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you'll be alright (just not tonight)

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“Um… J-josh?”

Josh’s eyebrows furrowed when he heard Tyler sniff from the other line of the phone, his voice shaky. “Tyler, are you okay?” He asked, looking at the time. It was quite late (eleven-thirty) he was surprised Tyler was calling at that time.

“N-no, I’m not— I’m at um… th-the park.” Tyler said, his voice thick. “Joshie, I-i know it a lot to ask, b-but could you—“

“I’ll be there, Ty.” He said, already reaching for his coat and shoes. “It’s just a short walk; I’ll be there in five.” He said, hearing Tyler’s strings of sniffs. He hoped he wasn’t crying; he couldn’t handle seeing his best friend sad.

“C-can you stay on the line?”  Tyler timidly asked, making Josh smile on his end as he opened the door, leaving his flat, taking in a sharp breath when he felt the sharp sting of the cold air hit his face. 

“Definitely, Ty.” He said, crossing the street as he speed-walked past all the Christmas decorations and hanged lights illuminating the streets. “How was your date?” He asked carefully, wincing when he heard Tyler sigh sadly.

“Um… we— he, he broke it off, Josh.”

“Oh… wow. When was this?”

“J-just a few minutes ago, Josh… I-I don’t know what happened we were doing good…” Tyler said his voice shaky and downcast as fought the urge to cry. “We were going strong and— and he just pulls this shit up… I can’t—“

“Hey, hey… Tyler, it’s okay…” Josh said, wincing at the pain he heard in his best friends voice. “I’ll be with you in a sec then you can pour your heart out to me, okay?”

“Okay, just… h-hurry. I need you…”

Josh went speechless as he walked through the arched entrance of the park, littered with Christmas garlands and blinking lights. He ignored them, his eyes frantically searching as he looked for his best friend who sounded like he was on the verge of tears. His eyes widened when he saw Tyler, his hand holding his phone to his ear while the other clutched his stomach.

He knew the other saw him when he lowered his phone from his ear, running to him and capturing Josh in a hug. Josh pocketed his phone, hugging Tyler back, his heart dropping when he heard him crying, his back shaking with every sob.

Josh pulled away after a few moments, sighing when he saw the tears falling down Tyler’s face. “Come on, don’t cry Tyler.” He said, reaching up to brush away a tear from his face, watching as Tyler looked down at the ground hopelessly.

“I’m sorry, it’s just... we— we were happy, J. I don’t know why he would do this…” Tyler said as he twisted his foot into the ground aimlessly. “Everything was going well… for two years…”

“He honestly made such a mistake, Ty,” Josh said.

Josh hated seeing Tyler sad; he was usually so happy, his smile brightening any room he was in, his laughing so contagious; he couldn’t stand seeing him so deflated and heartbroken. He was the best person he knew, and he didn’t deserve having his heart torn apart.

“He should know, he just lost the best thing in his life.” He said plainly, taking Tyler’s hand in his as he walked to the nearest bench, pulling the brunette to sit with him, letting him lean against his shoulder.

“The jerk obviously doesn’t think so,” Tyler said with a sniff. “It’s almost Christmas Josh, who… who does that? He didn’t give me any warning, just up-and-left… he met my parents, he met Maddie… I felt like he and I were actually getting along, you know, doing fine… a-and then he just leaves. Joshie, I just can’t… It was so unexpected, heck, we were out here for a date… and then this happens…” Tyler said, his voice getting heavier and heavier with each word.

“That fucking asshole doesn’t know what he’s lost... I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back crying.”

Tyler let out a small laugh at Josh’s words before sighing. “I-i don’t think he will, Josh…. I dunno, It… It just hurts man.” He said, his voice quiet as he let a few tears roll down his cheeks.

“Fuck, Tyler… don’t cry, please. He doesn’t deserve your tears…”

“I know Josh… it just sucks, dude…”

Josh’s eyes softened as he looked at Tyler, his face stained by tears, his face red from crying, his hair messy, his lips raw from Tyler anxiously biting at them… Josh looked down, capturing his best friend’s hand in his reassuringly, watching as a small smile graced his features before fading.

Fuck, Tyler didn’t deserve any of this pain, he was one of the most positive people in his life who just needed good things, he shouldn’t be crying, he should never have his heartbroken. Seeing him this sad… made Josh want to cry… he wanted to be there for him. 

“…He never even broke up with me nicely; it could have been the least he could’ve done… but no, he just said were done, and that’s it. Everything we worked for ended with two words and I—” 

“It’s his loss though, Ty.” Josh said, wishing the tears would stop welling up in Tyler’s pretty eyes, saddened when he gave him a self-deprecating smile.

“Doesn’t seem like it.”

Fuck, no. He wasn’t going to let him say that.

“Hey, Tyler, listen to me,” Josh said, locking eyes with his best friend, catching his downcast gaze. “That guy was fortunate to have you even if he didn’t know it. You’re much better off-- “Josh started, cut off by a sorrowful Tyler.

“Josh, I know you’re trying to—“

“Tyler I’m telling you the truth man, and though you might not believe it, I do. You’re incredible and, and the fact Ryan left you is a shock to me, I-i mean, wow.” He said ending the sentence with a chuckle of disbelief, still not believing that fucking idiot left one of the most amazing people on the planet.

Josh needed to change the subject quick before he said too much; he didn’t want to make the situation weird and uncomfortable when he was trying to do the opposite.

“You’re a hecking great guy, and it’s alright for you to feel sad and upset, and things might suck for a while… and I know you’re in a lot of pain, Ty, but everything will be okay. I’ll be there with you, and I’ll be here whenever you need me, and I’ll help you get through this, alright?” He said, feeling Tyler nod against him. “I’ll be here to help, or listen if you ever need to talk about that douche, okay?” He said, feeling Tyler nod against him again.

There was a moment of silence between the two, before the brunette spoke up, his voice breathy and light. “Thank you, Josh.” Tyler said with slightly pink cheeks, giving his best friend a genuine smile. “I’m sorry, dude… I don’t mean to be such a downer.” Tyler said, his gaze falling to the ground.

“Don’t sweat it, man.” He said, looking up into the sky, seeing the full moon illuminating the dark park.

“This feeling sucks, but it’s nice to have you here.” Tyler said with a wet sniff, resting his head on Josh’s chest.

“I know dude… but I’m here for you.” He said, gazing at Tyler in silence. “You know what? I think you’re in need for some major cheering up.” Josh suggested, getting up off the bench.

“No… dude, it’s fine—” Tyler started, cut off from Josh shushing him playfully.

“Hush. I insist— we must return the smile on your face!” He said dramatically, before pulling out his phone and playing one of Tyler’s favourite songs on the weak speaker, setting it down on the bench, beside the brunette. 

“Really, It isn’t necessary, though—“Tyler protested while drying his face with his hands before Josh’s shush silenced him.   

“You love this song, don’t you?” Josh said with a big smile, reaching out for Tyler seeing a small smirk dare to grace his pink lips.

“M’yeah… I do…” He said with a sigh and a roll of his eyes before grabbing Josh’s hands and getting off the bench, the music lifting his spirits already.

“I know, I can still remember 10th grade; just us two jamming out in my room together… remember?” Josh said, loving the grin that fully broke out on the brunettes face.

“How your mom would tell us to turn the volume down…” Tyler said with a small giggle.

“Oh, she hated our music, she did…” Josh said with a laugh, Tyler soon joining him as they remembered their time listening to the very song they were shyly dancing along to now, under the moonlight.

“Mhm, but that didn’t stop us,” Tyler said as the two danced, their hands still linked as they moved together, their dance uncoordinated, but fun. To anyone it might’ve looked like to guys fooling around but to them, it was much more, two guys enjoying each others company, happy to be with each other. Josh was so pleased that Tyler was finally smiling; this was what he wanted. 

“You mean it didn’t stop you…” Josh said as he playfully twirled Tyler, laughing when he saw the “grimace” on his face. “You always turned the volume right back up after I did what mom wanted me to do—“

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal!” The brunette said, bursting into a fit of giggles as he stepped along with Josh clumsily.

“Welp, she thought it was… and she thought I was doing that so… guess who got grounded?” Josh chuckled, remembering how upset he was to be cooped up in his childhood home for a week, how upset he was that he couldn’t see Tyler.

“Well… if it helps Mr Dun, fifteen-year-old me apologises.” The brunette said with a snicker, watching as Josh teasingly stick his tongue out at him.

“You know what could help? Your singing…” Josh suggested shyly for once, letting out a laugh when he heard Tyler groan.

“But, whyyy?” He said, whining as he playfully hid his face in Josh’s shoulder.

“You know why, Tyler. I love your voice, dude.” Josh said with all honesty seeing Tyler’s cheeks flush slightly. “Plus, it would be a great apology for fifteen-year-old Josh… y’ know, maybe he’ll still be your friend…” He suggested slyly, smiling wide when Tyler gave him a bright laugh.

“Fine, but only to Wonderwall,” Tyler said, finally letting go of Josh’s hands and sitting back down on the bench, Josh doing the same, Tyler putting his legs up and resting his head in Josh’s lap, the other not minding one bit as he grabbed his phone.

“Look at you, making demands…” Josh teased, still putting on the song, sighing when the guitar intro played. He let his head lean back, hitting the headrest as he looked up to the moon, feeling Tyler take in deep breaths.

The moment Tyler sang the first word, Josh closed his eyes; he felt like he was in heaven, the soft, angelic voice filling his ears as Tyler sang along to the sensational hit, making it even better ( in josh’s humble opinion). The way his voice enriched the melody making it so smooth, so soothing to hear. 

Josh opened his eyes and looked down at Tyler who was fully emerged in the music, feeling every word. The other stared, mesmerised for his best friends skills were so wonderful, so amazing. Josh watched when Tyler reached the chorus, singing the words he knew so well.

Josh listened, the lyrics having some significance to him. Maybe he was the one meant to save Tyler? What if that was why he was here, to help him escape his temporary pain? He certainly knew that he wasn’t Tylers wonderwall, if he could even say that, though he certainly would be lucky if that ever happened, if Tyler ever fell for him. He almost laughed at the thought.

It was no secret to himself that his feelings for his best friend weren’t completely platonic, who could blame him?

He had wondered of the idea of them together from time to time. It didn’t hurt anyone as long as he didn’t act on it. He had often wondered if he and Tyler hadn’t just stayed friends… he wondered how that would have turned out, if anything would be different. He knew for sure though that Tyler wouldn’t be crying of heartbreak. It freaked him out a little, whenever he thought about it.

Josh snapped out of his thoughts with a shy Tyler looking up at him. “What did you think?” He asked timidly, the next song playing in the background.

“Same as every time, Ty-guy. Amazing, unbelievable, outstanding.” Josh said with a smile, locking gazes with the brunette who beamed at him, a visible blush crawling up his cheeks that the other secretly loved before he timidly looked away. 

“You’re just saying that…” Tyler said with a small laugh, earning a chuckle from Josh.

“Yes Ty, I’vedefinitely been lying for the past fifteen years, you finally figured it out.” He said with a smile, loving how Tyler hid his face in his hands with embarrassment.

“I’m sorry Josh, It’s just weird for me since you’re the only person I sing for, so…”

Josh’s eyebrows shot up. “Wait, you didn’t sing for Ryan?”

“Nope, only you.” Tyler said his voice quiet, a comfortable silence settling between the two, Josh running a hand through Tyler’s hair in a completely platonic way, thinking about his sentence and what it meant.

Only him.

Only him. Tyler shared this part of himself with no-one else… Only Josh.

The fact was hard for Josh to grasp. Tyler had known his boyfriend— ex-boyfriend for two years and he hadn’t shared his beautiful voice with him. Thinking about it made his head hurt… he was probably just overthinking it, yeah, that was it. There was nothing behind those words. 

“Well, I’m honoured, Ty.” He said with a smile before gazing off into the distance of the park, looking at the trees, the thoughts in his head running wild. 

“Josh?” Tyler asked, reaching for josh’s other hand, playing with his fingers, noticing the way he smiled before turning to him.

“Yeah, Tyler?”

“… I’m sorry I didn’t hang out with you as much as I should’ve.” Tyler said, shifting his gaze from Josh to his hand, guilty.

Ryan had… a few bad qualities, one of them being possessive of Tyler, meaning he couldn’t go out to see any of his friends without Ryan knowing his whereabouts and who he was seeing. Now that he looked back on it, it was quite toxic.

“No worries, dude,” Josh said, watching as Tyler let out a relieved sigh. “You owe me hundreds of missed hangouts though.” He said with a chuckle, Tyler giggling as well.

“Fine, fine.” Tyler said with a playful eye roll. “I guess I can squeeze you into my calendar somewhere…”

The two laughed together before falling into a comfortable silence, the two of them just staring at each other, soft smiles on their faces.

“See, Ty, you just needed someone to lift your spirits…” Josh said, letting his head fall back as he stared at the moon, willing the fuzzy feelings inside him to get lost.

“No surprise you succeeded…” Tyler said smiling poking his palm with his finger playfully, before he let out a tiny yawn. “Fuck, what time is it?”

Josh removed his hand from the brunette’s locks, checking the time on his phone. “Oh, shit. It’s twelve-forty…are you sleepy?”

“M’yeah, I am…” The brunette said, letting go of Josh’s hand before stretching his arms out. “I’ll have to get a cab though…” He said with a tired sigh.

“Oh, you can just stay over at my place.” Josh suggested, trying to seem calm about it, trying to hide how the idea of Tyler over at his apartment thrilled him.

“Oh, no… Joshie, I can’t—“The brunette protested shyly, deep down wanting to go with Josh. 

“It’s fine dude, really.” Josh insisted, seeing Tyler beam at him.

“….Thanks, Josh."

Oh, he was fucked. Tyler’s smile was beautiful, he was just beautiful a-and Josh could barely hold himself together, but he would try.

“No problem, man.” Josh said, pocketing his phone and gently pushing Tyler off his lap before getting up, reaching to help Tyler as well. “We should head back now, I think you need your beauty sleep.” He said, earning a chuckle from the brunette as he got up.

“Are you saying I’m not beautiful, Josh?” Tyler asked, his voice donning a teasing lilt as the two walked.

“N-no, that’s n-not what I meant, Ty—  I didn’t a-actually—” Josh said, flustered for once as his hand came flying up to his hair, embarrassed while Tyler laughed.

“I’m kidding, Joshie… I know ’m pretty.” He said, rolling his eyes playfully, not knowing how much Josh agreed with him.

“Heh, you got me there, dude.” Josh admitted with a chuckle, walking the familiar route, surprised Tyler still remembered the way as well. 

“Well, we’ve been talking about my problems all night, what ’bout you?” Tyler asked, tired but interested. “Anyone you’re seeing right now?”

Josh let out a small laugh, crossing the empty road with the brunette. “Nope, single as always.”

“Wow, still can’t believe it,” Tyler said, a sad smile gracing his features. “Any person would be lucky to have you, joshie.”

If only you knew, Tyler

“Never mind that, we’re already here.” Josh said, swiftly changing the conversation as they reached the apartment block. He lived on the bottom floor, so all they had to do was enter through the main door, Josh opening his door to enter his level.

“Nothing’s changed, you know me,” Josh said as he took off his shoes and coat, Tyler doing the same.

“The place still looks good.” Tyler said, collapsing on the couch, before breaking into a wide yawn. “…’M sleepy…”

“I’ll get you a t-shirt and a toothbrush,” Josh said with a soft smile, walking to his room and grabbing a t-shirt and a new toothbrush from his bathroom, holding them as he walked back to the living room, seeing Tyler already sleeping on the couch.

Oh, Josh was absolutely fucked. Without a doubt, Tyler would be his undoing. He was just so pretty, lying there as he slipped to the clutches of sleep. He felt terrible that he had to wake him.

“Tyler?” He said gently, his voice not too loud.

“Mmm…?” The brunette hummed as he fluttered his tired eyes open.

“D’you want to change, or just go to sleep?” Josh asked, his answer clear when Tyler closed his eyes, almost drifting back to sleep. “Alright ty, let’s go.” He said, putting the stuff in his arms on the coffee table before grabbing Tyler’s arms, helping him stand up and walk to the bedroom, pulling the covers before helping him in.

Josh smiled softly at Tyler and his sleepy antics before walking towards the door.

“Jish…” Tyler said quietly, stopping Josh in his tracks, capturing his attention. He didn’t say anything, he just made a grabby motion with his hand, a silent invitation for Josh to join him.

Josh smiled before closing the bedroom door and walking towards the bed and getting into his side and into the warm covers, pleasantly surprised when Tyler’s hands immediately attached to his torso, his legs tangling with his. Josh hesitantly placed his hands on Tyler’s back, shocked at the proximity of their bodies as he inhaled Tyler's sweet honey-like scent.

“You’re s’warm…” The brunette mumbled, resting his head on Josh’s chest.

It was completely platonic. Josh found the need to remind himself that everything that was happening between them was… totally and completely platonic. Just friends being friends; bros being bros… That’s what he told himself before Tyler dropped a flying atom bomb.

“Mmm, ‘love you, Jish…” 

Completely platonic.

“Love you, Ty.” Josh said, his voice shaky. “Go to sleep.”

Tyler nodded against his chest drifting off into slumberland, his breaths slowing down. Josh watched his chest drift up and down, freaking out in his head.

Here he was, snuggling with his childhood friend who was sleeping in his bed, looking cute as ever, not overlooking the fact that he had a soul-crushing crush on him. God, Josh had longed to hold Tyler like this for so long, every moment was worth it as he tried to memorise everything from the way Tyler’s hair was ruffled to his relaxed face and slightly open mouth. Josh just wished he could hold Tyler like this every night freely, but he knew he couldn’t.

His thoughts switched to the idiot who left Tyler, how he would regret it for the rest of his life, how he let a ray of sunshine leave his dark world, how he probably held Tyler just like this but didn’t appreciate it.

Josh realised what he was doing wasn’t healthy; he was longing for something that would never be his, someone that would never be his. He just wished that Tyler would his. Josh couldn’t explain what he did to him. The whole world would melt away when he’s with him, his beauty was almost too sinful to share. He was so fascinated by him, his talents breathtaking, and yet he was so humble…

Josh sighed as he watched Tyler sleep, finding it somehow relaxing.  Watching his chest fall up and down, up and down… everything about him so graceful. In a way, he was torturing himself, in his grasp the person he couldn’t be with.

 

Josh’s thoughts dulled down as he finally fell asleep, to Tyler’s face.