Same names, different characters. Slightly cliched story-line. Slash.
Recovering The Lost
Winter was never a good time to travel. Winter was an especially bad time to travel when you had the habit of crying at the slightest memory of why you were leaving. Meet me, Luke, depressed traveler.
Now, the travel accomodations weren't bad at all. The train didn't look infested with any types of diseases and I'd gotten a good deal on the ticket. I worked at the train station so I got a discount. But that's not why I was a depressed traveler. That lie with the man that had my heart who was probably sleeping, nose wrinkled from a dream, without knowing that I'd left yet. I felt a tug at my heart when I realized that he wouldn't notice I was gone until around nine in the morning when he woke up and I wasn't to be found.
No note left, that wasn't my style. He'd roam around he apartment, looking for me first in the shower and then in the kitchen. He'd probably not think to look to see if my clothes were still in my closet, why should he? He'll conclude that I went to the store and will wait for me, doing things around the house and then go to work. And when he got home and I still wasn't home, he'd call the cops. He'd explain that it wasn't like me to just disappear and without telling him where I was going. They'd find out that I was gay and suppose that it was just one of those things. He'll get pissed at their reaction but with nothing else to do, he'll call Charlotte.
Charlotte was our best friend and he knew that if I was to go anywhere, she'd know. Probably because she had all of my money. She was better at keeping it than I was. She'll tell him that I took the cash and ran, making her swear not to search him out. He'll be confused for a bit and then he'll recall our last real fight, only a few hours before I found myself waiting for a train with my ticket clutched in my sweaty palm.
We'd been cleaning up after dinner when it started. The phone rang and I answered it. The woman's voice on the other side asked for Noah, her Noah, and I handed him the phone quickly. His side of the conversation was definitely calm but as the words sunk in, I wished he would for once raise his voice.
"Hey mom. I'm doing fine. Yes, mom, he still lives here. We're roommates mom, I can't tell him not to answer the phone. Okay, okay. So how is dad? Yea I got the money you sent. You didn't have to. Luke and I both have jobs. Yes, mother, I know." He smiled apologetically to me and then made his way into the living room. I finished drying the last few dishes before I stepped into the doorway, catching the last bit of the conversation.
"Mom, I'm only-- I know but do you really want to be a grandmother so badly? I don't know, I haven't found the right girl. You can't mean that mom. Mom, I'm your only kid! If you take me out of the will-- No I don't care about the money! But what about-- Don't worry. Yea, mom. I'll keep an eye out for a girl worthy of the name." He hung up and placed the phone on the coffee table, his back still facing me. Usually, after one of his spats with his mother, I'd walk up and wrap my arms around his waist. But this spat was different. This spat pretty much said that he had to get married and reproduce which meant...
He slowly turned around, taking deep breaths, and then spotted me. I was leaning against the door frame, eyes glued to his shoes. The shoes moved forward and then stopped. He knew better I suppose.
"How much of that did you hear?" I shrugged, still looking at his shoes.
"Enough." His shoes took three large steps to me and he forced me to look at him.
"Luke, this doesn't mean anything. I can be just as happy with or without my parents having any claim to me." I laughed, forced, and nodded my head until I broke the hold he had on my chin. He stepped back a bit and tried to smile at me. I took a deep breath. This was going to get ugly.
"Maybe you should." He blinked rapidly, assessing what I said, and then stepped back a bit more.
"Maybe I should what, Luke? Maybe I should find a girlfriend to propose to? No, that's not what I want." He stepped forward, wrapping his arms around my waist. I pushed on them and then moved back towards the kitchen, leaving him stranded in the living room. A few seconds later however he broke the trance and was right beside me again.
"Luke, I don't get what's going on here. Are you saying you want me to get married to some girl that I..." He trailed off and I guessed the words he was going to put in there. To some girl that I don't love. What difference did that make? He always talked about us being together forever. I'm not a girl, we can't get married legally, and he's never said the words "I love you" before.
"I'm not saying that Noah. I think you should do what you think is right. But if you want my opinion, you need your family Noah. You just got them back after you ran out here to become some big shot director-to-be. They started paying for your schooling, they stopped cutting your face out of family photos. Do you think you can survive without your parents' backing you?"
He didn't answer directly which made me realize that he really didn't think he could survive without them. I nodded, smiling tightly as I turned back to the dishes. I grabbed a few clean bowls and started washing them again.
I barely got through the first two before his hands wrapped around my waist and clutched onto my wrists. He pulled them and then spun me to face him, his eyes searching mine.
"And what about you Luke? You going to just walk away while I'm walking down the aisle?" I made a snorting sound in the back of my throat.
"I can't very well be your best man, can I?" I pulled at my wrists but not with much conviction. He continued to hold me, pressing us against the sink as we continued staring into each other's eyes.
"Would you object?" I used what was left of my will power to push him away and started towards the hall way, in the general direction of our room. Would I object? And do what, out him to the entire town? Cause with his parents in the mix, the entire town would be invited. He wasn't out to his family yet, he couldn't handle being out to the world.
