Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jess/Jules, Tony/Joe
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Sometimes one good phone-call is worth the horrendous charges.


“I don’t know. I can’t even pull higher than a bloody B in chemistry—why are you asking me?”

“Jess, I’m not asking you. You’re asking me. And I said—‘D’you think it’s something in the water?’ and you said…shite, I’m not going to repeat that. Mum’s entertaining in the parlor.”

“And it was mean of me. I’m sorry, Tony. Really. Didn’t mean to go off on you like that. I’m just…I don’t know what to do. Jules and I are flying home in exactly nine days and I’ve no idea what to tell anybody.”

“…you could just pretend everything’s normal.”

“Yeah, but that’s lying. And what did I say?”

“No, it’s not. It’s—it’s gentle omission of the truth.”


“Something my prof says, yeah? And I think it makes a lot of sense sometimes. I mean, yeah, lying to your parents isn’t good and I’m proud of you for having the bollocks to stop—don’t kill me, you know what I mean—but there’s lying and then there’s making sure your Dad doesn’t have a heart attack your first day back. Anyway, you never really told them about Joe.”

“Oh. Oh, no. I have to tell him, don’t I?”

“Jesminder, I’d like to say no, but as the man who nearly shoved him into a locker on your behalf, I can’t. And as the man who’s been stuffing him with curries for the past two months, I say you better do it before someone else does and messes up things. Like the last time with Jules.”

“Jules didn’t tell him last time—what are you talking about? She caught us and…curry. Tony? Curry?”

*long pause*

Tony. Why are you feeding him curry?”

“Look, Jess, just because I fancy men doesn’t mean I can’t turn it off when I have to. I know—I mean, I thought I knew. Joe was your bloke, so he was like my brother. He came around asking about you, since you stopped calling him and I take it Jules sort of avoided that, too? Which wasn’t very nice of you two, because everything else aside he was your coach and he cared a lot about the both of you even before everything got—”


“Jess. Right. Uh, curry. Sorry. So he and I got to talking, mostly in bars because my mother keeps giving him the evil eye even though he’s never been anything but polite to her, and he asked what that wrapper-thing you’d been wearing was and I told him it was a sari, and then he asked me to help him out a bit. Teach him about our ways, you know?”


“And he’s really, really missed you. He wanted it to work. He actually sat down and ate until he could figure out which curry had what in it, and by then he had tears streaming down his face. I was begging him to stop, or to have another beer anyway, but he really—”

“Tony, this isn’t making me feel any better about talking to him.”

“Oh, sorry, Jess. I just meant that he was really trying. But I think after the scene I made in his locker room, he’s got an idea of what’s coming. And he’s taking it really well. He’s a nice bloke. He’s still going to be your friend afterward.”

“…Tony, I can’t remember what I was actually going to ask you, but I don’t think that’s important anymore.” *deep breath* “You thought he was cute, didn’t you?”

“Jess, like I said, I would never, ever poach—”

“I know you wouldn’t. You’re my best friend. You never would, no matter how you—he--”

*long pause*


“Hey. So…this…this gay thing. Is it hard? Are girls that like girls…different? I mean--”

“I’m a man. You remember, right? And yes, I’m *whispers* gay, but gay like I like men. You’ve got more of a clue about girls than I do. Hang on, Mum’s distracted. I’m going to sneak into the yard.” *sound of door shutting* “Jesminder, are you sure about Jules?”

“Of course I’m sure! She and I might have fought over Joe, but we got over that. She’s my friend. Like you, only…only she’s got breasts and can play footie. But I’d trust my life to her.”

“Um. Actually, I meant are you sure it’s her and you both liking girls and not just some kind of experimentation phase you’re going through.”

“…oh. Yeah. Yeah, I’m…sure. I mean, she had her boyfriend and she’s not a—they—right. And I…um…sort of had Joe. I…it’s different with her. I didn’t know where I was going with Joe, but I do with Jules. *pause* At least, I think I do. When I go off by myself and try to think it over, it turns into such a mess and oh, this is going to be bad.”

“Hey. Hey. I’ll be there. And Jules will, too—oh, crap. *deep breath* Never mind. I don’t like hitting girls, but Jess? If she messes with you, I’ll—”

“—threaten to toss her into a locker?”


“Tony? You really are my friend, yeah?”


“So same goes. I’m…I’m going to ring up Joe soon as I get home and settled, and meet him in the park for a talk. I mean I’m breaking up with him, or whatever you do when you tell the guy you almost were going to date that that’s not going to happen anymore. And I know Pinky told me this dumb rule about exes of friends being off-limits, but I think that’s stupid and if you—”

“Whoa. Slow down. For one thing, I’m pretty sure Joe’s straight.”

“So am I. But still, you and he are friends, yeah? And I bet you had fun feeding him curry.”


“So I don’t want you two to stop just because of me. Or Jules. Or…oh, crap, I’ve really got to work hard at my studying, don’t I? The coach here tells me I’ve got a shot at pro, but I don’t know and I should have something just in case that blows out and Mum and Dad throw me out.”

“They won’t.”

“But we don’t know that. I…just don’t know much anymore, so I’m trying not to pretend like I do. Good thing you got that scholarship and the internship on your own.”

“Jess, I’m not going after your ex-almost-boyfriend. And you’re not going to worry. You’re going to give your parents a little time, maybe drop a hint or two to see how they react, and then we’ll see about summer break.”

“And you’re going to drag Joe to a pub after I talk to him and make sure he’s all right for me, right? Because I don’t care how nice he is; still can’t be easy to hear you’re losing to…well, a girl.”



“…all right, all right. But you and I are going to sit down ourselves and have a long chat. This long-distance calling just makes it too easy to get things mixed up.”

“Deal. Oh, damn, I’ve got to go. English final in ten minutes. Bye, Tony.”

“Bye, Jess.” *hangs up* “Fuck.”

*hang up* “Shit.”