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Stupid For You

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“So...are you going to ask Eiji to the Valentines dance?”

 

“Huh?!?”

 

“You heard what I said, dude.”

 

Aslan Jade Callenreese, better known as Ash Lynx, peered over the dull psychology textbook he was reading, giving his roommate, Shorter Wong, a harsh glare. His eyes narrowed, convinced that his roommate was playing some kind of cruel joke on him. Shorter ruffled his purple mohawk nervously, his sunglasses slightly falling down the bridge of his nose, complete with a shit-eating grin.

 

“Look, I know you like him and all, so why not shoot your shot I say? I mean I know you guys have been friends for awhile now so-”

 

Ash abruptly stood out of his desk chair, allowing the forgotten textbook to plummet to the floor. “And that’s exactly why I  can’t  ask him!” He could feel a slight blush rising up his neck as he stood in the middle of their dorm room, pouting like a child. Shorter slightly leaned back in his chair and rose his hands defensively, crossing his legs. “Ash, I didn’t say you HAD to ask him, alright?” he paused to readjust his falling sunglasses, “...I just thought you weren’t going to be a punk ass bitch for  so long. ” Furious, Ash tackled Shorter to the ground, and the two friends began wrestling. It was nothing new for the both of them.

 

As usual, Ash was victorious, and the pseudo fight ended with him sitting on top of Shorter. Their ragged breathing echoed throughout the silent dorm room, and soon after they both began to laugh. Standing up, Ash offered his hand to Shorter, and helped him off of the ground. “I’m going to need a shower after this. I was not expecting to sweat so much tonight studying for comp lit out of all things,” Shorter grinned, nudging Ash playfully.

 

Rolling his eyes, Ash huffed, “Really though, Eiji would never want to go to something like that...especially with me of all people. He just thinks we’re just friends.” He paused. “To him, I’m just your typical nerd who crams his face into textbooks all day. He’s way out of my league in that aspect anyway.”

 

Shorter’s face immediately fell. “You know that’s not true. First of all, leagues are bullshit. Second of all, Eiji cares  so  much about you, Ash. He doesn’t see you any differently just because he’s our university’s star pole vaulter.”

 

“Yeah, thanks for the reminder,” the blonde mumbled sarcastically.

 

Shorter lightly hit Ash’s shoulder, groaning. “WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT? He’s practically head over heels for you!” He propped his right leg on the chair, posing cockily, as if he had just won a gruesome battle; “Picture this---the sickeningly-sweet, pro jock of our university, the infamous Eiji Okumura, falling  in love  with not only his best friend, but an honors student! One that’s so far ahead of his class that he’s already skipped an entire grade of college! I can’t make it up, dude! It’s right out of a rom-com if I’d seen it with my own damn eyes.” Ash’s blush began to slowly return and was barely able to look his friend in the face. “Well maybe you’d be able to see better if you didn’t wear those shitty sunglasses indoors all the time.”

 

- - -

 

The next day must have been a cruel string of fate for the Lynx. He could hear Shorter’s snarky laugh ringing in his ears as he just so  happened  to run into Eiji. Despite being decent friends, the two saw each other rarely; with Eiji being a former-biology-recently-changed-photography major, and Ash being an english and psychology major, the number of classes they had together was slim to none. Ash also hated to admit it, but he was intimidated to see Eiji on campus, since he was usually surrounded by his teammates. Deep down, Ash knew he could beat their asses if need be, but he wasn’t one to condone unnecessary violence.

 

“Ash!! Ash~!” Eiji yelled across the plaza, waving his hands frantically with a goofy grin on his face, his eyes scrunched up in pure joy.

 

Ash softly smiled.  What an idiot.

 

He returned the gesture and began to calmly walk towards Eiji, keeping note that he was alone.  This may be my only chance...wait why am I thinking like THAT?

 

Ash and Eiji high-fived each other in greeting, with the former noticing how their fingers interlocked for a moment longer than usual.  His hands are so warm. I can feel all of the calluses on his palms. He works so hard. Being a professional athlete must be hell. And his fingers are so slender and-

 

“Ash? Are you ok?”

