A/N Ummm... yeah... Well, don't I feel like an awkward little panda... Hmph... what do people normally say in these things? 'Hi, I was bored in class and this was bugging me, so i decided to write it?' hmm... that sounds good enough! Yeah, I seriously WAS bored, and I just saw this show, and the ending was bugging me. Then I started thinking... and that's a dangerous thing for authors to do, as most of us know. And it was the most dangerous question of, "what if...?" I know. It's scary. But i was really saddened by the ending, and I couldn't figure out why CB hadn't heard what happened since he had just left the music room, I didn't know where Matt was (although, I was hoping he was either in jail or in a nice, comfy padded cell next to Van's sister...) and that bugged me. So i changed it! :D
But this is my first fanfiction. ever. in my life. I've never written one before now. and I just realized that sentences are emphasized more. If you break them up. Into many small sentences... Okay, I'm weird. I'm not afraid to admit it!
Ok, yeah. Disclaimer, that's what comes next: I don't own Dog Sees God (if I did, it would have had a slightly better ending...) or Charlie Brown. Darn :P
Matt walked to the music room with a kind of calm determination that he would normally associate with a crazy person. This situation was not normal, though, and the faggot was fucking with CB's mind. The blood was pounding so heavily in Matt's eyes that he could barely hear the music wafting from the closed doors of the music room. Music that he was playing. To think that, all those years ago, they had been friends. Matt rammed his shoulder into the door, cursing when it did nothing but cause a throbbing pain in his right shoulder. Grumbling to himself, he grabbed the door handles and pulled. When the door flew open, he heard the music die down, followed by short intakes of breath. So, Matt's inner voice sneered, the little fucker must know I'm here. Just then, CB blindly ran past Matt, and he realized why the music had stopped. Matt's feature's twisted to match the tone of the voice in his head as he slowly took out his Germ-X and the music resumed. Matt cleaned his hands, shoved the Germ-X in his pocket, and walked forward, unbeknownst to Beethoven. Matt listened for a moment to what Beethoven was playing. He couldn't understand why everyone thought that Beethoven was so good.
"You're no Liberace," he smirked, listening to the silence of Beethoven's fear.
Why? Why is Matt here? I didn't do anything, Goddammit! It was CB! Beethoven forced himself to breathe before telling Matt, without turning around, "you're not supposed to be here."
Out of the corner of his eye, Beethoven saw Matt shrug and continue walking.
"Where's your boyfriend?" So much malice was contained in those three words that Beethoven winced.
He somehow managed to sputter out, "h-he's not my b-boyfriend." His voice grew a little stronger. "I had nothing to do with what happened the other night!"
Beethoven could feel Matt's breath hot on his neck with the response. "You sort of did." Matt's voice held blame, but Beethoven couldn't understand what he was being blamed for.
"Just leave me alone, okay? Please, I didn't do anything!" Beethoven's voice had risen in pitch with each syllable so that it was nothing more that squeak.
Matt came around his back and sat down on the piano bench next to Beethoven. Beethoven could feel the sweat running down his spine. He hadn't been so scared in years. Not since… since before his father was put away.
"Play something," Matt spat.
Beethoven jumped slightly then, seeing the expression on Matt's face, began playing the first song that came to mind: Moonlight Sonata. Matt stood up, and Beethoven began to lose himself in the music, his nerves calming. He just focused on the gentle ebb and flow of the melody. That is, until Matt began to speak from behind Beethoven.
"Are you like a couple, now? Parade around the school, holding hands? Go to prom together?"
He's not my boyfriend! Beethoven wanted to scream. He managed to refrain from speaking, though.
"Did you have sex with him?"
Beethoven froze at those quiet words. The answer was yes, but he wanted to scream NO! No no no no, until all he could do was lay on the ground sobbing. Not that he regretted the night he had spent with CB. He hadn't thought it was possible, but he had felt safe in CB's embrace. No, what he regretted was the pain, discomfort, and awkwardness it had caused between the two of them and their friends.
