A is for Aaron


Aaron was going to kill Brie, that best friend thing notwithstanding. Damn her and her stupid scheming ways. How could leaving him with the lead jock and a bevy of followers be good for him? Never mind that Jared was a family friend and hadn't been laughing at him. Probably.

With a growl, he dragged his hood lower over his eyes, his long legs eating up the way back to his house. He was a tall boy, with a build that leaned toward gangly. Hidden by his hood, his hair was a mass of dirt brown curls that he couldn't tame, no matter how much gel or wax he poured on them. His eyes, currently narrowed against the rain, were dark blue and, as far as he was considered, his only pleasant feature.

He made it to the quiet house – quiet because his mum and sister were gone for the weekend – and fumbled in his soaked jeans for his keys. Damn it, he really was going to kill Brie for this.

He finally managed to get the key in the lock and unlock the damn door. Shutting it behind him, he made his way up to his room, not bothering to turn on any of the lights. Once there, he set to work wriggling out of his wet clothes. He hated wet clothes and how they stuck to the skin, making him hop around like a headless chicken.

Finally free of stupid clingy wet clothes, he padded naked to the bathroom, spinning the tap for blessed hot water. "Thank god for modern conveniences," he sighed as steam began to fill the room. And, yes, he talked to himself, so the fuck what?

After his hot shower, with a towel wrapped around his hips, Aaron padded down to the kitchen. Brie – soon to be dead traitor that she was – had abandoned him before they'd been able to go to lunch and now he was starving. Luckily, there was left over Chinese in the fridge. Thank god for mums who always ordered too much take out in case one of their children was especially hungry.

Sticking the wooden chopsticks in his mouth, he stuck the Chinese in the microwave to heat it up. He'd just started the thing when the doorbell rang.

Brie.

Eyes narrowed, a frown forming around his chopsticks, Aaron strode to the front door, jerked it open.

And the chopsticks dropped to the floor as he stood, mouth agape, staring at Jared. What the hell? "You're not Brie."

Jared blinked, obviously startled. "No. I'm not."

Oh. Oops. Wrong thing to say. "Sorry. I thought that it was – never mind," he added at the weird look on Jared's face. God, would he ever stop putting his foot in his mouth? "Hi. How are you?"

"I'm…fine. Look, Aaron, I," to Aaron's surprise, Jared actually looked embarrassed, running a hand through his hair. And, by the way, it was gorgeous hair.

Jared was the epitome of Jock. He was tall, but not as tall as Aaron, who was near freakishly tall. He was just, well, tall and broad shouldered and buff, with a golden tan that, for some weird reason, lasted all year round. His hair was thick and fluffy looking and golden brown. His eyes were light hazel, so light they were almost clear. He was, in a word, Hot.

And he was saying something that Aaron had just missed because he'd been distracted by fluffy hair and general hotness. God, he was such a geek.

"What? Sorry," he added, remembering his mum's Rules for Proper Socialising. And, yes, his mum had made rules for him. That's how sad it was.

"I just asked you if you were pissed. About just now. I know Cade and the others were acting like total dicks and I'm sorry about it. We didn't mean to laugh at you."

Oh. So Jared had been laughing at him.

Aaron didn't know why it should hurt. Really. Come on, Jared was lead jock and everything. Wasn't it part of the job description to laugh at gawky, awkward, mouthy geeks like him?

But he and Jared had known each other for years. Since for as long as Aaron could remember. They'd never been particularly close but Aaron had counted Jared as a friend.

So. Yeah. It hurt.

Then he realised Jared was still talking. No, rambling more like. "And I'm really sorry about all of it. We really should have thought, but, well, thinking things through isn't exactly our –"

"You're shivering."

"Huh?"

Huh? Where'd that come from? Except, Aaron realised, Jared was shivering and it was because he was soaked. Like he'd been walking in the rain. Weird. "What happened to your car?"

"It's Jessica's," Jessica being Jared's sister, "turn to have it."

"Then you walked? Jeez, what are you insane? You'll get pneumonia or something. Get in!" Aaron shifted, giving room for Jared to enter, which he did.

"You walked in the rain," Jared pointed out.

"Yeah. Well. You're shorter than me!"

"What?"

God, what was wrong with him? There was dork and then there was Aaron Jeremy Fitzgerald. He was in a class all his own. A dork class.

"Nothing. Take off your clothes, stick them in the dryer. I'll go get you dry ones. You can borrow mine."

Jared flushed at that, for some weird ass reason. He waved a hand aimlessly in Aaron's direction, suddenly looking embarrassed. Which was totally cute but Aaron wasn't thinking that. Nope. Not thinking that.

"Maybe you should, er, get some clothes for yourself as well?"

"What?" Aaron looked down at himself and realised he was still wearing his towel. And just his towel. He hadn't even put on boxers. "Ah!" He flushed deeply, taking a couple of steps back.

Dork, geek, dork, geek.

"I'll go. Do that. As well." And with that he fled upstairs.

Once in the safety of his room, he took deep breaths, trying to calm himself. Fucking idiot geeky dork. With a groan, he slapped his forehead. Who the hell forgot they were only wearing a freaking towel?

Shaking his head, he grabbed clothes, tugged them on, hung up the towel before he forgot, and remember he should grab a towel for Jared. He did so, then he rifled through his clothes, looking for something that might fit Jared. God, why did he have to be such a skinny tall freak?

Finally, after finding a pair of too short sweatpants he'd thought he'd thrown away and a comfy shirt that didn't look too bad, he made his downstairs. Jared was in the kitchen, washing – chopsticks? Why was he washing chopsticks?