Noah didn't follow me, which was a smart decision. He probably thought I just needed time to cool off, like usual. But after I shut the door, I went to my closet and pulled out two medium sized suitcases.
I wasn't about to let Noah destroy his life for me. It was bad enough that he talked me into moving in with him. I was openly gay and he was decidedly straight to the rest of the town. It was scandalous to say the least. I threw most of my belongings into those two suitcases, leaving anything in the room that he would see. But I snuck one of the pictures from the closet, one we hadn't had the chance to hang yet, and put it into the suitcase too.
The picture was him standing infront of me, my legs wrapped around his waist and arms wrapped around his shoulders. He was giving me a piggy back ride when Charlotte snapped that picture. We looked so happy in it.
Once I was packed, I put the luggage into the closet and slowly shut the door. I made my way back to the door and slowly opened it. The television was on low, the lights from whatever show flickering in the dark living room.
Noah was sitting on the couch, eyes glued to the screen. My first reaction was that he was deep in thought. But when I glanced at the television, I realized it was more serious than that. It was a tape of him when he was little, running around the yard being chased by his parents.
"Noah? I'm going to bed." He blinked and looked up at me. He nodded and then smiled a little at me.
"I'll be in there in a few minutes." I nodded and made my way into the bedroom again. I changed into a pair of pajama pants but left my shirt off. I got under the covers and waited. After what felt like forever, Noah opened the door and came in. He changed into a style much like my own and climbed into the bed with me. He scooted up behind me and wrapped an arm around my torso. His fingers sought out mine and they played piano against each other until we both dropped into sleep.
And that lead me to be here, at the train station, in the early hours of morning, clutching onto my ticket with a sweaty hand. I breathed deeply, trying to calm my nerves.
"I'm doing this for Noah. I'm doing this for Noah. I'm doing this for Noah. I'm saving Noah from a dead end life of lies and betrayal." I negotiated with myself so that I wouldn't drop the ticket and go to crawl back in bed.
Such a warm bed...
The time got nearer to when my train would be pulling in. I checked my bags one more time and then stood up, popping as I did so. A train pulled in, the one before my own, and I heard voices and shoe scuffs as people got on and off. But the scuffs I were focusing on were coming towards me, from behind, and I turned around.
He'd done it. He'd come to get me. He was going to convince me to stay. But when I turned around to search out Noah, he was nowhere to be seen. The scuffs belonged to some other guy. My eyes closed when I realized that he didn't know that I was gone, that this was actually going to happen. I'd willed myself not to cry but that never worked.
As a few tears started to escaped my now clinched eyes, I felt a very warm hand brush them away. I opened my eyes to see Noah, staring at me with a face that reflected pain, betrayal, and fear. There was something else, one I'd called love before. But I didn't want to see that one right now.
"What do you think you're doing Luke?" His hand tugged at the ticket that was permanently attached to my hand. I didn't even have to tug back, it wasn't coming free.
"I'm taking myself out of the equation Noah. Now you can get married, produce a million babies, and move on." My voice cracked, more than once, so I'd given away my true resolve.
"Don't do this Luke. Please. We can get through this." I smiled and shook my head the tiniest bit. I heard a train pull in, my train, and sighed.
"You may hate me for this now, but you'll thank me one day. I'm doing you a favor Noah. Because I love you. And I don't want you to ever be hurting." Other than now, of course. That was unspoken, his eyes told me he was thinking it. I raised a hand and touched my lips and then pressed it to his. He closed his eyes, letting my cold fingers press against his warm mouth for longer than I'd intended.
I pulled away and gathered my luggage, rushing towards the train with every resolve to not look back. But once I got on, I snuck a look out of the window. Noah was still where he had been when I'd run off, eyes searching the faces in the windows until he found mine. Our eyes locked and my heart broke into tiny pieces.
But I was doing this for Noah. I was doing this to give him a better life, a better chance.
Who cares if along the way, I broke my own heart?
One week in a foreign city. I suppose I'd been suspecting that if I wasn't around him, that I'd get over Noah. But everything that I saw, no matter how insignificant, reminded me of him. The toaster, a quarter on the sidewalk, the coffee pot in my tiny hotel room. Things that didn't really mean anything meant everything to me for that first week.
The second day of the second week and I tried so hard to forget what I'd given up. But I was trying too hard to forget which made me remember.
A new town was supposed to be my new life. I was looking for a new job, looking for an apartment, looking for a new life in the corners of the town I didn't know. The job and apartment would be easy to find. The new life, not so much.
Circling jobs in red ink always seemed like a tradition to me. It was good luck or karma or something. This would explain why I was sitting on my bed, newspapers layering the covers, with red ink splotched across the paper.
A knock at the door caused me to stop, mid-circle, and look at the clock. The cleaning maid was a few minutes later than usual. I grabbed a few bills from the bed side table and made my way towards the door. I always paid her, no matter if she cleaned or not. She was a nice woman and she seemed really dedicated to her job. My socked feet shuffled over the carpet and I reached for the door knob. After I was shocked on the door knob, fingers tingling, I opened the door.
Maria was a very pretty girl, with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She was a little shorter than me and was always smiling. Which is why I was so shocked to see the preson at the door was the opposite of Maria.
