Word Count: 10,162
Summary: After coming out of the closet to his friends in Canada and getting disowned by them, Pierre Bouvier moves to a hick town in the states to escape. Life is dull and grim for the twenty-one year old Canadian until he meets David Desrosiers, a young man who could change it all for the better.
Disclaimer: Don't know, don't own, didn't happen!
Author's Note: OMG. I'M SO SORRY THIS TOOK SO LONG. ;___; I've had a lot of personal stuff going on, but I'm back on track and hopefully I'll go back to getting at least one chapter up a week. I'm taking a lot of classes right now, so bear with me if sometimes it takes a few weeks. I'm sorry, and I hope this nice long chapter makes up for the wait! <3
“Look at that fuckin’ fag…”
“What’s wrong Stapleface? Isn’t there some guy’s dick you could be sucking?”
David closed his eyes and forced himself to keep walking, forced himself to endure the ridicule. This was his fault, after all. He was the one who had opened his mouth and let the words simply fall out without even meaning to. David had thought of coming out before, of telling his new found school friends of who he really was. Maybe if they all really got to know him, they would see that gays weren’t bad. It seemed, however, that no matter how well they got to know him (or at least, how well they thought they got to know him), his classmates would always be far too narrow minded to accept David for what he was: a—
It had been an accident, really! Just one tiny slip of the tongue that revealed his biggest secret. He’d simply been sharing a light conversation with a girl in his class over a group project, and she’d mentioned something about her boyfriend being an asshole. David had laughed and replied with a gentle. “I’m so lucky. Pierre’s so sweet to me.”
Would he ever forget the look of mingled shock and disgust on the girl’s face? Or the way she turned immediately to her friend and began instantly re-wording what David had just said? Between cell phones and word of mouth, it took less than two class periods for everyone to know. By the time lunch came, David very much doubted that there wasn’t a single student in the whole school that didn’t know. When the words had come out, he’d hardly thought about them. It was as if part of him was just sick of lying, as if the words themselves wanted to be free of his lips and his mind, because every time David was forced to deny who he was and who he had feelings for, it killed him a little bit.
When he walked into the cafeteria, it was as if the whole, small, crowed room turned to stare at him, as if he was some sort of freak show or traveling circus. Really, hadn’t these people ever seen a real, live homosexual before? It was enough to stop him in his tracks and slowly he looked around, not seeing a single friendly face in the mob of students. People either looked shocked, angry, disturbed, or indifferent; it appeared there wasn’t even one smile for him. He swallowed hard and turned around, making his way quickly back down the hall. He glanced behind him, making sure no one was following him, before ducking into the bathroom, locking himself in a stall and sitting on the back of the toilet with his feet on the seat. Sure, his hiding spot was only good for thirty minutes, but it was better than nothing.
Quickly he whipped out his phone and began to write a text. When it had only been Troy bullying him, David had been able to handle it alone. With the whole school looking at him as if he was a cockroach on the carpet, he knew he needed help and this time he wouldn’t hesitate to ask for it.
David’s eyes widened when he heard the bathroom door open and the room was instantly filled with deep, male voices. It sounded as if there were only two of them, but David was still keen to keep hidden. He closed his eyes and waited, biting his lips together and hardly daring to breathe.
“Did you hear about David?”
David felt as if his heart stopped beating in his chest at the mention of his name.
“Yeah, dude! Do you think it’s true?”
“Of course it’s true! Look at him! He’s a total freak! No wonder he’s never fit in.”
Though he knew he shouldn’t listen to those boys, and that he should be proud not to fit in with a school full of bigots, he couldn’t help it when his eyes filled with tears and he had to bite down hard on his bottom lip to keep it from trembling.
“God, can you believe we’ve had a faggot walking around with us all this time and we never even knew it?”
At those words, two fat tears leaked from David’s closed eyes. And then one of the boys uttered five words — five words that made everything seem to freeze in fear.
“Dude, does Baker know yet?”
By Baker, of course the boy meant Troy. Troy Baker. Did Troy Baker know yet that David had accidentally outed himself? If the day had been bad before, it had just turned terrible. David didn’t even want to know how the 6’2” quarterback was going to respond.
“I dunno, man. He’s gonna be pissed though! He stood up for the little freak!”
“I know! What do you think he’s gonna do to him?”
Though whatever the other boy thought, David never found out, because in that moment they had opened the door and left, leaving David alone hiding in the bathroom again. What would Troy do to him? Surely he wouldn’t leave David be? How could he risk his reputation by doing nothing? He had been the one to assure everyone in school that David was normal, that David was cool, that they should all be David’s friends. Now that the truth was out, there was no doubt in David’s mind that Troy would have to do something to make it known that he didn’t approve of David any longer. David could only hope that Pierre came to save him in time.
David practically jumped when his phone began to buzz in his hand; he was lucky to not have dropped it in the toilet. He felt only a small sense of security in Pierre’s response.
David shook his head and more tears slipped slowly down his cheeks as he wrote his boyfriend back .
Barely twenty seconds went by after sending that text and his phone lit up again, though this time Pierre was calling him. David looked around the stall, wondering if he dared to answer. He was alone in the bathroom, but what if someone heard him talking? Sure, he would have to deal with his classmates in class, but in a classroom he would have the protection of a teacher at all times. In that bathroom, he was alone. Still, he closed his eyes and accepted the call, holding the phone carefully to his ear.
“David, what’s wrong?” Pierre’s voice came urgently.
David swallowed hard and cleared his throat, though when he spoke, the sound of tears was easily discernible in his voice. “I didn’t mean to,” he said softly.
“What did you do?”
“Pierre… I… I accidentally…” David bit down on his bottom lip and took a slow deep breath. “Everyone at school knows I’m gay.”
There was a long silence on the line, and David knew that Pierre was worried. “Has he said anything to you?” Pierre asked, his voice low.
“No, I haven’t even seen him… but I’m sure he’s really mad,” David whispered in response.
David heard Pierre sigh and knew that he felt helpless, quite possibly as helpless as David felt. “I’ll be there,” Pierre told him firmly, and David felt his sense of security growing a little. “I’ll be there waiting before school even gets out. And I’m not waiting across the street like last time. I’m standing right in front of that god damn door and walking in to get you if I have to.”
