Castle Roland

Everything Will Turn Out Alright

by Cy-Kun


Chapter 6

Posted: N/A

The next morning I was woken up by the sound of my mom knocking at the door. I grunted what was supposed to be a "go the fuck away" but probably came out sounding more like a drunken Chewbacca with a knife in his throat. She completely ignored me and called through the door that breakfast would be ready in 15 minutes. I groaned and unwillingly opened my eyes. I was a little bit annoyed to find that I was actually pretty well rested, I wanted to have an excuse to be grumpy.

I looked at the clock and was surprised to see that it was 10:30 in the morning. My mom usually wakes me up a lot earlier. Something about early birds not understanding the concept of the weekend or something. She must have figured that Vicky and I had stayed up pretty late playing games. At least I hoped that's what she thought.

Speaking of Vicky, it seems he tends to move around in his sleep because we were all tangled together in a twisted mess of sheets and limbs. It took me about five minutes to figure out how to get myself free. The next time Vicky slept over I'd have to make sure my sheets were tucked in more securely. The entire time I struggled to extract myself from the limb and sheet tentacle monster Vicky never made a sound or moved on his own. Why the hell couldn't he be this dead to the world last night when I didn't want him to get up? I sighed and shook him a bit. He didn't respond. I grabbed his shoulder and shook him harder and he grunted, tiredly flailed at me with him arm, turned over and pulled the blanket up over his head. So cute. But his cute ass needed to wake up. I shook him again.

"Come on, wake up." I said.

"Mmphrf" he responded.

"Come on get up. My mom's making breakfast and it'll be ready soon." I shook him harder. I don't know if it was the shaking or the mention of food but he slowly started to come alive. He pushed the blanket off of his head, yawned and rubbed his eyes. His hair was obviously not much better at mornings than he was judging by it's present lack of ability to decide which direction it wanted to stick up in. It made him look even cuter than usual. My hair was longer so it didn't look that bad most mornings. His eyes finally seemed to focus on me and he smiled.

"Morning." he said groggily.

"Morning yourself." I said "Sleep well?"

"Yeah, did you say something about breakfast?"

"Yep. It'll be ready in about 10 minutes. You would have known that though if you weren't so lazy." And before you ask, no, I don't think there is any hypocrisy in calling him that. I did wake up first after all, right? Vicky apparently didn't see it that way, or maybe he did and didn't care, we may never know, because he threw a pillow at me. It hit me in the head.

"Hey!" I said indignantly and lunged at him. I discovered something wonderful then: Vicky was ticklish. VERY ticklish. He squealed with laughter as my fingers danced across his squirming body. He tried fighting me off but he was still mostly tangled up in the blankets so he was at my mercy. I tickled him until tears were running down his cheeks and he was gasping for breath. I decided he'd learned his lesson. Love of my life or not throwing a pillow at my head means war.

"You...suck...." Vicky panted at me.

"You still love me." I said and gave him my most dazzling smile. "Besides we already established that I suck yesterday. I suck very well in fact."

He laughed. "That's true. But your blow job skills can only get you so far."

"What about my sex skills?" I asked playfully.

"They get you the rest of the way." He said and pulled me down for a kiss. We made out until my mom called us down for breakfast.

We went down to find that breakfast wasn't actually ready. This was an annoying habit my mom had. She would call me down and say my food is ready when in reality she has about five more minutes of cooking left to do. I asked her about this once and she said that she doesn't have time to call me down after she's done cooking. Apparently it's easier to stop cooking, walk to the bottom of the steps and call me down only to have me wait around for my food. Parents.

"So, how did you guys sleep?" my mom asked while she was finishing her cooking.

"Good." we said in unison while suppressing grins.

"That's good. Are you boys having a good time together?" she asked.

"Yeah, a really good time." I said and again we suppressed our grins.

She didn't ask us any more questions. Breakfast, eggs, bacon and Eggo waffles, came a minute later and Vicky tore into it hungrily.

"Wow, these are really good eggs." he said as he chewed.

"Thank you." my mom said and smiled happily. She's a sucker for compliments on her cooking.

I started eating and I had to admit that Vicky was right, the eggs were pretty good. In fact everything was. I didn't feel hungry before but when I took my first bite I suddenly became ravenous and started shoveling food into my mouth as fast as Vicky was. We finished eating in record time, thanked my mom and went back upstairs to do our morning stuff.

As much as we wanted to we decided it probably wasn't the best idea to shower together while my mom was in the house. I went in first. I went to the bathroom before getting in the shower and I was shocked to discover that semen doesn't really dry when it's inside you. Interesting. I took a quick shower, brushed my teeth, combed my hair and got dressed. Black cargo pants (fuck you jeans) and a gray Triple H T-Shirt were my attire for the day. I left and Vicky took his turn in the bathroom.

I checked my email and looked around on a few message boards while I waited for Vicky. There was an email from Jason asking if I "knocked up Smurfette" yet. I sent him an email back saying that for someone who hated details he seemed awfully eager to hear some. I actually really wanted to tell him about everything that happened, he is my best friend after all, but seeing as he's also Jason I felt the need to mess with him a bit.

After about 15 minutes Vicky emerged from the bathroom. His hair was once again in perfect order and he was wearing yet another pair of cargo shorts but he had on a dark green Halo T-Shirt this time. If you hadn't noticed by this point even though we're both gay we don't really give a shit about fashion. Vicky walked over to me and I gave his a kiss. I also caught whiff of the wonderful smell of freshly washed Vicky and that whatever that strawberry stuff he has is.

"Mmmmm you smell nice." I remarked.

"Thank you." he said smiled.

"What is that strawberryish smell?" I had to ask. He fished around in his bag and handed me a bottle of body spray. Thankfully it wasn't Axe. I don't think I could have forgiven even Vicky for that.

"I don't really like deodorant sticks." he explained. "This stuff keeps me from smelling and it's not as overpowering as most body sprays."

"Cool." I said. "It smells very good." I handed it back.

"I'm glad you like it." he said as he put it away. "So what do you wanna do?"

"Some more Dynasty Warriors?" I suggested.

"Sure." he said and got the disc out.

We played for while, in silence at first but pretty soon we started talking about things. Sometimes about important things, sometimes about pointless crap that I can't imagine anyone else being interested in, but what amazed me about all of it was how natural it felt. It was strange to think that I had really only known Vicky for less than a week. I know a lot of people would say that isn't the best foundation for a friendship let alone a relationship but everything just felt so right. It felt like I was spending time with a more interesting and much sexier version of myself. We didn't even bother finishing each others sentences, that was amateur hour crap, we would sometimes just break off in the middle of a sentence, look each other in the eye and smile because we knew that we were both thinking the exact same thing. It was pure and perfect in every way possible. It was also seriously turning me on. I had no idea just TALKING to someone could be so damn hot but I don't think I was soft for more than five minutes the entire time. The fact that I never once considered jumping on Vicky and having my way with him should tell you all you need to know about the depth of my love.

