Slash Week: Tuesdays
I hated Tuesdays. More than the dread Mondays that signaled the end of a weekend. More than Wednesdays, those never-ending slogs that tormented students with their disconnect from the free ends of the week. No, Tuesdays were my own personal hell.
Why? Because those were the days that Alec, my goofy neighbor, volunteered at my school. Alec who chased me down the hallways, yelling out my name and embarrassing reminders like, "Did you put on the ointment last night? That rash looked pretty bad." Alec who somehow always interrupted just when I was finally talking to whatever girl I was angling for this week. Alec who showed up in my classes, prompting choruses of snickers. Alec who had popped out of my locker on three separate occasions.
Gah. Fuck Tuesday. And fuck him. Seriously, the guy was twenty-one years old and still lived at home. Granted, he was going to the local university and doing various odd projects across town, but still. He could have been so much more. Alec was silly, but that didn't mean he was stupid. He was just wasting his potential.
Well, whatever, that was him; I wasn't going to be making the same mistakes. No way. By the time I was twenty-one, I would be long gone from this place. Definitely not hanging out here and tormenting high-schoolers by following them around uncooly and harassing them at school.
Grumpy just thinking about it, I spun my locker combination a little harder than necessary. God, it was so lame that I spent every Tuesday all tense. Fucking Alec. Why did I even let him bother me so much anyway? It wasn't like I had a cool guy reputation to protect. Average was my name.
Except for when it came to grades, of course. Those I kicked ass at. If you had big plans like I did, like East Coast Ivy League college, it was a requirement. Those and test scores.
Ugh, which reminded me that I had SAT practice tomorrow. Study SAT: Math Section Especially became the next entry on the mental To Do List that I composed every night.
Hmm… Maybe I should just suck it up and ask Alec for some math tutoring. It would make my night easier and it wasn't like he had anything better to do.
"Hey Ryan. Missing your boyfriend?"
Startled, I looked up from the depths of my locker. My friend Sarah, her long red hair arranged in hundreds of tiny braids grinned from beside me. God, she would walk up when I actually was thinking about him. Annoyed, I quirked my eyebrow at her.
"Interesting hair choice there, Braided Wonder. A – he's not my boyfriend, B – it's impossible to miss someone you don't want to see."
Pantomiming being struck, she clutched at her heart. Really, she should be president of the Drama Club.
"You are cold, sir. I pity the poor fool who thinks they can melt your frigid heart." Her faux-suffering gaze surveyed the hallway. A wicked expression came into her eyes.
Shit. That never turned out well for me.
She dropped the theater voice and picked up her smug one instead, "Here comes the fool now. Later."
Unfortunately, I understood her perfectly. Yeah, it definitely never turned out well for me.
I reached for her, pleading, "Please, I didn't mean what I said about your hair, it looks great. Don't leave me alone."
Sarah twisted out of my grasp, her only response triumphant laughter as she disappeared into the moving masses of humanity in the hall. Damn it. I huffed and leaned against my locker, waiting for my doom.
Okay, doom is a strong word for it. I didn't hate Alec or anything – in actuality he was probably the best friend that I had – but, fuck, he always drew too much attention to us in public. And babied me to no end. He was forever acting like I was still the five year old who moved in next door and tagged around behind him with skinned knees. It was only intensified at school. Honestly, the way he carried on sometimes, you would think he was my mom.
Or boyfriend whispered a treacherous voice that sounded a lot like Sarah (and all of my other friends), but I ignored it. That was definitely not the case here. Alec was Alec (a drama queen) and I was me (long suffering). Nothing weird.
Resigned, I watched him coming towards me. It was a good thing he was so tall because his height, coupled with his unruly blonde hair, made him instantly recognizable. I liked knowing when evasive maneuvers would be useful and when they would be futile. Expending unnecessary effort always irked me.
"Hey Ryan!" Alec smiled upon reaching me. I winced at the loudness of his voice and the kids nearest to us who had turned their heads to stare. Genuine enthusiasm was a thing long dead in general youth culture and attracted a lot of stares when displayed.
"You sound surprised. Like you haven't been seeing me here every Tuesday for the past three years," I grumbled at the lanky older boy.
Alec answered good-naturedly, as usual, "But sometimes you're not here. What about last year when you got mono from sharing that drink with Rebecca Shaw? You were gone for like a month."
My ears. They were on fire. I could feel it. The shaved-headed boy next to me nudged his friend and laughed. Really, Alec should just pull out an album full of bare-assed baby pictures of me. It would probably be more subtle than this.
