Crashing Violently Against the Rocks

Warning: M/M SLASH present

Notes: The first few sections of this were actually written for a class assignment...but then I decided to continue it on my own! Right now it's a one-shot, but it could be more. This hasn't been edited by anyone but myself, so if you see anything funky, please tell me! Reviews are loved.

I can't seem to remember what I did last night. I just woke up with my head more groggy than usual and the nagging feeling that something was very, very wrong. The bad feeling was compounded by the fact that I did not wake up in my own bed, but sprawled out on the couch of some stranger, comfortably resting on some person's chest. The guy was a classmate of mine, but I did not know him so well as to be sleeping on him like that. So, carefully, I removed myself from the couch. It was clear that a party had taken place last night, as Mr. Classmate and myself were not the only two sleeping in random places. I saw a few familiar faces, but the recollection of last night still eluded me as I shook off the sleep. Oh, well, I think. If I can't remember, it must not have been that important.

Eventually, and I'm not sure how, I ended up at school with ten minutes to spare before class started. Like a zombie on auto-pilot I walked to my usual hangout, surprised to find a plethora of glares and angry faces greeting me.

"...hey, guys." I said warily. Becca, a feisty (for her size) redhead and also the best girlfriend in the world came up to me. I prepared myself for a good-morning kiss, and got smacked cleanly across the cheek.

"How dare you! You have got some nerve, Luke, showing your face around here after what you did last night!" She was practically shouting and her face was red and puffed up with anger.

"Um, what exactly did I do?" I ask stupidly, rubbing my cheek. It stung. My question only caused Becca to finally burst into the tears she'd been holding back, and run off. Probably to cry in the girl's bathroom. One of her friends ran after her, and the rest of the group turned their backs on me and muttered in disapproval.

Knowing what had occurred last night, which this morning seemed to be unimportant, suddenly became a most pressing manner. Distraught, I wandered aimlessly around school, trying to remember something, anything, of the previous night. There was only one thing. A boy's face, coming back to me in flashes. I set off to go find him.


Richie Williams was not a hard person to find, his day-to-day behavior as predictable as any high-school student. He was sitting where he normally was on the bleachers by the football field, surrounded by the rest of his emo-clique. They were all talking about crappy bands and cutting themselves. Okay. That wasn't fair — I didn't really know what they talked about every morning, as I was never curious enough to go ask. But that's what they probably talked about.

When Richie saw me approach, his face broke out into the most honest smile I'd ever seen on him. It scared me — I barely knew the guy, what reason would he have to smile at me like that? He turned to one of his friends, saying something that sounded like 'I told you.'

He stood up and walked towards me, his followers parting like the red sea to let him through.

"Luke," he greeted. He sounded like he was trying to contain his excitedness, his voice hopeful and calm all at once. If anyone else noticed this oddity, they didn't make note of it.

"What happened last night?" I asked, quick and to the point. Richie was the type to toy with people if he knew they wanted something from him and I just didn't have the time this morning.

His eyes widened for a split second and he almost looked hurt. The expression vanished as quickly as it had come and was replaced with that infuriating smirk of his. Richie never smiled — he always smirked.

"You mean you don't remember?" he said, and his voice was back to its usual self again too, a rich rough timbre of condescending arrogance. He came closer to me, and slung one skinny arm around my shoulder. The boy was a stick. "You finally — and I congratulate you on this Luke — told your bitch of a girlfriend exactly where she could stick it. In very precise words. At some points you got quite technical about it. If I remember correctly, you even wrote it down on a napkin to show her. I think Neil kept it, if you're curious."

I swear I could feel my life ending at that moment. No wonder Becca was so angry at me. In all two years of our relationship, we'd never once had a fight. It must have seemed like I was letting loose two years worth of built-up rage out in one drunken rant. Which wasn't exactly untrue, but...another story. Richie seemed to realize he'd gone off on a tangent, because he stopped talking and just looked at me. His story explained one thing, but not everything. Like, for instance, why I could remember his face and nothing else.

"And then what?" I heard myself asking. I was almost afraid of the answer. Richie's expression darkened and he got closer. I could feel his breath, warm on my ear, and I couldn't stop from shuddering.

"Then," he said in almost a whisper, "You finally confessed your true feelings for me."

I stood there, frozen. How was I supposed to react to that? Last night, in a drunken stupor, at a party which (as I was now remembering) over half the school attended, I confessed my love for Richie Williams. Strike my comment from before — It was now that I could feel my life ending. But that wasn't all, no, it wasn't over yet. Richie moved away and gave me a pat on the back.

