Hardcore Batman
by alejandra

Seth storms into the pool house, slams the door once and then slams it a second time because he likes how it sounds.

Ryan doesn't even look up.

Seth pulled back the door and slammed it one more time, hard enough to rattle everything in the poolhouse.

Ryan still doesn't look up.

Seth yells, "Hello! I'm home!"

Ryan doesn't look up.


At least Ryan is reading a comic book. It's not one of Seth's; it looks new. Maybe it's something Seth missed while he was in Tahiti and Ryan was in Chino. Maybe it's a new Superman. Maybe it's a new Spider-man. Maybe it's something cool Seth should know about, but doesn't, because HE WAS IN TAHITI, a fact which Ryan seems to be ignoring.

Which is fine, because Seth can ignore the fact that Ryan was in CHINO with his GIRLFRIEND who was PREGNANT.

No, wait, he can't.

Seth flops down onto the bed next to Ryan, making sure to land as hard as possible.

"HEY, RYAN!" he yells. "I AM HERE!" and Ryan isn't paying attention or trying not to smile or glaring; he's just pretending Seth isn't there and doing a really good job of it. Seth can't even concentrate on reading over Ryan's shoulder, because couldn't Ryan just say "Hi," or "You jerk" or "I HATE YOU GO AWAY"?

Or not.

Seth bounces a few times on the bed, and Ryan bounces too; Seth should really talk to his parents about getting Ryan a better mattress, one of those ones that he sees on television sometimes, the kind you can stand a glass of wine on one end of, and then jump on the other end, and the wine doesn't move. That kind rocks. Except this kind is perfect for right now, because Ryan is bouncing up and down just like Seth.

Seth is actually starting to get a little queasy, like when he stepped on to dry land for the first time in weeks and realized he'd gotten so used to being on the Summer Breeze that walking on something that didn't move was actually kind of nauseating.

He stops bouncing and Ryan is still reading, blinking occasionally, and turning pages with one finger that he licks beforehand.

Seth watches Ryan lick his finger and gets really really really really REALLY MAD. Because while Ryan is sitting there licking his finger, Seth is wondering what his best friend is doing back in Newport, how is Theresa, how is the baby, is there still a baby, and "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" -- but he's careful not to yell in Ryan's ear, because that would be rude and could cause permanent hearing damage, and the way to Ryan's heart isn't by making his brain explode and turning him into a mutant superhero.

Ryan in spandex and cape.

Seth'd had stranger thoughts, especially after he'd been on the Summer Breeze with no one to talk to but the fish in the sea. Who were probably circling his little rafty boat, waiting for him to die so they could nibble his toes.

It is thoughts like those that leads Seth to thinking about other things that could nibble his toes, and thoughts like those that had him masturbating in the middle of the day, in the middle of the ocean, in front of all the yachts and God and his dead grandpa and everyone.

The list goes like this: Summer could nibble on his toes. Anna could nibble on his toes. Summer could nibble on his neck while Anna nibbled on his toes. Summer could pinch his nipples and breathe into his ear while Anna nibbled on his toes, and maybe on other parts of his body, like his dick, and then Summer would whisper in his ear about other people -- like she did, because that girl had a dirty mind. She could think of things that never even occurred to Seth -- but once they were there in his brain, there was no getting them out, not even with seawater up his nose when he fell off the catamaran.

Ryan nibbling on his toes. Ryan sucking his dick and making out with Summer and sticking a finger up Seth's ass, and Seth always had the feeling that Summer was way dirtier than that, but had held back because she knew that Seth had very delicate sensibilities.

Seth's brain did not have delicate sensibilities, because it very helpfully provided Seth with many different pictures of what he and Ryan could do -- with Summer, with Summer watching, with Ryan watching Seth and Summer, with Seth watching Summer and Ryan, with Seth and Ryan watching Summer and Anna -- and that was when his brain exploded and he fell off the boat.

That is when his brain exploded and he falls off the bed, and decideshe is VERY ANGRY with Ryan for being SO BLASÉ. He'd bet that Ryan never has fantasies about Summer and Seth and Marissa. Well, no one ever has fantasies about Marissa.

Maybe Ryan has fantasies about Theresa and Summer. Seth can definitely get into fantasies about Theresa and Summer. Seth can --

Seth can stand up.

"RYAN!" he yells. "CAN YOU HEAR ME? I AM TAKING OFF MY CLOTHES! IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, STOP ME!" And he strips off his shirt.

Nothing wrong with a little nudity -- and a boner -- between friends, right? Well, if Ryan is going to ignore him, Seth will give him something real to ignore, something only a real superhero, in spandex and a cape, can ignore.

He toes off his sneakers and socks, and unbuttons his jeans. "I AM TAKING OFF MY JEANS NOW!" yells Seth, and unzips. Without his voice to cover the sound of the zipper, it'sŠ loud.

Ryan licks his finger and turns another page, and didn't look over. Seth is lean from eating rice and beans and water every day, tan from the sun -- with no tan line, because when he laid under the sun in his boxers, he could hear Summer lecturing him. "A real man tans without a net," she'd said to him upon stripping him down and seeing his tan lines.

Now he has no tan lines -- and no Summer to appreciate that, since he's called her three times since stepping back into California, and she hangs up on him every time.

At least his dad didn't hang up on him. And his mother didn't cry as much as he was expecting, which was half nice and half disappointing, but at least they didn't lecture. At least they only looked at him disapprovingly and said they would talk about it later -- and Seth hopes later really means never, but he knows that's taking it a bit too far.

He takes a deep breath and pushes his jeans down and leans in close to Ryan and says, "I'm naked, Ryan. What do you think about that, huh, Ignore Boy?"

Seth crawls onto the bed and breathes hard on Ryan. "What if I jerked off right here? Would you look at me then?"

He feels kind of drunk. Ryan's eyes don't even flick his way. Ryan is reading about superheroes and their trials and he doesn't realize that he's having his own superhero trial right now and Seth, damn it, is the evil villain who is going to take over the world with his massive hardon unless Ryan LOOKS THE FUCK UP.

"WHAT THE FUCK, RYAN?" Seth yells, and rolls onto his back. Sure enough, his dick is pointing straight in the air; there must be residue from his earlier thoughts about Summer and Ryan and Theresa and Anna floating around in his bloodstream, floating straight to his balls.

He scratches his stomach and runs his fingers through his pubic hair, and scratches his balls, and rubs his dick, and tucks a hand under his head.

"I'm not going to keep yelling," he says in what he hopes is a conversational tone. Maybe his voice doesn't sound as strangled to Ryan as it does to him. Maybe he sounds as cool as a cucumber and as together as an outfit from Banana Republic and as -- whatever as whatever.

"You better look at me," he continues, and thinks about how proud Summer would be. She was always telling him to stand up for himself, to tell her what he wanted.

"If you want a finger in your ass, you have to say so, stupid," she said, and hit him on the back of the head. "I want a finger in my ass. PUT A FINGER IN MY ASS WHEN YOU DO THAT!" and he had, and she'd come all over his mouth, and it had been great.

He rubs a finger around his asshole, and goes back up to his dick, which is leaking. Maybe his dick is still thinking about Summer and Anna and Theresa, or maybe his dick is thinking about how he's NAKED and ON RYAN'S BED and Ryan ISN'T LOOKING AT HIM.

Maybe Ryan isn't the kind of guy who was interested in looking at other guys' dicks. Well, that was fair; Seth isn't that kind of guy either. But Ryan and Anna and Summer, all together, with Seth squirming around? That's totally hot, and Ryan should think so too.

Even if he won't look over.

Even if he's holding a grudge.

"I should be the one holding the grudge," says Seth. "YOU LEFT ME, remember? I didn't leave until after you were gone. You went away, my life was gonna suck, man, it was gonna be like Batman without Robin, and I am not talking about Val Kilmer and Chris O'Donnell here, okay? I am talking about Adam West and Burt Ward. I am talking about LOUIS WILSON AND DOUGLAS CROFT, okay? I am talking about hardcore Batman!"

And Seth flashes on Ryan in the Bat Cape and himself in Robin's little green mask, and squeezes his dick.

"I am jerking off on your bed -- don't you care? I could call Summer and have her come over RIGHT NOW, I mean, this is, like, her greatest fantasy ever. She's totally into the idea of us together, like hardcore Batman and Robin --" Seth makes sure he gasps a little when he says "hardcore" because he thinks maybe it sounds hot, and also because the idea of Batman and RobinŠ well, he'd already thought about that. "-- and I have to say that I'm not hating it either, especially if it gets Summer hot and back to me."

He settles into a rhythm -- not the kind that has him jerking his hips up frantically, or the kind that makes him hold his breath, but the perfect rhythm so he can talk without gasping all the time. His breath catches a little in his throat until he figures it out, but he's got it, his hand is moving. It's a little dry, but not too bad, and the hand he's tucked under his head is kind of rubbing his hair the way Summer likes to when he goes down on her -- the way Summer liked to, anyway.

"She did this thing where she would talk to me while I fucked her, and say these horrible things to me. It was really traumatizing at first." Seth risks a glance at Ryan. Still not looking. He tightens his grip on his dick, just a little, strokes just a little faster. "I'm going to come all over your ceiling. Don't you care?"

Seth doesn't actually think he can shoot that high, but his dad always told him it was good to have goals.

Wait, no dad thoughts at this critical juncture!

"Anyway, I could call her up and be like, Hey, Summer, I'm over here at Ryan's pool house, just jerking off all over him and some comic books, wanna come over? And she would come running, totally fast. You know Summer, she's really pervy. When we watched The Fellowship of the Ring, she kept insisting that Aragorn wanted to do Legolas, and that night she made me put on a blonde wig and call her Aragorn. Have you ever had anal sex?"

Okay, that was it. Seth had to stroke faster now, not so hard, faster, because remembering that night was like remembering the day he'd read his first comic book, except sexier. Who had known Summer was so kinky? Seth definitely hadn't know. He knows now.

"Summer is kink queen," he said, and took a deep breath. He was staring at the ceiling now, not even stopping to look back at Ryan and that STUPID FUCKING COMIC BOOK, not even really seeing the ceiling, just seeing the words he was saying float in front of him. "She has this idea that you and me and her and Anna could all get together on your bigass bed, the one I am lying on right now, and we could all -- you could -- and Anna -- and a lot -- lube -- oh, god."

Seth squeezes his eyes shut and holds his breath, and when he comes, it's all over his own chest and a little on his neck and maybe some even reached his face, which is why he stopped masturbating while lying flat when he was something like twelve.

"Wow, if you're looking at me now, I'm going to be pretty embarrassed," says Seth, but when he opens his eyes, Ryan isn't looking at him. Ryan is looking at the comic book. Ryan is reading the comic book -- Seth can tell, because Ryan's eyes are moving, not just staring at one particular spot. Seth kind of wants to call Summer right then and there and ask for her advice, but she'd just hang up on him again. He could call Anna, but he hasn't talked to her since she went back to Pittsburgh and he made an idiot of himself at the stupid airport.

If he was Summer, what would he say to himself? He would say, "OHMIGOD, SETH, YOU DON'T HAVE A TAN LINE!" and then he would wink and go into the bathroom and leave the door unlocked so Seth could excuse himself moment later and join him -- er, her -- whatever -- and then bend her over the sink and fuck her, or get on his knees and put his head under her skirt and smell her gorgeous wonderful girly vanilla sex musk salt smell, or lean against the door and bite down on a towel --

Ryan is still not looking at him, but Seth is looking at Ryan, and Seth can see that Ryan is a little flushed, but maybe that's because it is kind of hot in the pool house, since the fan isn't on, and maybe Ryan is just a little warm.

Seth could really get into the idea of bringing a little of Ryan's warmth into himself. Summer's finger had been interesting. Maybe Ryan's finger would be more interesting. Summer wouldn't even have to watch.

"I'd let you stick a finger in my ass," says Seth. "That sounded pretentious, didn't it? Like maybe you're hard up for asses? I don't think you are, Ryan. I think you could have any ass you wanted. Okay, so you don't want mine. That's fine. Are you straight? I'm straight. But I'd stick my finger in your ass anyway. It could be interesting, you know? Well, maybe you do know. Maybe you know more than I do. That's likely, actually. I'd bet on that."

Seth goes back to staring at the ceiling and pondering this new side of Ryan that he'd never seen that might not actually exist. "What about Eddie? Is that why he was so mad about Theresa? Were you an inseparable threesome? Or was it like Wolverine and Cyclops and Jean Gray?"

That's a new twist.

