"Hi you've reached Tommy D'angelo's Answering machine, obviously I'm busy doing something more important, leave your name and number and I'll get back to you eventually. Maybe."

"You have three new messages-

"First new message received on October first at one sixteen PM- Hey Tommy, its Dimi. What's with your message on this thing? Way to sound pretentious, man. Anyways, wanted to tell you that I had a great time last night, it was nice to meet Kris. Speaking of him- d'you have his phone number? I think I'd like to get to know him better, if you know what I mean.

"Oh don't look so horrified Tommy, it's not like I plan on sleeping with one of your smarty-pants friends, I was only think of maybe dinner or a movie or both- and if Kris is willing for anything more, then so am I.

"Ha ha, not making a good case for myself, am I? Forget I called, I'll just ask him myself. And stop making that face- it'll freeze like that, don't you know? Later."

"Second new message received on October first at three forty PM- Hello Thomas, I was just wondering what happened last night. I can't really remember- it's been awhile since I've drank so much. I've been told that I'm a rather affectionate drunk.

"…please tell me I didn't make a pass at that other guy you invited, the one with the foreign name- Dashiell or something? Not that I'm saying that he isn't attractive- not that I'd actually want to sleep with him- and I don't mean to say I dislike him…

"But well, that's the sort of thing I'd like to know about, and I have no recollection of anything that went on last night. So if you could help me put the puzzle together, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for inviting me, even though I can't remember I'm sure I had a good time."

"Third new message received on October first at five eleven PM- Tommy, forget whatever I said about that self-righteous, egotistical, conceited, sanctimonious, dick-less bastard.

"Honestly, I saw him when I was waitin' for you to finish your class and I remembered that I wanted his number, so I went up to him to get it and he gave me a funny look, I thought he was a lil' shy or something, but he gave it to me anyways.

"So when I tried the number earlier tonight, and guess what I got! The West Gore Street animal shelter. No need to worry about my wounded pride, Tommy. I'm getting revenge, I can promise you that.

"So, if the police drop by could ya do me a favour? Tell 'em that I was at your house all night? Thanks a million, you're the greatest!"

"This is Tommy D'angelo's apartment. I do not have anything to do with the madman named Dimitri Ivanov. If this is Kris, I'm really sorry for sicing said madman on you. Leave your name and number and I'll send you the relevant amount of insurance."

"You have four new messages-

"First new message received on October third at eleven thirty AM- Hi Tommy, its Dimi's sister, Irina.

"Um, I'm just wondering if you could explain what exactly is going on between my brother and that other guy. You know, the one my brother fawned about for all of two seconds and now is calling 'the dick-less bastard'?

"Well, I should clarify, the one with the really nasty looking sneakers... And an unfortunate blond-ish mohawk.

"Anyways, I think my brother did something to make him angry and now he's skulking around our apartment building. I half-expected this morning to wake up and find our car TP-ed or something.

"So, could you tell Mr. Tragic Shoes that he can go ahead with revenge on my brother; he probably deserves it, but to leave me out of it? And not to TP the car? I don't have the time in the morning to clean it before I go to work. If you could pass that along it'd be great, thanks Tommy!"

"Second new message received on October third at four ten PM- Hey Tommy, mission accomplished!

"Ask no questions, and I'll tell you no lies, but I can firmly tell you that my revenge has been accomplished. Without the interference of the police, a plus in both our books, I think.

"So, are you up for celebrating tonight? I'm in the mood for that new club; y'know the one on Eighth Street? I think it's called The Pirate and the Duchess, from what I've heard from Irina and her friends it's supposed to be pretty good. I know you aren't really a club-type person, but I think you'd enjoy it.

"Why don't cha think about it, an' I'll phone you back?"

"Third new message received on October third at four thirteen PM- Thomas you're friend is very imaginative, I'll give him that. Really who else would have thought to put Vaseline on all the doorknobs in my house? My roommate must have been in a vindictive mood and let him in... It will take me forever to clean up…

"Anyways, I'll get you two free tickets to Mute Lullaby, I know that's one of your favourite bands and my brother knows a few people… provided you keep Dimitri out of his apartment tonight. Irina thoughtfully gave me her spare keys when I promised none of my plans for Dimitri involve her or her car. Could you call me back with your answer?"

"Fourth new message received on October fourth at ten seventeen AM- Tommy… I think I need to add Irina to my Revenge List. Honestly! My own flesh and blood! My sister! I pay half her rent and this is how she repays me? She gave That Asshole our spare key and when I came back it looked like at least eight pillows had exploded in my room. And he kidnapped Molly. He even had the nerve to leave a note saying 'Real men sleep with stuffed horses.'