"You're a really good kisser, by the way." He said much too loudly for my tastes, and he had the audacity to lick his lips. And smirk again. That smirk had to be the most annoying thing I'd ever seen. I couldn't say anything as I watched him walk away, pulling his hood up over his ridiculous emo-hair, his posse surrounding him like a shield.

Because I knew that all words, even drunken ramblings, have a small amount of truth to them. It was a fact I wished I could deny at that moment.


The rest of the day my mind was in damage control mode. I made a mental list of all the things I'd need to do to minimize the impact last night's party would have on my life. One, apologize to Becca. Beg for forgiveness, if necessary, grovel. Two, somehow convince everybody I was not gay for Richie Williams, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It didn't help that people had seen me talking with him that morning. But really, now that I thought about it, surely I wasn't the first person in this school to kiss a guy while drunk?

It was then I realized if I was going to accomplish task number two on my list, I'd have to assess exactly how bad the damage was. Learn exactly what had I done with Richie. I needed to hear the story from someone who wasn't him.

Fortunately for me, such a person sat directly next to me in my English class. Casey Hassan, my best friend since third grade and the only person who knew me better than I knew myself. He wasn't one to spread rumors for one thing, so I knew he was reliable, and he had also apparently been the one that found me in Brittany McCain's parent's bedroom with Richie.

The details of last night, though becoming clearer as the day wore on, were mostly still a haze. According to Casey, I'd gotten a ride to Brittany's party with him, and had made plans to return home the same way. The instant I'd gotten there I'd started drinking — I'll just admit now that at parties, I'm the guy who drinks more than he should. I know it's not good for me, but it helps me relax and enjoy myself.

Casey and I split up and he said he didn't see me for the rest of the night — however, he did hear me, from across the living room, as I told Becca what a bitch I thought she was.

"I doubt there was anyone in the room who didn't hear that," Casey said, and it only made me feel worse. The night dragged on, and eventually Casey felt like leaving so he went to find me. Some girls told him they'd seen me drag Richie upstairs, so he checked there, opening all the doors until he found me...

Half-naked, on top of a very willing Richie Williams, making out with him like the world was ending at that moment.

"Details, I need details," I pressed, and Casey gave me a strange look but complied anyway.

"Um...well, let's just say that you're lucky I'm the only one who saw that." he said. I groaned and sank lower in my seat. "It was very...passionate. And sloppy. Lots of tongue. If you were a girl it would have been hot, but because it was you, it was kind of disturbing."

"Thanks, man."

"Hey, would you rather me say you guys looked good together?" he said.

"No, that's worse." I sighed. Passionate, huh? I tried to think about what it must have felt like and shuddered.

"It was like, after you kiss somebody like that, you know within five minutes one or both of you will have all your clothes off." Casey so helpfully added on, as if sensing the direction my thoughts were taking.

"Thank you, I did not need that mental image, now it won't go away, why does my life suck so hard?" I said without pausing.. I glared at Casey before he could make a remark about how I should be grateful that it wasn't something else that was sucking hard. Oh, God, even when he doesn't say anything I still get the mental picture. I needed brain-bleach.

"Sorry I left you there, by the way." Casey whispered over to me. "I tried to get you to the car but I only got as far as the couch. You were insistent on staying."

"It's fine." I said, though inside I was a little angry that Casey hadn't tried harder to get me home, "I'm just glad you stopped me and Richie before I did anything...else."

The teacher shushed us and we both turned forward in our seats, conversation now over. I'd found out what I needed to know, even if it broke my brain to do it. The last thing any guy wants to hear is that not only did he kiss the most annoying emofag in school, but that the kiss could be described as the kind you have during sex. Seriously.

I'd never even kissed Becca like that, our relationship thus far being fairly chaste, except for the occasional make-out session that never went anywhere except with Becca getting offended at my natural male reaction to her female-ness, and me being left incredibly, incredibly horny. She wanted to hold off on sex until marriage, and I understood her completely, but I'm still just a guy. I can't help it.

For the rest of the period I tried to concentrate on what the teacher was saying, something about a cockroach named Gregor, but my thoughts kept drifting back, disturbingly, to Richie. Not Becca and how I was going to make it up to her, but Richie and that fucking kiss.

It just wasn't fair — to be kissed like that by a guy. Although, as Casey tells it, I was the one doing the kissing. That was even weirder. I put my head down on my desk as I felt my cheeks burning in shame. I couldn't even properly remember the incident, for better or worse.

