"Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you should
It was good, as good goes
Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you did."

-Stay or Leave, Dave Matthews Band.


They don't talk about it for three reasons.

For one, Beck had been drunk. Two, Jade and him had just broken up. And three, now they were back together, so it didn't count anymore. Not that it really mattered to begin with, or that it meant anything to Beck like it did to Robbie, but they don't talk about it. It's like it never happened, though it seemed much easier for Beck to forget about it than Robbie.

Robbie thought about it often. Just because he wasn't allowed to speak of it anymore didn't mean he couldn't remember it for what it was worth, even if it was only worth something to him. Beck had made him swear he wouldn't bring it up, then he wouldn't say a word of it to Jade or Andre or Tori or anyone. "It was a mistake," he had said, his eyes wide and pleading as his hand rested on Robbie's knee and Robbie didn't think Beck had any idea what he was doing to him by just touching him like that. The words hurt worse, though. A thousand times worse. Because it wasn't a mistake to Robbie. It had meant something to Robbie.

Robbie barely sees Beck anymore outside of school. If he does, it's on accident - he stumbles on him at Starbucks with Jade, or at the park with Jade, or in the library with, you guessed it, Jade. The breakup was so brief and now the two are never without each other. And Robbie's tried so hard to be mad at Jade, to hate Jade, and it would be easy, honestly, because she's been mean to him since the first grade but he can't. It's not her fault. Maybe it's Beck's, but even it was, Robbie couldn't be mad at him, even if he tried, even if he wanted to be. Beck's just ... well, he's Beck, and Robbie just ... he just can't.

It hurts, sometimes, watching Beck across the lunch table, his arm slung over Jade's shoulders and laughing at something stupid while Robbie sits in silence, Rex on his knee. It seemed that, after the incident between them, he relies even more so on Rex for comfort. The wooden puppet makes him feel better in a (probably demented) way that he can't describe. It's stupid, and silly, and he knows that's probably what's keeping him from making many friends at this point, but it's not like there's much he can do, or much that he wants to do. It was a mistake, right? If Beck said it, it must be true.

But it still tortures Robbie in the worst way, when he's laying in his bed and he replays it over and over in his head. It happened here. It happened right here. Right on the sheets he's sleeping on. Of course, they've been washed since then, so he can't smell Beck anymore, but the memory is so thick and tangible and real in his head that he almost can smell him, and feel him, and taste him.

Beck had been crying. His head was in his hands, and he smelled of alcohol, and how he even made it to Robbie's house without getting lost was a pretty grand mystery, but he was there, fingers threading in his black hair. Robbie didn't know what to do. What could he do? He'd never seen Beck broken before, didn't know he could be broken, and so he just sat beside him with his hand on the boy's back and rubbed it in what he hoped to be a comforting manner. People didn't usually seek him out for comfort, or for advice, or for anything. Beck had always been nice to him, had always considered him a friend, but when it came to relationships and breakups it wasn't like Robbie had an amazing record to reflect on. Robbie remembers thinking Beck should have gone to Andre for something like this, or, hell, Tori, because girls were so much better at this than he was, but, hey, shouldn't he feel flattered? He thought the words with a frown, still rubbing Beck's back, whispering things like "It'll be okay" and "She's an idiot". Beck chose him. Or, maybe the alcohol chose him, but either he was here, trying to find solace.

When Beck raised his head, a sharp wave of alcohol met Robbie's nose. He briefly panicked, wondering if Beck had drank to the point of poisoning himself, but in the other boy's bloodshot eyes there was a shard of clarity in them. He knew where he was, and he knew who Robbie was, and though his words were slurred Robbie could understand them.

"I didn't, why, Robbie? She, she, she is always so, so, meanandI, I shouldn't even, care, but, Robbie..."

Robbie shushed him, pulled Beck's hair behind his ear and let him cry, because what else could he do? His heart was aching for his friend in a way he didn't understand, pinging painfully against his ribs. He wanted to know what to do or the words to say to make him feel better, but Robbie had never been smooth. He was the nerd with the puppet, the weirdo with the fro, the geek, the scrawny ventriloquist. He wasn't 'one of the guys' and he wasn't a 'ladies' man' and in order to be able to give any kind of advice on girls he had to, you know, have experience with girls and he didn't have all that many. Certainly not to this degree, As far as he knew, Beck loved Jade, and while he didn't necessarily understand why that didn't make it less of a truth and there was really nothing he could do about that. Robbie could make dolls talk, he couldn't mend hearts.

