Mousetrap

by Geron Kees

© 2018 Geron Kees All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction and depicts sexual activities between minors. All characters and situations are imaginary. No real people were harmed in the creation of this presentation. Please observe the laws of your jurisdiction with regards to reading this material.

If you are not 18, you shouldn't be reading this at all. Go find a boyfriend and talk stuff over with him.

Sometimes a quick one is better than not having one at all.

The day had started so well, too. How had it turned to crap so damn fast?

"Anybody seen Mouse?" Doug McCoy asked, coming up on a knot of people he knew, standing outside the cafeteria doors, talking. Lunch period had just started, but no one there seemed in a hurry to make use of it for eating. They turned to look at him, with the more sensitive ones picking up on his frown and the serious look in his eyes, and frowning over that themselves.

Mike Klingensmith, not known for his empathy with his fellow human beings, immediately smirked and shook his head. "It wasn't my turn to watch him. Hope he didn't get stepped on in the hallway, or something."

Doug nodded patiently. "Funny. If you guys see him, tell him I'm looking for him, okay?"

Again, Mike displayed his innate obtuseness. "Aw. Did you guys have a fight?"

Jennifer Picato, standing next to him, immediately swatted him with her elbow. "Shut up, stupid."

Mike blinked in surprise. "What? I was just asking."

Jenny turned back to Doug. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I just...I just need to find Mouse."

He turned to go, and was not terribly surprised when Jenny fell into step with him as he headed off down the hallway. "Anything I can do to help?"

"Not really. I'm just walking around, looking." He knew that Jenny was less judgmental than a lot of the friends he had grown up with, some of whom had not reacted well to learning that Doug was gay. Doug had grown a thick skin in the last year, since he had outed himself at school by falling for Mouse Kincaid. Mickey Kincaid, that was.

Jenny prodded him gently. "You should ignore Mike. He's just thick as a brick. He means well."

Doug frowned. "I've heard the same kind of stuff from others. I'm used to it."

Jenny looked surprised, and took his arm and drew him up. "What's that mean? No one has it out for you, Doug. You or Mouse."

He nodded. "That's why they say stupid crap about us, like what Mike just said, and get all quiet when Mouse and I come around."

Jenny gave his arm a little slap. "That's your fault, Doug. It's because you act hostile towards people these days."

Doug stared at her. "I do?"

"Yes, you do. Ever since you and Mouse got together, you've been holding everybody at arm's length."

Doug stared at her. "That's because...well, I thought..."

She shook her head. "You thought wrong. If you feel it's an issue because you and Mouse are boyfriends, it's only because you made it an issue. Nobody else has much of a problem with it." She smiled. "People like you and Mouse. More than you think, it seems."

Doug scratched his head, for the first time wondering if how he had been seeing things might not be the way they really were. But --

"I don't have time for this now, Jen. Just let me go and look for Mouse."

She shook her head, and linked her arm with his. "I'm going with you."

Doug didn't really want company, but understood that Jenny really was just trying to be a good friend. He sighed, admitting defeat. "Okay, you can look in the classrooms with me, if you want."

"You think he'd be in a classroom?"

"Yeah. Sometimes Mouse will sit in one of the open classrooms at lunch and read. He said this morning that he still had to get chapter nineteen read for Mr. Costantino's sixth period."

Jenny laughed. "That was supposed to be homework. He should have read it last night, like the rest of us."

Doug couldn't help smiling. "You know Mouse. Supernatural was on last night. That outweighed any history assignment there ever was."

Jenny nodded, was silent a moment. "So...did you guys have a fight?"

A pained expression crossed Doug's face. "Yeah. Over something stupid, too." He looked over at the girl, could see the sympathy in her eyes, and sighed. "Mouse has been after me to tell my folks about...about him and me. I've been telling him to lay off, that I'd do it in my own time. But he kept bringing it up again."

Jenny looked surprised. "Your parents don't know about...uh --" she stopped, unsure how to say it.

