A/N: Hello all! This is a holiday one-shot that popped into my head one day since finals ended and decided to write it because of all my spare time. I hope you all enjoy it! (And don't forget to review)
Dedicated to Wyrem's Glasses, DestinyAiden, and Raye:SesshyFan because I said so. Just think of it as an early Christmas present.
Warning: This is slash, as in Male x Male relationships. If you don't like it, hit the back button now. Also, a bit of mild cursing.
Bobby lay in his bed, an arm over his eyes as he attempted to fall asleep. It was nearly two in the morning and he had yet to drift into dreamland. This was not good for him, considering how quickly he is too rest.
Sighing, he rose from the confines of the comforter, pulling on a pair of pajama bottoms before running a hand through his caramel colored hair. With a moment's hesitation, he grabbed the comforter and wrapped himself in it to fight off the winter chill. Bundled, he shuffled from his room, heading straight for the kitchen. Yawning, he fumbled with getting a mug from a cupboard after setting water on the stove.
There was a dull thump outside of his apartment door. Curious, he walked over to it, unlocking it. He froze when he heard a moan from outside as well. Clenching his teeth, he opened the door to see what, or who, was outside. Looking about, at first he found nothing odd. As he was closing his door, he heard another moan coming from the staircase down the hall. Sighing Bobby pulled the comforter closer around him as he walked over to the stairs, bracing himself for the worst. A man was face down on the stairs, his head resting on the top step as he struggled to get up.
"Here, let me help," Bobby said, leaning down to pick the man off the floor. He wrapped an arm under his shoulders, half walking half dragging the poor man into his apartment.
"Thanks," the man whispered, barely audible. He was shivering, Bobby noticed: no jacket, no shoes, just a black undershirt and pants protecting him from the cold night air. Wordlessly, Bobby unwrapped the comforter from around himself, giving it to the man instead. He led the man to the couch in his living room, letting him collapse there as he tried to warm himself.
"I was making myself some hot chocolate, do you want any?" Bobby asked as the kettle started to hiss. The man looked up and nodded, moving light blonde hair out of his face. Bobby moved to the kitchen again, grabbing another mug and the cocoa mix as he prepared the beverage. Thinking for a moment, he grabbed a bag from the pantry and put a few marshmallows into both mugs, stirring them in with the mix and water.
"Here," he said as he walked back into the living room, sticking one of the mugs in front of the blonde. Without looking up again, he took the mug.
As the man stared into his mug, Bobby finally got a good chance to look at him. Aside from his blonde hair and clothes, he took note of his broad frame, his hunched shoulders. His hands were large, easily cradling the mug Bobby had given him. Taking a better look at his clothes, Bobby realized that the man was in fact wearing pajama bottoms, almost as if he was about to go to bed himself. Sipping his chocolate, he realized that the man couldn't be past seventeen and looked vaguely familiar.
Taking a seat on the only available chair not next to the boy, the two sat quietly as Bobby drank his hot chocolate. By the time he finished, the boy still hadn't moved from his spot, staring into his hot chocolate.
"If you want, you can stay here the night. I'll grab you a pillow," Bobby said, standing to put away his empty mug. The boy nodded, still staring into his own mug. Bobby couldn't help but wonder why the boy was out at night in the middle of December with nothing on but his pajamas as he took the extra pillow from his bed and put it on the couch for the boy. Eliciting no response, he sighed and went back to his own bed. Grabbing an extra blanket from under his bed, he bundled up again, trying to go to sleep for even a few hours that night.
Bobby walked out of his room, dressed in khakis and a red button-down shirt. He combed his hand through his still wet hair, hoping that it wouldn't freeze on his way to work. He glanced at the couch, seeing that the boy from the night before was still there, asleep.
"Hey, it's time to wake up," Bobby said gently as he shook the boy awake. Groggily, the boy cracked an eye open to stare at him.
"'Ive more minu'es, da', I'm 'avin' a nice dream," he said, his tongue finding it hard to function. As he pulled the comforter above his head, the boy suddenly jumped straight off the couch, still clutching the comforter around him. "Oh shit, where the hell am I? Who the hell are you? Why am I-" He suddenly cut off as realization dawned on him.
