. This was such a bad idea.

It’s really fine, I swear.

It still ate at Drew a little. I want to try and do something nice to thank you. Can I do something for you?

Send me a pic of your new look and that’ll be golden.

Before Drew could even register a response to that, nearly dropping his phone in his fries, a flurry of messages came in.




I swear that was a joke.

It was supposed to be funny but it came off way creepier than I thought it would, I’m so sorry.

Drew sighed in relief. Less because the request had bothered him and more because he should have known that Lyren wouldn’t really demand that. It’s okay, he typed. I knew it was a joke. You’re not like that.

Nah, Lyren said. I want underwear pics because you felt like sending them, not because I forced you too.

Also a joke!

Drew giggled. I know, I know.

Then, he sent, I’d send you one if you asked. He trusted Lyren, after all. It was just underwear.

All the more reason not to ask then. Here, I set this up while we were talking. Lyren sent him some sign-in information. Just download the app and you can pay from your phone.

Thank you so much, Lyren.

I really just think you deserve to be happy, Drew.

You do too, Lyren. I’m going to go to the store now.


Drew got up and went, putting his tray away and downloading the app as he walked. The mall WiFi was slow, so it took a while and he was in the store by the time it was done. Drew took a while deciding, ultimately switching over to the messenger app again. Professional opinion: boxers or boxer briefs?

Professional? What, professional underwear assessor?

I don’t know, Drew teased. You seem like someone who’d have an opinion on boys’ underwear.

That was a joke, he sent quickly after, though at the same time, he also thought it was true.

It’s fine, Lyren said. I do, as it happens. Boxers make it look like you’re trying too hard at your age.

Silas wore boxers. Drew smiled. Thanks. He switched back over, putting in the information Lyren had given him to check how much money there was. He didn’t want to pick anything until he knew.

Then Drew nearly had a heart attack. Lyren, that’s way too much money! Three hundred dollars? What kind of insane underwear did Lyren think he was buying?

Then don’t use it, Lyren said. It was so hard to read his tone, but Drew imagined him shrugging like it didn’t matter. Just use what you need. Consider the rest emergency money.

Lyren was obviously kind of nuts, but that was okay. Fine. Thank you.

Anytime, Drew.

Drew grabbed two packages of boxer briefs and went to the counter, hoping that the payment app worked and he didn’t end up looking like an idiot. It did, and he got the packages put in a bag and hurried out of the store before anyone could see him. Heart beating fast, Drew glanced at the sign to the nearest bathroom.

And he headed there, considering the boys’ room for a minute before headed for the single-occupancy accessible bathroom instead. In there, he locked the door, dropped his bags and then, with a steadying breath, his pants.

Which was stupid, since then he had to take his shoes off before he could do anything, but after that he got his pants off, having to sit on the floor to untangle himself. Hopefully the bathroom was clean.

Then, Drew took off his kidish tighty-whities and kicked them aside, opening the package of new underwear and taking out a pair of blue boxer briefs, stepping into them. Right away he felt better, older. Drew looked at himself in the mirror, imagining that he looked it too.

He wasn’t done, though. He whipped his shirt off and, before he could talk himself out of it, snapped a picture. Then he cropped his mortified face out of the shot and opened the messaging app. Got them.


And Drew attached the picture and hit send before he could talk himself out of it.

He started to dress again to distract himself from his heart pounding in his chest. He couldn’t believe he’d just done that. What was wrong with him?

He’d pulled his shirt on and he already had three messages.

Holy shit.

They look amazing on you.

I swear I was joking about the picture before.

Drew smiled, the compliment making him feel less nervous. He didn’t really think Lyren had been joking before. I know. I didn’t think I had to. I wanted to.

In that case, I’ll accept it with extreme gratitude.

I knew it. Pervert. It should bother him more than it did that Lyren was probably into boys, or at least into him, but it didn’t really. Probably because he knew Lyren, knew Lyren wasn’t a creep or anything.

Hey, you’re cute. Besides, if I’m a pervert, what does that make the one who stripped in a mall to send me a picture?

Drew didn’t have an answer to that, so he finished dressing, tossing the old underwear in his shopping bag. As he had his hand on the door handle, he got another message.

It was a picture of Lyren—or someone he assumed was Lyren, standing against a wall, pants around his ankles, shirt up to his neck. He was super pale, hairless, looking a little younger than Drew had thought he would. And wearing a pair of white briefs. Like Drew, he’d cropped his face out.

It’s only fair to reciprocate, Lyren texted.

Face burning, Drew texted, You look better in those than I do. And then he downloaded the picture. He was even harder now than he had been when he’d taken his own picture, but he wasn’t going to linger in the bathroom any longer.

Maybe you can show me someday and I’ll be the judge of that.

Maybe I will.

I’ll look forward to it.

Drew left the bathroom, looking forward now to going to Frederick’s on the weekend, feeling much happier and more confident. And much more grown-up. He felt like he’d crossed a threshold with Lyren, one he’d said he wouldn’t when they’d started talking. But it didn’t bother him. Maybe it should, but it didn’t.

He trusted Lyren. They were friends.

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