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‘It’s hard to tell your mind to stop loving someone when your heart still does. And you shouldn’t try to ban your feelings. It’s okay to love. Love is a beautiful thing, and you should value it rather than cursing your heart’ – Dr. Nat tweeted.

 

 

 

“Dr. Nat is right with that. But it’s said so easy” Gun said while laying in bed with his phone in both hands. Bibi, his little white dog, was laying on his chest and pressing its nose at the crook of his neck. Gun giggled a little and ruffled its tiny head which made it turn around to show him its fluffy belly. One paw landed at his chin when it stretched delight. Gun looked at it with a smile and pushed the paw gentle out of his face, squeezing it a few times.

“Am I right, Bibi? It’s written easy and sounds logical, but in reality, it’s way different.”
“Woof” Bibi responded and jumped up to wiggle its tail in excitement.

Energetic Gun set up, grabbed Bibi’s small body in the movement to squeeze it firm at his chest and burry his face in its fluffy fur.

“Oh, Bibi! I wish I had as much luck with love as everybody else.” With a sad smile he looked at his dog which returned the gaze by cocking its head to the side. It excided wiggled its tail and yapped joyful. Gun ruffled its head again, then turned to the side and snuggled back in his cushions. Bibi ensconced itself right beside him. It spined around on the spot before laying down, its head on one paw.

Gun sighed and watched his dog deep in thoughts. Sometimes he wished to have a carefree life like a dog. It seemed so unbothered by anything and got happy by the smallest things.

With a sad smile he turned his attention back to his phone and read the last tweets again that Dr. Nat posted recently.

 

 

‘Dr. Nat, what should I do? I’m deeply in love with one of my classmates but it seems he doesn’t even notice me. I don’t have the courage to confess to him. I fear that he will make fun of me. So what should I do?’ - User Anonym tweeted.

 

‘My darling, you shouldn’t talk down yourself and your feelings. Love is something beautiful and should be appreciated. Don’t be scared, be brave. How can they respond to your love when you’re hiding?’ - Dr. Nat tweeted.

‘Only a douchebag makes fun of other’s feelings. One who doesn’t esteem the love one feels for them, doesn’t deserve their love.’ - Dr. Nat tweeted.

 

‘Thank you, Dr. Nat! I gathered all my courage and confessed yesterday. Tomorrow we will have our first date! You’re the best, Dr. Nat!’ - User Anonym tweeted.

 

 

Gun smiled bitter. They were such a lucky person. They were brave enough to confess to their crush. Gun wasn’t that brave. He was very scared to tell his crush how he felt, and he feared the reaction that would come with a confession. Not that he was ashamed of his feelings but because there was so much on the line. Because he hadn’t just one simple crush on someone, no. He had quite seriously fallen in love with his best friend. His best friend, one of the most important people in his life. Someone who meaned so much to him.

It was a completely different foundation than a plain crush on one of his fellow students. For him, there was much more on the line than an awkward silence. No, it would crush his whole world if he lost him because of his silly feelings.

 

Gun sighed again and focused on the reflection that looked at him through his darkened phone screen. Sad eyes gazed at him.

 

 

Off Jumpol, his best friend and closest ally, meant too much to him to lose him, just because his heart beat a little bit too loud in his presence. Just because his skin stared to tingle wherever he touched him. He could supress it. The urge to hug him tight. The need to press his lips against his delicate neck. The desire to be near him all the time. He could ignore it. Somehow.

But for how long? It grew bigger and bigger by the time, and it was getting harder to hide. He could less and less retain himself and he was scared – very scared – that one day he would mess up everything because he revealed himself by accident. He feared that his feelings would destroy their friendship and would break them apart. That it was over.  No, he couldn’t risk that.

 

A whine teared him out of his thoughts and he looked back at Bibi in confusion. Bibi watched him vigilant, its button eyes sparkling. Gun smiled and put his phone aside to pay his whole attention to his dog. Sometimes he asked himself if his dog had something like a sixth sense. It always seemed to feel whether Gun was unwell and needed its support. Maybe it understood what was going on inside him? Probably not but just thinking about Bibi being always there for him made him smile.

 

In a peaceful silent he petted it while dwelling on his thoughts, when suddenly he had an idea. A silly idea. Maybe he could write to Dr. Nat. He could tell him about his problems. So far Dr. Nat had always a good advice for his followers and most of the time it achieved positive outcomes for the person that needed the advice.

But he probably got spammed with messages and requests. Gun didn’t even stand a chance to get noticed by him.

He was unsure when he grabbed his phone again to unlock it. He opened the app and stared at the profile of Dr. Nat. His bio said that everyone could message him or tag him in a tweet. He had some advice for everyone that needed it.

Should Gun dare it?

 

“Should I do it, Bibi?” Gun asked and darted a sceptical gaze at his dog. Bibi looked at him with anticipation. “What do you think?”

Bibi viewed him silent and tilted its head.

“Should I write Dr. Nat and tell him about my problem with love?” Bibi whimpered a little and laid its head on its paws, put its bottom up. Gun let out some air though his teeth.

“No that’s dumb. He probably already gets too many messages. That’s a waste of time. Why would he out of all people answer me?” Gun shook his head and let out a breathy laugh. He petted Bibi at one ear. It jumped up and started skipping on the spot in excitement.

