Outliving The Ruins, 3 (part one)/? (2015-12-03)

Power comes in many forms–physical strength, political influence, wealth–but none are so obviously powerful as bending. Bending elements turns an individual into a force of nature, turns a person into a god.

Or a monster.

There has never been a dwarf bender.

Dwarves, fairies, and humans all look alike; in a strict scientific sense, they are even all part of the same species. But there is a difference between the races. Each one is a distinct subspecies, and although it’s not the technical cause for separation, Doug is pretty sure it has to do with bending.

Fairies are always benders–or they were, there aren’t many fairies anymore. At least not in Auradon–but before, before bending had become such a stigma, the fairies were seen as conduits for the world. Magical, and from that wise and powerful.

And then Maleficent happened.

With benders turned into pariahs and fairies so few in number, now is when dwarves can succeed. Wealth and ingenuity replacing mystical abilities–and dwarves can insinuate themselves into politics where fairies once held power.

Well, that’s what the elders say.

Doug just wants to play music.


A/N:… I was planning on doing a Lonnie section and an Audrey section but I guess I’ll do that next time?

Also, Doug’s section was weirdly impersonal. Like… I had no idea there were going to be political machinations in this series, especially not from the dwarves, but I guess there is…

I always wonder what would descendants be like if Carlos was a girl and rest of the gang were guys and were like her overprotective brothers! Or Mal could accidentally turn Carlos into a girl, and suddenly the guys at Audran Prep notice he is cute!

Hm… I’m always kind of hesitant about gender/sex bend fic. When done right they are amazing to read, but it’s pretty difficult to do right–there’s a lot of tricky parts that need to be maneuvered around with sensitivity and there are points where you have to consider how much of a personality is due to sex (in that, unfortunately in society, people of different sexes are held to different standards and so develop differently). Like, how much change is too much? At what point do the characters we know and love become unrecognizable.

In the always!female!Carlos and always!male!Mal, Evie, and Jay… hm… there would be changes in how the parents treat their children in that case. For example, Maleficent and Grimhilde treat canon Mal and Evie as extensions of themselves/their second chances–essentially, their daughters are them. Whereas with Cruella, she treats canon Carlos as a (heh) dogsbody/minion.

If all three of them were to have sex bends I think that would also change–Cruella would probably raise Carlos (Carla?) to be a leader of minions instead of to be her own minion. A lot of Grimhilde’s advice to Evie is how to get a prince to marry–but if Evie is male then that means he would be the prince so Grimhilde would raise him to be as stereotypically prince-like as possible. Basically, training him to go on quests so he can win the hand of whichever princess he rescues. Maleficent and Mal’s relationship wouldn’t be too different except for how Mal is further from the duplicate image of Maleficent, so he would be even more desperate to prove himself to his mother.

All that being said, I do think that, yes, if the gang were female!Carlos, male!Mal, Evie, and Jay then the latter three would be very protective of the former. Carlos would be Evie’s “practice princess” in a way–like how children play make believe–while her lack of magic would make Mal think she were ridiculously fragile (especially in comparison to Maleficent’s overt magical presence). With Jay, since I figure female!Carlos would be less hostile than canon Mal and less beguiling than canon Evie, Jay would be more protective of female!Carlos. I mean, Jay is already pretty protective of the others in canon so it could only increase for a female!Carlos. Female!Carlos would be more hardened and cunning than her canon male counterpart, but ultimately I don’t think she would treat the others like her minions (that’s what Horace and Jasper’s kids are for); like her protectors, maybe, but not her minions.

As for shipping… hm… well, I’ve got to be faithful to Benlos–and if anything, female!Carlos would be an irresistible blend of canon!Mal and canon!Carlos for Ben. I would be absolutely fascinated by a male!Mal x Audrey ship–I’m always a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope. I also have a soft spot for Devie (aka, DougxEvie) but I’m not entirely sure how well that would translate to male!Evie x Doug… it’d be a mix of bad-boy/jock + nerd… As for Chad, well. I hate Chad. HATE. So I am pretty sure the Lost kids would be even less tolerant of his douchebaggery if it’s Carlos he tries to exploit–and anyway, female!Carlos would be less vulnerable to a handsome prince than canon!Evie. 

