Like I told Miss Kay, in this fic David is a bit more damaged than I usually write him – as though the Donny-Divorce one-two punch really fucked him up, instead of, you know, only moderately.

As always, this didn't turned out the way I originally imagined it.

Also, Jalil never actually shows up in the fic. Apologies. Originally he had a scene, but it didn't work very well, so now its just oblique references to him as Christopher's best friend.

I also seem to be pathologically incapable of not shoving Athena or Loki into even the smallest fic.

Christopher probably wouldn't even have noticed the new kid if not for the fight.

There are reasons for this. Christopher, for one, rarely notices anything that isn't shoved right in front of him, and for two, being that the new kid wasn't in his homeroom or any of his classes, he wasn't right in front of Chris, and so Christopher didn't notice him. Christopher could have easily gone the rest of the year without knowing anything about one David Jonathon Levin.

Christopher does end up noticing him, but only because the one thing any high school student notices is a fight. Granted, it's hard to miss once people start mobbing and chanting "fight, fight, fight!" but it could probably happen. Christopher, by the grace of God, is right at the forefront of the whole thing. A couple of jocks tried to jump New Guy outside the parking lot. It was probably some macho thing about looking at one of the jocks' girlfriends – that's still the standard bullshit excuse for starting a fight these days.

New Guy bruises a few ribs, breaks two of their noses, and one jaw. Christopher's pretty sure the only reason he didn't get expelled was because it was four against one, which generally aren't good odds for anything but a bloodbath, and because Ms. Athena saw the whole thing. Ms. Athena might be a crazy old bat, but she's nothing if not fair.

Officially, the new guy's name is David Levin, he gets a month's detention and shows up at school the next day with a spectacularly impressive black eye. After that, the rumors start flying thick and fast. He's an Army Brat whose dad was in the Marines. Black Ops. CIA. He's fresh out of juvie. He used to be in a gang. Is in a gang. Runs a gang. Runs a cartel.

As far as Christopher can see, the only thing he actually does is run track and smoke in the bathrooms. He doesn't say anything until the teachers practically twist his arm, and the only ones with enough balls to do that are Ms. Athena and Mr. Merlin.

Anyway. Everyone leaves him alone after the fight, and now he's even quieter than before.

Christopher always drinks too much coffee in the mornings. He can't help it. He's completely seduced by Starbucks' dazzling array of options, though he thinks his third period teacher is getting annoyed with his constant bathrooms breaks and he should probably cut back.

The first thing Christopher sees when he enters the bathroom is David Levin leaning against the back wall, smoking. He's dressed in an old Radiohead t-shirt, jeans, and military boots, with his hair is hanging all over the front of his face. He's as dark and broody as any McDreamy or McSteamy or Mc-who-the-fuck ever is the hot one on Grey's Anatomy this week – which Christopher, for the record, does not watch. It just comes on right after Ugly Betty, and sometimes he sees a minute. Or two.

Christopher relieves himself, then goes over to wash his hands. He dries them carefully, thinks very carefully about what he's about to do, because there are only so many reasons a kid in high school is as apparently and honestly self-loathing as David Levin is and only one of them honestly works in his favor. Plus, he stares at Christopher from time to time. Christopher may or may not be staring back. Don't quote him on this.

Christopher walks over and kisses him. When he pulls back, Levin looks totally surprised. If Levin can look surprised. Chris is fairly sure that's surprise.

Chris figures hey, all right, he read him wrong. He mumbles out something like an apology and leaves quickly, before Levin finds the buried homicidal rage that broke that guy's jaw.

Christopher runs into Levin in the bathroom again a week later. He's still smoking up against the wall and Christopher still hasn't stopped drinking coffee. It seems almost inevitable.

Christopher holds out hands in a gesture of appeasement. "Hey, uh, no worries. Just in here to take a piss, I swear."

