Lucas was holding up just fine before this whole mess.
He was in a state of misery that was familiar. There was nothing dramatic about calling it 'misery' either, it was just is and he was fine with it. There was some kind of acceptance to his whole situation where he came to the terms with the fact that his first love was never going to like him back.
Was it painful enough to call it misery? Yes, most days. Especially on those days where he thought there was something more when his friend would casually lay on top of him on the couch, or give a kiss on the cheek while joking about something random. Lucas saw signs in ordinary things, and on those days his heart broke a little. However most days, he was almost completely fine. Kes was his best friend and nothing was going to change that, the crush Lucas carried around didn't change that, the guilt of taking away something good from Kes' life and seeing some type of misery on his friends' faces because of him didn't change that. He carried his affection with his guilt and still managed to exist with Kes, it still felt good, right and familiar.
It was all bearable mostly because on some level he knew there was never going to be something more between them. So for the past few years, he was in that comfortably numb state of denial as he wasn't even entirely sure about his feelings somedays.
His whole world came crashing down when he watched as his friend kissed another boy though.
Watching Kes with Olivia or Isa or any other girl was painful, too. But at the same time, it was a reminder, you can never be her. It was a different story as he watched Kes make out with a handsome blonde that was a year older than them. They were so... out there kissing, moving together to the beat of the music and people weren't even looking at them.
He stood in the middle of the dance floor as Kes kissed some boy with passion, his hand on his neck and all. He was staring openly and for a moment he thought Kes' eyes were open and Lucas could swear he was looking at him.
It was a blur after that as he made his way through the crowd, the floor was slipping from his feet and he was feeling dizzy until he reached outside. The cold weather was not enough to calm his racing heart. He didn't even know what bothered him more than usual. Was it the fact that he was jealous? He was always jealous of him. Was it because it was a boy? Maybe. Now he could've been the one to kiss Kes, after all. Perhaps it was the fact that Kes and that boy was careless enough to kiss and touch like that where the half of the school could see.
Something Lucas didn't even dream (only sometimes). His hands were shaking as he sat down on the pavement. His heart was still beating faster as he lit the joint, taking a big hit to numb his heart a little.
It was odd how natural it was to him.
One day he thought he only liked girls and the next day he knew boys weren't so bad either. It took a while for him to act on it though but he guessed that was okay since he read it on somewhere that everyone did it on their own terms or some shit like that.
It was nerve-wracking to casually bring it up to Ralph. The fact that he was not surprised at all was a bit unsettling but quickly, Kes decided that it was a nice thing. It was cool to be able to say that the guy Ralph was talking on Grindr was hot and not making a joke out of it.
After that, he became aware of the fact that he used to be a bit of a jerk towards this, even to his own attraction. Well, it was never too late to grow from his mistakes and very soon after their little chat, Ralph and Kes had agreed to go to a gay bar.
Again, it was nerve-wracking because he had become used to associating some things with liking boys that did not apply to himself necessarily. He relaxed once they were there though and he saw so many different types of people there. Liking boys did not change anything about being Kes. He was still a guy who had a bad sense of fashion, who was still slightly hung up on his ex-girlfriend, a normal dude who liked playing FIFA with his friends. On top of that, he liked looking at boys and he really wanted to kiss one as well.
Once he was over his nervous state of mind (it all took one beer and for Ralph to start kissing some handsome brunette.) he was ready for some flirting. In no time he was chatting with a boy, only a few years older than him. The boy, Finn, was a bit shorter than him and had curly hair that was nice to touch. His eyes were a dark shade of blue and he had a nice smile and for some reason, he felt familiar to Kes. It wasn't until he was grabbing him by the neck to kiss him that he realized, Finn reminded him a lot of his best friend.
He was surprised enough that he stilled for a moment, making Finn pull away. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, sorry," Kes mumbled quickly. Closing eyes and leaning in, he tried to not think of his best friend as he kissed some random guy. But an image of Lucas smiling on a sunny day was in his mind, even when the kiss depend, even when his body was pressed against Finn, Lucas was there on the corner of his mind.
That was a problem for another day.
Unfortunately, that other day came sooner than he thought because the next time he saw Lucas all he could think of was the fact that Lucas was really handsome. His eyes were very pretty and he had this elegance that was very different from most people Kes knew. However, he was pretty sure that looking at your best friend's lip as he talked about the maths homework was weird.
After that, he tried to push it down, and he kissed a few more guys, one of them had a very similar shirt to Lucas and the other's lips reminded Kes of Lucas and the other was almost just as tall as Lucas...
He wanted to talk to Lucas, he really did. At least he wanted to casually say 'By the way dude, I like girls and boy'. He didn't want to make a big deal out of it, even his parents knew and was okay but. He couldn't bring himself to have the talk with Lucas and thus with his friends in general.
So on that day in some school party, he made up his mind to make a big statement. It happened very fast because at first he had his eyes for a petite brunette from a year below and he was pretty sure that she was into it as they danced but his eyes lingered on Lucas for a moment. He was drinking and chatting with Liv, laughing with his head thrown back with a bit of neck exposed, his rings were illuminating under the light of the room. He was looking really good and Kes was wanting to kiss him more than ever.
Deciding to the very best thing he could do about this situation was to make a statement. It wasn't long until he had his eyes on this slightly taller blonde guy from their school and the boy had his eyes on him back as well. There wasn't much flirting before he was all over the guy and thankfully both parties were pretty eager about the situation. It was nice kissing Max, he was surprisingly gentle for a jock looking dude but something was off. There was this image of Lucas again, laughing next to the lake with the buttons of his shirt open.
