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Big Brother

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Your name is Dave Strider, and you are about to totally flip your shit. There's this new kid, Camden, who somehow manages to get under your skin and push all the wrong buttons. You're apparently not passing as well as you thought you were, or you're just hitting a point where puberty is really starting to separate the guys from the gals and you're getting stuck on the wrong side of the road.

"Camden, if you don't shut up I am going to shove this tray so far up your ass you'll be shitting hot fresh cafeteria food for the rest of your life. People will be lining up behind you just so they don't have to spend money on their school lunches." You brandish said plastic lunch tray in his direction, waiting for the brat to just leave.

"I'd like to see you try." Camden is on the junior wrestling team. Like it or not, even with all the training Bro did with you, you're still physically weaker than him. And after the last tussle that landed you both in detention, he definitely knows that and is fully prepared to take advantage of it.

Rose sets a hand on your shoulder, pulling you away to join her, Jade, and John at your usual table. "Dave, this would be a good time to walk away. I can't imagine that your brother would appreciate you getting kicked out of school with the tuition being so high." You frown, just the barest hint of your mouth turning down at the corners, and allow yourself to be led away.

"One of these days I'm gonna kick his ass so hard his grandkids will have my footprint embedded in their asscheeks. Hell, even his great-great grandkids' grandkids are gonna have Strider feet imprinted on their asses and are gonna swap stories about exactly how their dumbfuck ancestor managed to get them all blessed with my glorious foot on their right asscheek."

"Why their right asscheek, Dave?" John's been a bit skittish around you ever since that kiss, but you've been trying to fight off any real changes in your friendship. At least with Rose and Jade around, he's a bit more relaxed, but he refuses to come over anymore.

"Because, Egbert, I'm right-footed and when I bend Camden over to deliver the ass kicking of his life, it's going to hit right in the middle of his right asscheek."

Jade giggles, and pulls you to sit down next to her. "Can I watch when you do it? It'll be the coolest ass kicking ever!"

You shake your head at Jade's enthusiasm and pat her on the head. "Cool it, Harley, I know you've totally got the hots for me but I've gotta keep my reputation intact. No PDAs, ya dig?"

"I fail to see what an outdated piece of technology has to do with Jade hanging on your arm at the lunch table." Rose, of course. You're about to snark back at her, but John interrupts with a nervous laugh.

"John, man, what is with you lately?" You turn to stare at him, casually tugging your arm away from Jade so you don't have a permanent attachment. Of course, you both know what his problem is, but you've reached an unspoken agreement to just act like the whole thing never happened. Even if it does make your chest ache, and not just from your binder.

"Sorry Dave, I just..." Whatever he's about to say is cut off by the lunch bell ringing. Probably a good thing, really, because John was probably only going to embarrass the both of you by saying something ill-timed and stupid.

"Time for another boring day of sex ed, huh?" You smirk at the small joke – the couple weeks they've allotted to sexual education have been party to some of the most hilarious classroom hijinks and jokes so far during the school year.

"Yes, another day of you and the other boys drawing phallic imagery on your notes and sniggering like you've come across some vast cosmic joke." Rose smirks in turn and you turn around to lay a hand on her shoulder.

"Rose, you can dissect me and my love of cocks all day long, but it's nothing to the field day a real shrink would have with your obsession with tentacles. You sure you're not just inwardly begging for a piece of Strider action?" The very thought of a sexual encounter makes you nervous, though. One of the reasons you've been trying to keep Jade from being too touchy-feely. But Rose knows you well enough to call your bluff.

"I'm quite certain that I do not now, nor will I ever, beg for a piece of Strider action. I'm just not interested."

"Whoa whoa whoa, back up. You saying you're a les? Because seriously, that's kinda hot. Can I watch you and Jade making out?"

"DAAAVE!" Jade shrieks and starts hitting your shoulder with her science book. "That's not even funny!" John's doing this dorky giggle-snort and trying not to sound like he's laughing. It's the best thing you think you've ever heard, and you're glad you can at least still get him to make it.

Rose is totally unfazed. "Did you ever think perhaps that I'm simply not interested in you? Perhaps I find John a more appealing choice as a boyfriend."

You know it's just a joke, and you manage to keep your poker face up, but you can't help the surge of jealousy you feel. "What? But... But Rose, I don't know..." True to form, John's nervous and blushing and probably thinking why he's gotta get all the attention from his best pals.

"I'm just using you as an example, John." Rose smiles, and your best bro visibly relaxes, but that blush is still there and going all the way up to his ears. "In truth, I'm undecided on my sexual orientation, but I am most definitely not interested in you, Dave."

"Someone call an ambulance, I think Lalonde has just sent me straight to the burn ward. I'm gonna need some life support, and they'll be peeling skin off my ass just to keep the scarring to a minimum." They all laugh at that, and you smirk a little as you walk into health class and settle in for an amusing lecture on STDs or some shit like that. Not from the teacher, of course. Well, not directly, anyway; his reactions to what the other kids say are what makes sex ed hilarious.

Mr. Roberts tries to get the class to settle down and only partially succeeds. It's about as good as he ever gets though, so he starts writing something on the board. You snort when you see GLBT written in varying colors across the whiteboard. Oh, the irony. "Can anyone tell me what this stands for?"

Camden, naturally, is the first to speak up. "Yeah, guacamole, bacon, lettuce, and tomato." About half the class laughs, but you're pleased to see that your close pals are unmoved. Well, except for Jade, but she's Jade. The girl giggles at everything.

"Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender, smartass." Of course sex ed would be covering such a touchy subject for you, and of course you and Camden have health class together. This is a recipe for a disaster of biblical proportions, and you are not the kind of person who'd be saved by the grace of God. You doubt Camden is, either, which means the only option left is for things to spiral on down into the depths of Satan's asshole.

"Very good, Dave. And yes, today's lesson is on sexuality." He starts going off into mechanics rather than semantics, which is totally cool in your book. The less you have to hear 'gays are evil' versus 'but people are just born that way,' the better. You just wish Camden would stop making his stupid witty remarks. Maybe if you just... went over and punched him in the face, you might be able to break his nose.

This is all pretty dull for you, with the only real comments that would otherwise be entertainment coming up as insults that make you want to go hang yourself. And then... the T part comes up. You're careful to keep your expression as perfectly bored out of your skull, but you pay very careful attention to the reactions of your classmates.

"But, Mr. Roberts, why don't they just act like they're supposed to? A girl has boobs, a guy has balls and a di--"

"Language, Stephanie. And as for why they don't just act 'like they're supposed to,' it can vary from person to person. It's called Gender Dysphoria. We don't know why it happens, it just does. Much like autism, in that regard." Oh yeah, you'd covered some mental disorders earlier in the year – Rose soaked it all up like a tentacle-covered sponge. The autism reference makes a little bit of sense, in a roundabout sort of way. You guess. Science can't explain everything, after all.

And then Camden chimes in. "Yeah, but you'd be able to tell if you met one. It's all obvious and shit, girls with deep voices and guys with boobs." Maybe you can follow him after school. You know he walks home. Just stalk him until after you're off school grounds and then sneak up on him and give a good swift kick to the balls.

You're about to say something, but Rose, of all people, beats you to it. "You would be surprised, Camden, at who might be passing as the opposite gender right in this very school."


You turn to stare at Rose, ice cold chills of panic running down your back. How long have you not been passing? Sure, Rose is a lot more perceptive than most of the other kids in your class, but you'd figured you were doing all right so far.

You have to know how she knew.