daisysusan: (tsn: ot4)
[personal profile] daisysusan
Title: close up kind of ache
Fandom: The Social Network
Genre: Romance
Paring: Mark/Chris
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,860
Summary: Mark goes to visit Chris in New York.
Notes: Cause [livejournal.com profile] hapakitsune said, and this is a direct quote, "write me something short with Chris and Mark."


close up kind of ache

Mark’s always felt slightly out of place in New York City.

When he was younger, it was Eduardo’s turf, full of grown men who wore suits and talked about investment and derivatives of the non-calculus variety and carried briefcases everywhere. Now it’s Chris’s territory, this place where he changes the world and does all the classy, high-brow things that Mark knew he secretly loved, even when he was sprawled across Dustin’s couch in sweatpants drinking beer. Chris probably goes to wine tastings and black-tie cocktail parties and, well, he went to a fucking state dinner once.

Mark clutches at the strap of his ratty backpack as he knocks at the door to Chris’s apartment. He kind of always knew that Chris would end up here, running a nonprofit and living in Manhattan and just all of it, but it’s making him a little reluctant to knock on the door.

It’s just—he’s not sure if he fits into Chris’s life here. He’s not sure if Chris wants him to.

Too late now, though. He’s already knocked and Chris is opening the door in front of him.

“Mark!” he says, smiling enthusiastically. “I’m glad you made it.”

Mark’s smiling back before he can help himself—it’s Chris, okay, and he hasn’t seen him in more than a year, and just, it’s okay to smile at his friends. “I’m glad to be here,” he replies. And he means it, which, to be fair is the only reason he said it, but still. There aren’t many people he’s genuinely happy to see.

Chris ushers him inside, pointing him towards the spare bedroom. It’s—spacious. Really spacious. Mark hadn’t expected the apartment to be extravagant (and it wasn’t), but it’s certainly roomy, especially given that it’s Manhattan. He tosses his backpack and suitcase on the bed and heads back out to the big living room-dining room-kitchen area.

“Have you eaten yet today?” Chris asks him, because he may not be Eduardo but he still has a tendency to call Mark on his less healthy habits.

“Uh,” Mark answers, not really keen on the lecture he’ll probably get if he tells the truth.

Chris just rolls his eyes. “I’ll make you an omelet.”

Mark doesn’t answer, just grabs his computer from the other room and opens it at the table. He can almost feel Chris smirking at him.

An indeterminate amount of time later, he feels a hand on his shoulder. “Your food is done,” Chris says. “And don’t expect me to cook all your meals while you’re here. This is one one-time-only deal, because you’re jet lagged and I missed you.” Mark looks up from his work, sees an omelet next to him and Chris standing over him. His stomach does something he’s not at all used to and that he immediately decides to ignore.

Instead, he just smiles at Chris a bit, and closes his computer. He starts to eat as Chris slips into the other chair at the table.

“So,” Chris says, “What were you working on?”

“Figuring out the design for an update we’re trying to get out at the end of the month,” Mark answers.

“Not coding?” Chris says, clearly a little surprised, and Mark smirks a little, wry.

“Not so much these days,” he says. “There are other people who can do that, but there aren’t other people who can do all the CEO stuff.”

“That makes sense,” Chris replies, pausing for a moment before he continues softly. “Do you miss it?”

His mouth full of the omelet—which is surprisingly yummy, though he’s pretty sure that Chris had an ulterior motive for putting in mushrooms and green peppers, namely, making sure Mark ate vegetables—Mark nods.

“I’m sorry,” Chris says.

Mark shrugs. It is what it is, and he tells Chris as much.

They sit in silence for a few minutes before Chris speaks again. “So, I have this dinner that I have to go to tonight,” he begins. “I would have begged out on the grounds that I have a guest, but it’s really important.”

“It’s fine,” Mark answers. “I can entertain myself; I always have plenty of work to do.”

Chris bites his lip and looks away from Mark. Mark tries not to think too much about the lip-biting or how it’s turning Chris’s lower lip a darker pink that it was or what it would feel like to have Chris bite his lip.

