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Joseph’s Diner: it ain’t a meal without some rock-n-roll in your bones.

That’s basically Josh’s second home. Okay, maybe. He works there part time, the other half at the animal shelter two blocks down. He’s what majority of Americans call ‘poor’. His siblings all work to place food on the table while their parents are busy trying to pay off bills. It’s a team effort, really. It’s been this way since he was fifteen, old enough to babysit. With money being his number one priority, school lowered down on the list of what he cared about. As a result, he dropped out in the middle of junior year. The Duns were not proud of his decision but respected it anyway.

Mark, a waiter at Joseph’s Diner and close friend, set him up with an interview. They met due to Josh taking the wrong bus and ended up on a different street. He hadn’t eaten lunch so he walked inside and fell in love with it. The employees were kind and Mark served him. Somehow they ended up talking about aliens and conspiracies theories that time flew by. Unfortunately, it made Josh miss his job interview at Target and they refused to give him another chance. Miraculously, Mark pulled strings and bam, Josh got a real job. He’s never been more thankful.

Joseph’s diner was everyone’s favorite place to eat. It had a very rock-n-roll vibe. Black and white tiles covered the floor, a jukebox by the entrance, walls covered in Rolling Stones, Beatles and other bands Josh didn’t recognize splattered all over, booths that were all red, followed by circular, white plastic tables and a long metallic counter by the kitchen area that fit four black high chairs and metal stools for customers.

Each employee had to wear roller blades to get around and yes, that included the chef. Josh was luckily already good with skateboarding so he adjusted quickly. Mark had told him that the Josephs never hung around, not even on pay-day. They were far too busy to check in once in a while. However, they had a son who scared everyone. Josh still hasn’t met him but he doesn’t want to anyway. He seemed stuck up, someone Josh refused to hang around with.

-

Josh slides over to table number five with three cups of coffee and two orders of cheesecake. He sets each cup down, followed by the desert. “Here you go, ladies, please enjoy.” Josh says with a smile on his face.

“Thank you Josh.” a ginger replies, reading his name tag since she had already forgotten his name.

“Yep. Ring me if you need something else.” he salutes before riding away, the other two girls swooning over him.

Adam Elmakias, the bald-headed, angsty teenager and waiter, who is wiping the counter with a dirty rag, whistles loud enough for Josh to hear.

“You know, I’m gonna take a shot of syrup every time you leave a girl in love.”

Josh rolls his eyes, sitting down on a stool, legs dangling in the air. “You say this every time. Still waiting on those shots.”

“You’ve never stuck around long enough for me to do so!”

Mark shuffles over, slapping Adam on his ass jokingly. “Are you just jealous that no one’s hitting on you, big boy? Josh is super gay; they need a shoulder to cry on once they find out.”

“Which is going to be me,” they both say in unison and immediately glare at each other. “stop that!”

“Are you sure I’m the gay one here?” Josh laughs, watching the two boys huff in annoyance. “Oh hush, I live for this bromance. Makes me happy.”

“Honestly man, why are you still working here? You deserve so much better. And not to mention, the pet shelter as well.” Adam frowns, giving him a knowing look.

“Now I’m going to be the one taking those shots.” Josh replies, sighing. “I need the money. Can’t help rent without either.”

“You could go back to school and—”

A small guitar tune is heard, signaling new customers have arrived. Josh looks over his shoulder, watching the heavy, wooden door close with four guys walking over to a circular table near table three.

“Look at that, boys, I’m needed.” he smirks. He's off the hook and reaches a hand to retrieve 4 menus.

Jumping off the stool, he lands perfectly on the floor and rolls over to table two. He plasters a grin on his face. “Welcome to Joseph’s diner, home of rock-n-roll and the meat in your bones, I’m Josh and I’ll be your waiter today.” he’s about hand each of them a menu when a boy with short black hair and soft, pale skin stops him.

“Yeah, yeah, look, we don’t need these menus. We’re regulars here.” he says, pushing the menus on to Josh’s chest.

“Alright…so what would you like?” Josh asks, confused, setting the menus on the table to pull out a notepad and a pen, ready to write their orders.

