"And I... oh, golly, I just. Um."
Jake laughs, high and nervous, and rubs one hand through his hair. John furrows his brow, clearly confused, and it's really adorable and yeah he needs to just get this out of the way, it is taking over his thoughts.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm pretty fond of you!"
John's confusion immediately gives way to a bright grin. "Oh, well, duh. I like you too, Jake! That's how friendship works!"
No, okay, Jake reminds himself, John's a smart kid, he really is, he dabbles in ectobiology for god's sake, this is not a reflection on his intelligence he's just a tiny bit oblivious. Just a little bit.
"No, I mean, to put it more succinctly I like you." He pauses and then feels the need to repeat himself, more emphatically. "I like you."
"Oh, like..." John blinks, waving a hand aimlessly as though the gesture will reveal all. "You like like me? Like, crush like?"
"Well," Jake shrugs. "When you put it that way it sounds like we're primary schoolers, but, uh. Whatever. I'm romantically interested in you? Does that work?"
"Yeah, no, I get it now," John assures him. He considers Jake for a minute, and when the older boy has been reduced to awkwardly fidgeting with the hem of his jacket, he continues, amiably, "So are we going to make out now or what?"
Jake's eyes snap up from where they've focused on his shoes to stare at John, who has really the biggest shit eating grin on his face. "So, you, uh, you're okay with--?"
"Dude," John says. "Shut up and kiss me."
So he does.