Akira let Gavin hold his hand for a bit, but Gavin still wasn’t speaking so he took a step back.
“Come on Gavin, I know you’re not the most verbose person, but tell me something.”
Still Gavin said nothing, but he handed Akira a rose.
Akira couldn’t help himself, the rose made him smile. He wanted Gavin to use his words, but he appreciated the methods Gavin was using to avoid words.
He finally let himself feel a rush of hope. All this time being Gavin’s friend, his feelings had been growing stronger. At first he wasn’t sure Gavin was even capable of reciprocating the feelings, but then it became clear he was confused and deep in the closet, lying even to himself.
Akira had decided they would just be friends and that would be fine. He’d even tried to date other people to distract himself, but ended up finding reasons to end those relationships. No one else was Gavin. There was no one he could depend on more. Being “just friends” fled from his mind’s grip as the smell of the rose invaded his senses.
Akira opened his mouth to speak, accepting he was going to have to start the actual conversation. Gavin closed the distance between them and caressed his cheek. Akira closed his mouth and leaned into Gavin’s hand.
He decided to let this play out. It had been a while since he got to witness someone exploring something so new to them. Gavin was a bit like a kid in a cool candy or toy store, allowed for the first time to touch the items on the shelves without having to worry about breaking something.
Still in complete silence, Gavin stared at Akira for a moment. Then he finally leaned in so they could share their first kiss.
After the sweet tentative kiss, some other version of Gavin took over.
He kissed Akira’s neck, causing him to make a sound something like a giggle as if he were being tickled.
Then he kissed him deeply on the mouth, done with being tentative.
Gavin kissed his way back down to Akira’s neck, this time eliciting a moan instead of a giggle.
Gavin paused his exploration and took hold of Akira’s hand again.
Gavin finally found his voice.
“I never knew I could feel like this. Well, I guess I knew, but I didn’t think I should. I don’t know if that makes sense. It doesn’t matter what I thought, what matters is now. I feel like a new person. No, I feel like myself. I feel the most like myself I’ve ever felt. I can’t believe I waited this long to say something.”
Akira smiled gently, “Gavin, you know you haven’t actually said anything yet.”
Gavin smiled back, “right. Okay, as one of my closest friends, I need your help.”
“Anything you need,” said Akira.
“What’s the best way to say, ‘I want to be with you’?”
This time, it was Akira’s turn to forgo words. He walked around to the opposite side of the bed a gave Gavin a look full of meaning.
Without any more words needed, they both got into bed.
The next morning, they got dressed and sat on the bed to talk.
“Please tell me in your apartment the bedrooms have more in them than just beds.”
Akira laughed and said, “indeed they do have more than beds. There’s art on the walls too. And your grandfather would love my kitchen.”
“I’m sure now that we’ve sorted things out, my grandparents will say yes to the move,” said Gavin. “This makes me so happy, you don’t even know. I can’t wait to have you, and this, in my life everyday.”
Akira sighed. “Listen, Gavin, we had a great time last night, and I really care about you, but I have to rescind my offer of moving in.”
“Think about it Gavin, we didn’t actually do much talking last night, and that’s as much my fault as yours. But that doesn’t change things. A few kisses and spending the night together can’t replace a real conversation.”
“Okay, well then let’s talk now.”
“You don’t want to talk to me about this, not really,” said Akira.
“I do,” insisted Gavin. “I can’t go backwards now, so let’s dive in. Why don’t you want us to move in with you anymore?”
“It was fine when we were pretending all we wanted from each other was friendship,” said Akira. “But things have changed. Now you want more, now you want to see what I can give you. And you’d be right to be eager to find out. But I can’t say the same.”
Gavin felt like he’d been slapped.
Gavin: What’s so wrong with me?
“What’s so wrong with me? Sure, I don’t have the experience you do, but I don’t think I’m that bad.”
“It’s not about experience,” said Akira. “Okay, well maybe it is a little about that. I’m not sure I want to be your guinea pig while you learn to be the new you. What if it didn’t work out?
“I don’t think I could handle what that would mean for our friendship. I got used to being just friends and seeing that as the best way to keep you in my life, and I’m worried about trying to change that .
“But aside from that, you live a sheltered life. Your grandparents brought you here, they cook your meals, they tend to repairs, you don’t do anything for yourself.”
Gavin couldn’t believe his ears. “Your whole reasoning for us moving in was so you could have a family here, and now you’re holding it against me because I didn’t have to ‘do it on my own’ like you did? I’m not even an immigrant! I’m the children of immigrants, first generation born here. Wanna hold that against me too?!”
“No! You’re misunderstanding,” said Akira. “I don’t say that to criticize, it’s just that we’re different in that way, so you may not get some things.”
“I understood just fine 24 hours ago.”
“Twenty-four hours ago, you were just a friend.”
“And now what am I?”
“Now, you’re someone who I care about in all the ways I can finally admit to,” said Akira. “But you’re also the man who’s so afraid to be himself, he picked some bullshit cause to base his entire political career on, playing it safe every step of the way. I can’t be with someone who plays it so safe.”
“Simoleons for Everyone is a fine cause,” mumbled Gavin.
“Keep telling yourself that,” said Akira.
“Okay, fine,” said Gavin, “maybe I haven’t had to do everything by myself and maybe I have played it safe, but didn’t last night show you that I can evolve?” He leaned in closer to Akira, nudging him with his shoulder.
“Yes, last night showed me a lot,” said Akira, smiling in spite of himself. “But I need more.”
“Okay,” said Gavin, getting serious again in spite of Akira’s smile. “I’ll show you more.”
Akira smiled and said, “I can’t wait.
To Be Continued…