Ben was sad that he didn’t have any more classes with Travis. After the first one, he looked for Travis in al his classes. He never saw him, and started looking for Callen in the hallways, knowing that Travis was probably with him. When it came to lunchtime, however, he was completely bummed and wasn’t even thinking about Travis.
He sat down at a table by himself, opening his lunch bag and huffing at the food inside. He looked around at what the other kids were eating, wondering if he’d be made fun of for a peanut butter sandwich, and he was surprised to see Travis, sitting alone. .He swallowed, his heart starting to race. He quickly looked back down to his food and shook his head, trying to plan the best course of action.
He could go over there and look like a homo. He didn’t want to look like a homo, but, well…
Or he could sit here. Alone.
Ben huffed and picked up his stuff, moving to Travis’ table. He smiled awkwardly, shrugging. “How has it been?” His hands were shaking and he bit his lip, trying to calm himself down. He took out his sandwich and started to eat some, glancing at Travis and meeting his eyes, feeling awkward and hitching his eyebrows, looking back away.
"Coach." David, the stupid band/music teacher, nodded to Callen, sliding his tray up to his. He looked around, raising his eyebrows at the taller man. "How’s everything been? You know, with that burden of yours?" He tapped his finger on his own tray, showing impatience as the lunch line grinded to a standstill. "Man, teachers have to learn to have their ID’s ready. I mean, really, we’ve been paying this way for like two whole years." David rolled his eyes, catching Callen’s eye as he grabbed the Staff/Faculty Id around his neck. He clicked his tongue, smiling and slightly sliding his tray into Callen’s signalling him to move. "I’m prepared."
Travis rummaged through his bag for quite a bit. There were books and notes, papers, a pencil case, basically everything he needed except food. Which he neglected to make for himself in hopes that his father wouldn’t take him to school today. He sighed, checking the other pockets and finally finding a breakfast bar—probably really, really old but he wasn’t going to chance looking at the date.
He didn’t smile at Ben at first, but he breathed out and felt a lot of his anxiety melt away. “Normal,” he replied, placing his ‘lunch’ on the table and sliding Ben’s notebook over to him. “sorry about all the writing and doodles.” he rolled his eyes, smirking lightly. “Had to do something to ignore everyone.” he paused, grabbing his lunch and opening it. “What about you?” He didn’t look at him as he bit into the bar, examining it awkwardly.
His notes were more organized this time.
"Please don’t call me that, I might have to cut you. Unless you want me to start calling you Benny Boo, and I think we can both agree that it totally does not suit you. So let’s stick to names that are fine and at the least, borderline straight.
As mentioned before, Coach Callen is a close friend of my dad. Well, family friend, whatever. My dad’s in special forces, so he’s away from home a lot. Callen has had to babysit me a lot before, and yeah, it really sucks. Don’t ever let him come over to your house, it’s a nightmare.
I’d love to, and I do own one. But it might be a while, I have to convince my dad I have a friend first so he doesn’t think I’m sneaking out or something. I also have to convince him I’m stable enough…so, yeah.”
The next page consisted of very intricate designs of swirls that resembled smoke and blood splatter, with the words “kill me” in small text in the middle, with a small silly looking crying face.
Travis swallowed, shrugging as he mentally told himself the bar was safe enough to continue eating. It wasn’t great, it tasted a little stale, but it wasn’t horrid. He chanced looking over at Ben, but it was quick.
Callen frowned and narrowed his eyes, not even bothering to look at his coworker. He sighed. “It’s all fine. I think he made a friend.” his features fell into something sorrowful, but he didn’t look over to let him see. Instead, he looked down the line, waiting.
He looked over at the ginger with a stern expression, breathing out. He tried not to be self conscious, but he looked down, grunting and shaking his head as he reached down his shirt, pulling out his stupid ID. “Whatever.” he said, not putting his hands on the tray. “Maybe we just have our minds elsewhere, David.” he sighed again, grabbing his tray and sliding it, making a lot of noise with his jerky movements. He had to place a hand on his chest to avoid frustrating himself with the sound of his few neck accessories.
