A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

Stories taking place in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.
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 #35964  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Was this the end of their friendship? Their friendship that they had built over the course of so many years? Rian hoped not, but he also wondered if things could ever be the same again. Would they avoid each other in the corridors in the Ministry? Would they avoid social situations where the other was present just to save themselves the awkwardness? That was the last thing Rian wanted but it was just hard to know what the future would hold.

"Don't apologise." Rian said in reply, reaching his hand across the table, gently placing his on Nikau's before quickly removing it and placing his own hands under the table. The Irishman stared down at the table before looking back up at his friend.

"Is that what you want?" Rian asked, unsure if he wanted Nikau to say yes or no.
 #36125  by Nikau Harrison
Why did it hurt? There was nothing. This was nothing. It was an awkward moment, and he didn't understand why rejection hadn't been something he'd braced himself for. Stupid, it was stupid. He was stupid. Did he even like Rian that way? He didn't even know! It was stupid to base your course of action on a kiss that meant, well, who knew? It was stupid. He'd come into this charging like a bull, blindly, too, and now he was surprised at the outcome? Stupid, stupid, Nikau berated himself. His three ridiculous dates hadn't prepared him for this.

And yet when Rian touched his hand, something tingled in the pit of his stomach. Something that wasn't hurt. Rian removed his hand as quickly as he had put it there, and Nikau's started to tingle. His cheeks grew a colour that he felt even his complexion couldn't hide, and he retracted his hands also, placing them on his lap, where he ran the other hand on the one Rian had touched, trying to recreate the feeling. Stupid.

Nikau shrugged. 'Yeah nah... What do you mean, is that what I want? Pretending, you mean?' He was a grown man, he didn't want to play games. But he also didn't want to lose a friend. And also there was this matter of not knowing how he actually felt. 'I don't know what I want,' he answered truthfully. 'There was nothing before. I swear. But now?' He shrugged again. He'd thought about this during the entire week. He'd made up scenarios, some of which he wouldn't admit to.

'I felt something that night,' he sighed. 'And I thought you did too. I just... I didn't want to ignore it. I might... I might want something,' he said. God, this was hard. 'I don't know. But if you don't, then, you know... just forget it, bro.'

Butterflies. It was butterflies in his stomach. And somehow they were slowly turning to lead.
 #36410  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
"Yeah pretending." Was he being stupid? Was pretending ever going to work? Most likely not. But what other option did they have?

"We felt something cause we were drunk. I probably would have kissed whoever you put in front of me that night just to take them back to mine to warm my bed for the night." Would he have though? Did that explain why the two kissed? Or was that just another excuse Rian was making up in his head to save him the awkwardness of maybe having to admit that he felt something because it was Nikau.
 #36418  by Nikau Harrison
'Oh. Alright,' came Nikau's reply, and it sounded a lot more dejected than he had anticipated. He should have expected it to turn out this way. Of course it was always going to turn out this way. They were best mates, that's what they had. He shouldn't expect, or even want for more than that. Their relationship as friends should be enough. It had been for over a decade, now, and he had never wanted anything more. Why now? Maybe Rian was right, and it was because of the alcohol.

A little voice in the back of his head told him that he was not drunk now, and yet he did still feel something. In his mind the touch of Rian's hand still lingered on his. What if he'd held the other man's hand in his own?

He was being ridiculous. And from what he gathered, it would not have been well received. Rian was probably right. Nikau was probably just so deprived of human touch that he felt things that weren't there. Maybe he should have gotten laid sometime this week to take out any remaining lingering feelings of that nature. But he wasn't that kind of man. Wasn't anymore.

Tonight had started off more warmly than it was now. Would it have been better just not to talk about it at all? Pretend, like Rian said? It seemed like that was the option that was going to hurt Nikau, but apparently he'd have to accept some hurt if their friendship wasn't to tank.

But somehow the voice in his head wouldn't let him do that. Somehow he seemed to be on a clear path of self-destruction. Why? The dead butterflies at the pit of his stomach weren't dissolving in the whiskey. They were still there. There was still something. Fuck.

'Rian, mate, I...' Nikau's voice wouldn't let him go on. A sip of whiskey didn't do much more for self assurance. 'What if... what if I don't want to pretend?' Nikau took the plunge, his voice soft but with the confidence of a man that wasn't him. He had felt something, damnit. Was he allowed to be selfish for once, and do what he thought he wanted? He was an Auror; he followed leads. And he wanted to know which road this led to.
 #36433  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Had he upset Nikau? He had hoped not. He didn't want to upset him. But surely he didn't want anything to come of these. They were pals. Best mates. Why would he sound upset? Why did this have to be so feckin difficult?

Rian took a swig of his drink as Nikau spoke again. Slowly putting down his glass he looked up at his friend.

"So what do you want Nikau? Please tell me here cause I have no idea what we're meant to do. Give me some sort of idea." he said, almost begging the man across the table for an answer.
 #36441  by Nikau Harrison
Nikau looked at his fingernails intently, rubbing the back of his neck with a tired hand. He was doing a fine job of avoiding his friend's gaze.

He shrugged, his shoulders heavy with the weight of the world, looking profoundly unhappy, and let out a long sigh.

What did he want? He wasn't sure himself. Maybe Rian's hand on his again. Maybe. Maybe Rian's lips on his again. Maybe. Maybe Rian's... None of this was helping. He'd never wanted this from Rian before. How had their kiss opened such a floodgate? Was it all there, and he'd simply never known it?

It made sense. Rian was a good-looking man, and now that he was focusing on it, yeah, he was decently attracted to him. And they were best mates, too... But he could have sworn it was not there before.

'I think I might,' Nikau said quietly, drowning the next part of his sentence in a large gulp of whiskey. Be attracted to you. He hadn't the nerve to say it. 'We're best mates, bro,' he pleaded, though what good pointing out the obvious would do, he didn't know.

'I don't know.' Another swig. 'I mean, you're not – are you?' He gestured in the air, but let his hand fall to the table. 'What good would it do, though?' Nikau asked bitterly, though the question seemed to be directed at himself more than at Rian. Rian wasn't, he wouldn't... All this would do was lead to pain and confusion.

But of course he was ever running like a bull towards a red cape, and nothing could steer him away from the inevitable catastrophe. He drained his glass, and finally found it in himself to look up at his friend.

'What if I did want more?'
 #36481  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
Rian sat patiently, waiting for Nikau to string some sort of coherent sentence together. He knew it was hard but he hoped his friend could put his thoughts into words. Maybe it would help Rian do the same.

"I'm not what?" he replied. "Gay?" Rian paused, looking down at his hands on the table. "I had never kissed a man until last week. It was never something that crossed my mind." The Irishman explained.

Finally, Nikau looked up at Rian and the two met eyes across the table. So he did want more. He wanted something from Rian, something Rian would have never of dreamt about in a million years.

"Is that what this is?" he asked. He could feel himself getting angry but couldn't explain why. Was he angry at Nikau? Was he angry at himself? At the fact that they kissed?

"Is that why you got a divorce? Have you been feeling this for all these years?" he asked, a tone of anger or upset, or both, evident in his voice.
 #36512  by Nikau Harrison
It was too late to swallow his words once they were out in the open. And what would he do, really? Take them back? Did he not mean what he'd said? Was this not the inevitable conclusion he would have reached no matter how much time he spent thinking about it?

He listened to his friend helplessly, not knowing what to reply, or even if there was something to reply at all. He chose to remain silent, folding his hands in front of him for a second, before the urge to drink took hold of him once more. But a swig of whiskey only felt good temporarily. It didn't change that he was stuck in this intimate restaurant with his best mate, his world completely upside down. Something inside him was urging him to be a coward and run away, avoid this conversation, this situation forever. But Nikau wasn't a coward, that much he knew.

He took another sip, and it didn't bring him the courage he had anticipated, but he was still grounded firmly in place. Rian's tone, though, suddenly edgy, angry, did more to make him want to stand his ground than anything else. This whole situation wasn't his fault, and he sure as hell wasn't going to be blamed for it.

'What? Of course not!' Nikau replied, his tone rising to match. 'I got a divorce five years ago, and you have nothing to do with it. I told you, I never thought about you like that before. This was never about you before. I've been on dates, bro. Actual dates, with men.' No need to reveal just now how badly those had all gone. 'You're my bro, you've always been my bro,' Nikau said, hating that his tone sounded like pleading. 'And you've always been just that. There was never anything else. Did you ever think there was anything else?' Surely he couldn't suspect him of that.

