Best Friends

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: For the challenge (which I am going to start capitalizing). More introspection than actual action in this piece. In a human AU, in high school. I'm noticing a pattern. Apologies for the misspelled word "neuveau." I have no idea how to spell it, and neither does my spell checker, or ff's spell checker. And I don't have a dictionary handy, or, you know. At all. Besides which, "neuveau" is French, and probably not in an English Dictionary. The "neuveau" problem has been fixed, in the story it now says "nouveau", which I am told is the correct spelling. So now it's only spelled incorrectly in this Author's Note.

It wasn't right. Not his . . . alternative lifestyle, Liam hastened to assure himself. What wasn't right was that the very thing he'd promised wouldn't happen--and he'd promised more people than just himself, including a few parents--was happening.

He was falling in love with his best friend.

Liam ran a hand through his hair and tried to keep his mind off of Spike--the bleached blond, nouveau-punk sitting next to him. The one who's mother he'd promised he wouldn't--wasn't ever going to--fall in love with his best friend. Shaking it off, he tried to focus on the words the teacher was writing up on the whiteboard. "English," he mumbled, "concentrate."

Spike leaned over in his desk. "We're in calculus, mate."

Liam looked at Spike and said evenly, "Which is why I need to concentrate. So I can translate from incomprehensible Mathematician to standard English."

He and Spike nodded sagely at each other for a moment, before they burst out laughing. Which of course earned them a glare from the teacher and ten extra problems added to their homework.

After the sentencing, Liam let himself drift back into his thoughts.

How long had he known Spike? Since fourth grade? Or was it third? No, it was definitely fourth, his first memory of Spike being that the new kid from Britain (who everyone was sure spoke British and not English) talked funny, but wasn't comprehensible, and it really wasn't fair that he had gotten blamed for kicking that soccer ball through Mrs. VanAllen's window when it had really been that nasty girl named Buffy. Which of course, when his opinion was shared, had made them fast friends.

Liam had known he was bi-sexual for about half as long as he'd known Spike, and Spike had probably been the first person he'd come out to. Spike, of course, had smacked him and told him that if he ever caught Liam checking him out, he'd body slam him into the nearest locker. Then he'd promptly tried to set him up with his brother, Wesley. Spike's threats had been unnecessary until now, however. He'd never looked twice at Spike until this year.

Spike's ambiguous sexuality was it's own rumor mill. He was alternately hooked up with the slutty girls or the boys who didn't hook up with the slutty girls, or any girls at all. Few of the names he'd been linked with were accurate. And as far as Liam knew, none of the accurate ones were boys. What Liam found interesting was that for all the time they spent together, no one had ever linked the openly bi-sexual Liam and the sexually ambiguous Spike together romantically. Probably everyone was too used to looking at them as friends.

Liam wandered off into a daydream about Spike whisking him off to some exotic location, the mountains, or the Caribbean, or the Orient. He was almost to the part where they kissed in the sun by a cool stream or a waterfall, or a rice paddy when Spike's decidedly unromantic voice broke into his thoughts.

"Oi. Git. Class is over. Do you want to end up with even more work, or do you want to head to lunch, like a normal person?" Spike inquired, the sarcasm snapping Liam quite effectively out of his fantasy world and back to the real one.

"Oh. Sorry."

"Daydreaming again?" Spike wondered. "You should write 'em down, mate. Authors can make a killing these days . . ."

Liam trailed after Spike on their way to the Cafeteria. Even if he did start writing, he wouldn't be writing down his daydreams. Because if he did, he'd have to admit that he wanted his best friend.

And you weren't supposed to want your best friend.

It was wrong.