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The Social Network: the kink meme!

It's Complicated: But sexy!

zuckonitkinkeme zuckonitkinkeme wrote in tsn_kinkmeme
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quick note; GUYS. please be aware that if you posted a prompt in part six and it is now screened, i have posted them to the post already - so that you guys don't have to. thanks for being patient and making the fill-a-thon such a success!

sorry i didn't get much of delicious done; i lacked the internet over the break but rest assured i have absolutely nothing to do so will get it, hopefully.




IMPORTANT: please DO NOT post prompts about any non-public people as part of a prompt. for example: randi zuckerberg is fine as she is a public figure both on the internet and on facebook itself. priscilla chan is NOT as she is not a public figure.

if you're in doubt, please message the mod or leave a comment in the discussion post.

♥ post requests and responses in the comments to this post.
♥ be respectful.
♥ both a pairing/character AND a prompt/kink must be posted.
♥ one pairing/prompt per comment please.
♥ you are encouraged to try and write a prompt for every request you make.
♥ we are slash, femslash, het, three-and-moresomes etc. friendly. (we are even incest friendly what with some of our characters being twins and all...)
♥ no pairing bashing, OK? no need to wank over ships.
♥ long and short fics welcome. multiple responses encouraged!
♥ please try to refrain from saying 'seconded!' as much as possible.
♥ on RPF: Please disclaim that it is RPF, a work of fiction and in no way related to the actual actors/persons/etc. (i wouldn't even try and discourage RPF from this meme ;))


♥ alphabetize pairings/threesomes/moresomes. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark/Sean etc.)
♥ put [RPF] before RPF prompts. (e.g. [RPF] Andrew/Jesse)
♥ for crossover prompts: "[Crossover], The Social Network Character(s)/Other Character(s), [Fandom]" (e.g. [Crossover], Eduardo/Columbus, [Zombieland])
♥ no "!" in pairings, only in descriptions. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark, FacebookCreator!Eduardo, CFO!Mark)
♥ anyone, everyone, no one? Use "Other." (e.g. Sean/Other)
♥ put [GEN] before GEN prompts.


♥ please don't embed. link to images/videos.
♥ no locked material. this includes communities, even if membership is open.
♥ fills can be posted anonymously or not.
♥ fills can be anything: fic, art, vid, fanmix, podfic, etc.
♥ all prompts are open to fills at all times, even if they have been filled in the past or are being currently filled by someone else. multiple fills are positively encouraged; if something appeals to you then do not be put off creating a new fill by the existence of a prior one.
NEW: ♥ PLEASE comment with the first of your fill to the PROMPT and then all future updates as a comment to the FIRST PART of the fill. this makes it easier for both the WIP spreadhseet and for archiving stuff on delicious. it also helps people who are trying to catch up on updates and don't have to look through every fill on the prompt (should it have more than one). thank you.






have fun!

THERE WILL BE UNMARKED SPOILERS. enter at your own risk! :D


i know you guys are enjoying this meme and i appreciate that but please can you put the SUBJECT HEADER on your prompt. you would REALLY be helping me out if you could do that. it just saves time for me when i'm trying to tag everything in delicious.

AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT repost prompts from parts three, four, five or six over here again. the delicious is around for people to find prompts they may not have already seen. (prompts for parts one and two are now up for reposting.)



Eduardo/Mark, HS!au, bffls

okay, i'm pretty sure we haven't had this before. what about a high school AU where eduardo and mark are best friends, have been best friends since they were kids, live next door, practically brothers, the whole shebang.
and mark is stupidly in love with eduardo and always has been, and eduardo, of course, is oblivious.
and then maybe also eduardo's family sucks, so he stays with the zuckerbergs a lot, when his dad is angry and drunk, and he sleeps in mark's bed, and they maybe sleep pressed together sometimes, when eduardo had a bad night.

AND THEN MAYBE ALSO mark has to listen to eduardo talk about his boyfriends, his girlfriends, losing his virginity, etc, while just being helplessly, resentfully, awfully in love with him.

i dunno, man. also if there's some eduardo/sean in there too, like sean is eduardo's secret older boyfriend who kinda treats him like shit but it is also really charming and sleazy and totally knows mark has a huge hard-on for his boyfriend.. that'd be awesome. BUT NO PRESSURE. :D

acceptable variation?

At the same time, Mark is putting together his new awesome programming project (Synapse? Facebook?), and Eduardo is supportive and helpful and all of that but he doesn't really understand it.

Sean, on the other hand, does. Sean wants a piece of Mark's invention. Sean and Mark end up having really intense programming discussions around Eduardo, and Sean is all sleazy and flattering, and Eduardo is all >:( face around them. It's really distressing that his boyfriend is paying all that attention to Mark, but it's even more distressing that anyone is paying that much attention to Mark at all.


definitely acceptable! me gusta! and mark's all like "wait i hate you you're doing my best friend" but then he can't really resist talking about code because he's mark and sean kind of gets to him and charms him.. and eduardo is like, but wait i'm pretty.

of course if a potential filler decides not to go the sean route or this route, whatevs. but good idea, anon! :D

Re: OP - (Anonymous), 2011-06-08 06:49 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (1a/?)

If it were up to Mark, he would have skipped out on adolescence entirely.

He'd known it would be bad when his mom sat him down at the kitchen table at the age of thirteen and said, "You're going to be undergoing a lot of changes soon, a lot of hormones. I just want you to know that your emotions are okay, and even though it will feel like it at times, it's never going to be the end of the world."

