Like an Old Time Movie.
So Ephram is standing right outside of the Julliard main building when he goes out, leaning against a car while he drinks a coffee, another coffee waiting by his side on top of a car's roof, and Kyle really does try not to let his face light up like a Christmas tree, but he fails, even as he gets closer to the other teen, but he does manage to keep the happiness from his voice, less Ephram think things that he shouldn't.
"What are you doing here?" he asks, hands stuffed in his jacket. It's a different kind of cold in New York, and he envies the fact that Ephram looks so natural in here just a little before he adds. "You do know that stalking is illegal, right? So is pedophilia."
Ephram snorts, handing him the coffee, rolling his eyes. "I'm just three years older than you, Kyle."
He grins, the coffee warm over his hands as he licks the foam from it, thinking it's silly to be so happy just because the boy that has been teaching him piano for the last eight months knows how he takes his coffee.
"Still a crime, you dirty old pedo."
Ephram snorts again, the tugs of a laugh over his lips that breaks out when he starts laughing, almost distracting him. "I'll keep that in mind next time I give you candies and take you to a dark alley after your curfew."
And he blushes, almost chocking on scalding coffee. "Ephram!"
"Hey, you started it." The smug bastards smirks, before putting a hand over his shoulder, walking him towards the sub station, and he stays quiet a fraction more than he should as he thinks that even through his jacket he can feel the warm curl of Ephram's fingers over his shoulder, and tries not to think of just how much he has missed that, of how much he's going to miss it once he's always here. "And I came to visit. You know, show you around, help you a bit… don't worry, I already told your mom."
He gives a half teasing grin, bumping his side against Ephram's. "What happened to 'just calm down and everything will be fine', eh?" but he's surprised when Ephram's eyes seem to dull a little, and his smile drops. "Everything's alright back on Everwood?"
Ephram sighs and both shakes his head and nods. "Yeah. No. Well… Reid tried to kill himself."
"As in, your roommate Reid? Is he okay? What happened?" and then, as an afterthought. "Wait… you came to see me 'cause your friend tried to kill himself and you thought that I…"
"Of course not!" Ephram replies, perhaps a bit to quickly, but then he's being pulled towards the side of the sidewalk, and Ephram has that exasperated look that actually his worried look, and he tries not to be offended. "It just got me extra paranoid of everything and I remembered our phone conversation and I got worried and decided to come and check that you were–"
"Fine, and that you could probably use a guide while you're here." Ephram shrugs after that and starts walking again. Kyle tries not to grin as he gets back on track with the other teenager. "Now, if you don't want to, I can get in touch with someone else."
For a moment he thinks about teasing Ephram further, see if he gets that annoyed half frown, but instead he smiles around the edge of his coffee cup.
"It's fine with me."
Kyle can't shake off the feeling of being in one of those stupid romantic comedy movies his mom likes while Ephram shows him around the city he grew up on ("and I went to school there. Same torture that Everwood, thrice the big," and "Oh, I had my first kiss over that library, right by the Mystery Books" and "I almost broke my leg once, I was running and there was ice and… you can fill up the blanks") and he keeps waiting for someone to scream 'CUT' for the way the week goes by, or the way that Ephram laughs and leans against him while they see a terribly awful movie over the movie theater that Ephram used to go.
It's also dangerous, to be this close to Ephram, or just to feel the way his hand curls over his shoulder or elbow, how sometimes, when he's practicing, he feels as if Ephram is looking at him, not really the hands over the piano, or the fact that things that he thought ha had left behind in Everwood (things that he really, really should've left there) seem to also be in New York.
It's also unfair.
He decides that he hates alcohol. Hates it with the kind of hate he usually only has for ninety percent of the global population, rap and electronic crap and being unable to get a tune fine.
Mainly because it makes him choke and causes Ephram to give that soft smile while he thumps his back as he coughs, both sitting over Ephram's bed in his hotel room, and it makes him feel warm, so warm.
"Why do we have to do this again?" he asks when air is back in his lungs, taking back the glass where Ephram poured more vodka, glaring at the clear liquid as if all his problems were caused by it.
Ephram shrugs, nursing his own glass. "Chances are that sooner than later (probably sooner) you'll get drunk while trying to fit with all the wide variety of wanna-be artists that will be in Julliard. This way, at least, you'll know your limit so you won't–"
"End in bed with a complete stranger?"