“We all want strawberry shakes and…”

“Curly fries.” Another boy comments.

“…curly fries. Make that four orders and your phone number.”

The group begins to laugh and Josh sighs in annoyance. “Whatever, be back with your order.” he turns around, menus in hand, skating back to the counter as Adam and Mark frown.

“Four strawberry shakes and c fries!” Josh shouts at the chef, who he still can’t pronounce his name properly, so he makes one up in his mind every day. Today he seems like a Todd. Yeah, Todd. He places the menus back and looks over at the group.

Mark slides over to him. “That’s Tyler and his friends.”

“Tyler?”

“Tyler.” he agrees, nodding his head over at the boy who is laughing obnoxiously at the other meat-head of a friend who is sticking up two tooth picks up his nose.

“Ah,” Josh understands right away. “the Tyler. I never thought he was going to show up."

"I agree. We see him like once a year, two, tops." Mark chews on his lip. "I'm really glad I'm not serving him. He scares me."

Josh snorts. "Scared of that puny little thing? Please."

"Trust me, Josh. He knows everybody and everything. You really don't want to get on his bad side." 

Adam decides to be nosy and skates towards them. "I heard he once hired a hitman after someone called him...the f word." So, a gay slur, he means.

"And what happened?" Josh presses, half curious, half not believing the story.

"No one knows! That's why it's scary. He's probably dead or he changed his name. His reputation was totally ruined." Mark concludes, shivering. 

"Order up! Four shakes and curly fries!" Todd calls out and Josh shrugs, picking up a circular, metallic tray to put the food.

"Can you hurry up?" Tyler hisses, watching Josh taking his sweet ass time. "We don't have all day, highlighter."

Josh grits his teeth as he grows closer to their table. Don't say anything. Don't say anything. Don't say anything. "Here you go! Four shakes and curly fries..." he manages to say in a calm voice, handing each boy their food. When it's Tyler's turn, Tyler smirks up at him. "Is there a problem?" The waiter asks innocently.

"Yeah. I didn't ask for curly fries. I specifically ordered three shakes." Tyler shakes his head in disappointment. "Would hate to bring this back to the chef, huh? I guess this is on the house."

"No, you said four." Josh argues, showing his notepad. "See?  Four. I heard you loud and clear."

"Apparently not since I say otherwise." Tyler leans back into his seat as the guys chuckle. "Whad'ya say, John? On the house?" He still has that stupid fucking smirk on and Josh really wants to punch him in the face.

"It's Josh."

"Joe, John, Josh, whatever. You still haven't answered me and I'm growing real tired here. It would be terrible to see a complaint from me to my father, right?"

That does it.

"It's. On. The. House." Josh grits his teeth again, picking up the tray and takes two steps back. "Enjoy your meal."

"Oh we will." Tyler grins and takes a sip of his milkshake. "Compliments to the chef, always!"

Mark had it all wrong. Tyler was not scary, just an asshole.

-

The entrance door slams shut and Josh whips his head faster than he has ever before. "What the fuck?!" 

"What?" Adam looks over, worried. "What happened?"

Josh, in two seconds, appears next to the table he served Tyler. "They didn't fucking pay?" he picks up the receipt that has all their orders and the total. 

Adam gasps. "Are you for real?" he sprints over. "They have never done that before. They'll be dicks but pay. Mr. Joseph doesn't let any of his family get free meals."

Josh glares down at the slip. "This is unbelievable."

"You could pretend they were never here. It's not like Mr. Joseph is going to walk in." 

"Tyler, what was the big emergency you were on about?" A boisterous voice is heard not too far away from where they're standing. "Boys, what on earth are you doing?" 

Josh grows nervous, shifting to meet eyes with his boss. He has never met Mr. Joseph face-to-face...until now. "Uh, hi. Nice to meet you sir." 

"Did someone not pay?" Mr. Joseph is glancing at the receipt, hands on his hips. 

"N-no!" Josh says rather too quickly. "A family was just here but had...to go...because of an emergency so they paid before I brought the receipt. I was going to tell Adam to clear the table." he lies smoothly, a small, nervous smile spreads on his face. 

"Hm. Not something I would've done in their place but alright." he turns to Tyler who is snickering behind him.