My eyes darted around the hall, crowded with potential witnesses to my humiliation. Fuck. Time to isolate the danger.
I grabbed the sleeve of Alec's sweater. The material was surprisingly thin and I looked at him properly, noticing how shabby he looked altogether. His sweater was worn, his hair brushed the edges of his rumpled collar, and the ends of his too-long pants were ragged. Was it time for me to make him go clothes shopping again already? Didn't we go only a few months ago?
I shook my head, unbelieving. Jesus Christ, he treated me like a kid, but Alec was the one who was helpless. Seriously, he would walk around naked if I didn't take him shopping. His defense was the same every time, "I don't care about stuff like that, Ry. Why don't you just tell me what to buy?" Resistance was futile. Get Alec Clothes became another box to tick off on my checklist.
Using his nearly-sheer sleeve as a lead, I pulled the unprotesting Alec through the students and up the eastern stairs. There were some unused storerooms on the second floor. We could have lunch, I would talk him into helping me study (not that it would take much persuasion), and no one would be subjected to embarrassing personal details of my life. A winning scenario all around.
Well, except for that whole probably getting written up if were found thing. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We clambered up the stairs as unnoticed as the pair of us could be and came out on a landing that turned into a long hall lined with doors. I pulled open the first one on my left and went into the dark space beyond. There were sure to be some extra chairs in here that we could set out. I wondered why I hadn't thought of containing him like this years ago – or more precisely, the second week of ninth grade, when a beaming Alec had appeared at the foot of my lunch table.
I thought of all the grief I could have saved myself and mentally, I snorted. If only I'd thought to myself back then, "Okay, he's obviously going to keep doing this, so just minimize the damage," I could have put a damper on the teasing from my friends and random classmates, the assertions of perceived attraction that made my stomach twist with shame and confused anger, the horrible words that made me notice stupid things like the light in Alec's eyes and the appealing crookedness of his smile.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Seriously, it was no wonder I'd never managed to find a girl with whom I shared lasting mutual attraction when I'd been branded part of a dopey duo from the start of my high school career and had these stupid things floating in my head.
Feeling kinda annoyed all over again, I groped my hand across the wall to the right of the door, searching for the light switch. My fingers did not touch it. Weird. The panel should have been right here. Why couldn't I feel it?
"Sorry. I can't find the damn switch. Maybe they have it some totally inconvenient place because of budget cuts. Or just general half-assery."
Alec laughed his light, easy laugh and I smiled a bit. It was true that he could always be counted on to laugh at my totally unfunny jokes. One of his better qualities, I had to admit.
"Here, let me try. It could be higher than you can reach, Munchkin."
"Just because I'm not a human beanstalk does not mean I'm that short."
I felt him fumbling behind me and as he moved, his belt grazed against my back. It was an unexpected feeling – soft cloth, firm body, and the sharpness of metal edges. Something in my stomach curled. Like I liked it. Like I wanted him close to me.
I shook my head, clearing it. Nope. No. Not possible. It was just kinda spooky in here, what with the dark and the ominous shapes. That was all. Ugh. Maybe I should have endured the cafeteria.
"Six two is a perfectly regular height, Ryan, not something mythical, thank you. But I can't feel the switch either. Could it be further down the wall?"
Alec started to move again, but I stuck out a hand to stop him. Did he ever think? He was just beyond my range and I took a step too, reaching for him. My foot connected with his leg. I tried to maneuver myself so that I was blocking him.
"Wait! Don't," I hissed, "there's probably stuff all stacked down there."
But it was too late. Our feet had gotten tangled together and at the same time he put pressure on something precariously perched. Unbalanced, I started to fall and so did a mountain of abandoned school supplies.
I've never heard an avalanche before, but I'd imagine that it would sound nothing like the sharp clatter of chairs and boxes falling to the floor.
Shit. I really hope that it wasn't loud enough to alert any teachers to our presence. Bracing myself as I fell, I closed my eyes and waited for impact. There was a slight bumping and I was totally horizontal, but all in all, I didn't hit nearly so hard as I thought I would. No, the main impact was the heaviness that I felt pressing against the length of my body.
Shit, was I buried by a paper mountain? Oh God. What could be worse than being buried alive?
After a few seconds, I squicked open one of my clenched eyes and saw only the shape of mussed hair. Well, I assumed it was hair. It was still too dark to totally see.
