Disclaimer: QaF is not my toy box, I'm merely playing. Took Lisa and Coach Palmer from the book series. Also don't own any other references. The title is taken from a line in the song 'Nancy Boy' by Placebo.

Beautiful Mess:

Brian stumbled into the boys restroom, sprinted down the corridor to the last stall, threw himself inside, slammed the lock down and pushed himself into the corner sure that his life was over. His mind was not only pounding, but it seemed to be spinning at the same time. Had he really just done that? Had that really been him who just walked up to Coach in the shower, got down on his knees and…and…

What the hell had happened?

Confused he choked back a sob. As he leaned into the corner for support he took a deep breath and winced. His throat hurt. He was also soaking wet and cold. His jeans clung to his legs and seemed to press the cold against him, unwilling to let the damp coolness escape and the warmth in to take its place. He stared down at his feet and watched a small puddle form as the water dripped from his body. He suppressed a shudder.

His mind was numb, replaying the events. Though he could no longer remember why he needed to go back into the locker room, he did remember that he'd deemed it important. He remembered walking in and hearing the shower running, but had thought it must have been one of the other kids and with that had paid no mind to it. It wasn't until he was grabbing what he'd needed out of his locker that he'd looked up and seen the soccer coach there. Coach had turned and looked at him when he'd opened the locker, but he hadn't said anything just kept watching. Brian bit his lip as he remember how instantly mesmerized he had felt at the sight of his teacher's naked body. He'd always thought Coach was good looking, but he'd never realized how good looking until he'd had the man naked under a shower. It hadn't memorized him until he was watching water slide down his pecs to a perfectly formed six-pack. Their eyes had locked and the older man had simply continued to stand under the spray. As he rinsed the soap off his body, his eyes hadn't left Brian's who hadn't been able to look away or stop himself from inching forward until he too was under the water, his body pressed close to the other man's. Coach had reached out and touched his shoulder, not said anything. Then Brian had dropped to his knees and…no he wasn't going to think about it. He wasn't going to think about how right it had felt, or even how now the memory was making his breath catch in the back of his throat.

The door to the bathroom seemed to make a large booming noise as it hit the wall. Brian shut his eyes and willed himself not to move, his mind was screaming 'go away, go away' as the teacher called out for him, "Brian?..Brian?"

Brian bit his lip to keep from screaming, he suddenly felt like the victim in a horror movie. Everything was moving too fast. This wasn't happening to him, couldn't be happening to him. His life was screwed up enough as it was without this sudden realization that it was men he craved sexually and not women. He's always found himself admiring the other boys, and he'd kissed that Novotny kid a few times, hadn't been able to stop himself. He hadn't felt any interest in the girls all his male classmates seemed to go crazy over. He'd just assumed he was smarter than them, or that he didn't have time to worry about romance or lust when he needed to concentrate on getting good grades so he could get out of this god forsaken place and build a life of his own. He'd never put two and two together and to suddenly have it slammed into him was making panic well in the pit of his stomach. His father was going to kill him. He'd more than made it clear, though his teasing, his opinions on gays.

What…what if his father could now tell just by looking at him? What if he walked in the door and his dad just knew?

He was dead, so very dead.

Brian's eyes widened and his heart speed as he tensely watched the puddle on the floor as it pooled and then began to slide towards the door of the stall. Please go away, he begged in his mind.

The coach's shoes made a soft shuffling sound as the man took a few steps back and whispered to himself, "Fuck."

The man was still swearing to himself as he walked out of the bathroom. Brian held still in case Coach had only let the door swing shut, if he was only trying to make Brian think he'd left the room. After several moments of carefully listening Brian let himself slide to the floor and brought his knees up to his chest. He needed to think, he needed to breathe.

His life was over.

He swiped angrily at the tears sliding down his cheeks and wished the panic that had settled into the pit of his stomach would go away. He shivered and bit the inside of his mouth to keep his teeth from chattering. Every part of him ached because he wanted answers, but he didn't know what to do. He wished, not for the first time, that he had someplace safe to go, but he didn't.

He choked back a sob. He wasn't going to cry, he told himself as he tried to wipe away the tears streaming down his face. What was he suppose to do? His mind raced. His father would break something, let all his frustration out in anger until he was exhausted. His mother would pray.

Brian was too terrified to have the energy to be angry. Praying had to be the only thing he had left. He pleaded silently that by some miracle he'd get out of this mess. He was in the middle of repeating it to himself when he scowled and stopped, praying had never gotten him out of anything in the past. It'd never helped before, why should it work now?

