AN- Well this is the Epilogue. I think Epilogues are supposed to be short but mine is long so I don't care. Just a brief overview of Ilan and Talm several months later. I know that the end of stories is supposed to show how everything is perfect but I don't believe in that. Anyway, I would explain the epilogue further but I'm tired. Just to let you all know, English is my first language. I honestly don't have many language skills after that. I know a few colors in Spanish, and I can say a few phrases in Japanese. Oh and I can also say 'will you sleep with me' in french so hah. I have bad grammer and it seems to be my downfall. I don't know if I will continue Ilan and Talm's story but if I do it will either be a quick story that wouldn't be so long or it will be tidbits from their time living together.
Sorry it took so long to get out. Enjoy the chapter!
I never thought it would be this easy.
There was once a time in my life where I would just drift away and let the river of life or time just carry me away. I knew what I wanted. What I wanted was to play at Carnegie hall one day and graduate from Julliard. I wanted to conduct a symphony as well as a rock band. I wanted to have a home and someone I could bring to my childhood home every other Christmas and Hanukah that my parents would love. Wanting all of those things I thought made me selfish. I mean, I may not have wanted all of that but I wanted parts. I don't honestly ever think I'll make it to Carnegie hall or Julliard but I wanted to play music. Music however isn't safe, or at least we're not taught to believe so. Getting a vague BA and just doing the best I could.
I ended up going to Julliard and I'm learning how to compose music. Mom sent me off with best wishes, as well as several weeks of some Japanese Marshal art so I could defend myself. Mica finally graduated and insisted on temporarily living in New York so he could be an assistant to some big time PR person which could get him any job he wanted. He also insisted on living close to me which still annoys me. There's nothing more of a turn on then knowing your brother can hear the sounds your making while you're having sex. For that purpose alone do Talm and I schedule our 'fun' time around when he won't be at his apartment.
Talm of course learned how to read English and German. Of course he's better at it then me because language isn't my greatest forte. I waited to go to Julliard. I didn't want to leave Talm unattended with my parents. It took 8 months for Talm to obtain a GED. Now he goes to a community college part time while working a full time job to pay for it. He refused for the longest time to allow me to work and was extremely pissed to find out I had been anyway. It had been one of the many arguments we had which usually had one of us going out and cooling down before we came back together and made up. It wasn't that bad honestly, nothing compared to the last fight we had.
"Go away Talm," I hissed. My vision was blurring and my limbs felt weak. I could barely lift my arms but I had to. I had to take off my clothes if I wanted to shower and I desperately needed to shower. This entire night had to be washed off even though I knew I would remember it in the morning.
"Ilan, c'mon open the door, tell me what's wrong," Talm murmured through the door. I tried pulling off my shirt when my legs fail me and I crash into the sink. Something crashes into the ground and shatters everywhere. I try to avoid it even as I fell to the floor.
"Ilan! Ilan, are you alright!? Ilan!" I don't answer. At least not right away. Somethings wrong. I had two glasses of champagne which were given to me by a person I knew from Talm's college. I shouldn't be this weak, this out of it. I wanted to scream at Talm and tell him exactly how I was and exactly what I saw but words failed me. Thoughts failed me. All I could think about was how tired I was and how I would really like the strength to cry right now.
"Ilan?! Open the fucking door right now!" Talm's pounding is reverberating through my head. I glare at the door and remember exactly why I was so upset for a brief glaring moment.
"Leave me alone!" I shout. The pounding at the door stops but Talm doesn't leave.
"Ilan, please open the door. Tell me what's wrong," Talm doesn't give up that night. He just keeps asking me to open the door over and over. I pass out a while later, not realizing that Talm would worry more when I stopped responding.
That wasn't the fight. If I hadn't been drugged and locked myself in the bathroom I probably wouldn't have had such a terrible fight with Talm. He broke the door to get in when I didn't respond to him after a while. Apparently I was responsive but 'completely out of it'. I didn't see Talm for a few days after that which didn't help me at all with what I had seen. Mica didn't say anything for the first time.
It was nearing midnight and I wasn't even going to bother going to sleep. Sleep had alluded me and it didn't seem like it was coming back. I was aware of what could have happened to me but it didn't seem to fully register with me. I could only think about was the scene I saw a few nights ago, the reason I fell apart to begin with.
I was sitting on the couch staring at the TV which was turned off at the moment. I honestly didn't need moving pictures right now. My mind was conjuring up enough as it was.
Then the door opened and slammed shut and I had to fully turn around to see Talm standing near the doorway. His face was red from the cold outside most likely but the fury in his eyes made me doubt that. His eyes were narrowed ever so slightly and his lips where in a tight line. Every muscle on his body seemed to be tense, a sign that he was dangerously angry. It had never before been directed at me but I couldn't find it in myself to care. Days without sleep and constant worrying had left me numb and I was sure that we were over.
"You… you selfish… God dammit Ilan!" Talm's words stumbled over themselves. He had too much meaning and he wanted it all said at one second. I had the same problem several days ago but after a long time to think about it, I couldn't manage to be angry. I should have seen it from the beginning.
"I swear to God Ilan, I swear to God… do you have any idea what could have happened to you?! Do you have any fucking clue?!" Talm was basically growling. I couldn't manage to stand up. I just sat in the chair in our living room.
"I would have cared probably," I say, my voice strangely vacant. Talm looks at me, a frown on his face, probably wondering if I'm drunk. "I'd probably care a lot and my mom would be here crying while Mica would be yelling . Or at least I would think…"
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Talm asks, a fair bit of angered uncertainty in his voice. My eyes snap up to Talm's and the first bit of anger I've been keeping in seeps out.
"I have no idea what's wrong with me Talm. I don't know if its because I'm boring or I'm just not pretty enough, or not feminine enough. I have no fucking clue."
"What are you talking about?" Talm's anger has not waned in the slightest.
"I'm talking about when you got bored with me Talm! I'm talking about why you didn't have the guts to break it up with me and strung me along! Why Talm? What happened? Did you think because I brought you here, because I taught you to read and write that you were in some way morally obligated to screw around with me!?" I was beginning to realize my numbness came from something deeper then anger.
"I have no idea what you're talking about Ilan," Talm says with cool anger. "I was pissed at you. You locked me out of the bathroom and if the door hadn't been deteriorating I wouldn't have been able to get in. You shouldn't have been drinking and even if you were drinking you shouldn't have accepted it from anyone but me! We live in the fucking epicenter for crime and I hate it! I hate living in the place and I really hate the fact that you locked me out!"
"I'm sorry I didn't realize that when I was going out that night that I would be drugged and I'm even more sorry that my distress got in the way of your evening!" I'm starting to stand up now. Talm seems to become more livid.
"Dammit do you know what would have happened to you? I swear to God my words seem to go in one ear and right out the other!" I was irritated in the same way too. Talm seemed to think he could just completely ignore me as well. Like in some way I don't know what I saw but I know what it was. I was standing right there when it happened and no amount of drugs is going to make me forget. "I can't believe how senseless you are in letting yourself be put in that position! Not only that but you walked home alone and locked me away from you!"
That stings and I stand all the way up. I was stupid for thinking that things were fine. This isn't out of the blue and I know it. I don't know what I should do, if I should leave or something. I'm apparently standing there silent for too long because Talm is right in front of me.
"What the hell, are you drugged again?" His voice sounds incredulous and he grabs my arm. I rip myself away from him suddenly angry he would touch me and say such a thing.
"If I'm such a fucking burden then you should have just said something," my words are cold but only serve to strengthen Talm's anger.
"What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you acting like this?!" Talm grabs both my arms and this time a quick jerk won't allow him to let go of me. I try to tear away from his grip but he only tightens on and follows me.
"Let go of me Talm!" I demand but Talm shakes his head.
"I won't, not until you listen to what the fuck I'm saying."
"Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! Just leave me alone!"
"No. You have no excuses Ilan. Not even Mica is siding with you this time. What you did was reckless and selfish and you're still trying to lock me out! You haven't heard a word I said and you obviously haven't learned anything…"
"Fuck you! Fuck you and your girlfriend!" I shouted the only thing I could think of. I was so tired and not thinking properly. Suddenly I was roughly jerked and held tightly, Talm's fingers bruising my upper arms. There was silence for a moment in which I refused to look at Talm in fear I would break down crying.
"What are you talking about Ilan?" Talm was still angry but he forced his words to come out very slowly, talking to me as though I was stupid.
"I'm talking about why I went home without you after taking another glass of wine, I'm talking about the girl you've met at college and couldn't find the time to tell me. The girl I meet one hour before I walk in on you sucking face with her!" I won't look at Talm, so the silence that draws out is long.
"Ilan," Talm finally says but I still refuse to look at him. "Stop being ridiculous."
Something inside me snaps and I look at Talm, managing the most heated glare I could attempt. "Ridiculous? Excuse me but I'm being ridiculous?! Is this your way of telling me that I was wrong in what I saw? That I just made it up? Or that it was a evil twin that kissed her instead of you?"
"No Ilan, but how in the fucking world could you think I would want her?" His question makes me even more angry. I rip myself as hard as I can away from Talm and move away, careful to make sure he doesn't put me in the same vulnerable position.
"I don't know Talm. Maybe kissing her tipped me off." My words are venom and I mean to bite.
"I didn't kiss her Ilan! She kissed me!"
"You didn't exactly look like you were protesting!"
"God dammit, this is your excuse?! That I cheated on you and suddenly its ok to be stupid?! I didn't cheat on you Ilan and, dammit. Damn you for thinking I did. Why would I? I love you despite that fact that sometimes you really are a pain in the ass."
"If I'm such a pain then why the hell bother? Why the hell didn't you just let me die in that forest?"
Talm tenses up. His eyes are daggers in my direction. "Don't you fucking say that."
"Why not? You were just telling me how selfish and stupid I am! How I never think about anyone else and how its such a pain to watch after me!"
"That's not what I meant!"
I close my eyes and look away. I don't know what else to say and it seems Talm doesn't either if the only response he can come up with is "That is not what I meant".
"Dammit Ilan this is stupid!" I can't help but roll my eyes. I'm ridiculous and stupid and I'm always wrong. I would cry if I weren't so indignantly mad so instead I turn away and walk away, thinking the last person I need to be around right is Talm. "Ilan where are you going?!"
"Leave me alone Talm,"
I don't know that Talm was storming behind me until my backs up against the wall and Talm is boxing me in. He's still angry and its written all over his face and body.
"Stop running away from me Ilan!"
"Leave me alone! All I am to you is stupid and ridiculous anyway!"
Talm's fingers wrap around my arms again and I feel his hands press on the bruises he made earlier. "What the fuck do you expect Ilan? Its ridiculous to think that I would choose her over you! How many times do I have to say 'I love you' before you get it through your head that I do!"
"People fall out of love all the time Talm! And just because you said it… doesn't make it true…" I was losing steam. I felt like I was fighting something inevitable.
"Where is this coming from?! I told you she means nothing to me Ilan and I mean it! I did not want to be kissed by her!"
"I don't believe you!"
"Why? Why don't you believe me?! What can I possibly get from her that I can't have from you?"
"I don't know, a family!?" The last word comes out without me thinking. I knew it bothered me, I always did but I ignored it because I knew Talm would tell me that I was being ridiculous. For some reason it no longer felt so ridiculous. It felt like a real reason why Talm would leave me.
I don't look at his face but his stance and his grip on me seem to loose all of its steam. I refuse to look at Talm, afraid I'll see pity or that look that's telling me I'm being stupid. I expect it from him now. His hands slowly relax and go all the way down to my wrists. I expect him to let go but suddenly my wrists are pressed above my head. My eyes widen in surprise and are forced to look at Talm when he takes his free hand and grabs hold of my chin.
"We've gone through this before Ilan, we can adopt if we ever decide to," Talm says, his voice much calmer and softer. I look at him irritably.
"Its not the same."
I try to look away because Talm is very imposing. I don't want to cry and I'm refusing to cry but my body is shaking, trying to force sobs. Talm face softens but he refuses to lessen his grip.
"I don't want her Ilan. I want you. I thought you knew that," Talm sounds sad but I'm finding it hard to let go.
"Its really hard to think that when I'm such a fucking screw up," my voice is sad and bitter.
"Don't say that," Talm demands angrily. "You're not. And I'm sorry for the things I said. I say the most god awful things when I'm angry and I'm not even really angry at you."
"Talm let go," I mutter and try and break free of his grip. I don't like how vulnerable I am right now.
"No Ilan, I will never let go of you," Talm hisses and leans closer. "Do you want a family?"
"Yeah, one day… but I want it with you," I respond.
"And why wouldn't I want the same thing?"
"You don't get it Talm." Talm relaxes his grip on my chin so I look away.
"Then explain it Ilan. Don't lock me out." I briefly look at Talm and wiggle my hands.
"Are you going to let go?"
"No. Answer me Ilan."
"We can stand here all night Ilan because I'm not letting go of you."
Talm's being particularly stubborn which means he's serious. I sigh and give up, deciding to bite the bullet.
