Let's Be Honest
A/N: I'm addicted to Pike but I also always liked Pete/Michael, so here's a bit of a compromise, haha. This is my second upload in two days. Amazing.
"Go out of your way, but I won't mind
I'll play your game, and every time
You say his name just to remind
You and I why you came."
—Let's Be Honest, Blaqk Audio
"Ah! Careful, jerk."
"Quiet, Michael. You want your neighbors to call the freaking cops?"
"You were biting pretty hard."
A long sigh pervaded the warm air, which essentially narrated the movement of one peculiarly frazzled Goth away from the aforementioned Michael. Pete, the frazzled boy in question, closed his eyes and rubbed at his temples. "This is not good," he said, sneering at his friend's responding grunt. "We shouldn't be doing this."
"I know," Michael replied flatly, reaching over his head to grab one of their cigarettes out of the ashtray and take a drag before gingerly setting it back. "You say that every time. You don't have to prove to me that you're doing this out of frustration. I know that."
There was no reply aside from another lengthy sigh, which ushered Pete directly into a lazy, open-mouthed kiss with the curly-haired teen underneath him. Wiry arms wrapped around his neck, pressing a silver chain bracelet against his skin; he caught himself daydreaming that the cold metal belonged to that self-righteous vampire-wannabe, Mike Makowski. Hot Topic jewelry abound, he thought bitterly. Well fuck Mike, and fuck Hot Topic.
He bit down on Michael's neck again, eliciting another grunt and a tight tug on his dye-splashed hair. The younger of the two felt himself growl low in his throat before any sound ever made it past chapped lips.
This was the turning point of their evening, a fact of which both teens were aware. It always happened that way. By the time Pete had reached what seemed to be maximum frustration and Michael was more than willing to help ameliorate that predicament, it would become a game of which could get Michael groaning faster: the actual sex or Pete's unending list of complaints he had about one certain vamp-leader.
At first, the taller Goth didn't mind so much, since, despite his inherent pessimism, he was always happy to help a friend. He, like the other two members of their quartet, was very aware that Pete had some sort of strange, dire sexual tension with Mike. There was no getting around the topic, and even Pete was past the point of denying it, though he did call it "an annoying Barbie-crush" at one point, letting on to the lot of them that this was, in fact, actual infatuation as well as desire of a sexual nature.
Michael only just felt the full weight of that discovery. This was bad. There wouldn't be a conceivable end in sight to the dilemma if he left Pete in charge of his own emotions, but none of them had any previous relationship experience to speak of, aside from Henrietta and Raven's brief tryst back in sixth grade (which wasn't as secret as Henrietta pretended it was), so there wasn't much he could think to do about it. Except, perhaps…talk to Mike?
The thought brought a grimace to the curly-haired Goth's face, prompting Pete to still his hips, held now with sharp force against the other's, and regard him with both a raised eyebrow and a breathy, "What's wrong?"
He decided that lying was too much trouble, so he answered with a truthful albeit ambiguous, "Not you," along with an urging roll of his hips.
Pete looked skeptical, but he kept moving, for the time being. "You're—hf—you're trying too hard to sound like you're telling the truth."
Michael tossed his head back onto the arm of the couch and gripped Pete's arms as he huffed back, "Christ, Pete, I don't know if you'd be more offended by my actual indifference or by my fake indifference."
"Well—" Black bangs fell into his eyes, which he paused to flip out of the way. "If this sex makes you feel indifferent—"
"My point exactly, dumbass." If Michael's eyes hadn't already been fluttering ridiculously by this point, he would've rolled them.
"Sorry, God. My thoughts are a little preoccupied."
"He's just so—"
"I could only imagine his face if I— That little poser, I bet he—" No sentence began was ever finished: instead, Michael presumed, Pete simply began them all aloud and kept the rest to himself, ready to join the myriad of other complaints in the "Makowski" folder in his brain, where they'd fester and grow until one day Michael was sure he'd crack and punch the kid in the face before any form of conversation was actually held.
The older teen knew he'd have to do something about that issue or it would never be resolved. Trying to clear his brain, he allowed his hands to fly up and yank the other's hair in a warning. Pete only nodded and pressed another set of nail marks into Michael's back; later, upon catching a glance of himself in the mirror, he realized that the ones from their last meeting had been so recent that they'd not even faded. This was becoming more frequent, then.
That was that. He decided right there, as he pulled his shirt and coat on and lit another cigarette to replace the one he'd let burn out, that he would deal with this, considering Pete was too stubborn to do it himself. After all, that was what friends were for, right? He wasn't actually so sure about that, but he resolved to do it, anyway.
