Barry gnawed on the pen in his mouth, a terrible habit that Ingrid and his mother both often lectured him on. It had started shortly after he started writing songs, which in turn had started shortly after he - against his will, mind you, but he grew to love it - started taking guitar lessons.
His teeth were going to be utterly wrecked at this rate, but he had bigger issues than worrying over how his teeth looked.
Namely, how to finish this song.
This particular song, much like his last several songs, had to do with some... Feelings that he had. Feelings he only shared with Ingrid and Gary. Ingrid because she had enough integrity to keep this secret, and Gary because he... Well, it was Gary. He probably didn't even realize he had a secret to keep. And if he did, he was doing a damn good job at acting like he didn't.
Barry groaned and crumpled up the paper he'd been writing on, then threw it across his room. He spat out the pen in his mouth, and watched with a scowl as it landed on the ground next to his bed.
There was a knock on the door downstairs, and Barry rushed to stand and run downstairs before his mom could open the door. The last thing he needed right now was her questioning why Freddie came over so often - it would only make the guy feel unwelcome.
"Hey! Freddie!" Barry said, grinning and trying to act like he hadn't just run all the way down a hallway, down the stairs, and then to the front door.
Luckily, either Freddie was oblivious, or Barry was a damn good actor. "Hey, Barry. Sonny's having some, uh, 'friends' over and he said that no one he cares about should be around. I just don't ask questions anymore. You mind if I come in?"
Barry never minded. The two hung out more than Kiah and Sonny at this point. Not that he would ever point this out for fear of losing that.
"Sure, no problem, come on in!" Barry said, all in a rush, stepping to the side to allow Freddie room to come in.
Freddie chuckled, and stepped inside. Barry took a moment to examine Freddie.
The years had been quite kind to the former brown-haired forgettable everyman. He was flipping gorgeous, with his hair just falling the right way over his eyes and an athletic build. Now he was well-known among the school, amongst the girls and guys. He'd never gone on a date though - said that he was waiting for someone he was interested in to ask him out. Whether that meant that he was already interested in someone, or that he was just waiting to be interested in someone, no one really knew. Didn't stop people from asking him out every damn week, though.
It irritated the hell out of Barry, needless to say.
"Let's head up to my room," Barry said, coming out of his thoughts.
They headed up the stairs, to Barry's room, and instantly Freddie's gaze fell on the crumpled ball of paper that laid on the ground. He went to pick it up, and Barry's heart nearly stopped in his chest. "What're you-"
"Barry, what's this? How come you threw this away? It's really good!"
Freddie was not meant to see that.
Freddie was not meant to see any of the songs that were about him.
Barry felt like throwing up. He watched, helpless, as Freddie read the entirety of the song - or at least, the entirety of what Barry had written.
"You didn't need to toss it away just because you couldn't think of anything else," Freddie said when he was done. He tried to smooth out the paper as he continued to talk, "Just take a break. Don't give up."
Barry gave a hollow laugh, but he was just relieved that Freddie didn't ask who the song was for. "Yeah," he agreed. "I guess you're right."
Freddie beamed. "So, who's it for?"
"I mean, it's obvious that this song is for someone," Freddie said. "And you must really, really like them, too." His smile faltered slightly, but Barry was too busy panicking to notice. "So who is it?"
Barry just stared helplessly at Freddie, unable to come up with a reply.
Freddie blinked. "You okay?"
"Freddie... It's..." Barry couldn't force it out. Couldn't say it.
But he had to. Freddie deserved to know, if nothing else.
But he just... Couldn't freaking say it.
Freddie tilted his head, but then his eyes lit up with realization. "Barry... Is this song..."
Barry's heart clenched in his chest.
"Is it for me?" Freddie's voice was barely a whisper, and yet it sounded like a blaring alarm in his ears.
Voice suddenly gone for vacation, all Barry could do was nod.
Suddenly, Freddie threw himself at Barry, pulling him into a tight hug and burying his face in the crook of his neck. Barry froze, unsure of how to proceed from this point.
"Barry, I like you too," Freddie mumbled, his voice slightly muffled as he apparently refused to tear his face away from Barry's neck.
Barry's lips twitched upwards into a rare smile, and slowly, he wrapped his arms around Freddie, returning the hug. "I... I'm glad..."