Ephram tilts his head at that, considering his suggestion.
"Well, I was going to say 'pass out', but yours has much more weight."
"What if I promise that I won't drink?"
"You're a teenager. You might say you won't, you can probably even mean it now, but one day you'll probably be in a party or a situation where you'll have to drink or you'll decide you want to drink, and since I won't be here to make sure you don't do anything stupid, it'll calm me if you at least know when you ought to stop." Ephram says, and Kyle takes another sip of his drink, slower than before, trying not to think that tomorrow Ephram goes back to Everwood and he'll stay in New York.
He gives a tiny snort after that, moving to lean back against the headboard, where his shoulder almost touches Ephram's and his hand comes dangerously close to the other boy's.
"So all of this is out of concern for your wellbeing; I'm so touched." Kyle mocks, taking another sip, to stop himself from turning to see how Ephram's eyes look when he's drinking, or to check if it's only his paranoia what causes him to think that Ephram is looking at him.
Ephram gives a tiny laugh. "You got me. Cheers."
After drinking a bit more (or lots more, actually), Kyle thinks that he might not hate alcohol, and wonders if he ought to apologize with it. He is warm all over, and he likes the slight slur it's causing over Ephram's voice, even though he's not all that content with the way it's making him want to giggle.
"I think," he says, leaving his almost empty glass by the bedside. "This is it for me. I'm dizzy. Aren't you dizzy? 'cause I am."
Ephram nods. Kyle bites his lip to refrain from laughing. "Well, then. Now you know. Use the Force for your… uh… drinking. Next time."
He laughs, slouching and then he's against Ephram's shoulder and he can't quite bring himself to remember why that's a very, very bad idea. "You always like this when you get drunk? Your shoulder's too hard, by the way."
"I've just been drunk three times in my life… but yeah, kinda." Ephram says before he's moving his arm a bit against him, getting him closer, and then Kyle's resting against Ephram's collarbone, that it's also bonny but he can smell Ephram's aftershave and even his shampoo, and he knows there's a reason why he shouldn't put his arm around Ephram's waist, but he can't be bothered by it.
"This is my first, y'know? It's fun. Never thought it'd be… seemed kinda stupid."
"We'll see tomorrow if you think the same." Ephram murmurs softly, and it's only then that he does notice how close they are, and when he looks up Ephram is looking down, and suddenly there's barely a breath away, breath that's teasing his. "But it's good to have… y'know…"
But before there's another first he breaks apart, moving to sit on the bed, giving his back to Ephram.
"What are you doing?" he asks, and he's kind of surprised that his voice sounds angry rather than hurt, but it's okay. "Because if this is some kind of pity…"
"What? Kyle! No, it's not like that!"
But he snorts again, watching his socks against the carpet, hands over his knees.
"You're straight. I'm gay. I'm pretty certain that there are things that just don't mix." Kyle says, bouncing a bit on the ball of his feet as if he was freezing and trying to get warm, while he really is trying his best not to cry, suddenly hoping for wind and snow inside the room or any other kind of excuse for the pink on his cheeks and the red on his eyes. "I'm not desperate enough to just accept that."
Ephram's hand is warm on his back, and Kyle thinks he can picture his fingers clearly as they play up and down the bumps of his back, as he leans against him and he is back on hating alcohol, forever and ever.
"It's not like that." Ephram repeats, his voice nothing but a low murmur, and Kyle knows that even if this is alcohol, it's not as if Ephram would just… well, whatever happens in this kind of situations, because Ephram is his friend, the very first friend he has ever had, and even if the only thing they'll ever be is friends, it's not bad, right? Because even if he's drunk, there has to be something, right? "Kyle, I wouldn't do that, you know it."
"Because." Ephram says, as if 'because' is a perfectly good reason, and Kyle is just about to say that when Ephram's leaning towards him again, and then 'because' is against his lips, and he keeps his question until later.
"This is as new for me as it is for you." Ephram says after they've kissed some more, now that shirts aren't exactly a very prominent thing between them, and Kyle wonders if he still can blame everything on alcohol.
Kyle thinks that he's lying, because yeah, okay, there aren't girl-bits stuck there, but surely this kissing and fooling around can't be that different, because Ephram's voice is but a warm murmur against his lips and neck and ear, and his hands are not trembling like his - they're warm against his back and waist and he wonders if he ought to make the quasi obligatory piano metaphor or if it'd be just to cliché.
He does manage a tiny sound and he tries to think of it as a snort and not a moan.
"And that's supposed to make me feel better?" he asks, eyes open in tiny slits to keep noticing every tiny change on Ephram's face, the way his eyes widen if he runs a and over his side, or how he seems to smile whenever he makes a sound.
"Just thought you should know." Ephram murmurs against his neck, and Kyle's eyes close as he feels Ephram's tongue tracing where his pulse beats, and then Ephram's hand undoing his jeans, pushing his underwear away.
He hates alcohol. Kyle knows this when he wakes up with a hangover, sleeping by Ephram's side, sheets tangled around their legs and there's no underwear where there should be, and Ephram is still completely out of it, and Kyle especially hates alcohol for not giving him wonderful amnesia, even though he gets the feeling that the waking up naked by another naked dude is one of those things that don't need much explanation.
He disentangles himself slowly from the sheets and from Ephram's arm that had been over his waist, making his best not to look at Ephram's body (he gets flashes of it, anyway) while he goes to the bathroom and takes a long bath, hoping he manages to get out without Ephram waking up, but Ephram is awake when he comes out of the bathroom. He's sitting on the bed, hair mussed and at least he's wearing boxers, but Kyle keeps his eyes firmly stuck on the floor.
"Hey." Epham greets him, eyes half closed. "Do you have a headache?"
"Lucky you." Ephram says again, standing up and walking towards the bathroom, giving him a smile, and Kyle suddenly has the wish to punch him for acting as if everything was okay and normal. He doesn't, but he doesn't move from the bathroom door. "Are you okay?"
"So that's it? About yesterday?" Kyle asks, sticking his hands on his pockets to refrain doing something he'll regret. If he hurts his hands he won't be able to play, as satisfactory as it'd be to do something violent. "Today is act as if nothing happened?"
If it was a movie, there'd be something soft and heartbreaking and just enough to make girls cry; the piano would be barely heard
"Of course not, Kyle. I care about you, you know it. It wasn't nothing."
"But it's not something either, right?" Kyle asks in a soft voice, and really, he thinks he is behaving like an idiot, because it's not as if he didn't know that Ephram was straight, that Ephram likes someone else, not him.
"I'm going to buy something for breakfast." He says then, stepping aside and picking up a jacket (Ephram's) as he goes out of the room.
So they spent the last few hours of Ephram's stay in New York pretending nothing's wrong, and Kyle almost gets himself into believing this is the best that could've happened. Now, at least, he has something tangible, something to remember rather than just his ideas of how it would've been.
He knows it's going to hurt, he can feel it twisting over his chest already, but he tries to convince himself that it'll be for the best and that, when he goes back to Everwood, it'll be over.
Life isn't a movie, so of course there's no soundtrack when he goes with Ephram to wait for his bus.
"Kyle, about yesterday…"
He looks around and sees the bus coming over, so he looks over Ephram, keeping his eyes upon his shoulder.
"It's okay. We had too much to drink and, really, it's okay, don't say anything, I'm okay, rea– "
And then, Ephram's kissing him again, and it is like the movies all over, and this would require a sudden focus over them, or the way that Ephram's hand is curling over his neck and threading through his hair, and the music would've gone from a soft, barely heard piano to it's full crescendo, and quite probably the camera would make it seem as if the were turning around, or maybe that's just him as he holds unto fistfuls of Ephram's jacket and forgets that breathing is not only a hobby of his.
When they break apart he's dizzy and he keeps his eyes closed, feeling Ephram gasps against his lips (and really, that's not helping him push the memories of last night away) and the hand is still curling over his hair; curling, letting go, grazing his neck, letting go, curling, curling and–
There's another kiss stopping his words, and then he opens his eyes to see Ephram giving him a smile that's is not a goodbye and this is it.
"See you soon in Everwood, okay?"
He nods, giving a grin as he takes a step back. "See you in Everwood."
Ephram grins too and gets over the bus, going towards his sit, rising a hand as it starts moving and Kyle stays there, hands stuck in his pocket, and a grin that just won't come off.
It's kind of unbelievable that for the first time ever, just as he's going to leave Everwood, now for good, he kind of has something to come back too.
And if that's not just perfect for the way the pseudomovie has gone, he doesn't know what would be.