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Favorite circle of hell

Chapter Text

“Ah, High School. My favourite one of the nine circles of hell.”
“Did you just use High School and Favourite in one sentence?”
“Well, at least I get to hang out with my friends and annoy people all day.”
Race had his legs sprawled over the seat next to him, keeping the seat reserved for when the rest of his friends came on the school bus. “Besides, we are seniors now, Al. We basically rule the school.” Albert was hanging over the back of the seat in front of him, his hair still messy from sleeping. “Still I don’t see how High School could be your favourite circle of hell. I would say maybe third favourite.” The red-head ran his fingers through his hair, yawning shortly. “Then what would be your favourite one?”
Before Albert could answer the question, the bus stopped. Quickly the loud voices of their friends filled the bus. Jack sat down next to Albert, he looked even more tired than Albert with dark circles under his eyes. Romeo threw his bag on the floor, draping himself over Race, his hand rested dramatic on his forehead. “Oh, what is wrong, my sweetest Romeo?” Race cupped Romeo’s face with his hands. The boy now had covered his eyes with his lower arm, the most dramatic sigh came from him. “I don’t know if I can go on like this, my beloved Racer,” he said, voice slightly shaking. Race would bet ten bucks on Albert rolling his eyes, even though he could not see it.
“My dearest Romeo, please oh please tell me what is bothering you on this beautiful autumn morning.”
“I don’t think I can, my precious Racer. It is too hard,” the boy lifted his arm so his eyes met Race’s. “We were out of chocolate sprinkles this morning. My heart is broken. I cannot live like this, everything is so dark.” Jack and Albert sighed simultaneously. Everyone in their small group of friends had a flair for drama, they all took drama class for a reason, but Race and Romeo were the worst. They had the intense urge to make the smallest things into big dramatic moments. And fuck yeah, the both loved doing it.
“Oh, my treasured Romeo, I cannot imagine what you must be going through in these hard times. I can only pray that you find the will to live again,” Romeo sat up within a second. “Treasured? Is that even a thing?” he asked, his eyebrow raised. “I think so? I was running out of ideas,” Race admitted, leaning against the window of the bus. “Are y’all finished?” Jack asked, his fingers drumming on the back of his seat. “My sweet, sweet Jack Benjamin Kelly- “
“My middle name is not Benjamin.” Jack interrupted him.
“Pretty sure it is Benjamin.”
“Racer, I think I know my own name better then you do.”
“Well apparently not, if you did not know your middle name was Benjamin. Besides I thought Medda taught you better then to interrupt people.” Race was convinced Medda was the coolest mom to ever exist. Except for the fact she was not biologically Jack’s mom. But she allowed them to have small parties in the weekend, and mostly just looked away when they drank alcohol.
“I really could not care less about what you were going to say.”
“Rude, Benjamin. Rude.”
Davey got on the bus at the next stop, sitting down in front of Jack and Albert. Race was sure Jack would’ve thrown Albert out of the window if it meant that Davey could sit next to him. Everyone was well aware of the intense sexual tension and loving stares between the two boys. Everyone except them, it seems. If there was something Race loved, it was a great gay romance.
Race was not sure when he first got a crush on a boy. But he remembered vividly the day his dad told him that gay people would go to hell and that if ‘one of his kids’, which meant only Race, would ever turn out gay he would disown them and kick them out. Two days later he left Race and his mom for a younger girl. So, he always felt that having a crush on a boy was one big fuck you to the man. Not that his dad would ever care, he hadn’t called once since he left four years ago.
“Davey, my man!” Race called out. “Kelly over her claims Benjamin is not his middle name. With you knowing him so well I was hoping you would clarify.”
“Fucking hell, Higgins, I did not know you were able to talk so fancy,” Albert spoke, his back against the window and his arm casually over the back of his seat. “Did you not listen to a word Race and I just said?” Romeo asked, almost offended.
“I’m pretty sure Jack does not have a middle name,” Davey said. He sounded quite confused but not surprised.
“Oh man, Davey. I thought we had something really special. You can’t let me down like this,” Race pushed away Albert’s arm to lean over the seat, reaching out for Davey. Davey just leaned back a bit, staying out of his reach. “Race, it’s not healthy to flirt with everyone,” Albert said, pushing the boy back in his seat. “You never give Romeo crap for flirting with everyone,” the boy snapped back, leaning against the window again. “Oh, come on, he is called Romeo for god’s sake,”
“My parents saw my gift the moment I was born,” Romeo grinned. “They knew I was destined to be the biggest flirt of school.”
“You were destined to be the biggest slut of school.”
“Same thing, different name.”
“Only Romeo would be proud to be a slut,” Albert said as Race almost shoved Romeo off the seat when the bus came to a halt. “What can I say, it’s my talent. Nothing to be ashamed off!” He grinned, grabbing his bag. Race picked up his bag from the floor, following his friends out of the bus.
The moment he laid eyes on the big ugly building, he wanted to take back his words on school being his favourite circle of hell. There had to be a more fun place in hell then this prison. Even the building looked boring, the brown bricks truly remined him more of a prison then a school. And to think that this was only the building, the teachers were not even in sight yet.
Crutchie was waiting for them at the doors. “Hey guys!” he called out, his left shoulder leaning on his crutch. “People are saying that Weasel is sick,” A wave of relief went through Race’s body. Weasel was their maths professor and they had a test today which he did not study for. “Please let that be true,” he heard Romeo call out. “I cannot stand that man’s bald head. Did you guys know he is married? The poor girl must have been desperate.”
Crutchie softly chuckled at Romeo’s comment. “I would say, or maybe he is rich. But if he was rich he would’ve bought a wig,” Race added, quickly looking at his phone to check his schedule. The bell rang loudly, cutting the conversation short. “See ya at lunch!” Albert said before he and Crutchie disappeared into one of the hallways. Jack and Davey barely said bye to the boys, too busy in their conversation. Romeo wrapped his arm around Race’s shoulder as they made their way towards their English classroom. “We should set goals for this year,” he proposed.
“Like what? Passing our finals?”
“I was thinking more about how many times we want to make out and get laid.”
“Romeo, my beloved Romeo. You are just scared I’m gonna be more slutty then you are.”
“You know you cannot beat me at my own game.”
“I’m betting twenty bucks, I’m gonna get laid more times than you are before graduation.”
“Deal.”
The two boys managed to get two seats at the back of the room, dumping their books on the tables. “Do you think Miss Hannah was a slut in her high school time?” Romeo asked, referring to their English teacher, who was late. “Definitely. School paper posted an old picture of her and she was hot.”
Race his eyes wandered the room as he talked. His eye falling on the blonde guy who entered the room. Spot Conlon, his least favourite circle of hell. He had an intense hate for the boy and vice versa. It was not like they ever had a real conversation, one that lasted longer than a minute and did not contain at least five insults within that minute. He just despised the boy. The way he walked around like he owned the school. Dickhead.
“I could totally imagine her being hot. If I was straight I would’ve totally hit that,” Romeo leaned back in his chair, his eyes on the chalkboard as his mind wandered. Race’s eyes moved back to his friend. “Dude she is a teacher, even if you were straight it would’ve been gross,”
“Love works in mysterious ways.”
“Wanting to sleep with someone is not being in love.”
“And since when are you an expert on love, Higgins?”
Race opened his mouth to snap back, but words failed him. That did not happen often, Race was a master with words, he had always a comeback ready. But sometimes Romeo managed to outsmart him. Race closed his mouth, crossing his arms like an angry kid. Romeo just grinned wide, knowing he had won.
“Okay class, sorry I’m late. Let’s open your books at page 45!”

Chapter Text

Their morning classes went by rather quick. Romeo and Race had English and a double period of Science together. Fourth period Race spend in Biology with Albert. Both could not give less fucks about the class. It mostly turned into a competition who would piss off their teacher first. Mister Snyder was an asshole, but at least he did not give them detention. “Can I copy your maths homework?” Race asked as the two made their way towards the cafeteria. The halls were filled with kids who finished their classes, heading for lunch. “Didn’t you have a test today?”
Albert was a genius when it came to maths, no one had expected it from him but he was a straight A student when it came to maths. Every time they asked him how he got so good in it, he simply shrugged, claiming it were only numbers and it was not as hard as everyone made it to be.
“Yeah, but Weasel is a dick and gives homework on test days. And Crutchie texted that Weasel being sick was only a rumour. If I get in detention again today, Medda will kick me out of drama club. She said I can’t miss another meeting before auditions.” Race explained as they made their way towards their usual table. Albert let out a dramatic sigh, like it would cost every bit of energy he had to give Race the answers. “Fine, but only because Romeo will be insufferable if you get kicked out of drama club.”
“I am, what now?” Romeo asked as they sat down, his eyes moving from his lunch towards the boys. “The love of my life, oh Romeo.” Race smirked as he got his lunch out of his bag.
“I love when you talk sweet to me, Racer.”
“And here I always thought Romeo was more the kid for dirty talk.” Jack spoke as he sat down next to Romeo, his bag in one hand and pencil in the other.
“You know I love dirty talk. Especially when it’s out of your mouth, Jacky.” Romeo wrapped his arms around Jack, practically climbing on his lap.
“Why do I hang out with you guys?”
“We ask ourselves that question every day, Davey. You are too pure for us.” Race smiled, unwrapping his sandwich. It was true. Davey joined their small group half way through last school year. No one really knew why, he just showed up one day and stayed. Race and Romeo were sure it had to do with a certain Jack Kelly. No one mind, Davey was good kid. Maybe not as dramatic or obnoxious as the rest of them, he balanced them out.
“Please get off of me,” Jack grunted, shoving Romeo away. “You are breaking my heart! I thought you loved me!”
“Hey guys!” The voice turned away the attention from Romeo desperate trying to cling to Jack’s arm. Elmer stood in front of their table, with Crutchie who was just sitting down next to Albert. “Hey, Elmer, you’re sitting with us today?”
Elmer was not a usual part of their group. He was that kid that everyone just adored and occasionally he ate lunch with them. He was your most typical socialist student, part of almost every after-school activity, friends with basically everyone. He was a good kid, they all liked him.
“Nah, I promised Sarah to have lunch at their table.” He said, shoving his backpack over his shoulder. “Of course, he is hanging out with the cool twin, and we get Davey.” Romeo sighed, draping himself over the table. Davey raised his eyebrow a bit, clearly not giving a shit about the comment.
“Hey,” Albert stopped Elmer before he could walk away, leaning over the table towards the boy. “Sit with us tomorrow, it’s been a while.”
“Okay, see ya!” Elmer’s cheeks were almost as red as Albert’s hair as he walked away. “That kid is so cute,” Albert sighed, before drowning his bottle of coke. Everyone’s head whipped towards him. “Did you just call Elmer ‘cute’?” Romeo asked, propping himself up on his elbows. “Yeah? He is adorable, everyone thinks so!” Albert defended himself.
“Albert, sweet innocent Albert,” Race started, turning his body towards his friend. “Cute is not the same as adorable. Adorable is innocent and friendly. Hot is wanting to fuck someone. Cute is crushing on someone big time.”
“I’m not crushing on Elmer. I like the kid. Remember when he pissed of Snyder with being so sassy?”
“Oh my god. I always thought Albert was just shocked but he totally jizzed in his pants!” Romeo almost screamed, which got him a warning look from Davey.
“I did not!” Albert’s face started to turn as red as his hair. “Our little Albert is growing up. Soon he’ll be married and have four kids. I still remember when he pushed his first crush against the swing set when he was five,” Race pretended to wipe away tears, wrapping one arm around Albert’s shoulder.
“Fuck off,” Albert grunted, prying Race’s arm away. “Okay that was enough bullying for lunch break.” Jack said, placing his hand on the table. “We’re just teasing,”
“Would you like me to yell embarrassing stories through the cafeteria, Romeo?” Jack raised his eyebrow, the don’t-even-try-me look. Romeo fell back in his chair, exchanging looks with Race. They both knew Jack had too many embarrassing stories about them. Not that they had much of a reputation, but some stories were better left untold.
“If Albert says he is not crushing on Elmer. We should leave it, right?” Crutchie suggested, his hands resting on his water bottle. Every nodded in silent. But the look exchanged between Romeo and Race had a complete different promise. They were not going to leave it.
“Is there still a chair free?” Mush was clutching his lunch bag, looking at the mess of boys. “Race, time to leave. The love of my life has arrived,” Romeo sat, swatting his hand at the boy.
“Romeo, I thought we would be together forever!” Race grabbed Romeo’s hands, almost knocking Jack’s bottle off the table. Two boys sighed, but Race did not care enough to look who. His bet would be on Davey and Jack. “Racer, have you seen Mush’s face. No one could beat that. Especially not your ugly face.”
The sound of a chair moving broke their dramatic moment. “Why are you so late? Break is almost over.” Crutchie asked as Mush sat down. “Weasel was keeping everyone until Skittery finished his test. And that kid sucks in maths.”
“Romeo! Homework!” Race called out as he was reminded of Weasel. Within seconds he was copying Romeo’s homework like his life depended on it, which it kind of did. Drama club was a big thing for him. Not that he liked learning lines or painting sets. It was two hours of hanging out with his friends and having fun, without someone having to leave for homework or sports or anything.
Race had the amazing ability to hyper focus. Normally he would be distracted within seconds, that why classes did not work for him. But when he really wanted to and needed to, he could block every other sound out and just do the work, as now the maths homework.
“Do you think his paper will light on fire if he keeps writing fast like that?”
“I hope it will, that would be quite the story.”
“Can you just shut up for a second and let him work?”
“Davey, how are you still surprised with the way we are?”
The second Race shoved the paper back to Romeo, the bell rang loudly. “Time to face the devil.”

