Computers. Leon just has to focus on computers and nothing else; especially not anything disgusting like relationships, jealousy, hatred or envy. But with Desmond and Alice in a relationship now Leon had to watch them be affectionate together. Whenever this happened – which was all the time – he just revised what he studied about computing last night. They hug each other: list the differences between the GPU and Video RAM. They kiss: revise the relationship between the BIOS and kernel.
Though Leon couldn’t avoid feeling his feelings forever. And the closer he got to Alice friendship-wise, the worse it got. He started screaming at Desmond irrationally for no reason because of how much he secretly hated him and he couldn’t always control said hatred. He had just snapped at Desmond in the middle of chemistry class when:
“Leon, what the hell is the matter with you? You’re constantly yelling at me recently. I made one geek joke and—“
“I’m sorry. I can’t always control it. I guess it’s just because I’ve lost sleep due to—“ Leon finished early.
“…Due to what, Leon?”
“The music assignment,” Leon lied quickly but not very convincingly, “Plus all my studying. But stop with the geek jokes, will you? It’s very offensive to me.”
“Okay, I’m sorry too. Anyway, what are you doing this Saturday? Alice and I are going to see ‘Inside Out.’ Want to come?”
Leon quickly became obsessed with finding a reasonable excuse for not being able to attend. Why would he want to watch a movie with them? He wouldn’t even pay attention to the movie because he would be too distracted trying not to knock Desmond out.
“Ah, I’m sorry man but I’ve got a crap ton of homework.”
“No I’m not”
“I’M NOT!” Leon yelled.
There was a long silence all around the classroom.
“Do you need a minute outside?” Their teacher interjected, but Leon shook his head.
“Lee, you know that if something is bothering you, you can tell me no matter what it is.”
“Oh, really? Because there has been many times when I haven’t been able to.”
“When my aunty was in the car crash and died and you said I’d get over it.”
“Yeah, I am sorr—“
“AND when my father was drunk and tried to kick me out of the house because I got home at eight-thirty.”
“I know I wasn’t the best—“
“And also, you have started insulting me because I am into computers and I play piano.”
“I’m sorry for all of it, okay? I don’t want us to fight. So that is why I promise you that you can talk to me about anything; whether it be you kicked your toe or even something ridiculously crazy like you’re in love with Alice or something,” then he let out a roar of laughter. Leon felt chills run down his spine at these words. Had he figured it out? Was he trying to get Leon to reveal his feelings?
“…Leon? You in there?” Desmond asked when Leon hadn’t replied.
“Oh—Yeah, yeah. I’m here. I’m just really freakin’ tired, you know.”
“Hey, how about we hang out tonight? We can have an in-depth talk.”
“Well, my parents won’t be home until Sunday afternoon. Sure, why not?”
When Leon got home he showered and got ready for Desmond to arrive. But he wondered to himself why he is doing this. He has spent many nights hating this guy! …But maybe this night could be the rebirth of their friendship.
Ding dong. He heard the doorbell ring. As he opened the door he was reminded of all the times they used to spend together at his house.
“Hey, Lee. So I grabbed some Red Bull and I was thinking we could hammer it down while we play Super Smash Bros on your Wii U or something. And we could listen to Skillet! Or that Sons of the Arctic or whatever—“
“—and we could play Splatoon or you could show me something that you’ve learned on piano, and—“
“Desmond!” Leon said a little louder than he, “That sounds awesome. But just settle down a little. I mean, I’m excited too; we haven’t done this in a while.
And that’s exactly what they did: Super Smash Bros, Skillet and Red Bull. It was as if his feelings for Alice were in the back of his mind and he cared more about his friendship with Desmond; which he wants to feel even more. They were having a great time by quarter to eleven, when…
“Oh my god! Fine, I bet you I can beat you as either Greninja or Peach! You aren’t unbeatable with Link!” Leon said playfully.
“Do your worst!” Desmond said even louder, and then resumed singing ‘Circus For a Psycho’ by Skillet.
“Wait, dude,’ Desmond said, “turn the music down. Alice is calling me.”
Great… Things were going so great. And now?
“Hey Ally, what’s up?” He sat there just listening for a good twenty-five seconds.
“Oh okay, stay there. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Just try to remain calm. I’m leaving now.”
Leon kept staring at Desmond. “So, that was Alice. You will ‘be there as soon as you can,’ huh?”
“No, keep your fucking apologies to yourself.”
“Leon, listen to me! Alice’s father has just died. She’s broken and she needs me.”
“Oh, of course. Look, I feel terrible for her, but ever since you two got together all you have done is prioritise her over me! I may as well not even exist! And when I try talking to Alice, you cut me off and talk to her yourself!” Leon paused, realizing that what he’s saying is better left unspoken. But he was already this far into saying what he had always wanted to: why stop now?
“And the one time- the ONE TIME- we finally hang out together just like the old days she needs you! And she doesn’t ask me for consoling, does she? No! Just you! It’s not like I’ve been a great friend to her. Definitely not as long as you two have been dating! No, not at all! I mean what am I to you two? Am I just some fucking geek that you keep around in case either of your computers malfunction? You two leave me out of everything!”
The silence was much, much longer than usual. They just stared at each other. Leon turned away and walked towards his computer, groping the chair.
“Just go. She needs you.”
Desmond takes one step towards the bedroom door, but then freezes in his place. Leon bends over to examine something on his computer table.
“Ohh… My god…,” Desmond said slowly. “Leon…?”
Leon turns his head toward Desmond and erects his body while Desmond has a look of contemplation on his face. “Yes, Desmond?”
“Are you in love with Alice?”