“Hey, hey Marce, come here!” Marcel looked over, still feeling incredibly out of place with his unusual clothing and his hair ungelled. He was briefly frightened by the calls of his name and waving hands but he followed, intrigued.
“Get in for a photo Marcel, c’mon!” another rowdy person from his class shouted and Marcel sighed, stepping over hesitantly. His lip curled up slightly at the end as he waited and everyone crowded around the camera let out a harmonized moan.
“Really?! Come on smile or something!” they pestered so Marcel sarcastically did the cheesiest grin he could, not expecting them to actually take the picture but a flash immediately burned his eyes.
“Aye! Good one Marcel!” they all laughed and patted each other on the back as Marcel walked away. He didn’t even want to be at this stupid party but his mum wanted him to live like a ‘normal teenager’. He had to admit that the drink wasn’t too horrendous and the people didn’t care too much that he was here. The clothes and the noise, however, those weren’t as pleasant.
His mum had picked up the retro rainbow t-shirt at a sale and his jeans from a high street shop. They were suffocating his legs and people kept making crude comments about Marcel’s arms so the t-shirt wasn’t a winner either. He had valiantly fought against the contact lenses and won but the rest felt absolutely ridiculous. He headed back to the kitchen to pick up another drink, the sweating, grinding bodies contaminating his skin with every brush past them on the way. Marcel shuddered as he swiped a bottle and headed into some unpolluted air.
Stepping out, he took a calming breath. It was a lot cooler and more refreshing out here. He followed the path to the square garden, a few loitering people chatting quietly were dotted around but not too offensive for Marcel to stand. He sat on the bench, skilfully avoiding the spilt drinks and what was probably vomit. It was still a couple of hours until the earliest point his mum agreed to come and pick him up so he sat and watched the stars, a nice thrum of alcohol buzz floating in his veins.
“Hey, may I sit?” a strong accent came from his right side and Marcel slowly averted his gaze that way. Usually, he said a polite yes and then made an excuse to leave but once he saw the wonder of a boy next to him, he knew he wouldn’t be going any time soon.
“Yes, you may,” Marcel smiled and the boy found it a lot harder to grab a dry spot, hesitantly hovering until he did.
“Sorry to interrupt,” the boy apologised, finding his beer can a lot easier to look at than anything else. Marcel understood the need for a lack of eye contact and respected it by resuming his upward look.
“It’s no issue, I wasn’t doing anything of interest,” Marcel replied, calculating the constellations that were in his field of vision. The boy noticed what Marcel was doing and replicated his posture, staring at the stars.
“I’m Louis, by the way,” he added, speaking a lot quieter than he had before. Marcel noticed the introduction as a sign of a possible impending friendship and smiled.
“I’m Marcel,” he stated, expecting the typical overused response of it being a nerds name.
“Marcel, ‘s French right? God of war?” Louis asked, almost as if he was unsure of himself.
“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure,” Marcel replied, looking towards Louis again for only the second time. His face was softer, still carrying a little baby weight to it. His eyes seemed inspired, he had artists eyes in the way they seemed full of wonder and creativity. His hair was perfectly quiffed to suit his face shape.
“Yeah, not many people are. I guess I just have a fascination with names,” he confessed and Marcel turned to him, finding that very interesting.
“Do you? That’s unique,” Marcel said slowly, trying not to offend the boy with the adjective he used to describe his passion.
“Yeah... I know it's weird, but I think you can tell a lot about a person by it. Like Juliette over there, her name means youthful but she prefers to go by Jay which means victory,” Louis expressed his sentences so incredibly well and so softly spoken that Marcel couldn’t help but appreciate the passion and carelessness in his voice.
“That’s... amazing Louis, I guess I would never have expected that from you,” Marcel stated and Louis smiled, letting out a breathy laugh while his finger traced the rim of his beer can.
“Nobody expects much from me, I’m a bit plain,” he laughed almost as if it meant nothing to him. Despite him appearing as sharp, his clothes were harsh colours and bold choices, his accent was cutting and loud. Louis seemed softer, a hint of brilliance in every spoken word. Louis was one of those people that you look at and you know they’re going to make something great of their life.
“As someone who has been criticised many times for not being as plain as others, I wouldn’t say that was such a bad thing,” Marcel challenged, sometimes wishing he was a lot plainer and less unusual to his peers. Louis didn’t argue Marcel’s point like Marcel expected, he pondered over it. Running it in his head and contemplating his answer like it was extremely important.
“You are right but on the other hand, if nobody expects much of you, you tend to learn not to expect much of yourself,” Louis leaned over with a raised eyebrow and a hint of a smile and Marcel suddenly felt drawn to Louis’ mind like a ship reaching the harbour.
“I like the way your mind works Louis,” Marcel complimented, finding comments on personality and talent a lot more substantial and meaningful than appearance based ones. Louis seemed to feel the same way as he blushed and grinned a beaming smile.
