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31 May 2011 @ 07:59 pm
Guts [one]  

Title: Guts
Author: atl340
Pairing: Jalex
Rating: PG-13, I guess
Disclaimer: Not real etc etc, Title belongs to All Time Low
Dedications: Stacey,quirky_anecdote for reading this and assuring me it was good :)
Authors Notes: hi! I haven't posted in so long. I've been feeling like I've completely lost any ability to write in honesty, but I've missed it too much not to try again. Poison and If It Means A Lot To You were so much fun to write and I met and started speaking to lots of awesome people due to writing them so, I couldn't stop writing forever :) Anyway I'm still ridiculously nervous about this, and comments-anonymous or not-would be awesome.


'Did you sleep okay last night?'

Blinking and casting his dark eyes across the breakfast table, Alex found his best friend watching him carefully whilst he ate. His cheeks used to burn at the gaze, but now, after so many years, Alex just tilted his head to the side questioningly.


He watched with with careful eyes, the younger, darker haired boy dropping his spoon into his bowl with a quiet clink.

'You look really tired', He explained softly, and Alex's eyes flickered downwards, small heat enveloping his cheeks.

'Mom kind've...re-arranged my room, I guess', He muttered quietly, 'Threw me off a little bit'

It had more than thrown him off, it had had him writhing all night with frustrated tears in his eyes until he'd finally just given up, flung the covers onto the floor and grabbed his notepad and pen, curled up on the comfy seat beneath his window and let the stars be his light as he scribbled away. It had prevented even a wink of sleep but, he kept that to himself. It wasn't like Jack didn't know the truth anyway.

On cue the younger boy sighed, almost guiltily as he grabbed Alex's empty dish as well as his own, dropping them into the sink for his mom to clean later.

'You'll get used to it', He offered unsurely, and when their eyes met Alex gave a small nod, grateful. It was the same thing Jack always said, simply because there wasn't really anything else he could offer out. And even though they were best friends, and Jack understood more than anyone- even more than Alex himself sometimes- it still made the older boys cheeks burn with a tinge of embarrassment because it really was just stupid, that he couldn't get a nights sleep simply because of his mom making a few minute changes to his room, ones that Jack probably wouldn't even be able to notice.

Alex looked away, eyes lingering on the clock on the wall as Jack sat down again, felt for his hand underneath the table and pressed their palms together. It was a small comfort, one that Alex was grateful for, and he met and held Jack's gaze for a few quiet moments before he sighed, pushed his chair out and gave the younger boys hand a small parting squeeze.

'We're gonna be late for school' He mumbled, and even though they weren't, even though they were going to be so ridiculously early, Jack agreed like he always did with just the tiniest hint of a sigh, zipping up his hoodie before starting out with the older boy on the short walk to their college.

- - -

Jack liked his new college already.

Not so much the education part- because he definitely wasn't cut out for that- but just for the nice campus, the people.

And really, the people were the most important part to him.

High school.. it hadn't been good. Not for Alex, and consequently not for Jack. It was something the younger boy was glad neither he or his best friend would ever have to face again. Granted they'd only been at college for a week, but Jack already knew they were going to be okay here. Or rather, he knew Alex would be okay, and really that was the goal.

The people understood here- teachers and students alike- and the youngest of the two boys had just about given the place his seal of approval. He'd been scoping the place out thus far, judging everybody's reactions to Alex intently and whilst he knew he'd been acting way too over-bearing, he just really, really didn't want their high school years repeated. He wanted the next few years to be good for Alex, and if he didn't think this place was going to provide that then he had no qualms in dropping out with the other boy, going elsewhere regardless of the hassle and expenses.

They'd pretty much been accepted as a package deal now, anyway.

Still, so far Jack's fears and concerns had been for nothing. It was different here, more mature he supposed, and whilst the teachers knew about Alex and some of the kids they'd met had figured it out, everything had been okay. Nobody had laughed at the older boy, neither had they babied him and Jack was grateful for that, really grateful.

He was pretty sure already that it'd all been worth it, all the jobs he'd had to work, all the money he'd have to save and all the extra tutoring sessions he'd suffered to get his grades up to scratch for the college Alex wanted to go to.

