Howie found AJ standing in his room, staring in front of him with a dazed look on his face. Curious to find out what had his best friend so aghast he followed his gaze, only to find -- nothing. There was nothing at all in the spot AJ was staring at. Howie started to feel slightly worried. Not too much so, after so many years together, but a bit.
"What's up, Aje?" he inquired, carefully approaching the younger man and lying a soft hand on his shoulder.
AJ jumped violently at the touch, starting to swear: "Fuck! D, were you trying to give me a heart attack?"
Howie couldn't help but grin. "Of course, which is why I asked 'What's up Aje' before coming closer."
AJ rolled his eyes, obviously not amused, and proceeded to pout in silence. Howie didn't pay any attention to AJ's attempts at ignoring him -- that had never worked before, so why should it now?
"Now, stop being silly, and tell me what had you so fascinated..."
AJ gave him a look that said that he was only indulging Howie's nosiness, another thing Howie easily ignored, knowing that AJ couldn't keep quiet about anything.
"Well... There was this girl..." AJ's voice petered off and he began to stare off into space again. Howie rolled his eyes. A girl, what else! Sometimes it was really painfully obvious that AJ was only 17.
"And? Was she hot?" he inquired, getting ready for a long, drawn-out story about yet another sexy fan.
But AJ surprised him by starting to sniff at himself, his nose twitching as he smelled his armpits. Any other time Howie would have found this weird but adorable, in a very very AJ way, but right now he simply wondered if his friend had lost his mind.
"What's wrong now?" he asked, just a hint of impatience creeping into his voice.
AJ looked up at him and gave him one of his rare open smiles, smiles that only special people got. "Sorry to act like a nut case, D - but I feel really gritty, I think I need a shower."
Howie, unable to resist the smile, found himself relaxing despite of himself. "Well, then take one - I'll be here, waiting for the rest of your story."
He was not quite sure why he said that, but AJ's grateful smile convinced him that he didn't really mind AJ acting like a lunatic and making him wait for some probably boring story.
He settled down on AJ's unmade bed and prepared to wait, but he had barely sat down when he the bathroom door opened and AJ appeared, totally wet, wearing only a towel and a determined look on face.
"Umm, Aje - don't you want to turn the water off?" Howie asked, now totally confused.
AJ only stood there looking at him, as if trying to make up his mind. A puddle of water was slowly forming beneath him. Finally he spoke: "I have to tell you now, before I chicken out again!"
Howie didn't know what to say, so he just looked at AJ, whose eyes seemed to burn with something -- but Howie didn't want to get his hopes up, so he squashed that thought ruthlessly.
"I was with this girl last night, and she was very pretty, dark with beautiful brown eyes..." AJ paused and took a deep breath. "... and I, I called her 'Howie'..."
Howie couldn't help the grin that was spreading on his face now, threatening to split it in two. He stood and did what he had dreamed of doing for so long -- he kissed his best friend.