Author: torandicus PM
When Eric Preston's best friend moves, he doesn't expect to make a new one this quickly. Eric/BrianRated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort - Words: 831 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-09-11 - id: 7163082
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Eric Preston didn't cry when Neil told him he was moving to New York. He wasn't phased while watching him pack his bags, just rolled another joint and pointed out the clothes he should take. He barely even registered that his best friend was going to be gone until he arrived at the bus stop to say goodbye.
Seeing Niel lugging around his duffle bag, saying goodbye to his mother, Chris, and the few other friends he had, was enough to make something snap in Eric's mind.
As soon as Niel spotted him, he sauntered over and gave him a wet, sloppy kiss on the cheek. He pulled back, patted Eric's saliva-soaked face, and whispered "I'm going to miss you," almost too quietly for anybody to hear. The usually emotionless boy was glassy-eyed and ducking his head, afraid that somebody might see him being human. Eric was openly crying by now.
"I'm going to miss you too, Niel. Please don't forget to write. I expect a lot of letters."
And with that, he was gone. On a bus, on his way out of Kansas. Eric would be inhuman if he weren't a little jealous. A little depressed. He looked toward Niel's mother, who wasn't crying. She looked back at him and smiled a closed-mouth smile.
"Come on, Eric. I'll cook you dinner," she said in a watery voice.
The drive back to the McCormick's house was quiet. The radio played Led Zepplin on a low volume, and he wished it would rain. Just so the weather matched his mood. His wishes were fruitless, however, due to the drought that Kansas had been in since the beginning of time. The entire city smelled like firewood, and the air inside of the car was suffocating. Eric was suddenly far too eager to be inside the McCormick's air-conditioned home.
When they pulled into the driveway, he was struck with an empty feeling. This wasn't Niel's house anymore. He held his breath until he heard the engine shut off, and then exhaled slowly. That's when he noticed an anxious looking blonde standing in front of the car.
"Who are you?" Miss McCormick asked cautiously.
"My name is Brian. Pleased to meet you. Is there an N. McCormick here?" the boy, Brian, said timidly.
"You're out of luck, he just got on a bus to New York," Eric heard himself say bitterly. He tried not to feel too guilty about how Brian's small smile dissolved into nothing.
"He's gone? Is he coming back?" He asked almost frantically.
"Not until Christmas, but you can join us for dinner, if you'd like," Niel's mom said happily, like she was more than happy to poison another one of Niel's friends with her cooking. She looked at Brian like she would look at a long-lost friend.
"Th-that'd be lovely, ma'am. Thank you," he said cautiously. Eric eyed him up and down and couldn't help but think that without the glasses, he wouldn't be half bad.
Dinner was awkward, at best. Brian asked a lot of questions about Niel, and Eric answered shortly and venomously. Miss McCormick was too preoccupied with a mild case of empty nest syndrome to care much, making sure everyone had enough food and topping off their glasses of iced tea.
The blonde boy didn't seem to be phased by the fact that Eric didn't seem to like him. In fact, he just grew more enthusiastic with every question that was answered. He ate what was put in front of him without making a face or anything, which was a small triumph considering they were eating green beans covered with some kind of gravy and crushed barbecue chips.
"So, how do you know Niel?" Miss McCormick asked, already a little bit tipsy from the vodka she was drinking from the bottle.
"He was on my little leage team," he said, not looking up from his food. Miss McCormick didn't ask anymore questions.
A few days later, Eric ran into Brian at the grocery store. Whether it was geniune interest in the boy or almost a week without Niel, he still doesn't know, but he said "come on," and dragged Brian to his car. He looked flustered at first, almost afraid, but he soon calmed down and let his shoulders sag. Eric started driving towards the McCormick's house, where he's been hanging out every day since Niel left.
"So lets be honest here, what do you really want with Niel?" Eric asked bluntly. The blonde looked stricken.
"Well, you probably aren't going to believe me, and...and you'll probably think I'm crazy. But I think we were abducted by aliens as kids," he muttered.
Eric had to pull over, he was laughing so hard.