A/N: Well, it's been over a month, but I'm fairly confident any struggle I was having with this story is now gone, so hopefully I can now get back to giving you all weekly updates. I am so sorry for the wait.
I feel so relieved to finally have another chapter to offer you all. I really do hope you all enjoy, and I'll make sure to do my best to update again on Sunday. And every Sunday after. ^_^
The whole weekend had passed and Johnny hadn't seen or heard from Randy. He'd tried calling him a few times but, not wanting to appear desperate, he wouldn't persist every time the call went unanswered. He figured Randy might have needed a little space, but considering there was no other monster on campus for him to talk to, Johnny was getting nervous.
By Monday morning Johnny had had enough of being patient. He wanted more than anything to know Randy was alright and that was exactly what he was going to find out.
He left the ROR house and quickly made the small trek to the dormitories. The RA at the front desk turned around from what he was doing at the sound of the doors opening and offered a smile as Johnny approached.
"Hello Johnny, what can I do for you?" he asked cheerily.
"I was wondering if you could tell me which room belongs to a student by the name of Randall Boggs."
The RA's smile vanished. "Oh, uh, I'm sorry Johnny but I can't reveal a student's room number to another student."
Johnny sighed, already expecting the response. He placed an arm on the desk and leaned in slightly. "Look, I feel it is important that I see him. You see, a few days ago he… didn't seem to be in the best state of mind, and I worry for him."
The RA shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I still can't reveal his room number."
Johnny rolled his eyes. He looked around the area behind the desk and, spotting something of interest, a smirk played on his lips. "So I see you're a fan of 'Jumping' Jerry Jablonski…"
The RA looked down, spotting his personal folder with the aforementioned Scarer's picture on it set to the far side of the desk. "Yeah, he's kind of a personal favourite of mine," he said with a wider smile than before.
"Interesting…" Johnny drawled, bringing the RA's attention back to him. After a small pause for effect the senior continued. "See, I may happen to have in my possession a mint condition rookie card with that very name on it."
The RA's expression suddenly became serious. "You… you do?" he asked, to which Johnny simply nodded and hummed his affirmation, seemingly turning his attention to the claws on one of his hands. "Well, uh, that's… great."
"Now, tell me, what could you do for me were I to bring that card and perhaps, oh, I don't know… misplace it on this very desk?" Johnny asked in a slow manner, looking up from his claws with a disinterested expression.
The RA gulped, his poker face shattering, were it any good to begin with.
"Could you perhaps give me a room number?" Johnny went on, his smirk reappearing.
"I, uhh… suppose…" The RA looked torn, but Johnny knew with careful wording his decision could be swayed.
"I'll tell you what. You give me Boggs' room number and, should it become an issue, I will leave your name out of it. Perhaps I found out from another monster on the same floor, perhaps from his roommate, who knows? But I promise not to cause a scene, should randy show the first signs of not wanting me there, I will leave before it becomes an issue. How does that sound?"
The look on the RA's face showed that he hadn't taken all of Johnny's speech in, but it had the desired effect as he slowly nodded. "Room 319," he said simply.
"Thank you very much," Johnny said. "I shall make this meeting brief, and shortly after I will be along with that card." He then turned to leave, making his way upstairs. "Have a pleasant day," he called out behind him.
The RA simply sat there, completely at a loss for words at what he'd just done, though the proposed reward did a lot to comfort him from the possible repercussions.
Johnny made his way to the third floor, following the numbers along until he came across the room he wanted. He cleared his throat, brushed a hand through the hair on his head for no particular reason, and knocked on the door.
After receiving no answer within half a minute he knocked again. Still there was no answer.
'Not a problem, there's always plan B,' he thought, slipping a note he'd prepared earlier into the metal cage on the door. He smiled fondly at the memory of doing the exact same thing with the book that had arguably gotten them together.
He quickly turned on his heel and made his way back out of the dormitories. He sighed as he passed the front desk, remembering he now had a promise to uphold.
'Shame,' Johnny thought. 'It was one of my favourites too.'
Returning from the shop with a few groceries, Randy spotted something he hoped he wouldn't see; Johnny was making his way out of the dormitories.
Thinking fast he quickly threw the bag of groceries into the bush and camouflaged into the background, making sure Johnny didn't see him. He quickly realised his efforts were for naught, Johnny seemed to be determined in whatever it was he was doing and didn't so much glance in the freshman's direction.
