A/N: WOOT! Just whipped this little ficlet out in one evening…granted…it's early early morning right now (12:26 a.m, to be exact). See how devoted I am to you? You ask for more so I stay up waaaay late to finish for you! ^_____^ Actually, my hands really fucking HURT! Damnation. Anyway. Yeah. I just got my driver's license this weekend (WOOT for me!), even though yes, I am almost nineteen, and yes, I am just getting my license now. So what's it to ya? Ahem. Anyway. I was telling my friend Meg about my license and I suddenly thought "what would happen if Zack had to teach Freddy how to drive?" It'd be LOTS of fun and chock full 'o slashy goodness! So I got a bit carried away and it ended up being 18 pages. *shrug* What are you gonna do?
SUMMARY: If Freddy gets his driver's license on his first try, his parents will buy him a car, so he talks Zack into teaching him to drive. But Spazzy McGee isn't exactly the best pupil…and even Zack can lose his temper sometimes. Slash and one-shot, Freddy/Zack.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own School of Rock, Freddy, Zack, Lifehouse, their song "Everything," or any of their band members, especially Jason Wade, seeing as if I did own Jason Wade, I would give him to my sister Meg. Because she loves him.
CLAIMER: I still own Zack's pos pinto, but I also own the backseat of Zack's car (oooh, kinky foreshadowing!), the random stranger and his car, all of Freddy's lists, and Freddy's bedroom door (ooooh, how I envy that bedroom door!).
DEDICATION: Meg (not my sister) because I got this idea while talking to her. MWAH. And Meg (my sister), b/c she's the one who got me listening to Lifehouse.
PS~ Their little convo at the beginning is meant to sound kinda wrong…so, yeah, just go with it. ^__^()
Find me here
Speak to me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light that is leading me
To the place where I find peace again
You are the strength that keeps me walking
You are the hope that keeps me trusting
You are the life to my soul
You are my purpose
You are everything
And how can I stand here with you
And not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
You calm the storms
You give me rest
You hold me in your hands
You won't let me fall
You still my heart and you take my breath away
Would you take me in
Would you take me deeper now
'cause you're all I want
You're all I need
… would you tell me how could it be any better than this
"God DAMMIT, FREDDY!"
"I said I'm SORRY!"
"Well sorry's just not gonna CUT it!"
A long pause.
"Geeze, we shouldn't even do this if you're going to be so tight,"
"You got a problem with me being tight?"
"It's uncomfortable for me, okay Zack?"
"No, it's not okay. I'm just trying to be HELPFUL, Freddy! …You did ask me to do this with you, didn't you? Practically begged me to do it with you, if I remember correctly."
"Yeah, before I knew you were going to be such a tight-ass!"
"Hey, don't call me a tight-ass! You make it sound like a bad thing!"
"It IS! This is a very uncomfortable situation!"
"Well all I know is you need all the help you can get, Freddy."
"….that's very insulting, Zack."
"Well it's true, and you know it. You're sloppy. If you're going to do it, you have to do it right, or no one will go out with you, and you'll be a hopeless dateless loser for the rest of your life."
A long sigh. "Freddy, just shut up and back the fucking car up."
Freddy glared. "Zack, I just tried to back the fucking car up. I nearly hit a tree. You spent the past ten minutes bitching me out."
"Ten?! It wasn't even two!"
"Yeah, whatever," Freddy scoffed.
Zack sighed. "Freddy, did you or did you not ask me to teach you how to drive?"
Freddy tapped his hands against the steering wheel of Zack's old blue pinto, wishing he had his drumsticks in hand, though unsure whether he'd use them to drum or to beat Zack senseless. Zack, being two months older than Freddy, already had both his license and his car less than a year after turning 16. Freddy, being the slacker that he was and not having parents with time to take him driving, had neither. However, his parents promised him that, if he got his license on his first try, he would get a car for his birthday. Desperate for his own car (and reluctant to bum rides off of people) he had begged Zack to teach him how to drive. Zack had willingly agreed, but his patience was wearing thin as Freddy turned out to be a very poor student. Spazzy McGee to the hilt, Freddy had a hard time concentrating.