He glanced over as Aaron came in. "I saw these on the floor. You were – you dropped them when you opened the door. Since there's takeout in the microwave, I thought I should wash them."

"Oh. Uh. Thanks. Here." Aaron thrust out the clothes and towel in his hands.

"Thanks." Jared quickly dried his hands before accepting them. Then he began stripping. Right. Freaking. There.

Aaron was going to die of a heart attack.

Jared didn't seem to notice Aaron's little crisis, casually taking off his jacket and t-shirt, then wiping off with the towel. And he was talking. Did he actually expect Aaron to respond?

"Where's your mum and Katie? I thought I saw Katie's car."

Who?

Oh. Right. Mum and sister. Aaron couldn't believe he hadn't remembered. Talk about mind blank.

"They went to visit Auntie Alice for the weekend."

"And they left you here? Alone?"

Yeah, Aaron had had that same reaction when they'd told him. "Mum calls it a trial by fire. If I don't survive by myself this weekend, I never will and she won't let me go to college."

"Oh." Jared grinned as he undid his jeans, shucked them. "Hey, that's a good idea. Maybe I should put it to my mum."

"Right." Aaron looked away as Jared stepped out of his jeans. Don't hyperventilate. Don't hyperventilate.

"Uh." Aaron turned around, to find Jared with the towel firmly around his waist, holding his wet clothes. "What do I?"

"I'll go put them in the dryer," Aaron said hurriedly, then cleared his throat. There was tension in the air and he had no idea where it'd come from but he knew he should try put it out. Or dissipate it or something.

Small talk. Small talk was good.

"Um. Nice necklace. Where'd you get it?"

Jared's hand immediately went to the string of beads around his neck. Aaron had seen him wear it constantly and he was always playing with it. He looked surprised and sort of sad, which totally didn't make sense. Unless an ex-girlfriend had given it to him and he still liked her. Which did make sense but it hurt so Aaron wasn't thinking about it.

"You don't remember?"

"Huh?" What? Remember what?

Jared cleared his throat, still playing with the necklace, his other hand clutching the towel so tightly, his knuckles turned white. "You gave this to me, for my eighth birthday. It was just before your parents divorced."

He had? But he didn't – oh. Yeah. He locked on to those terrible few months, before his dad had moved out and his parents had finally divorced. He'd made the necklace himself, and given it to Jared during recess. The other kids had laughed at him for giving such a girly gift but Jared had just thanked him and immediately put it on.

"Oh. Oh. Yeah. Sorry. I like to pretend that never happened, and that mum and dad just had a nice clean divorce. Easier on the body, you know." He rubbed the back of his neck, knowing he was grinning sheepishly but unable to do anything about it.

"Yeah." Jared was still playing with the necklace, twisting the beads around his fingers.

"Um." Conversation. Conversation. Anything but this weird, stupid tension. "I'm surprised you wear it all the time. Not exactly your style."

"Oh." Jared's eyes dropped to the necklace. "I like it. It – it reminds me of you."

Huh? What? Okay, Aaron was totally lost. "Why do you like being reminded of me?"

Jared finally looked up, met his eyes. And whatever he found in them had him staring, shaking his head. "My God. Brie is right; you are totally oblivious."

"Oblivious? To what? Wait. You talked to Brie about me? Why?"

"Because." What Jared was about to say made him swallow, shift restlessly. He'd gone from playing with the necklace to clutching it tight. "BecauseIlikeyou."

"What?" Aaron worked that out in his head. Because…I…like…oh. Jared liked him! Okay.

Wait. Jared. Liked. Him.

Jared. Liked. Him.

"Aaron?" Jared shifted again and Aaron snapped back to the moment, realising he'd just been staring at the guy. "Are you okay man? I mean, I get–"

"You like me?"

"Yeah."

"But. You're. You're Jared. You're Jared Thompson. You're the star of the basketball team."

"Not real–"

"You date cheerleaders. You don't talk to geeks like me."

"You're not a geek! And that's not true. I talk to you."

"Not really. And besides, what will your friends say? No, no," god, what was he doing? Jared liked him. He really seemed to like Aaron. And he was trying to talk Jared out of it? But he couldn't seem to control his mouth, which continued on and on and, damnit, on, "you're straight. You like girls and, and hanging out with your friends and –"

There were lips on his. They were firm but softer than he'd thought they'd be. And they were moving over his and it felt so good and there were hands involved as well, on his waist and they were pulling him into a warm, hard body and it was so good he was going to stop thinking right. Now.

When Jared pulled away, softly, slowly, it felt like he was slowly pulling Aaron out of water. Aaron blinked, swayed on the spot. Jared's hand was on his face, palming his cheek and Aaron stared down at him blankly.

"I like you," Jared said softly. "I might be the star of the basketball team – which is a total crock because I'm not that great. I may date cheerleaders but I also date other people as well. I do talk to geeks like you but obviously not often enough. I don't care what my friends'll say. I'm not straight, I'm bi. I like girls and boys and I like hanging out with you more than I like hanging out with my friends.

"I like you. Will do you go out with me?"

He'd dropped Jared's wet clothes on his bare foot, Aaron noted dimly. But he didn't really care because Jared was watching him, with a mixture of anxious nervousness and weird contentment and how the hell could he say no?

"Yeah. Yes. Absolutely. Yeah."

Jared laughed and hugged him, burying his face in Aaron's shoulder and Aaron grinned like a fool but he didn't care because, damnit, Jared Like Him.

Score for the geek.


A/N: Yay! Finally did this! This idea has been floating about in my head for a while now. I hope you liked this first taste of it ^^. Anway, you might see some familiar characters in this in the future!

Next: B is for Brie.