David gave a gentle, watery laugh and shook his head slowly. “You can just wait outside… you wouldn’t even know where to look for me inside,” David pointed out softly. Pierre sighed again, and David smiled wider. “Thank you,” David said lovingly.
“At least I’m off work thirty minutes before you’re out of school, so I’ll still be able to get you tomorrow…”
David nodded. He knew the only reason he’d even been able to get in touch with Pierre right then was because it was Tuesday and Pierre didn’t work. “Okay, I should go before someone hears me talking,” David said gently.
“God David, are you hiding or something?” Pierre’s voice came incredulously.
David gave a gentle laugh and sigh. “Yeah,” he started. “I’m—” but he cut off when he heard the bathroom door swing open.
“David? David what’s wrong?”
David pulled his phone from his face and ended the call, holding it tightly in his hands. Why was the person in the bathroom being so quiet? David couldn’t even tell if they were moving around, or if they were simply standing in the doorway listening. Was he paranoid to think that whoever had just walked into the bathroom was standing there trying to hear if he was in there? The swinging bathroom door gave a creak, and David allowed himself to calm down slightly, thinking that whoever was in there was leaving, though soon his phone began to buzz and he heard the door squeak louder. GOD FUCKING DAMN IT, PIERRE, David mentally scolded Pierre, and he held his phone against his chest, hoping to drown out the sound of the vibration.
“David?” David closed his eyes tight and willed the tears to go away, but they just continued to fall, even faster when he heard the boy call to someone else. “He’s in here…”
“David come out right now!” a girl’s voice called, and David’s eyes opened wide.
“Yelly?” he asked weakly.
He heard the bathroom door swing shut, though didn’t move from his sitting place on the back of the toilet. “Yes, now come out here,” she commanded firmly.
David pushed his phone in his pants pocket and shook his head, covering his face with his hands. “Go away,” he mumbled into his hands.
“Come on David, just come out,” the boy asked gently, and suddenly it occurred to David that it was Chuck.
He sighed and nodded as he stepped back onto the ground. Slowly he came out, wiping his eyes as he came face to face with his sister and Chuck. “What do you want?” he asked weakly.
And though he was being defensive and slightly unpleasant, Yael was quick to wrap her arms around him. As if he couldn’t control it, David’s face crumpled and his tears began to fall in earnest. He clung to her, hiding his face in the crook of her neck as his body shook and the only sounds escaping him were badly muted whimpers of sobs. Yael sighed and closed her eyes, her hand stroking the back of David’s head in a comforting manner. “What happened?” she asked softly. David shook his head, finding speech near impossible. “Was it Troy?”
“Wait, Troy knew?” Chuck asked curiously. Yael bit her lips together and her eyes widened. She had momentarily forgotten that Chuck didn’t know of her brother’s past sexual-relationship with the high school hero.
David gave a weak sigh and shook his head again, slowly pulling out of his sister’s comfort but keeping his gaze down as he wiped his eyes. “No… it was me,” he said, his voice sounding thick and nasally. “I didn’t mean to, I just mentioned Pierre and that was all it took…”
Yael put a hand on David’s shoulder and he looked up at her weakly. For once she didn’t feel like the younger sister. “Come on, you’re not hiding in here,” she told him firmly.
“I can’t go out there,” David whispered. “Did you see the way everyone stopped and stared at me when I went in the cafeteria?”
“Yeah, I did,” Yael told him. “But you’re not gonna let them tell you you’re wrong, and you’re not gonna let them keep you down. David, you’re hiding in a fucking bathroom, for God’s sake! Don’t let them do this to you!” she argued, her voice fiery.
“It’s not that simple,” he breathed.
“Yes, it is,” she responded firmly. “You’re going to walk out of this bathroom with me and Chuck with your head held high and a smile on your face.” When David simply stared disbelievingly at her, she sighed and gave a half smile. “Make me proud to be your little sister.”
Without a second thought, David was hugging her again. He’d never felt so close to his sister before that moment, not even when they were kids and still got along and liked the same things. Though they sometimes rubbed along uncomfortably, she was still his sister and she loved him; her attitude and support toward him now showed him that more than anything else could. As he pulled away, he nodded, giving a weak laugh and wiping his eyes again. “Does it look like I’ve been crying?” he asked weakly.
Yael grimaced lightly and David laughed again. “Whatever,” he muttered, before taking a deep breath, flashing Chuck a smile, and walking again into the hall. He walked slightly ahead of the two, making sure to keep his head up and a smile on his face, just as his sister had demanded. When he glanced behind him, he thought he saw Yael and Chuck talking, though when he looked again, they were facing determinately away from each other. His eyebrows pulled together in suspicion, though he didn’t have time to ask before he was walking into the cafeteria, and again the room went silent. This time, however, he didn’t stop. He continued to walk through the room of his classmates, not looking at any of them as he called to him. And then something odd happened, something he’d never expected to happen.
As someone shouted the word, “faggot!” at him, he heard a yell come from behind him. A male’s voice, telling the person who had screamed their insult to shut up. And then he felt a hand in his, fingers locking with his, and he turned to face Chuck, staring at him with shocked, wide eyes.
“You wanna talk shit about David, you’re gonna have to talk shit about me, too,” Chuck told them firmly.
“I knew it…”
“Yeah, that’s right, I’m gay too,” Chuck lied loudly.
David turned to face him, staring at him and wondering when he’d lost his mind. “What are you doing?!” David whispered urgently, but Chuck merely flashed him a smile before leaning over and placing a kiss on David’s cheek. David’s eyes widened and his cheeks burned red, and though he heard a few gasps, some theatrical gagging and a couple exclamations of disgust, he couldn’t help but smile.
“And I’m a lesbian!” Yael exclaimed, and David’s head snapped in her direction, staring at her with an incredulous smile. She leaned against a table full of girls and winked at one of them, giving a roguish grin as she muttered, “Hey there, pretty ladies.” The girls all gawked in apparent distaste of Yael’s attention, though David grinned when he saw that one of the girls actually looked intrigued by his sister.