After what seemed like minutes, but what a surprised glance at my clock showed was really three hours, there was a knock at my door. It broke our conversation, but it didn't bother me. Unlike that day in front of the school I didn't feel like I lost anything that I couldn't get back. I knew we were only taking a break from something that we'd be able to get back to whenever we wanted. I didn't even have to look in Vicky's eyes to know he felt the same way.

"Come in" I called. I hadn't locked my door.

"Hey kiddos." my mom said when she walked in. I paused the game. Does she not realize how patronizing that sounds? "I just off the phone with your dad Vicky and he's gonna be here in about a half hour to pick you up." Vicky and I looked at each other and our faces fell. I knew Vicky would have to go home today but I had been trying my hardest to block that out. My mom saw our identical looks of dismay and shook her head.

"You'd think I just told you your dog died." she remarked. "It's not like you'll never see each other again, you'll both be at school tomorrow." Note to any present or future parents out there: mentioning that your son is going have to go back to school is not the best way to cheer him up. "Plus I'd be happy to pick Vicky up and bring him over whenever he's allowed." Well, that actually did make me feel better. It made Vicky feel better too because he smiled at my mom.

"Thanks Julia." he said.

"It's no problem at all." She opened her mouth like she was going to say something else but closed it quickly. When she spoke again all she said was "Well I'll let you get back to your game. I'll call you when Vicky's dad gets here so leave the door open ok?" I nodded and she left.

"I wish I could stay here forever." Vicky said wistfully.

"Yeah, me too." I agreed. "But you'd probably end up missing your dad at some point."

"Nah," he flashed me his impish smile. "Your mom makes much better eggs." I laughed.

"Hey, I have a question." I started.

"Yeah?" he asked.

"Your dad knows your gay right?"

Vicky nodded.

"So, did you ever, like, tell him anything about me?" I asked.

"Oh yeah." Vicky said matter of factly. "He knows that I like you and stuff. That's really it though. He doesn't like to pry too much." I thought about my mom.

"That sounds nice." I said with a hint of wistfulness in my voice.

"Yeah, I guess." Vicky said. "Any reason why you asked?"

"Nah, just curious." I replied and we went back to playing the game. Suddenly, I remembered something important. I paused the game again.

"Wait right here, I need to go get something." I ran out of the room. When I came back I handed Vicky what I had in my hand.

"A lemon line Gatorade?" he asked confused.

"Yeah. Yours actually. You left it behind that day at the pool and I kinda...kept it...." I gave him an embarrassed smile. "I kinda thought if I held onto it I'd see you again. I know, it's stupid....."

"No, it's not at all stupid." he kissed me. "It's sweet and it's the only thing we have from our first meeting. I'll always keep it." He smiled at me.

I smiled back and kissed him again. My eyes started to well up with tears and I blinked them away. If there was any doubt in my mind that Vicky was the one for me, not that there was mind you, this would have utterly destroyed it.

"Come on," I said after we broke our kiss. "Let's play a bit." We once again unpaused the game.

A little less than 30 minutes later I heard the doorbell ring and my mom shouted, "Vicky! Your dad is here!" We saved, turned off the game and I helped Vicky gather up the games he brought. Vicky shoved them in his overnight bag and started gathering up his clothes. When he had those packed up he put his bag down and pulled me into his arms.

"I love you." he said.

"I love you too." I said. We kissed. It was a long kiss, filled with love and sadness at having to part. Vicky released me, picked up his bag and we went downstairs.

When we got to the bottom of the stairs we saw my mom and Vicky's dad were laughing about something. That's another problem she tends to have, she likes talking to people. Sometimes she'll go on with people she runs into at the store forever while I stand there bored out of my mind. This time though she noticed us right away and motioned us over to the door. Vicky's dad looked just the way I remembered him except this time he was wearing a shirt and a tie. Which was a good thing, I was glad I could finally have a mental picture of him with a shirt on. Not that he wasn't decent looking, for an older guy, but I'm of the opinion that old people over the age of 30 should always go around fully clothed. He smiled at us in greeting but I didn't see any look of recognition in his face so he must not have remembered me from our very brief meeting at the pool.

"So, this is the famous Nate." he said. "It's nice to finally meet you." Yep, he didn't remember. He held out his hand and I shook it.

"It's nice to meet you too, Mr Clarke ." I said. I decided not to make an issue about his lack of remembering me.

"So," he turned to Vicky. "Did you have a good time?"

"Yeah, I had a great time." Vicky said.

"Glad to hear it." he said and sounded like he meant it too. For all his lack of memory (seriously how could anyone not remember me? he asked narsissisticly) he seemed like he really cared about Vicky, which is a great thing because the last thing this story needs is unnecessary family drama.

"Do you have all your games?" my mom asked Vicky.

"Yes mom, he has all his games, he's not five." I answered impatiently. Although I wasn't quite sure what I was impatient about aside from the usual teenage annoyance with parents asking questions that don't need to be asked.

"Why Vicky, you sound an awfully lot like my son except he'd know better than to be rude in front of company." She said with a pointed look towards me. Vicky's dad laughed.

"It's alright." he said. "I know full well how kids are at this age."

"I can't imagine Vicky ever being rude." my mom said which brought another laugh from his dad.

"You'd be surprised at some of the things that can come out of his mouth." his dad said and tousled Vicky's hair. I snickered, oh if only he knew.

"Dad, seriously, stop." Vicky said as he pushed his fathers hand away. We shared a look of long suffering understanding. The kind of look that only kids with parents who like to embarrass them in front of other people would understand. Somehow I didn't think most kids would have much trouble with it.

"Alright, alright." he held up his hands in mock surrender. "We've gotta get going anyway." He turned to my mom. "It was nice to meet you Julia and thanks again for having Vicky over."

"It was nice to meet you Jack and it was no problem at all. Anytime he wants to come back he's welcome." my mom smiled at Vicky.

"Thanks." Vicky said.

"Well, we'll be seeing you around." Vicky's dad said and then turned to leave. Vicky and I shared one final smile before he followed his dad out the door. The second my mom closed the door she pounced.

"So, how did it go?" she asked slyly.

"How did what go?" I asked knowing exactly what she meant but not wanting to answer. I appreciated her help and her interest but there are just some things a kid doesn't want to discuss with his mother you know?

"Did you tell him how you feel about him?" she asked impatiently.

I sighed. "Yes mom."

"And?" she prompted after it was clear that I wasn't going to volunteer any more information.

"He feels the same way." I answered and couldn't help but smile as I remembered the moment he told me he loved me.

"I knew it!" my mom exclaimed and wrapped me in a hug. "Ohhh my son has his first boyfriend!" She squeezed me harder. Wow, she must be really happy about this. She doesn't usually gush all over me. It was slightly disturbing but I figured I was pretty damn lucky. Not only was she ok with her only son being gay but she legitimately wanted me to be happy. I hugged her back tightly.

"Can I go upstairs now or do you want to continue with the interrogation?" I asked when she released me. Great mom or not there is only so much questioning about one's love life that a 13 year old boy is willing to put up with.

"Well, I would like to know exactly what happened." she sighed. "But I guess you can go. Dinner's at 8!" she yelled after me as I ran up the stairs into my room.

