AN: This (ridiculously long) oneshot was written for Freak-of-Spade's Ludicrous Monthly Challenge. Enjoy.
Quick warning: The narrator of this story has sailor mouth times eight million. There are so many F-bombs in this story that if it was a country it would be made of ash by the end.
Yeah Boy and Doll Face
It's cold, and I don't want to be here.
I guess I'm never comfortable or situational.
I've hated Chase for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories consists of him howling in rage while I poured my box of Legos over his face. He had been napping on the couch, looking so comfortable and peaceful and I had decided I really needed to fuck that up so, BOOM, next thing you know he has one of those little plastic yellow people lodged up his nose. To this day I don't take any fault for that incident. What kind of fucktard gives a three year old tiny things to play with anyway? If he didn't want them up his nostrils he should have considered buying me a toy truck or some shit instead. I guess he sort of learned his lesson though, because he hasn't bought me any presents since then.
Asshole. My mom still makes me buy him shit for his birthdays, which is all sorts of fucked up on its own, because he's nine years older than me and aren't old people supposed to just get, like, cards for their birthdays?
Well I guess he's not old, but nonetheless, I don't want to spend my hard earned money on that dipshit. If my mom wants him to have presents so much, she should just get them all herself. It's her fault I even have to deal with Chase in the first place.
You see, if my mom wasn't a skanky bitch, she wouldn't have been fucking around behind my aunt's back with her husband. Yeah. Fucked up, right? My mother - married with one kid (that would be my sorry ass) – seduced her own sister's husband. My uncle by marriage, who is a good decade older than my taint of a maternal parent.
Long story short, my dad now lives in Ohio (three states away) with his new girlfriend and their yappy little dog while I'm forced to endure life with the Ultra-Skank, Uncle-Dad, and his son from a previous marriage, my cousin-not-by-blood-thank-fucking-Christ, Chase. My aunt and grandparents on both sides have all but estranged my branch of the family, and truth be told the only living being in my house I can even stand to look at is my cat, Noire.
I hate being around home so much that I use every excuse I can to stay at college or with a friend during all the breaks. I've spent the past two summers at my dad's because he still gives a fuck about me and knows I'd rather swallow barbed wire than spend three straight months around my mom and the step-assholes. I was planning on staying with him and Laura, his girlfriend, again this year but he called and told me that Laura's father is really sick and they have to stay with him in the hospital and so, so sorry but couldn't I just try visiting friends this summer?
Unfortunately all my college friends are either studying abroad for the break or simply don't have the room for me, so now I'm stuck, practically trapped, at my house, where I spend all day either locked in my room or being forced to do chores that fucking Uncle Regan is too lazy to do now that he has a slave around.
I ask him why he doesn't just ask Chase to do the housework and his answer is that obviously a professional accountant doesn't have time to do menial tasks, and I would know that if I was pursuing a degree in something worthwhile. I'm a junior majoring in Comparative Literature, which apparently is one of those "fairy" degrees that won't get me anywhere in the world. What the fuck ever.
I get back at him by calling him "Duncle" - a mix of 'dad' and 'uncle' that really grates on his nerves – and parading my "fairy"-ness around the house. Tight pants, guy-liner, dyed hair, the lot of it. The truth is I'm not a big fan of either make-up or hair dye or any jeans that practically chafe me when I walk, but I really just want to annoy Regan that badly, so I sacrifice my comfort and waddle around with smoky eyes and black spiky hair.
My mom pretty much ignores his complaints about my state of dress; I came out when I was fourteen and she has been insisting for seven years that I'm just "going through a phase" and I'll get over it once I "find a nice, normal girl and settle down."
The last time she said that to Regan I happened to overhear her and I popped my head into the kitchen where they were talking just long enough to tell her that if that "nice, normal girl" had a cock and no titties I'd gladly settle down. I don't think either of them appreciated that comment, but what the fuck do I care?
So because my uncle can't turn me into a straight, football playing accountant, he just piles more chores onto my workload and lingers around yelling orders at me.