Mark had said, "Shouldn't Dad be giving me this pep talk?"

And his mom had said, "Cute. Just remember, your life isn't going to end just because the girl you like doesn't like you back." She paused for a moment. "Or boy. You know it's okay if you like boys, right?"

Mark had decided he wanted to die right then and there, the kitchen floor swallowing him up and sparing him the misery of having to have any sort of conversation vaguely pertaining to his sex life with his mom. "Whatever," he had said, and then he ran away as fast as he possibly could.

It really kind of sucked when he found out his mom was right. Mark hates being a teenager, hates high school, hates his classmates, hates everything. His teachers have to repeat themselves way too many times to his classmates, and all the stuff they're learning is way too easy anyway. Mark spends most of his time in class doodling random shapes in the margins of his notebooks and the rest of his time drawing control flow diagrams and sketching out pseudocode algorithms. His parents had considered sending him to Exeter, which would have been amazing, but Mark had vetoed it.

And really, that gets to the crux of the matter.

Mark decided he didn't want to go to Exeter, because Eduardo wasn't going to Exeter.

Eduardo is also at least half the reason why Mark hates adolescence, because it was a lot easier being Eduardo's best friend when he wasn't popping boners every time Eduardo took a drink of water or decided not to wear shirts or did his stupid dorky dance. Before he hit his growth spurt, Eduardo was just the kid who lived next door and spent all his free time doing math homework on Mark's bed while Mark churned out stupid essays on his computer. Eduardo was the kid who could almost kick Mark's ass at Street Fighter II and who helped Mark put worms in Donna's bed when she was being annoying. Eduardo started arguments over whether or not Batman could kick Obi-Wan Kenobi's ass, and he made stupid dead baby jokes, and he had an entire month in eighth grade when he'd been completely obsessed with Britney Spears.

we've got the dreamers' disease (1b/?)

But then Eduardo had tumbled into Mark's room one afternoon after school when they were still just sophmores and said, "Sarah Rabin gave me a handjob in the second floor bathrooms." He had been bright-eyed and excited, a little flushed, either from how fast he'd run across the shared yard or the orgasm he'd just had. "She came by my locker and told me she had something she wanted to give me. Then she locked the two of us in one of the stalls in the guys' bathroom and unzipped my jeans and --"

"Sounds fun," Mark said. He couldn't figure out the weird empty feeling in his chest and he couldn't keep looking at Eduardo. It was no big deal. It was just sex. They were guys. They were supposed to have sex when it was offered up to them by hot senior girls. Mark would have done the same thing if he had been in Eduardo's place. "I guess she was using you for practice or something." Sarah was dating one of the Winklevoss twins. Mark couldn't remember which one.

Eduardo wasn't even listening to Mark. "She told me that she broke up with Cameron last week, and that she wanted to go to the movies with me this Friday." He was grinning. Mark felt sick to his stomach. "Man, she even did this thing with her fingers that, fuck, I'm going to have to try it myself sometime." That was enough to put the image of Eduardo jerking himself off in Mark's head -- frantic, quick strokes along with whatever trick Sarah had taught him to do, his eyes closed, all golden skin and disheveled hair -- which should have been kind of gross and a little unsettling, but it hadn't been.

At that point, Mark started typing something into his computer so that he wouldn't have to look at Eduardo, and so that he could hide his crotch underneath his desk.

That had been two years ago. Mark still hates his hormones. His mom is right (of course she is), and it's not the end of the world that he's developed a gigantic, horrible, soul-eating crush on Eduardo, but it still sucks. It sucks a lot.

Especially because Eduardo sailed through puberty. He didn't get splotchy and gross like Mark did for his Bar Mitzvah, and he didn't start tripping over his feet when he got his own growth spurt and gained an extra two to three inches on Mark. Really, it wasn't fucking fair. Eduardo didn't even have the same problems Mark did with talking to girls. Or guys. (Eduardo didn't even have the decency to have a bisexual freakout before telling Mark he'd hooked up with Chris Hughes at one of Billy Olsen's parties.) He just started dating a constant stream of people so hot Mark felt like Eduardo's creepy garden gnome friend around them.

So really, Mark would have been perfectly happy to skip all of that and go straight to the part where he had his own startup in Silicon Valley after graduating from college. By then, he'd probably be over it.

He could hope, anyway.

Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (1b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-09 06:34 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (1b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-09 08:48 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-09 07:33 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (2/?)

"Shit," Eduardo says when his phone buzzes at him.

Mark pulls his eyes away from an obnoxious off-by-one error that he can't pin down. "What?" he says. They're sitting on the Saverein's porch today, enjoying the late-summer weather. Eduardo is reading The Heart of Darkness for his AP English class. Mark is toying around with the Winamp plugin API, because he's got this idea he's been kicking around in his head, but he's not quite sure how it will work yet. They're sitting on adjacent deck chairs. Eduardo has his feet propped up on the deck table. Mark is sitting cross-legged with his laptop in his lap. The sunlight isn't great for reading things off Mark's computer screen, but he's willing to suck it up for a few more hours with Eduardo.

Yeah, Mark understands that he's fucked. He's just trying to do damage control at this point.

Eduardo shakes his head, hammering something out on his phone. "Christy is leaving me text messages every ten minutes." He's the slowest texter Mark has ever seen, even with the Blackberry his dad gave him for his birthday.