Then, a realization popped into my head about something important I'd left out till now. This morning, when I had gone to confront Richie, he'd seemed excited...happy to see me. If I put that together with the full story of last night, I could only draw one conclusion.

Richie had thought that I was sincere. Until I went up to him, saying that I had no recollection of the night previous, he probably thought that we'd 'shared' a moment or something to that nature. I felt a little twinge of guilt. Now it was proven in my mind that Richie really was gay and he didn't just dress that way, but I still wasn't the kind of person who messed with other people's feelings.

And now I'd done it to two people, in one night.


By lunchtime, my mental checklist read something like this: Apologize to Becca, Apologize to Richie and make sure he is 100 clear that I do not want him in any way, shape, or form. It was in no particular order, simply a matter of who I ran into first. Preferably, it would be Becca, because I'd already seen Richie once today and that was more than enough for me. Luck was briefly on my side, as I caught Becca just as she was heading towards the senior parking lot.

"Becca! Wait, I need to talk to you!" Becca and her friends all turned and looked at me simultaneously, and all of a sudden the collective rage of three angry females was all focused on me. A small shudder went down my spine. Becca was looking at me as if she was trying to decide if I was worth talking to or not. After hearing the story twice now, I didn't blame her. After a moment she nodded to her two friends, and they left without a word, still glaring at me.

"Well, what do you want?" She said sharply, frowning up at me. Her arms were crossed over her chest, giving her an intimidating appearance that shouldn't have been possible for somebody of her stature.

"It's...last night..." I stumbled. Speak, you fool, speak! "I'm...um, sorry."

"You're 'um, sorry'?" She mocked me mercilessly. "Do you even know what you're apologizing for?"

"Yeah!" I said, the whipped tone of my voice making me cringe. "I...I said some pretty horrible things to you last night. I was wasted." I looked down at the ground, "I know that's not an excuse, but...Becca, please believe me, I didn't mean any of it."

The hard expression on her face softened a little at my words. She looked like she was fighting not to give in, but in the end—

"Oh, Luke." She said, hugging me around the waist and burying her face in my shirt. "I know, I know you didn't mean it. But you make me so mad when you do that." She was sniffling a little, and I felt a little bad about that. You should never make a girl cry, in any circumstances.

"That?"

"When you...get drunk like that. I worry that you'll end up like your dad." Aw, how cute of her. I hugged her back, running my hands through her hair.

"I'm glad you care so much, it makes me happy." That wasn't a lie, either. She smiled at me, which I took to mean that I was forgiven. Hooray, I am good boyfriend again. Yes.

"I love you, Luke." Becca said, getting up on her toes to kiss me. I bent down to meet her lips, soft and full like a girl's lips should me. See? I was kissing my girlfriend, and liking it! Ha, ha, take that, Richie! You and your man-lips...although they had been rather soft, too, but just a little bit chapped.

We pulled apart and thankfully Becca didn't notice the look of horror on my face. Why did I remember that little detail? And why did I have to remember it now? This couldn't be happening. It wasn't. Richie's lips? I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT THEY FEEL LIKE. That's right. No fucking clue. Why would you think I know, huh? There's no way I would know that. Shut up, leave me alone.

"Luke?" Becca said, snapping me back to reality. "I'm gonna go catch up with my friends. See you later?"

"Uh...yeah, I'll call you." She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and walked away smiling, a little bounce in her step. At least everything was in good order in her little world. As for myself, however...there was one thing I still needed to do. And even though every fiber of my being was screaming not to do it, I had to.


My meeting with Becca had gone fairly smoothly, in a very casual manner that had me walking away a bit paranoid because she had forgiven me so quickly — it was a little too easy. Becca was that type of person, though. She had a temper, but she couldn't hold grudges with anyone for long. That's why we never really fought.

I still had to talk to Richie, and I knew that my conversation with him would be completely opposite from Becca's — because they were also opposites. Richie was arrogant and he liked to toy with people, avoiding ever giving straight, honest answers in favor of cutting people down with his caustic remarks. And he was always contrary — to the teachers, to his friends. There was always something he could disagree with you about.

I knew I'd have a tough time talking to him, from the minute I spotted him on the bleachers after school. Unlike this morning he was alone, sitting on the top bleacher, leaning back against the wire fence with his headphones on. I could see the white earbuds peaking out from under messy black locks of hair. His eyes were closed, and his thin frame was silhouetted against the blue afternoon sky.

He seemed to sense my approach, his eyes snapping open as I got closer. Without giving me a second glance he started gathering his things and getting up to leave, but I saw what he was trying to do and blocked his exit.