“Or maybe I should? I mean I can try even though it’s useless. He definitely won’t see it but I can get it all out and get a chance to release all the thought and feelings that gather inside me all this time. There’s no risk for me, my account is anonym anyway.”
Again he looked at his dog hopeful and as he expected an answer from it. Meanwhile Bibi had climbed him again to settle at his chest, her tail wiggled restless.

Gun laughed and shook his head doubtfully when he seriously asked, “What do you think Bibi? Yes or no? One bark for no, two for yes.”

He didn’t expect an answer from it and drew his attention back to his phone when suddenly Bibi moved and…

“Woof woof.”

 

Gun blinked confused and gazed at Bibi.

“Hah?” Did he had heard right? Did Bibi just answer him? For real? In disbelief he watched it while Bibi spined around and rose one paw to put it at his cheek.

“Really?”

“Woof woof” Bibi barked again and moved its paw to his chin. Then it started licking his face.

“Okay, okay, all right” Gun laughed still irritated and pushed her away on the bed to set up. He crossed his legs and unlocked his phone again. Bibi immediately jumped back on his lap and placed itself on its back. Gun didn’t took note of it, he was busy starring at the blank text box. His heart was beating fast in his chest. Should he really do it?

He swallowed when he started typing with shaking hands. Many times, he had to reread it, unsure if he really can post it… but what to lose right? It was anonym, nobody knew that it was him…

 

Well, fuck it, Gun thought and posted the tweet.

Immediately after he shoved his phone under his pillow, threw himself on it and buried his face under his blanket. His heartbeat pulsed loud in his ears and his head felt hot.

A squeak sounded under the blanket and a confused Bibi battled its way out of the fabric. It sought comfort by Gun and crawled under his arm to snuggle to his side. Automatically Gun pulled it in a hug, took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

 

*

 

The next morning came faster than expected and Gun had to run across the campus while cursing. Because of all the stress yesterday he had forgotten to turn his alarm on. So, he really had managed to oversleep today. Luckily, he had Bibi which woke him up today because it kept whining that he should stand up to make it breakfast. He just had gotten time for a quick wash and to feed his dog before he had stormed out of the house and had drove faster than allowed to university. He hoped he could catch at least the last 30 minutes of his first class.

He speeded up a bit when he entered the building. What a great start…

 

 

Hard breathing he opened the door and sneaked into the room. He lowered his head to not gather too much attention and searched his friends with his eyes. He found Off and Tay sitting in the back the other side of the room and as quiet as possible he rushed to them and slumped down at the free spot next to Tay. Tay greeted him with a smile and a nod and messed up his hair while laughing a little. Gun brushed his hand off and gave him an annoyed pout. Mumbling, he tried to style it the way it supposed to be and used the black screen of his phone as a mirror. Off just gave him a quick side glance and snorted amused. Gun could feel his cheeks heat up and quickly he tried paying attention to his professor to distract him from starring in Off’s direction.

Wow, he looked good again today. He wore one of his famous colourful shirts, the top buttons undone. His smooth white skin peeked through it. Gun loved that style. And he had to supress the urge to slide his hand inside the loose neckline to check if the skin was as soft as it looked.

 

But he knew that this was a boundary that shouldn’t get crossed. Off didn’t like physical contact and Gun already was testing the bonders because he kept touching his neck and was hugging him as often as possible. He knew it was risky but he just couldn’t hold back. One night at a party, where he was completely wasted, he had thrown himself at Off and had discovered how tempting his neck smelled and how perfect Gun’s head fitted in its crook. Since then, he couldn’t and didn’t want to hold back and used every opportunity to lay his arms around the seductive neck and press his face at the smooth skin.

First, Off was shocked and had tried to escape, he was stiff and defensive but bit by bit he got used to it and now he even moved his head to the side to give Gun more room. It was basically an invitation for Gun and of course Gun didn’t even hesitate for a second to cling to him.

 

Gun swallowed and felt his heart beating fast, skipping a beat. Of course, it wasn’t very helpful to supress his crush, quite the opposite. It grew and grew steady. But Off was his best friend. Hugging was normal between friends. He hugged most of his friend and even sat on Tay’s lap casually, it was nothing suspicious. But still Gun feared that he would exaggerate and Off would notice something.

And of course, sliding his hand inside the shirt of his best friend was more than suspicious.

 

 

He sighed and only now noticed a bottle of iced tea in front of him. A green post-it note was sticking on it.

‘Overslept?’ was written on it with an winking smiley. Questioning Gun looked at Off, who winked at him with a smirk. Gun responded with an amused snort. Quickly he grabbed the piece of paper and wrote his reply.

‘How do you get that?’

Careful to not get caught he passed the note behind Tay’s back to Off, sticking it at his chair. Then he pretended to listen to the speech of their professor. Out of the corner of his eye he could see how Off took the note, read it, and wrote his reply again. Without looking he leaned over Tay’s desk to stick it at the back of Gun’s hand, patting it slightly and grinned when Tay snorted annoyed. He grunted between clenched teeth and brushed the arm from his notebook, grumbled that their little note game disturbed his concentration. Gun giggled and read the messy words.

‘You storm in class with messy hair and red cheeks. What else had happened? Something lewd?’

Gun blinked stunned and had to read it again to make sure he didn’t misunderstood the last part. His cheeks heated up. Outraged he looked at Off’s direction and met his mischievous eyes and obvious smile. His eyebrows wiggled teasingly. Gun’s mouth tilted up and startled he shook his head. How could Off just think about something like that? As if Gun…

Gosh, that was embarrassing. And Off’s teasing grin didn’t help either. And Gun’s perverse mind started fascinating unreal scenes on its own with him and Off, fooling around till he was a mess and how Off’s hand started touching…

Gun winced a little and quickly pushed his daydream in a dark corner of his mind. Don’t think about than in class, Gun, he scolded himself mentally.

 

With erratic hands he grabbed the note and crossed out Off’s words insistently with a big marker and wrote in big letters that he just had overslept and that Off should stop imagining things. He leaned forward to stick it at Off’s forehead when Tay teared it out of his hands and crumpled it up in his fist.

“Stop it you two! It’s hella annoying! Stop fooling around and concentrate.”

Gun puffed his cheeks and leaned back, his arms crossed over his chest. Off rolled his eyes and muttered, “killjoy” while fixating the professor.

 

 

The notes were something special between them. Gun couldn’t remember why they kept doing it, but it grew a habit between Off and him. Back in the day when they started getting to know each other it began. They sat next to each other in class and kept chatting though paper during it because they didn’t want to wait till break. To make it less obvious that they wasn’t paying attention to their teacher they stuck or tied the notes at random items like a rubber or a pen or a bottle. So, the teacher couldn’t recognize if they were exchange notes or they were just sharing their items like good classmates.

 

The result was that they continued doing it and it never really stopped. Now it was habit, and they still did it even if there was no need to.  They sticked some here and there to an object or they communicate though paper even if they were sitting next to each other and could easily just talk.

Gun thought of it like something strangely romantic and enjoyed it quite a lot. That he had something intimate just with Off. That he had a special privilege to joke with him.

 

 

He jolted out of his thoughts when he suddenly noticed frantic movements next to him and just now, he also saw all the students gathering their things. Wondering he looked to the side. Tay had jumped up and collected all his pens that he accidently spread across his table the moment he had grabbed the pencil case. Off stood a little far behind at the end of the table line and looked at his watch with impatience. His foot tapped rapidly on the floor while he started teasing Tay that he was too clumsy. Gun hadn’t even unpacked his things, so he just grabbed his bag and phone that laid on the table and joined Off, viewed his whole appearance along the way. It should be illegal to look that good in high waist-jeans…

He had to swallow when the urgent need to slit his hand under the oversized sleeve crossed his mind. To distract himself he followed Off’s gaze and both waited till Tay closed his bag and rushed to them.

“About time, Peng”, Off said laughing and patted his back, “I want to catch a good seat before it’s too crowded.”

With an amused huff he started walking, dragging Tay with him by the arm. Tay nagged but followed and Gun followed too. Automatically he looped Off’s arm and realised it too late to back off. It was an impulse that he missed supressing, so he had to cover it up to make it less awkward. He tugged at said arm and pouted, “Papii, you didn’t greet Gun yet.” His lower lip twisted sulky, and he saw how Off glanced slightly at his lips before he looked him in the eyes. He smiled apologizing.

“Sorry but how should I greet you when you’re late?” He laughed and ruffled Gun’s hair which made Gun flinch. He yelped annoyed and turned his head to the side.

“Papii!”

Off was laughing and looped his arms around his shoulders to pull him at his side.

“So, what’s the reason you’re late? Had an exciting night?” Off asked smirking and wiggled with his eyebrows again. Gun’s cheeks heat up and he gasped outraged.

“No, what are you thinking?!” he shouted and freed his shoulders out of Off’s grab. His heart was beating too much.

“Then what’s the reason?” Tay butted in also laughing and Gun started pouting again.

“I forgot to turn on my alarm”, he mumbled and crossed his arms in embarrassment, “If Bibi hadn’t barked the whole morning till I woke up, I would still lay in bed, dreaming.”

Tay snorted amused.

“Well then lucky you to have such a reliable dog. But don’t worry, you didn’t miss much this morning. The prof got distracted from a few questions and got off topic half of the time, so there was not much new information. I can lend you my textbook, so you can copy my notes” Tay said and smiled. Gun nodded happy and thanked him.

 

 

The moment they stepped in the canteen all three groaned together. It was loud and full of people, not one seat was empty.

“See? That was the reason I was in such a hurry. Now we have nowhere to sit”, Off nagged and turned in his heel to go back, “Lets’ go. Maybe we find a place outside by the food trucks.”

Gun and Tay nodded and followed him outside to get welcomed by the warm bright sun.

 

And indeed, they found a free bench and claimed it the moment they reached it. In relief they settled down.

“Did I show you my newest gadget yet?” Tay suddenly asked with a euphoric grin and dug in his bag to present a brand new camera to his friends. With glee he shoved the display at Gun’s face and showed him the last pictures he took. He started explaining all the great features the system had and what awesome effect you could achieve with the way too expensive equipment. Gun who had a little bit experience in photography tried to follow Tay’s explanations with interest and just noticed too late that a person had stepped in front of them. It was a pretty girl in a cute short dress that stood there and eyed a certain person next to him with a shy smile. Irritated Gun looked at her.

