Word Count: 3814 I've decided that this ship needs so much more love than it gets. Here's a crappy fanfic as my contribution, haha.
When Sphintus met Titus for the first time, it was the middle of the night and he wasn't even that drunk. Sphintus wasn't completely sure how he ended up in the park, and he wasn't sure if it was tobacco or something else in his pipe either. The only thing he knew for sure was that he felt a little blissed out and that there was someone else in the park.
He thought it was a woman at first, with the longest hair he'd ever seen. He blinked, took another long drag of whatever it was he was smoking, and pondered how he never realized just how nice blue eyes looked with blonde hair until then. There were braids in the blonde's hair (Sphintus couldn't if they were a chick or not, but he found them so goddamn beautiful anyway), he noticed as they left the park.
It made Sphintus want to forget everything about that night.
The second time he met Titus, it wasn't in a drugged haze and he remembered it better. There was a mole under Titus' left eye, but the rest of his pale skin was flawless. (And if Sphintus wanted to know just what shade of red he turned, he couldn't be blamed.) Those blue eyes suddenly looked a lot less dazzling as they narrowed and Titus scowled at Sphintus.
He was smoking again, but the sharp and bitter taste that coated his tongue was definitely tobacco this time. Sphintus could see where he was going wrong, because yes, he was smoking on school grounds and yes, that was illegal and he could get it expelled for it. He grinned despite it, just to rile Titus up a little more. He'd admit, he liked something about how the blonde boy squirmed.
"That's against school rules," Titus said, half hiss and half growl that was more heated-thought-inspiring than intimidating.
Sphintus laughed when Titus pulled the cigarette from his mouth and ground it underneath the toe of a shoe that definitely had some kind of heel to it. He said, "That's half the fun."
The glare Titus tossed him was withering and he poked a finger into the other's chest. "You're underage, it's illegal."
"That's the thing sweetheart," Sphintus said, and blew the last of the smoke from his lungs into Titus' face. He watched as he fell a step back and coughed, eyes watering. He wanted to know how blue those eyes would be when he was happy. Instead, he called to Titus as he walked away, "No one gives a fuck!"
Sphintus watched how Titus' hips swung from side to side when he walked and wondered if he heard the about me or not.
(He made the connection about blonde hair, which was significantly shorter but still waved in a braid.)
Sphintus watched Titus, from time to time. He didn't like to be touched, he noticed, and he caught the eye of the whole school quickly enough. There was something about Titus, like he was above everyone else. Not superior, but more like he floated above drama and rumors, like they didn't reach him out of sheer willpower.
They got paired up for a science projects two weeks after the cigarette incident. When the day was over, Sphintus leaned over Titus' desk and made the plans for when they'd work. His house, on Saturday, he had declared and Titus went with it. Sphintus left the room and he could feel Titus' gaze boring into his back. Yeah, he'd noticed the looks Titus snuck, but he couldn't hold it against him, he was gorgeous and he'd had his own looks at a certain pretty blonde anyway.
As expected, Titus showed up on his doorstep at exactly 2:15 pm, and Sphintus almost laughed. His mother had gone out and Kukulcan wandered about freely. Titus shuffled past him into the room; he smelled like witch hazel, Sphintus noticed. And when he let out a stifled yelp when Kukulcan slithered over his toes to wind around Sphintus' ankle, he really did laugh.
"It's fine," Sphintus said and waved a hand carelessly. He picked up the snake, who gladly wrapped around his forearm. "Kukulcan's completely trained, so he won't hurt you."
Titus huffed and bitterly muttered, "Snakes." Sphintus laughed again, loud and worry-free.
Maybe Titus wasn't so bad, he thought. They got to work on the assignment, something about watersheds and model recreations, quickly enough. Time passed quickly and before Sphintus knew it, they were making plans to meet up again and Titus was getting ready to leave. Kukulcan softly butted her head against Titus' arm. "Aw," Sphintus cooed sweetly, "I think she likes you."
Titus' scowled at him and his teasing, but Sphintus could tell he wasn't really upset. The blonde wasn't horrible, he had decided, and he could see what was attractive about him. Good god, did he see it.
"You're an asshole," Titus said, "but you're not unbearable." He left.
Sphintus couldn't help but agree.
Titus cried the first time they kissed.
They had been sitting in Titus' room, watching a movie on his laptop. They were half way through some true crime investigative show when Titus reached forward and paused it. He looked at Sphintus for a minute before asking, "How is your hair so pale?" When you're not, Titus didn't say but Sphintus heard it anyway.
"I dye it." Titus continued to stare at him, his head tilted like he was a pause to be solved. "What, is something wrong?"
"Oh," the blonde blinked, "no, I was just thinking. We don't really know each other, do we?"
"I guess? You want to play 20 questions, or some shit?"
