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You See Me as Your Lifeline

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Dean couldn’t quite believe it himself that he was actually dancing with Jamie, a slow one at that. People were giving them a few sideways looks, he could tell. No one could believe it either that Dean was slow-dancing with Jamie. After all, Dean did nothing but bully him for ages. Anxiously, he looked around to the other students whispering and trying to be subtle in their stares. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened them again, his eyes finally settled on Jamie’s face, who towered over him in his heels and was looking around the room with a dreamy smile.

Dean just kept staring at him though. See, ever since Jamie kissed him to scare him off, Dean’s been tied in knots. He tried to get revenge for what Jamie had done, but it clearly hadn’t worked. In hindsight, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted it to work to begin with.

Dean had always been adamant he wasn’t gay, but even he had to admit Jamie looked sort of pretty in that dress. He looked all soft and nice and not like a girl at all, but like a pretty boy in a pretty dress. It shouldn’t work, but it did, especially for Jamie. He looked like himself. Dean secretly, deep down, admired that.

“What?” Jamie had finally noticed the stare and looked down at Dean.

Dean cleared his throat and shifted his eyes downwards. “Uh, nothing.”

Jamie raised an eyebrow. “Alright then.” The song ended and an upbeat one began. “Well, that’s my cue. This wasn’t completely horrible for once.” Jamie did a courtesy and before Dean could say anything else, Jamie walked off. Dean watched him go for a moment before he sighed and walked towards to punch table.

He’d just poured himself a drink when he turned around to see Pritti standing there with her arms crossed. “Since when do you and Jamie leave any interaction without a fight? Did you drug him?”

Dean put his arms up. “I didn’t do anything, I swear. I can be civil, you know.”

“And I’m supposed to just believe that?” She narrowed her eyes.

Dean didn’t look at her, instead his eyes roamed around the room, until they settled on Jamie again. For some reason, his gaze always found him. Dean shrugged. “You believe what you want.” He took a drink from his cup.

Pritti’s eyes squinted even more as she poured herself a cup and took a sip before turning around and looking around the room as well. She turned her head to look at Dean and noticed his eyes were fixed on one point. She followed the line of his gaze and looked back at Dean. Something clicked then.

“Oh, I’ll believe it now, right.” Her demeanor had opened up completely. The sparkle in her eye and the cheeky smirk on her face knew more than he did.

He jerked his head back to her and spluttered. “Wha- What d’you mean?”

“D’you fancy Jamie?”

“What? No! I-” He scoffed halfheartedly. “I- don’t know.” He shrugged again and looked deep into his cup, picking at the rim.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t need to say it.”

“Look, I’m not gay-”

“Oh, sure.” Pritti said, her voice dripping with irony.

“No, really. I don’t know what I am. But, fine,” He sighed, “I think maybe, I might like Jamie. Just a bit. But like, what does that even mean. Everyone thinks he looks good in a dress. That doesn’t mean anything.” Dean defended, he leaned against the table and crossed his feet.

“Maybe. But not everyone keeps staring. I’d hate to burst your bubble, Dean. But we all got over Jamie looking beautiful a long while ago.” She had softened up a bit.

“Whatever, it’s not like he’ll ever want to be my friend after what I did.” He hung his head.

“Don’t be so quick to judge. Sure, Jamie can be mean and antagonising, but he does have empathy. He can forgive. Maybe you should just try.” She said. Dean looked at her, his head still hung. Pritti shrugged one shoulder and smiled.

Dean walked away, out of the decorated room and into the car park. He needed to get some air, he needed to think and feel in peace. Once outside, he sat himself down on the small step in front of the entrance. He put his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. The music was a pleasant background noise now. Just loud enough to not let the quiet night be overwhelming but not so loud that it invaded his every thought.

He wasn’t exactly sure how long he’d sat there, but soon he heard a familiar voice calling out soemthing to his friends before nearly stumbling over Dean.

“Well, what are you doing here?” Jamie asked, buzzing with energy from head to toe. It was quite jarring next to Dean’s own sullen state.

“Just needed to get out for a bit.” Dean answered simply, looking up from his position.

Jamie sat down next to him, a lot more gracefully. He laid his legs to the side of him and wiped his skirt flat before resting his hands in his lap. “Well, you’re looking quite depressed, and we can’t have that now. It’s prom!” Jamie threw his hands up.

“I know. I’ve just.. had a lot going on.” Dean stretched out one leg and held onto his other knee. “What about you, then? What are you doing out here?”

“Well, I was gonna call me mum quick, but then I nearly broke an ankle tripping over you.”

“Shit, sorry. D’you want me to leave?”

“Nah, that’s alright.”

It was silent for a bit. Dean could see Jamie bobbing his head slightly to the music.

“You’re doing that thing again.” Jamie said, not even looking at him.

“What thing?” Dean played dumb.

“The staring thing.” Jamie looked at him now. “So go on, what’s that all about?”

“I’m sorry.”

“No need to apologise. I know I look fabulous. It’d be rude not to stare, really.” Jamie did an imaginary hairflip.

