"Instant Classic"
by Roby Carr

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All the dark corners were full. This was quite upsetting to Shane Grey. How was one supposed to go about looking sulky and lonely without a proper dark corner? Honestly, it was simply unfair. He was the one that coined the look, after all, two years ago, at the Christmas dance. Now, everyone and their grandmother were trying to take it. You'd think that, considering he was the original loner, he'd be able to have a reserved space, but no, every last corner was stuffed up whiny underclassmen and a few upper classmen, trying ever-so-hard to be something they're not. It was sad, really. Their bad posture was all off. The forlorn expression was so wanna-be. Worst of all, everyone was shuffling this way and that, trying not to touch one another for fear of giving the impression that they might be "together."

Shane wasn't really loner, of course. Nor did he spend his free time writing poetry about the sweet melancholy of life. It was just his look, really. He'd gone to the previous Christmas dance without a date and he hadn't been in the mood to spend the night sexually harassing girls. He'd picked the corner because it seemed nice and out-of-way. The fact that girls had approached him randomly, because they apparently thought he must have been a sensitive, lost soul, was purely coincidental. The aftermath, swarms of corner-dwellers hoping to get a girl, was also completely unintentional. It was just that the look worked for him.

Well, it didn't matter at the moment, anyhow. Shane, as always, was still without a date, though. He wouldn't be able to dance without ruining his image, either. Perhaps sneaking back to the dorms would be the best idea. Skirting his way around the crowd, the boy carefully maneuvered himself to the door and slipped right out. He checked his watch. He was only ten minutes away from the dorm. If he was lucky, he might find another bad egg along the way and have some fun back in his room.

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Clearly a little miffed, Jason Black was actually one of the many who were hovering in those precious dark corners as he glared at his phone. Not for the first time, Bennett wasn't able to make the drive to come for a visit and attend his "childish" high school dance. He'd never considered herself to be a demanding boyfriend, but it would be nice to at least get a text making sure he was having a good time.

Yes, Jason understood. He always understood that Bennett was in college and, therefore, his boyfriend was busy with schoolwork and other commitments. That didn't make it any less embarrassing that instead of cooing to his loving (if a little misguided) boyfriend next the coat check, he was stuck pretending that popping the collar of his dress shirt was immensely interesting. Maybe it was fate that made the brunette glance up, maybe the yearning for one of the cigarettes tucked in his pocket, but he managed to catch the silhouette of the junior class' very own lone wolf disappearing through the double-doors.

Hazel eyes darted towards the dance floor trying to separate dark figures from one another, Jason left wondering if his friends would really wonder where he had gone to if he disappeared for a while. The only person he could manage to make out was Nate, grinding up against a girl Jason didn't really recognize and couldn't muster up the effort to care about. It wasn't as if Nate couldn't take care of himself. Mentally, Jason attempted to berate himself as he headed for the side door of the gym hastily, intent clear in his eyes.

Once outside, the fresh air was a significant relief compared to sweat and Axe smell of their converted gymnasium, but the jumping of his stomach was making him sicker than any scent could. Barely chilly in the winter air, he headed towards the dorms, considering the idea of simply heading back to his own room and making some coffee instead of returning to the dance after his smoke break. He could see Shane just ahead of him, a slight swagger in his step as if there was something going on that no one else had quite caught onto yet. It wasn't until Jason paused next to the wall outside the first building he passed that he lost sight of Shane, shrugging off the slight disappointment as he reaching into his pocket for a lighter. Nate would scold him for smoking on campus grounds, but as the eighteen-year-old raised the cigarette to his lips and tasted the smoke on his tongue, he found himself not really minding.

Nearly seventeen minutes later, Jason crushed the butt underneath his shoe and started off towards the dorms again. The wind had picked up, leaving him nearly freezing, and he found himself hurrying to the boys' dorm on the other side of campus, hands shoved roughly in their respective pockets when the cold became too much for his fingers to handle. Not even the chill could keep him from slowing as he gazed up at the sixth row of windows, only one lit out of the many; one he had glanced out of a few times when he was still Shane's roommate.

Watching for a moment, Jason didn't make any move to leave when Shane appeared, shirtless, in the window, a rare smile on his face as he laughed. For a moment, Jason's own face softened and he felt his own smile appearing, grateful to be privy to one of Shane Grey's most intimate moments. The smile was made scarce as soon as Jason realized how intimate the moment was: a tall pretty blonde still in her red party dress appeared beside Shane. She turned, gesturing to the zipper on the back of her dress with a sultry smile, and Jason frowned up at the scene, wanting to scream at how wrong it was.

As if to remind him that he needed to make himself scarce before someone declared him a stalker or a peeping tom, his phone began to ring, t.A.t.U.'s hit single playing louder than he would've liked. For an instant as he pulled his phone from his pocket, he wondered if Shane would be reminded to close his curtains next time, but then he read the name off caller ID and Jason was occupied with other thoughts of a different man: Bennett. Considering for a moment whether or not his boyfriend really deserved to be answered, he glanced up at the window again and, for a single moment in time, caught Shane's brown eyes.

Jason lowered his head quickly – the decision had been made. He clicked the 'talk' button and lifted the phone to his ear, answering with a casual, "Bennett! Hey. I miss you." He headed into the dorm, chattering animatedly with his boyfriend, the man that he did have.

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Just an instant in time. It should have meant nothing. God, why did Shane Grey suddenly feel sick to his stomach? His hand on the zipper of Tess' dress, just about to pull it down, it stopped and she turned her head flashing him that smile again encouragingly. It only deepened the frown lines at the edges of his lips. He could suddenly see how fake it was, weak and teasing. Not really worth his time at all.

"Hurry up, Shane. You're ruining the mood."

Even her voice was fake. It was higher-pitched than he would have liked and each word was plotted so carefully. It was boring. It was just like every other girl he'd met, every girl he'd slept with, every girl in his entire school. They were all just waiting for a chance at an icon, Shane Grey, and she'd planned out the moment until when he kicked her out the next morning. She'd paste another weak smile on her face made up of those perfect, bright white teeth and tell him she'd had fun. Well, he'd throw her for a loop; that was for certain.

"I feel sick. I think I'm going to puke. Go away."

Tess looked sick just hearing him say that and it was hard to keep the smile from climbing onto his face as he said it. Nevertheless, once she'd snatched up her purse and glared at him with a disgusted look on her face, he found himself sinking into a pit of tension. He was tired, bored, angry... The list went on and Shane Grey couldn't find the cure.

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END. plz review.