"I don't care what you say about not getting involved, but I'm enlisting your help whether you like it or not. Because don't even try to convince me The Asshole didn't bribe you to take me to the club last night. Oh don't look so surprised, you gave in way too easily on that one.

"Obviously you owe me, 'cause if you helped him then you gotta help me too. So there. I'm comin' over after I clean up the feather mess and after your classes and we're gonna plot his demise. See ya then."

"This is still Tommy D'angelo's apartment, and not the place to plot stupid revenge plans, regardless of what you two fools might say otherwise. Leave me out of this. So if you aren't trying to make me play childish pranks, leave your name and number and I'll get back to you if your name isn't Dimitri Ivanov or Kris Oliver."

"You have three new messages-

"First new message received on October fourth at five eighteen PM- And I thought you were on my side Thomas, you know, the side with tickets to a concert featuring your favourite band. Too bad I only give free tickets to people that don't help lunatics send notices to all my close friends and family that I've received a sex change and am on a waiting list to adopt a baby from some third world country. Though, I'm betting you didn't come up with that, it has that lunatic's name written all over it. Obviously no one actually believed it, so I might forgive you if you promise never to help him with this feud again. And forgiveness just might include Mute Lullaby tickets if you help me this time, but you didn't hear it from me."

"Second new message received on October sixth at six PM- Tommy you do realise this means war. You are now officially on the 'Revenge List. Really, first my sister and now you? Et tu, Brute? Can't I trust anyone anymore?

"Obviously not if you felt the need to help The Jerk replace all my clothing with dresses. Even if I do now officially hate you, could ya at least give me back one pair of jeans? I spilt coffee all over the ones I'm wearin' and I am in no mood to wear a dress to work tomorrow, however hilarious it would be to see Zack's face if I showed up like that…but the having Joe hit on me all day factor would totally outweigh the amusement factor.

"So yeah, gimme back my pants or…I'll do…something…something degrading and humiliating to you. So there."

"Third new message received on October seventh at ten twenty-one AM- Thomas could you tell that lunatic that putting makeup on me in my sleep and taking pictures followed by making posters and then spreading said posters about the lobby of my apartment building featuring the words 'Five dollars an hour- two if your hot' is not only juvenile, but degrading to his intelligence as well? I'm just thankful I found it before my landlady saw them, I enjoy living here and I doubt she'd have taken well to it, even if I explained that it was a badly conceived joke. I have the feeling I'm never going to live this down, half the people on my floor have taken to calling me 'Stud muffin' and this is only an hour after I found it.

"Is it just me or does that lunatic have an exceptionally bad influence on both of us? I know I would never have thought of half the ideas that seem to come easily now before all this nonsense and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't think of helping me or that lunatic with this foolishness before either. It's strange what an effect one person I just recently met can have on me…"

"Tommy D'angelo is on vacation. If this is Dimitri or Kris stop leaving stupid messages on my machine about your even stupider pranks- I don't care. Everyone else you know the drill, name, number, and I'll try to remember to get back to you when I'm not enjoying the sun in Mexico."

"You have six new messages-

"First new message received on October seventh at eleven thirteen PM- Hey Tommy, I forgot you had a vacation with your family planned. Thanks for reminding me dude, I would have said goodbye properly.

"I guess this means you don't feel like helping me come up with a genius plan for that asshole. I'm seriously running out of steam here; I can't come up with anything. Ah, well, never give up! And all that sort of nonsense… Mom 'n' dad are comin' down this weekend, so I should prolly deal with that first before revenge. See you when you get back. And don't think I didn't notice what you've been sayin' about my so called 'stupider pranks'. We'll just see who thinks my pranks are stupid when they're on the receiving end…wait…I guess that wouldn't really help my case would it? "

"Second new message received on October ninth at five thirty PM - You're on vacation? Oh I suppose that means you wouldn't be available for advice on what can top finding your living room virtually wallpapered in advertisements for men and women of… questionable employments. I'll admit to laughing hysterically at first sight. Though I didn't find it nearly as funny when I was lugging it all down the hall to the recycling bin only for the garbage bag to rip and send papers flying everywhere for all my neighbours to see… I doubt I want to know how that fool managed to get a hold of all of them. Well I hope you enjoy your vacation."

"Third new message received on October eleventh at five ten AM- …Tommy? I know you aren't there…even though I was kinda hoping you came home early for some reason...