"I need to talk to you." I ground the words out, very much against my will. Richie only made a motion to his ears and shrugged.

Sorry, can't hear you. He tried to move around me. I grabbed his headphone wire and yanked them out of his ears.

"Fuckin' A...what was that for?" Richie spat at me, rubbing the skin of his ear, which was little pink from the earbuds. Now, I reflected, would be a very bad time to remember that I had kissed that delicate structure last night, and that it had made Richie gasp and writhe under me. He had seemed so uninhibited, compared to the Richie before me now. As I looked at him I somehow knew that unperturbed face was just a very thin mask at the moment. I could feel a multitude of strong emotions from Richie, bubbling just beneath the surface. My presence was really bothering him.

"I need to talk to you." I repeated, fighting down a blush and trying to push the memory from my mind.

"Too bad, I'm kinda in a hurry to be somewhere." He said, and again tried to go around. I stretched my arms out like a shield.

"Just listen to what I have to say!"

"Okay." He sat down on the bleachers. That threw me off a bit.

"Ehhh...huh?"

"I'm listening — say what you have to say. And be quick." He leaned back and looked up at me. I stammered, glancing around at the steady stream of students that passed by the area where we were.

"Not here,"I hissed. "Somewhere private."

"Ah, so it's that kind of talk?" He joked, but I wasn't in the mood. He smirked, "Yeah, I totally understand. You don't want people to get the wrong idea about us. Again."

"Just shut up and meet me in the weight room in five minutes. There's no sports after school today so it'll be empty." I didn't say where it was, even though I knew Richie had probably never set foot in that room his entire high school life.

"The weight room? Kinky." He said in that infuriating sarcastic tone. I ignored him and headed off to my destination.


Five minutes later, I was sitting on a bench in the musty room, the doors shut, in darkness. The only light came filtered, yellow, through tinted and dusty windows, and it was not enough to brighten the room. When the football team—or any other team, but it was mostly used by the football team—used this room, they did so with the doors and windows wide open.

I sat there in the silence, tapping my foot nervously against the ground. Five minutes was five minutes, but at the moment it felt like eternity that I was waiting. The slightest movement on my part caused the air to shift, and I got a noseful of old sweat smell, so I kept as still as possible.

Then the door creaked open noisily. A mop of black hair peeked in, followed by a body. I glanced at him and then turned back around, making him walk over to me and not the other way around. I was determined to keep control.

"I like this place," Richie said as he sat down, "It's secluded. Quiet. Dark. Almost...what's the word? Romantic."

"None of that crap." I said in a voice I hoped left no room for doubt. Richie stared at me, and I saw that none of the humor in his voice was evident in his eyes. He was dead serious.

"Alright. Why don't you tell me why you're wasting my time?" He cut to the point, as I expected him to.

"Okay. Last night, um—" I started to fumble but then I caught myself, "Last night you were at Brittany's party—"

"Whose?" Richie said.

"Brittany McCain." Although now that I thought about it, it wasn't surprising Richie didn't know her. He wasn't the sort of person she would be seen dead talking to. He probably hadn't even been invited. "A-anyway, you were there and so was I, and I've heard what happened from a close friend of mine."

Richie only raised his eyebrow, signaling me to continue.

"It seems that, um, we were...engaged...in acts of a questionable nature." I said, trying to keep my words and neutral and unrevealing as possible. Richie was intent on rendering my efforts futile.

"You mean the part were we were making out on that girl's bed?" He said nonchalantly, as if discussing the weather. I become aware of the heat rising to my face.

"Yes, that would be the part I was speaking of."

"Exciting, wasn't it?" He said, leaning forward with his elbows resting on his knees. I start to respond but then it strikes me that the situation, with Richie and I alone in this secluded place, reminded me of that time. And I become tongue-tied. Richie continued on, "But, that's too bad you seem to have forgotten. Too much to drink, maybe? Then again, I was drunk too—but I could never forget somebody as talented as yourself." He smirked again and I felt my blood boiling. He was playing with me again.

"Tell me, Luke, where did you learn to kiss like that? You've only had the one girlfriend, right? And if Becca's as frigid a bitch as they say, well..." He trailed off, knowing perfectly well how badly this was getting to me. "Maybe you learned from a boy instead."

"That's enough!" I shouted, jumping up from the bench. "Loathe as I am to acknowledge that I was anywhere near that disgusting mouth of yours, I do remember last night. And all I came here to say was I don't ever want to see or hear from you ever again. If you so much as look at me again I swear I'll punch you in the fucking face!" I spun on my heel and walked towards the door, leaving Richie in a stupor.

