Chapter 12

WARNING: Arrrgh, mateys. M/M Slash ahoy!!!

They found the van, after approximately forty-five minutes of wandering aimlessly, parked around back. Which, in twenty-twenty hindsight, was probably the first place they should've looked. As Jessica was polite enough to point out several times.

"I mean, really, when you think about it, we had to park in back. Where the hell else would we have parked? And I remember Vic and I had to go around the front..."

"Put a sock in it, Jess," Vic said, his words slightly stifled by a yawn.

Bill and Crackhead had already climbing inside, pushing and shoving to be first. "You were first last time, man!" Bill nearly screamed. "It's my fucking turn, okay?!"

Damien smirked at Vic's little yawn. Turning pointedly to Jessica, he said, "I think your buddy's up past his bedtime."

She nodded. "Yes, I think you're right... no wonder he's been so cranky..."

Vic glowered at the pair of them. "I am not a baby." And before Damien had the chance to retort, 'No, but you act like one,' the redhead was climbing into the back of the van. Leaving Damien with no other option that to shrug and follow him.

Jessica stood back for a second or two, arms on crossed over her chest as she grinned and realized she felt very much like a mother. Or a prison warden.

Crackhead, disoriented and apparently still living in Under the Influence of Mysterious Pills Land, had long since lost the battle and climbed into the front of the car after Bill.

"Get in the car!" Bill hollered at Jessie, causing her to shake herself out of her thoughts.

"Or we'll leave without you!" said Crackhead. If you can figure out how to start the car, Jessica couldn't help thinking. Not like she didn't have the keys anyhow…

In the back of the van, Vic and Damien didn't even notice the sound of Jessie's door slamming, or the feeling of the van starting. They were too lost in their own conversation-- or conversations, rather, since they were on completely different subjects.

Vic was continuing to sulk. "You realize neither of us can ever go to school again, don't you? You know what they do to fags, don't you?"

"I'm telling you," Damien said, "the Cat in the Hat is fuckin' creepy. Most people think he's all like, 'Hi, I'm so friendly!' but he's really more like, 'Hi! I want to feed on your soul!'"

A sigh from Vic as he glanced at the floor so that, of his head, only the cowboy hat and ponytail were visible. "You're too much like Crackhead."

"And then there's all his little ca--" And the blond immediately froze, slightly horrified. "I am not like Crackhead."

"Yes you are! I'm trying to have a serious discussion and you're going off about vampire cats or something! It's..." Vic smiled a little, although with his head still down, Damien couldn't see that. "It's a very Crackhead-like thing to do."

Damien shook his head furiously. "I'm not like Crackhead! I'm not!" he said. "I... you're just too much like a damn girl, that's all. You weren't trying to have a serious anything-- you were trying to lecture and whine at me, and I was trying to lighten the mood."

Vic raised his head, one of his eyebrows arched. "Really now? Is that so?"

Damien nodded a bit smugly. "You really need to quit worrying so much. It's all you ever do. Worry, worry, worry. Complain, complain, complain. Bitch, bitch, bitch."

Both eyebrows were now arched. "I hardly think I'm that bad."

"Oh, but you arrre," Damien purred, slowly scooting beside Vic as the limo went over a bump.

"Humph. If you say so."

Damien was surprised by Vic's sudden complacency. Determined to rouse the other from it (Vic was so much more fun when he was arguing, and so utterly adorable when he was squirming), he flung an arm over the redhead's shoulder.

Vic's body stiffening under the physical contact and his blue eyes, darting hastily to glance at the arm and then back at Damien, betrayed Vic's inner discomfort. Giving Damien reason for a self-satisfied smirk.

But apparently he'd celebrated too soon, for Vic took a deep breath, shrugged, and relaxed slightly.

Damien shrugged too. If Vic wanted to be like that, fine. Only made his "job" easier, right? "You know, you've got such lovely hair," Damien said as he stroked Vic's ponytail. "It'd be even prettier if you let me braid it."

"And I act too much like a damn girl?"

Damien ignored this. "Really, I could braid it in two pigtails..."

"Absolutely not!" Vic was scandalized.

"What? You already dress like a flaming queen!"

There was that familiar blush Damien had been waiting for. "I do not!" Vic gasped.

"Sure you do," Damien said. He gestured over Vic's body, pointing out articles of clothing. "Look at your jacket!"

"What in the hell's wrong with my jacket?"

"Well, nothing, except it practically screams, 'Hey everybody! Look at me, I'm a queer!'" said Damien. "Either that, or"—he tugged at the long fabric strings dangled from the sleeves of Vic's tan jacket—"Bon Jovi had a garage sale." Damien's hands were tucked securely under Vic's arms as he continued to examine the other boy.

Vic's blush deepened. "Hey, hey!" He tried to wriggle out of Damien's grasp. "First of all, Bon Jovi's not gay. Second of all, neither's my jacket. And third of all, please don't touch me like that—I'm not a piece of meat! Especially not… there…" Apparently referring to his underarms. "You know—far better than you have any right to—that I'm kinna ticklish!" Vic squirmed as though to demonstrate his point.

Damien smirked. "First of all, Bon Jovi's gayer than Boy George. Second of all, so's your jacket. And third of all, saying you're 'kind of ticklish' is like saying Freddy Krueger is 'slightly frightening.'"

To his surprise, Vic laughed. "Freddy Krueger isn't even slightly frightening."

"He scares the piss outta me!"

Vic shrugged as he carefully slipped out of the blond's hands. "If you're a frickin' pussy, maybe. Besides… I don't think a guy who's critiquing other people's outfits and using phrases like 'practically screams' has any right calling anyone else gay."

"Hey, did I ever say I wasn't gay? No, I didn't." At least not to you, anyway. Damien, now that he was no longer holding onto Vic, crossed his arms over his chest and pouted. But his eyes were twinkling in a way that was either merry or demonic. The van went over another bump and from the front seat Jessica said, "CRACKHEAD, NO! BILL DOESN'T BEND THAT WAY!"

"No, you didn't," Vic conceded. "And I noticed you never said you weren't a pussy, either." 

This time it was Damien who blushed.