Kip sat in a window seat of the train staring out at the pulsing wave of the cables outside as they hopped from one pole to the next, their regular rhythm reflecting his own contented state of mind. Just a small change of focus and he was able to see the reflection of the slim built, blond haired thirteen year old boy that sat in his seat, ghosted in the double pane that separated him from the summer mellowed green countryside rushing past outside. He never thought of himself as good looking, but this summer in Spain he had learnt to like what he saw a little more. Paul had liked it; Paul had told him time and time again how beautiful he was as they had played out their passion in the stifling heat of Kip's hotel room, his first room all to himself on holiday. He had laughed the first time Paul had said it, but eventually had realised that it wasn't mere flattery. It was how Paul found him, and Kip had started to acknowledge some of the truth of it.
Since Paul, Kip had started to feel a confidence in himself as a boy who liked other boys. He no longer felt guilty as he thought of other boys, of the cocks he found so attractive, of their body shapes, of their maleness. It was okay to feel that way, okay because it was okay to be happy in yourself when you were sharing that happiness with another boy. Kip hadn't loved Paul, perhaps he would not have known it if he had, but he had enjoyed those two weeks and he felt good about it. Now as the train clattered through the Cotswold hills, toward the new term at school, his first in the senior school, the term when he would be fourteen, he looked forward to seeing his closest friend David again, of relating the experiences of the holiday and of being able play their private games in the real privacy of the double room they were to share. The last two terms at junior school they had been touching each other, exploring their newly developing sexual needs and desires, but Paul had opened Kip's eyes to a whole new world of pleasure and novelty that Kip longed to try with David. Most of all though, he longed to experience the sexual contact without the daily guilt and remorse that previously had followed even his own private masturbation.
The train slowed for the small village station that marked the end of Kip's journey from Paddington. He stood up, hoping that the erection that seemed to be a permanent feature of train travel for him nowadays was not too visible as he reached to pull down his heavy case from the rack overhead. He struggled up the corridor and waited by the door as the train came to a halt. A final jolt forward, and Kip pressed the large illuminated button that forced a reluctant sound of exhalation from the carriage door. It slid open allowing him to step down to the platform. To his delight, he saw David waiting on the platform.
Everyone at school called David 'Rocky'. His surname was Stone, but he had been given the name within weeks of starting in the junior school when he was nine, and the name had stuck.
"Hi Kip! Good to see you again. Came to give you a hand with the bag."
Kip was grateful. He wasn't especially large or strong and the mile walk to the school from the station would have been a long and tedious series changing hands and resting. David though was strong and played enough rugby to keep himself that way. The two had been friends more or less since the day they had started together in junior school. David had been very homesick in those early days and Kip had always had the right distraction or sympathetic ear to ease the pain. For his part, Kip had felt small and slightly threatened in the ordered and occasionally harsh world of an English prep. school, but his friendship with David had enabled him to gain confidence and feel comfortable amongst the other boys.
The two boys walked back to the school and to Welstead house, David carrying the bag most of the way and bringing Kip up to date with his hour or so's experience of being in the senior school, of the house, of their friends' news and of their room, which David assured Kip was definitely the best there was for fourth formers and probably one of the best of any of them, having the benefit of its own wash stand and two large windows as well as an enormous cast iron radiator that apparently kept the room so hot that you had to have the windows open even in the middle of winter, or so he had been reliably informed by Lewis, one of the boys who had been in there the previous year. Arriving at the room, David put the bag down and the two boys gave each other a quick hug, a hug that Kip now found a bit distant and remote.
"Good to have you back." David grinned at Kip.
"Yeah, and don't the long trousers look great!" Kip laughed.
The move into long trousers from the shorts of junior school was a small but welcome compensation for the prospect of once again being juniors at the bottom of the pile with another four years of slog to make it back to the top rank.
"Come on - leave your bag, let's go."
The two set of to find their friends of last year and to familiarise themselves with their new environment.
The evening passed very quickly, and the two boys had had to rush to make it back in time to be changed into pyjamas and washed, ready for bed by nine thirty. They had just both settled into bed when one of the house prefects knocked on the door and came in.
