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The Bachelor Party Sketch

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A nervous sweat made the back of his neck feel clammy. His heartrate was picking up as he neared his destination, an unsteady pitter-pat of anxiety that added to his discomfort. Darren wiped his hands on his jeans, rubbing absently in an effort to soothe his nerves. Trevor’s office door was open and he could hear a keyboard’s click-clack through the open doorway, intermixed with Trevor’s low chuckle every few seconds. Working on a new sketch then, probably. Hopefully that meant he would be in a good mood.

But the fear was still there. Trevor was intimidating; there was no way around it. Behind his wide smile and friendly laugh, there was a strong man that meant business. And Trevor took the show seriously. Any setbacks threw him into a bad mood, setting an uneasy atmosphere throughout the studio. The Whitest Kids was his brainchild, after all. He didn’t take kindly to last minute changes, especially since they had all agreed on the upcoming sketches for the day’s filming. Despite knowing that Trevor was likely to respond negatively, Darren just couldn’t go ahead with the skit that was scheduled to be shot first thing. He needed to tell Trevor now, before all the other guys were on set.

He poked his head around the doorjamb, smiling weakly at his friend. Trevor was hard at work, long fingers typing furiously, the tip of his tongue sticking out as he stared at the computer monitor. When he finally noticed Darren, a bright grin curved across his lips. “Hey buddy,” he greeted, giving Darren a short nod. “What’s up?”

Trevor’s upbeat tone did nothing to ease his worry. “Can I uh… talk to you for a minute?”

His friend stared for a moment, wide eyed in a way that made Darren think of how Trevor over exaggerated when acting for a sketch. But when he answered his voice was light and easy, as if nothing was amiss. “Sure.” His brow quirked in amusement. “You gonna come in?”

Darren laughed faintly, a shrill sound that grated on his ears. God, why was he being such a pussy? But he entered the office, closing the door as he came into the room. If Trevor thought it odd, he didn’t show it. Instead the other man leaned back in his swivel chair, propping his feet up onto his desk in a show of casualness. For a minute Darren stood awkwardly, not sure if he should take a seat or not. It didn’t feel right. But Trevor’s smile was waning, and his eyes were getting wide again, so Darren quickly sat, settling into the padded chair in front of Trevor’s desk.

“So uh… what’s up, Darren?” Trevor asked as the silence stretched. His head was ever so slightly tilted in question, and Darren felt the imprudent need to laugh at the sight. He looked like a shaggy dog, brown hair cascading around his soft face, wide eyes so naïve and bright like man’s best friend. Trevor could be so adorable sometimes. And he didn’t even know it.

Squeezing his hands together in his lap, he threw a smile towards his friend in what he hoped was a reassuring way. “I just wanted to talk to you about the first sketch today.”

Trevor’s head tilted further, but his confused expression was replaced with what Darren thought was a relieved grin. “Oh, that’s all? I thought you were like… going to tell me you’re in love with Zach or something. Jesus dude.”

Darren felt like his ribcage was growing smaller, squeezing all of the important organs caged inside. “No, nothing like that,” he managed, but he could hear that his voice was off kilter, sounded different.

“What about it? Thought of a better line?”

He just needed to say he couldn’t do it. That was all. Trevor would ask questions, sure, but he’d deflect, come up with a good excuse. It wasn’t like it was the best sketch they’d ever written. No one was that excited about it. He tried to tell himself it didn’t matter that it was Trevor who had come up with the skit. He would understand. One of the other guys could just take his part in the scene.  

“I’m just… I’m not comfortable with it.” He tried to make his voice sound firm, but his words came out with hesitation, an instant weakness that Darren resented. “I honestly think it’d be funnier if Timmy-“

Trevor cut him off before he could finish. “Wait, what?” He held up his hand to stop Darren in his tracks. “Just yesterday you were fine with it. It’s hilarious the way it is.”

“I was fine with it until we ran through it yesterday…” Darren tried to explain. He lowered his eyes, staring down at his hands in his lap.