When Levin doesn't move he unzips and goes about his business, with Levin's gaze steady on the back of his neck the whole time. He washes his hands and wipes them off on his pants, totally surprised and more than a little scared when Levin reaches for him – grabbing fistfuls of his shirt, pulling him forward in a breathtaking, perfect awkward-to-amazing kiss that ends with Christopher gasping and clutching Levin's jacket.

"So, I…" He tries again. "You…"

"You surprised me."

"Guess you're over that."

David shrugs.

Good enough for Christopher.

Christopher has seventh period free on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He signs into the computer lab before the bell rings and then skips off to the bathroom. Christopher isn't sure if David has the period free too or if he just skips. That's the one good thing about shitty public schools – they just don't care.

Christopher learns to always lock the door behind him, and that kissing a guy who smokes cigarettes isn't at all like licking an ashtray. That David likes holding Christopher down, and pressing his arms up against the wall. He likes to bite, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, but he presses soft kisses to Christopher's eyes when Chris doesn't even realize he's closed them, and makes a soft growl in the back of his throat whenever Christopher runs his fingers through David's hair.

Just making out. They're just making out, is what Christopher keeps telling himself, because it always feels too intense for that. It never feels like enough time. Like Christopher barely gets his hands on David before the warning bell rings, and then there's only a few minutes to calm themselves down before next period. To wrest themselves away from each other, smooth out their shirts. Splash cold water on their faces.

This time, though – this time David does something different. This time when the warning bell rings, David gets down on his knees, and Christopher's mind skips, stops, and completely reboots. It's almost pathetic, really, that he gets that much harder watching David unzip him. When his hand tightens in David's hair he can feel David growl against the front of his jeans, and it's almost game over there. As it is, it only takes about three seconds before Christopher's brains start oozing out his ears, and he still has his fingernails stuck in the peeling paint of the wall by the time David is out the door.

The next few times after that, Christopher makes a desperate grab for David's wrist before he runs off, for reciprocation, or something, because even though he highly doubts he can match David's skill, he's not so much of an asshole he just lets it stand. David shrugs him off with a don't-touch-me-vibe even Christopher gets, and he lets it go.

At least for a while. Christopher is nothing if not tenacious. The time after that he tries to preempt the whole deal by stopping David before he gets on his knees. David wrenches away from him and starts walking away. He starts heading towards the door, for God's sake, and Christopher's brain scrambles.

"Stop, just – " He's frustrated in more than the obvious ways. "Come to my place after school?"

David's turns, but his facial expression doesn't change.

"I want more time with you. Maybe in an actual bed." Still nothing. "I won't… We won't do anything you don't want, seriously, I just…"

"All right."

Christopher stops abruptly. He was working his way up to a world-class ramble. "What?"

"All right." David took a step back towards Christopher, one hand reaching around the curve of his hip. "Now can I blow you?"

Christopher concedes.

And just like that, it's something more. Something secret they don't talk about, but still something. Always meeting in the bathroom during free periods, going over to Christopher's house after school. Christopher nods to David in the hallways and now and then David nods back. They don't sit together at lunch – Christopher's pretty sure they don't even have the same lunch period – and they rarely meet outside of school, though that's probably because Christopher's been too chicken-shit to suggest it so far.

This time around Christopher learns David is jaw-droppingly beautiful without his clothes on. He has a small tattoo on his left shoulder blade he hasn't let Christopher get nearly close enough to. He likes watching Christopher – not like that, even. Just watching him. Watching him walk, watching him talk, watching him laugh. Christopher has never been so aware of his body before. Of just existing next to someone. Also, Christopher's mouth is good for something other than making jokes. His parents would be relieved except for, you know, the part about what his mouth has actually been doing.

He's never even been this happy before. Because hey, at the risk of sounding crude, his brains are getting blown out of his dick a few times a week, he's got a kind-of boyfriend-like-something and he's passing Trig. Not that the last has anything to do with this. Still.

Things could be good.

Christopher ambushes David outside the back entrance of the school after track practice. Chris is still around because he had detention for mouthing off to Ms Athena again. He'd bitch, but its pretty much justified. Christopher just calls 'em like he sees 'em, that's all. The old bat.

