Last night I kissed Keegan. Okay, so technically he's the one that willingly kissed me but that's not the point here. Last night I kissed Keegan and it was good. Okay, so kissing is always good but that's not the point, the point is Keegan dearest and I kissed and it was good. Oh hell, I can see you're still confused. Yes, I know I've kissed a lot of guys and yes, I know I've enjoyed most of that kissing especially with Shanye, but kissing Keegan felt really good, if you know what I mean. It was different, different to all those kisses that came before. I've never felt that way before, filled with strange nervousness and tension. Okay, so maybe the tension came from the whole AIDS screaming match and everything, and maybe the kiss felt good because I was particularly vulnerable at that moment but I just can't get the soft feel of his lips out of my mind.
It makes no sense. Why would he kiss me? Why would Keegan dearest kiss me like that, hold me like that even though he knows I'm abnormal, even though I treated him like that last night for no valid reason whatsoever? I treated him like dirt yet he turned around, comforted me and held me, despite the fact that that's the last thing I deserved. He's not gay. Okay, so I'm not exactly a male but I'm not female either. In fact, if medicine is to be believed I'm physically more male than female and lust usually has more to do with physical characteristics than anything else, which, can only mean that Aric is probably right. Keegan dearest is not as straight as he perhaps like to pretend to be. Okay, don't look at me like that. I know I'm not male but I don't think he sees me as female either. Not if the wardrobe he bought for me on our failed shopping spree is anything to go by yet for some reason I can't seem to stop that tiny little voice in my head that keeps whispering perhaps he is using me? Perhaps he really does see me as more of a female than a male and is using me to hide his true inclinations from himself? I hate that voice and I keep squashing it with a vengeance sighing in relief when it dies out only to nearly growl in frustration when it persists and insists on returning.
Despite that, despite my misgivings and uncertainty regarding Keegan's true intentions, I've decided I can't do this anymore. I can't continue to pretend that a kiss is nothing more than a game 'cause it's not. It's meant to have some kind of meaning and it's unfair of me to treat it in the derogatory manner I have been treating it with. So it is that I find myself facing Shanye honey, fear thick in my throat regardless of the understanding I have gained. "I can't go out with you anymore." My words are soft but filled with certainty. I can't do this anymore. I can't play with my emotions like this and despite the fact that he's rumoured to be linked with the mafia or something, despite the fact that he could possibly kill me for saying this, I just can't. I can't pretend anymore when there are far more important things in life. Besides, I could already be dying anyway.
"You what?" I flinch at the anger and disbelief I can hear in his voice. I don't like to think of myself as a coward but I can't help it. Shanye honey is damned intimidating under the best of circumstances and trust me, this is not the best of circumstances.
I see my life flash before my eyes, rumours of mafia, gangs and missing people echoing through my mind, as I fight to gather the courage to repeat what I just told him. I know he heard me, I know it but I can't find it in me to argue with him, not right now, not when technically I could be seen as the one in the wrong. It's my fault. I deserve his anger. I let it come this far when I never had any intention of being serious with anyone. True, the circumstances of that decision have changed but I now have to face the consequences of my actions and the least I could do, man or not, is face it like one. "I can't go out with you, anymore." I glance up, forcing myself to meet his gaze head on, the burning look in his eyes cutting me to the core.
"What? Why the hell not?" Suddenly I find myself pressed up against the wall, his body heat radiating through me due to his proximity, stormy gaze wild and intense as it holds me within its grasp. The lightning is back only now it's looming directly over my head and I have nothing with which to fight it, my anger gone, shrivelled and hiding somewhere deep within me, muffled by shock, disbelief and guilt. My fault.
The sheer intensity of his presence makes me want to reconsider my words, take them back and let things return to how they were before this whole confrontation even started, let him kiss me, hold me and pretend that I am his but I cannot. It wouldn't be fair. Not him. Not to me.
"I… I… just can't." Even as I speak I hate the weakness within that causes me to stutter, all but shaking before the very presence of Shanye's will and determination, the sheer magnitude of which is only now beginning to register upon my mind. Despite that, this situation, for some strange unknown reason (okay, I know, that's a weak attempt at sarcasm), still manages to remind me of the day I first agreed to go out with him. Come to think of it, did I even get as far as agreeing or was the whole situation just manipulated by the sheer force of his personality?
