Here’s part 2. I really didn’t expect this kind of response to it and I love you guys so much. Even the relentless anons in my inbox. Part 3 will be posted…not tomorrow lol. Link for the first part is below
Dynamics Part 1
goes like this:
Jude and Gabriel officially become a
couple and Connor all out stops hanging out
with them , because has anyone ever heard of the term “The Third Wheel.”
Because that was what you could basically call the biography of his life at the
So he begins to frequent a lot of
parties with his teammates because Gabriel’s always over at Jude’s dorm now and he
can’t stand seeing Jude look at Gabriel like he freaking hung the moon and vice
versa. All the parties he goes too pretty much suck when compared to hanging
out with Jude, but there’s alcohol and he has nowhere else to be, so Connor
stays, but he’s not quite sure when long hair and short skirts had lost their
appeal, so he spends most of the parties
skillfully avoiding the advances
made by the numerous girls who try to throw themselves at him looking for a
good time. Kind of like how he now avoids all of Jude’s calls and texts.
At the beginning of July he’d be heading
off to a four week baseball camp and one of his closest friends on the team had invited him to spend a few weeks at his parent’s lake house before they headed to the camp. Connor
declined, because all he really wanted to do, was drown in his self pity, and
it was unfair, he thought, to inflict it on others.
After hours of trying to persuade him,
Ryan exasperatedly gives up on trying to get Connor to come to the lake house.
He looks at Connor’s pathetic figure, sprawled on his bed, and sighs loudly,
“Why don’t you just tell him you like
him?” he asks Connor pointedly.
Connor, whose eyes are closed, precariously
opens one eye, taking in the sight of Ryan towering over him, “What the hell
are you talking about.”
Ryan ignores the staged ignorance, “For
all you know he might like you back .”
Connor throws an arm over his face, “ I
don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Ryan pressed on, “What is it? Are you
afraid to admit you’re gay or something? Because if that’s it, then let me just
let you know that nobody, especially the team, gives a shit about your
Connor groans, “Oh my God. We are not
having this conversation.”
Ryan rolls his eyes, picking up his
jacket, “Fine, suit yourself. I’m just letting you know that you’re the cause
of your own unhappiness.”
The door closed. Connor didn’t need Ryan
to tell him things he already knew.
He’s lying in his bed after an especially grueling night of
partying and it’s sometime in the morning (he’d like to believe) and he’s hung-over.
There’s someone ferociously banging at the door and Connor pulls his pillow
over his face, hoping the person just goes away, but the knocking gets louder
and he knows who’s behind the door.
He opens the
door, not even bothering to acknowledge Jude in the doorway and he collapses on
the couch, regarding Jude from his new vantage point. Jude looks annoyed and
kind of angry but Connor’s head hurts too much to evaluate the situation, and it doesn’t help that Jude slammed the door
behind him when he came in.
“So you don’t answer any of my calls or texts anymore?”
It takes awhile for him to register that Jude is actually
talking to him .
“Did you need something?” He asks tonelessly, because his head
hurts and he really does not need this right now.
Jude’s a bit taken back by Connor’s cold response and he narrows
“What is going on with you?”
“Nothing?” Jude says incredulously, “You’ve been acting like such a……. ” and he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath,
willing himself to remain calm and he rephrases, “You’ve been acting so weird
for the past couple of weeks.”
Jude’s patience is wearing thin and though Connor isn’t saying much, he’s
becoming exhausted from this conversation.
“So that’s it?” Jude asks, “That’s all you’ve got?”
shrugs, because what is he supposed to say? Because he can’t say what he’s
feeling because their (inward cringe) just friends and Jude is in a
(sickeningly) happy relationship and he just wants to be left alone.
But because he’s an immature ass, he asks, a little too snidely and a little
“What is that’s supposed to even fucking mean!!”
Jude exclaims, just barely hearing the contempt in Connor’s voice.
And Connor knows that he’s being unfair and childish, but he’s too stubborn and
hung over right now to be rational so he just mumbles, “Nothing.”
with this pointless conversation. “You know what? FINE. Whatever.” And he turns
his back on Connor.
“Have fun on
your camp,” Jude says before angrily slamming the door.
rubbing his temples, and he kind of wants to cry, but he falls asleep instead.
Jude wants to
pretend for just a little longer that he doesn’t know why Connor is throwing a
silent tantrum, because he’s not ready to face that as yet. And though he’s
shying away from the elephant that they both know is in the room , he’s still
angry at Connor. He’s angry at him for not saying anything, and for just
shutting him out. He knows it’s not a coincidence that Connor turns cold as
soon as Gabriel comes into the picture but he’s still trying to wrap his mind
around the fact that Connor may actually be acting like this because…….
And he really didn’t want
to think about it now because for the first time Jude is in an actual relationship
with someone who likes him just as much as he likes them. Connor didn’t get to
do this to him now, because Gabriel was amazing, and sweet, and nice and……safe.
Connor leaves for his baseball camp in another state and Jude
doesn’t give him the satisfaction of a goodbye. He wasn’t expecting one
anyways. He’s not allowed to have his phone in the camp, so he wouldn’t know if
Jude tries to text or call him (he doesn’t, but Connor still hopes he does even
if he can’t see it.) At about the second week of camp is when Connor really starts to feel
sorry for himself and he misses Jude (God he misses him) and he really hates
himself for being mad at something that he’s just making worse. It begins to
affect his batting and the background music of his life is now the coach
screaming at him to stop hitting like a fucking girl.
