Daniel has questions about his sexuality. Note: In some countries the age of consent is 15. There will be a small age difference in this fic. Rating for swearing and a kiss.
Disclaimer: This is FICTION. It never happened. It is all a figment of my deluded mind. NO Harm is intended. I'm just borrowing some names and descriptions.
Summary: Daniel has questions about his sexuality.
Pairing: Darren and Daniel, loosely.
Genre: AU/Romance loosely.
Rating: PG-13 for a kiss
The Book of Love
Daniel stood in the shade of the Blackwood tree, watching the doorway of the Logan Street Library. It wasn't that he was expecting anyone. On the contrary, he hoped to hell no one saw him. And that he didn't see anyone he knew either.
It wasn't like he'd never been there before. He actually went there a lot. Every Wednesday for sure. For story hour. He liked the guy who read to the kids. He was funny and sad and happy - whatever the stories needed that he read, he put into them. His eyes were always sparkling and happy. And he never got mad at the kids. Daniel could listen to him talk for hours, though story hour was just that. Daniel always hated when that hour was over.
Yes, guy. He shivered and huddled in on himself. His parents would never understand. Not that his home life was all that bad, it just wasn't all that great, what with the messy divorce and his parents yelling at each other and everyone else all the time.
If Daniel tried to talk to them, they would just assume he was trying to get attention. And he knew what his father would do about that sort of attention.
The library had become his refuge. Not that he was a good student. Far from it. He was actually contemplating dropping out. He'd wagged a lot last year for one reason or another, but the library provided a quiet, calm stability in his life that seemed to be spiraling completely out of control everywhere else. At least for the few days in the week that it was open.
He couldn't talk to his brothers about his confused feelings either. He barely remembered Jonathan. He'd left home when Daniel was eleven. Only four and a half years ago, but when you don't hear from or see anyone in that time, then it seems like forever.
And he certainly couldn't talk to Oliver either. No way. He'd seen Oliver and his buddies beat up a gay guy just because they didn't like the way the guy talked.
Daniel winced at that. No fucking way I'm talking to anyone in my family.
Not that he was going to talk to the guy in the library either, but maybe, just maybe he could find something to help him understand what he was feeling. Why he looked at guys and not girls. Something that told him he was okay. That everything would be okay.
It certainly didn't have anything to do with his home life. He wasn't interested in anyone like, well, anyone in his family.
Daniel bit his lip and looked both ways before crossing the street. Then he took a deep breath and began to move.
I hope he's there today, he thought. Then he got angry with himself. What the fuck difference does that make? You aren't talking to him anyway remember?
Daniel rolled his eyes at himself and opened the door.
No, but... He sighed. He just wanted to look at the guy. He walked into the aged, but well cared for building. Miss Pickering, the head librarian, looked up and smiled, nodding her head at him. He dipped his own head and nodded back shyly.
Taking a deep breath, he steadied his nerves and began to slowly look through the aisles for the answers to his questions.
"Aren't you supposed to be in school?" a soft voice spoke behind Daniel.
He startled, dropping the book in his hands as he spun and faced him. "It's a holiday," he said defensively.
"Then the library would be closed," he said, his voice light with humor.
At your lousy attempt at lying, no doubt.
He bent and picked up the book Daniel had dropped. How Do You Know if You're Gay? Daniel blushed crimson. He looked at Daniel and smiled understandingly.
"You're a little young to be worrying about this yet," he said softly.
"I'm almost sixteen!" Daniel hissed, grabbing the book back.
He tilted his head. "So you should be in school," he said simply.
Daniel frowned miserably. He shrugged. "I'm going to drop out so it doesn't matter if I go or not."
"It always matters. Why are you dropping out?"
"Shhhh," Miss Pickering hushed them.
Daniel blushed deeper, imagining what she thought from where he stood. He took Daniel's arm and gently guided him to one of the sound rooms where people could listen to the music the library had. He closed the door behind them.
"Why are you dropping out?"
"What's it to you? Kids drop out all the time."
"Well what are you going to do if you drop out? Do you have a job or something you want to do with your life?"
Daniel dipped his head and lowered his gaze. He shrugged again. "I don't know what I'll do if I stay in school."
He tilted his head. "You come here often, don't you? Yes... You're a bit old for story hour," he said gently.
There was no derision in his voice.
"And you wag school to be here."
Daniel blushed. His heart pounded crazily and he shrugged. "I like to hear your voice," he said quietly.
But not so quiet that he couldn't hear. "Why thank you...? Maybe I should introduce myself. Darren," he said, offering his hand.
Darren. Daniel caught his lip with his teeth. "Daniel," he replied, shaking Darren's hand.
"Nice to finally meet you, Daniel." Daniel looked up at that. "Yes, I've noticed you watching me. I'm glad you like my voice. Am I good at my reading?"
"Yeah," Daniel said. His whole face smiled with certainty.
Darren laughed lightly. "I'm glad to hear that. Should make me popular in theater then?"
"Are you an actor?"
"I'm trying to be, yes," Darren said. "And I work here and part time at Woody's, too." Darren cocked his head and looked at Daniel. "I'm not much older than you, you know. Just twenty. And I've known for years I wanted to be an actor." He quirked an eyebrow. "I've been acting out since I was four," he said, grinning.
Daniel dropped his gaze again and shrugged ambiguously.
"That's not a very good book. All it really tells you is everyone's opinion of what constitutes gay is just that, everyone's opinion. It means something different to everyone you ask. Even other gay people."
