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That's What Friends are For

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“So here’s the thing,” Danny says, getting up off Jackson’s bed and heading over to stare at Jackson’s computer screen which is cycling through pictures he’s downloaded off the internet.

“The thing?” Jackson asks when Danny doesn’t say anything else. He wouldn’t usually bother, since Danny interrupted Jackson’s musings about whether he should take Andrea or Michelle to the eighth-grade Winter Ball, and he’d like to get back to that, but Danny won’t look at him, and that’s weird.

“I’m not gonna ask a girl to the dance,” Danny says, staring hard at the picture of Michael Phelps holding his eight gold medals.

“Okay. I’m not going stag with you though. Andrea kisses with tongue, and Michelle told Ryan she doesn’t think sucking a guy’s dick sounds gross.”

Danny looks up as the picture of Phelps fades into Drew Barrymore from that one movie where she kisses the chick who was on Roseanne. “I don’t think sucking a guy’s dick sounds gross either,” he says.

Jackson’s first thought is, Of course he doesn’t, what guy thinks having his dick sucked sounds gross? Then his brain catches up to what Danny actually said. “You like dick?” he asks, just to make sure they’re on the same page.

Danny shrugs a little, but now that he’s looking at Jackson he doesn’t look away. “Yeah,” he says. “I mean, I’m pretty sure.”

“But you’ve never done anything?” Jackson’s gonna kill him if he’s been fooling around with someone and didn’t tell his best friend in the whole world. “Because you’d tell me, right? I’m your best friend.”

“Just that seven minutes in heaven game where I touched Angela’s boobs.” Danny shrugs again. “But you knew about that.”

“I mean with a guy, duh. You’ve never touched a dick?”

“My own. Kind of a lot.” Danny plucks the lacrosse ball off Jackson’s desk and rolls it over in his palms. “While I watch gay porn.”

“Dude! Where’d you get gay porn?”

“You want gay porn?” Danny looks confused.

“Any porn would be great. I can’t get past the lock on my computer.”

Danny sits in Jackson’s desk chair, running his finger across the trackpad on Jackson’s laptop to wake it up. “You’re fucking hopeless, dude,” he says. Jackson doesn’t argue, even though he’s actually awesome, because Danny is way, way better at computers than he is and is totally going to unlock the porn pathways.


Danny doesn’t find a guy to take to the dance, because Karl is going with Josè, and Brian is grounded, and Danny thinks Phil’s a jerk, and that’s it for guys in their class who think they might like dick enough to go to the dance with a dude. Jackson ends up taking Andrea, who might kiss with tongue, but is totally not interested in kissing Jackson, which, what is even up with that? She’s totally more interested in going to the girls’ room with her friends to check her makeup. Danny’s parents are away at a conference for his mom’s job, so he’s spending the night at Jackson’s after, because they think he’s too young to stay overnight on his own.

“They should totally just have let me stay with you,” Jackson says as they’re getting ready for bed.

“Yeah. Because two thirteen-year-old boys are so much better to leave alone for a weekend than one.”

“I’ve never broken my parents’ house.”

“Except the time you had that party and those high school kids came and puked on your parents’ bed and you had to fake you’d had the flu when they could still smell it on their mattress.”

“Whatever.” It’s stupid. Jackson’s mom will totally probably come up later to make sure they don’t need one last snack before they go to sleep. If they were at Danny’s house, they wouldn’t have to worry about that kind of shit.

“Your parents are nice, anyway,” Danny says. Danny’s parents actually belong to him. He doesn’t get what it’s like being Jackson.


They’ve brushed their teeth, and Jackson’s parents have called goodnight through the door, and Danny’s breathing steadily from his side of the bed, but Jackson can’t sleep.

“If you think you might like sucking dick, you could practice on me if you want,” he says.

Danny snorts like Jackson’s said something funny. “Thanks, but you’re not my type.”

Jackson gropes himself. Definitely dick there. A pretty nice one if he says so himself. He’s watched a lot of porn in the last couple weeks, and feels much more qualified than he did a month ago to say, puberty isn’t treating him too shabbily. “I’ve got a dick, don’t I?”

This time Danny’s snort is accompanied by an elbow in Jackson’s ribs. “Do you like every girl at school?” he asks.

“No. Duh. But if any of them wanted to suck me I wouldn’t say no.” Jackson considers for a second. “Except maybe that Erica chick. She might bite it off if she had one of those fit things.”

Danny goes up on one elbow so he can stare at him. “That right there,” he says. “That’s why. A, you’re my best friend, but most importantly B, you’re kind of a jock asshole. Oh, plus you like pussy.”

“Doesn’t using the word pussy make you a jock asshole too?” Jackson’s pretty sure he’s heard that using that word makes you an asshole.

Lying back down, Danny says, “Opposites attract.”

Jackson doesn’t really have anything to say to that.

Except ten minutes later Danny hasn’t started snoring yet, and Jackson still wants to know what it feels like to have someone else touch his dick. “It could just be like practice,” he says. “I’m not asking you to marry me or anything.”

“So you’re offering to let me give you a blow job, out of the kindness of your heart?”

“Yeah.” Jackson doesn’t get what the big deal is.

Danny rolls on his side away from Jackson. “Go to sleep,” he says.