David attempted to pull his hand from Chuck’s, but Chuck simply held on tighter. The fact that Yael and Chuck had obviously planned this as a way to make David feel less alone brought tears again to his eyes, though he worked his hardest to blink them back. He looked over at Chuck, who turned and smiled at him in the same moment, and gently whispered, “Thank you.”
“No problem,” Chuck told him with a nod.
“I don’t believe it,” one boy said, and David turned to look at where the voice came from, watching as a boy stood and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Well that’s your problem, then,” Chuck told him firmly.
“No way Comeau’s gay!” A girl decided firmly.
“Why else would I date a dude?” Chuck asked angrily. David was slightly amused by how defensive he was getting, considering he was lying.
“Prove it then!” Someone yelled, and David turned to look at Chuck nervously.
“Yeah, kiss him if he’s really your boyfriend!” Another student threw in.
“Chuck, just… give it up,” David whispered, but Chuck smiled and turned slowly toward David. David’s eyes widened when he felt Chuck’s hand on his cheek — felt himself begin to shake when Chuck used his fingers to gently tuck David’s long, black hair behind his ear. “What are you doing?” He whispered weakly, but Chuck simply continued to smile before slowly leaning toward him. David’s eyes were the size of saucers when Chuck’s lips pressed against his, his mind practically suspended in time; he couldn’t even find the ability to close his eyes, or kiss his sister’s boyfriend back.
Chuck pulled back slightly, giving an irritated growl. “They’re not gonna believe it if you don’t give me something,” Chuck told him in a soft whisper, before leaning down into him again.
David closed his eyes and kissed Chuck back, feeling awkward at the fact that, not only was he kissing someone other than his boyfriend, but it was his sister’s boyfriend, and the kiss was taking place in front of the entire student body, who were all sitting by watching in a state of stupor. As if that wasn’t weird enough for him, kissing someone whom he had no feelings for and no sexual attraction to was even weirder. It was as if it wasn’t happening; as if it was more of a hug than a kiss. He hadn’t known until that moment what it would be like to kiss someone and feel nothing from it, but there he was, kissing a boy he had no interest in, and gosh, was it different.
Apparently Chuck was getting more into than David, because soon his tongue was in David’s mouth, and David could only make himself kiss Chuck back in that way for a few seconds before he was pulling away, staring up at him nervously. Chuck smiled at him again, before wrapping an arm around David’s shoulders and giving him a swift kiss on his forehead, and turning back to face the room of his classmates.
“Any more questions?” Chuck asked loudly. When none were raised, Chuck nodded firmly and began to walk again, pulling David with him to an empty booth on the outer wall of the cafeteria. David couldn’t help but scan the room for any signs of Troy, but the boy was no where to be found. Had he heard? Was he hiding? Was he afraid of what he thought he had to do to David to protect himself? And how would he react when he heard people saying that David and Chuck were couple, as they undoubtedly would. Anybody that didn’t know already would without a doubt know by the end of the day.
All throughout lunch, David could hear people talking about him, could see people staring at him, and it occurred to him that Chuck’s actions — while made with good intentions — might have only made matters worse. Before, David’s sexuality had only been a rumor, and one that spread like wildfire, but now his classmates had first hand proof that he was gay, and as he headed to class and was forced to let go of Chuck’s hand, he couldn’t help but feel small and unprotected. Sure, Chuck wasn’t that much bigger than he was, but no body was going to mess with the two of them together, and no one would mess with Chuck alone. David, on the other hand…
Throughout his last few classes of the day, David had been forced to endure constant muttering, people making fun of him, calling him names, throwing things at him when teachers had their backs turned. When the final bell of the day rang, David was the first to leave, gathering his things and making his way quickly to the door, and though his intent had been to be the first one out of the school, he walked into a full hall, a hall of people teasing him, trying to trip him, pushing him as he walked by. How could teenagers be so cruel? Getting down the hall and outside had never seemed like such a daunting task to him before. Now, with his eyes on the ground, it was easy for people to keep him from doing so. He hardly had time to look up before he was being pushed over someone’s extended foot.
David’s eyes fell closed as he flew forward, earning a soft yelp of surprise, before coming to land on his hands and knees in the middle of the hall. He heard laughter around him, people yelling insults and jeering at him, calling him a fag, and suddenly it was as if he hadn’t momentarily had friends at school. All he’d wanted was to be normal, even if only for a few months. He knew these people had never truly been his friends, but it had been so easy to fall into their fake friendships, because underneath it all, who didn’t want to be liked? David had tears in his eyes and his hands were shaking as he pushed himself up, grabbing his backpack from the floor and slinging it over his shoulder again. He kept his head down as he walked, wanting to get out of the school as fast as possible and to Pierre, who he knew was waiting for him just outside.
When David felt himself run right into another person, he didn’t have time to react before falling again. He landed hard on his butt, and though he had sharp pain running up his back, he couldn’t feel anything but a fear so complete he could have drowned in it. He stared helplessly up at Troy, his entire body shaking. What would Troy do to him for coming out? The last time people had been picking on him, Troy had been right there to make sure he stayed down, to pulverize him into the floor. As he stared up at the quarterback, tears began to stream down David’s cheeks and he found movement impossible. He knew he should have gotten up and ran for it, or even called for help from a teacher, or maybe even started screaming Pierre’s name at the top of his lungs, but he didn’t do any of those things. He just sat there, shaking, crying, and absolutely dreading Troy’s hand coming down toward him.
“Come on, David,” Troy said softly, taking David entirely by surprise. David continued to stare helplessly up at him and Troy sighed and leaned further down, grabbing onto David’s hand and pulling him up. David thought it was a miracle that he managed to stand on his legs without falling over again, he was shaking so badly. The sound in the hall died down and people stared at the two, unable to believe what they were seeing: Troy Baker being nice to the faggot. “Are you okay?” Troy asked, and as he said this, he brushed David’s arms and shoulders free of dust from the ground. David gave a weak nod, feeling thoroughly wrong-footed. Troy turned to look around at the many people in the hall, glaring at them all. “You should all be ashamed of yourselves,” he told them firmly, and David felt himself getting even more shocked as he stared at the other boy. Apparently that day was just full of surprises.
