Three Roads Chapter 56: Joy For Two


It was one of those fantastic Sunnydale late afternoons that most people could only dream about. The sun was shining brightly, making it quite warm, but there was just enough of a breeze to make it absolutely perfect. The beautiful weather had prompted most of Sunnydale's residents to spend most of the day outside or, at the very least, to spend a few minutes letting the breeze wash over them. Some had decided to go to the city swimming pool and splash around with friends and family, others had decided to go to one of Sunnydale's several parks and enjoy a nice barbeque. Toby Black was one of the many that couldn't resist being out on such a beautiful day. Toby had followed the lead and spent most of the day out and about at various locations. However, he decided it'd be nice to sit down and relax by going to see a movie. He stepped out of his car and though he was sure he looked silly, he couldn't help but raise his hands into the air and let the breeze run over him. He sighed contentedly and began to walk across the street towards the movie theatre. He saw a car speeding carelessly towards him, but he didn't panic as he casually jogged across the street. As the speeding car passed him, he heard a catcall thrown his direction. He turned quickly to see a car full of young college men looking back at him. He smiled in the direction of the long gone car and was even more surprised to see that there was absolutely no line for the theatre as he approached the ticket window.

"Joy for two for one please." Toby smiled at the attendant.

"There you go." She smiled handing him his ticket and change.

"Thank you."

He glanced at his watch and saw that he had arrived in just enough time to go to the bathroom and grab a snack before his movie started.

"Perfect." he muttered quietly to himself.


He had a big grin on his face the entire movie. Toby didn't usually like to watch romantic movies, he preferred comedy or some kind of action, but he was thoroughly enjoying the movie and he was glad he had followed the advice of the critic in the local newspaper to go and see this movie. As he crunched on a whopper malt ball, he made a mental note to tell all his friends to come see the movie.


He stepped out of the theater about an hour and a half later in an even better mood than when he had walked in. He looked up to the sky and saw that it had turned into a purple-ish orange color due to the setting sun. Toby was fishing his cell phone out of his pocket while pondering what he should do next. His screen alerted him to the fact that he had a missed call. He saw it was from Cooper and he quickly found Cooper in his phonebook and waited for the call to connect.

"It's about time bitch!" Cooper yelled into the phone.

"Sorry," Toby said, somehow taken aback by Cooper's abrasiveness, "I just got out of a movie."

"Are you downtown?" Cooper asked.

"Yeah, why?"

"Cause me and lover are downtown too."

"You and who?"

"Lover...Eric...same thing."


"So you want to join us? We're having dinner."

"Sure. Where are you guys?"

"Where else but Dorothy's?" Cooper smiled into the phone.


"It's about damn time!" Cooper said as soon as Toby was in ear shot of the table.

Toby smiled, "You totally change when you're hungry."

"Damn right. You've got about two minutes to decide what you want."

"You guys haven't already ordered?"

"No, I made him wait." Eric said, "How was your day?"

"Pretty freakin good, I saw a great movie." Toby smiled.

"You must have left pretty early this morning. I knocked on your door to see if you wanted breakfast."

"Hey, I thought that breakfast was made especially for me." Cooper whined.

"It was cause Toby wasn't home."

The waiter approached their table and asked the boys if they were ready to order.

"Yes!" Cooper said before anyone else could respond, "I'd like the t bone steak with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy and a pink lemonade no ice."

"Fag." Toby teased.

"Your mom bitch."

"I'd like a cajun burger with season fries please." Eric said.

"You don't like spicy foods." Cooper reminded him.

"No, but I'm hoping this might be different."

"And for you?" the waiter asked Toby.

"Oh, uhhh...a chicken ceasar salad."

The waiter collected their menus and then left them to continue their conversation.

"What did you go see at the movies?" Eric asked.

"Joy For Two."

"I haven't heard of it, what's it about?"

"It's this French movie about this guy and this girl who are best friends and they fall in love and...it was amazing because it didn't try and make things complicated or break them apart...they just were happy together and that's what the movie is about. Seriously, it's one of the best I've ever seen."