Today he has me vacuuming in fucking Chase's room, because that son of a bitch is taking a week off of his oh, so important job to "spend time with the family." Yeah fucking right. I bet you anything he's only coming home to give me shit, which he does endlessly whenever we're in close proximity. Whether it's about my name or my sexuality or whatever else he can think of, there's never an exchange between us that isn't filled with insults. He thinks my name is fucking hilarious, and it pisses me off. My dad gave me my name (and most of my looks, thank God), and even though it's different I actually like it, so Chase can shove his traditional good ol' boy shit right up his ass.
"Have you gotten under the bed yet?" Regan comes in the room, shouting in his gruff voice that I swear he got from a gorilla. He almost trips over the vacuum cord, which is stretched across the doorway because the outlet is on the other side, and I have to hold back a laugh when I answer him.
"Yeah, I did."
"Under the desk?"
"This is the last one."
"Good. You're dusting the wooden furniture when you're done."
"Watch your mouth," he says, which is bullshit because I'm twenty one and I can say whatever the fuck I want. But, oops. Guess I thought out loud. That happens to me sometimes, usually at bad moments.
Regan glares at me, his bushy graying eyebrows almost fucking swallowing his eyes, and leaves. Old ass motherfucker. Literally.
I finish with the vacuum and put it away in the closet across the hall. I grab the package of those citrus smelling wipes on my way out. It takes like five of those things to clean all the surfaces in Chase's room, because he hasn't really been home in fucking forever (though not as long as me) so it's dusty as fuck in there, and he has a lot of "grown up" furniture anyway. I think I have one desk in my room, and a tiny little table next to my bed, which doesn't even have a headboard. It would probably take half a wipe to clean my room.
When I'm finished I decide I have earned a reward for my hard work. I put the wipes away and go back into the bedroom. There are two dressers – fucking two; who needs that many? – against the wall opposite the door, and I pick those to go through first. I start at the top, because everyone knows the good shit is found in the sock and underwear drawers, and find perfect rows of folded clothes. I mean perfect with no creases or wrinkles and the fucking things are even sorted by color and size. OCD, much?
I'm disappointed to find nothing juicy hidden among the clothing, but I shrug and move on to the second drawers down. In these Chase has stored mostly shirts – once again folded and organized – but nothing interesting. I get all the way to the second to last drawers and still come across nothing but that asshole's mature wardrobe choices. I'm about to give up when I pull open the bottom drawer of the left hand dresser and almost choke on my fucking tongue.
There's a fucking copy of PlayGirl in there.
PlayGirl. You know, the counterpart to PlayBoy that has naked men with their cocks hanging out everywhere? Yeah. That's what I find in fucking Chase's dresser.
It's a nice issue too. I have a copy of it in my dorm at college, but seeing one here in the model-of-the-perfect-straight-man's room is like stepping into an alternate reality. It blows my mind for all of thirty seconds, and then I'm fucking pissed off.
I mean, how many times have I had to listen to Chase call me names because I like boys? I've heard it all out of him: faggot, fairy, twink, queen, cocksucker, assfucker, shitpusher, fudgepacker, even pouf. He called me a fucking pouf. And no matter how many times I hear those remarks it still fucking stings, you know, because it's not like I asked to be this way and what's wrong with being different anyhow?
And now I find out that my biggest fucking tormentor likes to take it (or give it) up the ass just as much as I do and he's such a fucking hypocrite.
I hate him. I hate him.
Three hours later the turkey dinner my mom made is set on the table with all the fancy dishware and I'm sitting there playing with my fork like nothing in the world has ever been more interesting. My mom and Regan are in the living room waiting for fucking Chase to arrive. They're both ignoring me because I've been nothing but a prissy, moody bitch since I came out of his room earlier. I didn't say anything about the magazine to Regan (I wonder how he'd feel if he knew his own son liked to suck dicks), but I didn't bother to hide the copy of PlayGirl back in the dresser either. I just left it there on the floor. I'm kind of hoping Uncle-Dad will be the first to find it.