"No. Mouse's parents know he's gay, but mine don't know that I am. I just haven't...I don't know how to tell them."

"Sometimes just saying something right out is the best way."

Doug laughed, a little sadly. "I haven't been able to work up my nerve. I mean, my mom will probably be okay with it, but I don't know about my dad." He shrugged. "It may mess up my whole life to tell them. I just can't quite deal with that."

"Oh. And Mouse thinks you should tell them, anyway?"

"Yeah. He said I was making excuses, and I said he didn't understand that my folks were different than his." Doug looked over at the girl, unable to hide his unhappiness. "I told Mouse to stop pestering me, and he said I was a chickenshit."

Jenny winced. "You got mad over that?"

"Uh huh. I said...I said that what did a midget like him know, anyway? And that his folks didn't care if he was gay because no one could see him, anyway."

Jenny smiled, and Doug was sure she wanted to laugh. But she didn't. "That's it?"

"It's enough, isn't it? You know Mouse is sensitive about his size. He's a half a foot shorter than every other junior in the school. He plays it off with everybody when they kid him, but I was the one guy he never expected to hear it from." Doug looked at the floor. "Man, I can't believe I said that."

Jenny's sympathy returned, and she put a hand on his arm. "I'm sure he knew you didn't mean it."

"You didn't see his face," Doug countered. "He looked amazed, and then he looked...hurt. I hurt his feelings, I know. He just walked off and left me standing there."

"And now you can't find him."

"And now I can't find him," Doug agreed.

They continued down the hallway, pausing at each open classroom door to look inside. Some rooms had teachers in them, eating lunch at their desks. Some also contained students, also eating, or reading, or just talking quietly. Most looked up at them as they peeked in, but some didn't bother. The games students played with each other were old news to them.

"He wouldn't ditch the rest of the day, would he?" Jenny finally asked, as they reached the end of the central hallway. "Leave the grounds?"

Doug paused at that. Mouse's mom was home all day, so he couldn't go back there without facing the inquisition. But he could walk around, or maybe go into town and see a movie or something, or...no. No, it didn't feel right. Mouse might consider many things school-related to have a lower priority than other things in his life he liked, but he wasn't the type to ditch school for no good reason.

Unless...unless this was a good reason. To get away from Doug.

"I've got to find him," he whispered, looking about.

Most of the doors were closed in the side halls. A couple of the classrooms were unused, and with others, the teachers went off grounds for lunch. With the change in school policy, extending lunch period from thirty minutes to forty-five, a lot of things had relaxed around the place. Students were encouraged to 'take a break', and classrooms in the main hallway where teachers ate-in were left open so that students could use them to eat, or study, or read at their own pace. The cafeteria did not appeal to everyone, for various reasons, and some people had come to avoid the place completely.

But Mouse was not in any of the rooms they had looked in.

"Shall we check the other side of the hall?" Jenny asked.

Doug nodded, and they started off.

The first room they came to was old Mr. Doxon's class. The white-haired teacher looked to be peacefully drowsing at his desk, while a small gaggle of students talked quietly at one of the tables. They all looked up as Doug and Jenny stuck their heads in. Mouse was not among them.

Doug gave Jenny a gentle nudge, and went back out into the hall.

They heard a sound behind them, and turned to see a boy and a girl emerge from the room they had just looked into.

"What's up, Dougie?" It was Glen Stacy, and his girlfriend, Diane Compton. The pair of them had been cheerful, if a little distant, since Doug's coming out, but he still counted them as friends.

"Oh, nothing. Just looking for Mouse. Have you seen him?"

Glen shook his head. "No. He's usually with you."

"He's always with you," Diane corrected, smiling, "You lose him, by accident?"

Doug grimaced. "Sort of."

Jenny put a hand on Doug's arm and squeezed it. "They had a disagreement," she told Diane. "And now we can't find Mouse."