“What the fuck, Baker?” A boy asked, someone whom David recognized as another member of the football team. “Are you a fag now too?”
David watched Troy carefully. No way was he going to admit it. No way. And David wasn’t disappointed. Troy rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Don’t be stupid, Dom,” he said blankly. “I’m not gay, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant. There’s nothing wrong with David the way he is.” No one said anything, not a single soul daring to contradict anything that Troy said, though David could see in their faces that for once they didn’t hang off of the boy’s every word. “If I hear anyone messing with David again, you’re gonna have to answer to me,” he told them all strongly, and again, no one said anything against him, though not a single person’s demeanor changed toward David. They all continued to stare at him, some glaring, others smilingly mockingly. David felt nervous as he watched them all, though he knew that no one would disobey a direct order from Troy; sometimes it amazed him the way high school worked. Troy turned back to David, offering a weak smile. “Can we go somewhere and talk?” he requested gently.
David didn’t know what had happened to Troy. First, he’d risked his reputation and popularity by assuring everyone that David was cool. Now he had gone so far as to stick up for him being gay, despite how much riskier that was. He couldn’t help but feel a little bubble of affection welling up inside of him, no matter what Troy had done to him in the past: mentally abused him, raped him, physically maimed him, manipulated his mind… with what Troy had just done for him, suddenly he felt that none of it mattered anymore. He couldn’t help but trust him — trust that he was legitimately trying to be a good person, to make up for his mistakes. Though he had no reason to feel safe with the boy, David nodded, and together the two began to walk down the hall, though they said nothing as they did. His shock was so much that he temporarily forgot that Pierre was waiting outside for him.
Pierre had been standing outside the school for ten minutes, waiting impatiently for the bell to ring and David to come outside to him. Sebastien was leaning against a tree, standing behind it, hoping to avoid being seen. “Seriously, you brought me to a high school?” he scolded Pierre.
“So?” Pierre asked, raising an eyebrow.
“So, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m kinda famous,” Sebastien explained, feigning modesty, and Pierre smiled and rolled his eyes. “Roll your eyes now, but just wait. If any of these teenage girls get a good look at me…” He trailed off, shook his head and sighed, and Pierre smiled wider.
“Don’t worry. I’m hoping I won’t have to use you,” Pierre explained slowly.
“Use me?” Sebastien asked skeptically.
“You’re my backup plan,” Pierre told him vaguely.
“Backup plan?” Sebastien inquired, sounding rather nervous.
“I’ll tell you if we get to that,” Pierre said with a shrug.
“I have a feeling I’m not gonna like this,” Sebastien said slowly. “I don’t wanna be beating up a high school student, okay?”
Pierre laughed and shook his head. “Don’t worry. We’re not gonna beat anyone up.”
As soon as the bell rang, Pierre perked up, getting prepared for anything he had to do. If he had to run, he would run. If he had to pick up David and carry him away, he would do it. And despite what he’d said to Sebastien, if he had to beat up a high school student, he would do it… again. Sebastien stayed hidden behind the tree, determined to avoid being seen if at all possible, because the last thing he needed was a mob of teenagers asking for his autograph and pulling on his clothes. Pierre scanned the crowd of students exiting, his eyes narrowed in extreme focus. It wasn’t long before he spotted David walking out the doors, looking as if he at least hadn’t been beaten up, something which was a perk. When David turned and started talking to Troy, however, Pierre’s entire body stiffened.
David looked away from Troy, and that’s when he remembered that Pierre was there. “Shit,” he said, stopping in place and staring at his boyfriend.
“What’s wrong?” Troy asked as he stared at David, though soon his eyes were flickering in the direction that David was staring, and he went rigid. David looked between Pierre and Troy, slightly unnerved by the intense glare they were sharing. Placing a hand on Troy’s upper arm, he began to push him to continue walking toward the side of the school while giving Pierre a wave intended to tell him that everything was alright and that he would come back in a minute. The glare fell from Troy’s features and he looked down at David’s hand on his arm, before flashing the other boy a soft smile. Pierre’s eyebrows raised and his mouth fell open, but David either didn’t notice or didn’t care because he continued to walk with Troy until the two neared the corner of the school.
“What the fuck?” Pierre breathed incredulously.
“What?” Sebastien asked, attempting to peer around the tree without being noticed.
“That’s Troy,” Pierre said, nodding toward the two.
Sebastien’s eyes widened when he caught a glimpse of the boy whom he’d come to understand as David’s ex. “THAT’S TROY?!”
“Why the fuck is David going anywhere alone with him?” Pierre growled, his fists clenching.
“That kid’s HUGE!” Sebastien exclaimed, ignoring Pierre’s question. “You kicked his ass?!”
“Yes,” Pierre responded stiffly.
“Nice job, dude!” Sebastien replied with a laugh. Pierre looked over at Sebastien, staring at him contemplatively. “What?” Sebastien asked skeptically.
Pierre, rather than answering, reached in his front pocket and pulled out a ball point pen, before turning and handing it to Sebastien. “You’re gonna need this,” Pierre told him shortly.
Sebastien watched Pierre with confusion and took the pen. “What for?”
Pierre turned to Sebastien, flashing him an apologetic smile, before muttering, “Backup plan.”
Sebastien’s eyes got wide and he shook his head quickly. “Don’t you dare,” he warned, but Pierre didn’t listen.
He grabbed onto Sebastien’s arm and pulled him away from the tree, before taking several steps back and screaming as loud as he could, “SEBASTIEN LEFEBVRE!”
All it took was for one teenage girl to hear that name and look over, and suddenly teenagers were rushing over. “I fucking hate you!” Sebastien screamed, but Pierre didn’t stop to respond before he was bolting away. This was why he had brought Sebastien; he’d never had any intent on letting Sebastien fight anyone. He knew he had pushed his luck before by beating Troy up on the high school grounds, and was lucky to have not been caught, much less arrested, so this time he had planned on a distraction: the rockstar. Sebastien’s fame had a use, apparently. Pierre caught up to the two quickly, though he followed from a distance, deciding that he would only intervene if necessary. He didn’t want David mad at him, after all. As David and Troy turned another corner, Pierre followed slowly. When he glanced around the corner and saw that they had come to a stop, he popped back around the corner, feeling strangely exhilarated as he leaned against the school wall like some sort of spy.
