Categories > Movies > Newsies1 Reviews
[slash, snittery] [originally written 7/9/03] Romantic mishaps, slight angst, and punk and emo references run amok.
I was sweating. I never sweat. God, why was I sweating?
I suddenly caught a glimpse of a pair of laughing, hazel eyes seated directly next to me.
Oh, yeah. That's why.
Come on, Skittery. Breathe, I told myself. He's just a boy. You've know him since freshman year. There's no need to get all weird around him... even if you are head-over-heels in love with the kid...
"-ttery! Skitts!" I snapped out of my little mantra of denial rather quickly.
"I didn't do it!" Everyone started to laugh. I hate it when people laugh at me, but I let it go. They didn't mean anything by it, and, besides, I am too jumpy. Hey, they didn't name me Skittery for nothing.
"Come on, Skitts. Favorite moment of junior year," Blink said, grinning, as he wrapped his arm around the waist of his girl of the week.
"I'd have to say..." I thought carefully. There were so many of them. Finally, I looked back up with a grin. "I'd have to say when Spot hijacked that assembly."
Everyone roared with laughter.
"Shit, how could we forget that?!" Race yelled, grinning wildly. Specs jumped to his feet, plastered a solemn facade on his face, and pretended to grab an imaginary microphone.
"'I'd just like to take this time to announce to the world that I'm gay. Fuck all of you,'" he quoted before mooning us all. Bumlets fell to the ground, moaning about how his eyes were bleeding.
"How long did that little stunt get you, Spot?" Mush called. Spot didn't bother to take his tongue out of Jack's mouth; he just flicked us all off.
"Okay, so we all agree that Spot had the best 'coming out of the closet' stunt," Pie Eater said, matter-of-factly, before grinning and taking another chunk out of his Milky Way.
"Hey! Mine was good, too!" Dutchy contradicted.
"Getting caught snogging with Specs in the art room isn't exactly a coming-out stunt," Itey reminded him. We all laughed.
I noticed that Snitch was being awfully quiet.
"You okay?" I muttered. He looked at me nervously.
"Y-Yeah... yeah, I'm fine." I smiled and tried to pretend that my stomach hadn't turned into a washing machine.
"What, is all this talk about being gay making you nervous?" He bit his lip and looked away.
"Yeah... but not in the way that you're thinking!" he said quickly, noticing the look of obvious hurt that flickered across my face. Snitch looked around quickly. Everyone else had moved on to a different topic. They weren't really paying attention to us. He sighed and leaned in to me.
"Skittery..." he whispered in my ear. "I think... I think I'm gay."
Never, even in my wildest dreams, had I even considered the fact that Snitch might be.... well, like me. Well, I /had/, but I'd never believed it or anything. I mean, this was Damien "Snitch" Baxter we were talking about. The resident "suffering artist" of Forest Point Academy. You know, the guy that all the girls secretly wish they were scroinking but are too afraid to admit it because they're scared that it'll ruin their precious rep. The guy that doesn't play sports or do anything innovative for the school but is still oddly popular. The quiet guy that sits in the corner and strums his guitar or writes poetry.
Well, that's what he looks like on the surface, anyway.
Once you get to know him, Snitch is anything but quiet. True, he does play the guitar and write poetry, but it's all funny stuff (like this really hilarious song called "All My Songs Are About My Old Girlfriends."). In reality, Snitch is the complete opposite of the artsy emo kid that people have made him out to be. Around us, he's always got a smile on his face, no matter how depressed he might really be. And he'll do anything to make the rest of us happy. Like when Jack's uncle found out that his "perfect nephew" was gay and booted him out of the house. Snitch offered him his extra bedroom, took him to the mall, and then proceeded to do an improvised tap dance to some stupid John Mayer song in the middle of the food court. That's just the kind of goofy, slightly insane guy that he is.
I fell for Snitch the second that I saw him. And I fell /hard/.
I mean, come on. Who /wouldn't/?
"So... what do I do?" I looked back at him. His gorgeous hazel eyes had lost their usual carefree sparkle, and he was chewing nervously on his thumbnail. He looked downright terrified.
My heart melted. It literally fucking /melted/.
I quickly glanced around the room. Someone had turned up the volume on the stereo, and "Asleep" by The Smiths was blaring. Blink, Mush, and their respective girls of the week were pretending to dance as an excuse to shove their tongues in each other's mouths. Jack and Spot were snogging in the corner, Specs and Dutchy were in the process of getting wasted, and Racetrack had started up a game of rummy. By the way Pie Eater, Itey, and David were glaring at him, I deduced that Race was winning.
