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Leo loved Piper and Jason a lot more than he even loved himself. They were his bestest friends in the entire world, and they were absolutely inseparable. You couldn’t go too far looking for one and not find the others. Leo= Piper= Jason. Leo + Piper + Jason. It’s just that simple.

Leo loved Piper like a sister. Who was he without her? They were like twins joined at the hip as soon as they were born. There was nothing that could separate them, there was nothing that could keep them from being apart.

Leo loved Jason. Jason. Jason. Jason. Jason. Jason with his stupid blue eyes, tiny lip scar, dumb blond hair. Leo and Jason were the best bros ever, though. And Leo was okay with that. Totally okay with that.

They were absolutely inseparable. Three peas in a pod. Three sardines in a can. Three was absolutely not a crowd.

And then Jason had stayed up all night and was in a three-hour call about how he and Piper had the most romantic of all kisses up on the roof of the school.


Leo’s fingers curl up into a fist, pulling his blanket into a bunched up mess. His breathing slows, and his heart does a million acrobatic flips. He hadn’t known his heart could do that, but it can and it’s painful.

“So then what happens?” He croaks.

Jason sighs on the other side of the phone. “Well, you know how there was a full moon? Everything was perfect and when Piper was cold, we cuddled.”

Leo pretends he cares because that what he’s supposed to do as a best friend. “And this was all after the most amazing make out of the century?”

“I mean,” Jason sighs again in that sick lovingly way. It makes Leo want to puke out his mac and cheese. “It was just so amazing. You know what I’m saying?”

No. Leo has never kissed anyone. Or at least romantically.

“Yeah. Totally.”

Jason shuffles around, and he grunts. “Piper’s a really good kisser.”

Leo’s fingernails rip through his blanket like it's nothing. “Gross. You do remember you’re talking to her protective best friend here.”

“Heh,” Jason swallows. “But she’s really good. What if I’m not good enough?”

“I think you’re probably good.” Leo rolls over on his bed until he’s on his back and staring at the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. He can feel tiny butterflies flitting around painfully inside of him. His throat constricts. “Any kiss with the Jason Grace is probably great, Jay. Not that I would know.”

He wonders if he doesn’t say the right thing because Jason doesn’t respond. Leo has to stare at the phone because he’s not sure whether the blond had hung up on him. He hadn’t.

A few minutes of silence and Leo’s panicked heartbeats, and then Jason’s voice comes crackling back.

“Sorry, what was that? I had to put my books away.” Jason sounds honest enough.

Leo swallows the gigantic lump in his throat. He laughs. “It’s nothing. Just hope that now you and Pipes won’t be kissing up a storm whenever I’m around.”

Jason laughs too. “I think I’m too scared to even see her again. Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited to do that?”

No. No No. NonononononononoNONONO.

“How long?” Leo screams into his palm and bites softly. He’s known Jason first, a total of 7 years now. He only introduced Piper to the blond a few years ago, maybe 5? 6? Either way, Leo was first.

“Bro, for the longest?” Jason sounds so tired. “Maybe since I first laid eyes on her. I think even when I was twelve I liked her.”

Fuck!” Leo winces as he pulls his hand from his mouth, a thin trail of red tinted saliva dripping. He hadn’t meant to bite so hard, but now that he’s done it, he doesn’t mind the sting.

“Are you okay? Leo?”

“That’s great, Jay.” Leo dismisses him. “I hope you and Piper get it going.”

Jason sighs. “Yeah, me too. I’ll see you on Monday, okay?”

“Can’t wait.”

He literally wants to never see Jason ever again.

The light on his phone flickers off, and he screams into his pillow. He doesn’t want to scream too loud, because he knows the walls are thick but not exactly soundproof, and Nyssa is sleeping next door.

Piper. PiperPiperPiperPiperPiperPiper.

He jumps from his window, ignoring the brisk wind, and runs across the yard. He wishes that he and Piper weren’t neighbors so he would have more time to think about what he’s doing. Piper’s light is on, but her window is shut.

Leo throws a rock at her window, and the next thing he knows he had climbed the tree and is sitting on her bed. Piper’s hair is wrapped up in a towel because she just took a shower, and her laptop is playing some Disney movie that Leo doesn’t care about.

“I heard you and Jason did the nasty.” Leo finds himself saying. Piper rolls her eyes but her cheeks are a bit pink.

“As if. We only kissed.” Her cheeks darken even more, and her fingers drift up to touch her lips as if re-imagining the feeling. “But it was good.”

“Give me all the details, guuuurl.” Leo gives his most valliest of valley girl speak, but it only sounds half-hearted to his own ears. Piper doesn’t notice or doesn’t bring it up.

“Well,” Piper fiddles with a string on her flannel pajamas, “Jason’s really good. Maybe even a bit too good? Can you be too good at kissing?”

“Don’t ask me.” Leo crosses his legs, Indian style. “The only make outs I participate in are in my dreams.” His dreams are either the result of super hormonal teenage boy thoughts or the darkest and more strangest nightmares. It’s not hard for him to prefer one over the other.

“Gross, Leo.” Piper scrunches up her face. “I didn’t need to know what goes on across my window at night."