Diane's eyes widened. She looked over at Glen, and immediately put an arm around his and drew him closer. "You guy's had a fight? Can we help?"

Glen looked at Diane, and then smiled at Doug. "We weren't doing anything but talking. We can help you look."

Doug grimaced. "Well, I don't really need --"

But Jenny dug an elbow into his side, causing him to start. "Arm's length," she muttered, out of the side of her mouth.

Doug closed his eyes and rubbed a temple, but nodded. "Yeah. You can help us look, sure."

Diane nodded. "You guys are doing the main hall? Glen and I can check the side halls."

"Most of the rooms there are locked."

"Some are open," Diane countered, "and Glen can check the bathrooms."

Doug nodded. "Okay, sure." He smiled, though it took some effort. "Thanks."

The other two smiled back, and headed off up one of the side halls.

"That wasn't so hard, was it?" Jenny asked, taking him by the hand and leading him towards the next classroom.

"No." Doug replied. He glanced over at her. "Have I really been acting like a jerk to people?"

"I wouldn't say a jerk, no. But you have been acting like you're daring people to say something. That makes people nervous around you."

"Nervous? Why?"

Jenny laughed. "Are you serious? Dougie, you're a big guy. Most people aren't interested in provoking you."

Doug stared at her. "I'm big? Really?"

She beamed at him, and gently hugged his arm. "Yes, you are. And it's just like you not to consider that." She looked up at him. "You and Mouse are quite a pair. He's the smallest junior in the school, and you're one of the biggest."

Doug was aware of the difference in size between himself and Mouse. That Mouse was so small, but so energetic and forceful, was one of the things that had first attracted him to the other boy. Doug did not consider Mouse's size to be an issue at all. It fit his personality, which surely was only in part a result of his stature. Mouse would be just as sweet, just as smart and witty, if he was a foot taller than he was.

And just as cute.

Doug closed his eyes. "I really messed up, Jen. Help me find him, okay?"

She nodded. "Okay. But relax some, will you? Your serious side is your own worst enemy, Dougie. Mouse isn't going to hate you over this. He loves you."

Doug stopped dead, and stared at the girl. She stared back at him, her eyes slowly widening. "You know that, don't you?"

Well...Mouse had told Doug that he loved him. And Doug had told Mouse that he loved him back. But --

"I don't think I understood what that meant," he confessed.

Jenny looked surprised. "You love Mickey, don't you?"

Doug nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, I do." The surprise he felt at that admission shocked him. As many times as he had told Mouse that he loved him, could it be possible that only now he was realizing what those words meant? Doug could not imagine his life without Mouse in it, right alongside him.

Jenny nodded. "I know you do, even if you don't. I can tell by the way you two act together that you love each other." She laughed. "God, Dougie, sometimes I think emotions are wasted on guys. You can be so thick sometimes."

Doug grinned at that. "I guess. So, are you going to help me look, or are you going to talk?"

She took him by the arm again and they started off. "Some of both, I think," she said softly.

They reached the other end of the main hall, without spotting Mouse. They arrived at the stairwell, and Jenny pointed at it. "Let's go downstairs. He might be in a shop, or in the gym."

They descended to the lower level, and walked down that hallway, checking the double doors of the shops. Most were locked. The few that weren't only contained students working through lunch on various projects, or simply the dead air of a vacant room.

But when they pulled open the door to the horticulture lab, they found a group of students standing in a circle while Mr. Sprecher spread something around on the dirt within a large pot containing a small evergreen tree.

"Soil pH is an important factor," the man was saying. "Too base or too acidic, and your plants will not grow well. And some plants prefer a more acidic soil, while others lean in the other direction."

One of the students, Jeff Paslor, looked up and saw them duck in and then duck out again, and followed them out of the room. "Hey, guys. What's up?"

Doug had grown up with Jeff, and had always liked the guy. But Jeff had been one of the ones acting distant towards him since Doug had come out, and ---

Maybe it wasn't him, a small voice said, in the back of his mind. Maybe it was you.

