The Bully

Everyone knows Josh Dun. Everyone knows that in middle school he beat someone up for no reason. Everyone knows to avoid him. Everyone knows you can't talk to him if you do he'll beat you up. But what happens when the shy boy on the top of the honor roll decides that Josh isn't that bad? And what if Tyler is wrong?


3. Cute Boys and Mocha Lattés

Tyler scanned the busy coffee shop. It was a small room filled with many people.

He’s nøt here, he ditched yøu.

It almost scared Tyler to hear that thought. Blurryface hadn’t said a thing since he’d talked to Josh that morning.

He wouldn’t do that, he told Blurry, then scanned the tiny shop again.

Josh was there, Tyler sighed with relief.

He walked to the corner where Josh was sitting at a small table.

There was already a latte on the table on Tyler’s side.

“Uh, that’s for you Josh said, his cheeks turning pink, “I hope you like it. You might not though.”

Tyler smiled, “Thanks.”

It smelled good, and it smelled familiar, like Christmas cookies and chocolate.

He took a sip.

That's when he realized why it smelled familiar. It was a mocha latte, the kind he always got.


“Yeah? Is it bad?”

“No, dude, this is what I always get!”

Josh looked surprised.

They sat for a second staring at each other.

Josh smiled. “That's sick.”

Tyler started laughing, then after a few seconds, Josh did too.

Tyler smiled at him, then stopped. He looked around the room. Everyone was staring at them. Even that cute boy with blue eyes and curly brown hair that Tyler knew was gay because he'd seen him with his lilac-haired boyfriend.

It wasn't because Tyler was acting super gay. No, it couldn't be that. Tyler knew that everyone there was probably gay too, that's how coffee shops are.

It was because of Josh.

It was because the good, sweet, all A’s, strictly-raised boy was sitting across from Josh Dun, the school’s biggest bully, and laughing. Laughing.

Boys like Tyler weren't supposed to hang out with boys like Josh. That was wrong. And what if Tyler’s parents found out?

Tyler wanted to say something, he wanted to defend Josh. He'd only met him that morning, but he knew Josh wasn't a bully. If the only tried to talk to him, this wouldn't be a problem. But just looking at the room around him, everyone staring at him, made Tyler want to cry. They hadn't even said a word, it was just the stares.

He felt a hand grab his.

He looked up. It was Josh.

“Come on,” he said, “Let's get out of here.”

“But I need to say something they can't just-”

“Not today, Tyler.”

Tyler didn't really know what that supposed to mean, but it sounded meaningful so he nodded and got up.

They left together, not realizing they were still holding hands.


Tyler felt the wind on his back as he looked down the street. Where would they go now? Not the library, they wouldn't be able to talk there. Not his house, that would be weird, probably not Josh’s house either.

He looked down and realized what he was doing. He slid his hand out of Josh’s.

Josh looked at him. Tyler couldn't quite read the look on his face, but he looked kind of confused.

“You wanna go down to the waterfront?” Josh asked, his voice sounding slightly distant.


They walked down the waterfront. As they got closer, it got colder.

They sat down on the dock together.

Tyler looked at Josh. Josh was staring at the water.

It was weird. After they'd held hands Tyler didn't want to stop. He wanted to be able to hug Josh and put his arm around his shoulder and- God, they had just met that morning. What was he thinking?

It seemed like neither of them knew what to say.

“It's really cold down here,” Josh mumbled, probably wishing he hadn't decided to wear a tank top.

“You can wear my sweater,” Tyler offered before he realized how gay it sounded, “I'm wearing a T-shirt underneath it.”

Josh smiled, “Uh, thanks.”

Tyler pulled his sweater off and handed it to Josh, who put it on immediately.

He smiled and his cheeks turned red.

“Yeah,” Tyler said, blushing as well.

The two of them looked into each other's eyes for a second, then Tyler turned away.

Josh looked really cute in that sweater.

They sat like that, staring at the water for probably twenty minutes before Josh said he needed to get home. He left, but not before giving Tyler his sweater back.

He put it back on.

It smelled like Christmas cookies.


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