“I’m calling Benji, I don’t want to deal with the fallout if we leave him out.” Carla says.
“Cool. He has a good eye too. I am going to need all the backup I can get to get dull and duller into Gaga worthy outfits.” Liam cackles.
“Am I dull or duller?” Luis asks only slightly offended.
“Brett is coming too. I vote we force him into booty shorts.” Carla grins getting off the phone.
“Totally. This will be so much fun. Babe we can get food together after.” Liam says wanting to make sure Luis doesn’t feel neglected.
“Sure. I’m fine with this turning in to a group date. We’re still getting to know each other. And I know you want to bond with everyone.” Luis says and Liam smiles.
“I’m worried about Brett and Aaron being around each other.” Liam says.
“Benji and I will keep them apart.” Carla says.
“And I will keep Liam away from Aaron if he gets in a snit.” Luis says.
“I won’t get in a snit.” Aaron says coming in, his hair wet and setting both Liam and Luis a flutter.
“Yeah, yeah, you act like the cool, calm one but you throw more hissys than anyone.” Carla says.
“If you are turning on me too, I might as well go back to bed.” Aaron says.
“Come on you need something to wear and you know it.” Liam says looking Aaron up and down.
“I already agreed, didn’t I?” Aaron says rolling his eyes.
Liam drives them in and they meet Benji and Brett quickly. Luis and Liam happily hold hands.
“They are cute together.” Benji says to Aaron.
“It’s fucking weird but if they are happy, who am I to judge. I’ve been single forever.” Aaron says.
“Not as long as me. At least you get some action.” Benji says.
“You are always dancing. Have you got enough dancers for the night?” Aaron asks.
“Yes and Liam and I already ordered the outfits online. I’ll get to watch you guys being dressed up, and laugh.” Benji grins.
“Oh I am totally going for it. I’ll look a dick but who cares?” Aaron says.
“Seriously? You’re going to let Liam bedazzle you?” Benji asks.
“Yeah he can put the sparkly body paint on me. I mean I won’t be wearing a lot will I?” Aaron says.
“It will make his day.” Benji grins.
“How do you deal with him? You used to find him and irritating as I do and Luis found him worse.” Aaron asks.
“He is who he is. He’s consistent, isn’t he? We always stuck up for him outside of group and he has been amazing with the fundraising and getting organised. And he stood up with us at the old group, made his side abundantly clear and likely lost friends.” Benji says.
“I guess he’s one of us. He adores Carla and I think he’ll be good for her, better at spotting the girls for her than us.” Aaron says.
“Aaron what are you planning on wearing?” Liam asks.
“Leather shorts and boots. I have boots.” Aaron says.
“I thought I was going to have trouble getting your legs out. I’m impressed. I want Luis in the same. Maybe suspenders too, I don’t think he’s go for a harness.” Liam says.
“Good luck with that.” Aaron laughs.
“He’s so hot he’ll look amazing in anything.” Liam says.
“Just don’t hurt him.” Aaron says.
“I could never, you know that.” Liam says.
“You were dangerously close to trying to kiss me on my bed earlier.” Aaron says quietly.
“I was not.” Liam says.
“Liam, I’m not totally clueless at reading guys. You were snuggling and willing me to fuck you. Or at least make a move. While your new boyfriend was downstairs.” Aaron says.
Liam looks at Aaron with a mix of longing and regret and catches up with Luis.
“You okay? This isn’t your usual thing.” Clara says.
“Uh you have dragged me here a million times.” Aaron says.
“You know what I mean. You’re making an effort with Liam, and letting him take the lead.” Clara says.
“He’s dating Luis. I don’t get it. I mean I really don’t get it, Luis hated Liam a week ago and found him too much just like I do. Benji tried to imply it was to get my attention. Its just making me feel that you are the only friend I have.” Aaron says.
“Well if Benji and Brett start dating then you could be right.” Carla says nodding to the two walking together.
“I’m not sure Brett is Benji’s type.” Aaron says.
“Liam isn’t Luis’s type. Loneliness makes us make weird choices.” Carla says.
“I thought the whole point of organising this night was to be able to find someone we actually want to be with, for us to find people who are our type. With the game the next day we get a real chance to see people being real and we will have our next event to advertise. We’re doing this to widen our circle, find you a girlfriend. Find us all some dates. I don’t understand why they would get together now.” Aaron says.
“Just be happy for them and stop dissecting it.” Carla says.
“Oh please. You live for that shit.” Aaron says.
“But you don’t.” Carla says.
“Come on lets find you a killer outfit.” Aaron says.
The group shop together, only Brett refuses to get totally in to the spirit. But he stays. And relaxes some when they move on to finding a dress for Carla.
“Are you crying?” Liam asks quietly.
“Shut up.” Aaron says.
“She needs a tiara.” Liam says.
“She does. I think we should stop for food first.” Aaron says.
“Yes I could eat the entire food court.” Brett says.
They head upstairs. Liam and Luis are sitting together, they have quickly grabbed slices of pizza, while the others are in line for busier options.
“Finally have you to myself.” Luis says kissing Liam on the nose.
“This was so much fun. Brett aside. Everyone else was so nice and wanted my advice. Finally felt part of things.” Liam says.
“We are lucky to have such hot friends, so nice to see Aaron and Benji trying everything on.” Luis grins.
