Generation 5 Special: So, What Are We Now? (Pt. 1 of 2)

Generation 5 Special- So What Are We Now (Pt. 1 of 2)

A/N: Oh boy…how to explain myself? Well, as many of you know I fell into another round of writer’s block that lasted most of the summer, a realization that got me panicking so much that I started asking for suggestions on how to break it and one of the recommendations I received was to ask people to send in prompt requests and write those instead to help inspire me.

So, I asked for requests on Tumblr and some amazing people sent them in and well, it worked! However, my inability to write anything short (this author’s note in point), led to THIS. Ahem. So, what exactly is this? WELL, dandylion240 sent in the prompt request “So, what are we now?” for Isaac and Augustus and I thought this fit so well for their past that it turned into a short story comprised of a collection of flashbacks from their past. Ta da!!!! *crickets chirping* I uh, well, I think it’s pretty good…maybe. I mean, I’m proud of it and…and it’s canon!! So, I think it could help you guys understand better? What happened between them? Thereby providing context? *laughs nervously* Alrighty then, well, um, I’ll let you guys decide if this was worth the detour. Yeah? Yeah.

Also, I’ve split this into two parts because it’s long and honestly I got impatient to post. It’s a bit stupid because it’s supposed to go together, but I’ve ceased to care and this way you get an update sooner, followed by another update quickly after that! Good? Good.

I sincerely hope you all enjoy this labor of love and hopefully I get back on-track after this. Generation 5 (and its side arcs) seriously need to end, lol. Happy reading!

I’m super excited and anxious to see what you all think!  ❤

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Sophomore Year. Late September. Scene I.

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Augustus Winters was usually a very good listener. He listened because he had an innate need to understand and to know, but today, he was so inarguably bored that his attention kept shifting to the window beside him. It was covered in fingerprints; dust and indeterminable grime gathered on the sill. There was a tiny spider perched on its web in the corner. Augustus watched it for a time, but when it showed about as much life as a doorknob, his gaze slid out the window instead.

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It was a windy day; great masses of clouds roving quickly across the sky and small twisters of leaves twirling on the concrete as the strengthening winds swept them up. Augustus felt the itch to draw the scene, or better yet, paint it, but instead he was trapped inside a classroom, compelled to listen Mrs. Fenton’s ringing tones as she described the first project they would be completing this semester.

The requirements were listed on the handout she’d passed out, but evidently she felt the need to go through every component individually and in excruciating detail. Augustus had already read the handout five times and she was still near the middle of the page.

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Truth be told, he felt a little bad because judging by the glassy eyed stares of his fellow classmates, no one was paying attention. There was even a bleach blonde girl who was filing her nails beneath her desk. How Mrs. Fenton failed to notice this Augustus had no idea because it was making this grating scratching noise that made him want to snatch the filer out of her hand and hurl it out the window. Clearly at least one person shared his sentiments though because a paper ball suddenly soared across the room and pelted her in the back of the head.

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The girl whipped around in the direction of the throw, looking about ready to lob her nail filer like a javelin at whoever threw it, but of course no one fessed up and hardly anyone had even noticed it happen, too absorbed in their daydreams or surreptitiously texting.

The blonde narrowed her eyes, a silent dare to the unknown person to try that again, and then slowly turned back around. Augustus almost wished someone would throw another paper ball (into the trashcan or something) if only because it would at least be interesting, but the air was once again devoid of flying debris.

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“Alright then,” Mrs. Fenton said happily, oblivious to the retaliatory stabbing that had nearly taken place in her classroom. “Each of you will now be given a number and your task will be to find the one or two other people in the class who share your number. Once you find them, take a seat together and begin brainstorming how your group wants to tackle this project. I recommend getting some ideas jotted down for how you’ll make your presentation both engaging and interactive, as this portion of the project typically tends to be the trickiest. Are there any questions before we continue?”

No one raised their hands, so Mrs. Fenton strolled over to her desk, picked up a stack of halved notecards, and then began to pass them out.

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“Now remember, don’t look at the number until I say ‘go,’” she warned, but Augustus could see some students peeking at their cards anyway, already mouthing to their friends what they got and looking to trade numbers.

Mrs. Fenton set a card on the corner of Augustus’ desk, her peach, manicured nails clicking briefly against the wood before she continued down the aisle. He was also tempted to peek, but there was no real point since he didn’t know anyone in this class anyway.

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“Okay!” Mrs. Fenton declared once she had passed out the last card. “Quickly and quietly find your group members. Most groups will consist of two people, but there are some groups of three so keep a look out! ….well, quickly now, go, go, go!” She waved her hands as if shooing them, the many bangles on her wrist clinking as she did.

Reluctantly, her students began to stand, but from there they mostly looked confused, staring at one another or half-heartedly holding up their cards.

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“¿Quién tiene el otro siete?” mumbled a girl standing a few feet away from Augustus. She had long, thick curly-hair that looked crunchy because of all the mousse she used to style it. Her sandals were creased as she tiptoed to search the crowd. “¿Lo tienes, Floribel? I will buy you lunch if you trade,” she said to a girl with perfectly tweezed brows and carnation pink lips.

Floribel laughed in response, a tinkling sound that reminded Gus of wind chimes. “No, pero if I did have ‘7’ I wouldn’t trade it even with you,” she confessed, earning a disapproving scowl from her friend.

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Vaguely wondering why they wanted that number so badly, Augustus flipped his own card over and then snorted. The number ‘7’ was neatly printed upon it.

Go figure.

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Standing, Augustus debated whether or not he should be nice and trade the card with the curly-haired girl, but he’d scarcely walked two steps when he nearly crashed right into someone. He halted in his steps, about to apologize, but before he could say anything the guy he’d nearly bowled over casually asked, “Number seven?” and then held up his card between two fingers.

Augustus’ eyes focused on the card first, where a bold ‘7’ was printed upon its surface. “Uh, yeah, I—” he began to say, and then to his utter dismay instantly felt his entire body flush when his gaze shifted to the boy’s face.

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A pair of bright, impossibly golden eyes surveyed him inquiringly; a small smirk turning up the corner of his lips, which looked temptingly kissable. Upon having this thought, Augustus promptly dropped his gaze again, his face burning and the vague desire to vault out the window increasing with every second that he couldn’t quite manage to get his voice back. He didn’t even know one could actually react this way upon seeing another person. It seemed a reaction specially crafted for storybooks and movies, yet here he was with sweaty palms and pink cheeks.

Suddenly, it made sense why those girls were so interested in the number seven. Fuck.

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Taking in a steadying breath and mentally kicking himself for being so ridiculous (not to mention transparent), Augustus forced himself to calmly say, “Yeah. Seven. Guess we’re a group.”

“Guess so,” the golden-eyed brunet echoed, and then after a brief pause confidently added, “I’m Isaac, if you didn’t know. Isaac Santiago Taveras.” He let his full name roll fluidly off his tongue, which did absolutely nothing to slow Gus’ bounding heart.

“Well, hope you don’t mind if I just stick with ‘Isaac,’ Augustus joked a little nervously.

Isaac tilted his head, as if bemused by Gus’ comment. A moment later a faint smile graced his lips and he replied, “I guess that’d be fine.”

“I’m Augustus. Or August. Or Gus.” He absently rubbed the back of his neck and then added, “Um, most people go with ‘Gus,’ but I don’t really have a preference myself.”

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“Alright, Augustus, August, Gus.”

“Well don’t use them all at once!” Augustus admonished him, and then abruptly smiled without meaning to when Isaac laughed. He had a really nice laugh. Augustus thought it was like the real life version of a cheering charm from Harry Potter: It made you feel happier and, if overdone, it was likely to send you into a fit of hysterics too.

“So you do have a little bit of a preference then,” Isaac noted with a smirk.

Augustus rolled his eyes. “Yeah thanks, you helped me discover it.”

The brunet’s smirk turned into a genuine smile and then he gestured toward the window. “Shall we sit?”

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Augustus opened his mouth to say ‘yes,’ but then caught a glimpse of the curly-haired girl over Isaac’s shoulder. Much to his discomfort, the girl was openly glaring at him and, judging by the way her friend Floribel was also looking their way, had just been talking about them. Augustus chewed his lip and then glanced back at Isaac apprehensively. “Um, well…that girl with…with the curly hair?”

“Elena?” Isaac interjected with a raised brow.

“Uh, yeah. Her, I think—wearing the red shirt. Um, she wanted to be paired up with you. Do you want me to trade numbers with her?”

Isaac turned to look back at Elena, and for an inexplicably disheartening moment Augustus thought he was going to say yes, but then he shifted his attention back on Gus and slowly shook his head. “Nah, it’s fine,” he said, and then seeing the expression on his face smiled and added, “Don’t worry about it. She’s just used to us working together, that’s all. She’ll be fine.”

“Oh. Um, well, you’re sure? I don’t mind either way.”

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“Are you trying to get rid of me?” Isaac inquired with a playful smirk.

Augustus flushed. He vaguely wondered if Isaac practiced those smirks of his, or whether they came naturally to him. “No,” he mumbled.

“Then let’s sit.”

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The two boys sat; Augustus returning to his old seat and Isaac turning a chair around so they could share his desk. The close proximity gave Augustus butterflies—another sensation he’d previously believed was made up. He cautiously glanced at Isaac through his bangs. He was reading his copy of the project requirements, his brow furrowed slightly in concentration. The butterflies in Gus’ belly went rather mad, causing him to have to drop his gaze again.

It wasn’t as if Augustus had never noticed the brunet before, he had (how could he not?), but they’d never spoken before, nor even sat on the same side of the room let alone face-to-face. He wasn’t sure what to say. Something about the project, he supposed, but he didn’t have any ideas for it yet and as it wasn’t due for a couple weeks, didn’t feel any urgency in thinking up some. He chewed on his lip, staring blankly at his paper and wondering if he even should talk, because Isaac seemed pretty focused.

“Hang on,” the brunet finally mumbled, and then got up.

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Augustus watched as he walked back over to the other side of his room and grabbed his backpack. Elena rushed up to him, taking holding of his arm and engaging him in conversation, but whatever she was saying was in Spanish and somewhat muffed, so Augustus didn’t have a hope of figuring out what it was.

Isaac replied and Augustus couldn’t make that out either, but he did see the unhappy frown that appeared on Elena’s doll-like face. Worrying now that he had caused some conflict between them, Augustus looked back out at the window. The wind was picking up even more. It was likely going to rain.

