“So, it was okay?” Diesel asked, stuffing clothes back into his wardrobe.
Quinn shrugged, “Yeah, I didn’t do much other than watch trashy daytime TV all week. How was it with your family?”
“Fine.” He sighed.
Quinn finished unpacking his things and screwed up his empty backpack, stuffing it into the bottom of his cupboard. “I took Samuels with me.” He admitted, sitting beside his friend on the bottom bunk.
Diesel rose his brows, “Why the fuck would you do that?”
Quinn lowered his eyes to his lap and fiddled with his hands, “He didn’t have anywhere else to go.”
“He could’ve stayed here. What, so, you’re a Good Samaritan now?” He snickered, leaning back against the wall and opening a pack of cigarettes.
“Dude, you should really cut back on those, you’re gonna end up with lung cancer or some shit.”
Diesel snorted, “The boy who gets through a pack a day is giving me a lecture on smoking?”
“I’ve cut back, you know that.”
“So instead of ten a day, you smoke four a day?”
Quinn laughed and grabbed another fag from the packet, lighting it and inhaling deeply. “Kit’s not so bad you know.”
Diesel rose his brows, “Someone’s got a bit of a man crush, huh?”
“Shut up.” Quinn nudged him with his leg, their thighs brushing together on the bed. “You two would get on.”
“He’s got a big personality. We clash.”
Quinn sighed and gave up his argument pretty quickly. Eventually, Diesel would have no choice but to like Kit, because eventually, he’d introduce him as his boyfriend. “Well, I said I’d help him with maths.” He announced, hopping off the bed with the cigarette still hanging from between his lips, the lighter resting in the palm of his hand. “So, I’ll see you later.”
Diesel waved him off as Quinn exited the room, brushing past Benji on the way and giving him a weak smile. Benji winced as he raised his arm and knocked on Diesel’s door, his fingers tangling into his caramel hair. He smiled softly when Diesel answered with a faint frown, “You okay?”
Benji glanced over his shoulder nervously before slipping into the room and shutting the door. “I need your help. I can give you anything you want in return, I just...I need something.”
Diesel’s interest peaked, “What’s wrong?”
“Have you got any pills?” He asked shyly. “It’s just that my pain meds were taken away and it still hurts like hell—”
“Where does it hurt?”
Benji paused and glanced down at his chest, “Here.” He mumbled, placing his hand on his side.
“How long has it hurt?”
“A-About it a week. So, have you got—?”
“You might have a broken rib. The pain should’ve gone by now.”
Benji chewed on his lower lip, “Maybe.”
“I don’t wanna give you drugs.”
"Please, Elias. I’ll do whatever you want, it hurts. It hurts so much and I don’t know what to do.”
“I’ll do it for you. I’ll...I’ll suck that guard off.” He gulped. “I swear, I’ll do it. Just give me something, anything.”
“No, Benji!” Diesel barked, “I’m not making you...I can’t let you do that.” He said. He sighed and grabbed his pillowcase, reaching down to retrieve a small pouch of pills, “I’ve got some opioids, but they’re illegal and fucking addictive.”
“Please, I’ll do whatever you want—”
“You already sound like a junkie, I don’t think this is a good idea.” Diesel observes skeptically.
“Elias.” Benji pleaded evenly, trying to sound as calm as possibly, but the stabbing sensation in his side made it hard not to wince. The pain was only getting worse and Diesel was his last hope. “You said you’d help me—”
“Not like this.” He snapped, advancing towards him as Benji took a defensive sep back. “You think I’m blind? Well, I’m not. I can see what’s happening to you. You’re falling apart.”
“You want to destroy yourself. You’re cutting and coming to me for drugs? You don’t care anymore, do you? You don’t give a shit about what happens to you—”
“That’s not true—!”
“I’ve seen it before, Pup! I’ve seen it in myself.”
“I’m not you, Elias!”
Diesel stiffened and glanced down at the little bag of pills clutched between his fingers. “I’m not gonna be responsible for ruining your life.” He concluded softly, dropping the packet back into his pillowcase where they belonged. “If you need my help, I’m right here, but if you want drugs, it’ll have to be from someone else.”
Benji’s expression softened as he slouched back against the door, “It just hurts so much.” He whispered.
“I’m sorry.” Diesel replied. And he was, if he could adopt all of Benji’s pain, he would. It was physically agonising to see him hurting.
“Do you want me to leave now?” He questioned, lifting his pupils up to watch the raven haired boy. “My roommate kicked me out ’cause his friend was coming over.”
Diesel rolled his eyes, “Fucking Starr.” He chuckled in bitter amusement. “You can stay.”
Benji smiled gratefully and slid down the wall, trying to hide his pained expression as he wrapped his arms around himself. But nonetheless, Diesel noticed his recoil and sat down on the hard floor opposite him.
“Let me see.”
Benji curled himself into an even tighter ball at Diesel’s request, his insecurities taking over. He didn’t let anyone see him shirtless, not even his roommate since Benji was adamant on always changing in the toilet. “I-It’s okay.” He whispered. He couldn’t let Diesel see his bruises or long lasting scars. He couldn’t let him see his shadowed rib cage and how little he’d been eating recently.