He heard Matt come up from behind him, but he was still frozen. "Keep playing," Matt screamed. Beethoven hurriedly set his hands back on the keys and started playing from the beginning of the piece.
Matt nodded as Beethoven resumed playing. Instead of walking away like Beethoven had hoped, Matt sat down on the bench next to him and continued speaking.
"Why can't you people ever just keep it hidden," Matt whined. "Why do you have to go out there and throw it everybody's faces?" Beethoven felt tears coming to his eyes, but he forced them back. Matt's voice hardened. "CB is not like you. If you ever so much as even look at him again, I will kill you. Got that right, perv?"
Beethoven's breath fell short as Matt stood up to leave: never see CB again? He couldn't do that. He couldn't live the rest of his life in fear. He forced himself to take a steady breath and began shaking his head, even though he knew Matt couldn't see him. "No." Beethoven felt as though someone else was talking.
Matt turned. "What?" He began running back. "What did you say?" The volume of Matt's voice rose in anger.
Beethoven was so scared, but he forced himself to maintain his resolve. "I said no… Pigpen!"
Beethoven saw Matt's face twist at the name. That name was something Matt had refused to let people call him for years. Beethoven saw Matt rush toward him, then felt nothing but a searing pain as his screams echoed down the hallway.
CB got to his usual lunch table, unsure of how he felt. Hurt, though, was definitely a prominent emotion at this point. He had been sure Beethoven had felt the same way. Or was I just a fling for him? CB began questioning himself. Maybe he just wanted something to get his mind off things, and I was there, offering myself up as a distraction. He shook his head; he had to stop thinking like that! CB was about to sit down when he noticed the uncomfortable silence. Even Marcie and Tricia were uncharacteristically sober. Van looked less stoned than he had in months. There was something missing though.
"Where's Matt?" CB questioned his silent friends. They all turned to look at him at once, their eyes hollow and almost fearful.
Tricia was the first to speak. "I-I-I think he w-went after B-Beethoven…"
The others began talking, but CB didn't hear any of it. His muscles started reacting from the first word out of Tricia's mouth. He sped down the hallway toward the music room he had just left. How had he not seen Matt when he was leaving? Right, he was blinded by stupidity. He pulled open the door thinking, Beethoven may not love me, but I sure as hell love him. I will not let Matt hurt him! Nothing could have prepared him for the scene in front of him.
Beethoven was on the ground, staring with glazed eyes at broken and bloody hands, whimpering. Matt was looking down at Beethoven, holding the piano cover open. The pristine white of the keys was covered in a glistening, spattered crimson liquid. CB felt sick when the unfamiliar, coppery smell assailed his nose.
The music room door slammed shut, and the two frozen boys resumed motion. Matt looked up at CB and let the piano cover fall shut with a bang that resounded through the entire room. Beethoven rolled onto his back and tried to stand, letting loose a quiet moan that reminded CB of his dog before he was put down. Still looking at CB, Matt began to mutter. "I had to, CB. He was fucking with your mind. He was fucking with it…"
A red haze clouded CB's vision. He rushed at Matt, who didn't even bother fighting back, and twisted his arm behind his back like he had done to Beethoven in shop all those weeks ago. Only this wasn't a mindless prank. CB couldn't remember ever being this angry. He heard Matt cursing at him, telling him to let go, but he couldn't. He only let go when the weak, pained voice of Beethoven broke though his anger. "Let him go, CB." CB thrust Matt away from himself as if disgusted and fell next to Beethoven, whipping out his cell phone and dialing with shaking fingers.
"CB," Beethoven began, "why are you here? Just leave. I can't do this. I tried to stand up for myself, and look where it got me! I'll never be able to play again. Just let me die."
CB shook his head violently, tears falling without permission.
"Why, CB? Why won't you just let me have peace? I have nothing to live for!" CB didn't answer, just kept up a steady shaking of his head.
