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Mistletoe Is For Quitters

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Jack sighed heavily as he sank lower in his seat, he was bored and uncomfortable and just didn't want to be here. The Christmas talent shows were always a bust, the talent was always sub-par and barely anyone showed up because it was in the evening of the last day of school and no one wanted to come back here after they'd closed for Christmas. The only reason they were there was because this year Alex had decided to perform therefore he had to be there to show his support like any good friend would.

 

That's all they were now. Friends. After a year and a half of dating in secret Alex had decided that he needed a break, some time to figure out what he wanted. 

 

That was nearly three months ago now and Jack had just about given up all hope. He just wished he'd hurry up and put him out of his misery. He also wished they'd told their friends so he hadn't had to spend the last three months pretending he was fine and being forced into situations like this. Seeing him in school was one thing, spending every waking hour of every day with him was another and it was excruciating.

 

"Next up we have Alex Gaskarth who will be singing Mistletoe Is For Quitters." The Principle informed them with a bright fake smile. It seemed she wanted to be there about as much as Jack did.

 

He sat up a little as Alex walked out onto the stage whilst the crowd gave a polite round of applause. He looked good, dressed in a white shirt and black tie with black skinny jeans and vans. His hair was styled to perfection and he smiled brightly out at everyone as he picked up his acoustic guitar. He strummed it once to check it was in tune before taking a deep breath.

 

 

I'm made of nothing but a shoeless box of memories

I needed time just to breath

All you wanted for Christmas baby was a promise ring

I needed time just to think

 

 

Jack almost laughed at the parallel the lyrics had with his life. Had he chosen this on purpose? Was Alex mocking him? Tears began to prick the corners of his eyes and Jack quickly started looking for a speedy exit. He couldn't do this.

 

 

If sometime between now and then

We both just fell in love again

We don't have to spend this night alone

I'll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams

It's you and me

 

 

"Dude, let me out." He hissed to Rian as he shifted in his seat. 
"What?" The drummer frowned in confusion. 
"I gotta take a leak." He lied, unable to think of a better excuse. Rian just rolled his eyes.
"You can't leave during Alex's performance! There are only a couple acts left, go when it's over." Jack sighed heavily but sat back, focusing on keeping his breathing calm rather than the words flowing from Alex's lips.

 

 

Life seems to stand still when I'm caught up in your energy

I have to stop and hit play

My only wish this Christmas baby is that you're next to me

I've had my time just to think

We are back here once again

So much is still undetermined

But we don't have to spend this night alone

 

 

Despite how much Jack was trying to keep his emotions in check he couldn't help the longing that stirred in his chest. Was Alex singing about them? Did he want them to get back together after all?

 

Motion a few rows in front caught his attention and his heart sank. Lisa. She and Alex had dated before he and Alex had and whilst they hadn't lasted as long they'd ended up going a lot further than he and Alex had. He'd always tried not to let that bother him but had failed epically.

 

Jack was an idiot. Of course, Alex wasn't interested in getting back with him. He wanted to get back with her. It was obvious from her excitement and the clear adoration on her face that she knew it to. Jack just wanted to curl up and cry.

 

 

I'll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams

 

And I'm wrapped in paper

Christmas letter that I wrote ya

This time last year

Hoping we'd be back together

Feeling weightless

Can this romance carry me away?

Carry me away?

 

 

The change of lyrics from "her" to "ya" was a subtle one but it had Jack's heart soaring and his mind racing. Was that intentional? A subtle message for him? 

 

God he needed to get a grip, this was ridiculous. He was reading so much into this, it was absurd. If Alex wanted to get back with him he would have just told him already. But what if he hadn't? What if he was trying to be romantic? This was starting to make Jack's head hurt.

 

 

I'll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams

It's you and me

 

 

The crowd erupted in applause all around him and Alex smiled out brightly, eyes gliding over all their faces. Their eyes met for a long moment and Alex sent him a small smile before the contact broke and he was walking off stage.

 

Jack ran to the bathroom the second the show was over, partly as a show for Rian since he'd refused to let him go beforehand and partly because he needed a moment to compose himself. His mind was a mess and he didn't know what to think. He felt a little sick.

 

When he finally returned Alex had come out from backstage and was chatting excitedly with Zack and Rian who were congratulating him on his performance. He could see Lisa and her group of friends chatting just as excitedly and throwing glances at Alex. Jack's heart sank. He took a deep breath and put on his fake smile before joining his friends.

 

"There you are!" Alex cried, pulling him into a hug. Jack awkwardly patted his back hoping he'd get the hint.
"Sorry I had to go to the bathroom." He mumbled. Alex pulled back still grinning but his eyes held an intense look that Jack couldn't quite read. It was a little unnerving.

 

"You were really good up there." He added awkwardly, scratching at the back of his neck.
""Good"? Are you kidding me? He killed it!" Rian enthused, making the singer blush. He opened his mouth to respond but was interrupted before he could.

 

"Alex."

 

They all turned to face Lisa who was smiling so big it must have hurt. She was practically glowing with how happy she was and Jack really just wanted the ground to swallow him up. The last thing he wanted was to have to stand here and watch the happy reunion, pretend like he was fine when he was dying inside.

 

"Hey Lis." He smiled at her politely, the pair hadn't really spoken since they broke up.
"The answer's yes." She beamed rushing forward and flinging herself at him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He stumbled slightly under her sudden weight and when Jack turned to Zack and Rian they both looked utterly baffled.

