Chapter 1: How to find out your best friend's gay.

"Oh my gosh, Dylan, put some clothes on!" Camille's high-pitched shriek rung through the kitchen, echoing raucously and without mercy.

It had its intented effect, in his bone-tired state he jolted and hit his head on the shelf over his head. Rubbing his head, he watched his toes curling in response and pushed his comatose body to answer.

"Don' wanna." he slurred, taking a sip from the mug and sighing in contentment. How was coffee not the cure to first-world problems?

"If you are not going to put on some pants right now, I'm going to castrate you! I mean, like are you serious? Not everyone wants to see you run around in boxers, like, okay you have amazing abs, they are all bulgly and chiseled-"

He snorted into his broth.

"Still, I'm so over you." she flipped her blonde mane." And I have enough of you boys, this needs to stop! Just because I'm the only female who is bothered doesn't give you the right to do whatever you're doing."

Dylan ran his hand through his hair, slipped from the counter and poured Camille a latte. He yawingly handed it over, waving a white flag back and forth in his head. A peace offering. The look on her face told him she knew that he knew that she knew. She accepted the mug nonetheless. Camille loved her drink almost as much as her hair and he was taking full advantage of her weakness.

He sat back down and sipped quietly, leaning his head against the wall. Camille propped her hip against the counter and skimmed through one of her magazines in silence.

Hah. Coffee was a man's dream.

"Hey, man." Josh appeared in the door sill, all chipper and trimmed, and clapped his shoulder nudging him over to get to the cupboard over his head. He pulled out his favourite 'Joker' mug and patted his tigh, once again indicating movement to use the coffee machine.

"Can you calm down?" Dylan yawned, rubbing his eye.

"Nah, dude. I have classes in thirty minutes, don't have time for consideration." he filled his cup to the brim, took a toast from the plastic bag and stuffed it into his mouth. Camille wrinkled her nose but kept quiet.

Dylan pouted infantile.

He wondered what Josh possessed that he didn't to be spared from the blonde's wrath and scrutinised him from bottom to top.

Josh was 6'4, a lot taller, wore a fitting green shirt and loose jeans with dark boots. His dark hair was tousled and he had small, almost none-existent stubbles on his chin. There were more muscles on his stomach and arms in comparison, they were obvious under his henley, but sport was Josh' major subject so Dylan didn't feel all that bad about losing.

He looked closer, eyes squinted, before shaking his head. Nope, there was nothing special about him apart from the clothing.

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Like what?" he blinked innocently.

Josh snorted and hit him on the stomach, this time a tad lighter, and his hand lingered for a second but he pulled back early enough for it to be brushed aside easily. Dylan can already see the motion develop into a habit.

"I can drive you." Camille offered and took a large gulp from her cup. She put the magazine back and smiled flirtatiously, blue eyes eyes crinkling. It would have worked if there wouldn't have been an obvious coffee moustache around her lips.

Dylan's lip twitched and Josh smirked, both looking at each other in amusement.

Soon enough, he bursted and guffawed almost choking. Josh patted his back soothingly in mock-alarm, playing along immediately.

Camille flushed to the tip of her ears when he pointed it out and stomped away into the bathroom, door slamming shut. They were going to see her after an hour or two at best if he calculated right. Once a girl's in the bathroom, it didn't matter who, they take up a large amount of time and space. Funny thing is, they look exactly the same when they come back out.

That's why the boys arranged to wake up early if they wanted to piss or take a shower. The only one whom Jenna or Camille consider opening the door for was Josh and a guy's gotta live somehow.

"So, no car." Josh commented, bottom lip jutting out and head inclined. He was pulling the puppy-eyes too.

Dylan sighed in resignation and slouched to his room to throw on a pair of clothes with a beaming Josh following closely. Sometimes he despised having a best friend.


After he drove Josh to the university, trying desperately not to crash into the nearby traffic, Dylan woke up Michael and Ethan but didn't even attempt to get Jenna out of bed. The redhead was even worse than him in the morning, he learned his lesson that one time when he was nice enough to knock on her door so she wouldn't be late for her job and she tried gouging out his eyes with her heels .

Redheads and their tempers. He shuddered.

"So, what's new?" Michael asked, coughing. His eyes were swollen and bloodshot. There was a cut on his lip and eyebrow. Ethan just slurped on his tea calmly. Tea, really? That's a new one.

"Eh, why don't you tell me why you look like a panda? I remember the both of you going to the party in high-spirits, don't leave anything out. I'm extremly curious. And Ethan since when did you convert from a coffee worshiper to a tea devotee?" Dylan asked and popped two toasts into the toaster. He was starving.

"Ever since Michael's IQ dropped last night."

