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rose petal boys

rose petal boys

a community garden with no room for roses.

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Topics: boys, closeted, fanfic, fraternity, friends with benefits, internal homophobia, and romance (Add Tags »)

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Introduction





XXXXXXXXR O S ExxxP E T A LxxxB O Y S
XXXXXXXHeart beat pounding I said I love you, you loved me too. Where did you go? I didn't know, I didn't mean it.

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Character Portrait: Cyrus James rose child of a thorn

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Fulton University campus.
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Cyrus' thumb stalled over the call button for what seemed to be the hundred time that today. The mischievious smirk staring back at him and the nickname followed by a little purple devil emoji didn't add up to the "just forget you ever knew me" he'd received on Friday.

Jack hadn't allowed him to lock himself back up in his room with only tears and smoke to keep him company. After a long evening of sobbing on Jack's bedsheets, the blonde was cornered into the living room, flanked by Jack and Max, a brother he'd pledged with. No one said anything of his sad face, only passed the blunt in his direction and joked with him until they could crack the pout that looked so odd on the usually mischievious face.

They comforted him the only way wild boys knew. Max slung his arm around Cyrus' shoulders for a while, never skipping a beat even when Cyrus would hide his face in the crook of Max's neck. His other brothers shoved joints and bongs and shot glasses into his hands hoping their fun-loving Cy would return. That night, Jack accompanied him to bed, but only like a big brother rather than the lover Cyrus wanted bad. Not just any lover either, he wanted Maddy. How was the Beta idiotic enough to believe that Cyrus would forget him? He spent most of the night with Maddy etched into his brain, crying into Jack's chest until he could no longer get another tear out of his eye.

Monday seemed to be years away, and then suddenly Jack and Max were tugging him out of bed and into clothes for his classes. Making jokes about his "shrimpy body" and "how was he ever getting ladies with a pecker like that", joke after joke until he was laughing with them and shrugging on the clothes they pulled out for him. When he went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and hair, he was met with a ghost. The smile he remembered how to place on his face suddenly felt out of place with the disheveled blonde locks and bags under his eyes.

Cyrus needed to change, needed to prove he was fine in the very likely event that he saw Maddox at some point today. Pre-law and International relations were in similar departments, and Cyrus used to love when he would see that flirty face in between classes, brushing past him ever so discretely. Now the thought just made him want to crawl in bed.

He never wore hoodies or sweatshirts but today his navy Fulton University sweatshirt was the only thing he could manage, along with his skinny jeans he never wore to class and Doc Martens he'd stuffed into the back of his closet when nothing else was suitable. With a pair of aviators, he just looked like a hunover college kid. But those who knew him knew even a hangover didn't stop Cyrus from looking decent for classes. Only heartbreak did that, he assumed.

The Sigmas put him on "heartbreak watch", which made him feel even more like the bitch they assured him he wasn't. That meant they wouldn't let him mope and miss class, and Max walked with him over to the cafe for a cup of coffee to lift his spirits. He needed something black and strong, to clear his head of the boy who wouldn't get off his mind. He mumbled off his order to the cashier lady, managing a little smile as he handed over some cash for the coffee and a little pastry to tame his grumbling stomach.

"Order for Maddox Izumi."

Cyrus' head whipped toward the end of the coffee bar, where a beautiful Latina waded her way up to the front and picked up the coffee. The coffee for Maddox. He never took his eyes off of her, especially those blue eyes that weren't quite his but fuck, they were close. He didn't care if she noticed him stare - though he doubted she could see his eyes from behind the golden aviators - and only moved when Max practically shoved him toward the end of the bar and away from the cashier so more people could order.

It wasn't hard to find Maddox. He sat at one of the few two person tables by the windows looking out onto Fulton's campus. Cyrus fixated on the boy as the girl who picked up his coffee went to sit with him. Every part of him screamed to go over there and demand an explanation, how Maddox could string him along like they were actually something and then be with some girl only a few days after breaking it off.

Cyrus' feet wouldn't move him closer, especially with Max's hand on his shoulder. But it was more than that. If Maddox's words hadn't hurt him enough, seeing him fine sitting with a girl in the coffee shop broke him.

It wasn't the same brokenness he felt before. It broke any hope he had that Maddox didn't mean what he said, that the pain he heard in Maddox's voice was real and he was lying to Cyrus. He didn't have any rational reasoning why Maddox would lie like that, and it's obvious now that there isn't a reason. Maddox Izumi may ooze confidence, cockiness, but in reality he was just like Cyrus' father. A manipulator, and a coward.


To: MADDY *devil emoji*
Delete my number if you haven't already.


With that, Cyrus took the liberty of doing the same in his phone, the nickname and mischievious face disappearing into a little set of numbers. He faltered when going to delete their text message conversations. Cyrus didn't know how he could delete Maddox's number so easily, but once it came to the hundreds of texts shared, all the flirtations and misread affection, he couldn't let go. Maybe he was a maschochist, wanting to feel the pain of still being completely in love with Maddox Izumi; the man who already moved on, if he had anything to move on from other than a fling he "didn't need."

Cyrus closed his phone, and closed his eyes only for a moment, aware again of Max beside him and the comforting hand on his shoulder. "Cy-" "We need to have a toga party. Thursday night, open bar, invite every single house. Make it the biggest Welcome Week party any house has ever seen."

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
"...but I still want you"
[Fulton University Campus]
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Maddox always liked to believe he had thick skin. For as long as he could remember, he’d never actually cried over anything. Not even when he was a kid. He would simply pout and lock himself in his room. Sometimes Anabelle would come over to fill up his lonely days, but most days he spent them on his own. The large estate always felt so cold and empty.

He was scolded and even hit by his father many times in front of Belle, even more so after his mother left, and never once did Maddox shed a single tear. Not even at the sound of Anabelle’s worried tone asking if he was alright. Not even behind the closed doors of his own bedroom, after both, his father and Belle were gone and he was left with no one but himself and his thoughts.

But that night after the phone call with Cyrus ended, after the man had gone back to his business partners and fancy cocktails, Maddox cried for the first time in his life. He cried in Belle’s arms until he had no tears left in him. Until his eyes were swollen and bloodshot, and it felt like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the world that could help him breathe. Belle didn’t say much, but kept her arms tightly wrapped around him as if he’d crumble into pieces if she let go. Her initial shock at the sight of a broken Maddox quickly dissipated into soft words of comfort and a small hand running gently through his hair.

But her worries never faltered. That much was evident the moment she insisted on flying back to Florida with him. Even after Maddox assured her time and time again that he was fine, to which she quickly reminded him he could lie to anyone but he couldn’t lie to her. She was right and added the fact that her bags were already packed and she’d be damned if she let him fly back on his own in the state he was in. Being taken care of in such a way felt so foreign to Maddox, but he had no choice but to let Anabelle sit beside him on that plane ride back.

He’d fully expected her questions about what happened, especially since there had been very little mentioned of Cyrus since Maddox reunited with Anabelle, and so he told her everything from beginning to end. From the night he’d found Cyrus in his room and the freshman boy spent the night in his bed, to the many nights spent tangled in pillows and bedsheets thereafter and the many days spent in each other’s company when both of them would rather stay in with good wine and a Netflix series rather than facing the real world. How much her eyes reminded him of the baby blues he’d most likely never get to spend his days with again. How Maddox may have even said he loved Cyrus once he was certain he knew what love was because he’d never actually felt anything like this before. She only listened, keeping one of his hands between hers as a silent comfort. It was the quietest Maddox had ever seen the talkative Latina be, but they both knew there was nothing she could say that would make things any better.

Early Monday mornings at Fulton were always so busy. It didn’t take long for people to start taking note of the Beta’s return after the mysterious disappearance and asking questions. Most were quieted after Maddox’ statement of having been in New York, save a few which Anabelle warded off by saying he’d gone to visit her. The pressure in his chest never left, but it especially grew stronger after setting foot on Fulton ground again and trying to stomach the thought that he’d very likely run into Cyrus. It made him feel sick, to the point where he rejected Anabelle’s suggestion to go get a coffee with her. ”Maddy, you never turn down coffee…” her statement didn’t sound as surprised as she had probably meant it to. A this point she’d seen just about every side of Maddox she never had before, including sides she never even knew existed. Still, she insisted he at least accompanied her in an attempt to not leave him alone for too long. He wasn’t ready to face his house brothers, to have to come up with lie after lie and pretend he was doing just fine. He wasn’t ready to be the Beta Prince Fulton new and loved, not today and probably not for a long while, so he agreed to go with her.

The order was made under Maddox’ name after Belle insisted he at least should have something to eat. Maddox didn’t argue, simply because there wasn’t enough strength left in him to do so, and headed to sit at one of the most secluded tables he could find. His dark eyes, half-hooded and hidden behind long dark lashes, could only stare out the large window at the Fulton campus wondering why he even came back. He heard his name being called but made no attempt at getting up to get his order. Every part of him felt numb, even as Belle sat back down with the drinks and called his name.