Seth is sometimes very afraid of his mind.

His dick is happy about this new development. Fingers in Ryan's ass and Ryan sucking on someone's dick, and that's a really appealing picture -- almost as appealing as Ryan turning into Wolverine and making Seth cold with sweat and hot with gleeful sexual exploration possibilities.

"You know what? I am gonna leave. How do you like THAT, HUH? I AM GONNA LEAVE!"

Seth stands up and realizes that before he leaves, he needs to stalk indignantly to the bathroom and wipe his indignant semen off his chest, and then get dressed. He's not sure he can keep up with the indignation while he's walking around naked, but he's going to try. He even turns around a couple of times, because maybe Ryan's checking out his ass or something, or just looking to see if he has backne - gross, and he's mad at Ryan for even wondering that -- but Ryan's NOT LOOKING.

"WHY WON'T YOU LOOK AT ME?" yells Seth when he's finally clean and dressed again. He's still kind of hard and he knows he has a long night of masturbating in front of him -- that is, if his parents don't decide it's time to have that discussion about his, you know, running away and sailing to Tahiti and not even calling for weeks first.

Ryan looks up from his comic book. "Well," he says mildly, "I kind of wanted to see how far you'd go. Jerking off on my ceiling? That's pretty far. I knew Newport did strange things to people, but --"

Seth is dumbfounded, except he's not, because he can still talk. So maybe stunned is a better word. "YOU WEREN'T WATCHING! HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?"

"I'm sly," says Ryan, and what a time for his sense of humor to appear and make believe like it's funny. "I'm slick. You just didn't notice. You were involved." And Ryan is smirking like it's funny, smirking like Seth's humiliation is entertaining, and Seth feels like Robin, like no one ever takes him seriously because he doesn't get to wear the black mask, because he's named after a stupid bird.

"I HATE YOU!" hollers Seth, and grabs up his sneakers and socks and turns for the door, and he's almost there when Ryan starts talking again -- when Ryan starts yelling.

"YEAH? WELL I HATE YOU TOO!" yells Ryan, and that stops Seth right in his tracks, because he's pretty sure that he's known Ryan for over a year now, and not once in that 12 months did Ryan ever yell at Seth.

Seth turns around and Ryan is standing there, without his comic book. Squinting, and his fists are clenched, and Seth fears for his nose, but they aren't outside by the pool, and he's pretty sure that Ryan will only hit someone if it means they'll fall into a body of water.

Ryan leans forward a little and keeps going before Seth can get any words out. "You say you're my friend? Well where were you when I needed a friend, huh? Where were you? YOU LEFT, SETH. YOU FUCKING LEFT ME HERE! Where were you when Eddie punched Theresa and she miscarried? Where were you when I was in the hospital with her for twelve hours? Where were you when Sandy came and brought me home and --"

"Dude," says Seth. "That's the most you've ever said at once."

"You don't get to be angry," says Ryan. "I get to be angry. I came home and you weren't here. That's not friendship, man."

"So I'm fired?" says Seth. "That's it?"

"You're fired. No more jerking off on my bed."

"Come on, dude." Seth takes a step toward Ryan, whose fists unclench and then tighten, and Seth's stomach is suddenly doing flipflops, like he's suddenly realizing that yes, he just jerked off on Ryan's bed while thinking about Ryan's fingers in his ass, or something equally perverted and not AT ALL THE SORT OF THING that teenage boys are supposed to think about their best friends.

Or maybe exactly what teenage boys are supposed to think about their friends. Maybe if more teenage boys thought about having sex with their best friends, less teenage boys would join the army and kill people with guns.

Seth thinks this is a viable option more guidance counselors should investigate.

"COME ON?" says Ryan, not exactly yelling, but still loud. "COME ON? YOU LEFT ME! I LEFT YOU? YOU LEFT ME!"

"I didn't wanna leave! You left first!"

"I left but you were still supposed to be here!"

"But you weren't here! How could I be here if you weren't here?"

"True friendship is NOT LEAVING!"

"I JERKED OFF ON YOUR BED! HOW ARE WE NOT TRUE FRIENDS?" howls Seth, and Ryan starts to laugh, and he's smiling and his eyes are all crinkled up, and how can Seth not smile when Ryan's eyes are all crinkled like everything is gonna be okay?


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