This has existed on my computer for way too long. Here, folks, we have the first chapter of a completed and quite long story. Flames will be mocked, so pack your bags and scoot, homophobes. Take your ignorance elsewhere.

This story is rated for language, though I cleaned it up so there shouldn't be any naughty 'f' bombs. But other not-very-nice words live here. You have been warned. I refuse to rate this for homosexuality, because that's just ridiculous.

I don't own Stand By Me, or The Body. There'd be a lot more boys making out if I did.

I do however own the amazingly good gingerbread and Teddy's killer ice-filled snowballs. And the plot.

That is all.

"Gordon, Christopher is on the telephone."

Gordie Lachance practically bolted down the stairs to grab the phone away from his mother. She in turn shot him a disapproving glare, and walked off mumbling something about 'rudest things ever, those children'. Gordie shrugged it off and slammed the phone to his ear.

"Chris?"

"Hey Gordie," the so very familiar voice crept out of the phone. Truth be told, Gordie would know that voice anywhere, considering he and Chris had been best friends for so damn long, since… now when the hell did they meet? To Gordie, it wasn't really a set day or even a year. It seemed more like he'd known that freaking Chambers kid since before he was born.

"Hey, what's going on?" Gordie tried to play it cool, after the excitement of receiving a phone call had died off.

"Nothin' much. Me and the guys were gonna head to that field next to the old pond, maybe have a good snowball fight. You in?" Hell yeah he was in, it was mid-December and they had just gotten a good four and a half inches of snow last night. Besides, he had woken up early and gotten all of his Saturday morning chores done already.

"Yeah. Meet you guys there in half an hour?" Gordie asked.

"Sure. Vern said we could go back to his place for hot cocoa later, too."

"Alright. Bye."

He hung up the phone and just stood there for a few minutes. He, Chris, Vern, and Teddy had somehow managed to remain friends the past few years. Yeah, Vern and Teddy were in the shop classes, and Gordie hadn't really seen either around school, but they still did things every few weekends together.

Chris was another story. Gordie saw him every damn day, since he was with him in the college courses. And they were together after school a lot, too, mostly so Gordie could help Chris pass the courses.

He ran back upstairs, and began to dig through his closet for warmer clothes. After rummaging for a good ten minutes (and managing to make a pigsty out of his room), he finally found some thicker pants, a flannel shirt, and his winter coat. After he changed, he scrambled down the stairs, barely calling out a goodbye to his mother before he slammed the door behind him.

LALALALALALALA

By the time Gordie arrived at the snow-blanketed field, Chris was already making a snow fort, Teddy had made about a dozen snowballs in a neat pile, and Vern had apparently fallen a few times, judging by how he had a layer of snow plastered to his clothes and hair. Smirking to himself, Gordie strutted over, taking extra care not to slip and fall and look like a total idiot.

"Hey Gordo… was wondering when you were gonna show up," Teddy remarked, hurling a snowball at him as soon as he was in range. Gordie ducked it, but just barely.

"Jesus, Teddy, lemme get over here first, wouldja?"

"Yeah, yeah…"

Chris and Vern stumbled over.

"Okay, so who's on whose team?" Vern asked, nonchalantly edging towards Teddy. Though the Duchamp kid may have been off his friggen rocker, he was a mean snowball fighter. When Teddy played, it wasn't just a Saturday afternoon game between four friends. It was a freaking full-out war.

Chris grinned. "Teams? Naw, it's every man for himself."

"More like every man and Vern the pussy for himself," Teddy added, receiving only a pouting face from Vern.

"But… what if… why can't we…" Vern tried to put together a good excuse, but came up empty. "Damn. Fine…"

So the four chucked snowballs at each other for hours. Some were put together so poorly they crumbled before impact (usually these were from Vern), while others had the occasional chunk of ice hidden inside (Teddy was responsible for these). By five PM, all four were red-faced, laughing, and shivering terribly. Vern had a few light bruises from the ice-filled snowballs, all generally around his head area.

"Jesus, its cold. Can we head back to your house, Vern?" Chris asked, rubbing his bare hands together in a feeble attempt to build up heat. Teddy and Gordie nodded in agreement, both with blue lips and numb fingers.

"Yeah, and my mom said she'd maybe make some gingerbread, too! Sincerely!" Vern pretty much shouted, getting excited by his own words. They raced to his house. Teddy was in the lead, Chris and Gordie close seconds, and Vern trailed behind by a good ten feet.

LALALALALALALA

"Jeez, Verno, your mom makes some good gingerbread," Teddy said, mouth full of cookie. Chris managed a low 'mmm' in agreement, but Gordie just gave a slow head nod. All four boys were sprawled out in Vern's living room, enjoying the fireplace and the ridiculously amazing gingerbread.

"God damn. I had no idea cookies could taste so good," Chris finally said, leaning back against the couch. Vern's mother, a short, portly woman, entered with a tray of four steaming mugs of cocoa.

"Here you are, boys. How's the gingerbread?"

"Amazing, Mrs. Tessio. Better than my mom makes it," Teddy stated. Mrs. Tessio beamed down at him, then turned and walked away. Gordie watched her go, finding it amazing how Vern's parents didn't judge his friends like his own dad did. In reality, neither Teddy nor Chris were bad kids. Yeah, Teddy was crazy, and Chris would have to work extra hard to not be like his old man, but even so, they were good at heart. Mrs. Tessio seemed to notice that, or maybe she had that same oblivious air to her Vern did. Or maybe she was just happy that Vern didn't hang out with the same kind of people his brother Billy did. Either way, it was nice.

"Well, gotta get home before my mom sends the entire police force on a search party for me," Teddy said, slowly getting up. "Then again, hiding from the police would be freaking awesome…" His thoughts drifted off as his mind went crazy with the idea. Chris laughed.

"Go home, Teddy," he sighed, and Teddy smirked and walked off, snatching the last bit of gingerbread off the tray on his way out. Gordie stood up to stretch.

"We should probably head home too… we got church in the morning." He gave Chris a hand up, thanked Mrs. Tessio, and shuffled out the door into the cold, Chris by his side. "So you comin' over tonight?" he asked Chris, remembering Chris mumbling something earlier about his dad on another mean streak.

"Yeah, as long as your old man's okay with it…"

"Naw, but who cares. He probably won't even come upstairs anyway," Gordie said casually, and Chris smirked. Gordie found himself looking at Chris's smirk for maybe a second or two too long. He always has that same damn smirk… Gordie realized he was still eyeing Chris's mouth, and looked away quickly. Must be the damn cold gettin' to my head. It's gotta be below zero by now… He stuffed his hands in his pockets quickly and kept walking, head down.

LALALALALALALA