“Hey,” Joe jumps lightly as Oli nudges him, “Where’d you go?”
“Nowhere, sorry.” He shakes his head, focusing back on Oli. “What were you saying?”
“Nothing important,” Oli chuckles, “Want to tell me what’s on your mind?”
“My mind?” Joe’s eyes dart back over to Jack briefly before meeting Oli’s inquiring stare. “Not a lot. Just random shit.”
“Seems like it keeps taking you’re attention though, I’m here if you need to talk.”
“Appreciate it, but don’t worry.” He smiles easily at Oli, “Not interesting enough to share.”
“Alright, then anyways, my publisher…” And Oli’s off again, and Joe ensures to listen this time.
Because he can’t get distracted again.
Even though Jack is laughing loudly, and Joe’s sure if he looked over, he’d see that wide grin on the younger man’s face.
But Oli is talking, and Joe has already spaced out and lost what was being said, so he silently scolds himself and jumps back into the conversation.
Except the next hour goes by much the same.
Joe keeps getting distracted by Jack, and finds himself staring quite obviously at the younger man. It’s bad, really. Because no one knows of his secret feelings, and he had been doing so good at keeping them a secret still.
Well, until lately.
Lately, Joe noticed, he’d been slipping up a lot more. He’s surprised no one has picked up on it really, although he was grateful no one has. Joe doesn’t want to change the dynamic of their group if he admits out loud to Jack that he likes him.
Especially since he doesn’t even know if Jack likes him too.
“Joe!” He jumps once again, pulled out of his own mind, but this time because of Caspar snapping his fingers in front of his face.
“Look, he’s back!” Conor teases, grinning over at him. Caspar and Josh are also smiling, and Joe feels his cheeks turn red.
“Sorry,” He mumbles, running a hand through his hair.
“It’s fine,” Josh replies, “We all get distracted by Jack once in a while.”
“Wh-what?” Joe’s eyes dart from each of his mates faces.
“You were staring at Jack, mate.” Josh chuckles as Caspar and Conor nod.
“No, I wasn’t.” Joe protests quickly, his blush deepening.
“It’s fine, it’s not like you have a crush on him.” Conor teases, just as Jack, Oli, and Mikey join them.
“Who has a crush?” Jack asks, looking around the small group.
“Oh my god…” Caspar says softly, staring at Joe, who has lowered his gaze to the floor quickly.
He’s not surprised that Caspar’s figured it out, the South African lived with him. He knew him too well.
“What?” Mikey asks, clearly confused.
“Joe?” Caspar nudges the smaller man, who fidgets with the end of his shirt.
“Is he okay?” Jack asks Conor softly.
“Tell him.” Caspar nudges Joe again, and he slowly lifts his eyes to meet Caspar’s first, before looking over at Jack, who’s staring over at him concerned.
“This is not how I planned on doing this…” Joe mumbles, closing his eyes briefly.
“Well if you hadn’t been staring at him all night,” Caspar teases, and Joe opens his eyes to glare over at his former roommate. “Sorry.”
“I’m so lost.” Mikey comments just as Josh lets out a small noise of surprise.
Shit, Joe thinks. Because Josh has just figured it out, and a moment later Conor’s eyes widen as well.
“Oh.” The older Maynard says, grinning over at Joe before he looks at his younger brother and back to Joe. “Do it.”
“Do what?” Oli exclaims, and Jack’s gaze is still locked onto Joe, waiting.
“They want me to tell Jack that I like him.” Joe finally says, staring right at Jack.
“About bloody time.” The younger man smiles, stepping towards Joe.
“Wait, what?” But before Joe can say anything else, Jack has pulled him in for a kiss.
“I’m still lost,” Mikey says from somewhere else, but Joe doesn’t pay attention as he wraps his arms around Jack, kissing him back.
When they break apart, the group has left the room, and Joe blinks up at Jack, still surprised.
“You’ve been staring at me all night, Joe.” He chuckles, “And its not the first time I’ve caught you.”
“It’s fine, I think it’s pretty adorable.”
“Well, that’s good. Better than creepy.” Joe tries to joke, still feeling shy.
“You aren’t creepy,” Jack assures him, “Although kind of mean to tell Caspar, Josh, and Conor before me.”
“What?! No!” Joe’s mouth falls open in surprise, “I didn’t tell anyone! They just figured it out!”
“I’m teasing, love.” Jack laughs, “It was kind of obvious they had just figured it out. Just like you were very obvious at staring at me.”
“Oh piss off.” Joe mutters, burying his face into Jack’s shoulder, smiling as he feels the body shake with laughter.
“You’re stuck with me now. Get used to it.” Jack tells him, kissing the side of Joe’s head.
“I suppose I will,” Joe replies, lifting his head to smile at Jack. “And hey, now I don’t have to worry about hiding when I want to stare at you.”
“Hmm, there is that too.” Jack smirks, kissing Joe again quickly. “Amongst other things.”