Oakleaf Academy For Boys (BxB)

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three

Diesel was leant against the wire fence that encircled the concrete courtyard. His fingers twisted delicately around the thick green coils, his head cocked to the side he watched two boys rolling around by the benches, throwing punches.

He brought the burnt out cigarette to his lips once more, inhaled deeply and tossed it to the ground. Once he’d stomped it out with the sole of his red Doc Martens, he averted his attention back to the boys in front of him. They were yelling profanities and accusations as the circle of students surrounding them laughed and cheered them on. A guard appeared in a matter of moments, yanking them apart and barking orders.

The fun was over. Diesel left.

When he returned to his dorm room, he found Starr curled up on the bottom bunk, his shoulders slumped in defeat, his eyes glossy and fogged over with a sense of distant absentmindedness. His head shot up at the sound of the door creaking open and he forced on an artificial smile, “Hey.” He muttered.

“What’s up with you?” Diesel scoffed, hopping up onto the chest of drawers, his legs dangling beneath him.

“Nothing.” Quinn brushed him off, mindlessly trying to fix his clothes. “Where’ve you been?”

“Some pathetic fight between a couple of twats.” He informed his friend. “Not very exciting. There weren’t even teeth flying.” He rolled his eyes in exasperation, “What about you?”

Quinn shrugged, “I’ve just been catching up on some homework.” He lied, his bed still warm from Kit’s presence.

“Well, c’mon. I said we’d meet Steel on the pitch. Apparently he stole a joint from someone’s bag.”

“I think I’ll just stay here.”

Diesel rose his brows in disbelief, “What the fuck’s up with you, man? You’ve been all depressed and moody for weeks.”

He shrugged, “I’m just not feeling it.”

“Oh, c’mon, don’t give me that bullshit. Whatever’s wrong, suck it the fuck up and ignore it. Or are you about to start talking about your feelings like a bloody pussy?”

Quinn clenched his jaw shut in annoyance and hopped off the bed, ruffling his hair before following Diesel out of the room. The second the pair left, they noticed two figures walking towards them at the other end of the hall. Quinn tensed, his face heating up when he identified one of the boys to be Kit. He was stood with a smaller, shorter boy with dishevelled caramel hair and baby blue eyes, chatting lowly.

“Is that a newbie?” Diesel asked loudly, not making any effort to keep his voice down. “Those are hard to come by nowadays.”

At the other end of the corridor, Kit was only just noticing the pair exiting their room, “Ah, shit.” He hissed, nudging Benji discreetly and whispering, “That’s Diesel.”

Benji’s eyes widened at the name. So he was the one everyone feared, the one people talked about as if he was Satan himself, ready to inflict pain and suffering on anyone coming his way. And Kit and Benji were quite literally coming his way.

They all slowed their steps and came to a stop, like a standoff in an old cowboy movie. Quinn locked eyes with Kit, his heart pounding, his pulse throbbing loudly in his ear. He was panicking. And what he hated more than anything else was the fact that Kit looked completely unfazed. He glanced nonchalantly at Quinn, his cold eyes displaying no emotion before turning to Diesel. “Leave him alone, he’s harmless.” Kit told Diesel casually.

“Oh, don’t be like that, Samuels. No one’s completely harmless.” Diesel winked, smirking smugly as he examined the new kid up and down. “Are you the one people are calling Pup?”

Benji’s eyes widened in embarrassment. He fought to urge to look down at his feet, remembering what Kit told him about eye contact. “Y-Yes.”

Kit guided his hand to Benji’s forearm, ready to pull him away before Diesel blocked their path. “Fuck sake, what d’you want anyway?” Kit demanded in annoyance. “You wanna beat the shit out of him?”

He pursed his lips together in contemplation before smiling sweetly and shaking his head, “Nah. Wouldn’t be much of a fight, would it, Pup? What’s your real name?”

“Cut the crap, Diesel. We all know you don’t care. Why’re you still here anyway?”

“Why are you still here, Samuels?” Quinn spoke for the first time, shooting daggers at Kit.

“Protecting his boyfriend.” Diesel snickered.

Kit glared menacingly at Quinn, “Still a suck up to your psycho friend? Hoping that maybe one day you might get to actually suck him—?”

Without warning, Quinn leapt at Kit, tackling him to the ground as he started throwing clumsy punches, his fist colliding with Kit’s jaw over and over. Diesel laughed ecstatically as Kit regained his senses. Instead of fighting back, he merely grabbed Quinn and threw him off, making sure he couldn’t injure anyone. Kit didn’t want to fight him. He was indifferent to the boy but was reluctant to start a fist fight in case he never let him fuck him again. Kit wasn’t stupid enough to jeopardise their agreement.

“What the fuck, Starr!” He exclaimed, stumbling to get up as Diesel yanked Quinn off the floor. “Are you fucking crazy? Just like your neurotic, bipolar arsehole of a friend here?”

“Kit.” Benji tugged at his sleeve, cowering behind his roommate for protection. Diesel just rolled his eyes and shoved past, dragging Quinn behind him, knocking into Benji as they passed. “What was that for?”

Kit sighed deeply, watching the pair disappear down the corridor before turning to focus on his oblivious roommate, “Starr can’t take criticism.” He made up, waving it off with his hand.

