January 10, 2010
Just a little heads up before you read this story. I started writing it with a no general direction of how I wanted things, and where I wanted things to go. I mean, I had an idea, but it wasn't concrete. In fact, this was supposed to be a one shot, so this first chapter kinda jumps a lot... and I've been too lazy to change it. Well, a couple of chapters after this and months of inactivity of this story, I totally lost all direction and wrote general angst suckage and sorta decided I'd use this story for the sole purpose of practicing smut scenes. A couple of chapters after that, I sorta found a direction, so I decided to stop using this as my smut-practicing story and avoid writing general angst suckage. So yeah. Heads up. :)
November 02, 2008
A/N: This was supposed to be a one-shot, so it jumps sometimes, but then it started writing itself out on my head, so I decided to make it a full story. The first chapter has a slightly serious tone to it, but since I can't help but inject my lame humor into stories, it will get more lighthearted in the next chapters... I hope. Don't worry. :P
SLASH STORY. Yep, saying that now. :)
TO LOVE A LOSER
THE FIRST LOSS
Oliver Barton was not in a good mood. He was walking to his car, his hands jammed in his pockets as his best friend said goodbye to their other friends and jogged after him.
"Hey, Oliver, are you alright?" Felix asked, resting a hand on his shoulder to make him stop and look back at him.
Oliver turned his head to look at his best friend, looking blankly at the thick, dark hair, and the sharp cheekbones with shadows cast beneath them due to the streetlight above them. Felix's eyebrows were furrowed, concern in his dark eyes that gave him a soft, innocent look to his sharp, handsome features. It was all kind of unfair, really. Not only was Felix better than him at anything he tried doing, he had to look better too.
"Yeah," Oliver muttered, shrugging Felix's hand off him and turning away. "I'm just tired. My back doesn't feel too well."
No, he was not alright.
Once again, Felix had beaten him at a fencing tournament, this time at the semifinals. God, he couldn't even make it to the finals this year. He badly wanted to be alone, how he wanted to be after every loss to Felix, but his team had insisted on going out because it was a Friday night. Just as Oliver had expected, the entire night was full of cheers for Felix and countless, playful teasing at Oliver. He'd always laugh and tell them to fuck off, and Felix would always tell them to cut it off, oblivious to how Oliver sort of blamed him for bringing him into such a situation.
"Oh," Felix nodded, pulling his hand back, clenching it before setting it at his side. He frowned and quickly walked up to Oliver, stopping in front of him. "Do you need to get it checked out? Does it hurt a lot?"
Oliver stepped around him. "It's okay, I just need to sleep."
"Oh, okay," Felix said softly, watching him get into the car. He walked around the car and took a seat on the other side, closing the door gently. He turned to Oliver, who turned the key in the ignition. "Do you want me to drive?"
"No. You've got your foil in the back?"
Felix nodded. "Yeah, what about you? Did you forget anything?"
"Yeah, it's there."
His best friend relaxed against the seat. Oliver knew he was the only one who could really challenge Felix, so he knew he was tired from their match. Felix closed his eyes for a while and opened them as he remembered something. "Hey, don't mind what the guys said back there," he said, smiling at Oliver. "You know Jeremy's just an ass like that. And he was probably already a bit drunk. He didn't mean it."
"Right," Oliver muttered under his breath, his hands set on the steering wheel. He faced forward as he drove the car out of the parking lot. "Okay. I'm going home. I'll drop you off."
Felix frowned, his shoulders falling slightly as he looked at his watch. "Already?"
"Yeah," Oliver muttered. "I plan to drink a lot more when I get home."
Felix looked up, hopefully sensing a return of Oliver's usual self. "Oh, okay," he laughed, small relief in his voice. "I'll bring some – "
"No, I plan on doing it myself."
Felix rolled his eyes and pressed his lips into a thin line. "But it's not safe to drink alone," he protested.
Oliver ground his teeth. "You have the finals tomorrow. You should rest."