Maybe the older boy could finally be happy here, and the thought made Jack grin as he and Alex slipped into their homeroom barely ten minutes after leaving the house, the older boy making for the row of chairs at the back of the room, specifically the one cramped into the corner. Alex didn't say anything, but Jack knew it made him more comfortable to be out of the way of everything.

That didn't mean he didn't try though,  try and coax Alex to a seat further up front. He just.. he wanted the older boy to be comfortable, but he also wanted to try and push him a little, improve the way he was socially so that he could really get a handle on his condition, beat it.

Alex wasn't at all compliant though, simply shaking his head adamantly as he pulled some scraps of paper from his bag, all scribbled over with rows of the older boys neat handwriting. Accepting defeat just for now, Jack sighed and slid into the seat next to him, taking one of the pieces of paper from Alex's desk and scanning over it.

As always it was beyond anything Jack could really appreciate, and he smiled at all the details in his best friends writing, all the words that the younger boy didn't even know the meaning of.

Because that was the thing with people, people who were just ill-informed and ignorant. They thought Alex was dumb, stupid. He wasn't. He was more intelligent than Jack, more intelligent than most people at their high school had been, and he dared to think more intelligent than most of the people here at their college were.

Though he struggled socially, learning and education were things that Alex could rarely be beat at.

The proof was on the paper he held, and Jack smiled.

Those with Asperger's are thought to have a talent that they focus on almost exclusively.

It was just one of the little pieces of information carved into the younger boys memory from the countless books and articles he'd read over the years.

Alex's special talent, without any shadow of a doubt, was writing. And really, he was amazing at it. He'd written reams and reams over the years, sometimes just descriptions of his surroundings, and other times long, detailed stories that required more imagination than Jack had ever imagined or known his best friend was capable of.

It was no wonder the boy was studying English, and from the little snippet had Jack read of Alex's newest piece, he knew the older boy was going to fly through his course. The thought sent a splash of relief through his stomach.

'This is really good' He commented, leaning back in his chair with a smile that soon fell when Alex scrunched the piece of paper up in reply. He always did that.

'It needs to be better' The older boy grumbled, absent as he scribbled away at his paper.

And Jack just sighed, ending the repetitive conversation the way he always did.

'Sure it does'

He'd learnt it was easier to agree with his best friend, rather than fight.

- - -

Aspergers put a lot of strain on Alex's life.

Mostly, it took a strain on his time.

Routine, that was what it was all about. Everything repeated just the same every day, minutes to be counted and time to be kept to so that he wouldn't fall apart. The dark-haired boy couldn't remember a time when he hadn't gotten up at 6 o' clock every morning, showered for eleven minutes before dressing and heading downstairs and then waiting restlessly for an hour, before he could walk the short distance to Jack's house.

He couldn't remember a time when he hadn't scheduled a tight twenty minute period for talking and breakfast, before he forced his best friend out of the door with him to school, or college, as it was now.

It'd been that way before he'd even known what Aspergers meant, and on the very few occasions his parents or Jack had tried to vary that routine, it'd always ended in tears.

Mostly ones of frustration, because even now they just didn't understand how much a routine meant to Alex. It kept him sane, kept his anxiety at water level. It was his guideline to life, and his mind just couldn't contemplate being like Jack, just waking up whenever and doing whatever. There was no order, and the thought made Alex's insides churn because he couldn't bare that.

But then again, it wasn't like Jack got much freedom to just do whatever the way Alex couldn't, because their lives were so entwined that the routine Alex lived by so religiously couldn't help but pull Jack in too.

The older of the two couldn't help it, he really couldn't, but if his best friend wasn't up and ready with their breakfast on the table by the time Alex got to his house at 7:40 every morning, there were tears and there were tantrums. The older boy just couldn't bare it, being even the tiniest little bit off schedule.

Routine was everything, and that need for structure didn't just switch off at the weekends.

It was disrupted though, because Alex felt guilty enough every day for pushing all of his baggage onto Jack. He couldn't bare to take away the boys weekend, and so whilst he really just wanted to get up at 6am like usual, and go to his best friends, he forced himself to stay put, pretty much traipsing anxiously through his house up until Jack decided to arrive.

It drove Alex out of his mind that the boy turned up at a different time each weekend, but he never said anything. Honestly he knew how lucky he was that his best friend stuck to his stupid routine throughout the week, and just.. took care of Alex, the way he did. The older boy didn't dictate Jack's weekends because he didn't want to, but also because there was always that scared little voice in the back of his head, warning him not to push it too far.

