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Jason Fox Comes Out

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Before New Year’s, Jason and Theo had two more webcam sessions, and they made Jason miss Theo even more. He knew the next two weeks were going to be hell.

New Year’s would be fun, though, because Marcus came over to spend the night. They’d spent most New Year’s together since they were kids because neither of them really had anywhere else to go. It made for a nice tradition, almost akin to watching the ball drop for everyone else.

Jason could tell his mother was a little wary of saying Marcus could sleep in Jason’s room, but she must have talked herself into it being okay. It’s not like anything would happen; as far as his parents knew the only guy in the house who liked guys was him. Besides, he was with Theo, and they knew that.

Jason and Marcus were in the middle of rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Jason could tell that Marcus wanted to ask him something. Jason knew that the longer Marcus waited, the bigger the question would be. Finally, Marcus got around to it. “You don’t have any porn, right?”

“What? No.”

Marcus looked disappointed. “Really?”

“Yeah. Wasn’t into sex, remember?”

“Right.” Marcus rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “Really?”

“Really.” Jason looked at Marcus sideways, not sure what Marcus was going for. “Peter may still have some from when he lived here.” Peter, unimaginative fool, had always kept his magazines under his mattress and in the bottom of his desk drawer. Jason only knew this from when he was looking for anything else to use for blackmail. But, if he had any videos, those were kept in better places because Jason hadn't found any.

“That’s okay.”

“Why?”

“No reason. Just…”

Jason hated the twenty-questions game. “Marcus, you’ve been weird all night. What’s going on?”

Marcus took a deep breath. “Remember the other day, when we kissed, and I said it didn’t mean anything?”

Jason’s stomach began to hurt. “Yes…”

“I lied. I told you I like guys because I hoped you did, too, and that we could, you know. Be together.”

“Oh, God.” Jason’s heart didn’t just trip over itself, it did a long-jump and fell flat on its back.

“I’m sorry.” Marcus looked like he was in pain.

“Don’t be. It’s just… you know I’m with Theo.”

“Yeah.” Marcus said that petulantly, and Jason didn’t like it.

“What does that mean?”

“It’s just. The timing of this is all screwed up.”

“How?”

Marcus frowned. “It took me realizing that I had feelings for you to make me realize I was bi.” He stood and started to pace around Jason’s room. “But I knew that you didn’t have any interest in sex, for whatever reason, you were just terrified of girls and I had no reason to suspect you were into guys. And then you get to college, we’re separated for a freaking month and not only do you finally realize what I might have guessed, that you were so far in the closet even you didn’t know it, you get a boyfriend. And you’re all googlie-eyed over him, like Peter is for Denise, and I have to wonder what could have happened if I had just had the guts to say something to you any time before school. That maybe, if I had confessed to you, you’d think about it for a bit and then realize that yeah, you were into guys, too. But I didn’t, and now you’re happy and I have no one, I’m just by myself. The people I’ve been with haven’t meant anything because I’m in fucking love with you and have been for so long.”

Marcus was almost snarling now, his upper lip twisted unpleasantly. Jason stood so he didn’t feel so small while Marcus was so angry. Was he angry? Was he just hurt? “Marcus, I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”

“That makes it sound like my sexuality was on a string for you to pull. But it wasn’t because I realized I’m gay. Theo coming along was damn convenient, but I doubt you coming up to me one day and confessing how you felt was going to make a difference. It took events at school, and you weren’t there.”

“I know. It’s just frustrating.” Marcus’s lip evened out, and he just looked dejected. “I just. It hurts. Knowing you’re with someone else after all this time.”

“Well, it’s not like I knew you harbored any feelings towards me, or boys.” Jason replayed Marcus’s outburst in his head. “You love me?” Marcus looked away as he nodded slowly. “Like, love love?”

Marcus waited a second, then nodded again. “You’ve meant so much to me, all our lives. And you were just so weird and I liked it, and I knew you didn’t really talk to a lot of people, so you were just kind of all mine.”