She was beautiful with long hair, a light blush on her cheeks, big shiny eyes, and red lips. She tugged one strand of brown hair behind one ear and fiddled at the seam of her dress. She seemed nervous.

“Err, Off? Can we talk for a second?” she asked with a high voice and Gun had to swallow. He knew that gaze. Alert he turned his head to Off who nodded slightly and stood up, sighing. He excused them and together they walked away out of hearing.

With gritting teeth Gun followed them with his eyes. He felt a tug in his chest.

 

Again, a girl confessed. Gun had stopped counting long ago but it happened regular that a beautiful girl approached him, flirted with him, and asked him out.

Gun couldn’t blame them. Off was a handsome guy, of course half of the students were head over heels for him. And Gun’s heart always dropped to his feet when he saw Off talking to a blushing girl. Every time he feared that Off could say yes and ended in a relationship with one of them.

 

He swallowed the building lump in his throat, still starring at the spot they escaped his view.

“Gun… Gun?” he heard Tay next to him and he jerked up and turning his attention back to his friend.

“Hm?” he sounded and blinked confused. “What?”

“Are you alright? You seemed kinda… distracted. Everything okay? Is it the sun? Are you too hot?” Tay asked with a worried frown and laid his palm against Gun’s forehead. Quickly Gun brushed it away.

“No, no. I’m okay. I… I just didn’t sleep well”, Gun lied and forced a smile, “Sorry, what was you saying?”

Tay eyed his face a while, clearly not believing him and looked to the same point Gun was starring before.

“Do you like N’Namsai?” he then asked, and his eyes opened wide in shock. Before Gun could react or answer two strong hands grabbed his shoulders and shook him erratic.

“Oh no, don’t tell me you and Off like the same girl and are now fighting over her!” Tay yelled in panic.

“What? Wait, Tay, stop. How’d you get that nonsense?” Gun laughed and freed his shoulders from Tay’s maniac grip.

“I don’t even know her.”

“Phew!” Tay sighed relieved and in a dramatic gesture he smacked his hand over his chest. He breathed loud in ease.

“I was scared for a moment that our friendship would break apart because of some love drama. What luck.”

Gun shook his head, his mouth twisted in a pained smile. He bit the inside of his cheek. If only Tay knew…

 

When Off returned he didn’t seem different. He nodded at them to signal that they should probably go back inside. Of course, Tay directly asked many questions and wanted every little detail of their conversation. He jokily asked if Off was finally taken and threw his arms over his friend’s shoulders, squeezing him at his side. Off grimaced annoyed and pushed the arm off and gazed at Tay, rolling his eyes. He stepped a little to the side to widen the space between them while he shook his head to answer Tay’s question.

“Why? How can you reject such a beautiful girl like Namsai?” Tay asked stunned.

Gun who walked behind them had to swallow and glanced at Off, admired his profile when Off looked back at him. Just for a second their eyes met till Off looked back at Tay.

“She’s not my type” he said.

“Oh please, you’re having way too high standards. Peng. Like that you’ll never find a girlfriend” Tay shook his head and darted his eyes behind him at Gun.

“Am I right or am I right, Gun?”

Gun flinched a little like he got caught and paused for a second to collect his thoughts that panicked inside. After a short deep breath, he faintly shrugged his shoulders.

“I guess? But I think that you shouldn’t accept every confession just because someone has feelings for you. You should consider even you like them too. Not everyone likes cute girls” Gun said and quickly darted his eyes at the ground to avoid eye contact with his friends who had stopped walking by then and had turned around to face him. Gun suddenly felt embarrassed. He felt Off’s gaze piecing him. His heartbeat was loud in his chest, the blood was rushing in ears.

He speeded up and passed his friends, head still tugged down, and rushed inside the building. Tay yelled something from outside but he couldn’t hear it clearly.

Damn it, did he say something stupid?

 

*

 

The rest of the day was over in a blink. Gun had avoided the topic the whole time and had dragged their conversation far from it to prevent any awkward questions. It was written on Off’s face that he still wanted to talk about it with Gun but he didn’t got a chance against Gun’s stubbornness and by the end of the day he had to give in. Tay seemed to be unbothered by it and probably had already forgotten what he said. He only cared about his new camera and was obsessed with teaching Gun all the details it offered. He persuaded Gun to test it right after class, so he could feel the difference. Gun had agreed with a laugh. He also liked to take pictures whereby he wasn’t as obsessed as Tay.

 

And the opportunity came faster than expected. All three had jointed some juniors at the sports area because Off got asked if he could play with them. Off had demanded Tay and Gun to be there as well for his support, to cheer for him. And of course, Tay was hyped up and planned to show Gun during the game how to shoot some cool action shots. Gun didn’t even got a chance to deny or agree and got dragged with them.

So now they sat outside in the hot sun to watch Off playing skilfully, looking way too sexy running over the field. That was really unfair! How could he restrain his feelings when Off was directly in front of him, playing basketball with his sexy and focused gaze?

And although he was just wearing sports clothes – a plain tee with some white shorts – Gun couldn’t shift his eyes from him. The fabric moved around his waist when he jumped and revealed a little spot of skin again and again. He was riveted by it and couldn’t look away.