As David came to a stop, he turned to face Troy, who was staring at him seriously. “I swear it wasn’t me,” Troy told him before David could say anything.
David blinked in confusion before nodding. “I know,” David said softly.
Troy’s brow furrowed in confusion. “How?”
David gave a wry laugh and shook his head as he looked down. “It was me… It just… came out,” he mumbled sadly.
“I’m sorry, Dave,” Troy said gently. Pierre felt a surge of anger at that. Pierre called David ‘Dave’. By his standards, Troy wasn’t allowed to do the same. David looked up when he felt Troy’s hand on his face and he swallowed hard, feeling a lump rising in his throat as he stared into Troy’s brown eyes. For once they didn’t look hard, angry and cruel; they looked soft, warm and tender. Why did that scare him so much?
“You need to stop doing that,” David told him firmly, though he sounded much stronger than he felt.
“Just admit that you have feelings for me,” Troy begged quietly, and David bit down gently on his lip ring, unable to say anything in response. He didn’t want to confirm Troy’s statement, but he couldn’t find it in himself anymore to deny it. It had been easy to dismiss Troy as a meaningless fling when he had been angry with him, when Troy had hurt him, but now that he was putting so much of his effort into being nice to him? Well, the fact that he hadn’t pulled his face from Troy’s touch meant something. Troy took David’s silence as a confirmation of his words and he gave a weak smile. “You care about me,” Troy told him gently.
“No, I don’t,” David told him firmly, though the lie tasted bitter on his tongue.
“God damn it, David!” Troy said irritatedly, and he pulled his hand from David’s face and took a step back. David’s eyes widened slightly; did he really want to make Troy angry? “Come on! After everything we’ve been through, after spending a year fucking like newly weds, you still can’t admit that you feel something for me?” Troy asked bitterly, and David actually started to feel guilty. Pierre had to close his eyes and remind himself to breathe as anger coursed through his veins. “I’m your ex, for God’s sake. You can at least admit it to me!”
David crossed his arms over his stomach and looked down, unable to believe how truly terrible he felt. “You’re not my ex,” David reminded him in a soft whisper.
“That’s bullshit and you know it,” Troy retorted quickly. “We spent a year together. We spent six hours a week together extra, sometimes more if we could get away with it. We talked about stuff… private stuff… I told you things that I’ve never told anyone before in my life,” Troy listed off, his voice becoming increasingly gentle the more he talked. David looked further down and crossed his arms tighter over his stomach. Troy gave a gentle sigh and stepped toward David again, his hand again finding the shorter boy’s cheek. “Remember when I taught you how to throw a football?” Troy asked tenderly, and David gave a weak laugh and looked up, nodding slowly as he stared into Troy’s eyes. Pierre was shaking in anger.
“I still can’t do it,” David pointed out weakly.
Troy smiled, glad to see that the conversation wasn’t going all that badly. “I’ve told you a million times, you have to let it spiral naturally of your hand,” Troy said with a laugh.
David smiled and rolled his eyes, though when Troy’s thumb brushed gently across his cheek, he pulled his lip ring into his mouth and stared up at him nervously. For some reason he couldn’t seem to stop himself from leaning his face into Troy’s hand ever so slightly. The two stared at each other for several long seconds, Troy’s eyes constantly flickering between David’s eyes and his lips. When Troy began to lean down toward David, David suddenly found breathing near impossible. He closed his eyes, almost as if by habit, and tilted his head up, though as soon as he felt Troy’s lips brush against his, he shook his head and pulled away, tilting his head quickly down. “Troy…” David whispered sadly.
“You know I don’t like it when you call me that,” Troy responded breathlessly and leaned down, attempting to get a glimpse of David’s face. “What’s the problem?”
“We’re not…” David started, though didn’t finish.
“We’re not what? Together anymore? The way I see it, the only reason we shouldn’t kiss is because I’m your ex. If I’m not, and we never broke up, then why not?” Troy tried; the desperation was obvious in his voice.
Pierre’s eyes widened and he couldn’t stop himself from looking around the corner; he was just in time to see David look back up at Troy, staring at him sadly, his face still held in Troy’s hand, who was standing and leaning unnecessarily close. He ducked back around the corner and rested his head against the wall, willing himself to stay put. He had to trust David. He had to.
When David didn’t respond, Troy tried a different route. “Is it true you’re dating Comeau?” he asked harshly.
David’s eyes widened and he couldn’t stop himself from laughing. “No,” he admitted with a grin. “No, Chuck’s my sister’s boyfriend.”
“He kissed you today,” Troy pointed out, and Pierre’s hands balled into fists as fury tore through him. CHUCK had kissed David?! CHUCK?!
“That’s a long story,” David said softly.
Several seconds passed in silence, silence in which all three men thought. “So… you’re single?” Troy asked hopefully.
“No,” David told him firmly. He reached up and grabbed Troy’s hand, pulling it off of his face. Carefully he dropped their hands and let go. “I’m with Pierre.”
“I thought you broke up with that fruitcake,” Troy said roughly.
“Don’t talk about him like that,” David said firmly, and Troy glared, though kept quiet. “He’s my boyfriend and you’re going to respect that.”
Pierre felt a small smile on his lips and he felt some of his anger dwindling. David, at least, wasn’t going to run back to Troy. That much was obvious. When Troy next spoke, however, he asked something of David that wiped the smile completely off of Pierre’s face .
“Do you love him?”
Pierre stopped breathing as he waited for David to answer, not entirely sure what he wanted to hear in response. Yes, of course… right?
“No,” David responded quietly, never taking his eyes from Troy’s, who smiled at that response. Pierre didn’t think he’d ever heard anything so hurtful before in his life. One single syllable was more hurtful than years of homophobic bullying. “I’m only seventeen,” David continued gently. “And we’ve only been together for three months,” he added. “But someday… yeah, I think I will love him.”
And though Troy looked down, pain registering on his features, Pierre felt his heart soaring back up again. That response was more than good enough for him. Someday, David would love him.
“I love you,” Troy pointed out quietly.