As for the second part of your ask… there’s a difference between gender/sex bend fic and… well, I don’t know if there’s a better term for it… gender/sex fucks. That is, instead of always!female!Carlos, it would be a temporarily!female!Carlos. The latter can be funny and silly, but I’m concerned with the phrasing? Like, why do the guys at Auradon Prep suddenly realize he’s cute when he’s female? Why did they not realize it sooner (like Ben)? That goes into exploring the sexualities of random Auradon guys who I don’t particularly care about?

I don’t think Carlos would do anything if he were suddenly turned female–I think it would be mostly the other Lost kids doing stuff. Like Evie having another model who actually enjoys clothes, Jay glaring daggers at all the Auradon guys who keep trying to ask out Carlos just because he’s suddenly female, and Mal trying to figure out how to reverse it. 

Maaaybe the only one I’d accept Carlos actually dating when suddenly female would be Ben (because, yes, I’m a Benlos shipper, but also he’s the only Auradon guy who showed any interest in Carlos before his sudden magical sex swap), but I’m not really sure where the plot would go from there. Unless it’s a story about gender dysphoria, in which having accidentally been turned female Carlos realizes that he actually wants to be a she. Thus all of her friends (+Ben) are her support system as she transitions (mentally, since Mal’s magic already took care of the physical part).

Uh.. but yes, sorry for all that heavy text. Here are some pictures for what I think I female Carlos may look like:


(This is Quin as photographed by James McCloud)



Ok I’ve been seeing this..

In the form of this…

AND I Thought I’d share my thoughts. 

SO basically I like the idea. 


Mal = Aang 

(They are the main charcaters of both television events and….. it’ll make sense if you keep reading ok?”

Carlos = Katara 

(Forget the Mal X Carlos relationship. Fuck heteronormativity. Anyways he’s the sweetest, probably gives the best hugs and is cute so.. yeah)

Jay = Toph

( Have you seen Toph earthbend? Have you seen Jay’s arms? Case closed.)

Ben = Zuko (Only because of that scene where you thought Katara and Zuko were getting together… and how that would make BENLOS CANNON, therfore saving my life. Plus it makes sense, they weren’t exactly on the same side in the beginning…by the end they were.. yeah? Yeah)

Evie = Suki (She probs can kill anyone, and Suki and Evie, could both rock a fan. Plus we all lowkey appreicate suki’s acrobatics and everyone loves EVIE soo its simple addition) 

Doug can be Sokka, because neither do anything important in my opinion.

 Well scratch that Doug helps Evie learn important feminism stuff…. so they are who they are also for the pairing.

Help are my thoughts, comment your opinions follow me, reblog if you will.


Okay, wait, okay. I first want to clarify–did you mean matching up characters with roles or matching up characters with elements? Because those are two different things entirely and I mostly agree with you on the roles (that is, Mal as the Avatar) but not necessarily which elements they are?

I hope you don’t mind me ranting, but SORRY YOU GOT ME STARTED NOT SORRY.

So, here we go. In my opinion, in this theoretical AU, I think only the Isle kids should be benders. So instead of banning all the villains to the Isle, they banned all the villains and benders to the Isle. Or maybe (as evidenced with Jane’s lack of magic) for some reason only those born on the Isle have bending abilities anymore.


Mal is the Avatar, but she is primarily Fire. Since it’s Disney canon that Maleficent can do fire stuff and the whole dragon thing and all. And, gotta be honest, Mal is like the slightly better adjusted version of Azula.

Evie is a Water bender; because potions/chemistry and water being reflective like mirrors… and… blue… but also because she’s fairly adaptable, a generous person, and a good foil to Mal’s harsher tendencies.

Jay is an Earth bender… because he’s pretty much Toph except a big buff dude. (Like the Ember Island players episode).

