Word Count: 3554
Summary: David Desrosiers isn't your typical sixteen year old boy living in Juneau, Alaska. Bullied relentlessly by Pierre Bouvier, a boy he's known since elementary school, David and his best friend Jenny come up with a back-handed plan to seek revenge on the boy who makes their lives a living Hell.
Disclaimer: Don't know, don't own, didn't happen!
Author's Note: Here it is, on schedule, chapter three! :)
“You're doing that wrong.”
David closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath that was meant to be calming. “I can tie a pair of ice skates, I'm not a moron,” he replied, a slight growl to his voice, and he turned his attention back to the skate he was tying.
Pierre scoffed and shook his head, crossing his arms over his chest. “Whatever, it's your broken ankle, not mine,” he replied under his breath, though David still heard him and he looked up to glare at the other boy.
“This isn't rocket science,” David told him as he finished, earning a skeptical look from Pierre though he didn't say anything more about it. Instead he waited with a smug look on his face, something which David thought was annoying and conceited. As David stood, however, and he felt his legs wobbling unsteadily, he found himself second guessing his handiwork. The look of arrogant satisfaction on Pierre's face was enough to make David want to punch the other boy repeatedly.
“Oh, sit down before you hurt yourself,” Pierre said with a roll of his eyes, and no matter how little he wanted to listen to the popular boy and accept his help, David huffed and sat back down on the locker room bench. Pierre walked over and kneeled down in front of David, shaking his head to himself as he untied the left skate and began to re-do it.
“Ow!” David complained, his leg tensing. Pierre glanced up at David, an eyebrow arched and David looked back down at him with incredulity. “That's really tight,” he complained, though he tried to sound tougher as he said it, something which didn't skip Pierre's attention, nor did it fool him.
“It has to be tight,” Pierre explained, and he shifted his attention back down to the task at hand, ignoring the way David was squirming. “If it's too loose, you're gonna hurt yourself.”
“Yeah... whatever,” David grumbled, though he didn't want to admit that Pierre was right. Still, no matter how much he hated the other boy, he knew that he needed him.
“...even if you do only weigh ninety pounds...” Pierre jabbed at him, smiling a little at his own insult, even more so when David scoffed in response. Nothing more was said for the moment, Pierre being focused on tying the other skate, and though David knew he should have been paying attention to how the other boy was doing it, he couldn't help it as he imagined himself kicking the senior in the face with his skate.
“Alright, let's go,” Pierre said as he stood and took a few awkward steps back; his own skates made walking on solid ground difficult, even if he was used to it. David stood, noticing that he felt a lot more steady than his previous attempt, though his feet were already aching and they felt strangely heavy. It never would have occurred to him how much extra effort it took to take steps with skates on but it was difficult, and by the time they got out of the locker room and into the rink, his legs were already starting to tire.
Pierre wasted no time in stepping onto the ice and skating smoothly forward, and for a moment David stood against the wall and watched the other boy. It felt strange to think of Pierre Bouvier as anything other than a lumbering idiot, but on the ice there was just something graceful about him that David had never observed in him before. For once, Pierre didn't look like just another dumbass jock. There was something more carefree about him, and for the second time in the past week, David found himself forgetting to hate the other boy.
“Are you gonna get your little fairy ass out here or what?” Pierre called, and just like that the moment was ruined. David sighed, allowing the moment to pass, and took a step onto the ice. It took him about half a second to realize that stepping out with both feet and holding onto nothing was a mistake. David's eyes widened, his arms flailed and he let out a loud and surprised, “Whhhooaa!” before he slipped and fell backwards, landing on his back and hitting his head hard on the ice. For a moment, David registered nothing—not the pain in his head or the cold of the ice or even the sound of Pierre's raucous laughter. He simply laid there, staring up at the high ceiling and the lights beaming down on him, the world strangely muted and softened in his daze.
And then Pierre's face came into view and just like that, it was like the volume had suddenly been turned back up, the feeling had been turned back on, and everything was real again. “Ow...” he uttered softly, though his facial expression hardly changed.
