"If you could have anyone - anyone in the world, famous or not, dead or alive, who would it be?"
Robbie frowns at his computer screen before twirling in his chair. Beck is strewn across his bed, flipping through one of the many collector comics Robbie has lying around his room. He just looks so ... simple, the way his arms drape over Robbie's green blankets and his legs are bent at the knee, one leg crossed over the other. His sockless feet are bobbing and his shirt is pulled up a little on his chest. There's a plane of tan flesh beneath it.
Cheeks simmering, Robbie jerks back to the computer. Now is not the time to get a boner, he tells himself, clicking furiously at the keyboard. "I don't know."
"Oh, come on. There's got to be someone you want out there, someone you'd just die to have."
His teeth come together with a small click as he looks over his shoulder again. Beck is watching him now, the corner of the comic book folded over so they can make eye-contact. His lips are tugged up into a teasing smile, a slender black brow arched.
And Robbie doesn't even know why Beck comes here, to be honest - this is usually how they spend their time when he does. Robbie does his homework, or works on some of the Guilds he's building on the Internet, or watches TV, and Beck just ... hangs around him in his boring habitat. And it's almost like he enjoys himself. Robbie just doesn't get it. He never goes anywhere, he doesn't do much of anything except make a blubbering fool of himself and yet ... there's Beck Oliver, arguably the most popular guy to ever cross the threshold of Hollywood Arts reading comic books on his bed whilst Robbie boosts up his Warlock.
"Who would you have?" Robbie folds his arms and raises his eyebrows over his glasses. Beck's smile tightens as his eyes shift back to the comic book, a thin page turning slowly.
"I have a girlfriend," he says, as if Robbie needs to be reminded, like Robbie doesn't hate every moment of that fact every single day.
Robbie shrugs his shoulders. "Pretend you don't."
Beck's eyes slide toward him again and something flickers in the muscles under his eyes, his mouth, and he closes the comic book, tossing it across the bed. It nearly falls to the floor, Robbie kicking off of the floor to send his wheeled chair gliding. He catches it just as it starts to slip, cradling it like an infant.
"Nevermind," Beck mumbles, crawling across the mass of Robbie's bed and reaching for the television remote.
Robbie watches the lights of the TV flicker off of Beck's face and then it really starts to bug him. Who would Beck have? He turns back to his computer, fingers lingering on the keys until he types three letters as softly as he can.
Y O U.
Robbie is pretty sure it started when he was twelve.
Beck had been a lot more shy back then. They only lived a few blocks apart and attended the same primary school, and, as natural actors, they began spending time together when the arts program picked them for parts in small, low-budget plays put on by the city. Robbie was always a background character, a prop if anything, but sometimes Beck would get a few lines. He would be the cute little boy with the big brown eyes and a smile to startle the whole audience. He could sing and dance and when they were thirteen he got the part of Oliver Twist, which launched his going to Hollywood Arts later on.
Robbie still remembers thirteen-year-old Beck; small and soft, without all that Aladdin-esque hair and muscles. He was lanky like Robbie without the fro and glasses, and his voice was soft and light, and he would spend the night at Robbie's house playing every video game they could get their hands on. Beck tried to get Robbie into sports, but after he sprained his ankle trying to make a basket one time, Beck gave up on trying to make Robbie like the typical teenage boy. Besides, Robbie didn't mind sitting on the edges of his driveway watching Beck shoot baskets.
He's pretty sure it started right there, watching Beck sweat in the thick June air as his arms guided shot after shot into the hoop, illuminated by the soft glow of fading streelights. Robbie remembers watching his chest flex and shift, the skin moist and dark and his shoes slamming on the concrete like he was trying to pick up a beat for a song. Robbie remembers Rex mumbling 'faggot' into his chest quiet enough so Beck couldn't hear.
It grew so subtlety that Robbie didn't notice it at first. It wasn't until they would climb into Robbie's big bed at three in the morning, his hands still vibrating from his Xbox controller and Beck's back would meet his did he realize that there was a distinct stiffening going on in his nether regions that hadn't happened before.
And that's when it dawned on him that something had been growing and now it had roots and branches and leaves. There were trees inside of him, an entire forest, and the seeds had come from the pits of Beck's eyes.
"Come on, Robbie. You've never been to a party before."
Robbie laughs without any lightness in it at his Calculus book. "I don't do parties, Beck. Have you just met me? I wasn't even invited and half of the people there don't even know who I am. More than half, probably. I'm sure only you and Tori and Jade will know me."
