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.
The Third Roommate
Names and Possibilities
Bits and Pieces
The Picture on the Wall
A Taste of Heaven
CHARLIE rushed through his last exams for the semester. He was so excited about 'hanging out' with Danny that he couldn't really concentrate on the questions anyway. It didn't really matter whether he passed the final exams or not. He already had enough credits to pass the course. So he thought, to hell with it.
Thirty minutes into the exams, he stood up and gave the papers to his professor.
His professor smiled knowingly and said, "Excited about the sem break?"
"Yup," Charlie answered and smiled back at his professor. Then, he thought, "Excited about tonight is more like it."
"Well, have a good one," said his professor.
"Thanks. You, too."
He gathered up his things and quickly headed out of the room. He didn't notice Rommel looking intently at him, struggling about continuing with his plan or just totally giving up.
Less than two seconds after Charlie got out of the classroom, Rommel made up his mind. He breathed deeply and stood up, gave his papers to his surprised professor, got his things and ran to catch up with Charlie.
Charlie was already out of the building before Rommel caught up with him.
"Hey Charlie! Wait up," he hollered.
Charlie stopped and waited for Rommel. "Hey. What's up?" he asked.
"Uh, I wanted to give you this before you go home for the break," Rommel said, giving Charlie a folded piece paper.
"What's this?" Charlie asked after he got the paper from Rommel.
"Just some things I wanted to tell you that I really don't have enough courage to say straight up," Rommel said sheepishly. "I know you like puzzles, so I kinda wrote it in code. You'd have to decipher it before you understand what I really want to tell you."
Charlie opened up the paper and saw a bunch of numbers and symbols that looked awfully familiar.
! 6Ξ∩88 ! 8#Ω∩7> 6Ξ┴ ┴Ω ┴#Ξ 9Ω!π┴. ! 5||| !π 7ΩɅΞ Щ!┴# 4Ω∩. ! #5ɅΞ 13ΞΞπ !π 7ΩɅΞ Щ!┴# 4Ω∩ =Ω12 ┴#Ξ 7Ωπ6Ξ8┴ ┴!|||Ξ 5π> ! #5ɅΞ πΩ !>Ξ5 Щ#5┴ ┴Ω >Ω 513Ω∩┴ !┴.
! «πΩЩ ! #5ɅΞπ'┴ 6Ω┴ 5 <#5π<Ξ !π #Ξ77 <ΩΣ !┴'8 912Ξ┴┴4 Ω13Ʌ!Ω∩8 ┴#5┴ 4Ω∩'12Ξ ɅΞ124 |||∩<# !π┴Ω >5ππ4 5π> ! 12Ξ89Ξ<┴ ┴#5┴. 13∩┴ ! Щ5π┴ 4Ω∩ ┴Ω «πΩЩ ┴#5┴ !'||| ?∩8┴ #Ξ12Ξ Щ5!┴!π6 =Ω12 4Ω∩ ┴Ω 6!ɅΞ |||Ξ 5 <#5π<Ξ ┴Ω 8#ΩЩ 4Ω∩ ?∩8┴ #ΩЩ |||∩<# ! 7ΩɅΞ 4Ω∩.
∩π┴!7 ┴#Ξπ, ! Щ!77 12Ξ|||5!π...
Charlie's heart quickened. The symbols and numbers were the same as the ones he had deciphered on the writings in his closet.
"Did you invent this code yourself?" he asked Rommel.
"Uh, no," Rommel answered. "My granduncle gave it to me. It seems that he and a couple of good friends had been using it back in the 60s to send secret messages to each other. Well, actually, his two best friends back then were using it to send secret messages to each other. He was kinda the delivery boy and he caught on eventually. Pretty neat, huh?"
Charlie smiled excitedly at Rommel. "You have no idea," he said.
"Well, I gotta get going," said Rommel, who was so delighted and nervous to see Charlie so excited about the letter that he wrote. He knew there wasn't much hope that this would turn out to be a happy ending for him, but he decided to hold on to whatever little hope he had.
Charlie was still looking excitedly at the coded letter and didn't quite hear Rommel. When he finally looked up, Rommel was starting to walk away.
"Rommel!" he called out. Rommel stopped and turned to him. "Back in your house, there was a painting hanging on the wall across the bathroom. Does your granduncle know who that guy was?"
Rommel was caught off-guard with Charlie's question. He didn't understand where it came from.
