Kevin, Connor, Nabulungi and Arnold had been living together for the better part of two years before Connor decided to admit to his homosexuality.
When Connor had formally come out to them, no one was particularly surprised; they all had their suspicions, but everyone still cheered and congratulated and encouraged him. Because honestly, they'd accepted him long before he'd even begun to accept himself.
Kevin didn't mind that one of his best friends was gay. It wasn't such a big deal to be attracted to the same sex.
He acutely remembered that one time in the seventh grade when an especially pretty boy, wasn't his name Daniel?, walked by smelling of something sweet and spicy. His pants had gotten uncomfortably tight then, and that was fine. Hormones can do that. So if Kevin could possibly get a little bit hard at a nice smelling guy, what was so bad about Connor wanting to actually have sex with one?
Of course, Kevin Price wasn't gay. And having a best friend that was gay wasn't going to change that.
Though, there was that one dream…
It had been a happy dream.
Nothing graphic, or x-rated. No, this dream had been sweet.
It was simply Kevin and Connor, sitting on the couch, fingers entwined, Connor's head rested in Kevin's lap. The sun had been playing hide and seek between the horizon, creating a soft, pink glow and a laziness that settled over the two like a blanket.
They were watching some show—Kevin doesn't remember—but he remembers ignoring the show in favor of staring down at the head in his lap.
He remembered smiling softly at an bemused Connor and leaning down to place a peck on his forehead before turning back to the incomprehensible show.
It wasn't romantic—the T.V. had been blaring some obnoxious intro song—and it wasn't lust-filled either. Just a quick kiss. The chaste meeting of lips to skin to show that they were here. This is real. Life is good. Kevin couldn't describe it, but it just seemed so… easy?
But he had liked it.
Only during the confusing moment between where the dream ended and reality sunk in did he realize exactly what it was.
That stupid, sickly sweet little dream had been domestic.
Kissing like that… it was something lovers did. Small, private pecks for no other reason than just because.
It wasn't until after Connor had come out did Kevin start to crave those dreams rather than fear them.
It was several sleepless nights of musings later before Kevin could finally come out with the fact that he was attracted to Connor.
There was that little pressure in the space just to the right of his heart that annoyed him to no end when he tried to convince himself of this, but it had been promptly ignored.
He accepted this attraction with open arms; it wasn't like he was going to act on those confusing feelings, right? He didn't even really like men. He wasn't even gay!
No, Connor admitting to himself that he was gay wasn't going to change anything between them.
It had been a Tuesday when Connor brought his first boyfriend home.
"Guys," Connor said nervously, not moving from the doorway and staring down at his feet in uncharacteristic bashfulness, "this is Damian," he gestured to the blond at his side, "He's my… boyfriend." He colored at the word and continued to stare at his feet, clutching at Damian's hand for support.
Kevin's nose wrinkled as he watched Damian's wide grin that made his teeth look too big for his face. His teeth was yellow, almost brown, but Kevin figured he was over exaggerating because Connor would never date anyone with rotten teeth.
It was silent for a moment while Nabulungi, Kevin and Arnold sized up the intruder.
"Nice to meet you," Arnold said with a cheery smile, moving in for a hug before seeming to remember something, "Uh," he stepped back, instead opting to hold out a hand, "I'm Arnold!" He looked back to Kevin who smiled and nodded.
Damian, his smile vanishing to be replaced with a look of confusion, held out his hand and winced. "Nervous?"
Arnold shook his head, characteristic grin in place, "My hands can be kind of sweaty sometimes. Kevin says I should take a deep breath and relax my heart when they start to sweat but I told him that doesn't help. But I forgot again... sorry Kevin, I forgot to wipe them off before I shook his hand..."
Kevin interjected before Arnold could start really apologizing for committing yet another socially unacceptable act, "It's fine bud, I don't think it's that big of a deal this time," he smiled at Damian, "I'm Kevin."
They shook hands and Nabulungi stepped forward beaming, "I'm Nabulungi," Her thick accent seemed to surprise him. At Damian's bewildered expression, she continued, "Did Connor not tell you a thing about us?"
"I did!" Connor said in defense, voice small, "I just… maybe I wasn't very clear about the accent or the… Arnold..."
"Ashamed?" Kevin asked jokingly, gaze still ranging from Damian's bulky Tims to his tweed jacket. His eyes narrowed in on the frayed collar and he felt a muscle in his face twitch.
"No," Damian interjected before Connor could speak, "He was just scared I'd judge," He smiled back at Nabulungi, "Nice to meet you, Nabulungi," he kissed her hand and winked when she giggled.
"Okay!" Arnold boomed, wrapping an arm around Nabulungi's waist and pulling her beside him in a possessive gesture, "Let's all go to the sitting room, shall we?"
Connor nodded, pulling Damian along, "There's no need to sound all posh, Arnold. You can still say living room."
"But I'm trying to impress Damian!"
"No need." Damian smiled.
Kevin trailed behind, now looking perplexedly at Connor and Damian's clasped hands. He was close enough to hear Damian murmur into Connor's ear, "Did Arnold not hug me because I'm gay?"
Kevin opened his mouth to defend Arnold's honor when Connor threw his head back in a laugh that made the dimmed lights brighten. "No," he said between chuckles, "Definitely not. You just… Arnold should be taken in small doses. Trust me, he didn't hug you for your own good. Kevin taught him well…"
They managed to squeeze themselves on the worn out couches and chatted easily, something Kevin was perfectly good at. He did his best to ease a visibly nervous Connor and Damian; making jokes, laughing almost as loud as Arnold, ignoring the need to punch Damian in the face, and watching Nabulungi charm her way into yet another man's heart.
But he found it increasingly difficult not to punch Damian in the face.
Especially when he wrapped his arm around Connor's waist. That was a big no no in Kevin's books.
Because Damian didn't deserve to hold Connor like Arnold held Nabulungi.
When Damian finally left, Kevin had found out three simple facts that, for unknown reasons, made Kevin's blood boil.
1) They had been dating for three months.
Three months! Kevin couldn't quite wrap his mind around the fact that, while Kevin was attempting to sort through his emotional turmoil of finding Connor McKinley attractive, Connor had been running around with the son of Satan.
2) Damian did not like being called the son of Satan.
Nabulungi had been the one to let that slip.
What followed was the particularly uncomfortable conversation of convincing Damian that he had done nothing wrong.
No, Naba does not think you're a Satanist.
No, we don't think you're actually the devil in disguise.
The last fact Kevin found out during that long visit was, perhaps, the most important.
3) Connor really liked Damian.
This came as a shock to him. The horrible attempts at subtly in their touches, the fleeting glances, the stupid stupidly stupid hand holding; they had all sent him on edge. His skin started to prickle in the most unfamiliar ways that had him itching to hop out of it. His heart sped up and he felt his face morph into a frown more often than what was considered normal.
Kevin didn't like those stupid prickly feelings. They made him all flustered and his clothes too hot.
And the look on Connor's face after Damian left made that pain just to the right of Kevin's heart hurt like a bitch.