When someone finally picked up on 911, CB had to go to another end of the room facing a corner. He would have been incoherent if he hadn't. He explained as much of the situation as he knew of and hung up, assured that paramedics were on their way. He turned around to see Beethoven taking a music stand and positioning it over his throat, ready to cut off his air supply.
CB's breath caught in his throat. "What-what are you doing," he managed to choke out.
As Beethoven began talking, CB took slow steps towards him. "CB, just leave me alone and let me do this! I told you, I have nothing to live for; I'll never be able to play again! Give me one good reason to stay in this hellhole!"
CB stood next to Beethoven and crouched down, lightly covering Beethoven's blood-covered hands with his own. "Because. Because I-I th-think—no. I know. I, I love you, Beethoven."
Beethoven looked at him, the music stand slipping through his fingers. CB shifted the position of his hands and caught the falling music stand, quickly drawing it away from Beethoven's limp fingers.
Beethoven wanted to be able to move. What he would do if he could, he wasn't sure. All he was able to do was stammer out, "What? How? When," as CB gently removed the music stand from his throbbing fingers.
"Well," he chuckled, "I think I've already told you what. As for how… to be honest, I'm not sure. I've never felt this way before. And when… I think when I realized it was after we left the party… You remember?"
Beethoven didn't know what to say, so he just nodded dumbly. He thought he had hurt CB before, when he said he needed time to adjust to the idea. Yet, here was CB, trying to convince Beethoven not to kill himself. His eyes were wide and staring. Could the boy looking at him so shyly really be the same boy who had stood by and let Matt call him a faggot every day?
Thinking of Matt, Beethoven looked warily at the boy next to him. Matt was sitting, Germ-X in hand, staring into space. Just looking at Matt made unnatural amounts of hate boil up inside of Beethoven, but Matt still reminded him of when they had been younger and carefree. When Matt wasn't Matt, he was just young, awkward, dirty Pigpen, the group of them had been happy.
Matt looked away from whatever he had been staring at and his eyes found Beethoven's. With all of the emotions swirling around in Matt's eyes, Beethoven couldn't tell what Matt was feeling. Beethoven saw disgust, anger, sadness, betrayal, confusion, and—Beethoven stared hard, he must have been mistaken—a hint of acceptance. Before Beethoven could say anything, Matt looked away, seemingly intent on counting the amount of tiles on the floor in front of him and fiddling with hand sanitizer. Beethoven nodded and looked back into CB's worried eyes.
CB was scared, almost as scared as he had been when Beethoven had been trying to kill himself. He didn't know what had possessed him to say that. It had just come out. Beethoven looked away from Matt—who seemed catatonic—to stare searchingly into CB's eyes. CB felt his cheeks burn and though, now I've gone and fucked everything up! Beethoven will never speak to me again! Without realizing it, CB's hand moved to touch Beethoven lightly on the cheek. He wasn't sure what made him do it; he didn't even know how Beethoven would react. CB looked to his hand, and then back to Beethoven's eyes. The boy simply sighed, closed his eyes, and rested his face in CB's hand until the paramedics arrived.
Beethoven awoke groggily before the panic set in. He was in an unfamiliar, spotless white room. It wasn't the unfamiliarity that got him panicking. He thought of how the white of the room reminded him of the keys of the piano he loved so much, causing him to remember how he'd never be able to play again thanks to Matt. Beethoven could almost feel his heart contract, a searing pain shooting through his chest as his breath became labored. He shifted his gaze from where it was fixed on the sterile ceiling to glance at his hands. When he moved them, he expected to feel the same degree of pain he had felt when Matt first destroyed his happiness, but he felt nothing. Staring at his hands, he felt no pain, just confusion. Both of his hands were bandaged and encased in what looked like plaster. He couldn't see his finger; it was almost like he was wearing mittens. Soon covering those unfeeling mittens was a hand, and Beethoven flinched before looking up. Who he saw was CB, tired, kind, loving CB.