Nobody was even looking at us.
"Come on," I whispered, cocking my head towards a dim hallway. Snitch blinked at me in surprise before I grabbed his arm and tugged him gently through the living room.
It's kind of funny how you can be completely alone in a crowded room.
"Skittery, where are we going?" Snitch sounded nervous.
"Somewhere that we can talk." Honestly, I had no idea where I was taking him. I wasn't too familiar with Blink's house, so I just opened doors as I went along. Bathroom. Game room. Another bathroom. Parents' bedroom. Another bathroom (hey, Blink's family is rich; they can have as many bathrooms as they want).
One of the last doors on the hallway led to a "closet." It was a closet to Blink and his family; it was practically a bedroom to me.
The carpet was thick, soft, and cream-colored. Toward the very back of the "closet" was a rack of thick, fur coats. The lights were a bit dim, but I could still see just fine. I noticed that there were a couple of dark blue beanbag chairs on the floor. There was also a small radio in the corner.
"Skitts." I blinked and quickly glanced over at Snitch. "Do you think this is the place that Blink was talking about? Where he and Mush would hide from his sisters when they were kids?"
I blinked again as I remembered the stories that Blink had told us about fixing up one of his mother's closets into a kind of a clubhouse in order to hide from Isabel and Iris, the twin terrors. Now that he had a car, he didn't need it as a hideout, but he informed us that he spent most of his free time in there... erm, /here/.
"Yeah... yeah, I think so." Snitch plopped into one of the chairs and admired the room while I pretended to fiddle with the radio and admired Snitch.
The dim, golden light brought out the lighter brown streaks in his dark hair, the streaks we'd both gotten from taking jobs as lifeguards down at the community pool. The light also tinted his dark brown eyes, giving him an almost cat-like appearance. He was looking at the ground and sucking his thumb, a habit that he'd never quite grown out of.
A habit that I found adorable.
Snitch looked my way suddenly, and I immediately switched on the radio to make it look like I'd been doing something. The first notes of "Cars and Calories" by Saves the Day met my ears.
"Her life was magazines and faithful TV screens, selling an empty dream of cars and calories, everything in between the sun and Saturn's ring," I sang softly. Snitch smiled, but it wasn't his usual wild grin. It was a small, sad, embarrassed smile.
"Skitts, I... I'm sorry to dump this on you," he said quietly. I smiled and settled into the other beanbag chair.
"Hey, it's not dumping. I want to hear. What are friends for?"
"That's corny, man."
"I know." We smiled at each other, and I fought back the urge to run my fingers through his hair, press my lips to his, feel him wrap his arms around me...
Whoa. Down, Skittery.
"So what do you want to hear?" he asked quietly. I shrugged and clasped my hands together, trying to ignore the fact that my palms were sweating.
"What do you want to tell me?"
"Well, how long have you known?" He stared at the ground, sucking his thumb absent-mindedly.
"I guess... I've kind of had the feeling that something was wrong with me for... two months, I think. Give or take a few."
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with you. Being gay isn't a disease," I chided gently. He grinned sheepishly, a faint blush creeping into his cheeks.
You know, one boy shouldn't be allowed to be so fucking gorgeous.
"Yeah... anyway... I went out with Elizabeth Burke for a couple of days, remember?" How could I not remember? I went home and cried for hours when Specs told me that Snitch had a girlfriend. I'd felt like someone had carved chunks out of my heart with a rusty chainsaw.
"Oh, erm... yeah, I think I remember her." Snitch smiled sadly.
"I thought that once I finally got a girlfriend, once I finally got my first kiss, everything would be okay, you know? I mean, Liz was great. She was pretty and funny and she really seemed to care about me. But..." He bit his lip. "I felt... I never felt like I wanted to kiss her or anything. Like, she'd go to kiss me, and I'd find a reason to move my head at the last second. After a couple of days, I realized that I wasn't being fair to her, so we broke up." He paused, pushing his slightly messy bangs out of his eyes. After a few seconds, he turned back to me. "I never did let her kiss me."
We looked at each other for a few more seconds before I thought of a suitable reply.
"That's kind of a good thing, though, isn't it? I mean, if you would have let her kiss you, you would have been lying. To her and to yourself." I saw a hint of Snitch's usual smile appear.
"Once again, corny as hell, dude."
"Oh, shut up." He grinned and shifted around a bit. He probably did it unconsciously, but I couldn't help noticing that he'd placed himself a bit closer to me.
"I must sound like a total moron to you, making such a big deal over something stupid like kissing," he muttered, looking at the ground. I shook my head vehemently. As if Snitch could ever say or do anything that was less than perfect. Even when he made mistakes, he was perfect.
