Basically Ash stays round and him and Stefan kiss, just for an experiment!!
Later on in the night, at around midnight, the two boys sat once again side by side on the bunk bed, talking, laughing and gossiping about other people in their schools and how much they hated them. Stefan had no idea how much gossip Ashley had all along and he was shocked at some of the things he told him: apparently the P.E teacher made out with students; one girl called Chelsey Watson had been pregnant twice and had an abortion both times; and the Head Teacher was sleeping with the Deputy Head.
He had no idea if Ashley was telling the truth or not, since a lot of the stuff seemed like rubbish, but if it were true then Stefan wouldn't be the least bit surprised knowing the school's around London. Sometimes he could swear he was the only decent kid in school. But anyway, he didn't have as much juicy information as Ashley did because he tended to keep himself to himself at school, but there was one thing he had found out about Jamie Kingston and Jake Parks, which he would bring up later.
Ashley shoved a handful of Cheetos into his mouth and swallowed them almost whole, whilst Stefan gulped down his chocolate fudge brownie milkshake, watching Ashley as he did so. To his dismay, he still couldn't keep his eyes off oh him, he had no intentions to stop glancing back at him now and again because in all honesty, he felt happy when he could see him. Was this what love felt like? If so, he still wasn't sure whether he liked it or not. Sometimes he felt really happy and higher than the clouds, like when they were hugging and whenever Ashley joked around with him or when they were genuinely getting along, like now; but other times he felt trapped and ashamed, he knew he could tell nobody about his crush so he would bury it under the carpet and move on.
They had given up on video games and were now watching Bambi, the only film that could bring a tear to Ashley's eye whilst Stefan cried over every little thing in every film. They had tissues in front of them at the ready though because there was no doubt they would cry. Stefan probably would of choked up by now if he wasn't so distracted by every little thing his best friend did. He was even mesmerised when Ashley sighed or ran his fingers through his hair; it was wrong to be attracted to someone this much, surely. He could hardly hear his own thoughts over the sound of his heart beating, desperately trying to escape and pour itself out to Ashley, telling him things Stefan didn't want him to know.
He watched carefully as Ashley ran his tounge along his bottom lip before chucking a polo in his mouth, licking his lips and swallowing when he had done so. He could of sworn that Ashley was doing this on purpose. He didn't know quite how to react to the feelings coursing through his body. Sure he had felt this way before, but not for a guy and certainly not for him.
The tempation was back again. The one to hug him, to hold him, to kiss him or even to just touch him. And the dreaded moment came when Stefan was one hundred percent sure he was in love with Ashley and there was nothing he could do about it apart from try to forget. Carefully, he looked sideways at Ashley and allowed his eyes to travel along his cheekbones for a minute, he was torturing himself, yes, but he was also giving him a sense of relief, just looking at him made it one hundred times better. He knew better than to keep the silence going in this uncomfortable situation, so Stefan bought his thoughts back to the gossip he had on the two boys at school.
"So, I know something funny about these two guys at school," Stefan began, chuckling as he said so, "wanna know?"
Ashley nodded: "Course! What did they do?" he laughed. Stefan's heart melted. He wanted to be with him. He wanted to be sick. He cleared his throat and retrieved his words.
"Well, these two kids called Jamie and Jake... yeah they experimented with each other... you know, to see if they were gay." he explained, nodding at Ashley's surprised eyebrow raise. Wow. Even his eyebrows were amazing. Stefan sighed. Ashley laughed.
"Oh my God, really?" he said, smiling mischeiviously at Stefan, who automatically felt low. He had laughed. Did that mean he found it disgusting? That he was against boys liking boys? He nodded.
"Yeah... its true, they're not though. How awkward must that have been?" Stefan tried a laugh too, ignoring the fact that Ashley's eyes were lingering on him as he spoke. His throat seemed to seize up and as Ashley leant forward as he laughed, Stefan felt an unmissable shock wave crash through his navel.
"Too right! Did they... do it?" he wondered, laughing away as he nibbled at a cocktail sausage. Stefan laughed before shaking his head and taking a sausage for himself.
