Marco groaned as he squirmed out of bed, upset because he hadn't planned on doing that all day.
It had been a rough few days for him. His boyfriend had moved all the way to Switzerland after being recruited by a hockey team and out of loneliness and emptiness, Marco became consumed with gambling, costing him a friendship and the respect of his father.
He had only gotten out of bed because he had heard Paige yell his name and tell him he had company. He forgave her for the simple fact that he wasn't really asleep. He was tossing and turning since about three o'clock that morning, mulling over the mistakes he had made and the advice his father gave him the previous day about living his life and not making excuses because people leave. He had promised himself that he would put his father's advice into effect the following day, after he had a full day of stewing in his own juices.
He stepped into his slippers and eased out of his room and down the stairs. "Who is it? Didn't everyone get my "leave me a lone" memo...?" Marco dragged the last word out as he arrived to the bottom of the staircase to see Spinner standing at the door. An immediate rush of guilt swept over him as he had recently broken into Spinner's t-shirt shop to gamble stolen money away in a poker tournament.
"I guess I didn't." Spinner said, flashing a crooked smile.
"Spin...listen man, I..." "Don't," Spinner exlaimed seriously to Marco,"No need to apologize. Listen, can we talk in private?" Spinner pointed his thumb to the right as Marco leaned over to see that Paige and Ellie were both staring intently at the two before scattering off.
"Yeah sure. Come on up," said Marco as he gestured his hand to the staircase.
Marco led Spinner up to his room and closed the door behind them. He turned to see him staring very hard into his face. "Spin, I really am sorry about what happened, I really am, but I seriously do not need another lecture, buddy."
"No, I think you need to listen to what I have to say."
Marco blinked rapidly because he could tell his dear friend was as serious as he could get.
"Okay. I owe you that much."
"You should probably sit down man, because what I have to say is probably gonna knock you off your feet anyway," Spinner said as he grabbed Marco by the wrist and sat him on the edge of his bed. Spinner looked down at his friend and took a deep breath, "That night when I found you in the store, you probably thought I was angry..."
"Well yeah," Marco said, matter-of-factly. "You were pretty pissed Spin, and rightfully so."
"Let me finish...please." Marco nodded as Spinner continued. "I was angry. But it wasn't for you...I mean it wasn't towards you. I was angry at myself."
"Sure didn't seem that way when the cops showed up." Marco stifled himself when Spinner put up a finger in protest and scrunched his mouth up. "Right, sorry, go head."
"I was angry at myself...for letting you go that far. For not helping you, for not seeing how hurt and how lost you really were, and immediately doing something to stop it."
Marco stood up abruptly, "Spinner, that's not your job! There's no reason for you to be upset with yourself when it was my stupid mistakes that got me into trouble in the first place!"
"And was it your job to be the only person to stand by me last year when everyone else hated me? Was it your job to remind me that my stupid ass could be forgiven for what I did to Jimmy?" Spinner had noticed that his voice started shaking and stopped himself before the tear burning in his eye leaked down.
"Yes, it is." Marco, grabbed Spinner by the arm and sat him down on the bed next to him. "Spin, we're friends right? That's what friendship is, as corny as it sounds," Marco said, chuckling at his last phrase and cracking a smile.
"It's not friendship, Marco," Spinner said with a somber smile on his face.
"What do you mean? Of course it is." Marco said, shaking his head. "Spin, what's really up man?"
"This is more than frienship, Marco, and it's hard to put what's in my freakin head into words. You don't understand how pissed I am at myself for seeing you hurt like that and only egging you on more with that stupid Daytona trip and..."
Marco cut Spinner off, "Spinner, stop blaming yourself! It was my fault, my mistake! I was so wrapped up in Dylan leaving, I just gave into loneliness which made me feel just...empty inside. Spin, it really makes no sense for you to take the blame."
"To me, it does. My heart is telling me that I am the 'blame guy.'"
Marco bobbed his head back and squinted his eyes in confusion, "your heart?"
Spinner smirked, "Man, you might have good marks, but sometimes you can be really, really dumb."
Marco could feel his heart beating like a drum as Spinner put his hand on the side of his face. The warmth of Spin's hand was welcoming and made his cheek tingle. "Spin...what..."
Marco realized that Spinner's heart was beating much faster than his because his chest was nearly on top of his. His lips were fully pressed upon his. With his eyes wide open, Marco watched as Spinner gave his all into this extremely unexpected kiss. He could only remain as still as he possibly could as his entire body vibrated as he watched Gavin Mason squint his eyes and passionately press his mouth against his. It was only until Marco felt wetness on his cheek did he pull away from the kiss, realizing that Spinner had shed a tear.
"Spin...I don't," Marco rubbed his hands through his hair in utter shock, "I don't understand."
"See what I mean? Really dumb," Spinner said and Marco looked into his face to see him smiling with the tear drying on his face. "I've been wanting to do that for the longest time."
"Spinner, are you..." Marco looked deep into Spinner's deep brown eyes, not really wanting to finish the sentence.
"It doesn't matter."
"Well, yeah, I'm pretty sure it does matter. What about Paige and Manny and Darcy...you can't be..."
"It doesn't matter," Spinner exlaimed.
"But what about..."
"It. Doesn't. Matter, Marco." Spinner took Marco's hands into his own, feeling their warmth and gently rubbing his index finger against the back of them. "What matters is how I feel. What matters is what my heart is telling me, and has been telling me for a while. Marco, I want you. I want all of you. I want to protect you. I want to be the person you turn to when you're lonely. I want to be the thing that fills your emptiness." Spinner couldn't help but smirk, and neither could Marco. "I've felt this way ever since we started talking again, ever since you reminded me that I could be forgiven, that I could be embraced, and loved by anyone. Even people who thought I was the gum under their shoe."
"Spinner, Dylan just left and this is...this was unexpected, I'm not gonna lie," Marco said looking down.
"Marco," Spinner said as he place his finger underneath Marco's chin and left his head up so that their eyes were meeting. "What did you feel?"
"I felt new. I felt happy, and shocked, and warm, and welcomed, and I felt like I put one finger into an electrical socket because my entire body was vibrating. That's how I felt."
"And what about Dylan?"
"What do you mean, what about Dylan?"
"How did you feel about Dylan when I kissed you?" Spinner looked intently into Marco's dark eyes, it looked as though he was itching to get the answer he so desperately wanted.
Marco's eyes moved from left to right as he racked his brain. "I...didnt. I didn't feel...anything...about Dylan, I didn't even think about Dylan. He didn't cross my mind."
Spinner cracked that huge smile that Marco immediately remembered he had loved. "Anything else?" Spinner asked.
Marco looked down and then looked back up at Spinner, smiling, "Yeah. Your lips are so much softer than I thought they were."
"You think about my lips, huh?" Spinner asked.
"Well, obviously you think about mine, Spin," Marco joked.
Suddenly, Spinner's smile faded, and his hand once again rose to caress Marco's face. "More than you know, Marco." And this time, when Spinner leaned in, Marco was ready. He took in the full force of Spinner's full lips with his own, this time opening his mouth in expectation. The two friends' tongues caressed each other and Marco's tongue quivered as Spinner's tongue ring pleasantly tickled him. He then realized that he was quivering and none other than Gavin Mason was the cause of it. Gavin Mason, with another tear streaming down his face and onto Marco's, and Marco realized that he hand't felt this loved in a very, very long time.