Castle Roland

Everything Will Turn Out Alright

by Cy-Kun


Chapter 17

Posted: N/A

"Nate! Hurry up! You're gonna be late!" my mom shouted from downstairs.

Oh, no, don't want that..... I sighed. Actually, I really didn't want that. As much as I'd been dreading going to this dance for the last week I still wanted to get there on time. Why is that, you ask? Two reasons. The first is that the sooner I get there the sooner I can leave. I gave it about an hour before either Vicky got bored or I flew into an adamantium rage and tore the place apart. The second reason was also Vicky related. All week he'd been looking forward to this saying things like "I can't wait to go to my first school dance with you Nate" and "Thank you so much Nate, I know you didn't really wanna go but I promise you'll have fun" and "I love you, you're awesome, this is gonna be great." I hate to admit it, but he kinda wore down my resistance to where I wasn't totally and completely hating the idea of going. Don't get me wrong, I still fully expected it to suck but I was really, REALLY looking forward to seeing Vicky have a good time.

Speaking of forced segues I think it's time to do that thing where I stop talking about something that's going on in the present and recap what happened since the last part of the story.

Yeah, let's do that.

I guess if I was going to use a metaphor - or maybe it would be a simile? I never really got the difference (fucking English, how does it work?)- for the week I'd say it was like a ride on a really boring and frustrating train that suddenly speeds up, jumps the rails, smashes into a conveniently placed train resistant wall and catches on fire but somehow doesn't explode or actually injure you in any way.

Actually, the week technically started off on the best train platform ever when I woke up on Sunday with a naked Vicky in my arms. After we got home from the mall on Saturday we rushed up to my room to use the bathroom and try on our new clothes for the next four hours and it ended up taking so much out of us that we pretty much passed out tangled up together. Which made it slightly surprising that I woke up on my side with Vicky tucked neatly against my chest and my arm gently holding him against me. We usually go to bed that way and wake up in the tangled mess. I wondered if we'd always wake up opposite of how we went to sleep like that.

More experimentation is required.

Sunday only got better from there. We ended up trying our clothes on again before going down to breakfast and even though I'd prepared for the worst (I hadn't exactly been subtle about wanting to try on clothes with Vicky) my mom never said anything about it. I really don't understand her sometimes. If I didn't worry about what what might happen before going down she probably would have given us a knowing wink or said something like "Tell me when you're done for the day so I can clean your sheets." I wondered if my mom could somehow really read my mind and just did the opposite of what I was expecting just to fuck with me.

We can do without the experimentation on that one.

After breakfast I took Vicky by the hand, dragged him back up to my room and we.........played video games for the rest of the day. What? You think we spend all our free time screwing like we're a couple in some trashy bodice ripper romance novel? Not even close, ya perv! (Although, I guess I can understand why someone might think that....) We did an epic 3 hour multiplayer marathon in Reach and we were the top two players in the game in almost every match. We ended up having a contest to see who got MVP the most and it wounds my still tender nerd pride to say that Vicky beat me by three. After that we played some more New Vegas for the first time in forever and we actually managed to beat that mission we were stuck on the day we got together. (we left the Vault, bought some pulse grenades and fucked those robots up if anyone's curious) It took us another two hours. Not because it was hard or anything but because we kept getting into wrestling matches over the controller which then led into make out matches and maybe even a dry hump or two. That's as far as we went though. Wrestling around for the controller was what led to our first kiss and, more importantly, the first time we said that we loved each other. By silent agreement we decided not to do much more than we did then. We didn't want to sully the romance of the memory by having the same actions lead to sex.

Plus we really wanted beat those Mister Gutsy robots. Even though they were sorta responsible for getting us together they still needed to die.

A little while after that Vicky's dad came to pick him up but spent about an hour talking to my mom after she screamed up at us to get ready because Vicky was leaving "now". We ended up having to stand around in the hallway for 20 minutes before we were able to sneak off without my mom catching us and telling us to "just wait five more minutes". Why do parents do that? If you're gonna talk just freaking talk! You don't need to make us stand around listening to you, we have other things to do. Speaking of that I kinda wished I knew we'd be waiting that long because there were several things me and Vicky could have done, including trying on his pants. Like, for real trying on his pants this time, I kinda wanted to see why everyone drooled over me when I wore my tight jeans. I'll just have to wait for the dance I guess. Well, at least now I have a reason to look forward to it for me anyway.

Literally right as we stopped expecting to be called in the next five minutes and started getting into some serious making out my mom shouted for us to come down. We groaned in frustration, glared at the door with so much hate that I'm surprised it didn't start cowering in fear and went back downstairs.

Why are adults so damn cheerful when they're about to pick up one of their kids from a friends house? There is no way the amount of smiling and laughing my mom and Vicky's dad were doing was at all natural. It was like they were trying to out do each other with their cheer. And embarrassing comments.

"You two look like you just woke up." Vicky's dad said as he ruffled Vicky's hair.

"Dad." Vicky complained.

"I dunno about waking up but they definitely look like they just got out of bed." my mom said with what I assume was supposed to be a knowing smile.

"Mom!" I shouted, then blushed because I realized how defensive that made me sound and then scowled because I realized how guilty that made me look.

"Nathan, don't shout in front of company." my mom chided with a small smirk.

"I'm not-" I cut myself off, closed my eyes and took a deep breath before turning to Vicky. "I'll see you tomorrow." I said completely ignoring both parents. I leaned in close. "I love you." I said quietly.

Vicky smiled and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "You too." Then he glared at his dad who I assume had his mouth open to say something. He did speak, but instead of whatever no doubt teasing comment he was going to say all that came out was a goodbye and an odd promise to call my mom later in the week. Then he left.

Great. Now they're becoming friends. I'm glad they don't hate each other or anything but the last thing anyone wants is the parent of their boyfriend getting friendly with their mom. Nothing good can come from that.


I went to bed a little while later not even realizing I'd stepped off the platform and into the train. Yeah, that sounds appropriately ominous.

The next day started, as my days tend to do, pretty normal. I got up, got yelled at for not getting up earlier, went to school, learned about one thing I didn't already know, (I swear I'm not one of those 'arrogant genius' douches that thinks they know everything when they really don't, I read a lot about the things that interest me so if we ever get to them in school I almost always know more at the start than they teach us by the time the lesson is over. For the rest, well, I just get things easy. Sue me) snuck off for some 'private time' with Vicky and did whatever I could to make the day pass faster.

Then there was lunch.

The second I walked into the cafeteria with Vicky and saw that everyone was at the table but us I knew something I wasn't going to like was going on. The girls NEVER get there before me. They always come in like 5 minutes after and then wait in the lunch line for another 5 to 10 minutes before sitting down. So seeing them there talking all fast and excited kinda filled me with a sense of, you know, doom.

Vicky must have felt the same way because we both slowed down at the exact same time. I looked over at him and he looked over at me.

"We could run." he said without any conviction. "They haven't seen us yet."

"The second we turn around they will. That's just how these things work." I said resignedly.

Anyone else might have questioned the logic behind that, but Vicky was smarter than most people. He just sighed. "Yeah. Let's just get it over with."

And with that we walked over to the table.

"-my god! They were both so adorable in their outfits, you really should have stayed. You totally missed out." Michelle was saying. Erica opened her mouth to respond but was cut off by a yell. "Vicky! Nate! You're late! I started telling everyone about our shopping trip without you guys." She actually said that with a hint of apology in her voice, like she seriously thought we had any interest in talking about it.

"We're not late." I said, deciding to avoid even mentioning the shopping trip for as long as possible. Kind of the conversational version of 'if I can't see you, you can't see me'. "You're early."

"Yeah but you usually get here before us so you're late." Michelle stated. I sighed. How the hell could I argue with that?

As we sat down Jason grinned. "So, Chelle-"

"Don't call me that." Michelle interrupted.

"-was just telling us about you going shopping with her......and your mom." he finished without skipping a beat.

I sighed again. "Is there any chance we can skip this?"

Jason smiled happily. "Nope!"

"What if I asked?" Vicky said with his most winningly innocent smile.

Jason faltered, just for a second but I caught it and I might have thought it was weird if I bothered to think about it at all, but all I could think about was how much I hoped Jason's odd little hesitation would mean that he'd let it go, but the grin was back in place as he answered "Nope. I wanna hear ALL about it. Starting with the part where you guys went all America's Next Gay Model."

Erica giggled. "Well, that part was worth going for at least."

"I'm not a model." I growled.

"That's not what I've been hearing." Jason said in a sing song voice.