"Nah, they just kissed and stuff. They're kinda brave though I guess..." Stefan wondered how it must feel, making out with someone of the same sex: feeling those similar lips move against his and knowing that the desire they felt was identical to his own; feeling guilty enough to want to stop but feeling good enough not to. It would be so different but he was intruiged. Especially as he looked at Ashley, who was clueless of his best friend's thoughts.
"Its a good idea though. Y'know, just to see if you're straight. Better to find out at a young age, right?" Ashley said matter-of-factly. Stefan nodded in agreement but this conversation was starting to make him feel a little uncomfortable. But only because it made him realize how much he wanted to kiss Ashley. He wanted to kiss him all night. Just that. Just kiss. And to hold him until they fell asleep. It sounded ridiculous even in his own mind but its what he wanted. Kissing him now was almost irresistable. Before Stefan could reply, Ashley spoke again: "imagine if we did that, how awkward right? Ha ha..."
Stefan couldn't say anything straight away, he could only wait while the disappointment and annoyance washed over him and faded down. He just stared at him and nodded blindly. Why would it be awkward? Surely if he felt this way then everything would be perfect and Ashley would feel this spark too? And then Ashley would know what it was like to desire someone who you shouldn't desire. He bit his lip and looked down, completely uninterested in the film. He couldn't care less about Bambi's mum. But he did see Ashley with a tear in his eyes as he stared at the screen and saw the way he kept looking away to distract himself from the sadness he was feeling.
"Aww, is somebody upset?" Stefan chuckled, feeling his heart beat faster as Ashley laughed and shook his head, looking slightly embaressed. Probably because Stefan was always the one to cry first and Ashley was made out to be the more 'manly' one who laughed at Stefan. It was actually weird seeing him cry first but he knew it was because he was clearly feeling very sensitive tonight.
"Nah, I'm fine..." Ashley laughed and wiped his eyes discreetly. Surely he could feel the same spark, or whatever it was that Stefan was feeling. It was heavy in the room, it was pulsing through him, invading his thoughts and infecting his blood.
"Ash..." Stefan began, knowing that soon enough he'd have to bring up a conversation about what he was going through. He just had to talk about it, but not directly: "do you ever get scared about that?"
"About what?" Ashley wondred, eyes still on the the telly screen, "my mum dying? Definitely not. Dont care what happens to her really." Stefan smirked and shook his head.
"Nah, about being.... well, about your sexuality..." he continued, avoiding eye contact completely with Ashley. He hoped he would say yes and admit he was in the same black hole as him and then they could work it out together. But of course, it wouldn't be that way. They were in totally seperate boats. Ashley shrugged.
"Not really. I mean, I'm kinda going out with Melissa I guess... but maybe i'm too young to know... you know?" He looked at Stefan before eating another sausage and drinking some of his own milkshake. Stefan licked his lower lip in anticipation and nodded.
"Yeah, I know... but like, don't you ever think you could be... gay?" he enquired nervously, he voice shaking a little. Ashley continued to wipe away another tear and shrugged.
"I really dont think so. I feel straight anyway, if that makes sense." Ashley replied. Stefan stared at him, getting a little fustrated at himself as well as his best friend. Wasn't he getting the hint? He wanted to tell him without actually telling him. But he nodded despite this and shrugged a little. Ashley spoke again: "why are you asking about it anyway?"
Stefan froze again, his hands clasped together and his eyes on the duvet beneath him. He didn't know what to say now. It wasn't that easy to say 'well, I think i'm in love with you and would it be ok if we kissed just to test?'. So instead he shrugged again. He could feel Ashley's supicious eyes on him. Oh no. He felt the pressure heavy on his shoulders and the atmosphere becaome full of tension. Ashley poked Stefan's cheek twice, making Stefan's head shoot up, their eyes meeting. He felt undermined and scared. His voice had been stolen away and he was left staring at Ashley like an idiot.
