Author's Note: Hello, Spring Awakening fandom! I'm new here, just became a Guilty One in July of last year and so this is my first fanfiction for it – just a little Ernst/Hanschen drabble- so please no flames.

By My Side

A boy like Ernst, a boy who was a little different, wasn't exactly sought-after for friends and that was the truth of the matter. Especially when they were all younger, and he was smaller, a little more sensitive to things than the rest of the class; he had never been the first one to be picked for a when they played a game. So, one would imagine, when a hand was outstretched to hi, he grasped to it.

Hanschen's hand had reached down when they were eight.

Quiet and somewhat timid at the time, Ernst didn't speak up very often and he was surprised when one day after school, Hanschen asked if he could walk home with him. A little taken back by the question, Ernst had murmured an agreement. Barely audible, but Hanschen knew it was a "yes."

And so the two boys walked the roads leading from the town to their homes out near the forest, that crisp fall day. Hanschen talked, Ernst listened and offered his agreements, an "of course" here and a "sure" there. It might have sounded like he wasn't interested, but he was – deeply so.

Hanschen was . . . brash. And he knew where he stood. And, if he felt something, anything, he expressed it. And Ernst loved that.

But someone so self-assertive wasn't going to take to someone so shy like him Ernst knew and he prepared to be ignored the very next day.

Hanschen was the exception.

He came around the next morning and waited for Ernst to emerge from his house, waiting for the boy to join him on the walk to school.

Although Ernst was glowing inside that he hadn't been forgotten, he kept a calm face as he casually said "hello" to his new-found friend. The two walked together to their primary school , much like they had done the day before.

For a while, Ernst was just expecting for Hanschen to suddenly drop him and not show up in the morning for their walk to school. But he never did. It soon became the morning routine for Hanschen to be there, waiting at the front gate to Ernst's home. It never changed, even as they grew and left their childhood behind and were faced with the challenges of adolescence.

They both grew in the ways you'd traditionally think boys would grow – their walks saw the both of them grow taller, felt the soles of newly bought-shoes because their old ones no longer fit, and the voices deepen as they talked.

But it also saw some of Hanschen rub off on Ernst.

Having someone to talk to made Ernst open up, made him more willing to talk. Shyness that had once incased itself around him melted away and beneath it, the real Ernst emerged and blossomed around Hanschen. He felt like he could tell his friend anything, could confide his hopes and dream to him.

As adolescents loomed over them, however, Ernst felt like he couldn't exactly tell everything to dear Hanschen.

Like Moritz, God rest his soul, Ernst had begun to awake, horrified with those erotic scenes that his mind had started to paint. He'd wake up, in tossed and sticky bedclothes, wide-eyed of what he had seen and asking so many questions to why his subconscious was sinning.

Unlike Moritz, the figures that haunted his dreams were not women in sky-blue stockings but rather men – boys his own age – kissing and touching and oh God, it was too much to bear.

At first, Ernst felt compelled to tell Hanschen of the men that teased him at night. After all, Hanschen, frank, blunt Hanschen, was somewhat of a sexual teacher to him. He had talked about how he had discovered what a feeling touching yourself could bring – fuck what all those clergy and parents said about going blind it felt good. Ernst had tried what Hanschen had explained, but when he stared down at the reproduction of Palma Vecchio's Venus , he . . . couldn't get as inspired as what Hanschen had described. Thinking about those dreams though? A completely different story.

And . . . when he thought about Hanschen? Oh God.

He never wanted to admit it either, but soon he began to see Hansy in a new light that the dreams that captured his nights brought. Soon, Hanschen was the new muse for his erotic fantasies that loomed in the back of his mind. Even as the pastors waved their fingers at what bad exposing children to sex could do as they covered dirt over Moritz Stiefel's grave with dirt, condemning him and then the essay that Melchior had written, obviously the part of the cause that had made him pull that trigger. However, they didn't know that the essay had reached more hands and more eyes had glazed over, just as bewildered at the illustrations of Labia Majora as Mortiz's eyes had been.

But it was after the world started to calm – after the death of Mortiz and the carting away to Reformatory School for Melchior - that Ernst learned that the feelings might have been mutual.

Somehow, between their usual walk after school (now, with dealing with the loss of two of their friends, had been extended by Ernst's request so they could talk – or perhaps it was just the dreams compelling it) and lolling in the grass of the vineyard overlooking the church, their talking escalated into a deep kiss.

At first, Ernst didn't know what to do.

Hanschen had kissed him.

Hanschen had kissed him.

But it felt so perfect.

They forgot the warnings they've received from everyone and stopped worrying about their souls for this perfect moment of earthly pleasure. And as he fell into the sweet grass, wrapped by Hanschen's arms and compelled by his lips – he asked himself, how could this be a sin? A love like this, he realized at they held each other in the glow of the fading day, couldn't be.