Guys. I had an epiphany. A Mediterranean themed epiphany. So, without further ado, I present to you a fluffy, funny Med Trio HS AU fic 3
Disclaimer: I wish I owned these guys, but alas…
I Could Get Used to This
As a new student, and especially as a new student with a reputation for silence and mystique, there were certain things that Gupta found it very hard to do. Making friends, for one thing, wasn't so easy when people seemed to be turned away by the rather eerie silences and intense stares that hung around the Egyptian. In fact, he considered himself rather lucky that Heracles had been friendly enough to try talking to him, and understanding enough to befriend him even when he didn't answer.
There was, however, one problem that was not so easily solved. And, as a result of the solution to the first problem, this problem just became a whole lot more difficult.
Sadiq Annan. Athletic (and captain of the wrestling team, at that), charming, a complete flirt, not all too bright, but an all around good person with good intentions that always seem to go wrong. Sadly, they usually went wrong when they involved Heracles, and so the sheer animosity between them was so potent Gupta often wondered if it could be bottled up and sold to give athletes a more competitive edge.
Which probably explained why he was in this rather perplexing situation, watching as Heracles' jaw tightened, and his face steeled, wondering with a tinge of nerves what his friend was going to say next.
"You like who, you said?" Ah, so he was taking the denial route; interesting.
Gupta shook his head, and Heracles shut his eyes, leaning his head back against the tree behind them. When he did speak, his voice was tense;
"You know how I feel about him…"
"But I'm not going to tell you what to do."
Yes, yes, he knew that already. "But are you going to be mad about it?"
Heracles sighed, before looking back at his friend with tired hazel eyes.
"I guess not." He replied with a wry smile. Gupta smiled back at him, relieved, and took a bite of his halva sandwich.
"But, if he dares hurt you, I reserve the right to make whatever meager brains he has ooze out of his pores."
Gupta nodded, swallowing and taking another bite in silence.
"So, how're you going to get the womanizer to notice you?"
The sandwich suddenly seemed much, much drier going down Gupta's throat.
Being himself, Gupta was not one to waste time with frivolous words, and especially not with unnecessary flaunting. Still, when it came to something as fickle as emotions, being too blunt was basically asking to be hurt. So he made what he decided was the wise decision to put more thought into this and figure out exactly what he needed to do to get Sadiq's attentions without seeming desperate (because he wasn't… not really).
And that, of course, meant watching him. Even if it meant that physics class started to look a lot more like chemistry, with many of Sadiq's "fangirls" (Gupta's word for them, not that he would admit it to anyone) sitting at his work table, laughing at his terrible jokes and swooning over his lame pick-up lines that most certainly came from the Nerd's Handbook to Dating ("hey babe, are you exothermic? Cuz it just got a lot hotter in here!"), but were still oddly appropriate for the science class setting.
"You okay?" Heracles' bored voice roused him from his thoughts, and he realized he was gripping his pencil a bit too tightly.
"You were asleep."
"Your fierce aura of hate woke me up."
Gupta gave Heracles a rather dry look, to which he sort of smiled, running a hand in his already messy hair and only making it worse.
"Actually, it was the obnoxious laughter from that corner of the room. I wish they would shut up so that I could sleep…" He trailed off wistfully, slumping his head back onto his notebook and shutting his eyes once more.
A shuffling sound came from beside the table, and Gupta looked up from his friend, fond smile still on his face.
"The teacher asked me to collect the homework," It was Kiku Honda, the current class treasurer and one of the people who regarded Gupta with more than just a courteous politeness. Nodding, Gupta handed the other boy his paper, and they both turned to Heracles at once. Heracles, who was sleeping on his notebook… and his homework assignment.
Gupta looked up, and saw the slight flush on Kiku's cheeks. Deciding that it would be masochistic to make him wake Heracles, he sighed softly and lifted his friend's head up, swiping the homework out from beneath him and resting him gently down. Of course, being the heavy sleeper that he was, Heracles barely reacted, sighing contently and burrowing into his notebook as if it were a pillow.
Gupta nodded again, smiling as Kiku went to the next group and filing away those reactions and facial expressions in his mind.
"Hey, want some?" Heracles offered, holding out the plastic forkful of moussaka to his friend.
"No, thank you." Honestly, even after all these months of friendship, Gupta could not understand how Heracles ate his musaqqaʿa without bread, but as always decided not to question it as he bit into his falafel sandwich hungrily.
Heracles shrugged, taking a forkful of his lunch and leaning back against the duo's favorite tree.
Gupta looked up, holding out the second half of his sandwich as an offering as well, and Heracles unabashedly took a bite out of it, with no obvious intention to actually finish it.
"It's good." Heracles complimented, and Gupta nodded, putting the sandwich back in the plastic bag. He would get Heracles to finish it later, just like every other time this happened.
The two ate in relative silence, having nothing to say and not really needing to say anything at all in each other's presence. Everything was fine, until Heracles suddenly looked up from his lunch, eyes narrowed in the direction of the school building.
"I heard something. Someone."
Heracles didn't answer directly, and instead took a rock from beside him and threw it at the bushes several meters away.