"Hi, everything alright in here? Found your way around okay?"
The voice was pleasant and the two boys nodded.
"Well, I'm Fisher and I'm on fourth form duty this week, so it'll be me getting you up in the morning and making sure you're down at night. Make sure you are in your own room after nine thirty or that you get permission from me not to be. Lights out and all quiet by ten thirty. Okay?"
"Yes Fisher, thank you," the boys responded in unison.
Both were still in awe of the privilege that seemed to be enjoyed by prefects in the senior school. They had seen their house master at supper but other than that, the whole house seemed to be run by them. As Fisher left, he switched off the main light in the room leaving the boys to read and chat by the cosy light of their bedside lamps.
Under the cover of his quilt, Kip gently handled his cock and balls as he read his book, and in no time he was hard. He looked over at David who was reading his own book.
"I had a great time in Spain."
David put his book down, climbed out of his own bed and came and sat at the end of Kip's, tucking his knees up to his chest and leaning back against the wall.
"You're a lucky sod. I got to spend most of the holiday at my Grandma's house because she was supposed to be dying - except she didn't, well, not yet anyway." David giggled. He actually liked his grandmother, but four weeks of the summer holiday in the remotes of Cumbria with just her and his parents had not been his idea of a great holiday.
"I had a room all to myself this time." Kip continued full of enthusiasm and shifting round on the bed to be closer to David.
"I met this boy there from London called Paul and spent most of the holiday messing about with him."
Kip waited for David to pick up on the innuendo, but he seemed a bit slow tonight.
"Anyway him and me did some sex things together, only he's done much more than you and me and showed me some other stuff."
Kip could feel his erection throbbing in anticipation below the duvet. David was looking at the wall in front of him. Kip continued
"I thought after lights out we could try some things," he grinned at David mischievously.
David stood up from Kip's bed and walked back to his own climbing under the duvet. He looked at Kip.
"I don't think we should do stuff like that anymore Kip. That was for juniors, but I don't think we should do it here."
Kip was surprised at David's lack of enthusiasm, but attributing it to worries about their new surroundings continued;
"But it'll be even better here. The prefects always knock before they come in."
Kip struggled to raise the stakes.
"Paul sucked my cock. It's really great. I'll do yours if you like."
Kip looked at David, but there was no trace of a smile or excitement on his face, on the contrary, Kip felt that he was being regarded with distaste.
"That's homo stuff Kip. You shouldn't do that. Not now we're seniors."
Kip was put out and disappointed, but he was not about to give up on either the hope of at least a shared wank, nor on the new freedom to enjoy it that Paul had shown him.
"Don't be like that, Rocky. It was only ten weeks ago that you and me..." Kip suddenly began to feel slightly vulnerable but continued, "well, you know. You used to like it too."
He tried smiling at David, but David remained unresponsive.
"So you don't want to do things together any more?" The disappointment in Kip's voice was now obvious.
"No, I don't." David wouldn't look at Kip as he said it.
"Don't you like it?"
"It's homo Kip. We're not kids anymore. Long trousers, remember? Leave it. I don't want to talk about it any more," and he picked up his book and holding it front of his face began reading again.
Kip lay back on his bed and raised his knees under the duvet shielding himself from David's line of vision. He was hurting inside, already starting to feel the new found confidence that the holiday in Spain had brought him slipping away. He knew that David was right. It was homo, but he didn't mind that. He liked being homo and David was his best friend.
"Do you mind if I'm homo then?" he asked without attempting to look at David.
There was no answer. Kip waited, feeling himself close to tears. He raised his voice.
"Well, do you? Do you mind if I'm homo if I'm not with you?"
"I don't want to share a room with a poof."
David's reply cut through Kip like a blunt knife. He felt tears on his cheeks, and struggled to hold back from sobbing and so betraying his hurt. The room was silent, David apparently engrossed in his book and Kip, his eyes closed tight trying to remember Paul and think what he would have said.
There was a knock at the door. Fisher came in.
"Time for lights out" he said.
He looked at Kip and saw a face that had obviously been crying.
"Okay?" he asked quietly.
