A\N: Zippy here (AethraZip). This is a joint story between Terry (weepingsilver) and me. She wanted it on her profile, so it is, but because the characters and the universe they live in belong to me, I get the first author's note. (Plus I'm typing it. Total control.)
Sonrisas— and why we keep naming these in Spanish is beyond me, we're both German students— is not a sequel to Lágrimas (if it was, why would we be posting it when Lágrimas isn't finished?..). It's a parellel story— that is, a lot of the same characters and events from Lágrimas will appear in Sonrisas. It's beginning about where Lágrimas is now: Caleb has just come around in terms of Toushin, and Gavin is getting worser. (Worser is absolutely a word, proved by the fact that I just said it.)
Sonrisas, like Lágrimas, is yaoi, or at least starts out that way. Will it remain such? Only Terrence can say. Yes, Terrence. As you will soon see.
Terry: ENNA! GET OUT OF MY AUTHOR'S NOTE!
A\N: Nuts to you. It's my universe, my characters, and my damn computer; I can have one author's note. The rest will be yours.
A\N: It isn't any less offensive when you take letters out, sweet.
Terry: So what? And don't call me sweet. You're my sister.
A\N: ^^.. Well, anyway, here goes. Enjoy Sonrisas, and, as always, leave a review. If you like it, great. If not, don't read it again. Homophobes just may find me on their doorstep at 3 a.m. with latex and a whip. (If female. If male, they will simply be castrated with a portable CD player.)
A joint effort to exorcise your sanity by weepingsilver and AethraZip ^^
[Smiles are deceptive.]
[Tears— tears are honest. You see someone with tearstains on their face, you know they're suffering.]
[But a smile is simple enough to fake. I should know.]
[My smiles are lies.]
[Ever see someone with a really fake-looking smile? Look again, it just might be real.]
[Ever see some with a really happy, energetic, no-worries smile? Look again . . .]
[. . . it just might be . . .]
[. . . me.]
Terrence Harrison awoke that morning and did the same thing he did each morning.
He didn't pull on his smile, the one that already felt too tight, too unnatural; that would come later. The lying would come later. In the early morning, when he was the only one awake and he could pretend he was truly alone, he could be honest. And tears were his honesty.
Alone, he could answer the questions he found himself asking. Do you love? he'd wonder. No, he'd answer. I hate.
He did. He hated going to school, to work. He hated facing people; friends, family, they meant nothing to him but pain. He hated the things he knew were expected of him— straight A's, scholarship to some ivy-league college, marriage, home, and kids. He hated his sexuality. And most of all, he hated that, despite the way the pain squeezed his heart like a physician's sphygmomanometer, he still woke up every fucking morning, sent out with a lie on his face and thorns in his heart.
Most commonly, he wanted to curl up in a fetal ball and die. Maybe there was nirvana somewhere, an ultimate peace. If he could reach that, he could tear the smile from his face and never need to replace it. Or, if he had to, maybe he'd be able to adopt a real smile, one that fit him, one that told the truth, one he could call his own.
To the world, Terrence knew, he looked happy. Good grades, happy home life, loving boyfriend. The world needed cataract-removal surgery and trifocals.
Good grades? Yeah, if you liked C's, and he only had them because he did all of his homework. Rabidly. Besides the fact that his only non-remedial core class was academic chemistry, he failed tests. Just as rabidly as he did his homework.
Happy home life? Sure. His parents loved him and he loved them. But after two suicide attempts, both of them on Terrence's part, his parents had found it prudent to tiptoe around him, like he was some hairtrigger bomb of self-destruction. Communication between parties was broken at best.
As for his loving boyfriend . . . Terrence didn't even want to get into that. Jacob loved him, yes, but that didn't stop his one-track mind and big mouth from letting off some real zingers.
A good example would be play season, last year. Terrence and Jacob differed absolutely in taste in activities, and clashed about them constantly. Jacob the linebacker couldn't understand Terrence's love of being someone else, and Terrence the thespian couldn't digest Jacob's passion for tackling huge, sweaty guys and chasing a ball that wasn't even round.
