• #1 by Mats Baldrshóll on 11 Jan 2023
  • ocean call cafe, döttrar vik | subbota 26 fevralya 2005

    "The true meaning of friendship is being able to express
    yourself and not having to explain it to the other person."
    - Michael Bassey Johnson

    Döttrar Vik was completely new territory for Maty, and yet somehow it felt more comfortable than Pirate's Bay had - that had been the wizarding village where Durmstrang had been located during his single year attending the school, on the shores of Lake Vivi in the middle of the Siberian Krasnoyarsk Krai. This, he was sure, had to do with Durmstrang's current location being in Sweden, a much closer country in language, culture, and geographical distance to his Norwegian homeland. The appeal of the wizarding village as being a "neutral ground" with the nearby sirens was magical and musical (Maty was certainly not the latter). And although the sirens that walked freely throughout the streets were certainly beautiful, Mats appreciated their beauty in the way he would appreciate a masterpiece painting in a museum - not the way he appreciated Nikon's beauty, for example.

    Nikon had actually thought about coming with him to reunite with Dzmitry and take in the sights of the new campus, and Maty privately thought Nik would be more welcome on campus than himself, as he was actually a Koldovstoretz alumnus. But at nearly the last second he'd decided not to go after all, wanting to spend some time with his real boyfriend, Rodion, and Mats approved of that as well. He'd made it clear to both the Russian boys that his participation in the "cover story" - that Nik was gay and Mats was his boyfriend, to hide the fact that Nik was gay and Rodion was his boyfriend - was not allowed to come between the two of them.

    As a figure approached Mats' table with confidence, Maty was pleased to see that one of his few remaining Durmstrang friends was unmistakably recognisable, even after almost four years of not seeing one another. "@Dzima!" he said, standing up and giving the younger boy a great big hug, making sure that - as he'd promised - his little fan had plenty of time to appreciate his muscular arms, bared by the sleeveless shirt he'd worn (as promised) in spite of the February chill. "Aww, it's so good to see you, man!" He released his clutch but instead gripped Dzima's arms, leaning back and getting a good look at the attractive young man that had once been just a cute boy he'd hooked up with.
  • #2 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 12 Jan 2023
  • Dzmitry was excited. Mats was a friend, a good friend even, but he was also an old crush and one that Dzmitry burned even brighter for now than he had when they were writing letters to one-another in January and early February. Part of that was Zoya’s fault. Dzmitry didn’t really know what he was expecting Zoya to do for dragobetle and the ball that followed, but he was annoyed that she hadn’t asked him to go with her. As a punishment, sort of, he had accepted an invitation from another female classmate and had a nice time with her, but had not felt the spark. Instead, he had began thinking of Mats a bit more as they got nearer and nearer to the date they had set to meet up.

    Mats was absolutely older than him, and honestly it would be a little inappropriate for Mats to reciprocate the feelings, even though, in Sweden, he was over the age of consent. That said, he wasn’t an adult by wizarding standards, and wouldn’t be for another year. He hoped, a bit beyond reason, that Mats would fancy him regardless… but Mats had a boyfriend. Dzmitry wasn’t jealous necessarily. He hoped Mats was happy and well with his lover, but Dzmitry was a little bitter than not just one but two gorgeous gentlemen were off the market now. Dzima had not quite had the crush on Nikon that he had on Aleksei Zima, but there was little difference in the two’s physical forms, aside from Aleksei being a little more muscular and a little less “pretty”. Dzmitry would not have specifically asked them, at least not seriously, to sandwich him between them–but he wanted it, seriously. He would have loved that.

    When he eyed Mats’ form he grinned wide and toothy. “My friend!” He smiled, hugging him back and fawning over his muscular arms. Even though it was still chilly outside, Mats was wearing a tank to show off and Dzmitry was proud to know it was for him. “You’re looking thick, man. How much do you press lately?” He wondered. He didn’t really lift, himself, but he did work out. He played quidditch–and was now the captain, which he was very proud of. However, Zoya was the quidditch captain for Klyk Vampira, and he still felt bitter and rejected that she had not sought him out. Maybe he needed to try harder, or maybe he was barking up the wrong tree. Either way, today was not about that. It was about Mats and him.