I hear the front door open and a small chorus of happy greetings and clench the shiny silver fork in my hand. I don't care how many little floral patterns it leaves in my skin because if I don't squeeze the silverware I'm likely to squeeze Chase's throat until he dies instead.
The loud voices die down to a more reasonable volume and I don't make a single move to get out of my chair and play the happy step-brother. I'll probably get verbally whipped by Regan later, but I don't give a damn. Any assault the duncle can spit at me is better than pretending to be pleased that that asshole is home.
Footsteps start coming towards the dining room and I can hear my mom telling Chase that she made his favorite stuffing so he better have saved room for it. I almost take the stuffing bowl and throw it on the floor. Chase responds with something that makes Regan and my mom laugh, and from where I am they sound like the perfect fucking family, all cheerful and glad to be together, and they know just like I do that I don't fit anywhere in their little jigsaw puzzle. I never have, never will, because I'm the gay little fuck up with the fairy name and the useless education who's just-
"Urban. There you are."
His voice hasn't changed at all. It's still deep and throaty and smooth and fucking sophisticated like he knows how much better he is than me and I can't stand the sound of it one fucking bit.
"Urban, why don't you get up and say hello to your brother?"
My brother? Yeah, fucking right. I ignore my mom and keep glaring at the basted, golden turkey in front of me.
"Hey. Listen to your mother when she talks to you, you little twat."
Yeah, that's a mature thing to come out of a fifty-something year old's mouth. Fucking duncle. I still refuse to turn around.
"It's okay, Dad. Urban and I can talk later. I'm really craving that stuffing, Nora."
And that's that. Chase says a few words and suddenly everything is peachy keen. My mom laughs and Regan takes his seat at the head of the table and dinner just starts like there is no awkward, pissed off gay boy in the room.
Chase sits across from me, and just like his voice, his appearance is the same as the last time I saw him. The fucking dick looks good for thirty years old. His hair is wavy and blonde and it falls just around his ears in a style that is deliberately on the safe side of unruly, like you can't decide whether or not he just walked through a mild breeze or had a tame makeout session in the elevator. He wears a dark blue button up that makes his eyes stand out in his tanned, chiseled face and holy fuck, I know his mother must have been a model or something because there's no way fucking Regan is responsible for Chase's looks.
I hate him. I hate that he is so fucking beautiful that it hurts. I hate the way he flashes his perfect smile at me when he sits down, pretending that he won't start attacking me as soon as our parents leave the room.
"Your room is all cleaned and ready for you, son," Regan says, doling out mashed potatoes onto his plate. He forgets, of course, to mention who cleaned it.
"Thanks, Dad. I appreciate it."
"How is the food, Chase?"
"Excellent as usual, Nora. You outdid yourself on the stuffing."
"Oh, it was nothing, dear!"
I want to puke. I really do.
Dinner goes on in this manner until my mom stands up with her empty plate and is stopped when Chase says, "Why don't you let Urban and I clean up? It'll give us time to catch up on things."
Regan grumbles his assent and takes off with my mother to do God knows what, leaving me alone that grinning, pretentious asshole. I don't fall for his "time to catch up" story one bit, and I let him know so.
"What the fuck do you want?"
"Come on now, Urban. Is that any way to talk to the brother you haven't seen in over a year?"
"You're not my fucking brother."
I snort. "That's fucked up and you know it. And you're not any part of my family."
His smile widens. If I had longer arms I'd reach over the table and pound it off his pretty face. "What a shame, because you're the most important part of mine."
His voice practically oozes fakeness and charm and I actually snarl in anger. "Fuck off. Clean the table yourself."
I push my chair back violently and storm from the room, not caring how immature or dramatic I seem because I really can't be around him without wanting to commit murder. I realize I need to calm down so I pull my cell phone out of my back pocket (no easy feat because I'm still sporting skinny jeans) and head out to the back porch. Besides my room it's my favorite part of the house, because no one ever comes out here. My mom thinks the old wood is an eyesore and Regan moved his grill to the patio on the side of the house. When I can't stand the suffocating atmosphere inside, I come out here to breathe.
