A young Mike Dirnt has never had a relationship last until Valentine's Day.
Author's Note: Late for Valentine's Day, I know. I started it on Valentine's Day last year and forgot about it. I finished it a little before Valentine's Day, but thanks to circumstances outside of my control, I wasn't able to upload it until today. (I took some artistic liberties, but they were really small.) I hope you like it anyway!
Mike Dirnt hated Valentine's Day.
It wasn't because of the flowers. It wasn't because of the chocolate. It wasn't even because of the idiots making out in every movie theater he went into. It was because none of Mike's relationships ever seemed to last until February 14th. For the past three years, every person he'd gone out with broke up with him before that magical day of love and lust. Two of them even dumped him on February 13th.
"Don't worry about it, man," Billie had told him, lighting up a cigarette. "You should count yourself lucky. Valentine's Day sucks, everything about it. Hell, its initials are VD. Trust me, you're better off where you are now - nothing good can come of a crappy Hallmark holiday.
That was all well and good, Mike thought, but Billie really hadn't a clue what Mike went through every year. After all, Billie always had 80 to cuddle, snuggle, and fuck every year. At nineteen, Mike considered himself lucky to get a pity kiss on the cheek.
"Just once, man," Mike said as he stood by Billie in a flower shop on February 13th. "Just once, I'd like to manage a date on February 14th."
"I don't get you," Billie replied, digging through his pockets for his wallet. "Only, like, 2% of guys actually like the romantic stuff. Most of them just want to fuck."
"No kidding," Mike snapped. "Every guy I've gone out with says I'm out of my mind when I buy him chocolate or whatever."
"Let's not forget that you gave one of your dates an asthma attack when you gave him flowers," Billie snickered. "Remember that?"
"No, I don't seem to recollect," Mike sneered. "No shit, I fucking remember it. It was the only time I took someone to the hospital that wasn't you."
"Don't say it like that!" Billie said indignantly. "It's not like I've never had to take you to the ER. Remember that thing with the peanut?"
"I'm still amazed it could fit up there. I would've left it there as a trophy if I could've."
"Why couldn't you?"
"Firstly, it hurt like hell. Secondly, have you ever tried to pee around a peanut? It's not as easy as one might suspect."
"Good point. But, as we were saying. Valentine's Day is a major bust, man. Do you know how much money I've already spent on 80? The woman's driving me into the ground." Billie raised his voice to high, squealy pitch. "'Billie, get me flowers! Billie, let's go to a nice restaurant! Billie, get me candy! Billie, give me your balls in a jar and let me keep them above my mantelpiece so I can use your masculinity as my personal trophy!' Why the hell would you WANT to spend all this on someone?"
"It's not that I want to spend money," Mike replied, fiddling with a rose. "It's that I want someone to spend money on."
"Well, if that's all," Billie grinned, "you can buy me some candy when we leave."
Mike slapped him upside the head. "Nice shot, fatass, but no way am I shelling out money so I can make you obese."
Billie stuck his tongue out and began rooting around in his wallet to pay for 80's flowers. "This is a Goddamn robbery," he grumbled. "I can't believe it. Six fucking bucks for a fucking rose. I could get the damn things from my neighbor's garden for free."
"Hey, at least you've got someone to buy roses for."
"Oh, for the love of God! Will you stop your bitching? Christ. You get so fucking annoying this time of year. If you're gonna piss and moan, at least do it somewhere where I can't fucking hear you."
"Like where, asshole? We practically fucking live together. My house is right across the street. No matter where I am or what I say, you're gonna bitch about it, because you want me to listen to all your damn problems and keep mine all in my fucking head! What kind of friendship is that?"
Billie got in his car and slammed the door. "The kind that's making you walk your sorry emo ass home." And he took off, sticking his middle finger out the window for emphasis.
Mike trudged slowly through the park, trying to remember how to get back to his house. He wasn't used to this part of town. He tripped over something lying on the ground. Both Mike and the something yelped as Mike swayed, trying to regain balance.
When both of Mike's feet were safely back on the ground, he looked down. A round-faced teenager looked up at him, grinning almost maniacally. "Vhy, hello," the boy said in a thick Russian accent.
Mike stared. The guy's blue eyes were huge and round, making him look like a choirboy on crack. His bleached blonde hair was swept back limply, and his huge smile seemed to radiate joy and heaping helping of crazy.
