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You're Gross, Mike. Gross.

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    “Are you two almost ready?” Andy shouted through the door of Morrissey and Johnny’s room, banging on the door. He and Mike had been waiting outside for what felt like forever.

    Johnny pulled the door open, sticking his head out into the hallway.

    “You two go ahead, we’ll meet you there. Mozzer is still trying to fix his hair,” Johnny told them before pulling the door closed again.

    “I bet they’re making out in there,” Andy grumbled, starting down the stairs.

    “One can only hope,” Mike agreed, “It’s not like they haven’t been staring at each other since the first day of school.”

    When they got to the bottom of the steps they saw a blond head walking just ahead of them. When it turned, they saw Ian McCulloch standing in a wig and lipstick, clad in trousers and a button-down.

    “What’s with the wig, Mac?” Andy asked.

    “Dunno, got bored,” he replied, smoothing a hand over the blond strands.

    “Good a reason as any,” Andy told him as they walked together towards the gym. They stepped through the doors and saw brightly colored lights and streamers, balloons covering the floor and ceiling. The Ramone brothers stood back on the stage as Captain Sensible walked up to the mic, his bright pink furry pants glinting under the lights.

    “Alright lads and ladies, ready for a hip tune?” he grinned, “Up next we have the Ramones!”

    Everyone clapped as Joey, the singer, took the mic. Once they started playing the students started to sway, a few grabbing their dates to dance. Andy immediately made for the corner where Lorna was standing, waiting. Mike trailed behind and leaned against the wall a few yards away. Lorna held up a double necked bass that had been leaning beside her and Andy grinned. They started playing it together and soon they were kissing, still playing with the same skill as before. Mike wasn’t sure whether to be grossed out or impressed.

    “I’m not sure if I should kick them out of the dance or applaud their playing,” came a voice next to him. Mike turned to see Mr. Costello standing beside him, grinning.

    “I was just wondering the same thing,” Mike agreed.

    “Were you planning to kick them out as well?” Elvis teased.

    “No, I just meant...” Mike trailed off, his cheeks hot.

    “How are you liking the dance?” Elvis asked, looking around.

    “It’s okay. Sensible didn’t put too many weird things and it’s almost like a birthday party to me,” Mr. Costello gave him a questioning look. “I just turned eighteen. You know... Legal.”

    Shit, did I really just say that?? Mike chided in his head, Oh god, he must think I’m an idiot! I am an idiot!

    “It’s almost as good as mine was,” Elvis told him. When Mike looked at him in confusion, he gestured out to their surroundings.

    “Oh,” Mike said, understanding.

    “It just might end up being better,” Elvis grinned at him, flashing the gap in his front teeth.

    “The music’ll never be as good,” Mike mumbled under his breath.

    “The Ramone kids seem to be doing all right,” Elvis replied.

    “I, uh, yeah they’re okay,” Mike was blushing furiously. He hadn’t meant for his comment to be heard.

    Looking out towards the dance floor, he spotted Morrissey and Johnny, whirling around like idiots. Mike snorted, shaking his head.

    “What?” Elvis asked, leaning towards him.

    “Just my friends. See?” He pointed to the pair.

    “Looks like they’re having fun. Don’t you like to dance?”

    “I dunno, I usually just don’t.”

    “Why don’t you?” Rather than reply, Mike pointed to the two flailing about on the dance floor, nearly hitting everyone around them as they threw their arms around.

    “You wouldn’t even dance with me at my own dance,” Elvis remembered.

    “Sorry,” Mike said quietly. He had thought that Elvis had forgotten about that night by now. Once they had gotten inside Elvis had asked him if he wanted to dance and when he declined the boy had shrugged and gone to dance with his own friends. Afraid that he’d be caught without Elvis to vouch for him and not brave enough to claim himself his date, Mike had slipped outside and gone back to his dorm.

    “Why didn’t you stay?” Elvis asked suddenly. “You left without saying goodbye, remember?”

