Chapter One

Monserrat Castellani didn't spend all of his time in gay-bars, he didn't own a tutu, and he certainly did not have fantasies of himself singing "Bad Romance" in a sequined disco suit when he got out of the shower. As a matter of fact, he was so stereotypically unstereotypical as a gay boy that his love for fashion was, as he claimed it to be, "totally inspired by nothing more than good spatial reasoning skills and a strategical method of color alignment." He declared to be above categorization. He knew what happened to those who were caught in it.

Thus, his room was not an abyss of pink swirls and fluffy clouds like he had secretly wanted it to be, it was sophisticated and gray. His desk was organized with stacks of his school papers and a nice array of painter's books being held by the book weight his sister gave him for his birthday. Adjunct to them was a silver vase holding his brushes, pencils, and charcoals.

Often, he sat for hours at a time, quite unproductively, admiring the vase, and remembering when his ex-boyfriend gave it to him. They had been sitting abut to each other on his couch as Amadeus set it on his lap, all wrapped in heart wrapping paper; grinning like a two year old on Christmas.

...Monserrat really needed to get a life.

As his eyes glazed over, dancing across the tired lines of the glass figure that had somehow come to mean so much to him, he felt his phone buzz across the desk in an apostrophe of vibrations. The phone continued to vibrate, and Monserrat glanced over at the screen. It was Amadeus. He ignored it. Again, he looked back at the vase, feeling morose this time.

As he ignored the persistent prat of a caller, he wondered how much it would cost to just get a new phone. A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts. He glanced over at the hard wooden door. He wondered how much it would cost to get a new apartment.

Despite his incredible skill at ignoring annoying sounds, the knocking continued. Even a tub of vegan mint-chocolate ice cream couldn't assuage his consternation at the sound of the dainty knuckles of Amadeus' fists. He knew it was Amadeus.

Monserrat closed his eyes tightly, as every knock that he heard seemed to get louder and louder. Why couldn't he just mope in peace? His fingers shook, his closed eyes were twitching, and his breath increased in pace every time another knock struck the door. "Gah!," he shrieked, opening his eyes to find the world spinning.

He glared at the swirling object of his irritation, but nothing happened. Sighing, he trudged towards the door.

He set his hand on the knob, turning it slowly. When it swung open, Amadeus barged in with the smell of thousands of dying bugs on his breath. Monserrat bewilderedly shut the door behind him. "What in the name of Da Vinci are you-"

"Not right now," he muttered, slumping across the floor like a sack of limp, air-deprived, potatoes; reaching a hand forward to rest on Monserrat's shoulder like it had done so many times before. Oh, how Monserrat despised his (ex-)boyfriend's tendency to be an ambiguously

Spontaneous boy-scout("Stop visiting my house at three in the morning, you creep!," he recalled shouting only a few days ago, appalled by how Amadeus' visits had become habitual.

"Come on, Amadeus… Over here." he said, sighing. Monserrat lead him onto his couch. His eyes scanned Amadeus' body and his face. There were a few scratches on his face and his knuckles were bleeding slightly. These were signs of a physical fight, and by the looks of it, not a winning one. Monserrat's annoyance turned to a slight worry.

"What happened, Amadeus?" Amadeus opened his mouth, then let out a quick breath.

"Can't I just sit here with you instead of being nagged over like I'm your grandkid? I'm an adult too." Monserrat furrowed his brows in frustration. At least he never had to remind himself why he had left the besetting boy in front of him. He was -is- a twat with absolutely no redeeming qualities besides his attractiveness, piano skills, and sexual confidence.

"Do you need some bandages?" Monserrat asked, despite having wanted to punch him. Amadeus ran a hand through his curly hair, sighing heavily. "I'm fine, Mon!" he snapped. Monserrat turned away, hurt, tears forming in his eyes.

Amadeus instantly regret his words. "Oh shit I'm sorry. It hasn't been a good night." he said softly. Monserrat raised an eyebrow.

"Well I was having a good night, until you decide to show up drunk at my apartment at midnight." he chided.

Amadeus, instead of responding, lowered his eyes in a sign of conscious guilt(or so he hoped.) Monserrat stood up abruptly, brushed away his lingering emotional confusion, and walked to the kitchen in what suddenly felt like the most capaciously empty building in the world.

Sighing, he reached up for the top cabinet and opened it. Grabbing the first aid kit, he closed the door. As Monserrat walked back into the living room where Amadeus sat on his couch, his head in his hands, Monserrat glanced quickly at his couture.

It was tattered, and you could see where he tried to desiccate spilled alcohol off of it. Amadeus snored, making Monserrat sigh in frustration. Monserrat had learned, after watching Amadeus go through years of alcoholism, that Amadeus was prone to sleeping off the alcohol churning in his tiny heart.