Jason sat back down in his desk chair heavily. This was huge. Huger than huge. Peter’s idea of a club sandwich kind of huge. Marcus just confessed he loved him, and he loved him because he felt some sort of claim? This was beyond weird. The ten-year-old still in him wanted to check for paranormal activity. The eighteen-year-old he was was just horrendously confused. Confused because he remembered feeling hurt that Marcus had gone to another school. Hurt that Marcus had a date. Marcus was always on his mind, no less now after the confession the other night. “I. Um. I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. You’re with Theo, and from the way it sounds he really likes you.”

Jason managed to smile at the thought of Theo and how much Jason seemed to mean to him. But then the seriousness of the situation came back, and he felt his smile fade. “And I like him.” Jason took a deep breath. “When we kiss, it’s just, I dunno. It’s like nothing else matters. It’s just me and him and all I want to do is keep doing it. It’s like it’s almost more important than anything else.”

Marcus raised an eyebrow. “More important than getting off?”

“…Yeah. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s how I feel.”

“No, that’s cool. I guess maybe I’ve just never had that happen before.” Marcus came back over to his chair next to Jason and sat down. “So, you’ve never thought about me?”

“I think about you all the time. I mean, how I was going to tell you, and what you were going to say or do, and I talk about you all the time with Theo. You’re my best friend.”

“Yeah.” Marcus smiled sadly. “Did you like it, the other night?”

“What, kissing?”

“Yeah.”

“It was…” Incredibly unexpected. Fascinating. “Weird.”

“Yeah.” Marcus looked around the room, and Jason knew he was preparing to say something else. “You know how much faith we put in science?” Jason nodded, not sure why Marcus was phrasing it as a question. “What if I were to suggest we experiment with how it feels like to kiss?”

“Why?”

“Because my… feelings… for you have no basis in physical reality. If we kissed and it sucks and there’s no chemistry, it will make moving on that much easier for me.”

“What if it doesn’t suck?” Jason wondered if he looked as worried as Theo normally did.

“We won’t know until we try.” Marcus clearly picked up on how reluctant Jason was, and shot him their equivalent of puppy dog eyes. There was somehow a degree of pain in the expression. “Please?”

“If you weren’t my best friend…” And if I weren’t suddenly really curious…

They leaned into each other, and Jason watched Marcus lick his bottom lip. He stifled a groan, and hated himself that this was happening at all. He was with Theo. He was happy with Theo. He missed Theo. …Theo wasn’t here

The press of Marcus’s lips proceeded to force all thoughts of Theo out of Jason’s mind. Kissing Marcus was absolutely nothing like kissing Theo. Marcus started fast, and hard, without the warming up, however brief, that Theo gave him. Jason returned the kiss, stroked Marcus’s tongue with his own, and before long he was completely into it. One of Marcus’s hands tugged on his hair, guiding his head where he wanted it. The kiss deepened and it felt better and Marcus moaned like Jason had actually done something.

He reached out to Marcus, trying to touch, and for right now just gripping his t-shirt in a fist was enough. He wanted to get closer and he wanted to feel and he wanted to taste even more. But he got distracted by the way Marcus licked along his jaw. And then he was totally distracted by the way Marcus suddenly surged into his lap, the hand pulled on Jason’s hair guiding him up. Marcus’s tongue was in his mouth again, and everywhere they touched there was energy and heat.

Marcus started grinding his hips against Jason, and reality came back to him. Reality shocked Jason into stilling, into pulling back, but it was already too late because Marcus was panting against the side of his head and riding him in too purposeful a manner. Jason tried to push him off but Marcus held him too tightly.

Even though Jason didn’t want to, he couldn’t help but groan along with Marcus when his friend came, couldn’t fight the urge to rub his back as he twitched. When Marcus seemed to reach equilibrium, he shakily got to his feet and scrubbed a hand through his hair, looking everywhere but at Jason.

This was really bad. Jason tried to take stock of just how bad it was. For starters, he and Marcus had just had a pretty hot make out session. There was no way Jason could deny that; he’d started getting hard, and until Marcus had come on too strong he’d have been happy to keep going. Marcus had somehow reached orgasm, and even though Jason had tried to push him away, it was still sort of hot. It was Marcus, and even though he was with Theo, maybe some part of his mind still thought about Marcus. And wondered.

Marcus interrupted Jason’s pondering. “I need to go.” He walked over to where his bag was, his steps awkward.

