Barriers: Chapter SevenJanuary 1988
"What's all this?" Spencer inquired, brow furrowing as he stared down at the newspaper wrapped box.
Allen tried to refrain from bouncing. He really had to get a handle on that; he wanted to be able to stand still when he was excited, but he just couldn't. He clasped his hands behind his back, fumbling his fingers together. "Open it!"
Spencer eyed him suspiciously. Allen only grinned innocently and started twisting back and forth, keeping his feet firmly planted as the rest of him moved. He couldn't seem to keep still.
Slowly and carefully, Spencer began to tear at the newspaper.
Four months of planning the present, only to find out that he didn't have any wrapping paper. That had sucked. Last night, he'd gone to wrap up the shoebox he'd stashed Spencer's gift in, and had to wander all over the house searching for wrapping paper before finally giving up and just settling on newspaper. Spencer didn't seem to mind, but Allen couldn't k
Barriers: Chapter SixDecember, 1987
They'd survived for a month. An entire month. They'd made it through November with only a few close calls, and, so far as they knew, no suspicions.
Even Spencer was comfortable with it now. In spite of his early misgivings, he was finding that, as long as they kept themselves in check, it was pretty easy to stay under the radar. They just had to keep the affection to a minimum during school hours, and spend most of their free time at Spencer's place. Allen said his family didn't like how much time he spent with Spencer; said Alex yelled at him for it. He also said he didn't care, and would continue to avoid them whenever he wanted. Spencer wasn't sure if this was a complement, but he took pride in it anyway.
Now it was nearly 1988 (only a few days away, and then they'd be that much closer to college and the freedom that came with it), and they were sure they would pull it off. They'd made it this far, after all; what could
Barriers: Chapter FiveIt was eight P.M. Eight. Allen had been over at Spencer's place for almost six hours.
He was sitting in the living room, playing NES, when he heard the garage door open. He looked to the window to his left to see the Ford Fairmont in the driveway. Allen climbed out of the driver's seat, shut the door and locked the car, then strode into the garage, out of Alex's view. As the garage door began to grind shut, the door in the kitchen flew open and Allen emerged.
"What exactly were you studying that took six hours?" Alex called from his seat in the living room, leaning forward so he could look into the kitchen.
Allen gaped at him, freezing as he began to shrug off his dark green coat. "Uh, lots of things. Science mostly, but some History, too, and, um English was one of them"
"You are the worst liar ever," Alex groaned. "It doesn't help that I know Spencer doesn't study."
Allen shuffled his feet and tried to avoid Alex's stare. "I'm sorry. We just wan
Barriers: Chapter FourThe boys simply stared at Spencer's mother for a few seconds, awestruck and baffled, before realizing what had just happened and scattering away from each other.
How had his mother gotten in here without either of them noticing? He hadn't even heard the door open.
"That wasn't what it looked like," Spencer insisted.
An amused smile spread across his mother's face. "You're seriously trying to tell me you weren't just kissing him?"
"Why didn't you knock?" he demanded, tactfully ignoring his mother's question.
Claire shrugged. "Didn't think I needed to. You think I expected to walk in on you two making out?
"We were not making out," Spencer protested. "It was just a kiss! That's all."
Allen was huddled in the far corner of the bed, eyes comically wide and jaw stuck open, staring, petrified, at Claire.
"Either way, I'd like to know why. You keep telling me you aren't gay," she pointed out, "Are you lying or just confused?"
Spencer hung his head, his cheeks growing even redder
Barriers: Chapter ThreeAlex sighed as he pushed his food around with his fork. This was the seventh time Allen hadn't been home for dinner in the last two weeks.
He glared across the table at the chair his twin should be sitting in. What made Allen think he could just skip dinner whenever he felt like it? And what gave him the nerve to take the car when Alex wanted to go meet up with Megan? Alex thought he deserved a night out with his girlfriend, considering how often Allen was off doing God knows what with Spencer.
'Studying'. Yeah, right. Spencer didn't study. Why would Allen go over to his house to do something he never did with him? It made no sense, and it cheated Alex out of a nice date. He could be in some restaurant, enjoying a meal with Megan, instead of sitting here in front of a plate of bland chicken that he really didn't feel like eating, but no, Allen needed the car more!
What had gotten into his twin? It had been almost two years since he'd last been normal.
It was Spencer's fau
Barriers: Chapter TwoTheme 63 (Do Not Disturb) of the 100 Themes Challenge
The rest of the schoolday was painful. They shared many classes, so it was impossible to avoid each other. It didn't help that they sat next to each other in almost all of the classes they shared.
Every time he looked at Allen, all Spencer could think about was kissing him. It was pathetic, he was sure; he'd never thought about kissing Allen this much before it actually happened, so why should he be so hung up on it now? Probably because it had been amazing.
Waiting at home for Allen to show up was even worse. Not a second passed that Spencer wasn't worried that Allen wasn't going to show; that he'd just said he'd come over to get Spencer off his case, and had no actual intentions of doing so.
He sat in the living room, staring out the window, waiting for Allen to drive up in the car he shared with Alex. He was curled into a loose ball on seat nearest the front window, arms wrapped around his knees, head pressed to the arm of
Barriers: Chapter OneNovember 1987
"Probably, we should go back to the cafeteria now," Allen said with a teasing smirk.
"Shuddup. You know I don't talk like that anymore," Spencer growled. Even though his friend was teasing him, he couldn't keep from smiling back at him.
"I don't care; it's still weird," Allen argued, eyes half-lidded as he feigned superciliousness.
Spencer elbowed him in the ribs, prompting a squeak of pain from the blonde boy, accompanied by some unfitting giggling.
Spencer dove out of the way as Allen prepared to shove him, ducking under his arms and coming back up between them to snag Allen by the waist. A shriek of laughter assaulted Spencer's eardrum as Allen threw his arms around his friend's neck.
Two years had passed since they'd met. Allen had absolutely succeeded in getting Spencer out of his shell. It hadn't taken very long; only a couple months had passed before the two became inseparable.
As they had grown closer, odd things began to h
Barriers: PrologueSeptember 1985
Allen always loved it when he finished early. It gave him time to draw all over his assignments. The pages looked so plain before he got his hands on them; just notebook paper, blue lines on white, with his answers jotted down right by the margin. It was blank and lifeless. Fortunately, all it took to liven it up was a few quick cartoons, and Allen was prepared to supply those.
Drawing was something that came naturally to him. He and his brother both could draw marginally well. Perhaps it was genetic. There was almost nothing he enjoyed more than doodling all over his assignments. Sure, it made his teachers a little angry, but they couldn't give him detention for drawing after he'd finished what he'd been tasked with, and glares from pedantic old people didn't scare him at all.
Today's doodles weren't very good, he was afraid. So not good, in fact, that he had to glower down at them as he waited for class to end. He hadn't