**That Ivan, he loves to give me a challenge. And here’s the results of his latest mission.**
Something was obstructing his vision, so Aaron walked right into the lamppost. He stumbled, his feet not working quite right, and he reached out to steady himself. The thing that had caused him to falter was also his savior, and Aaron hooked an arm around the post and leaned.
“Thank you,” he mumbled, words not quite intelligible. He patted the metal. “You’re a good friend. I’ll call you George.”
With a heavy sigh and a squint, Aaron leaned more heavily and tried to figure out why he could only see out of one eye. He reached up and batted at the fringe, confused when it just swung and didn’t disappear.
“Aaron.” The voice was low and commanding. Aaron tried to look around, but something was still in his way. Suddenly his view was unobstructed. Aaron’s face lit up.
“Gabe!” Aaron struggled to right himself. “Look George! It’s Gabe!”
Gabe gave a chuckle. “Who’s George?”
“My friend here.” Aaron tried to pat the lamppost, missed, and would have smashed into it face first if Gabe hadn’t suddenly grabbed him and held him close. Aaron took a deep breath of Gabe scented air. Fuck, he loved the way the man smelled.
“Why do you have a sombrero?” Aaron asked.
“I took it off your head,” Gabe answered. A little crease appeared between his eyes and Aaron found it ridiculously adorable. “Just how drunk are you, bro?”
Aaron shrugged. “There was tequila. The good stuff. Your hat looks like Manny’s. Did you get it at the same time Manny did?”
Gabe gave a little sigh. “I should have known Manny was involved.” He slid the string of the sombrero over his arm, then reached out to steady Aaron until he was upright. Aaron gave him an appreciative smile and most of his weight. Gabe was smaller by a few inches, and Aaron slung his arm around the man’s shoulders.
“All right, champ,” Gabe said, his voice low. “My car is a block over. Let’s get you home.”
Aaron nodded, and immediately regretted it. He groaned, and started walking. At the last minute, he remembered to call out, “Bye George!”
Before Aaron knew what was happening, he was sitting in a car. He looked around, a little dazed, and realized he knew this car. He knew the dashboard, and the way it smelled. It smelled like Gabe, and since that was his favorite scent ever, he knew it well. He leaned his head back, closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. He felt a hand in his hair, and he turned toward it, nuzzling into the warm palm.
“You are the most affectionate drunk.” Gabe’s voice was filled with amusement.
“I love you,” Aaron said fervently.
Gabe’s deep chuckle sounded loud in the confines of the car. “Yeah, I know.”
“No,” Aaron said earnestly. He forced his eyes open, then reached up to take Gabe’s palm between his own. “I like, really love you. A lot. I think about you all the time. I want to be more than your friend, Gabe.”
Gabe blinked, then blinked again. Slowly he pulled his hand away, and with the same careful movements, he turned the key in the ignition.
“If you still remember this in the morning,” Gabe responded quietly, his voice barely audible over the purr of the engine, “then tell me again when you’re sober.”
Aaron nodded fast, then groaned and clutched his head. It felt too big for his neck. It shouldn’t feel that way. He leaned back again.
“And tell me if you’re gonna get sick so I can pull over, for fuck’s sake.”
Aaron’s tongue felt like it was too big for his mouth. He swallowed and grimaced. His mouth tasted like he’d been gnawing on garbage. Slowly he sat up, his head pounding and threatening to roll off his shoulders. His stomach roiled when he was upright, but he managed to quell the feeling. When he was reasonably sure he wouldn’t fall over, Aaron stood and shuffled to the bathroom.
He emptied his bladder, then washed his hands. Catching sight of himself in the mirror above the sink, Aaron blanched. He looked like death warmed over. Dark circle under his eyes, his skin sallow in the artificial light.
Tequila was evil.
Aaron found some aspirin in the medicine cabinet and downed three tablets. He guzzled water straight from the tap, suddenly thirsty beyond belief. When he was finished, he brushed his teeth and washed his face. Done, he felt marginally more human. Thank God it was Saturday. He needed more sleep. He flipped off the light and shambled back to bed.
The bed with someone sleeping on the opposite side.
Aaron sucked in a breath. How long had he fantasized about Gabe in his bed? Years if he were honest. He was curled up on his side, one hand tucked under his cheek. The man looked angelic in sleep. Aaron wanted to slip back beneath the sheets and cover Gabe’s body with his own.
The instant Aaron’s ass touched the mattress, Gabe’s head jerked up. He blinked blurry brown eyes at Aaron. His voice was thick with sleep when he asked, “You all right, A?”
It was the blinking that jogged Aaron’s memory. He’d been pretty drunk last night, but that didn’t mean he didn’t remember. He took a deep breath, stared into the eyes of his best friend, and told him the absolutely truth. “I’m in love with you Gabe. I should have told you before. Tell me I didn’t just ruin our friendship.”
Gabe’s pink mouth curled into a soft smile. “No, Aaron. You didn’t ruin anything.”