Realized that I'm way behind on uploading here on FP, compared to my lj, so I figured I'd up all my oneshots.
Remember, boys and girls! This is all fiction, and it all belongs to me. Please don't steal. Also, as always, this is malexmale, ie it includes homosexuality, so if that's not your thing, then I'd suggest moving on.
Thanks for reading, and please, if you liked it, even a little, I'd really appreciate it if you left a review. Cows eat grass, writers eat attention. It's what keeps us going, keeps us writing more stuff.
"Stop being so nice!" Jarrod said, scowling as he went through the classroom door Maurice was holding open for him. And about thirty other people filing out of the room. At some point, it had simply become his habit to do this; it wasn't as if he was in a hurry, anyway.
Maurice blinked in complete and utter confusion. Jarrod had always been peculiar, but this was a whole new level of weird. What was so bad about being nice?
"Pardon?" he replied, just to make sure he hadn't misheard. Stranger things had happened.
Jarrod twirled around mid-step and stopped, to the rude protests of the other people trying to leave. "I said, stop being so nice! What are you, deaf too, now?" he grumbled, every now and then shifting his glare to the people bumping into him as they passed. But it always came back to Maurice's bewildered face.
"If you don't mind me asking," Maurice said politely. "Why?" He could see the muscles working as Jarrod clenched his teeth together so hard it must surely hurt.
"'Cause it's annoying," he snarled at last, before turning so fast he hit at least two people with his bag, and stalking quickly through the crowd, hissing like an angry cat at anyone who protested his none too gentle progress. Maurice watched him go, still every bit as confused. What was that all about?
His thoughts were interrupted by a beautiful laugh.
"He's such a brat, really", Odette, the owner of said laugh, remarked as she left the classroom as well, behind everybody else. Everything about Odette was beautiful, actually. Her long, sleek hair, her equally long legs, her twinkling eyes and full lips, and her gentle, sing-song voice. Pity her sadistic personality didn't really match it, even if Maurice didn't like to think badly of others. Well, Odette was kind of the exception to that rule.
"You understood what that was all about?" he asked. 'Cause he didn't have a clue. Well, maybe it wasn't so weird that she knew. Cool, calm and calculating, she could see through everything, and had terrified him ever since they were kids. People tended to envy him having such a hot cousin, but that was only because they didn't really know her. If they knew, they'd run screaming instead of drooling.
Odette laughed again. "Of course, dear, it's obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain," she replied, clearly amused. "So clearly you lack at least one of the two."
Maurice gulped. Nothing good ever came from Odette being amused.
She studied him. "You really don't get it, do you?" she asked, shaking her head at his confused look. "You're so dense. Sometimes I wonder if you've got any hormones at all."
This confused him even more, if that was even possible. "What has hormones got to do with anything?"
For a few seconds, she stared at him as if he'd just said mud was delicious or something like that, and not asked a perfectly logical question. Then she shook her head again and left.
Well, even if he didn't understand what that had been about, the least he could do was try to respect Jarrod's wishes and do his best not to annoy him. Surely that had to be enough?
Two weeks later, Maurice was enjoying his lunch outside in the nice spring weather, 'cause the cafeteria had been too noisy, and had been giving him a headache. And he hated having a headache, it always made him so grumpy, which made it harder to be polite. He didn't want to accidentally say something offensive and hurt someone. He had manners.
Humming, he set aside his remaining food and closed his eyes to simply bask in the sun and breathe in the fresh air and smell of flowers.
But his basking was soon interrupted by someone or something casting him in complete shadow. He frowned, and opened his eyes.
"Why are you ignoring me?"
Ah, Jarrod. Yet as annoyed and angry as always. No, he was scowling even more than usual. What now?
"Isn't that what you wanted?" Maurice asked, yet again confused by his classmate. "You told me not to be nice to you, but I can't very well be rude, so I figured this was the best solution."
"But you're nice to everybody else," Jarrod said, still angry. Although for some reason, Maurice couldn't help but feel that he sounded a bit sad, as well.
