this began as a one shot, but it quickly morphed into a short story. five chapters total. totally didn't mean for that to happen.

and, i've written this for deepcrimsonfeenix. because i adore my garrett!

lately, i've been pretty preoccupied with my course work, and so i haven't gotten anything written of anything old. like, Rasta Guy, Perfect Uncle, or Ghostings. please, please bear with me, for i know i'll come through eventually! (begging) sad excuses yes, i know. i really do apologize.

As soon as Pete's last two guests disappeared through his front door, I turned an icy glare at him, causing him to flinch and offer an apologetic smile.

"Trey, c'mon now."

My eyes narrowed, and he burst into laughter, clutching his stomach as loud guffaws came from his open mouth. Unable to help it, a smile twitched—ever so slightly—on my face. "Oh, fuck off it, Pete."

He raised an open palm as he tried to pull himself together, losing the battle for a good minute before he gradually sobered and wiped an arm across his eyes, his laughter slowing to a stop. "Ok, ok, I'm sorry! Ok? I didn't know Alan's friend was that cold, but Alan wouldn't come without him."

He sat back and rubbed his stomach before reaching out and grabbing his leftover beer bottle, draining the last of it with an audible gulp.

"I invited Vic from work too, though." Even as he said it, he smirked and hid his smile from me…or tried to, at any rate.

"Oh, gee, Vic. I've had colon exams that were more exciting than that man."

My best friend snickered at the caustic tone, and I shot him another icy glare.

"Ok, so I struck out twice. Alan was nice though, huh?"

Actually, Alan had been friendly and chatty nearly the entire night, but he'd been shooting flirts toward my friend. Not that I begrudge Pete any, not at all. Still….

"You so fucking owe me for tonight, Pete."

He nodded, again laughing, "Yeah, yeah, I know. You up for another beer?"

I lashed out with a foot and lightly kicked him in the shin, laughing slightly as he flinched away. "Nah, I'm heading home. I have a date."

Pete snorted; "Right hands are not date-material."

My lips curved into a playful smirk; "They are if I'm having a three-way with my porn and a bottle of lube."

I left him still laughing, his gasps making me grin. God, I adore Pete, really.

--- --- ---

Pete tested that adoration when he called me up about a week later.

"Pete, no."

I was standing in the middle of my bedroom, glaring at the carpet with the phone pressed to my ear. And I was not in a happy place.

"Trey, pretty please!"

I rounded on one of my shoes and viciously kicked it, sending it ungainly flying towards my dresser, where it glanced off with a dissatisfying 'bonk.'

" Pete, even for all the fucking poontag in the world, I wouldn't fucking go on a date with Colt! Even a double date, no!"

"Trey, buddy, please. I'm begging you, just sit next to the man for two or three hours, you don't even have to talk to him, but please."

Pete was sounding pretty desperate, and I collapsed down onto the side of my bed, rubbing my temple. A week ago at Pete's, I'd tried to make empty conversation with Colt, only to receive an icy brush-off harsh enough to cause Vic to pale and scoot closer to the other end of the table. I'm not a masochist, so forgive me if I'm not all fired up to rush out and subject myself to more of the same.

Still, I owe Pete more than I could ever repay.

I sighed; "What time?"


I had to pick my best friend up because his car is still in the shop after some dickhead teenager rear ended him while texting one of his retard buddies. Don't text and drive, kiddies, or I will show up at your door and beat your fucktard face in with a metal bat.

Pete slid into my truck, and his smell followed along after him, causing me to give a sly grin. "Pulling out the big shit, huh?"

He gave a blush, brushing invisible lint from his smoky-colored shirt, the one that hugged his abs and waist just right, turning him into sex-on-legs when combined with his ass-fitting dark jeans and black boots and his pale and milky skin because of the shock of red hair on his head. Pete is mighty fine, and I'll be the first one to admit it. And sure, I think about sex with him often, but it's never more than a fleeting appreciation of his form before the presence that is 'Pete' carries along and turns off my sexual desire. Pete's my only family, and while I love him, I'd blow my head off if I were to ever fall in love with the fucker. I know him too well, and he gets on my fucking nerves all the time.

He glanced at me and rolled his eyes at my outfit, causing me to give a caustic grin even as I put the truck into drive. I hadn't dressed up as I normally would for a date, instead keeping to my worn and comfortable jeans and a pullover sweatshirt, a faded yellow college logo barely visible against the dark green.