Carlos is an Air bender, because he’s fast and willow-y and playful and pacifistic; personality wise he is the closest to Aang. But… I also want him not to realize he’s an Air bender, because maybe Fairy Godmother is also an Air bender and even before the banishment of benders to the Isle there were a startlingly low number of Air benders. (Also maybe Cruella herself wasn’t a bender, so no one expects Carlos to be a bender either). ((Also, also, this explains the strange, preferably not romantic relationship between Jane and Carlos. It’s kind of like seeing someone who you were supposed to be but aren’t? I dunno)).

Then for the non-benders–that is, Ben, Doug, Jane, Lonnie (and Chad and Audrey? Do we particularly care about them in this AU?)

Hm… well, Lonnie would be Ty Lee or, rather, have the chi-blocking abilities of Ty Lee. In part because, except for Ben, she was the least prejudiced against the Isle kids. Part of that is probably because she was the least afraid, meaning she would have some way to defend herself against benders. Ty Lee could literally shut down someone’s bending, so that would not be a problem for Lonnie at all.

I’m trying to think of all the other non-benders in the series… Sokka, Suki, Mai, Jett… ooh, Teo (son of that inventor) and June (the bounty huntress)… oh! YUE.

Okay, so Jane is probably the Air equivalent of Yue–in that, she herself isn’t a bender but she has some spiritual chi in her. Maybe there was a complication with her birth and the Fairy Godmother (as an Air bender/implied spirit bender) pulled some sort of deal so that Jane would live even without the ability to bend.

Doug is Teo–in the sense that he comes from a family without magic but who are probably more technologically advanced than the rest of the kingdom. (I figure the dwarves are kind of like genre-typical dwarves in that they are immune to magic. It’s a two sided blade because that means spells and such don’t work on them, but they have to use tech to achieve things instead of magic. Although, since the rest of the kingdom doesn’t really have magic, they’re probably further ahead. [Hm… yeah, I’m gonna keep this headcanon: Dwarves are immune to magic, therefore Doug is immune to magic.])

I figure Ben and Chad are basically just Knights. Y’know, swords and such. Specifically with fighting styles, I suppose Ben would be more like Zuko (sans Fire bending), while Chad would be like Jett (who, I will be honest, I have extremely mixed feelings about. I kind of both love and hate that guy. And hella shipped him with Mai, gonna be honest.)

Which leads me to thinking that Audrey would probably have Mai’s fighting style. In that she has a bunch of hidden knives and needles hidden around her person. It’s not as effective against benders as Lonnie’s chi-blocking, so it explains her and Chad’s continued fear+prejudice against the Isle kids.

Although, hm… maybe Belle is a bender? But only secretly, and not very strong and definitely not Air. So it kind of mimics Zuko and his mother’s story arc. Like… maybe it’s something she only told Ben, because she knows how much bending has been vilified (except for Fairy Godmother, but it’s something else entirely to have the queen be a bender than a magical advisor). And so then when her bending was discovered, she had to leave in order to protect her son. So in this AU Ben isn’t as optimistic and happy (because even from the few snippets of her in the movie, Belle was very obviously the better parent).

So the roles they play don’t quite match up, but you can adapt things pretty easily. A fusion more instead of an overwrite.

… Uh. Yeah. Thaaaat’s it. Promise.

(I’m pretty sure I’m not going to write this, but if anyone would like to and would like to have me as their beta, shoot me a message. Because this was very fun brainstorming).

[Also, I am counting this as my daily post for August 30th.]

edit: sort of writing this, check out “Outliving The Ruins

Untitled Benlos drabble (2015-08-11)

The C in ‘Plan C’ does not stand for coronation.

Plan A had always been their parents’ plan. Brute force, obvious, simple: use the magic mirror to find the wand, steal it, take down the barrier. It was luck on their part that the wand was being displayed in a building so close to campus, with such lax security. Even if they did have to retreat and scrap the plan after the alarms sounded.

Plan B, well, that had been in action since the very beginning. It was more their style than their parents’, a little more subtle, and maybe with time it might have worked. Carlos had been making pretty decent progress.

The B in ‘Plan B’ does not stand for Ben. But it might as well have.