"…Freddy?" Zack's voice had a stern edge to it. Freddy glanced meekly at his best friend. "Answer me," Zack prodded. "Did you or did you not ask me to teach you how to drive?"
Freddy scratched at the peeling paint on Zack's car dashboard. "I did," he mumbled, unwilling to look Zack in the eye.
"Then you have to listen to me," Zack's voice was firm, but gentle. "Okay?" He slid two fingers under Freddy's chin and turned the blonde's head so that Freddy was looking him in the eye. He smiled. "Okay?" he repeated.
Freddy smiled back. "Okay."
"Okay, then. Now…just…finish backing out, and we'll be on our way."
Freddy took a deep breath. "Okay," he said softly, putting the car into reverse. Unfortunately, he forgot to put his foot on the brake before doing so. The car shot backward like a rocket.
Fifteen minutes later, the old blue pinto was moving slowly but surely down a quiet back road. Freddy's driving had improved a lot in the past quarter of an hour. He still wasn't any great shakes, but he was driving at a steady speed…a steady speed of fifteen miles per hour, but hey, as long as they didn't get in an accident then Zack wasn't going to complain. He swallowed hard. If they got in an accident, there would be hell to pay. You weren't supposed to drive with an unlicensed driver until you had four years driving experience…which he did not have. Zack glanced into the mirror for the umpteenth time, checking for cops or the like. None could be seen, but somehow he didn't feel comforted.
"What's wrong, Zack?" Freddy was glancing over. "You look nervous…I didn't think I was that bad!"
Zack smiled slightly, amused at Freddy's obvious attempts to make him laugh. "No, Freddy, your driving isn't that bad…I just-WATCH THE ROAD!"
As they had been talking, Freddy was swerving more and more to the left side of the road without noticing. A car was barreling towards them as Freddy eased almost completely into the left lane.
"AUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!" Freddy screamed, swerving abruptly into his own lane. The car screeched past, the driver pressing on the horn with all his might and glaring at the two boys. Zack shrugged apologetically, mouthing 'sorry' to the driver before turning his attention to the quivering blonde beside him.
"FUCK, Freddy! Stay on your side of the road! We're not in fucking ENGLAND!"
Freddy bit his lip but said nothing. Zack banged his head back against the seat, still not recovering from the terror of merely seconds before.
"DAMMIT, Freddy! Try not to fucking KILL us, okay?!"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Freddy said, sarcasm lacing his voice, "I though that's what you wanted me to do! Well in that case, I'll just stay on my side of the road and drive at a safe speed limit and learn to drive correctly and make sure we're both still breathing by the fucking end of tonight!" He slammed his foot on the brake without warning and Zack was glad he was wearing a seatbelt as he was thrown forward suddenly. As Zack choked from his sudden strangulation by seatbelt, Freddy put the car in park. Zack gasped for air; Freddy struggled with his seatbelt and finally got it undone, throwing it aside and shoving the car door open.
Finally freeing himself, Zack undid his own seatbelt. 'Where're you going?" he demanded, sliding across the seats to the driver's side, following Freddy.
"Away from YOU!"
"Freddy-" Zack grabbed on to Freddy's arm, but the blonde shook him forcefully off.
"Get the fuck OFF me, Mooneyham!" Slamming the door shut, Freddy began walking away, right down the middle of the road. For some reason he seemed to believe that the lack of yellow line meant that no one would hit him because they couldn't prove he was on the wrong side of the road.
"Freddy…ahh," Zack growled. He started the car again and, rolling down the window, slowly followed Freddy, pulling up beside the blonde boy…the slightly over-dramatic blonde boy, but it was Zack's fault for being a wanker. "Freddy, I'm sorry…I was a complete bastard and I don't blame you for being mad. I haven't been patient. I'm sorry. Really I am. Please, just get in the car."