"I meant to say I missed you. It's nice seeing you though." Tyler pats his dad's shoulder. " I have to go. Brendon and Michael are waiting for me to play some basketball. I'll see you later, dad." he smiles, passing through the three men and purposely gives a secret wink to Josh.

Josh trembles in anger. 

-

The next time Josh sees Tyler, he's having a bad day. Alright, so he might have many bad days. It's really not his fault. Mrs. Dun had to stay home because she caught a flu. Normally, things would be okay because Mr. Dun would stay home and be both parent figures. However, he had to leave earlier to come home faster. And because life clearly hates Josh, this meant he had to wake up at five in the morning like his mom. His shift at the pet shelter wasn't even until nine and he really wanted to sleep in. Too bad, so sad.

"Dude, I have a game today! My uniform is still wet and I have to wear it all day!" Jordan whines, uniform in hand, watching Josh while he makes shitty PB&J sandwiches. 

Mrs. Dun didn't get the chance to finish the laundry and Josh was not about to go waste a dollar or two at the laundry mat. It's not like he even had spare change in the first place. "Tough luck. It's called air drying. Run to school, lay in the sun, hope for the best."

"Why are you making lunch?" Abigail asks, pulling her hair into a tight ponytail. "Where's mom?"

"She's sick, I'm filling in." he responds, throwing her a paper lunch bag that says ABZ in sharpie. 

Once each of his siblings has a bag, they all stare at him and he raises a brow. "I don't get this game we're playing."

"We need money for the bus." Ashley points out the obvious. "Mom usually drives us but you're working today."

Josh does a weird face and waves a hand in the air. "What do you mean you need money for the bus? Isn't that free because you're all students?"

They all give each other a glance before laughing. "Nice one. No seriously, we're going to be late. It's a dollar each."

"Of fucking course." Josh mutters, shoving hands into his pocket jeans, hoping for the best. When he doesn't find anything, he runs up to his room and searches. Nothing. Not even ten cents. He reaches over for his Pikachu piggy bank (don't judge him. Jordan begged to keep Squirtle since Pikachu was not "his thing"). Any tips or lost change would be put in there. He promised to never take money out until he had enough for a drum set. Well, promises are meant to be broken sometimes. He uses two fingers to retrieve three dollars in quarters and gets back to his siblings.

"That took you long enough." Jordan rolls his eyes, placing a hand in front of Josh.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. You should all have money in the first place." The tired twenty-year old mumbles, handing each of them his money. 

Abigail, Ashley and Jordan start heading towards the door. "We do have money. We just don't want to waste it." 

Josh rolls his eyes at the memory of this morning. He's currently stacking papers into piles. His coworker, Alex, never puts them in order and it makes things harder.

"I want all of these kitties. No wait, I want a bunny. No, wait, wait! A puppy."

Josh picks up his head and groans inwardly.

"Maddy, we're here because want a cat. Dad said yes to me, not you." Tyler fucking Joseph explains. "You barely can take care of yourself!"

"I do too! But Ms. Nicholas does too." 

They reach the front desk where Josh is working at and Maddy waves. "Hi! We're here to adopt a kitty."

"My, my, my. Look what we have here. If it isn't... John." Tyler smirks, leaning against the desk. 

Josh shoots him a glare. "Are you blind?" he seethes, motioning to his name tag. "My name is Josh."

"Sure, sure." Tyler waves him off. "Anyway, like my sister said, we want a cat."

Josh nods, opening the small fence near him that allows him to step outside with them. "If you can follow me, I'll direct you to them." 

Maddy begins to talk about nonsense-at least to Josh that's what it is-as they walk to the cat section. Purrs are slowly becoming more louder each step they take. 

Tyler almost cries at how cute all the cats are, especially the one he's closest to. It's a ginger kitty with bright blue eyes and its purring gently, tapping her paw at the metal bar. Her name is Cindy. She's three weeks old. "I want her."

Maddy and Josh turn their attention to him. He crouches down to pet Cindy and smiles. "I want her, Mads."

"She's sooo tiny!" Maddy squeals.

