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This is a pseudo-chapter of the webcomic Best Friends Forever.

Chapter 21




Teddy

“Are you saying we should break up?”

penelope

“I mean, it’s not really breaking up... we were going to stop when my boyfriend got here anyway…"

Penelope is quiet for a second.

penelope

"...I just found out he’s coming in January - we didn’t think the visas and everything would work out, but…"

teddy

"…We’ve only been together for a couple of weeks..."

PENELOPE

Teddy, look… um, how should I put this? I don’t think that we… I don’t think that I’m what you need right now. …
It’s not that I’m not attracted to you, or anything like that - you know I think you’re cute and we’ve had some fun but I think that you…"

TEDDY

"Penelope, if you just need more time with your boyfriend that’s-"

PENELOPE

"I just think it seems like you need some time. Alone. I mean, not alone but… you maybe have some things to figure out for yourself before you can… um…
....
I’m not trying to tell you what to do, or anything, but I just mean like -- as your friend--"

TEDDY

"Are we friends?"

PENELOPE

"...Are we?"

TEDDY

"...I’ll see you in student council."





In a rare free moment, Vincent sits in his chilly room, texting Louis.

sooo can ur shitty phone get pics….

yea but it costs me so don’t send any

i’ll give u $$$ next time i see you View Photo







Vincent was surprised by the doorbell, but even more surprised to find Teddy at his door.



TEDDY

"Vincent, can I come in?"

vincent

"Huh? O-of course, yeah--"

Teddy makes a beeline for Vincent's room, and he follows confused.

TEDDY

"Would it be alright if I um… lay down?
Is that weird?"

vincent

"O-on my bed?"

TEDDY

"Do you mind?"

vincent

"Oh, no, that’s uh-- go right ahead."

vincent

"Do you um, want something to drink? Some wate-"

TEDDY

"I hope it’s OK that I barged in like this."

vincent

"Yeah, Teddy, anytime, but w--"

TEDDY

"It’s a bit chilly in here."

vincent

"Oh, yeah, well-- you know, heat’s um…
expensive, so…"

TEDDY

"Do you need some money?"

vincent

"I’m… okay, dude. Um -- are you?"

TEDDY

"Am I what?"

vincent

"Okay? I mean… you were supposed to be on a date and it seems like somethings up, so --"

When Teddy speaks, his voice sounds small and tired.

TEDDY

"...Am I really that transparent?"

vincent

"H-huh?"

TEDDY

"....Penelope doesn’t want to see me anymore."

vincent

"Oh, what? Dude that’s… that sucks. She’s… she’s missing out."

vincent

"Do you wanna like… talk about it?"

TEDDY

"I… no, not really. It wasn’t a particularly lengthy or enlightening conversation...
She did tell me I need to spend some time alone, and like --- what does that even mean? Is she telling me I should masturbate more, or--?"

Vincent's reaction causes Teddy to prop himself up sheepishly, reassuring him--

It's awkward as Teddy flops back down onto the pillow. Vincent feels a little relieved when his phone buzzes, giving him an excuse to check it.



did u get what i sent lol

sorry teddy is here

OMFG ur with teddy right now????

im laghing sf hard omfg

put it on my tab View Photo

vinnnnnn

cmon ur no funnnnn

As soon as the image downloads, Vincent snaps his phone shut frantically, praying that Teddy didn't see Louis' butt on his screen.

vincent

"Hey why don’t we do something! To like, get m- your mind off it, or whatever--"

teddy

"Like what?""







vincent

"Shit, shit, why’d I let you get jalapenos?"

TEDDY

"Goodness, you have such a timid palate. Gimme."

TEDDY

"I’m not sure if a redneck bonfire is better or worse than being inside your freezing house."

vincent

"C’mon man, even with the coats I gave you?"

TEDDY

"I feel like a big marshmallow."

vincent

"Marshmallows are cute! I mean--"

Vincent blushes. It's quiet in his rather rural backyard, apart from the crackle of the fire.

vincent

"So, um -- dude, can I ask? Did you start like…
liking Penelope?"

TEDDY

"She’s… agreeable. Well, she was…"

vincent

"But like were there, um… feelings? I guess like… did she hurt you…?"

TEDDY

"No, no, nothing like that…"

vincent

"...Oh."

TEDDY

"I’m not distraught over the actual… end of things. I’m just... thinking a lot, I suppose.
She said something that made it sound like… that I’m not ready for a relationship, or-- not even a relationship, just…"

"...I couldn’t take my shirt off in front of her. I thought it would be okay but…"

Vincent reaches out and silently puts his hand on Teddy’s shoulder.












TEDDY

"...can we go back inside?"





