Sebastian let out a laugh. Sam’s little tangent was kinda… kinda cute. In like a- a brotherly way. Right? Sebastian dismissed the thought. “You don’t come across as self absorbed. Not at all.” Sebastian commented, his eyebrows furrowing at the mere thought. Who would think that of Sam? From what Seb gathered, the boy was rather reserved and kept to himself. Did that make him conceited? People sucked. And suddenly, Sebastian started to wonder. “Have you ever been slushied?” he asked with his filter obviously malfunctioning. That was probably one of the most offensive things someone could ask someone else they barely knew. To be honest, it was always Sebastian’s nightmare to be slushied. He was even more terrified to think about being slushied and called a fag after. He wouldn’t be able to pull off that cool, mellow facade. It just wouldn’t happen. “Uh- no, he won’t be mad. He doesn’t get mad…” How difficult was this to explain to Sam without coming out and saying his father was homophobic? It must’ve been confusing as hell, and it sucked to know that Sebastian was keeping a lot from such a cool guy.
It was even worse to know he was keeping that from everyone.
Sebastian was taken aback as Sam admitted to not knowing where his parents were. Normally, you’d get the awkward ‘divorced’ or ‘dead’ story, but not knowing where they were? Seb knew quite a lot about everyone. He was quiet and he heard bits here and there about a handful of people. Never once did he hear something about Sam’s parents being… Gone. Not even involved in his life. It made Seb feel a little guilty. Like he had no place to be upset about his dad, even if he was a homophobic jerk that could kick his son out if he found out he was gay. Sebastian’s eyes lit up a little at the words Europe or Asia. “Wow,” the boy sighed, his eyebrows raised in surprise. “That’s amazing. To have that luxury to just… go?” Sebastian played with the book in his hand and tried avoiding eye contact. “I’d love to travel.” Was this about you, Seb? No. He needed to revive himself. “But- that’s not the point… I- uh, I’m sorry to hear about that. Your parents not being around,” he muttered. “Although your family seems pretty cool.” There was something kind of cool about hearing about Sam’s life story, even if he didn’t ask about it. That’s what made it special, y’know? “A- a secret? Okay,” the boy shrugged in reply. That didn’t mean a secret of Seb’s had to be returned, did it?
A small smile formed on Sebastian’s face as Sam stated he must’ve been a cute kid. But that smile faded in the slightest. Seb hadn’t told a soul about his mother leaving him. He remembered the day clearly, but he never really confided in someone about it. “Oh- no, no it’s fine.” Was it, though? “Um- I was kinda young. Ten or eleven. I guess I never saw it coming… My mom leaving. I mean, yeah, I saw her packing her bags but… I didn’t think my parents fought. Things seemed pretty good, actually. I was a normal kid-” Except I was soon finding out I was gay, “But I came home from school one day while uh-” the boy glanced at Sam and let out a nervous laugh. This was so different from what he was used to. He didn’t think people cared this much to know about him. “My dad was working, my mom was supposed to be working, too. I walked by her room… It’s across from mine, like I showed you,” his eyes moved down the hall as he reminisced. “And I saw her packing. And she saw me when I saw her packing. I asked her where she was going but I never got an-” Sebastian’s voice was laced with a sense of emotionless monotone to hide his excessive feelings. He pressed his lips together and laid his eyes on the book in his hands. “I never got an answer,” he shrugged softly. “Sorry. I talk too much.”
It was a good point, about Sam’s wealth going into consideration. Like, did the people he waa friends with actually like him for who he was? They had no reason not to. Would he be a different person if he were in the social class lower than his current one? “Money doesn’t make you less of a geek, if you even are one,” Sebastian murmured. “I mean, at least you’re not an asshole about it. You’re like the- the Mark Zuckerberg of McKinley. Take that as you may, I’m not trying to impy you’re a computer techy- maybe I am,” the boy teased, gesturing towards the laptop with a grin. “Granted, the hockey team thinks you can get AIDs from eating cucumbers. That doesn’t say much.”
“Thanks.” Sam smiled a little. “I try not to be. I grew up with guys like that and I couldn’t stand them. It was one of the reasons me and Sugar clicked so well. Um, I mean… I know she comes off kind of… yeah, but that’s not really her.” He ran a hand over his face as he tried to cover his tracks hopelessly. “Don’t tell her I said that.” Sometimes the blonde would speak and words kept coming out even after he wanted to stop them. He blinked then looked down to shake his head as he heard Sebastian’s question. “Came close on time, but no.” Once again, the words poured out as he remembered the event. “It was freshman year, I was looking at the sign up sheet for Glee Club and one of the senior football players ran into me.” He shook his head as he bit his lip. He never told anyone this story. “I was wearing a Captain America shirt and my hair was long enough that it barely curled over my ears. He gave me a look then saw what I’d been staring at. Called me a um, name and then asked if I was going to join the other… He had a slushie in his hand and when I said I was thinking about it. He lifted it up, but then another guy from the team stopped him.” Sam crossed his arms and blew out a breath. He tried hard to censor most of it, but he was sure Sebastian got the picture. “The other guy said, ‘Dude, you can’t slushie him. That’s the Evans kid, do it and the least of your worries will be trying to stay on the football team.’ The guy was pissed and said he wouldn’t, but if I joined the club rich or not, he’d do it.”
