pairing: blaise zabini x ron weasley
setting: modern, non-magical, college au
word count: 804
It starts with a secret.
“The fuck are you doing here?” Ron Weasley demands, just as Blaise enters the locker room.
Blaise arches a brow, but otherwise doesn’t bother to respond. Ron Weasley is irrelevant. The contents of Draco Malfoy’s gym bag, however, are not.
“Hey, man,” Weasley goes on, undeterred. “I asked you a question.”
Blaise glances at an unmarked orange pharmacy bottle sitting on the middle shelf of Weasley’s locker. Fucking idiot. Fucking amateur. “That doesn’t entitle you to an answer, though, does it?”
Weasley narrows his eyes. “What are you—that’s Malfoy’s bag,” he blurts out, sounding surprised. “What are you doing to Malfoy’s bag?”
Blaise rifles around, tossing aside a few of Malfoy’s extra shirts and a monogrammed grey hand towel before coming up empty. He frowns. “Taking back what’s mine.”
Weasley snorts, and then rakes his fingers through the sweaty red fringe of his hair. “Jesus, dude, do you have to make everything sound like a threat?”
Blaise inspects the peeling blue label on a tub of IcyHot, irritation beginning to lick like fire against the tops of his tonsils. Malfoy wasn’t this clever. He fucking couldn’t be. “Dunno,” he muses, flatly. “Do you have to make everything sound like a deleted scene from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?”
Weasley huffs at that, audibly dismissive, before turning towards his locker and reaching an arm back to lift his practice jersey over his head.
Blaise is suddenly paying only very minimal attention to the gum wrapper and Dorito crumb and parking ticket detritus at the bottom of Malfoy’s bag. The fucking little black book could wait. Because Weasley—
Weasley is tall, obviously, tall and broad shouldered and long limbed; more lanky than he is anything else. But there’s a promising sort of elegance, almost, to how he’s put together. Big hands and strong forearms and an unexpected layer of muscle bunching around his biceps, cording up and down his neck, stretching and flexing and pulling beneath the freckled skin of his upper back as he shifts around, searching for a shirt.
Blaise appreciates pretty things. His apartment is monochromatic, a perfectly contemporary celebration of sleek lines with shiny finishes, and he’s no stranger to sacrificing basic functionality for aesthetic appeal. And while Weasley might not be particularly refined, he is, Blaise thinks with some confusion—with some interest, really, lazy and muted and soft—he is most certainly a pretty thing.
“What?” Weasley snaps, glaring at Blaise with thinly veiled suspicion.
Blaise toys with the zipper on the inside pocket of Malfoy’s bag. “What do you mean, what?”
Weasley hunches forward slightly, crossing his arms over his still-bare chest. A decidedly rosy flush is starting to creep across his face. “You’re—fucking staring at me, man.”
Blaise smirks. “Am I?”
“See—that, that definitely sounded like a fucking threat. What’s your problem? You look like you’re—like you’re plotting something.”
Blaise shrugs, and then chuckles, unable to stop himself from letting his gaze linger—impulsively, pointedly, heatedly—on Weasley’s exposed skin. Shoulders. Abdomen. No. Lower. Blaise is plotting something, of course. Weasley’s locker is two down from Malfoy’s, and that might just be better than a surveillance camera.
“You think Malfoy’s a douche, right?” Blaise asks, as conversationally as he can manage.
Weasley rocks back on his heels, basketball shorts slung low across his hips. “Doesn’t everyone?” he sneers.
Blaise licks his lips. Weasley watches him. “Want to help me out with something, Weasley?”
Unbidden, Weasley’s eyes drop to Blaise’s crotch. He looks stunned, and not a little dazed. “Um. What?”
“Not that,” Blaise lies, and then pauses. “Well. Not unless you really want to.”
Weasley clears his throat, expression hovering somewhere on the knife-edge between uncomfortable and intrigued. He appears helpless. Focused. Sharper than he usually is. Blaise can’t believe it took him so long to notice this. To notice him.
“What?” Weasley says again, more quietly.
“You know what I do, right?” Blaise drawls, taking a step forward. Leaning into the solid cold metal of the locker directly in front of Weasley’s.
There’s a beat of silence. It’s tense, like a wire trap coiled tight. Expectant. “Yeah.”
“Then you can imagine how…valuable…a list of my customers would be. Past and present.”
Weasley’s tongue darts out, wetting his lower lip. Blaise’s gut clenches. No. Simmers. “That’s what Malfoy’s got? A list?”
“The list,” Blaise corrects.
Blaise chooses not to speak for a minute—just lets his mouth fall open and his posture relax as he makes a show of inspecting Weasley. Of studying him. “You’ll let me know if you see anything,” Blaise murmurs, flashing a smile he’s surprised to realize he almost means. “Won’t you?”
It starts with a secret.
Blaise has always liked secrets.