"Oh," Daniel said, looking at the book in his hands once more. "How do you know?" he asked, plainly skeptical.
"Because I read it. When I was thirteen," Darren said without batting an eyelash.
"Y-you did?" Daniel stammered softly. "Why?" he asked. Then he turned bright red.
Darren laughed softly. Daniel's heart fluttered at the sound. "You're cute, Daniel," Darren said, smiling.
Daniel caught his bottom lip with his teeth and wrestled with a hundred questions.
"You're utterly kissable when you do that," Darren said. His eyes still smiled, but he was serious now. "Innocent. Pure. Naturally sexy. You'll break some guy's heart. Or some gal's," he added, smiling again.
"Does it make me gay if I like looking at guys?" Daniel asked, looking at Darren seriously.
"I don't know, Daniel. I like looking at women and men. I've had sex with both. Does that make me bi? Maybe. Only you know what's in here," Darren explained, as he gently put the tip of his index finger on Daniel's chest above his heart.
Daniel wondered if Darren could tell how his heart thundered.
"It doesn't even mean anything if you kiss a guy. Not really," Darren shrugged. "In some countries it's considered a form of respect. Doesn't mean they're gay."
Daniel looked out the window of the sound room. Nothing but bookshelves. And most people were still in school. But Miss Pickering...
"Miss Pickering's at lunch," Darren said calmly. "Mrs. Bluston is here right now. She never leaves the front desk. She's afraid that the ne'er-do-wells like you will steal the library blind if she leaves the door unwatched." Darren grinned at that.
Daniel panicked then. He was in a sound proof room with a guy who admittedly liked guys. What if-
"I'm not going to hurt you or take advantage of you, Daniel," Darren said quietly. He hadn't moved since they'd entered the room. "I was just letting you know because you looked like you had more questions."
Daniel flushed at that. He glanced sideways at Darren, too. Taking in his trim body and muscled pecs.
"Yoga," Darren commented, smiling.
Daniel dropped his gaze and bit his lip once again.
"Kissable," Darren nodded. Daniel reddened more.
"Have you ever been kissed by another guy, Daniel?"
"Fuck no," he said, almost obstinately. He saw Darren's teasing grin and fidgeted.
"Would you like to be?"
Daniel shook his head, but then looked helplessly at Darren. "I - I'm - "
"Confused?" Daniel nodded. "We all are, Daniel. We can't help it. It's what society has made us. It didn't use to be like this, but for any number of reasons we're considered an aberration or a nuisance at best. It's something you have to decide for yourself, Daniel. I know it's right for me. I can't decide for you," Darren said. His voice was filled with sympathy and understanding.
"I, erm... Could I - ? Erm... Would you - ?" Daniel stopped, frustrated. He ran his hand through his longish unruly blond locks.
"Yes, Daniel. You can." Darren cocked his head, grinning. "Or would you like me to?"
Daniel looked at him helplessly. "You?" he asked simply.
Darren smiled softly and stepped forward slowly. He gently ran his hands over Daniel's arms. Daniel smiled nervously. When Darren didn't do anything more, Daniel relaxed a bit and looked at Darren expectantly.
It must have been what Darren was waiting for because Darren leaned in and gently pressed his lips to Daniel's. Daniel widened his eyes in surprise, then closed them as he grew familiar with the feeling of Darren's lips on his.
I like this, he moaned softly to himself. The heat began to pool in his groin. Then he realized that Darren's lips weren't on his any more and his eyes flew open. He gasped for breath and licked his lips. He flushed and dropped his gaze at the look of intense desire that Darren gave him.
"Very nice," Darren said as he let out a heavy sigh. "Very nice indeed. Someone will be very lucky to have you kissing them every day."
Daniel noticed that Darren was careful not to influence him. He cocked his head, confused. "Someone? Not...you?"
Darren laughed softly once again. Daniel loved the sound. "We've only just met, Daniel. And you aren't even sure this is what you want, remember?"
"How old were you when you knew?" Daniel asked.
"Fourteen. But I - "
"Then I'm old enough to know too."
"And you're old enough to consent, but - "
"Then what's wrong?" Daniel asked, pouting. "You don't like me, do you?"
"Daniel, I think you're adorable," Darren said, laughter in his voice. "But I think we should get to know each other a little better before we jump into bed and have wild raucous sex, don't you?"
Daniel burned crimson at that and nodded, suddenly feeling like a stupid kid.
"Hey," Darren's crooked finger slipped under Daniel's chin and raised his head, tenderly forcing him to look Darren in the eye. "None of that. You don't know until you ask and I never said no. Look, I'm not actually scheduled to work today I just came in to get my paycheck. Why don't we go get a soda at the cafÃ© down the street and talk a bit."
"What about?" Daniel asked, his face heating as he realized how nervous he was about /the act/. Darren laughed lightly and shook his head. Daniel smiled shyly.
"Well, how about you staying in school, for one. Or what it's like to like guys, or what you do for fun. We can talk about /anything/, Daniel. And maybe we'll kiss again. Or do more. Or maybe we'll part ways simply friends. It's up to you."
Daniel's heart flip-flopped. He smiled. "You won't do anything - "
"That you don't want me to," Darren finished seriously. "I'm a man of my word, Daniel. Promise."
Daniel bit his lip, then grinned at the way Darren stared at his lips. "Okay," he agreed.
"Good." Darren put his arm around Daniel's shoulder, and they walked out of the sound room.
Daniel's heart fluttered and he grinned happily. He walked out of the library with Darren, already feeling a bit better about himself.