He shivered. He needed to get out of here and walk home. He needed to figure out a way to sneak into the house, soaking wet, and into his room without anyone the wiser. It wasn't possible.

The door to the bathroom squeaked as it opened again. Startled Brian held his breath. Was the coach back again? Please, please, please don't find me, Brian thought.

"No, it's okay," a kid's voice said, "You don't have to wait for me Lisa."

There was reply that Brian missed and then the door shut. Brian wrapped his arms tightly around his legs and pulled them hard against his chest, hoping that the other person wouldn't notice him. He remained silent as he listened to the other boy used the facilities and began to wash his hands. It was then he noticed that the puddle that had formed from the water dripping off of him had finally run out of the stall. He hoped the other kid wouldn't notice.

The cold seemed to hit him suddenly and he shivered violently, his teeth chattering. He tried to stop, but couldn't. As he chastised himself, the other boy shut off the sink asked, "Hello?"

Go away, Brian thought in anger, just go away. Again the kid asked, "Hello?"

There were footsteps towards his stall, "Is someone in there?"

Brian pushed himself further into the corner and didn't respond. The door was pushed against, but the lock held. Brian jumped startled slightly, but didn't say a word as the stranger asked, "Are you okay?"

Brian decided to remain silent.

"You want to unlock this door?"

When he continued to not answer the person took a few steps back and said that it was okay, he could wait. Then the kid began to babble. He said he had a comic book he could read him. He told him it wasn't Captain Astro, but it was still really good because it was the very first Alpha Flight. He said he'd just managed to get it.

"It's got all these more mainstream Marvel superheros on the cover: Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Scott Summers from the X-men, and some of the Avengers. That's not the best part though. The best part is that the leader of Alpha Flight, James Hudson, is pushing them aside and telling them that this is a job for them. Puck's barreling through, Sasquach is behind him with Marina, and Snowbird is in the sky along with the twins Aurora and Northstar. Then…"

The kid kept talking about the comic, describing the panels to him and changing the voices for the different speakers. Brian shivered and tried to keep his teeth from chattering as he listened. The kid's voice was familiar somehow and soothing. He needed to leave the stall though, he needed to go home and face his father's wrath.

"Go away," Brian managed at last.

"I'll leave when you unlock the door," the kid informed him before going on, "Now on the next page you've got Jeanne-Maire, she's Aurora, and she's waiting for her brother to arrive. All the kids at the school have crowded around her because he's a famous skiing champion for Canada. They're saying…"

Brian untangled himself from his legs, rose onto his heels, and then stood. He unlocked the bathroom door before he pushed himself back into the corner and slide to the floor.

"Okay, go away," he interrupted then listened silently as the kid put his comic book away and picked up his book bag. Then the kid walked forward and pushed the stall door open. Brian felt a momentary flare of anger until he looked up into a concerned face.

"Novotny," he greeted.

"It's Michael," the boy told him softly before his brow furrowed in concern, "What happened to you?"

"Nothing, so I'd appreciated it you went away. I don't have all day to listen to comic books," Brian told him with a glare.

Michael raised an eyebrow before he dropped his book bag and turned around. Brian heard water running and despite his curiosity he remained still. When Michael came back it was with a wet paper towel. He knelt in front of Brian, using the paper towel to wipe his face. Brian closed his eyes, the warm water felt really good. All too soon Michael pulled away and sat back on his heels regarding him before he asked, "You want to tell me what happened?"


"Okay, but we should get you out of these wet cloths," Michael said slowly. Brian opened his eyes to glare at the boy. There was no way after what'd just happened that he was going to get naked in front of anyone.

Michael continued as if his words hadn't evoked a response from Brian, "My mom makes me bring a sweater to school with me, it's pretty big, it should fit you. My gym uniform's clean, I don't have class till tomorrow. You could wear that."

Brian narrowed his eyes, "Why are you being so nice?"

Michael shrugged, "Why not?"

"Well I'm not nice."

Michael shrugged again, "That's nice, but it still doesn't make your cloths any drier."

Brian couldn't help but smile at that, which caused Michael to grin at him broadly. Brian ducked his head to hide his smile, until he caught Michael leaned in close to catch his gaze. Gradually Brian let his head fall back against the wall as he regarded the other boy.

"You know Coach Palmer?" Brian asked steadily.


"I just gave him a blow job in the locker room," Brian stared Michael down as he said it. He thought it would get Michael to leave, but instead he got a concerned look again and something said so softly he couldn't hear it.

Then Michael asked slowly "So you're gay?"

Brian shrugged.

"That's okay, my Uncle Vic is gay."

"You want a prize or something?"

Michael blinked at him confused before he shook his head, "No. Would you like the clothes?"