Toby saw Eric and Cooper glance at each other very quickly and he was a little offended by it, "What?"

"It just that we're a little worried about you." Eric said.


"Well for one you're seeing a French movie," Cooper started, "Who the hell likes the French?! And secondly we've been out of school for a month now and you've been spending a lot of that time by yourself."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing," Eric interrupted worried about what else would come out of his boyfriend's mouth, "we just hope you aren't pulling away from us and everybody else."

Toby smiled, "I appreciate the concern, but I'm fine. It's nice sort of spending time by myself. I mean I love you guys and all, but sometimes it's nice to just relax and go at my own pace. It's sad cause I've been noticing that there isn't a lot for single people to do in this town. I mean the other day I tried to sit at a booth in a restaurant and the manager said the booths were only for two or more people! We live in a world where being single is like the plague."

"I don't know if I think it's that bad," Eric said.

"Oh it is. If I were running around town with my new boyfriend, I don't have one it's just hypothetical, would you guys be worrying about me?"

"Well...no." Eric admitted.

"We're just looking out for you man," Cooper said reaching across the table to tap Toby on the shoulder, "you know if you ever needed to talk or anything that you can talk to us right?"

"Of course."


The boys arrived home a few hours later and Cooper and Toby settled into the living room, while Eric went to his room to go surf the internet.

"Dinner was good." Toby said as he mindlessly stared at the television.

"It was." Cooper agreed.

"I thought it was really sweet how you and Eric switched plates half way through."

"Oh," Cooper shrugged nonchalantly, "he didn't like what he was eating so I didn't mind switching."

"It was just cool to see."

"We've done it a few times. He always likes to order something new and most of the time hates it," Cooper laughed, "so I always try and order something I know we'll both like just in case."

"But what if you don't like what he ordered?"

"Eh, I'll eat anything. I think I'm gonna go get in the shower. Good night if I don't see you until the morning."

"Yeah, same to you."

Now that Cooper was gone, Toby stretched out on the couch and flipped through a few channels trying to find something decent to watch. He didn't notice that he had drifted off to sleep until he felt a presence standing over him.

"Sorry I didn't mean to wake you." Eric said when Toby opened his eyes.

"It's ok. Did you need something?"

"No, I just didn't know if that was you or Cooper in the shower."

"I see."

"I was hoping it was you because you get in and then out. Cooper will be in there forever."

"Go take a shower in the other bathroom."

"I don't like that shower head. It feels like the water is going to burst through my skin."

Toby laughed, "Then go get in with Cooper. You guys are boyfriends."

Eric nodded, "Good idea."


Cooper heard the bathroom door open, but didn't think anything of it. He was sure it was just one of the guys coming in to pee or to grab something out of the bathroom. He was surprised a few seconds later when the curtain was yanked back and in climbed a naked Eric.

Cooper laughed, "What are you doing?"

"I wanted to take a shower and I hate the other shower head so I figured why not just jump in with you."

"This shower is kind of small for two people don't you think?"

"I'm sure we'll find a way to make it work."

"Ok...I know my dick is saying something totally different," Cooper said looking down at himself almost completely erect, "but I kind of prefer to be in the shower alone."

Eric turned around, sure that he hadn't heard Cooper correctly, "Are you serious?"

"Yeah. I do my best thinking in the shower. It's kind of like...my own sanctuary or something. If we have a fight, I figure out how to make it up to you in here. If there's something bothering me, I come in here to find a solution to it. If I'm having writer's block on an essay or something, I unblock it in here."

"So what you're saying is that I just interrupted your thought process?"

"A little bit."

"Fine, I'll get out then."

"No no," Cooper said holding onto Eric's shoulder, "Stay. I don't want you mad at me."

"That was a good decision on your part."

"It's cause I'm in the shower."

"Do you think Toby is really ok?" Eric asked.

"Yeah," Cooper said grabbing the soap from its tray and beginning to soap Eric down, "I mean it's not like he's been completely ignoring us or anything, maybe he's just trying to get things straightened out in his head."

"That's true," Eric sighed feeling good from Cooper's rubdown, "but have he and Richard talked at all since school ended?"