Carlos just really enjoys sex, okay? He’s a teenage boy and it feels great and it’s fun to make other people feel great too. He just doesn’t like the implications that come along with it. They say he’s callous, but it’s not because he’s a snobby sadist like his mother. He’s actually rather nice–charming, one might say–it’s just that after he’s had his fun, well, he’s not obligated to fulfill any expectations, okay.

Their gang of four are notorious on the Isle–if the girls haven’t asserted their dominance over someone, or if they haven’t been robbed by Jay, then Carlos has probably seduced them then jumped out the window at the first opportunity.

To him, people are as easy to program as machines. Easier even, maybe. While Jay likes to base his flirting on his lack of sleeves, gorgeous body, and raw predatory sexuality, Carlos likes to take a more controlled approach. With Jay’s targets, if they’re not even the tiniest bit attracted to him at first sight, then there’s no helping it. Jay doesn’t chase after anyone who doesn’t want it.

But for Carlos, that’s all just part of the game. Actually, he specializes in making those who don’t want to be chased do the chasing instead.

There are a few tricks, easy body language stuff, that Carlos uses, but the bulk of his seduction is actually neuro-linguistic programming. It requires having a little knowledge on the mark, though, and since cold-reading is always a risky venture, he tends to keep first impressions… vague. Sexy, but vague.

Eye contact is an obvious one, a person can fall in love just by gazing into someone’s eyes for long enough. Not Carlos, but he’s heard it’s happened–has made it happen before. So when they are first introduced to the crown prince, Carlos makes sure to match eyes with him, gaze steady and open. But while eye contact is necessary for a good seduction, that alone is not sufficient.

Everyone knows that mouths can be the most suggestive body part, and Carlos knows his is more so than others. It’s so simple to draw attention to his mouth–smeared with that delicious sweet stuff they found in the limo. Sure it implies he’s a messy eater, but sometimes messes can be fun. How a mark decides to clean up a mess is a fantastic insight into their personality.

Ben makes it so easy, too, his fingertips automatically going to his mouth instead of the more proper option of a handkerchief or even the unrefined but impersonal wipe onto his clothes. Mimicry is another effective tool for seduction, and if Carlos’ own hand to mouth action is a little more obscene, well, like he said–messes can be fun.

It’s pretty easy to get a read off of Ben–he’s not interested in Jay’s overt masculinity, or Evie’s upfront femininity–in fact, Carlos’ biggest competition for Ben’s attention is Mal, who could not be less interested if she tried. But that in itself is informative. Ben wants to prove himself to Mal; he wants her to want his help. Ben is a provider, a protector… a hero.

Carlos can easily be someone who needs saving.

A yelp at the statue’s transformation is enough to bring Ben’s attention back from Mal onto Carlos and it starts building foundations in Ben’s mind.

Carlos needs someone to help him, to make him feel safe. Maybe that someone could be Ben.

As it turns out, Ben is almost ridiculously susceptible to neuro-linguistic programming. Or maybe just susceptible to Carlos.

After that first tourney practice, which Carlos was unsurprisingly terrible at, the coach recommended Carlos quit the team. Which would have been stupid, considering his mark is one of the players.

He had honestly expected to have to suffer through a few more such practices, pretending a steady disheartening before shyly approaching Ben for advice. After Jay’s performance during that first skirmish, Carlos would hardly have to explain why he’d decided to turn to Ben for help first.

But immediately, with barely effort on Carlos’ part, Ben volunteered himself.

An additional hour alone with his mark every day? Almost too easy.

The thing with Dude was brilliant, if Carlos may say so himself. Unplanned, of course, but still absolutely brilliant. The fleeing in fear bit was completely truthful, not just an exaggeration to foster more protectiveness in Ben. The fact that it did, though, was very helpful. Vulnerability can be attractive, Carlos knows, but he’s never encountered anyone on the Isle as attracted to it than Ben.

