And that would be the exact moment one Jack Barakat walked into the room. With Alex covered in a banana split concoction, ass-naked, with another fully naked John Oh kissing his wiggling toes.
John leapt up, clamping his hand around Jack’s mouth.
“You want in?” He whispered, smiling.
Jack shook his head yes far too eagerly, but he really didn’t care.
“I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and we’re ho-ho-hoping that we all come back, and as a matter of fact I know we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be together by this Christmas tree.”
Neither of them speaks again for a while, and Alex will be the first to admit that it’s actually kind of nice, just sitting here outside with John pressed up against him, the sounds of people yelling over beer pong behind them in the kitchen. He’s usually alone out here, or at least just joined by Martin lying on the grass trying to identify all the stars. But John is warm, and now he kind of understands what he’s talking about when he says the same thing to Alex.
Alex and John discussing LA, the beach, and other things.
He wasn’t even all that unhappy about Alex’s suggestion of a little stop in a parking lot next to the highway but now that Alex has repeatedly poked him in the places he knows John is ticklish in, it’s too much.
Inside the bathroom stall, tears slowly well up in John’s eyes. He pulls his knees close to his body and hugs them. This all sounds so good but so many people before have left him, even though they “cared”. He’s so scared of it happening again. And even though he’s glad he doesn’t have to worry about leaving a caring family behind, deep down this is all he wants. Someone to care for him. Really care.
John is getting worse again. Alex has a crush on him and can see behind his façade.
SEQUEL: A Difficult Path
He’s not really angry at Alex; okay, maybe he is. What just happened made him feel worthless and unloved. He knows Alex loves him but Alex should know better than to do such things. John is still pretty vulnerable and Alex is aware of that but he still did it. And that hurts.
John is in recovery. Alex helps John but sometimes, it just gets too much for him.
As they drive away from the lake, they both can’t help but wonder what happened. One minute, John was sharing his cookies with Alex, the next they are trying not to scream in frustration. And of course, neither of them thinks they’re the one whose fault it is. They just know there is something between them that makes them go crazy.
John, an undergraduate student, gets paired up with Professor Alex Gaskarth for his final paper. They both strongly dislike each other, but it looks like they have to get over themselves and look at algae for the next few weeks.
Alex stands on the other side of the door frame, smiling gently at John. There’s a five year old with his arms wrapped around Alex’s legs but Alex doesn’t seem to notice. “Hey. Just dropping in like I said I would. Brought you coffee,” he says softly as he holds a paper Starbucks cup out in his hands.
"I’ve noticed a lot of things about you," Alex says, stepping in closer and their shoes are almost touching. "But I think the only thing that matters is the fact that somehow you’ve managed to wrap me around your finger and you barely even talk. I can’t stop thinking about you all the time and wondering if you’re alright because I just really care about you. You know?"
John doesn’t know. But he nods anyway because he thinks Alex is about to kiss him and he’s positive that he wants that to happen because Alex’s lips look soft and Alex wouldn’t hurt him and yes. He wants this.
+ eating disorder, (mentions of) rape, mpreg
Alex Gaskarth is the editor-in-chief at GQ magazine.
John O’Callaghan is a recent college graduate and new New York City resident.
John needs a job to pay rent. Alex just so happens to need a new second assistant.