"Hey little buddy," blond alpha-male said. "I'm giving your sister a ride home. You want to come?"

Rory narrowed his eyes at the partial-stranger. His sister's boyfriend. Rory had blanked on the guy's name, as they had been introduced far too early in the morning for him to remember.

Blond alpha-male turned awkward as Rory just stared at him without a word.

"It's better than having to deal with the bus," he continued. "And I'm just taking Kristen home, so we're going to the same place, so..."

Kristen's little brother. That's who Rory was at school, outside a group of select friends.

His sister had long, chest length dyed platinum blonde hair with honey brown eyes. Her breasts were accented by a push up bra, worn under a tight fitting tank top paired with a short skirt to show off long, perfect legs.

She had the perfect grades and was on the golf team. Was golf really a sport at school? Apparently yes.

Rory knew he was living in her shadow. He had light brown hair, nothing as stunning as his sister's. He was short and slim at only fourteen, he had yet to hit his growth spirt and fill out.

Not like blond alpha-male. He was tall and lean muscle, and had... well, blond hair. His eyes were green though, so he didn't quite fit the blond-haired blue-eyed American poster boy look. Just barely. He didn't play football, his musculature was too compact for that... some other sport. But not golf.

He was trying to be nice to his girlfriend's little sister. Blond alpa-male huffed impatiently, eyes skittering around for an excuse out of the awkward situation he had gotten himself into.

Finally, the savior Kristen appeared from her class. Blond alpha-male physically sagged with relief and went to greet her. They spoke in hushed tones for a moment, before Kristen sent an accusing look at Rory.

"Don't be so stubborn," she frowned. "We'll take the ride home," she said to blond alpha-male.

Rory followed obediently out to the parking lot, trailing behind the happy couple. The only good they did was clear a path in the crowd as they pushed their way through, so Rory didn't have to bump shoulders.

They got out to blond alpha-male's car, which was a surprising POS. Rory eyed it warily, noting the old make of the car. The electronic locks on it didn't work, and the antenna made a weird grinding noise when the car started. The speakers were shot. Trash cluttered the back seats.

"Sorry," blond alpha-male turned in his seat to clear some foot space for Rory.

Rory gingerly slid in, keeping his feet in the narrow gap of clean and leaning against the door. Kristen talked on about her first day at school, and blond alpha-male listened dutifully.

Rory stared out the window and watched as people wove through the crowds, trying to get out of school. The cars were backed up with the buses. Blond alpha-male sat at a stop sign for a good five minutes before finally getting in the momentum of traffic.

Once they were finally out of the school parking lot, they headed home. Rory was first out of the car, followed by blond alpha-male and Kristen. Rory unlocked the front door and let himself in, leaving the door opened for the other two. He dropped his backpack and headed for the kitchen, grabbing a desert power bar out of the cabinets.

Kristen and her new beau had some conversation about what they should do. Rory tuned it out, wondering if it was worth calling some of his friends to hang out. He hadn't been out of the house in a while.

He wasn't an outside person. School was really the only thing that got him out of the house. It caused him to squint under the sun most times, until his eyes adjusted.

Kristen and blond alpha-male decided on the mall and left. Rory had the house to himself. He finished his power bar and dashed upstairs, into his sister's room. He inspected himself in the full length mirror hung on the back of her door.

At what point would his body look like blond alpha-male's?

Rory frowned and patted his stomach. Thin, but there wasn't any muscle or definition. His hip bones stuck out a little too. He sighed and retreated across the hall into his room. He set his iPod up in it's dock and began to play music through the house.

There was no homework for the day, aside from some papers that needed a parent or legal guardian's signature. Rory fished those out of his backpack and went down stairs, arranging the papers for his mother to see when she got home.

Rory returned to his room and fingered through some of the magazines on his shelves. He had gotten quite the collection over the past few years. He pulled out an issue from a year back, in which he had dog-eared a page. He hated to do it, but he didn't want anything noticeable marking the page. Sticky notes would just scream for other people to look there.

He admired the spread on ancient Greece, the ancient and worn body builders painted onto a wall. Blond alpha-male didn't quite look like that, but had it been ancient Greece they were living in... Rory imagined the blond alpha-male being one of the men in frequent attendance to the nude gyms, showing off his body.

Rory found that oddly fascinated. That's why he had this page dog eared, why didn't want other people looking at it.

The article also mentioned that many ancient Greek men practiced homosexuality before marriage.

At that, he closed the magazine and carefully put it back in it's place. That had to be one of the things he thought most of the ancient Greeks. He wondered about how it would have worked. It made him more curious than he wanted to be.

He jumped guiltily when he heard the garage door go up, signaling their mother coming home. Rory double checked to make sure the magazine was in it's place once more before picking out the newest issue. He sprawled out on his bed and flipped to a page on the swine flu and it's migration into America.

"Rory?" His mother's voice rang through the house, as if there was a possibility that he wasn't home.

"What?" he hollered back, reaching over to turn down the music from his iPod dock.

"Where's Kristen?" She asked, her voice on the stairs now.

"She went out with..." Rory paused. "Her boyfriend." Name still unknown.

"Ah," his mother said. "How was your first day of high school?"

Really? Everyone seemed like idiots. "Fine," he answered. He would just have to stick to his limited circle of friends.

"You need me to sign those class syllabi, right?" she meant the papers he had left downstairs. Rory simply nodded, getting that look on his face that he wanted to be left alone.

