Untitled

The air was warm, and David pulled at the front of his shirt, fanning himself gently. He sat back against the railings of the fire escape, one leg dangling over the edge.

"Dave!" A familiar voice called in a hushed tone from the ground below.

"Jack?" David called back, leaning to see the other boy peering up at him. "Come up!"

Jack took the rickety stairs two at a time. His breath panted through his grin when he reached David, sitting heavily.

"Make yourself comfortable," David grinned. "Pull up a chair."

"Nah," Jack responded. "This is good."

They sat in silence for a few long moments, watching the sun sizzle between tall buildings as it headed for the earth.

"If you don't go soon, Kloppman will have locked the door," David reminded.

Jack shrugged. "Was thinking of sleeping here anyway."

David gave a single nod. A few more minutes went by, the pink of the sky fading more blue. Sighing, David shifted his weight, leaning less on the railings and more on Jack's warm weight. Slowly, as the sky continued to darken, small points of light began to appear, more mobile than the stars.

"Hey," Jack said softly. "Lightning bugs."

David nodded, resting his head on Jack's shoulder. Something fluttered in his stomach at the feel of it. It had only been a few days since the two of them had kissed, hesitantly and nervously, and even though they hadn't repeated the gesture yet, there was an undeniable closeness, like the last barrier of their friendship had been stripped away.

He wondered if Jack felt the same way, like this was the culmination of something that had been building since he felt the rough impact of their shoulders, Jack barreling past him on the street. He sometimes wondered if he felt it more than Jack did, if this was something less serious for the older boy.

"Stop thinking so hard," Jack's voice came from above him, rough and amused.

David chuckled, blushing hotly. "Sorry." Gazing at the fireflies, he wondered if they were like Jack, something beautiful that, if you were clever and patient and lucky, you could catch, but couldn't keep.

Jack reached over, his fingers warm as they entwined with David's. "You ain't gotta worry so much," he said. He laid a tentative, gentle kiss on top of David's hair.

"Yeah," David said, his smile audible. "You're right."

"As usual," Jack said.

"Don't push your luck." David shoved lightly at Jack's side.

Chuckling, Jack wrapped an arm over David's shoulder, keeping him close. They stayed that way as the fireflies flickered and the sky faded to black. When David heard his father calling him inside, he stood slowly, his back to the older boy.

"I wish you could come inside with me," he said. "Spend the night in there, instead of out here."

Jack shrugged. "I'll be okay out here. You'd be surprised how nice it is."

Rolling his eyes, David glanced back at him. "Still..."

"Davey," Jack reached out, catching David's hand. "Go on in. There's time."

David nodded. The last few fireflies disappeared into the night. Jack was still there. "Yeah. Goodnight."

Back.