His friend didn’t answer for a while. But when he did he could tell that Trevor’s anger was getting close. His voice was getting tighter, words more clipped. “Darren, you’ve done stuff like this before. What’s the problem?”

How did you explain that it wasn’t the offensive humor that was the problem? That it wasn’t dressing up as a woman (and looking damn good while doing it, if he did say so himself) that was throwing him off? How could he tell him it wasn’t the onset nudity later in the sketch? Because Trevor was right. He had done all of that, seen all of that, participated in all of that since the very beginning. What had changed now?

How did you tell your troupe leader that it was because you had to kiss him during the skit? And not a fake kiss either. All the guys had agreed the sketch was better if the cameras, and therefore the audience, could visibly see Darren and Trevor’s tongues intertwining in an obnoxious display. Several of them had kissed before for the sake of a joke, and no one had taken it to heart. Why would Trevor believe he was having difficulty with this one, unlike any before?

“It’s Aimee,” he blurted, closing his eyes in shame when the words escaped.

Trevor snorted. “My girlfriend? She’s the problem?”

Darren raised his head, feeling a spark of anger at Trevor’s derisive tone. “None of the other guys are in relationships,” he spat.

The other man actually had the gall to snort with laughter. “So? Married actors kiss each other all the time. Aimee understands.”

Alrighty then, so this wasn’t going to work. Trevor wasn’t going to quit pushing this. He wanted to scream Yeah, but would their spouses be okay if their costars had some weird as fuck feelings while they kissed? Doubt Aimee would be okay with that! But instead he went with, “Well my girlfriend doesn’t like it, okay?”

It was a blatant lie, and if the look on Trevor’s face was anything to go by he knew it. But his friend humored him. “You have a girlfriend?”

“Yeah.”

“What’s her name?”

“Candice.” It was the first name that came to mind, and he just about hit himself in the face when it came out.

Trevor’s face was deadpan serious. “Candice. Really?”

“Yes, really.”

“Like…the name of ninety percent of our female characters on the show?”

Darren knew he was caught, but he couldn’t very well give up the charade now. “What of it?”

Trevor removed his feet from the desk and leaned forward, settling his elbows on his knees. “Darren, come on. What’s the real problem?” He looked up at the clock on the wall and sighed. “We’ve got half an hour until we’re supposed to be at wardrobe.” He rubbed his hands across his face, fingers tangling through several strands of hair as they made their way down. “I can’t help you if you’re not going to tell me the truth.”

“I just… I…” Darren shook his head and shrugged, hating the threat of tears that burned in his eyes. He just couldn’t get the true words out. “There’s other stuff in there that makes me uncomfortable too.” The excuse sounded hollow and lame even to himself.

“How about this,” Trevor began, and Darren didn’t think he was imagining the gentle tone his friend had fallen into. “We run through the sketch, just us two, right now, and we’ll figure out which parts are making you…uncomfortable.”

“No, that’s stupid. I don’t –“

“Darren, stand up.”

He couldn’t really argue with that tone. It made him feel like a child, or like Trevor was his boss and not really his friend. And Darren had always felt like the odd man out of the group. Sure, they were all really good friends, but he had been the last to join the Whitest Kids. It always felt like he was just on the outside of the circle, always just on the periphery of being a best friend. Trevor’s suggestion (well let’s be honest, it was a command) brought his insecurities to the forefront of his mind. But he stood up anyway, trying to hang onto indignant anger at Trevor’s bossiness instead of his timidity with his place in their ensemble.

Darren stood, defensively hunching his shoulders as he squared off in front of his friend. Sometimes he hated how tall Trevor was. “Gee honey, I’m so glad we’re getting married in a week,” his friend boomed, taking on the persona of his character.

He glared in the taller man’s direction, and when Trevor frowned at him he rolled his eyes. “Trevor, this is st-“

“GEE HONEY, I’m so glad we’re getting married in a week!” he loudly repeated, interrupting Darren’s protests.

“Yeah, I just can’t wait,” he answered, throwing his voice into the pitch that was high enough to be believable, but not over exaggerated like the other guys liked to do when they played women.

