Title: Wanting Him
Word count: 2,892
Summary: Nick has been crushing on his taller, blonde-haired best friend for so long. So when he chats up another blonde, he's completely unaware of what it might set in motion..
Warnings/Spoilers: Erm. Sectionals of Season 2. Special Education? Yeah. That one. I think.
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Glee, FOX, Ryan Murphy or anything else related to the Glee universe.
"Hey, neat moves," he says as he touches her arm. "I'm Nick."
"Thanks Nick," she replies, turning and flashing him a wide, bright smile. "My name's Brittany. I didn't spend much time on it but I hope it looked okay."
"You couldn't tell," he admits. "I'd love to dance with you some time."
She blinks. "Oh. Well. I'd have to ask Artie and Lord Tubbington first if it was okay."
"Artie?" he asks, looking around. "Lord Tubbington?"
"Artie's my boyfriend," she says, pointing out a small brunette in a wheelchair. Nick felt his sink a little. For all his dancing ability, he couldn't compete for a heart when the girl was with someone in a wheelchair. "Lord Tubbington is my cat."
"Your…cat?" he chokes, eyes wide.
"Of course! Lord Tubbington would be very offended if he had read my diary afterwards and hadn't been asked first." Her smile is so wide there are dimples. Her eyes are so bright it's like they reflect stars. And her voice is so honest Nick realises she's actually being totally truthful, which scares him a little because although Jeff is totally clueless to Nick's advances, he's at least intelligent and thoughtful. Brittany seems to be perpetuate the ditzy blonde stereotype. And if there's one thing Nick struggles to deal with, it's the illogical and weird.
"Your cat reads your diary?"
"Do you have a cat?"
"Then you wouldn't understand," she nods, her face serious. "Or maybe it's just Lord Tubbington that can read. Do you know if other cats can read?"
He opens his mouth to respond but then Wes is shouting his name and he apologises and leaves.
"Stop talking to the competition!" Wes hisses.
"Sorry," Nick says automatically. "But we were talking about her cat who reads her diary so I don't think she's much of a threat."
"Her…cat reads…her diary?" Wes speaks slowly. Nick nods. "And this is exactly why I swapped out of public school."
Nick snorts and they walk into the dressing room with the other Warblers who are tight with quiet anticipation for the results. Nick approaches Trent and Flint because Jeff is with Jon and Thad and Kurt and Blaine are huddled in a corner talking quietly.
"What happened to you?" Trent asks when he sees him.
"Chatting with one of the New Directions girls," he shrugs, hands in his pockets.
"Hey hey! Nicky's tryna get some!" Flint hollers, and everyone looks his way. He tries not to notice Blaine's raised eyebrow but when he makes eye contact, Blaine's mouthed 'We're talking later' brokers no chance for disagreement. Nick sighs.
"Thanks for that," he mutters. Flint claps him on the shoulder encouragingly and returns to discussing with Trent why the Warblers were better than New Directions, while Trent insists New Directions may have them beaten.
When they find out half an hour later it was a tie, Nick breaks into semi-hysterical laughter at the look on Trent and Flint's faces.
It's not until they're starting to leave the performance theatre that Brittany approaches him, iPod earbuds and a bottle of water in her hands.
"Hey," she says. "I spoke to Artie. He's cool with me dancing with you because like, he can't."
Nick can see Artie talking with a boy with blonde hair and he thinks Kurt has said something about his name being Sam but he's not absolutely sure.
"That'd be great," he says awkwardly, feeling utterly terrible to be dancing with another boy's girlfriend because he's bound to a wheelchair.
"Awesome!" she starts to bounce a little and Nick is painfully reminded of Jeff when he gets excited. "Should I call you?"
"Sure," he scribbles his number on her arm and then she scribbles down hers on the back of his hand with a smiley face.
"I expect a call, Nick Warbler," she says, doing the 'I'm-watching-you' thing with her hands and then she turns away, scrunching her nose a little. "Quinn and Sam are so gross," she says, and Nick assumes he means the two blonde people who are apparently trying to swallow each other whole at the same time. A short brunette shoves the two as she boards the bus and they break away, eyes dazed. "Guess we're going," Brittany says, giving Nick a short wave and twirling up the stairs towards the back where Artie is placed.
"Is that her?" a voice says behind him and he fights the urge to turn around.
"The girl who you're trying to "get some" from," Jeff bites.
"No," Nick says, finally turning. "No, she has a boyfriend. Who is in a wheelchair. I think she just dances well and was hoping we could go out some time to talk or dance or something."
A flood of emotions transform Jeff's sneer to something Nick can't quite place. Maybe he's scared to. Maybe it's better he doesn't read too much into it just in case.
"Are you two coming or not?" David calls, and Nick pushes past Jeff to get on the bus, sitting behind Blaine and Kurt. Jeff takes a seat next to Flint and Nick shoves in some earbuds to block out the noise around him and distract him from the impending talk with Blaine, the impending meeting with Brittany, the neverending confusion about Jeff.