Mark says, "You know that's kind of weird, right, Wardo?" That time he'd met Christy at one of Tristan Campbell's parties, she'd seemed nice enough. She'd smiled a lot at Eduardo, leaning forward as much as possible so that Eduardo got a good look at her cleavage, and she hadn't pretended Mark wasn't there. She'd even convinced her friend Alice to give Mark a blowjob in one of the other rooms. It had been pretty spectacular, even if Mark doesn't have much to compare it to.

"She's insanely jealous," Eduardo says in the tone of voice that indicates that he knows that everything's going wrong here. "I'm kind of afraid of her." Mark hasn't made a chart or anything, but he's seen a steady increase in instability amongst the people Eduardo's been dating. Not that Mark has said anything. He gets this bitter taste in his mouth whenever he tries to give Eduardo relationship advice.

"Okay," Mark says.

Eduardo looks at him. Really looks at him, like he's seeing all of Mark, all of Mark's messy hair and Mark's slightly deformed toes. Mark looks back, because he's not afraid of Eduardo. They're friends still. They'll always be friends. "I have no idea what goes through your head, man," Eduardo says.

The porch door opens behind them. "Ah, Eduardo. There you are," Mr. Saverin says, smiling. Both Mark and Eduardo tense up immediately. Mr. Saverin's always been nice to Mark, friendly, helpful. Sometimes he grills Mark on which colleges he wants to go to and which extracurricular clubs Mark is participating in.

It makes Mark's skin crawl. Thankfully, Eduardo has perfected the art of bullshit. He smooths his face out into something sweet and innocent. "Pai, Mark and I were just going to go to the movies. We're going to be late if we don't leave soon."

It's a lie, but Mark starts packing his stuff anyway. He tries to remember what's the longest movie playing in theaters right now. Mr. Saverin's smile doesn't fade. "Don't stay out too late. Eduardo, I would like to speak to you when you get back."

Eduardo nods, ever deferential around his father. "Of course," he says.

Mark and Eduardo beat a hasty retreat, almost sprinting down the driveway to Eduardo's car, a used Camry that Eduardo bought for himself for his sixteenth birthday. It's at least half a fuck-you to his father, who had been talking about getting Eduardo something fancy once Eduardo passed his driver's test. Eduardo had decided to skip all of that and get his car as soon as he had his learner's permit. The transaction wasn't exactly legal, but Eduardo had enough saved up, and the car was just sketchy enough to be affordable. It all worked out okay.

Mark tosses his laptop bag in the back seat, and climbs into the passenger seat. Once they're on the road, some of the tension drains out of Eduardo's shoulders. "Where are we going now?" Mark says.

Eduardo shrugs. "Anywhere," he says, and Mark can hear the anywhere but here in his voice.

"Okay," Mark says, shrugging. He can do that. He rolls down the window so he can feel the wind on his face, so he can feel it flowing through his fingers.

Eduardo's phone buzzes again.

OP - ymorton, 2011-06-10 08:32 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (2/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-11 03:23 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (2/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-12 08:26 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (3a/?)

Mark is half-expecting it that night, but it still startles him awake when he hears someone open his bedroom door.

"Hey, it's just me," Eduardo says. He sounds exhausted, and once Mark blinks a few times to adjust to the dim light, he can see the tear tracks running down Eduardo's face, the ice pack Eduardo is holding up to his left cheek. He collapses into Mark's desk chair, like all the energy has bled out of him at once. "It's a good thing you left when you did." Mark doesn't bother correcting Eduardo, because Eduardo is still under the bizarrely mistaken belief that Mark is the one who needs protection from Eduardo's father. Eduardo still sees Mark as this tiny kid who's in as much danger as he is, and it's just not true anymore.

Mark scoots over so that Eduardo can climb onto the bed with him. It's routine at this point. First, they want to get the swelling down. Mark keeps an extra ice pack in the refrigerator, ostensibly for fencing injuries. But it's really for nights like this, when it's so bad Eduardo sneaks out of his house and into Mark's bedroom, when Eduardo gets this weird, almost dead look in his eyes. They don't tell Mark's parents about it, because Eduardo is always insisting that it's better this way. Mark hasn't been able to talk him out of it in the last ten years, and he's at the point where it's easier to just stop trying.

In the morning, Eduardo will try to cover up the bruise as much as possible. Randi had helped buy the concealer, the first time around. She took them to the nearest CVS and did her best to find a match for Eduardo's skin tone, because all of the Zuckerbergs are incredibly pasty, and Mark and Eduardo were still young enough to find makeup mysterious and a little terrifying. She taught Eduardo how to apply it in the bathroom mirror, not even laughing at them when Eduardo would somehow manage to get the stuff in his hair, though she had this look on her face when Eduardo had begged her not to tell anyone, like she thought that they were both morons. Mark agrees, but it's not his life. He can't make Eduardo do anything.

Eduardo takes the ice pack off his face, pokes at the bruise to get a better sense of how tender it is. Mark says, "How bad was it this time?" Eduardo isn't always honest about it, but Mark likes to ask anyway.

"Not as bad as it could be," Eduardo says. He gets on the bed and curls up next to Mark in a way that wouldn't have been weird if Mark's hormones weren't out to get him. Eduardo is warm, and he's comfortable. The two of them don't quite fit on Mark's tiny twin mattress anymore, not the way they used to when they were a lot smaller. But they've learned how to make it work between the two of them, all gawky elbows and pointy knees.

It doesn't take long for Eduardo to fall asleep, one of his hands clutching Mark's arm. Mark listens to his steady, even breathing for a long time before he closes his eyes and drifts off himself.

we've got the dreamers' disease (3b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-11 08:24 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP is sooo happy - ymorton, 2011-06-11 12:59 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (4a/?)

