Word Count: 21.810. This chapter: 3991.
Pairing: Adam/Tommy (high school AU).
Warnings: Sexual content between teenagers.
Disclaimers: The people you might recognize in here are NOT mine. I'm not making any profit, I'm only doing this for fun. There is no way this ever happened and so on.
Beta: aislinntlc Thank you sweetie for all your help, I love you so much for it!
Type: Romance with just enough angst to make it good.
A/N: This fic is written for the amazing qafmaniac. I hope you like it bb and I’m so sorry it took me so long!! Title is mostly stolen from Roxette’s song: Just a little bit dangerous.
I had some really incredible cheerleaders on this fic!!! I love you all dearly! And I couldn’t have done it without you! So THANK YOU!!!
Please do not link/copy/share/whatever this anywhere. Thank you.
Danielle’s knee touches Adam’s under the table. He puts his pencil down on the notepad and looks at her quizzically. “What?”
“Look.” Her eyes go to the person standing in the doorframe, looking for a place to sit his non-existent ass down.
Adam frowns and sighs deeply; it is the third class today that Tommy Joe Ratliff apparently is attending together with Adam. This is going to be a fun, fun year.
“Remind me again why you don’t like him,” Danielle whispers.
“It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s more like he doesn’t like me. He never talks to me.”
Tommy walks by Adam’s desk without so much as a glace thrown his way and Adam looks at Danielle pointedly. The chair behind Danielle screeches loudly and she looks over her shoulder and smiles. “Hi.”
Tommy’s voice makes Adam’s toes curl in his shoes when he politely returns the greeting. Adam rolls his eyes, damned if he is going to turn and say hi just to be ignored to hell.
The teacher, Miss Peterson, is a few minutes late and rushes through the door. Dropping her bag on the desk, she starts biology class by announcing they should all take a good look at the person next to them because it will be the last class where they share that space. Starting tomorrow, the person to the right would be moving one chair forward and the person on the left staying put to say hi to their new lab partner. The entire class expresses their opinions on that with a variety of complaining noises.
Danielle is on Adam’s right and Tommy Fucking Ratliff is behind her which means, oh for fuck’s sake, this year is going to be a pain in the ass! Adam joins the complaining choir. Danielle, God bless her, raises her hand. “Miss Peterson?”
“Would you mind telling us why? I mean I sat down next to Adam because he’s my friend and we’re really good when we work together. We get things done and we know each other.”
Miss Peterson practically beams with excitement. “Exactly! Tomorrow we begin on the subject of human reproduction or if you will sexual education. I want you all to be little scientists; I want you to explore and discover. If you’re paired up with someone you already consider a good friend, then the curiosity dies and you take the safe known road.”
Danielle blinks and blushes. “You want me to explore and discover my sexuality with,” she eyeballs Isaac who apparently is going to be her new lab partner, “Isaac?”
Miss Peterson laughs. “No of course not, what I want you to do is to interview each other, to find out what makes the other person tick. This isn’t a subject to take lightly. I want you to behave as adults.” Adam groans.
Miss Peterson looks at him. “Adam, can you tell me how attraction works?”
“Um, yeah. You see a person that intrigues you and you approach the person to learn more?”
“Uh huh. But you have a set of features that attracts you and a special type in personality that makes you interested. That’s why you want to learn more.” She looks at Tommy. “Tommy? Have you thought about what you want in a mate?”
Adam doesn’t really want to turn to look at Tommy but this is kind of interesting.
“Mate?” Tommy asks and Miss Peterson nods encouragingly. “You’re really going for the whole science thing here huh? Um, yeah. I’m a sucker for a nice ass, blue eyes and dark hair and a sweet slow sexy smile. As for personality, I have a soft spot for a person who dares to be vulnerable.”
It’s the most Adam has heard Tommy say in years. They might live close to each other; in fact only five houses separate them. Their mothers used to think they could have fun together if they actually tried. But Tommy’s silence has always made Adam feel uncomfortable. Tommy has these big brown eyes that seem to see everything, but he never shares his thoughts. It creeps Adam out.
