Step IV: Reaction

"What?" I asked, once I'd regained my balance and my grasp of language.

Blink looked tortured. "I'm in love with you. And I understand that it's totally unfair, and Mush – you don't have to, you know, you don't have to – it's not your fault and I don't expect just because you're, you know, gay and…"

"I love you too," I said over Blink's rambling anxious to cut him off. Once he got going he kept talking and I didn't want him to babble for hours when we could be doing…better things.

But I was getting ahead of myself. Because Blink did stop talking, but he looked miserable, and it made my heart wrench.

"Yeah, I know. Like a brother." Again staring at his shoe. I had a slight urge to hit him over the head, but at least that meant I wasn't as utterly obvious as David seemed to think I was.

"Blink, you idiot, I'm in love with you. Seriously. Truly. In love with you."

Blink stared at me for a few seconds. I stared back.

Then he broke into one of his huge smiles, like the past weeks had never happened or anything.

"Cool," he said and tugged at his hair, looking adorable.

"Cool," I agreed, grinning back at him. And it was cool, I mean – everything was turning out perfectly.

So we sat there for a few moments, just grinning at each other.

"Shouldn't we be falling into each other's arms?" I asked after a while – Blink burst out laughing.

"Because this is so much like a romance novel anyway," he replied. I raised my eyebrows.

"You read romance novels?" I asked, though I knew the answer already.

Which was pretty lucky because Blink didn't answer at all, he just threw a napkin at me. I stuck my tongue out.

Blink looked at me weirdly, and before I had time to think anything other than 'Ohgodohgod' and pull my tongue in, Blink kissed me.

It wasn't anything big. I mean, no tongues involved, just Blink's lips against mine. But I bet you can guess which part of that sentence was the important part to me.

It was Blink. I smiled against his lips and when he pulled away he was grinning.

"That wasn't gross at all," he told me, and then I had to hit him. He kept grinning though.

"You're an idiot," I informed him, pulling him up from his chair. He ruffled my hair and linked his hand in mine before following me up the stairs to my room.

"Yeah, well, you seem to like me anyway," he pointed out.

"Don't get too smug," I said. Undoubtedly he would have taken me more seriously if I hadn't been smiling as much as I was. But can you blame me?

"You know," he said, once we were up in my room, sitting next to each other on my bed and pointedly not touching too much – I wasn't really sure where my boundaries went, "Race was convinced it'd end like this."

Whoa now. Race too?

"You talked to Race about me?"

Blinked ducked his head. "Well, I didn't know what to do and I couldn't exactly talk to you," he said, puffing me with his shoulder, "so yeah. Race. And he was pretty good about it, once he stopped repeating that I was straight over and over. Actually, just yesterday he told me it would be 'nauseatingly cute' when we got together. Race is an ass, but yeah. He was pretty helpful."

"Sounds like what David said to me. Once he got over the shock of us not already being together," I told him, making him laugh. I made a silent note to thank Race and David. Even if the former'd probably just shrug and say he had nothing to do with it and David would treat me to his version of 'I told you so'.

"So, what now?" I asked Blink. He just looked at me for a moment or two.

"I don't know! You're the one who's gay, I thought you'd know."

I blinked a couple of times.

"Blink, you kissed me. That's got to make you at least bisexual. And you're the one who's had girlfriends before."

Blink look at me as if this was a whole new concept to him. We sat next to each other in silence for a few minutes.

"You know. I hadn't really. I mean. I don't think of myself as gay. I just kind of figured I was in love with you. I don't even know if it's a general guy thing." He looked at me a bit oddly. I smiled in what I hoped was a reassuring manner.

Inwardly I was flattered. And my stomach was doing cartwheels. And I still didn't know what I was supposed to do.

It was ridiculous. I mean Blink was, is, my best friend. It was stupid to be awkward now.

Blink seemed to be thinking the same thing, because he took my hand and squeezed.

"Hey," he said and I turned my head to look at him properly. And when I looked at him he looked so good, so much like, well, Blink, that it wasn't hard to lean forward and kiss him and this time it wasn't all that chaste. Blink was – is a damn good kisser.

"I can get used to this," I told him and he pushed at me.

"Mush, you're such a dork," he told me, squeezing my hand again. I bumped my knee against his.

"Yeah, well." I grinned at him and he kissed me again, smiling against my mouth. When we stopped, he started to say something, but I leant forward again, kissing him. It was addictive. Blink had his hands in my hair, my hands were slowly moving from his shoulders down to rest on his waist and it felt, well. It felt comfortable. It felt like…it felt natural, I guess. Which sounds soppy, but it'll just have too. It's the truth.

"My Blink," I said, needlessly, when he let up. He pretended to look affronted for a moment, but one of his hands was ruffling my hair, and he couldn't quite keep himself from laughing.

Particularly when I started to tickle him.

I finished! Whoo!

And in time to say, Happy Birthday B!

And, of course, thank you to everyone who reveiwed.