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What Happened Next

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There was no doubt about it: Harrison Osterfield was one of the hottest teenagers in his grade. But he also happened to be a heartbreaker. While girls swooned over his luscious locks and his tall and lanky frame, he never seemed to take much interest in them. Other students never understood why he, of all people, who really should be the most popular and hot guy in the school, hung out with Tom from the drama club. Tom, who was probably the complete opposite of Harrison.
Maybe what drew them together was their differences. But that’s not to say they didn’t share some similarities. Their birthdays were basically a month apart (Tom being older), they both shared a passion for acting, and they had a pretty similar sense of style. They both had a secret obsession with Spider-Man, they both complained about their siblings, and they even liked the same foods. Nothing could tear them apart… certainly not the opinions of their fellow students. Certainly not any girls that chased after Harrison, only to be shot down with a snap of his fingers. And yet, it also didn’t stop Harrison from being popular and Tom from… well, being middle-class. Tom had even been bullied and rumored to be gay: but those rumors never reached Harrison’s ears, and Tom never confirmed them. But that’s not too say he wasn’t gay. He actually found out that he was, in fact, homosexual when he was merely fourteen. He’d known Harrison since he was seven. And they’d become the best of friends. Harrison never missed one of Tom’s drama shows, always bringing him a rose and taking him to dinner afterwards.
But now, it was fall of their junior year of high school, during some week they had off. Both boys had grown up to be pretty good looking, but Tom’s reputation seemed to stick with him throughout the years. He and Harrison were walking through the woods together and laughing and joking about their teachers and peers. Tom looked over at Harrison in his rolled up black long sleeve shirt, ripped black jeans, Doc Martens and plaid beanie. The veins in Harrison’s forearms were defined in the light from the setting sun, and his smile seemed to glow. All around them, leaves swirled as they fell from the dark limbs of the trees to the others on the ground.
Tom looked up at the sky and squinted at the sun reflecting on the clouds. “It’s beautiful out here,” he said.
Harrison followed Tom’s gaze and tucked his hands into his pockets. “It really is.”
There was a comfortable silence.
“Are you going to Laura and Tony’s party?” asked Harrison.
Tom looked over at the other boy. “Wasn’t invited, was I?”
Harrison shrugged. “I dunno. I thought maybe they’d all grown past their snotty attitudes.”
Tom sighed and rolled his eyes. “Do you really?”
Harrison shrugged once more. “Maybe. Well, I’ll take you anyways.”
Tom let out a sharp laugh. “Yeah, drag me along to this party and leave me in the corner while some slutty sophomore girls grind on your lap? I think I’ll stay at home with Netflix and Doritos.”
“Sounds good to me,” Harrison said, nudging Tom’s shoulder with his own. “I’d kill for some Doritos.”
Tom laughed again and looked down at his shoes, suddenly going quiet. “Yeah, but they like you. I’ll just end up serving drinks.”
Harrison shook his head. “Then we’ll serve drinks together,” he said dreamily, teasingly batting his eyelashes at Tom. Tom laughed and shoved the other boy away, causing them both to fall into a fit of laughter and stumble down the path.
“Seriously though,” Harrison said once they calmed down. He patted Tom on the shoulder as they continued to walk. “It’ll be fun. I’ll make sure we both have a good time.”
“If you say so,” said Tom, blushing slightly at the contact. Oh yeah, he had a crush on Harrison. But Harrison was totally not gay. Not according to all the girls that went after him.
The boys came upon a fork in the road and stopped at the center, looking at each other with their bags slung over one shoulder. Harrison gave Tom a smile and held out his hand so they could perform their age-old handshake.
“See you tonight?” asked Harrison.
Tom hesitated. “Pick me up?”
Harrison grinned and began to walk down the left road. “8 o’clock it is. See you then Tommy.”
“Bye Haz,” he replied, throwing a salute over his shoulder and heading in the opposite direction.

Tom fiddled with his sleeve as he sat on the bench outside of his apartment complex, waiting for Harrison to pick him up. It was a pretty chilly night, but his hoodie was keeping him warm enough. When Harrison finally pulled up in his dad’s car, he popped the door open for Tom and smiled up through the opening.

“Your chauffeur has arrived,” he said, making his voice extra posh.
Tom laugh and climbed in, zipping the seatbelt over his lap. “Well then, I’m ready to go.”
Harrison grinned and stepped on the gas, putting the car in motion. He turned on the radio and Somebody To Love by Queen came on, so naturally, both boys began to jam out to the timeless classic. By the time Harrison reached Laura and Tony’s party, the song was over, and the bass of the music pumped through the ground outside. Tom gulped and looked up at the stairs that lead to the door. Harrison looked down at the smaller boy and offered a smile.
“Come on, Tommy, it’s not that bad. We’ll be alright.”
Tom have a tight smile in return and followed his friend up the stairs. The door swung open and Tony stepped out with a red SOLO cup in hand. “Hey Haz!” he said, patting him on the back. He looked over Harrison’s shoulder at Tom. “Well I'll be-“
Tom gave him a small wave and looked around the mansion. “Nice place.”
