[Timewarped from Sunday morning, as Moscar head out for a week in paradise]
"Here, Mic, let me fuckin' get that for you," Joshua said, grabbing Mush's hefty second suitcase from his hands and hoisting it into the trunk of Julie's SUV, shoving it in with his shoulder to wedge it in with all of Oscar's that had already been shoved in. "Jesus fuckin' Christ. You fuckers are only going for one fuckin' week, yeah?"
"Yeah," Mush said, leaning against the side of the SUV forlornly. He had been pretty subdued since Saturday morning. "Where are we gonna put the suitcase with my shoes? And my guitar?" He pouted. "...Joshua, Oscar doesn't like me anymore. Do I hafta go?"
"You don't wanna be fuckin' rude, Mic. His fuckin' family gave you a fuckin' internship." He was secretly a little bit worried himself, because so far Oscar hadn't cracked, and Joshua doubted Sami would want him to propose without any eyebrows. She was very patient and very understanding but even she had her limits. "And we'll put your fuckin' shoes up in the passenger fuckin' seat next to me, yeah? Only fuckin' space big the fuck enough. And... hmm. Guitar can fuckin' be wedged in the backseat just fuckin' behind it; should be just enough room. You can fuckin' sit bitch."
Mush looked at Joshua in disbelief. "He doesn't fucking want me to touch him. And you want me to practically sit on top of him? Are you crazy?"
"Well, you could fuckin' leave your shoes here..."
Mush sighed. "Fine."
Joshua turned and climbed the steps to the house. He banged on the screen door. "All the fuckin' work is fuckin' done, Oscar. You can fuckin' come out now, dumbfuck."
Oscar gave Julie one last hug goodbye, waving off her words of thanks for inviting Mush on vacation. "My family will be happy to have him, Mrs. Eversman," he assured her, "Both of my parents fucking love the kid." She ruffled his hair (a common gesture between the two that they had both silently agreed never to speak of) and sent him on his way.
Oscar trotted out the front door happily. Everything was fucking amazing; he was going to paradise with his best friend and leaving all of this shit behind, and he was about to win the hardest bet of his life. All he had to do was make it through one relatively short car ride, and the long nights of sleeping on the floor while Mush pouted from the bed above him would be worth it. Not to mention, shaving Joshua's head was going to be comedy fucking gold.
His grin faded when he saw the SUV, packed to the hilt with only a small cleared space in the back seat, barely big enough for one person, much less two. "No," he said, staring at the spot and imagining himself with a feather boa draped around his neck. "I want to sit next to you, J."
Joshua snorted in response. "Abso-fucking-lutely not. I already packed the fucking car. You'll fucking sit where I fucking tell you to."
Oscar glared at him, opening his mouth to retort, then snapping it shut again when he realized he had nothing that wouldn't give the whole thing away. "Fine," he snapped, then continued in a more thoughtful voice, more to himself than the Eversmans. "If I sit down first, then Micah will be touching me. Not the other way around. So it wouldn't count. I just have to keep my hands far away from him."
Mush didn't bother to fight his instinctual pout when he saw Oscar's face fall at seeing their backseat space. He didn't know what Oscar's problem was, why he was friendly and talkative with Mush but wouldn't touch him at all, but Mush was pretty sure it was Lydia's fault. Somehow. Maybe she had decided the only bed Oscar could sleep in was hers.
"Saddle the fuck up, little dogie motherfuckers!" Joshua said cheerfully. "Get in the fuckin' car and let's go!" He was thinking there was a bit of a chance he could win with the tiny space allotted to the two of them.
"That doesn't even make sense," Mush grumbled, sighing as he went to get in the backseat. "Dogies can't saddle up. Dogies are baby cows without moms."
"How the fuckin' fuck do you know that?" Joshua asked in wonder, smiling to himself as he saw Mush about to get in first. He smirked at Oscar. It was down to the wire and he wasn't above trickery for a little extra insurance.
"No!" Oscar cried, reaching out a hand to stop Mush, but pulled it back at the last second. "You um can't... I mean, I really, really, really want to sit there bro. Like really fucking badly."
Mush shot him a strange look, which, when coupled with the pout that had adorned his face for the entire weekend, really made Oscar want to kiss him. He forlornly stepped out of the way and let Oscar climb into the SUV first, and didn't even laugh as Oscar struggled to tuck his legs into the bitch seat. Mush sat down next to him, and the small space enforced that his body was pressed tightly against Mush's side, and fuck, it was hard to not to wrap his arm around the kid. He sat with his hands clasped tightly in front of him, leaning as far to the opposite side of the backseat as possible.