Much to Mark's surprise, Eduardo doesn't start dating anyone else after his disastrous breakup with Christy. "I think I just need to remember what it's like being single," Eduardo says with a half-hearted shrug. He's wearing the vaguely hangdog expression he always gets when he's feeling lonely.

"Yeah, probably," Mark says as he chews on some Red Vines. He doubts that Eduardo's plan will work. Eduardo's not one of those people who's good at being out of a relationship. He just gets antsier and more desperate.

Mark spends a lot of the time that fall putting together his college application materials and working with Dustin on their music player. They have a ton of false starts and at least two failed attempts that produce results that are only about as good as putting the whole library on shuffle. Mr. Moskovitz is an electrical engineer, so he doesn't have a lot of useful input on where they're going wrong, but he does beam at them with pride, and he bakes them peanut butter chocolate chip cookies whenever Mark is around the Moskovitz residence.

If Eduardo notices how much time Mark is spending with Dustin, he doesn't mention it. He just shrugs when Mark says he's busy after school, and sometimes he asks how their progress is going. Eduardo barely managed to notice when Mark dated Erica Albright for two whole months. Dustin doesn't even ping his radar.

The weather gets colder, and Mark wears his hoodies zipped up more often than not. Mark puts on socks with his flip-flops. He trades his shorts for jeans, though that's mostly because his dad fusses whenever he thinks Mark isn't wearing enough layers. The leaves change color.

Around Thanksgiving, things get really bad at the Saverin household, and Eduardo spends at least one night a week in Mark's bed. There aren't always visible marks, but Mark can always tell by the expression on Eduardo's face. He doesn't know what to do, and it fucks him up to see Eduardo so fucked up. He just lets Eduardo curl up against his back, Eduardo's nose pressed against Mark's shoulderblades, and he pretends not to hear the wet, gasping noises Eduardo makes before he falls asleep.

Randi comes home from college from Thanksgiving. It's hard not to see the way college has changed her. She uses the word 'hegemony' unironically now, and she's decided to straighten her curly hair, and she rolls her eyes when Arielle talks about middle school girl drama. But she's still Randi, through and through. She still wakes up hours before anyone else in the family, so she catches Eduardo before he can sneak out the back door Thanksgiving morning.

"Was that a walk of shame I spotted?" she asks Mark after Eduardo's gone. She's smirking and leaning on a kitchen counter, smug because she's the only one besides Mark who knows that Eduardo still comes over.

"No," Mark says. He shoves his hands into the pouch of his hoodie, not because his hands are cold, but because it'll keep his fingers from fidgeting too much.

Randi's face softens. "You should just tell him," she says, not unkindly. "It'll be better off for the both of you." She tosses two pieces of bread into the toaster. "And you really, really need to tell Mom and Dad if this stuff is still going on."

Mark shrugs. She pulls him into a quick hug and then fries up some eggs for the two of them. They eat outside, even though Mark needs to put on gloves so his hands don't freeze and fall off. Randi claims she missed the sight of the trees in their backyard while on campus, even though the trees just look pale and ashen and spindly in the early autumn light. She and Mark don't really talk, the silence comfortable between them. The air bites at Mark's cheeks, and the sun reflects off the windows of their house, and they stay like that until their mom yells at them to get inside before they catch a cold.

we've got the dreamers' disease (4b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-12 01:08 pm (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-12 01:44 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (4b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-12 03:10 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (4b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-12 06:35 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (5/?)

Eduardo doesn't tell Mark when he first starts dating Sean, but that's how it always goes. Mark doesn't ever find about these things unless someone else tells him or until Eduardo shows up at some event with an extra person-sized appendage in tow. Mark hasn't figured out if it's just because Eduardo is trying to spare Mark's feelings or if he just doesn't realize that Mark doesn't automatically know these things just because Eduardo knows them. Mark is betting on the latter, but he wouldn't put any money on it.

Sean shows up as Eduardo's date to Dustin's hastily put-together Synapse launch party. When they got a public beta release put together,Dustin had said, "This is shindig time, Mark! My place! I'll bring the booze. You bring the snacks."

The news of the party spreads across the school. Dustin's house is crammed full of people by nine o'clock. Most of the people who show up don't know and don't care about Synapse, but Mark likes a party as much as anyone, and he really doesn't need the validation of a bunch of high school kids.

At first, Mark is sort of confused as to who the old guy is, the one who's wearing a nice button down and who is at least three years older than anyone else who's there. He thinks Sean might be someone's older brother or maybe some freeloader trying to score some easy booze. Mark's one goal in life is to never become desperate enough to crash high school parties for the alcohol. There's pathetic, and then there's pathetic, even if the guy is kind of hot.

Eduardo introduces the two of them while Mark is listening to Christy's friend, Alice, gossip about which of the students the physics teacher, Mr. Adams, is fucking. It's all stuff he doesn't care about, but he's just bored enough to listen to it. Dustin is elsewhere, holding court with his own circle of friends. Mark doesn't really have his own friends. He's okay with that.

"So you're the roommate, right?" Sean asks. He smiles wide, charming, an arm wrapped around Eduardo's waist. Eduardo's slightly flushed, happier than Mark's seen in a while. Maybe it's the alcohol, or maybe it's all Sean. Mark can't tell.

"Yeah," Mark says. Eduardo's insisted that when they get to Harvard (never mind that they technically haven't been accepted yet) that they should be roommates. Eduardo has his entire college life planned out for himself, and Mark is getting dragged along for the ride.

