Alexander turned quickly, nearly falling off his couch as loud knocks tore him from his study. He narrowed his eyes, noting there was a severe rainstorm going on outside, which he was writing away to help ease the waves of anxiety and sometimes panic that came with them. He closed his laptop gingerly, standing up.
"Who the heck would even-?" He said to himself, walking into the kitchen where the door was.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Hold your horses, I'm coming!" He yelled, quickly turning the door handle. In front of him stood three breathless, drenched men.
"You could not have been slower, mon ami," Lafayette said, laughing. Alex grinned awkwardly, stepping aside to let him, Herc and John inside.
"Sorry, guys I had no idea it was you!"
"You're good bro, and hey thanks for letting us in," Hercules said, wringing out his bandana.
"Hercules please not on his carpet!"
Alex laughed, closing the door.
"It's all good. Say, what are you guys doing out anyways?"
As if on cue the distant wail of a police siren came into range, followed by another, and another. He quickly turned back to the Frenchman in front of him
"There was an incident-"
"Oh my god-"
"Don't worry," John said, almost quietly, "There was a small brawl at the club, some people got angry and long story short someone pulled a gun so we split."
Alex could see now that John had a cut lip, dried blood also run down the side of his face. He narrowed his eyes at him, trying to register what his friends had been doing.
"There wouldn't have been any trouble if Monsieur Half-Wit hadn't decided to sock Lee," Lafayette said, crossing his arms.
"He had it coming!" He retorted angrily, "I didn't know he had a gun!"
"Wait wait wait," Alex said, waving his hands. "Lee pulled a gun on you?"
"Yeah, thank god the guy has bad aim," John said. Alexander rolled his eyes.
"I dunno how I feel about this, what if police come here? I could get in trouble you know."
"Yo, you wouldn't really kick us out, would you?" Johns' shoulders fell, a look of fear flashing across his face. Obviously, Alex was messing with them, but seeing their looks of panic almost made him burst out laughing.
"Of course not!" He said, laughing, "I'm just pulling your guys' legs. Uh, John?"
John snapped his head back to Alex, who had been nervously looking out the window. Alex noted something didn't seem right as if he wasn't getting all of the story. He decided to dismiss it.
"Do you want something for your lip?"
"Oh, uh yeah sure." Alex saw him glance out the window once more. "Where is it at? I can just put it on myself real quick."
"It's in the cupboard right next to the washcloths. In a little cup along with the toothpaste."
Like that, John disappeared from the kitchen around the corner. He had been to Alex's house before, so he knew his way around fairly well. Alex waited a moment, then turned to Laf and Herc.
"Is he alright? He's acting a bit… off." Alex asked, lowering his voice just to a whisper. The two shook their heads.
"Man we wish we knew. We weren't there for what happened, we on the total other side of the place when it went down," Herc said, shaking his head.
"We've noticed too, he won't tell us anything except for what he told you."
Laf must've read Alex's expression, he reached over, patting him on the shoulder.
"Do not worry, he will come through, try and not let it bother you."
"Easier said than done," He said quietly. After a few seconds, John came back in, rubbing his lip, his eyes cast to the ground.
Alex felt a pang in his chest seeing John in such a downcast mood, nothing like he usually was. He tried to shake it off.
"Well, if you guys want to sit down," He gestured towards the two couches, "As long as you don't soak them we won't have any issues.
They all sat down and eventually settled on a program to watch, which was a show on Animal Planet. Alex couldn't help but steal glances at John from time to time, who sat sideways in his armchair, watching the T.V. He felt bad, partially because John did, and partially because he wouldn't tell him. Maybe that was all that happened, He thought, Everyone has bad days. Yet part of him felt against what he was telling himself. Suddenly a thought sprang to his head,
He would just have to cheer John up.
He took out his phone, quickly pulling up a mobile T.V. show list. He tore through programs until he finally found one. He smiled to himself, quickly memorizing the channel number. He picked up the remote and punched it in, earning a glare from Hercules who was really into the program by the looks of it. He waited a second then the other channel came on.
John has to react some way to this.
The first thing that came on screen, a tiny turtle wobbling across a log.
