If you are a hobo, a doctor, a Russian mobster, an old car, a person who despises stereotyping, or a guy with a three-lettered name, you might be offended. If not, enjoy. Warning: Almost considered a crack!fic.
He paces around my room. It's a habit of his, really. The pacing. He does it when he's thinking, and when he's nervous, and sometimes, if he's not paying attention, when he's doing monologues. But I've trained him well, so he tries to keep his feet planted on stage, now. I am such a good assistant director. Plus also, the drama teacher totally wants in my pants, so she thinks I'm better than I obviously already am.
But back to Evan. I'm sitting on my bed, and he's pacing. Because today's National Coming Out Day. And he needs to tell his fucking parents, because they still think he's going to procreate with Julia McCauley, who was his last girlfriend.
This was, of course, all before I happened.
I say "I happened" like it was this big deal, like I'm a fucking hurricane that ransacked his life and changed everything irrevocably. Well. I mean. I did, but I didn't mean to say it like that. Obviously, Evan was a poor, sad, pathetic little child who thought the reason he used to like High School Musical was because he liked theater.
As opposed to Zac Efron glistening with fake sweat.
So I mean, Evan was the kind of guy who wasn't really in denial, necessarily, he was just kind of oblivious. It was almost sort of cute. The only thing that made it really not cute was that it allowed three of my ex-boyfriends to all take turns seducing him. Fucking jackasses. There's a reason why their status now starts with ex. (That's Latin for NOT ANYMORE.)
Anyway, so they stole this beautiful, naïve boy, and pretended they loved him like they pretended they loved me, and after that, shit—I was the only one who knew what he was going through, wasn't I? So it became "Jackson will you hold me when I cry" and "Jackson will you hold my hand and act like I'm a five-year-old because a bunch of douches just broke my heart, Jackson, and doesn't that just break yours" and all that bullshit-type jazz.
Not that he's like, a conniving creep or anything. He's sweet as homemade candy. And he's mine. So hands off, bitches. I kind of made it sound like he was manipulating me. He so wasn't, though. Well, I mean, I felt manipulated. But he didn't intend to manipulate me—he's a naïve little boy. We've been over this. He didn't really know what he was doing.
And damn, I'm a sucker for guys who don't really know what they're doing. Especially when they do it well.
Back to the pacing, though. He's just pacing and pacing and pacing, and he goes, "How'd you come out to your parents?"
I shrug. "I don't know. I think I was eight or so. I told my mom that Amanda Cooley tried to hold my hand at recess, and that I didn't want to hold Amanda Cooley's hand, because I wanted to hold Adam Lebowitz's hand."
Evan's eyebrows draw together. "Well, I can't just walk up to my parents and be like, Julia tried to hold my hand, but I'd rather hold Jackson Keller's!"
I can't help but smile. "Aw. You wanna hold my hand."
His worried expression drops. "Well, yeah. But we have more pressing matters, here, Jack!"
"Well, it's National Coming Out Day, dude. Just sit them down and tell them you have something to say, and they'll just guess."
"That's stupid. My parents aren't that intelligent, Jacky. They'll think I got Julia pregnant."
"Ew ew ew ew ew. No! No mentions of that… that woman's name under my roof, do you hear me?"
He smirks and parts my legs with his knees, nestling himself in between them. He puts his hands on my shoulders and licks my bottom lip. When he has me shuddering under him, he pulls back. "Jealous?"
"Um, a little?" I squeak. Dammit. I'm so cool and suave and sophisticated, I promise. This kid just turns me into a puddle of goo, what can I say?
He collapses against me, his knee making me a tiny bit awkward, but then I get over it. It's hard to get… um… hard… when you're dealing with a puppy dog. He just exudes sadness, and he's scared and nervous and doesn't know what to do, and what kind of person can think about sex when their precious significant other is exuding sadness, and is scared and nervous and doesn't know what to do? I put my arms around him and kiss the top of his head. "Look, Ev. Just tell them. It's going to be okay. They love you."
"I know, but I…"
"Baby, look at me." He raises his green, green eyes to meet mine. "I want to be with you. For a long time, okay? And we can't always be a secret from your parents. And even if you and I… if we, you know, break up, eventually… you're going to fall in love with another guy, and you can't keep him a secret from them, either."
"I know," he says in a small voice, cuddling closer to me. "But I'm so s-scared, Jack. What are they going to say? What are they—I… Jack, I don't think I can do this."
I kiss his lips softly. "No matter what you do, or what they say, I love you."
He bites his lip and nods. "Love you too."
