When I was racking my brain for the second chapter of my fic called 'Boy Meets Girl…?', I came up with this little pathetic story from reading the books: The Princess Diaries, Tuck Everlasting (fantastic book, go get a copy now!), Hard Love and The Beetle and Me: A Love Story.
This is my second GW fic, the first being a completely teeny-bopper-ish screwed up type. Hope you enjoy this.
Disclaimer: What's mine is mine, what's theirs is theirs. I don't own these characters and would very much not like to be sued.
Shounen-ai ahead, be warned. Future 3x4, 1x2. (a real one) Standard Disclaimers Apply.
Teach Me How To Be Cool
Lesson #1: Jumper Suits Are So Last Century
The only recreational item I was allowed to own till I was ten, was a Barbie doll; the only book I was allowed to read was Chicken Soup For The (preteen) Soul; the only music I was permitted to listen to was either Beethoven or Bach (sometimes Handel) and the only non-vegetarian food I could eat (yep, you guessed it right) were ginger bread men with those funny looking icing buttons.
My father thought Metallica were the hounds of evil; my mother thought Eminem was the spawn of Satan.
Of course, life couldn't get any more miserably perfect for me.
My e-mails were checked by my mom, my wardrobe consisted of redundant blue jumpers that all looked the same and my hair was three feet long and tied to a braid. I lived in a small suburban town in Darlington, MA, which is reached by cable by the way, just, that our house is the only exception.
I had two loving parents who cared for me deeply, provided me a loving home where I raised little guppies and broke the bedroom window innumerable times because of the little baseball games I liked to play in the front yard.
My mother worked part time for a bookshop and my father was a pastor in one of the town's churches.
Life in this quaint, dull neighborhood was slow-paced and irenic, the kind that never gave you the shivers when you walked the streets at night. It was almost a safe haven for all, a small provincial town in the quiet of Massachusetts.
My parents were religiously inclined. My father's father, grandfather and practically every male in his bloodline were pious men of honor and prestige, metaphorically speaking anyway; they were pastors for Pete's sake! (No pun intended, there)
And yes, somehow the dread that has plagued both my waking and non-waking hours was the sheer, blatant fact that I was going to be one of them.
Now, I mean no blasphemy to the Christian church and I am no black sheep of the family either, since I am the sole offspring and marring the family 'pride' or what's left of it would be preposterous.
But seriously folks, I am 15 years old now and the mere perspective of speaking to a whole congregation of masses, reaching out to the poor and keeping holy and faithful is just so not me, you know?
I know that when you're 15 you're young, naïve even and hey, I've barely reached college so who am I to say what I'll end up as ten years from now? Somehow, it's kind of those gut feelings that just hint you on the spot and say it's not your time and place to go preaching sacred things from parts of the bible you can barely remember the name of and travel from east to west just to heal the sick and stop aggression, if you know what I mean.
Those gut feelings that tell you, you won't be any good in a particular field not of interest to you. Don't get me wrong, I pray every chance I get but that's as far as my beliefs go and as much as I look up to my father and the dead male relatives who make up my family, I'd rather not continue the undying 'legacy', rather kill it instead.
Anyway, moving along, my mother Helen worked in a local bookshop as a bookkeeper a few blocks away from where our house stood. She was the neighborhood's icon of perfection as my father was the pastor (more of that later on).
Now, our house couldn't be described as large or small, it was just the right size for the three of us, our social status—? Normal in terms of the nifty stuff we owned (save crucifixes and angel figurines).
In this serene, tranquil place, people knew each other, kids went to the same public high school and naivety flowed immensely, at least in my part of town anyway.
I was regarded as the good kid, one who got straight A's, came home before curfew reared its ugly head (which is 8:00 pm by the way), ate all the vegetables on his platter and did chores gratuitously for his folks.
Everyone thought I was the ideal kid, sent from the heavens above. But you see, like I said life couldn't be any more retardedly sadder.
To begin with, ever since I was conceived or maybe even before I was a wee little fetus in my mother's womb, my destiny had been planned, laid out in hopeful aspirations bred by my father and his history of piety.
I was to become a pastor like him.
As much as I'd like to find my own dream, I'd hate to turn down my father who had stemmed me a bright future to look ahead, if not in shame, to.
