A Pessimists Romance Ch. 02

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Neil walked quietly along the sidewalk, Chewy following him closely. He heard footsteps behind him.

“Neil, wait up!” Conner called up. “Come on,” He said, panting after running to catch up to Neil. “We still have all day. Why don’t we go do something?” Conner asked.

“I don’t know…” Neil said. Conner walked with him in silence.

“How about we go get some ice cream?” Conner asked.

“It’s freezing out here. We were just locked in a cellar for like two hours.” Neil waved a hand back towards Conner’s house.

“Come on, everyone loves ice cream.” Conner smiled. Neil scowled. “Even pessimistic queers.”

“I’m not gay.” Neil said, and kept walking.

“Well, then let me fix that over a bowl of ice cream.” Conner smiled. Neil stopped and stared at him. He sighed.

“Okay.” He threw up his hands in defeat.

“Yes!” Conner pumped his fists in the air, before grabbing Neils wrist and running off down the street.

~~~~~~~

Neil finally got home, at about the time he would be arriving home if he had actually gone to school. Chewy had followed him and Conner all day, except when they would go in a store where dogs weren’t allowed. In that case, he would wait outside until they returned.

“Dad? I’m home.” Neil called out, letting Chewy walk through the door after him, before closing it.

“I’m in the kitchen.” His dad answered. Neil walked towards the kitchen, Chewy following close behind.

“Hey…I uh… I got a dog.” Neil looked down at Chewy, who wagged his tail happily. His dad looked down at the ratty animal.

“Uh…Alright, I suppose that’s okay. You’ll have to go to the pet store and get him some food and a collar and stuff. We’ll also have to take him to the vet.” His dad said.

“Yeah, I’ll go to the pet store now, actually.” Neil set down his unopened backpack and headed towards the door, following close behind.

“Here, take some money.” His dad shelled out forty bucks. Neil was used to his dad trying to buy his trust again, and had no problem accepting the money. Without a word, he left.

He arrived at the pet store a few minutes later and opened the door for Chewy, who walked in ahead of him.

“Welcome to Petco, how may I help- Hey, look who it is!” Neil looked up at the first employee he saw. He was surprised when he saw Dalton standing there.

“Oh, hey. I didn’t know you worked here.” Neil said.

“Yeah, I need the money.” Dalton shrugged.

“Oh. Well, I gotta go find him a collar or something.” Neil pointed down at Chewy, who licked his lips as he watched the dog treats intensely.

“I can help you out with that.” Dalton smiled. They began walking around the store, Dalton helping him pick out all of the supplies he needed for the new member of the family.

“So I didn’t see you at school today, where were you? Ditching on your second day?” Dalton smiled.

“I got stuck in a cellar, with Conner.” Neil said. “Then he took me out for ice cream…” Neil realized how stupid his day sounded.

“Wow, exciting stuff. I guess I’ll have to match it.” Dalton smiled.

“Match it?”

“You don’t think I forgot about you after one day did you? No, no, no, it’s still game on.” Dalton smiled.

“Why am I being treated like a piece of meat with ‘come fuck me’ gay seasoning all over me?” Neil scowled.

“What do you mean? You’re gay, it’s going to happen.” Dalton laughed.

“I’m not gay! Why do people keep thinking that?” Neil asked. Dalton looked surprised.

“You mean you really are straight? I thought it was just a joke…” Dalton laughed harder. “There’s no way you’re straight.”

“Yes, I am.” Neil frowned.

“No, you’re not.” Dalton stepped up to him, pushing him back against a wall. He leaned in slowly and Neil couldn’t help but watch his lips move in closer. Dalton pressed his lips to Neil’s and he paused. He ran his tongue over Neil’s closed lips and begged for entrance. Neil kept his lips shut and Dalton placed a hand on his chest. He pressed against his lips, forcing his tongue inside and began kissing Neil heavily. He finally pulled away, leaving both of them gasping for air.

“Go on a date with me, tomorrow night.” Dalton said. Neil stared at him.

“Okay.” Neil said. He didn’t know what he was saying. The words simply escaped his lips before he knew what was happening.

“Good. I’ll pick you up at five.” Dalton said. Neil nodded, dumbly.

