Sid Phillips would drop out of school if he didn’t fear the wrath of his mother that that would invoke. He’s already not allowed to borrow the car for the next month because he failed his first semester of Algebra II.
Hazelgreen High School believes in its students, though, and because Sid failed, he is forced to attend peer tutoring twice a week after school for the next quarter. That’s how he ends up partnered with Andy Davis, some kid he vaguely remembers from the neighborhood when they were little.
He has a soft, pale face with eyes too innocent for any 16-year-old boy to have. Sid knows he makes him nervous; Andy’s looking at the half sleeve tattoo that covers his forearm, his dark, shoulder-length hair, his paint-splattered flannel shirt; anywhere but his face.
“What areas did you have problems with last semester?” Andy asks, pulling out a library copy of Sid’s textbook, the first half of the book already marked with blue and yellow tabs.
“I failed,” Sid said, leaning back in his seat. He kicks his feet into a desk next to him. “What do you think?”
“Okay, then,” Andy replies. He clears his throat and opens the book to the first chapter. “We can spend half of our time relearning last semester’s material, and half of the time working on this semester’s to keep you on track.” He looks up, finally, catching Sid’s eyes and Andy gives a half smile before averting his gaze nervously.
“You some sorta math genius or something?” Sid asks. He figures numbers must give you a boner if you’re volunteering to teach them to other students in your free time.
“I’m not bad,” Andy replies, averting his eyes again, and Sid knows he’s playing modest and humble. He probably spends his weekends at calculus competitions and asks for extra homework on weekdays.
Andy angles the textbook so that they can both view it easily, and he scoots closer to Sid as he starts reviewing the first chapter. He smells clean, like he just showered after gym, and Sid realizes that Andy’s hair is still a bit damp, curling around his ears and at the nape of his neck. It’s not until Andy looks up at him that Sid realizes he’s staring and hasn’t heard a word Andy’s said.
Sid tries to walk home after they finish. It’s too late for the bus and his mom won’t be done with work for a few hours. Andy pulls up in a blue hatchback, though, and rolls down his window. He says no when Andy offers a ride, but Andy’s persistent. Sid doesn’t acknowledge the pull deep in his belly that makes him say yes to Andy, like a fish hook caught in his naval with Andy holding the string.
“You get your kicks on teaching dumb assholes how to do math?” Sid asks after Andy asks if he still lives in the same place.
Andy shrugs. “I like it.” He turns the radio down. “It’s also community service for scholarship applications.”
“Nice to know you’re helping from the kindness of your heart,” Sid says, but it sounds flat and false to his own ears.
“I want to help out, too,” Andy says defensively.
Sid turns away and looks at the houses passing in the window.
He has tutoring again on Wednesday. Andy runs in a few minutes late, out of breath, mumbling an apology to Mrs. Nease about gym running over today.
The smile he gives Sid is still shy, perhaps more so than before. He talks about imaginary numbers, something that Sid never understood because, hello, imaginary numbers. So, maybe he should pay attention. But Andy smells all good and clean again, hair even wetter this time, his t-shirt sticking to his back after he takes off his coat, like he didn’t even take the time to dry off.
“Do you understand?” Andy asks. Sid looks to where Andy’s freshly-sharpened pencil is pointing, and only sees a jumble of words and numbers.
“No, dude,” he stands up, anger seizing his chest so suddenly. This is stupid and this algebra shit doesn’t fucking matter. “I don’t get this shit.”
Mrs. Nease walks over. “Mr. Phillips, sit down and watch your language. You’re not being fair to Mr. Davis. He’s not helping you for his own benefit.”
“It’s okay, Mrs. Nease,” Andy says. “I’ve got it.” He grabs his coat and backpack and nods his head toward the door and turns to Sid. “Let’s go outside.”
It’s a little cold, cold enough, at least, to shrug on his jacket. It is better out here, though, outside of the stifling classroom filled with remedial teenagers and know-it-alls too smart for their own good.
It’s quieter out here,” Andy says, and Sid sees it for the blatant lie it is; the tutoring room rarely gets above the sound of whispers. Sid feels a knot in his chest loosen when he looks at Andy. He feels... vulnerable; vulnerable in a way he hasn’t since Mom kicked his dad out five years ago. He takes a deep breath. He doesn’t even know this kid.