    “Yeah, I just… You were with your friends and I didn’t want to get in the way and I was afraid I was about to be kicked out anyway, so...” Mike trailed off.

    “No one would have cared, really,” Elvis told him, adding softly, “I looked for you.”

    “Why did you invite me in?” Mike asked, “I mean thank you and everything, it was nice of you, but it’s not like we ever talked before that- or after for that matter.”

    “Because I wanted to,” Elvis told him, “Because every time we were rehearsing there was this little tuft of black hair sticking up from under the band room window, and every time I went to look it was gone. Because when I went outside there was that same black-haired kid who looked like he’d just danced his heart out and I wanted to see if he could dance any more.”

    “Oh,” Mike said quietly.

    “So, would you like to dance?” Elvis asked him, holding out his hand.

    “Um, okay,” Mike agreed cautiously, taking his hand.

Elvis swung him around as the song started. Mike shuffled awkwardly at first but gradually they began to dance more enthusiastically. For Mike this meant sort of skipping in place and making odd hand gestures that embodied the dancing of stereotypical middle aged dad; for Elvis this meant weird jerky leg movement and not really moving his arms at all for some reason. All in all they looked like a couple of weird nerds, but they were into it.

    Soon, the music changed, going from fast and heart-racing to slower and sweeter, like honey.

    “They're telling us they're gonna make a fuss about the two of us, I want you around,” Joey Ramone sang on the stage. Elvis slid his arms around Mike’s shoulders, pulling him closer. Mike flushed bright red, placing his hands clumsily at his waist. They swayed from side to side, slowly relaxing into each other.

Mike, still beet red, was tripping over his own feet despite his best efforts to do exactly not that. Elvis caught him and pulled him closer. Their slow dance slowed to the point where they were basically just standing on the dance floor hugging and occasionally shuffling slightly. Mike rested his head on Elvis’s shoulder, grinning like an idiot. Mr. Costello gave nice hugs.

He looked up to see John Richman wearing his painfully yellow hall monitor sash and a silly hat breaking up Andy and Lorna who had literally been sitting in the corner enthusiastically making out for the past quarter of an hour. Mike chuckled at his friend.

“What’s so funny?” Elvis asked.

Mike opened his mouth to answer but was interrupted by John Richman and his silly hat.

“Alright you two, there needs to be at least six inches of space between dance partner’s pelvises.” He did a double take when he saw it was a teacher, “Oh, Mr. Costello. Um…as you were? I guess? Uh, bye...” He then walked off looking confused and conflicted, pulling out an acoustic guitar as he went and singing to himself.

“I’m going to get some punch,” Mike told Elvis, blushing and shuffling his feet as he inched away. “Do you want any?”

“I’m fine,” Elvis told him, “Meet you back by the wall?” Mike nodded, staring at his shoes before turning away. Elvis sighed, back where they’d started, leaning against the wall.

In the corner, Lorna had broken away from Andy to go say hello to a friend across the room, so Andy slid to stand beside the teacher.

“Hey, Mr. Costello. What’s up?”

“Not much, Andy. How are you? Having fun?” Elvis replied.

“Yeah,” Andy said, wistfully staring after Lorna. “You?”

“It’s been great,” Elvis smiled, watching as Mike clumsily poured punch into a plastic cup against the opposite wall.

“Mike looks like he’s having fun. He usually never dances- At least not that any of us have seen. Was he this awkward even as a freshman? You knew him, right?”

“Yeah, sort of. He hasn’t changed much, just grew into his ears a bit.”

“Not much,” Andy snorted, “That’d take a lot of growing.”

Mike was breaking through the wall of students nearest to them and Elvis went to meet him, nodding to Andy as he went. Andy crossed his arms, watching the pair with a smirk. As Elvis brushed against him, Mike immediately spilled punch down his own front, blushing bright red and nearly tripping.

“You’re gross, Mike. Gross,” Andy muttered to no one in particular.