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

Chapter 23 Part 1








The gang (Vincent, Teddy, Louis, John, Andre, SG, Kamri, Bianca, and Charli) make themselves comfortable on the private plane to British Columbia, Canada. Teddy’s been quiet the whole trip, so Vincent is glad to have a distraction when his phone buzzes with a new text message - until he sees it’s from Louis.

2 risky 4 mile high club?

jk unless ur into it



Vincent tries to discreetly shoot Louis a DON’T EVEN JOKE look, to which Louis replies with a flirty smirk. Andre interrupts their silent exchange, eagerly interrogating Teddy.

Andre

“You’re single now, aren’t you little dude?”

teddy

“Yes…”

Andre

“So… would you ever date a guy?”

Andre, obviously still holding onto his hope/plan that Vincent and Teddy will end up together, blindsides Teddy with his question.

teddy

“Well, I like girls, so…”

Louis chimes in.

louis

“Wow Andre, did you wanna date Teddy?”

Andre looks mortified. John elbows him in the ribs, and Andre gives up, leaning back, claiming he was “just messing with him”. Teddy laughs insincerely, and looks out the window.

Meanwhile, Kamri chats with Louis about the coming trip. Louis talks about how he’ll be glad to see his dad, since he didn’t get to see him over Thanksgiving. He can’t wait until he’s done with high school so he can finally go back to LA and join his company.

Bianca asks if he isn’t going to college, then - Louis shrugs and says that he’s done a bachelors degree-worth of partying in high school already, and there’s nobody better to teach him “the business” than his dad. If his dad wants him to go to school he’ll take some night classes, but he’s not really planning on it. Bianca, (who's already been accepted to Yale) seems disapproving, but also says that it seems like “a Louis thing to do.”


About 6 hours (and a few illegal glasses of champagne) later, they touch down in BC. Louis, first out the door, is greeted by a chauffeur. He tells Louis that Mr.Lindbeck had a work emergency, and has decided not to come up the chalet this Christmas. He’ll see Louis when he comes to LA at the end of the week for New Year’s. He hands him an early Christmas gift from his dad.

Louis doesn’t immediately reply, and John puts his hand on his shoulder.

john

“Louis…”

Louis rolls his hand away, and turns on his heel with a huge grin.

louis

“Did you hear that, guys? Looks like we have the place to ourselves! We are gonna party so hard!!!”

The partiers in the group cheer, John looks disconcerted. Teddy and Vincent look at each other a little worriedly, wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into.


Louis shows everyone around the massive chalet that sits right on the ski slope. The style of the place is the total opposite of the Kingsley mansion, sleek and dark rather than ornate and palatial. He explains that there will be people around to cook and clean during the day while they’re out - his dad isn’t into live-in staff. He opens the fridge and reveals what looks like a month’s worth of pre-prepared food.

louis

“Who’s ready for dinner?”

Because of his memorable work at the student council bake sale, Teddy is given the task of heating up a few of the dishes in the oven, microwave, etc - with Vincent’s help, of course. Andre starts saying how cute the two looking in the kitchen together before John gives him a death-glare. Soon everyone but Vincent and Teddy are sitting around the living room drinking, smoking weed, and watching a massive television.

vincent

“So um… I think things might get a little wild with those guys tonight…”

teddy

“You’ll be alright though, won’t you? It wouldn’t be the first time you drank this year.”

vincent

“Oh, yeah, I’ve actually been meaning to like… say something about that…”

teddy

“You don’t need to say anything. I’m glad if it doesn’t bother you anymore.”

vincent

“I was the one who said we shouldn’t drink. though… I feel kinda weird that I just like randomly started, but…”

teddy

“Don’t feel weird. It’s not like you were holding me back. Nobody in my family except for Kennedy drinks, so it never seemed odd to me.”

vincent

“Yeah… well I did wanna say that like, now that I’m drinking, there’s no way I can ask you not to, so if you ever… want to try anything, or whatever…”

Teddy raises an eyebrow.



teddy

“I have your permission?”

He giggles, and Vincent smiles.

vincent

“So uh… wanna chill with everyone tonight?”

Vincent doesn’t look at Teddy when he asks, instead focusing on the salad he’s tossing. Teddy is also incredibly engrossed in checking the risotto he just pulled out of the oven.

teddy

“Actually, I think I might just relax in our room… flying always tires me out…”

vincent

“Oh.”

When Vincent finally looks up from his vegetables, Teddy is smiling cordially, his gaze still down in the food.

teddy

“Of course, if you wanted to, by all means,
go ahead…”

Vincent flashes a goofy grin.

vincent

“...I have your permission?"

A few minutes later, after watching Vincent descend the stairs to the living room with far too many hot dishes in his hands, Teddy is sitting on his guest bed trying to finish out the year’s Fiction Best Sellers list before the new year begins. All that’s left are a few sappy romantic dramas and his current undertaking: a collection of stories by an award-winning Indian American writer.

He feels vaguely guilty having not finished it already - several times since it topped the list in April he’s put it down to finish another novel entirely. Even now, every two or three minutes his eyes wander from the page to his phone. For the past 45 minutes he’s been trying, and failing, to compose a text message.

Penelope, how are you?



What’s up, Penny?



Did Leo arrive safely?



I’m sorry



Teddy turns his phone off and tosses it into his bag, without sending a thing. He squeezes the bridge of his nose and furrows his brow, determined to finish this book tonight.


Downstairs, Vincent is a little buzzed.

It’s not the most fun he’s ever had, but it’s alright. He hopes Teddy isn’t too lonely. He tries not to think of Teddy. A flight of stairs is a pretty good way to resist the temptation to do something idiotic on this trip.

He reminds himself not to get too drunk before he goes back up to the room they’re sharing.

louis

“Vincent, do you want a cocktail?”

Louis’ sharp voice hits him from across the little circle they’ve all formed. Everyone is looking at him, and Vincent is looking down at his cup confused - he clearly already has a drink.

vincent

“What?”

louis

“You practically wince every time you take a sip of beer. You like sweets, right?”

Vincent isn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or appreciative that Louis noticed. Andre snickers.

andre

“Make him like a cosmo or something.”

Now Vincent is definitely embarrassed. He shrugs.

vincent

“I’m fine.”

Louis rolls his eyes.

louis

“Oh enough. Come on stupid, let’s go to the bar and find something you’ll actually like.”

Louis starts up the stairs back to the kitchen and Vincent follows sheepishly.


Louis immediately begins mixing and blending and doing all sorts of things, and Vincent just sort of watches dumbstruck.

louis

“You know, if you just came out you wouldn’t have to worry about looking gay. You’d just look gay all the time.”

vincent

“Whatever.”

louis

“So where’d Teddy sneak off to all by himself?”

vincent

“He went to go read in our room.”

louis

“Jeez, he’s a good time, isn’t he?”

vincent

“He is when he wants to be.”

Louis throws him a skeptical look while sliding a drink across the counter - it looks like a milkshake in a martini glass, complete with a sweet little dollop of whipped cream on the top. Vincent looks at it like he wants to smash it into the counter.

vincent

“Louis, what the fuck.”

louis

“Just try it!”

Vincent looks at Louis grumpily for a good five seconds before he grumpily takes up the drink. His eyes go wide.



vincent

“...Is that chocolate?”

louis

“I knew you’d like it. I’ll get you a normal cup. The stupid glass was really just for my benefit.”

Louis quickly sloshes the concoction into another glass. Somehow even this he does with flair, and doesn’t spill a drop.

louis

“Maybe now there’s a chance that you’ll actually get wasted and have some fun.

vincent

“Louis, um… I really do have fun with Teddy, you know that, right?”

louis

Yeah, yeah, but can you have fun without him?”

Louis puts the drink in Vincent's hand, and leans in a little too close to his face.


louis

“We better get back downstairs. Wouldn’t want our friends to think we’re up to anything gay up here.”

He leans in just a little closer… and then promptly pulls away, gliding to the stairs and down them, leaving Vincent blushing and alone. He follows soon enough.






In the morning, Vincent wakes up under what seems like the comfiest blanket he’s ever felt. He’s just warm enough, and everything feels soft - even the slight hangover pounding in his head.









How’d he get back to bed? He remembers sitting in that one spot on the floor in front of the couch, observing the party from a safe distance, basically all night...

Vincent groans groggily. Is he imagining things, or is his pillow is moving?

He rubs the sleep of his eyes to find himself totally, ridiculously on top of…







vincent

“...Teddy? What are you doing in my bed?”

Teddy turns his head down towards Vincent with an awkward smile.

teddy

“You’re in my bed, Vincent. You came up here drunk last night and...”

A moment of panic spreads through Vincent’s entire body. Teddy notices Vincent’s eyes widen, and his joking smile falls.

teddy

“I mean, you just passed out, and you were too heavy to move, so… it was nothing weird, or…”

Vincent quietly retracts his arm. Teddy pops up, making for the edge of the bed.

vincent

“S-sorry, dude…”

Teddy slides off the bed gingerly, carefully turning away from his friend.

teddy

“Well, if you’ll excuse me, I really have to pee, since I was sort of trapped, so…”

Teddy hurries towards the bathroom as Vincent continues to apologize.

Vincent’s agonizing is cut short when Teddy sticks his head out of the bathroom only a few seconds later.

teddy

“Um, can you go check if the breakfast chef came by yet? You can start eating if you want…”

Teddy’s got a weird expression on that Vincent can’t quite place, so he obliges and leaves the room.


The Lindbeck’s chef has indeed come and gone, leaving out a breakfast buffet and filling the fridge with more pre-prepared meals.

It seems like everyone is still asleep, and Vincent is glad - he needs to lament how freaked out Teddy was just now. He sits down at the bar and puts his head in his hands, thinking about how much of an idiot he is.

He still hasn’t even thought about eating by the time Teddy joins him.



vincent

“Heeeyyy…”

Vincent isn’t sure what to say, but Teddy is a lot more casual now. He makes his way to a door across the room, turning towards Vincent with a smile.

teddy

“Vincent, can I show you something?”




teddy

“I found this yesterday after you went down- stairs. This is a good brand, isn’t it? Didn’t you tell me that once?”

vincent

Yeah, yeah, um-- I’m pretty sure this thing costs more than my house. And probably even the car you guys bought me. Maybe both combined...”

teddy

“Really? A piano?

Vincent smiles, nodding nervously as he raises the fallboard. He hits a few keys. He’s quite happy to preoccupy the two of them with this random discovery instead of talking about what just happened.

vincent

“Huh, I think it’s been tuned… does Louis play?”

Vincent asks with serious doubt in his voice, and Teddy laughs.

teddy

“I think maybe his dad might. He seems like the type.”

vincent

“You met him?”

teddy

“No, but I think that might be a real Rothko over there so… he might be the art-appreciating sort.”

Teddy gestures to a strange minimal painting, and they both boggle at it for a second.

vincent

“Be honest, does that painting cost more than
this piano?”

teddy

“Probably.”

Vincent just laughs, shaking his head.

Teddy leans on the piano while Vincent starts to play quietly - an indecorous old rock song, as always. Vincent once told Teddy that he learned how to play the various instruments he knows by copying what he heard on the radio, and as a result his taste is sort of…. not what you’d expect from someone on a music scholarship.














Later that morning when Vincent returns from showering, the rest of the gang has trickled down to the kitchen, and Teddy has moved to the couch. Andre puts his arm around Vincent.

andre

“You ready to hit the slopes today, Fawkes? I’m gonna teach you to snowboard if it kills me.”





























Kamri looks out the window of the master bedroom. She sees Vincent and Teddy slide back to the chalet from the slopes. Louis strips off his winter clothes on the bed behind her.



kamri

“Something’s a little different about Vincent.
Do you think something happened with him?”

louis

“What, with Teddy? I don’t know.”

kamri

“Don’t you think Vincent seems…
calmer, or something?”

louis

“Yeah, well, a good fuck will do that for you.”

kamri

“Huh?”

louis

“Uh, nothing. Maybe they fucked.”




Kamri raises an eyebrow, but follows Louis out of the room.

On the way down the stairs, they pass Vincent & Teddy going up to their room. Kamri lets them know everybody’s going in the hot tub, and that they should join them. Louis bounces his eyebrows at Vincent.






Vincent and Teddy shed their extra sweaters and snow-pants in their room.

teddy

“Do you want to go in the hot tub?”

vincent

“I mean… if you don’t wanna, I don’t mind
hanging out.”

teddy

“I’m really cold, I think it might be nice…”

Vincent stops, surprised at Teddy.

vincent

“...Really? Did you bring your wetsuit?”

teddy

“...Yeah… do you think it’s weird to wear a wetsuit in a hot tub?”

vincent

“No, whatever, just tell them it’s the cool new thing off the runway, I think everybody trusts your taste in clothing.”

Teddy laughs, and looks up just in time to see Vincent undoing his pants. He looks
away in a hurry.

vincent

“So, you want to?”

teddy

“Yeah, I’ll be right down after I change.”

Vincent slides on some swim trunks, and smiles as he closes the door.

vincent

“See you soon!”

Teddy takes out his wetsuit.






Arriving out at the hot tub, Louis beckons for Vincent to sit down next to him. When Vincent says that Teddy might join them, Louis flatly turns to John and tells him to go inside.

john

“What, why!?”

louis

“It’s my fucking hot tub, I don’t need a reason.”

John huffs, looking around at the others as if someone is supposed to defend him. When nobody says anything (it’s pretty awkward) he angrily pulls himself out.

john

“Fuck this, I’m hungry anyway.”

Vincent wonders if Louis did that for Teddy’s sake, and raises an eyebrow to him. Louis smiles smugly and puts a hand on Vincent’s thigh under the water. Vincent tries not to jump.

About 10 minutes goes by with no sign of Teddy...

















































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