A/N: I know I have a lot of stories to work on, but sometimes inspiration strikes in other places and to write something different is better than to not write at all! Playing Earthbound again and I just think that Jeff and Tony are the cutest couple ever.
Jeff rested his head on his hands, staring at the hotel ceiling. He glanced around the room, eyes having adjusted to the darkness hours ago. Ness was snoring loudly in the bed next to him, limbs spread across the covers. He envied his friend for his ability to sleep any time, through any thing.
He turned his eyes to the desk at the end of his bed and to the pile of metal he found in Belch's Factory. He pulled back the covers, a small shiver ran across his skin as the cool air hit his legs. Might as well get something done if I can't sleep...
He clicked on the small desk lamp and looked over his shoulder. He knew that the light wouldn't wake his friend up, but it was a habit. Back at the Snow Wood Boarding House, his roommate Tony was a light sleeper, unlike Ness. Often finding himself unable to sleep, Jeff would turn on a small lamp to read a book or to write down some invention ideas he had been thinking of.
At first, Tony would pull the covers over his head and continue to sleep. As they became friends, when Jeff would turn on the lights, Tony would sit up and talk to him until he was tired enough to sleep. Some nights, Tony would come over to his bed and help him work out the kinks in some of his machine designs.
He sighed, missing his best friend. He was always so nice to Jeff and he was very smart; smart enough to keep up with him and challenge his ideas and lead him in directions that he might not have been able to go alone. The day that he left school, he knew that the hardest part would be leaving Tony behind, but they both knew that they would be back together again someday. Someday soon, I hope...
He shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair. I gotta snap out of it and focus on fixing this thing. If I can make it into a functioning laser gun, getting Paula back should be a piece of cake. He picked up some pieces and began working, trying his best to not be too loud.
As he worked, his mind couldn't help but stray back to the night that he left the Boarding School and joined Ness and Paula to save the world.
Jeff had the strangest dream, but knew that it was a sign, not just nonsense. He got up from his bed and flipped on the light. Tony was up immediately, knowing that something wasn't right. He gave a short speech about school rules before realizing that his words were futile. "What's wrong, Jeff?" He stood next to his friend, just listening. Jeff explained the weird dream, hoping that Tony would believe him. "...All right. There must be some reason that I can't understand. I won't stop you." Tony sighed, both afraid and excited for his friend and his journey.
Jeff smiled to himself, glad that he had Tony's support and wouldn't have to sneak out of the school on his own. Tony led them around, packing up some things that Jeff would need when he ventured out on his own. They stood inside the school's gate, both quiet when Tony broke the silence. "Well... I'll say goodbye for now. I don't know where you're going or why, but remember: we're best friends forever."
Jeff nodded, not trusting himself to talk. He began to position himself to be hoisted over the fence when Tony stopped him. He blushed a little when he felt Tony's hands in his hair and he closed his eyes. His heart began beating faster when he felt his glasses sliding off of his face.
"Huh?" He squinted and leaned in, his friend slowly coming back into focus. He saw Tony rubbing circles in his glasses with the bottom of his shirt. He blushed even more when he realized what he thought was going to happen and how he had reacted to it. He could see Tony smiling clearly as the glasses were placed back where they belonged and his fingers lingered for what seemed like an excessive amount of time, not that Jeff was complaining. He was hoisted over the fence and that was the last time he saw Tony.
Jeff blushed just remembering that moment. He'd never thought about being kissed by Tony before, but since that moment, it was the only thing he could think about. He had known for a while that he and Tony had a special relationship, but Tony had never said or done anything to make him think that he liked him more than a friend. It took being separated from each other for his feelings to finally show and now, he couldn't help but wonder if Tony felt the same way about him.
He snapped himself out of the haze and looked down to realize that he had finished the Laser Gun. He looked at the clock and it read 4:00 A.M.. He set his screwdriver down and rubbed his eyes, hoping that this time, he could get some sleep.
Jeff was upset to get news that his friend and fellow genius inventor Apple Kid was missing, but he was equally excited about getting to go back to Winters. If they had time, maybe he could convince Ness to take a night off to rest so that he could visit Tony after they rescue Apple Kid.
