Counting Off

by Phail
illustrated by Nanashi


The first time was after soccer practice.

Jamie had to stay downstairs a couple minutes, talking to his mom, and ended up walking in on Nick spread out across Jamie’s bed with his hand down his soccer shorts and his eyes half-closed.

illustrated by Nanashi

Sweaty tummy and the slow but smooth up-and-down movement of his hand. The muscles in his arms, too, which were easy to see because for some reason Nick had seen fit to take his shirt off. Nick was really tan, some part of Jamie’s brain noted absently. Dark like caramel or syrup–nothing like Jamie’s own somewhat-pale-despite-hours-in-the-sun skin.

“Dude,” he said, staring at his friend, at least until Nick’s eyes fluttered open. Just as brown as his skin, or maybe it was just that his pupils were wide, making his eyes seem darker than normal. Having that intent gaze suddenly focused on him was a bit flustering; Jamie looked down then, at the bedspread. Plain navy blue, bland, not at all interesting or sexy. The lazy smile on Nick’s lips was not sexy either, and nothing like tempting. No way. “You could, like, take a shower and do that.”

“But I’m already doing it here,” Nick said, sounding a little bit like some porn actor. Which, actually, was kind of hot, although Jamie couldn’t think of any pornos that started out with the main character’s best friend lying on the main character’s bed. With his hand down his pants, which was just a distraction from the larger issue of Nick being spread out all over Jamie’s bed.

“But you’re on my bed, man.” Jamie’s brain must have quit working; he couldn’t have come up with a stupider response even if he’d been trying for it. He wished that he could think something coherent. Something that would make Nick realize exactly how gay and not-cool this was, despite how much it maybe was turning Jamie on.

“So you could join me, and then we would be on your bed.” The logic was twisted and really made no sense at all, but Jamie’s legs were carrying him straight over to the bed anyway. Must’ve been Nick’s voice, thick and sweet as honey pulling him in like a tractor beam. He certainly wasn’t sitting down at the foot of the bed of his own free will.

“But I’m not horny,” Jamie heard himself say, even though he sort of was. “You’re not hot enough to turn me on.”

“Sure,” Nick said, or actually sort of panted, as his wrist did a flicky thing. Jamie couldn’t see inside the shorts, but he could imagine. The way the lines of Nick’s hand strained the thin fabric sort of helped that, but then those lines didn’t help Jamie’s composure in the least. “That’s why your dick’s trying to jump out of your pants and say hello.”

‘Is not,’ was on the tip of Jamie’s tongue, but he pressed his lips together and looked away. He wasn’t so tongue-tied by the sight of Nick jacking off–or not even the sight, really, since he could barely see–that he couldn’t come up with something better to say than that. Was not. “That’s ’cause I was thinking about your mom.”

Nick’s laugh was full and rich as it always was. Jamie knew without looking that his friend would be tilting his head back, eyes closed, giving himself totally to the laugh the same way he gave himself totally to smiling, joking, playing soccer, anything. Jacking off.

“Well, I already nailed yours, so that’s fair.”

And that was it, for some reason, enough to make Jamie bite out a, “whatever,” and stand. Walk toward the door, down the stairs, and sit his happy ass down in front of the television to pointedly not think about how his cock was so hard that it was throbbing. The fact that Saved by the Bell was on should have helped but didn’t. Jamie caught himself looking at Kelly’s tits and Slater’s muscles–and thinking of Nick’s instead.


The second time was a week or so later, still before school was back in session so they were bored as hell and stuck watching daytime TV. Halfway through Days of Our Lives, Nick had apparently decided that jacking off was a hell of a lot more interesting than finding out who was sleeping with whom on the soap opera.

Not that Jamie disagreed–he’d already worked it out that Dustin was two-timing on Erica with Erica’s sister which meant the interesting bit for that episode was probably already gone. At least, unless Erica was pregnant. That’d stir things up.

But Nick sort of distracted Jamie from all of that, leaning back against the arm of the couch and actually pulling his blue jeans down a little. Nick was casual as–as something really casual, all bright grin and man, Nick just wasn’t hiding anything. Not a damn thing. Jamie did his best not to look but sort of did.

illustrated by Nanashi

“Um. Nick?” he started, but couldn’t finish. What did one say in this situation? Jacking off really was more interesting–and fun–than watching soap operas.

Nick didn’t say anything, bright smile morphing into that little half-smile that Jamie remembered from when Nick had been stretched out over Jamie’s bed all sweaty and–whatever. Jamie wasn’t looking, anyway, not watching the way Nick’s slim fingers paused for a moment, squeezing, and then started the slow, steady up-and-down again.

“Nick.” He sort of was wondering why was he doing this, but didn’t wonder enough to figure out if he was questioning the watching or the asking Nick about it, because asking might make it stop even if he really wanted to know why Nick was doing it.

More than that, Jamie wanted to know why he was touching himself, too. Not that it was really touching-touching, just the heel of his palm rubbing his halfie through his jeans. Nick didn’t seem to care. Although, he did keep looking right at Jamie through the dark fringe of hair and lashes with that smile that was way better than the over-done sounds on TV a few minutes ago from Erica’s sister while Dustin fucked her.

Jamie made a little sound in the back of his throat, probably a whimper but he preferred to think of it as a groan, like thinking about Erica’s sister and not Dustin. The soap opera, and not Nick.

He wasn’t very good at this self-delusion thing, but it felt good anyway, good enough that he was rolling his hips into his hand, still touching only through his jeans. Meanwhile Nick was looking straight at him, no fear, tongue darting out for just a second and that, oh. That made Jamie whimper for real. “Nick.”

The laughter caught Jamie off guard, made him pull his hand away from his crotch because he was obviously doing something wrong and Nick was laughing at him for it. Fuck Nick, anyway, even if Jamie was still achingly hard.

“This is so stupid,” Jamie muttered, as he pushed himself to his feet and went into the kitchen to get a cold glass of something. He didn’t care what, as long as it was cold and didn’t remind him of how good Nick looked whacking off.


The third time, Jamie wondered why he was mentally cataloging how many times it had happened. It wasn’t a big deal, after all. This was just guys being guys, perfectly cool as long as they didn’t start touching each other or whatever. That was what Todd had said when school had started a few days after the second time and Jamie asked him whether it was, you know, gay. Or anything.

Even with that answer in mind, Jamie felt awkward. Oddly frightened and, just, fucking weird, when they were in the middle of a mock-soccer game, only them, and Nick gave him a look.

illustrated by Nanashi

Nothing more than a look, like on the couch with Dustin and Erica arguing on TV in the background. That gaze went straight to his cock, and when they got home from practice and Nick turned and went inside Jamie followed.

Right in the door, up the stairs, into Jamie’s room. By the time Jamie locked the door with his shaking hands, unsteady fingers, Nick was stretched out on Jamie’s bed again. His soccer shorts were off this time, underwear pulled down and cock in hand. Jamie had half a mind to lick the little droplet of sweat that the motion of Nick’s hand dislodged, but he sort of thought that licking the inside of Nick’s thigh would qualify as touching each other. He wanted to anyway, so he licked his lips instead.

Taking off his pants was, for some reason, easier than locking the door. Button and fly, then Jamie was stepping out of them and seated cross-legged at the foot of the bed. Sort of between Nick’s legs, but not really, since Nick was opening his legs wider anyway.

Jamie knew he was staring. He didn’t care, though, since it wasn’t gay–or anything–to look but not touch.

Wasn’t anything, to slide his fingers up and down the length of his own cock while he kept his eyes on Nick. Focusing on one thing was difficult. Nick’s cock was interesting, stiff and red at the tip just like Jamie’s but a shade darker, like he suntanned naked or something, and hello what a lovely little jolt of pleasure from between his shoulders straight down his spine at that thought.

“Nick?” he murmured, voice questioning and low. His pursed lips came open and stayed that way as he panted through them.

Nick was panting, too, lips parted ever so slightly, and Jamie liked watching that as well. Liked the way Nick’s tongue darted out every so often, and didn’t like the idea of missing that, but Nick’s eyes were just as good. Vibrant blue peering at him from beneath Nick’s dark fringe, dark lashes, every bit as hot as the idea of Nick sunbathing naked.

Jamie didn’t realize that he was speeding up until Nick sped up, too, and the pants, gasps, were becoming growly things. Closer to moans, really, as he watched the muscle in Nick’s arm flex faster, stick out more as he grasped his cock harder. Jamie squeezed himself hard for a moment as well, biting his lip against sound so that he could hear Nick better. Nick bit his lip too, then, and Jamie squeezed his eyes shut. Let his head hang for a moment, panting, eyes shut, hand not slowing down at all. Maybe going faster, even, without the sight of Nick jacking off to guide him.

“J-Jamie–fuck,” Nick said, like an answer to Jamie’s Nick-question. Jamie’s gaze snapped up, eyes wide, on his friend. Flushed cheeks and, his voice had been so needy, and when Nick’s tongue darted out to lick his lips a second later Jamie came. It was a surprise, almost, so focused on Nick and shocked and, oh, but it was good, and he groaned, letting his head hang again because if he kept looking at Nick he wouldn’t be able to not touch.

Especially with the sounds Nick was making, panty moan-things, nearly incoherent cursing-babble going high pitched for a moment, and Jamie knew that he’d come. Just like that, just. Boy thing. Guys being guys, even if it didn’t feel quite that way. He hadn’t seen Nick come, either. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

” ‘m gonna clean up,” he murmured, sliding off the bed and pulling on his pants without anything underneath. He was out of the room, having no trouble with the lock this time, before Nick could reply.


The fourth time wasn’t really the fourth time; it was the first time all over again, several days after the third time. Soccer practice followed by showers and a movie at Jamie’s house. Only, it was a shower, one shower. Singular, but plural. Very plural.

