“it’s not my fault you don’t like girls!” mike regretted it as soon as those words came out.
“i hate you!” his voice strained, broken. “can’t you see that! i hate you i hate you i hate you!” he started to cry, mike reached out with a bewildered look upon his face.
“no!” will pushed him away “i hate you mike, because i thought you loved me the same.” his whole body was shaking but his eyes had never been more strong, but still, tears fell. “i hate you because i love you mike.”
“will you know i love you too” his voice barely above a whisper, mike looked around to make sure no one heard him.
“no mike. i’m in love with you.” mike couldn’t look at him anymore. so he stared at his own shoes. “the way you love eleven, that’s how i love you.”
“will. please you don’t know what you’re saying-“
“but i do mike!” he wiped away the tears that fell on his cheeks and took a small step towards mike. “i went through hell and back, more than once. i thought maybe, just maybe my feelings would go away. but seeing you with eleven, the way you just forgot about me-“ mike snapped his head up to glare at will.
“i didn’t forget you w-“
“i couldn’t ever forget you will!”
“you!-“ mike grabbed will’s wrists.
“the day you got trapped in the upside down, the day you started to lose your memory because of the mind flayer, those were the worst days of my life will.”
“no, i need to say this.” he softened his grip but didn’t let go, he couldn’t. “yes i love eleven, but.” his eyes started to tear up. he whispered, “i don’t think it’s the way a boy is supposed to love a girl.” he let go of will and turned around. “i want to love her the way that a boy is supposed to love a girl, but i can’t.”
“mike what are you-“
“i’m trying to say,” he took a deep breathe and looked back at will. his first friend. he hoped he’d be his last as well. “i don’t love her the way i love you.” a beat passed. “i love you the way a boy is supposed to love a girl.”
they both went silent. rain continued to punch down outside the garage. will had stopped crying but mike let a tear slide down his left cheek. will took another step towards mike and hugged him. his tried to let mike know he felt the same, but he was almost too afraid to say it out loud. but he was tired of being afraid. always the scared little boy who died and came back. not anymore.
“mike, i’m in love with you” mike hugged back as hard as he could, trying to convey that he too was in love with will. he didn’t want to loose will, not again. he couldn’t let go. he cried into will’s hair and will pushed back a little. they still had their arms around each other, but a space remained.
“will, will i-“ he blinked hard.
“you don’t have to say it, i know” will’s eyes sparkled.
“no i have to.” mike put his hands on will’s shoulders and looked deeply into will’s eyes. in the softest voice he could manage, he said “will byers, i’m in love with you, and i think i always have been.” will was done with being scared, so he kissed mike, tilting he own head a little to the left, and kissed him. his oldest friend. his best friend. mike was still for a second before he started to kiss will back. his will. mike put his hands on will’s cheeks and kissed him, he wanted the kiss to let him know how much he loved him, how much he’s always loved him.
they pulled apart to look at one another, to make sure this was real and not some strange dream they created, strange in the sense that it was too much of what they really wanted.
“you know mike,” will smiled up at mike, “you are the reason i don’t like girls.”