Title: Can't Even Tell

Author: Me

Fandom: Askewniverse, Clerks

Pairing: Dante/Randal

Rating: R for language

Archive: Eck, who'd want THIS? If you REALLY want this, I guess KSslash

Email address for feedback: acsimon@oakland.edu

Series/Sequel: One shotter

Synopsis: Dante is oblivious, Randal likes hermaphroditic porn.

Disclaimers: I do not own Dante or Randal, regrettably. Kevin Smith the genius does. If you want to sue me, all you'll get is this stupid crap IMac and some lint balls.

Author's Notes: My first Dante/Randal attempt, I'm still trying to get Randal down. I'll work on it. Kind of silly. And I think Smarties are Canadian. I wrote the second part first and the first part last. Three proposed titles were: Dante and Randal, This Life, Better Man and Fools Like Me.

I may never get what I want

But I'm happy just to die trying

And I hope I ain't done nobody wrong

But I miss you smiling

And I'm looking for a cure cause I'm bored to tears

And I'm stuck in here, stuck out here, stuck in here

We lived through another day

It's a good excuse to celebrate

Take a number knock on wood

We'll find a reason to feel good

I know you know I wanna know how I feel

I can't even tell

I can't even tell

I can't even tell

No one knows nothing about me

I'm guessing I'll just keep 'em guessing

No one sees what I see

This is my blessing

And I'm looking for a way to get out of here

Get me out of here, out of here, out of here

We lived through another day

It's a good excuse to celebrate

Take a number knock on wood

Find a reason to feel good

I know you know you wanna know how I feel

I can't even tell

I can't even tell

I can't even tell

I'm out of here, out of here, out of here

I know you know I want to know how I feel

I can't tell

I know you know I'll tell you if it's real

It sounded like a bell

I can't even tell

I can't even tell

~Soul Asylum, "Can't Even Tell"

"My life sucks." A sigh, a beat.

Randal looked up from his porno magazine and turned his head to Dante. "What're you so mopey about? You get off in three hours. Then we're gonna head over to the rink to play hockey with the boys... Right?"

Dante sighed heavily, as he rested against the counter. "The boss isn't gonna be in today, and he asked me to stay and close up for him..." He didn't need to continue.

Randal smiled ambiguously. "And you told him you'd do it?"

"Uh huh."

"And YOU wonder why your life is goin' down the crapper?" Randal asked, slapping the porno onto the counter, along with a five dollar bill.

Dante took the money and rang up the magazine. "What's your theory?"

"Your life is goin' down the fuckin' crapper cause you're doing it to yourself. Instead of tellin' the boss you don't wanna close up the Quick Stop, you accept it like a little...a little subservient, subordinate...BITCH." Randal took the magazine and flipped it open. "Ah... Now there's a sight you don't see every day."

Dante peeked over Randal's shoulder. "What the hell IS that?"

"Hermaphroditic porn, Dante. Chicks with dicks. The ninth wonder of the world." Randal flipped a page, raising the magazine to Dante's eye level. "Oh boy, I'm getting hard now. You'd better stand back bef-"

Dante let out a groan. "Ugh. I didn't even know we CARRIED that stuff. You fucking delinquent."

Randal grinned, licking his lips. "You really need to broaden your horizons, my narrow-minded mate. Maybe if you DID explore other options, you wouldn't have such an aseptic love life. Hermaphroditic porn is a beautiful thing to behold, dickweed. You should look into it."

Dante sighed, leaning forward on his elbows. "You and your latent homosexuality frightens me. I mean, you're so obviously gay. You only look at this hermaphrodite stuff because you're too ashamed to admit you're gay. You think that since it's chicks with dicks, that means you're still straight. You've got to find yourself. Just face the facts that you're a queer." Dante tossed a rag onto the counter and bent down to get some cleaner.

Randal arched his eyebrow, leaning over and tapping his friend on the head with his rolled up magazine. "Ahem, you're giving ME life lessons, my poor, pathetic friend?"