"Wait!" He said as I had my hand on the door handle. I didn't turn around, but he continued speaking anyway. His voice was low and unsteady, it held none of its normal cockiness. Rather, it was a voice that wanted badly to be heard, but was afraid because nobody had ever listened to it before. Maybe that's why I didn't just leave right then and there. I had a feeling it was part of Richie that nobody had seen before — I had glimpsed it this morning, too.

"If you remember last night, then you remember what happened before?"

"Before what?"

"Before you took your shirt off." He apparently couldn't resist slipping that jibe in. I thought back but I realized I couldn't remember anything between seeing Richie amongst the crowd of people and being on top of him.

"No, I don't remember that." I started to open the door, but curiosity got the best of me. I knew if I didn't ask now I'd regret it forever. "Why? What happened?"

Richie looked at the ground and didn't speak. Now I was even more curious.

"If you don't remember, then just forget it." He said, his voice holding a faint note of disappointment.

"No, tell me. What happened?" I insisted. Richie looked up at me through eyes partially obscured by his hair. It made me feel guilty.

"If you really want to know..."

"I do!"

"Then, I'll tell you. When you dragged me into the bedroom—"

"Hey! As I remember it, you were a willing participant!"

"Yes, but your memory isn't the most reliable thing in this circumstance now, so shut up." I did.

"When you dragged me in there, we didn't get to...you-know-what right away. Instead, you just laid on the bed for a while, talking."

"What did I say?" Nothing I would really regret, I hope.

"Everything, really. About how when you were seven your best friend moved away, and you didn't know and thought he had died, so you held a funeral for him. In place of a body, you buried a teddy bear." I stared at him. I'd never told the story of Alexis to anyone before, and now I'd told him? Just fuckin' perfect. Alexis was the lead in to my deep-dark secret, but at least I didn't tell him about—

"—then when you were fourteen he moved back, and you fell in love with him. Your best friend. A guy." Shit, shit, shit. Okay, I'll come clean. Richie isn't the first guy I've...'shown interest' in. I may of had a teeny tiny perfectly healthy mancrush on my best friend when I was fourteen. It couldn't be helped. Alexis had totally grown up, and he was...anyway, well at least I didn't tell him about how I---

"–and you totally had your way with him behind the storage shed." Richie looked at my gaping face. "Those were your words, exactly."

"Shit. Well, I mean, I—" Words tumbled out, all ready to fire out denials. This was not how I imagined the conversation going when I called Richie out here.

"–and you really liked it. And about how you'd never admit it to anybody, not even yourself, but you think I have a really fine ass."

"I was drunk! Completely inebriated! Are you saying you believed everything I said that night?" I snapped, standing up. There was no way, I'd spent too long convincing myself I was straight—I mean, I can say some pretty stupid things when I was drunk, it wasn't all true—I mean, none of it was true, shut up! "Okay, that thing with Alexis...that's true, but I was young! Everyone does things like that at least once, right?" Richie just smiled at me. "Right? And, since then, there's been nothing—not that I wanted there to be something—and, I'm not gay, and I totally hated kissing you, it was the worst thing to ever happen to me, and, and...you do not have a fine ass."

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." he quipped in response to my emotionally strung-out rant.

"Shut up! Don't quote Shakespeare at a time like this!" I can get very demanding and whiny when I'm stressed.

"It fit the situation, what can I say?"

"It did NOT fit the situation."

"I think you need to calm down." Richie said, standing up.

"I do NOT need to—" I was cut off by the sensation of warm lips pressed against my own, in the softest of kisses. Richie drew back, smirking again.

"Don't you want to hear the rest?" He sat back down. I followed suit, saying nothing. I could have fumed, I could have smacked him, but I felt like none of that would have helped right now. I'd wanted to talk with Richie to sort things out clearly — but now I felt a thousand times more confused than before. Why did just being around him make my head hurt like this?

"Anyway. After that you sort of calmed down a bit. Well, you stopped talking so fast at least. And you—" he gave me a sidelong glace. "You know, it's not easy having to tell you all this. If you remember even the slightest thing, save me the trouble." There was a pause. "For no reason, after you told me how much you appreciated my...ahem...glutenous maximus, you...started crying."

---

"Wha...why are you crying?" Richie asked, leaning against the headboard of the bed. Luke sat on the other side, hunched over with his knees drawn to his chest. He was sobbing quietly, his shoulders shaking with the occasional hiccup.

