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that one perfect moment

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It’s Milton University’s annual battle of the bands and Kris is getting antsy. Well, having your band play one of your originals can do that anybody, he muses as he scans the audience from behind the stage. It’s a loud crowd and a particularly rowdy one which isn’t really shy in letting its opinion known as it boos while the school’s resident punk band The Queen’s Bubble Gum butchers a Sex Pistols song.

“Holy shit, Sid Vicious is rolling in his grave right now as we speak.”

Kris turns to see David standing beside him and glares. If there’s someone to blame if his song gets booed until they’re forced to leave the stage, then it is definitely David.

He must be really pale because David takes one look at his face and laughs. “You look like you’re about to start puking on my shoes, Kris – they’re new so don’t even think about it.” He sighs and puts his arm around Kris’s shoulders. “Hey, don’t worry about it. We’re better than all of these guys and come on, your song is awesome.”

“If anything bad happens, I’m going to make you pay for it big time.” Kris glares some more for maximum effect.

Kris pouts when David just squeezes his shoulder in response. “It’s going to be great. Come on, it’s Torres’s last time to play with us. We should have fun!”

“And we are so going to win this thing.” Both Kris and David look behind them to see their lead singer Adam standing about a foot taller than them in his platform boots. “Kris, stop fidgeting. I’m going to make your song my bitch.”

Kris rolls his eyes but smiles just the same. He knows Adam can deliver because he’s the best singer he knows and if there’s anyone who can make his song sound really special, it’s Adam.

Their drummer Kyle waves as he approaches them while talking to Torres, their bassist. Standing there with his bandmates around him, Kris’s nerves calm down, even if he’s still being teased for being such a worrywart. Ever since he started Velvet Bueller with Adam when they were 17, it has always been a big part of his life. For Kris, nothing feels like home than sitting in the middle of the studio – or in their case, a garage— to take apart and put together song after song with his friends.

He and Adam have been best friends since forever, and they both have seen a lot of changes through the band over the years but Kris thinks it’s safe to say that this current lineup is their best so far. Kyle is a year younger than them but when Kris and Adam heard him play the drums for the first time, they didn’t really mind that he was a sophomore. He fit like a glove, just like Torres did and between the two of them, the band took on a funkier side they sometimes explore when either Kris or David come up with a good enough song that can take on that vibe. David is the newest member of the band, and when he came on board, Kris found a songwriting partner, someone who just gets him: Adam even says they’re musical soulmates and even if that makes Kris roll his eyes, he kind of understands what Adam means.

Kris started writing songs a few months after he learned how to play the guitar when he was 10 but he’d never shown them to anyone, even to Adam. But then David caught him singing one of his songs while playing the piano, and he convinced Kris to share it with the band so they can all work on it. It was how bands work and become successful, he had said, and from then on, Velvet Bueller started working on original songs instead of the usual covers. They all bring in their songs and work on it, and so far, they’ve been able to survive through the temper outbursts and misunderstandings to create an environment that works for all of them.

It’s only been a few months since they’ve started working on original material so when David suggests they play Kris’s song Look Through Me in the school’s biggest band competition, Kris remembers thinking that it was a big joke. But the rest of the guys got really excited about it and they all worked hard until the song became the intense, moody and angsty wailing thing that it is now. In more ways than one, the song is what they all consider to be the band’s first big effort, something that showcased all their strengths to create one amazing four-minute moment.

Remembering all of that, Kris starts to relax. All of the competing bands are performing two songs each and Velvet Bueller has lined up a seriously rocked out version of Like a Prayer aside from Look Through Me. And when they get called on stage and start playing, the band just comes alive, and the crowd is on its feet, whooping and yelling and banging their heads. Kris suffers a brief moment of panic when Adam tells everyone that Kris wrote their second song, but as soon as he hears Torres’s familiar bass line and David’s guitar wail, Kris calms down and closes his eyes while his hands move through the keyboard.

All in all, it turns out to be an amazing night for Kris and the rest of the band, a perfect send-off to Torres who’s moving to Texas the following week. They all hug each other after they’re announced as the winner, the crowd’s screams following them as they exit through the side of the stage.

“I told you they were going to love it,” David tells Kris as they hug.