“You were the hottest, by far.” Liam says and kisses Luis. The two are loving the casual affection and neither feels the need to push it further. At least not in public. They are having fun and both are feeling the confidence boost from having the other around.
“You two are together? That is disgusting.” Sarah from the old group says approaching the table.
“Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me.” Liam says on high alert.
“You are just fooling yourselves. Luis is straight and YOU ARE A WOMAN.” Sarah says.
“I am all man honey. All man. I love my body, cock, ass, abs, all of it. And Luis adores me just the way I am.” Liam says camping it up as much as he can.
“Why can’t you just embrace the inner you? Why stay in denial? You are such a coward.” Sarah says.
“Liam is anything but a coward. He takes shit from you guys, from us, from all the kids in school and yet he stays true to himself. He is the bravest person I know.” Aaron says angrily.
Luis is both awed and annoyed that Aaron jumped in and he didn’t say anything. He was actually too shocked.
Liam is shocked at the ferocity of Aaron’s reaction, he didn’t even see him approaching.
“Get lost Sarah.” Carla says barging her out the way.
“You have to deal with people like her giving you shit?” Brett asks shocked.
“What you thought we were all one big family? Why do you think we got to start a new group?” Aaron asks.
“I didn’t know it was that bad. I’m sorry.” Brett says.
“To be honest it usually isn’t. I get shit from these guys for being too fem or whatever but I know they have my back. I don’t get much hassle in school from the straights. Everyone is used to me, I’ve always been this way and they ran out of insults in fifth grade. Carla gets it the worst, shits like Sarah are so jealous of her and straight guys give her so much shit asking to watch or offering to fuck her straight and all the straight girls think she’s faking it to steal their men. What I deal with is nothing in comparison.” Liam says.
“Do you think I am stopping kids from coming to your group? Do you think they are hiding, worried I might out them?” Brett asks.
“Our group, you might not like it but you are part of the group. You are gay too.” Luis says.
“I guess you are a whole lot more than crushes and clothes.” Brett says.
“Oh no mostly its crushes and bitching about everyone who isn’t as fabulous as us.” Luis says.
“Which in my case, includes all of you.” Liam smirks.
“Come on lets go find a tiara for our princess.” Aaron says.
“Nope, no, no, no.” Clara says.
“Yes, yes, yes. Unless you want us to have our shopping day still and do it then. We don’t have an outfit for you for the day after yet.” Liam says.
“Maybe we can have a hair and makeup day? Can you help me with that?” Carla asks quietly.
“Ooooo little Carla all grown up. I’ll come to yours and bring my kit after school tomorrow.” Liam grins.
“You’re throwing me out?” Aaron asks the following afternoon.
“You’ll be bored and get wound up by Liam.” Carla says.
“I could do your hair.” Aaron pouts.
“You can barely do your own hair.” Carla says.
“What am I supposed to do?” Aaron grumbles.
“Get a life.” Carla says.
“Fine, I know when I’m not wanted.” Aaron says and leaves.
“Aaron, thanks for yesterday. I was totally handling it but what you did, it felt really good.” Liam says as he gets out his car.
“You know I am going to tell Mr Parsons. They already pushed us out of group, they need to leave us alone and act on the tolerance that they beg for.” Aaron says.
“You don’t have to do that.” Liam says.
“I do. I really do.” Aaron says heading home deep in thought.
“Are you ready for your makeover?” Liam asks bounding in to Carla’s room.
“You better make me look super amazing. Do you have any glow in the dark stuff?” Carla asks trying to get into the mood.
“We are going to make you look amazing in the light and dark, I mean you look amazing anyway but you are going to be on fire and get every girl’s number.” Liam grins.
“How are things with Luis?” Carla asks.
“Good. He sat with me at lunch as you saw and he had left me a note in my locker at the start of the day.” Liam grins.
“Sounds like he knows how high maintenance you are.” Clara laughs.
“I think he was reminding me how great he is. He’s super sweet and loves to spoil me. I mean our first date was straight out of a movie.” Liam says.
“And are you in to him? Like you like him for him and not for the hand holding and cheesie notes?” Clara asks.
“We are still getting to know each other. He’s a good guy and smart and athletic. He isn’t my dream boyfriend but he’s not a last resort either.” Liam says honestly.
A couple of hours later Luis knocks on the window of Aaron’s kitchen.
“Liam is over at Carla’s place.” Aaron says opening the door.
“I know, I wanted to speak to you first.” Luis says.
“Want some food?” Aaron asks, he was in the middle of preparing dinner.
“No my aunt will have dinner in the oven for me.” Luis says.
“You seem mad at me.” Aaron says.
“I need you to back off from Liam.” Luis says.
“I’m trying. Fuck you hated him a week ago. I left yesterday morning so I didn’t have to deal with him. I thought I made a real effort at the mall.” Aaron says.
“I don’t mean back off giving him shit, though that too. I mean back the fuck off, he is mine now.” Luis says.
“I am not into him. I don’t flirt with him. I struggle to keep it polite and believe me I am not pulling his pigtails to get attention. He annoys the shit out of me.” Aaron says.
“At the mall, you jump in being the knight in shining armour, not giving me a chance to defend him myself. It is my job now. It was typical Aaron display, trying to win what you can’t have.” Luis says.
“I don’t do that. I don’t want him. All yours.” Aaron says confused.
“You can’t have him.” Luis says.
“Oh I could. I don’t want him but believe me if I wanted him, I could have him.” Aaron says and pushes Luis out the door.