"Curtis Mega!" Tatiana stood with her hands on her hips, looking down at Curt, who was sprawled face-down on his bed, disapprovingly. "Get your butt up off that bed right this instant!"
"Why?!" Curt groaned, not lifting his head from the pillows. "Life is pointless. No one will ever love me and I'm going to die alone!"
Tatiana sighed heavily, looking down at the man she'd called her best friend for three years. "No, you're not, you're being dramatic."
"No, I'm not!" Curt wailed. He was drunk and lovesick, a horrible combination.
Tatiana moved to sit down on the bed. "Curt, you're drunk and can't think straight right now," she said as she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. Curt only sniffled some more.
"What no gay joke?" Tatiana asked when his silence continued.
"What's the point." He groaned and rolled over so he was looking up at the ceiling.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Tatiana asked, preparing herself for what was to come, once Curt got started talking about Owen it was hard to shut him up.
Owen Carvour, Curt's roommate, best friend, and the man Curt had fallen hopelessly in love with. And while Owen hadn't told her, Tatiana, of course, could plainly see that he had also fallen for Curt. The problem was Owen was an oblivious dumbass and did not realise Curt was in love with him. And Curt was too busy feeling sorry for himself that he didn't realise the same about Owen. However, Owen was a bit better and dealing with his emotions. Whereas, Curt, well, Curt tends to overreact.
Tonight they had gone out to a bar. Barb, Curt, and Owen had all gotten very drunk. Lightweights, Tatiana had called them. Then, Owen had the brilliant idea to begin flirting with other guys at the bar. Right in front of Curt. Curt, who was very intoxicated by this point, had gotten very angry and stormed out of the bar. Tatiana then arrived at his apartment and found him lying face down on his bed crying.
"It just hurts, you know?" Curt spoke at last.
"Yes, I do." Tatiana nodded. She had watched Barb be in love with Curt for quite some time before Barb had found out he was gay. Tatiana had never been as pining and dramatic as Curt, but she did know what it felt like to see someone you liked to flirt with other people.
"But it worked out for you and Barb," Curt said with a heavy sigh.
Tatiana kicked off her heels and curled her legs up onto the bed. "And do you want to know how?" Curt looked at her with wide pleading eyes and nodded. "I took a risk. I told her how I felt and asked her on a date."
"Were you scared?" Curt asked softly and laid his head on her shoulder.
"I fear nothing." Tatiana stroked his hair fondly. "But I did not know if my feelings were reciprocated or if she would give me a chance. But I had to know. I couldn't keep going if I didn't. If she had rejected me, it would have stung but at least I would have known and could have moved on." It hadn't come to that, but Tatiana had been prepared for the possibility.
"What should I do, Tati? He's just so...perfect."
"Owen isn't perfect, Curt, no one is." Tatiana chuckled. "And I've told you before that I'm sure Owen likes you too. I think you should take the risk and ask him." She smiled and continued stroking his hair comfortingly.
Curt had fallen asleep soon after and Tatiana had been very careful not to wake him up as she extricated herself from him. After throwing the comforter over him and placing out two aspirin for when he woke up with a hangover, she made her way out of Curt and Owen's apartment and next-door to her and Barb's.
To her surprise, she found Barb home and sitting on the couch comforting Owen. "I'm just worried you know. I don't know what I did," Owen said.
"I know, sweetie, it's okay, we'll just give Tati a minute," Barb said as she rubbed his back comfortingly. The click of the door drew both their attentions.
"What is going on here?" Tatiana asked.
"Is Curt okay?" Owen asked immediately looking up at Tatiana with wide pleading eyes. They were red and slightly puffy, he'd been crying. Tatiana sighed, why did she have to end up with two best friends who were crying drunks.
"Yes, Owen, he's fine. He was just drunk and being dramatic. He's not mad at you."
"Thank god." Owen sighed and flopped back onto the couch.
"He's asleep now, so be quiet when you're going back in."
"Of course," Owen said as he stood up and started making his way towards the door. "I'll make it up to you guys for the ruined night. See you." And with that, the door clicked closed behind Owen leaving Tatiana and Barb peacefully alone.
"How is he really?" Barb asked after Tatiana leaned down and pressed a kiss to her lips.
"I wasn't lying, he's fine. Now, let's go to bed, I've had enough of men for one day." Tatiana smirked as she took Barb's hand, pulling her up off the couch and then towards their bedroom.