"I don't know." Luke said, sniffling, "I don't—my life is such a mess, I just don't know, I'm so confused." Tears were running down his face. Richie hesitantly reached a hand out, and Luke took that as permission to lean against Richie, literally crying on his shoulder. Richie awkwardly held Luke, rubbing his arm.

"It's okay," he said, trying to be comforting, "I am too."

"I'm sick of lying to myself." Luke continued, slightly muffled by Richie's shirt, "and to everyone else. 'Specially Becca. I don't know, I knew she liked me so I asked her out but I really don't like her all that much. But if I don't go out with her, people might, they might talk. People sometimes still talk about Alexis, I mean, they don't know that I was ever with him like that, but Alexis was just really open about everything and he always got alot of shit and..." he sniffled, "I don't want that to happen to me. I like it when people like me."

Richie, coming from the position of being one of the most despised students on campus, could not relate at all, but tried to be sympathetic anyway.

"But I really don't like her all that much," Luke said, returning to the topic of Becca. "I like you, though."

"You don't even know me." Richie interjected softly.

"So? You're warm, and nice, and really soft." Luke leaned further into Richie, snuggling up against the other boy's chest. "And you listen to me and I bet you wouldn't make me drive your friends around or go shopping for makeup or anything. And you wouldn't be all 'let's wait until we get married before we have sex' because you wouldn't think I wanted to marry you and that's just stupid, isn't it? And I like you. I want to kiss you."

And he did.

"Your breath reeks of cheep booze." Richie said, pulling away.

"Yeah." A beat. "I want to do that again."

"You're drunk. You'll hate yourself — and me — in the morning."

"No I won't. I promise. Now kiss me?" Luke's voice was eager and Richie was only to happy to comply, chasing away all lingering doubt.

---

"And the rest is...well, you know." Richie finished. "Ringing any bells?"

"Yes." I said, holding my head in my hands. "God, yes. Could this get any fucking worse?" My voice was strained.

"Are you going to try at tell me none of that was true, either?" Richie leaned in. We were now too close for comfort, but I was too distressed to notice.

"Like you'd believe me, anyway." I said, looking up. Surprisingly, his face was full of concern and worry. I shot my gaze down to the floor again. "What?" I snapped.

"Luke, I was once where you were." he said softly. "Lying to myself. I didn't have anyone to help me through. I was all alone. But...you don't have to be." This couldn't be happening. It was too much. I felt my eyes watering. Damn. "I can help you. I mean, if you want me to. I know you and I don't get along, but let me help you. We can work everything out."

I shouldn't have complied with him, I shouldn't have even listened, part of my brain was warning me that Richie would only complicate things further but the other part of me– the part that snapped under the weight of my own denials– was singing glory hallelujah and welcoming the emo boy with open arms. I didn't realize I was shaking until I felt Richie's hand on my arm, steadying it. I looked up slowly, the last nail in the coffin. I'd never seen such sincerity in a person's eyes before. And behind that, there was something else, some other emotion, but I didn't have time to figure out what that was before we kissed for the third time.

It was really like the first time, though. His lips were soft and gentle, pushing against mine gently. I pushed back this time. Richie's hand was in my hair, stroking it, and then I felt his warm tongue parting my lips, very slowly, as if asking permission. I gave it to him, opening my mouth and as he kissed me I unconsciously made a sound, a moan, deep in my throat. It encouraged him. I'll never get used to the feeling of somebody's tongue touching my own — it sort of squicked me, really — but never before had it felt so good as it did with Richie. All the doubts, all the worries that had been building up before melted away in that kiss. Suddenly, everything seemed so simple and I wanted to keep it that way.

"Hey, what's going on, guys?"

If you've been reading this far then you've realized by now that Murphy's Law does not apply more strongly to anyone else than myself. Just when I'd really begun to relax, the door to the weight room flew open and light illuminated the room. A few guys that I recognized entered, for who knows what reason, and stared at Richie and I. Though we had enough presence of mind to separate as soon as we heard the noise, I'm sure we still looked very suspicions and those guys were staring at us like they knew something. They were judging me, I could feel it. They knew, they must have seen us. I glanced back and forth between Richie and the other guys, panicked. I was scared. I did what I had to do. That is the only excuse I can make for myself.

I socked Richie square in the jaw. I ran out of the weight room immediately afterward, so I didn't see it but I heard the sickening metal crack as Richie was slammed into the lockers. All I could do was run.


Weeks passed. The small hubbub that had been generated by the 'Luke/Richie Gay Scandal', as our school paper put it, had mostly died down. The simple-minded peons of our school had moved on to whatever new rumor was in at the moment. The important thing was, it had nothing to do with me anymore. I'd faded into the background again.