Joshua climbed into the driver's seat. "Everyone nice and fuckin' cozy? Looking pretty fuckin' happy back there. I'm just gonna adjust this fuckin' mirror so I can get a better fuckin' look at all that happiness - ah, there we fuckin' go --" His rearview mirror now showed him Mush's pout and Oscar's attempt to lean away. "I know it's nice and fuckin' tight back there, boys, so try to fuckin' keep your hands to your-fuckin'-selves, yeah?" He chuckled, leaning back to smack Oscar's legs, which were practically in the front seat. He threw the SUV in reverse and backed out.
Mush sighed, loudly, still not certain he really wanted to go on vacation anymore. He looked over at Oscar, then crossed his arms tightly against his chest, trying to scoot himself as tightly against the door as possible. "I don't think I wanna go," he said loudly. "O hates me and I don't like torture and this sucks and I don't wanna go and this is the worst ever and I hate being hated and I hate everything ever." His voice started getting shriller and shriller as he continued. "And this weekend sucks and this whole week is gonna suck and you guys know something that you won't tell me and fuck Lydia and I don't wanna go and I didn't do anything wrong and I'm really horny and I don't wanna go anymore at all ever and I'm really really really really fucking unhappy!" He had been fairly whiney all weekend but this was a definite high point in the whining.
Joshua laughed, unable to help it, because even with being bald a very real possibility in his life right now, he had gotten to spend time with his youngest brother this weekend and get lots of sleep, which didn't usually go together, and he was well-rested and therefore cheerful.
Mush glared. "Glad this is so funny to you, Joshua."
"Maybe Oscar just fuckin' needs you to put your fuckin' arms around him," Joshua suggested. "And maybe if you fuckin' kiss his cheek or some-fuckin'-thing?" He met Oscar's eyes as he stopped at a red light. "Yeah, Oscar? You want a fuckin' hug and a fuckin' kiss from Mic?"
"No!" Oscar exclaimed again, squirming farther away from Mush and shooting the most hateful look he possibly muster at the front seat. "I'm just..." he paused as he attempted to think of a good lie, "I'm carsick," he said eventually. "So fucking nauseous. If you touch me, or I touch you, I'll probably puke. So we should... not touch. At all. Because I'm carsick. But we're gonna have a fucking amazing time in the Bahamas!" he added, beaming a smile at Mush, "It's gonna be fucking sick, bro. Don't even think it won't be."
Mush glared at Oscar now. "It's gonna be the worst time ever and I don't wanna go. I'm just gonna stay at home. Joshua, turn around, I don't want Oscar to get more carsick from having to touch me."
"Mic, we're too far now to turn around. But maybe if you fuckin' throw your leg over his fuckin' lap, it'll, oh, I don't know, fuckin' anchor Oscar down and make him feel better." Joshua grinned at him encouragingly in the rearview mirror. "You know, less fuckin' bumpy."
"He isn't carsick! Oscar is the worst liar ever!" Mush cried. "He's been making stupid excuses all weekend and every lie is worse than the one before it!" Joshua was still smiling so Mush sighed, eyebrows flying upward. He threw his leg over Oscar's lap, with it landing a few inches from Oscar's hands, his pout now directed at his brother. "You feel better and more anchored now, O?" he asked, drily, though still glaring at his brother. "Feel awesome, do you? Less carsick?"
"Great!" Oscar said with a tight smile, moving his clasped hands far from Mush's leg which was resting heavily right across his lap. He was all too aware of how close Mush's ass now was to his crotch, and fuck, he had just spent the whole fucking weekend abstinent even though Mush was right there, and he was really fucking horny. "This is... yeah. Great. So much better. I feel great."
"Great," Mush said, sarcastically, but he nonetheless settled in, because in fact hitching up his hip on top of Oscar's lap was more comfortable with their small amount of allotted space. He sighed again. "Really, really fucking glad to hear it."
