tagGay MaleBro, What Are You Doing

Bro, What Are You Doing



David laughed as the ball hit Ezekiel square in the face, and sent him tumbling to the linoleum floor of the gym, sprawled in a heap.

"You alright, Zeke?" he asked, torn between genuine concern and the desire to burst out laughing at his friend.

"No worries, no worries, everyone! I'm perfectly fine, thanks for your heartfelt concern," Ezekiel said, only half-jokingly, as he got to his feet, still trying to act with a bit of a swagger.

David caught Lily, the girl who'd spiked the ball into his face - accidental or otherwise - rolling her eyes as the other girls giggled at Ezekiel's behavior.

"That was quite a hit to the face, Ezekiel," Coach Porter commented. "You sure you're fine?"

"Hah! Of course! A puny smack like that wouldn't faze me," he smirked with as much false bravado as he could muster.

Grinning, he tossed the volleyball back over the net to Lily, who caught it, scowling.

"You really don't like me, do you?" he laughed.

"Don't make me wish I didn't hit you harder," she scoffed as she ran back to her position.

"She loves me," Ezekiel said to David.

"Mhm. I'm sure she does."

Ezekiel just never got the hint. Either that, or he just enjoyed teasing Lily way too much to stop. He was always flirting with her and acting like she had a crush on him, though it was pretty obvious that she felt nothing of the sort. If anything, it was Ezekiel who was always pining after Lily - class rep and Teacher's Pet to boot - like a lost puppy.

But that was Ezekiel for you.

As David's best friend since childhood, the guy was a natural jokester. He was always messing around, whether it be pranking people, cracking jokes even at the most inappropriate and insensitive of times, or just generally taking life as laidback and languidly as it came.

The two of them had grown up together. They were an odd pair - the quiet, stoic, strong jock and the short, scrawny, exasperating class clown. But the two had been friends since young, being in the same class for almost as long as they could remember, differences in characters be damned.

They and the rest of the class were in gym. Ezekiel looked like he was ready to get back into the game even after that embarrassing smack to the face, but a blow of Coach Porter's whistle indicated the lesson was over for the day.

"Alright, that's enough. Get outta here," he barked, as the group dispersed.

Lily smirked and tossed her hair over her shoulder in a haughty fashion as she stalked past David and Ezekiel, flanked - as usual - by her fellow female minions.

"Man, she's cold," Ezekiel said with a wistful sigh. "Oh well. It's more fun when they play hard to get."

He elbowed David teasingly.

"I'm surprised the two of you haven't become an item yet," he said with a wink.

"Wh-What are you talking about?" David scoffed, trying to hold back the blush on his cheeks, though it wasn't because he was thinking of Lily.

"I mean, you're perfect for each other!" Ezekiel said as the two made their way to the locker room. "She's a Grade A student, you're a Grade A student, you're both Teacher's Pets and adored by everyone else - it's the ideal match."

To be fair, Ezekiel was right. David was well aware that Lily - as well as a bunch of other girls in the class - probably did fancy him. David didn't know why - he wasn't particularly chatty or charismatic, nor did he make an effort to get to know them. Perhaps girls just had a thing for the deep, thoughtful guys who didn't catcall or hit on them relentlessly the way Ezekiel always did.

Not that David knew or cared much about what girls were interested in.

David had been asked out before, of course. He'd gone on a couple dates with girls just for the experience but...he'd never found himself particularly interested in second or third dates. A few girls got the hint, whereas others' interest in him stayed. But regardless, David eventually rejected most of them.

Girls just weren't his type, he had discovered.

"I'm not interested in asking her out," David replied.

The two of them had arrived at the boys' locker room.

"Hm? Shame. I bet she's interested in asking you out," he laughed. "Trust me, I've been watching Lily closely. She's always eyeing you up but she won't show it. She's totally head over heels for you. Lucky bugger. If I were you, I'd ask her out in a heartbeat."

"Well, thank goodness you're not me," David grinned back.

Ezekiel had considerably worse luck with the ladies, though not for lack of trying. He had made an effort to ask girls out, but most just laughed in his face or thought he was messing with them.

And of course, there was zero chance of going out with Lily.

To this day, David still couldn't believe Ezekiel had the guts to even try his luck. Lily had made it clear the guy repulsed her.

