Rating: PG-13, but will probably get up to NC-17
Pairing: X/Con, X/S
Summary: Xander’s parents decide it’s time he started acting a bit more normal.
Timeline: Xander is almost 17.
Notes: I wrote a fic! I'm going to keep writing the same story! Yay! I'm so excited about this fic and for once I actually planned everything out! This fic was inspired by the movie ‘But I’m a Cheerleader!’, If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Also, I’m a review slut and though I do have the chapters planned out, the more reviews the faster the chapters come. Thanks to [Bad username: tabaqui"] for her input, and thanks to the lovely kitty_poker1 for betaing. :D
Please Review, thanks!
Xander hated getting songs stuck in his head. No matter what he did, he always seemed to have a song in his head. Good songs or bad songs, it didn’t matter to his brain. He would much rather have a bad song in his head than one he liked because the worst part about having a good song in your head was that you sang it or hummed it so much that you got sick of it. The day Xander came home with a song in his head, a Tuesday in June, was hardly a remarkable day. No, actually the Tuesday was decidedly unremarkable. What happened on that Tuesday, however, was the beginning of the weirdest summer of Xander’s life.
Xander was just reaching into the fridge for a bottle of Gatorade when his mother called to him, “Honey, can you come in here please?”
So Xander shrugged, took a sip of his icy cold beverage and headed for the living room. He smiled at his mom. “Yes, mother-o-mine?” He nodded at his dad and flopped down on the sofa.
“Xander! Don’t plop down on the furniture like that.” Jessica Harris patted one of the cushions of the matching loveseat nervously. She then decided she didn’t like the look of the cushion near Xander and started to fluff it anxiously. After a moment she smiled in triumph, replaced the cushion, and returned to her spot standing next to the loveseat.
“Uh, Mom? You wanted something?” Xander took another drink of his Gatorade and glanced at his dad, who was glaring ominously at the wall next to Xander’s head.
“Um, yes. We wanted to talk to you about some things we’ve observed lately.” She smiled tightly before clasping her hands in front of her. “Your father and I have noticed some of your behavior and, well, we think it would be best if maybe you got some help with your… problem.”
Xander blinked, “Um, huh? Problem?”
Jessica Harris looked, if possible, even more uncomfortable. “Yes, um, you know...” She paused, blushing slightly. “You know, the fact..." The next part she staged whispered, as if she was embarrassed to have anyone hear, “...that you’re gay.”
Xander’s eyes widened. “Whoa. What?!” He sat his Gatorade on the end-table and scooted forward so that he was on the edge of the couch.
“Honey! We aren’t judging! We know that you’re only 16, and that you’re confused.” She smiled sunnily at him, “It’s okay, we know that you’ve made bad decisions, so we’re going to help you.” She paused and picked up a brochure from the coffee table. “We’re going to send you to this place: ‘Camp Turnaround.’”
Xander blinked slowly. Camp. A Gay Camp. A turn-people-straight camp. He stared dumbly up at his mother.
“Honey, it’s not that we don’t love you. Don’t look at me like that! We just want you to be happy. We want you to have a normal life!” She smiled sympathetically. “I mean really, this type of lifestyle isn’t good. It’s unhealthy and just not Christian. Honey, just--” She pursed her lips, “Just wait and see. It will grow on you.”
Xander stared at his mother in shock. His mouth was literally hanging open but how it got there, he wasn’t really sure. He had been surprised in life before, but now he was shocked, astounded, completely slack-jawed.
After a few moments of his mother’s strained smile and his father’s glower, Xander finally spoke. “What--” He cleared his throat. “What makes you think I’m gay?”
“Well, dear, you’ve been out late all those nights, staying up till all hours. Your clothes are so fashionable; most boys your age wear those baggy pants and huge t-shirts.” Her smile became more strained as she said it.
“Look,” his father decided to join in, “We know you ain’t hangin’ out with your friends cruisin’ or even out with your girl. You ain’t had a girlfriend since you was, what? Six?” His father paused long enough to take a sip of his beer. “Plus you got all them girly friends. Boy your age needs to be playing sports with other boys, not pussyfootin’ around at some dance club with girls, talkin’ about clothes and other gay shit.”
Xander blinked slowly, before finally opening his mouth. “Okay, see, the thing is, I’m not gay!” He stood up abruptly. “I have guy-friends and so what if I like to dress nice? Who says all my friends don’t dress like I do? And I’ve had a girlfriend! There’s a girl at school who I flirt with every day. We’ve even kissed a few times!” Somehow Xander thought he just didn’t sound convincing, and clearly his parents didn’t either.
