Caramel Macchiato




and so they met




Jack is bicycling down one of the main streets leading away from school and toward home, he's wearing a warm looking blue coat, jeans, scuffed up black boots, and a black backpack. His hair is damp from swimming class and his ever-unruley curls lay flat against his head. He's pedaling at a relaxed pace and looks around at things every now and then, unaware he's being STALKED BY A MAD LAS VEGAN.


David glances at the slip of damp paper in his hand. It's the right street, and the house can't be far away. Which means the small blond thing on his banana bike must be Jack. He takes two steps, then pauses and glances at his dirty, messed up self, then decides to just go for it. He starts pelting after the boy on his bike, surprised he has so much strength to run. "JACK!! HEY, JACK!"


Jack almost falls off his bike, the call startles him so badly. He's not used to people calling after him unless they want to pick on him. God, not today, he thinks to himself, and turns his head (still )pedaling to see who it is. A quick sweeping look confirms he has no idea, but the guy looks kind of tough. Jack turns his head back around and starts to pedal faster. "Leave me alone, asshole!"


David skids to a halt, surprised at the hurt and vehemence in the kid's voice. He hears maybe even... a hint of fear? Jack wasn't kidding when he said he wasn't very liked at school, but that really only just confirms that it really is his Jack. Grating his teeth into a grin, he lopes after the bike, his first burst of energy now a little drained. "JACK! Jack, dammit, it's David. DAVID CIMANTA. LAS VEGAS DAVID, stop, for Christ's sake!"


Jack brings his feet down, stopping his bike abruptly. He stumbles as he tries to turn and get off the bike at the same time, turning to face the other boy. His eyes are wide and full of disbelief, "What? David? What... what are you doing in Rhode Island!?" He thinks this must be some elaborate joke. Someone hacked into his e-mail and is pulling a prank on him. After all, sixteen year old pen pals you haven't even known for longer than a month don't just drop by. Do they?


David jogs to a slower pace, finally catching up with Jack. He's trying to laugh, but he just coughs a bit instead. It takes a few gulps of breath before he can talk. "Hey, yeah. Um, surprise! I told you I'd be, uh, seeing you, Jack. I guess I'm, um, here now. So. Yeah. Sorry I didn't tell you earlier, but I wanted to surprise you. I tried to make sure you were okay with, me. Coming here, and..." David trails off, knowing he's babbling like a fool. Plus his mouth is damn dry. "Say, you don't have some water or, or a juice box on you, do you?" His eyes skim over Jack's slim shoulder, to the neatly packed backpack, scanning for a bottle jutting out of the side, or something.


 Jack just blinks a few times. He looks at David closely, thinking he does look like how he imagined his friend to be. A wide grin spreads over his face, "Well, hi... woah. What'd you do, walk here?" He slips his backpack from his shoulder and unzips it, taking a moment to rummage inside until he finds half a bottle of Sprite. "Here... you can have the rest. Uh. I swear, there's no backwash." Trying not to let his shyness kick in, he holds out the bottle to David.


David tries not to grab the bottle from Jack's offering hand, but as he does, his cold fingers brush Jack's warm ones. It feels comforting, and David hasn't felt that way in a long time. His shoulders slump slightly and he throws the Sprite gratefully down his throat, careful not to choke and waste precious sweet drink. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Time for some sweet-talking; he's still not sure what Jack's gonna think of all this. "No, I hitchhiked. Sold my bike and used the money to come up here. You know," his grin was watery, "just for a visit, like I said." With that, he backed up slowly and flomped down onto the curb. Now that he met his goal, it suddenly hit him how dead tired he is. "I feel like I can sleep for a year," he says, not realizing he's talking out loud.


Jack shivers when David's fingers touch his.. they're so cold and... unfamiliar. He ends up staring, mouth partly open in surprise, as David downs the drink and answers his question. "You what? To visit me? How are you going to get back? Why don't you have a coat?" Jack shrugs off his coat as he moves over to the curb, and swiftly settles it around David's shoulders. "Geez, man.. let's get to my house, okay? I know you're tired, but it's cold out..." He offers David a hand up, ignoring the cold wind.


