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Mitchell’s opinion on rules tends to be finding the quickest, most efficient way of breaking them. The one the least likely to get you caught by the people that matter - but puts you in just enough of a position that they all know it was you that did it.

Rem Dogg says that’s stupid. “It shouldn’t matter if you get caught, wanker,” He says. “It’s just about proving to people that you can do it.”

Mitchell tells him that he’s only saying that because he’s in a wheelchair. It’s a lot harder for police to explain that they reckon the cripple’s done it. People get weird about that kind of stuff, plus, Rem Dogg’s really good at looking like he’s going to cry. God knows he’s used it on Mitchell enough to make him feel like a wanker, never mind if he turned it on the police.

“Wheelchair perks, innit?” Rem Dogg grins. Mitchell just gives him the finger and tells him to get fucked, gayboy. Rem Dogg leans back in his chair and says, “Why, you offering?”

It’s normally at this point Mitchell makes some crack about Rem Dogg’s mum and how he’s slept with her, then kicks his chair away.

The thing is, rules, right?

Because Mitchell’s opinion on most rules might be finding the quickest way to break them, but he reckons that some were invented for a reason. Like the rule that says you probably shouldn’t want to climb on top of your best mate and snog the fuck out of him for the rest of your lives.

Mitchell’s been struggling with that one for quite a while.  

It’s not that Rem Dogg’s a bloke. Well, like, it’s not just that Rem Dogg’s a bloke. Him having a dick definitely doesn’t make it any of it easier - but Mitchell’s not a complete knobhead, and Stephen has always been a mate, so he’s not stuck in the middle of some internal freak about how he’s, like, an abomination or anything.

A hole is a hole, innit? Why the fuck should he care what one he shoves his cock into?

Anyway, he reckons that most of the time he prefers girls - ‘cause they’re fit, and all curvy, and a lot of them know just where to shove a high heel if he’s pissing them off - and maybe it’s nice being told where to go, sometimes.

It’s just, Rem Dogg has a pretty fucking lovely smile, and whenever he’s nicked stuff - there’s always been something for Mitchell in the pile, too. He can do a pretty sick wheelie, he likes some pretty fucking stellar music, and he’s Mitchell’s best mate. Has been for years.

So yeah, it’s a bit shit, ‘cause - as much as Mitchell wants to knock Rem Dogg’s stupid fucking hat off and tangle his hands in his hair while they snog the fuck out of each other - he wouldn’t ever do that. At least, not unless Rem Dogg said he could do that.

Rem Dogg isn’t going to say that, though, because Rem Dogg has never once said anything about wanting to shag blokes. Even after that time when the two of them were hammered and Mitchell told him that he sometimes wanked off thinking about the blokes in WWE, Rem Dogg had just blinked at him and said, “Ain’t my type, mate.”

Which, whatever.

It was nice that Rem Dogg didn’t call him a faggot arse-gayboy and stop speaking to him forever, because Mitchell would have probably had to clock him one for being a homophobic arsehole, but it wasn’t exactly the response he wanted either.

He’s not sure what the response he wanted was, exactly, but he does know that it was less polite dismissal, and more, “Oh, really Mitchell? I’m so glad that blokes give you a hard-on. Please, fling your legs over my wheelchair. You can ride around on me for the rest of your life.”

Then Mitchell would have made a joke about the different types of riding, and Rem Dogg would have smiled that smile , and scraped his nails down Mitchell’s back hard enough to kind of hurt, and it all would have been fucking stellar.

Instead, Mitchell just finds himself pushing Rem Dogg’s wheelchair around, looking at the top of his head and wishing that brains were as easy to hack as computers. Then he’d be able to, like, Professor X Rem Dogg into wanting to shag him back.

Then again, Mitchell would be a terrible Prof X. He’s never been good at actually figuring people out. In fact, he’s bollocksed up his own feelings enough that most of the time he leaves all the emotional shit to everyone else. Even Rem Dogg is better at it than Mitchell, or, at least - he seems to be - ‘cause Mitchell can’t ever imagine someone having to explain to Rem Dogg how he’s feeling.

Though some of that might be ‘cause Rem Dogg would probably punch them one for talking shit to a kid in a wheelchair. Sitting down kind of puts him at perfect dick height. God knows he’s smashed his fist into Mitchell’s balls enough times without Mitchell seeing it coming.

The really, really sad thing about getting whacked in the balls by Rem Dogg is that Mitchell thought about it later that night with his hand on his cock, imagining that the fist was delivered in an entirely different way.