Really, what gave the heavy shape atop me away as Alec was the breathing. And the arms. And the warmth. The smell of coconut shampoo and spring laundry soap. The hard, stuttering thump that I felt from the chest pressed to mine.
Wait, hold on, why was his heart going that fast? Was he alright? Ooo, it would be just like him to get fucking maimed by a falling globe.
"Hey, Alec. Are you okay? Alive?"
I'd meant it as a general sort of inquiry, but somehow my voice came out squeaky and panicked. He groaned a little, but otherwise made no reply.
"Ry, shut up for a second. I'm trying to control myself here."
What? He never told me to shut up. And why was his voice all rough like that? I was starting to get really worried, damn him.
"Control yourself? What's wrong? Did something hit you in the head? Also, shut up, isn't that my li- mmph."
He had dragged one of his hands from beneath me and clapped it over my mouth.
"For reals. Give me a second. And stop wiggling."
Who was this rough, bossy monster and where was my Alec? I know that sometimes I talk too much, but I didn't take too kindly to being silenced. Especially now, when he needed my help. So I did the first thing I could think of to get him to remove the offending appendage – I licked it.
He made the strangest noise. It seemed to come from the back of his throat and rumbled in his torso. It was a growl. There was no other way to describe it. Perhaps I should have been scared, but sure enough, he released me. Haha. I won again.
My victory, however, was short lived because he quickly replaced his hand with something else – his mouth.
At first, I didn't feel, only panicked. Fuck. Fuck. What was this? Alec, kissing me? He totally had to be dying. Brain damaged. He needed help. But it was like I couldn't push him off or resist. I wasn't kissing him back, but I wasn't stopping him either. Maybe I was the one who got hit in the head.
It was a curious experience. His lips were full and soft, despite their slight chap. They tasted like the strawberry lip-balm I got for him last week when I noticed how dry his mouth was. He never would have thought to get it for himself and I saw it at the check-out counter. Alec loved strawberries. He said they tasted like summer. Which was stupid, but I kinda saw what he meant. Strawberries had a ripeness to their flavor akin to the full days of heat.
Something pressed against my bottom lip. Slick and probing, it slid along the seam of my mouth. What the hell was I doing ruminating on strawberries?
About to protest and end this whole thing, I started to open my lips. Which was apparently exactly what Alec wanted because suddenly his tongue was there, touching the spaces of my mouth, twisting along my tongue teasingly. It tickled. Involuntarily, I responded, wriggling my tongue back around his. I felt his hands drag roughly up my back and slide into my hair. He was cradling my head, holding it trapped close to his, and supporting his weight on his elbows.
All at once the kiss seemed deeper. And it hit me. Really hit me. Alec was kissing me. I was kinda kissing him. On the floor, in the dark, like some stupid romance shit Sarah was always trying to get me to read. What the fuck was this all about?
Feeling as though I'd awoken from a dream state, I connected my brain to my muscles and moved my hands up to push on Alec's shoulders. It was a weak kind of shove, but it should have stopped him, made my message clear. It didn't though, his mouth only got more aggressive and he pulled back to nibble on my lip.
Embarrassment flooded me. I had just moaned. Moaned. While being sort of molested, no less. Holy shit, Alec wasn't stopping and I was fucked. Fucked because he was making this so good that I couldn't protest even though I wanted to. I'd kissed before, of course, (what seventeen year old hadn't?), but nothing like this. This blew them all away. The sensations were so clear and Alec was doing these things that Rebecca Shaw certainly hadn't done. I was probably half hard already. Which is when I noticed there was hardness pressing into my thigh – Alec's.
Okay. No, no. I was done. No more of this. I needed answers and I needed them now. Drawing on my reserves of will power – that well which I visited when I really needed to study one more chapter, but sleep hovered threateningly – I simultaneously bucked my hips and threw all of my weight at Alec's shoulders. Caught off guard, he rolled off of me and landed on his back with a flump.
I rounded in his direction, now furious. Before I could demand anything though, he started to laugh. Not his usual laugh, but this desperate sound, like a funeral keen, like what he actually wanted to do was cry. I couldn't take it.
"Stop that. You sound like one of those weeping clowns in a French movie. What the fuck's your problem?"
He laughed harder, sounding more and more destroyed. I didn't like it. Not one bit. Acting on an impulse I didn't think through, I rolled over quickly, swung my leg over him, and sat up, so that I was straddling his waist. Well, I thought smugly, that seemed to shut him up fast. Feeling a little better, since I was now in a position of control, I looked down at him. Not that there was much to see, but my eyes had adjusted adequately to allow me to see the outline of his features. They reminded me of stone.
