Title: "Bad Timing"
Pairing: Todd/Charlie
Author: Helen helen@infoconex.com
Series: No.
Rating: R, I guess
Warning: Discussion of actual chemistry experiments
Spoilers: nope
Summary: Boys are constantly interrupted. Good things happen at five o'clock, especially if you're not on daylight savings time.

Notes: As I've said to several people by now, DPS is my official non-serious fandom. I will be writing only smutlets and little one-offs where the characterization goes wonky. Also, I have a rule about apologizing for fiction that I post--enough said.

With thanks to Christine, who told me that I couldn't end it with "'okay', Charlie said, and then he gave Todd a blow-job."


5 o’clock. Neil at rehearsal, dark stealing down over their room, a full hour until dinner, Trig and Latin homework done, for once, Todd looked furtively, unnecessarily, at the door to the room, firmly closed, and unbuttoned his shirt, tugging it out of his pants. Then he sat down and untied his shoelaces, shoving off his shoes and scooting back on his bed until he was leaning against the wall. He closed his eyes for a moment and leaned his head against the wall, licking his lips, then brought his wrist up to his lips, pressing them open, rubbing his teeth slowly across the skin there, hard enough to feel his lower teeth bump across the tendons, then curled his tongue against the same spot. He lifted his arm away for a moment and took a deep breath, then slowly, deliberately mouthed the skin on the inside of his forearm, sliding his lips down his arm to his hand, where he ran his tongue messily around his palm, between his fingers, small wet sounds audible.

It was getting dark very quickly now, had gotten darker since he’d sat down. He shifted his shoulders against the wall and spread his knees, opening his pants with one hand and sucking idly on three fingers of his other hand.

He was hard, he was already so hard and he hadn’t even done anything yet. He touched one nipple with a wet finger and shivered. Smiled: put his fingers back in his mouth and then pulled them out and ran them around his lips. This time, when he touched his nipple, his spine lurched and arched, and he shook his head and struggled with his underwear for a moment, freeing his cock, the first firm touch bringing an involuntary sound of pleasure from the back of his throat.

Oh, it would be good this time; he slid his wet hand around his cock, touching himself more quickly now, tired of teasing, just getting down to business—

“Hey Neil, are you—“ Charlie burst in the door and stopped, startled, as Todd hurriedly pulled his hand away from his cock, tried to cover himself up somehow. Useless, of course, since it was perfectly obvious what he had been doing.

“Oh,” Charlie said. If it hadn’t been the worst moment of his life to date, Todd thought, it might have been a little funny. He’d never seen Charlie shocked before. Todd yanked his pants closed and the motion seemed to make Charlie aware that he’d been staring.

“I’m sorry,” he said, uncertainly. “I. I’ll just.” He passed a nervous hand over his face and then left as quickly as he’d come in.

“oh god,” Todd said to himself, long after the door closed. Then he said it again, because his voice sounded so normal. He rebuttoned his shirt, smoothing it down, tucking it in, put his shoes on again, tied them tightly, carefully, anything but think about what Charlie would say when he sat down at dinner tonight. Could he skip it? It might make it worse, and it wasn’t as though he could not eat for the rest of the year. Better to get it over with, better to let Charlie just say it. He’d noticed that Charlie didn’t have much of an attention span—let him make his point and he’d lay off soon enough. Still, it didn’t make the thought of tonight any better and he was half panicking when he walked into the dining hall, heart pounding enough to make his head ache, the smell of beef stew nauseating.

But Charlie didn’t say anything. Didn’t look at him, even. Todd stared at his plate and choked down the stew, waiting, because he knew, knew it was only a temporary reprieve and any minute now, Charlie would look up, eyes bright with mirth, and say—he couldn’t even imagine what Charlie might say, only that it would be cutting and funny and he’d laughed himself, hadn’t he, when he hadn’t been the target, liked Charlie for how little he seemed to care for things, his blithe assuredness that people would forgive him, wouldn’t take it too personally.

Still. Charlie said nothing. And nothing the next day, or the next when they were lab partners in chemistry and had to set up an almost impossibly intricate apparatus and Todd was so nervous he set fire to his test tube holder, but Charlie only grabbed it from him and dumped it into the sink before anyone saw. They were done before anyone else, because they worked so diligently, Charlie only speaking to him to ask for an extra beaker, to give him the numbers he’d gotten for calculations.

“Finished early, Dalton?” the teacher said, and sent them both to the library to do research on a report on fossil fuels. Without looking at Charlie, Todd picked up his books and left. He could feel Charlie behind him as they trudged through the silent halls, Todd automatically taking the long way to the library before he realized that the last thing he wanted was to be alone on the high stone walkway between the east and west wings with Charlie. He started to walk more quickly, but was barely halfway across when Charlie said


He turned around, almost relieved, but blushing, hot beneath his jacket in spite of the biting wind “yeah?” It came out more as a challenge than he meant it too, sounded almost hostile, and Charlie’s eyes dropped and he said,

“Look, everyone does it. It’s not—“

“I know.” Todd turned around, looked down over the wall to the ground.

“I’m sorry,” Charlie said, somewhere behind him.

“It was. humiliating enough without.”

“You looked really good.”

“what?” Todd said, so surprised that he turned around, expecting to see Charlie laughing at him.

“nothing,” Charlie said quickly. “I mean. I only. I didn’t think you would enjoy it so much.”


“I don’t even enjoy it that much,” Charlie said quietly, and touched him on the shoulder.

Todd jerked backwards. “Are you. is this a joke?”

“No. I just wanted to tell you. To.”

“What, were you going to ask for pointers or something?” Todd said sharply, and then clamped his mouth shut and took another step backwards. “I mean. I’m sorry. I.”

“Why were your lips so wet?”

“What?” Todd said.

“I just wondered. They were.” Charlie made an indeterminate gesture towards his mouth.

“I. I licked them, I guess.”


“So we should. the library,” Todd said, finally.



Todd was most of the way through his math assignment when there was a polite knock on his door.

“Come in,” he said, and it was Charlie, closing the door carefully behind him.

“Neil is at rehearsal,” Todd said. “he’ll be back in—“

“No, I came to see you,” Charlie said.

“um,” Todd said, and after too long a pause, Charlie said

“So, did you do the math?”

“Some of it,” Todd said warily, and when Charlie only stood there, sighed and said, “would you like some help?”

Charlie grinned in relief and dragged Neil’s chair over to sit by Todd.

Charlie, it’s true, wasn’t the best math student in the world, but after Todd had explained for the fourth time what a tangent was, it was clear that Charlie wasn’t trying very hard to understand.

“Do you mind paying attention?”

“I am.”

“This isn’t that hard.”

“I’m paying attention.”

“No, you’re not. You’re---looking at me. Why are you looking at me?”

Charlie squirmed a little in his seat and dropped his pencil. “It’s just. you know how you said. what you said about pointers?”

Todd hunched his shoulders “Charlie, you know I didn’t mean—”

“Yeah. but. maybe you could anyway.”

“*No*. No way. You’re crazy.”

“How about some abstract pointers, then. What do you think about?”


“because I think about you,” Charlie said doggedly, then met his eyes “I think about you.”


“I. thought maybe.” Charlie touched his knee and Todd shoved his chair back and stood up.

“I think you should go.”


“I think this isn’t a conversation we should be having,” Todd said desperately.

“okay,” Charlie nodded, grabbed his math book. “sorry. “

Todd nodded. Charlie put Neil’s chair back and said, “You aren’t going to say anything, are you?”

“I never say anything,” Todd said.


“If you have a problem with someone, just tell me,” Neil had said, way back at the beginning of the year, being kind, and he had wondered what it was that made him look so much as if he needed help. He was reasonably certain that Neil hadn’t thought his becoming an object of homosexual desire would be one of the problems. For just a minute, because was amusing in a terrible sort of way, he imagined himself saying to Neil, “oh, by the way, Charlie made a pass at me, could you do something about that?”

But more the problem was that he wasn’t sure he wanted Neil to do anything about it, he wasn’t sure that he didn’t like the way that Charlie had looked at him; he wasn’t sure he wanted anything but to stop being such a coward. He should have either punched Charlie or. let him do things, but he’d done neither. Just been shocked: boring—he was always shocked about everything.

And last, worst, he found himself thinking about it, about Charlie’s crooked grin and the comfortable way he flung himself down in chairs, what it was like to sit directly behind Charlie in the scull, whipping down river, watching the muscles in his back tense and straighten and bunch again and again.

They had a meeting, and then another. Knox wrote a truly awful sestina about Chris. Neil was very slightly tiresome about the play, and insisted on reading, rather dramatically, all of Hamlet’s soliloquies. Cameron seemed to have an unerring fondness for poets he felt great indifference towards: Blake, Byron. Charlie told dirty jokes, but did not read any poetry. They weren’t very funny jokes; they weren’t even very dirty.

Charlie didn’t look at him any more; didn’t make fun of him, didn’t intentionally make things combust in chemistry, didn’t do any of the things that Todd had thought he hated. He was getting an A in chemistry; he’d never been so bored in his life.


“Initial water temperature’s sixty-two degrees,” Charlie said, handing him the thermometer. They were doing a lab about the thermal energy in a peanut.

“You really think about me,” Todd said.

“yeah,” Charlie said finally. They had been so quiet and efficient lately that they had been moved to the back of the room. It was almost private in their corner, in spite of the fact that they were in a room with twenty-five people setting fire to peanuts. Charlie got his lighter out of his pocket and set the flame to their peanut. It blackened and crumbled and Todd said,

“No one’s ever. before.”

“Well, you don’t know that.”

“Oh. right. I suppose I could be the stuff of fantasies for the greater New England area,” Todd said thoughtfully. Charlie snorted and then they suddenly had seven minutes to measure the water temperature and the mass of peanut residue and clean up and before he knew it they were tumbling out into the hallway and he heard himself say, quite clearly “You want to cut Latin?”

Charlie had just opened his mouth to answer when Neil and Knox jostled into them

“According to our results, there are 600 calories in a single peanut,” Knox said. “Is that right?”

“By which we mean, can we copy your results?” Neil said.

“Sure,” Charlie said absently, still looking at Todd.

“Are you guys coming?” Knox said.

“Yeah,” Todd said glumly.


5 o’clock again, Charlie slipping into his room, still wearing his soccer clothes, flushed, giving Todd a quick nervous grin.

“So,” Charlie said.


“I came as soon as I could.”

Todd nodded and they stared at each other until Todd said:

“Do you. um. you think about me? or you think about me. and you.”


“oh. and when. when you’re there—you—,” Todd said searchingly.

“I. you know. just,” Charlie said, and they weren’t so far away, couldn’t be, in those narrow rooms, and Charlie took three steps and a deep breath and slid one hand around the back of Todd’s neck and kissed him.

“Like that,” Todd asked, some minutes later, and started kissing him again before he could say anything, pulling him backwards towards the bed. They stumbled, and then sat, and Todd pulled at the hem of Charlie’s jersey, pulled it up and over his head and dropped it on the floor.

“Neil—“ Charlie said.

“Not for another hour,” Todd said. He ran a thumb along Charlie’s collarbone and Charlie pushed him down and wiggled on top of him, finding his mouth again. Todd ran his hands through Charlie’s hair, and down his back, pushed his tongue into Charlie’s mouth.

“I’ve never done this,” Charlie said the next time they stopped to breathe.

“oh, me either,” Todd said distractedly. His shoe dropped to the floor, and he ran his socked foot up Charlie’s calf.

“I’ve never done any of it.” Charlie said again. “Any of the things I want to do to you.”

“I don’t mind.” Todd ducked his head to kiss Charlie’s neck.

“but you never thought about me.”

“I’m thinking about you now,” Todd said, and moved his hips emphatically against Charlie.

“Well. Yes. but. if Neil or somebody were here, then you’d. with him, too?

“But he’s not,” Todd said. “You don’t have to do this, you know. I just. I thought.”

“no. I’m sorry. I want to. I’ve been wanting to.”

“Since you saw me.”

“before that,” Charlie admitted, and pushed himself up to kneel between Todd’s legs, hands hovering uncertainly over the waistband of Todd’s pants, before he bit his lip and undid the button. He drew down the zipper carefully, and pushed Todd’s shirt up far enough to stroke his stomach. Todd pushed himself up on his elbows and started to say something, but seemed to think better of it.

“What?” Charlie said.

“I want—. um.” Charlie tugged at the waistband of his underwear and he obligingly lifted his hips and Charlie tugged his pants and underwear down to mid thigh.

Charlie slid his across Todd’s hip, and Todd grabbed the hand and pulled Charlie down on top of him again, scrabbling at his shorts, pushing them down over his ass, and Charlie settled his hips carefully against Todd’s, shivering a their cocks dragged against each other. Todd arched underneath him, throwing his head back against the pillow, both of them breathing harshly. Todd was still wearing his shirt, the cotton cool against Charlie’s chest, Todd’s hands hot as they traced uncertainly down his back to rest on Charlie’s ass. Charlie gasped, and pushed his face against Todd’s neck, and began to thrust hard, and Todd, trapped beneath his weight and by his pants, moaned and clutched at his ass, and it was only a few minutes before Charlie was coming, messily, groaning. He bit Todd’s neck, and Todd yelped and came.

“Shit,” Charlie said, and rested his forehead against Todd’s shoulder.


“Such language, Mr. Anderson.” Charlie squirmed comfortably against him.

“Neil’s coming back in twelve minutes.”

In ten minutes, they were dressed again, if still too breathless. The window was open and Charlie had thrown Todd’s Latin textbook on the bed, but they weren’t looking at it.

“Do I look like—you know?” Todd said anxiously.

Charlie touched his cheek. “To me you do. But—“

“I know. I mean, they probably wouldn’t believe me if I told them.”

“Because I would, of course, never put out on the first date,” Charlie said.

“Of course not,” Todd said, and leaned over a kissed him impulsively, hard, on the mouth.

By the time Neil bounded in, Charlie was making fun of Todd’s pronunciation.

“Lay off, Dalton. You don’t have to be so hard on him.”

And Todd began, helplessly, to laugh.


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