Title: "Ash"
Fandom: Dead Poets Society
Pairing: Todd [Ethan Hawke]/Charlie [Gale Hansen]
Author: MonaR. (aka Mona Ramsey, aka Mona)
Story #: 489.
Series: Sequel to "Body Heat", which was a sequel to "The Game". This will probably have a sequel, too. Anyone who has a name for the series, pipe up.
Webpage: the bare skeleton of one is at:
Rating: R.
Warnings: Non-explicit slash (m/m) content between two teenaged boys.
Archive: Yes to The Marrow of Life only.
Notes: I don't use betas. :( Any mistakes are solely my fault and the fault of my *#^&@ spellcheck. ** is used for emphasis, // for thought. Any weird characters should be hunted down and killed.
Feedback: Yes if you're moved to write me by the story, no if you think that *unless* you write me, I won't write any more stories. Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of my posting history (this *is* my 400-and-something-th story) knows that isn't true. Feedback is gratefully accepted and responded to whenever possible. Flames are buried in the backyard, along with a few skeletons.
Spoilers: Barely.
Summary: Todd shocks Charlie with an admission about his past.

{Ha! This is what happens when everyone writes me and says, "Oh, Mona, you've gotta write a sequel to 'Body Heat', you've gotta write a sequel to 'Body Heat'." Nyeah. Well, maybe not everyone. But both of you know who you are!
I've been fighting doing this story because A) it feels clichéd, and B) I'm uncomfortable with even a suggestion of non-con in one of my stories. However, here I go. . .
I hate disclaiming my stories before they even start.}

by MonaR.

Todd chewed on the cuticle of his thumbnail, worrying it until a spot of blood appeared. He sucked it away, and looked at his watch for the fourth time. McAllister would just be sitting down at his desk in study hall - if he ran all the way, he'd just make it in time to pretend he'd been making a stop in the bathroom, instead of cutting the period altogether. He paced halfway across the small attic storage room, kicking up swirls of dust among the shelves and bits of furniture, and then made for the door.

Before he could grasp the handle, it was opened in his face.

"Jesus," Charlie said. "You came." Todd backed up, and Charlie leaned against the door to close it. "How'd you get here so fast?"

Todd shrugged. "I just left after Mr. Keating's class."

"Like a jackrabbit, you did. You should be on the track team," Charlie grinned.

"I thought maybe you weren't coming."

"Are you kidding me?" Charlie dropped his school jacket on a dusty chair, and yanked at his tie. He stalked Todd to the far wall, and put his arms on either side of Todd's shoulders, pinning the other boy there. "After what you did to me last night?"

"What *I* - ?"

It was all Todd had a chance to say. Charlie grabbed his tie and pulled him close, kissing him hard. They slid down the wall, still kissing; Charlie ended up on his knees in between Todd's stretched-out legs, panting. "See?" he said. "*That* is what you were doing to me last night, only I didn't have the chance to show you."

Todd struggled to get out of his jacket, while Charlie attacked his tie and the buttons on his shirt. He ended up with his arms pinned behind him, shirt and jacket stuck around his elbows. "Help, Charlie, I'm caught."

Charlie just grinned at him. "I don't know," he said, tilting his head to one side and pretending to study the situation. "I think I like you like that. Half-naked, and completely at my mercy." He pushed the cloth of Todd's shirt further over his shoulders, and took the opportunity to lick one of Todd's nipples until it peaked.

Todd shivered. "Wait," he said, and managed to free one of his arms. Charlie still had his shirt on, buttoned nearly all the way. "Wait. Are we going to - " He couldn't finish the question.

He didn't need to. "Have sex?" Charlie asked, with a grin. When Todd nodded, he said, "I really, really want to. Do you?"

Todd nodded. "Have - have you ever - ?"

"Truthfully?" Charlie shook his head. "Not yet. What about you, Anderson? You holding out on me?" Although Charlie asked the question almost facetiously, sure that he knew the answer already, he was stunned when Todd didn't say anything, or even shake his head. He sat back on his heels, smile slowly fading when the silence lengthened. "Todd?"

The tips of Todd's ears were red; that was all that Charlie could see, because Todd had his head down, and his hands were clenched in his lap. He heard Todd take a deep breath. "I - " he started, but didn't continue.

Charlie took his hands away from where they had been resting on Todd's shoulders. Todd drew his legs up against his chest, and rested his chin on his knees.

"You don't have to tell me," Charlie said, with studied indifference. "It's no skin off my teeth if you had a - girlfriend?" he said it as though the word was unfamiliar to him. "Or whatever," he added. The intimate mood had been broken, however, and he couldn't pretend not to be shocked and even a little hurt to find out that *Todd Anderson*, of all people, was no blushing virgin.

"It wasn't like that," Todd said, finally. "It wasn't like I had a girlfriend or was going out with someone. It - it wasn't even - " he paused. "It wasn't even a girl," he finished.

Charlie frowned. "Someone at your old school?" he asked, relief plain in his voice. "Well geez - you've gotta do *something* to avoid going blind, in a place like this. Lots of guys do it."

"You haven't."

"Well, you don't have to rub it in. So, what - you snuck off behind the bleachers with a friend after soccer practice?"

Todd shook his head. It was difficult for him to meet Charlie's eyes, and he was very aware of the fact that Charlie had stopped touching him, and was sitting with his arms folded across his chest. "It wasn't at school. It was last summer vacation. It was - a, a friend of my brother's," he said.

"The Merit Scholar has a friend who's a - " Charlie bit off the end of his statement when Todd gave him a sharp glance.

"Jeffrey doesn't even know about it," Todd said. "It's not as though I was *dating* the guy," he said, angrily. "It just - it just happened. Just forget about it, okay?" He buried his face in his arms. "Why don't you go? You should go."

"Wait a minute," Charlie said. "Look, you spring this on me, and what am I supposed to think? Jesus, Anderson. Give me a minute, here." He took a deep breath. "Okay, so you've got experience with this. That's a good thing, right?" Todd didn't say anything, and Charlie asked again, "Right?"

"I don't know anything," Todd said. "You don't understand."

"So tell me," Charlie said. "*Make* me understand."

"It wasn't like you and I planning this and coming here and - *wanting* to do it. He just - "

"That son-of-a-bitch."

"No, Charlie - "

"Tell me what his name is," Charlie said.


"I'd like to know the name of the guy I'm going to kill. It'll make it easier to find him."

To Charlie's surprise, Todd actually smiled. "You're a little late to play hero," he said, quietly, "but thanks anyway."

Charlie had to chuckle, at that. "It's not funny," he said.

"No," Todd agreed. "It isn't." He sighed. "It isn't like you think, though. It's not like he - " He shrugged, frustrated that he couldn't explain himself better. "Look, if you just stop talking for a minute, I'll - I'll tell you what happened."

Charlie nodded. "Okay."

Todd scrubbed his hands through his hair, nervously. "My family always goes away in the summer, to this resort on a lake where they have these cabins you can rent. It's like a house - it's all self-contained, bedrooms and kitchen and everything. We usually go just in August - my dad comes on the weekends, and the rest of us stay the whole time. I like it - it's quiet, nobody bothers me much. Fishing, swimming, stuff like that.

"This year, my mother asked my brother Jeffrey if he wanted to bring some friends with him, as a treat for the valedictorian thing, and because he's going to college and he probably won't be coming with us anymore."

"Let me guess," Charlie said, "you're really going to miss him, right?"

Todd smiled. "I think she thought he wouldn't want to come if there wasn't anyone his age around. She shouldn't have worried - there's this girls' summer camp across the lake, and that's where Jeff ended up spending most of his time. He asked these two guys who'd been in his class, and they came with us.

"It wasn't much different from any other year. Jeff and his friends chased the girls at the resort, my little brother played baseball, and I - " Todd shrugged. "I just tried to stay out of the way."

"You're good at that," Charlie said, quietly.

"It's easier. If they don't notice you, then they can't be disappointed." Todd continued quickly. "I spent most of my time in the lake - swimming, rowing. Anyway, this one day, Jeff and one of his friends went on ahead. Mark - the other guy - he was late getting up, and he came out fifteen minutes later. Jeff and Tom were already halfway across the lake in their canoe.

"I don't know why, but Mark started talking to me. I never said more than five words to him before that, and I didn't think he even knew I was there. He asked me what I was doing; I was just reading a book while I waited an hour to go swimming.

"After a while, he asked me to walk down to the lake with him. He didn't take the main path, just started walking through this little bit of woods there was, between our place and the lake. The trees aren't very thick - you can't get deep enough in them so that you can't see your way out, one way or the other. We were about halfway through, when - " Todd stopped, and shook his head. "I turned my head back; I could still see the white curtains that were in our kitchen window - and then he stopped walking.

"He was looking at me, and - I was going to ask him if something was wrong, like maybe he forgot something at the house and he wanted me to go get it. I didn't have a chance, though, and I - I didn't do anything when he kissed me. I didn't do anything when he pushed me against a tree and started rubbing himself against me. I couldn't say anything - I didn't tell him to stop." Todd swallowed. "I didn't want him to stop.

"When it was over, he sank down on his knees, and - " Todd shook his head. "He just started to *cry*. He was crying so hard, just *sobbing*, and apologizing to me and begging me not to tell anyone and telling me how sorry he was and that he didn't mean it and he really liked girls and it just happened. I thought someone would hear him, and come out from the house and find us there - and I could still see the white curtains in the kitchen window. I ended up sitting down beside him, with my arms around him, trying to get him to stop crying. I shouldn't have worried; nobody heard us.

"You know," Todd said, looking at Charlie, "I looked at myself in the mirror for a long time after that, but I could never figure out how he knew."

"How he knew what?"

"About me. How he knew that about me. How he knew that I would want to feel what he made me feel."

"He didn't know *shit*," Charlie said. "He just took you out there and he used you because he knew you were his friend's quiet little brother who wouldn't say anything."