"I guess Kris won the war. He got me yesterday when my parents were over for dinner. To anyone else it probably would've been hilarious…

"He came into the apartment- let himself in and everything- and he slung an arm over my shoulders and introduced himself to my parents…as my 'life partner'. The look on their faces was priceless… but you know my mom and dad, their smiles got all fake and as soon as Kris went to the bathroom mom wheels around at me going on about how I should have told her sooner because theses things are more easily treatable the sooner it's caught. And then dad looks awkward and starts muttering about STDs and HIV and AIDS and then mom tells me that they'll love me even if I need extensive counselling and that everything will be okay 'cause doctors can help me get over this problem and that they'll pay for whatever I'll need to fix it.

"And I can't deny that I'm gay, 'cause I'd be lying, and it's not that I'm ashamed, but, well, you know how mom 'n' dad are, and the only not true bit is where they think Kris is my... yeah...

"So I played along, what else could I do? Mom shoots Kris dirty looks throughout the whole meal, muttering about how he's 'corrupted her poor innocent boy' and you and I both know I'm most certainly not a sweet, innocent, virgin or whatever. Then dad, who's been doing an impressive impression of a constipated lockjaw patient up until now says 'So, Kris, what do you do for a living?' and Kris says 'I'm a programmer, I'm still in university, but I only have less than a year left to go. There's a company that has already offered me a job once I've graduated.' And then mom can't help but ask 'Oh so they do hire your kind?'

"And the way she said it, she makes it sound like Kris is this big, huge compulsive liar who's never spoken a word of truth in his life. Then Kris, who amazingly has managed to keep his temper up until then goes on about how it's illegal not to hire someone because of their gender preferences, and quite a few companies go out of their way to hire gay, lesbian and so on to even statistics out, so mom replies back 'oh so they're only hiring you because of that'. I can't blame Kris for losing his temper after that, and he starts yelling and mom yells back and dad's bellowing above both of them and then Irina is trying to calm everyone down, but nobody is listening to her, and I can't say anything because it's like someone's glued my ass to my chair and I can't even think of anything to say that would make things any less bad, or even that won't make things worse, so I don't say anything.

"Eventually when things are quieting down, Irina, who'd given up by then, told mom and dad to get out. They didn't even look at me...

"So mom glares at Kris again and tells me over her shoulder that she'll email me some counsellors' names later, and they leave and Irina goes off mumbling about Advil, and Kris looks at me, and he looks really guilty, cause a lot of it was his fault, but I told him not to worry and he hugged me and apologised again and then...

"Well he kissed me and left just like that.

"Tommy…I'm really confused. I really wish you were here. We both know that blow out was bound to happen eventually, it was a time bomb, an accident waiting to happen. But…they're still my parents.

"And I'm even more confused with Kris, because I still really, really like him even though I called him a self-righteous, egotistical, conceited, sanctimonious, dick-less bastard, and I put Vaseline on his door knobs and told his family he had a sex change and was adopting a child from Vietnam or whatever. Pretty hypocritical of me, right? I guess he should be glad his parents took it as a joke...

"Even though he made me spend three hours vacuuming feathers up, and he stole all of my clothing for a day and is still holding my stuffed horse hostage… and even though it's practically all his fault that my mom sent me an email this morning with shrinks who think they can 'cure' me of being gay, I still think I might, sorta...like him, you know?

"God I'm messed up, huh?

"But I don't know if the hug and kiss was part of the apology or what… I don't know what to do now Tommy... Please come home soon..."

"Fourth new message received on October fourteenth at eight forty-three AM- Tommy? I guess you aren't home…well obviously. It's Irina again.

"I was hoping you were free to come over and look after Dimi for me, I've already taken two sick days and I don't think I can swing a third. I guess I'll ask Zack or Joe- they've been worried sick and phoning non-stop. But, well, Tommy you've been my brother's best friend since grade school and sometimes I think you know him better than I do.

"I'm really worried about him, Tommy, he's barely said a word since the Dinner Fiasco and all he does is mope around the house. I actually have to remind him to eat, Tommy, my brother! I think that's the most obvious sign something's wrong…

"Well, I should phone Zack or Joe now, I guess.

"I hope you come back soon, Tommy, my brother really needs you right now."

"Fifth new message received on October fourteenth at three oh six PM- Hey Tommy. Guess who was babysitting me today after I guilt-tripped Irina into going back to work? Kris! I was still in bed when Irina was trying to find me a babysitter or whatever because she worries to much, not that I actually needed someone to actually babysit me 24/7, Irina!

