Hi everyone! Same copyright rules apply. And there are some homoerotic scenes on some chapters, so if you don't like that kind of stuff or if you're not supposed to read that kind of stuff, then go find something else to read.




  Funny Feelings
 The Third Roommate
 Closet Graffiti
 Making Contact
 Names and Possibilities
 Big Mistake
 Bits and Pieces
The Picture on the Wall
A Taste of Heaven
Déjà Vu
Hamlo Dow
Ghost's Kiss
Body Snatcher



Chapter 13
The Picture on the Wall

DANNY felt the wind get knocked out of him as he went flying backwards and landing on his butt on the mattress. Charlie had thrown another fast kick that he wasn't able to block and it landed squarely on his chest.

He coughed out a bit and thanked God that they were both wearing protective pads. If not, he was sure that the force of Charlie's kick could have easily broken at least a couple of ribs.

After being attacked by Oliver and Marcus, Charlie was feeling rather restless and angry. It looked like he was just waiting for people to make a bad move and give him enough reason to beat the shit out of them.

Oliver's death only intensified Charlie's anger. The death was attributed to drug overdose. The authorities couldn't quite explain why Oliver's body looked mummified and why his room was found the way that it was. Most people in the dorm just concluded that Oliver's death was caused by supernatural forces. Stories were told and a new urban legend was created.

The fact that Spook had never shown himself up since they freed him from the crystal added more to Charlie's frustrations. He was missing the ghost. And he longed to talk to him badly.

Danny finally dragged him to the dojo and told him that they would regularly spar to channel all of Charlie's negative energy into something positive. And after almost a month, it seemed as if Charlie was becoming himself again.

They had very different fighting styles. Because of Charlie's inclination to Taekwondo and Kickboxing, his kicks had become very powerful weapons. His Aikido training had also taught him how to maximize the damage with minimum efforts. Meanwhile, Danny preferred really close-contact fighting. Once he got a hold of his opponent, he could knock the lights out of him and break a few bones as well. The combination of Judo and Aikido taught him how to use his opponent's strength to his advantage.

During their first few sparring sessions, Charlie got a little too close and he made it so much easier for Danny to grapple him and pin him on the floor. He quickly learned his lessons, though, and tried to keep Danny at bay during their next sessions.

Danny had to rely on his Aikido moves and his excellent footwork to dodge Charlie's powerful kicks, but it didn't always work.

Charlie was a quick study and he easily learned some Judo from Danny. Danny had likewise learned how to use his legs and feet to block and to attack forcefully.

Danny quickly got up from the floor and smiled at Charlie. "You'll pay for that," he said.

Charlie chuckled. "I'd like to see you try," he challenged.

"You sound so cocky for a boy who always gets pinned at the end of our bout," Danny smirked.

"I only get pinned 'cause those damn pads keep your body protected. If you weren't wearing anything, you won't get a chance to get close enough to grab me. You'll be out cold with just one kick," said Charlie.

"Talk is cheap," retorted Danny. "As far as I'm concerned, you're always the one crying uncle," he chuckled.

"Yeah, yeah. Prepare for another beating," said Charlie.

They both went into the position again. Danny tried to grab Charlie, but was stopped by another kick. He was able to block the kick with his arm, but the force still sent him a couple of steps backwards.

Charlie tried to follow it up with a side kick, but Danny was able to dodge it. Danny saw an opening and quickly grabbed the ends of Charlie's pants. His other hand got a hold of Charlie's shirt and his foot swept across Charlie's other foot.

In a split second, Charlie felt his back slamming on the mattress. Then he saw Danny's face a few inches away from his, grinning from ear to ear.

"Pinned again," said Danny.

"What can I say," Charlie smiled. "You always sweep me off my feet."

Danny's face turned red as he tried to force out a nervous laugh. But looking into Charlie's smiling face made him want to do only one thing... to kiss him.

Time seemed to stand still as they gazed into each other's eyes. The whole building could have been blown to bits by terrorist bombs and they wouldn't have noticed it. Danny felt as if his whole being was being sucked into Charlie's eyes. And he didn't care about anything else at that moment.