David is incredibly embarrassed for having to take the kid's coat, but he does anyway. There's some kind of wool lining in it, and it's still warm from Jack's body heat. It reminds David of home and he feels a slight twinge of homesickness, but then he thinks about it sternly. It goes away fast. Tiredly, he follows Jack. "Yeah, of course I came to see you, stupid. And I'll be staying for, um. For a little while. Not with you--" he adds hurriedly, seeing Jack's politely listening expression. "I mean, I, uh, have relatives here." David winces at his stupidly bad lie. He really should have prepared this, but he didn't think he'd be seeing Jack just this soon. Nothing ever turned out the way he expected. He sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Are your...folks, are they gonna be pissed off?"


Jack walks his bike along toward home, looking at David all the while. At the mention of relatives, his gaze turns slightly suspicious. He may be young, but he isn't stupid. "No, they won't be pissed.. my parents are totally cool." He continues in an off-hand manner, ".. So you have relatives in my area? Where at? I know everyone around here, so I can probably get you to their house later if you need me to," he lies.


Damn Jack for being so smart. "No, okay, I don't have any relatives." David rubs is eyes again, feeling blood rush to his face. There was no point in trying to lie to Jack, and in all honesty, David really didn't want to lie to him. Showing up unannounced like this was bad enough. Without thinking, David blurts out, "Look man, I'm way too tired to even think. Can you just take me home, Jack?"


Jack's face flushes from he doesn't even know what. He can feel a pulling tug in his chest, and damn, it's distracting. "Yeah.. yeah, I'm taking you home. Just a few more blocks." Jack feels something else, and he keeps almost accidentally walking into the side of his bike while trying to figure out what it is. Protectiveness? He swallows hard and tells himself he's not going to let anything happen to David, no matter what sort of mess he's in. Pushing his thoughts away for the moment, he looks back over to his friend, "We're having spaghetti with meatballs tonight... do you like spaghetti?"


David smiles, realizing he was a bit snippy. "Sorry for..." But then he realizes he can barely speak because his mouth is watering in copious amounts. "Did you say...spaghetti? Oh man, like, your mom cooked it?" David starts walking a little faster, because he feels he can practically smell the tomato sauce. "Aw man, that would be great. Like, how d'you know your ma's making spaghetti? Oh. Jack, I." David stops short, trying not to fret. "Wait," he grabs hold of Jack's skinny arm, pulling the shorter boy to a halt. "Wait, Jack, like. I can't see your parents like this. I reek. I'm disgusting. They'll just turn me away." David eyes him thoughtfully. Jack was a little shorter, but obviously still growing. His mom might still be in that mentality of getting sizes a bit bigger for her babyboy. "D'you have clothes in your tree house?"


Jack looks up at David, and laughs, "Don't be so worried! I don't have clothes in my tree house, but they won't be home for a few hours. You can borrow some of my clothes.. you can even have a shower if you want. You do sorta stink." He laughs again, feeling happy. For whatever reason, David is here, David his friend. He'll worry about his parents later. Jack doesn't move David's hand away, but does start walking again, "Just around this corner..."


David looks up... and up at the house. It is large, as he expected, and it has all those things you read about in Stephen King books - bowers and attics and a basement and wood trims and manicured bushes and orange ad red trees and iron gates. If he wasn't so grateful for Jack's incredible New England hospitality at the moment, he would have said something snarky, but. No. It was just breathtaking. "Nice house," he says as nonchalantly as he can. "Damn, a shower sounds like. Like I haven't had one in three days," he laughs a little harshly. Then, out of the corner of his eye he sees an old, thick trunked tree, and... "That's... the tree house. Wow, Jack. You've gotta be the luckiest kid in the world." It's then that David realizes he hasn't let go of Jack's arm.


Jack isn't unaware of David's hand on his arm, and this time it's David's touch who is warm against his. He shivers, and fumbles for his house key in his pocket, "Yeah.. I am lucky..." He frowns slightly, wondering if it bothers David.. the typically nice house with the big yard.. well-to-do people with good jobs and a nice car - everything that David's life in Las Vegas probably isn't. Step dads and strip clubs, Jack muses to himself, feeling that surge of protectiveness well up inside again. He hopes David can be comfortable here. Jack quickly unlocks and opens the front door, ushering his friend inside. "You don't have to take off your shoes or anything... just, whatever you want. The kitchen is to the left, and the bathroom is straight down the hall and to the right..." He gets cut off by a small, slightly shaggy looking brown dog that runs up, yipping his little head off and jumping up, paws on David's knees. "Taxi, down!" Jack commands. "Er.. I hope you like dogs..."