And “good boy?” Carlos could not have planned that any better himself. With such delicious Freudian slips like that, it’s best not to disrupt the mark’s train of thought, let them stew in their own wild imaginings with a few visuals tossed in. Carlos doesn’t get belly rubs, maybe he would like them; any positive physical contact, really, and praise is always appreciated. Carlos hasn’t been appropriately cared for, doesn’t he deserve to be cherished? Wouldn’t Ben be the best for that job?

From that point on, Carlos keeps Dude with him. Not solely for seduction–because Dude is adorable and adoring and lets Carlos hold him and pet him and dress him and Dude is Carlos’ now–but, like Dude’s introduction into Carlos life, the association of pleasant feelings and protectiveness is an excellent bonus. 

Given more time, Carlos is sure that Plan B would have worked. Hell, if the goal were just to sleep with Ben before the coronation, Carlos probably could have done it. But to make Ben so obsessed with Carlos to the point that he would not only break up with Audrey but officially declare Carlos his boyfriend? In a week? Impossible.

He says as much to the rest of the gang, a little ashamed but mostly frustrated. The coronation is their best opportunity, and Mal is the best choice to have at the front. Not only because she’s actually a girl and her gender won’t inspire political backlash–her parentage, sure, but not her gender, not like Carlos’–but because, if there’s a need for it, she can actually use the wand–again, not like Carlos.

Love potion it is, then. Carlos tells himself that its the use of magic that bugs him, not the fact that it’s Mal instead of him. He’s definitely not relieved when Evie suggests he stick close anyway, just in case.

The song was… well… ridiculous. But it may have also been the most fun he’s had since leaving the Isle, possibly the most fun he’s had without sex being involved, so he just gives in and enjoys singing and dancing with Ben while he can. 

Carlos has to coach Mal in seduction for her date, which is honestly not something he ever thought he’d have to do. Not just because people don’t date on the Isle, but because Mal has always been as uninterested in sex as Carlos has been in romance. But in such a short time, lust can be confused for love; though, with the potion is already in effect, the seduction is more of a safety net.

She’ll have to use slightly different techniques, though, because her relationship with Ben is different from Carlos’. Not that Carlos and Ben had a relationship; Carlos doesn’t do that.

Anyway, while Evie prepares Mal’s outfit, Carlos prepares her. Having been friends since they were children, Mal knows at least some of Carlos’ tricks, even if she needs a little help in polishing them up for her own use.

Eye contact? Yes. but in Mal’s case, turning away every so often might be best. She has to make Ben feel like he needs to earn her attention, either by talking more or reaching out to touch her–both outcomes are good.

Accentuating her mouth? Also a yes. Makeup can do some of the work, which Evie eagerly breaks out her lip glosses to test colors at the suggestion, but if she can add some kind of action that would be even better. Carlos is a big proponent of sensual eating.

But the hardest part for Mal? Hints of vulnerability. It goes against her nature, and Carlos has no idea how to teach someone vulnerability. But maybe in this case truth is the key.

Carlos leaves before Ben is due to pick Mal up from the girls’ dorm room. No need to complicate matters.

After the coronation, as the fireworks go off and everyone is dancing, Carlos stands aside. It’s kind of warm. He just needs some air, is all, too many people trying to breathe the same oxygen. And he didn’t get much sleep last night, so he’s a little tired and his eyes ache.

He wants Dude now.

Evie, taking her own break from dancing, stands beside him and follows his gaze. “They look good together,” she says gently. And Carlos wants to agree, wants to compliment Evie on putting together Mal’s gown because it is honestly some of her best work.

But instead, purple and blue blur together in his eyes, and Evie silently draws his face to her shoulder. It’s just the fireworks, the smoke and the light probably too much.

When Carlos composes himself, he manages to say without his voice trembling, “I guess we don’t need Plan B anymore.”

“Did you want to?” Evie asks carefully.

“I think it would have been decent,” he answers, but then they both reconsider. It’s highly doubtful Ben and Audrey have ever had sex, considering how high society Auradon acts with each other. Certainly not good sex, with the way they were both so willing to end their relationship. Carlos and Evie know Mal hasn’t, doesn’t want to.

“It would have been fun to teach him,” Carlos amends, which is in itself a confession.