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Isaac took his seat in front of Augustus again, his half-open backpack now propped up against the desk. Still at a loss for words, Gus turned his attention back to his paper, but a second later he found his interest shifting to Isaac’s backpack, where the corner of what looked to be a sketchbook was sticking out.

A jolt of excitement infiltrated Gus’ mood, but he forced himself to ask in a casual tone, “Do you draw?”

The brunet glanced up at him questioningly, his eyes then following Gus’ hand as he pointed toward his backpack. “Sometimes,” he muttered, looking as if he wanted to drop the subject.

“Could I see?” Augustus pressed anyway.

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Isaac’s bright, topaz eyes flickered upward again to meet his. His gaze felt searching, but for the life of him Augustus couldn’t figure out what he was looking for. He felt his face grow warm again and the desire to dive into the bushes beneath the window increased again, but he managed to keep his expression merely mildly curious.

“Only if you show me yours,” he finally answered.

“What?”

Isaac clicked his tongue in disapproval and then gestured lazily toward Gus’ backpack, which also had a sketchbook sticking out of it.

“Oh,” Augustus said, letting his hair fall into his face to hide his ever reddening cheeks. “Um, okay.” He practically dove beneath his desk, taking his time fetching the book before he slowly rose to face Isaac again.

He was already holding out his worn sketchbook to him. Augustus carefully took it and then replaced it with his own.

Isaac muttered a thanks, placed it on his desk, opened the cover to look at the first drawing and then, much to Augustus’ shock, slammed it shut and yanked his own sketchbook back out of Gus’ hands.

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“Hey! What the hell?” Augustus cried out, earning a reproachful look from Mrs. Fenton. “Sorry,” he mumbled, lowering his head in apology. The dark-haired boy felt his teacher’s suspicious stare linger, but eventually she turned around when someone on the other side of the room called her name.

As soon as she did, Augustus’ eyes snapped back to Isaac’s. “What’s the big i—”

Isaac jabbed his finger at Gus’ sketchbook. “You draw like this and you want to see mine?” he asked in a hushed voice, his brows raised in disbelief. “Fuck no. What are you, a prodigy or something?”

“Huh? No, they’re not that g—”

“Yes, they are. I’ve never seen drawings like this. Not in person anyway. You’re fucking talented. Holy shit.”

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Augustus didn’t know what to say. His tongue was tied up and his face was burning again. “I—” He sighed deeply. “May I please see your drawings?” he requested earnestly.

“Are you pouting?”

“What? No. I mean, I don’t know. I can’t see my face.”

“You can’t see your face,” Isaac deadpanned, which for some reason made Augustus laugh.

“Stopppp, come on,” he complained. The brunet chuckled and then, shaking his head in defeat, tossed his sketchbook back at Augustus, who caught it happily.

“You’re ridiculous, you know that?”

Augustus ignored him, flipping open the notebook and then immediately smiling anew. Isaac’s drawings were of dozens and dozens of characters that looked like they’d come straight out of a video game or an anime. They were good too, he didn’t care what Isaac thought, not to mention interesting to look at. There were characters striking poses, leaping, drawing weapons he’d never seen before, making silly faces, or even locked in combat. He supposed if he were familiar with more video games, he might even be able to name some of the characters, as a few of them looked vaguely familiar.

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“You must really like video games,” Augustus mused.

“Nah, hate them.”

“Aren’t we hilarious?” Augustus muttered, turning the page again. “Oh, hey! Link! I know that one.”

I know that one,” Isaac mouthed and this time Augustus lobbed his pencil at him.

“Don’t be an ass!”

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“Hey!” Isaac exclaimed in surprise, clumsily catching the pencil and nearly dropping it in the process. “Said the guy looking to give me lead poisoning,” he noted, holding up the pencil as evidence of Gus’ alleged murderous intent.

“It’s not lead, it’s graphite,” Augustus informed him, reaching to take it back.

“Graphite poisoning,” Isaac dryly corrected, pulling back the writing utensil at the last moment so that Augustus grasped at air.

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“Oh, very funny. You’re an idiot. Do you know that?” Gus retorted, and then abruptly turned to look out the window with an expression of abject horror. Isaac turned his head too and Augustus took that opportunity to snatch the pencil out of his hand.

“Clever boy,” Isaac praised with a smirk once he realized what had happened.

Augustus couldn’t quite rid himself of the triumphant smile that spread across his face.

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The golden-eyed brunet briefly raised an eyebrow and then leaned back in his seat, drawling, “’Stay in a group with him,’ my brain said. ‘He’ll be a nice partner,’ my brain said. Lies.”

“Hey, I’m nice,” Augustus protested with another unintended pout.

Isaac snorted. “Yeah, to look at maybe.”

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Augustus froze, gaping at Isaac and midway through turning another page in his sketchbook. He felt as if the ceiling had suddenly fallen upon on his head. He might have even had the blunt force injury to prove it. After all, he certainly felt stunned enough.

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Isaac, meanwhile, grimaced. “Don’t fucking look into that,” he growled, sitting up. “I just meant the only nice you might be is that, and maybe not even. You’re annoying, in fact. And way too fucking sensitive,” he added when Gus’ face fell.

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Augustus couldn’t help his reaction though. The conversation had taken a complete one-eighty. Or…or maybe it hadn’t? Maybe…maybe this entire time Isaac was actually irritated by their banter? Maybe Augustus had misread everything.

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“I’m sorry,” Augustus uttered quietly, his head slightly bowed and his bangs falling into his eyes. “I didn’t mean to…to annoy you. I thought—I…I’m sorry.” He handed Isaac’s sketchbook back to him, suddenly wanting to be anywhere but here. He should have traded that damned number from the start.

“Don’t do that,” Isaac mumbled uncomfortably and then sighed heavily. The sound pulled Augustus out of his thoughts. He watched uncertainly as Isaac shut his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.

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I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. You are nice and you’re not annoying at all. I don’t know why I said that.”

Augustus frowned, a slow and utterly disappointing realization dawning upon him. “Isaac…if…if you have a problem with me then we can just—”

“I don’t have a problem with you,” Isaac interjected so vehemently that Augustus looked up at him in surprise. “I promise you. Okay?”

Isaac promised…but what good was a promise from someone you’d only spoken to for about fifteen minutes? Augustus made a slight face, tapping his fingers against the desk as his brain debated. “You’re a little fucked up, you know that?” he asked.

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Isaac let out a short, humorless laugh, but he didn’t say anything else. Instead, he returned to skimming the project requirements, looking quite put out. The sight made Gus’ heart sink. He wanted to go back to five minutes ago when they’d been laughing and joking. Only fifteen minutes of conversation and that was already all Augustus wanted.

Deciding to take a real gamble, Augustus took out a sheet of paper and then began to write upon it in large, looping cursive letters. There was every possibility that this could backfire, but if Isaac really didn’t have a problem with him….

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He turned the paper around and slid it across the desk toward Isaac. The brunet lifted his head to look at it and then went through a series of reactions in rapid succession, first letting out a short, incredulous laugh; then rubbing the back of his head and taking a cursory look around them; and finally scoffing and pushing the paper back toward Augustus in seeming annoyance. Though as the page was still face up, the neatly written words were still clearly visible: You know, I think you’re pretty nice to look at too.

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“Whatever,” Isaac grumbled, resting both of his arms on the desk and determinedly avoiding Gus’ eyes. “Let’s just…figure this damn project out, okay?” he asked, though not entirely unkindly.

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Augustus lowered his head to hide the smile of amusement that graced his lips before he pocketed the note and quietly replied, “Okay, Isaac.” Okay.

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So, what are we now?

* * * * *

Sophomore Year. October. Scene II.

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The sun was burning low on the horizon, dappling the waves in tawny light and casting long shadows across the smooth, ecru sand. Isaac and Augustus walked along the shoreline, enjoying strawberry ice creams they’d purchased to celebrate the completion of their project.

It had been much more difficult than they’d anticipated, but this they knew was their fault as they’d chosen to make a stop-motion video instead of a much less time-consuming PowerPoint or tri-fold poster board. It had taken many late nights, unfortunate program crashes, and despairing groans of frustration, but mostly it had been long conversations by the fireplace in Gus’ living room, laughter, munching on salty snacks, and falling asleep surrounded by Lego bricks and storyboard sketches as the fire died down and Gus’ parents peered in bemusedly.

Even with its challenges, it was the most fun Augustus had ever had doing a school project and now that it was coming to a close, a strange sense of emptiness was beginning to settle upon his heart.

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“You seem kind of down,” Isaac observed, peering over at him. “Is something wrong?”

Augustus lifted his gaze from a clump of seaweed that had washed up on the shore, feeling surprised that Isaac had noticed his shift in mood so quickly. He hadn’t even realized that he’d been showing it. Dropping his gaze and with slightly rosy cheeks Augustus replied, “I dunno…it’s just, well, after we present tomorrow, the project’s over.”

Isaac’s ice cream froze midway to his mouth as he looked at Augustus in astonishment. “Please tell me you’re not that much of a dork.”

The dark-haired boy laughed in spite of himself, shaking his head. “No, shut up. That’s not what I meant. I…” He paused, taking a self-conscious bite of his ice cream. This sounded so silly, but….

“I guess I realized that…that we won’t really be hanging out as much anymore, you know?” Augustus looked over at Isaac apprehensively as they walked. There was a small frown pulling at the corners of his lips, his brows furrowed as he took in Gus’ comment.

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“Why wouldn’t we hang out as much?” he asked.

“Because we run in different circles,” Augustus answered almost immediately, having given this some thought. “I mean we’ve only got the one class together and our assigned seats are nowhere near each other; you’re about to get even busier with Cross Country and me with Art Club; and we share no friends at all in common. Not to mention you’re clearly cool and popular and I’m—”

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“Smart, creative, fun to talk to, and one of the most genuinely kind people I’ve ever met,” Isaac quietly interjected.

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Augustus blushed, the apples of his cheeks now practically matching the shade of his strawberry ice cream. “Oh, um…well, oh….I mean…but, the rest.…” he trailed off stupidly.

“I get what you’re saying,” Isaac reluctantly began, “but we’ve managed so far. Why should that change now?”

Augustus frowned. Admittedly, he didn’t have a good answer to that, but somehow the empty feeling within his chest remained. It was easy enough to say they would keep hanging out, but without the prospect of a specific goal they needed to accomplish, who could guarantee they wouldn’t fall out of touch? Even thinking of it made his ice cream taste less sweet.

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“Gus,” Isaac said, his footsteps coming to an abrupt halt in the sand.

Augustus stopped too, looking up at him questioningly.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he reassured him seriously. “Not unless you want me to.”

