Secrets Out

Summary: Takes place in Love, Simon. Warning: Movie spoilers! After being rejected by Abby, Martin doesn't run. He finds Simon in the crowd and immediately outs him. Even worse, he outs the mysterious Blue. Bram very suddenly has a decision to make. Simon/ Bram.

"Martin, I'm so sorry. I don't feel that way about you," Abby said gently.

"You-you don't?" Martin asked. Simon watched his face crumple and couldn't help the guilt he felt. He should have never told Martin to make a grand gesture. He should have listened when Martin wanted to run his plan by him. He had just gotten so upset when yet another person wasn't Blue, and pissed off about the blackmail, and overwhelmed with his guilt at getting involved and interfering with his friends' love lives that he couldn't listen to another word from Martin. But he never would have wished a public rejection upon him, no matter how much he resented Martin for blackmailing him into this in the first place. He could hear some uncomfortable laughter and some mean laughter around him and he was thinking that maybe he should have never come to Homecoming.

"No. But I really like hanging out with you. I don't know, maybe we can still be friends, you know?" Abby suggested. The guilt was obvious in her voice. She cared for Martin, she just didn't have feelings for him and the very last thing she wanted was to hurt him.

Simon watched as Martin's face turned red. To his credit, he was holding it together pretty well. He didn't break down and cry or anything like that. To add insult to injury four doves were released, causing scattered laughter to erupt throughout the stadium. Upon hearing the laughter, the expression on Martin's face transitioned from hurt to angry.

Martin scanned the bleachers until he spotted Simon. Simon felt something twist in his stomach a split second before Martin began to speak as he realized what was about to happen.

"Simon Spier is gay," Martin said loudly into the microphone. An instant silence fell over the bleachers and Simon could feel all eyes on him. Martin let that sink in before he continued speaking. Simon wondered how far he was going to go with this. Shouldn't a teacher try to take away his microphone or something? But it seemed the teachers were just as frozen as the students. "For months, he's had a secret 'relationship' with another gay student at this school whom he only knows as Blue. Simon used the pen name Jacques while he talked with Blue." Martin used air quotes when he called their e-mails a relationship, clearly trying to mock Simon for feeling to strongly about someone he only knew via e-mail. Simon knew Martin was trying to hurt him the way he had just been hurt, but outing Blue? That was unacceptable. "This relationship has taken place entirely via e-mail, e-mails that I have screenshots of."

Martin squirmed around in his bear costume until he finagled his arm through the hole for his head, causing his costume to bunch awkwardly under his arm. Simon froze as Martin produced his cell phone and began reading the e-mails he and Blue had sent back and forth. As he read, the whispers started, and the stares got worse. Simon closed his eyes, wishing for nothing more than to disappear or for this whole thing to all be a nightmare that was the product of too much sugar. When neither of those things happened and it became too difficult to listen to his private emails, Simon stood up and began stumbling over the possessions of people that sat between him and the stairs that he could take to the bottom of the bleachers. No one tried to move their belongings, they were too busy watching his nightmare unfold. He would walk all the way back to his house in the dark if it meant he could get away from the whispers and stares. Simon couldn't look towards Leah and Nick. He didn't know if he'd see hurt or shock or anger. And he couldn't know yet. He couldn't search through the stands to find where his parents and Nora were sitting. This was going to crush them. He didn't think there was a worse way for them to find out.

He only made it to the end of the aisle before Martin started speaking again. "Where are you going Spier? Don't you want to see if your 'boyfriend' will come to your rescue?" Again, with the air quotes.

Simon wanted to keep walking, but his legs didn't seem to want to cooperate. He knew as well as Martin did that Blue wasn't going to come to his rescue. Blue didn't want his secret to be exposed to the whole school and after what just happened, Simon couldn't blame him. He wouldn't wish the whispers upon anyone; especially not when he could hear scattered 'fags' throughout the stadium. Not all of them were coming from kids. Simon didn't even think a majority of them were kids. He wondered how many of his friends, how many parents of his friends, how many teachers, and how many complete strangers would forever define him by this one part of himself.

"Why don't we give it a minute? I mean this is the boy you looooooove, right?" Martin drew out the word love in a mocking way. Simon knew Martin had no way of knowing that he had actually fallen for Blue; he also knew the flush in his face would give that away. His cheeks felt hot and he could feel tears pricking at the back of his eyes. "Damn. You actually love him. You've never met this guy and you love him. Let's give him a minute. See if he wants to make his presence known."

Simon could feel the tears welling up in his eyes and he was doing everything in his power to prevent them from spilling over. He refused to cry in front of the entire school. He really didn't need to give them something else to use against him. Someone in the stands started chanting: "Blue, Blue, Blue, Blue..." It quickly caught on. After a minute, when no one stood up to declare that they were Blue, the chant died down.

Martin looked at Simon again. Martin didn't look happy or pleased, he just looked like he was hurting. Simon guessed if he was going to do this whole thing, at least he wasn't getting some perverse pleasure out of it. "Guess he doesn't feel that way about you, huh? Now you know how I feel."