I spent the next few hours playing various video games and replaying the events of the last 24 hours over in my mind. I had a boyfriend, a real boyfriend who I loved and who loved me back. And we gave our virginity to each other! In my bed! I never wanted to wash those sheets again.

My thoughts turned to school on Monday. It was going to be hell not jumping all over Vicky the second I saw him but we both decided that we weren't going to announce our relationship to the world just yet. It wasn't that we were embarrassed or ashamed in any way, it was just that we didn't want to deal with the inevitable fallout of being the gay kids at school. As it was nobody picked on us or anything but we weren't exactly desired company. Vicky, Jason and I tended to be ignored by the social circles and we usually preferred it that way. At least I always did and I know Vicky did as well but I sometimes wondered about Jason. It would be easier for him to get a girlfriend if we were more popular or if he had more friends but thankfully he seemed to be doing fine in that department now. And speaking of Jason it wouldn't be fair for him if suddenly he was known as the kid who's only real friends were the school queers. It might spark some unfair, but understandable, questions about his own preferences.

So for the time being our relationship would be a secret. It's not like we wanted to hide it for the rest of our lives or anything. At some point we both wanted to be able to be ourselves outside of our houses. Not in the "I'm here, I'm queer, so deal with it!" kind of way but more in the "I'm here, I'm queer, I wanna live a normal life so just leave me the fuck alone" kind of way. But we both hoped to keep it a secret until we were out of high school. That may have been a bit to much to ask but overreaching was better than dealing with daily insults and fights until we went to college.

I was interrupted from my musings, and getting my ass handed to me in UFC Undisputed 2010, by my phone ringing. I paused the game and answered.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hey." Jason said. "So, did you steal his innocence yet?"

"You know, I was joking before but you really seem veeeeery interested in me and Vicky's sex life. Is there something you want to tell me?"

"Ah, so you guys have a sex life huh?" he said slyly.

I sighed. "If you must know, yes, we do have a sex life. A very good one actually. Now if you ask me another question I'm gonna go into the full details and then next time me and Vicky get together I'm gonna take pictures and email them to you."

He laughed. "Ok ok, no more questions. I just wanna know if my little smurf is growing up on me."

"Ha! You just wanna know if your 'little smurf' lost his virginity before you."

Jason grumbled something unintelligible.

"What was that?" I asked

"Nothing." he said with mock sullenness.

"So, speaking of personal questions, how are things with you and Jen?" I asked.

"Pretty good actually. We hung out at the mall today and had lunch at Uno's."

I gasped. "Ah, a second date! Did you treat her like a lady? Did you open doors for her? Did you pay for her meal? Did you throw yourself on top of puddles so she didn't have to get her shoes wet?" I asked in an overly dramatic voice.

"Sometimes I wonder why I even bother telling you anything." he grumbled.

"Sorry," I said. "But maybe you should think about that when you do it to me." I added smartly.

"Whatever." he said.

"So," I said seriously after a brief silence. "Did you guys kiss again?"

"Yeah, we did." he answered. "On the lips this time."

"Wow, your first kiss. Nice." I said sincerely.

"Technically my second. In fourth grade I got dared to kiss this girl on the lips and I did. But this was the first one that actually meant something." He started to say something else but I cut him off.

"Wait, who did you kiss in fourth grade?"

"I'm not telling you." Well, if there was a way to deflect my curiosity this sure as hell wasn't it.

"Come on, dude. I tell you everything and you can't tell me this one little thing? How bad could it be? Was she like.....handicapped or something?"

"No! It's just.......dammit it was Patty Collins ok?" I didn't respond for several seconds.

"You mean......Fatty Patty?" I tried to hold back my laughter but a small snort escaped from my mouth. Jason heard it of course.

"She wasn't fat in fourth grade! It was just some stupid dare thing, ok? Can we just drop it?"

"Nope." I said happily. I was not going to let this go just yet. "So did she taste like cake or gravy?"

"You are really an asshole you know?"

"I know. You know you'd do the same thing in my shoes though so just lay back and take it like a good little bitch."

"Sometimes I have no idea why I'm friends with you." he growled.

"It's because no one else can stand to be around you for more than ten minutes. I think the President is actually planning on giving me a medal for it next week."

"Ok, that's it, I'm going to have to kill you now."

"You can try but the secret service is gonna be protecting me until after the medal ceremony and after that I'm taking Vicky and going into witness protection."

"The secret service is no match for me. I'll just get Patty to eat them all and then kill you." We both laughed and any tension or anger that may have been brewing between us was instantly gone. I think one of the greatest things about having a true best friend is how quickly one or both of you can go from being pissed off to joking around without having any idea how you got there.

We traded a few more insults then started talking about him and Jen again. He seemed a bit quieter and slower to respond than usual and I was starting to wonder if he was maybe still a bit annoyed about the Fatty Patty stuff when he asked:

"Hey, can I ask you something without you getting all weird on me?"

Well, this sounded interesting.

"Sure." I said.

"How do you know when you're in love?" he asked.

Well, I certainty wasn't expecting that. I really had no idea how to answer him. How do you explain a feeling that you don't even fully understand yourself? I knew what I felt for Vicky was love even though, or maybe because, I had never felt it before. It was beyond my usual lust or desire to spend time with someone. I thought back to me and Vicky's earlier conversation and suddenly I had an answer.

"You just know." I said. "When you're in love it hits you like nothing you've ever felt before and you wonder how you ever lived before feeling it. When you love somebody they bring out the best in you without ever realizing they're doing it. They make you..." What was the word Vicky used? Oh, yeah. "Better. And if they love you too you make them better without even trying."

"Wow." Jason said after a long silence. "I was sort of expecting some cliche about finding your other half or something but that was.....nice. And it sounded right. Thanks for giving me a real answer."

I smiled. In all the years Jason and I have known each other I could count on one hand the amount of times we had ever talked about things that were really serious but every time we did it always had an impact and made our friendship that much stronger. Usually it had been him helping me with things like leaving behind all my old friends or accepting that there was nothing wrong with being gay (that one didn't really take much convincing though to be honest) and I was glad that I could return the favor.

"You're my best friend, you should know by now that I'm always here for the important stuff no matter how much I wanna kick your ass sometimes." I said.

"Yeah, I know." he laughed.

"So, do you think you're in love with Jen?" I asked, taking an educated guess at the reason for his question.

"I dunno." he said truthfully. "I like her a lot and being around her makes me feel good but I dunno if I've felt anything like what you described."

"Well give it time." I said. "I'm guessing it's probably not usual for people to fall in love as fast as me and Vicky did. You two just need to get to know each other more."

"Yeah I think so too." he laughed again. "Alright, well now that we've had our teen drama moment I should probably get going. I still have some homework to do." I was suddenly very glad that my mom made me do mine on Friday night. "Oh, hey, one more thing, would you mind if Jen started sitting with us at lunch? We don't really get to see each other much in school and it would give us a chance to have more time together."

"Sure, I'm ok with it. I'm sure Vicky will be too but you should ask him. But are you sure she'd wanna sit with us? We're not exactly the table that everyone reserves."

