Author: Sidderiffic PM
“Nice shirt,” he comments, his hand sliding under said shirt to gently caress my hipbone, “But I liked it better off.” If I still had the ability to speak, I would be reminding him that I’m straight. ...At least I think I would be... [MM Slash]Rated: Fiction M - English - Humor/Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 15,107 - Reviews: 47 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 61 - Updated: 11-19-07 - Published: 11-08-07 - id: 2436178
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Posted: November 19, 2007
I Enjoy Cotton Sock, Pfeiffer - Yeah, getting Ahran all riled up is definitely a good time haha, Rin, Seiory - I don't think Josh does much to redeem himself in this chapter…, Esquirella - Garrick just likes being honest XD, Halo Sora - Yeah, I agree with Ahran on that one; it's a filthy habit, hey?, Never.Catch.Tomorrow - Thank you. Sometimes I just try to add in small little details to make the voice seem more in tune with the character. Happy to know that reads!, BMW-Rocks, lerene
I stumble into my first period class with about as much grace as an elephant. There are crusties in my eyes and I'm rubbing at them as I drag myself the extra few steps from the door to my desk. I'm trying to pick up my feet but they just don't want to cooperate because I had to walk to school.
And that's fine I guess.
Except, I'm not sure why Rusty didn't show up. I'm not mad - well maybe I am just bit - but still, it's not like her to not come get me. Usually she'll call me ahead of time and tell me that she's sick, or that she's gotten a little 'caught up' on the way over. This morning though, there was nothing. No word of warning. No Rusty.
When I reach my desk, I collapse into the chair completely boneless and drop my head into my hands.
Maybe we're fighting, I suddenly think with a lurch of my stomach.
But I can't remember doing anything wrong, no matter how hard I rack my brain. I suppose I hit her pretty hard yesterday, but she thought it was funny. Besides, she tried to tell me that I'm gay. She deserved the girly hit she got.
I don't even realize that I'm groaning in frustration until the sound pitches loud enough that I startle even myself.
"Wow, someone was having a lot of fun last night," a voice hisses near my ear and I whip around, wondering why Garrick is in my Art class. But when I'm actually turned around enough to see who spoke, I realize it's just Josh with his glazed over eyes and a scowl on his face.
I take in a sharp breath anyways and blink at him in surprise. Our twelfth year started two months ago and he's never once said a word to me outside of detention before right now.
"Don't scare the poor thing," Sabina interjects from the seat across from Josh's.
Her presence takes me off guard; I'm certain that she doesn't usually sit here. Then it strikes me that Josh and Sabina are normally at the other side of the room. In a daze of suspicion, I quietly mumble, "I'm not scared."
Sabina raises an eyebrow at me sceptically and snorts. "Well then why is your eye twitching?" she counters with this air of superiority that I'm pretty sure is innate to females.
"Bet you I can stop it," Josh comments to Sabina in a bored tone and flicks me in the forehead none too gently. "Might mess his face up a bit in the process though."
Sabina appears unimpressed as I rub my head where he hit me and I look to him for a reaction. I tense when I see the unkind expression on Josh's face.
There's no way he could remember any of what happened in detention yesterday, is there?
"Can you be in a good mood for a change?" Sabina sighs, sounding particularly like a mother, and I envision her combing her fingers through his matted bed head while griping at him for wearing the same ratty old shirt from his ninth grade uniform when she spends her money on nice clothes, which she might as well stop buying because he never wears them anyway.
Then Sabina throws a pencil at him and the nagging mother image is shattered.
Josh, for his part, looks completely unruffled as he catches the pencil easily and tucks it behind his ear, shrugging. "It's too much effort."
I feel slightly awkward because Josh is acting entirely indifferent while Sabina is visibly trying to hide her concern. Her hand twitches and I think she's going to reach out and touch him - but she doesn't. Instead she sighs and leans back in her desk, trying to make a sarcastic face and completely ignoring me.
"You need to quit listening to Linkin Park and cheer up. I refuse to be best friends with an emo kid," she tells him while dragging the words out, sounding aggravated, and I almost think she is for a moment. But then I remember her pinched expression not even two seconds ago and I'm not so sure.