Trevor moved close, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Oh the things we’ll do when we’re married.” Trevor squeezed his shoulder until he made eye contact. “Is this the part where you get uncomfortable?” Darren didn’t miss the ridicule in his friend’s voice.

“We’ll grow old together, and have babies, and go on road trips,” Darren cooed, clasping his hands up in front of him and batting his eyes. He made sure to stare up at Trevor, smirking in way that he hoped was perceived as a challenge.

Trevor’s lip quirked but he too continued the scene. “Yes yes, of course, dear. But you do know that we have to get one little thing out of the way first.”

“And what’s that, honey?”

Trevor stared off in space, a big leer on his face. “My bachelor party.” His free hand swept out in a waving gesture, as if he was directing an audience’s attention to the main act on stage.

“No honey, please!” Darren gasped. He dug his hands into his friend’s shirt, pulling him closer. “Every woman knows what happens at those horrible parties.”

A theatrical sigh from Trevor. A soft caress on Darren’s cheek. “I’m sorry my love, but it has to be done.” Before Darren could deliver his next line, Trevor stilled his hand against Darren’s face. “Is this making you uncomfortable?” he stage whispered, voice dramatic as if this real life problem was just a part of the skit.

“Fuck you,” Darren whispered back, and Trevor responded with a small grin.

Darren threw his head back, shouting an embellished “Nooooo!” He made sure his voice wasn’t too loud, not wanting the other guys or film crew to hear and wonder what was wrong. When he finished, he let go of his friend and took a step back.

“Okay, so then we cut to the bachelor party. Sam and Timmy will be over there.” Trevor pointed, even though Darren knew just as well as him where each one of them was supposed to stand. “Zach will be next to me. Make some small talk. Take a couple shots. And then the door will bust open and two girls come in.” He waved vaguely towards his office door. “They start to dance, look real nice, take their tops off.” He lifted his eyebrows at Darren as he finished.

“No, I’m fine with that,” he hissed, answering the unspoken question.

Trevor nodded and grabbed the office chair that Darren had been sitting in and took a seat. “Then Zach will say he got me a real nice surprise – most expensive and sought after stripper the company has. I’ll take a seat.”

“Trevor, I know the sketch, okay?” he reminded, rolling his eyes as he said it.

His friend ignored him. “The door will open again. Girl in dominatrix gear shows up. Mask on to hide that it’s you. Starts to grind all over me.” Trevor leaned up in his seat. “Wait, is that the part that makes you…uncomfortable?”

He was just about fuming at this point. Really, he should just say yes right there. Maybe it would get him out of doing the sketch. But Trevor’s mischievous sneer and mocking tone was infuriating him. So instead of taking the easy way out, he forged ahead, forgetting he was nearing the kiss, and therefore danger. “No Trevor,” he grit out, crossing his arms with a huff.

“Well get over here then. Your lap dance moves need work.”

Darren could feel his eyes widening. He searched Trevor’s face for any sign of joke, but his friend’s face was serious. With shaky steps he approached the other man, trying to fall into his character to ease the awkwardness. He began to dance, shaking his ass and gyrating his hips in a weak imitation of the real girls that were going to be a part of the sketch.

“Okay see, here’s the problem,” Trevor commented, all business. “The audience isn’t supposed to know it’s you yet. We need to make them believe you’re actually a girl. You’re too stiff.” And then Trevor’s hands were on his hips, firm and steady. Each digit on his hand seemed to burn Darren through his clothes. Darren was sure there would be scorch marks after this. “Rotate right here a bit more. A little more gently. Go ahead.”

Darren attempted to steady his breathing and began to move again, struggling to twist in the way Trevor was asking of him. They made eye contact, and Trevor looked pleased if his smile was anything to go by. “Much better,” he commented.

And then his hands were gone and Darren could breathe again. Trevor’s voice seemed faint when he started up again. “Alright, so you dance, hit me with your whip a little bit. I get too excited and rip your mask off. Music stops, guys and girls gasp. It’s my fiancé. I yell ‘What’s going on?’. And then you say…”

He took a deep breath, trying to shake the fuzziness that was clogging his brain. “I say…” He scrambled to remember his lines. “Uh… Honey, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you. I’m not actually a Sunday school teacher. I’m a stripper.”