"YES," Dante insisted, pointing to the magazine. "I'M disappointed with my life because nothing has gone right, for me, since birth. In FACT, I think my birth was probably a big mistake. YOU'RE hiding from your sexuality. Our lives BOTH suck. And all because of our own doing."

"Oh that's funny. YOU giving ME advice." Randal flipped his magazine onto the counter, sighing at Dante.

"Tell me something, Randal... Are you in love with me?" asked Dante.

Randal coughed. "Please, Dante. Could you be any more full of yourself? Why do you naturally assume I'm in love with you?"

"It's obvious. You're gay, and in love with me."

Randal sighed. "Well...what if I told you I was in love with that stoner, Jay?"

"I wouldn't believe you," Dante said, smiling at Randal. "You're so fucking in love with me, it's not even funny."

Randal became upset, slamming his fists down onto the counter top. "Fuck, Dante! You don't know shit about my life, OR my love life. You're too wrapped up in the pitiful excuse you call YOUR life to pay any attention to mine!"

Dante stared at his best friend, his mouth hanging. "Look, Randal, I don't know where this sudden hostility is coming from, but-"

Just then, the door opened and a small, attractive blonde woman stepped in, shaking snow off of her winter coat. "Excuse me, but do you sell Lady Menthols?" She had a soft, sexy voice, shoulder length blonde hair and pouty, bee-stung lips. Randal scanned her slender body before turning his eyes to Dante, waiting for his companion's reaction.

Not bad at all...' Randal thought to himself. 'That chick looks VERY familiar...' He studied her for a few seconds before the proverbial lightbulb went on over his head. He waited to see what Dante would do about her.

Dante glared at the woman, stonily, irrationally angry at her for interrupting his and Randal's conversation. "Here, try these. They'll add years to your life and improve your halitosis." He tossed a package of Chewlie's gum at the woman, who began to dig into her purse. "They're on the house, now get outta here. We're kinda in the middle of something, lady."

The blonde haired woman gave Dante the middle finger as she paused by the door. "You prick."

"Bunch of savages in this town," Dante sighed, watching the woman head for her car.

Once she was gone, Randal turned on Dante once again. "Dammit Dante, why are you so fucking oblivious to what's going on around you," Randal exploded, angrily twisting his rolled up magazine in his hands. "All this woe is me' bullshit is getting on my fucking nerves. Why can't you just open your eyes for once, and see what's right in front of you? Why can't you just fucking take charge of your sad little life, for once?"

Dante didn't respond. He was still laying his head on the counter. "Fuck, Randal. Why are you starting in on me? This has been the worst day of my li-"

"I thought the day I tipped Julie's casket and sold cigarettes to an infant, Caitlin fucked the dead guy and you lost Veronica was the worst day of your life. You can only have one worst day' of your life, and this is definitely NOT it. In fact, it's probably the low rung on the ladder of bad days." Randal stepped out from behind the counter, moving away from Dante. "I'm goin' back to the fuckin' video store, man. If you're too fucking stupid to realize how lucky you are, I shouldn't be the one to tell you."

Dante raised his head. "Randal, wait."

Randal raised his hands, twisting his lips into a smirk. "No, it's too late, Dante. I'm outta here. You had your chance."

"No, please. Just wait a second, will ya?!" Dante leapt out from behind the counter and grabbed Randal by the arm, squeezing it, to hold him in place.

"Let go of my arm before you cut off my fucking circulation and they have to amputate," barked Randal, shooting Dante a killer death glare. Dante didn't blink.

"Randal, you're right."

His friend raised an eyebrow, completely caught off guard. "Right? AM I, though...?"

Dante sighed. "Yes, you are right. About everything. Everything you just said to me is one hundred percent correct. I AM too self-centered. I AM too whiny and self-involved. But I think... I think..."

Randal nodded, smiling at his best friend, wryly. "I'd hope so..."

Dante let out a sigh and rubbed his hand over his face. "I think...no, I KNOW you make me want to be a better man. You make me want to do something with my life, even though you aren't doing shit with yours. You...complete me."

Randal mulled over Dante's confession before tearing out of his grip, angrily. "You stole that fucking line from As Good As It Gets'. And the last one was from 'Jerry McGuire', you fucking 'no-regards-for-trademarks' sonofabitch."