Kris beams and pulls back to look at David’s stupidly happy face, not really minding that they’re still both so sweaty. Then there’s a hushed moment when everything around them fades away, and Kris finds himself looking at David as if he were seeing him for the first time.

And that’s when Kris realizes that he’s in love with David.

It’s also when they kiss for the first time.

It feels like it’s been a long time coming, even as Kris thinks that the intensity he’s got in his chest may have just come from the high of playing a successful gig. But when he leans up to kiss David, Adam’s “well, it’s about fucking time!” not even distracting him, Kris wonders why he has never done this sooner. David kisses him like he’s been waiting for it forever and when he looks at Kris’s face with such fondness and affection, Kris’s heart trips.

Officially, nothing much changes after that night. They still spend a lot of time together, talking about music and school and the band. Except now, they make out quite a bit too even if they haven’t really talked about what’s going on between them; Kris thinks they’re such good friends that it’s quite unnecessary to do so and they’ll just fall into it at the right time. It’s easy and perfect and everything that falling in love with a close friend should be.

But everything turns to shit when, for the first time, Kris goes to the noodle shop where David works after school.

The amazing grilled chicken restaurant a block away from the noodle shop is the reason why Kris goes in the first place. He figures he can say hi to David since he’s in the neighborhood anyway and Kris rolls his eyes at himself as he’s being led to the noodle shop’s kitchen. David is kneading the dough and Kris is thinking how good his hands are when David looks up at him and just smiles. There’s a streak of moist flour on his cheek and it somehow makes the goofy grin on David’s face just perfect, as far as Kris is concerned.

Somehow that goofy grin makes him drag David into the dark alley where Kris gets on his knees and blows him. David’s surprised gasp is followed by a raspy moan that echoes across the alley and it gives Kris a heady feeling because yes of course, everything is better when he’s in love. He’s always been that guy – the one who gets off on late night whispers and quiet Sundays spent singing along to Beatles love songs.

David kisses him as soon as he’s on his feet, and Kris moans when he sees David’s cock still hanging out from the open zipper of his jeans, slick with come and Kris’s spit. Kris feels David’s hands on his ass until they’re practically humping each other. And when Kris comes, he can see white picket fences, rocking chairs and children with funny hair.

They go home together that night and sleep until the next afternoon. They both have the day off from classes and work and they spend most of it fooling around. Kris honestly thinks that everything’s going to change, that because he’s willing to take the next step means that David is too.

Kris is so giddy with his epiphany that he doesn’t realize at first that David’s being weird around him. It isn’t very obvious because they still hang out all the time, but David starts disrupting their routine. Kris doesn’t realize he’s looking forward to their little schedule, not until David misses their third breakfast in a span of a week.

Breakfast is Kris and David’s thing. The tradition started when Kris first moved in the apartment beside David’s in an off-campus complex. He came in too early and woke up David who was nursing a really bad hangover. Kris felt so bad that he offered to make cheese and mushroom omelets, and David devoured most of it in about five minutes. That became the first of many and since then, David has learned how to make amazing coffee and squeeze the perfect orange juice. Kris still makes the omelets and bacon, but sometimes he brings muffins too, especially if there’s something special going on.

He brings over David’s favorite banana muffins one Saturday but David just takes one look at it before announcing that he’s expected to work early that day, something about a special Chinese holiday. Kris finds himself nodding as David steps out but it isn’t until he starts making his own coffee does he realize that David has used the same excuse three days in a row.

He pulls out his phone and calls Adam. “Do you think Dave’s being weird around me?”

“Oh my god, are you having one of those breakfast things again? Because seriously, it’s too early for this shit,” Adam grumbles and speaks to someone, his muffled yawn making Kris roll his eyes.

“Will you stop fondling Brad for two seconds and answer me?”

“You’re such a pain in the ass.” Kris can practically see Adam’s scowling face. “And yes, ever since that blowjob you sprung on him, he’s been looking, I don’t know, skittish?”

“What’s wrong with a blowjob? Everybody likes a blowjob.”

“Oh Kris, honey, that’s true and you have a very pretty mouth to do it with. But what did I tell you about talking to him about all of this?” He sighs. “You look at him like he invented ice cream and yeah, who can live up to that?”