Brian nodded. Michael grinned, "I'll be right back."

Brian leaned his head back against the wall as he waited for Michael. He momentarily considered just leaving, but decided against that. Maybe Michael would let him use the dryer at his house, and then he could get home and not have to worry about the wet clothes. Again he wondered if his parents would be able to tell just by looking at him. He suppressed a shudder as Michael came back into the bathroom.

"Here you are," Michael offered with a grin.

Brian blinked up at him a moment before reaching for the clothes. He quickly drew his hands back into himself when he realized it was shaking. He tucked his hands near his chest and scowled, ""Why are you being so nice? What do you want from me?"

Michael tilted his head and set the clothes on the floor. With a concerned frown he told Brian, "You not to freeze to death, silly."

Then he closed the stall door as he stepped out. Brian blinked amazed. Was someone actually being selfless? Did that still exist? No, Michael had to be expecting something from him. Nothing was free after all.

As Brian changed, safely behind the shut bathroom stall Michael told him, "I think Coach Palmer is looking for you."

Brian paused in pulling Michael's sweater over his head, "Where is he?"

"He just asked me if I'd seen you. I lied and said I hadn't. He went back to his office I think. He wanted to know why I was here this late. I told him I had newspaper and forgotten a few things in my locker."

"He didn't touch you did he?"


Brian smoothed out the sweater, it barely fit him. He glanced down at his wet clothes and shook, his teeth chattering.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Brian whispered.

"D-did he hurt you?"

Brian opened the door and blinked at Michael, "Why do you care, Novotny?"

Michael frowned at him, "Well we're friends."

"Are we?"

Michael crossed his arms and scowled, "We've hung out more then once, so that makes us more than just acquaintances."

"We've never done it steadily."

Michael shrugged as he put Brian's wet clothes in the grocery bag he'd brought his clean clothes in. Brian watched silently, before he asked slowly and carefully, "Can you…"

Michael looked at him expectantly.

"Can you tell just by looking at me?"

Michael's brow furrowed in confusion, "Tell what?"

"That I'm…what I…" Brian frowned as he tried to get the words out. He was never at a loss for words.

Michael's eyes widened as he realized Brian's concern. He reassured quickly, "Oh, no, no. You can't tell just by looking at someone, well okay you can tell just by looking at some of my uncle's friends, but that's mostly just cause they want you to be able to tell. I think."

Michael paused to bit his lip then asked, "Well, what about me, can you tell just by looking at me?"

Brian blinked, "You're saying that you're…no, you can't."

Michael grinned at him and Brian couldn't help but return the smile. He felt calm for the first time since this whole ordeal had started. Then he frowned.

"Well my Mom says I am," Michael told him slowly as he blushed, "gay that is."

"You don't know?"

Michael shrugged and smiled at his feet, "Yeah I guess, but it's not easy to figure out, even if you have relatives who are."

"Well don't count on me to help you out there. That's what you want isn't it?" Brian confronted, "You want me to…"

"I don't want anything."

"I'm not going to fuck you."

"I didn't ask you to!"

Brian blinked at the sudden change. Who knew Novonty was that fucking hot when he was pissed? It was the sudden change of his features, the sudden intensity of his body. A sharp jolt of lust shot through Brian. Confused he crossed his arms in front of his chest and attempted to stare down Michael.

Michael abruptly took a deep breath to calm himself, "Look I'm not asking you to do that. All I asked was for you to come over to my house so we could dry your clothes."

Brian snorted, yeah right, his house and nothing would happen. Not that he would mind, but he wasn't about to get used.

"I'm not going to hurt you Brian."



Brian nodded, "You try anything and I'll beat you into next week."

Michael rolled his eyes exasperated. That settled he and Michael carefully snuck out of the school and then walked the rest of the way to Michael's house. He watched silently as Michael determined that his clothes were dirty and needed put into the washer before they could be dried.

"Do you know what you're doing?" he questioned.

"I do my own laundry," Michael reassured.

They lapsed into silence after the clothes were started.

"So?" Michael asked staring at his feet.

"So," Brian repeated.

"Do you want anything to drink or eat?" Michael asked in an attempt at being a good host.

"Got anything alcohol?" Brian asked. He figured he needed a drink to calm his frayed nerves.

Michael's eyes widened at his bluntness, "It's my Mom's, she'd have a heart attack and kill me if I touched that stuff. I-I can offer you milk, or juice, I can make tea. We've got regular and this special stuff my uncle sent us."

"I," Brian paused as he tried to decide what to say next, "I'd really like a shower, and…"

"Oh!" Michael nodded, "of course, sorry."