He presumed that Kip was homesick, still common enough even with fourth form boys and didn't want to make a big thing of it and risk embarrassing Kip. Kip looked at him and nodded then reached over and switched his light off.
"Night, Fisher." David called a little too loudly as he turned off his own lamp and Fisher left, closing the door.
In the quiet dark, David could hear the strained and irregular breathing of Kip. Kip's whispered voice was more a plea than a question:
"Are you still friends Stone?"
David knew the seriousness of the question as Kip had used his surname, but he said nothing.
The next morning, there was an uncomfortable silence between the two boys as they washed and dressed with the modesty of strangers before setting off to breakfast. Kip was relieved when David waited at the door for him to walk down to breakfast with. On the way they were joined by an older boy who seemed to know David.
"Hi Stone" he looked Kip up and down "is this your room mate?"
"Yeah. Kip. This is Lewis, he was in our room last year."
Kip smiled uneasily, never very confident with new company, and feeling particularly unsure of himself in the light of his current impasse with David.
David and Lewis, Kip did not know if that was his surname or his first name, fell quickly to talking about rugby and Kip found himself on his own queuing at the kitchen hatch with his tray to collect his cereal, coffee and orange juice for breakfast. Kip was used to the security of the junior environment where every boy had his allotted place and looked around the room uncertainly for a fourth form table with both space and familiar faces. Seeing the Wilson twins sat on their own at a table he headed to join them. Philip and Paul Wilson had not been in the same house as Kip in junior school, but they knew each other well enough from class. The pair had a reputation for being very close to each other and had few friends. David had always kept clear of them but Kip had always liked them and had never found them anything but amiable.
"Hi Kip!" the twins spoke together but slightly out of synch giving the effect of an echo.
"How's your room?"
Kip responded with little enthusiasm.
"It's got a sink and apparently it's warm in the winter."
"Ours is crap. It's really tiny, right up in the attic." Paul spoke and Philip nodded agreement, his mouth full of cereal. "... and it's supposed to be freezing in winter" Philip continued as he finished his own mouthful and Paul began one. Kip smiled apologetically at the pair, amused at the way it always seemed as though you were talking to one person, even though there were two of them.
"Never mind. You can always come down to ours to warm up." Kip smiled his invitation, but suddenly wondered to himself if "ours" was going to be a very pleasant place to be.
"Where's Stone?" Paul asked. Kip looked around uneasily.
"I don't know. Off talking rugby with some fifth former he's met." There was an edge to Kip's voice as he finished his cereal and drank the orange juice. He got up to go, leaving the coffee which was too hot to finish quickly.
"Got to get on," he said by way of goodbye to the twins who looked at each other, jointly aware of Kip's discomfort.
Kip felt small and ridiculous as he stood in the main hall trying to remember the way back to his room and was relieved to see the familiar face of Fisher.
"Right at the top of the landing there!" Fisher pointed up the stairs with a gentle smile.
Kip took the stairs two at a time anxious for the security of the of his own possessions and closing the door of his room behind him lay down on his bed.
"Fuck Stone" he mumbled aloud to himself, "Fuck him."
He was angry and hurt but even as he muttered under his breath, his principal emotion was fear. He was, for the first time since his early days in school, aware of how much he depended on David who had always involved him in his friendships even though the two, on the face of it, had little in common, and even when David was not with Kip, he was always there in the background, a safety net, like having a big brother who would make sure that he was alright.
The morning in class passed quickly enough although Kip sometimes found it hard to concentrate as his worries about David and himself kept returning to his thoughts. He and David had sat within easy speaking distance of each other in the house dining room at lunchtime but David had done little more than acknowledge Kip's presence and Kip had busied himself in casual conversation with a new boy. Lunch over, Kip considered returning to his room again, but was interrupted in his thoughts by Steven Matthews, a boy he knew well as they had been in the same dorm the previous term in junior school. The apparently random selection process of the senior school's admission process had left them in different houses now, but Kip was pleased to see him.
Steven slapped him on the back, obviously pleased to see him as well. He leant up close to him and whispered in his ear.
