I swear, it's like a disease. I just can't stop writing these stupid things. I'm starting to hate my addiction to this ridiculous pairing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Aliens in the Attic or the characters (which is probably a good thing, because it would've turned into another frilly, gay movie).
Warnings: Slight language. Possible OOC, although I usually don't get complaints about that. THIS IS OBNOXIOUSLY FLUFFY AT POINTS. I AM SO, SO SORRY.
Also: Contains incest, a little. Kind of. First cousins who won't reproduce together are kind of on the line, yeah? No? Whatever.
Hey, at least I haven't made them have sex or anything, right?
I can only pray the actors will never, ever, EVER read any of my f*cked up stories.
Reviews are appreciated but not demanded.
"You've been avoiding me."
Jake looked up from the television to find Tom standing off to the side and staring him down. Although the brunette seemed determined, his arms were wrapped around his own chest, like he was nervous about the confrontation he was apparently thrusting upon Jake.
"You… you haven't been… you've been avoiding me. Every time I go to hang out with you, you walk off or make excuses or something. I don't know, it's just… are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?" Jake had to force himself to not look up. He could tell from Tom's voice that he would look sad and upset, and Jake didn't want to see that. He was having a hard enough time swallowing down the surge of guilt without having to see Tom's hurt expression.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Jake turned the volume on the T.V. up, knowing exactly how rude of a gesture it was. Tom shifted from foot to foot, and Jake spared him a split second glance. He immediately regretted it, though, because Tom looked absolutely crushed.
"Oh… I…" The poor brunette trailed off, looking away. "Okay. Can I… mind if I join you then?" The question was almost muttered, and Jake barely caught it over the obnoxiously high volume of the television.
"I was just about to leave," he replied flatly, although it was obvious to both teens that Jake had not been planning to leave anytime soon. Jake glanced up at Tom again, but this time didn't look away.
Tom's emotions apparently shifted, and instead of looking like a kicked puppy, he looked pissed. His fists were down by his sides and clenched to the point of his knuckles being white. His mouth was twisted and it looked like he was trying not to bite his own tongue off in fury.
"Okay, this ends now," he snapped, storming over to the recliner chair Jake was currently flopped on. He snatched the remote from Jake's loose grip, turned and quickly flipped the television off. Tom chucked the remote somewhere across the room, not caring when it sounded like it may have broken something in its landing. "I wanna know why you have been acting like a jerk this past week. You won't talk to me anymore, you won't hang out with me any more, and you rarely even stay in the same room as me. At first I thought I was imagining it, but even Hannah is asking me what I did wrong."
"I already said you didn't-"
"Then why aren't you talking to me?"
"I'm talking to you right now," Jake replied easily. Clearly this wasn't the best thing to say, because Tom growled and pounced on Jake, trapping him on the chair, straddling his legs, and gripping the blonde's shirt collar in both hands.
"You have five seconds to give me a good reason for acting like an asshole before I punch you," he threatened, tightening his grip on Jake's shirt.
Jake's own temper broke, and he roughly gripped Tom's shirt in his own fists, looking just as ticked off as his cousin.
"So just because I don't give you every second of my life, you think you can come stomping in here and pick a fight with me? At least you finally grew a pair, loser," he said, shoving at Tom's chest with his still-clenched fists. Tom looked abashed for a moment, and then gritted his teeth, looking even angrier.
"I don't want every second of your life. What I want is for you to not act like a complete jerk to me. And stop ignoring me and acting like a brat and talk to me about whatever it is that lodged itself up your ass!"
"Shut the hell up, Tom! I'm allowed to not want to be with you once in a while! You don't know everything about me, okay?"
"Stop turning this around on me! You're the one who's been acting like I've done something to you! And if I have, then I'm sorry, but you have to actually tell me what I did for me to be sorry for it. God, you're so dramatic sometimes!" Tom shook Jake's collar a few times for emphasis. Jake snarled. He hated being called dramatic. His friends at high school constantly told him he was being a drama queen. Being a pretty-boy who had a tendency to get overenthusiastic about things apparently equated to being dramatic.
But he still hated it.
"I'm being dramatic? Who came in here nearly in tears and whining like a baby because someone's not paying enough attention to him? Who broke a goddamn vase with a remote control because he decided to throw a temper tantrum? And who is straddling me and nearly tearing my shirt in half because he's getting pissed off over nothing?"
