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"Ow!"

"Dammit, Trevor!"

"Sorry." Trevor rubbed his sore knee and examined the wreckage he'd made out of the lighting rig.

"You okay, man?" Sam said. He got up off the amp he had been sitting on and crossed the stage to where Zach and Trevor stood. Timmy followed him.

"Yeah, fine," Trevor muttered. He knelt down and started gingerly picking through the mess of wires and setting the light back up again. "Great. That's it for shooting today. And the school ever lending us equipment again."

"Dude, quit overreacting," Zach said, with an eyeroll. "It was an accident. You can't help that you have freakish mutant legs."

"Sometimes you guys are just so sympathetic. I think I'm popping a kindness boner right now."

Trevor's voice was low and calm, but Timmy could see his eyes flicking over the toppled rig, and could practically hear the wheels grinding in his mind, trying to figure out how to fix this.

He knelt down and joined Trevor in attempting to set the equipment right. Trevor batted his hand away. "Careful. I think one of the bulbs broke."

"I'll go get some gloves, then," Sam offered. "You don't need to cut your hands up, just because you knocked it over. God, you're worse than Zach in his emo phase."

"Fuck you, Sam."

"Seriously, Trevor, it's not a big deal," Timmy said quietly.

"Yeah, yeah."

"We can blame that performing arts group. Those douchebags break shit all the time and they're short."

A smile flashed onto Trevor's face. "Thanks, Timmy."

"Your leg okay?"

Trevor scoffed, tossing his hair back out of his eyes. "'Course. My mutant powers give me incredible resilience. Hey, help me with this cord wouldja?"

The four of them managed to get the mess cleaned up in record time and then high-tailed it out of the auditorium, Trevor limping slightly.


 For a moment after the camcorder smashed to the ground, they were all silent. They stood on the curb, their brains whirring, trying to come up with some explanation that would mean that their only camera hadn't just been destroyed.

"Crap!" Trevor shouted. He moved his arms hopelessly in front of him, as if he were still trying to catch the camera that had just slipped from his hands. "Jesus-- Crap!"

The car they'd borrowed from Darren's friend would've been tiny for five guys, even if four of those guys weren't 6 feet or taller. It was almost assured that one of them was going to find some way to injure themselves in the glorified golf cart, and Trevor was a savant when it came to whanging his head on things.

Really, it was more Zach's fault than anything for handing him the camera in the first place.

"Dude!" Sam exclaimed.

Darren knelt and scooped up the camera.

"How is it?" Timmy asked, unable to quell a brief spike of hope.

Darren opened the viewfinder, pressed a few buttons, then shook his head.

"I'm so sorry," Trevor said. He shuffled away from the car, as if worried it was going to attack again.

Zach sighed. "That's okay."

"How's your head, man?" Darren asked as he got to his feet again.

Trevor pressed a hand to his forehead and muttered something about it being fine.

"You're like Frankenstein's monster, Trevor," Sam said. "You destroy everything that you love. Next thing you know, you're going to be throwing Timmy down a well."

"The tape's still good, right?" Timmy asked Darren.

Darren nodded.

"So, at least we're not 100% fucked, I guess," Zach offered. "Day's shooting won't go to waste. But, we're not gonna be able to edit today."

"You know, we might as well just take the car back then," Darren said.

"And then we don't have anything else worthwhile to do, so we might as well head out and get hammered," Sam added.

"Now that sounds way more awesome than staying inside editing our stupid shit," Zach said. He turned to Trevor, "Thanks for smashing our camera, dude. This worked out fucking great."

Trevor grinned. "I do my best. " He still had his hand pressed against his forehead, his hair shoved back in a ridiculous tangle.

"You okay, Trevor?" Timmy pressed.

"Yeah. I mean, I can't remember any of you, and I have this sudden urge to hunt down the man who killed my wife, but other than that."

Despite the jokes, Timmy noticed him wincing as he moved his head. He hated when Trevor abused his sense of humor to cover up any real problems or trouble he had. He knew that he was guilty of the same thing; all five of them were, really. But, for some reason, it bothered him especially to see Trevor putting on that front.

They piled back into the car, Darren driving, Sam in the passenger's seat, Zach, Timmy, and Trevor in the back. Trevor sat by the window and sunk down in his seat, so Darren had a hope of seeing behind him.

As they started driving, Timmy said to him in a quiet voice, "You know, that camera was shit anyway. We should've gotten a new one a long time ago. don't worry about it."

He shrugged. "I'm not worrying about it."

"Dude, you totally are." He reached over and pried Trevor's hand away from his forehead. There was a bright red line from where he'd smacked his head against the edge of the door. He was definitely going to have one hell of a bruise and probably a massive egg.