It wasn't so much about looks. David had to admit that Ezekiel was good-looking in a cute, scrawny sort of way. It was just the jester-like attitude and at-times annoying toilet humor that got him into hot water. Ezekiel acted like he had the most confidence and biggest ego of anyone in the world and it understandably turned girls away.

"You're lame, bro. You actually have a shot at her and you're not taking it - whatever! Your loss. I'll just keep trying with Lily and one day, I'm sure she'll reciprocate!" Ezekiel exclaimed. "How she or any girl could deny my charms, I'll never know."

He glanced up and seemed suddenly discombobulated to see that David had taken his shirt off. David thought he caught a blush on his cheeks as he coughed and looked away.

"Good luck with that, Casanova," David said. "We're still on for tonight, yes?"

"What? ...Remind me again what we're doing tonight?" Ezekiel asked.

"Dude, how did you forget? We've got that school project to finish. We agreed you'd come over and spend the night so we could get it over with," David said, a little miffed.

"Oh yeah, that old thing," Ezekiel snorted.

"Don't make me regret choosing you to be my partner," David joked.

"Yeah, yeah, don't worry. I'm not going to blemish your spotless student record," Ezekiel said sarcastically. "Wouldn't want that to happen, now, would we?"

His voice sounded a little different there. David raised an eyebrow.

"If we leave school early, we could always sneak in a couple hours to play that new game you've been clamoring about," David offered.

"No way! You actually got it? Dude, I hate you so much right now," Ezekiel said, albeit with a cheeky grin. "That's awesome! You always get the best games."


When classes had ended for the day, Ezekiel leaped over his table and hopped onto David's back, startling the latter.

"Agh!" David spluttered.

"Come on, bro! Let's go! You promised we'd check out that game you mentioned!" Ezekiel said.

"Alright, alright, jeez. I feel like you're forgetting our main purpose is still to finish up that project," David said.

"Project schmoject - who cares?" Ezekiel scoffed. "Mrs. Penner's super nice anyway and she's got a soft spot for you. If we can't finish, just lie about it and say you lost it or something. Big deal. You're the Teacher's Pet, she'd let you get away with just about anything."

"Ugh, would you quit your juvenile shenanigans?"

The two boys looked up. Lily was standing by their desk, turning her nose up at Ezekiel, as the latter simply grinned and hopped back down.

"You're so childish," she chided.

"Well, what's wrong with being a child at heart?" he retorted. "If you're so serious all the time, you'll never get a boyfriend."

"Yeah, because I want to take dating advice from the likes of you," Lily spat, looking incensed. "Anyway, buzz off. I'm here to talk to David."

"Oho. Is that so? Want to confess your deep, hidden affection for him? I knew this day would come eventually," Ezekiel laughed - a little too obnoxiously.

"Fuck off," Lily snarled.

"No way. The precious princess actually said a curse word? Wow, you really do hate me, don't you?" Ezekiel said. "But that's good! After all, it's a fine line between love and hate."

"You don't ever take a break, do you?" Lily wondered aloud.

"Nope!" Ezekiel replied cheerfully.

"Just give us a second," David said to him.

"Hmph. Whatever," Ezekiel muttered. "I'll be waiting for you outside, man. Don't take too long, if you know what I mean."

Chortling to himself, he scampered as Lily tossed a stray eraser in his direction, nailing him in the back.

"So what was it you wanted to talk about?" David asked.

Lily turned her attention back on him, and with Ezekiel out of the way now, she huffed and seemed a little less defensive, and more unsure of herself. Crossing her arms, as if to retain some of her composure, she cleared her throat and spoke.

"I...Well, you see..."

David was surprised to see Lily was...blushing? She turned to look over her shoulder, and that's when David realized her group of minions was gathered by their desks at the front of the class, pretending to be talking when really they were watching them both and whispering.

Lily seemed to be looking to them for assurance, and then she turned back to David.

"Is something the matter?" David asked innocently.

"Well...it's just that the school dance is coming up next month," Lily said. "I was...you know...wondering if perhaps...you would like to attend...with me."

David was taken aback. He frowned and tried to come up with words to say, but instead was left sitting and staring at Lily with mouth agape. The awkward silence stretched on for so long that Lily balked and began hurriedly speaking.

"Actually, you know what, forget it. I'm sorry, it's a stupid idea, I'm sure you've already got plans..." Lily was already walking away.

"Oh, no, sorry, I- I was just...surprised. That's all," David said.

