August 13, 2015 by Lyn
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
Jamian and Ty had spent four days hiding from Ty’s friends. Not that Ty would admit that that’s what they were doing, of course; they were having a nice peaceful brunch in Ty’s room, giving Jamian a breather from dealing with all these still-relatively-strangers he couldn’t relax around, talking about homework over dinner.
At first Jamian didn’t mind. He was naturally rather withdrawn, and had been hesitant about the idea of spending a lot of time with Ty’s very outgoing circle of friends anyway. And he didn’t really mind all the time he was getting to spend with Ty now, either. But, by Tuesday, he began to feel like the extroverted Ty was holding himself – or herself – back for him. “Why don’t we have breakfast in the Dining Hall?” he suggested, and was snapped at for his efforts:
“You want to eat in the Dining Hall? Go ahead.” He did, unhappily, and, after that, stayed quiet, at least until the next night.
“You know,” he said hesitantly, as they were dithering about dinner, “we could go have dinner in the Dining Hall, you know, with your friends.”
“Let’s not.” The answer was so firm, and so abrupt, that the matter escaped Jamian’s mind entirely until the next day. When Ty showed up at his door for breakfast, however, he tried again.
“Let’s go do breakfast in the Dining Hall?”
“I really want to have breakfast with you, okay?”
There was something in the tone of voice that cued Jamian in, and he wondered how dense he’d been to miss it thus far. “Tya, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” But she blinked up at him through wisps of hair, and sighed at the doubt on his face. “Okay, fine. Something.”
“Duh,” he teased her lightly. “The question is… what?”
Tya sighed. “I was an idiot Saturday night. I made a fool out of myself. That’s not me, Jame.”
She took a deep breath. “I’ve been a little off ever since… well, all this semester, at least. And-”
“-you don’t want to deal with your friends until there’s been some time for it to blow over?” he hazarded.
“Yeah,” but she shook her head as she said it. “but… no. I mean…” she frowned slightly.
“Yes but no?” he couldn’t help but tease, but she was still frowning, so he fell silent and tried to let her continue.
“I don’t want you to see me like that, and think that’s what I’m like,” she said softly. “I’m not this crazy little twit.”
Jamian frowned. “No, you’re not,” he said, as firmly as he could. “And I don’t think that at all. Look, you’re the first person ever in my life to know exactly what I am and not think it’s freakish or weird. Do you really think I’m going to let your bitchy ex-boyfriend get in the way of that?”
She giggled softly at that, and he had hope he’d shaken her out of her funk, but then the small frown came back. “I didn’t do very well by Nikita. Not that well by Shiva, either.”
He thought back to his conversation with Shiva. “Shiva doesn’t seem to have any problem with you.” That didn’t seem to be the right thing to say, and, while he was curious to know more, he was more concerned with getting her back to her normal cheerful self, so he quipped, “And besides, you’ve had your chance to practice with them, so I’m sure you’ll get it right with me.”
That seemed to work, even if it only elicited a small smile. “Well, I suppose if you’re not worried…”
“What’s there to worry about?” he asked, trying to project reassurance. “Ty, it’s not like you’ve been at all unclear about what you are, and what you’re like.”
She smiled sourly at him. “What I’m like?” But he was prepared for this one, and grinned playfully.
“You’re a Swiss Army knife partier, and the best friend I’ve ever had.”
Ty chuckled, but didn’t seem quite ready to let go of this moody spell. “You weren’t all that okay with it a week ago.”
He’d had a lot of time to think about that since the dance, and he was glad he had, with the searching way she was studying his face. “I know,” he said slowly. “I’ve had a lot of practice hating what I am… and if I hadn’t met you, I might have gone on hating myself for a long time. I mean, neither fish nor fowl, right?” Tya nodded quietly, frowning. “But I’ve been thinking. You’ve taken the same stuff I’ve got, and all of a sudden, voila, you get to be whatever you want. I’m still not sure I can do that – I’m still a guy – but it’s kind of cool that you can.”
She nodded slowly, a slow grin sliding over her face, beginning to look like the Ty he knew again. “You still have to do it at least once, don’t forget.”
He nodded, although he’d been trying hard to forget. “I know,” he said, gulping softly. “In private. In your room.”
Ty’s grin only grew, and Jamian had to admit he was feeling a strange warm sensation at the idea. “Get you all to myself for a whole weekend, while I get to teach you Every. Single. Trick. I know about being a girl? Oh, don’t worry. You won’t be leaving my room even if you wanted to.”
Jamian ducked his head, trying to hide the blush he felt creeping up his face, or the strangely good feeling he got with Ty’s flirting. “Tya…” he protested, half just out of form.
Ty chuckled, a sound that was warm, pleasant, and definitely masculine. “It’s all right, Jame,” he said, reassuringly. “I’m not gonna push you too fast.”
Too fast still suggested some eventual pushing, for which his traitorous imagination was suddenly deciding to provide imagery. He made a strangled noise of protest, trying to hide his face further, and was rewarded by another warm, happy laugh.
“Come on.” Ty’s hand on his shoulder was warm, and did nothing to banish the feelings muddled in Jamian’s gut. “Let’s go get breakfast.”
Suddenly, being in public seemed like a very good idea. Jamian smiled gratefully, and agreed.