    “Did you have anything specific you wanted to see while you’re here?” He wondered, not realizing that he had opened a door for more flirting with that simple question. “We can get a drink, hang out a little, catch up. You HAVE to tell me more details about your beau. I see he didn’t make it today. Unlucky for me, I guess I won’t have that sandwich I’ve been craving…. But maybe it’s good. Now I have you all to myself.” He clung to the other in a way that did not look heterosexual, but he wasn’t paying attention to putting on airs right now. He was too pleased.
  • #3 by Mats Baldrshóll on 16 Jan 2023
  • Maty got off on compliments about his physique, and while he hadn't explicitly told Dzima that, he was sure the younger boy knew it. "Thanks," he preened, puffing up his chest and pulling his arms up a few times like he was doing imaginary curls. "I'm maxing 130 kilograms on my bench press these days. Just working my way up." He thought briefly about telling Dzima to have a feel of them, but decided against it quite this early in the visit. He had the whole day, or as much of the whole day as his friend did, so he was sure he'd get felt up later. Plus, he had to keep reminding himself, Dzima was still underage. They'd fooled around a little as fellow students during their one year as schoolmates, but now Maty was an adult and Dzima was not.

    "I mean, not really anything specific no," Mats confessed in answer as they took their seat, Dzima sitting right next to him than across from him. "Like I said in my letters, I don't think your faculty will want me to come on campus, so really just the village. And to hear more about Duelling and Quidditch and Zoya," he teased, referencing Dzima's rival and sometime object of affections that they'd been discussing via owl. "Did she ask you to the dance after all? Or was I right and she didn't asked you out?" he added a little less teasingly but with absolutely interest. Mats' suspicion, already relayed to Dzima, based on the little that he knew from Dzima's letters, was that the Klyk girl would purposely avoid asking Dzima and see if she regretted that choice.

    "And what classes are you taking now? Any new teachers? I mean," he would have thrown up his hands but Dzima was actually, he noticed now, subtly clinging to his right arm. Guess he was getting felt up after all, not that he objected to it by itself. "There's so much we have to catch each other up on, just start telling me stuff."
  • #4 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 25 Jan 2023
  • Dzmia blushed a little as Mats mentioned Zoya. He was still a little salty about it, and even Mats showing off his muscles didn’t take away the little sting.

    “I mean, let’s just not talk about her—okay?” He offered, a little bitter. “I went to the dance with some other girl, and I hope she was jealous as fuck.” He laughed lightly, but there was little humor in it. “Anywayyyy, I mean, the usual stuff I guess. N.E.W.T. courses don’t start until next year, so I am still doing general educational stuff. I’m pretty good in Fisker’s Nautica class, but I’m really trash at Alchemy and stuff, so we’ll see what I end up doing once I graduate. Maybe I’ll go into professional dueling, or maybe quidditch—who knows.” He shrugged.

    “And, I mean, you’re right. There’s a ton to catch up on. I’m eager to hear all the sordid details of your relationship with Nikon Vlasiyevich.” He laughed playfully. “I see he didn’t make it this time—but that’s okay. More of you for me. I hope he doesn’t mind, but if he does I don’t care too much. You’re here and you’re mine for now.” He teased.

    “Ugh, I can’t wait until August. I’ll finally be seventeen and old enough to get spankings.” He teased.
  • #5 by Mats Baldrshóll on 26 Jan 2023
  • The Dzima and Zoya ship had, apparently, sailed. Well, that was young love, Mats reflected for a moment, and then almost cracked a big smile since it wasn't like that he was that much older or more experienced than Dzmitry. But he kept his face composed, or at least waited until Dzima changed the subject before letting just a friendly smile go across his face.

