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Finding Our Common Denominator

A/N: Coming out, math pick-up lines, all good in the hood. In the original, this was two separate chapters, but has been merged into one here. You’ll find lyrics from Justin Bieber’s “Common Denominator” and, to a lesser extent (as I removed a lot of the original ones), “Bigger”

Finding Our Common Denominator
A part of “Those Awkward Moments” by Greg Martin

With a sigh, I leaned back in my chair, and put my hand to my head in a show of pure and utter frustration. He was cute, but goddamn it, why couldn’t he get math?

“I’m sorry Ryan…”

“God, it’s okay, it’s just… I get this and it’s hard for me to explain better.”

He turned to me and grinned. “Then let’s forget about this and solve our own little equation. I’m one half, and you’re one half, and we take off enough clothing until we’re equal…”

I chuckled, and gave him a slight slap to the back of his head. “What a little perv.”

“And then together, we’ll find our own little common denominator.”

“Like the ones you’re supposed to be finding on that worksheet?”

He glared at me, and turned back to the sheet. I ruffled his hair and got up from my seat. “Imma make some snacks. See if you can’t get x to equal y while I do that. If you do, maybe we’ll be able to make your y meet my x.”

As I exited the room, I heard an excited yelp as fingers pounded against the keys of his calculator.


“See? I knew you’d be able to get it.”

It was two hours later, and we had finally made it through the worksheet, and I was proud to say that I only did one problem on it… he did the rest. With a little help, but it was better than he wanted – where I did all the work, and then he got the yummy-after-fun.

“Yeah. Now if you had given me more than a tiny fraction of your love, we would have finished this long ago…”

“Yeah, and you wouldn’t have learned a thing. It would be my a, and when it came to testing, you’d be getting the square root of an f.”

He was silent for a moment before, “The square root of a fuck? I rather like that idea. Let’s go do it.” And then jumped up and started heading for the dinning room door.

His escape was thwarted, however, by my mother appearing in the doorway. “Oh, hi Brandon dear, staying for dinner?”

He looked back to me, and I shrugged. “Whatcha having?”

“Probably just hamburgers, easy and quick. And Ryan, is Justin still coming over?”

“FUCK!” Both my mother and boyfriend turned to me, questioning faces. “I totally forgot about that. Shit…”

Justin was an old friend. We went to middle school together, and then he went to the other high school. We still hung out occasionally, but I hadn’t talked to him in awhile. He had called a few nights back, asking if he could sleep over… and well, that was apparently today. My room was a pit and so was the basement.

The doorbell rang.

“I take that as a yes?” my mom said, cocking her head towards the front entrance.

As I jogged to open the door for Justin, I tried to plan a way to clean up my room in time. Oh, and there was, of course, also the whole problem of me not talking to him since before Valentine’s Day either. And my Valentine’s present sitting in the other room.



“Hey Justin,” I said, opening up the door and seeing his face.

He grinned, showing off his pearly whites. I guess you could say that I used to have a crush on him, but that was ages ago, back when we hung out a lot and were best buds. “What’s up, Ry?”

I shrugged, muttering something along the lines of “Not much,” and ushered him in, closing the door behind us.

I skirted past the dining room door, heading straight towards the kitchen – away from my little Brandon. I hadn’t quite figured out how to introduce them. I was in need of a bit more thinking time.

This was graced to me by my mother, who upon seeing Justin, gave something near a squeal and practically jumped him.

“Justin, oh dear, I’m stealing you for a bit.” And giving me a look, she steered my friend into the dining room.

Taking my cue, I headed to the stairs – to my room. In there, I found little Brandon, doing his best to wade through my mess.

“Thanks Bran,” I said, making my way towards the heap of clothing.

He smiled up at me, arms full of God-knows-what. This is what boyfriends are for, right? Helping to clean up rooms?

“How do you want to introduce me?” It was a valid question. Sure, my mom knew who he was and why we liked to have my door closed. But Justin? I wasn’t really sure what I could expect. My mom had been totally cool with it, and my sister was more intrested in seeing us make-out than anything… but Justin?

I shrugged. “What do you think?”

“Since you’ve never even mentioned him to me…”

“True enough.” In between trips to the laundry room (In retrospect, I have to wonder how I had anything left to wear!) I explained my past with Justin. Friends in middle school, went separate ways, still Facebook and text every now and then, try and hang out once or twice a month, etc.

“Tell secrets?”

“In the past, yeah.”

He grinned. “I could just kiss you in front of him~” he said, with a bit of a sing-song raising his voice.

A knock. I froze; Brandon froze too.

“Can I come in?” It was Justin’s voice.


He opened the door, and stiffled a laugh, seeing my room. “Forget I was coming?” I nodded, letting a guilty smile cross my face. “It’s okay, dude. You’ve seen my room in worse shape.” He scanned the room for a second, eyes landing on Brandon. “Hi, I’m Justin.”

There was a moment of silence, as Brandon and I mentally chicken-fought as to who would be the one to introduce him. He won. “I’m Brandon.” Another second of silence. “A friend from school. Ryan’s tutoring me in math.”


Justin nodded. “He’s pretty good at that stuff, ain’t he?” A quick nod confirmed him. “He used to help me out a ton.”

“And they’re dating!” I coughed at my sister’s voice, coming from behind Justin. “Ask ‘em to make out! They really get into it!” Her voice was fading by the end – she obviously knew to get away, and fast.

I moved my view from behind him, to Justin’s face. He was waiting for us to make eye contact, and just rose his eyebrow.


“Well, not on the playground anymore, are we?” I nodded, just slightly, and Justin laughed. “Dude, it’s okay. If you wanna get it on with dudes, I really don’t care.”

It was still awkward; I didn’t want to say anything. I hadn’t quite wanted to come out like *that*…

“Dude can’t take our hugs and our kisses from us!” God, leave it to Brandon to jump on the bed and declare the insane.

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