"Whatever." Josh lets out a long sigh and opens up the sketchbook on his desk. He quickly flips through pages filled with drawings until he's at a blank page and, despite my effort, I don't see any of his sketches.
He pulls the pencil from behind his ear and sets it to the page, poised to create. I wait, watching quietly as the writing utensil remains motionless.
Maybe he's waiting for inspiration to strike.
My eyes wander to his face and I realize that Josh's thoughts couldn't be any farther from his sketchbook than they are. His eyes are glassy and he's looking vacantly at the blank sheet in his book. I cough and quit staring at him, thinking that maybe I shouldn't be watching him right now; he seems kind of out of it.
I'm in the middle of awkwardly turning back to face the front of them room, when the class door opens abruptly.
"Ahran." Our Art Teacher, Ms. Carridan enters the room carrying boxes of charcoal piled on top of a stack of paper. "Good to see you showed up."
She smiles at me and makes her way to the table at the front of the room.
"Sorry," I say quietly and offer her a strained smile. I want to tell her why I'm late but that would mean admitting that Rusty might be mad at me. And I really hope that she isn't.
Because I hate fighting with people. And at this exact moment I think I'm fighting with two of the most important people in my life: my mother and Rusty.
It strikes me that I have no idea what's happened between me and either of them and I wonder if I have a really bad habit that I don't know about that's causing all of this.
My eye twitches, a sign that I'm getting worked up, so I return my attention to the classroom with much difficulty. Ms. Carridan is explaining our project for the day - something to do with charcoal - and Sabina is getting out of her desk quietly. I watch curiously, - ignore Ms. Carridan - as Sabina grabs hold of Josh's forearm and yanks him up.
"I need to get a smoke," she whispers to Josh and pulls gently at his arm. There's a question in her eyes and for a moment I think Josh is going to push her away and tell her to back off because his face flashes into the image of a snarl. But he just shrugs limply and tosses his pencil on his desk beside his sketchbook.
I'm dimly aware of the book's pages flipping as the pair shuffle beside the desk, but Sabina coaxing Josh out of the room is far more interesting at the moment. "C'mon, babe," she murmurs to him as he growls something along the lines of "Don't call me babe."
Sabina laughs at him and pats his arm condescendingly, somehow bringing a spark of life back into his eyes, as she says, "Ms. Carridan, Josh and me are going to get a quick drink."
I tune out the rest of the conversation because I know exactly where it's going; I've probably heard the 'I need to get a drink and bring my friend along' talk a million times over the last twelve years of my life. Besides, Josh's sketch book is open and I'm turned around enough that I can see it by merely dropping my gaze.
At first I pretend not to realize what I'm staring at. But when I can't deny it anymore, a furious heat works its way up my neck and across my cheeks.
It's a sketch of Garrick. Naked.
I suck in a sharp breath and look up self-consciously, my eyes scanning the room. No one is looking at me - thank God. They're all still watching Sabina and… Josh.
My heart skips a beat, then two, then four, and I feel my stomach tighten. I don't think Josh likes me much and I'm sure that if he caught me looking at his naked sketches of Garrick he would kill me. And there's a chance that he did see me because he's in the same room as me and only a few paces away. I squeeze my eyes shut and dig my nails into my palm.
I'm so dead.
When I finally work up the courage to actually look at Josh, he's is studying me with the most contradictory sneer I have ever seen in my life.
And it scares the living daylights out of me.
The entire hallway ceases to exist the minute I see Garrick standing in front of my locker with his arms crossed over his chest. He hasn't spotted me yet, but he doesn't seem to be looking too hard either.
"Why?" I moan quietly to myself as I tentatively make my way toward my locker. I'm not sure what exactly Garrick is doing standing guard here at the beginning of our lunch break. The only thing I'm sure of is that I wish he just wasn't.
Half-lidded sultry eyes and a self-assured smirk.
He still doesn't notice me when I come up beside him, looking up just the slightest bit because of the small difference in our heights. It feels like he's towering over me, but I don't acknowledge that as I say, "Could you please move?"
He startles and looks over at me, breaking into a grin that reveals a row of perfect teeth. I clench my own jaw consciously, suddenly aware of the small gap between my two front teeth.