Todd shook his head. "He must have known."

"He didn't. You ever tell anyone that story before?"


"See? He didn't know anything. He just knew what he wanted."

"But I liked it," Todd said. "I liked it. I liked the feel of him against me. I liked the smell of him, and the way he grabbed on to my wrists and wouldn't let go, and I liked his muscles. I *liked* it." He reached out in the space between himself and Charlie, resting his fingers lightly on Charlie's arm. "I wasn't afraid. I was surprised, but I wasn't afraid, and I liked it. Everything - up until he started crying. And then I just wanted to get away from him, because he hated himself so much, and I thought - I thought maybe that's what I was supposed to feel, too, only - I didn't. He hated what he did so much, and I couldn't understand what he had done that was so bad that he hated himself *that* much, when I didn't hate him."

"Jesus," Charlie said. "I'm surprised you didn't sock me one last night."

"You don't understand," Todd said, with a smile. "I wanted it. I wanted it when you kissed me in the bathroom, and I wanted you in my bed last night - I wanted what you did, and more. The only thing that I was afraid of last night was that we'd wake up Neil. I'm not like you, Charlie - you or Neil or Knox or any of the others. I like - I like boys."

"You can't possibly know that. You've never even been with a girl."

"I do know it," Todd said, shaking his head. "He knew, too. It wasn't just because I was there. I've never wanted to touch a girl, never wanted to be with one. I can't even open my mouth around them. I just - I just like boys. I like them, and I don't even hate myself for it."

"Did the two of you - do that often?"

Todd shook his head. "That was the only time. He would hardly even look at me for the rest of the trip. He ended up going home early; my dad drove him back to the city the next weekend." He looked down at his fingers, still resting on Charlie's arm. "So now do you want to go?"

Charlie was silent, absorbing what Todd had told him, then he looked at his watch. "We both have to go," he said, standing up and dusting off his pants. "Study hall's over. McAllister's probably screaming his head off, wondering where we are."

Todd stood up, nodding his head. "Okay." He picked up his coat and shirt and tried to untangle them and put them on.

"Here," Charlie said. He picked up Todd's tie. "Let me help." He looped the tie around Todd's collar and tied it deftly, smoothing it down into place.

Todd caught Charlie's hand, resting against his stomach, and held it there. After a moment, he leaned in and captured Charlie's mouth with his own. The kiss was awkward, but Todd held it until he felt Charlie start to relax under his touch. When he broke it, the two boys stood there together, foreheads touching. "Meet me here tomorrow?" Todd asked.

"Cut study hall two days in a row?" Charlie said, skeptically. "That could be risky."

"Since when is Charlie Dalton worried about getting caught doing anything?" His tone was light, but Todd held his breath until Charlie nodded at him.

"Okay," Charlie said. "Same time tomorrow."

Todd let his breath out in a rush. "Same time tomorrow," he agreed.

Before they left, Charlie asked, "Is there anything else you haven't told me about?"

"Like what?"

"Oh, I don't know. Your father was a Nazi spy, you were originally a Siamese Twin?"

"I thought I'd save that story for our second date." Charlie looked at him with serious alarm, and Todd smiled a tiny smile.

"Don't *do* that," Charlie said, but he couldn't help himself from laughing. "I am prepared to believe anything you tell me right now."

"That is a dangerous knowledge for me to have," Todd said.

"Dangerous, but true," Charlie sighed. Nevertheless, he grasped Todd's hand and pulled him to the door, and didn't let him go until they met some other boys halfway down the hall, then they split up and went in opposite directions.


"There you are! What happened to you two?" Neil asked, when Todd got back to their room.

"Just didn't feel like going today," Todd shrugged. "Was McAllister mad?"

"Are you kidding? He didn't even notice you were gone." Neil grinned. "Knox and I acted up so he'd think that Charlie was there, and Meeks bent his head over his book and didn't say anything and pretended to be you."

Todd chuckled. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it." Neil picked up his script from the play. "Run lines with me, fair Hermia?" He gave an intricate flourish.

"Only if you promise to stop calling me 'fair Hermia'." Todd held his hands out for the book. "Neil - " he started, and then stopped himself.


"Nothing." Todd flipped through the pages of the script. "Where are you in this thing?"

"One-oh-six. Bottom of the page. Pick it up when Lysander re-enters." He struck a Puckish pose and waited for his cue.

"'Where art thou, proud Demetrius'?" Todd read. "'Speak thou now.'"

"'Here, villain! drawn and ready. Where art thou?'"

"'I will be with thee straight.'" Despite himself, Todd started to chuckle.

Neil puzzled, said, "Would you be serious? I have to practice."

"Sorry," Todd said, and cleared his throat. "'I will be with thee straight.'"

"'Follow me then to plainer ground.'" Neil made a face at Todd's continued mirth. "*What* is so funny?"

"Nothing, nothing," Todd said, composing himself. "I'm sorry. I'll do better, I promise."

"You'd better," Neil said, "or I'll call you 'fair Hermia' for the rest of the school year."

The End

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