Sam looked up, but didn’t look at the other. Instead he focused his attention on the door Sebastian’s father had left through. “After that, I kept to myself mostly. Made a few friends that didn’t turn out to be friends, even a few girlfriends, and one boyfriend that didn’t end well.” He shut his mouth with a click then licked his lips. “Would you mind getting me something to drink?” He asked through his dry throat. He thanked the other after he came back with a glass. He drank it down and set the half empty glass on the table. To get the attention of him, Sam asked, “What about you?” He knew the other probably hadn’t gotten close, but if he was going to share, shouldn’t the other? “Really?” He didn’t sense the other’s dad had a temper and maybe that was one thing that put him off. It was the sense that he felt judged more than anything just by sitting where he was. “What does he get?” Sam could see the other felt a little guilty about his question and he shrugged it off. “It’s no big deal, I mean they fly back sometimes to see us. Make sure we’re doing okay and stuff.” He smiled softly remembering their last visit, it’d been sometime around Christmas. “Yeah, I could probably go, but I like to stay grounded. I wouldn’t be able to the constant traveling. Settling into a place, but then moving on maybe a day or week later. But if you like it, then by all means you should do it. And thanks, we’re not a conventional family, but we’re still close and stuff.”
He tugged on his short hair with a smile. “My hair? It’s not really this blonde. I’m more of a.. well not a brunette, but a really dark shade of blonde. Before I went into high school, I put lemon juice in my hair to lighten it.” Sam blushed as he revealed the secret. “So yeah, my mom freaked out the next time she visited saying I was going to ruin my hair. She bought me all these shampoos to use though so it’s pretty soft still despite the lemon juice. I still put it in, but not as much.” Biting his lip, Sam listened to the other talk about his mother. Despite Sebastian’s words of it being fine, he could it was still a sore spot. He almost wanted to reach out and give him a hug, but he didn’t think the gesture would be appreciated. His fingers twitched and despite the warning in his head, Sam put his hand over Sebastian’s. “It’s okay.” Then before he could do something else stupid, he took his hand back and grabbed his water. He drank most of it then put it aside on the table. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “I think we both talk too much,” he laughed to ease the silence.
Sam grinned and shrugged. “True. I don’t know if I’d want to be Mark though. I think I’d go for Steve Jobs because at least he helped people, you know?” He raised an eyebrow then laughed. “I think even if we are both techy, we’re probably still going to need a lot of work to finish this project.” He looked over at the laptop and tilted his head. “Least it looks really cool.” The blonde snorted and shook his head. “Right. I don’t even know how they’re still even in school.”
Sebastian blinked a few times to snap back into reality, and the boy sent the other a small grin, before he processed what he had asked. A penny for his thoughts? How considerate. Had anyone ever really cared what Seb thought? Good god no. He didn’t really voice what he thought, anyways. It was kinda nice having Sam actually want to know what he was thinking. Hell, what was he thinking? “Oh- sorry, I was kinda zonin’,” Sebastian let out a laugh, rubbing at the back of his neck. His eyes landed on the computer screen, and a small smile formed on his face. “I like it,” he agreed rather softly. “But- I dunno, I guess I’m kinda…” his eyes shifted to the door before settling on Sam again, “I’ve never had company over here. I just haven’t. People don’t typically meet my dad.” Sebastian felt kinda weak, just blatantly speaking about his daddy issues. It seemed so trivial, compared to what other people dealt with. There were parents that beat their kids, parents that neglected their kids… Sebastian felt greedy, for having a monotonic relationship with his father yet still having an issue with it. “We- um, we have some other problems. My dad and I. We don’t talk about them, though.”
Sam went on to discuss how he never saw his parents. It certainly left Sebastian wondering. And without thinking, he spoke. “Where are they?” he asked, swallowing hard at his own question. He turned reluctantly to Sam. How stupid would he sound if he just took it back? “Your parents,” he clarified. Plus, if Sebastian was going to discuss his father, couldn’t Sam do the same? Maybe they were divorced. Maybe they were pulling a Hey Arnold move by traveling around the world. Or maybe they were dead, and Sam was being cryptic about it. Then, Sam was showing Seb a picture of his family. Instantly, a grin appeared on Sebastian’s face. “Pretty family,” he complimented. “Blay? Is that him? Who is he?” he asked as he pointed out one of the boys. “Is everyone blonde in your family?” he teased lightly. “I used to be blonde. I had that, uh- that bowl cut thing goin’ on with my hair, too. I’d show you if I could. My, uh, my mom kind of took my baby stuff with her. Most of it. I kept some of it.” Had he ever told anyone about his mother’s departure? It was crazy, what a stranger could find out in a matter of hours. “Borrow them?” Sebastian chuckled. “I don’t wanna steal your siblings, Sam. I’ll keep that offer in mind, though. I’m sure you’re much more entertaining. I don’t do a whole lot of anything, to be honest.”
Just let me know when. Would ‘now’ be an unacceptable answer? Sebastian simply nodded and kept his mouth shut. “You’re not supposed to be the expert… You are the expert. Here, we can do a background of the novel on the first slide…” Sebastian awkwardly turned the laptop towards him, but he didn’t move it from Sam’s reach. He moved so he was sitting rather awkwardly to type, his arms kind of close to Sam. His eyes shifted to the boy’s body next to his, but his ain’t fluttered quickly back to the screen to concentrate. As Sam placed his head on the table, Sebastian couldn’t hide the little chuckle and grin at the sight.