Last year's fall play had been Our Town, and Terrence had auditioned for the roles of Joe and Si Crowell. (A\N: A lot of productions have them played by the same actor.) Talking to Jacob about it had, without question, been a mistake:
"I can't come over after school today."
"What? Why?" Despite four years of honors English, Jacob's vocabulary consisted of mainly monosyllabic words.
"I've got play auditions after school today, and I don't know how long they'll last. If I have time afterwards I'll stop by."
"You're trying out for the play? Why?" Jacob seemed genuinely puzzled, which didn't speak well for his intelligence.
Terrence rolled his eyes; he loved Jacob, yes, but that didn't improve Jacob's intellectual standing in his eyes. "Gee. I don't know— maybe because I like it."
"Like what, acting?" Jacob laughed. "Acting is retarded. All you do is stand on a stage and pretend to be someone you're not. Why would you do that?"
"Because it's fun, Jacob. Besides, it's no more 'retarded' than knocking down guys and bashing in teeth over a piece of dead pig."
"That's different. Football is a sport, and acting is, well. . ."
"An art," Terrence prompted.
"Well, I was going more for 'stupid', but to each his own." Jacob dropped the subject thereafter.
Terrence heaved a sigh. Talking to Jacob had been a mistake. Where he was looking for a 'good luck', or 'hope you do well', he got 'acting is stupid'. Which was totally insulting, especially because acting was Terrence's life. He'd been on stage since he was seven and was in The Sound of Music.
But Jacob wasn't all that bad. Later that day during German, Jacob had passed him a note that read: 'Break a leg. (That's what I say, right?) Good luck and do well.'
Loving boyfriend, indeed.
It was because of times like those that Terrence was still with Jacob, but those times could be few and far between.
Terrence threw the covers off himself and trudged into the bathroom to take a shower. He took a quick three-minute one, since if he spent more than five minutes in the bathroom at a time, his father would come in with some stupid excuse, when in reality he just wanted to make sure Terrence hadn't slit his wrists.
Terrence had just finished getting ready when a car horn honked. He took his cue, grabbed his stuff and yelled good-bye to his parents.
"Bye, Terrence!" his dad called after him.
"We love you!" added his mom.
Terrence assured them that he loved them too and raced down to Jacob's car, where the latter was idling in the driveway. He got into the car and smiled at his boyfriend.
Oh, yes. Time to start his lies. His silent lies. Well, he'd been made for acting, hadn't he?
"Hey, beautiful." Jacob slid his arms around Terrence and kissed him. Terrence returned the kiss, but he pulled gently away before it could grow too hot and heavy. Jacob smiled, amused, and backed out of Terrence's driveway.
The conversation that followed was light, mostly revolving around their friends and what they were doing this weekend. Terrence only half-listened to Jacob rant about his abysmal English grade. He was too busy worrying whether he should mention that he was, once again, trying out for the first-semester play.
"But hey, I've been doing all the talking," Jacob conceded.
'What a shock.' "Mmm."
"So what're you doing post-scholastica today?"
"You mean after school?" Apparently 'after school' was too simple for Jacob's cultured brain. "Well, actually, I—" He stopped, trailed off. He'd been about to mention play tryouts, but he didn't need his ego crushed again. ". . .Nothing."
"C'mon, Terrence, I'm sure you're doing something. You always are." His voice dropped into its usual accusing tone.
"And you aren't?" Terrence countered. He could deal with Jacob's thoughtlessness and occasional stupidity, but hypocrisy he couldn't stand.
"Sure I am, hon, but it's football season. I'll be done soon." Jacob didn't seem annoyed, which only irked Terrence more.
"Football's not more important than acting!" Terrence spat.
"Acting?" Jacob groaned. "Man, is it that time again?"
"Yes," muttered Terrence, cursing himself for blurting it out. "It is, indeed."
Instead of looking disgusted, Jacob seemed thoughtful, as if considering how to respond to this disturbing information. Despite himself, Terrence felt momentarily hopeful. Was Jacob actually going to say something supportive for once?
His hopes were dashed a moment later when Jacob laughed and teased, "You know, if you're bored, it's not too late to join the cheerleading squad."