"Get the fuck away from me!" Freddy shouted, then turned and proceeded to ignore Zack, continuing to walk off furiously.
Freddy whirled about. "Leave me the fuck alone!" he hissed. Something behind Freddy caught Zack's attention and his eyes widened in shock. "FREDDY!"
The blonde sensed the urgency in Zack's eyes and voice. He whirled about and came face to face with an oncoming car speeding towards him. His eyes widened in shock and he dropped immediately, flat on his stomach, kissing the dirt. The car whizzed right over him and stopped, hiding him from view.
Zack felt as though he was the one who had just been hit by the car. Like he had just been punched in the gut. His mouth hung open in complete shock and he felt a burning sensation behind his eyes. He didn't even realize what it was until he felt wetness trailing down his cheeks…it was then that he realized he was crying. Zack ran his fingers over the wet tracks of tears and stared dazedly at the salt water on his fingertips. It was then that he came to his senses. "FREDDY!" He was out of the car in a second flat and running over to the car.
"FUCK, man," said the teenager in the front seat of the other car, opening his door as Zack approached. "FUCK. Is he alright?" He bent over to peer under the car. "Kid, you alright?"
Please, Zack thought, prayed, whatever, he wasn't sure what to call it, please don't let him be dead. Don't let him be dead, God, don't take him from me, please God don't let him be dead.
The noise of gravel being pushed around came from under the car, and then, a feeble voice floated forth. "Zack?"
Zack felt as though, at that moment, his heart stopped beating. He immediately dropped to the ground and stared with wide eyes at the form underneath the car. "Freddy!"
The blonde boy grinned weakly at him. "Ey, Mooneyham, what's the long face for?"
"I…I…I thought you died!"
"No! I just…." Freddy extended his arms as much as he could. "Help me out from under here, will ya?"
Zack took Freddy's wrists and tugged his friend from underneath the car. Straightening up, Freddy dusted himself off. "You're not hurt?" Zack asked anxiously.
"No! The car came at me…I hit the deck…" He made a swooping motion with one hand. "…it rolled right over me."
Zack threw himself at Freddy, clutching the blonde boy tightly. "Don't you EVER scare me like that again!" Zack took a deep breath and burst into tears.
"Huh?" Freddy stared down at the sobbing form of his best friend with a puzzled look. He turned and smiled at the stranger. "Dude, you can go…sorry 'bout all this."
"It's alright," the man said. "That was pretty cool, bro." He shook Freddy's hand. "Good luck with your boy, there."
"Thanks," Freddy laughed, and the man drove off, giving him a comical salute as he did so. Then Freddy turned back to the hysterical mass of weeping that he knew was his best friend. "Zack…shhh, Zack, what's wrong?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Zack sobbed. "It's all my fault."
"Shh, shh, what's your fault?" Freddy asked softly, brushing tears off of Zack's cheeks.
"I was so mean to you… I yelled at you, and you jumped out of the car…you left…and they hit you! That car hit you! You disappeared…and I thought…I thought…." He broke off into a fresh bout of sobs. Freddy couldn't help but smile.
"Aww, is that it?" A long drawn out sob was his only answer. He ran his fingers through Zack's fine brown hair. "Shh, it's okay, it's okay. I'm fine. It's okay, Zack."
Zack looked up at Freddy through eyes filled with tears and threw his arms about Freddy, holding him tighter than he ever had before. It was a long time before Zack was calmed down, and Freddy held him the whole time.
"I thought I'd lost you."
Freddy smiled. He had gotten them home safely and now they both sat in the hood of the car, staring up at a sky filled with stars. The car radio was playing softly. He glanced over at Zack, who cut a very morose figure as he sat with his knees pulled up to his chin, arms wrapped around his legs. The wind blew through his hair and he shivered. Freddy scooted closer.