 

*

 

“Oi, Salad! Just tell him how you fucking feel, innit?” Cleo says, “He’s already told the whole fucking school he’d let you stick it in him, ain’t he?” She shoves another Peri-Peri chip in her mouth. Mitchell glares at her.

“What the fuck are you sayin’?” He asks. Cleo rolls her eyes.

“I’m sayin’ you wanna fuck Rem Dogg, innit. Please, I ain’t kissed that many guys, but all of them have been well more into it than you was. So, either you’re just a completely shit kisser, or you ain’t as into me as you wanna be.”

“I think you’re well fit,” Mitchell says. Because Cleo is well fit, she’s just not as fit as Rem Dogg. That isn’t her fault, though. Plus, she was a decent kisser, and if she’s willing to go to Nandos with Mitchell, he isn’t gonna turn that down.

Cleo rolls her eyes again. She spends a lot of time doing that around Mitchell. “Yeah, okay, wanker,” She leans forwards in her seat. “I’m sayin’, though, you can either end this night by arranging another Nandos with me, where I order two sides next time and make you pay for it all,”

Mitchell winces. This one has already cost him far too much money. He’d have to start nicking big things again to keep up with that.

Or , you can sneak into Rem Dogg’s bedroom and tell him all your gay fantasies about his arms and shit, and we’ll stay mates. You ain’t so bad, Salad.”

“How’d you know I think about his arms?” Mitchell says, indignant. Cleo laughs.

“You just told me, twat,” Mitchell flushes, but doesn’t say anything else. What the fuck does she know about Mitchell? “Anyway, he’s in a wheelchair, innit? Bound to have some decent arms, what with all that rolling and shit. I’d be interested in that. Even if he does have hideous hair.”

“Fuck you. Rem Dogg’s hair is fine,” Mitchell snaps back. It’s not. Not really. Black hair definitely doesn’t suit him, and the eyeliner is kind of weird - but it’s still Rem Dogg underneath it all - and Mitchell isn’t going to be the one to complain about that.

“That, more than anything, tells me that you wanna shag him, dickhead.”

“Oh, fuck off. We’re just mates, innit? He’s not into dick,” Mitchell runs a frustrated hand through his hair. This was supposed to be about thinking of someone other than Rem Dogg, not spending the whole night talking about him. He feels really fucking gay, right now.

“You ever ask him that?” Cleo eats another couple of chips. She doesn’t look very impressed.

“Nah, but when I told him -” Mitchell cuts off, frowning at Cleo. She raises her eyebrows at him.

“When you told him what , moron?”

“When I told him that, er, someone was into blokes sometimes, he just said that they wasn’t his type.”

Cleo sighs, rolling her eyes for the third time in a short space of time. “Yeah? Did he say he wasn’t into blokes definitely? Or did he say summat else and you heard the wrong thing ‘cause you’re a shithead and your mum dropped you on your fuckin’ head as a baby.”

“I said that, the person -”

“Oh, piss off. We all know it’s you.”

Fine ,” Mitchell glares at her. “I said that sometimes I wank off to the ones what are in WWE, and he said that they ain’t his type.”

Cleo doesn’t look convinced. “Maybe that’s ‘cause his type is shiny little white boys what live in caravans, yeah? I ain’t been in Abbey Grove long, but in all the other schools I been in, boys don’t go calling I love you round to their mates. S’gay, innit?”

“We’re best mates.”

“That’s even gayer,” Cleo snorts. Mitchell tries to nick some of her leftover chicken pita, and she slaps his hand away.

“So you’re saying he likes me?”

“I’m saying that I wouldn’t yell, ‘I love you’ at someone that I hated.”

“Yeah,” Mitchell looks down at the table, thoughtfully. “Reckon I’m gonna go see him, after, like.”

“Mate, you can go see him now for all I care. I got my food, didn’t I? You can text me later about how much of a dick you are for not shagging him sooner, innit?”

Mitchell looks at her for a few minutes. She’s leaning back in the seat, most of the food on her plate gone. Her hair is tied up, and she’s wearing silver hoop earrings, and Mitchell wasn’t taking the piss when he said that she was well fit.

But.

Rem Dogg.

“Right,” Mitchell says, sliding out of the booth. “I’ll text ya’ later then. See ya.”

“Bye, salad!” Cleo calls after him. She smiles, proper, for the first time all evening. She looks even prettier like that, and Mitchell grins back, giving her an awkward salute and then legging it out of Nandos.

 

*

 

There’s a load of perks to having a best mate in a wheelchair, but Mitchell reckons that the best one has to be the ground floor flat. The window to Rem Dogg’s room is cracked open, slightly - and Mitchell jams his fingers into it, and clambers in.

