III

'I can't believe he wants me to practise my kissing,' Jemaine said when they were back home.

Bret shook his head. 'It's weird.'

'I mean, I know how to kiss. As if I need to improve myself.' He looked to his side, to Bret, secretly, to see his reaction. Bret's expression didn't change. He just looked at the TV.

'Bret, do you think my kisses are good?'

Bret looked at him. 'Yes.'

'Really?'

'Yes.'

Jemaine didn't know what to say for a moment, because he was too confused by the feeling in his stomach. It was almost as if he was sick and about to throw up, and it was very distracting.

'Of course, I don't really need people to tell me I'm a good kisser,' he refound himself. 'Everyone's always telling me how my kisses are good. But I know they are, and I don't need everyone telling me-'

he was stopped abruptly when Bret made a small hop towards him on the couch. His eyes were so big. He really looked like a Bret-bunny, now that he thought of it.

'What are you doing?' Jemaine asked. 'I thought you wanted to watch this.'

'Practise on me.'

'...what?'

'I think Murray had a point about forgetting things on stage.'

'But I don't need to practise! I know how to do it!'

Bret looked the other way, first at the TV but then to the carpet. 'So you don't want to kiss me?'

'No! You're not upset, are you? Why would I kiss you?'

'Well, you don't have to if you don't want to.'

'Wait, are you getting upset?'

'Of course.'

'Why?'

Bret stubbornly kept his mouth shut, crossing his arms.

'Bret, come on. Don't be like that.'

Bret gave him an angry look and continued watching the TV show again.

'I just don't see why you want me to kiss you.' As Bret still didn't respond, Jemaine gave up and also returned his attention to the TV. He decided for himself that he wasn't too fond of the new leprechaun character.

'Because it's nice,' Bret said quietly. 'It makes me happy. And you're good at it. It works.'

Feeling as if he were frozen to the couch, Jemaine wondered if he should do something. He wondered and wondered, until he felt something soft touch his left ear. He didn't need to check to know it was Bret, kissing him. And he was right. It was nice. It worked, and it also made him happy. When Bret stopped, he returned the favour by holding his head gently in his hands, and kissing his right ear, exactly the way he liked it. He could tell he liked it. He took a very prominent breath and closed his eyes, gripping Jemaine's leg more tightly as he didn't stop.

'Your ear is as red as your cheeks, Bret,' Jemaine said. 'If you get any warmer I might burn myself.'

Bret turned his head and pressed his lips to Jemaine's mouth, who was so surprised by that that he almost choked and was only able to hold back a coughing fit at the last moment.

'I'm sorry,' Bret apologized when he heard the weird sounds coming out of his throat.

'It's alright,' Jemaine tried to assure him.

'No, I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have moved away from ears.'

'I thought it wasn't that bad,' Jemaine tried carefully.

Bret shook his head. 'No. We need to stay in ear territory. That's what we know.'

Jemaine disagreed. He disagreed quite strongly. 'I think we need to move on and learn more. That's what practising is, right?'

'Nah, I don't know. I shouldn't have done it.'

'You should have. You should do it again.'

Alarmed, Bret looked him in his eyes. Jemaine looked back, trying his best not to seem desperate. 'You can... come closer if you want to. Lay your head on my shoulder, if you want to.'

Bret moved closer, hesitantly, and did as Jemaine had said.

'We could kiss some more.'

'No.'

'Bret, I love you.'

Bret turned his head slowly and looked at him incredulously.

'I would write you a love song. I would write you a hundred love songs.'

Not saying anything, just looking at him with his big bunny eyes, Bret listened.

'I would write you a love song of twenty-seven minutes and it would only be about the kiss you just gave me.'

Bret was so warm in his arms. Jemaine threw his head back, trying to get some air, but it didn't work much. 'I'm already writing it in my head.'

'Is it any good?'

'No.'

Bret smiled. 'You need my help.'

'I do, actually.'

Once more, Jemaine watched Bret move closer, so close that he thought they would bump their heads into each other, and felt his lips against his own. It was really weird, but it also felt as if they had always done this. Maybe not since the first day, when Jemaine had still believed Bret to be an Australian and repulsive by default, but surely after a week or so.

'Jemaine, I really don't want to do this in front of other people.'

'Me neither.'

'It isn't just Mel.'

'No. I know.'

'Even Murray was giving us the look. He can say he's used to it, but we can never be sure.'

'You're right Bret. We shouldn't do this on Sunday.'

'No way.'

'D'you wanna sleep in my bed tonight?'

Bret considered that for a while. 'What's wrong with my bed?'

'Nothing. I just like my bed better.'

'Well, I like my bed better. It's next to the window and all. It's nice there. It's a good place.'

Trying not to insult Bret's bed any further, Jemaine said: 'okay, we can start in your bed and take my bed later.'

'No,' Bret shook his head. 'I don't think that's fair.'

'Why not?'

'Because we'd end up spending more time in your bed because we'd fall asleep on it.'

Jemaine thought it over very seriously. 'What about the couch? We can fold it out.'

Bret nodded. 'Yeah. That would work.'

After their usual evening routines, they folded out the couch and closed the curtains. Bret snuggled up against Jemaine. Jemaine held him tightly, not just because he was cute, but because he was afraid he'd fall off if he didn't. Luckily, holding him tightly was very easy because he was so skinny. They watched the rest of their tape of the latest shows from New Zealand and then switched off the TV and the lights.

'It's raining outside.'

Jemaine listened and noticed the sound of raindrops tapping on the windows. 'Indeed it is.'

Bret grabbed Jemaine's hands and moved even closer to him. Jemaine made himself as small as possible in order to stay on the couch.

'Goodnight Jemaine,' he whispered.

Jemaine could hardly make anything out in the dark, but he stared at the things he saw everyday and wondered if they knew everything had changed. Did the teacup know? Did the tap know, and the bathtub? The rug on the floor, or the chairs they sat on while eating dinner?

'Goodnight Bret,' he said. 'Hey Bret. When I told you I loved you, I might have exaggerated it a little.'

'Oh really?'

'I don't know. I'm not sure. I just really wanted you to kiss me.'

'I think that kind of means the same thing.'

'Huh. Does it? It does, doesn't it?'

'Yep. Kind of.' Bret laughed quietly to himself. Jemaine couldn't help but laugh along. It had been such a strange day.

'I'll let you use the teacup first tomorrow morning, if you kiss me on my ear again.'

Jemaine kissed his ear and lingered there a bit longer than usual. 'You're so cute,Bret.'

'Be careful not to fall off the couch, man,' Bret mumbled sleepily. Jemaine tried his best, and eventually managed to find a somewhat comfortable spot. His arm was asleep, but he didn't want to wake up Bret, so he just closed his eyes and ignored it. He couldn't move it the next morning, but it only took half an hour of Bret pinching it before he could use it again.

Friday, the 1st of June, 2012

1.34 PM