Sometimes People Don’t Tell You What’s Bothering Them Until You Press Them
“I feel bad that you came all the way here,” Isaac told Peter as they walked towards the tower.
“Don’t,” Peter told him, squeezing Isaac’s hand. “I’m a big boy and I can walk my boyfriend to the tower for his wizard classes if I want.”
Isaac smiled. “Of course you can. And I’m sure he likes it very much when you take care of him like that.”
“I happen to know he’s hopeless and easily distractible. Besides, I heard there’s a student here who’ll try to get in your pants if you’re not careful, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to him.”
“Your boyfriend being terribly opposed to other boys getting in his pants,” said Isaac, who was wearing a pair of Nicholas’s pants at the moment. He kissed Peter’s cheek.
“Terribly,” Peter agreed, his smile a bit softer around the edges than Isaac was used to.
“Are you okay?” Isaac asked. They pushed open the doors of the tower and went inside. There were a few people around, most of them doing that thing that people did in the winter where they didn’t want to go outside because it was cold. The cold didn’t bother Isaac overly, but even he admitted it could be warmer. It was going to be midwinter in a bit. The solstice, actually. Giles wanted him to go to the library. He couldn’t forget that.
“What?” Peter asked. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
Isaac narrowed his eyes as they headed for the lift, not caring that people would see them doing something that students weren’t supposed to. “You seem a little down is all.”
Peter gave a shrug that didn’t look as natural as he obviously wanted it to, pulling on Dark to raise the lift. “How’s Nicholas doing?”
Isaac blinked. It was unlike Peter to change the subject so abruptly. He really didn’t want to talk about what was bothering him, did he? “He’s fine. He’s resting today.” Nicholas had had a headache this morning. He’d told Isaac it wasn’t a big deal. He hadn’t told Isaac that he didn’t know what he’d been doing while it was happening, but Isaac knew. And though he wasn’t in the physical pain Nicholas was, it was still killing him that he knew what was happening, that Nicholas was being forced to do things that he had no knowledge of, and nobody could do anything about it yet. It was killing Isaac.
Peter nodded, watching the walls move. “He’s adjusting okay to the whole…boyfriend thing?”
“Yeah, weirdly.” Isaac smiled, trying not to think about Klaus. “I’m pretty sure he’d still insist he only likes girls if you asked him not to count me.” Part of Isaac wanted so badly for Nicholas to stop doing that, but the other part of him thought it was too funny to watch him insist he only liked girls while he had a dick up his ass.
“Right,” Peter said, in a snort. “It’s…weird. He was such an asshole to you about it for such a long time. And about everything else. I don’t get how you forgave him so fast.”
“I just…did.” Isaac didn’t really know what to say. “He’s a bit dumb sometimes, like the rest of us. He’s not a mean person.”
“I don’t know about that,” Peter muttered, leaning on his cane.
“My birthday is the day after the winter solstice,” Peter said, interrupting Isaac. He was looking at the floor.
“Oh.” Isaac hadn’t known that. How hadn’t he known that? “I’m sorry. I wish I’d known.”
“Yeah. I, uh…couldn’t decide if I wanted anyone to know. My parents always used it as an excuse to throw a party for all the important people in Teown’s Sound, and I always hated it. I always hated having to act like I cared about their friends’ kids and…” Peter sighed. “I never really had any real friends until I came to the academy, you know.”
Isaac stepped closer to Peter, put an arm around him. “I never realized.”
“It’s because I…” Peter shrugged again. He was tense all over. “I didn’t want you to think I was that sad kid you had to be friends with because he was lonely.”
“I didn’t. I never once thought that. And I love you, Peter, you know that.” How had Isaac never realized that Peter felt this way?
“I know that. It’s, that’s so important to me, Isaac,” Peter said, tears in his eyes. “It’s so important to me, and I love you too. You were the first real friend I ever had. And I think you were the first person who really loved me.”
Isaac wanted to say that wasn’t true, but he’d never met Peter’s parents. “I’m not the only person who loves you, Peter.”
“I know. Jacob does too.” Peter smiled to himself. “And the other guys, in a different way. They’re my friends, and that’s really important to me. I just hate people feeling sorry for me so much, Isaac. I don’t want all my friends to know that…they’re the only friends I’ve ever had.”
“I won’t tell them,” Isaac promised, holding Peter close. “But they wouldn’t treat you differently if they knew. They’d just feel lucky to have you as a friend at all. Sometimes even I can’t believe how lucky I am to have you as my friend, let alone my boyfriend.”
“I…feel that way too. All the time. ” Peter sighed. “Can you throw me a party? For my birthday, I mean. I feel so silly asking, but I’ve never had a real one.”
