Shattered Pieces

by P.A. Lovas

Aaron's fingers flew over his keyboard momentarily before sliding over to toy with the mouse. With a few clicks, he leaned forward, squinting at the screen as he scrolled lower, clicking here and there as he searched. "No…not here…"

"Hey, I-"

"Knock," Aaron murmured around the pencil clasped between his lips. The words stopped Garry in the doorway as he rolled his eyes and lifted a hand, drumming it lightly against the doorframe. "Much better. Now what do you need?"

"I was just coming in for the Littman file."

Aaron paused in his search and pulled the pencil from his mouth. "The Littman file? Since when are you taking on my clients?"

"Since you've been cutting work," Garry responded as he positioned himself on the corner of Aaron's desk. He reached over, picking up a random file as he began fanning through it. "They called with an issue, you weren't here to help, so I picked up some of your slack." He smiled at the incredulous look Aaron gave him, throwing the file back down. "Don't get yourself in a tizzy, it's just the mortgage. Once we've straightened this out, they'll be all yours again."

Aaron reached over and pulled out the file, handing it to Garry skeptically. "I expect everything that was in there back."

"I know," Garry replied, reaching for the file. He frowned as Aaron pulled his arm back quickly.

"And this time, no notes or doodles in here, please. I don't want a repeat of the Aldan meeting. Be professional."

"Alright alright. Jeez," Garry mumbled, snatching the file from Aaron's hands. "You know, I don't remember how I lived without these speeches."

"I'd place my money on 'unprolific'," Aaron said, his eyes glued to his computer screen once again.

"Hardy har. You know, I think I actually might have preferred your 'do-whatever-you-want-just-leave-me-out-of-it' mode. Less damaging to me."

Aaron rolled his eyes. "Sorry. I'll try to come to work more depressed from now on."

"That's the spirit," Garry said, pushing himself from the desk, moving to stand behind Aaron. He raised an eyebrow at the computer screen, giving the back of Aaron's head a weird look. "You know, I really don't think any of that's necessary."

"I appreciate the sentiment, but it's not for me." Aaron's gaze stayed transfixed on the monitor as he chewed thoughtfully on his thumb.

"Ah," Garry breathed with a small nod. "So, how is the kid doing?"

"Stop calling him that. It makes me seem creepy."

"Well, haven't I been calling you that for years?"

"Very funny." Aaron rolled his eyes, a small smile threatening his perfectly schooled expression. He's been finding it harder and harder lately to keep from beaming at random, the previous week excluded. "But, Donovan's-" Aaron was cut off by the shrill ring of the phone and Garry laughed as his tapped his watch.

"He's right there," he finished for Aaron. "Twelve-o'clock right on the nose."

"I can assure you, the only reason he's punctual is because he's bored." Aaron shook his head, picking up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Hey," Donovan voice sang from the other end. "You on lunch yet?"

"I am now," Aaron said, his voice becoming a bit softer as he finally let go, allowing the smile to spread lightly over his expression. "You feeling alright?" He looked up, nodding at Garry who slipped from his office with a small wave.

"You always ask that and I always tell you the same thing. I'm fine. If it wasn't for you making me stay in bed, I'd be…well…not in bed."

"Ah, so profound," Aaron laughed, gripping the receiver tighter as he leaned back in his chair. "Hey, I have a question for you."

"And I just might have an answer," Donovan chirped and Aaron could fairly hear the bounce in his voice. It took ever ounce of his willpower to not simply hang up and run home to Donovan. …Home to Donovan…Aaron turned those words over in his mind, testing them out. Home…it's been so long…

"Hello? Aaron? I didn't hang up on you again, did I? Aaron?"

"No, I'm here. You didn't hang up, for once."

"Well, excuse me for not being used to your fancy phones with all those fancy buttons. Why on earth do you need six buttons that simply just hang up on the person you're talking to?"

Aaron placed a hand behind his head, smiling at Donovan's exasperated tone. "Because telephones are designed by the Phone Company to make sure you are continuously paying a connection fee."

"Really? That sucks."

"I don't know. I was just making that up."

"Oh…well…" Aaron could almost hear the wheels turning in Donovan's head as he searched for a retort. "Shut up," he finally settled on.

Aaron smiled, shaking his head lightly. "Hey, what are you doing tonight?"

"The same thing as every night," Donovan responded quickly.

"What's that? Try to find ways to get out of bed rest?"

"Basically, that was the idea."