"Yeah," he answered after a while. "That was one of his college friends."
"You mean one of the friends who used this code?" probed Charlie.
"Yeah, I think," said Rommel. "He only mentioned two good friends during his stay in the freshman dorm and that guy was one of them."
"I don't suppose you'd give me the key to this code, would you?" Charlie smiled sweetly.
Rommel almost gave in. He almost couldn't resist that smile.
"That would kinda spoil the fun, wouldn't it?" he finally said, smiling back at Charlie.
"Well, I guess I'd just have to spend my sem break trying to break this code," said Charlie.
Rommel chuckled. "Alright," he said walking towards Charlie. "I'll give you a hint." He took the paper and wrote another batch of symbols and numbers on the bottom of the page.
┴#Ξ Φ∩!<« 1312ΩЩπ =ΩЖ ?∩|||98 ΩɅΞ12 ┴#Ξ 75Σ4 >Ω6.
He gave it back to Charlie. "Have fun breaking the code," he said before he turned to leave.
"Thanks," Charlie said. "Have a great sem break!"
Rommel said something, but Charlie was too consumed with the writings on the paper to hear, much less understand, what he said.
Charlie just stood there for quite a while just staring at the symbols and numbers written on the paper. Then, he walked to a nearby bench, sat down and took his pen out.
After a few false starts, he finally decoded the last thing that Rommel wrote on the bottom of the page. And he had to let out an appreciative laugh when he realized how brilliant it was: a sentence containing all the letters of the alphabet.
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
He wanted to find out what Rommel wanted to tell him, but he thought it could wait because they wouldn't see each other until the start of the next semester anyway.
He was also a lot more interested in finding out what was written on the wall of his closet.
He took out his notebook containing the symbols and numbers that he deciphered from the pictures of the writings in his closet. Then, he began decoding them using the sentence that Rommel wrote as a key.
He looked disappointed after he transcribed the last symbol. It looked like a bunch of letters thrown in together to form unintelligible words.
I AN RO ROSSW. I RKOUTB KADE LOTB WOU KOY I SEATTW JEET ADOUL WOU. I AN RUHC A HOYASB. AMB DEHAURE OJ LKAL, I TORL LKE NORL INGOSLAML LKIMP IM NW TIJE... WOU... WOUS TODE. I TODE WOU, LKAL IR LKE LSULK. I TODE WOU YILK ATT NW KEASL AMB ROUT. I HOUTB MEDES TIDE YILKOUL WOU. AMB MOY LKAL WOU TEJL NE, I AN POOB AR BEAB. I AN BEAB. I TODE WOU. AMB I YITT TODE WOU JOSEDES.
He thought that this would be it. That he would finally decode Spook's writings as he promised.
"Well," he said to himself, "at least they're letters now." Then he smiled. "And now I know someone who actually knew Spook. If he was the close friend that he claimed to be, then he would be the key to this whole mystery."
He put the papers and his pen back in his backpack and he noticed that it was beginning to get dark. He checked his watch and he learned that he had been going at it for more than two hours. He checked his cellphone for messages and missed calls, but he found out that it was dead.
"Shit!," he cursed under his breath. "Danny's gonna be really pissed." He jumped up and ran towards the dorm.
DANNY was so excited about 'hanging out' with Charlie that night. He rushed through his last exams and drove like a maniac on his way to the dorm. He was slightly disappointed when he found out that Charlie hasn't arrived yet.
"At least, this would give me some time to prepare," he comforted himself with that thought.
He took a quick shower and spent some time choosing the best outfit for the night. He wanted to look great for Charlie. But nothing in his closet seemed good.
He laughed at himself. He never really cared about how he looked when he went out with Abby, or any of the girls he dated, for that matter. But for Charlie, he wanted to look his best. Even if it wasn't really a date. Even if they were just 'hanging out'.
He sighed. He wished it was a real date.
He looked at himself in the mirror after he got dressed and fixed his hair.
"You're hopeless," he said to his reflection. "You have a beautiful girlfriend who's crazy about you and here you are getting excited about going out on a non-date with your gorgeous roommate, who, by the way, is not even a girl! He doesn't even have an idea what you were really thinking when you asked him to 'hang out' with you."
He sighed again. He had planned this night meticulously. Every detail of every minute that they would be spending. He wanted it to be very memorable for both of them. He wanted this night to be magical.