“Um… what?”

“OK, either you talk to him or back off just a bit. I know you – you’ve got that dopey look on your face – you know, the one where your eyes almost bug out in sheer happiness. It’s really quite sickening.”

“Was that really necessary?” Kris mumbles and tries very hard not to blush.

But Adam just ignores him and goes on, “you’re in love, I can see it, so I think Dave does too. Talk to him, he looks like he’s a bit in love with you too.”

“Really?”

“Shut up, you know he does.” Then the line goes dead.

Kris looks at his phone then shakes his head, already used to Adam ending conversations like that. He starts typing a text for David but decides against it since they’ll be seeing each other anyway later that night for band practice. He figures that if they’re going to talk, it’s totally going to be better if he initiates it in person.

: : : : :

Band practice is turning out to be a disaster. David comes in late, which in itself is already odd because he’s usually the first one to arrive whenever they set up a rehearsal. He and Kris pick most of their songs, and they brainstorm before the other guys come in to make the final decision. So when even Adam comes in half an hour before him, Kris’s resolve to talk to David just weakens almost to the point of non-existence.

They talk about plans of auditioning for a new bass player and getting that regular spot at the Dive’s Friday night lineup. Kris notices that David hardly contributes to the discussion, which is so not like him. It worries Kris because if this continues, the band’s dynamic will also be fucked as hell and he can’t let that happen. So when Kyle and Adam get up to meet the pizza guy at the front door, Kris slowly walks over to where David is fiddling with his amp.

“Sorry man, it’s just been a crazy time at the noodle shop,” David tells him as soon as Kris reaches his side.

Kris lets out a sigh of relief. “Um, I understand. I left the muffins at your kitchen counter…” he trails off when he sees the confused expression on David’s face.

“Oh, right. Thanks, man,” David smiles before clearing his throat. “And I hate being late for practice like this, holding you guys up when Torres just left.”

Kris feels his face burn with embarrassment. Of course, David’s apologizing for that and not for missing breakfast. Obviously it’s not as important to him as it is for Kris. Kris is a big boy though, and he can take that for what it really is, for everyone’s sake.

“Hey, it’s alright. The guys and I don’t mind. Adam was showing us one of the songs he’s working on and it sounds great.” He shrugs. He turns his head when he sees Kyle open the door and moves to walk away but David catches his arm.

He turns back to look at David and smiles cautiously, waiting for him to say something.

“Kris, you know you’re… we’re friends, right?”

David says it so softly that it actually takes a moment for it to sink in. Kris finds himself nodding and reaching out to squeeze David’s shoulder. “Yes, you don’t need to worry about anything.”

He turns away before David’s able to respond, walking over to where Kyle and Adam are taking out the paper plates for the pizza.

Kris sleeps through breakfast the rest of the week.

: : : : :

Torres has been gone for two weeks but they still don’t have a new bass player. Kris can tell that the guys are getting restless, mostly because they’re scheduled to start their regular gig in a week. Finding someone who can mesh with the band dynamic at such a short time is going to be a challenge.

And then of course, there’s the issue between him and David. Kris tries not to move differently around him especially during band practice, and he’s been successful so far – well, he thinks he is, fuck what Adam says about unresolved sexual tension threatening to snap guitar strings in half. David’s the same way: he comes on time and discusses songs with Kris, jokes with him as if nothing happened. If there are some lingering looks, Kris thinks it’s maybe because David misses his omelets and well, Kris figures that David can always get someone to make it for him. Kris knows his place now.

So mostly it’s been a bit of a stressful time for everyone in Velvet Bueller. But like an angel – well, not really – Tommy Ratliff comes in to audition and manages to make everyone’s life better.

He’s not the best they’ve seen but he’s the one who fits. During his audition, Tommy manages to make Adam sit up and admire his hair and eyeliner. Kyle talks to him about horror movies until the rest of the band rolls their eyes at them. David perks up when Tommy mentions that he loves the Foo Fighters. And he makes Kris grin when he says that he really wants to play in a blues band if he ever gets the chance.

Picking Tommy to replace Torres is a no-brainer. He picks up on the arrangements quite easily, gives amazing creative input and just really fun to have around. After four days of practice, it’s as if Tommy’s been playing with them forever.

