Jeff walked through the house, shaking his head slightly and smiling as he heard his best friend laughing in the backyard.
"Aw, Braxton! Come back!" came a laugh. There was a loud meow and then Braxton ran back into the house, ears pressed to his skull and hackles raised.
"Riker, what did you do to your cat this time?" Jeff asked as he walked into the backyard. Riker just laughed, bouncing a soccer ball off of his knees.
"I did nothing. The hose turned on," Riker replied, smiling widely over at Jeff, who smiled back, stomach clenching quickly.
"Rike, hoses don't turn on by themselves," Jeff finally said.
"That's what you think, Jeffy," Riker chuckled, winking over at Jeff as he continued to bounce the soccer ball off his knees. Jeff smiled and shook his head, stomach clenching again. "So, what's on the agenda today, my friend?"
"No idea," Jeff replied, sitting down and watching Riker as he bounced the soccer ball around, shirt discarded on the ground nearby.
"Lame. You're supposed to make the plans," Riker laughed, catching the soccer ball and then sitting down across from Jeff, dropping the ball in front of his legs.
"I'm not the only one who can make plans," Jeff said, raising one eyebrow at his best friend, who just flashed him a smile.
"But you're better at it," Riker replied, nudging Jeff's knee with his own. Jeff smiled and shook his head, even though his stomach jumped. "So, what do you want to do?"
"No idea," Jeff breathed, reaching out to spin the soccer ball in the ground.
"Well, I think Lily is on her way over. That should provide some entertainment," Riker said before pushing up from the ground, the muscles in his arms becoming more prominent. Jeff took a deep breath as he tried not to stare, though Riker didn't seem to notice as he stretched his arms over his head and then walked to the side of his house.
"Okay, Jeffy. I have a plan," Riker chuckled as he reappeared, holding something behind his back.
"What?" Jeff asked, looking up and trying to ignore the way Riker looked under the sheen of sweat covering his body. Riker smiled and then pulled a sprinkler out from behind his back. Jeff snorted with laughter, shaking his head.
"Go! Go change into a bathing suit!" Riker exclaimed, grabbing the hose and starting to hook it up to the sprinkler.
"I'm going!" Jeff laughed, rolling his eyes and following the familiar path up to Riker's room.
"Hurry up, Jeff!" Riker's voice called through the house.
"Shut up!" Jeff replied, shaking his head as he walked over to the dresser and pulling the drawer open. He heard Riker laugh and he smiled again as he grabbed one of Riker's bathing suits, attempting to not think about the fact that Riker wore these without any underwear on. He took a deep breath to steady himself and then stripped down before pulling the bathing suit on.
"Jeff, you are too good to my baby brother," Alyssa laughed as Jeff walked into the kitchen. Jeff snorted with laughter.
"I know, but someone has to keep him entertained," Jeff added before walking into the backyard to see Riker jumping through the sprinkler and laughing. Jeff snorted with laughter, shaking his head. "Riker, are you sure you're not five?"
"Pretty sure!" Riker laughed, jumping through the sprinkler and running over to Jeff and grabbing onto Jeff's wrists. "C'mon! Sprinkler time before Lilleth gets here!"
"Calm," Jeff giggled, allowing Riker to pull him forward.
"Nope!" Riker replied, shoving Jeff into the sprinkler. Jeff let out a small squeal as the cold water came into contact with his skin. Riker laughed and stood under the spray of the water, face raised to the sky. Jeff stepped away from the sprinkler, shaking water out of his hair.
"And now my hair is ruined," Jeff said. Riker looked over at Jeff and snorted with laughter.
"So many gay-isms, Jeffry," Riker added.
"So much gay in me," Jeff replied, smiling and raising one eyebrow. Riker looked over at Jeff and winked, causing Jeff's stomach to jump yet again.
"I know. I've seen plenty of proof of you being gay," Riker said. Jeff blushed, mind flashing back to that one day during the school year when Riker had walked in on him and Sean.
