Chapter 13: Andrew/Ryan (2)

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"Don't go."

Andrew turned. Ryan stood in the hallway, his eyes pleading. Then Ryan approached him and wrapped him up in those arms.

"I'm sorry," Ryan said into Andrew's hair. It felt nice, and Andrew closed his eyes. "I wish I could do the whole coming out thing right now. I just... can't. I can't do it now. I don't want you to leave but I guess... I guess I understand if you don't want to wait for me to be ready."

A sob hitched against Andrew's chest.

Andrew squeezed back as much as he could. "I'm in no rush."

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It was a long time before Ryan let Jacky go. A long time. Made longer by how much he wanted to hold onto this moment. He'd almost expected some harsh response from Jacky. Why should Jacky have to wait for Ryan to get his life together? But the fact that Jacky was willing to wait made Ryan's chest hurt, in a good way.

And then Jacky started moving his hand up and down Ryan's back, and Ryan had his nose right in Jacky's sweatshirt and his cheek up against Jacky's neck and Ryan wanted to just kiss him, to see what that smooth skin felt like on his lips.

He couldn't bring himself to do it.

He didn't know what it was, exactly. Maybe somewhere deep inside, Ryan still hoped he wasn't gay, and actually kissing a boy would prove that he was. Maybe he just wanted his first kiss to be face-to-face, in the sun, when he and Jacky were both smiling, so that he could look back and remember it as something good rather than something he sought out for comfort. It didn't seem fair to Jacky to kiss him when he couldn't even admit that he wanted Jacky to be his boyfriend.

So reluctantly he restrained himself, even though he hugged Jacky for a long, long time, and then, he released him and stepped back and wiped at his eyes.

"Thanks," he said.

Jacky looked at him steadily. "No problem." He turned to leave again, then looked back. "You're okay?"

"Yeah," Ryan said, and finally he was able to smile.

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Author's Note: What do you think?  Should Andrew wait for Ryan to come out?  

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