 

"That was so romantic Lex! I can't believe it, I never expected it. God, I love you, I love you so much! I knew you'd find your way back to me!" Alex gently peeled her off of him, looking horrified. "Wow, Lisa. I... fuck I'm sorry. That wasn't... I didn't mean. Shit, I." He cleared his throat, trying to gather himself as her face sank. "I'm so sorry if I gave you the wrong impression but that wasn't me trying to get back together with you. It was just a song." Lisa's eyes clouded with tears as her hands came up to cover her mouth. She quickly dashed off without another word, her friends trailing her, desperate to hear the latest gossip.

 

"Awkward," Zack said after a long beat of silence. Under any other circumstances, Jack might have laughed. 

 

At least he'd managed to get to the bottom of his dilemma without making a fool of himself. It was just a song. Nothing more. 

 

"Well if I didn't need a drink before I definitely do now," Alex said, scratching at the back of his neck. Jack nodded in agreement. He definitely needed a drink after all this.

 


 

It was almost midnight and Jack found himself leant against the wall watching drunk people dance. While he'd had a few he was far from drunk, not trusting himself not to do something stupid under the influence of alcohol. Instead, he'd spent his evening trying to blend in with the wall whilst his friends all had fun.

 

He glanced sideways and found Alex's approaching, a fond smile on his face. "You're usually in the thick of it." Jack just gave a shrug. 
"I'm not really in the partying mood." He muttered, taking a long drink from his cup. Alex frowned a little, sending him a concerned look.

 

"You were awfully quiet earlier." He noted making Jack stiffen minutely. 
"When?" Jack asked, keeping his tone neutral. The last thing he wanted was to show Alex just how badly he was hurting right now.
"After the show." Jack gave another shrug. 
"Well, there was a lot going on." He fought hard against the jealousy bubbling up inside him at the thought of Lisa hugging him and declaring her love.

 

"So, what do you think?" He asked, making Jack frown. He can't possibly have sought Jack out just to get another ego boost.
"Yeah, you did really well. Good song choice, it really worked with your voice." Alex rolled his eyes at that.
"That's not what I meant." Jack just stared at him, confused.

 

Alex gave a heavy sigh, shaking his head. "How the hell did I manage to catch Lisa's attention when we've been broken up for almost three years yet you're completely clueless?" Jack just continued to stare at him, his mind refusing to work. Alex couldn't possibly be saying what he thought he was.

 

With a roll of his eyes, he grabbed Jack by the wrist and dragged him out into the entryway, pausing just shy of the door. Before Jack could ask what the hell he was doing Alex's lips were on his and his whole body froze up in total shock, unable to respond.

 

Alex pulled back with a nervous expression and Jack couldn't help but just stare. It finally dawned on him what had just happened and he was glancing around in a mild panic to check that no one was watching them. It may not have been his choice to keep their relationship quiet but they'd kept it quiet for a reason after all.

 

"What are you doing?" He hissed, nervous and confused. 
"I was singing that song for you, you idiot!" He sighed in frustration. "I thought it would have been obvious." Jack's eyes widened as the words sank in. He... what?

 

"But you said to Lisa-"
"What was I supposed to say? It was for my secret boyfriend who I was kind of on a break from?" Jack had to give him that.

 

"What are you saying?" He had to hear Alex say the words. He couldn't let himself believe it otherwise.
"I'm saying I love you Jack, and I really want to get back together." Jack could barely breathe. He'd never told him that before.
"And you thought kissing me in the middle of a party full of our peers was the way to go about it?" He said. Because apparently, his need to be sarcastic and bitchy in regards to Alex's fear of going public was stronger than his need to break down in a flood of happy tears and tell Alex he loved him too.

 

Alex snorted, rolling his eyes. "No one is paying us any attention. Besides, why do you think I dragged you out here?" Jack couldn't say he'd thought much about it. Alex gently lifted his chin so he was looking up at the ceiling. Right above them was a large branch of mistletoe.

 

"You are such a dork." Jack smiled as he turned back to him. Alex just smiled back.
"Maybe. But I'm your dork... if you'll have me?" Jack finally let the tears begin to well up in his eyes as he nodded his answer before pulling Alex back into a heated kiss, holding him close.

 

"I love you so much, Lex." He mumbled as he pulled back, pressing their foreheads together. "I've missed you so much, these last few months have been hell." Alex nodded in agreement. 
"I know, I know. I'm so sorry. I was just such a mess and I couldn't put you through that. The therapy's really been helping and I'm dealing with things properly now and I just can't stand not being with you for another second." Jack nodded, tears streaking down his cheeks.

 

Alex gently rubbed them away with his thumb as he grinned like a fool. "I don't wanna hide this anymore. I don't care how much shit we get, I can't hide how I feel about you. I love you too much Jack, it'll kill me." Jack nodded along eagerly. He'd give anything to be able to kiss him like this whenever he wanted, to hold his hand in public. He just wanted the world to know Alex Gaskarth was his and no one else's. "Let's do it." Alex's grin grew impossibly wider. "Yeah?" Jack nodded.

 

He squealed with delight, pulling Jack into a tight hug before kissing him fiercely. He sighed with content as he pulled away, practically glowing with pure joy. "You wanna go dance?" Jack chuckled but nodded, allowing his boyfriend to take his hand and pull him in amongst the throng of people.