This fic follows on Falling Into Place, and both contains spoilers for and will not make sense without that work. You should read that work first.
"You're sure I'm not keeping you from something important, like spending the day with Adam?"
Carlos stops walking, suddenly feeling like his heart is in his throat.
I knew it was too good to be true.
"Carlos?" It barely registers to him that Nick is looking at him now with utter concern. "Did I... say something wrong?"
"Um." He shakes his head, trying to figure out a diplomatic response. "Adam is... important to me, dude."
Nick just nods, as if waiting for him to continue. His hand squeezes his, between them. "I know that," he says, when Carlos doesn't seem like he's going to continue.
"I'm sorry I can't just... forget he's part of my life."
Nick is looking concerned now. "I know that. What... what are you trying to say?"
"Sometimes I'll... need to spend time with him. Or prioritize him."
Nick lets go of his hand and stands in front of him instead, as if trying to get a better view of his face. "Carlos. I know all of this."
"Do you, though?" He forces his gaze away and stares at the ground, instead.
Nick doesn't say anything for a bit, and Carlos focuses on the feeling of his heart pounding in his chest.
"Carlos," he says, quiet, and so full of concern and honesty that Carlos' heart aches. "I'm sorry if I said something wrong. I understand what Adam means to you, and what you mean to him."
"Then why wou..." He stops, going over Nick's words in his mind again, realizing that his tone was sincere. "Wait. You weren't... being sarcastic?"
"What?" Nick is confused, now.
"You asked if you were keeping me from something important, like spending the day with Adam."
"I did. Why... why would that be sarcastic?" This time it's hopeful.
"Oh." It feels like he can breathe again.
"I'm just trying to say that I appreciate you spending the day with me. But Adam is busy too, and you two don't get a lot of days together. This weekend was less busy, and I already took up most of your time yesterday, so I wanted to make sure you were okay spending today with me."
"Dude." He's suddenly irrationally angry at how understanding Nick is trying to be. "What the fuck?"
That one seems to hurt, and he immediately regrets it. Nick stares at the ground and bites his lip. "Sorry if I..."
"No. No." He forces the feelings down. "Sorry. It's... it's not you. I... I need to explain something to you."
Nick seems hopeful at that. He looks around for a bench or a chair, and settles on a short nearby wall, sitting on it, and trying to find the right words as Nick sits, cautiously, next to him.
"I guess talking about exes on a second date is against some sort of rule somewhere, but um... my ex was an asshole, and one of the biggest reasons why was that he... resented Adam, and how close we were. I guess he thought that, because he was my boyfriend, he would always have priority."
Nick just stares at him, but he looks like he's starting to understand.
"The worst was when he was passive-aggressive about it. I didn't know better at first, and took his, um... offers, I guess would be the word, seriously. Like, um... Adam woke up one morning with some sort of stomach thing. I asked if we could reschedule our breakfast date so I could take care of him, and he said yes. And then we had a fight the next day about it, because I was supposed to understand he was upset about it, and just... I don't know."
Nick's hand finds his, warily, between them, and squeezes, but he doesn't speak, like he's wanting to let Carlos finish.
"I'm just used to, uh... not taking statements about Adam at face value, I guess. So I thought you were... saying that I didn't think this, um... date with you was important. That you were important."
Nick nods, a faint smile on his face now as he waits for Carlos to say something else before realizing that's it.
"Babe..." Carlos actually really likes the way that sounds. "He does sound like an asshole. I promise that I understand, and I don't know how I can convey how sincere I am about that. I don't feel... threatened? By Adam. I'll always be upfront and straightforward with you when something bothers me. And I promise it doesn't bother me, and won't bother me, whenever you need to prioritize him. For any reason."
Nick's voice is so understanding and he thinks he believes it. "Okay. I... I'm sorry I freaked out when you were just... meaning well."
"I don't think that's your fault at all. I'm sorry I didn't realize how my statement would come across."
Carlos laughs, despite himself. "Dude. How could you have? You're actually a... decent human being."
Nick smiles, gently. "Well, thank you. I try my best."
"But to answer your, uh... non-sarcastic question, no. I want to spend the day with you, and Adam had some materials he wanted to review anyway. Are you sure you don't have anything you need to be doing today?"
Nick shakes his head, his smile full now. "I had set aside some time this weekend away from school. I thought I'd need it to try and get over you, but um..." He blushes slightly. "I guess you know how that turned out."
Carlos leans over and kisses him, quickly. "Are we saying 'boyfriend'?"
"Is that uncomfortable for you?"
"Okay. Then I would like nothing more today than to spend the day with my boyfriend."
Carlos smiles, kissing him again. "And I would like nothing more, as well."
"You know you're one of the most selfless people I've ever met?"
Carlos looks up at him from his ice cream sundae, surprised. Nick is looking at him with such affection that it hurts. "What?"
"I took a very different moral from your story. Um... when you took care of Adam when he was sick instead of going out with your boyfriend."
"Oh." His mind had been so foggy when he was trying to explain earlier that he barely remembers the example he'd used.