Now, there was no stopping the tears. Simon pulled up his hood and hastily made his way to the bottom of the bleachers and had every intention of making a run for it, when a strong voice called out, "Stop!"

Bram watched as Abby rejected Martin. He squirmed uncomfortably and looked down at the gray metal of the bleachers, hoping for Martin's sake that this would be over quickly. The same boys that were constantly antagonizing and bullying Ethan were giggling and openly making fun of Martin but for the most part, students in the bleachers were shifting uncomfortably and felt noticeably sorry for Martin.

Bram was entirely prepared to stare at the bleachers until Taylor continued singing the Star-Spangled Banner; however, Martin's declaration that Simon was gay caused Bram's gaze to snap up. First, he looked towards Martin and then followed his gaze towards Simon; Simon looked like he didn't know whether to feel angry, scared, or embarrassed. Bram wondered if Simon could have been the one he's been e-mailing. His heart beat a little faster. Could Simon be his Jacques? His question was answered just a moment later.

"For months, he's had a secret 'relationship' with another gay student at this school whom he only knows as Blue. Simon used the pen name Jacques while he talked with Blue." Bram could feel his heart beating in his ears. He wasn't called out by name, but he might as well have been. His mouth felt weirdly dry and part of him expected someone to stand up and point him out as Blue. He could feel Garrett shooting him a weird look, but he ignored it.

Horror gripped him as Martin began reading the e-mails they sent back and forth starting with Simon's very first e-mail to him. Garrett frowned at some of the things that had been shared in the e-mails and his eyes widened as he realized he recognized Blue. He didn't say a word, but somehow that spoke louder than if he had confronted Bram about being gay.

"Where are you going Spier?" Martin asked. Bram followed his gaze to see that Simon was clearly trying to escape. Bram couldn't blame him. He probably wanted nothing more than to fall to pieces in private.

"Why don't we give it a minute? I mean this is the boy you looooooove right?" Bram was too busy glaring at Martin, he missed whatever Martin saw in Simon that caused him to declare, "damn. You actually love him. You've never met this guy and you love him. Let's give him a minute. See if he wants to make his presence known."

When the chanting started, Bram put his head in his hands. He wanted nothing more than to go to Simon, but he couldn't, he wasn't ready for this. The only people that knew he was gay were his parents… and technically Simon, but that was different… and he guessed Garrett had put two and two together now.

Bram could hardly believe that this is how it was happening. He had dreamt about this moment thousands of times and had always imagined that he and Jacques would meet at Waffle House or a diner like Waffle House. That they would have decided on something to wear so they could recognize the other. That no matter who it had been, they would have immediately gripped one another and kissed, because the emotional connection they had was unbelievable and could only be strengthened by a physical connection. That this kiss would be tender and awkward, but wonderful and beautiful. That once they broke the kiss, they would take their seats and order some food. That they would talk for hours about all the stuff they never could talk about before: friends, birthdays, what they liked to do at school. That they would be so engaged in their conversation, they would completely forget to eat their food until it was cold. That despite it being cold, it would be the perfect meal because they would be eating together. That they would hold hands and stare into each other's eyes until the diner closed and the waiter awkwardly told them that they had to leave - or if it was Waffle House until they neared curfew. That they would walk slowly to their cars, savoring every second they could have together and would kiss before parting. That this kiss would be different and longer and rougher, because there would be no one around to see them. That they would plan to meet before school to decide how they wanted to navigate school, but they would both agree that they weren't going to have that conversation that night. That they would exchange numbers... finally. That they would drive back to their respective houses with giddy smiles on their faces. That they would field off awkward questions from their parents and would get to their bedrooms as quickly as possible. That one of them would call the other and they would fall asleep talking to each other and listening to the sound of the other's voice. Bram had it all planned out.

He'd had the perfect image in his head, an image he had been getting closer and closer to discussing with Jacques. Not once had he imagined learning who Jacques was like this.

Bram suddenly felt angry. He knew he had no right to be angry. He wasn't the one that had just been outed to the entire school… well, not by name. But he was so angry he started to shake. Martin took away Simon's right to decide when he wanted to come out. He took away Bram's right to learn who Jacques was on his own terms. He had read aloud e-mails that contained personal stuff that Bram had only shared with Jacques. Personal stuff that he never intended for anyone else to know.

Simon was practically tripping over his feet in an effort to get out of the stadium. Bram watched him, his anger only growing until it gave him strength. It gave him strength to be the boy in the e-mails and not the scared kid he was in real life. It gave him the strength to be impulsive. Not caring about the consequences, Bram stood up and shouted, "stop!"

Bram knew all eyes were on him now which would normally have made him shut down, but he was too busy looking at Simon who slowly turned to look at him. Simon didn't look hopeful; he looked like part of him had already died. Bram had no idea what to say to Simon, so instead, he looked at Martin. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Bram was usually a quiet person. Even with his friends, he wasn't particularly talkative, so the fact that he was talking now meant all eyes were on him.