Trevor nodded in approval. “Silence for a while. I stand up, look furious.” Trevor stood as he spoke. “Alright, I’m gonna continue the scene now, okay?”

If he wasn’t so caught up in the way Trevor’s hands had felt on his body he would have been touched at the gentle way Trevor was treating him. “Yeah,” he breathed. His mind was screaming at him, warning him that the kiss was fast approaching. But through the fog in his mind he barely heard the shrill cautions.

Trevor took a deep breath and then adopted a manic expression. It was quite believable to be honest, and for a moment Darren actually though his friend was serious.  “I can’t believe this! I don’t think I’ve ever been so betrayed.”

Darren remembered in a halfway suitable amount of time to look pitiful as Trevor began to pace. He sniffled. “Honey please,” he begged, extending his hands out to reach towards the other man.

“You lied to me…Candice,” Trevor stated, and the name drop had not been in the original script, but it seemed to fit. They shared matching smirks at the jab.

Trevor approached, and Darren felt his lungs seize up. “I should end our engagement right now. I’ve never been so angry.” He grabbed Darren’s shoulders and pulled him in close, their faces just a few inches apart. “And I’ve also never been so turned on.”

There it was. They were supposed to start kissing. Their kiss would get more and more unbearable for the viewers. First with tongue and loud noises, then they would start falling over props, until they ended up on the floor in a tangle of limbs. And the guys would exit with some sort of snarky line that Darren just couldn’t quite remember. And then the two stripper girls would shrug and start making out with each other.

But Trevor didn’t move things further. Instead he pulled back slightly, warm breath ghosting against Darren’s face. “So can we both agree that this is the only part that makes you uncomfortable?” his friend whispered.

His voice was so soft, so without contempt, that Darren felt safe. With complete honesty he nodded. “I just can’t, Trevor. I’m sorry.” His words were barely a whisper. The sting of tears was back. He felt so pathetic. Why couldn’t he just do this?

“I told you Aimee didn’t care.”

Darren felt a sob lodging in the back of his throat. It absolutely ached. “She would,” he answered, paying no attention to the way Trevor shook his head. He lowered his gaze, looking down at the floor, trying to fight his emotions.

He startled when Trevor put a hand to his chin and lifted his face. His friend’s expression was tender and kind. It made him want to cry even more. “I’ve talked to her about it. She really doesn’t care. Why won’t you trust me?”

Suddenly Trevor’s compassion made him angry. He was just so stupidly guileless sometimes. “Trevor, seriously!” he spat, twisting away from the hand that had felt so right against his skin. “You just don’t get it!”

Trevor was shocked at his outburst, eyes wide again like they had been at the beginning of their interaction. “What don’t I get, Darren?” His friend’s voice was still so soft, still sympathetic in the face of Darren’s anger.

It went against everything in his heart to tell the truth. He didn’t want to be treated differently. He didn’t want his relationship with Trevor to change. He didn’t want to be even more on the outside of their friend group than he already was. Hell, he didn’t even know exactly what he felt, but he knew he felt something for this man in front of him. This wonderful, smart, comical, wacky, man that elicited so many emotions in him. But despite the blaring sirens in his mind he spat, “I like you, okay?” He refused to look at Trevor. “I can’t do the scene because it would be wrong.”

Deadly quiet met his reveal. He could feel his heart about to burst with the speed it was beating at. His lungs wouldn’t expand. Breath refused to inflate them. The nervous sweat was back, soaking the small of his back. And it seemed to hang like that for hours, when in reality it was just a few seconds.

The last thing he expected Trevor to say was, “Aren’t a lot of our sketches technically wrong? I mean we had Zach commit suicide in season one…”

There was laughter in his voice, and Darren finally looked up, incredulous. Trevor’s warm smile was there, and there was no change in the way he was looking at him. Darren couldn’t find any disgust or shock. All he saw was the smile, bright and comforting in a way that made his heart swell with relief.

