18 6 / 2011
(Part 1 here.)
It was a few months after Julian left school, and he finally appeared happy again. The first time he smiled, Clark had grinned back just as brightly, eyes twinkling. The first time he laughed, Clark had laughed as well, and both were soon in tears over something that, in hindsight, wasn’t all that funny. Eventually Julian started going out with the rest of the cast again, and actually seemed to enjoy himself. He smiled more easily, laughed more freely.
In August, he moved in with Clark. Julian had no place permanent to live in Los Angeles, and the blond had a spare room in his apartment. They spent idle days curled up on the couch, laughing madly as bad sitcoms flashed on Clark’s television screen. As Julian slowly put himself back together, Clark found his affection for the dark-haired boy growing. More than once he caught himself leaning too close, touching too much, smiling too sweetly. But Julian made it so easy. They were relaxed around each other, arms casually slung around shoulders and waists as they walked together. Julian, the boy who didn’t like to be touched, leaned into Clark as he talked, hugged him as he laughed, fell asleep on his shoulder when they stayed up too late watching movies.
He really should’ve seen it coming. Almost everyone that met Julian Larson fell in love with him. He was talented, witty, and far too gorgeous for his own good. And Clark—despite all his previous beliefs about his own sexuality—fell hard.
It wasn’t long before every touch—even the slightest brush of hands—shot a spark of electricity through Clark’s body. He tried to stop it, tried to ignore the feelings welling up inside of him. Julian wouldn’t dare fall for one of his best friends again, not after Logan. But it was impossible to not be in love with Julian. Not when he was so perfect, so ethereally beautiful that Clark’s breath caught sometimes when he looked at him.
It was a Saturday in December, only a few days before Christmas. Julian hadn’t wanted to see either of his parents for the holidays, and his usual getaway of Derek’s house in the Hamptons would be uncomfortable with Logan there. So Julian stayed in Los Angeles, hundreds of miles away from his family. Clark stayed with him, claiming no one should be alone for Christmas. They were stretched out on the couch, Julian laying lengthwise with his head resting lightly on Clark’s thigh. Clark absently ran his hand through Julian’s hair, relaxing back against the cushions as a Christmas special played on low volume.
“Clark?” Julian turned his head, looking up into the blond’s face.
“I never said thanks.”
Clark raised his head, “For what?”
“Everything,” Julian smiled softly, “Letting me move in, helping me get over Logan…everything. I know I can be a jerk, and I know I’ve probably made your life a living hell at times—”
“No,” Clark interrupted, fingers stilling in oak-brown hair, “you’re not…you haven’t…you’re amazing, Julian.”
He could see the disbelief in Julian’s eyes, the trace of doubt lined on his face. So Clark did the only thing he could think of—he bent down, lips brushing lightly against Julian’s for the smallest fraction of a second. He pulled away slowly, eyes fixed on Julian’s face.
“Clark…” the boy breathed, lips parted.
Clark opened his mouth, ready to apologize for crossing the line he swore he wouldn’t, but he was stilled by a warm hand on his cheek, pulling him down for another kiss. This one lingered, lips brushing softly against each other’s as fingertips stroked lightly around jawbones. They pulled back with matching smiles, eyes soft as they gazed at each other. Clark could feel the blush creeping up his skin, and he bit his lip lightly, trying to hold back the absolutely ridiculous grin that threatened its way across his face. Julian’s hand dropped from Clark’s face, tracing down his arm. He tangled their fingers together, bringing their joined hands to rest on his chest.
They watched the rest of the movie in silence. Julian still lay across Clark’s lap. Clark still raked his fingers through Julian’s hair. But their hands remained linked, resting just over Julian’s heart. Eventually they both nodded off, in a position oddly reminiscent of that day Julian first broke. But this time, there were no fresh-fallen tears. Instead, a soft smile graced Julian’s features. When they woke up, they’d probably talk about the kiss—the tiny moment that changed everything about their relationship. But for now, they just held on, both finally content.
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