Jake hadn't really intended to point out that his cousin was sprawled over him, and it hadn't really even fazed the blonde himself. But Tom's furious expression dropped right off of his face and he nearly leapt off of Jake's lap when he realized that he had been sitting awkwardly on his cousin.
"Sorry, I just…" Tom sighed, rubbing at his elbows uncomfortably, and let his legs collapse so he could sit on the floor in front of Jake's recliner. He groaned in frustration, covering his eyes with both hands and rubbing profusely. Jake almost felt sorry enough to fall down next to his cousin and hug him. Almost.
"Whatever," Jake said instead, brushing off Tom's efforts and inspecting his immensely interesting fingers.
"I feel horrible. I don't even know what I did wrong, and I feel like vomiting whenever you push me away," Tom murmured, and the self-hating tone it was said in broke Jake's heart.
Truthfully, Jake had been avoiding Tom for one reason: he wanted more than anything to be around Tom constantly. He and his cousin had always been close, but it was getting to be too strong of an urge for the blonde. Tom had dated this girl for about a month the past summer, and it was the worst month of Jake's life. The family had been back up at the vacation house, and Jake had been excited to hang out with his cousin. But the brunette had a petite blonde trailing after him, with long bouncing curls and a seemingly flat chest. In fact, if she cut her hair short enough, she may have passed for a boy. Not to say she was ugly, she was just one of those people who was attractive, but could really be either male or female.
Jake hated her at first sight.
Maybe he was just being irrational. Maybe he had been acting like a small child, being jealous because his cousin had someone else to spend time with.
Or maybe he had to stop acting like he was stupid and admit that he wanted Tom's attention all for himself. And maybe that was kind of gay, but Jake wasn't one to care about what others thought, and the entire world could call him rude things and label him as homosexual, but as long as he had Tom's attention to himself, the world could go screw itself.
And if that meant that he had a man-crush on his cousin, which was wrong on just so many levels, then oh freaking well.
"Jake, please, just- just tell me. I just need to know what happened… Jake?" Tom looked miserable, and Jake's will to be nasty to him quickly dissolved.
"Listen it's…" He almost said 'nothing', but that wouldn't fly with Tom. Jake sighed. "Do you remember how you dated that girl this past summer? Kaity or whatever?"
"Carly. Yeah, why?"
"Well… it was great that you got to go out with her and all," Jake lied, mentally punching the lie in the face, "but you kind of ignored me the whole time. And I know it's because you had a girlfriend and it was a big deal and all," he added quickly at Tom's surprised look. "But you just… ditched me, like a girl that you stayed with for a month meant more to you than…" He trailed off, looking away.
"You… you've been ignoring me because… you were jealous of me having a girlfriend?" Tom's quiet voice sounded surprised, and Jake closed his eyes before glancing back at the other boy. "But… that was like… three months ago. And I know that this is the first time since this summer that we're back in this house but… you texted me almost every day, like normal, up until this past week."
"Yeah, well…" Jake had no real answer for that. What was he supposed to say? 'Oh, well, it took me three months and seeing you again in this house for me to realize that maybe I like you more than I should?' Yeah, that would totally go over well.
"This is about something different, isn't it?" Tom hesitated, and then scooted closer to the recliner chair, lifting himself to his knees. "You can tell me, you know. I… I just want to know why you… I thought you started hating me. Please tell me you don't… please…" Tom looked so desperate to fix the tension between himself and the blonde in front of him. Jake rubbed a hand roughly over his face, trying to rub the wrong, incestuous thoughts out through his forehead.
"I don't hate you," he muttered, looking off to the side. Tom looked up at him, and Jake could see the hopeful look out of the corner of his eye. "If I told you the truth, you would hate me." Jake frowned, regretting revealing anything. Now Tom knew that there was something wrong, even if he didn't know what. "Listen, I won't be a jerk anymore, okay? So let's just go get sandwiches or something." He pushed himself from the comfy recliner and made his way to the door, expecting Tom to follow him when he felt a tug on his shirt. Peering backwards, he saw Tom was clutching the back of his tee shirt, looking at him intently.
