"Hey Rod, can I ask a kinda personal question?"
Rod took a deep breath and braced himself for what was coming next. He should have better prepared himself for the onslaught of questions he was sure to recieve after his coming out.
"Alright," Rod complied, stirring his coffee with a small spoon.
"When did you figure out you were gay?" Rod stopped with the lip of the coffee cup just centimeters from his slightly puckered lips. His gaze shifted over to Nicky. Nicky's big hazel eyes sparkled with the kind of genuine child-like curiosity that only his could hold. Nicky nervously twiddled this thumbs, his bottom lip jutted out ever so slightly.
"I mean, y'don't have to answer, I was just wonderin'..."
Rod set his coffee cup down and picked up a napkin. He gently dabbed at the corners of his mouth, buying a little time to gather his thoughts before he spoke.
"Well... I'm honestly not sure. You know I was in denial for a long time Nicky, even before I met you. ...I definitely wouldn't have let myself believe I had a crush on another boy; not at the time, at least." Rod took a sip of coffee and let his eyes slip shut, trying to recall the memories of so long ago. Was there a time in the past when he had realized he was gay, or was it a more recent occurance?
"I...think I may have realized it in college." He confessed sheepishly. It was true, though he didn't want to give away any more detail than necessary. It must have been in college, because that was when he met Nicky.
Nicky Lyon, the man of his dreams. So tall, so handsome, such dark and captivating features. His big hazel eyes, the pefect mixture of brown and green, full of spark and life. His scruffy five o clock shadow that never seemed to go away, no matter how often a razor was taken to it. And the hugs he gave; oh, those hugs. The kind of warm, comforting bear hug that only Nicky could give, it must have been his favorite part about Nicky. But then again, there was no way he could ever choose his favorite part about Nicky. Rod loved all of him, exactly as he was. He smiled against the lip of his coffee cup, taking another sip of the warm, tawny colored liquid.
"Really?" Nicky inquired, tilting his head in a questioning manner. "I thought that was more of a 'teens thing."
"Well yes, it can be, but a lot of gay individuals don't realize it until much later in life." Rod said, setting his coffee cup down once more. That was when he noticed his hands were visibly shaking. He also noticed he hadn't looked at Nicky once since the conversation started. This must have been making him more nervous than he realized.
Rod jumped when Nicky's hand was suddenly on his shoulder. He certainly had a way of sneaking up on people.
"O-oh, goodness, you scared me..."
"You don't have to be scared."
"W-well it certainly isn't hard to be scared when you sneak up on-"
"No. I mean you don't have to be scared, Rod." Nicky emphasized the word, giving Rod's shoulder a squeeze. Hazel eyes met chocolate-brown ones.
A silence fell over the two and Rod recoiled from Nicky's touch, crossing his arms over his torso in a protective hug.
"I can't help it Nicky." He whispered, blinking his eyes a few times to help get rid of the tears. "I think I'll always be scared of what people think of me. ..Of...what you think of me..."
"...C'mon Rod, don't you know me better than that?" Nicky asked gently, holding his hands up to Rod, fingers splayed open.
Rod hesitated, a bit confused, but put his hands up to meet Nicky's. He almost moaned when he felt the spark, the spark he always felt whenever he and Nicky touched. If a simple touch produced this kind of spark, he could only imagine what a kiss would do.
Nicky then shifted his hands, ever so slightly, and green fingers curled around blue ones in a gesture that Rod found comforting. He let out a breath from his nose and closed his eyes, letting his head dip forward. The beginnings of a smile tugged at his lips.
"You know I'll always be here for you buddy, I support you a hundred percent."
Buddy. A hollow feeling began to fill Rod's chest. He felt absolutely terrible, letting himself think that such a gesture meant anything more than a friend's attempt at comfort. Nicky's childike niavety would never let him understand that this gesture could be percieved as romantic. And it never would be either. Nicky wasn't "like that".
Nicky was straight.
"Why are you so okay with it?"
"Huh?" Nicky's thick furry brow raised in curiosity.
"Why are you so okay with me being gay? Why don't you think it's unnatural or disgusting like everyone else?" His grip tightened around Nicky's fingers. Rod's voice was growing more high pitched now, his tone harsher and insisting.
Nicky laughed, gently tugging on Rod's hands, bringing him in closer.
"Well gee buddy, it's almost like you want me to hate you." He joked, slowly uncurling his fingers from Rod's. "I suppose... that it never bothered me." He continued, trailing his hands around Rod's torso, settling on resting them in the small of his back. "If anything, it makes me happy."
"Happy?" Rod asked, feeling his heartbeat pick up. What on earth was Nicky doing? His hands came to rest on Nicky's shoulders, fingers flexing uncomfortabley into his shoulderblades.