When Curt woke on Saturday morning, Owen was already at work. He didn't know if he was disappointed or relieved. On one hand, he wanted to apologise to Owen for storming out and completely overreacting, but on the other hand, he had the worst hangover and didn't think he could manage a conversation right now.
He traipsed into the bathroom to take a shower, by the time he was done the aspirin had started to take effect and his headache was lifting. And after he'd had breakfast and watched an hour of garbage television, he decided to check in with Barb.
"Curt, to what do I owe the pleasure?" She smiled cheerfully when she saw him at the door.
"Well, first, I enjoy your company, second, you are my oldest friend can't I just visit you, third, Owen and Tatiana are working so it can just be us, and lastly, I need some advice." Curt flashed a smile he hoped looked charming.
Barb laughed and stepped aside. "Well, I do value honesty."
"Thank you," Curt said as he stepped by her and into the apartment.
Barb and Tatiana's apartment was a lot neater than Curt and Owen's. Theirs was constantly messy which grated Owen to no end. Owen liked to be organised and neat but Curt had the habit of leaving his shoes and jackets everywhere and also forgetting to do the dishes.
"So what's your problem?"
"You used to have a crush on me, right?"
Barb gave him a puzzled look, she hadn't been expecting that question. "I did before you told me you were gay."
"So you probably know best what it looks like if someone has a crush on me?"
"Yes, Owen definitely likes you too. I honestly don't know how you can't see it?"
"How do you know? Did he tell you?"
"No, Owen is kind of secretive about those things."
"Curt, are you seriously telling me you don't see the way he looks at you?"
Barb sighed, dramatically dragging a hand down her face. "He looks at you like you make the earth spin. His eyes light up every time someone mentions you. He calls you 'love'."
"He's British, they do that."
"But he says it different with you, not like it's a throwaway nickname, but like you're the freaking light of his life. He also puts up with your general messiness. If he didn't love you too, there's no way he would have stayed your roommate for three years."
Curt sighed. "I suppose you could be right. I should just take Tati's advice and go for it."
"I agree, she's amazing at advice. Now, come on, there's a Bond marathon on, let's watch it, it'll be like old times."
"I do love a Bond movie, you know I wanted to be a spy when I was younger."
"I did know that as a matter of fact, I was there with you, Curt." Barb scoffed. "Now, sit your ass down, we've got a movie to watch."
Owen sighed with relief when he finally got home from work. He worked a dead-end low wage retail job. Which was not what he was expecting to be doing at 25. But well, his English Literature degree wasn't doing him any good right now and he had to make ends meet somehow.
"Curt!" He called out as he kicked off his shoes at the door. "Are you here?"
"Yes!" Came a reply from Curt's bedroom. "Just a minute."
"I got Thai for dinner!"
Curt's bedroom door swung open then. "My favourite." He smiled widely and took the bags off of Owen.
"Cheers." Owen thanked him and hung up his jacket.
"How was work?" Curt asked as he began to dish out the Thai food evenly.
"Well, about five customers argued with about coupons, and one lady threatened to call the manager."
"Ooh, a new record. Only one?" Curt quirked an eyebrow.
"I know, strange. So what did you do today?"
"Oh, not much, recovered from a hangover then Barb and I watched part of a Bond marathon. She thinks I'd be an awful spy, I beg to differ." Curt passed Owen his serving.
"Thanks, love," Owen said and it might have been his imagination but he could have sworn that Curt flushed. "I think you'd make a good spy." Owen continued. "You're good at reading people, you can be quiet when you want to be and you've got an ego the size of Bond's," Owen smirked.
"Hey," Curt pushed him playfully. "It's not my fault if no one else wants to acknowledge my amazingness." Curt chuckled.
"Amazing you are," Owen mumbled under his breath.
"What was that?"
"Anyway," Curt shrugged and let it slide. "I'd like to apologise for last night, it was out of line."
"Do I need my hearing checked? Or did Curt Mega just apologise?" Owen teased.
"Very funny." Curt rolled his eyes. And decided then to be brave and tell Owen what had bothered him. "I just...seeing you flirting with all those guys-"
"Woah, wait a second. That's what it was about?"
"I apologised didn't I?" Curt said, immediately on the defensive.
"Jesus Christ, Curt, why does it even matter if I flirted? You flirt with guys all the time, but suddenly when I do it it's bad?" Owen pushed himself up from where he was sitting and began to pace.
"Why is it different? You're not above the rest of us Curt."
"That's not what I meant?!" Curt shouted without meaning to and he was standing now too.
"Well, what did you mean?" Owen asked after a pause. "How was it different?"
"I was jealous! Okay!"