The gig at the Dive turns out to be one of Velvet Bueller’s best. The chemistry between them and Tommy is insane, and the crowd laps it up. When they launch into Purple Haze, the whole club is on its feet, and yelling drunkenly. The band’s on fire and Kris is so into it that when he walks to the center of the stage to start his guitar duel with David, he just goes down on his knees and moves to the beat, letting the music wash over him.

Adam’s pitch perfect voice makes him open his eyes and then he finds David looking down at him, an unreadable expression on his face. It hits Kris so fiercely that he finds his breath catching even as his fingers are still working the strings on autopilot. He sees a look of uncertainty cross David’s face as he takes a hesitant step closer to where Kris is.

But before Kris can even discern what that means, he turns to see Tommy who’s also kneeling and rubbing against his side. The crowd is going wild and Kris finds himself grinning at Tommy, who just raises an eyebrow and licks his lips suggestively. Kris just shakes his head and laughs as they play the final chords of the song. They get up and Kris just hugs Tommy because damn, he feels good.

Tommy surprises him by kissing the corner of his mouth. When Tommy pulls away, Kris smiles back at him and puts an arm around his shoulder as they leave the stage. Kris is practically skipping: this is his favorite kind of high, the sweaty after-show adrenaline surge that has him feeling good for days.

The band celebrates by getting drunk and talking to Torres via Skype. Kris is sitting beside Tommy, who’s so drunk he ends up half-sprawled over Kris’s lap. Across them, Adam’s making out with his boyfriend Brad and Kyle’s busy flirting with the waitress Nury, who just gives them round after round like she’s on a mission to get them wasted.

David’s sitting on Kris’s other side but he’s barely speaking, just downs whatever Nury’s placing in front of him like he’s there to get blindingly drunk. Kris turns to speak to him a few times and when he finds himself touching David’s arm, Kris pulls away instinctively, not wanting to make things weird. David seems to want to tell him something but everyone’s getting increasingly rowdy and Tommy’s just being a big distraction with the way he’s playing with Kris’s hair. Besides, Kris doesn’t think he’s ready for whatever David’s going to say so he finds himself indulging Tommy by letting him nuzzle his ear.

He doesn’t even mind when Tommy starts kissing him. It starts with just pecks on his jawline and cheek and his hair, and Kris laughs while petting him because he’s cute, OK? And it stops him from worrying about David looking like he doesn’t want to be around Kris at all. David’s fidgeting and through the drunken haze, Kris can see how he’s flexing his fingers around the bottle of beer he’s holding. Kris realizes that David’s uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to think about why David’s feeling that way because he wants to enjoy this night while he still can.

All hell breaks loose when Brad suggests they play Truth or Dare. They all groan in protest because hello, are they 12, but Brad just carries on and puts Kyle’s empty beer bottle at the center of the table. Kris sees the wicked gleam in Adam’s eye and kicks him under the table but he misses completely and hits Brad’s leg instead.

“Ow! I’m fragile, Kristopher. You’re so going to pay for that,” Brad sneers and Kris swallows because yeah, that sounds like a legitimate threat.

They start playing and after ten minutes, they get increasingly loud as Kyle tells them that he had sex with his forty-year-old high school librarian and Adam grudgingly admits that his guilty pleasure is wearing those ratty sweatpants from ten years ago that Brad threw away once. Brad looks outraged as Adam recounts saving the sweatpants from the trash while Kris stood in the driveway as lookout. That gets Kris another glare from Brad so it’s totally understandable that he becomes nervous when the bottle points at him.

“Truth or dare, Kristopher,” Brad smirks, crossing his arms over his chest and looking at David for a second before raising his eyebrows.

“Um. Dare?” and Kris puts his hands over his face, groaning while Tommy pets his hair.

He sees Brad open his mouth but Adam speaks quickly, eyes sparkling. “Kiss Tommy. With tongue.”

Kris removes his hands over his face because, what the fuck? He chances a glance at David who’s just watching everything with a blank expression on his face.

“What the hell, man?” Kris scowls while Brad actually claps his hands in delight and gives Adam a kiss. Adam just shrugs and laughs, and Kris wants to kill him –he can go save his sweatpants on his own when Kris himself throws it away.