Beck released a sharp sob before he turned to Robbie and buried his face in the skinny boy's neck, hands clutching his torso. Robbie blinked, his arms moving uselessly before they rested on Beck's back. He could feel tears on the collar of his shirt, and Beck's jeans slipping next to his pajama pants, and before he could stop the boy he was on his back and Beck was on top of him.

"Beck, what are you -"

A mouth crashed against his own. It was hot, and tasted like beer, and it shut him up pretty quickly. Robbie's eyes widened behind his glasses, his hands planting themselves on Beck's chest and shoving him backward, their lips separating. Robbie panted, trying to sit up, but Beck was too heavy and even drunk he was strong, his hands pinning the other boy's shoulders to the bed. Robbie stared up at him, his mouth opening and closing with no sound coming out because, what could he say? What was he supposed to say? His friend was on top of him, and he had just kissed him, and Robbie's heart was racing and his pajama pants were suddenly becoming very uncomfortable.

"What are you doing?" Robbie shifted his shoulders but Beck just held them there, eyes darting between the boy's beneath him. Beck's eyes were sad. They were broken and hurt and they were sad and Robbie didn't know what to do; he couldn't fight him off, and he was too inebriated to listen, and maybe a tiny part of him wanted the world to shut up so Beck would kiss him again, but he was trying to ignore that part.

"Please, Robbie." It's all Beck said, and it came out clear and sharp compared to his earlier slurring, and his eyes looked strangely focused, the way they met Robbie's, and Robbie couldn't breathe, forgot how, because Beck was straddling him and leaning down and kissing him again, soft and hot on the mouth. Robbie whimpered, and he can't tell if it's because he doesn't want this or he does but that dilemma was answered for him pretty quickly when Beck's hands swam up his shirt and a tongue wrestled with his own.

Beck tasted heavy of alcohol, but there's something behind that, something like peppermints, and Robbie liked that more than he thought he should.

Everything after that was one big, hot blur, rushing past Robbie's frontal lobe as he remembers; Beck's teeth on his neck, a tongue on his nipple, a kiss on his bellybutton, a hand in his pants. Robbie hadn't lasted long, but he was too overwhelmed to be embarrassed, and then his pants were gone and Beck was naked and against him and he fumbled drunkenly but he knew what he was doing. He kissed Robbie's back when he rolled him over, breath heavy with beer when he whispered in his ear that it was going to hurt, and Robbie whimpered and curled his hands in the sheets but it felt so, so good. It was warm, and sliding down his thighs when the two of them collapsed on Robbie's mattress. Beck fell asleep first. Robbie stared at the ceiling until the sun rose.

Robbie sits up in his bed because his eyes are stinging, the space beside him is empty, and he remembers Beck waking up the morning after, rubbing his forehead, moaning in pain as he sluggishly tried to get out of the sheets. Robbie hadn't moved, pretended to be asleep as he stared at the wall, out the window. He had listened to Beck pull on his clothes and leave without saying goodbye.

Robbie slams his hands against his forehead. He tries to tell his thoughts to shut up, that it happened almost a month ago and it didn't matter then and it certainly didn't matter now, but he remembers later that afternoon when Beck texted him and said they needed to talk, to meet him at Starbucks, and Robbie didn't want to go, didn't want to see Beck's face when he told him that he didn't mean it. Robbie hadn't meant it either, right? It was just ... It wasn't ...

But as Beck told him for the hundredth time "It was a mistake" from beside him at Starbucks, the smell of coffee coating Beck's breath now instead of alcohol, and his hand on his knee, Robbie felt like his torso was ripping in two. "Promise me you'll just forget it, okay? Just forget it."

Robbie promised, and Beck sighed with relief, and they haven't talked about it since.

And Robbie broke his promise.

