Love Triangle Between the Two of Us
Rated M, for reasons in later chapters.
Yaoi, maleXmale relations... don't like, don't read
The stairwell door slammed behind Colin, and he fallowed the echo down the hallway. The unusual silence was interrupted by his lonely footsteps; the halls of the all-boys high school dorm always had voices coming from open doors. He passed one open door, and with a glance, he noticed no one was inside. Colin caught his own reflection, cast off a mirror in the room. Looking at him was a five-foot-ten, seventeen year old in his junior year of high school. The chestnut hair had been cut at the end of summer and was already grown past the tips of his ears. It served as small relief against the growing cold.
The echo of voices caught Colin's attention and he continued his walk. Five boys from his floor were standing in the hall; two belonged to the vacant room Colin had passed. The group was whispering outside Colin's door.
Jam looked away from the door to see Colin approaching, and gestured for Colin to come closer. The tall, lanky boy of Colin's age with short black hair looked as if there was a fascinating bug on the door, and if any one spoke too loudly, it would fly away.
Colin matched Jam's volume. "What's going on?"
Jam gestured to the door and whispered. "It's your new roommate, the transfer student."
"I thought he wasn't coming until tonight."
"He just got here, like… ten minutes ago." Said Charles, Jam's room roommate. He was also tall and lanky, but he was topped with sandy blond hair and freckles.
"So why is everyone crowding around the door?"
"Well ah…" Charles trailed off and another one of the boy's blushed. "It's nothing really."
With a grin, Jam patted Colin on the back, and the group left to their designated rooms, leaving Colin to ponder at his door.
What could be so fascinating about a transfer student?
His new roommate was the same age, same grade, and -- as far as Colin knew -- he wasn't an exchange student.
Opening his door he saw two beds, two dressers, two desks, a window and a mirror. His room was the same as he'd left it that morning, with the exception of new cardboard boxes carrying his new roommates luggage. It was nothing out of the ordinary; books, sheets, clothes…
A figure leaning over one of the desk stood full length to see Colin as he walked through the door. It took Colin several seconds to register the figure into his mind…
1st second: roommate
2nd second: Is that a girl?
3rd seconds: No, no that's a boy
6th second: Oh shit, I'm staring
Staring back at Colin was a slender boy about five-foot-seven. His neatly trimmed hair was a silk blond that grew past his ears to frame his face. And the boy's features were soft enough to make him look young and feminine.
Colin finally understood why his dorm-mates had found the newcomer so fascinating; in an all-boys school, this was as close as you got to a girl. A very attractive girl.
Reminding himself he wasn't gay, he tore his eyes away from the slim, well-dressed figure to look back at the face. Large brown eyes looked nearly black as they glared coldly at Colin.
Forcing an awkward grin, Colin stammered before introducing himself. "I'm Colin, your roommate."
"Haruto." The boy gave his name flatly before returning to the task of organizing his desk.
"Ah, oh… cool…"
"You just got here right?" Colin tried to remain friendly towards the cold response. "Did you get a chance to see around the school?"
"Do you want me to give you a tour?"
Pulling out a red, spiral notebook from a bag, Haruto ignored Colin's presence and flipped through the pages. Finding the page he wanted, he read for a few moments then scowled as if the writing frustrated him. Searching further into his bag, Haruto pulled out a pencil. Putting pencil to paper, he scribbled down a few lines then put everything inside his desk. He then moved to the dresser where he began to organize his clothes. Still silent.
Colin sighed to himself. Well at least he'd given it a try. His new roommate was like a Hot Pocket that hadn't cooked right; hot on the outside, solid ice on the outside.
"He's that bad, huh?"
"Yeah," Colin swallowed the last piece of chicken, then with a furrowed brow, he looked up from his dinner plate at Jam. "And I'm going to have to live with that for the rest of the year."
"Maybe he's just shy." Jam offered.
"Shy?" Colin brushed the idea away. "He can't… doesn't even attempt to string two words together. And it's not like he blushes or anything; he looks pissed."
"Hm. Yeah when Charles introduced him to me, I was shocked at his lack of people skills."
"He knew Charles?"
"No not really. Charles was the one who was supposed to show him around the school. But Charles said he flatly rejected the offer and asked to be shown to his room."
Colin sighed and Jam continued. "Did you say anything else to him? Do you think he doesn't like you?"
"I told him I was going to dinner and offered for him to come along."
"But he said no?"