"Shut up," Jeff finally retorted. Riker laughed again and grabbed one of Jeff's hands to pull Jeff back to the sprinkler.
"Whatever. Not like I haven't seen you naked before," Riker said.
"Okay, one, I was not naked that day. Two, last time you saw me naked we were both wasted," Jeff replied. Riker snorted.
"Oh, you mean like last week?" Riker asked.
"Wasted," Jeff laughed. Riker smiled, and then yelped as the sprinkler sprayed water across his back. Jeff burst into a fit of giggles, hands covering his mouth. Riker looked at Jeff and then grabbed onto Jeff's arms, pulling him closer. Jeff squealed and tried to pull out of Riker's arms. Riker just laughed, grip tightening.
"Aw, c'mon, Jeffy. It's not that cold," Riker chuckled.
"No, Riker! Let me go!" Jeff screeched, still attempting to break free of his best friend's arms.
"Stop fighting, Jeffry!" Riker said.
"No!" Jeff replied, trying to calm down slightly since his heart was pounding and his stomach seemed to be in a permanent knot. Riker just laughed, keeping hold on Jeff and holding him under the spray of the sprinkler.
"It's not that bad," Riker laughed.
"I hate you," Jeff whined, going limp in Riker's arms. Riker laughed, squeezing Jeff's shoulders.
"No you don't," Riker replied, poking Jeff's side. Jeff squealed and tried to pull out of Riker's arms again. Riker laughed, arms tightening around Jeff's shoulders. "You're not allowed to leave."
"Says who?" Jeff asked, turning in Riker's arms to push against Riker's chest with his hands, ignoring the feel of Riker's muscles against his hands.
"Says me," Riker laughed, pulling Jeff closer to his chest. Jeff whimpered, his heart refusing to slow down and his stomach refusing to release from its knot.
"You're mean," Jeff added, still struggling against his best friend's arms. Riker laughed again, fighting to keep his hold on Jeff.
Though, both tasks were hard because their skin was wet from being under the sprinkler. At points Jeff thought he was free, only to have Riker's strong arms wrap back around him and keep him where he was. Riker was smiling widely, but Jeff refused to let a smile spread across his face, even though it was waiting to surface. Jeff was slightly annoyed, but he truly loved moments like this. The moments when they were play fighting and Riker's arms would wrap around him and keep him in place against Riker's chest, the muscles of Riker's arms and chest standing out against his own body.
Then, they both stopped, staring at each other. Riker's arms were still wrapped around Jeff and Jeff could see his green eyes reflected in Riker's blue-grey ones. Jeff's heart seemed to speed up even more and his stomach knotted even more.
Jeff's gaze flicked down to Riker's lips quickly and Jeff thought he felt Riker's breath hitch. When Jeff's gaze returned to Riker's eyes, it was quickly torn away because Riker's own eyes quickly glanced down at Jeff's lips, which were parted slightly. Jeff's heart skipped a bear and his breath caught.
When Jeff's heart started beating again, it was pounding. Hough, he could feel Riker's heart pounding against his chest also.
Then, Riker broke the silence with a chuckle.
"Love you, Jeffy," Riker said, leaning down quickly to kiss Jeff's forehead.
"Love you too, Rikey," Jeff replied, letting out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding.
"You can be released now," Riker chuckled, letting his arms drop from around Jeff's shoulders.
"Thank you," Jeff replied, nodding once before going to sit down on the back porch. Riker smiled and shook his head, jumping through the sprinkler again. Jeff snorted and shook his head, leaning back on his palms.
"Riker!" Miri's voice suddenly called out.
"Yeah, Mom?" Riker asked, stopping out of line of the sprinkler.
"Lily's here!" Miri replied.
"Lily!" Riker exclaimed happily, running into the house, arms raised. Jeff smiled and shook his head again as he heard a screech.
"Riker you're all wet!" Lily's voice whined.
"Because he is five and playing in the sprinkler," Alyssa snorted.
"Oo, fun," Lily giggled as they walked outside. "Hi, Jeffy."
