Just Because

Chapter 1: The Villain, Two-Face

"Don't fucking start this again!" I snap, trying futilely to shove Alex away.

He grins maliciously- I know, big word for me- and then he simply pushes against my chest so that I fall back against the cold metal of the lockers.

"Come on. It's not like you ever eat lunch anyway, you're such a skinny little bitch." His hand drifts towards the pocket of my black jeans, trying to find my wallet.

"Are you still a little kid?" I demand, weakly forcing my hands between us and shoving against his chest. "Who steals lunch money anymore?"

"You know it's not just about the money, fag," Alex replies viciously. "And this'd be a lot less painful for you if you'd just give me your wallet to begin with. I really hate wasting my time doing this. I'm not even sure if making your life hell is worth the effort." He holds me against the lockers with one hand and gestures to our predicament.

Well, my predicament.

I'm so fucking weak! He's got me pinned with one hand and I can't even get an inch away from him.

"Oh, come on, you know you get off every time you beat me up. Ow!" I cry out when his hip digs into my stomach, because he's got at least five inches on me. "Damn it, you fucking bastard, that hurts!"

A fist comes in contact with my right cheek, and I let out a whimper of pain. I can't let him get to me. I can't. But goddamn....

"You're such a whiny shit," Alex says with a roll of his eyes. "And 'fucking bastard' isn't my name."

"Sorry. I didn't realize that with all of the people you have in bed screaming your name you'd need me to, too," I retort.

So screwed after that sentence. His face is contorting with rage, and it would be funny because it makes his normally handsome face look really weird, but he's scary. Damn scary.

He's fucking gorgeous, but he's also fucking terrifying.

I try to reach a hand up to my face to feel for a bruise, blood, anything, but he smacks my hand away. His own hand dives into my pocket and emerges with my tattered brown wallet.

"Hey! Alex, leave him alone."

Oh God. My savior!

Alex drops me almost immediately (though he carefully pockets my wallet first) when he sees my friend Cameron walk around the corner of the hallway. Oh, and Cam's also my ex, as of about two months ago.

"Oh. Um, I...sorry, Daniels," Alex mutters (though why he feels obligated to apologize, being a jackass of his level, I don't know), and he runs a hand through his blond hair, turning to walk away from us. "Uh, see you in math, Cam."

The only clue that I have that Alex Barton isn't homophobic is that he's friends with Cam and his boyfriend, Travis.

For a while, I thought that Alex was just the biggest homophobe in the world. That was what I told myself every time that he beat me up, every time that he took my keys or my money or my clothes after gym, every time that he called me a faggot with all the venom he could muster in his voice.

But then I went out with Cam. Cam never got shit for it.

Then Cam broke up with me. And got together with Travis.

It hurt when he did that to me- 'cause hey, he was the first guy who ever actually went out with me, and though it was hard to believe him at first when he said he genuinely liked me, after a while I did.

But I was a wreck for about a week after the breakup, because I figured that he'd been lying to me. Not to mention Alex and his friends kept on teasing me and placing bets on how long until I'd commit suicide.

Sheesh. I didn't like Cam that much.

But still, it took a bit of groveling for me to attempt to forgive him and be friends with him, while sitting through several lunch periods filled with Cam and Travis face-sucking.

And when they didn't get any jeers or threats or anything for being together, it hit me.

Alex Barton hates me.

He's never seriously hurt me, but damn, he does his damage.

And I really want to know why that fucking bastard hates me. I don't even hate him, really....Well, I do, but not as much as he seems to hate me.

"Thanks, Cam," I say weakly. "I think I pissed him off a little more than usual. Seriously, what the fuck does he have against me?"

Cam bends down and picks my purple and white beanie up off the floor from where it slipped off during the, er, altercation.

"I don't know. You'll figure it out eventually," Cam says with a shrug. He never really seems to care why Alex hates me- he just kind of accepts it as life, and gives me that knowing look that says I should do the same. "Now come on, lunch is almost over."

I tug my beanie back down over my choppy black hair and wait while Cam quickly gets a book out of his locker. We head back to the cafeteria in silence.

