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The boys are coping

Chapter Text

Johnny huffed, shoving his bedsheets off of him, and glared around the pitch black hotel room, as though it was to blame for his sleeping troubles. His phone buzzed in response, the screen illuminating the small patch of the room beside Johnny. He picked it up, and, through bleary eyes, read the notification. A message. From Will.

Will.

He was awake?

Johnny smiled to himself, letting out a breathy laugh. Will was someone he could talk to, someone who still cared. Without thinking, he unlocked his phone and pressed Will’s contact. He paused. Sure, Will was awake, but he probably didn’t want a random phone call. What if Johnny ended up waking up Heather, or the baby?

He checked the message, just to be sure.

He winced.

So, he didn’t need to worry about waking Heather. And Will would want to talk to someone, probably. Johnny called, and sat, leaning against the cold wall, as the phone rang.

“Johnny?” Will sounded tired, but there was a twinge of eagerness to his voice. It had been a while since Johnny had heard Will. He fidgeted nervously, suddenly feeling overwhelmingly guilty.

“Hey, dude. Uh, it’s nice to hear you. Sorry if you were tryna get back to sleep,” he responded. Will laughed, the poor signal making the sound crackle slightly.

“Nah, I don’t sleep much lately. I guess it’s the same for you?” Johnny started to nod in response, then frowned at his own mistake.

“Uh-huh. I miss you,” He spoke without thinking, and immediately regretted his words - he didn’t want this to be a sad conversation.

There was silence on the other end for what felt like hours, though it was likely just a second. Will cleared his throat before speaking again,

“I miss you, too, Johnny. I wish I could be there with you,” Johnny let out a slow breath, smiling softly.

“Yeah. It’s shit without you, dude,” Well, so much for this being casual. Will groaned on the other end.

“It’s fucking depressing down here, man. I didn’t know it could ever be so quiet in this house,” he rambled, and Johnny could hear the sound of him making a coffee. He frowned,

“Woah, dude, you’re really not planning on goin' back to sleep?” Will made a confused noise,

“What? Oh, yeah, I’m just… too stressed at the moment,” he explained. Johnny stood up, and checked the bus schedule he’d picked up recently, and then looked up at the clock.

“I’m gonna come home. Can I stay at your place for a while?”

Chapter Text

Johnny sat at the very back of the bus, drumming his fingers on his thigh in time to the song he was listening to through his shitty headphones. The trees and pointlessly large houses outside passed in a blur, and Johnny quickly made himself dizzy trying to count them. He checked the time on his phone.

He should be home soon. Just one more stop, a tiny bit ahead.

Johnny turned back to his phone, and tried listening to a bit of some true crime podcast Whatsername had liked, but the pain of thinking about her overpowered his interest in D.B. Cooper, or whatever the fuck they were talking about. The bus drew to a stop, and the doors opened. Johnny glanced up quickly, not really interested in who else came on. He went back to his phone, switching between different songs every few seconds.

Again, the bus stopped. Johnny stood up, taking his headphones out and haphazardly jamming his phone in to his bag, which he then shouldered. He rushed out the doors, and broke into a sprint the minute he left the bus.

Johnny forgot what it felt like to be so happy you could cry, but as he crashed into Will’s arms, he most certainly remembered. The same could be said for Will, whose tears were making Johnny’s hair wet. He pulled away from the hug, and looked at Will, beaming.

“Man, have I fucking missed you, dude,” Johnny said, tightening his grip around Will’s shoulders, and laughing giddily as Will did the same around his waist.

They stayed there for an embarrassingly long time, rambling about how they’d been living away from the other, as the bus pulled out and another one pulled in.

“Will? Johnny?” The two people in question separated, turning to face whoever had been calling for them.

“Holy shit, Tunny? Is that you?” Will asked, rushing towards their old friend. Johnny trailed behind.

Tunny and Will enthusiastically chatted, leaving Johnny to watch on the sidelines, awkwardly fidgeting with the edges of his jacket. Tunny eventually turned to face him, and smiled nervously.

“Hey, dude. How was life in the city, after…” he trailed off. Johnny forced a smile,

“It was, uh, fine, I guess,” he said shortly, moving closer to Will, who, as if on instinct, draped his arm over his shoulder.

“Hey, Tunny, me and Johnny were goin’ to head back to mine so he can unpack his stuff. Did you want to go back to the Seven-Eleven after? Like we used to, y’know?” Will asked. Tunny smiled, nodding,

“Hell yeah, dude,” was his response. Will grinned, and opened his mouth to speak again, which finally made Johnny lose his patience.

“Fuck, man, my bag’s killing me. Can we head back to yours?” he asked, shifting the strap on his nearly empty bag.

“Sure thing, dude,” Will said, before Johnny grabbed him by the arm and started speed-walking along the route to the small apartment Will called home.

*****
Will pushed the door open, wincing as the smell of stale cigarettes and weed hit them both.

 

“Uh, I didn’t exactly have much time to clean up, or anything,” He explained, stepping in to the apartment. He sheepishly started to clear up the coffee table and rearrange the pillows on the couch. Johnny didn’t say a word, throwing himself onto said couch and smiling at Will.

“I never thought I could miss a piece of furniture so bad,” he joked. Will grinned back at him, and sat down beside Johnny. The two of them stayed in silence for no more than a few seconds, before Will cracked a joke and the duo devolved into laughter. Their obnoxious jokes continued for a long while, until Will’s phone buzzed with a text.

“Oh. Shit,” Will deadpanned. Johnny frowned, and checked the clock.

Oh, shit indeed. It was getting late. Way too late for them to meet up with Tunny at the Seven-Eleven.

Johnny shrugged, smiling. “That shitty reality show should be on soon, did you watch the first episode last week?” he asked, starting his search for the tv remote. Will handed him the remote after pulling it out from between the cushions, nodding,

“Yeah. There’s one fucking dude that I just can’t stand, Kalvin. Fuck Kalvin,” He said. Johnny laughed,

“Shit, man, I hadn’t watched it, but now I’m excited to fuckin’ see this Kalvin dude in action,” he responded, turning the tv on and flicking through the channels. Will rolled his eyes,

“Seriously, he sucks,” Will insisted, shifting slightly closer to Johnny’s side and wrapping his arm around Johnny’s waist. Johnny laughed, resting his head on Will’s shoulder.

This was… right. Johnny felt a soothing warmth settle in his chest as he nestled slightly into Will’s neck. They were stupidly domestic, watching their dumb reality show in blissful silence. And Johnny was overjoyed by that fact.

“Oh, shit, there’s fuckin’ Kalvin!” Will disrupted the silence by yelling, straightening up and pointing at yet another buff white guy with a gross fake tan. This one was different from the others because he didn’t gel up his hair, which meant he was meant to be taken as the emotional and soft one of the group. Johnny groaned.

“God, he hasn’t even spoken and I already get why you hate him. He looks like he’s about to play a fucking Ed Sheeran song for one of the girls,” Will laughed, pulling Johnny slightly closer into his side. Johnny flushed, his laugh high pitched and loud. Will gave him a concerned grin, and turned back to the screen, mercifully loosening his grip on Johnny.

Holy shit, what was that? Was Johnny fucking high? Surely something was wrong with him, he had never reacted like that to Will’s affection before. Had he? Fuck. Johnny cringed as memories of him staring unabashedly at the small section of skin that had shown when Will stretched during their sleepovers, and the way he had always felt his mind go blank when he woke up to Will gripping onto him like a baby koala after sharing the shitty air mattress.

God. He wasn’t very good at hiding his emotions, huh? Will was almost certainly aware of Johnny’s feelings, likely before even he was, and the idea of him knowing and ignoring the matter like that made Johnny’s heart heavy. He sighed.

Will turned to him, “Hey, dude, you alright? You’ve been acting kinda funny for a while now,” his eyes went wide, “Shit, you must be really fucking tired from the journey back! You go ahead to my room, I haven’t set up your bed yet. I can sleep on the couch,” Johnny shook his head. He wanted to test something,

“No, dude, we can share a bed. We always used to before, right?” Will smiled,

“Alright then. Sure,”

Johnny’s stomach flipped at the look of fondness in Will’s eyes. He was so fucked.

Chapter Text

They stayed on the sofa for a while, not talking, until Johnny felt his eyelids start to droop, and started nodding off on Will's shoulder. He smiled and paused the tv. "You alright there, dude?" he asked, nudging Johnny slightly. Johnny groaned, and looked up at Will, rubbing his eyes,

 

"'M fuckin'" he yawned "tired, man" Will laughed quietly,

 

"Yeah, I figured," he said, standing up slowly. Johnny got up as well, and dozily stumbled to Will's room.

 

Johnny threw himself face down onto the bed, not bothering to change his clothes. Will stopped in the doorway,

 

"Hey, dude? Can't get into bed with you like that," he drawled.

Johnny whined and slipped off the bed, pulling off his jeans and jacket before getting into bed properly. He gave Will a quick glance, which was met with a warm smile.

"'Night, Will," Johnny murmured. He was half asleep before Will had the time to respond.

------

Johnny woke up first. He opened his eyes, blinking slightly as the sun slipped through the crack in the curtains, hitting his eyes in a direct line. He shifted slightly, but froze in place when he felt Will start to shift behind him.

"'Morning, Johnny," Will said, pulling him slightly closer into his arms as he stirred awake. Johnny fought to hold in a content sigh,

"You too, man," he rolled over to face Will, smiling. Will's hair flopped over to one side, covering his pillow and flicking up over his cheek. Johnny held back the urge to brush the strands away from his face and kiss him good morning, fidgeting awkwardly. Will smiled, and loosened his grip on Johnny. He sat up, groaning a bit,

 

"I call dibs on going to the bathroom first," He said, pushing his hair back and standing up. Johnny smiled, and pulled the covers around himself,

"Fine by me," he stated, nuzzling into the pillow. He heard Will laugh, and then listened to his footsteps as he made his way toward the bathroom.

So. There was no way around the way Johnny felt seeing Will like that. Heat rushed to his face as he replayed the thought of kissing Will again and again. Johnny groaned and pressed his face further into the pillow - Will's pillow.

Fuck.

Will laughed from the doorway, having returned from the bathroom. Johnny sat up, blushing heavily.

"Uh, hi, Will. You were quick in there," he laughed awkwardly. Will rolled his eyes, and moved towards the bed,

"I mean, I took a normal amount of time. You good there?" he asked. Johnny laughed again, scrambling to get up,

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine! Just... didn't want to get up, y'know?" he lied, haphazardly making the bed and trying to avoid looking up at Will.

"Sure thing, dude. Do you want pancakes?" Johnny chanced a look up at him, and smiled,

"Fuck yeah, man! I'll make us coffee, if you want?" Will smiled back, clearly happy to see Johnny calm again.

"Alright!" he responded, turning around and walking to the kitchen. Johnny followed after him, humming a simple melody to himself.

Will turned to him once they reached the kitchen,

"Hey, what song was that you were humming? I don't recognise it, but it was nice," he asked, grabbing some ingredients from the fridge. Johnny shrugged,

 

"Uh, it's something I was writing back in the city," he answered, nervously playing with the end of his t-shirt. Looking back, Johnny realised how the lyrics of the song didn't quite fit the meaning he'd said the song had; how many parts seemed to remind him of Will. He almost felt like laughing at himself, and the situation he'd put himself in by being too dense to understand his own thoughts and emotions.

He started brewing the coffee, and continued humming the melody.

Will flipped a pancake perfectly, and yelled in excitement, turning to look at Johnny with a wide smile on his face.

"Yo, holy shit! That was powerful, man," Johnny exclaimed, laughing. Will laughed too, and went back to making the pancakes,

"I'm a fucking God among insects, dude," he claimed, posing dramatically like a superhero.

"Wait, I thought I was Jesus, though? Did you fuck my mom, Will?" Johnny shouted, putting the mugs down and glaring at Will. His face almost hurt from how much he'd been smiling over the morning. Will rolled his eyes, placing the pancakes onto plates.

"Shut up, man. If I'm being honest, I don't think I'm even comfortable dating women, let alone fucking your mom," he retorted, not turning around to face Johnny.

Johnny froze. Will was gay? The urge to confess, to get his feelings off his chest, was almost too much to bear. He poured the coffee, and turned to Will.

He tapped him on the shoulder, and handed him one of the mugs, smiling.

"Well, I'm glad you aren't sleeping with my mom. Now, I'm fucking starving. Are those pancakes done?" he asked, leaning against the counter casually. Will beamed, and grabbed the two plates of pancakes, walking towards the table.

"Yep! I think I still have some of that gross strawberry sauce you love, it's in the top shelf."

 

"Oh, sweet!" Johnny yelled, bouncing slightly. He spun around and opened the cupboard. Johnny reached up to grab the sauce, but realised pretty quickly that he wasn't going to be able to reach it. Groaning, he started to climb up on the counter, but Will beat him to it, walking up behind him and grabbing it,

"Sorry, bro, I forgot you were a fucking short-ass," he joked, smiling at them. Johnny pouted, and pulled himself fully onto the counter, so he was looking down at Will.

"Um, actually, the correct term is short king, you bastard," He retorted, glaring. Will snorted, and put an arm around Johnny's waist, pulling him down.

"Alright, alright. So, my short king, should we sit down and eat already?" Johnny blushed, stammering as he made his way to the table. Will laughed, and followed, sitting down next to him.

"You alright, dude?" he asked. Johnny didn't respond - the only thing on his mind was the way Will called him his so simply, like it was just a basic fact. God, Johnny could not get a boner right now, no way. He swallowed a bite of his pancake,

 

"Huh? Did you say something?" He murmured, finally zoning back in. Will frowned,

"I asked if you were okay. I'm getting worried. Do you want to talk about something?" Oh, fuck, Johnny would not be able to handle a conversation like that, especially not so soon after figuring out what was going on. He would die.

He shook his head, taking another bite of the pancake. It didn't go down easy, so he chugged some coffee, before realising that Will was still waiting on a proper response.

"I'm fine, really. I guess I'm just, uh, settling in?" he smiled nervously, and Will nodded, sighing.

"Alright. Promise you'd tell me if there was a problem?" he responded, resting his hand on Johnny's arm. Johnny agreed, and Will finally relented, and started eating his pancake.

"Love you, man," He muttered, looking at Johnny over the rim of his coffee mug. Johnny flushed, and started focusing intently on his breakfast.

"Love you too, Will,"

Chapter Text

“Hey, would you be okay if we met up with Tunny in a while?” Will asked, looking up from his phone at Johnny, who had been sat on the arm of the sofa watching tv.

“Hm? Uh, sure, I guess,” Johnny did miss the times that the three of them used to have, but the memory of coming home to an empty hotel room, finding out that one of his best friends had decided he’d rather join the army than spend time with him, still made him shaky and teary-eyed.

Will frowned, “You’re not that eager? Johnny, you know he does still care, right? He’s been asking me about you a fuck-ton,” he told him, leaning forward and putting his phone aside. He pulled Johnny down from the side and into his arms, “He’s your friend, too,” Johnny sighed, leaning in to Will,

“How did you forgive us both so easy? After we left, you were still happy to talk to us. I can’t do that with Tunny,” he muttered, wrapping his arms around Will’s neck. Will hummed in response, rubbing circles on Johnny’s back like he’s done since they were kids.

“I guess it was different. We’ve all wanted to leave, we always have. But I never expected Tunny to join the army. We never talked about it, I guess.” Johnny took a deep breath - Will smelled warm, like coffee and fabric conditioner.

“We did talk about the army though. We all agreed it was bullshit, remember? He just,” Johnny gulped, “he decided that ditching one of the most basic things we decided on was more appealing than staying. Was I that annoying to him?” he was getting Will’s t-shirt wet.

“Hey, hey, you’re not annoying, Jesus. Tunny was just tired, y’know? He was always desperate to go out and make some kinda change, remember? He was manipulated by a shitty government into leaving, and he regrets it. He never left because of you, okay?” he cooed, shifting so that he could see Johnny’s face. Will wiped a couple tears off his cheek, still rubbing circles on his back with his other hand. Johnny sighed, leaning in to the touch.

“Can we meet up with him a bit later? I don’t wanna move,” He said, closing his eyes and letting Will’s hand cup his face. He heard Will laugh affectionately, and all but melted into him, sighing slightly.

“Aww. Sure thing, man. You’re too cute to say no to,” Will answered, his voice soft, “Woah, shit, your face is all hot,” Johnny opened his eyes, and quickly moved so that he was lying on Will’s chest, his head turned to the side.

“It’s nothing,” he lied, tilting his head away even more. Will hummed,

“Alright, whatever you say. Do you want to watch a movie?” He looked down at Johnny, who turned to face him. Johnny smiled.

“Princess Bride?” Will smiled back, ruffling Johnny’s hair before grabbing the controller.

“I mean, it is the best movie ever released,” he said. Johnny shifted so that he was facing the tv screen, leaning his head on Will’s shoulder,
“Actually, it’s the only movie ever released, Will,” Will gasped dramatically,

“What about Megamind, Johnny? And any of those, uh, Laika movies you love, like Coraline?” Johnny smiled,

“Oh shit, dude! You’re right! I’m truly Bobo the fool,” Will snorted before giggling loudly,

“Oh my god, you dork. Shut up so we can watch Princess Bride, okay?” as he spoke, he ran a hand through Johnny’s hair, making it somehow even messier than it was before. Despite how he would look later on, Johnny couldn’t help but sigh contentedly at the feeling, his eyes flicking closed momentarily. Will didn’t seem to notice, and continued petting Johnny’s hair as the movie went on.

 

“We really haven’t done anything other than watch tv, huh?” Will said, as the credits started to roll. Johnny shrugged,

“I mean, yeah. I have only been here for a day and a half, though,” Will nodded,

“Yeah, I get that. It’s just that I was doing that anyways. And I-” he groaned in frustration, “I don’t know what I’m saying man. I feel like I’m losing motivation, and I have been for a while. I used to have more energy, y’know?” Johnny bit his lip, nodding,

“Maybe we could, I don’t know, get a pet or something? Some way of forcing you to get up and care for them, at least. Does that sound good?” he glanced at Will, eager to see his reaction - Will was beaming,

“That sounds fucking great! Could we get a cat, do you think? I know you were probably thinking of a fish or something, but do you remember the cat my nan used to have? She adopted that cat after my grand-dad died, and she perked up really quick thanks to them!” Well, Johnny couldn’t say no to that smile. And, he was a cat person.

“Hell fucking yeah! Is that rescue shelter still up, in the next town over?”

“I think so! Hold on, we were gonna meet up with Tunny; maybe he knows, seeing as he’s staying in that area,” Johnny smiled, too caught up in the excitement of a potential cat to think about his previous hesitation.

 

“Tunny! Tunny! Me and Johnny are gonna adopt a cat!” Will yelled the minute they saw him, “Do you know if that adoption place is still open?” Tunny laughed, raising an eyebrow and lifting one hand to tell him to stop,

“Woah, woah, slow down - a cat? Didn’t you just move in, Johnny? You’ve settled in quick, huh? That’s great! I’ve been worried about you,” Johnny smiled, rubbing the back of his neck nervously,

“Yeah, uh, thanks, man. What about you? How have you been?” They were never this stilted and awkward around each other before: neither of them really had any idea what they were doing.

“I’ve been great! My girlfriend has been helping me a bunch, so it’s all been a bit easier to cope with,” Johnny raised an eyebrow,

“Your girlfriend?” Will spoke up from beside Johnny,

“OwO, what’s this?” Tunny and Johnny both laughed, the discomfort slowly easing.

“She was with me when we met the other day, dumbass. She’s really extraordinary. I feel like I’m at home when I’m with her,” Johnny knew that feeling. Without much thought, he gave a quick glance to Will, smiling softly to himself. Tunny must have noticed, because he gave Johnny the smuggest, most shit-eating grin known to man, before turning to Will.

"Hey, dude, should we go down to that cafe? It hurts if I stand up for too long," Will's eyes went wide,

"Oh, sure! I'll go down and check if they're open," Tunny smiled and thanked him before turning back to Johnny,

"So. You and Will? It's a long time coming, honestly," Johnny whined, covering his face in his hands,

"Shut the fuck up, man! What am I gonna say, 'oh, I know I left you with a girlfriend and a baby you were unhappy with, and stopped texting you after a month or so because I got hooked on heroin, but I'm back now, date me?'? Fuck that!" Tunny looked taken aback,

"Heroin? Clearly we need to discuss a lot, but for now, the important thing to know is that he doesn't blame you. Out of all of us, you had the most reason to leave. You were being abused, for fuck's sake. Of course he's not mad at you." Johnny sighed, and moved slightly closer to Tunny, arms stretched open. Tunny shook his head and leaned in, wrapping his arms around Johnny's chest.

A cough. "Am I, um, interrupting?" Tunny let go and leaned back, smiling at Will,

"Nah, it's good. They open?" Will nodded, putting his arm around Johnny's shoulder. They left, chatting about the reality show they all hate watched last night, what the superior video game was, and existence of aliens, all through one somewhat coherent conversation.

Will and Tunny were in the middle of a particularly angry debate over whether there were actually aliens in Area 51 or not as they sat down, leaving Johnny to order at the counter alone.

By the time he returned, tray in hand, they had calmed down.

"That girl at the counter was totally flirting with you, Jesus," Will stated as he was handed his coffee and a fucking huge blueberry muffin. Johnny rolled his eyes,

"She was doing her job. Nothing about her behaviour implied she was flirting." Will smirked, and held up the napkin on top of the pile, where a phone number had been written in blue biro. He cringed, and then Tunny broke in,

"Why are you bothering about it, Will? You jealous that someone's taken an interest in our sweet little Johnny?" Will's face went red, and he punched Tunny's arm, muttering a myriad if swears in response. Johnny gave Tunny a nervous look, which was answered with a wink. He shook his head, and took a bite of his brownie. Will turned to Johnny again,

“Are you - aren’t you gonna make a move?” He was wide-eyed, the faintest hint of a pink on his cheeks - why was he blushing? Johnny just had a random girl hit on him in a cafe, which he didn’t notice because he was too busy thinking about his best friends smile, and the way his face scrunched up when he laughed. Regardless, he should probably answer,

“Nah. I’m not really interested. I wonder if she likes girls? Hazel’s looking for a girlfriend still.” Will and Tunny both smiled at him, both apparently for different reasons. He returned their smiles.
“Speaking of, how is Hazel? Have you visited her yet?” Johnny shook his head,

“No, not yet. Maybe I’ll check in on her later today, or tomorrow morning. She’s still living with my mom and Brad, so it’s all down to when that dick decides to actually let her out of the fucking house.” Tunny nodded,

“God, we should get her outta there. Surely she’s built up enough money by now?” Johnny frowned, shaking his head,

“It’s not the money - she’s not out of school yet. She had to retake a year, remember? And she’s not just gonna skip out of school, even if it was to move out, she’s all smart and shit,” They both shrugged, well aware of the intelligence of Johnny’s step-sister.

“I mean, you two could share a room, and Hazel could take the other one, right?” Johnny half choked on his brownie. Will gave him a confused look,

“I mean, I don’t see a problem with it - we shared a bed last night, didn’t we?” Tunny grinned, wide-eyed and eager. He leaned forward, placing his chin in one hand,

“Oh, did you?” Will shrugged,

“Yeah, Johnny was getting all cuddly like he always is when he’s tired, but neither of us could be assed to make his bed, so we just passed out together,” Tunny’s grin seemed to get smugger as Will continued. He raised an eyebrow at Johnny,

“Cuddly?” Johnny was going to punch his face in. He huffed, crossing his arms and glaring at Tunny. He silently mouthed a threat to him, which escaped Will’s notice. Tunny responded by making a heart shape with his hands. Johnny threw his hands in the air,

“Will, can we get going? I think I’m coming down with something,” he lied. Will immediately put down his drink, looking nervous,

“Oh, you think so? I thought you had a temperature earlier! Yeah, ‘course we can go, man.” Tunny rolled his eyes, shooting Johnny a final smug grin before turning to Will,

“Well, I’ll see you later, I guess. Oh, before you go, Johnny, I changed my phone, so I’ll just add my number to your contacts, if that’s okay?” Johnny smiled, and pulled his phone out of his pocket.

His smile completely fell upon seeing what Tunny’s contact was. He waited for Will to be out of earshot to tell Tunny his thoughts on it,

“You’re not my fucking wingman, Tunny, you’re just a dick,”

“Missed you too, Johnny!”

Chapter Text

“You sure you’re okay? You don’t need anything?” Will pulled Johnny down onto the couch beside him, smiling softly. Johnny shook his head, leaning back slightly,

“I’m good, thanks,” he answered, yawning as he finished his sentence. Will kissed him on the shoulder, and got up,

“Really? I could make pasta for dinner, I know you love that!” Johnny smiled back, giddy over yet another one of Will’s simple acts of affection.

“I’d love that, Will,” he said, getting up from his seat and wrapping him a hug. Will froze up for a second before hugging back, laughing slightly as he did so,

“Shit, man, are you delirious or something? I thought I was the affectionate one out of our gang,” Johnny didn’t respond, he just tightened the hug, burrowing his face into the crook of Will’s neck. He felt Will shake as he laughed nervously, “Yo, dude, I’m actually getting worried. Is something wrong?” Johnny leaned back, sighing slightly as he looked at Will.

“I’m fine. I just- I’ve missed you.” And also I’m head over heels for you, and I think I have been for a long time. Will smiled at him,

“Well, I missed you too. A whole fuckin’ lot. God, I was a mess without you,” he looked almost… nervous? Johnny frowned, sitting back down on the sofa, pulling Will down too.

“Dude, is there something you haven’t told me? You know we can talk about this,” Will already looked like he was about to cry. He took a deep breath before speaking,

“Well, uh, y’know what I was saying earlier, before we decided to get a cat? About how I feel like I don’t have any motivation? That kinda started after you left,” He pulled his legs up to his chest, “You leaving, it fucking hurt. Like, I don’t blame you for it! I would’ve left too. If I’m being honest, I blamed myself. I was an idiot, and I went out with Heather purely to hide the fact that I liked - and I still do like - a guy.” Johnny shifted closer, half tempted to hug him again, but he knew that wouldn’t help.

“Will… You aren’t stupid. I get why you stayed in the closet - remember who I grew up with? And leaving was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever fucking done.” Will smiled sadly, leaning his head on Johnny’s shoulder. Without thinking, Johnny ran one of his hands through the shaggy hair on the back of Will’s head. It was getting long.

“Even dumber than when you bought that My Chemical Romance merch with Brad’s credit card, even though he’d told you to stop listening to that ‘fag shit’?” Johnny laughed at the memory, and Will pulled his head up to look at him.

“Definitely. I was a fucking disaster,” Will didn’t respond, instead wrapping an arm around Johnny’s waist, and pressing his face into Johnny’s neck. He mumbled something, but it was muffled due to his position, so Johnny had to ask him to repeat. Begrudgingly, Will moved. They were close, so close that their noses were almost touching.

“I said that I lo-”

The opening notes of the Spongebob end theme drowned out the rest of his sentence. Johnny groaned, shuffling away and grabbing his phone. He rolled his eyes,

“Hazel’s calling, man. I’ve gotta take this - tell me once I’m done?” Will nodded, his face glowing red. Johnny gave him a smile, ruffling his already messy hair before answering.

“Hey, bitch! What’s up?” Hazel yelled down the line. Their conversation was as stupid and chaotic as they always had been, and yet Johnny’s eyes kept on drifting back to Will. He seemed deflated, almost confused. Johnny gave him a smile, which he returned, but it was… off.
Johnny ended his conversation with Hazel early, hanging up and shuffling back beside Will.

“Uh, what were you saying before?” he asked, smiling at Will. Will shook his head,

“Nothing, man. It’s fine,” His face was bright red, and he was almost shaking. Johnny furrowed his brow, but decided against prying, instead choosing to hug him again - he was comfy, okay?

Will sighed happily, pressing a kiss onto Johnny’s head. Johnny giggled, like a fucking schoolgirl, and pulled back, beaming at Will.

“Aww, that was adorable, Will! I love how affectionate you are, man,” Will laughed awkwardly, looking at anything but Johnny. He took a breath, and ran a hand through Johnny’s hair, smiling softly at him. Johnny practically went weak at the knees, before Will’s face went red, and he quickly pulled his hand back.

“Well, uh, if you want that pasta, I should go out and grab the ingredients and everything, huh? See you later, man!” he stated, rushing his words. He spun on his heel, speed-walking out the door.

Johnny sighed, sitting himself down on the sofa. Well, fuck. He’d never blushed harder; the only thought going on in his mind was the feeling of Will’s hands in his hair, and his goddamn smile. Johnny felt a warmth build up in the pit of his stomach, and groaned in frustration.

He made his way to the bathroom, regaining his composure in the shower, whilst also dealing with another problem. As he got out, he heard Will humming to himself in the kitchen, and smiled to himself. God, he had it bad. Johnny wrapped a towel around himself, and rushed into his and Will’s room.

After changing into an old t-shirt he’s 50% sure belonged to Tunny, and some grubby pajama pants, he made a beeline to the kitchen. Johnny strolled up behind Will, wrapping his arms around his waist and resting his head on his back. Will laughed, still stirring the tomato sauce.

“Hey there, Johnny. What’s up?” Johnny hummed,

“Nothin’. You’re fucking cozy, dude,” he answered, tightening his grip around Will. Will, in response, laughed again.

“Hey, dude, have you come up with lyrics to that song you were humming earlier, yet? Cause I’ve had the melody stuck in my head all day, I’m curious about the rest of it,” He asked. Johnny tensed - he did have lyrics, but he didn’t want to run the chance of Will finding the excess of homoerotic subtext in it. Will must have felt him stiffen, and put down his spoon, turning to look at him. Johnny gave him a forced smile,

“Uh, you could help me come up with lyrics, if you want?” he said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. Will beamed, bouncing on his heels,

“Really? I don’t normally write stuff, so I don’t think I’ll be much help,” He answered. Johnny smiled - sincerely, this time - and hugged him again,

“I know, I know. But your drawings are that same kinda self-expression thing, right? I’m sure it could work,” he insisted. Will cuddled him back for a minute, and then let go, turning back to the pasta just in time to stop it boiling over. Johnny stood beside him, “I would offer to help, but it seems like you’re nearly done.”

Will rolled his eyes, grinning at Johnny.

“I mean, I’ve been cooking for a while, you were just taking forever in the fucking shower. Seriously, were you jacking off or something?” Johnny’s face went red as he sputtered through multiple different attempts at a witty response. Will snorted,

“Holy shit! You actually were!” Johnny groaned, covering his face in his hands. Will dished up the pasta, and put it down on the table. He placed a packet of grated cheese on the table and went over to Johnny, cupping his elbow and smiling at him.

“Hey, you know I’m just teasing, right? Like, I’m not gonna bother you about your sexual life. Can we have the pasta now? I’m starving.” Johnny moved his hands, grabbing on to Will’s forearm to steady himself as he laughed.

They sat down next to each other, and Johnny immediately started shovelling the food into his mouth. Will raised his eyebrows, his own food still untouched aside from the mountain of cheese he’d piled onto it.

“Shit, you were fucking hungry, huh?” Johnny swallowed, nodding,

“Well, yeah. But like, this is also fucking great. You could be a pro chef, man!” Will laughed, looking at Johnny fondly.

“Yeah, I doubt it. I’m only good at making the food you and Tunny like. Mostly your favourites, though; I’ve got more practise with them.” Johnny smiled, pushing his empty plate to the side so that he could lean on the table as he continued to crack jokes and relax with Will.

Once they’d both finished and washed up, Will turned to Johnny,

“You can watch tv by yourself, or whatever, but I’m tired. I guess you’re sharing with me again tonight, seeing as we never got around to setting your room up,” Johnny fought to hold back his smile - he was looking forward to sleeping next to Will more, as flustered as it made him. He found they almost, well, fit together. Like puzzle pieces, or lego.

“I’ll go to bed with you, I’m tired too,” he punctuated his sentence with a small yawn. Will smiled, putting an arm around Johnny’s waist and pulling him closer. Johnny leaned his head on Will’s shoulder, and let him guide them both back to their room.

Chapter Text

Waking up was slightly easier the next day. Will was still senselessly cute as he cuddled Johnny, but he managed to get by without humiliating himself. In fact, it was… nice. Like he had already settled in to a routine with Will. He wanted to stay like this with Will; the thought left him with a warm, gooey feeling in his chest.

“What’cha thinking about, Jesus?” Will asked, smiling at Johnny and squeezing him slightly. Johnny laughed, hiding his face in Will’s neck,

“Nothin’. I’m just,” he sighed, burying his face further, “happy. Super happy. I’m not leaving ever again, I’ve decided,” Will laughed, kissing the top of Johnny’s head.

“Sweet. It’s nice, having you here,” Johnny preened at Will’s affection, moving so that he could look at Will again.

“Hm. Tell me more about how much of a delight I am,” he joked, grinning at him. Will laughed, pulling Johnny down so that he can kiss his forehead again. Johnny sighed contentedly, “Y’know, it’s a wonder Heather didn’t get jealous over the two of us - we’re weirdly affectionate for friends.” Will groaned,

“Dude, she was. She was super fuckin’ jealous. If I’m being honest, I think a lot of the reason it took me so long to realise I was gay was because she was too controlling to let me ever consider the concept of not dating her.” Johnny frowned, nestling his face back in to Will’s neck,

“Well, you’ve got plenty of time to think about all that now,” he answered, pressing a kiss on his collar bone. Will squirmed, laughing,

“Hey, hey, dude, that fuckin’ tickles!” Johnny beamed, pulling back. God, Will’s smile really was something. Belatedly, Johnny realised he was staring, and started nervously stammering his way through an apology as he got up and started making his way out of the room. Will sat up too, visibly confused,

“Dude, where are you even going?” He called after him. Johnny didn’t turn around,

“Uh, bathroom,” he yelled back awkwardly. He heard Will laugh to himself quietly before he turned the corner into the bathroom and shut the door.

God, he was a fucking mess. He took a quick glance in the mirror - his face was still splotchy and red from what had happened, and his hair was sticking out even more than usual. He sighed.

“Hey, bro, do you wanna meet up with Tunny and his girlfriend for breakfast? There’s still that Saturday morning offer at the diner place!” Will yelled from outside the door. Johnny smiled, turning towards the door,

"Sure thing! God, 'm fucking starving," Will laughed,

"Same. Remember to take a fuckin' shower whilst you're there, dickhead!" He shouted before he ran off, his footsteps thudding loudly.

Johnny laughed to himself, and did as Will said. He’d almost showered more in the past day and a half than he did the entire time he lived in the city. Also:

“Will! Why the fuck do you have so many different hair products? What do you need three different kinds of conditioner for?” He screeched, to which Will responded with a casual “Fuck off!” from what sounded like their bedroom. Johnny snorted, and continued washing.

He wandered back into their room once he was finished, wrapped in a towel, and stopped in the doorway,

“Will, I’m naked and your house is cold, get your fat ass up so I can get dressed,” He said, shivering slightly. Will rolled his eyes, unplugging his phone from the charger and making his way to leave. He stopped in the doorway to ruffle Johnny’s hair and kiss him on his bare shoulder before heading to the front room. Johnny laughed and closed the door behind him. He got changed quickly, pulling on the nearest, comfiest-looking t-shirt he could find, as well as a pair of ripped to shit women’s jeans.

He walked over to the kitchen to find Will drawing on his phone, and came up behind him, placing a kiss on his head.

“Heya, Will. You ready to go?” he asked, pulling up a chair and sitting down. Will looked up at him, smiling,

“Yeah, sure, I’m - hold up, is that my shirt?” Johnny’s eyes went wide, and he looked down at the clothes he’d pulled on: sure enough, it was Will’s - his Scott Pilgrim one, too. Johnny cleared his throat nervously,

“Uh, yeah, sorry, dude. Do you want me to change it? I know you love this one,” Will shook his head silently. Johnny repeated his question, and Will finally spoke up,

“Oh, uh, nah, it’s all good. It- I like how you look in it.” His face went red as he finished. Johnny smiled at him, desperately trying to ignore the heat in his face,

“Thanks. It’s super soft, actually. If all your clothes are this comfy, then I’m gonna have to steal your clothes more often,” he joked, leaning back in his chair. Will smiled back,

“Please do. You look fucking great in my clothes,” He said, then blushed brightly. Johnny fell back in his chair, and sat up, sputtering nervously. Will helped him up, avoiding eye contact. He was really pretty when he was embarrassed, Johnny realised.

“So, should we leave? You know what Tunny’s like when he’s hungry,” Will broke the silence, finally looking Johnny in the eye. Johnny nodded, and cleared his throat,

“Yeah, okay,” He responded, grinning stupidly at Will, who laughed nervously. Neither of them let go of the other’s hand. Will grabbed his keys, still holding Johnny’s hand, and started walking out the door. Johnny trailed behind like a puppy on a leash, all the way up to where Will had apparently agreed to meet Tunny.

“What is popping, my homiesexuals?” Tunny greeted, leaning on his girlfriend and waving at them both. His eyes dropped to the pair’s still clutching hands, before flicking up to meet Johnnys. Will, apparently unaware of Tunny’s focus, let go of Johnny’s hand to greet Tunny’s girlfriend - did she have a name? Johnny felt kinda scummy as it was. Tunny turned to face Johnny.

“So-” Johnny immediately cut him off,

“Don’t you dare. Not whilst he’s right there, at least,” he gestured vaguely to Will, who had already started telling her embarrassing stories about Tunny from when they were growing up. Tunny rolled his eyes,

“Man, you’re no fucking fun. Can we go through my plans if he leaves?” Johnny scoffed, but nodded,

“Alright, fine,” he didn’t even want to know how Tunny was going to convince Will to leave. He wouldn’t put it past him to slip laxatives into Will’s food or something.

Tunny beamed, ruffled Johnny’s hair, and turned his attention back to the rest of their group. Will was gesturing wildly, and his voice was getting louder, like it always did when he was really getting into a story. Johnny smiled, and took Will’s hand again; he seemed comfortable with the gesture, squeezing Johnny’s hand back and winking dramatically at him.

They took Extraordinary Girl’s - Ella, Tunny said her name was, short for Eleanor - car to the diner, which stood just on the border of the small town, and too far away to walk to, especially in weather as cold as it currently was. She was friendly, and she laughed a lot. Tunny’s eyes lit up every time she did. Johnny had the time of his life teasing Tunny about it, just like he had done to him since he’d learnt of his raging crush on Will.

They burst into the diner with the same reckless enthusiasm they always had. Ella fit in pretty well; she was like the socially aware and clever addition to their group they had always been missing. She ordered for them all, while they playfully bickered. Will and Johnny sat in one booth, across the table from Ella and Tunny; he had draped one arm over Johnny’s shoulder as they were chatting. It was nice.

The dude serving them came back with the drinks, and began making friendly small talk with everyone at the table. He placed the tray on the table, and straightened up, smiling.

“Y’all have fun on your double-date,” He said, before turning around and slipping behind the counter. Tunny eyed Johnny with a smug grin; Johnny, in return, stuck his tongue out at him.

Will laughed slightly, tightening his grip on Johnny. “We really do look like a couple, huh? I mean, you’re wearing my clothes, and we’ve been practically inseparable,” Ella frowned, and placed her drink down. She thought for a second, before she grinned to herself, elbowing her boyfriend in the side.

“You dick, they aren’t actually dating, are they?” Johnny and Will both sat up, yelling.

“Did you-?”
“Tunny, you asshole!” Their insults and exclamations of shock overlapped each other’s, as they waved their arms in frustration. Tunny smiled through it all, casually sipping his milkshake. Ella watched them yell for a while, seemingly lost in thought, before she perked up slightly and started giggling. Tunny raised an eyebrow at her, so she leaned towards him and whispered something to him. He winked at her, nodding, and she started laughing again. Will and Johnny’s anger gradually faded as they watched the couple whisper and laugh together. Johnny cleared his throat,

“Uh, what’s so funny?” Ella and Tunny smiled at him - they both looked unbearably smug. Johnny gulped slightly; this had to be something to do with him and Will. The couple were saved by the arrival of their food, leaving Johnny to simply shrug and start eating his own food.

Will elbowed him gently. Johnny turned, side-eyeing Tunny quickly before giving Will his full attention.

“Hey, are we gonna start goin’ through the whole adoption thing today?” He asked. Johnny smiled, as Ella perked up slightly,

“Hell yeah!” He responded, trying to ignore the keen interest of both Eleanor and Tunny.

“Adopting? I thought you guys weren’t a couple,” Ella teased, causing Tunny to laugh into his hand. Will furrowed his brow,

“We’re just getting a cat. We thought it would be nice,” He seemed slightly hurt, and Johnny had to fight back the urge to hug him until he cheered up. Tunny smiled, a genuinely kind and soft smile.

“A pet sounds awesome! You always wanted a cat, didn’t you?” Will beamed, nodding,

“Well, yeah, cats are adorable,” God, he was adorable. Johnny felt his heart stutter at the goofy smile on Will’s face. A cough from Tunny caught Johnny’s attention - he glanced up, and Tunny gave a brief nod towards Will, mouthing the words “plan time?” with the most insufferable grin. Johnny sighed, placing his head in his hands, and nodded.

A crash. Tunny had made a broad gesture with his hands, knocking a glass of coke over Will.

“Aw, shit. Hang on, I’m gonna go and try to wipe this down in the toilets. I’ll be right back,” he shuffled out of the booth, leaving Johnny with Tunny and Ella. Tunny turned to Johnny,

“So. My main plan is to lock the two of you in a closet, Halloween party style.” Johnny groaned, thudding his head down on the table and making some people nearby jump.

“Tun, I swear by the Giant Rat That Makes All Of The Rules, if you’re going to use my feelings toward Will to get revenge for some dumb thing Will and I did in highschool, I’ll cry at you every time you try to speak to me.” He said, not moving his head. Tunny laughed.

“Yeah, I didn’t think you’d like that one. Maybe you should just fucking tell him? He’s been pining over you like an idiot since we were kids,” Johnny’s face went red, and he pulled back from the table,

“Yeah, right. Can you please just take this seriously and actually help?” Tunny rolled his eyes, and turned back to his food. Then, Ella spoke up,

“You’re a musician, right? It might be cheesy, but you could write him a song. I wrote a poem for a guy I liked when I was in highschool, and that went well!” Johnny thought for a second, then smiled. He was already in the middle of writing a song! He smiled at Eleanor,

“That’s brilliant! You’re a lifesaver, Ella,”

And with that, he continued eating, already thinking of lyrics as he waited for Will to return.