Monserrat himself never drank, probably because of Amadeus. He hated watching his (ex-) boyfriend become a weepy puppy with twice the testosterone level of a grown male horse. Supposedly, his vehement encouragement to Amadeus to attend a rehabilitation facility had made him a demagogue, and then, his vehement encouragement to Amadeus to find a dictionary had made him a jerk.

Monserrat sat next to Amadeus on the couch, took his hand, disinfected it, and wrapped it. A paper fell out of Amadeus' pocket, it was an advertisement for a gay bar (only a few miles away).

Monserrat deduced he had been there at the time he was slurping down drinks. Gay bars were so sleazy. He traced his fingers over Amadeus' cheek in an aggressively platonic way, hoping that at least Amadeus didn't spend all of his time now humping beer in run-down buildings. Monserrat began to recall the first anniversary they had, Amadeus took him on a trip to Maine.

At first it was blindingly stupendous, Maine, college, a jointed apartment, and the man of his metaphorical (and sometimes literal) dreams.

Of course, the romantic fantasy Monserrat had imagined life in the city to be greatly digressed from what was, well… Right in front of him, such as the drooling, half-awake, fire-breathed boy who was currently banging his head on the side of the couch.

Well, that was a fast nap. He shoved Amadeus' shoulder, then asked him how he was feeling. Amadeus smiled slowly and squinted up at Monserrat.

"Hey, when did you get home Mon Bon…?," he asked sleepily.

He needed to tell Amadeus at some point that that was the most incredibly stupid nickname Monserrat had ever heard in his short lifetime of twenty two years. It wasn't endearing in the slightest. Not anymore at least.

He sighed, "Listen it's been a long night and… you should go…". Amadeus looked up at Monserrat's eyes with a sheepish smile. "I, uh, heh, can't go home… my parents have disowned me, they found out I was still drinking, they, um… took, like, everything."

Tears welled in his eyes. "Even my college payments, and my, uh, piano."

Monserrat bit his lip. Darn himself for being so inclined to help others. He really should just tell Amadeus to go annoy one of his other friends, but… Yeah, being a no-good, lazy, alcoholic merited some sort of criticism, but not the duress Amadeus had endured.

Monserrat sat next to him, placing a paint-stained hand on his shoulder in an attempt to comfort the other boy. He didn't want to disparage him. Amadeus glanced up at him, tears in his eyes. He cried out, sobbing.

Contemplating either hugging Amadeus, or shoving a pillow in his face, Monserrat looked at the floor, sitting idly next to the uncomfortably red-faced weeper who used to tease him about how emotional he was.

"Listen, um, you probably won't ever amount to more than a barista, but that's okay, you're like a… A dormant volcano, waiting to erupt," he mumbled, lifting his face with a, hopefully, encouraging smile.

"You mean, one day I'll get mad and kill everybody?," Amadeus deadpanned, sniffling.

Monserrat laughed. As he laughed, he realized that he hadn't laughed in quite a while. He shook his head.

"No, that's not what I meant . I meant that you, Amadeus Jared Beaulieu, have potential. And not only that, you're amazing. Don't let this define you. Whatever cruel things they told you aren't the you that I lov-know." Monserrat turned slightly red as he corrected himself.

Grabbing a tissue off of the glass coffee table Amadeus smiled slightly. He looked up at Monserrat, and he had that sparkle in his eye, the one he had when he was talking about something he adored. He remembered when he would rant on and on about one of his paintings he had entered in a prestigious contest. Monserrat was devastated when he received the second place ribbon.

"What I'm also trying to say is, you can stay here with me for a while, Ame. Until you can find another place and figure out whatever you want to do and wherever you want to go. You don't have to stay here, it's just a suggestion." he said, fidgeting with his fingers.

The idea made Amadeus smile. Big.

"Of course I would like to stay here. I'll sleep here, of course. Thank you." he said softly. Monserrat nodded, and he could see the sincerity in Amadeus's eyes.' I've missed you,' he thought, coughing to hide any hint that he was still totally enamored by the boy next to him."It's late, we should be getting to sleep."

As he said this, Monserrat yawned. Amadeus looked over at him, waiting for him to say something. Ten minutes of awkward silence passed. Amadeus turned over again, but Monserrat was asleep.

Amadeus smiled. Monserrat was, like, the biggest sleeping beauty archetype he'd ever met.

He shoved his arms under the man's shoulders and lugged him to their- Monserrat's- room, to a wide bed; one he'd slept in with the blond-haired boy before. With Amadeus' help, Monserrat climbed into bed, drowning in yawns. "G'night, Amadeus."

"Night, Monserrat," he said softly, impulsively kissing him gently on the cheek. The half asleep Montserrat didn't recognize the action, and fell into the sweet release of sleep. After Monserrat was tucked into the pristine white duvet, Amadeus made his way to the cabinet in the hallway outside of his room. Grabbing a sheet, a blanket, and a pillow he trudged back to the couch and fixed a makeshift bed.

Amadeus lied on the couch, underneath the covers. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes. Soon he was asleep. All he could dream of was him and Montserrat on the beach he had painted for that contest.