"Cam-Cam!" Travis shouts when we come into view. Cam grins from ear to ear and lets Travis pull him down into his lap. They proceed to alternate between making out and telling each other all these cutesy little bits of nonsense. I tense up and stiffly sit across from Mia, who's busy rolling her eyes at the boys next to her.

"What happened to your face, Parker?" she asks gently, gesturing to what must be swelling or blood or something.

I sigh and rest my head in my hands, wincing when I feel the bruising bone for the first time. "Alex happened. He took my wallet, again."

Cam abruptly pulls back from Travis and stares at me. "He took your wallet? I didn't see that."

I nod, flicking a ketchup packet around on the table with my index finger and thumb. "Yeah. He got it just before you came."

"Shit, man, I'm sorry I didn't ca— Travis! Stop! I'm trying to have a conversation!"

Travis has decided to latch onto Cam's neck, kissing his skin. It kind of makes me sick. I still haven't really gotten used to them. Cam whimpers a little, and several people at our table glance up at the sound. Cam blushes and then turns back to me.

"As I was saying...I'll help you get your wallet back, okay? We have next period with him, it'll be easy. He can't beat you up in a classroom," Cam continues, swatting away Travis' wandering hand. Travis pouts and nips at Cam's ear.


The bell rings, and thank God they can't make out during class.

"Alex, give Parker his wallet back." Cam holds out his hand demandingly.

Alex sighs and leans back in his tiny desk chair, stretching his toned arms above his head. "What's the point of stealing his crap if I never actually get to spend his money or whatever?"

I roll my eyes and peer out from behind Cam. "You said yourself it's not about the money."

Alex snorts and rolls his own eyes. "I know, but it's still fun to think that I could spend every penny you've earned in your life."

I can tell that my blue eyes are flashing as I snap back, "Shut up, you asshole. Give me my wallet."

"Come and get it," he jeers.

I sigh in annoyance and then put on a smirk. "Well, if that's the way you want it...."

I step around Cam, who's watching us carefully, ready to step in if things get violent. Slowly, I scan Alex's pockets to see if there's a visible lump where my wallet might be and...aha! There it is, in his front pocket. Without taking my eyes off of his surprised green ones, I slip my hand into his pocket, ignoring the fact that I'm dangerously close to his crotch right now.

Just as I'm about to pull the wallet out, Alex comes to his senses and stands up, snapping, "Jesus Christ, get the hell away from me, faggot. I didn't realize you wanted to get into my pants, too."

I clench my jaw, because that's stepping over the line and everyone knows it. I mean, he always crosses the line, but he can't just say that to me in front of everyone. Before either of us comprehends what's happening, I've brought my hand up to slap Alex across the face. Hard.


The sound of skin hitting skin resonates around the classroom, and our teacher glances up from her computer just in time to see Alex snarl with something like rage and punch me back right in the face.

My former "yeehaw" attitude? Yeah. It just died.

"Shit!" I yelp, clutching my tender nose and hoping that that's not blood I feel.

"Parker! Alex! I don't care what just happened, detention! After school, both of you!"

Alex's mouth drops open and he stares at Mrs. Warren. "But...but I've never gotten detention before in my life!"

And it's kind of hard to believe him, even though it's true. No one ever catches him for beating people (read: me) up.

"Well, Alex, today is a wonderful time to start. An hour in my classroom. No exceptions," Mrs. Warren says tightly. "Everyone, back to your seats."

I stalk across the classroom to my seat, and try to ignore the death glares Alex is shooting at me from across the room.

My face hurts SO MUCH.

He's gonna grow up to be a wife beater. I mean, he wears those undershirts enough, why not actually beat his future wife?

No, no one in their right mind would ever marry him. He may be hot, and apparently great in bed, but that's probably all he's good for. A quick fuck and nothing else.

He's still glaring at me, so I give him a "what the hell do you want?" face and then flip him off when Mrs. Warren turns around. He flips me off with both of his middle fingers, and I sniff and turn up my nose.

"Now, class, we're going to start your final project for the class- your pair tapestry. All AP lit classes have been doing this project for the past ten years, and it seems to work well." Mrs. Warren starts to hand out a sheet with project details on it. "You're going to be working in partners, and you will interview each other and make a combined documentary about your high school experience so far- or overall, if you're a senior. An essay describing the same things and what you've learned about each other is also part of the final product, since the human communications part of the project is important. In short, it's a movie about your lives."