His best friend was silent for a long time. Oliver watched the way Felix looked down at his lap before turning back to him. "It's not that important," Felix said softly. "I'd rather spend time with you than rest for it." A tinge of red flashed on Felix's cheeks just before he turned his head to look out the window. "And besides – you already had – "
Oliver turned to the right for their neighborhood. "I'll take my chances."
Felix fell silent for the rest of the trip, and Oliver preferred it that way, although a part of him did feel guilty – but most of him was still pretty upset about losing. With a dry laugh, Oliver realized that if they were under different circumstances – Felix probably would have been his arch nemesis or something, his own personal Darth Vader.
Too bad his hypothetical light saber skills were still never going to be good enough.
Ever since they were five, regardless if it was soccer, tennis, golf, fencing, or swimming, Felix would almost always beat him if they competed against each other. Oliver knew he should have taken it all in stride, good sportsmanship and all, laughing after each loss, congratulating Felix and saying, "Next time, I'll beat you." as they shook hands, but he'd still lose the next time, and the one after that. When they were kids, they didn't mind, it was all just fun and games. But of course, when high school rolled along, things changed and the never ending pattern of fighting-and-losing grew more and more painful.
He wasn't a sore loser, he just hated losing; he hated that all his practice and effort would all go to waste. Oliver never complained and whined after every loss, saying Felix had cheated or the game was fixed. Rather, he'd keep to himself and brood about it, staying away from his best friend in case he might lash out at him about it until he was in a better mood.
He was pretty sure Felix had no idea what he felt every time he lost against him. He was pretty sure Felix thought they had a friendly, healthy rivalry going on. And he had a right to think that way. He wasn't doing anything wrong, nothing was his fault – well, his only fault was that he was better than Oliver at seemingly everything… but Oliver supposed that wasn't really a fault.
Oliver thought that after his solo drinking session, things would smooth over by the morning. But maybe it was because he still had a bit of a hangover, the next day, he still didn't even want to be in the same room with his best friend.
Oliver looked back and saw Felix running after him, his bag over his shoulder. He sighed and stopped to wait for his friend. Felix paused to catch his breath before grinning. "Hey, are you heading for lunch?"
"Yeah," Oliver said, walking for the cafeteria again. Felix walked beside him, matching Oliver's hurried pace. "I'm starving."
"I know." Felix nodded, glancing at him. "I usually like literature but that last period killed my mind."
Oliver chuckled. "Yeah, it was a lot more intense than usual."
"Intense is an understatement," Felix laughed, pushing open the cafeteria doors. They made their way for their table, their friends already there and talking about the latest basketball game. Felix took a seat and made sure to leave one extra chair beside him for Oliver to sit on, but Oliver hesitated before walking past him.
There was obvious confusion in Felix's face as his dark eyes followed after his friend. "Hey, where are you going?" he called, leaning back on his seat.
"Oh, um." Oliver turned back to him, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. "I have to sit next to my science group mates. We have to talk about our project."
"Oh," Felix intoned, frowning slightly. His shoulders fell as he nodded slowly. "Okay, see you later then."
Oliver waved at him over his shoulder. "See ya."
A couple of days later, Oliver was setting his books into his locker. He closed it, and jumped when he saw Felix standing not too far away from him, a deep frown set on his handsome face as he walked over to him. "Shit," Oliver muttered, knowing something bad was coming up. Felix rarely got mad, and when he was, it was rarely at Oliver.
Felix stopped in front of him, slamming a hand against the lockers so Oliver couldn't get away. "What's wrong with you?"
What is wrong with me? Oliver thought as he stared at the metal of his locker door. For the longest time he had felt grudges toward Felix whenever he lost to him, but he had always managed to move on. Now … it was like he couldn't. Was it because they were seniors now? Because that last fencing tournament was his last high school tournament and he couldn't even win that one? He thought that maybe because he had kept things bottled up for so long… the fact he had blown his last chance at winning the tournament probably just set him off.
