"So it's official, Lima, Ohio sucks." Max quipped as he looked around the local mall. "I am so sorry you have to live in this crappy city for another year." He patted his younger cousin Dave in mock support as he tossed another popcorn shrimp in his mouth. "Seriously, I think I saw Roseanne and Dan Conner walk by."
Dave snorted as Max continued to eat. He always looked forward to his cousin visiting from Chicago, it was like having a big brother to look up too.
Even though Max was pretty much jobless, broke half the time, and ate like there was no tomorrow. Not to mention he looked like a rejected frat boy. But Dave loved him anyway.
And even more when his dad told him that Max had come out to his parents.
If Max wasn't his hero before, he sure was now.
"We should go to Columbus, maybe catch a game or something." Max suggested, he noticed that Dave was too quiet. He was used to his cousin being an outgoing guy, even during their basket-ball game and CoD video game marathon, Dave seemed unusually quiet.
"Sounds good." Dave mumbled half-heartidly.
"That's it, dude what the hell is up with you?" Dave fidgeted uncomfortably looking around the mall to make sure no one he knew was watching. "Is this because I came out?" Max asked, a little worried. He hadn't expect Dave to go all gaycist on him.
"NO!" Dave shouted, a little too loud for his liking, he looked around the mall one last time before walking them to a tall table in front of DQ. "Can I ask you a question?"
Max groaned, "God, this is about emotions isn't it?" he hit head on the table pretty hard, but he cared too much. "Go."
"How did you come out to Aunt Pauline and Uncle Howard?" Dave asked sullenly, "I mean when dad told me, I thought Aunt Pauline would throw a shit-fit, and she and even dad seemed pretty cool when they were telling me what happened."
"Well, she didn't. I thought they both would but, luckily they still love me." Max popped another popcorn shrimp and realized it was his last. "Aw, that sucks!" he titled the container to get the last few crumbs. "Damn you popeyes."
"Can you forget about the stupid popcorn shrimp for a minute?" Dave yelled.
Max blinked, he wasn't used to Dave being so emo, if anything the reason why Dave was his second favorite cousin (his cousin Jeffery in Seattle could get him tickets to any Hawks game anywhere).
"I really need your help." Dave mumbled rubbing his neck roughly, Max gave him a look over. His cousin was near the line of crying.
"Dude, what's up?"
"How did you do it? Out yourself like that?"
Max's blue eyes widened, he realized that Dave wasn't scared of him or mad at him for being gay. He was scared of himself.
"D-dude, are you gay?" Max asked quietly as he noticed Dave's eyes wouldn't stop shifting. He rested a comforting hand on Dave's shoulder before the young man shrugged him off, quickly wiping his tears before Max could say anything about him.
"Dude, c'mon. I can't freaking help you if you can't talk to me" 'Holy shit, I sound like Jane!' he cursed silently to himself as he awkwardly patted Dave's back. "Are you gay?" he repeated again with certaintinity.
Dave nodded wordlessly, his hazel eyes were beginning to water. "I-I'm gay."
Max bit his lip, he had never heard his cousin so broken before. "So?"
"So?" Dave continued to look around the mall in order to make sure the coast is clear. "I'm going to be a senior in highschool, I'm on the football team and hockey team. I don't want to be gay!" he hissed.
Max rolled his eyes, "Dude, what does that have to do with you being gay? I was in my high school's football team too, I was still gay." He put his arm around his cousin, "C'mon, don't be such a self-hating gaycist."
Dave shook his head, he should have known better than to tell anyone. "I-I can't be gay. Do you know how shitty it is to be gay? They're going to expect me to know all fashion and musicals, and wear tight clothing…I can't do it.
Now Max was pissed, he wouldn't say it to Penny and the rest of his friends, but he was sick and tired when they would compare him to the stereotypical gay guy. And now Dave was comparing himself to the stupid stereotype.
"Look, to be honest with you, I'm really sick and tired of everyone thinking that gay men have to live up to this weird Sex and the City Carson Kelly flamboyant shtick stereotype. Being gay isn't something you have to live up to, it's what you are. Watching Project Runway or going to a Broadway show every week isn't going to make you gay or gayer, it's just going to make you less you." Max assured him, "Beside, look at me, I'm gay, I like football, beer, and you will never see me sitting and watching a musical. Seriously, I've never seen Chicago and I live in Chicago."
Dave bit his lip, his cousin did have a point.
"Guess I never saw it that way." He shook his head. "I don't even know if I'm gay or not."
Max rolled his eyes, "Do you get hard when you watch straight porn?" He almost pissed himself laughing when he saw the red consume his cousin's face.
"No." Dave whispered, almost sounding ashamed.
"What about man on man porn?"
Dave's wordless answer was all Max needed. "Can't say it's enough, but I'm pretty sure that means you're gay." Max smirked, looking too smug. Suddenly Max started to laugh hysterically.
"What's your malfunction?"
Max's tried to contain himself, but only laughed harder. "Oh God!" he panted between laughing, "Imagine mom and Uncle Paul when they find out that they both have gay sons! Holy shit, dude, all I gotta say is watch out for my mom, she will try to match you with someone." In the girlish voice he could muster, Max started to imitate his mother, "Oh, my goodness Pauly, I know the sweetest boy for Davey, his mother is in my scrapbooking class. Such a darling Jewish boy too."
"Aunt Pauline is in scrapbooking?"
"Actually she thinks scrapbooking is for Republicans, I picked the first old people hobby that came into my mind."
The two started to walk back to Popeyes, Max was finally relieved to his cousin look a little better.
"You think dad will be okay with me being gay?"