Dante raised a dark eyebrow, in confusion. "Huh? What the fuck are you TALKING about? That was from the bottom of my heart, Randal!"

"I saw that fuckin' movie ten times! I know lines when I hear em, considering I DO run RST, you know! What the fuck do you think I do with my free time?" He paused, shuddering in disgust. "God, Dante. That's...so like you." Randal shook his head in disappointment, crossing his arms over his chest. "Can't even come up with your own lines. Gotta steal em from Jack Nicholson."

Dante frowned. "Randal, I meant every word I said! So what if someone happened to use them in a movie! These are REAL emotions!"

Randal sighed. "I think we've grown apart, Dante."

"In one fucking week?" Dante raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, I guess so." Randal shifted uncomfortably. "I don't know if anything'll ever be the same between us."

Dante nodded and folded his arms across his chest, noting the distance Randal put between them. "I see. You're dumping me?"

Randal laughed. "I'm not dumping you. Think of it as...going on a break?"

"A BREAK?" asked Dante.

"Things...have come up. Things that I have to deal with on my own. I guess...you were right about ONE thing." Randal rolled up his magazine and stuck it in the back pocket of his jeans.

"And what was that?"

"I need to find myself." Randal tipped his cap at Dante, as he headed for the door.

Dante leaped over the counter in one swift movement, throwing himself onto Randal. "Stop! No! Don't step outside that door!"

Randal and Dante fell to the floor, knocking over a Chewlie's display.

"Wh-what the fuck was THAT?" asked Randal, breathing heavily, pushing a box of Chewlie's off of his face.

"I have to tell you something, Randal..." Dante turned his head, looking over at Randal, who pulled a jar of jam out from under his ass.

"And that would be...?" asked Randal, drawing out the sentence.

"I've decided to take charge of my life."

Randal nodded, uttering, softly, "And how are you going to do that, my utterly confused friend?"

Leaning forward, Dante pressed his lips against Randal's, cupping his chin in his hand. Randal let out his breath in a contented sigh, looping his arms around his best friend's neck, holding him close.

Dante ran his tongue over Randal's soft lips and paused, knotting his brow in confusion. Sitting back, Dante exclaimed, "He-ey, that tastes like...! Did you pilfer Smarties from my fuckin' store AGAIN?!"

Randal giggled, running his hand through Dante's mop of messy, black hair. "Kiss me again to find out."

Dante smiled, his eyes hooded, and murmured, "Okay, that sounds good to me, Randal," and covered his best friend's mouth with his own.

As Dante slid his hand between Randal's blue-jean clad legs, the door opened and the bell jingled.

"Pack of cigarettes?"

Dante opened one eye to see a skinny, long haired kid standing at the counter. The kid took off his baseball cap and twirled it around in his hands.

He slammed his hand down onto the bell on the counter. "A little help here?"

Dante sighed, whispering in Randal's ear, "It's Jay."

Sitting up, Randal yelled, "Hey, you fucking stoner low-life, go supply somewhere else! We don't want you to drag us down to the gutter with you!"

Jay grinned. "Whoa, what the fuck happened here?" Spotting Dante and Randal in such close contact, he grinned. "I was right! You both are fuckin' cock smokers! Snoogans!" He ducked a jar of jam. "What the-"

"GET THE FUCK OUT, YOU FUCKIN' STONER LOW LIFE! BEFORE I TURN YOU IN!"

"Okay, okay! I was jus' on my fuckin' way out, ANYWAYS! You don't have to be such little pissy bitches! Fuckin' bunch of pussies!" Jay reached behind the counter and grabbed a package of cigarettes before making his exit. "Shmokin' weed, shmokin' weed, drinkin' beers, drinkin' beers..."

But Dante didn't care. Sitting back down beside Randal, amid scattered produce, Dante settled comfortably into the other man's arms.

"Things are definitely looking up for you, my melancholy compatriot." Randal observed, astutely, as he ripped open a package of Smarties.

Dante smiled, knocking off Randal's baseball cap, affectionately. "You're right. For the first time, I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow."