Merc: Hey! It's me, Mercuria, and this is the second chapter of Roseview
Saga.

Mark: The first chapter was really screwed up.

Merc: *shrugs* Taf's fault.

Mark: So, how are you gonna type up this chapter in less than two hours?

Merc: How very encouraging ... what are you doing here, anyway?

Mark: I was bored.

Merc: Well make yourself useful, then. Help me with the disclaimer!

Mark: Okay, okay ...

DISCLAIMER: All characters are copyrighted to Mercuria and Tafadhali

(TAF-ih-duh-HA-lee, in case you were wondering). This chapter is rated PG-13
for language, sexual content, and slash (male/male relationship).

Merc: *golf clap*

Mark: Just start writing already.

* * *

Chapter 2: Out of the Closet, Into the Fire

Orientation week was drawing to a close. The new students had become
acquainted with their surroundings, and the old ones reacquainted.
Even though it was far too early in the story to be able to tell for sure,
life appeared to be going well for Jack, Benny, Juliet, Mark, and Melissa.
Jack and Benny had cornered Melissa and forced her to sign a legal document
which clearly stated that if anyone found out about their relationship, they
would be perfectly within their rights to shoot her. Mark occupied himself
by lurking in corners, glaring over everyone over a copy of "Cults: The
Nightmare Of Brainwashing"; for all anyone could tell, he was quite happy.
Melissa, being the social person that she was, was glad to be back in school
with all of her friends. And as for Juliet ... she was happy for her own
reasons.

"DANCE!" she shrieked, tearing into Hyacinthus Hall.

"AHHHHHH!" Jack and Benny cried.

Juliet rolled her eyes.

"And you call yourselves men," she scoffed.

"What are you doing here?" asked Jack, ignoring her comment.

"Hey, I can come in if I want to," Juliet protested.

"It's a BOYS' dorm," Jack retorted.

"So where are all the boys?"

And well she may wonder. The sole occupants of Hyacinthus Hall were Benny,
Jack, and herself.

Benny shrugged.

"They all left," he said.

"Oh," said Juliet. Then her expression brightened. "I have great news!"

Benny and Jack waited expectantly, making "go on" gestures.

Juliet paused dramatically.

"Get on with it, then," Jack said crossly.

"Okay, OKAY ... there's going to be a DANCE tonight!"

"Cool!" said Jack.

"Oh," said Benny, sounding disappointed.

Jack turned to face his boyfriend.

"What's wrong, Benny?" he asked.

"Well," replied Benny, "isn't it OBVIOUS?"

Jack blinked. Juliet wore a look of smug knowledge.

"We can't go to a dance the way we are ... unless we want to spill our
secret," Benny said grimly.

Jack's eyes widened.

"No way!" he cried. "We can't let anyone know!"

"Then unless you want to dance with girls-" Benny began. Jack shook his head
vehemently.

"I thought so," Benny concluded sadly. "No dance for us."

He glared at Juliet, who still looked smug.

"And what's with the smirk?" he demanded.

Juliet grinned wider.

"I, Juliet, have the solution to your problem," she announced, sitting
delicately on the edge of Benny's bed.

Jack and Benny knew Juliet far too well to thank her until they knew what
her brilliant plan was.

"Okay ..." Benny said suspiciously.

"So here's the deal," Juliet said, lowering her voice to a conspiratorial
whisper. "Our lovely peers will automatically be suspicious of two boys
dancing together."

Jack and Benny nodded; this was obvious.

"But a boy and a GIRL-"

"NO WAY!" Jack and Benny cried.

"I'm very comfortable with my newfound sexuality, thank you very much,"
Benny said.

"No, no," said Juliet, "you don't get it. You won't have to DANCE with girls
... one of you is going to dress up as a girl!"

Dead silence met this revelation.

"You do it!" Jack and Benny cried at the same time.

* * *

Even though Mark was wrapped up in his latest read ("Victorian Serial
Murderers") he was still able to hear a rather interesting conversation
coming from the dorm next door.

"Why ME?"

"Because you're the feminine one!"

"Take that BACK! And what is that you have, Juliet?!"

Pitter-pattering footsteps.

"Let's not fight, boys ... hey! Come over here, Benny!"

More pitter-pattering.

"You didn't answer my question!"

"This is what you're going to wear, duh."

"What?! Why do I have to wear YOUR clothes?"

"Come on, Benny love-"

"Don't you 'Benny love' ME, Jack! Why do I have to wear JULIET'S clothes?
Where's Melissa?!"

"Don't be a baby."

The sound of running, a window opening.

"I REFUSE!"