Sean nods. "Nice. I've heard all the good stories about you," he says, like he thinks that'll make Mark feel better. Sean gives Eduardo a kiss on the cheek. "I'll be right back with some drinks, babe." Eduardo doesn't stop staring at him until he disappears into the next room.

Eduardo smiles at Mark, goofy and lovesick, the way he always smiles when one of his relationships is just starting out. "So what do you think?" he asks.

Mark says, "What does he do?" He can't imagine that dating a high school student is going to reflect well on Sean, regardless of the specifics.

"Freelance programming, if you'll believe it. I thought you two would get along," Eduardo says, like Mark should be pleased that he and Eduardo's boyfriend have similar interests.

Mark shrugs. "He seems fine." He definitely seems more stable than the last few people Eduardo dated, and that's good enough for Mark.

Sean comes back around with two beer bottles in hand. He gives Eduardo one of them and swings his arm around Eduardo's shoulders. "Hey, there's some Beirut going on in the living room," he says to Eduardo, slightly dragging Eduardo away.

Eduardo goes along with it, but not before he grins at Mark. "Congrats, man," he says to Mark, slapping Mark on the shoulder before Sean directs him away. "You know this is awesome, right?" Eduardo had helped out with the early beta-testing of Synapse, which was useful since he didn't understand a lot of the underlying computer stuff. It was fine, because he would usually just hand Mark his laptop whenever anything went haywire, and Mark could do some quick debugging on the spot.

"Yeah," Mark says, because it's true. Synapse is awesome, but he thinks that maybe he's setting the bar too low. Synapse is kid-stuff in the scheme of things. Mark wants to do more than just media players. Mark wants to change the fucking world.

Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (5/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-13 02:57 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (6a/?)

Eduardo spends the next week telling Mark how fantastic Sean is at giving head while Mark thinks about how much he'd rather be tearing off his fingernails than listening to Eduardo talk about his sex life.

Mark and Dustin get a few comments on their music player on CNET. Some of the feedback is positive, and some of it is completely useless, and someone named leoluver667 actually writes out a detailed bug report complete with a crash dump. Mark and Dustin spend two days trying to figure out exactly where they problem is, and it turns out that all it is a simple one-line fix. They spend the rest of the week brainstorming new features, figuring out what they need to do to get a full release out, and Mark hides in his room for an entire weekend so that he can work on all of it. Eduardo hangs out in Mark's room as he hacks through the code, smiling and nodding whenever Mark needs to bitch about uncooperative libraries or segmentation faults. Mark knows that Eduardo tunes him out most of the time when Mark's talking about computer stuff, but Mark tunes Eduardo out when he's talking about supply curves, so they're mostly even.

One night, Mark hangs out at Eduardo's place, playing some Final Fantasy X on Eduardo's PS2 while Eduardo obsesses over stock quotes and futures prices. They do this a lot, just spend time around each other where they don't have to say anything, the silence comfortable and familiar between them. Eduardo's parents aren't home, and so the house is empty besides the two of them. If it weren't for the video game music, Mark would feel a little creeped out. Eduardo's house is kept neat and spotless, and the decorations are sparse and perfectly tasteful. Mark is too used to living in places where everyone's stuff goes everywhere.

we've got the dreamers' disease (6b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-14 06:42 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-14 11:04 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (6b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-14 01:25 pm (UTC)(Expand)
author!anon here - (Anonymous), 2011-06-15 06:14 am (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (7a/?)

Mark does see Sean around. He always asks Mark for information on the next version of Synapse when they end up at the same place at the same time. Eduardo seems pleased that Sean isn't just trying to pretend Mark isn't there like most of his boyfriends and girlfriends, but he always gets this one particular look on his face when he thinks Mark's monopolizing too much of Sean's attention. It looks a little like the face he makes when he thinks Mark is cheating at video games and a little like the face he makes when Mark starts talking about programming things that he doesn't understand.

Sean starts writing Mark e-mails full of feedback for Synapse. He's got a programmer's sense for how to articulate problems in a way that's useful for other programmers, and he's got a weird penchant for philosophizing about their future internet robot overlords for paragraphs and paragraphs at a time, but Mark thinks he might actually like him.

The school year grinds on. Mark's time starts being split between studying for his AP exams and working on Synapse. Dustin pulls a prank on the entire school by doing something to the overhead speakers involving the Mario theme song, and even Mark has to admit that he's impressed by it. Unfortunately, the principal doesn't feel the same way, and Dustin ends up with two weeks' worth of detention. It slows progress down a bit, but Dustin manages to use his extra time to root out a few more segfaults and memory leaks. He declares himself the new Malloc King, and Mark tells him that that's the shittiest title he's ever heard, but he can't help but roll his eyes at the utter absurdity of the newspaper crown Dustin makes for himself.

The snow starts to melt. The days get longer. Mark stops wearing socks with his flip flops again.

Dustin and Mark get a final 1.0 release of Synapse put together. They're both too exhausted to celebrate the release in any big way, but Eduardo buys them a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream after Dustin uploads the latest binary, and that's close enough. Sean gives them both high fives.

Randi comes home for spring break with news about her new boyfriend, which is great because then Mark's parents won't fret as much about Mark's lack of a romantic life. One Saturday afternoon, she and Mark sit outside and talk about college, about campus life and about classes and about Synapse. Her eyes glaze over when Mark talks about the technical details, but she makes Mark install it on her computer and explain how all the features work. They don't talk about Eduardo.