Chapter Text

“Tell me again why are we watching the football practice?” Race asked as he sat down on the bleachers with Romeo and Mush. They had a pretty good view of the practice going on at the field, which was filled with football players.
“Because Mush’s boyfriend is practicing and we are good moral support. Plus, Blink is our ride to dinner.”
“Moral support for what?”
“Mush drooling.”
Mush and Blink has been dating for three months now and were so adorable it made Race sick sometimes, in a good way. They were always holding hands or having their arms wrapped around each other. Race once walked in on a heavy make out session in the bathroom, he had turned on his heels and went to the bathroom on the other side of the building.
“I do not drool.” Mush said, his eyes already on Blink. It was still odd how the two of them found each other. Blink did not hang out with their normal group, oh no he hang out with Spot Conlon. The boy was actually blind on one eye, wearing a black eye cap over his left eye. Which made him look much tougher, Race was always impressed with how good he was in football with only one eye.
Mush, on the other hand, was softer. He was part of the drama club and could not be bother with sports, at least before he started crushing on Blink. They were a perfect match.
“Of course, you do not drool. It’s more like a waterfall out of your mouth.”
“I’m never letting you join me again.” Mush’s eyes never left Blink for a second, not even looking at his friends as they continued the conversation. “He’s goin’ regret asking Blink along for dinner.”
“I’m already regretting it. You are going to make me look like a fool.”
“You don’t need us for that, buddy.”
This would be the first time Blink would hang out with them. Of course, they all had spoken with Blink before, but this would be the first time it was their group of friends, plus Blink for longer than five minutes. They were going to have dinner at this small burger place which looked like an old dinner. Once upon a time Jack had convinced everyone the waitresses were on roller-skates, which they were not. But they had dinner there every once in a while because the burgers were the best. But since the minivan of Crutchie’s mom did not have enough space for everyone, Race and Romeo had to tag along with Mush and Blink, which meant waiting until football practice was over.
Race and Romeo never had been the ones for sports, or more precisely: school sports. But they always preferred a free ride over a walk-through town.

The practice ended with Race and Romeo playing a game of cards while Mush watched the training. No one complained about this set up. The two boys only started to wrap up their game when heavy footsteps were making the bleachers shake lightly.
“Hey baby.” Blink shortly pressed his lips against Mush’s, who was already smiling bright. “I’m goin’ change real quick and meet you at the car, okay?” The boy nodded, before Blink took off, disappearing towards the locker rooms. “Finally. I’m starving.” Romeo sighed dramatic as they got up from the bleachers. Race shoved the pack of cards in his backpack as he followed this friends down the bleachers, towards the parking lot. The parking lot was half empty, as most students did after-school activities. Blink had a Nissan Skyline, in a boring grey colour. Race promised himself to never let his car have such a dull car, you know once he managed to exactly pass for his driving exam. He gave up trying after four attempts. Most of the student in their grade had their own cars, but since every one of their friends only lived a few blocks away from each other and school was not that far neither, no one of their group felt the urge to get a car anytime soon. They all wanted to do those cool road trips and all, but their group was too big to fit in one car, so that idea was out of the window quick.
“You can still dump us, no hard feelings. Only Romeo’s broken heart.”
“You are the love of my life, Mush. Don’t you dare dump us.”
“Romeo, I’m trying to save this kid’s relationship. Blink will want to poke his eyes out after ten minutes with us.”
Mush ran his fingers through his hair, a smile on his lips. Romeo leaned against the car of Blink, his arm around Race’s shoulder. “Hey, if he can’t handle y’all, he’s not the one.” Mush shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“That was the most beautiful version of bros before hos, I’ve ever heard.” Romeo placed his free hand over his heart, looking like he was about to cry.
“You would dump us all for a boy, wouldn’t you?” Race asked, his eyebrow raised at the boy next to him.
“Racer, I’m offended you would think that of me. I would dump you all for just a simple one-night-stand.” He explained, before he pulled the boy a bit closer, more in a hug. “Just kidding. Where would I be without my amazing friends?”
“Hey!” Mush turned around on his heels as soon as he heard the voice. “Cue the drool.” Race whispered towards Romeo as they saw Blink approach. Race could not contain a soft sigh once he noticed Spot Conlon next to Blink. “Please tell me he’s not tagging along,” Romeo muttered towards Race. Blink wrapped his arm around Mush, pressing a short kiss on the boy’s temple. “You didn’t tell me you were goin’ hang out with these dickheads.” Spot shrugged, his accent thick.
“You came here to insult us, Conlon?” Race asked, with Romeo’s arm still around him. “Don’t start thinkin’ too high of yourself now, Higgins. Just came to look after my friends.” Spot’s dark eyes were focussed on the blonde boy. What Spot Conlon missed in height, he definitely made up with personality. The way the boy stood and walked and talked, made you forget he was the shortest in their grade.
“You know I never think high of myself. Maybe you should try it too sometimes, makes you loosen up a bit.”
“Yeah, we’re goin’ leave. You guys aren’t goin’ fight in the parking lot.” Blink interrupted the two boys, his keys clinking in his hand. “See you tomorrow, Spot.” He greeted his friend before he unlocked the door. Spot muttered a goodbye before he made his way towards his car. Race’s gaze followed him until he disappeared behind another car, what a complete dickhead. He got into the car, sitting in the back seat next to Romeo, who had already rolled down the window. “They ain’t goin’ to fight every time they see each other, right?” he heard Blink ask Mush.
“I don’t think so, but I don’t think we’ll have one big group of friends any time soon.”

Chapter Text

The last period before lunch on Tuesday was History, one of the only subjects Race had without his friends. To make it even worse Pulitzer was the teacher. He’d rather jump of a cliff with a faulty bungee jump rope then listening to this teacher. To make it even worse, Pulitzer had spent the last ten minutes explaining their project for this semester. Race was sure he could literally not care less. He spent the minutes doodling in his notebook, creating small flowers and cartoons. He was by no way an artist, he could not draw to save his life, but Race did enjoy doodling, it was a way to keep his minds of certain things. In this case his teacher rambling on and on. Was he going to regret not paying attention later? Probably. But Race was more a life-in-the-moment person, he could always ask notes from classmates.
“For this project I made the following pairs.” Oh great, teacher-picked pairs, wasn’t he just the best teacher around? Race dropped his pens, actually trying to at least look like he was paying attention. The way he just blankly stared, Pulitzer must’ve thought he was on drugs. Would not be the first time people thought so. The list of names dragged on, until finally he heard his own. “Anthony Higgins and Sean Conlon.”
No fucking way. This had to be a joke. Race’s face hit the small table before he could let out a sigh. It was confirmed, Pulitzer hated him, the universe hated him, damnit if there was a thing like god, he must hate him too. Out of every single person in this class, he got teamed up with the one kid he could not stand. He slowly lifted his head, his eye falling on the girl in front of him. “Hey Eliza,” he whispered, his finger poking the girl’s shoulder. Her shoulder betrayed the deep breath she took before she turned around to face him. “What do you want?” she asked, her brown her moving over her shoulders. “Who you paired with up with?” He leaned over the table towards her. “Ruby, why?”
“Maybe we can switch? I have Conlon, he and Ruby are friends, right? We were quite the team last year.” Race smiled, as genuine as possible. “Yeah, not goin’ happen.” She was about to turn back but Race stopped her, placing his hand on her arm. “But, babe..-“
“Don’t ‘babe’ me. You lost that right when we broke up.”
“You know how I hate Conlon. Please help me out.”
“And you know how I like Ruby. Not going to happen. So good luck.” This time he did not stop her when she turned back. What had he done to receive this karma? Race was not a bad person, not at all. Maybe sometimes he was a bit of an asshole, an obnoxious, loud, dramatic asshole. But he was not a bad person. Was this because he laughed when Mush fell that time it had snowed? Or when he had switched Romeo and Jack’s costume during a dress rehearsal? This had to be punishment for something.
“So, we a pair?” Race’s head shot up when he heard Spot’s voice. The boy stood next to his table, he did not look any happier then Race, at least they did not have to pretend to like each other. “Apparently.” He sighed. Spot pulled up the chair from the table next to Race’s, the kid had left to sit next to his partner. “I was thinking maybe we can write about the independence of the states or the second world war? Those are big events,” Spot suggested, running his fingers through his short hair. “I like the second world war,” Race spoke. “Well not as in ‘I like war’, I mean, I think it’s a good subject.”
The dark-haired boy frowned shortly at him, like he was trying to figure something out. “Second world war it is.” He grabbed Race’s notebook, flipping it to an empty page. World War II he wrote on top of the page. His handwriting was nothing like Race had expected. He had expected something messy, very boyish, but instead it was neat, almost elegant. The complete opposite of Race’s messy handwriting. “We need something more specific then World War Two.” He stated. “No shit, Sherlock. I’m still thinking.” Spot barked. The two boys fell in a silence. Spot chewed on the back of the pen, his eyes focussed on the wall as he thought. Race caught himself observing the boy. Get your shit together, Higgins.

“It’s for sure, Pulitzer hates me,” Race announced when he placed his tray down. He was the last one to arrive at the table. “Are you surprised?” Katherine asked, her eyes on the sandwich in front of her. Race sat down next to Romeo, who was busy with stealing Mush’s fries when the boy did not notice. “How can someone like that, have raised you? He is the walking devil. No offence.”
“None taken, my dad is an asshole. Thank god, I’m not allowed to take his class. I would go crazy,”
“He paired me up with Conlon for our project.” That managed to get everyone’s attention. “He would not let us leave until we came up with a specific subject.”
“Oh, my poor Racer,” Romeo sighed, wrapping his arm around the blonde boy. “Not now, Romeo. I’m pissed.” Race muttered. He was not in the mood for the dramatics. He loved it, but he was too pissed for it now. Too pissed off by this project, by that jerk face of a Spot Conlon. “I’m basically stuck with that asshole for the rest of the semester.”
“Maybe it won’t be that bad,” Davey suggested. His eyes flickered among the rest, who now all stared at him. “I mean, how bad can it be? It’s just a project. It’s not like you’re stuck with him the rest of your life.” Race picked up the apple from his tray, his thoughts had already moved when Romeo started a discussion with Davey, about how it was the end of the world.
“What topic did you choose?” Crutchie questioned, interrupting the other two boys. “The role of the USA in the second world war,” he explained, before taking a bite of the apple. “It can work out for the best, though. Opposites attract, right?” Jack grinned, one of those provoking grins. Race was ready to drag the boy over the table, he knew exactly how to push Race’s buttons and he hated it. “Maybe you should just shut up,” He hissed, narrowing his eyes. “A little respect for your elderly,” Jack said, sounding offended. “Respect is earned, Kelly.”
The bell announcing that lunch break was over came as a give of heaven. He was not in the mood for fighting but he also knew that if Jack continued like that it would end in a fight, neither were the one to back down, both way too proud for backing down. He got up from his chair, waiting for Albert before they went towards their next class together.

Chapter Text

“Anthony, glad you could join us as well,” Medda was seated in one of the front seats in the small theatre. “Sorry,” Race said soft, but genuine. Medda was the only teacher he could stand and she was not really a teacher. She only did drama club, but she rocked it. “I hope you have a good excuse.” She sounded stern, but he knew she did not mind since auditions hadn’t even taken place yet. “History project,” he explained, dropping his backpack in front of the stage, next to the pile of bags already laid down. He saw Romeo’s head pop up from the small couch he was seated at. His eyes were filled with curiosity. Instead of heading towards Romeo, Race sat down on a bean bag next to Albert, who looked up from his school book. With the drama ‘season’ not really starting yet, the member of the drama-club just hung out at the theatre for 2 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to get their extra credits. “You calmed down yet?” Albert asked, his arms leaning on this book. “Yeah, we discussed shortly what our plan is going to be. You know how Pulitzer can be a bitch when it comes to grading.” “Yeah, good luck with that. I swear to god Romeo if you put Rewrite the Stars on, once again I will kill you!” Albert yelled out, getting up from the bean bag. “But Zendaya and Zac Efron!” The other boy yelled back, reaching to the tablet that was connected to the aux cable. Elmer was quicker, grabbing the tablet, putting on Cabaret. “Oh my god, you are amazing, Elmer. I love you,” Albert sank back in the bean bag, making an air kiss motion with both hands towards the boy. Elmer’s cheek’s coloured a soft red, smiling at the redhead. “What?” Albert asked when he saw Race’s curious eyes. “Nothing. It feels like I’m watching a romantic comedy but in real life.” “Oh, will you shut up,” Albert hissed, picking up his book. “You know it’s impossible for me to shut up,” Race shrugged. Both boys turned around on their beanbags when they heard the door of the theatre slam close. Jack was making his way down the aisle, hands in his pockets. “Medda!” He called out, smiling bright. Medda sighed, before she turned around in her seat. “I thought your bus went fifteen minutes ago,” she said, playing with the pen in between her fingers. “Yes, but I’m still working on my piece for art class. So, I was hoping I can ride along with you. But that was not why I came here,” he sank in the chair next to her. Race and Albert shortly looked at each other, carefully leaning closer towards the edge of the stage on their bean bags. “I want to throw a party,” he stated, his feet resting against the row of chairs in front of them. He ran his fingers, covered in paint, through his hair. Medda softly hit his legs, motioning to get his feet of the chairs. Her answer was too soft to hear from the stage but the grin on Jack’s face betrayed a successful conversation. Not too much later Jack got up from the chair, waving shortly to his friends on the stage and left the theatre. Not too later their phones buzzed. At least five people on stage grabbed their phones at the same time. Jack had send a message about the party in their group chat: the nerdiest people you will ever meet. “Mush should take Blink with him,” Albert stated, shoving his phone back into his pocket. “Definitely. He can should take Specs with him for Romeo,” Race suggested, dropping his phone in his lap. “Specs and Romeo?” “Have you seen how Romeo draped himself on Specs lap the other day when Medda was taking suggestions for this year’s musical. That was even too flirty for just casual Romeo,” the boy shrugged, his gaze focussed on Romeo who was talking with Specs. If Romeo had long hair, he would’ve played with it like girls always do in those movies. “But if Blink and Specs are coming, they are taking Conlon with them for sure,” “Better then Mush moping all night about missing his boyfriend,” Race shrugged. “You should invite Elmer.” He expected Albert to sigh, or tell him to fuck off. But instead he noticed how his friend was looking at Elmer. “I don’t know if he’s into parties,” “Of course, he is into parties, he’s the most social person we know,” Race said, softly bumping his shoulder against Albert’s. “What if he says no because he thinks it’s a date?” the nerves were clear in his voice. “Al, It’s so obvious how he’s into you. He would never say no to you,” The blonde boy reassured him, trying his best to make his friend a bit more confident. “I don’t know.” “Albert, you can at least try. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe this party is going to be the start of several relationships.”

