dancing to our own beat
Carry On Countdown Day 10: Music (this was the one I passed in for creative writing btw)
Why is everything I do a high school AU
Baz is incredibly nervous.
He’s often some form of nervous, but this is a different situation altogether. A different kind of nerves. Baz is never nervous around Simon.
Baz and Simon fit together like two pieces of a puzzle- no, that’s too cliche, Baz thinks. They’re two patches from the same cloth, a pair of too-small shoes, the end pieces on a loaf of bread. They’re the discards, but they belong together. It’s always been like that.
Baz doesn’t even remember the first time he and Simon met, it was so long ago. Somewhere in the recesses of his mind he can conjure up a red sweater and a bandaid when he tries to think of that day, but that’s all that appears. Simon has told him before that Baz was wearing the red sweater on that fateful day in third grade, that he’d torn it falling off his bike. Simon had been outside playing on the swings by his house and ranin to get him a bandaid. Baz has no reason to disbelieve him. It sounds plausible, because it’s still the way it works- Simon takes care of Baz, even when Baz doesn’t ask for it. (Even when Baz asks him not to).
What Baz does remember, however, is that prom is coming up in two weeks, and Simon is fixing to ask some girl in his Geometry class with hair so blonde it makes Baz squint and legs so thin Baz is surprised they don’t break when she walks. Simon seems to think she’s amazing. Baz doesn’t share this opinion. He may be slightly biased.
He’s going to ask Simon to the prom.
It’s not like it’s a big deal, actually. They kissed once in a utility closet, skipping class and hiding from the janitors, and it was lovely. Simon tasted like chocolate and mint from the peppermint patty he’d just eaten, and his lips were soft, and Baz thought he was melting away like a candle left to burn for too long. And then the janitor passed, and it was over. Simon laughed. Baz blushed. Simon knocked playfully against Baz’s side. Baz blushed harder. They never talked about it again. They still don’t talk about it.
“Baz and Simon” isn’t something unheard of- Penny even told Baz once that Simon mentioned having a crush on him. That, however, was three months ago, and now Simon has eyes for the Blinding Blonde, and Baz is so nervous that his stomach feels like it’s going to come out of his ear.
The lights in the music room are off, but Baz doesn’t need the light to know where to put his fingers on the strings of the guitar. He coaxes out pretty sounds, the sounds he needs to bend just right to convince Simon that maybe, just maybe, he loves Baz as much as Baz loves him (or could love him eventually, at least). It isn’t the guitar he’s worried about. Simon has never heard him sing. Baz’s own parents have never heard him sing. Baz knows he isn’t bad, but he isn’t sure he’s good enough.
Footsteps echo down the hall towards the music room, and Penny giggles by her hiding spot next to the light switch, conveniently a dimmer. “Shhh,” Baz scolds, taking a quick swig of his water bottle. He begins the opening chords. If it’s Simon, then he only has a few moments before he comes in, and he wants to be at least halfway through the introduction by the time he walks in. It’s Simon’s favorite song, some ballad by Ed Sheeran that Baz had never heard before it came on the radio while they were getting fro-yo and Simon squealed like a little girl and turned it up so loud the car shook.
He sees Simon’s shoes before he sees the rest of him. Dirty red converses with the laces undone. A size too small, because Simon refuses to get a new pair. Baz teases him about them all the time, but now, his mind as as far from teasing. “You asked me to meet here?” Simon’s voice rings out, and he peers in the doorway, golden curls bouncing, cheeks rosy and freckled.
Penny is surprisingly good. She stands dutifully by the light switch, hidden from Simon’s view, and starts videotaping with her phone (partially so they can have the memory if it goes well, but mostly so she can tease them both mercilessly. It’s going to go well- she’s sure she knows them better than they know themselves).
“Yeah,” Baz mutters, fingers still flitting lazily over the strings. Simon wrinkles his eyebrows together and steps in. The full picture of him almost makes Baz lose his nerve. Simon looks like the reincarnation of Apollo, if Apollo was a high school boy with bad fashion sense. Baggy jeans, too short and ripped at the knees, and a tight red shirt that stretches almost to its limit across Simon’s broad shoulders. Everything he gets is hand-me-downs, and none of it fits, but Baz still thinks he looks glorious. At the moment, he looks gloriously confused.
"What’s going on? Who’s playing music?” Simon asks, looking around for Baz. His gaze falls on Baz sitting on a stool in the corner, and Baz grins. He nears the end of the introduction, and Penny lifts the dimmer just a bit. It’s not bright, but it’s enough. Simon falls silent when he sees Baz with his guitar, just like Baz knew he would. When Baz plays, Simon always listens, sits down criss-cross applesauce and leans forward with his chin in his hands and his elbows on his knees. He does it now, in the middle of the cold, tiled floor, with a perplexed look on his face.
”Settle down with me
Cover me up
Cuddle me in
Lie down with me
And hold me in your arms.”
The first verse is weak and sheepish, and Baz’s voice cracks on the third line, but he toughs it out. It’s worth it, to see the way Simon’s eyes widen imperceptibly once he recognizes the song.
“And your heart’s against my chest, your lips pressed in my neck
I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet
And with a feeling I’ll forget,” Baz pauses before settling into the next line.
”I’m in love, now.”
It starts gentle, then grows, the way Simon sways to the music. First he taps his fingers in time against his knees, then moves his shoulders a little. By the chorus, he’s fully immersed, eyes closed and a foolish grin plastered on his face.
“Kiss me like you wanna be loved
You wanna be loved
You wanna be loved
This feels like falling in love
Falling in love.”
Baz just strums now, not sure if he should continue. It takes a minute before he notices the tears glistening on Simon’s cheeks, the slight shudder behind his sway.
That’s all it takes for Baz to abandon the plan. (Penny will be so mad that she spent all that time making that poster for nothing.)
"Simon,” he whispers, afraid to break the silence- afraid of what else might break if he does. “Simon, love, it’s alright.”
Simon laughs, wiping his palms against his wet cheeks. “Love?”
"Love,” Baz confirms, setting the guitar down so it rests on the stand. He walks over to Simon, still sitting on the floor, still swaying to the music that has ceased. “Si, I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a while,” Baz starts, but the words are sounding wrong, so formal, and he doesn’t know how to fix it. “But I was scared I’d ruin everything.”
Simon nods, eyes closed. Other than that, no response. Baz gulps.
"Will you go to prom with me?” Baz spits unceremoniously, saying it so fast it all blends together into one word, packed with nervous energy.
"Is that what all this fuss is about?” Simon replies, finally opening his eyes, finally standing up, finally responding, for God’s sake. Baz was beginning to worry he’d lost him. Simon turns to Baz and takes his hands, facing him. “Of course I’ll go to prom with you, you dolt,” he laughs, and Baz smiles, and Penny knows what’s going to happen, so she clicks the camera off and slips out unseen.
When they kiss it feels like magic, and when Simon pulls away, Baz follows him blindly. “I like this so much better out of the closet,” he remarks, and Simon giggles.
"I didn’t know you could sing,” Simon says, leaning in and pressing their foreheads together, wrapping his arms around Baz’s shoulders.
"I didn’t know I could, either,” Baz chuckles, and pulls Simon in by the waist.
They laugh and they kiss and they stay in the dim room alone, with none but each other and their own happiness to keep them company. Misfits, dancing to the unheard music.