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Mechanics of the heart

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Wille is stressed. No, that’s the understatement of the year. Wille is beyond stressed. He should have been in Sundsvall half an hour ago. Because that’s apparently what second-born princes are good for when they take a gap year; sending them across the country to shake hands and cut ribbons. 

On today’s ridiculous menu: watching a local bandy competition for seniors over 65, so he can hand over the cup in the end. He’s going to be so late and his mother is going to be so displeased with him. He can practically see her frown.

Why is he late? Because his car, or more like the car he’s been driven in, has a flat tire. To his and his driver's complete chagrin, there was no other option but to let the prince of Sweden push the damned thing the last two miles to the next gas station that also has a workshop. So on top of being late, he’s now also sweaty. 

Wille’s just about to wipe his brow with the beforehand pristine white handkerchief from his breast pocket when the unexpected happens. The most beautiful man he’s ever seen walks out of the shop, humming under his breath. Wille’s hand freezes halfway towards his brow. 

“What do we have here?”, the man asks, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. For a second Wille’s not sure whether he means the car or him. 

He’s glad Hanna, his driver, actually manages to save him. “A flat tire, I’m afraid– sir.” She tacks on the sir as more of a question.

“Simon is fine”, he comments offhandedly, “Hm”, Simon bends down to inspect the tire. And Wille drops the handkerchief altogether. This must be illegal in some US states. Wille can’t help but stare in fascination as a bead of sweat escapes the wild curls of the mechanic and rolls past a smear of grease on the tan neck. He wants to lick it off his skin. Shit, where did that thought come from? 

He’s been aware that he’s into men ever since one of those parties at Hillerska when one of his arguments with Henry ended with them kissing, but he’s never– he’s never been aware of this attraction quite like this before. And even though he was second born and only the spare prince, the royal advisors had made it very clear to him that it would be inconvenient for the monarchy if he weren’t to produce any heirs. A ridiculous notion for a not even 20-year-old. 

When he told Erik about this, he was furious and made it clear that in his opinion Wille was free to love whoever he wanted. Fuck the monarchy. His words, not Wille’s. Up until now he’d just never met someone of his gender who picked his interest quite like that. 

“You dropped this, your highness ”, an amused voice shakes him out of his musings. Brown eyes twinkle up at him, as Simon holds out the handkerchief to him. Wille flushes, because if he’s not mistaken, there’s a mocking to the way Simon says his title. 

“Uh– thank you, but you can call me Wille.”

Wille” , Simon tries. It sounds like Will-uh. Somehow it makes Wille’s heart beat fast, his ears go red. He really should get a grip. Simon nods to himself, pleased with the way the name rolls off his tongue. Then his eyes dart back to Wille, that impertinent smile back on his lips. “There’s a bakery in the gas station. You should go, try the cupcakes there, your highness . They are delicious .” 

Is Wille going insane or is the mechanic flirting with him? He really wants him to. “Of course. Maybe I’ll even bring you one.” What? Where did that come from?

“I’d like that. For now, I’ll get to work on your warship there.” 

“Warship?”

“You must be aware that this car is built like a tank?”

“Oh yes, of course. Uh– protocol, I’m afraid. I’d rather take the train.”

Simon’s eyebrows climb into his hairline, surprise so clearly written on his face, that Wille laughs. “What? I’m aware of climate change and stuff.”

“Believe me, you don’t wanna take a Swedish train if you have to be on time somewhere at the moment. There’s just so many constructions going on. It’s driving me nuts.” 

“Still, everything is better than being alone in a car for hours.”

And that’s when Hanna clears her throat. Honestly, Wille forgot she’s there. 

Unsurprisingly, Wille flushes to the roots of his hair as his gaze snaps to his driver. Judging by the smirk she’s giving him, Hanna knows perfectly well that he completely forgot he had an audience. “Those cupcakes sound lovely. Let’s check them out, Prince Wilhelm? Better let the gentleman work if we want to reach Sundsvall before the tournament is over.”

Honestly, nothing is further from his mind than fucking Sundsvall right now. But Simon nods in agreement. “Shouldn’t take too long. You can check back in with me after your fika.” 