All three looked over at John, who had gasped quietly. John whipped his head over to Alex, his eyes narrowed but his mouth curved into a slight grin. He shook his head and turned back to the screen, Alex silently cheering himself for at least making John smile a little. A little was better than not at all. They continued on for a while until Alex had noticed his hands had begun shaking. He bit the inside of his cheek, quietly placing them firmly in his lap. He could tell by the uneasiness he felt it was caused by the rain, which had increased in power as it beat down mercilessly on the steel room of his small house. He had endured plenty of storms after the hurricane, though the first had left him a shaking, sobbing mess, he eventually learned how to control the panic attacks well enough. He was torn from his thinking by a loud Pop! Noise from outside. He jumped, along with everyone else, then in one sweep the room went completely dark and silent. The only noise was a frightened yelp from Herc.
"What the heck happened?"
Alex stood up, quickly switching on the flashlight on his mobile. Everyone follow suit.
"Sounds like a transformer blew," John said, standing as well. "Go check and see if the neighbors have power."
They all wandered over to the window, led by the white lights shining from their cell phones. Alex craned his neck, scanning the rows of houses down the street. No porch lights, no lights in general. Even the lamp posts had gone dark.
"Well. At least we are not alone in all of this," Laf said, crossing his arms.
"I have some lamps in the closet, let me fetch those. At least it will give us a little light." He said, turning.
He walked quickly to the hall, not wasting any time. His phone was nearly dead, and he wasn't as fond as the dark as most, as much as he hated to admit it. He set aside some items, then grabbed two battery-powered lamps. As he walked back into the living room, he saw John had taken a spot back in the chair, while Laf and Herc had settled on the ground next to the coffee table. He turned the handles carefully, and thankfully each turned on without delay. He set them down on the kitchen and living room tables, then joined his friends.
"Well, so much for T.V., huh?" He laughed.
"I guess so. What are we gonna do now then?" Herc said, yawning.
"Well, how about Truth or Dare? It's been a while since I've played." He suggested. He immediately saw a look of confusion come across Lafayette.
"I am afraid I do not know that game."
"It's quite simple. When it's your turn, you pick somebody and ask truth or dare. Truth, they have to answer whatever you ask truthfully, Dare, you have to do something the dare you to do. Speaks for itself basically. We just keep going around." He explained, tapping a finger on the carpet.
"Ah, alright. John, Mon Ami, come down and play with us!"
"Do I have to?"
Alexander chuckled as John groaned, slowly slipping out of the armchair he had been sitting in on the floor.
"Dramatic much?" He laughed,
"Yep," John replied, smiling slightly.
"Well, who's going first?"
"I will," Lafayette said, grinning. "Hercules,"
Herc groaned. "Oh god, I freaking knew it."
They all chuckled.
"Truth, or Dare?"
"Let's go with Dare."
Lafayette paused, his eyes cast to the side in thought. After a few seconds, he spoke.
"I dare you to stand outside for exactly one minute."
Herc stood up, eyes narrowed at a snickering Laf.
"Fine. But if I get hit by lightning it's your fault."
"You will be fine. Time starts when you get out there."
They watched as a grumbling Hercules slowly made his way to the door, then walked outside into the storm.
"Wait for it," Laf said, leaning back, his hands on the ground. In a matter of seconds, a bright light illuminated the room, and a loud roar of thunder erupted. A loud scream was heard from outside the door, and Herc was back inside.
"You evil! Evil French! My life just flashed before my eyes!"
"I think that was just the light, but whatever floats your boat," Laf retorted, still smiling. Herc rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"I ain't going back out there, man."
"Fine, sit back down then. It is your turn."
Herc sat back down, obviously dripping wet. Alex decided to not mention it.
"Alex, Truth or Dare?"
"I'm going with truth, not after what just happened," He said.
Herc shot a look over to Laf before speaking.
"Who's your crush?"
Wow. How unexpected.
"Herc, you know I don't have one," He said. "And even if I did I wouldn't tell anyone."
"Ah, but you said answer truthfully, did you not?" Mentioned Lafayette with raised eyebrows.
"I did answer truthfully. I don't have a crush."