"So...you'll go with me?" she asked.

David had of course had his suspicions that Lily did like him. But he just...didn't feel the same way. She was an attractive girl, by society's standards, and she had a lot going for her. David had expected plenty of other boys - Ezekiel included - to be asking her, so for her to ask him was a pretty big privilege. But...

"I uh...I actually hadn't even really been thinking about prom. I...wasn't even sure if I wanted to attend this year," he said sheepishly.

"Oh...that's disappointing," Lily said. "Why not?"

"I don't know. Listen...I appreciate the invitation, but I don't know if I'm the best person to ask..." David trailed off.

"Well, why don't you sleep on it, and you can give me your answer another time?" she said.


"That's great. I'll ask you again a little later on when you've made up your mind. But uh...don't take too long," she said.

Smiling winningly at him, she turned and left, leaving David feeling more confused than ever.


On the walk home with Ezekiel, David's mind was in a whirl. He should have felt lucky. Any other guy would be ecstatic to be asked out by Lily.

But he wasn't any other guy.

He wanted to let her down gently, but at the same time, he liked her platonically. She was smart, responsible, sensible, with a lot of potential...David wouldn't mind befriending her, at the very least.

Ezekiel kept blabbering on and on, not really realizing that David was barely paying attention to whatever he was saying.

"Yo, dude, are you even listening?" he finally asked, when David failed to reply for the fourth time.

"Oh, sorry! I just...had stuff on my mind," David said lamely.

"Oh yeah? Like what? Lily asking you out to prom?" Ezekiel said.

David blanched at the hint of jealousy in Ezekiel's voice.

"You heard about that? How?" David asked.

"You didn't seriously think I wouldn't try to eavesdrop, would you?" Ezekiel said, laughing. "I heard her gaggle of girlfriends whispering about it. So? Did you say yes? I told you she was into you!"

"I...well, I didn't say yes..." David said.

"You what? Why the heck not?" Ezekiel asked, surprised.

"I...well, actually, I didn't say no either..."

"Okay, now you're just being confusing."

"It's...complicated," David said.

"That's what they all say," Ezekiel said. "You gotta spill the beans, man! I wanna know all the juicy details. What was she like? How did she act? Did she swoon and confess her undying love to you in an uber-romantic fashion?"

"She just...asked me to the school dance."

"Man, you're so lame. You're not giving me anything exciting."

David didn't want to tell Ezekiel the real reason he wasn't keen on going to the dance with Lily. It was probably best to just keep that part quiet for now.

David's mom greeted them both when they got home. Of course, since Ezekiel and David had been best friends growing up, she knew him and was not surprised to have him come over.

"You two will be alright with dinner, right?" she asked. "Don't forget I've got the night shift at the hospital tonight."

"Got it," David called back to her as Ezekiel ran up the stairs to his room.

"You two have fun. I'll be back tomorrow." With that, she left for work.

Ezekiel was already in front of the TV when David got upstairs, and the former was thumbing through his list of games.

"Hey, c'mon man. Be careful."

"I just wanna get into the action already, bro," Ezekiel grinned.

"Fine. But I've got to take a shower first. Don't you need to take one too?" David asked innocently. "Let me guess: you didn't bother bringing any of your own clothes."

"Heh. You know me so well."

"Fine. As usual, you can borrow my PJs. Go call the pizza delivery guy and order us something while I get cleaned up."

Ignoring Ezekiel's grumbles, David stepped into the bathroom and prepared to get into the shower. Stepping inside, letting the water run down over him, he closed his eyes and thought back to earlier that day.

Lily's invitation...

He knew Ezekiel was probably a little bitter that David had indeed been asked out by her. But he should've known that his jokester tactics would never have worked on a serious, no-nonsense girl like Lily in the first place.

David wouldn't mind going to the dance with Lily but he knew that it wouldn't be right to her. She obviously wanted to go to the dance with him because, like Ezekiel insinuated, she was interested in him.

For whatever reason.

Maybe it was because he hadn't shown interest in her. Ezekiel told him some girls liked guys who played hard to get and vice versa.

But David wasn't showing no interest because he was playing hard to get. He was showing no interest precisely because he had no interest in her.

And he knew that going to the dance with Lily, he'd be dancing in close proximity to her and she'd probably expect a kiss from him by the end of it.

Sure, he'd tried dating girls. But he'd concluded it would never be for him, and he'd given up.