 

He immediately snapped out of his thoughts, feeling a blush creep up from his neck slowly towards his face. “I-I’m fine, thanks Eiji. How are you doing?”

 

He tried to pay attention. He tried really hard. But as Eiji began to ramble about how busy he had been with late night pole vaulting practices, cramming for tests, and the like, Ash’s eyes wandered down to Eiji’s lips. He noticed how soft and pink they were. He also noticed how Eiji would occasionally lick them when he was deep in thought, or about to start a new topic.  I’ve always known that Eiji could talk my ear off, but I feel so damn lucky right now.  Ash swallowed audibly.  Shit. What if I really DO like him? Was Shorter right? I won’t lie that I haven’t thought about it before, but maybe I’m just hyper aware because of last night? Yeah...that’s gotta be it. He’s my friend. He couldn’t possibly think that way about me. He deserves better.

 

Too wrapped up within his own thoughts, Ash had failed to notice that Eiji had gone dead silent. Awhile ago. It was awkward. He was staring at Ash curiously, a small redness on the tips of his cheeks. “...Ash? Are you ok? You’ve been really quiet today.” The Lynx quickly snapped out of his thoughts, laughing sheepishly. “Sorry, I’ve just been so tired lately with this paper due in english soon.”

 

Eiji’s face immediately lit up. “Really? I can help you if you want! I know I’m not majoring in it or anything, but I can proofread it for you! I’ve been trying to work on becoming a better writer, so I’d love to learn from you.” He began fumbling with the straps on his backpack, looking around cautiously, “I’m not busy on Friday if you’re interested.”

 

Even though Ash knew Eiji’s writing ability was horrendous, he couldn’t help but feel his heart flutter at the offer. He stammered “Next Friday? Aren’t you going to the Valentines dance next week? I know it’s a university-wide event, so I’d expect that the athletes have to be there.”

 

Eiji sighed, “Well  actually , we don’t have to go, so I really don’t mind!” He went quiet for a moment before lowering his voice, “Besides...no one has asked me to it, so I’m not planning on going anyway.”

 

Ash was dumbstruck. He couldn’t help but blurt out his thoughts. “Wait, NO ONE has asked you? But Eiji, you’re so popular! Are you just saying that to make me feel better?” he teased. What happened next, Ash Lynx was not expecting. “Why would I lie to you? I don’t think anyone wants to go with a ‘soft jock’ anyway.” He looked serious. “And the person who I like isn’t available probably.”

 

A pang of jealousy hit Ash’s stomach.  Of course. Of course there’s someone else. How could I be so stupid.

 

“I think Shorter will be at work, so let’s plan on Thursday night then. Incase that special someone asks you to go after all,” Ash winked. Eiji’s face became suspiciously red again as he squeaked out “Ok!”

 

It was settled. Ash would get to spend some time with his friend before his supposed crush stole him away for the weekend. It was fine.

 

- - -

 

Ash Lynx slammed the door to their dorm a little too loud--to the point where it woke up Shorter from his nap.

 

Groggy and frustrated, Shorter questioned sarcastically, “I’m assuming things went well with Eiji, princess?”

 

“Dick.”

 

- - -

[February 13th, 2019; 10:01 PM]

 

Shorter: EIJI!!! I thought you were going to ask Ash to the Valentine’s Dance today. He’s pissed!!

 

Eiji: Ahh, sorry Shorter! Things were weird. He wouldn’t really look me in the eyes. I don’t think he’s interested? Besides, he said he isn’t going?

 

Shorter facepalmed.

 

Shorter: You’re so lucky that you can’t see how far back I’m rolling my eyes right now, dude. What did you exactly say?

 

Eiji: Well, I told him that I was hoping someone would ask me to go, but that they were probably too busy or interested in someone else.

 

Shorter groaned.

 

Shorter: YOU IDIOT. NOW I KNOW WHY HE’S SO ANNOYED! He thinks you’re interested in someone else. What did you do?!?!

 

Eiji let out a panicked squeak. This was bad. Really bad.

 

Eiji: ...We made plans to work on his english paper together on Thursday.

