Leave It All Behind
Warning: This is a slash story, containing M/M and F/F relationships, if you don't like it... then don't read it. It's really that simple.
A/N: Thank you to my lovely Beta 'I Try' - she did a great job!
Update!! 03/10: As of now I've started uploading the side story/sequel to this that I've been hacking away at since I finished this. It can be read as a stand alone, but also as a continuation of this. It focusses on a couple of minor characters from this story that I fell in love with. It's called 'Special Coffee, and at the moment it's in dire need of some love xD I know, I'm shameless! Love you guys!!
Chapter One: A New Home
Rain beat against the glass of the taxi window as it pulled to a halt outside what Gabriel Ashton would now be calling home. A thin man with fading brown hair slipped out of the driver's seat to grab the cases from the trunk of the car. Gabriel sighed heavily and opened the door hissing and mumbling under his breath about the 'bloody awful British weather'. The cab driver handed him his bags and took the money offered before he ran back round to the driver's side, starting the engine and tearing down the street.
Gabriel looked up at the building and sighed. He slowly trudged up the stone steps leading to the small porch. The rain continued to fall steadily while he waited for the door to be opened.
After a few long minutes a tall woman answered the door with an apron tied round her waist, her brown hair was cut shoulder length and was slightly wavy. Warm brown eyes filled with concern as she looked at Gabriel. "My goodness what are you doing out in the rain! Come in, come in, before you catch your death!"
She ushered him into the hall still clucking about catching pneumonia from the cold. After finding a warm towel from seemingly nowhere she surveyed him. Gabriel's eyes stayed locked on the floor as he dried his hands.
Offering out the driest, eyes still averted, he said in a monotone voice, "I'm Gabriel Ashton, from London, Mr Wallage was supposed to call ahead."
Realization lit in the woman's eyes and she smiled, a warm smile, made for kitchens that smelled of hot apple pie. "Yes, I was beginning to wonder whether or not you'd turn up. I suppose traffic was atrocious, especially in this weather. Now, come on, let's get you dry before you meet everyone." She took his coat and hung it over the radiator while he kicked off his boots. "My name's Holly by the way. Now, your room is up the stairs on the left. Come on, I'll show you, it'll probably be quicker than trying to follow my directions."
She laughed and started up the stairs, picking up one of his bags on the way. Gabriel picked up the other one and followed, slightly wary, but eager for warm clothes and a comfy bed. They reached the top of the stairs and turned down a small hallway that branched to the left. All the doors, which were on either side of the passage, were the same; plain white with a silver handle. Holly reached into her pocket and took out a rather large bunch of keys and unlocked the door. Stepping back, she let Gabriel go in first.
It was a fair sized room, bigger than his last one at least; and cleaner. There was a single bed under the window in the far wall with blue checked covers and a small nightstand next to it that looked as if it had seen better days. The pine closet was set into an alcove facing the window. There was a black office chair next to a plain white desk and a light blue comfy chair in the corner, lit by a table light balanced on a small stool.
He couldn't help but smile. Finally, he might be stepping up in the world. Holly put his other bag on the floor next to him and smiled again. "I'll be up in about half an hour, that should give you chance to get used to your new room, change your clothes and whatnot." She turned to leave, paused and turned around again, "Almost forgot. These doors do lock, but because we haven't had anyone in this room for so long I've lost the other key. I'm going in to town tomorrow and I'll get it done then, bear in mind though, just because they lock doesn't mean we can't get in. Both Joe and I have spare keys to these rooms, so if anything does happen we can always get in to you." She paused and looked slightly worried for a second but the smile fell back into place again as she turned to leave, "Well, see you in a bit."
Gabriel nodded and shut the door behind her, turning to survey what was now his room. He grabbed up one of his bags and emptied all his clothes out onto his new bed. Quickly changing out of his wet clothes into some dry ones, he hung the rest up in the closet. He put away the few other belongings he had brought with him, scattering them about the room.
He sank into the easy chair and allowed a small smile to form on his lips. He was warm again, with a secure roof over his head. Things were definitely looking up for him. He rested his head on the back of the chair and closed his eyes, wanting to remember the moment forever and forget the sadness that was seeping into his bones.
Ten minutes later Holly knocked on the door, poking her head round the edge of it and smiling at Gabriel. "You ready to come and meet the others then?"
He paused for a second before nodding and pulling himself to his feet. "Lead the way."
He pulled the door shut behind him as they exited the room, following Holly down the hallway and down the stairs into a warm lounge. He waited outside the door, not really wanting to go inside. Meeting new people, for him, had not always led to friendships, not in recent memory anyway. Holly turned back to him and smiled reassuringly, obviously picking up on his trepidation. "Don't worry, we're all nice and friendly."
