A/N: Just a little oneshot that came into my head. Seriously. I don't know how it happened. It just did.

"Fire, fire, burn this twig to, um, wait, that's not right. What the hell is – oh! Fire come burn this twig so as to cleanse it and –"

"What," Paul said, leaning on the doorjamb with his arms crossed and one brow piqued, "are you doing?"

"Gah!" The twig went flying out of Cory's hand and landed on the floor. Luckily he hadn't set it on fire yet. His mum would have killed him if he'd gotten a burn on the floor. Except the floor was scarred and scraped which was kind of why he was doing it here instead of somewhere else, say, his room.

"Cory?" Paul shook his head and waved a hand in front of the blond's face. "Cory, you didn't answer my question."

"You asked me one?"


Because Paul said his name in the voice that indicated he-ought-to-get-with-the-program-or-end-up-in-the-backyard-hogtied-to-a-tree-with-no-clothes-on, Cory quickly scrambled for a good explanation. Because saying you were trying to summon up a fairy to help you seduce your best friend – who happened to be a guy, like you – who you know for a fact doesn't like but has been stuck on the same girl – girl – for the past two years to said best friend just wasn't. Well. Yeah. It just wasn't.

"Um…cleansing my soul?"

"With a twig?"

"It's a burning twig!"

Paul looked at the twig, then looked back to Cory – who was still kneeling by the low table pretty much overflowing with all the stuff he'd bought from the local Wicca shop – and quirked his eyebrow again. "No it's not."

"Well, it would have been if you hadn't interrupted me."

"How? You don't have any candles or matches."

"By magic."

And then Paul laughed at him, which made Cory feel even stupider than he already did which was very hard to do since he'd already felt incredibly stupid for trying the ritual in the first place but, yeah, well, since Paul was laughing and making his feel stupid, he kicked Paul on the ankle.

Paul didn't, as he'd hoped, fall down but he did stop laughing, which was a bonus, and he did crouch down next to Cory, which was a, um, bonuser. And yes, he was aware that wasn't a real word. Shut up. Besides, it was bonuser because he got to see Paul up close and personal; his light brown hair that fell into his gorgeous hazel green eyes, his tanned skin with his light smattering of freckles across the bride of his nose and – oh. God. He was turning into a girl.

Horrified with the thought, Cory looked down at himself and then heaved a sigh of relief when he confirmed he hadn't grown any extra body parts. Which would sooooooooo account for what he'd just thought about his best friend, because seriously, guys didn't think that, even when they were having crushes on their best friend because, seriously, not macho or manly. Not that macho and manly were two words anyone – including, unfortunately, his family – would ever use to describe Cory but it was the principle of the thing.

Paul was looking at him strangely so he quickly looked down again to make sure he hadn't grown boobs, then looked up and gave Paul a weird look himself. "What?"

"You," Paul said in his slightly rough voice that was so not causing shivers on Cory's skin, "are acting strangely."

"Honey that's me. The queen of strange! Wait. That's not right. I meant king. King of strange."

Paul laughed at him and picked up a pretty coloured chunk of rock that the cute guy – cute even though he'd been wearing waaaaaaaaaaay too much eyeliner – at the shop had said was good for attracting love, looking at it from several different angles before laughing again and putting it back down. "So you bought all this stuff just to…cleanse your soul?"

"Huh? Cleanse my – oh yeah. Absolutely." And Cory nodded just to make sure Paul understood he was serious.

Paul snorted. "How much of your allowance did you blow?"

"Um." Cory blinked. He hadn't – well, yeah, he had but he was sure – his eyes widened. "Oh my god!"

Paul laughed again and seriously, was this a laugh at your best friend day or what because Cory was so not liking it. "I thought so. Maybe you should return some of this stuff, yeah?"

Cory felt himself wilt. Like, literally, wilt. "Um…I can't. The shop has a no return policy. The cute guy at the counter said so. And he pointed to the sign from management. Which is kind of kooky I think because what if a spell goes horribly wrong and–"

"Cute guy?" Paul said and Cory blinked – again – because, seriously, was that all Paul had heard. It wasn't like a revelation or something. They'd both known Cory was gay since he'd been eleven.