”Maddy!” his head snapped in her direction, eyes questioning the sudden rise of her voice. ”Huh? Oh, Sorry…” he muttered, realizing now that she’d been calling his name for who knows how long. AN iced tea was pushed across the table in his direction while Belle watched him cautiously, a look of worry now adorning her features. ”Why don’t we go somewhere else?” her suggestion was out of the blue, but it didn’t take Maddox long to figure out why.

”Order for Cyrus James.”

His dark brown eyes immediately zeroed in on the blonde standing by the counter. There was a guy with him, someone Maddox faintly recognized as another Sigma. Maybe? He surely hadn’t expected the blonde to move on so quickly, but the text message that came in just seconds later made it more than clear that he had, not that it mattered. This was fine...Cyrus needed to move on, move on and be happy. Move as far away from Maddox as possible, even if the thought made Maddox' stomach turn with the most unbearable pain he'd ever felt. He felt his body move, getting to his feet as his hand clutched the portable cup. Belle didn't question it, but simply got to her feet with her own drink in hand and followed the Beta as he made his way towards the cafe door.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Greek Gods and Goddesses party.
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Isaac looked pretty with bed sheets draped on him like clothes, sunlight dripping golden onto his skin, but it would never be enough to distract Cyrus from the fact that this was stolen space. His sheets belonged to Maddox's pale skin and his dark brown eyes. When the dark brown eyes opened from his bed, they almost looked like the pair he'd fallen in love with. Issac looked too much like Maddox to not be painful to sleep with, but it would be worth it the moment Maddox laid eyes on the Beta pledge hanging on Cyrus' arm.

Smoke unfurled from his bruised lips and into the air of the small Sigma bedroom. The younger man liked to bite and scratch, leaving Cyrus with a body covered in marks like he would leave on another brown eyed Beta. He wouldn't be able to look in the mirror, but he could feel them as if the marks were still being left on his skin. Cyrus focused on the face in front of him and reminded himself again that this was Isaac, the pretty Beta pledge that didn't understand yet that his fraternity had consequences for a relationship like theirs.

Cyrus took in another puff of smoke before sauntering closer and running his fingers across the outstretched arm in front of him, his eyes amused by the strange position Isaac slept in. "Sleeping beauty..." Cyrus hummed, gently shaking Isaac's arms and pulling the boy from his sleep. It was still early enough in the morning that none of the Sigma boys would be awake, giving Cyrus enough time to get the boy out before one of his mouthy brothers would find the pledge sneaking out. And he definitely didn't need Jack seeing the boy he brought home from the bar. He barely remembered the night but he did remember Isaac offering Cyrus a ride - so long as he could take him all the way to his bed. Being drunk enough to forget Maddox was a blessing, but not when he realized his mind had subconsciously chosen a lookalike.

Dark brown eyes bloomed open and squinted in a smile as Isaac responded to Cyrus' soft actions. He stretched much like a cat that spent its afternoon in a sun spot, and reached out to pull the older Sigma back into bed. Cyrus let his hand be pulled but didn't return to his sheets, leaving the lit joint in his ash tray. "C'mon Cy, it's too early to be awake."

The nickname rang in his ears with painful clarity and familiarity. Cyrus frowned, slipping his hand from the other boy's and grabbing his joint, back turned with all the dark red nail marks. "If you still want to be a Beta by nightfall you need to leave before anyone else gets up." His tone lost the sweetness he'd allowed for the moment, and before he could turn he felt arms lock around his waist and a teasing kiss at his neck.

"You think I'm scared of what a couple of homophobes think? My dad's a Fulton Beta- on the Board of Trustees. He'd pull funding if they tarnished his legacy." The boy talked with the arrogance of a true Beta, causing Cyrus to smirk. There weren't many Betas who even tolerated their sons finding male company to share beds with, but Cyrus knew from personal experience that it wasn't unheard of. Even with this argument to Cyrus' logic, Isaac didn't stay long. The pre-med major had some potential future residencies to scope and doctors to schmooze into his pocket for future use. But he didn't leave without leaving a dark hickey in the same place where a kiss had previously teased his neck.

Cyrus followed behind the sneaky Beta and was at the kitchen table stuffing himself with cereal when a disheveled Jack came in to raid the fridge for his leftover pizza. He plopped down in front of Cyrus, and the other boy thought nothing of it until the raspy voice scolded him, "did you think that kid was Maddox when you let him bring you home?"

Cyrus' hand stalled, looking up at Jack. He didn't know if Jack had seen Cyrus leave the bar with Isaac in particular, but it was obvious that he did and wasn't happy. It still didn't give him the right to accuse Cyrus of something like that. He wordlessly moved from the table and dumped his cereal in the sink without much thought, ignoring the attempts to apologize or reason from Jack, whatever he decided.

It wasn't long before Isaac was back in his room, helping him dress up for the toga party. Even a few hours before the party, the Sigma house was raging with loud music and throngs of people covered in a thick fog of weed smoke. The Beta easily weaseled his way to Cyrus' room to help him pull together a toga. Isaac insisted Cyrus had to look like "a Sigma god", which entailed a leafy wreath, fake tan that didn't look too awful covering his usually pale skin, and gold glitter that made it seem more like he'd made out with one of the Zetas than voluntarily put it on. No amount of complaining could get him out of that, but it was appreciated by many of the party goers, especially since his chest was half covered and the gold accentuated the bright blonde locks on his head.

Cyrus made his appearance thirty minutes in, parading himself down the grand staircase like the showoff he's always been. Girls flocked to stay at his side but Isaac easily made himself comfortable being slung under Cyrus' arm.

The Sigma prince met eyes with the Beta prince for the first time since the phone call after three or four of the strong drinks they'd concocted specifically as "Zeus' Love Juice". The world around him muddled into background noise, and it seemed like a spotlight shone on Maddox. He always looked his best in the low lights of a party, when he was carefree, or at least acting like it. The Beta was eye candy even in normal clothes. Cyrus' eyes took in every inch of Maddox before realizing he couldn't have even a single inch of it. When his eyes met Maddox's again, he almost saw something he didn't recognize in Maddox's eyes. Pain. Something he felt in his own every time he looked at Maddox since the phone call, a pain that couldn't be hidden by alcohol or his ache to look fine.

"Cy, baby." Cyrus was startled by the pet name and zoomed back in on the pretty pledge snuggled on his side. He smiled, his drunkenness as obvious as the night before. The distraction kept Cyrus from wondering when that Latina he'd seen at the coffee shop would join Maddox and his mind was on Isaac. "I'm going to get another drink from the bar. Want one too?"

Cyrus nodded, and was soon left to analyze the older Beta to figure out what had happened, and if the pain he'd seen was real or a flicker of his broken heart. But Maddox was no where to be seen, no matter how hard he looked. He didn't want to look like he was searching for Maddox because that would just be pitiful, and when he and Jack caught eyes across the party, he moved toward the older Sigma. "If I get too drunk I'm going to kick his ass," Jack mumbles, too vague for the girl clinging to his side to understand.

Cyrus gave Jack a look, and sighed. "Our trustees will kick your ass after. It's not worth it," Cyrus answered in a reasonable way, because his only other defense would be that it would hurt more to see Maddox in physical pain. He noticed the Beta pledge making his way over to Cyrus with two fresh drinks, occasionally stopped for a quick chat with the bundle of sorority girls on the dance floor. "I know we all heal in different ways Cyrus, but this one isn't healthy."

Cyrus ignored Jack once again, even if this way of telling Cyrus he was hurting himself was much nicer than what he received this morning. It wasn't long before he was weaving his way through the crowd away from Isaac, knowing the Sigma house well enough that he could make his way to his room for a little bit of peace and quiet - aside from the music vibrating through the house. He slowly made his way up the steps with drunken carefulness, avoiding couples too invested in each other's lips to even make it all the way up the stairs, and moved down to the end of the hallway where he'd forgotten to even close his bedroom door.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2767176.

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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Beta House -> Greek Gods and Godesses Party]
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Maddox first heard of the Welcome Week party in the Beta house kitchen. He’d been cooking up a meal for a few of his brothers that kept him company, ignoring the strung-out comments about how he’d either end up being their president or their housewife. He played it off with careful smirks and an inserted comment every now and then about how they’d all be getting their ass beat once he was president. The first comment about the party came from Isaac, a pledge who, for whatever the reason, had taken a special interest in Maddox. The kid was quite the pretty boy, flirty and charming, almost an exact replica of Maddox during his freshman year. It was both flattering and a little unsettling. Not that Maddox paid him much attention. He had too much on his mind to waste time on some kid he barely knew.

”You’re really not going?” Oliver’s comment filled the quiet room while Maddox scavenged through his computer in search of an assignment. His little’s was tied in with disappointment, to which Maddox tried not to pay any mind. If he were being honest, Oli only had to ask him to go and he would, but the Sophomore didn’t need to know that and Maddox had been avidly avoiding anything and everything that would have obligated him to be at the grand toga party being held at the Sigma house. Before Anabelle left, Maddox had overheard her conversation with Oli as she passed the babysitting duties onto him which the younger Beta had taken a bit too seriously. ”The Beta Prince has never missed a party, especially not one this big.” had it been said by anyone else, Maddox would have Taken Oliver’s comment as a mock. But his little knew enough to know his refusing to attend the party was more than just a tantrum.