"Mmhmm. It makes me happy seeing them have somebody to love and love them back. My parents taught me to live by the golden rule. I wouldn't want somebody to hurt me because of who I love, so I won't hurt anyone either. Especially not you, Rod. Your happiness means the most to me. Don't you know that?"
Rod looked up once more into those gorgeous eyes and absolutely melted in Nicky's arms. He let his head sink into a shoulder, fingers grasping desperately at the grungy old fabric of Nicky's hoodie.
Nicky felt his heart melt when he looked down at Rod and saw tears running down his bright red cheeks. He'd never seen such a strange mix of sadness and happiness on Rod's face.
"Aww, buddy, come on," Nicky cooed, wiping away Rod's tears on the sleeve of his old orange hoodie. "If you cry you're gonna get me started."
"That was beautiful Nicky... Th-thank you. I don't think you realize how much that means to me..."
Nicky wiped another tear from Rod's cheek and grabbed him by the waist, sweeping him up into a warm bear hug.
"Oh Nicky..." Rod sighed lovingly, digging his fingers into Nicky's old hoodie once more. His red, tearstained face sank into Nicky's shoulder again. They stood together like that for a moment, and it was hard to tell where one man ended and the other one begun. Rod never wanted to let go.
Nicky gently ran his fingers through Rod's hair, and stopped at the base of his neck to scratch there lightly, earning him a soft mewl and a giggle.
"Mmmh...that tickles." Rod cooed, pressing his long ovular nose to Nicky's round one in a sweet eskimo kiss. His heart had suddenly picked up the pace and he wondered, just how far could he take this before Nicky started feeling uncomfortable?
Nicky did happily comply with Rod's display of affection, feeling his own cheeks turn a little red. He'd never known Rod to be physically affectionate before and it was an incredibly nice feeling. Rod had never felt more human to him in this moment. He'd be lying if he said he didn't want more.
Nicky said no more, leading Rod over to the couch and pulling the man on top of him, letting them both topple over into it. Rod looked into Nicky's deep brown orbs, searching for some sort of answer in those gentle eyes. What was this?
"Tell me what you want, Rod." Nicky muttered, locking his arms around Rod's neck, rubbing their noses together in another sweet eskimo kiss.
"...I...I want you, Nicholas..."
"You kinda zoned out there buddy, you alright?" Rod was suddenly shocked back into reality. The feeling of Nicky's hand on the base of his neck had suddenly become too warm and stifling and he pushed it off.
A daydream. It had been another fucking daydream. He didn't know how much more he could put up with!
"...No. I'm not okay Nicky."
Nicky's expression went from concerned to one that was almost...fearful.
"What? Tell me what's wrong buddy, you know I'm here for you." He pleaded, taking Rod's hands into his own.
Rod ached all over. Especially his heart. He pulled his hands away from Nicky's again.
"I could never tell you Nicholas...you'd hate me..."
"I'd never hate you, Rod... Please, tell me."
Nicky felt his head start to spin when a soft set of blue lips pressed against his own green ones. He then realized that he never understood why he thought kissing a man would be so much different than kissing a woman; however Rod's lips were much softer than any woman's. Rod mewled into Nicky's mouth, clawing pleadingly at the fabric of his hoodie. He tangled his hands into the cords and yanked Nicky closer to him, ravaging his mouth with kisses. This might be the only kiss he'd ever get to give Nicky and god, he was going to make it worth remembering. Worth ruining their not-so-perfect friendship. Worth...everything.
When Rod finally resurfaced he was lightly panting, flexing his fingers around the cords of Nicky's hoodie. A thin strand of saliva connected their tongues.
The silence that followed was absolutely deafening and Rod whimpered, feeling tears come to his eyes. The look on Nicky's face said it all. How wrong he was. It wasn't worth it. It would never be worth it.
"...I'm so sorry..." He whimpered, recoiling and falling backwards, ableit haphazardly into a kitchen chair. He buried his face into his arms and felt his body start to prepare itself for a nice, long, hard cry.
For a while, Nicky stood there, looking and feeling absolutely dazed. That was the most wonderful kiss he'd ever had, and it came from his best buddy! He almost couldn't believe it!
All the while, his thoughts were a complete and utter jumbled mess, rolling around inside his head.
'Is it possible I'm actually capable of loving Rod? I mean...I'm straight! But I do care about him a whole lot. And I can't imagine a life without him. ...Does that mean I love him the way he loves me?'
The sounds of Rod crying finally snapped him out of his thoughts and he rushed to his buddy's side, kneeling down in front of him.
"Rod, please, don't cry. I'm not mad at you for kissing me." Rod picked his face up out of his arms and Nicky immediately cupped his cheeks in his hands, wiping away tears with a thumb.
"I liked it, Rod. I know, I told you I'm straight, but I still liked it. You don't have to be sorry."
"...I love you Nicky..."