"Benny, come down from that ledge!"

"We're only on the second story."

"Shut up, Juliet! Benny!"

"I won't wear it!"

A loud thump, scrabbling. Mark continued to read, but was only really paying
half-attention to the book.

"Let me UP!"

"Lock the window, Jules!"

"Jack! If you REALLY loved me, you wouldn't do this to me!"

Silence.

"Oh come on! Jack, don't let him guilt trip you!"

Running. A chinking sound, repeated several times, followed by a dull thud.

"You can't break the door down, love! Juliet locked it!"

"I know!" Thud. "That's why!" Thud. "I'm trying!" Thud. "To open it!"
Crunch. Mark winced.

Pounding on the wall. Mark turned in alarm, then realized that it must be Benny
attempting to get help. Well, whatever Juliet and Jack were up to, Benny was
on his own. Mark returned to his reading.

"Mark! You're in there, you've gotta be!"

Pound pound pound.

"Help! Juliet and Jack are making me dress in drag!"

At that, Mark could not help but smirk.

"Mark! I just know you're sitting there smirking! HELP!"

Mark yawned loudly and closed his book.

"I think I'll take a nap now," he said.

* * *

The hour of the dance was at hand. Roseview students came by the droves to
the auditorium, which had been made over by the student council.

"I don't like this," Benny said nervously.

"Make your voice a bit higher," Juliet chirped.

Benny glared at her.

"You'll be fine, Benny love," Jack said soothingly. "I mean, if I didn't
know better, I'd say you were a girl!"

"Gee, thanks," replied Benny sarcastically.

"Remember to keep your voices down," Juliet hissed. "If people hear you
talking like that ..."

Jack and Benny gulped.

* * *

Although Melissa had been sworn to secrecy regarding Jack and Benny's
relationship, she was finding it a little bit difficult to hold her tongue
around Elijah Carlton and Emma Jones, the presidents of GBSA.

'They'd be so pleased to discover that there are actual gay couples in our
school,' she thought. 'But I promised Jack and Benny I wouldn't tell ...'

"Are you okay, Mel?" asked Emma, waving a hand in front of her face.

Melissa looked alarmed.

"Wh-who, m-me?!" she said, turning bright red. "Yes! Absolutely! I am NOT
withholding any information regarding homosexuals at this school!"
Elijah and Emma blinked.

"All right," Elijah said.

'Don't tell don't tell don't tell ...' Melissa instructed herself.

"Hey!" said Emma. "Isn't that Jack?"

"And Benny ..." said Elijah, "Wearing a dress ...? Cool!"

Emma nodded her agreement. Melissa blinked.

"I'll just go over and say hello," Emma said.

And before Melissa could inform her that this was probably not a wise thing
to do, she was off.

* * *

Meanwhile, Jack and Benny were dancing inconspicuously- not in the
limelight, not in the corner.

"Do you think anyone suspects anything?" Benny asked quietly.

"Not a thing," Jack reassured him.

A slow song began. The first one of the night, in fact. Feeling a bit more
certain that no one would suddenly pop out and blow their cover, Jack and
Benny wrapped their arms around each other, moving closer and closer
together. Benny closed his eyes and laid his head on Jack's shoulder.

'It's nice,' he thought dreamily, 'being out in public like this and
dancing. Okay, so I have to dress up like a girl, but as they say, no pain,
no ga-'

Emma bounded over to the couple.

"Hi Jack!" she said cheerfully, her voice seeming to carry over the music.
"Hi Benny! Nice dress!"

Silence. Everyone stopped talking and stared. The DJ had even turned off the
music. Jack and Benny looked shocked.

'There is no way this could possibly be worse ...' Jack thought miserably.

"This is SO cool," Elijah said loudly, oblivious to the complete and utter
silence surrounding him. "Way to make a statement, guys! Down with gender
roles!"

Emma turned to look at Mark, who was standing a few feet away, also looking
shocked.

"Oh!" she said chipperly. 'You must be the girl dressed as a guy!"
Mark turned red.

"I am NOT!" he shouted.

Jack and Benny looked apprehensively at the sea of disapproving, freaked
out, and downright hostile faces. With a sob very much like a gasp, Benny
fled the room. Jack ran after him, shouting, "Benny love!". He figured that
at this point there wasn't much sense in staying in the closet.
Everyone stood uncomfortably for a few moments. Then Juliet broke the
silence.

"It's funny," she mused, hand on chin. "It seemed like such a good idea ..."

* * *

Merc: That Juliet! What has she gotten Jack and Benny into? What will their
schoolmates say? Find out next week, in the next installment of Roseview
Saga!