Tony nodded and stepped aside for the two boys to walk in. It was a pretty small party people-wise, but it seemed like there were endless possibilities when it came to entertainment. The lights were dimmed and there were a few people swimming in the outdoor/indoor pool, some people playing ping-pong, and just in general hanging out. Harrison led Tom through to the drinks and made some simple, low-alcohol mixers. They hung around for a bit until Tom had to use the bathroom, and Harrison promised to hang around the food and drink table so not as to leave him alone. Yet, when Tom exited the bathroom, he had lost sight of Harrison and began to panic. He put his drink down and wandered around for a bit, until he spotted a familiar tuft of hair over the slight crowd. He made his way over, but froze when he saw the complete picture. Some girl had pinned Harrison against the wall and was kissing the daylights out of him. Tom clenched his fist by his side. Why was he angry? He wasn’t dating Harrison… Harrison probably wasn’t even gay, or bi, or whatever. Tom closed his eyes and made his way to the back corner of the party, just as he had predicted. When Tony called for seven minutes in Heaven, Tom had no choice but to participate or look like a total pussy. He spotted Harrison on the other side of the circle, who gave him a wave that he didn’t return. The game began. Apparently, there was some unspoken rule about no-homo closet rule unless you are, and as far as Tom was concerned… people only though it was a rumor in his case. But really, he totally was gay.
The bottle in the middle of the circle spun multiple times, the girls always moaning in slight disappointment as the bottle didn’t land on Harrison. It was finally Tom’s turn, so he anxiously grabbed the bottle, closed his eyes, and spun it. He held his breath the whole time.
Everyone around him seemed to go silent as the sound of the bottle rolling stopped, pointing towards his inevitable doom. What poor girl would have to deal with this homo?
He slowly opened his eyes and stared at the bottle, his eyes drawing a line from the cap to…
Fucking hell, he wouldn’t survive.
People around Harrison laughed and cheered, nudging him in the shoulder. He gave them all small smiles and stood, looking in Tom’s direction. Tom, apparently, was stuck to the floor. He was shaking so badly, and when Harrison went over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, he looked up at him with wide eyes.
“Come on,” Harrison whispered. “Seven minutes with your best friend in a closet? Not like we’ve gone longer.”
Tom gulped and nodded. A lot more than seven minutes… try three years. Harrison patted his shoulder and grinned at everyone at the party when Tom finally stood up. Everyone cheered and clapped, which confused Tom. If there happened to be that specific homo rule… he glanced up at Harrison with wide eyes. Was Harrison gay too?
Everyone wolf-whistled as they walked towards the closet, causing Tom to turn beet red. Harrison just flashed a casual smile before stepping into the closet, and closing the door behind them.
The noise from the outside room was drowned out instantly. Tom was breathing heavily, leaning back against the opposite wall from Harrison.
“You alright mate?” Harrison asked, putting a hand on Tom’s forehead. Tom nearly exploded right then and there. “You’re feeling a bit warm.”
Tom could only nod in reply. Harrison shrugged and looked up at the ceiling, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Well, we’ve only got seven minutes, and I’m not sure why they shoved us guys in here…”
Tom felt his heart plummet. Of course Harrison wasn’t gay. He was surrounded by hot women… why would he ever sway for men? He smiled at Tom. “So… about six minutes. Any ideas?”
Tom’s mouth dried and he coughed, immediately causing Harrison to move closer and pat his back.
“Christ, are you feeling okay?” he asked.
Tom just closed his eyes and nodded. “Y-yeah, sorry.”
“He speaks!” Harrison laughs, standing up straight. “Thought I’d lost you for a minute.”
Suddenly, Tom seemed to lose all sense of control, because dammit, he was in love with Harrison and he smelled so fucking good and they were in such a small space and his hormones were going crazy and…
Tom looked up at Harrison, who was looking at him with a concerned expression.
“Fuck it,” Tom whispered, a little too loudly for his liking, and reached up to stroke a piece of Harrison’s hair off his forehead. Harrison gulped and stared down at Tom.
“Thomas, what are you-“
Tom stood up slightly on his tippy-toes and rested his hands on Harrison’s cheeks, tenderly kissing his lips. There was no opening, no tongue, just a simple press of lips. Harrison’s eyed shot open wide. Tom quickly pulled away and looked down at the floor, his eyes watering slightly.
“Tom, I-“
“Please don’t say anything,” Tom whispered, still interested in whatever was on the floor. “Please don’t hate me,” he added quietly.
Harrison said nothing for a moment. Five minutes.
“Tommy…” whispered Harrison. He stepped closer to the other boy and put his hand under his chin, lifting his head so they came face-to-face.
“Kiss me again.”
Tom had absolute fear in his wide, doe-brown and watery eyes. Harrison looked into them intently. The brunette gulped as the blonde moved forward, his breath puffing on the brunette’s neck. “Kiss me Thomas,” he whispered.