    "I liked Fisker," Maty interjected at one point. "Nautica was as close as Durmstrang got to Stormweaving, and he was a great teacher." From the sounds of it, Dzima was running into the same problems that Maty had -- the academic stuff was tricky (and boring) but the physical stuff was really interesting. Unfortunately, most schools weren't designed for people who thought with their hands instead of their brains.

    And as much as Mats liked Dzima, when he brought up Nikon, Mats felt something fall in his stomach. He really really liked Nik too, but in some ways Maty hadn't known what he'd been signing up for. There were lots of advantages to their current situation, not least of which was all the time he got to spend with Nik both casually and sexually. But even though the lie really wasn't hurting anyone -- in fact it was protecting Rodya -- Maty still didn't like the fact that he was constantly lying to other people now. Especially individual other people that he was very fond of. Now he had to do a bit of the expected my-boyfriend-is-so-ohhhhhh gushing to satisfy Dzima's curiosity.

    Although, Dzima actually gave him a bit of an out. "Wait a minute now," Maty teased his young friend. "If I tell you all of Nik's and my secrets, then it'll keep me on the straight and narrow remembering that I'm dating him, and then I won't be all yours for now," he stuck his tongue out. "So, you have a choice to make. We can talk about my boyfriend," he emphasized in a drawl, "or we can have a fun friends day where you focus on me and I focus on you." He pointedly ignored Dzima's remarks about the spankings, especially since his immediate first thought was Spankings are age-neutral, what's to stop me from giving you some right now? Damn it, his libido was going to be the death of him.
  • #6 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 28 Jan 2023
  • Dzmitry considered this proposition carefully. A part of him really did want to live vicariously through Mats and Nikon’s relationship, for what it was worth, but more of him wanted Mats to think about him in a romantic and sexual way, and not just have to be content with thinking of things Mats did with his boyfriend when Dzmitry was in another country. His face made his pondering clear, and he even scrunched his nose a bit, playfully tilting his head side to side to show he was thinking and didn’t care for the options.

    “Fine, fine.” He said, finally. “No gushing.” He offered his hand to Mats. “Does this mean I get to be your boyfriend for the day?” He joked. “I’ll behave, mostly.” He assured. “You know I can’t help but flirt with you, but I wouldn’t be so bold as to suggest anything your beau would take offense to.” His eyes sparkled a little with the lie. He was very bold, very thirsty, and Mats was very hot.

    He swung his hand between them casually as he walked by Mats’ side. “Anywayyy, so. School is okay I guess. Did I tell you they cancelled quidditch for half the year and are shoving it all into the last semester? So stupid.” He groaned. “Actually, I think I mentioned it because they made me captain this year. Holmström was captain last year and she was pretty good, so I hope I can fill her shoes. She was an excellent seeker and I’ve been playing Keeper for a few years, so I’m actually excited to seek again, finally.” He admitted.

    “I saw a tryout call for a team home in the Ukraine in August—right after I come of age.” He grinned. “I don’t have particularly high expectations for that to go well, but I do plan on trying out, at least. I wanted to be recruited in a game, maybe this year or next year, but I doubt they’re going to bet on me yet. Might be a good practice run though, you know? Networking, etc.”

    He shrugged after a little bit, and looked up at Mats with a grin. “So, what all have you been doing lately? I heard you’re in the muggle world mostly, now? Doesn’t that feel… a little… boring? Compared to magical life? I mean, my mom is a muggle and I’m totally used to living around her and everything, but I don’t think I really want to be full-time in that world anymore. Tell me how you see things?”
  • #7 by Mats Baldrshóll on 02 Feb 2023
  • As he hoped, Mats' friendly ultimatum resulted in Dzima abandoning that line of questioning and just celebrating their day together. This was... good. Great and good.