But then, Charlie blinked. And their gaze was broken.

"Uh... w-what time is it?" Charlie asked.

Danny suddenly felt embarrassed by his thoughts. He quickly looked up to see the time on the wall clock.

"Almost 6PM," he said sheepishly.

"Aw fuck!," Charlie exclaimed. "I'm supposed to meet my study group at 6." He quickly got up and ran to his bag. It's the finals week and his study group had been so anxious about reviewing for the exams.

"Where?" asked Danny as he looked at his roommate.

"Rommel's," answered Charlie.

"What time will you be home?" Danny probed.

"I dunno. Late, probably," said Charlie.

"Listen, maybe I should come with you," said Danny. "I mean, I don't want you running home late at night all by yourself."

Charlie sighed. "Danny, we've talked about this. I can take care of myself. I really don't need you to protect me 24/7."

"I know," said Danny. "But then, who's gonna protect me? I don't wanna stay alone in our room waiting for you to arrive. There might be... uh... unwanted visitors."

Charlie couldn't help but laugh. "Well, if you put it that way... I'm warning you though... it's gonna be a bunch of boring computer geeks yakking about the latest network game."

Danny smiled. "Well... you'll be there. And you're no boring computer geek. Well... maybe a little."

Charlie laughed.

They quickly picked up their things and ran back to the dorm to grab a quick shower before Danny drove them to Rommel's house.

"When's your last exams?" asked Danny as they were driving to Rommel's house.

"Thursday afternoon," answered Charlie. "My folks are picking me up Friday afternoon."

"Mine is Thursday afternoon as well," said Danny. "And I have a 5AM flight to Davao on Friday."

They both fell silent for a while before Danny spoke again.

"Listen," he said. "Why don't we just hang out Thursday night after our finals to celebrate? Then, instead of having your parents drive all the way up here to pick you up, I'll lend you my car for the sem break so you could just drive home."

"No problem about Thursday night," Charlie replied. "But are you sure you want me to take your car home for the break? I mean, it's a six-hour drive. It's not exactly just out of town, you know."

"Well, I trust you," said Danny. "Besides, I don't wanna pay for a month's parking space at the airport, or worse, in Angela's condo building. My car is way safer with you." He smiled at Charlie and Charlie smiled back.

"Okay," said Charlie. "We have a date on Thursday. Then, I have a date with your car for the rest of the sem break. I'm gonna be having soooo much fun!" he let out an evil laugh.

Danny just chuckled. But having heard Charlie say that they would be having a date on Thursday made him blush profusely. He knew Charlie didn't mean it that way, but he still thought that maybe, just maybe, he could pretend that they'd be on a real date.

Charlie, on the other hand, suddenly fell silent and felt his face grow hotter when he realized what he just said to Danny.

"I hope he didn't think that I meant it that way," he thought. "Even though I did." He sighed as he tried not to look in Danny's direction.

He almost lost the battle, but then he saw that they were already in front of Rommel's house. He felt relieved and just gave Danny a nervous smile.

They got off the car without another word. Charlie knocked on the door and it burst open almost immediately.

"Hey!" Rommel greeted enthusiastically. "I'm glad you made it. I thought you'd go AWOL on us. Did you have a hard time getting back here?"

"Nah," Charlie answered. "I got here fine with very little help from you the last time," he chuckled. "Danny and I were just in the dojo and I didn't notice the time. Sorry I'm late."

Rommel suddenly lost the smile when he noticed Danny right behind Charlie.

"I hope you don't mind that I brought Danny along with me," said Charlie.

"Uh... no... not at all," Rommel said with a hint of disappointment in his voice. "Come on in you guys," he said with a little less enthusiasm. "They're all in the den, just straight down the hall. I'm just gonna get some snacks in the kitchen."

Charlie and Danny both smiled at him before they proceeded to the den. Rommel looked on as the two boys walked away from him. Then, he sighed and walked to the kitchen.