Chapter Text

“So, what is the plan, Kelly?” Romeo asked the second Jack sat down his lunch tray.
“The plan? There is no plan. Just a lot of alcohol and friends,” He shrugged, sitting down next to Davey. Katherine sat down on the other side of Davey. The rest of the group was already there, Crutchie and Mush next to each other, Race next them and Romeo sprawled over an extra chair. Albert was sitting on another extra chair, on the other side of the table from Romeo
Katherine sat down on the other side of Davey. “I want to invite Sarah,” she announced, opening her water bottle.
“You’re not inviting my sister,” Davey protested, looking over at her.
“I’m not inviting her for you. I’m inviting her for me,”
“Oh, our sweet little Katherine has a crush!” Romeo blurted, almost jumping up from his seat.
“Oh, calm down, you dickhead,” Katherine hissed, her eyes threating.
“’msorry,” Romeo muttered. Race softly patted his shoulder.
“I want to ask Blink along, if that’s okay,” Mush said, as he picked up a chip from his tray.
“Of course, you can invite your handsome lover,”
“Romeo is hereby not invited,” Jack announced, before he downed his bottle of water. The protested sounds coming from Romeo, made a couple of kids from tables around them look over to check. Race motioned them everything was okay. “Medda is gone for the weekend so you guys can sleep over. You too Kath.”
“Like my dad would allow it,” she shrugged, before drinking from her bottle.
“Will he allow you to even come to the party or does he really want you to be a loser?” Romeo was clearly in a provoking mood, his target for today was set on Katherine.
“If I did not want to be a loser, I would’ve never hung out with you,” she snapped back, her eyes focused on the boy.
“Okay, maybe we should switch topic for now,” Davey proposed as he placed his hands on the table, snapping the two kids out of their little stare contest.
“Just invite who you want, keep it small.” Jack said, clearly closing the topic for now.
“How’s your project doing, Race?” Davey asked, the genuine interest was clear in his voice. The kid loved projects as long as he liked the subjects and he often checked in on his friends if he thought it were interesting subjects.
“It’s going okay, I guess. We’re goin’ make a start this afternoon.”
“Are you goin’ over to his house?” Romeo was immediately interested, his head leaning on his hands while he leaned a bit over the table to make sure he would not miss a word.
“No,” Race snapped, his eyes shortly focusing on Romeo before he looked at Davey again. “we’re goin’ work at the library. I didn’t even know people still did that.” It wasn’t like Race did not know there was a library, Davey had taken him there to study last year when he was failing Spanish. He just never knew kids really went there to work on a project, why not just skype or hang out at each other houses. Not that he wanted to go to Spot’s house, or invite Spot to his house.
“One hundred percent sure it’s actually a date.”
“Romeo, it’s a fucking library,” Albert sighed, clearly done with the other boy’s bull shit.
“Why can’t I have cool friends?” Katherine whined, resting her head on the table.
“Pardon me? We are cool. The rest just doesn’t realise it yet” Race protested, almost knocking over his bottle as he waved his hands to make his point more clear. “You should feel honoured you are friends with us.” Albert, Romeo and Crutchie made agreeing noises.
“If you say so,” Katherine just shrugged.

 

“You’re late,” was Spot’s greeting when Race sank down in the seat across the table from him.
“It’s a talent,” he shrugged, placing his backpack on the table. He took his notebook and a pen out before placing the backpack on the floor. Spot did not seem impressed by his talent comment. The doubt to say something about it clearly in his eyes.
“Let’s just get started,” he said, unlocking his iPad and opening the browser. “Maybe it’s best if we start with just research some facts about the role of the states, like when did they join the war?” he suggested.
“Yeah, sounds good,”
Two hours the two worked on their project, getting information from the web and several books. Still they had barely enough to cover half a page, as it became clear neither had a very long concentration span. Race caught himself a couple of times, watching Spot work. When Spot worked on something he looked very different then the boy Race learned to hate. He looked smaller, younger. The usual frown disappeared of his face as he searched through several websites.
He managed to stop watching the boy when he noticed Romeo and Albert coming in the library, which was quite unusual. Those two boys at the library was even rarer than a lake in the desert. Besides, his two friends were not the best in spying on someone. Albert once even accidently shoved a pile of books of their table when he wanted to look like he was studying. His friends were the biggest idiots and he loved them for it.
Once during the two-hour project session Race managed to make Spot exactly crack a smile, which was more then he thought he would see from the boy. In that split second, he considered asking Spot to come to Jack’s party. Thinking maybe Spot wasn’t that bad, but five minutes later they were bickering again about something pointless like the reliability of a source. When Race left the library, he still hated Spot and the project.

Chapter Text

The library was empty during lunch break on Tuesday. It was the week of Jack’s party and the entire group was getting more hyped every day. But the current situation was Race and Spot sitting in the abandoned library to work on their project. Neither would normally be this dedicated to a project, but since Pulitzer hated both of them, they needed to make it the best thing they had ever written just to get a pass. And they both needed a good grade desperately. Besides both had after-school activities so every bit of time they could spend on the project during school, was already good.

“Do you think he will be pissed if we don’t use those scholar sources?” Race asked, his head resting on his hand as he started to the computer screen.

“Definitely, he’s goin’ treat it like a fucking college essay,” Spot was scrolling on his iPad, his feet resting on the table. Even the librarian was out for lunch, so there was no one to tell them off for talking to loud or putting your feet on shit. Race wondered if she had dared to leave if it was him and Albert.

“According to Google, the best job I can get without a high school diploma is McDonalds manager, that doesn’t sound so bad.”

“Okay, first of all. You are supposed to look up sources for our project, not your future plans. Second, how do you become a manager without a study? Don’t you need to do a special manager study for it?” Spot pushed himself up a bit, his eyes moved from his iPad to Race.

“The recruitment page for McDonalds claims you can follow their McDonalds academy. It sounds really good exactly,” Race’s eyes were focused on the text on the screen.

Spot was about to ask more before he softly shake his head. “Race, focus,” he warned, his attention moving back to his iPad. “I wish we could print without having to ask Miss Carter,” he sighed. “I can’t figure out how to highlight text on this thing.”

“About that printer ban,” Race kept his eyes on his screen, fighting every urge to look at Spot.

“Don’t tell me it’s because of you.”

“Also, Albert,” the blonde boy defended himself.

“People say it’s because people printed out pictures of dicks and shoved them in the mailbox of the principal.”

“That is not true,” Race said. “Though that is an amazing idea, I should’ve thought of that,” He moved a bit on his chair to be able to see Spot better. “We printed out every weird Harry Potter smut on Tumblr and shoved it in Jack’s locker. We repeated it when Davey joined our group.”

“You really are fucking crazy, aren’t you?” Spot leaned back in his chair, his eyes moving between his iPad and Race.

“Crazy and proud,” he stated.

“I was almost forgetting I hated you, thanks for reminding me,” Spot shrugged, his eyes back on his iPad.

“I’m growing on you, aren’t I, Conlon?” Race pushed his chair a bit away from the computer, completely focused on the other boy with a self-indulgent smirk on his lips.

“Don’t get full of yourself, Higgins. You are still a little shit,”

The bell rang loudly through the library, announcing the end of the lunch break and the start of the next class. Race and Spot both got up from their chairs, shoving their belongings in their backpacks.

“Hey Spot,” Race stopped the boy who was already on his way out. Spot turned on his heels, shoving his backpack over his shoulder. “Jack has a party this Saturday.”

“So, I heard.”

“Since Blink and Specs are coming, I was wondering if you wanted to come as well. Seems rude to invite only half of a group,” Race shoved his hands in his pockets, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

“Sure, sounds fun,’ Spot shrugged before he turned around again. “See ya tomorrow,” he said as he left the library.

“Anthony Higgins!” Romeo entered the library, arms crossed before his chest. “Did you just invite Spot Conlon, the boy you hate with all your heart, to Jack’s party? Spot Conlon?!”

“Fuck off, Romeo,” Race growled, picking up his bag from the table. “He’s not that bad, and we invited his friends. How would you feel when we all go to a party and you’re not invited?”

“But this is Spot Conlon. The boy who threatened to hit you with a baseball bat when we were eleven,” Romeo already pushed himself up to sit on a table, leaning back so he was basically lounging.

“We need to get to class, Romeo.”

“Jack, this is the last time I’m allowing you in here during drama club,” Medda warned when Jack strutted over the stage, dropping next to Albert on a bean bag. The school had picked Into The Woods as the musical for this year, completely ignoring any request from Medda or the drama club. But they were getting used to it. Medda was helping Davey and Crutchie with picking out audition songs and monologue’s. Being a part of drama club meant you would be guaranteed of a spot in the production, but your audition would determine which part. And Medda was hard to impress.

“So, who is coming over this Saturday?” Jack asked, shifting in his seat.

“I invited Blink, he really enjoyed when we all went to dinner,” Mush stated, sitting on the floor with his legs crossed.

“Romeo asked Specs and Ruby. Kath asked Sarah, very surprising. I asked Elmer,” Race could see how Albert’s head turned towards him, his eyes narrowed. “Eliza and Spot.” Race continued. “Smalls and Mike are not sure if they are coming, but we made clear they are welcome.”

“Wait, you invited who?” Albert asked as he slowly sat straight on the bean bag.

“Elmer.”

“And?”

“Eliza.”

“And?” Albert’s voice got more pressing.

“Spot.”

“Are you out of your mind?” Jack objected.

“We invited his friends, it’s seemed fair.” Race explained. He made sure to straighten his back, trying hard to not show the doubt he had over his earlier decision.

“If he ruins the party, I know where to find you, Race,” Jack warned, his eyes dark.

Chapter Text

“Anthony! Albert is here!” Race’s mom called out. The blonde boy quickly grabbed the backpack that was stalled out on his bed, shoving his last stuff in their before heading downstairs.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, mom,” he said as he grabbed his jacket from the coat hanger, closing the front door behind him.

“You excited?” Albert asked, shoving his hands in his pockets, he was wearing a jean jacket and his backpack. His red hair hidden under his usual cap. Race shrugged, putting on his jacket before he shoved the backpack on his bag. “You’re regretting inviting Conlon?” Albert’s shoulder nudged Race’s.

“Nah, I just hope not too many people will show up, like Tyler’s party last year. That was way too crowded.”

“We’re not that cool, don’t worry.”

“yeah, well there will be beer, so there will be people wanting free beer.”

Jack’s house was not that far away, it was a twenty-minute walk through a quiet neighbourhood. When they arrived, everyone was already there. Romeo was sprawled out on the couch with Mush sitting on the floor before it. Jack and Davey were in the kitchen and Crutchie was the one opening the door for them.

“Bags can go in my room!” Jack called out from the kitchen as he heard Albert and Race greeting the other boys. The two boys quickly went upstairs to drop their bags, returning downstairs when Katherine appeared from the basement, holding three bottles of whisky.

“Oh great, you guys are here. Suddenly I need my drink now.”

“Always good to see you, Kath,” Albert smiled before heading into the living room, dropping himself on the couch next to Romeo, who immediately placed his legs over Al’s lap.

Race sat down next to Mush on the floor, crossing his legs. “There is pizza in the kitchen if you want,” Mush said, a smile on his lips.

“Thanks,” Race smiled back. Crutchie sat down, placing his crutch again the chair.

“Oh, I got some news,” He said when Jack, Davey and Katherine walked into the living room, placing down multiple glasses on the table. Everyone looked up to Crutchie, who was smiling bright. “I’m getting a brace for my foot and ankle and a small cane. The doctor thinks it’s possible for me to walk without my crutch, and maybe in the future without the cane,” he explained.

“That is great!” Davey smiled, sitting down on one of the other chairs, Jack sitting on the arm rest of the chair. Katherine said down on the floor opposite from Mush and Race

“I’m not goin’ call you Bracie,” Romeo shrugged, his own way of congratulating Crutchie.

“What Romeo is trying to say, that is amazing, Crutchie,” Mush spoke.

