Rating: PG 13
Word Count: 5015
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: Okie dokie! It's been a RIDICULOUS amount of time and I'm sorry for the wait, for anyone who's still around to read this! I've moved states, I'm getting married next month, and things have been a little crazy, and will be for the next month or so. I've always wanted to come back to this story and I always want to keep writing, but I've accepted that sometimes it just doesn't fit into my schedule. I'm really going to try to keep with it because it makes me happy and I love doing it, and here there and I get a kick in the pants from someone who messages me or tweets me and it gets me back into gear! I can honestly say this update would not have come today if it wasn't for twitter user @ASelfTitledLife sending me a tweet and I really appreciate the motivation boost. :)
David spent the next several days of his winter vacation in his house alone, with nothing but his own ever-changing and irritating thoughts to keep him company. The morning after he and Jenny had made up, she and her family got on a plane to Hawaii, where they would spend the remainder of her break from school, and that left David with no one. Jenny had encouraged him to try to spend more time with Pierre, to lay the ground work for the new plan they had come up with, and though David knew that she was right and that he would have to make up with Pierre in order to trick the boy into kissing him, he just hadn't found it in himself yet to pick up the phone and call. What was he supposed to say? He thought maybe Pierre would want to hear an apology for the way David had ignored him the whole drive home, but David didn't think that he was capable of it, no matter what it cost him. He wouldn't say he was sorry for not enjoying being called a faggot, he just wouldn't. Spending time with Pierre had taught him a thing or two about standing up for himself, if nothing else could be said about the experience, and there was a part of him that felt grateful toward the other boy for it.
There was another part of him that didn't want to make up with Pierre at all. That part of him wanted to just let it go, to quit the team, and to stop allowing the senior to occupy any more space in his mind. A thought that had crossed his mind weeks previously danced around his head again, and he wondered with a tingle of shame, who was he to decide how Pierre Bouvier should be punished? “Maybe I should leave it to the universe. Karma has to catch up with him at some point, right?” he wondered aloud, as he often did with his thoughts when he was home by himself. David was standing in the kitchen, looking down at a cup of coffee he had just poured himself, and trying to find some peace of mind. With a sigh and a shake of his head, he turned and leaned back against the kitchen counter, his eyes darting through the doorway to his empty living room in a blank sort of manner.
And then another thought occurred to him, and it wasn't long before it was slipping through his lips. “What if it really is just an act..?” he pondered timidly, his voice barely above a whisper, as if he was afraid someone might hear his words and glean a little bit too much meaning from them. “What if...” David trailed off and looked back down at his coffee, staring at the dark brown liquid. The color reminded him painfully of Pierre's eyes, the way they had seemed to melt tenderly up into David's hazel ones that night just a handful of days previously in the back of that sedan. David had a scenario playing in his head, a strange picture of him and Pierre sitting in the lunch room with their teammates, with Pierre's arm wrapped around his shoulder in a casual manner, as if it was comfortable and accepted that they belonged to each other, the way David had seen Pierre sitting with his perfect, blonde, head cheerleader girlfriend on so many other occasions. There was another jab to the stomach: Pierre had a girlfriend.
David shook the thought from his head and sighed again, more forcefully this time, irritated with himself for occupying such an idea even for a moment. “I don't have feelings for him,” he told himself strongly, though there was a squeeze in his chest and a flutter in his stomach that screamed he was that being less than honest with himself. “I don't even like him! He's a vile, moronic, cruel person, who doesn't care about anyone but himself!” he continued hotly, as if saying so with such emotion would convince him of the truth in his statement.
The words sat in the air for a long moment as David replayed them, the sound of his own voice in his head distorting in ways that made his sentence sound more dramatic. He wanted it to be true. He wanted to believe what he had said, so that he could easily dismiss Pierre and shake off the feeling that there was something more... but he couldn't. David had seen it in his eyes. He had felt it in his touch. There was something there, something good and kind and decent. It had been so easy to dismiss in his righteous anger after Pierre had broken his heart by saying the words that were most hurtful to him. “God, when did I start letting him bug me so much?” David questioned himself, though without saying it, he knew what had brought forth the change. It was when he had let his guard down, when he had let Pierre in, when he had—without realizing it—yearned for Pierre's acceptance, as a friend, as a teammate, and as...
But David couldn't let himself finish the thought, even though it was there in his mind intrinsically. He didn't have to think or say the actual words to know how he was feeling, but forcefully shoving them away allowed him to at least pretend—if only momentarily—that those feelings didn't exist.