"I'll send him an email about it and yeah, I'm sure. It was actually her idea."

"Cool." I said. "See you tomorrow then."

"See ya." He hung up.

I unpaused my game and prepared to get slaughtered by Frank Mir again.

I didn't talk to Vicky or Jason again until the next day at school during homeroom. (Like I thought, Vicky didn't have any problem with Jason's girlfriend sitting with us at lunch.) We talked just like we normally did and didn't act weird or anything but I was starting to get a bit nervous about being "discovered". I thought that anybody who even glanced at us would notice that something was different. I sure as hell did. There was a lightness about me. That doesn't really explain much but it's the only was I can describe it. It was like I was gliding through life, not in the metaphorical "everything is so easy" way, but literally flying in the air. Like gravity was something reserved for lesser mortals who haven't yet experienced the joy of being loved or something. Like I said I can't really explain it. I could sense something different with Vicky as well. It seemed much more obvious that his body language and the things he said and the way he said them were all screaming "I love this boy sitting next to me!". Or maybe I was overthinking things again and I was just viewing Vicky's normal body language through eyes that knew exactly how he felt about me. Either way the looks and smiles we kept giving each other when we were sure no one was looking were probably more than enough for anyone observing us to notice something strange.

Luckily we were pretty much ignored as always. That's one of the big benefits of not really fitting into any of the social groups at school, you could pretty much be invisible as long as you didn't do anything to draw too much attention to yourself. Of course, if you tried to look like you were avoiding attention an observant teacher might overreact and you could find yourself in the guidance counselors office trying to assure her that, yes, you can empathize with people and, no, you don't own any trench coats or have access to automatic weapons. That never happened to me but I did hear one of the goth kids complaining about it last year so it was a possibility.

Other than my slight fear of being "outed" there was nothing really remarkable about the first half of the day. I went to class, talked to Vicky and Jason when I could and pretty much tried to pass time until the end of the day. Oh, and I guess learning and life skills and whatever. Lunch period finally came and Vicky and I were walking to the cafeteria together. We were just a bit too close and maybe our hands touched briefly a few times but the hall was pretty crowded, lots of people were walking close together and accidental touches were pretty much unavoidable in that type of situation. Nothing that out of the ordinary, right?

Jason wasn't with us. After homeroom he only has first and second period with us and then gym class later on. After gym he had to go back to his locker to get books for the rest of the day so we usually didn't run into him again until lunch (which in a stroke of genius cruelty was three periods before the end of the day for 8th graders) so it was a surprise when we heard loud, rapid footsteps coming up behind us and Jason's voice calling at us to wait up. We did. Jason looked like he had run halfway across the school which, if he ran all the way from his last class as was probably the case since he still had his books from earlier (Sherlock Ellis at your service), he probably had.

"You ok?" I asked.

"Yeah....I you guys..." he panted as he gulped down air.

"Is something wrong" Vicky asked with a bit of concern creeping into his voice. Concern that I shared by the way, it wasn't like Jason to run around school looking for us, something had to be up.

"Before I say anything," Jason said after catching his breath somewhat. "You guys need to promise that you won't get pissed at me." Oh, one of those, this wasn't going to go well. My concern still overrode my creeping annoyance though.

"I promise." I said.

"Vicky?" Jason prompted.

"Yeah, I promise too." Vicky said and Jason led us over to a corner by the stairwell that didn't have too many people around.

"Ok, now I swear I didn't know about this until like 10 minutes ago, if I did I would have said something. You believe me right?"

"Yes, we believe you." Vicky answered before I could say anything.

"Nate?" Jason prompted me this time. I opened my mouth to say something that would probably have come across as rude but Vicky shot me a "just say yes so we can move the fuck on" look.

"Yeah, I believe you." I said.

"Ok, well, remember how I said Jen wanted to sit with us at lunch so we'd get to spend more time together at school?" We nodded. "Well that was only half the truth." He took a deep breath. "The other half is that she also invited her two friends that she usually sits with, Erica and Michelle, to sit with us as well."

"Is that it?" I asked and then continued without waiting for an answer. "Look, I appreciate you wanting our input on who sits with us at lunch but you didn't need to run across the sch-"

"No! You don't get it." he cut me off. "Michelle and Erica aren't sitting with us just so they can sit with Jen. They...."he trailed off and hesitated.

"They what?" Vicky asked sounding as confused as I was.

"Like you guys." Jason finished with a wince.

"Um, isn't being liked by people a good thing?" Vicky asked more confused than ever. While Jason struggled to find a way to answer that without yelling I suddenly figured it out.

"You mean, they LIKE us, like us? Like boyfriend and girlfriend like?" I asked.

"Yes!" Jason said with relief.

Vicky and I burst out laughing. This was too funny. In any other situation this would be perfect for any group of male friends. His girlfriend has two girl friends who like his male friends and now they were getting set up on a triple lunch date. It would have been a perfect improbable event to kick off a relationship or two and in another story it might have even led to a massive orgy. The thing is, in this story, the two male friends in question are gay and in love with each other! It was priceless! This is like something you'd see in a sitcom. I half expected Charlie Sheen to run by on the way to one of the dates he had mistakenly scheduled for the same time.

Jason didn't seem amused at all though. In fact he seemed to me equal parts mad, panicked and frustrated. He grabbed us each by one shoulder and jerked us around so that we faced him.

"You don't get it." he repeated and looked me in the eye. "Nate, Erica has apparently had a thing for you since last year, and Vicky" he looked him in the eye for this part "Michelle has been going on and on about how cute you are since the first day at school."

"So?" I cut in still not seeing what the big problem was.

"So," he growled. "These three girls are three of the hottest girls in the school. They may not hang out in any particular group but they're not invisible like us. Everyone notices them and almost every guy in our grade would give their left nut to be their boyfriend. It's why I never asked Jen out, I figured I'd never have a chance."

Vicky started to say something but Jason cut him off. I, however, thought I was beginning to understand.

"Let me finish." he said. "I shouldn't have had a chance with Jen and even if I didn't have a thing for her since 6th grade I'd have jumped at the chance to go out with her. Anyone would have. Just like anyone, especially guys like us who aren't super popular, would jump at the chance to go out with either of her friends."

"Anyone except two gay boys." I said with a growing sense of dread.

"Exactly!" Jason exclaimed. Realization dawned on Vicky's face too.

"You mean if we turn these girls down, which we will, everyone will know and start to wonder why, right?" he asked.

"Not only that," Jason responded "But everyone will start to watch you. People will joke about you having to be gay to turn down girls that hot but pretty quickly someone will see you do something or hear you say something and find out that you guys really are gay. It's not like you're doing a great job at hiding it now. Christ, you guys were practically holding hands when I ran up to you!"

Vicky's face turned red and I felt mine flush too. He was right. We were not at all good at hiding the way we felt about each other. Maybe in a few months after the newness wears off we might have been able to at least keep from unconsciously touching and staring at each other but as it was now the only thing keeping someone from discovering us was everyone's complete lack of interest in us. If, when, we turned the girls down we would certainly be a lot more interesting to say the least.