Becca was becoming more unbearable as the days passed. She was a nice girl, really she was, and very pretty — but she wasn't him. Doesn't that sound cliche? Don't answer that. Maybe it was because I'd finally admitted to something when I was with Richie. I didn't like like Becca. Now that the fact was out in the open, all of her faults — her shrill, prattling voice, the way she twirled her hair incessantly — became more annoying. It didn't help that my thoughts were consumed by the black-haired boy, whom I had not seen since that day in the weight room. Richie was startlingly good at not being found when he didn't want to be.

Everyone noticed I was acting weird. Casey noticed it and expressed his concern to Becca, who finally confronted me.

"You haven't been yourself lately." She said one day at my house. She was reclining on my couch, reading a magazine. I was on the lazy-boy, flipping through channels.

"Oh?"

"Yeah, you've been acting really weird." She put down the magazine and went to stand next to me. I didn't look up from the TV. She changed the subject abruptly. "Oh, hey, my friend is throwing this bonfire tonight at the beach. We should go. It'll be fun, everyone's gonna be there."

"Okay," I said automatically. Becca leaned down, blocking my view.

"Or," She said, crawling into my lap, "We could...stay here tonight." Her voice was like a purr. I thought of Becca as a cat and almost started laughing. Luckily, she didn't notice and instead snuggled against me. "You know, and do other things." If she'd asked this of me last month, I would have been all over it.

"My parents are going to be home early tonight. Let's go to your friend's thing." That was a lie, my parents were away on an weekend trip, they wouldn't return until Sunday night. But she didn't have to know that. Becca pouted and got off of me.

I had a feeling I just failed some kind of boyfriend test. No matter to me. Lately, I was feeling less and less inclined at putting on the good boyfriend act for her and everyone. I must have been going crazy, that was the only explanation I can think of. I'd completely lost my mind. I just wanted to see Richie again.

If nothing else, to apologize.


I was bored shitless after ten minutes of being at the bonfire. It was just another typical teen gathering, an excuse to get drunk and act stupid and things like that. They had their crappy music blaring way too loud and a few idiots were dancing way too close to the fire pit. I wanted to see one of them catch on fire. Becca clung close to me for a while, until she saw one of her friends and then they both disappeared into the crowd. I didn't see them again all night.

It wasn't that I didn't know anyone to talk to, it was that I didn't know anyone I wanted to talk to. I just wandered through the crowd until the music got to be too much, prodding me to seek refuge at another part of the beach.

Eventually, I came to the end of the sandy shoreline to a place known by us locals as Pirate's Cove.(1) One had to climb over a few rock formations to get to the actual cove, but once you did, it was a quiet, secluded place. Especially at night, when the only beach goers were over at the fire pits. I made my way over the rocks, and wasn't surprised to find I was alone. It was just me and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

I just stood there for a while, looking at the ocean. The sun was just beginning to set and everything was becoming a bit dark. I could see back at the bonfire that everyone was well-lit by the pit of flames, but over her the only lighting came from the occasional lamppost, installed for safety reasons. The florescent bulbs offered little illumination, so I climbed through carefully. On the other side of the cove was more rock formations, some of them hollowed out into little caves. One in particular I'd come to since I was a child — the constant beating of the water on the rocks had formed a tunnel that could be climbed through. It ended right at the water's edge. At this time of night, it was dangerous, but I felt that I couldn't get injured somehow.

It was just my luck, really, that I wouldn't be alone in the tunnel. Perched at the very edge of the rock, looking out at the water, was a figure huddled up with its knees to its chest. Even in the dark I could tell who it was.

I tried to back away slowly but in doing so I knocked a rock out of place and it tumbled down to where he sat. He turned around quickly, giving a shout of surprise when he saw me.

Richie got up in a hurry, tripping over his own shoe. And before I knew it, he was falling and I was running to catch him. We ended up tangled in each other, both of us precariously close to falling in the icy water. His small body was on top of mine, and we stayed like that for a moment, frozen with shock. He broke it first.

"Get...get away from me!" He yelled, picking himself up and stumbling until he leaned against the rock wall. "What are you doing?" I got up too, rubbing the back of my head. A bump was beginning to form where I hit it against the stone.

"I thought I was saving you from...um...certain death? Or at least certain pain." I smart-assed back.

"How did you know I was here?" Richie said. He was breathing quickly, his skin looked paler than usual. I attributed it to the cold because he wasn't wearing a jacket.