Ben frowned, wanting to say that he needed that notebook, but he knew that he didn’t. He let Travis keep it, smiling and taking extra time packing up, trying to calm his heart. When he left the classroom, he blinked, seeing Travis and the school’s coach talking to one another. He frowned, walking up to them and shifting the weight of his backpack.
“Your dad’s a teacher, huh? That’s completely different than your dad being a coach.” He smiled at Travis, then at the coach he wasn’t all that fond of. “I guess you take more after your mom, then, huh Travs?” He laughed awkwardly, huffing and looking down at the floor. He really hated the coach, mostly because he kept pressing him to play basketball even though he had no intent to be in any athletic program. One time he mentioned band and Coach almost punched him. He was that mad.
“D-do you need me to help find where your classes are?” Ben stuttered, looking up at Travis and trying to ignore Coach. “I don’t mind…! I know where most the rooms are.” He smiled awkwardly, his fingertips nervously tapping his thigh—a tick he never realized he had.
Travis’ eyes widened and he smiled awkwardly. Callen? His dad? He’d be even more screwed up. But before he could correct him, Callen took matters into his hands, bringing Travis into a painful one armed hug as he looked over to the taller teen. “Yes, he does. Venetia was a beautiful woman, he obviously takes after her.” he stroked Travis head, earning a grunt as he tried to push off of him, and succeeded after a bit of struggling. He crossed his arms.
"So, Corndog, I see you’ve met my son." Travis grunted again. "It’s good to see him socializing." he looked to Travis so fondly he felt like he was going to puke. "Oh, I’ll take him to his classes, don’t worry about it." he went to grab Travis again and he was having none of that this time. "Ugh, get away from me!" he ducked and ran around him, quickly getting to his locker.
Callen threw his arms out. “Why don’t you love me anymore!?” he huffed loudly, turning around to Ben and laughed lightly. “You need to show more backbone in the Gym, hotdog—” Travis pushed him, albeit lightly, but gave him a glare that made him back off. He raised his hands in defense.
Travis sighed. “Please.” he paused. “I don’t want to spend more time with him if I can help it.” he smiled crookedly, avoiding eye contact. When they were away from him, he grimaced. “He’s not my dad, by the way. He is a real idiot, though.” he looked up at him, adjusting his backpack and then messing with the paper in his hand. “He’s a friend of the family.” he sighed, slowing down a bit. “What class do you have next?” he bit his lip, feeling incredibly shy after all of that.
Travis didn’t have the best time in class after that. It was just as he expected it: boring as all hell and irritating above all else. He hated it. He sat there and listened to the teacher drone on, ignoring the hushed voices around him. He opened Ben’s notebook, reading over their earlier messages to calm himself down.
He sighed lightly before writing down his reply, but he didn’t stop there. He wrote probably more than he intended, but he didn’t care. When he was done, he turned the page, and began to doodle absently. Someone nudged him, but he ignored it. More hushed voices, and something was thrown at him.
He was almost in a hurry to leave, hearing the voices behind him call out. He let out a breath when he was out and Callen was standing outside. Only good thing about being friends with a school’s coach—he protected you. He walked up to him and made small talk as the classroom filed out, dispersing.
His next class was a nightmare. And he did everything he could not to break down. The teacher—more than once, had to tell the other students to calm down, and once told him to keep his mouth shut for defending himself. At this point, the only thing keeping him from losing his temper was the small voice in his head telling him to make a good impression on Ben. He sighed as he wrote a small, garbled ‘kill me’ on the page full of doodles.
He made his way to the cafeteria, ignoring everyone—including the punks who shoved him. He internally remembered their faces. They weren’t from any of his classes that he knew of. He sighed, immediately getting out of the way once he was in the large room. He found an empty table and made himself comfortable, pulling his legs up and crossing them. He put his bag to his side, pulling a few things out and putting them on the table, sighing again. He didn’t want to chance looking around, so he went to looking in his bag to see if he had brought any food with him.
Ben took the notebook and kept looking at Travis. He waited, looking him in the eye. He hitched his eyebrows and offered Travis an awkward smile. He was way too dashing for Ben to feel confident looking at him at all. He lightly took the notebook, his eyes on it instead of his new friend. He turned it the right way in his hands, placing it in front of him and reading it.
