Juan Garcia

Atomic Number 83

9 posts in this topic

The winter holidays had gone by incredibly quickly. His nephew had been born without warning, and the Garcia household had been a mess. He hadn’t felt comfortable telling any of his brothers about his crush on a boy, and his sisters had been far too busy with their own kids. That only left his parents, and while he did love them, given their reactions to how careless he’d been with how he behaved regarding… girl stuff… he didn’t feel very… confident in talking to them.

 

That basically left him to speak with his friends. Sera was no longer in that category. Kieran… probably didn’t have much experience in that area. Sofie was far too busy exploring and having adventures to even consider boys. Sky… The last time they’d spoken, they’d fought. Best not stir that pot. Margaret apparently had FEELINGS for him, so he couldn’t even ask her. And… Unfortunately, the only person he could think of that would even know SLIGHTLY how weird he felt… was Kirk Lawson.

 

After practice, Juan waited until everyone had left before sneaking over to the other side of the locker rooms. He knocked on the locker softly and whistled to get the other’s attention, “Yo. You busy?”

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Was he busy? Ha. 

 

"Perpetually." Kirk looked up from tying his shoes to see Garcia lurking at his locker. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. Garcia did not linger after practice. Garcia booked it out of the locker room as fast as possible to avoid getting roped into clean up. Luke always left dirty socks around and he still hadn't been able to find out which of the girls was leaving their towels shoved under the benches in the locker room. His current guess was Redgrave, possibly Zara. It was hard to tell. 

 

But Garcia staying here was... new. This was weird.

 

"What do you want," Kirk demanded. Probably to play the next game unsilenced. Or to demand to switch places with someone on the lineup. 

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“Uuuuh.” Juan didn’t know what ‘perpetually’ meant. He wasn’t about to admit this to Kirk, who would probably make fun of him for not having a vocabulary as extensive as his. Juan didn’t pick up books or try to learn new words. He was a bit busy being as awesome as he was. And that did, unfortunately, leave no place for learning bigger words in his schedule.

 

But judging from the pointed look, he was going to guess it meant… no. Because Kirk wouldn’t be annoyed if he was busy. He would’ve said yeah. And gone to do whatever. He was ANNOYED because he WASN’T busy and therefore had time to talk with him. Obviously, this was how the world worked.

 

What did he want? Well, for one, he wanted to snog Clayton Stagg… But that wasn’t happening any time soon. The boy seemed to be adverse to any kind of close encounters.

 

“Um… Uuuh… I… Uh…” he stammered for a solid minute before he finally took a deep breath and released it. This was hell. How did anyone ever just… SAY they weren’t ‘normal?’

 

“When… You… You like guys, right?” Juan said, leaning into the lockers beside him. Best to confirm. Even if he’d seen Kirk making goo-goo eyes at a Gryffindor, that was probably not enough to say anything. Was it? He didn’t know.

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Kirk frowned. Garcia stuttering was even weirder than Garcia lingering. He'd been suspicious before. Now he was just uncomfortable on Garcia's behalf. What was this. 

 

No, really. Was this a practical joke. Was this... he craned his neck to look over at the door. Someone was recording this, right? No, they couldn't do that at Hogwarts, but... Kirk slowly looked back at Garcia, one eyebrow raised. "Is that a trick question," he asked because seriously, he and Reid were not subtle. They held hands in public. Reid walked him to practice half the time and dropped him off with a peck on the cheek, if not an actual kiss. This had been going on since Garcia joined the team. 

 

Judging from Garcia's face though, it wasn't a trick question. Kirk's face sobered and he sighed, reaching to grab his hoodie and tug it on. "Yeah, Garcia. I'm gay."

 

The moment he said it, he realized that he'd only actually said it aloud a handful of times. To his adopted family, after awkwardly introducing them to Reid officially as his boyfriend. (I'm gay and Reid is my boyfriend.") To John and Luke, explaining why he was borrowing Reid's flannel, flat and dry. ("I'm gay and Reid is my boyfriend.") To Goodfellow, completely deadpan when she asked what he thought of her outfit. ("I'm not that gay, Goodfellow. Just because I snog guys doesn't mean I give two snitches about fashion.") 

 

Saying it to Garcia felt different than the previous times he'd said it. Somewhere between the awkwardness of telling his family and the casual feeling of dropping it in conversation with his friends. It was easier. Still weird, but easier. Garcia couldn't say snitch about it if he didn't like it. Kirk would bench him with zero regret and Goodfellow would back him. It was a strange realization, but a nice one. He relaxed and zipped up his hoodie. "What about it?"