“Okay.” He said, again. Dalton smiled and pushed the leash into his hands, before turning, and walking away from Neil. Leaving him half hard and still panting in the isle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey, Eel-boy.” Conner jumped up behind him.

“Hey!” Neil looked around, worried. “Would you watch it?” He whispered.

“No one’s going to know. Who the hell would automatically think you’re infected?” Conner asked, somewhat loudly.

“Conner!” Neil hissed. Conner threw his hands up. He made the motion of zipping his lips.

“Sorry.” He smiled. Neil rolled his eyes.

“So hey, how about you come over tonight, I want you to meet the family.” Conner said.

“I adıyaman escort cant, I have… I have a date.” Neil blushed.

“Really? With who?” Conner obviously wasn’t happy about it.

“Dalton.” Neil said.

“What happened to you not being gay?” Conner said, pissed.

“I don’t know. I’m not. We’re just friends. I don’t know, get off my back.” Neil snapped at him, becoming confused and frustrated.

“Well, why are you going out with him?”

“I don’t know, okay! Just leave me alone.” Neil mumbled, walking away from Conner. Conner stopped and watched him leave. He saw Dalton shut his locker and begin walking to his next class. “Hey!” He called out. Dalton stopped and turned towards him.

“Hey.”

“What’s this I hear about you taking Kid out?” Conner asked.

“Oh, yeah. I asked him out.” Dalton looked smug.

“Come on, man. I went out with him first.” Conner whined.

“You locked him in your cellar with a rabid dog.” Dalton frowned.

“With pancakes!” Conner shouted. The hallways were now clearing.

“All the pancakes in the world won’t help you now that I got a hold on him.” Dalton smiled

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Neil sat in his room, hugging his knees to his chest. Chewy sat on the foot of his bed and stared at him. Neil put his head in his knees.

“Ugh, why did I say yes? I can’t believe I did that!” Neil said. “I’m not gay!” He shouted at himself.

“Neil, your friends here!” His father shouted, from downstairs. Neil swallowed. He grabbed a pair of the black shoes he normally wore, and pulled on his simple black blazer. He looked at himself in the mirror. He had dyed his hair after he had gotten back from the pet store. Instead of the white stripes, he now had blue tips in his jet black hair.

“Coming!” He shouted. He jogged downstairs quickly. Dalton stood in the doorway. Neil’s father was nowhere in sight.

“Hey.” Dalton smiled.

“Uh, hi.” Neil couldn’t hide how nervous he was. Dalton had this strange power over him. He just couldn’t keep himself from doing what Dalton said.

“Lets go.” Dalton smiled. Neil followed him out to his car and climbed inside.

“So, where are we going?” Neil asked.

“This really nice diner. It’s great food.” Dalton said.

“Cool.” Neil smiled. The drive there was silent, and awkward, on Neils part. Neil felt like a dumb blonde, excited to go on her first date. It was true, Neil had never been on a date, but it was also true that he was NOT gay.

“Why so quiet, this is supposed to be fun, you know.” Dalton smiled over at him.

“It’s just…I’m not gay, Dalton.” Neil said.

“Right.” Dalton kept his eyes on the road.

“I’m not.” He repeated.

“Well, that’s not what I’m getting.”

“Getting from where? This is the original source.” Neil said, pointing at himself.

“The original source lies sometimes. That’s why it’s a good idea to have multiple sources.” Dalton laughed.

“Well, this source isn’t lying.” Neil was getting pissed off. Dalton suddenly swung the car around. “Where are we going, now?” Neil glared at him.

“Stop your bitching, maybe going somewhere more fun will cheer you up.” Dalton laughed. Neil crossed his arms and sat quietly for the rest of the ride. They pulled up to a shady looking building.

“Oh good god, where are we?” Neil stared at the gray and run down building.

“Hey, now. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Come on.” Dalton said, climbing out of the truck.

“Just to let you know, I do judge a book by it’s cover. No one ever picks up some shitty looking book and says “Hey, I want to read this.” Neil said, sarcastically as he climbed out of the car.

“Come on, you’ll have fun.” Dalton said.

“Or get herpes.” Neil scowled. “Or rabies.” He shrugged. “Or herpes and rabies.”

“Are you always this negative?”

“Yep, it makes me happy.” Neil said, no emotion in his voice.

“Well this will make you even more happy.” Dalton grabbed his hand and pulled him inside the run down building.