“Why didn’t you fight back?”

“Not worth it, Pup.” He winked, “Hey, I gotta run, I’ve got some stuff to hand in to Mrs Shawl.”

Benji’s face fell, his shoulders slackening in realisation, “I thought we were going to the canteen.”

“Sorry, kid.” He shrugged, ruffling his hair before taking off in the opposite direction.

Benji stood there for a minute or two, completely alone and helpless in the corridor. He wrapped his arms around himself self consciously, his eyes darting around in suspicion before he built up the courage to descent the concrete staircase. He contemplated turning back and going without food, but thought better of it. Though the thought of heading into that canteen alone, with no protection whatsoever, scared him, he knew he couldn’t hide forever. Kit wasn’t always going to be around to save the day, he had to deal with these boys on his own.

The canteen was the scariest place in Benji’s opinion. It held the largest concentration of kids, all pent up and looking for a fight. Plus, they were hungry. You could practically see the savage urge glinting in their shadowed eyes.

He kept his head low and his steps brisk as he grabbed a tray and quickly got his food. When he turned to face the rest of the canteen, he gulped. There were at least thirty long tables, all crooked with broken legs. The howling students sat on wonky chairs, laughing and teasing each other as they ate noisily and greedily. Benji forced his breathing to steady as he spotted Lucky sat at the other end of the canteen, his head bowed as he prodded at a chunk of dry meat.

The task of crossing the room without being noticed was proving to be difficult to Benji. People were calling out to him, using his new nickname and hissing empty threats. He quickened his pace and finally found himself sitting opposite the blue haired boy, letting out a sigh of relief.

Lucky glanced up in disinterest, pushing the meat around his plate lazily, “Hey.” He murmured.

“Hi.” Benji replied, glancing down at his tray in disgust. “How’s it going?”

Lucky shrugged, then winced. His hand flew up to cradle the side of his neck, his eyes screwed up in pain. “I’m having the time of my fucking life.”

“What happened?”

“Steel.” He spat with an unamused roll of the eyes. “He dragged my mattress into the fucking bathroom! I think I slept in a weird position or something but my neck is fucking killing me.” He groaned.

“I can give you a massage if you want.” Benji offered, piercing his juice cartoon with the straw.

Lucky scoffed loudly, “Yeah, good one.”

“No, seriously, I’m really good. My old boyfriend—”

“Woah, hey, shut up.” Lucky snapped, his concrete eyes finally meeting Benji’s as he leant over the table, significantly lowering his voice. “You’re gay?” He whispered harshly.

Benji’s eyes widened in horror. That was a mistake. What if Lucky was homophobic? What if he’d just lost his one potential friend in this entire school? All because he said the wrong thing and liked the wrong gender. “Uh...y-yeah.” He admitted, realising it was impossible to deny now.

Lucky huffed in annoyance, “Jesus, are you fucking insane?” He spat. “You don’t go around announcing that type of thing in a place like this.”

“S-Sorry, I just—”

“If people find out, you will never get out of this place alive.” He glanced over his shoulder, jerking his head towards a group of rowdy guys with strong muscles and cold features. “You see those guys over there? You think they’ll give you a sweet happy ending where they accept you for who you are?”

“N-No, I—”

“You keep that information to yourself, alright?” He ordered. “Because if that shit gets out, I can’t be seen with you, Benji.”

“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

“You know what’s worse than getting beaten up every day for the rest of your time here?”

Benji wished he’d lay off a little bit. He understood now, he’d never speak a word on the matter again. But it’d clearly riled Lucky up, he had no option but to listen, nod and obey. “W-What?”

“The guys in here, they’re horny fucks with one arm bigger than the other. You don’t have to be a genius to work out why. A fresh piece of meat like you with a pretty face?” He laughed humourlessly. “All I’m saying is, take your showers at night.”

Benji gulped and nodded, bowing his head as he started to eat, stuffing his mouth with food so he wouldn’t have to talk. He noted Lucky turning back to his meal, though still, he wasn’t eating. “What’s wrong?” Benji questioned.

“It’s meat.” He choked out in disgust. “I don’t eat meat.”

“Isn’t there a vegetarian option?”

He snorted loudly, “Yeah, ’cause this school really cares about meeting everyone’s dietary requirements.”

Benji glanced down at his own plate. It was a slab of over cooked nameless meat surrounded by almost raw potatoes and veg. Benji used his knife and fork to gather up all the vegetable that hadn’t touched the meat and unloaded them onto Lucky’s tray with a short smile.

Lucky’s eyes flicked between Benji and his plate, his expression full of confusion and bafflement. “Why did you do that?”

Benji shrugged, “So you don’t go hungry.”

Lucky still looked confused. He’d spent years jumping between schools just like this one and they were all the same. The people were all the same. He wasn’t used to being around someone like Benji. Someone who was genuinely sweet and kind and smiley. Someone who could talk so freely about their sexuality and hand over their own food so someone else wouldn’t go hungry. Even after Lucky had just given him a massive lecture.

Finally, Lucky sighed and managed to fix on a small smile, much to Benji’s surprise. He hated this place, he was pissed he had to be here and he was pissed about Steel. But maybe having a friend would help. A real friend. Something he’d never really had before.

“Thanks, Pup.”

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