“C’mon, Pup.” Diesel pressed. “Show me where it hurts.”
Benji knew he’d be an idiot to deny Diesel anything. Even if they were becoming strangely close, he was still unpredictable and the last thing he wanted to do was get on Diesel’s bad side. He untangled his arms and sat cross legged, his back still pressed against the wall as he waited for Diesel to make the first move.
Diesel noticed how jumpy and easily scared Benji was, so made his movements as careful as possible. He shuffled a little closer, until their knees were practically touching and tugged at the corners of Benji’s top. Benji blushed and looked away as Diesel’s eyes strayed over his torso. A large bruise wrapped around the side of his body, where his ribs were. It was a blotchy array of purple and brown swelling and Diesel could do nothing but stare for a solid ten seconds.
Benji awkwardly cleared his throat, and Diesel pulled away, “You need ice.”
“Great, I’ll just grab some frozen peas from my freezer.” Benji rolled his eyes.
Diesel couldn’t stop a faint chuckle that slipped from his lips, and just like that, his mask had been ripped off.
Benji cocked his head to the side as he yanked his shirt back down in embarrassment. Diesel’s laugh surprised him — he’d never seen the ruthless boy act so careless. He was always too concerned about his appearance and how people saw him. “Maybe I should head back.” Benji suggested lightly.
Diesel nodded in agreement, “Quinn took my lighter, I’ll come with you.” He stood first, and grabbed Benji’s hand to pull him up, wary of his healing wrist. Benji winced as another tingle of pain radiated from his ribs but he just gritted his teeth and thanked Diesel as the pair left the room and walked the short distance to the other dorm.
Benji fished his key from his pocket and inserted it into the lock, his cheeks glowing red at Diesel’s presence, feeling his eyes burning into the back of his head. However, once they pushed the door open, they both froze.
The boys were wrapped up in each other’s arms, like the world would end if they pulled away. Their lips were locked in a soft, comfortable kiss. A kiss that looked as if it had been performed thousands of times before. And when they pulled away, the look the shared was one of pure affection, something far beyond lust or passion. It was love.
Diesel’s voice wasn’t angry, hurt, miserable, or even disgusted. It was completely blank.
Quinn’s eyes widened as he drew back from Kit and stared at his best friend, telepathically begging him to understand. “D-Diesel—”
“I’ll fucking kill you.” Diesel growled, his voice dark and shadowed with evil intent. It sent chills down Benji’s spine; not because it was so haunting, but because it was directed at Kit.
Kit gulped and held his hands up in surrender, “Hey, dude, just—”
“You piece of south london trash, I’ll rip your fucking throat out—!”
“Diesel, it’s okay!” Quinn jumped in front of him, his expression full of alarm. “Hey, it’s okay.”
“What the hell is going on?” He demanded gruffly, his fists twitching with the desire to hit something.
Kit tugged Benji behind him, unaware that whatever happened, Diesel would never lay a hand on his Pup. For all Kit knew, everyone in the room was currently in danger. Diesel was a bomb just waiting to explode, and no one was safe.
“Diesel, I can explain.” Quinn pleaded, “I wanted to tell you, I swear! But how could I? How could I in a place like this?”
“It’s not that hard, Starr.” Diesel spat menacingly. “How about, ‘Hey, bud, just so you know, I’m a faggot and I’m fucking Kit Samuels’?”
Benji wanted to emerge from his hiding place behind Kit and try and calm Diesel down. But he was frozen in shock, just watching it all happen around him. All this new information was being thrown at him and all he could do was glance up at Diesel with big, innocent eyes and pray that he wasn’t homophobic.
“Diesel, I’m sorry!” Quinn’s eyes shone with tears as he looked desperately at the friend he’d already lost. “Please, Diesel.” He begged.
Without hesitation, Kit grabbed Quinn by the shoulders and pulled him into his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around the boy he loved. Kit glared at Diesel with a fiery gaze — a warning look. “You don’t even know how protective I am over this boy, so if you’re a dick to him, someone’s gonna end up with a broken nose and it won’t be me.” He spat, his arms still holding a shaking Quinn close to his body in a firm hug, shielding him from Diesel.
Diesel snorted, “That’s the best you can do?” He teased. “Because I can break every bone in your body and make you listen to each one snap.”
“And that’s gonna help?” Kit shot back. “Torture your best mate’s boyfriend in order to protect him?” Despite the current situation, he felt a tingle in his chest at his own word choice. Boyfriend — he’d never said that before. “Focus on his fucking happiness next time because he’s been losing sleep over you finding out for months. I promised him everything would be okay so if you don’t make it okay, we’re gonna have a problem.”
Benji could do nothing but watch as Diesel sneered at the pair and stormed out of the dorm. He went to follow him but Kit called his name softly. He turned around and offered a sweet smile, “It’s okay.” He whispered. “I’m not angry.” Once Kit had responded with a relieved smile, Benji took off.
And he followed Diesel.