Simple Physics

Chapter 21 - Harmony: I

A close, temperamental growl of thunder churned the wet air mere moments after the last, spidery web of lighting to light the sky had faded out (not two seconds before), and Dash tugged his jacket tighter over his shoulders, scanning the bleak, misty parking lot before him for the third time in the past half-minute.

There were undeniably certain advantages to getting into fights with a lot of people involved, at least in highschool. The thing was, if one half of everyone involved in some form of school sports activity decided to beat up the other half of everyone involved in said school sports activity, authority figures couldn't very well ban everyone from participating in their next game and/or try-out. They wouldn't have a team.

They also couldn't send them all to reform school.

So, as it turned out, Dash – along with virtually everyone else involved in the locker room "incident" – escaped with very little in terms of real punishment: a verbal slap on the wrist, a few short suspensions, and they called it a done deal. They were all very, very fortunate.

In any case, that was how it happened that, some two weeks or so later, Dash – having just finished (and won, thank you very much) a basketball game against the Hawthorn High hornets – was standing outside the gym, in the dark and rain, lurking under the overhang as he scanned the rapidly-emptying parking lot for any sign of his once again no-show boyfriend.

When yet another search produced no results, he huffed in agitation, and the puff of his exhale made a nearly tangible cloud of white before him, starkly visible against the night air.

Where was he? If he had at least called or left a message or given some kind indication that he couldn't make it, Dash could have breathed a lot easier, but-

An incoming text inspired more hope than he was inclined to admit…

…but it was just Kwan.

Dash scowled at the illuminated screen, going2 giv up yet? glaring at him in plain, harsh white text. Just before his thumb hit the pad to start texting out a response, a loud, sharp cough issued at his right, and he didn't jump, per say, he just-

"What the fuck, Kwan?" he growled, jerking around and turning a harsh glare on his now-smirking best friend. At the look, he folded his arms tightly over his chest, cursing the rapid thumping still evident in his chest and scowling. "You trying to get yourself sucker punched?"

"Sorry," Kwan apologized without sounding it, "did I scare you?" he teased.

"No," Dash snapped immediately, irritated, and he dropped his weight back against the wall, looking the other way – and not sulking. Dash Baxter did not sulk. After a moment, he grunted, "Anyways, shouldn't you be gone by now, like…home?"

Kwan shrugged, unconcerned. "Could say the same for you," he pointed out, mimicking Dash's propped pose against the wall, but when Dash spared him a narrowed, suspicious glance, he grew serious. "Look, man, I mean it here, okay? No joke…it's freakin' cold out. It's raining…but some of the rain is ice already, on the streets. This shit is nasty, and it's gonna be dangerous driving home even now, as it is…" He shook his head. "What if he just couldn't show, huh? You're not doin' anyone any favours by trying to catch pneumonia…"

Dash turned his eyes to the pavement, but pinning down smeared, dingy pink bubble gum stains and weather-worn remnants of age-old graffiti with his glares offered no reprieve from his foul mood, so he sent a hapless ant on an early trip to heaven with the toe of his shoe instead.

"Yeah?" he griped back. "Well, wow, I mean gee thanks and all, but, you know what? I'm pretty sure I actually already knew all that, so…could you just like…piss off? You're not helping." After a prolonged pause and no movement on Kwan's part, he grumbled and dropped his head back to the wall, glowering at dark underside of the overhang above. "He said…" he started strongly enough, but the insistence dwindled off, doubt filling in the hole where stubborn faith once dominated.

"I know," Kwan acknowledged after a break. "All I'm saying…is sometimes stuff comes up, you know?"

"Yeah, well," Dash snapped back, suddenly more irritated than he probably ought to have been – this wasn't Kwan's fault, after all, "shit comes up…" but again, what started out as something powerful lost its fire, mid-sentence, "…shit comes up…too often…with him."

And it was true, dammit!