David gave a half smile and nodded. “I know,” he responded gently. David continued to look at Troy, even though Troy’s attention was on the ground, his eyebrows pulled together. David sighed and looked away, muttering, “I should go… Pierre’s waiting for me.”
Troy nodded, though didn’t move. “Yeah…”
At this, Pierre’s eyes widened and he moved quickly away, walking as fast as was possible to the next corner of the school where he would wait. He wasn’t walking all the way back to the front of the school, where confrontation would definitely catch attention. Instead he walked around the corner and turned, standing with his arms crossed and a serious expression on his face. He didn’t have to wait long before he saw David appear around the corner, looking surprised at Pierre’s presence and quickly followed by Troy, who stiffened and didn’t stop approaching until he was standing slightly in front of David.
“Why don’t you just keep walking?” Pierre asked Troy, his voice hard. No matter what David’s irrational soft spot for Troy was, Pierre would NEVER forgive him.
“Why don’t you get the fuck out of my way?” Troy spat back, taking a step toward Pierre.
“Try and make me,” Pierre challenged, moving quickly toward Troy.
The two continued to move toward each other, though Pierre stopped when he felt a hand on his chest. He looked down, his chest heaving, and made eye contact with David, who had wedged himself between Pierre and Troy and held a hand to each of their chests. “Guys, let’s not do this, okay?” David requested. From his wide eyes and the high pitch of his voice, it was easy to see how frightened he was. Pierre was two seconds from stepping down and walking away with David when Troy did something to make him ten times angrier. Staring determinately into Pierre’s eyes, Troy placed his hand on top of David’s smaller hand on his chest, giving a challenging sort of smirk. David’s eyes widened, and though he tried to pull his hand out of Troy’s grasp, Troy only held on tighter.
“You’d let go of him if you knew what was good for you,” Pierre warned in a low tone.
“Good for me, or good for David? ‘Cause between you and me, I think he’d be way better off with me,” Troy retorted.
“If by better off you mean bruised and bleeding then yeah, he’s better off with you,” Pierre snapped angrily.
“We were fine until you came along and fucked everything up,” Troy spat.
“Yeah, real fine! Calling him Staple Face to your friends then turning around and shoving it in his ass when you were alone! That’s a healthy fucking relationship!” Really, Pierre hadn’t meant to say those words. David’s jaw hung open and he felt at a complete loss of words as he stared at Pierre, entirely shocked by what he had just said and the bluntness with which he had said it.
Troy, however, didn’t appear to be done. “Yeah, and making him feel inferior because he’s younger than you, that’s pretty fucking healthy, too!” he yelled, and David turned his head to stare at him instead in shock.
“You told him that?” Pierre asked David quickly, and David looked nervously at Pierre again, his hand still pressing hard into his boyfriend’s chest to keep him from mauling Troy.
“I would never make David feel like that,” Troy taunted, and Pierre’s attention was drawn back up to him.
“No, but you’d rape him,” Pierre retorted quickly.
David had to push against Troy with everything in him to keep him from Pierre at those words; his hands and wrists were beginning to hurt from the effort it took to keep the two apart. “Guys, please! Just tone down the testosterone for a second and walk away!” David pleaded weakly, though neither listened.
“Funny, it wasn’t rape when he came to me after you broke his heart,” Troy replied cooly.
Pierre felt his body growing unbearably hot; felt his anger getting increasingly out of control. He wanted to smash Troy into a million little pieces. He wanted to tear him limb from limb. He wanted to rip his dick off and beat him with it until he bled to death, the same dick that he’d used to fuck David, the same dick that he’d used to rape David. He could feel his limbs shaking in anger and thought that if he didn’t hit Troy soon, he might just lose his mind, but he couldn’t with David standing between them. What if he accidentally hit his boyfriend? And he didn’t trust himself to move David out of the way without accidentally hurting him. Instead, he went to the last resort.
“David. Move,” Pierre demanded harshly.
“No,” David whispered.
“David. Move right now,” Pierre continued, pushing harder against David’s hand and balling his fists in preparation.
“No!” David protested louder.
“Come on, David, you don’t have to worry about me. Your dad here won’t be able to touch me,” Troy said tauntingly.
“You’re not helping!” David yelled at Troy.
“PIERRE! I fucking hate you!” Sebastien yelled as he came around the corner. “I JUST got away!” he continued, though when he turned the corner and was met with a rather peculiar scene, all other thought was wiped from his mind. He approached the group of three, David standing in between Pierre and the boy he’d come to know as Troy, a hand on each of their chests, while the two engaged in a glare so intense Sebastien was surprised David hadn’t caught on fire yet. “What’s going on?” he asked skeptically as he walked closer.
“This asswipe was just about to leave,” Pierre said harshly.
“No, I think I was actually just kissing your boyfriend a few minutes ago,” Troy threw at him.
“Troy! Stop it!” David screamed.
Pierre’s jaw clenched and he began to breathe as if he’d just run a mile. “If you touched him, I’ll fucking kill you,” Pierre breathed.
“Pierre, please!” David pleaded weakly, though soon Troy moved his free hand to David’s side and held onto him, causing even more fear to crash through David’s limbs.
“Touching him,” Troy replied angrily.
“David, get the fuck out of the way right now,” Pierre warned him.
“No! You’re not going to fight!”
“Come on, David! I won’t hurt him too bad!” Troy told David quickly.
“I’m gonna kick the shit out of you,” Pierre breathed.
“Bring it on grandpa!” Troy retorted.
“Sebastien,” Pierre said suddenly, and Sebastien jumped slightly, having been watching the fight with bated breath. “Grab David.”
“Seb, DON’T!” David demanded.
Sebastien looked between David and Pierre, not sure of who he should listen to. He wanted to listen to Pierre, because Pierre was his best friend, but did he really want Pierre to get into a fight? His decision was made for him, however, when Troy wrapped his arm further around David, his fingers tucking under the waist of his pants and pulling him against him, despite how hard David struggled against him. It took less than five seconds for Sebastien to grab David and rip him away from Troy, holding him from behind tight against his body and taking several steps back.
Instantly Troy and Pierre were on each other, pushing each other hard on the chest. “NO! DON’T FIGHT!” David yelled at them, though his effort seemed to be futile.