"You're not just going to brush this aside like it's nothing. I want to know- I deserve to know why you acted that way. Just tell me-"
"Listen, I don't want to talk about it, okay? So just let it go and let's pretend like nothing changed from before the summer. Now if you'd let go-"
"No!" Tom used his unoccupied hand to grasp Jake's shoulder and spun the blonde around, slamming him into the closed door and keeping him there with two strong palms on his upper arms. "This is what I'm talking about! We used to be so close, and you can't even talk to me about why you won't talk to me! We used to be so close…" he repeated, suddenly slumping and looking depressed beyond all reason. "You're one of my best friends, you know that? And for you to be like this…"
"I said I would stop acting like that-"
"But why were you acting like that in the first place?"
"I don't want to talk about it, so can you respect that?"
"Just talk to me!"
"I don't want to!"
"I need to know-"
"Trust me, you don't."
Tom growled, pulling on Jake's arms and slamming him back into the door. "God damnit, Jake, just tell me why -"
"I like you, okay?" Jake exploded. He clenched his fists uselessly in the hem of his shirt. "I like you, and not like you like me. I want to be the only one who gets your attention and the only one who you spend all of your time with and the only one who you look at the way you looked at Carly! I… I…" Jake deflated, losing the energy that had empowered his outburst. "I like you."
Tom didn't say anything. He simply gaped at Jake like elves were sprouting out of his ears. His hands slid from Jake's arms and fell to his sides, and he took a small step back. The step back was what hurt the most, and Jake felt his insides churning from the subtle rejection. The brunette looked away sharply.
"I didn't… I don't…"
"Right," Jake interrupted, not waiting for a verbal answer. From the looks of it, Tom's response would not be in Jake's favor. "I have to go." The blonde bolted from the room, nearly tripping over the doorway.
He didn't see the lost expression on Tom's face as the brunette confusedly watched the other boy run away.
Jake managed to avoid Tom for the next two days. It was Friday, and the following day was Christmas. He wouldn't be able to dodge the brunette on Christmas, but he could hide like a scared child until then and suffer through that day when it came.
Spending the day in the nearby woods and hiding in the twins' bedroom during the rest of the time was a boring but effective way to not confront Tom. Confronting him wasn't even the problem. Jake didn't really have any embarrassment about the situation, and wasn't afraid of any reaction Tom would or could have. But it… well, it hurt to think of being by Tom and knowing he'd never return Jake's feelings. He might even make fun of him, although at least then he'd have the boy's attention, even if it was negative. But what if- what if Tom brought over another girl? What if he fell in love and rubbed it in Jake's face? Spite wasn't a normal thing for Tom, but… god, even the thought hurt Jake.
So he hid, and ate whatever food the twins' snuck up for him. He managed to survive until that Friday night, Christmas Eve.
Until he forgot to be on his guard while chugging down a delicious mug of hot chocolate that had been randomly sitting on the counter, begging to be devoured. The mug was clutched tightly in both hands as Jake sucked down the giant marshmallows in one swallow. He went to place the mug back on the counter, now completely empty, but found he couldn't. Staring at the mug stupidly, Jake tried to place it down again, but… his hands were stuck. To the mug. Like, super-glue stuck.
"The hell?" he muttered, trying to tug his hands apart.
"I knew it would work," a voice chuckled from behind him. Jake whirled around to find Tom leaning against the doorway, grinning proudly. "Figures you couldn't resist hot chocolate that wasn't yours."
"Why are my hands stuck?" Jake demanded, figuring that was a more important topic than the fact that he was talking to someone he should be avoiding.
"I extra-super-glued the mug. It'll wear off… eventually," he smirked, pushing himself off of the doorway and walking cautiously to Jake's side. The blonde flinched backwards, and started to stumble around, trying to figure out how to get past Tom and escape through the only kitchen door. Sighing, he realized that he might actually have to talk. Gathering up everything inside that made him manly, he stood tall and put on a straight face.
"All right. Why am I super-glued to a mug?"
"We need to talk."
"I kind of gathered that was what this was about. Unless you're just mean and this is a method of punishment," Jake spat out, subconsciously tugging at his hands again. Tom's grin dropped right off of his face, and self-consciously crossed his arms.
"This isn't punishment. You've been avoiding me, and I needed a way to keep you in one place for more than five minutes."
"Fine, then can you talk already so we can get this over with and I can leave?"
