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The Whys and Wherefores of Awkward

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Seth has got to be the first friend in the world to come out to make things less awkward. He’s got no choice. Once Ryan hears him call out ‘oh, fuck, Ryan’ when he’s jerking off the only thing Seth can do is tuck his dick back into his boxers, open the slammed door and rush down the stairs to wherever Ryan has retreated to explain.

Seth finds him in the kitchen. He’s peeling a grapefruit. Seth can’t help but think he’s doing it to be doing something, not because he needs a mid-day snack. He’s never seen Ryan eat grapefruit before. It would be a shame if he had a citrus allergy and he died before Seth could explain what that really was.

He’s stymied though. He has to say something, but he’s not exactly sure what to say. He tries not to peg Ryan into the same stupid hole everyone else in this catty place does, but how is he supposed to know if they’re alright with gay people in Chino? Maybe that’s the sort of thing that gets you bashed instead of just mocked like they do in Newport. He can’t really picture Ryan beating the shit out of him. After all the fights he’s gotten into to save his ass it would be a real waste of effort. Still, he doesn’t want to press and list details if it’s gonna make Ryan puke into his mouth. In the end Seth sticks to the basics. “I didn’t mean you. I meant that hot guy at school. Just so you know. So it’s less awkward.”

“Who?” Ryan’s probably not disgusted then, if he’s asking for details.

“Ryan Ross? I think he’s in your math class?”

“Are you sure Ryan Ross is a hot guy, and not a girl with very small tits? He’s pretty fucking femme.”

Seth flips him off and the big coming out conversation is done. Sooner or later he’ll have to tell Mom and Dad. But they’ve probably guessed, or assumed, or whatever. He doesn’t exactly have a rep as a ladies man.

By the afternoon the entire thing seems hilarious to him. Self-depreciating or not, no one can say Seth doesn’t have a sense of humour. Ryan doesn’t seem to think it’s funny, but that doesn’t stop Seth from laughing various times throughout the evening, whenever the idea comes into his head again.

Seth is having his pre bed shower and wank -he can multitask like a pro- when Ryan comes into the bathroom. Which is weird, because he’s got his own in the pool house. On the other hand, it’s not like Ryan’s supposed to spend his entire life out there. He’s not exiled. With a slight sigh he drops his hand off his cock. Of course he’s still hard. Boners make themselves known in mere seconds, they take much longer than that to go away. The translucent curtain isn’t much of a shield, so Seth turn towards the wall so Ryan can’t see him. Being caught twice in one day isn’t nearly the worst thing that’s happened to him, but it’s not a great thing either.

He’s not sure about the etiquette for this kind of thing. Girls go to the bathroom in pairs, even groups, but that’s generally not how guys roll. Piping up a hello as Ryan drops his pants seems weird to Seth.

Things get exponentially weirder when Ryan opens the curtain and steps into the shower with him instead of standing at the toilet to piss. His hair turns darker in the water, his white shirt nearly transparent. A great comment about not being into golden showers has just come to him when Ryan grabs his dick. The words shrivel and die.

Ryan jerks him off, cheeks crimson with something Seth’s not sure is embarassment. Ryan jerks him off and Seth lets him, because he always thought his type was lithe and brunet, from the misplaced crush on Summer onward, but doing this Ryan is hot as hell. He doesn’t say anything when Seth comes, even though Seth is babbling curses. He doesn’t stop touching him either, jerking himself off with his left hand.

“It’s not that much less awkward,” Ryan explains before he leaves the bathroom, waistband of his jeans crumpled in his hand. Seth gets that. He can see where explaining your crush to the person that evidently wants to have no strings sex with you could be awkward.

For a while Seth is content with creeping from afar. His friends with benefits thing with Ryan is working great. It makes his life better by about a billion percent. That doesn’t stop him from jerking off thinking about Ryan Ross. Ross deserves it, and it’s not like Ryan will be offended. Seth’s pretty sure he’s still got kind of a thing for Marissa, like that won’t end in a mess. At least Ryan Ross is sane. And straight edge, for that matter.

Then, in a sick twist of fate, Seth gets paired with Ryan Ross for an American History project. All of a sudden Ryan's extreme hotness is all up in his grill. Seth has to do something about it, he can’t just let the opportunity to get close and personal go to waste. Using deft maneuvering and easy lies, Seth convinces Ryan to come over to the house. Some bullshit about already having poster board or something, he forgets the excuse as soon as it’s out of his mouth. Whether or not Ryan believes him, he follows him home in his own car.

Ryan is in the kitchen when he and Ryan Ross stop for a break. He’s cutting a lime. Seth’s not sure where the weird citrus cravings are coming from. Maybe it’s some sort of hormonal thing, like how pregnant women want pickles. He’d ask, but it’s more important that he introduce them to each other. It doesn’t go as well as he’d imagined. Neither Ryan is well known for putting up with people they don’t like, and they don’t seem to like each other. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to him. It’s not like they’re natural enemies like he and Luke are, they’re both outcasts.

Seth’s still got hope. Friends don’t need to approve of other friends hookups. In fact, in Newport it’s all about sneaking around and backstabbing. So following the unwritten code of conduct, he practically has to hook up with Ryan Ross.

Hours later, the feeling is holding strong. If he can’t be hopeful with a tongue down his throat Seth’s not sure when he’s supposed to be hopeful. Ryan Ross is just as hot pressed against him as he is from across the table. Ross must like it as much as he does, he’s hard too.