David jumps back a bit, resisting the instinct to kick. "What--?? Oh, Taxi. Right." He bends down awkwardly, forgetting what it's like to interact with animals who didn't have six legs. "Hey Taxi, hey boy." The little dog leaps about excitedly, his little backside wiggling with his eagerly pumping tail. David grins, motioning over to the dog's tail and looks up at Jack. "Like pet, like owner, huh?"


Jack blushes lightly, "Hey, watch it, man, or I'll flush the toilet while you're in the shower." He grins teasingly, and picks up the wriggling Taxi so David can relax. "I'll be right back," shrugging off his shoes, Jack pads over to the kitchen door and lets Taxi outside. He thinks David could use a moment to himself, just to take a deep breath.


David toes off his ratty runners and tries not to slump against the pristine walls. Instead, he slowly and curiously peers into the different rooms from the hallway, looking at the neatly organized shelves, the chimney (a CHIMNEY!!) and the kickass entertainment system in the den. "Hey, thanks a lot for all of this, Jack," David calls belatedly, not really knowing where Jack was at the moment. David sighs and scratches the back of his neck. He hadn't really ever expected to be in a house like this. And yet here he was, and here he was with some boy who he only met a week ago. No money, no bike, no clothes. Reality gripped him; obviously, being good, responsible people, Jack's parents were bound to call social services, contact his mom and then have David shipped back to Vegas. Obviously, there was no way in hell they'd keep a stray. Stray dog, maybe, but not a stray kid. Obviously, David couldn't just start a new life this way. Obviously. Closing his eyes, his tips his head back and tries to clear his mind of the insanity that was pretty, pretty Rhode Island. "I'm an idiot," he mumbles to himself.


Having quietly rejoined David after letting Taxi out, but apparently unaware to him, Jack catches David's comment. He gazes at David, a serious and solemn expression on his face. "Why's that?" He sits down on their sofa, and tugs at David's sleeve to get him to do the same, thinking they really need to talk. "Come on, David.. tell me what's going on. You don't have to lie to me."


David hesitates sitting down on the nice clean couch, and settles instead on the rug by Jack's feet. "Geez, I can't believe I'm doing this to you, Jack. I've only not-really known you for a week, and I come and show up at your house and demand your spaghetti and your nice clothes and... oh man. I'm so sorry." David tugs at the rug gnarls. The room smells vaguely of roses; and not the plug-in kind either. "This place is so perfect, I feel like..." he grins slightly, "Like the black dude strolling though the 1950's white .neighborhood I shouldn't be here, Jacky."


Jack laughs a bit at that and slumps down onto the floor next to David, feeling weird sitting higher than him right now. He looks thoughtfully at David's socks, and replies after a long moment, "You're right... it is sudden, and it is strange. I won't deny that. But." He pauses, feeling self conscious, ".. Well, I don't know, I like you.. I'm not. I'm not mad that you came. I think it's sorta cool... I want to be your friend. There isn't really anybody like you around here. So just. Can you tell me what happened? Did your step dad kick you out?" He looks up at David's face, absently nibbling a bit at his lower lip.


David stares at Jack, momentarily speechless. Is this kid serious? Could he really, really be this open and, just, nice? David squints at him in a jokingly appraising way. "Before I go into that, mister Jack, I'll tell you right now that I don't quite buy it. How come you're so nice, huh? How d'you know you can trust me? You just met me. For all you know I could tie you up and, and track mud through the kitchen and steal your dog or something. Why would your parents be okay with some kid who shows up with their son? It's okay for Taxi, but you can't pull the "Look ma, can I keep him" line again with them, not with me. I don't think you can, anyway." David looked down, then quickly back up at Jack, a little wide-eyed. "Um, can you?"


Jack feels a sudden pang of fear.. David is right, he probably shouldn't trust someone who is practically a stranger so easily, should he? Someone who he's only talked to online briefly he's invited into his house and practically asked him to stay as long as he needs.. or wants.. to. Jack figures out the answer easily enough, and feels incredibly embarrassed with himself. He wanted to believe David, because he wanted a friend. Was he that desperate? He tells himself no, that David seems genuine enough.. look at his damn shoes, for godssake. And there's something about him, something special. Not something to be thrown away. "I can try," he blurts out, feeling immediately foolish. "I'm not really that nice. I just... I can't... explain it to you. Just trust me, okay?"