I didn't want to disappoint him. Didn't want to sound like an ingrate either. (Sigh) If you're still there then, I'll start my story. It won't make you laugh, cry or sigh, if anything it is roughly boring just like the pensive cloak life around this place is.
My name is Duo Maxwell, 15 years of age, violet-eyed (again, don't ask) and chestnut-haired. My hair reaches down toward my bum and I had taken a fondness of tying it into a braid.
You can guess from my name that I am indeed a boy and boys my age don't wear their hair that long (neither do girls if you know what I mean) but let me make it a clear fact that my hair isn't as it is by choice— my mother wanted me to flaunt the 'beauty' of the family as she so dreamily puts it, so there!
Like I had said, I wasn't exactly provided that average degree of normalcy since my folks were quite sensitive to tempting, worldly things and as I had in the beginning said, I had more than a few restrictions, living under my parents' roof.
You know, no watching MTV and listening to any type of music but classical.
When I was growing up, it was small potatoes to follow those rules but now that I am in the throes of adolescence, where peer pressure is high and sexual tension is rabid, (yes, I know the word 'sex') these petty restrictions that dull my life are on its unbearable peak.
Because of my repressed desires and deprivation of a real life, I am a casual reject to society.
I am an infinite loser, the class geek with no sense of style whatsoever with or without the braces (might I add that I am finally free of them!), and it is no relief that the boy of my dreams Heero Yuy thinks I'm a scatterbrain try-hard and that my best friend (perhaps my only friend in the world) thinks I've got it real bad.
Well, that's life after all.
"Duo?! Duo!! You okay?!" I looked up to meet the blue eyes of Quatre Winner, the one and only FRIEND I depend on for the entirety of my social life. He was waving his hands around my face and had blushed when I looked up.
"You looked quite… pensive awhile ago."
I frowned. "I just have a lot on my mind lately." I shrugged carelessly and dropped the book Cry To Heaven by Anne Rice I was reading.
We were in Quatre's (huge) bedroom, where I had grown accustomed to crashing after school, ever since I had met him in first grade; a place where I was free from my parents' watchful eyes.
It was the place where I would watch MTV, listen to hard-core rock music and read anything I liked. It was my sanctuary, unbounded by restrictions and rules.
"Like Heero Yuy for example?" Quatre asked helpfully.
I raised my brows sheepishly.
"Shut up, Quat!"
Quatre didn't take the hint and started giggling uncontrollably for an approximate 10 minutes.
I decided to whack him on the head with a Green Day CD lying around the floor.
Quatre rubbed the sore spot on his lithe blonde head for a moment, sulking.
"Sorry, it was getting quite annoying." I apologized.
Quatre, beamed happily at once, taking not fault at the injury.
You know, I don't get it. Some people have all the luck, like Quatre here for example who was the richest kid within a 123 mile radius and when you live in my part of town, that's saying a lot. Except when you hang out with a reject like me. (Sulk)
He had a ton of sisters, was a bit short for his age, had short blonde hair, inscrutable blue eyes and was exceptionally too trusting and happy for his own good.
His folks gave him anything he wanted, when he wanted it but it's not like he was a spoiled rich brat like most people around here were even if they hadn't got the dough, so they (meaning his parents) didn't have much of a problem with him.
"So… you're getting Linkin Park's new album?" he chirped as he started piling up the CD's we had just listened to in a corner. "I heard the reviews; they said it was great!"
"You know, it's not like I could buy it even if I had the money." I said mournfully, sighing to add effect. I switched on the television and the Tom
Green Show was on. I pretended to watch.
"Hey, don't be all sad on me, now, Duo!" Quatre pouted fetchingly at me, blue eyes shimmering in soft melodrama as I continued my pretense being immersed in the re-run show.
"Duo!" Quatre simply tugged at my jumper strap and pulled me down to the floor, which was not really painful since we were already seated on the carpet at the foot of his four-poster bed.
"What is so wrong with you?" He asked. "You know, I think you should lighten up a bit. Linkin Park isn't worth miffing over, if you ask me."
I looked up at him and rolled my eyes, sitting up. "It's not about Linkin Park." I murmured.
There was this bugging buzzing sound in my ears, annoying the sanity left in me. I was lying and I felt my father's eyes on me. I almost shuddered.