Simon’s just about out of earshot when Hanna grins at him and says, “Sooo, mechanics, huh?”

Wille groans and nearly falls on his face because he closed his eyes for a second. Hanna steadies him with a cackle. He regrets ever having befriended her in the first place. But how could he not when he spent more time in her car this year than anywhere else. She’s also very easy to talk to. They might also have gotten drunk together in Kiruna and Wille might have spilled all his secrets to her. That memory is plenty blurry, though. 

“That obvious?” 

“To me, yes. Probably to Simon too. He didn’t seem to mind, though.”

“You think so?” There’s so much hope in Wille’s voice that Hanna laughs again. 

“Let’s just say I think it’s better if you take your cupcake and one for him back to the workshop and let me know when you’re ready to go.”

“But we’re already late. My mother will kill me.”

“Even the queen of Sweden can’t hurry a mechanic, Wille. If I tell her we had to wait for a while and you tell her it took quite some time, who is she to say differently?” 

“I will get you a raise”, Wille swears valiantly, nearly giddy as they enter the small café area. The smell hits him instantly, drawing his focus to the display, where at least a dozen colourful cupcakes and pastries wait for hungry customers. 

There are so many. Wille doesn’t know where to begin ordering. “Uh, excuse me”, he timidly tries to catch the attention of the girl working in the kitchen. 

“Hello, what can I get you?”

“That’s the question”, Wille says nervously, “is there any specialty you can recommend?“

“The kladdkaka-variation with hazelnut is a lot of locals’ favourite”, the girl offers, “or my own creation, the kanelbulle-flavour.”

“Oh excellent, the kanelbulle please. And I also need one for your mechanic?”

“Simon? Why?”

“Because I promised to bring him one? Do you– uh know what he likes?” 

The girl laughs, “I sure hope that I know what my brother likes. One kanelbulle cupcake and one orange buttercream cupcake coming right up. Anything else?” 

“Uh yeah, whatever she wants, I’ll pay for it too”, Wille adds, nearly having forgotten Hanna is there again. She orders her pick and a chai latte, and Wille pays dutifully. 

Hanna shoos him off the moment she gets her order, being as impertinent as telling him to have fun and winking. And still, Wille can’t help but hope that her assessment of the situation is correct. 

Wille tries to calm the bouncy feeling in his stomach all the way until he shoulders open the door to the workshop, two plates balanced. The hot, darkish space smells like grease and oil, and his eyes take a second to adjust. 

Then he nearly drops his plates. Because somewhere along the way Simon has lost the t-shirt he was wearing and the dungarees he’s wearing are open and hanging low on his hips as he works. In short, Wille is going to die. Combust. Poof, gone. 

“You’re staring again, your highness ”, Simon comments with a laugh. And, fair, because Wille is staring. He’s staring alright. Eyes roaming the newly revealed expanse of skin, snagging on the V leading into the dungarees enticingly. 

“I am. And call me Wille, please”, the ‘please’ sounds huskier than Wille would like, but the tinkling laughter answering him probably means that ship has sailed. He’s so busted. 

Simon doesn’t seem to mind, though. He saunters over completely unperturbed and takes the cupcakes from him, “Gimme that, before you drop them. Would be a shame.”

Wille hands him the plates. Hell, he’d hand the man his kingdom if he asked nicely. Probably.  

“Are you coming or do you want to keep staring at my ass”, Simon calls over his shoulder.

Before Wille makes any conscious decision to do so, he answers, “Why not both?” And promptly blushes violently. 

Simon laughs again, “I must say, with how you look in official footage, I wouldn’t have expected you to be such a shameless flirt.”

“You bring it out in me.” It’s not even a lie. Wille has never in his life felt like this. It’s like he’s a magnet and Simon is true north. Or south, with how hot he is. 

“Shut up and eat your cupcake”, Simon instructs, a slight blush gracing his sharp cheekbones. 

It takes all of Wille’s restraint not to reach out and see if they are hot to the touch. So he tentatively takes his cupcake and takes a bite out of it. A surprised moan leaves his mouth a few seconds later.

“Good?” Simon asks knowingly.

“So good.” 

