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Realistic or Modern ᴛᴀᴍɪɴɢ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏᴜɴᴅ — ᴘʀɪᴠ.

Citrus Corvidae

𝑨𝒓𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒔 𝑳𝒐𝒒𝒖𝒊 𝑳𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆
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If someone had told October Sargent even a week ago that he would be waiting outside of the locker rooms to meet a jock, on purpose, well, he wasn't sure what he'd have done, but he certainly wouldn't have believed them. Possibly he'd have been offended that anyone would even suggest he was interested in the type: shallow, entitled, brainless. But here he was, leaning against the wall in the lower athletics hall and praying to every deity he could think of that no one he knew spotted him here. If he weren't being paid for this, it sure as hell wouldn't have been worth it.

It had begun as a stupid joke. Matty had been rambling about some random drama that Toby had no real interest in, but the moment Reese's voice joined the conversation in that conspiratorial, syrupy tone that meant she was plotting something devious, he'd been forced to tune in. They were all plenty aware by now of the rumours surrounding the suspiciously unconfirmed sexuality of some jock—they were the School Queers, it was their business to know every such rumour—but Toby hadn't heard his name until now. With dramatic false innocence, Reese had suggested they put the rumour to the test and set him up on a fake date to observe.

"And who do you plan to throw into that hellpit of a scenario?" Toby had snorted derisively. Wrong move. Reese had turned to him with that mean little sparkle in her eye and shrugged; a lie. "Dude, no. What? No way." But she hadn't looked away from him, the influence of her gaze boring a hole in his skull; he could hear the others beginning to snicker, collectively deciding along with Reese that it would be fun to see. "I don't want to date some idiot meathead, even for a joke!" He'd whined, shook his head, effectively put his foot down. "No freaking way, you couldn't pay me—" Another wrong move. He should have known, as much of a bitch as Reese was, that she'd find a way. He still regretted all of his life decisions as he watched the locker room door open and the line of endorphin-fuelled zombies trudge out, but at least he wouldn't leave empty-handed.

Toby shoved away from the wall and threw himself into the crowd of mouth-breathers before he could second-guess as soon as he spotted his target. His height (or lack thereof) and small size helped him weave easily between people until he caught up with the boy he was looking for, and he fell into step beside him, announcing his presence a little flatly.

"Hey. It's, uh, Fraser, right?" Wow, he was really tall, and Toby was not in the least bit impressed by that, obviously. He would have to raise his price for going through with this if he was going to spend the entire time craning his neck just to meet the guy's eyes. "I'm Toby."

cultmentality cultmentality If you haven't noticed already, Toby is a bit of an unreliable narrator 😂 and I love him for it skdjfh
 

cultmentality

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In a perfect world, Fraser would not have to play basketball.

He loved his parents, but he was so tired of the sport. Knowing it was the only thing that made them take him seriously made him feel so frustrated. What more could be done? Still, he was going to continue. There wasn't much else he could do. It was the last year anyway. Then he could do whatever he wanted! Looking over at Jack as the two of them walked out of gym together, he looked at him. Jack had always been reliable. Everyone else on the team... They were definitely his friends. It wasn't like he loathed them. But it wasn't the same. Looking at the other, his eyelids began to grow a little heavy. A nap sounded great right about now. Practice was always a bit of a nightmare.

Fraser hadn't expected someone to approach him from outside of the the locker room. He hadn't thought he would have had anyone... No. That wasn't normal. Anyway, he had been planning to ask Jack if he wanted to do something. However, that had quickly changed as someone had stopped in front of him. Fraser tilted his head downwards, scanning the other's face for a moment. Oh! I know who they are. Because he'd thought that October was cute, a while back anyway. Now the other was talking to him. Stopping in his tracks, he listened as they spoke. Jack seemed to hesitate, glancing back at Fraser. "I'll see you later," he said offhandedly to his friend. Jack looked hesitant, but nodded, leaving Fraser and October alone.

"Uh, yeah." He looked at the other. Fraser nodded as Toby introduced himself. "Yeah, I know who you are. You're in my psych class, I think." Wouldn't that be embarrassing? If he had the wrong guy... Jesus. "Do you need something?" Fraser knew how it could have come off. He was trying so hard to be friendly, because he thought Toby was kind of cool. A little intimidating. He tilted his head to the side, wondering in silence if Toby needed anything in particular. Fraser definitely had gotten the: Can you grab ___ for me? He didn't want to think too much about it. He really didn't. At least Toby seemed kind of nice. A little judgy. They were cute. Don't. Not now. Fraser tried to think of anything else.

His bag was slung over his shoulder, and Fraser's hand had begun to subconsciously tap at his side, a nervous habit. Why was he so nervous? He knew why, but he didn't want to feed into it too much. It would have to warrant an explantation which would cause him to spiral... He looked at Toby, awaiting some kind of answer.