"Wow," Vicky said. "I thought we were supposed to be the gay ones. Do you do show tunes too?"

Carl snorted with a suppressed chuckle and Jason shot him a glare before turning back to us. I was having trouble holding in my laughter too but only because I knew what was coming. "Lot's of straight guys like show tunes." Jason grumbled.

Vicky's eyes widened. "You're kidding me....." My giggle escaped and he looked over at me.

"Nope." I managed. "He's serious." I full on laughed at the pissed off exasperation on Jason's face. If Jason's love of plays and show tunes was a dead horse, we'd beat it so hard and so often that it was now a very unhorse-like congealing pile of goo with little bits of bone sticking out of it. We'd finally....ok, I'd finally let it drop about three months ago out of misplaced best friend sympathy but now it looked like he'd have to deal with it again. And this time from someone new, someone who wasn't me so technically I wasn't even breaking my promise and to make it even better it was all Jason's fault for saying something in the first place.

Oh, I was going to enjoy this.

"Wow," Erica said. "That's pretty gay Jason, not even Nate likes show tunes."

Ha! Now everyone's gonna ge- "Hey!" I said indignantly after the second part of what Erica said registered. "What do you mean 'not even Nate'?"

"Well, out of you and Vicky you're the more.....well, gay one." she said simply.

"Fuck that!" I screamed as Jason howled with laughter. I turned to him. "And fuck you too, Sandra Dee."

Jason just kept laughing. Jen, who usually stayed out of these things, was trying so hard to hold back her laughter and not doing a very good job of it. Carl was intently looking back and forth from me and Vicky like he was trying to see the 'gay' on us to see who had more or something. Vicky was opening his mouth to say something, probably intending on coming to my aid but was cut off by Michelle.

"She's right you know, you're totally the gayer one." she said.

Oh for... "What does that even mean?!" I shouted. I didn't give a fuck if people were starting to stare, my masculinity was being challenged, dammit!

"Well...." Erica started hesitantly. Michelle cut her off.

"Your hair for one." she said.

"What's wrong with my hair?"

"It's long and blond and straight."

"Lots of guys have long, straight, blond hair!"

"Maybe but yours is all soft and shiny."

"My mom buys my shampoo-"

"And you have that girly upturned nose."

"My nose isn't girly!"

"You talk kinda effeminate sometimes."

"I SO don't-" Shit! I lowered my voice "I mean I fucking do not fucking do that shit!" I hope that didn't sound as 'little kid imitating daddy' to them as it did to me.....

"Was that your 'man voice'? Jason cut in. "Dude, don't even try. Your voice is high. Accept it." He laughed.

I glared at him. "I'm sorry we can't all go through puberty at 5 like you, you fucking abnormal giant."

"You like Lady Gaga." Erica said.

"What?! I do fucking not!" I yelled.

"You were singing one of her songs to Vicky the other day!" she said defensively.

"I was making fun of it! You've never sang part of a song to make fun of it?"

"Well, yeah, but you sounded really into it-"

"I wasn't!"

"And what about your jeans?" Jason put it.

Ok, I really need to clear up a few things before this goes any further. First of all I'm NOT effeminate. Yeah, I may look less than butch, yeah my voice may be a LITTLE high, yeah there's a possibility that I do use woman's shampoo since I never look at the stuff my mom buys and yeah, the jeans are a bit gay, but I don't go around with my wrist flapping and a rainbow flag tied around my neck like the gay avenger or something. It really bothered me that people apparently thought of me that way.

This went on for another 10 minutes. There was apparently a long list of things that I do that make me somehow gayer than Vicky. I won't repeat the list. I honestly don't see most of it and I don't want anybody getting the wrong idea about me so I'll just say that it was a very unpleasant 10 minutes for me and leave it at that. Several times Vicky tried cutting in and defending me but everyone ignored him, especially once Michelle and Erica got into an argument over which one of us was the 'girl' in bed. The one positive side effect of that was Jason very quickly trying to change the subject. Apparently, it was perfectly fine to try and paint your best friend as a flaming homo girly man but once he actually started having to picture me and Vicky having sex that was crossing the line. I was tempted to go into details just to see him squirm but by then the argument had drifted to which show, Gossip Girl or the Real World, was better ( Neither. Jersey Shore, bitches!) and I just wanted the whole thing dropped. Jason did shoot me an apologetic smile after I spent a good three minutes glaring at him so maybe he realized he crossed the line. Even if he wasn't really the one to start it, I guess.

(And I'm kidding about the Jersey Shore thing. That show's crap.)

The next day wasn't much better. Attacks on my manhood were thankfully absent, Jason called me the night before and apologized saying that he kinda took it too far and I apologized for the hugging thing and various other times I may have taken things too far and we both decided to tone down the friendly insults for a while, but we spent all lunch period talking about the damn dance.

"You guys should totally get there early and help us set up." Michelle said for the 8,000th time. That was another reason for her unnatural excitement for this dance, the drama club 'got' to decorate the gym and help the A/V 'club' (two super nerds and three super nerd science teachers really doesn't make up a club in my opinion but the school disagrees. Stupid school) set up the speakers and that stuff.

"No way." I said for the 8,000th time.

She shot Vicky a pathetic, begging look but he seemed to be a lot more immune to being manipulated by girls than I am and he just crossed his arms and shook his head. So cute. "We're not doing it, so just drop it." I felt a little shiver run through me. Wow, he's so hot when he's being all forceful and authoritative like that. Mental note: do Vicky hard after school.

She huffed. "Fine. But you guys are gonna do, like, a really romantic dance and kiss each other at the dance to make up for it."

"No!" I exclaimed. Now, anyone else I would have assumed was joking or at least only half serious but I knew Michelle. If I let her think that there was even a possibility of us dancing and kissing for her she'd take that idea in her teeth and bite down hard until it gave in and happened. "No way Michelle. No. Way."

She was glaring at me, which honestly would have been intimidating as hell if she wasn't wearing a bright pink shirt with a cartoon bear licking honey off his fingers on it. It just made her look like a little kid that got her lollipop taken away. She was actually almost cute. For a psychotic girl.

It was then that I noticed Vicky was giving me an odd look. "We're not gonna dance?" he said hesitantly.


That threw me a little bit. Yeah, I know, we're going to a dance but I never actually thought that the possibility of DANCING would ever come up. Stupid, yeah, but I just assumed Vicky wanted to go just to see what it was like. When I went to my first, and only, school dance I didn't go there actually expecting to dance with anyone. The one attempt I did was by myself in what I thought was a dark enough corner to escape notice. I just wanted to see what the big deal was. Of course, if I was gonna dance with someone it would have been a boy and there was no way in hell I was gonna ask any of the boys at my school to dance with me. Vicky had a boyfriend, and I guess it was natural to assume that he'd be dancing with his boyfriend at their first dance together. Which is great and everything except his boyfriend is me and I really don't want to dance. And that's even without thinking about my total and complete lack of ability.

Once again I was torn, but this time it didn't last long. I'd already agreed to go and I hated that disappointed look in Vicky's eyes so, what the hell, I might as well dance with him. He'll most likely end up hating it and wanting to leave early so I could at least give him the sweet memory of dancing with his boyfriend in public, right?

I smiled at him. "Yeah, we can dance." His disappointed look turned into a grateful smile.

"Thanks." he said.

It struck me again now weird his hesitance about all this dance stuff was. He'd never had trouble asking me anything or making what he wanted clear before. I wondered if it was because he knew he was asking me to do something I really didn't want to do? Or maybe thinking about going to a dance makes him think about his life before he moved and he just automatically slips back a little bit into how he was back then? I dunno. I kinda hoped it stopped though. As cute as it could be I didn't want him to meekly ask me to do things for him. I'd never really liked that idea of anyone being the 'dominant' or 'submissive' person in a relationship. People should be equals in relationships and I very much wanted Vicky to be my equal and just ask me for whatever he wanted without worrying that I might say no. Besides, if I ever did say no that would probably mean that hell just froze over and the world is about 3 seconds away from exploding and, I dunno about you, but to me that would be a bigger thing to worry about.

Michelle must have overheard me because her eyes lit up. I cut her off before she could say anything though. "But we're NOT kissing for you." I said firmly to her.

"Ugh!" she huffed. "You're such a prude."

Jason burst out laughing.

Everyone turned to look at him. I might have glared but I was too busy suppressing a chuckle of my own at that. Me, a prude. Ha.

"Oh, man." Jason breathed after he'd stopped laughing.

