David sighed and rubbed his eyes. The word document of his thesis stared back at him, the cursor on the page blinking expectantly. He knew he ought to keep working, but he couldn't think of anything to write. He picked up one of the books on literary criticisms sitting next to him and began reading the page he had marked, hoping for inspiration. Unfortunately his brain decided to replace the words he was reading with the voice of the teacher in Peanuts. That was never a good sign.
Maybe he should check his email or play some solitaire to clear his mind. That was a good idea; take a quick mental break and return to his writing refreshed. At least that was how it was supposed to work. Checking email eventually morphed into watching cat videos on YouTube for about two hours. The digital clock on the bookshelf next to his bed displayed the time. How in the world did it get to be almost five? David thought to himself. Oh right. Cat videos. He pulled up the window with his thesis again.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Screw this. I'm going to sleep. With that thought David surveyed his bed. It was covered in books, journal articles, and hand written notes, with him and his laptop nestled in the middle. There was absolutely no way he was moving everything so he could get into bed; he already spent way too much time organizing his materials. Good thing my couch is comfortable. With a move made easy from much practice, David scooted carefully towards the side of the bed, and rolled himself over the back of the sofa.
This move was made possible by the fact that David's apartment was tiny. The only place his couch would fit was against the side of his bed which was wedged in the corner. Unless, of course, he didn't want to get into his kitchen. At first, David had been annoyed by the lack of space, until he realized that he could dive into the sofa from his bed. That was a wonderful discovery, given the fact that his bed often doubled as his desk.
As David settled into the cushions and pulled an afghan around him, he realized that he had left the light on. Oh well. He'd be up soon enough anyway, and there was no way he could muster the will power to actually stand. With that thought, he closed his eyes and buried himself deeper in his blanket cocoon.
A knock at the door startled David out of a dream. A very good dream involving him and his best friend doing things that made him blush. One day I'll be completely over him. David thought he was doing pretty good, considering he'd realized he was in love with Jack nearly six years ago. Jack is not gay, he doesn't love you as anything more than a friend, and he's dating your sister, David reminded himself and sighed. Those thoughts didn't hurt too much anymore, and he knew he couldn't help what his subconscious came up with while he dreamed. He looked at the clock. 6:30. Ugh.
The knock sounded again and David lurched to his feet, wrapping the afghan around him against the chill. I really should turn the heat on. Or put on some socks. His bare feet padded on the worn carpet as he slowly made his way to the door.
There was more impatient knocking before David made it to the door. He looked through the peephole and saw Jack standing there holding two of the largest cups of coffee that David had ever seen, along with a box that could only be filled with doughnuts. I'm still dreaming. David opened the door, letting in a gust of cold air. No. Not dreaming. It's way too cold.
“Jack? What are you doing here?” David attempted to rub the sleep from his eyes with the heel of his hand.
“I was just passing by and saw your light on in the window. Figured you could use this.” Jack thrust one of the coffee cups into David's hand. “May I come in?”
David looked at Jack quizzically, wondering why Jack was bothering to ask. The he realized he was completely blocking the door, and the tiny hallway into his apartment. He shuffled to the side and, with his best butler impression, gestured for Jack to come inside.
They sat down on the sofa and David started to gulp his coffee relishing the warmth even as it burned his tongue. After a few minutes David realized he probably should say something. He managed to mumble out a thank you while barely removing his lips from his cup. Jack laughed and handed him a doughnut. Maple bar. My favorite. David grunted another thank you through a mouth full of doughnut.
“Geeze Dave, swallow first, then talk. No one wants to see that.”
David swallowed obediently. “I thought you were out of town already! Weren't you staying with Sarah over break?”
“Well, I was.” Jack rubbed the back of his neck, looking sheepish. He avoided eye contact. “We broke up, actually.”
David raised his eyebrows. Jack raised his even higher and pursed his lips.
“That's all your going to say?”
“Well what do you want to know?” Jack was not making this conversation easy.
“Are you okay?” David was genuinely concerned, but he could read Jack's moods pretty well. It sure didn't seem like Jack was too upset about it.
“Yeah, I'm doing okay. Pretty good, actually.” Jack shrugged. “It was mutual, you know. No hard feelings.”
David wasn't sure how to react. He wanted to help, but his sleep-deprived brain wasn't really working. David looked at Jack with big, blue, deer-in-the-headlight eyes.
Jack couldn't help but laugh. “It's okay, Davey. I promise. You don't need to say anything.”
“But I should.”
“Maybe you should wait until you're awake though.”
David sighed. He knew what that meant. Jack didn't want to talk about it.
“Go on,” Jack gave David a slight shove. “Take a shower. Take a nap. I'll let you play therapist later.”
Jack settled into the futon, turned on the TV and flipped through the channels. He wasn't quite sure how to start the conversation with David. It seemed so easy when Sarah was talking him through it. Just tell him that you like him. She made it sound so easy, as if he could just waltz in and say 'Hey Davey, I know you think I'm straight, but I've only been dating your sister because she reminds me of you.' I'm sure that would go over well.
Jack heard the shower turn off, and soon David shuffled out of the bathroom, his hair damp and shirt sticking slightly to his wet skin. He made his way over to the sofa and curled up against the arm. He picked up his half empty coffee cup. They watched the TV in silence.
“Thanks Davey.” Jack said, keeping his eyes focused on the TV.
“For being so easy to be around. For knowing that I'll about things when I'm ready.”
“Anytime, Jack.” David looked over at him, becoming aware of how tense Jack looked. His jaw was tight, and his hands pressed into his thighs as if he didn't know what else to do with them. David turned back to the show they were watching.
Jack's phone beeped and he shifted to pull it out of his back pocket. He read the text and let out a sharp laugh, jolting David out of a slight doze.
“Sorry Dave. Your sister knows me too well.”
Wordlessly, Jack handed his phone to David.
Stop being such a pansy ass. Put on your big boy panties and do what you need to do.
“What's that about?”
Jack looked at David and took a deep breath. Just do it. He deserves to know.
“I'm really not sure how to say this...” Jack trailed off, biting his lip and looking at David.
David leaned closer, wondering what could be so bad that Jack would be afraid to say it.
“I...David...” Jack shot a quick glance at David. “Well, maybe I could just show you.”
Jack turned to face David and leaned forward. He hesitated just inches away from David's lips. There was a slight hitch in Jack's breath, and David looked into his eyes. He saw hope and fear intermingled, a searching apprehension as Jack's eyes stared back at him. Jack, who was always confident to the point of cocky, was scared. David decided to take pity on him. He put his hand lightly on the back of Jack's neck and pulled him down gently, closing the distance between them. Jack's lips were light on his, as if he was unsure of how David would react.
All too soon, at least in David's mind, Jack pulled away. He looked at David through his lashes as a grin pulled at the corners of his lips.
“Mind if I try that again?”
David blushed and nodded.
Jack's face broke into the brightest, widest smile that David had ever seen.
Coffee and Doughnuts by shinigami_nanoda