I'll Be:
Chapter 4
by Skyler

LEGALEASE: If you aren't of legal age to read this story, please go soemwhere else now. The Disney site might be a good place...

NOTE: Well, I know that this update has been quite awhile in coming and I'm terribly sorry for the delay. Between the holidays and work and
all other pressing obligations it seems that I've been quite busy. I also realize that this chapter is rather short. Again, my profuse apologies. Please enjoy and I promise more is instore for this tale. As the characters speak to me, I write. That simple. Anyway, Merry Christmas!
Peace and love to all of you... -Skyler

"Cam, wait… Please don't leave." Tyler croaked softly, suddenly shattering the void of silence that had enveloped the room.

"Look at me, man. How long have we known each other? I mean, well, I'm a little surprised that you actually told me, I guess, but I'm not mad at you." Yes, even though his stomach was in knots and his mind in shock, Tyler was certain that this minor shift in direction was not at all worth destroying a friendship over. Sure, it would inevitably change things between them and he would simply have to accept that. One thing would not, could not possibly ever change: Cameron was his best friend, his most trusted confidant, his strongest source of support. All things considered, Cam was like a brother to him and brothers didn't turn away from each other. Someday soon, like so many times before, he would need Cam and his friend would be there, like always, just as Cam needed Tyler to be here for him now.

"I know I'm probably bungling this, I'm not as good at talking as you, but what I'm trying to say is that I'm cool with this. You're still you. You're my best bud, Cam, you always will be."

Cameron looked on from his position near the door, watching Tyler's every move, hanging on each word he spoke. He had prepared himself, he thought, for anything but the emotion in Tyler's speech had caught him completely off-guard. In terms of a positive or accepting response, Cam had bet on an indifferent "Whatever" from his friend. Tyler ad never before possessed the ability to be so diplomatic. The sincerity and amazing compassion that rang from Tyler's lips simply blew his mind.

"I don't know what to say…" He whispered, a tear of silent relief blazing a trail down his cheek as pent-up emotions began to quickly unwind.

"Don't say anything." Tyler stated quietly, mouth forming a grin as he stood up and moved to his friend's side.

"Actually I think its kinda cool that, for once, I've managed to leave you speechless! Its about time I figured out how to shut you up!" Both boys giggled lightly at this, the tension between them all the while dissipating.

"Thank you for being here, Ty." Cam sighed, as Tyler's arms pulled him into a strong, warm embrace.

"Thank me for nothing. This is what friends do." At that remark, Cameron returned the hug, holding on for dear life and silently wondering if anyone else might take the news so well.

The next few days flew by with amazing speed. The hum-drum daily routine of being a teenager occupied both boys as they headed toward the weekend with hopes for what was to come. The "big party" at the Mills brothers' was the hottest topic in high school: What to wear, who would be there with whom, all the usual concerns of adolescent affairs.
For the two best friends, relations went unchanged. The elimination of the last secret between them only strengthening their feelings for one another. Tyler became ever more vigilant in staying near Cameron, as his pal's recent emotional outpouring had left him somewhat concerned. It wasn't as though he believed Cam capable of doing anything stupid or irrational, just that he was a little emotionally off-kilter since then and Tyler figured he could use the extra support and attention.

Cameron had not outted himself to anyone else yet, though he now desperately wished to tell his parents. Tyler's unwavering support had given him some hope for a similar positive outcome, but his fear of the exact opposite reaction had thus far kept him from doing that. Maybe just a little more time.

Apart from a simple concern for his friend's sanity, there was something else drawing Tyler to remain closely at Cameron's side. He couldn't explain his own feelings since that afternoon, only that he yearned to be near Cam seemingly all the time. Tyler was honored and relieved that Cam had told him the truth about his sexuality. Relieved? How strange to feel that…

Tyler was also slightly jealous. Envious of his friend's certainty, as this discovery had managed to rekindle dozens of questions for Tyler in regard to his own preferences. Questions that both confused and frightened him. Queries for which he held no clear answers.

Cameron, on the other hand, was emboldened with a renewed sense of optimism toward the promises life might have in store for him. After all, if Tyler could accept him so easily for who he truly was then perhaps the struggles in store might be easier to handle. Now he hoped that somewhere out there, whether tomorrow or in the many days to come, he just might find someone special. A certain person who could be even closer to him than a best friend. Someone who made his heart beat faster. An individual to share his entire life with.

Time would tell…