Fandom: Generation Kill
Summary: High School AU.
Disclaimer: Based on fictionalised portrayals as seen on the HBO miniseries.
A/N: Written for kubis. Posted two days before her actual birthday, as I'm afraid I won't have the internet access for the next five days or so. Kubiś introduced me to Generation Kill and continues to enable me in every possible way. Everything I wrote in this fandom is her doing. Everything I will write, will probably be her doing too. Kubiś, thank you. For everything.
It's the same prank every damn time. No one would ever accuse Shwetje and the rest of being imaginative, but the thing was bordering on ridiculous. Funny the first twenty times, sure, but nowadays no one even cares to watch the new guy walk around confusedly, looking for his car.
Only this new guy didn't walk around confusedly, but instead he sat down on the curb a few meters away from the empty parking space, in the shade of the trees, and fished out a bottle of water and a book from his backpack, seemingly settling in for the afternoon.
"You're waiting for it to magically reappear?" Brad asks conversationally, leaning against the side of his own car.
The new guy turns a page before answering. "Stranger things happened. But I'm assured it will reappear, eventually, once the jokers realise I'm not looking for it. More trouble than it's worth, leaving it on the football field or in the dining hall of their choice."
He probably had a point, Brad thinks. A calm and logical approach, that was refreshing. "You're planning on camping out here until then?"
"Not really. I don't expect it to happen until tomorrow," the guy responds and leans back, propped on his elbows as he looks up at Brad, flickering shadows crossing his face as the leaves are moved by the breeze. He seems completely relaxed and at ease, all loose limbs and warm smile that turns wry under Brad's gaze. "Actually, I'm waiting until my older sister gets off work in two hours. If I ask nicely enough, she'll probably pick me up."
Brad is startled into a laugh and he shakes his head slowly. "You really aren't bothered by it?" Wherever Griego and the rest of the fucking morons are hiding, they must be crying into each other's shirts in disappointment. Brad doesn't hate the idea.
"Seven schools in the last two years. This is refreshingly stupid, as pranks go," he shrugs, closing his book and putting it aside. "Nate Fick," he adds, mouth quirking. "I'm new here," he announces mock-earnestly.
Brad realizes he's smiling. "Come on, I'll drive you home," he offers, surprising himself.
"I'm not getting into a car with a stranger, I've been taught better than that," Nate tells him primly and Brad feels something shift in his gut.
"Brad Colbert," he says and Nate nods, rises to his feet and picks up his stuff, tossing his backpack into the back seat of Brad's car without waiting for an invitation.
Few minutes later Nate is fiddling with the radio, mocking Brad's taste in music, but his smile is still warm, teasing and friendly, and Brad thinks he might be in trouble.
Not as much trouble Nate will be in if he says one more word about the Air Supply, but still.
Brad's favourite activity during calculus, after he's done with all his tasks and after he draws stick figures fighting giant spiders on the edges of his notebook, is stealing shit from Nate's backpack.
When he's particularly bored, he hacks into Nate's cellphone as a bonus.
Nate never turns around, never even glances at Brad, all his attention on the work before him, clicking the pen absently when he's concentrating, biting his lip when he's writing down the answers.
At lunch, when he's going through his essay for their AP English class one last time before he's due to turn it in, he reaches out, not even looking up. "My pen, Brad," he says and Brad hands it over wordlessly. "There was another one, along with my keys and cellphone," he adds.
Brad is pretty sure Nate hasn't even checked his backpack. It's half of what makes it so fun. "I fixed your phone for you," he tells Nate pleasantly.
"I'm afraid to ask."
"Just don't put it on vibrate, could get ugly," Brad supplies cheerfully and Nate laughs, reaching over the table to steal one of Brad's fries.
Ray launches into a long diatribe about prom and porn and penguins, and Brad can't quite tell if there's some coherent structure and internal logic to his rant or whether the Sesame Street has chosen the letter p for the day. Nate just laughs and edges Ray on, with the same wry disbelief he usually wears around Person.
He's still stealing Brad's fries, probably in retaliation for earlier, but Brad doesn't really mind.
Ray Person's Halloween Party has been legendary ever since he was the only eleven years old in the neighborhood whose party had been broken up by the police.