And he was probably already writing jokes around it. And his own stupidity in getting it. Because of all the things that the members of the troupe had in common, the most important was that, for them, comedy wasn't just their chosen career, but the way that they navigated through life. If you insulted yourself before anyone else could, you were already one step ahead.

That shared attitude made chiseling out grains of sincerity hard, even for friends as close as they were. That was why Timmy hated to see Trevor hiding what he was feeling. He liked the sincere parts of Trevor as much as he liked the goofy, happy parts and the dark, twisted parts.

He liked all of Trevor. Even the parts that came two sizes too big and couldn't fit right into cars.

He smoothed down the dark hair and smiled. "I think you'll live."

Trevor smiled back, and there was just enough honesty reflected in his hazel eyes to make Timmy happy.


 "Hey, is anyone here? Sam? Trev?" Timmy hesitated in the doorway of the Queens house, waiting for at least a mumble in response. After a moment, he shut the door behind him and jammed his key into his pocket. "Darren? Guys, it's Timmy. If you guys all got murdered, just keep quiet. Unless, there's a crazy ax-murderer still hiding in the house, then use your ghost powers to, like, knock over a glass or something."

Still no response. Timmy shrugged and walked into the kitchen, honing in on the refrigerator. He dug out a Mr. Pibb and a slice of pizza that still looked edible.

Share and share alike was the understanding between them. Timmy had already had his refrigerator raided, sofa crashed in, and floors vomited on enough to feel entitled.

He slumped against the fridge and tried to combat his exhaustion with a mouthful of cold pizza and a swig of soda. He was considering the viability of falling asleep on top of the piles of laundry covering the sofa, when he heard a low muffled voice coming from another room, "We're all dead. Go away."

Recognizing Trevor's voice, Timmy grinned around his next sugary gulp. "So, how did you all die?" he yelled back.

"Trevor suddenly realized how much of a failure his life is, so he snapped and beat Sam and Darren to death with a baseball bat, then he hanged himself on the ceiling fan."

"'Kay." He took another big bite of pizza. "Can I have your iPod?"

"No."

He tossed the rock-hard crust into the trash and put his half-finished Mr. Pibb back in the fridge. Timmy knew his friend. If no one else was there, and Trevor started beating up on himself, he would just end up moping for hours, maybe open and close every drawer in his room a hundred times, and then work in a manic frenzy that left little time for sleeping or eating.

Too much of that could quickly edge his appearance from the usual pale and skinny to looking like he was in the late stages of a deadly disease.

The door to Trevor's bedroom didn't have a lock. When Timmy pushed it open he was happy to find that Trevor hadn't blocked the way with a stack of books like he usually did when he wanted to keep peopled out. He was lying face down on his unmade bed, limbs splayed bonelessly in all directions, falling over the edges of the mattress.

He was still dressed in his page suit. Dark hair fanned around his head, effectively hiding his face. As Timmy walked closer, he saw that Trevor was still wearing his dress shoes.

"Uh, hey," Timmy began lamely.

Trevor grumbled into the pillow.

Timmy nudged a pile of dirty socks and T-shirts aside with his foot to walk closer to the bed. "You okay?"

"Awesome."

"What's wrong?"

Timmy rolled his eyes. "Dude, I'm not your mom."

"Yeah, duh. If you were my mom you'd be about eighty pounds lighter and playing 'Coat of Many Colors' on an acoustic guitar. What do you want?"

"I just came over to hang out. God, why are you guys so mean?" He dropped down on the bed by Trevor's knees. The other man rolled over onto his side, as if the effort sapped the very last drop of his energy. His tie was loose and off center and the first two buttons of his shirt were undone. His expression was like that of a grade school kid bringing home a bad report card.

"Seriously, what is it? Did you accidentally leave Jay Leno in the car with the windows up or something?"

Trevor sighed. "It's really stupid." He buried his face in his hands. "I shouldn't be freaking out about this."

Timmy shrugged. "It's cool. You freak about about stuff. We know. We still wanna hang out with you."

"I broke a phone."

"What?"

"Shut up. I tripped and I reached out to grab something and I yanked a phone out of the wall and the plastic broke and nobody saw me, so I put it back on the desk and made it look like it was still working, and then I walked away."

Timmy simultaneously tried to give a sympathetic 'aw' and laugh out loud. "Trevor…"

"Now I'm gonna get fired." He rolled over onto his back and threaded his fingers through his hair. "I practically gave myself an aneurysm trying to get this internship, I made you guys's lives hell, I took the spot away from a bunch of other people who probably deserved it a bunch more. Now I'm going to lose it, because I can't walk in a damn straight line."

"You're not gonna get fired," Timmy said.

He regretted laughing. Trevor was pulling on his hair like he was trying to pull it out. His chest rose and fell in quick, shallow breaths. Timmy remembered how Trevor had worked himself into the ground trying to earn his shot at the coveted internship. Of course, now that he had it, he couldn't just leave well enough alone; he had to keep making it hard for himself.

"You're gonna be totally fine," he continued. "Nobody's gonna know it was you, probably they'll just replace it and it won't even be a big deal, okay?"

"Yeah, maybe." Trevor pulled in a deep breath and then let it out through his teeth. "I mean, it's really funny. I should be just laughing it off not being weird about it."

"Don't," Timmy said, more sharply than he had intended. Trevor looked over at him with confusion in his eyes. "Don't do that to yourself, man. You're allowed to not be cool about some things. If it felt like a big deal to you, then you can let it be a big deal. It's just that nobody's gonna come after you for it."

Trevor's hands were still tensed in his hair in a way that Timmy could tell was painful. He couldn't keep going with the whole stupid 'you can do it!' speech if he knew Trevor was hurting himself the whole time.

He reached over, grabbed Trevor's wrist, and gently pulled it back. After a moment, Trevor relaxed and let his hand hang limp in Timmy's grip.

"You can be as weird as you want, Trevor. I still like you."

A smile flashed across Trevor's face and Timmy felt a surge of elation at seeing his friend get a step closer to okay.

He got a quick picture of how the two of them must look to someone else at that moment. He coughed. "I mean, you know, the guys'll still like you. All of us, we'll still… Yeah." He looked down at where he was basically holding his friend's hand. "This is pretty weird too."

He tried to let go of his wrist, but Trevor stopped him and gripped Timmy's fingers tightly. He looked him in the eyes, half smiling, his eyes filled with a rare sincerity.

"Weird is okay," he said.

Timmy was quiet a moment, trying to figure out exactly what was going on between the two of them right now and what he was supposed to be feeling.

"Yeah," he muttered finally.

"Sorry about all that," Trevor said.

He shrugged. "Not a big deal." Trevor's hands were cold. Timmy was distinctly conscious of the long, skinny fingers wrapped around his own. It was weird, yeah, but not bad. "Hey, you wanna play Call of Duty or something?" he suggested.

"Hell, yes," Trevor said brightly. He let go of Timmy's hand and rolled off the bed to his feet.

Timmy jammed his hands into his pockets and followed Trevor out of the room. He wasn't going to think too hard about what had just happened. Instead, he was just going to enjoy the fact that his friend was there and he was okay.

"Get out of that monkey suit first, though!" he called at Trevor's back. "I don't want you to get any shame on it after how hard I own you."

Trevor turned a grinned over his shoulder. "Oh you wish. I am going to destroy you, little man."

"Who are you calling little, string bean?"

If it was still weird, at least it didn't feel that way anymore.


 Timmy knocked on the bathroom door. "Trevor?"

"Gimme a sec," came the muffled voice.

"No, man, it's just TImmy. He tried the door and found it unlocked. Trevor was sitting on the closed toilet, face buried in his hands, elbows balanced on knees.

He tossed back a sheet of black hair to look at his friend. "What is it?"

Timmy shrugged. He shut the door behind him and leaned against a corner of the shower. "Nothing. Just wanted to, you know..."

"Check in on me?"'

Timmy rolled his eyes. "Dude, you don't have to make it sound so stupid."

He shook his head. "No, it's fine. I get it." He sighed and straightened his back, palms on his knees. "I wasn't cool about that at all. How mad is he?"

"What're you talking about?"

"Zach. That I smashed all of those pictures."

"You only broke a couple of them. It's not a big deal. Nobody's mad at you."

Trevor looked up at him, eyes wide and mouth slack. Timmy could tell that he was exhausted, drunk, and anxious, all of the humor and bravado scrubbed away leaving him vulnerable. He looked painfully thin and pale and almost childishly awkward, with his long limbs folded up to fit into the small space.

This was Trevor done with leading and pushing forward, taking risks to achieve things that none of them thought was possible. This was Trevor ready to close his eyes and rely on someone else. Timmy felt strangely proud that he was one of the few people Trevor would trust enough to show himself like this to.

"Yeah?" Trevor asked in a small, guileless voice.

"Yeah." Timmy slid down to sit against the shower, arms looped around his knees. "Last I saw either Sam was about to start a fight and Zach was trying to stop him or the other way around. Kinda hard to tell."

"If a fight does start, my money's on Sam," Trevor said. He sounded like he was trying to do the line with a straight face, but his mouth still curled in a smile.