"They've gone out a few times. It's probably a good thing Brian went back to Norway for a while to visit his family."

"Yeah," Eric nodded finding it harder and harder to concentrate on the conversation, "but he'll be back in a few weeks and that's going to make things complicated again."

"Only if they make them...I know a simple solution to help you with your problem down there." Cooper grinned as he wrapped his hand around Eric's hard dick.

"That was smooth." Eric said sarcastically.

"Shut up you liked it."

"I did." Eric laughed. The laughing soon subsided as he leaned his body weight into Cooper and allowed himself to be brought to climax.


Toby closed the front door to the house and jiggled the door knob to make sure that the door was securely locked. He made sure his pockets contained a few dollars, his key to get back in and that his I-pod was firmly fastened to the top of his shorts as he began to run.

I hitched a ride with a vending machine repair man
He says he's been down this road more than twice
He was high on intellectualism
I've never been there but the brochure looks nice
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low,
These are the days when anything goes

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

He's got a daughter he calls Easter
She was born on a Tuesday night
I'm just wondering why I feel so all alone
Why I'm a stranger in my own life
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

I've been swimming in a sea of anarchy
I've been living on coffee and nicotine
I've been wondering if all the things I've seen
Were ever real, were ever really happening

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine



He continued to run until he reached the outside gate of Tim's house. He was going through his cell phone looking for Tim's number when he heard the front door open and closed.

"Hey." Tim said as he approached.

"Hey, were you watching for me?"

"Yeah, I was sitting by the window."

"You ready to run?" Toby asked as he put his I-pod into his pocket.

"Yeah, but can we start slowly? It's been a while."

"That out of shape huh?" Toby joked.

"I'm sure I am."

"Is your dad home?"

"Yeah, he doesn't usually do too much on the weekends because of Tati. I try and help out whenever I can."

"Do you still pick her up from school?"

"Yeah, I had to change my schedule around at work to do it which didn't make Jon happy. We've regressed."


"He hates me again. All because I didn't want to go out with him. I think if anyone else was available he would have fired me."

"It's not like you need the money."

"Yes, I do. I'm still paying for my studio."

"Why? I thought you moved back home."

"I stay some nights if my dad has to work late or I don't feel like going home, but it's nice having my own place. I hated it at the beginning, but now I've grown to like it."

"Do your mom and dad talk?"

"Yeah, she's been by to see Tati a few times, but I think my dad's more embarrassed than anything."

"What do you mean?" Toby asked.

"Can we stop for a second? I'm way out of breath." Tim panted.

"We just started!" Toby laughed as they headed towards an old brown bench in one of Sunnydale's local parks.

"What I meant," Tim started, "was I have a feeling that this wasn't the first time my mom has had an affair or at least that he'd known about her affair with this guy for a while, but ignored it for whatever reason. Me throwing it in her face with him there forced him to acknowledge it and now he just doesn't know what to do."

"You think they'll get back together?"

"I don't know," Tim shrugged, "My dad doesn't have the strongest backbone."

"Didn't he ask your mother to leave?"

"I don't know. I'm afraid to ask."


"Cause, it's hard for me to look at him right now. I feel like...it's my fault. Like I was so angry and pissed off and wanted to get my mother back that I didn't even think about how hurt he would be to find out she was cheating. I feel like a horrible son."

"It's not your fault," Toby said patting Tim on the back, "you would have never been in that position if your mom was honoring her commitment."

"I guess. At least Tati's taking it pretty well. It probably helps that she doesn't have school. I've been trying to spend as much time with her as possible to hopefully keep her mind off of things."

"Good idea." Toby agreed.

"Do you know if Eric's still mad at me about the whole Jon thing?"

"He hasn't mentioned anything."

"You think I should call him?"

"Yeah, it's been over a month, he's probably over it by now." Toby said.

"He was pretty mad about it though. Do you think I was wrong?"

"You asked me that already." Toby said putting his hands up in a defensive matter.

"I know and you didn't really give an answer."

"That's because I don't have an opinion, I mean I'm the one who let the love of my life go because we're not ready for each other."