“Well yeah,” he weakly replied. He couldn’t look at Trevor anymore. His shoes were easier. And oh, the carpet pattern really was lovely when you actually stared at it.

He didn’t notice Trevor moving closer, wasn’t aware until the same hand from before was back on his chin, lifting his head once more. Darren tried to pull away but Trevor’s other hand was at his back, firmly holding him in place.

His eyes flicked up to Trevor’s, expecting to see a mocking expression on his face. But as he raised his gaze, he was stunned with Trevor moving nearer, bringing the distance to a close. Soft lips were pressed against his own, a gentle touch that appeared to be asking permission.

Darren groaned with desire but he resisted, pulling his head back as far as it would go. He didn’t think Trevor would be so cruel. The teasing hurt more than any rejection could have. And yet his friend still held him fast, didn’t let him go despite his struggles. “Get off,” he growled. He could practically feel the tendrils of resentment twining around his heart.

“Don’t think we have enough time for that,” Trevor joked. When his comment didn’t elicit laughter from Darren he sighed. “Would you stop that and listen?”

He didn’t want to, but he quit trying to pull away. His chest heaved with heavy, angry breaths. Trevor’s tight grip eased when he stopped fighting.

“You’re pretty obvious,” Trevor started, and the smile was back. “Even Aimee could see you had a thing for me.”

Darren sputtered. He hadn’t even been aware of his feelings until acting out the sketch. How in the world had she seen what he hadn’t even known in his heart?

Trevor shushed him. “She’s very perceptive.” He mock groaned. “It gets reeeeeally annoying.”

He didn’t smile, refused to give in.

Trevor forged ahead anyway. “Like I said, she’s really good at these kinds of things. So it wasn’t that surprising when she talked to me about it.” He shrugged.

So the two of them had known and been talking about it? Darren couldn’t believe it. Had the two of them been making fun of him? Betting on when he would finally cave and reveal he was a raging faggot? Deep down Darren knew that Aimee would never do that. She was such a kind person, would never have a negative thing to say no matter what. Which is why he was even more against kissing Trevor. He just couldn’t do that to such a sweet person.

“Aaaaaaanywaaaaay,” Trevor continued. And because he knew his friend so well he could see the faint traces of embarrassment begin to creep into the taller man’s voice. It caught Darren’s attention and he honed in on it, curious.

Trevor took a moment to continue. His arms shifted, and it was the first time that Darren noticed that his friend’s hands had moved lower, closer to his ass than before. It sent an unwanted, tingling thrill down his spine.

When Trevor continued, it was stumbling and uncoordinated. It was so unlike his leader that Darren listened as hard as he ever had, heard every word like it was shouted through a megaphone. “She saw it in me too. The uh…interest, I mean.” A long, long pause. “In you.”

He could scarcely believe what he was hearing, and his astonishment must have been impossible to miss because Trevor blushed, actually blushed, as he ducked his head. Soft hair cascaded down, framing the handsome face that Darren admired so much.

Clearing his throat, Trevor raised his head once more. “I wasn’t lying. I did talk to her. She uh… Well she’s great. You know that.” Darren nodded despite the stab of jealousy that tore inside his gut. “And she… well. God, this went so much better in my head,” his friend groaned.

Their gazes met in that moment, and Darren was sure that the electricity that sizzled between them wasn’t imagined. But he hardly dared to hope that what he was feeling was real. Stuff like this just did not happen in real life. It was too good to be true. The next words out of Trevor’s mouth would be a gentle letdown.

Whatever Trevor saw in their shared look seemed to bolster him, for when he spoke his voice was not halting anymore. “Aimee doesn’t mind sharing. She actually thinks the idea of us together is kind of hot.”

He couldn’t help it, but he began to laugh. He couldn’t even tell why. Maybe a mixture of feelings. Profound relief, amusement with Aimee’s antics, enjoyment at the expense of Trevor’s embarrassment. The force of his laughter just about bent him over, but Trevor was there, strong and solid and keeping him upright.

Trevor also laughed, though it was a more subdued sound. He seemed to be trying to read the situation, uncertainty shining in his eyes as he watched Darren’s reaction.

