In private. Great. You could practically see the discomfort radiating from Diego's face. He wasn't afraid of a beat up, he hadn't done anything to deserve that and Angelo wasn't a beat up kind of guy anyway. But a talk down was just as bad and nasty, and if this was that Diego was not looking forward to it.
Diego muttered, putting his hands in his pockets now. He could feel people were still looking, of course they were since the student council fucking president was talking to a grumpy lone wolf. They were probably going to assume Diego had done something wrong. Which he had, but the thought of them just automatically assuming that kind of annoyed Diego.
"This way," Angelo said, gesturing down the hall to an empty classroom. On any given hour, there were plenty of empty rooms, and Angelo's perfect memory let him keep track of more or less all of them. Did he feel bad for effectively cornering Diego? No, no he sure as hell did not, but he would at least wait until they'd closed the door behind him before he said anything, rounding on Diego with a very serious expression.
"You're probably going to say 'that's not your business', and you know what? It kind of isn't. But just because I'm not dating Gabe anymore doesn't mean he isn't my friend. So I have one simple question for you: Is the fact that Gabe's gay going to be an issue for you?"
Because Gabe was definitely gay. And they were supposed to be living together. Did Gabe know that Diego was like this? Had it come up? He couldn't imagine that it had. He couldn't even imagine the conversation.
Reluctantly Diego followed after Angelo, floating so he was just a bit taller than Angelo. That kind of calmed him, kind of. But when they entered the classroom Diego went and sat on the teacher's desk, crossing his legs and fidgeting with his shoelaces. But when Angelo turned around to face him with a serious expression Diego stopped and his body and face went rigid. What was Angelo going to say?
Out of all the things Diego had thought Angelo would say this one hadn't even crossed his mind. His expression turned from baffled to confused to panicked and finally to a mix of all of those plus angry. He floated up from the desk and looked at Angelo with a frown and when he spoke his tone was frantic but clearly angry.
"The fuck are you even saying? Gabe is my best friend and I've know him since diapers, who even cares what gender he likes. It has never been an issue and never will be. If I have a problem with someone being gay it m-"
And again Diego stopped himself from speaking any further, going as far as to put a hand in front of his mouth, and he looked away with his expression still angry but panicked taking over slowly. What was even this situation? Diego's mind was in chaos, his expectations had been thrown out the window and he had trouble grasping the situation.
"Was that everything you wanted to ask? Or do you want to insult my friendship with Gabe some more?"
Angelo's brain was working overtime. If I had a problem with someone being gay... it... what?
With him? With - with who even?
If anything, Angelo found the anger easier to deal with rather than the nerves. Angry let you argue back. Nerves made you wonder if you were going too hard. Angelo never wanted to go too hard, but he also didn't like where any of it was going. That Diego might be... might be what, super homophobic while literally sharing a room with Angelo's gay ex?
It didn't quite shake out, but there were also a million racists with that one friend who was one of the good ones. Was that what this was? That Gabe was different?
Gabe might have been, but Angelo sure as hell wasn't.
"Is that what this is?" Angelo said after a moment's hesitation. "It's not about him being gay, it's about me?"
Technically speaking he wasn't even gay, but he wasn't going to split hairs on that. It wasn't like any homophobe in history had ever been like 'Oh, you're bisexual? Well, never mind, that's just fine'.
If I have a problem someone being gay it's myself.
There was no way in hell Diego would've ever willingly said that to anyone. Not Gabe, not Gabe's mom, and definitely never Angelo. That was an issue Diego had been dealing with for such a long time and had never shared with anyone and he wasn't about to start now. And Diego bet Angelo wasn't even a bit interested in knowing what kind of damage Diego had, but he sure as hell wasn't going to let Angelo think Diego had problems with Gabe's sexuality. That couldn't have been farther from the truth. And Diego kept looking at Angelo with an angry frown and a bit of a panicked look in his eyes.
What was this guy even saying anymore?
"What is about you being gay? Why should anything be about you being gay, or Gabe? Why are we talking about gays?! I thought you were going to lecture me about taking paint from the art class!"
Diego was getting real confused, and his words weren't making much sense anymore. But he wasn't going to mention his slip yesterday, if Angelo wanted it out there he better voice it himself.