"Hey, are you okay?" Bobby asked as the boy slumped back onto the couch, muttering to himself.
"Oh God, what have I done?" he whispered, hugging the comforter tightly. His eyes were starting to water as he tried to fight back the tears.
"Look, I…" Bobby said, unable to find a way to comfort the teen about to have a breakdown. "You can stay here for as long as you like, but I've gotta go to work. Help yourself to what's in the fridge and leave a note if you plan to go anywhere, alright?" The boy looked up, his eyes barely able to focus on Bobby before nodding his head in understanding. Bobby patted the boy's shoulder awkwardly, getting up.
"Alright then, I'll be back at around lunch to check on you." Pulling a decently heavy jacket on, Bobby left the boy in his apartment, alone, and locked the door.
The teen stared at the door the man had just walked out of. He had been staring at it for the last twenty minutes, trying to avoid thinking. Hugging the comforter closer to his body, the teen finally tore his eyes away from the door and its peeling white paint. He stood up, seeing if he could find something that would distract him from his thoughts right then.
The couch he had been sitting on was across from a small television set up on the other side of the room, a plate-covered coffee table in between them. A recliner was next to the table, off to the side and nearly in front of the apartment door. From where he stood, the teen could see a table with a few chairs in front of a pantry in a small alcove on the other side of the room. Walking to the alcove, he found the small kitchen that the man had used to make the hot chocolate he had last night. It had been wonderful chocolate, although it hadn't helped him sleep at all.
From there, he went down the short hallway with pictures scattered all over. Moving on, he found two doors, one at the end and one to the side. The one at the end was closed, so the teen assumed that it was the man's room and didn't want to snoop around in it. The other room, however, was open and mostly empty save for a few stacks of boxes that were taped shut and a bookcase with nothing on it.
There was a door at the far end of the room. Walking through it, he groped around for the light switch, quickly flipping it to discover it was only a bathroom. He finally got a look in the mirror at his red, slightly swollen eyes and red nose, his disheveled hair, and the fact he was still in his pajamas. Grumbling, he looked around on the counter. Finding a hairbrush, he quickly combed his short hair, allowing it to settle less haphazardly on his head.
Feeling slightly better, the teen went back into the main room, wondering aimlessly. He went to the table again, looking at all the mail and assortment of papers spread out across the top. The teen started to fiddle with a key he found sitting on the top of one such stack of mail.
"I should probably…go back. They must be worried sick by now," the teen muttered, trying to persuade himself. "They must be, or maybe they're looking for me now. Besides, I need to change." Grabbing an envelope and pen, the teen quickly scribbled a note saying he was going back home and didn't expect to be back. Putting the envelope apart from the others on a kitchen counter, he took the spare key and left, leaving the comforter on the back of a chair.
It was colder outside than he thought. The apartment building didn't have inside hallways, and thus no heating outside the apartments themselves, and the winter winds were being particularly harsh that morning. Shivering, he ran down the flight of stairs that he had rested on the night before to the third floor, where he lived with his parents. Rubbing his arms, he knocked on the door loudly, knowing that his mother would be home and his father at work.
"Mom, it's me, Aaron!" the teen called, wanting to get into the warm apartment and into decent clothing. The door was thrown open and he saw his mother standing there, looking furious. "Mom, I…"
"Don't get started with me boy," his mom said, grabbing his wrist harshly, dragging him into the apartment before slamming the door. "What the hell are you thinking coming back here?"
"Mom, I…you and dad…you didn't mean what you said last night," Aaron stuttered, fearing his mother's angry glare. She seemed to grow more violent by the second as she threw him on the floor.
"Didn't mean what I-Are you a fucking idiot?! I never want to see you again and I mean it!" She stormed down the hallway, with a nearly identical layout as the man's apartment, going into the far room in a huff. Aaron stood, following, as he tried to sooth his mother.
"Mom, please, I don't want you to hate me." He peeked into the room, his room, and saw his mother grab a single suitcase and his backpack from atop his bed.
"It's too late to change my mind. I thought ahead and packed a few clothes for you so that you never have to come back. Now get out of my sight before I get really angry." She said all this with a perfectly neutral face, except for her angry eyes, and an even voice, which frightened Aaron even more than the anger had.
