"Hey Rich, how's it going?" Virgil asked as he plopped down on the couch next to his blond friend.
"It's fine." Richie responded. "Not much has happened in the last..."he looked at his watch, "fourteen hours."
"Oh right." Virgil replied feeling a little dejected. Richie had wanted things to go back to normal, but of course he had to be feeling a little bit awkward as well. It may have been too much for Virgil to expect complete normalcy just fourteen hours later, plus it was hard to act normal when you knew your best friend was in love with you.
"So, do you want to go to the center and shoot some hoops?" Richie asked thinking a little exercise would do them some good.
"Yeah, sure." Virgil hopped off the couch and darted towards the door. Basketball was just what they needed to kill the awkwardness that was abounding.
Authors note: I'm going to insert the authors note here because I want you to pause for a second. Sorry I've been so long in updating. I actually have two more chapters after this one written, but it'll probably be at least a few days before I upload one. I don't want there to be such a big gap between chapter updates any more. Also, sorry if this chapter seems a bit weird, it's been awhile. Let me know what you think. Now I'll let you get back to the story.
Basketball was definitely not what he needed. Virgil couldn't help but stare. Of course there would be other kids at the center, and of course they would decide to play a game of shirts and skins, and of course Richie would be on the skins team.
It was too much for Virgil to watch a sweaty, shirtless Richie running around, coming inches from his face guarding and blocking. It took everything in the teen to not tackle his friend there. In fact, the only thing that kept him from doing that was the presence of the other kids.
Richie wasn't unaware of Virgil's leering gazes and spent the latter half of the game avoiding the darker teen. He would allow others to block and would place himself in positions where it would be nonsense for Virgil to block much to his teams confusion.
After a few games of this dance, the other kids decided to call it quits.
"Hey man. What was that about?" Virgil asked Richie walking up to him.
"What was what about?" Richie said putting his shirt back on.
"You know. You trying to stay on the opposite end of the court as me."
"I was only doing that because you kept staring at me. It was awkward." Richie said flushing.
"What was I supposed to do? You have a nice body." Virgil replied embarrassed.
"No. V. You're not supposed to think that." Richie started walking towards the showers. "I don't have a nice body. Daisy has a nice body. I have a man body."
"You have a nice man body." Virgil shrugged. He then started undressing.
"Hold up, V. I'm not showering with you if you're going to ogle me like that again."
"I'm not going to ogle you, Rich." Virgil said turning his back to his friend.
"You did when I was shirtless, why wouldn't you when I'm buck necked?" Richie responded with a little bit of a laugh, a little bit of disgust.
"Fine, you don't have to shower, but I'm going to. I reek." Virgil said slipping off his shirt.
"Alright. Well, I'll meet you at the diner later." Richie walked out of the locker room.
"Dang it!" Virgil shouted punching the wall as soon as he heard the door close. "Why do I have to be so stupid?"
The teen turned the water to high heat and let it beat on his back. 'Richie wants things to be normal,' he thought, 'but how can things be normal between us? I can't just stop finding him attractive, but I can't keep driving him away like this either.' Suddenly, Virgil felt a cold hand on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry, V." The familiar voice spoke. "I shouldn't have left. I said I wanted things to be normal, so I'll just pretend you weren't checking me out and you can pretend you weren't and it'll all be fine."
Virgil turned back to look at his friend a little astonished. "So you really just want things to be back to the way they were?"
Richie looked Virgil dead in the eyes, "I don't want to be any more than friends."
Virgil looked highly disappointed, but gave a weak nod of something between acceptance and agreement.
"Everything's going to be okay. It's better this way, Virg." Richie said taking a step closer.
"Yeah. I know." Virgil said closing in the space in a quick hug.