Back in high school, Dave was Leo's backbone. The duo were like peas in a pod, always together. They'd initially met in middle school through an unfortunate circumstance. Leo was even more fragile back then and unlike recently, he sucked at hiding his emotions.
His mates made fun of him for being so weak, not knowing that their taunts only made him weaker. The only friends he thought he had just claimed to have been his friends during lunch when they needed to pay for food. It was not hidden to everyone then that he was from a wealthy home, as his butler dropped him off in school in different luxurious cars. That only attracted the wrong kind of people, those only willing to feast on his money.
That was when Dave came along. The Dave Dawson then was the complete opposite of him. While Leo seemed lost and helpless, Dave exuded confidence and pride. So when Dave offered him a helping hand one very day during lunch, Leo was on cloud nine. From that day on, they became friends. Even though some people still picked on him for sticking to Dave like a pest, he didn't care, for he finally had someone to call his friend. Although Leo was no princess, he saw Dave as his prince charming.
They wanted to share their hopes and dreams. While Leo was still undecided on what he was going to become in the future, Dave had set his mind to be a barista. Even though it wasn't his own dream, Leo was super ecstatic. Then, he promised to buy a hundred cups of every type of coffee every day till he runs out of money.
He didn't know when he started to develop feelings for his best friend, but it was hard not to. Dave was always there for him, lending him a helping hand whenever he needed. He was nice, loving and protective of Leo. Hence, Leo having a crush on him. Only as time went by and Dave had numerous girlfriends, did he know that he was the only one seeing Dave that way and that Dave wasn't going to see him as he wanted him to.
It was hard. Pretending to not love someone when he really did was exhausting.
Watching Dave kiss girls was annoying and every time, he wished he was the one in that position instead of them. So as to not ruin their friendship, he decided to love him only from afar.
Although Leo might've wanted to kiss him so bad two years ago, but not anymore. Dave no longer made his heart flutter and he knew kissing him would've be utterly wrong.
"I can't do this," Leo said softly as he placed his palm on Dave's chest, keeping a distance back between them.
Dave looked hurt for a while but he took his cue to move away. Leo watched curiously as Dave stabbed his ice cream with the spoon.
Dave's presence confused Leo and his previous action only worsened it. For all he knew, Dave neither had those sort of feelings for him nor was he gay. So why he was wanting to kiss him made him confounded.
"Is it because of that guy?" Dave muttered lowly, not taking his eyes off the now melting cup of ice cream.
"Is it because of that guy?" he reiterated. "The one who made you cry."
His brows knitted in a frown, his anger starting to brew. "Why'd you assume that I was crying because of a guy?"
Dave scoffed bitterly and he looked up with evident anger in his eyes. "I'm not a fool Leo. I'm your best friend. I know you better than you know yourself."
Dave's words were getting him considerably angry. Raising a slender finger up, he corrected sternly, "you don't know me like you think you do."
"He doesn't deserve you. No guy who makes you cry deserves you."
"Okay, stop right there. Who are you to tell me who I cry over or who I should be with? If it isn't him then who? You?"
Leo let out a humourless laugh. "Do you know how many times you made me cry? Do you know how many times your words hurt me? Did you even care? You say you're my best friend, where were you when I needed you most. When I felt like the world was ganging up against me, where were you? When I lost it, you weren't there. Now you're speaking to me about this. I can cry over whoever I want to cry over but I promise you, you won't be the one again."
Dave tried to reach for Leo's hand but he swiftly moved it away. "I get it that I wasn't there for you and he was. But I'm here now, can't you just accept that?" Leo shook his head in reply so he added, leaning back, "you've changed."
Pinching the bridge of his nose hard, Leo shook his head vigorously. "Of course I've changed and so have you. Listen, I'm not the same Leo who went to high school with you. The lost boy who always tagged along wherever you went is no more. The one who had a mad crush on you but you refused to accept his feelings, that Leonardo is dead and never coming back. You accept that."
Either Dave was out of words or he just decided not to retort, he stayed silent. They were both lucky that they were the only ones in the café and the workers there didn't seem to have their time. Public arguments were things Leo detested, but Dave's words caused his outburst.
Leo stared at Dave who looked anywhere but him in disbelief, chest heaving against his crossed arms out of anger.
"You're not even gay, Dave," Leo muttered loudly in exasperation, rubbing his forehead to smoothen out the creases.
"I – I know."
"So why were you going to kiss me? Are you just trying to confuse me? Is this what you came for?"
Dave looked up at him and shook his head. "I told you I came here because I missed you, because I wanted to catch up on things with you. What else do you want to hear?"
"I don't believe you." Leo stood up and discarded the remaining contents of his cup in the bin. "Besides, we've done a lot of catching up. Let's just go home."
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Withdrawn | ✔Romance
One is in denial. The other is just embracing himself. • Leo Amell is desperate to change what he is: pushing people away and subduing himself to self contempt because of a formidable past that's still ingrained in his memory. But Ian Tomlinson is n...