A lingering doubt prowled around his brain, and when the laughter subsided he stared pointedly at his friend. “You’re not fuckin’ with me, are you?” His voice was so much more confident than he actually felt.

Instead of an audible answer, Trevor leaned down, once more pressing his lips against Darren’s. It was the softest touch he’d ever received from another person, more hesitant and timid than his first kiss even. Warmth blossomed in his chest, and Darren wrapped his arms around Trevor, mirroring his friend’s hold against him.

He furthered the kiss, pressing more firmly. The gentle touch from before was quickly gone, and instead open mouths revealed fierce tongues, exploring with an eager passion that had just so recently been exposed. Each of them moaned from the intense pleasure, both men grasping the other tighter as they deepened the kiss.  

Like a bad cliché, it ended far too soon, almost as soon as it began. A high pitched alarm began to shriek from Trevor’s phone on the desk, an alert to warn him that it was time to head to wardrobe to get ready. They pulled apart, Darren biting his lip, Trevor goofily grinning. Trevor moved first, picking up his phone to turn off the alarm. Darren put his finger to his lips, trying to hang onto to the erotic stinging that remained from their kiss.

Neither had a chance to speak before the office door was slammed open. Darren jumped at the intrusion, suddenly intensely grateful for the phone’s interruption. Sam stood in the open doorway, heaving like he had just ran a mile. “Hey queerbaits, are you coming or what?” he bellowed. Darren had the inane thought that fans loved Sam’s yelling. What they didn’t know is that it echoed his real self much of the time.

“Yeah yeah, we’re comin’,” Trevor answered, waving his hand at Sam in a shooing motion. “Get goin’ faggot.”

“YOU’RE the faggot!” Sam shouted, but the grin on his face was full of humor. He saluted them both before taking off. Most likely to go hassle Timmy and Zach down the hall.

Trevor turned to face him, and Darren gave him a shy smile. There was an unresolved tension in the air, but it filled Darren with hope rather than dread. His friend glanced at the clock with a groan. “Can we discuss this whole thing later?” Trevor asked, lament evident in his voice.  

“Of course.” He nodded as he shuffled his feet self-consciously, feeling ridiculously timid in Trevor’s presence now. An abrupt fear assaulted him, and he couldn’t help but give voice to it. “Aimee really said… that?” He trusted Trevor, but it really did sound too good to be true.

A snort followed his response. “You can ask her yourself if you want.”

Darren just about died at the idea.

“Come on.” Trevor shoved his phone into a desk drawer. No distractions on set, right. Trevor was all seriousness when filming.

He felt his insecurities leaping and lunging, struggling to break free from the chains he had them in. Had Trevor meant what he said? Would this change their working relationship? Was he still welcome in the group? Did Sam have any idea what had just happened? Would he care if he had?

The thoughts were strangling him, drowning him in their furious onslaught. But then a soft warmth was cradling his face, while smooth lips slid against his own. An aura of calm soothed his mind, and Darren returned the gentle touch, choosing instead to drown in the care and comfort Trevor was giving him.

“You think too much,” Trevor murmured, their lips touching as he spoke.

Darren chuckled. “Says the guy with OCD.”

“Touché.”

He reveled in the embrace, letting the pacifying waves of security wash over him, calm him down. It was just what he needed to get settled enough for shooting that day. He’d sort out his messy feelings later. Darren’s eyes slid toward the open door. His surprise must have been easily seen again. Or maybe Trevor just knew him so well.  “They won’t care,” he commented perceptively, turning his eyes towards the open doorway. “We all know Zach’s a queer anyway.”

“Total flamer,” Darren agreed.

Trevor’s grin made his heart beat faster. “Alright, come on.” His friend gave him one final squeeze before they separated. “Time to film a show!” Trevor shouted as he stepped out of the office, loud enough that everyone down the hall could hear. He began to bound towards wardrobe, shouting all the while. “Guuuuuuuys, let’s gooooo!”

A loud “Fuck off!” could be heard from Timmy’s office in answer to Trevor’s racket.