And then his mind shifted to Jenny, his best friend, the girl who had been there with him through everything. What would she have thought if she could have been inside his mind over the past few days? No doubt she would have felt shocked, hurt and betrayed all at once, and David thought that she had every right to feel that way. How would he have felt had the roles been reversed, and she had been the one who had been swooned by Pierre Bouvier's charming smile and deep, chocolate eyes? He would have felt exactly the same way and he knew it, so he really didn't think that he could blame her for it in the slightest. What would it mean for their friendship if he backed out of the plan now? If he told her that he didn't want to do it? That it wasn't right? There was a long moment where David played himself an image of his best friend's pink face, glaring at him incredulously, and he knew without having to really think about it what would happen. “She would never forgive me,” he whispered, feeling tears prickling in his eyes.
What David would have given to have someone to talk to in that moment, someone who wouldn't judge him for the things he was thinking. He knew he couldn't talk to Jenny about any of this or their friendship would be over, and his father was most definitely out of the question, though he would be home briefly the following week. Of course he couldn't talk to Pierre about this subject, either, and with the three of them out of the way, there was no one else in David's life that he had to rely on. It was with a pang in his heart that David thought of his mother and how kind and understanding she had always been when he had needed her. His eyes clouded more heavily with tears as her face ran through his mind, the smell of her perfume that he hadn't yet forgotten, and the soft chime of her voice when she had comforted him in the past. Oh, how he missed her. If anyone would have understood, it would have been her.
A knock on the door pulled David away from his thoughts (all six-million of them), and he stood straight up, taking a deep breath and blinking his eyes rapidly to clear away the tears. He was focused so intensely on making it look as if he hadn't just been on the verge of crying that he didn't stop to wonder who it might be, or why someone would be knocking on his door. With a quick breath in and out, followed by one larger, steadying inhale, he unlocked the front door and pulled it open, putting a look of polite curiosity on for good show.
It took him a few seconds before it dawned on him that he was face to face with Pierre, who had a humble, almost apologetic look on his face. David was so shocked to see him—especially with all the things he had just been thinking about Pierre—that for a long moment he just stood and stared, before he got his wits about him, straightened up in a stiff kind of way, and threw on a face of haughty dislike. “What do you want?” he asked bitterly, and for the time being his anger took over as the primary emotion toward the older boy.
“So you're still pissed at me, huh?” Pierre asked in a way that suggested that he didn't need a verbal answer to know that he was right.
David looked off to the side, clearly unamused. “Yeah. I'm still pissed at you,” he replied, though he knew he didn't have it in himself to close the door on the other boy's face.
“Typical,” Pierre muttered with a roll of his eyes.
David scoffed and glared at Pierre, telling himself he should have known better than to hope—no matter how fleetingly he had done so—for some sort of recognition of wrong doing. “You're an ass,” he grumbled with a shake of his head and he began to turn away, closing the door like he knew he should have done from the start. This move seemed to spark something in Pierre, something David had been waiting to see.
“I'm sorry!” Pierre blurted out as he stepped forward and pushed on the door, not allowing David to close it, just as David had done to Jenny only days previously. The words sounded rushed and foreign off of Pierre's tongue, as if the boy had rarely—possibly never—spoken them before in his life.
David stopped trying to close the door and he peeked at Pierre from around it, his face a mixture of irritation and confusion. “What?” he asked in a snappy, harsh tone, and Pierre sighed, leaning around the side of the door in the same fashion so that their faces were a matter of inches apart.
“I'm sorry,” he said again, just as begrudgingly as the first time. David glared in response and made no effort to move, neither to let the boy in nor to push him out. For the moment, he was placated, his curiosity peaked enough to wait for more. “Will you let me in? Let me... explain?” was all that Pierre got out, and David thought that the older boy sounded reluctant and maybe even a little bit nervous. David took a second to think it over before he nodded and stepped back, allowing Pierre to step into his house for what must have been the millionth time. Even after all those study sessions, he still thought Pierre looked out of place in his living room.
Pierre walked into the house and into the middle of the room, his eyes down on the carpet and his hands fidgeting. David could feel his curiosity getting the better of him as he closed the door and walked to sit on the arm of the couch, looking expectantly at Pierre. For the moment he forgot to be angry with him, though he was still cautious and guarded. Still, this was a side of Pierre that David had never seen, and he wanted more than anything in that moment to know what was going on. “What's—” he started, but Pierre held up a hand and shook his head to cut him off.