"What?" Michelle looked confused.

"You have no idea how NOT a prude Nate is." he said.

"Yes he is!" Michelle exclaimed. "If he wasn't then there'd be no problem with kissing in front of me!"

"Chelle-" Jason started.

"Don't call me that." Came the automatic response.

"-did you ever think that maybe Nate, and Vicky really, might have a problem with being ordered to do stuff in front of you like a couple of hookers?"

Vicky snorted. "Thanks for that."

Jason frowned. "Hey, I'm trying to help you guys here."

Vicky held up his hands. "Ok, ok, continue."

But Michelle took the interruption as her cue to talk. "But what's the big deal? I'd kiss a girl in front of them if they wanted me to."

There was dead silence as everyone at the table stared in shock at Michelle. Out of all the things that could have come out of her mouth, and trust me there were a LOT of things that could have, that was the absolute last thing any of us expected. It took her a few seconds to realize what she said but when she did her entire face, like literally the whole thing from her neck to her hairline, turned bright red.

"THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!" she screamed. And keep in mind this was a Michelle scream so I'm pretty sure middle school cafeterias in Canada joined ours in going completely silent and staring at her. Well, maybe not the staring part since they'd have to have super vision...and xray vision and, you know, I'm just gonna stop there. "I's not..." she glared around at the rest of the lunch room. "What the hell are you staring at?!" she yelled.

Everyone continued to stare for about a minute but when she didn't say anything else and nothing else interesting happened conversation slowly started up again. Erica was the first one to break the silence. "Well, this is fun."

"Shut up!" Michelle said. "Look, I wasn't saying that I wanted to-" she lowered her voice. "-kiss a girl or anything but if I WAS a lesbian and I DID have a girlfriend and Nate or Vicky wanted to see us kiss I wouldn't have a problem kissing in front of them because I'm not a prude."

"There's a word for that." Erica muttered under her breath. I was the only one who heard her and I couldn't decide if that was a good thing or not. On one hand the inevitable Erica/Michelle verbal beatdown that would have followed would have got the conversation turned away from me but on the other I don't think my ears, or my soul, could take another fight between them just now.

Jason just sighed. "Well, just because you're ok with being a sl-" he seemed to think better of finishing that sentence. "-exhibitionist doesn't mean anyone who isn't is a prude. Trust me, Nate's probably the least prudy person in this school."

"Hey!" I felt the need to defend myself from the person defending me. "Way to make me sound like a total whore."

"I didn't say that." Jason said, then looked thoughtful for a moment. "But you do have to admit that you are, uh, a bit slutty."

"Hey!" This time it was Vicky jumping to my defense. Yeah, you let him have it! "Don't call my boyfriend a slut!"

Jason arched an eyebrow. (not even gonna comment on it) "Did he tell you what he was doing at the pool when you guys met?"

Oh shit. He just had to go there didn't he? I tried so hard to hide my previous lecherousness from Vicky and now my dirty secrets were about to be exposed-

"He was checking out guys." Vicky said.

-Ha! Just kidding! I tell Vicky everything.

Jason's eyes widened with surprise. "Oh. Um, ok."

"Hmph!" Michelle grunted. "I still say he's a prude." Her eyes roamed around the table until they landed on Carl and then lit up. "Carl!"

He jumped slightly at her yell. "Um, yeah?"

"If you had a boyfriend you'd kiss in front of me right?" she asked.

His mouth opened, closed, opened again and then stayed that way with no sound coming out. I never really understood the expression 'like a deer in the headlights' until just then.

"Leave him alone." Vicky cut in.

"I'm just asking a question!"

"A perverted question." Erica muttered but this time loud enough for someone other than me to hear.

"What are you talking about?" Michelle asked. "You're the one who's always talking about wanting to see them having sex!"

"NO I'M NOT!" Erica yelled, glared at Michelle then looked at both me and Vicky. "I swear she's lying, I never-"

"Oh yes you did! The other day you were all 'We should follow them home after the dance, they'll definitely have sex then'." Michelle cut in.

Erica's face flushed and she quickly broke all eye contact with us before looking back at Michelle and narrowing her eyes. "At least I keep that stuff PRIVATE. I don't go around begging guys to make out in front of me."

"I don't beg!"

"You do!

"Do not!"

"Do either of you," I said calmly but loud enough to get their attention before another shouting match started. "see any problem with the fact that you're spending an insane amount of your time either trying or thinking about how to get gay guys to do things with each other in front of you? Any problem at all? Maybe even a little hint of unhealthy obsession?" I hated to even bring it up because these two were a big part of the 'fangirl protection' thing and I risked losing at least some of that if they suddenly saw how insane their obsession was (because if the craziest crazies can be cured the slightly less crazy ones can't be far behind) but I was pretty sure that I'd rather deal with an entire school making fun of and just generally abusing me than having to deal with these two girls trying to perv on me and my boyfriend 24/7. I finally understood the whole 'look at my eyes, not at my chest' thing that girls are always going on about. In fact, I'm pretty sure if everyone could experience just one day of the shit me and Vicky deal with from these girls you'd pretty much eliminate sexual harassment in all it's forms overnight.

As it turned out though, I didn't need to worry.

"No." They said in unison.

And just for the record it isn't at all cute when they do it.

I sighed as they went back to arguing. "Are you sure you don't wanna rethink the dance?" I asked Vicky quietly.

He stared at the girls for a full minute before answering. "Nope. It'll be worth it to go with you." He smiled and, dammit, I smiled back.

"Ok." I said and strangely I wasn't dreading it as much as I had been before. The bell rang soon after that and we all went our separate ways.

That was also the day that Carl finally decided to come out of his shell.

I was at my locker after 9th period getting my books and everything packed up when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around expecting to see Vicky but instead of seeing the familiar gray, the eyes that looked back at me were dark brown. And about 4 inches higher.

"Hey." He said. His tone was quiet but lacked the hesitance that he always seemed to have when talking at lunch. He was looking at me intently and for some reason that made all my earlier wariness about him start to come back.

"Hi." I said, a bit hesitant myself. "What's up?"

"Nothing really, has she always been like that?" he asked.

For a second I didn't know what he was talking about, I was too surprised at his tone. There was no shyness or uncertainty in his voice, or his posture since he was leaning casually against the locker next to mine, in fact he was acting totally normal. Like we had locker conversations every day.

"Um, oh, Michelle? Yeah, pretty much." I was about to ask him something, probably something along the lines of 'Why are you suddenly to talkative?' or 'How the hell did you know where my locker is?' when he looked behind me and waved.

"Hey, Vicky." he called. I turned to look and saw that, yep, there was Vicky standing in the middle of the hall with his eyebrows (both of them so you know he was really surprised) raised looking at us. He shook off his surprise pretty quickly and finished walking over.

"Uh, hi." he said.

"We were just talking about how psycho Michelle is." Carl said and again what the hell was with the super casual attitude? Did he just feel comfortable with us? Was this maybe how he normally is when he isn't intimidated by a group of people? Or is he like a schizo or something?

"Oh." Vicky blinked. "She is that." He said slowly. We exchanged confused looks and he gave a slight shrug. While he was as confused as me at Carl's sudden, well, normalness it didn't seem to bother him.

There was a few seconds of slightly uncomfortable silence (well, uncomfortable for me and Vicky anyway, Carl seemed to be perfectly happy waiting for one of us to say something) before I decided to speak. ""

"I need to get going." Carl cut in. "My dad's gonna be early today and I haven't even been to my locker yet. It was nice talking to you guys outside lunch for a change." I must have missed the part where he ever said more than two words to us during lunch. "See ya!" And with a wave he turned and left.

I looked at Vicky. Vicky looked at me.

"Well." Vicky said.

"Yeah." I responded.

We looked at each other for a second.

"So-" I started.

"Anyway-" Vicky said at the same time.

We broke off and giggled.

"So, possessed by Satan or kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a broken clone?" I asked when we stopped giggling.

"The alien thing." he said without hesitating. "I'm not really religious or anything but I kinda doubt Satan makes you friendly and outgoing."

"I dunno." I mused. "Could be new age Satan. Less burning and 'your mother sucks cocks in hell' and more peace, love and disturbing personality changes."

Vicky chuckled as I gathered up my bag and walked towards the door with him.