"Talm you really want a family. I remember how excited were when my mom talked to you about it, but you have to be realistic about it. I'm gay -"
"I know you can't carry children Ilan," Talm says, his voice torn between joking and seriousness.
"Its not just that Talm. They are bigots here too and people aren't likely to pick a gay couple to raise their kids. And even if they were, adoption agencies would be harsh to us."
Talm has this stoic face on which makes me think he just ignored everything I said. "I don't care."
"I'm serious Ilan, I don't care. I'm not in a hurry and just the fact that it could be possible is good enough for me."
"And whats going to happen when its not good enough anymore? You're going to want kids and I can't give them to you Talm." Talm holds my face and looks me directly in the eye.
"Have a family won't mean anything to me if its not with you," Talm say in earnest and I can see the solemn determination in his face. "Its not important right now Ilan but when it is, I won't want it with anyone else. I love you Ilan and I don't care if I have to spend the rest of my life convincing you."
I'm feeling my thinly built walls breaking as Talm moves closer to me. His forehead presses against my own and instinctively I close my eyes.
"I'm sorry Ilan for what I said. I didn't mean it. I was angry because you locked me out of the bathroom and I… Ilan I was terrified about what was happening to you and then I borrowed Mica's computer and I was more angry…. I went to the police station but they told me I need you to make a complaint which is really dumb."
I jerk back and blink at Talm. "You went to the police station?"
"Yes Ilan I had to. Some asshole was trying to take advantage of you and…" Talm lets go of my wrists and drags me into an embrace. I feel his hand go through my hair and keeps my head against his chest. "You can't do this though Ilan. I don't want to worry like this."
"I can't do what?"
"You can't keep your feelings from me. At least not things like this." He lets me go and I suddenly feel stupid. If I had been more open, if I hadn't stormed out of that party this wouldn't have happened. A blush floods my face at my embarrassment from blowing things out of proportion.
"You are not stupid," Talm says and takes my face in his hands. I don't like how easily he's reading me right now but I can't look away. Talm stands there trying to read my face and breaks out in a smile.
"Don't even think about squishing my cheeks," I say which only cause Talm to smile wider.
"I wasn't going to," He says. "I'm sorry Ilan but you're usually the one to calm me down when I'm angry like that. It took me a while to see reason." I watch Talm glance at my biceps and wince. "And I hurt you in the process."
I shake my head as much as I can with it being in between Talm's hands. "If you were really hurting me I would have told you."
Talm looks at me and I can see him reluctantly conceding. He lets go of my face and holds my wrist. "C'mon Ilan."
I sigh and let some of the emotions off of my chest. "Where?"
"We're going to the police station." I can't help but snort at this.
"I don't think cops are going to help a couple of gays Talm."
"They don't need to know your gay Ilan and I'm not letting whoever did this get away with it if I can."
I bite my tongue and go along with it. I don't want to tell Talm that I know who did it, or that the person is someone at his school. He might quit school or do something worse like beat the bastard up. I allow Talm to escort me to a nearby precinct and he waits outside while I file a report.
We finally left at three in the morning after the cops had taken every bodily fluid they could. The medical examiner insisted on a rape kit and the cops weren't so happy when I resisted. They didn't believe me when I said I was sure nothing happened to me and grumbled about it all the way until I finally left.
Talm and I didn't have make up sex (shocker). We went home and went straight to bed, not bothering to put on pajamas or anything. I basically passed out and didn't bother to even make it to bed. That was why when I woke up and remembered all the previous night, I couldn't remember when I took off my clothes or even when Talm came home.
"You're awake pretty early," Talm announced, bringing me out of my semi-stupor state. I was laying on his chest which on of his hands slinging around my waist while his other hand gripped underneath my knee, sprawling my body across his.
"What time is it?" I ask not bothering to move. I'm tired as hell and emotionally drained. It didn't help that I spent a few hours around cops, waiting for one of them to make some derogatory remark despite the fact that I didn't inform them about my sexual orientation.
"10 in the morning," Talm says calmly. Usually I would have work but Talm forced me to quit, promising me that if we ever got in the situation where he had to work overtime to make ends meet that I would work as well. "I know you haven't slept in a while."
I stretch above Talm and work the sleep out of my muscles. I know Talm hates it when I do this but its his fault for having me sleep on top of him. As I'm stretching I can feel his hand run the small of my back before I settle back down on top of him.
"Those bruises are looking worse," Talm comments and lets go of my leg. I feel him touch my bicep and gently massage it.