Oliver shrugged nonchalantly. "Nothing," he answered evenly, setting his bag over his shoulder. "Seems like you're the one with the problem."
Felix gave him a disgusted look, like he couldn't believe what he was hearing from his best friend. "Seriously," he said harshly. "Don't play with me right now."
"I'm going to be late because of you again."
"From what I remember, the last time we were late was because of you."
Oliver bristled, a blush creeping on his face when he realized Felix was right. "Whatever. The episode was worth it."
Felix's eyes softening for a moment. "Yes, besides the fact you already made me watch that Star Wars cartoon with you about six times already," he said, his usual smile daring to give away the frustration he was feeling toward Oliver.
Oliver almost laughed too, but he caught himself. He looked up at his friend, narrowing his eyes at Felix. "Could you just… get out of my way?" he said.
Felix almost sounded tired and he looked like he didn't care that other people were watching them. It was obvious he just wanted to know what was wrong with his best friend. "Just tell me why you've been ignoring me."
"I have not been ignoring you."
Felix rolled his eyes and let out a weak laugh. "Right," he scoffed, his shoulders tense. "Every time I want to meet up, there's always some reason you can't go. You don't even talk to me in class anymore. You're always talking to someone else when I want to talk – "
Oliver rolled his eyes and pushed Felix's arm out of his way. "My whole life does not revolve around you, Felix Senna," he said dryly. "Maybe you should get over that."
It was almost like Felix couldn't find anything else to say after that. He just let his arm hang at his side as he watched Oliver walk away. "What's wrong with you?" he asked, his words strained. "What the hell did I do? Just tell me!"
Oliver stopped, wincing at Felix's voice. He turned around, looking up and when he saw the pained look on Felix's dark eyes, a pang of guilt struck his chest. "I..." he paused, shaking his head and finally deciding just to say it. He couldn't put what he felt into words, but he knew he had to say something, he could give Felix that. "I just can't... handle hanging out with you right now. I don't know why, but... I just can't."
Felix's eyes widened as Oliver sighed. "Sorry," he muttered, turning around and walking off.
The next time the two spoke to each other was a week later, during PE class. They were taking swimming that term, and everyone in the class jumped in the pool as the instructor blew his whistle. Oliver emerged from the water, a hand in his hair as he fixed his swim cap, stopping when he spotted his best friend. Felix was at the lane right beside his, and he was leaning against the pool's wall, his elbows propped up on the edge as he controlled his breathing for the swim. Their eyes met for a second before they both quickly looked away.
Out of all the lanes, Oliver thought bitterly. I had to be in this one.
"Alright boys," their teacher said from the end of the pool. "When I blow the whistle, start swimming like there's a fucking shark behind you and you hear the Jaws theme playing."
There were dry laughs as everyone in the pool pulled themselves out of the water for their dives, all of them used to their PE teacher's horrible sense of humor. Oliver readied himself, bending down to hold onto the edge of the diving platform, his head ducked between his shoulders. He spared a glance at Felix, all too familiar with the focused look on his face.
The second their teacher blew his whistle, Oliver dived into the pool, pulling his arms out in front of him and cutting into the water. He emerged seconds after, his arms easily slicing through the surface. He sped up, having no problem leaving behind everyone in his class except for that one person, who was easily keeping up with his pace, his strokes matching his perfectly.
Oliver quickened his breathing, stretching his arms out just a little longer, kicking his legs just a little harder, his eyes taking short glimpses of the pool's end every time he exhaled. Water was seeping in his goggles, but he ignored the sting in his eyes and pushed himself some more. Beside him, Felix sped up too, and both simultaneously stretched their arms at the final foot, and –
Their PE teacher blew his whistle, holding his hands up in the air as the race finished. "First, Senna! Second, Barton! Third... Freedman!"
Oliver's shoulders rose and fell as he regained his breathing, looking up at their teacher, his face full of disbelief. He almost wanted to ask for another round, but stopped when he looked around and saw that his other classmates were practically heaving, some of them just deciding to drift on the water like logs. He cursed under his breath and yanked his swim cap off his head.