"Well," Aaron began with a laugh. "Why don't you stay there, for now, so I know where to find you when I get home with a surprise."

"A surprise?" In his mind's eyes, Aaron saw Donovan sit up a bit higher, gripping the phone with both hands as his eyes danced. "What kind of surprise?"

"You'll see tonight."

"Oh, you're just being stingy," Donovan pouted.

"And you're being juvenile."

"Hey, most people find that endearing."

"I can't say I'm an exception to that, now can I?" Aaron asked, hearing Donovan give a small sigh. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I just wish you were here."

"I'll see you in a few hours," Aaron laughed.

"I know, but still…" Donovan's voice trailed off sadly and Aaron felt as if his heart had dropped to the floor.

"Don't say that, because then I really will come to you, and right now, I really need to work."

"I know, I know. I'm just being a little selfish. I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Aaron said simply. "You, of all people, deserve that every now and again."

"Perhaps," Donovan sighed. "Well, I'm gonna let you get back to work."

"I'll see you tonight. And don't forget that I have a surprise."

"Oh yeah!" Donovan's voice sang out, taking on its usual upbeat tone. "I'll see you tonight, Aaron. I love you," he added, before quickly hanging up the phone.

Aaron stared at the receiver for a moment, feeling a million things at once. He knew that by hanging up in such a fashion, Donovan was giving him the time he needed. He was giving him an "out", and it made him feel extremely grateful and guilty at the same time. He felt like such a fool to be thrown off by a simple phrase.

"Well," Aaron murmured to himself as he picked up the phone and began dialing. "I'll just have to show it instead."


"What are you doing?" Aaron asked, raising an eyebrow. He had just pushed his way through the door only to find Donovan sitting cross-legged on the couch, beaming at him as he entered.

"I was waiting for you," he replied simply, his grin unfaltering.

"I thought I told you to stay in bed."

"No, you told me to wait for you in bed so you would know where to find me. I figured I'd make it easier for you and wait right here, that way, you couldn't miss me."

Aaron's eyes met Donovan's and a smile curled on his lips. "Loophole?"

"Loophole," Donovan responded back, his smile widening as he began to rise from his seat on the couch.

"No, don't move," Aaron said, coming along side of him. "I'll come to you." Shifting the small package in his hands gently, he leaned down, catching Donovan's mouth in a quick kiss.

Donovan made a small sound, something between a murmur and a laugh, as Aaron pulled back. "What's that?" he asked after a moment, eyeing the brown-paper parcel. "Is that my surprise?"

"Yep," Aaron said, lowering it to the coffee table as he began to unwrap it. When he noticed Donovan switch into his impatient mode, fairly bouncing on the couch, Aaron deliberately slowed his fingers as he hummed a lazy strip-teasing tune.

"Aaron," Donovan whined, reaching over to tug lightly on Aaron's sleeve.

Aaron laughed and pushed the brown paper away to reveal a white box. "Patience is a virtue, you know," he said as he jerked at the pastry string crossed over the box, knotted at the top.

"So is celerity."

He turned, raising an eyebrow at Donovan. "Who said that?"

"The philosopher that was waiting on somebody," Donovan responded, moving his hands up to tug at Aaron's collar. "Come on…"

Aaron laughed as his fingers worked with the knot, after a moment finally pulling it loose. With a single motion, he flipped open the top of the box with a small "tad dah", revealing a small, white iced cake.

Donovan kneeled higher on the couch, his arms circling Aaron's neck from behind as he hoisted himself higher to peer over Aaron's shoulders and into the box. "Ooo, a delicious surprise! I-" Donovan's words stopped in his throat as he saw the words "Happy Birthday" scrawled in fancy blue cursive across the top. "Oh, Aaron…"

Aaron turned around when he felt Donovan's hold slacken and his body slide back down to the couch. "I know it's a bit late," Aaron said, with a small shrug. "But, I wanted to wait until we could actually celebrate. I didn't think that…well…you know…"

Donovan just shook his head, his face buried in his hands. "I just…I mean…I don't…"

Aaron smiled lightly as he crouched before Donovan, pushing his arms down in order to look into his tear-filled eyes. "Happy Birthday," he whispered, laughing a bit as Donovan threw himself forward, wrapping his arms tightly around Aaron's neck.

"Thank you," he murmured back, hugging him tightly. "Thank you so much."