"It's bout, that… Pastoral training school my father wants me to go to. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I don't think, I can… leave this place, leave you and meet my parents' expectations."
"You also forgot to add Heero." Quatre supplied, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
I rolled my eyes once more. "Small town nerd can't bear moving on." I murmured, half-heartedly in self-pity. I reached out for a CD on Quatre's pile on the floor and pretend to scrutinize its front cover. It was Ani DiFranco's self titled album some few years back.
I could feel Quatre's eyes burning on my back, maybe thinking: This guy is so lame but nonetheless not putting a halt on my so-called scrutiny rather stare.
"You're not a nerd." He said instead, touching my shoulder slightly. "You just don't have confidence in yourself." He yanked the CD from my grasp and looked me in the eye. Confidence?
"Experiment, my friend. Let loose yourself from the chains and be free while you still can."
I chuckled and shook my head. "Like Black Beauty?" I asked, grinning sheepishly.
"Yeah, like Black Beauty." Quatre said, placing the Ani CD on the pile once more.
I was glad he was my friend and made me read all the interesting books in his shelves. He made me more human, without Quatre, I would probably end up in an asylum, friendless, hapless and everything less.
"You know, my parents might not approve of me 'letting loose'."
"What they don't know can't hurt them, Duo."
"You've got a point there."
Quatre grinned at me; his blonde hair was tousled in sorts and he looked like a disheveled, silly little cherub piling CD's on the corner and playing them while the TV was on.
Sometimes I ask myself why people can't be more like him, so open-minded, kind and generous. Sometimes I ask myself why my object of infatuation wasn't him instead of the most popular Japanese boy in school, Heero Yuy who I might never have even if I cut my hair, dyed it green and changed my identity and eye color.
The fact being, that I am a boy also and he has a girlfriend named Relena Peacecraft who was equally as pretty and popular. (High school sucks by the way)
Relena was this oh so perfect sandy-blonde girl with flawless, hairless legs she loved to flaunt in scanty skirts and pale arms that if not, clinging to Heero's arm like a frigging leech, was glued and crossed against her chest in a most feminine, arrogant display when she sauntered along the catwalk more often known as corridor to us mere normals.
Maybe If I shaved my legs as well, Heero would like me, then again maybe not.
It's not as if I could wear skimpy outfits anyway since a) I am a boy and b) my parents only buy me unvarying pairs of jumpers.
Heero Yuy was in the same grade as me, had dark brown hair and Prussian blue eyes. He was always devoid of emotion, you know, stoic and unwavering even when he did something embarrassing (which rarely occurred) and easily the toughest kid on the block.
(He lives 2 blocks away from me)He was the star of the football team, voted the coolest guy in my grade last year and had lots of friends in the senior and junior years (mostly females by the way).
His best friend is Trowa Barton who's got this huge (no not that) bang covering half of his face, making only one eye visible.
(I'd always told Quat he's got a scar there but I only get whacked in the head some more)
Trowa is a cool guy too but I think he looks kind of odd, then again in comparison, I am WAY odder, if not oddest of the whole teen population in this small town.
Quatre thinks Trowa's exceptionally special, I think he's a big slob of ice like Heero, showing no emotion whatsoever.
Sometimes I think that's he's a programmed robot, being so perfect and unmarred like that.
"I'm not going to school tomorrow." Quatre announced as soon as he had finished piling up the CD's in a neat stack by his side. "My father wants me to meet his business associates tomorrow and it might take all day so I'm not attending class. Sorry, Duo."
"Why can't any of your gazillion sisters do it for you?" I whined childishly.
He was the only person I ate in the cafeteria with, besides the Asian-looking, pony-tailed guy (Wufei Chang) who sat with me and Quat, glared at me when I asked him what school he came from or what the time was.
(He's just a new kid on the block, but still WAY better than I was. I'm beginning to think I'm the most hapless, luckless loser in the whole planet.)
He's still a little creepy at lunchtime though, despite his being shrewd. I think he wants to be a diplomat or politician or something. He's always complaining about how cafeteria food tasted like crap and how the school administration was made up of a bunch of fascists, those kinds of 'unjustified' things, to quote him.
Anyway, I stared, gaped at Quatre in mock horror, maybe sheer horror when he said plainly: "My father wants me to do it for him."
"But… but… QUATRE!!!" I reasoned. "That means I'll be stuck with Wu-man!"