One of the guys in the camp manages to sneak his laptop in and
he also taps into the camp’s WiFi. So he
charges ten bucks per half hour to anyone who wants to use it. Connor pays
twenty for an hour and spends 50 minutes of it staring at a chat box, trying to
figure out what to say to his best friend.
He finally decides on a very
elaborate I’m sorry, and hits send, praying that Jude isn’t online, but he almost immediately receives a response
You’re an ass.
And he smiles at that,
I know, he replies.
Before anything else can be said, his time on the celestial
laptop is up but even as its being yanked away from him he’s smiling because he
knows that for now, things between him and Jude are okay and even though he
can still feel his stifled emotions on the walls of his chest, and he still
pretty much dislikes Gabriel for basically existing, his batting the next day
improves almost miraculously and the coach only curses him out once.
You could almost say things are looking up.
one to pick up Connor at the airport and he tries not to laugh at the sign Jude
is holding up to indicate to Connor that
he’s his ride.
The ass, it reads.
“Hey,” Connor says grinning.
“You would not believe how many men came up to me as I held the sign, asking if I’m
the transport their wife sent.”
Jude helps him with his bags and they head to the parking lot, and before Connor can ask whose car Jude borrowed, he sees Gabriel parked at the
entrance of the airport. Jude’s wringing his hands nervously, and he shouldn’t
have to apologize for not telling Connor that his boyfriend would be tagging
along but he feels like he should. Gabriel smiles at Connor.
“Hey,” he says
cheerily and Connor tries his best to return the smile. He silently throws his
bags in the backseat and settles in next to them, feeling Jude’s eyes’ on him
from the rearview mirror, but he just looks out the window and politely answers
Gabriel’s questions about camp as they drive back to campus. Jude suggests enthusiastically
that they should all go for lunch, and Connor wants to say that he’s tired and
just wants to get to his room but he can see that Jude’s trying, so he decides
not to be the bad guy today and they go for burgers.
and Jude’s telling some ridiculous story about his family’s last thanksgiving,
and Connor’s heard it already but he still finds himself a little mesmerized by
the way Jude tells the story with his hands and they way his lips move to form
really hard not to notice the way Connor is looking at his boyfriend.
“He likes you.”
Jude, making popcorn, looks at Gabriel who’s looking
for a movie to watch on the tv. He’s aimlessly running through the limited
channels, looking for something decent to watch and Jude’s a little
“What? Who are
you talking about?”
up now (college cable sucked), and he tosses the remote beside him, sighing
Jude brings the
popcorn and sits on the couch trying to process what Gabriel is saying to him,
not because he doesn’t know himself, but because he was hoping that he had a
little more time before Gabriel caught on.
But he plays
stupid anyways, “Of course he likes me, he’s my friend.”
him a, “Don’’t play stupid with me” look.
“No friend looks at their other friend like that and wants to be just friends.”
straight,” Jude tries to justify.
“When was the
last time he had a girlfriend?”
And Jude can’t
really answer that question, because he can’t really remember when Connor last
had a girlfriend, well after Daria. In high school, he mostly remembers it just being the two of
Gabriel nods his
head as he takes Jude’s silence as confirmation.
uncomfortable and he doesn’t like where he thinks this conversation is going,
so he picks up the remote as a distraction.
“Did you find
anything to watch?” But Gabriel’s not done, and his head is back, and he’s staring at the
“No, I mean, he really likes you Jude.” Jude can feel his
face turning red, and the tips of his fingers are white as he holds the remote
a little too tight. He does not want to look over at Gabriel who is finally
laying out everything on the table for both of them to see. Jude knew his
boyfriend wasn’t stupid, and he knew this conversation was a long time coming
but damn it, he thought he had had a little more time.
turns his head to Jude, his eyes patient (they always were), it was something Jude
loved about him, but at that moment hated.
“He likes you,
and that’s okay, I mean, what’s not to like about you? You’re amazing,” Gabriel
begins, “But I guess what I want to know is that, do you like him back?”
It had been
eating at Gabriel ever since the day he and Jude had returned from their first
date to see Connor sleeping outside Jude’s dorm. And he noticed little things
too, like how Jude’s face would light up a little too much when he talked about
Connor (which was a lot) or how Connor’s gaze would linger a little too long on
The question lingers
in the air between them for a minute, and Jude wants to say what he knows what Gabriel
wants to hear and Gabriel wants Jude to say no but the silence is the loudest
confirmation of all and Gabriel nods his head and gets up from the couch.
“Okay,” he says
more to himself, “Okay,” he repeats.
himself, “Gabriel, I…”
walking to the door and he shakes his head, black curls bouncing sadly, “No, it’s okay. I get it.”
Jude knows he
should get up off the couch and go after Gabriel, but he doesn’t.
Gabriel turns to
him before he closes the door, the hurt evident in every contour of his face,
and did Jude mention he absolutely hates himself?
“I just wish you
hadn’t let me figure it out on my own. That you let our relationship play out
even though you knew you liked him back.”
Jude can’t deny
any of it, as much as he’d like too and he hates that of all people he does
this too, it’s Gabriel. Gabriel who doesn’t slam the door in anger , but
silently pulls it close, and all Jude can do is whisper, “I’m sorry,” to a
bowl of popcorn.
He doesn’t realize he’s crying until he licks his lips and
tastes the saltiness of his tears, along with the flavor of Gabriel’s lip balm.