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The initial response was not something Juan had expected. He hadn’t… sounded like he was joking, had he? And why was Kirk looking around? Was there someone still in the locker room?! Juan now felt slightly more nervous than before, and he didn’t really know why. He rarely ever felt nervous unless it involved Sera or sometimes Margaret. Or Clayton.

 

However, the quick confirmation meant that all those times he’d seen something in his peripheral vision weren’t COMPLETELY off. Kirk and the Gryffindor had a thing going. Okay, so… Juan took a deep breath, watching Kirk finish putting on his hoodie. Wait… Why was he watching KIRK? Juan’s face immediately turned red as he began questioning why he was watching KIRK LAWSON of all people finish getting dressed.

 

Now he was overthinking everything. Juan took a seat on the bench, feeling suddenly flustered and unable to look over at his Quidditch captain. He took a deep breath and kicked at the lockers in front of him. Given the weird almost negative-almost positive relationship he had with Kirk, he had no idea if this was even the right time to approach the topic. Was it normal? A google search had told him that, STATISTICALLY, it wasn’t. Only a little under 1% of the UK identified as that word he’d read online.

 

Bisexual.

 

He chewed on his lower lip, letting the seconds pass by in silence before he looked up to see Kirk officially one with putting on his hoodie. It was zipped. Juan was suddenly very aware of the fact that he had yet to change into his regular clothes.

 

“Um… I was just… I was wondering like… Did you… How did…” Despite his best efforts, Juan’s tongue was completely tied and he had no idea how to phrase the question. There were so many questions in his head, they kept bumping into each other, not letting him formulate a complete one.

 

“Ok look. You’re gay. I’m…” Juan groaned, unable to bring himself to say it out loud. “UGH! WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!”

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Kirk straightened up as Garcia dropped down onto the bench, avoiding eye contact. Despite dating Reid, Kirk had very little experience actually liking people or being liked. But he recognized this situation. Garcia could not look him in the eyes. Garcia had cornered him in the locker room. Garcia was awkwardly asking if he liked guys.

 

He'd seen this pattern on many a drama and Kirk was wholly unprepared for it in real life. This was a confession, wasn't it. Normally they happened in cafes, or right at the girl's front door, or in the courtyard at school right after a fight or... on a bridge, actually. Now that he thought about it, a lot of the dramatic episode confession cliffhangers happened on scenic bridges. 

 

This was not a bridge. This was a somewhat dirty locker room. There was no music or sudden soft focus. Kirk did not feel like someone was about to superimpose a pink blush on his cheeks. He did feel a bead of water sliding down his neck and he grabbed his towel to attempt to messily dry his hair again. Because this was clearly not a television show and Kirk was not a blushing damsel or clumsy cheerful heroine. Kirk was Kirk and Garcia was Garcia and this was going to be disappointing for both of them.

 

That would just have to be okay. Garcia was still awkwardly starting half-thoughts and stopping before they could get too far. Kirk hung up his towel. Garcia blurted out his exasperation. Kirk cleared his throat. 

 

"I'm... flattered," Kirk said slowly, wishing that he'd paid more attention to how the girls turned down their childhood friends for the arrogant rich guys who didn't really deserve it. Usually he was complaining at the television with his mother, throwing his hands up in the air because the girl was clearly making the wrong choice by picking the jerk. "But I have a boyfriend, Garcia."

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Juan was not referring to asking Kirk out. He had not been. He had not been able to admit to anyone, except Clayton himself, if he was honest, that he actually fancied boys. It wasn’t normal, statistically, and his family would probably have a fit. It was one thing to be as talented and exceptional as all his siblings and be a little different. It was another thing to have yet ONE MORE THING that made you the black sheep.

 

Juan dropped his head into his hands, shaking his head as Kirk elaborated that he was flattered, but that he was in a relationship. That wasn’t what he’d meant at all. Shaking his head, he brought up his eyes, now red with the threat of incoming tears. This wasn’t what he’d been saying.

 

“How…” he sniffled, “How did you know that you were like… gay? Like… I think I like girls. A lot, actually. They’re really pretty. And I like kissing them, and holding their hands. But I met… There’s also Clayton. And lke… I really like him too. Like. Like like. And he’s really sweet and kind, but he’s not a girl. And I get that there’s people that like only boys, or only girls, but…”

 

Juan was now unable to hold back tears and he quickly brought up the bottom of his shirt to wipe his stupid face. He didn’t know why he was crying and that made him even more angry. Kirk didn’t really like him, Juan was well aware. But for some reason, the fact that he was crying infront of him didn’t bother him so much.

 

He was pretty sure Kirk must’ve gone through some revelation of his own at some point.

 

“And… I was at home and I googled if I could like both and yeah, there’s like bisexuals and stuff, but…” he paused, hating the sound of his voice as the crying made it wobble and crack. “Sorry.” He brought up his shirt once again and cleared his throat, “I just… I don’t know. How did you get through knowing you weren’t… like everyone else, you know?”

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So he'd expected a bad reaction to rejection, but Garcia cradling his face in his hands and shaking his head seemed a bit much. Kirk shifted from one foot to the other, uncomfortable. What was he supposed to do now? Pat him on the head, tell him it would be alright? They could still be friends? They weren't even friends. They were... teammates, at most. This would make practice incredibly awkward, wouldn't it. Garcia looked close to tears. Kirk braced himself, awaiting the waterfall. Patting him on the head would probably be best. Not encouraging, but comforting, sort of? ...He was really bad at this. 

 

But when Garcia managed to speak up again, he didn't confess his love. Kirk let out a breath he hadn't been aware he was holding. Flying flacks, Garcia was just having an identity crisis. Thank God. 

 

"How did I know?" Kirk echoed back, even as Garcia went on about kissing girls and holding hands. His nose scrunched at the description but he held his tongue, waiting until Garcia had said his piece. Then the tears came. Kirk sat down next to him for lack of a better idea. Emotions were not his strong suit. Kirk survived by bottling his up and pretending they weren't an issue until something or someone came along and smashed the whole damn lot of them. Then he picked up the mess and shoved it into a box and started again, mindful of the shards left behind. It was, as Reid and Hyun Woo had repeatedly told him, a terrible way of dealing with his feelings. It left him ill-prepared for moments like this. 

 

He was probably supposed to say something wise. He was older than Garcia. It wasn't as if Goodfellow and Whitehorn were subtle about their relationship, so Garcia had come to him because he was a guy, probably. Goodfellow would have been a better choice. She would have said some bull about how Garcia had to learn to love himself for who he was and probably ended it with a dance routine. Kirk didn't have a dance routine. He didn't like himself most days. Garcia had made a crappy choice for a gay... what, adviser? Counselor? 

 

"I knew I was gay because I don't flacking like girls," Kirk said abruptly, because sitting there lamenting Garcia's poor life coach choices was getting them nowhere. "They're not that pretty. I don't want to hold their hands, let alone kiss them. They don't do anything for me."

 

Kirk looked at Garcia's damp shirt and got up, grabbing him a clean towel from the stack the house elves always kept ready for them. He tossed it at Garcia's head. "The rest..." he hesitated. "How much do you know about me, Garcia?"

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The silence that followed the question Juan had posed felt like an infinity. Had he… misjudged Kirk? Was the boy actually straight and all that snogging and hand-holding with Reid had really just been some kind of friendship display? Kinda like when he and Sera had snogged? But they had only really meant to stay as friends? He’d been the one that ruined that whole equation.

 

Sniffling, he looked over at Kirk once the boy uttered the same question, right back at him. Literally echoed it. “Yeah, how’d you know?” he asked again before he managed to wipe at more tears coming out of his eyes. This was humiliating. Why was he even crying? He’d already accepted the fact that he was abnormal during the break. He didn’t need to cry in front of Kirk even more. It was bad enough crying had been the damn reason the Quidditch captain had even let him try out to be on the team.

 

Didn’t… like girls. Juan blinked. That… was ridiculously simple and it was an issue he didn’t share. Girls were so pretty to look at, and their smiles and laughs were lovely. But so were boys! It was so weird. He fancied them all, but he didn’t have any understanding about what that even meant.

 

His mouth hung in disbelief as Kirk said girls weren’t pretty. Was he… joking? “I guess,” he said, already closing in on himself before a clean towel hit him in the head. “Thanks,” he mumbled, wiping away the tears that kept coming. He was like a water hose right now.

 

How much… did he know about Kirk? “Um… that you’re an arse. Extremely gay, apparently. Short. You don’t duel a lot. Pretty sure you had a crush on Voldric,” he started listing off the few things he’d deigned to remember regarding his captain, counting them all off on his fingers.

 

“Why? Want me to start you a fan club?” he smirked.

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