Owen stopped. "What?" He wasn't sure what Curt meant and desperately didn't want to get his hopes up. "Was I flirting with a guy you wanted?"
"Ugh!" Curt groaned dramatically. "No, you absolute dumbass, I was jealous of them! I want you, Owen, okay. I want to put my hands in your stupid shiny hair and I want to look into your stupid pretty eyes and I want to kiss your stupid mouth all the time, I want to wake up with you every morning, and I want you to freaking call me 'love' all the time." Curt felt a thousand times lighter when he had the confession off his chest.
Owen hadn't said anything, and eventually curt found the courage to look him in the eye. "I love you, Owen, I have for years, and I was jealous because you were flirting with all those other guys and not me."
Owen's eyes big and bright and brown were shining. And Curt knew he could just look into them all day. "Say something, please?" Curt said. Owen did something much much better, he closed the distance between them and kissed Curt.
Owen's lips were soft, softer the Curt had been expecting and there was the slight taste of coffee mixed with the Thai food, which was strange, but ooh, it was everything Curt had hoped for and more. And just as Curt went to push for more Owen pulled away.
"I love you, too," he whispered, still so close that Curt could feel his breath.
"That's good." Was all Curt managed to say, his brain was still trying to catch up.
"I should hope so, love," Owen smiled.
"Do it again."
"Do what again specifically?"
"Call me 'love'."
"Of course, love," Owen said and Curt laughed breathlessly. "And I'm sorry for getting angry, I jumped to conclusions. I hate fighting with you."
"If you kiss me again, all will be forgiven."
Owen laughed and kissed him again. This time Curt deepened the kiss immediately, and his hands slid up and into Owen's hair, which was softer than Curt had imagined. Owen pulled him closer, his hands resting at the nape of Curt's neck.
Curt began leading them towards his bedroom. "My bedroom," Owen said between kisses. "There's no way I'm going in yours." He laughed against Curt's lips.
"That's probably a good idea, mine's a tip." Curt laughed and began kissing Owen's neck, guiding them in through Owen's bedroom door.
The next morning, Curt, Owen, Barb, and Tatiana, were all heading for coffee. It was their Sunday tradition. Owen and Curt had not yet told the two women of the new development between them, in all honesty, Owen and Curt hadn't done much talking last night, and hadn't actually discussed what they were.
However, Tatiana and Barb were not blind and could see the change between them, the easier way they interacted with each other, the gentle touches, and of course the hickeys on Owen's neck that he had done a bad job of covering up.
"Alright, here we go," Owen said as he arrived back at the table with their drinks. "A latte for Barb, a black coffee for Tatiana, and an Irish coffee for Curt."
"Thanks, babe," Curt said without thinking. He then flushed under the curious looks Tatiana and Barb were throwing his way.
"No problem, love." Owen smiled and pressed a quick kiss to his forehead before sitting down with his own coffee.
"So are you going to tell us?" Barb smiled expectantly.
"They don't have to," Tatiana smirked. "Those hickeys on Owen's neck tell the whole story."
Owen's hand went up to his neck then, ghosting over the marks of where Curt's mouth had been last night. He then looked to Curt and they both smirked.
"So," Curt started. "We kinda got into an argument. I was trying to apologise for Friday night, but Owen jumped to conclusions like he always does."
"I have apologised several times," Owen added.
"Yes, babe, but I'm telling the story."
"Of course," Owen smiled and sat back as Curt continued to tell the tale.
"So we're arguing and I took Tati's advice and went for it I told him I was jealous, and he was all like: 'I'm a dumb-dumb and don't know what that means'," Curt mocked in his best impression of Owen. Owen laughed, looking at Curt like he hung the moon in the sky. "Then I was like: 'I love you stupid', and then he kissed me and was like I love you too and so we're kinda a thing."
"Kinda?" Barb quirked an eyebrow.
"We didn't really do much talking." Owen winked a shit-eating grin across his lips.
"Well, I'm happy for you two." Tatiana smiled. "I don't think I could have taken any more of your pining."
"Thank you, Tati." Curt chuckled and leaned into Owen.
"I love you," Owen smiled and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
"Love you, too."
"Alright, alright, just because I'm happy for you, doesn't mean I want to witness all of your sappy crap." Tatiana scoffed, but she was smiling.
"Oh, let them be, Tati," Barb smiled and pressed a quick kiss of her own to Tatiana's cheek.
"Yeah, Tati, let us be." Curt stuck out his tongue at her and all four of them dissolved into laughter.