Tucker disappeared at the oddest times and for the oddest reasons, and would say one thing only to have something else unspeakable interfere. And Dash wanted to believe all his excuses. He really, really did. It was just…

At least Kwan looked honestly sympathetic, even if it didn't exactly help Dash's tough-guy complex. "Yeah, well-"

Dash's ring tone cut him off, and Dash stifled a budding spark of anticipation. He wasn't going to get his hopes up. He wasn't, wasn't, wasn't…

Spotting the caller-id, his spirits leapt despite his best intentions. Heart ramming its up his throat like the little weighted ball after some Neanderthal hit a homerun in a circus game of Test Your Strength, he held the device in his palm, making himself wait. One ring, one and a half, two, two and-

He flicked the phone open and put it to his ear with a "Yeah?" that he hoped sounded less anxious on Tucker's end.

The sound of more, heavy rain came in through the line, surprising him. Tucker was outside too? Then, after a heartbeat too long, "H-hey, uhh…s-sorry for not…sh-showing up, but, umm…" Tucker's voice barely came through, frailer than wet tissue paper and brittle as a glass angel, and as quick as that, concern snuffed out Dash's anger as surely as a businessman's hard heel driving a dimming pink cigarette butt into the pavement, "…some stuff…c-came up and-"

Dash didn't bother to wait for the rest. "What happened, are you alright?" he drilled immediately. "Where are you? Did something-"

"I, uhhh…I-I'm not sure exactly? B-but I'm f-fine, just…cold, I-"

"You don't know? How do you not-"

"I-I, w-well, umm…I'm outside an…inn?" Tucker's voice fumbled on the other end."S-sort of…ab-bandoned looking? N-no one's here, but I…it's…I th-think I'm near the school, it looks sort of…familiar, but d-different in the…dark…"

He continued to give vague, descriptive depictions of his location, explaining that something had hit his car, apparently damaging it badly enough that he had to leave it and walk to the nearest place of shelter, but the inn he found was closed up and dark.

The chain of events sounded odd and patchy at best, as if someone where reading a news story excerpt, except with large sections of the text hole-punched out, or cut apart and re-pasted together with significant chunks missing, but Dash listened, paying close, careful attention until he was pretty sure he knew where Tucker was.

"Alright," he said at that point, making a decision on the spot and cutting off his boyfriend's tremulous monologue, "I'm coming to get you."

"H-hey, n-no, wait!" Tucker stuttered in immediately over the line. "Y-you don't n-need…I mean, m-my dad is c-coming already…I called him, and he'll…h-he'll b-be here as soon as he gets…o-out of work, and there will be someone to…to tow the…c-car, so I-"

"Which is when?" Dash snapped, rising anxiety doing to his patience what good paper shredders did to old bills. "No," he said without waiting for a reply. "You're freezing, and it's dangerous, and I'm coming to get you. Your dad can deal with the car when he gets there. I'll see you in twenty."

Only after he hung up did he notice his hands were shaking.


Did Tucker just gravitate towards disaster?

When Kwan raised his eyebrows in a silent question, Dash shook his head.

"He's…I've got to go," he said by way of explanation. "But…thanks for the, uhh…you know…" He motioned indistinctly, "…whatever, you know?"

Kwan shrugged. "Anytime."

And with that and a nod, Dash made off into the rain.

Fortunately, he found Tucker's car more or less exactly where he expected to. He thanked childhood memories and a lifetime of Amity Park residency for that, something he never expected to be grateful for. Unfortunately, the car's state – parked halfway off the side of the road, at a skewed angle, and obviously worse for the wear – didn't do much for his already battle-scarred nerves.

Surely, if Tucker had been seriously hurt, he would have said something…?

Suddenly not nearly so sure of that as he might have liked, Dash's hold on the wheel tightened – until his knuckles cracked and drew his attention to it, at which point he eased up – and a short block later, he pulled into the empty parking lot of the old, vacant-looking inn Tucker had mentioned with a deep, consuming sense of dread overriding his every rational argument.

He spotted Tucker immediately – huddled under the overhang at the front of the building with his back to a wall and arms tucked tightly around him, the only human being in sight – and he pulled to an immediate stop, practically tripping in his haste to get out and leaving his keys in the ignition in the process.

