A/N: this comic is really great and i recommend it even though i hate comics and my friends just wanted me to read it, it's called bff and can be found by searching 'bff' and 'nematodeinspace' into google, have fun

It happened when Vincent got major buffed and the acne cleared, when he became the subject of every girl's fantasy and every guy's envy. It happened when Vincent rose to the top of the food chain and Teddy still stayed at the bottom, below the anime club and just above the guy who picks his nose at lunch.

"You're my best friend," like a mantra, over and over, whispered into flesh, skin-on-skin, hearts thrumming together, synchronizing. Teddy's hands on his shoulders, lips touching the pulse point just beneath his jawline.

"Always." Always, always, always. Vincent touches his nose to Teddy's spine and whispers "always" into his skin, watching the beads of sweat forming at the nape of his neck.

And they don't talk about it. Tongue tied, Teddy thinks, that's the term for it.

They don't talk about the whispered words and the wandering hands and the way Vincent looked when he came, bathed in an ethereal light from the stars and the shrouded moon, the way the guilt battled affection and longing in his eyes, the way they sat there against the car and said nothing at all. A comfortable silence.

They don't talk about it, they never have, and when Teddy tries to, Vincent shuts down. Doesn't speak. Flushes red and angry and ashamed.

Teddy wonders what Vincent's dad would say if he said, shoulders slumped and head down, "I'm gay." He wonders if the bruises and the welts from the beating would cause concern at school. If Vincent would brush it off and laugh about a fight with a guy over a girl. Simple. Easy. He thinks about what his dad would do, how he would react, and maybe that's why Teddy doesn't hate Vincent, not even a little, for refusing to look at him and talk to him about the wandering hands and whispered words.

"I can't." Vincent's eyes are wide and glassy and he looks like a mirage in the darkness. "You know that, right?"

And Teddy doesn't speak, doesn't say a word, in fear of not being able to stop talking if he opens his mouth. But he nods, he glances sideways at Vincent, watches the guilt and longing like a tempest raging across his face, and he understands everything perfectly clear.