"But mom, I-"
"GO!" she nearly screamed, throwing the suitcase and backpack at him as he ran out the door. He ran out the apartment, the door slamming into his back and pushing him to the ground. Aaron lay there, staring at his apartment door, unwilling to believe what just happened. Maybe it was all just a sick joke his mother was pulling and she would open the door at any second, laughing, saying he could come inside for some cocoa and breakfast.
But the door never opened and Aaron was starting to freeze again. Sighing, Aaron stood up shakily, slung his backpack on, and lifted the suitcase up the stairs again, back to the man's apartment.
Bobby stared at the cover of the book, his eyes drawing in every little detail of the characters, they way they were standing, they way they were dressed, they way they looked at the dragon that took up a large portion of the front.
"Earth to Bobby, is anyone there?" a female voice said, accompanied by the snapping of fingers. Jumping, Bobby turned his head to find his friend and co-worker standing next to him with an annoyed look on her face. "You really should try to pay more attention to people."
"But Jazz, you're life is always the same old story," Bobby said, putting the book he was holding and two more exactly like it onto the shelf in front of him. "You find a guy, sleep with him, find out that he's missing, rant to me, and repeat. You really should find a way to break your horrible habits." Jazz, short for Jezebel, flung her elbow length, red-brown hair over her shoulder and placed a hand on her hip, pointedly looking away.
"And I bet your horrible habit of going to porn sites for action is any better?" she hissed, Bobby having hit a nerve. Jazz stalked away, bumping into a slighter man on her way past. The man made a face at her when she glared, but neither went beyond that for reprimand. Instead, Jazz rounded the corner as the man went to stand near Bobby.
"Hey, you done puttin' those books back in order?" the man said. Bobby didn't turn to look at him as he put another book from the cart onto the shelf higher up.
"No sir, I've still got a few more to go." The man laughed, picking up a book from the cart and shelving it in its proper place.
"You don't have to be so formal, ya know. We've been friends since what, preschool?" He shelved another book, glancing at Bobby, who had gone back to memorizing book covers. "Hey, is somethin' bothering you? Did Jazz go off on another of her tangents?"
"No, it's nothing." Bobby quickly shelved the book he was holding, only to be sidetracked by the next.
"Really? Usually nothing means something."
"No, really Mort, there's nothing bothering me." Mort turned to face Bobby, standing at his full five foot eleven for as much effect as possible.
"Robert Hay, if I've learned anything about you in the last seventeen years, it's that something is nagging at your gut when you start to stare at book covers. Now tell me what's wrong before I hit you in the head with the book you are so fascinated by."
"I told you: It. Is. Nothing." Bobby shelved the last book on the cart before trying to push past Mort. Unwilling to bend, the man grabbed a hold of Bobby's shoulders, keeping him in place.
"The last time you said it was nothing, you ended up spending a month at my apartment before finding a new one. The time before that, I found out you were fired from your last job. The time before that you nearly went on a rampage to kill everyone at our old high school. If this really is nothing, then I want to know what to prepare for."
"Okay, I get it! You don't like 'nothing'," Bobby snapped, lowering his head. He mumbled something barely audible by any human ear. Mort tilted his ear closer to try and hear him better.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that." Bobby mumbled it again, somewhat louder. "You're mumbling. Speak up."
"I've got some random kid sitting in my apartment doing God knows what to my stuff and I don't know who the fuck he is," Bobby hissed, barely louder than a whisper. Mort stood there a moment, shocked.
"This so beats the time that you-"
"You dare mention it and I'll castrate you here and now with one of the cart's wheels." Mort fought back a fit of giggles as he let go of Bobby, who took the cart and stomped out of the aisle, moving back to the front desk.
"Ya know, it might be best to explain how someone got into your apartment and why you left said someone alone in there," Mort said as he caught up with him. Bobby sighed and quickly explained everything that had happened last night to Mort, who listened with apt attention, nodding sagely.
"Wait," Mort interrupted, stopping Bobby mid-sentence, "do you even know the guy's name?" Bobby blushed as he realized that he in fact did not, having been too shocked by the boy's appearance into his life that he had never asked.