    Taking Dzmitry's hand willingly, Mats left the cafe table after leaving a tip for his waitress, and allowed his younger friend to guide him slowly, saunteringly, around the town. He took in the sights that he hadn't already seen as best he could, but they kept up their conversation as well. Before Maty could tell Dzima that, yes, he'd told Maty all about the Quidditch mess and about Yeshevsky bringing it back for just a half year (less even), Dzima himself remembered and went on talking about playing in the Seeker position. Clearly the preferred spot, at least for Zelenko. Mats had filled a Chaser position whenever he played - although at Koldovstoretz, they used trees instead of broomsticks. The change had been jarring during their single year of merged schools, and Maty hadn't been able to get the knack of balancing on a broomstick.

    "Really? Ukraine?" Mats turned at the mention and stopped them in their tracks. "You're from... Belarus," he finally remembered, and pulled up a mental map in his brain to confirm that, yes, the two countries were near each other. "No openings for the Saints or the Lynxes? I always liked the Lynxes logo." Koldovstoretz' campus had always been in Russia, so even though he was from a different part of the world, he still followed the Russian League (which included Belarus) - and the teams that used to be part of it as well. Ukraine's teams had seceded from the Russian League a few years back and now ran their own show. "But wow, good for you even trying out! Which team?" He let them resume walking and starting thinking about it. "Wow. Imagine that. You could be a professional Quidditch player before you've even graduated from the Institute. What a howling accomplishment that would be on your resume!"

    The topic shifted after a moment and Maty was almost surprised. Questions about the Muggle world. It wasn't that he'd never been asked, but it wasn't often that purebloods had any interest in the comparatively mundane non-magical world. (And a lot of the Durmstrang snots had only had insulting questions, not even genuine queries of curiosity.) "It's going to sound a little strange I'm sure," he started, "but with no magic, there's so much less complication. I mean, the biggest letdowns in my life all came directly from magic. Eirik leading me on for so long, and our big breakup; that massive firefight just before end of term, when Vulchanova put me and so many others under that Turba Imperium spell..." he shivered at the recollection of the latter. He hadn't even known that there was a mass version of an Unforgivable Curse, and while he hadn't done a terrible amount of damage while under the mind control of the insane Headmistress, he still felt horrible about what his body had done without his permission.

    "And like, I love my parents and they love me, and they're Muggles. And they aren't my biological parents," Maty reminded Dzima, "so for them to have chosen me and kept me and still be so invested in me - especially after finding out they accidentally adopted a wizard, and supporting me even in that - that's been the strongest connection in my life. So I feel more at home in the Muggle world. Plus, with the exception of my Stormweaving, I'm nothing special in the magical world," he pointed out, "a passable wizard, no genius for sure. But in the Muggle world, basically I have secret superpowers." He couldn't remember if Dzmitry knew about his life-long obsession with comic books, but it had coloured his personality from even before age five. "What's not to like about that?" he grinned.
  • #8 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 03 Feb 2023
  • “Apparently my father, whoever he is, was from Belarus.” He corrected. “My mother’s Ukrainian, and I grew up in Kyiv.” He thought Mats knew this. The only thing about him that was taken from his Belarusian heritage was his given name. He was surprised his mother had been talked into it in the first place. He knew there was some controversy surrounding his birth, but had never really gotten details from his mother. Other than the fact that he was born in Minsk, his dad’s family was crazy, and that his father was in the wind–he knew nothing about it.

    “So, yeah, Ukraine.” He grinned. “But anyway, we will have to see. I would love to play pro–before or after I graduate–so, it couldn’t hurt to try.” He listened to Mats talk about the muggle world and considered it. “I guess that makes sense, yeah.” He shrugged. “It seems cool to have secret superpowers, but I would probably feel like it was… mundane?” He wondered if this was the right word.

    He gave Mats’ hand a squeeze. “But, it’s your life. You have to do what makes you happy, and if you’re happy then you’re happy.” He smiled. “I’m glad that you’re doing what you like.” When it came to superheroes and comics, Dzmia was right on board. He was not as obsessed with them as Mats was, probably, but he did enjoy a good story of intrigue and superhumans. He liked the X-Men in particular. He didn’t quite know if he was more on Professor X’s side or Magneto’s though, and that was part of what made things interesting when he read the comics.