A few minutes later, Teddy sits on Vincent’s matress while Vincent gets some of his old clothes out for Teddy to wear as pajamas. Despite being years old, they're still comically oversized on little Teddy.

vincent

"So, I have to work early tomorrow, but if you don’t mind waking up I can just drop you off
on the way there…"

TEDDY

"Thanks, Vincent."

vincent

"Um, should I um… get out my sleeping bag, or…?"

Teddy’s already begun bundling up in the thinning blankets on Vincent’s bed. He pauses for a minute, but then lifts the covers, making space for Vincent.

TEDDY

"It’s too cold for that."

vincent

"Oh, yeah… t-that’s true…"








TEDDY

"Your sheets smell…"

vincent

"Really? I um, just washed them, actually--"

TEDDY

"I mean, they don’t smell bad, I just-- Hm."

TEDDY

"...um, Vincent?"

vincent

"Yeah?"

TEDDY

"Maybe this is weird, but…"

vincent

"Teddy?"

teddy

"Could you sing?"

vincent

"Oh. Yeah, what should I--?"

teddy

"Anything. Whatever you want."

vincent

"Okay, um…."

Vincent goes for the first thing that comes into his mind. The lyrics are a little bit embarrassing, but Teddy won’t notice, Vincent thinks - he never does.

♫ When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same

♫ 'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

♫ We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to....

2 bad u missed my shower, im in my pjs now… View Photo

Since Teddy's asleep, Vincent figures it can't hurt to indulge Louis. He probably won't stop sending pictures until he does...

Before he leaves the room, he lingers for a second.

He shuts the door, and heads down the hall to the bathroom.

you still up?

yaaaas






Before dawn the next day, Vincent drops Teddy off at his house on the way to his job at the mall.

vincent

"Hey, uh, lets hang out after school tomorrow, okay? Plan what we’ll do during winter break?"

TEDDY

"Yeah…"

vincent

"Teddy… um, you can call me, okay? If you’re feeling crappy or whatever…"

TEDDY

"Good luck with the holiday shopping crowds...
Um, Vincent..."

TEDDY

"...thanks."

vincent

"No problem, buddy."





Cut to Vincent’s job at the trendy clothing store. Clothes are strewn about wildly in a post-sale mess. Vincent slumps over the cash register, close to death. His manager laughs, telling Vincent to get used to it.

Suddenly Louis enters the store. They’re surprised to see each other. Louis is just doing some Christmas shopping.

Seeing Vincent chatting with Louis, the manager tells him he can go a few minutes early if he wants. Vincent gets embarrassed, saying that it’s okay, he can stay, but the manager insists he goes.

Louis rolls his eyes and pulls the still-hesitating Vincent out from behind the register, apologizing to the manager like “Sorry, he’s new at this.” Vincent gets really embarrassed.

vincent

“What are you doing!?”

louis

“What, you want to stay there all night?”

vincent

“No, but who said I wanted to hang out with you?

louis

“Ew, Vincent, I don’t want to hang out. Obviously, I need a guy with muscles to hold my shopping bags.”

Louis proceeds for force all of his many bags onto Vincent, who protests loudly.

vincent

“Louis, I’ve been working since before dawn today, there’s no way I’m going to be your mall slave.”

louis

“Come on, you deserve to be punished for making me wait last night...I’ll buy you anything you want at the food court~





At the food court, Louis watches as Vincent eats like he hasn't had a proper meal in weeks.



louis

"I’ve been meaning to ask -- what do you think about telling Kamri about us hooking up?”

Vincent spits out his drink.

vincent

“No. Absolutely not.”

louis

“Come on. Kamri’s like, my best friend. She’s your friend too, isn’t she?”

vincent

So?

louis

“So, before it turned out that you were a million percent homosexual, she kind of actually liked you. Doesn’t it kind of suck that you’re randomly fucking me now?”

Vincent lunges across the table, covering Louis’ mouth and looking around frantically.

vincent

“Not so loud!!!”

louis

“Vincent, ew, you’re getting cheese-fry on my face!!! God, you think it’s easy to keep my skin this perfect? ”

vincent

Sorry, sorry.”

Vincent carelessly pushes a napkin into Louis’ cheek.

louis

“You’re such a baby, Fawkes.”

louis

“But you can make it up to me... by answering
a question.”

vincent

“Huh?”

louis

“Are there any guys here you think are cute?”

Vincent turns red, somewhere between embarrassed and mad. He doesn’t reply, and
just keeps eating.

louis

“Oh come onnn, you have nobody to talk about boys with, right? I can’t even imagine. I would die.