“We should drink to this!” Jack reached out to grab two glasses, giving one to Davey. He urged everybody to get a glass. “It’s a gin-tonic,” he explained when Mush looked a bit suspicious to the clear liquid in the glass. When everyone had a glass, Jack held his high in the air. “To Crutchie, who soon can’t be called Crutchie anymore, but we will figure that out later!” Everyone made agreeing sounds, raising their glasses high, before drinking from it.

Crutchie smiled bright when he sat down his glass on the table.

By the time they finished their first drinks, more people showed up. The living room soon got crowdy and people started to spread out to the kitchen. Music was blasting from the stereo.

Race had moved to the hallway, leaning against the wall as he talked with Blink, both a half full cup in their hands. Mush had left his boyfriend for a bit to help Davey with snacks.

“Hey Spot!” Blink called out when he saw his friend entering the house. He softly patted Race’s shoulder as a way to say goodbye before he headed to Spot.

Race shrugged, walking back to the living room. Romeo had dragged Jack’s bean bags from his room and dropped them in a corner, where he now was sitting with Albert.

“Did Elmer really bring his tap shoes?” Race asked, dropping himself next to the two boys.

Romeo nodded, downing his glass.

“Isn’t it adorable. Look how good he is,” Albert sighed. If the empty cup in front of the bags were from the two boys, it explained how Albert was so publicly swooning over Elmer.

“Please don’t drool,” Romeo sighed, nudging Albert’s shoulder, almost falling over on his lap.

“If any of you two throw up, tonight. I’m cleaning it with your clothes for tomorrow,” Race sighed, downing his cups with beer and placing it on the floor next to the rest.

“First of all, I’m not drunk, Anthony. Second of all, I’m getting refills,” Romeo pushed himself up from the bean bag, surprisingly steady, heading towards the kitchen.

“He is drunk,” Albert said, his eyes still on Elmer, you could tell the boy was drunk, or at least very close to being drunk, but he still tap-danced like a pro. A group of people was cheering for him.

“Just go ask him out,” Race suggested, his eyes moving from Albert, to Elmer and back.

“I can’t. He is drunk. I’m drunk. He’ll think it’s a joke or that I don’t mean it,” Albert sighed, letting him fall backwards on the bean bag.

“Al, you are so overthinking this. He likes you, you like him. It’s not that complicated.”

“How do you know he likes me? Did he say anything?”

Race sighed, dropping himself next to Albert. “No, but it’s obvious. You should see the way he looks at you,”

“Scoot over, love birds,” Romeo called out, barely managing to hold three cups in his hand. Both boys moaned irritated when they sat up straight, making place for Romeo, who handed them their cups.

“Romeo, are you okay?” Race asked when he noticed how his friend’s hand was slightly shaking.

“Oh, everything is okay. Specs is making out with some girl in the kitchen. I’m fine. Just goin’ drink my heartbreak away.”

“He is doing, what now?” Albert asked, almost dropping his cup.

“Just making out with someone else. Maybe I should’ve mentioned to him that this was a date.” Romeo sighed, almost downing his cup in one go.

“Okay, you’re not going to drink yourself into a coma, Romeo. It must be a mistake or something.” Race leaned over Albert to grab Romeo’s arm, softly. “He’s like drunk or stoned. I don’t know.”

“I don’t know. I don’t care. There are enough boys on this planet for me. I’ll find my Julien. I don’t him with his stupid glasses and smile and beautiful eyes and sexy voice.”

Race and Albert exchanged a look, both filled with worry for their friend, both unsure what to do now.

“It’s goin’ be alright, Romeo,” Albert promised.

Chapter Text

After hours, well past midnight, most people started leaving. The small group of friends found their way back to each other and sat on the living room floor. Katherine was laying with her head on Sarah’s lap, who was braiding the brunette’s hair. Specs had left, to Romeo’s relief, but Blink and Spot had stayed, Blink sitting on the couch with Mush crawled on his lap, almost asleep. Spot said in a small circle with Romeo and Race, playing cards, Crutchie was sitting with them. They had moved the table so there was more room in front of the couch and chairs. Davey was seated at one of the chairs, Jack sitting on the arm rest, both had switched from red cups to fancier glasses.
“Anyone want something from the kitchen?” Race asked, as he played his deck of cards down, getting up from the floor.
“Can I get a refill,” Romeo held his cup up, pouting when Race shaked his head.
“You had enough,” Race was normally not the responsible one but he did not want Romeo to end up in a hospital. As the rest, except for Jack, only shook their heads, he walked towards the kitchen.
The boy stopped in his track, taking in the situation that was happing in the kitchen. Elmer was seated on the counter, his legs wrapped around Albert’s waist. Albert, who had excused himself to go to the bathroom over an hour ago, had his arm around Elmer’s waist. Their lips were pressed against each other, as Elmer’s fingers were entangled with Albert’s red hair.
Race did not want to interrupt them, but he was rather thirsty. As the two boys were so focused on each other, Race managed to grab the six-pack of beer on the counter closest to the door, slipping back to the living room before either of them noticed.
Back in the living room he sat down, placing the six-pack on the ground and picked up his cards. His lips were curled in a small smirk.
“Okay, speak up Racer. What’s with that smirk?” Jack asked, motioning him to throw him a beer.
“Nothing, I’m just thinking how I’m goin’ beat all their asses in this round,” he said, taking a can out of the pack and tossing it to Jack. They played one more game of cards before they gave up on that as well. Half way Albert and Elmer came back. Elmer wished everyone a great night before he headed home, declining everyone’s offer to walk him home.
“We should spice things up,” Romeo suggested, dropping himself on his back so he was laying down.
“You are drunk, but okay. What are you suggesting?” Race shoved the cards back into the package.
“I’m not drunk. Not drunker than you.”
“Drunker is not a word,” Davey corrected him, there was no doubt he was the soberest of everyone.
“Stop being a party pooper,” Romeo groaned, before he pushed himself up on his elbows. “Race, truth or dare.”
“Oh my god, we are not in fucking middle school,” Albert sighed, sitting down next to Race.
Race sighed, turning a bit to rest his head on Albert’s shoulder. “Dare.”
“You already drank from the toilet before, right? I need to be original.”
Race could see how Blink, Spot and Sarah’s eyes moved to him, none of them knew that story. “Please think of something quick,”

Around half an hour later, everyone had, had several turns in the game. Jack had to down two glasses of scotch, which he hated, Albert had to eat nacho’s while standing on his hands. Sarah and Katherine had made out, which both seemed rather happy with, while the boys were not too happy with the dare that had come from Katherine.
“David, truth or dare?” Spot asked, playing with a small lighter he had pulled from his pocket.
“Truth,”
“Okay, no. You’ve been picking truth all night. You’re not getting away with it so easily,” Spot smirked, sitting up a bit straighter. Race, who was sprawled over Albert’s lap, moved up, leaning on his elbows.
“If he wants truth, let him pick truth. We can’t all be daredevils like you, Conlon,” he snapped. Spot only raised his finger, motioning him to be silent.
“For your dare,” he emphasized the dare. “Make out with Jack. So, you guys can finally hurry that thing up instead of being both so oblivious. Cause just this one night is already making me sick.”
Davey’s gaze moved from Spot to Jack, who gave Spot one deathly look, before he moved towards Davey, pressing their lips together.
Race’s jaw dropped. Everyone had been convinced Jack and Davey were into each other from day one, but neither of the boys ever acted upon it. Jack’s fingers entangled with Davey’s hair, as they kissed each other.
“I’m goin’ be sick,” Sarah muttered, as Romeo quickly got up from the floor, running towards the bathroom. Race had lost count after Romeo’s tenth drink so it was inevitable for him to throw up tonight.
It felt like hours had passed by the time Jack and Davey’s lips parted. The look in the eyes from both boys was so soft, but quickly changed.
“Spot,” Davey called out. “Truth or dare?”
“Dare, I’m not a pussy,” the boy shrugged, shoving his lighter back into his pocket.
“I dare you to make out with Race.”
“Pardon me?” Race called out. “I’m not goin’ make out with that –“ his protest got cut off when Spot roughly pressed their lips together, his hand gripping on Race’s blonde curls.
“Oh, fucking hell,” Race could hear Albert sigh, as he was still basically on Albert’s lap.
Spot’s lips were like Race expected. His kissing was rough, but his lips felt so soft. His free hand found his way to Race’s hip, just resting there. Race must be drunk, like really drunk, that was what he convinced himself when he kissed back. It felt like his heart was going to jump out of his chest, like his skin was on fire. It was just him and Spot.
Then, Spot pulled back, his lips and hands disappearing. “See, not that hard, nothing to complain about,” the boy grinned.
“Oh, go choke, Conlon,” Race snapped at him.
“I rather choke you,” Spot called out as he moved back to his seat, crossing his legs. The entire room was quiet as they watched the two boys.
The silence got broken when Romeo entered the room again, leaning on the doorpost. His hair was a mess and there was a thin layer of sweat on his forehead. “What did I miss?”

Chapter Text

Race was not the first person to wake up on Sunday morning. Albert was already sitting up, his phone in his hands. The blonde boy mumbled something as he softly pushed Romeo off him, who had crawled so close that his head was resting on Race’s shoulder.

“Good morning,” Albert murmured back, laying his phone down and getting off from the air mattress. Race followed his lead, noticing how both Jack and Davey were gone. The boy headed downstairs to the kitchen, were Race sat down on one of the chairs. Albert went through a few cupboards, looking for something to eat. “You got a headache?” he asked, holding up a pack of aspirin.

“Nope, I’m fine. I wasn’t that drunk,” Race shrugged, watching how his friend made two bowls of cornflakes.

“You were that drunk, Race. You made out with Conlon for fucks sake,” Albert placed the bowls on the table, sitting down across from Race.

“Excuse me, he kissed me.” Race corrected, ignoring the raised eyebrow from his friend. “And I happen to know I’m not the only one who had a make-out session, last night,” he pulled the bowl towards him, diving in the breakfast.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Has Elmer texted you already?” Albert almost choked on his cornflakes before Race finished his question. “I walked into the kitchen yesterday to get something to drink. So, yeah,”

“He texted me when he got back home, but hasn’t responded since,” Albert said, playing with his spoon. “He might be at church; his parents sometimes drag him along. But he did post an Instagram story of his breakfast so he was on his phone this morning.”

“The boy loves you, give him a bit of time,” Race reassured him.

“Good morning, boys,” Katherine greeted them as she entered the kitchen. She was fully dressed, compared to the boys who were still sitting in their pyjama pants and tops.

“You are awfully happy this morning,” Race groaned, focussing on his cornflakes again.

“Did Sarah text you?” Albert asked while the girl made a cup of coffee.

“Maybe, it’s none of your business, Al,” Katherine grabbed the mug and sat down next to them. “Did Spot text you, yet, Race?” She moved the question.

“Maybe I don’t want him to text me,” he shrugged. His eyes avoided Albert and Katherine who both looked at him with their eyebrow raised, not convinced. “I hate him, last night doesn’t change anything.”

“If you say, sweet Racer,” Katherine said, her hand softly patting his arm for a second before she picked up her mug. A silence felt as the three ate and drank.

 

“Oh, there are our lovebirds,” Race blurted out when Davey and Jack entered the kitchen. For a split-second Race was convinced Jack would murder him on spot, but instead he let go of Davey’s hand to make breakfast for the two of them.

“I was already afraid you guys were dead in a ditch somewhere,” Katherine commented, placing her empty mug on the table. She turned in her chair towards Jack.

“We just went to take a walk, Gjees, can’t a guy get a break,” he sighed, popping some bread in the toaster.

“There’s no escaping them. They are inevitable.” Davey spoke, leaning against the counter. His eyes were on Jack.

“Whatever he said,” Albert agreed, getting from the chair. He grabbed his and Race’s bowls, walking over to the counter to wash them in the sink. Just a few second later both Crutchie and Romeo walked into the kitchen. Where Crutchie looked okay for a Sunday morning, Romeo looked like he went through hell. He was massaging his temples with his fingers, eyes squinting. As Mush had gone home with Blink, their group was now complete.

“A vey good morning, especially to Romeo,” Race smirked, leaning back in his chair.

“Go to hell, Higgins.”

“Looks like you just got back, is it nice there this time of year?” Race let out a shriek as Romeo pulled on his curls.

“Jack, you got aspirin?” Romeo asked, Albert already handing them over.

“So, what have we learned last night?” Albert smirked, sitting back down on the chair.

“Fuck I hate you all,” Romeo sighed.

“Not what I was aiming for, but okay.”

Chapter Text

The rumors quickly made their way around the school on Monday morning, when both Jack and Davey and Sarah and Katherine were holding hands. Both were the cutest couples, constantly holding hands and touching. By the time the lunch break came around Race and Romeos throats hurted from making vomiting sounds.

At the end of the break Race had to run to his locker to switch his books before maths started.

“Hey, Race. Could we talk?” The boy looked up to see Elmer next to his locker, his fingers hooked behind the straps of his backpack, looking a bit nervous.

“Of course. Is something wrong?” Race picked up his backpack, closing his locker. Elmer shaked his head, nodding towards the hallway.

“You have maths, rights?” he stated more than he asked. Race nodded and followed him. “You know Albert, right? I mean really know him?”  

“Yes, is this about the party?” Race shoved his hands in his pockets, eyes focusing on the classrooms they passed.

“Me and Albert kissed,” Elmer explained, his hands motioning nervously.

“That is amazing!” Race was carefull not to overdue it, exposing he had already known it.

“I guess,” The other boy shrugged. “I mean, we were drunk.”

“Elmer, do you like Albert?” Race stopped walking, turning towards the boy. Elmer nodded, his eyes avoiding Race’s. “Than what is the problem?”