Jason stood and caught Marcus’s forearm. “Don’t.”

“But I just-”

“It’s okay.”

“But I. I don’t even know what that was, I just couldn’t help myself because you’re a really good kisser and I’ve wanted this for what feels like forever.” Marcus’s eyes were definitely filling with tears as he spoke.

“I liked it.”

“You… What?”

“I liked it. I liked kissing you.”

“Really?”

“Yes. It was different. But it was nice.”

“…But not ‘magical.’” Marcus blinked, then wiped away his tears.

Was it? Jason flipped through his memories of making out with Theo, of the first time Theo kissed him, and the first time he kissed Theo… There had been something there, more than just the novelty of his first time, more than just the way it felt to kiss, he assumed. Had he felt that with Marcus? There was a certain amount of spark, or whatever word applied best, and it had felt good and been fun, but… “I’m sorry, I really am, but. No. It wasn’t like how it was with Theo. I. I love you like a friend, but that’s it.” It hurt so much to say, because it was true and because of the way Marcus’s face fell.

“I’m sorry. For everything.” Marcus pulled his back onto his shoulder. “I need to go.”

“Please stay?”

“Are you sure? I have the distinct impression I just fucked up our friendship in an irreparable way.”

“No, you didn’t. We just need to get past this awkward phase.”

“Maybe.”

Jason and Marcus examined each other, Jason looking for any signs that Marcus was going to bolt from the room, Marcus maybe looking for signs that Jason would hit him or run or confess his undying love. Jason had no intention of doing any of those things. What he felt like doing was going to sleep because suddenly he was exhausted.

“You’re staying, right?”

Marcus kept looking at him, then nodded slowly. “Okay.”

“Then let’s finish the movie.” Jason gestured to his computer, and Marcus followed his cue when he sat down.

“Lemme just…” Marcus got up and rummaged through his bag for pajama pants, then ran to the bathroom. Jason sighed, hating how weird all of this was, but tried not to grimace when Marcus got back. They watched the rest of the movie in silence, then they got ready for bed.

Jason was horrendously self-conscious when he changed into his pajamas.

Though Jason had been tired earlier, now he couldn’t sleep, even though he had the bed and Marcus was on the floor. Maybe it was because Marcus was there, three feet away, and Jason knew that right now Marcus might be thinking about him, thinking about kissing him and making him come and loving him. It freaked Jason out. He couldn’t tell if Marcus was asleep or not. He voted no.

Jason rolled over so his back was to Marcus, and he tried to will his mind to slow down so he could sleep. He couldn’t stop replaying the night, from dinner and video games and the movies to Marcus making out with him. He had liked it, but maybe that was only because he hadn’t gotten to touch Theo in two weeks and he missed it. Missed Theo. And so what, maybe he did sort of think Marcus was attractive, but he’d been best friends with Marcus forever, surely it was just that. Platonic admiration trying to insist there was more between them. Did it work that way? He didn’t know.

Right now, he felt, for the first time in his whole life, that he didn’t know anything.

~*~*~*~

The next morning Jason woke up very conscious of the fact that he needed to pee, and thus was partially erect. He hoped Marcus wasn’t awake. He turned over and thankfully Marcus was still asleep. Jason got up and relieved himself, and when he returned to his room, Marcus was awake and looking at him.

“Hey. Sleep well?”

“Your floor feels exactly the same as it always has. Just a little bit smaller.” Marcus was two inches taller than Jason, and was maybe still growing.

“Breakfast?”

“Absolutely.”

Jason pulled on his bathrobe and went downstairs, and Marcus, fully dressed, arrived a minute later. Usually Marcus ate in his pajamas, too, but Jason didn’t want to comment on anything that would make them have to talk about the previous night.

Ever again.

Things were still awkward. There was a tension between them that Jason didn’t like, but he didn’t know what to do about it. Marcus was his best friend and while he liked kissing him, he didn’t like it enough to be with him. He didn’t desire Marcus more than he desired Theo.

After breakfast, they watched a movie, then Marcus had to leave to get things together at home to go back to school. They didn't say anything about last night, and Jason didn't know if that was good or not. He paced around the house, driving his mother crazy if her heavy exasperated sighs were any indication. He just couldn’t believe he couldn’t wait for Paige to get back from Nicole’s so he could talk to her.

Sex had definitely complicated his life. A teeny part of him wished he’d never gotten involved with his hormones in the first place.

~*~*~*~

A few hours later Paige angrily flounced into the house while Jason was lying on the couch and watching the annual Twilight Zone marathon on TV. “Mother!!” Their mom went to the kitchen, where Jason could hear Paige opening the fridge.

“What’s wrong, Paige?”

“Nicole is engaged!!” Jason heard the sound of a soda can being slammed onto the table.

“Paige, don’t dent the tabletop.” It was sad that that was not the first warning his mom had ever had to give his sister. “Now, why is it bad that Nicole is engaged?”

“Because she’s engaged! She’s going to be married and I can’t even find a guy who will call me back after a first date!”

“How long has she known him?”

“They started going out junior year, so like two years. They were in some club together, and they had a class or two together… it’s just not fair!”

“Can’t you be happy for your friend?”

Paige sort of growled. “I will be. I just need to get over the shock that my best friend is getting married.”

Jason listened to his mom and sister talk for a while longer, and Paige eventually seemed to calm down. At least, there were no more warnings not to damage the furniture. He was glad, because he needed to talk to her and he didn’t want to do it when she was vexed about Nicole. Nicole had always done better than Paige when it came to guys, and she should be used to it.

Finally Paige wandered through the living room, and Jason was able to ask her, “Can I talk to you?”

As expected, Paige blinked in surprise. “About what?”

“It’s about Marcus.”

“You’ve never needed to talk to me before. And definitely not about Marcus.” She cocked her head at him, from what he could tell from his viewpoint, and looked at him expectantly.

“Well, it’s sort of about Marcus, in relation to Theo, and I need to talk about it with someone.”

Paige’s eyes widened. “Did something happen?”

Jason sat up and turned off the TV. “Can we talk upstairs?” Paige nodded, and Jason led her to his room. He sat on his bed so he could lean against the headboard, and in an uncharacteristically sororal gesture, Paige sat on the foot of his bed.

Paige stared at him as he tried to focus his thoughts. “Spill, nerd.”

“Something happened last night. Um. I.” Jason picked at his jeans, at a loss for words for one of the few times in his life. He looked up into Paige’s eyes, and he was surprised to see encouragement in them. Maybe graduating college and trying to find a real job really did make you mature. He’d have to get used to this older, wiser, kinder Paige. And use her. “Marcus and I made out.”

He wasn’t sure what he expected Paige to do, but he didn’t expect her to hit his leg with her fist. “What do you mean? Aren’t you with Theo? Since when does Marcus kiss boys?”

Jason mumbled, “There was more than kissing,” and hoped Paige didn’t hear. “Marcus is bi, and he told me a few days ago. Apparently he’s liked me for like the last year, and just hadn’t wanted to say anything because he knows like you do that I wasn’t into sex stuff, and then last night he told me he loved me and he wanted to know if there was any chemical or physical reality to it or if it was just a mental construct he’s been enforcing so he asked to kiss me and we did.” He paused to breathe.

Paige looked like she wanted to hit him again. But she didn’t. “Wow. It’s been a long week for you.”

Jason grinned in what he assumed was a sickly manner based on Paige’s reaction. “It really has.”

“Well… did you like kissing Marcus?”

“Yes and no.” Paige waited while he thought about what he wanted to say. “It was new and different and exciting because of that. And he is my best friend, so it seemed quote-on-quote right in a way.”

“But?”

“But… he’s not Theo.” Jason couldn’t stop another of those sickly grins, but at least this one was a bit happier.

“So you still like Theo.”

“Yeah. Maybe more than like.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know. I just know that I miss him and I want to hold him. But then Marcus had to come on to me and he came on me and told me he loved me and now I don’t know what to do.” Jason picked at imaginary lint on his other leg.

“Back up. He does mean love like ‘you complete him’ kind of love.” Jason nodded. “And he came on to you, kissing you, even though he asked first.” Jason nodded again. “And did you say he… came on you?” Jason stared at his knees and nodded a third time. “Now that you’ve said it, you have to clarify. Though I’m terrified of the answer.”