"It's better than no one," Quatre shrugged. I frowned quickly and knelt down in front of the Arabian blonde. (Did I mention he was Arabian before?)
"DON'T!! COME TO SCHOOL FOR ME, WILL YA?"
Quatre sighed ruefully as if in defeat. "Sorry, Duo. Can't. You just have to stand up for yourself this time. Alone."
Somehow I wasn't all too convinced I could do that. Stand up for myself? Was that what Quatre had been doing for me all this time? I wasn't so sure.
That night, after I left Quatre's mansion-like house and went to my own homely abode, I thought of what Quatre had said about breaking free from my chains and living for the moment.
Of course, I didn't want to rebel against my parents, I knew better. But then again I was fifteen, at the dawning age of withering wisdom and rule breaking.
After dinner, doing the dishes and taking out the trash, feeding the goldfish and dog I secretly named Deathscythe but had remained as St. Peter to my folks, I finished my homework and went to bed. (Phew!)
I wasn't able to sleep that night, just contemplating over my life and crap luck at love. I was a fashion victim, a pariah, a lowly, putrid waste of society and a soon to be pastor. (Sob.)
Truly, there is something missing.
The next morning, due to my lack of sleep, I had almost missed the bus.
Inside said bus, things got out of hand as well. I had scampered from my house to the bus stop and had to chase it a few blocks more before the drive took pity in me and stopped the big yellow thing.
As I entered, I hadn't expected the seats to be so… occupied. I was still searching for a vacant one when my eyes rested over Heero, Relena and Trowa who were all sitting at the back, just staring at me.
Actually, Relena snickered and Heero and Trowa just watched grimly uncaring.
Life can be so tough sometimes. I blushed and looked down, searching for some place to sit, moving forward in vain when what do you know? Some jerk decided to extend his leg out and trip me face forward which was exactly what had happened.
My books flew everywhere and I felt my cheeks flush in anger and embarrassment as laughter resounded in the bus, numbing me to the core. I felt like crying, almost but I prayed they would let it go instead.
When Quatre was with me, none of these ever happened. Let myself free, eh? How can I when I'm the laughing stock of the whole grade?!
I pushed myself up, straightening my face into a look of stoical pride; Heero must think I'm such a loser (oh, wait he already did), I could hear Relena's peals of laughter resonating in the four corners of the bus.
I wanted to punch them all to hell. Erm. Something like that, I wouldn't' be that profane.
Anyway, something utterly surreal happened. Not exactly surreal.
When I looked up, Heero Yuy's Prussian blue eyes looked into mine. He had his hand extended and I blushed beet red, my ears actually perked. I took his proffered hand and he pulled me up.
The pandemonium that my non-too accidental trip had caused had suddenly come to a halt. The silence was so thick you could've sliced it with a bread knife as Heero scowled at them all (maybe… he gave them 'the look').
He began picking up the strewn books for me and gently shoved it into my arms.
"Here." He said, in his usual monotone.
I wanted to smile sweetly (I've been practicing in the mirror before) in return but my jaw caught and locked.
My throat was dry, my tongue was tied and all I could do was blush harder when he surveyed me. Or at least, I think he did.
Relena shot up from her seat and was about to say something when the bus (hooray for the bus) jerked momentarily after its little encounter with a pothole and things once more got out of hand.
In fear that I would trip forward again and lose my balance, I'd accidentally (more like coincidentally) grabbed hold of Heero's collar and pulled on it till I finally fell backwards and Heero fell atop of me with a grunt.
My back grazed against the rough material of the bus floor and the silence that had reigned once before, stretched on like a blanket over us.
My cheeks flushed and my body tensed as I stared once again into the Prussian eyes of Heero Yuy. I could vaguely smell the scent of cologne lingering in his shirt; the tips of his brown hair whispered against the skin of my forehead and my cheeks flushed even redder.
It was so embarrassing; I must've looked like an overly ripe tomato. I gulped as a strange sensation came filtering into me, the brush of his skin against mine was unconditionally scarlet, like those preaching's my father made about temptation and lust, not giving into seduction.
(St. Peter, -not the dog- help me.) It wasn't revolting or anything, instead, compulsive.