“What’s the matter, Troy?” Pierre asked tauntingly as his hands found Troy’s chest and pushed hard against him. “You can’t handle the fact that he doesn’t love you and never will?”
Troy shoved him back, causing Pierre to stumble back several steps. “Yeah, well, he doesn’t love you either!”
“STOP IT!” David screamed and he began to struggle against Sebastien, trying his hardest to get out of his arms, though before he could get himself free, Pierre had balled his fist and punched Troy across the face so hard the other boy spun around and landed on his hands and knees. Pierre shook his hand and took a step back, waiting for Troy to get up, though he never did. “FUCKING LET GO OF ME!” David screamed, and he stomped on Sebastien’s foot as hard as he could. Sebastien let off a yell of pain and let go of David, and instantly David was on the ground, his hands on Troy’s cheek, his face contorted in concern. He turned to look at Pierre, his eyes alive with fury. “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” he screamed, before turning back to Troy, who shook his head slowly and spit a mouthful of blood onto the dewy April grass.
Pierre stood in shock, staring at his boyfriend as he gingerly pressed his fingers to Troy’s face, staring sadly at him. Now he saw the situation for what it truly was: a game. There was only one possible winner and one possible loser. Whoever punched who was the loser, the person who got punched was the winner. Too bad for Pierre, he had no intention of ever letting Troy hit him.
“Are you okay?” David asked gently, and Troy gave a weak laugh and nodded, before turning over and sitting on his butt in the grass. David looked at him carefully for another moment before he was standing, facing Pierre and glaring at him harder than he’d ever glared at him before. “Seriously?! What’s wrong with you?!” David demanded again.
“H-h-he…!” Pierre stammered, pointing his arm at Troy. He glanced back at the other boy, feeling his anger flaring at the fact that Troy, who was still sitting on the ground, his teeth covered in blood, was smiling. He was smiling! He was smiling because Pierre had been the loser in the little game and Troy had been the winner! And now David was mad at Pierre and Troy knew it, God damn it.
“God, I’m so mad at you, I don’t even wanna be near you right now!” David yelled, and Pierre’s eyes saddened. “I don’t even wanna go home because you’re gonna be there! But where else am I supposed to go?! My dad kicked me out and I don’t have any other friends!”
“Wait, what?” Troy asked, and he pushed himself from the ground and looked seriously down at David. David turned to look at him, giving him a sad smile. “Your dad seriously kicked you out?” When David nodded, it pissed Pierre off further to see that Troy actually looked hurt. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because it has nothing to do with you,” Pierre snapped.
“You don’t think I have the right to know about my ex-boyfriend getting kicked out of his house?!” Troy replied waspishly.
“HE WAS NEVER YOUR BOYFRIEND!” Pierre screamed at him, and again, it took only seconds for Troy to fly at him.
Sebastien reached forward and tried to pull David out of the way, but David shrugged his arm out of Sebastien’s reach and ran forward, pushing himself between Pierre’s and Troy’s bodies. “STOP IT! STOP IT! JUST FUCKING STOP IT!” he screamed frantically, and again he pushed them away from each other, keeping a hand on each of them. His head turned back and forth, looking between them urgently. “WHY ARE YOU FIGHTING OVER ME?!” he demanded angrily. “I’M NOT EVEN THAT GREAT!”
“YES YOU ARE!” Pierre and Troy screamed in unison, and Sebastien had to throw a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter.
Troy turned to glare at the strange new comer, though upon really looking at him, his brow furrowed and his mouth fell open. “What the fuck?” he asked distractedly. “You’re—”
“Sebastien Lefebvre, blah blah blah,” David interrupted him, clearly not in the mood for distractions. “He’s a friend of ours.”
“Really?” Troy asked, clearly shocked.
“Yes. Really. Now can we get back on topic here?” David demanded, and they all focused on David again, even Sebastien who really had nothing to do with the situation. “I’m sick of this! I’m so sick of this that I don’t even wanna go home!” David yelled, feeling for once in his relationship with Pierre that he was the adult, not Pierre.
“You can come to my house,” Troy offered with a shrug.
“You’re not funny,” David told him firmly.
“Yeah, you’re not funny,” Pierre agreed, before reaching around David and shoving Troy’s shoulder hard. Troy retorted by doing the same, though Pierre slapped his hand out of the way and pushed him again, despite David still being in between them.
“STOP!” Oh, how David was growing tired of screaming. “You are going to turn around and go home,” David said, pointing firmly at Troy. Troy scoffed at the treatment he was getting, and Pierre grinned meanly at him, though soon David was pointing his finger at Pierre’s chest, wiping that smile right off again. “And you! I don’t even wanna LOOK at you! You have two options: one, we go home and you stay in our room or two, we go home and I stay in our room. Either way, I don’t want to be around you.” Pierre stared seriously at David, his chest rising and falling heavily. He knew he shouldn’t have given into Troy’s taunts. He knew he should’ve just ignored the other boy, because a fight was exactly what he was looking for… but wasn’t that also what Pierre had been looking for? If he’d wanted an innocent confrontation, wouldn’t he have waited outside the front of the school where they wouldn’t have been able to fight? Pierre sighed and looked down, feeling ashamed of himself.
David looked between Pierre and Troy a few more times, before stepping away from them. He turned and grabbed onto Sebastien’s hand, who looked at David with wide, nervous eyes, but allowed himself to be led away as David began to walk, not really caring if Pierre was behind them or not. Pierre watched David leaving and turned back to look at Troy, glaring hard at him. “This isn’t over,” he growled.
“We can finish this right now,” Troy offered, and he took a step toward Pierre.
Pierre stepped up to him until they were practically nose to nose, except that Troy was two inches taller than he was. “Believe me, I’d love a reason to kick your ass again,” Pierre started in a low, shaky voice. “But some things are more important than winning a battle.”
“A battle?” Troy asked mockingly.
“Yes. You’re the battle. David’s the war. David’s more important than you’ll ever be,” he breathed; his entire body was shaking, he was so livid.
“Funny, I could say the same thing about you,” Troy replied, tilting his head to the side in an arrogant manner. “You’re not good enough for him.”