Darren clicked off Trevor’s office light, looking back at the room with a mixture of confusion, reverence, and awe. It had been an impossible reality to think that Trevor would ever reciprocate his feelings. Happiness didn’t begin to cover how he felt. It was like a dream, and he felt like any moment he would wake up. Darren wasn’t sure he could go on if that happened.

He began to walk towards wardrobe, listening to Trevor’s overbearing shouts as he rallied members of the crew. Sam was yelling too, shouting vulgar obscenities to anyone that was lagging. Just a normal day on set of the Whitest Kids. The thought brought a sharp grin to his face.

As he continued to follow the sounds of his friends’ loud voices, Darren found his brain begin to whir again, thoughts flicking by and assailing him with questions. Trevor had been aware of Darren’s feelings before he’d even revealed them. ‘I thought you were like… going to tell me you’re in love with Zach or something.’ He had interpreted Trevor’s comment entirely wrong then. The real implications of what Trevor had said brought another wave of bliss that flowed all the way to the tips of his fingers.

He stepped into wardrobe, two of the makeup ladies almost instantly grabbing him to get his prosthetic breasts in place. Another stepped up and began applying makeup. A niggling feeling was worming around, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. He wanted to talk to get his mind off of his pesky thoughts, but he kept quiet, not wanting to disturb the ladies that were hard at work getting him ready. He watched the four other guys instead, laughing and joking as they were fitted with their outfits.

Sam and Trevor were play-fighting as Zach pulled on a pair of slacks. A pretty woman was patting at Timmy’s face, trying to reduce the shine on his forehead with a special powder. He felt oddly happy to be on the outside this time, able to observe his friends without feeling left out like he used to. A blonde wig getting adjusted on his head obscured his vision for a moment, but when he was able to see again, he noticed Trevor was looking at him.

His friend’s grin was so full of mischief, the arched eyebrow seeming to insist there was a joke that Darren just wasn’t getting. He went back through the past half hour, going over their conversation in his head. ‘I thought you were like… going to tell me you’re in love with Zach or something.’ Okay, so he’d been deflecting with that comment, right. Darren already knew that. ‘She saw it in me too. The uh…interest, I mean. In you.’ The proverbial lightbulb went off in his head. Wait… had Trevor… Had Trevor written the bachelor party sketch just to… Just to… His eyes widened and lip-gloss moistened lips parted in wonder.

Zach was approaching before he could finish that train of thought, and just by the tilt of his smile Darren could tell he was about to tease him. “Damn Darren, you look fuckin’ hot. Maybe I should switch spots with Trevor just to get a piece of that.” He waggled his eyebrows and began to guffaw, laughing harder when Darren’s cheeks grew hot with mortification.

He didn’t know how to answer. Normally he would have shot a comeback as easily as the air he breathed. But he felt all askew, his tryst with Trevor muddying his brain. The problem was solved when he felt a strong hand slid around his back, squeezing tight when it found his shoulder. Darren looked up, saw Trevor standing possessively beside him with a strained smirk on his face. “Hey man, back up. His ass is mine.” The tone was kidding, but Darren saw that there was truth behind the words.

Zach apparently didn’t see anything past the joke, however. He chuckled again. “Fine fine, have him. But I get sloppy seconds!” he announced as he retreated, heading towards the set.

“Sorry,” Trevor breathed, and he shook his head. “I just…wow. I don’t know. I knew he was just fucking around, but…”

Darren leaned closer to Trevor’s hovering body. “It’s okay. It’s all…new. We’ll figure it out.” He turned to face his friend, an impish leer curling his painted lips. “Plus I thought it was kind of sexy.”

Trevor’s answering smile was so genuine that Darren felt as if his heart would burst from the flood of adoration that swelled his heart. They shared a look that spoke volumes, of promise, of mutual pining. The set bell rang, ending the moment. Crew members rushed around them. Sam started yelling again. Trevor extended a hand, and Darren grabbed it, clasping it tightly. “Let’s go make out in front of our friends,” Trevor said, pulling him up out of his seat.

But Darren knew what he really meant was, “I think I kind of love you already”.