"I can't believe this is happening!" I moaned in dismay. "We wanted to keep this a secret until we graduated high school and we're not even through our first day back to 8th grade after getting together and it's already about to come out." I glared at Jason. "Why didn't you say anything to Jen?"

"What could I have said?" he asked plaintively.

"Say that her friends can't sit with us! Say that we like other girls! Anything!" I exclaimed.

"And what about those 'other girls'? I hate to admit this but you guys are pretty attractive to girls. There's a pretty decent chance that these fake love interests would turn out to be interested in you and we'd be right back here again. There was nothing that I could say!" Jason yelled. Luckily by this time the halls were practically deserted by us. We were probably late for lunch but the monitors wouldn't care, the girls would however. We couldn't take much longer.

As I thought this I also realized that Jason was really upset about this. Despite his protests he probably thought that this was all his fault and he'd always been incredibly protective of me. Which is odd considering the amount of abuse I get from him. It would kill him if I was suddenly getting harassed by the entire school for being gay and he blamed himself. Not to mention what he'd have to go through as the gay kids friend. I was still a bit angry but I was forming an apology in my mind when Vicky spoke up.

"So, we can't reject them and we can't date them, right?" he said

We both looked at each other and then nodded.

"Well, what if we make them reject us?" he asked

"You guys can't be mean to them." Jason said quickly. "If you hurt their feelings or treat them like crap guys will start fights with you just to try and score points. That'll definitely make people take notice."

"I'm not saying we be mean to them. We should act interested and be nice but who says that someone who is interested and nice would also be interesting?" Vicky said with a sly smile. I grinned as what he was saying fully hit me.

"He's got a good point." I said. "No one really knows that much about us."

"And their attraction to me and Nate is pretty much purely physical right? They don't like us because we're into the same things they like us because we're dead sexy." he said, his smile turning into a grin. Jason and I laughed and just like that the tense mood evaporated.

"Yeah, that's about right. Except for the dead sexy part." Jason said with a smirk.

"So," Vicky continued. "All we need to do is make them think we're completely and totally boring. Not too boring or else that itself might get us some unwanted attention but enough so that they start thinking about a few of the other hundred or so guys in our grade. With any luck they'll lose interest and we can act all sad by their sudden coldness and the world will go back to normal."

"You guys do know that a lot of people are gonna think it's strange that these hot girls are interested in you guys in the first place right? That might draw enough attention for someone to notice if you two slip up." Jason warned.

"I don't think so." I cut in. "As attractive as these girls are they're not a part of any social group. Guys may find them hot but people here generally don't pay attention to much to what people outside their group do unless it's something really bizarre, like two nobodies flat out rejecting two sexy girls. They're all too self absorbed. I mean you're dating Jen and nobody has treated you differently right?"

"Well, yeah, but maybe no one knows yet." he said.

"Exactly my point! You two went to the mall and the movies together over the weekend. There isn't much to do in this town so chances are pretty damn good that kids from school were there too and either no one noticed you or no one cares." I said pleased with myself.

"Ok, fair enough. So you make them lose interest and then you guys can rub hands and stare longingly into each others eyes as much as you want." Jason said.

"Sounds like a plan." Vicky remarked.

You know I can't help you out at all right?" Jason asked. "I don't want Jen to start thinking I'm just as boring as you guys."

"I'm sure she'll figure that out eventually but you should be able to fool her for a little bit longer so it's cool." Vicky said.

We shared a laugh and then went off to the lunchroom to put our evil plan into action.

We ended up having to stop by Jason's locker on the way. Not only did he need his books but his lunch was there as well. Luckily it wasn't too far out of our way and we made it to lunch only about 10 minutes late. The girls were still on line waiting to buy their lunch and since Jason, Vicky and I are all brown-baggers (God that sounds sexual as all hell) we were able to get to our table and pretend that we had been there a while.

As we started unpacking our lunches I took a look around the lunch room. It always amazed me how a bunch of kids who usually complain so hard about being forced to sit in the same seats everyday in class choose to sit in the same place when given a choice. Nowhere is this more obvious than at lunch. Every single year for the entire year everybody sits in the exact same place as they sat on the first day. The same table, the same seat, everything. Even the kids who thought they were "non conformists" never thought to switch it up at all.

Speaking of non conformists have you ever noticed how the different types never like to mix? They can go on for hours about how unfair it is for the "jocks" and the "preps" to exclude them because they're different but at the end of the day if you're not exactly like them they want nothing to do with you. The goths won't sit with the emos, the emos won't sit with the hipsters, the hipSTERS won't sit with the hipPIES but for some reason every group has at least one anime or magic card kid in it. It's weird.

I shook myself out of my thoughts. I needed to get it together and be on the ball here. We had attractive girls to distance ourselves from.

Our table was one of the long, plastic ones that had a bench attached to them and looked like a stretched out version of something you'd see in the picnic area of a park. It could easily seat six people on each side so we didn't worry about having enough room. In fact if you thought about it it was kinda strange that the three of us could have this big table to ourselves everyday but everyone else had their own tables and, cramped or not, no one was moving.

Jen was the first to arrive. She had long, dark brown hair, and she was pretty fit. I could see why Jason liked her for so long. She smiled at Jason and sat down next to him across from us. She gave him a little hug and then smiled mischievously at us. Oh she had her little plans all right but what she didn't count on was that we had our own counter plan. I was actually kinda starting to have a little fun. It felt like I was a secret agent or something.

"Hi." Jen said with what looked like a sincere smile. "I'm Jen."

"I'm Nate." I said.

"And I'm Vicky." Vicky said.

We both smiled at her. Honest smiles by the way. We weren't trying to drive her away after all and if she and Jason were going to be together we'd all have to get along after all this was over.

"I'm glad you didn't have a problem with us sitting here. I wanna spend time with my Jason" she hugged him again "but I don't wanna ditch my friends, ya know?" she said.

I almost said something about "hoes before bros" but this was one of the rare cases where I realized something would have been a disaster to say before I actually said it.

"It's cool." I said instead. "It'll be nice to have girls to talk to while Jason drools over you all period." I smiled just in case she took offense to that. Girls tend to get offended about the weirdest things. It turned out to be unnecessary though because she laughed.

"Maybe you two will have a chance to do some drooling of your own." she said playfully. Uh oh, she was in full "matchmaker" mode. I had hoped she would spend lunch talking mostly with Jason and ignoring us but that didn't seem likely. I caught Jason's eye and he gave me a slight nod. He'd noticed that too. I hoped he'd be able to keep her focused on him instead of trying to make us seem more interesting to her friends.

Vicky and I just smiled and started eating our lunches. The next girl to exit the lunch line was Michelle, the one who thought Vicky was incredibly hot. She had good taste in boys if nothing else. She was thin and had blonde hair that was more than half again the length of my own and was pulled back into a ponytail. I was strangely glad that I only wore my little nub at the pool, between her and Vicky's dad I think I was starting to develop some kind of ponytail envy. She was tanned, not as dark as Vicky and not nearly as natural looking, and she seemed to bounce across the room.