Robbie screams into his pillow, pulls the blanket over his head and stuffs his hand down his pants. The heat pooling down there is overwhelming him, swallowing him up, and he closes his eyes and pumps his hand to Beck, Beck flexing over him, Beck kissing his chest and biting his ear and holding his hips and Robbie's pelvis jerks forward. He bites the inside of his other wrist and then he's sticky and spent and panting. He stumbles to his bathroom, washes his hands, changes his boxers and then he's standing in the doorway, staring at his bed.

He doesn't want to sleep in it. He picks up Rex, cradling him like he's the only important thing he owns and pads softly to the living room. His hand slips inside the puppet, and with the wooden mouth pressed to his chest, Rex says, "Dude, this is really fucked up."

Robbie sighs as he sinks into his couch, pulling his knees to his chest. "I know."

/

They're kissing by Jade's locker.

Robbie stands there, Rex in one hand, his books in the other. He watches them separate, and Jade smiles, and Beck does, too. Robbie can't tell if it's real or not, doesn't want to know, so he walks past them, his face carefully void as he moves to his next class. He doesn't want to look back, really, but just before he rounds the stairs he lets his head turn over his shoulder and Beck is staring back at him. Robbie halts, his foot in the air, mouth falling open. Jade is getting something out of her locker and Beck is watching him, eyes dark, mouth set in a firm line. Robbie forgets where he's going, and Rex is saying something about being late for class and calling him something crude, but Robbie is too distracted by Beck's open collar and the patch of dark skin beneath it.

Robbie remembers kissing it.

He swallows, or tries to, and then he ducks his head and hurries up the stairs. It's getting ridiculous. Now he's not even sitting at Beck's lunch table anymore, even though his other friends sit there, too. He doesn't want to see Beck being happy, or pretending to be happy, or whatever it is he's doing. He doesn't want to be a part of it anymore. He just wants to float through school unnoticed with Rex for company. That's all.

He sits through his next class with his mind turned off, Rex sitting limp in his lap and his eyes out the window. Beck's not in here, which he's both grateful for and mad about at the same time. This is stupid. Beck and him used to be friends, good friends. Beck would rant about Jade and Robbie would laugh and they would go out for lunch and play video games in Beck's trailer. There were no hidden signals or mixed messages or anything that would give Robbie the idea that Beck wanted to have sex with him, or that he liked him any more than a friend. And Robbie ... Robbie was pretty sure he had never thought of Beck that way. Sure, he would get jealous of Jade sometimes, but only because she got to spend so much more time with him, and she treated him like crap, but Robbie didn't want Beck like that. Right?

Well, they had had sex, and that changed things. For one, that was Robbie's virginity going out the window, and now he doesn't know where his heart lies anymore. It's like Beck cut out a piece when he left Robbie alone in bed that morning. Robbie doesn't think Beck understands that the piece he stole is in him somewhere.

The bell rings and Robbie lugs Rex and his homework back to his locker. Kids scream as they file out of the doors, to the buses waiting outside. Robbie's searching for his keys in his backpack when there's a finger on his shoulder. He turns, so startled by the boy beside him he flies back into the lockers, Rex slipping off of his hand and onto the floor. Beck's eyebrows are up, his hands raising palm forward.

"Sorry." He tries to laugh, but it's hollow. Robbie scrambles, ducking down to pick up Rex and on his way up the top of his head slams into the open door of his locker. Robbie yelps, touching his head tenderly as he leans against his locker, hands squeezing his keys.

"You all right?" Beck's hand starts to extend toward his face before freezing halfway through the gesture. It drops heavily, and Robbie clutches Rex to his chest, cheeks burning so hot he could fry eggs on them and then he turns back to his locker. He wants to be mad, he tries to be mad, so he tries to make his face angry as he shoves books into his backpack. He's an actor, so that should be easy, right?

He's pretty sure that his disapproving frown is reflecting more hurt than anger, though.

"Yeah." Robbie pulls his backpack from his locker and slams it shut, swinging it over his shoulder. He wants to talk to Beck and he doesn't, the rational part of his brain telling him to leave right now while what's left of his heart pulses painfully outwards, like it's searching for its missing piece somewhere inside Beck. Robbie huffs. "Well, see ya'."