He walked to his bed and sat down. As he looked at Charlie's bed, he could almost see Charlie peacefully sleeping. Then, he'd wake up and give him a big smile as soon as he'd seen him.
Those moments made all his pain and suffering worthwhile. He would endure anything just to see Charlie's sweet smile each morning.
When he snapped out of his trance, he realized that he had been staring at Charlie's bed for a long time. He looked at his watch and realized that Charlie was running late.
"He should've been here 30 minutes ago," he said to himself. "What's keeping him so long?"
He took his cellphone and dialed Charlie's number. All he heard was that annoying voice informing him that Charlie was either out of coverage area or that the cellphone was off.
He tried again after a few minutes and got the same voice recording.
"Fuck!" he cussed. "Please don't tell me you forgot about tonight..."
He waited impatiently for another hour. And soon, it was getting dark outside.
Tears were leaking out of his eyes as the sun slowly set.
CHARLIE was running at full speed. He didn't even notice the angry looks that he got as he sped by a few people in the dorm lobby. He ran the stairs three steps at a time and burst into their room panting.
He saw Danny looking at him angrily.
"Danny, I know you're pissed," he began. "But I have a good explanation."
Danny just looked at him.
"See, I got this code from Rommel," he continued as he took out Rommel's letter from his back pack. "And it was exactly the same as Spook's writings..."
"Spook again," interrupted Danny angrily. "We had a date. We won't be able to see each other for the next three weeks and this was our last night to hang out. And then something about Spook came up and you drop everything... you forget everything."
"I didn't forget," said Charlie defensively. "I'm here, see? I'm just a little late. We can still go..."
"We can't," Danny snapped. "It's ruined."
"We still have a few hours..."
"No!" Danny was fighting away his tears. "You don't understand..." Then he quickly walked past Charlie and headed to the door.
"Where are you going?" Charlie asked.
"I'm going to my girlfriend!" Danny said angrily. "You go have a date with your ghost!" he stormed out of the room and slammed the door, leaving Charlie stunned in silence.
It took a while before Charlie could move. He just felt his tears flowing freely on his cheeks.
"SO, WHAT brings you here?" asked Abby as soon as Danny sat on the couch.
"I just wanted to see you before I go off," Danny tried to be perky, but the sadness in his voice was very discernible.
Abby smiled at him with disbelief. They had been together for so long that she could tell when he was lying.
Danny's phone rang and as soon as he saw it was Charlie calling him, he rejected the call and turned his cellphone off.
"Who was that?" Abby asked.
"Nobody," Danny said with hurt, sadness and confusion in his voice. He felt another tear trying to escape from his eye.
"I uh, I gotta go to the bathroom," he said as he stood up, leaving his cellphone on the coffee table. He almost ran to the bathroom as he felt the tear starting to fall down.
Just as soon as he closed the bathroom door, the dam burst open and he tried to muffle his cries.
After a while, he was able to calm himself down. He washed his face and composed himself before he got out of the bathroom.
He forced himself to smile as he approached the living room. But his smile quickly faded and his steps slowed down when he saw Abby holding his cellphone to her ear.
Abby looked at him as he walked towards her. "I think you should listen to this," she said.
She placed the cellphone on the coffee table as Danny lowered himself on the couch. Abby played the voicemail on loudspeaker.
"Danny, I know you're really, really pissed at me right now for ruining our plans tonight," he heard Charlie's strained voice on the cellphone. Charlie sniffed before he continued, "I fucked up and I'm really sorry. I just... I j-just hope you don't shut me out again for a long time." He sniffed again. "I w-won't be able to stand that. I... I... Fuck! Please, Danny, just talk to me... please."
Then he heard a soft click. He didn't notice the tears falling from his eyes again.
Abby was looking at him intently and he couldn't return her gaze. He just let his tears fall as he felt Charlie's pain.
"So, that's why you came here without even calling," said Abby after a while. "Honestly, the thought came to my mind when we double-dated a while back. There was just an unusual closeness between you two."
"But then, I thought, not you," Abby continued. "I guess I shouldn't have doubted my intuitions, huh?"
"Abby, it's not what you think," Danny said, finally finding his voice and looking directly at Abby. "Charlie and I... we've never really done anything. We're not together or anything. I don't even know if he likes me that way..."
"But you like him that way, don't you?" asked Abby.