"That's Cindy. We found her without her mom on some abandoned neighborhood. If we hadn't gotten her in time, she would have not..." Josh trails off, not wanting to finish the sentence. It hurt too much.

"I heard that kittens need to be with their mom or else they'll pass?" Maddy tilts her head.

Josh hums. "It depends on the breed and age. We've had kittens give up without their moms, which really sucks. Others survive because we take really good care of them."

Tyler hums back in agreement and it kind of makes Josh gulp. "We'll take her."

"Cool. You'll have to fill out some applications first." Josh tells them both. "It's to make sure you have enough income for Cindy, see what background you come from..."

Tyler rises from the ground and crosses his arms. "Anything else? We got that covered, no biggie."

"We also have to make sure you're of legal age."

"Which is...?"

"21." Josh concludes.

Maddy frowns and Tyler scoffs. "21? Are you serious? I'm only 20. No, we're getting Cindy today and that's a done deal."

Josh nearly laughs at how pathetic he sounds. "Yes I'm serious. No one under the age of 21 is allowed to adopt here. I don't make the rules, sorry. If you can bring back someone who is older, we can continue. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to leave without Cindy today."

"Don't you know who we are?" Tyler threatens, jabbing a finger into Josh's chest. "You can't say no to us. No one does, no one ever will."

"T-tyler..." Maddy begins with an uneasy face.

Josh shoves the finger away. "Dude, I really don't care who you are. I'm not going to break a rule for you and have to deal with legal consequences."

Tyler pulls his sister to him. "Let's go, Mads. There's no point in arguing with a neanderthal. We'll come back another day." 

The employee almost jumps in joy. "That's a good idea. Cindy will be on hold for you."

"I didn't ask you to speak to me." 

"Goodbye, Tyler."

-

Josh really thought he had won that round with Tyler. Of course, nothing ever works out for him because the next day, Tyler is there again. This time, he's with his dad and discussing the rules with his boss.

!!!!

When he arrives at his job, everyone stops their conversation at the sight of Josh. "Are we having a party?" Josh jokes but gets no response. "Yikes, tough crowd."

"Josh," his boss, Dallon, starts. "is it true you would not give Tyler a kitten?"

Josh's face falls. This is not how he wanted to start his shift. "W-well y-yeah but,"

"I'm truly sorry Chris, Tyler. Josh is fairly new and he still hasn't gotten the hang of it."

Those were all lies. Josh had worked there for about five months. He learned all of their rules in the first three days. So what the fuck?

"It's quite alright." Chris taps his chin. "Why do you look familiar, boy?"

Josh nearly gasps. His own boss didn't even...remember...him.

Thankfully, Tyler doesn't open his annoying mouth. He's too busy playing with Cindy.

Chris shrugs and Dallon tells him to sign a few more lines on the application. "Is that all then?"

"Yes sir. I've already told Tyler what he has to do and wrote all the instructions down."

Josh is baffled. He honestly can't believe what's going on. There's no way that Tyler is getting Cindy on the same day. That's impossible. Usually, an owner has to wait for approval. Not to mention, it seems like his own boss wanted him to give Tyler the kitten without caring how old he is.

"Thank you so much!" Tyler grins from ear to ear. "I'll keep her safe, I promise."

"Good, good. If you ever want another pet, reach out to us! We'll be more than happy to help." Dallon gives Chris a firm handshake and pets Cindy one last time.

"You're doing a damn good job, Weekes. Keep it up. We'll be on our way. Tyler and I have some business to take care of." 

Josh catches Tyler's worried expression before it's replaced with a fake smile. "Yep. Can't wait! Thanks again." he gives a kiss to Cindy before they leave. 

"I can't believe you did that!" Dallon and Josh glare at each other. "Me? What about you!"

"Oh for God's sake, Joshua. You can't say no to the Josephs. Did you want me to fire you? Better yet, us lose our job completely?" Dallon shakes his head. 

"Why is everyone afraid of them? They're just people."

Dallon frowns. "I think you should do some research."

-

In fact, that's exactly what he does. He's curious, sue him. If everyone in the goddamn neighborhood literally shook in fear when Chris Joseph stepped into their personal space, there must be something wrong. After hours of searching, Josh comes to an article that says:

Chris Joseph -- Bad Man In Town?