“Even if that were true, honey, we've never seen you go on a date. You sometimes leave the house with that Willow and her boyfriend, the one with the van, but honey...” His mom paused, leaned against the arm of the loveseat and continued, “You’ve never even asked to borrow the car for a night out with a girl, or to just hang out with friends. Plus you have those posters in your room, the ones with the boys.”
“What?! Those are posters of bands! You think I’m gay because I’ve never borrowed the car and I like pop music?!”
“Look!” His father stood up, “You go to this camp thing for a couple months, they make you…normal, and then you can come home and start back up at school and maybe even try out for the football team. Ya know, do something normal for ayou’re your age.”
“What?! No! I’m not going to some camp because you think I’m gay!” Xander started to leave the room, but his father reached out and grabbed him by his shirt collar.
“Listen boy, you are going to that camp, and you’ll do the programs and nature walks and learn all about how to be normal. Then you can come home.” His father pulled him a little closer, close enough that Xander could smell the beer on his breath. “You’ll go and you’ll pass all their classes, or you won’t come home at all.” His father let him go and Xander headed for the stairs.
“Now go up and pack. You're leavin’ tomorrow. No son of mine is going to be gay.”
Two hours later Xander was unsuccessfully trying to sneak out. He had to find Willow and tell her what was going on. She could let Dawn and Oz know.
He had one foot out of his window when there was a knock on the door. Before he could climb out, or back in, his mother opened it, holding a tray of food. They stared at each other blankly for nearly half a minute before she came in and set the tray down. She walked over to him and, before Xander could react, she pulled him back in. He stood up fully and turned to face her. That was when he noticed how furious she looked. She glared at him harshly, pursing her lips in anger and shock.
Xander blushed under her gaze, hoping he wouldn’t get into too much trouble. Jessica Harris left without saying anything, leaving his bedroom door wide open on her way out. He blinked slowly before sitting dejectedly on his bed. A few minutes later, his mom came marching back up with a hammer and nails.
“What? Mom! You can’t just nail my window shut!” He stood up and blocked her path.
“Alexander, it’s for your own good. I know you don’t want to go to this camp, but it will make you better. Make you normal.” She was half-pleading with him and Xander was suddenly struck with the thought that maybe it wasn’t her idea.
“Mom, I’m not gay! Why are you doing this? And I wasn’t running away or anything, I was just going to go tell Willow what was going on.” Xander put his hands up in a half-defensive, half-defeated gesture and then slumped back down on to his bed.
Jessica laid the hammer and nails on his dresser and sat down next to him on the bed. “Look, If you aren’t gay then this will be a piece of cake. Just go, have fun, make some friends. Everything will be fine, and when you get home you can find some boys to be friends with.” She paused before reaching out and taking one of Xander’s hands. “I know this is hard, but I--we think maybe you should stop being friends with Willow. She’s a nice girl, but maybe being with her so much has made you more susceptible to girl-type things. I don’t know, maybe...maybe she’s what makes you seem gay.”
Xander stared wide-eyed at his mom, “You aren’t serious! First of all, Willow is my best friend and we’ll be friends for a long time. Second, if you really think she is what makes me seem gay, then WHY are you sending me to this camp?! It can’t all be her. I mean, if it was just her you’d make me stop being friends with her, not go to this camp.”
Xander stood up and began pacing as his mother also stood. She sighed. “Look, I know we haven’t caught you with a boy or anything, but it’s not just Willow. There was your friend, Jesse. You were always closer than you should have been, always touching one another. It was so…so…sinful! Boys your age shouldn’t hug or tickle each other! It’s one thing to horseplay or play fight, but sometimes I would catch you two wrestling around and don’t you dare tell me that was normal goofing off! “ She frowned at him, gesturing to make her point. “When he would spend the night I always found you two curled up in your bed or asleep snuggled up together in front of the TV. It’s wrong! Alexander, don’t you see how you’ve been acting? It’s not healthy! You may not think there’s any thing wrong with it, but these people, they’ll help you to realize that!” She sighed and turned defeated towards the wall. “I mean, look! Look at these posters!” She turned and gestured at the wall. “I mean, really Xander?! The Backstreet Boys?! You aren’t a 14 year old girl!”
Xander was so angry he could barely speak. “Get out. Get out of my room! I don’t care what you think; when I come home from this camp, you’ll see that I’m the same as always. You’re wrong! I’m not gay and neither was Jesse and just-! Just get out of my room! Get out of my life!”
Jessica Harris glared angrily at her son before stalking over to the dresser. She grabbed the hammer and nails and strode to Xander’s window. She gave him an angry, purposeful look before pounding the first nail in.
Xander stood in his bedroom, angry, sad and defeated, watching as his mother nailed his window shut because she thought he was a freak. After hammering in four nails she left and Xander fell on top of his bed in a heap, trying not to cry.