Once the senior was out of view Randy heaved a sigh of relief, only now realising he'd been holding his breath as well. He knew avoiding Johnny was silly, but he felt foolish for how he acted the previous Friday.
Sighing, he quickly fetched the bag, surprised to find nothing had spilled out, and quickly made his way into the dormitories. For some reason the RA watched him intently as he made his way through, sending a small shudder down his spine. Without his usual smile, the RA's gaze creeped him out slightly.
Randy's first trip was to the kitchen, quickly stowing away his groceries, before backing up on himself to return to his room. As he was about to open the door he noticed a small slip of paper in the cage. He already knew exactly who it was from and, taking it out, he scrunched it in his hand rather than reading it.
Once in his room he toyed with the idea of throwing the note straight into the bin. He ultimately decided to read what was written first, he felt he owed Johnny that much. It was a simple note with only a few words on it, and he read it aloud.
"Meet at clock tower, 6pm."
This time he did throw the note into the bin. The action was without hostility, rather he felt too guilty to hold onto it, knowing that Johnny must have been worried about him. On the one hand, he didn't want to have to face his boyfriend so soon, but on the other he didn't want to give him more cause for concern.
Randy sighed, looking out of his window. He had some time yet before having to make his decision, but that didn't make it any easier.
Waiting atop the clock tower, Johnny was starting to grow impatient. He knew Randy was later than his note had specified, but he wasn't sure by how much. He did have to laugh at the irony that, without a watch, the one thing that could tell him the time lay beneath his feet, which didn't serve him much use.
He started pacing, wondering if Randy had even gotten his message. After all, it was entirely possible the freshman had left campus for the day. Or he could even have, in fact, been in his room the whole time and not bothered to leave, thereby not even noticing the note.
His fears were soon put to rest when he heard footsteps coming from the direction of the stairs. He turned to see a sight he'd been waiting far too long for and, if he was honest, he became a little emotional. Standing at the foot of the stairs was Randy wearing a warm, genuine smile. To see him looking so happy made Johnny's heart melt.
"Randy, you came," he smiled.
"Sorry I'm late," Randy said, his smile faltering somewhat.
"Oh, no, it's fine."
"And, uhh… sorry for not being around for the last couple days," he sighed.
"Not at all, don't worry about it."
"And I'm… s-sorry for how I acted on Friday," Randy sniffed, close to tears.
Not wanting Randy to become upset again, Johnny quickly closed the distance between them, wrapping his arms around the freshman and pulling him into a hug. "Hey, hey, it's alright," he reassured, feeling Randy tremble slightly in his arms as he let out a sob. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have… well, I was a little boastful, wasn't I?"
Randy looked up, a small smile reforming. "Y-Yeah, just a little."
Johnny's smile became warmer. "Well, there'll be no more of that, OK? I didn't mean to make you feel bad about yourself, I just… wanted to teach you a little bit of the history of my fraternity. I guess sometimes I am a little too proud of it."
Randy shook his head. "No, having pride is a good thing." He broke apart from the senior and wiped his eyes, sighing as he settled himself again. "It's just… it reminded me of something I've never really had, is all. I didn't mean to be such a jerk about it."
"No, don't say that. You weren't a jerk and, well… I'm glad you've reminded me of that, actually."
"Of what?" he asked, puzzled.
"Of what it's like to be an outsider looking in." Johnny walked to the edge of the clock tower and took a seat, Randy following suit. "I know it's not the best feeling in the world, so I should have been a little more considerate."
"It's fine," Randy reassured. "You were just… giving me the tour. I'm sure you've done it plenty of times."
"Actually, no. I've given the tour of the Hall of Scarers only a handful of times to potential recruits." Johnny bit his lip, realising what he'd just suggested.
"Oh, I see… Well, I do feel honoured then," the freshman chuckled.
Johnny shared the laugh as his apprehension subsided. "Yes, well, you should feel honoured. You are dating a Worthington after all," he said, giving Randy a playful jab with his elbow.
"Oh yes, highly honoured," Randy said, returning the jab.
The two continued laughing for a moment before it died down, the humour having run its course. Johnny looked out to the sky and fidgeted slightly before speaking up again.
"So you mentioned something you never really had." He turned to Randy with a questioning gaze. "Did you mean pride?"
"Oh, well, yeah…" he trailed off, looking down at his hands.
"But I'm sure your mother is proud of you, is she not?"