~~~~~~~~~~

“I had no clue these even existed anymore.” Neil stared at the dark room.

“Yep, and they’re as awesome as ever.” Dalton smiled, paying the man behind the counter, who hands him two vests with attached guns, and two headsets.

“We’re not seriously playing laser tag, are we?” Neil scowled.

“Hell yeah, we are.” Dalton handed him his vest. Neil rolled his eyes and put on his vest.

“I’m going to lose an eye.” He frowned.

“They’re lasers.”

“Lasers can destroy an eye. Just watch, it will happen.” Neil pointed his gun at him, gesturing with his hand.

“Come on, you cynical asshole.” Dalton laughed. He opened the double doors into the pitch black room, illuminated by neon and strobe lights.

“I can feel it. I’m going to have on eye in only a few minutes now.” Neil mumbled over the loud music and the sound of lasers firing in the dark.

“Come on, you chicken!” Dalton ran off into the dark, but not before shooting a laser at Neils chest. His vest escort adıyaman flashed and a siren went off.

“Hey! Oh you’re going to pay for that.” Neil ran off after him, dodging a small group of elementary school children.

“Says who? You’re never going to catch me with that single eye you’re going to have in just a few minutes.”

“Well, what if I make you lose an eye first? It’s entirely possible.” Neil snuck up behind Dalton while he was catching his breath, shooting him in the back. Dalton threw up his hands, pissed that he had been caught.

“Damn it!” He looked at Neil, who stuck out his tongue before running off.

Their game went on for and hour and a half. They were both panting and out of breath, each with one life left.

“Just give up, Neil. You’re never going to win.” Dalton panted through his headset.

“Less talking, more eye losing.” Neil fired back. Dalton smiled. Neil peeked around a pillar and saw Dalton looking for him in the other direction. He smiled. He stepped out from the pillar and pointed his laser at Dalton. Dalton suddenly turned and pointed his own laser. They put their fingers on the trigger, and froze when both of their vests started blinking and chirping as a chubby eleven year old boy jumped out of nowhere and shot them both in the stomach.

“Damn it!”

“Fuck!”

They both shouted and slumped their shoulders. They walked out of the laser tag room, pulling off their headsets and vests as they went.

“Fuckin’ kids, ruining our laser tag.” Dalton laughed. Neil scoffed.

“Right, because they have a long standing feud with seniors in high school over who gets dibs on the laser tag place.” Neil rolled his eyes, setting his gear down on the counter.

“Well, they didn’t before, but they do now!” Dalton said. “It’s on like donkey kong mother fuckers!” He shouted at the closed door. Neil slapped him on the chest playfully.

“Don’t curse at the youngins’.” He laughed.

“They deserve it.” Dalton smiled as they walked back to the car. “I told you you would have more fun here, than with Conner.” Dalton said.

“I never said I did. Have you tried his pancakes? They’re pretty good. Plus, he got me a dog.” Neil laughed.

“Well, come on then.” Dalton said, grabbing Neils hand and running the rest of the way through the mostly empty parking lot.

“Oh Jesus, what now?” Neil whined.