“Don’t feel silly. Of course I’ll throw you a party. You want everyone to come or should it be boys only?”
Peter laughed. “You’re actually asking if it should be a regular party or an orgy, but that doesn’t work. I like girls too.”
Oh yeah. Isaac had forgotten that. “Well, it could be an orgy with girls there,” he said. That wasn’t such a big deal. Isaac could just not have sex with the girls. Easy.
“How about we start out as a regular party and if it turns into an orgy, that’s fine,” Peter suggested. “And if it doesn’t, we’ll have an orgy another night. You’ve been wanting to have one anyway.”
He wasn’t wrong. “Okay,” said Isaac, hugging Peter again. “It’s your party, so you can decide what you want. I’ll start telling everyone tonight.”
“Could you tell them it’s a secret from me?” Peter asked. “I just kind of don’t want everyone making a big deal out of it all week or something.”
“Sure. Whatever you want.”
“For future reference though, I would hate it if you threw me an actual secret party, so never do that.”
“Promise.” The lift stopped, and the doors opened. “You want to go somewhere? We don’t have to be here.”
“You have wizard class,” Peter reminded him.
“I can fuck off from it for a day,” Isaac said. “We could go and do something else, just us for a while.”
“No,” Peter said, pulling Isaac out of the lift. “I’m delivering you to class.”
“Okay, okay.” Isaac had no choice but to be pulled along as Peter took him to the study Ronaldo had requisitioned, and then filled with tapestries and paintings and furniture that looked really out of place in the academy. They went in, and Isaac blinked. “Hey.”
Ignatius and Gus were there, talking to Ronaldo. Isaac had known they were back—Jacob had told him—but he hadn’t known they were back at the academy. Ignatius smiled at him. “Hi, Isaac,” he said. “Sorry we were gone so long.”
“It’s okay,” he said, coming into the room. Peter hesitated, and Isaac pulled him along. “I hope your trip was good.”
“It was good,” Ignatius promised, with a nod. He’d cut his hair really, really short and it looked good on him. He looked good all-around, better than Isaac remembered. More…confident. Hidden under the neck of his shirt was a necklace that Isaac thought looked kind of like a collar. “Master Ronaldo says your lessons are coming along. I hope you don’t mind if I help you out with them today.”
“Not at all,” said Isaac. “Hi, Gus.”
“Hi, don’t mind me,” Gus said, smiling. He wasn’t as hunched or quiet looking as Isaac remembered him either, and looked a lot less like he minded being minded.
“I will. This is my boyfriend, Peter.”
“Uh…hi,” said Peter, waving at them. “We’ve met, if you remember.”
“I remember,” Gus told him, smiling.
Ignatius nodded. “At Isaac’s, uh…” he glanced at Ronaldo. “Party, yeah. How are you?”
“Good. Uh…would it be okay if I stayed and watched Isaac’s lesson? It’s really cold and I don’t want to go back outside, and I’ve read about wizardry and it seems kind of cool. I’ll be quiet and everything.”
“No need to be quiet, lad,” professed Ronaldo in a minor billow. “Asking questions is to everyone’s benefit. Did you know that in the eastern nations it’s common practice for magic-users of all stripes to study together? Wizards, mages, witches, sorcerers, even necromancers! United in a common purpose but bringing unique perspectives for the good of all. A marvelous tradition, and one I hope we can start here with this coalition of ours. All to say, you’re more than welcome to stay. Come sit. Today we are going to be explaining to Isaac the principle of elemental dissubstantiation.”
“Oh boy, I can’t wait,” said Isaac, though the prospect of learning about elemental dissubstantiation seemed a lot less daunting with Ignatius and Gus’s quiet chatter and shorter words to keep the expounding in check, and especially with Peter sitting beside him. “You’d better take notes,” he told Peter. “Because someone’s going to have to explain it to me when I forget.”
Peter chuckled, and sat on a bench with his hand in Isaac’s. Ignatius sat opposite them, Gus leaning against Ignatius’s chest, occasionally brushing hair or dust off Ignatius’s clothes and straightening them for him, especially the collar. Ronaldo stood at the head, hands out to pontificate. The lesson went by really fast, and Peter’s questions made it easier and a lot more fun.
2 thoughts on “Chosen One, 88”
Isaac is, in fact, terribly opposed to other boys getting in his pants…in that he is absolutely terrible at being opposed to it.
He is absolutely terrible at being opposed to it, but only because he hates confrontation. As we know, after all, Isaac is opposed to any boy getting into any pants for any reason. 😀