Chris walked to the bus with his shoulders slumped and his head hung.
Of course Julien picked Tae-Hyun. She's a girl and he's a boy, that's how it goes most of the time. Chris thought glumly, I can't expect that whoever I like will like me back...
Chris sighed wistfully and he heard someone call to him, "Hey, Chris! Wait up!"
Chris' breath shorted out as Julien came up behind him and put his hand on Chris' shoulder.
"Oh... H-hi, Julien. What's up?" Chris said, nervously brushing his hair out of his face.
"I just wanted to ask you something." Julien said, smiling warmly.
Chris' heart felt like it was melting. He stared dreamily at Julien and said, "Uh-huh?"
Julien chuckled shyly and said, "I just wanted to know... How would you like to have dinner together sometime?"
Chris' eyes grew wide and he stopped breathing for a moment.
"If I'd like to... What?" He asked quietly.
Julien chuckled again and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you... I'm sorry, I heard from someone that you were gay too, and I think you're really sweet..."
"W-wait, y-you heard that- gay too?? You're gay?" Chris cried.
Julien held out his hands and made a 'down' motion, "A little quieter, please."
"Oh, I'm sorry." Chris said, trying to contain himself, "So... You... Really want to go out with me?"
Julien smiled and said charmingly, "I would love to go out with you."
Chris laughed nervously and said, "Uh... Okay! T-that would be great!"
"Awesome." Julien said with another grin, "Where would you like to go?"
"We can go to my house." Chris said, blushing, "... I-if that's okay with you."
Julien nodded, "That would be lovely. I would have been a gentleman and invited you to my place, but 'my place' is currently Leo's house and I'm sure Jessica wouldn't be happy if..."
Julien's voice trailed off.
"Yeah..." Chris said, but he didn't really know what Julien was going to say.
"Cool." Julien said, "So... See you Sunday? Your place?"
Chris nodded and said, dazed, "How's noon?"
Julien made a face and said politely, "Hm... I was thinking of it as more of a nighttime thing."
Chris nodded again, "Oh, totally. What about 7:00?"
"Perfect." Julien said. He passed Chris one last breathtaking smile before he turned and left.
Chris squealed with excitement and ran all the way to his bus. He sat down next to Alice and she studied him.
"Why are you so chipper?" Alice laughed.
Chris looked at her, beaming and said in a low but excited voice, "Julien just asked me out on a date!"
Alice's eyes widened and her face fell. So did Chris', and he said softly, "What's wrong? Aren't you happy for me? Do you like him too? I'm sorry, Alice."
"No, no, I don't like him like that. Congratulations." Alice said, smiling weakly.
Chris raised an eyebrow at her and she said, "Really, Chris. Everything is fine."
Chris nodded slowly and turned his attention to his daydreams.
Alice sighed and said under her breath, "This could be bad. I need to tell Leo about this."
Leo lied on his bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking. Then, his cellphone rang and he answered it, "Hello?"
"Leo? It's Alice." Alice's voice came from the other end of the phone.
"Yeah, hey." Leo said, "What's up?"
"I think we have a problem." She said.
Leo knit his eyebrows and said, "What? What kind of problem?"
Alice hesitated for a moment before answering, "Julien asked Chris out on a date today. He told me on the bus."
Leo smacked his hand that wasn't holding his phone to his forehead and said, "What?! When is it?"
"Saturday at Chris and Angie's house." Alice said.
"No, no, no, no, this is so bad." Leo said, "He can't go out with-"
Leo stuck his head out in the hall and looked around for his mother or Julien or Mouse.
"He can't go out with Chris." Leo said in a low voice.
"Well... Why not?" Alice said, sitting on her bed, "Would it really be that bad? I mean, if Julien really is gay, then shouldn't we be happy for Chris?"
"Well, no. I mean, I don't know!" Leo said, rubbing his brow with one hand, "I just feel like this could end really badly."
Then, Leo gasped and said, "Alice..."
"What? What is it?" Alice asked.
Leo sighed, "Tae-Hyun... What are we gonna do about her? She still thinks Julien's in love with her."
"Oh..." Alice said slowly, "I guess that could be a problem."
Leo groaned and sat down by his desk, "Crap. Why did I have to get myself into this? Stupid exchange student program."
"Leo," Alice said gently, "You didn't know this would happen. Are you at all happy that you've gotten to know Julien?"
"No." Leo said flatly.
"Come on, Leo. He's still nice whether you're jealous of him or not." Alice said.
Leo clenched his teeth and said, "I am not jealous of him."
Alice smirked a little and said, "Okay, then. What upsets you about him?"
"He kissed me, Alice!" Leo hissed in a whisper, "He's a guy who is staying at my house and he kissed me, on the lips. That's a really big deal if you're a guy."
Alice nodded and said, "Okay, okay, sorry. But, you're also jealous that Tae-Hyun likes him so much. You can't deny that."
Leo scowled and gritted his teeth, "No..."
"Whatever." Alice said, "I'm just... Are you sure we absolutely must do something about this?"
Leo pursed his lips and said, "Fine. Whatever, you can just ignore the fact that this guy is gonna take over the world as we know it! He's gonna wreck everything!"
"Uh-huh..." Alice sighed, "Okay, I'll talk to you later, Leo. Try to get some sleep."
"But, Alice-" Leo said, "Wait wait wait wait wait wait!"
"What, Leo, what?" Alice cried.
"Can you talk to Chris about Julien?" Leo said, rubbing his brow, "The last person I want to talk to right now is him... And Julien."
Alice sighed, "Okay, fine, I'll talk to him. Bye, now."
Leo grumbled, "Bye, Alice."
He put his phone in his pocket and groaned, "Craaaap, what do I do?"
Alice set down her phone and got up from her bed. She opened the door to find her mother standing in the doorway, arms crossed.
Alice sighed and asked quietly, "Why were you standing by my door, mother?"
Alice's mother pursed her lips and, tapping her fingers, said, "Don't be a sas with me."
She stepped toward Alice menacingly and hissed, "Who were you talking to?"
"My friend Leo." Alice said, leaning away slightly, "You know him."
"Yes..." Alice's mother said, squinting suspiciously at her daughter, "Who's Julien?"
"He's just this transfer student who's staying with Leo for a few weeks." Alice said, raising an eyebrow at her mother, "Through school."
Her mother sat down on Alice's bed and said, "So... Chris is interested in him?... Sexually?"
"Mother..." Alice said quietly, "Why were you listening?"
"Why are you so defensive?" Her mother snapped.
"I'm... Not." Alice answered, "My conversation with my friend is none of your business."
Alice's mother gasped in shock and said, "Alice! How dare you refer to yourself more than once in your sentence! That is so rude!"
Alice's jaw tightened and she studied her mother. Then, Alice did what she knew would upset her mother.
She hugged her mother around the waist and pressed her head onto her chest.
Alice's mother gasped and said, "Alice, stop this at once!"
Alice gave her another squeeze and ran away down the hall.
Alice's mother scowled and brushed off her dress, sighing angrily.
"Some children just never grow up."