“Okay,” Evie says simply, letting them stand off to the side for a few moments longer, before dragging Carlos back into the fray.

A lot of good came out of tonight. Carlos knows his future has changed for the better, there’s no need to ruin it with melancholy and random regrets. 

A few weeks after the coronation finds Carlos hanging out in the girls’ dorm room with Evie, helping out with her latest project. She’d been draping what looks to be a jacket of some sort over a chair before he came in, now Carlos is being used as a live mannequin instead. It looks more like a Lost style jacket, leather and asymmetric cuts, different than her more recent works which have been trying to incorporate Auradon’s aesthetic. But the color scheme is sea foam green and a soft maroon, more pastel than any of their gang’s colors.

“Hold still,” Evie says, when Carlos’ mind drifts away and he twitches out of her careful positioning.

“Sorry,” Carlos sighs, moving back to the original configuration, “I’ve been kind of restless recently. It’s probably because I’m not burning off so much energy at tourney practice anymore.”

“I thought you enjoyed the Future Engineers Club,” Evie says, pinning in one more fold before carefully peeling Carlos out of the jacket.

“I do,” Carlos says, because he does, “Just, you know, in comparison to running up and down a tourney field, tinkering isn’t as physically draining.”

“Are you sure it’s not because of the dry spell you’re in? It’s been a long time since the Isle,” she says. A long time since your last sexcapade, she doesn’t say.

“It’s not a dry spell, I’m just focusing on other things right now, okay. I have my whole life in front of me,” he says, and it might have been somewhat convincing if he hadn’t added, “And no one has really caught my interest… and plus, everyone has roommates.”

Her raised eyebrow is enough to show she’s unimpressed with his excuses. Especially since he’s just been repeating the same things every time he gets asked.

Doug knocks on the door, a little unnecessarily since it’s open, to get their attention, “The FEC meeting is in ten minutes.” Doug, also a member of the Future Engineers Club, has been very helpful in getting Carlos transitioned from tourney player to… well… nerd.

Fondly, Evie waves the both of them off, eager to return to work on the jacket. Now that Carlos has the answer in front of him, it’s not too difficult to figure out who it’s for. He knows that Doug and Evie aren’t dating–she wants to revel in her independence–but it’s not just friendship, and it’s clearly not sex. Carlos wants to ask, but he decides to wait, thinking he’ll have the opportunity to do so after the meeting.

He does not.

Because as the meeting lets out, Ben is standing there; far enough away from the door that the rest of the club members can leave, but close enough that he can easily see every member exiting. And every member exiting can see him.

They’re a little unnerved, because for all that Carlos is a Lost kid, he’s still a ginormous nerd who likes to build stuff out of other random stuff. He’s one of them. In comparison? Ben is the king. More than that? He’s the captain of the tourney team. He’s a jock. A nice jock, yes, but still a jock. Never mind that a few weeks ago Carlos was a jock too.

With a sigh, Doug manages to wave the rest of them off before turning to look between Carlos and Ben. Neither who have said a word since their eyes met.

“You okay?” Doug asks Carlos, reaching out for his shoulder. Suddenly, Ben looks at Doug’s hand like it had personally offended not only him but his entire kingdom.

“Yeah,” Carlos says, then, because Doug is actually very observant, he repeats more confidently, “Yes. I’ll catch up with you later.”

“Okay,” Doug nods, careful to make slow motions as he pulls his hand back and walks away.

Carlos and Ben stand in silence for a while longer, this time both looking at where Doug disappeared, before almost reluctantly dragging their eyes back to each other. Well, it’s reluctant on Carlos’ part, that’s for sure. He’s been trying to reign back all of his flirting, but it’s difficult. A lot of it is just automatic and he doesn’t know how much interaction is expected for just friends–or at least, friends you haven’t grown up alongside and committed burglary with. He doesn’t know how much eye contact or touching is allowed, so he kind of just… hasn’t.

“So, you and Doug have gotten pretty close,” Ben says, which Carlos is confused by but goes with because he doesn’t know what else to talk about.