Because really Jack didn't have to do any of what he'd done in the time they'd known each other.

He didn't have to protect Alex all the way through high school, he didn't have to learn the patience of a saint to keep up with the older boys routine, and he didn't have to work his ass off all summer, just to earn the money to attend the college that Alex had chosen.

He didn't have to do any of that stuff, but he'd done it and Alex just.. he couldn't risk any of that. He couldn't risk someone who stayed by his side so loyally.

And that was the right word, because Jack was just so loyal that it was unbelievable, hard for the older boy to even comprehend.

Alex was the reason why high school had been so bad, why the kids there had done the stuff they did. Jack could have walked away from that at any moment but he hadn't, he'd just dutifully taken another one of Alex's burdens onto his shoulders and carried it around for him, no questions asked, no second thoughts.

And when they'd been gearing up to leave high school behind, Jack had had absolutely no intention of going to college, not at all. He hadn't known what he wanted to do, but education definitely hadn't been a part of his plan. And yet, because Alex had wanted to go, and because for some reason the younger boy was always so fiercely by his side, he'd taken all the summer jobs he could manage, half of the money he earned being saved for fees whilst the other had been spent on tutoring sessions, to get his grades up to standards to go to college with Alex.

Sometimes when he thought about it, the older boy still had to marvel open-mouthed at the fact that Jack had done all that, just to stay with him and stay close to him. He didn't deserve it, that was undisputable. But what was also undisputable was that he needed it.

It was hard enough to cope even though he had Jack. If he didn't... Alex wasn't sure how he'd get by.

Because as much as his parents tried to understand his condition, they just..they didn't. His mom didn't understand why Alex got upset when she changed his bed sheets, or did a little re-arrangement or cleaned up his room. She didn't understand why it made his skin crawl and why it made him unable to sleep. Alex didn't either, really, he just knew when things weren't in the same place they'd been the previous day it made his palms sweat.

And that was the amazing thing about Jack, that he seemed to understand even when Alex didn't. Whenever the older boy would be comfortable enough to explain a certain emotion to his best friend, a certain anxiety or fear, Jack never gave him that sideways glance like everyone else did. He went into teacher mode instead, nodding and reeling off some fact he'd remembered from all the books he's read about Aspergers, all the online articles he'd studied. He'd talk and talk until Alex couldn't help but laugh at his best friends matter-of-fact speech.

And then the older boy would smile, because Jack always made him feel like he was okay, like he was normal even though he definitely wasn't. He just always reassured Alex that everything he was feeling was alright, and that made the world of difference sometimes.

So maybe Alex didn't entirely deserve Jack, but that didn't mean he wanted to let him go.

And that was why even though it killed him, on the weekends the older boy didn't get a routine as such. He just floated around with an itch under his skin and let Jack have somewhat of a normal day or two off.

Some small part of Alex- very small- wanted his best friend not to even come near him on weekends, to just go out with normal people and do normal things that didn't have to be kept to a schedule. He didn't want to take away Jack's life from him the way he knew he did. Sometimes he just wanted Jack not to think about him at all, and just let loose for a little bit.

But it was a small part.

The rest of him was selfish, and he wanted Jack with him as much as possible. The older boy was everything to him, and Alex had so much love and respect for him for sticking around. He relied on Jack, as much as he tried not to. He relied on him, he needed him and he wanted him.

And that was why even though the smallest part of him felt guilty, the majority of him was practically shining every time Jack walked through the door on a Saturday and Sunday morning, grabbed him into a too-tight hug with that signature grin.

Alex's world revolved around him more and more everyday.

- - -

As much as Jack loved his best friend- and he did, he really did- some days it was harder than others, to deal with Alex's ways.

The moment he woke up on Tuesday morning, he knew it was going to be one of those days. Groaning as the red letters on the clock read 7:38, the dark-haired boy buried his head underneath his pillow and groaned. Two minutes until Alex arrived, freaked out about Jack not being showered or dressed, and about breakfast not being ready.

Fuck his life.

Debating what to do, the younger boy sighed and decided to skip his shower, dragging himself out of bed with a glare towards his alarm clock as he tried to dress with bleary eyes.