"Uh, hey," Mike greeted him. He held out a hand nervously. "I'm sorry. Um, did I knock you over?"
"No," the boy replied, still grinning. "No, I vas already doing the lying of the ground." He hopped up, surprisingly limber for such a short, stocky guy. "And who is it that you are, my Comrade?"
Mike glanced around, wondering if he had somehow made it on Candid Camera and this was all some weird prank that Billie was going to laugh his ass off at later. "Er... I'm Mike," he finally said.
The guy grabbed Mike's hand and shook it ecstatically. "I'm Vlad, Vlad Pertuzky. Nice to be doing the meeting of you."
Mike gave a slightly half-nod, unable to stop staring. Something about Vlad was extremely endearing, something cute and playful and yet kind of disturbing. He didn't want to say it, but it popped out before he could stop it.
"You on drugs?"
Vlad tilted his head, then laughed. "No! I haven't done the smoking of the druggy-drug for a vhile now. Too expensitive, no?"
"Yeah, it is kinda tough on the wallet," Mike admitted with a laugh. "Not that I do it," he added quickly.
At Vlad's raised eyebrows (well, more wiggling eyebrows), Mike smiled sheepishly. "Well, okay, yeah, I do."
They walked around the park, talking, and Mike found himself growing more and more endeared to the goofy smile and wide eyes on Vlad's angelic face. He only hoped that Vlad would leave before he realized what a loser Mike actually was.
"So," Vlad said suddenly, "do you have anyone for the Valentiney Day?"
Too late. Mike was a loser.
"Uh... No," he mumbled. "But that's how I like it," he added quickly. He waved a hand at Vlad's disbelieving look. "Really. I mean, my pal, Billie, he's got a girlfriend - she's great, don't get me wrong - but she empties his wallet out every other day. Who wants to be broke all the time, you know?"
Vlad's eyes flashed and, if Mike hadn't known better, he would've thought that a look of disappointment had darted across Vlad's cheerful face. "Vell, but it's not all bad, vith the kissing and the hugging and the making of love." At the last one, he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and nudged Mike's ribs. Mike's palms were sweating.
"Well... Yeah, that's true," Mike replied, rubbing the back of his neck. "I guess things have just never worked out for me in that department."
"In vhat department?"
"Love. Romantic stuff." Mike shook his head. "It's not like I don't try. I just keep messing it up, that's all."
Vlad looked thoughtful. Then his eyes widened, excited. "Vhat is it that you are doing the trying of? Maybe I can be helping you!"
Mike glanced over at him. "What? Uh, no. I don't think so, sorry."
Vlad's face contorted into a pout. "Vhy not?" he demanded, slugging Mike lightly on the shoulder. "I vant to help."
Before Mike could answer, Vlad had looped his arm through Mike's. "Let's do the pretending," he chipred, laying his head on Mike's shoulder. "Show me how you vould treat me if I vas lady friend."
At Mike's suddent rigidity, Vlad raised an eyebrow. "Or is it man friend?"
Mike cleared his throat, his cheeks hot and his chest freezing cold. "Y-Yeah. That one."
Vlad grinned. "Okies dokies, that makes this much easier." He leaned in confidentially. "I likes having man friends, too."
"Uh... Nice." Dammit, Mike, you loser, stop talking! Just leave already!
But no. Mike simply wouldn't listen to that tiny little voice in his head. Instead, he reveled in the warmth of Vlad's body right next to his and played along.
"Now, for the romanticy conversation." Vlad cleared his throat and straighted up. "Tell me that I have nice eyes."
Mike looked into Vlad's wide blue eyes and smiled. "You have beautiful eyes." It wasn't an act, it was the truth.
Vlad smiled and pretended to blush, girlishly fanning himself. "You're so flattering!" he giggled ridiculously. Mike couldn't help but laugh along.
"Now." Vlad stepped in front of Mike, striking a Superman, hands-on-hips pose. "Pretend that you are dropping me off after date."
Mike gulped. "W-What do you mean? Like..."
"Like pretend this tree is door," Vlad explained, slapping the tree. "My door. This is end of date. Ve are standing at door. Vhat do you do?"
"Well..." Mike wiped his wet palms on his jeans. "Did we have a good time?"