"What…" Dash started as soon as he made it within earshot, "…the he-" but then his arms filled with a soaked, shaking body, and the words died in his throat. Heart leaping out of its own accord, his whispers of "Hey, hey…" and "…shh…" were instinctive, compulsive murmurs as his arms wound their way around his boyfriend's smaller, quivering figure, and his pulse hurt in his throat as he fit his palm to the small of Tucker's back, catching his other arm around his shoulders and tangling his fingers in the cold, wet braids at his neck. "Tucker…" he barely whispered the words, "…baby, what happened?" and Tucker closed trembling fingers in the fabric of his shirt, shaking his head against his chest.

"N-noth…nothing," he lied so obviously, "I…I just…you…" He swallowed, shuddering in Dash's hold as he tucked his head under his chin, close enough for Dash to feel the outline of his glasses' frames through his shirt, and "…you…showed up…" sounded so surprised.

Dash's stomach did some sort of odd, flipping twirling manoeuvre, and he blurted, "Of course I showed up! You…you're freezing, and sopping wet, and your car gets wrecked, and you call me up and don't even expect me to-"

"Oh, sh-shit," Tucker tensed as he said it, trying to push back, "you're right…I'm…s-soaked, I shouldn't get you-"

Immediately, Dash tightened his grip. "Uh-uh, no," he growled, forbidding withdrawal the second Tucker made to move. "Don't. You. Dare. You need the heat way more than I do," he insisted severely, "and if you're going to die of hypothermia, I'm going with you."

Well, that stilled Tucker instantly.

Then, barely audible over the rush of the storm, his boyfriend huffed. The hot air seeping through Dash's already dampening shirt, just enough to feel, and "Don't say that," came the soft, subsequent mutter, "you shouldn't…just don't exaggerate like that…" but Dash only rolled his eyes in turn.

"Yeah? And why would I say it if I didn't-"

Cool, trembling fingers jerked up to touch his lips, hushing him, and he noted that the underside of Tucker's hand, the pads of his fingers in particular, were significantly paler than usual: crinkled, and almost white, naturally bleached by the wet and cold. He watched Tucker's Adam's apple bob as he swallowed, shaking his head. "Dash…"

"Come on," Dash said, quieter, catching Tucker's fingers gently to guide them away, and then kissing his forehead. "I'll drive you home."

At first, Tucker's eyes flit shut, some unspoken tension sinking from his stance and dissipating into the concrete, but stubborn concern lingered, and he resisted the first pull to leave. "Wait, what about-"

Guessing the reason for his hesitance, Dash said, "You can call your dad on the way," and with that, Tucker conceded, all things considered, without much struggle at all.

Five minutes later, they were on the road, Dash at the wheel and Tucker curled up in the front seat: eyes shut, head to the window, and body wrapped in a peculiar array of mismatched jackets and towels stolen from the trunk of the car. He looked like Sunday's laundry with a head stacked on top. Smiling only to himself, Dash turned his attention dutifully back to the road and clicked the windshield wipers up to their top setting. Being inattentive in this weather wouldn't go over well.

A minute or so passed with nothing but the unpatterned percussion of rain one the windshield and the quiet, mechanical hum of the engine to fill the car. Then, "You must think…" Tucker started softly out of nowhere, unintentionally stilling Dash's hand a moment before it flicked on the radio, "…that I'm such a…girl." He said it around a yawn, reminding Dash that it was, in fact, getting late. The game hadn't ended till after ten. At least, he thought, the tremor in his voice was gone.

In lei of the comment, Dash took the opportunity presented by a red light to cast an assessing glance in Tucker's direction: still curled into his seat, black lashes dark and damp against his cheeks, and full brown lips thick but barely parted. His glasses cast angled shadows across the smooth, rounded lines of his face, and Dash would always wonder why Tucker refused to consider himself attractive, but feminine? No.

Tucker would have a very, very tough time passing as a girl.

"Why do you say that?" Dash asked, letting off the brake and moving forward at the light change. Tucker shifted his weight.

"Just…'cause, I…" He watched in the rear-view mirror as Tucker's brow furrowed, changing the way the shadows fell on his face, "…well, I guess I just felt…stupid, that's all…for getting so…" He dipped his head, folding his arms in and propping his chin on his knees, eyes shutting, "…worked up, I guess…"

'Scared,' Dash mentally corrected, squinting to read the street signs and not really receiving much for his efforts. 'You were scared…' That was as obvious as the plot of a cheap porno, '…but everybody gets scared sometimes. It doesn't make you stupid…' He just wished Tucker were willing to tell him why

"There were ghosts," Tucker said suddenly, very quietly, as if reading Dash's mind. "I was…gonna go to the school to catch at least the later half of the game and see you play and all, but then…well, there was a fight that broke out and D-err…Phantom got caught up in it…"

'And so you just hung around…?' The appearance of ghosts sounded like a good reason to book it and pray for your life as far as Dash was concerned.

