Nicely Johnson tossed and turned under his covers. He looked at the clock. Three in the morning. It was late, but he couldn't sleep. He couldn't stop thinking. His mind was racing, no matter how much he tried to calm himself down. He couldn't stop thinking about Benny Southstreet, his best friend, colleague, roommate... And about how much he really loved him, and what he would give to have him feel the same. He didn't realize at first how he felt about Benny, but it soon became clear. Every time Southstreet was around he felt so pleasantly nervous, like he wanted to be left alone, but yet he couldn't stand the thought of him leaving. Every time Benny looked at him, his heart leapt a little, like he wanted him to look away, but yet he wanted Benny to look only at him. Nicely stopped denying his love to himself, but he wasn't sure if he could ever come clean to the other man. But he couldn't stop his mind from turning back to how, in his own room, just a short distance away, Benny was sleeping peacefully. Nicely wanted desperately to rush over to the other's room and to climb into his bed and snuggle in close, feeling his friend's warmth enclosing him. Thoughts of love and passion clouded his mind. He wanted to be with Benny. He needed to feel that beautiful man's strong arms around him. He needed Benny. Slowly, Nicely sat up. He would do this, he thought, he would go over there and ask Benny. He would ask Benny if he could… sleep with him? No, that didn't sound right. Sleep… next to him? Better.
Timidly, the gambler rose to his feet, slowly walking to his door. He was shaking, as if this were the most terrifying thing he had done in his life. And it may have been. The worst that could happen would be Benny's rejection. But what would Nicely do afterwards? He shook those thoughts out of his mind. Benny wouldn't think anything of it, right? Friends can sleep in the same bed… he tried to convince himself that was true as he opened his door, stepping out into the dark hallway. He decided that, even if Benny rejected him, he probably wouldn't be too creeped out. These thoughts calmed Johnson slightly, so he was shaking less as he opened the door to the other man's room. He gazed in at the sleeping form of the man he loved so much. He looked so peaceful, so… perfect as he lay there, breathing deeply. His dark brown hair was adorably messy, sticking up every which way. He was on his side, his back facing the wall. The covers were pulled up to his chest, but Nicely could see the skin of his exposed shoulder. Johnson realized with a stifled gasp that the other was shirtless. That made him all the more attractive, but yet so intimidating…
Nicely gulped as he moved slowly towards Benny's bed. He told himself it would be alright, that everything would turn out just fine. He knelt down beside the sleeping man. This was it. He took a deep breath, before gently shaking Southstreet awake.
The other man groaned, rubbing his eyes. "Nicely? What time is it?"
"It's three in the morning, and—"
"—Then why didja wake me up?"
"I can't sleep…"
"And what d'ya want me to do 'bout it?"
"I… uh… just wanted to ask ya if, um… I could… uh… sleep… beside you?" he felt his face warm up.
"Uh… sure? If you'll shut up." Benny answered, scooting closer to the wall.
Nicely smiled slightly. "Thanks…"
He lifted the covers and climbed in next to Benny. There was barely enough room for both of them, but a small space was still between their shoulders. Nicely sighed loudly. He had done it. For the first time in his life, he was sleeping in the same bed as the one who he loved with all his heart. But what now? He was far from satisfied. There was still that dreaded space between them, the space he wanted so desperately to close. He wanted to press himself close to the taller man, maybe sneak soft kisses on his cheek… Yes, and so much more. The space between them taunted Nicely, making him feel so close to his prize, too close… It was as if Benny were unknowingly drawing him in, teasing him with how close they were. Johnson couldn't take it anymore. He scooted to Southstreet's side, letting their bodies touch. He leaned his head against the other's shoulder, pressing his forehead into Benny's neck. He felt the gambler's warm, bare skin against his body, making him feel excited yet relaxed. That was better, Nicely thought. He stayed there for a while, almost content with his position. He closed his eyes, gently nuzzling his nose into his friend's shoulder.
"You know I'm still awake, right?" muttered Benny.
Shocked and embarrassed, Nicely sprung up, turning a deep crimson. He retreated to the other side of the bed while attempting an apology. He turned away, his heart racing, as an uncomfortable silence fell between the two. He was startled to hear Benny's voice again.
Nicely turned back. Benny motioned for him to come closer. Johnson scooted slightly towards his friend, confused.
Southstreet gave him a somewhat irritated look. "That ain't where you were."
Nicely moved a tiny bit closer.
Benny rolled his eyes. "For God's sake, Nicely," he said as he grabbed Johnson's waist and hauled him close, squeezing him a bit too tightly, "I asked if you knew I was awake, I didn't tell you to move!"
Nicely's face continued to burn hot. Benny was still holding him, and he didn't know why.
Benny chuckled, letting his fingers run through Nicely's messy hair. "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"
Nicely shivered at Benny's touch. Benny brought Nicely even closer. Nicely's heart pounded in his chest. His lips were so close to Benny's; he could feel the heat of the other man's breath. He really, really wanted to kiss him. So badly, he wanted to feel his friend's soft lips against his… Nicely was unaware of the soft moan that escaped his slightly parted lips as Benny continued stroking his hair, how his eyes closed in relaxation, how his hands began to absent-mindedly caress the other man's bare, muscled chest. Johnson wordlessly begged Benny to kiss him, his body imploring it, his entire being pleading, beseeching, demanding for Benny's embrace. Southstreet touched Nicely's cheek, unbelievable tension between their lips. And then their mouths greedily crashed together, destroying that awful space between them. Benny kissed Nicely lustfully, plunging his tongue deep into his waiting mouth. Johnson whimpered in pleasure, feeling passion surging through his body as he kissed back. He hugged his lover close. His lover. His Benny.
The need to breathe soon became apparent, so Benny reluctantly pulled back, feeling Nicely's tongue sliding off of his as their lips separated. The shorter gambler opened his eyes slowly, dreamily staring into the other's. Benny smirked, before kissing Nicely on the forehead.
"Benny… I love you…" Nicely muttered.
"I love you too."
They stayed like that for a couple minutes. Nicely lay his head on Benny's chest, Johnson content with listening to the other man's heartbeat. But after a while, Nicely became worried with a burning question:
"What's gonna happen now?" he asked, lifting his head slightly.
"What d'ya mean?"
"With us… What's gonna happen? No one will… I mean, we can't…"
Benny nodded. "Well, we'll just act natural when people are around, but when we're alone…" he chuckled knowingly, touching his nose to his lover's.
"But… I've already waited years to kiss you… I never wanna have to stop bein' near you, Benny…"
The other gambler closed his eyes again, wrapping his arms around Nicely's shoulders. "Don't worry, sweetheart. It won't be long."
Nicely buried his face into Benny's chest again, inhaling his comforting scent.
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you too, Nicely."
They closed their eyes, and, both comfortable in each other's arms, drifted peacefully off to sleep.