Oswald had thought he was over stupid crushes that never lead anywhere. As a gay guy living in a shit-hole such a Gotham, one didn’t get too lucky with love. He was done getting his heart broken. Yes, that had been the case until Oswald met one James Gordon. Gordon had transferred to Gotham High on his junior year, hand in hand with a pretty blonde girl named Barbara, and immediately stolen Oswald’s heart. How could anyone resist those ocean eyes, that perfectly messy, dirty blonde hair drooping over his forehead?
Things had gotten weird after the first month of junior year when Barbara had ended up in bed with two different women within a month of attending the school. To everybody’s surprise, James had taken it well, and that was when Oswald had gotten into the picture. Never had he thought that he’d end up sucking a taken guy’s cock in the school bathrooms during recess, but it had happened. More than once.
And that brought them to today. Oswald stood up and brushed the grime off his black jeans while Jim zipped up his pants and started fixing his hair. “As much as I love this, Jim dear, I’m startin’ to feel like this relationship of ours is a little one-sided,” Oswald commented as he watched Jim’s hands run through the blond locks.
“Is that so?”
“Mm-hmm,” Oswald nodded and sat on the countertop. “Is this just your way of getting over Babs?”
Jim’s hands fell on his sides and he glared at Oswald. Yes, he and Barbara had broken up after all. For some reason, Oswald had been a little disappointed by the news over the summer holiday. Perhaps he found it more thrilling when Jim was taken. Now there was technically nothing wrong with their activities.
“You’re the one to talk. Haven’t you been pinin’ over Nashton for what, nine months?” Jim shot back and smiled dryly at the annoyed look on Oswald’s face.
“Um, that is completely different,” Oswald said and crossed his arms.
“How so?” Jim asked, grinning properly now. Oswald kicked him on the thigh and jumped off the counter.
“I’m late for class,” Oswald said and whipped around to give a quick look at his reflection. The sight wasn’t any different than he’d expected; the same pale, sharp, freckled face as always. He swiped his mouth on his sleeve to make sure there was no cum on his face before he glanced at Jim sharply and rushed out of the bathroom.
He barely got a few feet off the bathroom door before someone latched onto his hoodie and almost caused his to fall on the ground. “There you are, you fucker!”
Oswald groaned loudly. “Let go of me, Tabby.”
“Busy suckin’ someone off, huh? Didn’t even check my messages, little slut,” Tabitha said and shook her phone in front of Oswald’s face as if it would get her point across better.
Oswald snatched his hood off Tabitha’s manicured hands and smoothened the dark fabric, rolling his eyes. “Say that louder. I don’t think everyone heard you yet,” he grit his teeth and pulled out his own phone. There was indeed seven messages from Tabitha and one from Barbara.
“Oswald is a slut!” Tabitha yelled across the hallway, but stopped as soon as Oswald hit her in the stomach with his fist. Her breath hitched and she glared at him. “You told me to say it louder for the people in the back…”
“We been knew,” said a girl walking past them. Oswald gave her the middle finger. Selina Kyle, sophomore year, one of Tabitha’s best friends. Oswald couldn’t stand the young lady, but Tabitha straightened her form and rushed after the curly-haired girl, not even bothering to say bye to Oswald.
Wondering why he ever became friends with Tabitha, Oswald marched to his first period classroom. Art history, arguably one of the less awful classes he had to suffer through, not only because he was actually decent at it but also because he could spend the whole class ogling at a certain someone. Edward Nashton was taking the same art history class as him, and sitting at the perfect angle for Oswald to keep staring at him while not getting caught.
Oswald dumped the contents of his backpack on the desk; a laptop, a sketchbook, a pencil case… They had to write an essay, which meant he was not going to do anything that class. He sat down and looked at the doorway just as Edward walked through the door. He scooted past a group of girls and walked up to his desk, right in front of Oswald.
“Good morning,” he said and smiled while taking a seat and dropping his bag on the floor.