Shanye leans in even closer, something I had been convinced is neigh on impossible seeing as he already had me pressed against the wall, only now every contour of his body is pressed in stark contrast against mine, my personal space well and truly invaded. His gaze darts around the corridor looking for eavesdroppers and it's some time before he speaks again, his voice rough even through the effort he's exerting in order to lower it. "If it has anything to do with the AIDS, I don't care. I don't think you have it but even if you do, it doesn't matter. We'll just be careful."
Something in his voice draws me, the storm in his eyes clearing for but a moment to reveal a wild look I had never expected to see there, a wild look that reminds me of Keegan's purely because the two are nothing alike. The look in Keegan's eyes seems to hint at a hidden personality, a wild streak he fights to keep subdued behind his boring paper and text while the one in Shanye's is filled with sadness and desperation that instantly kills the anger I've been reaching for. I can't do this. I can't face that look and the knowledge that I've put it there yet he's ensured I can't escape him, the heat of his body coursing through me with each passing moment. "No." I shake my head, surprising myself with the echo of sadness that I can hear in my whispered voice. "It's not because of that." I drop my gaze, unable to face his any longer, unable to admit to the guilt coursing through my own and it's enough. I don't expect him to believe me. I have no way of convincing him that I'm telling him the truth yet it's all I have to give him.
"Well good." Chills course down my back at the sheer violence in his voice, his tone reminding me of a wounded dog snarling at its attacker sending both grief and terror through me. He could hurt me. I hurt him and now he could seriously hurt me in return and I have nowhere to run, trapped by cold mortar and heated flesh. I shouldn't have done this, not here, not now, not like this.
I flinch resisting the urge to whimper when he suddenly shoves me, pushing himself away from me, turning his back towards me. He's no longer holding me, no longer trapping me against the wall yet I can't move, watching him as he paces, too and fro, over and over and over again, the tension thick, the storm clouds swirling above his head, growing ever more menacing as time goes by. "I'm glad that's not a problem then, because..." I should run, flee the anger in his voice while I still can but the moment I move to do so, he's whirling to face me once more, hand raised to hit me as he yells. "You're not leaving. I won't let you leave me!"
I flinch yet again, closing my eyes tight as I tense for the expected blow. Only, I'm left waiting.
It never connects.
I take my time, opening my eyes slowly, ignoring the breath trapped in my throat. Everything seems still, frozen in place and it takes me a moment to realise his fist is inches from my face, resting on the wall to the right. I turn my head and watch the trick of blood mar the pure white wall and then everything explodes into motion once more. A figure rushes over towards us and I spot all too familiar red hair as Aric grabs a hold of Shanye's fist and pulls it away from the wall. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Aric hisses, temper flaring in his gaze.
Shanye pulls away from him, his movement jerky and harsh. "What's it to you?" He hisses in response, subconsciously, I'd wager, cradling his first to his chest.
Aric glances at me before glaring at Shanye once more. "You're causing a scene."
I know it was the wrong thing to say the moment the words leave Aric's lips, a smirk of derision suddenly upon Shanye's. "You're one to talk." Shanye snarls in return, once again reminding me of a wounded dog. "It's not like it's the first time I've caused a scene. In fact, you yourself were part of one of my, oh so famous, scenes." His voice is dripping sarcasm and if looks could kill Aric would be withering on the floor dying. Come to think of it, the look in Aric's eyes is not all that much milder at the moment. "Or have you already forgotten that wonderful day, oh, so long ago?"
"Yeah, that's all you're ever causing, one scene after another. Ever consider growing up? I haven't forgotten anything." Aric snaps back, confirming my suspicions. They do have a history. "You never bothered to wait for an explanation."
"Wait for an explanation? I should've waited for an explanation? You betrayed me! I told you I liked Keegan and then you turned around and stabbed me in the back! What bloody explanation could there possibly have been for you having your tongue stuck down his throat!" WHAT? Wait. Rewind and pause please. Keegan? Shanye liked Keegan? I knew the past is shared among the three of them but Shanye honey and Keegan dearest? Why do I feel like I'm missing something here? Shanye told Aric that he liked Keegan and then Aric went and stuck his tongue down... WAIT.
"You did what?!" Outrage courses through me. How dare he?! How dare Aric just up and kiss Keegan? Keegan is mine! "I thought you said Keegan's not gay!"
