Oakleaf Academy For Boys (BxB)

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thirty

“You know what I miss the most in here?” Benji sighed sadly as he poked his food around on the plate.

“What?” Lucky barely looked up from his tray as he replied to his friend.

“Music.” Benji said solemnly. “I haven’t heard it in months.”

Lucky scoffed. “You clearly haven’t been in the showers at four o’clock before. There’s a dude who sings nothing but High School Musical songs in there, every single day at the exact same time.”

Benji cracked a smile before examining the blue haired boy carefully. “When are you gonna tell me what happened?” He pouted.

“It’s not important.” Lucky shrugged.

“It is important.” He argued. “You’re hurt.”

“You’ve got enough to worry about, Pup. I’m fine. If I have a problem with someone, Seb would sort it. But I don’t.”

“Why does this always happen when people get into relationships?” Benji complained. “They don’t rely on their friends anymore. Only their boyfriends.”

Lucky laughed in amusement. “Because you can’t throw a punch.”

“I can!” Benji shot back. “I’ll probably miss, but that’s not the point.”

Lucky scoffed and shook his head mockingly. “What’ve you got after lunch?”

“Nothing. Free periods for the rest of the day.” Benji grinned. “Diesel’s helping me at the library. It’s almost finished, I think I’m finally gonna open it tomorrow.”

“Wow. I gotta say, you’ve surprised me. That place looks great.”

“Thanks.” Benji responded happily just as the bell began to screech above them. “I’ll see you later.”

Lucky didn’t say anything. He just laughed at Benji’s eagerness to see Diesel.

Diesel was already at the library when Benji arrived, sitting cross legged on the table, a book open in his lap. Benji never thought he’d be able to describe the most feared boy in school as ‘cute’, but it was hard to deny how adorably dorky Diesel looked in that moment. His brows were furrowed with concentration, his lips parted, his strikingly beautiful eyes scanning the dusty pages. He glanced up when the other boy arrived and cocked his head to the side. “Don’t look at me like that.”

Benji laughed and lowered his eyes to the floor, dropping his backpack on the desk. “Like what?”

“With...I don’t know, endearment.”

“Endearment?” Benji chuckled.

“Yes. I’m not endearing.” Diesel hopped off the table and approached the smaller boy, pecking him on the forehead before retreating to the nearest bookcase and shoving his book into the shelf.

“That doesn’t go there!” Benji protested. “Look at the letters.” He pointed out. “It’s in alphabetical order.”

Diesel rolled his eyes jokingly, “So, where does this one go?”

“It’s by Jane Austen, so you have to put it in the ‘J’ section.” He hooked his fingers through Diesel’s and dragged him to the other side of the library before slipping the book into its correct place.

“Alright, I’m sorry.”

Benji was about to make a remark about how Diesel never apologised for anything, but quickly found himself wrapped up in the taller boy’s arms. His face was buried into his chest, his body caged in. “What’re you doing?” He laughed, wrapping his own slender arms around Diesel’s broad shoulders.

“Hugging you.” He said simply. “Is that allowed?”

It wasn’t sexual, not in the slightest. It wasn’t even a real physical sign of affection, like kissing. It was somehow better. It felt safe and warm and comfortable. If someone was watching them from afar, they might not even make the assumption that the two boys were romantically involved. It was just a hug. And it was amazing.

“Are you ready to finally open this place?” Diesel asked once they’d pulled away.

“Yeah.” Benji sighed. “And no.”

“Why?”

“What if people take it as a joke? They’re gonna think I’m such a nerd—”

“So? Nerds are cute.”

Benji’s cheeks warmed as he quickly turned around and began busying himself by organising a perfectly organised shelf. “I didn’t take you for a Jane Austen fan.”

“The rest of the books in here are utter shite.” Diesel said bluntly, hopping back onto the table and laying flat on his back, glancing up at the ceiling blankly.

“They’re not that bad.” Benji reasoned.

“Half of them are cooking books. There’s about a hundred copies of the bible and the rest are just the cheapest ones Oakleaf could afford. The only decent books are the classics.”

Benji couldn’t argue with that statement as he wandered along the shelf, his finger caressing the spines of forgotten stories. “Eli, can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“What did you do to end up here?” He questioned tenderly. It was something he’d been itching to know since the very first time he set eyes on him. He wasn’t sure when the right time to ask was, and maybe it wasn’t right now, but maybe it was never. But he just had to know.

“Nothing.”

“I get it if you don’t want to tell me—”

“I am telling you.” He said simply. “I did nothing.”

“I...I don’t get it.”

Diesel sighed and shuffled into a sitting position, watching Benji from the other side of the room. The library somehow made silence louder than noise. It was eerily haunting. “I shouldn’t be here.”

“Eli, whatever you did, I’m not gonna judge you. I know you’re not—”

“You’re already judging me, Pup.” He said softly. He sounded hurt more than he did angry. “I’m telling you I didn’t do anything; if you decide not to believe me, you decide to judge me.”

“E-Elias, I swear, I’m not.” Benji assured him shakily. “I just...how can you be here if you didn’t do anything? If you’re innocent, how can you be so...?”

“So, what?”

“So...you know—”

“So, what, Benji?” He snapped. Benji flinched and quickly shielded his body with his hands, as if he was scared to be hit. Guilt flooded Diesel’s system, but he didn’t let it halt his emotions. “I’m not a bad guy. This place turned me into a bad guy.”

“O-Okay, and I believe you. But how—?”

“You send an innocent person to prison and eventually they’re gonna become guilty.”

Benji nodded slowly. His mind clouded and thoughts darkened. Something had triggered a response in his mind and trembles of horror began to ripple through his body. “I-I’m sorry.” He whispered.

Diesel watched Benji with concern and reached out to touch him. The second Benji flinched, alarm bells started ringing through his head. He’d unintentionally triggered him. It was his fault.

It was his fault.

“Shit. Benji, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.” He promised gently. “Are you okay?”

Benji nodded and blinked away the tears in his eyes, “I’m okay.”

“Can I touch you?”

“Y-Yeah. Please.”

As soon as he had his permission, he wrapped his arms around the trembling Pup and held him close enough to feel their hearts beating as one.

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