(Where the fuck did that thought come from?)

“That’s not what I meant,” Chris says, startling Mark out of the thoughts he’d really like to stop having.

“Huh?” Mark says.

“I meant,” Chris starts, trailing off a little and swallowing hard before he starts up again (Mark watches him swallow and definitely doesn’t think anything inappropriate at all). “You can come with me, if you want.”

He’s biting his lip again.

Mark forgets to answer.

“Obviously,” Chris continues, “You don’t have to. I know that nice dinners aren’t really your thing, but the people going to this one are really interesting and I think you’d like them and I’d, just, I’d like your company.”

“I didn’t bring a suit,” Mark says dumbly.

“I—what?” Chris says.

Mark sets his fork down. “I didn’t bring a suit,” he repeats. “I don’t think you want me at the dinner in jeans and a sweatshirt.”

Chris laughs. Mark’s not entirely sure what to make of it; he’s not really sure what’s funny. But Chris is laughing and he likes it when Chris laughs, so he’ll go with it.

Getting a hold of himself, Chris says, “Of course you didn’t. If you actually want to go, you can borrow one of mine. They should fit you okay.”

“Okay,” Mark answers.

They spend the rest of the afternoon working, because for all his feeble protests, Chris is just as much of a workaholic as Mark is. Almost shoulder-to-shoulder on the couch, both hunched over their laptops—okay, Mark is hunched, Chris is using surprisingly good posture.

Of course he is, Mark thinks wryly.

Finally, Chris nudges him with his elbow. “You need to go shower,” he says. “You smell like airplane.”

Mark’s head is still buried in layout and platform expansion while he showers, so it’s a mild shock when he walks into his bedroom and finds a suit lying on the bed.

“You do know how to put one on by yourself, right?” Chris calls from the living room.

“Shut up, Chris,” Mark calls back.

He dresses himself—because despite Chris’s assertions to the contrary, he does know how—and fiddles with the tie until it looks halfway decent. The suit doesn’t fit perfectly, he thinks, but it is a good color for him (unsurprisingly).

Once he’s pretty sure the tie looks passable, he wanders back out into the living room. Chris isn’t there, so he sits down on the couch and pulls his laptop towards him. He’s buried back into his work when he hears the door to Chris’s room open.

Mark doesn’t look up until he hears Chris speak, a soft “Oh” that’s only audible because the room is completely silent otherwise. Putting his computer up, he turns around and tries not to stare too obviously.

Chris is—well. He’s always known that Chris was attractive and he’s seen Chris in suits about a million times before, but right this instant, it feels different, somehow. Mark’s not sure what to make of everything running through his head; he can’t keep track of it all.

And Chris is staring at him. He’s standing in the middle of the room, his mouth open a little bit. Mark’s never been more baffled by anything in his life. He really wishes Chris would say something, because the staring is getting a little unnerving. But Chris doesn’t, and Mark just sits there, half turned on the sofa, and watches him as well.

After entirely too long, Chris speaks. “Are you ready to go?” he says, his voice somehow off.

“Yeah,” Mark says. And, okay, he thinks his voice might be a little off, too, but he stands up and smoothes out the front of his suit.

He heads toward the door and can still feel Chris’s eyes trailing after him.

They catch a cab to the restaurant, and Mark spends most of the ride trying not to look at Chris. He’s fairly certain, despite having only seen bits and pieces of his reflection in the window, that Chris is doing exactly the same thing.

The dinner drags on for longer than Mark really wants it to, because by this point he’s reasonably certain that he wants to wrap his hand around Chris’s tie and press him against the nearest wall and kiss him until neither of them can breathe, and that’s really, really not something he wants to be thinking about while out to dinner with a bunch of strangers. It’s also not something that had ever really occurred to him before; it’s like everything has combined all at once to point out to him the most graphic way possible that he is really fucking attracted to Chris Hughes, idealist and friend extraordinare.