Mark catches Sean flirting with Alice during Billy's next party, if "sticking his hand up Alice's shirt" could be considered flirting. They're not being subtle about it. Sean has Alice pressed up against the wall next to the bathroom, whispering into her ear as his hands traveled upwards from her waist, grinning at her as she giggles at something he said.

Word travels fast at a parties, and especially words that involve people like Sean Parker. Eduardo finds out about it before Mark can tell him.

The breakup happens quickly enough that Mark ends up missing it while he's combing the upper floors, looking for Eduardo. He finds Eduardo in the kitchen afterwards with his forehead pressed against the refrigerator, surrounded by empty beer bottles and half-finished cups of questionable liquids.

"I'm sorry," Mark says. "That sucks." He leans against the kitchen table, hands useless at his sides. He would say that he didn't see this coming, but he's seen the way Sean watches at people, when they're all out together, like he's always looking for the next big score.

Eduardo doesn't look at him, but he lets out a brutal, raspy laugh. "You know, I was kind of surprised it wasn't you--"

"What?" Mark says, because he knew Eduardo liked Sean. Eduardo likes all of them, at least at first. Eduardo falls in love at the drop of a hat, because he needs to be in love with someone or else he'll realize how much he hates the rest of his life. It always ends badly, of course. Mark is always there to see it end.

"Forget it," Eduardo says, rubbing his face with his hands. "He's a douchebag."

"Yeah," Mark says, "he is."

we've got the dreamers' disease (7b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-15 06:34 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (7b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-15 08:21 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-15 09:53 am (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (8a/?)

College admission letters start coming in around late March.

Mark doesn't try to track them too closely, but there's a stack of acceptances on his desk that's growing taller every few days. The whole school lights up with buzz about who got into where. Mark ignores most of it, because there's only one school he cares about.

Eduardo spends a few nights at Mark's place after Yale tells him to fuck off. The damage is more emotional than physical, Mark thinks, but Eduardo doesn't offer up any details and Mark doesn't ask. Eduardo curls in closer than usual, clinging to Mark like he thinks Mark is going to run away from him in the middle of the night. Mark never wants to know what Mr. Saverin said to him.

They get their Harvard acceptance letters on the same day.

"Fuck yes," Eduardo says, handing over the bottle of wine he'd stolen just for this occasion. He grins, wide and spread out over his entire face, and Mark feels his chest contract at the sight of it. "I can't wait to get the fuck out of here." They're in Mark's room, and Eduardo is sitting cross-legged on Mark's bed. He looks almost twelve right now, giddy and hopeful, almost young again. Mark's fingers are itching to get back into Synapse, but he's willing to take a break for this, for a reason to just live in the moment.

Mark takes a swig from the bottle himself. "Yeah," he says.

"I've started looking for weird local shit to do on weekends in Boston," Eduardo says. "You'll go with me to the aquarium, right?"

Mark says, "Do you honestly think you'll have time on weekends, Wardo?" He hasn't thought as far ahead as his own weekends, but he's fairly certain that he'll be working through most of them, either on coursework or on his own projects.

"C'mon, Mark. Just one weekend," Eduardo says, his voice warm, affectionate, cajoling.

"Okay," Mark says, because he still has trouble saying no.

Dustin also gets into Harvard. He spends about five seconds debating between Harvard and MIT, but he comes to his senses in the end. Mark doesn't bother trying to convince Dustin to go in either direction. because it's far more entertaining to watch Dustin get into arguments with himself out loud about the merits of each. ("Shit, I hate making decisions, dude. You know that," Dustin says as he flaps his hands in the air. "And this is the most important decision I'll make in my entire life.")

After he's finished freaking out, Dustin settles down and starts talking about all the CS classes at Harvard with a wistful look on his face. Mark would probably make fun of him for it if he didn't seem so excited by it. College is this big, scary, totally exhilarating thing for all of them. It's hard not to get swept up by all of it.

"Oh man," Dustin says, while they're trying to hunt down the reason why Synapse keeps crashing on a particular MP3 file. "We could be roomies, dude. You wouldn't have to trek across campus whenever a new bug report comes in."

In theory, Mark is going to be Eduardo's roommate, but it wasn't ever a formally agreed upon thing. Eduardo had just sort of assumed that Mark would be on board for the plan, and Mark had never contradicted him. The problem with that is that Mark knows that being Eduardo's roommate would be one of the worst ideas ever. He'd be forced to be around Eduardo all the time, after Eduardo's just taken a shower and while Eduardo is asleep in the mornings and when Eduardo is flirting with whoever piques his interest next. Mark would have to nod and find someplace else to sleep whenever Eduardo sexiles him for the night. It would make Mark feel like shit on a regular basis, and Mark has decided that he doesn't want to let his Eduardo issues fuck up college for him. It's bad enough as it is. "We should do that," Mark says.

we've got the dreamers' disease (8b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-16 06:10 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (8b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-16 10:15 am (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (9/?)

Microsoft makes reservations at one of the nicer restaurants in the area, and Mark's dad fusses about the state of Mark's only suit before his parents drop him off. Mark tells them not to stick around, because he can get a ride from Sean or Dustin on the way home, and they reluctantly let him go.

When he gets inside, Sean introduces him to Margaret Kwan, the Microsoft rep. She's a software developer on the Windows Media Player team, not a lawyer or a salesperson, and she spends most of the dinner grilling them about the implementation details of Synapse, what decisions they've had to make and how they resolved them. It's mostly Mark and Dustin who are carrying the weight of the conversation, but Sean does chime in once in a while with information about some of the business decisions they've made. Mark gets the impression that she's sizing them up.