Colin almost laughed. "Are you surprised? I guess we could just keep ignoring each other; it will be like having a silent ghost living with me."
Colin returned to the room and opened the door. The light was off. Reaching over, he flipped on the switch. Stirring in the room caught his eye and he immediately shut the light off.
Haruto was already in bed. The red letters on his clock red 9:15. What's with him going to bed so early?
But Colin still had homework to do. He stepped quietly toward his own desk and switched on the dimmer light. Sitting down, the desk chair gave a sudden squeak. He looked back at Haruto to see he was still sleeping.
The figures and symbols on the worksheet shown dimly in light. Colin dug his pencil eraser painfully into his temple to keep himself concentrating.
Maybe I should fallow his example and turn in early.
As soon as the thought crossed his mind, the bed creaked behind him. Colin turned to see Haruto sitting on the edge of his bed having pulled off the covers. He rubbed his eyes while letting out a small yawn.
"Oh sorry." Colin offered in an unnecessary whisper. "I didn't mean to wake you."
Haruto turned to stair blankly at Colin for a few moments. Colin was surprised to see that, though drowsy, the dark brown eyes weren't gazing at him coldly like before. Then something happened, surprising Colin even more; a soft grin passed over Haruto's face. "Oh, no problem."
Colin watched in amazement; it was like a different person. The cold shell of a boy had been replaced by a personality that matched the outside. Cute.
Haruto slid from the bed and move toward the desk, turned on the desk lamp, and pulled out the red notebook Colin had seen earlier. As before, Haruto flipped through the pages and stopped to read only briefly. Instead of a frustrated scowl, his face seemed almost disappointed. He took the pencil and wrote a few more lines. While doing so, the corner of his lip curved -- only a twitch away from a mischievous grin. Instead of setting the notebook back in the desk as before, he tossed it carelessly to the side. Colin watched as it hit Haruto's bed then slid off to fall between bed and wall. Haruto didn't bother to retrieve it. Instead he turned toward Colin with a grin. In return Colin jumped slightly, wondering if he'd been caught watching.
"I'm hungry." Haruto said almost cheerfully. "Is the cafeteria still open?"
"No, it closes at 9:30." Colin was a little hesitant to speak as if the wrong word would shift Haruto's personality back. "But there is a vending machine, down the hall by the bathrooms."
"K. Great. Thanks."
With a skip creeping into Haruto's step, he turned and left the room. Colin sat alone in the room. Bewildered.
"Haruto?" Colin wondered if he should try shaking him. "Haruto."
The blond stirred and twisted his body toward the voice. Opening his eyes, he immediately saw Colin, and his body stiffened. Colin took a step back. Haruto's eyes shifted around the room and his body relaxed again.
"Sorry." Colin offered. "But it didn't look like you were going to wake up any time soon, and classes are starting in about twenty minutes."
Without a response, Haruto swung from his bed and began to gather up his clothes. Colin finished dressing himself, but waited instead of going ahead. Colin fiddled with his bag as if he still had stuff to gather. Haruto didn't know the school layout, and though he wasn't about to ask for help he probably didn't know the way to their homeroom.
When Haruto was dressed and had his bag ready, Colin noticed him looked inside his desk. The dark eyes were back as he looked into the empty desk that had once held the notebook. Turning from the desk he headed for the door with Colin just behind him.
They walked in silence. Colin confirmed the Haruto from last night was not the one this morning. The chipper smile had changed back to the cold front. Maybe Colin had dreamt it. The happy Haruto had left that night and hadn't come back till after Colin had gone to sleep.
Haruto walked a step behind Colin as they weaved thought the halls. Colin had been right; Haruto was fallowing him, unsure of where to go.
When they arrived at class, everyone watched Haruto in curiosity. Several classmates let their gazes linger on Haruto. There wasn't a very large population of homosexuals at the school, but Colin could tell Haruto was unknowingly growing a fan club.
During break, several students attempted to talk to him, but after cold or nonexistent responses, they soon gave up. When lunch came, Haruto disappeared from sight. Colin didn't mention the odd mood swings to anyone – there was a chance last night was a moment of insanity on Colin's part.
Clothing was spread across Haruto's bed. Instead of neat piles as Colin would have expected; Haruto's clothes were twisted together as if they'd been carelessly tossed aside. Watching from the doorway, Colin saw Haruto shuffling through his belongings, bags and boxes, in search of something he couldn't find. Haruto's side of the room was torn apart. Without a word, Colin crossed to his desk and attempted to mind his own business. It didn't work out; between problems in his homework, he glanced over to see the boy shuffle through areas three times over.
