Chad leaned way into his locker, so that his shoulders were scuffing against the metal sides and his phone was hidden in the shadows between his Government book and the folder holding his Chem notes. The rule prohibiting students from using their phones at school - even between classes - was so lame and unfair that he had no problem breaking it.
His phone was bright in the dimness of his locker as he tapped quick messages with his thumbs. One to Troy (brad wnt home sick in 2nd pd. some1 else 2 start game on fri?). One to his Twitter account (I want to be Shakespeare. Girls still swoon over him 400 years after he died). And one to Ryan (If I bribe you with a bj and a good dance sequence, will you watch a lame war movie w/me?). He snapped his phone closed with just enough time to grab his Spanish book and get to his last class of the day.
He smiled angelically at Principal Matsui as he passed him in the hall. It always made him feel good to get away with breaking a stupid rule.
Spanish was long and tedious, and Chad wished there was a rule that stopped the kids who grew up bilingual from making everyone else look stupid. About halfway through class, people started shooting him amused looks, and Chad didn't know why. Senora Dominguez usually frowned at him when he managed to transform an innocent word into a dirty one, but she was still smiling when class ended.
Confused, Chad stuffed his books and papers into his bag and headed out of the room. He was barely out the door before Callie stopped him, fluttering her eyelashes and giggling. "I looooove dance sequences, Chad. If that's what turns you on," she said.
Chad blinked. "Um, no. Thanks, though."
"Yeah, I don't really have the equipment to take you up on the rest of the offer, "Callie said, and then scampered off to join her friends, who had been watching and giggling, too.
There was a sinking feeling in his stomach, like he'd swallowed his textbook instead of putting it in his bag. Chad fumbled his phone out of his pocket and checked his sent messages. The last one wasn't addressed to Ryan. It was addresses to 40404.
Shit. He'd tweeted the damned thing.
Head down and face hot, Chad hurried to his locker. He shoved his homework into his back, careless of loose papers and dropped pencils. There was a thud against the locker next to his, and he peeked around the open door to see Ben, Jesus, and Toby from the track team, all grinning at him.
"Yo, Danforth," Toby said, smiling so hard his cheeks looked permanently dented. "Was that offer open to anyone? Because I don't like war movies too much, but you've got such a pretty mouth, I could make an exception."
Chad smiled weakly. "I don't know what you're talking about, man."
"Oh, come on," Ben chided. "Don't be a tease."
A hand landed on Chad's shoulder, and he jumped before he realized it was just Jason. "Dude, are you talking about Chad's Twitter? Ha! I stole his phone and posted that, and Zeke told me no one would believe that it was really Chad. He's owes me five bucks, now." Jason looked so proud of himself that Chad almost believed him, despite having a perfectly clear memory of sending that text himself. Jason held up his right hand, and the guys grudgingly high fived him.
Chad slammed his locker door and slumped back against the cold metal as soon as they left. "Thanks, man," he said to Jason.
"Whatever. You can owe me one," Jason told him. He gave Chad a doubtful look. "You know they're not the only ones who read your Twitter update, right?"
Chad banged his head back against the locker. "Okay." He scrunched his eyes shut and then opened them again. "Could you tell Coach that I'm sick?"
Jason's mouth twisted sympathetically. He knew - hell, everyone knew - how much Chad hated missing practice. "Sure." He bit his lip. "Chad? There's only one person I could think of who would be bribed by a blow job and a movie with a good dance sequence." He let the end of his sentence trail up, like a question, and Chad shook his head.
"It's nothing," he said. "Nobody." He hefted his bag onto his shoulder. "Thanks for covering for me, man."
Chad could feel Jason's eyes on his back as he walked away.
When Chad got home, he had nearly thirty @replies to his tweet. He turned off his computer and lay down on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. When his mom stuck her head in to check on him, he was still lying there, fully clothed and feeling weighted out flat by gravity. She came over to the bed and pressed a cool hand to his forehead. Since an overdose of stupid doesn't lead to a fever, she left him with nothing more than an admonition to feel better.
It was after eleven when Chad sat up and scrubbed a tired hand over his face. He grabbed the DVD that had been waiting on his desk and crept quietly out of the house, snagging the keys from the hook by the door on his way out. He knew the way to Ryan's practically in his sleep. He took his phone out when he pulled up in front of the Evans' house and texted You awake?
Ryan's response was just y.
let me in, Chad sent. When he got to the front door, Ryan was there waiting for him. He locked it behind them and led the way up to his room. He didn't say anything until they got there.
"So," Ryan said, rocking back on his heels. "It's almost morning." He waved a hand at his clock. "Have you denied me three times, yet?"
Chad pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. They left colored sparks behind when he took his hands away. "God, Ryan. You don't even go to church."
Ryan dropped onto his bed so hard he bounced. "I know. But I played Simon the Zealot for a three week run of Jesus Christ Superstar once." He looked down at his hands, braced on the bedspread. "So have you?"
"Kind of." Chad sighed. "I've mostly just been avoiding everyone."
"That won't work forever, you know?"
"I know. Just -" He felt so helpless. He hated it. "Do we have to figure it out right now?"
Something wary in Ryan's eyes softened, and he said, "No. Not right now."
"Okay." Chad stood in the middle of his room, feeling out of place there like he hadn't in weeks. "I brought a movie," he said. He reached into the big pocket of his hoodie and pulled it out, holding it out to Ryan like a peace offering.
"Is it, by any chance, a lame war movie?" Ryan asked, raising his eyebrows.
Ryan took it from him and got up to put it in the DVD player. He returned to the bed and shifted the pillows up against the wall at the head, so that he could watch from a comfortable nest. Once he was settled, he looked at Chad, who was still standing awkwardly. "Coming?"
Chad scrambled up onto the bed. As the movie started, he said softly, "I think I promised you a blow job, too."
Ryan's smile was uncertain and vulnerable. "Just …" He tugged Chad's arm around his shoulders. "Just this is fine for now."
They watched the movie.