As she walked over to us a guy from one of the other tables called out to her. She smiled dazzlingly at him, waved and then continued on her way. Wow, she was good. She managed to convey just the right amount of pleasure at being noticed by that boy to make him feel like she liked him but also the perfect amount of "there's somewhere I need to be I'm sure you understand see ya later" so that he didn't feel rejected or slighted when she didn't come over to him.

And she did all this 100% naturally.

I started to worry. Girls like that tended to always get their way and only reacted one of two ways when they didn't. They either got bored and moved on to something easier or they sunk their teeth in and refused to let go until they got what they wanted. Guess which one I was hoping for?

She sat down next to Vicky and we all introduced ourselves again. I didn't know why we bothered. We were all in classes together and, with the exception of Vicky, had been for years. We knew who we were but we still felt the need to make introductions. After that was done she immediately started chattering away at Vicky with bubbly abandon. That also kinda worried me. If he didn't get the chance to say anything boring how would she ever lose interest? I didn't get to spend much time thinking about that because my own problem had just sat down next to me.

I studied Erica as we made yet another round of pointless introductions. She was slightly taller than me, the only one of the girls to not be my size or smaller. (I would have to remember to harass Jason about dating a "smurf" later on) She had straight, dark black hair that hung down past her shoulders and her skin was a bit pale. Not as pale as mine but not nearly as dark as the booth tan of Michelle. She also had just the slightest bit of baby fat around her belly but it looked good on her. She looked very nervous and I actually kinda felt a bit bad for her. I knew how terrifying it could be to have a conversation with someone you had liked for a while for the first time. The nervousness actually made her look more attractive in an innocent, in need of protection kind of way.

Ok, this is probably the best time to get this out of the way so please excuse the break in the story. Something that people don't seem to understand about gay guys is that we aren't disgusted by girls. At least not instinctually. In fact nobody, straight or gay is naturally disgusted by the same or opposite sex. It's all a learned behavior. Every time you see a guy get disgusted at the sight of a gay couple holding hands or every time you hear a gay guy say something like "Ewwww girls are gross" it's not an instinctual reaction. They were taught to feel that way by any number of outside influences. TV, movies, friends, books, parents, religion. All of that and more shapes who people are and how they react to things. Some people are lucky enough to not be effected too much by outside influences, like me, or they've had something happen in their lives that forces them to challenge everything they thought they knew, like Vicky, so they can sort of stay outside a lot of that learned behavior but for most people it's unavoidable. The reason I'm getting into this is because when I comment on the attractiveness of these girls it's not because I'm secretly bi or I'm going to suddenly start to question my sexuality. I can know whether or not a girl is attractive without actually being attracted to her. And that's how it was here. I could look at each one of these girls and say exactly what made them good looking and why but none of that did anything for me. The same way straight guys can tell if another guy is attractive or not without being attracted to them. Sometimes I think it might be better if kids were kept in a vacuum until they were old enough to tell the difference between what they actually thought and what outside influences told them they should think.

There, done. I promise I'll try to make that the last time I go off topic with my philosophical musings.

We didn't say anything for a little bit. Not that it bothered me. If I could pretend to be just as shy and nervous as Erica she might give this up as a lost cause. I couldn't just sit here though, I quickly realized. If we didn't say anything Jen would notice and jump in to try and get us to talk and her attention was the last thing I needed. It was a good thing Jason seemed to be keeping her focused on him. I spared them a quick glance and saw them laughing quietly together. It was good to see Jason happy. But back to my own female.

"Hi." I said in what I hoped was an appropriately shy yet eager tone.

"Hi." she said back in a small voice and smiled slightly. "So, um, are you having a good year so far?" she asked lamely. I could tell she regretted saying it the moment it was out of her mouth. If I wanted to I could probably give a sarcastic answer right here which might just drive her away, possibly even in tears if she was as fragile as she seemed, and end this. But I needed to make her lose interest in me, not hate me, and besides I'm not a cruel person. I don't think I could have done that to anybody knowingly.

"Yeah, it's pretty good." I answered truthfully. "It was cool meeting Vicky." Crap. That slipped. I had a brief moment of panic where I knew, just KNEW, that she'd take that the right way and I'd be screwed but she didn't even hesitate before going on.

"Yeah, you guys seemed to hit it off right away." she remarked. "It must be nice making a friend that quick."

"Yeah, it is." I fought to hold back the smile that was trying to form on my lips. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to grin like a lovesick fool while we're talking about Vicky.

"I've never really made friends that easily." she said wistfully. "Jen and Michelle are pretty much it really."

"Hm." I replied. "So what kind of movies do you like?"

She seemed a bit surprised at the change of subject and for a split second she gave me a weird look. I didn't know what it meant but I figured that it was probably not something positive. Not doing too bad so far.

"Um, I really kinda like sci-fi movies and horror I guess." she answered. "What about you?"

"I'm more into comedies." I lied. In fact sci-fi and horror were my two favorite genres of movies and comedies were probably my least favorite. Especially romantic comedies. This was going to be painful. "I don't really like depressing movies."

"Depressing?" she asked confused.

"Yeah, everyone always dies in horror movies. It's kinda sad, not to mention predictable." I remarked.

"And comedies aren't predictable?" she asked. She sounded like she was getting irritated. Man, this was easier than I thought. "They always end the same way with one of the main characters chasing after the other main character after they have a stupid fight that anyone with any brains would see was because of a stupid misunderstanding."

"At least nobody dies and you come out of the theater feeling good." I countered. "Horror and sci-fi just leave you feeling depressed or confused."

She looked like she was about to really start arguing with me (I wonder if that's what I look like when I'm arguing with some idiot that doesn't know anything about movies?) when suddenly Jen cut in.

"Hey Erica, did you do your biology homework?" she asked. Erica looked confused for a second, as if she had forgotten about everything except defending her taste in movies, then spoke.

"Um, yeah I have it in my notebook, why?" she asked.

"Can I have a look at it, I wanna check something."

Erica started to rummage through her notes looking for the homework. Damn! That was going so well too. Or, not so well, which was the point, so really it was going well. Well, for me anyway. Not for Erica. Which was the point of the random "can I see your homework" interruption. Jen was apparently not as distracted by Jason as I thought. Oh well. I mentally shrugged. Averted argument or not this was clearly not a conversation that was going to spark a relationship. All I needed to do was keep finding out what she was interested in and pretend to hate it and love the exact opposite. Year long crush or not no one wants to spend time with somebody who doesn't like anything they do, right?

While Erica and Jen discussed their homework I took the opportunity to listen in on Vicky's conversation and see how he was doing. "Conversation" may have been too strong of a word though. It was more like a monologue. Michelle had this amazing ability to completely leave periods out of her sentences and jump from topic to topic so quickly that by the time your brain had deciphered what she just said she had already gone through three completely different topics. Every once and a while Vicky would give a noncommittal grunt when he was asked something but that didn't seem to phase her in the slightest. I needed to find some way to help him out. If he kept silent the whole time it was likely that someone as self-absorbed as Michelle would just assume that he's a good listener and want to spend even more time with him.