Anyway, David is still riding the adrenaline high, slick and damp from the shower, and Christopher probably ends up the first guy in school history to actually get laid behind the bleachers.

When he collects enough brain cells to talk again, David is smoking a cigarette and looks like he's going to run off again. This is no longer surprising. "We can go to my house," Christopher says brightly, obviously. "Or..."

David shakes his head. "Not my place."


"You don't want to." David takes one more puff of his cigarette before throwing it away. "I'll meet you at your place."

Christopher comes out to his parents over dinner. Mostly because it's convenient, and because he can.

It can't possibly be a surprise. David's over just about every other day, and they disappear to Christopher's room for hours at a time. Christopher's mom has a compulsion to feed David whenever she sees. Christopher's dad calls him 'son.' David doesn't say much, but even he has to have picked up on that.

Before Christopher can even think of how to begin he knocks his glass over twice, spills mashed potatoes everywhere, and his dad asks him what the hell his dysfunction is today.

"About that," Christopher starts. Oh God. He thinks he actually might throw up. How embarrassing. "I mean, it's pretty much the epitome of closing the barn door after letting out the horse, or however the fuck that goes, but… I'm gay. And David's kinda like my boyfriend." His parents are staring at him. "Which I'm really hoping you've picked up on, otherwise this is unspeakably awkward."

"Oh sweetie," his mother coos, eyes glistening. "Of course we know."

"We just wondered if you were ever going to admit it," his father says dryly.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," Chris manages around the lump in his throat. So all those TiVo'd Degrassi episodes weren't a coincidence, then.

Christopher doesn't remember quite how he brought it up or how he asked or really anything except that David said yes to going to April's party. With Christopher. Like, with Christopher, and the whole moment is entirely too momentous for Christopher to have forgotten but whenever he gets nervous the babble goes into overdrive and Christopher's mind mostly blanks it out so he can go through the rest of his existence without a permanent cloud of embarrassment.

At least, that's his working theory. Jalil would disagree, but whatever, Jalil disagrees with everything Christopher says. That's the problem with being friends with someone for so long – inevitably, one of you becomes the know-it-all, and let's face it, that person is never Christopher.

Chris arrives at April's party a little late, so he stops to say hello to her first thing. They're barely done hugging when he sees David step off his motorcycle, setting his helmet on the seat. Christopher grins at him, a very obvious grin, and he knows it, so he ignores April's pointed look. "Hey."

"Hey." David walks over to them and barely raises an eyebrow when Christopher grabs his hand. Christopher does it here because he knows it's safe. April's friends basically consist of art students and drama geeks. Those who aren't actually queer are so used to being accused of it they make up the basis of the school's GSA.

"April, you know David, right?"

"We're in English together," she says evenly, flashing him a winning smile before rounding on Christopher. "How long have you guys been going out?"

David's still as silent as the grave, but Christopher didn't really expect anything else. "A while," he hedges. April's going to grill him later, he just knows it. It's not like he knows. Does that first sucktacular kiss count? The second great one? When he started bringing David home with him? Relationships are brain-hurt inducing.

"Drink?" David asks. Maybe he's nervous, or just giving April a chance to pick Christopher's brain.

"Sure. You know what I like."

April sniggers as David walks away. Christopher is going to get her for this later. Somehow. He'll think of something.

"You're adorable," April sighs. "The both of you."

"Yeah, well. I don't what we are." They're guys, it's not like they ever talk about it. "Just… good."

April waves a hand. "This your first time out anywhere?"

"Pretty much." He's feeling a little miserable here. He's so lame.

April reaches out to squeeze one of his hands, so she must notice. "It didn't look like he minded at all."

"Hah, like you can tell?" David gives new meaning to the word 'stoic.' And Christopher thought Jalil was hard to read.

"He's here, isn't he?" April nods towards David, walking back to them with a cup in his hand. "Even if he is quiet."

