When the TV show was over Chandler left to go meet some friends at the skate park. He lingered only long enough to explain to Rocco and grab his skateboard.
Dominic put the TV on mute the minute they agreed that Rocco was going to read on the sofa and he and Dom were going to catch up.
Donny was supposed to be telling him how it had gone looking at the university he’d got a scholarship for, but he kept losing focus.
“What’s wrong with you?” Dominic asked, giving him a playful shove.
“Sorry?” He asked, snapping to attention again.
“You’re so distracted. What’s going on?” He wondered.
“Nothing.” Donny smiled, staring straight past his best friend to Rocco.
Dominic sighed and gave him another, much harder, shove.
He turned and frowned at him. “What?”
“He’s my little brother.” He reminded him, unhappily. “Not to mention that he’s only seventeen.” He sighed, shaking his head at him. He got up and noted the confused frown Donny gave him before turning back to look at Rocco.
Donny was only looking at the kid; he was stunning and he was staring right back. How was he supposed to not look at him?
“Behave yourself. I’m going to get some snacks.” He said.
Donny sighed to himself as Dominic disappeared into the kitchen for food. He didn’t understand what the problem was. Rocco was beautiful and deserved to be looked at. He wasn’t doing anything more than that, though various parts of his anatomy were suggesting options.
Rocco was smiling to himself as well, as if he knew he was being stared at.
Donny looked over his head for a moment, to check that the coast was clear, and threw a cushion at him.
Rocco laughed, making no noise whatsoever, in proof of the damage to his vocal chords. It made him sad for no singular reason he could pinpoint. He looked up as he caught the cushion.
“Dom and the boys are going out tomorrow and Chandler’s got a date. Fancy taking me to that club?” Donny signed to him, hopeful of finding out what the continual looks and blushes really meant.
Rocco smiled, but shook his head in the negative.
“Why not?” He wondered, trying not to feel too deflated.
“Because you’re going to get me in trouble with Dominic.” Rocco signed back one handed. It was so sweet and innocent, so absolutely perfect that he couldn’t even get mad.
“You let me deal with Dom.” He insisted.
Rocco blushed again and twisted in his chair to look over the back of the sofa to the kitchen. Then he turned back and signed to him. “We could stay in,” he hinted in sign, with a nervous smile.
Donny raised an eyebrow at him, intrigued by that idea. There was so much they could get up to alone in the house together.
“I’ve never seen a movie until I came here, so we could watch one…in my room?” Rocco offered shyly.
That sounded suspiciously more like a date that his own suggestion had. There was no way he was passing up that opportunity. Donny knocked yes and was about to say more when he spotted Dominic on the move. He turned back to the TV and pretended to be engrossed in watching it, his arms over the back of the sofa.
Rocco smiled and went back to his book.
Before either of them could do anything else Dominic walked over with a tray of drinks and a bowl of popcorn. He placed it carefully on the table and looked between them, as if he knew exactly what they’d just been talking about.
Donny kept a straight face and kept his eyes on the TV. Dom just about ruined everything by chucking a cornel of popcorn at Rocco, who looked up, blinking in surprise. He popped the popcorn into his mouth while clearly trying not to look at him.
“What’s so funny?” Dominic signed to him.
Rocco smiled and put his e-reader down to sign back his answer.
“Wait, what? I don’t know what that word is.” He admitted, turning to look at him as if he held all the answers.
Donny dutifully explained what Rocco had been telling him. It might not have been the actual reason for his attempt to hold back his laughter, but it was good enough to convince Dom he’d been behaving himself.
“He’s saying that there’s a Sci-fi conference in the book and a bunch of oblivious males have just met Robert Pattinson, but they have no clue who he is. Apparently the entire book is hilarious.” He told him, speaking the words before signing to Rocco. “Can I read it when you’re done?” He asked.
Rocco nodded, with a happy look that said he wanted him to read it too. That was interesting. He wondered why exactly.
“Who is Robert Pattinson?” Dominic asked, not signing probably because he knew that he could explain.