Perhaps if he hadn't just hit his head very hard, it would have surprised David when Pierre gave a soft chuckle—though not at all impolitely—and reached down to help him up. David didn't ask questions in that moment, nor did it occur to him that this was not behavior that was characteristic of the other boy. Instead, when Pierre reached both of his arms down, David grabbed onto his arms just above his wrists and pulled himself up, though Pierre did much more of the work than he did. Coming to a stand on the ice again felt effortless with the senior helping him, but almost immediately the world seemed to swirl around him and David felt himself falling back again; if it hadn't been for Pierre holding onto him, he most certainly would have ended up on the ice again. Pierre gave another quiet laugh, his grip staying true on David's arms, and asked, “You okay?”
“Yeah, fine,” David replied, though it was obviously not entirely true.
“Have you ever even skated before?” Pierre asked, earning a sheepish smile and a shake of his head from David, and Pierre sighed quietly and shook his head a little. “You think you can just pick this up with a week to spare, no problem?” The way he said this made it obvious that he didn't actually want an answer, he was simply frustrated and a little overwhelmed with the task of taking someone who couldn't even skate and making them good enough to get on the hockey team in seven day's time. “Why is this so important to you?”
The question threw David off guard, and for a moment he didn't know how to answer. He had never expected Pierre to question why he wanted to be on the team. Truth be told, the idea that the other boy could even care about his reasoning had never crossed his mind. “It's personal,” David responded, coming up with the only words he could think of.
Pierre regarded him for a moment longer before he gave a nod; whether he didn't think he would get a real answer or he just didn't care that much, David didn't know and he didn't feel like over thinking it. Pierre Bouvier, after all, really wasn't worth the wasted braincells. “Are you okay now or should we take a break?”
David loosened his grip on Pierre's arms, having completely forgotten that he had been standing in the arms of his enemy, and made to move slightly backward, feeling unsteady but not because of his aching head. “I think I'm fine,” he replied.
Pierre moved away from him, and David watched the way he moved, suddenly hating the other boy that much more for how effortless he made it look. David gave a determined nod, letting his hatred of the boy next to him fuel his desire to do what he needed to do. Of course, that was easier said that done. When he felt himself wobble, both of David's arms stuck out and he tried to balance while pushing himself forward, something which was a lot harder than Pierre made it look, irritatingly enough.
“Here, grab me,” Pierre said suddenly, skating to stand in front of David again with both arms out.
“Excuse me?” David responded, feeling his face heat up a little.
“My arms, grab my arms,” Pierre added firmly. It took him a moment, but David reached forward and grabbed onto his forearms again, this time not standing quite as close as when the other boy had helped him off the ice. “Just follow my lead,” Pierre told him, giving a reassuring nod, and then he began to skate backwards. David felt much more secure as he moved his own feet, though he kept looking down at their skates as if to see how it was done. “Keep your head up,” Pierre instructed, and David's hazel eyes snapped back up to Pierre's brown ones again. “You can't learn it that way, it's something you have to feel.”
“You skate better backward than I do forward,” David told him, and though he meant it as a simple statement and not a compliment, David thought it would stroke the other boy's already inflamed ego just the same.
“I've had a lot of practice,” Pierre responded with a nonchalant shrug. His answer surprised David somewhat. The older boy had been given the perfect opportunity to insult David, or even to boast about his own natural skills, and instead he had been modest, even polite in his response. David didn't know what to think or say and so he said nothing, simply allowing Pierre to lead him around the rink for a while until it started to feel more natural. Bit by bit David was going faster, standing taller, using Pierre's arms for support less, something which Pierre picked up on with each passing circle around the rink. He let go of David's arms, encouraging the other boy do to same with a nod and a smile, and David only felt more thrown off because of it.
“Why are you being so nice?” David asked skeptically, as if he couldn't help himself.