Which was even more confusing. Silly, even. He'd never seen Jarrod sad. He was always glaring at people - although he always glared the most and the strongest at Maurice - and snarling at them. He had seen Jarrod smiling with his friends, though, but that was rare. Which was kind of a pity, 'cause Jarrod was quite handsome when he smiled. It made his face and grey eyes brighten, and made him look relaxed and kind of sweet.
A sudden realization hit him. "You mean... it's the fact that I'm nice to everybody that's annoying?" he asked, and paused. "Does everybody think that?" He probably wouldn't admit it out loud, but the thought hurt. A lot.
Jarrod's scowl actually disappeared - in fact, he looked slightly stunned. Which he probably also realized himself, 'cause he quickly averted his gaze, and chose instead to stare thoughtfully at a patch of grass.
"...no," Jarrod mumbled. "I don't think so. I mean, it's not like I can know what other people are thinking - not like I talk to them, anyway - but I doubt it."
"You just personally think it's annoying that I try to be polite?" he asked, checking that he'd got it right.
The scowl came back in full force. "You got a problem with that?"
Maurice frowned. "I can't really deny you your right to think whatever you want of me, but I can't just stop being nice to people. It's just who I am, I guess."
"You seemed to have no trouble not being nice to me," Jarrod countered, crossing his arms across his chest.
Maurice just wanted to go back to basking in the sun, the conversation was making his head hurt as much as the chatter in the cafeteria. "But I thought you wanted me to not be nice to you!"
"You do everything other people want, then?"
"Not everything, of course," he replied, frowning. "But as long as I haven't got anything to lose from it, I don't see why I shouldn't." He shrugged. Do unto others, and all that, right? Of course, it was kinda rare to see others with the same mindset.
"So if you didn't like someone or something, you'd let them know?" Jarrod asked, his eyes narrowing in a way that was somehow different from his normal scowl, even if Maurice couldn't really explain how.
He nodded. "Politely, of course, but yes."
Jarrod suddenly stepped to the side, and Maurice had to shield his eyes at the surprising return of the sunlight.
"You should probably go back to your pretty girlfriend, then. I'll bet she's looking for you," Jarrod said, and did his signature swift-turn-and-stomping-off.
Maurice's confusion was complete, He grabbed his lunch and bag and got up. "What?" he called, and hurried to catch up. "What girlfriend? As far as I know, I don't have one." If he did have one, he'd quite like to know about it.
Jarrod snapped around with another glare. "Don't act dumb, I've seen you with her all over campus. And all over town, too. You're always together."
He frowned. Who could he possibly be talking about? He didn't have any girl friends that he knew of. He talked to people in class every now and then, but mostly about school stuff, and he'd never met them outside of school anyway. The only one he hung out with outside of school was...
"You mean Odette?" he asked, horrified at the thought. He pitied whoever she ended up with and would do everything he could to make sure it wasn't him. Not that he thought she was interested in him, anyway. "You do know that she's my cousin, right?"
Jarrod looked disgusted. "You're dating your cousin?"
"I can wholeheartedly, firmly, and strongly say that I'm not," he replied, trying not to shudder. "She's the most intimidating person I know, and she thinks I'm an idiot. Why would we be dating? I'm having trouble understanding how you came up with that idea."
"Everybody thinks you're dating, actually," Jarrod mumbled. "She's kinda hard to beat, so a lot of people gave u-..." He suddenly clammed up mid-sentence, staring at his own feet and scratching his head, as if he was somehow uncomfortable.
"Oh god, people think we're dating?" Maurice asked in confirmation, already seeing his life passing in fast forward in front of his eyes. "She's gonna kill me. Oh god."
"What?!" Jarrod barked, surprised. "Odette? Don't be an idiot, she'd never do something like that."
Maurice snorted at his ignorance. "You can say that 'cause you don't know her. She's been doing the good girl act in school, but she's terrifying. If I had the choice between spending an hour in a locked room with a serial killer or with her, I'd take my chances with the killer." Several memories he'd rather forget came back, and he couldn't stop the shudder.