"Sure, why not." Sphintus laughed, he hadn't honestly expected the other to answer. It made his heart race in the way it did when his sister raced down the highway at unholy speeds with the windows down. Sphintus lay back on Titus' bed. Their fingers brushed and he basked in what months of closeness had given him, to be able to have these small touches. He was so far gone, it was almost funny.
Sphintus waved a hand and let Titus prattle on. "What's the most beautiful you've ever seen?"
"My sister on her graduation day. What's the dumbest thing you've done that actually turned out pretty well?"
"Half of everything I've cooked." Titus looked towards Sphintus again, and spoke quietly. "Have you ever fallen in love with someone?"
He shrugged, ignoring the flutter of panic in his heart. "Yeah, sure. Ever kissed anyone?" He didn't know why he asked; he shouldn't have. Titus shook his head. I'd kiss you, Sphintus thought and didn't say.
He didn't expect Titus to start crying. His eyes watered up and his breathing shuddered, the laptop pushed aside, forgotten. "It's so," he said, voice muffled and thick, "so dishonest." The look he gave Sphintus felt like someone was strangling him. He wasn't expecting Titus to wrap his hands in the front of his shirt. He wanted to tell him to stop, wanted to push him away. But Sphintus was helpless in the face of his best friend.
"Titus. Titus, please," Sphintus said. Titus kissed him, his cheeks turning damp with the blonde's tears. He pushed himself back. "Titus, please. Please stop."
The blonde dissolved into sobs, shaking Sphintus by his shirt. Slowly, as if not to startle a cornered animal, he wrapped his arms around Titus. He cried, harder and harder for what felt like hours.
"I don't want to die," Titus whispered, hoarse, "I don't want to die. I don't want to die. Dammit, Sphintus, I don't want to."
"What do you mean?"
"Let me pretend. Please, just let me pretend." He kissed Sphintus again, and this time he let him.
Titus explained everything a week later. "I'm sick," he said and toed the ground beneath the bench. "I'm not going to live probably. It killed my sister. She was everything, helped raise me and everything."
Sphintus tapped his thumb against Titus' wrist. A reminder that he was there. "She was everything?" he asked.
"Almost," Titus laughed, the air a little lighter. "I live with my brother now. Yunan. I like him."
"Yeah, he works with kids, I think. There was one, this little girl. She was a refugee and absolutely tiny. Really quiet. She loved Yunan though. We'd go to the park with her, and she'd start talking about how she wanted to go home one day, how beautiful it was before slavers took her away. And then there was a couple, teen parents. They'd ask for advice and stuff. I," he paused and shot a look at Sphintus. He bumped their shoulders. "I'm rambling, aren't I?"
Sphintus said, "Yeah. But I like it, it's cute." He laughed and Titus blushed. "Go on, keep talking."
"Okay, well. That couple, I remember the first time they came over. One of them was crying. She was probably the same age we are now. It's been maybe seven years since I met them. They've got a great kid though. But Yunan, he's great, really great. He thinks I'll get better."
"Do you think you'll get better?" Sphintus asked, Titus leaning into him.
"I don't know. I don't know if I even could."
"If you did get better, what would you do?"
"I want a family," Titus said. He looked up at Sphintus and bit his lip. "I should apologize for Thursday, it was really horrible of me."
Sphintus sighed, fiddled with the end of Titus' braid, and lit a cigarette. It hadn't been right, he knew. He ignored the burning feeling and focused instead on the acrid taste of his cigarette. "It's fine." He let the buzz in his stomach of why why why fade into the background.
"Do you ever want to get married?" Titus asked, quickly rushing to reiterate at the look Sphintus shot him. "I mean, you said you've fallen in love right? So would you ever think about getting married?"
"Maybe. What about you? Got anyone you're crushing on."
Titus flushed again. "Well, kinda. But really, sorry for just kissing you like that."
"I didn't mind."
"Sphintus!" Titus pushed his shoulder, looking absolutely scandalized. Sphintus rolled his eyes.
"Don't be a brat," he said. Titus kissed him again.
The next three months passed by quickly. There was a part of Sphintus that was stupidly thrilled at being able to kiss Titus. School ended and summer came. It was a summer night that started the shatter of their lives. Sphintus remembered it in a kind of lust-drunk haze, but the night was clear enough.
Titus lay next to Sphintus on his bed. He trailed a hand along the taller's arm. "What do you want to do? When we're older, I mean."
"I want to be a doctor," Sphintus said with conviction. The blonde chuckled. "I'm serious. I've always wanted to help people. Like my mom." He brushed back the hair falling in Titus' face. "Or you," he said.
"I'm sure you'll make a great doctor," Titus said with a small laugh.
"Brat." He kissed Sphintus. They'd made out before, of course, but with long, blonde tangled around his fingers and Titus gripping his hips, it felt new and excitingly dangerous. Titus pushed as close to Sphintus as he could, before he pulled back and kissed along his jawline.