"My car, it…sort of got used as a, uhh…shield?"

"Phantom totally your-" Dash burst out, but-

"No, no, no!" Tucker hastened to amend the misunderstanding. "He just…well," A pause, and then, softer, "…I mean, he didn't mean to, anyway…"

Dash was having a little trouble concentrating on the road. He wasn't sure which was worse, the fact that Phantom had almost gotten Tucker killed or the fact that Phantom had almost gotten Tucker killed. "Were you in the c-"

"No! No, Danny would never hurt m—err, that is…Phantom, Danny Phantom would never…umm…" Tucker's curled position tightened in on itself, closing back up like a clam at the first touch of an unwelcome invader. "Never, uh…never mind…"

Dash mentally swore, emotions tangled and feeling far too much like he'd just missed catching on to some vital piece of information there. The words knocked stubbornly back around in his brain, something definitely off about them. Or maybe it wasn't the words themselves so much as the way Tucker said them…?

'Danny would never…'

Then, quite abruptly, Dash realized what was at issue. Tucker said Phantom's name exactly like he said Fenton's – with that same protective, connected, concerned-

Dash's frown darkened to a scowl. "Since when have you called Phantom 'Da-"

White, cracking lighting split the sky, accompanied by a near-simultaneous boom, like the sound of firewood halving under a pickaxe, but multiplied a hundred-fold and echoing in real-time surround sound around the car. And all at once, as if It Almighty had given a grand 'clap off' command, the streetlights – and the lawn decorations, and the garden lights, and the house lights, and basically anything within a visible radius that drew off of electrical power – went out.

'Well, fuuuu…'

"Shit," he swore aloud, and Tucker lifted his head again.

"Oh, wow…" he muttered, nudging up his glasses and wriggling into a straighter sitting position as Dash let off the gas, slowing their pace yet again. Thankfully, there were very few other cars on the road, but visibility was shit poor as it was. They didn't need any added obscuring factors to make things even more dangerous. "Da~amn," Tucker drug the simple word out into at least two syllables, expression stuck between surprise and awe, "talk about your neighbourhood black out…did every single light in the city kick the bucket?" he wondered aloud, "I woulda thought the power grid'd have backups…" and Dash pursed his lips, shaking his head.

"Dunno," he said, "but it sure seems that way…" and he strummed his fingers restlessly against the steering wheel, more anxious than he wanted to let on. "Fuck…you can't see a damn thing with it like this…"

Tucker shifted in his seat, knocking down a couple jackets in the process, and "How far's my house?" he asked.

"At the rate I'm gonna have to go for this to be anything close to safe?" The rain had eased some, replaced by a deep white, blanket-thick fog that shrouded the road in dense, rolling mist like some scene from a haunted swamp in a cheap sci-fi/horror flick. "Fifteen…twenty minutes…maybe more? I'm not sure…" Dash squinted at the speedometer. "It's not like I've actually driven from where we were to your house before…just guessing by the distance from my house…"

"Which is?"

"Err…a minute? Two?" Dash guessed. "But…" He shook his head, "I need to get you home. It's late, and you need dry clothes, and a warm shower…and a bed. You're tired…I saw you yawn," he said, as if referencing evidence, and he caught Tucker's twitch of a smile in the rear-view mirror.

"Yeah, well…true story," he confessed, "but…it won't do either of us any good if we die in a car accident together, romantic clichés aside…" Dash snorted. "You could just pull over at your place till the lights come back on? Prolly won't be long…" he reasoned, and Dash frowned, eyeing the fog-laden street, carpeted in white, and then Tucker, bundled in his seat and still wet, if at least not shivering anymore.