"Booooo!" Herc said, putting out a thumbs down.
"Hey! It's not my fault. I just happen to have more important things to deal with besides relationships," He said, shaking his head. "Laf, Truth or Dare?"
"Go ahead, pour yourself a nice glass of ketchup."
"Oh god no," He said, the color draining from his face.
"You have to do it, it's a dare."
"B-but I hate ketchup. You know this!"
Alex put a hand on his chest, imitating a look of surprise. "I do? Oh, I had no idea!"
He snickered as Laf stood up, grumbling.
"I heard that," He said in response to the obscenities the french man whispered under his breath.
"Good. I'm glad."
Alex put a hand on his chin, watching as Laf opened the dark fridge and pulled out a bottle of ketchup, then a small glass out of the cupboard.
"Diabolic," Herc laughed. "He deserves it."
"I can hear every word you two say!" He yelled from the kitchen.
"Good! I'm glad!" Alex shouted back, mocking his accent.
"I bet he won't even finish it," Herc said smugly.
"I don't know, never assume anything about foreigns," He replied over the various gagging noises from the kitchen.
"You're an immigrant too!" Coughed Laf.
They continued playing for a while, mostly Truths being tossed between them. Lafayette had managed to down the whole cup of ketchup amazingly, but not without mentioning it every other turn. At one point Alex had to take a swig of vinegar, which barely fazed him, much to the others dislike. The rain continued on, still as heavy as before, rumbles of thunder still heard every great while. They had begun to grow bored, well until it was Herc's turn. He looked around, until setting his sights on John, who hadn't uttered a word the whole game.
"John, Truth or Dare?" He asked.
"Uh... Truth." He said, somehow Alex knew exactly what Herc was about to ask.
"So, tell us exactly what happened between you and Lee, and give us some details so we can rub it in his face."
Alex saw Laf stiffen, he did too. He had sort of hoped the topic wouldn't come up again. It seemed to had been bothering John, but Herc, being Herc seized his opportunity to get some information.
Well, here went nothing.
John was quiet a moment, his expression unchanging. He was almost scared, that John might blow up or something. He was also angry, they deserved to know what was going on. John was his best friend for God's sakes, what was so bad he couldn't talk about?
"There's really nothing else that needs to be said. It was just Lee being dumb as usual and saying stuff he shouldn't of."
"Yeah well that hasn't explained why you haven't so much as looked at us the whole night, now does it?"
Alex covered his mouth as he spat the last words.
Oh crap I've messed up, you done did it now Alex, you really did it now, why, why are you like this. God, why can't you learn to keep your trap shut!
The room had gone silent except for Alex's heavy breathing.
Oh God, why can't I catch my breath?
Laf and Herc stared at him, both probably confused by his outburst. He didn't even want to look at John after just yelling at him.
"Alexander, are you alright?" Laf asked.
"F-fine," He said. He had barely heard his friend. He knew exactly what was happening, he just didn't want to believe it.
I was fine earlier, he thought. Why now? As if there wasn't enough attention to me.
He stood up slowly, careful not to fall over. His heart was already racing, and his mind felt blurry.
"What's going on? Alex?"
"P-panic attack," He gasped, "I-I need a.." He trailed off and stumbled into the kitchen, then into the hall, before finally collapsing against a wall.
He put his head in his hands, trying to steady his breathing. It had been so long since he had an attack. Tears were rolling down his cheeks, and he could tell his body was shaking. It felt like the world was caving in around him.
He looked up, John was kneeled down in front of him, a worried expression on his face.
"J-John… I'm so-sorry for what I did… I.." The words stumbled out.
"It's fine," He put a hand on Alex's shoulder, "Come on, take a deep breath, you're okay.."
John stayed as Alex regained some control of himself after about ten minutes or so. Eventually, he had calmed down.
"Listen, I'm sorry for being such a buzzkill today," John said, "And what you said was true, I barely did even look at you or the guys."
"Would you want to tell me why? I mean, since we're here and everything," Alex said, smiling weakly.