Another second place.
He was ready to get out of the pool when someone tapped his shoulder. He turned to see Felix, his shoulders rising and falling too as he regained his breathing. "Good swim," he breathed, grinning as he held his hand out to Oliver, like he always did. "Let's do it again... soon?"
Oliver looked down at the hand, his fists clenching underneath the water. He grudgingly shook it, noticing how the smile on Felix's face widened, like he thought things were perfectly okay now between the both of them. "Yeah, sure," he muttered. Then he dropped Felix's hand and went back to the pool edge, propping his hands up on the cold tiles and pulling himself out of the water.
He really didn't know what to feel toward Felix anymore. There were times when Oliver wished things would be back to normal again between the both of them, but every time Oliver was around him, he was constantly being reminded he was a failure, that he was second best, that he fell short once again. It was all very contradicting. What was even more annoying was that Felix didn't even act like some proud, arrogant asshole who flaunted this. It would have been so much easier to hate the guy if he did.
Oliver sat down on the edge as he waited for their teacher to start another lesson, his feet dangling in the water. Felix pulled himself out to sit beside him, although for a couple of seconds, he didn't say anything. "So, Jeremy was saying there's thing tonight – "
"I'm staying at home tonight."
Felix glanced at him, his bare shoulders falling. Sometimes it was so easy for Oliver to read Felix's emotions. "Oh, okay," he said, disappointment in his voice. "Is it homework? Do... you want me to help?"
"No," Oliver said honestly, shaking his head. "I'm planning to get wasted."
Felix raised an eyebrow. "Why?"
Oliver shrugged casually. "No apparent reason."
Before Felix could go on, their swim teacher blew his whistle and ordered them back to the pool. They didn't get to talk much after that.
Once again, his Darth Vader had defeated him. Dear God, if he was Luke Skywalker, he probably would have lost more than his hand by now.
After a night of Star Wars marathons and a whole lot of alcohol, Oliver woke up the next morning with a major headache. He couldn't even remember exactly what he watched.
"Fuck," he muttered, rubbing his face as he checked the clock. Shit, he was already fifteen minutes late for fencing practice, if he was still going to go.
He looked up at the ceiling, his hands pressed against the side of his head in a weak attempt to numb the throbbing pain. Shit, shit, shit. He closed his eyes. Why the fuck do I do this to myself?
Slowly, Oliver yawned and stretched his arms out above him. He was getting out of bed when he felt something brush against his foot, and he stopped, his eyes widening when he felt strands of hair tickle his bare chest and send shivers throughout his entire body.
He froze when he realized what he was wearing... or rather, what he wasn't wearing. He always slept with a shirt on... and he most definitely slept with his boxers on… so why wasn't he wearing any of them? He felt someone's hand splayed comfortably over his abdomen, and whoever owned it was pressed close to his body, seeking his body warmth in the cold room.
Oliver closed his eyes when it hit him. Dear God, had he called a prostitute last night?
His eyes widened as another thought appearing in his mind.
What if he was so drunk he had called a male prostitute?
No, no. He didn't feel anything down there so obviously that hadn't happened.
He gripped the blanket, gnawing on his bottom lip to control himself from cursing loudly, and he was ready to throw it off to see who was beside him. His hold on the blanket tightened as he looked down. "Please be a pillow, please be a pillow, please – "
Of course, he didn't get to finish his sentence, and he didn't get to pull the blanket off the bed either since the person beside him shifted, peeking their rather messy, dark bedhead out from the under blanket. Dazed eyes blinked up at him before an all too familiar, easy smile formed on the attractive face before it rested back on his warm chest.
Felix closed his eyes, his words a soft, gentle murmur and Oliver could feel his lips brush against his skin with every word. "Good morning."
Oliver's head fell back on his pillow and he looked up at the ceiling.
Oh my God.