Then again, he really wasn't big on staying on the road much longer…

"Alright," he said at last, "but you're gonna change into some of my clothes when we get there…and you better tell your mom or something so she doesn't think I'm like…kidnapping and raping you or something…"

Tucker gave a soft snicker at that, somewhat muffled due to him having re-buried himself in the jackets, and Dash spared him a quick, passing glance.


The rustle of cloth that followed was Tucker shaking his head. "Nothin'," he said mildly, "just…I think it would be…" He yawned, again, "…very…hard…for you to rape me…"

"Mm…" Dash spotted their turn off in the nick of time. "And why's that?" he asked neutrally, slowing as they came up on his driveway. "'Cause you're really good at ball shots, or something?"

It was amazing, he thought, how effortlessly Tucker's laugh dispelled every sense of gloom given off by the outside world, naturally filling the small, warm space of the car, and Dash turned his head towards the driver's side window, his smile reflecting back at him as he checked the mirror there. He turned them around, gradually easing the car back up his driveway.

"Nah…" Tucker responded at length. "Well, I mean, I could probably pull one off if need be, sure, but…what I meant was, you can't exactly rape the willing."

By the time Dash finally managed to safely turn his head and shoot him a look, Tucker was already shifting in his seat, sitting up, and squinting out the window, paying him no mind whatsoever.

"This it?" he asked, already reaching blindly to his side for the seat buckle and – finding it – clicking it free without waiting for the reply. Dash ran his eyes absently down Tucker's back, from the damp ends of his braids at his neck, over the T-shirt that still stuck in places to his narrow figure, and finally down to-

"Yes," Dash said, turning warming cheeks away from the sight and putting the car in park before retrieving his keys. "C'mon…let's get you dried up…"

The process of escorting his boyfriend through his lightless house, up the winding staircase to the second floor, and to his room without the aid of any more light than that provided by the combined power of their cell phones involved, among other things: hand holding, a stubbed toe, several curse words, a close encounter with a prized China vase, much bumping, a couple issues of miscommunication, and, finally, the quiet click of his doorknob when they reached their destination.

Tucker's soft, padded footsteps entered first.

He'd taken off his wet boots at the door, and held them dangling now from his right hand, cutting out a slim, dark silhouette against the naturally soft, silver-white light of night that spilled past Dash's curtains. Maybe Dash spent a little longer than necessary lingering in the doorframe, appreciating the finer details of that outline as Tucker moved in, almost to his bed.

Then, Tucker turned, and a prompting, "Well?" drew Dash from his staring.

Shaking his head to clear it, he entered the room. Habitually, he pulled the door shut behind him and then he paused, but after a brief moment's debate, he threw the lock. It was silly. His parents wouldn't be home until midday tomorrow, at the earliest, and there was no one else in the house. Anyway, Tucker would just be leaving again soon, so really there was no point…

"Yeah, sorry," he said aloud, pushing the thought from his mind. "Here, umm…" He moved to his closet, fishing in the dark through the available layers of garments and snatching up the first pair of jeans he came across. "You can wea—uhh…" He coughed, tripping over the latter half of the sentence immediately upon turning around, "…wh-what are you…doing?" he asked, and Tucker's hands stalled halfway up his chest, crossed one over the other, stilling the process of removing his shirt.

"Umm…stripping?" he answered, and Dash's cheeks stoked up the heat, making him strikingly thankful for the dark.

'Right,' he reasoned. Stripping. That made…sense. It was sort of necessary, in order to change…

"Y…yeah, okay, but I, umm…there is a…bathroom…you know…" he pointed out, nudging his thumb towards the aforementioned facility for emphasis, as Tucker might possibly have missed it on his way in.

His boyfriend just rolled his eyes.

"Uh, yeah…but it's pitch black," Tucker retorted, and finished with the process of removing his shirt in an easy, practiced move, chucking it without qualm; Dash swallowed. "At least here, there's some light from your window, and anyway, if you're embarrassed…" His tone changed, softening and taking on a hint of well-aimed humour, "…you can turn around and close your eyes."

Dash opted not to comment, bit his tongue, and passed over the selected set of dry shirt and pants. "Just…hur-umm…" He shut his eyes and turned around, leaning against his closet door and dropping forehead into his forearm like the counter in a game of hide-and-seek, "…just hurry up…"

He pictured Tucker smiling. Or smirking, more likely.