"I know that look," said his granduncle when he got to the kitchen. "What's wrong?"

Rommel sighed again. "Charlie brought his roommate with him."

"And you're disappointed because...?" probed the old man.

"Well, I thought I could have some alone time with him later," said Rommel. "That's why I volunteered to host our group study tonight in the first place. So much for planning."

The old man couldn't help but smile. "You really like this boy, don't you?"

Rommel just looked at his granduncle with pleading eyes. Yes, he did like Charlie. A lot, actually. He already had a crush on Charlie when Charlie sat down beside him on their very first class together. He fell even harder that night when Charlie saved him from the Group. And ever since then, he would just find himself staring at Charlie and daydreaming about them together.

When Rommel realized that he was gay back in high school, he was so terrified. And he had good reasons to be. Both his parents had expressly told all their children early on that if anyone of them turned out to be gay, they would disown them. And when Rommel was outed by a classmate during his junior year in high school, he found himself homeless and virtually orphaned.

His granduncle, who was himself gay, searched for him when he found out what happened. The old man found him living under a bridge, supporting himself by hustling. He took him in, helped him rebuild his sense of self-worth, and supported him in every way.

It took a lot of effort and a lot of support from his granduncle for him to be the confident young man that he had become. But since he met Charlie, he became unsure of a lot of things. He couldn't even tell Charlie how he really felt about him, much less ask Charlie out on a date.

He was pretty sure, however, that Charlie had his eyes set on Danny. And that thought was really hurting him.

The old man placed his hand on Rommel's shoulders and said, "When I was in my first year of college, I also fell in love with someone. I guess, that kind of love never really dies because I still feel strongly about him, even after all these years." The old man sighed.

"But he never loved me that way," continued the old man. "And I became contented just being his friend until the day he died, which was way too soon. I was also the sole witness to his one and only love affair... probably one of the greatest love stories I was given the privilege to witness first hand. Pretty tragic too," he sighed again. "It makes 'Romeo and Juliet' seem like a fairy tale," he smiled sadly.

"Was it the guy in the huge painting hanging on the wall near your room?" asked Rommel.

"Yeah, that was him," the old man smiled. "I had commissioned a painter to copy it from a picture I took in the 60s. I had a bunch of pictures of him and his roommate, also known as his one great love. I probably have the only tangible evidence that they were truly in love. Just one look at those pictures and you'd see in their eyes how much they meant to each other."

Rommel looked away to the hallway where the entrance of the den was.

"So you think I should just give up on him?" he asked.

"I didn't say that," said the old man. "I never said anything about my feelings and I've always wished I had. It might not have made any difference, but at least I'd know for sure. Now, I'm just left with what-ifs."

He looked at Rommel and Rommel looked back at him. "What I'm saying is that you should tell him how you feel," said the old man. "But you should prepare yourself for one major heartbreak if he doesn't reciprocate your feelings."

Rommel sighed again.

"Well," said the old man after a while. "You better get these food in the den. Your guests are probably getting hungry. And I still have that soiree I have to go to."

Rommel smiled. He kissed his granduncle on the cheek and said, "Have fun."

The old man smiled at him and started to walk out the back door.

Rommel let out another sigh before he took the tray to bring the food to his guests.

He saw Charlie walking towards him with that sweet smile.

"Here, let me help you," said Charlie.

"I'm good, thanks," he said, smiling back.

"Okay. Can I just use your bathroom then? I really need to go," said Charlie.

Rommel chuckled. "Turn right on that corner, down to the end of the hallway. Bathroom is the door to your left."

Charlie thanked him and quickly walked to the bathroom.

After unloading his bladder, he got out of the bathroom and he noticed a rather large painting hanging on the wall of the hallway. A painting of a face he knew so well.

Staring down at him was the smiling face of Spook.

Other Stories
by Cyrus on Nifty

 Just One Night
 40 Days
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Thanks for reading this and please watch out for all the remaining chapters. Up next is Chapter 14 - A Taste of Heaven.