Morning came the way morning always did.
Evan jerked awake when his alarm went off, fumbled frantically to shut it off, and then rubbed blearily at his eyes. He staggered to the bathroom, made use of the facilities, washed his hands, and jabbed at his eyes until his contacts stuck. He showered, finger-combed his hair, brushed his teeth, and wandered back to his bedroom feeling only slightly more alive.
He dressed in his jeans with the glitter on the ass, as well as a bright red t-shirt with an obnoxiously flipped collar he knew his mother would fuss over.
When he shuffled into the kitchen, his mother clucked her tongue and handed him a plate of pancakes.
That’s when things turned a little sideways, as he tripped his way over to the kitchen table, almost blindly. He collapsed in his usual seat, shoved a whole pancake into his mouth, and looked up just as Connor slid a mug of coffee over to him with a small, shy smile.
“Oh,” Evan said, mouth full. He’d almost forgotten about that. “Hey.” He tried for casual but his bright, pancakey grin probably ruined the effect.
His mom rolled her eyes and folded Evan’s collar down, smoothing it, before saying, “Family dinner tonight, don’t make plans.”
“Cheerleading practice,” Evan said automatically. “And dad’s got football, probably. Homecoming’s on Friday, you know, and—”
“And I’ll be there to watch, with a video camera,” she promised sweetly. Evan groaned but she just laughed, adding, “I promised your grandparents.”
“I can go to the library, after school,” Connor said quietly, ducking his head and picking at his pancakes. “For the family dinner. I can—”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said, picking up her briefcase, checking her work phone for email on her way out the door. She absently ruffled Connor’s hair and his ears turned pink. “You’ll be here too. You’re family.”
“Yeah,” Evan said, wagging his eyebrows as lecherously as he could manage. “You’re family.”
It was only after his mother had closed the door behind her and Connor had shot him an incredulous, disturbed look that Evan realized how awkward and borderline incestuous that made the fact that he and Connor had stayed up late watching Fight Club on DVD and making out on Evan’s bed.
“Huh,” he said, blinking. “Awkward.”
Connor rolled his eyes but smiled a little, and Evan would take that as a win.
He climbed into the passenger seat of Connor’s car, clutching his backpack to his chest a few minutes later, as Connor backed out of the driveway and turned towards Trent’s house. Evan was humming under his breath, feeling pretty capable of taking on the world today, no matter what school had to offer. He was pretty sure he could survive all the shit and angst high school had to offer, especially after the confusing clusterfuck of last week.
“Hey,” he said happily, while they waited at a stop sign for approximately eight thousand school kids to cross the road. “Are we going steady now?”
“No one says that anymore,” Connor told him, hand flexing on the gear shift, eyes straight ahead. His cheeks were flushing again, though, and Evan couldn’t help but find it charming.
“Dating, then,” Evan offered. “Seeing each other? Boyfriends? Beaus? Friends-with-benefits?”
Connor grimaced and shifted into gear. “I don’t know?” he said. He glanced at Evan. “I like you.”
Evan squirmed, pleased. “Okay,” he said. “Going steady, then. My dad’s gonna love that. Just wait til he asks you your intentions, probably at dinner tonight. Oh man. It’s going to be so awesome not to be the target of his embarrassing questions, for once in my life.”
“You’re a terrible person,” Connor said, but he couldn’t seem to help but laugh.
“Yeah,” Evan agreed, grinning. “But you like me.”
Trent was waiting on the curb, bouncing on his heels. Today’s t-shirt read, “Taste the rainbow,” and Evan wondered if that was Trent being supportive. He’d take it, either way.
Trent was already talking a mile a minute when he climbed in the backseat, going on about homecoming and cheerleading and Miriam’s magical breasts, and it was all so familiar that Evan relaxed against his seat, the last bit of tension fading away.
It was just another day, like any other, and he was still the same as he’d been a week ago, a month ago. Maybe just a little older than he’d been a year ago.
Connor was watching him, head tipped like a curious dog, but that was okay. Mystery kept the relationship alive.
He grinned a wide, shit-eating grin just to keep Connor on his toes and Connor huffed in irritation, but Evan was pretty sure it was fake.
“Ready?” Connor asked, hand on the gear shift, Trent still chattering in the back.
“Ready,” Evan agreed.
Just another day.
And then Connor reached over and took his hand, cheeks pink and eyes trained straight ahead, and Evan ducked his head to hide his own blush.
Okay, he thought. Maybe a better day than the rest.