Diego was waiting for this whole thing to be over, he never really liked being in closed spaces for extended periods at a time and being closed in a classroom like this with someone he didn't get along with made Diego want to zoom out of the window. But nah, it seemed like Angelo still had something to say, and Diego kept plucking at his sleeve or fidgeting with his hem and generally not being able to stay still.
What Angelo asked next made Diego look at him with a confused and suspicious expression, similar to the one Angelo had had earlier.
"I'd be more confused if you didn't, honestly."
Diego answered with a shrug and looked out the window, now moving on to plucking the feather tips of his hair. He always shed some feathers when the spring got closer and few moss green feathers did come off into Diego's fingers.
Was this about Angelo shooting him? It had to be about him shooting him. Did he think that was personal, or something? Because no, no it super wasn't.
"Listen," Angelo said, sounding extremely uncertain. "I don't know why you'd think I would. Because we fought back in Halcyon? That wasn't personal. Not that stuff, anyway. And yeah, back then I thought you guys were stupid for doing it, but I've realized you all had your reasons since then. Hell, I dated Gabe, and he was in the same situation as you. I don't have anything against you. Like... at all."
He'd always kind of assumed Diego had it out for him, if anything. He did seem to be avoiding him.
Angelo was way off track, when he started explaining about the shit that had happened back in Halcyon, Diego had forgotten about that stuff long ago. He wanted to forget, since all that villain shit he had only been a part of because he had wanted to get away from home and his dad. But that had bitten Diego in the ass since when he had been caught and brought back home his dad had given him the worst beating of his life. Had Diego carried a grudge against Angelo for that? Yes, for a while, but that had been against Angelo and all those buddies of his in general, not just him.
In any case the confused frown deepened on Diego's face as he listened to Angelo, and he ended up groaning a bit and shaking his head.
"That's so old news, seriously dude. The fact that you electrocuted my nuts isn't even on the table anymore."
Diego sighed a bit and floated back down, so he was sitting on the teacher's table again. He wasn't about to tell Angelo why he thought he hated him. Diego was actually surprised Angelo didn't have anything against him. Wouldn't anyone normally get pissed at someone who so obviously avoided them and gave them stink eye and was so close with their boyfriend?
Somehow an image was starting to form in Diego's head, that Angelo either really didn't give a shit about Diego at all, or he was just a good guy. Diego didn't settle on either option.
"So you don't hate me. Great. Yay. So does that mean we're done?"
Diego said, this time not with an angry or annoyed tone but more like...defeated. Because in his mind Angelo was the bigger person out of them. He was the one Gabe had chosen, and Angelo was the one everyone liked and wanted to be around and overall he was such a...Angelo. And Diego was the broken mess who's only merit was that he had an amazing best friend. So although Diego still didn't like the guy, just because of pride, he didn't hate him and just wanted to return to the normal way of Diego trying to stay out of Angelo's way and Angelo ignoring him.
The conversation had taken a turn, hadn't it? It was going all kinds of weird places, and at this point he was more confused than any other emotion. He wasn't angry. He wasn't concerned. Just... confused. Really confused.
"I mean... I guess, if you want?" He said after a moment. "I guess... I don't know. You don't seem to hate me, and I don't hate you, but I got the vibe you were avoiding me, and I'm not sure why?"
In his mind, Diego was a friend of Gabes, and even if Gabe was his ex, they were still friends. So why wasn't he friends with Diego?
"I guess..." Okay, he'd said 'I guess' too much, time to reorient. "I'd like to be friends, if you're alright with that. We're both from the same place. We've got similar experiences under our belts. We're about the same age."
It was pretty clear Diego was confusing Angelo with his words and actions, and it was no wonder. But Diego couldn't tell him the true reason why he avoided Angelo, couldn't just casually tell him that Diego had been in love with his best friend since elementary school and was salty Angelo had actually had the balls to confess. So when Angelo said he was wondering why Diego just...stayed quiet and looked away.
It really surprised Diego when Angelo suddenly said he wanted to be friends and he looked at the guy with an incredulous expression. It kind of irritated Diego when Angelo claimed they had similar experiences. About the only similarity in them was that they had both escaped Halcyon. Angelo had a dad that treatef him well, bunch of friends, he was a hero and a golden boy. Completely different from Diego, who has resorted to villainy just to get away from his shithead life and dad. Honestly, Diego didn't really know what to say for a while, he just stared at Angelo, trying to figure out what to say.