... which makes no sense, when you really think about it.
"No way. Why would you sound like a moron?" He raised an eyebrow and blushed again.
"Well... kissing someone isn't exactly a big deal, is it? Look at Blink and Mush and their girlfriends. And Jack and Spot and-"
"Snitch, it's a big deal to you because you've never been kissed."
I saw him cringe, and it felt like someone had hammered a spike into my heart.
"No need to rub it in, Skittery," he whispered.
"I didn't mean it like that!" I said quickly. "I mean, I haven't been kissed either!"
He stared at me, wide-eyed.
Oops. Didn't mean to disclose that little snippet.
You know, I could have told him that I was joking, that I'd been kissed hundreds of thousands of times by various people who were absolutely smitten with me. I could have easily told him that and saved what was left of my reputation.
But I would have been lying.
And he looked so hopeful, staring up at me like a five-year-old who'd lost his parents, that I couldn't lie to him. No matter how much the guys would tease me for it.
"Really." Snitch looked up at me for a few seconds, dumbfounded, before breaking into a smile so bright that it put the sun itself to shame.
"So... so there's nothing wrong with me?
"Of course not! You just haven't found the right person yet." He grinned at me again. For once, it didn't matter that we didn't have anything to say to one another. We didn't need to say anything.
"How will you know if you've found the right person?" He looked so nervous, like he thought that he might overlook his one, true love and end up alone forever. I smiled inwardly at the thought. Right. Like Snitch would ever end up alone. He didn't even realize that there were probably a hundred people throwing themselves at his feet.
Me being one of them, of course.
I didn't even realize that I'd started talking.
Nor did I realize that I was staring directly at him as I spoke.
"You'll know. Trust me, you'll know. It's not something that you can miss. You'll look at them, and you won't think about anything else. The world could be exploding around you, and all you'll be able to think of is them. It's kind of something that you have to experience to understand. You'll do anything to make them happy. You'll stick by them while they date other people and offer them a shoulder to cry on. You'll listen to them cry about their latest meaningless crush and comfort them while you feel like something's tearing you apart from the inside. But you don't care because it's not about you, it's about them. You'll do anything to be near them, even if it means changing your schedule around to get into that Creative Writing class or learning to swim just so I could take that lifeguard job with you or-"
I suddenly became very, very aware of exactly what I was saying.
And of the fact that I'd suddenly switched to first person.
I stopped in mid-sentence. Snitch's eyes were huge, his jaw was apparently scraping the floor, and he was blushing a little bit.
Great. Fucking perfect, Skittery. You've just confessed to the kid. Could you be any stupider, you dumb fuck?!
"Forget I ever said anything," I whispered. I yanked myself to my feet with the intention of getting as far away from there as I possibly could.
"Look, Snitch, I'm sorry I said any of that."
"I never meant to tell you."
"I'm sorry. I'm leaving, and we can forget I said any of it."
"God dammit, Skittery!" I blinked. That got my attention. I mean, Snitch doesn't curse. He just doesn't/. "Can I get a /word in before you make a really big, really stupid mistake?!"
I looked down at him. His fists were clenched, and it looked like he was trying not to cry.
I looked away.
"I think I just made a big, stupid mistake," I replied quietly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him get up.
"No, Skitts, you didn't."
"Snitch, how can that possibly not be the worst mistake I've ever made? I've just admitted that I'm fucking in love with you!" It didn't occur to me until long after that the entire neighborhood probably heard me.
Snitch laughed. It wasn't a laugh-laugh. It was one of those quiet, kind of sad laughs that people do when they think they're about to do something stupid.
"And did it ever once occur to you that maybe, just maybe... I might feel the same way?"
I stopped dead in my tracks. I absolutely /froze/.
I didn't turn around when I felt him place a hand on my shoulder. I just /couldn't/.
"Skittery. Look at me, Skitts. Please?"
Love and cowardice don't mix well. But, in this case, love kicked the shit out of cowardice, and I turned around. Slowly. Really slowly. But I turned around. I don't know what I was expecting to see. Shock, maybe. Absolute horror. Or worse, maybe he'd laugh and tell me what a great joke it was.
But nothing like that happened.
Snitch stepped forward slowly, blushing like crazy.
"Skittery, I...." He trailed off with a sigh before looking me straight in the eye. "I feel..." He smiled and shook his head. "Screw it." Before I'd even realized what was going on, he stepped forward, wrapped his arms securely around my waist, and buried his face in my chest. "I can't... I can't just say it like you can," he whispered, his voice slightly muffled by my Atticus shirt. "But I... I care about you, Skitts."