He smiled, a light blush rising to his cheeks. He glanced over at Travis, that crush-look evenly displayed on his face. He laughed, nervously and breathlessly. He glanced at the notepad, then back at Travis. With a smile, he shook his head, shifting his attention back to the notepad. He began to formulate his reply. The hand writing was a bit jittery, some words crossed out.
“So I guess
TravyTravvy Wavvy is out of the question. That was my first idea, but since I didn’t know you I thought it was a little too gaydumb. But now that we’re friends…
Ew, is your dad a teacher? That sucks, man. Big time. Does it? I mean, isn’t he like super strict or something?
Oh, hey, you got a bike? Maybe we could hang out sometimes. I mean, you know. If you’d want to.”
As he handed the notebook off to Travis, the bell rang for class to be out. Ben frowned, dropping the notebook on Travis’ desk. He looked up as the other students started to pack up, smiling awkwardly at Travis.
“Uh, it was…nice to me—meet you?”
Travis gave Ben a smile in return for his. It wasn’t awkward—it was warm, and it felt nice to do and not force it. He noticed how nervous he was, but didn’t comment. He stopped looking directly at him, relaxing just a bit. He missed the meaning of the expression, and simply gave him another smile. He was quiet for the most part, the only sound he made was with his pen, which he absently used to scribble on the desk. Back side, of course. He wouldn’t risk actually drawing on it.
He looked at the notebook and almost jumped when the bell rang. He grabbed the notebook and smiled, closing it almost immediately. He put his legs down, making a mental note to do it sooner in his next class. He sighed lightly, turning to Ben. He put the notebook under his arm as he stood up and held a hand out to shake Ben’s hand.
"Great to meet you too, Ben. I’m not sure what class I have next," he shrugged lightly, shifting in place. "so I’ll just hold onto this until later." he patted the item lightly.
He trailed behind the rest of the class and looked around curiously. It was kind of hard to miss the toll blonde who had his arms crossed across the way. He waved meekly.
The guy smirked and walked up to Travis, placing a hand on his head and ruffling his hair, messing it up more than it already was. It took every ounce of self control he had to not fix it. “Hey, prick!”
Travis frowned lightly, but the older man just smiled. “We’re working stuff out to see who’s gonna bring you home,” he paused, shifting his weight. “because you’re too incompetent to get home on your own.” Travis muttered a ‘thanks’ before brightening up—if that’s what you could call it—and asked him what his next class was.
He was kind enough to have made him a list, complete with a sort of map and times. Travis smiled, sometimes this guy could be nice. He wasn’t, usually. Probably had to do with the incident, but right now, he really didn’t care.
Ben accepted the notepad, smiling at Travis. It disappeared, though, when Travis refused to look at him. He let out a sigh, furrowing his brow and assuming that Travis thought he was lame. He scanned the letters, frowning and leaning forward to read the text again. He glanced at Travis, huffed, and turned the page, writing his own response.
He looked back at Travis, frowning. He tried to hiss his name to get his attention, but the kid still wouldn’t look at him. So, he had to lean far in his desk and shove it onto Travis’.
“Oh, really? So you’re that kid everyone’s been talking about. Sorry about making fun of you for being late to class. Can I call you Travs? …well, I’m gonna.
Actually, yeah. You hit the nail on the head, Travs. I wanted you to think I was cool, actually. …I don’t have many friends, unless you count teachers. I had a job around during the summer and yeah.
Hey, do you hate me or something? You should just tell me now before I get all excited to have a new friend. I don’t like being let down.”
Ben sighed and watched Travis, his eyes scanning his features. He couldn’t help but see anything but how cute he was, so he had to stop looking, sighing and falling a little in his seat. He crossed his arms and stared at the back of the head that was in front of him. He was upset, already assuming that Travis hated him.
Travis went and upset himself, over thinking the situation. He was going to be alone in this school, no matter how hard he tried to make friends. But it didn’t matter, because he didn’t want to talk to anyone. He got too emotional. He sighed lightly, ignoring Ben. This writing situation really was some weird answered prayer, but he didn’t want to see what he had to say to him. He’d rather not know; it’d hurt less.
