Rating: PG 13
Word Count: 4427
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: Sorry this is a day later than promised but I have been crazy busy with the wedding, honeymoon, and settling in back at home, which just so happened to involve opening, cleaning and finding room for TONS of wedding presents! (#firstworldproblems?) I had a lovely time and I really appreciate everyone being patient for the next update! Here are a couple pictures from the wedding :)
And now onto the chapter!
David was pacing the length of his kitchen, waiting impatiently for his coffee maker to stop brewing, though he hardly needed the caffeine boost in that particular moment. Truth be told, he had been awake for hours, laying in bed and waiting for it to be an appropriate time to wake up; the excitement of what the day might hold for him was so much that he had barely been able to sleep the night before, let alone stay asleep after four o'clock in the morning. It had felt like every half hour he was looking at the clock, waiting for his alarm to go off. Normally the boy wasn't so eager to get out of bed and get ready for school, but that day was different; that day, he had a boyfriend waiting for him when he got to school. Sure, he wouldn't be able to act as if Pierre was anything more than his friend as long as they were surrounded by their peers, but he would still be there, tall and gorgeous, strong and reserved, the owner of his heart. David was ecstatic.
Maybe he wouldn't have been so anxious to see Pierre if he had seen the boy at all since the hockey game two nights previously. Saturday night after the game, the two boys had gone their separate ways, and because of one reason or another, they hadn't been able to spend any time together at all over the weekend. There was a part of David that was afraid Pierre had changed his mind and didn't want to be with him anymore, but he knew he needed to shut that voice in his brain up. If he couldn't trust Pierre already, how would they survive nine months long distance? No, Pierre still wanted him and David knew it, he just needed to figure out how to tell his aching heart to take a deep breath and trust in the older boy. He thought it sounded a little easier than it was actually going to be.
Finally the coffee maker gurgled its last gurgle and David knew it was done. He turned to grab his mug off the counter, though his shaky hands fumbled and before he knew what was happening, his favorite mug shattered loudly on the kitchen floor. David flinched back out of instinct and stood still for a moment, his heart beating wildly as his brain tried to tell him that he hadn't just been injured. With a shaky breath, he shook his head at himself and moved from the kitchen, intent on grabbing the broom and dustpan, while also lecturing himself internally about not sleeping enough and allowing himself to get too nervous. What was there to be so worked up about, after all? It wasn't like this would be his and Pierre's first day at school together as boyfriends. Oh wait.
The rest of David's morning went something along those lines. Everything that could be dropped, he dropped, though he was marginally luckier from that moment on that nothing else was broken in the process. Still, he made rather a mess of his things as he tried to gather his books and papers, effectively spilling them all over the floor and mixing up his assignments for his different classes. By the time he finally made it out the door, David was beginning to worry that he wasn't even going to make it to school without crashing his car into a tree and killing himself on the spot. But no, again he reminded himself that there was nothing to be so nervous about. He was absolutely insistent that he was going to have a good day, no matter how foreboding the clumsiness of the morning had felt to him. It was his own nerves, and nothing more.
He pulled into the school parking lot and turned off his car, giving himself a few moments to gather himself before he had to go and put on a show. He and Pierre had been legitimate friends for a brief spell already, so what was he so worried about?
“You can do this,” he prepped himself as he stared in his visor mirror. “Just like any other day.” And with that, he grabbed his messenger bag and got out of the car.
A few things happened as he made his way into the school, though David really only paid attention to one of those things. First, he saw a group of his teammates wave at him from their cars in the parking lot. Normal. Then, he received quite a few strange looks as he made his way closer to the school. Also normal. The third thing that happened was the one that he paid attention to most thoroughly, and after that moment nothing else seemed to register: he saw Pierre.
Instantly a smile blossomed on his lips and his cheeks flushed the softest shade of pink, though it only took him a few seconds to remember that they were supposed to stay a secret and he couldn't be obvious about his feelings for the senior. He reeled his expression back in and tried to wear one of casual indifference, something which he could already tell he was going to struggle with. Why hadn't he been given the gift of lying better? He would have to practice, he told himself.
David was on the verge of opening his mouth and calling out to his boyfriend—who was standing about a hundred feet away at the front doors to the school—when Pierre turned to look at him. The look on his face was enough to tell David that something wasn't right. The senior's face was white as a ghost and David couldn't tell if he looked more frightened, sick or angry; it was a disconcerting mixture of the three. He picked up the pace a little bit, speed walking toward Pierre, who turned and did the same, though his steps seemed to be fueled with a kind of frantic anger that David just didn't understand.
Pierre got to him and grabbed harshly onto his shoulders, shaking him hard and yelling, “Did you do this?!”