Sam was actually pretty darn cute. And not in that look-how-hard-I’m-trying kind of way.“It’s not all on you, though. I’m at fault, too,” Sebastian explained. “I don’t typically talk to a bunch of people. I’m pretty sure every year that I’ve been here at McKinley, people have thought I was a new kid every year.” An ironic laugh escaped Seb’s lips. “But y’know… What’re you gonna do? I stay outta trouble. And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with comics.” There’s nothing wrong with you, Sam.
Sam laughed and shrugged it off. “It’s okay. I mean, I do it constantly.” He grinned impishly then turned back to the laptop to type a few things in. “Seriously, it’s kind of sad how much I zone out. I’ve missed people calling my names in the hallway and stuff because of it. I think that’s kinda why most people give me a wide berth. Or think I’m sort of concieited when really I’m just in my own world.” The blonde didn’t know why he was telling Sebastian any of this. He guessed it was partly due to the fact that he wanted the other boy to know him. To know that he wasn’t some rich kid who thought he was better than everyone else. When really Sam was just a boy who loved comics and making people smile, who just so happened to have been born into a wealthy family. He stopped his inner ramblings when he heard Sebastian’s soft voice. “Good. We’ll keep it like this then.” He smiled then noticed the other look to the door. He followed his gaze, but saw nothing was out of place or at least to him. “Oh… Is that bad? He’s not going to be mad at you or anything is he?” Sam bit his lip hoping he wouldn’t be causing his study partner any trouble. He should’ve just invited him over, sister chaos and all. “Really? Wait, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. Since you don’t talk to about them and stuff.”
Running a hand through his hair, Sam wished he wouldn’t act like a total spaz in front of the other. He’d been doing really well thus far too. He blinked as he took in Sebastian’s question about his parents. “Honestly? I don’t know.” He looked down and picked at a string in his shirt that was coming undone slightly. “Last I heard, I think they were somewhere in Europe… or was it Asia?” He shook his head and shrugged to play off the worried confusion in his voice. “I should hear back from the soon though. They check in about every two or three weeks. They really like to travel.” He smiled a little fondly, even if they didn’t have a normal relationship, they were still his parents and he loved them. “Yeah, that’s him. He’s married to Elizabeth. They moved in around the time I was born to take care of me temporarily, but then it became permanent. They can’t have kids of their own so they kind of adopted us in a fashion.” Sam again wasn’t sure why he was explaining his weird family dynamics, he wasn’t even sure he’d told Rachel all of this. “I’m sorry. I know you didn’t ask for my life story or anything.” The top of his ears turned pink and he scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Oh. Um, I’ll tell you a secret, but promise not to tell?” He couldn’t help, but say it when the other asked about his family’s hair color. “Really? I bet you were a cute kid… Sorry. Um, why did she leave? Or is that a sore subject?” Of course it is, Sammy.
The blonde tinged red and he shook his head. “I’m kind of a talker when I get nervous.” Sam shot the other what he hoped was an endearing grin. “I can assure you they are a handful,” he commented on his siblings. “Oh really? Well for both our grades’ sake, I hope I am.” He laughed and let the other take over the laptop. He tried to find something to rest his eyes on so he wouldn’t end up staring at Sebastian. Then he tried to be as small as possible so he wouldn’t accidently brush against him or anything as the other typed on the laptop. Sam grinned, but he didn’t comment on the fact that he knew exactly who the other was and he didn’t think he was a new kid every year. “I’m actually pretty sure if my family wasn’t wealthy I’d just be another geek that got slushied everyday,” he said the words casually, already knowing they were true. “Yeah, I know what you mean.” And he did really, it was one of the reasons he never tried out for Glee even if he did love to sing. Sometimes though, when he was playing his guitar and singing softly to himself, he let the thought entertain him. He was friends with some of the Gleeks, as they put it anyways, but he could never find the courage to actually audition. “Hah, you could’ve fooled me. I’m pretty sure the Hockey team thinks they have cooties.”
Sebastian knew his family life wasn’t nearly as… as normal as it should’ve been. With his mother gone and out of the picture, well- that in itself was odd. Wasn’t it usually the manleaving the relationship? Regardless, Seb was left with his father, who was cold as stone and showed little to no emotion towards his only son. Sebastian would daydream about having a sibling, like a twin or an older brother or little sister. God, he’d be so different. Everything would be different. He wouldn’t feel as alone as he always did. He’d have someone else to confide in, someone else to relate to. It made him wonder, really. There was always the question of closeted gays in Lima, but what about homophobes? How many were walking amongst him?
Sebastian’s eyes moved to Sam’s at his question. “I mean-” he let out a sigh, trying to voice his thoughts. “It’s not like we don’t get along. We don’t fight, we don’t bicker, but I mean… We don’t hang out, we don’t talk a whole lot. It’s like living with a roommate, I guess you could say. It’s not bad, I don’t complain much,” Lies. That was a lie. Sebastian was scared of his father, but Sam didn’t need to know that. What kid was scared of their father? Maybe if a parent abused their child, but that wasn’t even the case with Sebastian. In many ways, he was blessed. He was lucky. “I don’t care, Sam. Don’t apologize,” Sebastian sent him a reassuring smile in reply. The boy mouthed an ‘oh’, as if he were let down by the fact that Elizabeth was Sam’s housekeeper. Way to sound like an asshole, Seb. Part of him almost blatantly asked where Sam’s parents were, but there was something about the way the boy danced around the topic that said don’t fucking ask. Sebastian watched as Sam went through different themes and layouts while he spoke. “Stevie and Stacy, that’s cute,” Sebastian stated with a smile. That’s cute? Go ahead, Seb, sound gayer. “Those aren’t bad ages, are they? I don’t mind kids. I kinda wish I wasn’t an only child. It gets boring,” Seb muttered.