Andy finds a picnic table nearby, and Sid sits next to him, ignoring everything running through his head, and trying his hardest to pay attention to Andy’s explanations and examples.
He doesn’t even ask if Sid needs a ride, he simply tells him that he’s taking him home. “I miss our old house,” he says when he pulls the car into Sid’s neighborhood. Sid barely remembers Andy from back then; there are vague memories of a boy perpetually in a cowboy hat, of a boy whose mom never invited Sid to his birthday parties (not that Sid could blame her).
“Yeah, well, these obnoxious holy rollers live there now. I like to blast Marilyn Manson and smoke pot in the backyard to keep their thumping arms exercised.”
Andy gives an amused grin before he realizes he’s making fun of people he doesn’t even know. He clears his throat.
“Later,” Sid says when Andy pulls up. He closes the door before Andy can reply, but when Sid gets to his door, Andy calls out his name.
He’s rolled down the window, his arm resting on the ledge and he smiles. “You did well today.”
Sid nods and gives a half-hearted wave before Andy pulls away.
Working outside becomes their norm over the next few weeks. He and Andy check in with Mrs. Nease and then head to their picnic table. Every time, Andy smells sharply of soap and gives sweet, naive smiles, and Sid itches to mess him up, get him dirty. Make him skip class and smoke pot, make him suck Sid off behind the stands of the football field, coming all over his face while Andy fists his own cock, getting off on Sid using him.
“How’d you do on your first test? Have you found out yet?” Andy asks, snapping Sid back to the present.
“Uh, yeah. I got a C,” he says, expecting Andy to get upset by the lack of a solid A, screaming of a job well done for both of them. Yet Andy’s whole face lights up with the biggest grin, and he nudges Sid’s shoulder.
“Sid, that’s great. That’s so great!” They’re sitting next to one another at the picnic table, so it’s easy for Andy to reach over and hug him. The hug itself is quick, Andy patting his back twice before moving away, but Andy keeps touching him while Sid is still hard from his little facial fantasy. Andy couldn’t have felt it, they were both sitting down, but it still sets his teeth on edge.
Andy notices Sid’s sudden change in demeanor and places a hand on his shoulder, the touch softer than it should be. “You okay?” he asks.
Sid turns to face him, his gaze moving from Andy’s bright blues eyes to his soft mouth, and his heart pounds with unyielding want.
“Sid?” Andy asks, and Sid realizes he’s still just staring at Andy, probably looking like a fucking idiot. Andy hasn’t let go, though, and maybe he’s imagining, but he swears he feels Andy swipe his thumb back and forth once; a small caress.
That’s all it takes. He’s kissing him before he realizes, before he even has time to panic. Andy is hesitant, as shocked as Sid feels, but he doesn’t pull back, he doesn’t push Sid away. His lips open slowly under Sid’s, and now that Sid’s doing this, now that he has Andy’s mouth against his own, he’s not rushing things. He’s not pushing him down to use him, to dirty him up.
He wants that, he does; he wants to hold Sid down, slide his dick inside him, fill him with his come. But he can almost feel the trust pouring out of Andy as his tongue tentatively slips against Sid’s. And even more than wanting that, he wants this to be good for Andy. To be perfect.
He can wait if Andy wants.
He pulls away, embarrassed with the sudden onslaught of emotions, embarrassed, even, because he kissed Andy out in the open, for anyone to see; not because he cares, but he’s scared that Andy will.
“You okay?” Sid asks this time. Andy smiles softly and leans forward for another kiss, this one short and chaste.
“Um, perfect,” he replies.
Sid finds himself grinning back before he realizes, and he looks away quickly to school his features.
“Do you wanna, um, maybe go behind the football stands?” Andy asks, his face flushed, bright pink against his soft freckles. “We can— we can…” he shrugs, too shy to continue.
“Dirty boy,” Sid whispers before he can stop himself. “If I promise to get an A next time,” he slides is knuckle over the bulge of Andy’s jeans. “Can I fuck you?”
Sid will take Andy’s answering moan as a yes.