"Have you ever wanted to kiss a boy?"

Nick jerked, his attention snatched away from spanking down noobs on Call of Duty. On screen, his character's head exploded in a shower of CG blood and brains, and he almost didn't care.

He had left Dante reading his Iron Man comic books, what the fuck could have prompted him to ask a question like tha - oh.

Shit.

His sister's yaoi manga that he'd stolen and totally not read because it was a piece of shit, and oh god, where did that come from, he thought he'd buried it behind all his real comic books and Dante was totally not going to want to hang out with him anymore if he answered that question.

"Where did you find that?" he blurted out, pausing his game and dropping the controller onto his beanbag. His manly beanbag. With the camo print.

"It was behind the Iron Mans," Dante replied with a shrug, absently flipping through the pages. "The pink sort of stood out against all the red and black."

"Okay, point, but-" he moved across the room, snatching the manga from Dante's hands, ignoring his indignant "Hey!"

"Don't read that, it's a piece of shit," he snorted, tossing it absently onto his bed. "Serious, the character dynamics are all stereotyped and the chemistry is fucking forced. No one would like a whiny bitch like Satome IRL, anyway."

From behind his emo-bang, Dante gave him a baleful look, then sighed and shrugged his shoulders, conceding his defeat. "Fine, whatever. But you didn't answer my question."

That's because he didn't want to answer the question. Yeah, he was okay with his own... bicuriosity or whatever, and Dante'd probably be fine with it, now that he thought about it, since he was a scene kid and all, but. He really didn't want to have a Big Gay Talk or a Manly Heart to Heart right then.

And the longer he took to answer, the more suspicious Dante looked. Fuck.

"Look," he finally snapped, mustering up his fiercest scowl and crossing his arms over his chest. "It doesn't matter, right? Because even if I wanted to kiss someone, who around here would want to kiss me?"

"I would."

Nick hadn't been expecting a response. Really, he'd been hoping Dante would get the hint and just drop the subject, but the calm, certain way he said those two little words made Nick's heart skip a beat and his stomach twist into knots.

"Wh-what?" There was no way he'd heard that right. No way. No one wanted to kiss him - No one.

"I said I would," Dante repeated with a small, sweet smile and a shrug. There was no way that in that moment, Nick's eyes zeroed in on his mouth, focusing on those beautiful, full, painted black lips of his. Primus, if only he could...

Meanwhile, Dante continued on, seemingly blissfully unaware of the looks Nick was giving him. "Kiss you, I mean. But I don't know if I'd be very good at it, because I've never kissed anyone before. No one's ever wanted to kiss me before, either so. But I wouldn't mind - You look like you'd be really, you know, cuddly. Like I could fit on your lap and tuck my head under your chin and well..."

He paused, biting down on his lip. Sometime during his rambling, a blush rose up in his cheeks, making the already shy, quiet boy look like some sort of... well.. forgive him for being poetic, but Dante, standing there blushing and trying not fidget? Yeah, he looked like a little cherry just ripe for the picking.

And shit, Nick was no predator by any means, but when left alone in his room with an adorable little emo kid just begging him to pluck his sweet virginal fruit, no way he was going to turn that down. He'd have to be insane to do something like that.

So without any further ado, he sucked in a breath, cupped the other boy's cheeks, and kissed him.

It was funny; when it came to kissing, in most fanfics Nick had read, one of the characters would usually be described as tasting like something sweet or spicy. Their favorite food, usually, or the last thing they'd eaten. He saw gunpowder mentioned once, when referring to a solider, and smoke wasn't uncommon either.

Fanfiction really missed the mark on this one, because Dante didn't taste like anything in particular, something he was sorely disappointed by. If he really thought about it, he might say that Dante tasted like meat, but that was really gross to think about, since it wasn't really a steak or burger or bacon meat taste. It was a raw, slimy meat taste – something that would put him off kissing for the rest of his life if he thought about it.

And he really didn't want to think while kissing Dante. Didn't want to not want to kiss him, either. Yeah, they were just buds and all, but oh man, Dante really was some kind of gorgeous, you'd have to be blind not to see that. He was the kind of guy who appreciated hotness in all its forms, and he couldn't believe Dante thought no one wanted to kiss him, seriously. The more he thought about his slim little body and cute face, the more he couldn't believe he'd kept his hands to himself for so long.

All things considered, he was really pretty sure Dante was out of his league, but the emo had come onto him, so who was he to say no? It was just a bit of teenaged experimentation, after all, right?

So yeah, he was happy to be kissing Dante, but so not happy that he didn't taste like those dark chocolate dipped strawberries he talked about so much, or at least the pizza they'd had for lunch at school. Just that weird, bloody meat taste. Which sort of made sense in a weird way, since Dante loved vampires and horror movies and all things Neo-Victorian. But the how the fuck Dante managed that was beyond him.

It was something to consider as their kisses grew longer and deeper with every passing second. Nick's hands slid down his face to his neck, to his shoulders and chest. Before he was consciously aware of what he was doing, he managed to stuff his hands down the back of Dante's jeans and had a handful of smooth, pliant skin filling his palms.

Dante so didn't mind, if the moans he was making between kisses was any indication. He certainly put up no resistance when Nick manhandled him across the room and pushed him down on the bed, pinning him in place with his weight.

He was just starting to wonder how far Dante would let him go when he noticed the sores. Not like herpes or cold sores or anything like that. Those had a really funny, spongy texture that was way more obvious than these were. Actually, it felt more like a section of skin that had been bitten and chewed on until the skin broke, then started healing over again.

And they were all over his mouth, he discovered as he grabbed Dante's face to hold him in place while he explored the other teen's mouth with his tongue. Damn, Dante's tongue kept getting in the way, but well, the other boy probably just thought he was getting a bit rough with his kissing. Understandable, really, so he just shrugged it off as he tried to get a good feel of the oral wounds.

And there they were; a row of sores along Dante's teeth, stretching from one side of his mouth to the other.

How could-? Why would-?

Dante blinked as Nick pulled away, gazing up at him with his big, glossy, melty brown doe eyes. Nick felt his stomach tie up in knots as he stared down at them, his heart thumping loudly in his ears.

"Why did you stop?" the younger teen asked, his voice plaintive and sad. "Am I doing something wrong?"

"No. No, it's not that," Nick reassured him, shaking his head adamantly. How the hell was he supposed to ask him about the damned sores when he was being given those big, sad, kicked puppy eyes. Like Dante had disappointed him somehow. Oh god, the guilt.

Nerves completely lost, Nick let out a frustrated sigh and flopped off to the side, holding his arms out to the other boy. Dante cuddled up to him instantly, brushing his lips over the corner of Nick's mouth as he nuzzled affectionately at the gamer's jaw. Moments later, they were kissing again, arms wrapped tight around each other while their lips locked and tongues grappled fiercely for domination. Dante's thick eyelashes fluttered like butterfly wings, then settled on thin, dove-brown cheeks - cheeks that glowed with rosy hues, flushed with pleasure.

Nick closed his eyes, and thought there was something wrong with him, if he was thinking about his friend in purple prose.