"Wait."

There's a hand on his elbow, pulling him back, and Robbie meets Beck's eyes with a frown before glancing at the fingers wrapped around his arm. "What do you want?" Robbie tries to make his voice sharp, and mean, and angry, but it's just a whisper, a whimper of a question, with nothing behind it but hurt feelings and an empty, hollow thumping heart. He ducks his head as Beck pulls him closer, the other boy bending his knees to catch Robbie's eyes.

"Look, I know we said to ... forget what happened -"

Robbie's chest tightens. Oh, God, what's he doing? He's breaking the promise! Robbie stares at him frantically, glancing around the thinning hall. The kids aren't even looking at him, not even giving them the time of day as they push past and Robbie's never wished for Jade to appear before but he desperately wants her to right now.

" - but, I can't ... I can't stop thinking about it, man."

Robbie's face is so pink it's a wonder he hasn't passed out. He swallows again, the spit struggling to slide down the suddenly dry walls of his throat. But it's not like he can run away, and a part of him is so glad that Beck can't stop thinking about it either. It makes him feel like less of a creepy loser. "Uh, yeah, yeah, man, me either."

"Really?"

Robbie looks up at him, the boy's face splitting in a wide grin. Robbie nods, offering a hint of a smile and then Beck's eyes hood over, his head jerking toward the doors.

"Well, we should, uh, go back to my RV, hey?"

An alert is going off in his head somewhere, screaming at him to run away, that this isn't right. He knows that. He knows what Beck is asking for. And maybe, maybe if Robbie had someone to turn to other than a wooden doll he would say no, and maybe if he had any experience with relationships he would walk away, and maybe if a piece of him wasn't lodged somewhere inside of Beck he would tell him to fuck off and run out to his car.

But he doesn't have any of those things, and Beck carries some of him inside his chest somewhere, so Robbie nods.

Robbie follows Beck in his car and the whole way there it's silent and his heart is racing and he's clutching the steering wheel so hard his knuckles are bleached white. Rex is silent in the passenger seat. Robbie doesn't even turn on the radio, just drives as steadily as he can until he suddenly blurts;

"Look, I know this is wrong, okay?"

The puppet is silent, unseeing eyes staring out the windshield. Robbie grits his teeth, watching Beck's car. "I know this is wrong, on so many levels, and I shouldn't be doing this and he shouldn't have asked me to, but God damnit, Rex, I'm, I'm -" He lets out a loud breath through his teeth. "I'm lonely. Rex, I am so alone."

He pulls into Beck's parking lot. Beck smiles at him as he swings out of his car, and he opens the door the the trailer. Robbie abandons Rex in the car, stepping into the darkened vehicle. He's been in here a hundred times since Beck started living in it, but suddenly it's different and weird and foreign and Robbie stands awkwardly in the center of it as Beck closes the door. The sound of the lock turning seems so loud.

Robbie doesn't know what to do with his hands, so he lets them hang at his side and Beck turns around, grinning up at him. "This'll just be for fun, 'kay? I mean, you're ... you're really good, Rob."

Robbie tries to smile but he can't and Beck doesn't even notice. He wants to blurt out something about Jade, but he doesn't, too distracted by Beck's face and Beck's body. He's taking slow steps toward Robbie until his back meets a counter and then Beck's hands are on either side of him, keeping him there. Dark eyes hover before his own, a smile on his lips, hips shifting forward to tease Robbie's. All of Robbies' worries are snuffed out like a cap on a flame as Beck's lips meet his own, soft and warm, just like it was in his bedroom. Robbie melts, fisting his hands in the boy's shirt and pulling him closer, harder. Beck moans, his hands slipping up the back of Robbie's shirt and roaming over cool, pale flesh and Robbie trembles, sinks against him.