"You could never lose me," he whispered into Zack's ear. "No matter how hard you tried…and believe me, I know that you want to a lot of the time."
Zack laughed briefly, but looked at Freddy, their eyes meeting. "I would never want to….not really, anyway."
"I know," Freddy said softly. The breeze blew by and Zack shivered again. "Here." Freddy leaned into Zack, wrapping his arms around the slimmer boy. "Lean on me."
"Just do it, Zack. You're cold, I can tell. Don't try to be all noble." He rubbed Zack's arms briskly, trying to force some more warmth into the dark haired boy.
"Thanks," Zack said gratefully, leaning into the warmth of Freddy's body heat. "Mmm, you're nice and warm," he mumbled into the softness of Freddy's worn shirt. Freddy chuckled, a deep throaty sound.
"Good," he laughed, "Because you're cold."
"Sorry," Zack said, trying to pull away.
"Zack, stop trying to be nice and just do as I say!" Freddy pulled Zack into him again.
"And just why should I so as you say?" Zack asked teasingly.
"Because I spent all day doing what you said and it nearly got me killed."
Zack's face fell immediately and Freddy instantly regretted his joking words. "I didn't mean that, Zack. I was just kidding. Really. I really truly appreciate you teaching me to drive. I would be hopelessly lost without you. Really."
Zack glanced up at Freddy from underneath his fringe of chocolate bangs. "…really?" His voice was desperate for approval, for forgiveness.
Freddy brushed the chocolate bangs out of those beautiful deep brown eyes. "Really," he affirmed. The look on Zack's face made Freddy melt inside. Zack's eyes lit up and every trace of worry vanished. His mouth curved up in a small pleased smile which was so cute that Freddy wanted to kiss it…so he did.
Zack's eyes widened in shock as he felt Freddy's mouth connect with his. Freddy's hand tangled in Zack's chocolate hair, gently twining the brown satiny strands between his fingers. He massaged Zack's lips with his own, gently coaxing the other boy to open to him, to allow him to love him. Zack waited only a moment longer. Then, the decision made, his eyes slid shut and he melted into Freddy, allowing the other boy access to his mouth. Freddy's free arm slid about Zack's waist, pulling the slimmer boy closer as he probed Zack's mouth with his tongue as if by doing so he could taste the essence of Zack, desperate to take in every detail of the brunette. Zack moaned into Freddy's mouth and that noise drove Freddy out of his mind almost as it seemed to bring him back to his senses. He slowly pulled away from Zack, sucking languidly on the brunette's lower lip, reluctant to let the kiss go, to let Zack go. He finally did, and slowly opened his eyes. Zack still had his eyes closed and was just sitting there, looking sexy as hell and so completely beautiful. Eyes shut, hair a tousled mess, lips slightly swollen and a faint blush flushing his cheeks with the slightest bit of pink. He too slowly opened his eyes and Freddy stared at him nervously, trying to gauge his friend's reaction.
"I'm sorry," he said before Zack could speak a word.
"For what?" Zack asked breathlessly. "For pulling away too soon?"
Freddy felt stirrings of confusion. "No," he began, "for-"
"-because if that's the reason," Zack interrupted, "then yeah, you should be sorry." Freddy stared at Zack, hope rising in his chest, a hope that was confirmed when Zack smiled at him and reached out to stroke his cheek. Freddy slid closer on the hood of the car.
"Zack," he began breathlessly, "I-"
Zack placed his hand over Freddy's mouth. "Freddy," he said quietly, "you don't need to-"
"I love you," Freddy said, pushing Zack's hand away from his lips. There was a silence. "I've loved you for the longest time."
Another silence. "Why?" Zack's voice was raw and harsh in the silent night air.
"…lots of reasons," Freddy began. Before he could finish, Zack was sliding off the hood of the car. He turned to face Freddy.