“No,” Augustus whispered. “Never.”

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In a rare instance, their eyes met one another’s simultaneously, bright golden honey and deepest reddish-brown. A feeling unlike any other Gus had experienced swept over him, causing his heart to skip, his stomach to flutter, and his skin to flush all at once.

Damn.

If he took a mere step closer, their lips would touch. Augustus so wanted that…he so wanted to kiss him and part of him thought that maybe Isaac did too, but he didn’t feel sure enough. Sometimes he felt like it’d be welcomed, but other times he’d catch Elena running her fingers down Isaac’s arm while she talked to him at school and the brunet would smile at her in return and that was so very confusing.

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“Your ice cream is melting,” Isaac noted, taking a step back and giving a slight nod in its direction.

Augustus glanced down, flushing as he realized it was beginning to drip all over his hand. Isaac reached into the pocket of his jeans, pulling out a napkin and handing it to him.

“Thanks,” he mumbled in embarrassment, but Isaac only smiled a little and then looked away, bringing his own ice cream back to his mouth.

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The two resumed their walk in relative silence, Augustus still vaguely mortified that he apparently ate ice cream like a five year old. A slight breeze rustled his jet-black hair. Although he would have preferred to be talking to the brunet, Augustus couldn’t help but notice that there was a comfort he derived simply by being in his presence. God, it was almost scary—how much he could come to like Isaac in so little time.

They finished their ice creams, crunching on the last bits of cone and then tossing their paper wrappings and used napkins into a trash can further up the beach.

Isaac took a look out across the sea, where the sun was beginning to disappear beyond the rushing waves. The golden light made his eyes glow even brighter.

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“It’s getting late,” he remarked, and then glanced over at Augustus with a sudden, mischievous smirk.

“No,” Augustus immediately protested, holding up his hands. “Absolutely not. The last time I ran back with you I nearly passed out!”

“You were being way overdramatic.”

“I couldn’t breathe!”

“You flopped down into the grass on the side of the road and began crying out, ‘I’m dying! I’m dying!”

“I honestly felt that was an accurate description of my condition at the time.”

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Isaac laughed, a warm, open laugh that caused Gus’ heart to swell and a smile to return his lips. “Just to City Hall then,” Isaac bargained.

“Oh! Only a mile, don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” Augustus drawled sarcastically.

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Another laugh escaped the brunet and then after a quick wink, Isaac took off, bolting ahead so fast that Augustus couldn’t help but gape for a moment in mild admiration. As the distance between them became more noticeable though Augustus cursed and took off after him.

He knew that he would never catch him, but he also knew that he would always try.

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So, what are we now?

* * * * *

Sophomore Year. Late October. Scene III.

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“You really are hopeless, aren’t you?”

Augustus tore his gaze away from the opposite side of the lunchroom, where Isaac was sitting and laughing with his friends, a certain curly-haired girl settled right beside him. She kept covering her mouth and giggling whenever Isaac spoke, her eyes almost never leaving his face.

He sighed unintentionally, gloomily prodding at the last of his yogurt before he muttered, “I prefer to call it ‘royally fucked.’”

His twin sister laughed, causing Augustus to lift his head and narrow his eyes at her.

“Oh, don’t be angry,” Gemma chided in disapproval. “I’m not laughing at you. It’s just…I’ve never seen you like this before, about anyone. It’s very odd.”

“And so you laugh?”

“Well, it’s sort of cute. How much you like him, I mean. Don’t you think there’s any hope?”

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A second, longer sigh escaped Augustus before he slowly shook his head. “I don’t even know anymore. Sometimes it feels like there is…and other times….” He cautiously peered back over at Isaac’s lunch table, where Elena really seemed to be turning up the charm for him.

Gemma followed his gaze with a thoughtful expression. “He doesn’t seem wildly interested in her,” she commented bracingly.

“I’m not sure what that says though,” Augustus quietly replied. He picked up his turkey sandwich to take a bite, trying to ignore how dry it tasted and how the back of his neck felt increasingly hot.

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“Tell me about the times in which it feels like there is hope. What does he do that makes you feel that way?”

Augustus swallowed with some difficultly, then twisting the cap off his water bottle to take a sip. “The way he looks at me.”

Gemma raised both eyebrows, the escaped fluffy curls of her ponytail making her look even more surprised. Augustus felt his face warm up as he hastily clarified, “It’s not like that. It’s like a…a soft look, I guess? And then when we’re completely alone—and I mean completely—he’ll….”

“He’ll…?” his sister prompted, tilting her head slightly.

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Augustus exhaled sharply. “I mean it could be accidental or not mean anything at all, but he’ll do things like…brush my hair out of my face or…kind of lean against me a little when we’re watching a movie or something.”

“I see. Well, you’re an idiot,” Gemma confidently concluded.

“What? Wait, why? Those aren’t things guys typically do to their friends, I—”

“Exactly,” she interjected, flourishing the cheese stick that she was eating for added emphasis. “There’s no way he’s not interested. Most of the guys I’ve ever spoken to would sooner chop off their left testicle than brush their male friend’s hair out of their eyes. I mean, come on. Their friend could be completely blinded by their hair and they would likely only laugh because god forbid they ever get near a guy like that. I mean I suppose there could be exceptions, but honestly speaking…wouldn’t you agree?”

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“Chop off their left testicle?” Augustus echoed incredulously.

“Was that all you heard? It was only an example.”

“Jesus.”

Gemma shrugged, popping the rest of the cheese stick in her mouth while Augustus slowly took another sip from his water bottle. He wanted to believe that his sister had a point, and part of him did feel this way, but it wasn’t enough to convince him either way. In fact, there were some days when Augustus would have given anything for his feelings toward Isaac to be purely platonic.

Unbidden, his gaze once again slid across the lunchroom, where Elena was spearing a peach slice on the end of her fork. She offered it to Isaac and then giggled when the brunet smirked and pulled it off with his teeth.

Gemma shifted uncomfortably, having followed Gus’ gaze and seen it too. “Whatever,” she muttered, waving her hand dismissively. “I still stand by what I said.”

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“Bury me.”

Confront him,” she firmly instructed, ignoring her brother’s plea for death.

Augustus rubbed his temple, feeling a faint headache coming on. “I want to,” he began tiredly, “but what if doing so makes me lose him as a friend? This sucks, yeah, but I’d rather be friends and have a stupid crush than never be able to talk to him again.” Augustus paused, chewing his lip and then quietly adding, “I like having him in my life too much.”

Gemma made a muted tsk sound with her tongue, stirring her yogurt with a pitying expression. “I honestly don’t know whether to cry or slap you.”

“Do either, but don’t give me that look, please. I’ll eventually confront him. I’ll have to, but for now I’m not confident he won’t run away if I do.”

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His sister’s gaze snapped up to meet his, her amethyst eyes flashing dangerously. “If he runs he wasn’t worth having in your life anyway,” she told him in a low, serious voice.

Augustus opened his mouth to protest, but then closed it upon realizing that he didn’t have an argument. Gemma was right. She often was, much to Gus’ displeasure. She was completely right, and yet he still couldn’t bring himself to tackle the idea of having such a conversation with Isaac. Augustus was too afraid of losing him, and maybe that was inevitable, but if that was true he was going to forestall that happening for as long as he possibly could. The time they spent with one another was worth that much, at least.

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“You know, I’m beginning to think you don’t like Isaac at all,” Gemma said, her voice unexpectedly soft. “You’re in love with him, aren’t you?”

Augustus gave an uneasy laugh. Now that was a leap, wasn’t it? They’d only been talking for about a month and in that time their relationship hadn’t ventured at all from companionate friendship. He wasn’t even sure if the possibility existed to extend beyond that.

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“You laugh, but you haven’t actually answered my question,” his sister noted.

“Haven’t I though? I’m laughing because the idea is ridiculous.”

“Is it?”

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“Yes, it is,” Augustus insisted, but he glanced across the lunchroom again anyway, only to find that Isaac had glanced up at the exact same time. Gus’ heart leapt and a small, crooked smile began to pull at Isaac’s lips before he abruptly dropped his gaze and forced his attention back to his friends.

Augustus looked down at his barely eaten sandwich. He could deny it all he wanted, but if Gemma was right, and goddamn it she usually was, then Augustus was even more fucked he’d thought.

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So, what are we now?

* * * * *

Sophomore Year. Early November. Scene IV.

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It was the end of the school day and the hallways were exploding with the sounds of laughter, slamming lockers, and the clamoring of students eager to get home. Augustus suppressed a yawn and then stared blearily at his own unorganized locker as he tried to remember which books he needed to complete his homework tonight. He was exhausted, but admittedly his spirits were still fairly high because the reason he was so tired was because he’d stayed up until nearly four in the morning talking to Isaac on the phone. They hadn’t intended to stay up so late, but time had sort of slipped away from them and the next thing they knew the first birds were beginning to chirp. They’d laughed themselves silly and decided they may as well pull an all-nighter, but sometime between the hours of 3:30 and 4:00 they must have drifted off because Augustus woke to find his phone dead and resting next to his head on the pillow.

Once his phone had gained enough charge he’d texted Isaac only to find that he’d had a similar experience. It made Augustus feel kind of pathetically happy—the fact that, in a way, they’d fallen asleep together and that the last sounds they’d heard had been one another’s voices.

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Done collecting the books he needed and having stored the rest, Augustus shut the door to his locker and replaced the lock, fastening it with a distinct click. As he made his way down the hall he vaguely thought to himself that he might try to take a nap before dinner and start on his assignments after he ate. He would usually use that time to paint and unwind from the school day, but sleep would probably be more beneficial in this case. Otherwise he was bound to get stuck reading the same lines over and over again.

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There was a sudden, loud metallic thud followed by a jubilant whoop and scattered laughter. Confused and a little startled, Augustus turned his head in the direction of the clamor, where the crowd’s attention was focused on a girl next to the lockers with a familiar mass of tightly curled hair. Her slender arms were thrown around the neck of a guy she had pinned against the lockers and she was kissing him as if her life depended on it.

Augustus didn’t need to see the guy’s face to feel his stomach turn, but when the couple came up for air and Isaac’s golden eyes caught his, he felt his heart shatter like a crystal figurine tumbling off a high shelf and exploding into dust.

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His legs moved toward the exit before his thoughts had caught up with him, but Augustus was still several feet from the windowed doors when a set of strong fingers wound around his wrist and brought him to an abrupt stop.

“Augustus!”

A sharp breath escaped his lungs upon hearing Isaac’s panicked voice, hope cresting at the same time that an iron fist smashed it back down where it belonged.

Stupid! He’d been so fucking stupid! Hadn’t he seen those two together time after time? This shouldn’t have been in the least bit surprising. This shouldn’t have been in the least bit upsetting because there hadn’t been a single promise made between them; no confessions or conversations about what they were or what they might have wanted to be. There was nothing of the sort and yet still Gus’ blood writhed in his veins, vicious and turbulent as his heart pounded in his ears. He was so stupid! He wanted to scream. He wanted to disappear—no, needed to.

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“Please, let go.”

“I can’t. That wasn’t what it looked like. She—” Isaac began, but Augustus cut his words off with a bitter laugh of disbelief and wrenched his arm away.

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“I don’t care!” he burst out loud enough that a few scattered students halted in their steps to watch. “It doesn’t matter! You’re free to do whatever you like.”

“But that wasn’t what I—”

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“Oye, Isaac! ¿Qué estás haciendo? ¿Por qué me dejaste así?” Elena’s irritated voice rang out above the din. What are you doing? Why’d you leave me like that?

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She came to settle at the brunet’s side, her confused gaze flickering from Gus’ overly bright eyes to Isaac’s face, which was suddenly an odd, ashen color instead of the warm shade of sandalwood it usually was. “¿Estás bien? ¿Qué pasó?” she asked worriedly, looping her arm with Isaac’s. Are you okay? What happened?

Isaac opened his mouth, to respond to Elena or to respond to him Augustus wasn’t sure, but he shook his head regardless to stop him.

“You should probably comfort her. She sounds upset,” Augustus whispered, and then turned around a second time and bolted out the door.

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So, what are we now?

* * * * *

Sophomore Year. Early November. Scene V.

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Augustus stared up at the darkened ceiling of his bedroom. He wanted desperately to sleep, but his mind came replaying the last hour like he was trapped in some sort of infinite time loop. Every time he closed his eyes all he saw was Isaac and Elena going at it like professional lip wrestlers. It made him feel queasy, but mostly it made his throat tighten so painfully that it was a wonder to Augustus that he could even breathe.

He didn’t think he had ever felt so stupendously idiotic; so utterly betrayed. He had thought…thought what, really? What the fuck gave him the right to ever think that there’d been something between them?

Augustus reached up, angrily wiping hot tears from his cheeks. If he didn’t have the right to believe that there’d been something between them, he certainly didn’t have the right to cry upon discovering that there wasn’t either.

A sharp knock sounded at Gus’ bedroom door. He suppressed a groan, turning on his side and fully intending to feign sleep.

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“Open the door, Augustus! I know you’re not asleep!”

This time Augustus did groan before shouting back, “Just leave me alone, Gemma! I’m tired!”

“You realize it’s quite simple for me to dart downstairs and grab the skeleton key, don’t you?”

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Feeling distinctly irritated, Augustus dragged himself out of bed and then flung open the door, but he didn’t get the chance to spit the angry words on his tongue because his twin sister immediately said, “I think you should talk to Isaac.”

Augustus grit his teeth, which gave Gemma the opportunity to add, “He’s outside right now. He asked to see you and of course I noticed the state you were in so I said no, but he grew increasingly more distressed, so I think you should talk to him.”

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“That’s why you think I should talk to him?” Augustus asked with a skeptical raise of his eyebrow.

“Yes, it’s completely pathetic. I feel bad. Also, he ran here,” she emphasized incredulously, her eyes opened wide. “Are you aware of how far that is? On that note, perhaps I shouldn’t have left him alone. He looked rather close to passing out. Ah, well. I’m sure he’s still conscious.”

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Augustus made a strangled sort of noise and bolted out of his room, practically tripping down the stairs and then flying outside, but the sight he was greeted with was not Isaac’s limp body splayed across the walkway, but Isaac on his feet and looking surprised at his sudden appearance, but otherwise perfectly fine. Augustus had fallen right for his twin’s manipulation and found himself all the worse off for it after seeing Isaac’s face. He thought this was what swallowing glass must feel like.

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“You didn’t have to come here. You don’t have to explain. Like I said earlier, you’re allowed to do whatever you want,” Augustus automatically intoned.

“I do have to explain because you have the wrong idea!” Isaac stated vehemently even though he must have been exhausted. “Please just…hear me out for a second.”

Augustus pressed the tip of his tongue hard against his teeth. He wanted to tell the brunet to leave, but now that he was here before him the last thing he wanted was for him to go.

That’s how stupid you are, Gus. You still want him in your life.

“I don’t,” he began to say, but Isaac instantly cut him off with another sincere, “Please” that made Gus’ heart twist uncomfortably.

“I…don’t see how it will help,” Augustus said haltingly, “but fine. Just…whatever. Come in for a second. No one’s home yet except my sister.”

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A look of relief crossed Isaac’s features, but Gus couldn’t stand to look at it for even a second as he turned to go back inside. He heard the brunet pick up his backpack and soon enough the two were standing awkwardly in his air-conditioned living room.

Augustus was in the middle of debating whether offering him a water bottle would be idiotic considering the circumstances, but right as he about to ask Isaac blurted out, “I didn’t kiss Elena. She kissed me. I didn’t even want her to and she knows it!”

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A dark cloud descended on Augustus’ mood upon hearing these words, his eyes narrowing and his arms folding firmly across his chest. “If that’s the case then using your tongue to fend her off probably wasn’t the most useful strategy you could have employed,” he sourly replied, all thoughts of hospitality gone from his mind.

Isaac grimaced, averting his gaze. “I couldn’t…push her off, exactly. It would have been—I mean…everyone around and—” He glanced at Augustus and then looked away again. “I can’t have them saying—have them…figuring out….”

“Figuring out what, Isaac? You’re not making any sense.”

Isaac sighed in exasperation before he cast Augustus a look of impatient disbelief, threw his arms up and exclaimed in a vicious whisper, “That I’m gay! Obviously! Fuck!”

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Augustus gaped at Isaac for a split second before he flushed hotly and bit back, “What do you mean ‘obviously?’ I’ve only ever been on the fence when it comes to figuring out where the hell on the scale you lie and when I witness shit like you and Elena tickling each other’s tonsils I’m supposed to fucking conclude that you’re gay?!”

“Tickling each other’s…What the fuck?”

“Never mind what I called it! It doesn’t change anything! It doesn’t change what you did or the fact that you were apparently stringing Elena along! I mean, do you know how fucked up that is? Do you know how fucking messed up it is of you to make her feel like you liked her when you didn’t give a shit about her at all!?” Augustus demanded, though at this point he admittedly didn’t know if he was still talking about Elena.

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“She knew I didn’t—ugh, you wouldn’t understand,” Isaac said, but that only further pissed Augustus off.

“WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND!?” he shouted, glad that his sister’s room was all the way up the third floor. “Wouldn’t understand!? What the fuck?! You did not just tell me of all people that I wouldn’t understand! You did not just tell me that I wouldn’t understand when every day I keep my head down at school so that no one looks my way and decides it’d be a good day to fuck with me. You did not just tell me that I wouldn’t understand when I have to watch every goddamn thing I say and who I say it to because SOMEHOW the business of who I like is a personal fucking affront to people! You did not just tell me I wouldn’t understand when I could barely come out to my own family who I know loves me because I was so fucking afraid that I’d be seen as a disappointment!”

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“Did they?”

“What?” Augustus asked, out of breath and somewhat thrown off by the unexpectedly calm question.

Isaac glanced at him cautiously, perhaps afraid that Gus would explode again. “Did your parents see you as a disappointment?”

Augustus gave Isaac a searching gaze, but he couldn’t glean anything from his expression. “No, they didn’t,” he answered, “but that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. I was saying that I think I could probably understand, even if it’s not the same.”

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Isaac absently kicked at a small piece of reptile kibble that his brother Tobias must have dropped. He was quiet for so long that it began to make Augustus feel anxious.

“I mean, is it that you’re confused about it, or…?”

“No,” Isaac mumbled in answer, his eyes never leaving the floor. “It’s not that, but I don’t….” He sighed in frustration. “Let me try to put things into…into perspective. I’ve known, or at least figured, since I was like…six. My mom used to take me to the park when I was little and there was this boy I always hung out with whenever his mom brought him too. I remember I thought that he was nice and cute and one day, I kissed him on the cheek. I didn’t think anything of it. I think the boy even smiled, but my mom? She flipped.”

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“She leapt right off the bench she was sitting on, grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me all the way back to the car. I remember I was terrified because I’d never seen her like that before. Not ever. Then when we got home she shouted and spanked the ever living hell out of me, but I don’t really remember crying. All I can remember is that I knew I’d something wrong—I was being told that I had done something wrong, but I didn’t understand what and I was too afraid to ask.”

“Then my dad got home and she told him what happened and well…same story. Not that it did any good, as you can see. Man, I don’t think I could sit properly for a week,” Isaac admitted with a strange laugh, but Augustus had never heard anything less funny in his life.

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Isaac hadn’t done anything wrong and they punished him. They punished him, a little kid with a crush, and made him believe that he had done something wrong.

Augustus felt sick to his stomach. He suddenly felt horribly guilty for having gone off on Isaac like that. In fact, he almost felt guilty for having been angry at all. Everything was beginning to make sense.

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“Truth is,” Isaac whispered, still looking anywhere but at Augustus, “I hate myself for it. I hate that I’m this way because it would be so much easier if I wasn’t.” His voice abruptly broke and Augustus felt his heart plummet as Isaac shakily added, “You can hate me for that, or be pissed at me for that because I know that I should be fucking proud or whatever, but it’s so damn difficult for me to feel that way when all it’s been is a…is a fucking burden.”

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“I don’t hate you for that,” Augustus hastened to reassure him, taking a half-step forward. “I’m not even mad at you for that. Honestly, all it does is…make me feel really sad because—because you’re one of the best people I’ve ever known.” Augustus paused and pressed his lips together, uncomfortably aware of how tight his throat felt and how his eyes had embarrassingly begun to sting.

“Isaac, I…I don’t know how much my opinion is worth, considering, but obviously I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you, or that there’s ever been anything wrong with you. Everyone else—they’re the wrong ones and I wish you could see that! I wish that you could see yourself the way that I see you because that’s…that’s someone I don’t think you could ever come to hate.”

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Gus’ voice finally cracked, but he might have been able to hold himself together had it not been for the fact that Isaac had already begun to cry, his body half turned away from him and his hands coming up to hide his tear-streaked face.

It had never been Gus’ intention to make Isaac cry. It had never been his intention to go off on him like that. It had never been his intention to pull Isaac into a tight hug and make him freeze in fear. None of these were his intentions, but they all happened anyway.

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Augustus hastened to loosen his grip, but before he could create even an inch of space between them Isaac’s body melted into Gus’ all at once, his arms wrapping around him and his fingers digging into his shoulder as he tried to draw him even nearer. Augustus reached up to cradle the back of Isaac’s head while the brunet burrowed his face in the crook of Gus’ neck. His shoulders were shaking with his barely muted sobs, a fact that made Gus’ own tears impossible to prevent.

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“I don’t know how you do it,” Isaac whispered miserably. “I don’t know how you don’t feel this way too.”

“I used to,” Augustus murmured. “I used to feel that way sometimes, but…this is who I am and I’m not about to waste my life hating myself for it. I’m not about to beat myself up over something I can’t change. It’d be like hating myself for not managing to be two inches taller. I may as well accept it and be happier for it—otherwise I think I’d go crazy.”

“Sounds about right,” Isaac feebly joked, but then slowly shook his head. “I am trying, Gus. I’m trying, but I’m also so tired of it all. I’m fucking tired of it and I’m only fifteen years old,” he added with a self-deprecating laugh.

“I could help,” he said in a rush. “I could…try to help make it easier. And maybe…maybe it could be easier now because you’re not alone. You’re not alone because you…you have me.” Augustus felt his face warm up, but he hastened to finish, “I don’t know how much that means, but for whatever it is worth, you’ll always have me.”

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Isaac caught Augustus off-guard by stepping back to cast him a skeptical look. “Do I? Even after the way I’ve treated you?”

Augustus wiped his eyes and then lifted his chin to meet Isaac’s strikingly bright eyes. “Yes, of course you do. I’ve never thought the way you treated me was bad. Just…confusing, I guess. Although I could have done without seeing that lip wrangling competition. That was pretty shitty.”

“Just how many weird terms do you have for kissing anyway?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve only just begun,” Augustus truthfully answered, which drew a soft, genuine laugh from Isaac and brought a smile to Gus’ lips.

“I’m sorry,” Isaac said, drying his face with his sleeve. “It was shitty and I’m really sorry. I’m also going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I’ll…I’ll tell her that I like someone else.”

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“Oh?” Augustus tentatively inquired.

Isaac smiled at his reaction, reaching out to tenderly brush Gus’ bangs to the side of his face. “Yeah,” he said, sounding a bit shy. “Someone…far away, but also pretty near.”

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Gus’ heart rose like bubbles in a fizzy drink, but he wasn’t sure if it’d be okay to utter the words that rose to the tip of his tongue, so instead he tried to show them by rushing to hug him once more. The action made Isaac’s breath catch, his heartrate increasing markedly. He knew because it was beating so hard that Augustus could feel it racing against his chest. Isaac’s body radiated heat and he smelled like a subtly spicy body spray, sweat, and the salty, ocean air. Augustus pressed closer to him—pretty near indeed.

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“I like hugging you,” Augustus murmured.

Isaac gave an unexpected, tearful laugh, burying his face in the raven-haired boy’s neck and squeezing him tight. “Yeah,” he whispered. “Me too.”

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So, what are we now?

* * * * *

To be concluded in Pt. 2

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37 thoughts on “Generation 5 Special: So, What Are We Now? (Pt. 1 of 2)”

  1. Evil, evil, evil! I spent the entire chapter with baited breath waiting for them to snog and instead Isaac gets kissed by A GIRL?!? Fuck!

    On that note, I hope to hell you post Part 2 asap! Especially, since I now have to go back and reread Gus’ bits!

    1. LOL, I’m so sorry XD Althoughhhhhhhh I will say that if you go back and reread Gus’ parts then you’ll see that well…you might be waiting a very long while before that happens, if it ever even does =P And in fact if you go back to those parts you’ll see that the attempt of a kiss was the beginning of their end, so really you should be hoping that DOESN’T happen for as long as possible =O Not spoilery, right? Since what happened was already revealed in the last chapter? I DON’T KNOW. I’m confusing myself with all these side-arcs and time jumps!!! Ah!!! Lol.

      As for Part 2 it’s….around the bend. I’m estimating maybe two weeks because of grad school starting back up again, bleh. It’s written, but finding the right poses and taking the photos takes about a week, and then I’m balancing it between reading textbooks chapters, so gah well I’ll do my best. As it is it’s very tempting to just do this and ignore HW, but obviously that’s a bad idea, LOL.

      Thank you as always for reading and commenting! ❤

  2. Oh my god that was so emotional and I loved it so much ahhhh!!!! It broke my heart when those two started crying together and I can just feel the tension between those two and I wish they would kiss already lmao.
    And Issacs past. Oh my god poor boy I just wanna hug him 😦
    Great job, I’ll be waiting anxiously for part 2. 🙂 (Even though I still have not caught up on the entire legacy still *laughs nervously* -_-;;;;)

    1. Thank you so very much!!!!!!!! It broke my heart too. I teared up writing it and just about died taking those pictures. There’s just something about them that never fails to melt my heart. Ohhh yes, so much tension between them, haha 😉

      And god, same. In fact that’s the part that kept making my throat feel tight as I wrote it and kept having to proofread it. Somehow it never doesn’t get to me. He shouldn’t have had to go through any of that 😦

      Thank you again! And oh my gosh, no worries! It’s quite a bit to catch up on and honestly I’m already grateful as it is that you’re trying to catch up! You’re on Gen 4, right? Not bad at all! Take your time. I update slowly anyway, LOL. ❤

  3. ajkenkflabcapwhvkdjamqpflxyqi oh my godddd that was amazing!!!
    First of all, I love teen Augustus. He is literally the cutest thing ever *pinches cheeks* Like when he blushes he’s like an adorable little puppy I want to pat on the head! And Isaac is just swoonworthy, dayummm. Way too handsome. Gah.
    The chemistry between these two is really sweet. Their conversations are so playful yet full of tension! Throughout the chapter I was just thinking ‘kiss kiss kiss’ the entire time. Imagine my surprise when the kiss was from Elena instead! I kinda want to hate her but to be honest I just feel sorry for her. It’s not her fault that she thinks Issac likes her. She must have a huge crush on him… I mean who wouldn’t lol. Poor girl. 😦
    The scene at the end almost made me cry, actually! It was full of emotion and learning about Issac’s past is heartbreaking. Homophobic parents, oh gosh. I can’t believe they could punish a little boy for such an innocent thing. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next part!
    Wonderful chapter ❤

    1. AHHH, THANK YOU!!!!!! You have no idea how happy it makes me to see you reduced to a string of randomly typed letters, hehe. I’m so glad that you liked it!

      OH MY GOD THOUGH I KNOW RIGHT? Teen Augustus really is the cutest little muffin in the world. Every time I loaded up that save I was just like fhdjfaldfjfka, lmao. And omgggg yeahhhh x__x Many a time I had to be like omfg stop Isaac, you’re killing me, lol. They were both killing me! Especially because they literally kept looking over at one another in game and spouting thought bubbles about one another and dfhfhskflfshk stopppppp. Want to know something especially funny though? They’re listed as “good friends” in game, but they’re always flirty with one another. JUST FRIENDS AS ALWAYS O_O

      So yessss definitely so much chemistry! I love writing their conversations. In fact, I sometimes get carried away with them and end up having to cut out a lot because it’s just goes on and on, lol. Bahaha yeahhhh Elena is a bold one XD I’m glad you don’t hate her though because like you said, she really is just a 15 year old girl with a huge crush on her good friend. And Isaac is really nice to her and she misreads that as being interested and dfkjfsdfhskas. It’s this whole complicated mess and Isaac is trying not to lose her as a friend while also bottling up this major secret inside him and well, complications all around really. Maybe telling her that he likes someone else will get her to back up a few and rethink things!

      Ahh, me too. Thank you. His past is definitely heartbreaking and unfortunately the thing with his parents only gets worse. I think it’s doubly heartbreaking that he still loves them too. Even to this current day all he wants is their approval, but it doesn’t seem as if he’s ever able to do enough for them. Ugh. I can’t believe they could do that either…and I especially hate what they ultimately did.

      Thank you again and thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❤

  4. Ok, now I really don’t know who I want August to end up with. I used to think I was Team Patrick all the way, but now Isaac is definitely winning my heart.
    You are really perfect at portraying their chemistry. Those feelings one has when crushing on someone and trying to pretend everything is cool- it’s all so real!
    As for Isaac’s family, I see what he’s coming from. Poor guy. No one should be treated that way, ever!
    I’m glad he’s a mature adult these days and doesn’t depend on them anymore.

    1. I feel as if we are experiencing very similar feelings throughout this journey, lol. It was originally difficult for me to write Isaac and Augustus back when he first made an appearance because I was so used to writing Patrick and Augustus together, but the more I did and the more I figured out the details of their relationship and how it is, the easier it’s gotten, to the point where now both Patrick and Isaac have a strong hold on my heart. Question is, which of them has a stronger hold on Gus’?

      Ah! Thank you! They’re quite real to me in my head, so the challenge is always getting them to come alive through words too and it makes me happy to know that you feel I’ve done that! It’s something I’m constantly trying to improve on.

      I couldn’t agree more with you about Isaac’s family. No one should be treated that way and it is a very good thing that he no longer depends on them. Thing is though, a large part of him still wishes that he could gain their approval, even after everything. That’s I think what gets to me the most, especially because he tries so hard to make them proud, but always seems to fall short. He may not need them anymore, but he wishes they were in his life all the same. Ugh =(

      Thank you so much as always for reading and commenting!!! You’re so supportive and kind!

  5. *flops and flails and dies and mutters incoherently*
    Sttoooopppp it it’s too much i can t handle this

    its so much better with pictures HOIDJLKASDA and that last part and i cant, i cant give a proper comment im dead

    1. !!!!!! *rushes to side to resuscitate* Blams!!!! Speak to me, Blams!! Speak to meeeeee! *throws water on* You must LIVEEE! You must live and fangirl with meeeee, lololol ❤

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! ….I think. I mean I think I'm getting from this that you enjoyed it, eh? Lmao. Glad to know too that the pictures enhance it because I nearly gave up on getting pictures multiple times, lololol. Bah, but in the end it really was worth the extra effort wasn't it? Seeing this come to life makes me so very happy ❤ (also it breaks my heart I think I'll be the next to DIE x___x)

      1. No i hated it, the torture was too much (jk jk of course i LOVED it)
        It definitely was! some of those poses (especially with Isaac oihfsajcndkscjn) were perfect and heart melting and on their own sent me internally screaming. (like like that one after Isaac reads gus’ note where it’s all ‘i think you look nice too’ and I knew it was coming cause I’d read that part on tumblr, but seeing Isaac hide his face and look so darn adorably shy wrecked me)
        You’re so good at this! It’s one of mah writing romance goals, to have a couple whose chemistry is so well written you’re getting the butterflies and screaming in your darn pillow because jésus christ these two

        1. LOL. It is pretty dang torturous, isn’t it? Hahaha XD But gah, I’m so freaking glad that you loved it!

          OH MY GOSH!!! I felt the same way getting some of these pictures. That is, I was sitting in front of my computer repeatedly internally screaming. I might have even let out a couple unbidden squeaks, lololol. The photo you described was actually one of them, lol. I took pictures of it from so angles because I loved it so much x___x Shy Isaac kills me. It might be the cutest shy in the entire world.