Josh starts reading each line carefully. It turns out that the Josephs are one of the richest families in town. Chris owns various properties, lands and businesses. He was in charge of many peoples income. The article explains that there have been cases were people grew tired of how they were treated at their job because of Chris. When the news spread, the poor individuals were left without a job and a bad reputation. 

"This is fucked up." Josh bites his lip. "No wonder Tyler's an asshole. I would be too if everyone hated my dad." he stops. 

Did he just give Tyler Joseph sympathy? 

-

The saddest part of growing up, besides dealing with hard times and wanting to wake up fine, was all the bills that existed. With two paychecks and tips, half his money goes to bills. The other? Food and clothes. There was barely any left over for him to enjoy. But he sleeps profoundly at night knowing his family was doing decent.

Josh honestly prefers working at Joseph's diner because it's lot cooler, especially on days where it was just too hot. He loves taking care of animals, don't get him wrong, but he did more work for less money there.

One late evening, Josh is tapping his fingers to the beat of a Nirvana song, trying to avoid Tyler's group, when Mark nearly knocks him off his feet. He regains his stance, luckily. "Jeez, did you forget how to move your feet."

"There's a cute boy staring at you." Mark giggles like a stupid middle schooler. "I haven't served him. He's all yours." he watches Josh intently. 

Josh takes a menu, skating to the table Mark was talking about. "Welcome to Joseph’s diner, home of rock-n-roll and the meat in your bones, I’m Josh and I’ll be your waiter today."

The cute boy looks at him with a shy smile. "Hi, listen...I didn't come here to eat. I was wondering if you'd like to go on a date with me?"

Tyler, who is sitting right behind them, eavesdrop. Hey, it's normal. 

"W-w-w-me?" Josh stutters, a blush forming on his cheeks. 

"Of course!" The boy blushes too. "I've heard a lot about you. I'm Adam's friend, Derek."

"Nice to meet you, Derek."

Tyler, who is sitting behind Derek's table, girps his fork hard between his fingers. Brendon notices and shoves his shoulder, as if saying what's up?. "I'm fine."

"You're turning red and not in the good way." Brendon's eyes wander all around the restaurant before landing on Josh and smirks. "Ohhhh. I get it." Tyler stays quiet. "You like highlighter."

"You're out of your mind."

"No, it makes sense! He's getting that dude's number instead of you! Wow. Why didn't I notice this before? You're always taking about him." Brendon waits for another sarcastic comment. "I got you dude, don't worry." he stands up from the booth and casually heads to their table and sits next to Derek, placing an arm over his shoulder. Derek jumps.

"W-who are you?" Derek asks, scared.

Brendon ignores him. "Josh, please look away for a minute."

Josh scratches his head and turns around to see Mark with his arms out, forming a W, in confusion.

"If you know what's best for you, you'll walk away without Josh's number and pretend this never happened." Brendon whispers directly into Derek's ear, making him shiver. 

"What if I don't?" 

Brendon chuckles darkly, squeezing his shoulder hard. "I didn't ask you to question me, baby boy. We're about to have some problems here."

Derek's eyes widen in horror and jumps up from the booth. "L-listen, Josh, I gotta go. I...forgot my nana needs a walk. See you...n-never!" he runs out the door before Josh could even stop him.

"What did you just do?!" Josh slams his hands on the table, flaring his nostrils at Brendon.

"I have no idea what you're talkin' about, Josh." he smiles. 

Tyler immediately reaches their table with a grimace on his face. "Brendon..."

"I bet this is all your fault!" Josh peaks over at Tyler. "I didn't even get a date! Fuck both of you."

"Oh I'm sure Tyler will like that." Brendon earns a smack from both of them. "Ouch! I'm just stating the truth!"

Josh is skating back to his stand and Tyler grabs his arm. "Please don't go. That was all him, I promise."

"I don't even want to fucking look at you. Leave me alone." he knocks Tyler's hand off and with his shoulders dropped, he goes to the bathroom.

Tyler's heart hurts. 