“Well if we have to spend time together no matter what, what's the point in being a dick?” Pierre responded, and though it wasn't the best answer, David accepted it as good enough. “Might as well try to get along.”
Instead of responding (partially because David didn't trust himself to say anything pleasant in return), he released his grip on Pierre's arms and began to skate on his own. He continued to propel himself forward, a smile working its way on his lips the longer he went without falling. “Holy crap, I'm doing it,” he muttered, and though the words were meant for himself, he heard Pierre chuckle just the same. David turned to look at him, offering a small smile, like a tiny peace offering. Maybe by that point in the evening it shouldn't have surprised him that Pierre returned the smile, but it still did. He let down his guard slightly though, suddenly seeing a new, softer side of the other boy, and for the moment, he wasn't bothered being in his presence.
Getting lost in this thought almost cost David his balance and he stumbled slightly, having looked away from in front of himself for too long. Feeling himself falling forward, David reached out to the side instinctively for Pierre so he didn't end up on the ice again, and even though he had been reaching for Pierre's arm, instead he grabbed hold of Pierre's hand. Pierre jerked his hand out of David's and pushed him away, the words, “Get off me, fag!” coming out of his mouth loud and strong. David fell to the ice and slid across it, coming to a stop several feet away on his side, though by the time he pushed himself up to sitting, Pierre was already on the other side of the rink, stepping back onto solid ground and muttering to himself.
David scoffed and picked himself back up, a little unsteadily, though he managed it just the same. “Okay, I guess I'll just keep going alone,” he grumbled, and with that he continued to skate around, using the day to simply get comfortable on the ice. There was a part of David that was afraid to follow immediately after Pierre, afraid that the boy would try to hurt him in a fit of insecurity. This was nothing more than a reminder that David couldn't trust Pierre, no matter how nice he might pretend to be. He couldn't let his guard down, no matter what. As he skated around and around, getting more comfortable on the ice, he scolded himself for temporarily being taken in by the other boys charming nature. “Pierre Bouvier is not a friend,” David told himself strongly. “Pierre Bouvier is the enemy.”
David continued on his own for the next hour, until he could skate decently enough, before his aching feet and sore legs begged him to stop. As he went back to the locker room, while he got back into his regular shoes and even still as he made his way home, David couldn't help but wonder if Pierre would be there waiting for him when he got to his house. They had planned on studying after going to the rink; did Pierre want to pass his class badly enough that he would show up in spite of what had happened, or would he blow it off? That question was answered when David pulled up to his house and saw that no one was there. It was obvious that Pierre wasn't interested in studying that night.
The next day, David still didn't feel any clearer on whether he would still be tutoring Pierre or not, and whether Pierre would still help him with hockey or not. In class Pierre made no effort to say anything, nor did he approach him at any point in the halls or at lunch. Come to think of it, it seemed a little out of character how far away from him Pierre was staying. This was someone who had picked on him on a nearly daily basis since the time they were six and seven years old. Maybe no one else would see it as odd, but David most certainly did. It made himself nervous as the day neared the end. It was as if he was waiting for Pierre to jump out at him from behind any given corner and attack him, but by the time he was walking out of the school with his messenger bag hanging off of one shoulder, Pierre still hadn't approached him and David was forced to conclude that their shortly-lived alliance had reached its end. More than ever, David found himself wanting to end Pierre Bouvier's perfect little life, and though he wouldn't admit it, even to himself, there was a small part of him that was offended that the other boy had objected so violently to who he secretly was.
As he skated awkwardly over the ice, however, he started to wonder what he was even doing out there. When he really stopped to dissect it, the plan as a little unrealistic. He was going to magically get on the hockey team and ruin Pierre's chances with a talent scout, never mind the fact that he had never skated a day in his life, knew nothing about the game and that no matter how badly he played, it wouldn't stop Pierre from playing well. He glared and wrapped his arms around himself, hugging himself for warmth. “Stupid Pierre with his stupid friends and his stupid talent and his stupid face and his stupid perfect life,” David grumbled, glaring harder and skating a little faster as his mind began to wander, thinking hard about Pierre and how much he hated him. Round and round again he skated, getting lost deeper in thought with each lap he made, hardly paying attention to his surroundings as his mind took him through the last eleven years of his life and everything Pierre had ever done to him and Jenny.