His eyes moved from the computer resting on his lap to his little's body spread out on Maddox's bed. There was a moment of silence before Oliver rolled onto his side, eyes scanning the older Beta's face for any indication of a wavering mind and frowned. "Look...I don't know what happened between you two but whatever it is, you need to apologize." Maddox' once expressionless face now morphed into a mixture of confusion and defense and he slammed his laptop shut. "And how are you so sure it was my fault?". A smirk came from the younger of the two as he pushed himself into a sitting position. Maddox let out a sigh, already knowing this was going to end in him going to a party he very damn well didn't want to be a part of.

"I don't, but-" the laptop was taken from him and Oliver got to his feet, tugging on his big's wrist in a feeble attempt at getting him to move, "I also know you're not the type to give up on things so easily, so get your ass off this bed and get dressed." Maddox couldn't help but crack a smile at the sudden role reversal. It would normally be Maddox that ended up scolding Oliver for something dumb he did, or for running his mouth too much and getting himself into shitty situations. "Besides, I need my wingman."

A few more comments from the younger boy and Maddox was on his feet, rummaging through his closet in search of what to wear. Oliver tried a couple of times at convincing his Big to dress up in a toga, adding little flirty comments about how he had the perfect body for it and needed to "-Show off those washboard abs for once." Maddox simply reminded him that he was lucky he'd agreed to go at all, and the subject was dropped. He did actually try to look nice for the first time all week, even if no toga wasn't involved. He opted to go with a fitted button up and a pair of dark jeans that hugged him just the right way, his naturally straight hair styled just in the slightest. There was no one to impress, at least none that mattered.

The party started out just like most Fulton Greek parties did, the thick cloud of smoke and thumping bass being all too familiar to Maddox. For a good while, it was almost as if he was back to his old self. It was almost as if he was going to be alright. He spent a good portion of the night with the usual crowd of Betas and Alphas, playing wingman for Oliver while the latter continued to shove drinks into Maddox' face. His usual resolve to remain stone cold sober as he did at every Fulton event had been slowly vanishing the more Oliver insisted until he finally caved for a couple of shots. Maddox couldn't lie, the buzz of the alcohol mixed with the smoke surrounding him felt nice. Like the numb feeling, he'd been trying to find since the night of the phone call ended. His eyes glazed over his surroundings at the effects of the alcohol slowly settled until he could hear nothing but a muted thumping against his chest and ears.

A pair of baby blues watched him from across the room, golden glitter accenting the blonde locks Maddox had spent so many nights running his hands through. There was that burning sensation in Maddox' chest again, one that any sober part of him would have blamed on the alcohol, though he knew damn well it wasn't. Maddox had always been skilled at deceiving even himself, but the mixture of the alcohol and the sight of a new face attached to Cyrus' side obliterated any hopes the Beta had of getting through this party unharmed. Isaac didn't behave anything like Maddox did, but he looked enough like him for the older Beta to realize he'd been replaced by a lookalike and that hurt so much more than it should have.

"Mad? Maddy!" Oliver's dark eyes, though clouded by weed and alcohol, showed obvious concern. The older Beta swatted him away, assuring him he was fine and just needed another drink. But one more drink turned into many, which dissolved into Maddox wandering through the Sigma house halls looking for a bathroom and instead finding a room he was much too familiar with. The warmth of the alcohol settled into his stomach as he stepped inside Cyrus' room. Even in his drunk state, Maddox realized nothing about it had changed. Not even the Beta's favorite sweatshirt that normally adorned the corner of the Sigma's room. The small polaroid Cyrus had snapped during one of the nights the Beta had to stay in to study and the Sigma had decided to keep him company still served as a bookmark for one of the blonde's textbooks. The sights fogged his already clouded mind making his eyes and throat burn, and his finger subconsciously reached for the photo as if it were the last strand of hope that maybe, just maybe, Cyrus still wanted him.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Greek Gods and Goddesses party.
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Thanks to Max's family being some of the biggest names in music production, the stereos fitted throughout the house assured that no one would leave with their hearing after a Sigma party. The latest rap song blared through the house, covering up any drunken voices that wouldn't be too pleasant. Cyrus wanted to lose himself in the loudness, to forget about concerned big brothers and lookalike flings and enjoy himself without needing anyone to suppliment his enjoyment.

Back here, in Cyrus' bedroom that had kept many of his secrets, it was silent. Not because the music was any less loud, but because Maddox Izumi was standing in his bedroom holding a polaroid of himself that Cyrus had taken.

He remembered that night vividly; Cyrus teasing and distracting the older boy from his studies until he made his way into Maddox's lap, a place he'd become mighty comfortable with, and gave him the study break he needed. That night must have been the night he left his sweatshirt too, and Cyrus had messaged him teasingly that it was now Cyrus' sweatshirt. It was one of the nights he fooled himself that he wasn't in love with Maddox, that he could be friends with a fling and everything would be fine. It was much different than the first night, and much different than tonight.

Cyrus would have laughed if it didn't hurt so much to see Maddox in his room. It was too ironic; had Maddox been seated on his bed lost in thought, it would have been an exact replica of the night they first hooked up.

"You know it's difficult for me to forget I even knew you if you make yourself at home in my bedroom." Cyrus finally pipes up from leaning against the doorway, his voice lacking any sort of tease that a statement like his usually would have.

Those were his favorite jeans Maddox owned, ones he had torn off the Beta plenty of times. Maddox looked good, those perfectly styled locks and tight dress shirt that reminded Cyrus how easily he'd become attracted to Maddox. But he doesn't ignore the drunkenness, a foreign concept for Maddox. Sure, Cyrus had seen him buzzed once or twice - usually in the privacy of Cyrus' old apartment, which he didn't enjoy remembering - but never like this. Sharp brown eyes muddled by the liquid Maddox must've had a lot of to look like that, and a soft blush on his cheeks that had to be from alcohol because Maddox never blushed.

Cyrus closes the door and locks it, eager to keep out any drunkards looking to hookup, and Isaac. The little pledge was shoved to the back of his mind as he looked at the reason he started hooking up with him in the first place.

Cyrus wanted to throw away the picture, burn the sweatshirt Maddox had left over, delete all the text messages, but then it would be real and it hurt less to live in a dreamland that Maddox would be coming over later and comfort Cyrus from the nightmare he was living in. He had punches of reality with the phone call, and seeing the pretty girl pick up coffee and Maddox look absolutely fine, but the smoke he'd inhaled and the drinks he'd chugged like water in a desert transported him back to those comforting bedsheets with Maddox lying beside him. If he'd taken hallucinogens, he might have wandered up here alone and laid in bed with a Maddox only his mind could see, giggling and crying and losing himself in a drug-induced haze.

But there was a sharp clarity as he continued to stare at Maddox, take in every feature like it would be the last. He yearned to reach forward and tug the other boy into his arms, pretend for a moment that Maddox had never left him. Every line from the phone call replayed in his head like a soundtrack he was too far away to stop.

"This was fun but..."

"I don't need you either."

"Stop calling and forget you ever knew me."

In a twisted way, he was happy that Maddox wasn't fine, that he was here in Cyrus' bedroom holding onto that polaroid. "You're fucking stupid if you think I could ever forget you... Maddy," Cyrus' voice is soft and without malice, even cracking slightly as he used the nickname he loved so much for the boy he loved - loves - so much. His baby blues did not meet the dark browns and moved across the room, on the sweatshirt that he'd cried himself to sleep in only days before, suffocated by the scent of Maddox's cologne.

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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Greek Gods and Godesses Party | Cyrus' Bedroom]
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Ideally, Maddox would have made it through this party sober and gone back home to his Beta brothers or his own apartment. Ideally, Maddox would have come back from New York and focused on his classes and school work, keeping Cyrus in the back of his mind as another one of his flings. Ideally, Maddox would have been sane and sober enough to lie his way out of being caught in Cyrus' room. But nothing about this was ideal, and there was nothing he could say to Cyrus that wouldn't make him sound like a lost, lovesick puppy. So he kept quiet. He at least had enough sense to do that, but the small polaroid still hung from his fingers as if it were refusing to let go.

"You're fucking stupid if you think I could ever forget you... Maddy," the sound of the nickname coming from the blonde's lips stung in the most bittersweet way. Cyrus' voice was soft, not something expected of someone that was angry. The way he spoke, the way his voice faltered wasn't something that'd be heard from someone that hated his guts or someone that had moved on. The back of his eyes began to burn as he let out a shaky breath, very similar to the one during the phone call when he'd been so desperately trying not to break down "Stupid...yeah, sounds about right."