David's entire body recoiled involuntarily and even though he didn't know what he supposedly did or didn't do, he shook his head quickly, his eyes wide with fear. “I didn't do anything!” he promised quickly.
“Swear you had nothing to do with this!” Pierre yelled again, shaking David harder.
“Pierre, I didn't do anything!” David promised again strongly. “What's going on?!”
“Fuck!” Pierre exclaimed, and as he did, he shoved David away from himself and stormed off, ignoring everyone as he walked by them.
David watched after him, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open as the older boy got into his car and tore out of the parking lot and back down the road. What the hell had happened?
“Hey faggot!” a boy's voice called, and before he had the chance to turn around, he felt something light make contact with the back of his head. David spun to see who had spoken but there were so many people staring at him, he couldn't be sure who had done it. Then he noticed a crumpled up piece of paper on the ground near his feet and instantly he knew it to be the mystery item that had hit him. He glanced around nervously at all the eyes on him, afraid that at any moment he was going to be jumped by the group of people around him, some of which were his own teammates, though not the ones who had waved at him a mere minute before. Not knowing what else to do, David scooped up the balled up piece of paper and flattened it out, trying to make sense of the image on it. When it finally clicked, the entire world seemed to stop around him.
It was a picture of him and Pierre kissing in the locker room.
David stood perfectly still as he stared at the picture, not hearings the words of the students around him, not the insults or the calls of support. His mind was reeling, asking a million questions at once, though the ones that stuck out the most to him were 'who' and 'how'. In that moment, nothing else really mattered.
David began to move, pushing past the classmates that had gathered around him and making his way into the school, though he didn't know what purpose it would serve. He needed answers and he didn't know where to get them, so he stumbled on blindly, unsure of what he would find as he progressed. When he got into the main doors of the school, however, he wished he had turned around and run off just as Pierre had done. Nothing could have prepared him for what was waiting for him.
There had to be a thousand pictures, all the same, all taped to the walls for as far as his eyes could see. He walked quickly down the hall, ignoring the looks and calls from other students as he passed them. In that moment, he was concerned with nothing more than ripping down every single picture. He rushed down the hall, tearing down picture after picture, tucking them between one arm and his body while the other arm worked furiously to rid the walls of the proof of his and Pierre's secret relationship. Tears streamed down his face more quickly with each step but he didn't stop, not even when the Principal approached him and tried to calm him down. David just pushed past him and continued to stack the papers in his arm, already feeling overburdened with them and he hadn't even made it half way to the cafeteria yet. How many of them were there? The walls seemed to go on forever.
And then he tripped, and all of the pictures he had gathered went scattering across the floor. He fell to his hands and knees and stared down, his heart trying to tear from his chest and in that moment, he wished that it would. He looked down at all of the pieces of paper around him, some face down, some folded and bent, and others turned up to stare him in the face. There he was, pinned against the wall by Pierre, kissing him with his fingers in his hair, just as the two had been a mere two nights previously. It had brought him so much joy just ten minutes before. How was it possible for everything to change so drastically?
“Come on, David, let's go to my office,” the Principal's voice came.
David shook his head and continued to stare down at the ground from his position, unsure of how he was supposed to move on from this. What did this mean for his relationship with Pierre? How would he expect the boy to ever speak to him again? His mind was so consumed with the fear of losing the boy he had only just gotten that temporarily, he didn't think of anything else.
When he felt a hand on his shoulder, David managed to find the courage to pick himself up. He stood, leaving the pictures where they had fallen and not turning back for them as he began to follow the Principal back down the hall toward the man's office. The damage had already been done, and worse than that, it was irreversible. What was the point in picking up the fifty or so pictures he had already grabbed, when there were literally hundreds more in that hall alone, and who knew how many were posted throughout the rest of the school? Taking them away now wouldn't make people unsee them; that was just something David was going to have to learn how to live with.
When he got into the Principal's office and sat down, the man began to question David. Did he know who had done this? Did he have anything to do with it? Did Pierre have anything to do with it? Where was Pierre now? David just shook his head to each question asked, unable to give any more of an answer than that. At some point, the school counselor and a few other teachers had entered the room, though David didn't give them any more attention than he did to the Principal; they were just asking him more questions. Did he want to go home? Was there anyone who would pick him up?
At this, David finally looked up from his lap and looked around into the faces of his teachers, his eyes sad and desperate as he replied with a broken, “I-I don't have a-anyone.”
Silence followed those words and for a few moments, his teachers seemed unsure of how to proceed. In the end, however, the school counselor offered to drive David home and the rest of the teachers seemed to agree that this was the best solution they could come up with. David didn't argue and he didn't speak again, not when he was led from the Principal's office by a group of teachers, not when he was put in the car and not when the counselor pulled up to his house. The woman offered kind words to him but David ignored her and made his way inside, not bothering to lock the door behind him.