Once Sam invited Sebastian over to his home, the boy couldn’t keep back the grin from forming on his face. That wasn’t too often that Sebastian was invited, well, anywhere. He kept his composure, however, and nodded slowly. “Definitely. I mean, as long as you’re cool with it. I know we won’t be coming back here for a while,” a soft laugh escaped the boy’s lips to try to lighten the topic. “Run for the hills? Not a chance. I’m a lazy ass. Plus, considering the fact you haven’t moved from your seat today… I owe you that much, right?” he asked softly. There was something about Sam’s sense of humor, his subtle, quick wit that kept Sebastian grinning. It was a little weird, and honestly, his cheekbones were starting to get sore, but he didn’t really care. This kid wasn’t so bad after all. Not that he would be, anyways. He hadn’t heard a single bad thing about Sam before, and Seb was one to hear almost everything. “Agree to disagree,” the boy blurted. “I, for one, am not sorry you’re my partner. Worst case scenario, we’ll distract the audience with flashing lights and animations and shit. I’ll just stand there and look pretty,” he let put a laugh. “I can’t believe I don’t recall seeing you a whole lot at school.” Cause you’re a pretty awesome kid, if I do say so myself. But you don’t need to know my opinion.
Sam stayed quiet mostly because he could tell the other had a lot on his mind. He did it for as long as he could before curiosity got the better of him. ”Penny for your thoughts?” he asked as he finally keyed in a theme he liked. Then with a smile he looked over at Sebastian. He shrugged neutrally. “Or not. I guess, it’s just maybe it could help with whatever problem you’re having. Anyways, what do you think about this theme?” He changed the subject easily and moved the laptop so the other could check it out. “I kind of like it. It’s not too out there or too plain either.” He kept the topic light, not sure if he’d already messed things up by asking Sebastian about his thoughts.
He nodded as the boy opened up about the relationship with his dad. There seemed like there was something there. Like maybe he wasn’t telling the whole truth, but Sam let it slide. The two of them didn’t run in the same circles exactly so they weren’t that close. He didn’t need to hear his whole life story. He couldn’t help the feeling of wanting to know it though. He finally pursed his lips and nodded again before replying with, “That’s got to be tough. I mean, I hardly see mine, but I can’t imagine having him home all the time without really having him there.” He scratched his arm absently while he added, “Has he always been like that?” The question seemed too personal, but it slipped out nonetheless. Sam saw the other’s smile and automatically his lips curved up to smile back. He reached back into his pocket to nab his phone then thumbed through it till he found a photo that he liked. “Here. It’s Apollo, Stevie, Stacy, Blay, and Elizabeth. I took it one time we went out to the park to hang out.” It was one of the best memories he had. A laugh fell from his lips and he shook his head. “I don’t know. Ask Elizabeth and she’d probably tell you yes. And hey, if you want you can always borrow them,” he teased. “I’m sure they’d like having another brother who wasn’t reading comics all the time.”
“Yeah, it’s fine.” Sam was still trying to gauge the other as a person, ignoring his crush. He really did seem like a good guy. He thought maybe he could trust him at his house. He hated having the thoughts, but he knew it was a distinct possibility given the past. “Just let me know when.” He grinned back then focused back on the laptop in front of him. Laughter escaped him and the blonde glanced at the other next to him. “You really don’t owe me anything. Like you said, I’m supposed to be the expert.” Sam had never been gladder about spellcheck as he typed some things out. As soon as he saw the little red squiggly line under his words, he backtracked to fix them while he hoped Sebastian wouldn’t see. He paused as the boy blurted out his next words. He rested his hands against the table then looked over at him. A grin split his face and he nodded enthusiastically. “Well I’m not sorry you’re my partner either. And that sounds like a great idea. I’m sure it’ll work out if that’s what we have to do.” He laughed and gave the other a playful punch on the arm. Sam’s cheeks reddened and he turned his attention back to the laptop. “Yeah, about that…” He began typing as he talked. “It’s probably because I always have my head in a comic. Or hiding out in the library, or sometimes even in the pool room.”
“Oh- you know Sugar? Sugar Motta?” Of course he knew Sugar Motta. Sam seemed to know everyone. That, and everyone knew Sugar. She was bubbly and, well, she was Sugar. Sebastian grinned at the compliment, however, and nodded once in a thank-you. Needless to say, Sam informally meeting Sebastian’s father was… both awkward and upsetting. Sebastian didn’t want to just scare this kid away. Sam seemed like a great guy, and Sebastian tried being rational with the fact that Sam seemed like he’d be a really great friend, or y’know… Not a friend. By rational, he meant not getting his hopes up. That’s how Sebastian lived his life. He didn’t expect the best out of anything. In fact, he expected the worst out of everything. He expected everyone to shun him and torment him for the rest of eternity if he came out of the closet, he expected his father to cut his son out of his life if he were simply honest with himself, but now? He expected Sam to think his dad was a nutcase, and Seb clearly had to be one too because his father was.