So I'm a Notre Dame fan, don't lynch me.

Still, I took a shower and shaved, applying a light musky cologne and gelling my short hair into soft spikes before I left. I do have some iota of pride, yes.

"You look like you're going to a bar." Pete's snide voice made me snort.

"We're going to the fucking movies, P. He's not going to be able to see me for the majority of this 'date.'"

His eyes again rolled, and he reached over and fiddled with the radio, switching it to something he wanted to listen to and turning the volume up. Pfft, the fucker, he's lucky I happen to like him.


We met up with Alan and Colt outside of the theater, and it was my turn to roll my eyes at the casual way my friend flirted with his date, his eyes cool and suave when I know for a fact that he's piddling all over himself on the inside. Pete is a bit of a manwhore, but he's rather sweet and naïve all the same. It's one of his better qualities.

Colt didn't even glance at me, completely ignoring my somewhat-pleasant greeting, something that burned inside my gut.

As it was, I was the first to turn and get into line for tickets, startled when Colt stalked over and stood with me, his arms crossed over his chest, as if he dared me to break the silence. I didn't. When we got to the window, he moved before me and coolly stated that he'd need two tickets for whatever jacked movie the others had agreed upon, passing over his money when directed and then leaving with the tickets. All without once looking at me or acknowledging my presence in any way. I darted from the line and caught up, and he wordlessly passed me my ticket, confounding me into not knowing what to think or feel.

He just bought me my ticket…like it was a real date, and not just a cover. It made me feel like a shitheel, to be honest.

I didn't break our silence as we made our way inside, handing our tickets to the girl manning the way in and being guided to the left and about four theaters down. Walking behind and to the side of my 'date,' I allowed my eyes to rake him, unable to do anything else. His personality aside, he wasn't so bad looking, a bit broad and rough, but put together in a way that was pleasing…to my eyes, anyway. He wore a dark red button up over a white t-shirt, and his jeans were dark and somewhat loose, his dark brown hair too short to do much more than brush it, most likely.

It made me feel tacky, and I began to wish I'd have at least worn my powder-blue t-shirt, the one that looked good on me, showing off the muscles in my arms and upper chest.

We moved into the somewhat dimmed theater and I followed him towards the back row, sliding into a seat next to him.

His eyes fixed themselves onto the screen flashing advertisements, and I glanced at him a few times before clearing my throat; "Um…thanks for buying."

His only response was to flick his eyes away from the screen and down at where Pete and Alan were now entering the theater, the two men scanning the seats until they spotted us and began to head up. They greeted us as they sat down some ways down the aisle, but then turned to each other and softly carried on their conversation; I briefly took the time to watch Pete's body language, and wasn't surprised to see the way he leaned towards the other man, his fingers gently touching Alan's arm as they talked.

I finally turned my attention back up to the screen, our silence starting to unnerve me enough that I sighed a bit.

"What movie was this again?"

He held up the ticket stub rather than answer, and I frowned, my arms crossing my chest. "You're oh so helpful, thanks."

I didn't bother to temper the sour tone of the statement, but it didn't appear to have fazed him any.

And as usual, my voice spoke without asking my permission, "Jesus, this fucking sucks."

Surprisingly, it was enough to make him snap, "You're getting a free movie, so shut up already."

I felt my eyes go wide before I flushed with anger, jumping to my feet with the intention of moving past him, only to be blocked by his leg and one arm, his face looking up at mine with a cold gaze.

We had a staring contest, my anger growing by the second, until Pete's mild voice called, "Trey, something wrong man?"

The tension in my shoulders knotted up, and I forced myself to relax before glancing behind me at my best friend, whose eyes were nonetheless worried. I looked back at Colt, whose eyes flicked away from Pete and Alan and caught mine once more, resignation on his face even as he lowly hissed, "Please sit down."

I sat. But I didn't like it, and I let my body language convey that with how I slouched down and resumed holding my arms tightly across my chest, my eyes burning a hole into the movie screen.

We didn't talk again, not even as the movie finally ended and I popped up and brushed past him.

I was the first outside, and I knew as soon as I saw Pete that I was in trouble, and not the kind where he just yells at me for being a dick. He looked apologetic the second he crossed gazes with me, and I groaned low in my throat.


My face twisted up; "Oh fuck no!"

"Please?" He brought his hands up in the classic 'begging' position, his bright blue eyes openly pleading and attempting to sucker me in with pathetically-rendered puppy dog eyes.