When swimming starts up in the spring, Danny and Jackson both end up on the A relay team, Jackson swimming freestyle and Danny butterfly. A new kid’s swimming backstroke and Phil is doing breast. Phil’s still a jerk, and the new kid’s parents won’t let him swim at school out of normal practice, so the two of them split the strokes between them to work on getting their times down. For some reason Danny looks trustworthy, so they even have permission to use the school pool after coach has gone home for the day, as long as they promise to never practice alone.

The showers are open-plan, but Danny and Jackson have been changing and showering in front of each other since they were six, so it’s no big deal. Except since the last time Jackson actually looked at what Danny was packing in his speedos it’s definitely gotten bigger. “Where’d that come from?” he asks.

Danny looks down and cups his hands over his junk. “Sorry,” he says. “I wasn’t even. Sometimes it just does that. Take off your cold, wet suit—“

“Grower, then. Nice.”

Turning away from Jackson, Danny reaches for the soap.

“Can I touch it?” Jackson asks. He didn’t even mean to. He dated Tammi Chang for three weeks after the Valentine’s dance, and nothing has changed on the liking pussy front for him, but he’s curious.

“It’ll—“ Danny’s shoulders hunch. “It’ll go down on its own. No one has to touch it.”

Jackson steps closer. Close enough to tug on Danny’s shoulder a little, turn him so Jackson can see again. “Just a hand job. Between friends. No different than when we jerked off together at camp last summer.”

Danny’s gaze lifts from his dick to Jackson’s face. “Except we were both in our sleeping bags in different bunks and you weren’t touching my dick.”

“You seriously going to turn down a free hand job from a hot guy?” Danny’s dick is up tight and hard against his belly, flushed much redder than any amount of hot water could explain. Way redder than Jackson’s ever gets. Longer too, and thicker. Jackson really wants to know what Danny’s gonna look like if he touches it.

“You’re really not my type, Jackson.”

“You don’t have to kiss me. Just let me get you off.”

“Fuck,” Danny says, voice shaking a little. “I’m really hard.”

“Or you can do it yourself,” Jackson says, because he’s hard himself now, and if Danny’s jerking it in the shower, he can get away with doing it too. He’s pretty sure that’s a rule.

“I’m not counting you as my first time,” Danny says, smearing his handful of soap on Jackson’s palm. “I like it fast.”


Danny’s dick is hot, and really slippery, and Jackson’s hand keeps popping off the end, because now that this is real, it seems too awkward to actually look at what he’s doing. “Jesus,” Danny mutters after the fourth time it happens, and grabs Jackson’s hand in his, wrapping both of them around his dick. Jackson stumbles a little, grabs Danny’s arm to steady himself, and they somehow end up with foreheads resting on each other’s shoulders, panting into each other’s ears, watching as Danny’s dick jerks and twitches between their fingers, soap bubbles cut through with jizz when he comes.

“Oh,” Jackson says, breathy and tight, because that was kind of cool.

“Gnnh, fuck,” Danny says, his head getting impossibly heavy against Jackson’s neck for a second before he slumps back against the tiles.

“Did you like it?” Jackson asks, because he’s pretty sure he was awesome once he got going, and hearing he was awesome always rocks.

“What do you think?” Danny asks, giving him a somewhat glazed version of his how-stupid-are-you? look.

“Did you want to try out the dick thing too, or should I take care of this?” Jackson indicates his dick which is still hard and would really like some attention.

“Still not blowing you,” Danny says, but he pulls Jackson closer, hand on his waist.

Danny doesn’t seem to feel awkward at all about watching what he’s doing, just gets his hand soapy again, staring at Jackson’s junk as he slicks it down his dick and over his balls. “How do you like it?” he asks, and for a second Jackson can’t even remember.

“Hard?” he says. “And, um, slow? Like, squeezing.” Danny nods choppily and gives Jackson’s dick a squeeze, right under the head. It’s a lot harder than Jackson does it, and makes him jerk back, but he grabs Danny’s arm when Danny goes to pull away. “No,” he says. “Keep— Yeah.” When Danny goes again he starts lower, and that’s much better.

They both watch Danny play with Jackson’s cock for a few minutes, heads back on each other’s shoulders, before Jackson braves saying, “You can play with my nuts if you want. I usually—“

Before he can finish, Danny’s reaching down and doing it. Hefting them in the curl of his fingers, rubbing with his palm, then pulling down while he tugs Jackson’s dick upwards. It’s the perfect combination, and with no buildup at all, Jackson spurts on Danny’s stomach and over both his wrists.

“So,” Danny says, smile on his face. “I definitely like dick.” And then adds when Jackson opens his mouth to say something, “But you’re still not my type.” He pushes Jackson gently back towards his shower spray, and steps under his own.


Danny’s first-time first time is with the catcher on their Junior League baseball team after the fourth win of the season. They’ve been making out after practice for a two weeks before it happens, Jackson keeping watch for them because Grant is the coach’s son, and Coach doesn’t approve of his boys being distracted by romance. Danny tells Jackson about it while they’re sitting on top of the slide in the park sharing one of Danny’s aunt’s cigarettes.

“It was awesome,” Danny says, dreamy smile on his face. “He made these sounds like, I don’t even know what, and he almost bit my tongue off when he came, but it was totally worth it.”

Jackson doesn’t press for more details because Danny’s always telling him that gentlemen don’t kiss and tell, but he’s glad his best friend has a boyfriend who’s a nice guy, and, not incidentally, a kick-ass catcher. And he never tells Danny that he’s the one who told Grant he was Danny’s type, and if he liked him he should go for it.