“Look at that, you're a natural,” a voice sounded in David's ear, catching him entirely off guard. David gave a startled yelp and jump, his arms flying in the air as he fell backward. Quick arms caught him and it took David a few seconds to calm down and realize who he was staring up at. Pierre laughed a little and set David so he was standing again, completely ignoring the confused stare David was giving to him. “I may have spoken too soon,” Pierre joked, and like nothing had ever happened between them, he skated past David.
David turned and skated a few paces forward, though he didn't get too close to Pierre and that look of incredulous confusion never left his face. Pierre didn't seem to notice, however, and instead skated to the side, grabbing two hockey sticks and a puck and skating back toward him. “You ever seen one of these?” Pierre asked, holding one of the sticks out to David, who made no motion to take it from the older boy. That was when Pierre seemed to notice for the first time that something wasn't right. “...What?” he asked in a boyish fashion.
David's eyes widened slightly and slowly he began to shake his head from side to side, completely baffled. He couldn't wrap his mind around the idea that Pierre seriously didn't know that he was angry with him, and he couldn't stop himself from thinking the single word: ...boys.
Pierre's brow furrowed and he pulled the hockey stick back toward his body. “Seriously, what?”
David gave a mixture of a scoff and a laugh, shaking his head a little faster. “Oh nothing, I'm just waiting for you to shove me down and call me a fag again,” he answered waspishly. Almost immediately, David realized what had come out of his mouth and he gave a soft gasp, blushed red and bit his lips together. He had never been one to talk back to Pierre, over all the years that the older boy had been picking on him. He always thought of good things to say back to him after Pierre walked away, but in the moment he clammed up and had to walk away, ignoring insults and taunts from behind him the whole time. The fact that he had just called Pierre out for what he had done the previous day shocked David as much as Pierre showing his face again did.
“Dude, you tried to hold my hand,” Pierre responded, as if this reason was more than enough of an explanation for his actions.
“I did not!” David retorted hotly, unable to contain his anger. “I slipped and I reached out for something, and I happened to grab your hand. It was an accident. Get over it, homophobe,” David snapped, and he skated past Pierre, intent on leaving. He would just go home and forget about the plan all together. It was poorly thought out and unlikely to succeed, anyway. He only got a few paces away, however, when he thought of something else, and though he normally would have kept moving forward, there was something in David that had been awoken that practically forced him to turn around. “And another thing, even if I was into dudes, you would be my LAST option! You're a scared, pathetic, angry, pampered little boy who has a LOT to learn about the world! You're a perfect example of everything that's wrong with the world and never in a million years would I try to hold your hand!”
There was a moment that seemed to last forever in which David and Pierre simply stared at each other, and no matter how tough he tried to make himself look, David was suddenly regretting saying anything at all. He hardly had time to react before Pierre bolted toward him, or time to scream before Pierre had grabbed him by the front of his hoodie and skated him hard into the backboards. David's eyes closed tightly and he felt the fiberglass window rattle against his back, his heart beating fast in fear. He opened his eyes and nervously looked up, swallowing hard as he stared into Pierre's eyes, who looked nothing short of livid. And then, amazingly, Pierre gave a soft chuckle and released his grip on David's hoodie, smiling a little and backing away from him. “You're really gonna have to work on your reaction time if you're gonna make it on the team,” Pierre told him simply, before he turned and skated back to the hockey sticks he had dropped.
David's mouth fell open and he let out a shaky breath, his aching chest reminding him that he hadn't breathed in several seconds. Unsure of what had just happened, David pushed himself off of the wall and skated out to Pierre in a dazed fashion. Apparently he had been wrong. David and Pierre were allies still... at least, for the time being.