'Piece of shit' He mumbled to himself, not quite sure whether he'd just forgotten to set his alarm, or whether he'd just hit snooze, or slept through it all together. Either way Alex was going to be pissed and Jack groaned to himself, watching the numbers flip over to 7:39 before he jogged down the stairs, throwing open cupboards and trying to pour cereal, make coffee, set a table and look as though he hadn't just stumbled out of bed all at once.

It wouldn't make any difference, but Jack tried anyway.

Grabbing two bowls from the top shelf, the younger boy sighed at the state of the one in his left hand. It was blue and plastic and cracked all over, wearing whiter with every wash. Still, Alex refused to have any other one.

The wrecked bowl was only just filled with cereal when there was a quick knock on the door, followed by the older boy letting himself in.

Jack was braced next to the coffee pot, teeth clamped to his lip and he didn't offer Alex a greeting, just let his best friend assess the situation.

He looked like he was doing his best not to well up.

'A-Alex', Jack groaned in apology, 'My alarm...'

He trailed off, not knowing what to say. He could see Alex was doing his best not to get mad or upset, and even though it wouldn't work Jack was grateful for the effort.

'I'm sorry', He sighed, pouring two cups of coffee, 'Look we'll just, eat a little quicker today alright? I promise you we'll leave on time..earlier if you want'

He was burbling and he knew it, but he felt that familiar desperation start to edge in on him just a  little as he saw Alex's nails curl ever so slightly against the skin on his arm.

'Alex stop it' He ordered, tone a little sharper this time as he watched the pressure Alex's fingers were pressing into his skin ease off just a little, 'You're over-reacting just, just come eat your breakfast so we can leave'


'Just sit down' Jack grit his teeth.

He put his own cereal bowl on the table with a little more attitude, sitting down and ignoring the sheepish stance Alex had took on. Jack wasn't trying to start an argument, he was as understanding as anything with his best friends on most days. But he slipped up sometimes.. he was human, and there was nothing like Alex trying to hurt himself to put him in a bad mood.

It just.. it infuriated him so unbelievably that just a few minutes, a few insignificant minutes could change Alex so much that he tried to hurt himself. Sometimes Jack felt like he understood it, but really when it came down to it he didn't. He just tried his best for Alex's sake, and with a sigh he let his eyes wander up to look at the other boy. He was seated now, stirring his cereal around in disinterest. The sadness was radiating from him.

A sarcastic voice somewhere in the back of Jack's head sneered nice one, jackass.

Groaning at his inner monologue, the younger boy felt under the table for Alex's hand. It was a little cold to the touch but Jack took it anyway, giving a small squeeze as he murmured 'Sorry'.

The older boy let his spoon fall against the side of the cereal bowl, avoiding Jack's eyes as he gave a barely there shrug, and the younger boy knew him well enough to know that for now, that was all he was going to get. With a sigh, he gave Alex's hand another tighter squeeze before he climbed to his feet.

'We should get going'

- - -

The day didn't improve much with morning classes, as much as Alex was trying not to freak out.

Writing always calmed him down, and through the duration of homeroom the older boy sat the slightest bit edged away from Jack as he scribbled on paper. The words came out in a jumble more than a few times and Alex dotted the paper with angry crossings out, fingertips white from the amount of pressure he was putting on the pen.

He answered Jack's various attempts at conversation with small grunts and groans in the right places, ignoring the sighs that were becoming more and more irritated.

As much as Alex knew he was over-reacting- and he definitely was, because technically having left as early as they did, they were actually ahead of his schedule- he still couldn't calm the itch under his skin. He just needed to get his feelings onto paper because if he didn't he would probably fall apart like he used to in high school, and he didn't want anyone seeing that, didn't want the kids here seeing the extent of his problems. They'd all been nice so far, and he didn't want to jinx that. He didn't want college to be miserable. He didn't want Jack to have to suffer with him again.

In an attempt to break the ice, Alex stopped mid-scribble to pass one of the pieces of paper along to his best friends desk. It was just mindless descriptions of places he'd been in the past, sights he'd seen. He hated people seeing the things he wrote, but he'd known Jack since he was twelve and the younger boy had never possessed a talent for understanding boundaries. He always used to take Alex's notebook when he wasn't looking, reading everything without any understanding of privacy.

After so many years the older boy was used to it, and sometimes now he'd willingly let Jack read his work.

As it was now the younger boy read the piece of paper in front of him with a smile on his face, one that Alex saw when he risked a quick glance.

