Gunther wasn't oblivious. He knew how girls looked at guys they liked, and CeCe hadn't looked at him like she wanted to go to the dance with him. She had looked at him like he was gum that she'd just found on her shoe. He'd said yes in the end, anyway. Mostly because his sister seemed so excited at the prospect of him having a date.
He and CeCe could have had a perfectly good time together, too, if she hadn't been so busy being disgusted by the mere act of being in his presence. He didn't know what her motives were, but if she couldn't at least act nice towards him then he wasn't going to go out of his way for her. He was perfectly capable of being almost charming if the occasion called for it. Just because he chose not to act on all the advice Ty had given him about girls didn't mean he'd forgotten it.
So they went to the dance, they danced, they "broke up." If one could even call it that. Gunther had nothing against CeCe but her constantly disagreeable attitude had started to get to him. She wasn't at all the sort of distraction he needed to stop thinking about...
No. Gunther wouldn't let his mind go there. There was no sense in pining for someone who wasn't even available. He tried to throw himself into practicing a new dance routine he'd be performing with Tinka later in the week, even as images of tantalizingly bare skin flashed through his mind. Smooth, stretched over lightly toned muscles. Every bit of it unwillingly committed to his memory.
"Gunther!" Speak of the devil. Gunther spun around at the sound of his name being called, coming face to face with Deuce. He could feel his cheeks flushing and hoped it only looked like he'd been exerting himself. He took a long pull from his water bottle as Deuce walked up.
"Are Rocky and CeCe still here? I was supposed to meet up with them but I'm running late." Gunther couldn't help noticing that Deuce didn't seem like his usual energetic self.
"You are missing them by only a few minutes." Gunther replied, trying to act casual.
"Oh... Well, thanks anyway." Deuce turned to go. "Those are some nice moves you've got there, by the way."
"I could show you how." Gunther called after the other boy. He almost regretted the decision, knowing that Tinka wouldn't like him giving away their secrets. What Tinka didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
"Sure, that would be cool." Deuce tried for a smile. It wasn't very enthusiastic but it was better than nothing and the best thing Gunther had seen all day.
He showed Deuce the routine and the other boy caught on quickly, only having trouble with the big finish.
"No, no." Gunther shook his head. "When you are finished the spinning, you go like this!" He demonstrated. Deuce tried to mimic him. "No, like this, put your arms in this way."
Forgetting how shy he'd been feeling around Deuce just minutes earlier, Gunther approached him from behind. He took the other boy's arms in hand and shifted them into the correct position. He forgot himself, held on for a moment too long. His fingers slid down Deuce's arms until the other boy cleared his throat. Gunther pulled away, reaching for his water bottle.
"Thanks for showing me." Deuce reached to take the bottle from Gunther when he was done with it. "I'll whip those moves out the next time I need to impress someone."
Gunther's curiosity got the better of him. He wanted to know why Deuce had been looking so down. They hadn't known each other very long, but Gunther couldn't remember a time when he'd seen Deuce so sad.
"What about that girl you are seeing? Diana?"
"Dina." Deuce corrected. "We're not seeing each other anymore, actually... It's why I was running late."
"Oh... You are having a fight?" Gunther didn't know what to say, what to do. He had as much experience with girls and relationships as he did about flying rocket ships.
"Not exactly." Deuce sighed and leaned back against the wall. He was silent for a moment before turning to Gunther.
"You are staring." Gunther told him after another silence. It had been long enough that he'd felt the color return to his cheeks. He was pleasantly baffled when he saw a bit of a blush come to the other boy's face.
"Sorry... It's just... I don't know. We haven't talked much, you and I, but I feel if I don't say something right now, I'll regret it." Deuce worried one corner of his bottom lip between his teeth. The nervous gesture made Gunther smile.
"I am knowing how to keep secrets." He held an arm across his chest. "Goat Scout's honor."
Deuce laughed at that. "Goat Scout, huh? That sounds legit..." He stopped slouching and squared his shoulders. "See, Dina's great and all. She's practically the female version of me, which is cool and all... We have a lot of the same interests, the same likes and dislikes. She's everything I could want in a girl, if..."
"If?" Gunther prompted.
"If... I was looking for a girl."
Gunther's jaw dropped, fairly certain he was hallucinating. He didn't want to chance saying anything, in case it broke whatever spell he was under and brought him back to reality.
Deuce continued on. "The thing is, before we got into it, before I broke up with her... She was giving me that kind of look, you know, the way you look at someone who you like or who you have a crush on or whatever. I got to thinking then, only two other people have looked at me like that. One was Cindy Hoffman in the third grade and the other... Was you."
Gunther still couldn't muster any words. Deuce kept going but it seemed like his confidence was starting to fail him.
"I mean, the way you looked at me a while ago when we were arm wrestling and you just kept winning... Even before that, sometimes... I guess I could be way off here, but I thought..."
Gunther pressed a finger to Deuce's lips to silence him, then moved his hand to rest lightly on the other boy's cheek. He leaned in for a kiss. A very light, very soft and very perfect kiss.
"I think we are having a lot to talk about. We will go have coffee, yes?"
Deuce grinned shyly, "Sure. I'd like that."
They walked side by side towards the exit. They were almost to the door when Gunther turned to Deuce.
"Were you really supposed to be meeting CeCe and Rocky?"
Deuce replied without missing a step, mumbling. "You'll never know."