Mussed up hair falling into seductive eyes and framing smug, swollen lips.
"Hey, Ahr," he greets casually, stepping aside without a fight.
I find myself thinking about how weird this is as I warily move forward and take hold of my lock.
"Hey," I respond. I can't help but glance up at Garrick, suspicious that he's going to try to catch the combination to my locker, but he's too busy checking out some guy.
A completely nude body posed with rippling biceps crossed over a perfect torso. Leaning against a wall.
The lock clicks open at the same time my heart skips with some overwhelming feeling. Blushing, I bite my lip and hide my head in my locker as I carefully arrange all my books at the bottom, alphabetizing them.
I hope he gets bored of me taking my time and leaves.
Garrick looking thoroughly… screwed.
When I finally think my cheeks are a little less flushed from embarrassment, I extract myself from my locker and pull out my coat. A careful glance at Garrick shows that he's not only still here, but watching me as well. I feel a strong compulsion to ask him what he's doing standing by my locker and seeming to wait for me, but I bite my tongue and slip into the light coat my Aunt Mavis - on Dad's side - got me a few years ago for Christmas.
"You're free for lunch, right?" he says once my coat is on. He's being kind of presumptuous, assuming that I don't have plans.
But the things is, I don't.
Usually I just kind of catch up with someone and we go somewhere. Or else Rusty drags me along with her and a bunch of her girlfriends to the mall.
"Um…" I look at Garrick awkwardly and wonder how I'm going to be able tell him that even though I don't have plans, I'm still not free for lunch. At least not for him.
He takes my hand and pulls me away from my locker. I let out a tiny squeak of disapproval, which I think he likes because he smiles at me and mutters something along the lines of 'cute'.
"My locker," I manage to say in a constricted voice because the door is wide open.
And the alphabetically ordered pile of books looks so lame.
I really hope no one notices.
The grip on my hand loosens and Garrick walks passed me to take care of my open locker door. And even though he's just closing a stupid door, he somehow manages to look cool. I can't really even describe it.
I try to convince myself that it's only because the school uniform actually looks good on him. On me it looks way too mature, like I'm a kid trying on Dad's work clothes.
Garrick though… Well, I guess there has to be a reason so many girls say it's a pity he's gay.
The worst part is that he knows he looks good.
Or at least it seems like he does.
"Keep staring like that and I might start to think you want me."
My whole body explodes with heat as Garrick sneaks up behind me and squeezes my bum, effectively breaking me away from my thoughts. My very gay thoughts.
I think I'm tearing up I'm blushing so hard.
My eyes flick to meet Garrick's for a half of a second, but I can't stand the amusement on his face so I settle for staring straight ahead with as closed off an expression as I can manage considering what Garrick just did.
Laughing, he grabs my hand again and starts off to leave the school. "You can get hard later. Right now, we need to ditch this shithole and get something to eat."
I don't know why I'm surprised that Garrick suddenly had a craving to get corndogs from a street vendor. Really, it makes complete sense all things considered. But the way he's eating his corndog… I feel like gagging.
Because I'm pretty sure he's trying to turn me on or something. And it's not working at all. All he's doing is making my stomach churn.
Garrick stops basically fellating his food and looks at me, this 'Well, how was that?' smirk on his face. "You're not eating," he remarks, sounding almost proud that he's managed to distract me from my corndog.
What I don't think he's realized is that he hasn't distracted from eating so much as turned me off of it.
I smile weakly. "Not really hungry anymore," I tell him, trying as subtly as possible to imply that I am not interested. "You can have mine if you want."
"Well if you don't mind watching me eat…"
I choke on my own disbelief and stare at Garrick incredulously.
He thinks I actually want to watch him do improper things to a corndog?
"I do mind," I tell him as I hurriedly push my corndog away from him and accidentally off the table. "Oops!" Leaning over, I stare down at the food, pretending to look sad.
Garrick joins me in leaning over, but rather than going towards the floor, he leans into me. "It's okay," he tells me in a thick, low tone sharp with consonants and sex appeal, "I can just get another one."
'Oh please God, don't!'