“Mornin’,” Oswald muttered and busied himself with rummaging through his pencil case for no specific reason. It was the same ritual every time they met; a smile, a greeting, awkward silence. Oswald had no clue how to talk to Ed – they were like sun and moon, so incredibly different. Oswald barely knew anything about Edward, but he still couldn’t get his eyes off the brunette whenever they met.
Oswald jumped when he felt a cold breeze on his neck. He turned around and almost got a heart attack when he realized that Sofia was barely an inch off his face. She burst out laughing and sat down next to him. “You should’ve seen your face,” she snickered and took off her sunglasses.
“Shut the fuuuuck up,” Oswald said in a sing-songy voice and punched the girl on the arm. Sofia Falcone was someone Oswald had never expected to befriend, but they had much more in common than he’d realized. They had automatically drifted close after Sofia had come out as a lesbian at the start of senior year while giving her speech as the student council president.
“Tabitha was looking for you,” Sofia announced as she began neatly placing all her stationery on the desk.
“Yea, I heard,” Oswald rolled his eyes and started finally going through his messages. A million question marks from Tabitha, all of which he blatantly ignored. Barbara’s message in their conjoined group chat was ever so slightly more interesting.
babs [08:12:54] heeey ozzie, wanna grab a coffee and talk about boys today?
With a slight grin on his lips, Oswald typed up a quick reply.
ozzie [08:57:13] sure. your treat tho, im broke
babs [08:57:46] tell me something new, babe
tabby [08:58:02] hol up u suck cock for free???? unbelievable.
Oswald chuckled to himself and put his phone away. Sofia was talking to him about some fashion show she was going to attend next weekend, but Oswald couldn’t focus on anything the girl was saying. His eyes were glued to Edward’s black computer screen, on which his reflection was perfectly visible. Sofia quickly caught on to the fact that she was being ignored, and shut her mouth with an annoyed huff.
After fifteen minutes of Sofia writing their essay and Oswald daydreaming, she finally had enough and she punched Oswald on the arm. “Why do you not just ask him out?” she whispered after catching Oswald’s attention.
“Are you nuts?” Oswald hushed back, eyes wide. “He ain’t gay!”
“How do you know that?” Sofia asked and squinted her eyes. “My gaydar is saying that Edward Nashton is anything but straight.”
“Keep your voice down,” Oswald whispered and glanced at Edward who was obliviously writing his essay with earbuds on. “I wonder what he’s listening…”
“There, a good conversation started!” Sofia muttered with a smile. “Ask him!”
“You want me to fuckin’ die, huh?” Oswald asked. To his absolute horror, Sofia leaned forward and tapped Ed on the shoulder. Oswald sunk further down on his chair when Edward turned over and took one of his earbuds out.
“Yes?” he asked. Sofia smiled sweetly, but Oswald knew his well enough to know it was a fake smile.
“We were just thinking… What’re you listening?” she asked innocently and fluttered her eyelashes. Ed looked confused for a second, but took his phone out of his pocket and showed the screen to Sofia and Oswald. 10 hours of absolute silence, said the YouTube video title. Ed giggled at their dumbfounded faces.
“These are noise-cancelling earphones. I can’t focus unless it’s quiet,” he explained. He presented them with the earphone cord, which wasn’t even attached to the phone. “And no one usually bothers me when they think I can’t hear. There’s a little life hack for ya.” He smiled widely and turned back towards his computer.
“Well then,” Sofia said quietly and looked at Oswald who suddenly regained the ability to speak.
“So smart,” he sighed. Sofia nearly had to stick her entire fist in her mouth in order to not burst out laughing at the lovestruck expression on Oswald’s face.
Oswald met up with Barbara at the nearby coffee shop after school. It was a fairly small cafe, ratchet-looking and very cheap – perfect for Oswald’s aesthetic and wallet. Barbara was waiting for him in the corner booth, holding a notepad in her hands.
“I listed everything I need to talk about so I don’t forget,” she explained when Oswald asked about the notebook.