"Do you want to go to the bogs?"
In Spain, Kip had promised himself that he wouldn't go off to the bogs with other boys anymore. He wanted more than just a quick wank and cum now, and, since Paul, and he had fondly imagined himself and David as an item. Now though, he was unhappy and not having had an opportunity to see to himself the previous night, was also in need of sexual relief. He nodded assent and followed Steven at a discreet distance to the main school toilets, a long glass roofed building lined with cubicles on one side and large individual Victorian urinals each separated by a large white divider on the other. The room was empty and the door clunked closed behind them with a loud echo. Steven walked to the end cubicle and, after a double check that the room was empty, Kip followed.
Steven was already sat on the toilet seat and as Kip stood facing him, he reached for the buckle of Kip's belt and undid it, then unclipped the grey flannel trousers and pushed them and the regulation white briefs down to his ankles. The routine was well practised and as Kip rested his hands on Steven's shoulders, Steven began to rub Kip's cock. Kip felt dirty again, dirty and guilty, but he closed his eyes as Steven fondled his balls and Kip felt his orgasm approach. He deftly turned to one side as Steven continued to wank his cock and grunted as his semen erupted from the tip, spattering against the cubicle divider. He smiled at Steven and reaching down, pulled up his underpants and trousers, refastening the belt. The boys swapped places and Kip lowered Steven's trousers revealing his impressively large cock poking out from a small but dense mass of dark pubic hair. Kip grasped it in his hand and began to move his fist up and down it, stroking around the base of it with his other hand. Kip wondered about taking it in his mouth, as Paul had shown him, pushing his tongue under the foreskin and feeling the contradiction of softness and hardness on his tongue and the roof of his mouth, but he didn't. He didn't even like Steven in a sexual way particularly. His hair was a light brown colour and Kip liked black hair, he was fat, and Kip like thinner boys, and he smelled a bit like didn't wash enough. Steven twisted around and panting added his gelatinous contribution to the trail that Kip had left on the divider. Steven grinned gratefully at Kip who pulled off a few sheets from the roll of hard paper that hung on the wall, and wiped the evidence of their lust from the divider dropping the paper into the toilet bowl and flushing as Steven adjusted his trousers and left the cubicle. Kip pushed the cubicle door closed again, sliding the bolt across and listened to the hollow sound of Steven's footsteps followed by the clunk of the door as he left. Kip sat down again on the toilet and felt hot in his eyes. He hated this, hated the brevity, hated the detachment. Steven and he had not even exchanged a word, let alone a kiss, it was just sex and Kip had had enough of it, but every time it drew him back like an addiction. Pulling his pants and trousers down again around his ankles, his sat down on the warm seat to use it for its intended purpose and studied the pattern in the fake marble floor as it flexed and shifted in the lens of his tears.
Two days later Kip got out of bed and headed for the showers on the floor below. David seemed to have taken to getting up and dressing whilst Kip was out of the room each morning. Kip wondered if he thought that he was going to make unwelcome advances, but he didn't care anymore. The two boys had been very unpleasant to each other the previous evening, both in their own way trying to justify this failure in their friendship. David had become almost evangelical in his determination to save Kip from the dire predictions that his elder brother had assured him were the inevitable consequences of being a homo. Kip had just sat and listened to him, feeling like he was being punched, eventually telling him that he couldn't give a fuck about his brother, that he just wanted to be left alone and that he wished he had never been friends with him. Angry, he had stormed out of the room and spent the rest of the evening, with permission, doing prep. in the Wilson boys' room.
The showers were quiet in the morning, occasionally a senior boy might come in, but often they were empty, most boys choosing to shower or bath in the evening when the house was warmer. Kip took off his pyjamas, leaving them hanging from one of the numerous hooks rowed above the wired cages that held the rugby boots and the smooth wooden bench that boys sat on to change. He left his neat bundle of clothes on the bench. The shower floors were tiled with strange ridged tiles to prevent slipping, and Kip enjoyed the sensation of them under his bare feet as he paced up and down waiting for the water to warm up enough to go into the shower proper. Kip was so deep in his thoughts and his own unhappiness that he didn't notice Fisher come in and was startled when he spoke to him.