"Okay then, continue." Bobby quickly finished his little story, Mort once again nodding sagely at the appropriate times. As he wrapped up the story, Mort looked at his watch. "Well, I think you should go and check on him, your lunch break starts in two minutes. And don't forget to tell me what happens next, okay?" he shot at him as Bobby nodded and headed for the door.
Bobby didn't know if he should be grateful, annoyed, angry, or anything at all that the teen was still in his apartment, although he did look a bit different. Instead of being in the tank top and pajama pants, he was wearing slightly baggy blue jeans, a dark blue long sleeved shirt, and socks. His hair was darker from being wet and clung to his forehead, his bangs reaching to his eyebrows. He was sitting on the couch watching the television, but his attention was elsewhere. His right leg was bouncing rapidly, nervousness apparent as he turned to face Bobby.
"I see you found some normal clothing," Bobby said, closing the door as he walked into the apartment. The boy nodded, biting his upper lip. "Is somethin' up? You don't look very good."
"Well I-" The teen's voice squeaked. He stopped, embarrassed, before composing himself quickly. "I actually need a favor. I know we only just met and that this is going to sound really imposing, but is it okay if I live here? Hopefully it'll just be for a few days and then I'll be out of your hair and then you'll never have to deal with me again and-"
"Alright, you can stop talking," Bobby said, raising his hand. The boy winced, knowing he was making a fool of himself. Bobby leaned up against the door, rubbing his temple as he let what he had asked sink in. His last roommate hadn't worked out so well, but he needed someone to split the rent with. He let out a sigh. "As long as I don't need to call you 'kid' or 'hey you', you can live here."
"Really? You mean it?" the teen said, disbelieving his ears. Bobby nodded. "That's…thank you. My name's Aaron." He stood up, sticking his arm out.
"Bobby." He shook Aaron's hand. "I'll assume you can guess which room is yours? You can go ahead and get started cleaning it up if you want. I'll help you settle in when I get off work at five. So, what kind of sandwich do you want?" He asked after a moment of silence.
"Do you think I could just have a PB and J?" Bobby smiled a goofy grin.
"Sure, that's really the only kind I can make." The two moved to the dining table as Bobby grabbed the necessary items from around the kitchen.
"So, how old are you, anyway?" Bobby asked after a moment of silence. Aaron shifted slightly in his chair.
"Seventeen." Bobby raised an eyebrow at the number.
"Shouldn't you be in school?"
"It wouldn't seem right to walk around school in the middle of winter in just pajamas," Aaron said, failing at sounding light-hearted.
"Yeah, you're right." Bobby handed a sandwich to Aaron as he pointed over to the cupboard. "I forgot to get chips. They should be on the second shelf." Aaron nodded, getting up to get them.
"How old are you?"
"Twenty three, I just got out of college," Bobby said, finishing his own sandwich. He put the knife in the sink as he went back to the fridge. "I've only got water, is that okay?"
"Yeah." Bobby walked back to the table, two water bottles in hand, and took a seat opposite of the teen. "What'd you major in?"
"Literary studies, that's why I work at the library downtown." He handed a bottle to Aaron as they continued to talk. "Do you work anywhere?"
"Yeah," Aaron said after gulping down a bite. "I work over at the Kroger across from Eastwood High." The pair continued to talk about the very basics of their lives before Bobby left again to return to his job.
Aaron quickly set to work on cleaning out the spare room. The boxes were a tad heavy, but with a little effort he was able to move them to the main room up against the door. He had no idea who they belonged to, but he was too grateful to bother finding out. It took the better part of the afternoon to get most of them to where they were and decided to take a break.
There was a knock on the door as he grabbed another water bottle from the fridge, the one from lunch finished long ago. Unsure of who it could be, he tiptoed into the main room, listening for something to tell him that the person was gone.
"Hey, Bobby, are ya home?" a voice said, muffled by the door. Aaron gasped, recognizing the voice. "Bobby, I heard you in there! Open this door!" Cursing himself, Aaron opened the door nervously.
"Uh…ahem…hey Tony," Aaron, said trying to hide behind the door and face the other man at the same time. The other teen, Tony, gaped at finding Aaron answering the door.
