If I Told You What I Was
"Get up, shanks. Your time in the Slammer is over."
Tim sleepily blinks as Newt's voice wakes him up.
He shakes Josiah's shoulder to wake him up as well.
"Josiah," he says, "our punishment is over. We're allowed to get out of here."
The other boy lazily stretches his arms, showing the gorgeous muscles under his tanned skin. Tim has to do his best not to stare.
"All right," Josiah says, his voice still hoarse of sleep. "Newt, you can just open the Slammer. We're coming."
The blond boy nods and grins, something Tim hasn't seen him doing in days.
"Yes, Sir," he replies, opening the locked door with a rusty key. When the boy has walked away, Josiah stands up.
"I think I'm going, too," he says. "My legs hurt of not using them. I'm gonna walk around a bit."
With those words, he pulls himself out of the small room and disappears from Tim's sight. Tim, who is still feeling rather sleepy, runs a hand through his short hair and starts to put on his shoes. As he does so, he sings a song, the same part over and over again, because he doesn't remember the rest of the lyrics.
"If I told you what I was,
Would you turn your back on me?
And if I seemed dangerous,
Would you be scared?"
Without even noticing it, he starts to sing louder, and by the time he has knotted his shoelaces, someone behind him says: "Dude, what the heck?"
Tim's head whips to the side, and he sees that Josiah is standing behind him.
Blushing, he turns back.
"Why were you singing that?" he hears Josiah ask. His cheeks turn even redder.
"Because it's the only song I know," he replies, trying to sound as calm as possible. It is true, though, but it is also a song that quite fits how he feels.
He sees Josiah's shadow shrug.
"All right, then," he says, sounding like he doesn't care, anymore. "Hey, eh... What are you going to do today? 'Cause I'm already bored."
The two of them end up in Flore's room, along with Winston. When Tim asked Josiah why he wanted to visit her so badly – it was his idea – he replied that Flore came to see how he was feeling once, and that he felt like he had to make it even. He had snickered after that, telling Tim how ridiculous he looked when Minho and Winston brought Flore to the Homestead.
Tim blushed; he had thought that she was dead, and he had totally freaked out. He laughed, too, but no matter how much fun or worry was in his mind, he always has that weird feeling when Josiah was around. A nervous feeling, but happy and hyper at the same time. He also – kind of – knows what it is.
This is what it feels like to be in love, and you don't know if that person loves you back.
It has been like that for nearly two years, but the past couple of days, it's stronger. Tim doesn't know why it is like that, but when Winston leaves the room to go to the toilet, it is like some unknown instinct takes him over. As soon as the door closes, Tim takes a deep breath.
"Josiah, I've got to tell you something."
Josiah raises his eyebrows. "Has it something to do with that song you were singing this morning?"
"Maybe," Tim admits. "I've been keeping this a secret for quite a while, and I'm very unsure about it."
Josiah smiles comfortingly, that amazing smile that makes Tim's heart always jump up.
"I'm listening," the dark-haired boy says, his voice no more than a comforting whisper. It is that tone that gives Tim the courage to say it.
He takes another deep breath.
"Josiah, I'm in love with you."
No reply comes. Only a terrible silence.
Tim doesn't dare to look at Josiah, scared that he sees something what he doesn't want to see.
He bites his lip.
"But you're not in love with me, are you?"
His voice breaks on that last word. He hears Josiah shift on the bed, but he doesn't know whether he is moving closer or farther away.
"What?" Tim asks, confused.
"How long," Josiah repeats. "For how long have you been in love with me?"
Tim swallows difficultly. "Nearly two years."
He hears Josiah take a deep breath.
"Then I think that it doesn't matter if I say it," he says, and Tim feels a sting of fear in his heart.
This is it.
He's going to say that he doesn't love me.
Our friendship is over now.
I screwed everything.
Then the most unexpected answer comes.
"I'm in love with you, too, Tim."
Tim looks up, his eyes huge.
"W-What?" he stutters, knowing that he must look (and sound) like an idiot.
Josiah grins. "I'm in love with you, Tim. Since the day we met."
Tim breathes out, shakily. The only thing he can say is: "I-I didn't see that coming."
Josiah grins even wider, showing his white teeth.
"Come here, you."
With that, he wraps his arms around him. Tim can't do anything but sit there, stunned.
Wow. That's the only thing he can think.
The wonderful scent of dark chocolate reaches Tim's nose, and it's the most amazing thing he has ever smelled. One single tear rolls down his cheek.
"God, I'm so happy, now," he breathes, wrapping his arms around Josiah.
He feels the other boy smile against his shoulder.
"Me, too," Josiah replies.
And when Winston comes back from his bathroom break, he wonders why there are two teenage boys hugging in an unconscious girl's room.