“Just... let me...” Pierre stuttered out, and now David was really curious. Pierre seemed to be fighting with himself, struggling to say something that he clearly didn't want to, maybe something he didn't even want to think about? David's mind flashed back to the back seat of the car, the kiss that almost happened, and he felt butterflies rush to his stomach and heat flush his face. Was Pierre about to profess feelings for him? David was too wrapped up in the idea to keep himself from thinking it. With his eyes still trained down on the carpet, Pierre managed to get out the words, “I'm sorry I was a dick, okay?” He sounded forceful and reluctant, but David couldn't help but hear sincerity in his words at the same time. He felt himself soften toward the senior the tiniest bit.
Then Pierre looked up at David with burning, chocolate eyes and a look of steely determination. “I know I'm back and forth a lot. I know sometimes I'm a cool guy and then sometimes I'm a huge asshole. I don't mean to be it's just...” His voice trailed off and he looked back down again, and David released a shaky breath and crossed his arms around his stomach in an insecure manner. Pierre's sudden intensity had taken David's breath away as if he had marched right over and kissed him. Maybe a piece of him had wanted the taller boy to do just that.
When Pierre spoke again, it wasn't what David had been expecting. “Do you know what it's like to be the most popular kid in school?” Pierre asked, looking back up at David and searching his eyes for what David thought must have been understanding.
Instantly the wall shot back up and David realized he had been hoping for something that was never going to happen, even worse that it was something that he had just spent all morning trying to tell himself that he didn't even want. “Wow, Pierre. Really?” David asked in a condescending tone, and it shocked him to see that Pierre's eyes registered a stab of pain at the sound. Even so, David continued with a bitter chuckle and a shake of his head. “You want me to pity you? Mr. Star Athelete, Mr. Teacher's Pet, Mr. Loved By Everyone, Mr. Can Do No Wrong?”
“But that's exactly it!” Pierre interrupted, doing nothing to quell David's cynicism. “Don't you get it? It's not that I can't do wrong, David. I'm not allowed to!” Maybe it was the tone of his voice, his desperation, or maybe it was the way that Pierre had said his name; something had gotten through and grabbed at David's heart again, holding him captive to Pierre's explanation once more. “I can't make a mistake! I have to be the perfect student! The perfect hockey player! The perfect son! I constantly have people watching me, everything I do. I have to dress just right, talk just right, act just right. I can't be too sensitive because then I'd be a pussy. I can't be too tough because then I'd be an asshole. I have to find the right balance so that everybody's happy, and I'm sorry but picking on the kids that don't fit in is just part of it. Do you think that makes me feel good? It doesn't, but it's part of who everyone thinks I have to be. There's so much pressure on me all the time from all directions to be perfect and you know what? I'm not! I'm not perfect! Really, I'm a—” Pierre cut himself off suddenly, his cheeks flushed with the passion of the speech he had just gone on.
He looked down at his feet and shook his head, his hands dropping by his sides as if in defeat. “I'm a mess,” he admitted softly. David's lips had parted and his eyebrows fallen in sadness as he had stared at Pierre, feeling a strong throbbing in his chest for the other boy's pain, so strongly he felt that urge to cry bubbling up inside of him again. Had anyone ever told David that he would someday feel bad for Pierre Bouvier's popularity, he would had thought them crazy, but now...
David moved toward Pierre without thinking, as if being called by the other boy's need, and he wrapped his arms around him. There was a moment where Pierre stood stiff in David's arms, battling with the two sides of himself, before he gave into the softer side and his arms slinked around David's waist and pulled him in more tightly. As David held Pierre, for once feeling like the more dominant party of the two, he wondered if Pierre was going to cry, as he would have done, or if he would pull back and punch him in the face in a few seconds for doing something so “faggy.” To his surprise, Pierre did neither.
“I'm sorry I called you a faggot,” Pierre said softly, and David only squeezed him tighter. He was having a hard time keeping his emotions in check, especially with how upset he had been before even opening the door. All he could manage was to shake his head in response against Pierre's shoulder. “Like... a million times. I've been really fucked up to you and it's not your fault. You're just... you. You are who you are and you're not afraid or ashamed of it. You don't have to be what anyone wants you to be but yourself and honestly...” Pierre explained, trailing off before he pulled back and looked down at David, who stared up into his deep brown eyes sadly. “I've always been jealous of you.”
