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It Had to Be You

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Timothy had never felt so vulnerable in his entire life. He could take a jab and dish it back no problem. It didn't even matter if it was physical or verbal. Whatever heated argument came up, the mouse could usually bounce right back.

But he wasn't expecting that to happen with one of the people closest to him. They'd got in a pretty big fight, which was something they rarely did anymore. But it wasn't the punches or the insults that was making the Brooklyn native close to tears at the moment.

It was the fact that he had admitted that he had deeper feelings for his best friend than the other had realized.

And that was something that didn't just happen with Timothy Q. Mouse. It was randomly blurted out amongst the insults. Now he knew that he was in love with him. But... he knew it wouldn't work out. He was scared of the so imminent rejection. So he ran.

He ran as far as he could until he reached a secluded area, an alleyway far from the party they were attending. His eyes were probably red and puffy from all the crying he was doing, but he didn't care. He didn't even care if he had lost his trademark red hat to the night. Right now, Timothy only wanted to stay huddled up like this, bawling and wallowing in his own self-pity. He was so stupid. How could he think that he would ever have a chance with the talented, charming, and all-around wonderful--?

“Timothy?”

The mouse's breath and gasps between sobs fell silent as his heart nearly skipped a beat. He found him.

“Tim, what're you doing out here?” the mouse's best friend asked, placing a gloved hand on the rodent's shaking frame. “You had me—all of us, really—worried sick about you.”

“Leave me alone,” Timothy managed to murmur out in between his sobbing. “Y-You'd... probably miss somethin' more important back there...” That was a lie. He really wanted him there with him.

The cricket shook his head and turned Timothy around to face him. “Look, Tim, I--” His expression was truly filled with worry. “I'm awful sorry about that fight. I didn't know what came over me.” When the mouse didn't respond, he sat down and pulled his sobbing friend closer to him. “And... I have a feeling that you didn't, too.”

“What do you know, Jiminy?” Timothy's voice was filled with bitterness. He just knew that the cricket wouldn't understand. Even though his best friend for years was now holding him in his arms, he just knew he didn't understand. Jiminy Cricket was a bit of a womanizer. Whenever a human-esque woman walked by, Jiminy couldn't help but admire her. He would stick on the straight-and-narrow path, pure and simple. And up until recently, Timothy thought that he himself was as straight as a nail when it came to romance. Then he had started to rethink his relationship with Jiminy, and then the fight had happened in front of everyone...

It would never work out. Jiminy didn't love him like that, and even if he did, it might cost the cricket his career. But there was that small part in Timothy that wanted Jiminy to reciporate the feelings that he held for him.

“For one thing,” Jiminy answered, pulling out a familiar flash of red from beside him, “I found this while I was looking for you. You're not one to leave your hat, now are ya?” He chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.

Timothy grunted, taking the hat and shoving it on his head while wiggling out of his pal's embrace. Jiminy sighed and gave the mouse some space.

“... thanks,” the rodent managed to mutter out.

“Not a problem, my friend,” Jiminy replied, smiling a little at his best friend's gratitude. It soon faded away when the mouse averted his gaze from him once again. Was it something he had said? “Tim, come on.”

No response. Again.

Jiminy gave a little huff. “Timothy, you're acting childish. All I wanted was to come out here and talk to you about what happened--”

“I didn't mean any of that!” Timothy suddenly snapped, finally turning partially to at least glance at him before looking to the ground before Jiminy could return the gaze. “End of story.”

“Not even when...?” He paused. Jiminy wanted to address that nagging issue, but he was trying to figure out how to word it so Timothy would talk to him. “When you... erm...” He cleared his throat, tugging at his shirt collar nervously. Gosh, this was making him speechless.

“When I what?” the mouse asked, not looking up at him.

The mouse's harsh tone only added more fuel to the fire, making the cricket's emotions reach a boiling point. “Timothy Q. Mouse, I can't believe how you're acting right now. I'd expect better of you, especially when--” Jiminy's words faltered. “Especially when you try and lead me on like that when you don't even know how I feel about you!”

That made the mouse's head shoot straight up and jerk around to Jiminy. The other's eyes were filled with hurt, now that Timothy had a good look at him. “... what?” he managed to squeak out.

“You're acting like a spoiled child--!”

“No, no! What did you say?” Timothy scooted closer to the cricket, a hint of hope in his watery eyes. Jiminy, realizing his blunder, quickly shut his mouth and glanced away, pulling his own hat over his face so Timothy couldn't see how much he was blushing.

It was Timothy's turn to turn the cricket around to face him. He couldn't believe what he was hearing, but he couldn't just ask Jiminy to clarify himself. Then neither of them would want to talk. Instead, he pulled the cricket closer and let his lips do the talking for him.

The kiss that Timothy gave was brief and awkward, thanks to his nose, but emotion was flavored all through it. Jiminy made a small noise in protest at first but soon found himself returning the kiss, eyelids drooping as he allowed himself to be consumed by uncertain feelings that he too had harbored for a best friend. It didn't even matter that Timothy's nose was in the way. The cricket simply turned his head to the side in an attempt to deepen the passion as he pulled the mouse closer to him.

Neither of them were sure who broke it off, but the two of them were soon clearing their throats, blushing and looking nervously in any other direction other than at each other.

“Well, I, uh...” Jiminy sputtered, trying to speak.

“Yeah,” Timothy responded, some relief washing over him but outweighed by a new wave of nerves.

