TITLE: "If We Were Gay"
AUTHOR: Cathryn (askewnislasher@aol.com)
DISTRIBUTION: The RareSlash archives, the KSslash archives, my website eventually. Otherwise, please ask.
RATING: PG-13, for minor m/m interaction and beating a joke into the ground.
SUMMARY: Does Randal really think about that? Based on an off-hand remark he made in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back;" no real spoilers.
NOTE: In the spirit of the movie, this thing is just loaded down with silly in-jokes.
DEDCATED: To TV's Bialy, 'cos she begged real nice. *g*
DISCLAIMER: It's all Kevin, yo. And the various non-Askew movies and such mentioned all belong to their respective creators, whether they want them or not.

"If We Were Gay"

"Do you really think about that?" Dante Hicks asked suddenly.

Randal Graves looked up from his magazine with a blank stare, as well he might, because he hadn't actually spoken for nearly ten minutes.

"What?" he asked. Under normal circumstances, Dante would have paused to savour the moment - for once, it was Randal and not himself who was taken aback - but now he didn't notice it.

"What you said to those guys earlier."

"That narrows it down."

Dante sighed in exasperation. "You said, and I quote: 'If we were gay, that's how I always saw it.' So do you really think about that, or were you just trying to get on my nerves?"

Randal returned to his magazine. "Of course I do."

Dante gaped at him. "But . . . why?"

"Because when two people spend as much time together as we do for as long as we have, it takes a special kind of bond to keep them from killing each other." He turned a page. "Besides, it's in all the movies."

"Jesus. Need I remind you that our lives are real? We are not characters in some hackneyed pretentious buddy movie."

"Art imitates life, my friend."

"You need another job. Working - or not working, as the case may be - in a video store is finally getting to you," Dante told him.

"You asked."

"Unfortunately." Dante resolved not to ask anything more, not to pursue this ridiculous line of conversation any further.

. . . but he couldn't help himself. The curiosity was killing him (which, come to think of it, was why a lot of his conversations with Randal were carried out to their conclusions). "So what do movies have to do with our hypothetical gay selves?"

"Nine times out of ten, a pair of male best friends who have known each other since childhood reek of homoerotic subtext. Consider, for example, 'Kissing a Fool.'"

"I can't believe I let you make me watch that," Dante grumbled. "And what's with the guy who played Jay, anyway? How'd he go from that great lesbian movie to that piece of crap in the space of a year?"

"I don't know what his problem is," Randal replied, "but I do know that he had the kind of chemistry with David Schwimmer that Jennifer Aniston could only dream of. Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about."

Dante pondered this for a moment. "Actually, now that you mention it . . ."

"And how about 'Pearl Harbor'?" Randal continued. The whole reason the romance storyline sucked is because Affleck and what's-his-name were more interested in each other than in Kate Beckinsale. They couldn't sell a love story that didn't exist - oh, now, why are you shaking your head?"

"Because that's a bad example," Dante answered. "Using a movie with Ben Affleck in it as an example of homoerotic subtext is shooting fish in the proverbial barrel. No matter what his own personal sexual proclivities may be, Affleck always comes off as gay onscreen. When was the last time you saw a movie where he didn't look like he'd rather jump the supporting male than the leading lady?"

"'Phantoms,'" Randal said instantly. "Affleck was the bomb in 'Phantoms.' But you do make an excellent point."

"Thank you."

"One question."


"How the hell do you know so much about Ben Affleck's onscreen persona?"

". . . we're getting off-topic here."

Randal gave his friend the escape. "Anyway, my point is that if homoerotic subtext is so often to be found in movies -"

"You cited two movies, Randal, one of which doesn't even count."

Randal ignored him. "- then it must have a basis in real life. Some pairs of best friends - not all, but some - could make the jump to lovers, and I think we're one of them."

"Uh huh. What are you basing this on? A couple has to have sexual chemistry. It's one of the fundamental aspects of a romantic relationship. Unless you did something during those sleepovers we used to have that you've failed to mention to me, there's no way you can produce any evidence that we've got it."


Dante nodded emphatically. "Damn right. All you have is speculation and bad romantic comedies to back you up. So, to recap: In the single most important category - that of sexual chemistry - you, my friend, have got nothing." He knew he was getting a bit redundant, but he couldn't help himself; it was so rare that he came out on top during these bizarre arguments with Randal. There was a long pause, during which he allowed himself a deeply satisfied smile, then -

"What makes you so sure we wouldn't?" Randal asked, flipping a page in his magazine.

"Jesus, would you just let it go already?"

"You brought it up. Besides, maybe I do have nothing, but with no evidence to refer to, so do you. Which means that there's only one way to settle this."

"Oh, and what's that?" Dante barely had time to reflect on the fact that he really, really shouldn't have asked that before Randal stood, put down his magazine, pulled Dante close - one hand behind his neck, the other arm around his waist - and kissed him.

Very, very thoroughly.

Dazed, Dante could only stand there, gradually becoming aware of a sort of tingling starting at his mouth - or was that Randal's mouth? - and spreading down. And down, and down . . .

And then Randal broke the kiss as abruptly as he had started it, but continued to hold Dante, his grip softening a little. Face only a few inches away from Dante's, he spoke.

"By the way, that's not what I said."

". . . what?" Dante asked numbly.

"I said, 'If we were gay, that's how I *would* see it.'" His breath tickled softly against Dante's lips. "Interesting, how you ended up hearing it."

Dante could only blink at him.

Randal let go of Dante and took a step back. He smiled, ever so slightly. "I have to go open the video store."

Dante watched him leave the Quick Stop, beginning to wonder if he really had won after all.

-- Cathryn