"Not at all," Aaron said, his arms circling around Donovan, holding him as strongly as he could without feeling as if he'd cause him physical pain. He pulled back after a moment, staring into Donovan's eyes, running his thumb lightly over his cheek. He dropped a light kiss to his mouth and smiled. "Come on. Let's have some cake." He moved over to the cake, and glanced around before muttering a quick swear under his breath. "I forgot to bring plates and forks in here. Hold on, I'll go get them."

"Fork-shmork," Donovan said with his usual exuberance and a quick wave of his hand. He reached over and dipped his finger into the side of the cake, scooping up some icing. "See? Who needs forks when you have fingers?"

"I don't think Miss Manners would approve," Aaron scolded playfully.

"Yeah, well, Miss Manners needs to lighten up." Donovan grinned as he reached up, depositing the frosting to the tip of Aaron's nose. He nodded happily as he sucked the remaining icing from his finger.

"Lovely," Aaron grumbled, glancing cross-eyed his nose.

Donovan shifted himself back up onto his knees and grabbed a handful of Aaron's shirt, pulling him closer. His eyes fluttered closed as leaned forward, lightly licking away the frosting from Aaron's nose. He pulled back with a smile and gave a small shrug. "You forgot napkins as well."

"Silly me," Aaron responded, leaning down to take a small heap of icing himself, making a small smear on Donovan's cheek. He smiled at Donovan's pout, leaning over to gently kiss the icing away.

Donovan pushed back, his lips curling into a sly grin, causing Aaron to laugh. Just at the moment that Donovan dove for the cake, Aaron's arms circled his waist securely, leaving him flailing his arms. "Oh no you don't," Aaron scolded playfully, pulling Donovan to his chest.

"Wanna make a bet?" Donovan asked, dropping a wink as he reached out, and grabbing some frosting, flung it at Aaron. Within a moment, Aaron retaliated, throwing a hunk of cake at him, laughing so hard he felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes.

"Alright, alright!" Donovan cried out. "I give up." His laughter died down slowly as he reached up, trying to pull out the pieces of cake tangled in his hair. "Oh, this is fantastic."

"Hey, you started," Aaron said scooping some of the icing off Donovan's forehead. His gaze met Donovan's, his blue eyes light with laughter and innocence, and Aaron smiled, feeling a rush of happiness and contentment run through him.

Their gazes locked as Aaron offered the frosting to Donovan, holding his in front of his mouth. Aaron pulled his hand back as Donovan made a move to take it, opting instead to spread it on Donovan's lower lip. He moved his hand, replacing it with his mouth as he sucked the icing away, pulling Donovan harder into the kiss with one arm wrapped securely around his neck, shivering at the small moans he was eliciting.

Cake and icing were momentarily forgotten, Aaron's hands sliding up to Donovan's face as they kissed, trying to find a sense of completion here, where it felt so close, and yet so far. He wanted everything. All these feelings, sensations, everything that Donovan had to offer. He pushed himself deeper into the kiss, searching for that feeling, wanting a brief touch at the 'everything' he craved. Nothing else mattered at this moment. All his previous fears were being expelled as he hung tightly to the light Donovan gave him, warm feelings spreading throughout his body, driving him further than he'd been in a long time.

Aaron was the first to break the contact, breathing deeply as he took in all he could of Donovan right there. The way his hair hung limp and tangled across his forehead, his lightly parted lips, the depth of his eyes, and the small trail of icing Aaron's fingers left on his jaw. A small smile curled on Aaron's lips as he raised a hand, tilting Donovan's chin up as he swept lower, pushing his mouth against his neck.

Donovan's hands rose to curl in Aaron's hair as he gave a small, shuttering whimper. His head tilted to the side, giving Aaron better access as he licked down, farther than the smear of icing had traveled, enraptured by the different tastes mingled on his tongue. He retraced the path he just made, then lifted his head, closing the distance as he once again turned his focus to Donovan's mouth. He kissed him with all the urgency his body was calling for, feeling Donovan respond in kind, his moans growing a bit louder as he pulled Aaron down to the couch.

Aaron felt Donovan shift beneath him, making him hiss slightly into the kiss as fireworks shot through his body, increasing his need. His mind was an utter haze, his body moving of it's own accord as his hands rose, pushing his way under Donovan's shirt. His senses tingled as he stroked softly, causing Donovan to arch into his touch with a light gasp. Pulling his mouth from Donovan's, he lowered to follow the patterns his hands were making, pushing the fabric higher with each touch.