They sat in silence for about a minute, maybe two or three, neither of them saying a word to each other or communicating outside of a few times when they caught themselves staring at each other before quickly looking away.

“... promise not ta breathe a woird about this ta anyone else?” Timothy asked, breaking the silence.

“After—yes,” Jiminy quickly agreed. “Promise. It's just...” The cricket removed his hat. “Wowzers. After all this time...”

“Yeah...” The mouse chuckled. “I was startin' ta think that... well, I thought that you were...”

“Just wanted to be friends with you?”

Timothy fell silent again. “... that, yep.”

“Timothy...” Jiminy took his companion's hands into his own, looking straight into his eyes. “I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather be with than with you, right now. You're one of the best things that happened in my life. Before I met you, I... I was a fool! A conscience, yes, but still a fool. Even when I was a young adult, I made foolish decisions and fell head-over-heels for a pretty woman's charms.”

“You mean, you still don't?” Timothy interrupted with a laugh.

“Hahaha, I know,” the cricket joined in with a chuckle before focusing back on the issue on hand. “But Tim, all of those were infatuations. At least, I feel like they were. I'll admit, I tried my luck with a number of girls in the past, hoping that they'd be the one. Still,” he continued, freeing up a hand to rub the back of his head, “for the life of me, I could never figure out why I really never felt that spark I feel when I'm with you. It's confusing, but at the same time...” Jiminy smiled at Timothy. “I don't think I'd have it any other way.”

Timothy felt like he might swoon, as corny as he kept telling himself it was. “Oh, Jiminy,” he breathed out. “I... I don't really know what ta say now.”

Jiminy cupped a hand underneath the mouse's chin. “Maybe I could fill in the blanks. Before I met you, I never had a real friend or companion that cared about me the way that I cared about you. I could never find myself connecting with anyone else, really. Sure, I might still talk to other people...”

“Jiminy...”

“And might have fun with them every once and a while...”

“Jiminy, please...”

“Even then, it feels like they don't thrill me at all.”

“Jiminy, you're makin' me blush...”

But tell me, why should it be true...?

“Oh god.” Timothy nearly over-dramatically melted in Jiminy's arms. He was singing to him in that smooth, sensual voice that could connect to anyone that listened to him. Timothy had always been impressed by Jiminy's singing abilities, something that he could never dream of comparing to.

That I get a kick...” Jiminy punctuated the last word with a small kiss onto Timothy's nose.

A lovestruck smile was plastered onto Timothy's face when they pulled apart. “Jim, yer a show-off. A born-entertainer an' a charmer, but still a show-off.”

An equally lovesick expression was on Jiminy's face as he gazed back at the mouse. “Only the best of the best for you, doll.”

“Ah, shaddup,” the mouse drawled, draping an arm around the cricket's shoulder, “an' show me what else you can do with that musical mouth of yours.”

Unexpectedly, Jiminy stood up and pulled Timothy into a French dip. “Gladly.” His lips pressed against the other pair, sweeping both of them into a metaphorical dance of emotion before pulling apart after what seemed to be forever. They stood there for a while, holding each other in their arms and nuzzling each other until Jiminy let out a small chuckle.

“What?” Timothy asked softly, glancing up at his newfound love.

“Nothing, it's just that,” the cricket smiled down at him. “Well, I don't think I ever heard you sing before, Tim.”

“Well, we all can't be solo artists,” Timothy answered with a shrug. “Some of us do bettah in groups--”

“No, I mean really sing.” Jiminy placed a hand on the other's chest. “From your heart. I know you might have the potential, Timothy, so don't try to cover it up.”

“Ah, geez...” There the mouse went again, blushing like a schoolgirl as he scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Do I hafta?”

Jiminy shook his head and held the mouse's hands at arm's length. “You don't have to,” he replied before gazing into his boyfriend's eyes, “but I'd appreciate it very much if you sang even a verse of something for me.”

Timothy blushingly grinned at him. “Jiminy... God, Jiminy...” The cricket was being too adorable now, especially under the moonlight. “Why do I do... just as... y-you say?” he nervously sang. “Why do I just... give you your way?” He really wasn't used to singing like this. Jiminy noticed this and silently urged him to continue. “Wh-Why do I sigh? … Why don't I try to forget? There must have been that... somethin'... lovers call... call fate?” The mouse glanced at Jiminy, not fully remembering the words.

“That's right, keep going,” the cricket whispered.

“... kept on tellin' me I had ta wait? I saw them all...” Timothy sighed, gazing at Jiminy. “Just couldn't fall 'til we met. It had to be... you...

It had to be you,” Jiminy sang back, noticing that Tim was faltering a bit. “I wandered around, and I finally found the somebody who...

Could make me be true,” Timothy joined back in, his nerves calming as they sang together. “And could make me be blue... And even be glad, just to be sad, thinking of you.

He didn't even notice that Jiminy had dropped out part of the way through the last part. Timothy kept on singing by himself. “Some others I've seen might never be mean. Might nevah be cross... or try to be boss... But...” He looked straight into his eyes. “They wouldn't do...

And nobody else gave me a thrill,” was his answer from the cricket, who stared back at him lovingly.

With all yer faults, heh,” Timothy smiled as he pulled Jiminy closer, cupping his face in his hand. “I'd still love you... still.” Closing the space between them, they kissed again. The two were in their own little world at this point, each of them feeling lighter than air and blocking out all other outside noises.

So enamored were they, in fact, that neither of them heard the calls of the other party-goers who were trying to look for them.