“All right. Darren and Zach, you guys stand over here and hold hands. Sam, you...” Darren tuned out as he followed Trevor's directions for their next sketch. Zach smiled at him and grabbed his hand.
“So, you ready for this day to be done?” Zach asked him.
Darren rolled his eyes and squeezed Zach's hand. “You know it! Trevor's working us to the bone today.”
Zach laughed, causing Darren's heart to skip. He loved Zach's laugh. “Thank God this is the last sketch we're doing today.” Zach grinned down at Darren. “You coming out with the guys tonight?”
“Sure, sounds like fun.”
“Hey!” Timmy interrupted. “If you two are done whispering into each other's ears and playing with each other's hands, we're trying to film a sketch here.”
“Right. Sorry.” Darren apologized. He squeezed Zach's hand tighter and stared at the ground.
“Hey, relax man. It's just for the sketch. Don't let him get to you,” Zach tried to reassure, mistaking Darren's discomfort for fear of being called gay. “Two men holding hands for a sketch? Totally not gay.”
Darren flinched a little. “Right. Totally not gay.” He steeled himself for a tortorous sketch, trying to take his mind off the excitement of finally knowing the sensation of Zach's hand in his.
“Wait. Me and Darren have to do what?” The hair in Zach's wig covered his face as he swung around to face the rest of the guys.
Sam laughed, relishing in Zach's discomfort. “You two, dressed as girls, are gonna be making out. You see, the sketch is about....”
“I know what the sketch is about!” Zach interrupted. “I just don't understand why it has to be Darren and me. Can't we get a girl to do one of the parts or something?”
“That would defeat the purpose,” Trevor explained. “The whole point is that both the chicks look like dudes in girls clothing.”
“You can just say you don't want to do it, Zach,” Darren chimed in. “No one's forcing you.”
Zach turned towards Darren. “You're okay with doing this?” he asked.
Darren grinned and shrugged in, what he hoped looked like, nonchalance. “It's just a sketch. Not gay or anything.” He hoped he was doing a good job covering what he really thought of the whole thing. If Zach agreed to the sketch, he would finally get to kiss him. Something he had wanted to do since they first met.
It had been an instant attraction for Darren. He had been on the set of some independent movie when his life had been changed forever. When he first saw Zach, Darren's breath caught in his throat. He had never been attracted to men before, but he had always had an open policy when it came to sexuality. Being confronted with Zach awakened a desire in him he hadn't known he could feel. When shooting was over, Darren had sought Zach out, hoping to get his number. He thought there might have been some mutual interest there before Zach's girlfriend had joined them. Darren's hopes were dashed. He wasn't discouraged though. Maybe Zach could become a good friend instead. A hope that was realized when Zach asked Darren to join his comedy group. They had been friends ever since.
He still wanted nothing more than to be with Zach, but he knew that wasn't possible. He would settle for a sketch-kiss. “I'll do it with anyone,” he lied. “You can back out if you want to.”
“I guess I'll do it,” Zach agreed. “Two guys kissing for a sketch? Nothing gay about that, right?”
“Right. Absolutely nothing gay about that.” Darren moved into Zach's personal space.
Zach reciprocated the action and cupped Darren's hips. “Maybe a little gay,” he breathed into Darren's ear.
Darren shivered and leaned further into Zach. Could there be hope after all?
“And, action!” proclaimed Trevor.
Trevor, Sam, and Timmy begain reciting their lines as Zach and Darren waited for their cue. When it came, Darren leaned forward and breathlessly attached his lips to Zach's. They pressed against each other for a split second before Zach whispered, “Let's give them a real show,” and opened his mouth against Darren's. Darren did the same, and they were finally kissing...really kissing.
It all ended too soon when Trevor yelled “Cut!”
Darren pulled away reluctantly. That was one kiss he would never forget.
“I was wondering,” Zach asked Darren one night as everyone was getting ready to go home. “Do you want to hang out tonight? There's a new restaurant I've been dying to check out, but I feel weird about going alone. You want to come with?”
“Doesn't your girlfriend want to go with you?”
Zach shifted uncomfortably. “We, um, broke up. Last Friday.”
Last Friday. The day they filmed the kissing sketch. Hope bloomed in Darren's heart. Was Zach asking him out on a date? “That really sucks. You doing okay?”
Zach sighed. “Yeah. We both realized we wanted different things. It was time for a change. So, you wanna go?”
Darren smiled. “Sure, sounds fun.” He gathered up his things. “Are any of the other guys coming?”
“I was actually hoping it could be just you and me. We haven't really hung out just us two lately.” Darren thought he saw a blush color Zach's face, but it was gone in an instant. “I mean this in a totally not-gay way. Just two guys going out to dinner together. Nothing gay about that.”
Darren clapped Zach on the back and let his hand linger a little longer than necessary. “It's a not-gay gay date.”
After their not-a-date, Zach asked Darren to come back to his house. “Just for a couple of drinks. Nothing weird.”
When they got there, Zach gestured to his couch and said, “Make yourself at home.” Darren sat down. “What do you want to drink?”
“Just a beer would be great.” Darren looked around as he waited for Zach to return.
It didn't take Zach very long to grab two beers and join Darren on the couch. They sat in awkward silence before both speaking at the same time.
“So how have you been?”
“I like what you've done to the place.”
Darren laughed nervously. “Sorry. This is just a little weird.”
“It is a little weird, isn't it?” Zach sipped some of his beer before setting it on the end table. “Look, I don't know how to do this.”
Darren's heart sped up. “Do what?”
“Do, um, do...” Zach took a deep breath. He let his hand drop onto Darren's thigh. “This,” he whispered before leaning in to kiss Darren.
Darren's whole body froze in disbelief briefly, before he pushed forward into Zach. They drew away slowly and Darren felt all the breath rush out in a gasp. “I'm pretty sure you know exactly how to do that.”
Zach laughed and leaned in for another quick kiss. “Yes, I do know how to do that.” He ran his hand up and down Darren's arm. “I've just never...with a man before.”
“Neither have I.”
“Wait. You thought I was...”
“All the longing looks. Your reaction to our first kiss. Can you blame me?”
Darren laughed. “I like you. That doesn't mean I'm gay. Just...fluid. Are you gay?”
“I've never been attracted to another guy before you. You're very...confusing for me.”
“Then we're in the same boat, aren't we?”
Zach grinned. “Looks like it.” He kissed Darren again, this time sucking in Darren's lower lip. “Do you want to try, um, you know.” He waved his hand to indicated their lower bodies.
“Where's the bedroom?”
After a lot of awkward fumbling, they managed to somehow get undressed and horizontal. Darren let his eyes wander up and down Zach's body. He was so gorgeous and everything Darren had wanted for years. “I can't believe this is finally happening.” He reached out and lay his hand on Zach's chest.
Zach snaked his arm around Darren's hips and pulled him closer. “Me either.” He thrust gently forward, bringing their groins together.
Darren closed his eyes and bucked against Zach. “'s good,” he slurred, seeking Zach's mouth with his own. They kissed and stroked each other to the very edge, where they careened over together.
They sat for a few minutes in silence, catching their breath. Darren buried his head in Zach's chest and sighed. “So, sex and cuddling. Does this count as gay yet?”
Zach laughed. Darren felt the vibrations gently shake his body. “Sex and cuddling between two guy friends? Very gay?”
Before drifting off to sleep, Darren murmered, “Gaily gay.”
Zach chuckled and kissed the top of Darren's head before following him into slumber.