“Wow Marcel, anyone might think you’re trying to get into my pants,” Louis laughed, enjoying his joke towards the stereotypical flirty response people at parties usually gave to compliments. Marcel couldn’t help but lighten up and smile along.
“Knowing myself, I would be incredibly surprised if that was my intention,” Marcel responded with squinted eyebrows and a knowing look to Louis.
“Well, I’m very glad because as an asexual, I wouldn’t really be the person you should look towards with that sort of thing,” Louis added and Marcel had very quickly learnt that Louis was full of surprising things that, due to the way he spoke them, weren’t really majorly surprising at all.
“As a gay man, I feel like sex is very heavily pushed onto me when really, it makes no difference to me,” Marcel replied and Louis nodded along.
“Definitely, I agree. Gay culture is incredibly sexualised, but really I prefer a good book,” Louis joked and Marcel giggled, unable to stop himself from looking at Louis.
“I do too,” Marcel agreed, sending a delayed look at Louis as they both laughed, breaking whatever tension was between them. Despite the obvious awkwardness surrounding them both and the societal expectations of their setting, the conversation became easy. The topics floating around to a range of subjects that all seemingly made sense for them but nobody else.
“I like your shirt, didn’t think you’d be a Kacey Musgraves fan,” Louis gestured towards the rainbow and Marcel looked down, shrugging.
“Sorry to disappoint but my mother found it, she said I should hint about my sexuality to attract male attention,” Marcel repeated her words and they sounded even more ridiculous now then they did when she said them. Louis laughed harder, his head going back and his hand on his stomach.
“Your mum the matchmaker, eh? You can report back to her telling her it worked,” Louis shook his head in disbelief, taking another drink of his beer. Marcel felt the nervousness coming back so he took a large swig of his, combatting them head-on.
“I’m not too sure I want to encourage such behaviour,” Marcel chuckled, wondering what she would say if she could see him here with a cute boy. The night turned into silence, Louis not making a comment and Marcel still unable to look away from the developing night sky. The air was picking up quickly and Marcel began to feel the chill of the dropping temperature. He knew the last thing he wanted to do was go back inside and away from Louis but he also didn’t want his nipples to crudely show through this shirt already. What he didn’t account for was the way Louis shuffled closer and rested his head on Marcel’s shoulder. Marcel stiffened but didn’t want to push Louis away in doing so, so he forced himself to relax and swap his drink to the opposite hand. He figured that the etiquette for these type of things was to put your arm around someone so he did, feeling a warmth he couldn’t describe when Louis snuggled closer.
“’s getting colder out here,” Louis whispered, not needing to use any sort of voice as all his words were spoken millimetres from Marcel’s ear.
“It is, do you-“ Marcel was about to ask if Louis wanted to head back inside when he got the text tone radiating from his phone. He placed his weight on the side towards Louis and pulled it out of his pocket. He could see out of his peripheral that Louis was looking at the screen.
Mum- I’m outside, you can escape now!
Marcel was expecting to be pleased but he wasn’t in the slightest. Louis seemed to stay where he was, clearly too comfortable to move. Marcel knew he had to address it though.
“I’m sorry, I have to leave,” Marcel sighed and Louis hauled himself back upright. Seemingly nervous, if the fiddling fingers were at all an indication, Louis nodded and smiled shyly.
“Yeah, okay. Maybe I’ll see you at another one of these sometime,” Louis was trying to play it cool, his whole personality changing now he was unsure of what to say.
“Maybe you’d like my number?” Marcel offered, shocking even himself but the pleased and more relaxed smile Louis sent him made it worth it.
“Of course,” Louis replied, handing over his phone and patiently waiting for it back.
“There you go, see you later Louis. I had fun tonight,” Marcel tried to hint towards tying up the conversation so he didn’t leave his mum in the cold.
“Me too, hey Marcel, you don’t do kisses on the cheeks do you?” Louis laughed a little, squinting one eye and tilting his head in a move Marcel couldn’t help but find adorable.
“I-I do, I guess,” Marcel had never been kissed on the cheek by anyone but his mother so he assumed it would be okay. Louis leaned up, not quite at Marcel’s height and pressed two feather light kisses to Marcel’s skin, one on each cheek.
“Thank you for the wonderful night, God of war,” Louis joked as Marcel left and Marcel laughed a little, waving back.
“You too, Louis, you too,” Marcel half shouted, half muffled as he made his way back through the house and into the car.
Later that night, he found himself tagged in a picture of Facebook. He was startled because he never really used his Facebook much. He immediately clicked on it and groaned when it was the photobooth picture of him at the party. He would have asked them to delete it and untagged himself if he hadn’t scrolled down and saw the comment.
God of war ? More like god of adorableness ! <3