 

He had to force his head to turn sideway to stop him starring. Instead, he tried to focus on Tay who was still blathered about his camera. Currently he adjusted the lens, so Gun could try taking some pictures.

He handed it over with a smile and careful Gun took the expensive gadget with both hands. He just wanted to ask what he should shoot when suddenly a loud ringtone interrupted him. Tay startled and grabbed his phone. He apologized with a smile and said that he had to take that call and he would be back in a bit. Gun nodded understanding but a bit confused and watched Tay walking away, taking the call.

“Hello, what’s up?”

 

Gun shifted his gaze back at the field and only to see how Off threw the ball but missed the basket just a bit.

Deep in thoughts Gun watched Off running after the ball, then looked down at the camera that he was still holding and back at Off who ran back to the others. Off darted a quick glance at him and smirked with a wink which made Gun shiver.

He breathed in and slowly rose the camera to his eyes, looking through it. With slightly trembling hands he adjusted the focus at Off and admired his statue. His heart beat heavy when he followed his moves while unintentionally pushing the trigger several times. He took photo after photo, captured every move Off made. How he dribbled the ball skilfully from right to left, turning in different directions, escaping the other players.

With the camera he felt braver to watch him closely. It was some kind of disguise that made Gun look intense at the certain player. With dreamy eyes he saw how Off wiped sweat from his forehead. It was sexier than Gun had hoped, and he bit his lip as he was zooming.

He shot more pictures captured Off strike, envied the way he rose his fist in victory. With a smile he looked at the display to go through the shots and observed the sharp eyes that looked directly at him. Wait what?

 

Suddenly he felt a body right next to him that settled down on the bench, bumping into him. Startled he looked up and met Off’s eyes close his face. Too close. Immediately his heart speeded up and a hot chill ran through his spine. Off was very close, he could feel the warmth coming from his body. He was hypnotised by his gaze and got lost in those eyes, all surroundings forgotten.

Those seductive lips that hover right in front of him, the corners curled in a small smirk. Off tilted his head to the side and Gun’s mind was spinning. He was perfectly near to kiss him, all he needed to do was to lean in a bit, close the distance.

But the moment shattered when Off’s smirk widens, and he leaned more to the side to grab a cloth that laid behind Gun’s back at the table. Unbothered by the moment Off leaned back and pressed the cloth at his forehead.

 

Gun let his shaky breath out of his lungs, he hadn’t noticed that he had hold it the entire time. His hands tensed up, holding the camera tight. His gaze fixed at the tiny display. His mind was trying to supress the upcoming storm of feelings. What just happened? Gosh, Off was killing him.

He tried to distract himself by scrolling though the pictures. He assessed that the pictures he made wasn’t as bad as he had thought. Although he didn’t really think about angle, focus, and stuff, he had managed to make some decent photos.

“What pictures are you taking?” he heard Off’s voice near his ear and appalled he looked up. Oh no.

“Let me see” Off said demanding and immediately Gun leaned back. Panic spread through his mind. He could never show Off the pictures he just took. How should he explain that it was only him at those? What would he think about him?

“Nothing particularly” he said as casual as possible while turning the display away from his friend. He wanted to turn it off but Off suddenly held his wrist and stopped him.

“Let me see” he repeated insistently and grabbed the camera to take it by force.

“No”, Gun now panicked and cling to the camera, trying desperate to hinder Off from getting it. They wrestled a bit when suddenly Off lost his balance and got dragged forward by Gun’s pull. Because of the missing resistance Gun fell backward and yanked Off with him till they laid one above the other. Gun’s heart skipped a beat when he felt Off’s body on him. His eyes focused Off’s face, stunned by the thrilling closeness of their faces. Off’s gaze captured him, everything around them seemed to fade. Gun just sensed Off’s presence over him. His tempting scent clouded his senses and he felt himself getting lost in his eyes. His inside blazed. Emotions whirled through his head and he couldn’t prevent his stare to linger at those seductive lips. They were within his reach, close to his face, ready to get kissed. Just a few centimetres apart from him, he needed just to lift his head a bit to finally taste the lips he always dreamed of. Blood rushed in Gun’s ears.

Off’s intense stare shackled him and when the face slowly lowered, getting nearer and nearer Gun couldn’t breathe. All of him screamed inside. Don’t come nearer or I lose myself, he yelled in his head while at the same time he didn’t await anything eagerly than Off finally kissing him.

When Off suddenly puckered his lips Gun almost fainted. But all his hoped got shattered because Off only kissed the air teasingly and snatched the camera out of his hands. Startled Gun cringed and squinted his eyes. He felt pure disappointment spreading through him when Off set upright with an smirk and looking at the display, scrolling though the pictures.

“There you go” he said.

Gun set up as well and was trying to settle his fast heartbeat. The lump in his throat swelled and he swallowed bitter. He gritted his teeth to suppress the upcoming tears and pushed his emotions aside. Instead, he gazed at Off with curiosity. What would he say? Would he get suspicious?

“Damn” Off uttered and Gun’s heart stopped. Oh no…

“I look so cool in your pictures” he acknowledged and smiled at Gun. That took a load off Gun’s mind and answered with a relieved smile. Then he let out a trembling breath, his head turned to the ground while he wiped his sweaty hands at his jeans. Lucky him that Off would never expect him to have actual feelings for him…

 

Gun was trying really hard to hide his true feelings and it was going perfectly so far. Actually, he should be pleased about it but in a weird way he was rather disappointed. The burden grew heavier by the time, and it was more and more uncomfortable to hide.

He wanted to confess, really. But it was so difficult to collect the courage to do it.

 

“I thought you took pictures of your crush” he heard Off saying without shifting his gaze off the display. Immediately the lump and the urge to cry was back. Cold emptiness spread through Gun’s body. If only Off knew…

 

He was aware of that kind of teasing. Off liked to tease him about it many times. He didn’t really flirt with anybody, especially in front of Off and of course that made his best friend sceptical. He got asked a lot of questions and every time he turned a confession down, Off annoyed him with stupid comments. Off himself didn’t accept love confessions as well but that was different because Off always explained that they weren’t his type. And he and Tay talked about beautiful women they saw on the street, exchanged stories and pictures, they were open about their taste. Gun never joined them, staid in the back and ignored it most of the time. Because why should he? If Gun had to talk about the person he was attracted to and who he would follow with his eyes on the street, it would be Off. And that was something he would never speak out loud.

 

 

Heavy-hearted he remembered the advice that Dr. Nat gave last night.

 

‘Love is something beautiful, something to show. Don’t be afraid, be brave. How should they reply to your love when you hide it?’

 

 

Hide… he was hiding for a long time, and it started to get on top of him. But maybe… Maybe he should gather his confidence and… confess. Maybe he should just man up and tell Off how he felt! Right now.

His heartbeat fastened when he turned his body to Off, breathing in. He opened his mouth to finally let the words out, to tell Off his feelings.

But right at the same moment one of Off’s teammates appeared next to them and laid a hand on Off’s shoulder, smiling at him when he said, “Hey, I heard you broke Namsai’s heart earlier?”

Gun’s confidence disappeared immediately and quickly he leaned back, glance shifting to the ground, scratching his head to cover his intention. He was disappointed and cursed inwardly. That was a dumb idea. He almost had made a terrible mistake.

But the words made him curious. Namsai, that was the name of the girl Off had turned down this noon. Carefully he looked up.

“You are so damn picky” the guy said without understanding and looked at Off in question. The disappointment inside of him grew. It was really a stupid idea. How could he forget that Off liked girls and not boys? He nearly had made a foul of himself and had risked the bond to his best friend just because he wanted to act in the heat of the moment. And the next words hit him like a punch in the face.

“I don’t like her. And I don’t want to date anyone right now.”

 

I don’t like her. And I don’t want to date anyone right now. The words echoed inside his head and hit him harder than they should. It was hopeless. And he couldn’t do anything than bury his feelings deep inside his heart and trying to enjoy their friendship the best he could.

 

 

With wet eyes he turned away. Off and his friend were still scrolling though the pictures, totally unaware of Gun’s inner conflict. They had fun joking about Tay’s silly pictures, ignoring Gun as he if he wasn’t there.
Gun was fine with that, he didn’t want the attention anyway. He stopped listening to them and dwelled in his depressed thoughts. Not in the mood to interact with anyone he fetched his phone to distract himself with it. But what he saw at the lock screen confused him. Multiple notifications from twitter were displayed. He frowned and unlocked his phone to open the twitter app.

Messages flooded his profile. Myriads of people had liked and commented his last post and the notification at the top made him speechless.

 

Dr. Nat had replied to your tweet.

 

Gun stopped breathing and with trembling hands he read the tweets.

 

 

‘Sawasdee krub, Dr. Nat. I need your advice. I have a secret crush on a friend of mine. He’s actually my close friend. Very close. I know it’s gonna be just one sided if I don’t confess my feelings to him. But I’m scared to tell him my feelings as it may bring our friendship to an end. What should I do, Dr. Nat?’ - DimpleBoy tweeted

 

‘Seriously. You only care about losing your friend, what about your opportunity? Look at me. I lost a lot of money. I spent a fortune, but I still want someone to fulfil my need. Even I lost a lot of money, I didn’t regret. At least I know I have tried. If you want love, you must not fear of getting hurt. Even though you get hurt, just take it as a new taste of life.’ - Dr. Nat tweeted

 

 

That… that was impossible. Disbelief was written all over his face when he stared at the display. Dr. Nat had answered him. Him! Holy shit.

Shocked he looked up, stared at the field where a new game had stared in the meantime. Off defended to ball at the moment, turning from side to side to outplay the other players.

 

Gun blinked forceful, still confused, and looked back at his phone. The tweets were still there, it wasn’t just his imagination. Many people had liked the tweets and they commented that he should totally dare to confess. A real friend would consider his feelings and would never judge him. One person said that they knew how Gun felt because they were in a similar situation. So many advised him to do it and to stop hiding. Gun breathed deep. He was overwhelmed with that many responses.

 

His fingers were shaking when he typed an answer, tweeted to the world that he was still afraid of his friend’s reaction to his confession.

He didn’t have to wait long when myriads of answers and retweets rain down on him and in horror he saw that Dr. Nat answered him right after.

 

 

‘Don’t hesitate. Be confident. Remind yourself about your feelings and you will find the perfect way to confess. If you keep stalling, the ice dream will melt away.’- Dr. Nat tweeted.

 

 

Gun frowned at the last part. What ice cream? But then Dr. Nat added:

 

 

‘Love is like ice cream. It will taste delicious if you’re enjoying it, but will instantly melt if you ignore it.’- Dr. Nat tweeted.

 

 

Without moving he stared at the sentence. Read it again and again till it echoed loudly inside his mind. He let a trembling breath out of his lungs when he realised that really everybody wanted him to finally confess to Off. Especially Dr. Nat who was always right with his advice. And Gun had too much respect for him to ignore his demand.

 

Suddenly a hand grabbed his shoulder and frightened Gun to the point that he almost dropped his phone. His heartbeat fastened alarmed, and he pressed his phone at his chest, jerking his head to the side to see a smirking Tay.

“Well, did I tear you out of your daydream? Sorry ‘bout that” he said amused and sat down next to him. He scratched his cheek and smiled sheepishly. Gun let out a shaky breath, his hand was still pressed at his chest when he glanced angry at his friend. He smacked his shoulder.

“Not funny, Tay” he pouted and turned his head away.

“But look, I have ice cream for you. Look at it as an apology for the unintended heart attack.”

Tay handed him an ice cream cone. Dumbfounded he stared at the cone and couldn’t believe the coincidence. He felt Tay’s questioning gaze at him, the ice cream still held in front of him.

“Take it now, before it melts. Or don’t you want it?” he asked, and Gun moved, took the ice cream carefully, held it in both hands to stare at it. Tay shook his head at his odd behaviour but didn’t say anything. He leaned back at the table, took his camera that laid behind Gun and inspected it.

 

Gun dwelled on his thoughts again, his eyes shifted from the ice cream cone in his hands to Off at the field, who jumped to throw the ball. Maybe… Maybe he had an idea.

Careful he put the ice cream down on the bench, grabbed his bag to search for a pen and a note. He hesitated for a second, stared at the blue sticky note, questioned if he really wanted to do it. Then he removed the cap from the marker and wrote.

His mouth felt dry when he looked at the words on the note and he had to encourage himself again that he should just do it. He quickly looked over all the tweets again and felt much braver with all the cheering from total strangers.

He nodded at himself, sticked the note at the ice cream cone and stood up with a strong-willed expression. Tay glanced at him with a raised eyebrow but didn’t say anything.

 

 

His heart battered in his chest, fastened by every step he took till he stood in the middle of the field. The game was already over and Off’s teammates had left to gather their things. Just Off was left alone in front of the basket, still throwing the ball to it. Gun stepped up to him.

A last time he breathed deep and tried to act casual and detached.

“Here. For you” he said and held out his hand with the ice cream. Outside he kept his cool mimic but inside he was nervous as fuck. Off thanked him with a smile and accepted the ice cream. The moment he wanted to rip the wrap he noticed the note sticking at it. He paused.

Everything around Gun seemed to spin when he darted his eyes at Off, who slowly turned the cone in his hands to look at the note. The blood rushed in his ears and the tension captured every spot of his body. His hands got sweaty and trembling he clenched them to fists.

Off frowned when he stared at the three little words.

 

 

‘I like you’

 

 

Both seemed frozen. Seconds that felt like forever Off was staring at the note, didn’t move, seemed to process the meaning behind the words. Gun’s thoughts were running, he imagined the worst already, why was he so quiet? He struggled to suppress his insecurity and tried to stay calm on the outside, smiled the whole time and waited patiently till Off finally would speak up. He gazed at Off’s face, tried to spot every little emotion in it.

To Gun’s surprise the corners of his lips rose to a warm smile and Off’s eyes shifted to look him deep in the eyes. He smiled at Gun. He couldn’t believe it. A warm shiver ran though his spin, and his smile grew also.

 

“You’re sure that’s for me? I think you actually wanted to give this your crush” but Off said and the world crushed above Gun. Like a bucket of ice-cold water, it poured over him and left a brutal deadness of disillusion. His smile fell as he stared at Off speechless. He returned it with a questioning expression and shook the ice cream cone in his hand. Gun felt the tears piling up and desperately he fought them away when he shook his head in a chopped motion.

“No, it… it’s for you” he rasped, his voice died at the last word.

Off derailed his smile when the meaning of those words sank in and instead, he blinked at him stunned. His eyes shifted from the note to Gun and back at the note in disbelief. His mouth was open in shock. And that finished Gun off.

 

Rapid he turned around and ran. He couldn’t stand the expression on Off’s face any longer. By the time tears were leaving the corners of his eyes and wetted his burning cheeks. He ran rash inside the building and into the next free room, slammed the door behind him. He leaned against the wood, squinted his eyes, and put his head back. His legs lost all their strength and slowly he slid on the floor, crying. His back pressed at the door when he bended his kneed. His arms wrapped around his legs and his head fell on his knees when he let out all the tears. He sobbed loud and unrestrained.

How could he be so stupid? He destroyed everything. A wave of regret overcame him, and he cursed at Dr. Nat that he gave him this stupid advice. Thanks to him he destroyed the friendship and had lost the most important person in his life.

 

Suddenly he felt a shake at his back when someone beat forceful at the door. Terrified he looked back at the tiny slit that opened and saw Off’s panicked expression meeting his.

“Gun”, he shouted heavy breathing, “Let me in.”