He tries to remember what is so wrong about this, but with Beck so close it's like he has some kind of amnesia and not only does he not remember, he doesn't want to, because this feels so much better. Beck fumbles getting Robbie's shirt off, and then his own is gone, and naked chest meets naked chest and Robbie whines, lips on his neck, pulling the skin between his teeth. Beck sucks softly and Robbie threads his hand into the boy's hair, whimpering, and then Beck is kissing his way down the boy's trembling torso and Robbie's mind has gone blissfully blank. There's no hurt here, no torment, just Beck's lips and his fingers on the waistband of his jeans and the button gives away almost willingly. The zipper descends, his boxers are hooked around his ankles and breath is washing over his arousal in what can only be compared to a torturous manner.

He can feel his neck bruising where Beck bit him but the pain is washed out as a hot, wet mouth consumes him and he jerks, his hips shivering so hard it's a wonder he can stand at all, his hands splaying on the counter behind him. His elbows are barely keeping him up, Beck's hands on his thighs, and before he can think about it Robbie is clutching fistfuls of black hair, urging him to go faster, deeper, and he does, and his vision is growing fuzzy, even with his glasses still on. It just, it just feels ... feels so good, so very, very good, and Robbie cries out, trying to warn the boy on his knees beneath him but he can't speak, can't manage anything other than a loud cry.

Beck slides the back of his hand over his mouth as he resurfaces, grinning at Robbie like he's just won something. Robbie sags against him, holding his shoulders, and he kicks off his pants and leaves them in the middle of the RV as he whispers against Beck's jaw, "The bed."

Robbie is practically thrown onto the mattress, bouncing, the breath knocked right out of his lungs and before he can inhale Beck is kissing him, hard and hungry on the mouth. Robbie clutches him close, thoughts blown to the far reaches of his mind and he wants Beck inside of him, right now, now, before they come crawling back. "Beck," he moans the name as teeth scrape against his earlobe, and Robbie reaches down, fingers plucking the button of Beck's jeans and then the boy is wiggling his hips, pushing them down. He pulls back, grunting in frustration as he kicks the garment off, his boxers soon following.

And Beck's not drunk this time; his actions are much smoother, his touch much more careful, and as he pushes inside of Robbie he moans so loud, Robbie can only hope somewhere in the back of his mind that no one has decided to walk their dog right now. It doesn't hurt so much this time, and Robbie's learned by now that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin and easily blurred. He moans, folding his legs behind the other boy, urging him closer and deeper and then he's rocking against him. They're both sweating, and noises are filling the room, the sound of hips grinding into hips and pants and moans and hot, hungry kisses.

Robbie comes on his chest and Beck's face twists hard, a loud scream of Robbie's name breaking through his lips and then he falls against the boy's chest, lips on his neck, slick with sweat. Robbie touches the boy's hair, panting in his ear, and his body feels so good. He doesn't want to move, doesn't want to break out of this moment because as soon as it's gone he doesn't know when he'll get it back.

Beck pulls out, and lays beside Robbie, his eyes on the ceiling. Robbie adjusts his glasses and they sit there without speaking until their breathing isn't so frantic.

And then Beck props himself on his elbow and sighs. "Hey, Jade's coming over in a few hours, but uh ... thanks, man. We should do this again."

Beck says it so easily, like they're playing video games. Robbie stares at him, trying so hard to ignore the sharp slice that each heartbeat brings him. He sits up, nodding, mumbling something as he pulls his boxers on, then his pants, and his shirt, and his lower back aches and now the pain is just that, just pain, and it just really fucking hurts. Beck dresses, too, and walks Robbie to the door. Before he can slip out, Beck takes his elbow, turns him around and pushes him to the still closed door. Robbie doesn't meet his eyes, they hang around Beck's lips and then he's kissing him, tender and warm.

"See ya', Rob."

A part of Robbie wants to scream and hit him, another wants to just keep kissing him, but he just forces a smile and slips out of the RV and into his car. He stares at the steering wheel, and then at Rex, slumped against the car door. He reaches across, hands shaking and numb, and puts one hand inside of the puppet.

"You smell like sex," the doll says. "And shame."

Robbie stares into the puppet's eyes. "Yeah."

/

It becomes a routine.

On the days that Robbie finds Beck staring at him, watching him more closely than usual, he follows him home. They fuck. Robbie leaves.