Max gave him 'the look', "Please, my mom and uncle Paul are like the most freakishly liberal people on earth. Besides he didn't seem pissed when I talked to him, in fact he seemed like the same old usual uncle Paul. He didn't care that I was gay, he's letting me stay with you, isn't he? If he had a problem with homosexuality, then he wouldn't let me be staying with you guys."
Dave thought about it for two seconds, "Yeah, but he's not your dad."
"No, he's not. He's my uncle, an uncle who has told me that he loves me and is willing to come to my wedding whenever I met the right guy."
That made Dave freeze right in his tracks, his father said that to Max?
His cousin noticed his shock state, and patted him friendly on the back. "Imagine what he'll do for you then."
"And considering that your dad and my mom are siblings, Uncle Paul is probably going to want grandkids." Max's laughter became tenfold when he saw the blush darken on Dave's face.
Dave was still flustered and beat red as Max ordered another bucket of popcorn shrimp and two large sodas. "Is there a guy?" Max asked suddenly as they waited for their order.
Dave bit his lower lip, not really sure if he should tell his cousin about Kurt or spare him the gory details.
Max bumped him with his hip, "There's a guy, I knew it!" he fist pumped in the air, "Dude, who's the lucky guy?"
"You sound like a girl." Dave deadpanned.
"Don't try to change the subject! TELL ME THE DEETS!" Max grabbed the two sodas and the bucket as soon as the server set them down on the counter, muttering a quick "thanks" before continuing walking around the mall with Dave.
After awhile of Dave not dishing out the deets, Max glared at him, gulping down his soda.
"You're not going to let this go, are you?" Dave asked, clearly annoyed with the fact that his cousin was acting like a twelve year old girl.
"Fine." Dave let out an exasperated sigh as he rubbed his face. He hated this story; he knew he was jerk to Kurt. But it was just such a bitter reminder that he chased Kurt into Blaine's arms.
"There's this guy, Kurt, same year as me and he goes to my high school."
Max stopped him there, "Kurt? As in the dude you beat up and threaten to kill?"
"How the hell did-Dad has the biggest mouth ever."
Max pursed his lips, "Actually that title belongs to my mother. But anyway, you were saying."
"Well since you know the crazy parts of the story, I'll stick to the shorter version: I got blackmailed by the bitch of the school, who not only happens to be Kurt's friend but is also gay and in the closet."
He noticed that Max was about to interrupt him again.
"She caught me looking at another guy's butt."
Max opened his mouth and quickly closed it; he nodded his head for Dave to continue before he popped a popcorn shrimp into his mouth.
"He and I are pretty cool now, except that he has a boyfriend who loves him and vice versa and apparently, I'm not his type."
"Wait-what? Did he say that to you?"
"Yeah, we got into a fight after I shoved him into the lockers, guess he had enough of all the bullying. He was ranting about me basically being a homophobe and that he would never be into me because I'm not his type; he doesn't dig the chubby sweaty dudes who will be bald by the time they're thirty."
Max's jaw became slacked, "Dude, you don't think he really meant that?" he asked incredulously. "I mean, he was probably pissed as shit and wanted to make you feel bad as he did."
Dave sighed, he considered that too after he and Kurt became alright. "Yeah, maybe. But those feelings must of come from somewhere."
Max noticed Dave's mood had plummeted again, "C'mon, dude, don't wallow on me again. I need my crazy nut sack cousin in order to have some fun in this boring hell hole." Max pleaded, jumping up and down like a five year old.
Suddenly Dave became rigid and his face was whiter then snow.
"Dude, you okay?" Max looked at the direction in which Dave was staring at, he saw two guys walking towards the Starbucks (clearly a couple, since they were holding hands and staring at each other like love sick puppies).
The shorter of the two looked like Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid (if Max ever had a dream guy, it would be Prince Eric), the other boy was taller, thinner, and pale. He had on plaid shorts, a tight gray t-shirt, and a black vest.
"Why are we staring at them?"
Dave finally found his voice, "The tall guy, the one wearing the plaid shorts, that's Kurt."
Dave couldn't believe it when Max started to laugh again, "Seriously? The dude looks like Pinocchio!"
He was willing to give Max's the benefit of the doubt, since they were pretty far away from the couple.
"No, he doesn't." Dave's voice sounded so heartbroken that it made Max feel a little guilty for making fun of the other boy.
Max looked down at his popcorn shrimp then back at his cousin who was still staring at the couple. "Maybe we should go over and say 'hi'?"
That made Dave completely sober, "Wait? What? Max, No!" he grabbed his cousin's arm but the other man easily shrugged him off.
"Come one what's the big deal? It's just a guy." He was already walking his way towards the couple before Dave regained his ability to walk again.
"Max!" Dave hissed loudly trying his best not to tackle his cousin in the mall.
Max turned around and shrugged, his big goofy smile was plastered on his face. "Let's go Davey, I don't have all day!" He shouted.
Max's yelling got the attention of both Kurt and Blaine.
'Oh shit!' Dave followed after his cousin like a mindless zombie, when he finally caught up to his cousin he violently pulled Max's arm.
"Hey! Watch the popcorn shrimp!" Max yelled as Kurt and Blaine made their way towards them. "Grow some balls, dude, it's just a guy who looks like Pinocchio."
As soon as Kurt and Blaine stopped towards them, Dave could tell his cousin had changed his mind. "Alright," Max whispered, "Or more like a young Clinton Kelly."
Dave softly growled and squeezed his cousin's arm tighter, getting a quiet "Ow!" from him. "I'm going to freaking kill you after this!" Dave hissed quietly, unfortunately not quite enough. .
Blaine loudly cleared his throat. "Karofsky, nice to see you again."
Dave wished he could say the same thing.
So tell me what you think. Good start?
BTW, Max Owens from The Hard Times of RJ Berger will also make an appearance later in the story.