Damn him.

Since when was Dash Baxter noble, anyway?

He should have stayed turned around. Seen how easy it was for Tucker to put on a strip tease with him watching him, and-

There was the sound of shuffling, bare feet on carpeted floor and fingers on wet cloth, and Dash stopped breathing. He listened intently, ears straining to pick up every rustle of movement: the gentle pop of a snap, the metallic shwwp of a zipper, and – his fingers folded into his palms, curling into fists – the slow skidding of damp, clingy denim as patient hands worked it slowly down, bit by bit over the skin of bare legs. Long, lithe, milk chocolate brown legs that would tremble to stand upright if he ran hands up them: starting at the ankles, up his calves, to the sensitive skin behind his knees and then-

Maybe it would be safer to try to think about something else.

Something else, yeah, something else like…

By the time the crumpled plop of dank jeans tossed aside sounded to his right, Dash had already lost his train of thought. And then, the quieter rustling of something less substantial and another subsequent plop meant that boxers, too, had been disposed of.

Which meant that he was in his room. His locked room.


In the dark.

With his completely naked boyfrien-



Bad idea. Bad idea. Tucker was cold. He needed clothes. He needed sleep. Now was not the time…

"Umm…" Dash squeezed his eyes tighter shut, willing his heart back down, out of his throat, and back into his chest where it belonged, "…n—uhhh…nothing, nevermind…"

Good. Very good. Dash: one. Dash's cock: zero.

Well, every victory came with a price, right? Some more painful than others…

"If you say so…" And there was more shuffling. "Ummm…actually, Dash…do you have some underwear I could-"



"No, no, it's no…problem…" Dash managed to squeeze out the words with some degree of success and stumbled half-blindly, sideways, to his dresser drawers. He tossed the first pair of boxers he found quickly over his shoulder.

"Thanks," Tucker quipped, and Dash shut his eyes again.

"Yeah…sure thing."

More rustling. "Dang, these things are loose…"

Unable to resist, Dash smirked. "What can I say…I know how to fill my boxers…"

Tucker half laughed, half snorted. "Oh, yeah, well…I mean, I kind of make up for it in that regard. It's my hips that just aren't quite cutting it-"

"Okay, just because you have one quarter inch on m-"

"It was a half an inch."

"It wa-"

Jeans zipped, and Tucker said, "You can look now."

Dash spent another second or two glaring at the wall. By the time he turned, Tucker had his shirt on as well. "You…" He blinked, "…look…"

"…like the world's first ever nerd gangster," Tucker stated bluntly, and Dash felt the corner of his mouth twitch, of its own accord. Tucker tugged at the loose, baggy white tee that draped over his lean frame, pulling to make it puff out and then flop back like a heavy sheet. After a moment, he hummed thoughtfully. "Okay, how's this…" He struck an animated pose: wrists crossed over one another in front of him and hands hanging down in upside-down peace signs, head cocked slightly back. "Yo," he greeted, "what's up my—uhmm…" He stalled a moment, lips pursing as he tilted his head to the side and frowned, thoughtful, "…hommie?"

Dash blinked.


The first laugh bubbled, unbidden, out of nowhere, and then he had to cover his face with his palm, groaning around the rest of his snickers and shaking his head. "You're…god, no. That just…umm, you know what, just no. Jesus…" For some reason, despite the ridiculousness of it, or perhaps because of it, he couldn't ditch his smile, and Tucker's exaggerated pout only made it that much more difficult.

"Awww…" He brought his hands back in, hooking his fingers on his pants pockets. "You don't think I could swing it?" he asked, and waggled his eyebrows meaningfully.

Dash made a noise dangerously close to a gigg-

No, no, it was definitely a snort. Yeah.


Dash shook his head. "No. I, umm…no, I don't think you're quite cut out for it…" he assessed, and Tucker made a dismissive 'pphht…' sound, waving him off. "But if 'weird kid' were a job title…"

Apparently he went right with that one, because it earned him a striking, Cheshire grin, and an "Aww, that's so sweet…you really think so?" and Dash rolled his eyes, though the smile still stuck.

Leave it to Tucker to take 'weird' as the compliment of the century.