“There’s not much to tell. He was so turned on just by the kissing and everything he rubbed against me and reached climax. I tried to push him away once I realized what he was doing, but it was too late. And I didn’t really mind it, if I weren’t with anyone else I probably would have liked it a lot. But…”

“But you’re with Theo and you totally cheated on him.”

“But I didn’t come.”

“Let’s not get into details about your coming, okay? Other than I have to ask what you’ve done with Theo just to put all of this in perspective.” Paige winced, clearly afraid about what Jason may tell her.

Jason had to grin, and he didn’t think it was too sickly this time. “We’ve gone beyond that, so it’s not like last night was my first time.”

“I don’t know whether to be glad for you or grossed out about the idea of you fooling around with someone.” Paige raised one eyebrow.

“You can be glad. It’s fun.”

“Eww!” Paige grimaced, but Jason could tell she was just trying to be funny. “So, back to Marcus. What exactly are you bothered by?”

“I don’t want to hurt Marcus, and of course I must have, and I feel bad about it. But I am with Theo, whom I really like. He’s my first in everything and he accepts me and really likes me, and I could never hurt him. But I think I need to tell him what happened. It’s bad if I don’t, right?” Jason chewed on his lower lip.

Paige looked thoughtful. “If I were Peter, I’d tell you to never tell Theo and hope he never ever finds out. But, I’m a girl and thus can’t give you terrible advice like that. I say tell him, because sooner or later he’s probably going to meet Marcus and he’s going to need to know. Does he know anything about Marcus?”

“He knows we’re best friends and really close. And once he asked if Marcus was gay. Maybe he was concerned about us.”

“It’s good he knows you’re friends, this way it will maybe make it easier to tell him. But you really do have to tell him, Jason.” Paige scrunched up her eyebrows. “You guys have too good a thing going, in general and for each other, than for things to get screwed up by a lie.”

“But.” Jason swallowed, afraid to even say the words. “What if he doesn’t understand? What if he’s upset, or angry, or wants to break up?”

Paige patted his leg. “Do the crime, do the time. Consequences. You should have asked yourself these things before you and Marcus did what you did. You said he asked you, you could have told him no.”

“But I didn’t want to…”

“That’s an entirely different issue. But, you don’t have feelings for Marcus, right?”

“Not really. Just friends. I love him more like a brother.”

“’Not really’?”

“If I weren’t with Theo, if Theo didn’t make me feel so good in general and about myself and everything, yeah, maybe I’d want to be with Marcus. But right now I don’t. I want to be with Theo.”

“Well, it sounds like you know what you want, and you know what you have to do about it. That’s good. I hope Theo understands, or at least forgives, and I bet he will if he likes you as much as you say he does. I’m just sorry things have gotten so weird for you.”

“It sucks.”

“Relationships do that. Sex does that. Sometimes things are great, and other times you just want to give up on everything and join a convent.” Paige looked at him critically. “Or a monastery.”

“I’m too new to all this to give up on it yet.”

“I’ve just been a woman scorned too many times. Story of my life.”

“I heard you talking to mom about Nicole.”

Paige screeched. “Nicole! Married! Why me?”

“Shouldn’t you be saying ‘why her’?”

“No! I’ll be their third wheel!”

“She’s one of your best friends still. You should be happy for her.”

“That’s what Mom said.”

“We’re right.”

“Whatever, nerd.”

Jason smiled slightly, and Paige smiled back. “Thanks for talking to me, and giving me advice.”

“I was happy to do it. I have no problem with you liking boys, I actually find it refreshing after always talking to girls about boys. This is better. And Peter isn’t going to be any help.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s also obvious you like Theo, and since you have no idea what to do in relationships, you need help. I don’t want to see you crash and burn your first time out.”

They chatted a while longer, until Paige had to help their mother get dinner ready. Paige’s culinary skills had increased greatly from her disastrous attempts in high school. Jason was glad to have her out of his room; talking had been kind of nice, but he still didn’t want the place getting too infested with girl-cooties. But she had given good advice.

He’d talk to Theo, and he’d tell him everything.

He just hoped Theo would understand.