Robbie senses more than sees the frown on Beck's face. He turns slowly and the boy is full on pouting, throwing every acting lesson into his expression. His hands curl under his chin, lower lip stuck out, wet and glossy, his eyes wide and framed by tilted eyebrows. "Please? I just want you to have a full high school experience, Rob. It'll be fun." He drops from the edge of the mattress, knees hitting the floor as he slides across the space between them.
Robbie swallows hard but it sticks in his throat, causing him to cough into his wrist. Oh, God. Beck on his knees was not an image he needed right now. It sucked enough even being in the same room as him, especially if Jade was there. Dealing with the vines that twisted under his skin from the plants Beck had unintentionally tended was a daily struggle.
"It'll be fun. I'll be there."
"Beck ..." Robbie's eyes dart between Beck's and he knows the boy is acting, but, Jesus - he's doing far too good of a job at it. "I ... I don't know. It's just not my scene."
"How do you know if you've never been to one? You need to let loose, man."
He sighs hard, biting his lip. The last party he went to was probably Beck's last birthday party, which had been small - just Tori and Andre and Cat and, obviously, Jade. He frowns and shakes his head. "No, I just, I can't -" He hated seeing Jade with Beck anymore than he already did. Seeing them smooch by their lockers every day at school was enough torture for Robbie.
Beck suddenly perks, his hands clapping. "Jade won't be there."
Robbie's eyes widen, the wheels of his chair rolling him backward. "Are you psychic or something, because then this really needs to be discussed -"
Laughing, Beck shakes his head and comes to a stand. "I know you don't like her very much and trust me, I don't blame you. I get why you don't. She's kind of ... crude." He smiles warmly and gestures to the door. "But she went to visit her grandparents three hours north from here. She actually forbid me from going to the party tonight because it's 'risky' or something, but what Jade doesn't know -" Beck suddenly drops, his hands curling around the handles of Robbie's computer chair and the boy's eyes widen behind his glasses. Beck is close and his breath rolls out and he swears it might fog up the glass. "- can't possibly hurt her."
And maybe it's his penis thinking for him, but Robbie says yes.
There was a reason Robbie didn't want to come here, but now he can't remember. What he does know is that he completely understands why there are alcoholics in the world because this is just fantastic.
He's warm everywhere. Even his hair feels warm, and he finds himself petting it more than once. His arms feel loose and long and far away and bringing the red, plastic cup to his mouth proves to become more and more of a challenge the more he does it. But the strangling anxiety he had felt walking up to the front door with Beck at his side has been completely washed out, chased down by his first drink of an alcoholic beverage followed by another and another and he isn't even sure who he's talking to right now, but she's laughing with him and they're both red in the face and giggling about something.
The music is loud and filling the walls and people are talking to him. At least, he thinks they are. Everyone seems to be happy about being here and no one has cast him a dirty look for existing yet. It's nice. He remembers talking to Tori and Andre and even Trina, their faces having been comforting at first until someone pressed a drink into his hand. He lost Beck at some point but he was too buzzed to care and he just wanted to talk to people, he wanted to laugh and keep drinking because it made him feel like he was a part of something for once.
At some point, Robbie finds himself on a couch and that same girl with the rosy cheeks is sitting in his lap. He doesn't seem to mind - he's used to Rex in his lap and even though she's considerably heavier, it feels the same. He even fumbles around the back of her shirt searching for a slot to put his hand and she barks laughter into his ear. He laughs, too, but he isn't sure what's so funny about it. Maybe if he can find the route to her mouth he can make her stop talking because her voice is starting to grind into his head.
"What's your name again?" It slurs over his tongue but gets out there, at least, and the girl laughs and mumbles something about being cute and then she's kissing him, knees digging into his stomach. It hurts and he pushes on her shoulders, tries to get a 'no' out there because he knows that it's entirely possible for guys to get raped by girls, he's read about it, but he can't work his mouth right. Her tongue plunges sloppily into his throat and he gags, pushing her back again, dropping his drink on the couch. The cold liquid soaks through the cushion and into the side of Robbie's jeans. "Will you get -" She smothers his mouth again, knees in his gut, and she tastes like beer and spit and it's really not appealing at all -
"Hey, get off of him, Jesus."
The weight falls away in a pit of laughter on the other side of the couch and Robbie blinks blearily upward into a face he's sure he knows the name of. Robbie smiles easily, lifting a shaking hand to point. "Aladdin."
Beck's face swims in front of him, a small smile on his face. "Hey, Rob. Having fun?"
Robbie touches his cheeks, fire meeting his fingertips. "I was un-until she, ha, she tried to suffocate me." He turns to point at the girl but she's already gone and the room is starting to whirl around his eyes. Robbie frowns, his hands coming to rest over his stomach. "Oh no."
"Are you going to throw up?"
