As Darrek reluctantly prepares for prom night, Kyle watches on with amusement. Darrek is frustrated with Kyle’s lack of interest in bringing a girl to the prom and staying by his side, but Kyle is unphased by his best friend’s increasingly strange emotional responses. Kyle has plans of his own that involve far less fancy clothing—far less clothing at all, really. Little does he know the extent of Darrek’s determination to get what he wants. (M/M)
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oon Darrek is standing out on the almost unnaturally green, weed-free lawn in front of carefully manicured shrubbery, his arm slung around Sara in her slinky, low-cut, sequined dress. Her laboriously styled hair smells of hairspray and too much fruity perfume. Darrek puts on as much of a smile as he can manage while feeling so uncomfortable as his mother relentlessly snaps photographs, his father looking on proudly. Kyle lurks a small distance away out by the road, biting his thumb to hide a wide smile brought of amusement at Darrek’s predicament.
That’s when Darrek knows he has made a mistake.
After all of his countless attempts to convince Kyle to go with him and the rest of their small circle of friends to the big, important dance, it hasn’t hit Darrek until this very moment that maybe Kyle was right all along. Who cares if it’s expected and tradition to go to prom? Kyle will be moving out of town soon, possibly out of state. Darrek should be sneaking beer and going swimming with his best friend while he still can, not wearing an incredibly constricting, heavy and ridiculous tuxedo, pretending to be excited about a long night of parading around the dolled-up girl on his arm and dancing badly in front of the whole school.
The photo session ends. Sara leaves Darrek to go and join the other girls who pour out of the rented limousine to gush over each other’s dresses. The other tuxedo-clad guys grunt hellos to Darrek, looking as confused and awkward as he feels. Still lurking, Kyle doesn’t try to hide his grin any more. He slides up to Darrek’s side and whispers sarcastically, “Have a great time, Dare. Make sure you do your mama and daddy proud and treat her like a lady. You know where I’ll be if you change your mind.”
He winks at Darrek and holds his gaze for a long moment, like he’s waiting to see if Darrek will get the joke, but not expecting him to. Something dark and slick moves between them, invisible but no less tangible, that Darrek can’t get hold of; the truth is like an eel that slips through his fingers. But just brushing against it—those fleeting emotions—brings Darrek a taste of bitter shame, clawing terror, excruciating pain, damning lust and raw urgency.
Again, he gets the sense that Kyle sees this whole mess that is their lives so clearly, much more so than Darrek does himself, and Darrek wants that clarity too. He wants to grab hold of Kyle, wipe that knowing smirk from his lips and make him tell. Fuck the prom. Fuck Sara and the other guys and traditional milestones and all of that bullshit. This, right here with Kyle, is the only thing worth exploring. It’s the only thing worth anything.
“Don’t be late, now,” Mr. Grealey says loudly from a few feet away, his gaze locked to his son.
At the sound of his father’s commanding voice, everything that had just filled Darrek’s head dissolves instantly away, forgotten.
“Yes, sir,” Darrek says dutifully.
“Have a great time.”
With a pit of dread and dissatisfaction causing a vague sickly feeling in his gut, Darrek answers, “Thanks. We will.”