Build Me Up, Margerinecup

By a.j.

The night was, well, it wasn't young if it was anything. If anything, it was very, very old and just about to fall over, die, and spit out its dentures while it was at it. It was 4:27 in the morning, exactly, and Freddy and Zack were still up. They lay facing each other, laying inside their sleeping bags which were laid side by side, their eyes drooping. They didn't dare fall asleep, though, because that meant you were weak, you were a girl, you were a sissy. They didn't sleep at sleepovers anymore, not after the one they had had on New Year's Eve when they wanted to see who could stay up the longest. As it had turned out, both of them could.

"High School starts next week," Freddy murmured, his mouth barely moving. "Mmm," Zack countered.

"We're getting kind of old."

"Mmm."

"Maybe we shouldn't do this anymore."

"Maybe."

They stared at each other for awhile, each knowing this might as well had been their proverbial step into manhood. Not like Zack hadn't done that already. He was a good Jewish boy and he had had his bar mitzvah like everybody else, and it had been grand and he had read almost perfectly and everybody came and School of Rock got to perform. It was the best thing in the world, especially when Freddy gave him that big hug that sent little warm fuzzies up and down his spine. Ah yes, a very nice day.

But this seemed bigger, this seemed like the End instead of the Beginning. He wasn't sure if he liked it.

"Hey Jones?"

Freddy's eyes, which had been wavering a bit, snapped open.

"What's up, Mooneyham?"

"We're going to stay tight, right?"

Freddy grinned at him from five inches away. His hand came out of his sleeping bag and reached for Zack, and for a second Zack thought maybe he had fallen asleep. That is, until the hand punched Zack lightly in the ribs.

"Duh."

Zack smiled.

It was the only natural thing, really. I mean, who really wants to sit around at school all day and hear some skinny bastard talk about Chemistry? And by the way, was it some universal rule that every fucking Chem teacher had to be some scrawny-ass, nerdy old guy with thinning hair and a stick up his ass?

It was enough to make Zack furious.

Not that he had anything to be furious about. Not when he had done the natural thing. He had decided to ditch.

It was only natural! Who wants to stay at school when you have a new boyfriend, somebody who you have just spent the night spooning with under the stars?

Okay, not exactly under the stars since they were in a tent, but still. It was, like, Zack's big, fucking romantic dream. In fact, he had dreamed it once, when he was eleven. It started out like a normal dream, just the two of them out camping in some woods he had never been to in his life. Zack had just gotten settled into his sleeping bag when suddenly, he was inside of Freddy's sleeping bag, very close and very confused, a move that only made sense, literally, in his dreams.

Dream-Freddy had stayed perfectly still in his bag, the only thing moving being his lips.

"I love you, Zack. I always have."

Seeing as Zack was only eleven, the most sexually explicit thing he could imagine was them with their shirts suddenly off, holding hands and lightly kissing. Still, it had managed to be his first wet dream, and had also been the thing that finally convinced him that he wasn't Normal. As he got older, his dreams got more explicit, until finally there was always hardcore sex wherever the fuck they were, no matter where. Against a tree. At school. In his own bed. Hell, once in his dreams they had done it in a circus.

That was a dream nobody was to ever know about.

It was always weird when dreams became a reality, though. Zack was so certain that if he closed his eyes and opened them again that the body next to him would disappear and he would wake up alone again in his own bed, the past week a dream. He was so fucking certain that he had never kissed Freddy, that Freddy had never spent the night again, that band practice hadn't ended up in a serious make-out session in Zack's room before they decided on the tent.

Still, he had decided to ditch. The only thing was, he was way nervous and, in the end, didn't ditch at all. He kind of blamed himself. No matter how many times Freddy had ditched school, it would be a new sensation to Zack. And, okay, he knew that most of what they had done had to have been new to Freddy, or at least the fact that he was doing it with a guy. He was completely sure that half of the chicks at school had banged Freddy, something that really, if he thought about it too hard made his stomach churn up and his face turn slightly green because, hello, ew.

And, okay, if he was feeling girly the thought kind of scared him. Because really, half the girl population? That was a lot to live up to. He wasn't sure if he could compete with that kind of experience, that kind of precedence. The furthest he had ever gone was second base, almost third base, but then his girlfriend had known something was wrong and had stopped him. They had broken up the next day and nothing more was said. And, okay, technically he had gotten Freddy's shirt of and so that gave him some experience but he couldn't say much more. He hadn't even kissed that many girls, and God knows that kissing Freddy is anything but like kissing a girl.

He was nervous.

But based on the little sounds Freddy had made, he guessed he wasn't doing to terribly.

So anyway, he obviously had been with Freddy too long because he was developing ADD.

But really, they totally could have ditch. They were going to ditch. Zack had even mentioned the idea, when they were in his room hurriedly trying to get ready amidst the angry shouting of his dad. Zack just grinned, leaned close to Freddy and whispered "We don't have to go to school, you know." And that was enough for Freddy.

Freddy, who was busy trying to squeeze into Zack's clothes, Zack's underwear, and Zack knew that was all he was going to think about all day. Something he had worn being that close to Freddy. Intimately close. His pants hugging those long legs, his shirt stretching over that sexy back, sexy chest, the chest he had seen, and Zack was almost certain it wouldn't matter if he was at school or not because it wasn't like he would be able to concentrate anyway.

But then Zack's dad had burst in, never mind knocking, and announced that they were officially late and he knew this would happen and he would drive them but that would mean he would be late for work and Zack was in trouble. The man was, if nothing else, a rock, no matter who was there. Fucking rocks.

So he drove them and they ended up at school, and they would have left then but he got out of the car and made them go up to the school's office and tell them that they were late because they decided to have a sleepover on a Sunday night even though the next day was a school day, and they got unexcused slips to go to class. They would have left then, but then Zack's dad even walked them to their classes to make sure they got there, and his son kept on squeezing his eyes and hoping that this was a nightmare because his dad never got like this, never got this angry, this controlling, this embarrassing. He was fucking angry, angry at his dad for being like this, and it took all of his strength not to want to beat his dad up like he tried to beat Freddy up except, you know, without the sexual tension.

But then, a lot of things that day would make him angry.