“So am I your therapist now?” Oswald laughed and took a sip of his coffee.
“Cheaper than a real one, that’s for fuckin’ sure,” Barbara said. “My parents still refuse to pay, by the way.”
“Your parents are assholes,” Oswald said and Barbara nodded with a sigh. Her parents were filthy rich, but didn’t give a shit about their daughter or her well-being. Whenever she talked about then, Barbara had the same disgusted expression on her face; like she’d stepped on dog shit.
“Anyway,” Barbara said and smiled, “first things first. What’s Jim doing?”
“You guys are friends!”
“I really wouldn’t call it friendship,” Oswald said and stirred the coffee in his cup. “I suck his dick once a week, at 8:30 on Mondays. That’s it. I don’t know about his personal life and frankly I don’t give a shit. Next.”
“Oh come on,” Barbara said and pouted.
“Why do you not ask your friend? What’s her name… Montoya? She’s got the same part-time job as Gordon,” Oswald insisted.
Barbara’s face fell. “We’re not friends anymore,” she said and crossed her arms.
“Yeah,” she said bitterly. “She said I’m a bad influence on her. All I do is smoke weed, for fuck’s sakes.”
“Oof,” Oswald said. “Okay, that’s over. Next thing on your list of complaints, Ms. Kean?”
Barbara went through her entire list, everything from the quarrel with Montoya to the rocky relationship she was having with Tabitha, to the annoying zit she had on the side of her nose. Oswald frankly cared about none of it, but what kind of friend would he have been if he didn’t help a girl in need?
“Alright,” Barbara said and closed the notepad. “Let’s talk about your issues next.”
“My issues? I don’t have any issues! How dare you,” Oswald said and pretended to be offended, though his grin was failing him.
“Just a little issue called… Edward Nashton,” Barbara leaned over the table and smiled like a shark.
“Why does every lesbian in this school want us to be a thing?” Oswald groaned. “First Sofia, now you… It’s not gonna happen!”
“Well duh, if you never talk to him! You guys would be so cute.”
“I object,” Oswald said. “He’s not gay. He’s not into boys. End of story.”
The bell above the door jingled as someone walked into the coffee shop. Oswald sipped on his coffee and looked lazily over his shoulder, only to nearly spit the coffee on his hoodie when he recognized the young man walking through the door. Edward was with someone else, a dark-skinned man around his age, though Oswald wasn’t familiar with him. Instantly he felt a hint of jealousy wash through him as he stared at Ed’s arm brush against the other man’s.
“Eddie!” Barbara shouted and Oswald wanted to sink through the floor to the center of the Earth. Ed looked around until he spotted Barbara, and waved happily. Barbara and Ed shared quite a few classes, much to Oswald’s demise. Oswald watched as Edward said something to his friend and left him to order their drinks while Ed joined Barbara and Oswald.
“Hi, darling,” Barbara greeted him and stood up, giving Ed a hug. Oswald glared at them and hid his face behind the coffee cup. As soon as they stepped apart, Barbara pushed Ed into the booth next to Oswald.
“Who was that friend of yours?” Barbara asked eagerly, nodding towards the black man ordering drinks.
“Oh. That’s Lucius. He helps me with college classes sometimes,” Ed explained and situated himself better on the seat. “He’s nice. Really smart.”
“We were just talkin’ about you, believe it or not,” Barbara changed the subject and glanced at Oswald who pinned his gaze firmly on the table.
“Why is that?” Edward raised his eyebrows and looked at Oswald. His eyes lingered on Oswald for too long to his liking.
Barbara looked at Oswald too, an expectant expression on her face, and Oswald couldn’t continue playing mute anymore. “Uhh,” he put down his cup, “just… We thought you could help us with some school shit. ‘Cause you’re smart.”
“Yeah,” Barbara said, flashing a huge smile. “And by ‘us’, Ozzie means himself. I already got a mentor.”