David's feet dragged heavily across the carpet as he made his way into his bedroom. He didn't turn the light on, nor did he close the door behind him. He didn't have the energy to do anything in that moment other than fall down into his bed, curl up under the blankets and cry. His mind showed him images of Pierre's angry face yelling at him and though he couldn't still feel his fingers digging into his arms, he couldn't forget how strong the senior's grip had been on him. Could he blame him? Pierre's entire world had just unraveled in front of him and to make matters worse, it had happened in front of the entire student body. David wrapped his arms around his torso and curled further into himself under the blankets, and as he did he wondered if Pierre was ever going to speak to him again. Things had finally felt so right between the two of them for the first time since they had known each other as children. He hated that someone had come along and messed it up for them, after everything they had been through.
There was a soft knock on his bedroom door and David sat up straight, the blankets falling down his body as he spun to see who had come in without his knowledge. When he saw Pierre standing in his doorway wearing an apologetic, cautious smile, David's heart squeezed and his lungs ached in his chest, making him feel as if all of the air had been sucked out of the room as it whirled around him. Pierre was the last person he had expected to see, and yet there he was, teetering nervously on the threshold between the hallway and his room, as if he was afraid to step in—or more that he was afraid that he wouldn't be welcome to step in. David was completely lost for words.
“Can I...?” Pierre asked carefully, once again showing his inability to finish difficult questions in the face of possible rejection. David bit down on his lip and nodded, feeling glued to his spot on his bed.
Pierre walked over to him and for a few long seconds, he did nothing but stand over him. David looked up at the older boy, his cheeks tinted pink and stained with tears. His short black hair was mussed up from the blanket that had been shielding him from the world and his lips were swollen slightly, giving him a natural looking pout that only added to his look of innocence, a look that didn't falter as Pierre sat down on the bed next to him and put a shaking hand on his knee.
“I'm sorry I ran off like that,” Pierre started quietly, pulling out his softer side that David had so rarely gotten to see.
David shook his head in response, his lips parted slightly as his quiet, ragged breathing filled the room. “I swear I didn't know,” he whispered, this being the only thing he could think of to say. He knew that Pierre had every right to be angry with him and that the senior really had no reason to take his word for it, but he also couldn't help that he wanted more than anything for Pierre to believe him. In that moment, he felt that he could throw himself onto his knees and beg Pierre to believe him if he needed to, something which should have triggered an alarm in David's brain, warning him that he was falling too quickly. Of course, it didn't.
Pierre was too quick to nod and say, “I know,” in a dismissive matter, as if it shouldn't have been a question in the first place.
“Really, I had no idea,” David insisted again, eager for Pierre to understand.
Again, Pierre nodded, giving another gentle, “It's okay, I know.” He put a hand on the back of David's neck and pulled the younger boy to his chest, wrapping his arms around the smaller boy's back in a reaffirming hug.
David melted into Pierre's hug, comfort seeping from his chest to the outer limits of his limbs like a slow, warm, reassuring cough syrup. “I'm really sorry,” David mumbled into Pierre's chest, whose hands were rubbing soothing circles into his back and sides.
“Me too,” Pierre replied quietly, speaking into David's hair. He placed a kiss on the top of the younger boy's head before turning his face to the side and nuzzling it into the boy's hair again. “I shouldn't have freaked out on you like that. It wasn't cool. And I really shouldn't have grabbed you...”
David wanted to respond that it was okay but he knew that he shouldn't. The truth was, it wasn't okay. He truly believed that Pierre had every right to be upset with him, but he also believed that it was never okay physically exert power over another person the way Pierre had done to him. Instead, he nodded in agreement and buried himself deeper into his boyfriend's chest.
“It won't happen again, I promise,” Pierre told him, and again, David nodded.
“I believe you,” David told him gently. The next moment was spent in silence as the two boys simply held each other. David was afraid to speak; what was going to happen next? Where were they supposed to go from there? He was terrified to know the answer—terrified that they wouldn't be able to get past it. But Pierre had said it wouldn't happen again, and somehow David thought it implied that things weren't finished between the two of them. Still, he sat and waited, listening for any cues from Pierre that might lead him to the next step.
“I wonder how everyone's gonna react,” Pierre broke the silence finally, a sentence that caused mixed reactions in David.
