Blue eyes slowly opened up, blinking away the last remainders of sleep. The bed was old but comfortable, the sheets worn but warm, and none of these factors helped Bert rise in the morning. But as his senses began to awake along with him, he quickly came to notice that the bed he normally shared with his friend was empty, the space besides him cold.

He sat up, confusion clear in his expression. But then, he noticed that it smelled like strawberries. Something that was totally unusual, when you were two older teenage boys living on your own for the first time, in the slums of New York City. The apartment usually smelled of musk, sex, or drugs. Not something sweet like fruits.

“Quinn?” he called out, voice almost wary as he climbed out of bed. His hair was messy and his eyes were bloodshot, the track marks on his arms showing up easily on the pale skin of his inner arms. Signs of the fun he had every night and paid for every morning, even if he was shouting at no one it surely wasn’t the weirdest shit he’d ever done. He was answered by the sound of the few pots and kitchen appliances they actually owned, and Bert felt his heart calm down just a tad. He doubted someone would of broken in past the barred windows and eight locks just to cook breakfast in his piece of crap kitchen.

“Quinn?” he asked again as he turned the corner to see his blonde haired lover in the kitchen, a few sloppily home made pancakes resting on a plate. Bert didn’t need an invitation to walk over and rest his chin on the other boys shoulder, a few small laughs ringing in his throat.

“Did you really get up and make breakfast on your day off?” Bert asked, actually sounding a bit amazed by his discovery. Quinn just rolled his eyes in reply before leaning in to press their lips together, before returning to working over the stove.

“I really did, believe it or not,” he began, “But early to rise, just means early to bed, and that means taking you with me.” The smirk on his face growing as he finished his sentence, watching how Bert’s expression changed as he took a few seconds to get what Quinn meant.

“Oh,” Bert whispered, before breaking out into a few laughs. “Ohhh… okay,” he quickly added then, straightening up before picking up one of the already made pancakes, and biting into it just like that.

“…These have strawberries in them?” he asked, finally noticing the little fruity bits inside. So that had been the source of the mystery smell. Bert didn’t look up in time to see the grin that grew on Quinn’s face at his remark, but he almost didn’t need to. He knew it was there.

“There are some in the fridge too, along with a couple things of whipped cream. They were on sale for a dollar each, and I figured we could actually eat one, and use the other for getting high.” Quinn finally turned to look back at Bert then, only to find the other boy already looking back up at him.

Bert didn’t say anything at first, trying to make himself look tough. That he wasn’t that easy, maybe. But the smile slowly grew again, and even stuffing the rest of the pancake into his mouth and chewing obnoxiously couldn’t hide it forever.

“Well played, fucker,” he finally said then, scratching at his scalp.

“Just, uh… lemme know once you wanna go back to bed. And bring the strawberries. They’re my favourite.”

“I know,” Quinn replied, smugness dripping from his tone, and just laughing as Bert flipped off.