It was the last month before school started up again. Senior year and Josh was ready for it. Well, he actually wasn't. He hated even the idea of going back to school. He sighed, looking across the park from where he sat on the old rusting swing set with a beer in his hand, sipping casually. It was late in the evening, so there were no kids around. That meant it was okay to drink and swing. Especially when Tyler was swinging next to him. The rest of the world didn't matter when it was him and his best friend.
"So... Senior year," he said, not really sure what the hell he was even saying, mostly just speaking for the hell of it, "You as excited as I am?" He smiled over at Tyler, knowing exactly what the other boy was going to say.
"Knowing your track record with school, I'm surprised your even mentioning it," Tyler joked, finishing off his beer and tossing his can in the vague direction of their box of trash. It had been a sworn agreement between them that whenever they came to the park to drink, they'd bring all their trash to the nearest dumpster before they left. They weren't gonna make their favorite park into a dump after all.
Josh laughed, "I guess I'm just thinking about like... What's gonna come next? Y'know?" He sighed and finished off his own drink, tossing it towards the box, "I just... Never really though school would end I have no clue what I want to be... Like, my options are: More school, homeless, or shitty minimum wage salary until I die."
Tyler snorted, swinging with him. "Well..." he thought for a minute, "Perhaps... You could make another option. I mean, I doubt you'd even make it through a year of college if you don't end up dropping out," he said, glancing over at his friend, "You have talked about it in the past."
"Doesn't mean I'm gonna do it..." Josh said, "School is the only steady thing in my life right now. As much as I hate to admit it, the second it's over-" He sighed, "Maybe I can join a band or something. That would be cool."
"You are a pretty impressive drummer," Tyler pointed out, "Any band would be lucky to have you." He smiled, hopping off his swing and moving to get another drink.
Josh slowed down so Tyler could toss him a can. "Now I know you're lying," he said, "I'm not impressive anything." He shook his head, "I'm just a deadbeat kid who's not going anywhere in life. It's okay to say it. I do know that it's true."
Tyler tossed him a drink and shook his head. "I'm sorry Josh, you know I can't lie to you. You're an amazing person. You're beautiful and kind and brilliantly smart in ways that the American Public School's can't even begin to imagine." He grinned, "This year is gonna be amazing. I know it is."
"Psh... You're just saying that Mr. Basketball Scholarship," Josh said, "You're the one who's gonna go places and do things in your life. I mean, who in this world wouldn't be in love with Tyler Joseph, the most amazing human that I've ever met."
"Shut up you drunk ass," Tyler said, trying to hide the blush that was rising in his cheeks, but that only made Josh laugh and try to pull him into a not so sober hug.
"Hey, remember when we used to... y'know?" Josh asked, smiling fondly at the memory of Tyler's legs around his waist, "Why don't we ever do that anymore?"
"Because my parents weren't too happy when they caught us," Tyler said, frowning at the memory of being ripped out of his lovers arms and shaken so hard it left bruises behind. It had taken weeks before he'd even spoken to Josh again.
"Oh yeah..." Josh muttered, looking at the ground and drawing patterns in the dirt with the toe of his shoe. That was one of the things about him and Tyler. He always kept the good in mind, and Tyler always remembered the bad. They balanced each other out in a way. "Do you ever miss it?" he asked, tilting his head to the side and looking at Tyler.
"Every single time I'm feeling horny," Tyler joked, looking at Josh with a smile, "But... It would never work out... We both know that." He sighed.
"Yeah," Josh said softly, "I know. You've told me..." He sighed and sipped his drink with a smile, looking up at the sky that was transitioning from day to night. "Are you nervous about this year?" he asked, honestly terrified of the upcoming school year.
Tyler nodded. "But it's gonna be a good one, I know it is."
Josh laughed and shook his head, "Is there such thing as a good school year?" he asked, looking at the other man.
"There is if I get to hang out with you," Tyler said, smiling at the other man. He tossed his beer can into the trash box and kicked off, swinging higher and higher, as high as he could. Josh followed his lead, laughing long and loud and reaching out as though he might be able to touch the stars.
The Dun household was incredibly lazy in the summertime. But today was fun. Josh had decided he wanted to do something wild, so he'd purchased bright green hair dye as well as some hair bleach, and all without tell ing his parents of course.
"Careful Ash, only get it on top," he told his sister as she painted the bleach into his hair.
"I know, I know," she replied, rolling her eyes at his childish behavior, "You know Mom's gonna kill you for this."
Their parents were out for the day, so it was fine that the entire house was permeated by the smell of bleach. Josh laughed, fighting the urge to shake his head, "You forget," he said, "That's the fun part of this."
