"Okay, okay. I...dare you...to..." Mark scanned the room, poking his brain for the perfect mix of disgusting and hilarious. They'd been at this truth or dare game for hours now, just the two of them, and they'd both entertained just about every idea in the book for a dare. Mark had to hold ice on his skin for a full two minutes (the red spot was still there), Ethan had to down a table spoon of hot sauce; Mark had to sit with his leg behind his head for a half hour, Ethan had to lick the dirt off of his own shoe, and challenges of that variety. The only thing they hadn't done was dare each other to eat Chica's shit off the floor, but even Mark wouldn't be that cruel (there was no harm in daring Ethan to clean it up though).
So what was left? "I dare you to..."
Ethan could sense the loss of ideas. "Ran out of things to do, huh?"
Mark pointed at a few things, trying to peice this and that together to try and form something. But the combination of being tired and having done every other idea he could think of left him defeated, and he let his hands fall into his lap. "I got nothing."
"We could do truth," suggested Ethan.
Mark scoffed. "Only babies do truth. If you wanna be a REAL MAN--" Mark beat his chest with his fist in an exaggerated fashion-- "then you'd do DARES only."
Ethan laughed, and Mark couldn't help the swell of pride that pervaded his smile as he laughed along with him.
"Okay, you have a point, but I don't feel like going to bed. Can we just do truth for a little while?" Mark raised his finger to debate, a joke caught on his lips, but Ethan was smart. He'd already caught on. "Even if it means we lose our manhood?"
Mark made a show of rolling his eyes. "Fine. But it'll be on your conscience."
"I'll try to ignore the pain."
Mark ran a hand through his hair, and a passing thought that he should get it cut entered his mind. He readjusted himself on the carpet, pulling his criss crossed legs close to him. "Okay, okay. Truth. Truth."
Ethan piped up. "I've got one!" Mark quirked an eyebrow at his sudden excitement.
"Lay it on me."
"Okay: so, who was your worst crush? Ever."
Mark scoffed. "Worst crush. That's the best you could come up with?"
"Would you rather me ask you something really vague like--" he raised his hands and wiggled his fingers, trying to be spooky-- "your most embarrassing secret?"
Mark only clicked his tongue. He didn't want Ethan to know that both of those prompts had the same answer. He'd had crushes before. Several of them. To name a few: once on a girl from his college days, Rachel, then another named Ashley. He even had a passing crush on Jack for a little while. And no one had to know about the time he had a pretty deep crush on Dan (but time and the acknowledgement of friendship between the two of them diminished those feelings fairly quickly).
But this one was probably the worst.
"Ah..." Mark scratched his stubble with his finger absentmindedly. He couldn't help himself from being coy. "I have one right now actually."
"A crush now? Juicy." Ethan leaned in towards Mark. "Who?"
"A person," was all Mark said. He'd already regretted his decision to tease. There was no way he was getting out of this alive.
Ethan caught on, and a game of twenty questions ensued. "Do I know them?"
Mark nodded. "Technically."
"Are they cute?"
"Is it a person you interact with daily?"
This narrowed the options fairly quickly. There were only four people he worked with daily, and both of them knew it. But he couldn't bring himself to lie. "Yeah."
Mark shook his head.
Ethan tilted his head to the side. "Tyler?"
Mark had to laugh at that one. "No!"
Ethan threw his hands in the air. "Then who?"
Mark tried to slip out of the situation by turning the attention away from him. "What about you? Who's your worst crush?"
Ethan wiggled a finger at him. "Don't you try to weasel out of the situation mister!" His voice had gone comically higher pitched. "I won't let you!"
Mark very obviously sighed as loud he could. "Why not? It doesn't matter who he is. It's just a person--"
"HA! It's a HE!"
Did I say that? Mark wondered. Had he let it slip? A short pause of recounting his words led him to the fact that he did. Mark let his head fall into his hands. "Fuck me man," he said, half laughing. He wasn't even going to try and deny it. Ethan wasn't dumb.
"So it IS Tyler!" He exclaimed.
Okay, maybe he was a little dumb.
"It's not Tyler."
Ethan shook his head, unwilling to believe it. "But if it's a guy, and someone you work with every day, then it HAS to be Tyler because--"
"Ethan." Mark was drained of secrecy. Whether it was the late time, or the threat of exhaustion hanging on his shoulders, or just the weight of this secret on his chest; Mark couldn't hold it in any more. He didn't want to tease. He didn't want to hide. "It isn't. Tyler."
A considerable silence built itself between the two of them, while Ethan's posture went slump with thought, then straightened again. His face said it all. "So..." Ethan seemed dumbfounded.
"It's nothing." Mark tried to play it off to be not as serious as it actually was. "It's just a weird thing, not even--"
"I have another truth for you."
Mark looked up from the ground. "What?"
"If your crush wanted to kiss you, would you let him?"
Mark opened his mouth to speak, but couldn't find words to say.
"I have a dare for you," said Ethan. "I dare you to kiss your crush."
Ethan smirked lik he'd won something, resting his chin on his hand.
"Would said crush be okay with that?" Mark proposed.