The Polaroid finally slipped from his hand, landing itself on the nightstand while Maddox' body mimicked its movement, landing him on Cyrus' bed. He kept his eyes low, cloudy vision focused on the flooring as the heat from the alcohol set his cheeks ablaze. This was foreign territory to the Beta. A lot of what had been happening in the past two weeks was, but for once in his life, he didn't have a plan. He wasn't even sure why he was here in Cyrus' room sitting on his bed, nor what he was going to do from here on out. WHat he knew for sure was that what he felt for Cyrus wasn't something that would just go away, and the more he drank the more he realized that and the less willing he was to let him go.

"I'm trying, Cy...I really am." his voice was low, slightly hoarse from having to yell over the loud bass that still boomed at full force outside of Cyrus' locked door mixed with the gentle burn of the liquor. "I'm trying so hard, but- I can't..." his words made zero sense even to him, but his chest felt tight and the cloudiness of the alcohol made no room for coherent sentences. This hurt too much to make sense. "I'm sorry- I'm so sorry..." his voice faded as he finally looked up, his once dark and mysterious eyes now muddled with alcohol and tears. He didn't mean to sound so...pathetic, but he did and that's exactly how he felt. He wasn't even sure what the apology was for; being in his room drunk and crying when he knew damn well he shouldn't be here, that phone call, for letting Cyrus get involved with someone like him knowing full well how it would end up, or maybe for developing feelings that were never supposed to be there. Honestly, at this point, it didn't even matter. An apology wasn't going to do anything. Nothing he said or did would.

He tore his eyes away from the blonde, hanging his head as tusks of dark hair fell over his face. Maybe he shouldn't be here, but sitting on Cyrus' bed, red cheeks and tears running down his face made the idea of going back down to that party impossible. There was nothing he wanted more than to lay in Cyrus' for the rest of the night and sleep. Sleep and pretend none of this had happened, that he lived in a world where he didn't have to worry about liking someone without them getting hurt. But even shitfaced Maddox knew that was impossible, so he prepared for the moment Cyrus pulled him off his bed and kicked him out of his room to face the consequences of a broken Beta prince.

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    2018-12-05 05:15:45 by SleepingInTheGardens

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Greek Gods and Goddesses party.
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Cyrus was about to do something incredibly stupid.

He still didn't understand what happened while Maddox was in New York. The words he'd said to Cyrus still replayed in his head every time he looked at Maddox. Thinking back, he must've sounded pathetic, begging for this boy that never loved him to at least stay to fuck him.

The same Maddox appeared in the coffee shop with a girl, a beautiful girl. When the anger subsided, he drank to forget the image of them walking into a Beta formal together his mind made up to remind him that even if he could have Maddox, they'd never be that couple. He would never admit it but Jack wasn't completely wrong when he asked if he'd thought - just for a single second - that Isaac was Maddox.

That Maddox was no longer here. Instead, a babbling drunk Maddox sat before him, and he wasn't in a state to give an explanation. None of the things that came out his mouth made sense. The Cyrus inside him that slept with Isaac wanted to kick the Beta prince out and watch him fall, satisfy himself that maybe the Beta would feel at least some of the pain he'd caused Cyrus. The more logical side of the Sigma knew watching those dark brown eyes fill with tears that he was already in pain, and it would hurt him more to send Maddox out there to face the Beta wolves.

And that made no fucking sense. Cyrus was the one who was dumped and replaced, messing around with the young Beta pledge in retaliation, but Maddox was the one crying on his bed apologizing and trying to... do something, Cyrus couldn't tell.

Cyrus sighed, and his own stupidity was decidedly greater in this moment. He closed the distance between them, kneeling down in front of Maddox. He brushes the dangerously soft hair away from Maddox's flushed face, cupping the sides of the Beta's face gently so their eyes had to meet. Cyrus could feel his eyes watering, but he blinked them back and shoved back every feeling of pain and betrayal with them. He needed to be the strong one tonight, and for that, he had to forget that this was the same boy that broke his heart.

"Listen to me, okay?" The Sigma put on the same voice he would use talking his little cousins out of a crying fit, sweet and slow and a tone many would say Maddox didn't deserve from Cyrus. He'd used the same on one of his pledge brothers who got alcohol poisoning after initiation last year, and it seemed appropriate now. He sighs, looking into those dark browns opening up to him in a way only alcohol could provide for the closed-off Beta. "You can- you are sleeping here tonight. I'll help you change and you need to drink some water before you go to bed. I'll have a trashcan by the side of the bed, and you... you wake me up if you need me, alright Maddy?"


Cyrus didn't wait for a reply, he wouldn't accept anything but the Beta's acceptance of being stuck here for the night. The Sigma wandered over to his dresser, grabbing a shirt and shorts that would fit Maddox. Ironically it was one of Jack's Sigma shirts he handed down to Cyrus that ended up in his hands.

He helped Maddy out of his shirt, focusing on each button instead of the face in front of him, especially the lips that were so tauntingly close. The pants were harder, eventually Cyrus just handing Maddox the shorts and grabbing a glass of water from his bathroom. While in there, he shirks the toga, forgetting that the bathroom door was angled enough to where Maddox would get a good glimpse of his naked body before he pulled on a pair of boxers and a loose muscle tank. Cyrus ignored the sticky spray tan and glitter; showers and explanations would come in the morning.

The trashcan from the bathroom was brought to the side of the bed and Cyrus practically shoved the glass of water into Maddox's hands. "Finish that for me," The Sigma continues with the soft tone, standing in front of Maddox more like a parent looking after a sick child than an ex-fling who caught their old lover in their bedroom.

He busies himself with plugging in the fairy lights he always kept on for when he slept, even when Maddox would sleep over, in the hopes that the Beta would exhaust himself with his emotions and sleep comfortably in the familiar bedroom. Cyrus wanted to sleep on his couch, not even give his sleeping body the chance to cuddle up with Maddox without his conscious mind having a say in it, but he wouldn't move away from the bed. Cyrus sets the empty glass on the nightstand once Maddox finished it.

And in a momentary lapse of judgment, presses a soft kiss to Maddox's forehead.

"Um,"Any explanation choked off in his throat, and he blushed profusely, eyes welling up once again. "We can talk in the- I uh-" It was harder to breathe, words that he shouldn't be saying cutting off his breath. I'm sorry, I'm trying not to love you anymore, but it's really hard.

"Good night Maddy."

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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Greek Gods and Godesses Party | Cyrus' Bedroom]
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He looked like an idiot, that much even drunk Maddox understood. He was drunk beyond reason and crying like a lovestruck high school girl after being dumped. There was no real point to him being here. He’d just stumbled upon Cyrus’ room and was overwhelmed by memories tied in with every painful emotion they cause that made it impossible to leave. Not even a sober Maddox would know how to handle this situation, but drunk Maddox felt like a lost child calling for help.

He could hear Cyrus’ footsteps against the floor, though he didn’t make any effort to look up. Not until he felt warm hands on his flushed cheeks and had no choice but to stare into the pair of baby blues that reminded him of everything he’d given up. No...everything he’d been forced to give up which was so much worse. Cyrus’ voice was gentle on his ears, and Maddox’ hands gripped onto the bed sheet between his own legs to keep from pulling in those lips he missed more than a sober version of him would ever be willing to admit.

All of a sudden Cyrus wasn’t kicking him out of the room, nor yelling at him and demanding explanations that Maddox could sure as hell not give in his state. Instead, he was asking Maddox to stay. No, he was telling him to stay and the Beta had no chances of getting in a single protest edgewise. His hazy gaze followed Cyrus’ every movement as he looked for clean clothes for Maddox to change in to, not uttering a single word in fear of it being taken over by tears and mindless blubbering.

Instead, he lets Cyrus help him out of his party clothes and into the sweatshirt, his browns never meeting Cyrus’ blues that would probably never belong to him again. Not even after the empty glass of water was taken from him, replaced with a kiss to the forehead. Undoubtedly the most gentle and lustless kiss he’d ever received from anyone, but instead of making him feel better it only aided the tears and reminded Maddox of how much he didn’t deserve this.

"Um-" there was that familiar tone in Cyrus' voice, the same one he'd heard the other night over the phone, and the more he tried to speak the more Maddox realized he'd done nothing to deserve this from Cyrus. Nothing. Had it been him in the blonde's shoes, he probably would have kicked him out and shut all doors on whatever it is that they had. That's what made the two so different; Maddox deserved everything he was getting and Cyrus deserved someone better. No amount of explaining would change that.

But the selfish part of Maddox, the part that had brought him here to Cyrus' room knowing the consequences that would follow, that part refused to let go. Even if it was just for one night, on the likely chance that Cyrus kicked him out the next morning not wanting to ever see him again, he wanted to indulge in every touch and every look while he still had the chance.