It must've been forever (maybe 4 seconds) that we stayed that way; the bus had stopped in front of the school. Heero extracted himself from me and Relena took her usual spot in Heero's arms as they walked hand in hand out of the bus, ignoring me. I could barely stand up, still in a manacle of daydreaming about what had just occurred.
Some walked passed me, tipped over my outstretched arm, sometimes, barely giving me a glance, sometimes scowling. When everyone had already filed out of the bus, Wufei (politician boy) stood, towering over me.
"Hey, Maxwell." He remembered my name, what joy; I pretended not to hear.
"Maxwell." He kicked at my foot. I ignored the little weirdo. (Hmn. As if I'm
not queer enough)
He stretched out his hand and pulled me up against my will. I stood up, still bleary from Heero's contact.
I could've died then, happy. Heero had touched me. Yay.
"You are too transparent sometimes, Maxwell."
I looked up at him, surprised. "Little pastor's kid, gay. That'll cause a stir in school."
"Wha-?" I asked stupidly. "I'm not gay."
"You have it bad, Maxwell." Politician boy said, shaking his head.
Why were we conversing anyway? It wasn't as if we were friends, he barely acknowledged my existence in good will till today. He was always glaring at me from the lunch table.
"No, I don't." I said stubbornly, holding my books close to my chest as I skipped down the bus, trying in vain to look normal but happy.
I dusted my jumper suit.
"Let's just say you gave everyone in the bus the distinct impression you like
I almost fainted; he had said it so loud I felt the eyes of many weigh me over me. Like time was suspended in a parallel universe and everyone had stopped at whatever they were doing to turn to look persistently at me.
I pulled politician boy close to my side. "Excuse me?" I hissed below breath. I stared at him in utter horror.
"Can you please be a little bit more quiet? Look, you barely even talk to me, and when you do, you say something scathing and now you're going out of your way to tell me that I'm transparent as glass which I know I am and I don't need people like you reminding me of it. I'm not rich or anything, I'm a pastor's kid and if you plan on kidnapping me or something I don't have enough money to pay the ransom. Then again it could be good idea, it's not as if I have a life anyway. And I don't really want to be a pastor as well when the time comes so maybe by that you're doing me a favor. "
"Could you… repeat… all that you said?" He asked, confused.
I sighed and raised my arms in dismissal. "Just, get away from me at this point. I'm busy." I said that out loud so that everybody in earshot would hear for two main reasons: a) so that they (meaning everybody) will resume the normality of their infinitely-better-than-mine lives and b) so that people will think I've actually got more friends than Quatre and politician boy, saying that I am 'busy' and all that. (I'm imagining a group of people who I'm ever dedicated to, as friends)
"What happened to you today was unjustified." Wufei a.k.a. politician boy told me as we surprisingly started walking into the school's double doors. (And side by side at that)
"It was a shame." He admitted.
"Just, shut up politician boy!" I snapped angrily. I glared at him fiercely, which took up most of my facial muscles to contract, the fact being that glaring was not one of my strong points and that I never usually get to do it.
I think it made my nose look big or something because one of politician boy's eyebrows rose which was kind of scary. We were in the corridors then.
"What did you call me?" There was something undecipherable in his tone. "Politician boy?"
"Uh-huh." I tried, equally menacing as well. I gulped silently. He looked like he was about to clobber me.
"You are such a loser, Maxwell." He said instead.
Silence stretched between us. And then he walked away, chuckling to himself.
"At least… At least…!!" I yelled after him. "My hair is prettier than yours!"
From a distance, I heard Relena's loud laughter. I didn't dare look at her, in fear that Heero might be laughing as well. I did the next, logical thing I could think of.
I ran across the school hallway and into the next boy's room.
Oh, St. Peter, is this adolescence? I bet Relena thinks her hair is prettiest of all.
"That's it, Maxwell, run to Daddy!"
Relena yelled after me. (Honestly, she's got a loud voice for a girl) I felt the first trickle of tears running down my cheeks as my vision blurred and I fell to my knees.
People around me snickered and I got up from he floor with enough pride I could muster, running towards the nearest boy's room.
I closed the door behind me after I pulled my hair to my side and hugged it like a friend. "Wimp! Wimp!"
I could hear them chant from inside the bathroom. Okay, actually I just made that part up, but it felt like it anyway.
I hate my life.
Well… good enough?