There was nothing in Aaron's mind but a swimming haze, warm and thick, which slowly seeped from his head to spread softly throughout his body. Somewhere in his mind, he had a vague idea that this was almost what he was searching for. He just needed to push a bit further. It was so close, so close.

Aaron pulled back with a start as a small, frightened whimper fell from Donovan's lips. Looking up, he found himself lost in those fathomless eyes, now clearly reflecting desire and fear, and his heart fell as Donovan began to shake. Aaron rolled to the side, pulling Donovan to him, wrapping his arms around him as he tugged his shirt back down to swim around his waist.

"I'm sorry," Donovan whispered, his tears falling over his face to run down Aaron's neck. "I'm so sorry."

"Don't be," Aaron said, rubbing his hands across Donovan's back in what he hoped was a soothing manner. "This is fine, Donovan. You don't have to push yourself."

"No," Donovan cried out, clutching Aaron tighter. "It's not fine, it's not enough, and it's cruel. God, Aaron, I want so much more. I want everything. But…" Donovan paused, pushing himself back to turn teary eyes to Aaron. "But, I don't want to hurt you."

"You couldn't hurt me," Aaron said, feeling as if this particular conversation would always continue in this perpetual circle.

"Yes, I could and I would, Aaron. The worst part is that right now, I would willingly hurt you just so…" Donovan's face flushed and he turned away quickly.

"Donovan," Aaron called, his voice softly patient. "You're not a disease and you're not a death warrant. Not to me." He sighed as he tilted his head to the side, trying to look Donovan in the face. "You don't have to protect me and I don't want you to run away from me, Donovan. I'm here because I want to be and no other reason."

Donovan sniffled, blinking back his tears. "Nuh uh. You're here because this is your house."

A small laugh broke from Aaron's throat as he pulled Donovan into a tight hug. "Aside from that," he said, his smile falling softly as he buried his face into Donovan's hair, breathing deeply. "I'm not a child, Donovan," Aaron continued, his voice barely above a whisper. "You don't have to make my decisions for me. If you don't want to go farther for your own reasons, then that's fine. I'm perfectly content just like this. But, don't worry yourself for my sake. I know the risks, I understand them, and I'm not bothered by them." Aaron pulled back, running his fingers over Donovan's face. "To me, you're not a 'risk'."

Donovan tilted his head, leaning into Aaron touch, his name falling from his lips in a soft whisper. "Aaron, I don't understand you. Is all this really worth it to you?"

"Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring or even if it's going to be there." Aaron swallowing hard as his gaze fell to his left hand. "There are no chances in life that aren't worth taking if your heart is in it," he said slowly, his eyes rising to meet Donovan's. "Donovan, I-"

"I love you," Donovan finished, a few tears blinking from his eyes to run softly over his face. "I don't know what I want yet, Aaron, or what will happen in the future. All I know is that right now, I want to be with you. For now, please, just hold me."

Aaron's eyes slipped closed as he tightened his arms around Donovan, a hand rising to twine in his hair. "I'll hold you for as long as you let me."

They sat in silence for a long while, simply absorbing the solace and serenity, before Donovan piped up, breaking through it, just as Aaron knew he would. "You know something?" he said, pulling from Aaron's embrace. "We haven't actually eaten any cake."


" 'And?' " Donovan's eyes widened as he shot him a look of pure shock. "It's bad luck."

"And who's rule that?"

"It's a well known fact."

"Well," Aaron began, his fingers toying with the pale hair that curled at the nape of Donovan's neck. "I feel pretty damn lucky right now."

Donovan opened his mouth to retort, but stopped short as a smile slid across his face. "You're right. Fuck the cake."

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

AN: Well, so much for hiatus, huh? Sorry about the fluffiness, but as my profile says, it's what I love and what I write. I just hope the sap isn't too sickening for most of you. ^^;

As always I want to thank the avid readers who seem to stand by me no matter what stupid things I come up with and always support every part. It's you guys that might make this the first story I've ever finished. Also, thanks to anybody who's just started reading this and to those who have reviewed. You all rock.

Also, I want to take a moment to whore myself out here (sadly, I don't mean this literally). Currently, I'm working on joint story with Fragmental Dani, which will be uploaded here under the joint name "The Chibi Tenkan Projects". The story is titled "Flames of Avalyn" and has probably the most intricate back-story to ever ooze from my mind. So, please, come check us out and let me know what you think. ^^v