Taller than me by a few inches, brown hair and brown eyes, and frowning. Noah stood on the other side of the door and I fought with myself on whether or not I should shut the door again. Against my better judgement, I stepped back and opened the door a little more than before. He walked in, not looking at me but at the surroundings. I shut the door and then leaned backwards onto it for support. I wanted to forget Noah, not conjure him up into my hotel room.
He was staring at the bed when I started feeling anxious. My stomach clenched and my hands started sweating. I shoved the bills into my pocket and shifted from foot to foot. Noah unzipped his jacket and then laid it on the chair across from the bed and turned to look at me.
"Nice place." I nodded, chewing on the inside of my cheek. How was I supposed to react exactly? Not that I could do much talking. My throat went dry at the sight of him.
"Your mom wants me to tell you she is very angry that you haven't called her. And Charlotte wants to know how much money you've burned through. And your boss is very angry that you just up and left without so much as a phone call." I nodded again, lack of anything else I really could do. He looked at the bed again, eyeing the newspapers on the comforter.
"Do you have anything to say?" Now how to answer to that exactly? If I didn't have anything to say, he'd leave. And if I did have something to say, this was my last chance. But if I did have something to say, that would bring up all those feelings I'd been working so hard to supress. Conflicting emotions bubbled into my throat and I opened and closed my mouth a few times.
He took that as his sign to leave. He nodded slowly as he grabbed his jacket and started towards me, towards the door. Without looking at me, he reached for the door knob. My fingers were still tingling from the shock earlier and when I closed them around his, they stopped. His eyes found mine and I swallowed roughly so that I'd be able to speak.
"I do have something to say." He slowly let go of the door knob and let it drop between us, my fingers still clasped around his. I wondered if I should let go of his hand but he answered that by turning his hand and lacing our fingers. It was harder to think this way but I had to, I just had to say what was on my mind.
"I didn't want to leave, you know. I wanted to stay with you. But Noah, you need your parents. I wasn't going to let you lose them again. It may be stupid but I did this for you, not to you. I wasn't about to out you to the entire world, you aren't ready for that. And I'm just not ready to wait. To wait for you while you are supposed to be looking for a wife-to-be would of killed me. I chose you, Noah. Out of my feelings and my wants against your happiness, I chose you."
Our fingers still laced together, I stared at him and hoping he would understand it. He tightened his fingers in mine and then slid them away. I closed my eyes and stepped sideways so he could leave. I should of been happy because he was leaving but I'd gotten my bit out into the open. But what I didn't understand was if I was supposed to of been happy, why did I feel like I was torn into a million pieces? I waited, listening for the sound of the door to open, but it never came. I opened my eyes and saw him sitting on the edge of the bed, his jacket back in the chair, and his head in his hands. I took a few steps forwards and then got on my knees infront of him, covering his hands with my own.
I tugged lightly, his hands falling from his face, and then he bent his head to look at me. Our eyes met and that same feeling I always got before erupted in the pit of my stomach. Tiny fires started, burning every free inch, and my muscles turned taut, aching. I wanted to kiss him, I wanted to hold him, I wanted him. But I gave up that right.
I pulled my hands away from him and let them slump at my sides.
"Say something Noah." My voice was low and pleading. I didn't really care what he said, as long as he said something. He licked his lips and then laughed, under his breath.
"I'm sorry Luke. I didn't realize what a strain my problems had put on you. If I would of known... if I would of known..."
We sat in silence, our eyes the only thing touching. And almost at once, something clicked and we both found ourselves pulling at each other, our lips and souls connected, unable to get enough. He pulled at my hair, at my shirt, and I did the same. His shirt was on the floor by his hands, but it felt like our lips hadn't parted. I couldn't breathe but I was okay with that. We fought, our tongues dancing in each other's mouths, to get the rest of our clothes off.
Seconds, minutes, or hours later, we were laying side by side under the covers, the newspapers and red pens littering the floor with our clothes. His right hand played piano against my left and we sat in silence.
"This shouldn't of happened. I was trying to make it easier for you, not harder." He laughed, grasping his hand completely around my own.
"Luke, without you, nothing is easier." He turned to his side and pressed his lips to my throat. I tried to shrug him away but it wasn't quite working.
"Noah, I--" He pressed his lips to mine, a mind blowing kiss that was either an after taste of what happened or a preview of what was to come.
"I came out to my parents, to everyone. I didn't do it to to prove anything to you or to myself. I did it because I'm gay and I love you." Heart stuck in my throat, I wrapped my hands around his neck and kissed him again.
The kiss got decidedly more heated and I pulled away slowly and reluctantly.
"Maria will be coming by. We should wait until--" He kissed me again, my mind making it up that he was just giving me previews of what was to come, and then pressed his lips to my neck.
"I paid her out in the hallway before I knocked. And I put a "Do not disturb" sign up. I'd hoped you would see it my way."
I kissed him once more before we disappeared under the covers for the second-- but not the last-- time.
Author's Note: So this one was kind of whatever but I liked writing it. Same names, different characters. Same general idea. Review.