Oswald bit his cheek so hard it almost drew blood. Ed looked surprised, but got distracted by Lucius walking up to their booth and placing their drinks on the table. “Are these… your friends?” he asked, eyes lingering on Oswald’s lined eyes and Barbara’s low neckline.
“Yes, Barbara and Oswald. I mean. We’re classmates,” Ed said and took his latte from the table. Lucius sat down next to Barbara and took a sip of his drink too.
“I guess we can go through the material some other time, then,” he said with a shrug.
“Oswald said he could use some help, too, so you can always mentor us both!” Ed suggested and smiled brightly. Oswald’s eye twitched and he shook his head with a pretentious smile.
“There’s really no need…”
“It’s fifty bucks per lesson,” Lucius interrupted and eyed Oswald. “You don’t look like someone to take college level courses. No offense.”
“None taken,” Oswald gave a shit-eating grin. “I’m not. Shit, I can barely keep up with high school.”
Lucius’s phone rang at that moment and he excused himself off the table to talk. A slightly awkward silence fell between the remaining three of them, and Oswald would’ve probably left the scene too, but he was promptly stuck between the wall and Edward.
“Fifty bucks per lesson, was it?” Barbara broke the silence, stirring the spoon in her cup. “Kinda steep, ain’t it?”
“I don’t really have anything else to spend my money on,” Ed said and laughed awkwardly. “And Lucius is a great teacher, so I’m fine paying him.”
“Do you wanna do my art history essay for twenty?” Oswald asked, half-joking. He knew Sofia would scold him for the rest of the school year if all her work went to waste.
“No,” Ed said and smiled, “but I can help you with it for free. Are you free this week?”
Oswald suddenly lost the ability to speak when he looked at the sincere smile on Edward’s face. “Um. Uhh… yeah. Sure. I don’t got anything. Whatever works for you…?” He glanced at Barbara who was observing them through her bangs, grinning.
“Hey, Ed,” Lucius interrupted their conversation again as he walked back to the booth. “Harvey called. He really needs help with a project or something, so I have to bounce.”
“Yeah, no problem! Did you pay for our drinks already?” Ed asked. Lucius shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll cover,” Edward promised, causing Oswald to wonder how much fucking money Ed had to throw around. Seemingly an infinite amount.
Lucius thanked him and rushed out of the café. Barbara stretched like a cat and also stood up. “Well, boys, it’s been lovely,” she said and grabbed her poofy jacket off the seat. “Oswald, bathroom. Now.” Oswald looked at her, flabbergasted, but ended up awkwardly scooting past Ed and hurrying after Barbara. She walked behind the corner and practically pushed Oswald against a wall.
“You just got yourself a date,” she announced. Oswald pushed her away and looked around as if the walls could hear them.
“It’s not a date,” he said quietly and frowned. “He thinks I’m a fuckin’ weirdo. He thinks you’re a weirdo. So just walk away, Babs.”
Barbara rummaged through her bag and managed to locate a small pouch full of makeup. Without even asking for permission, she powdered Oswald’s face and then smooched him on the cheek. “Don’t mess it up,” she commanded and fixed Oswald’s hair a little bit.
“Mess what up? It’s. Not. A. Date!” he whined as Barbara started dragging him back to the booth. Ed was obediently waiting for them, occupied with some papers he’d pulled out of his bag. Oswald lingered before sitting down on the spot previously Barbara’s while the blonde stood.
“Have fun, you two,” she said with a grin resembling one of a shark’s. Ed smiled back obliviously, and so did Oswald, though it was very clear there was murder behind his eyes. Barbara ruffled Ed’s curly locks before taking a sip of his drink and saying goodbye. Oswald watched her stride through the cafe in her short skirt and disappear out the door.
“…So. Do you want help with the essay?” Ed broke the silence and made Oswald turn his attention back to the brunette.
“Right. I guess. If you really wanna help,” Oswald stumbled through the sentence and blushed, praying his foundation covered it up.
“I’d love to help.”
There it was, that damned smile again. Oswald busied himself with getting his laptop out of his backpack in order to not die over how cute Edward looked.