"No!" I say in a frantic almost-yell as I straighten so quickly I might as well have jumped. Across from me, Garrick has one eyebrow raised and I manage to compose myself. "It's fine. You don't need to spend any more money," I mumble, dropping my gaze to my lap.
His gentle laugh catches me by surprise and I look up at him shyly, wondering what's so funny as he tells me, "You're cute."
"What are we doing?"
Garrick's car rumbles in protest as he steers us out onto a gravel road. There's nothing but field on either side and I know exactly where we are: The Middle of Nowhere.
"Off-roading." Garrick looks over at me and smiles and pays no attention to the road whatsoever, despite the fact that we are on a narrowgravel road.
"Oh," I say and stare straight forward. I'm about as tense as a pole, only I don't think pole's tremor with nerves.
"Why?" I ask after a moment, chancing a glance at Garrick to see if there's any indication on his face of what he's thinking.
He grins. "You'll see."
And before I can even think of telling him that I don't want to see, the car starts swerving 'controllably' and we're heading straight for the ditch. My head swirls with lightness. I'm going to faint.
That will be so embarrassing.
I hear Garrick let out an excited woop and the car starts sliding to the other side of the road and I'm dimly aware of the fact that we're not in the ditch, but rather headed for the other ditch.
"Oh my eff, oh my eff, oh my eff!" I chant loudly and anxiously. My hands are placed securely on the dashboard, white-knuckled and clinging on for dear life as we start actually going in the ditch.
"I'm gonna die," I mutter thoughtlessly, "And I won't even know if Rusty's mad at me. My mom will never find out I've died because she's lost, and if she does find out it will be through the newspaper! Jesus, I don't wanna die!"
The car straightens out suddenly, cutting off my mindless rant.
And this is the weirdest sensation ever. We're driving straight for a pole and we're driving on the grassy part just on the edge of the road and the car is at such an extreme angle that I'm falling against the window.
"We're not gonna die, you silly queen," Garrick laughs as he swerves back onto the road at the last second before we hit the pole.
Despite the fact that I can feel my heartbeat filling my mouth, I manage to snap (gasp), "I am not a queen."
"Right," he agrees in a dry drawl.
But I'm not listening to him because it's just occurred to me that I didn't die and that what just happened may have just been the tiniest bit…fun.
I stare at Garrick with bright eyes and suddenly, before I can even question whether or not I'm going to look like a fool, I start laughing. Garrick returns my gaze, his brown hair falling into his eyes, and smiles, joining in with me and laughing as well.
God help me, I think we've just bonded.
We're in the school parking lot with five minutes to spare and I get out of the car, still breathless and flushed from laughing. Part of me insists that I just leave without saying anything because I still don't want to be Garrick's friend.
The part of me that thinks I should speak is stronger.
"Thanks," I say, gently closing the door and walking around the front of the car to meet him. He steps in closer than what I think is comfortable but I don't say anything and simply take a small step away.
"Yeah, we'll have to do it again." He grins at me and runs his fingers through his hair and I feel so jealous of how certain of himself he is.
I don't agree with him and give him false hope; I just shrug with a mysterious smile and start to turn away.
"Ahran!" a sharp voice calls from a ways away and I stop moving - tense up and look around to see where the voice is coming from.
There's a stretch of grass between the parking lot and St. Catherine's. That's where Rusty is. And she's walking at me brusquely, her whole demeanour shouting furious. I force myself to move toward her, and don't even chance looking at Garrick because I know he's probably wondering what's going on.
Rusty and I meet halfway and she looks like she wants to strangle me.
"So you and Garrick are becoming pals, huh?" she demands just a little too loudly.
I blink and flounder for an answer because I thought she thought it was cute that Garrick had hit on me. "Um, well, not real-"
"You are so stupid!" she hisses out between clenched teeth and her pretty face suddenly looks so ugly.
"First, you get a week's worth of detentions," she spouts, "which I am so not cool with because the people in detention are not the kind of people you want to be friends with. They have all sorts of nasty habits and even nastier personalities."
I can't argue her point on their habits, but her saying that they have nasty personalities doesn't sit well with me. "They're not-"
I want to tell her 'they're not that bad' but I can't seem to muster up the courage.
