- Text Size +
He was sitting on Dave's couch, inside Dave's apartment, drinking a
Coke. It was a little late for soda, but Dave didn't have anything
else except water from the tap, and John didn't particularly feel like
getting a water-borne disease along with a heart attack from just
being here, so soda suited him just fine.

The place itself was kind of small. But John guessed if he had to
finance medical school by himself, along with a son, and a move, on
top of groceries and whatever else, then he'd be tight on money too.
He glanced at Dave, coming into the living room from having used the

"Well, thanks for the soda," John said, placing it down on the coffee
table and standing up, rubbing his hands on his pants. "I guess I'd
better get going."

"You don't have to leave," Dave said, standing in the doorway of the
hallway that presumably led to the bedroom. He looked at his hands,
playing with the silver ring on his right hand. John wondered where
he'd gotten it from, because John hadn't given it to him. "I mean, you
know.. it's kind of late. It's a long way to the mansion, right? If
you're still living there, that is."

"I am," John stated, not that it would've mattered. "I don't have
anything to sleep in."

"I could lend you some stuff.. you need a shirt or something?
Sweatpants? I got shorts from the gym."

"I don't have anywhere to sleep."

Dave looked at him, a small smile on his lips. "I'm sure we could find
someplace for you."

He swallowed. "Really? Where?"

Dave shrugged, his smile growing, that coy, sexy smile John
remembered. He didn't answer, he just turned, walking into the door at
the end of the hall. It was dark in the room for a few moments, but
then a muted light was on, and John could see a bed, right fucking
there at the end of the hall.

Oh, God, his heart was galloping.

He wanted to go. He willed himself with all of his might. But he
couldn't move, he couldn't think.. he could barely breathe. He needed
air. Just a little. Maybe if he went outside.. he wouldn't leave, he
would just go outside and just breathe a little, that's all. He went
around the couch and to the door, his hand right there on the knob
when he heard Dave calling out to him.

"If you're still there.. I promise I won't jump you," he said from the
bedroom. He'd been giving John a way out, John knew it then. It'd
almost worked. "You don't have to stay. I want you to, but what I want
doesn't matter anymore."

John looked at the hall, then back to the door. He let go, using his
hand to rub tiredly at his eyes, letting out a deep breath. He
realized he could breathe again. Suddenly, the room wasn't feeling so
stuffy anymore.


He stood in the doorway of the bedroom. Dave was sitting on the left
side of the bed, his back against the headboard. He was wearing shorts
and an undershirt. He smiled, but in a way that he used to; with his
eyes, that secret little thrill that only John could see. It made
John's stomach fill up with butterflies that were feeling awfully
restless tonight.

"I got shorts and a sweatshirt for you," he said, indicating the small
pile of clothes on the dresser beside the door. "If you want it."

John shook his head. "I'll just stay in my underwear."


John took off his clothes. He put them on the dresser, and climbed
into bed. He sat like Dave, on his side of the bed, his hands in his
lap. He wasn't sure what to do with himself. Was he supposed to do
something now? Maybe he should just say something. He decided on that.
So, of course his mind went back to what it kept going back to all night.

"What's your son like?"

Dave smiled, his new kind of smile; that broad grin, white chain of
teeth. He stared at nothing but John could tell what he was seeing.
"He's such a bright kid. Jesus Christ, he's smart. He must get it from
his mother, because.. " He trailed off, still grinning. "He's funny
too. He's so funny. He'll do something he knows he's not supposed to,
and then he'll look at you with that big, innocent smile, and those
bright eyes, and you just.. you can't stay mad at him."

"I know the feeling," John blurted out, and then looked at Dave,
surprised. Had he really just said that?

Dave just looked at him, with that big, innocent smile, and those
bright eyes. John had to look away.

"He's beautiful too," Dave went on, looking again at nothing.
Suddenly, he was quiet. "It's like.. you see a pretty girl on the
street.. and you think.. God, she's gorgeous. She's beautiful. And you
take that.. and you multiply by, like.. a million. And that's how
beautiful my son is."

John would've asked Dave if he missed his son, but it was obvious.
Instead, he asked, "Do you have a picture?"

Dave brightened. "Yeah. Right next to you." He indicated the
nightstand beside John. "That's him and his mother, Rita. They took
that before I left."

John picked up the picture and examined it. The boy was scrawny and
tan, his eyes were as bright as his smile. It was Dave's smile, and
Dave's eyes, but his hair was black and kinked with curls, his
mother's hair. She was pretty. It bothered John.

"Are you.. close with her?"

"Yeah, we're friends," Dave replied, rather casually. "She's great. We
used to live together before I came here. She's going to get her own
place here though, with Matty, maybe a house or something. Me and her
boyfriend are working on that."

"She.. has a boyfriend?" John wasn't sure why that made him happy.
Okay, he did know, but he wouldn't admit it. "He didn't mind you two
living together?"

Dave smiled, shrugging. "I know it doesn't make sense. I mean, it
wasn't logical.. everything was just.. so fucked up. But it worked for
us. I think this'll work too. At least, I hope so." Dave looked at
him. "I missed you." He rolled his eyes, looking away. "Sorry. That
was.. cheesy."

"It's okay," John said. At least, he hoped he said it; his heart was
pounding in his ears and he couldn't hear anything.

"I'm sorry I didn't call," he said quietly. "It's just.. the way we
left things.. and then Matthew, I couldn't.. I just needed to get my
shit together. So I did. And now I'm here. And I -- "

"Dave, please."


"Because once you say it, you can't take it back."

"I love you."

Dave was looking at him again, but he wasn't smiling now. He was just
looking at him, gazing into his eyes, and this time it was that
romantic sappy kind of stare, the one that just laid everything out
there, bared your entire soul, faults and emotions and everything.

He'd changed so much. They both had. But they were still so much the
same. Dave was still so much the same. Still so.. beautiful. He was
beautiful. John tried to explain how beautiful Dave was. It was like
seeing some pretty girl on the street and thinking how gorgeous she
was, and then multiplying that by a million. And that's how beautiful
Dave was.

"Do you love me, John?"

"I.. "

"John, please?"


"Because once you say it.. you can't take it back."

He didn't know if he could do this.

He knew. Of course he did.

"I love you, Dave," he said.

And he didn't want to take it back.


To be continued..
You must login (register) to review.