Kip's face flushed slightly as he stood naked in front of Fisher who was still in his pyjamas.
"Still waiting for them to get warm?" Fisher smiled and pulled his buttoned top off over his head.
"It is Pip isn't it? - I get mixed up with so many new faces and names."
Kip smiled. There was something very disarming and safe about Fisher's face and his voice that made Kip feel happy when he spoke to him. He grinned at him.
"It's Kip with a K actually," he responded, a little embarrassed to be correcting a prefect.
"Kip. That's right, you share with David Stone don't you?"
Kip looked down at the floor, partly a reaction to the mention of David's name, partly to avert his gaze from Fisher who was now hanging up his pyjama bottoms.
"Do you get on okay with him?" Fisher asked with a little more interest that mere casual conversation.
Kip reached his hand under the shower and finding it warm stepped into the falling water. Fisher joined him, standing below the next shower head.
"We used to be best friends in Juniors." Kip said, letting the water flow over him and trying hard not to look directly at Fisher.
"Used to be?"
Kip didn't answer, but felt the hurt of the last three days welling up inside him. Fisher looked down at him and saw a small boy utterly miserable.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Kip shook his head only out of some repressive instinct to hide his emotions, but the "Mmmm" that he murmured through the sound of the falling water had an affirmative plea to it that Fisher recognised. Fisher left the shower and dried himself off as Kip continued to wash himself. Having put on his uniform he sat on the bench and waited for Kip to come out. He threw Kip his towel.
"So?" he glanced at Kip but looked away quickly allowing Kip the privacy to dry himself and get his underpants on.
"He doesn't like me anymore." Kip felt an almost immediate sense of relief. This was the first time he had admitted even to himself that he and David were no longer friends.
"Any particular reason?"
Kip stood in front of Fisher barefoot and fumbling through clouded vision with the buttons of his white shirt and fought hard against the sobs that caused his chest to spasm, but unsuccessfully. He sat down on the bench and wept. Fisher moved next to him and put his arm around him rocking him gently from side to side.
"Look, you don't have to tell me what's wrong, but you do have to tell me if you're being bullied. Do you understand?"
He looked at Kip who nodded feeling in his pocket for a handkerchief. Fisher pulled a clean one from his own pocket and passed it to the Kip who blew his nose hard into it trying to blow away the tears.
"Do you understand what I'm saying?" Fisher was insistent, squeezing Kip to him tightly.
"Yes." Kip's response was clear, and he blew his nose loudly again, starting to feel better. "Thanks Fisher."
Fisher shook him gently, "So what do you do if you're being bullied?" he asked in a mock matronly manner with a smile on his face.
Kip giggled. "Tell you" he replied as Fisher took his arm from around him and scruffed up his damp hair.
"That's right. Come on, or we're going to be late for breakfast.
Kip was feeling much happier as he went towards the maths block for first period. Fisher had done nothing but let him know that there was someone Kip could unburden himself to if he wanted to and for the moment that made a huge difference. 4W, the form room he was heading for was what they called his "home form" in senior school. The one where he had his own desk and where his fourth year group met for informal exams, tutorials and various other events that Kip had yet to find out about. This morning though, it was just because it was maths for first and second periods with Mr Kendrick, "Head of Maths" as he had introduced himself in their first maths class the day before. It was one of the few classes that he shared with David, who for most subjects was not in the same sets as Kip. Kip did not relish the thought of seeing him, but was less concerned since his talk with Fisher.
He could hear the loud but controlled chatter of boys waiting for Mr Kendrick to arrive as he walked up the corridor to the glass panelled door, and the lull as he opened the door. He guessed Mr Kendrick must be very close behind him as the chatter did not immediately start up again. Kip walked down the second row to his own desk and sat in his chair. Looking up, there was no sign of Mr Kendrick, and Kip felt a hint of uneasiness at the unusual quiet in the class.
He opened his desk and discovered the reason as various sniggers around the class rang in his reddening ears. A large piece of paper was pinned on the inside of his desk with the word HOMO in capital letters written in the thick red of a whiteboard marker. Underneath in smaller lettering the words Kip and Paul were spelt out with a crudely drawn heart and arrow between them and below that a picture of an erect penis and balls with splashes on top, familiar to every schoolboy. Kip slowly took out his maths text book and lowered the desk lid, conscious of many of the boys looking at him, now silent. He looked across to David's place, knowing that this could only have come from him. Knowing that he had told the whole class about him and Paul. Kip could not understand how anyone, most of all David could want to hurt him. David just grinned at him stupidly but as he saw Kip's expression his face reddened and he looked down at his desk. Kip winced as he bit on the flesh inside his bottom lip. He tasted the blood in his mouth, but he would not give anyone the satisfaction of seeing him cry.
Kip did not go back to his room at the end of class in the afternoon. Instead he went to his home form for a book and went to the main school toilets, locking himself in the end cubicle alone. He felt wretched and struggled to see through his clouded eyes. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out the handkerchief Fisher had given him that morning and wiped his eyes and nose and recalled Fisher's remarks about bullying. He heard various coming and goings, but no one seemed to be looking for him and nobody bothered him in the cubicle. He thought about how different it was here from the junior school he had left where every hour of the day was managed and accounted for and there was seldom the chance to be somewhere on your own for even a few minutes. For the first time in years, he wanted more than anything to go home and be back with his Mum and Dad, but thinking of the shame of them ever finding out why just sent him into lower depths and he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
A gentle tap at the door woke him, followed by a scrabbling in the cubicle next door to his. A pair of hands appeared on top of the divider followed by Fisher's head.
"Oh fuck! Kip open the door."
Kip looked up at him and reached to the bolt sliding it back. Fisher jumped down and came round pushing the door open. Kip stayed still.
"Oh fuck Kip."
Fisher squatted down beside him, concerned and worried that he might be physically hurt.
"You silly bugger. What are you doing in here?"
Kip lost control instantly sobbing his heart out he told Fisher about the incident in the maths class, and how no one had bullied him but what David had done had hurt him more than thumping ever could have.
"That is bullying Kip."
Fisher was angry, angry not just with David to whom he taken an immediate dislike since his first cocky "goodnight" as Kip had been lying in his bed crying on that first night, but angry that it had taken him so long to notice that Kip had not been around and so long to find him.
"That is bullying. Making you feel bad is bullying. People don't have to hit you to make it bullying. Come on, stand up and let's have a look at you."
Kip stood up feeling pathetic and willingly submitting to Fisher's instruction. Fisher reached into his pocket and finding no handkerchief in it remembered giving to Kip that morning. Kip was holding it in one of the hands that hung loosely at his sides. Fisher took it and wiped Kip' s eyes and nose. Fisher had felt very proud to have been given the responsibility of fourth form prefect for the first week of term, a duty their house master had discussed with him at length. Fisher wondered now if he was up to the task as he felt his own emotions stirring up inside him.
"Come on mate. We can get through this okay, and I have got some good news..."
He paused waiting for a reaction from Kip but there was none beyond a long sniff and his attention.
"You're not sharing a room any more."
Kip looked at him confused.
"Where are they putting me?" he asked fearful of how far the talk of him and Paul had spread.
"Nobody's putting you anywhere. Stone asked for a transfer this lunchtime and he's moving to Blenkin House so he can share with..." Fisher paused, he'd forgotten the name "... somebody Chapell?"
Kip looked at him and Fisher was relieved to see a smile return to his face
"You mean Mark Chapell?"
"That's the one, Mark Chapell. Anyways, he's been granted the transfer so he gone."
Kip stared at Fisher, full of admiration for the prefect who had managed to cheer him up twice in a day.
"Of course you might have to finish up sharing with someone else eventually, but for the moment at least you get a room of your own."
Kip beamed with the smile that had so infatuated Paul in Spain.
"Don't thank me." Fisher laughed, delighted to have broken in through Kip's sadness "Thank Stone!"
Kip grinned, "Thanks Stone," he said, and as he and Fisher wandered back to Welstead together he felt a twinge of regret that he had lost such a friend.
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