Tucker hadn’t meant for this to happen. Honestly his tight ass would have paid any amount of money in the world to PREVENT this from happening.
But it had happened. He had looked over at his life long best friend sleeping against his shoulder and had been struck by the very INTIMATE urge to kiss him on his adorable little freckled nose.
This wasn’t a good thing, because said best friend’s GIRLFRIEND was sleeping against his OTHER shoulder, and every time her hair fell across her face he had to nearly bite his own fingers to stop himself from brushing her fringe aside out of her long lashed eyes.
The three of them had sat down for a movie at Sam’s place, it was one of those few calm nights where the ghosts were chilling in the Zone and NOT causing any trouble for once. Danny was absolutely delighted to spend the night with his friends doing something that DIDN’T involve ghosts.
The two lovebirds had sat beside one another on the lounge, holding hands and being, quite frankly, UNBEARABLY adorable. Tucker warned them that he’d sit on them if they didn’t stop being so mushy and things predictably escalated until they were all but a tangle of goofy limbs hanging precariously off the two seater lounge.
By the time Tucker awoke it was late morning and he was seated firmly between Sam and Danny, both having cuddled right up to him in the night, his left arm was warm under Sam’s weight, but his entire right side was borderline numb beneath Danny’s clinging arms. Boy was a leach, he had always been clingy when they shared beds as kids but back then he didn’t have a big ol’ chunk of freezing cold ectoplasm sitting pretty in his chest.
But cold be damned Tucker was squished up with BOTH his crushes practically sleeping on top of him, no force on Earth or in the Zone could possibly make him move right now. He was staying right here where he could stew in his delight and guilt for the rest of eternity.
Until Danny stirred and an arm pressed against his bladder. Heck. He needed to pee, like, really REALLY needed to pee.
Tucker stayed nestled up in the cuddle pile for as long as he could stand it before heaving a sigh so heavy even Thor couldn’t lift it. Somehow he managed to wrangle himself out without waking either of his friends and he waddled to the bathroom to relieve himself.
He could hear his heartbeat in his ears as he stood in the cold tiled room. Why. No seriously, WHY. How in the fresh hell did he manage to fall head over heels not only for ONE of his best friends, but BOTH of them, and to top it off they were both DATING each other. He literally could not have picked a worse scenario.
He could wake up one morning with 'Bad Luck Tuck’ tattooed to his forehead and he still couldn’t possibly feel more unlucky than he did in this instant.
It took all of his willpower not to always end his and Sam’s constant meat vs vegan fights by smooching her on those enticingly smooth cheekbones, and Danny was even WORSE. Every time that asshole so much as SMILED Tucker’s heart would start thumping like it was trying to put him into cardiac arrest, it was just all those freckles and that little chip in his tooth and-
Oh God stooooop. He needed to stop, he needed to stop right the heck now before he became the first human being to pass out from overexposure to adorkableness. Honestly? Fuck his friends for being so cute. This was all their fault, they could at least have considered his feelings before growing up to be so adorably kissable.
He’d tried so hard to deny it to himself, he tried SO hard to fall back out of love with them but after waking up that morning nestled between those two precious asshats he realised that he had lost this battle, and he had lost it HARD.
But, at the very least, living with a superhero as your best friend taught you some pretty useful life skills. One of those skills being how to Lie Like a Motherfucker to Everyone You Care About. So without further ado Tucker washed his hands, took a moment to stare his lovestruck gaze away in the mirror, and went back out to throw a shoe at his best friend’s head for making his arm numb through the night.
He loved his friends, he loved them with everything he had and that was why he could never tell them how he felt.
Sam was honestly pissed, no scratch that, she was more than pissed. She was FURIOUS. Her rage burned with the intensity of her mother’s artificially whitened teeth, and she couldn’t even take it out on anyone, because the focus of her ire was her own stupid stupid brain.
She had always been equally close to both of her friends, in fact she had only very rarely hung out with one or the other alone, and every time she did it felt just… so uncomfortable. It took a long time to really sort out what that feeling was, but even when she did it made no sense.
It was GUILT, she felt GUILTY. Why did she feel guilty? Danny and Tucker sometimes hung out together without her, and that was fine, she was fine with it, they’d been friends since before she came along, but why couldn’t she do the same?
Every time one of them was over her house without the other it almost felt like she was cheating on someone, and that only got MORE disturbing after she and Danny started dating. Because suddenly? It very well COULD have been cheating.
But it wasn’t. And she kept telling herself it wasn’t. She had never kissed Tucker while she and Danny were dating. They had never even held hands.
But God damn, the realisation that had just struck her was enough to make her want to slap herself for ever becoming such a cliché piece of romance movie tripe.
She had just been sitting there, sipping on her smoothie when Tucker did that Thing. She hated that Thing. That Thing where he’d say something that he knew full well was the vocal equivalent of a tumblr shitpost but he ALSO knew she’d found it fucking hilarious and while she tried her damnedest not to let a smile loose he’d send her a big shit eating grin that made her stomach roll and her tongue feel dry. Yeah, THAT Thing.
She was crushing on Tucker, she was crushing on Tucker so hard. She was head over heels for her best friend, her BOYFRIEND’S best friend. Literally EVERYTHING about this situation was the reason she hated 90% of the movies she ever saw. Love triangles were the worst plague fiction had ever suffered and suddenly she realised it had spread it’s nasty little friendship killing tendrils into her life.
She was determined, however, not to fall into the awful trap that so many would think was inevitable, and she did so by keeping her mouth firmly shut about it. She had the willpower to go face to face against ghosts twice her size, and had been through more than one bout of emotional and mental manipulation by others of the ghostly kind. She was not about to lose this battle with herself and destroy not only her relationship, but also the much more valuable friendship she held with both boys.
Sam got up and gathered everyone’s Nasty Burger food scraps to throw into the bin, taking the brief moment to let her face twist in grief over what she’d have to do. With the rubbish gone and her resolve hardened, she slathered her face in smiles and ease, walking back to the table and acting with the skill and grace of someone who had been lying to protect her best-friend-turned-boyfriend for years. Her true feelings shoved somewhere deep between a pit of self-loathing and the core of her love for the boys she cared more about than anyone on this earth, including herself.
Danny was in trouble. Danny was in so so so so SO much trouble.
Honestly? At first he hadn’t even realised he was doing it, Tucker had been his friend for such a long time, it had only seemed natural to invite him out everywhere when he and Sam made plans. But Danny was starting to realise the tension it was causing.
Neither of them said anything but sometimes Danny could pick up on… something. Of course he knew what it was, since he’d started officially dating Sam, Tucker had become somewhat of a third wheel.
Danny had never considered his friend to be out of place or unwanted, but he wasn’t sure Sam felt the same way. Maybe she wanted it just to be the two of them, maybe she just wanted some alone time with her boyfriend. She wouldn’t say anything, Danny figured she didn’t want to seem clingy or harsh but, why else would things suddenly start feeling so… weird?
He tried to make the effort to go on at least a couple dates with Sam without inviting Tucker, but honestly he just couldn’t help but think something was missing, and it really didn’t seem to be helping with Sam’s tension. She tried to hide it, she really did, and it wasn’t as though she was bad at it, Danny just knew her too well. Her and Tucker, he was hiding something too.
And Danny was starting to think he knew what it was. They had NOTICED.
He thought he was doing such a good job keeping his feelings from being too obvious, he was used to acting differently around certain people by now (having an alter ego did that to a guy), but obviously his friends knew him too well.
It might have been the touching, yep, yep it definitely could have been the touching. Danny was an extremely touchy person and his gentle caresses and nuzzles weren’t particularly picky about which friend received them. He definitely remembered a time when he straight up snuggled his face right into Tucker’s neck during what was probably an EXTREMELY un-platonic hug.
Other events on the 'Danny is a two timing doofus’ calendar included:
'Holding hands with both Sam AND Tucker while walking down the street.’
'Very delicately running his fingers over Tucker’s leg one time when he’d thrown them on Danny’s lap and honestly there was absolutely nothing heterosexual about that moment.’
'Every time Tucker laughed so hard he snorted Danny thought his heart would straight up melt into a puddle of goo, and then SAM would start doing that super adorable giggle that she was really self conscious of and her trying not to laugh made her pull this fACE and Tucker would lose his mind and start snorting all over again and-’
Danny had to stop himself right there before his heart completely dissolved because for the love of the Ancients his friends were both way too hecking precious for their own good and he loved them, he loved them sooo much. He loved them both.
And they probably knew it.
And boy that meant he was in deep trouble.
Would Sam break up with him? Would this ruin their friendship? Nobody was SAYING anything but Danny knew that stewing over something like this was just going to lead to an explosion of awkward raging teen angst worthy of a place on an MCR album.
If they weren’t gonna bring it up then Danny would just have to… get it out of the way.
Oh boy, he did not want to do this, nuh uh, no sir, he did not want to be standing in his bedroom shifting uncomfortably before his two beautiful, patient, wonderful friends. He would have loved to be sitting BETWEEN them however he deemed such a position to be quite, how the professionals would say, INA-FUCKING-PROPRIATE considering the subject at hand.
No, standing in front of them was slightly better, only slightly because Danny felt like an absolute nervous piece of half human trash. Maybe he could just jump out the window and throw himself into a dumpster, that would speed things along. He would probably end up there by the end of this conversation anyway.
He decided to just do it, stop beating around the blood blossom bush and just get it DONE. Unfortunately Danny hadn’t practiced what he was going to say beforehand, so when he finally resolved to just blurt it all out he literally did… just that.
“I’VE GOTTA HUGE CRUSH ON TUCKER AND I DUNNO WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.”
By the time his brain caught up to his words his dumpster diving plan was sounding significantly more appealing. There was probably some kind of banana skin pun he could have used there but he was far too stressed to figure it out.
Tucker didn’t respond, he appeared to be trying to bury his face into his hat. A kind of wheezing noise was coming out of him, Danny couldn’t tell if it was a good sound or a bad sound. Sam let out a long breath that whistled between her lip piercings.
“Holy shit me too.”
The Tucker sound continued, raising to a nearly imperceptible level. Danny was just beginning to think it might have been a Bad sound when Tucker pulled his face back into the world, his glasses were all fogged up but he stopped making the noise.
Sam and Danny both waited for him to say actual words but Tucker.exe seemed to have stopped working. Once he’d gained his breath he was back to wheezing into his hat. Sam hesitantly put a hand on his back.
“Are you actually okay or are you like, dying?”
Muffled words were said into the hat, none of which could be repeated around children. Danny was juuuust about to start attempting to will himself into spontaneous combustion when he recognised a very distinct sound emanating from the hat.
Snorting, Tucker was snorting like a god damn pig. Danny’s shaky legs gave out below him and he sat on the floor, shoving his face into the carpet as he laughed along with his best friend. He didn’t know what was happening right now, but he was Having Emotions and the floor just seemed like the right place for that.
Also he needed to look somewhere that wasn’t Sam. She was trying not to laugh and she was pulling That Face and Danny just couldn’t handle it right now and really the floor was great why didn’t he spend more time here.
Tucker felt as though he was finally ready to leave the comforting world of Hat Land and face the unbeLIEVABLE realisation that all of his dreams had just come true in a ten second span of time, he felt like he had just been blessed by the gods, his skin was clear, his crops were flourishing and world peace had been established. Today was a good day to start ugly sobbing in front of the two most important people in his life.
“I love both you guys too!!” Tucker half laughed, half cried, and then just straight up cried, “I’ve wa-wanted to smooch you both sooo bad for like, MONTHS!”
The moment his snorting turned to sobbing he was immediately accosted by a pair of equally snotty emotional wrecks. Danny, still on the floor, had plopped his head on Tucker’s lap and just started balling his eyes out, like he was really going for gold in 'Most Tears Shed on One Lap’. Sam, on the other hand, had commandeered Tucker’s upper half for a simple bone breaking, teary hug.
The next few hours were just chock full of used tissues, an inappropriate amount of snacks and some deep, heartfelt discussions about what the fuck their relationship was gonna be.
Honestly they were just happy to be so open and at ease with one another again, the sun poured into Danny’s bedroom window as the three of them dozed in the warm pool of light. Laying across one another, their imagined boundaries finally broken, they could finally talk shit about each other for making them feel so mushy.
Paulina said out loud at the scene before her. Those three dorks were sitting together at their usual lunch table, all bunched up ridiculously close together and if she wasn’t mistaken she had just seen Danny turn around and KISS TUCKER ON THE MOUTH while Sam, his GIRLFRIEND, just watched?!
“Oh yes.” Star deadpanned, not seeming too fazed by the weirdness happening before her.
“I didn’t think those three could get any more confusing, but I have no idea what’s happening over there right now.” Paulina sat back in her chair, arms crossed.
“Really?” Star raised an eyebrow. “You seriously didn’t see this coming? Those three,” she pointed with a delicately painted pink nail, “have been perfect polygamy material for like, three years.”
“Perfect what material?” Paulina’s face was all scrunched up in confusion, her little nose wrinkled up and her lips pursed in just the cutest little pout-
Star’s stomach fluttered alarmingly.