Aric and Shanye both turn to me in surprise, rather obviously having forgotten my very presence. Well, I never! Just because I was willing to submit and let Shanye hit me because I deserved it doesn't give anyone the right to just turn around and start ignoring me like that. I have as much right to participate in this conversation as they do seeing as it influences me as much as anyone so they can stuff their disgruntled glares where the sun don't shine. Placing my hands onto my hips I return the glare, not about to step down now that the truth finally seems to be rearing its head.
"Well?" Shanye turns back and raises an eyebrow in challenge. "Seems like you're finally getting the chance at an explanation you're so avidly picketing for. Answer him. Tell Cass exactly how you turned around and backstabbed your best friend."
Aric runs a hand through his hair, exasperation evident upon his features. "I wasn't trying to betray you, Shanye. I was trying to help. I..."
"Trying to help?" Shanye shoves Aric into the wall, holding him in a position very reminiscent of the one I just barely escaped before yelling into his face. "You had your tongue down his throat? How's that trying to help? I'd just told you the previous day that I like him! How the hell is that trying to help?!" Shanye shakes Aric, shoving him into the wall with every angry word he yells. The motion is aggressive yet beneath that aggression there is something else. I know I should be helping Aric but I won't. He started this so he may as well finish it. Besides, he pointedly ignored my outburst.
"I did it for you!" Aric shoves back, finally yelling now. "Everything I did was always for you! You were upset that he never noticed you, upset that he was so straight. You were never going to do anything about it so I went to confront him. I kissed him because I was trying to get him to admit that he's gay!"
"You call that helping?! Shoving your tongue down his throat! That must have been some terrible hardship seeing as you can't keep your dick in your pants!" Shanye raises his arm to punch him, but the push had gotten him out of the hold Shanye had on him a moment ago, allowing Aric to dodge. "You're a fucking whore. You took what I wanted and the moment you got bored you turned and whored yourself out to the next thing on two legs. It must have been so hard on you! Shame! Why would you sacrifice yourself like that? For me?" Shanye's voice is dripping sarcasm as he pants, glaring at Aric.
"Yes." Aric's tone is back to being barely restrained, seeping through clenched teeth, his rage and anger flashing in his eyes but the rest of him deadly still, the stillness of a predator just before it jumps its prey. "I did it for you."
Shanye laughs but the sound is hollow and harsh upon my ears. It's a sound I never want to hear again, malice and hatred dripping from it. "For me? You kissed Keegan possibly risking our friendship for me? Why ever would you do something stupid like that? Felt like being a good Samaritan?" Shanye begins to throw taunts at Aric, one after another. "Sacrificing yourself and forcing yourself to kiss Keegan. Or maybe you were trying to pretend to actually be a good person? You know you could never be that. You were a whore then and you'll never be anything but a whore which is why Keegan punched you. Or maybe you're a masochist and that's what you were aiming for? Pain. You could've just asked. I'm sure we could've found someone to hit you during sex. Oh, no, wait, it was for me, I forget. You wanted to break Keegan in so he would be a good fu..."
I wince at the force of the slap that connects with Shanye's face, Aric's eyes burning with hatred and distain, his hair in utter disarray. "Yes, I did it for you." Aric repeats through gritted teeth, "And I did it for him." Each word, though soft, forceful, filled with the rage clear within his eyes. "And yes, it was hard!"
The bitter laugh once more makes an appearance, Shanye cradling his cheek as he does so. "Hard? How could it have possibly have been hard?! Was Keegan not good enough for you?" His tone couldn't have been more derogatory, filled with accusation and insult. "A whore actually has standards? What possible standards could a whore possibly ha..."
"I was in love with you and all you could ever talk about is Keegan. Keegan this... Keegan that... Oh, Keegan, Keegan, Keegan. No matter what I did everything was always about Keegan! What the hell was I supposed to do? Pine after you while you pined after Keegan? Do I look that stupid? I knew you were in love with him long before you ever admitted it to me! I'm not, nor was I ever blind! I may be a whore but at least I bloody damned well tried to get over you! The last thing I wanted was for you to date Keegan but I wanted you to be happy. I wanted Keegan to get over his damned pretend homophobia so you could try and be happy even though I never would be! What's that so bloody fucking wrong with that?!"
A/N: Sorry guys, writers block, lingering flu and depression. I just didn't want to write at all. Here's an update. Not sure when the next one will be. The books I've been waiting for finally came in and I'm dying to read them. Here's hoping for inspiration.