"Look," I say. "If I didn't think that they'd love you no matter what, I wouldn't be telling you to do this."
"I know. You're right. Okay. Drive me over there?"
I kiss him quickly. "Of course."
It's sprinkling lightly when we get outside and head for my car. It takes a minute to start, and once we're rolling, the rain is pouring harder. We get about halfway to Evan's house when my car stops. Absolutely stops. Fuck. I climb out and open up my hood. Ugh, just my luck—my car is rather... er... old. And doesn't really do well in extreme wetness. Or extreme cold. Or extreme heat, either, actually. Or, well, in normal weather.
My point being that it's totally conked out. Just stopped running. Ceased to work.Evan gives me a frightened look— a look that says, "Jack, what the fuck, you finally convinced me to come out to my parents, and now your carisn't working? Really?" And I give him a look back that says, "You've metmy car, you knew this could happen, this isn't my fault."
"We should just go back to your house," he says quickly. "I don't have to tell them... it's all okay, I can tell them late—"
"NO!" I find myself leaning over him, quicker than lightning, to shut his door before he fully gets it open. "We're going to YOUR house! And you're TELLING your parents! And then I'm taking you out because I love you and you deserve it after driving yourself into a fucking mental hospital. So stop. I'm going to try to fix the car, and if I can't, we're calling repair, and if that takes longer than two hours, we're WALKING to your house! Do you hear me, Evan? DO YOU HEAR ME?"
"You're fucking insane," he mumbles.
"Yes. But. I'm yours,so doesn't that make it all better?"
He blinks his big green eyes at me. "Mmhmm."
So I go outside and of course it's pouring,and I open up my hood and I look, and WAIT!!! I am a stereotypical gay boy! What the fuck?!? I don't know anything about CARS! I like THEATER and WEARING SCARVES and piercing odd parts of my BODY! I can't FIX THINGS! Well, I mean, I could fix your hair... or your makeup... and I could probably stitch up a split seam or seven, but cars... are... a... no-no.
I hate stereotypes. Especially when I'm totally being one.
Well, at least I took the Kylie Minogue CD out of the player...
Lightning illuminates the sky and thunder cracks. Evan peeks his head out of the passenger window. "Jacky?"
"Oh, don't be a baby," I tell him, my hands on my hips as I examine my engine.
"It's really close, though, Jacky. Less than a mile."
"Calm down, Ev. I'll fix the car, and then we'll go to your house, and it'll all be ok—"
A bolt of lightning hits a tree about ten feet from where we are. "Jack!" Evan shouts, and I slam my hood down and absolutely run back to the driver's seat. I'm wet and shaking and freaked out because there must've been a bottle of alcohol on that bus-stop bench next to that tree, because it fucking just blew up and it's raining water and flame at the same time, and while, under other circumstances, that might seem pretty cool, it's totally fucking shit-your-pants scary. The sky lights up like high fucking noon, even when it's six at night and OH MY GOD.
Evan's almost crying, and I'm still shaking like the bunny in Muppets' Christmas Carol. But he leans over and hugs me, and kisses my cheek and says, "It's okay, you're okay, I'm okay. It's all okay."
Only then, we jerk violently back and forth. It's like OH-SHIT-1906-Status ground-shifting, here. Well. Not really. But it feels like, it, and this time Evan really does start crying, because natural disasters freak him out. I pull him into my seat, and he sits between my legs and leans back against my chest as he cries. I hold him tightly, and I almost don't notice when the tremors stop because of how badly he's shaking. There's maybe two seconds' worth of aftershocks before they fade for good.
We sit there a moment, him trying to find his breath and me trying to help him. His head leans back to my shoulder, and I kiss his hair gently. "I'm going to call triple-A," I whisper to him. He nods as I struggle to get my phone out of my pocket—only to find that the signal is down, probably due to the storm.
What's that saying, again? Anything that can go wrong, will?
We get out of the care after an exchange of "Oh, fuck"s, and we start walking to Evan's house, which really isn't that far away, but it's fucking wet and freezing. Goddamn. I mean, we're fucking California kids, for Christ's sake—we don't do well in less than fifty-five degree weather. He's shivering, so I put my arm around his shaking frame and pull him close to me. He giggles, because that's how utterly adorable he is, and we walk like this for about a block.
What's that saying? When you least expect it, expect it?
A man literally jumps out of the bushes. Evan screams like a small female. I just kind of jump. "You got cash?" the man is dirty. He's wet and dirty and gross and his hair is an absolute mess and I'm going to have hobo-themed nightmares for the rest of my life.
"Sorry," I say. "No." Evan curls closer into my side, and we keep walking.