'I never thought there was anything else. Never thought of you like that before last week.' And now, he couldn't stop. Nikau was certain that he'd never thought of his mate in a romantic or sexual way before. Not consciously, at least, but what of his subconscious? He didn't know. Had he thought about Rian like that before? He didn't know. How was he supposed to know? It was too much for one guy. 'It's all a mess now.'
 #37058  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
"Yeah, so you keep saying." Rian mumbled under his breath, his hands fidgeting on the table as Nikau spoke. Even though his friend was talking to him, Rian couldn't hear anything he was saying. The Irishman was so trapped in his own head, in his own thoughts that Nikau's words weren't doing a whole lot right now. At his question, however, Rian loke up at his friend.

"You're joking right." Rian scoffed. "I'm straight, Nik." Rian leaned forward across the table, his voice lower now than it was before. "And until a week ago I thought you were too. Why the hell would I have thought there was something else."

Taking a deep breath, Rian sat back in his chair. "So now you do think of me like that?" Rian asked, his voice a bit calmer now. The younger man ran his hands through his hair and closed his eyes for a second. Where did they go from here?

"Look," Rian exhaled and sat up in his chair again. "This whole thing is a mess, you're right. But this," Rian gestured between the two men, "Cannot be a thing. It can never be a thing." He paused for a second, looking Nikau in the eye. "But I do not want to stop being friends with you. We've been through too much to stop being pals over a stupid kiss."
 #37112  by Nikau Harrison
Nikau let his head fall into his hands as Rian started his tirade, and let out a long sigh. He felt so stupid. He should never have done this. Never should have said the words he did, never should have invited Rian here. Never should have thought this was a date, never should have gotten his hopes up. He felt especially stupid for having been so stupidly confident that morning, wearing his suit and being teased by his colleagues. So stupid. He was the most stupid man on this face of the earth.

When Rian said nothing could ever happen between them, Nikau felt as though his friend were hammering the last nail into his coffin, and he found swallowing to be almost impossible. Honestly, now that he analysed this and analysed his shock and dismay at Rian's reaction, he was astonished at his assumptions. He had really thought something would happen, then, hadn't he? Fuck. For fuck's sake, he didn't need this. His dating life had been a disaster long before this evening, and now, it was even worse.

'Fuck,' he sighed, finally looking up from the table. 'Mate, I wouldn't have done this if I hadn't thought─ I was so sure that─' Nikau's fist connected with the table. 'This is all my fault. I fucked everything up, I'm sorry.' He started fidgetting with the napkin in front of him, balling it up and ruining its neat creases.

'I want to stay friends, bro,' he said. His next words took a moment to gather. 'But I can't do this right now, Rian.' He threw the napkin on the table and gave his friend a tight-lipped, mirthless smile.
 #37288  by Rian Mac Bradaigh
"You didn't fuck everything up." Rian said in an effort to console his friend.

"Look, lets just both take some time to breathe and understand what happened by ourselves. Come back when we're able to talk about things more rationally." he suggested with a shrug.

After a short pause, Rian looked up at his friend with a small smile.

"Look at us actually going home after one drink for the first time in our lives." he said with a small laugh.
 #37297  by Nikau Harrison
After Rian's outrage and denial, his consoling words didn't do much for Nikau.

'Yeah,' he agreed dismissively. His head was spinning, and he wasn't really listening to his friend. Or, well, was Rian still his friend after this? How could he have gotten things so pathetically wrong? There had been signs, damn it, he was sure of it! Rian had liked it! He was certain it hadn't just been wishful thinking on his part. Damn it.

There was nothing left to say, though. Rian maybe thought he could make things better with a few words, but he couldn't. Whether or not Rian had feelings for him belonged to Rian. It was his problem if he did and wanted to pretend he did not. But Nikau's problem was that he did, apparently, and couldn't pretend.

'You'll forgive me if I don't stay for supper,' he blurted out, fishing a fiver out of his pocket and putting it on the table none too gently. He got up, adjusted his jacket, the discomfort of which now appeared to be mocking him, and sighed. 'Good night, Rian.' Without awaiting his friend's reply, Nikau turned his heels and left.