Examining CB's face, Beethoven cleared his throat and asked, "How long have you been here, CB?"
CB looked at a watch on his wrist and shrugged. "I don't know. All afternoon yesterday and last night, and all morning?
"They were able to fix your hands," CB smiled, deftly changing the subject. "You'll be in casts for a while, but you'll be playing before you know it!"
Beethoven shook his head. "Did you at least sleep last night? You don't look like you did."
CB smirked. "What's with the sudden concern for me, hm?"
Beethoven flipped onto his side and looked away before CB could see his blush. Apparently, he hadn't looked away soon enough because CB chuckled. If Beethoven hadn't known any better, he would have thought CB was enjoying making him squirm. Well… Beethoven thought before CB spoke again.
"Well," CB questioned aloud, "you you just going to lay there and not answer me?" He moved his hand from where it had been resting on Beethoven's and laid it against Beethoven's cheek. Beethoven leaned unconsciously into the touch, and CB smiled wide. "Is that my answer?"
Beethoven composed himself and flipped onto his back. "What do you want me to say?"
CB was a little taken aback by Beethoven's tone. He sounded almost angry. "I-I'm n-not sure…" CB stammered. "What's on your mind?"
Beethoven bit his lip, trying to put his bustling thought into words. "Well, I'm… confused by this whole situation. Not just confused by you, but I'm confusing myself, too. I also thought that I would be dead by now, so I'm not sure what to make of the fact that I'm still breathing. I'm… ecstatic that I'll still be able to play. And right now… I'm having a hard time breathing."
CB's smile fled and his brow creased. "Why? Do you need Advil or anything?"
"No, no. Not because of pain. You know, I shouldn't have even said that."
"Beethoven, why can't you breathe?"
Beethoven took a few moments before finally answering. "Because… Because… you're touching me. CB began to move his hand away from Beethoven's face, but Beethoven held it in place with one of his own. "I never said it was a bad inability to breathe." He smiled, uncertain about what was causing his sudden bravery. Maybe it's the pain meds… oh well! Not like it's a bad thing.
CB smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. "That's good, because I like my hand just where it is."
All of a sudden, Tricia, Marcie, and Van burst through the door. Tricia and Marcie were quite obviously drunk, and Van was completely stoned. CB flinched and dropped his hand to his side, not noticing the hurt look on Beethoven's face.
"Oh my God, Beethoven! I'm so so so so soooo sorry about what Matt did," Tricia sputtered though the haze of alcohol.
"Yeah. Like, we didn't think he would actually, like, hurt you," Van added, voice calm.
Beethoven looked at the three newcomers. Once upon a time, they had all been best friends. When times got rough for Beethoven, they had abandoned him and left him to fend for himself. Then they had turned on him. He still felt the sting of the first day they made fun of him as if it had just happened hours ago. Did it even mean anything that they had come to visit him, or was it just a drunken misjudgment?
Beethoven forced a smile. "I suppose nothing would have happened if I had just done what he asked."
The four people in the room gaped—not even CB had known the whole story.
"What the hell do you mean, Beethoven," CB growled, voice soft and dangerous.
Beethoven sighed. "He told me that if I even looked at CB again, he would kill me. He asked me if I understood and I-I told him I didn't. Then, I called him Pigpen. And he attacked me."
"Oh my God, Beethoven," Marcie screamed, throwing her arms around Beethoven.
Beethoven tried to keep his hands out of harm's way and the confusion off his face. He gasped, trying to find an air supply that had somehow run out on him. He looked at CB and managed to croak out a quiet call for help.
CB chuckled and, putting a hand on Marcie's shoulder, gently eased her off of Beethoven. He smiled. "Sorry Marcie, but," he glanced at Beethoven, "he's taken."
Marcie and Tricia let out whoops of joy while Beethoven looked quizzically at CB. "Since when?"
CB frowned, and then looked seductively at Beethoven. "Since now!"