          Ahhhh thank you so very much!!! I don’t know what it is about this couple, but writing them has felt so natural lately. Like their conversations continuously pop in my head and I end up having to cut dialogue just because these two could go back and forth for ages….hence their late into the night phone chats, lmao. I love writing them, which made writing these flashbacks such a genuine joy. It’s going to pain me to go back to present day them because things are so fucked up between them right now fhdkfjdlskfhsk. Writing guarded, uneasy, hostile Augustus around Isaac just hurts, especially seeing what they once were.

              1. You know already don’t you? Leaving us here to suffer and wonder and hope!
                You’ll probably get back to the present and make us like Patrick all over again though XD

                1. Eh, well, I do and I don’t. I have both pathways outlined in my head…how things would unfold if they went one way and how they would unfold if they went the other. I see what both futures would look like and I have my own leaning. Funny thing is, I think Augustus may have the opposite leaning, but I’m not sure and I’m still trying to puzzle out everything in his head (as well as my own). He doesn’t like thinking about it though, so that makes it more challenging to figure out. I think as I actually write more of it out it’ll become clearer…or at least, I hope it does, lol. The choice is always more difficult when both options are good.

                  As for my transition back to the present, well, I actually do know clearly what happens in the next chapter, so…well…yeah, probably, lololol XD

  6. Okay, Isaac is a very attractive sim, I’ll give you that. His face is just so… smooth. Is that weird to say? probably xD
    I love that you can actually see Gus’ blush. Sweetie, you’re adorable.
    Also wow, how much time did you put into the school?! It looks amazing! You have so much patience.
    As before, the dialogue between Isaac and Gus is just.. so alive. I think when he said “clever boy” my heart fluttered a little. So you’ve sold me on Isaac and Gus already. My heart is fickle, okay?! And Isaac is a really attractive sim…
    I love how you describe eyes. I’ve noticed it before but I don’t think I’ve ever commented on it. Like, the colours you come up with (I say that like you invent words for them, but you know what I mean)! Amazing.
    Is purple Gus’ favourite colour? Just noticed the shade of his hoodie is the same as his walls. That’s cute!
    Poor Isaac. I can’t imagine having such unaccepting and closed minded parents. Must really fuck you up 😦
    I can’t wait until part two. As always, your writing is so inspiring to me!

    1. ISN’T HE JUST?! And oohhh no, not weird, haha. I completely agree! In fact it really threw me off at first because I’d been so used to seeing young adult Isaac with his five o’clock shadow. On that note, I’m going to have to make him shave at some point just so I can see how he looks! I wonder if his face is still that smooth? Hehe.

      Hahaha, I love it toooo. I debated going through the extra effort of showing that and promptly decided that it was 100% worth it. Blushing Gus really is so cute!

      Wahhhh, thank you so much, but I can’t take credit for it all! I actually used THIS premade school, so most of the work was already done for me. All I had to do was add more clutter to desks, more posters to walls, and little details such as lunches on tables and the like. It was still time-consuming, but no where near what it might have been if I had to build the whole thing myself!

      Ahhh, thank you again. I love the ‘clever boy’ line too. It just comes across so….gah!!! *heart flutters too* Hahahaha. I love them together, I really, really do, but then when I write Patrick and Augustus I love them too so basically this is just the biggest cluster fuck and I know I’ve said this before but I DON’T KNOW WHY I DID THIS TO MYSELF, lol. Gahhhhh *dies 42389 times*

      Ooooh yeah!!! I always go on about the eyes so I’m glad you noticed that and that you enjoy my descriptions of them. I have specific descriptions for every character in my head actually. I’m not sure why….I also have specific scents and tastes associated with most of them too, lol, like Patrick’s mouth tasting sweet like apples XD And yes, also favorite colors!! Every character has a certain color scheme and style. Like with Gus as you’ve seen, his favorite color is purple and his style is usually button-ups and collared-shirts, with the exception of his hoodies, which he finds really comfy :3

      Bah, definitely 😦 Every time I revisit that scene and/or think about that my heart breaks all over again. I mean…it’s to the point where Isaac hates himself because the message he’s always received is that who he is, is fundamentally wrong, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. I hate it 😦

      I’m both amazed and humbled to hear that you find my writing to be inspiring! I hope that I can continue to do that for you and I hope that Pt. 2 won’t fall short of expectations, although it does end on as we know on a very sad note :/

      Thank you as always for reading and commenting ❤

  7. Fucking Elena… LOL. I hate when girls do that, and more often than not, it seems like they do. They rush up and kiss the guy on the lips, always causing some sort of upheaval and god damn chaos. I’m glad Augustus gave Isaac a chance to TELL him that, LOL, cause seriously, if he hadn’t, he would have missed out on a great friend/potential boyfriend.

    Wow… spanked for being gay. That’s just, stupid. LOL, and they didn’t even tell him why he was getting spanked? I feel like that is just cruel, I’m punishing you cause… well no reason, you’re just a shitty human. Like THAT’S the message that comes across to people when you punish them for no reason. Ugh. -___-

    1. OH MY GOD, I know right!? So I don’t hate Elena, but to just rush up on him like that in the middle of the goddamn hallway causing, as you said, all this goddamn chaos and fdhdkjfhdkfas. Like even if Isaac had been interested, maybe he didn’t want like, half his fellow classmates witnessing that?!? Especially a full-out, push you up against the lockers kiss like that. I mean some people wouldn’t mind at all of course, but to assume that he wouldn’t fdjskkdsfhsk. But I suppose it was a bit of a desperate act from Elena. Isaac is always nice to her and she’s sort of misread all this niceness as being into her, but he never makes a move, so this was Elena taking it upon herself to make the first move and just fddjsfsdkhfsfhksd cluster fuck chaotic upheaval *cringes*

      It is a good thing Augustus gave Isaac a chance to tell him that o___o …with a little manipulative push from Gemma, LOL. She wanted them to work out XD ….course present day Gemma has a lot of fucking guilt about that, because of the way it turned out, but hopefully maybe she can let go of some of that guilt when she learns the truth about what happened too. Maybe =P

      AND YES OH MY GOD THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GETTING AT WITH THAT. It IS cruel and of course that was the EXACT message that Isaac received from that: That he was a shitty human, that there was something somehow fundamentally wrong with him and that was why he was being punished. It’s no wonder that he fucking hates himself and feels so damn conflicted and scared! Gah, so glad you picked up on that. You always hit the nail right on the head! THANK YOU.

      Also, thank you as always for reading and commenting!!! I always love to see what you have to say ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. Gah!
    Poor Isaac. I can’t imagine what he is going through. There is something so crazy about the colour of his eyes lol. I love it. I think I am still Team Isaac after this.
    Sorry to hear you had writer’s block this summer. But it was a beautiful summer at least. I hope you were able to enjoy it and had some great weather. Are you back to school now, or was it a two year accelerated program. I can’t remember x_x.
    Hoping to get back into the sims soon. I have been noticing that I am getting antsy in wanting to play. We still have a bit left to do on the garage and then we have our anniversary that I am trying to prepare for the end of the month. It’s a big one (10) so it should be special XD. But I can feel that the time for Sims is quickly approaching and I am so excited. It’s been so long since I’ve done a chapter lol.
    Hope all is well and it’s so great to see a tidbit from you! I’ve been missing the Winters.

    1. Oh, I know 😦 It’s awful and a constant inner fight. On the one hand he knows as Augustus said that there isn’t anything wrong with him, but every message he’s receiving from everyone else in his life, particularly the two most influential forces in it, says otherwise. So he knows these things, but can’t help but have trouble believing it; can’t help but wish that he could be the way his parents want him to be because as he said, it’d be so much easier. But since that can’t happen he finds himself stuck and scared and feeling wholly inadequate even though that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a constant battle between how he should feel, and how he actually does. And unfortunately as we know from what Isaac shared in the last update, it takes a long time before things get better. In fact, at first, they get a whole lot worse. Damn it =(

      Ahhh haha, yes though his eyes!!! I changed my default eyes too and now i find that they look even more striking. I love them as well ❤ Hehe yay, one of the original Team Isaac's through and through! If the tide turns his way, you'll get to have the satisfaction of knowing you were one of the first to ship it XD And if it doesn't turn his way, well, at least he'll know that he had your support up until the very end =P

      Ah, yes! It was a beautiful summer at least! I did a bunch of other random things, I just feel kind of like "ughhhh" because I so wanted to get a ton of writing done during the summer and then it just…didn't happen. And now my brain is suddenly going mad with ideas, but I AM INDEED BACK TO SCHOOL NOW. This is my last year of classes and then next year I go on my practicum/externship. *heavy breathing* Slow, but steady.

      Oh my gosh, yes! I hope you do get back to the sims soon! I've so missed reading your updates and chatting with you! As for the anniversary though, AHHHH congrats!!! 10 is definitely a special one to prepare for. Any particular ideas you have in mind?

      All is well besides being inspired at the same time that I have hundreds of textbook pages to read, lol. But I'll try my best to balance it and keep bringing the Winters =)

      Thank you so much as always for reading and commenting! ❤

      1. I think so far we have tickets for a play and a reservation for a fancy dinner. We are getting each other rings (Commitment rings, not engagement. I get asked that a lot lol) and I wanted to book us a nice couple’s massage or something since both of our backs have been bothering us this summer. Neither of us have has a massage before so I think we might be more apt to try it if we are together lol. I almost had time to play last night. But then I was running around the mall getting birthday cards and presents. If we don’t get company tonight could be the night though. We have to put in a new door tomorrow so I’m not sure how tired we will be once we are successful lol. It will be an adventure for sure.
        Just one more year of school. That is so exciting and all of your hard work is paying off. For your externship, does the school find a placement for you or offer help? Or are you left on your own to madly send out resumes to any place you can find on the internet nearby? I was really nervous about my job placement for credit. I had no idea who would be willing to take me on for awhile. Luckily most places contacted the school and they would advertise so we knew where to send resumes. Do you think there will be many places locally? I’m sure there will be many willing places to scoop you up.

