Notes: I haven't posted in a (long) while and I've always had a love for the noncanon, so here I am two years and a Disney movie later. Also, I'm not sure if anyone reads Minutemen fic. Leave me a review and tell me how or if you liked it, should you stumble across this, please. :)
Pairing(s): Virgil/Derek, Virgil/Charlie
Warning(s): It seems that the popular slash pairing in this fandom is Virgil/Zeke, which I do love and have much appreciation for, but it is not present in this story. Consequently, if that bothers you enough to make you angry or otherwise unpleasant, please click back now. In the same vein of thought; if you don't like slash, please leave. Thank you.
Dedication: Eleanor, my beta and best friend. I love you, prettyface.

"Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones."
-Mignon McLaughlin

This is not a good life, Virgil Fox thinks to himself on a starry Friday night. This is not even life.

He is sitting alone on his doorstep with a fist-bruised eye and lips bruised for an entirely different reason. Or maybe for the same reason. Virgil never claimed to understand love or Derek or whatever this was.

"You know," Charlie says, creeping into Virgil's line of vision, holding that damn cat just like always. "You could have just told me that you like guys. Or that you like Derek, at least. Then I wouldn't have barged in like that and you-" The words spouting from the younger boy's mouth come to an abrupt halt.

Wouldn't have a hideously black and blue eye, Virgil doesn't say, but he reaches up to touch the tender spot anyway. It's a quick shock of pain, but it helps Virgil to not think too hard about the bite in Charlie's words and how it sounds as if he is more hurt than Virgil is at the moment.

Charlie sits next to him and several silent minutes pass before he actually says anything.

"Why didn't you? Tell me, that is."

The question hangs in the air, flooding the space between them but remaining unanswered because cats can't talk and the lump in Virgil's throat turns out not to be words but instead guilt, solidified.

Virgil shrugs his shoulders against the enormous weight that has settled there and heaves in an awfully breathy sigh. He cards through a number of answers in his head (because I didn't think you would care, because I was afraid, because Derek was ashamed and may have hit me, which he ended up doing anyway...)

"I don't know," He manages at last, voice cracking like the dry, chapped skin on his lips.

Charlie shakes his head and tilts it to one side before mimicking Virgil's shoulder shrug and whispering "it's fine."
But it's not and before Virgil can make that clear, Charlie is moving on to talking about quantumnewtonsphysicsnuclearmachfivegeneratorcarbonscienceblahblahblah (at least, that's what it sounds like to Virgil's ears). The thing Virgil notices though, is that Charlie is pointedly not looking his best friend in the eye, bruised or otherwise.

Virgil just listens to Charlie talk for a while and lets his scientific psychobabble fall short of filling the empty space between the two of them. But then the clouds shift in the sky and the moon isn't full and it's not particularly bright but Virgil sees, no, really sees Charlie Tuttle for the first time in years. He sees prolonged looks and hurt words and jealousy and a friendship that's missing just one last piece to make it really complete.

Virgil laughs lightly at his own density and shakes his head a bit. Then he leans over on the stoop to put that last piece in where it belongs in front of god, a flickering porch lamp, and a cleverly named cat. Charlie's gasp against Virgil's lips coincides with the click in Virgil's head of everything finally, finally sliding into place. When he pulls back, Charlie looks stunned and all he does is blinkblinkblink before a slow, unsteady smile spreads across his boyish face.

Virgil feels warm somewhere around his chest/heart/lungs and thinks that Charlie tastes like honesty and youth and freedom. Everything is right, but then Virgil feels a strange surge of guilt over some kind of corruption that he's causing this...this boy. But Charlie continues talking casually, moving in just a bit closer next to his friend and letting the sweltering warmth of the night wash over the both of them in a way that is truly uncomfortable and greatly satisfying.

This is not a good life, Virgil Fox thinks to himself on a starry Friday night. He's got his best friend beside him, a promise on his lips, and a black eye from a mistake. And really, this is not a good life, no, but this is life on fire in all the best ways.

End. Please review and tell me what you think of it. It will be much appreciated.
- Alarm Clock (Elisha)
P.S. Title yanked from "Stars" by The Weepies.