"Er... okay," David said, yet again surprised by Jack's sudden conviction. Then again, why shouldn't he be surprised? He has only met the kid face-to-face like five minutes ago. "Gee Jack, you even got me convinced I'm doing the right thing. Stop doing that okay?" But he grinned, to let Jack know he was kidding. Seeing Jack's shoulders relax a bit, David leaned back and let his shoulders rest as well. "Okay. So, yeah, I totally owe you an explanation. Um. I guess the long and short of it is, that, uh, I left. I just, like, left. My step dad's always saying that when kids turn 16 they're not legally in the parent's custody, so I figured I might as well... lighten his and ma's custodial duties." David shrugged. "I didn't want to stay in Vegas and get some girl knocked up or go to jail or become a blackjack dealer, sooooo I headed East. You're East." David licked his lips and grinned hopefully.


Jack smiles at that, and looks thoughtful again, "Okay.. I understand.." he wiggles his socked toes and wonders what to do. Damn, but this has been a strange day so far. "This is what we're going to do. You're going to go take a shower and then a nap to unwind, because honestly you smell worse than Taxi when he's wet," he grins. "And I'm going to try and come up with a great way to introduce you to my parents, hopefully have a talk with my mom while you're catching up on some sleep... and we'll see how that goes. Sound good?" Jack looks resolutely at David, mentally crossing his fingers and hoping this will all work out good.


David shrugs amicably, grateful for someone else to be doing the thinking. "Really Jack, you're too much. You feed me and clothe me and tell me what to do. I seriously, seriously owe you big time for this." David's eyes turn steely and he catches Jack's glance and holds it. "One day I will pay you back." He breaks the glance by yawning widely. "I'm sorry I reek. You're the one who--" he used air quotes for this "--'needed to talk'. I just want to stop scratching, heh heh." He quietly follows Jack upstairs, unthinkingly mesmerized by the easy sway of Jack's hips as the blond boy hops two stairs at a time.


****** insert David taking a shower, changing into Jack's clothes, Jack talking to his mother when she gets home, she starts dinner*****


David isn't dreaming. And somewhere in the back of his mind, he's happy about this. He curls up a bit more in the big duvets and pillows that surround him, and sometimes wakes up briefly, only because the sheets smell so incredibly fresh. He finally can understand those Downy commercials, where the mothers smell the laundry like it was perfume. He faintly hears the creaking of the stairs, and really hopes that it's not the police, or a really angry Jack's Dad or something. He pulls the duvet over his head to hide from view.


Jack finishes talking with his mom, and when dinner is almost done and his dad has come home, Jack heads upstairs to wake David while his mom tells his dad about their dinner guest. He opens his bedroom door a crack, and peeks inside. Seeing a giant person-shaped lump under his duvet, he suppresses a chuckle, and steps into the room. Jack sits down on the bed next to the lump and rests his hand on the lump's shoulder, shaking a bit. "David? Time to wake up..."


Instinctually, David pretends to be dead asleep, until Jack leans, a bit more urgent. With nary a sound, his arm snakes out and loops around Jack's head, pulling him under the covers as well. Jack is so small and thin, he comes down like a reed. David pulls the cover around them both. "Hi. Dinner? That's great, Jack, cause I'm starving." He doesn't realize just how ravenous he looks at the moment.


Jack makes a startled yelp at being pulled under the covers, and starts to laugh at David's surprise, but his laugh gets caught in his throat at the look on David's face, and he can feel his heart thudding around inside his chest as if it's trying to bang its way out. He knows he's blushing, but hell if he can explain why, and he just hopes David won't notice with all the shadows. "Er! Yeah.. spaghetti, remember? Green beans, too," he answers distractedly.


David sits up, reveling in the feel of the down duvet sliding off his shoulders. Jack is still half-crouched awkwardly on the bed where David pulled him, and for a brief moment David feels a strange hitch in his throat. It's weird, because he would never think of treating his guy friends like this. Then again, he didn't have too many guy friends. It comforts David to know he could treat Jack with such... what was the word? Intimacy? David shakes his head of those thoughts and focuses on the food at hand. "And garlic bread? Oh my god, dude, what did your parents say??"