"What gives you the right to out Simon like that?" Bram demanded. "What gives you the right to read his private e-mails to us? This should have been his decision, not something for you to share whenever you please."

"Why do you care? Unless you're Blue…" Martin trailed off. Hushed whispers spread through the bleachers as several students discussed whether that could be true. Bram didn't give them long to speculate.

"So what if I am?" Bram asked. He hadn't meant to, and he could feel his face getting redder, if that was even possible. He had only meant to defend Simon. On multiple occasions Jacques had complimented him on how careful he was, but Bram had known better. He usually was so careful, but he threw 'careful' out the window when it came to Jacques.

He could feel Simon's gaze on him, but he recognized the gravity of what was happening. He only had a split second to control the message before Martin could swoop in and somehow ruin this for him. He would much rather control the narrative that was being told. Mustering up all of his courage, Bram glanced at Simon, then glared at Martin and began speaking. "Several months ago, I posted anonymously to creeksecrets to admit that I am gay. I am not ashamed to be gay, but I wanted to come out in my own time, and I wanted to know what it would feel like. I got lucky. An amazing guy reached out to me in response to that post and at first, we became each other's support systems. We were able to confide our deepest, darkest secrets and fears in one another. Partly because we didn't know who the other was, but also because we were able to identify so strongly with how the other felt. We could talk about coming out and what it felt like to be in the closet without worrying about giving ourselves away. It didn't take long for us to become closer than mere support systems." Bram turned his gaze towards Simon and a steely look of determination settled on his face. "I fell in love with Jacques."

Garrett pushed Bram gently, nearly causing him to topple over simply because he hadn't expected it. He looked at Garrett confused, but Garrett only nudged him again and looked towards Simon.

Bram understood. The sea of people parted much more willingly for him than they had for Simon. It took him less than a minute to get to Simon. Once he did, he suddenly felt awkward. What was he supposed to say?

"Blue?" Simon asked as if he couldn't fully believe it was really him.

Bram only nodded. He had no idea what to say. He had no idea what he was supposed to do. When Simon didn't do anything or say anything else, Bram shifted uncomfortably. "Are you disappointed? That it's me?" he asked uncertainly.

Simon took a step towards him, a smile on his face. "No," he whispered as he brought his hand up to the side of Bram's face.

Bram closed his eyes as Simon pressed his lips to his. The kiss was more perfect than Bram could have ever imagined. It took them a little while to figure it out. Their noses got in the way at first, then they had to figure out where to put their hands. It was messy, but the feelings it inspired in Bram were nearly overwhelming. So overwhelming that Bram couldn't even begin to feel self-conscious about the fact that his first kiss with a guy was taking place in front of the entire school. In the back of his head, he was kind of grateful his mom had work tonight, because she usually went to Homecoming with him.

When they broke apart, they were vaguely aware of the intense cheering that was coming from the bleachers. Bram glanced at the field, half expecting to see that they had somehow missed the start of t he game; however, all he saw was Martin disappearing across the field.

"Do you… do you want to go grab dinner or something?" Simon asked him nervously.

Despite the fact that he had already eaten, and he was sure Simon had as well, Bram found himself nodding.

They found themselves seated in a comfy booth at Waffle House less than thirty minutes later. Simon was studying Bram; neither of them had spoken a word aside from giving their waiter their orders.

"I'm sorry," Simon finally said. He looked down at the table.

"You're sorry?" Bram asked uncertainly. He wasn't sure what Simon meant by that and his brain instantly jumped to worst case scenario: that Simon was sorry they had kissed and sorry that they knew who they were.

"I never meant for it to get out this way. I know you weren't ready to know who I was…"

Bram cut Simon off. "I think I was ready. I just needed a push in the right direction."

"Still. You were outed just as much as I was tonight. I'm so sorry." Simon began to shred the tiny paper napkin that his fork and knife had been resting on.

Bram gently put his hand over Simon's. Simon stared at their hands but made no attempt to move his. "It was going to happen eventually and honestly… no, this wasn't ideal. I don't know when we would have met or when I would have come out to the school if this hadn't happened, but somehow, it feels right." Seeing Simon's downcast expression, Bram added, "plus, now we don't have to have the awkward conversation about when to reveal to the school that we're a couple."

Simon chuckled humorlessly. "No, I think Martin took care of that. Thanks… for outing yourself and standing up for me. I'm sure it wasn't easy."

"Not easy, but worth it," Bram promised. He squeezed Simon's hand gently to affirm what he had just said.

"So where does this leave us?" Simon asked. "I mean obviously the whole school saw us kiss, but I don't want you to feel pressured to be with me. What do you want?"

Bram hesitated only a moment. "I'm all in if you are," he whispered.

"All in," Simon said. He finally looked up from their intertwined hand to Bram, a smile on his face and in his eyes.