"Bobby..." Chaz came up to his table in the Union, where Bobby sat alone. Alex had told him that he'd be there later.
"Chaz? Uh... hi..."
"Mind if I sit here?"
"No, no... Just... I thought you never wanted to see me again."
"Yeah, well... I've been thinking about what you said, Bobby. I guess I kind of... blew my top. Now that I've had some time to think about things... well... I think I know what's going on. I want to help."
"Help?" What was Chaz talking about, 'help'? Help what?
"I want to help you come out of the closet, Bobby." Chaz scooted his chair over closer to Bobby's.
Chaz took Bobby's hand in his, "We can get through this together. It'll be okay. I promise."
"Yeeeaaah..." Bobby tried to free his captive hand, but Chaz only held it tighter. "Look, Chaz, I-"
"Y'know how my Dad taught me to swim?"
"Nooooo..." Bobby said slowly, trying to put these highly two disparate ideas together. He hoped no one was looking at him holding hands with another boy.
"He threw me into the pool. It was a public pool - other kids were everywhere. He threw me in and told me to get swimming. That was it, end of lesson."
"And it worked. I think it'll work for you, too."
"Uhm..." Bobby took the opportunity to glance around at the other students there. None of them seemed to be paying attention to him. Thank god. This was likely to be awkward. Hell - it was already awkward! In fact, it was un-fucking-believable!
But while he was thus distracted, Chaz made his move, planting his mouth onto Bobby's. And staying there. Chaz's other hand moved behind Bobby's head, to press their lips together even harder.
"What's going on here?" Alex was suddenly standing on the other side of Bobby, who frantically pushed Chaz away.
People were looking now, for sure. Not just at the two boys kissing, but at Alex as well. He was wearing the belly-bareing shirt from Dallas. The one with the cute and erect cowboy printed on the front. The one that screamed 'FAG!'.
"Yeah, 'Alex'. I finally decided to take your advice and 'get out there' - and what do I find? YOU swapping spit with another boy!"
"Who's the twink?" Chaz asked before Bobby could say anything.
"Oh. Uh, Chaz, Alex. Alex, Chaz. Now look Alex - this-"
"So that's how it is, huh?" Alex cut him off, "I've been your best friend since kindergarten, and when you finally jump the fence, it's with this Chad asshole! What's he got that I haven't got? Is it the hair?"
"Chaz asshole. Not 'Chad' asshole." Chaz corrected him, "And maybe he's known you forever, but he didn't discover his True Self until he went out with me! So nyah!" Chaz stuck out his tongue.
"You've been OUT with this pony-tail freak?"
"No! Uh... Well, yeah, but..." Bobby back-pedaled, panicked. The whole damn school was going to think he was gay now! What the fuck was going on?
"Queer Thursdays," Chaz explained, "Twice. And he's a dancin' fool too! I guess it took a real man to get him out of his shell, powder-puff boy..."
"That's where you've been going, Bobby? When you told me you were studying?"
"Listen! Guys! All I was-"
Alex crossed his arms over his chest, and put his nose in the air, trying to look as prissy as possible, "Okay, Bobby. Okay. I get it. Let's just get something straight. Him or me. Choose." Alex dropped his head to glare into Bobby's eyes, "NOW!"
"Alex!... for God's sake-"
Chaz interrupted, "You saw who he was kissing when you walked in, Alexander," Chaz tried to make it sound as 2nd-Grade as possible, "He's already made up his mind!"
"Chaz - shut the hell up! And I WASN'T-" Bobby cried, but was again cut off.
"That's true," Alex said, rubbing his chin contemplatively, "He needs to compare, then..." With that, he took Bobby's face with both his hands - lightning fast - and kissed Bobby on the mouth too. Only for Alex, it was open-mouth. With tongue. Bobby's eyes were wide open, while Alex's were shut, and it went on at least twice as long as Chaz's kiss had. In fact, it went on until yet another voice was heard.
"Oh. My. GOD!"
Alex pulled away, leaving Bobby looking up at Denise in front of the table.
"DENISE! This... This isn't-"
"You... you said you were only PRETENDING to be gay, Bobby!"
"I was! I WAS!"
"But you're not anymore?" Denise asked, and then a look of realization swept over her face - "I... I've turned you gay..."
"DENISE! Jesus H. Christ - No! That's-"
"I mean... maybe I'm not the best girlfriend in the world, but-"
"- to actually turn you GAY... Oh my GOD... I'm so ashamed..." Denise's hands covered her face and she turned her back on him, stumbling away, crying.
