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"Hang Your Head" chapter 3

Title: Hang Your Head - chapter 3
Pairing/Character: Warren/Will
Will eventually go up to R for violence, swearing, etc.
There is more to Warren's bullying than meets the eye. Will knows this, and it's all his fault.
-shrug-. Nothing, I guess.

    He didn’t know how he got there.

    He didn’t know what started it.

    All Will knew was that right now, at this moment, he was pinning Layla to the floor of her livingroom.

    “Will, stop...!” she let out, laughing like a crazy person.
    Okay, he was only tickling her. Maybe Will was getting his hopes up too much.

    Layla shot her hands up, attacking Will’s stomach with her fingers. “Come on, aren’t you ticklish, too?” she asked playfully.

    Will shook his head. “Not there!” he answered, smiling smugly.

    Layla pursed her lips, then moved her fingers to his neck. “How about there?” she asked, grinning as wild laughter erupted from Will’s mouth.

    “Stop it...! Oh my god, haha... Layla, stop!” he sputtered, face turning red as he nearly ran out of breath laughing.
    “Okay, okay, enough you two,” Layla’s mother said from the doorway.

    Will rolled off of Layla, and they both lay on the carpeted floor, panting and giggling like children. Will was vaguely aware of her mother’s suspicious expression as she told them to keep it down and left the room.

    Layla sat up, Will following her, and turned her head toward her study partner. “Well, we wasted lots of time!” she announced, smiling goofily.

    He grinned. “I know! We didn’t even finish our homework,” he responded, gesturing to the pile of forgotten books on the sofa, where they had been sitting just twenty minutes ago.

    “I have too much fun with you, Will,” Layla said. She was smiling, and looking into Will’s face as though expecting something from him.

    “Yeah... me too...” Will muttered, looking away as he felt heat rise to his face. Why did she have to look at him like that?

    “Will, you know you’re my best friend in the world, right?” she continued, voice dropping so that the whisper was more private; intimate. “I know we’re becoming so close to our new friends at school like Magenta, Ethan, and Zach, but we’ll always be each other’s number ones, right?”

    She was looking at him with those large, green eyes that had recently been able to reduce Will to a puddle of mush.

    “Of course, Layla,” Will finally said, his voice now low and husky, matching her’s. “We’ve been best friends since first grade. No one will ever replace you,” he promised. He leaned over to give her a hug.

    They wrapped their arms around each other, breathing in the scent of one another. They stayed that way for a few minutes, longer than ever before. Layla and Will had always been friends, but sometimes the girl/boy factor made it awkward.

    But not this time. This hug was almost... perfect.

    Will could still feel where Layla’s arms had been around him the next day at school, as though they had been burned into his skin. When he saw Layla in his classes, heat was constantly rushing to his face, and he couldn’t explain it.

    “Can I go to the bathroom?” he asked in the middle of History as he and Layla bumped elbows for what seemed to be the billionth time that day.

    His face felt too hot, and he splashed cold water on his skin in the boys’ bathroom. He took a deep breath and leaned against the sink, staring deeply into the reflection of his own eyes.

    “What is wrong with me...?” he muttered. Why was Layla making him react this way?

    He heard a flush and creak of a stall door opening and slamming shut. He whipped around, feeling invaded. He hadn’t even realized someone was in the room with him.

    He especially hadn’t been expecting Warren Peace, rolling up the sleeves of his black leather jacket and moving toward Will, and the sink.

    “What’s wrong with you?” Warren repeated Will’s question, washing his hands in the cold water. “Why do you ask?”

    Will gulped, his hands clammy, mouth at a loss for words. He was preparing himself for the worst - Warren taking that tanned, muscular arm of his and punching him in the face.

    But he didn’t. Warren just dried his hand, brown hair swinging onto his face, and glanced up at Will expectantly.

    “Well?” he asked. “I said, why do you ask?”

    Will took a deep breath. “Um... no reason... no reason at all...” he stammered, voice quivering. He looked away, knowing that wouldn’t satisfy Warren’s question. But he couldn’t tell him. If he told him what his reason was for being so flustered - Layla - Warren would for sure beat him up.

    It briefly crossed Will’s mind that bullies shouldn’t care which girl the victim liked. That shouldn’t be enough reason for someone to punch someone else. Unless that person was jealous of the other person...

    ‘No way. There is no way Warren likes Layla,’ Will thought firmly. And he was sure of himself. He knew Warren didn’t like Layla. He just knew. But he couldn’t admit how he knew, not even to himself.

    He spotted Warren glaring at him. “Why are you so terrified? Why can’t you just say something?” he demanded.

    Will couldn’t make his mouth form words. He opened his mouth several times, but nothing came out.

    Warren sighed. “Jesus,” was what he muttered.