"I..." Danny looked down the floor. He nodded his head before he looked at Abby again and said, "I... I have fallen for him."
"Yeah," Abby said sadly. "I kinda figured that out. Since you met him, he became number one on your list of priorities. One call from him and you come running home. It was so easy for you to cancel on me when he needs you." Abby laughed sadly. "You used to text me ten times a day. But when you met him, you didn't even remember me for two whole weeks! And even during the times that you did spend with me, you still continuously talked about him."
"Abby," said Danny. "I'm sorry if I've hurt you. I have been struggling with these feelings for the longest time. I didn't know what to do about it. I still don't"
"Well, it seems to me there's only one thing you can do," Abby said, looking at Danny. "And please don't make me say it," she smiled bitterly.
Abby raised her hand. "I knew it was over between us for quite some time now. I had been waiting for the axe to fall for a long time that I'm actually quite relieved that it already fell. To tell you the truth, I'm glad it was Charlie. I think he's a really good guy. Besides, if it was some girl, I might have some serious self-confidence issues. But knowing that it's a guy simply means that I really can't compete. I know I'm still your number one girl. It's just that you prefer the guy," she smiled sincerely.
Danny smiled back at her.
"Now go," Abby said after a while. "He's waiting for you. Make this right."
Danny kissed her cheek. "Thanks, Abby," he said. "You don't know how much this means to me."
He stood up and walked out of the house to his car. Abby felt a tear escape her eye as she looked at the boy that she had loved for more than three years.
CHARLIE spent the whole time lying in bed thinking that he had lost Danny forever. He couldn't believe how stupid he had been. He shouldn't have let his excitement get the best of him. He should've remembered how important this night was supposed to be.
He didn't know how long he had been wallowing. He just knew that there were no words to describe the pain he was feeling. His eyes had ceased producing tears, but he was still weeping inside.
The door gently opened and he saw Danny coming in. Their eyes locked and he wanted to say a lot of things, but no words came out of his mouth; he couldn't even move from his bed.
Danny just took off his shoes and climbed in bed with him, wrapping his arm around him.
"You know, I had this whole evening planned," Danny said. "I had reservations at Tia Maria's and I was able to reserve really good seats at the IMAX Theater. Then, I was gonna take you to Starbucks and have coffee and talk until early morning before I need to go for my flight."
"I was so angry when you didn't get here on time and we missed the reservation," continued Danny. "And then, we missed the movie as well."
"Danny, I'm..." said Charlie.
"Shhh," Danny cut him off. "We're both sorry."
Danny looked directly into Charlie's eyes. "I just wanted to spend the whole night with you, you know," said Danny. "I'm really gonna miss you and I wanted to have this night to remember for all the nights that I'm not gonna be spending with you during the break."
"I wanna spend this night with you, too," said Charlie. "And I'm really glad you came back." A tear fell on his cheek.
Danny reached up and wiped it with his thumb. He rested his hand on the side of Charlie's neck. Looking into Charlie's eyes, he knew that it was now or never.
He gently pulled Charlie's face and he lifted his head to meet his lips. His eyes closed as his lips touched Charlie's soft, luscious lips. The simple touch sent shivers to all the nerve endings in his body.
Charlie gasped a little as Danny moved in and kissed him. He moved his lips to gently meet the boy's kiss.
He opened his mouth and let Danny's tongue dart in. Tentatively at first, but soon hungrier and more passionate.
Charlie wrapped his arms around Danny as Danny tightened his grip on him. It seemed like they wanted to crush each other with their embrace, but they still couldn't get close enough. Nobody else in the world mattered. All they knew was that they were there together... with each other. All they felt was each other's souls uniting as they kissed passionately.
Charlie felt his lips were full by the time they broke away from each other. He didn't care. It felt great. His first kiss was with the boy he loved.
Danny smiled at him before Danny placed his head on Charlie's shoulders. Charlie wrapped his arms tightly around Danny as he fell asleep feeling complete and contented.
They didn't even feel that Spook was there, watching the whole scene unfold before him... wanting to interrupt but couldn't breach the force surrounding them, protecting them... feeling lost and abandoned, jealous and betrayed... tears streaming down from anger-filled eyes... his heart was breaking... his whole being was shattering.
by Cyrus on Nifty
Just One Night
Guide to a New Life
Thanks for reading this and please watch out for all the remaining chapters. Up next is Chapter 15 - Break.