"What the hell are you doin' here Aaron? Why aren't you home? Why weren't you at school? You could've warned me you were gonna skip ya lazy ass!" Tony questioned, pushing his way into the apartment.
"Tony, what are you doing? You can't just walk into someone's apartment!" Aaron gasped at the ease the other had at walking in and plopping down onto the couch after getting a water bottle from the kitchen.
"That 'someone' happens to be my older brother, ya idiot. Now answer my question: Why are you here?" Aaron was, again, shocked. He didn't know that his best friend of four years was the younger brother of the man he was now going to be living with. Now that he looked at Tony, he could see the resemblance. They had the same hair color, both had green-blue eyes, and both had the same lithe body shape. Where they differed, however, was in that Tony's face was less drawn and thin and was overall more muscled due to being one of the wide receivers on the school's varsity football team.
"I…well…" Aaron stumbled, trying to form a lie. "My parents went out of town for business reasons and they didn't have the money to leave me alone for two weeks so I'm staying here until they get back." Tony frowned, unconvinced.
"Why didn't you call and stay with me? I would've let you ya know." Aaron looked down at his feet, feeling his face heat up.
"Um…well…you were…" His mind drew a blank as he tried again to lie to his friend, who he already knew wasn't going to believe him. Tony crossed his arms in front of him as he rolled his eyes.
"Look, you're not gonna lie to me and that's that. Now, why are you here in my brother's apartment, skipping school?" Tony's voice was level and was starting to sound a tad angry, causing the blonde to flinch.
"I don't wanna talk about it," he muttered, just loud enough for the other to hear him.
"I don't wanna talk-"
"Damn it Aaron, tell me already." Aaron couldn't help but bite on his upper lip again, still gazing at the floor. He didn't want his friend to abandon him like his parents had, but he knew that Tony wouldn't stop until he answered.
"I was kicked out, okay!" he nearly shouted as quickly as he could, closing his eyes tightly. He couldn't stop the tears from falling as he stood there. The facts were finally setting into his brain and it was more than his heart could bear.
It was a few moments before he realized that his friend was holding him, rubbing his hand on his back as he whispered comfort and apologies into his ears. It was even longer before Tony asked another question.
"Why would they do that?" Aaron shook his head against the crook of the brunette's neck, not wanting his friend to withdraw this one hope felt thread of sanity. He didn't hear the question again.
Bobby was starving as he climbed the stairs to his apartment, cursing the fact the elevator was broken again. He wiped the last few flakes of snow off of his jacket as he went. He quickly reached his floor, heading straight home. As he got ready to turn the knob, he heard voices coming from inside.
"Damn it Aaron, tell me already." Wait a moment, he knew that voice. What was his younger brother doing at his apartment? Did he know his new roommate?
"I was kicked out, okay!" Bobby blanched outside his apartment after hearing Aaron. Now he knew why the teen had been out on the stairs in the middle of last night. He heard someone, most likely Aaron, start to sob and decided that he should wait. At least, he should bring food for the three of them.
With that thought firmly in mind, he went back down the stairs, again cursing the lack of a working elevator.
"Feeling better?" Tony asked after Aaron controlled his tears. The pair had moved to the couch with Aaron huddled on one side.
"Yeah," he sniffed, wiping the last traces of tears from his face. Tony left the blonde on the couch for a few moments, coming back with a warm cup of cocoa. He accepted the mug, straining a smile. "You and your brother."
"What about us?" Tony asked, sitting on the other end of the couch facing Aaron. He shrugged, taking a sip of cocoa.
"Both of you made hot chocolate."
"You know as well as I that it's a habit from our mom," Tony smiled. The two sat there in silence after that, Aaron sipping his cocoa and Tony unsure of what to do next. He was saved from doing something stupid, however, when the door opened and Bobby came in with a large pizza box.
"Hey Aaron, I brought some pizza. Tony, what are you doin' here?" Bobby placed the pizza on the table before removing his jacket and getting plates.
"Oh, I was gonna ask if you had seen Aaron, but you already found him." The two boys joined Bobby at the table, hungry.
"Okay then. I hope you like pepperoni Aaron."