First, he felt afraid at the thought of facing their classmates and immediately he began to wonder the exact same thing. How would everyone react? He assumed that there would be those people who hated them for it, but surely not everyone could be so close-minded. He knew that they would face adversity together because of this, but he had to hope at the same time that they would also see strength and acceptance, too. If he ever wanted to have the courage to go into that building again, he had to believe that they wouldn't be completely shunned. If it was just his own fate hanging, it might not have been so bad—after all, David had spent the majority of his school existence being teased by nearly everyone. But the last thing he wanted was to see Pierre fall just months before he was going to graduate. It was strange how it was the one thing he had wanted for so long just a few months previously and now he hated that it might actually come to pass. It was a horrifying thought.
And then there was the second place Pierre's statement had taken David's mind, a place that made him feel secure and wanted. Was Pierre implying that they were going to throw caution to the wind and just admit that they were a couple? The damage was already done, wasn't it? He didn't think they would be able to convince anyone that it was a clever photoshop job and everyone had already seen it. Was it so farfetched to think that Pierre might just decide that they should be open and proud about their relationship? David wanted it too badly to ask, so again, he simply waited, too afraid to hear it shot down to say anything.
Pierre seemed to take David's silence as a sign that he was terrified of facing their classmates, and he gave the younger boy what was clearly meant to be a tighter, reassuring squeeze. “We'll figure out who did it and they'll get in trouble for this,” Pierre promised, before placing another kiss on David's head.
“How?” David asked, his voice cracked and quiet.
“Coach already called me, and the Principal. They said they'll get to the bottom of it and the student responsible will be expelled,” Pierre told him, a thought that made David perk up a little bit. “They're not mad at us or anything. They're taking it really seriously,” he added with a nod against David's hair.
“Wow,” David responded with a soft breath. “It had to be one of the guys on the team, right?” he asked, and as he did so, he finally felt confident enough to pull out of Pierre's embrace and look at the boy, though as he did, he couldn't keep himself from blushing a little and giving a shy smile.
“That's what Coach thinks,” Pierre replied, his eyes going blank as the idea crossed his mind.
“Who else would have been in there to see?” David reasoned softly.
Pierre took a deep breath and sighed it out, his eyes snapping back up to David's in a manner that suggested he didn't want to believe it could be true, but that he also understood that it probably was. David could see how much it hurt him to think that one of his teammates—his brothers—could have betrayed him in such a way. “Yeah, it's really the only thing that makes sense,” Pierre told him, and as he did, he leaned forward to place a gentle kiss on David's cheek and then stood.
“Are you leaving?” David asked, his voice thick with disappointment.
“I'm gonna go deal with this,” Pierre told him. David moved like he was going to stand next to him, but Pierre placed a hand on his shoulder and stopped him in his tracks. “You stay here. Lay down, take some time... Just relax, okay? I'm gonna go take care of some things at school and then I'll come back and we can spend the day together. Does that sound okay?”
David felt awful for it, but he nodded and let Pierre step away from him. He knew that this was his mess too, that he should have been helping Pierre clean it up, but he just couldn't face it yet. He wanted to know more about the situation first, to be sure that no one was going to try and hurt him over it and at that moment, everything was still too up in the air for his liking.
“Okay,” Pierre said, seemingly unable to help that the word came out as a heavy sigh. “I'll be back in a little bit. You rest,” he instructed, and David gave him a smile and nodded his head.
Pierre walked through the bedroom door and into the hall, though as he passed, he put his hand on the door frame and stopped to look back at David, as if a thought had struck him on the way out. He had a cynical looking smile on his lips as he said, “Well, at least you and Jenny already had a falling out. If she didn't stop being your friend over our friendship, she definitely would have over this.”
David felt as if he was frozen in time as Pierre's words sunk in. He wasn't aware of the half-hearted laugh he had given in response, or even of Pierre's exit shortly after. His mind was completely consumed with the words his boyfriend had just spoken, an impossible truth that he hadn't looked over yet, though he didn't know why it hadn't been the first thing he thought of when he saw those pictures littering the walls in the school:
It was Jenny.
David felt a new kind of fear grip him as the thought settled in his brain and instantly he knew it to be true. Jenny had been the one to take the picture. He didn't know why she had been in the boy's locker room or how she had known that they would be in there, but somehow she had done it. And what made matters worse was that, in a sense, David had lied to Pierre. He should have known who had done it and he was partially responsible for it... after all, he and Jenny had come up with that plan together. He and Jenny had planned to trick the senior into kissing him, take a picture and share it with the whole school. David had thought that he was safe from that plan becoming a reality because he no longer wanted any part in ruining Pierre Bouvier's life, but what he didn't take into account was that Jenny still very much hated Pierre, and what made her scarier was the fact that she now hated David equally.
“What the fuck am I going to do...?” David whispered, before he rolled himself back into a ball, pulled the blankets over his head again and tried to block it all out. Things were far from over. In fact, the danger had really only just begun. David felt stuck once more.