His mother sighed and went back downstairs. Rory turned his attention back to the glossy pages on swine flu. His curiosity begged to read more about the ancient Greeks and their practice of homosexuality.

Rory pushed that from his mind while reading the symptoms of swine flu and mentally writing them down, should anyone become infected.

Later, Kristen and the blond alpha-male returned home. He helped Kristen carry up her new bags of clothes, passing by Rory's open door.

Blond alpha-male would have been a good spectacle back in ancient Greece, his mind commented.

Rory scowled and went back to inspecting a picture of the swine flu.

Later, dinner was called. Blond alpha-male was still there. Blond alpha-male exchanged a long look with Rory. Blond alpha-male smiled awkwardly and gave a small wave.

Rory made for the kitchen, coming up at Kristen's side. "What's his name again?" Rory asked quietly.

"Deacon," his sister answered happily before rushing to the table and possible future husband.

Rory just nodded and mentally filed the name away. At the table, Deacon made obvious attempts to impress their mother. He even tried to socialize with Rory.

"So you're a freshman at school, right?" Deacon asked, tearing into his steak with carnivorous aggression. "I have to warn you about the assemblies. Everyone else will be yelling 'freshman suck'. And if anyone bothers you, just let me know."

Rory didn't answer and got a smack on the forearm from his bother. He got that look.

"Thanks," Rory was forced to mumble, attempting to spear a micro-thin piece of lettuce with his fork, and with great interest as it refused to unstick from his plate.

Dinner ended, and Deacon even went so far as to help clean up. Rory glared from the far corners of the kitchen, watching his mother and sister be charmed.

Rory escaped to his room, wanting to shut the door and lock himself away. Only Deacon was in the doorway a minute later. "You tore out of there pretty fast," he commented playfully. "You okay?"

Rory wasn't fond of the invasion of his space, his room. "Hurt my sister and I'll castrate you." It was an upgrade from his one worded answers at the table.

Deacon sobered and seemed confused. His charm was defecting, how could that be? His mouth opened to speak, but nothing came out, so he snapped it shut. He ruffled the back of his mid-length blond hair, eyes averted, trying to think with his pea-sized brain.

"Okay," he finally said.

Okay? He agreed? Rory glowered but said nothing more.

"They're wanting to watch a movie upstairs, and wanted to know if you wanted to come," Deacon announced, his original intention in coming downstairs.

No answer.

Deacon stalled again, unfamiliar with such... treatment. People must like him a lot.

"No," Rory snapped and shut his bedroom door in Deacon's face.

The next day at school, Rory couldn't help it. He asked about Deacon. Female's were his best bet. "What do you know about a... Deacon?" Rory asked, some girl he vaguely recognized.

Her face broke out into a wide smile. "Deacon Briggs?" she clarified. "Only that he's hot."

If someone was into the alpa type, yes. Rory waited in silence, knowing she would go on. And she did.

"He's on the swim team. God," she pretended to fan herself. "He's just amazing. His body... and he's such a good guy. He's only had a couple of girlfriends, he gets pretty serious with them. Tends to go for the perfect ones, though," she deflated and looked down at her sub-standard self. "He's always royalty at the dances."

Information in hand, Rory left her to her fantasies. Deacon sounded like the stereotype of the American poster-boy.

Rory slid into one of the art rooms, absent of the teacher, as she was in a meeting. He found his work on a drying rack and pulled out his paints. Mixed with water, he let the translucent colors spread out over the page.


It sounded pretty childish to be working with, but he liked the watered-down look and being able to layer the colors. Add some pure black india ink, as black as black could get, he liked the contrast. Solid black and thin colors.

He focused on his work for a while, darkening pinks and reds with layer after layer of color. The paper soaked up all the water and started to get wavy, which he hated. At that point, Rory stopped and looked at the time.

The last five minutes he cleaned up and snuck back out before school started.

Rory's curiosity got the better of him during lunch. He snuck into the library, logging on to one of the computers. He typed ancient Greece into a search engine. It took some time to find what he was looking for.

It was well documented that they did, in fact, engage in homosexual acts. An older man would shower a younger man with gifts, and then... It stopped at marriage, though. Rory felt awkward looking at it and logged off the computer.

He would have been content to avoid Deacon all day, only he was there after school, offering another ride home. Rory wanted to say no, but at the same time, what was the harm?

They waited for Kristen and began the struggle through school traffic.

"So Kristen," Deacon started. "What would you do if I got castrated?"

Rory gaped in shock that the topic had come up. He hadn't meant it. No one spoke in the car for a moment while Kristen processed the question. Then she immediately turned in her seat, nailing Rory down with her eyes.

"Rory Abraham Summers!" She chastised in only the tone that parent's could master.

Rory sunk in his seat, eyes wide. He had only read about that in Catholic choir boys, and... "Pre-pubescent castration helps prevents baldness," he stated.

Deacon broke out into a fit of laughs, and Kristen faltered. She let out an exasperated sigh and faced front in her seat, while Deacon was trying to calm himself down. Rory attempted to hide for the rest of the drive home.

Once the car stop he was out and heading for the house. He let himself in and immediately went for his room, slamming the door shut.

A minute later there was a knock, and Deacon's voice. "Hell, sorry Rory. I was just joking. I didn't mean to get you in trouble with your sister or anything."

Rory didn't answer, and his door began to slowly open. Deacon popped his head in and surveyed the room quickly before entering. "Sorry," Deacon repeated.

Rory wasn't worried about getting in trouble. He was more embarrassed that it had come up at all. Deacon smiled awkwardly and left. Rory let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding.