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It was another restless night for Nick as he threw the empty vodka bottle on the floor and rummaged in the cabinet, looking for another. He felt empty. Empty from the years he'd spent destroying himself. Empty from the bitterness. Mad that he let the one good thing he had slip away.

Even now he wondered what Kevin was doing. Probably sleeping and not thinking about him. Nick slammed the cabinet door shut and stumbled to the bathroom, blinking back tears. His life meant nothing.

He picked up his phone and sloppily sent a text to Kevin’s number….at least he thought it was his number. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and hated what he saw. Blonde hair draped lazily over sunken eyes, lined by dark circles. Days of sleeplessness etched into his face and bloodshot eyes. He looked like a zombie.

“Go away!” Nick yelled, punching the mirror as it shattered upon impact, the shards piercing his skin. Crying out in agony, he fell to the floor and everything went dark.


Nick slowly stirred, his vision blurry. He felt like he had gotten hit by a truck. His head throbbed. A figure with dark hair hovered over him and Nick realized he wasn't in the bathroom but laying on a bed. A cold cloth was draped over his forehead.

“What the fuck happened?” he muttered lazily. Blinking, he could see Kevin scowling.

“Clearly you're trying to give me anxiety. What the fuck were you thinking last night? I was worried sick! You didn't answer the phone. So I came over and your doors were locked, but your light was on.” Kevin said softly, watching him as he slowly sat up. A breakfast tray sat in front of him and Nick felt his stomach rumble.

“How did you know to come here?” Nick asked. He noticed his hand was bandaged and wondered what exactly he had been doing. He didn't remember any of it and this was something that scared him. He was worried he would hurt someone in one of these drunken stupors, that's why he lived alone even though Kevin had insisted he move in.

No, that would have been too painful.

“Well you were coherent enough to send me a text. Which made me stay up waiting to see if you would call. When you didn't I practically sped over here. I'm so disappointed in you-”

“I know. I'm a huge fuck up and you're disgusted with me. Go on. Tell me what your cousin said to me last time I blacked out drinking.” Nick scoffed. The food in front of him smelled good but he dared not to eat it while getting lectured.

“You should have called me before you started drinking.” Kevin interrupted. Nick looked up in confusion.


“Please - if you feel like destroying yourself, call me. I don't want you to do something you'll regret.”

Did Nick detect a hint of worry in his voice? He hated Kevin worrying..but it was nice someone cared about him. The others were all wrapped in some project or another. Kevin was the only one who would answer his phone call right away if not later.

“I'm sorry.”

Kevin looked surprised when Nick finally spoke.

“Why are you sorry?”

“All I do is bother you. You didn't have to come. You could have let me…you could have…”

“That's where you are wrong. I COULD have, but I wouldn't. I would never leave you the way I found you. I would never-”

Kevin's voice shook and his eyes began to water. Nick looked away, he hated when Kevin cried. He hated even more the fact it was his fault.

“But why, Kev? Why do you care so much about me? I'm a huge fuck up. I'm a mess. I've caused nothing but trouble. That's all I ever do. No wonder my parents didn't want me. I don't blame anyone for not wanting me…”

Kevin threw his arms around Nick, hugging him tightly. Years of surprised feeling were coming out. Nick had no idea. He had no idea why Kevin was so protective. No idea why he was always the first one to answer him when he needed someone.

“Are you really that oblivious, Nick? You haven't figured out why I do all this shit for you?” Kevin snapped.

Nick stared at him, his blue eyes piercing the silence.

“I always thought you thought of me as annoying little brother. Like a stupid kid that wouldn't leave you alone. Kev, the reason I always bugged you was because you fascinated me.”

Kevin didn't say anything so Nick continued.

“I wanted to be around you all the time because you were the cool guy….but one day I realized I had another reason.”

Kevin smiled.

“I love you, Kevin.”

The two of them sat in silence, Nick cussing at himself mentally for telling his secret. He'd been holding it in for years and he finally felt free. Kevin’s face was stony and Nick's heart pounded inside his chest.

“I love you too, Nick. I've always loved you. It just took me a while to realize just in what way.”

“Really?” Nick asked and they sat in silence again before Kevin laughed. Nick thought back to all the times when he followed Kevin around. All the times when Kevin could have told him to fuck off but instead let him tag along. All the times Nick was hungry and Kevin gave him the last of his food although he told everyone he did not share.

It all made sense now.

Nick couldn't believe this was real.

“You really love me?” he asked.

“Of course, you idiot. that's why I came over here!” Kevin smiled. Nick smiled back, the first genuine smile Kevin had seen in a long time. A smile that contained hope. He put his arms around Nick and they embraced. Next thing they knew, their lips interlocked. Nick felt light and happy for the first time in months. He felt as if he were going to fly away. Being held and kissed was something he needed. He felt complete. Kevin’s soft lips pressed again and again against his own. They tasted sweet, just as he'd hoped they would.

“Please don't ever scare me like that. I don't want to lose you.” Kevin whispered, his thumb rubbing gently along the outline of Nick's chin.

“I think you just gave me a reason to live.” Nick smiled through tears. Kevin leaned in and kissed him one more time.

He would definitely make sure Nick never felt like giving up again.