“Yeah, he’s been a big help in getting me into the club, even if it was after sign ups for the year. The other members are pretty great, too. And, uh, Mr. Gepetto has a lot to teach us. I mean, he says I remind him of his son which is a little weird but, yeah…” Carlos trails off, uninterested in his own rambling, “I… what are you doing here?”

Because there’s no reason for Ben to be here. Carlos has been backing off. They still eat at the same table, sure, but Carlos has been practically neat in comparison to before, and he always makes sure there’s at least one person between them at the table. Unless…

Ben shrugs, mouth open to say something before his expression twists, “No, you know what. I’m going to be honest.” And when Ben stares into Carlos’ eyes, he can’t help but match it, “It kind of feels like you’ve broken up with me before I even knew we were dating,” Ben steps closer, near enough that either of them could reach out and touch the other.

… Carlos has accidentally been pulling an apathetic seduction. The sudden absence of flirting making Ben want to get Carlos’ attention, the same as Mal looking away causes Ben to reach out.

“We weren’t,” Carlos spits out, because he never dated, he’d know it, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have let go if he had been dating Ben.

Ben steps closer, hand reaching out to land on Carlos’ shoulder, thumb lined up with his collarbone. Ben has yet to look away, and so Carlos hasn’t either.

“It was just part of the plan, okay, I was supposed to seduce you to get the wand. But then there was the coronation and you needed a girlfriend not some fucktoy,” Carlos blurts, throat going tight, “It had to be Mal, not me. So I’ve stopped, okay, that’s all.” His eyes are starting to sting, and there aren’t any fireworks to blame.

Ben steps even closer, other hand cupping Carlos’ cheek, “I know,” Ben says, simply, easily, as if Carlos hadn’t had to tear the truth out of himself.

Carlos lets himself close his eyes, unable to handle Ben’s stare anymore, and the motion lets a tear escapes.

“What I want to know,” Ben murmurs, thumb swiping across Carlos’ cheek to intercept that fallen tear, “is if you actually like me,”

"You’re dating Mal,” Carlos says, which is not an actual answer at all. And can’t stand up against Carlos’ nod, the way he leans into Ben’s hand.

“Who do you think told me about the plan?” Ben asks, a smile in his voice, and now both of his hands are cradling Carlos’ face, “Carlos, open your eyes” he says.

Carlos does so, eyelashes heavy with nearly shed tears. This close, and with their height difference, he can’t help the way his gaze goes to Ben’s mouth; can only feel a thrill up his spine as that mouth edges sideways into a smile.

“I learned a lot from you,” Ben begins, leaning forward so that he can lower his voice and still be heard, “I’d like to learn a lot more.”

Carlos’ hands clench into the fabric of Ben’s shirt, unsure whether to pull him closer or push him away because they are still in the middle of the hallway. But then, Ben says six words that makes the decision for him.

“I have a private dorm room.”


A/N: I dedicate this to jalencolbert and awesomestlonerever because this wouldn’t exist without either of them. Like, literally, I would not have thought of this. But with awesomestlonerever’s gifset and jalencolbert’s comment in this post my brain just went into overdrive and I had to analyze EVERY interaction between Ben and Carlos as Carlos deliberately seducing Ben. And it was so easy to do, I can’t undo it. Damn it! What happened to my precious adorable baby? Now he’s all grown up and seducing kings.

Uh, so yes. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is an actual thing, but as the hyperlink will show you I’m using the Leverage version of it so I cannot say whether or not my portrayal of it would actually be successful. A lot of it has to do with associating yourself with something they find pleasurable, but also letting them do most of the talking. Any talking on the seducer’s part is more to prompt certain thoughts or connections.

I don’t know, I’m hella ace, flirting and seduction is just this whaaa~? kind of thing in my mind. I can appreciate it from a psychological point of view but in action I just… uh, no thanks. I’ll stand way over there.

But, yes, ~SEDUCTION~ and the seducer falling in love with his target, then the target seducing the original seducer. That’s totally a thing, right?

edit: can now be found on ao3 here, under the title “(This Feeling) Without A Name” since… well… I still don’t know what to call it.