Brian frowned, what did Novotny have to be sorry for? Michael showed him how the shower worked and got him towels and a spare toothbrush. The sound of the shower pounding down made him apprehensive at first and for a moment he considered taking a bath. His father's voice telling him to suck it up and be a man, weakness is for woman, interrupted his thought. Eyes closed he felt his way under the steaming hot water and washed himself clean. He noticed the towels and new clothes Michael had set out for him while brushing his teeth. Finally he came downstairs, Michael already had his clothes in the dryer and was thumbing through a comic book.

"What're you reading?"


"I like Batman."

"Me too, ever watch the TV show?"

"Yeah, used to."

They shared a smile that had Brian declaring, "I'm Superman."

Michael's grin broadened.

"Want to watch TV?" he asked, unsure of what else they could do to pass time.

"Okay, what do you want to watch?" Michael responded as he closed the comic book and put it back inside its wrapping. Brian shrugged and made his way over to the set, he flipped about absently for a moment, then stopped, a smile spread his face.

"Giant!" he announced.

"Giant?" Michael asked skeptically.

"It's got James Dean in it."

"James Dean?"

"How do you not know who James Dean is?"

Michael shrugged, "Well how do you not know who Captain Astro is?"

"Captain who?"

Michael smiled at his confused look. Brian smiled back, "Well watch this and learn."

His statement had Michael wrinkling his noise, "It looks like a western."

"It's got James Dean in it," he insisted.

Michael's face furrowed into a frown as he regarded the screen and Brian nearly gasped at the longing that suddenly ran through him. He'd felt attraction to other boys, stolen quick kisses from this almost now friend in front of him, and all that had left him confused. Now that he knew what he was feeling was attraction, want, lust, need, his fingers itched to touch, to reach out and take. Slowly he took hold of Michael's elbow, wrapping his other around Michael's waist and eased him down next to him, "Tomorrow at school you can introduce me to Captain Astro, right now let me show you who James Dean is."

Michael glanced at him, their eyes locked and Brian pushed down the sudden urge to surge forward and kiss him, and not a swift simple kiss. He pointed out James Dean when he came on screen and Michael's eyes lit up.

"Oh! My uncle has a picture of him in his apartment."

"Where's he at?"

"New York City."

Brian's eyes widened, "Really?"


"And he's gay?"

Michael nodded, "He has a boyfriend."

"What about you, do you have a boyfriend?"

"I told you, I'm not even sure I am."

"How can you not know?"

"Did you?"

Brian shrugged, now that he did know he was gay, he didn't want to think back on any time when he hadn't known. Michael blushed and stared down. With a squirm he replied, "My mom says I am, and I think she's right. I mean I definitely am not attracted to girls, but…

Heat had been spreading through Brian since Michael had started turning red and looked away. He leaned in close, "But what Mikey?"

Michael looked up and met his eyes. Anticipation spreading through him Brian placed his hand on Michael's thigh. Michael's eyes slowly lowered to his lips. Brian leaned forward just a fraction more. Michael licked his lips slowly before he answered, "I'm just don't kno…"

Brian cut him off, their lips meeting in careful exploration. One small kiss, then a second, then a third, till Brian gripped Michael's shoulder, squeezed his thigh and their mouths parted Michael taking in Brian's tongue. It was sloppy for a moment, inexperience on both boys parts led Brian to back away for a moment before he moved back in. They moved slower this time, back together, Michael slowly sucking on Brian's tongue. Brian's head whirled, first kiss with a boy, first real kiss ever and it was somehow more intense than those wet moments with Coach. The world fell away until there was only this boy underneath him, smelling faintly of soap and something else he couldn't quite place, who had a hand in his hair on the back of his head, another on his shoulder and who was pushing up into him, kissing him senseless.

He could forget everything shitty thing in his life from a moment like this.

Startled with that realization he pulled back with a gasp. Michael whimpered. Brian took a few breaths before asking, "Well."

Michael shut his eyes and shuddered, "Gay, I'm definitely gay."

Brian smiled and kissed his nose. He glanced at the screen and then back to Michael, who hadn't yet opened his eyes, "Hey Mikey?"

"Stupid commercial, "Michael grimaced before he opened his eyes.

Brian smiled down at him. Michael fought the smile that threatened to spread over his face. When he lost he told Brian, "Okay, you can call me that, but no one else."

"Hey Mikey?"


"Wanna be my best friend?"

Michael's smile was answer enough and Brian swooped in for another swift kiss before he began to tickle the smaller boy who responded with a laugh. Brian's grin spread, he was sure his life had just begun and that it would only get better.