He carefully took Beethoven's face in his hands and, looking into his eyes the entire time, placed his lips on Beethoven's.
Beethoven knew that he could stop CB's advance whenever he wanted to, but he didn't want to. At one point, he might have denied who he was—Hell, at one point he hadn't even known who he was—but now, he was finally accepting himself. As CB's eyes held his, he was mesmerized. When their lips met, he closed his eyes, entering what he believed would be heaven. Both boys were unaware of the whoops and hollers coming from Marcie, Tricia, and even Van. Beethoven fell into bliss; he never knew he could feel that happy! Without consent from his brain, Beethoven reached up, grabbing CB's shoulders with both of his bandaged hands. CB smiled and allowed himself to be pulled deeper into the kiss. He fell over Beethoven, holding himself slightly above the hospital bed as Beethoven sat up to meet him. Beethoven slid onto his knees and CB sat on the edge of the bed caressing each others' faces. Beethoven's hands gripped CB's back as though he was afraid the other boy might melt away if he let go. The moment felt so perfect, and Beethoven was able to forget why he was in the hospital. Beethoven felt safe.
That is, until Van coughed, got no response, and decided to pull the two boys apart, saying, "Now, as much as I'm for all that finding yourselves shit, I'd prefer if you didn't do it where I could see."
CB smirked. "Do what?" Van glared at CB, knowing he was about to do something. "Oh," CB's face lit up with false understanding, "you mean do this!" CB grabbed Beethoven's face and kissed him passionately. Hm, CB thought gleefully, the opportunity to annoy Van and kiss Beethoven? Sounds like fun!
Beethoven started to laugh, CB's lips crushing his. CB pulled away, wrapping his arm around Beethoven's shoulder. Beethoven smiled and leaned against CB's chest, closing his eyes when the door to his room opened.
A nurse entered, saying, "Some of you will have to leave. You're already over the limit, and someone else wants to visit Beethoven."
CB's hand tightened on Beethoven's shoulder, and Beethoven knew what it meant; CB wasn't going anywhere. CB looked at Tricia, Marcie, and Van pleadingly and nodded. They shrugged. "I guess we'll leave," Van drawled. The other two nodded and walked out.
"We'll be back later if you want, Beethoven…" Marcie articulated.
Beethoven smiled. "I'd like that." They smiled back and left, the nurse following them out.
It had been silent for a few moments, Beethoven resting against CB's chest, lulled by the sound of his heartbeat, when the door flew open and Beethoven caught a glimpse of who his new visitor was. All of Beethoven's muscles tensed, his brain urged him to run away, his heart started pounding, but CB's arm held him steady. CB looked at him with concern until realization dawned on him. He wrapped his other arm around Beethoven as if he could protect his fragile love from the world. Beethoven's muscles relaxed and he moved deeper into the protective circle of CB's arms. He almost tucked his head away, but if he didn't face this now, he never would. He steeled his gaze and asked a simple question of the boy who was slowly moving to stand in front of the bed.
"Are you disappointed that I'm still here, Matt?"
Matt didn't even know what he was doing here. His feet had seemed to move of their own accord, and, before he knew it, he was asking what room Beethoven was in. Now, he stood silently in the center of the room, unsure of what to say and afraid to move. Finally, he blurted out what had to be the lamest possible phrase in the entire English language; "I'm sorry." You could never tell if someone really meant it, even if, like in Matt's case, you really did mean it.
Beethoven glared, more venom in his eyes than he originally intended. "Oh, of course! All you did was try to destroy any happiness that I had in my pitiful, gay life!"
With each word, laced with hatred, Matt winced and wondered what demonic form of fear had made him do this to his former friend. The entire day was a blur, he had no memory of anything happening until CB had walked into the room and attacked him. And, Matt realized, I deserved everything that I got then and anything that I get now.