Sebastain was completely lost as to what he could do after his father made his grand entrance and abrupt exit. Sam has just witnessed that all fall into place, and Seb barely knew the kid. He wasn’t about to go talk about his past with him or anything, no. Hell, he wouldn’t even bring up the fact that he was homophobic. That was the thing with homophobes, they never blatantly said they were who they were. Sebastian had just always heard his dad trash talking gays and the LGBT community as a whole. Did his dad make good points? Fuck no. Did he have a stance on why he hated gays? Yes. Most certainly. Sebastian had always pondered where this hatred branched off from, like maybe it involved his mother leaving his dad and their little boy so suddenly. He didn’t dare bring it up, but maybe he had to. If Sebastian’s dad was the reason his friendships didn’t work out, it meant there was a problem. “Is he always what, an ass? Sorta,” Sebastian replied in a mutter. “I kind of live with it, though. I mean- it’s just me and my dad around here, I don’t have much of a choice,” Sebastian explained quietly. His eyes moved to the computer screen nervously and he opened PowerPoint to distract himself.
Suddenly, a project didn’t sound so great. But still, Seb could’ve ruined this aquaitencenship. He could use the distraction. “Elizabeth and Stacy? Two sisters?” he guessed, his eyes shifting to meet Sam’s. A small grin traveled to his lips at the thought. There was something kind of fulfilling about hearing about Sam’s family life. He scoffed at Sam’s comment. “Intimidating. I’ll say. It kind of sucks-” Sebastian trailed off, mentally kicking himself for talking. This wasn’t a damn therapist visit, yet here he was, talking about his life. He started typing in the PowerPoint layout in hopes to take away some of the seriousness in the topic he was discussing. “It’s always like that. Awkward. Tense. Quiet. That’s just who he is, I guess.” Sebastian toyed with the fonts as he spoke, but his eyes returned to Sam and he let out a small laugh. “What am I doing? You’re the expert, right?” he turned the laptop to Sam. “Sorry you’re stuck wih me as a partner.”
Sam nodded happily. “Yeah, Sugar’s been my best friend since… well since maybe elementary?” He tried thinking about it, but it all blurred together after their years of friendship. A small smile curled his lips as he thought about them over the years. People in their circles always gossiped about the two of them. Sugar and him took it all in stride. After a failed attempt in junior high to deepen their friendship, they decided to remain friends only. It hadn’t changed their relationship in the slightest. He couldn’t help think of Rachel then and their drunken make out. He ran a hand through his hair before he could dwell on it. You have a project to work on, Sammy boy. The blonde flushed out any thoughts of girls and strange fathers while he tried to recall things about literature. The former disappeared, but he couldn’t help still thinking about the latter since it was fresh in his mind. Sam didn’t know how he expected Sebastian’s father to be. All he knew about fathers came from sources of entertainment or the short glimpses he got of his own. Neither helped him shape a clear definition.
He thought of Rachel’s dads and a small smile came up. They were really awesome men who clearly loved their children. Then he did a contrast between them and Seb’s dad. He didn’t need long to figure out that the relationship between families were extremely different. Sam also didn’t need more time to know that the boy next to him was nothing like the man that just left. For one, Sebastian had a smile that could charm anyone in school. His dad, however seemed like he never smiled at all. Or maybe he did and it was a long time ago, Sebastian had mentioned it was only him and his dad living there. He wondered if that had anything to do with it. He knew it wasn’t his place to ask questions though. Sam felt like he could barely keep his life together, much less anyone else’s. Plus he didn’t think Sebastian would like to be questioned about his family. Sam was used to it, though if he really asked himself, he didn’t like the questions either because they drew emotions from him that were better left untouched. Where are your parents now? They just leave you there with the help? Do they ever come home? Maybe they’re gone so much because they never wanted you. He knew the last remark was his own. But when he thought of it, he would remember the night he came out and he knew it didn’t matter. Even if they hadn’t wanted him, they loved him fully.
Finally drawn out from his musings, Sam blinked and tried to focus on Sebastian’s words.
Nodding his blonde head, he listened to him. He was good at that. “So, I guess you guys don’t get along too well.” He was also good at sticking his foot in his mouth. “Sorry, not my place.” Sam bit his lip and scooted over to get closer to the laptop so he could start messing with PowerPoint. He met the other’s eyes and his mouth made a small smile when Sebastian guessed about his family. It was a common mistake. “No, um. Elizabeth is… well she’s our housekeeper.” His gaze fell back onto the computer screen as red stained his cheeks. Though it was common, Sam still felt weird having to explain. He didn’t think he would ever get over it. “She’s kinda like our mom away from mom.” He poked at the keys as he tried finding a good theme for them. “Stacy is my sister though. I have her and a brother, Stevie. Both younger, 6 and 8. Both troublemakers with adorable faces.” Sam laughed a little as he used Blay’s words to describe his siblings. He quieted as he heard Sebastian’s description of the house. “You’ll have to come over sometime. It’s the opposite at my house, but then again I don’t want you to run for the hills when you meet them.” He cracked a grin, hoping the other would return it.
“Expert? I don’t know about that. I can do wonders on a laptop, but the literature? Not a chance.” Sam’s grin softened and he replied, “No worries. I’m sorry you’re stuck with me as a partner.”
Sebastian let out a laugh at Sam’s comment, his hand still rubbing at his wrist that was supposed to have a watch on it. Dumbass. Sebastian was a dumbass. “Fashionably late,” the boy blurted randomly, glancing over at Sam. “We’ll say you were fashionably late. That makes it acceptable, doesn’t it?” That wasn’t gonna be seen as a gay joke, was it? Sam wouldn’t take that the wrong way? Sebastian worried more than he needed to. He figured it’d age him out real quick. Sebastian nodded slowly at Sam’s explanation of his own home, a smile creeping onto the boy’s face at the idea. He watched as the boy took out his phone rather eagerly at the mentioning of a dog.