-

It's closing time and Josh really wants to clock out, get home and die on his bed. He really hates Tyler Joseph. He really, really does. What surprises him next is the fact that Tyler is waiting for him. Everyone else had already left, including Mark and Todd. 

"Why are you still here? I'm about to close up." Josh sighs in annoyance, rubbing his temples.

Tyler bites his lip. "I'm sorry."

"Come again?"

"I'm sorry about Brendon. He's an idiot. I'm sorry for causing you trouble when we first met. I'm sorry about being a real dick at the pet shelter, both times. I'm just sorry."

An awkward silence falls between them. "O...kay."

Tyler is not happy with that. "I'm waiting for your apology."

"I have nothing to apologize for."

"Yes. You. Do." Tyler glares, bumping his chest with Josh. 

"No. I. Don't." Josh counters, pushing him so hard, he hits the table. 

Tyler gasps at the pain that crawls up his spine. He's about to push Josh back when Josh grabs him by the shoulders and kisses Tyler hard on the lips. 

It takes a few seconds for Tyler to register what's happening. When it does, he moans, pressing against him and kisses back. Josh licks his bottom lip, asking for an entry, which Tyler happily obliges to. Their tongues meet, wanting more than just massaging each other. Josh grips Tyler's waist, picking him up and sets him on the table. Tyler wraps his legs around Josh's waist, bringing him closer to his face as he lays down, bucking hips up for any kind of friction he can get. He's needy. Josh's hands go on either side of him, breaking their kiss, and starts pressing wet kisses on neck. That earns a whine from Tyler. 

"J-josh..."

Josh's eyes open in surprise and pulls away, trying to catch his breath. "W-what did you just call me?" he asks hoarsely.

"J-josh," he repeats, more confident this time.

"Huh. You do know my name." Josh nods, untangling himself from Tyler and unwrinkles his shirt. 

Tyler sits up. "What are you doing?"

"Leaving."

"Y-you can't just...just kiss me and leave. That's...that's a total dick move." Tyler whines, kicking his feet that's dangling in the air.

"I guess we're finally even then." Josh smirks, taking a spare key of the restaurant out and swings it around. "I'm about to lock up. If you decide to stay until 7 AM, that's fine with me." Tyler hisses, jumping off the table. "Good boy, Tyler."

"I fucking hate you."

"That makes two of us, sweetheart."

-

For the next couple of days, Tyler and Josh sneak around whenever no one's looking. It becomes a routine. Tyler usually gets shoved against a wall. He likes seeing Josh being aggressive. It's super hot.

"Fuck, you better make it quick." Josh mutters while Tyler palms him. "I only have like a three-minute break today, Tyler."

"Then I guess I better to get to it, huh?" Tyler teases, pulling his skinny jeans and boxers, letting them drop to his ankles. Tyler's on his knees. Josh backs up against the bathroom door, which is locked, and grips Tyler's hair the second he feels lips on his cock. "Y-yyyyeah."

"Shut up," Tyler mumbles, licking the tip, tongue sliding down to his balls. He's definitely teasing still. Josh hates him. He really, really does.

It's not long before Josh comes in Tyler's mouth. The good thing about him? Yeah, he swallows.

Tyler wipes the corner of his lips and sucks on his sticky fingers that has some precum left. "Mmm, tasty, baby." he moans and Josh really wants to ram his dick inside of him. 

But there's two problems.

Three.

1. He has to go back to work.

2. They have never gone that far.

3. Josh really hates Tyler.

-

Mark grows suspicious of his best friend's behavior. At first, it didn't bother him. He figured it was family problems. Then, he noticed Tyler showing up every day even without his friends. When Tyler appeared, Josh would follow. Adam never noticed but Mark did.

He decides to test him. "Josh, Tyler's here." he lies, carefully eyeing Josh's sudden movements.

"What, where?" 

Josh is like a lost puppy and Mark shakes his head. "We need to talk."

"Can't. Tyler's here somewhere."

"Are you even listening to yourself? God." Mark snorts, throwing a peace sign towards their manager, giving her a heads up that they're about to take a break. He pulls him to the side.

"Did Tyler leave? I...don't want to take my break right now, Mark." 

