Here's just a quick drabble, and some mild Niff-fluff :)
Nick was tired of growing up, and he simply didn't want to do it anymore. He was sick of all his classmates talking about girlfriends and kissing and other things. He didn't want to constantly worry about exams and homework, being tidy and looking smart. Nick was bored of acting mature and trying to please the people around him.
He could remember a time when the summer's seemed almost a year long, and he would play in the sunshine with Jeff, just sipping lemonade and playing football. The countless times they'd scraped their knees or got mud on their clothing sent a shiver of nostalgia down his spine. There were times when the only thing he had to worry about was being home from Jeff's house before dark.
Things had been so easy. His young mind used to be so clear and free; now it seemed as though he carried all the world's problems on his shoulders, and a million different worries whizzed through his mind every second. He was plagued with a thing called knowledge, and it wasn't a good thing, because now he knew he had to grow up and face the world.
All Nick wanted to do was be with Jeff all day. He wanted to hold his hand as they walked through the playground. He wanted to play with toy soldiers in the sandbox. He wanted to draw pictures with crayons and wobbly writing, and for it not to matter if he couldn't spell his own name.
Nick didn't want to leave his home or his school, throw out his toys or grow out of his clothes. He knew the time was coming when he'd have to act like an adult, work hard, be sociable and find a job. Nick didn't want to.
He already had so many regrets, he didn't want to grow up and make more. If only he could turn back time or stay young forever. If only he could live in never-neverland with Peter and the lost boys, and take Jeff with him so they could be friends forever.
"Hey, Jeff," Nick questioned from his spot on the sofa. Jeff turned to look up at him; he was sat on the hard wood flooring of Dalton's rec room with his back propped against the sofa. "Do you ever think about growing up?"
"Is that supposed to be some sort of insult?" The blonde laughed.
"No, it's just… I was thinking – about growing up – and I've decided I don't want to." He pouted. His attention was no longer on the TV screen (in all honestly it hadn't been for the past twenty minutes) and King Kong was now rambling in the background, unheard by both Jeff and Nick.
"But you have to some day. What's brought all this on?" Jeff was frowning now, sensing that Nick wasn't really playing around. It seemed as though there was something on his mind.
"I want to be a teenager forever." It was unlike Nick to dance around a question but it appeared as if he was now. Jeff gave him a questioning look and moved up so he was sat on the edge of the sofa next to Nick. "I was thinking about all those summers we spent together. Everything was easy then." He sighed sorrowfully.
"Yeah, I know what you mean." Jeff tried to offer him a comforting smile but it wasn't working.
"I wish we could go back to that." He turned to look Jeff in the eyes. "When did it all get so hard? When did everything stop being fun, and simple, and turn into this?" The blonde shrugged.
"I don't know." He pondered Nick's words for a moment before speaking again. "What do you mean by 'this'?"
"Well, we're almost adults now. And all everyone thinks of is girls, or relationships. People expect so much of us, and exams are coming up too. I just- sometimes I don't know how I deal with it all." He let his head lull back against the cushions; Jeff scooted closer in the dim light of the TV.
"Hey, not everyone thinks of girls." Jeff laughed in an attempt to lighten the mood.
"What do you mean?" Nick gazed at him with a distant and innocent expression.
"I don't think about girls at all. I think about guys… all the time." Nick smirked a little at that.
"How did you know you're gay? I know you realized when you were, what was it, 13? But I just don't understand how."
"Dunno, man. I guess I just sort of… knew. I looked at girls and only ever thought about friendship, but when I looked at guys it was totally different." He felt their knees bump momentarily before shifting away and giving Nick a sheepish smile.
"Did you ever look at one guy in particular and wonder why you'd been friends for so long and not ever thought about being more?" It was almost as if Nick was a million miles away, his voice sounding smooth and dreamy.
"…yeah." Jeff sighed.
"You." Everything had a fuzzy-around-the-edges feel, and when Jeff realized the possible implications of what he'd just said he snapped back to reality. "But that was like, years ago, dude." He tried to wave it off as nothing.
"Same here." Nick mumbled, not breaking eye contact. "I think… maybe I won't mind growing up, if I get to do it with you." Jeff thought about what Nick could mean by that, but before he reached any conclusion the brunette leaned forward and whispered "Don't leave me."
Jeff felt his heart quicken when Nick's warm breath tickled his bottom lip. His chocolate brown eyes were now inches away from his own, and he could see the way his long eyelashes curled gracefully away from his face. "If we grow up you can't leave me." Jeff nodded gently, unsure of what Nick wanted from him.
Then he felt the press of his dry lips against his own, and it was as if that was what he had been waiting for all this time, ever since they were little and played for hours in the sun. That was the reason he'd waited for Nick underneath the tree outside his house for an hour on a burning hot day when they were ten. That kiss was the reason Nick didn't want to grow up, because he was scared of leaving all that behind. He was scared he'd forget what it meant to be young; but it was that one kiss that reminded him of those days. The closer he felt to Jeff, the closer he felt to his childhood, and himself.
Jeff pulled back and looked at him. "I could never leave you, because you're the only thing keeping me sane." Nick smiled at last, wondering if Jeff could read his mind.
"You mean so much to me, Jeff." And at that moment Nick had never felt so exposed. "I love you."
"You know what? I think I might just love you too." The blonde grinned, circling his arms around Nick's neck and pulling him in for a hug. And together they felt complete, like their childhood was merely building up to this. Because when they were together things were a little easier, and growing up didn't seem so scary anymore. And, to Nick at least, all his worries took the back seat because whilst Jeff was around he knew - deep down inside - that nothing could break them apart.