“I don’t mind,” Tommy says and he’s grinning the way that the happily drunk do.

“Come on, Kris. Think of it as a welcome gift. You’re the pretty one,” Kyle chimes in as he sets his phone to record the kiss.

Adam huffs. “I resent that.”

“Dude, no kissing other guys for you. Brad’s scary and we like having full use of our body’s constitution,” Kyle says, eyes and phone still fully focused on Kris and Tommy.

Kris fidgets and blushes until even Nury stops in front of their table and says, “Another round on me if you kiss him for at least 20 seconds. Pretty boys sucking face makes this job bearable.”

Kyle, Adam, Brad and Tommy hoot like the crazy people that they are, and Kris bangs his head on the table. But when David says, “yeah, it’s no big deal, just a kiss, man,” Kris just feels the burn of frustration and anger in his chest and thinks, fuck this.

He then gets up and settles in Tommy’s lap, and he barely notices the cheering and hoots around them. Tommy’s laughing, his head dropping back to reveal the stretch of his neck, and Kris just goes for it and licks along its length. Tommy stiffens under him and then it’s on.

Tommy lifts his head and meets Kris’s mouth clumsily, all tongue and teeth. Kris moans because holy shit, this feels great, and he responds by pulling on Tommy’s hair, pressing against Tommy’s hands which have somehow managed to make their way to Kris’s ass. He can hear the band and Nury counting slowly to twenty – they’re so obviously cheating, the fuckers – but he doesn’t really mind. He feels so good with the alcohol and the adrenaline from the gig buzzing through him, and Tommy’s just going all out, kissing him like he’s been waiting to do it all night. And Kris just lets go because he deserves this instead of pining for some half-assed excuse of an infatuation that he could have just imagined.

When they all shout “twenty!” Kris slowly pulls away and looks at Tommy’s dopey grin. Without even really thinking about it, he goes in for another kiss, lighter this time, just a short press of lips, before he gets up and settles back on his seat.

Brad is yelling at him and proclaiming his eternal love for Kris’s inner slut. Kyle’s already sending the video of the kiss to Torres and Nury’s flooding their table with drinks. Adam’s just smiling and nodding at him, looking satisfied; when Kris glares at him, he just winks and tilts his head towards David.

David’s looking at the other end of the bar, drinking his beer like it’s a lifeline. He’s gripping the edge of the table tightly, and Kris finds himself staring at the way the skin stretches over David’s knuckles. He sighs and when he looks up, he finds Adam rolling his eyes at him.

“Are we still going to play? I don’t think anyone can top that,” Tommy smirks and snuggles closer to Kris’s side.

Kris blushes when Brad makes a dirty joke about topping Kris, and they all just snicker. Well, except for David, who gets up after a few minutes, putting his empty beer bottle on the table.

“I need to go. Early day tomorrow,” he mumbles while putting on his jacket and checking his pockets for his phone and keys.

“Hey come on! It’s just midnight, Cook, don’t be such an old lady!” Kyle whines even as he’s slumping on his chair, his eyes half-open.

David ignores him and just raises his hand in a wave as he walks away. They all stare at his back in silence and Brad just rolls his eyes. “That went well,” before poking Adam with his elbow.

“What?” Kris knits his eyebrows in confusion. Kyle’s fiddling with his phone again and if he’s watching the damn video again, Kris is going to smack him on the head. Tommy’s head is resting on Kris’s shoulder and he absently pets it, as he stares Adam down.

Adam shrugs and downs the tequila that Nury puts in front of him. “Better than I expected. Did you see his face? He’s so fucking jealous!” He turns to Tommy. “You’re a genius, by the way.”

Tommy shrugs. “Kris is pretty. I like Kris. It’s not exactly a hardship.”

Kris looks down at Tommy before resting his elbows on the table. He stares at Adam and Brad. “Spill. What’s going on here?”

Adam sighs. “Well, Tommy asked me a few days ago about you and Dave, because hello, didn’t I tell you about the unresolved sexual tension?”

“There’s no unresolved sexual tension…” he starts to protest but Brad cuts in.