The decision brought him all the way to the brightly-painted neighborhood of Mike Makowski the following afternoon, where he stood in an uncomfortably stiff manner on the family's front porch, cane in one hand, cigarette in the other, and lips silently damning the sunlight filtering through the trees.
He waited a full five minutes for someone to answer the door, and even then it was clear they were hesitant because the chain lock was still present, not to mention they took their sweet time cracking the door open. "Who is it?" The voice that inquired was unmistakable.
"Makowski, open the goddamned door."
"Uh… I'd rather not."
"I don't care."
Mike huffed indignantly, then undid the lock before he swung the door open and exposed his towel-clad form to the outside air. Pointedly, he shivered.
"Suck it up, kid. It's not even that cold out."
"Yeah, well, vampires don't like the cold."
"I thought it was the heat they didn't like."
At that, the vamp donned his best bratty expression and leaned his hip on the door frame. "All right, I'll bite."
"Not me, you won't."
"I was—that wasn't a joke, I meant—"
"Yeah, whatever. Listen, my friend has this stupid…thing…with you." It was strange, Michael thought, how he never had to name the friend; the way Mike's eyebrows shot up told him that the person in question was clearly unmistakable for anyone else.
"A thing, huh?"
"Well, duh." He exhaled in a short puff. "I know that much, per se. He comes around here to shove it in my face, like, every other week."
At that, the Goth's eyes narrowed. "Wait a minute."
Mike's eyes, which were, for once, not laden with liner and eyeshadow, widened the slightest bit. "Yeah?" When Michael didn't answer, the question was repeated, this time effective in garnering an answer—although not quite the one that was expected.
"You look really freaking weird without makeup or faggy scene hair."
"I didn't know you had curly hair."
"Tell me why you're here or please leave. I need to get dressed before P—well, you know, my friend comes over."
A brief moment of silence ensued, marked by a staring contest between the two of them that Michael eventually won when Mike looked away guiltily and muttered, "Okay, so it's not as random as 'every other week.'"
"He started this stupid pattern! It's, like, every Thursday. That's his thing, per se."
Michael puffed at his cigarette thoughtfully. "So you two are screwing around?"
Mike's eyes fluttered, shocked. "Um, no! Why would we— Wait!"
"You're not? Ignore that, then."
The faux-vampire took a step outside, looking way too curious for his own good, Michael thought, until he remembered that that was why he was here in the first place. "Is that why you're here? You think Pete and I are…" The boy's curious expression faded into one of awkwardness as he made a vague gesture with his hands.
Michael scoffed at that. "Not quite."
"What, then? Why're you really here?" As he spoke, he'd maneuvered onto the porch fully, carefully sidestepping the prickly welcome mat and eyeing Michael more excitedly than anything, now. It was making the Goth more uncomfortable than he was when he'd first gotten here. "If it's about Pete, I wanna hear it."
Again, no answer. Mike only stood there, looking more than a little embarrassed.
Three lazy blinks later, and Michael finally got the hint. "No freakin' way."
"I…" There was no well-prepared denial to the situation on Mike's behalf—that much was evident—so he simply continued sheepishly while he fidgeted nervously, still half-naked in his doorway. "He's…nice?"
"No he's not."
"All right, not really. But he's interesting." A steady flush climbed up the other's neck. "And he's, uh, he's really hot."
Michael inhaled an impressively-sized lungful of smoke, then blew it all in the other's face, leaving a spluttering Mike behind as he descended the porch steps and headed back to his mother's car.
"Wait! Where are you going?" Mike took another step forward, but hesitated. "You're not going to tell him I said that, are you?"
"Both of you are so freaking stupid," Michael mumbled, mostly to himself. He raised his voice a bit to answer the other. "No, but you're gonna tell him. If you don't calm him the hell down about this, he will neverstop pestering me."
He'd never seen the vampire kid grin so ridiculously wide.
"He pesters you about me?"
"You don't know the half of it, poser." Presently, he rubbed at his neck, though he figured he ought to keep the hickeys hidden. Mike would probably be the type of kid to flip his shit over something like that. That was his plan, anyway, to keep them hidden, but then the towel-clad teen had to roll his eyes and scoff, mumbling something mostly incoherent, but loud enough for Michael to pick "yeah, right" out of the cloud of words.
He cleared his throat, turned back around, and made damn sure to look as casual as possible as he inhaled another bout of smoke and yanked his jacket collar down. "He gets a little upset about you, sometimes," he muttered flatly, voice dipping the slightest bit into gloating territory, though that wasn't his favored vernacular route. Still, he felt the need to be a little proud for once, because Mike looked positively flabbergasted, with his mouth hanging open and his arms uncrossing in a blur of pale skin and black nail polish. "Those…!"