"Hey, Lily," Jeff replied, smiling and waving up at Lily.
"I guess Riker forced you into the sprinkler," she giggled. Jeff nodded and Riker snorted.
"Jeff is a loser and won't play in the sprinkler with me," Riker added. Lily giggled, shaking her head.
"You have issues, Riker," Lily added. Riker smiled and shrugged.
"You know you want to play in the sprinkler too," Riker said. Lily smirked and then nodded. Riker smiled. "Go ask Alyssa for a bathing suit, I'm sure she'll let you borrow one."
"Aye, aye," Lily laughed before disappearing into the house and calling out for Alyssa. Riker sat down next to Jeff, leaning lightly against Jeff's shoulder.
"You know you will join us soon enough," Riker said, slipping his hand into Jeff's to play with Jeff's fingers.
"Don't count on it," Jeff chuckled, stomach clenching as Riker played with one of his fingers. Riker snorted, nudging Jeff's shoulder with his own.
"Oh, but I know you will, because you love me," Riker said. Jeff snorted with laughter.
"Questionable," he added. Riker made an exaggerated gasp and pulled away from Jeff slightly.
"I am hurt, Jeffry!" Riker said. Jeff smiled and rolled his eyes, using their still connected hands to pull Riker closer to his side again. Riker chuckled, both of them leaning on each other's shoulders.
"Love you, Jeffy," Riker breathed, chin rested on Jeff's shoulder as he played with Jeff's fingers.
"Love you too, Rikey," Jeff replied, smiling widely as his stomach clenched.
"Aw, look at the best friends," Lily giggled as she walked out of the house. Riker laughed, pulling away from Jeff to stand up.
"You're just jealous you don't' have a friend like Jeff," Riker added.
"Last time I checked, I am friends with Jeff too," Lily said.
"Not like me," Riker sang. Jeff giggled slightly, shaking his head.
"Riker's got a point there, Lily," Jeff added. Lily just shrugged and then skipped over to the sprinkler to jump through it. She let out a small squeal, jumping away from the water.
"It's colder than I expected," she said.
"You'll get used to it. Plus, it's summer. It's hot out," Riker chuckled, going over to join Lily. Jeff watched Riker, letting out a small sigh.
Riker and Lily both began jumping through the spray of water and laughing like little kids. Jeff watched them, though his eyes seemed to land on Riker more often than Lily, and he found himself really taken in Riker's appearance.
They way the water clung to Riker's skin, reflecting the sunlight. The way his hair stuck to his forehead, even though he kept pushing it back. The way his muscles moved and stood out, depending on what he was doing. The way his smile lit up his whole face.
Jeff smiled slightly, focusing in on the way Riker was smiling and laughing. It was the same smile that had been so common before seventh grade, but had disappeared for three and a half years, only having returned recently during their junior year. Jeff had never realized how much he'd missed it.
Then, Jeff jumped slightly as he felt something brush up against his arm. He looked down to see Braxton rubbing against his arm, purring loudly. Jeff smiled, reaching out to scratch Braxton's ears. The purring became louder and Braxton settled down next to Jeff, leaning into Jeff's touch.
When Jeff looked back up, his eyes met Riker's. Riker had turned that bright smile on Jeff, and Jeff smiled back, body locking up as his heart rate sped up and his stomach clenched. Riker laughed and then waved.
"Love you, Jeff!" Riker called out. Jeff smiled and shook his head, heart fluttering in his chest.
"Yeah, yeah! Love you too!" Jeff replied. Riker laughed again and then went back to jumping through the sprinkler with Lily.
Jeff continued to watch them, smile slowly fading the more he thought. He watched Riker carefully, smile returning for a few seconds every time Riker would throw him a smile.
This was a problem. A huge problem.
Jeff liked Riker. His best friend. Who was straight.
Jeff had a crush on his straight best friend. This was a problem, and Jeff did not think it would end well.
Pfftch, doesn't this just make you want to slap Riker upside the head for all the shit that happened during their senior year? He is a silly, stupid, boy, but I love him :)