All she got in return was a distracted nod. They both entered the room, Gabriel after Holly. As he walked in he felt four new pairs of eyes turning to him. Confused eyes. Looking around the room he saw four teenagers that looked to be roughly the same age as him and a broad shouldered man that looked the same age as Holly. Turning his attention from the man he looked to the teenagers. There were two girls and two boys. Only one of the girls was looking at him, the others eyes were glued to the carpet. That one had brown hair cut shoulder length and rectangular glasses perching on her small nose.
The other girl had long straight black hair and dark skin, part of which looked to be tan, and the rest, natural skin tone. The two boys were sitting as far away from each other as possible. One had blonde hair cut close to his head; his face was pale and thin with large blue eyes. The last teenager Gabriel looked at had short blue hair and dark eyes that were filled with something he'd seen many times before: lust.
Holly smiled round the room, seemingly oblivious to the tension in the room. "Now, everybody this is Gabriel, the newest addition. Gabriel, this is Joe." She motioned to the man now stood next to her. He smiled and waved at Gabriel. "This is Jenny and Mel." Pointing, first to the girl with glasses and then to the dark girl, "And lastly we have Dave," the blonde boy, "and Paul." The blue haired guy, Gabriel nodded to them and leaned back against the door.
Three pairs of eyes were regarding him with confusion, and he knew they were probably brimming with questions; not least about whether he was a boy or a girl. People mistook him for a girl a lot of the time, but in his last home it had been a plus for his carer. He pushed his thoughts aside though, not wishing to dwell on the man.
Holly looked round the room as if expecting a conversation to magically start. She sighed and put her hands on her hips. "Well somebody speak or I shall think you've all lost your tongues and therefore can't eat!"
Everybody but Gabriel and Holly laughed at this comment and the atmosphere lightened. Mel spoke up first, smiling at Gabriel with a predatory air, "So, Gabriel, mind if I cal you Gabe? Good. You are a guy aren't you? Cause you know, with the hair and everything. So where did you come from? I'm sure you'll like it here. We are all very friendly, you won't feel out of place here. I'm sure you'll enjoy school as well. I can introduce you to some of my friends, you'll do fine and everybody will like you and do you have a girlfriend?"
Gabe raised an eyebrow and answered the questions; immediately wanting nothing more than to be back in the room upstairs. "Call me Gabe if you like, I am a guy, I'm from London, to be really honest I think I'll find school very boring and no I don't have a girlfriend."
Her smile grew and she was about to speak up again when Dave spoke, "As you can see she likes to talk, it makes her feel all important inside. So... how come you had to be transfered so quickly? D'you get kicked out"
Despite his earlier attempts to push his past away form his conscious thoughts, he felt the memories surfacing. Memories he didn't want to think about in the presence of these people. These normal people. "I, er, I've had a bit of a long day, so, er, if you don't mind, I think I'm gonna get some shut eye."
Without another word, he turned and left the room. His mind was spinning; how the hell was he supposed to cope living here when he couldn't even have a normal conversation with anyone without thinking about where he had come from? The Paul character wasn't going to help either... his eyes had burned with lust the minute he had looked around the room. He could only pray it wouldn't turn out like his last home.
Holly watched as he left and sighed, this one was going to be fun... Jenny looked up from the floor, she hadn't wanted to see him. He must have been good looking though, to have drawn Mel out like that... The dark girl sitting next to her always fawned over the good looking ones. She hated having to watch it; it broke her heart every time, knowing that she would never have that attention from the other girl. Her own voice sounded loud in the quiet room as she spoke, if only to still her own depressing thoughts.. "Not a very social person."
Everybody nodded, Dave looked confused, "I only asked a few questions, what did I do wrong?"
Paul rolled his eyes and spoke for the first time since Gabe had made his entrance, he was angry with the blonde for scaring Gabriel from the room. He had been enjoying the view, this one was going to be fun by the looks of it, he had been in need of something like this for weeks. Trust Dave to fucking ruin everything. "Dave you do everything wrong! I mean please, all those questions? He only just got here."
Joe looked at his wife and shrugged. "I think it's time you all buggered off to your rooms. I want you all to leave Gabriel alone for tonight. Remember, lights out at half past ten, and be quiet, Stace is down for the night."
The room was soon vacated as everyone went their separate ways
As Holly reached the top of the stairs she looked in on the youngest person in the house, Gabe had yet to meet Stacie, but it had been late and she had had no choice but to let her have some sleep. He could meet her tomorrow when he got up.
Just as Holly was shutting the door again Joe came up behind her and smiled, "So how's Stace?"
Holly smiled back at him, "She's fine, finally asleep. I wonder how she'll get along with Gabe though."
Joe laughed and grinned down at his wife. "Stace can get along with anyone Hol, don't worry, it'll be fine."
Holly nodded distractedly, her ind going back to their newest arrival. "I guess I'm just a little on edge, but don't you think it's strange, the size of the file we got given on Gabe I mean."