I pulled myself away from that train wreck in time to see Erica put her notebook away and turn back to me. She smiled at me and quickly glanced to her left. I saw Jen give a little nod of encouragement. Somehow I didn't think they had just been discussing biology.

"Look, I'm sorry if I kinda got weird back there." she said still smiling but also looking a little sheepish. "I kinda take movies a bit too seriously." You know, if I was straight, she would probably be the perfect girl for me.......Eh, I'd much rather have Vicky. I noticed Jen give her a slight nod out of the corner of my eye. Not only was she playing matchmaker but she was coaching them as well. She must really care about helping her friends out.


"It's ok." I said simply. I needed to get her annoyed with me again but I was drawing a huge blank as to how. She seemed to accept my response to her apology because her smile widened a bit and she started to eat her lunch.

At that very moment Jen asked Michelle something which caused her to break off her running commentary to answer her friend. Both Vicky and me were free from our wanna be girlfriends for a few seconds and I decided now was the perfect opportunity to try and get some tag team boredom in.

"Hey Vicky are you gonna watch Raw tonight?" I asked.

Raw, for those of who who don't know, is short for Monday Night Raw which is one of the weekly wrestling shows that Vicky and I always watch. I figured the best way to get these girls to think we weren't interesting was to get in an animated conversation with each other about something that they would have no interest in whatsoever. Vicky and I could talk about wrestling for hours and if I know anything it's that girls can't stand wrestling.

"Oh my god! You guys watch wrestling?" Michelle asked excitedly.

Oh crap.

"That's awesome, we love wrestling!" Erica exclaimed happily.

Crap, crap, crap!

"Well, we used to, but we're kinda losing interest." Vicky said. Oh my sweet, beautiful, brilliant Vicky, I could kiss you right now.

"Yeah it's not really as good as it used to be." I said without skipping a beat. "We used to get really into it but these past few weeks haven't been that great."

"We're thinking about just not watching it at all anymore." Vicky said.

"Yeah it really hasn't been as good as it usually is lately but that's no reason to quit. It'll get better again soon, it always does." Erica said confidentially.

Dammit! That should have worked.

"So who are your guys favorite wrestlers?" Michelle asked.

"Shawn Michaels." I answered honestly. I had no idea who they liked or hated so I might as well tell the truth instead of naming somebody random and hoping that they didn't like him.

"Oh my god I love Shawn Michaels!" Erica squealed.

Goddamnsonofabitchmotherfuckingass!! And this looked like it was going to be so easy too. I vowed then and there to never again open my mouth when I thought I had a brilliant idea.

" sad when he retired. I cried." Erica had continued talking during my little moment there. I briefly wondered where that shy, nervous girl had went. "What about you Vicky, who's your favorite?" she asked.

"I like Daniel Bryan." he replied. An answer that I knew to be the truth. Looked like he had no idea what to say either.

"He's good." Michelle said. "But my favorite's John Cena. He's so hot and he's really funny too!"

Oh my god could this conversation get any wor-No! Nope, I wasn't going to even think it. Nuh ah, no way. If I think it then it'll happen.

"What about you Jason? Do you like wrestling too?" Erica asked.

"Nah." he said looking slightly panicked. "In fact they've forbidden me from mentioning wrestling around them because I always point out how stupid it is."

Thanks Jason, so much for any chance we had of convincing them that we weren't really all that into wrestling in the first place.

They laughed at that and came right back to talking to us.

"Me and Erica went to a Pay-Per-View in Richmond last year." Michelle said. "It was totally awesome, we had really great seats and I almost caught Cena's shirt when he threw it to the crowd!"

"Yeah it was really great, so did either of you ever go to an event?" Erica asked.

And that's how it went for the rest of lunch. The girls asked us questions about wrestling, we answered truthfully and they either asked more questions or told us a story about something wrestling related they did and then asked us more questions. We never got any other opportunity to make ourselves seem boring or bland and so the day was a disaster. Mercifully lunch only lasted for another 25 minutes and we didn't share our last classes with any of the girls so we were able to avoid any more bonding. I was dreading tomorrow though. The way this was going it was only a matter of time before, one way or the other, this all ended in tears.

Despite a long Xbox Live chat strategizing session between me, Vicky and Jason that night the next three days went pretty much the same way. We tried wherever we could to turn the conversation away from wrestling or video games (which the girls were also interested in which made me believe that this whole little drama was punishment for all the good luck I'd been having lately. Although since they were all PS3 owners we didn't have to worry about running into them on Live so maybe my luck hadn't completely abandoned me yet) but we met with little success and we couldn't be any more forceful without raising some questions. The one good thing to come out of all of this was that Jen and Jason seemed to be getting closer. Yippee.

It wasn't all bad though. Vicky came over twice for a few hours and we got to have more sex. We had to be quicker about it than our first time because my mom was right downstairs and could come up at any time but, quick or not, sex with Vicky is always amazing. The first time he came over we switched our positions from the first night. He did me doggy style while I did him missionary. The second time we tried reverse cowgirl (or is it cowboy with two guys?) and found out that it was an incredibly awkward position (seriously, people mock porn actors for their acting skills but anyone who can do that style for any length of time and look like they're enjoying it has some serious acting chops) so we ended up both doing missionary.

Then, finally, it was Friday. If we could get through today then we would have the whole weekend free from clingy, annoying females and the fear of discovery. Vicky and I had already made plans to have him sleep over again and we were looking forward to finally trying out some of the positions we found on that website.

We only had one class with Michelle and Erica in the morning and in what really must have been the last little drops of my luck coming to the rescue neither one of them sat near either one of us. We quickly learned to time our arrival to that class perfectly so that we got there right before the bell rang and didn't leave any time for them to come over and talk with us. It wasn't much but hopefully it mean that people didn't start getting used to seeing them with us.

No matter how many times I daydreamed about having the power to stop time the clock kept moving steadily towards lunch time. In fact I think the bastard might have sped up a bit just to screw with me. Stupid clock. The ending bell for 6th period rang and it was off to lunch for us.

Like always Vicky, Jason and I got to the table first while the girls stood in line to buy their lunches. Also like always when they finally all got to the table Jen sat across from us next to Jason while Vicky and I sat next to each other and Erica and Michelle sat on either side of us. I wondered what would happen if me and Vicky switched positions and he sat on my left instead of my right? Chaos? Anarchy? Nothing at all? The world may never know. Once everyone got seated it didn't take long for the conversation to turn to either wrestling or video games. Again, like always.

"So how far did you guys get in the new Smackdown vs Raw game?" Erica asked.

"Not very far." Vicky answered. "Last years was better to be honest."

"Yeah I totally agree!" Michelle exclaimed. "It had, like, a much better roster and online was better too ya know? So are you guys gonna watch Smackdown tonight?"

"Probably not." I responded. "It's been pretty boring lately."

"Oh, come on, no it hasn't. It's been great especially the matches for the Intercontinental Title. Do you think it's boring too Vicky?" Erica asked.