"Ve had a vonderful dinner at the Olive Garden, followed by a long valk on the pier. It vas very romantic." Vlad locked his hands behind his back and grinned playfuly. There was something in his eyes, something that made Mike even more nervous. Vlad moved closer and nudged against Mike's chest, who felt as though his stomach was twisted like a pretzel. "I had a very good time," Vlad said in a falsetto, fluttering his eyelashes.
"Yeah, me too," Mike said, smiling and giving a tiny, breathless laugh. He was only inches away from Vlad, staring into those big baby blues, falling into those oceanic orbs...
"Vell?" Vlad whispered. His smiled was gone, replaced by something serious, something different, something...
Mike's heart did a somersault when his lips touched Vlad's. The park, the tree beside them, the ever-present loneliness all seemed to melt away into that touch. Every nerve on his body was doubly sensitive, feeling every twitch of movement, feeling the arms wrapping around his shoulders, feeling his hands take on a life of their own and slide down the sides of the man in his arms...
"Aw, Mike, what the fuck?"
The world snapped back into focus. Mike jerked away, whipping around to see Billie striding towards him with a smirk. "You bitch and moan about not having anyone, and then I come here to see you, making out with..." He stopped dead. "Tre?"
Vlad leaned around Mike, his face lighting up. "Oh, hey, Billie!" Every trace of an accent was gone from his voice. "What's up?"
Mike stared. "Wait... What?"
Billie walked over and yanked Vlad away from Mike, grumbling, "Jesus, man."
"Wait, wait." Mike pointed at Vlad, bewildered. "What did you call him?"
"Tre. That's his name." Billie slapped a still-grinning Vlad (or, really, Tre) upside the head. "What did you do to him? Did you mess with his head?"
Tre widened his eyes in mock surprise. "Who, me? Never!"
Billie sighed. He turned back to Mike. "Mike Pritchard, meet Tre Cool. He's a drummer. You remember that little kid from The Lookouts?"
"Oh yeah, I remember you now!" Tre exclaimed, grabbing Mike's hand and giving it a vigorous shake. "The bass player in Sweet Children! Nice to meet ya!"
"Yeah... You too..." Mike felt his face go warm. Dammit. He finally thinks he found a guy, and he wasn't even real?
"Man, 80 said you were kind of a little jerk," Billie muttered to Tre, "but I never woulda pegged you as the type to jerk some poor dude around."
"Who did I jerk around?" This time, Tre looked earnest. He knit is eyebrows together in a frown. "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying you shouldn't go giving some poor guy with no self-esteem and no one to love him false hope." Billie gave Mike a tap on the shoulder. "Come on, man, let's go. I've got things to do besides save you from your romantic misery."
"Yeah." Mike tried to stifle his humiliation enough for Billie not to see it. "Yeah, I'm coming."
It wasn't until Mike was halway to the car that he heard, "Wait." He turned to see Tre trotting up, looking worried. It was an expression Mike had never thought he'd see on such a bright, careless person. He grabbed onto Mike's wrist, obviously worried that he wouldn't stay to hear him out.
"What's up?" Billie called from his car, exasperated.
"Just hold on a sec," Mike yelled back. He looked sideways at Tre. He was desperate to not look as hurt and miserable as he felt. "Yeah? What is it?"
"You didn't..." Tre was panting a little from the short run. "You didn't really think I was just fucking around with you, did you?"
Mike just shrugged. "Why wouldn't you? That's what everybody else does."
Mike was shocked to see Tre blush. "Yeah, well, I don't know about everybody else," he mumbled, "but I meant it. The only reason I talked to you in the first place was 'cause I thought you were cool."
Mike's face split into a grin, as did Tre's. The two stood looking shyly at each other until Billie beeped his car horn and bellowed, "HURRY IT THE FUCK UP, DIRNT!"
"Right. I gotta go." Mike hurried towards the car, but Tre's voice stopped him again.
"Hey, are you busy tomorrow?"
Mike whipped around. "Uh, you mean on Valentine's Day?"
Tre looked down, embarrassed. "Oh, right. I shoulda figured you had a date. Nevermind."
"No, no!" Mike called out, grinning. "No. I, uh, I'd like to do something."
Tre smiled. "Okay. How about dinner?"
Mike cocked an eyebrow. "With you or Vlad?"
Tre strode up to him and surprised him yet again with a peck on the lips. "What's the difference?" he asked brightly, and then walked away, leaving Mike in a state of shock that he doubted would ever fade. At least, not as long as Tre was around.
Author's Note: Comments are always appreciated!