Joey laughed so hard when he saw the look on Xander's face.
Ketchup wasn't that disgusting, was it? The chicken fried steak was practically swimming in ketchup.
"You, don't like ketchup?" Joey grinned.
"Not that much." Xander went back to his soup.
Joey looked around, trying to figure this out. "What's the matter?" He wanted to know.
"What do you mean?" Xander picked up a crouton from his bare salad and ate it. Joey would never let a salad be so desolute. It needed some 1000 Island dressing on it. Mountains of it.
"Well..I'm honest with you..why can't you be honest with me?" He cut at the steak and forked in a mouthful with... of course, a red fry, too.
"What?" Xander winced as if he didn't hear the question, properly.
"I tell you, everything..everything about B and me..its your turn." Joey stared at him.
Xander sipped his creamed coffee.
"There is ..is not ..a lot to tell." He was straight lipped.
"But..but you know..Gun?" Joey questioned
"Yeah, he..he was good at keeping the bullies away." Xander nodded.
"Bullies?" Now Joey thought that was funny. Maybe not that funny.
"I have always been...well, I guess...the word..gay...fag..whatever..to most people. I mean, when I was little..I didn't even know what the word meant..and I'd get kicked, or hit or..well, even my hair pulled...." He first said. "Stupid, you know." He calmly smiled, as if it wasn't that big of a deal.
Joey cut at the steak a little more. He found the fatty parts which he moved to the side.
"You, really got beat up?" Joey asked. He pictured it in his mind. Why were kids so mean?
"I wouldn't say that." But his voice cracked, and Joey knew then, it wasn't easy for Xander to talk about then.
"So..this friend..Gun..he saved you... a lot?"
"Not..a lot." Xander sipped his coffee as if he'd said enough. "I mean, we..kind of lost touch..you know, different schools. He..he went to a private school."
"But..he's a cook..at a diner?" Joey looked toward the kitchen, but Gun was nowhere in sight.
"I know." Xander cleared his throat. "He..He..just ..you know, went to the right schools and got into a good University..and well, he was engaged."
Joey nodded as if he got it.
"And..and then..I kissed him last summer." Xander said, ever so quietly.
Everything went still. Joey wasn't sure if he heard correctly. But he couldn't look at Xander.