But before they could leave the ring, Zach eyed the clock and concluded,
“That rang a half hour too early.”
Mikey gaped up at the clock, “Oh.”
“A half hour?” Gentry mumbled, with apparent disbelief, “I thought we had more time.”
“A half hour is plenty of time,” Mikey replied with labored good will.
“Not if we’re going to be on time for practice.” Said Gentry, not because it needed to be said, but because he wanted to have the last word. In turn, Mikey decided he would let him have the last word— yet it was he who would have the last laugh.
“I’ll be able to watch you this time. Keep things fabulous,” he leaned and leisurely kissed Zach a second time, murmuring, “the GSA’s counting on you.”
“…But I’m not in the GSA anymore.”
Gentry flicked a grin at Mikey, who lowered his voice to drawl,
“You should be. Well, Zach. I hope you’re as proud of yourself as I am of you.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“No reason. Just looking out for you. Oh. We’re having a GSA fundraiser tonight. It’d be cool if you could show. Just don’t wear baggy pants, because the parents will be there.”
“Why not? Isn’t the GSA all about accepting differences?” asked Zach, who didn’t care about having the last word or the last laugh, as long as he could make his point.
“Well, it’s your choice,” Mikey shrugged again and kissed him a third time, “if you want to look like a gangster.”
“He’s always looked like a gangster.” Gentry snapped meanly. Zach shot him a look that said ‘stay out of this.’ Gentry returned it with a look that said ‘Go fuck yourself’, but stayed out of it anyway.
“Well, Zach.” Said Mikey, “Have fun with the rest of your tutoring. If he’ll let you, hah.”
Zach pulled away, “All right, bye Mikey.”
Gentry mutely watched him leave, then turned to Zach the moment the door slammed shut.
“You want to know the point of Wuthering Heights?” he asked quietly, “I’ll tell you. Heathcliff and Katherine don’t try to change each other, that’s the damn point.”
Zach shot him a look of potent “don’t even start.”
But Gentry continued,
“Don’t look at me like that. Yeah, there are other points. Missed opportunities, prejudice, bitterness. But the most important one is that they love each other as they are.”
Zach stared back at him blankly, then loosely shrugged his shoulders,
“Oh please,” he drawled in that over-confident way of his, “If I wanted to learn how to be in a relationship, I wouldn’t read Wuthering Heights! Heathcliff and Katherine are selfish pricks who don’t know the first thing about love.”
“Yeah, and you’re the expert on love.” Gentry murmured.
“Nothing. You don’t get it anyway.”
“What’s there to get?”
He pulled at the black tie Zach wore over his white t-shirt.
“You never wore ties before… do you want to start a gay debate team?”
“What are you talking about?” Zach pulled the tie from his hands, “I can wear a tie if I want to, I don’t need a special occasion. But if you want to know, Nasty wanted me to more formal, and now I am. I’m making fun of her.”
“You’re making fun of yourself.” Gentry scoffed, “Make up your mind. You look like a gangster fag running for office.”
“Fag?” Zach paused, then sharply spat, “For someone who says he isn’t gay, you pay a lot of attention to clothes.”
“Who said anything about clothes? I don’t care about clothes. I just liked you better in baggy pants.”
Zach fell into his chair and leaned back, lowering his head to impishly glance up at Gentry. Zach didn’t always catch on right away, but once he did…
“No; you liked me better without Mikey.” He kicked at his shoe under the table.
“I’m not jealous. Why would I be? You can play house with whatever you like.”
“Did your so-called boyfriend tell you to wear that?”