"Make up a list," he said. "Then…come find me."
"…Zack," Freddy began, confused. Placing both palms flat on the hood of the car, Zack leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to Freddy's lips.
"I'll be waiting," he whispered, and vanished into the night before Freddy could speak another word.
"Fucking car's such a mess," Zack grumbled. He was bent in half with his ass sticking out of the back seat of his car, reaching across the seat to dig McDonald's bags and other assorted trash out of the many crannies of his back seat. He sighed. It had been three days and he hadn't seen Freddy once. He was beginning to worry.
Without warning, he felt hands on his waist and then he was unceremoniously shoved headfirst into the back seat of the car. He landed with a thump and turned to see a grinning Freddy Jones climb in beside him. "Freddy!"
The boy's smile grew. "The one and only."
"Why're you…what're you-"
"Shut up already and let me read." Freddy was no longer grinning; he took a deep breath, looking to be stealing himself up for something. He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and unfolded it. It was crumpled and torn, and looked as though he had folded and unfolded it many times. He glanced up at Zack. "I have it memorized, but…you know…I'm kinda nervous…don't wanna mess up." With that, he turned his attention back to the paper and, with one more deep breath, began to read aloud. "Reasons I love Zackary David Mooneyham: He's nice. He always shared his lunch with me."
And Zack remembered sharing peanut butter and jelly with Freddy, who more often than not forgot his lunch at home or on the bus.
"He always went out of his way to make me feel welcome, no matter how much he'd rather be reading. He talks to me. Really talks to me. He doesn't make fun of me like the other kids. He understands about my problem."
And Zack recalled with a pang the many times kids had made fun of Freddy when he first transferred to Horace Green… for his ADD and the many disruptions he caused during class. (Mrs. Roberts, Freddy's tappin' his pencil on my chair! Make him stop! Mr. Monroe! Tell Freddy to quiet down! I can't think to do my essay!) And then comments of a worse nature, things better left unsaid or whispered in dark corners which were instead spoken to Freddy himself. (What's wrong with you? You're such a moron. You're a complete loser. A retard!) He remembered the look on Freddy's face as he struggled not to cry as these insults were hurled at him, as people giggled when he took his medication…and how he, Zack, had walked straight past all the mockers and sat deliberately next to Freddy, smiling at Freddy's surprised face. (Hi, I'm Zack…mind if I sit with you?) The tremulous smile Freddy had given in return and the happy shake of the head.
"Zack is nice to everyone. He helps me with my homework all the time. He's teaching me how to drive even though I'm really bad at it and almost killed both of us more times than I can count, and he doesn't even get mad at me."
Zack remembered the incident of a few days before with fresh guilt, but shook it off as Freddy continued.
"Zack is an amazing guy. He doesn't let it get him down that his dad is strict, and that his mom works a lot. He doesn't complain when he has to fix dinner instead of practicing his guitar. He puts up with things most people wouldn't stand for, and he does it with a smile on his face…well, most of the time. He has this pure soul that you rarely find in anyone. It radiates out of his every gesture and smile, his every word. When he plays the guitar, I want to cry, he's just that damn good. It's like the guitar is part of him. But I'm rambling now." Freddy flipped the paper over, hands shaking a bit as he did so. "Zack is the most beautiful person I have ever laid eyes on, but he doesn't realize just how beautiful he is. He has these beautiful deep brown eyes and this soft chocolate brown hair that I love to touch, though when he catches me I try to pretend I was about to pull it."
(Oh, so that's why he always pulls my hair,) Zack thought, somewhat detachedly amused.
