Warren really didn't like Will.
Depressingly enough, he was kinda fond of Will's dad. Josie Stronghold had Steve on a short leash and a low fat diet, for his heart. Something with stress and arteries. Besides, all the guy wanted to do was play video games and make sandwiches and maybe run around outside with a ball, like a big kid. If Josie and Steve had never met, Steve would be hitting a bar somewhere with his buddies every week, coming home to a dog at night and playing skee ball with All American Boy. Josie is the only reason there is a Stronghold Three, because alone Steve would have forgotten Will existed or taken him at age three to go fight an invading alien and gotten him squashed. Steve made sandwiches but Josie took people home by nine.
The Strongholds were fine and he kinda got it and when he visited his dad after the solitary is over and the guy was literally drooling and muttering to himself about a death ray beam gun and he wanted to shout that there is a three crystal difference and you blew up an island shouldn't you know this he REALLY got it. And he liked them.
He didn't like Will though and there was no reason he should lie on Will's couch so no one else could fit and watch movies or sit at his table and eat dinner or have listened to him talk and talk and TALK about Layla and how it didn't work. Warren knew it didn't work.
Layla was as subtle as Zach in a dark room and that was why she suggested he should help Will with his Science. She made a flower grow and smirked at Warren and lay back on the grass.
Because it worked out so well the last time some one helped Will with his homework, he replied. Maj snickered and Zach put his face down on the back of her neck and everyone pretended to ignore that kiss.
Hey! Will yelped, thought for a moment and shrugged. Ok, but you're not a forty year old supervillain.
You have no proof of that, Warren pointed out. I could be lying to you.
Holy Paper cuts, to the year book, Bic Man! Ethan posed and Will laughed and Warren really disliked him intensely for a moment as he did the little thing where he laughed and his face fell and he looked up through his eyelashes at the group. The bell rang and he helped the moment pass by lighting Will's shoes on fire as he got up but Will just shook his head and laughed again.
More lashes. More ducked eyes.
Nike makes Converse now, you know,Layla said.
I know, and as soon as Warren turns these into rubbery goo I will never buy another pair ever again, I promise, Will gave Warren a hand up. But so far it's just surface charring. I'll have to get him good and pissed off at me about something.
I really hate show tunes, Warren told him. Try those.
Will put his head to one side and Layla interjected, He doesn't sing.
As a favour to the world, he doesn't sing, Zach put both big hands on Maj's tiny waist. Warren looked at them and them leaving and he thought, I could stand behind Will and put my hands on his waist.
Come on, and Will did his father's favourite thing, one hand on the shoulder in the most confidence inspiring, we're all in this together way. Warren grabbed his bag and followed him to PE.
See there was this thing; Warren didn't really didn't dislike him. He just wanted, sometimes, till it ached because there they were playing basketball and Will was laughing and panting and happy and his hair was in his eyes and Warren wanted to push it out. Or they were watching movies and Will wasn't screaming like a girl no matter what Layla said but he was huddled and Warren just wanted to put his hands on his shoulders.
Not cuddle him, or whatever because they were guys, even though Warren was a tiny bit gay, but just put his hands on his shoulders and make him relax. Watch him melt down, stop huddling and fit Warren's hands.
Warren liked girls, they smelt good and were always fun and Layla recycled but she also picked good movies and Majenta said the meanest things and they were damn funny, especially at other's people expense, especially people like Coach Boomer, but he didn't want to make them fit. Maybe other girls but not them and dammit he was always around them and WILL and Will really needed to fit.
Kissing him would involve bending a little and that turn of the head and it would be so weird, the first kiss, the brushed lips. He tried to imagine Will's face after, but it was a blank. A look of shock, being pushed away, or maybe Will would hit him.
Or drop his eyes, and smile.