The paint? Wha? It actually took Angelo a second to rewind, to remember what the hell they were talking about. Paint, right. They'd taken paint out of the classroom, hadn't they? Angelo had more or less completely disregarded it. There were like a million and one reasons to grab something like that, and even if he didn't have a good one, Angelo was absolutely not the kind of tight ass who was going to get someone in trouble over a two dollar can of paint.
"What?" Angelo said, looking more incredulous than angry. "No. I don't care about the paint. Do you really think I was pulling you in here to... what, lecture you about stealing paint?" God, was that what he thought? "You know who my dad is, do you really think I'd care?"
Angelo didn't talk much about his dad's history anymore. He had when he'd first arrived, before it had been relevant, but with his dad on the island Angelo would never do something that would so actively sabotage him. But with Diego? There was no fucking way he didn't know who Basilio Genovese was. No way he didn't know his reputation.
"No," Angelo corrected, his disbelief giving away. "This is about you saying it was so gay, like we're back in the early 2000s and everyone's saying gay-like-stupid."
"I know who your dad is but you're the student council president, how am I supposed to know what makes you tick? I barely know you!"
Talking of dads in this situation really wasn't making Diego feel any better, rather it made him even more tense and he crossed his arms defensively across his chest. So the only thing Angelo had wanted to talk about was Diego saying that art was gay? Or, well, nearly saying it. But still, Angelo had held onto that? Because he thought Diego, what, was some kind of gay hater?
Aaaaand there it was, he brought it up. Diego groaned to himself, just hearing Angelo say that was painful, in cringy and humiliating way.
"And so what if I said a stupid thing like that? Did it make you think me saying that automatically means I hate all gays? Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence."
Diego muttered, now looking down at his crossed arms. The one and only gay here who Diego hated was himself, and no one else. He wasn't going to stoop down to his dad's level, not as long as he could help it.
"Let's just settle with the fact that I'm stupid and a brat, not homophobic. I bet you thought that about me even before yesterday, now you got your proof."
Angelo rolled his eyes, largely oblivious to Diego's line of thought. He hadn't caught the myself. He'd gotten kind of lost on what he might have been saying. A name? My friend? Who the hell even know.
"More like most people with a gay best friend would be more careful not to say things like that," Angelo pointed out. How long had he known Gabe was gay? Had it been a surprise? Or had he just known for a long, long time?
It was the last bit that really dissolved Angelo's anger. Instead, it was just replaced with confusion, and boy, did his face show it.
"What?" He said, squinting at Diego. "Why would I think you were stupid?"
It probably would've shocked Angelo to know, that Diego really hadn't known that Gabe liked guys. If he had known that Diego probably would've been able to gather up the courage to confess years ago. That's why when Gabe started to date Angelo it had been a huge shock. Well, that had also been what made Diego give up, and even now that the two weren't dating anymore DIego had no intentions to confess. Somehow he just knew that it was too late, too little too late. So now Diego was just trying to get over his feelings and somehow deal with the fact that what do you know, he was gay. Hurray...
"I would never say stuff like that around Gabe."
Diego said, for once not muttering, and sent Angelo a determined and stern look before looking back down again. Especially after Diego had found out about Gabe's sexual orientation he had been really careful about saying anything even slightly offensive. Though that didn't require much effort, Diego never said "Blank is gay" in normal conversations, yesterday he had been panicked and defensive and it had been a slip.
Diego personally didn't think of himself as stupid either, it had been just an example. Though Angelo didn't deny thinking he was a brat, Diego noted that.
"It was an example. Seriously, is that all? You can't possibly have any other reasons to talk to me, right?"
Diego wasn't the best at reading people, but after he had been kind of a dick towards Angelo the guy most probably didn't have the highest opinion of Diego. Especially since Diego was really touchy feely with Gabe, even when they had been dating and still was.
The whole thing was really just confusing to Angelo. He wasn't following. Diego was all surly, but he didn't seem to be surly about anything that Angelo could really understand. So Angelo was kind of just standing there, looking mildly confused and mildly suspicious, and then did what Angelo did best: Just asked.
He'd never seen much of a point in stewing over questions he could just ask. As far as he knew, things should have been pretty much good with them, right? Sure, Angelo had shot him, but he'd also been a villain at the time and it came with the territory. Plus, it wasn't like he was acting like he hated Angelo. The whole thing felt more... what, preemptive? Like he thought Angelo hated him, and was trying to protect himself.
"Hold on," Angelo said. "Do you think I hate you or something?"