They rode for a moment in silence, then Mush swallowed and turned to look at Oscar. Before he could stop himself, he had his arms around Oscar's neck and had buried his face in Oscar's throat, breathing in the familiar smell of Oscar's Victoria's Secret body spray and desperately fighting to hold back his neediness, but failing miserably. "O, what did I do? I can't go all vacation with you getting nauseous every time you look at me." He pressed his lips to Oscar's neck. "Please, O, I'm sorry, whatever I did. I'm so fucking sorry. Please still love me, please want to touch me."
Oscar swallowed hard and trained his gaze directly in front of him, accidentally meeting Joshua's smirking eyes in the rearview mirror. "Fuck you," he mouthed at Mush's asshole brother as he tightened his grip on his hands. "You didn't do anything, bro," he said, keeping his voice as pleasant and normal as possible, "Of course I fucking love you. I'm just bad in cars. You know how it is."
"That isn't true. You are not bad in cars. You love cars. You and Uncle Jesse love cars." Mush pulled away and felt so stupid suddenly. So angry and so hurt and he knew this was probably Joshua's fault. Or Joshua and Lydia's fault, together. Somehow they had teamed up.
Then realization hit Mush.
Joshua and Oscar and their stupid texts. Joshua must have told Oscar. Told him that Mush was in love with him and this was Oscar not knowing how to deal with that. And stupid Joshua had ruined their vacation and was being overly happy to cover it up and Oscar was awkward because he wasn't in love back and Mush was so stupid, so very stupid because he was so in love with someone who couldn't, wouldn't, and definitely did not plan on falling in love with him back. How had he not picked up on this all weekend? Obviously Oscar hadn't wanted to share a bed with his gay best friend who also happened to be in love with him. Not anymore.
He slowly pulled back from Oscar and pulled his leg back, now avoiding everyone else's eyes, avoiding Joshua's laughter and Oscar's averted eyes and he tried so hard not to cry.
So fucking awkward. Vacation was ruined. And he hated his stupid big brother more than ever.
"Seriously, just take me home," he said, lowly, staring out the window. The whining tone in his voice was gone. "Now, Joshua."
"Fuckin' shut up, Mic. Shut up and stop motherfuckin' crying. Are you fuckin' crying? Fuckin' stop," Joshua ordered.
Oscar's stomach clenched and he chanced a glance at Micah, his heart sinking when he realized that his best friend was in fact crying. This was not the way shit was supposed to go. He had known that not touching Mush with no explanation would get him upset, probably cause some whining and complaining, but he never expected actual tears. "Bro, stop," he said softly, wondering if this was actually worth staying out of tight, bright red leather pants, "Don't cry, okay? We'll be at the airport soon, and everything will be fine. Jesus Christ," he snapped at Joshua, "Could you drive any fucking slower, J?"
Joshua felt pretty low at this point too, and kind of just wanted the whole ordeal over with, but was already going fifteen miles over the speed limit and had promised Julie he wouldn't speed in her vehicle. "I'm fuckin' going fast the fuck enough, Delancey, you dumbfuck," he grumbled, eyeing Mush and feeling like the worst brother ever. "C'mon, Mic, Jesus. Oscar doesn't fuckin' hate you. Stop fuckin' crying, please."
"I'm not crying," Mush answered, although this answer was fairly full of vibrato thanks to his sobs.
"I'm not fuckin' taking you home," Joshua said. "We're almost the fuck there any-fuckin'-how." He sighed. "Mic, Jesus. This is fuckin' pathetic."
"You're fuckin' pathetic," Mush shot back, trying to make himself smaller in the backseat. He sniffled. "And fine, don't take me home. But I'm not setting foot on that plane. I'm not going anywhere with someone who... who..." He couldn't finish the thought, was too mortified, and just settled for hiding his face in his hands.
"I don't hate you," Oscar said firmly, glaring again at Joshua in the mirror. "You're my best fucking friend, and we're going to have the best fucking vacation ever, okay? So cheer up kid," he turned to Mush and offered him a grin, hoping maybe a change in subject would make the last leg of the drive easier. "C'mon, dude, my mom is so excited to see you again, you know that? She fucking misses you."
"I am not going on vacation to hang out with your mom... even if she is wonderful and a delight," Mush said to the window. His tears were thankfully stopping. If Oscar could talk around the truth, so could Mush. "I wanted to go on vacation with you. But... I can't now. You don't want the whole vacation ruined, O." He sighed. "You don't have to pretend to want to be best friends with me anymore. It's okay." He picked at the hem of his shirt. "At least you have your first room in BRO house, huh? You never have to share a room with me again. So you can sleep in a bed again and all."
"Why, where the fuck has he been fuckin' sleeping?" Joshua asked. "The fuckin' couch?"
"No, the floor," Mush answered.
Joshua started laughing again despite himself. "Damn, Delancey. I fuckin' admire your--" He cut himself off. Had about to say determination, but luckily caught it.
"His intelligence?" Mush suggested. "To stay far the fuck away from me?"
"Mic, stop it," Joshua said. "Stop fuckin' feeling sorry for your-goddamn-self. Oscar fuckin' said you're still his best fuckin' friend, okay? For fuck's sake. Fuckin' tell him, Oscar. And give him a big fuckin' hug while you do it. To show him how fuckin' serious you are."
Neither Oscar nor Mush moved a muscle. Mush still sat staring out the window, and Oscar focused straight ahead, glancing at Mush out of the corner of his eye every few moments. Just a few minutes he didn't say, In a few minutes I will give you the biggest fucking hug ever. It would be so easy to give up now, so fucking easy, but he was so close and he'd be able to hang on for a few more minutes. It sucked that Mush thought Oscar didn't love him anymore, more than sucked and completely wasn't fair, but if he gave up now, this whole weekend would have been for nothing, and that wasn't fair either.
It seemed like hours before Joshua finally, finally, turned the car into the Teterboro Airport. Oscar, thankful to have something else to focus on, directed him around the area to where the Delancey family jet was housed. When Joshua slowed the car to a stop, it was as though the fucking heavens opened up and angels started singing. Oscar wasted absolutely no time reaching over Mush to throw the door open and gather Mush's still shaking body in his arms, tripping over himself to get them both out of the backseat. "I fucking won," he said, somewhat in shock, grabbing Mush's face in both hands and kissing him hard. He had truly accomplished the impossible and he couldn't wait to fucking celebrate.
"Bullshit!" Joshua yelled, climbing out too. "Fuckin' bullshit, Delancey, you motherfuck! I just fuckin' won! Right fuckin' there! I can't fuckin' believe you just gave that the fuck away when you were so fuckin' close. But no, dumbfuck, I sure as fuckin' shit won that, motherfucker." Joshua began his victory dance, which was quite a sight to see.
Mush had been kissing Oscar in a confused sort of shock, but he pulled away. "...What do you mean, you won?" He looked at Oscar, then at dancing Joshua, who kind of resembled a marionette operated by a drunk puppeteer. "Who won what?"
Oscar turned to face Joshua, but kept his arms firmly around Mush. It had been way too fucking long since he'd been allowed to touch him, and god, he'd almost forget how amazing and perfect it felt. Like coming home. "You did not fucking win," Oscar said haughtily, "I made it two whole fucking horrible days and I won fair and fucking square. Hope you don't like you're hair that much, because as soon as I get home you're fucking losing it." He made a scissoring motion in Joshua's direction with the two middle fingers of his free hand. "Eyebrows too."
"The fuckin' bet was from the moment you came to the fuckin' house until you were out of the motherfuckin' car, douche. You were still fuckin' in the car when you fuckin' touched him. I fuckin' won. So get the fuck ready. Mic, I fuckin' found you a breathing, life-fuckin'-size paperdoll to fuckin' play dress-up with." Joshua smirked.
"...You bet on touching me? On me being touched?" Mush stared at them, his eyes bouncing back and forth. "Am I hearing this right?"
"Yeah," Oscar sad, moving his arm to Mush's waist and squeezing him, "See, it's not that I don't want to touch you, bro," He explained, "It's that your fucking asshole dick brother thinks I want to touch you too much. So," he shrugged, "He bet me that I couldn't go two days without touching you, and he didn't want me to tell you about it because he's a fuckface. But hey! I'm off fucking probation now because," he locked eyes with Joshua, "I am the fucking clear winner and he is a sore as shit loser who is about to lose his hair and eyebrows."
"What?" Mush asked, slowly. He looked at Joshua. "So this isn't about... you didn't... you..." He blinked a few times. "What the FUCK is wrong with you two?"
"Fuck. Uh-oh," Joshua said. "Delancey is the fuckin' one who turned it into a fuckin' bet!"
"You thought this was funny? You fucking agreed this was funny? Fuck you guys. Seriously." Mush delicately extracted himself from Oscar and went to the back of the SUV and began pulling out his suitcases. "I'm going on vacation by myself."