It’s when Seth tries to rub against his thigh that it all goes wrong. Instead of providing a warm and hard surface, with understanding that he’ll get the same in return, Ryan backs away until he’s got a firm personal space bubble around him. “Sorry. I can’t facilitate cheating.”

“But you-”

“Kissing doesn’t count.” It’s a different stance than the one that Ryan’s taken. They haven’t kissed once. Too much meaning in a kiss. With them it’s all poolhouse handjobs.

“That wasn’t my but. I was gonna say but it’s not cheating. Me and Ryan aren’t dating.”

“Right. You spend every minute you can with him and you’re not dating.”

“It literally boggles my mind that you think we’re a couple.” From buying each other presents to holding hands, there’s a complete lack of anything that points to a dating type of relationship. They don’t even make mix cds for each other, and Seth happens to know that his music is amazing, and could make someone love him.

“Fine. Get Atwood to tell me it’s okay to hook up, and I’ll consider it. Later, Cohen.” It’s almost the exact same tone Summer uses. Jewish and Christian gods both damn him for being attracted to snippy brunets.

He thinks about it, after Ryan leaves. If he just asked Ryan to tell Ryan Ross it was okay, he would. It’s not like they have any interest in cockblocking each other. As far as Seth is concerned though, if he’s getting Ryan involved, he might as well get Ryan involved.

“Don’t tell me you wouldn’t think about a threesome.” It’s maybe a bit manipulative, asking him during sex, but another word for manipulative is cunning. He’s smart, and he knows how to get this approved.

Ryan grunts.

“Me, you, and him.” He doesn’t have to say the name for Ryan to know who he means. “I’d suck him, you’d fuck me... we’d all win.”

Ryan sighs, frustration edging in on the lust that Seth’s hand on him creates. “Or I’d fuck him and you’d be out of luck.”

“Your plan has backfired. I think that’s really hot.” Seth would totally watch Ryan fuck Ryan and jerk off to it.

“I’ll think about it,” he answers, and that’s the last thing they say before they come.

The next day Ryan Ross approaches him at his locker. Seth feels a presence behind him and braces for being shoved. Instead a voice just asks in pure monotone, “Atwood said you wanted a threesome?”

Seth turns around, grinning, nerves eating at him. He doesn’t want to blow this. This is quite likely the last chance he’ll ever get to have a threesome. He’s not exactly winsome. “Wouldn’t say no!”

“You free after school?”

There is no possible prior obligation he wouldn’t shrug off for this. “Yeah, for sure.”

The final bell can’t come soon enough. Seth practically skips home. He’s goddamn delighted about the whole universe. He takes the stairs two at a time, joyous adrenaline running through him. The poolhouse would give them more privacy, but Seth wants the memory of this to spark each time he walks into his bedroom. It’s guaranteed jerking off fodder for the rest of his life.

He’s beginning to think he’ll have to text them both his location when they finally walk in.

“Great. So we’re gonna do this. Great. Who’s doing what? Who wants what where?” He’s possibly a bit too excited about this. On the other hand, there’s really no ‘too excited’ for having two people in bed. Or on the floor. Or against the wall. Whatever they want, really.

“I don’t bottom,” Ross says. “Which one of you two do?”

Ryan replies, hint of laughter in his voice, “we haven’t gotten past handjobs. Seth’s just bi-curious.”

“I am not!” Seth knows he likes guys. It’s Ryan that has to be all manly and hetero.

“Labels are stupid, and losing your virginity to a threesome sets the bar unfairly high. Seth, you want me to rim you while Atwood blows you?”

Ryan Ross is a genius. A immortal among men. The best person he’s ever met. All of that sounds sort of insane to say out loud though, so Seth keeps quiet.

That moment is about the last moment of silence for the next half hour. He groans when both Ryans drop to their knees. He shuffles his feet to get his jeans and underwear off. He moans with Ryan’s mouth on his cock, moans again when Ryan finally stops licking around him and pushes his tongue fully into his ass, wails when he comes. Whimpers when his dick wants to get hard immediately after as Ryan and Ryan sixty nine. Whimpers again when his best friend and near brother comes on his crush’s face with his own heaving gasp for air. It’s a soundtrack of sexy noises that Seth would love to download and listen to on his iPod when he needs an ego boost.

It takes a minute to break out of post orgasm lethargy.There’s a tense silence as they all grab the clothes they just took off. Seth breaks it with words that worked so well in the past. “Wanna play Playstation?”

Ryan shakes his head. “No, I gotta go.” He turns to Ryan. “Work up to it slow. Don’t fuck up a first time.”

Seth would like to be upset that he’s been assumed bottom, but really it’s just good, if generic, advice.

They follow Ryan to his car. Seth starts to wave goodbye, then stops when he realises it makes him look kind of ridiculous. Ryan mutters ‘bye, thanks for the threesome’ as the car backs out of the driveway, and Seth rolls his eyes. There aren’t exactly predetermined things to say to something like that, but he knows that’s not one of the responses.

“So that was kinda awkward.”

Seth crosses his arms. The thin fabric of his t-shirt sticks to his chest, still tacky with sweat. Awkward? That was the best experience of his life. Seth can only pray his life remains at this level of awkward forever.