The three ate, the brothers talking about how life was with the rest of the family and what their mom had planned for the holidays. By the time the discussion reached Christmas Eve, Aaron had stopped eating. Tony noticed and looked at the blonde, concerned.
"Hey, Bobby, can I talk to ya for a sec?" he whispered, not wanting his friend to hear him.
"Yeah, sure." Bobby headed to the main room, but Tony pointed to the front door, wanting to talk outside.
"Okay, what's so private you need to be out of sight of him?" Bobby asked when he shut the door, keeping his voice low. Tony looked around for any sign of others before responding.
"Look, do you think that you can try to get Aaron to come stay at the house? I think he'll do better there than at your apartment. No offense."
"I don't know," Bobby said, scratching his head. "You know how mom will want to know why and how dad and Krista won't leave him alone. Besides, what difference does it make where he stays?"
"Well, it's just that, ya know…" Tony said, his face turning red. Bobby raised an eyebrow, getting an inkling of what was going on.
"You like him don't you?"
"Of course, he's my friend." Tony's face grew redder as he spoke.
"You know that's not how I meant it." Tony's blush quickly spread down his neck as he looked away. "Why not just ask him yourself?"
"Sorry Tony, that's not a good enough answer. We better get back inside before Aaron starts to think something's up." Bobby opened the door and walked inside, giving Tony just enough time to control his blush.
It had been three days since Aaron moved in with Bobby. Aaron had gone back the day after saying he had just had a small cold, but Tony knew otherwise and kept his mouth shut. Tony came by to visit nearly everyday, making sure Aaron was doing alright. Bobby watched with increasing anticipation.
It was getting late as Bobby was getting home that night. His mother had called earlier today that she had wanted to check up on him. Opening the door, he found Aaron sitting on the couch reading a book.
"Hey, I need you to help clean up real quick," Bobby said, picking up the water bottles and paper plates that had started to gather on and around the table.
"Why, what's goin' on?" Aaron asked, putting his book down. Bobby threw a roll of paper towels at him, hitting him in the head with it.
"Mom's comin' over I need it to at least seem clean for her." Shrugging, Aaron took the paper towels and cleaned the table as best he could.
The two were at it until someone knocked on the door ten minutes later. Aaron quickly picked up the last of the mess, throwing an assortment of things into his bedroom as Bobby answered the door.
"Hello honey, it's been so long since I last came by to say hi," a woman said, hugging Bobby close for a second, looking over his head at the boy at the end of the hall. "Hello Aaron, come on and give me a hug." Aaron shrugged, moving into the woman's embrace.
"Mom, it hasn't been that long since your last visit," Bobby said, moving aside to let his mother in. Comparing the two, it was obvious where he and Tony had gotten their brown hair and blue-green eyes, although neither had inherited her height or somewhat thickened build.
Distracted momentarily by his mother, Bobby didn't see the next person before she jumped on his back.
"Sis! Get off me!" he cried as he tried to pry the girl off his back. The girl did so, giggling as she did. Her hair was much lighter than that of her brother and she easily matched his height. "Dang it Krista, how much do you weigh? You nearly broke my neck!"
"I do not weight that much!" she huffed, walking past him. Tony followed in shortly after, quickly greeting Bobby before closing the door behind him.
"Hey Tony," Aaron said after hugging Mrs. Hay. "Hey Krista," he added after a very slight pause. The end of Krista's lip twitched slightly, noticing the delay.
"I brought some food with me, figuring you haven't had a chance to cook yet," Mrs. Hay said motioning to the bag Tony was carrying. "I really hope you don't mind Chinese."
The five went to the table, digging through the bag for what Mrs. Hay told them she had gotten. Aaron went to sit next to Tony almost right away, again causing Krista's lip to twitch. She made sure to sit across from them, leaving Bobby to sit next to Aaron and Mrs. Hay to Tony.
"So, how's dad?" Bobby asked after putting some rice and an egg roll on his plate.
"He's doing fine, although he couldn't come because of work." Bobby rolled his eyes, knowing that this was not his father's first time to work late, nor would it be his last. "How are Mort and Jazz doing?"
"They're doin' fine, although Jazz has yet another ex to deal with."