We all groan as if on cue, and Mrs. Warren smiles. "Well, you're lucky I'm letting you do a video for this, so don't complain. Now, I'm assigning partners, because I want you to work with someone specific."


I'm working with Alex. I just fucking know it.

"I thought about it yesterday, and I paired you up according to who I think will be able to produce the best project together. It's based on your personalities and your grades, so hopefully you won't be too upset over who you're working with. I also ran it by your other teachers, and they all approved the pairs."


"So, let's get started with the partners. Go ahead and sit next to each other once I've called your names." She clears her throat and pulls a list out from a pile of papers. "Cameron, you're obviously with Travis."

"YES!" Cam shouts, scooting his desk closer to Travis, who grins evilly. God, I hope their video doesn't turn into porn. I seriously don't believe them when they say that they're not fucking yet.

"Right. Um, Sean and Jake, Mia and Oliver," Mia smiles happily and goes to sit with her boyfriend, "Mark and Lisa...Oh, this next one should be fun. Alex and Parker."


"Damn," I mutter under my breath, before standing up and walking slowly over to the empty desk next to Alex. Alex doesn't look at me and instead stares straight ahead.

Once all of the partners are assigned, school video cameras are passed out and we're given free time to start brainstorming. Alex snatches the video camera while I begin to doodle on my school planner.

"This is Dipshit Daniels," Alex says, aiming the camera at me. "He's an ugly slut who likes to draw puppies on his planner. Dipshit has no life, so our project is going to be kind of short and mostly consisting of me, because I'm hotter than him anyway."

I glare at him and reach for the video camera. He raises an eyebrow but hands it over. I hold it and point it at him.

"This is Alex, AKA the world's biggest manwhore. He's a mean, idiotic jackass whose hobbies include stealing wallets and keys from innocent people like me. He also enjoys hating me, Parker, for no apparent reason." I zoom in a little on his repulsive face (who am I kidding? He's the fucking hottest thing to walk the earth) and add, "He's not homophobic, because he's nice to two other gay guys in the class. Unfortunately, Alex just hates me and calls me a faggot and ugly even though he has no problem with other quote-on-quote 'faggots', and I know for a fact that I'm not ugly."

Alex grabs the camera out of my grasp and turns it off. "Shut up."

"Give me my wallet back," I retort.

"Why do you need it? Is that where you keep your rentboy earnings?" he asks with a sneer.

I reach over and flick him on the nose. He growls and takes my wallet out, flipping through the various cards and bills in it. He pulls out a picture of my sister and waves it.

"Aww, who's this?" he says mockingly. I bite my lip and stretch up, trying to grab the picture of my little sister Megan.

"Put it back, asshole," I snap, trying unsuccessfully to reach the picture because Alex is about six foot one and I'm five seven.

"Is it your sister? Aww, how cute." He tucks the picture back where he found it and opens the pocket with my money. "So, is this the money you get when you blow guys in the bathrooms during lunch, or what?"

I feel the sharp pangs of his untruthful words as they sink in, but I just stare furiously back at him and say, "Come on. I'm not a slut; I've only ever had one boyfriend. You're the one who should charge people for sex. You've fucked so many people, you could have quite the profit."

Alex smirks and leans back in his chair, and to my surprise he tosses my wallet back to me. I catch it and slip it into my backpack.

"Yeah, so I've fucked some girls. None of them were very good. Why do you keep bringing it up? You want some, too?"

I smirk back and, feeling bold, reply with, "That depends. Is that an offer?"

Alex laughs hollowly. "Yeah, I bet your faggot ass would like that, huh?"

I shudder. "Uh, not particularly." Yes, I would. I would so do Alex in a second. "So, how do you want to do this project?"

"Ah, ah, ah, Alex. You're not going anywhere," Mrs. Warren says when the final bell rings. Everyone else gets up to leave the classroom and go home, and Alex tries to escape with the crowd.

Me? I'm a good boy, and I stay where I am.

"But Mrs. Warren, can't I serve the detention another time? Please? I've got something important at home-"

"Shut up, Alex," I interrupt. "I'm missing the bus for this, which means that I'll be walking two and a half miles in the rain to get home. So please don't complain."