He didn't want to string Lily along. But he wasn't sure how to let her down.

Yet...the right thing to do was to tell the truth.

Would she take offense if he told her he just wasn't interested in her? He imagined she'd take it the wrong way and assume he meant she wasn't pretty enough for her, or something along those lines. Would she end up angry, or mad?

Then he'd have to explain it wasn't that he didn't think she was pretty, it was just that he didn't care. He wasn't disinterested in her because she was an ugly girl, he was disinterested in her purely because she was a girl.

David felt like a fool.

He was always the secretive type when it came down to his sexuality. He figured a few people in class might've suspected, given that with his good looks, he could've easily gotten any girlfriend he wanted, and yet, while having gone a couple dates, chose not to call back.

He had every opportunity to get in the dating game. But, he just...didn't.

No one knew the truth. He hadn't come out to anyone, not even his mother, or...his best friend.

David had never really stopped to think what the future held for him, for being who he was. But he supposed...he had to start thinking about it eventually.

David was so engrossed in his thoughts that he was barely paying attention when he left the shower, towel wrapped around his waist, and had completely forgotten Ezekiel was in his house until he heard the boy's shocked gasp.

"Whoa, dude! Put a shirt on! Wh-What are you doing?" he spluttered, backing up onto David's bed.

"Oh, whoops. Sorry. I forgot you were home," he said, scratching his head, dripping water everywhere.

"Jeez, how do you just forget you've got a guest over, man? You're not normally this careless! I know you've got a sick pack of abs but you don't gotta show them off all the time, man. I see them enough in the locker room." Ezekiel was talking a little too fast and a little louder than normal.

David frowned a little, puzzled, and Ezekiel hurriedly stared out the window.

"What's the worry? You've seen me without clothes before," David said.

"D-Don't put it like that, bro! That's gross. Get dressed already," he replied.

David should probably have apologized then, seeing how strangely distressed Ezekiel was. Most of the time, he got dressed in the bathroom whenever they had their sleepovers but he'd been pretty distracted today.

And for some reason...he didn't feel quite as apologetic for it today as he probably should've been.

Feeling a strange sense of confidence, David folded his arms and leaned against the doorframe.

"So, did you call?"

"Huh? Call who?" Ezekiel asked. He still wasn't looking at David.


"Pizza? Oh. Yeah, I called the delivery person...guy...thing. You uh...I didn't ask you what you wanted, but I..."

Ezekiel chanced a glance at David at that moment and his sentence trailed off.


"You what?"

"I figured you'd eat...whatever. So I ordered...yeah."

"You ordered 'yeah'? That a new thing on their menu or something?"

"Dude, get dressed," he said, laughing a little as if to diffuse the tension. "I need to take my shower too."

"Alright," David said, raising his hands in mock surrender. "I'll be out in just a second."

He caught Ezekiel flopping back onto his bed with a sigh as he grabbed his clothes from the closet and shut the door behind him.



After dinner, the two ended up gaming late into the night. At Ezekiel's insistence, they were having one more round before David said they had to finish up the last of their project.

"Okay, but nothing more after this. Okay? That's the deal-"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Ezekiel snorted. "You just don't like constantly losing to me?"

"What? I've beaten you more times than you have!"

"Nuh uh. That's not true!"

The two chose their avatars and were back in the thick of it, shooting and stabbing their way across the screen.

Ezekiel had been abnormally sullen all throughout dinner, not even cracking many jokes while they'd channel surfed and ended up on a bad romantic comedy showing on the TV. David wondered why, but deep down had a hunch on the reason behind it.

He wasn't best friends with him for nothing. And...part of him wanted to test that.

"Hey, check it out. That girl over there kinda looks like Lily," David said, jabbing a finger at the screen at one of the game's NPCs, who did, indeed, have a hairstyle and color that resembled hers.

"Oh, and look who's the one who says he's not interested in her? You're seeing the chick everywhere now that she's finally made the first move on you," Ezekiel quipped.

His face had reddened a little. David would probably not have noticed before if he wasn't paying close attention now.

"What, you jelly that she's not into you?" David pushed.

"Stop," Ezekiel whined. "Focus on the game."

They continued for a while before David decided to gauge his friend's reaction again. "I bet she only asked me out because she's actually interested in you and wants to make you jealous."

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byTabooBone© 13 comments/ 58046 views/ 53 favorites

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