He tried not to notice the notepad at first, but paranoia and curiosity got the best of him, He was still upset, but he moved in his seat and adjusted the book in front of him as he read it over carefully.
And just like that, he closed it, but kept him place with his hand. He bit his lip and looked away from Ben as much as he could, feeling his heartbeat quicken again. God, he felt like girls must do on their periods, except less pain. At least, that’s how his mom explained it. Ugh, and again making himself upset. He closed his eyes and tried to calm down, telling himself again that having any kind of panic attack on the first day was something he really didn’t need to do. If not for himself, for his dad because he would surely beat him if something happened.
He breathed out and swore to himself, but not out loud. He definitely shuddered. Jesus, he was already embarrassing himself. He really hated himself right now, so he sighed, giving up and sitting back, wiping his face and bringing the notebook to himself. he opened it back up and started writing a reply. When he was done he handed it to Ben, avoiding eye contact and immediately trying to bring his legs up to cross them in his seat.
"It’s fine. And yeah, you can call me Travs. All you’re doing is taking the i out, and it’s not cheesy. I like it.
Well, I think you are cool. Honest people are pretty great in my books. Teachers are still people, they count. I should know, I’ve spent my whole life with one. (upset face)
I don’t hate you. I don’t want to sound like a pansy, but I’m still really emotional. I don’t like being let down either. I’d love to be your friend, Ben.”
When he successfully—painfully, got himself seated the way he wanted, he dared to look at Ben. But this time he didn’t just glance at him, he stared. He controlled himself and—jesus—yelled at himself for being such an idiot. All the recent events fucked him up. He huffed, but he didn’t look away.
Ben raised a brow as he received the notebook back, scanning it quickly. Immediately, he snorted, covering his nose and mouth with his hand and trying not to laugh. Attention was drawn to him, in lieu of their classmates and, subsequently, the teacher. He huffed and crossed his arms, staring straight at Ben. “And, young man, what do you find so funny about the romantic deaths of Juliet and her beloved Romeo?”
Ben leaned over his desk, stuttering but showing confidence. “Well, isn’t that just the irony? I mean, if either one of them had been a little more honest with each other, or maybe waited before murdering themselves, things would have been okay.”
He shrugged. “It just goes to show ho—how bad of a writer Shakespeare was. While it is, uh…” Ben paused, frowning. He couldn’t think of the word. “Emotional? He didn’t really write that…realistically.” Ben sighed, raising his eyebrows and slinking back in his chair. Their teacher huffed and rolled his eyes.
“With an attitude like that, Mister Paul, I may have to fail you.” He laughed, signifying that he was joking, and Ben breathed deeply, glancing at Travis and smiling mischievously.
He leaned over the notebook and wrote furiously, quickly handing it over to Travis.
“Yeah, thanks a lot, asshole. I thought you were a douche from your luscious locks, but I never thought it would be this bad. I swear if you’re writing in Shakespeare-speak this time, I’ll…okay, I don’t know. But I’ll be upset or something.
Really though, dude, what’s your name? Don’t you know its normal to tell other people your name when they tell you yours? Or is this the first time in your life you’ve come out of the house? C’mon, man.”
Ben smiled, looking down at his desk. He rested his arms on it, biting his lip lightly. This guy was beyond cute.
Travis couldn’t help it, he let himself smirk, but immediately looked away. He controlled his excitement and looked back to Ben like the rest of the class, listening intently. He smiled lightly, until he started saying how bad of a writer he was. It’s not like he himself liked Shakespeare all that much, but it wasn’t a good thing to say in class. Even he knew that. He thought the stuttering was cute, though, and had to look away.
The only thing Shakespeare was a bad writer for was not making coherent sentences, and even then it was just ‘poetic’. Tragically poetic.
He glanced back at Ben right when he looked at him, and felt a strong urge to look away. This was dumb, he thought to himself as he looked down at the desk.
He huffed lightly, taking the notebook and reading it over. He let himself smile lightly but it was gone quickly. He took his pen back out and started writing. He was slow and bit his lip out of habit, but he handed it back to him when he was done.
"You handled it, Sherlock. Shakespeare isn’t that great, but I couldn’t resist.