“Well, technically it’s not exactly unresolved… but you know what we mean, “ and he winks while Kris blushes and ponders hiding under the table.

“So anyway, I kind of told Tommy about some of it – come on, don’t look at me like that, Kris. I’d never sell you out… what? I didn’t tell him the details!” Adam continues after taking a deep breath and glaring at Kris. “I mean, Tommy’s part of the band now and I’m sorry, honey, but the crazy vibe between you and Dave’s making all of us nervous. So Tommy said that we should make Dave jealous!”

Kris stares at Tommy with wide eyes. “This was your idea?”

“Yeah, I thought taking advantage of you would be fun,” Tommy shrugs before grinning. “And it totally was.”

Brad reaches over and pats Tommy’s cheek. “Wonderful execution, by the way.”

Tommy smiles proudly and puts his arm over Kris’s shoulder. “Hey, I was just sitting here. That was all Kris.”

Kris pushes Tommy away and huffs. “What the hell?”

Tommy sobers up – if that’s what you call trying to sit up straight while slurring the words out slowly – and says, “Seriously man, you two need to figure things out. The guy’s obviously into you.”

“How do you even know that? You’ve known us for a week!” Kris shots Tommy an evil look.

Nury cuts in as she puts a bottle of vodka on the table. “Well, if it helps, I’ve only just seen you tonight and I know that guy’s nuts about you.”

“I know! I totally pinned Dave for straight until I saw him looking at Kris, and well…” Tommy nods eagerly until he clutches his head and groans. “Oh fuck, when did I get this drunk?”

“You want to see the video? The lighting is gorgeous. ” Kyle chimes in and Brad coos at him when he hands over his phone.

Kris looks at Adam, who just waves his hand across the table as if saying, see?

Kris just slumps in his seat and pouts. “Well, he didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with me.” He points a finger at Adam. “And you know I tried.”

“Is this the part where we start acting like girls and talk about our relationships?” Kyle loudly says and that earns a loud laugh from Tommy who’s now got his head in Kris’s lap.

Kris ignores him and says, “I just don’t know what to do anymore. The ball’s in his court, I guess.”

He must have sounded really pathetic and sad because Adam reaches over and touches his arm. “Well, at least you tried. He’ll get his head out of his ass soon.” He squeezes Kris’s arm when he says, “he better.”

Kris just shrugs. “Some people are just meant to stay friends. Maybe Dave and I are like that.”

“Oh god, Kris, shut up. You’re the marshmallow to Cook’s hot chocolate,” Kyle says as he puts his phone down on the table and manages to knock over his drink.

“Did someone record that? Because it’s beautiful and we can use it to make fun of Kyle in the future,” Brad speaks loudly and takes out his phone before telling Kyle to repeat what he said. Kyle does and Brad’s able to record it, and Kris just wonders why he has friends like this.

But on second thought, he’s kind of glad he does; despite all their meddling, they make things bearable and well, fun. And more than anything, it just makes him want for everything between him and David to go back to normal, for them to go back to the easy friendship they had before Kris went crazy. And Kris really believes that they’ll get there soon because Kyle’s right: marshmallows and hot chocolate should always go together.

: : : : :

There is a pounding inside Kris’s head and it just won’t freaking stop. He groans loudly and puts his arm over his face but the pounding is relentless so he sits up. But that just makes everything spin so he lies back down on the floor until he hears someone call out his name.

Kris opens one eye and accidentally kicks Kyle’s head when he attempts to get up. Kyle pushes him away by nudging his left thigh, and Kris crawls towards the door because of course, he’s sprawled on the floor of his apartment’s entryway; he has no idea why he even slept there when there’s a perfectly comfortable bed just a few feet away. All he remembers is getting pissed with the band and his roommate Isaac picking them up from the club because they were all too drunk to drive.

There is another series of knocks on the door and Kris groans from where he’s slumped on the wall before crawling again. Screw breaking his heart: he is never getting this drunk again.

He finally gets to the door and reaches up to turn the doorknob. And then he finds himself looking at David’s shoes.

Kris sits on the floor and looks up. He tries to smile but he thinks he just looks pained because David shakes his head and reaches down to help him up.