"So that makes, what, fifteen boyfriends in the last six months?" Krista asked, chewing on a piece of beef.
"Krista!" her mother exclaimed.
"Mom you know as well as I that Jazz is just on rebound since Mort," Bobby said, distracting his mother from Krista, who was watching the other two teens talking quietly as they ate.
The conversations continued on, Mrs. Hay asking Aaron a few questions the boy had to pause to grasp. This, along with everything else he had done that night, caused Krista to burst into a sudden fit of giggles, looking at Aaron knowingly. The very lightest shade of pink touched his cheeks, unnoticed by all but her.
"Hey Tony, can you help me with some homework? I couldn't quite figure out how to do some of the math problems," Aaron asked after everyone had finished eating. Tony agreed and the two went into the main room to work.
"Hey Bobby," Krista whispered, leaning towards her brother, "have you noticed anything funny going on with Aaron? He seems to want to be awfully close to Tony." Bobby furrowed his eyebrows, glancing at the two. He noticed how Aaron was leaning into Tony over the math book slightly closer than was really necessary. Mrs. Hay saw it as well over her shoulder.
"You don't think that…?" Mrs. Hay whispered, scrunching her face.
"Aaron has a crush on Tony!" Krista whispered loudly, barely hiding a grin. "It's the only explanation."
"No it's not," Bobby said. "He could just be finding support in his best friend after being thrown out of his house."
"I think Krista might be right," Mrs. Hay said, glancing over her shoulder again. Tony was reaching for Aaron's backpack on the other side of the teen. Aaron was blushing as Tony's shirt slid up in the back, drawing Aaron's gaze. "Was this why he was kicked out of his home? Because his parents couldn't handle this?"
"Probably, although…" Bobby muttered, the gears in his mind grinding together.
"Although what?" Krista asked eagerly.
"It's not a one-sided crush."
"And why would you say something like that?" Mrs. Hay said, her eyes jolting towards her son.
"Well, Tony told me…or rather, he implied that he's got his own crush on Aaron." His sister gasped while his mother's eyes bulged.
"You can't be serious?" she said, looking over her shoulder, gaze moving from one teen to the other. Something clicked in her head as her own mischievous grin spread across her lips. "It all makes sense now."
"What?" Bobby asked.
"Haven't you ever wondered why Tony, football player star, straight A student, popular pretty boy, has not had a girlfriend since ever?" Krista said, rolling her eyes at his confusion.
"You realize that neither will push for anything, right?" Mrs. Hay sighed. Her daughter raised an eyebrow as she looked at her mother. "If they haven't acted now they won't realize it until it's too late."
"Well, what'd ya have in mind?" Bobby asked. His mother just smiled.
"I say we plan an intervention."
It was Christmas Eve and everyone was at the party the Hay family threw every year. Bobby had easily convinced Aaron to come along, saying that it would be better for him to have a little merry time.
"So, how goes the interesting story of Aaron's life?" Mort asked Bobby as they stood next to the food, grabbing a cracker to eat.
"They haven't done anything yet. It's getting frustrating."
"Dang it, they've avoided all the mistletoe so far," Jazz said, grabbing a handful of cheese.
"I know, and I put them up everywhere," a voice said from behind them. Krista reached around Bobby to grab a piece of fudge.
"Well, we'll just have to move to phase three," another voice said. Bobby turned to find his mother standing behind them, holding a bag. The four looked at the women before she discretely opened the bag, allowing them to look inside.
"Now, I need the four of you to…" She talked low as she explained her plan.
"Oh, Mrs. Hay, that's just evil!" Jazz exclaimed, a grin on her face.
Aaron wasn't sure how he felt about things. This was the first time he had been so accepted by people without being judged. His friends had only liked him because he was star of the rugby team. His family only dealt with him because he was just that, family. He wasn't used to being able to hang out and be himself with a group, or at least mostly himself. He still wasn't ready to accept the reason why he was kicked out.
"Hey Tony, I need to show you something real quick!" Krista said, running up to her brother and grabbing his arm. He had been sitting next to Aaron, barely in space between them on the crowded couch from other family and friends. "You too, Aaron, you'll like it!" Sighing, he got up and followed the pair, leading them into Tony's room. Neither had seen Jazz holding the rope in the next room. "Wait here, okay? I need to go get something real quick."