Dean cracked a smile at that and stared off into the dark car park. “I didn’t mean for that. I meant for how I’ve been treating you.” Jamie went still beside him. “I’m sorry for being so horrible. I was taking out my own shit on you and I realise that now.”

“I- wow. Thanks.” Jamie sounded stunned. “I really appreciate that.” Jamie shifted a little. “You know, Dean, whatever shit you’re going through, I truly hope you get through it.”

Dean turned his head to meet Jamie’s gaze. A feeling took over Dean then as he leaned forwards quickly and cupped Jamie’s cheek to kiss him. Jamie’s eyes widened as he took a moment to realise what was happening. He pushed Dean off.

“Wow wow, hold on. What the fuck was that?” Jamie said, his hand still hoovering in between them and leaning back a little.

Dean was gaping and stuttered out: “Shit, shit, sorry. God, I’m so stupid.” Dean pressed the balls of his hands to his eyes before standing up and shifting on his feet. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”

“It’s alright, just calm down.” Jamie stood up too and grabbed his shoulders, making Dean still his moves. Jamie took a deep breath. “Why’d you just kiss me?”

“I don’t know. I just did.” Jamie raised an eyebrow in disbelief. Dean sighed and ran a hand over his face. “Cuz I think, I might like you.” Dean whispered truthfully.

Jamie took in a sharp breath and let go of Dean’s shoulders. “You think you might like me?” He gestured wildly as he paced around, processing. “Well, this suddenly puts a lot of things in perspective. And frankly, it makes a lot of sense. I mean most homophobic people turn out gay in the end, you know.”

“I’m not gay.” Dean said.

“Well, you’re certainly not straight either, are you.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Is this the shit you’ve been going through?” Jamie asked. Dean nodded. “Shit, Dean.” Jamie couldn’t help but pull Dean close and hug him. He knew the struggle himself and knowing now that Dean was going through it too, it made him sentimental.

They stood there hugging and swaying slightly to the music. “This is such a weird night.” Dean laughed with a wobbly voice. Jamie joined in with his own chuckle.

“It really is.” Jamie let Dean go. Jamie cleared his throat and wiped his hands across his dress. “Well, I’d better head back inside.”

Jamie made a move to turn. “Wait, Jamie.” Dean said, gently taking his arm to stop him. Jamie looked back at him. “Can I have one more dance?”

“What, out here?”

“Why not?” Dean held out his hand. Jamie looked back to the door once before taking Dean’s hand.

“Sure.”

Dean settled his hands on Jamie’s waist as Jamie’s looped around his neck. They swayed to the music. Dean was staring again. He couldn’t help himself. Despite the makeup Jamie was wearing, Dean could still tell Jamie was blushing.

“You look beautiful by the way.” Dean smiled.

“Aw, thanks. Ray helped me pick out the dress.” Jamie smiled from ear to ear.

“I don’t believe that.”

“What d’you mean by that?” Jamie slapped him on the shoulder lightly.

“I mean that you don’t need anyone’s help to look good.”

Jamie waved his head from side to side. “Oh alright, she just came along to tell me I look pretty.”

Dean chuckled and Jamie giggled. Their squinted eyes met. The music had changed, though they kept turning and swaying to their own tune inching slightly closer with each step until they stopped moving.

“The music’s changed.” Dean pointed out.

“So it has.” Jamie answered.

Dean could barely feel Jamie’s breath on his cheek. Jamie’s hands were lying on his chest. Dean was scared he would be pushed away again, but instead they just rested there, on his lapels.

Dean’s eyes flickered down to Jamie’s lips and slowly he leaned in, taking care to watch Jamie’s every reaction. Jamie tilted his head slightly and his eyes fell closed. Dean carefully pressed his lips against Jamie’s. It took but a moment before Dean pulled back again. Only Jamie pressed forward this time and kissed Dean a little deeper before resting their foreheads together.

“Just tell me one thing. What is this?” Jamie breathed.

“Whatever you want it to be. But, honestly, I’d like to take you out sometime.” Dean said.

“Are you sure? Cuz, Dean, if you’re not sure or you wanna keep this secret- well, I can’t do that.” Jamie closed his eyes, trying to stave off pointless tears.

“I know. But I’m sure.”

Jamie sighed, not fully believing him. “Please, Dean. Don’t say that now and back out tomorrow. This is a big leap from where we started prom tonight.”

“Jamie,” Dean pulled back a little and grabbed his face in both hands. “No one has ever made me want to be so brave as you have. I do mean that.”

Jamie grabbed onto his lapels and pulled him in again and kissed him hard. “That was bloody sappy, but my god, did that work.” Jamie said. It startled a laugh out of Dean.

“Just want to be friends, ey?” Pritti’s voice sounded from the doorway. Jamie and Dean both jumped at the abrupt interruption. Jamie frowned and tilted his head.

“It was supposed to be a start, but you know with Jamie everything is always ten times faster.” Dean answered.

“True.” Pritti said.

Jamie looked between the both of them. “Now, hold on. What’s happened?”

“Nothing, she was just being a good friend.” Dean explained vaguely.

“Well, ‘course she is. She always is.” Jamie took Pritti’s hand and squeezed. She smiled back at him.