"I love the way the hair hangs in his eyes," Freddy continued, "and I always want to brush it out of the way, but I haven't got the guts. Most of all, I love his mouth. When he smiles, and his lips turn up at the corners before it spreads to the rest of his mouth…it's just the greatest, most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It's why…" He looked up and his eyes met Zack's. "It's why I first kissed you," he said softly. "It was so cute…the way your lips did that. I had to kiss that smile." Zack smiled, stunned, and embarrassed, Freddy looked back down at his paper. "I could go on and on about all of the things I love about Zackary David Mooneyham," he read, "but I would use up every piece of paper in the world and it still wouldn't be enough. I could go on for days, and I tried…I have more," he began, fishing in his pockets and pulling additional papers out, each one covered front and back with Freddy's messy writing and equally torn and creases. "They're here…somewhere…" he dug into his pockets again, but Zack grabbed his hands. Freddy looked up at Zack, surprised.
"They're not important," Zack whispered. "None of it is. Nothing is important."
"Nothing's important, huh?" Freddy asked.
"Well…some things are," Zack corrected himself.
"Oh yeah? Like what?"
"Like this." And Zack leaned into Freddy, pressing the blonde back against the soft seat cushions as he kissed him fiercely, putting every memory that he had of Freddy and their life together, every remembrance and hope for the future into that one, single kiss.
Zack suddenly felt a wetness on his cheeks and wondered if it was his own tears. Opening his eyes, he found that both of them were crying. Freddy smiled up at Zack, who was lying half on top of Freddy.
"Well," Zack said, his voice very scandalized. Freddy laughed up at him. "This is certainly a very compromising position, no? Horizontal in the back seat of my car." He clucked his tongue. "The shame of it."
"Is there shame in being with me?" Freddy asked abruptly. Zack winced.
"No," he said, shaking his head and running fingers down Freddy's rough jaw. "None whatsoever. That wasn't what I meant. Out of everyone in the entire world, if I could have my pick of every single person….I'd choose you."
"Really?" Freddy's smile grew again and his eyes lightened. Zack smiled down at him.
"Really really," he confirmed, resting his forehead against Freddy's. Freddy wrapped both hands around Zack's neck and pulled the dark haired boy down to meet him for another kiss. When it finished, they were in an even more compromising position, with both boys slightly sideways, legs tangled together and arms wrapped tight about each other.
"So," Freddy began. "You want a lesson from me?"
Zack laughed. "You're going to give me driving lessons?"
Freddy arched an eyebrow. "I didn't say they would be driving lessons, now did I? But there are other things that I'm good at…other things I could give you a lesson in."
Zack arched an eyebrow. "On whom," he began dryly, "have you been practicing?"
Freddy looked down at the place where his and Zack's fingers were tangled together. "Bedroom door," he muttered. Zack's eyes widened and he began to laugh louder than he ever thought possible.
"You're KIDDING me!" When Freddy shook his head, the peals of laughter doubled in volume and Zack found himself slipping off the seat of the car had he kicked the side of his car in hysterics. Freddy frowned at him.
"It's not that funny, you know," he admonished.
"Yes….it….is…" Zack gasped between breaths.
Silence took the car as Freddy did things to Zack's lips that Zack didn't know could be done with a mouth. Freddy pulled away after he was sure he had Zack good and convinced, and he nodded once at Zack. "So there."
Zack blinked up at the blonde boy. "Wow…that bedroom door must be one HELL of a kisser!"
Freddy made an undistinguishable noise of indignation and outrage and smacked the side of Zack's head. Zack burst out laughing again. "Okay, okay, I admit it! You're a good kisser, you're a good kisser!" The last came somewhat hysterically as Freddy began to tickle the brunette. Satisfied, Freddy removed his prodding fingers from Zack's tender ribs. Zack smiled up at Freddy. "A great kisser," he corrected.
"And don't you forget it," Freddy laughed. He leaned down and kissed Zack yet again, then moved to the right and nipped Zack's ear. "So…" he whispered. "…on to the lessons?"
"You bet," Zack said breathlessly. And in that moment, with their lips fitting together like two pieces of some beautiful puzzle, the two final pieces which hadn't made any sense at all until that moment, that perfect moment…and at that moment…they had everything.