"Ohhhh, I see whats going on here..." Ashley said, a cheeky smile on his face. Stefan felt panic set in and automatically shook his head. How did he know? He couldn't know. But he wanted him to know. But he didn't. He was so confused. Maybe Ashley would tell him he had feelings for him and maybe he would kiss him and they would hold each other all night until the sun came up and... yeah, he was pushing his luck just a little.
"What... what do you mean?" he chuckled to hide his fear, looking right down to Ashley couldn't see the truth in his eyes.
"You're curious aren't you? You wanna know what its like?" He raised his eyebrows at Stefan, who finally looked up at him, feeling his heart beat at a scary pace. He bit his lip and frowned a little, not sure what to do or say. He just stared at Ashley, who nodded slowley like he knew it all, giving him a jokey wink now and again. He had no idea what that really did to Stefan. All he could think to do was shrug, eyes maybe on Ashley too intently: "oh my God, seriously? I guess it is kinda fascinating... I mean, whats wrong with guys kissing guys? Nothing."
Stefan slowley nodded, once again looking down because the temptation increased when he looked at Ashley, it was better they didn't make eye contact. "I dunno, maybe thats it... Its just scary, like if I were... gay, then I would probably be teased and yeah... I dunno what i'm saying really."
"Well... Jamie and Jake are very brave lads," he laughed at himself, as usual, he was very vain. Soon enough, an uncomfortable silence settled in and they both avoided each other's gaze, both looking anywhere but at each other. Stefan felt a massive weight drop on his shoulders and wondered if Ashley felt it too. Maybe he did because he wasn't looking at Stefan at all. In fact, he looked down at his hands like he also had something on his mind.
"Uhmm..." Stefan started but Ashley interrupted him.
"So do you wanna... like..."
"What?" he looked up at Ashley, feeling hopeful.
"Maybe we should..."
"Since we're both at that age and... anything could happen?"
"Wait... are you saying that we should try... it out? Like... kiss?" Stefan wondered slowley and carefully, hoping he didn't get the completely wrong idea and that Ashley wouldn't burst out laughing and run home, never to be seen again. He set his lips in a straight line and they both finally looked at each other, their eyes meeting and not looking away. Stefan found it difficult to look away all the time anyway. But Ashley was clearly slightly awkward.
Shrugging, Ashley finally spoke: "I dunno, maybe? Just like a quick kiss... just to see what its like. To... experiment I guess." he folded his hands on his lap and nodded matter-of-factly the awkwardness leaving his words and slightly easing off the atmosphere. Now Stefan could tell Ashley felt more brave, he also felt less scared than he did before. But he also felt his insides dance around with happiness but the queasiness in his stomach stir a little in anticipation.
"Oh right. Maybe. It might be a good idea, yeah. Just a quick one?" Stefan said just to make sure, not wanting to make a fool of himself in such a situation. Ashley nodded immediatley, making Stefan's heart sink. Just a quick one. Great. That meant that he would be given a small taster of what kissing Ashley would be like and he would be left to wonder what it would be like to carry it on. Something to tease him and make him feel even worse. A small kiss would only make him want Ashley even more.
"But its not like it means anything because it really doesn't." Ashley said with a small chuckle in his voice. Stefan wondered what Ashley would do if he knew how much those simple words hurt him.
"Yeah, sure of course." Stefan said reassuringly, lying to himself. Ashley bit his lip but neither of them made a move. Stefan knew Ashley was only doing this to have a laugh and see how different it would be and maybe it was because of the suitable atmosphere. But Stefan was doing it because he wanted to. He just wanted to reassure himself that it was just a phase and of course it couldn't be love because he was young and Ashleys his best friend. It didn't add up. Eventually, they both looked into each other's eyes. Stefan's large, innocent brown eyes into Ashley's lighter, cheekier ones. Stefan's eyes shot down to Ashley's lips. Ashley kept his eyes on Stefan's. They both moved a little closer, Stefan feeling the room get hotter and his breathing become deeper, his heart hammering against the inside of his chest. This felt so right. He had been waiting for this for longer than he remembered. But nerves were fighting to take over, yet Stefan held them back. He still wasn't sure what to do with his hands once they kissed. Probably nothing or Ashley would freak out completely. Stefan's lips parted slightly and he couldn't help but allow his eyes to drift closed, Ashley doing the same. He moved closer again, becoming dizzy and a little light headed. In a few seconds he would be kissing Ashley Horne. It still hadn't sunken in. He couldn't help but smile.
A life time later, their lips touched. It was a gentle, lingering touch of the lips... a hesitation on both parts as they touched, as if both were taking the time to memorize the feeling before they parted. Their lips moved slowley together, almost in a calm, rhythmatic motion. Stefan felt those sparks again, exploding as they kissed softly. Stefan was convinced that if Ashley zoomed deep enough into his eyes, behind the darkness of his lids, that he would see fireworks that matched the popping in his ears and the vivid flowing of his blood. Right then, he was pretty sure he didn't have any lungs. The most perfect kiss of his life. He never wanted it to end. But he knew he needed his lungs back.
Just before Stefan could rest his hand on his shoulder, Ashley slowley pulled away, frowning and glancing around, thankfully not looking uncomfortable. Stefan felt disappointment rush through him but neither of them moved further apart. Stefan eventually opened his eyes and sighed, in shock and disbelief at how blissful and perfect that kiss was. He wanted to do it again. It wasn't long enough.
"You know what, I dont think I can really tell... just from that..." Stefan thought it was worth a try. If Jake and Jamie did it then why shouldn't they? It would probably end up in an awkward silence and them sleeping as far away from each other as possible. Ashley looked back at him, his eyes a little confused. That kiss felt so right. And he was right, it made him want Ashley more than ever. Ashley didn't say anything. They just sat there in silence, their bodies closer than Stefan could remember them being before.
They didn't actually saying anything else. They didn't have to. Unexpectedly and suddenly, their lips touched again. But this time they didn't linger and they were far less nervous, although Stefan felt the fireworks renew once again. Their lips had parted and fitted perfectly against each other's. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. Stefan had been missing a peice for months now and as there lips moved together once more, he knew he had finally found it again. And the happiness that pulsed around his veins, mingling with his heated blood was overwhelming. This time, Stefan found the courage to placed his hand on Ashley's shoulder, once again feeling the sparks exploding where they came into contact. They moved closer and the kiss deepened considerably. Stefan felt his body fire up as Ashley kissed him willingly back, knowing Ashley didn't know what to do with his own hands either.
Stefan felt his heart violently beating against his rib cage, the silence pressing down on him, still unable to believe this was real life, that this wasn't a dream. It still kind of hurt that Ashley thought nothing of this, that it was just telling him what he already knew, that he was straight and he would never be interested in Stefan. Yet Stefan knew that these feelings for Ashley were far more than 'in the moment'. He could almost hear music in his head, making up the lyrics up as he went along because thats what he did best. Write songs with his situation. He would forget it almost immediatley but as their lips collided at that moment, he could think properly.
He didn't want to stop kissing him. Ever. This was unbelievably perfect and the music in his head was beginning to stop. Disappointment faded in, mixing with Stefan's happiness. He could just tell that Ashley had had enough and was beginning to feel slightly uneasy in the midst of their kiss. He heard Ashley smirk as he pulled away, jokily winking at Stefan as he flicked him on the head and sat back, his hands falling on his lap. The music in Stefan's head became sad.
Stefan's eyes just lingered on Ashley, waiting for him to say something. The atmosphere wasn't awkward. It was just full of tension. After a while, Ashley shrugged and shook his head, whilst Stefan bit his lip, biting back the tears of fustration.
"Nope," Ashley shrugged, "nothing-" he laughed out loud, "i'm definitely straight!" He patted Stefan on the knee and turned back to the telly as though nothing had happened, just watching the film again. Stefan briefly closed his eyes, trapping the tears behind his lids. Why did that happen? Every emotion seemed to fade out of Stefan, draining him of everything but disappointment and emptiness. He felt hollow and weak. And at that moment, he regretted every single second of the past few minutes. He was right. It made him want Ashley but gave him the realisation that he couldn't have him. Ashley was straight. Uninterested. That was completely thoughtless. Stefan wanted Ashley to go home so he could curl up and let the tears fall hard and drain him of even more emotion. If that were possible.
