Pizza, Dirk thinks idly, is always a nice way to start off an evening.
As is swapping sodas over the shiny blue tabletop, straws bent into submission against their lips. He knows they must look odd, dressed to the nines in pinstripe and powder blue (“It’s ironic.” “It’s…certainly colorful.”) suits respectively, linking fingertips a little too obviously beneath the table. But they’re an odd pair anywhere, and he’d be damned if Jake wouldn’t get to experience the clichéd teenage joys of pizza at least once in his disillusioned existence.
“It’s quite good,” Jake assures him, grinning against a mouthful of cheesy bliss. His lips quirk upwards—just the slightest—at the sight, and his fingertips press into warm hands in the shadowed secrecy of their corner booth.
There’s little dancing to be had, and the boys muse with an air of detachment over the strange arrangement that is the fabled high school Dance Floor.
“It’s a bit like an atom, isn’t it?” Jake laughs, his eyes sparkling in the strobe lights.
And Dirk thinks it certainly is; the Nucleus buzzing with activity (grinding), the dense surrounding space of Awkward Teenage Bodies swaying in time with the music (simply awful), and the occasional Orbiting Couple hell-bent on making a scene (tiresome).
They lurk near the Wallflowers, but are, under no circumstances, to be confused—there’s a good bit of smiling on Jake’s end, and the occasional cutting observation on Dirk’s, and it’s only after a sip too many of spiked punch that they find themselves briefly in a rather compromising position.
“What’s that strange bit of dancing they do, here?” Jake asks, and Dirk can feel the warm breath on his skin as he moves closer, buzzing with curiosity. “Grinding. Such a silly name, I dare say.” And he’s laughing again, throwing his arms around Dirk’s neck and god Dirk can feel the hot press of his skin through each and every blasted layer.
It only lasts a moment, just a mere instant of moving and breathing and wondering fingertips, but the sobering heat coiling up his spine stops things before they’ve really started.
Jake looks almost disappointed, fingers still firm against Dirk’s lapel, and the decision is made. “Let’s blow this joint like the fuckin’ Fourth of July,” he says, hand slipping into his friend’s as he leads him from the saturated atmosphere out into the cool night air.
And it is somehow, always somehow that they find themselves here, soothed by the crush of pebbles beneath their feet and the touch of rusting swing set chains against their fingertips.
The playground must be ages old, and it suits the crooning hymn of Sinatra slipping static from Jake’s beat-up iPod. Timeless, Dirk thinks in a flash of sentimentality, as nostalgic as the feeling of Jake’s arms tight around his neck as they shift from foot to foot. It’s a sort of dance, a holding-and-swaying motion that they’ve perfected for times like this, times where the only words they know are bred from voices long dead.
“I like prom.” Jake says it softly, tone sliding through the rhythm of the music like it was meant to be there. He rests his head against Dirk’s chest, smiling up at him with green, green eyes.
“No.” Dirk smoothes back his hair, black strands falling against the bend of his fingers. “You like this.”
Jake moves to press a kiss to the smooth curve of Dirk’s neck, warmth blooming on the skin. “I like you.”
Dirk doesn’t have an answer for that, because Jake already knows, knows that the way Dirk’s heart beats out that quiet, symphonic strain against his chest is just for him.
And somehow it’s quiet, so quiet with the music fading into the light of dawn and Jake’s lips breathing the final, sweeping note against his.