After the park, they walk for a long time. Caleb has a shitty sense of direction, and Adam knows it, but he follows him around anyway, going nowhere in particular. Halfway between the bus stop and this shady looking convenience store, Caleb reaches out and takes his hand. He looks all nervous when he does it, which is sort of funny considering he can feel that Adam’s happy about it, right?
(Adam tries to focus on the happiness a little more, just to be sure).
“I missed your feelings,” Caleb says, in that way that he blurts things out without really meaning to. He clearly doesn’t know how to save himself, though, because he just keeps talking. “Like… being so close to them and… That sounds so fucking weird out loud. Sorry.”
“It sounds like you’re getting all mushy on me,” Adam says, nudging Caleb’s shoulder. “But you could still feel my emotions, right? I mean, we were at school together, even if we weren’t talking much.”
‘Not talking much’ might be an understatement. Before Caleb came along, Adam didn’t do much talking at all, to anyone. Then, all of a sudden, there’s was someone to talk to about practically everything. Turns out, Caleb’s a pretty good listener, and something about him makes Adam want to tell him things he’d never share with anyone else. The recent silence between them was… lonely.
“Yeah, but we were apart all summer. And… I like seeing your face when you feel things. Like the way you’re smiling right now.”
Adam’s free hand goes to his mouth, fingers pressed self-consciously to his lips. “Yeah, well, I missed your face, too.”
The truth is Adam missed everything about him. God, he’s in so deep. But it’s okay, because he trusts Caleb, trusts that he feels the same way, even if Adam can’t read his emotions like words off a page.
He spends a lot of time thinking about Caleb’s ability. Half the time he’s pretty sure it’s the coolest thing ever, even if he can be reluctant to admit it. Of course, it has its downsides. Someone knowing your every emotion can be embarrassing, to say the least, and Adam knows his feelings aren’t always pretty. Sometimes they just hurt, and the last thing he wants is for Caleb to feel the same.
In the end, though, it can be oddly comforting, and sometimes it seems that they’re connected in a way that’s reminiscent of soulmates and love poems.
“What are you thinking about?” Caleb asks. They’re walking beneath the awning of the coffee shop now, through a patch of shade on the bright sidewalk. Caleb squeezes his hand.
“Uh, I don’t know. Us.” Adam squeezes his hand back, like morse code. “I’m just… happy.”
“I know,” Caleb says, with a grin on his face that’s just a bit too smug. “You’re so happy, and you have that butterfly feeling-“
“Shut up.” Adam tugs on Caleb’s hand. Caleb’s not wrong. He’s so happy the feeling could burst out of his chest. As for the butterflies… even though they’ve been together for months, Caleb smiles, and Adam’s just a kid with a crush. “I know you know. Smartass.” Adam gives his hand another squeeze, which, aside from being a surprisingly reassuring gesture, serves to send the you know I’m just teasing you message.
“Shut up? I thought you liked listening to my voice.”
“Not when you’re making fun of me.” Well, maybe even then. His voice is nice when he’s about to laugh, a little brighter than usual. In an effort to avoid looking like a total lovesick idiot, Adam makes a half-hearted attempt to pull away.
Caleb takes his arm and pulls him back, closer, bringing them to a stop at the edge of the sidewalk.
Their faces are inches apart now. Adam closes his eyes.
“Is it okay if…” Caleb begins, a slightly panicked note in his voice. His hands are on Adam’s elbows, then his shoulders. “Can I… I just don’t know what the rules are. Do we have to build up to this, or do we just… pick up where we left off?”
Adam leans forward until their foreheads bump, taking Caleb’s hands in his own. “Caleb. Just kiss me.”