Doug smiled. "Hey, Jeff. You haven't seen Mouse, have you?"

"Not since homeroom. Why? Is he lost?"

Jenny squeezed Doug's arm again. "Mouse and Dougie had some words, and now we can't find Mouse."

Jeff looked surprised. He stared at Doug. "You guys are beefing? I don't believe it."

Doug felt a helplessness course through him at that. "I can't find him."

Jeff came forward. "I'll help you look. Shit, Dougie, the school's only so big. He's got to be here somewhere."

Doug opened his mouth to say that it wasn't necessary for Jeff to come with him, but closed it again when Jenny squeezed his arm.

The three of them continued down the hallway, looking in each shop, but did not find Mouse in any of them. Two more people came out into the hallway with them, though, and soon were joined in the search.

They all met at the doors to the gym. Doug looked up at the clock on the wall outside, and saw that lunch period was halfway over.

Where could Mouse be?

They went into the gym, and found a small contingent from the school basketball team shooting hoops, while a few other students lounged in the bleachers.

The captain of the basketball team, Hazy Mitchell, was standing on the sidelines, calling encouragement to some of his guys as they scrambled around the court, trying to foil each other's shots. He turned as the small group approached, and stared, his eyes checking faces for people he knew.

"What's this? Looks like a mob."

Jeff laughed at that. "Hey, Haze, what's up? We're just looking for the House Mouse. You seen him?"

Hazy grinned ear-to-ear, and held up a hand to mid-chest level. "Little guy, bright eyes, quick as a rabbit?"

Doug had to smile at that. "That's him. You seen him?"

Hazy shook his head. "Nah, he hasn't been down here. Not during lunch, anyhow." He looked curious then. "Why? What'd he do?"

Jenny shook her head. "He didn't do anything. We're just trying to find him."

Hazy leaned back and examined them critically. "Takes all y'all to find one guy? Come on."

"He and I had an...argument," Doug said then. "It was my fault. I just want to say I'm sorry."

"Lover's quarrel," said one of the basketballers, standing close enough to hear. His tone was nasty, anything but supportive. He smirked at Doug, who immediately knotted his fists in reaction.

Hazy turned on his heel so quickly that the other boy flinched. "Someone talking to you, motherfucker? Take that ball and go and throw it at the net before someone makes you eat it, you hear?"

The other boy looked shocked, but quickly held up his hands in supplication, and sauntered away.

Hazy turned back to face them. "Nothin' I hate worse than a no-manners motherfucker, buttin' into other people's conversations." He smiled at Doug. "I like your guy friend, man. He's in my math class, and he's helped me a coupla times with that shit." He looked back and forth among the faces. "Where y'all looked so far?"

Doug reeled off the places they had searched up to that point..

"Not outside?" Hazy asked. "I can go and look there real quick. I can jog around the whole building in two minutes." He grinned. "Done that a lot of times!"

Doug didn't know what to say. He just smiled at the other's willingness to help, and nodded. "Thanks."

"Hey. Your boy looked out for me. I sure as hell am gonna look back some." He nodded, and started off for the double doors that led to the fields outside.

Doug and Jeff checked the locker room, while Jenny and the others looked in the three classrooms that were part of the gym wing.

Still no Mouse.

They left the gym, and Doug again glanced at the clock. "Fifth period starts in fifteen minutes. Mouse and I don't have any more classes together today. If I don't find him soon, I'll have to wait until after school."

Jenny patted his arm. "We'll find him."

They ran into Glen and Diane at the stairwell. Three more people were with them: Mark Nitcher and his girlfriend, Kaley, and Moira Kirkland, who Doug had known since third grade.

"We ran into them while we were looking," Glen explained, grinning. "They wanted to help."

Doug looked around, at the by now large group of people involved in the hunt, and couldn't quite believe it. Jenny saw his expression, and smiled. "Didn't know anyone cared, did you?"

"No." Doug looked at her, feeling a variety of different emotions mixing it up behind his brow. "I'm really sorry I didn't."

The girl sighed. "Welcome home, Dougie."

He nodded, and clamped his jaws together.

They went back upstairs to the main floor, where two other people, recruited by Glen and Diane, met them.

"We looked in the theater and the music room," Bob Harmon announced. "Me and Dale didn't see him."

Doug shook his head. He and Mouse suspected that Bob and Dale were more than just best friends, but had never voiced that opinion to anyone. The two other boys had kept their distance from Doug and his boyfriend, perhaps on the theory that guilt by association was just as damning as factual evidence. Even in a day and age where being gay wasn't the stigma it had once been, one had to be a little careful in the rural schools, where such things were still viewed unfavorably by many.

"Thanks for helping, guys," Doug said.

The two boys looked at each other, and then smiled at Doug.

The clock in the hallway showed five minutes now until the bell would ring, ending lunch. Three minutes later, the bell would ring to start fifth period. It was obvious now that Doug was not going to find Mouse before that time.

He looked at Jenny and sighed. "Thanks for walking with me, Jen. I feel better that we tried, anyway."

She nodded. "I think he must have left the building, Dougie. With all these people, we would have found him if he was here." She looked over Doug's shoulder then, and motioned for him to turn around.

Hazy arrived then, breathing just a little faster than normal. "He's not outside, man. I went all the way round the school. Looked in the parking lot, too. Unless he's hiding under a car or something."

Doug shook his head. "I don't see him doing that. We think he left the building now." He sighed. "Thanks."

Hazy winced. "I'm sorry, man. Wish I could do more."

Doug nodded, looking around at the circle of people around him. "I appreciate all of you helping to look. But...fifth period will be starting soon. I guess...I guess we're done. Thanks, guys."

He turned and walked along the bank of lockers, and Jenny fell into step with him. "What are you going to do now?"

Doug shrugged. "Get my stuff for the afternoon, and go to classes. I'll have to go by Mouse's house after school and see if I can talk to him."

He stopped before his locker and looked around the hall. Amazingly, the entire group of people were still with them, busy talking to each other, speculating over where Mouse could have gotten to. Doug shook his head, and turned to his locker...and froze.

Jenny saw his look. "What's the matter?"

Doug pointed at his locker. "My lock is gone."

"Are you sure you locked it last time you were here?"

He looked over at her. "Of course I'm sure." Still, he patted his pockets. "I don't have it. What the hell?"

Jenny frowned. "Anyone else have the combination?"

"No. Just me...and Mouse."

Just then there was a small thunk, and the locker door opened about six inches. Doug stepped back, astounded to see Mouse inside, grinning at him, one hand held up, flipping him the bird. "Fuck you, Dougie, if you think you're gonna piss me off --"

He broke off, becoming aware of the crowd of faces staring at him. "What's all this?"

Doug grabbed the handle of the locker and pulled the door open all the way. "You were in my locker all this time?"

Mouse seemed unable not to grin. "Duh. Since the lunch bell. I figured you'd be back for your books for afternoon classes. Where better to wait for you?"

Jenny laughed. "How about outside the locker, where you could be seen?"

"That wouldn't be any fun," Mouse returned stepping out, and staring around at all the faces. "What's going on here?'

"We were looking for you," Glen called then. "Dougie was worried that you got kidnapped by aliens."

Mouse laughed at that, his eyes shining at Doug. "Worried they'd probe me or something?"

Doug felt his face redden, but leaned closer. "That's my job," he whispered.

Mouse grinned a moment, but then sobered. "I'm sorry."

Doug shook his head. "I'm sorry, Mouse. I never should have said what I said."

They stared at each other a moment, aware of all the people watching.

"We ain't looking," Hazy said, grinning. He waved a hand around at the group. "Look away, y'all." Then he raised a hand and covered his eyes, and immediately parted his fingers and allowed one eyeball to peer through at them. "Okay, we cool."