        1. Ahh! Oh my gosh! All of that sounds really lovely. As for the couple’s massage, go for it!! I’ve never been myself, but I think that if I went with someone I knew well I’d be more willing to try it out too, lol. I get the feeling you guys will learn that you’ve been missing out! Also a massage sounds especially nice to me right now because I apparently slept the wrong way yesterday and have suchhhh a sore neck right now, lololol. Gah!

          Haha also I feel like that is often the rule of simming. As soon as you think you’ll have some time 14 other things come up! =O Hopefully that doesn’t keep happening though o__o

          As for the externship, the school offers help. They provide a database of available sites and guide you through the process of applying and then you’re on your own as far as waiting for callbacks and interviews. So you apply to as many places as you want/can and then hope to goodness that some of them are interested in you enough to call you in for an interview, lol. And then of course you hope that after interviewing you, they actually want you XD I think there will be quite a few places locally because I live in a huge city, but I don’t currently have a car so that makes things more challenging =/ I’m hoping I’ll be able to find something that most suits my interests and that I can travel to without too much difficulty! Thank you ❤ I sure hope so! lol

  9. OMG I loved this chapter. You have no idea how much I wanted to sit down and read this since it came out but I never had enough time to just read without interruptions. It wouldn’t have had the same impact if I had read snippets here and there. Oh my poor heart! I love Isaac. I just want to see him and Gus get back together. All that teen angst and crushing on each other. The chemistry is real. I like Patrick but there’s always this undercurrent between him and Gus. One that keeps Gus from truly opening himself up to him and now I see why. Seeing where Gus and Isaac are at in the present and what they had in the past it would be hard for Gus to be completely open with someone. I don’t want to see Patrick hurt but I love Isaac so much.
    I felt so bad for Gus having to see that kiss between Elena and Isaac. That must have been awful and yet it was him that Isaac ran after. That spoke volumes whether Elena understood it or not. I feel sorry for her it would be terrible to be that into someone and have it be one sided.
    Isaac’s parents are the worst. How can you punish a small child and not explain why? All it did was make him hate himself. I just wanted to reach out and hug him. Glad Gus was there! I have to admit I cried right along with them. Good thing I was at home when I read this otherwise I would have had people staring at me for all the faces I no doubt made while reading this.
    Can’t wait for the next part!

    1. Thank you so much!!!!!! Omg, I was grinning like an idiot reading your comment, lol. I know what you mean about not wanting to read it in snippets–it does take away from the impact I feel. I almost didn’t even want to split this into 2 parts because of that, but it would have been WAY too long. Plus there’s still some stuff I’m fixing up in Pt. 2, so this way you guys get an update sooner rather than later =) Plus I think this was a nice place to end. It works out anyway, lol.

      Aww, hehe. I’m so glad that you love Isaac so much 🙂 He’s currently one of my favorite characters and I’ve been completely in love with going back and writing these flashbacks. The dynamic and the conversations between Isaac and Gus are so enjoyable to write….I swear it’s like the characters write it themselves most of the time. They just start talking and suddenly I’ve got pages and pages written! It feels so natural, which makes me doubly sad about how they are now, as well as makes the odd undercurrent between Augustus and Patrick all the more noticeable. That being said, it’s possible that Augustus and Patrick will be able to talk and work out these issues. It’s possible that Augustus could eventually come to trust and be open with Patrick too. It’s possible, but now Isaac is back, but then Augustus isn’t exactly happy about this because he’s moved on from the past, BUT THEN has he really? Has he really moved on? Maybe he hasn’t and that’s contributing to his inability to open up to Patrick. Hmmm don’t know….don’t know…..It really could swing either way.

      Ohh man, I know right? As he says it felt as if his heart had shattered like a crystal figurine tumbling off a high shelf. He felt confused; hurt; betrayed…but it was indeed him that Isaac ran after and that did speak volumes. As for Elena gahhh yeahhh definitely. She likes him so much and it’s just kind of depressing because Isaac is always really nice to her and she sees that as him being interested even though he’s never made a move, so she was just trying to take things into her own hands and make a move herself, but obviously Isaac never made a move because he doesn’t ever and won’t ever see her like that. He values having her as friend so he doesn’t want to hurt her, but he also can’t like her the way that she likes him. Isaac is just caught in the middle of many confusing, hurtful things, isn’t he? My poor Isaac =(

      On that note, ugh, yeah, definitely. Even with the explanation though in this case it wouldn’t have been better because of course the “explanation” is simply that it was “wrong,” “sinful,” “immoral,” “not right,” etc. etc, so it’s no wonder that he hates himself. I mean he knows on a logical level that they’re wrong, but growing up with it and hearing it all the time from the people he loves most…you can’t swim in such an environment without getting wet. So he knows they’re wrong, but when he has these feelings, when he starts liking a guy and wanting to be with him, he can’t help but feel guilty about it…and scared to death of being caught–especially by his parents.

      Ah, Gus gives the best hugs =) I’m glad that he was there too, and it makes me so sad that they were ultimately separated from one another the way that they were. They were clearly good for one another, and if Isaac’s parents weren’t so blinded by their hatred, maybe they could have seen that, and maybe they wouldn’t have torn their son’s life apart. But they didn’t, and they did, and probably the worst part is that Isaac still loves them and wants their approval. He wants so badly for them to understand and for them to accept him as he is…but they likely never fully will =/

      Gahhh! Yeah, I pretty much teared up every time I wrote and proofread that part, not gonna lie. Even now when I re-read it I feel my throat getting tight! I think the part that gets to me the most is the same part that got to Isaac: when Gus says it makes him sad to hear that Isaac hates himself because he’s the best person he’s ever known; that he wishes that Isaac could see himself the way Gus sees him because he knows that’s a person he couldn’t ever come to hate. I feel all teary-eyed just writing this, hahaha. Damn.

      They used to be so close. Now the question is whether it’s even possible to regain it…and the knowledge that all things considered, maybe it would be better to leave the past in the past. As I said, it really could swing either way.

      As for Part 2, it’s in the works! I have the pictures for the first scene, but I have some rewriting/touch-ups to do before I can photograph the rest and then there’s school too. Bleh. By the end of the month would be great, but we’ll see! Also um, we all know how Pt. 2 ends and well…perhaps it’s nice to enjoy this part as it is for now….because though Pt. 2 starts sweet enough, nothing could taste less sweet than how it ends.

      Thank you as always for reading and commenting and A SUPER MEGA extra thank you for sending in this prompt and inspiring me to write again. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how grateful I feel for this!

      Now, back to HW…and maybe I can get in some editing time too 😉 ❤

  10. I’ve had this chapter bookmarked for weeks, just waiting for the perfect time to read it – uninterrupted. I have to say, it was soooo worth it! First of all, can I just say this chapter was EPIC!

    What’s in a number? Apparently everything! The number 7 – it’s hard to believe that number was what brought Gus and Isaac together. Lucky number 7. Well, not so lucky when you think of all the trouble it came with….but still. To think if Elena had gotten to him before Isaac did, they’d have traded numbers (perhaps) and they’d never have met. And we would all miss out on this lovely, friendly, sexually-charged banter that these two have going on. And I sincerely hope that Gus can find this with Patrick…you know, the guy he’s currently with….

    If it’s any consolation, I agree with Isaac. Gus is very nice…to look at, and then some. And the next time someone accuses me of pouting, I’m totally going to use that line on them. Then there’s the different ways in which Gus describes kissing. Seriously! I’ll never look at it the same way, so thanks for that, Gus!

    On the other hand, Isaac needs to dump Elena/squash whatever it is going on between them…and hurry up about it! Because Gus is an idiot (according to Gemma)…or gullible…or blind…or all of the above. I don’t know. Whatever subtle queues he seems to be sending his way isn’t obvious enough. I mean, don’t all guys brush the hair out of their friend’s faces, or go grabbing their friends’ arms after wrangling lips with a hot girl…Then again, Gus wouldn’t know. He doesn’t have male friends (as far as we can tell). Which makes the whole thing very sad? It would also explain why Isaac felt the need to keep Elena around as a cover. Poor thing. I just want to hug him…actually, I want to get in on that hug in the final picture. Can I? Pweeeeessssseeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

    Also, something I noticed while looking at the pictures. In the last picture of Scene IV – did Isaac yank his arm out of Elena’s grasp? I could have sworn she was holding onto it moments before like her life depended on it. Just as she tickled his tonsils like her life depended on it. Interesting…

    You know who surprised me most? Gemma. You know how I feel about my girl Gemma. It’s a love-hate relationship, I know; but this time I’m definitely swaying more towards the love. I always thought her relationship with her twin was kind of one-sided, but this shows their relationship in a different light. I understand her a lot better now, so thank you for this – it helps put things in perspective. She’s blunt and straight to the point, a bit brash with her advice, but she means well (she reminds me a lot of my baby sister). And she loves her brother and wants him to be happy. We could all do without the underhanded tactics to get them to talk and/or be together though, but she means well. And I love her for that.

    I mean, I still wish she’d take her own advice every once in a while. Just sayin’.

    Anxiously waiting for the next part!

    1. Epic!?!? AHHHHHHH, thank you so much!!!!

      YES apparently everything is in a number!!! Lucky number 7 indeed :3 And lucky that Isaac compared numbers with him before Elena got there because Augustus was so indifferent that he would have just traded, and then none of this would have happened. And well, even with the trouble, it was worth hanging onto that number I think. Not entirely sure present day Augustus agrees though considering what ultimately happens o__o; But maybe now that he knows the truth he can let go of some of that hurt and bitterness. As for Patrick, haha, yeahhhh, let’s certainly hope that Gus can find this with him too. They definitely have some stuff to work out, but if they do perhaps Patrick could be the one that mended Gus’ heart after it was shattered by Isaac’s sudden disappearance in his life. Course now Isaac is back so….ahem, awkward >.>

      Aww, hehe, I agree with Isaac too 😉 Gus is very nice…to look at and then some 😉 LOL thank you. I had a lot of fun writing those lines XD In general I’ve had so much fun going back and doing this flashback, so even though it’s another sidestep away from moving the story forward, I’m glad that I decided to do it. Plus at least now we have a better look at why it’s so jarring for Augustus that Isaac is in his life again.