When they arrived in Winters Jeff was happy to be home after what seemed like such a long time away. They headed for Dr. Andonut's lab when Jeff noticed his old teacher Maxwell wandering around in a panic. Before he could say hello, Maxwell told the group that Tony was missing. Jeff paled as he listened to the story of what happened, that among the missing were his father and his best friend.
The thought of Tony being hurt made him feel sick. He must have let out a noise, because Paula grabbed his hand and squeezed. She was trying to let him know that everything would be all right, without saying anything. Somehow, he knew that Paula could tell what he was feeling and why he was worried.
By the time they got to Dr. Andonut's lab, they had learned of more missing people and been told the story of Apple Kid's kidnapping by his assistant, who was helpless to stop it. They were given the Eraser Eraser and headed for the Stonehenge Base. Jeff checked his bag and made sure he had plenty of explosives. Whoever took Tony was going to be very sorry.
They fought their way through glowing tunnels and battles with new, tough aliens and robots when they came upon a dark room. The light flashed off and on and Jeff could tell that they all felt that they were getting close. When they opened the door at the end of the dark room, Paula gasped and Jeff ran past her up onto the platform.
All of the missing people were there, in giant tubes. Some people that they knew, some that they didn't, but most importantly for Jeff, Tony was there. He put his hands on the glass "Tony! Are you okay?" He didn't wait for a reply. "We're going to get you out of here, I promise! I'll be back." His fingertips turned white as he pressed them to the glass as if he could somehow reach through and touch Tony.
He looked over at Ness, who gripped his bat even tighter. "Let's go." They stormed the door across the room and came face to face with the Starman DX. This time, it was personal and they were all going to give it their best to save their friends. Ness, Paula and Poo emptied out almost all of what was left of their PSI attacking and shielding the group. Jeff was throwing every explosive item that he had at their enemy when he finally dealt the blow that would end the battle, but before his life drained completely, the Starman DX fired a final beam, hitting Jeff directly.
He was knocked to the floor as he felt himself losing consciousness. Luckily, he was able to hold on until the battle was over, with just enough energy left to stay awake. Paula dug around in her bag, looking for something to eat, only to come up with a cup of noodles. They had used everything else they had to get through the maze, so it would have to do for now. She helped him eat the noodles and drink down the juice until he was feeling well enough to walk.
Poo helped Jeff to walk by wrapping an arm around his waist to help carry his weight. As they walked back into the other room, they found all of the missing people out of the tanks, waiting for them. While Ness and Paula began to talk to the people around the room, trying to find out exactly what had happened, Tony ran through the crowded space when he saw Jeff being held up by his friend.
"What happened?!" He lifted Jeff's head, overcome with guilt that his friend had been hurt trying to save him. "Jeff, can you hear me?" His hands were shaking until his friend looked back at him.
"Tony? You're okay!" He shrugged himself off of Poo and wrapped his arms around Tony, who gripped him tightly around his waist. "Can we go now?" He sighed, never wanting a good night's sleep so much in his life.
Tony glanced around to the other members of the group and nodded. "Yeah, we can go now." He held onto his tired friend for a few more seconds before helping him along the same way that Poo had before. He couldn't stop himself from asking if Jeff was okay every few minutes as they made their way back to the lab.
-Dr. Andonut's Lab-
They had completely forgotten that the Instant Revitalizing Machine had been broken when the Starman DX's henchmen broke into the lab to kidnap Dr. Andonuts. "We just can't catch a break, can we?" Ness took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair. "Well, we have to head back to Onett anyway and I think that I can get us there if everyone is up for the trip." They nodded, ready to finally settle down.
Having used the very last of his psychic power to teleport the group, plus Tony to Onett, they headed straight for the hotel. Ness wanted to make sure he visited home while he was in town, but there was no way they were going to make it even that much further. The group was worn to the bone from the most recent leg of their journey and Jeff especially needed to rest.
When they checked in, Ness paid for two rooms. One for himself, Paula and Poo and one for Tony and Jeff. He knew without asking that the two of them would want some time alone before they headed back out into the world on their separate paths. While Tony helped Jeff up to their room, Ness called Mach Pizza and put in a large order. He was tired, but he was also starving.