"I don't care whether you and Tyler are fucking." Mark says, earning a choke from Josh. "Whoa, calm down Josh. I'm not going to rat you out. I'd never do that. I just...please be careful. Tyler...isn't the best guy around."

"Mark, I'm not like in love. Gross! We're just fooling around. Don't worry. I'd never date a piece of shit like him."

"A piece of shit...huh?" Tyler is standing right behind them, tears forming in his eyes. 

Josh and Mark look over at him with a gasp. "T-tyler...that's not what I meant." Josh tries to defend himself and moves closer.

"Get away from me. I'm just a piece of shit to you." A tear drops from his left eye and Tyler wipes it off. "You don't have to worry about us sneaking around anymore. I don't need you. I've found someone else. Someone better." It's a total lie but he can't let Josh find out.

"O-oh." Josh responds, hurt. "G-good for you. I guess I'll see you around."

"Nah. I'm done here. See ya, John."

Mark shoots him an apologetic look and Josh shrugs in disappointment.

-

Brendon begins to see the change in Tyler's moods. Sure, Tyler can be the biggest asshole to anyone he comes in contact with but Brendon has never been a victim. He starts getting picked on more than usual and it pisses him off.  

"Go get your dick sucked by Josh." Brendon says one day, tired of being a punching bag. 

Tyler stops what he's doing and clenches his fist. "What did you just say?"

"I said go get your dick sucked by Josh. Jesus, dude. You're being such an asshole to us. If something happened with him, go fix it. You two are obviously into each other. It's more than just friends with benefits."

"We were never friends."

"Does it look like a give a shit. If you're this bad, I wonder how bad he is. Talk to him or I will fucking make you."

"I—"

"Tyler," he warns dangerously.

"Whatever."

-

The only reason Tyler listens to Brendon is because he doesn't want Brendon to get involved with Josh. He already fucked that up the first time they properly met. Brendon apologized for Derek. Then, called him hot and asked why he didn't want to fuck him instead. Tyler almost knocked him out.

Tyler ends up in front of his dad's restaurant and kicks a few pebbles. Nah, this is stupid. He's not going to apologize first.

Just as he's about to leave, Josh steps out with a phone in his hand. "Tyler?"

"H-hey..." he replies lamely. 

"I'm sorry," They both begin.

"No, I should apologize." Josh says, putting his phone away. "I was trying to get Mark off my back. I didn't mean what I said."

"Which part?"

"All of it. Listen, Tyler. I have a terrible life. I barely can afford the clothes I'm wearing and I'm not exciting. You're better off with someone who's rich and can kiss you in, like, Paris."

Tyler chuckles. "Paris is overrated. I rather be kissed in front of my dad's restaurant." he admits, smiling sheepishly. "My life isn't better, trust me. I...there's a lot of baggage. I mean, I have that, not...not you. You could be rich or poor and I'd still want to touch you."

Josh frowns slightly. "What we had...was it all...sexual to you?"

"When we first started, yes. I just wanted to pull your hair and make you moan. But then we started to sneak around more often and...honestly, Josh, you're beautiful. Inside and out. You have a nice smile and teeth. You laugh at my shitty jokes when we're about to blow each other. You're actually interesting, to say the least. I'd love to get to know you better, if you wanna."

Josh's heart is racing and he's blushing. "Jeez. I didn't think you would be this romantic. Okay, I hoped. I never wanted to become more than whatever we had. To me, you were asshole that I hated. You had everything that I dreamed of. T-then...then I saw the way you acted when Derek was about to ask me out —"

"Wait, you knew?" Tyler interrupts, embarrassed at himself.

"Duh. You're not too subtle and it's cute when you're jealous."

"Get to the point, dude."

"The point is...I want to try us out. There's no one else I rather hate and perhaps end up loving than you."

"C'mere. I want to kiss you."

"Kiss me, kiss me or kiss me, kiss my dick?" Josh questions, a smile forming.

"If you're lucky, maybe both." Tyler smiles back, opening his arms out towards him. "Please, Josh?"

Josh goes into Tyler's embrace and they hug tightly. "This is the third time you've ever called me by my correct name."

Tyler giggles, pressing their lips together for a deep peck. "Shush, I like making you mad."