Just Because

Chapter 35: You Smell Manly

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Alpine East High School class of 2010!"

I stand up and cheer along with everyone else on the lawn, almost wanting to cry when I see the graduates throw their caps in the air. I can see Alex in the front row, his valedictorian sash nearly slipping off his shoulders when he leans over to give Jason a one-armed hug.

I glance over at Lauren, who's sobbing in the arms of a very puzzled Shane. He pats her back awkwardly and then looks over her shoulder.

"Here comes Alex," Shane calls to the rest of his family. "I wonder who he'll hug first- his crying mother or his boyfriend." He smirks at me, and then laughs as I jump five feet in the air when Alex wraps his arms around my waist from behind.

"Alex!" I squeal, turning around and flinging myself in his arms. "Congratulations! I'm so jealous you're done with high school."

Alex kisses me quickly and laughs. "Thanks, baby."

"Stop hogging my son, Parker!" I hear Lauren snap good-naturedly, before she nearly shoves me out of the way and starts gushing tearfully over Alex. "Oh, honey! I'm so proud of you! And your speech was beautiful! Did you write it on your own?"

Alex shakes his head and hugs Lauren tightly back. "Nah. Parker helped." He smiles over at me and winks. "He wrote all the cheesy parts."

I roll my eyes at him and sigh. "Whatever, nerd. You know you liked it."

Once Lauren is done crying over Alex, he moves on to tentatively hug Shane. Their relationship is slowly rebuilding itself, and it's gotten to the point where they can talk without bringing up their biological mom. I'm pretty proud of Alex for being so willing to reconnect with his brother.

After that awkward hug, Alex shakes hands with his father and shares a brief, gruff hug with him. Oh, men are so funny. Can't touch each other for more than two seconds.

Then, Chloe jumps in. And that's when everything changes for me.

"My baby brother is all grown up!" she exclaims, clutching at Alex. "Next thing you know you'll be out of college and moving around the country after you get your dream job, and then you'll get married to some stud and try to adopt kids and buy a house and-"

"Chloe, stop it." The worry in Alex's voice causes me to look up at him rather than stare right through him. I don't know why I could expect myself to hide the hurt in my eyes from him. I can't hide anything from him anymore.

Chloe claps a hand to her mouth and stares at me fearfully. "Oh, God, I'm sorry!" she yelps. "I'm gonna...go talk to Shane. Yeah."

She scurries off, and I find myself watching her retreating form as the dejection overtakes me. Does she...think Alex and I aren't going to last?

I swallow hard and dig my nails in my palms. I guess she has a point. Alex and I aren't going to last forever. I mean, he's already a year ahead of me, and even if we stay together next year, he's going to end up doing internships and traveling and meeting guys....And he wants to be a lawyer. There's not much to do around here, so he'll probably end up moving out to some big law firm. I bet staying near his boyfriend isn't worth sacrificing his dream.

God, what the fuck am I thinking? A few sentences from Chloe, and I'm already psyching myself out? No. No, Alex and I have to stay together. We have to.

Alex takes a few steps towards me, and before I can turn away he pulls me into a hug and murmurs, "Parkie, baby, are you okay?"

I nod shakily and face him a forced smile. "I'm fine."

Alex doesn't believe me, but he can't question me further because Lauren gathers everyone up to plan out Alex's graduation dinner.

"So, Maggiano's at six?" she asks, looking around at the group. "Anyone got a conflict?"

I awkwardly stare down at my shoes. Alex senses my discomfort and interrupts his mom to ask, "Parker can come, right?"

All eyes zoom in on me, and I try desperately to avoid Chloe's apologetic gaze. Lauren nods cheerfully.

"Of course. Parker's already basically part of the family," she says with a smile. I cringe and smile back at her. I can feel Alex's arms tense around me, too.

Part of the family.

I wish.

Eventually, the crowd thins out, but Alex holds me back. There's an all-too-familiar longing in his eyes, and even though we're both hardly looking at each other out of awkwardness from earlier, he nuzzles his nose against my cheek and breathes, "Wanna go back to my house?"

I frown up at him, instantly knowing what that sentence really means. "Aren't your parents gonna be there?"

Alex sighs. "Is your place free?"

"Nope." His hands are traveling all over my body now, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to focus. "Mom and Megan are home."