"Some stories are much better when you don't know all the details," Brad says and Nate rolls his eyes, crosses his arms expectantly. "There was a coffee maker involved," Brad adds.
"From what I've heard there were four squad cars. All that for a coffee maker?"
"You know cops, they take their caffeine very seriously."
When Nate laughs and tells him he's full of shit, Brad takes it as a compliment.
Costumes aren't mandatory at the party, Ray in fact goes to great lenghts to discourage them, and you don't want to get into his and Poke's debate on Samhain and cultural appropriation. It usually ends with "Fuck, it's just a fucking party, an excuse to get drunk, blast some music, and get to the third base." Ray's quick to amend, of course, that if any girl wishes to dress up like a slutty cat or a slutty vampire or a slutty accountant or whatever, he's more than fine with it, but the point is, not many costumes.
All in all, it's not the best way to spend the evening, even if the party never quite lives up to its criminal reputation. Brad's fine with that.
He's not quite that fine with the fact that Connie Jackson spends the better part of the party drapped all over Nate. Her lips are slick and red, first with lipstick and then, when the lipstick is gone, from the way Nate's teeth has been lightly grazing them. Nate's hand absently brushes the exposed stripe of skin between Connie's skirt and the top of her stocking.
Brad spends the better part of the party planning murder. It's Halloween, he'd have great chances of hiding the body without much fuss.
"You're being a gloomy asshole again," Nate tells him next day, after Brad has maybe spoken two words for the entire afternoon.
"He gets that way sometimes, usually over pussy," Ray volunteers, in a new installment of Person's fucking broadcast, providing you with all the info on Brad Colbert you didn't fucking need. "What the hell, Brad, I thought you've given this shit up."
Nate's gaze flickers to Brad, his eyes narrowing. Brad's not sure he wants him to figure it out, there's probably only a road to yet another heartbreak there. Brad's not quite in the fucking closet per se, he just doesn't broadcast details pertaining to his sex life like some people do. Ray knows because he's Ray, and he has a sixth fucking sense when it comes to Brad, but that's probably it.
Nate draws himself up, picks up the ball from the grass and tosses it at Brad. "Come on, Colbert, we're not here to watch you moping around."
Brad turns the ball in his hands a few times and then he follows Nate.
"Okay," Brad's sister takes a deep breath, standing on the edge of the pool. "Melissa talked to Jenny, because her boyfriend is on the debate team with Sandra, who works with me at the cafe. So, what about the prom?"
Brad holds on to the edge and squints up at her. "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Melissa wants you to ask her to the junior prom," Nate supplies from where he's sprawled on the pool chair, his nose half red and half white, where he didn't quite rubbed the sunscreen on correctly. He's thumbing through the SAT textbook and Brad feels an intense desire to spray him with some water, except Sue is in the way, and she would shriek and Brad had this discussion with his mother already.
"Why would I ask Melissa to the fucking prom?"
Sue rolls her eyes. "Some people value social interractions, you retard," she tells him.
"I've heard. I'm very sorry for them. More importantly," Brad pulls himself out of the pool and shakes his head, running his hand through his hair. Sue steps back, smacking her lips at him. "More importantly, Nathaniel, I would like to know how the hell did you understand her inane babblings."
"Two sisters. I speak the language fluently."
"More like, you're just a giant girl, Fick."
"As you say, Colbert," Nate offers breezily and puts away the book, shifts and stretches, the taut muscles of his stomach perfectly on display. Brad feels hotter than even the sunrays warrant.
"Speaking about prom, Nate, you going?" Sue asks suddenly, her voice suspiciously light and Brad looks up at her, frowning. His own sister, for fuck's sake. Just what he needed.
Nate shifts slowly, looks at her before he answers. "I wasn't planning on it, no," he says and Brad feels lighter, somehow. Sue purses her lips and nods, then forces a smile and announces she's going back to the house.
"You really weren't planning on going?"
Nate shrugs. "I hadn't decided yet, to be honest. But don't worry, I wouldn't dare to take your sister to the prom," he offers and Brad thinks that this is exactly what he was worried about, just for the different reasons than Nate suspects.