"Ow, fuck!" The grunt, angry voice was easy to place, even if the person didn't come out from behind the bushes still, and Heracles rolled his eyes. Gupta, however, averted his gaze back to his lunch, and was for once grateful that his tan skin didn't blush easily.
Two days after the lunch spying incident, Gupta realized he did not see much of Sadiq outside of the few classes they shared together, despite the fact that he often saw the other hanging out all over the building very frequently in an average day. He was trying to convince himself not to look too much into it, but found that got a bit harder when he opened his locker to find a quickly scrawled note taped to the inside of the door.
As he peeled the note off (and recognized the handwriting; Sadiq could have done a much better job trying to disguise it), Gupta's first thought was to wonder how Sadiq had gotten his combination. Then he decided it might do him some good to read the note, and wondered why his heart was thumping so loudly.
Meet me outside the gym at 3:40. Don't bring the mama's boy with you.
Rolling his eyes a little at the last bit, he tried to ignore the feelings of confusion and anxiousness that filled him when he got a glimpse of the clock and saw he only had eight minutes until the meeting time. Then he stuffed the note deep into his bags, piled his books above it, and tried to resist the urge to try and flatten and fix his hair as he slammed his locker shut.
As Gupta stood outside the gym he looked to any passersby like the picture of calmness, when in truth he might have sort of been starting to get nervous. Pulling the note out of his pocket once again, his eyes darted back to the clock on the wall; the note said 3:40, but it was three to five and still no sign of the other boy.
Slumping against the wall, he exhaled softly. He hadn't had very high expectations for this meeting, but being stood up wasn't something that he'd expected, either. He could only afford to wait another ten minutes before he had to head home, but already he was hanging his head, feeling defeated.
"Oi, you're still here! Good!" The gruff voice echoing down the halls made Gupta look up from the linoleum floor tiles. His stomach fluttered a little, but he managed to maintain a poker face as Sadiq jogged down the hall. Gupta tried not to stare too hard at Sadiq in his school issued wresting onesie, which left very little to the imagination.
Soon the grubby pair of sneakers was right in Gupta's line of vision, and he stood up, swinging his messenger bag over his shoulder with an air of confidence that was only that. Looking up, blank amber eyes met bright hazel ones, and Gupta raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry I was late. Coach held practice up late 'cuz the freshman were acting stupid."
Gupta nodded, and Sadiq sighed.
"Right, I guess I shouldn't expect an answer from ya. The reason why I asked ya to come here was because I heard something I didn't like."
Now Gupta was confused, and a part of his mind started to worry that Sadiq knew about his crush. Then he told himself to stop being silly and decided to hear Sadiq out.
"So, is it true that you're together with that mother-loving bastard?"
Gupta was taken completely off guard, and if Sadiq hadn't looked so serious and distraught he would have thought it was a joke. But why was he so distraught in the first place? Gupta figured he must've been imagining it.
After a moment, Gupta realized that there had been a question in that accusation, and so he firmly shook his head.
"Oh… but Kiku said-"
Again Gupta shook his head, and Sadiq seemed to relax a bit. His usual lazy smirk spread over his face within an instant.
"Good. He's not worth the effort, anyways."
Gupta sighed under his breath, smiling softly and rolling his eyes. An odd silence fell between the two, one that might have been comfortable when it started, but as the seconds passed awkwardness filled the air.
"Well, then, I guess I'll be goin' now." Sadiq started, and with a nod he made to turn back to the locker room.
But, before he was out of arm's reach, Gupta found himself reaching out and grabbing the other's shoulder.
"Huh? What's the matter?"
Fixing his amber gaze on the ugly green floor tiles, Gupta just sputtered out the words:
"Will you go out with me?"
He could feel Sadiq tense under his touch, and pulled his arm back, his mind still reeling from what he did. Part of him wanted to run, but it was overwhelmed by the part of him that actually wanted to hear Sadiq's answer.
An answer that was, in his opinion, taking too long to be given. Gupta finally looked up, only to find confused hazel eyes staring right back at him.
"W-What did ya say?"
"…You heard right."
Sadiq licked his lip, before his expression melted back into his usual smirk.
"So, when did ya say this date was gonna be?"
Suddenly, the bland school hallways felt much, much brighter; although, Gupta mused, that might have been because the flickering light bulb above their heads came back on as Sadiq grabbed him by the arm. And, as the two walked down the halls, Gupta realized with a happy smile that this was something he could get used to.
- I love comparing foods that are similar throughout these three countries; Halva is a sweet sesame seed paste. Moussaka or Musaqqaʿa is an eggplant dish (the name for it in both comes from the Arabic one, which means 'cold'. According to my Greek friend, it's eaten differently in Greece (with a fork/spoon) than in Egypt (with bread). Falafel is a fried ball of chick peas, and is also referred to in Egypt as Ta'miyya.
- Sadiq calls Heracles a "mother loving bastard", because this takes place in the same High School AU as my last HS AU fic, and Greece's mother is the History teacher. She likes to dote on him in the halls sometimes. Usually at all the wrong times.
I hope you all enjoyed this! I'm certainly happy my Mediterranean muse came back~ Drop me a line with any comments or critiques!