"Anyways, apparently Kris had stopped by to apologise again for the Dinner Fiasco and Irina was frantic by then cause everyone was busy and she was almost to the point where she was gonna say 'screw it' and phone in sick again, when Kris appeared.

"According to Kris, Irina practically got down on her knees and begged for him to stay and look after me until she got home and he agreed.

"So he was sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee out of my lucky mug, with Molly lying on the table in front of him, when I got up. And the first thing he does is get up and go over to me, 'cause I was surprised to see him in my kitchen at eight in the morning and hadn't moved outta the hallway doorway, and he hands Molly to me and apologises for forgetting to give her back and that he shouldn't have made fun of me about it, and he actually thinks it's cute that I still sleep with stuffed horses. Huh, I guess that makes him like a little kid too, right Tommy?

"Then he apologises again for the Dinner Fiasco and he hugs me again and says that the least he could do for me was take me to a movie or something. I was startled and pushed away from him and gave him an annoyed look and told him that I don't do pity dates.

"And you know what he said then? That he doesn't either, and that he really wanted to go out with me 'cause I was the most imaginative and creative guy he'd ever met, and I couldn't help but ask if that was supposed to be a compliment or not. And he looked so horrified and started reassuring me like I'm some fainting flower with self-confidence issues, so you really can't blame me for laughing in his face, but it's okay cause after a second he started laughing too.

"Later on we went to go get something to eat at that Chinese place down the road, and it was really fun and I really, really like him, Tommy.

"Like, like him.

"I'd tell you all about lunch, but I'm already taking up so much space on your machine, and you're gonna yell at me about this later, aren't ya, Tommy? So I'll save that for when you get back, even if you say you don't wanna hear but secretly do.

"Get your ass back here Tommy; I haven't seen you in forever. And yes, Tommy, a week does count as forever, jerk."

"Sixth new message received on on October fourteenth at three twelve PM- Thomas, I know you won't get this message for awhile and I'll try to keep this short, as Irina mentioned how Dimitri is always using up all the space on your message machine, but I'd really like to thank you again for introducing me to Dimitri. I really do… enjoy his company.

"…Despite the fact that it is his fault that my positively frightening neighbour still gives me unpleasant looks and calls me 'stud muffin' every morning and once offered me a free back massage because I 'looked stiff'. It's safe to say that I did not take him up on his generous offer.

"I'm going to date him. I'd ask for your permission, but I bet you'd just say that you don't care, and would give me a glare that says that 'f I hurt so much as a hair on his head you will do worse than Vaseline and hooker advertisements… though I still think that the sex change one would be difficult to beat.

"In any case, thank you for introducing me to Dimitri… Why do I feel as though I've just said good bye any trace of normalcy I've ever had? Oh dear..."

"This is Tommy D'Angelo's apartment. If this is Dimitri, you aren't allowed to leave a message- because, god you rambled on for, like, ten minutes between your last two messages. If this is Kris you aren't allowed to leave a message either because you're so masochistic to still want to go out with my best friend it's creepy, and if you make him so much as sniffle-

"You have two new messages

"First new message received on October seventeenth at two thirty-one PM- Hey Tommy! I just finished my date with Kris and-"

"Dimitri what are you doing?"

"…leaving a message on your answering machine?"

"Dimitri, I'm right here and have been for the last ten minutes. Why are you leaving a message on my answering machine?"

"I dunno, I'm kinda used to it now, you've been so busy lately and haven't been answering your phone..."

"Dimitri would you hang up? If you have something to say to me, say it to my face. And why are you telling me about your dumb date with Kris- I don't care-"

"Yes you do! You're just jealous! You haven't been on an actual date for- oh wow almost a year! God you're lame!"

"Shut up Dimitri!"

"That's it I'm setting you up with that one friend of Kris that he mentioned a while ago…"

"Don't you dare Dimitri! And hang up your cell! You're wasting-"

"Second new message received on October seventeenth at four twenty-three PM- Er… hello? I hope I have the right number… Anyways Kris said you're a friend of his new boyfriend- Dimitri? This is Erik, his friend.

"Uh, I'm just calling to make sure six is a good time for our date tonight. I can pick you up if you want, but you'll have to phone me back and give me your address, because Kris only gave me your phone number…yeah. See you tonight! Bye."

Authors note: I'd just like to add that I wrote this years ago and always meant to get a beta for it but never did and decided I should just post it already! I hope you enjoy or at least tell me why you didn't!


Bee Marie