Anyway, two things.
One, I love lesstraveled and I love this, too. Olympus High. The best thing since, well, since the last thing she wrote. Haha! Honestly, it's awesome and funny and crazy and its 'watched by' list is multiplying in a very shoebox-worthy way.
Two, I was rereading Everworld, and this happened. Okay, I know nobody reads Everworld, but hey, I used to. And I like David. And... and I have nothing to do, okay? There was this one book where Christopher, that's the annoying, funny, racist one, gets rescued from dying by Ganymede, and then fails to save Ganymede's life in return, and there is much angst. And yeah.
He's charming, funny, laid-back and utterly honest about his emotions. When Christopher is scared, you know it. When he's hungry or mad or resentful or horny or depressed, there's no hiding it.
--April, Everworld, on Christopher Hitchcock.
The thing about being constantly surrounded by pretty young things in skimpy clothing was that eventually, even I stopped noticing everyone's amazing tits. The poppy seed cakes were still great. So was the bed, and the linen, and the fact that I finally smelled clean and didn't have alien spit on my clothes. The nymphs, not so much. So when the latest underclothed girl - dark hair, full lips, large blue eyes - came in with a breakfast tray, I wasn't remotely impressed. And when David snapped, 'Go away. We've already had more food than we can eat,' I didn't even smack him.
April did. 'Jerk. I could do with some more of those cakes.'
Jalil said, 'You're polite, aren't you?'
'We need to focus,' David said for the millionth time. 'We need to concentrate. Christopher and I have been asleep for two days if real-world time is any guideline. And while we were asleep, what did you do, Jalil, April? You ate cakes.'
'They ate bread, too,' I pointed out jealously. 'And Jalil ate a ton of sushi, or raw clams, at least.'
'What did you expect us to do without you around, General Davideus?' April said, in her most sarcastic tone. 'Sleeping's just as bad as eating. Anyway I think we deserve a day or two of r-and-r after spectacularly firebombing Ka Anor.'
'That's just the kind of thing we can't think,' said David. Intense, in his General Davideus voice. That annoying muscle twitching in his cheek. 'We can't let Olympus get to us. It'll make us soft. We aren't going to stay here forever. And who knows what Everworld will throw at us next?'
All of us rolled our eyes at him. But the thing about making David our commander, our general, letting him face all of our fears head-first while the rest of us followed behind, was that even I felt bad about making too much fun of him. We had an hour-long discussion about Senna and the motives of the Coo-Hatch. And whether Senna's mother was actually a witch. And whether it was really her power over David that made him act like a pussy whenever she appeared, which April seemed to enjoy bringing up. (She thought yes, Jalil and I thought it was half real David, and David refused to comment.)
Another pretty young thing entered the room. Male this time, blond ringlets like a lesser version of Ganymede. And we could see that April wasn't impressed. He offered her a massage and she snapped, 'No, thanks,' in a passable imitation of David. They never seemed to be at all offended by David's special underling voice, so we had all sort of picked up the habit of telling them what to do.
'I'm glad you're all starting to see sense,' said David, in his buzzkill tone. 'Fooling around with nymphs which, for all we know, may be Dionysus fakes, is not exactly going to help our campaign.'
And he cut right through the eye-rolling with another discussion on how we were going to trick one of the gods, preferably the most gullible one, into telling us the whole truth about their lack of involvement in the war against Ka Anor.
Sometimes I hated David. It was hard not to, when he was the brave one. Braver than all of us even though both me and Jalil were bigger than him. Also, he was really terrible at being a normal teenage boy.
Look at him pretending to be a drunken frat boy at Dionysus' fake party. It was pitiful. He was like someone's dad. If we hadn't had to fool the Hetwan, he would've been shoving away all the blonde nymphs that were throwing themselves at him, and polishing his sword, or something.
Yeah. It was easy to hate David when I was tired and hungry and half dead from fear and he was being a total drag, doing his whole self-appointed Napoleon act.
But right now, when we were lying on our stomachs on the softest mattress known to man or the gods, it was a little easier to feel some genuine affection for the guy. For one thing, he smelled nice. Clean, fresh, teenage-boy-ish. It was nice. It was familiar. And I smelled like Olympus' rose soap, which was kind of revolting on a guy. The world was not fair.