I slowly, very slowly, began to comprehend what he meant.
Snitch... Snitch loved me?
My mind still hadn't completely grasped the fact, but it had deciphered enough of it for a rush of pure elation to shoot through me.
Numbly, I brushed my fingers through his hair and trailed my hand down the side of his face. My hands might have been shaking; I don't know. I was too far gone at that point to care.
"S-Snitch?" He looked up, his eyes shining.
"I c-care about you, too." He smiled.
I don't know who started it, who leaned in first.
All I know is that a seconds later, our lips met.
You know how movies like to make you think that first kisses with first loves are always perfect? Well, that's bullshit. This was far from perfect. We were nervous and clumsy, which is kind of funny to think about now.
But those fireworks that people talk about?
Yeah. Those are all real.
"Hey, Snitch! SNITCH!"
"Skittery, you there?"
"Dude, I think they went home."
"They would've said something."
"They're looking for us," Snitch murmured.
"They can look all they want; they're not gonna find us." Snitch looked up at me, obviously confused.
"I don't want them to."
"How come?" I had to smile. He looked so curious and innocent, like a little kid. I brushed his hair out of his eyes and kissed him on the forehead.
"The last thing I want to do is deal with their crap. You know that they're just going to think we're getting our hormones back in check. They'll just think that this was pointless snoggage and nothing else."
"I don't think 'snoggage' is a word."
"Sure it is. Now shut up, you're ruining the moment." He chuckled quietly to himself and leaned back against my chest. Without thinking, I slipped my arms around his waist and rested my head on his shoulder. He tilted his head and kissed me again.
You know how every now and then, you remember something that happened so clearly that it's almost like a movie playing in your head? You know, you remember exactly what position you were sitting in, the tone of someone's voice, the pattern of the wallpaper?
I already knew that this was going to be one of those moments.
The feel of his lips on mine, the smell of whatever cologne it was that he was wearing (Curve, I think) as well as the faint odor of mothballs, the way our legs were twined together, "I'll Catch You" by the Get Up Kids playing softly on the old radio, the way he tangled his fingers in my hair... it was just something I knew that I'd remember for the rest of my life.
Snitch broke the kiss and smiled at me.
"Don't worry, I'll catch you; don't worry, I'll catch you; don't ever worry," he sang quietly.
A low, rumbling crash of thunder dumped us both back into the real world.
"When did it start raining?" I muttered, mostly to myself. Snitch glanced down at his watch.
"Oh, shit," he groaned. "It's one in the morning!" I blinked.
"Yeah. I gotta get home." He clambered to his feet.
"Did you drive?"
"Nah, I walked."
"Want me to bring you?" Snitch glanced at me, then grinned.
"Yeah. That'd be great." I smiled back, and we headed back into the living room. Glancing around, I noticed that only a couple of people had left.
"Hey, where were you guys?" Blink asked cheerfully, taking a swig from a bottle of Smirnoff.
"Yeah, we looked all over!" Racetrack added.
I looked at Snitch. Snitch looked at me.
And we both turned roughly the same shade of red as a tomato.
The room exploded.
"My God, the straight boys are outnumbered!"
"Welcome to the Dark Side, Snitch!"
"Snitch and Skittery, huh? Never thought of those two together!"
"Screw milk! Got condoms?"
"If you're all done making fun of us," I heard myself say, "I've got to get Snitch home."
"Yeah, I bet you do," Race grinned as he made several lewd humping gestures. Everyone cracked up. It looked like Snitch's face was going to burst into flames.
"Come on," I muttered, dragging him towards the door.
"Aw, they're leaving already?"
"It's okay. We're out of food anyway."
"Do we have beer?"
"THEN NO ES IMPORTANTE!" I cringed mentally at Blink's horrible pronunciation even as I shut the dark mahogany door behind me.
We just stood in front of the house for a couple of seconds, shuffling our feet and feeling awkward. There's nothing like an awkward silence.
"Hey, I'm sorry about that," I blurted suddenly. Smooth, Skittery. Reeeal smooth. Snitch smiled.
"It's not like it's your fault. I mean, we knew it was going to happen eventually."
"You're not mad?"
"No. Are you?"
"Nah." We smiled at each other and, feeling not quite as awkward, headed towards my aqua station wagon.
"This is your car?" I nodded proudly.
"His name's Jinx. Ain't he great?" Snitch grinned and shook his head.
"You've got problems, Skitts." We hopped in, and I fiddled with the windshield wipers as Snitch admired Mervin, the dancing hula man on my dashboard.