When I whine, I'm close to caving, and he knew it.

His smile flashed before he sobered; "I didn't know Alan drove Colt here until after I agreed, I'm sorry!"

I advanced on him and made him gulp, eyes widening as I bent close and hissed, "If you don't get fucking laid tonight and make my pain worth it, I am going to set fire to your house the next time you're at the store."

Momentarily shocked, it took him a few seconds before jumping me with an ecstatic hug, one that I endured for a few moments before curling my lip with disgust and peeling him away from me, my eyes amused at his glow. I was serious though, he better be walking funny for a week, or so help me, I'm going to do something evil to his house. But not as bad as burning it down; I can't stand him long enough to let him crash at my place in the interim of him searching for somewhere to live.

Movement caught the corner of my eye, and I turned in time to see Alan whisper something into his friend's ear that made the man scowl and glance at me, his eyes full of hate and anger. Yeah, right back atcha buddy.

Yet, I had a silent Colt follow me to my truck, the atmosphere in the cab choking.

"Where to?" My tone was biting, yet still flippant, and I noticed the way his teeth ground together before he muttered an address not all that far from my own.

And that was the extent of our conversation until I pulled into our neighborhood, and he pointed at a street, "That one."

"I know, I live four blocks down. Isn't that peachy?"

"You are insufferable." His voice was laced with venom, and I snorted as I turned down his street.

"And you're the model of high society yourself, cupcake. I've never been with anyone so fucking rude and cold to me before. And that fucking line about the free movie? You can shove it right up your ass."

Shocked and angered into silence, he pointed at a house and had the door open before I'd even completely stopped, his movements jerky with fury. Leaving the cab, he turned and fired a glare at me that should have melted the skin from my body, but I just offered a lofty eyebrow that made him slam the door shut and stalk up the front lawn. I didn't bother waiting around, pulling away and twisting the volume of my radio up so that the music shattered my eardrums and bled away the anger.

Jesus, what a date. I should have shown up in my pajama bottoms and my bleach-stained Def Leppard shirt.

--- --- ---

Alan and Pete seemed to hit it off with fireworks and all that shit, so I didn't really hear from him for the next two or three weeks, but that was fine with me, as a major order had come in at work and me and the guys were still busting our asses trying to get all the parts made and out.

But he called my cell at one point, just shooting the shit with me for a while as I made myself a dinner of goulash from leftover chili. Half the time, I end up making leftovers into something else, because I always forget that I'm cooking for one and even I can't eat a fucking pot of chili in one sitting.

"Mmm, Alan's taking me out this weekend; we're going to that real classy place downtown, the one you have to make reservations at. He's such a sweetheart."

I 'uh-huh'd and nodded at the food close to completion upon my stove, switching the phone to my other ear as I pressed it between my head and shoulder, using both hands to steady the pot and stir. He rambled on in this vein as I turned off the flame and got down a wide-lipped bowl from the cupboards, ladling goulash into the ceramic container and feeling it heat up in the palm of my hand. I grabbed a soda from the fridge and took my bowl and drink into the living room, still listening to Pete rant as I settled myself onto the couch and flicked on the television.

Then a name made me pause, mouth half-open for an impending spoonful; "What?"

"About Colt. Didn't I tell you?"

"What about the fucker?"

He snickered; "Guess not. He actually talked to me last week without acting like it was tearing his guts out his ears to do it. He even shook my hand good-bye and nearly attempted a smile."

I choked on laughter, my spoon clinking against my lower teeth as I pulled it from my mouth.

"Wh-what the fuck?! You're kidding, right?"

"Huh, you only wish. Guess he just doesn't like you, jerk wad."

My smile dimmed somewhat, and I frowned into empty space as I admitted, "I dunno…when I drove him home that one time, I told him off for being rude and shit."

I kind of felt shitty about it, actually, because it's not like me to be so petty for no concrete reason other than a guy was 'mean' to me. Pete cracked up into my ear like it was the most fucking hilarious thing he'd heard in forever, but my frown deepened, mind invariably returning to that stupid double-date. I hadn't even bothered to dress up at all, had I, acting a peach from the very start.

Really shitty, Trey.

It never sits right with me when I'm an unprovoked ass, and that night plagued my mind even after I hung up with Pete and watched college basketball on the television. Shit, Geoff would have scalped me already for that shit, and that really made me feel even worse.

A/N: ok, so this story is already written in its entirety, so i'm going to be posting twice a week. next update should be...thursday or friday.