Blaine doesn't even speak as he latches on to Nick's arm when they reach the dorms, saying he'll catch Kurt later and pulling Nick into his room and shutting the door.
"'Get some'?" he air quotes, pulling off his blazer and tie as Nick sits in huff in Blaine's chair.
"Blame Flint," he mutters, scratching his nose.
"Not if Flint is right," Blaine says as he unties his shoelaces and neatly returns his shoes to his closet.
"He's not right," Nick says, his frustration increasing. "I just wanted to talk to her about her dancing during Valerie. She insists her cat reads her diary! You know I could never date someone like that!"
Blaine snorts. "I wasn't sure if it was Brittany or Quinn, all I knew was it was a blonde." He falls onto his bed and stares at Nick. "Although I know you could never date someone female anyway."
Nick feels his face heat. "I'm not gay!"
"You don't know what you are," Blaine says. "Except your world revolves around Jeff."
"It does not!"
"Nick," Blaine rubs his face. "You can lie to anyone else maybe but not me. I see the way you look at him. The way you reach out to hug him. The way you two sit near each other and your fingers itch." Nick can't deny it as Blaine continues. "I see how you joke and laugh together and I see the hurt on your face when Jeff talks about having an interest in a Crawford girl. And how you pick at your food until he says the fling is over."
"Fine," he snaps. "What the hell do I do then?"
But Blaine only shrugs. "I've told you before man. I don't know Jeff well enough. But I know that this is going to slowly eat away at you and you need to do something. I know Brittany is happy with Artie, according to Kurt. But I know Jeff will get mad eventually and it'll divide your friendship in a way that won't be repaired. You can forgive Jeff's little relationships. He's not so good at that."
Nick knows he's right. He knows Jeff's story better than anyone. They grew up together. He's seen Jeff's friends come and go. He's the only one that has stayed, because he forgives Jeff and he's careful of making mistakes that might break it.
"It's just such a mess," he sighs, his anger deflating as he slumps into the chair. "I might lose him if I go dancing with Brittany, but I'll lose him if I own up to how I feel."
Blaine looks at him and his piercing eyes make Nick uncomfortable, because it's like he sees into him and his secrets are lying exposed to the shorter boy. "Clearly you don't know him as well as you think you do."
"What's that meant to mean?"
"Just tell him, Nick," Blaine says dismissively. Nick wants to know more but Blaine closes himself off and rolls over and Nick knows that Blaine is basically telling him to get out. Without actually saying it. Because Blaine is too polite to say 'leave' but not polite enough to actually watch Nick go.
He walks down the corridor to the room he and Jeff share and Nick is flopped out on his bed like a starfish.
"Comfortable?" he says as he kicks off his shoes.
"My lower back hurts," Jeff mutters against his pillow.
Nick considers asking if he wants the pain rubbed out but thinks that might be a little too much for two 'friends'. "I told you that you should have stretched out."
"'s what I'm doing now."
Nick makes a soft humming noise and continues to strip out of his uniform.
"So, the girl. What's her name?" Jeff asks finally as Nick hunts around for a comfortable shirt.
"Brittany," he says.
"Do you like her?"
"For her dance ability."
"That's not what I asked."
Nick turns to find Jeff watching him and he shifts on his feet a little. "She has a boyfriend."
"Still not what I asked," Jeff comments. "Although she'd be the first girl you've shown an interest in since…I don't even remember."
Since never, Nick thinks, returning to his closet and pulling out some jeans.
"No, I'm not interested in her," Nick snaps, snatching up the first hoodie he lays his hands on and storming into the bathroom and slamming the door.
He's not sure why it bothers him so much. He's listened to Jeff go on and on about this girl or that girl and then complain about her until they break up. And then he spends a few days moping to Nick about how he thought she was so wonderful and so beautiful and had he mentioned that she really liked a capella?
He growls softly and decides to shower to give himself more time before facing Jeff again. Stupid clueless blondes.
He's not sure how long he spends in the shower. Long enough that he notices when it goes lukewarm and the fingers on his skin have gotten wrinkly. So he steps out, towels off, puts on his comfortable jeans and t-shirt and Dalton hoodie, rubs his hair, sighs as he stares at his reflection. He can't put this off forever.
The first thing he notices is Jeff isn't on his bed anymore. The second thing he notices is that Jeff is on his bed.
"Uh, Jeff? You were on the right bed beforehand," he says.
"Sit," Jeff commands, pointing next to him.
"You can't demand me to sit in my own bed!" Nick protests.
"Sit," Jeff says again and Nick sighs, and gives in, sitting down and trying to hide his shaking hands.
"I know you're probably upset but I'm not interested in her," he says quickly.
"Are you gay?" Jeff asks.
"No!" he says and he feels Jeff's posture change. "Why? Does it matter if I am? We've known each other long enough that I thought you'd accept me regardless of anything."
There's a long pause. Nick clenches his hands together to hide the shaking. "I would," Jeff says finally. "I do."