Those exact thoughts pushed him to latch onto Cyrus' hand before he could move away, his drunk body feeling much too heavy to get up. Instead, both hands reach up to cup the boy's face while he ignored the tears that still clouded his already cloudy vision, let their lips meet for a kiss that felt much too short but necessary. His eyelids felt heavy, and his body demanded the mattress that rested underneath his crossed legs, but his need to have Cyrus near was even stronger. There was a beat of silence while the Beta let his hands fall back onto his lap, the tears that had once been such a foreign concept to him still adorning his face. His voice was low and faded, so faint that he wasn't even sure whether Cyrus could hear him or not.

"I-" there was a moment of hesitation during which Maddox wondered if it was even worth saying what he was about to say. Would it even make a difference? Maybe it would only make things worse. But in Maddox' alcohol-induced honesty, it needed to be said. "...I couldn't forget you either, even if I wanted to and-" he averted his gaze from the blond, feeling the sluggish drowsiness of one to many drinks quickly taking over, and looked down at his hands while his dark locks covered his eyes and muttered. "I really don't want to..."

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Cyrus' bedroom.
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Before Cyrus could move away and isolate himself in the reality that he would never have Maddox again like this, a drunken hand pulled him back to whatever surreality he'd hopped into when he didn't kick the Beta out of his room. The baby blues widened as Maddox used both of his hands to pull Cyrus into a kiss, a kiss that he'd been refusing to initiate but found himself lost in. He felt his lips chase after Maddox's own even as the other boy dropped his hands into his lap and let his floppy bangs hang onto his tear-stained face.

And just like that, any further actions would have made Cyrus look like the horny frat guy taking advantage of his drunken boy, even if Maddox was the one to pull him in for a kiss.

Maddox's words made Cyrus' heart thud painfully. Everything about this was muddled and confusing and Cyrus didn't understand if he was hurting him or wiggling his way back in with Maddox. Part of him didn't care and wanted to let go. That part of him wanted to leave Maddox in his bed, or worse, kick him out, and lose himself in the pulsing music and whatever drugs he could get his hands on. Forget about Maddox and Isaac, even Jack and Max and all his supportive brothers, even himself.

The other, bigger part of him couldn't do anything but stay.

"I'm not asking you to," Cyrus manages to reply, his voice thick with the tears brimming on his lids that he wouldn't let fall. He had so many other things he wanted to say, to make Maddox feel exactly how he felt when he'd told Cyrus to forget him, but judging by the way the boy was acting right now, he couldn't feel any worse.

Cyrus helps the Beta lay in bed, moving his legs onto the mattress and making him lay down. He tried not to look at Maddox as he stuffed a pillow behind his head and covered him in the soft comforter they'd slept under many times before. Against his better judgment, like he'd been doing ever since Maddox made his way into Cyrus' room that night, he brushes back the dark bangs from Maddox's face and wipes the tears from Maddox's lids.

"I don't..." Cyrus sighs, brushing at his eyes with his forearm, "I don't know why you... did what you did. But I, um... I'm not going to shut you out. You... you decide if you want to fix this."

Cyrus pulls himself away, walking over to the other side of the bed. With his back turned, it's easy to let his own tears pour down his face. Cyrus had never been a very loud crier - save for the sobs that racked his body only a few times before Maddox called him that night - and wanted to keep these to himself. Comforting himself became second nature when the large New York estate held an unfeeling father and an oversized bed he could easily pretend was an oversized hug from his uncle. He needed to see his family again, get some advice from haunt and uncle that would help him decide whether he could move on or hold on tighter.

Cyrus hugged himself as he made it to the other side of the bed, wanting to get in and hold Maddox and pretend the last week never happened. But he'd just be fooling himself.

"But if you're not going to fix this... leave me alone. No matter how many times I beg you to stay." Cyrus breathes out, needing to say that before he practically crumbles into the bed, his body puddled on top of the comforter because even laying under the same comforter would hurt too much.

Cyrus hid the shaking in his body as he held back every emotion bursting to be free. It was exhausting to be the "sober" one, even if he was drunk enough to be honest. He almost wished he was the drunk one, hanging off of Maddox the moment he laid on him and pathetically asking him up to his room. That was what everyone expected, especially Jack. No one expected how this night came out, even Maddox, Cyrus could tell the moment he caught Maddox in his room. He hadn't moved anything, clinging onto a relationship he was the only one still in. He clung onto Maddox's sweatshirt many nights crying into the cologne he missed so much, stared at the picture for hours pretending Maddox was just in the bathroom and would return to the study party for two.

These unrequited feelings exhausted him into a dreamless sleep. When he woke up in the middle of the night, decidedly less drunk but still dizzy, he could blame those feelings when his body turned over to Maddox and his head found comfort on the chest it had so many nights before. His fingers drunkenly lifted at the t-shirt only so they could feel the soft skin underneath and draw circles on the pale landscape. When his sleepy, dizzy eyes pulled themselves up to the Beta's sleeping face, he reached up to press several kisses along Maddox's jaw, allowing himself to forget.

He was curled up on Maddox's side like the past week had never happened, laying half on top of the other boy and falling back asleep to the heartbeat he'd fallen in love with from the start.

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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Sigma House | Cyrus' Bedroom]
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Somewhere in the back of his mind, stacked with his common sense and his harbored fear of his father, Maddox knew he should have never made his way into Cyrus' room. Whatever sober part of his brain was left silently scolded him for what he was doing and saying, reminding him that the heartbreak and sleepless nights that came with that phone call had basically been for nothing now that he was here and pouring his heart out to a Cyrus that may not even believe him. The efforts to keep himself, and by extension his father, away from Cyrus had been in vain now that he was trying to edge his way back into Cyrus' life.

That part of his thoughts was quickly shoved aside the moment Cyrus had responded and remained silent from the moment the blonde made sure Maddox was comfortably set in bed and made his way over to sleep beside him. There was so much more Maddox wanted to say, so much more he needed to say, but the warmth of the alcohol running through his veins and mixed with the fluffy pillows and soft comforter that was so familiar to him even in his dazed state didn't give him a fighting chance. His heavy lids closed within moments of his head hitting the pillow, sending him into a deep, dreamless sleep.

The night passed in just a few seconds for the sleeping Beta who barely moved an inch from his original spot. He would have slept right through the morning, had the subtle noises from outside coupled with a pounding headache that made its home in him hadn't woken him up. One dark brown eye slipt open, shutting immediately at the sight of the morning light. His entire body ached from head to toe, comparable to the feeling of having been trampled with horses. But even in his groggy state he could feel a head resting on him, one arm and leg carefully draped over his side. He shifted in the slightest, eyes carefully opening to avoid being blinded, and was greeted by a head of soft blonde locks, one bare arm hanging over Maddox' torso and baby blues still shielded by closed lids. The sight alone brought a thick knot to the hungover Beta's throat, his half-lidded eyes taking in every inch of Cyrus' sleeping form while he still could.

Even in his dazed state, the memories of slowly seeped back into his consciousness. He couldn't remember every detail, but he remembered enough.

"But if you're not going to fix this... leave me alone. No matter how many times I beg you to stay." perhaps that's what he should have done in the first place, but every selfish part of Maddox that walked him right into Cyrus' room the night before now begged him to stay right where he was. To wake Cyrus up and tell him he'd do whatever it took to fix whatever...this was, to tell him he never even wanted to break it in the first place.

There was a moment of hesitation but, against his better judgment, Maddox carefully inched himself closer to the sleeping boy beside him, fingers subconsciously moving to brush the blonde locks from the face he'd come to like more than he'd originally signed up for. Despite the heat that settled onto his cheeks at the thoughts of how pathetic he must have looked the previous night, he didn't make any effort to move. Pride and Beta honor were completely forgotten, leaving behind nothing but Maddox' desperate need to keep Cyrus as close to him as possible, even if deep down he knew damn well he didn't deserve him. The headache subsided for a moment, long enough for Maddox to focus on the sleeping body beside him, placing a gentle kiss on the blonde's forehead and shortly after closing his eyes the moment Cyrus' began to stir.

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Greek Gods and Goddesses party.
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The hangover was welcome. It gave Cyrus the painful clarity that the chest under his head, the boy he was currently using as a pillow, was no longer his.

With that thought danced around a dangerous thought. The thought that Maddox couldn't forget him even if he tried waltzed with the idea that maybe he didn't have to. Something about the boy on the phone versus the boy that drunkenly crawled his way past every feeling of betrayal Cyrus had felt wasn't the same. Cyrus didn't know what made those boys so different, but he hoped he never meet the boy who could make a phone call feel like death.

The first thing he felt waking up was fingertips run through his hair and soft lips brush against his forehead, but when he opened his eyes, the much too bright picture of Maddox was still and asleep, just how he was when Cyrus had cuddled up on his side like a dog that wans't supposed to be on the bed but the owner was already asleep.

That very thought made him unlatch from Maddox's chest and slowly pull himself from the bed, and very swiftly closed the door and locked it. Turning on the shower head was the only way Maddox wouldn't hear Cyrus throw up, a combination of the sickly sweet alcohol he'd chugged last night and the overwhelming amount of snacks he'd stuffed himself with while Isaac covered his body in glitter. He could still feel it on his skin, but when he glanced at the mirror, the fake tan was in patches from the amount he sweated off being drunk.