    “So, your stormweaving.” He paused, considering. “Can you control it? Or is it just… emotional and random?” He wondered. “It’s a superpower, even in this world–you know?” He smiled. “It’s really hot, though, for the record…”
  • #9 by Mats Baldrshóll on 06 Feb 2023
  • Mats blinked a few times. He wasn't sure where he'd gotten the idea, then, that Dzmitry was from Belarus; they probably had talked about his growing up in Ukraine at some point during their short period of hooking up, but if so apparently the Norwegian boy had lost the knowledge in the almost four years since then. At least Dzima didn't seem to hold it against him that he'd forgotten.

    "I don't find it mundane necessarily," Mats replied - not arguing, just presenting his own point of view and his own experiences. "Without magic at their fingertips, Muggles are creative and innovative with their technology. And it develops pretty quickly, honestly. I'm not really 'lacking' for anything when I keep myself from using spells in public, I just have to put in more effort." Remembering an old conversation he'd had with Lev Leskov back during that same merger year, he added, "Having to learn to live, work, fight, supply your own basic needs without magic... in a way it makes Muggles stronger than wizards. Less powerful, certainly, but I think a little more self-reliant. And remember what happened five years ago," he referred to the infamous Day That Magic Died, that strange worldwide phenomenon when suddenly witches and wizards really were up a creek without a paddle. "It helps to have the knowledge to do things without a wand."

    Dzima's support, evidenced by squeezing Mats' hand, was appreciated, more so because Maty was pretty sure he still didn't get Mats' perspective entirely. Growing up Muggleborn and growing up pureblood were fundamentally different, and unfortunately Mats understood that was why so many purebloods (and even some halfbloods) turned out to be blood bigots.

    The conversation pivoted to Mats' "superpowers" and he blushed a little bit in spite of himself. Having become a Stormweaver had been a feather in his cap as a Muggleborn wizard. "Stormweaving is kind of all about quelling the storm within to quell the storm without," he answered, automatically repeating one of the main old maxims of Stormweaving. "So while it's largely about learning control of yourself in order to take control of external circumstances, it does open you up to the danger of making little squalls appear when you don't keep your mind and feelings in check." As part of the course of study, he'd had to qualify to the Koldovstoretz staff -- not by proving that he never lost control, but by demonstrating self-discipline in other areas of his life and proving that even when triggered, he could recognise the danger he might present to people around him and bring himself back under control. The latter had been done through testing in front of a panel of professors; he'd qualified for the former by dint of his exercise regimen and overall physical health.
  • #10 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 16 Feb 2023
  • Dzmitry did not necessarily agree with everything Mats was saying, but at the same time he did see his point. Muggles were fascinating, really, and Dzmia had grown up with his non-magical mother and non-magical stepfather. He knew first-hand that muggles were innovative and interesting. Even so, he did not think he would want to leave the magical world behind. Especially since, partially, he was hoping to play professional qudditch at some point—that, or professional dueling. Both seemed fascinating to him, so he was eager to see what happened.

    “You’re right, though. Muggles really are more innovative. I can take my mother as a testament to that, you know. She’s a muggle. I see the purpose of being able to do things without magic, I really do, but that doesn’t mean I want to leave the whole world behind—you know? Quidditch, dueling—those are things I truly love. I would miss that being in the muggle world. Of course, you don’t really play quidditch so I see where that’s a non-issue for you.” He gave Mats’ hand another little squeeze.

    “I think it’s so cool that you’re able to control yourself so well, but I admit I would love to see you cast a storm just to impress me.” He teased lightly. “You don’t ever like… have accidents or anything? I’m envisioning you irritated with a storm cloud hanging over your head.” He teased.
  • #11 by Mats Baldrshóll on 21 Feb 2023
  • "I mean, I'm definitely not saying it's a perfect solution," Maty played devil's advocate, appreciating the second little squeeze that Dzima gave his hand as they continued on their way. "Living the Muggle way. But yeah, all the things that you love, I grew up without. So I don't miss them as much. Obviously I still use my own little magic in my own little way, carefully, when it's convenient to do so." He sighed happily and thoughtfully.

