In which there is a bad experience, and a good one. (Merton/Tommy)
Merton has an entire mental catalogue of Very Bad Things (That Have Happened to Me). This is one of them: alone in the locker room (his claims of PMS having been dismissed; Merton had regretfully decided that ebola would have been a better excuse, after all) with a hulking figure in an unflattering costume of mustard yellow and dull red bearing down upon him.
Mindless Neanderthal (alternately known--by the brainwashed, bleating sheep that made up the majority of Pleasantville High's student body--as Jock, sub-species, Football Player) had set his beefy hands against Merton's chest and pushed him into the nearest wall. Said occurrence was, regretfully, not unusual for one Merton J. Dingle, and he was determined to bear this newest bout of Wanna-be Alpha Male Posturing with as much dignity as possible (that is--no crying for mommy until after Mindless Neanderthal was out of ear-shot).
Mindless Neanderthal proceeded to spout to requisite curses (check), threats (check) and disparaging remarks about Merton's masculinity (check), sexuality (check) and, beyond all bearing, hair (check). Which was when things took a sharp right turn into complete and utter weirdness: panting into Merton's face, Mindless Neanderthal paused suddenly. Blinked. Flushed. Flexed his hands against Merton's waist. Licked his lips and--
(Merton has enough material on the suppression of homosexual desire to write his thesis, or at the very least, enough to write a mediocre novel and/or TV script about Gay Smalltown Boys!)
gave a pained groan before smacking Merton back into the wall. "If you tell anyone, I'll kill you," Mindless Neanderthal growled. His fingers were still working their way up Merton's ribs. Mindless Neanderthal paused, noted the location of his hands, and flushed. "Faggot," he added, hastily whipping his hands back into the pockets of his letterman jacket. Mindless Neanderthal--forevermore known to Merton as the Gay Repression Stereotype--proceeded to flee as if he had the hounds of hell upon his heels.
And while Tommy is nowhere near being classified as a Mindless Neanderthal--football Captaincy aside--Merton is willing to admit to a certain. . . concern. They are in the Lair, tangled together, the "we're just friends, really!" boundary-line having been eased out of existence several inches ago. Tommy's hands are on Merton's hips and Merton's right hand has only just discovered that the small of Tommy's back is a really, really nice perch. Tommy's lips are on Merton's and Merton's free hand flails about before landing on the nape of Tommy's neck. Once there, pulling Tommy closer seems like a really, really good idea.
Still, though, Merton can't help but fret about What This Means in the back of his mind. After all, Tommy has important things like girls and football and his all-American smalltown hero image to worry about, and Merton is willing to recognize the fact that he won't exactly be helpful on any of those fronts. Tommy likes Merton, sure, but Merton more than likes Tommy and while the thought of a little experimentation isn't exactly a turn-off, it isn't precisely what Merton wants from Tommy, either. Merton might have to do something drastic like overdose on Yoo Hoos if this is only about Tommy being curious and Merton being so desperately willing that he may as well have a neon sign over his head and--
"Merton," Tommy says.
Merton's lips continue to move against empty air for a moment before he realizes: a) no Tommy lips as b) Tommy is using said lips to talk. "Huh?" Merton blinks and prepares himself for certain heartbreak and a night listening to his secret stash of country "you've gone broke my heart" music.
Tommy's lips twitch. "Stop thinking," he says.
". . . Stop?"
"That's the spirit," Tommy says and leans back down for another kiss.