The rest of the week went pretty much like that except it seemed to escalate just a bit every day. Wednesday some of the more 'active' fangirls made a point to stop by the table and annoy us about various dance related things (I did wonder for about three seconds how people I'd never said more than three words to suddenly knew I was going to a dance but one glance at the pile of energy and insanity sitting to Vicky's right was enough to stop that pondering) so there wasn't really time for Michelle and Erica to build up into an argument about anything. Which really sucked because the conversation was focused solely on me and Vicky. Even Jen seemed to be getting into it although I kinda think it was more her way of trying to get to know us better than any weird obsession. It was a bit strange that she was my best friends girlfriend and we barely said anything to each other even though we sat at lunch together everyday but, again, there was probably a very specific, loud reason for that.

Carl was his usual shy self at lunch but he stopped by my locker a few times a day to talk with me and Vicky. It was kind of weird going from never seeing him to having him randomly pop up during the day but other than the randomness there really wasn't anything odd about it. We only ever talked for a few minutes about mostly general stuff, you know "how did you do on that test?", "did you hear about the new Scream movie?", "When do you think they're gonna bring Captain America back from the dead?". Normal stuff.

Well, normal for people that I hang out with anyway.

With everything that had been happening in my life recently and how one thing always seemed to lead into another it was kinda weird actually having a mostly normal week at school. It was also incredibly slow. I'd never noticed it before but when you're not dealing with annoyingly life altering drama things are just really......boring. I can't believe I'm even thinking this but if I didn't have Michelle and Erica's disturbing, yet incredibly distracting, obsession to deal with I actually might have been looking forward to the dance, if for no other reason than dancing with another boy in a crowded room should cause SOMETHING interesting to happen.

One other thing I noticed during the week was that Skip still hadn't come back to school. Actually I wasn't the one to notice. After pretty much destroying the social life of one of the biggest bully's in school you'd think that most of my time would have been spent either digging holes to hide in or in a gym building up some muscle mass, so I could dig the holes faster, but I kinda sorta completely forgot all about him. I know, I know, probably not the smartest thing to do. I'm not sure if I was that confident that my plan worked perfectly and he'd never have a chance to get near me or Vicky again or if I was just scatterbrained and forgetful but in the end the only reason I even realized he hadn't been back yet was because I overheard some people talking about it. Well, actually they were talking about me and how "that short kid must have really kicked Williams' ass good since he hasn't been back to school since".

I guess it's better to be "that short kid" than "that fag" or "that fairy" but, dammit, I'm not really that short! I just haven't hit my growth spurt yet. Just watch, by the time I get to high school I'll be taller than Jason! And I'll have a Duke Nukem physique with Vicky's naturally browned skin color and a roguish beard-no! Pubes first! I'll get pubic hair first THEN grow the beard and maybe some combat boots and a t-shirt that says "You Just Got Your Ass Kicked By A Guy That Likes Dick" or something like that.

Or, you know, none of that will happen. In fact, I'll probably end up shrinking....sigh.

Anyway, I had no idea why Skip was still out of school. Since I didn't push my lie on the principal there wasn't anything he should have been suspended for, except getting in a fight with that guy but the guy only ended up getting one day of detention. If he got beat up so badly that he had to miss a week plus of school I think the other guy's punishment might have been a little bit harsher, and probably would have involved a bit more police, so I didn't think it was that. So what's the deal? Not that I was in any hurry to see Skip again or anything....I'm just naturally curious I guess.

"Nate!" my mom's yell brought me out of my thoughts and back into the present. "Are you almost ready?"

"Gimme a minute!" I yelled back, more than a little startled. I may have even jumped and let out a small yelp of surprise but since no one was around to hear I think we'll just file that under 'repress' and move on.

""You better not be stalling!" She yelled. "Jack is gonna be dropping Vicky off soon and it would be very RUDE to make them wait on you!"

I growled under my breath but didn't answer. Earlier in the week I made the colossal mistake of telling my mom that she shouldn't embarrass me in front of Vicky anymore because it made him uncomfortable and making a guest uncomfortable is rude. I thought it was a pretty good argument but my mom just laughed and then spent the next 30 minutes going into insane detail about all the ways I've been rude to people throughout my ENTIRE LIFE and now she always makes a point to tell me whenever I'm doing something that might be rude. Not that I thought that making Vicky wait would be rude, at least not in this circumstance. He asked me to the dance so, in this situation ONLY, I kinda was the girl and that meant I could take as long as I damn well pleased getting ready to go out.

I wasn't stalling though. I was all dressed in my black button down shirt and, sigh, my tight jeans. If you repeat this to anyone I'll deny it loudly and violently but my mom and Michelle were actually right, that shirt with these jeans looked pretty damn hot. The shirt kinda tapered off in the front and back into these short, pointed strips that I guessed were supposed to help keep the shirt tucked in, since it was untucked (I have a natural aversion to putting shirts inside my pants, it's one of my weirder quirks) those points rested on the very tops of my thighs in the front and almost to the bottom of my ass in the back. It had the effect of holding the shirt tight against my slender waist and tastefully hiding the fact that I was sporting a pretty noticeable ass camel toe back there. Actually the entire shirt felt like it was tailored just for me. It hugged my slim frame but it wasn't at all uncomfortable or suffocating like tight shirts sometimes are. It felt natural. And looked amazing. The best part was I knew Vicky had a similar shirt and jeans that he was wearing tonight and I couldn't wait to see how he looked in it.

I had a feeling I'd need something to carry in front of me all night.

So, yeah, I wasn't having any problem with my clothes either. It was my hair. Have you ever noticed that when you don't care how it looks your hair kinda just falls exactly the way you'd want it if you did care but the second you give it any attention at all it decides it wants to play Emmett Brown and get all frizzy and start sticking up? Hair is evil. Especially once you let it grow and give it ideas above it's station. I'd mostly gotten it the way I wanted it, straight and hanging to either side of my face, but a bit on the right side insisted on curling just enough to keep finding it's way in front of my eye. I growled again and viciously brushed it back into place.

"Keep this up and I swear I'll shave you completely off." I muttered. "Find a nice, big rat to make a nest out of you, too." Great, now I'm talking to my hair. Tonight is officially more trouble than it's worth.

I glared at the offending strands, daring them to step out of line again, when I heard the doorbell ring. I took a deep breath. Ok Nate, this is it, you're going to something you hate but you're doing it for a good cause. Don't be the one that ruins this for Vicky, act like you're having fun until he gets bored and then you can get home and have I-Told-You-So-Sex.

Good plan, good plan.

I walked opened the door and got to the top of the stairs right as my mom was drawing in breath to call me. She stopped as she was me and I felt incredibly satisfied. I guess I kinda am easy to please.

As predicted, Vicky looked fucking amazing. His dark blue shirt was a twin of mine in every way but it's color. Well, that and the way it looked about a billion squared times better on him than mine did on me. It hugged his body in all the same places and like me he didn't have it tucked in but there were subtle curves that showed off bits of his slightly toned teen boy body where mine just showed how slim I was. And those jeans, Jesus fuck! They were a dark blue that looked almost black and, ohhhh yeah, they were just as tight as mine. I'd seen him naked dozens of times but I don't think I'd ever seen his ass look that hot. I wanted to go over there and grab a handful-

Something nudged me and I blinked. Huh? I looked to my left and saw my mom giving me an amused little smile. Shit, I guess I'd been standing there staring.....but can you seriously blame me? I looked back at Vicky in time to see his dad give him a similar nudge, followed by a similar smile once Vicky looked back at him.

I guess I'm not the only one with a staring problem.

"Hi." Vicky said quietly and maybe just a bit nervously.

"Hey." I said in a similar tone. We stood there and smiled awkwardly at each other. We looked at each others eyes for a few seconds at a time before shyly looking away. I had no idea where this sudden bashfulness came from but I couldn't have forced myself to say anything else if someone had a gun to my head. Vicky just looked so sexy and perfect and suddenly the entire concept of going out with him filled me with excitement and fear and arousal and whatever you call that feeling when you're about to start giggling for no reason at all.

For a bit there I completely forgot why I didn't want to go to the dance.

After a few minutes it became obvious that neither of our parents were going to say anything to break the mood and try to get us talking. I think it amused them too much. Or maybe they thought it was cute. I dunno. What I did know was that now I was being put on the spot. What the hell is the proper procedure for this type of thing? Vicky asked me so should he be the one to break the weirdness or am I supposed to make him feel welcome because it's my house? Shit! We never had this problem before!

I tried holding his gaze for more than a few fleeting seconds and that actually seemed to work. We looked at each other and the pressure to say or do something just kinda fell away. He smiled at me and I smiled back.

"Hey". He said, quietly but this time without the nervousness.

"Hi." I said back. We giggled softly.