“And you think you are?” Pierre asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Who do you think can provide him with a better life?” Troy asked bluntly. “What do you do? Work some crappy minimum wage job flipping burgers or pumping gas?” he continued, hitting right on the head, though Pierre didn’t allow his expression to change even a flicker. “What kind of life can you give him? I’m going to college on a full football scholarship, and when I go to the NFL, I’m gonna be rich. I can buy him a house and a car and give him security and all of the things that he’s always wanted. I can take care of him.”
Pierre thought about Troy’s words, feeling slightly discouraged by them. All of what Troy had said was true. He could buy David nice things, give him a nice house, never have to worry about food on the table. Material things. He could give David material things. And then David’s words from not even ten minutes previously rang through his mind, and Pierre found himself smiling, a real smile. “But someday… yeah, I think I will love him.” Pierre gave a gentle laugh, feeling a little elated at how disarmed Troy looked by that gesture. “Sure, you can buy him shiny things, but I can give him something you never will,” Pierre told him softly.
“What the fuck can you give him that I can’t?” Troy asked angrily.
Pierre smiled as he parted his lips and uttered the single word, “Love.” Troy’s jaw clenched and he took a slow, deep breath in through his nose. “I can love him like you never could.”
“You have no idea how much I love David,” Troy told him through clenched teeth.
“You don’t love David,” Pierre told him seriously. “If you did, you wouldn’t have put him through half the shit you have. No, you love having power over David. You love controlling David. Did it feel good, Troy? When you held him down and raped him? Did you enjoy it? Did the power get to your head? Did you get off on it? Even though he was crying and begging you to stop, you liked it.” Pierre’s voice was shaking in anger as he spoke. Troy looked as if he would’ve very much liked to hit Pierre, but Pierre knew he was safe. Troy knew all too well how angry David would be if he hit his boyfriend. “You don’t love David,” Pierre repeated firmly. “I love David.”
Whoa. Had those words really just come out of his mouth? He’d never so willingly admitted it before, but when he spoke those words, he knew they were true. He smiled wider and shook his head, giving a soft laugh, before taking a step back. “You know what? Thanks,” Pierre said with a nod, and Troy looked measurably angrier. “Thanks for making my life clearer by being such a piece of shit.” Slowly he began to retreat, loving that he had made Troy so angry he couldn’t respond. “I’m gonna go home to my boyfriend now. You have fun being alone,” he added, giving a wider smile and a wave, before turning his back and following after David and Sebastien. He hoped that they weren’t too far ahead of him, though soon enough he saw them retreating, David positively hanging onto Sebastien’s arm. Pierre could tell, even from a distance, that David was ranting.
As soon as Pierre caught up to them, however, David fell silent. Pierre continued to glance nervously at his boyfriend, hoping that David would give him even the tiniest flickers of a smile, but David seemed determined not to even look at him. Clearly David hadn’t been lying when he said he didn’t want to be around Pierre. It wasn’t until the three of them were walking into Pierre’s apartment and Pierre was pulling the front door shut that David turned and faced Pierre, glaring hard at him.
“You were looking for a fight,” David started, and Pierre bit his lips together and looked down. “Don’t you realize by hitting him you’re just as bad as he was when he hit me?” David asked harshly, and Pierre felt even worse. “Or my dad, when he hit me?” David continued, making Pierre feel lower than a cockroach. “I thought I told you… I’m sick of violence. I’m sick of fighting! I just want to be happy! To be normal! To not have to deal with this kind of shit on a daily basis! And yet somehow it keeps cropping up! Why can’t we just be happy?!”
“How do you think it makes me feel to see you disappearing behind the school with him?” Pierre asked quickly.
“You don’t trust me?” David asked with a raised eyebrow.
“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” Pierre started. “I don’t trust him!”
David sighed and looked down, knowing that Pierre had every right not to trust Troy. “You still didn’t have to hit him,” David grumbled weakly.
“He provoked me!” Pierre pointed out angrily.
“Of course he did! Because I rejected him! For you!” David yelled at him. “Of course he provoked you! But you should’ve been grown up enough to recognize that and walk away.” The two stared at each other, before David was sighing and shaking his head. “Just… go away,” David muttered angrily. Pierre bit his lips together and nodded, making his way slowly toward the bedroom.
“Come on… it was pretty hot,” Sebastien commented with a roguish grin.
Both Pierre and David turned and looked at him, staring incredulously at him. “Seb, man, you need to get laid,” Pierre commented as his hand found the bedroom door handle.
Sebastien gave a sad pout and nodded slowly. “I’m just so horny,” he whined quietly, and despite everything else, both David and Pierre gave soft, reluctant snorts of laughter.
Pierre sighed again and opened the bedroom door, seeing Pierre the puppy sleeping on his bed. As he stepped into the room and began to close the door, however, he heard something that made him stop momentarily, hiding behind his mostly closed bedroom door.
“Come on, though, really… between me and you… it was pretty hot, right?” Sebastien asked in a hushed voice.
David was silent for a few long seconds before reluctantly smiling and rolling his eyes. “Okay… maybe a little,” David admitted weakly, and Pierre grinned. “It’s kinda sexy when he’s all… huffy and angry and… masculine and muscular…” Pierre bit down on his bottom lip, smiling wider. “Don’t you DARE tell him I said that though!”
With one final shake of his head, Pierre, as silently as possible, closed his bedroom door. He made his way to the bed and laid back on it, smiling as Pierre the puppy stirred and popped her little head up, before ambling over and climbing on top of his chest. She was still small enough to do so, though he had a feeling that in a few months the great dane would be far too large for that to be allowed. “Oh, Pea, what are we gonna do with your daddy?” Pierre asked as he scratched her ears. She laid down on his chest, her cold, wet nose nuzzling against the underside of his chin. “We love your daddy, don’t we, Pea?” Pierre continued in a soft voice. “Yes, we love him very, very much.” With another sigh, Pierre closed his eyes and went over in his mind everything that had happened that day and how he felt about it all. No matter how much trouble he was in, how badly his right hand hurt from punching Troy, how terrible it had felt to listen to Troy and David speaking… there was one thing that made it all seem worth it; one thing that had slipped from his lips on accident, but had never felt more right to say:
“God, I love him.”