Simon hums his consent as he takes a bite out of his and chews happily. “Wanna try?”

“If I may?” 

“If I may”, Simon repeats mockingly, but holds the cupcake out nonetheless. There’s something intimate in taking food like that, held out to him like an offering. Wille tries not to dwell on the thought lest he makes a fool of himself again. This time he hums his approval. The orange buttercream is fresh and sweet on his tongue. He can see why Simon loves it. 

“You’ve got something there”, Simon says as he sets the cupcake back on his plate.

“Here?” Wille says and wipes his nose.

Simon’s eyes drop to his lips and stay there, “No, there.”

“Here?” Wille wipes at one side of his face.

Simon shakes his head and takes a step close, “No, here”, he wipes a bit of buttercream off Wille’s cheek and brings the finger to his lips. A broken little sound escapes Wille. He’s staring again. So is Simon. 

The tension between them is as thick as the buttercream that was just on their skin. Wille sways closer almost imperceptible. “If you want to kiss me, you can, but I’m not going to risk kissing a supposedly straight royal”, Simon says softly. 

Wille doesn’t need to be told twice. The kiss is soft at first, sweet, a questioning and answering. Then Simon’s hand slides into Wille’s hair, tugging him even closer. A surprised moan escapes his lips and suddenly Simon’s tongue is in his mouth. 

It’s less sweet after that, but just as soft. As if Simon’s afraid Wille will break under his hands and lips. Or come to his senses. Wille’s quite certain he’s never wanted anything more in his life. Tentatively, he reaches out to tangle one hand into Simon’s curls, reveling in the softness. Simon hums against his lips, clearly approving. 

It makes Wille bold, his other hand coming up to a naked shoulder like he’s wanted to since he walked in the door. The skin is just as soft as it looks. Simon moans into his mouth as Wille explores further, brushing a thumb over a nipple on the way down.  

Suddenly he’s being tugged into a direction and Wille stumbles along blindly, too busy kissing Simon than bothering to look where he’s being led. He bites down on Simon’s plump bottom lip experimentally, making Simon stumble with a groan. They sprawl onto a bench Wille didn’t even notice was there. 

“That could have gone wrong”, Simon says with a laugh as he rearranges their limbs. 

“Feels very right to me”, Wille gives back as he grins down at Simon. He likes how the other man has to crane up his neck to kiss him now. It makes him want to taste the skin there. So he does. Simon tastes of sweat and grease and oddly enough it makes Wille want him even more. He tastes real . For a lack of better word. 

Simon bucks against him, and suddenly it’s frantic, and needy and Wille’s mind goes blissfully blank. No thoughts, only friction. And their moans echoing off the walls. 

When they come down from their high it dawns on Wille that he’s in serious trouble now for coming in his pants like a fucking teenager. Not that Simon didn’t too, but he doesn’t have to go to a public event and do stupid things there. “Oh no”, he groans, hiding his face in Simon’s shoulder. 

“What? Are you having a gay crisis on me?”

“No, I– uh– had that quite a long time ago. But– uhm– my pants are ruined and I have this event in Sundsvall I need to go to.” 

Before he can hear it even, Wille can feel Simon starting to laugh. It’s beautiful and vexing, like the man underneath him. Once he’s calmed down a bit, Simon offers, “I might have some jeans that fit you.” 

“My mother will kill me.” 

“Just tell her you got your pants dirty because your car broke down. Which technically isn’t a lie.” Is it possible to fall in love this fast? Because Wille’s pretty sure there’s butterflies in his stomach when Simon grins up at him like that. 

Wille leaves the workshop a lot less stressed, albeit still quite sweaty. Hanna refrains from commenting on his state of dress, the jeans he lent from Simon a bit tighter than he would normally wear them. But together with his t-shirt and jacket, it actually looks quite cool, if Wille might say so himself. 

A dreamy smile stays on his lips all through the ridiculously long hours of the still ongoing tournament in Sundsvall. And some eagle-eyed spectators can see the prince touching his breast pocket now and again, as if he is hiding something precious in there. In truth, it is Simon’s phone number. But the public will only learn that tidbit of information years into the future in an interview marking their engagement.