"Uh, yeah. Like kind of goth, punk cute. But not my type. The guy wears waaaaaaaaaaaay too much eyeliner and black nail polish? Sooooo emo and, god, how depressed do you have to be to wear black nail polish?"

"Some people actually think it looks nice."

"Yeah well, some people have no taste. Paul!"

"What?" Paul looked startled, like he hadn't expected Cory to start wailing at him, which he probably hadn't.

"What am I going to do? I bought waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much stuff."

"You only just realized that now?"


Paul didn't laugh this time but he did chuckle so Cory punched him. Out of principle. And because he chuckled. "Hey, it's no problem. I'm sure you can sell a lot of his stuff on the 'net and make a lot more money than you spent on it. Just make sure your mum doesn't see it."

Cory's heart stopped. He hadn't thought of that. Oh shit. Why hadn't he thought of that? "Paul! Come on, move, what're you doing just sitting there? We have to hide this before mum finds it! Stop laughing, help me find a good hiding place for it! Not my room, because god she's always going through my room. Maybe Tara's room? Or the – Paul! Stop laughing at me!"

Because he didn't stop laughing when Cory told him to, Cory kicked him because his arms – Cory's, not Paul's - were full of the Wiccan stuff.

"Okay, okay." Still laughing, wiping tears from his eyes, Paul starting collecting things from the table. Satisfied, Cory walked towards the door, only to pause when he realized Paul wasn't behind him. He turned.

Paul was still kneeling at the table, staring at a book. A book of spells. A book of love spells. A book of open love spells. Oh fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! How could he have forgotten he'd left it there? Stupid, stupid, stupid!

He dropped everything, rushing to the table, hand reaching out for the book but Paul must have seen – or heard because he seriously made a lot of noise – him coming because Paul snatched the book up before he could grab it.

"Gah! No!"

"Cory," Paul said in a measured voice, standing over him where he lay sprawled where he'd fallen. "Why is this book open to a love spell? And why have you writing 'fool proof plan to get Paul' on top of the page?"

Cory moaned and just covered his face with his hands. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Stupid cute Wiccan guy, Stupid book. Stupid Paul And, most of all, stupid him for, well, just messing everything up.


"Because I like you! I've liked you ever since Freshman year but you're not gay you're straight and you like Emily and you've liked her for two years which is way longer than anyone really should seriously except I've liked you longer and I just wanted to make you love me like I love you but you walked in on me before I could finish the spell and now everything's messed up!"

There was a long silence in which Cory kept his hands over his eyes and wished that hole would appear beneath him and take him away so he'd never have to ever see Paul again but he kind of didn't wish that because he loved Paul, he really did and –

His hands were pulled away from his face and Paul's amused face filled his vision. Amused? Why the hell was he amused? He should be angry or running for the hills or – well, anything but kissing Cory so softly and sweetly that Cory could do nothing but moan and kiss back and curls his fingers in Paul's hair and oh, so good.

Paul pulled back with a soft laugh. "You silly, silly boy. I don't like Emily."

"But you – her – all the time!"

"Because she liked me. But I told her I like someone else."

"What? Who?" Cory scowled because that someone had better watch it, he was going to –


Wait. What? "Me?" That did not come out in a squeak did it? Oh god, it so did, didn't it?

Before Cory could curl up and die of embarrassment – because it could so totally happen and he'd be the first – Paul pulled him into his lap, wrapping his arms around the blond's slight frame. "Yes you. But you, as per usual, were so freaking oblivious."



"Well, I like you."


"You like me?"

"Yes, and?"

"We're best friends."


"Best friends can't go out with each other! It's in the rule book!"

"There is no rule book. Besides, if there was and it was, then what was with the love spell?"

"Er…shut up," Cory decided and buried his face in Paul's chest.

Paul laughed softly and kissed his brow. "I love you too."

Cory smiled because, well. Jut because.

A/N: Just realised I should put this in before I shoot it off; um, the spell chanty thingy Cory was doing at the start of the story? Came from my head. I am not a Wiccan and I don't know any Wiccan rituals or anything but I wanted something to do with fire and a twig so I just did that. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, I didn't mean to and I'm sorry.