“You look like shit, man,” David says as he puts his arm over Kris’s shoulders. Kris makes a sound that’s part protest, part agreement as he rests his head on David’s shoulder.

They step over the snoring Kyle and David leads him to the couch on the living room where there’s a bundle of blankets and a mountain of pillows. David pushes at the blankets to make room but a sound from under the pillows makes them step back. Tommy’s blond head peeks out and he opens one bleary eye to look at them absently.

“What the fuck? What time is it?” Tommy sounds as shitty as he looks.

“Not so loud, man,” Kris tells him and he pouts when David laughs softly.

“It’s 9:15,” David replies.

Tommy frowns. “In the morning?”

“Yes. Go back to sleep,” David tells Tommy, who just turns and appears to snuggle the pillow beside him.

The pillow moves and snuggles back. It turns out to be Isaac who has a smattering of bite marks on his neck. Kris tries to recall how that even happened but Tommy saves him the effort by sleepily resting his face against Isaac’s neck and well, biting. Isaac moves closer to Tommy and Kris just buries his face on David’s chest because seriously, when the hell did that happen.

David relaxes against him and Kris finds himself being led to his room, but as soon as they open the door, they see Brad and Adam sprawled on his bed, asleep and naked.

So that explains why he fell asleep on the floor. “Oh god, I’m going to kill them. Adam better replace those sheets,” Kris mumbles as they make their way to the kitchen.

The kitchen is thankfully empty and David leads Kris to a chair. Kris slumps down and rests his head on the table, the cool surface against his cheek making him sigh. He’s vaguely aware of David moving around the kitchen and somewhere in the corner of his dazed brain, there is the slight case of nerves that he always feels when he’s around David these days.

Kris falls asleep again and when he wakes up, the warm sunlight coming in from the window is making him sweat. His head also feels clearer and the slight pounding at the back of his eyes is not that annoying anymore. He raises his head and yelps in pain when his head hits something hard. He looks up and sees that he’s actually under the dining table; how he got there is beyond Kris but he turns and sees David looking up at him from where he’s lying down on the floor.

Kris lies back down while rubbing the top of his head. “Why are we even here? This is my apartment, I should be more comfortable.”

“Well, Tommy and Isaac, and Brad and Adam are still sleeping, so we really don’t have a choice,” David replies as he scoots from under the table to stand up. Kris moves to follow him because his back and neck already hurt like hell, and he seriously needs to stretch his legs.

David reaches out a hand to help him up and Kris stumbles a little when he gets on his feet. David steadies him and places a kiss on top of his head.

Kris’s heart goes into overdrive and he follows David's movements with a slight frown. What the hell was that? Kris just shrugs it off, thinking that maybe finally everything’s going back to normal, and isn’t that what he wants in the first place?

So he just takes the aspirin and glass of water that David hands over to him and smiles in relief. But when he turns back to put the empty glass on the sink, he catches his breath when he sees the table.

There’s a basket full of his favorite strawberry muffins right at the center and it’s surrounded by two plates filled with cheese omelets and bacon paired with coffee and orange juice. He feels a little bit of hope but he tells himself that David probably just thinks they all need breakfast since they were all pretty wasted when David left the Dive last night.

Kris looks at David who’s looking nervous; David rarely looks unsure and Kris just wants to reassure him that there will be no misunderstandings this time around, that their friendship is important enough for Kris to set aside whatever feelings he has. So he smiles despite the sinking feeling in his stomach as he reaches for the coffee.

“Thanks, man. Wait until the guys see this,” he takes a sip of the coffee and moans because life is unfair and David still makes the most amazing coffee. “OK wait here, I’ll just wake them up.”

He starts to walk out of the kitchen but David reaches out to stop him. Kris turns back and looks at him, drawing his eyebrows together as he waits for David to say something.

“Um, can we wake them up in a few more minutes? Maybe we need to talk for a while,” David softly says.

Kris nods and sits on a chair, telling himself to calm the fuck down when David sits on the chair beside him.

“Well, I didn’t know they’d all be here,” David starts and nods towards the doorway.

“Isaac picked us up so we all crashed here,” he shrugs. He then takes a deep breath and decides to just get over with. “Hey Dave, the guys talked to me about this… um, thing between us and I’m really sorry I messed it all up. Don’t worry about anything, it won’t happen again, I promise.”