“Apollo, that’s cute,” Sebastian commented, glancing down at the phone and smiling at the photo of the dog. “I have a black lab. Harley. She’s- yeah, she’s outside. She just chills out there, y’know. I’m surprised she wasn’t yappin’ her head off at you. She always barks when someone comes to the door, but I guess she’s napping in the backyard or someth-” Before Sebastian could even finish, he heard the dog start barking again, and his eyebrows furrowed. “Yeah- uh, project-” the boy stammered as he tried collecting his thoughts, his feet bringing him to the kitchen window. He moved the little curtain, peering at the driveway and spotting that terrifyingly familiar white Honda Civic, with the tall, slender man climbing out of it and waving his hand at the dog behind the fence, as if telling her to stop barking. Sebastian turned away quickly, his eyes wide. And before he could explain to Sam, Mr. Smythe himself made his grand entrance with his dirty overalls, a navy blue jacket being tossed on the chair next to the door, and a hat hanging on his head. The man was slouched as he walked inside, but he straightened to his uncanny height, identical to his son’s. He was much tanner than Sebastian, with a 5 o’clock shadow lingering on his chin and icy blue eyes. The man’s eyes squinted as they landed on the blonde sitting at his kitchen table.
“Project, pops,” Sebastian explained, his voice rather small and scared. He still tried to keep his cool as his dad walked into the kitchen without a word. He grabbed a glass and filled it with tap water, then chugged it, his eyes shifting to his son for a moment.
“Whatever you say, Seb,” the man mumbled. “Project?”
“English project.” Sebastian answered his father although the man was making eye contact with Sam. He turned to his son.
“I’m sure your buddy can speak for himself.” the man answered simply with a chuckle after. He cleared his throat, pounding on his chest a little before placing his used cup in the sink. “Clean the dishes when you get a chance, yeah? I’m gonna run to the bank, run some errands…” the man’s gaze shifted to Sam once more. It made Sebastian a little uneasy as he made eye contact with his father again. “I’ll be back in a few. No funny business.” Sebastian’s eyes widened as his father walked away swiftly towards the door. Sebastian watched as his dad stepped out of the house once more, grabbing his jacket and shaking his head, muttering something about teens these days before exiting the house. Sebastian glanced over to Sam, letting out a slow, easy sigh of relief as he moved to sit next to him. He did so cautiously without even thinking of it, then he slid his laptop closer to him. “I was thinking, um-” his voice was lower and rather uncomfortably monotone, “I was thinking a Power Point or something… Or maybe a poster, I have…” he blinked a few times distractedly, “I have the material for it and everything. But listen-” the boy glanced over his shoulder rather nervously, then leaned in towards Sam. “My dad’s kind of a jackass, I’m sorry.”
Sam was startled slightly as the other blurted out his words, but as he started to explain himself he couldn’t hold back a grin at Sebastian’s attempt at humor. “Yeah, that’s fine. Sugar makes that excuse for me all the time,” he laughed. She did too. Every time he was late for a function they had to attend together, his friend would inform people that he liked to fashionably late. In reality, it was probably because he had completely forgotten. Sam lost count of the times Sugar had called him asking him where the heck he was. Even with a watch, the blonde just couldn’t seem to be on time. He was wrapped up in his thoughts so he didn’t notice Sebastian’s worry.
“Thanks. Harley’s a good one too.” He smiled and then ducked his head as their eyes met. His green ones looked after the place the barking had come from. Sam sort of wished he could see her, but then he remembered they really did need to work on their project. He began flipping through his notebook to find his notes. He looked up sharply as Sebastian started stammering. He didn’t think he ever heard the other do that before. Sam watched silently as something on the other side of the window made him pale a little. Their eyes met and this time he didn’t look away. He was about to ask him what was wrong when the front door opened. He flicked his eyes to it to see a man walk through the door. This must be Seb’s dad. But why is he acting so afraid? The man didn’t look too frightening, but Sam stiffened as his eyes met Mr. Smythe’s blue ones. There was something in that look. One that had him holding back a shudder. As the man’s gaze finally left his to look at his son’s, he let out a slow breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding. Well… that was interesting. He bit his lip and began flipping through his notebook once again. The blonde tried to make as little sound as he could while he listened to the two Smythes talk. He hesitated on a page and looked up quick as Sebastian explained his presence. Granted he hadn’t really known Seb before, but he wondered if he always addressed his father with such a tone. Sam thought maybe he just didn’t get other families.
It was eerily quiet as the older Smythe walked to the kitchen. He had to bite his lip to keep from babbling on about something. After the man finished his drink, Sam felt his eyes on him. He looked back as the other seemed to assess him. He didn’t know what he was looking for, but the blonde did nothing except stare back until Seb’s father turned to look at him. He gave an inaudible sigh and started reviewing his notes.
“I’m sure your buddy can speak for himself.” Sam was half tempted to talk, to at least give his name. Elizabeth would’ve killed him for not having better manners. She had drilled them into him at an early age. He was once again drawn out from his musings by the older man’s stare. They made eye contact again and his hand tightened its hold on his pencil. Then Sebastian’s dad was gone, leaving him with a sick feeling in his gut. No funny business. There was something in his tone that Sam couldn’t place. He barely caught the mutterings about teens before he tried to get back to work. He kept his eyes on his paper even when he felt the other looking at him. The blonde finally looked up when Sebastian moved his stuff closer to sit next to him. He got the impression while the other talked that he wasn’t going to explain what had just happened. He didn’t know whether to give his own sigh of relief or not. “Yeah, that sounds fine. I know a lot about PowerPoint so it shouldn’t be too hard,” he smiled. “Oh, well either works for me. Maybe we’ll even get a better grade if we do both. What do you thi-?” Sam stopped his question as the other told him to listen. There was something in his voice and the way he looked behind him nervously that made him sad.