Alex groans and then starts tugging me in the direction of the parking lot, just behind his parents. "Damn it...Mom! Dad!" he calls, looking apologetically at me. "Sorry if this is awkward, baby, but I was watching you during the entire ceremony and I'm not fucking waiting till after dinner to have you."

Before I can ask what he's about to do that'll embarrass me, we catch up to his parents and he asks, "Could you guys, like, all go over to Chloe's or something until dinner so I can have the house?"

Jeff coughs awkwardly and pats Lauren on the shoulder, leaving her to deal with her horny son.

"Alex," she sighs, looking pointedly between the two of us. I try to hide my face in my free hand as Lauren continues. "All right, fine. But only because it's your special day." She slaps him on the shoulder and then marches off to her car.

"Alex," I moan, banging my forehead against his shoulder. "Did you have to do that?"

"Parker," he whines, mimicking my voice. "Come on. Mom just said it's my special day. That means I get whatever I want. And this is what I want."

"Pervert," I mutter. "Fine. Let's go."

Psh, like I'd ever turn down sex with Alex.


Not ten minutes later, I have Alex stripped down to his boxers, and I'm straddling him on top of his bed. All the windows in the room are open, and his bedroom door isn't even closed, and I can't help but feel a little nervous that his parents will end up coming home unexpectedly or that someone will hear us from the street.

My erection, however, is forcing me to ignore my worries as I grind down against Alex. His hands are tight on my hips, urging on my movements and making the pressure a little harder every time our cocks brush.

"Where the hell do you get your boxers, Parker?" Alex asks, his eyes fixated on the front of my boxer-briefs where one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is wielding his sword on the fabric.

I laugh and scratch my nails down his chest, brushing my thumbs over his nipples as I do so. "Kids aisle in Target, babe," I tell him. "It's only 'cause my ass is small, though."

As I mention this, Alex's hands drift back to my ass, slipping below the fabric and squeezing me. I moan softly when his finger slips a little lower and rubs against my hole. Oh, fuck fuck fuck, yes.

But however appealing getting fucked right now may be, I've been wanting to try something a little different than what Alex is used to doing with me. I don't know if he'll let me, but it's worth a shot.

I bite my lip in an attempt to calm my nerves and roll my hips down against Alex's again. "If I wanted to fuck you, would you let me?" I ask curiously.

Alex shrugs and groans a little. "Sure."

"So can I?"

Alex blinks a little and shakes out of his pleasured daze, his eyes widening. "You...you mean...right now?"

"If you're up for it," I say with a nod, dragging my tongue over his neck. I balance with my hands on either side of his head, and then I lean forward so that my lips are almost brushing his so I can whisper, "I want to fuck you, Alex."

His eyes widen and his jaw drops. "Uh...."

I burst out laughing. "Oh my God, that was priceless. I'd never be able to seduce someone." I accidentally snort a little as if to emphasize how much I suck at being seductive.

"So you were kidding?" Alex asks, raising an eyebrow. "You don't want to top?"

I shake my head and smirk. "I never said that. So, I'm going to steal one of your lines: Just relax, baby."

Alex gasps when I slip his boxers down and then wrap my hand around his cock, using my other hand to open the drawer where he keeps our bottle of lube. Before closing the drawer, I notice that he tossed out the condoms we kept in there. I guess we really are done with the protected sex bit.

"You look nervous," I murmur, sliding his boxers down and setting the lube down next to me. He kicks the boxers off and shakes his head.

"No. Just surprised that you want to do this." He coughs a little and mutters, "I, uh, I've actually been kinda curious about what it's like to be on the bottom."

"Well, good." I press my lips to his neck before biting down gently, licking at the hickey that I'm sure is going to be there. He moans in appreciation when I start to suck on his neck, nipping at every inch of tan skin.

"Just, uh, be gentle," he groans, bucking his hips up when I start to stroke him slowly. "I mean, I've never even tried fingering myself. I don't know what to expect...."

"Don't worry, baby," I reassure him softly, kissing my way up to his jaw. "You'll like it."

My palm drags up and down, up and down, and I tighten my fist around him a little, which earns me a sharp intake of breath from him.

"Feel good?" I chuckle into his ear. He just nods, and I lick the shell of his ear. "I know something that'll feel even better."

I sit back and settle myself between his legs, and he gets the idea, bending his knees and drawing his legs up. His eyes are comically wide when I drag my fingertips down the underside of his cock and then lightly rub his entrance with one finger.

"Holy shit," Alex gasps, sitting up at lightning speed. I sit back and cock my head to the side curiously.

"You okay?" I ask, feeling a twinge of fear that he might want to stop. Which would suck, because I'm actually getting pretty pumped up about this.

"Shit, yeah. Just...fuck, that felt weird. Good, though." He leans back on the pillows again, spreading his legs a little wider for me. "Now go."

"Sheesh, demanding," I mumble, kissing his collarbone.

He pushes on my shoulders and growls, "Damn it, Parker, if you don't do something, I'll finish it myself."

"Okay, okay."

I pick up the lube and squeeze a little bit out onto my index and middle fingers, swallowing nervously and lowering my fingers down between his legs. Alex watches me carefully as I rub the lube onto him, circling my middle finger around his entrance. His breathing quickly becomes unsteady.

"Okay?" I ask softly, squirting a teensy bit more lube onto my index finger and poising my finger to enter him. Alex nods, and I nudge my finger past the tight rings of muscle.

Alex's whole body jerks at that first sensation, and he groans, "Fuck, Parker."

"Um...." I stare up at him, not sure what to do. Does that mean I'm supposed to keep going? Or does he want me to wait?

Another jerk of his hips and a groan of "damnit, Parker, go" tell me that the former is correct. I push my finger deeper inside of him, feeling the damp skin and tightness draw me in farther and try to push out the intrusion at the same time. I curl my finger slightly, pressing against him, and he hisses.

"Ungh, Parker," he moans breathily, arching up off the bed slightly and spreading his legs even wider. "More. Please."

I nod nervously and try to slide my middle finger next to the first finger, stretching him a little wider and closing my eyes when the heat clamps around my digits. Another loud moan spills out of Alex's throat, and he starts to move his hips a little, riding my fingers almost desperately. Wow. I've never seen him acting this...needy.

Judging by the way he's enjoying this, I might have to fight with him if I ever want to bottom again.

"Fucking shit, Parker," Alex growls. "You've been hogging all the good stuff."

I laugh and lean forward a little, running my free hand down his arm and tracing the veins on his forearm as I kiss his jaw again.

"Are you ready?" I ask. It doesn't usually take too long to stretch me, since we've already done it about a million times, but it's Alex's first time even getting fingered and I don't want to hurt him. But I guess it doesn't matter. He's a big boy. He can handle it.

Alex shakes his head, but then says, "Yes. No. I don't know. Whatever. Go."

"You sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure!"

"Okay, okay. Jesus...," I mumble, slowly sliding my fingers out of him and trying not to moan when I hear the low groan that falls out of his mouth. Alex grabs the bottle of lube from me and squirts a little into his palm, beckoning me closer and taking my cock into his hand.

I let my head fall back and allow my breathy moans to spill freely from my mouth while Alex slides his hand around my length, making sure there's enough lube that it won't hurt him. He's working magic with his hands, though, dragging his fingertips along at an agonizingly slow pace.

"You ready?" he breathes, leaning forward and pressing his lips to my collarbone. "'Cause I am."

I nod rapidly, and Alex takes that as his cue to settle down on his back again. I pause for a moment to figure out how this is going to work, and then nudge his legs apart and place one hand on his shoulder for balance. His skin is hot to the touch, just like his breath against my skin as I start to slide into him.

"Fuck," he gasps when I get in an inch. His hands are clenched on the sheets at his sides, and his knuckles are so white that I pause for a moment in case he's about to have a seizure or something.

"Are you-"

"Yes, goddamnit, Parker, I'm okay!" he snaps. "And I swear to God, if you don't fucking move-"

I laugh and move my other hand up to his shoulders as well, thrusting my hips forward a little to sink a bit deeper inside of him. It feels fucking unbelievable. It's so fucking tight, and I can hardly move, but the heat is sending delicious shivers up and down my spine and making it feel like I have to move or I might explode.

Alex groans. "Come on...fuck...." He lets go of the sheets, only to subject my hips to his death grip as he thrusts upward and pulls me forward so that I slide all the way into him.

"Shit, shit, shit," he pants, his nails making indents in my hips that are now going numb. "Fuck, that fucking burns!"

"Do you want to-"

"No, I don't want to fucking stop, I want you to fucking move!" Alex snaps, thrusting upward a little bit again.

I squeeze his shoulders to reassure him, and then I slowly draw back out a little and then back in. It's like a freaking tourniquet, and it's impossible to even move because he's just so goddamn tight. Fuck. I groan along with him and whimper when he slides his hand back down to my ass again, nudging the tip of one of his dry fingers inside of me.