Except now it's even more frequent. Sometimes, Beck can't wait until after school. Sometimes he's snagging Robbie out of class and taking him to the bathroom, locking the door and sucking him against the handicap stall wall. Sometimes he's blocking Robbie's way out of the boy's locker room and locking that door, too, and fucking him senseless against a bench.

Beck smiles a lot. He grins and taps Robbie's behind and tells him how good he is, how there's no one like him, and then he leaves and kisses Jade in the hall. Robbie wonders, sometimes, if she ever notices that Beck's mouth tastes foreign, like someone else has been there. Robbie can taste Jade sometimes; Crest toothpaste and coffee. It makes him sick. His times with Beck are supposed to be private and uninterrupted and, supposedly by definition, they are, but it's like Jade can sneak in through Beck's mouth and it's driving him crazy.

The whole thing is driving him crazy. Beck sees it as fun, and, sure, Robbie enjoys himself, but during. Not after, not before. As soon as it's all over and he's driving away from Beck's RV, he either cries or screams or both. He drives until his fury his replaced with sadness, until he can trust himself alone and then he slumps into his bedroom and buries his face in his homework.

The ache in his lower back has become familiar now, and the purple bruises on his neck seem almost permanent. They never go away. Robbie has to keep buttoning his shirts higher and higher, or putting his mom's makeup on them to cover them. That doesn't always keep them hidden, though. Cat noticed them one day, her finger pulling back the collar of his shirt before he could stop her. She prodded them and laughed and screamed to the entire room, "Robbie has a girlfriend! He has hickeys!"

Beck was in that class. He had stared disapprovingly from across the room as Cat and Tori badgered him with questions.

"No, I don't have a girlfriend, no - they're just, I bruise easily, I don't - no, I'm not dating anyone -"

When he went to Beck's trailer after school that day, it was much rougher, much more harsh, and Beck drew blood when he bit him this time, and Robbie could swear he heard a distinct "Mine," huffed under the boy's breath. It both excited him and pissed him off. How could Beck say something like that when Robbie would leave and Jade would take his place? How could he own Robbie and Jade at the same time?

But it didn't matter, because no one else wanted Robbie. He still wasn't sitting with them at the lunch table, and no one even asked where he went - usually he sat in the library, doing homework or reading or mindlessly surfing the Internet from his laptop, anything to distract his mind from Beck. That's what his life had been divided into. Time with Beck and time without him, and when he wasn't with him, he was filling his brain with useless tasks. He was getting ahead in his homework, he was working on projects, he was reading, reading, reading.

Rex didn't say much anymore. Robbie didn't even bring him to school every day, only when he felt particularly lonely. And even then the puppet sat in his lap, not speaking, and it was like a part of him had died and he was carrying around a corpse or something. It was pathetic, really, because even as much as he tried to be mad at Beck, he just couldn't do it. He both wanted to be with him all the time and to never see him again.

Sometimes, they talked. After they were finished and they were naked and spent in Beck's bed, they would talk about school or Jade or games, the stuff they used to talk about before all of this happened. And they laughed and Beck would ruffle Robbie's hair and sometimes they would play video games afterward. Those were the better days, when Robbie could pretend that they were a couple or something, when they would hit Starbucks after school and catch a coffee before going back to his RV, and they were the definition of friends with benefits, in Beck's eyes. He talked about Jade wanting a wedding right after graduation, he talked about looking for rings, he told Robbie, "Man, I love her."

And Robbie never tried to disprove that because either Beck truly did love her or he was in some kind of denial Robbie didn't know the name of. Either way, Robbie would swiftly change the subject when she came up because he hated talking about her. They would play games, and talk, and Robbie would lean on his shoulder and kick his ass during Black Ops and then Beck would tackle him, laughing and kissing, grinding against his thigh.

It was beautiful and tragic all at once, really, because Robbie could feel his heart shredding into more pieces every time they were together, and Beck took more and more of them, stowed them away where Robbie couldn't find them anymore, and then it was only when he was with Beck that he could feel anything, period. On his own, he was just a robot, going through the motions. School, homework, eat, sleep, shower. But with Beck, it was an explosion of sensations, and learning, because Robbie knew where to bite and kiss and lick now, knew how to drive the other boy crazy, knew how to reduce him to a shuddering mass of a person. And in turn, Beck could turn Robbie into little more than a whimpering pile of limbs.