"Bet you do!" the man suddenly screeches about ten paces behind us. "Bet you do, you faggot hustlers!"
Evan's fists clench—I feel his hand against my leg—but we continue to move.
That's when Creepy Hobo Man starts chasing us.
Now, I'm not an athlete. Theater, fashion, reading. That's me. But I'll be damned if I don't run like the fucking Russian Mob is on my ass. Evan's not far behind, but then he slips on the sidewalk. I stop, and can't do anything but stare as he falls, his leg bending underneath him in ways that legs really oughtn't bend.
I hear the crack as I see lightning, the rumble of thunder drowning out Evan's anguished cries. I rush back to him and fucking kick that fucking hobo in the nuts. He crumples, and I attempt to get Evan on his feet. It doesn't work. So I start shouting for help.
A big burly guy is just coming out of his house as my shouting starts. Lumbering over to us, he gives us one look and says, "I take you to hospital?" a Russian accent staining his voice.
"Yes, please!" I say desperately. We get into his car, where Evan moans incoherently. Not caring about the seatbelt laws, I lay his head in my lap and stroke his hair, telling him "Shh" and "it's okay."
Once we reach the entrance to the ER, the Russian guys takes one look at my thin frame and rolls his eyes. He picks up Evan like he's a Barbie doll and carries him inside. I hurry to keep up with his long strides.
We wait for half an hour before Evan finally gets help. Must be a busy night for the unlucky, I guess. I'm absolutely seething, though. Can't they see he's in pain? Can't they hear him whimpering and see him sweating, and feel the incurable WRATH that is MY ANGER??? I'm holding him tightly, and he doesn't even care that people are seeing us be Super Gay in public, because he leans against me, tightening his hold on my hand.
It's nine o'clock by the time his leg is declared broken—of course it was broken, shitheads, I could have told you that, and I'm not even a doctor! I'm just a stereotypical gay kid with a fedora! Just kidding. I left my fedora at home—and they've got a cast on him.
Our Russian man went home long ago, so now we're stranded at the hospital. Branded a fool. What will they say Monday at school?
Just kidding, I'm not that gay. Well. Yes I am. Er. Never mind, no one wants to hear about my man-crush on John Travolta. Ahem. Anyway.
I buy Evan some juice, and he drinks it while they're trying to find him some crutches.
"Can I sign it?" I ask. He gives me a look. "Sorry. Um. How're you feeling?"
He makes another face. "Feel like shit. Leg hurts. Dizzy. Think they gave me too many painkillers."
I laugh, and, being careful of his leg, hug him close. "I'm glad you're okay. Fucking hobo."
Evan laughs, too. "Does it not strike you as extremely hilarious that a fucking Russian mobster just drove us to the hospital?" He shakes his head and takes another sip of juice. "All this shit… it kind of makes you wonder, you know… what's going to happen next?"
What's that saying, again? Um, actually, I don't think that's a saying; I think that's a literary device. It's called foreshadowing.
On cue, a doctor comes over to us. "We're really sorry, but we were expecting a shipment of crutches last week. They, uh, never really… came. So we're out."
"How about a wheelchair?" I ask warily.
"Those are in short supply, and therefore reserved for paraplegics and the elderly. I'm really sorry. We could have someone help you down to your car, or you could wait for someone else to come pick you up, or…"
I glare at him. He backs away slowly. Good choice.
Oh my GOD. I hate these shitheaded doctors—what the fuck is this? Can't they see that my poor Evan is tired and cold and damp and broken, and his parents are hours away, at least, because they're on a date for the first time in like a century?
"I'll help you home," I tell him. "You can lean on me, we'll get there. We're closer now than we were where my car broke down."
He nods uncertainly. I don't blame him for being uncertain.
It's still raining, and we're trying to keep his cast dry by covering it with my raincoat. Only, now I'm totally freezing. But it's okay. It's for Evan.
We finally reach his house.
And my dear, sweet, lovely dumbass doesn't have his house key. Oh, Evan. "Oh, Evan."
"I'm sorry!" he says, sounding tearful as I help him sit on the porch step. "My parents were supposed to be home by now! I guess the storm…"
"It's okay, calm down." I kiss him quickly. "But I'd like my jacket back. Can I get a tarp or something for your cast?" I head toward the back gate.
He calls after me, "Yeah, there's one in the shed. But be careful of the—"
As I open the gate, something small, white, and furry whizzes past me.
Evan looks at me wide-eyed. "Dog."
We stare at each other for a moment. "Shit," I say. And then I rush at the fluffball. "Snuggles!" I shout.