Tom felt his bonds break loose. Four minutes. He adjusted his face slightly so he had access to Harrison’s mouth. Then, ever so gently, Tom pressed his soft, wet lips to Harrison’s in a small nip. He did it again, his eyes drifting close until he dared to stay a little longer on Harrison’s lips. Harrison let out a small laugh and brought his hands up to Tom’s hair, running his fingers through it.
“Hello,” he whispered.
Tom could only feebly grunt in response.
Three minutes.
Harrison pushed Tom back against the closet wall, pressing their mouths together for longer than they had before. He opened his mouth against Tom’s, and his tongue poked at the seam of his lips. Tom melted like butter beneath his touch, so his mouth fell open and their tongues touched. Tom whimpered in the most embarrassing way as Harrison delved deeper into Tom’s mouth. He was making out with his best friend crush. Boyfriend?
Tom realized he hadn’t exactly been responding this whole time, so he put his hands over Harrison’s and kissed back. It was slightly awkward since Tom had only ever kissed one other person on a dare, but it was way different. Harrison tasted like… coffee with a trace of alcohol, maybe some licorice and apple pie…
Tom was yanked out of his thoughts when Harrison ground his hips against his and removed his mouth from Tom’s. Harrison dragged the fabric of the shorter boy’s sleeve aside with his teeth began to lick and nip at some of the skin. Tom whimpered again.
Two minutes.
Harrison’s arms moved to wrap around Tom’s torso, so Tom did the same, and they were completely pressed up against each other. But nothing else. Tom tried to look into Harrison’s eyes, but they were closed.
One minute.
Harrison pulled away from Tom’s hold. Their hands lingered over each other’s arms.
Thirty seconds.
They were fully separated, as if everything they had just done was but an elaborate dance.
The timer went off. Someone pounded on the door. Harrison cleared his throat and opened the door, stepping out and automatically laughing with everybody. Tom stepped out awkwardly, and let out a small laugh. But deep inside, it felt like someone had stabbed him with a knife. Of course Harrison would just use Tom to experiment. Tom was only a tag-along, never the main attraction.
The rest of the game passed without either boy speaking to each other. By the time it was over, the party was clearing out. Tom waited by Harrison’s car for him to come out and take him home. This would probably be the most awkward car ride in the history of their friendship.
Harrison finally came out of the mansion, waving at people in the doorway. He smiled and walked up to the car, only faltering slightly when he saw Tom.
“Hey Tommy.”
Tom felt something in his gut snap. Maybe it was his resolve, or maybe tension… just something. He was so fucking tired of ignoring his feelings.
“Don’t just ‘Hey Tommy’ me,” he snapped. “I don’t know what happened back there, but after our seven minutes in the closet, you left me like a dead rat in a cardboard box. Harrison, I don’t know if you’ve heard the rumors about me being gay.” By this point, his eyes were tearing up. “And I am, Harrison, I am gay. I didn’t ask for it to end up being such a problem against me. I didn’t ask to spin the bottle and end up with my straight best friend in the closet. But I’m in love with you, Haz. I have been for years. But people around me accused me of being a- a- a faggot. I just couldn’t confirm their suspicions and make my high school experience ten times suckier because the rumors were true. People don’t pay attention to me now… I’d rather that than be beaten into a bloody pulp in the bathroom before PE.”
He winced and clenched his fist. “I’m sorry.”
Harrison stood there, dumbfounded. “Tom, I-“ he paused. “I didn’t know there were rumors,” he said softly. “I didn’t know you were gay.”
Another pause. He walked up besides Tom and shoved his hands in his pockets, looking up at the moon.
“Why do you think I started what happened in the closet?”
“To find out if you were gay?”
Harrison laughed. “No. Actually, I was… trying to find out if you were. Gay, that is.”
Tom nodded and spread his arms. “Well? Here I am.”
Harrison nodded as well. “Here we are.”
“Why?” Tom asked. “If you didn’t hear any of the rumors… why were you trying to figure it out?”
The taller boy snorted and looked over at him. “You’re really asking that question? It was seven minutes in Heaven with my hot best friend.”
Tom blinked. “You’re…”
Harrison nodded.
Tom blinked again, and a few more times in silence. “And you like…”
“Can I kiss you?”
“Do you really have to ask?”
Tom leaned over and his lips met with Harrison’s in the middle. It was soft and slow, not like the sweaty and rushed make-out session in Flash’s closet. Tom cupped Harrison’s cheeks and Harrison’s hands went to Tom’s curly hair, tugging it slightly as their mouths slid over each other.
“Harrison…” Tom panted. “I’ve- ah- I've got a bit of a problem.”
“Me too,” Harrison whispered against his neck. “What say we find a hotel?”
“I- unh- I like the sound of that.”
The two boys got into the car and linked hands between them as Harrison sped to the nearest decent hotel. He fumbled to get them a room while Tom waited by the elevator, and when he finally got the key, sprinted towards the open lift. As soon as the door closed, Harrison pressed Tom against the door and lifted his legs around his waist. When they reached their floor, they linked hands and ran down the hall together, two horny teenage boys with a hotel room at their expense.
I think we can all imagine what happened next.