It's terrible, and wrong, so, so wrong, but Robbie wouldn't trade it for the world and that fact by itself scares him completely shitless.

/

It's Jade and Beck's two and a half year anniversary and Robbie doesn't go to school. He knows what Beck's doing to celebrate, and he doesn't want to see the flowers in her locker or hear the song he wrote for her because he's already heard Beck play it a thousand times. At least in the safety of Beck's RV, he could pretend the words were a secret message to him. But they weren't, and Robbie knew that, so he stayed home and stared at the TV for seven mind-numbing hours until he figured he should probably get started on some homework. Not that he needed to, honestly, but he lugs himself off the couch and tucks Rex under his arm and wanders back to his room.

He's so far ahead in his calculus class that he has to find extra assignments online to keep him busy. His grades have never been better. He has straight As now, and at least he can give Beck that much credit. He's trudging through some ten step problems when he hears his mom yelling up at him, saying he has company. Robbie freezes, frowning as he steps back into the hall.

Beck's at the end of it, thumbs hooked in his pockets. Robbie stares at him and suddenly he's mad, he's so mad he could spit. It's their anniversary and he still has the nerve to come here? He knows it shouldn't have gone on this long, that it never should have happened in the first place, but there's Beck with that cocky-ass grin on his face, swaying down his hallway like he owns the place and just seeing him, just knowing he's there makes Robbie's pants stir.

He turns back into his bedroom and sits before his desk, going back to the problem. He hears the door shut and when the lock turns he pauses, breathing hard. No. He's not doing this today. He's not in the mood. He feels bad for Jade, and for himself, and he just wants everyone to shut up and go away.

"Hey." Beck's arms are looping around his shoulders, lips on his ear.

"I'm busy." Robbie shrugs his shoulders, trying to push him off, but the boy doesn't budge. He stares at the math problem before him without really seeing it, gritting his teeth as lips brush against his earlobe, breath ruffling over his hair. "Beck, stop it."

"What? You have an A in calculus. You don't need to do this right this second." Beck's reaching down, trying to take Robbie's pencil out of his hand and he snaps, standing up so quickly the chair nearly knocks Beck over. Robbie whips around, glaring hard at the startled boy.

"Don't you have somewhere to be? An anniversary to celebrate?"

Beck stares at him, a look of confusion crossing his face, like Robbie doesn't have a place to talk of Jade that way. His eyebrows tug over his nose, taking a step forward to tower over the other boy. "Don't talk about Jade."

Robbie throws up his hands. "Oh, okay, I'm not allowed to talk about her anymore. I'm not allowed to meet other girls. I'm supposed to get to your RV and leave when you tell me to, I have to be late for class almost every day so I can give you a blowjob in the janitor's closet -"

"Woah, woah." Beck's hands are up and his frowning, the lines in his face angry. "You want this just as much as me. Don't make me sound like the bad guy."

"You don't even get it, do you?" Robbie shakes his head, a hand wringing through his curls. "You're fucking with me, you don't care about my feelings, and you're cheating on Jade. What about her, Beck? Doesn't she mean anything? Don't I mean anything?"

Beck's eyes are dark and heavy and Robbie feels a ping of fear roll through his gut. For a paralyzing moment he thinks Beck is going to hit him, but then he grabs him by the hips and yanks him forward and kisses him hard on the mouth. Robbie squeaks behind the kiss, trying to push him back. He doesn't want to want this anymore, it's doing nothing but destroying him and making his life turn into more shit than it was before all of this, but Beck is pushing him against the wall of his room, forcing his tongue between his lips, and Robbie just doesn't have the will to fight for it anymore. He only feels with Beck, and so his hands stop clawing at him and wrap around his neck and pull him closer, and his heart aches for the pieces that Beck stole but he doesn't know if he wants them back anymore. They aren't like puzzle pieces, they're like the shards of a broken mirror, and Robbie can't put himself back together without bleeding and he's tired of hurting all the time.