"I… yeah, all right. Okay, here it goes, and you have to hear me out completely, okay?" Tom took a deep breath, bracing himself. Jake gulped, knowing that whatever came out of the brunette's mouth next would not be good. "First off, I'm sorry that I did the jerk thing and ditched you for a girl this past summer. That's completely against the guy code."
"Shut up, I'm not done," Tom interrupted, holding up his hand in a 'stop' signal. "Next… I… I'm going to be completely honest right now, okay? If I were to say I've never liked another guy…" Tom closed his eyes and Jake nearly crushed the mug in his grip. "It would be a lie." There was a long, awkward pause as that statement sunk in.
"But let's get something straight; I like girls. I really liked Carly, and I've had crushes on other girls too. But… I also had this crush on the leader of the Mathletes. His name is Mark, and I stopped liking him once he got a girlfriend, but I just… I don't know. It's not like I liked him because he was a boy, you know? I just liked who he was. He was smart and funny and stuff, and it just didn't matter that he was a guy."
"Thanks for sharing, can I go now?" Jake butted in rudely. It didn't matter if Tom could like boys. The fact of the matter was that he did like a boy, but that boy wasn't Jake. And the blonde, already heartbroken from two days ago, didn't want to hear anymore about other people Tom liked. It was like mashing up six lemons and shoving the entire batch into a gash in his chest.
"No- Jake, listen, please… I only told you that so that you know… god, Jake, I'm not weirded out or anything by you liking another guy. Well… me, I mean. But… you know? I don't mind, okay?"
"That's wonderful, really terrific. Thanks for accepting the fact that I have the hots for my male cousin. Really, you giving me the okay to keep pining for you is like an early Christmas gift," Jake droned sarcastically. He started to move to pass Tom and leave the kitchen, which was now way to stuffy and awkward for Jake's taste. Tom sighed, wishing Jake would just listen and stop acting like a whiny little girl.
The brunette decided to activate to plan B, and grabbed Jake by his shoulders roughly, turning and slamming him into the doorway. Jake's eyes were closed and he looked about to cry, which just made Tom grin at his plan.
"Please… please just let me walk away. You have no idea how hard this is-"
"Jake, just shut your damn mouth and look up," Tom whispered, pressing himself closer to the blonde. Jake hesitated, but opened his gigantic blue eyes slowly and started at Tom. The brunette jerked his chin upwards, grinning stupidly. Jake sighed heavily, closing his eyes briefly before following the gesture upwards, nearly crying at the sight he found at the top of the doorway.
"I don't think I've ever wanted to stab Bethany more," he muttered, staring miserably at the bright thatch of mistletoe dangling from the doorway. He went to cover his face with his hands, but forgot about the mug and smacked his forehead with the ceramic piece. He jerked the mug away, fumbling and finally using the back of his hand to rub at the now sore spot above his nose.
"Bethany didn't put it there. Well, that one, at least," Tom corrected. He released one of Jake's shoulders to lower the mug and Jake's hands, pressing it down and leaning forward. "I put it there, because you refused to listen to me about anything. So… yeah. Here we are."
"I'll admit, when you first told me, I was really confused. I had no idea what to do, or how to feel. But… you're like my best friend, and… I'm not closer to anyone else, you know? I like you, Jake, and I think I could be okay with like-liking you." He pressed even closer, and opened his mouth to say something else, but the last sentence was vibrating through Jake's mind, and there was a mistletoe hanging above them and Tom was pressing him against the doorway and…
He lurched forwards and pressed his mouth to Tom's partly open one, immediately tilting his head. Tom inhaled sharply, too shocked to do anything for a moment. Then, in one heartbreaking moment, he pulled back. Jake stared at him, beginning to tremble in realization of what he just did.
"Goddamnit, Jake…" Tom started, looking up at his slightly taller cousin. "I was supposed to start it," he grinned. "Way to kill my stride, jerk."
Jake nearly cried, he was so confused. Apparently his confusion and would-be tears were evident in his expression, because Tom's grin softened and he leaned back towards the blonde.
"I liked it, though," Tom whispered, and lifted his jaw up, catching Jake's lower lip in his own mouth. Jake still looked completely lost, but he couldn't really complain when the person he had a girly little crush on was sucking on his lip and- oh dear Jesus, was Tom biting? Jake almost melted, and went to wrap his arms around Tom's neck.