Nick's hand finds his across the table. "You gave up your plans, and a bit of happiness for yourself, to take care of your best friend. You didn't have to. I'm sure he told you not to."
"He did." He remembers how Adam had tried to protest before he'd hauled him back to bed and made chicken noodle soup. "But that was... one time."
"I've only known you for a few months, babe..." He really likes the sound of that word. "...but it's enough. You give up little things, here and there, for him. And for me. And I'm sure for others too."
"Dude..." Carlos is blushing, now.
"I mean absolutely no, um... sarcasm, or subtext with this, but I hope that sometimes you remember to take care of yourself too, and let yourself be selfish and choose happiness for yourself every now and then. And I hope that you'll let me be selfless back to you, sometimes."
"Dude." He's not sure what else to say.
Nick doesn't seem to either, because he squeezes Carlos' hand again before returning to his creme brulee.
"Want some ice cream? The hot caramel really is the best in the city."
Nick laughs, and Carlos feels like everything is okay again. "Yeah. I'll try some ice cream."
Carlos' phone rings, and Nick sits up from his position leaning against him. Carlos puts down his book and removes the arm around his back and answers.
"Food's here," he says, when it's just the expected call from the delivery people.
"I think this is a good stopping point, anyway." Adam shuffles some notes around and closes his binder. Nick nods in agreement.
"How about a movie while we eat, then? I'll go grab it, and you two and pick something out."
"Sounds like a plan, dude."
He heads downstairs to receive the food, and by the time he returns, Austin Powers is cued up and paused on the first scene.
"Dude. Austin Powers?"
"We tried to get Casino Royale, and then pretty much any other James Bond movie, but they weren't available. We'll have to rent a DVD, sometime."
He opens the bag and distributes the containers. "Yeah, but Austin Powers?"
"You love this film, dude."
"I do. It's just not very much like James Bond."
Adam grins. "I don't know about that. Spies. Intrigue. Hot women."
Carlos grins back at him. "I see now why you picked this."
"It might surprise you then to learn that Nick picked this out."
"Hm." He grabs his own food and sits down again next to him, smiling when Nick scoots closer. "Is there something you're not telling me?"
"Sorry, babe. I'm actually super aggressively straight."
"What a shame. Well, it was a great four-day whirlwind romance. I have no regrets."
Nick chuckles, and Adam smiles and starts the movie. And as they eat, and Carlos glances over at his boyfriend, leaning against his side, and his best friend, on the other end of the couch, his heart feels full.
He doesn't think he'd realized before how much he needed someone who could give him this.
After the food's gone and the end credits are rolling, Adam stretches before turning off the TV.
"Well, I think I'm off to bed early. Don't feel like you have to be in any rush to leave, though, Nick." He stands, seemingly thinking for a second, before grinning at Carlos. "And Carlos knows how much of a heavy sleeper I am, so."
"Chico..." Carlos blushes, and Nick seems to choke.
Adam dumps his takeout containers in the trash, and heads to his room. "Good night, you two."
He sits there for a second, staring at Adam's closed door. "So, um."
Nick leans over and kisses him. He tastes like general tso's sauce.
"Do you want me to stay? For a bit, I mean. I didn't mean to imply that you'd, um... invite me to spend the night. Or anything." He blushes.
"If you think your super aggressive straightness has some room for experimentation..."
"Mmm. I think we could probably work with that."
They clean up their food quickly before Carlos takes his hand and drags him to his room, shutting the door behind them because, even if Adam says he's asleep, it still feels improper to give the living room a show.
They undress each other, more slowly this time than their first time on Sunday, and when Nick is naked and blushing in front of him, he's pretty sure he's never seen anything more attractive.
Well, at least since Sunday.
"You're beautiful." He runs a hand down Nick's chest, who shivers.
"Speak for yourself." Nick's looking at him like he can't believe how lucky he is, and the desire in his eyes does it.
Carlos grabs him, pulling the both of them into bed together and fitting their bodies against each other, delicious heat and friction making them both gasp.
"What... what do you want, babe?"
"Anything," he says, and he means it, claiming Nick's mouth in a sloppy, needy kiss as he grinds their hips together.
Nick moans, kissing his neck. "Can I blow you?"
He reaches for his nightstand drawer, fumbling with it and pulling out the box of condoms. Nick stares at it for a second.
"Never let me pressure you into anything, but um... I know we had this conversation Sunday already, that we're both clean, so um..."
"Dude. You don't have to." He hates how much he wants it.
"But I want to. Only if that's okay with you."
He's never been more okay with anything in his life, and he tosses the box away to somewhere in the room and kisses him again.
Nick's mouth works its way down his body, and by the time he can feel his breath on his thighs, he's harder than he's ever been in his life.
His nose nudges Carlos' cock gently, and Carlos groans. "That okay?"
"That's... more than okay."
"Fast? Or slow?"
He doesn't know how Nick's brain is being so coherent right now. "I... don't care. Whatever... whatever you want. Just... need you."