'Sometimes I really hate you,' Terrence seethed inwardly. He responded to the jibe with one of his flawless smiles, those which had become so hateful to him. "Oh, you just wanna look up my skirt," he forced himself to say playfully.
"Well, there's always prom," Jacob grinned. He parked the car. Terrence glanced out the window in surprise; they'd gotten to school awfully early today.
"I thought we were stopping for breakfast at Starbuck's, or somewhere," he said, bewildered.
"Well, we were gonna," Jacob replied, turning the engine off. "But if you have tryouts after school, I'd rather be alone with you now." He slid across the seat and caught Terrence's face between his hands. For a moment, neither moved. Jacob seemed content to gaze at his boyfriend's face and feel him quivering under his touch.
Terrence was truly a superb actor. Three years as Jacob's personal ego-stroker and sex toy had taught him far more than any acting class. He knew how to meet Jacob's eyes and match the glaze of passion he saw there. He could tremble with apparent desire, and when their lips met and bodies entwined, he could easily convince his lover that he had reached the same heights of ecstasy.
Acting, as he'd said, was his life.
The first time they'd kissed, there had been magic. Terrence had, that one time, bathed in the glow of love and felt all those things romance writers so enjoyed describing. Clinging to Jacob, their parted lips pressed together, Jacob's warm arms and gentle hands holding him— he'd been so happy. Honestly, truly happy, for the first time in a long time. That first time, Terrence had felt loved, needed. Wanted. Cared for.
It hadn't taken long for that euphoria to dissolve, though. After that first explosive kiss, all others seemed wan and pale. Terrence's original passion became blocky, forced. Soon Jacob's touch lost all its importance. When his boyfriend caressed him, he felt nothing. Under the bare sensations of pressure and warmth, there was no fire.
Terrence stood for it, though. Missing elation or not, Jacob was still his boyfriend, and he loved him. In a strong relationship, physical attraction wasn't everything.
Matters had grown more serious the night they'd first had sex. Even now, Terrence couldn't bring himself to call it 'making love'; it was the furthest thing from. Terrence was not the submissive type, but submission seemed to be Jacob's expectation, and Terrence had given in. Again.
As he was doing now, in fact. He'd given up trying to enjoy Jacob's lascivious attentions and resigned himself to just convincing Jacob that he did.
When the alarm on his watch went off, Terrence pretended to ignore it and moaned into Jacob's mouth. When Jacob clutched him closer and tried to insinuate a hand beneath his shirt, he pushed away, released a laugh he hoped didn't sound too fake, and taunted, "Careful, sweetie. Don't start something you can't finish."
"I can finish," Jacob groaned, reaching for Terrence. "Watch me."
Still laughing and still despising how manufactured it sounded, Terrence opened his car door and stepped onto the asphalt, out of Jacob's reach. "You'll have to show me during lunch, love. Homeroom ends in ten minutes and I need to go to my locker first."
He'd escaped pretty easily this morning, for which he was grateful. As he walked to homeroom, he cherished his luck.
After all, as skilled as he was at deception, he did have his limits.
A\N: Terry and I are trying something new with Sonrisas. We—
A\N: I wrote most of this chapter, bizatch, I get the author's note. You write the next chapter and you can have the author's note. I'll probably be on looking for Phantom of the Opera fics anyway. Or 'phanphics', as they call them.
Terry: That's not the point! Get out of the author's note!
Enna: *sigh* Oh, fine. Can I finish?
Terry: If you must.
Enna: ^^ Good. As I was saying, Terry and I haven't written anything quite like this before. I dun' wanna spoil too much of the plot, but.. we've written a lot of stuff about straight kids realizing they're gay/bi/lesbian, but never—
A\N: ENNNNAAAAA! Stop right there!
Enna: o0;; Okay okay okay! I'm going already! *scampers off to *
A\N: Rrrr.. bitch has no sense of secrecy. Anyway, Enna pretty much already said everything there is to reveal without dropping spoilers. Lagrimas readers, if you're looking for Caleb and Toushin, be patient, they'll show up in a chapter or two.
Terry (..and Enna)