Beck pulls away, panting, and he makes a choking sob and Robbie freezes, hands on the other boy's cheeks. He flicks his eyes up to meet Beck's and he's crying, tears falling over the brim of his eyes and sliding down his cheeks.

"B, Beck?"

Beck shakes his head, another sob leaving him and he kisses Robbie again and again, like he's trying to shut something inside of him up. Robbie wonders if his heart is in pieces, too. He wonders if Robbie's hand clutching his shoulders were the same as Beck whispering "Mine" into his skin, he wonders if Robbie let off signals of possession just like Beck did and he didn't even notice. He wonders if he feels guilty and sad. He wonders if Jade is like Robbie's Rex; a puppet, something to hide behind, but the strings are so tangled, they don't know who controls who anymore.

"Beck, talk to me, please."

Beck's fingers are curled around the collar of Robbie's shirt, eyes on the hickeys and various bruises littered across his skin. He shakes his head. "I'm sorry, Robbie. I don't ..."

"It's okay." Robbie touches his hair, their foreheads meeting, and Beck closes his eyes as tears run down. Robbie brushes them away with his thumbs, and it's just like it was the first time; Beck trying to find comfort in Robbie.

"What am I doing? What are we doing?" Beck finds Robbie's eyes with his own and searches them like Robbie knows the answer, but he doesn't.

Robbie shakes his head. "I don't know."

Beck straightens, swallowing, and he pulls Robbie by his hands to the bed. "I thought I could have both of you."

Robbie offers a weak, broken smile. "I thought I could share."

The dark-skinned boy shakes his head. "Rob, you don't ... you don't love me, right?"

Robbie shakes his head, too, staring at their hands. "I don't think so. I mean ... I don't know. But it doesn't matter because we ... we can't, Beck."

And it hurts, because even if Robbie isn't in love with him, he knows that he could be, that he wants to be, that if the circumstances were different, maybe he should be, but things are they way they are and Robbie can't lose any more pieces of his heart or it's just going to fail him.

The taller boy nods. "I know. I know."

Beck kisses him before he leaves, and they both know it's goodbye, and it's soft and gentle and when he slips out the door, Robbie falls against it. He wants to scream at him to come back, to say that he didn't mean it, that he wants him, that they can, but he can't tell if it's true or not because his heart isn't trustworthy without all the parts.

/

A short week later, Beck breaks up with Jade.

Other than that, life is uneventful for a time. They graduate. Robbie spend most of the his last high school summer applying for colleges and staying up to date on new plays. He gets the lead in Hamlet for a local theater group. It looks amazing on his resume, and he gets accepted into a great college. Rex comes back, and he entertains clubs on the weekend. Turns out Robbie can have a saucy sense of humor when he wants to.

He doesn't hear from Beck for months, and it doesn't hurt so much anymore. He can go out and have a good time and when he drives past the high school on occasion, he can smile about it all. The pieces are coming back together and it sounds silly, but he's figuring out who he is. He hopes Beck is, too.

He's finishing up an act with Rex at a club one night when he sees him. He steps off the stage, the applause deafening, and he drops Rex into his suitcase when he sees an all too familiar figure leaning against the bar in the back. Robbie squeezes past the people giving him pats on the back, giving a polite "Thank you" and then he breaks through the crowd and he's beside him again. Beck looks taller, or maybe that's just because it's been so long, and his hair has been cut a little and Robbie can't help but break out into a wide grin and hug him, in front of all of those people. He doesn't care, and his heart doesn't hurt anymore.

"You were great," Beck says against his ear, and his voice sounds so sure, and it feels so good to be against him again.

Robbie pulls back, gushing a thank you, and then Beck's throwing his thumb at the bar.

"Can I buy you a drink?"

Robbie pauses, meeting Beck's eyes. He's not a boy anymore; neither of them are, and this isn't wrong like it used to be. The circumstances are different. They are different.

"Yeah," Robbie says, meeting Beck's arm with his. "I'd like that."


A/N: There's not nearly enough Beck/Robbie fics out there, guys. Hop to it.

I hope you liked this! It's rather long for a oneshot, I know, but I hope it was enjoyable nonetheless. Review, please!