    "You know why I wanted to pursue Stormweaving? Other than it sounded cool? I wanted to be able to help Muggles. Sailors, specifically." He didn't really need to say more; Norway and Sweden were such nautical-centric countries that Dzima would be able to fill in the blanks. "And then after I graduated, I realised that mostly works better if I'm actually on the boats. So I do harbour damage control instead. My favourite place to work out is in Rørvik, a city that gets huge boat traffic. It's been a lucky port for a few months now," he winked at Dzima.

    Dzima's half-joking request was not a new one at all. Maty got asked all the time by people in the know if he could "make a little cloud" or "have lightning strike near my ex." Fortunately he was mature enough to know better, and it helped that the Koldovstoretz masters had beaten into the heads of everyone who took the Stormweaving specialty the severe stupidity of using the power for ridiculous personal things like that. Before he could properly shrug off the idea, however, Dzima asked him about accidents. "That's happened before," Mats told Dzmitry truthfully.

    "This January I was with my family cleaning up after Gudrun," he referred to the storm that had blown through Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern Denmark, far-southern Norway, and south Sweden near the start of the year. "My aunt and uncle live in Lillesand and it was in the path of the ekstremvær. I got distracted, a little overwhelmed by how many people were affected, and my mom had to tell me I was making a cloudbank start. I sent it over the Skagerrak but... yeah. The downside of being a Stormweaver is how intrinsic it is."

    He huffed dramatically and said, "Okay, that's enough about me, back to you. Class schedule, favourite teachers, any boys cute enough to compete with me? Tell me everything."
  • #12 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 21 Feb 2023
  • Dzmitry wondered if Mats really understood that he, also, grew up without the magical world. Maybe he didn’t, and that was okay. Dzima was not going to dwell on it, as they clearly had a difference in opinion regarding things. He was not bothered, though. If Mats liked the muggle world better, then that was up to him. Dzmitry felt like he had missed out on the magical world when he was living as a muggle, though, and did not want to miss out on it any more. There were a lot of minor differences, even in the economics of things, that made the wizarding world a little easier to him. He liked it. Mats was entitled to his opinion, though, and Dzmitry would not argue.

    Dzmitry pulled an ‘awkward’ face when Mats told him about how he had made accidents before, and he shrugged. “I mean, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. You just have to be careful, and I know you are relatively even-tempered, so…” He shrugged again.

    “But okay, speaking of sailors, Fisker is easily my favorite professor. He’s so…. Nice? Compared to the others, anyway? He’s Head of House now, which is good for me. He’s gentle and talks a bunch of crap… but I mean, it’s interesting anyway. You think he really did all that stuff he says he did?” He wondered. “I’m still getting ready for my O.W.L.s so, I’m taking the usual subjects. Dueling and Weaponry are my two best, followed by curses and hexes.” He nodded.

    “As far as boys….” He trailed off, thinking about Leo and not sure if he wanted to breach the subject. “There’s.. Eh.. one guy I’ve been talking to?” He managed. “He’s.. okay. I wouldn’t say that he’s competing with you, though. You know you’re my sun and stars.” He joked. “We’ve kind of hung out, I guess. Made out.” He blushed a little.

  • #13 by Mats Baldrshóll on 08 Mar 2023
  • It was nice to hear that Fisker was Head of House - he really had a good head on his shoulders, in Mats' opinion. In fact, Maty thought he might change his mind and let Dzmitry take him back to the school grounds so he could say hi to the professor, who'd never had any negative opinions about Koldovstoretz students or Muggleborns in general (at least not that Mats had seen). Even though he'd only had one year of Nautica, he was willing to bet that Fisker would have some great pointers for Maty as a Stormweaver.