 

Shorter: You asked him to do HOMEWORK WITH YOU? EIJI I SWEAR TO-

 

Shorter heard a light knock on his door. He slid his phone under the pillow quickly, and yelled “Come in!” Ash was standing in the doorway, with a strange look on his face. Shorter didn’t know how to really describe it. It kind of looked like someone who was either very very pissed off or someone who was very very lovesick. He couldn’t fully tell. Ash was a weird guy.

 

“Shorter, I think you were right.”

 

“About what?” Shorter asked, feeling a slight grin tug at his lips.

 

Ash let out a frustrated sigh. “Are you really going to make me say it?”

 

“Hey, you’re the one who barged into my room at 10:00 PM. For all you know, I could’ve been fast asleep by now.”

 

“You grandpa.”

 

Shorter threw a pillow at Ash in annoyance, which the latter dodged with ease. The blonde came over and sat on the edge of Shorter’s bed, the mood noticeably shifting.

 

“Shorter…” Ash’s voice quivered, “He doesn’t really deserve me, but I can’t help it. I’m so frustrated. Why did you tease me like that yesterday? I should have known that he was interested in someone else.”

 

Ash felt his friend place a comforting, gentle hand on his back. “Do you really think Eiji feels that way about you, Ash? You can’t just jump to conclusions. What happened to the guy who fights for everything?”

 

Ash looked away from his friend, not trusting himself fully to look him in the eye, “I can’t fight for someone’s affection if they don’t want it. That’s wrong.” Shorter sighed. He knew that both of the idiots liked each other, so why was it so hard for them to see it? Damn, being a wingman was hard work.

 

“Ash, you  are  worthy of love. I promise. But I think you should wait before you make a rash decision. See how things go on Thursday. You should try it! Worse-case scenario, he’ll say no.” Shorter briefly paused. “Besides, asking someone to a dance isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other shit you’ve been through.”

 

Ash went quiet for a moment. He stood up and looked down at Shorter, a fire in his eyes. “You’re right. But if this goes badly, you owe me a beer.”

 

“You bet!”

 

- - -

 

The remainder of the week sped by faster than Ash would have liked. Before he knew it, it was Thursday night and Eiji was five minutes away.  Fuck. Of course Shorter has work at the restaurant tonight, that bastard.  Ash took a deep breath.  Why am I so nervous? We’re just going over a paper. A PAPER. Nothing is going to happen and Eiji is probably going to tell me how excited he is for tomorrow and-

 

The doorbell rang. Ash’s heart dropped in his stomach. He jumped up from the desk and walked over to the door.

 

“Hi Ash!!” Eiji smiled as bright as the sun, standing in the doorway. It was as if an angel had suddenly blessed Ash with his presence. He was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt, and his college letterman jacket. “What are you looking at? Did I spill something on myself earlier?” Eiji frantically asked, mild panic showing on his face.

“N-no you’re fine, Eiji! Sorry, I’m just exhausted. Besides---I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, considering how clumsy you are.”

 

Eiji’s face became flustered as he pouted. “I am not!” His eyes were tightly shut as he stuck his tongue out at Ash, as if that would somehow be a better comeback.

 

Oh no, I love you.

 

Ash laughed good-naturedly as he led Eiji inside their room. There wasn’t much to show considering it was a college dorm, but Eiji looked in awe. He walked over to Ash’s side of the room and fell face-down onto his bed. “Mmmm…”

 

Ash panicked.  WHAT IS HE DOING!?!?

 

“Your bed smells so nice, Ash!” Eiji smiled, completely unaware of the heart attack he had just given his friend. “Sorry for jumping on your bed! I just wanted to see if they were different from the ones we have at the athlete dorms!” Eiji laughed sheepishly. “I probably should have asked first…”

 

He swallowed. “It’s fine, Eiji. Let’s just get started.”  I am never washing my sheets again.

 

- - -

 

After two hours of extreme proofreading Ash’s paper between the two of them, Ash finally submitted it online. Content, he let out a sigh of relief. “Thanks, Eiji. I really couldn’t have done it without you.” He smiled softly, but made sure not to look his friend directly in the eyes.