I sit on the edge of the porch moments before I feel something small and furry brush against my legs. Looking down I see Noire, my long-haired black cat, staring up at me with wide green eyes. I can't help but smile as I reach down to pet him.
"You trying to avoid the assholes too?"
Noire purrs and rubs his head on my ankle.
"I know what you mean."
My left hand continues to scratch around my cat's ears while my right starts dialing a number I know by heart. Only two rings go by when my ear is suddenly accosted with, "Banny! How goes life at the 'rents?"
If there was ever a voice capable of making me happy, it belongs to Clara. She's the one and only friend I've made and kept since junior high, since before I announced my sexuality to the world, and I trust her with my life.
"Shitty as usual, Claire. How is Montana?"
"It's completely empty! You know what I heard? Someone told me there are more cows than people here! Can you believe that? Cows!"
I can't help it. I laugh for the first time in days, and it really feels good. "You poor thing."
"I know. There's so much meat around I almost want to go ultra hippie vegetarian and stop shaving my legs."
"Oh, God. Bad image, Claire."
"I said 'almost', Banny. Don't worry. But I bet you'd like to be here with all the meat."
I hear the teasing and innuendo in her voice and roll my brown eyes. "I'm a little pickier about my meat than you, thanks."
"Are you calling me a slut, Urban?"
"If the shoe fits, Clara." I make sure she hears the light tone in my voice, because I would never label my best friend as a slut. Ever.
"Pssh. I'm not nearly as slutty as you. You only said that because, right now, you're feeling very small inside." Her tone softens and she continues, "Chase is home, isn't he?"
That pretty much kills the happy bubble that she inspired in me, but I don't bitch about it because I know she's just concerned for my well being.
"Yeah, he is."
"I'm sorry, Banny."
"I know. But that's not the worst of it, Claire. Regan had me cleaning his room today and guess what I found in his fucking dresser? A fucking copy of PlayGirl!"
I guess she's surprised because there's almost a minute of pause before she says, "PlayGirl? In Chase's room? Maybe… it belongs to a girlfriend?"
"No fucking way. He never brings girls home, never even dates 'cause he's so fucking busy all the time doing statistics and arithmetic and whatever the fuck else accountants do."
"So you think he's…?"
"Gay! Fucking queer! And all this time he's been giving me shit for openly liking the things that he likes in secret! I fucking hate him, Claire, I really do!"
My labored breathing is the only sound for a while, and my near-shouting has caused Noire to stare up at me in curiosity.
Then Clara says the very last thing I ever expected to hear and it sounds like thunder in my ears.
"Maybe the reason you're so mad isn't because you hate him, Banny… Maybe it's because… it's the exact opposite?"
"… What?" I swear I must have misunderstood her, because the implications of what she just said don't make any sense to me.
"Think about it, Urban. You've lived with Chase since you were two. You've had to watch his dad and your mom dote all over him just because he's everything you're not. You have to deal with his perfect looks, job, attitude, everything. And face it, when he's not being a douche, Chase is a really charming guy. And up until now he's been something you could never have, because he's not only flawless but straight, and suddenly that's not true anymore. He's gay and that automatically means he's not the picture of perfection like he used to be."
I listen to her rant with my mouth literally hanging open. Clara has been known to come up with some far fetched ideas before, but this one was just fucking ridiculous. Even worse than her plan to make an anti-gravity vortex by taping a piece of toast jelly side up to my cat's back. Her excuse for that was that since cats always landed on their feet, and toast always landed jelly side down, if we combined the two the right way we could make an object that never falls to the earth.
I was anxious to hear her explanation for this idea now. "That's all fucking bullshit, Clara. And why would I be angry if he wasn't so fucking perfect? That's what I want. I want Mom and Regan to see how fucked up he is."