Leo shrugs. Piper didn’t know everything about him. He wonders if he told her that he is absolutely in love with Jason, then would she give Leo a chance? Would she not pursue Jason? Would she even care?

“I can’t believe you made out with the dreamiest of all the princes in the land,” Leo’s mouth is dry. “And all you have left to say for it is that the kissing was ‘good’.”

Piper pauses the movie playing on her laptop. It’s no accident that it stops just as the princess is about to kiss the prince. Leo snaps it shut. “Well, it was good. It’s like one of those things, y’know?”

Leo takes the moment to stare at Piper. Piper in all her feminine beauty and soft edges. Piper’s eyes swirl with stars.

“What things?”

Piper sighs breathlessly and grins.

“You just had to experience it yourself.”

 

 

Due to the fact that Piper’s sister is town gossip girl, Drew, the news spread faster than the flu. By Monday, literally everyone and their mother knew. It’s not an exaggeration- Leo’s town probably has a population of maybe 5100 people, with only two high schools and one movie theater that was always a few weeks late with releases.

“Dude,” Jason pokes Leo’s face with his pen. “Where have you been all weekend? I texted you quite possibly a million times.”

“I was busy.” Leo rubs his eyes. He had no interest in whatever tiny font poem is swimming in front of his eyes.

Jason highlights something neatly on his paper. “Busy with what? I thought the arcade was closed this weekend.”

“Babysitting. Harley’s friend’s birthday was canceled because the arcade closed. Nyssa was at work, Jake was at therapy, and Dad's dealing with the hottest hot ride you will ever lay eyes on.”

It's not a total lie- the party was canceled, except the birthday kid had a sleepover instead. Everyone else was actually where Leo claimed them to be, leaving him alone to sleep and play some really shitty game on his really shitty phone. He had seen and ignored all eight of Jason’s messages and then threw his phone across the room to sleep some more.

Jason clicks his tongue. The blond only has one sibling, an older sister in the military who sends letters every so often. “That’s cool. What’d you and Harley do, then?”

Leo sighs, and drops his pencil. “Listen, man, I’m really tired from the weekend, and I just took a Stats test not even fifteen minutes ago. Really not in the mood for interrogations with Detective Grace.”

Jason gives a small laugh but doesn’t push. It sends Leo into a silent bliss for the rest of English.

He’s happy his next class is Spanish. He had originally taken French for his first two years of high school but then realized that he literally wouldn’t have to slave himself if he took his native language (which was really English, not that it really matters). He could coast by with a low B if he slept through every class.

Which is why he was the only senior in Spanish 2, which is filled with tiny tot freshman and sophomores. It's literally one of the only fresh breaths he could take from the upperclassmen life. At first, it seemed annoying, but now he has a break from all the foggy gossip surrounding his friends.

 

 

Lunch is okay.

When he sits with Jason and Piper, they act like everything's okay, and nothing is going to hell.

Jason still is doing homework in between bites of poorly made pizza, just so he doesn’t have to do it when he comes home from whatever sport of the season is in. Piper’s still poking at her salad, as she listens to music. Leo still pokes jokes at ill-dressed teachers and spouting whatever funny joke he’s seen on TV recently.

No one really sits at their table, but everyone does know who they are. JasonPiperLeo. No spaces in between, because why separate them?

Leo’s okay with this. He can deal with this.

 

 

The week goes by so slow, and so fast at the same time. Every day is the same.

On Friday, it’s practically ritual to spend the night at someone’s house. The only reason why they didn’t do it last week was because Leo needed to finish an essay. The one day he’s gone, is the one day when the Earth stops spinning and Jason and Piper have their magical movie kiss of the century.

They settle in Piper’s room because Jason has been lacking in his cleanliness and doesn’t want the other two to see, and Leo doesn’t want to imagine having his two best friends snuggling next to him in his very own room. He tells them Nyssa didn’t do the wash and his clothes smell like gross socks, which actually leads him to texting Nyssa to do the wash so his room doesn't smell like gross socks.

Leo sleeps on Piper’s bed because he won rock-paper-scissors. Jason and Piper pull up a couple of blankets to lay down on the floor next to the bed. Piper pulls the pillow right out from under Leo’s head.

“Good night Leo.” Piper yawns. Leo turns over, so he can see the very faint outline of his best friends bodies. The faint light from the stars and one of the nearby street lamps float through the open curtains. He can see Piper’s the person closest to him, with the blanket snugly against the curve of her hip. Jason’s wide chest is noticeable, as it goes up and down slowly. “Night, Jay.”

“Good night, Piper. Good night, Leo.” Jason mumbles and turns in his half awake state.

Leo mutters a Buenos Noches but doesn’t go to sleep. He has too much energy to go to sleep. His body aches for something. He stares at the other two.

They’re like a married couple. It’s disgustingly sweet. Jason and Piper are facing each other, and their hands kind of touch slightly. Piper’s all curled in just so, and in one move Jason could probably hug her to his body.

It’s not fair.

Leo sits up, listening to Piper’s mumbling. Her sleep talk is less comprehensible than it was as a child. Jason’s snores are a bit louder than it was years ago.

It’s not fair.

Leo doesn’t look back when he jumps out the window, and runs down the street.

It's not fair.