Kes was feeling overwhelmed as he opened his eyes during the kiss and as a cosmic joke, he could see Lucas in the crowd, standing still inside moving bodies. It almost felt surreal because Lucas had a stoic expression on his face and Kes wasn't sure until he stormed off, bumping into dancing people as he did so that it was a real thing happening.
Once he was out of Kes' sight, Kes was back to reality. Pulling back slowly and trying not to come off rude as Max chased his lip momentarily, he placed his hand on his chest to stop. "I'm sorry. I gotta go and... It's not about you, okay?"
"I'm sorry, dude. See you around," Kes said in hurry.
It was a shame really, Max was hot and kind but well. Kes had something else in mind.
It felt like its been hours.
The cold was getting to him and he had stormed out without his coat but still, it was a welcomed sensation. He knew it hadn't been that long from the joint he had been holding in his hand but his muscles were aching and he felt defeated sitting all alone in the pavement.
He didn't even look up when he heard the door opening, he grimaced when the loud music of the party sneaked through the ajar door.
"Lucas?" Well, that made him look up.
He snapped his neck to the side, looking up with confusion evident in his wide eyes and parted lips.
Kes was standing before him, his face was slightly damp with sweat and Lucas' eyes traced the movement of his hand as he pushed his hair away from his face. He was honestly looking good in his post-makeout on the dance floor state. Cheeks flushed and lips were swollen a little.
Lucas looked away. "Hi," he murmured
Kes sat right next to him on the pavement, knees touching close and his warmth almost made Lucas tremble from the contrast. "Can I?" Kes gestured for the joint with his hand.
Shrugging, Lucas passed the half-lit joint, their fingers brushing longer than a single moment. "You are freezing! Why didn't you take your coat?" Kes was almost yelling at him as he didn't take the joint but statted stripping out of his jacket.
"I'm okay, you'll get cold-"
"I feel hot all over man, I've been dancing for quite a while," Kes replied as he put his coat around his friend.
Lucas didn't protest further and fell embarrassed by the fact that he was affected by this ordinary gesture. He looked away from Kes as he smoked, hoping that the blush on his face was not visible to the naked eye.
"Why did you storm out?" Kes said after a couple of minutes spent in silence. Lucas was taken aback by the question, apparently seeing Kes his eyes open was not a part of his imagination. "Was it because I was kissing a guy or..."
Was Kes actually scared of his reaction? Fuck, Lucas was a total hypocrite. "No, no! Of course not. I was just, surprised? Everyone can kiss anyone when they are drunk. It's no big deal."
Lucas was finally able to face Kes and he watched as the expression on his face became hardened. "It wasn't a drunken thing," Kes said but his voice held an edge to it. "I kissed boys before and had been thinking about kissing them for a while before that as well."
"You were really?" Lucas almost scoffed without being able to control it. "You are gay or something now?" Kes liked kissing boys. Kes liked boys and just didn't like him. Lucas was overwhelmed with his feelings, he wasn't able to contain his anger.
"No, dude! I like boys and girls," Kes exclaimed, inhaling with force from the joint in between his words. "Do you have a problem with this? Why are you being an asshole?"
"Yes, you are!" They were almost shouting now. Why this was happenşng to him now.
He rolled his eyes with a bitter expression on his face, reaching for the joint. He took a few drags and could feel his muscles easing up a little, a tingling feeling in his fingertips but the fire inside him was not dying out.
Without even realizing it, he was staring at Kes and he was not afraid to meet his gaze with full force. "I don't have a problem with your... sexuality or whatever. I have a problem with you."
"What?" Kes exclaimed with a cynical scoff.
Kes had no clue. Just cause he apparently liked boys didn't mean he had a thing for his best friend. Lucas was starting to feel sick as he put out the joint on the pavement, shaking his head a little. "I'm sorry, it's just been a bad day," he mumbled as he gave the jacket back without looking at Kes' face.
He was embarrassed, he almost said it right there and now. Why was it so difficult to do so, he wondered. It was so easy for Kes but Lucas had countless things inside his mind, his mom, Isa, his dad, the school-
"Lucas." A soft almost whisper. A gentle tug on his wrist. "You can tell me anything, you know."
Kes was getting up on his feet as well. He was still holding him by the wrist and holding the jacket with the other.
Kes was doing that thing when bowed his head down to meet Lucas' gaze, staring intently. He usually dşd that when he was teasing Lucas but now it was serious. It was making it all hard to breathe. "I know-" Lucas started but his brain was clouded by the joint and by the heat of the moment. The right words didn't come to him like they usually did and his eyes traveled on Kes' face.
He forgot how to breathe when Kes' eyes lingered a little too long on his lips and when they were back on his eyes there was something in Kes' stare. "Fuck it," he heard Kes muttering those words but it was as if he was dreaming it all when Kes kissed him.
It was like unleashing some kind of an unstoppable force, Kes' jacket was on the ground and he was holding his arm, fingers digging into his skin. It took a moment to realize he was as rigid as a stone and Kes was pulling back, no no no- "Lucas," Kes said.
It was all it took to bring him back to reality as Lucas kissed Kes with all he got, his hands holding him by the neck, thumbs caressing his jaw and his stubble tickling his fingers.
Once the uncertainty was gone, Lucas found himself pressed against the wall and Kes was holding him by the collar now, pushing and pulling, moving against him. Lucas had never felt this alive, probably. Again, he wasn't trying to be dramatic, something was just is.
He was smiling into the kiss at some point. His cold fingers were buried inside Kes' hair, tugging gently at the next, there was whine coming from either of them, little gasps here or there.
It still felt surreal but also, so fitting at the same time. As if everything was just leading up to this moment and Lucas didn't want to stop. He didn't want it to stop.