Tony sat down next to Jeff on the edge of the bed. They sat in silence for a moment before Tony wrapped his arms round his friend and pulled him close. Jeff rested his head on Tony's shoulder and clung onto the bottom of his shirt. There was so much he wanted to say to Tony, but he was so tired. He closed his eyes and started to drift off as he heard a quiet knock on the door. Tony pulled away slowly and he was barely able to keep himself siting upright.
He was suddenly less tired as he smelled the pizza Tony was carrying in. Before he could say out loud how hungry he was, Jeff's stomach rumbled. Tony smiled and sat the pizza on the end of the bed. He helped Jeff scoot back, resting against the headboard before grabbing the pizza and napkins and settling in beside him.
"You should eat." He handed a piece on a napkin over to his friend and grabbed a piece for himself. He also had so many things that he wanted to say, but his friend had such a long, hard day and he didn't want to risk making it any worse. They ate in a somewhat awkward silence.
"Do you want a shower before we sleep?" Tony put the leftover food away and was helping Jeff remove his jacket. Jeff hoped that Tony wouldn't notice his blush.
"Um.. Yeah, I feel a lot better now, thanks." Their hands touched as they both went to unbutton the top of his shirt. Tony smiled and let him take over while he sat down on the floor and undid Jeff's laces.
Tony always took such good care of him. He helped him prepare for his adventure and even before that, he made sure he didn't forget to eat when he got caught up in an experiment or that he didn't walk into a tree while reading on the go. Jeff closed his eyes for a moment, thinking how utterly lost he would be without his best friend and how glad he was to have him back, if only for the night.
Only for tonight... Jeff thought to himself that he couldn't just waste his only night with his friend by sleeping. If the battle with the Starman DX was any indication, things were only going to get more dangerous. What if he didn't make it next time?
As Tony dropped his shoes to the ground and sat next to him on the bed again, Jeff opened his eyes. They stared at each other for a moment, Jeff not wanting to make the first move for fear that he had been wrong about their relationship all along. He didn't want to lose Tony as a friend.
He didn't worry for too long before Tony smiled at him again, reaching his hand out timidly. He ran his fingers too lightly across Jeff's cheek, causing his to sigh and lean into it. It was a different kind of touch than they had ever shared before. There was no question anymore.
Jeff leaned forward, sliding his eyes closed as he felt the hand pull away. He was confused, but then felt his glasses being pulled off. He squinted, vision focusing enough to see Tony closing them before dropping them gently on the floor.
He laughed a little to himself as he met Tony half way, noses brushing together before their lips met for the first time. He could feel Tony's smile against his lips and wondered if Tony could feel his. He was lost in feeling, not sure if he was smiling on the outside or not, but he was definitely smiling on the inside.
They moved together, both breathing and sighing, both so content. Tony curled his fingers into Jeff's messy hair, pulling him closer. Jeff leaned in, balancing himself on a hand he moved to Tony's thigh.
Tony stiffened slightly, relocating the hand in Jeff's hair to rest on the hand on his leg as he pulled back slowly. Jeff blinked, trying to lean in further to regain contact, but Tony had scooted too far away.
Jeff opened his eyes, confused and scared that he had done something wrong. He was only mildly comforted by the small, reassuring smile on his friend's face. "Jeff..." He spoke as he caressed the fingers beneath his. "I've been waiting for this for so long."
"...But?" Jeff could tell that there was a 'but' coming. He almost didn't want to know.
"But," Tony's smile faded. "What you're doing right now, this great adventure, is bigger than us. It's important and I don't want to mess it up."
He knew that Tony was right, but he didn't like it. It was so unfair that he had to sacrifice everything when he'd only just figured out what 'everything' was. He nodded, understanding but still pouting as he laid down on the bed.
His friend scooted himself down alongside Jeff, his hand resting gently on the small waist beside him. "I we were to..." Tony's eyes widened a little suggestively. "I'd never want to leave you. It's already too hard to do, but this isn't my mission. All I can do is keep waiting."
Jeff blinked tears from his eyes, not wanting to show Tony how upset he was. "Will you?"
Wiping away a small tear that still managed to escape, Tony smiled. "Always."