After the third 'Mm-hmm' from Kyle, Ephram had reached his limits.
"Okay, fess up." Ephram finally turned to look towards the teenager, who had his homework open but hadn't done any progress in the last half hour. Kyle blinked and looked up, giving him a slightly deer-in-the-headlights look.
"Kyle, I just asked you if you don't mind hearing Britney Spears and you answered 'Mm-hmm'."
Kyle's face changed from confused to almost offended. "I didn't!"
"You did. So, what's up?" And, giving a slight smirk, he added. "Already feeling nostalgia of Everwood?"
"Oh yes, you've no idea." Kyle retorted, rolling his eyes before he focused his eyes on his notebook. Ephram waited for the teen to order his thoughts, mentally doing a list of the food he needed either to buy or just take away from his dad's house, when he finally saw Kyle leaving his pen on the coffee table and looking towards him.
"Don't get your boxers in a twist, okay?" Kyle said immediately. "I was just thinking that I'm going to be in New York, surrounded by people older than me and all…"
"And, y'know, I don't have much experience in being social and relating to people."
"Shut up. So. I was thinking that I should… try and get at least a little bit of experience on, um. A certain matter."
"Drinking? Smoking? Clubbing?" Ephram shook his head. "Kyle, you're not the clubbing type. Too many people flailing in a closed space and the music is too loud to snark at them."
"Ew, not that. And that's so not music." Kyle shook his head again before taking a deep breath and looking at him. Ephram got the weird feeling that to keep his eyes on him, Kyle was actually trying not to fidget. "No, I was thinking more about… gaining experience on… relating with people."
"What, like… dating?" Ephram raised an eyebrow. "Is that it?"
"Yeah. Well… no, not that exactly. It's…"
"Oh, come on, Kyle. It cannot be that hard to ask, seriously. I mean, what's all-"
"Would you kiss me?" Kyle blurted out finally, eyes closed. Ephram's jaw remained open from where he had been interrupted, and he blinked a couple of times before he remembered to close it.
And after a few seconds he even remembered that breathing was a hobby of his. Of course, when he got to that point, Kyle had averted his eyes away, shaking his head and trying to pick up his stuff.
"Nevermind, I knew it was a stupid idea, just forget I said anything, okay? It's stupid and–"
"Woah, woah, Kyle, wait!" Ephram moved from his sit to the couch, putting his hand over Kyle's shoulder to stop him from bolting out of it. "Calm down, okay? You just got me by surprise."
Kyle didn't say anything but at least he stopped trying to move away. Ephram took a deep breath, hand still over Kyle's shoulder, before he asked.
"You've never kissed anyone?"
"Go ahead, rub it in."
"No, no, sorry." Ephram shook his head, focusing again over the teen. "Kyle, it's just… you know, a first kiss it's supposed to be with someone you really like. Oh…"
"Don't flatter yourself, Brown." Kyle said, risking a glance towards him, lips quirked a little in a hesitant smirk. "I just don't want to make a complete fool of myself in New York. I am going to be surrounded by people older than me with much more experience in just about everything: I just want to even the odds a little, that's all."
"I'm flattered." Deadpanned Ephram, but he was having troubles not smiling or frowning. Finally, he shook his head. "Why me?"
"You are… y'know, Ephram." Which Ephram translated as 'a friend' in Kyle-speech. "And I know you won't mock if I suck at kissing. Or rather, you'll mock but it won't be…"
"Yeah." Kyle seemed to have blushed a bit but then he gave a soft, hesitant grin and nudged his leg with his knee. "So… would you do it?"
Ephram looked towards Kyle for a moment. He knew how much it probably had cost the other teen to ask for this, and he knew how much it was going to affect their friendship if he said no. Besides, it wasn't that weird of a request, all things considered: at the time being he was Kyle's closest friend, and it did show that Kyle trusted in him.
Ephram took a deep breath and moved closer, licking his lips a moment before looking at Kyle, a serious look upon his face.
"This won't mean anything, okay? This'll be me providing you a service."
"Wow." Kyle said, rising an eyebrow. There was a smile trying to play over his lips, but he was fighting it. "You truly are the master of romance, aren't you? No wonder the girls form in line to get you."
"Shut up, Never-Been-Kissed." Ephram muttered, shaking his head. He turned to look towards the door, even if he knew that neither Delia nor his dad were at home: the Browns as a general rule had a way of interrupting important things, and he sure as hell didn't want to deal with trying to explain that to his dad. Or, Delia. With the way she was behaving, she'd probably sell the info to what she had called the Ephram-Brown-Fan Club.
Kyle seemed tense, obviously nervous by the way his hands were balled in fists over his lap and Ephram honestly tried to remember if he had ever felt like this, or if it was something you only felt when you were going to kiss someone of the same sex.
And just like that Ephram realized that, in a way, it was also his first kiss.
"Relax." He murmured as he leaned towards Kyle. Even though the teen gave a soft nod, Ephram wasn't completely sure he had meant it for him.
Kyle's lips were slightly chapped from biting on them and somewhat rough, not the usual smoothness that lipstick or gloss provided and that he was used to from kissing girls, but nothing too strange to move away. Softly, Ephram moved one of his hands to Kyle's neck, using the other one for leverage.
He tried to remember everything that made a first kiss unique and irreplaceable as he softly brushed their lips together, trying to remember to go slow, go calm, sometimes first kisses could be to overwhe–
And then Kyle opened a little bit his lips and gave a soft lick to his, and when Ephram moaned, slowness had been dropped of his mind as the kiss deepened and, as it sometimes happened with kisses, it turned into another and another and into something more than just teaching a boy how to kiss. Kyle was a little too enthusiast, awkward and clumsy, but he learned fast enough on the do's and don't and, what he lacked in experience he made it up by the fact that he put all of himself behind the kiss.
Kyle had put his hands over his shoulders, just holding unto him and Ephram leaned closer, moving his hand from the couch to Kyle's waist and one of them gasped; Kyle's shirt had ridden up a little and he touched warm, warm skin. That was enough surprise to break the kiss. After a few moments of staring at each other with wide eyes, they both moved to sit down, breathing hard and trying not to look at each other. Out of the corner of his eye, Ephram noticed Kyle wetting his lips and he fought the urge to do the same and instead cleared his throat and tried not to squirm at the silence that had fallen over them.
"Yeah, sorry." Ephram coughed, trying not to fidget or to think too hard about why he had actually kissed Kyle, because he knew that hadn't been a just-practice-kiss.
After a few awkward moments, Kyle's knee nudged his for a second. When he looked up, Kyle offered a grin that still seemed a little nervous, but at least it was honest. "Child molester."
"I'm not old enough to be a child molester." Ephram rolled his eyes and shook his head. Kyle's grin lost a little of its edge as he snorted and stood up, stretching.
"C'mon, I'm hungry, and since you just molested me you've to feed me." Kyle said, already walking towards the kitchen.
"Brat." Ephram answered out of use, shaking his head to put the whole incident behind him, since apparently Kyle had just done the same, and instead focused on trying to make sure Kyle didn't completely ransack his dad's kitchen.