"Then what? Why the hell do you care if I dance or go to dinner with a girl?" Nick is determined to try and squeeze it out of Jeff first. Whatever it is. He doesn't want to lay his heart bare and have it crushed by his closest friend.
"I don't care!" Jeff snaps and he's moving towards the window, slamming his fist against the wall. Nick is stunned and stays silent. "Fuck, Nick. I don't know what to do with you. I never understand you. I think I know you and then you do this and I just…I just…" His hands are waving around and he's having one of those moments that he can't find the words.
"What do you think you know about me?" Nick asks. They've been friends for years. Jeff knows everything. No. Nearly everything.
"I think I know that you aren't interested in girls," Jeff says, his eyes narrow. "But then you aren't gay. I think I know that you'd never date another guy's girl, but then you says it's just dancing. I think I know that you wish you were someone else or anywhere else, because I think I know that somewhere deep down, you actually loathe yourself." Jeff stares at him and Nick shifts uncomfortably. He wants to deny it but he can't. Sometimes he really does hate himself. And Jeff knows. The silence confirms Jeff's accusation.
Jeff slumps down beside Nick on the bed again. "Why, man? Why do you hate yourself? What's going on? You're my best friend. I don't want to see you in so much pain."
Nick's frozen, in fear, in consternation. He still doesn't know how Jeff actually feels. He's scared of telling his oldest and best friend that he thinks he loves him.
"Nick?" Jeff prompts.
Nick looks down at his hands which are knotted together in his lap. He takes a deep breath. "I like you," he admits quietly.
"I like you too," Jeff replies. "You're my best friend! Of course I like you!"
Nick sighs, feels his stomach turn over. "No, I mean…I like you."
Jeff goes completely still. "O-oh," he exhales. "Oh Nick…I didn't-"
"I know you don't feel the same," Nick says quickly. "I know you don't like me. I just…I can't keep it to myself anymore."
"Nick," Jeff says softly but commandingly and Nick looks at him and sees the unshed tears in Jeff's dark brown eyes. "Nick."
But Jeff doesn't respond as his hand slides over Nick's throat, his thumb pressed to Nick's ear, and then he's pressing his lips to Nick's and Nick feels the breath catch in his throat, his eyes are wide, and he's frozen, and Jeff keeps moving his lips and it suddenly hits Nick that this is actually happening and he reacts, his tongue darting out and brushing over Jeff's parted lips and then inside and his eyes flutter closed as Jeff groans, tightening the hold on Nick's face and Nick's hands find themselves on Jeff's hips, tangled in the fabric of his uniform.
When Jeff nips at his tongue and pulls away, resting their foreheads together and breathing softly against Nick's lips, Nick opens his eyes. They cross trying to focus on Jeff so close and Jeff snorts.
"I've wanted to do that for way too long," Jeff breathes, his tongue swiping along Nick's bottom lip and he feels a small thrill down his spine.
"I never thought…" Nick can't voice his fears
"I felt the same way?" Jeff finishes, and Nick nods. "Sometimes the girls were just figments, designed to make you jealous. Other times they were real, because I wanted to stop thinking about you. But it's always been you. It's been you for so long."
And Nick's world stops turning as Jeff shoves him roughly backwards to press his body along Nick's. Jeff is taller, leaner, far more lithe, as he starts licking and biting down Nick's neck, his free hand fumbling with the buttons on Nick's shirt, until Nick's hand covers his to stop it.
"Nick?" Jeff asks breathlessly, eyes blown with lust, lips swollen.
"I…" Nick's eyes trail over Jeff's face. "I can't. Not so much so fast."
"Oh. Of course," Jeff pushes away and Nick feels a vague wave of disappointment. "Sorry. I just…"
"Soon. Sometime. Maybe," Nick offers and Jeff's smile is wide as he lightly kisses the brunette again.
"Never until you're ready," Jeff assures and Nick is grateful because he's wanted this so long but he never though it would happen and so he's never really prepared his line of thinking beyond…well…anything.
"Thank you," he whispers.
"No, thank you," Jeff says firmly, pulling Nick into his arms. And Nick feels the comforting hold of his best friend around him and he knows that he's actually safe now, regardless of anything and everything. Jeff didn't run away, he didn't freak out, he didn't scare. In fact, Jeff kissed him!
He can feel Jeff resting his head on top of his own, and he can feel Jeff's heart thumping beneath his ear and he can smell Jeff all around him and he breathes deeply with contentment.
A/N: Just playing with different characters. A pic came across my Tumblr dash the other day of Curt Mega and Heather Morris standing together in their Sectionals outfit, Heather with her nose wrinkled and clutching a bottle of water and headphones and I have a soft spot for Niff so. This happened as a result.
Follow me on Tumblr (link on profile)! Keep an eye out for upcoming LONG fics! And join/follow the Glee RP I'm involved in as Santana! (it's all on my Tumblr) Continue to be wonderful! x