Jack looks up at David, trying to ignore the slightly tight feeling in his pants. Shit. Why now of all times? Making sure the blanket is covering his waist, Jack sits up as well, and clears his throat a bit. "Well.. I told my mom about you, and she seemed concerned. I knew she would, she's really sweet. But. I sort of... exaggerated a few points. I hope you don't mind, but I thought it'd make her more sympathetic to your case. I told her.. uh.. well, I said your parents were alcoholics, and your step dad was really mean. I almost said he hit you, but, if my dad tries to do something like I hope he will.. I don't want to be too misleading..." Jack reaches up a hand to rub his eyes a moment. All this lying is making him feel a bit stressed, he's just no good at this sort of thing. He tries to put off the fact that eventually he's going to have to tell David about his age and parents. Opening his eyes again, he continues, "So, my mom said you could stay for dinner, and she'd talk to my dad about it tonight. She's better with him than me.. and, I guess we'll just go from there. So all you have to do is play the pitiful stray, and charm the hell out of them," he manages a small, wry smile. "Think you can manage that?"


David stares at Jack, who he knows is getting vaguely uncomfortable as the silence stretches. In truth, David is just as a loss to say. He's supposed to say his step dad is a bully, and his mom drinks. He sits back down on the bed, his back turned away from Jack. He knows he's just making this even harder for the kid by not saying anything; on the other hand, who the hell was he to feel upset over what Jack said? He came barging into Jack's house demanding to be fed and taken care of and... and. "Jack, I.... yeah." He turns and smiles at the other boy. "Seriously, I don't think I could have asked for a better friend from a stranger I only met about an hour ago." He laughs a little, trying not to think about how insane this all was. "I'll make it up to you and your parents, I promise. I'll get a job, I'll buy groceries, I'll live in the doghouse. Does Taxi have a doghouse? I'll pay him rent." When David saw Jack's expression relax a little, his did as well. "I am so, SO sorry I, like, did this to you, pal. I." David has no clue what to say next. He was always better at listening than saying what he felt. "Hey, let's go eat." He bounced up, feeling more energetic at the thought of stuffing his face with food. "And Jacky -- by the time we get to the apple pie for dessert? Your parents'll be crying in their little china teacups over my sad sad life. I guarantee it."


Jack grimaces at the silence, and David's back. He opens his mouth to apologize, to tell him, of course he doesn't have to lie... but before he has a chance, David has started talking to him again. Jack listens, and smiles a bit at the thought of David sleeping next to Taxi in his dog house. "Hey, don't apologize... you didn't do this to mess with me, it's not like that, y'know? It'll work out, if it doesn't, we can beg Semper and Philip to let you move into their bookstore and dust books for a living." With a grin, Jack stands up, and claps a hand on David's shoulder. "So yeah, let's go chow down and act pitiful," keeping his hand on David's shoulder, he heads for the bedroom door and the stairs.


David trots down the stairs, an almost alien sense of happiness warming his insides. He whaps Jack lightly on the shoulder. "Philip and... what? Sampy? So you do have friends!"


Jack snorts, and laughs a bit, "Semper. Sort of a weird name, isn't it? Yeah.. they're my friends. Semper owns a used bookstore I like, and Philip works with him, they're pretty good friends." Jack refrains from mentioning his saw them kissing once or twice... David would probably think it was weird, and he hopes if David stays he'll get along with Semper and Philip as well.


"Older guys? That's cool." David thought about Bastion and the book store dude from the Never Ending Story and grinned to himself. Very Jack. They approached the dining room and David slowed, looking a little nervous. He could hear the parent's chatting gaily with each other. He placed a hand back, gently catching Jack in the stomach. "Jack. You sure this'll work?"


Jack smiles softly, hoping it looks reassuring, "David. It will be okay. We aren't going to throw you out into the streets to beg for handouts and freeze in the cold autumn weather. I promise." He places a hand lightly at the small of David's back and walks into the dining room with him.


Dinner went by fast, because neither boy talked much. They were too busy eating all the delicious food. Jack never really noticed just how good his mom's cooking was until he watched David eat. His mom asked a few curious questions, to which David answered with the perfect amount of isolation and timidity. Jack's father looked on with vague interest, nodding benevolently when Jack asked if David could spend the night. Seeing the boy with a friend made the parents happy, they really couldn't help it.

After dessert....


