Status: Posting.

Don't Treat This Like a Secret


Mealtime in the Barakat household slowly becomes a little less tense over the next two weeks. There are still struggles and arguments about food, but it's easier with the ever encouraging Alex in his place at the table.

Before, Joyce had been fairly iffy about allowing Alex to stay over night, but now she almost wants to ask him to herself. Not only does he make her son incredibly happy, but somehow he's gotten her daughter, who actually treats him as somewhat of a celebrity, to start eating again and that's something she feels she owes him big time for. She doesn't find it too hard to let the boy stay over after that.


"I am stuffed," Jack announces as he sinks down onto the couch in the living room, pulling Alex down beside him ,"Put in Home Alone!"

"We just watched that two nights ago, Jack," May protests, laughing and shaking her head as she scans over the movie titles on their bookshelf of dvds.

"But it's always good!" Jack whines and Alex rolls his eyes, snaking his arms around the boy, fitting their bodies together as per usual, "So. Would you rather... be attacked by a shark or an alligator?"

"Wow Jack. That's pretty gruesome," May laughs.

It's become something of a tradition almost for the three kids - and sometimes Joyce if she isn't otherwise preoccupied - to throw out some kind of brain teaser or thinker. A favorite of theirs happens to be Would You Rather.

Alex knows it's their attempt of distracting him because it only started after the day he told them about his distracting himself to keep him from wanting to go lock himself in the bathroom. He appreciates it immensly because that thought will often pop up in his mind. And he likes the game anyway.

"I think shark. I mean, either one would suck, but generally a shark will leave you alone if you like, hit it's nose or poke it in the eye or something, so I've read anyway. And even if it does attack you, most likely it'll just bite off something and go about it's way. Whereas an alligator is in for the kill. Alligators drag you under and do the whole death roll thing. They rip you to shreds. Shark won't necessarily unless it gets the wrong part of your body, you know? I just think you have a better chance at surviving a shark attack," Alex explains, "But I would hope not to ever encounter either. That's why I don't go past knee deep in the ocean."

"Aww I'll protect you baby," Jack grins, his arms wrapping tight around his boyfriend.

"Your scrawny ass? It'd rather have me than you. I have more meat on me," Alex laughs, teasing him.

Jack's face is suddenly serious, "Alex, you're not fat. Not at all."

"I didn't say I was, Jacky. But I am bigger than you," he replies, squeezing his arm gently. He guesses he should have seen where Jack's thoughts would have gone with that. He'd been very worried about him after his admission of his eating disorder, "I didn't mean it badly, I promise."

Jack keeps his eyes locked on his for a moment, searching for any doubt that he'd happily shoot down. He doesn't want the blonde to ever feel the need to purge ever again. He's perfect in his eyes.

"I agree with Alex, honestly. And as long as you don't go super far out, you should be safe from them. But alligators and crocodiles hang out on the banks, too. So," May laughs, "Can we not talk about this? Creeps me out. Hannah and I are going to the beach this weekend."

The two boys settle onto the couch as May sits in an armchair, grabbing the remote as the menu screen for Anchorman comes onto the tv.

Alex rests his head against Jack's, feeling the flip in Jack's hair tickling at his cheek. He laces their fingers together and smiles happily, pulling a blanket over their legs as the movie starts.


"I can't believe I never noticed this," Jack's quiet voice comes and Alex moves his eyes from the tv. He follows his gaze down to his hand where Jack's fingers lightly dance along the white scars across his knuckles.

He really forgets they're there, himself. He likes to not think about how they're only there from his eating disorder. In a way, they're self-inflicted, being from where his teeth would cut his skin whenever he'd make himself throw up. He's definitely not proud of it. But he's healing, just like May.

"I wish they'd go away," Alex whispers back.

"I wish they'd never have to have been there. But you shouldn't wish them away. They're scars now, which means they've healed, like you have. That's what matters baby," Jack replies, pressing his face into Alex's neck and hugging him tightly, "I love you."

"I love you, too, Jack," he replies.

Jack gives him a brightly smile, rubbing a hand down his side as the movie starts. He can't believe that just a short time ago, it was nothing but flirty looks between the two, now they're dating.

The blonde boy with the British accent walked into his store one day and he never would have guessed that he would end up not only changing his life but the lives of his family as well.
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Reading back over this, the end feels a little lamer than I intended! Haha and the shark/alligator conversations is actually one I've really had. And my stand on it is the same as Alex's. That was my answer :)