Tim laughed, "And I have no idea what to say to that."

"Me either." Toby laughed.

"Do you regret letting him go?"

"No," Toby said immediately, "I had a teacher in high school say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That's what this would have been. Not enough has changed to think things will work out differently."

"That's not the definition of insanity." Tim said confused.

"Maybe not, but it makes sense to me."

"Whatever." Tim laughed.

"You ready to run some more?"

"Yeah, I think I can go a little while longer."


Richard opened the door and was surprised to see Toby standing in front of him, "Hi!"


"Did we have something planned and I forgot?" Richard asked as Toby walked into his apartment.

"No, I was just coming by to see if you'd fixed up your new place yet."

"Eh, it's still a work in progress as you can see." Richard said motioning to some un-emptied boxes on the floor.

"This looks like our room when we moved in together back at the dorms. Remember that?"

"Yeah, except me and you had some fun with the boxes that I'm not going to have with my roommate now." Richard said feigning disappointment.

Toby laughed, "Oh, something tells me he wouldn't mind."

"I'm sure he wouldn't either."

"Are you talking about me?" Joey asked walking into the living room.

"Joey...," Richard began, "I'm surprised you didn't come out when you heard the doorbell ring."

Joey shrugged, "All my visitors come at night."

"So then you and Cooper are shacking up again?" Toby teased.

"Ew. I'll go barf now."

"Wait a minute, don't you have someone that guy...what's his name?"

"Chase." Richard smiled.

"Can we not talk about that please, thanks." Joey said quickly

"Yeah please don't get him started again," Richard began, "He's just shut up about Chase ignoring him.

"Asshole." Joey muttered under his breath as he returned to his room.

"I see you two are getting along great."

Richard chuckled, "Yeah, can't you tell? What are you up to the rest of the day?"

Toby shrugged, "I think I'm gonna go see this movie I saw yesterday again, it was really good, and then probably catch a late lunch and then...who knows. We'll see where the day takes me."

"Cool, who you going to the movies with?"



"Yeah, why?"

"I hate seeing movies by myself. I like to be able to talk about it with someone after." Richard said as he kicked an empty box out of his way as he headed to the kitchen

"Well yeah," Toby agreed, "there are some movies I wouldn't want to go see by myself, but I don't know sometimes it's nice to just be by yourself."

"I guess." Richard said not really understanding what Toby was saying.

Toby was about to explain himself further, when Richard's cell phone vibrated noisily on the kitchen counter.


"Hey Richard, it's Morris."

"Morris..." Richard said racking his brain trying to figure out why the name was familiar to him.

"Morris Clemenson...the guy you ran against for student body President."

"Oh...yeah, hey! How's it going?"

"Good, thank you. I was hoping you had some free time this week."

"I probably do, why?"

"I wanted to talk business; see if you were interested in being apart of my staff for the upcoming year."

"Uhhh...I'd be interested in meeting with you."

"Good, how does Wednesday afternoon sound?"

"It sounds good."

"Ok. I'll call you in a day or two to set up a time. Talk to you soon Richard. Goodbye."

"What was that about?" Toby asked curiously.

"Morris, the guy who was elected President wants to meet with me."

"That's awesome!"

"Not really," Richard said thinking, "I'm not sure I want to play second fiddle to anyone."

"It might give you some good experience that you can run on again next year."

"True, I never thought of it that way. I knew you were good for something." Richard joked.


"I was kidding."

"I know." Toby said unconvincingly.

"I know you have plans all by yourself today," Richard smiled sarcastically, "but you're welcome to hang around if you want. I'm sure Joey wouldn't mind."

"Fuck you!" Joey yelled from inside his room.

Toby and Richard both laughed, "No, it's ok," Toby began, "thanks for the offer. I'm going to go catch that movie."

"All right. Feel free to stop by anytime. Really."

"Thanks, talk to you soon."


"I cannot believe you brought me to a movie with subtitles!" Melinda yelled as she and Bliss walked out of the theatre.

Toby was right behind them and decided he should be friendly and say hi by tapping Bliss on the shoulder.