"Alex!" I yelp, caught so off-guard that I jerk forward harshly, away from the unsuspected sensation.

Alex moans when our skin slaps together, and he grunts, "C'mon, baby. Do that again. You don't have to go easy on me. I want this, and I don't want it to be fucking gentle."

I look down at him worriedly, whimpering when he circles his finger inside of me.

"Fuck me, Parker," he groans one more time, bucking his hips upward. "Please, babe."

I gulp and then slide out of him before slamming back in, actually enjoying the way his moan sounds like it was wrenched out of his throat. His nails are painful on my hip as he helps me with the pace, making me pound into him every time he thrusts up to meet me.

"God, Alex," I breathe heavily. "So good..."

Alex gasps and lets his hand drop from my ass and drift around to his cock, which he starts stroking in time with my harsh thrusts. His green eyes are staring right into mine, his pupils dilated so much that the green is hardly even visible.

"I love you, Parker," he gasps out. "So fucking much."

I'm rapidly running out of energy, so all I can do is lean forward and kiss Alex to muffle my cry when I come inside of him. Like, inside of him. The thought of that is almost enough to get me up for a round two.

But unfortunately, after he comes, too, Alex can do little more than slump back on the bed and try to slow down his breathing.

"Holy...shit," he pants, and after I slide all the way out of him, I end up collapsing, too. "That was fucking incredible."

I laugh and curl up against his side, resting my cheek against his shoulder. "I don't think I've ever heard you swear that much before," I tease lightly, running my foot up and down his calf before tangling our legs together.

Alex drapes an arm over my waist and kisses the top of my head, snorting a little. "I couldn't think of any better way to get you to stop hesitating."

I stick my tongue out at him and slap his bare stomach. "I didn't want to hurt you," I softly remind him.

Alex doesn't reply to that. Instead, he tightens his arms around me and quietly asks, "What was up with you over at school, with Chloe?"

I pout up at him and say, "Alex, I just took your ass virginity. Do you have to bring up your sister now?"

Alex lets out a burst of laughter at my blunt statement, but then seriously asks me, "What's wrong?"

I close my eyes, defeated, and lay my cheek back on his chest again. "Do you...do you actually think we're going to last?"

My voice is shaky, and Alex sighs and tugs me a little closer. "Come on, baby. Chloe was just being a girl. She's too excitable."

I resist the urge to roll my eyes at Alex's pathetic excuse. "You know that's not true. I mean, if she doesn't think we'll last, what are the odds that we will?"

"What makes you think she wasn't talking about you?" Alex challenges instantly, his voice starting to become a little harsher.

That really throws me off course. Yeah, I love Alex, and I've considered what'll happen to us in the future, but even entertaining the idea that someone else thinks Alex and I could get married one day is...kind of terrifying.

Not like I'd complain if I married Alex.

"Be realistic, Alex," I force myself to say. "Do you honestly think we can make it that long?"

As soon as I say that, I find my legs untangled from Alex's, and I'm suddenly lying alone on the bed. Alex sits up and reaches for his boxers, not even looking at me once he slides them on and coldly retorts, "Don't you?"

"W-well...I...I guess...," I mumble, my ears turning red as I reach for my own underwear. "B-but it's just weird to think about, you know? I mean, I still find it hard to believe that you even like me at all. So as nice as the thought may be...I just don't know. It's...weird. Too much to think about right now."

Alex swallows and then nods stiffly, still not looking at me. "Yeah. Weird." He hesitates, meets my eyes briefly, and then sighs. "I'm gonna shower."

I flinch horribly when he slams the bathroom door behind him.

What the hell was that all about? Why is Alex so mad at me for saying that thinking about our future like that is weird? I mean, we've only been dating for five months, and even though it hasn't been that long, and I'd love for us to last forever, it just...isn't realistic.

I sigh and wait on the bed so that I can take a shower. I'm sweaty. And I guess I'll be going wavy-haired. Damn it.


Alex and I hardly talk on the way to the restaurant, and even though we're holding hands, it feels like the gesture is forced. Everyone at the table can tell that there's something wrong between us, but it's not like they can ask what the problem is because I'm not even sure.

Even when his parents tell him about his graduation present- a new motorcycle that he's been wanting since he just got his motorcycle license a week ago- Alex doesn't seem as excited as I thought he would be. He just seems kinda...down.

Chloe breaks one of many awkward silences during the night by showing off her wedding ring and gushing about the house that she and her fiancé Taylor are moving into after they get married. At the mention of the house, Alex abruptly stands up and excuses himself with a mutter of "restroom".

Once he's out of the dining area, the whole family leans forward and stares intently at me.

"Okay, what the hell is up with him, Parker?" Chloe asks. "You two have hardly said a word to each other all night, and every time I mention the wedding or the house he looks like he wants to puke."

I shrug and look worriedly in the direction of the bathroom. "I don't know what's wrong," I admit. "I think I said something to upset him, I just...don't know what. After graduation, what you said about him getting married and moving away and stuff kind of...hurt, so he tried to talk to me about it, but it got sort of awkward because it turned into this big 'how long are we going to last?' argument and I...."

I trail off pathetically and look down at my lap, feeling too queasy to take another bite of my pasta. I just blabbed everything to Alex's family. Why do I do these things? They're going to think I'm even more ridiculous than I already am.

But instead of thinking I'm ridiculous, Chloe claps her hands to her mouth and wails, "Oh, no...I think I know what's wrong."

"What?" I ask eagerly, leaning forward to hear better. "What is it?"

Chloe glances hesitantly in the direction of the bathroom, and then whispers, "I don't think he wants me to tell anyone, but...Alex was planning on asking you to move in with him next year. If you go to school near Stanford, that is."

I drop my fork, and it lands with a clatter on my plate. All I can do is gape at Chloe, my eyes wider than they've ever been.

Lauren's and Jeff's expressions match my own.

"He what?" Lauren demands.

"Move in with him?" I croak. "What...."

"Yeah," Chloe replies, looking almost tearful. "But if you two aren't sure if you're going to be able to stay together, that's probably why he's being all weird...he's been planning to ask you tonight for, like, a month and a half, and I bet he feels awful because he's afraid it'll fall through."

My hands are shaking, and I barely manage to control my voice enough to stutter, "He...he shouldn't...that's stupid, he knows how I...if he just asked me, I-I'd say yes...."

By now, I'm just uncontrollably rambling, and every member of the Barton family is just smirking while I convince no one in particular that Alex is being unreasonable.

If he wants me to move in with him next year, I will. I don't know why anything would stop me from doing that. He's my boyfriend and I love him, so there's no reason why we wouldn't be able to move in together and make it work unless I end up going to school too far away.

That's okay. I'll just have to make my admissions essays fucking amazing so I can get into Stanford. Because there's no way in fuck that I'll settle for community college just so I can stay with Alex. My love life isn't worth the embarrassment.

"Maybe I should go talk to him," I finally say, blushing a little when Chloe giggles and Jeff just sighs, rolling his eyes. I stand up unsteadily and then head in the direction of the bathroom. When I push open the door, though, Alex isn't there. I call out his name, but no one replies, and so I return to the lobby.

As I pass by the window, though, I see a familiar head of blond hair outside. I push open the door and walk over to the bench outside, sitting down next to Alex in silence.

He doesn't look over at me. He just keeps staring straight ahead as the cars pass by.

"Being all emo like this isn't the best for your skin, Alex," I finally say. "Your forehead is going to have permanent wrinkles. Ew. I don't want to have a wrinkly boyfriend."

Alex laughs hollowly and continues to stare straight ahead. "Well, it's a good thing you're not going to be with your wrinkly boyfriend for much longer, isn't it?"

That momentarily stops my heart, and for a split second I fear that he's going to dump me right here.

No. No, this can't be happening to me. The guy I'm in love with can't just dump me....What the hell did I even do? Why would he just dump me? Why does this always fucking happen? I can't deal with this again. I need Alex.

So, out of absolute terror that I'm about to lose the best thing that's ever happened to me, I blurt, "I'll move in with you."

Alex freezes, and finally, finally, he looks over at me.

"What?" he hisses. He doesn't look relieved or anything of the sort when I tell him that- he still looks pissed, and now he looks even more confused. It strikes me that maybe Chloe was wrong. Maybe Alex wasn't going to ask me to move in with me.

Great. Now I've made a complete fool of myself.

I swallow hard. It's my turn to look away. "Chloe said that tonight you were going to ask me to move in with you."

Alex clenches his jaw in his usual form of masculine embarrassment. He sighs heavily and mutters, "I can't believe she fucking told you. I made her swear not to tell anyone."

