Scar was spread on his bed and Tal lied comfortably with his head in their lap. It was a typical Friday afternoon. They usually met up every Friday after classes before going to Tuckerville for dinner. They’d relax in Tal’s room, read a book side by side or watch new episodes of their favourite TV shows. Tal loved hanging out with Scar and normally he would have been a lot more energetic but he kept thinking about Nik and the cave. The past events had a weight to them that dragged his whole mood down.
“I don’t understand him.” Tal mumbled quietly. Scar hummed in agreement and ran their fingers through his hair. Tal couldn’t make sense of Nik’s behaviour. He couldn’t even make sense of his own. He understood partially why Nik didn’t want it to be true but it wasn’t Tal’s fault that his messed up ability dropped him in a cave to find out the evil Order still existed. He didn’t choose that. Nik had no right to let his anger out at him.
“I tried to apologise but I’m not even entirely sure he heard me.” “Why bother,” Scar muttered and stopped playing with Tal’s hair. He could tell they were getting slightly annoyed at the topic. Truth was, Tal didn’t really want to talk to Scar about Nik since he knew how much they hated him but they were his only friend and he had to talk to someone. He needed to get it off his chest or else he would go insane. “I want to be his friend but I keep messing up. It’s always in the moments when I think we’ve finally grown closer that I say something that pushes us apart again. And then he actively tells me to fuck off. Maybe in a less direct way but he still… I hate this.”
“Well, who would have thought that Nik’s a jerk? One might think you could have been warned, oh right, I did warn you. Every day, every single time you mention him.” Scar scoffed. “Why do you want to become his friend? He’s a class A dick with only class A dick friends. You don’t belong there.” They sat up and forced Tal into an uncomfortable position. After a lot of unnecessary shifting, Tal gave up and sat next to Scar. His expression had grown sadder. “You don’t know him like I do, Scar. It’s not fair for you to judge him.” “Because your Prince Charming has never judged someone before? Tell you what, I don’t know him and I don’t want to. As I said, Nik’s a jerk.” “Scar, stop!” His voice trembled and he gulped before meaner comments could escape his lips.
He hated himself for getting so defensive all of a sudden. If he continued to act that way, he’d make it obvious that he liked Nik. Tal had kept it a secret for years, he couldn’t freak now. Especially not in front of Scar. They’d figure him out in less than a second and then he was seriously fucked. Scar shrugged their shoulders and leaned back. They were examining Tal carefully with a newfound curiosity. “Your decision. Just don’t come crawling back to me when he breaks your heart.”
Tal’s body stiffened. “What?” His pulse heightened and he felt nauseous. No, this can’t be happening. “Why would you think Nik would break my heart? What are you implying?” Scar seemed a little taken aback. They were searching for the right words, he could see that but no matter what they’d say, he’d snap. He was close to having a panic attack. “Tal, come on.” Their voice was quieter now, hesitant even. Tal didn’t like where this conversation was going. “You don’t need to lie to me.”
“Lie about what?” He asked, still not ready to admit that Scar was implying what he feared they were implying. You like Nik, Tal, I know. His voice broke in the middle of the sentence and he turned his face away to hide how panicked he looked. He was sure that all the colour had left his face. “Dude, I know how you look at Nik. And the way you talk about him-“ they made a disgusted noise “is so extremely cheesy I could throw up whenever you mention his name.” His heart set out completely and Tal could practically see how he’d lose his only friend now.
“You think it’s disgusting when I talk about Nik? Because we’re both guys?” “What?” Scar glared at him with an upset expression. There was a hint of hurt in their eyes as well. “No. Jesus, Tal. I never said that.” “You did.” He stressed both words and found himself getting louder. Scar adjusted to his volume and got up from the bed. “I did not. I said your lovey-dovey talk about Nik is disgusting because I hate Nik and he’s a jerk and besides that,” they huffed, “you pretend not to like him. In how much denial can one be, seriously?” “I’m NOT in denial.” Tal snapped back and pointed angrily at Scar. “I just choose wisely who to trust with the truth.”
Scar went quiet immediately and turned away from Tal. He regretted his words already but couldn’t take them back. It was the truth, as ugly as it was. Scar was staring at the ground. They shifted from one foot to the other before raising their head and revealing the disappointment that had gathered in their eyes. “Scar… Look, I’m so-.” “Don’t you dare apologise now, Taliesin. I figured that you’d be someone who doesn’t trust easily but honestly? I thought I could be someone you would open up to. I always tried to be there for you. But it’s not enough, is it? It will never be enough. You can’t trust anyone.” They took a deep breath and Tal stepped forward, trying to reach for their hands.
“We’ve been friends for years and I always trusted you. Shit, Tal, I’m not asking you to tell me everything. I just want you to stop lying to me. And to yourself.” “You can’t do this to me Scar. You’re not...” He bit down on his lip while trying to find the right words. “This is about me. It has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with trust.” “It has everything to do with trust!” “You can’t force me to come out, Scar!” They scoffed and angrily packed their back while wiping a tear from their cheeks. “You should know me well enough that I wouldn’t do that.” “You tried it.” Tal gulped. “Scar, you tried to force me to come out.” “I wanted you to be honest about Nik with me. I didn’t force you to tell me you’re gay.” “Same difference!” Tal yelled and was surprised at the sharpness of his voice. He stepped back and groaned. “Just leave please.”
Scar nodded and then shook their head. “Yeah, I was planning to do that. But hey, whatever you got going with Nik is not my concern anymore. Let him fuck you up, Tal and see for yourself that I’ve been right all along. I don’t care. And next Friday, why don’t you just eat with Nik, hm? Go to his great manor with his rich family and Butler, enjoy the high society. I won’t be there for you anymore.” “Scar.” “Don’t.”
And just like that Tal had messed up a friendship from over three years because he was too scared to admit his own feelings. Scar left the room in a rush and slammed the door so hard that Tal feared it would break. He let himself fall onto his bed and pulled his legs towards his chest. “Good job, Taliesin. Well done.”