Doug smiled. Suddenly, it didn't matter who was there with them. He stepped forward and took Mouse into his arms, closed his eyes, and hugged him.

The crowd around them started talking and laughing, but it was all good, like the way a crowd reacted after the baby had been rescued from the well. Doug felt a glow of satisfaction, squeezing Mouse in his arms.

"We need some privacy," Mouse whispered, finally stepping back. He smiled, and flipped a thumb at the open locker. "Join me?"

Doug laughed. "There is no way I could get into that little locker, and definitely no way we both could get into it."

Mouse shrugged. "Okay. It'll just have to be my house, after school."

"I can do that."

The bell rang then, and the doors to the cafeteria banged open and a flood of students came out. No one seemed to realize that the small crowd already in the hallway were there for any other purpose but to prepare for the next class.

Mike Klingensmith and his crowd ambled by, and Mike waved. "See you found him." He patted Jenny on the shoulder. "They kiss and make up yet? Damn, I always miss the good stuff."

Thwack!

"Ouch! Dammit, Jenny, that hurt!"

"Well, good! Think about it as a sample of what's to come. You keep saying stupid stuff to people, someone will eventually hit you a lot harder!"

"But I was only kidding!"

Jenny puffed up like a cobra, but her eyes held something far more amiable than anger. "Listen to me, Michael Klingensmith --!"

Doug grinned then, suddenly realizing that Jenny and Mike liked each other. Funny, how he had never noticed that before.

He turned back to Mouse, reached past him, and grabbed his afternoon books. "Coming?"

"Yep." Mouse bent low, grabbed up his own books from the bottom of the locker, then retrieved Doug's lock from where it hung on the coat hook inside. "Here you go. Lock her up."

Doug closed the locker door, pushed the lock through the hasp, and clicked it shut.

They waved at the little crowd of searchers, who were now watching Jenny and Mike going at it, and grinning at every delicious word of it.

"I didn't know those two had the hots for each other," Mouse said, as they started up the hallway. "I like Jenny. I hope she knows what she's getting into with Mike."

Doug laughed, and put an arm around Mouse's shoulders, and gave him a fond squeeze. "Somehow, I'm sure she knows exactly what she's doing."

Mouse grinned up at him. "Did you miss me?"

"Are you kidding? I was going nuts looking for you."

Mouse squeezed his hand, and grinned mischievously. "That's nice to hear." But then he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. "Damn."

Doug stopped also, and turned to look at him. "What's the matter?"

"I forgot to read chapter nineteen for sixth period."

Doug laughed, and turned to look back the way they had come. Jenny and Mike were still at it, the crowd about them still rapt. "You could go back to my locker and hide until the end of the day."

Mouse looked back, and then sighed. "Nah. Once in the trap was enough. I'll just fess up to Mr. Costantino and take it like a man."

Like a man.

Doug made a decision, right at that moment. "Come with me to my house after school, instead?"

Mouse looked uncertain. "We have to be careful at your place. Your mom will be there."

"I know. I want you with me when I tell her. About us."

Mouse's eyes grew large. "Honestly?"

"Yes. Honestly. I think my mom can help us, for later, when we tell my dad."

Mouse squeezed his eyes shut and hugged Doug to him. "I sure love you."

Doug nodded, squeezing his boyfriend back. "I sure love you, too, Mouse. And now...finally...I know exactly what that means."

Voting

This story is part of the 2017/2018 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Locker". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 3 to 24 February 2018 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2017 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Locker

Please tell the author what you thought of Mousetrap

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If there were further stories about this I'd read them
It grabbed my attention early on
I had to know what happened
I identified with at least one of the cast
Gritty - it had an edge to it
Realistic - it could have happened that way
I found it hard to follow
Good characterisation
I feel better for having read it
It was romantic
It was erotic
Too much explicit sex
It had the right amount of sex, if there was any
Not enough explicit sex
I have read and enjoyed other work by this author


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