You always told yourself that you weren't in love. It was so easy, just to tell yourself that he was gay, and there was absolutely no chance of you getting into his line of interest. If anything, you were his best friend, his support, and not someone who could try to get him to fall in love with you.
It was originally just the two of you. It had been, and you were damn happy it was. You loved Jane and Jake, but you felt happier alone with him, then he could be him.
With you, he wasn't ironic, or weird, like he was around Jake. He was... himself. He had feelings and emotions and thoughts and rights and wrongs, and real moments. He had smiles and frowns and a laugh to match your sober giggles. It was horrible and beautiful at the same time, to watch him live a double life, but your selfish side was happy that he only showed his true self to you. It was a bad thought but you were very thankful of it.
You were pretty sure that you were the only one of your friends that knew about his eyes. Those amazing, beautiful bright, angry fiery orange eyes that he hid behind those ridiculously handsome shades. It was more of a forced action at first, but now he was pretty comfortable with you taking off his glasses, as long as it was just the two of you, and potentially a little alcohol. Or a lot of alcohol. Or a movie.
He was pretty sure that Jake didn't like him. Which was partially true, because Jake thought everyone liked him. He had even thought you were crushing on him at a point of time. He was sweet, but his ego got a bit in the way. Plus, Jane was heads-over-heels in love with the idiot. All of you were just stupid, hormonal teenagers. Sigh.
You knew your growing feelings for your friend were soon to be revealed, maybe in some shitty Pesterchum, or maybe, if you were drunk enough, in person as he was gathering his stuff to leave for the day after your weekend sleepovers. He would ruffle your hair, and chortle a nonchalant 'love you too, sis.' before sauntering away. You knew he would never understand, or ever share the feelings for that matter, but to you, it was okay.
No, it wasn't because you were sadistic and liked to watch yourself suffer. It was a simple thought that had come to you in one of your, now more common, sober moments. It kind of struck you, and after about an hour of thinking it through over overcooked pasta, you decided it was a good reason to keep yourself from bawling your eyes out every time Jake's name slipped his tongue.
If he was happy, you were happy. Sure, he was gay for your friend, and didn't see you on anything other than a friend-and-potentially-family level, but he was happy. He would smile and tell you all about his mess-ups during his dates with Jake, and you would tell him not to let his inner schoolgirl show. That would put a sloppy little smile on his face, something he was trying to work on. His irony and sarcasm were nothing for his growing feelings for Jake, and eventually he would try to be himself.
Well, at least you hoped.
That boy's happiness was your happiness. So, to keep yourself from any form of heartbreak, you told yourself this over and over. Maybe, one day after you beat up Jake with a dull knife for breaking you friend's heart, he might become something other than a steaming homosexual, and go for someone else. Heaven forbid you'd force him to go out with anybody, because despite what everyone else thought, he was a boy with feelings and a heart.
In fact, he had a huge heart. He always worried about Dave, and when Jane would get scraped up, he would complain about not being able to go to her rescue.
If he and Jake were both knights, Jake would be a fool in tin foil.
You supposed, maybe, it wasn't love. Maybe it was a pansy crush that people get when they're in the eighth grade and just discovering hormones. Maybe.
Probably not. You'd done enough reading online to discover the border between friendship with him, and romance was very, very blurry and the opacity was turned down to 1%. His huge heart had a spot for you, but it wasn't containing the love that you wished it did contain. His big, open heart with a steel cage around it, with tiny tiny, impossibly small cracks that you miraculously squeezed your way in.
He was this majestic Prince, and you were a silly, useless Rogue. Everyone loved the Prince. He was easygoing, funny, handsome, and perfect in your eyes in every way. No one would ever recognize you.