“I don’t think, he likes me like that.”

“Oh, Elmer, I really think you should just talk to Albert about this.”

“Maybe I should. But I don’t want to look like a fool in front of him.” Elmer shoved his hands in his pockets, his gaze finally meeting Race’s.

“You won’t look like a fool I promise. It’s Albert we’re talking about, the boy who jumped off a swingset, convinced he could fly and broke his arm.” This made Elmer giggle softy, his check coloring a light shade of red.

“You’re right. Thank you Race.” With those words, Elmer took off, hurrying to get to his class. When Race entered his classroom, Weasel had already started the lesson.

“Mister Higgins, thanks for joining us as well.” He spoke as Race quitly sat down in the empty seat that was left.

 

Race managed to avoid Spot up until Tuesday. The boy was on his way to Drama club after English class. The halls towards the small theatre were abonded as everyone was hurrying towards their lockers and the exit. Race shoved his hands in his pockets as he walked.

“Race!” He heard a voice call out. The boy stopped dead in his tracks, cursing himself for a second before he turned around to face Spot. “You’ve been avoiding me.” The boy accused him.

“Am not. But okay, go on.” Race muttered.

“You ran out of English and History class, the last two days. You even left the cafetaria when I walked towards your table at lunch.”

Race kept quiet, trying to figure out how he could explain those, cause he was indeed avoiding Spot, like the plague.

“Okay, maybe I’m avoiding you. I really need to get to drama club, we have the auditions on Thursday so I need to prepare.”

“And we still have a project to finish. I hate school work as much as you do. But Pulitzer will make us fail our finals if we don’t get a good grade. And I don’t want to redo my senior year while all my friends are off to college.” Spot crossed his arms, staring up to the boy. Even though Race was taller, the way Spot talked made him feel so small.

“Okay, We can work on it tomorrow. After school. My mom is out so we can raid the refrigerator and try finish it.” He offered, a way to make up for avoiding Spot. It’s not like he really wanted Spot at his house, it was the last thing. But he knew he had to compromise.

“Sounds good. Have fun at your drama club, thing.” Spot said, a playful smirk on his lips. The boy turned around, heading towards the lockers.

Race waited until Spot was out of sight before he let out the loudest annoyed sigh he had ever done. “Stupid Spot Conlon. I fucking hate you. With that stupid smile. Idiot,”

Chapter Text

 On Wednesday, Race and Romeo had their final class together. The nightmare of every teacher.

When they exited the classroom, Romeo wrapped his arm around Race’s shoulder.

“I can’t believe you have a study date with Spot Conlon,” he sighed.

“It’s not a date.” Race shrugged, pushing Romeo’s arm away.

“Kind of sounds like a date. At least one of us is getting a romantic love story.”

“It’s not a date. He’s still a dick. Talking about romance, have you spoken to Specs yet?” Race opened his locker when they arrived, placing most of his books on the small shelf.

“No.” Romeo leaned against the other lockers, his arms crossed.

“He’s looking for you, he asked us where you were, when you skipped drama class yesterday.”

“Yeah, well that happens when you avoid someone.” Race closed his locker, shoving his backpack on his back.

“I just don’t feel like talking with him, you know. It was stupid to assume anything when I invited him to the party.”

“Okay, this is not my Romeo,” Race turned towards his friend, placing his hands on Romeo’s shoulder. “Pick yourself up, take a deep breath and go get that boy. Be straight forward and then kiss him until his glasses fall off.”

“I don’t know” Romeo’s eyes avoided Race’s.

“You’re named Romeo for fuck’s sake. If I can survive making out with Conlon, you can do this.”

“You made out with Conlon?” Romeo’s eyes shot up to look at Race.

“It was a stupid dare, you were busy throwing up.”

“Oh my god, this chances everything. Was it good? Did you feel butterflies? You’re really having a study-date. How did you not tell me this earlier!” Romeo brushed Race’s hands away. Race could basically see the energy running through his body.

“I shouldn’t have told you,” he sighed.

“Higgins!” Someone called out. Both boys turned towards Spot who was crossing the hall. “You ready?” he asked. Romeo nudged Race’s shoulder, a boyish smirk on his lips.

“Yeah,” Race mumbled, following Spot.

“Well, have fun you two!” Romeo called after them.

 

“So, my mom is at work ‘till late. But we got pizza’s in the freezer and a cupboard full of snacks,” Race said as he unlocked the front door. He walked towards the kitchen. “You want something to drink?”

“A water is fine,” Spot followed him, his eyes wandering through the house. “You have no siblings, right? Quite a big house.”

“Yeah, my mom and father bought it when they were still planning on having more kids. But my father was sort of surprised by the amount of work a kid takes, so they decided to just have me. Loan was already paid off by the time my father left, so my mom never saw a reason to move.” Race handed Spot a bottle of water and grabbed a bag of chips. “Living room has best Wi-Fi.” He said, nodding his head towards the living room.

Spot nodded, following Race, who sat down on the white couch. Spot sat down on the love seat facing the couch, setting the bottle and his bag down.

 

They managed two hours of work, without bickering, before Spot sat his iPad down. “Okay, I think we should talk about Saturday night,” he stated, hating to be the one of reason.

“Why? What is there to talk about?” Race looked up from his laptop, taking the pencil, he was chewing on from his lips.

“We kissed, Race. And you’ve been avoiding me ever since. Even know you want talk to me when not necessary, when before you were the one constantly distracting me with talking and whining and whatever.”

“We kissed, we were drunk. Big deal. Move on.”

Spot took a deep breath, from inside he wanted to scream at the boy, make him understand what he wanted. But Spot was not that person, to just talk about his feelings. He did not like being vulnerable like that, but he did like turning it around.

“So, it didn’t mean anything to you?”

“Nope,” Race shrugged, his attention moving back to his laptop, anything to avoid Spot’s eyes.

Spot placed his iPad on the table, getting up from the love seat. Race ignored him, when Spot sat down next to him, his cheek’s burning.

“Race,” Spot said to make him look up.

“You said yourself, we have a project to finish,” Race whined as he looked up to Spot. His breath faltered in his throat as he felt Spot’s lips on his. This time there was no taste of alcohol, but mints and faint coffee. He could smell Spot’s cologne, it reminded him of the forest. Spot’s fingers entangled with Race’s curls, his other hand on Race’s cheek. Where Spot’s hand touched his skin seemed to burn up, almost like a fever. Race’s hands dropped in his lap, careful not to move, even though everything inside him screamed to kiss back.

Spot slowly moved back, his hands moving away from Race’s hair and face. His dark eyes carefully took in Race’s reaction.

“That meant nothing to you?”

Race took a second, desperate to not show his failing breathing. “Nope. I mean you’re not a bad kisser. But that’s all.”

“Well, thanks, I guess.”

“Does it mean something-“ Race started before Spot interrupted him.

“We should finish the project, Race.”

Chapter Text

Spot did not show up at school the next day. Not that Race noticed the empty seat during history and English. He definitely did not consider texting the boy to ask if he was okay and most of all did he not miss the boy’s eyes that normally glared at him a few times during class. No, Race did not notice Spot being absent at all and he did not miss the boy, for sure.

Romeo, however did notice how his friend looked over six times to Spot’s empty seat during their hour of English together. Romeo decided to not ask questions or be a dick about it, mainly because Race had already snapped at him five times during the class. It was clear Race was on the edge, claiming it was because of the auditions that afternoon. But Romeo suspected there was another reason, that reason being named Spot Conlon.

During lunch it was obvious Race was having a really bad day. He was poking his fork into the sad-looking salad. Everyone who was chatting around him, slowly became silent as they watched how Race was abusing the lettuce, poking it until it was barely recognizable.

“Race, are you okay?” Davey asked, a bit careful.

“I’m fine,” Race shrugged, dropping his fork, which hit the table loudly.

“Are you su-“

“Who does he think he is, not showing up to school like that,” Race interrupted Jack. “First, he kisses me again. Then he just doesn’t show up? I fucking hate his ass.”

“Wait, he kissed you again?” Albert asked, leaning over the table a bit.

“Yeah, he was fooling around, being the dick he is.” Race shrugged. “I’m so happy when this fucking project is over so I never have to speak to him again. Death seems like a sweet relieve right now.”

Albert and Romeo glanced at each other, both eager to ask more questions, only to be silenced by deadly glares from both Jack and Davey.

“Did you text him?” Crutchie asked, his fingers playing with his water bottle.

“No, why would I?”

“Well, clearly, you are upset he ditched school,”

“No, I’m not upset, Davey,” Race snapped. “Why would I be upset? I hate his guts.”

“Then why are you so mad?”

“I’m mad cause y’all are bothering me so much. Djeez, just leave me alone for once,” Race got up from his chair, pushing it back so hard it hit the floor. He snatched his backpack from the floor, storming out of the cafeteria.

“Well that went great. He obviously knows exactly how he feels.” Romeo sighed.

 

“Leave me alone, Al,” Race sighed as his friend entered the theatre. The classes had started five minutes ago but Race was currently seated in one of the bean bags on the stage.

“And be bored to death alone in Chemistry? No way.” Al dropped his bag on the floor and sank down on one of the other bean bags.

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore” The blonde boy shrugged, crossing his arms. The papers for his audition were sprawled out on his lap, different pieces highlighted in every colour of the rainbow.

“Who said I was here to talk to you about that?” Albert shifted his weight a bit, trying to find a comfortable position. “You missed the best part at lunch”

“What? Y’all laughing at me after I left?”

“We did not laugh at you. You know we are not that kind of people. Even though you did finally have your dramatic exit, you wanted when you were ten.”

Race smiled a bit, remembering his constant whining about wanting to exit as fabulous and dramatic like they did in those high school movies.

“What I meant is that Elmer came up to me just before lunch ended.” Albert watched how his friend sat up a bit straighter, clearly intrigued.

“What did he say? When is the wedding?” The boy’s bad mood seemed to disappear like snow before the sun. Albert rolled his eyes, wanting to snap at the boy for overreaction but currently he was just happy to see his friend happy again.

“We’re not moving that fast Romeo,-“

“Wrong friend.”

“You sure act like him sometimes.”

“Just get to the point, Al!” Race said, his hands hitting his legs, excitedly, like a small child.

“He said that he had wanted to speak to me before. He said that it was really fun last Saturday-“

“And? And? There must be more!

“I can’t tell you if you keep interrupting me!” Albert crossed his arms, while Race sank back into the bean bag, nudging as a sign for Albert to continue. “He asked if I liked to go have dinner this Friday.”

“As in a date?!” Race almost yelled out, almost jumping up from the bean bag.

“As in a date!” Albert nodded, a wide smile on his lips. Race practically launched himself to hug the boy.

“Oh my god, you two are going to be the cutest. I can’t wait for all the cheesy Instagram poses and the disgusting kisses. Oh, you need to do one of those terrible romantic promposals, I’ll film it, so you can go viral on social media.”

“Okay, Okay, calm down.” Albert laughed, trying to push Race off of him, who only clang on him tighter. “I like the cheesy Instagram post idea.”

Chapter Text

Friday nights were for Netflix, it had become some sort of tradition for Race. Most of the times he was alone, sometimes a few friends joined. But no matter what, he watched a movie or series on Netflix.
At this point Race had put on some sort of anime, having most his attention focused on his phone. He had been trying to pass this Candy crush level for a month and he was so close.
“Anthony! Albert is here!” His mom called out, causing Race to sigh loudly. With some mumbling he closed his laptop, heading downstairs.
“Can’t y’all leave me alone for one night, I swear to god,” he complained loudly when his friend got in his sight.
“I’m sorry-“
“Don’t you have a date? What the hell are you doing here?”
Albert sighed. “That is why I’m here. Could you walk with me to the diner? I need someone to make sure I won’t run and hide in my room for the rest of the night.”
“You are an absolute idiot,” Race stated, while grabbing his jacket. “Mom, I’m out for a bit!” He announced, before stepping outside and closing the door behind him.
“I know. I just really like him. Tonight can’t go wrong.” Albert shoved his hands in his pockets as they walked down the street.
“It won’t. That boy is so into you, you don’t even see it.”
“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.”
“I’m not.” Race bumped his shoulder against Albert’s. It was clear to see how nervous the boy was, he pulled his hands from his pockets and lifted his cap, so he could rustle his hair with his free hand.
“We’re eating at the burger diner we always go to. He let me pick.”
“That’s cute. Very old-movie-like,” Race nodded, before sighing. “Okay you have to calm down.”
Albert looked up to him, almost confused before his eyes dropped to his fidgeting fingers. “Oh, yeah.” He shoved his hands in his pockets of his jacket again, taking a deep breath. “okay, I’m good.”
“Good, ‘cause he is already waiting.” Race nodded towards the small dinner before them, through the window they could see Elmer sitting in one of the booths.
“Oh my god, look how handsome he is. I’m going to throw up.”
“Oh, get over yourself, Al. Look at him fidgeting with the menu card? He is as nervous as you are. So, get your ass inside and woosh that boy of his feet.” Race gave his friend a small push.
“Okay, Here I go. Thanks Racer,” Albert pulled his hands out of his jackets, before heading towards the entrance.
“Text me all the details!” Race called out. Instead of turning around back home, the boy stayed on that spot for a bit. Watching Albert walk up towards Elmer. Both immediately a big smile on their faces when their gazes met. Within a minute they were laughing about something. Race watched them for a bit, before turning around.
Where Race’s Fridays were for Netflix, Spot’s Fridays were for football training, the longest training of the week. Race was not sure if he would be there, but he had seen the boy on school that day. He zipped up his jacket as he began to walk towards school. It was a long walk, but with his pace he would make it before the training would end. A soft drizzle started, leaving small water drips in his blonde curls. Race could not help but smile about it when he thought about how dramatic he must look now.
The boy reached the school parking lot just after practice ended, but by the number of cars it was clear that the boys were still in the locker rooms. His eye found Spot’s car. He decided to wait there, so he would not miss the boy. It took ten minutes for the team to leave the locker rooms, loud voices as they walked to their cars. Spot was not hard to miss, in the middle of the group, talking loudly.
He stopped talking when he saw Race, his back against Spot’s car and his arms crossed.
Race could see how he said goodbye to the other boys, heading towards him.
“Hey,” Spot greeted him, his bag hanging over his shoulder. His short hair was still wet from the shower, though the rain did not help drying it.
“Hey. I need to talk to you.” Race stood up straight, his arms still crossed.
“ ‘Course. Is everything alright?”
“I… I like it when you kiss me. Okay I said it.” Race took a deep breath, not looking at Spot’s face, who looked surprised.
“Okay. That’s good, I guess.”
“But I don’t want a relationship.”
“Oh.”
“It’s nothing against you. I mean I guess you are not as bad as I thought.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
“But, I just don’t want a relationship.”
“Race, I’m not trying to push you into that. Don’t worry.” Spot, let his bag softly drop to the floor, his gaze fixed on Race’s face, trying to figure out the boy.
“Good. Cause I really really like it when you kiss me.”
“I can kiss you without this being a relationship.”
“I like that.”
Spot shortly looked around, seeing how everyone else already left. He crossed the last bit of space between him and Race and pressed their lips together. Race wrapped his arms around Spot’s neck, his fingers softly clutching his hair. He could feel Spot’s body against his, Spot’s arms around his waist. He would never admit out loud that this was the best kiss he ever had, but it was. The soft drizzle changed into big drops of water, until within seconds the both of them were soaked.
“Race, we should get in the car.” Spot snapped Race out of his trance, his thoughts.
“Yeah we should.” His body turned cold the second Spot’s touch left his. Spot unlocked the car, opening the door for Race and throwing his bag in the back, before he walked around the car to get in the driver’s seat.
Race rustled his head for a bit when he sat down, rain drops flying everywhere.
“You look like a fucking dog.”
“Dogs are loyal, so that is a compliment.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Spot called out, before leaning towards the boy again to kiss him once more.