"Honestly Talm, the ones on my hips are worse," I say. I can practically hear Talm blush as he stops touching my bruise.
"Those weren't made out of anger."
"Maybe but you're forgetting that I once punched you out of anger."
Talm stays quiet after that, probably thinking of some way to retort. "That was different. You would never try and cause physical pain to me."
"Neither would you," I respond. "I know you wouldn't hurt me Talm. And if you did, I would have told you."
Talm doesn't say anything and I know that in his own stubborn way he's agreeing with me. I like laying with Talm in this comfortable silence. I like doing and not doing things with him and I miss the days when we used to just sit around and do nothing at all. Its also fun helping Talm with homework mostly because it ended with us fooling around.
The comfortable silence and calm is broken the moment Talm decides to flip us over. Suddenly I have a tall blonde German hovering over me and I can't find it in me to mind.
"We're not going out today," He announces and I raise an eyebrow.
"Oh really?" There's a bit of a challenge in my voice.
"Yes. I am not going to do any homework or go to work and the only thing you are allowed to do with music is listen to it. I don't want to hear a word about musical theory."
"Talm, you can't fail your classes."
"I won't, but today we are just relaxing. We are sitting around and eating, looking up stupid things on the internet, or having sex. There is no option D."
I grin which makes Talm grin as well. Talm became fascinated with the internet as soon as he found out he could just type in whatever word I said and he knew what it meant. Talm leans down and kisses me and I kiss him back. My arm wraps around his neck and keeps him down with me until I need air.
"C'mon," Talm says. I watch him get up rummage through our clothes. Its amazing to me how much has changed. I used to think I was really selfish before but now I think I'm a spoiled brat. I once thought there was no way my luck would keep up, and then Trent reminded me that I was Jewish and sent to 1940's Germany and was almost sent to Auschwitz. He thinks I've used up any bad luck I could have possibly had.
Talm has adjusted. His speech is worse then ever, a true American. He didn't like me learning what little German I know but he's grown accustomed to it. He refuses however to return to Germany with me for a visit. I don't bug him about it because I figure that one day he'll decide he does really want to return and finally let go of his guilt.
Suddenly I'm hit in the face with a shirt. I watch Talm change his clothes, putting on sweat pants and a New York t-shirt on. I put on the shirt Talm gave me and stood up to look for some pants. I had just barely started when Talm grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me close, his eyes calm but serious.
"We're ok right Ilan?" He asks. He always does this after every fight we have. Usually he asks it after we've screwed so I'm in a post-orgasmic high when I answer. This time though its strangely more intimate and it seems the way I answer is more important then ever.
"Yeah Talm, we are," I say calmly. Talm lightly nods his head and his hand comes up to cup my face. I see his eyes slip downward and slowly a frown forms on his face.
"Ilan…" Talm lets go of me and grabs the hem of my shirt, stretching it out for him to read. "Who gave you this shirt?"
I look down and laugh. "Remember when you first came here Talm? You dressed me up in a shirt and I told you that the shirt was given to me by Trent after my mom thought we were an item?"
Talm's lips pursed together and he leered at me. "This isn't funny."
I just smile at him. "You didn't think so either when you couldn't read."
"Now its even less funny."
"Oh come on Talm! He's never serious with us. Besides he 'hits' on you more then he does on me."
"Does he give you sex advice about what turns ME on?"
I couldn't help but laugh at that. Trent loves to pull Talm's chain as much as he can. Talm knows nothing has ever happened but it never stops him from giving Trent a dirty look when he says something he shouldn't.
The t-shirt was a prank gift Trent got me to open up in front of my mother. It says in big black block letters "enter at the rear". Trent says he was particularly inspired after a trip to the Drive thru at Taco bell where he insisted on having a hot dog.
"If your mom had seen that when we had come down…" Talm sounds horrified. I can't help but feed the fire.
"It would have confirmed her suspicions that we had been having sex for six hours in my bedroom." I find a pair of black pants on the flood and tug them on. Talm is giving me the evil eye right now. I decide to let him seethe for a while as I made pancakes. I was just out of the bedroom though when Talm was back behind me, his arms wrapping around me. I stopped and leaned into the comfort of Talm. One hand wraps around my midsection and the other around my neck so my head is resting in the crook of his elbow. We stand there like that for a minute, tired and calm.
"Ich liebe dich, Mein Schatzi," Talm says affectionately into my ear. I look up at him as one of his hands interlace with mine and whisper softly, "Ich liebe dich auch, Mein Liebling."