"...It's better we're not friends. For both of us."
In the end that was all Diego said. Making friends wasn't this simple for him. Diego needed something more concrete than "Hello! Let's be friends!". Friends had experiences they shared, a history and a bond that didn't break that easily. That was what he and Gabe had, and he and Xavier as well. Those two were Diego's only friends, and he knew they accepted him just as he was and had his back. Diego couldn't say the same about Angelo. Besides, the guy definitely wouldn't be offering his friendship like this if he knew what was going on inside Diego's head.
There was something going on. Some other thing at play. Something he didn't know about. He'd had to have been blind not to realize it, and maybe he was blind for not being able to figure it out. The pieces didn't fit together. He was pretty sure half the pieces were for a completely different puzzle.
He just wasn't any closer to figuring it out. He wasn't any closer to putting them together.
So he tried to think. Dug down and tried to think of reasons Diego might be upset with him. Because he'd broken up with Gabe? But that had been a mutual thing, with no hard feelings, and Diego had been like this even beforehand.
Thinking about Gabe, though, gave him a different idea, and a seed of doubt and unease settled in his gut.
"Is... is this about my dad?" He said, sounding almost scared for a moment. He knew why Gabe had gotten into the villainy thing. He knew about the loan sharks. He didn't know why Diego had gotten into it, but considering his reluctance to be around Angelo...
Diego could almost hear the cogs turning in Angelo's head, as the guy wrecked his brain. Angelo was too stubborn. Why couldn't he just let it go? Leave Diego be. If someone ignored or hated Diego it would naturally bother him, but he wouldn't try to actively find out why. Was this just Angelo being curious or did he have some other reason to get hung up on Diego? Diego had no idea.
"Your dad? What? No! Why would he- What is this, an interrogation?"
Diego was starting to get frustrated, and it showed in his voice and face. He glanced at the door, wondering if they could get interrupted if Diego spoke loud enough. But he also didn't want to attract that kind of attention...Ugh, this sucked so much!
"Listen, just let it be, some people just don't match, okay?"
Diego was getting a bit desperate, and there was irritation as well as impatience in his eyes as he looked at Angelo.
Angelo was absolutely not the kind of person who left things unsaid. He was bothered by the unspoken. Bothered by the possibility someone might hate him. A huge part of it was that Angelo couldn't stand not knowing things. Mysteries delighted him, just as long as there was a solution at the end, and this appeared to be a solution with no clear answer and no end in sight.
"I... guess," he said after a moment. "I just figured it would be easier to work it out. Since we're both Gabe's friends."
Wasn't that enough? Did Diego just have way higher standards for friendship than he did?
But it didn't matter - Angelo was already effectively backing off. It was in his body language, in the way he spoke. He just wasn't sure it was worth trying to force the issue when Diego was so resistant.
Angelo didn't keep asking, and Diego felt relieved. At least the guy more or less knew when to back off. Though Diego did feel bit guilty for making Angelo confused like that. He had just never expected this kind of situation and had said way too much.
"The easiest thing to do is just go back to ignoring each other. We don't exactly move in the same circles anyway."
Diego said and shrugged, starting to feel more at ease now that he knew that they were moving out of this topic. He uncrossed his arms and instead put them in his pockets again. The people Angelo hung out with all probably just thought of Diego as a troublemaker, and that wasn't strange especially since he had been arrested for vandalism. But that was just fine. Diego couldn't say he didn't care what they thought, but maybe they'd convince Angelo to not approach him.
"If you really don't care about the paint I'm keeping it."
Diego said one last thing, as if to ensure that Angelo had no right to come and nag at him later for taking that paint, since he didn't care about that. Right?
Considering that Angelo's best friend was Broen, Diego couldn't have been more wrong about Angelo's friend's opinion of Diego. Angelo hadn't even heard Diego got arrested. It wasn't like it was publicly advertised, and like Diego said, they didn't run in the same circles.
"I really, really don't care about the paint," Angelo said with a small wave of his hand. "I'm a boy scout, not a snitch. No one's getting hurt if you lift some paint. The school has plenty, and they basically let any student who needs it for school take some."
No one was going to notice, even if Diego didn't actually have an art class.