Her husband shrugged, but there was worry in his eyes as well. "Maybe they don't know anything else about him. We've had kids that had smaller files."
Moving down the hall towards their room, comforted by the sound of her charges getting ready for bed, she couldn't help but fret about the new boy. "Yeah I guess, I just think that Mr Wallage knows more than we do, he gives me the creeps Joe, I mean big time."
Joe just shrugged and opened the door to their room. If he was honest there was something about James Wallage that was wrong, but he couldn't put his finger, no matter how hard he tried. He pushed his thoughts away though for the night and pecked Holly on the nose affectionately, "You worry too much." Holly smiled warmly and followed her husband into their room.
Down the hall Gabe was sat in the easy chair again with his music on his personal CD player, he'd put his lights out so everyone would think he was asleep and would leave him alone. He thought back to the brief meeting downstairs, Mel looked like the stereotypical gossip queen, he'd have to be careful around her. Dave seemed nice enough, if a little too curious for his liking. His problem though, lay with the tall blue haired boy that had watched him so closely; he knew Paul's sort and he knew that he needed to watch himself around the older boy. As for Jenny, he had no idea about her, except that she seemed shy; she had kept her eyes glued to the carpet the whole time he had been there.
He had been right in his assumption that there would be at least one query at his gender; Mel had been the only one to voice a question on it, though he had seen confusion in the others' eyes as well. Most people took a cursory glance at his slight figure and thigh-length hair and immediately pegged him as a girl. It had once frustrated the hell out of him; he had learned though, that emotions like that were dangerous. He knew not to get too emotional in the presence of others. He had that beaten out of him.
Sighing to himself he stood up and turned off his music, brushing his hair quickly and tying it back so it just brushed the backs of his thighs. He undressed and slid into bed, closing his eyes and slipping into darkness that would soon give way to flashbacks and painful memories. He hated the memories, hated how they made him feel, but in them lay his presence. He needed that then, needed the other boy, despite the fact he was on the other side of the country. Probably completely at ease with his surroundings.
Around two hours later Gabe shot up in bed, eyes wide, a cold sweat over his face mixing with the salty tears running from the corners of his green eyes. It took a few minutes for him to get his breathing back to normal and to register that it had been another dream. Sighing deeply he went to lie down again when he noticed someone else was in the room, tensing up slightly at the sound of light breathing that was not his own, he asked, "Who are you?"
He reached out and flicked on the lights, wincing slightly at the bright light, as did his companion. She only looked to be about six or seven, she was dressed in a long pink nightie with small teddy bears all over it; her blonde hair was cut around her shoulders and put in braided pigtails. Her blue eyes were wide but still looked tired, she had small bunny slippers wedged on her feet and was clutching a brown bear under one arm with her other thumb in her mouth looking at Gabe warily.
Her thumb slipped from her mouth with a quiet pop and she scrambled up onto the bed next to him. "I'm Stacie, who are you?"
Gabriel rubbed his face, trying to rid himself of his sweat and tears, at the same time trying to remember if he had met this girls downstairs, coming to the conclusion the he hadn't he looked at her, "I'm Gabe, I didn't see you downstairs, what are you doing in here at this time of night?"
Stacie shifted slightly, re-adjusting her teddy bear. "Are you the new boy then? Yes, you are aren't you. I like your hair. It's pretty. I asked Mommy to let me stay up late to meet you but she wouldn't let me, she said I was being nosey and that I could see you in the morning, but I heard someone crying when I went to the toilet and I found you. Did you have a nightmare?"
Gabe rubbed his eyes again and looked away from the open gaze of the young girl on the end of his bed. "Something like that."
Stacie smiled, a bright open smile, much like her eyes, naïve, "I have nightmares sometimes, but Mr Bells always helps, would you like to borrow him?"
Gabe looked at her as she held out the slightly worn teddy that had been hidden in her arms, "No I don't think he'd be able to help me."
She frowned and her arms dropped, "Are they really bad dreams then?"
He tried not to dwell on what had happened in said dreams, speaking instead, to distract himself. "Yeah I guess they are."
Stacie crawled up the bed until she was nestled in the pile of bedclothes around Gabe's waist. "I'll watch out for them so you can go to sleep."
Gabe stared down at her tiny form sheltered against him as she yawned and snuggled against him even more. After a few seconds her breathing had evened out and he heard faint snoring sounds coming from the little girl. For a few minutes, he thought about moving her, but when it came to actually carrying out the task, he could not bring himself to. So that night Gabriel fell asleep next to a small girl and her teddy bear, and the only dreams he had were of teddy bears.
A/N: So? What did you guys think? Please review, I love feedback! Again, thank you to my Beta 'I Try'. Go check her out, her story 'Falter' is ace!
See you soon guys!
x x x