"Dude, I already told you, he had it coming." he wiped a hand over his face and looked utterly pitiful. Dylan offered him a sloppy piece of toast and he thanked him quietly, spreading butter on the surface. He half-heartedly slapped a salami on top.

"Who?"

"Fucking Alexander Thompson, that's who." he glowered, mumbling around a piece of toast, spreading bits and pieces all over his plate.

"The Houdini of this century- only with uh less talent and illusions?" he leaned forward, interest piqued.

Alexander Thompson, the nemesis of all that is male.

He's an extremly popular guy who's attending the same university as Ethan and Michael, Dylan never met him personally but heard a lot of funny stories. Michael detests him, no one really knows why, but what they do know are Thompson's infamous tricks in picking up girls. The guy's apparently knee-deep into the magic business, you know, the coin and milk voodoo you'd use to heat up the party and get people talking are his forte.

And Michael hates magic, every since he saw a guy almost drown to death as a child, he lost interest in becoming a magician.

Half of his anger's directed at magic and the other half at Thompson who, from what Dylan gathered, finds Michael's apparent dislike utterly hilarious. But, dislike aside, he never imagined a fight to break out, Michael wasn't the type to use violence as a tool to win an argument.

"Yep." Ethan popped the 'p' but didn't look up from the newspaper.

"What happened?" he repeated.

"You know Elissa, my ex, right? She's the one with those F cup boobs and the tiny waist, the one who did belly-dancing as a hobby and knows how to give and take." Dylan hmmed in recognition, heard the toasts jump noisily, pulled them out, put cheese on both sides and mashed them together.

"She was literally lying in his lap, straddling him for the whole world to see."

Dylan waited for more, chewed and frowned when Michael didn't elaborate further. "That's it?"

"Are you kidding me? That's reason enough to go over and teach him a lesson. He was fucking smirking at me from where I was sitting, running his hand along her side in glee. I mean, we broke up a week ago and she's already hanging all over him, whoring herself out."

"No reason to go all hulk, rip your shirt off and jump onto the guy." Ethan commented dully and sipped on his tea again, newspaper rustling.

"You ripped your shirt off?" Dylan laughed. Michael, at least, had the decency to look somewhat ashamed of his actions.

"Dude, I lost it. I asked Elissa once if she was into Alexander like all the other girls, but she reassured me she wasn't. And now she's fucking him? I mean seriously, what's wrong with her?" he grumbled and finished his toast.

"So, let me guess, you're skipping university today?"

"Fuck yes."

"Fuck no." Jenna commented as she sauntered into the room, hips swaying seductively. Her hair was curled as usual and her lips were a deep red, changing colour regularly, she looked ready to go.

"Ugh, I forgot."

"You better not. Don't you dare cop out, we have a presentation and I need better grades if I want to graduate. I can't fail, I don't care if you don't know anything, we are graded individually, but if you are not present, it's gonna suck." she said, hands on her hips.

"'cause I'm awesome?" She snorted.

"Your stupidity makes me look better."

Dylan choked on his toast, coughed and hit his chest repeatedly. Tears gathered at the edge of his vision and he barely noticed the smirk Jenna directed at him, he ignored Michael's betrayed look as he wiped the fluid away.

"So, I guess I'll drive?" he asked meekly.

"Of course you're driving 'cause you're awesome, Dylan." she pecked his cheek and he could already feel the red imprint manifest itself. He was eyeing her behind as she strolled out of the room and smirked when he noticed the extra sway of her hips.

"Dude, rules." Michael reminded, fingers snapping." Repeat after me. 'No sexual intercourse between flatmates' , remember?"

Dylan nodded and looked at Ethan involuntarily. He didn't seem perturbed, though he was the reason this rule even existed.

They had a seventh flatmate before, Julia Whittmore, who utterly adored Ethan, it was terribly obvious for everyone. But he never mentioned or responded to her advances, tried ignoring and hurting her feelings with his indifference. But she remained strong and he thought having a quickie was a good way to portray the difference in their emotional investment. The drama that ensured was horrible.

Plates were flying, shirts were ripped to shreds, not even his own stuff was spared.

When she actually threw the ps3 out of the window, the ps3 they bought three days ago and just came out at that time, they knew she needed to go. Camille and Jenna were less than thrilled but they managed to convince Julia to search for another living-community.

"Yeah, I remember." he chewed the remains of his meal in silence.


Dylan drove all three to the university, Camille decided to stay home to sulk, before he battled his way through the mid-day traffic to get to work in time. He still felt sluggish and needed to use every ounce of concentration to keep the car in line.

When he arrived at Fair Oaks Pharmacy, a small café with traditional milkshakes, he hopped out of the car. He pushed the button on the keys and heard it lock securely. Emma, the manager and much-loved leader of this homey establishment was cleaning the counter when the door jingled. The smile he was greeted with was large and taking over her whole face. A Julia Roberts kind of smile, though Emma was a lot older, her hair was greyer and it was extremly contagious.