"Toby, how are you?"

"Good good. Hey Melinda."

"Did you just go see that French shit?"

"I did. My second time actually."

"Wow, mine too!" Bliss squeaked, "I love it."

"So do I."

Melinda interjected, "I'm sorry, I come to a movie to watch and be entertained, not read."

"Oh, stop complaining it was a beautiful movie." Bliss said.

"I wouldn't know because I was too busy reading. Wait for me I'm going to the bathroom."

"She's so funny." Bliss laughed.

"Definitely a character."

"I loved this movie even more the second time around, I might even go see it again."

Toby smiled, "Yeah, it`s great.."

"I know it sounds pathetic," Bliss said her voice dropping a tone or two, "but I imagine myself in the movie as part of that perfect couple."

Toby smiled, "Don't tell anyone, but me too."

"It's fitting huh?"

Toby nodded and for the first time it occurred to him that both he and Bliss had romantic histories with Richard. Of course, Bliss and Richard never got that far, but the hurt was all the same when she found out what Richard and Melinda had done.

Bliss continued, "Sometimes, I worry that I'll always have to live through movies."

"No," Toby said immediately, "You're a fun girl, some guy will realize it and sweep you off your feet."

Bliss smiled, "I've thought that for a long time, but here I am with one of my girlfriends watching a romantic movie."

"You must think I'm a loser then."

"No!" Bliss said immediately, "Some guy will realize how wonderful you are and will..."

They both laughed as Bliss realized she was about to repeat almost verbatim what Toby has just said to her.

"It never sounds as good as when you say it to someone else does it?" Toby smiled.

"No, I guess it doesn't."

"All good now!" Melinda said rejoining the conversation, "That movie made me want some French Fries, let's go to McDonalds."

"Ok, you want to join us?" Bliss asked.

"I can't. I promised I would help Cooper with some stuff once the movie was over." He suddenly wanted to be alone.

"Alright, well it was good talking to you."

"Yeah, see you guys."


"Hey Tobes." Cooper said yawning lazily as Toby walked in to the house.


"Yeah, it's kinda cute."

"Ignore him," Eric said coming into the room, "he's in a nickname phase for some reason."

"Awww you don't like being called lover?" Cooper asked a little hurt.

"No, I like it." Eric smiled.

He waited until Cooper turned his attention back to the television before making eye contact with Toby and rolling his eyes. They giggled and it made Cooper look back at them, "What?"

"Nothing." Eric said.

"I saw this hot guy on the corner by the movies..." Toby started.

"Did you go see that drippy French shit again?" Cooper interrupted.

"Shut up," Toby responded, "and your balls are falling out of your boxers."

Cooper shrugged, "It's not like you haven't seen them before."

"Anyway," Toby continued, "he was really hot, but I couldn't tell if he was homeless or just dirty and it would have been rude to ask so...I just admired from a distance."

"Wow, ok, I know being single sucks my man, but your standards can't possibly be that low." Cooper said looking at his friend with a worried expression.

"Fuck you."

"No, you should let us find you someone."

"Why does everyone think that being with someone is the greatest thing, it's overrated if you ask me." Toby responded.

"It wasn't my idea, it was Eric's."

Eric wasn't looking at Toby, but he could feel the gaze of Toby's look burning through him, "Well...it was just something I mentioned as a hypothetical."

"In case you've forgotten, you guys both were single for a long period of time before you got together."

"Yeah and it sucked," Cooper said, "plus, while I haven't been in a relationship I had Kevin, then that one time pity fuck with he who must not be named, then Mike was actually a relationship...oh my God, am I a whore?"

Toby shook his head, "I'd rather have a cat anyway right now."

"I've actually been thinking about that. We've been living here practically a year, we should get a pet." Eric said.

"I think getting a cat would be great." Toby agreed, "What do you think?"

Cooper thought about it for a moment, "I'm not a big fan of pussy, but it'd be cool to have some around here."

"Fine, then tuck in your balls, go put on some pants and let's go to the animal shelter and see what we can find." Eric said.