On and on it went. Rapid fire questions and comments from either side of and no matter how uninterested or bored we seemed to be by the subject they just keeped on talking and asking us questions. It was like being bombarded from either side by rockets and the only relief we could take from the constant attack was to huddle together and wait for it to end. Could getting made fun of every day until we graduated high school really be worse than this? How the hell did straight guys deal with this? I'd have to ask Jason about that later.

That day was shaping up to be just like the last three and I was actually starting to consider just grabbing Vicky and kissing him in front of everybody so we could finally just end this goddamn verbal assault when, in less than 10 seconds, everything changed.

"Oh! My! God!" Jen shouted loud enough to stop our "conversation" dead and turn every head surrounding our table to her. "You guys are gay aren't you?" she asked wonderingly.

Half the lunchroom went silent. My heart stopped. Jason and Vicky were both white as sheets and I imagined that I had lightened a few shades as well. Erica and Michelle just stared at us. Jen kept talking, oblivious to everything.

"I knew it! Well, not really but I knew something was up when you didn't jump all over them when you found out they like video games. I mean, that's like every guy's dream right?" Jen was saying excitedly. Jason was the first one to recover.

"That doesn't automatically mean they're gay." he said forcefully and may have gone on but got cut off right away by Jen.

"No, but they're never apart and they're huddled together and look!" she exclaimed as she pointed between us. "They're holding hands!"

Vicky and I both looked down and were surprised to see that we were, in fact, holding hands. We were actually squeezing each other so tightly that I was amazed that we didn't notice this sooner. Well, we sure noticed it now, along with half the lunch room which then erupted into a steady buzz of conversation.

Well, that was it. It'll be all over the school by the end of the day. After the initial ice knife of pure terror that stabbed itself into my heart I was surprised to find that I was feeling a little bit relieved. Worrying about this was actually worse than having it happen. I was still terrified about dealing with the inevitable ridicule but I thought I could face that with Vicky by my side. We would keep each other strong and happy and nothing would ever be able to shake what we had. That was all the comfort I needed........right?

I squeezed Vicky's hand and he squeezed back. I looked over at Jason and saw a look of pure anguish on his face. I gave him a small shrug that I hoped he would take as a sign that I didn't blame him for this. Jen was still standing over us and pointing but she was mercifully silent. I decided I should apologize to Erica for leading her on. I probably wouldn't get the chance again if I didn't do it now. I hoped she wasn't going to be too upset. She seemed like a decent enough person.

I opened my mouth to apologize but froze when I saw the expression on her face. It wasn't hurt or disgust or even confusion. It looked more like......I dunno what but it wasn't what I expected.

"Is that...true?" she asked.

Even though the cat was pretty much already out of the bag and halfway down the street at this point I didn't feel right saying anything without Vicky's approval. I gave him a questioning look and he hesitated for a moment, then nodded and shrugged which I took to mean "lying about it won't do any good now so lets just get it over with."

"Yeah." I answered.

"Oh. My. God." she started. Here it comes, the first of what is sure to be many cruel things to be said to us for the rest of our school lives. I was kinda surprised it was coming from Erica though, she seemed so-"THAT IS SO HOT!" she screamed. -.....nice?

"OHMIGAWD! That is so totally hot! I've never had any gay friends before this is too cool!" Michelle yelled.




Yeah, I think this is probably the last thing I expected and judging from the confused look on Vicky's face the last thing he did as well. I never expected anyone to think that us being gay would be a good thing.

Erica had apparently started speaking at some point. "...why you didn't seem interested and I thought maybe you just didn't like me but I completely get it now. This is awesome! Of course gay guys are so hot that this kinda makes me like you more which is a bit weird right? I know but don't worry I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or anything."

I'd say it's just a bit too late for that. I stole a glance at Jason and almost laughed. His jaw had dropped open in the most stereotypical expression of utter shock that I've ever seen outside of a cartoon. Jen on the other hand looked just as delighted as her two friends.

"So since you guys are gay that means you kiss and stuff right?" Michelle asked. When she actually paused and didn't follow up with anything I realized that she wanted an answer and since Vicky wasn't saying anything, I think he was still in shock, it would be up to me to play spokesman.

"Uh, yeah." I answered. By this point everyone sitting around us had abandoned their own conversations, and lunches, and after I answered they all traded looks and softly murmured words.

"That is so hot." Erica said again.

"Jason, did you know about this?" Jen asked breaking her silence for the first time since announcing her discovery to the rest of the world. Jason looked startled at hearing his name.

"Huh? Oh, yeah. I knew. I was actually the first one Nate told." he said still sounding sort of shell shocked.

"OMIGAWD!" Michelle exclaimed. "That is so sweet! You kept your best friends secret and didn't let it effect your friendship! You are such a nice guy! Jen, I'm so jealous! You have the nicest guy ever!"

Erica rapidly nodded her agreement and Jen smiled happily and gave Jason a hug. Well at least nobody seemed to think Jason was gay so that should be a relief to him. Or it would be once his brain started working again.

"So how did you guys meet?" Erica asked. I glanced at Vicky and saw that he still seemed to be sorting this out in his head so it was up to me to play Spokesman Nate again. I was a little worried about Vicky though. I desperately wanted to know what he was thinking but I couldn't read his expression but now wasn't the time to have a personal conversation.

"We met at the community pool over the summer." I said. "But we didn't really get to know each other until we found out that we were in the same school." I gave them a very brief summary of our meeting at the pool and our second meeting that first day back to school but I left out a lot of detail. Especially any details about me leering at the guys at the pool. It was going to be hard enough dealing with people everyday after this and the last thing I needed was anybody thinking they noticed me checking them out in their bathing suits.

"That is, like, the most romantic story ever!" Michelle squealed when I was finished. "That's like right out of a fairy tale."

"Or a manga." Erica added and Michelle nodded emphatically.

"This is so awesome." Michelle said for about the 50th time. "You guys can totally be, like, girlfriends with us! We can hang out and do your hair and talk about boys and-"

"Wait." Vicky cut her off and held up his hand (the one that I wasn't holding). "We're not like that." He was speaking very calmly but forcefully. "Just because we're gay doesn't mean we want to act like girls."

"Yeah, we like video games and wrestling and action movies and lots of other 'manly' things. We just happen to also be gay." I added.

"It's just a sexual preference, not a lifestyle." Vicky finished before seeming to withdraw into himself again.

"Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to offend you." Michelle said in a panic. I thought it was cute that she was worried about offending us. That would probably be the last time I heard that.

"You didn't." Vicky said and I nodded. "We just don't want you to get the wrong idea."

Michelle gave us a relieved smile and looked like she was about to say something else, shocker I know, when the bell rang. Vicky and I looked at each other, quickly said goodbye to everyone at our table and hurried towards the nearest exit. We kept our heads down and tried our best to ignore the snippets of whispered conversations that we overheard. Despite my earlier relief at no longer having to worry about being found out I could feel a different kind of dread start to creep back. We may have dodged a bullet with the girls but there was no way the entire school was going to be like that. We had some hard times ahead and I was starting to wonder just how the hell we were going to deal with them. I didn't even have to ask to know that Vicky was feeling the same way. His tight grip on my hand said everything.

We didn't stop holding hands until we were forced to go down separate hallways to get to our different classes.

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