Alex sighs, and when Mrs. Warren gets up to go to the teacher's lounge (locking the door so we can't get out), he asks, "I thought you had a car?"

"In the shop. Besides, my parents don't trust me with the keys anymore because they keep on getting stolen." I give him a pointed look. "I wonder how that keeps happening."

"Oh." He stands up and stretches, his shirt riding up a little, and no, I'm not following the line of light colored hair that disappears down below his jeans. Do I look like a pervert? Or a horny, gay teenager?

Don't answer that.

"I can't believe she locked us in here," Alex groans, walking over to Mrs. Warren's desk and rifling through the drawers.

"What are you doing? Don't go through her stuff!" I yelp, standing up as well and grabbing his arm to tug him down into a desk.

Alex snickers and shakes me off easily. He pulls a folder out of our teacher's desk and idly flips through it. His eyes drift to me, and he casually says, "Don't your pants kind of cut off the circulation in your legs?"

I glance down at my really tight black jeans and shrug. "No. They're comfortable."

"Uh-huh. Man, the day that I wear tight jeans is the day that pigs fly." He takes what looks like a graded essay out of the folder and starts reading it.

"Why are you being civil?" I finally ask. "Did you put a bomb in my wallet or something and I'm going to blow up?"

Alex looks at me, surprised. "Well, we were sort of getting along once we got started on the project. I figured that that might carry over into detention, but if you'd rather me beat you up...I mean, we're conveniently locked in a classroom with no one else around."

I shake my head. "No, thank you. I just...I'm confused."

Alex gives me another hollow laugh. "Well, Daniels, I'm a confusing guy."

I scoff. "Please. You're incredibly simple. Your daily routine consists of: Wake up. Go to school. Pick on Parker. Go home. Do homework. Go to a party. Get laid. Go home. Go to sleep. Not too confusing."

Alex sneers and shoves the essay he was reading at me. "Nice essay, queer." I glance at the grade on my essay about the book A Separate Peace. I got an A plus.

I snort and roll my eyes. "So we're back to that, huh?"

Alex lies down on three of the small desks in the room. "Well, you seem to prefer it."

"No, I don't. But I'd appreciate it if you'd stick to one personality. Preferably the nice one. I think maybe I could get used to it." I sit down backwards at the desk in front of him.

"Would you mind shutting up, Dipshit? I'm trying to sleep." He winks at me. "I had a late night."

I gag. "Ew! Fucking sick! I don't want to know about your sexual escapades. God."

"You know you wish you could be the one in my bed tonight," he replies, smirking and closing his eyes. "Come on. I'm sure you've been hoping that you could get pity sex or something ever since you got dumped."

My eyes start to sting with pathetic traitorous tears, because the fact that Cam dumped me is still a sore spot. Cam hurt me, no matter how much he apologized, no matter how many times he told me that he truly cared for me during the few weeks we were together. Plus, I'm still not sure if I'm over him.

"Shut up," I whisper. "Don't talk about that."

Alex doesn't open his eyes and instead laughs quietly. "Aw, did I hurt your feelings? Are you mad that Cam lied to you? Jealous that he liked his best friend all along?"

My teeth are digging into my lip as I try not to cry. My hands start shaking as I hiss, "I said don't talk about it, you son of a bitch."

"Daniels, I've seen your face every time they're together, every time Cam acts like he's the happiest guy alive just because of Travis. You need to get over it. You're fucking pathetic."

Using as much force as I can muster, I shove him off of the desks so that he falls to the hard linoleum floor, and then I shout, "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about! Go to hell!"

Alex stares up at me in surprise, his mouth slack with shock. "Parker-"

"Save it, asshole. I don't give a shit about what you have to say."

And it's only when I've safely retreated to the other side of the classroom when I realize that he actually used my first name.

A/N: Hey guys! I'm back with Parker's story! For those of you who just stumbled across this, this is the companion story to my story The Band Geek's Dictionary. However, this can stand alone, so don't disregard this just because it's a sequel!

So...this is a taste of what the breakup with Cam did to the inner workings of the mind of our poor little new protagonist. Don't be mad at Cam! He's happy, and it was all for the best....Because Parker will get a happy ending.  Yay.

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