"You ready to go?" he asked and held out his hand towards me. If I was watching this in a movie I would have thought it was corny but since it was Vicky doing it my heart did a little backflip in my chest and my smile widened as I reached out to take his hand.

"Yeah. Definitely." I said.

Before I could move my mom cleared her throat meaningfully. I glanced back at her and she looked into my eyes before giving a pointed look towards Vicky's dad. Oh, guess I was kinda being rude this time.

"Um, hi Mr, uh, Jack." Not my smoothest delivery, I know.

He chuckled. "Hi Nate, how have you been?"

"Good, I guess." My mom poked me in the back. "Uh, how about you?"

"I've been good too. Busy but good. You looking forward to the dance?" he asked with a knowing smile.

Except it was the wrong kind of knowing. He probably thought I was as excited for the dance as Vicky, which meant I'd need to lie again. Or maybe not. I looked into Vicky's eyes. "Yeah." I said. "I am." And to my surprise, right then, I wasn't lying.

Vicky's dad smiled again. "I bet." he said. "I remember my first dance. It was back in high school-"

"Dad!" Vicky interrupted.

He blinked. "What?"

"Please, no stories." he pleaded. "Please?"

Vicky's dad laughed. "You don't like my stories?" he asked with an exaggerated pout.

Vicky sighed. "Dad. Can we just go?"

He held up his hands. "Alright, alright." he looked back at my mom. "Unless you want to hear some of my stories maybe?"

Vicky groaned and my mom laughed. "I wouldn't mind but I think if you keep them waiting anymore we'll have a mini riot on our hands." she replied.

I rolled my eyes. "Goodbye mom." I said forcefully. She was starting to attempt humor. I needed to stop that before it went any farther.

Surprisingly, she took the hint. "Ok, I'll let you guys go. Have fun!" She and Vicky's dad said their goodbyes and we got in his car and left.

Even though Vicky and I held hands for most of the conversation at the house and the entire car ride Vicky's dad never once acknowledged it. And it wasn't like he was pretending he didn't notice for his son's sake or because he needed to ignore Vicky's sexuality like a lot of so called 'accepting' parents would do. He actually legitimately didn't care. In fact, the only reaction he had to us as a couple was to give us an amused smile at our awkwardness and start to think about similar experiences he had when he was younger. He obviously really cared about Vicky, not just for not caring that he's gay but for packing up his entire life and moving down here just to give him a better place to grow up. Kinda like my mom did. Huh. I guess me and Vicky both got pretty lucky with one of our parents.

I'm just glad my mom isn't around. She tends to do or say something to make me think twice when I start having thoughts like that and it was kinda nice to hang onto it for a while.

I actually managed to keep my less than negative attitude about the dance right up until we pulled into the school parking lot. I consider that a major accomplishment and if you want to send me a medal or a trophy or something the gesture wouldn't go unappreciated. I took a deep breath, steadying myself and trying to keep my eyes from rolling or my teeth from grinding as we got out of the car. Vicky assured his dad he'd call when we wanted to get picked up, we said goodbye and he drove away leaving us standing in front of the school.

I started to walk toward the front doors but Vicky grip tightened on my hand and he gently pulled me back to him so that I was looking into his eyes. "Nate," he said softly. "Thanks for doing this for me." I started to open my mouth to tell him he didn't need to thank me but stopped when he shook his head. "No, seriously, I mean it. It's stupid but this means a lot to me, even more because it's something I know you don't want to do. So, thanks."

I saw the love and gratitude in his eyes and I couldn't bring myself to tell even the smallest lie. "You're welcome. And you're right, I don't like dances at all, but I do wanna go to this one because it'll make you happy." I pressed my forehead against his. "Anything that makes you happy I'll enjoy doing."

He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close. "I love you." he sighed.

"I love you too." I gave him a soft kiss on his neck. After a second or two of wonderful closeness we both seemed to remember that we were standing in front of the school at the same time and simultaneously took a step back. It wasn't because of panic or shame or anything like that, we just didn't want anybody being able to witness a private moment between us. As much as being able to be together in public was awesome there were still a lot of things that just weren't anybody's business. "And you should know by now that I can't say no to you anyway so even if you asked me to do something that I hated I'd still end up doing it." I joked, but at the same time I was telling the truth.

Vicky accepted the change in mood instantly and grinned. "Oh, I know. Trust me, I plan on taking advantage of that later."

"Oh really? What-"

"Hey, Nate! Vicky!" Jason's yell from the doors cut me off. I glared at him but Vicky's soft chuckle banished my annoyance. I sighed internally. Time to get on with it I guess.

We walked over to the door and saw that Jason and Jen were standing just inside. Jason was surprisingly decent looking tonight. Not that he's at all ugly or unattractive or anything but I almost never notice it. Tonight I did. He actually looked like he ran his comb through his shortish hair more than once and his usual t-shirt and jeans were replaced with a pair of dark blue dress pants (I think my mom would have called them 'slacks' but I'm not sure. To me pants are jeans, cargo pants and everything else) and a dark red long sleeve button up shirt kinda like the ones me and Vicky had but tucked in. He looked just a bit uncomfortable and I guessed that he had as much choice in his clothes for the night as I did.

Jen looked pretty good too, with her tasteful black dress and tiny little half sweater thingy that covered up her shoulders, but then she always did. She was one of those girls that could look amazing covered in mud and shaved bald, which made me wonder what the hell she saw in Jason. Don't get me wrong, he's a good friend and attractive enough for a mean giant, but I wouldn't date him even if he was all I could settle for and Jen could obviously settle for better. I guess it's just one of those weird little mysteries of life, like how the hell Friends could last like 11 seasons but Firefly and Jericho didn't even get past one. (Yes, I know Jericho technically had two seasons but that little 9 episode sequel would have barely qualified as an expansion pack if it was a video game)

"Hey Jen." I said. Ignoring Jason. "You look nice." Jason narrowed his eyes and Vicky smirked.

"Hey guys." she looked us up and down. "Wow. Now I see why Erica and Michelle are so obsessed."

"Hey," Jason said in his fake insulted voice as he stepped closer to Jen and took her hand. "Maybe drool over me a little bit too? I'm only the boyfriend after all." I guess one of the best things about being a guy who's only guy friends are gay is that he never has to worry about his best friend stealing his girlfriend.

Jen laughed and snuggled up next to him. They actually looked pretty damn cute together, which is why Jason's uncomfortable expression surprised me. Could Jason be shy about public display's of affection? I took Vicky's hand in mine again and Jason's eyes glanced down and then quickly looked away. Huh, I guess so. That actually does explain some of his weirder behavior these past few weeks. I felt relief. I didn't think I actually thought he had a problem with me and Vicky but it was nice to have an alternate explanation that made sense.

"Speaking of Erica and Michelle," Vicky said and looked around. "Where are they? I though they would have been the ones staking out the front door for us."

"They're in the gym." Jen said. "They wanted to wait with us but I convinced them you might come in one of the other doors and their best chance of not missing you was to wait where you'd have to show up eventually." She smiled. "I kinda doubted you wanted them running you down the second yo got here." She looked up at Jason. "Plus it was nice to get away from them for a bit and have some alone time with my date."

I hid a grin at Jason's blush.

We talked for another minute or so then started walking toward the gym.

The first, and last, dance that I ever went to wasn't a back to school dance. It was one of the normal ones that they have every once and a while. That one was held in the same place but half the gym was cut off by that mechanical wall thing all school gyms seem to have and even with that it was barely two thirds full. I kinda just assumed this one would be the same.

I was wrong.

The entire gym was open and almost completely filled with people. There were several tables scattered around and of course the large area in front with all the speakers where the "DJ" played the music but most of the room was open for dancing. And to my surprise almost all of it was being used.

And, of course, the song being played was "Shout".

"I hate this song." I grumbled. "'A little bit softer now, a little bit louder now', make up your damn mind."

I winced as I said it. Damn, I wanted so hard not to say or do anything to ruin this for Vicky but the first damn words out of my mouth were snarky and complaining. I glanced at Vicky and to my relief he was laughing.

Jason on the other hand just glowered. "I bet no one here has any idea who Otis Day or the Isley Brothers are." He complained. "They probably haven't even seen Animal House. Freaking kids."

I couldn't help but laugh. Jason's....a bit of a music snob. Ok, actually he's a huge music snob. His tastes in everything tend to run towards older things but he absolutely refuses to listen to anything released less than 10 years ago and even then he bitches about most of it. And even though there were a lot of 6th and 7th graders here he would have called them 'kids' in that same superior tone no matter what age they were.