    Duelling and Weaponry had been great subjects that relied not as heavily on magic talent as on physicality and reading one's opponent (maybe Duelling required some spell-slinging know-how, he supposed). But as a physically focused wizard himself, Mats was proud of Dzima for doing so well in them. "Curses and Hexes are probably great for Duelling," he offered. He'd never felt comfortable slinging Dark magic himself, but from a practical perspective he could see its usefulness.

    Then one piece of news Dzima had apparently been avoiding bringing up, finally came out. "You're so cute when you blush," Maty teased his friend, laughing at the both of them. "Not to sound too full of myself, but nobody can really compete with me. That said, I'm in a different weight class than you. For the time being," he added, to soften the truth of the insinuated statement. "And since I'm also off the market, there's definitely nothing wrong with finding someone you like. Did I know them, were they at Durmstrang my year here?"

    Their circuit of town was nearly complete - Döttrar Vik, or at least the tourist-friendly part, wasn't that large a settlement, and Mats could see the cafe where they'd started in the distance. He started slowing down his steps a little bit, wanting to prolong the visit for both their sakes.
  • #14 by Dzmitry Zelenko on 10 Mar 2023
  • Dzmitry blushed a little deeper when Mats called him on it, especially when he told him how cute he was. He looked away, a little bit shyly. “I mean, he’s a bit younger. Year below me.” He explained. “So… probably was there when you were there, but he was even younger than me then, so I doubt you paid him much mind. He’s cute. Looks a bit like yours, actually. White blond. Fair.” He shrugged.

    “I started talking to him more at that girls-ask-boys dance last weekend, the one I was pissed off about.” He clarified, in case Mats had forgotten (which he knew realistically Mats had not at all). “We abandoned our dates and snuck off to fool around in one of the abandoned classrooms. I mean, we didn’t do… all that much. Just kind of making out and touching each other, but it was really, really hot. Probably the furthest I’ve gone..” He admitted. “He’s cute. I dunno if I like him, like him, but he is definitely good to look at and mack on.”

    Dzmitry gave Mats’ hand a tiny squeeze. He was still well aware that it was not appropriate for him to do anything with Mats because of their unfortunately-timed age gap, let alone Mats’ boyfriend, but he felt content holding hands with him and imagining what could happen if they had been allowed to. He liked Mats. He may not have agreed with him on everything, their previous conversation was a testament to that, but he respected him.

    “You wanna try trekking your way on campus?” He wondered. “I dunno if they’d really appreciate you being there but I sincerely don’t care. You haven’t seen the new campus, have you? It’s actually really nice.” He liked the Swedish campus better than the Russian one.
  • #15 by Mats Baldrshóll on 23 Mar 2023
  • A year below Dzima. Then yeah, Mats thought, Dzima was right, he probably hadn't noticed him at all. His friendship with Dzima had itself been a happy accident (the circumstances around it quite unhappy, in contrast), since the Drakonya Krov had only been a second year when Mats was there as an "outsider" and a fourth-year student.

    Still, Mats was actually happy for Dzima, and happy for himself that he was happy for Dzima. He wasn't really an attachment type of person -- not since Eirik, anyway -- but he also didn't like breaking other people's hearts, the reason why he and Nik being a casual thing made him so happy (even though the rest of the world thought it was much more serious). So he'd been worried that he might begrudge Dzima finding a playmate, but it truly made him feel content. He hoped it would last - regardless of whether it was a "friends with benefits" thing or something that turned more permanent or serious.

    "Honestly? Yeah let's do it," Mats said in response to Dzima's question about visiting campus. Fortuitous, since his own thoughts had already been there. "I could make the argument that I did attend for one year so there shouldn't be a problem with me visiting for old times' sakes. And Sweden's closer to Norway than Russia. In more ways than one," he dead-panned.

    He squeezed Dzima's hand back warmly and said, "Lead the way, kind sir." He was glad they'd had a one-on-one chance to catch up, but seeing the "new" campus seemed like a great and casual way to wrap up his visit.

    [Mats ready for exit]