"I like the tall, dark, silent type." Even though David's standing behind him he can feel David roll his eyes and imagines the little wrinkle that appears between his eyebrows. Christopher takes the plastic cup out of David's hand and sips it. Whew. Someone's been a little heavy-handed with the liquor.

"Trying to get me drunk, Levin?"

He doesn't even get an eyeroll this time. Pity.

April lets them go after a little chitchat – well, after Christopher and April chat, and David stands with them while running his thumb over Christopher's hand. Christopher can't stop himself from being deliriously happy, or maybe just a little drunk by the time he starts making out with David underneath the oak tree in April's backyard. There's the press of the bark against his back, the way David's hand keeps slipping just under the waistband of his jeans. They end up in the back of Christopher's car and making a mess all over each other that Christopher cleans up with his shirt, so he has just his hoodie to wear back home no matter how ridiculous that looks. Christopher kisses David goodnight, sloppy, bonelessly happy when David kisses him back again and whispers goodnight against his lips.

Even with moments like that, Christopher knows that everything is not really right in David-and-Christopher-ville. Besides the stumbles and hazards of being two gay guys in an inner-city school, Christopher is pretty sure David has some secrets eating away at him. The kind that burrow deeper and deeper with time, getting worse far long before they get better. If they ever do.

Because David will suck Christopher off, jerk him off, rub up against him until they both get off, but any time Christopher tries to touch David – anything more than holding his hand or running his fingers down David's back – David shuts down. He'll directs Christopher's attention elsewhere, stop what he's doing, even shove Christopher away. David's lines are more like electric fences, and Christopher's gotten his share of the damage.

Christopher, contrary to popular opinion, is not that stupid. He doesn't know exactly why, but any possible answer is bad enough. He knows David won't bring him to his house. That David fights like something possessed. That David never talks about his parents, or his childhood – that David barely talks at all. He's watched enough late night television and Lifetime movies to have all sorts of unpleasant ideas rolling around in his head. He needs to know. He's not naïve enough to think he's totally prepared for the answer – the truth might be worse than anything rolling around in his head, but at least it would be the truth.

So Christopher plans his attack. Outlines it. Thinks of every possible reaction and how he can smooth those over in such a meticulous way that even Jalil would be proud – well, maybe would be proud, had the plan not involved sex. Jalil probably reproduces through budding. Or cloning.

Chris waits for one of the weekends his parents are out of town, rekindling the romance or whatever the fuck it is that Cosmo recommends old married couples do, before inviting David over. It's a Saturday night, and Christopher dragging David to his room like a pathetically eager puppy is nothing new, so Christopher very cautiously waits until they're well on they're way to third base and out of their clothes before he tries anything tricky.

Then David's hand slips between his legs, knuckles just sliding over his cock, like the best kind of tease, and, yes, now. Has to twist away from the touch instead of into it, slide just a little so he ends up on top of David, one leg pressed in between his two. And in the five seconds it takes to do that, David's hands have all ready come up around Christopher's wrists, ready to push him off. Christopher – rather obligingly, he feels – slides onto the bed next to David.

"Let me touch you." David's breathing quickens, and Christopher takes advantage of his shock to put both hands around David's waist, lightening-quick. "Please." He starts out small and slow, his thumbs sliding up and over David's hipbones. Barely any movement. Barely more than a whisper of a touch. He can't even breathe now for fear it would upset the balance between them. He knows he wouldn't have gotten away with this at the beginning. That David would already be long gone.

David stares at him for a long time, until Christopher thinks he could make a decent argument about oxygen not being a necessity for survival, and when David finally nods – looking ragged and uncertain, but he nods – Christopher lets everything he was holding in rush out in one soundless gasp.