“That’s a good answer Tommy.” Tommy shrugs and before Adam has the chance to turn around, Tommy’s gaze captures Adam’s. A little smile tucks at the corner of Tommy’s lips and for some reason Adam blushes.
Miss Peterson goes on with the lecture about how and why attraction works the way it does, about how the survival of the fittest and all that nonsense still applies to the works. Adam zones it out when Danielle leans in and whispers, “I think he might be a sweet guy.”
Adam refuses to answer that sentiment. But it doesn’t take the wind out of Danielle’s sails, though. “I think he’s cute. My team or yours? I mean he didn’t say ‘she’,” she says in a wondering tone.
“I think you do.”
Adam rolls his eyes. “Obviously.”
“No but seriously… with the guyliner and all…do you think-”
“I don’t think anything when it comes to him.”
“Right.” She drags the word out and Adam sighs. He loves Danielle, but the girl gets some really ridiculous ideas sometimes. This is one of them!
The lesson ends and Miss Peterson stresses she wants to see everyone sitting with their new lab partner the next day and that she wants them all to prepare some kick ass question to ask for the next lesson, too.
Adam can’t think of a single question he wants to ask Tommy, not one.
The day gets even better when he shows up at work. Adam fights the urge to slam the door violently. Pulling a deep calming breath into his lungs, he shakes off the disappointment over the change in schedules. He was supposed to work with Charlie this afternoon. Charlie who has a great sense of humor and who is a nice guy and all. Instead he’s now sharing his shift with Ratliff. Working in a book store is far from Adam’s dream job, but this really ruins the day. The only people he’ll get to talk to will be customers. He sighs and opens the fridge to take a bottle of water. The door opens and Tommy enters the room without so much as a glance in Adam’s direction before pouring himself a cup of steaming coffee.With the mug in his hand and carefully sipping the coffee, he turns to look at Adam. “Hi Adam.”
Adam screws off the cap and sips the water, the silence in the room is deafening.
Tommy looks at the floor instead of Adam when he finally opens his mouth. “I guess we could use the advantage we have a possibility for here.”
Tommy tosses Adam a quick glance. “You know for class? Have you thought about questions?”
“Not really. And what advantage?”
“We have time; you know working together today, to find some really good questions for each other.”
“Since when do you want to put that much effort into school work?” Adam knows he sounds defensive, but he can’t help it. It’s how he feels.
Tommy sighs and walks to the door, coffee mug in hand and with a shrug he says, “Alright then. We’ll wait and do the same lame interview as all the others.”
They work together without any words spoken and Adam is about to explode. He feels like dying in this suffocating silence.
It’s the first time Adam actually has seen Tommy outside of school, at least for a long time. Their working schedule has never collided before and for some reason Tommy hardly ever participates in the weekend fun the other kids go to. It’s kind of strange, because Tommy is far from unpopular, fact is that people seems to like him. It’s not like he is in the popular crowd either, but he’s not one that gets picked on. It puzzles Adam.
Adam is annoyed with himself when he catches himself thinking about this as he puts books up on a shelf. He’s arguing with his own mind when a cute looking brown haired girl approaches him; she looks a little lost and a whole lot of sad. Adam can’t imagine why she looks that way wandering into a bookstore, but his heart still aches a little for her. He hates when people hurt. “Excuse me. Do you know where I can find Tommy?”
“Yeah, sure. Come with me.” He sets off to find Tommy, pretty sure he saw him heading for a new cup of coffee a minute ago. While he walks through the store his mind is occupied with why she needs to see Tommy. More info is added to the enigma.
Adam opens the door and immediately sees Tommy. Tommy however must have looked past Adam, because his eyes go wide and the coffee mug is put on the counter in a rush. “Oh honey,” spills from his lips as he scoots around Adam and throws his arms around the girl’s neck. Adam watches them stupefied as Tommy presses tiny little kisses to her mouth and she clings to him. When her tears begin to fall Adam realizes that he has no right to be watching and strangely unwilling, he forces himself to leave them.