Robbie closes his eyes and presses his hands to his mouth. He starts to shake his head but that would a) feel like a lie and b) might make him throw up faster. When he opens his eyes again Beck is heaving an arm over his shoulder and pulling Robbie to his feet.
"Let's go, bud."
A soft 'mmm' sound comes out of Robbie's throat as Beck guides him through a mass of sticky bodies to the front door. "I like it when, when you're this close to me, Beck, you know."
Beck laughs, shooting a curious glance in the other boy's direction. People are patting Robbie's shoulder as he moves by, saying his name, but their faces are blurs even with his glasses on and he doesn't remember any of their names. His eyes focus on Beck, a loud gasp coming out of him as the cool air outside hits him. He blinks up at the black sky, smiling fondly. Everything seems so much prettier when you're drunk, Robbie decides, his head lolling back toward Beck.
"I mean it. I like it when we, touch, touch, because ..." Robbie laughs, his head shaking before a series of 'shhh's comes out of his lips. Beck is watching him warily, putting him gently in the front seat of his car before putting his seatbelt on. "Hey, hey how come you didn't - you're not drunk," Robbie says, trying to prod the boy in the chest. Beck leans back out of the door, one hand on the edge of the window. He's grinning and Robbie can barely make it out.
"Because I wanted to be sober enough to see you get wasted. It was worth it." He laughs and nods toward the steering wheel. "Also, I'm the designated driver."
Robbie smiles. "You're so resp-resbonsi- respon-"
"Don't hurt yourself."
Later that night, Beck's hands are in Robbie's curls and the ventriloquist is hurling his guts into a porcelain bowl. His head is whirling and it feels like the blood in his body is trying to move through sludge and, God, his head is already feeling like it's stuffed full of cotton. The effects are still lingering, though. Everything is still funny and light and Beck looks so fuzzy and soft and he's lucky he's too drunk to fondle him.
"You know what I think is sexy?" Robbie's cheek is on the toilet seat and Beck's hand is rubbing his back. It feels brilliant, soothing fire spreading up his spine. Robbie's eyes close.
Robbie laughs. "British accents," he mumbles, his body starting to grow limp. He feels so comfortable there, meshed against the toilet, and he doesn't even think about the germs or the position or any of that. He just knows that Beck is rubbing his back and he thinks he's done puking. "They always get to me."
"I like them too, bud."
"And I like you touching me."
"You said that already."
Panic comes in a shot of clarity through Robbie's drunken stupor, jolting him off the toilet seat so fast, Beck jumps backward. Robbie clambers for him, fingers finding the other boy's shoulders and he's shaking his head. "I didn't say that. Oh, God, I didn't say that, Beck, I didn't, I, I, I'm not, please, I'm just - I'm drunk, right? And I'm not, I'm totally not, not -" He takes a deep breath that makes his stomach roll and his eyes squeeze shut. "I'm not gay, I'm not gay."
Robbie's eyes crack open. Beck is smiling softly, leaning forward to take the boy's glasses by the bridge. He straightens them and pats the boy's mess of curls before planting a warm hand on his shoulder. "I wouldn't care even if you were, all right?"
"But I'm not," Robbie says sharply, taking another deep breath. "I'm just really drunk, okay?"
Beck's face softens and Robbie doesn't know what his eyes are saying because the alcohol is screwing with his perception. "Okay, Robbie. Okay."
After they climb into bed, Beck's back touches Robbie's while they sleep.
They don't talk about it, mostly because Robbie can't really remember all that much about it. He's sure he's said some embarrassing stuff, though, because Beck keeps biting his cheek and saying "Nothing, nothing."
When he comes back to school, people are calling him Robbie Rum and he does not approve of that at all.
"I'm never drinking again," Robbie says for the hundredth time in their Calculus class that following Monday. Beck chuckles in the seat beside him and Robbie glares, trying to shift through his drunken memories. He remembers kissing a girl, and he remembers stumbling into Beck's car, and throwing up, but everything after that and in between is all blurry and hazy and it's all out of proportion, like his memories are on a funhouse mirror filter.
The next few weeks go on uneventfully. Beck still comes over, they still do nothing in his room all day but Beck never complains. He laughs and reads comics and they do their homework and play video games and it's as platonic as it's ever been. Robbie's never really hoped to ever challenge that - this is it. This is all he will ever have with Beck and he knows it. Wasting time and energy on something he only experiences in his wet dreams will do little for his already damaged psyche.
It isn't until one night Robbie is toying with Rex's mouth - it's starting to become looser - that he thinks he might have done something that drunken night that he's going to regret. Beck said he had brought a movie and he popped it in without giving Robbie the title, not that he cared much. But then the opening scene came on and a chorus of British accents filtered through the TV.