"SNUGGLES!" Evan calls, too. "Here, boy! Come back, Snuggles!"
It takes me half an hour to catch the little shit—I mean, the little darling. I get him into the backyard, again, and bring the tarp to Evan. He smiles gratefully and removes my jacket as we get the tarp over his cast.
I put my jacket on, and then there is silence. For moments and moments, there is nothing but the fall of rain. Evan puts his head in my lap and eventually falls asleep—probably due to the various meds they put him on. I gently play with his silky blonde hair, running my fingers through it as he breathes. For the first time tonight, everything is calm and nice and beautiful.
You know, I didn't always love him. When I first met Evan, he was the kind of person I scoffed at—the kid who tried out for the musicals in the spring because their girlfriends told them to.
But I showed him a new world, a world of men. A world of theater and happiness, and also the joy that was NOT DOING EVERYTHING YOUR GIRLFRIEND SAID. He owed me. And then he betrayed me by dating three of the biggest douches in history—Tom, Sam, and Ken. Dumb, dumber, dumbest. And each time they broke him, who did he come crying to? That's right. Me. I think I hated him for it. But I couldn't help loving him, too. Eventually, I just asked him out. I know he'd say yes, because he trusted me. He trusted that I wouldn't hurt him. Evan just wanted to have someone, someone who wouldn't break him apart like the three-lettered-name guys did.
After a while, though, he actually fell in love with me. And when he told me so…
It was the best moment of my life.
And now his parents deign to show up. They see us under the porch light, and look confused. "Jack?" Evan's dad says.
"It's one-thirty in the morning, sweetie," his mother informs me. Like I didn't know.
"See, Evan forgot his keys, and he broke his leg, and once we got back from the hospital and you weren't here, I couldn't just leave him, because what if some creeper came by? He wouldn't even be able to run away, so—"
"He broke his leg?" Evan's father repeats sharply. "How?"
"We were running from a hobo," I mumble sheepishly.
"What happened to your car?" his mother asks.
"It broke down. And then my cell phone had no service and the side of the road was on fire and the hobo was chasing us, and Evan fell and hurt his leg, so a Russian mobster took us to the hospital and we waited a thousand years before they fixed his leg. Then they had no crutches and wheelchairs were only for old people, so I pretty much had to carry him here because of his leg and all the medication. And then Snuggles got out and I had to chase him down, and I didn't even have my jacket because it was on Evan's cast, and—"
"Jackson, sweetheart, breathe," Evan's mother instructs me. "Come on inside and dry off." She and her husband help Evan up and inside, and she tells me that towels are in the closet.
SO IS YOUR SON.
I go to the closet and kind of shift around inside, trying to find big, warm, fluffy towels like I know Evan would want.
And then the door closes.
What's that saying? When one door closes… shit. It's locked. From the outside.
I bang on the door. No one comes. Eventually, I hear Evan's sleepy voice ask, "Where's Jack?"
"Um…" his mother starts. "Oh my god! He's in the closet!"
I'M IN THE CLOSET.
Evan's dad opens the door, and I come out of the closet.
Psh. It'd be symbolic if I was Evan.
And now I'm sitting on their couch next to Evan, and his parents are across the coffee table from us. It's two o'clock in the morning on the day after National Coming Out Day, and Evan shouts, "I'm gay!"
His parents look at each other disconcertedly. "Uh, yes," his mother says slowly. "Aren't you dating Jack?"
Evan blinks. "You knew?"
His dad laughs. "How stupid do you think we are, Evan? What, have you been sneaking around this whole time because you thought we didn't know?"
"We were just trying to give you privacy—we thought you just didn't want to talk about it until it was more serious, or something."
Excuse me. It is VERY serious, thank you.
Evan leans into me. "I—wow. I fail." He's laughing, now, and his parents join in, sounding kind of relieved.
And even though I'm soaking wet and horrendously tired and my car's a failure and my boyfriend's parents always knew about our "secret" relationship, I start laughing, too. Because even after all that crap, I still have Evan. He's all mine. I turn to him and kiss his cheek. His dad smiles and his mom looks positively radiant. I find myself grinning, too. "Only you would come out the day after National Coming Out Day."
For the record, this wasn't really edited very well (read: at all) because I wanted to post it today, while it was still the day after National Coming Out Day. I got this idea like, last week, and I kept putting off writing it, and now I've only just finished it so I need to post pronto. So. If it's crap, I'm sorry. I'll edit it later, maybe. I just need to get it up now. Thanks to Daniel and Rachel, who helped me come up with all the crack!fic-like shit that just happened to these guys :)