I rolled a little closer, trying not to think about how much this reminded me of Ganymede, and it was like walking into my own closet at home. That smell - the one that you get when you're wearing a nice clean shirt. Ahhh. Then the Christopher-is-a-jerkwad voice kicked in and told me how gay I was acting.
'Christopher,' said Jalil, who was lying next to David, 'dude, get a grip. You look like you're checking David out, which is definitely not possible in this world or the real one.'
'One too many glasses of mead,' said April.
I scowled. 'Fuck you, Jalil. I am not gay.'
'That's basically what they're saying,' David said in an amused tone. We'd all learned to read him pretty well by now. His 'amused' was my 'fuck this party is boring', Jalil's 'I know more than you, you white dumbass'.
'What's the matter,' said April, with her mocking smile, 'afraid Ganymede's rubbed off on you some?'
And there was an instant chill. I think it was because of my face. April reached out a hand, apologetic, but I didn't take it.
'I'm sorry, Christopher, I didn't mean -'
'It's fine,' I said heavily. 'Just don't mention Ganymede any more, okay?' And I rolled a little closer to David, because if there was one thing that Ganymede had taught me, it was not to be ashamed of acting totally gay sometimes. The dude had been totally unashamed of dressing like Jethro Bodine, after all.
I was back in the real world, and I was at a Starbucks. What was I doing at a Starbucks? It was twelve blocks away from my house.
Apparently, I was getting coffee. A young man stood behind the counter. He had dark brown hair and an annoying look on his face. And his nametag said DAVID LEVIN.
What the hell was I doing at David's Starbucks? It was a place I generally avoided like the plague.
'Christopher? Christopher?' David was saying, but news from the Everworld me was slamming into my brain and I didn't answer.
'Everworld,' he said, understanding, and clapped me on the shoulder to bring me back to my senses. An elderly lady gave us a 'you freaks' look. 'Listen, Christopher. I told you. Why don't you try for a job here? There's a position open right now, I could -'
'No offense, Napoleon,' I said, 'but I don't know if real-you and real-me want to have a job which puts us in close proximity for hours on end. We'll be together here and in Everworld. I think it might just drive me insane.'
The person behind me, probably impatient for their caffeine fix, coughed loudly. David scowled at me and said, 'Mocha ice blended, then?'
I sat there nursing that fucking styrofoam cup until David got off work and came outside with me. It was kind of cold outside. David put his hands on the Starbucks cup to warm them. I shook him off impatiently because we looked like we were holding hands.
'So,' said David after an awkward silence, 'how's things in Everworld?'
The real world David was boring.
That I had always known. But if I were to listen to that tiny voice deep down inside me, I would have to admit that. That what? That I liked Everworld David? No, I didn't. That I thought he was interesting? No, the Everworld David was just as boring as real world David, and a very real buzzkill to boot. Most of the time.
Except that the whole General Davideus thing transformed him. Except that he transitioned from mildly attractive to extremely hot when he was screaming orders at me and waving that stupid sword around. He was pretty handy with it, too.
And I hadn't quite come to terms with the fact that I kinda got off on his suicidal Napoleon/Jesus thing.
'Christopher, you're spacing out again,' David said, waving his hands in front of my face. 'If you're not going to drink your coffee I want it. Give it here.'
God, the real world David was annoying.
And just like that, I was back in Everworld. Everworld me was all 'What the hell, David?' because I'd been fast asleep and here he was, practically sitting on me, shaking me a little harder than was actually required.
'You fell asleep in the middle of our discussion,' David said reproachfully. 'This happens to be my bed.'
'Screw you, David. I was enjoying some coffee. Which, in case you'd forgotten, we don't get around these parts any more.'
David rolled his eyes. 'Christopher, just get out of my bed. I've been listening to you mutter things in your sleep for hours.'
'What things?' I said, suddenly defensive.
'Napoleon, for one. Also, you lost your real-world job, and you were complaining about Starbucks.' David yawned. I realized that I'd probably been sleeping for a while. The view through the windows was nothing but darkness. In the bad light David had that whole intense, unshaven thing going on. He was staring at me as though he was trying to read my mind.