"I'm gonna go pee..." Stefan mumbled, his voice and eyes distant, his words empty. Ashley nodded, once again looking like nothing had happened. Because he wasn't the least bit affected by their kiss. He walked out the room, stumbling a little as he headed for the bathroom. He didn't need the toilet at all, he just needed to be alone. He walked into the bathroom and shut the door, leaning with his front against it, the side of his face pressed against the wood. His palms were bought up, also against the door and he tightly closed his eyes, a single tear escaping from beneath his eyelid, splashing onto the floor. He began sobbing quietly, his lips tightly pressed together. Stefan couldn't feel anything but the tears on his face and the door against his cheek and his palms. The waves of fear and regret and disappointment crashing over him violently, weighing him down, making him sink slowley to the floor, his bum touching the tiles and his knees bought up to his chest. His large hands covered his whole face and his nails dug deep into his forehead, his sobs becoming louder and his skinny body shaking almost uncontrollably. He couldn't take it anymore. He had cried far too much and he didn't want to do it anymore. But he had no other choice. He was in love with his best friend who was male and who would never return his feelings. And he was in love.
Gradually, Stefan lay down on his side, his eyes still screwed closed and his knees still touching his chest. He loved someone who was the same sex as him. His palm smacked against the cold tiles and his nails scratched along them. He whacked his hand against the floor again, the pain searing through his wrist, the tears forming a pool near his head on the floor. He sobbed harder, his body wracked with the tears that seemed to unstoppably pour out of his red eyes. He just wanted to scream out in the pain he was feeling inside. He wanted to hurt himself, bad, because thats what he deserved. Ashley had no idea what he had done to him. That one kiss had sent Stefan in a spiral of confusion and, now, depression. He bought his hands to his face and scratched his skin deeply, a stinging sensation left behind where his nails were. It hurt but it relieved the fustration. He did it again, slowley dragging his nails down his face, seeing blood beneath his nails when his eyes opened.
Stefan could just tell that they could make something even more perfect than merely a kiss. They could be happy. They were happy for those few minutes when their lips touched. But that was all a hopeful illusion that only Stefan felt. Ashley was probably thinking of the immensity of hilarity of the situation and wondering why Stefan was so eager. And thats why he regretted in so much at that moment, he knew Ashley was probably laughing about it in he bedroom, maybe phoning a friend in his acting class and laughing at the fact Stefan was so into the kiss and wondering why he was.
After a few minutes of sobbing his heart out, Stefan wiped his eyes and walked back into the bedroom, where Ashley was now lying on a blow up bed on the floor. It looked like Stefan had been crying for much longer than he imagined. Ashley grinned at him when he walked in, pulling his toy Pig, Mr. Snuggles, closer to him. Stefan nodded with a small smile on his face, hoping Ashley wouldn't question the length of his absence. He took an over sized grey hoodie from the floor and pulled it over his head, all the way trying to hide his teary eyes.
"I put on Forever Young by the way, its really cute." Ashley explained and tightened the covers up around him. Stefan climbed up onto the bed, just staring at where they had sat whilst kissing for a momet. He was almost over whelmed with the need to cry once more, although he wondered how it were possible after all the tears he shed in the bathroom. He lay down and pulled the duvet up almost over his head. He heard Ashley laughing at the film now and agan. Wondering how it was possible to forget what they had shared in such a short amount of time. When Stefan would never ever forget it. He put the hood up and covered his face with the sleeves of his jumper, feeling a little too warm but not caring. The tears began to fall again but he kept completley silent, desperate for Ashley not to suspect anything. He shook silently and closed his eyes again, wishing away the whole night, picturing the stars in the sky in his mind, he was outside. He was lying in the middle of the desert with his arms behind his head, and his eyes lightly closed. There were no problems in his life. Everything was perfect.