The younger boys hand reached behind his back to curl around his hip a moment later, and he leaned over a little.

'This is really good', He commented softly, 'You know you're gonna ace this course right?'

Alex's answer was a shrug in return. He was taking English language and literature, mainly because they were the only things he was good at. He did like to write though, everybody always said he had a talent for it. The older boy wasn't sure he agreed with that, and he felt a little uncomfortable twang at Jack's words. The younger boy was so certain that he was going to do well, and Alex was a little scared to disappoint.

He started to squirm a little when he felt Jack's fingertips stroking over his clothed hip. People like him.. they didn't like physical contact very much. Alex didn't even like it when his parents tried to hug him. Jack though, he liked to think he was the exception to all of the older boys rules, and Alex supposed he was. When he was in an okay mood, he didn't mind Jack hugging him, or touching him. He was the only one that Alex felt comfortable enough to show affection to himself.

But days like today, when he was on edge and anxious.. the fingertips at his hip were more than uncomfortable. He shifted forward and shrugged out of the grip awkwardly, going back to writing and pretending not to hear Jack's frustrated sigh as he retracted his arm.

By his second class of the day, English, Alex wasn't fairing so well.

Jack had been quiet after the little brush off in homeroom, and the older boy found himself continually biting at the inside of his cheek, to the point where he could faintly taste something metallic.

The younger boy was beside him but his body was pointedly turned away, and Alex didn't really do well with that. Not with the body language or the fact that Jack wasn't even acknowledging him, was instead talking to the boy on his other side whilst they were supposed to be working.

As much as he knew that Jack was just trying to make a point, just sulking, it still made the older boys heart twist guiltily because he'd caused this, he always did.

He cast a quick look around to make sure no-one was paying attention to him before he leaned over and tapped Jack's back sheepishly. The younger boy barely turned his head at first and he sighed loudly, ending whatever conversation he was having with the guy on his other side before he turned his body forwards.

'What Alex?'

The older boy tried not to flinch at the tone. It wasn't very often Jack got mad at him.

'A-are you um, are you okay?'

'I'm fine'

'O-okay but, how I was acting earlier, i-it-'

'Just do your work Alex', Jack cut off quietly, 'I can't.. I can't deal with you right now so just.. do your work'

The older boys jaw didn't even have time to drop before his best friend had turned away from him again, resumed his conversation with the people to his left. Alex felt like Jack had just punched a hole in his stomach.

And again, as much as he knew that Jack was just trying to make him sorry, Alex couldn't help wishing the younger boy could understand just a little more sometimes, understand how his mind worked, how he felt inside. Because with his condition, it was as though every emotion he could possibly feel was intensified by a hundred, and the little nagging guilt or regret Jack probably assumed he was feeling now was so much more than that.

Alex was on the verge of tears where he sat, stomach unsettled whilst his mind was working over-time, that voice in there that he just couldn't get out reminding him of how stupid he was, how much of a burden.

On the occasions that the two boys had a fight, it was so easy for Alex to remember how much Jack sacrificed for him every day. It was easy to remember that the younger boy had slaved all through the summer just to be able to go to the same college as him. It was easy to remember that he hadn't even wanted to go to college, that he'd gone purely to stay with Alex. It was easy to remember what he'd made Jack suffer with him through high school, to remember the taunting and the isolation that he'd brought about for both of them.

It was easy to remember that everything bad that had ever happened to Jack, was a result of Alex's own stupid condition.

You're weighing him down.

The snide voice in his head again, and it was true, it was so one hundred percent true and Alex's heart absolutely ached in his chest like it did every time he and Jack fought because he hated that he was like this, that he'd pushed his hard life onto his best friend like this.

He made life so, so much harder for Jack, and that was a miserable reality for Alex to deal with, along with everything else that always weighed him down.

He didn't mean to hurt the younger boy, or make him feel rejected the way he knew he had earlier. He never, ever meant to upset Jack. But somehow, he always did.

He just.. he wished Jack would be a little more thick-skinned sometimes, wished he wouldn't take something like Alex shrugging off a compliment so hard, so seriously because the older boy didn't mean it, not at all.

But then, who was Alex to say that with all the stuff he put Jack through? The truth was that he had no right to tell Jack how he was supposed to feel, to react to things. Not when he was usually the source of the problem anyway.