"Denise! Wait a minute!" Bobby tried to scoot his chair back to get up, but Chaz was holding on to it, and stopped him.
"You don't need her for cover anymore, Bobby, why don't we-"
"It's ME he wants Chet!" Alex too grabbed Bobby's chair, "It's ALWAYS been me! Ever since we were-"
"WOULD YOU GUYS SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Bobby fought his chair free of the two boys, nearly overturning the table in the process - everything slid off it. "YOU... YOU GODDAMN FUCKING... FAGS! GOD!" Finally free, he ran towards Denise, who had barely made it to the cash-registers.
She'd stopped just before the exit, and Bobby caught up to her, grabbing her by the shoulders to spin her around, "Denise... Denise, listen-"
"Oh Bobby - can you ever forgive me?"
"Denise - I'm NOT GAY!"
"So you forgive me then?" she said, still hiding behind her hands.
"Of COURSE I forgive you! There's nothing to FORGIVE! I'm NOT GAY, Denise!"
She put her hands down and looked into Bobby's eyes.
"Well, I hope so - because Alex and Chaz made me do it. I didn't really want to... I'm sorry..."
She was smiling.
Bobby's mouth hung open. He glanced over his shoulder at Alex and Chaz. They waved to him, grinning.
And Bobby 'got it'.
He stormed through the exit, flailing arms in the air, shouting "FAGS! Goddamn fucking FAGS! God-DAMN fucking fags!" over and over, while the rest of the students clapped and hooted and laughed.
"... C'mon Bobby - open the door. I said I was sorry."
"Eat shit and die. Fag."
Alex chuckled and tried to hide it so Bobby wouldn't hear.
"You know you deserved it anyway. How many times did I tell you to lay off? Hundreds? Now c'mon."
"Bobby... it's eleven o'clock. I want to go to sleep."
"Go sleep with Chaz."
"He's not my boyfriend, Bobby. He just wanted to get you back. Same as me. So now we're all even, okay?"
"Denise... Denise didn't want to. We had to talk her into it. It took awhile... but, you know her - she'll do anything for a couple of fags."
After a moment of silence while he stood there trying to think of something else to say, Alex heard the door unlock - but Bobby didn't open it. He sighed. The charade had gone better than his and Chaz's wildest dreams... it had all fit together so well - even Denise's ad-lib of but you're not anymore? That hadn't been rehearsed.
He opened the door and went in. Bobby was sitting at his desk with his AG book open. He didn't look at Alex.
"So are you gonna forgive me or not, Bobby..."
"You embarrassed me in front of the whole fuckin' school!"
"It wasn't 'the whole fuckin' school'. It was maybe a few hundred people."
"And it's not like I wasn't embarrassed too, y'know. Look at this fucking shirt I'm wearing! Everyone's been staring at me since I put it on..."
"Serves you right."
"And Chaz - he was acting like a flaming queen. You don't think that was embarrassing for him? Even Denise was embarrassed, Bobby."
Bobby didn't say anything. So Alex gratefully pulled of his fag-shirt, kicked off his shoes, and flopped down on his bed. He'd been either wandering around the campus - getting stared and leered at - or standing in front of the dorm-room door for 9 hours.
"Speaking of Denise - you did forgive her, I hope."
"Of course I forgave her. I like her..."
"Well, you like me too. And - know what? - I think you like Chaz, as well - that's what you were so bummed out about that day, isn't it... That was the day you finally told him you weren't gay, and he got all mad at you. You were sad because you liked him, didn't you..."
"He liked you too, y'know. In fact, he told me he was starting to really like you. That's part of why he was so mad. And... I really like you too. Bobby - it went a little too far, okay? I'm sorry. I kind of thought you'd see through it before you did."
"So now I'm stupid too, huh? Ass-bandit."
"I didn't mean it that way and you know it. And you can slur me all you want Bobby, I know you don't mean it. Don't forget 'butt-pirate'. I've always liked "turd-burglar', myself."
That made Bobby chuckle, but he tried to hide it.
Alex sighed and got ready to take a shower.
By the time he got back, Bobby was in bed with the lights off, so Alex silently put on a fresh pair of underwear and got in bed too. He laid awake, though. He had something on his mind.
"What," he answered gruffly, obviously wide awake too.
"So... you were checking out Chaz for me, right?"
"For which you both gave me a ration of shit. Yeah."
"Well... so... be honest now... how'd he do? Did he, like, pass?"
"You gotta be shittin' me..."
