Notes and disclaimers: all characters property of large corporate entities, not me. No profit garnered ever here. Thanks to Fox for beta.



CHAKA KHAN AND PRINCE




Bevin's a lesbian. She tells him that except after she says that, Bevin tells Skillz that no label can define her. She's queer, when you come right down to it. She's every woman and every man. She's Chaka Khan and Prince.

Skillz can respect Bevin's talk. She's her own person, woman, man, whatever she picks and always has been, always will be. She's getting out of town because all of the person she will be cannot fit in Tree Hill. Skillz thinks that makes sense.

But he does not appreciate the part where she's leaving him. That part just plain sucks.

He does not explain the Bevin as Chaka Khan and Prince to Fergie or Mouth. No way.

Skillz is a college man. He meets fine looking ladies every single day and none of them have decided no label can hold them. Of course, none of them are trying to Notebook him. None of them have that weird thing under all the blonde and smiling that made Bevin so very Bevin. So he's taking a dating break until he stops trying to look underneath to find another Bevin. He's been ruined. But Skillz bounces back. He is expert at the rebound.

Skillz could leave Tree Hill like everybody else does. But they always come back and he figures he can just skip that step. Mouth says, "I think people are the same everywhere you go. Big city, little city, all the same."

Skillz says, "Which size city you think Rachel is in?"

"Shut up. But that makes my point. Rachel would run away from a big city or Tree Hill or someplace smaller. She's the same wherever she goes." Mouth stops smiling. "Just like you and me, too."

"We're great wherever we go," Skillz says. "You and me. Not Fergie."

Fergie says he isn't leaving Tree Hill because he doesn't trust anyone else. He reads too much on the internet. He's always got stories, if Mouth or Skillz let him talk, about evil suburban moms getting kids to kill themselves on MySpace. Gardasil will kill you. Never go to South Texas or West Texas or East Texas. And on and on. This is why Mouth and Skillz keep him as a mostly silent partner.

"Snopes dot com," Skillz says. "Thanks to you, I have to check that site every damn day."

"I speak truth," Fergie says. "People are crazy, Skillz."

People are crazy everywhere. Look at Dan Scott for he surely is insane. And you can't even say that Tree Hill doesn't have mean killing crazy because again, look at Dan Scott.

It'll sneak up on Skillz when he isn't looking and he'll remember that Dan Scott shot his brother Keith and everyone thought it was Jimmy. Skillz thought it was Jimmy. And he's glad that Mouth got them all to go to the funeral. But even Mouth thought he killed Keith so what did any of them know of the guy. Maybe nobody knows anybody and they're all crazy.

"You look down, like, depressed, not cool," Brooke says.

"You can't even see me. Right? You didn't get some sci-fi phone up in New York? Can phones do that yet? Cause I want one. That'd be cool."

"Ha, I don't have a phone like that. It would be totally cool. I bet Tom Cruise has one."

Skillz says, "I bet Will Smith has one."

"Totally. And he's much cuter than Tom Cruise, frankly. But I can hear it in your voice," Brooke says. "You're bummed. Is this about Bevin?"

"Nah, it's nothing," Skillz says. "Let me get Mouth for you."

Brooke sends him an email the next day about how she heard from Bevin and how fucking weird is that, really, that Bevin of all people is being all progressive. Brooke uses the word progressive and fucking, which Skillz finds intriguing. Because he is not focusing on how he really hopes Bevin did not tell Brooke that he turned her queer. It was totally not his fault. Bevin said that to him. "No one's fault, gawd," Bevin said. Her exact words. "It's a very gradual realization. You probably delayed it. Cause you're great," she said. Good work, Skillz, he thought.

Even Haley's heard. But Haley's Haley, so there's no worries that she would think less of Bevin or, more importantly, of Skillz. Haley puts the little one in his lap. "Call it baby therapy," she says. "He makes everyone feel better."

"Call it mama wants some time off," Skillz says. But Jamie is pretty cute. He doesn't care about labels or defying them. He just wants food and drink and people to take care of him and someone to change his diapers. Skillz has no intention of doing the last until the child in question is one of his own.

Jamie's already started walking and normally, he'd be showing that off. But today he sits in Skillz's lap and falls asleep against his chest.

"Please, tell me he's asleep," Haley says. "I have to write this paper."

"He's asleep," Skillz says and gently hands the little guy over.

She puts him to bed and comes back. "Okay, now we can talk like adults."

"I'm fine," Skillz says. "Baby therapy did its work. Hey, girl, it wasn't my fault Bevin split. It turns out, no one man or town was enough for her. I came close, but what can you do?"

"What can you do?" Haley says, smiling.

Skillz heals himself. Some people don't work with labels and they live their life all wide open. Skillz doesn't need labels or definition because he knows who he is, which is probably how Bevin looks at it, now that he's thinking about it. He's learned his lesson about dating women who are way more deep than they let on. Or maybe not, because Bevin was unforgettable. Maybe he wouldn't change anything.

But he wouldn't wish on it people he cared about, the whole crazy mindfuck. "Don't date girls named Bevin," he tells Jamie.


The end.


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