Chapter Text

Race expected to wake up on Saturday to a million texts from Albert, explaining every detail about his date with Elmer. But instead he only had a text from Romeo who simply send a string of rose emoji’s.

romeo, im not specs remember? He send back, dropping his phone on his bed to take a shower.

During the day Albert didn’t text him either. His phone quiet except for the normal spam from Romeo, which involved lots of gifs and emoji’s that did not make a lot of sense. After dinner Race decided to text Albert, ask him if everything was okay. Within seconds the boy send him a facetime invite. Race pushed his books of his bed to sit down, answering the call.

“How was it?” He asked the second his friend’s face showed up.

Took you longer than Romeo, he spammed my texts even before I woke up,” Albert smiled, his red hair tucked underneath his cap.

“I wanted to give you some time. I expected you to spam my text this morning.” Race rushed his fingers through his hair shortly, looking at his friend who was nervously playing with a loose earbud between his fingers.

It was so..” the boy fell silent, trying to find the words. His forehead slightly crinkled.

“What? Amazing? Dreamy? Terrible?? It went good right?” Race rambled, too impatient.

No, those are not the right words,” Albert could barely contain his laugh as he watched Race getting more and more impatient, his movements almost nervous.

“Come on, Al! you’re just fucking with me now!” He called out, frustrated. His friend started laughing, almost falling backwards on his bed. “Albert!”

It was great, it was absolutely amazing,” Albert told when he managed to pull himself together again. “He was so adorable and gosh,” The boy started to dream off with a soft sigh

“Did you kiss?” Race interrupted Albert’s daydream, almost knocking over his phone as he waved his hands to get Albert’s attention.

We might,” He only said, the smirk on his face betraying the real story.

“Oh my god! How was it? Is he a good kisser? How romantic was it?”

Oh hear that? My mom is calling-“

“No one is calling, Albert. Don’t you dare hang up on me.”

She is really calling, something with the computer. See you at school!” Directly after that the connection had ended. Race sighed annoyed, letting himself fall backwards on the bed. There he spend the next five minutes sending Albert dozens of texts calling him a traitor and hater. Which all were replied with simple laughing smileys.

Chapter Text

Race was already seated in the bus on Monday morning when Albert arrived. As always, the boy sat down on the seat behind Race, who immediately turned around, almost knocking his bag of the seat next to him. He watched how Albert readjusted his cap, rubbing his eyes before he greeted Race.
“So how was the kiss? Was it dreamy? Romantic?”
“Oh my god Race,” Albert sighed.
“You can’t hang up on me now, Alberto. Tell me everything. Every detail.”
“I can’t hang up but I can do this,” Albert pulled his earbuds out of his bag, plugging them in his phone.
“Don’t you dare,” Race spat out, grabbing the earbuds out of his hand, gripping them hard.
“Oh for fuck’s sake Race,”
“Spill all the tea.”
Albert moved in his seat. “Okay, we kissed.”
“Yeah, no shit sherlock. I want details. All the dirty ones.” Race let go of the earbuds, leaning over the headrest of his seat, his chin resting on his arms.
“It was great. It was amazing. He is so cute.” Albert’s face slowly turned a soft shade of red.
“Okay tell me, how was the dinner? What did you talk about? Come on Albert.”
“Okay, we ordered food. And he went all: we can share a drink with two straws if you want. And then his eyes, and ohmygod.” As he talked Albert’s face turned a darker shade of red, nearly matching with his hair.
“You are so in love, Albert. Gosh this is the cutest.” Race sighed, it earned him a hit on the side of his head from Albert. “So, are you two a thing now? The newest couple on our school ground?”
“Sort of, we haven’t given it like that official thing yet. But yeah I guess.”
“Oh I can’t wait to tell Elmer every embarrassing story about you,”
“Don’t you fucking dare-“
“Who of you two fuckers gave Specs my address?!” Both boys looked up to Romeo who had entered the bus.
“I told you, I did,” Jack sighed who sat down in front of Race.
“Oh you are a dirty liar Kelly. You would never break my trust like that. You don’t even know where I live!”
“I’ve been to your house before, Romeo. I know where you live.”
“We didn’t tell Specs anything, why? What happened?” Race pushed his bag to the floor so Romeo could sit down, just in time before the bus started driving again.
“So, you all know I’ve been ignoring Specs since the party. Like I hid in the fucking janitor’s closet before I could head home on Friday-“
“You are such a pussy,” Albert muttered, ignoring the dirty look Romeo shot him.
“So that bitch showed up to my house on Saturday night, holding a fucking bouquet of roses. You all know how I love roses, because I’m a slut for romance-“
“Oh we would’ve never guessed you liked romance.” Race mumbled.
“I will kill both of you if you interrupted once more.” Romeo glanced to both the boys before continuing. “So, the cute asshole starts talking about how he was so sorry about what happened on the party and he had drunk too much and blablabla. He told me he would beg me on his knees to forgive him if he had to-“
“So, what did you do?”
“We made out.”
“Oh my god,” Albert sighed, falling back in his chair.
“He didn’t say he would beg on his knees, did he?” Race asked, leaning with his back against the window.
“No, but the roses are true.”
“And the kissing?”
“Of course, Albert. We made out for like 20 minutes until he had to get back home. My cousin, who was over for the weekend, made a picture for blackmail purposes.”
“I’m not sure if I want to see that picture.”
“It’s adorable, fuck you Race,” Romeo hit his arm. “So, who of you two gave my address.”
“We didn’t give it.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Romeo. I said I did it. Specs was practically begging me.” Jack sighed, half leaning over the head rest.
“Why would you hurt me like that?”
“You made out! How did I hurt you in anyway?”
“My trust is hurt.”
“I fucking hate you all.” Jack muttered, looking up when Davey entered the bus. The two kissed each other shortly, making the three other boys moan and whine, before Davey sat down next to Jack.
“So, Race. When are you goin’ date someone.”
“Oh. Fuck off Romeo.”
“I can be your wingman, now I don’t need to waste my time on other foolish boys. We should go to a bar.”
“We’re not allowed in a bar.”
“They sometimes have those under 21 parties where they only have soft drinks.”
“I’m not going to party with twelve-year-olds.”

Chapter Text

Race threw his bag on the floor before he sat down next to Spot. The library was empty during lunch break, except for them two. Spot was already working on his iPad.
“Okay, I’m glad Specs and Romeo are finally a thing, but they already make me sick.” Race complained as he leaned back, watching the iPad over Spot’s shoulder.
“I had to drag Specs off Romeo, so we weren’t late for maths this morning,” Spot said as he edited the layout of their word document. “Okay, we only have to do the last checks and it’s ready to hand in.” with those words he handed Race the iPad.
“It looks good, I didn’t know you were good with layouts.” Race said as he scrolled through their project. It had the be the longest project he ever worked on, pages filled with text and most of it wasn’t bullshit. He couldn’t deny he was sort of proud of it. “If he doesn’t give us a good grade I will throw a desk at his face.”
“I would like to see you try.”
“Go fuck yourself, Conlon.”
“Rather have you fuck me.”
Race almost dropped the iPad, causing the other boy to start laughing. Race started muttering something about truly deeply hating the boy, handing back the iPad. The other boy was still chuckling as he took the iPad, placing it on the table.
“I’ll send you the file, so you can do a final check before I hand it in. Pulitzer is expecting it on Wednesday,” Spot said, turning in his chair to face Race, who nodded.
“You want to come over and study on Wednesday?” Race then said, his fingers drumming on his thigh.
“We already handed in the project by then,” Spot said, frowning as he was confused.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Oh, sure.” Spot shrugged. He watched how Race moved, the boy looked almost nervously like he was afraid Spot would decline. “I would like to,” he assured the boy, grabbing his hand, which was still drumming, softly in a way to make the boy less nervous. Race looked up, meeting Spot’s gaze.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do this thing,” Race explained, resisting the extreme urge to pull his hand back, even though he liked the feeling when Spot touched him.
“It’s okay. Just tell me what you want, and we’ll be fine.” Spot reassured him. The loud bell announcing the end of the break made Race jump up, pulling his hand out of Spot’s grip. “I’ve got maths,” he explained as he picked up his back. “Weasel kills me when I’m late.”
“Yeah, I’m just goin’ to suffer in computer science.” Spot shrugged, shoving his iPad in his backpack. Race nodded, waiting shortly for the boy to finish packing and leaving the library together. Where Race went right, Spot took a left turn. Race hurried down the hall, as his math’s classroom was on the other side of the building. When he arrived, he dropped on the chair next to Romeo.
“You were snogging Conlon again?” Romeo asked, a playful tone in his question. The boy did not look up from his phone which he hid under his desk. His screen was showing his texts to Romeo. Race was about to throw up.
“I don’t snog Conlon.” He hissed, taking out his books right before Weasel entered, immediately starting class.
“You’ve never spent this much time on a project.”
“It’s because if we fail, we might not pass History and I can’t be stuck at high school for another year,”
“Okay, quit the bullshit Race.” Romeo hissed, making sure Weasel would not tell them off for talking. “Something is bothering you and I’m pretty sure it has to do with Conlon. You’ve been.. off since you started working with him, more specifically since Jack’s party. What is wrong?”
“Oh, piss off,” Race mumbled. “It’s nothing. I’m just happy when school is over.”
“You are a dirty liar, Anthony.”
“I learned from the best.”
“I wouldn’t call Jack the best,” Romeo smirked, leaning back in his chair so he could glance down on his phone again.
“Mister Higgins and Mister Russo, if I hear any of you two again, you’re both up for a week of detention,” Weasel warned them. Both muttered an apologize before shutting up.
“Specs said Spot is quite okay,” Romeo muttered after a few minutes.
“Oh, shut up, dickhead.”

Chapter Text

Where Race and Spot mostly avoided each other at school, they spent more and more time together outside school. Between Spot’s football and Race’s drama club the boys only really had the Wednesday afternoon together, and they made the most of it. As today, it was two weeks since they handed in their project and Pulitzer had finally graded it.
“I can’t believe we passed,” Race sighed out as he dropped his bag next to his desk. “He even gave us a good grade, he must be sick. He might die and tries to make up for his shithead behaviour.”
“You really belong in that drama club,” Spot declared, sitting down on Race’s bed.
“Hey, you are speaking to THE Florinda, Rapunzel’s prince and half of Milky White of this year’s production of Into the Woods!” he said, sounding offended as he dropped himself next to Spot.
“That’s a lot of roles.”
“Well, with not a lot of people showing up for auditions, Medda had to be creative with the casting,” he explained, kicking his shoes off.
“Who is the other half of Milky White?”
“Albert, so we are most likely going to die on stage, so if you want to see show, come first night because I might not be alive for any other shows.” Race grabbed Spot’s arms, pulling him close before he kissed the boy.