David’s silent for a couple of seconds before he clears his throat and says, “it won’t?”

Kris nods, looking at his hands. “Yeah, I can get over it. I know where I stand so… yeah.”

But he finally looks up when he feels David touch his hand. “I don’t think you do.”

Kris frowns and looks at their clasped hands. “What?”

“Know where you stand.”

“Um.”

David smiles at him and squeezes his hand. “Because if you did, you would know why I was here so early today.” He laughs when Kris wrinkles his nose in confusion. “I missed breakfast. I missed you.”

“Oh, ok,” Kris says as he tells his heart to shut up. “Um, we can still have breakfast whenever you want to.”

“Jesus, I don’t even know why I’m in love with someone as clueless as you,” David shakes his head in frustration and Kris just stares at him because he must have heard him wrong.

He’s about to say something stupid like, can you repeat that? but David just laughs and tugs him closer until they’re kissing and Kris thinks that he’s dreaming and… crap, when did he regress into a teenage girl?

When they pull away from each other, Kris catches the look he’s wanted to see in David’s eyes since the day Kris realized that he loves him. So he asks, “why didn’t you just tell me? Could’ve saved us a whole lot of trouble.”

“I just needed time, that’s all. And well, there’s Adam…”

Kris frowns and tilts his head because what? “What about Adam?”

David fidgets and when he looks at Kris, there’s a small smile playing on his lips. “Well, you’ve been best friends for a long time and I figured that someone like him must be your type… and then Tommy came along and he’s like Adam…”

Kris laughs loudly until there are tears on his eyes because seriously, he really didn’t expect that. He takes a deep breath. “Adam’s like a brother to me,” he snorts before going on, “and you know what they say about family, right? You can’t choose them even when you really want to.” He rolls his eyes when he sees David blush. “And what the hell? I gave you a blowjob in a street alley! If that doesn’t tell you anything, I don’t know what could. Seriously, man.”

David rubs the back of his neck in embarrassment. “I’m an idiot, ok?”

“You really kind of are,” Kris scrunches his nose and tips over as he laughs when David lightly pushes him away. But David catches him back and wraps his arms around him, and when Kris feels David kiss his temple, he just sighs happily and buries himself deeper in David’s arms.

“Well fuck, look at that. Can I barf now?”

Brad’s voice makes Kris and David look back at the doorway where they see Brad leaning and smirking.

“Go away. Go home. Leave us alone,” Kris mumbles as he burrows back into David’s shoulder.

“That’s the thanks we get? Ungrateful bitch,” Adam marches into the kitchen and grabs a muffin. “Kris, honey, I think Tommy and Isaac are fucking in your living room. Go out there and tell them not to mess up the couch. It’s a pain to have those stains removed. I told you that that upholstery job blows.”

Kris rolls his eyes and groans. “Stop eating my muffins! They’re mine. Just as my bed is, jerks.”

“That’s not the way to treat your guests,” Brad nods and grabs a glass of orange juice. “Well fuck, this orange juice is the equivalent of an orgasm in the middle of a hot summer day.”

“I made it for Kris,” David says and Kris just blushes when Adam and Brad turn to look at him, eyebrows raised.

Brad gets up, taking the half-full glass of orange juice. “OK, I get it, I get it. I’ll just be over there and wake up Kyle so he can take a video of Tommy and Isaac.”

Adam turns to leave after him but he turns back and glares at David. “Don’t do that to Kris again.”

As soon as Adam is out of the room, David turns to Kris with wide eyes and asks, “Did that just happen?”

Kris laughs. “Adam can be pretty scary.” He then scoots away and laces his fingers with David’s. “But yeah, next time, just tell me, OK? If there’s anything you want to say or do or whatever…” he trails off when he sees David looking down at him fondly.

“I will,” David smiles. “We’re together now, OK? I just want to make that clear.”

“OK.” Kris then crosses the space between them and just hugs David. And just like a song, the moment becomes perfect when all that Kris loves just comes together: his friends’ obnoxious yells and cheers from the other room, the warm smell of coffee and omelets, and the sweet strawberry muffins he tastes when he kisses David.