I stared at Tuesday, shocked beyond words, beyond movement, beyond breathing almost. Dying. Tuesday was dying? Aware that my jaw had dropped, I tried to snap my mouth closed, but the movement died somewhere between my brain and the feature. Dying. Dying, dying, dying. Dying? How could Tuesday be dying? When was he dying? Why was he dying? Why, why, why, why, why? Dying. Fuck. Dying. Tuesday. Dying. Why?
I finally managed to make a sound, but it didn't contain words, not even to my ears. What was there to say? Dying. Tuesday. I couldn't...what was there to say? I couldn't even think of something to say to myself, let alone to say to Tuesday. Who was so calm, who had so obviously accepted the fact that he was dying. How could anyone come to terms with the fact that he was dying? I mean, I knew that I would die one day, in my head, but in my heart, I knew, if I admitted it to myself, that I still thought I was immortal, that I could never die, but...Tuesday was dying? Then? Even as we stood there in the park, even as I kissed him, he was dying? Why was he dying? Why, why, why, why, why?
Tuesday began to laugh. Hard. "You should have seen your face!" he gasped around his fits.
I stared at him. "You're...how can you laugh?" My voice rose embarrassingly, but that was so not what I was thinking about just then. Dying. Tuesday. My Tuesday. Dying. How? How could he be dying, when he was right there in front of me, with the sunlight catching him just so? When he was looking so undeniably gorgeous, so breath-takingly delicious, how could he be dying? How long did he have? Oh, fuck, how long did I have with him, before he was gone? Would it be enough time to...I didn't even know what, but I knew it wouldn't be enough time, that no matter how long we had together...I was being sappy again, but you try not being sappy when someone you care about reveals that he (or she, I guess) is dying. Dying. Tuesday. Oh, fuck, dying.
"You're so gullible!" Tuesday exclaimed, still laughing.
I blinked, and then suddenly, I was angry. He had been joking? "Why the hell would you joke about that?" I half-screamed, attracting the startled looks of the few people in the park, but just like with my voice cracking, I really didn't care. He had joked? About dying? And I had thought...Jeez, I was such an idiot. I spun away from him, headed in the direction of home. Away from the crazy idiot in the park who thought it was funny that I had thought he was going to die.
Tuesday wasted no time in running to catch me, placing a hand on my arm that I shrugged off. "Mango, I'm sorry, it was just the first thing that came into my head." I ignored him and kept walking. "Well, you have to admit, it really shattered the awkward silence." I continued to ignore him, because I really did have to admit that, and breaking awkward silences is always...awkward. But still, he couldn't have thought of anything else? I mean, my life is like one long awkward silence at times, but I've never told someone that I'm dying before. Seriously. Then again, I'm not usually the one breaking the silences, but that fact doesn't matter in the slightest. He told me he was dying. "Mango," Tuesday whined, and when I glanced over (about the stupidest thing I could do), he was pouting, his lower lip sticking out, and I really just wanted to bite it. And ruffle his hair. Oh God, thoughts like that were really out of place at the moment.
"Whatever," I muttered, unable to stand looking at him like that any longer. I was too afraid I would do something I would come to regret, like, I don't know, kissing him again. "'S fine."
Tuesday slipped an arm through mine and leaned against my shoulder-and let me mention now: it's really awkward trying to walk like that, even if it does feel (and probably look) romantic. But this was Tuesday, voluntarily touching me (I make it sound like I have some sort of disease), and who was I to complain? Even if he had told me he was dying. "I love you," he pleaded, and I wondered whether he realized what he was saying.
I did, though, and I came to a complete stop, staring foolishly down at him. "Excuse me?"
Tuesday blushed. "Sorry," he muttered. "You probably didn't want to hear that after I just lied to you about dying, right? Bad timing."
Bad timing, that was all. Not a mistake? Wait, wait, wait, did that mean he actually meant it? That he...I swallowed hard. "Bad timing?" I asked slowly.
Tuesday blushed brighter. "Um. Sorry. I won't...If you don't want...I mean, I just..." His words were tripping over one another, but he clearly didn't know what he was trying to say. I didn't either, but I had a feeling...he had meant it? But...(Way to many ellipses...And there's another...and another...Augh!)
"Tuesday," I said softly, but I didn't know what I was trying to say, either. I giggled slightly. "We're idiots."
Tuesday snorted. "Yeah." He shoved his hands into his pockets and started walking again, though not as quickly as I had been going in my flight to get away from him. Why had I been trying to get away from him again? At the risk of sounding like a love-struck loon, he was everything I wanted, everything I ought to be running towards. But then, I had looked away when I pantsed him as well. Maybe I was just attracted to my own suffering. But I would never be attracted to that as much as I was attracted to Tuesday, because Tuesday was...Prince Tuesday, God of Sex, as he had so adequately named himself, so there went that theory.
"Tues?" I asked quietly, after a moment of just walking.
"Don't tell me you're actually dying," Tuesday said lightly, but he sounded slightly serious under that. I wondered for a moment what he would do if I told him that yes, indeed, I was dying, but then I remembered how I had acted, and I didn't really want Tuesday to be stalking away from me, because he could go places where I would never find him. Well, I mean, I knew his address, so theoretically, I could fly out and find him, but that would just take so much work, and I'm lazy, and Monica would probably expect me to pay for my plane ticket, and I'm shit broke currently, so that plan wouldn't really work.
"Nah," I said, grinning. I paused. "But, um, did you mean it?"
Tuesday ran a hand through his hair nervously, saying nothing for a moment, and I was just glad he wasn't playing stupid, pretending he didn't know what I was talking about, because truth be told, I didn't know exactly which incident I was talking about. The kiss? Which kiss? His saying he loved me? That we were idiots? Okay, we both knew I wasn't talking about the last thing, but out of the others? "Well," Tuesday said finally, "love is a bit of a strong word, I guess, but like? A lot? Yeah, I mean that."
I blinked, trying to sort out what he had said. He liked...me? A lot? Oh, fuck, Tuesday, God of Sex, liked me a lot, from his own lips. Oh, fuck. Now what did I say? Confusing, confusing, confusing; what did I say? When someone says they like you...a lot...what do you say? "I, um, yeah. Hi." Okay, I don't think that was what I was supposed to say. I mean, I don't think there's necessarily something I'm supposed to say, but I get the feeling that was not...Wow, I'm just confusing myself now. Anyway. Wrong thing. I blushed.
Tuesday giggled slightly, slipping his hand down my arm and into my hand. "Hello, Mango." He glanced sidelong at me. "I knew you were a guy," he said suddenly, changing the subject. Why, why was he changing the subject? Maybe because it was obvious that neither of us were very comfortable with it, but still! We were actually getting somewhere for once, weren't we? He liked me. A lot. And I still had to answer him! Oh, God, what if he took the fact that I didn't answer him to mean that I didn't actually like him that way, and now he would never...Wait, he knew I was a guy?
"When?" I asked, bewildered.
Tuesday smiled over at me. "When we were still writing one another. Before I came out here. I knew you were a guy."
I blinked, thinking vaguely that I really needed to come up with some other way to express my confusion, because blinking was really getting old. "Oh. How?"
Tuesday chuckled. "Well, actually, the name my teacher gave me was Jonathan. I kind of figured you were a guy, and once I knew that, even your pictures of you in drag couldn't really fool me. Nice try, though."
"Oh." Now, I really felt like an idiot. I blushed brighter. "Well, then. That'll teach me." I blinked. "But you were still flirting with me."
"Yeah." That was all he said, just that one syllable. And then I realized that that was why he had brought this up; it wasn't just a random topic. He had been flirting with me on purpose, the entire time, knowing I was a guy. This wasn't just a spontaneous thing. Then...was he as afraid of rejection as I was? Cripes, what a fool! Didn't he realize he was so completely fuckable?
"Oh," was all I said. Again. I really needed to come up with a new response, too, when I'm thinking things through. Blink. Oh. Oh. Blink. It felt like that was all I was doing. I rubbed my thumb over his palm. "I, um..." Fuck, this was ridiculous; I should have been able to talk better than that. Eighteen years old, and I sounded like a pre-schooler. A child. I ran a hand back through my hair, unconsciously mimicking him. Then, I realized some things didn't need words. I pulled him around to face me and kissed him, trying to show him that I liked him. A lot.
When we both needed air, Tuesday pulled away, grinning at me, and rubbed his nose lightly against mine. "Good answer," he breathed. We began to walk again, hands intertwined. "So, do you reckon Monica will be there when we get back?"
I shrugged, wondering why he just had to change the subject. "Maybe. I'm kind of glad she's getting married; I think it'll be good for her." I paused, snorting lightly. "I never could hold a grudge."
"Not even against your father?"
I paused. "Against him..." I shrugged again. "Yeah, I could. I don't know, maybe I've just spent too much time around Monica, but I think I'll actually give this guy a chance." I mean, hell, if I was going to dive into this whole cesspit with Tuesday (okay, definitely need new terminology there, because I am totally not jumping into a cesspit, not even if Tuesday is there naked), I might as well be open to what Monica was planning, right? Besides, I would be off to college soon enough, so I wouldn't have to see him much, and it would be good for someone to be around the house besides Monica, because Monica would probably die without someone looking out for her. I smiled at the thought.
Tuesday rubbed his thumb over my knuckles. "Wow, Mango, you actually sound mature. Shocking."
I grinned and dropped my head on his shoulder. "Don't get used to it," I advised him lazily, deciding that what I really wanted just then was to go for a swim. With Tuesday. Naked? Maybe. Too bad it was broad daylight. Then again, we had a few more weeks...but only a few more weeks. I sighed, wondering what would happen after those few more weeks. I didn't think either of us would be able to sustain a long-distance relationship. Okay, mainly, I didn't think I would be able to. And I didn't want to feel guilty if I couldn't. I guess I have kind of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind tendency...(Does that surprise anyone? If so, go back and read more carefully.)
As though reading my mind, Tuesday asked, "Where are you going to college next year?"
I shrugged. "Haven't decided yet."
"Well," Tuesday said, grinning down at me, "make sure you keep your options open."
Two in one night! (Both short enough to be combined as one chapter, but shut up.) I had kind of planned to keep y'all waiting on that cliffy from the last chapter, but I got this one finished, and it is (if you couldn't tell) THE END. As in, other than P.S. I Hate You, which doesn't really count, because it's a letter-story, the first thing I have managed to finish. -celebrates- Which means, even though I didn't get my oneshot-a-day thing done this summer, I achieved my goal of actually finishing something. -pats self on the back-
Here's to all the people that read, reviewed, favourited, stuck on alerts, fell in love with Mango, fell in love with Tuesday, decided to hate me...wait, I am so not toasting the people who decided to hate me, because none of them wrote me any flames. -pouts- XD Okay, I think I really need to go to sleep now, because I'm totally getting loopy.
See you suckers on the other side! (Of what, I don't know...) I should (maybe, hopefully) write an update for TOOL, start another story, all that good stuff. So check back, maybe.
For anyone who was wondering, the odds are 99 percent in favour of there not being a sequel to this. I kind of finished what I wanted to do. (And unlike some authors, I know when to shelf a project, before it gets to the point where people just want to kill me/are bored with the characters.)
Once again, thanks bunches and bunches!