We drove in silence. For a few minutes, anyway.
"You're still pissed about what the guys said, huh?" I sighed. He was too observant for his own good.
"Yeah, I guess." I caught his confused expression out of the corner of my eye.
"How come?" I slowed to a stop at a red light and sighed again.
"I don't know. It's just... well, Blink and a lot of the others? They're all about who can make out with the most people or who can screw who the fastest. And I knew, I knew the second we walked out of there, the first words out of their mouths would be, 'so, did you get some?'" The light changed, and I splashed through a puddle.
"You shouldn't be mad at them for that, though," Snitch said quietly. He fiddled with the drawstrings on his "NINJ4" pants as he spoke (he's a bit obsessed with MegaTokyo). "I mean, this is high school. Meaningless sex is all that they understand."
"See, that's what I'm saying. Why is it that everyone assumes that seventeen-year-olds can't understand love? Society's convinced them, or they've convinced themselves, I don't know. But either way, they're absolutely certain that they can't possibly fall in love when they're still in high school. Which is, as we both know..." I gently placed my hand over his. "... complete bullshit."
Snitch blushed and popped his thumb into his mouth.
"You're right," he said quietly from around said appendage. "I mean..." He paused to remove his thumb. "I mean, I've always thought it was stupid and horrible to screw around with people like that. Even if it is just a game to Blink and Mush or whoever, what about the girl? She actually /cares/. And what's worse is that she thinks he cares, too."
"I know what you mean. Like Mush's girl from last week? What was her name?"
"Yeah, Mondie. I think she might've really loved him."
"She did," Snitch replied immediately.
"But we've got to cut Mush some slack. I don't think he really realizes how much he's hurting these girls. He's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed."
"Oh, he's smart, all right. He's just naive."
"Yeah, you're right." I saw him smile at me and tighten his grip on my hand. Fighting back a blush, I turned on to Chateau Drive.
"Second from the end of the block, right side. Right?" Snitch blinked.
"Right." He grinned. "Stalker."
"You know it." I pulled up in front of a reasonably large house with a tall metal gate.
"We had a big burglar problem a few years back," he said, obviously trying to explain the massive gate. I parked and hopped out when he did. "Skitts, you don't have to walk with me if you don't want to."
"I want to."
"And your point?" Snitch grinned, shook his head, and tried to open the gate.
"Crap, it's locked," he muttered. He immediately began fishing in the pockets of the "NINJ4" pants. "Where's my lock pick?"
"You have a lock pick?"
"Sure! How else can I sneak into Mr. Juan's chemistry lab and grab back whatever he confiscated from me?"
"They don't call you Snitch for nothing."
"Hell, no!" He returned to his obviously futile search. He was never going to get inside at this rate.
So, I scaled the gate myself, dropped to the other side, and turned the lock.
"It's open," I said cheerfully. Snitch stared at me, dumbfounded.
"I could have done that," he said, pretending to glare at me as he opened the gate and stepped inside. I wiped the rain out of my eyes and grinned at him.
"Yeah, but it would have taken you a couple of years." The fake glare died, and he laughed.
The laughter faded, the rain pounded, and we were content to just look at each other.
He slowly stepped forward, a tiny smile on his face. When there was approximately a millimeter and a half of space between us, he looked up at me.
I'd never seen him look so beautiful.
The rain had plastered his dark hair to his forehead in scraggily, wet tendrils. It ran down his cheeks, almost making it look as though he was crying. But all I could see was the raw emotion blatantly displayed in his expression, the look in his eyes... the look that plainly said that he'd do anything for me, he'd do whatever he could to make me happy.
And he knew that I'd do the same for him.
Snitch gently placed his hands on my waist, and I automatically put mine on his shoulders.
"Don't make me live without you, Skittery," he whispered. I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more rain on his face; I wondered if he was really crying.
Smiling through my own tears, I carefully brushed some of the rain off of his cheeks.
"Don't worry, I'll catch you," I sang quietly. "Don't worry, I'll catch you."
"Don't ever worry," he finished.
As he leaned over and kissed me with more feeling than I can possibly put into words, it suddenly occurred to me that this had been the best night of my life, the best day that I could ever remember.
No really, it was.
The streets were wet and the gate was locked
So I jumped it and let you in
And you stood at your door
With your hands on my waist
And you kissed me like you meant it
And I knew that you meant it
-- "Hands Down," Dashboard Confessional
Author's Note: Despite how old this is, it's still probably my favorite because this is the fic that first made me believe that I was a decent writer. Anyway. Obviously, this is based on the happenings in the Dashboard song "Hands Down." And that's really all I can think of to say.