The food is fantastic, expensive and tasting like it. Mark feels a little weird when Margaret tells him not to worry about the price of anything, but he shrugs and gets what he wants anyway.

"Okay," Margaret says when they're on dessert. "Let's get to the point. Microsoft is prepared to offer you two one million dollars for the source and distribution rights for Synapse with only one caveat. We want you to come work for us so that you can develop Synapse full time. I know this sounds a little crazy since the two of you haven't even graduated from high school yet, but we can tell that you have some real talent. Microsoft would love to have you on board."

Mark stares at her. "You're going to give us a job offer just like that?" he asks.

"Consider this a final round interview. The two of you passed with flying colors," she says. "I'm guessing that you've already decided which universities you're going to go to next year?" She leans back, like she knows she doesn't have to sell it.

"Harvard," Mark says. "Both of us." They've both officially sent in their acceptance to the Harvard admissions office, and Mark had assumed that he was done making big decisions for the rest of the school year.

Margaret shrugs, smiles like a shark. "It's hard to do better than that, I know. I went to CMU myself, and I wouldn't have traded that for a full time job myself. All I'm asking is that you think about it, all right? You've got bright futures ahead of you. Microsoft will give you the chance to get a head start on that."

At the end of dinner, after Dustin and Margaret have left, Sean hunts Mark down while Mark is in the bathroom, trying to get his bearings.

"So what do you think?" Sean asks. Mark is washing his hands in the sink. This place is so expensive, Mark feels outclassed by the faucets. Sean, of course, looks like he was born here, perfectly at ease in his own expensive suit jacket. Mark looks like a kid who decided to put on his dad's clothes for fun.

Mark turns to look at him. "It's a good deal," he says. He still can't quite wrap his mind around all the details. They feel fuzzy, insubstantial, like it's not possible that Microsoft just offered some high school kids that much money. Synapse is worth a lot to Microsoft, and Mark isn't capable of processing that.

"Once in a lifetime opportunity," Sean says. He steps into Mark's personal space, too close. "Don't back off now, man. You're giving Synapse away for free when you could be raking it all in. This is just the beginning." He sounds like he does when he's talking about the future of computing, like he's getting a contact high just by thinking about the way they could revolutionize everything.

He cups Mark's cheek and kisses him. Sean's mouth tastes like wine and expensive steak, and the pads of his fingertips leave warm streaks on Mark's skin. Mark hasn't been drinking, but he feels a little drunk. All he can hear is one million dollars, what the fuck. Sean's hands move to the buckle of Mark's belt, but he's not rushing it. He's giving Mark time to object. Mark's not entirely convinced that he wants to.

"If you don't say something, I'm just going to blow you in one of the stalls," Sean says. He smiles, ridiculous and charming, and Mark thinks fuck it and smiles back. He built this, after all. This night is his.

It turns out that Eduardo's right about how good Sean is at giving head.

Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (9/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-17 07:50 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (9/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-17 08:06 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (9/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-17 09:44 am (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (10a/?)

Sean drives Mark back home afterwards. His car is less flashy than Mark would have thought, black and sleek and unobtrusive.

"You know this isn't a thing, right?" Sean says as they pass rows and rows of suburban houses. He taps along with the radio on the steering wheel.

Mark snorts and says, "Yeah, I know that." He likes Sean well enough as a friend and sometimes business partner, but the thought of dating him makes Mark want laugh. He's seen how Sean handles dating, after all.

"Look, man. I get that you're hung up on Eduardo and shit, but you shouldn't let that stop you from taking control of your destiny. You shouldn't follow him to Harvard just because there's an off-chance he might turn around and fuck you. There are plenty of other fish in that sea," Sean says. Mark considers what he's saying but then again, it's always difficult to parse out Sean's useful advice from Sean's bullshit.

"I'll think about it," Mark says. To be perfectly honest, he's getting a little bit bored of Synapse already, and he's not sure he wants to work on it full time. He's seventeen years old. He wants to do the usual seventeen year old bullshit. He wants to live on a campus and get drunk at stupid frat parties and he wants to take classes in systems architecture and computability theory and he hates the idea of becoming an adult too soon. On the other hand, Sean is right. This is a big deal. What if Mark never makes anything like this ever again? What if Synapse becomes a game-changer? What if Mark misses out on all of that?

"Just keep it in mind," Sean says.

Mark is pretty tired when he gets up to his room, which is why it takes him a few seconds to register that there's an Eduardo-shaped lump in his desk chair. There aren't any ice packs or first-aid kits around, but Mark still worries. Eduardo is here, and that means something went to shit at home.

"Mark, where the fuck have you been?" Eduardo hisses. He gives Mark an odd look, because Mark is still wearing his suit. They've been best friends since Eduardo moved here ten years ago, and Eduardo's only seen Mark wear a suit three times. This is the third time.

"Dinner with Microsoft," Mark says. "They're interested in buying Synapse. And they gave me a job offer."

The expression on Eduardo's face shifts. "Shit," he says, his voice fainter. "For a summer internship?"

"No, full time," Mark says. "I'd be working in Redmond instead of going to Harvard." He has a hard time saying it out loud.

"Shit," Eduardo says again. Mark can't read his expression in the dim light, but he can hear the disbelief in his voice.

"What happened to you?" Mark asks, because Eduardo doesn't show up this late unless something happened.