Vincent still doesn’t respond.

louis

“Vincent! Seriously, one guy, and then I’ll shut up. Just point out one guy in this food court
that you’d date.”

Still nothing. Louis rolls his eyes, and looks around. He starts pointing out random dudes, asking if Vincent would date them. For the first few, he just looks offended, but slowly he starts shaking his head “no”.



louis

Jesus, you’re picky. I would fuck any of those guys. Do you even have like... a celebrity crush?"

Vincent stays silent.

louis

"Just Teddy then, huh?"

Vincent glares. Louis looks indignant.

louis

“I just don't get it. I know he's your best friend, but he's such a dweeb. Is he like a freak in bed or something?”

vincent

“Why would I know that? Why do you want to know that?”

louis

“Please, basically all guy-friends talk about is fucking. Those bros I hang out with just love to detail their conquests. And since he’s with Penelope I thought maybe-”

vincent

“They broke up. Or um, she broke up with him, I guess.”

louis

“No kidding? Is the little guy okay?”

vincent

“I uh… I dunno. He was a little weird last night. I’m worried about him.”

louis

“Maybe you should offer to cheer him up.”

vincent

“You’re unbelievable.”

louis

“I was just joookkinnng. Mostly. But I mean, really - if he’s free now you might wanna look at this as an opportunity for you--”

vincent

“An opportunity to make him feel even more weird? I’m good, thanks."

louis

“Have you ever thought of getting drunk with him? That usually works for me when I wanna
fuck somebody.”

vincent

“Uh, what--

louis

“Oh my god, I didn’t mean it like that -- just like, alcohol sometimes makes secrets come out, y’know? And usually, straight guys’ secrets are that they want me to blow them.”

vincent

“Whatever, it doesn’t matter. We don’t drink.”

louis

‘We’? What are you, some prude old married couple?
Besides, I’ve seen you drink a bunch this year - the homecoming dance, your birthday, that party after the football game...”

vincent

“That’s-- I don’t usually. The dance was the first time I ever...”

louis

“...so what you’re saying is that your feelings for Teddy are driving you to drink.”

vincent

“Louis I swear to god--”

louis

“Oh chill yourself. You’re so tense.”

Vincent’s face stays extremely grumpy. Louis leans in closer.

louis

“I think you’ve been working too hard, Vincent. Wanna come over and play?”





In his bedroom, Louis watches Vincent dress himself post-hookup. He lounges on the bed, making absent-minded conversation.

louis

“Why are you like, limping?
Was I too rough on you?”

vincent

“Shut up. My ankle’s just been sore since the last football game, I went on it funny.”

Louis puts some clothes on himself, grabbing a cardigan on the way out of his bedroom.

louis

“...So, you really don’t want to make a move now that Penelope and Teddy are broken up?”

vincent

“No.”

louis

“You still loooove him, don’t you?”

vincent

“…”

louis

“So what’s the hold-up?”

vincent

“I don’t wanna talk about this.”

Vincent heads towards the foyer, and Louis follows.



louis

“Am I ever gonna get to see your place, Fawkes?”

vincent

“No.”

Louis rolls his eyes, but as they come down the grand staircase they run into…

john

“Vincent? What the fuck are you doing here?”

louis

“....I thought you had hockey practice.”

john

“It was short today. Why the fuck is he here?"

Vincent

“We’re working on a project together. For school.”

john

“What class do you two have together?”

Vincent

“French. Gonna fucking kill Madame Michaut for making us partners.”

john

“Oh…”

louis

“Anyway, Fawkes was just leaving, so…”


Vincent leaves, and Louis shuts the door behind him. John starts up the stairs to his room, but then stops, turning back to Louis.

john

“...What kind of project is it?”




louis

“Why do you care?”

Louis looks overly annoyed with John, and tries to pass him. John blocks the stairs.



john

“Why don’t we party tonight? It’s been a few weeks. People keep asking me when they can come over.”

louis

“I don’t feel like it.”

john

“Hey, what’s with you lately?”

Louis ignores him, and just tries to get around him.



Getting frustrated, John forcefully grabs his arm.



john

“Louis--!”

louis

“You wanna hit me, John? Go ahead. That’s what you do with your friends, isn’t it?”


john

“....What did Fawkes tell you?”

louis

“Does it matter? Did you think I’d never find out that you’re a little more than just a bonehead bully with mommy issues?


Enraged, John pushes Louis, who looses his footing and falters on the stairs.





john

“Shit, I didn’t mean t--”







John boggles in silence for a moment and then explodes.

john

“...Yeah, okay!? You think I don’t feel bad?


You think I wanted to do that to him? I was just… I’m….UGH!!



John stomps away up the stairs, and slams his bedroom door.



















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