Nick hums before taking Carlos to the root in one swift motion, and he stifles a yell from it.
He's talented... more talented than anyone who's given Carlos a blowjob in the past, he thinks, and he idly wonders how much of it is the intimacy. Nick is fast, and aggressive, and it isn't long before his hands are grasping aimlessly at his hair, trying to warn him. "I'm... I'm gonna..."
Nick doesn't stop, but his movements slow as Carlos finds his release, sucking and squeezing in all the right ways until the pleasure turns to pain and it's all too much.
He releases him then, with a pop that's more sensual than it has any business being, and stares up at him. "Was that okay?"
"Dude..." Carlos somehow finds the ability in his blissful state to grab Nick's shoulders and pull him back up against him, claiming his lips aggressively.
Nick makes a surprised noise before relaxing into it, and his hands find Carlos' hair, working gently around his ears, and he doesn't know why it feels so good. He can taste himself on Nick's lips, and on his tongue, and he tries to pull him closer, savoring the feel and the salty sweetness.
He breaks, breathless, looking into Nick's eyes through his own half-lidded ones. Nick smiles at him. "That was okay."
It's not a question this time, but Carlos nods anyway. "Yeah. I, um..." He blushes. "It's kind of one of my things. Um... eating my own cum, I mean. Is that... weird?"
He thinks it kind of is, even though he'd always loved it ever since the first time Dan jerked him off and made him lick it off his fingers afterward, and he feels relief when Nick shakes his head.
"As far as sexual acts go, that one is actually fairly safe."
A sharp laugh escapes his lips. "Dude. You're thinking about this from a medical standpoint?"
Nick blushes. "Sorry. I just... no, it's not weird. I, um... kind of think it's hot to kiss you afterward, so..."
Carlos can feel the evidence of how hot Nick thought it was against his hips, and he moves against it, rewarded with a soft moan from Nick's lips.
"What can I do for you?"
"Can I blow you, too?"
Carlos kisses him again before his hand finds Nick's cock and gently strokes it. Nick gasps.
"Fuck you're so beautiful."
He doesn't think he can fetch the box of condoms right now, and Nick seems comfortable with things anyway, but he still needs to know. "Should I get a..."
"No. Just you. Just your mouth. Please."
He doesn't need to be told twice, turning Nick onto his back and moving into position. He gently licks the precum dribbling down his length from the tip and Nick groans again.
"Don't... tease. I... I can't right now."
Carlos nods, gripping the base as he slowly takes him in, not stopping until he can feel him at the back of his throat and he worries he's going to choke.
"Oh... oh my god..."
He moves then, slowly but deliberately, his tongue doing what it can along the bottom while his lips tug at the skin, and Nick grabs a pillow and muffles his incoherent pleasured words in it.
Nick's other hand finds his head, and guides him gently until his fingers curl in his hair and tug, warning him.
He doesn't stop though, sucking until Nick's cumming with a yell and warmth spreads through his mouth. The same taste, but more intense this time, fills his senses, and despite the intense orgasm he just had, he can feel himself getting hard again.
He continues, more gently, until Nick's groans are tinged with pain, before he pulls off and moves back up, pulling Nick onto his side and against him again.
"You were... incredible." Nick's eyes are shining but unfocused as they stare into his, and he resists the urge to kiss him, not knowing how he'd feel about it.
Nick kisses his cheek gently, and he thinks that answers the question, instead pulling him so their cheeks are together and Nick's chin is resting on his shoulder. He sighs, content.
"So were you."
They lie like that for a bit, before Nick pulls away and takes some deep breaths. "Sorry. That's nice but a little suffocating."
He nods, his hands running down to Nick's ass as he kisses his cheek.
"I should probably go, anyway. Early classes tomorrow."
He can't help but feel a little disappointed at that, even though he knows that logistically, it doesn't make sense for him to spend the night.
"I'll see you... later this week?"
Nick nods, kissing his cheek again before reluctantly pulling away and slowly sitting up. "Yeah. I'm not sure what days yet. We're approaching the end of the semester, so things are a little intense, right now."
"Well, then thank you for spending time with me."
"Babe. You are the best destressor I could have."
"Just using me for the health benefits, then?" He's grinning, but Nick looks concerned, and he realizes he isn't quite as aware of when he's joking as Adam is. "That was a joke."
"Ah." Nick's smiling again. "Absolutely. Orgasms are important for prostate health, so thank you for doing your part to prevent prostate cancer."
It's absurd, but he loves it anyway. "I think that's one preventative measure I can get behind."
He watches Nick find his clothes and get dressed, feeling a bit of disappointment every time another piece of skin is covered by fabric. Part of his brain thinks about how it's never been like this before, for him, but he doesn't want to dwell on that right now.
"Do you want me to walk you downstairs?"
Nick shakes his head. "No. But thank you. I think I like my last image of you tonight to be naked and blissed out."
He blushes. "Well, then I'm happy to oblige."
Nick pulls on his coat and moves next to him, kissing his cheek again. "Sleep well, Carlos."
"You too, Nick."