Relief floods my body when I realize that Chloe had her facts right.

"Well, we were all kinda confused when you just stormed out," I reply quietly.

"Do you not get how fucking hard it is to listen to my sister talk about her life when all I want is everything she has?" Alex snaps, clenching his fists on his thighs and glaring out at the sidewalk. "And back at the house, you made it sound like you don't even want to take this," he gestures wildly between us, "any further, so how the fuck do you think that makes me feel, Parker? Huh? 'No, Alex, I don't think we're going to last.' Yeah, that's fucking great."

"I never said that," I retort, fighting the strong urge to hit him. "And even if I made it sound that way, you know I didn't mean to hurt you. How the hell was I supposed to know you wanted to take it further and ask me to move in with you? I figured that you and I would just stay together as long as we can, but I didn't know you wanted more than just making it work."

Alex doesn't reply for a long time. Honestly, his big dramatic silences kind of piss me off, but I've apparently already made him mad, so I guess I should let him cool off.

"You've known all along that I want more than a casual relationship that ends after high school, Parker," Alex finally murmurs. "And I'm sorry if that's not what you want, but...."

"Come on, Alex," I interrupt, reaching over and taking his hand in mine. "I love you. Is that not good enough? And I'll move in with you next year. I would love to move in with you."

Alex laughs feebly, but his lightened mood cheers me up as well. "You're probably just saying that so I don't feel as fucking pathetic-"

"You're already fucking pathetic, baby," I tell him, scooting over and leaning my head on his shoulder. "Sorry to break it to you."

His free hand closes over our hands that are already clasped together. "You'll really move in with me next year?"

I tilt my head and kiss the closest part of his body, which happens to be right around his collarbone. "Of course. I love you."

Alex kisses the top of my head. "I love you, too. And thanks, baby. Seriously, you've got no idea how much this means to me."

"Just as long as you don't have any more tricks up your sleeve," I reply, laughing. "I can only handle so much drama in one night."

Alex's green eyes go wide and anxious. "I guess I should go return the wedding ring, then."

When I instantly sit straight up and open my mouth to start freaking out, Alex laughs more freely and kisses my forehead. "Kidding, babe. Even I'm not ready for that."

I roll my eyes and hug him. When I tilt my head to the side so I don't bang my nose into his neck, I catch sight of someone watching us from inside the restaurant. How creepy. I squint a little and realize that it's Chloe.

"Alex, Chloe's watching us," I sigh.

Alex groans and turns around, glaring at Chloe. She innocently pulls away from the window, wiping at the smudge where her nose was pressed. Alex flips her off and pulls me closer. I smile to myself and lean into his side, inhaling Alex's warm scent.

"Are you smelling me again?" Alex asks, his voice incredulous. "I don't get why you do that."

"Because you smell good, genius," I tell him, grinning more openly. "Mmm. Nice and manly."

"I smell manly?" Alex sounds genuinely puzzled. "Well. Okay then." He pauses, and then nuzzles his face into my hair. "You're cute, Park."

"Don't fucking start this again," I growl good-naturedly, giving Alex a pathetic shove.

He grins adorably and then simply wraps his arms around me tighter.

"Come on, you can't pretend it isn't true, you're so cute."

I sigh and give up the argument. I mean, really, why do I even try to protest? Everyone knows I'm irresistibly cute.

Besides, if that's what keeps Alex around, I'm not going to complain about having a sexy boyfriend.

The End


A/N: Not gonna lie, I cried when I finished this. For whatever reason, this story means a lot more to me than TBGD....And now it's over :(

Did anyone catch what I did there? At the end? With the "don't fucking start this again"? Yeah. That's the first line of the whole story. Oh, I'm so clever.

Also, it's Just Because's birthday! One year old...sniff.

Originally, I had planned to post the oneshot sequel-y thingy to this today, but it's not done because the plot totally makes no sense now. So, I'm trying to rewrite it. Anything you guys want to see happen in the oneshot? Alex gets a new tattoo in it...much to Parker's dismay.

So, keep an eye out for that story, and I'm also going to be posting another new one once I make some headway with Confessions of a Maraschino Addict.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your support throughout this story- even the lurkers who read it and don't review. I can see you, you know. I get alerts when you add it to story alert ;) But it's okay, I forgive you.

Once again, thank you all a billion times :D

So, for the last time: view and review! (especially if you never have!)