Alex just wished more than anything that he could stop doing this to Jack every day, but really the only way that could be was if the older boy was to let him go. And it was selfish and unfair but Alex just couldn't do that. The thought made his stomach churn and that itch under the older boys skin picked up its intensity.

Feeling almost light-headed, he waited until the noise level in the class was high enough, until everyone was absorbed in work or conversation before he climbed to his feet shakily, folding his arms across himself and navigating his way through the halls and to the bathroom. He'd memorized the map of the campus with ease and slipped into the cool white room quietly. It was clean even by his standards and he nodded to himself, slipping into a cubicle and locking the door.

For a while he just leaned against the side partition, eyes closed as he tried to dull out the voices in his head. Over-thinking would only work him up, make him do something stupid and annoy Jack more. As much as he ached to dig his nails into his skin he didn't, because his best friend would find out some way or other and it would turn into something even worse than the mess Alex had already made this morning.

In the end, he didn't leave the bathroom until his first period was over, a fleeting glance in the mirror at his pale skin before he sighed and stepped back out into the bright corridors, a shade too light for his eyes.

He narrowed them slightly and felt the knots in his stomach coil up just a little tighter when he saw Jack waiting for him, leant up against the wall opposite with Alex's bag at his feet, the one he'd left in the classroom.

The older boy tried to read his best friend, kind of feeling like a schoolkid about to be told off. It was Jack that moved first, rolling his eyes and flicking his head back in a gesture for Alex to come over. Avoiding the crowds of people passing through the older boy did as asked, biting his lip as Jack finally let a tiny smile grow on his lips.


He held his arms open, but Alex shook his head a little, folded his arms around himself and looked at the floor.

'I didn't.. I didn't mean to make you mad', He said quietly, barely hearing himself.

Jack earned his gaze with a gentle nudge to the shoulder, and his eyes were warm and they made Alex's chest ache.

'I over-reacted'

And that was what he always did, tried to take the guilt off of Alex's shoulders. And though the older boy didn't agree with that he bit his tongue this time, if only to save from an argument, and pulled his hoodie sleeves over his hands, wrapping his arms around Jack's middle. His nose pressed against the younger boys neck, and he closed his eyes softly with a sigh.

Calm down Alex
, He coached himself.

- - -

A few days later and Jack was mindlessly pushing food around his plate as he and Alex ate dinner, the clock reading 5:30pm. Some of the older boys textbooks were scattered around the table, and Jack looked at them absently as he tried to think of how to approach his next subject with Alex.

He knew he was going to say no, and that he was probably going to get upset too, but Jack had to try.

One of the things he'd promised to Alex a long time ago was that he was going to help him as best as he could, to live with his condition and not be beat by it. And really, the main set back of aspergers was that Alex found it incredibly hard to interact with people socially. Jack had gotten around that when he was twelve, mainly due to persistence and thick-skin. Alex had had no choice but to let the walls down with him, because if he hadn't Jack would have likely smashed them down.

The younger boy had to smile to himself a little bit at the truth of that, hoping Alex wouldn't notice.

Jack was doing his best to keep his promise to his best friend, and what he really wanted more than anything was to get Alex out of the rut he was in. The only person he ever communicated with-except teachers and his parents when he was forced to- was Jack, and as much as the younger boy loved that he was the one person Alex was comfortable around, he couldn't help but want to change it.

He wanted Alex to make some friends, because there were some great people at their new college, there really were. If the older boy would just try, maybe he'd see that it wasn't so hard to socialize. Jack was pretty much 99 percent sure that if Alex met some people and conversed with him, he'd find out he was a whole lot better socially than he'd thought, that he could prove the doctors theories wrong.

But that was going to be the hard part though, to get Alex to try.

One thing that boy was, was stubborn, and Jack almost backed out of asking him about the party they'd both been invited to at the weekend, because he really didn't want the fuss Alex would no doubt kick up. But that voice was there in his head, telling him that if the older boy didn't try then things would never get better.

And Jack couldn't argue with that, and with a bit lip and a little bit of a wince he slipped his hand under the table, curling it around Alex's and chewing pointedly on a forkful of rice. Subtlety was never his speciality, but apparantly the older boy didn't see how nervous he looked. He just raised an eyebrow, gave Jack's hand half a squeeze and then went back to his food.