If he could have a perfect grandmother, he imagined Emma for the role.

She was patient and loving but also strict and gave good advice. Half of the customers only choose this café out of thousand others for the company, the milkshakes and cakes are like a cherry on top of the icing. Dylan, himself, had been a loyal customer and Emma always managed to lift his mood no matter how depressed he was when he first arrived.

"Hello, honey." the southern drawl was heavy.

"Hello, Mrs. Wellington."

"I told you to call me Emma, son." she swatted his arm playfully and he grinned flirtatiously

"I think it's better for both of us if we keep this purely professional. I'll never be able to let you go otherwise."

A mother who was sitting at the window not to far away, giggled and her son clapped his hands. His whole face was covered in icing and he was flashing a toothy grin. Dylan met her eyes and winked. She blushed and scratched her cheek in an adorable way.

"I think the opposite applies. Now, get dressed, boy. Hush, hush. You got chores to do. "

Dylan smirked but complied, vanishing behind the sliding door that lead to the back of the store.

He was pulling the white shirt over his normal attire, Dylan Parker was stitched with black stringes at the top on the right side, and tied an equally colored apron across his stomach. He was allowed to wear his sneakers and was grateful because appropriate work- shoes cost a ton of money and he was a broke student on leave.

He even owed Ethan over a hundred bucks and had yet to pay him back. He never mentioned the money, probably because he was too nice or simply didn't care, but the guilt was burying itself deeper into place the more time passed.

"Table three wants to order." Emma called and he speed-walked over, pen poised against paper.

"I'll have a strawberry shortcake, a strawberry milkshake and a strawberry cupcake."Somebody likes strawberries. He nodded and jotted it down, waiting for more information and when he heard nothing he smiled politely and moved on. He ripped the paper and fixed it on the leash with a bracket.

The whole day proceeded in the same routine.

Dylan was running around, taking orders, moping the floor, having small-talk with customers, flirting a bit to keep the atmosphere light and over-all pushing himself to the limit. It's one of his bad habits, once he was in the zone he had no control over his body. So, when his shift ended at night, he felt like he run a marathon. His hair was disshelved, he was sweating under the uniform and his limbs ached.

When he changed clothes his phone slipped out of his pocket and clattered to the floor. He turned it on to check if it's still working and noticed two missed calls and one message all from Josh.

He frowned, exasperation and horror growing the farther he read.

From : Joker

To: Batman

Hello stranger,

I'm assuming you're Dylan. His best friend.

Everyone else has been listed under their actual names, so I guess I hit the jackpot. So, Dylan, you're the one he's constantly talking about. I'm pretty sure you are completely oblivious to what I'm about to tell you, but Josh won't stop talking and being the nice, little friend I am I thought why not quicken the progress of his rejection?

First off, I want him, I'm serious. Secondly, Josh is completely wasted, passed out ages ago on the counter ( he looks absolutely ravishing), the same can be said for me, though funny enough when I'm drunk my texting skills improve so do not fear any ineloquence. We need a driver to pick us up. I hope you understand.

Back to the point, I love him. He's cute, funny and witty, you do not deserve him, do you understand? You take him for granted and hurt him over and over again. I detest people like you who are completely ignorant to the feeling's of others.

Yes, you guessed it, he's in love with you, a straight male who has nothing else on his mind other than boobs, boobs and again boobs. Hah. What a suprise!

I have known him for a few weeks now and we've only kissed twice. Like wtf? After a while I thought he didn't want the D, you know. (Hopefully that'll make you uncomfortable)

But then I found out about you. Sweet, little, innocent Dylan. The love of his life, whom he wants to, uh what was it again, fuck senseless or mash him up until he's screaming 'Josh' over and over again, curling his adorable little toes into the sheets?

You get the picure.

Reject him. He's gay. You're straight. It's never going to work out.

xxx

Ps: Fuck you.

PPS: We're at Mother Lode's, if you don't know the address, then look it up with google map, idiot.

The ending made Dylan's lip twitch and he would have laughed if the shock hadn't paralysed his body. ' Should he go- or stay and ignore the message and act like he hasn't read it yet?' Option two sounded preferrable. But then again, this was Josh, his childhood friend. He couldn't leave him intoxicated with a stranger. Who knows what might happen.

"Sweatheart, are you alright?" Emma frowned. He walked robotically step by step through the room to get to the door.

"No," he answered, head turned. "My best friend's gay and has been in love with me for god know's how long. And now I'm going to pick him up and meet his self-proclaimed boyfriend."

"Oh."

Oh, indeed.

x

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