Chris is a little tipsy when they catch another cab back to his apartment; nowhere near the drunkest Mark’s ever seen him, but not exactly sober, either. He’s smiling broadly and laughing—giggling, really—occasionally, and not even trying to hide that he’s staring at Mark.

And as for Mark, he still doesn’t really know what to make of any of it.

When they get out of the cab, after the driver’s paid and as they’re walking into the building, Chris rests his hand on the small of Mark’s back.

It’s the tiniest thing, the tiniest stupid thing, but it’s about all Mark can do not to turn ninety degrees to his left and just kiss him. He tenses up a bit from the effort of not reacting, but Chris—instead of doing what Mark suspects a normal person would have done and taking his hand off Mark’s back—moves his palm slowly up and down. He’s rubbing Mark’s back and it’s really, really nice, soothing and the exact opposite of soothing all at once.

Mark’s not used to trying to deal with this many emotions all at the same time; it’s kind of overwhelming.

Honestly, it’s kind of paralyzing to be thinking about all of them at once.

The moment they’re inside his apartment, Chris moves his arm, letting his hand run up Mark’s back and rest against his neck. When Mark doesn’t react visibly, doesn’t push him away, he leans forward and presses their lips together.

It might be the best thing that’s ever happened to Mark.

He kisses back and lets Chris press him against the back of the door and just tries to cope with everything that’s going on. Namely, with Chris’s hand on the back of his neck, fingers trailing through the ends of his hand, with his own arm around Chris’s waist pulling him closer, with the sensation of Chris’s tongue in his mouth, with everything.

Waking up with Chris wrapped around him the following morning is half a surprise and half the most inevitable thing Mark can think of.

Date: 2011-10-09 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lovesletyoudown.livejournal.com
oh my gosh, i think my heart may have stopped, this is so so lovely ♥

Date: 2011-10-11 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
I hope you lived; your heart stopping sounds dangerous. But thank you! ♥

Date: 2011-10-09 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salvadore-hart.livejournal.com
This is so lovely. I like how easy their friendship is, Mark shows up in New York to see Chris, and his is nervous, but Chris is just so happy to see him ♥ And I loved the bit about both of them being turned on by the other wearing a suit.

Date: 2011-10-11 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. ♥

Date: 2011-10-09 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thatsapplejack.livejournal.com
ahhh! what? I have never wanted this ship! what are you doing to me, whaaaat? too too cute. of course they can't resist each other in suits!

Date: 2011-10-11 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
But everyone should want this ship; it's awesome! And, of course, thank you.

Date: 2011-10-09 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hapakitsune.livejournal.com
ARGGH UGHHH THIS IS JUST THE BEST THING AND EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. <333333333333333333333333333333333333333

Date: 2011-10-11 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com


(also, glad you liked it)
Edited Date: 2011-10-11 02:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-10 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indecentexposed.livejournal.com
you know exactly how i feel about mark/chris. ALL MY LOVE. ♥♥♥

Date: 2011-10-11 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
ALL MY LOVE TO YOU AS WELL. ♥♥♥♥

Date: 2011-10-10 10:25 pm (UTC)
ext_14817: (Jesse: a kind of joy)
From: [identity profile] meresy.livejournal.com
♥ ♥ ♥

P.S. Excuse me while I love all over your icon. *loves*

Date: 2011-10-11 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
♥♥ Thank you!

PS - omg I am kind of in love with this icon, ngl.

Date: 2011-11-14 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merisunshine36.livejournal.com
How did I miss this? I seriously love every fic you put out. You have such a wonderful way of putting together a tiny number of words to result in a ginormous number of feelings. They're both so adorable and hesitant and eager and agh, just really really awesome!

Date: 2011-11-15 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
Oh my gosh, thank you so much! This was an amazing review to get. ♥

Date: 2011-11-27 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] breakthat.livejournal.com
I love that you've decided to write all the Mark/Chris because ALL THE MARK/CHRIS. ♥♥♥

Date: 2011-11-28 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisysusan.livejournal.com
lolol, I'm easily convinced to write things, mostly.

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