Timmy feigned a thoughtful expression. "I dunno. Sam's got the height advantage, but Zach's got a mean streak. I mean, Zach'd definitely shank a guy if he needed to."

"You got a point there. He'd go Manson on us in a heartbeat."

Timmy laughed. After a second, Trevor followed suit, snickering shyly down at his shoes.

"Hey, man, I'm sorry."

"Whadda you mean?"

He shrugged. "Getting all weird about this kind of thing. Making a big deal about it."

"Trevor…" Timmy scooted across the floor so he was sitting beside Trevor, reached out for his hand, and laced their fingers together. "You're a weird dude. It's okay. I like you that way."
Trevor smiled. "Yeah. You too."

Timmy grinned at him. "That I'm weird or that you like me?"

"Both." His smile became maniacal. "Mostly the first one though. I don't really like you all that much."

"Yeah, I know."

For a moment, they just sat there, listening to the hum of the fluorescent lights, Trevor idly swinging their interlocked hands back and forth. Then, Trevor swooped forward and pulled Timmy into a hug.

For a moment, Timmy had to struggle to keep his balance, so the two of them didn't go tumbling to the floor. He automatically wrapped his arms around Trevor's back, as the taller man awkwardly contorted himself to press his face into the crook of Timmy's neck. Timmy could feel the sharp points of Trevor's shoulders and the prominent bones of his arms digging into his back.

"Thanks, Timmy," Trevor whispered.

Timmy rubbed his back and smiled into the tangle of black hair. "No problem, Trevor."

Trevor took a deep, shuddering breath then let it out on Timmy's neck. They hugged for a few more seconds, before Trevor pulled away. He was smiling, and Timmy imagined that there was even a bit more color in his pale face. He dropped his hand from Trevor's back and instead loosely gripped his forearm instead.

"You wanna head back down to the party?" he asked.

Trevor nodded, then bounced to his feet. "Hey," he said with a bright grin, "let's tell Zach that we totally banged in here. It'll bug the crap out of him."

Timmy got to his feet and the both of them started towards the door. "Might not be the best idea. We just established that Zach's a crazy motherfucker who'll stab a bitch as soon as look at 'em."

Trevor pushed open the door with his shoulder and talked over his shoulder as they walked down the hallway. "Yeah, but I still got the reach, I can just hold him back. No problem." He held his palm out in front of him to demonstrate, throwing on an over-the-top expression of terror.

Timmy raised a melodramatic eyebrow. "Easy for you to say, Lurch."

Trevor stopped and placed a hand on Timmy's shoulder. His smile softened somewhat, seemingly in spite of himself. "Don't worry, Tiny. I'll protect you."

He turned back around and bounded towards the stairs that led back to the main party. Timmy followed after him, a dumb grin plastered onto his face. At that moment, he felt at least six feet tall.


 Trevor stared at the broken glass in his hand, his mouth hanging open in mute despair and disbelief. "No…" he said weakly.

Something about the pitiful tone of his voice made Timmy laugh so hard he nearly fell out of his chair.

"Come on," Trevor whined. "What the fucking fuck? I just picked it up. How does that even happen. Jesus." He carefully set the glass, with a neat triangle knocked out of the side taking most of his orange juice with it, back down on the counter and crossed his arms with a huff.

"Musta cracked in the dishwasher," Timmy gasped. He could barely get the words out for laughing. Trevor looked ridiculous, standing in the middle of Timmy's kitchen in a puddle of orange juice, pouting, hair a tangled mess, wearing nothing but a hoodie and pair of boxers.

Trevor glared at him. "What're you laughing at?"

"Your inability to breathe without breaking something."

Trevor threw his arms out wide. "I can't help it! It must be a gypsy curse or something. Like in a past life I killed a lady by tripping her and this is how I'm being punished. He paused. "That could be a good sketch."

"What, killing ladies?"

"Killing people is hilarious." He turned back to the sink and gingerly began rinsing out the broken glass. "Well, I hope you're okay with having everything you own destroyed, because if you keep hanging around with me that's what's gonna happen."

Timmy watched Trevor shove a clump of hair out of his eyes as he shook out the glass fragments. He set it down on the counter next to the piles of other undone chores, then turned back around and leaned against the sink. His expression was open and guileless, his long, gangly body relaxed.

Timmy smiled over his coffee mug. "As long as it's you breaking it, I'm okay."

A slow grin spread across Trevor's face. "Awesome."

He went to the cabinet to get another glass, while Timmy went back to his cereal. It was about another ten seconds before he heard the crunch of breaking glass and Trevor's high-pitched shout.

"Dammit!"

Timmy didn't look up from his breakfast "I love you, Trevor."