Rem Dogg is lying on his bed, massive headphones covering his ears. Mitchell can hear the music blasting from across the room - so he figures that Rem Dogg hasn’t heard him come in yet.

He walks across the room, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. Rem Dogg’s eyes are shut, and he’s listening to some pretty heavy metal - but Mitchell wants to scare the shit out of him, and if Rem Dogg sees him, it won’t be as funny.

Eventually, Mitchell gets to the bed. Rem Dogg’s eyes are still shut, and he mentally high-fives himself, then clambers onto Rem Dogg so that he’s practically straddling him, one knee on either side of Rem Dogg’s hips, and his hands beside his shoulders.

Rem Dogg shits himself. His eyes fly open, and he shoves the headphones down off his ears.

“Jesus christ , Mitchell. You’re a fucking shit, you know that?” Rem Dogg whisper-yells. His hands come off to shove at Mitchell, punching him in the shoulders. Mitchell cackles, rolling off him so that they’re lying side by side on the bed, shoulders touching. “I think I had a fucking heart attack, you prick.”

“Mate, your face,” Mitchell says. He’s still laughing, so much that his eyes are shut and he puts a hand over his stomach, trying to calm himself down. Rem Dogg props himself up on one elbow, and looks down at him unamused.

“Thought you were out with Cleo?” He asks. Mitchell cracks open his eyes, and looks at Rem Dogg.

“Yeah,” He says. “That ain’t gonna work out.”

“Shit. Looks like you’re going to die a virgin,” Rem Dogg says, grinning. Mitchell gives him the finger.

“Yeah, no thanks. I’ve already shagged your mum enough times, innit? She loves me,” At that, Rem Dogg’s mouth does something weird and goes all wobbly. Mitchell looks at him, confused, before he remembers why he’s here in the first place. “Speaking of love, gay lord,” He says, sitting up fully.

Rem Dogg frowns, his forehead pinching together like Alfie’s does whenever they say something even stupider than normal. He shoves himself up as well, his back against the headboard of his bed and looks at Mitchell.

“Yeah?” He asks, “What about it?”

“How’d you mean it?”

“You what?” Rem Dogg is starting look frustrated, now. His eyes shift down to his legs, lying out in front of him on the bed. He’s avoiding Mitchell’s eye contact, and Mitchell doesn’t know what to do - so he reaches out and grabs Rem Dogg’s wrist. Rem Dogg looks up at him, eyes wide, even under his stupid new hair.

“Like, d’you mean that you love me as a mate, or?”

Rem Dogg’s hands are trembling, slightly. Mitchell doesn’t know if he’s supposed to notice stuff like that - but then, he figures that he’s not supposed to be having this conversation at all. He wasn’t supposed to run out of Nandos when Cleo was there, in order to have a conversation with Rem Dogg. He’s not supposed to be a homo, but he is, and he has.

“Fuck off, Mitchell,” Rem Dogg says.

“Nah. Don’t think I will,” Mitchell replies. “‘Cause, see, I was out with Cleo, innit? And she’s well fit, and said I could take her out again. Only she thought that you wanted to shag me, and -”

Rem Dogg’s whole body jolts, and he pulls his wrist away from Mitchell’s grasp. Mitchell frowns, watching as Rem Dogg seems to shut down in front of him. Sighing in frustration, Mitchell moves so that he’s sitting on Rem Dogg’s lap again, legs on either side of him.

Rem Dogg struggles, shoving inefficiently at Mitchell’s shoulders. The thing is, though - they’ve done this before, when they’ve been bored, or drunk, or high, or all three. And the thing is, Rem Dogg’s well strong enough to get Mitchell the fuck off him. So the fact that he isn’t pushing hard enough says it all.

Mitchell reckons he’s got to keep talking, “And the thing is. I left behind this fit girl what was with me, because there was the chance that when you yelled at me like the big fucking poofter you are, shitstain, what you actually meant is that you’d let me shag you.”

Rem Dogg's silent for a few moments. "You gonna never speak to me again, now?"

Mitchell laughs, grabbing Rem Dogg's face with both of his hands and pressing their foreheads together. Rem Dogg's eyes are wide open, and he stares at Mitchell, quietly. He is one of the nicest looking things that Mitchell has ever seen. "Nah," Mitchell says. "'Sides, you were the one that wasn't speaking, innit?"

"So what you gonna do, then?" Rem Dogg says. 

"Reckon I'm gonna kiss you," Mitchell says back, smiling. 

Rem Dogg laughs. "Well," He says. "Get on with it then! Your mum was way quicker getting to the good bit, mate." 

"Prick," Mitchell says. Then he snogs him. 

 

*

 

Turns out, all rules are meant to be broken.