The younger boy was glad at least that Alex wasn't shrugging away from contact with him anymore. He hated that and okay he was stalling now.

Just ask him, He muttered internally, sighing and tapping his foot on the floor as though it might pump some adrenaline into him. It didn't, but he went ahead anyway.

'So um, you know that guy Jake?'

He met Alex's eyes and the older boy frowned, 'The one in our English class?'

'Yeah', Jack nodded uneasily, 'Well um, he invited us to a party this weekend so..'


The younger boy grimaced when Alex's grip on his hand loosened.

'Please don't freak out on me' He groaned, 'It's really not a big deal..we can just go for a little bit okay? And if you don't like it then we'll leave'

The older boy was shaking his head before Jack was even done burbling.

'I-I can't..I don't want to'


'You should go though', Alex cut off quietly, easing his hand out of the younger boys and taking both of their plates to the sink, 'You'll have fun'

Jack rolled his eyes at the older boys attempt to sound nonchalant.

'I want us to go together' He clarified, looking at Alex's back as the older boy scrubbed their plates clean just a little too frantically, 'Lex please..'

'I can't Jack', Alex muttered firmly, 'You know I can't, but you should go alright?'

'But I want you to go with me!' Jack whined, dropping his head onto the table dramatically with a pout, 'I wont have fun without you'

'You've never tried'

It was a good point, but the youngest shook his head stubbornly, 'Don't want to try'

He lifted his head when he heard Alex sit down opposite him again, threw his best puppy eyes hopefully.

They hardly worked on the older boy anymore though, and he shook his head. 'No, and you need to get going okay?'

They both looked to the clock and Jack couldn't help a tiny laugh escaping, tinted a little with bitterness. He didn't need to go at all, it was 6:00 pm. Alex's routine was the one that dictated when he had to stay and when he had to go. Sometimes, the younger boy wanted to tell his best friend where to shove his schedule. He didn't like being told when he could see Alex and when he couldn't.

'Whatever' He mumbled, shrugging his hoodie on and standing up, 'Call me later, if you want'

'Jack', Alex frowned, 'Don't...don't leave when we're fighting. I don't.. I hate that'

The younger boy sighed, 'I'm not leaving because I want to Alex', He muttered meaningfully.

Alex dropped his head in understanding and it was quiet until Jack sighed, hating the atmosphere that had been following them around all day.

Even though he wasn't very happy he still circled his arms around the older boys tiny waist and squeezed him tight, mumbling in his ear.

'Just relax and get some sleep okay? Things will be better tomorrow'

Jack certainly hoped they would be, at least, and he ran a few fingers through Alex's hair before he pulled away with a sigh.

'I'll see you tomorrow'

- - - - - -

So like I said, I'm nervous about this and comments would be awesome.
Asperger's is different for every person, but these little quirks and things that Alex has are based on someone awesome with the condition that I know.

Also, this is going to probably be two or three parts long :)

ohyeahmaryohyeahmary on May 31st, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
omg amy this is so perfect fdgfdhsftliurghfdg i don't even have words omg your writing makes me so incoherent and i'm just sitting here reading intently dfkjghgfdg

i had to pause my music because reading this was more important than listening to dirty work ugh this is great

post more soon please fkgjhg
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
sndkfnds thanks mary! :)
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
Amy omg klsdkced
It's reina, I just can't be bothered signing in on my phone
But omg. I loved this part. My heart aches for both of them ughhh. I know you can pull this off just like you've done with all your other stories so don't be nervous about it <33
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
aw hey girl :)
thanks so much bby <3
songs_and_wordssongs_and_words on May 31st, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
ah, this is so great. it's definitely well written to describe how alex is feeling with the condition and I can almost feel the character's frustrations with it. I'm really looking forward to reading more.
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
thank you :) I really want to get the feelings and emotions into this as much as i can, so thanks :)
graciepoox0graciepoox0 on May 31st, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
I really like this so far :)
My ex boyfriend has Asperger's and I can kind of see him in Alex. I hope you write more!
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
aw thank you!
my friend has it and he's one of the most awesome people I know :) he inspired me a lot with this.
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Oh god Amy why is your writing so perfect?
I'm madly in love with this!
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
thank you! you're sweet :3
(Deleted comment)
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
that made me smile so much :D thank you, i'm glad this helped you to understand a little more, it's like a really complex thing but i hope i can break it down so it's not too difficult to understand :)
becausetricyclebecausetricycle on May 31st, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
Oh my lanta(: I missed your writing so so so much!!!!(: When I saw that you had started a new story I almost peed in excitement :D Except not really, cause that would be ewww(: Anyways...