It was clear the boys started to become more comfortable around each other, where before they spend their times with awkward kisses now it turned soon into a heavy make out session. Race laid half on top of Spot, his one hand fidgeting with Spot’s belt while their lips stayed connected. Spot’s breath hitched in his throat as his fingers entangled with Race’s curls, pulling on them softly. Race slid his hand in Spot’s underwear, slowly stroking him.
“Fuckin’ hell,” Spot muttered against his lips, accent thick, his hips bucking against Race’s hand.
“Is it so bad you call it hell?” Race grinned.
“Oh. Shut up.” Spot mumbled before pressing his lips against Race’s again, one hand moving from around his waist to under his shirt, feeling his back muscles tense up for a second.
“Anthony!” A voice called out, within a second Race sat up straight, his eyes wide open.
“I thought you were home alone for the night,” Spot spoke, confused as he pushed himself up.
“I thought so, she had a late shift,” Race quickly got on his feet. “Just a second!” he called out in the direction of the closed door, readjusting his clothes. Spot quickly redid his zipper and belt before he got up from the bed, cursing softly under his breath. Race was already half out of the door. “Sorry, Spot and I are just studying-“ the way he stopped in his sentence like that made Spot dash out the door, worried for a split second.
Down the stairs stood Race’s mom, who Spot had met before, and an unfamiliar man.
“Dad?” Race asked, clearly confused by what was going on. His eyes were wide, and Spot could not determine if it was confusion, surprise or fear.
“Hey, Anthonio,” the accent that was audible made it clear who Race got his Italian genes from. Race looked like him, quite a lot, only with the blonde hair and blue eyes from his mom, and his height.
“What is going on?” Race asked, his gaze moving to his mother.
“I’ll explain over dinner, I brought your favourite,” she said, as she held up the plastic take-out bag. “I did not know Spot was over, though,”
“No it’s fine, we can finish the assignment tomorrow,” Race said, turning to Spot. “I’ll see you at school,” he smiled, though it did not convince Spot.
“Yeah, see ya tomorrow,” he said, picking up his bag from next to Race’s door and heading down the stairs.
“You’re not going to introduce me to your friend?” Race’s father asked loudly. Spot looked shortly up to Race, who avoided his gaze.
“Dad, this is Spot, he is a friend from school.”
“What an unusual name, Spot,” the man noted, looking down at Spot. Spot normally had no trouble with his height, as he still managed to tower over people just by the way he could look. But this man made him feel the smallest he had ever been.
“Yeah, it’s a nickname. Very nice to meet you, sir,” he said quickly. “I really should head home,” he greeted Race one last time before heading out the door.

Chapter Text

“You’re late,” Romeo said as Race sat down at the lunch table. He was the last on the arrive, almost throwing his tray on the table.
“I overslept and my mom had to drive me to school,” he sighed, rubbing his eyes shortly.
“Are you okay?” Albert asked, Elmer was seated next to him, the two of them holding hands.
“No. My dad showed up again.”
“Didn’t he leave a couple of years ago?” Crutchie asked.
“Yeah. He left with his younger girlfriend, leaving my mom with all his debts,” Race tugged on his sleeves shortly. “Oh, and he is the biggest homophobe I ever met. This is going to be so much fun,” the sarcasm almost dripped out of his mouth.
“You can hide at my house if you want,” Romeo suggested, his fork pricking into the sad looking salad.
“Thanks, but my mom would kill me.”
“Does he know you are-“
“No. He can’t know.” Race cut Elmer off. “I mean as soon as I leave for college I can remove him out of my life. It’s only for this last year of high school.” He shortly looked at Albert, almost asking him to change the topic with just his look. Thank god, Albert understood him, starting to talk about some drama in his social studies class.
Romeo moved a bit in his seat, dropping his head on Race’s shoulder. “You’re going to be okay,” he muttered. “Your mom is not stupid, she will kick him out if your dad start being a dick.”
“I hope so,” Race mumbled back, tilting his head so it rested on Romeo’s head. Race smiled shortly at Jack who gave him a worried look, in a way to tell him he would be okay.

“Mom, I’m home!” Race called out as he closed the front door behind him. He dropped his bag on the floor before he walked towards the kitchen.
“Anthonio, come speak with me for a second,” Race stopped dead in his tracks as he heard his father call from the living room.
“My name is Race,” he muttered under his breath before entering the living room. “Hey dad,”
“How was school?” His father was seated on the coach, the tv playing but muted. In the four years since he left he did not change much, his hair was greyer than Race remembered, but overall, he looked the same as he did before he left. People always spoke about how much Race looked like him, something he hated so much.
“It was fine,” he said, eager to leave the conversation.
“Your mother told me you do drama club.” It wasn’t a question but a statement.
“Yeah, I had rehearsals today.”
“I thought theatre was something for fags,” he simply stated.
“It’s for everyone, that what makes it so great,” Race avoided his father’s gaze, staring at his shoes.
“Why are you not part of a school sport instead?” The question could’ve been based on real curiosity, but not it just felt hostile.
“I was part of the track team last year,” Race defended himself. “But with my finals this year, projects and drama club it was too hard to combine.”
“So, you dropped sports to play pretend?”
“I don’t think I have to explain myself to you,” Race said, in a moment of bravery, bravery that disappeared the second he saw a flash of anger in his father’s eyes.
“Okay,” his father said, setting down his glass on the small table. “You’re right. I haven’t been the best father. But I’m here know,” he remained calm, to Race’s surprise.
“I have a lot of homework, I should get going,” The boy muttered, leaving the living room. He grabbed his backpack on his way up, shutting his door behind him.

Chapter Text

Race lay on the side of the stage, his head resting on Romeo’s stomach. He listened to Medda direction a scene neither of them was in. His folder with his script was resting on his stomach, highlighters sprawled around them. Romeo sometimes turned a bit, making Race’s position uncomfortable, to watch Specs. Specs was in charge of lighting and sound and was seated next to Medda, taking notes about what she had in mind for a scene.
“Isn’t he adorable,” Romeo sighed, laying down flat again.
“Yeah, he is so adorable, you are so in love. Don’t make me sick again,” Race muttered as he scrolled on his phone.
“Well, you are just bitter. And in denial,” Romeo sighed, pulling softly on Race’s hair.
“Hey!” Race called out, swatting the other boy’s hand away. “I’m not bitter, okay maybe slightly bitter. But I’m not in denial. There is nothing to be in denial about.”
“Your crush on Conloooon,” Romeo stretched the name, in a teasing way. “Come on, you will admit it soon enough.”
“Why don’t you just fuck off,” Race snapped, lifting his head shortly to just let it drop hard on Romeo’s stomach, who let out a loud grunt.
“Asshole,” The boy called out, pulling on his hair again, harder this time.
“Romeo and Race, if you can’t keep quiet, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Medda said loudly, not tearing her eyes away from her notebook. Both muttered a soft apologize.
“The day you start denying, I will throw a party.”
“Shut up,”
“Wow, did you just say something without the need to deny you like Spot Conlon?” Romeo grinned. This made Race sit up straight, giving the boy a deadly look.
“I fucking hate you,” he snapped.
“Higgins!” Medda called out, finally looking up from her notebook, pen between her fingers. “Out.” She motioned towards the doors at the other side of the theatre.
“But-“ The blonde boy started to protest, only to be cut off by the lady again.
“During rehearsals you stay quiet, you know the rule. Out.”
Race got up from the floor, ignoring the soft chuckles coming from Romeo. He gave the boy a soft kick in the side before he walked off the stage. Albert, who was seated in one of the seats at the front, was also softly snickering. Race hit the back of his head with his script folder before he left the theatre.
The outside air was chilly, the parking lot vacant with the exception for a few cars. The boy shoved his backpack on his bag as he looked for a free bench to wait on until his friends were finished. He could walk home on his own, but it was a half hour walk and he rather did it with Albert. Until his eye fell on a familiar car. He looked around for a second before heading towards the car. The boy was sitting behind the wheel, but the car was not running. Race knocked at the window before opening the door on the passenger’s side. Spot looked up, a flash of surprise in his eyes before his familiar cocky look got back.
“What are you doing here?” Race asked, already getting in the seat, shutting door behind him.
“I thought you finished at five,” he dodged the question.
“Medda kicked me out,” he shrugged, placing his backpack between his feet, his folder on his lap. “So, what are you doing here? School has been out for hours.”
“I don’t really know,” Spot now admitted, his fingers drumming on the steering wheel. “I wanted to get out of the house and just drove here without thinking.”
For the last three weeks, ever since Race’s father got back home, they had been hanging out at Spot’s home, but Race had not met his parents before. They were always at work or meetings.
“Are you okay?” The blonde boy asked, his upper body turning towards his friend.
“Yeah, I just needed to clear my mind.”
“School is not the place I would recommend to clear your mind,” Race snickered, smiling at the other boy.
“Force of habit, I guess,”
“We could go to my house, if you want, my mom is at work and my dad is out all day,” Race proposed, already reaching for this seatbelt.
“Yeah, sure,” Spot shrugged, starting the engine.

“Oh, come on, Draco is a gay icon,” Race called out, his head resting on Spot’s lap. At this point they did not even unpack their bags anymore, knowing damn well they wouldn’t spend a second actually studying.
“How is he a gay icon? There is not even a slight hint he’s gay,” Spot objected, his fingers playing with Race’s curls.
“Ehm, the way he is obsessed with his hatred for Potter. Like it screams just a giant gay crush. He’s just scared of admitting.”
“Like you?” Spot’s gaze met Race’s, eyebrow a bit raised.
“What do you mean?” Race asked, feeling his stomach twist a bit.
“You are scared of admitting, aren’t you?”
“What is there to admit?” Race asked, avoiding Spot’s gaze. He knew damn well what the boy meant, but he was too used to keeping up the oblivious act now. He was stubborn but not stupid. But admitting to the flutter of his heart when Spot looked at him from across the room, or the burning of Spot’s touch on his skin, meant being vulnerable. And Race could not risk being the one to get hurt in the end. He would not be able to be the one with the broken heart. So, why would he give the boy the chance to stamp on his heart?
“Nevermind,” Spot muttered, his fingers playing with the blonde curls again.
A few minutes later Race sat up straight, moving so he sat in front of Spot. His fingers stroked the other boy’s face for a few second. Spot looked at him, eyes sparkling as he allowed the touch from Race.
“Just kiss me already,” Spot muttered after a while. Race smirked before pressing his lips on his. Spot’s arms found their way around Race’s waist quick, pulling the boy on his lap. Their lips pressed on each other, following each other’s movement. The kiss quickly got rougher, Spot’s hands moving across Race’s back.
What neither of the boys did not expect was the bedroom door to fly open. Race almost fell of the bed as he pushed himself off of Spot. Both boys looked at the intruder with wide eyes. Race was the first to get on his feet, and the first to speak.
“Dad, I thought you were gone ‘till late,” he said, his breathing was fast, his stomach twisted when he saw the dark look in his father’s eyes.
“I was done early and thought it would be nice to have dinner together,” his father spoke. His voice was icy, sending shivers down Race’s back. Spot got up from the back, he stood next to Race.
“I-I,” Race started, his voice slightly shaking as he was not sure what he was going to say, what could possible calm his father down.
“I think it’s time for Spot to leave,” He almost spat out the name, making Race flinch. The boy could feel Spot’s gaze on his face. Race shortly looked up to him, nodding slightly. Spot kept his eye on the man who still stood in the door opening, as he picked up his bag and grabbed his car keys from the desk. Race kept his eyes on the floor as Spot walked passed him, leaving the room. No one spoke till the front door closed with a loud bang.
“Dad, I-“ Race started, looking up to the man, but once he saw the eyes of the man he fell silent, his tongue feeling numb.