"I know you don't believe me, and I don't deserve your belief. If a meteor fell out of the sky right now and landed on me, I would deserve it. I deserve worse, I know. Please," he continued, stepping forward slowly, "I mean it. I'm so sorry. I thought that you should know I turned myself in. There was no trial, so you don't have to worry about that. I've got juvy for a year and anger management classes until I graduate. I should be going to jail. I got off easy because I turned myself in. I'm so sorry. I don't—I wish—I miss being your friend." Beethoven stared at Matt, who was steadily growing more uncomfortable. He had meant to go in, make a simple apology, and get out. Now, here he was, groveling for Beethoven's friendship!
"I-I don't think I understand, Matt." Beethoven's confusion was evident on his face.
Matt grimaced, trying to put his emotions into logical sentences. "I couldn't sleep last night. I heard your screams playing through my mind the entire night. All I could think of was how close we all used to be, back when we were kids. I don't know what happened to us."
"I do," Beethoven said quietly. CB tightened his grip at the tone of Beethoven's voice. "A few years ago, my father was arrested. You may remember. If you don't, it was because he was sexually assaulting me. He was taken away, and all of you abandoned me. Although, I never thought, that day, that you'd start tormenting me." Tears began streaming down his face, letting out emotions that he'd kept hidden for years. CB moved a hand to stroke Beethoven's hair comfortingly. Beethoven took a grateful breath of air, unable to believe that he was finally letting everything out, and continued. "The first time you shouted fag at me, I was bewildered. I had no idea what I had done to deserve it. Now, I get it. I ruined you perfect bubble of a life! Only it wasn't me, directly, it was my father. But you couldn't punish him, so you settled for me. Am I wrong?"
Matt shook his head; He couldn't bring himself to speak. He began to step forward, gaining confidence when no one reacted. He sat down on the chair next to the bed and gingerly put his hand on Beethoven's shoulder. "I really am sorry. I know it doesn't mean much, but it's all I can say. And I'll be honest. I think this whole thing," he gestured to CB holding Beethoven, "is disgusting. I'm not going to lie to you and say I'm okay with it right now. But I'll try to be…"
Beethoven looked at the hand on his shoulder and shifted in CB's grip to cover it with one of his own. Matt flinched when Beethoven moved as if expecting a blow and Beethoven sighed.
"I'm not going to play the bully, Matt. That's your job."
Matt flinched again; He knew that was true and was actually ashamed of his actions. And his heart grew ten sizes that day… Matt chuckled in his head. "I'll prove to you that I'll be okay with this!"
"How?" CB spoke for the first time since Matt had arrived.
"Well… umm… you—love—him, right?" CB nodded warily. "So… what do you normally… do?"
CB blushed. "What are you saying? You want to prove that you can handle this by watching us? We aren't a-a soap opera!"
Matt blanched. "O-of course not! I never said that you were. I just… I don't know how else to prove it to you."
"Matt, we aren't going to kiss just so that you can get used to this." Beethoven sighed and smirked playfully. "You'll have to stick around for that. That is, if you can handle us."
Matt blushed and mumbled something that sounded like, "I'm workin' on it!"
Beethoven laughed, then grew serious. "Listen, Matt. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive you for what you did. At that moment, you'd have been happy if I was dead. But, I'm very good at giving second chances. And I'd like things to go back, at least a little, to how they used to be."
Matt smiled a little at that. "I don't know how I'll ever tell you how truly... confused? Horrified? I don't even know the word... I am by my actions, but I'll do my best to make it up to you." Matt looked at his watch. "Aw, shit! I've got to go. I'll be back later, alright?" Beethoven nodded and, after a moment's hesitation, CB did the same. "See you," Matt shouted as he ran out the door.
As he was opening it, he looked back one last time to say goodbye. What he saw made his stomach churn, but he was getting used to it. CB had Beethoven tucked in his arms, and they were kissing. Matt decided that it was almost sweet. He shook his head, smiling lightly. He was still disgusted, but he left with a lighter heart than he's had in years. Hell, he might even stop drinking.