“Hey, Pritti.” Dean said. “I’ve not said I’m sorry, yet. What you said earlier, before prom. You’re right. And I’m sorry for what a wanker I’ve been to you. I was not dealing well with my own shit.”

“Thanks.” Pritti said, pushing up her glasses. She had not been expecting an apology. “Alright, now come on. We’re gonna miss the rest of the prom.” She ushered them both inside.

They danced the night away with nothing but joy fueling their bodies. Jamie danced the next few slow songs with Pritti however. Both he and Dean seemed to have the same unspoken understanding of not yet sharing whatever was blooming between them until they knew what it was themselves.

“So, is he like, your boyfriend now.” Pritti whispered. A slower song was playing. They barely danced, it was more a leaning from one foot to the other than an actual slowdance.

“Shhh.” Jamie shushed, “Not so loud. But, I don’t know. We’ve just snogged is all.”

“Yeah, but is it just snogging or am I gonna have to give him a talking to.”

Jamie laughed “What are you, me mum?”

“Well, no, but I feel like as your best friend, I just need to go all ‘if you hurt him, I hurt you’.” She puffed out her chest and scowled badly while she said that.

“I do appreciate that, but you’re about as scary as a baby bird.” Jamie booped her nose.

“I’m serious, Jamie. I don’t want to see you getting hurt.” Pritti said.

“I know, but I’m a big boy, who sometimes want to be a girl. Getting hurt will be part of my life. If it’s not, well then I’ve done something wrong while coming out as gay and a drag queen.” Jamie kissed the top of her head. “I love you, you know that right.”

“Aw, Jamie, I love you too.”

Jamie scrunched up his nose at her with a smile and soon the slow song faded into a more happy one making them all dance with more energy. While they were keeping their distance, Dean did come dance closer every once in a while. Neither could suppress a smile when they caught each other’s gaze.

The night wound down and soon people were leaving, exhausted but happy and ready to go home and get some sleep. Jamie walked to his locker where he had stuffed a pair of extra tennis shoes. He did want to walk home in his heels.

He had just taken off his heels when he startled an let out a yelp as a hand grabbed his arm. “Christ, give a guy a warning.” Jamie clutched one of his shoes to his chest as he saw Dean standing behind him.

“Sorry. I just- There’s a few of us walking home together, d’you and Pritti wanna come along?” Dean asked.

Jamie nodded. “Yeah, that’d be great.”

“Okay, great.” Dean knotted his fingers together.

Jamie looked to both sides of the corridor before he lifted Dean’s face and kiss him sweetly. He didn’t have to bend down as much this time since he was bare feet. “I’ll come find you outside okay. I’m just gonna grab all my stuff.” Jamie said. Dean nodded and walked away. He looked back over his shoulder one time.

He grabbed his silver bag, stuffed his heels in there and put on his tennis shoes. He walked to the car park to catch up with the group. Pritti was already there and he threw an arm around her and pulled her in a sideways hug.

Jamie was one of the few people who lived a little farther away. When they’d arrived at Pritti’s house, he had hugged her tight and made plans for the day after to get together. Soon, no one but Jamie and Dean were walking together. The quiet of the night was pleasant, but the tension between them was almost palpable.

“So,” Jamie began. “D’you live around here too?”

“Uh, no. Actually I live a little ways back.” Dean answered. He scratched the back of his neck.

“Oh, well, you shouldn’t have--”

“No, that’s okay. I didn’t want to leave you alone. I- I heard about what happened, so…” Dean trailed off.

“Well, this is me. Thanks for walking me home.” Jamie stood there rocking on his feet and not yet making a move to go inside. He pulled his jackets a little tighter around himself.

It took Dean a moment to figure out what Jamie was waiting for, but when he did, he took one of Jamie’s hands and laced their fingers together loosely. Then, he leaned forward and pulled Jamie closer by his waist before kissing him long and sweet.

The kiss seemed to both last forever and not long enough. While it was innocent enough, it lit Jamie up inside, a warm feeling settled in his stomach. Despite knowing how dysfunctional this relationship should be, Jamie didn’t care all that much. Dean had clearly left his bad side behind him and Jamie was willing to get to know this new person.

When Dean pulled away, Jamie chased his mouth for just a second. “I’ll call you later?” Dean asked more than said.

“You’d better.” Jamie swung their interlocked hands between them.

“Goodnight.”

“Night.”

Their hands fell when Dean was too far to reach. Jamie watched him go for a minute before sighing and turning on his heel to walk to his house. Quietly, he opened the door, not wanting to wake his mum. However, she was sat at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, a second one on the other side of the table sat steaming and waiting.

“Good night, I presume?” His mum asked, looking at him over the rim of her mug.

Jamie put down his stuff, took off his shoes and sat down. He cupped the mug with both hands and let the heat seep into his hands. “Were you spying on me?”

“No. I was simply, making a cup of tea and looking out the window to see my son standing there kissing a boy.” Margaret had to keep from laughing at seeing Jamie’s face all wide-eyes and gaping. “So, go on, tell us everything.”

“Oh, mum. Tonight was a little bonkers, but it was a dream.” Jamie started his story that would last well into the night.