And there it was, the core reason for all of Pierre's behavior toward David all of those years. Pierre's life had been set out for him from an early age and had been carefully guided and monitored day in and day out, and there had been David, free and unafraid to be who and what he wanted, whenever he wanted. David suddenly understood Pierre in a way that he wished he hadn't. How was he supposed to go through with the plan now? How was he supposed to ruin everything that Pierre had been tortured over? But he couldn't tell him about his intentions, and he couldn't lose Jenny because of it, either.
“That's stupid,” David replied in a whisper, though he offered a sad, timid smile just the same, and his sentence was rounded off with a breathy laugh.
Pierre shook his head and looked down, taking a step back and breaking the contact between the two. David wanted to slap himself for the bolt of yearning that shot through his body at the separation, but he kept his face steady, unwilling to give away the fact that he was currently harboring the hugest crush anyone had ever had on Pierre Bouvier, his sworn enemy whom he suddenly couldn't justify hating anymore. It was there now, out in the open for him to really see and impossible to deny: he had feelings for Pierre and there wasn't anything he could do anymore to deny it.
“I can't promise I'm gonna be a perfect angel from now on, but... I'm gonna try,” Pierre explained, nodding with his eyes still trained down as if he was trying to convince himself that he could do it. “I'm just going through my own stuff right now... but it's not right to take it out on you, and I don't wanna do it anymore.” He looked up to make eye contact once more and David tried to rearrange his expression to hide how shaken he was by everything that had just happened. “You're not a faggot,” Pierre stated bluntly, catching David even further off guard and causing him to blush. “And I don't mean... you're not... gay...” he continued, making David's eyes widen and his cheeks blush a deeper pink. “If you are, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. It's... it's cool,” Pierre blustered on, looking totally uncomfortable and nervous now. “But... you're not a faggot. It's not okay to use that word and I'm not gonna do it anymore.”
For the next several long seconds, the two just stared at each other, a new kind of understanding passing between them. What had only ever been speculated at was now out there, stated consciously. David was gay and Pierre knew it without a doubt. The only response David could manage to muster was a shaky nod and a slow, deep breath to calm his startled nerves. Pierre worked a timid smile on his lips, and David could see that Pierre was trying hard to show that he really didn't mind.
So David had been wrong in his secret hopes that Pierre had come over to profess his romantic feelings for him. Instead, it had been Pierre's intention to apologize, explain, and tell him that he knew David was gay and that he was totally fine with it. It would have been a lie to pretend that it didn't hurt, especially with how nervous Pierre made him feel, and how badly he had just been wishing the older boy would kiss him. How had this happened?
“Anyway,” Pierre said suddenly, his voice loud and quick. “I got you something,” he continued, and he walked back to the front door, opened it up, grabbed a green and red gift bag with white tissue paper sticking out of the open top from the porch, closed the door and walked back to David with it, holding it out to him.
David took the gift, his brow furrowed in confusion. “What...?” was all he got out, too thrown by everything that had just happened between the two of them.
“Merry Christmas,” Pierre replied softly.
David's shock only grew when it occurred to him that he hadn't even realized it was Christmas. With Jenny gone, no other friends to speak of, his father away at sea and his mother passed away, David had been given no reason to celebrate the holiday this year. “Is it..?” he asked, his voice rife with confusion and he glanced over his shoulder to the dry erase calendar that was hanging on the wall.
Pierre's eyebrows pulled together a bit skeptically. “You didn't realize it was Christmas?” he asked, a bit of his usual attitude coming through and breaking the oddly soft atmosphere that had formed around them, something which David was oddly thankful for. He turned back to Pierre, shaking his head with wide, innocent eyes. “Wow, I mean, I know you don't have any decorations up or anything but...” Pierre trailed off, clearly not sure of what to say next that wouldn't sound rude.
David smiled a little bit at that, entertained at the way that Pierre was obviously trying to not be his usual impolite self. “Well... I mean... I didn't get you anything...” David trailed off, suddenly feeling rather impolite himself. “I didn't know...”
Pierre shook his head and waved him off quickly, offering a hasty, “My fault, my fault. Just open your present, I think you're gonna like it.”
David locked eyes for just a few seconds more, before curiosity over took him again and he turned back to the gift bag. The first thing he pulled out was a card, just something cute, cliché and Christmassy, but inside of it was a ticket to an Alaska Aces hockey game for the following Saturday, and a smile blossomed on David's lips. He never would have thought he would see the day when he would be pleased by such a present, but pleased he was. “Dude, awesome,” he said, looking up at Pierre and smiling pleasantly.