"Down boy." I said. "Let's try not to spend all night bitching. We all know no one has the same sophisticated taste in music that you do." I patted his shoulder condescendingly and he shook me off.

"Fuck you." he said then glanced at Jen and saw the amused smirk on her face. He blushed again and this time I didn't bother hiding my grin.

"God this is so lame!" Came an exasperated shout from right behind me. I jumped and spun around to see Erica standing there glaring out at the sea of people dancing and singing along with the song like she was thinking about wading into them with a steel pipe and swinging away. She didn't even make an attempt to get dressed up and was wearing the same jeans, baby tee and hoody that she wore to school. "I've been here for 20 minutes and they haven't played anything expect for poppy dance crap and this old shit."

"Hey!" Jason exclaimed. "This 'old shit' is classic. Just because it doesn't have 37 guitars and some eyeliner wearing closet homo, no offense Vicky, whining about how his daddy yells at him doesn't mean you shouldn't appreciate it!"

I glared. Erica blinked and took a step away from Jason. "Ok, whatever." She went back to glaring at the dance floor and muttered something about 'midol'.

"'No offense Vicky'?" I asked annoyed.

Jason ignored me and glared at Erica. Oh, for fucks sake. Now he's gonna be pissy all night. Great. Well, at least I don't have to worry about MY attitude ruining things for Vicky.

"Um," Vicky said after the silence started to get a bit uncomfortable. "Where's Michelle?"

Erica waved her hand absently toward the dancing masses. "Out there, with her date." Her mouth curled with distaste as she said that last word.

"Date?!" Vicky and I exclaimed in unison.

"Yeah." Erica said. "Stan Hansen."

"Who?" I asked, still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of somebody actually wanting to spend time with Michelle. Although, I guess she was kinda insanely hot if you're into that whole "girl" thing.

"Some douchebag from the high school wrestling team." Her glare hardened and I followed it to see Michelle and some guy that looked like a teenage Chris Pine. Not bad looking actually. Nowhere near as sexy as Vicky but as people who aren't Vicky go he was definitely up there.

"Speaking of dates," Jen cut in. "Where's yours?"

Vicky and I exchanged surprised glances but managed to keep from vocalizing our surprise.

Jen shrugged. "I dunno. Over there somewhere." She waved her hand in the general direction of anywhere where there wasn't dancing going on. She turned back to me and Vicky. "Can you two do something so this trip wasn't a total waste and I can go home?"

I rubbed my eyes and heard Vicky sigh. "We didn't come here to entertain you." he said annoyed. "I wanna spend time with my boyfriend. IF we dance or kiss or anything and IF you happen to be one of the people that sees it then fine, whatever, but we're not doing it for you or because you ask us to so just drop it ok?"

Erica huffed and looked away. "Fine, fine. I kinda expected that." She sighed. "Had to try though." she grumbled under her breath. Shout ended and the next song started as she looked back toward us. "If you want to be alone you should probably get going before-"

"HEY!" Michelle screeched. More than a few heads turned towards her as she left her confused date behind on the floor and ran over to us. "You're here! That's so awesome." Michelle was pretty much the opposite of Erica in terms of dress. She looked like she did nothing but get ready for the since she got home from school and, honestly, it wouldn't have surprised me if that was the case. She was easily the most overdressed person in the gym with her tight, red no doubt made by some kind of designer that I wouldn't recognize dress, high heels that she was now carrying and a tiny little bag that looked so new I seriously doubted it had anything in it. Except maybe a tag. "Do you guys wanna dance with me?"

Before I could say something insulting but entirely appropriate to the situation like "Oh hell no stay the hell away from me devil girl" Vicky spoke up. "What about your date?" he asked. I noticed Erica was doing her best to appear uninterested but leaned a bit closer after Vicky asked his question.

Michelle shrugged. "I already danced with him. Besides there's, like, no chance of seeing him make out with a guy so I'd rather dance with you two." She laughed.

I really wished I knew if she was joking or not.

Again, before I could say anything Vicky stepped in. "No. We're only gonna dance with each other. Actually, we're gonna go do that now. Let's go Nate." And with that he pulled me into the crowd and we were immediately swallowed up.

I expected him to stop once we got far enough in to have a good chance at letting the crowd hide us while we danced, or tried to in my case, but instead he kept pulling me until we were through the crowd and on the other side of the gym where the sound equipment was. "There." he said after we stopped. "Alone." He looked around at the rest of the people who had similar ideas and were hanging out around us. "Ish." he added.

I laughed. "At least no one here wants to watch us make out."

Vicky's eyes lit up. "Hey, yeah. We should do it while there's no chance we'll turn anyone on by accident."

I laughed again. "Hell, it might even get rid of these other people." Although after I looked around again I saw that there were a fair number of girls watching us out of the corner of their eyes, and some openly staring and whispering with their friends, so maybe not. "Actually, we may have just found fangirl central."

Vicky looked around and then shrugged. "At least they're just staring."

I snorted. "Maybe we should have just stayed on the dance floor."

Vicky gave me a surprised look. "That would have been ok?" he asked.

"Well, yeah, I thought that's what we were gonna do anyway."

"You're really gonna dance with me?" he asked tentatively.

"I said I would didn't I?"

"Well, yeah, I guess. But anyway I know you don't really want to so we can just wait." He looked away.

I gently grasped his chin between my thumb and forefinger and turned his head back towards mine. "It's not that I don't want to, I just can't."

Vicky looked confused. "Can't what?"

"Dance." I said.

He blinked. "Everyone can dance." he said after a few seconds.

"Not me."

He arched an eyebrow. "Are you serious?"

"Yes! I only said it like a million times."

"Well, yeah but I thought you were just saying that to get out of dancing because you didn't want to or something." Vicky cocked his head. "You really can't dance?"

I sighed. "Why is that so hard to believe? Can YOU dance?"

"Yes." he said simply.

It was my turn to raise some eyebrows. "You can dance." It came out as a statement but there was a question behind it.

"Of course. I'm actually kinda good at it....." he trailed off.

"Like, did you take...lessons or something?"

"Um, no, I....kinda went through a phase...." he looked away. "Don't ask. Just trust me, I can dance." He looked back. "And you can too. Probably. Anyone can. But........" he trailed off again.

"Hey," I said softly. "If you have something to say just say it ok? You can tell me anything."

"It's just," he said. "I kinda get the feeling I'm only gonna get you to do one dance with me and I kinda don't wanna waste it on just some random techno song. I want a slow dance."

Ah. "Vicky, I wanna make this memorable for you. This is all about you, if it was up to me we'd be at home in my bed right now doing something that I'm much more coordinated at but since we're here I wanna do everything you wanna do. If that means making an ass out of myself more than once then I'm seriously ok with that."

Vicky let out a frustrated sigh. "I won't enjoy it if you're just suffering through it for me."

"Hey," I pressed my forehead to his again like I did in front of the school. "What did I say before? I'm going to enjoy tonight because I'm here with you, doing something you want to do. I don't care how stupid I look, I'll still have fun." And again I was surprised at how true that was. In fact, I had to admit that so far this wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. Well, except for the music but that can't be helped. "So," I stepped back and held out my hand. "Wanna dance?"

Vicky smiled at me. "Sure. But even if you hate it you gotta promise me a slow dance later ok?"

"Done." I said and we stepped back into the crowd.

So, remember how I said I can't dance? I was right. There was some loud, fast electronic song playing and everyone around me seemed to be able to find some way to move with the music where I ended up looking like a fish that someone had caught, thrown on the bottom of the boat and promptly started electrocuting. Vicky laughed at me. The people around me laughed at me. But it was ok because after exactly 3 seconds of trying to take it seriously I started laughing at myself. I was actually having a little bit of fun.

Until Vicky started dancing that is. Then I started having a LOT of fun.

Remember how Vicky said he could dance? He was right. If my body seemed to repel rhythm and grace Vicky's body created them. He didn't just move with the music, he took the music inside himself and made it his own. Every part of his body flowed naturally, like a stream in the forest and I couldn't take my eyes off him.

Then he started getting sexy.

After the first song he never got more than two inches away from me as he danced. His hands roamed all over my upper body while he pressed his crotch or, if he was facing away from me, his ass into my groin. It was a good thing we were where we were because if one of the teachers that were acting as chaperones got even a glimpse of the things he was doing we would have been dragged out of the gym faster than you could say "corrupted youth."

I REALLY wanted to know more about this phase he went through.