Cyrus managed to get through the shower without throwing up again, seeing more than just a ghost of himself in the mirror when he was met with a resemblance of his usual self. That scared him, knowing that just one night pretending Maddox still belonged in his bed could bring life to his withering baby blues.

After a thorough teeth brushing and lots of mouthwash, the Sigma wrapped a towel around his midriff even though he'd been naked in front of the Beta more times than he could count. Out of his mini fridge came two bottles of Gatorade, and off the top, a small bundle of pain killers, more for Maddox than himself. He'd rid the bile taste from his mouth with his own Gatorade, and sat on the edge of the bed closest to Maddox to wake him up.

Friday mornings meant International Accounting and Introduction to Japanese for Cyrus, a class Cyrus had taken just so he'd start to understand the flirtatious comments Maddox said in the other language, but it'd grown much too late in the morning for him to make it to either class. No one dared wake Cyrus; not only as he usually an early riser and up before most of the house, but the one time a pledge tried to disturb Cyrus' beauty sleep, he'd had the heaviest textbook Cyrus owned chucked at him and a raspy voice grunting for him to "Fuck off."

Cyrus gently patted on Maddox's cheek, his gruff morning voice calling out. "Maddy? It's time to get up. C'mon Izumi, I know a lot of ways to wake you up."
Cyrus manages to tease softly. He doesn't know if it's his own hangover or how soft the boy looks under Cyrus' bedsheets, but he didn't have it in him to be cold with Maddox anymore.

He was exhausted, enough to when those dark brown eyes bloomed open, he found himself leaning in for another kiss, one that was slow and soft and didn't belong between them anymore but yet it was there. He finally pulls back when he realizes if he's feeling bad enough to puke, he can't imagine how Maddox must feel.

There s a soft pink blush as he tries to back track. "Sorry, I uh- I probably shouldn't have- here," Cyrus trips over his words, handing over the Gatorade and painkillers and standing up from the bed, just an arms width away but his back turned tempted to reach for the joint on his dresser to relax his wildly beating heart.

It wasn't smart to act like everything was fine. Maddox hadn't explain anything, only showed up in Cyrus' room after a phone call and coffee shop visit that made something like this seem impossible. He still wasn't even sure Maddox wanted to fix any of this; he hadn't gotten a stragiht answer on that the night before, and it could've been Maddox's drunkenness that let Cyrus show him affection. Every logical, reasonable part of him told him to let go, to send Maddox on his way. That the nicest thing he should be doing right now is handing him the Gatorade and sneaking him out before any of the Sigma brothers saw where he spent the night. He wouldn't put it past Jack to tell all Maddox's Beta brothers in the name of "protecting Cyrus".

"I'm such a fucking idiot," Cyrus sighs, at this point not really caring if Maddox hears him or not as he brushes his hand through his own hair for once.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Greek Gods and Godesses Party | Cyrus' Bedroom]
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Maddox had by no means fallen back asleep. The thumping headache that had subsided for a brief enough moment for him to pretend that he had slowly made its way back. He kept his eyes closed even as he felt Cyrus’ body move away from his, taking the comforting warmth with him and closing the bathroom door seconds later.

Maddox could hear the shower being turned on, but not much else after that. The Beta let his sore body slowly roll onto its side, his half-lidded browns staring at the wall across the room. What are you even doing here, Izumi… Thoughts of every form of regret swam through his groggy mind. There were so many things Maddox could say he wished he hadn’t done, so many things he wished he could redo. And yet, despite how much it hurt, Maddox could confidently say he didn’t regret having let that pair of sweet baby blues into his life. Not for a second did he regret letting him stay in his room that night nor everything that followed after. No matter how much it hurts now, he would never regret having met Cyrus even if the blonde didn’t feel the same.

A low groan left the Beta as he inched closer to the side of the bed in an effort to reach his buzzing cell phone. He all but glared at the screen, the brightness of it being too much for his sensitive eyes, though he did manage to read some of the messages with one opened eye. Most were from Oliver, ranging from ”Hey Mad, where’d you go?” and ”If you ran off to hook up with anyone other than Cyrus I have full permission to kick your ass.”, both timed from the previous night. The last one was time-stamped from just a minute before Maddox had picked up the device. Though his blurry vision couldn’t make out every word, he knew it said something along the lines of ”Can you stop having sex for like 2 seconds and reply?”.

An almost inaudible chuckle left the older Beta’s lips while he attempted a reply. It wasn’t much of one, but at the very least his little would know he was alright. Setting the phone back on the nightstand, Maddox let his hands rest on his stomach and closed his eyes as he attempted to ignore a growing headache.

A small part of his brain somehow managed to fall back asleep, though it wasn’t deep enough that he wouldn’t have heard Cyrus coming out of the restroom. Maddox could faintly hear his movements as he moved around the room, but his eyelids felt much too heavy now to open them. So he kept them shut until a soft hand made contact with his cheek. The comment would have made a sober Maddox smirk in amusement and respond with a witty remark of his own, but sliding his eyes open to look at the blues staring back at him was all he could manage at the moment.

He’d fully expected to see those eyes, but no part of him expected what came next. And just like that, the kiss left as quickly as it came, at least that’s how it felt to the Beta and was replaced with a stuttering Cyrus trying to cover up the tracks. It was too soon to tell, but the hopeful part of Maddox that seemed to only be there in a state like this told him that maybe there was still a way to salvage whatever unlabeled relationship there was. As hungover as he was, Maddox could reason enough that if Cyrus wanted nothing to do with him he would have kicked him out by now. He wouldn’t have given away a kiss so naturally, as if it were second nature.

The blonde’s back was now turned to him, though Maddox didn’t miss his self-scolding. He opted not to say anything, at least not yet. Instead, he very slowly pushed himself into a sitting position, avidly ignoring the feeling in his stomach that made it seem as if his guts were about to burst out. He made sure to take the painkillers which he so badly needed and drank at least half of the Gatorade bottle before setting it next to his phone. A couple of beats of silence crawled by before Maddox decided he’d had enough of dancing around the subject.

”Wait-” he weakly reached out for Cyrus’ hand, being strong enough to pull him back towards the mattress even in his weakened state. Yes, maybe he shouldn’t have come into Cyrus’ room last night, but he did. Maybe he shouldn’t have stayed the night, but he did that too. Maybe he shouldn’t still be here but he was. If he’d already made it this far, already risked enough then what would it hurt to push a little further. That thought brought Maddox’ hands to wrap around Cyrus’, tugging until the blonde hand made his way back into bed and under the covers with him.

He’d now rolled onto his side, positioning himself so that the younger boy would have no choice but to lock eyes. Maddox already expected questions or demands of an explanation as to why he was here, and he was ready to answer them. But there was no guarantee that Cyrus would believe him, nor that he would want to stay after hearing everything the Beta had to say, so he needed a moment. Just a quick moment to remember what he had. For once in his life, Maddox Izumi threw away his pride and his stubborn will and moved in to press his lips to those he’d missed more than he ever thought possible.

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Cyrus' bedroom.
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Cyrus didn't - couldn't - protest when Maddox's hand latched onto his wrist and pulled him back to the bed. It was like he couldn't move even if he wanted to, and he certainly didn't when the chance of being held by the boy he loved was an option again.

Two equally strong arms wrapped around his waist, and he closed his eyes, relishing the feeling of Maddox's warmth close to him as he was pulled under the covers with the Beta. He wanted to protest this, stop giving more of his affection like everything was okay. He was never good at "no strings attached" or "relationships without labels", even if he fooled himself he was. This wasn't the first time his heart twisted with pain, but never quite broke so messily.

Every touch felt like Maddox was fixing it with elementary school glue that was too weak to actually hold anything together, but he let it happen anyway because he wanted it to work, no explanations necessary. If only he could be as stupid as he felt.

Cyrus was about to push back against Maddox's chest and let himself be lulled to sleep by the other boy's breathing against his back, forget that it hurt to be close to the other boy, but Maddox moved onto his side and suddenly all he could do was look into those beautiful brown eyes. Dark browns so mesmirizing he didn't see the lips coming until they were against his. This would be the third kiss they'd shared since Maddox came into his room the night before but every one felt like it didn't last long enough.

And this time Cyrus couldn't enjoy it in blissful ignorance. He'd wished for Maddox's lips on his every waking second of the past week, but to have them now with all the confusion in his head, the taste was bittersweet between both of their alcohol stained lips.

"Maddox-" The whimper pulled from his lips as he turned his head away from Maddox, unable to keep kissing and touching like this until he had some resemblance of an explanation from the other boy. Cyrus moved completely away, sitting on the edge of the bed where it wouldn't be hard to be pulled into the other boy's arms again, but he would sit there and shake with held-back emotions until Maddox gave him something.