He starts to shift a little closer to David, legs tangling a little, when David interrupts and asks him to turn the light off. It's the one thing David asks, and it's quite possibly the only thing he could have done to make Christopher pause. David hates the dark. He can't sleep without a light on. He might stay for a while – cuddle, for lack of a better word, and oh god, how gayis Christopher anyway? – but he's always either gone before sunset, or he makes sure a light in Christopher's room is switched on. He does it stealthily, sure, but Christopher notices. He never mentions it – he says so many things that no one else would ever dare, but not the important things – and hearing David sound so broken when he asks makes Christopher hesitate, if just for a minute.

"No," he says finally, and he feels something hitch in David's body, watches David's jaw tighten. Part of him wants to do it – to give David what he wants. But another part of him doesn't want to stop touching David for one second, or give him one single chance to change his mind. Not when he can feel David trembling under his hand. He's wide-eyed, pale underneath the tan, and it breaks something in Christopher, just – breaks him, because they both know David could kill Christopher with his pinkie finger.

"I'll go slow. I'll be careful," Christopher pleads, and even though he means it to be soothing it comes out more like begging. Like desperation. They're lying as close together as two people can be, but that inch of space is even more treacherous than the oceans between them back when Christopher wasn't sure if David would break his jaw or not. Christopher doesn't know the danger here.

Christopher sees his actions like he's removed from them. Not slow motion, or even that lazy slowness that come from sleep deprivation or your favorite psychoactive drug, but something more like flashes, a skip and stop of images. Not of what Christopher is doing, but how David reacts. How he trembles and shivers, breathes or forgets to. Hands balled up in the sheets.

Christopher trails one hand on David's stomach, palm down, then his fingers over David's ribs. Up over one nipple, pebbling under Christopher's touch, and when the sound strangles in David's throat Christopher puts his other hand through David's hair, his mouth to David's mouth. Not even kissing. Just breathing in and out together until David's hands press to the small of Christopher's back, and Christopher cradles the back of David's neck before moving over the other nipple.

When David scrambles backwards Christopher lets go immediately. Pushes back. His tongue feels thick and his brain is stupid and muzzy but he's going to… do something. So much for his plan.

He almost succeeds in becoming the first man to actually strangle on air when he realizes David is sitting up so he can see what Christopher is doing.

Now this moment – this one is frozen. David is a long dark smudge in the fading light, his eyes like bruises, his mouth a slick red wound. Every muscle like iron underneath skin that's as flimsy as anyone's. One of Christopher's hands is nestled around the curve above David's knee. It's the only place they're still touching, and Christopher runs his thumb up and down the side of David's leg, watching the goosebumps form, feeling the almost-scratch of leg hair.

"All right?" Christopher asks, softly, gently, meaninglessly – but anything to break this damned silence.

David gives another uneven nod and lets his legs fall apart, bent slightly at the knee. Drawn up. Bare and exposed. An open space, an invitation for Christopher to move closer, to fill everything between them. David places one hand over Chris', and doesn't make a sound when Christopher slides them both between David's legs.

He's not looking at Christopher. His eyes are shut and his face is slack and he's off somewhere else, someplace that can't be any good for him.


And David's gaze locks with his, wildly. Fearfully.


He can't even help himself. Can't do anything but press forward, up between David's spread legs and the fear in his eyes only grows. Christopher doesn't ignore it – can't ignore it – but he moves on without it. Leaves behind everything except the solid pulse between him and David. Because this was never about sex. Was never about coming. It's about the look on David's face when he lets any emotion show, the tremble whenever Christopher's touches him. It's about lying next to someone and not feeling a damn thing. It's about the dark. It's about running. It's about bringing all of those things to an end.

It's the closest they've ever been, in any number of ways. And this – Christopher likes this. Just rubbing himself all over David. Sweat and smell and want. So many other things he wants, things he doesn't know when or if David would ever be ready to give, but he can have this. Have just this moment, if nothing else.

Christopher grips the back of David's neck to kiss him properly, the other hand stroking and slipsliding along David's thigh. David's nails are buried in his back, leaving bruised fingerprints behind. David's really only… he's barely even hard, not like he should be, and it's all Christopher can do to not crush himself down on top of David and press the two of them together, as close as two people can possibly be, like they're sharing one skin. Like maybe if he pushed deep enough he'd drown here, breathing it all in and letting it fill him until it consumed him from the inside out without ever breaking the skin.