The boys excused themselves, and lending David an extra coat, Jack lead his friend outside, intending on showing him his tree house. At the last moment, Jack grabbed David's wrist, and headed for the barn/garage instead. The tree house looked so much better during the day, in the sun.. and he wanted to show David their barn/garage hybrid anyway. "C'mere, I'll show you the hayloft." Letting go of David's wrist, Jack slips into the garage by a side door, holding it open for the other boy. When they're both inside, Jack pulls a string and a small overhead lightbulb goes on. It doesn't light up the garage too well, but at least they can see. Deep shadows are cast on the walls, but without fear, Jack walks past his dad's car and to the ladder leading up, up, up to the loft. He starts to climb, and looks over his shoulder at David, "I think I have some snacks stashed up here, if you're still hungry." And he continues to climb.


"A hayloft!?" David calls up from below. "What the hell, dude-- you have a hayloft?" Hopping easily onto the ladder, he shimmies up two rungs at a time and flops into the hay without hesitation. Bubbling with laughter, he rolls about for a bit in the sweet-smelling dry straw. "Oh my god I have got to be dreaming. Is everything here designed to be paradise for the five senses?!" David sits up and contemplates, almost to himself. "Everything looks like it as taken out of a Martha Stewart magazine, the food obviously tastes fantastic," he grins sheepishly, remembering the three helpings of spaghetti he had. This had seemed to delight Jack's mother. David lifts some straw to his nose and inhales deeply. "Everything here smells like they would in the movies and... and. Listen, Jack. Crickets and bird songs. So cool." David flops onto his stomach, reaching out and brushing an idle finger down Jack's forearm. "And no doubt everything feels great too. Aaahh! I'm gonna stay here forever, Jack." David buries his face in the straw and kicks with a glee he had stored up for a moment like this.


Jack settles onto the hay, and grins at David's happiness. He starts to shift some of the hay around for his snack box, and freezes at David's casual touch. Arg, stop acting so damn shocked, he silently berates himself, people touch each other, it's just what they do.. just because you aren't used to it doesn't mean you have to get all shivery each time . He shakes his head a bit, moving a few locks of hair from his face. His thoughts are interrupted, however, by David's enthusiastic glee. Jack laughs, and throws a fistful of hay at the other boy. "We'll have to get some chickens to live with you up here!"


David blinks. "Like, real chickens?" He rolls lazily onto his back, the spaghetti finally settling and making him completely lethargic. "The only chickens I've seen are roosters. And those were in co--um, rooster fights." He eyes Jack thoughtfully. "They weren't pretty to watch, but that's probably cause the fights were illegal. Poor stupid birds." He sits up, his eyes glimmering excitedly. "Soooo what do you crazy Rhode Island kids do for fun around here, huh? Jack Jack? Huh?" He happily pokes Jack about the smaller boy's torso with each question.


"Yeah, real chickens," Jack replies with a grin. He settles onto his stomach, chin propped on his hands.. until he gets poked! He lets out a yelp, and laughs, "Heyy, cut it out!" Jack tries to roll out of the way of the poking and answer at the same time, "There's a drive-in theater..."


David makes a face. "That's just for people to make out at. And unless you have a couple pretty chicks hiding under the hay, that's a no go." David helps himself to some of the Nilla Wafers Jack has stashed in the snackbox. "Malls kinda suck on general principle. Oh! Dammit, I wish I brought my skateboard, do you have a skating rink?"


"Hey, I like the drive in theater..." Jack retorts halfway defensively, and snags a few Nilla Wafers for himself. He leans on his side, nibbling thoughtfully, trying to remember if there's a skate rink around here. "I don't know.. there might be one by the mall. I don't go there too often. Never had a skate board, either." He eats quietly for a moment, and then asks curiously, "You don't have anything, do you? You didn't stash anything anywhere.. in a P.O. box or something?"


David lolls his head back, grinning lazily and chewing. "Nope, dude, I got nothing but the clothes on my back and I don't even got that anymore. I have a few dollars left in my jeans though. About twenty-five. Not nearly enough to buy a decent skateboard. "He sighs sadly. "My other one got broken, anyway, so it's not like I could bring it." David frowns for a bit, then-- "What day is it today? Thursday? You have to go to school tomorrow? I should go looking for a job, then. I guess."


