short and destructive and explosive and in-love
And it's not like they'd never fallen in love before, but this is destructive and full, bubbling over until they're crazy and giddy and pressing hurried kisses at each other's lips.
But Wyatt comes to school with his torso black-and-blue and scores of lines cut into his thighs, carefully hidden. And Zach's too jaded, hurt too many times to love as easily as he had in the beginning.
They clash and crash and everything is too overwhelming, even when Wyatt's mother tells him she loves him despite the fact that tomorrow he knows she'll get the belt out again and his back will bleed and he's accepted the fact that white sheets don't stay white. Zach holds him like he's worth something, but Zach also won't touch him in public, and gets frustrated when he doesn't want to talk.
They don't fit on a fundamental level, but they still try to twist themselves together, because it's all they've got and they're not going to let go anytime soon. Wyatt cuts too deep one time, wrists this time, and lands himself in the hospital. Zach misses the most important game of the season, and for once, all the bruises that Wyatt has aren't just from his family.
They live like they're dying, wild eyes and wild cards, hands everywhere and minds blank and wiped. They aren't doing this for companionship or loyalty, but it still hurts when Wyatt finds him in bed with a girl, her high-pitched giggles piercing through the walls.
Zach won't apologize and they fall apart the same way they fell together, and the funeral of "the boy who pitched himself off the bell tower" isn't attended by the jock with the perfect girlfriend.
Sometimes things don't work out, and when his wife leaves him three years after getting married, he stares after her and drifts into pieces. He can still remember Wyatt's smile - you don't really forget your first perceived love, and some part of him misses the skinny boy with too many limbs.
But he's got greedy children who are waiting for him to die so they can collect in on his wealth, and his first boyfriend's dead in a cemetery somewhere at eighteen, frozen the way he died: broken and sad and not sure what love is.
And maybe one day Zach'll be six feet under (it's better than drowning, at least) but for now he's grasping at straws and surrounded by people who left him, past lovers with their arms around his shoulders, images conjured by too much booze too late at night, when he slurs his words and is reminded, unpleasantly, of Wyatt's father with his brutal chest and meaty fists.
When they were young and free to cry, they drank champagne and pressed sloppy kisses together, nimble hands turned clumsy fingers in the dark and alcohol-hazed atmosphere, trying to keep their heads above water - some more successfully than others.
But now one of them's aged and the other's rotting and nothing ever turns out right for them. It doesn't exactly matter, though, since he's re-married to a woman with too much a fondness for pure gold and expensive gifts, a pretty face to distract from reminisces of high cheekbones and messy dark hair.
They were silly and jagged, screeching along each other's sharp edges like rough pieces of metal, leaving raw and defensive cores. But at least every time they hurt each other, they just got angry, just pounded on walls and screamed their throats raw.
Better than a lonely old man drinking himself to death.