Going back to the shelves he thinks about what Tommy had revealed about himself in biology class. The girl has brown hair, and if Adam remembered correctly her ass was okay, you know for a girl. He has no problem imagining that she has a killer smile, too. Maybe this girl is the girl that pushes Tommy Joe’s buttons; they sure seem close. Adam is briefly tempted to call Danielle, but then the thought of missing her expression when he is telling her kills that idea. It would be so much more fun to do that face to face.
Ten minutes goes by before Tommy and the girl show up again. Adam sees Tommy press a key into her hand before he says to her, “My mom will probably be sleeping when you get there; just lock yourself in and crawl under the covers in my bed. I’ll be home in a couple of hours and then we’ll talk to Mom about you staying for a couple of days.”
The girl nods hesitantly. “But Tommy, I don’t want to be a burden.”
“You’ll never be a burden; friends help each other out, especially when things get tough.” He pulls her into a hug and she returns it. Adam stares at them, can’t look away.
“Love you Mia. Always,” is spoken so softly and lovingly that Adam has to look away.
Adam accidently drops a book and it makes so much noise that he almost jumps at the sound. The girl, Mia, pulls out of Tommy’s embrace and kisses his cheek. “See you at home.”
Tommy makes a cute little sound in his throat. “Oh I like the sound of that,” he says before swatting her behind, and she walks out with a little headshake.
Tommy doesn’t say anything about that whole scene. He just offers Adam a little sad smile and a shrug. Adam has no idea what to make of it all. The only thing he’s sure of is that he still wants Danielle to be his biology partner. He still has no idea about how to communicate with Tommy. Tomorrow is gonna suck balls.
When Adam enters the biology class the next day, Tommy is already there, sitting in Danielle’s spot. Adam wants to turn around and leave. That isn’t really an option so he drags his ass over to his place and sits down. Danielle is already sitting next to Isaac and they seem so damn comfortable that Adam wants to hit her with his text book. At least she could be as miserable about this as he is.
Adam sneaks a peek at Tommy, who’s leaning back in his chair, legs crossed by the ankles and watching Adam with a blank face. When their eyes meet Adam has say to something. “Morning.”
A smile tucks at the corner of Tommy’s lips. It looks like he’s fighting the smile all the way though. “Good morning Adam.”
Miss Peterson walks through the door and stops to look around the class. “I see you found your new partners. I want you to find a quiet spot somewhere and come back here in 45 minutes. You can choose to use that time on one interview or take turns in asking each other questions. No matter what, you’ll get another chance again tomorrow. And I want some good and personal answers, so dig in and get to know each other!”
Adam looks at Tommy. “Where do you wanna go?”
Tommy shrugs. “The library?”
“Everybody is going there.”
Tommy nods thoughtfully. “Hmm, okay I know the place to go.” Tommy takes his notebook and a pencil and leaves; Adam hurries to do the same.
“Where are we going?”
Tommy leads the way and suddenly Adam realizes that they’re heading for the music room. Tommy knocks on the door before pushing it ajar. He pokes his head in and checks the room is empty before entering. Adam stands still for a second, and Tommy must have sensed Adam’s hesitation because fingers curl around his wrist and suddenly he’s dragged after Tommy.
The room isn’t designed to be a class room in that ‘sit down and learn’ way so when Tommy sits down in the middle of the floor, Adam just follows. He can’t resists the urge to rub his skin where Tommy’s touched his a moment before, but it doesn’t change the tingling sensation in the wake of it.
“Why are you so uncomfortable around me?”
Tommy doesn’t answer, he just waits for Adam’s answer, and he radiates so much calm patience that Adam finally cracks.
“Because of that! You never talk to me, you just watch me with those ridiculously all-knowing pretty brown eyes and I have no fucking idea what to say to you. I don’t know what to think of you. I don’t know why you don’t like me, but for some reason you’ll talk to the other kids, like Danielle for example, but not me!”
Still irritatingly calm, Tommy says, “But you never say hello to me, Danielle does. You never even look at me if you can avoid it and that’s okay I guess. I just wish we could at least be polite to each other.”