“It’s okay. No worries… Is he always…” He trailed off his question with a wave of his hand. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t been scared. Sam ran a hand through his hair and took a unsteady breath. “If you want, we can work on the project at my house next time. We just couldn’t today because I think Elizabeth would’ve had her hands full. Stacy was having all her friends over today to hang out.” He scratched the back of his head before crossing his arms. “Your dad’s kinda intimidating to say the least.”
Sebastian heard a knock at the door, and he kind of freaked out a little, mentally. Sam was here. He had to play it cool, though. He was only flustered because the idea of his father coming in was scaring him to bits. But at least he wasn’t there now, right? Sam was here, though, and Sebastian was basically leaving the boy at the door as he paced a little. He quickly turned on his heels and headed towards the door, ducking his head as he opened the front door and smiled at the boy. Sebastian wasn’t that much taller than Sam, but he had an inch or two on him. “Hey, Sam,” Sebastian’s relaxed voice covered up the fact that he was freaking out in the slightest. His hand gripped the edge of the door, perhaps a little too tightly, as he stepped to the side and let the blonde inside.
“You’re late?” Sebastian glanced down at his wrist to check the time casually, but realized he didn’t even have a watch on, so he tugged at his sweatshirt to cover his bare wrist. Dumbass. What a dumbass move. “It’s no big deal, I’ve been… trying to figure out what to do,” he muttered with a shrug, leading the other male into his house. Sebastian never really had people over to his house, so this was kind of cool. His house was never really clean, it was always empty but filled with little clutters here and there. Granted, he kept it rather tidy in most areas just because he was having company, but there was only so much cleaning he could do without getting distracted or bored. He watched as the boy walked into his home, the smile still lingering on his face. There was something kind of cool about having a friend over. It seemed like such a normal, mundane thing to do, but Sebastian never got that luxury. He was much too paranoid about everything. “Sorry the house is- is a mess, it kind of always is. My room isn’t too bad, but… I mean, it’s just me and my dad, so.” What a lovely statement to start with, Sebastian. It wasn’t like he was upset about his mother not being around. She hadn’t been around his whole life, it didn’t effect him much.
“So, uh,” Sebastian rubbed the back of his neck rather awkwardly, his eyes shifting to Sam and a smile forming again at the sight of the blonde. “Well- the kitchen’s to your right, as you can see… It’s a mess, I always do my homework on the table.” Sebastian took a few steps onto the white tiles, his eyes meandering to the boy in front of him. His sight lingered to the boy’s legs, only for a moment, then trailed up to his ass briefly, then his plaid shirt, and then he turned, so Sebastian’s eyes moved abruptly to the other side of the room. “Over there’s the, uh… The den, as we call it. The living room, TV room, call it whatever,” he let out a laugh, taking a few steps and placing a hand on the couch arm. “Down there, to the left… that door is my room, the one across is my dad’s, and the bathroom is at the end. Garage is down that hallway, laundry room and all of that is there, too. And my dog’s… somewhere.” Sebastian felt it were necessary for him to give Sam a tour. Why? He had no fucking clue. He turned to Sam, letting out a sigh and crossing his arms. “She’s outside, probably. But- yeah, project? We should, uh-” Why was he talking so much? “Get to that.”
Smiling, Sam walked into the house and looked around. He mostly did it so he didn’t have to make eye contact with Sebastian. He sucked in his bottom lip and worried it with his teeth as he took in the state of the place. He noticed Seb talking and looked over in time to see him forget he didn’t have a watch on. The blonde glanced away quickly with a small grin. He didn’t think he could’ve brushed if off so lightly. “Yeah, um.. by a few minutes. I only notice because I’m usually always late for everything. A really bad habit.” he laughed lightly. Somehow Sam was always forgetting to be somewhere. Elizabeth had once tried getting him a day planner, but he ended up forgetting to write down the things he had to do. “So you don’t know either. I’m not sure what I want to do with the project. I’m up for anything though.” He shrugged as a quick blush worked up his face. He scratched the back of his neck nervously. Why did I agree to this? Oh, that’s right. Didn’t have a choice.
Taking off his backpack, Sam listened to the other give him a tour. “Don’t worry, I kind of like it.” Mentally rolling his eyes, the blonde tried to explain his comment. “It’s just that my house is always clean. Like really clean. A friend told me once it was kinda spooky; that it sort of looked like no one lived there.” Sam bit his tongue to stop him from talking more, he was rambling and he knew it. “So… yeah. I like it.” He smiled at the other and gave another shrug. He looked away as their eyes met and began studying the house again. He really did like it. One of the only rooms at his house that was a mess was his own. The blonde had told Elizabeth time and time again not to clean it. He liked having it look lived in unlike the rest of the place. Suddenly, he got the feeling he was being watched. He glanced at Sebastian and noticed his eyes were on him. Fighting a blush, Sam set his bag on the floor then crossed his arms and gazed down onto the table Sebastian did his homework on. Then he looked up and paid attention as the other began pointing things out. He grinned as he mentioned a dog. “I have one. A um, dog.”