"Yeah," said Dash. "I really think so. You're like…the weirdest guy I know…by like…" He started to spread his arms to demonstrate, but quickly gave up and dropped his hands to his sides, shaking his head, "…football fields."

Tucker snickered, taking a step to the side, two…

He flopped onto Dash's bed. "You flatter me," he said, legs dangling over the edge and one arm slung across his face, the other up, above his head. "So…what now?"

Dash blinked. "Uhhh…" Having his boyfriend flat on his back on his bed, and sprawled out in almost pin-up-esque fashion to boot, didn't help his concentration. "What…do you mean?"

Tucker drew the hand away from his face and propped himself up on his elbows to look Dash's way. "Like, what's to keep me from falling asleep right here?" he asked openly. "I mean, I thought the lights would be back, like…before we even made it to your room, but nooo…and I'm tired…" he whined the last word, dropping back down for emphasis. "Do you have any movie—oh, wait, nevermind…no power sucks."

Dash approached the bed. "Yeah, well, you can't fall asleep here," he said matter-of-factly, "and the lights probably will be back soon, so…" He trailed off, eyes starting at Tucker's knees and travelling up. The clothes really were loose.


Dash cut his journey short and looked to Tucker's face. "So, umm…well, what do you want to do?" he asked.

Tucker huffed. God, that pout. Seriously. "Sleep?"

Dash rolled his eyes skyward. "Besides-"


"'Cause I can keep you awake," Dash offered, "if you want…" and Tucker – who had curled his head to the side and into the comforter – snapped back to face him, not missing the underlying suggestion for a second.

"Hey, now, no…don't even—no, because…" He wriggled, pulling back some, further onto the bed as Dash put the weight of one knee on the mattress, "…because if you do, I'm…you're…we're going to get…distracted, and-"

Dash chuckled as Tucker scrambled, stalking in and advancing until he had one hand to either side of Tucker's shoulders, and a knee to the side of his hip, body looming. "And…?" he prompted. "It would keep you awake, and besides…" He toed off his shoes, letting them fall to the carpet with twin thumps, "…you don't even know what I'm gonna do yet…"

"I…yes, I…" Tucker glowered, eyes narrowing behind the sharp glint of his glasses. "If you-"

The next second, those same eyes blinked, startled, and rounded back out as Dash moved his hands up, cuffing each of Tucker's wrists – narrow enough to fit handily together in one hand if he'd wanted – and drawing them up, above Tucker's head like some burlesque version of a gothic virgin sacrifice. Then, with Tucker's arms pinned securely to the mattress and hips similarly trapped by the caging nature of Dash's position, Dash stilled.

"Alright, there," he said, smiling as innocently as he could manage. "I'm out of ideas."

"Y—uhh, y-you're…what?" Tucker shook his head. "This is…and this is…how is this supposed to keep me awake?"

Dash steeled himself, determined not to break composure. Really, that would ruin it. "Umm…well, I don't think you're going to fall asleep like this," he pointed out reasonably. "I mean…I would think it would be pretty uncomfortable, mainly…"

"B-b-but…you…" Tucker stared. "You're not serious…you're totally not seriously serious…" Dash met his stare. "Seriously?"

Keeping a straight face was, honestly, the hardest part. "Well, I mean…unless you want me to do something else…"

"You…you are such…such a…a…" Tucker whined, "You're so mean…" he accused and pouted, and squirmed, and wriggled, and…

But all to no avail.





"Dash," Tucker squirmed again, lifting his hips and trying to move, "…stop…"

"I'm not doing anything."

"Yes, well, that's exactly the problem!" Tucker burst in frustration, and Dash felt his pulse excite, "I want…" and a little more.

"What do you want?" Dash asked, struggling now to keep his voice even, and Tucker swallowed, closing his fists and then letting them relax again.

A boom of thunder rumbled outside, a sudden sheet of harsh raindrops tittering at the window, thrown against it by a gust of wind, and when Tucker's eyes met his, they looked darker and deeper, all but black, in the shadows.

"Kiss me…" he said, quietly, but clearly, and never in Dash's life had those two words held so much sway over his senses, spurring his heart to life like running a five-year-old through a flock of dozing sparrows.

Swallowing his pulse, Dash shut his eyes, and dipped forward.  



This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola