“How are the speakers working?“ Stephen runs up to Ant and Dec with a huge smile on his face. "Have they said anything good yet?”
Ant looks at his best friend and winks. “They have, they have.”
“Ooh! What?” Stephen asks excitedly.
Now it is Dec’s turn to wink. “Something about a certain host of BGMT…”
“That’s me!” Stephen gasps.
The best friends look at each other and roll their eyes. “No!” Ant says sarcastically. “Wanna know what they said?”
“Hey, Simon!” David’s voice interrupts Ant, coming loud and clear through the speakers.
“What is it now, David?”
“Have you noticed how Dec looks at Ant?”
Dec blushes bright red; he knows exactly what David is going to say.
“He looks at him when he talks,” Simon answers. “Everyone does that. It’s called Manners, David.”
Ant peers out to look at the judges. With his left hand, he reaches out and holds onto Dec’s arm. He’s confused as to what David is driving at.
“You know what I mean. When Dec looks at Ant!”
Amanda catches on. “Oh! You mean how Dec looks at Ant like he loves him?”
“Yes!” David cheers. “Do you think Ant realizes that Dec loves him?”
Taking a step back, Dec winces and tries to slow his breathing. His worst nightmare is being played out. Because the judges microphones are on, which means the entire audience can hear their conversation about how he loves Ant. If it weren’t true, he’d be laughing along with Ant, Stephen, and everyone else. But it is true. He does love Ant. He has for as long as he can remember.
“Of course I know that Dec loves me! I’m his best mate and we love each other!” Ant suddenly calls out, running into the center of the stage. Dec turns an even brighter shade of red, and when he hears David start to tease Ant because they love each other, he turns and runs to their dressing room. Collapsing onto their sofa, Dec starts to cry.
Quickly, Ant feels the lack of presence from his best friend. Worried, his hazel eyes flicker over to the side of the stage where Dec should be. But all he sees is Stephen, signaling him to come back. Without an explanation, Ant quickly runs off stage. He knows what happened without Stephen having to explain it, and goes straight to their dressing room where he finds Dec crying softly into the armrest.
“Oh mate…” Ant sighs as he sits down besides Dec on the sofa. He places both hands on Dec’s shoulders and rubs him there gently. “It’s true, isn’t it? You love me?”
Just barely, Ant sees Dec nod. A smile lights up Ant’s face and he rolls Dec over so he is facing him. “Why didn’t you say something?” Ant asks softly.
“I thought you would be mad,” Dec sniffles, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Mad?” Ant leans closer and closes the gap between their mouths. “Still think I would be mad?” he asks kindly when he breaks their kiss.
“You…you feel the same way?” Dec asks in shock.
“Of course! You’re me best mate. I do everything with you and my life revolves around you. There’s no one in the world I could possibly ever have feelings for except you. I’ve loved you for so long, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be interested in someone else.”
“I wasn’t sure…sometimes I thought you loved me, but other times I couldn’t tell,” Dec stutters, still in shock.
Ant strokes Dec’s cheek with a gentle smile on his face. “I just hide my emotions better than you do. You’re very open with how you feel. And I like that. It adds to your cuteness.”
“Cuteness?” Dec says in mock horror. “I thought I was handsome.”
“Mmm…you’re that too,” Ant whispers, leaning in so their lips are almost touching. “Dec-” he’s interrupted by sharp knocking on their door. “Who’s there?” Ant yells, trying not to show his annoyance. He was just going to ask Dec out, but no, he had to be interrupted!
“Stephen. Simon sent me to see if you are alright,” Stephen answers Ant’s question.
“We’re fine,” Dec responds. “Give us a minute and we’ll be out.”
“Okay, that’s fine. David says to kiss each other.”
“Already done that,” Ant whispers, rubbing their noses together. Ant waits until he feels Stephen has gone before he takes Dec’s face in his hands and kisses him gently. Dec wraps his arms around Ant’s neck and closes his eyes as they kiss. He can feel Ant smiling against his lips, and this makes him smile. Reluctantly, they pull away and look at each other in silence, both men feeling an unexplainable amount of happiness and pleasure.
Ant takes Dec’s hands in his own and looks at him kindly. “Declan Donnelly, I have only loved one person in my entire life, and that person is you. There is no one I’d rather spend the rest of my life with…this is starting to sound like a marriage proposal….but will you be my boyfriend?”
“Aww, I rather enjoyed that proposal,” Dec answers with a smile. “Yes, I will be your boyfriend!” Excited, he flings his arms around Ant’s waist. Ant closes his eyes and smiles warmly when he feels Dec bury his face in his shoulder. He brings his hand through Dec’s short hair and kisses his cheek gently.
“Should we get back to the others?” Ant mutters. “Not that I’d rather stay here with you, but we are at work…”
“Yeah, let’s go.” Dec sighs. “We’ll have the rest of our lives together, so we’ll have plenty of time to kiss, won’t we?”
Ant laughs as he pulls Dec to his feet. “Yes we will.” He looks Dec straight in his eyes as they head for the door. “I’ll always be here for you, you know that right? I love you, and nothing can ever tear me away from you.”
Dec’s eyes water and he kisses Ant passionately on the lips before holding the door open for them. “I love you too and feel the same way about you.”
“I wanna stay here and kiss you,” Ant whines a little as he takes Dec’s hand. All he gets in response is a squeeze to the hand and a wink. As soon as they appear on the wing of the stage, David spots them and waves them on stage.
“Did you kiss like I requested?” David asks gleefully.
Ant looks at Dec and tilts his head slightly. Should we?
Dec smiles. You said you wanted to kiss me.
Without hesitation, Ant pulls Dec closer and kisses him. Neither man is aware that the cameras are back on and their kiss is being filmed live. The judges cheer, David the loudest, and Simon is clapping when he suddenly reaches down and presses the golden buzzer.
“Wha-” Ant gasps when he feels the golden paper fall on his head. Dec rests his head on Ant’s shoulder and wraps his arms around him. Ant kisses him gently again with tears in his eyes as Simon runs up the stairs and shakes their hands before enveloping them in a hug.
“We all knew there was something between you two. Everyone except you two could tell you love each other, so we decided to do something about it,” Simon explains. “And I’ve been waiting for something good to happen so I can use my golden buzzer, and that kiss was definitely good.”
“It was my idea to use the speakers,” David says happily. “You fooled us once, and we fooled you once!”
Ant holds Dec close as the final gold papers fall. “I love you Decky. And this, this is the beginning. We may have gotten together late in our lives, but we get to spend the rest of our lives together. And that, to me, is the single most important thing on earth.”
“What is?” Dec asks softly, leaning in to brush his lips across Ant’s cheek.
“Being together,” Ant whispers before kissing Dec. “In my opinion, being with you is the most important thing on earth. And I’m so happy I have you as my boyfriend.”
Closing his eyes, Dec kisses Ant again. “I’m happy too.”