Eduardo's expression shifts one more time. "Why'd you tell Dustin that you wanted to be his roommate?" he asks, and now he's angry again, angry at Mark, his voice going louder and tighter.

Mark feels cold all of a sudden, even underneath his suit jacket. He shrugs, a half-hearted thing in the dark. "It'll make working on projects a lot easier if we live together." That's not the only reason, of course, but it's the only one Mark can tell Eduardo.

The explanation hangs between them for a moment. "You should have just told me, Mark," Eduardo says, all of the anger drained out of his voice, and he sounds so tired and so raw that Mark feels exactly like the asshole Erica told him he was when they broke up.

Mark says, "I didn't know how to bring it up." He looks at his desk. The stack of acceptance letters are still sitting there. He almost wants to tell Eduardo about all the other stuff, about his stupid crush and about the way Sean blew him in the bathroom of an expensive restaurant. He doesn't. In a few months, everything will be different. There are a million different ways in which it could be different, but all that matters is that they won't be able to hit rewind. They're going to have to change along with everything else.

"And you might be going to Microsoft, anyway," Eduardo says, rubbing a hand over his face. "Fuck."

"Yeah," Mark says, "that sounds about right."

we've got the dreamers' disease (10b/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-18 06:12 am (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (10c/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-18 06:13 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (10c/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-18 10:52 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (10c/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-18 12:28 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (10c/?) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-18 07:54 pm (UTC)(Expand)

we've got the dreamers' disease (11a/12)

The days get warm, and Mark stops wearing his hoodies outside. There's grass on the ground and leaves on the trees, and the school hallways seem brighter, more energetic, restless with the promise of the coming summer.

Eduardo spends more nights in Mark's bed than not.Sometimes Eduardo comes home with him after school and just never leaves. Sometimes Eduardo shows up after dinner and curls up next to Mark on Mark's bed, his head on Mark's shoulder, his hand tucked into Mark's back pocket. He likes to touch Mark all the time, like he likes the reassurance that Mark's there. Mark's thankful that Eduardo has a lot of experience sneaking out of his house, because otherwise he'd really be worried about getting caught.

It's different being on this side of Eduardo's attention. Mark had always known how much Eduardo needs people, but he hadn't quite realized how much until he became the center of all of it. Eduardo gets annoyed when Mark spends too much time with Dustin and when Mark wires into his code for too long. It's not like Eduardo's a hyperactive fifth-grader or anything like that (and Mark knew Eduardo as a hyperactive fifth-grader, so he does have a reference for comparison), it's just that Eduardo gets restless after too much studying, and then he needs Mark to entertain him. Eduardo can't disappear to meet up with Sean or Christy or Martin or that one girl whose name Mark can't ever remember whenever he gets bored of watching Mark code.

Mark has never had this much sex in his life, but at the same time, it's more like he's like Eduardo's life-size safety blanket than an actual person that Eduardo cares about.

The offer from Microsoft feels like a ticking time bomb in Mark's hands.

"C'mon, Mark," Eduardo says. "It's Harvard." His fingers are tracing lazy patterns on Mark's knee while Mark is trying to focus on his final project for AP Computer Science.

It's convincing, but it's not convincing enough. Sean may be a douchebag, but he's right about the fact that Mark can't make this decision about Eduardo. Mark wants to go to Seattle, wants to take the money and build stuff all the time, wants to get the job and the new city and the new life. But he also wants Harvard, too. He wants the campus and the classes and the stupid college bullshit. Harvard is going to have Eduardo, and Mark can't pretend he doesn't know that.

dude, its not like you have to stay there if you dont want to, Sean writes in an e-mail. give it a few years and then you can do your own thing. if you take this offer, youll have all the startup cash you need.

"What are you thinking?" Mark asks Dustin during one of their coding session, because they are a package deal after all. Microsoft is going to need both of them in order for this to work.

Dustin shrugs, "I don't know, man. What are you thinking?" He spins around in his chair.

Mark can remember the first time he set foot on Harvard's campus. They were doing the college tour thing for Randi, just circling through all the Ivies, and he remembers stepping onto the Yard and seeing the statues, the milling tourists, the brick buildings. He remembers thinking, Yeah, I could spend four years here. It had felt good. It had felt kind of amazing, actually. "I'm thinking about Harvard," Mark says. He doesn't want Synapse to be the coolest thing he does his whole life. There's got to be more out there, and Harvard is the place to find it.

Dustin grins. "Okay, yeah," he says. "Harvard." He sounds relieved.

And that, for some reason, is that.

we've got the dreamers' disease (11b/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-19 07:48 am (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (11c/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-19 07:50 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (11c/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-19 03:48 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (11c/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-19 09:31 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (11c/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 02:14 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-21 09:20 am (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (12a/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 07:36 pm (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (12b/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 07:38 pm (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (12c/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 07:39 pm (UTC)(Expand)
we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 07:43 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 05:49 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-21 08:08 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 05:50 am (UTC)(Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 05:54 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 05:58 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:01 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:03 am (UTC)(Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:04 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:07 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-22 02:49 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:08 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:09 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:12 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:12 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-22 03:13 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:18 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:18 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:19 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-22 11:33 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:19 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:20 am (UTC)(Expand)
OP - ymorton, 2011-06-24 09:16 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: OP - (Anonymous), 2011-06-24 06:24 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease (12d/12) - (Anonymous), 2011-06-27 07:11 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: we've got the dreamers' disease - repost/de-anon/etc - (Anonymous), 2011-06-27 10:11 pm (UTC)(Expand)