Now that I'm done with my mini cheese out... When I first started reading this, I thought that Alex had severe OCD(: And I was so confused, because I've never heard of someone being picked on for OCD(:

But then when it was finally revealed that he had Asperger's, my heart MELTED(: Seriously(: People with Asperger's are EXTREMELY close to my heart(: My younger brother has it (Alex exhibits a few of his traits actually) and I watch a few kids with Asperger's(: And like you said, each person with Asperger's is different(: But the way they see the world is absolutely beautiful(: I would kill to see the universe the way they do(:

Also, the way Jack practically devotes himself to Alex, although potentially dangerous for the two, is so endearing(: It can take a lot of patience to care for someone with Asperger's, it can be one of the most rewarding things a person can ever experience(: I can't wait to delve deeper into the mechanics of Jack and Alex's relationship(: You handled the topic of Autism in My Heads a Prison and Nobody Visits wonderfully and I can't wait to see what you do with this story(:

And now that I've forgotten everything else I wanted to ramble on about... Until next time, when I can leave another ridiculously long comment :D
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
oh my god you're so sweet! this made me smile like an idiot :D honestly i've missed writing so much.
i'm sorry about your brother sweetie, like, i know its a hard thing to deal with but i agree, they are absolutely lovely people :)
i was really quite worried about doing the syndrome justice because it's so complex, but i just really looked into it and then incorporated things i've learnt or noticed from my friend. He's one of the best people I know and he has aspergers :)
thanks again <3
oheybren on May 31st, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
I love it Amy, it is really great and I can't wait for the next update :)
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
thanks brenna :33
bathedoursmilesbathedoursmiles on May 31st, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
i need to go somewhere now but i'm so reading this over ugh bby perfection ok
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
i love you deannaaaaa
live_by_lyricslive_by_lyrics on May 31st, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, I saw something about Asperger's on tv the other day, so this interests me.

I loved that whole bit about Alex's inner turmoil and how he knows he's a burden/being selfish but doesn't know how to stop.
And of course, Jack is adorable for sacrificing so much, for constantly reassuring him and giving him (un)wanted physical contact :)

I really like that he is trying to get Alex comfortable around other people though? A lot of fanfics just have one of them suffering from a disorder and after they meet they're encased in this like bubble of happiness, and don't try reaching out. Its different.

Is there a story as to how Jack was able to break down Alex's walls when they were 12? I'm curious.

But uh, no need to be nervous. This was great<3.

atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
aw, thanks so much :3
im glad that you mentioned that, because something i've learnt from my friend is that he doesn't let aspergers keep him in a box y'know? like, he does struggle socially but that doesnt mean he doesnt try, or expose himself to people and i kind've want to put that into this fic too. Like, as much as it's a struggle I dont think aspergers is a sentence y'know? i'm not saying it can be beat, but it doesnt need to stop someone with it living a full life.

as for the part about jack getting close to alex i might incorporate that later on, or write a little side story type thing.

but yeah, thank you :3
AllIwantIsBoyBandgabsgimenez on May 31st, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
Jskzusmshksusishiwyshsvus esjus ...Jesus this is soooooooo good you just need to continue and never stop... Jack doing all he can to keep close to alex <3
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
:D thanks aww, you're sweet :3
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
I can tell I'm going to love this already, I've missed your writing so much! :) xo
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
aww thank you :3 i've definitely missed writing
angel_lovaangel_lova on May 31st, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
Oh my! It's adorable. They're adorable. You deserve rainbows and butterflies!

Please keep going? I wanna know how it ends now!
atl340atl340 on May 31st, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
i like rainbows and butterflies! :-)
i sure will, thank you! :33
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atl340atl340 on June 1st, 2011 08:52 am (UTC)
hey! I haven't spoken to you in ages!
aww, i'm really really glad you like this, honestly :3 thank you
(Anonymous) on May 31st, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're writing again! This is really great and I feel like I'm learning something when I read this. Thanks for writing!
atl340atl340 on June 1st, 2011 08:53 am (UTC)
aww yay! thank you :33