“You’ve raised the bar, and now I must meet it.” Dalton smiled, and started the car.

~~~~~~~~~~~

“What are we doing here? They closed hours ago.” Neil said, as they stood at the pet store.

“I need to beat out that dog, don’t I?”

“Funny thing… You actually DON’T have to do that. That could be your LEAST favorite thing to do.” Neil said, wrapping his arms around himself to keep warm.

“But where’s the fun in that?” Dalton asked, smiling at him as the lock clicked open.

“You suck.” Neil mumbled, as Dalton dragged him inside.

“Stay here.” Dalton said, running off into the dark of the store. Neil hopped up on the counter and swung his legs lazily, waiting for his unwanted date to return. He came back a few minutes later, box in hand.

“Oh god, what is that and please don’t tell me it has rabies. I already narrowly escaped rabies at the last place you took me to.” Neil said. Dalton opened the box, revealing a small rat.

“It doesn’t have rabies.”

“What? What are these words that are coming out of your mouth? Do you know what a rat is? It is the definition of rabies.” Neil said.

“That’s dogs.” Dalton smiled.

“Well, then, it’s going to give me polio or scarlet fever or something, get it away from me.”

“It’s cleaner than that dog of yours, come on. Take it.” Dalton laughed.

“Be gone plagued demon!” Neil shouted at the tiny rat, who sat on the counter staring at him with large beady eyes.

“It likes you.”

“It’s freakin’ me out right now, not gonna lie.” Neil stared at the rat.

“Rat’s aren’t as dirty as people make them out to be, and they’re really smart.” Dalton said.

“It’s all the diseases and shit they carry, they’re like spiderman. They catch something and gain superpowers.” Neil mumbled.

“Spiderman was bitten by a spider. He didn’t catch something.” Dalton laughed.

“He caught the spider, didn’t he?”

“Are you always this sarcastic?”

“No.” Neil said, sarcastically.

“Jesus.” Dalton rolled his eyes. “Are you going to take the rat or not?”

“Not.” Neil stared at him. The small black rodent scurried across the counter and climbed up Neils shirt. “Noooo, I feel the diseases spreading as we speak. I’m going blind, my ears are falling off, somebody help me.” He scrunched up into a ball as the rat sat on his shoulder.

“You’re fine.” Dalton laughed at Neils whining.

“Fine, dying from herpes, same thing.” Neil said.

“What’s your obsession with herpes and rabies?” Dalton asked.

“I could talk about the chlamydia and mad cow if you like.” Neil said.

“Any other diseases you would like to adıyaman escort bayan pair up?” Dalton crossed his arms.

“Polio and scarlet fever have already been mentioned.” Neil said, pretending to think about it. “Then there’s cancer and malaria, meningitis and the plague…and…and…”

“That’s it, then?”

“Give me another rat and I’m sure I could think of more.” Neil said.

“Come on, lets go.” Dalton smiled.

“Sure…”

“Something wrong?”

“No.”

“Liar.” Dalton laughed.

“Am not. I just don’t want to head home, right now. Just drop me off at the park or something.”

“Why don’t you want to head home?”

“I just don’t.” Neil lied.

“Come on.” Dalton grabbed Neils hand. He began pulling Neil over to the dog section of the pet store.

A few minutes later, they sat in the hallway. Dalton had pulled out several large dog beds and they sat in the pile of soft material and fluffy cushions.

“Dog beds are really comfortable.” Neil said.

“Oh, yeah.” Dalton chuckled. Neil watched as his new disease carrying friend climbed up his torso and curled up in the spot between his neck and the soft dog bed. “What are you going to name him?”

“Rabies.” Neil said. Dalton looked over at him.

“Seriously?” He laughed, when Neil nodded. “A dog named Chewy and a rat named Rabies.”

“They’re fitting names.” Neil said defensivly.

“So, why don’t you want to go home?” Dalton asked.

“I don’t know, my dad and I don’t really get along.” Neil said. He wasn’t sure why he was telling Dalton this.

“So you’re saying you would rather be laying in a pile of dog beds with the guy you’re on a date with, with rabies on your neck, than go home?” Dalton asked. Neil looked over at him and laughed.

“Yeah, I guess.” Neil said.

“Score one for Dalton.” Dalton pumped his fist in the air.

“Weirdo.” Neil rolled his eyes.

“But, I’m the weirdo you’re on a date with.” Dalton pointed out.

“I’m not gay!” Neil shouted, for the hundredth time that night.

“Whatever, whatever.” Dalton held his hands up innocently.

“So what about you? What’s your family like?” Neil asked.

“It’s just me and my mom. She’s…She’s not the best mother out there.” Dalton hesitated. Neil looked over at him, disturbing the sleeping Rabies. The rat blinked and curled back up.

“I’m sorry…What’s wrong?”

“She just gets drunk a lot, is all. It’s hard to deal with sometimes. I come out here and do this a lot.” Dalton said. “I’m fucked when they get security cameras.” Dalton smiled and laughed.

“What happened to your dad?” Neil asked.

“He was killed, by an infected.” Dalton said, his eyes turning dark. Neil swallowed.

“How?”

“He was trying to help one after he was attacked. The guy flipped out and clawed him to death.” Dalton said. “He was a paramedic.”

“I’m sorry.” Neil said. “But you know, not all infected are like that. The guy was probably just really scared.” Neil said.

“That’s not an excuse.” Dalton turned around, his back to Neil. Neil pushed himself up on his elbows and looked at Dalton. He didn’t know what to say.

Was it fair for him to hold infected on a higher pedestal that humans? He hadn’t seen anything that proved that his kind were any different that humans. They could show the same cruelty, if given the chance. Were they really all the same? Was humanity really a plague of horrible people, and bad choices. not a species?

“I’m sure your dad was a great guy.” Neil said. Dalton nodded.

“He was.” He whispered softly. He sighed. The two of them sat there a moment longer, Neil petting the small rat, who had tumbled down one of the fluffy dog beds when Neil had sat up to speak to Dalton. But Neil couldn’t stop the thoughts about the human race, his own, and if they were really that different after all.

~~~~~~~~~

“So, how was your date with dumber?” Conner asked, pointing at Dalton. They sat in class and the teacher was on the phone while the class talked amongst themselves quietly.

“If he’s dumber, doesn’t that make you dumb?” Neil raised an eyebrow.

“Shut up.” Conner blushed, realizing he had pushed himself over that cliff.

“It wasn’t a date, I’m not gay.” Neil said.

“You went on two dates, with two different guys. You’re gay.” Conner smiled. Neil rolled his eyes. “Besides, no one wears pants that fabulous if they don’t have a little queer flare to them.” Conner teased. Neil slapped his hand away, laughing.

“You hitting on my boyfriend, Conner?” Dalton asked, his arm resting on Neils shoulder.

“Wait, what?” Neil blinked. The bell rang and the class emptied quickly.

“You took him on one date, to a diner. I made him delicious pancakes and I got him a dog.” Conner got in Daltons face, both of them challenging each other for the heart of the young man before them.

“Technically, I found the dog…He was starving in your cellar.”

“Oh, I didn’t just take him to a diner, I pulled out the big guns.” Dalton crossed his arms, smiling smuggly.

“You didn’t…” Conner looked shocked.

“Oh, I did.” Dalton smiled wider.

“I’m getting that ‘piece of meat in a lion cage’ feeling again, guys.” Neil frowned at the ground, seeming to only talk to himself.

“Damn you and your laser tag!” Conner cursed.

“And I got him a rat!” Dalton beamed.

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