Adam feels lost. “But you don’t like me. Why is it so important to be polite?”
Tommy snorts softly. “Who says I don’t like you?”
“You never talk to me; you’re so fucking quiet all the time.”
Tommy sucks his lower lip into his mouth and nods slowly. “Yeah I know, I just…. I’m not much of a talker when I don’t know people and I kinda like to observe my surroundings instead. It’s not because I don’t like you. I do.”
Adam isn’t all that sure what to do with this new information, but he feels like reaching out. “So from now on….we talk to each other, maybe we’ll even become friends.”
Nodding, and with something Adam wants to read as happiness shining in his eyes, Tommy says, “Yeah I’d like that.”
Adam checks the time and looks at Tommy. “So about these?” Adam motions his hand between them, hoping Tommy will get where he is going.
“Ask away,” Tommy says, brushing a lock of his hair out of his eye, and Adam can’t stop looking at him. Adam blinks and re-focuses.
“Is the girl from yesterday your girlfriend?”
A slow, tender smile spreads on Tommy’s face. “No. She’s a friend that happens to be a girl. My best friend actually.”
“Oh.” Adam thinks about that for a second, on the kisses pressed to her mouth, on the loving tone Tommy used when he told her he loved her. So Mia is Tommy’s Danielle. Go figure, they have something in common.
“Is it my turn now or do you want to keep questioning me?”
Adam thinks about that for a while: on one hand he’s not too sure about all this, letting Tommy in and answering any questions, that still feels a bit scary; on the other hand it would feel more like a conversation if they took turns. “Ask away.” He says before he chickens out.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” Tommy asks right away.
“No,” Adam answers before realizing what Tommy was asking; that meant Tommy knew. “How did you-”
Tommy shrugs. “Got eyes and ears Adam, I’m sure we all know; it’s not a big deal.” Tommy writes in his note book and Adam wants to sneak a peek but manages to control his curiosity.
“Oh.” Adam finds that a little disturbing; he actually thought his family and a few close friends were the only ones that knew. “It is to me, though.”
“Why?” The question is asked softly and with what Adam reads, a genuine curiosity, but he hasn’t really recovered from the statement of ‘we all know’ yet and doesn’t want to answer.
“My turn to ask,” Adam says instead.
Tilting his head and looking at Adam with a gaze that says ‘I see what you’re doing and it won’t work,’ Tommy says, “Alright then. Ask.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Not at the moment.” Adam scribbles in his note book too; Miss Peterson expects him to. Tommy’s soft voice makes him raise his head though. “So, why is it a big deal?”
Adam sighs; he knew Tommy would go back to that. “Really, Tommy? You have to ask?”
Tommy shrugs. “Just want to understand you.”
“Well, the whole not being like the others thing? The constant worry about being bullied? How many reasons do you want?”
It takes a moment before Tommy answers and Adam wants to squirm under his gaze. “Who says you have to be like everybody else? Be you! Be awesome in your way. Own your shit, Adam, and who would bully you? You’re like this cute ball of fluff and happiness that everyone wants to cuddle.”
“You think I’m cute?” That was so not supposed to come out loud.
Tommy nods once, slowly. “I think when you smile; you make the people around you smile too.”
A warm giddy feeling spreads in Adam’s chest. “Thank you.”
“When are you happiest?” Tommy asks in a serious tone, like that’s something he has been wondering about for a long time.
“It was my turn!” Adam says.
Tommy laughs. “Nope, you blew yours on asking me if I thought you were cute, sorry.”
He doesn’t sound one bit sorry to Adam, but Tommy’s laughter is contagious and so is the teasing. “So that’s how we play it?” Adam giggles. It feels good, this light mood; there is something there, though, lying underneath it all, some kind of weird tension Adam can’t name.
“Um, when I sing?”
Tommy beams. “Cool. I wanna hear that.”
Adam almost asks if Tommy really means that, but the way Tommy look at him, like he almost expects Adam to, and maybe even hopes for it, stops Adam. He wants to know stuff about Tommy too. “Why do you wear makeup?”