I swallow and break my eye contact with Rusty, humiliated and angry with myself for not being able to say anything.
"They're not what? That bad?" she laughs darkly and catches my chin in her fingers, forcing me to look at her. "They're fucked up, Ahran. Sabina, Wil, Josh, Jeffrey, and Garrick. All five of them."
"Garrick?" I ask quietly, wondering how she knew he was in detention yesterday. He's not one of the regular kids in detention…
"Especially Garrick," Rusty bites out, glaring passed my shoulder and in the direction I came from. I don't know if he's still there and I don't want to. I assume he is because Rusty's eyes narrow to slits before shifting back to me. "He's fucking trash. Yeah, he's being real nice to you right now, Ahran, but how many other people has he been real nice to, huh?"
There's a pause in her speech and I know I'm supposed to speak, but I can't. Rusty doesn't look disappointed so I guess she wasn't really expecting me to say anything.
"Once he gets in your pants the novelty will wear off and then you'll be just another guy that Garrick fucking Papadopulos managed to seduce. I am not going to let that happen to you."
I wonder when I lost the right to make my own decisions and when Garrick stopped being 'that cute Greek guy'.
"That's just gossip, Rusty," I say in a weak voice.
The answering glare she casts upon me is cold enough to send a shiver quaking through my body.
"Yeah, well gossip tells me that this morning you sat with Josh and Sabina in Art. And gossip tells me you took the bus home with Jeffrey yesterday after school. And my own eyes tell me you just went for lunch with Garrick."
Gossip really gets around.
"It's just one day," I try to argue and my voice shakes when I speak and I suddenly realize that my hands are trembling and this sick feeling has been settling in my stomach over the duration of our conversation.
"It better be," she warns. "They fuck people over. And I am not letting them fuck with you."
I nod because I can't do anything else and Rusty's eyes narrow. Can she honestly tell that I don't really want to listen to her advice?
The bell rings and she takes a step away from me. "I'll see you tomorrow when I pick you up." Then she turns on her heel and jogs off, looking as cool and collected as she normally does.
Me though? I'm trembling all over and I want to cry.
At least I know why she's mad at me.
Boland leaves the detention room about twenty minutes in and I'm told that that's when he usually leaves.
"At 3:50 every day Boland fuckin' splits outta here with his tail between his legs," Wil tells me with a grin.
"Can't put up with us and our antics," Sabina adds, smirking across the room at Wil. "I really don't see why everyone thinks detention is such a drag."
"It's the best part of the day," Garrick agrees.
The three of them - Wil, Sabina, and Garrick - all share similar expressions of amusement and I realize that Rusty was right. Garrick is one of them.
"You're pathetic," a dark voice from the back corner pipes up, "if the best part of your day goes on in this stupid fucking bullshit school."
Josh sounds furious and I itch to look back at him, but I'm scared that he'll direct his anger at me because I don't really belong here. I stare resolutely at my desktop.
"Unless you've got something not fuckin' emo to say, man, shut up," Wil drawls, spinning in his desk to grin at Josh, who gives him the bird.
"But he's so cute when he's emo."
I look over my shoulder at Garrick; he's smiling fondly at Josh and blowing him kisses.
Sabina scoffs and lobs a balled up sheet of paper at Garrick's head. "Don't encourage him."
"And don't call me cute, you cocksucking cunt," Josh growls so deep and harsh that I can't help but whip around to look at him. He shifts his glare from Garrick to me and somehow the expression becomes even more hateful.
I flinch and turn back around. If I stare at my hands and ignore everyone then I'll get out okay.
And Rusty won't be so mad at me.
"Such mean words," Garrick retorts and I can hear the hints of an angry edge in his playful tone. I think he might actually be getting upset.
"Get the point behind them then and quit fucking speaking. Nobody cares about what you have to say."
The tension in the room heightens and I inconspicuously look out of the corner of my eye at Wil, thinking he should be right in there. He's not though. He's frowning at Sabina over the four rows of desks between them.
"That's not how you felt last night."
Wil and Sabina suck in sharp breaths and I think Garrick may have hit a sore spot.