Jack scoots a bit closer to David, trying to do so inconspicuously. He idly runs his fingers along the shirt sleeve, admiring how his shirt seems to fit David better than it fit him. "I have enough clothes to share. And what do you mean a job... you have to finish high school, don't you?" Jack blinks in confusion, "Of course, you won't go tomorrow or anything.. but you'll have to enroll, right?"


David shrugged. "I don't know how to enroll or whatever. They'll just ask a lot of questions and then they'll call social services, then it'll all be over. I can... I can just learn from your books and stuff, Jack," David smiled at Jack and was suddenly aware of how close the other boy way. He looked vaguely flushed around the cheeks, and David resisted to do... something else and just tweaked his nose instead. "Your curriculum can't be too different from mine, I'll catch up. And I can study at the local library or something, maybe get my GED that way. In the meantime-- work. Think Sampy and Philip might be hiring?"


Mostly unaware of the close proximity and the tweak because of David's answer, Jack frowns and tries his best not to look as bummed as he feels. He had really hoped David would come to school with him. Imagine that, having a good friend to take classes with, and have lunch with... no, that would be too perfect, and things never work out quite that perfectly. And hell, he doesn't even know if David will be able to stay. He's really jumping the gun here. Pushing these thoughts away for now, Jack lays on his back as David is, and stares up at the shadowed ceiling. "I don't know.. I can write down some addresses and you can go check out those places tomorrow. You can use my bike if you want. Uh.. I don't think Semper and Philip would need too much help, maybe just a few hours a day... the grocery store might be hiring. I think their delivery guy quit last week."


"That's cool, thanks pal." David waits, expected Jack to reply. When he hears nothing, he looks at Jack's face, half-obscured in the shadows. His blond hair blends in a pretty, corn silk way against the straw. Without hesitation, David fingers a strand. "Hey. 'sup, kiddo?"


Jack smiles a bit, one corner of his mouth turning up and betraying glum thoughts of more friendless school days. "Don't call me kiddo... Sookie." Jack suddenly starts laughing, shaking with it, and shoves playfully at David's side, "Betcha thought I forgot about that, Sooks!"


David rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry, who are you talking to? Your imaginary friend? Should I give you two some time alone?" David makes like he's going to get up and leave, trying his best to keep the mock serious look on his face.


Jack grins, and pulls at David's shirt, "Come on, Sookie.. don't leave... there could be mud down there, and it would do hell to your shoes."


David collapses almost onto Jack, his hands on either side of Jack's hips. He rears in close enough to say "Oh yeah, since when did you care about my shoes, Jacky," before realizing, oh god, this wasn't one of this friend-girl-friend-people, and you just can't do that to a boy, and--- falling back, David casts about desperately for something to change the subject with. "Maybe I will go to school. If your parents can get me in. They'd be okay with that, yeah?"


Jack's grin slowly fades to an open-mouthed blank expression as David leans over him. Their gazes lock, and they're so close Jack can see the different shades of brown in David's eyes before he pulls back. And fuck, it's back. Jack starts to sit up, biting his lower lip in frustration. Why does this keep happening? His mind goes back a few moments to when David's legs were pressed against his, their torsos touching.. and, yeah, it was just because somebody was laying on him. This reaction's totally normal. That's what they said in Sex Ed, didn't they? Jack pulls himself up, and nods, "Yeah.. that'd be great. I'm sure my mom could take care of it." He pauses, picking a piece of straw from his hair, and thanking the fact that it's so dark in here. "Well uh.. we'd better get back inside. Bed and all, cause I have to get up early... you're lucky, you get to sleep in." Jack forces a grin, forcing himself to think of other things, boring things.


David feels that weird crackling in the air. He's familiar with it; he's felt it before, but not with any boy his age. He tips his head consideringly, wondering what it is all about. Jack. It's something about Jack. David tries not to remember the conversation his best friend had with him before she got knocked up. About girls and sex and sex and... boys. He swipes at his hair with his hand, grateful for Jack's suggestion. "Bed. Good idea. I'm beat. I could sleep for a year. Or, well--" He checks his Day-Glo timex "--eight hours." They clamber down the ladder, and as they leave, David does a little celebratory dance. "I'm in Rhode Iiiisland. I'm - in - Rhode - Island. Dude, one day, I'll teach you pop and lock." He nearly grabs Jack's hand, but just tickles the back of Jack's neck instead.