"We didn't fuckin' think it'd fuckin' make you CRY," Joshua said. "And Mic, it's cool, 'cause I won and my prize is for you too."
"You did not fucking win, I did!" Oscar snapped, and turned to run after Mush back to the car. "Hey, come on, dude," he said, wrapping his arms around Mush from behind and pressing his lips to his neck, "Didn't get to touch you for two days. We probably have a few minutes before the rest of my family gets here, so fucking celebrate with me, yeah?" He nipped lightly at Mush's ear. "Hardest weekend of my fucking life, you know?"
"You bet. With my brother. And the terms of that bet made it so that I did not get off. Once. This entire. Fucking. Weekend." Mush's teeth were gritted although he was trying to fight the goosebumps that sprang up on his arms at the feeling of Oscar's teeth at his skin. Fuck. "And now that you're suddenly horny again I'm supposed to fucking jump at the chance? Oh, excuse me. But no. No thank you."
Joshua crossed his arms as he approached. "You do know I fuckin' won, Oscar, right? Dumbfuck? I know you're fuckin' stupid as shit but you do get that you fuckin' lost, right?"
"You did not," Oscar growled, resisting the urge to stomp his foot because dammit, Joshua was fucking infuriating. "You are the worst fucking loser ever. Just suck it up and enjoy the last week you have with your goddamn hair, okay?" His arms tightened around Mush, because even though the kid was angry, he knew he couldn't stay mad for long. "Tell him, Micah. Tell him I fucking won. Tell him and then we'll fuck in his car."
"Tell him I fuckin' won, Mic. I did. He wasn't fuckin' supposed to fuckin' touch you until he got out of the fuckin' car. Here, I can fuckin' show you the texts--" Joshua began digging his phone out of his pocket.
"What were each of you supposed to win exactly?" Mush asked, crossing his arms and leaning back against the SUV.
"I fuckin' thought of no one but fuckin' you with my fuckin' prize," Joshua said, sweetly. "You get to dress up Oscar, with some input from me, of fuckin' course, in your fuckin' clothes. All your tight-ass shit. No fuckin' suits. The entire fuckin' first week of school." He grinned at Oscar, sure his baby brother would pick this prize over Oscar's stupid one.
"And you? What would you win in this... awesome... bet?" Mush asked, his eyes flicking, unamused, to Oscar.
"I get off of your stupid brother's probation!" Oscar said with a big smile, moving his hand to Mush's curls, twirling them as he spoke. "And, uh, I also get to shave his fucking head. And eyebrows. But- just think about how fucking hilarious that would be, bro. Knock that asshole off his fucking pedestal."
"...Those were really your terms?" Mush asked, incredulously. "...Fine. Fine, you idiots, you fucking morons. Oscar is off probation. And he gets to shave Joshua's head and eyebrows. And, Joshua, I hope you remembered your little planned proposal when you made this bet. Huh? I'm sure Sami will think your little bet was worth it when her friends and family watch you propose with no fucking hair. ...Fucking dumbass." He heard Oscar make some sort of victory sound and wheeled on him.
"Oh, Mr. Delancey, don't you for one second think you won. You both lost." Mush made a megaphone of his hands and shouted through it into Oscar's face. "You lost! You know why?" Mush poked his chest, hard. "...Because I lost. I lost all weekend. You two tortured me and made me think all sorts of horrible shit about myself and it isn't okay. Is. Not. Okay.
"So you, Oscar, you will be wearing whatever the hell I put you in the first week of school. And believe me, no one had to stipulate 'no suits.' Suits are the furthest thing from what I'm considering putting you in, my darling little O-face." He glared between both of the pair. "Anyone really wanna argue me on this? Anyone? No? Good. Now." He turned back to Oscar and raised his eyebrows. "You are going to fuck the happy back into me right. Fucking. Now. And you are going to make this up to me all fucking vacation. You are no longer in charge, Delancey. Hope you liked it while it lasted." He took Oscar's hand and led him toward the SUV's backseat. "Joshua, get all this shit out of the other side while we make out a little." Joshua opened his mouth in protest. "Fucking get the fucking backseat fucking clear while we fucking foreplay!" Mush screeched, and Joshua's mouth closed and he disbelievingly obeyed, having no idea what his life had become.
"Oh. And when you grab my dick," Mush murmured into Oscar's ear, "I'm gonna think about your mom."