Donny rolled his eyes instead and translated for Rocco; he just laughed. “Even your brother knows who that is. Twilight, dude. Sparkly vampire.” He hinted in voice and sign.
Dominic still looked confused so he signed to Rocco, hoping he’d help him make Dom see sense.
“Guy hasn’t got a clue. I was sure you didn’t have to be gay to know who Rob was. Then again, I’m Team Jacob myself.” Donny signed with a wink.
Rocco laughed so hard he choked on his drink.
Dominic glared at them both.
“I’m Team Jasper.” He signed back eventually.
Donny could only smile at that and join in the whole laughing at Dominic thing; how could Dom expect him to keep away from Rocco when he was so amazing?
“What does that mean?” Dominic asked in exasperation.
Donny looked at Rocco, contemplating how to answer that and signed to him. “How about we educate your brother with a Twi-hard marathon?” He suggested, since he wasn’t opposed to some shirtless Taylor Lautner himself.
Rocco nodded, looking excited.
“Okay Dom, you asked for it. We’re going to make you watch the entire series.” Donny told him with words and sign.
“What series?” Dom asked, in confusion.
“God give us strength.” He complained jokingly. A popcorn cornel hit his hand as he reached for the remote; he looked up to see Rocco signing to him.
“Can we watch the Harry Potter films too? Tomorrow?” He signed, with a look that said ‘tomorrow’ really meant alone, just the two of them. He wasn’t opposed to that either, so he smiled.
“All right.” He signed to him to calm down. He was beginning to wonder if all that soda was making him hyper or if he really was just excited about seeing the movies. “Harry Potter too.” He agreed in sign, speaking at the same time to keep Dominic in the loop. “Where did you get this kind of exposure if you’ve never seen a movie before coming here?” He asked.
“Chandler bought me the books. But I’ve never seen the films.” Rocco replied with a grin, gesturing to his e-reader.
Donny nodded, unsurprised by that fact. “At least one of your brothers has some sense.” He signed back.
Dominic kicked his shin, catching him completely by surprise. It was harder than it had to be, so he guessed he was still angry about the whole ‘flirting’ thing. But he wasn’t going to stop just because he didn’t like it.
He grabbed the control, switched the TV onto Netflicks and put the sound back on. It only took a minute to find and select the first Twilight film. He sat back and took curious note of the big gap that was now between him and his best friend. It seemed Dom was so mad that he’d put a little space between them when he got back from getting the snacks. Well, if he was going to act childish, he might as well use it to his advantage.
Without even looking up, he patted the sofa between him. Rocco instantly switched off his e-reader and headed over to slip into the space. As soon as the first picture came up on the screen, he pressed the button on the remote that brought up the subtitles for Rocco. He drew his knees up to his chin, completely captivated and grinning like an eager little boy.
“I’m going to regret this.” Dominic signed to them both.
Rocco smiled, but didn’t turn as he folded his arms on his knees, waiting impatiently for the film to begin.
Donny could tell without having to ask that Dominic was rattled. He really didn’t like how close he was to Rocco, but for the life of him he couldn’t understand why.
It only took ten minutes for Rocco to slink down in his seat and lean on his arm. He’d done the only natural, comfortable thing there was to do; he lifted that arm out from under him and wrapped it around his shoulders. Rocco wasn’t complaining, so why should Dom?
By the time forty minutes had passed, the constant staring was bugging him. He turned to find Dominic watching him and Rocco more closely than he was watching the film. His hand was along the back of the sofa, just over Rocco’s shoulders, so he reached out and flicked Dom’s cheek with a finger. He scowled at him.
“Watch the film.” He whispered to him in warning. If Rocco caught him staring he was likely to cotton on to what was going through his head and then he’d either get sad or angry.
“Get your hands off him first.” Dominic retaliated.
Donny shook his head, refusing to do that. He turned back to watch the film and ignored his best friend for a while. At least he tried, until Dom hit his arm.
“I’m serious. Get your hands off him.” He demanded.