My name’s Travis Wakely. If that doesn’t ring any bells, I’ll be surprised. I hope you understand why I feel reluctance to telling others my name.
You seem like a pretty cool guy, despite how much you’re trying to insult me. Do you always introduce yourself differently based on first impressions?”
His message was a bit all over the place, at least to him. He didn’t look back at Ben. He found a corner of the room was the best place to look right now. He slouched, and rested a hand on his cheek. He didn’t expect a reply, in all honesty.
He wanted Ben to know, and now he did. Probably. He expected to be bullied or ridiculed…something, anything, like his father did constantly. All he could do was brace himself.
Ben looked up from his desk in the corner of the room, frowning as the prissy-haired guy sat next to him. He heaved a sigh, reaching to move his books off of the desk Travis had chosen.
“Dude, I claimed this desk from day one. Where were you then?” He huffed as he plopped his things on the floor, rolling his eyes. As the lesson about Shakespeare or some shit continued on, Ben couldn’t help but glance at Travis. He wondered where the guy had been, and also why he looked so pale and afraid. He shrugged, opening his notebook and furiously scribbling away.
He passed the notebook to Travis, his eyes on the teacher. The page said had written on it:
“Yo, who are you? You already skipping classes? Seems like a great way to start off high school. You look like you just attended a funeral, what’s wrong with you? You sick?
My name’s Ben. I hate Shakespeare.”
The handwriting was jagged, but it still flowed. It showed up like a kind of garbled cursive, hard to read and demanding of the eyes. He glanced at him, a half smirk on his face, then back to the teacher. The guy looked like a douche, so maybe acting like a douche to him would make a friendship. That’s how things work, right?
He waited for Travis to write back to him, giving him a nod, and widening his eyes and rolling them, gesturing to the notebook. “Write back, asshole.” He hissed, sighing.
Travis sat down as he was instructed, only glancing at the students around him. He sat down rather gently, watching the guy next to him take his stuff away. He actually felt a little bit of guilt, but at the same time it kind of felt like he was saving his seat. Either way, he didn’t smile.
And he didn’t say anything, either. Instead, he looked forward, sitting up straight, and listened to the teacher drone on. His heart beat started to calm down, and he was thankful he was able to concentrate on his words. He gave the guy a weird look when he handed him his notebook, which he took, however hesitantly.
He read it slowly, making sure he understood each word. It wasn’t every day someone tried to talk to him, even in middle school. He was really expecting this guy—Ben, apparently—was going to yell at him. Not quite, he got a couple facts right right off the bat, and it scared him. If he knew then the there was a high percentage that the other classmates did too. He sighed.
Travis looked over at Ben and gave him an expression he wasn’t too sure of himself. Hurt, confusion, a little bit a disapproval. He didn’t know. He narrowed his eyes slightly at Ben’s words, looking forward and reaching into the pocket of his hoodie, pulling out one his dad’s fancy pens. He wrote very fluidly, but had to stop a few times, seemingly stretching his wrist.
When he was done, he looked up and watched the teacher until there was an opening, then he slid the notebook back to it’s owner. In smaller text, and in black ink, it said the following under Ben’s message:
"Better three morrow too late than a minute too soon.
I haft arrived on time.
Thou should know thine place, and keepeth to themselves; prying into other’s business tis quite knavish.”
At first, he didn’t look at Ben, but he got curious, so he glanced over at him. He had focused all his energy on not smirking at him—this was the start of a beautiful friendship, he inwardly laughed.
I did fuck her though. Against the wall. She loved it too, boy, and let me tell you that she loves it from /all/ the guys.
I don’t need to hear this.
I fucked your Mama. Fucked her HARD
That’s goin’ a bit too far. Now, I know you didn’t, so I’m gonna have’ta ask y’all to not bring her into this. Yer problem’s with me so keep it like that.
Wow you suck I hope you trip and get caught in that fence you have up
Well I’d like it if you joined me, I reckon if I suck so much you gotta tell me like that then you suck jus’ as much.
You're not attractive at all everyone's mistaken. I mean, who could love a disgusting hick like yourself
Well uh, I dunno. I never thought myself as much. More or less average.
But jus’ cause I’m a hick don’t make me disgustin’.