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?


1. Him

“Dude,” Brendon said, dropping the fork he’d been using to eat cold pasta out of a plastic container, “Look.”

Tyler turned his head to look in the direction his friend was. He seemed to be looking at a table across from theirs that sat one person. A boy with messy, pink hair that looked soft to the touch. Even being so far away from him, Tyler could tell the boy had big, brown, kind looking eyes. Despite his kind looking face the rest of him looked tough and cool. He was wearing the kind of tank top that Tyler hated. It was the kind that showed most of your chest. The boy made it work, though. He had tattoos running down his muscular left arm. I mean, the other arm was muscular too, but Tyler focused on the tattooed one.

Trying to hide that he found the boy extremely attractive, Tyler turned to Brendon.

“So what? It’s just some kid.”

“So what?! That’s Josh Dun! He's like, the toughest guy in our school,” he lowered his voice, “People say he’s a huge bully, he beat a kid up for like, um,” he looked like he was searching for something to say, “Staring at him!”

“Isn’t that what we’re doing right now?” Tyler whispered.

Brendon turned his head in the other direction.


“Are you really afraid of him? He’s so pretty, he couldn’t be scary.”

Brendon tugged on Tyler’s pink sweater, “I dunno, man,” he teased, “You’re the scariest person I know and you’re really pretty.”

Tyler rolled his eyes, “I know.”

“Besides,” Brendon continued in a more serious tone, “He’s super strong.”

“Stronger than you?” Tyler asked, sounding surprised.

Brendon frowned, “Probably not.”

“Well,” Tyler said looking towards Josh, “I’m gonna go talk to him.”

He started walking towards Josh.

Brendon grabbed his sleeve.

“Are you crazy?! You’ll get beat up!”

“Hey,” Tyler released his sweater from his friend’s grasp, “Just because I play the piano doesn’t mean I can’t defend myself!”

“I know Tyler, I’m just worried!”

“Uh, you two know I can hear everything you say.”

Brendon froze and turned to face Josh slowly.

Instead of acting afraid, Tyler calmly faced Josh. He looked a lot shorter up close. Cuter and more muscular too.

“H-Hi,” Tyler greeted with a small smile.

To Brendon’s obvious surprise, Josh smiled back.

“Hi I’m Josh,” he briefly glared at Brendon, causing him to back up nervously, “But you probably already knew that.”

“Um, y-yeah. I’m Tyler,” he said, “Tyler Joseph.”

Josh grinned, “You’re the kid on the top of the honor roll. Nice to meet you.”

He said this as if Tyler was famous and he was meeting him for the first time. Tyler felt his cheeks warm up.

“Yeah, that’s me.”

Tyler tried to stay calm, but the pink sweater he was wearing might as well have been a rainbow sweater with the words “I’m Gay” on the front.

He looked like a dork.

A gay dork.

That was true, but he didn’t want Josh thinking that.

Josh put his hand on Tyler’s shoulder, making him flinch. It took him a moment to realize Josh was feeling his sweater.

“I like your sweater,” he said calmly, “It’s cute.”

Tyler’s heart jumped, Josh called him cute. Well, he called his sweater cute, but still. His cheeks felt hot.

“T-Thanks,” he said softly.

That was when a different hand grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

“This was nice Josh, great to meet you,” Brendon said, “Unfortunately, Tyler and I have to go to Algebra now and-”

“But I have English and you have Biology, what the frick-”

Brendon covered Tyler’s mouth with his hand.

“Bye!” He called to Josh. He then proceeded to pick Tyler up and carry him out of the cafeteria without taking his hand off of Tyler’s mouth.

Tyler bit his hand.

“Ow! Why did you-!”

“Dude, what the frick?” Tyler interrupted.

“Well, what do you think you were doing Ty? Flirting with Josh?”

“I wasn’t-”

“Yeah, whatever. I saved you”

“From what?!”

“Falling in love with some bully who’ll break your heart.”

“He’s not a bully! He was so nice!”

“And he beats kids up. He was just pretending to be nice so you would fall in love with him and he could break your heart!”

“That’s just a rumor! And he- he wouldn’t do that! He probably has a really tough life, everyone calls him a bully and nobody wants to be friends with him. He must be so lonely. I know what it’s like to be lonely, Brendon, I don’t want him to be.”

Brendon sighed. “Whatever, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

He walked down the hallway to his next class, leaving Tyler alone.

Tyler turned around, to get to his English class he would have to walk back by the cafeteria to get to the English classroom.

As he passed the cafeteria he peered in. Josh wasn’t in there, in fact, it was completely empty.

Tyler continued on his way to his next class. To his surprise, a boy with cotton candy colored hair was standing by the door.


“Hey,” he said softly, “I know it’s rude to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help but listen to your conversation.”

“H-How much did you hear?”

“Not much, but I heard your friend, uh, Brandon-?”

“Brendon,” Tyler corrected.

“Right, Brendon. I heard him talking about that thing.”

“The thing…?”

“The rumor that I’m a huge bully,” he laughed a little, despite looking upset, “It’s funny how rumors get around, and how much they change.”

“What really happened?”

“I was friends with this girl named Melanie and, well, she was a bit of a cry baby and got made fun of for it. I remember one day at recess, some kid was laughing at her while she was crying. I went to comfort her because, well, she was crying and I was her best friend. But that just gathered a crowd. People were laughing and mocking us because god forbid a girl and boy be friends!” He lowered his voice, “It was stupid but I got overwhelmed. I punched one of the kids. It probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but there was a huge crowd. I got suspended for a week and when I came back everyone avoided me, except for Melanie and some group of boys who thought I was cool for punching someone. I ignored them and now I think they might hate me.” He sighed, “Melanie moved last year and ever since nobody’s talked to me.” He looked away, sadness in his eyes, “They’re all afraid of me, and rumors get worse over time.”

Tyler wrapped his arms around Josh without thinking.

They stayed like that for a minute, then broke apart.

“Your hair smells like flowers,” Tyler observed.

Josh smiled, “That’s my shampoo, my dad says it’s too girly, but I was tired of washing my hair with shampoo that smelled like the blood of my enemies. Besides, women’s shampoo is better for dyed hair.”

“I like it,” Tyler said smiling.

“You’re really cool,” Josh said, his cheeks turning the color of his hair.

“Thanks,” Tyler mumbled.

“Hey! Do you have a piece of paper?”

“Um,” Tyler opened his backpack and began rummaging through it to find a piece of paper. “Here.” He handed Josh a crumpled piece of lined paper and a pen.

He scribbled something on it and handed it back to Tyler.

“See you later,” he said, leaving just in time with the bell.

Tyler looked down at the paper. Josh had written in very neat letters,

Meet me after school ;)

Followed by a phone number.

He had Josh’s phone number.

Brendon would be outraged, but that didn’t matter, he got Josh’s phone number.






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