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What It Looks Like

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So they stand there and stare at one another... Eric fidgeting from foot to foot, Hyde standing unsettlingly still.

"Uh... yeah. So I'm just gonna-" Buddy starts to stand.

Hyde looks at him. That's all... He just looks.

Buddy settles back into the cushions again. "Right. Not going anywhere."

"Hyde this isn't-"

"What it looks like?" Hyde finishes. "Foreman, I know a game of tonsil hockey when I see one. What else are two guys gonna do when they're sitting that close to one another on the couch? Shit, man, you even let him get your pants open!"


Eric starts fumbling for his fly even before he looks down and sees that Hyde is just messing with him.

Hyde laughs and drops into the easy chair with its back to the Foremans' washer and dryer. He's all loose-limbed and sprawled out like he's comfortable, but there's something in his face and the set of his shoulders that tells Buddy he's really not that relaxed at all.

Buddy wishes he'd take off those damned sunglasses.

He wishes Eric would sit back down and stop looking so goddamned guilty.

He wishes he could straighten his clothes or smooth down his hair without looking like a complete tool, not that Hyde isn't already looking at him like he is one.

"So... you don't have a problem with-" Buddy starts, not at all certain that that's the reason Hyde isn't calling Eric dirty names right now or punching Buddy in the face.

"Two guys getting it on?" Hyde asks, lips twisting in a way that Buddy resolutely finds not sexy. "Naw. Now, some guy using my good buddy Eric to get his rocks off... that I've sort of got a problem with."

Now Eric plops back onto the couch, not as close to Buddy as they had been when Hyde caught them - obviously - but not so far away that it's like he's trying to obviously distance himself from Buddy or something.

It's possible that the only reason Eric is sitting, though, is that he's feeling too light-headed to stand. He looks decidedly woozy and pale as he says, "You- Buddy's not using me, Hyde." Buddy supposes that getting almost worked up to what would have been a pretty great orgasm if Hyde hadn't interrupted their bump and grind session - and then taking an instantaneous cold shower in the form of being walked in on by someone Buddy wouldn't have expected to be okay with it - will do that to you, but he doesn't miss the way Eric doesn't seem to know what to do with his hands, or the way his eyes flicker in Buddy's direction for just a second and then back towards Hyde.

He wants to reach over and take Eric's hand in his to reassure him, but isn't sure that that wouldn't be pushing Hyde too far.

"I'm not just with Eric because I like fucking him," Buddy says, to reassure Eric and push Hyde all the same. 'Rich boy sense of entitlement' some of the guys at school call it - Buddy's inability to hide who he is and what he wants any more than he absolutely has to.

Eric's head turns quickly, and the look in his eyes says he'd just call it 'stupid.' Hyde's jaw tightens.

"Which is why you're only ever around when you two need to study," Hyde says with a sneer, making it absolutely understood what he thinks Buddy and Eric get up to during their tutoring sessions.

Well. He's not wrong.

"Hey, I'd be over here all the time if Eric would let me," Buddy says, and he means it. Even though the rest of Eric's friends are probably nowhere near as cool with homosexuality as Hyde is probably only pretending to be for the moment. Even though Eric's dad would probably try and kill Buddy - and disown Eric besides - if he knew what he and Eric get up to down here in the basement when they 're pretty sure that no one else is home. (Not to mention what Eric let Buddy do that one time he slept over and Buddy's parents were out of town.) Even though Buddy's not entirely certain that one day Eric isn't going to just wake up and decide that all of the sneaking around and the potential danger isn't worth it, and that he'd rather marry Donna and pop out a few children and live a long, unhappy but uncomplicated life as a straight man.

Buddy'd spend every spare moment of his time with his secret boyfriend, despite all of it, if Eric wasn't so clearly terrified of him. Of what being with him means; of where it could lead.

He doesn't bring it up often because he figures he's lucky just to have this much, but yeah.

Buddy smiles a not-really-smile that he thinks must at least look convincing and says, "Maybe you ought to worry about him using me."

"That's not really my problem," Hyde says flatly, and it's not like Buddy can argue with his objectivity. They don't really know each other.

"Whoa! Whoa... Nobody's using anybody! I'm not- I'd never... Buddy, do you really think that?" Eric instantly loses his shit. It's not the conversation Buddy wants them to have in front of Hyde (actually... Buddy'd rather they didn't have to have any kind of conversation in front of Hyde, but especially not this one) yet Buddy doesn't see anything he can do to stop it. "I don't want to, you know, get you in trouble or whatever. Ruin your reputation or something. But I'm not, like, ashamed of you..." Eric laughs like he can't see how that would even be possible. It's good for Buddy's ego. "I don't want to not spend my time with you! I'd be with you all the time too if I could," Eric says.

"Well, isn't that sweet," Hyde butts in, the sneer gone from his face but not his voice. "And it totally explains why you've never mentioned the fact that you like doing guys to any of your friends." Buddy can't even say what bothers him the most - the mocking, false cheer in Hyde's tone or the very real point that he's making with his words.

"Look, Hyde," Eric says, turning back to his friend, and sounding truly, deeply angry for the first time that Buddy's ever experienced. "We are friends, and I l- I care about you. But I don't know what you want me to say here. Okay? Seriously, what do you want from me?"

Buddy watches Hyde for his reaction closely. Tense enough to decide not to think about the way Eric's words had almost slipped.

And then Hyde says something that blows Buddy's mind.

"I want to watch."