Sphintus tugged on Titus' hair and let his hands roam. He bit the blonde's lip, the moan muffled by his mouth making him far too happy. "We could go further," he murmured in Titus' ear, pushed the hem of his shirt away to run his fingers along his hips.
"We could." Titus rolled them over so he was sitting on Sphintus. He pulled his shirt over his head and placed darker hands on his waist. He said, "Kiss me." Sphintus did.
It went like that for a while, kissing and losing shirts, until Sphintus was on top nipping at Titus' shoulder. It was heavy breathing and kissing and lust heavy moaning. Titus ground his hips into Sphintus, turned on further by the sounds and faces coming from his boyfriend. One hand dipped past the waist of Sphintus' jeans, and the other curled down to his own thighs. He pulled Sphintus forward and said, "Fuck me."
"That's hot," he said as he leaned forward. Sphintus kissed him again, but Titus growled, low and heated.
"I swear to God," he said, his voice sending a shudder down Sphintus' spine, "if you don't fuck me right now, I'm leaving." Sphintus gave in to the heat, enjoying the sounds of his boyfriend, the sensations of nails on his back and Titus around him. The warmth and ecstasy of final moments and bliss that they rode out and Titus' voice loud and forever etched into Sphintus' mind.
The consequences came a month later. The first person Sphintus called, with Titus tucked under his arm, was his uncle Jafar. The dial tone filled the room and dug into Sphintus' mind. He felt more than heard Titus sobbing into his shoulder, the phone on speaker driving home the paranoia and fear.
"Sphintus! It's been so long, how are you doing?" Jafar asked happily.
"I'm not," his voice cracked and he winced, "I'm not doing so well. It's… I've gotten into a bit trouble."
Sphintus could hear his frown. "What did you? Sphintus? Tell me."
"Can we talk to you in person? In an hour or so. I don't think it's something that should be talked about over the phone."
"Okay," Jafar said slowly. "At that coffee place you like?"
Sphintus ran a hand along Titus' arm and sighed. "Yeah. Yeah, I think that'll work." He hung up and folded Titus closer against him. "I'm so sorry," he whispered, "I'm so, so sorry, Titus. We're going to be okay."
The blonde hugged him tightly. Even though he was muffled by Sphintus' chest, he was well heard. "What are we going to do? What are we going to tell your parents? Yunan?" He paused. "I'm so scared."
An hour later, Sphintus tapped his toe anxiously while Titus sipped his coffee, a thin veneer of calm. Jafar pushed his way through the door and saw them. He quickly came over and sat down. "Sphintus?" he said. "What's the problem?"
"This is my boyfriend," Sphintus said, "Titus." Titus clutched his hand and took another sip of his coffee. He could see his boyfriend struggling to remain his composure.
Jafar frowned. "Sphintus, I don't see the problem here?"
Titus cleared his throat, clutched to Sphintus like a life line, and said "I'm sorry if it's an intrusion, but I think what Sphintus is trying to say is that I'm like you."
Jafar blinked and his eyes widened. He swore under his breath, "You're only seventeen. You have your whole life ahead of you."
"I know. Fuck, I know, Jafar." Sphintus put his head in his hands and sighed heavily. Titus hooked their ankles. "It was heat of the moment. We weren't thinking. What do you expect me to say?" he asked tiredly.
Jafar sighed and fiddled with the edge of his keffiyeh. He said, "I know. Look, I have some friends you can talk to and our do is always open." Sphintus smiled weakly up at him, and he gladly returned the gesture. "You have a couple options and if things don't work out with your families, we'll try to help. I know what it's like. What do you guys want to do?"
Titus responded quickly, his grip tight on Sphintus' wrist. "I want to keep it," he said. His boyfriend rubbed slow circles in his back.
"I do, too."
Jafar rubbed the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. "Talk to your families first. We'll go from there." He stood to leave. "My door is always open to you, Sphintus, and that includes Titus and your child."
Sphintus dropped his head back into his hands and shuddered out a breath. "I'm so sorry I've fucked everything up," he said, voice thick.
Titus set his hand on his back. "We'll be okay though, remember?"
Telling Sphintus' family went easier than either of them were expecting. Sure, there were tears and his aunt screamed at him a good five minutes, but it eventually ended in his mother wrapping Titus up in her arms. Sobbing, she had promised him that he was family now, that the Carmen family would always have a place for them and their child. By the time they climbed back into Sphintus' car, Titus was still wiping tears off his cheeks.
"So we're doing this," Sphintus asked, hands tight on the steering wheel. Something about telling Yunan rattled him to his bones, the idea more terrifying than having to coming out to his family, introduce his boyfriend, then promptly tell them that he'd accidentally knocked up said boyfriend. God, he was an absolute wreck of nerves.