Chapter Text

Thursday was the one of the two days Jack was home late. His art class was after school which he drove back home with Medda. After dinner he had gone to his room, his phone leaning against his bedframe while he sat on his bed, his legs crossed. He had his sketchbook on his lap, pencil cramped between his fingers.
Facetime was open on his phone, showing Davey who was working on his homework. The boy was chewing on his pen while he read the questions, his focus completely on the book before him. Just watching him made Jack intensely happy. He watched how the boy sometimes ran his hand through his hair, adjusted his sweater or grunted when he read the questions.
Most of the time when they facetimed they barely talked, it was a way of being together. They didn’t have the constant urge to talk, like most of their friends. Jack observed his boyfriend, sketching out the way he bit his lip in concentration, his eyebrows knitted together when he was thinking.
“Davey?”
“Hmm?” Davey looked up from his work for a second, acknowledging he was paying attention to whatever Jack was going to say.
“Are you working on English?”
“Yes.”
“Since you’re already working on English, I still have this essay due next week.”
“I’m not doing your homework for you, Jack.”
“But see it as an act of love,” he whined, pouting like a kid.
“You are full of shit, Kelly.”
“So rude, does your mother know you use that kind of language?”
He got the look from Davey. While Davey used the look when he was ‘angry’ (he wasn’t really angry, but it was the closest thing he got), Jack just found it incredibly hot.
“You want me to stop?”
“Yes, I’m trying to finish this essay.”
“Well, why don’t you come over here and make me stop, Jacobs.”
“Like I’m dating a child,” Davey muttered, shaking his head slightly. His face broke into a small smile when Jack smiled brightly at him.
The doorbell rang loudly downstairs, distracting Jack shortly.
“What are you drawing?” Davey asked, nodding towards the screen slightly, meaning his sketchbook.
“Oh it’s nothing-“
“Jack! Could you come down for a second!” Medda’s voice sounded from downstairs.
With a sigh Jack grabbed his phone from the bedframe, holding it up so he could still see Davey.
“What’s wrong?” He called out to Medda, heading down the stairs which lead to the living room. When he was halfway down the stairs he could see into the living room, his steps pausing for a second. “Davey, I’m going to have to call you back later,” he spoke, dismissing the facetime immediately afterwards. In the middle of the living room stood Race. He had shoved his hands in his pockets, looking really uncomfortable. The boy clearly avoided Jack’s gaze.
“Are you okay?” Jack asked when he reached the end of the stairs. It felt like a stupid question. The boy was clearly not okay. He looked far from okay. His blonde curls, normally bouncing around where now sticking to his forehead, which was covered in a thin layer of sweat. The curls almost hid a gash which ran from just above his brow to his hairline, bleeding slightly. That wasn’t even the worst part. His right eye was swollen, looking painfully and keeping his right eye shut. The left corner of his mouth was bleeding, a thin trail of blood streaming down to his jawline. It was clear that weren’t even all the wounds and bruises, his face twisted slightly from the pain.
“I’m fine,” Race shrugged, he pulled one hand out of his pocket, rubbing the back of his neck. His face twisted even more at the movement, biting his lip in pain.
“You don’t look fine, Race,” Jack motioned him to sit down on the couch, which Race obeyed. Medda appeared from the kitchen with a wet cloth in her hand, handing it to Race.
“You want something to drink? Some food maybe?” She asked, her face filed with worry.
“No, thank you miss Medda,” Race said softly as he pressed the cloth against his eye, hissing soft when the cold fabric touched his skin.
“We’re good, thanks mom,” Jack spoke when he saw how Medda wanted to insist on him drinking something. “I’ll get us some water in a minute. Thanks,” he said as he sat down on the other couch, facing Race. Medda nodded before she went upstairs, giving the boys some space to talk.
“What happened?” Jack asked, he rested his elbows on his knees, leaning forward a bit.
“I don’t want to be a bother. I knew the other parents would call my mum,” he dodged the question, keeping the cloth pressed against his eye.
“You know you’re never a bother, Race,” Jack reassured him.
“Remember when I told you how my dad thinks about gay people?” Race started. Jack nodded, remembering very vividly how Race told him his dad would disown him if he found out Race was gay, how his father had always told him gay people were sick and a curse for this earth.
“Me and Spot. We’ve been… I mean we’re not together but...”
“I think I get what you mean,” Jack assured him, not wanting to push the boy to say things which made him uncomfortable.
“My dad caught us. I thought he wasn’t home. I thought no one was home except me and Spot.”
“He did this to you.” Jack concluded when he saw the panic slowly starting in Race’s eyes, just remembering what had happened. The boy nodded, his hair moving along with the movement. “Where is Spot? Did your dad hurt him?”
“No, he send him home before he...”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to tell what he did. I kind of get the picture.” He reassured the boy. “Does your mum know?”
“No, she was away for a late shift. She really trusted him... I don’t want to hurt her like that.”
“She should know, he can’t just do this to you.”
“Could I maybe just stay for the night?” Race switched topics, his eyes avoiding Jack again.
“Of course. I’ll get the extra bed. You want something to drink?”
“A water please,”
Jack nodded, heading into the kitchen to fill a glass of water. After he handed it to his friend he went upstairs, to make the bed ready. Medda was standing in her bedroom door.
“Is he okay?” she asked, it was clear how worried she was.
Jack shook his head. “He tries to stay tough.” He explained, but as he knew the boy for so many years it became easy to pick up the signs, the fidgeting of his free hand and his lack of words. The boy was far from okay.
“He can stay here, right? Maybe longer than a night?
“He can stay as long as he needs to. He can’t go home like this. Not when his father is still there.” Medda assured Jack. “I should let his mom know he is here.”
“Could you do that tomorrow? I don’t want him to worry about that right now.” Jack proposed. The woman nodded.
“Just call me when you need anything. I’ll leave you two alone.” She said before she disappeared into her bedroom, closing the door. Jack quickly got the spare folded bed out of the spare bedroom, placing it into his bedroom and changing the sheets on it. He finally took the time to check his phone which was filled with messages from Davey, asking what was wrong and if Jack was okay. He quickly texted back he was fine, and he would explain at school.
When he went downstairs Race had finished his glass of water and no longer hold the cloth against his eye. He instead had lifted his shirt, inspecting multiple bruises on his chest. It looked maybe even worse than Jack had expected. Almost his entire ribcage was covered in bruises, so close to each other you could barely see where one ended and the next started.
“Did he kick you?” Jack asked, trying to keep his voice soft to not scare him. It didn’t work, Race immediately dropped his shirt, his face filled with fear when he looked up. He relaxed when he saw Jack.
“Yeah. He hit my face first,” the boy explained, a clear lump in his throat. “When I fell I hit the side of the desk,” he pointed towards the cut above his eye. “He then decided kicking was easier than getting me back on my feet again.”
“Was it only physical?” Jack slowly sat down on the arm rest of the couch, keeping a careful eye on Race’s face to make sure he wasn’t pushing the boy to talk.
“No. He-“ The boy took a deep breath. “He repeated how I was a shame and a waste of space and air. How he should’ve dumped me as a baby so he would’ve never had to deal with this. I’m a fag, a disgusting piece of shit and the worst thing that ever happened to him.” By the end of the sentence his eyes were filled with tears and his voice broke.
“Hey,” Jack said as he got up to sit down next to Race. “Don’t listen to him. That man is insane. You’re one of the best people I know.”
Race nodded softly while a few tears made their way down his face.
“Do you want me to call or text Spot?”
“No, please don’t. I don’t want him to feel guilty.”
“He’ll be worried.”
“No, he won’t. We’re not even dating. He doesn’t like me like that.” Race shrugged, his fingers fidgeting on his lap. Jack wanted to argue that point. Pointing out all the signs that Race didn’t see. How Spot looked at him, when they were sitting together or even when they were across the cafeteria from each other. His change in posture when Race talked to him. How his eyes basically turned into hearts when Race was around.
“Okay,” Jack promised. “Do you want some food, take a shower?”
“I wanna get some sleep,” Race said softly, he had started shivering, the adrenaline and shock worn out.
“That’s okay, it’s getting late anyway,” Jack got up from the couch, he watched the boy carefully as he got up from the couch, he now could see how Race as limping slightly. His stomach twisted at the idea of what the boy had been going through this night.

Chapter Text

The entire lunch break felt off, without Race. Medda had insisted on Race staying home at least one day when he woke up throwing up. She would pick up clothes from his house today, so he could stay for the weekend, maybe longer if needed, as Medda refused to let him stay at home as long as his father still lived in that house. These were the moments that Jack really appreciated how amazing his mom was, he was sure that if she had a change she would adopt Race right this second to guarantee his safety. He wouldn’t be surprised if she would try. Race had agreed with telling their friends what happened, without the details. Just so they knew why he wasn’t at school.
“I’ll see you after class,” Davey smiled before he kissed Jack shortly, leaving for his class. Jack couldn’t contain a soft smile on his lips before he turned back towards his locker. It was a complete mess. At least five sketchbooks were shoved in there, between his school books. Several loose papers were shoved between books and on top of books, some drawing and some notes.
“Hey, Kelly!” He heard a familiar voice call out. Oh fuck.
“What do you want Conlon?” He asked, shoving his books in his backpack before he turned towards the boy. Spot stopped in front of Jack, the top of his head barely reaching Jack’s chin. His arms were crossed, clearly pissed.
“Where is Race?” He asked, his gaze focussed on Jack, ignoring the many people around them.
“He’s sick,” Jack shrugged, closing his locker. Most students left the hall, heading towards their next class.
“Is he at his home? He’s not responding to my texts and-“
“He’s at my place,” Jack interrupted him. “He’s fine.” Jack was sure he saw a glimpse of calmness in the boy’s eyes.
“Last night-“
“He told me what happened. He’s okay,” he reassured the smaller boy. His arms seemed to relax, falling next to his body. “Mom decided to let him stay in for the day.”
“Can I see him?” Jack knew he had to refuse, to let Race decide that. Race most likely ignored this texts with a reason. But instead he grabbed Spot’s phone out of his hands, putting in his address. Spot mumbled a soft thank you, already turning around to head outside.
“Hey, Conlon!” Jack called him to a stop. “Be careful with him. If you hurt him, we’re all coming for your ass,” Spot only nodded, before heading outside.

Race’s body felt like he was hit by a truck. A bit after Jack had left for school he and Medda picked up some clothes and stuff he needed. He had moved from the spare bed to Jack’s bed, hoping the boy wouldn’t mind but it was way more comfortable. His phone had buzzed a lot, so he turned it off. Currently he had his laptop placed on his lap, watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier. What could he say, Sebastian Stan in that outfit. The doorbell made him almost jump for a second.
“Race, could you come down?” Medda called out. A nasty feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. Race paused the movie, pushing his laptop away before he got up. His leg was still hurting, and his muscles protested with every move he made.
He made it down the stairs before looking up to the boy in the living room, looking oddly out of place. Spot had his arms crossed, his gaze moving around the room.
“Spot, what are you doing here?” Race asked, he pulled his shirt down, looking away as soon as Spot looked up to him. He could practically feel the boy’s gaze moving over him, observing his bruised eye and arms.
“I’m going to kill him,” he heard the boy spat out.
“I’m fine!” Race called out, finally looking up to meet his eyes. “I’m fine,” he promised when Spot raised his eyebrow.
“You don’t look fine.”
“What are you doing here, Spot?” He repeated his earlier question, desperate to get the attention of off his bruises.
“I was worried.”
“Stop,” Race shrugged, crossing his arms to mirror the boy. “Stop acting like you care.”
“Are you really that stupid?!” The sudden loudness of Spot’s voice made him flinch. “I do care! I care so fucking much. How blind are you?!” Spot ran his hands through his short hair, clearly getting more frustrated. “What will it take for you to see, Racer?”
“I-I,” Race started, his voice slightly shaking. His body felt cold and warm at the same time, one part of him screamed to move to Spot, to kiss him and hold him. The other side wanted to tell him to leave, to close up and hide away. But Spot beat him to it, within a second, he crossed the space between them, pressing his lips on Race’s. If Race had thought that any kiss before this was good, it was nothing compared to this. Spot’s fingers entangled with his curls, as in a way to keep him even closer. His lips moved almost feverishly. Race could almost see the sparks in the air if he wanted to, the fire coming from Spot.
Finally Race moved as well, his hands cupping Spot’s cheeks. He could feel Spot’s body relax under his touch, the tension releasing.
A crash in the kitchen made them break apart. “I’m fine!” Medda called out, they could hear how she was picking up the pans that dropped.
“That was something,” Race muttered, his forehead resting against Spot’s, their lips half an inch away from each other.
“Yeah, I’ve been wanting to do that for a while,”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe they actually accepted you at NYU. Do they know what kind of dick you are?”
“You are just mad, I’m not joining you in San Francisco,” Race rolled his eyes at Romeo.
“Yes I am. We were going to rule the city but you two decided to go somewhere else,” He yelled out, throwing his arm in the arm, very dramatic.
“Why did you not apply to a theatre school, Romeo? You would’ve been accepted,” Albert smirked, sliding his milkshake towards himself to drink. They were seated at the lovely dinner, that they had spend many evenings in this year. A few dates, mostly nights with just their little group, which had drastically expended in a small time. Now it was the night before everyone left for college.
“I can’t believe you and Conlon are actually going to New York together. I mean, what a love story,” Romeo sighed, his face leaning on his hand.
“We won’t even be on the same campus. He’s going to a college in Brooklyn and all my classes and dorms are in Manhattan,”
“Still denying shit when it comes to Conlon,” Albert poked his elbow in Race’s side.
“Okay, okay! I mean, I’m not complaining studying in the same city as my boyfriend, it’s good.”
“It’s romantic!” Romeo leaned back on the seat. “Specs is going to be an hour and a half away and I’m already dying,” He whined, throwing his head back.
“At least you are in the same state,” Albert clearly kicked the boy under the table. “Elmer got accepted in Juilliard and I’m going to fucking Denver, stop complaining,”
“Who is complaining? No wait, let me guess. Romeo.” Davey welcomed the boys as Jack pushed another table against the one the three boys were seated at, creating twice as much space.
“Why is Romeo complaining?” Jack asked as he sat down on one of the chairs, next to Davey.
“You’ve got three guesses,” Albert announced, ignoring the grunt coming from Romeo.
“That’s hard, could it be that Specs is going to be an hour and a half away, and he is dying?”
“You can’t judge me, Kelly, you and Davey are both going to Stanford with your stupid art scholarship.” Romeo called out.
“Still, I’m judging you,” He said, his one arm resting on the back of Davey’s chair.
“I hate y’all,” Romeo muttered. Race could swear Romeo was like a bloodhound ‘cause he turned around in his seat the second Specs, Elmer and Spot walked through the door. Specs slide next to Romeo on the seat, while Albert moved to a chair, so he and Elmer could sit together and Race and Spot.
“Blink will be here any second,” Spot said before he pressed a kiss on Race’s curls. “He picked up Crutchie along the way,”
Race leaned into Spot as the conversation dragged on, more chairs were pulled out when Blink, Mush and Crutchie arrived. After a while the tables were filled with frites, burgers and drinks. By the time they went for dessert, Sarah and Katherine showed up, making it all a bit more cramped so everyone could still sit, but it worked. Because weirdly, it always seemed to work in this group.
“Just give me a tuck if you want to get out of here,” Spot whispered into Race’s ear, his arm around his shoulder. Where normally he had no problem with leaving early, especially not when he left together with Spot, but for this once he wished this night could last forever, instead of not seeing these boys until Thanksgiving or Christmas. He rested his head on Spot’s shoulder, a soft smile on his lips as he watched the rest of his friends.
“Nah, I’m fine.”