"Wait, Kris-" But it was too late, she had already run out of the room, shouting. The door slammed shut behind her and Aaron ran to it, trying to open it.
"It's no use!" Jazz yelled through the door. "You two are staying in there until you sort things out!"
"Fine, I'll just go through the window," Tony said, walking over to it. Unfortunately, Bobby was already there, pointing down. Tony tried to open the window, but found it nailed shut. "You're a fuckin' bastard, ya know that!"
"What the hell is wrong with your door Tony?" Aaron yelled, pulling as hard as he could.
"Mom is gonna kill you guys!" Tony yelled at Bobby, who only laughed at the poor teens. As she was mentioned, Mrs. Hay walked in front of the window, a large board of wood in tow. "MOM!"
"Hi honey," she said, waving before she put the board in front of the window, blocking it off. "Now let's leave them alone for some quality time alone."
"MRS. HAY!" Aaron yelled, turning a deep shade of red.
"Oh shut up and do something already! You two are as blind as a pair of bats, I swear!" Krista called.
"What the fuck is she talking about?" Tony said, his ears turning a light pink, along with the rest of his face.
"No clue." The two stood in an awkward silence, both trying to ignore the fact they were trapped in Tony's room together and wouldn't be let out anytime soon.
"Any idea on how to get out?" Tony finally asked, shifting uncomfortably. Tony folded his arms as he sat hard on the bed, thinking. After a moment, he shook his head.
"So…how's life with Bobby?" Tony asked, trying to not feel so awkward.
"It's good so far, although this might make me consider going somewhere else." Aaron took a seat in Tony's desk chair, swiveling it around to face the brunette. "How about life with the family?"
"Full of annoyances, although this tops it all," Tony said, raising his voice so the others could hear him. "What are they expecting us to do anyway? And what the hell did Jazz mean when she said to 'sort things out'?" Aaron shrugged, leaning his head back to stare at the ceiling. His eyes instantly caught on something directly above him.
"Tony, why do you have that hanging over your desk?" Aaron asked, his voice squeaking slightly as he turned red. Tony looked up, turning so red when he saw what was there that he nearly looked like an apple.
"Krista must've put it there, as a joke or something," he said, his voice shaky. He stood up on the bed to grab it.
"Tony, you won't get it like that!" Aaron said, scooting the chair forward. "You're gonna fall!" Tony, however, had already leaned too far over in trying to grab the object. Losing his balance, he let out a small cry as he fell on top of Aaron, knocking the chair over. Aaron was on his back, still in the chair, with Tony on top of him straddling the chair. To both their embarrassment, he was inadvertently straddling Aaron's hips as well.
"Aaron, are you okay?" Tony asked quickly, lifting himself up some to give the other boy some room.
"Yeah," he said, voice squeaking. The two lay like that for a while, Tony not wanting to move and Aaron not wanting Tony to move.
"We're still under it, aren't we?" Tony said after an awkward and extended silence. Aaron nodded, not trusting his voice at the moment. "We should probably…ya know…" Tony moved his face closer to Aaron's, who again started to turn red, but didn't say anything as Tony briefly brushed their lips together in a kiss. Tony pulled away, his face as red as Aaron's, looking down at the blonde. Aaron bit his upper lip, seeing that Tony was hoping for more but not wanting to say it.
"Tony, I…" Aaron started, voice squeaking once again. Tony stared at him, red faced, and Aaron was at a loss for words. When he found himself speechless, he leaned up and gave Tony his own kiss, leaving their lips together just a bit longer than before.
"Do you think they're okay in there?" Mort asked after the three heard a crash from inside the room. Krista tapped her foot nervously, wanting to burst in there to make sure.
"They have been awfully quiet," Jazz said, shifting uncomfortably.
"Maybe a little peek won't hurt," Krista agreed, untying the rope connecting Tony's doorknob to hers. She cracked the door open just enough to see inside. She quickly shut the door, blushing.
"Well, what'd you see?" Jazz asked expectantly. Krista turned to her, winking.
"Let's just say that my mistletoes were better placed than you thought."