"Yeah," Titus said, "Yeah, we are." He was quiet for a moment before admitting, "I'm terrified."
"I am too." Sphintus started up the car, and pulled out of the driveway. He'd never even met Yunan before, didn't know what the man was like at all. A mildly terrifying thought struck him. Staring at the red light in front of them, he asked, "Titus, does he even know we're dating?"
The wheeze from his boyfriend was less of a strangled laugh, and more of a whoosh of air that squeaked slightly. "He knows. He's always asking to meet you. He thought you broke my heart or something, when I first found out. He was so angry, and I couldn't tell him. I just said I was feeling dysphoric or something. I don't even know anymore." Titus threw his arm over his face with a heavy sigh. "I'm fucking terrified."
"Can you move your arm," Sphintus said, "you're blocking my mirror and I need to drive." Titus laughed properly this time and even Sphintus cracked a smile.
It was early evening when they stood in front of the apartment door, staring at the bronze number. Sphintus took a deep breath and Titus unlocked the door, pushing it open. They entered and the first thing Sphintus saw was a family photo. It was at least a couple years old, because the Titus in the picture was younger, 13 or 14. He looked largely the same, but Sphintus had the urge to laugh at the dangling red earrings he wore, so different from the small diamond studs he wore now.
There was a girl to his right with hair so long it brushed the back of her thighs. Even though she was thin and her eyes had dark bags under them as she obviously suffered from the illness that took her, she looked bright and happy. Her hair was the same pale blonde as Titus, but mildly curly, braided in random spots. Her dress was white, supernaturally standing out against the green of the tree line of the background. "My sister," Titus said softly from his side.
Which meant the young man to the left was Yunan. Sphintus didn't get the chance to take him in before the real one made an appearance before them. "Titus, is that you?" the warm and quiet voice called as he rounded the corner.
The family resemblance was obvious, Sphintus thought, when he saw Yunan. His hair was the long, pale blonde that seemed to fill they three of them, and was twisted into a braid that fell halfway down his back. The blue, blue eyes were there as well. He smiled kindly. "Titus, who's your friend."
"Sphintus," Titus said, right to the point. He laced his fingers with Sphintus' and pulled him over to a soft green couch. "We need to talk, Yunan." Yunan's brows pulled together, but he sat with his legs crossed in front of them anyway. He pulled his braid over his shoulder, his gaze too kind and gentle for Sphintus to keep looking at. Instead, he looked into his lap and refused to even glance at Yunan's patient smile.
"Is something wrong?"
Titus gripped his hand tightly and he forced himself to look up. Sphintus pressed a small kiss onto his shoulder, as if to say we can do this. Titus steeled his nerve and said in a rush, "Look, I understand if you're angry, I'd only expect it. But this is the truth and now we've got to deal with the reality."
Yunan looked confused and Sphintus felt for him. He was about to get what was probably life changing news and couldn't do much about it. He wouldn't wish it on anyone.
"I'm pregnant, Yunan." Titus tightened his grip on Sphintus' and Sphintus fought the urge to run from the house, to hide the two of them away somewhere they wouldn't be found.
Yunan brought him back to the moment. "What?" he said, blinking.
"I'm going to have this child and there's nothing you can say against it." Titus sounded like he was about to start crying. Hell, Sphintus was about to start crying himself.
"Are you sure?" Yunan asked, looking concerned. Titus nodded, blinking away tears. "Okay."
"What?" Titus and Sphintus blinked. Something about the approval of Yunan broke something in Titus and he started crying. Even though he wrapped his arms around his happily crying boyfriend, Sphintus couldn't help think that there were too many tears for one day.
Marga was born on a Sunday, in mid-March. The whole ordeal left Titus shaking and weak, tears still falling down his face when he first cradled Marga in his arms. Sphintus was tired himself, but ultimately happy to have been in the room the whole time.
Marga herself was small, her limbs frail. She was in the NICU for a two weeks, but the day they first brought her home to the little apartment where Titus and Yunan lived. Sphintus felt his heart flutter when he held her for the first time.
"She must have your hair," Titus teased him the morning after, as they held each other under the blankets on Titus' bed. Sphintus could only laugh. Titus grew weaker with every passing month, and when they graduated in late May, he reminded Sphintus of the picture of his sister.
"I don't think I'm going to make it," Titus confessed as he lightly rocked Marga to sleep. "I just don't know anymore."
Sphintus shook his head and said, "It's going to be fine. We're going to be fine."
And they were. Two years down the line, Marga was a perfectly healthy toddler, Titus was well and beat the snake digging into his life force, Sphintus proposed, and was on his way to being a doctor like he'd always dreamed of. It wasn't how they'd expect it to be, but life worked its way out.
Sphintus wouldn't give it up for the world.