Jarrod stared at him in complete disbelief, before his lips twitched into a kind of half-smile. As if he was trying real hard not to smile - or grin, even - but just couldn't stop it completely. It made his eyes light up, and brought colour to his cheeks. And that slightest hint of pink went well with his sandy blonde hair. "You're afraid of your cousin?"
"So what? She's evil!" he snapped - actually snapped. He couldn't remember the last time he'd snapped at somebody. "And stop laughing, it's not funny."
"I'm not laughing," Jarrod denied, his lips still twitching violently.
"Maybe not out loud, but I know an inward laugh when I see it," Maurice argued, feeling a bit like sulking. He didn't really like being teased like this. Especially not when he had a headache.
"Sorry, sorry," was Jarrod's reply, even though he was still laughing inwardly, and didn't seem the least bit sorry. At last, he did sober up a little, though. "So, if the choice from your example a while ago was me instead of the serial killer, who would you pick?"
"What?" Maurice asked, surprised by the sudden change of topic.
"If you had to be locked in a room with either of us, which would you pick?"
"You." His reply was instantaneous. Then he hesitated. "Even if you do laugh at me, and I don't know what you're thinking."
Jarrod smiled one of those smiles that made him look very handsome indeed. Actually, it was better than the smiles Maurice sometimes noticed. Softer, in a way. "You're kind of different today. More honest or real in a way. I like it," he remarked.
Maurice felt his cheeks heat. He hadn't expected that. Still, it was kind of embarrassing. "It's 'cause of the damn headache," he mumbled. "I keep forgetting to stay polite."
"Well, I don't think you have to force yourself that hard," Jarrod shrugged. "Especially if you have a headache, you shouldn't have to pay attention to everybody else. Besides, it's better to just act however you feel is natural." He shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants, hunching up in a way.
"You're different today, too," Maurice said, smiling. "Nicer. And you smile more. You look good when you're smiling, you should do it more often."
Jarred straightened, just a little. "You think I look good when I smile?" he asked, his expression so boyish and innocent Maurice hardly believed his eyes. There was absolutely no trace of his familiar scowl to be found.
His cheeks heated again. "Well, you've always been good-looking," he said, trying to keep this all as an objective observation. "You just look better when you're smiling."
"Really?" Jarrod asked, seeming a bit incredulous. "So, on a scale from one to ten, where would I be?"
Maurice groaned, hiding his face in his hands. "Please don't make me do this, it's embarrassing. And I hate rating people."
"Humour me? Just this once? Please?"
Hearing Jarrod pretty much beg was such a weird experience that he had to look up. And his hopeful smile was too much for Maurice to ignore. He sighed in defeat. "Fine. It's just an estimate, though," he warned, before pausing to think. "I'd say you're normally a seven, close to an eight, or something like that?"
"Oh," Jarrod replied, seeming just a bit disappointed with the result. There was colour in his cheeks, so maybe he found this as awkward as Maurice did. Or maybe it was just hotter than he liked outside. He frowned. "Wait, normally?"
Maurice nodded. "Yeah. You're probably a nine when you smile." Maybe that would cheer him up a bit? Besides it was the truth, anyway. And now he wanted to crawl into a hole and die, or something. It was embarrassing enough to rate people's looks, and even worse to tell the person in question their rating.
"You really think I'm a nine when I smile?" Jarrod asked, as if the whole idea was completely incomprehensible. And also embarrassing, judging by his deep red blush. He scratched his head, mussing his hair up in the process.
A blush Maurice was quite positive he shared. "Sure."
Jarrod grinned - outright grinned! And it still amazed him to see that kind of expression on his normally grumpy classmate. "Do you wanna know your rating?"
Maurice grimaced. This was going to be depressing. "Ugh, not sure I want to know, but go ahead, if you must." His fingers played nervously with the shoulder strap of his bag, folding it in two, clenching it together, before straightening it out again.
"A solid ten," Jarrod said firmly, with the teeniest jerk of his head, as if he was nodding to himself.