"I didn't...I came here to escape the crowd."

"But that's why I came here."

"Great minds think alike?" I couldn't help it, Richie's presence there had put me off guard. I seemed to only be able to reply in sarcastic remarks. But then there was a long silence in which we both avoided meeting each other's eyes.

But wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity? Hadn't I been looking for Richie for weeks? And here we were, just the two of us. I needed to say something. I had to tell him the truth—

"Richie, I—"

"You're an ass."

We both spoke at the same time.

"I want to apologize." I continued. "At the very least, let me apologzie."

"What for?" He wanted to know.

"For punching you...I had no reason—no, I did have a reason. I was scared, I thought—well, that's like an excuse, really. And I know there's no excuse for what I did, but please, I am sorry—"

"Luke." Richie cut me off. I had been rambling. "You're still an ass. But since I've known you, you've always been one, so I don't know why I was expecting something different."

"Aren't you listening to me? I said I'm sorry!"

"I know you are." He said, calmly. "I knew exactly what I was getting into that night, when you and I talked. Honestly, Luke, I've never met a guy who was so sure of what he wanted but so afraid to go after it as you."

Richie looked at me with a leveled gaze. I could see the moonlight reflected in the soft curves of his face. The light and the shadows pooled over his full lips, and as he continued speaking I watched them moving. Richie must have noticed, because he reached a hand out and tilted my chin so that I was looking straight into his eyes. My breath hitched in my throat — Richie was beautiful, and it felt like I was just now noticing it.

"You're such an enormous closet case, and that's going to be a challenge." He smirked. "But I've always loved a good challenge." Then he got serious.

"What I'm trying to say is...after that kiss in the weight room, I went and did a lot of thinking. I'm not going to let me use you, Luke. I'm not going to be satisfied with stolen, hurried kisses in broom closets and empty classrooms, all that sneaking around—"

"Richie, I can't—" I tried to speak, my voice trembling.

"Until you can, I'll be fine," Richie pulled me forward and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. Awkwardly, I put my own hands lightly at his waist.

"Do you even know what you're saying? I'm a mess, you can't just think that if you wait long enough I'm suddenly going to be okay with everything. I mean, I'm jumpy as hell right now. Even though I know we're far away from anybody else, I'm still afraid that someone's going to—"

Richie, determined to prevent me from finishing a single sentence that night, silenced me with a kiss. For the second time today. I surprised myself with the eagerness that I returned it, leaning into his touch like it was the most natural thing in the world. My eyelids fluttered closed and then all other sensations were heightened — his soft, warm mouth; the feel of his cold skin under my hands; the small murmurs he was making as I kissed him; his nimble fingers tangled in my hair, running against my scalp and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, reminding us of where we were. I was able to conclude that no matter what my feelings were toward the whole thing, I could at least be certain that I liked kissing Richie.

Reluctantly, we parted for air and Richie leaned back against the rock again, his eyes slowly opening. At the sight of those eyes I felt my heart flopping about my chest so wildly, I momentarily feared that I was dying. That's what he did to me — and I realized, with a start, that I liked it.

"I know exactly what I'm saying. Because, you're an ass, and I thought that's all you were. But now I know that there's more to you than that. And there's more to this, too," he said, referring to the both of us, I assumed, "and I want to stick around and find out what that is."

And the waves were crashing violently against the rocks, in all their power they were still helpless against the strong pull created by the moon, hanging low in the sky, round and white and unavoidable.

We stayed in that cavern for what felt like a long time. Richie sat with his back against the rock and I sat leaned against him, and his skinny arm around my waist held me close to him and I listened to the pathwickity-pack(2) beat of his heart, and I realized that he was just as nervous as I was.

And Becca would soon realize I was gone, and she would start looking for me. She'd never expect to find me in the arms of this boy. I know because it's the last place I'd expect myself to be.

But here I was — crashing violently against the rocks, unable to resist Richie's gravitation.


Alright, I'm not sure if I should end it there or not. I want to know what people think of this...it was written in chunks over a period of time, so some parts probably don't match up with others...if you notice any errors, please tell me in your review!

Footnotes:

(1) Pirate's Cove - A real place in Newport at a beach I go to . It's got all these little caverns you can explore and rocks you can climb over, it's really fun. They filmed the opening sequence of 'Gilligan's Island' here. (So I've been told. I'm not a big fan of Gilligan.)

(2) This is a sound effect I read once in a really amazing kingdom hearts fic. I can't remember the name of it, so I'd just like to credit the author whoever she was and hope she doesn't mind me using it.