“I have the other ticket...” Pierre trailed off awkwardly. “I mean, you can have it and take someone else you like better, but I was thinking—”
“Of course I want to go with you,” David cut him off with a reassuring nod. “Thanks, this is a really cool gift,” he finished sincerely.
“Well there's more,” Pierre added, clearly wanting to get past the awkward tension that he had just raised.
David shot him one last smile before looking in the bag and pulling out a few things at once. There was a really nice sketch pad, a variety of artists pencils and erasers, and a thickly bound leather portfolio with the letters “DPD” in the bottom right-hand corner in small, gold lettering. All traces of his smile faded from his face as he looked down at the things he was holding, feeling as if his heart was slowing to a stop in his chest. He looked up at Pierre, staring at him with wonder. “Pierre... H-how...?”
“I uh... I may have sneaked a peak at your sketches one day when we were studying,” Pierre admitted, sounding a little embarrassed about it. “You left to get a drink and I saw the corner of a piece of notebook paper sticking out, and it looked like it had a drawing on it... So I looked at it and it was great. I didn't know you designed clothes. That's really cool. You should do something with that, 'cause, I mean, I don't know anything about clothes but it seems like you're really good at it... So I figure now you have some nice materials and something nice to keep them in, in case you wanted to, you know, make a career out of it or something...” Pierre trailed off, rambling in an uncharacteristically nervous way. When David continued to just stare at him with his mouth agape, Pierre furrowed his brow and looked at the younger boy carefully. “David...?”
All David wanted to do was drop everything from his hands, walk over to Pierre, grab him by the face and kiss him like he had never been kissed before. He wanted to hold him, to feel him in a way that only one person was supposed to be able to feel him, to show him with his body that he cared for him and adored him and appreciated everything he had just said. He played the image over and over in his mind, imagining how it would feel. The burning in his chest almost made his day dream feel real to him, but something told David that were he ever so lucky to get a chance to be intimate with Pierre, it would be much better than his mind told him it would be. This was the most thoughtful gift anyone had ever given to him, and all he wanted was to give into his feelings and tangle himself in Pierre's embrace.
He, of course, would not do that.
“David, if it's not right...” Pierre mumbled, and David suddenly realized that the way he had been staring at Pierre and not speaking had sent the entirely wrong message.
“It's perfect,” David replied, his expression screaming sincerity. The corners of Pierre's lips turned up and his eyes brightened ever so slightly. “Thank you... so much. This is really... just... perfect.” The last word came out in a whisper and he worked hard to put a smile on his face, trying his hardest to push the scene from his mind that had just been so vividly playing.
“Cool,” Pierre responded, sounding much more like his collected, boyish self again. “Well, look, I was thinking, you should come hang out at my house today. I mean, my parents are gonna be there and all, and my dad's kind of a know-it-all and my mom is super annoying and all fussy and stuff, but we're gonna have Christmas dinner and there's egg nog and cookies and crap...” Pierre was rambling again, showing a side of him that was altogether new to David but he thought that it might have just been the most endearing side of him. The last thing the senior said, however, was what really won David over. “No one should be alone on Christmas, David.”
How could he tell him no? David smiled and nodded fervently, trying to hide how tangled his insides were at that moment. “Yeah, totally, that sounds great,” he assured Pierre, getting another nod and smile in return. “I'll meet you there in a bit? I need to shower and stuff...” he explained cryptically, feeling that it was best to leave out the fact that he was going to have a total mental break down the moment Pierre was out the door.
“Totally, dude,” Pierre said, and he started to walk by David toward the front door, pausing as he passed to hold out his fist.
David balled his fist and gave an awkward sort of fist bump, a sign of affection that just didn't feel like enough after the intense encounter they had just shared.
And, as soon as the door was shut and he had locked it behind him, David turned around and slid to the ground, staring out across the room wide eyed and open mouthed as everything that had just happened broke over him. He felt tears pouring down his cheeks, pain ripping through him for multiple reasons. He couldn't hate Pierre anymore because he understood him. He couldn't let Jenny down again because he would lose her. He couldn't deny how much he cared about Pierre and wanted to be with him romantically, but he couldn't be with him because of how straight Pierre was. And perhaps the worst part of it all was that he had no one that he could talk to about any of it. As he brought his knees to his chest and hid his face in them, wrapping his arms around his legs to pull himself into a tight ball, more than ever he wished that his mother was still alive so that she could tell him what to do.
David was totally and undeniably screwed.