      Oh man yeah, Isaac definitely needs to makes it clear to Elena that he only sees her as a friend. It’s in the best interests of everyone. And LOL Gemma says “idiot,” but it’s more like Gus is playing it very, very cautiously. There’s also an element of a lack of self-confidence I think. Like he knows very well that things like brushing his hair out of his face and the like are definitely not typical things guys do to their friends (he has acquaintances, but very few close friends on that note), but for him it wasn’t enough evidence to potentially risk their friendship. Gemma, on the other hand, thought it WAS enough evidence, which is why she called Gus an idiot, but Gus was much more unsure. Like he wanted to agree with her, but then again he always catches Elena being flirty with Isaac and Isaac not really putting a lid on that, and he wasn’t sure what to make of it. Of course Isaac keeps her around as a cover, but Augustus didn’t know that until now. I want to give Isaac a hug too =( To live in fear the way he does and to not feel safe and able to be himself is just awful…even more so when you see that he literally hates the person he is for it even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him. And nooooo you can’t get in on the hug because it would disturb their moment!!!!! They had so few of them before it was all taken away ;____; ….although maybe just for like 5 seconds you could >.> Lmao.

      As for the last picture of Scene IV, he does, though not entirely consciously. Like he sees Augustus leaving clearly hurt and with the entirely wrong impression of what happened and he just, unconsciously reaches out, as if to grab him again and make him listen, but he knows it’s no use and not a conversation that he should have here with him anyway. And in the process of reaching out, Isaac ends up pulling out of Elena’s grasp, and she just gives him this massive questioning look like, 1.) Are you okay?; 2.) What the heck? But he’s not okay and as soon as he spouted random excuses/explanations to Elena he darts off, only to find that Gus has already gotten on the bus and the bus has already left. So Isaac does the only thing he can think of: He runs after him.

      AHHHHHHH THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING GEMMA!!!!!! That’s exactly what I wanted people to see!! Because right now in current times it DOES look very one-sided because it happens to be that Gemma isn’t in a good place right now at all, but rewind a few years and it was often HER being there for Gus, or at least trying to be. That’s exactly how she is; blunt, straight to the point, and a bit brash with her advice. Sometimes she’s also comes across as un-compassionate and unsympathetic too, because she often doesn’t quite understand the feelings that are involved, but she almost always means well, especially when it comes to Augustus. She doesn’t always get her thoughts and feelings across well though, so most people find her off-putting. Augustus though knows how she is and what she means, so most of the time you’ll see her brashness kind of sliding off his shoulders like he doesn’t notice it because again, he knows what she means. Sometimes though, she really does cross the line and you can straight up just say, “That was fucking rude” but that’s certainly not her default. She cares deeply, she’s always cared deeply, but she 1.) Doesn’t always know how to properly convey her feelings, and 2.) Often denies it in the spirit of trying to remain “objective” and “rational.”

      Her own advice, eh? Hahahaha, a good point, but Gemma would say that in the case of Oliver, she doesn’t have enough evidence to warrant taking the risk. She’s seen literally little to nothing that shows that Dr. Saint even has the slightest interest in her or would even be open to such an idea, so she’s kept her infatuation to herself. If she did have some evidence that a confession might go over well, she would be much more inclined to take the leap. Like in this case, she sees LOADS of evidence that Isaac likes her brother, so she’s much more confident about trying to push that, but if she didn’t see this, she wouldn’t be so encouraging. Instead, she’d probably be calling her brother an idiot for having so much invested in a hopeless cause, lmao. Which is incidentally where she’s at with the Oliver crush actually. She knows it’s a hopeless cause, which is why she feels so stupid over it and just wants to forget about it and move on, but somehow can’t quite do so. Sometimes she forgets that especially when it comes to feelings, things are much more easily said than done….

      Thank you again SOOOOOO freaking much for reading and for leaving such an awesome comment! I really appreciate it and am excited to see what you say when the next part does get published, which hopefully won’t be ages away, lol. ❤

  11. Well, it’s taken me 548341 years to finally get to this, but better late than never right?? *clears throat*

    Anyways.. Scene 1. You’re so good at describing things and the detail you use is so nice, i love it ;~; and ohhh i see Anthony ;D i nearly melted when you described Isaac’s kissable lips XD I love their little flirty banter, too, even though it might not even seem like flirting to them haha it’s super cute ❤ and especially the part where they're showing each other their drawing books. LOL I love Isaac's attempt at recovering from the obvious hit-on he did to Gus by pretty much calling him hot lmaoo good try Isaac, but you ain't fooling anyoneee XD and I loved that Gus wrote that he thought Isaac was nice to look at, too, and then Isaac getting all flustered haha so cute ❤

    Okay. Scene 2. Awww, poor Gus getting ready to feel lonely again because he thinks Isaac is better than him and they won't be working on their project together anymore ;A; but I like how Isaac came back with such compliments that warmed my heart to read. How he thinks Gus is kind and smart and fun. *sobs in a corner* I like how they talk to one another, too, as if they're already dating haha its so cute. And I can't stop saying things are cute but it's true so I feel like I'm going to be saying it a lot more ;-; aww Gus wants to kiss him *sobs more* *shoves their faces together* lmaooo and their little banter at the end.. i laughed XDD they so cuteee stahhppp ;~;

    Scene tres. Gemma has such beautiful eyes <33 And you tell him, Gemma! Get it through his head that Isaac likes him, because he doessss ahhhhh jhfdhafjk XD and she really is right about everything she said. I love that little eye exchange between Gus and Isaac, too, from across the lunchroom *nudges Gus* go make out in the janitors closet or something *wiggles eyebrows* LOL

    Scene fow. *sobs violently* THEY WERE UP ALL NIGHT TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER?? ;A;;;;; my.. my hearttt *clenches chest* *reads on* omg?? my heart is broken now?? Isaac kissing that girl wtfff ;~; I'm just as mad as Gus now. Bitchhhh *flings her off of Isaac's arm to save Gus anymore heartache* GET OFF HIM. AHHHH hgfdfjak *angry sobs*

    Scene 5. I understand him being upset, even though he doesn't really have a right to be because they never kissed yet or made anything official, but I still feel horrible for him. It makes me feel like Isaac is just a tease or something or was leading him on and it makes me sad ;~; But.. Shit. Now my heart is swelling again because Isaac RAN there. It makes me think that there really is something between them and just.. *sobs happily again* omg he finally admitted it! Isaac, sweet bb ;-; *hugs* It's okay. I'm glad you finally made it super clear to Gus. lmaooooooooo "tickling each other's tonsils" omg i nearly lost my shit when I read that XDD *gets serious again* awww *cuddles Isaac* what a crappy story, I can see why he's been afraid to come out T_T And then how Gus reassures him?? *sobs more, cant stop* I know that their hug is supposed to be comforting and sad, but it's actually super sweet and just.. jfdhafjd I'm a mess right now lmao omg and then Isaac pretty much confessed without spelling it out for Gus that he liked him.. And liked hugging him.. what are you doing to me Lisa???? fuck *is up to my ankles is tears*

    Okay. Done. Novel comment over. ❤

    1. I wish I’d been able to respond to your comments yesterday because my heart feels so damn heavy today, but *takes deep breath* These comments, and the sweet genuineness that is Isaac and Augustus, might just help me out right now, so HERE WE GO:

      Ahhhh!!! Thank you!!! Oh definitely, better late than never. I don’t mind at all; I’m just glad you’re here! AND OMG I’M SO GLAD YOU NOTICED ANTHONY, LOL. You’re literally the first person who has, or at least, the first to mention it. I didn’t tag him or anything because I don’t foresee him being much a part of the Different Winters universe, but I thought it at least plausible that he might have gone to high school here 😉 Plus, when I aged him down to a teen he was adorable, so I had to go with it! XD

      Mmm yes, his kissable lips! Always quirked up in that smirk. *screeches* LMAO. Thank youuuuu. Writing conversations between Augustus and Isaac is soooooooo fun and enjoyable and HFDSFLK I am already beaming!! Responding to this comment is making me feel happy again!!!

      Hahaha yeahhhhh Isaac attempted, but….poor boy couldn’t get over how cute and oddly sexy Augustus was, LOL. That was pretty much the moment when he realized that he was screwed—how could he possibly bring himself to stay away? And then that little note back? Fuck. He was officially head over heels…and so embarrassed and shyyyyyy. Babyyyyyyyyyy *hugs him tightly*

      I knowwww! Gus was really afraid that Isaac wouldn’t hang out with him anymore after the project was over and Isaac swept away that belief and reassured him in the best way possible ^_^ He was rather stunned by Gus’ pronouncement. Why on earth wouldn’t they be friends anymore? How on earth could he possibly part from someone he admired and got along with so well? But of course Augustus didn’t know any of this, until Isaac shared at least a little of what he thought about him ^_^ LOL it was so tempting to shove their faces together. Oh my god it’s fine never stop calling them cute! THEY ARE SO CUTE. *sobs with you* Howwwww?

      Ah, doesn’t she just? Gemma is a real stunner and hella fucking smart to boot! Not to mention observant! Of course, I don’t think anyone would need to be particularly perceptive to pick up on the fact that there was at least something between them…..LOL janitor’s closet, eh? Well, we’ll see…. 😉

      LOL OMFG *sobs with you again* THEY DID. THEY CHATTED ALL NIGHT. And I both laughed and had my heart re-shattered all over again when I just read your comment saying “Omg?? My heart is broken now??” I KNOW RIGHT?!?!?! Elena, I have nothing against you, BUT GTFO! =O

      Hehehe, gahhhhhh I really love reading your thought process as you were reading that last scene. It really did seem like for a moment there that Isaac was leading Augustus on, but oh my god, no he wasn’t. Not in the slightest! If anything, his only transgression was not being up front about it, but…considering the circumstances, I understand why he didn’t feel safe to do so T___T But now he has. He’s told him and Gus is comforting him and THEY REALLY LIKE HUGGING ONE ANOTHER. *is swimming in tears with you* WHAT HAVE I DONE!?!?! Lmaoooo *climbs onto a life raft and reclines* I regret nothing.

      Ah! Thank you so freaking much for reading and commenting! You’ve made this day feel so much less darker. *squeezes you to pieces* *SQUEAL* <3333333

    1. LOL yes, the second to youngest Winters is quite the reptile enthusiast. Actually more accurately he’s a wildlife enthusiast in general, so he’s studying to become a certified wildlife biologist. Since he was little he was always coming home with all kinds of critters…much to everyone’s joy, as you can imagine, lmaooo.

      Thank you for reading and commenting! XD

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