What was he searching for?
Colin recalled the red notebook he'd seen Haruto use. Had he forget where he'd tossed it? As far as Colin had seen, Haruto hadn't checked behind the bed.
Colin watched from the corner of his eye. Haruto tossed a jacket on his bed, which caused a sock to slide over the edge and fall between bed and wall as the notebook had last night.
"Your sock fell." Colin said it before he'd noticed he had. He realized it was a confession that he'd been watching Haruto, but it was too late to stop now.
Haruto looked at him, his eyes cold but questioning.
"Off the bed." Colin continued. "It fell between the bed and wall."
Haruto pulled the bed slightly from the wall and reached down. First he pulled out a sock… then the notebook. Relief crossed his face. Colin could have been mistaken, but he thought he heard Haruto mumble something sounding like a 'thank you.'
Ignoring the jumble he'd created, Haruto sat at his desk and opened the notebook to the center. The room was well lit, and Colin could see a small blush form on Haruto's face as he read. Then he scribbled a few lines before returning the notebook to its rightful place in the desk. When everything else was organized back into place, Haruto left.
"Are you eating?" Jam let himself into Colin's room. Haruto had been gone for three hours. "It's almost nine."
"No I'm staying here for now."
Colin shrugged. He didn't want to tell Jam he was waiting for Haruto. The boy confused Colin and he wanted to figure him out. Maybe if he waited he would see the happy-Haruto… but that was a slim chance…
Jam continued. "Lawson's having poker in his room. Chips and stuff if you're hungry."
He waited as Colin thought about it. Giving up, Colin pushed himself from his desk.
What had he expected to see anyway?
Four sat around the small table squished in the small room. Five piles of poker chips waited untouched and a deck of cards waited to be cut.
"Where's Nathan?" Charles asked while leaning back in his fold-out-chair.
Lawson shrugged his broad shoulders. "Donno, he should be back any minute."
Lawson was the shortest of the boys, five foot 5 and a half. Over the years his strawberry brown hair had changed to a dusk blond and his not-so-slim figure had expanded slightly to accommodate his weakness for Hostess products.
The four boys waited in silence, each itching to start the game. An unspoken agreement was passed through eye contact that if he wasn't back soon, they were going to start.
In the process of Jam reaching for the deck, the door swung open. Broad shoulders came through the doorway, black short hair and tree trunk like limbs. Nathan came in with a large plastic bag swinging from his grasp; chips and canned soda threatened to spill onto the floor. His face was red -- one would assume from walking outside -- and he was grinning.
"Hey look what I picked up." He said, coming into the room. Instead of indicating the bag in his hand, he pointed towards the figure behind him. "I found the transfer sleeping in the mess room."
It was Haruto. Jam gave Colin a sideways glance indicating surprise, but Colin was busy entertaining his own amazement; Haruto was standing just inside the doorway, grinning at everyone.
The mysterious happy-Haruto was back.
Setting the food aside, Nathan gathered a bag of chips for Haruto, while Haruto set an extra chair between Colin and Lawson.
Charles dealt out the cards: two each. Colin noticed Haruto look curiously at the cards he was given. Lawson placed one chip in the center of the table, and they waited for Haruto to put out his chips.
"Put out two of those chips." Colin instructed.
"Why." Haruto asked blankly.
"Because you're big-blind."
"What are you?"
"That's not fair." Haruto said with a slight pout in his lip.
"Well, I'll be big blind next round. Haven't you played Texas hold 'em before?"
Haruto looked at Colin hesitantly. "I thought we were playing poker."
The other guys laughed and Jam nearly chocked on his soda. "It's a type of poker."
Haruto looked back at his cards then set out two chips. More chips were added to the pile. Everyone was in. Then Colin watched as Charles placed three cards face-up on the table.
Five of hearts… queen of clubs… two of spades.
Colin looked back to his hand: four of hearts and jack of spades. He cursed silently in his head; he wasn't going to take his chances. Lawson raised the bet by placing two more chips into the pile, and then everyone looked to Haruto. Mimicking Lawson, he moved two chips away from himself. Colin folded. Jam matched the bid… Nathan folded… Charles matched the bid. A round of calls passed through those still in the game and Charles added another card to the table: Ace of spades. Lawson pushed four chips forward.
Haruto looked as if he was about to add his own chips, but then he paused, his hand hovering above his chips. Pulling his hand back, leaned close to Colin and whispered, "should I bid?"
