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Schrödinger's Kiss

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It was a Tuesday movie night, and Dennis’s arm was around Mac’s shoulder. He had moved progressively closer as Thundergun Express played; their thighs as well as the side of their chests were touching too. Mac liked when Dennis sat close like this, liked the warmth of Dennis’s body and the way he smelled. Sometimes he couldn’t believe that he and Dennis had become this good of friends. Almost twenty years and they were still going strong. Amazing.

He leaned his head onto Dennis’s chest, and Dennis’s arm pulled him in tighter.  Dennis’s palm rested on Mac’s chest. His heart fluttered; being best friends with someone was so great. Mac looked up at Dennis, smiled, and then realized how close their faces were. His fluttering heart went to his throat, and his breath caught. Dennis was really pretty up close, not that Mac would ever tell him.

Dennis was breathing steadily, but he had a weird look on his face, like he was about to do something very risky and important. His eyes scanned Mac’s face, then rested on his lips. Suddenly, Mac understood. Dennis was gonna kiss him.

A flash flood of terrified thoughts cascaded through Mac’s mind – was this gay why does this feel nice what does this change why – and his heart raced again. Mac didn’t move, felt stuck in some sort of limbo as he always did when Dennis looked at him this way. But unlike all the other times, Dennis wasn’t moving away.

Though he had a million things he wanted to say, he didn’t want to break this moment.  Maybe if they just didn’t talk about this, it would exist in a sort of limbo between happening and not happening. One time over the phone when he was in college, Dennis had tried to explain this weird thing about a cat in a box with some poison. How the cat could be dead or alive until you opened the box. Mac hadn’t been able to follow why Dennis was learning about this, but now he felt like he might understand a little bit.

Dennis rested his thumb beneath Mac’s chin, and angled it up even closer to his face. He leaned down and said, “Don’t worry baby boy, I got you.” Then his lips met Mac’s, and everything changed. Mac had never had a kiss like this before; it felt so good and so right. It made sense. He reached his hand up to cup Dennis’s face, and Dennis covered his hand with his own.

Mac’s lips parted Dennis’s with his tongue as the kiss deepened. Dennis’s skin was so soft and feminine, though his face was angular. His features existed in a comfortable androgynous space that convinced Mac further that this couldn’t possibly be gay. No, his buddy was just girlish, which is why he was so attractive. He pressed his lips harder into Dennis’s, trying to feel every inch. His lips tasted like cherries; Dennis was clearly wearing makeup.

Gradually, Dennis pulled away. He looked in Mac’s eyes, his own so clear and blue, yet unfathomable. Onscreen, something exploded, and Mac jumped a little. He broke eye contact to look at the screen. The moment, whatever it had been, was gone.

“This part where they escape is really good,” said Mac, voice shaking.

Dennis exhaled, long and slow. “Yeah it is, buddy. It is.”