Shelf Life

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by templemarker

Notes: Oh, geez. Tell me you see Affleck and Damon in a movie and not slash them. Hell, if I were into RPS (which I am not! [ETA: oh, what little I knew in 2001.]) I’d slash them. But I’ll be satisfied with GWH. For now.

This story was brilliantly remixed by Nifra Idil in Remix/Redux III: Reloaded; read Shelf Life (The Go West Young Man Two Step).


When he punches the shit outta some guy he knows from kindergarten, he ain’t doing it to get in good with his parole officer.

Will likes the feel of his curled fist hitting solid flesh and bone, and the way the skin smashes to form a bruise. How the guy will maybe spit out some blood makes a thrill rush through his body like some high he can never get rid of. It’s real, in a way shit never is for Will Hunting – no matter how hard he tries to bullshit otherwise.

Real, Will figures, is mopping up floors for a bunch of yuppies who don’t even see him as he walks by. Real is the demo job Chuckie hooks him up with. Real is Chuckie and Morgan and Billy and drinking till last call then stumbling home afterwards. Real is going home with Chuckie and pounding into him hard and messy and fast, so that when he sees Chuckie’s swagger in the morning Will knows it ain’t because he’s trying to look cool.

All this mathematical bullshit, all this parole crap and counseling is just shit thrown at him to make him try and be something he’s not. ‘Cause what is he? A smart-mouthed Southie with a hard fucking life that ain’t easy but it’s *his* so why the fuck is this asshole trying to screw with him?

Because of all the fucking unreality he goes out drinking till whenever and wakes up plastered to Chuckie’s back. Chuckie’s mom thinks they’re “sleeping over” like they used to do when they were ten, right before they figured out what tits were and right after they discovered that each other’s hands were a much better substitute than their own.

His mind disappears in the sex, and he pretends the sledgehammer is going through any one of a million fuckers’ heads. He loses himself in the thrill of kicking some idiot’s ass, and all because he can’t stop fucking thinking–

–not squares. Everybody and their fucking dog’s tried squares. The CN can get down to 9 with side 3/5, but he knows there’s something better. Hexagons’ll tessellate, but what size? The longest diagonal can’t be more than one, but if it’s too small there’s gonna be too many colors so maybe each side could be one-half; but the angle is 120, which means sin 30 is 1/2, times 2, sin 120, and then you flip it with 2 radical 3 over 3. Fuck, that’s greater than one. No good. So the diagonal’s 1, but what about the goddamned hexagons? Pentagons don’t tessellate, but he could mix ’em with triangles–

–which is another fucking math problem that asshole Lambeau gave him. A fucking math problem he can’t get out of his mind, even when Chuckie’s jacking him off in that perfect way that only comes with time and a helluva lotta practice. Because even if he got the best blowjob of his life he’d still be wondering if diamonds would fit better into the pattern than those frigging hexagons.

Then he’s falling for Schulyer and figuring out the problems and talking with Sean twice a fucking week, and he still finds time to drink till he passes out with his boy. Occasionally he’ll wander over to see what Chuckie’s doing, and they’ll get in a quick jack before work and maybe a fuck after, because Chuckie’s his best friend ever and no chick could fuck that up.

Course, then everything goes to shit and all he wants to do is sit in a corner and drink till he’s unconscious, maybe after going a round with the wall.

In the end it’s Chuckie, like it always is, who makes Will change his fucking life. Even as he’s packing his shit into his — his! — crappy car, he’s thinking about Chuckie and how he’s gonna get him to come out to California. He’s thinking about Schulyer and getting a job and Chuckie, all in a really big effort not to think about how this whole thing’s got him scared shitless. He shoves the last of five boxes of books into the trunk, slams down the lid, and putts over to Sean’s house.

Leaves a note.

Gets on the interstate and doesn’t look back.

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