"Oh, come on, you're joking," Maurice said, dismissing it entirely. He knew what a mirror was, after all. "Be honest, I can handle the truth. Four, maybe five?"
Jarrod shook his head. "Nope. I stand by my ranking."
This time, it was Maurice's turn to doubt. 'Cause no matter what, that kind of ranking seemed nuts. Still, Jarrod appeared to be earnest enough. He really, actually, honestly meant that?
"Really? A ten?" He breathed a quick laugh-snort hybrid, not sure how he was supposed to react. "Wow, you must be the only one thinking that."
The familiar scowl returned. "No, the damn competition is so hard you wouldn't believe it." There was even a touch of a growl in his voice.
Maurice stared. Jarrod blinked. A silence more awkward than an elephant on a tightrope descended.
"Um..." said Maurice.
Jarrod cursed. "Damn that big mouth of mine!" His hands were shoved violently back into the pockets of his pants, and he hunched up again. Maurice was starting to wonder whether it was some kind of habit of his. It was... kind of adorable, in a way.
"When you say competition, do you mean...?" He wasn't quite sure how to finish that sentence without blushing to death, so he simply stopped, and nervously traced the buckles on his bag.
"Sorry," Jarrod said with a grimace. "You probably didn't wanna know, right?" He sighed, and looked away. "I mean, I'm a guy. And an asshole, I guess."
"You're not an asshole!" Maurice protested. Sure, he glared at people a lot, and sometimes came off kinda harsh, but it seemed like that was just 'cause he wasn't really that good at communicating, judging by the conversation they'd just had. And it wasn't like he'd ever been purposefully mean or anything, either.
Jarrod just shrugged the protest off, hunching up even more.
"So," Maurice started, not sure how to ask, but he desperately wanted to change the subject, and he also desperately wanted to know. "You... like me? You don't hate me?"
Jarrod blinked at him in complete shock, so much that he apparently forgot to hunch up as well. "Hate you? Why would I hate you?"
Maurice stared back. Had he just conveniently forgotten? "But you're always glaring at me! You said I was annoying!"
"That's cause I was jealous! You're always smiling at everybody, and you're so nice! And all the girls won't stop cooing over you!" He shouted. He was almost quivering with emotion, but looked down, shy, hesitant, maybe even sad as he continued. "But you always hesitate when you're smiling with me."
Maurice couldn't believe this. This whole conversation was nuts. "That's cause I thought you hated me!" Why couldn't Jarrod see that? Speaking of which, Jarrod looked back up, staring at him while his jaw worked.
Maurice stared back, and it seemed they were both at loss for what to say next. But Maurice really didn't want Jarrod to just walk of. Or start glaring at him all the time again.
"So," he said, in an attempt to fill the relative silence, sending a quick glare in the direction of some sudden, far-away laughter that broke his concentration. He shook his head quickly, to get his thoughts back on track. "You really do like me?"
"Yes!" Jarrod said, exasperated. "You got a problem with that? How many times are you gonna make me say it?! Sorry, okay? I can't help my damn feelings." He looked down at his own shoes, and kicked at some grass. He was doing the hunching thing again, too. Maurice was slowly coming to the realization that that particular habit gave him this strange urge to hug his classmate close.
He shook his head. "No, I haven't got a problem with it," he replied, smiling. "Actually, I'd really like it if you said it some more." He wasn't sure he'd ever been told by somebody that they liked him. And certainly never by someone like Jarrod. Not to mention the fact that he found Jarrod quite interesting himself, even if he probably never would have admitted it - or maybe even noticed it - if this conversation hadn't happened.
Jarrod blinked. Blushed. Opened his mouth, and closed it again, lost for words. "You mean...?"
Jarrod's eyes widened. "You don't mind...?"
Maurice shook his head.
"So..." Jarrod said shyly, before pausing. "Would you...?"
Maurice wasn't quite sure what the rest of the question was supposed to be this time, but he glanced around and found nobody watching, and hoped the kiss he was about to give was the right answer.