Alex has always been sorta… soft? When it comes to John. It’s not weird. Like, it’s not weird because they’re best friends and it’s always been JohnandAlex and AlexandJohn , you know?
So, Alex has always been soft, and he’d probably follow him to hell if he asked, knowing full well that John would do the same for him. Simple. Easy.
The hard (he says this tentatively, because it’s not really hard, it’s just… messy. Hard to describe, and that’s probably what he meant, anyways) part is that. That. He can’t put his finger on it, exactly. It’s better noted with wild hand gestures and incoherent shouting than it is with a single finger and a single word and how much can you even say with one word, anyways?
No, wait, but the point is: John comes knocking on his door at 1am with teary eyes and a snotty nose and clutching his left hand close to his chest and suddenly Alex is on John-is-hurting mode. This sorta situation usually calls for hot chocolate and thick blankets and bandages, which Alex will always provide.
So, they sit on the couch. “What happened?” That’s where this scene starts, when Alex is wrapping white strips of bandage around John’s hand in a practiced manner and John is carefully tasting his hot chocolate with the caution that accompanies experience. John sets down the mug and wipes at his eyes with his free hand, and this, this is the weird part, the unfamiliar part. He’s crying. That doesn’t happen often enough that Alex isn’t floundering in a pile of awkwardness. They don’t do emotions often. (That sounds shitty. God , that really sounds shitty. Was this toxic masculinity at play, at some subconscious level?) He settles for listening carefully and attempts at not being a shitty friend.
John clears his throat and just about succeeds at looking calm and put together, if “calm and put together” meant “five seconds away from bursting into tears.” “Francis cheated on me.” He adds, “Fucking dick.”
And because Alex is so not a shitty friend, “Yikes.” He adds, because he’s kind of a good friend, “Do you want me to stab him?”
John shakes his head, and Alex thinks phew, I wasn’t looking to stab anybody, anyways , and then John goes, “No need. He broke my heart, so I broke his nose.” And then, like it’s nothing, all matter-of-fact, “Equivalent exchange.” He tacks on a serious nod at the end, and Alex thinks that if they were both destined to be sad, single losers for the rest of their lives, at least they could be sad, single losers for the rest of their lives together, and that’d be enough for him. He needs to run that by John at some point.
“I think that your heart might be worth more than a nose, John.” Alex is grinning, just a little bit, in the way that’s like he doesn’t know if he should yet or not, but he feels like it. A lowkey version of laughing at a funeral -- does that make sense?
John crinkles up his nose, reshapes the constellations of his freckles. “Should’ve snapped his arm, too, huh?” When Alex laughs, he grins and sweeps his arm across his eyes with an air of finality. “Done, and done! I’m officially over Francis Kinloch!” He grins winningly, and Alex doesn’t believe him one bit.
He crosses his arms. “Really.”
He rolls his eyes. Sure , he wants to say. Instead, because he’s not a shitty friend and John doesn’t need needling about his relationship with Francis right now, he sighs and says, “Do you want to have an impromptu movie night?”
“I can’t believe you just used ‘impromptu’ casually. What the hell, Hamilton.” Yes , he says. Thank you , he says.
“Fuck you, we’re watching The Bee Movie now, because I hate you.”