William had a lot of ideas about Jack. He liked to think most of them are relatively correct, because William was a Philosophy major and the only thing he liked more than pondering inane things was being right with his pondering. So yeah, he thought about Jack a lot (he even made a list of observations once, but he's mentioning that never) but then again, he thought about a lot of things, so he considered his slightly-unhealthy obsession with his flat mate to be perfectly acceptable.

And if anyone would ask him why he had Jack's list memorized, well... let's just say it was a good thing that no one knew about it in the first place.


"Tell me she's not awesome," William said smugly. "I dare you."

"She's got spunk," Jack allowed. "And she puts up with your insufferable arse, so she might just be damaged enough for it to last."

William jabbed Jack in the ribs and sunk further into the couch cushions, hips wiggling as he tried to get comfortable. The telly lit up the room with a moving glow, and William turned his head to watch the pictures glint in the wetness of Jack's eyes. "I thought my chances were totally blown after the last time I got you two together."

Jack huffed and threw the pillow next to his elbow at William's head. He missed spectacularly when William easily batted it away, and it fell between them like an unspoken barrier. "How was I supposed to know I was talking about the wrong girl?" he demanded. "If you didn't change your love interests every five seconds, I'd be able to keep track of them."

"I introduced her as Clarissa! You called her Madison!"

Jack waved airily and turned his attention back to the sitcom. "I got confused. You said it's working out anyway, so what does it matter?"

William gave him an odd look, muted by the darkness of the living room. "Don't sound so pleased about it, you might strain yourself."

Jack leaned against the arm of the sofa until his face was out of the flickering glow of the telly, his expression indiscernible as he said, "I just don't think she's good for you, is all."

"What do you mean?" William's fingers hovered over the pillow separating them for a few, long moments but he let his hand drop back into his lap, something telling him the distance was necessary. "I thought you liked her."

"I do," Jack insisted. "She's a nice girl. I just don't think you... mesh well."

"Mesh?" William blinked, then laughed. "Oi, have you been watching Clueless again?"

He didn't need the light on to know that Jack's cheeks were flaming with embarrassment. "No!"

"You were," William said, his voice teasing. "Are you trying to communicate to me that you're jealous and lonely? Do you want me to break up with Clarissa so you can have a go at her?"

The next pillow hit William right in the face. "You are such a complete prat sometimes." Jack stood from the couch, looming above William like the silhouette of one of the noncy, greek statues he's always so fond of emulating. "I'm not jealous of you and you know that. You just don't want to admit it."

"Admit what?" William pressed the 'mute' button on the remote and tossed it on the coffee table, ignoring the noticeable wince in Jack's shoulders when it smacked against the glass. "What are you talking about?"

"Think about it," was all Jack said. "You're a Philosophy major, you should be good at that."


It took exactly three days, twelve hours, and fifty-two minutes for Jack to give up on being irritated. Not that William was counting, of course.

The morning was an overcast gray that seeped in through the kitchen windows like a shade, turning everything drab and dismal where it touched. Jack was at the counter, hands fast at work with a wisk and a bowl of eggs, and he looked up when William came in, hair sticking up in all directions as he yawned big and wide.

William gave a hesitant, "hey," and scratched at the side of his neck.

"Morning, Will," Jack said. Everything fell back into place then.


Just because they were once again on speaking terms didn't mean William suddenly forgot everything Jack said that night. He sat at his desk more often than not, pondering that stupid list and whatever else William could recall about their time together. It took him another month of sifting through memories and journal entries before he finally understood exactly what Jack meant.

Jack was in love with him.

How the bloody hell did William manage to miss that?


So, yes, William had a lot of ideas about Jack, until Jack killed them all with one misplaced love that William never saw coming. He spent the next seven days avoiding Jack as much as possible, doing his schoolwork on autopilot, and thinking back on all the times he and Jack have spent together, silently trying to figure out when, exactly, their friendship went to hell.