"Alec? Are you alright? Did you bust your head or something?"
"Of course you would think that," was Alec's cryptic reply.
"Do not give me any riddle bullshit. What I want to know first is exactly what I asked. Are you injured?"
"No. I'm not."
"Good. Okay. So, yeah, that's good. You're alright-"
"I said I wasn't injured – not that I was alright," Alec cut off my babbling.
I felt like he'd punched me or something. It was as though there was no more air in my lungs. I knew Alec as well as I knew anyone. Tons of little things about him: how he loved offbeat cartoons, that he dipped his pizza in ranch dressing, that when he was really upset he swung himself on the old playset in my backyard. His moods and the things that mattered to him - all of these thing I knew. But this person, this person who had swollen my lips with his crazy kiss, this person laid out beneath me , I-I didn't know him.
Seeing him this way was unnerving. It was like finding out your family dog carried a personal grudge against humankind for that whole domestication thing and had never liked you or your stupid, fucking dog treats in the first place. I didn't know what to do and I hated it.
"How long have you been not alright?" I asked him. The only way to fix something was to get to the root of the problem.
For a long moment he didn't answer. I was considering re-asking when he finally did.
"Since I was nine," he said in this tight, strained voice.
"Nine? Shit. Oh my God. Alec! What's wrong with you? Why didn't you ever tell me? Cancer? Seizures? Multiple Personalities?"
It was still dark, but I could feel his exasperation.
"Nothing like that, Ryan. It's just that when I was nine I met this kid and he's pretty much fucked my life ever since."
Hold on one second! I'd know Alec that whole time. He had a secret tormentor he was hiding from me? Successfully? Was he a fucking spy on the side?
But then I thought about it. No, even if he'd been hiding this strange sadness, I don't think that Alec would be able to conceal an entire person from me. Not one who had impacted him this much. Maybe it was someone he knew before me though… and then I saw it.
I was seventeen. Alec was twenty-one. I moved in next to him when I was five. So he was –
"Me?" I asked through a throat that was bone dry.
"Yes," he whispered.
For two seconds I was devastated, horrified. Alec thought I was a monster. But then anger surged to life in me. I fucked up his life? What about what he'd done to me?
"So, let me see if I've got this straight, completely unknowingly, since I was in kindergarten, I have been ruining your life? Could you be more of a passive aggressive diva?" My voice was starting to do this shrilling thing that it did when I was really pissed. The words continued to flood out of me, "What about all the fucking shit you've pulled on me? For the past three years you've done nothing, but make my school life miserable!"
"I know," Alec said, passion starting to invade the misery in his tone. "This whole time, I knew. And that's why my life is so fucked up – I do all these weird things even though I know I shouldn't do them!"
"I fail to see how I factor into your poor life choices," I told him, frustration still pounding in my veins.
Instead of answering with words, Alec made another one of his throaty noises and rolled his hips sharply to the right. The unexpected motion toppled me and I landed on my shoulder. "Ow," I winced, but before I could protest more, Alec was hovering over me again.
His arms came down, trapping me in a cage of limbs. He moved his face down to mine and spoke directly into my ear, "Then I'll show you."
His breath was hot. I shivered when it brushed my skin. He felt my shudder and I think that he smiled, the smug motherfucker. I was not enamored of this new personality of his.
But then there was the gliding sensation of his lips moving across the outer edge of my ear. I could hear his breathing and feel the light pressure of his tongue as he used it to outline my lobe. He drew it between his teeth and bit it gently. I gasped at the small spike of pain, but the overwhelming feeling was one of arousal. What was he doing to me? Why was I being a Jello kid again? I was angry, God damn it.
"Hey! This is not a rational discussion, I am so not staying here and playing corruptible maiden."
Alec ignored me, running another trail of his half-kiss, half-caresses down the side of my neck. For the second time, I moaned. I hadn't known that my neck was this sensitive. No one'd ever explored it like this before.
I continued to breathe heavily, in a totally embarrassing way, as he moved back up my neck and across my jaw until he was kissing me on the mouth again. It was wilder than before, more assured, and Alec wasted no time in getting his tongue back down my throat.
Not that I was putting up any sort of fight at this point; I was caught up in the sensations and the way his fucking mouth tasted and how the hand he'd crept up my shirt was burning these desperate paths up my side and across my chest. Actually, I hadn't even noticed his hand getting up there. Was this how girls felt when you copped a sneaky second base? Oh, Jesus. I really was the fucking maiden here.