Robbie's eyes jerk up. British accents were like his kryptonite. His mouth falls open as his eyes hook on the lead male, a pale guy in a tight suit, talking animatedly to what appears to be a friend of his. The accent is thick and barely understandable and heat rushes through Robbie like audible waterfalls.
And then he realizes that Beck is staring at him. Robbie's eyes snap to his friend's form to find Beck grinning wildly, a soft chuckle in his throat.
"What?" Robbie snaps, holding Rex to his chest. He hopes the whispered 'faggot' goes unnoticed.
Beck shrugs his shoulders, folding his hands behind his head and his eyes focus on the TV. "Nothing, nothing."
Robbie drops his backpack at the foot of his bed and slumps into his computer chair, rubbing at his eyes. He has so much homework to do it's blinding him, plus a production coming up, plus his mom will not stop screaming at him to get a job, plus plus plus. He wrings his hands through his hair and sighs heavily. He wishes Beck were here. Everything seems so much easier to handle when he is.
He turns on his computer and starts to gravitate toward the Firefox icon until he sees something on his desktop, something new. He pauses, eyes narrowing on the Document icon, his mouse moving to hover over it. The title blinks over the edge of the white point. Have Anyone?
Robbie screws his lips. If Beck had left some kind of funky porn on his computer again, he was going to kill him. He opens it with a grimace, hoping not to find a guy and a horse like he did last time only for his mouth to fall open and his jaw to all but smack him in the pants.
Y O U.
And that's it.
"You did that on purpose."
Robbie lifts his head from his PearPad. The lunch bell had just rang - he had assumed that everyone had fled as usual, leaving him behind. It didn't irritate him so much anymore. It was an expectation he had grown to have, so seeing Beck standing in front of him with his hands on his hips surprised the ventriloquist. Robbie's eyebrows raise.
"My character. You did that on purpose." Beck's lips are pulled taut into a tight smile, fingers rolling and tapping on his hipbones. When his head tilts his black hair rains over his cheeks, only for a puff of air loosening his lips to blow it away. Robbie swallows hard, his eyes darting between Beck's narrowed brown gaze before retreating back to the glowing screen of his PearPad.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Beck scoffs. "Come off it. British accent? Invading personal space?" The boy lowers to one knee, his fingers curling around the edges of the PearPad and tearing it out of Robbie's grasp. The boy reaches for it, his brow furrowed, lanky arms struggling over the expanse of muscle as Beck holds him back. The electronic sits on the floor and then Beck's hands are on the back of Robbie's chair, over his shoulders, and Robbie is blinking up at him as the other boy half leans, half looms over his gangly form. "Maybe we should ... practice together," Beck mumbles, his voice low and rolling off his tongue too sweetly to just be heard. Robbie swears he can taste it. "You know. Get in character."
Robbie's heart is swollen in his throat, thoughts blown out of his frontal lobe. He tries to scramble them back in place, but Beck is too close and smells too nice and looks too good for him to bother. He parts his lips, mindless stuttering chipping over his teeth. Beck laughs and leans closer, a breath that smells like yogurt washing over Robbie's nose.
"That doesn't sound very motivating, Robbie. However ..." Beck's eyes follow the lines of Robbie's throat and down his chest to the clattering knees that are wobbling beneath him. A smile cracks across his face as eyes flick up back to meet the thin boy's. "Your legs are certainly jelly."
Robbie pants hard, trying to still his trembling legs. "You left that document on my computer."
Beck's eyebrows arch before flattening again, a shrug rattling his shoulders. "I never answered the question and I wanted you to know."
Robbie can feel his chest expanding and it's filling with roots. The forest in him is sprouting and flourishing and flooding field after field after field. "Yeah, I did it on purpose."
And Beck kisses him, right there in that empty auditorium in the middle of a school day with the very real chance of someone walking in. Robbie doesn't get it, has never really understood why Beck hangs around him so much, but there's a beauty in that confusion, and maybe if he looks at it too long to try and figure it out, he won't like it anymore. Some things just are, like the math problems in his Calculus book, and the way trees grow.
Rex is at his side. He doesn't say anything.
Jade gives Beck a black eye when he breaks up with her.
Robbie kisses it. Beck tells him it doesn't hurt so bad anymore.
A/N: Tada! I missed these two. It feels nice coming back to them again. I'm going to have to dedicate a PWP for them here pretty soon.
Seriously, though. Did anyone else think it was weird of Robbie to give Beck a character that is constantly invading personal space? Because that's where all of this fueled from. It's magic, I swear.
A review would be lovely, thanks!