And the solid weight of them, the press and rub of David sliding under him, is almost too much. Almost enough to break him into a thousand pieces, but he can't let go until he feels David shudder and moan beneath him. He doesn't know if this solved anything. This wasn't ever about sex. Was never about coming. It's about the look on David's face when he lets any emotion show, the tremble whenever Christopher's touches him. It's about lying next to someone and not feeling a damn thing. It's about the dark. It's about running. It's about bringing all of those things to an end.

Christopher still doesn't know if he's done that.

Afterwards – who knows how long? Christopher's breathing calms but not all the thoughts rolling around in his head – David slides out of bed and deliberately flicks off the light, crawling back through the darkness to Christopher. He stumbles a little over the pile of the clothes at the end of the bed. Settles in with one arm curling around Christopher.

"There was a counselor at camp," is how he starts. Monotone, like everything he says. Deadened. "He used to come in and molest me after the lights went out. Nearly every night, for about a month. I used to pretend I was asleep. I don't… don't know why. Why I let him, when all I had to do was scream once.

"When I came home afterwards, I couldn't sleep without the lights on. All the lights, or I'd freak out. Scream. Attack anyone who got near me.

"My parents worked it out of me eventually. Part of me wanted to tell them, you know. Wanted them to make it better, even though they couldn't. Not that they even tried. My dad didn't care. Told me to suck it up, basically. Be a man. I wasn't. That's the whole point, that I wasn't. And my mom, she… the whole thing happened the same time as the divorce. She started drinking. Never really stopped until she died last year. Liver failure, like that was a surprise. My dad gives me money for an apartment and to keep my bike running, stuff like that. To keep me from coming anywhere near his new, perfect family." The bitterness in David's voice is unmistakable. Christopher has his eyes closed, his face buried in the crook of David's neck, but he can hear it all.

David tells Christopher everything. Secret after dirty secret, spilling out one after the other in one last ditch attempt to scare Christopher away, show him exactly how ugly David is on the inside, how useless, how dirty. To make Christopher leave now, before it really is too late. He talks until he's hoarse, until he's worn his voice out because he uses it so rarely. He talks about his mom's endless parade of boyfriends, the things they would try to do to him or say to him. He talks about the clubs he would go to, where they didn't care about his name or how old he was as long as he looked good on his knees. He talks about his old girlfriend Senna, a junkie he thought he could help get off smack but in the end committed suicide. He talks about how he fell out of the scene, when this guy named Loki wouldn't take no for an answer and David ended up pissing blood for two weeks while he waited for the test results. He talks about running until he's puked bile, getting into fights just to stop the voices in his head.

"So fucked up," is how he finishes, barely more than a cracked whisper. "So very fucked up."

And Christopher agrees, of course, but that train of thought isn't helpful. Isn't even really important. Christopher was right, though. He didn't know. He couldn't have known. And he thinks maybe, somehow, he could process if David was crying, or shaking, or even angry. But David is nothing – just quiet and calm and tired, like always, and all the emotion is on Christopher, all the shock and the pain and the hurt.

David's hand is motionless next to Christopher's, one solid still inch between them.

"Is it." Christopher clears his throat. "Is it all right, what we do? Do you even...?" How is he even here? "Is this what you want?"

"I want you," David says simply.

"Do you?" It comes out sudden, sullen. He shouldn't have said it, but did anyway. Christopher's cardinal sin.

David perches up on one elbow and leans over Christopher, looking down at him in the dark.

"I know what I want. I don't always… know what I don't want." There's a slight emphasis, and a lot of doubt. More than anything Christopher has heard from David in awhile. "But I know what I want."


"You." David wrinkles his brow, shakes his head a little. Wondering. "You."

There was originally a lot more porn in here, but then Christopher got all weird on me. Le sigh. Guess you'll just have to wait until Lost Boys.