Josh explodes. "Get your fucking queer eyes off of me before I bash your head in, you stupid, pathetic, faggot!" His chair clatters to the floor but I don't turn around, not even when the only sound in the room is Josh's laboured breathing - deafeningly loud over the razor-sharp silence of shock.
"Josh." That's Jeffrey speaking.
The breathing hitches. "What?"
"Sit down and quit making a scene."
I'm still not looking, even though I ache to see what silent exchange is passing between them, even if I won't understand any of it.
"Fine." I hear Josh's chair scraping on the floor. "Hey Rasheem," Josh calls and I wonder if he's speaking to me. Tentatively, I spin in my chair and cast a questioning look of fear upon him.
"His name's Ahran," Garrick grinds out and I feel the tension beginning to rise again.
"It's okay," I say hurriedly but no one hears me. I can understand why too, because Josh has just looked over at Jeffrey and said, "Do you hear something? Must be the fag thinking that I care."
Jeffrey doesn't laugh. "Leave it go," he says firmly but Josh has a wild look in his eyes and isn't listening to Jeffrey anymore.
"Isn't this a fine case of the pot calling the kettle black?" Garrick is physically speaking through his teeth and I look anxiously over at Sabina, hoping she might be able to do something. But she's still too busy having a silent conversation with Wil to notice my frenzied plea for intervention.
"Fuck I hope you get what's coming to you," Josh tells him. "A good fag bashing or two. Maybe once you're through passing your AIDs to Rasheem he'll get a group of terrorists together to take you out."
My stomach tightens and I can't believe that I'm hearing what Josh is saying. I don't think anyone can, actually. Without thinking about it, I hunch myself forward, trying to make myself as small as possible - hoping that Josh won't notice me anymore.
I look up at Garrick, not at all surprised to see how pale he is. His eyes are blazing, however, and I can see a million responses tracking their way through his mind, stomping over his hurt and temporarily burying it.
Josh draws in a breath. "What? Can't say anything? That's because you know you its true. You deserve every fucking horrible thing that's comi-"
"Josh, babe. Stop." This time it's Sabina who cuts in. She's glaring not at Josh, but at Garrick, daring him to even try to continue the fight and I'm so glad that she's here because neither Josh nor Garrick say anything in response.
In fact, no one says anything, which is fine by me because I'm still reeling from being called a terrorist. There was no basis behind that comment, and that's what is taking me off guard the most. I'm only one quarter Indian and I don't even look it. I just look like I've got some Spanish blood or something.
So many words are pushing their way into my mouth and I keep thinking I might actually say something to defend myself.
But the words never come out and the room remains silent, like the aftermath of a devastating storm.
Later, when detention is over and we're all leaving, I stop Sabina and apologize.
"You're sorry?" she asks incredulously.
She's dumbfounded I guess because it takes her a while to ask, "For what?"
"I think I kind of made the fight worse," I mumble quietly, almost hoping she won't hear me.
"Well you didn't." Her confidence almost convinces me. "They have their own stuff to work through and you just got caught up in it." She pauses thoughtfully then adds on, "Don't hate Josh too much for what he said. Sometimes when people are… stressed… they say things they shouldn't."
"There is no appreciation in this household!"
"He's fucking trash!"
"Yeah," I say thoughtfully, nodding again absently, "Yeah, I won't."
I know exactly what she means all too well.
Over supper I finally work up the courage to ask Dad where my mother is. I say it carefully and quietly when he doesn't have food in his mouth.
"Dad, where's Mom?" I say it politely and unobtrusively and I stare at my full plate.
Standing up, he drops his napkin to the table and pushes his chair in and looks at me like he's disappointed. The meal on his plate doesn't matter. "Finish your food then clear the table," he tells me in a gruff tone.
He leaves the room and I hear the door to his bedroom slam.
I don't allow myself to even consider the shock of anger trying to work its way into my thoughts. There's enough anger in my life without me latching onto the emotion too.
Still looking for a beta if anyone's up to the task!
Oh and please don't think I'm condoning any of the illegal/stupid things my characters get up to! Because I'm totally not!
Reviews are love!!!