"Well, she is, now." Randy sighed before looking out at the campus below. "But that wasn't always the case…"
Johnny shuffled closer to the reptilian monster, putting an arm around him. "How so?"
"Well, you see… From the day I was born, my parents hated me. Well, no, that's not really true. My father hated me." The venom with which the word 'father' was spoken was enough to make Johnny cringe, but Randy continued regardless. "You see, the only thing he cared about was where his next fix came from. He never paid me any attention unless he needed someone to vent his anger at. He never raised a hand to me, but… he had this way of making me feel… well, feel like crap, really. Like I wasn't worth anything. And whilst he was around, my mother wasn't really interested in anything or anyone else either." He sighed. "I tried taking pride in my accomplishments, but every time I tried sharing them with my parents it went ignored. Everything went ignored, actually, even any problem I came to them with. Whether I got an A on a test, or I was being beaten up by the school bullies, my parents never cared. They never paid attention. And whenever they did, he would always put me down for it. He'd tell me to 'shut up' or 'suck it up', like it wasn't important and I shouldn't be making a big deal of it. So eventually, I didn't. I didn't make a big deal of anything, because it wasn't a big deal…"
Randy heaved a heavy sigh and, despite a couple of tears escaping his eyes a smile formed. "But then a couple of years ago he left. It turned out he never loved my mom and he only stayed out of convenience. My mom was upset, sure, but when he left… I don't really know how to explain it. It was like a switch was flicked on. She became an entirely different monster. She started pouring all her love and attention on me, and honestly…" Randy's smile widened. "I think she became much happier too. She told me she was ready to 'be the mother she should always have been' and she apologised so many times. But she stayed true to her word, she was a good mother to me, is a good mother to me. She took much more interest in me, with my accomplishments and my problems. And in just two years she taught me so much, how to bake, how to sew… She even offered me love advice," he added with a small shudder, causing Johnny to laugh, one which Randy joined in with. "But, I guess… ultimately there's still that little part of me that tells me I shouldn't be proud of myself."
Johnny pulled Randy slightly closer, planting a kiss on his forehead. "Well, I'm proud of you. And you should be too. It sounds like you've gone through a lot more than any monster should have, and look at where you are now! Top of your class. That's not something to be sniffed at."
Randy smiled warmly, planting his own kiss on Johnny's cheek. "Thank you."
Johnny simply smiled back. His smile then faltered slightly as he fought over what he wanted to say next. "Randy, come back to the ROR house," he pleaded.
The reptilian monster's smile fell again. "Oh, I dunno Johnny…"
"Please, Randy. I just want to do my job and make sure you're alright." He then smirked slightly. "Plus, sharing the house with no-one else but my boyfriend doesn't sound like a terrible proposition to me."
Randy snorted. "Well, that offer just went from sweet to selfish in two seconds flat."
"C'mon, you haven't been thinking it too?" Johnny asked with a cocked eyebrow, his smirk growing.
The freshman gasped, his cheeks glowing a bright red. "Well, I, uhh… That is, I mean…"
Johnny brought a finger to Randy's lips, silencing his stammering. "Randy, there's no shame in it. We have been dating quite a while now. It's only natural we should be thinking of the next step."
"Um, I guess, but…" Randy trailed off, looking away for a moment.
Johnny knew exactly what was running through his boyfriends mind and he placed a finger under Randy's chin, leading his head around to bring the freshman's gaze back to his own. "Not until you're ready though."
Randy smiled again. "Thanks Johnny."
"Not a problem. Now, let's say we head back now. I don't know about you, but I'm actually getting a little cold."
Randy hadn't noticed it until now, but the temperature had dropped considerably since he first left the dorms. He held his arms close to his body as he stood up along with Johnny. "Actually, now that you mention it…" He then shuddered slightly, rubbing his arms along his sides in attempt to warm up slightly.
Johnny chuckled at the cute sight before him. Thinking fast, he quickly pulled off his sweater and pulled it over Randy's head, letting him slide his arms through. "Better?"
"Much better. Thank you."
"You're welcome." Johnny gave Randy a quick look up and down. "You look good in my clothes," he smirked, putting an arm around the freshman and leading him down the stairs.
Randy didn't say anything, although his blush spoke volumes. The two continued in silence out of the clock tower and, once the door was locked, Johnny led them towards the quad.
"By the way," Randy spoke up. "How did you find out which room was mine?"
Johnny chuckled, pulling Randy slightly closer as they walked. "Let's just say I can be very persuasive…"