"I don't think so, Urban. You're angry because he didn't tell you that he's gay. He let you think you didn't have a chance, which means he probably doesn't like you… And I think that's the biggest reason you're upset."
I'm scowling fiercely now, and I'm sure Clara, who knows me better than anyone, can hear it in my voice. "He's a hypocrite, Claire. That's why I'm fucking upset." But I don't actually negate any of her claims, because she really does know me best, and there is a scary, huge chance that she's right. I hate it.
The fact of the matter is that even though he's the biggest dick on the planet, I've always seen Chase as the sort of guy I'd want to date. Good looking, charming, smart, friendly… And he really is. To other people, anyway. I once watched him buy a new balloon for a little girl who'd accidentally let go of hers in the park. He brought her the new balloon, gave her a huge smile and said, "Here you go, beautiful."
And, Christ, if he didn't treat me like shit I might think he was the most amazing man I'd ever met.
And I know that on some level, Clara knows exactly what she's talking about. The biggest source of my anger is the fact that Chase doesn't treat me the way he does everyone else. I'm the only one who has ever had to deal with the insults, the cruelty, the embarrassment, and it fucking eats at me. What makes me different from anyone else? Why am I not worthy of his praise… or his smile?
And I mean his real smile, the nice one, not the fake shit he gave me at dinner.
I snap out of my thoughts at the sound of my best friend's voice. "Yeah?"
"It's only for a little while. You'll be away from him soon."
"Yeah. Thanks, Claire."
"Anytime, Banny. You know I'll always answer for you."
"Even if it means you miss the excitement that is the illustrious Montana?"
"Yea-, wait. What the heck does 'illustrious' mean?"
I smile. Sometimes it pays to be an English geek. "Look it up, Claire."
"I don't own a freaking thesaurus, Banny!"
"You mean a dictionary, Clara."
"… Whatever. Bye, Urban! I'm gonna go talk to the cows now, since they're nicer than you!"
I laugh despite my bleak mood. "Bye. Have fun."
Hanging up my phone, I feel my grin fade. I may only have to live with Chase for a week, but that's longer than I've been around him since I was eighteen. And with my recent revelations in mind, I don't know if I have the patience to deal with seven days of his brand of torture.
I'm about to stand up and retreat to my room to think some more when a shadow falls over me from behind.
It's fucking Chase. Of course. I turn and see him standing in the lit doorway, watching me with one hand stuffed in his dress pants and the other behind his back. It's an almost submissive stance that I don't think I've ever seen on him.
"You cleaned my room, didn't you?" And that's when his hidden hand comes into sight, and it's wrapped around that fucking magazine that I left on his floor.
I don't have to reply to his question.
"I don't suppose I can convince you that this isn't mine?"
That, I decide, doesn't deserve a reply.
"I didn't think so." He sighs and walks forward, stopping when I could reach out and touch his ankle if I wanted to.
"I hate you," I whisper. I can feel the anger in me begging to scream but I think that if I raise my voice I might break.
And all he has to say to me is, "I know."
That's it. Two little words, innocent on their own but so fucking damning put together, and my control is gone. I can't stop the rush of emotion that tears out of me, and no matter how much I yell I can't fill up the hole it leaves behind.
"You're such a motherfucking hypocrite! You call me a fag but look what you have stashed away! I can't fucking believe the shit you give me when you probably take it up the ass just as hard!"
I don't realize there are tears on my face until I taste them on my lips. I know that my makeup must be running now, leaving dark trails of liner and mascara behind, but I can't care when the need to explode is so pressing. I probably look like hell, but it's not like I can seem any worse in Chase's eyes.
"How dare you come around here and judge me when you're doing the same things? You pretend to be so fucking straight for your homophobic daddy! You're fucking lucky I didn't show him that shit as soon as I found it!"
By now I can't believe that Chase hasn't decked me or told me to shut the fuck up. He's just standing there with that stupid expression on his face that's almost fucking sad and staring at me with those blue eyes that go on forever. I bet he's just trying to think of a good way to keep me from blabbing his secret to Regan and my mom.
The words keep tumbling out of my mouth. "You call me names like you're so much fucking better than me but you're not! You're just as much of a fuck up, aren't you? Yet you talk shit about me just to make yourself feel all hot shit superior. Well take your fucking ego and shove it up your ass along with your fucking twink of a boyfriend's cock!"
My breath is coming in deep, shuddering gasps, and I can barely see for all the moisture clouding my gaze but I don't stop glaring at Chase. I won't stop because if I show him anymore weakness than I already have he might know how vulnerable I am at this moment. So I keep my bleary eyes trained on him while he slowly steps forward, crouches down, and meets my stare with a steadiness I can't dream of achieving.
"I'm sorry, Urban."
"Fuck you," I hiss. "Don't give me your bullshit."
"I mean it."
I can't believe him. Does he really think that apologizing now for all the things he's put me through will keep me from ratting on him? Fat fucking chance. "Yeah, right, asshole. What the fuck makes you think I'll buy that?"
His frown deepens, and I can't help but think, 'Take that. You're not getting off that easy, dickwad.'
"I said it earlier, didn't I?"
I scowl. "Said what?"
And his face is as fucking serious as possible when he says, "You're the most important part of my family."
The sincerity in his tone throws me off; for a whole ten seconds I can't speak. Chase is looking at me like he wants to read my mind, and his eyes are so blue and piercing that I almost believe he can.
"Shut up." I regain my voice and it's back to a harsh whisper. I'm pissed that he's trying to fucking trick me like this but I can't muster the energy to scream again.
"You don't believe me." It's not a question.
"Of course I fucking don't. You hate me. And you never let me forget it."
"I don't hate you, Urban."
How dare he sound like he fucking means it. What nerve has he got to inspire that stupid fucking bubble of hope in me, that maybe for the first time in almost my entire life, the guy I've looked up to actually gives a damn.
"Oh, yeah?" I counter. "Then why do you treat me like scum, huh? How come all you ever do is tell me how fucking stupid my name is, and how my 'raging queerness' is so fucking offensive?" My voice actually breaks there and I pray he doesn't hear it, but I know he really does because his gaze finally looks away from mine. "Why do you fucking smile and laugh with everyone else but look at me like I'm trash? If that's not fucking hatred, Chase, then what is?"
I'm panting again; I can't seem to keep my breathing even anymore. All I hope is that I don't pass out here because I think Chase would just leave me and let me contract fucking diseases and shit. And I can barely hear anything over my gasping and the vicious pounding of my heart, but I definitely fucking notice when I see his shoulders shake.
The asshole is laughing at me, and I swear I want to break his neck.
But he looks back up at me, blue eyes glazed over, and every fiber of anger in my body gives way to shock. Chase isn't laughing; he's fucking crying. Or close to it. There's wetness on his eyelids and a tremble in his bottom lip and holy fuck he's never been more beautiful than he is now.
"I'm sorry, Urban," he says again, and for the first time in my life I hear his usually suave voice shake. "I'm so sorry."
I can't comprehend what's happening. My mind has shut down and my mouth won't move. I do the only thing I can think of and run.
I don't remember how I end up in my room; the memories I have from the time I left Chase sitting outside to when I slammed my door shut are hazy at best. When I try to collect them it's like some sort of Kaleidoscope has taken residence in my head: all the scenes I see are chopped and fucked up. All I know is that I'm grateful I made it in one piece.
Unfortunately my relief is short lived. The next thing I know I'm practically being thrown away from my door as Chase barrels into it. I stagger but manage to stay standing, and turn just in time to see him rush in, face flushed, and close the door again.
Somehow we've left the angry, sad mood we had before down on the back porch. The air between us now is almost charged and moving, like some sort of current connects us, palpable but unseen. His eyes aren't wet now, and they aren't the color I'm used to seeing. They've gone from a cool navy hue to a dusky shade that I didn't think was even possible for eyes to be until now. For reasons I don't want to consider, the sight of them makes my stomach clench in a way I can't complain about.
"What are you doing?"
He doesn't answer but I see his hand fumble around behind him and turn the lock.
And like every other time he's around, everything just happens at once. Before I can react his body is in front of mine, so close that if I took a deep breath our chests would brush against one another. And I'm so tempted to make that exact thing happen but so fucking scared at the same time-
-But then it turns out that the decision isn't even mine to make, because Chase is already pushing forward, pressing his entire form to my body. My room is air conditioned but it feels like the machine must be broken; it has to be, because there's no other logical way to explain the heat that's taken us over. And there are hands on me that aren't my own – one on my left wrist and the other at my neck, pulling me, forcing me to move. But I'm not sure how much force it really takes because I want this, I realize, and I have for a long time. I want the satisfaction of knowing that this perfect fucking person actually cares about me.
I have a nanosecond to think about how my lips are a little chapped and they probably won't feel too good before Chase puts his mouth on mine, and it's sweet Jesus, hallelujah.
It's fireworks and thunderstorms and crashing waves and all the other cliché shit that you're supposed to feel when you kiss someone. All of it. His lips are soft, gently demanding and sweetly yielding. There's no way to describe his flavor but I can't get enough so I dart my tongue out over and over just to taste.
And then our tongues are meeting, swirling, wrapping, scraping over teeth. He's warmth and wet fire and so much flawless velvet that I know I must be dreaming. I'm only waiting to wake up.
And I do, because he pulls away, although he doesn't let me go, and stares at me again. "Urban?"
"Y-yeah?" My lung capacity must be a lot lower than average, since I can never breathe normally.
"Why… didn't you show the magazine to Dad and Nora?"
I had wondered when he would ask me that, and I give a half-shrug. The answer I give might be surprising, he might not even believe it, but I know that it's the truth. "It wasn't my secret to tell."
His eyes tell me he didn't expect that. "But you could have… could have gotten back at me… for everything. You could have made my life hell."
I know this. I thought about it. I only give another lift of my shoulders in response.
To my awe, he laughs. It's soft, more like a surprised, breathy chuckle than a real laugh, but it's an honest sound. It's Chase; it's perfect. "I guess I shouldn't have expected anything else."
"Because you're you, Urban. You're nice and you have integrity. Sure, you can be a bit… childish, at times. But you've always had a better conscience than me."
I shake my head in confusion. "I've never had a better… anything, than you."
"I disagree. You've always had people around you that really care about you: your dad, your friend Clara, Aunt Becky."
My eyebrows shoot up at the mention of his former step-mom. And it's true, that she used to call me her favorite nephew, but she stopped all that when she and Regan split up over my mom.
"I've never had… anyone, really. My father cares more about his women than me. I could hardly call Nora a mother figure, and even when she and my father were married, Becky liked you more than me. All my friends are business sharks; they make alliances as easy as they break them, and if I trusted any of them I'd end up bankrupt in a heartbeat." He rolls his eyes like this doesn't bother him, but I can hear the note in his voice that tells otherwise. I wonder how long Chase has been thinking these things, and why he never said them before.
"I was jealous of you when we were children. Isn't that silly? I was twelve, envious of a three year old. And it's not like you could do anything about it. I guess I sort of damned you before you had a chance to defend yourself." He stops and gives me an apologetic smile. "I just wanted someone to really like me the way they did you."
"Everyone loves you, Chase. You should know that."
He shrugs. "No. They love what I show them. You're the only person who knows I'm gay, Urban. How many of them would love me if they knew that? I've been acting, just to beat you."
"But you said… earlier, you said… that you don't hate me," I mumble, hating the way my voice comes out all fucking pathetic.
And Chase is perceptive, so he brushes a light kiss across my nose before replying, "I don't. Not anymore. I used to, when we were younger."
"When did it change?"
"When you came out."
I gawk at him and he laughs at my expression, making my stomach churn again.