Cyrus pressed his hands into his face for a moment, taking in a deep breath so he wouldn't start crying. "Maddy... I can't keep-" Cyrus cuts himself short, willing the tears to move away as his breath fails him. He turns, baby blues full of hurt and confusion but most of all how much he misses being close with Maddox, and stuffs his face into Maddox's chest, letting himself be uncomposed and emotional for those few vulnerable moments. He wouldn't give this part of him to anyone else, and he wasn't even sure Maddox deserved it.

"You have to talk to me. I don't understand why you said all those things to me if you're going to come back like none of that even happened." Cyrus finally pulls away, looking down at his lap and grabbing onto Maddox's hands. He squeezes his eyes shut because he refuses to cry anymore, but his hands shake even as he tries to hold tighter to Maddox's hands.

"Please... help me understand." Cyrus whispers softly, more to himself than to Maddox.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Cyrus' Bedroom]
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The kisses he and Cyrus' had shared for the past twenty-four hours all felt much too short to Maddox. For the first time since the two met, Maddox was the one pushing limits. For once, he was the one taking risks, walking on thin glass just so he could spend even a few more seconds with the blonde in his arms. But the situation was different, much different now. Maddox knew it wasn't that easy, then again it never was, he'd just chosen to ignore the consequences he should have known would catch up to him eventually.

And just like that, Cyrus pulled away. Something the boy had never done since the very first time they touched lips. It felt almost surreal, but it was also a slap in the face to the Beta. A wake-up call, a reminder of just how fragile the situation between them had become. One wrong move could ruin any possibility of them being pieced back together, and quite honestly that terrified Maddox more than any plan of sabotage his father could cook up.

"Maddy... I can't keep-" the sound of Cyrus' voice was enough to bring Maddox into a sitting position, avidly ignoring the turn of his stomach as he does so. The baby blues that turn to look at him were like a punch to the stomach and the amount of hurt found in them made Maddox think, if only for a moment, that he really didn't deserve to be here. But the moment Cyrus' face met his chest, all those thoughts were pushed aside. As if by instinct, Maddox' hands moved up to gently run through the blonde locks. Cyrus' voice was muffled by the fabric of the borrowed hoodie and pent-up tears that Maddox could only imagine had been there for more than just a few hours, but it went without saying that he wanted an explanation. He deserved that much.

The Beta's hand latched onto the younger boy's just as the latter had done while his eyes looked over his bowed head. "Please... help me understand." it was quiet, almost like a whisper, but Maddox heard it well enough. One hand tightened around Cyrus' own while the other set itself free to brush away a tear that escaped the tightly shut eyes. The knot still lingered in Maddox' throat, enough that when he attempted to speak, no sound came. He attempted to swallow it down, every thought of hesitation and fear being taken with it, and tried again. "Okay..."

It was silent for a moment while Maddox slender finger placed themselves under Cyrus' chin, lifting his head up like he'd done many times before. Only this time it wasn't to steal a kiss. Their eyes met for a moment, Maddox usually mysterious dark browns now an open book filled with the same amount of pain he'd seen in his favorite baby blues just a few minutes prior. His hand then slowly released the younger's face and returned to its previous spot in the other's hand, hoping Cyrus wouldn't try to look away this time. "This is going to get messy..." the Beta attempted to warn, though rather than a warning it was an affirmation for what was to come. "And I don't...I don't just mean what I'm about to tell you Cy, this..." his voice trailed off as he looked down at their intertwined hands and his lungs took in some air. His head felt as if it was about to explode, and his stomach was slowly joining in, but once again he shoved his discomfort aside for the sake of the boy sitting in from of him.

"That day I was supposed to pick you up...my dad showed up at my apartment." the Beta raised his head again to reassure that Cyrus was listening. There was no need to explain to him the relationship that existed between Maddox and the man that called himself his father. The Beta had already shared enough about it for Cyrus to know where the two men stood. Come to think of it, Maddox had already shared so much with Cyrus in such a short span of time. Things that only people like Anabelle and his grandparents knew. So many things Cyrus could have used against him but never did. Yet here he was, giving the boy another part of his life that normally stayed within the Izumi Estate walls.

Maddox went on to share everything, from the moment he was forced into his father's car to the way he'd been kept as a prisoner in his own house and every single threat the man had thrown in Maddox' direction thereafter. Most importantly, Maddox told him about the phone call he never wanted to make. About how hard it had been for him not to run out of that house and right into his arms and how pathetic and useless he felt about having to choose between keeping him safe or keeping their relationship. His chest tightened with every word, tears threatening to escape from his eyes but he refused to let them. He simply held onto Cyrus' hand as tightly as he could as if the boy would vanish should he let go. "That phone call was...the hardest thing I've ever had to do and...I'm so sorry-" he almost winced at the way his voice cracked towards the end as his head lowered, deciding to give his racing thoughts a moment to breathe. His stomach turned again, sending a chill up his spine as he pressed his lips together, hoping with every ounce of energy he had left that Cyrus would believe him.

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Cyrus' bedroom.
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For the first time since he stumbled into Maddox's bedroom all those un-lonely nights ago, he felt like he finally understood Maddox's feelings. And now he wished he was just as clueless as before.

The small "okay" that finally pushed itself from Maddox's lips wasn't what brought his eyes back to the other boy in front of him, it was the finger that often found itself tilting Cyrus' gaze to Maddox, usually for a kiss or flirtation that made Cyrus melt. When his own tired eyes met Maddox's eyes, he wondered how much alcohol Maddox had drank last night to hide all that pain. For once, the window to Maddox's emotions had been yanked open like an overheating house on a summer's day.

That's all it took for the confusion to pass. It had been so easy to ignore all of Maddy's own hurt because he'd wanted Maddy to hurt, to feel how he felt being on the other side of the phone call. But seeing this made it so stupidly obvious that Maddox didn't want to call him that night.

Cyrus should've told him there was no need for explanations, he understood that whatever had been done, Maddox didn't want to let Cyrus go. But he was already talking and it would only help Cyrus understand more.

Then Maddox said it would get messy, and he held back a laugh; nothing in their relationship had ever been anything but messy. And yet, as Maddox revealed the hell he'd been through since that day Cyrus had revealed he liked Maddox, nothing seemed to compare.

Cyrus may hate his father, but Reid James paled in comparison to Maddox's father. He'd heard plenty about the older Izumi but this took the cake of bad things Maddox's father had done; taking his son hostage to New York then forcing him to call Cyrus made Cyrus' blood boil. His anger cracked when he heard Maddox's voice crack, making Cyrus believe that Maddox may have been the one more hurt by the phone call shared between the Beta and the Sigma.

He wanted to do a million things right now. Punch Maddox's father, kiss Maddox until he couldn't breathe, even roll a joint and see if his intoxicated brain could process this better than this sober, hungover one could.

All he could do was remove his hands from Maddox's own so he could grab the other boy's face as gently as possible, wiping at the tears not yet shed, and kiss him just as gentle and soft. Still not long enough, he wondered when their kisses would take the breath from his lungs again.

"I'm sorry, Maddy." Cyrus finally speaks, his lips only centimeters away from the other ones he craved even more now that Maddox had pealed back another layer of his defenses for Cyrus. If he hadn't believed Maddox loved him anymore - or ever did - those feelings were made lies with the emotion in the other boy's voice and the hurt in his eyes.

Hurt that he wasn't allowed to feel because he was so worried he'd hurt Cyrus. Cyrus removes his hands from Maddox's face, opting instead to curl his arms around the Beta's neck and hold on for as long as he can. He wanted to convey every feeling of forgiveness and sorrow for Maddox's situation into his arms wrapped around the boy he loved.

He would sit here all day if he could, because everything in his body screamed for him to never let go of Maddox again. He was so afraid that if he did, the other boy would leave again, even if he didn't want to.

Cyrus blamed all these weak feelings on the hangover, because feeling this helpless didn't come naturally to the Sigma boy. He'd felt it on the rain-soaked street as his mother bled out, in the court room as Reid's hand bruised his wrist to yank him out of the court room, and promised himself he'd never be helpless like that.

Maddox Izumi made him feel a lot of ways he wasn't used to feeling.

"I'm going to kick his ass, his fucking ass, Maddy." Cyrus voice wells with tears, angry tears that this man had made Maddox so afraid of what he'd do to Cyrus that Maddox thought breaking his heart was better than holding it tight. "I'm not afraid of that bastard, and nothing... nothing he says or does is going to keep me away from you. I can't lose- I won't let him take you from me again." Cyrus promises into the crook of Maddox's neck, hiding every frustrated tear into the soft skin.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Cyrus' Bedroom]
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For once in his life, Maddox spoke as if he had nothing worth hiding. He made no efforts at hiding his emotions, not this time, not when there was a big possibility Cyrus wouldn't even believe him. Every word he spoke was injected with the same amount of pain he'd felt while being locked up in New York in hopes that Cyrus would at least understand why he'd done what he'd done, even if he didn't forgive.

There were still so many things Maddox wanted to tell him, including the feelings he came to realize were real only after having the boy yanked away from him. But there would be other times for that. Right now, Cyrus just needed to know the details of what had happened, he needed to know just being around Maddox put him in danger, but most of all he needed to know that every word that he'd said over the phone was a lie. Maddox needed him more than he was willing to accept.