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Citrus Corvidae

𝑨𝒓𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒔 𝑳𝒐𝒒𝒖𝒊 𝑳𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆
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Toby raised his eyebrows, surprised not only that Fraser recognised him and knew who he was, but more that he knew what class they shared, and that it was psychology; it wasn't an elective he'd have guessed a brainless lunk would choose. He put on a little smile, just a coy dip at the corner of his mouth, totally prepared to offer his proposition as planned, but wow that little head-tilt was a completely unfair weapon to use against him for no reason. Hell if this tower of a boy wasn't going to throw him entirely off his game. He narrowed his eyes.

"Yep, that's me. I, ah, was wondering if you wanted to...hang out? After school some time? I don't know when your basketball meetings are, but like if you're ever free..." Toby knew that, of course, there were always ways to completely misinterpret an invitation like that for something innocently hetero, which is why as he met Fraser's eyes he quirked his smile just a little shyly. "Just the two of us," he clarified, shutting down any further misconceptions that might have occurred.

This was the only point at which Toby would admit to being anxious. His job had been done, and now it was only fair for Fraser to agree like he was supposed to because Toby really didn't know whether his reputation could survive if, after all of the planning and bribery that had gone into this, Ken Doll decided to shoot him down. Humiliation, he could survive. Reese? He wasn't so sure. He suppressed the urge to bounce anxiously on the balls of his feet as his nails dug into the strap of his bag.

cultmentality cultmentality
 

cultmentality

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Fraser felt hesitant to accept an offer from someone he barely knew, but he didn’t show the feeling. He had momentarily decided that Toby was alright. stony was good enough, it would be good to expand his friend pool anyway. He wasn’t the closest with anyone on the team– barring Jack– because they all were a bit much. Toby looked nice enough. They could be… Fine. For now.

No, Fraser was definitely not hesitant because of his crush on Toby previously. Definitely not.

“Sure,” he said. “But when?” Fraser’s schedule was a mess. What would he and Toby do? He couldn’t imagine they had much in common. “I can like, right now.” He wasn’t sure he wanted to. His parents were probably waiting on him for something or other. His eyes stayed on the shorter of the two. “Or another time. I don’t have much going on other than this.” And a tattoo appointment, but Fraser had since decided he didn’t want to discuss that. The way Toby’s eyes were boring into his made him feel a little warm. “We don’t have to do it now though. I’ll always be in the same place after school.” Here. “So you know where to find me.” The words made him feel sick and embarrassed. Fraser could feel his face getting hot from humiliation. He glanced away from the other. “That sounded si fucking dumb,” he muttered.








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Citrus Corvidae

𝑨𝒓𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒔 𝑳𝒐𝒒𝒖𝒊 𝑳𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆
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Toby's smile had begun to broaden into something brighter as Fraser agreed, but his eyes widened a little and his lips parted in surprise at the words "right now".

"Uh..." Now, he wanted to do this now? It was sudden notice, but hell, why not now? Better to get this done as quickly as possible, satisfy Reese's sadistic sense of humour, and be done with it. Fraser was backtracking, but the smile was already curling its way back onto Toby's lips.

"Y'know what, spontaneity is the spice of life, or however it goes. Sure, right now is perfect. I know just the place," he interrupted the taller boy's quickly devolving ramble, a little glimmer of genuine mischief in his eye. "I've gotta grab my jacket from my locker, but meet me out front?" He raised his brows with a smile, the expression a little hopeful and far more innocent than Toby felt.

Half-jogging through the school halls while texting was something Toby had plenty of experience in, but for some reason that short conversation with Fraser had made him anxious enough that the rapid-fire texts he was shooting at the group chat were overloaded with typos. There was no point to this ruse if none of them showed up to discreetly watch the fake date for whatever it was they hoped to see! But no one was answering, and Toby was a mix of annoyed and nervous as he pulled his canvas jacket on over the cross-body strap of his bag and made his way back to the front of the school. It only occurred to him as he was pushing his way out the front doors to wonder whether Fraser had a car or drove at all.

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Fraser had been fully prepared to backtrack if the other showed any hesitation. His tongue was pressed to the roof of his mouth. There was anxiety bubbling up in his own stomach as soon as he walked down the hall. The other had already taken off, leaving Fraser to make his way to the front of the school. He saw Jack, still in the school. “You didn’t leave?” He looked towards the other with a surprised gaze on his face. Jack shook his head.

“So you’re busy then?” Jack was joking, Fraser had looked to the side, rolling his eyes.

“Don’t be jealous.” He shook his head, looking back at Jack. “I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?” He grinned at the other, lightly shoving his friend. “I’m not…” He shook his head after a moment. “See you around.”

With that he was in front of the school. He had seen Toby, smiling a little when their eyes met. He wondered if he should just go home and bail on the entirety of the event. “Do you have a car?” Fraser did. It was a horrific car, but he had one! “Cause I can drive. Uh, wherever.” He wasn’t viewing this as a fucking date or anything. It was just? Hanging out with someone he supposed.








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