But at least I was a maiden with a working knowledge of the male mind. Alec wasn't going to quit doing whatever strange thing he'd committed himself to doing and I didn't have a strong enough revulsion to the situation to protest. I could tell exactly where this whole thing was going. If I didn't stop Alec soon we would be too far gone and something we'd both regret would happen.
Something I didn't really understand, but that I suspected had to do with the way I got so worked up when people made comments about us, the burning need that I had to make them agree that it wasn't true; the way that I had to be so firm as if to somehow convince myself that my non-attraction was more absolute. Which was completely ridiculous since it was impossible for something already absolute to be more absolute…
My stomach, which had been full of pleasure dropped.
Shit on a stick. I finally understood with shattering self insight that I was attracted to Alec. I had been all along.
Of course I hated Tuesday. It was the one day of the week when I had to look at myself in a public arena – school – and see what I successfully avoided the rest of the time when I interacted with Alec in private venues. Namely, that what we were wasn't normal. It was more intense than that.
For fuck's sake, what kind of normal dude friends bought each other lip-balm unasked or went into unused dark classrooms together? I prided myself on being pretty smart. How was it that I was so dumb after all?
Noticing my sudden stillness, Alec drew back.
"Ryan?" His voice was hesitant, the first sign of insecurity he'd given since that awful laughter. "God. I'm sorry. So sorry."
His hand still rested heavily on my chest, but he sat upright now. "If you want me to let you go in all seriousness, then I will. Before you go though, I need to tell you while I-I have the chance."
He breathed deeply in something of a hiccup. "It's just that it's hard. I want you to know, but it's impossible to tell you. You're oblivious. I've been a fucking pet in your pocket this whole time." A small bitter laugh escaped him, "From the minute I saw you and you looked directly at me, way more solemn than any little kid had the right to be, I knew you weren't like anyone else."
Not like anyone else? Alec was the unique one. Really, I was just an average kid. Not worth any of it.
But he still wasn't done, the deluge of self-revelation continued. "I didn't go away to any of the colleges I got into – I couldn't leave you."
"What!" I protested, shocked, but Alec kept talking over me.
"Ry, I know you don't feel the same way, and it really hurts, I can't lie, but I understand. The truth, though, is that-that I'm in love with you."
He was silent after that, the only sound in the room our combined breathing. For a heartbeat I didn't believe him. Couldn't believe it. Until frantically I looked back in my memory, combing for evidence that it was all a lie. I found none.
Instead, with that far-reaching clarity that comes with an epiphany, I saw that what he said was true. There were a thousand small incidents throughout our lives that confirmed it. When I was eight and accidentally snapped a mirror off the side of my dad's car with a wayward baseball and Alec took the blame. When I was fourteen, going on my first date and he gave me tips, even though his eyes were sad. When my parents were out of town and I got the flu, how he'd stayed home from his Senior Prom and sat with me. I'd told him not to be an idiot, to go, I would be fine, he was missing out. And he had smiled down into my snot-nosed face with this fucking look that made my sick heart miss a beat and told me that he'd be missing out if he went.
What he said was for real. I'd had him the whole time; I hadn't wanted to know it, but now I did and I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, I was pretty angry with myself for wasting all this time bemoaning him when really, he was the best thing in my life.
What he'd missed, however, was that the thrall was mutual. No one else interested me the way he did. No one listened to me or took me seriously the same way. No one else could make me feel such extremes.
I loved him.
"Alec, you know me pretty well, yeah?"
He nodded miserably, I imagined, bracing himself for the sure-to-come rejection.
"Would I allow you to fucking attack me in a dirty school storeroom if I didn't want you too?"
To his credit, he did know me, so he took the question as the statement that it was and promptly reattached himself to my lips.
I could feel the joy thrumming through his kiss and for once, I couldn't summon any cynicism or doubt to dim it. My own mouth turned up in an uncontrollable smile. Alec felt it and continued with even more fervor.
Soon, I was too distracted by the pleasure of physically connecting with him to continue articulate thought.
It wasn't until we had to get up or else school would be over that I found the light for the room. It was an old fashioned chain, dangling from the feature in the ceiling right above us.
The irony was not lost on me. Of course the light had been right above our heads the whole time. Of fucking course.
Cuz Tuesday really does suck, amiright?
I'm thinking of expanding this into a series of slash one-shots with each one focusing on a different day of the week. Some more smutty and others more fluffy (like this one.)
Thank you for reading and I'd love to hear what you think!