People around us were starting. Well, actually, the girls were staring. The guys they were dancing with were either purposefully looking anywhere but at us or shooting us annoyed little glares. More for distracting their girls than for being all homo in front of them though. It was actually enough like my last dance that I expected to feel the same nervous panic but every time I caught a glare or felt an uncomfortably intense pair of eyes focused on me some part of Vicky brushed against me or moved seductively and I forgot about anything that wasn't him.

We'd been dancing (or trying to in my case) for 6 songs before Vicky stopped. "I need a drink." he said. I nodded, but it was a reluctant nod. I really, really wanted Vicky to keep dancing for me. He walked over to one of the water coolers spaced out throughout the room. Yeah, we don't even get punch. Fucking broke ass school. I quickly caught up.

"You are so giving me lap dances from now on." I whispered in his ear as he got his water.

He giggled. "If you want one you gotta give me one first."

"Are you sure you wanna risk it? You saw how terrible I was. I might injure you."

He smiled. "I could teach you. And you know what the best way to learn is right?"

"No, what?"

His smile turned seductive as he moved closer to me. "Practice, practice, practice."

Oh. My. God. I was so hot for him I thought I'd explode. Who ever thought dancing could be so erotic? I took a quick look around, satisfied myself that there was no one watching us and gave hi a quick kiss on the lips. "If you say so, oh Wise One."

Vicky looked surprised at the kiss and then grinned. "Wise One, I kinda like that. Any chance you can upgrade that to Master when I'm giving you lessons?"

I laughed. "No. way." I thought for a second. "Although, I might consider Mr Clarke if you asked nicely." I shot him a seductive look of my own.

"Maybe later." Vicky shot me a smile. "Right now," he downed the last of his water. "I want that slow dance."

I hadn't even noticed that the music changed I was so wrapped up in my fantasies about what Vicky might consider "asking nicely". Vicky took my hand and gently pulled me back to the dance floor.

Slow dancing with Vicky was a lot different than what we'd been doing before. The sexuality was there, I was pressed close to Vicky so there was no way it couldn't be, but there was tenderness added in. Every move Vicky made was filled with love and affection for me and as we danced I could see in his eyes how much this meant to him.

We danced close together, my arms wrapped loosely around his neck and his hands resting on my hips. Our eyes never broke contact. It should have been weird, dancing like that in front of most of the school, especially since there were a lot of 6th and 7th graders there who probably hadn't heard about us and who stared wide eyed at two guys dancing together but it wasn't. Like every other time me and Vicky had been together as a couple in front of people it just felt right. Vicky and I were together. Actually, to use an overused cliché, we were one. Hiding that from anyone, or because of anyone, would have been wrong. It was that thought more than anything else that made me not give a shit if Michelle, Erica or any fangirl was watching and perving out on us as I leaned in and kissed Vicky on the lips. He didn't hesitate, just kissed me back.

If anyone was watching they at least had the decency not to squee or anything as we kissed.

As the song ended we broke out kiss and looked into each others eyes again. Vicky's were tearing up.

"I love you." he said and blinked his tears away.

"I love you too." I whispered softly and gave him one last gentle kiss.

Yeah, tonight was definitely worth it.

Needless to say we didn't leave early. We met back up with Michelle, Erica, Jen and Jason after the slow dance and spent the rest of the night hanging around with them. We'd already had our alone time and felt like hanging out with friends. Michelle and Erica both saw us making out but that actually seemed to calm their usual weirdness down and for the rest of the night they were almost normal. Jen complained loudly that Jason was an awful slow dancer and Vicky and I just shared amused smiles and didn't join in ragging on him.

Besides as hypocritical as I can be sometimes I have NO right making fun of anyone else's dancing.

Speaking of dancing me and Vicky did dance some more. Mostly to the fast songs but we did a few more slow ones. Despite some begging from Michelle we both opted out of the dance competition, or at least what passed for one at a middle school dance. We both knew no matter how great Vicky was there was no way he could make up for my flailing. Plus I kinda doubted they'd let two guys sign up together anyway.

I didn't even pay attention to who won.

The best dressed competition that Michelle had talked about never happened which pissed her off a LOT. Apparently the reason she spent 4 hours and about 300 dollars on her appearance was to win. Oh, how we laughed.

We'd decided to leave and were actually on the way out of the gym when out of nowhere Michelle and Erica popped up in front of us.

"Where are you going?" Michelle asked.

"Home." I said forcefully. "We're tired."

"You can't leave yet." Erica said.

"Why the hell not?" Vicky grumbled. More than me he was the tired one and considering all the dancing he did I wasn't surprised.

"The dance isn't over yet." Michelle answered.

"It is for us." I said. "Move."

"Oh come on!" Erica whined. "You guys stayed this long can't you just stay for another 15 minutes. Pleeeeeease?"

I rubbed my eyes. Great, now Erica was being the whiny one. Honestly, staying wouldn't have bothered me, we were leaving mostly because Vicky was tired and done dancing and I wasn't in the mood to fight with them so I shot him a questioning look.

He shrugged and sighed. "Alright, but I'm sitting down the whole time."

"Awesome!" Michelle squealed and did a little happy dance which Erica then joined in on. Apparently they "made up" or whatever.

We'd barely made it to a table when the music stopped and the guy from the A/V club at the high school that they got to play DJ for the night got on a mic. "Alright guys and girls, it's the time you've all been waiting for, time to crown the king and queen of this years Brian Blair Middle School Back to School Dance!"

Everyone cheered. I groaned. God, could you maybe try to be just a bit more cliche Mr DJ guy? He took out an envelope. Ok, apparently he can.

"Your votes have been counted and added up and the results are here in this envelope. Who's ready to find out who the king and queen are?"

There was more cheering. Louder from the girls of course but then they always seemed to be a lot more into this type of thing than the guys. In fact, when they passed around the little voting slips halfway through the dance a lot of guys didn't even bother filling it out but I didn't see one girl not write something down. I threw mine away without giving it a second glance of course. Vicky wrote down Jason's name under king and Erica's under queen just to be a dick though.

Isn't he perfect?

It was then that I started to notice something a little bit weird. A lot of the girls around us kept glancing over at our table while they were cheering. Yeah, they'd been doing it all night but this time it seemed different. There was some kind of weird anticipation in their glances.

A tiny ball of dread started to form in my stomach.

I looked over at Michelle and Erica and saw that they were practically bouncing up and down in their seats.

Oh. Oh no. You can't even be serious......

"Alright Brian Blair Middle School! Your Back to School dance king and queen for the 2010-2011 school year are....." he pressed a button and a stupid little drumroll played over the speakers. If nothing else he had good timing because the second he opened the envelope it stopped. "....Nate Ellis and Vicky Clarke!"

Oh. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Fucking. KIDDING. ME.

Loud cheering from the girls at the dance almost drowned out the stupid generic "celebration" music that erupted from the speakers as the guy made his announcement. I stared in utter and complete disbelief and horror at the reactions. A dim, distant part of my mind that wasn't currently occupied with unsettingly satisfying thoughts of murdering Michelle and Erica noted that while the girls were cheering almost none of the guys were. Most looked mildly surprised but pretty much unconcerned. A few looked relieved that they weren't the ones named. The rest were just laughing hysterically.

I'm not even going to hide the bodies. I'll display them proudly. No jury would convict me.

Any trace of tiredness in Vicky was gone the second he heard his name. His mouth dropped open and his eyes widened in the most shocked expression I'd ever seen on anybody's face in my entire life. After the cheering started his mouth opened and closed several times as if he was trying to say something but nothing came out.

"Nate and Vicky! Don't be shy! Come on up and get your crowns!" the DJ shouted into his mic.

This set off a chant of "Get your crowns!" from the girls and a surprising number of guys. Everyone in the gym was looking over at our table so it wasn't hard for the DJ to guess where his wayward royalty was hiding out. He obviously didn't have any idea that "Vicky" was short for "Victor" because his eyes swept over the table and locked in on Jason and Jen, the only two people who looked anything like a couple at our table. Well, a straight couple anyway.

"Come on up. There's nothing to be embarrassed about! Just get up here and be recognized!"

Something inside me snapped. I dunno what it was but that cliché spewing, over confident little A/V nerd was pissing me off. With his smug attitude and his superior way of talking down on us like we were a bunch of made me want to knock him on his ass. I couldn't do that though. He was a good foot taller than me and even though he was as skinny a nerd as I'd ever seen he probably still outweighed me by at least 60 pounds. But I could do the next best thing.