After having walked around the animal shelter separately for twenty minutes, the boys met in the lobby area to discuss their findings.

"Find anything good?" Toby asked.

"There is a black and white cat, that was so cute," Eric said, "he was so playful, he was climbing over the other cats to try and touch my hand."

"Awww...that's sweet," Cooper said sarcastically, "the one I want is this all Black cat. Really small, but oh so precious."

"You know they don't stay that way." Eric said annoyed.

"Duh, Captain obvious. I may not know my way around pussy, but I know the basics."

Eric put his hand in front of Cooper's face as he spoke to Toby, "Did you see one you liked?"

"Yeah, this little white and brown cat. No particular reason, I just liked it."

"I don't want an all Black cat," Eric began, "It'd freak me out every time I saw it."

Cooper scoffed, "Did you hear that Toby? Eric doesn't like Black things."

"Ok...well how are we going to decide should we just flip a coin or something? Eric asked. He closed his eyes tightly, "Sorry, stupid question. Thank you for not laughing."

"I only didn't laugh cause I love you." Cooper said.

"Awww thanks." Eric smiled.

"Hello!" Toby shouted, "Focus, how are we going to pick which cat we want?"

"Why don't we just take all three?" Eric shrugged.

"You don't think that's too much?" Cooper asked.

"Not really. I mean as long as we keep the litter box clean. It'll go in the second bathroom right?"

"Yeah," Toby nodded, "we don't really need a second one anyway and it's the best place for it."

"And we all agree we'll do our share in cleaning out the litter box and feeding the cats?" Eric asked looking at both Cooper and Toby.

"Agreed." Toby nodded.

"Word." Cooper said.

"Alright then, I guess we should start thinking of names then." Eric said excitedly.

Cooper smiled, "I already know what you are going to name yours, Stevie."

"Wow," Eric gasped, "Good guess."

"See I pay attention."

"And I bet you'll name yours Degrassi."

"That's my lover! I love that show. What are you going to name yours?"

Toby shrugged, "Probably Rafa."

"What's that?" Eric asked.

"Rafa...like Rafael Nadal. He's an amazing tennis player with a killer ass."

"Funny, that sounds a lot like you." Cooper smiled.

Eric hit him playfully in the stomach and Toby gave an embarrassed smile, "What it's true." Cooper laughed.


By the time all three of the boys had wrestled and done the initial training with their new pets, darkness had fallen over the city of Sunnydale. Toby, fresh from his shower after finishing his nightly work out routine, closed his laptop as he was ready to go to bed.

He moved to pull the covers from his bed so that he could climb in, and he smiled when he saw that Rafa had buried himself under his covers and was looking up at Toby.

"Awww hello there. I'm gonna move you over just a little okay?"

As Toby settled into bed, Rafa climbed on top of Toby and made himself comfortable on Toby's chest. Toby rubbed the soft hair of his cat and Rafa immediately began to purr.

"You know why I wanted you? Because all I have to do is feed you and rub you and you'll love me no matter what."

He suddenly had an idea and quickly picked up his cell phone and a few seconds later sent off a text message. When he got the return message a few minutes later it read, "I'll c u 2morrow."

He smiled and drifted off to sleep soon there after.


Another perfect afternoon saw Toby back at the movie theatre watching Joy For Two, but this time he wasn't alone. He looked to his left and smiled as Bliss looked at him.

"This is my favorite part." She whispered.

"Mine too."

Toby smiled at the situation not on screen, but in his own life. He would have never guessed that he would be sitting in a movie theatre next to Bliss, enjoying the same movie. Even more to the point, he'd never particularly liked Bliss, mostly because he always thought she was trying to interfere with Richard, but slowly and surely he was starting to learn that life has a way of surprising you if you let it and he was becoming more and more willing to go with the flow.


Thanks for reading again, I know it's been a long while since a new update has been up. I'm still in Australia and having fun and enjoying myself. I won't be back in the states until the beginning of February, so I'll be writing while I'm still in Australia. Hope you guys enjoyed this update, and all comments, constructive criticisms, and the like can be sent to tenniswiz12@msn.com.