Nick didn't feel good. He felt very, very bad. One of two things was about to happen. Either he was going to throw up, or he was going to pass out. The right thing to do would be to keel over, put his head between his knees, and aim past his shoes should anything find its way from his stomach through his mouth.

But seeing as he was learning about genetic modification in biology class, and he didn't want to put himself through the humility of making Mr. Sterling call an ambulance, he held his stomach and hoped nothing would happen. Because by the time Mr. Sterling told the class to start their homework, he'd neither lost consciousness or thrown up the little bits of burnt toast he ate as he was being screamed at that morning.

"Have the packet done for tomorrow, and don't tell me you didn't know there was a back, because I'm telling you that now," Mr. Sterling told the class and Nick flipped open the packet and sighed softly.

Because not only did he forget everything in this packet in the past week, his phone would not stop vibrating in his bag. Which, of course, meant it was his mother.

Your grades are dropping in all of your classes!

Why can't you be like your brother and get straight A pluses?

Your father is furious with you!

Nick locked his phone and buried his head in his arms. He was just plain tired of them. His stomach twisted a bit when he felt eyes on him–you can feel someone staring?–because he knew the only person who really paid attention to him in this class was Jeff. Mr. Sterling. Whatever he was supposed to call him.

He didn't want Mr. Sterling to ask him what happened. Part of him did, wanted to get it out and just break right in front of the other man.

But Nick couldn't do that.

That would just add to the embarrassment.

The bell ringing was a relief to everyone, the packets shoved into their bags and long forgotten. Nick would probably be the only one to actually do it.

"Are you alright, Nick?"


Nick nodded and picked up his books.

"Fabulous, and yourself?"

Nick winced a little at how rude that sounded. Crush or not, Mr. Sterling/Jeff was his teacher, and he had to show respect. Maybe.

"I'm fine, thanks for asking. Are you sure you're okay?"

Stupid Jeff and his stupid compassion and his stupid hair that kept falling into his face. Nick glanced around and let out a short sigh.

"Were you ever compared to a sibling or a cousin or something?"

"Not really, I was the oldest, so I was the role model."

Nick watched as Jeff stood up and walked around the desk to stand next to him.

He never really noticed how much taller the blonde was than himself.

"My brother's a sophomore in college. Straight As, perfect girlfriend, great school, becoming a doctor. And what am I? A senior that has absolutely no plans of my own after graduation, gay as the Fourth of July, I don't even know what I want to work as. Who do I get compared to? Him."

"Not everyone can be perfect, Nick–"

"I know that!" Nick sighed exasperatedly and set his books on the teacher's desk. "I get that I'm the son they never wanted, and I get that I can't be exactly like my brother. But they don't stop comparing me to him! No matter how much I do, or what I say, they'll keep saying I'm not good enough."

And that sent Nick off a tangent, Jeff nodding his head in agreement every time he had the chance. Which Nick appreciated silently.

"...and we both know I can't get an A+ in math even if I tried!"

"Nick, hey, Nick, rela–"

"But they keep saying I'll need to do amazing to get into Harvard, and I've told them I don't even want to go, but that means shit to them! Even if I manage to get my grades up to As, it wouldn't even-mmpf!"

Kiss him. Kiss him.

Jeff knew it would be rude to shut Nick up by kissing him. It's happened in movies, and usually the one performing gets slapped.

Come to think if it, Jeff wouldn't mind getting slapped by Nick. If it meant getting to kiss him, wasn't it worth it?

Jeff would've slapped himself just for thinking that.

Taking a deep breath, he cupped Nick's cheeks and knelt down to kiss him softly, eyes falling shut.

All or nothing, right?

He could feel Nick tense up and relax under his touch, the slow slide of lips almost intoxicating. It was insane how perfectly they fit together.

This is so wrong. He's your student.

Jeff's eyes snapped open as he dropped his hands. He was kissing his student.

"Oh my–I'm so, so, sorry," Jeff mumbled as he stepped away, cursing himself under his breath. He might as well just set himself on fire right then and there. How could he let his guard slip and kiss him?

He wished the floor would open up and swallow him whole.

He could get fired for doing that.

"Jeff, hey, it's perfectly fine," Nick said softly and Jeff rubbed the back of his neck.

At least he wasn't getting slapped.

"I could get you in a lot of trouble. And I could get fired."

"I think it's worth it."

Jeff looked up and raised his eyebrows in shock. Nick was actually okay with kissing a thirty year old man that just so happened to be his teacher?

That was a first.

A big first.

Leaning against the counter, he sighed softly.

"Alright. Let me get a few things straight," Nick began, hopping on the desk next to Jeff. "You kissed me, we both liked it. Now what?"

"As much as I'd love to date you, I think the difference would be a little weird."

Jeff laughed softly when Nick shrugged his shoulders and started kicking his feet. That really shouldn't have been as adorable as it was.

"I don't really mind. How old are you?"

"Thirty-four. Usually I just tell myself thirty so I feel a bit better about myself. And you're, what, seventeen? Holy crap I feel old."

"It's only an seventeen year difference."

"Only? I feel ancient. And creepy."

Jeff stood between Nick's legs and drummed his fingers on his thighs absentmindedly.

"It can't be that creepy."

"Imagine your dad being forty and your mom being twenty-two. That's a little creepy."

Nick hummed and looked down at Jeff, blushing slightly.

"Can we forget the age difference? I like you, I'm assuming you like me, shouldn't that be all that matters?"

The blonde smiled softly and nodded, reaching up to kiss Nick again.

It was so wrong, in retrospect. But it felt so right.

Isn't that all that mattered?

"So I can proudly call you my boyfriend and not seem completely insane."

Nick laughed and swatted Jeff's shoulder playfully.

Jeff realised Nick had never been this happy since they met.

And that made him a bit proud.

"Yes, you can. But in secret. We can't afford anyone finding out."

Jeff grinned and looked up at Nick, who was also smiling, and he was pretty sure he fell a little bit more at that.

"Of course. No one will know but you."

Nick decided that now was a really bad time to have a horribly dirty mind. But really, he was a kid, and his boyfriend(!)'s face was about ten inches from his crotch. Who could blame him?

Nick bit his lip and tilted Jeff's chin up with his finger.

"I can kiss you whenever, right?"

"As long as no one's around," Jeff chuckled and stood up straighter for them to kiss.

Nick expected it to be fireworks, when you kissed 'the one'. Bursts of light behind his eyelids, those cheesy montages and music playing in the background.

Okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration.

But in reality, it was more of a pleasant warmth spreading through his body, making his stomach flutter and his heart skip. And it was nice.

Nick opened an eye to glance out the door, sighing in relief and shutting his eyes again.

He could tell he was going to be very paranoid about this.

Who could blame him, though?

Keeping secrets is tough. Especially with the risks the two of them had. Maybe they could...not do anything too revealing?

The kiss wasn't sexual in the least, a long chain of short kisses, each one a little bit longer than the last, trying to memorise every inch of each other's lips.

When they pulled apart, Nick felt dizzy.

"Are we uh, gonna try this?" Jeff asked almost shyly, making Nick's heart pound harder against his ribcage.

"Yeah," Nick breathed. "We are."