    Will closed his eyes, ready for the punch that never came. He blinked open his eyes when he heard boots stomping across the tiled floor, and the bathroom door swinging shut.

    He exhaled, and ran a hand through his messy, dirty-blonde hair.

    Warren hadn’t hurt him today, which was a relief. This didn’t guarantee him, however, free passage for the rest of the day. Warren could snap at any moment, hurt him when he found a reason.

    Will shook the thoughts from his head and left the bathroom, heading back toward his class. He entered the classroom with an apology for taking so long, and sat back down beside Layla, where she gave him a brief smile before turning back to her work.

    Will held his head in his hands, and stared into space.

    The more he thought about it, the more he realized that Warren wasn’t always the typical bully that he envisioned him to be. He was a year older than Will, but he never saw him socializing with anyone. Weren’t bullies supposed to be in big gangs, picking on any loser who crept their way?

    “Will,” Layla whispered, laying her hand on top of his. “Pay attention,” she whispered.

    The heat returned to Will’s face and he nodded, turning his face back to the teacher. The rest of the class went by in an agonizing blur. Will was concentrating so hard on repressing the blush from his face that he barely absorbed what the teacher was saying. When lunch came, his mind had not moved on to anything else.

    “Hey, guys!” Layla said cheerfully as she plopped down beside Magenta, Zach, and Ethan. They all started talking excitedly, like children, about their classes and complaining about homework.

    Will, however, was rather quiet. Zach glanced at him, noticing his silence, and saw him gazing absentmindedly in the distance. Following his gaze, Zach found who he was looking at.

    “Is that Warren guy giving you a hard time?” Zach asked, an edge to his voice upon seeing the dark haired bully at his usual table.

    Will was snapped from his thoughts. “What? Oh... no, I guess,” he answered vaguely. Zach only stared at him more, wanting more information. Will sighed. “Well, I saw him in the bathroom today. And he didn’t do anything to me. It just made me think, or something...”

    Zach raised an eyebrow. “Well, that’s weird,” he responded. He looked back over his shoulder, taking another look at Warren Peace. “He’s just a weird guy in general, really.”

    Will nodded. There was more that he wasn’t telling Zach, more that he wasn’t telling himself. It was as though he wanted to remember something, but there was nothing to remember. It was an odd feeling.

    Will suddenly wanted to change the subject. “Zach...” he said, voice dropping. His blonde friend noticed the change in his tone, and paid attention to the next few words.

    “I have a bit of a problem...” Will continued.

    “Yeah?” Zach asked, curious.

    “It’s about Layla...” Will whispered, voice barely audible to him and Zach.

    Zach perked up. “I knew it!” he said too loudly. Everyone at the table looked at him oddly.

    Will let out an exasperated sigh. “Look, not here, Zach. Let’s talk after school, okay?” he said quietly, standing up and collecting his things. Zach nodded firmly, saluting Will as though keeping some huge secret that was only between the two of them.

    Will was anxious for the end of the day. His last three classes consisted of Layla urging Will to take notes and participating, making a point of taking his hand in her’s and raising it for him. Zach looked at the scene with a smirk on his face, and ran up to Will as soon as the last bell rang.

    “Okay, dude, tell me everything,” he said, dragging Will into the boys’ bathroom where Layla couldn’t hear.

    Will sighed. “Isn’t it obvious? I think I... I think I like her,” he confessed, voice dropping.

    Zach’s face broke into a huge grin. “I knew it, man! I knew it! You should ask her out!” he exclaimed.

    Will looked up at him in horror. “What? No! I mean... I want to... but how would I do that? I’ve never asked out a girl before...”

    Zach put his finger to his chin, apparently thinking deeply. “Neither have I. But it can’t be that hard. You just, you know, ask her out. And then she’ll say yes or no.”

    Will sighed. “Thanks,” he muttered.

    “But don’t worry about it, Will,” Zach continued. “I’m sure she likes you too.”

    Will’s ears perked up. “Really?” he asked.

    Zach nodded. “Mmm-hmm. Can’t be 100%, but I’m pretty sure.”

    Will grinned. “I hope so...” he spoke. “But I still don’t know... I’ll have to think about it.”

    “Yeah,” Zach responded, nodding. “Don’t want to mess up your friendship and everything, y’know?”

    Will nodded. “I have to do some hard thinking tonight."


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
I like this but it says chapter three and the other chapter entry for this story says chapter one. Where's chapter two? Or was this mislabeled?

Anyway, I can't wait for more chapters, I'm looking forward to them.

Any chance for an update on your Fruits Basket fic by the way?
Apr. 9th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
Good job :)
This is starting out great. Please continue, I really like it thus far...although as hiddenfacade said chapter two is missing or this one is mislabeled :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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