Glad to have something he could explain easily, Sam took out his iPhone and began searching through it. He smiled as a picture of Apollo came up. “It’s a boy. Here. His name is Apollo. He’s a golden retriever.” He handed Sebastian his phone to show him the picture of himself and his dog. “I’ve had him since he was a puppy. I got him maybe a year or two before my younger brother was born. It was nice to have someone to hang out with.” He shrugged to play off his last comment. He’d been about 7 when he got Apollo, it’d been before he’d become friends with Sugar. The house had really been empty then. On his birthday he’d asked his parents and a few days later Elizabeth brought him home. Sam had been studying astronauts around the time and the name had come naturally. “He’s really great,” he said as he took a seat at the table. “Yeah, project.” He ran a hand through his hair before reaching out to grab his back pack. “Do you have any ideas?” The blonde searched through his bag for a second then pulled out a pencil and a notebook.
Since when was AP Composition a good idea? Sebastian couldn’t write to save his life, much less could he analyze a piece of writing or y’know, pass the damn class. So when an extra credit project was assigned, Sebastian kind of jumped at the opportunity. Maybe this would save his grade. It was rather open ended, but he was counting on maybe a presentation of a book he read years ago, like To Kill a Mockingbird or The Great Gatsby. Would that be AP Comp material? No, but it’d get the job done, wouldn’t it? Until he found out he needed a partner for the project. That changed everything. He was assigned a partner, Sam Evans, and he was stumped as for what they could do. All he knew was the boy couldn’t work on the project on this particular Thursday after school at his house, but Sebastian could. To think that Sam could possibly run into his father was quite petrifying, but he assumed it’d be okay.
So what if Sebastian had heard Sam was bisexual? That shouldn’t define someone. But maybe something just didn’t work right in Mr. Smythe’s head or whatever, because something like sexuality did define a person. Seb had this fear that maybe he wasn’t close with his father because the man could have some sort of gut feeling about his son being gay. It was terrifying to think about. But what was worse was someone else meeting his father in the wrong light. Especially poor Sam Evans, a guy Sebastian didn’t really know well. He was playing a game of worst-case scenario in his head; like what if his dad made some snarky comment about Sam being over working on a project with him? Granted, not everyone was gay in his father’s eyes. He was just worried his dad would let his mouth get the best of him, which was quite often the case. The man didn’t really think before he spoke, unlike his son. He started pacing a little with all the fretting.
So, Sebastian was sitting in his cluttered kitchen, as it always was. Cluttered. That’s what happened when two men lived in a house together. The house itself was small, only one floor of loneliness and grey carpeting. It wasn’t too small, considering there were only two people and a black lab that lived there. Sebastian moved from the counter to the kitchen table, pushing some of the papers to the side, and eventually piling them together and plopping them on the chair in the corner. He let out a sigh, running a hand through his hair as he took a seat at the table. The boy was dressed rather comfortably, with a grey Boston University sweatshirt on, accompanied by deep maroon jeans and black socks, along with his glasses propped on his nose. He had his Macbook sitting there, just waiting for Sebastian to get this damn project done. All he needed was his partner… And his father not to show up…
And an idea.
Sam couldn’t believe where he was heading. If you had told him a week ago that he’d be going to Sebastian Smythe’s house he probably would’ve laughed it off. That was exactly where he was driving to now though. How did the blonde even get into AP Composition? There had probably been a mistake, but Sam wasn’t going to correct it even if he got a bad grade in it. So he leaped into taking the chance of extra credit, but then he found out he’d have to work with Sebastian. Which he didn’t mind exactly, but it was sort of hard to work with someone that you had a crush on. The guy might’ve guessed Sam was a headcase by now after all his blushing and stammering he’d done when they first talked. They had gotten paired up last Friday in class and exchanged numbers to over the material on the weekend. He couldn’t text him though, because he was too nervous. What if he said something stupid? Maybe he could’ve played it off as a mistake, like he had meant to send the text to someone else, but Sam wasn’t that clever. After he parked, he let his head flop against the steering wheel with a groan. He had to do this.
Turning his head, he looked up at Sebastian’s house. It was small, but looked sort of homey. Not like Rachel’s had, this one gave him an odd feeling. With a sigh, Sam climbed out of his car and grabbed his backpack. Then he locked his door and walked up to the house while he tried not to drag his feet. He tried recalling everything he knew about the other. Straight, same grade, no mother in the picture, great taste in music, and oh, he was going out for coffee with his friend Sugar. Sam hated falling for straight guys. He liked Kurt, but he didn’t know if they would work or not since they had different interests. Hell, even if Sebastian wasn’t straight he didn’t know if they were compatible. Sam bit his lip as he paused at the door. He tried giving himself a pep talk. Don’t be an idiot, Sammy. He’s just a dude. A straight dude. After taking a deep breath, the blonde finally knocked on the door. He stuck his hands in his jacket pockets and rocked back on his heels as he waited. He also looked down to make sure he didn’t do something stupid like put his shirt or jacket on inside out like he had on his first date. This isn’t a date, it’s a meeting to work on a project for school.
Converse, jeans that were a little on the tight side, and a plain blue shirt that he covered with a red zip up hoodie. It wasn’t his best, but Sam liked the outfit. The thing even got a pass from Elizabeth. He ran a hand through his hair that he’d been wearing in that just mussed look since the party. For some reason, he really liked the style and he got complimented on it a lot so he kept it. When the door opened, the blonde smiled and ducked his head as he made eye contact. “H-Hey, Sebastian. Sorry I’m a little late. I had a few things to take care of before I came over.”