 

“Of course! I learned something too!” Eiji beamed. He looked down at his feet and shuffled them quietly in place. “So...do you have anything else to do tonight?”

 

Ash gulped. “Not really…”

 

“Great!! Let’s watch a movie then!!” Eiji exclaimed a little too excitedly, as he grabbed the blonde’s hand and dragged him over to the bed. Ash could feel his hands sweat profusely. “What did you have in mind?”

 

- - -

 

He woke up to pitch blackness. Ash slowly sat up, realizing that he must’ve fallen asleep while watching the movie earlier with Eiji.  Eiji probably went home already, I feel bad that I wasn’t able to tell him thanks again-

 

He suddenly felt a shuffle behind him. Ash whipped his head around, ready to attack whoever had decided to sneak into his bed. However, he quickly realized that it was  him . Eiji Okumura, his crush, sleeping in his bed. With his arms on Ash’s hips. And messy hair. And the most peaceful expression on his adorable sleeping face. Ash could feel himself blushing heavily, and was thankful that the lights were all turned off.  What am I supposed to do?

 

While deep in contemplation, Ash felt Eiji shift behind him again, and watched the other slowly sit up as well. “Ash…?” Eiji questioned, slowly rubbing his eyes. “What are you doing here in my dorm?” Ash’s blush only deepened at the thought of being at  Eiji’s  dorm.

 

“Uhh...actually we both feel asleep watching a movie at my place. Sorry for keeping you so late.” Ash swallowed nervously. Eiji rubbed his eyes again, seeming to be only half-awake. “Oh, ok…” He began to lay back down.

 

“Eiji!! Don’t go back to sleep! You have practice in the morning!!” Ash whispered loudly, realizing that Shorter was probably only a mere ten feet away from them. Eiji groaned and sat back up, pieces of his hair sticking out wildly. He yawned. “I guess you’re right…” The Lynx smirked. “I mean, I always am, but thanks for the reminder.” He could sense Eiji’s playful annoyance as he softly punched the blonde’s side. Ash moved over so that his friend was able to get out of bed.

 

As Eiji was tying his shoes, Ash could sense that something was terribly wrong.  Was Eiji creeped out by him? Was he mad that he was going to be exhausted for practice in the morning?  He approached the brunette cautiously. “Hey, uh Eiji, look I’m sorry about this-”

 

“Come with me.”

 

“Huh??”

 

“To the dance. Tomorrow night.”

 

Ash could see Eiji’s pale face outlined by the reflection of the moon from the sole window in their dorm room. His face was dead serious. He also noticed a hint of nervousness in the athlete’s eyes.

 

Just as Ash was about to say something, Eiji interrupted, “I’ve been meaning to ask you all night. I wanted to say something during the movie, but I guess we both were a little too tired for that...sorry.” He anxiously rubbed the back of his neck. “If you don’t want to go, I understand I know it’s not for everyone and-”

 

“Yes.”

 

“What?” Eiji looked taken-aback.

 

“I said hell yes, I’ll go with you.”

 

There was a moment of complete silence. And then Eiji began to laugh. Hard. He almost had tears in his eyes and was barely able to get out, “Oh wow, I was soooo nervous about asking you, Ash! I’m so glad it’s over with!”

 

The Lynx turned bright red, stuttering “Well I was going to ask  YOU , but I thought you wanted to go with someone else? How was I supposed to know?”

 

Eiji’s laughter stopped immediately after Ash finished his question.  Uh oh, I think I pissed him off. He probably thinks I’m insulting his flirting abilities or something (even though they’re shit but-)

 

“Aslan Jade Callenreese, I would never want to be with anyone else. You may be my closest friend, but you are also more than that to me.” Eiji paused, twiddling his thumbs. “You’re incredible. You’re the smartest person I know.” He looked up, with slight tears dampening his eyes, “I would be honored if you would come with me. It might not be for forever, but I’ll just ask this of you for now.”

 

Ash smiled sweetly, pulling Eiji into a tight embrace. “Forever it is.”

 

“...WELL IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME!”