"What?" Colin turned to face him.
"Should I bid?" He asked again, holding his cards for Colin to see: the queen of spades and the queen of hearts.
Colin tried to keep his face blank. And whispered back, "have you never played poker?"
Haruto shook his head. His big eyes looked up at Colin, unsure and slightly timid.
"Bid." Colin whispered.
Haruto did as he was told and the game continued. Charles folded, but the other three continued. The bid was raised several times, but Haruto remained uncertain; only doing what Lawson did.
The cards were set out: Lawson's ace pair, Jam's three fives, and Haruto's three queens.
"I won?" Haruto was still confused, not understanding why the other two were defeated. "But don't aces beat queens?"
Colin couldn't help but laugh, as he scooted the modest pile toward Haruto. "Not when it's three against two."
"But I only had two."
"The one on the table counts too."
"Oh." Haruto spoke with realization. Then a large grin passed over his face and he turned it toward Colin. "This is kinda fun."
The night went on. Empty cans lay on the floor and the half eaten bags of chips were forgotten, resting next to one of the beds. Haruto had gradually learned the rules of the game (with a little help from Colin) and he'd accumulated nearly a third of all the chips (to the surprise of Colin). Haruto's chip pile was nearly matched by Jams, and Colin's pile was dwarfed between the two. At least he'd lasted this long; Nathan had already run out of chips.
Lawson yawned and stretched. "Last round, all in."
"What does that mean?" Haruto asked Colin.
"It means, no matter what hand you get, you have to bet everything."
Despite any protests Haruto had about giving up his chips, the hands were passed out. Colin noticed Haruto's poker face; it was an obvious frown.
"Do I really have to bid?" He asked pathetically.
All the cards were set out, and Colin was happy with his high straight. It beat an ace high, a two pair, and low straight. Then Colin looked to Haruto's hand. Colin realized Haruto didn't understand what a flush was.
"Really? I won?"
Haruto hardly believed the random scatter of cards counted toward something.
"Here." Nathan passed him a small stack of five lime green tickets, as did the rest and Colin.
"What's this?" Haruto asked.
Colin looked to Nathan accusingly. "You didn't tell him we were gambling?"
Nathan shrugged. "I told him it was poker. I thought it was assumed."
Jam explained. "They're dessert tickets. We always gamble with these, the winner gets all."
"Yeah, you trade them in for dessert at the cafeteria."
Haruto's eyes brightened and he looked into his hand. "Chocolate pudding?"
Colin caught himself gazing too intensely at Haruto. Unnerved, he stood up suddenly. "Okay. Time for sleep."
He bustled out of the room, Haruto fallowing shortly behind.
"Night." Haruto called cheerfully behind him.
I'm not crazy. This is weird.
They got back into the room and they changed into their pajamas. Colin made sure to face the corner of the room – if he was going to unconsciously start looking at Haruto, it better not be while they were half naked. "Are you going to stay up longer, or should I turn off the light?"
Haruto didn't respond. When Colin was dressed once again he saw Haruto's back. Clothed. His head was bent toward the red notebook he was writing in.
Colin tried again "Haruto?"
"Huh?" Haruto turned his head, realizing he was being spoken to.
"Do you want me to turn out the light?"
"Oh, are you going to be going to sleep? Yeah you can, I'll use my desk light."
"Okay." Colin moved to the light switch but stopped when Haruto spoke again, but he didn't understand what he said. "What'd you say?"
"You don't have to say 'Haruto', call me 'Haru'".
"Ah-o-okay…" Colin wasn't sure what to think. Haruto… or Haru… was smiling at him genuinely, but Colin could not imagine calling the stone faced Haruto 'Haru.' "K. Well… night."
"Wait, can you do me a favor?"
Haru held out the hand full of tickets. "Can you hold onto these for me?"
"Hold on to them? What for?"
"Well…" Haru's eyes twitched away from Colin as he thought for a moment. "Just in case… I have a tendency to loose things."
"Sure… I guess."
Haru stepped toward him grinning. "Thanks."
He handed the tickets to Colin, and their hands brushed. Colin fought himself to not jerk away from the slight touch; it had taken him by surprise. Looking at the grinning face, Colin felt a blush crawling onto his cheeks and he turned away to keep Haru from seeing it. "N-no problem."
Colin stuffed the tickets into his school bag, flipped of the light switch, and threw the covers over his blushing face.
Maybe Colin was the weird on.