Unfortunately, he forgot about the whole mug deal. Which led to him accidently smashing the mug up into both his and Tom's jaws, and the two broke apart faster than lightening. Jake jerked back too hard, and slammed the back of his head on the doorframe. He went to clutch his head, only to, once more, smack himself in the forehead with the mug. He began flailing around, near tears at the multiple parts of his head that now hurt, when Tom softly gripped both of his wrists and stopped him from moving.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, it's just I forgot, but it's really your fault because you're the one who glued my hands to a mug and-" The rambling blonde was cut off by Tom laughing at him.
"It's okay… and I'm sorry. But it worked, right? You couldn't run away from me, and I get to do this," he explained, leaning forwards and pressing a simple, light kiss to Jake's forehead, where a lovely red bruise was forming from the mug abuse. "And this," he added, dipping down to kiss under Jake's jaw, where he had pretty much punched himself with a mug. Apparently, under his jaw line was a very sensitive area (who the hell knew?) and a teensy tiny moan may or may not have escaped Jake's mouth. Tom smirked and pulled back. "Okay? So please… for the love of everything ever, stop running away from me, all right? Because it hurts," he said, suddenly getting serious and looking almost as sad as Jake had a moment ago.
"Okay," the blonde agreed, which may have gone without argument or demands for an explanation because of the lack of distance between himself and Tom. They kind of grinned stupidly at each other for a little, and things sank in a bit for Jake. "Really? Mistletoe? That's such a lame tactic."
"Hey, it worked, right?" Tom protested, backing off a bit. Jake smiled goofily. "But… I don't know that this would be a good idea to do in front of everyone else," Tom began, and Jake immediately nodded.
"I have no problem doing this in secret. My dad wouldn't care; I could just say the trauma of the divorce messed me up. But your dad would flip a bitch. And Bethany… god, we'd be shunned from the family. I like you, but I don't want to be homeless just because we couldn't keep this private."
"Exactly. So… this stays between us?" Tom asked, backing off completely and let go of the blonde. Jake nodded, still trying to pry his hands off of the mug. He was dying to hug Tom, maybe even get some more action and make use of the mistletoe. "Good," Tom continued, breaking Jake's thoughts. "Now come on, I have something in my room that'll dissolve that super-glue." He turned and began to leave the kitchen, hesitating just on the other side of the doorway, turning back. "Well, are you gonna come or not?"
Jake maturely chose to not make a comment on that, and grinned savagely instead, trotting after the brunette.
"After you fix my hands, can we make out and stuff?" he asked bluntly, earning a surprised laugh from Tom.
"I don't know… are you gonna ignore me after I unglue you?" the brunette teased, heading for the staircase. Jake, running awkwardly as he gripped the stupid mug, sped up to chase after the other boy.
"Only if you don't put out," he replied. Tom paused and turned back, looking genuinely surprised, like he had never considered going that far with a guy. "I'm kidding, Tom. Now unglue my hands so I can strangle you for gluing me to a mug and being at fault for the several bruises I now have on my face." Tom laughed in relief, glad Jake hadn't pressed him into the 'how far can we go' conversation. Liking boys wasn't new for him, but liking his cousin was, and there was only so much he could take into his life in one day.
"I dunno… I kind of like having this power. You can't eat or fish or do anything until I choose to free you," he began, racing up the stairs and cackling madly at the possibilities. Jake stamped up the stairs after him, falling a few times and having to catch his balance with the mug. He finally made it to the top, and skidded to Tom's door to come face-to-face with the brunette. Tom immediately gripped the blonde around the waist, pulling him close and ignoring the annoying pressure of the mug between their stomachs.
"You better release me or I will ignore you for the rest of your life," Jake murmured, clearly joking as he tilted his head and eyed Tom's mouth.
"Hmm… I kind of like the idea of keeping you like this." They eyed each other for a moment, and, keeping an eye on each other, moved in slowly and met halfway, pressing their lips together. Before they could get too carried away, Tom pulled back. "A helpless, trapped Jake who has no use of his hands and becomes my slave until I choose to unglue him," he mused. "Best Christmas present ever."
He giggled like a little kid as he barely managed to dodge the mug half-heartedly aimed at his face.