'Don't be creepy, man,' I said. 'Let me guess, you heard your own name?'
'You dragged me to a Starbucks,' I said, 'in order to find me a job. Then you tried to steal my coffee.'
'Oh, right.' David scrubbed a hand over his eyes. 'Of course. Then you refused to take my advice and acted very pissy about it, and dragged me down three streets job-hunting?'
'Man, did I say that much?'
'Nah,' David said, bright gleam of teeth, dashboard-saint white. 'I know you, Christopher.'
That got me. The annoying, know-it-all smirk on his face. 'So you know everything, David?' I snapped. 'You know all about me?'
'I know enough to keep us all alive.'
'Fuck you,' I said, and without giving him any time to react - or giving me any time to think about how much I'd changed these past few - I leaned in. Shoved one knee between his and pushed him down with my weight. David's shocked blue eyes stared up into mine. I felt an obscene thrill. Not at what I was doing, but at David's reaction. He was completely thrown. Davideus, Napoleon, Lee - he had no idea what I was doing.
Or did he? Now he was blushing. The way he did when he'd been tricked, or when April saw something before he did, or when he failed to allow for this catastrophe or that. His whole face was crimson. If he blushed any harder he'd be bleeding from his eyeballs.
'Christopher, get off me,' he said, but I shook my head and leaned in some more, and bit him very hard on the lip. He made a tiny scuffling noise in his throat.
'What the hell are you doing?'
'Nothing,' I said, and laid the back of my hand against his cheek. It was fever-hot. Definitely about to start bleeding from the eyes.
'Look, Christopher, get off me,' he said, but I didn't. I kissed him.
We pushed at each other. I grabbed a handful of his hair. He bit me right back and I think I tasted blood. Right about then he pulled back and I could see his eyes had gone glazed. It was the same look he had when he got that rush, you know that rush? The one he gets when he kills people and feels bad, but hey, he can't stop the increased heartbeat. Or the dilated pupils.
He was totally getting off on this.
So I pinned his arms and kissed him some more. Something crashed to the floor and shattered. It sounded like one of April's seed cake platters. David didn't even twitch. He put up half-hearted resistance for about thirty seconds - all 'Christopher, stop' and 'Are you going insane?' - but underneath it all he was so ready it wasn't even funny. He finally shut up when I kissed him so hard he couldn't breathe and had to tear his mouth away.
Then things started to get a whole lot more interesting. I slid up that stupid ugly Radiohead t-shirt and I swear he moaned right in my ear. His hands stayed at the small of my back. I wondered if he'd been this innocent with Senna, and said so. He scowled at me and suddenly I was on my back, David on top of me, hands braced on either side of my head.
Yeah, that was definitely interesting. Suddenly I was the one that couldn't breathe. He stared down at me for so long I was starting to get the shivers, and then we started pushing at each other again. I bit him. He bit me. David wouldn't let me roll us over, kept me pinned with his arms and his knees, and what do you know, he was getting the Davideus face on and I was definitely turned on. Past the point of no return, even.
And then there was the knock on the door. We froze. David's lips were on my throat.
'David,' April called, 'you dreaming or something? Wake up, get dressed. Athena wants to see us.'
She probably didn't want to open the door in case David did something like sleep in his underwear. I had it for a fact that the boy slept fully clothed, without so much as removing the jeans. It was weird.
'Fuck,' I said for the third time that day, as David rolled off me slowly.
We got up and looked at each other, suddenly uncomfortable. I took him in slowly, head to toe: lip bleeding, a very obvious bite mark on his neck. I imagined I must've looked worse than him. David was a violent little bastard.
'Let's never talk about this again,' David said in a rush.
'That would be great,' I said slowly.
David's face was more witch-spelled little boy than Davideus now. 'I won't ask you why,' he said, and reached up to press down at the base of my neck. I hissed. It felt like a really big bruise. 'Sorry.'
We stared at each other for a few seconds more. David said, 'I guess Ganymede made a big impression on you, huh?' and then got this look on his face like he was waiting for me to punch him, so that everything would go back to normal.
'Yeah,' I said, just to fuck with his head. 'I guess he did.'