"You were so brave," he explains. "You knew you would alienate yourself and yet you did what you wanted anyway. The most amazing thing to me was that there still remained people who loved you. I couldn't believe it was possible. I thought about coming out, myself, but was too afraid. I didn't want to lose what I had worked so hard to gain.
"You started growing on me, too. I couldn't stop myself from seeing the things in you that your friends and family did. It made me more nervous, so I stopped visiting home if I could help it. Then, three years ago, I saw you for the first time in over a year. You were an adult, and you were so beautiful."
Hearing that word describing me, off of Chase's lips, no less, is like having a cannon shot right into the gut. I must look like a fish with all my gaping but he actually kisses me then, and I can feel his smile against my mouth.
I really (really) want to keep kissing him but there are so many questions, too many things that still don't make any fucking sense, so I break the contact and murmur, "Why didn't you do anything about it until now?"
He sighs and rests his forehead on mine. I can practically breathe in the air that he exhales. "Well, I suppose because I was still to scared to say anything. Plus… I thought that you hated me."
I pause. He has completely plausible reasons to think that, not the least of which is the fact that I said it to him not twenty minutes ago. I don't know what to say.
"So… do you?" he asks in a whisper. It's such a fucking heart breaking, insecure sound that I want to fold him right into my heart to reassure him.
"I don't know," I answer, just as quiet. "You're fucking… you're everything, Chase. Fucking perfect. But you… you've always been so awful to me… I just don't know."
He nods, frowning. His hair falls into his eyes like it's trying to protect him. Fucking ironic that he needs to be protected from me. "I understand."
But when he starts to pull away I almost panic at the loss. My hands grab his hips in a death grip and won't let him move. "I want to give you a chance," I say. "I want to like you."
Chase smiles. I will never get enough of his smile. "I want that, too."
I kiss him this time, because I can and it feels good to know that I can. It's fucking amazing to realize that he craves my touch like I crave his. My hands lighten their hold but he presses himself to me again.
We fit, mold together perfectly – flawlessly – like two puzzle pieces. Like we're the only two pieces of the puzzle, and the only things needed to make it complete.
When we pull apart again I notice that he has something black and iridescent on his cheek. Oops. It's a smudge of my makeup, and it must have rubbed off of my cheek onto his. "Er, sorry," I mumble, and wipe it off.
Chase chuckles. "I didn't know you wore makeup. Your hair is different too."
I grin sheepishly. "I wanted to piss Regan off."
There's a moment of silence before Chase erupts into full on laughter, and he actually has to back up from me to avoid smashing our heads together. When he finally catches his breath, he says, "That's amazing, Urban. Brilliant."
I'm not used to compliments coming from him being directed at me, so the smile I manage is half-assed at best, but he gets it. Now that it's safe to be close again, he pulls me back into his arms. "I'm going to miss you when I go back to work."
"I'll be here all summer," I reply, rubbing little circles into his chest with my fingers.
"Then I'll have to take another vacation before the fall… Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?"
I nod after thinking it over for a second. "I could."
"Do it. We could go somewhere. The Caribbean or maybe Hawaii… I have a nice travel agency that can arrange a deal for us."
"What would we tell Regan and Mom?"
I laugh, and I see his eyes light up from the sound. I resolve then and there to do it more often. "Sure."
"Great. It'll be a blast, I'm sure. I've been to the Caribbean once and it's so relaxing…"
Chase trails off talking about the pros and cons of the tropics, and my chest feels like it's swelling to twice its normal size. I can already tell that hating Chase is going to be a hard thing to hold onto. I smile into the next kiss he leans in to give me, because I guess I really just don't care about that at all.
I've hated Chase for as long as I can remember, but it's finally time to move on.
AN: So what do you think? Tell me your opinion and wish me luck in the challenge. :)
Disclaimer: This is fiction. All the characters/situations/places are mine. PlayGirl, PlayBoy, and Legos are not. "Yeah Boy and Doll Face" is by Pierce the Veil, and I only wish I could write amazing lyrics like them.