There was a silence that followed Maddox muttered words and the Beta wondered if Cyrus would truly believe him or take his story as a false tale made to cover up his mistakes. Worry stirred in his stomach, along with many other things, but his question was answered the moment two hands took hold of his face. The tears that threatened to spill were brushed away and soft lips met his for the second time that morning. This time, however, it felt different. It no longer felt like the last thread trying to hold a stitch together. Even though it was shorter than Maddox would have liked, it was needed.

The apology that left Cyrus' lips once they broke apart sounded strange. There was nothing he could be apologizing for, yet he did. Maddox' head rested against the blonde's while his arms subconsciously snaked around his waist. It'd become more of a habit now rather than an action.

"I'm going to kick his ass, his fucking ass, Maddy." The Beta closed his eyes while he listened to Cyrus' threats against his father. Part of him felt relief. Relieved because it was obvious now that Cyrus believed he told the truth, but also it was a verbal confirmation that the younger boy was willing to fight for this as much as Maddox was. But it also scared him, because it was clear that Cyrus didn't fully understand what the man was capable of. He made it sound so easy, and Maddox would give anything for it to be so, but he knew Michael Izumi well enough to know that this was not the end. It was only the beginning.

He let a quiet sigh leave his body, a breath he'd been holding longer than he'd realized, and slowly pulled away. His dark browns now less coated in pain but replaced with fear and urgency. Maddox knew Cyrus wouldn’t completely understand someone like his father unless he experienced first hand, something that Maddox himself would make sure never happened. Still, he felt the need to warn him.

”You’re not going to do anything, you hear me? I don’t want you anywhere near him.” his voice was solid, much more stable than before. He kept the blonde’s gaze for a moment, hoping to make him understand the gravity of the situation they were in. ”Let me deal with him myself. Please…” his plea sounded more like a beg than what he’d meant it to, but he’d do whatever it took to keep Cyrus and his father at a distance, because if the man so much as touched a single hair on his head there was no telling what Maddox would do.

He wanted to give Cyrus a chance to make the promise, if only to keep his heart at ease, but the contents in his stomach refused to settle. This was the Beta’s first hangover, and he’d already decided it would be his last. He quickly placed a hand to his stomach, breaking eye contact with the boy in front of him as he leaned forward and rested his forehead on the boy’s chest. The pain in his gut mixed with the throbbing of the headache now becoming too much for him to hide. He let out a low groan but didn’t move from his sitting spot, afraid that if he did he’d collapse in front of Cyrus and he still wanted to maintain some form of dignity.

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CYRUS JAMES
Sigma Chi Delta House, Cyrus' bedroom.
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Cyrus was usually the one, when it came down to fight or flight, to fight his way through whatever situation he'd gotten himself into. He used to have his mother's disapproving gaze, or his uncle's stern lectures when he was really bad, but without their guiding hands he found every excuse to piss off his father and the scolding publicist who couldn't really stop him. The privilege he found in overwhelming wealth was enough to keep him from jail cells, but did nothing for his reputation. He had no one he cared for, and the only people who cared for him were six feet under or six thousand miles away, so when he thought about it,

He'd been fighting for nothing and no one.

Some might say he was fighting for himself, or people who weren't here but still made home in his memories. But looking at the man in front of him, he'd never wanted to fight for anything until now. Maddox Izumi always made him do unfamiliar things, but this might be the first time he found something so familiar to his bones that wasn't familiar at all.

And this Maddox was not familiar to him either. The confident, smooth Beta was not the man he'd fallen in love with, though Maddox might have tried to fool him that it was. No, he'd fallen for the sweet boy that complimented his dinners and curled in bed with him to brush through his blonde locks until Maddox's chest was his pillow. That sweet boy was here now, but broken by a dictator knownblood burn more than nothing someone had hurt his blood burn more than nothing someone had hurt his sweet boy.

The fear in Maddox's voice, fear for Cyrus, coupled with the sense of panic that didn't belong in Maddox's eyes dulled the burning in Cyrus' body. He wanted to protect Maddox, and that included calming his fears and protecting himself, even if he didn't feel so threatened by the man Maddox called father.

"Fine," Cyrus starts, his gaze still caught in Maddox's own. He sighs, running a hand through his almost dry hair, and continues. "I won't go near him, I promise. But I swear to God, Maddy, if he tries to hurt you again- I can't- I'm not going to let that happen." Cyrus' voice shakes a little at the end, the anger burning through his words. But it dissipates quickly when he notices just how sick Maddox was getting to be.

Even with the solidness in Maddox's tone, Cyrus could tell the other boy was succumbing fast to a pretty nasty hangover. There'd be more time for talk of feelings and how to protect each other from more heartbreak, right now he needed to get Maddox through what Cyrus could only assume was his first real hangover, judging by his current state. Cyrus' hand grasped gently to the back of Maddox's head, allowing him to take a moment against Cyrus' chest before Cyrus decided to help in any way.

Cyrus keeps every movement gentle and soft, making sure he wasn't jostling Maddox more than he had to. "Hey Mad, you probably need to go to the bathroom," Cyrus encourages in the same tone he'd used last night getting Maddox out of his party clothes, but not with the same mindset that this would be the last time he'd ever see Maddox.

"Or- here, I have this trashcan from the bathroom. I swear you Betas really can hold your liquor, I um... I already puked while I was in the shower. And I had less than you did, little drunkie," Cyrus talks in hopes that something he says brings back his teasing, flirty Beta, even if the hangover pulled some of the usual charm. Even if he blushes at his own actions this morning, he couldn't find it in himself to tease at Maddox too much for fear of the other man's current mental state.

Cyrus wasn't sure what they were or what they could be, but right now they were here and they were together.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
"Stay with me..."
[Sigma House | Cyrus' Bedroom]
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Maddox could feel the after effects of the alcohol quickly taking over his body. The more he tried to ignore it the worse he felt. He felt Cyrus’ comforting hand on his head and let his eyes slide closed for a brief moment. He’d tell himself it was only to allow the pain to pass, but the honest part of Maddox that had revealed itself with the help of the alcohol was still very much present. That part told him that he truly only wanted to spend as much time in Cyrus’ company as possible.

”Hey Mad you probably need to go to the bathroom. the suggestion came in a gentle voice. Maddox was sure he’d heard this tone from Cyrus before, though his scattered mind didn’t register when and where. It was a tone that made it sound like the blonde was looking after him as if he were a sick child.

The Beta let out a sigh, setting aside the suggestion of using the trash can, and forced himself to sit up. If he was going to puke he wouldn’t be doing it in front of Cyrus. There was still a part of him that wanted to preserve that Beta prince image that the Sigma boy had originally been attracted to. The smooth Maddox Izumi that seduced the blonde with a couple of words or a single look. the man that walked and talked as if he had it all figured out. It was never just a facade, but merely a single layer of what made Maddox who he was.

Little by little he’d peeled back layer after layer for only Cyrus to see to the point of reaching the tender middle. The scared and insecure filling that only a very special few had ever gotten to taste. Cyrus was now one of them, and Maddox decided against his survival instincts that this was a good thing.

”I thought you party boys would be immune to hangovers at this point.” the subtle tease left his lips so easily, as if by muscle memory. For a moment it felt strange given the situation, but the feeling of familiarity quickly settle into Maddox as he allowed himself his usual mischievous smirk. Perhaps not as full of life as it was meant to be, but it was there.

Cyrus was right about one thing, however. Maddox needed to get himself to the bathroom and fast. He took in a sharp breath and forced himself to stand, eyeing the hoodie in the corner of the room. If he was going to be in there a while he should just take a shower. His body felt heavy as he carried himself towards the bathroom, picking up his pants from the night before and the familiar hoodie. ”I’m borrowing this.” the comment was almost comical considering the item was Maddox’ to begin with. But he wasn’t going to keep it. The idea of Cyrus owning something that would make the blonde think of him every time he looked at it was wildly satisfying.

He closed the bathroom door behind him and let the clothes fall on the ground before turning on the water. The moment he stepped inside the bathtub he let his body lean forward, the contents in his stomach finally forced its way out. The water run for a while, washing away the remains, before he allowed it to soak his body and hair, scrubbing himself from head to toe. The hot shower felt good, and for a moment he felt almost normal save the news ro crawl under the covers and sleep for the next twenty four hours. But it was a Friday, which normally meant Political Science at noon for Maddox. If he left soon he’d have enough time to go home and change before heading to class.

After vigorously brushing his teeth and running his fingers through his wet hair, the Beta finally emerged from the bathroom. The look on his face was more than enough of a tell tale that he was feeling far from stable. ”I gotta go to class soon.” he gravely voice muttered, swallowing back every feeling of discomfort as he sat on the bed in hopes that the blonde wouldn’t notice and undoubtedly force him to stay in bed.

rose petal boys: Out Of Character (OOC)

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