John took a deep breath. "It was that damn Lee. I was at the bar, minding my own business like usual when I heard him talking…"
"About you. And it wasn't anything good, so I walked over and confronted him about it. He didn't back off what he said, so I punched him." He laughed. "Felt good too, until he reared back and hit me too, then well Hell broke loose. His gang was on top of me so Herc and Laf came in and fought with me. That's when I heard the first gun-shot and decided it was time to bail."
"Wait, so all this started because Lee had been talking bad about me behind my back?" Alex asked. John nodded.
"It made me so angry, what he was saying wasn't the least bit true. I couldn't sit and let him say those things about you, Alex."
Alex couldn't help but smile.
"So all of that was for me?"
"Well, yeah. It was just bugging me a lot, about what he was saying. I didn't want to tell the guys that part because I knew they would give me crap like always," He said, chuckling, his smile quickly faded.
"Sorry I caused so much trouble."
"Trouble? John, you didn't cause any trouble. I've gotten these plenty of times in the past, I was shaking before any of this. Just a great side effect of storms."
"Good, I was terrified you were mad at me or something." He smiled again.
"How could I be mad, you literally punched a guy and almost got shot on my behalf. I think that's pretty awesome if you ask me." He thought for a second. "Actually, why exactly would you have done that? Why didn't you just let it be? I mean, It's not like I'm not used to being trash talked."
"Alex, you're the closest friend I've ever had, like… ever. I mean Laf and Herc are close, but they have each other. Wouldn't be surprised if they hooked up honestly. You've never left my side."
Alex smiled, heat rising in his cheeks.
"Wow, I.. honestly didn't think I mean all that to you,"
"All that and more."
Alex looked at John, they both stared at each other for a moment, just inches away from each other's faces. Alex couldn't help but look right into his eyes, a perfect mix of colors all blended together in bright, motivated eyes. Almost perfect, he leaned in, then in a quick movement, their lips met. Don't ask him how, or why, because he absolutely NO idea. He didn't care. They stayed momentarily, then broke apart, both panting slightly and smiling.
"Did we just-?"
"I think we did," He said.
"You know… you mean all of that and more to me too," Alex said, "I really, really like you. I think I always have, but I could never admit it. When I saw you in the mood you were in, I felt so bad, I wanted to help."
John smiled, Alex could tell he was blushing like crazy even in the dim light.
"I really like you too, and I maybe sorta totally have had the most massive crush on you since forever," He added quickly. Alex laughed.
"Yeah way, I honestly thought it was so obvious."
"Not at all-" He was cut off by the illumination of the hallway.
Lights were back on.
"Oh hi there," He said, laughing at John, who he saw perfect now in the light.
"Hello. Uh, we should probably go back to the living room," He said, pointing a thumb behind him. His face was bright red, but then again, Alex's probably was too.
They both stood up, but before they could go anywhere Alex quickly placed a kiss on Johns' cheek.
"After you," He said, and like that they both walked back into the living room and continued playing. Stealing glances at each other from time to time.
They had no idea, but Laf and Herc knew exactly what happened,
That would have to be a story from another time.
A/N- Okay, so yeah, this was supposed to be a FREAKING ONE SHOT, and yes I know. More angst, like legit Alex had a panic attack. I finished this around 1 A.M, then didn't fall asleep until past 3, but I decided to edit it today when I wasn't like so tired and I could catch mistakes. Don't worry, I have a fluffy winter themed story planned that won't have any angst. Anyways, I went to the mall today, and BOY DOES BARNES AND NOBLE HAVE A LOT OF HAMILTON STUFF. Too bad I didn't have money with me, huh? I'm going back tomorrow, so let's see how that works. Then on Sunday I get to go to a concert! I'm so excited, I'm seeing SKillet! I'M SEEING SKILLET! I've seen Tobymac too, which was epic. Anyways, that means I probably won't be updating for a few, because we get back from Winter Jam at like past midnight on a school night and we have exam stuff all next week. So, fun. Also, good luck to anyone else who is doing exams! I actually have a short list of story ideas, hopefully they won't be as long. I should go, it's already getting late and I have to finish and Art Trade haha. Well, until we meet again (:D)
Edit: This was supposed to be uploaded like a week ago, but FF wouldn't let me so I apologize for it being late. Also, Skillet was epic.