Gun flinched and shook his head vigorous. Forceful he leaned back against the door, tried to shut it but Off for his part leaned against it too to open it more. It emerged into a short fight while Off tried to squeeze himself through the small gap. He won and managed to slip into the room. Gun jumped up to ran away again but Off had a different plan, grabbed his wrist and pushed him against the wall. Both hands appeared right and left at Gun’s shoulders and trapped him. With a determined gaze he pieced a hole in Gun. Doubt and confusion were shown in his eyes and Gun swallowed another flush of tears. He closed his eyes and lowered his head.

“I’m sorry” he whispered. The hands that laid heavy at his shoulders tensed up for a second. Then they let go.

“What do you mean?” Off’s voice sounded raspy but sharp. Gun winced.

“I destroyed everything” Gun whispered and couldn’t suppress a sob.

“I’m so sorry, Papii. I ruined our friendship with my feelings” he sobbed and now tears ran over his cheeks again. He still squinted his eyes tight when warm hand caressed his wet cheeks and forced his head up. Insecure he opened them and glanced into Off’s warm eyes. Eyes that gazed at him incredulous but sparkling.

“You didn’t destroy anything, Gun” he said with a shook of his head and slowly he brushed another tear away with his thumb that almost left the corner of Gun’s eye.

“No?” Gun asked weak and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Off’s bright smile.

“No, not at all” he said and did something Gun definitely didn’t expect. He pulled him into a tight embrace. Confused Gun stand there with Off’s arms wrapped around him, unsure what he should do, confused what he should feel.

When Gun didn’t move Off tightened the embrace a little more and buried his face in Gun’s hair.

 

“You did something that I didn’t dare for all those years.”

 

Gun stopped breathing. Tears piled up when he realised what Off just said. Incredulous he exhaled. He must mishear that.

In a frantic motion he broke the hug to stare at Off’s face. But there was no doubt and no jockey smile shown. Quite the opposite. A wave of affection and love flooded Off’s eyes that appeared moist by the time.

 

Rapid two arms looped Off’s neck and dragged him down to be level with Gun’s face. Gun gazed at Off in question, peeking at his lips and Off nodded sightly, closed the last few centimetres and pressed his lips against Gun’s. Inside of Gun exploded a firework of emotions and desperately he cling at him, put all his feelings into the kiss.

 

They kissed a while till Gun broke it to stare at Off panting.

“Wow” he sounded. Off smiled.

“Mhm”, he muttered in agreement, “I can’t believe I missed that all those years.”
“Wait, wait, wait” Gun shook his head and leaned back a bit, still starring at Off confused.

 “What do you mean by that?” he asked and got a chuckle from Off.

“What do you think?”

“I don’t know” Gun mumbled honestly and Off huffed amused. Slowly he leaned forward and breathed gentle in Gun’s ear.

“I like you too, Gun.”

Gun gasped startled and his mouth swinged open. Off leaned back again but got stopped by two arms that looped his neck quickly and pulled him back down. A delighted Gun threw himself at him. Firm he embraced him and laughed when Gun tiptoed to start another passionate kiss. Off returned it pleased.

 

 

When they broke the kiss again Gun found himself pushed against the cold wall with Off’s hands at his hip and his own under Off’s shirt.

A bit embarrassed he removed his hands and laid them at their favourite place instead – Off’s neck.

Off grunted and squeezed his skin briefly. He held him tight against his body, his head buried in the crook of his neck. He breathed pleased.

“But” Gun started while he tried to arrange the chaos in his head. His mind seemed wrapped up in thick fog.

“But I thought you’re not interested in… something like this.”

Off sighed faint.

“Who said that?”

“You?” Gun said puzzled and rose an eyebrow. Off removed his head from Gun’s shoulder and looked at him with a smirk.

“You mean, ‘cause I reject every other confession by telling them I don’t want a relationship?”

Gun nodded.

“I say that, so they stop bothering me. A simple no isn’t enough most of the time. You have to tell them a reason why you don’t want to be with a beautiful girl. And I couldn’t tell them the truth. That I already had my eyes on someone” Off said warm. Gun had to swallow.

“Why not?”

“Because they probably would ask me questions that I can’t answer.”

“Because you are ashamed of it?”

“No, because I would have blurred out the truth in front of you. You were not the only one who was scared to ruin our friendship because of deeper feelings.”
Gun gasped stunned and looked at Off with big eyes. Off turned his head in embarrassment and Gun couldn’t help himself when he pecked the inviting cheek that hovered in front of him.

“You’re cute, Papii” he giggled and immediately pecked his lips when Off turned his face again to look at him.

“Cute? I’m not cute, I’m handsome. If someone is cute then it’ll be you” Off said offended and gazed at him with mischievous eyes. Gun giggled and pressed himself at Off, laid his head against his shoulder.

 

“And you? What made you confess all the sudden?” Off asked after a while.

“A bird had tweeted it to Gun” Gun said short-spoken and literally felt how it started to rattle inside of Off’s head.

“Huh?” was the only noise he managed to make, and Gun busted out laughing. Determining he pressed his lips at Off again, ignored all the questions that Off tried to say.

 

He didn’t have to know everything.

 

 

 

<3

 

 

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“What the fuck, Gun?? Why is my memory card full of pictures of Peng? What the hell did you do while I was gone?”