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Author's Chapter Notes:
Hey everyone. Sorry for the delay for this chapter. I was away earlier this month, then I got sick and have been busy. I hope you all enjoy this chapter. Thanks for being patient!
Nick was breathless when the elevator dinged and opened again, and Brian hit the button for their floor. It was silent but Nick’s head was swimming. He could only hear the sound of the elevator moving and the two of them breathing, it was so quiet.

“So...um…” Nick started but stopped, blushing. He had to suppress the laugh he was holding in because he’d been wanting to kiss Brian but wasn’t bold enough to just go ahead and do it, knowing that Brian didn’t want it. He would never just kiss him without knowing the feeling was mutual out of respect.

Brian looked at him, blushing too. Nick smiled in spite of himself.

Nick opened his mouth to speak but Brian leaned in and kissed him again. The two of them went for a while until Brian pulled away, blushing again.

“What was that?” Nick asked, blushing as well. His face felt very warm and Brian’s was turning redder by the second.

“I...er-“ Brian stammered. He literally had nothing to say because he couldn’t believe he even went through with the kiss, then continued...and now he knew Nick was going to have so many questions. He didn’t want to answer anything, he just wanted to find out why he had these feelings and what he could do about them. He didn’t even care about anything else at this point.

The elevator reached their floor and they got off, wanting to get to their room and not even go to AJ’s to watch the countdown. This was more important than that.

“Hey, where are you two going?” AJ called down the hall after them, when they started to duck into their room. Ignoring AJ, Nick slammed the door behind them and ripped off his coat, tossing it on the bed.

His head was swimming with so many thoughts right now, about the kiss and about Brian. They really needed to talk and now was the perfect time to discuss their feelings, because clearly Brian had just showed he reciprocated them. There was no denying that Brian was attracted to him after what had just transpired in the elevator.

NIck moved closer to Brian, thinking about starting up again with the kissing but Brian turned away and left him confused. The passion they had just a moment ago seemed to vanish in an instant. Nick could feel himself getting anxious.

“What’s wrong?”

“We need to talk.” Brian said suddenly in a serious tone, rubbing the back of his head with his hand. He was still blushing from before and his mouth felt dry.

“I would say we do.” Nick stated.

Brian started pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what he wanted to say. He knew that this couldn’t go further with Nick because one...there was no way he could be gay- and secondly, he was already in a relationship. Brian was already internally punishing himself for allowing to show Nick how he felt, when he knew nothing could come of any of it. He was also still with Leighanne and he had just cheated on her. The guilt was making him sick to his stomach and he could tell Nick was feeling uncomfortable with all the silence.

“You’re making me nervous.”

“Nick...about what just happened-“

“I thought you said you weren’t gay?”

“I...I don’t know anymore. That’s the thing, Nick. I don’t know and it scares me, okay? I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. I don’t know who I am right now, or what I’m doing but that kiss just felt right for some reason and now I’m confused.” Brian confessed. For the first time since summer, he felt lighter but he was still scared. He was scared of people not accepting him, about losing everything that he’d worked for.

“You don’t need to be afraid of me, Brian. I told you that back in July. What are you so scared of?” Nick said matter of factly.

“I’m not afraid of you,” Brian protested, sitting down on the bed across from Nick and looking at the floor. He felt nauseous and his heart was racing.

“Well, what are you afraid of then?”

Nick suddenly seemed so much wiser than he was and Brian was almost embarrassed by the fact that Nick seemed to be handling everything better than he was. Even though he was so much younger, Nick knew.How could he be so stupid? His pride hurt.

“I really don’t know, but the thing is- the thing is that you’re a minor. I can’t fool around with a minor and I shouldn’t have kissed you, I don’t know what I was thinking when I did that.”

As soon as the words left his mouth he knew Nick would know he was full of shit. At this point Brian really had no other cover for even having any romantic feelings towards his best friend and he was now backed into a corner. Nick scoffed so loud that Brian thought the guys would hear them down the hall arguing so he dropped his voice and continued to say that there was no way anything could continue between them, instead of telling Nick how he felt.

“So that’s the excuse you’re going with? That I’m underage.” Nick said slowly as he crossed his arms with a somewhat bemused expression.

Brian just sat in silence, shrugging dumbly. He could tell Nick was upset but hiding it, although his eyes were throwing daggers.

“You know, I’m going to be 18 in a couple of weeks.”

“I know that. I don’t want to complicate our friendship, Nick. I don’t want to screw everything up with this, I just want to find out what all of it means. I didn’t mean for anything else to happen, and I suppose I gave you the wrong impression.”

Nick looked extremely displeased.

“You are so full of shit. The wrong impression?! Look, if you don’t want to admit that you felt something when we kissed in July or even when we kissed just now...that’s fine- but..”

Brian’s face was redder than before because he was starting to get angry.

“But what, Nick?”

For a moment, Nick thought about telling Brian but then decided that he didn’t deserve to know he liked him because who was he kidding? Brian would never want to be with him. Brian couldn’t admit to himself who he was because he was too afraid. Brian was toying with him because he didn’t know what he wanted and Nick didn’t want to subject himself to this. It wasn’t fair to either of them.

“Never mind.”  Nick sighed, crossing his arms in defeat.

“You think you know me so well.” Brian told him, turning away and looking at the wall behind the TV set. He knew he’d fucked everything up, yet again. He wanted to be with Nick, wanted to tell him that he was wrong and that he did feel something when they kissed but he knew that if they were together it could ruin everything. If the two of them told everyone it would be over. Their careers would be finished.

“I know you better than anyone, Brian. That’s because I care about you. You’re my best friend. I just want you to be happy. If you would just be honest with yourself you’d be happy.” Nick said softly.

Brian considered this but there was no way he could even admit anything to himself. He just wasn’t ready...although he almost told Nick tonight, he just wasn’t ready to tell anybody because he had no idea what he wanted yet.

“I don’t need you to tell me who I am, I know who I am. I’m just confused.”

Nick scoffed and rolled his eyes.

“Okay, have it your way then.”

“Have it what way? Do you think I want it this way? I don’t.”

There was no reply because Nick had walked into the bathroom and slammed the door behind him. Brian could have sworn he heard Nick sniffling.

Nick leaving left him feeling more alone than when he found out he was spending New Year’s Eve alone. He thought about calling out to Nick and saying he was lying and he was sorry, that he didn’t mean anything he’d said but the bathroom door slamming was the only reply. Staring at the empty hotel room, Brian sighed and for the first time he truly hated himself for the way he was behaving.

He’d fucked up big time this time.