Ashley rolled her eyes again, setting the brush in the sink. "Alright, now we wait for it to work," she said, leaning against the counter and checking her phone.
Josh nodded, still smiling brightly. Sure he was really anxious about the whole thing, but he supposed that's what made it fun. His mom would be pissed and he'd get yelled at, but there wasn't much she could do about it. Just mutter about being glad he couldn't get any tattoos yet. He checked his phone, answered some texts from Tyler, and posted several pictures on Snapchat of him bleaching his hair, knowing his friends would be somewhere between terrified and excited for him. Before he knew it, Ash was helping him wash the bleach out in their tiny bathroom sink.
When they were finished, Josh looked in the mirror with a smile. Teenage rebellion at it's finest was him with his green hair. He grinned at Ashley, just in time to hear his mom come through the door. "Ready to face the fire?" he asked, grinning like an idiot.
She shook her head. He went downstairs anyways, fully prepared for yelling and a very stern talking to.
"Duuuuude," Brendon said for what was probably the eightieth time as he ran his fingers through Josh's newly green hair, "This is fucking awesome!"
"So you've said," Josh said, looking up at his friend, "I had to pay Ashley to dye it for me." He laughed softly, "And I'm currently grounded. Hence why we're hanging out at my place."
His friends lounged about on the furniture in his bedroom. Tyler kicked back on the bed and Ashley (not his sister) lounging on a bean bag chair with Hayley flopped across her lap. It was relaxed and easy. They all had drinks and someone had ordered pizza. It was almost like they were hanging out in Brendon's basement, but without the Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario World.
"How long are you grounded?" Brendon asked, physically unable to stop touching Josh's hair, "I mean, school starts soon. Your mom can't keep you locked in until the end of summer."
"It's just until she forgets I'm grounded," Josh said, "So I should be good by next week." He grinned, having learned exactly how to get away with things in his home. It was how he survived considering he was almost always in trouble for something. He couldn't help it, it was just who he was.
"Well you better be out soon," Ashley said, "There's no way you're missing the end of summer party this year. It's our last one and it's supposed to be wild."
"That's not for like... a month," Josh said, scoffing and shaking Brendon off to stretch out across the bed, his head at Tyler's feet, "I'll be there. Promise."
Tyler laughed, "Besides, knowing Josh, he'll sneak out before he misses any sort of party." He pushed Josh's feet, which were in his face, off the bed, "And this is senior year, I'll sneak him out if I have to."
Josh stuck his tongue out at the other boy, ignoring the fact that Brendon had already found a way to tangle his fingers into his hair again.
"Jeez Bren," Hayley joked, "If you don't stop playing with Josh's hair I might have to tell Sarah that you've found a new lady love."
Josh laughed at the comment and looked up at Brendon, "C'mere lady love," he said, "Gimme a kiss."
"No, you'd enjoy it way too much," Brendon said, smacking Josh's cheek playfully, "And you know this fantastic body of mine is reserved for Sarah only, not you Mr. Dun."
Josh rolled his eyes. "You're an ass Bren," he said, moving away from the other man to snuggle up with Tyler, "So I'm just gonna find myself a new lady love. Hello Tyler, are you interested?"
This earned a laugh from the girls and an eye roll from Tyler. From there the conversation devolved into several conversations, all spoken over each other and constant interruptions. The pizza arrived and Josh paid for it. They ate, they drank, they had a perfectly wonderful time even though the room was muggy and filled with August heat. It was summer. This was their last year together. Who knew what would happen.
As the conversation switched from one thing to the next, an air of calm positivity hung in the air as well as an odd feeling. Like they were already nostalgic about the evening and all the ones in the past. After the year was over, they would all be heading in separate directions. None of them knew what was coming, and they were all content with that fact.
Lazy days were the best in Josh's opinion. Days when he could run a bath and relax into the hot water and ignore the fact that the rest of the world existed. Even when "the rest of the world" was his sister telling him to get out because she had to pee. He ignored her, electing that some me time was much needed. Besides, he had an awesome bath bomb and he wanted to use it. It matched his hair and smelled like mint. It was nice. And he deserved the relaxation. Especially with school just around the corner.
He was scared of the future. Sure, he had his job at Guitar Center, and he fucking loved that job. But that wouldn't be enough to support him for the rest of his life. He knew how to play drums and he was eh at trumpet, but... Those weren't really usable skills in the real world. He sighed, sinking into the minty green water so just his nose was above the surface, allowing him to breathe. Tyler would be going to college. Brendon would be doing whatever Brendon does. Ashley was drop dead gorgeous and would probably model or something. Hayley would be going to that performing college. They all had something. Josh... He had nothing. He hated knowing that he was going to peak in high school, especially when he'd never really been any good at that.