"And so now you're not going."
"Looks like," he says and doesn't seem bothered by it at all. "If you're not going either you could come over, we still have a few classic Trek episodes to finish."
"Sure, because I'm going to give up a chance to score with a girl in a fucking limo to hang out with you, Fick."
Nate raises his eyebrows at him, clearly calling bullshit. He's not wrong.
Christmas Day their senior year, Brad hears a soft tapping against his bedroom window. It's late in the evening and he didn't exactly expect Nate, but he opens the window all the same.
"We have doors now," he offers.
Nate doesn't rise to the bait, just sits down on Brad's bed, doesn't even bother with taking off his jacket. Brad's skin crawls with worry.
"They think we'll have to move again. Dad's bosses hadn't made a decision yet, but there's a good chance."
Brad hasn't been prepared for this, for the ice cold shot through his veins. "When?" he asks, his voice hoarse.
"End of January, probably."
"Fuck, Nate, it's your senior year."
Nate looks up, his eyes clear and bright, too bright. His lips are chapped. "I think they know that. Dad's trying to put it off at least till the summer, but we don't know if it will work," he offers quietly and shifts, pulls himself up until he's resting against Brad's headboard, head tilted back, eyes closed for what is probably minutes but feels like hours.
Brad just stands there, fists clenched, his hands damp with sweat.
"Merry Christmas," Nate says finally and Brad lets out a deep breath and sits down, nudging Nate to scoot over and make room for him. Their shoulders are touching and Brad fights the instinct to slide down a little, put his head on Nate's shoulder.
It's not something he usually thinks about, but he feels like he needs it now.
"You've moved a few times already," he points out.
"Yeah," Nate says and falls silent for another moment. "I've been angry for the first three, I think. And then I just didn't really care, it was what happened," he offers, and the tone of his voice suggests that has changed.
"You could stay with me," Brad finds himself saying, words falling off his mouth before he was even consciously aware of them. Nate shifts to look at him and Brad continues quickly. "My mom won't mind, I think she likes you better than she likes me. And it's stupid to move schools few months before graduation."
Nate's mouth shifts, like he's trying to form words that aren't coming. He shakes his head slowly, and then his hand is on Brad's neck, warm and dry, his thumb stroking Brad's skin. "I don't want to go before..." he starts and Brad just kisses him. It seems like the thing to do.
He doesn't quite expect Nate to kiss him back, despite what his hand on Brad's throat could have been implying, but Nate's fingers tighten on the nape of Brad's neck, pulling him closer, and the sort of stumble into each other, Brad's bed creaking dangerously.
"Bradley, the movie is starting," his mom calls from downstairs and Brad makes a noise of protest when it makes Nate pull away. His lips are swollen and red and Brad can't look away.
"Go on, I hear it's the Colbert family tradition," Nate tells him. "We can continue this later," he adds, slightly uncertain, and Brad's heart flutters, skips a beat or two.
"Come on and watch the movie with us," he mutters. Maybe he can't quite kiss Nate senseless right now, but he's determined not to waste a moment of Nate's company.
The Ficks don't move until August, but Brad doesn't regret the scare. There's something to be said for the outcome.
"So, have you decided yet?" Nate asks, almost casually. His leg is brushing against Brad's thigh as they sit on the couch in Nate's living room, not quite watching the Die Hard sequel.
"MIT," Brad doesn't look away from Bruce Willis doing something incredibly awesome. He just can't tell what exactly, because while his eyes might not be on Nate, his attention is, the sudden stillness seeping into his body through all the points of contact.
Nate's been going between Harvard and Stanford, just as Brad has been trying to decide between MIT and Caltech. Someone had to give in first and if it was Nate, they'd stay in California even though Nate had his sights set on Harvard probably since before he could walk or talk or, you know, knew what the fuck an university was.
"You don't have to..."
"If you finish this sentence the way I think it's going, I'm going to kick your ass," Brad mutters.
Nate's shaking his head, biting his lip to hold back a smile. "You're so full of shit, Colbert," he says and Brad shrugs.
"Maybe, but you love it."
Nate doesn't answer for a very long time, but he reaches out, fingers laced with Brad's. It's enough of an answer anyway.