"Come on." I growled at Vicky and before he had a chance to answer I took him by the hand and dragged him through the crowd. Once we got up the cheering got louder and I had the extreme satisfaction of seeing the DJ's face go from slightly smug and in control to completely and totally surprised and then embarrassed as he noticed the gazes of the cheering masses follow us up to the little stage area.

My satisfaction only lasted for a few seconds. Once we got up in front of everyone I realized that we were UP IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. I froze.

This.....was not one of my better ideas.

"What are we doing?" Vicky asked me warily as his eyes darted around the gym.

"I have no idea." I squeaked out. Oh, damn, bad idea bad idea badideabadideabadidea....

The DJ was the first one of us to recover. "Oh...shit. You guys were the ones your...uh....shit, my little brother told me....ah, hell." His face was a bright shade of red and not just from the acne either.

"Just....just give us the crowns so we can leave." I managed to get out.

"Um..." he looked anywhere but at either of our faces. "I kinda have a crown and, uh, a tiara. Um. Who.....shit, who get's what?"

Before I even had time to flashback fully to the "Nate's the gayer one" conversation earlier this week me and Vicky were both grabbing for the crown. Somehow I got it first and held it close to my chest protectively. Vicky glared at me for a second before his look softened and he took the tiara. Another round of cheering rose up and this time I noticed more of the guys getting into it. Apparently cheering for us doesn't run them the risk of catching the gay.

"You owe me for this...." Vicky whispered to me.

"You can do whatever you want to me when we get back to my house let's just GO." I emphasized the last word with a little push.

As we hurried out of the gym I looked back at out table one last time. Erica and Michelle were cheering as loudly as anybody. Jen was shaking her head and chuckling. Jason was at least trying to hide the fact that he was laughing hysterically but the red face and the tears streaming down his cheeks kinda gave him away.

The second the cool night air hit my face as we walked outside I calmed down a bit. Don't get me wrong, I was still pissed at Erica and Michelle, more Michelle because I had the feeling that all this was somehow her fault, but I didn't really want to kill them anymore. Actually all I really wanted to do was go home and hug Vicky until I fell asleep.

As Vicky called his dad to come pick us up I sat down looked at the crown. It was a lot less cheap than I would have expected. It was silver and had rounded points, presumably because at 11, 12 and 13 we're all too stupid not to immediately jam it into our eyes and blind ourselves. It was made of some kind of metal that surprisingly wasn't pewter and as stupid as it was I didn't think I'd end up throwing it away. I'd keep it as a reminder that females are evil and not to be trusted.

"He'll be here in a little while." Vicky said after he hung up. He sat down next to me on the grass.

"Ok." I said.

We sat in silence for a few minutes.

"So....that" Vicky finally broke the silence. And actually that kinda summed it up pretty well.

"Yeah." I paused. "So, you regret it?"

Vicky shook his head. "No. I mean, I could have done without this," he raised the tiara "but before that I had a lot of fun." He looked over at me. "What about you?"

I sighed. "No."

Vicky let out a short laugh. "You sound annoyed."

"I kinda am. If I was having a terrible time this would have just been one more bad thing to cap off a bad night. But, since I was actually having a good time, a really good time at certain parts," I thought of Vicky's sexy dancing and smiled briefly "it's kind of brings down the whole night, you know?"

"Well, you didn't have to go up and GET the damn things." Vicky reminded me.

I groaned. "I know! That DJ guy was pissing me off though....and it was sorta worth it just to see him freak out."

Vicky giggled. "Yeah, maybe." He looked down at the tiara and frowned. "Dunno why I had to get the girl crown though."

"Tiara." I said absently. "And you should have been faster." Vicky looked at me without saying anything and I started to feel a bit self conscious. "What?" I asked.

"Did you just correct me because I didn't call it a tiara?"

"Um, no." I lied.

"You liar! You did so!" Vicky shoved it at me. "Here, you should be the one holding onto this."

"Hell no!" I exclaimed and pushed it away. "The crown is mine. Besides everyone must have wrote your name down under the 'queen' slot anyway because Captain Proactiv said 'your king and queen NATE and VICKY'."

Vicky glared at me playfully. "You don't know that. He could have just thought he was correcting whoever wrote out our names. I do seem to remember everyone saying you were the girlier one."

"No! They said I was the gayer one!" I glared back. "And either way they're wrong."

"Suuuure. Just keep telling yourself that little man."

"Little?" I raised my eyebrows. "Really? Do we need to get barefoot again so I can show you that we're still the same size?"

Vicky smirked. "I wasn't talking about our height."

I rolled my eyes. "Well in that case then I AM bigger than you."

Vicky shook his head. "No, just longer. I'm thicker and thickness is what makes the ladies scream."

"Ha!" I barked. "I'm telling Michelle you wanna make ladies scream!"

A horrified expression came over Vicky's face as the consequences of that played out across his mind. "No way! You know I was just kidding!"

"Nope. I'm telling her." I started to get up.

Vicky lunged at me and tackled me to the ground. I hit the grass with an "oompf" as my breath was forced out of my lungs but before I could take a breath Vicky started tickling me.

"Noooo!" I yelled through my laughter. Ok, 'yell' and 'laughter' might be strong terms. It was more like 'gasp' and 'dry heave'. "Stop. Don't wanna die!"

"Promise you'll won't say anything." Vicky demanded.

"Ok! Ok! Promise!" I expanded the last of my air saying that.

Vicky let me up and I took a deep breath. Well, actually more like 10. I saw concern flash through his eyes. "Are you ok?"

I took another breath. "Yeah, I'm fine." No need to mention the near murder and bring the mood down again. Besides if I had actually died it would have been with Vicky on top of me and I can think of a lot worse ways to go. I picked up the crown from where it had fallen and brushed off the grass. Vicky frowned as he picked up the tiara.

"I should have made you take this while I had you in my power." he said mock sullenly.

I grinned. "I'm sure there are other ways you can try and convince me to take it. I seem to remember us having some special dance lessons lined up. Maybe if you're a really good teacher I'll let you wear the crown for a while."

Vicky returned my grin, then looked thoughtful for a second before a more wicked grin crossed his lips. "Hey, do you think I could wear it while I-"

"Hey!" Vicky's dad's shout made us both jump. "You guys coming?"

Both our heads shot towards the voice and I saw that his car was idling about 10 feet away from us. He must have pulled up while we were talking and we never even noticed.

Vicky leaned in close. "We'll finish this conversation later." he whispered before getting up and walking to the car. I followed.

Vicky's dad's eyes looked down at our hands. "What do you have there?"

We shared embarrassed smiles and raised our royal head wear. His eyes widened for a second then he burst out laughing. "Oh, I can't wait to hear this."

On the way home we told Vicky's dad all about the dance. Well, a carefully edited version anyway. We left out Vicky's inanely hot dancing but somehow my, um, attempts made it in. When we got to the part about being named the king and queen of the dance he almost had to pull over he was laughing so hard. He didn't have any snarky little comments like my mom would have so I didn't mind all that much.

When we pulled into my driveway Vicky and I were out of the car before it turned off. Talking about the dance made me think about how amazingly sexy Vicky was rubbing up against me and looking at me with an amazing combination of love and lust in his eyes and I could barely keep my hands off him. Judging from how he was pressed up against me the whole second half of the ride and how he kept brushing his hand against my thigh I figured Vicky felt the same way.

I opened the door and was about to call out to my mom and then drag Vicky upstairs when I heard the sound of raised voices coming from the kitchen.

"-his life like this! You know that! And without even trying to call? What's wrong with you!?" my mom shouted in a shrill tone I hadn't heard her use in a really long time.

"Mom?" I called tentatively.

There was silence from the kitchen then I heard the harsh murmurs of two people arguing quietly. I was about to call out again when I heard footsteps and my mom came around the corner into the front hall.

She looked pissed, but it wasn't that pissed look she usually has where she tries to be all calm and controlled but gives herself away with her stiffness and clipped tones, she looked like she was about three seconds away from punching someone in the throat. Her hair was mussed and her face was red and I took an educated guess that I hadn't got here anywhere near the beginning of her yelling. To say I was worried would have been a major understatement. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen her like this but I was pretty sure it had been before-

Just then a man stepped into the hall behind my mom. Who the hell is-

Then I saw his face.

"Nate-" my mom started but was quickly cut off.

"Hey! There he is." came a voice that was still achingly familiar, even after not hearing it for over three years. "How ya doing, kiddo?"

I stared in utter and complete disbelief. I could almost hear the train collide with the wall. "Dad?"

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