Nick picked the lock, making Jamie wonder where he’d learned that for as long as it took for Nick to climb in the shower and touch Jamie.

Climb. In the shower. And touch. Jamie. Nick touched Jamie; Jamie’s brain forgot how to work. They’d touched a lot before, but this was different, this was reaching straight down and wrapping one hand around Jamie’s cock and palming Jamie’s chest with the other. Jamie’s circuits were blown with that not-so-simple movement and it wasn’t until Nick’s tongue traced the line from Jamie’s jaw to his ear that Jamie responded.

illustrated by Nanashi

He moaned. Probably loudly, and definitely without any sort of coherence.

“Want you,” Nick whispered, and Jamie would wonder later how Nick had enough presence of mind to actually come up with words, real words, but for now he just whimpered in response. It was all he could do, just make that little sound and tilt his head back when Nick’s cock pressed up against his and Nick’s hand wrapped around both of their cocks, like it was the most natural thing in the world. He felt like he came, then, the heat and the pressure and the shaking and NickNickNick, but when he looked down there wasn’t any come.

Only Nick’s hand. Just that, and their cocks together, and Nick’s legs pressed against his, and Nick’s hand pumping up and down and Nick moaning softly. Jamie did come, then. Hard and fast like a jolt, everything tense and then everything loose and the sensation of little bursts of hot semen on his stomach and his cock.

Maybe he was gay. Maybe he was going to freak out. Maybe, as soon as he caught his breath.


“Did it feel good?” Nick asked, his teeth clenched, hair still wet and dripping from the shower. “Answer that.”

Of course it felt good, Jamie thought. But that didn’t mean he was gay and that didn’t mean he wanted to be Nick’s boyfriend although it did sort of mean he wanted to do it again. Which by extension sort of made him want to be Nick’s boyfriend. And maybe a little gay. For Nick, anyway. Maybe. “Yes,” he said, in a little voice. Small, frightened boy-voice.

“Then that’s all that matters,” Nick said, voice gone softer now. Soothing the child. Or the boyfriend. Best friend.

Jamie trembled, comforter pulled tight around his naked body like it would protect him. Like Nick hadn’t seen him naked a thousand times. It was stupid, he knew, but it was hard to convince himself of that when he was just getting over full freak-out mode.

“Jamie.” Nick sat on the bed now, close enough to touch if Jamie wanted to. He almost moved away, almost scooted to the other side of the bed, but he didn’t and Nick smiled and Jamie felt something inside of him calm down a little. “I don’t want to hurt you, you know?”

illustrated by Nanashi

Jamie nodded obediently, if a little jerkily. “But?” he prompted, because he’d heard it. The pause, the unfinishedness of the statement.

“But I want you. I’ve always wanted you.” Images went through Jamie’s head of when they were younger, Nick asking Jamie if he jacked off, and how often, and could Nick watch sometime? And the time Nick had pantsed him at the beach, to Jamie’s great mortification. It had seemed so–normal–not like, liking, wanting. But it had been. “And I’m not going to give up. Ever.”

The lump in his throat was hard to swallow, but Jamie did anyway. Looked away, and looked at Nick again. Nick was safe, but dangerous. Equal parts of it, equal portions and Jamie thought that maybe the safeness would outweigh the dangerousness if he could touch again. So he was a little gay–for Nick.

“Okay?” he asked, softly, not sure if he was supposed to be saying anything. Nick hadn’t said anything else. Did he care that this was going to change things completely? “What do I say?”

Nick grinned, like a million watts. The kinks inside Jamie’s stomach were undoing themselves, slowly, because. Maybe. Maybe his easy reciprocation of everything Nick had done when they were growing up meant that he sort of wanted Nick, too. Maybe the whole thing was do-able. “Nothing. Just kiss back, alright?”

He did, carefully, accepting the kiss. Accepting warm tongue in his mouth, calloused fingers sliding from his chest down, across his stomach. He made a little sound into the kiss, as he arched to the touch, the sound turning deeper and needier when Nick stopped just before his fingers would touch the base of Jamie’s cock.

“You want it?” Nick asked, lips still against Jamie’s. The words were low, husky, enough to make Jamie buck his hips and groan and nod and want. Really want, coherently want, clearer than the shower with the way his need focused. He wanted Nick generally–and suddenly realized that, yes, he always had–but he wanted Nick to touch his cock. Wanted those fingers around him, squeezing, pumping slowly or quickly or whatever speed Nick wanted to go as long he did it.

“Yeah,” he whispered, and pressed a kiss of his own against Nick’s lips. It was a plea, not precisely desperate but getting there. Needy, wanting, and Nick kissed back and Nick touched him.

“Oh, god,” Jamie said, with feeling. It wasn’t perfect–the angle was bad for going fast, and Nick didn’t know Jamie’s body as well as Jamie would’ve liked at that very moment–but it was. It just was, skin and skin and sounds and wetness, warmth, Nick pressing down against him and Jamie pressing up against Nick and coming with his eyes wide open.

The fifth time was the best; the fifth time he quit counting.

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