"Mm." Michael gave a vague nod and a quick clarification: "But he thinks about you, anyway. It's not like we're…well, you know." Then, with that concluded, he nodded once in the vampire boy's direction and slid back into the driver's seat of his mom's car.
Mike didn't have a chance to splutter a response before Michael took off down the street, nor did he have enough time to retreat back inside before Pete turned the corner. The latter regarded him with a blank stare while he walked toward the porch with the remaining half of his cigarette held between his middle and ring fingers. "I know we're not going on a date or anything," he began placidly, eyeing the other boy in a less-than-casual manner, "but I thought you'd be a little more clothed than this."
"You're joking," Mike breathed, suddenly feeling a bit hysterical.
Pete blinked, glanced down the street, then took a drag of his cigarette. "Was that Michael's car?"
"You made a joke," the taller male repeated, slightly more breathless this time.
"I think we're on two different wavelengths, Makowski. I wasn't making a joke."
"You were! To me. You don't joke. Not to anyone."
A pause, then, "Whatever." The Goth flipped his bangs out of his eyes. "Was that his car or not?"
"It—um, yes." Pete looked honestly surprised to hear an actual affirmation, though the emotion was painted on his face in the form of slightly parted lips and the minute rise of his eyebrows—something that would only register as somewhat curious to the average passerby. Mike knew better. "Before you ask, he came over to tell me a few things."
"Shit," Pete grumbled, sinking onto the green-painted wood of the Makowski porch. "All right, listen." There was a gap of silence between these words and his actual explanation, during which Mike sat beside him. "This is sort of awkward."
"Uh, yeah," Mike responded, doing his best to contain a grin.
"Just to clarify, he did tell you about the stupid problem I have with you, right?"
A beat of confusion hit him before he got what the other was asking and nodded to answer him. "You wanna kiss me," he said, prodding Pete in the shoulder and losing his personal battle not to crack a smile.
The Goth grumbled something inaudible in response, pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand, and then turned his head to look at the other. "You're a piece of shit, you know that?"
Promptly, Mike stopped poking the boy and crossed his arms. "Well, excuse me! I'd be nice to me, if I were you."
"What for?" Pete raised his cigarette to his lips, only to have it smacked away by a pale hand. "You want me to set fire to your yard?" he mumbled, resorting to setting his elbows on his knees in the absence of tobacco to fumble with.
"Seriously, what's your problem?"
"My problem is that you're a poser."
"Uh-huh. I get that from you every week. Your little friend or whatever tells me you think I'm more than that."
Silence again; it was rather uncomfortable this time, and Pete was really beginning to regret not bringing his entire pack of cigarettes. Finally, words pierced the air, but they came from both boys at the same time.
"I mean, I've always really liked you too, so—"
"So I fucking think about you sometimes, whatever. I don't—"
Then, in unison: "What did you say?"
Mike looked embarrassed while Pete looked a little mortified, but eventually both of them simply sighed and leaned forward to stare at the empty street.
"Put some freaking clothes on."
Pete only answered that question with another of his own: "Do your parents usually let you walk around outside naked?"
"It doesn't really matter because my parents aren't even home right now." They met each other's gazes at the same time, then promptly looked in opposite directions. "I mean, I was gonna do laundry after this, anyway…" Mike all but whispered, face practically crimson.
The implication was caught readily. "It's not like I have anything better to do," Pete returned with a scoff as he stood, watching as Mike followed suit. The latter glanced around the street before grabbing the other's wrist and towing him inside and letting the door shut behind them with a rather loud slam that the duo was too occupied with each other's gradual undoing to notice.
With the considerable amount of time spent on rolling hips and breathing curses between gasps, it was a miracle Pete had cleaned and up fled the house before Mike's parents returned from their date night. The latter was ready just minutes later, and he was rather proud of himself for knowing how to manipulate makeup and well as facial expression. God forbid his parents catch sight of the impressive number of hickeys littering his neck—among other places.
The Goth, however, wasn't as much of an expert with concealer, and despite his ill-expressed gratitude toward Michael for putting a word in for him, he spent much of the next day shooting glares at the other for a certain comment he'd made the following morning. Even while the pessimistic friends shared their space with Henrietta and Firkle at their usual table at Benny's, the remark reared its head a lot more often than Pete had the patience for.
"I don't understand why you're so angry," Henrietta said, hiding a smirk behind her coffee mug. "You finally got to bone that douchey little twerp."
"Shut up, Henrietta."
No sounds arose from anyone until a full two minutes later, which is when the words "It looks like Pete got bit by a vampire," fell from Michael's mouth once more.
"That's it," the teen in question said flatly, practically slamming his head down onto the table, "you guys are no longer my friends."
"Let's be honest, here, kid," the girl of the group began with a snort, "you always had a horrible choice in companionship."
"And how," Firkle concluded. "And how."