“At first it was because it pissed Dad off. But it looks good on me and I feel sexy.”
Adam chews on that as he makes a note.
“What’s your type?” Tommy’s next question confuses Adam a little.
“Yeah what attracts you in a dude? It’s what we’re expected to talk about.” The cute little sound coming from Tommy when he ends the sentence makes Adam’s heart beat a little faster and suddenly his palms are all sweaty.
“Um.” Adam blushes deeply and Tommy shoves his knee playfully.
“Come on, it isn’t that hard. Just say it.”
“I kinda like when he’s smaller than me. Danielle usually says I’m supposed to date a pixie.”
“A pixie? So tiny and fragile gets you going?” Tommy is smiling wickedly.
“Not fragile, I need someone that will flat out tell me when I’m too much.”
“Protective is more like it.”
“I get that, I guess I’m like that too. Protective I mean, anyway Mia says I am.”
Adam nods, he’s pretty sure he saw that yesterday too. “Um, so I know I’m probably stepping right over the line here, but yesterday, in the book store. Why was she crying?”
“Her family is pretty messed up sometimes.” The smile is gone and concern has taken over Tommy’s face. Adam immediately gets a little worried about Mia.
“So you what? Take care of her?”
“Yeah. Something like that. Listen Adam, it’s not that I don’t wanna tell you, but I honestly don’t know if Mia…” Tommy’s voice trails off.
“Oh. Yeah, I understand.”
“I… I just have to ask her permission first before I open my mouth. I don’t wanna hurt her unintentionally.”
Adam nods and writes ‘loyal’ in his note book; he maybe even uses the time to avoid Tommy’s searching gaze.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?” Adam whips his head up. Tommy catches his gaze right away and keeps it hostage. Adam feels the heat rise in his cheeks and knows he’s blushing, and not just a little. “No.”
There is nothing but that genuine curiosity in Tommy’s eyes. A thought appears to Adam; Danielle pointed out that Tommy hadn’t said ‘she’ yesterday, and before he thinks the better of it he asks, “Have you?”
Tommy shakes his head. “Not really.”
Adam is intrigued now. “Not really? Either you have or you haven’t.”
Tommy giggles. “Okay then we need to define kissing. Because if ‘kissing’ is like me and Mia were kissing yesterday, then yeah I’ve kissed a boy many times. Same goes for a peck on the lips for a hello or goodbye. But kissing for the romantic sake of it, the whole ‘I wanna get in your pants thing’, no that I haven’t done…yet.”
Adam cannot believe his ears. “You kiss guys hello and goodbye and for comfort?”
Tommy shrugs lightly. “Why wouldn’t I? My friend Christian and I have always done that, if you can do it with your female friends then why not with your male ones?”
Adam snorts. “Are you for real?”
“Life is too short not to show people you love them, Adam. My mom taught me that showing affection is way cooler than keeping it in, and I’m a huggy guy.”
“Wow.” Adam says while scribbling.
“Fuck! We gotta go back.” Tommy is off the floor in a sec and Adam does the same, checking the time and damn they’re already a little late; they’ll have to run to class to get back in time. They run laughing through the hall. Tommy might be fast enough but Adam’s legs are much longer, and when Tommy can’t keep up Adam slows down just enough to grab Tommy’s hand to help him. That’s the way they stumble into the class room. Panting Tommy gets out, “Sorry we’re late Miss Peterson, we got caught up.”
Adam lets go of Tommy’s hand and the small sigh Tommy lets out sounds a little disappointed, but Adam can’t be sure.
“Well if there are notes and you got to know more about how the other person works mentally then I’m okay with that.”
“Oh there are and we did.” Tommy smirks.
They sit down next to each other and Danielle sends Adam a quizzical look over her shoulder. Adam sends her a smile, trying to reassure her that everything is just fine. He’s not completely convinced about that though. His heart is racing and he knows for a fact it’s not entirely from running. Oh no, it’s from running down the hall holding hands with Tommy. Tommy of all people! Tommy, that kisses other boys just because it’s way cooler to show affection than not.