“That’s not for you to decide, Dom.” Donny reminded him of the most important part; if Rocco wanted him to move then he would move. If not, then Dom certainly wasn’t going to dictate to him how close he could get and when. He was about to turn back to the TV when he realised that the room had gone silent.
For a minute he actually thought his hearing had finally given up on him, but then he glanced down to see Rocco looking between them. “What’s wrong?” He asked in sign language.
“Nothing. I was just asking Dom to get me another drink.” He lied with a smile. He didn’t want him to know what Dom was trying to do.
Rocco looked at the table where there were three half full glasses of soda, before turning a doubtful raised eyebrow on him. He figured he should have picked a better lie, but he gave in. Discretely, he signed to him.
“Can we have a minute?” He asked.
Rocco let out a sigh but nodded. “But I’m coming back.” He warned him.
Donny smiled and nodded his agreement with that; he wanted him to come back.
Rocco turned to Dominic. “I have to go to the loo. And then I need to get a different drink. This one’s flat.” He told him.
Dom nodded and gave him a fake smile as he got up and left the room.
He had to give Rocco his due; he actually went upstairs. “What the hell is wrong with you?” He asked as soon as he was gone.
“Me? What’s wrong with you?” Dominic blazed at him. “You’ve not even been back a day and you’re drooling over Rocco. He’s just a child.”
“No, he’s not. And it’s your fault I’m even interested in him.” He retaliated quietly. “You’ve done nothing but yatter on about him for the last two weeks, going on about how perfect he is.”
Donny knew that Rocco wouldn’t hear them if he did come back early, but he actually didn’t care. He didn’t want him getting upset when he found out his own brother was trying to control him. Their attraction was mutual and it was obvious to anyone who looked close enough.
“He is perfect. Why is it okay for you to think it, but not me?” He asked, seriously wanting to know. So he didn’t know Rocco that well, that was kind of what the whole purpose of dating was about – to get to know each other better.
“Because he’s my brother and you’re…” Dominic stalled, with a look that said he couldn’t take the risk of finishing that sentence or else it would destroy their friendship.
“What? Not thinking about him like a brother? I’d hope not. Rocco is gorgeous. He’s smart and feisty and,” Donny sighed in frustration when Dom interrupted him.
“Don’t say that!” He demanded.
“He’s hot!” He shouted at him, not caring if anyone did hear him. “He’s incredible. And in case you haven’t noticed he’s of age and he’s as interested in me as I’m interested in him. He’s old enough to date, Dom. You’re going to have to accept that one day.” He warned him.
One day some guy would come along who liked Rocco as much as Rocco liked him and Dom wouldn’t be able to do a damned thing about it. All he wanted was to spend some time with him, to see if dating was even an option. It wasn’t as if he was going to force the kid to go out with him whether he liked it or not.
“He’s datable, Dom. He’s kissable, he’s beautiful and sweet. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted.” He told him the truth, letting it out because he wasn’t sure he cared what he thought. It was up to Rocco if anything happened between them. “It’s none of your business what we get up to together because all that matters is that Rocco makes the decision himself.” He reminded him of that important fact. “If he wants to get close to me you won’t stop him. And if we decide we want to date, you can be damned sure you won’t interfere with that either.” He sighed and raked his hand through his hair.
Dominic opened his mouth to say something, but before he could get a word out Rocco came back downstairs and grabbed his glass from the table. He gave them a meaningful look and let out a disapproving sigh as he headed into the kitchen. Neither of them spoke as they waited for him to sit down with a fresh drink. Neither of them knew what to say to each other or to Rocco.
Donny couldn’t help but smile to himself as Rocco sat back down in his seat, put his glass down on the table and leaned into him. Even more surprising was the way he reached up, so casually without even looking, and brought his arm down around his neck. He held his hand in both of his as he moved even closer into his arms.
Dominic glared at them, but he chose to ignore him and played the movie. He was perfectly happy to sit there with one of the cutest guys he’d ever seen cuddling into him. Dominic could take a running jump if he thought he could ruin that.