"Well - he seems like a nice guy..."
"Fuckin' shittin' me."
"Fucking fags. Yeah - you'd like him. He passed."
"Really. And if you guys hook-up, I swear to God I'll never let you forget that it was me who found him for ya!"
I can probably live with that..., Alex thought.
Next Thursday, on the second floor of the library, Alex was helping Denise with Physics while Bobby and Chaz did their usual Math/English trade.
Chaz broke the studious silence with, "Queer Thursday tonight, Alex?"
"See you guys there," Denise added - to Bobby's surprise.
"What? Why are you going?"
"'Cuz I'm a fag-hag, Bobby - there's a whole table of us. Gay guys are hot!" Alex and Chaz glanced at each other and rolled their eyes. "Hey, why don't you come too - it'll be like a double-date! And besides, it's not like you've never been..."
"Yeah, C'mon Bobby - you can dance with a girl, for a change," Chaz grinned at him.
"Very funny. Fine. Queer Thursday, then. Just dandy."
And so they all danced - a floor full of boys and one girl. Denise didn't have much time to be self-conscious about it, because both Alex and Chaz danced with her too... and did it like gay boys do. Chaz even sandwiched her against Bobby once, but that didn't last long because Denise nearly doubled-over from giggling too hard. She was the envy of all the other fag-hags.
Later they all sat at the same table and bitched about their teachers, the school administration, their parents, and especially their tuition.
Then, Chaz's favorite song started to play.
Chaz looked at Bobby with his eyebrows raised, only to find Bobby already looking back at him. His eyebrows went up too.
"Hey Alex - mind if I borrow your boyfriend for a minute?"
"Wha - you're kidding me. For this song? It's like the gayest song EVER!"
"I know... Hey, I just like it. It makes me feel... I dunno... naughty."
"No time! Chaz - let's go!"
Alex watched in amazement as the other dancers made space for Bobby and Chaz. When the dance began, his mouth hung open in astonishment.
Eventually Alex rolled his eyes, shook his head, and sighed, as if appealing to the heavens to do something about his weird, straight, best-friend.
A week later - and Alex and Chaz still hadn't had sex. Bobby used that as an excuse to get some revenge - "What, STILL! What the fuck, Alex!"
But it wasn't like it had been with Christian. Not like it at all... Chaz didn't seem to be in a hurry to have sex, had even told Alex point-blank that he wanted to wait a while longer. That had been four days ago. And four dates ago - they were seeing each other every day, for as much time as they had to spare. But so far, all they'd done was make-out. They weren't even up to third-base.
And it wasn't because either of them were afraid of having sex. They were - both - afraid of something entirely different.
Chaz didn't detect any of the usual fear in Alex that boyfriends over two weeks old always gave off. Just the opposite, in fact. It was... kind of scary.
And Alex was wondering if he'd never find anything he didn't... like... about Chaz. He would have used the other word - but that was... kind of scary.
As they once again broke off a deep, long kiss because it was about to become too deep. They looked into each other's eyes, as saw the same hue of fear - but this time the "deepness" carried right on, even without the contact. It was Alex who put words to it -
"Kind of... scary... isn't it..." he said softly, one hand under Chaz's shirt, the other on his neck.
They stared a while longer, losing themselves in the other's gaze, then Alex whispered, "I don't want to stop this time, Chaz..."
And they didn't.
Two weeks after that:
They were both lying naked in Alex's bed - he and Bobby had arranged a system, and Bobby would be spending the night with Chaz's room-mate. A Math major. Bobby learned something everyone who's ever gone to college finds out sooner or later - Math majors are weird. Just... weird.
They'd spent the last half-hour "warming up" - a process that had taken maybe - maybe - two minutes with Christian. With Chaz "warming up" wasn't just something to get through, an annoying prelude to the main event, it was something to savor. And now, a feeling within Alex that he couldn't quite believe he felt, was finally strong enough that he had to say, whispering into Chaz's ear -
"I want you inside me..."
Unfortunately, it didn't happen that night. Or the next. Or the next. In fact, it took five days, eight tubes of Astro-Glide, a dozen scented candles, a CD of gently lapping waves, and - by the time it could actually happen - half a bottle of scotch before Chaz decided that Alex was ready.
And even then, it hurt a little bit. But not much. Not enough to dampen the experience. Chaz blew Alex's mind.
Not long after, Alex returned the favor.
And all four of them lived happily ever after.
Or, at least, for the rest of the school-year. :) And we'll leave them that way.