"Nurse, if you look at that clock one more time I am going to have you suspended!"
Andrew jerked upright in his swivel chair at the sound of the voice snapping at him. He grinned at the man leaning against the door and answered in a mock serious tone.
"I apologise doctor. It seems my mind was elsewhere."
Peter Saunders rolled his eyes as he stood up straight and walked over to the counter where a pot of coffee waited on the warmer. "Everyone in the whole damn hospital knows where your mind has been all day."
Andrew laughed and got up to join his friend at the counter. "I can't believe it's been a year already. I just wish Stu would've told me what he's got planned for the weekend. I hate surprises."
"Don't talk shit, man. You love surprises; you just hate waiting and I'm guessing Stuart knows that better than anyone. That's probably why he already told you two weeks ago not to plan anything for this weekend. He loves watching you squirm."
"You bet he does." Andrew answered, then added with a lascivious grin. "Especially when I'm naked on top of him."
"Hey! Straight married guy here! Way too much information there. Now I'll probably be stuck with that image in my head the whole damn day." Peter pretended to shudder as he picked up his coffee and headed for the door. "I'm gonna call my wife and see if she's up for phone sex to heal my broken psyche." He called over his shoulder to make himself heard over Andrew's laugh.
Andrew settled back in his chair, his thoughts drifting towards his lover. It had been exactly a year ago today that they'd met in this same hospital. Angel's Haven Hospital, situated in the small town it was named for, was mainly a paediatrics facility. Except for a small emergency ward and a few rooms for patients who needed somewhere to stay before being transferred to one of the city hospitals if there injuries were serious, the whole hospital was geared towards working with children in a wide variety of areas. Angel's Haven was known around the world for their excellent facilities and the professionalism of their staff and Andrew loved working there. He was on duty in emergency one night a week, and he'd been the one to take Stuart into the operating theatre when the paramedics had brought him in; having taken him to the closest hospital after cutting him out of his car. He'd gone around to the man's room the next afternoon when his shift started, just to check on him, and was still there a few minutes later when he first woke up. Less than a month later Stu had moved in with him, and they'd been together ever since.
Andrew was still thinking about his life with Stuart, when he was paged.
He slowed down as soon as he recognised James Denton standing next to Aaron Perrold, the hospital's chief of staff. James was still in his police uniform, so it was almost certain he was here on official business.
"You paged me?"
"Andrew." James stepped forward to place a hand on his forearm. "It's about Stuart ..."
Andrew felt as though his heart was trying to climb out through his chest. "Oh god .... oh god ..." He realised he was hyperventilating, but was powerless to stop himself. It was all he could do to remain standing.
"Andrew! Andrew! Listen to me!"
He slowly became aware of Aaron grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him.
"Stuart's fine. He was in an accident, but he's going to be okay. He has a few broken bones, but nothing he won't recover from."
Andrew sagged against the counter, his body slumping in relief as the words penetrated his panic-fogged brain.
"I need to see him. Which room is he in?"
The two men in front of him exchanged glances before Aaron spoke again.
"Before you go in, there's something I have to tell you. Stuart has amnesia."
Andrew gave a short bark of laughter and looked at the man in disbelief. "You're kidding, right? That's just impossible." He shook his head as if to negate what Aaron was saying.
"I'm sorry, Andrew. But Stuart knocked his head against the front window of the car during the accident. He thinks it's the first of May." Aaron's voice was full of sympathy as he spoke to the young man he's known for the past six years. Andrew was like a son to him and he hated having to be the one to tell him all this.
"But ... but that's today. It's the first today."
"I know, but Stuart seems to think it's the first of May last year. He remembers everything up to a year ago."
"Oh god." Andrew sank down onto the floor, his legs finally giving in. A year. It was their whole life together.
Jackson Montgomery looked up when he heard the door to his room open. It was another nurse, this one male. His shoulders slumped a bit. He'd been hoping his family had finally arrived; he desperately wanted to see them. He'd left the day before in a fit of rage after a huge argument, and the accident had really scared him. He could only imagine what it would've done to them if he'd died after leaving them like that. He knew he needed to apologise.
He turned back to face the nurse when he realised the man hadn't come any further into the room. He took a quick inventory of the man's appearance, being struck by how he seemed almost fragile. He was short, no more than five six or seven and he'd bet the man didn't weigh more than a hundred and thirty pounds. He had light brown hair, falling in soft waves to his shoulders, and delicate features. His eyes though, were incredible. Jackson had never seen anything like it. They seemed to be almost purple.
When the man coughed as though nervous, Jackson felt a blush creeping over his face, realising he'd been staring.
"Uhm ... sorry. I'm Jackson. Jackson Montgomery." He spoke and then felt like an idiot. The guy was a nurse, of course he knew who he was. He missed the pain filled grimace that flitted over the man's face before he stepped forward.
"Yes. I'm Andrew Stevens. I heard about your accident and I just wanted to see how you were doing." He had to restrain himself from grabbing onto the man on the bed. It was the cruellest of jokes; to have his lover so close and yet so completely out of reach.
"Do you remember what happened?" Andrew knew the police would've asked him all about the accident, but he needed any excuse to stay with Stuart a little longer. He grimaced again, realising that it would take him a while to get used to the fact that the man in front of him was actually Jackson Montgomery and not Stuart Redman.
He reigned in his thoughts when Jackson answered. "Yeah, actually. I'd just gone around that hairpin turn before the road starts to descend towards Angel's Haven. There was a jack-knifed truck blocking the entire road. I slammed on the breaks, but I was too close already and I ended up smashing into the cab of the truck. I must've passed out after that, 'cause the next thing I knew I woke up here."
Andrew immediately realised that Jackson was remembering the accident from a year ago, and not the more recent one. The police had pieced together what had happened, seeing as Jackson was unable to remember at the time and James had told him about it.
He just nodded, unable to speak for fear of bursting into tears. He took a deep breath before turning around and mumbling a goodbye as he headed out the door. As soon as Andrew was out of sight in the hallway, he sank down against the wall, curling into a ball as great, heaving sobs wracked his body.
"God dammit Peter! What the fuck do you want me to do? I can't sleep, I can't eat. The only thing that gets my mind off all this shit is work." Andrew slammed his fist down on Peter's desk as he yelled at his friend.
"I understand that Andrew, but you have to look at this from the hospital's perspective. You're not in any state to deal with patients. If something happens we'll have a helluva lawsuit on our hands. Whether you and I like it or not, you're on leave from today. Go home or go away somewhere so you can clear your head."
Andrew sighed deeply and slumped back down in the chair in defeat. "How am I supposed to go home? It's our house, we bought it, we lived there together. Everything there reminds me of Stuart."
"Jackson." Peter corrected softly, hurting for his friend.
Andrew just nodded.
"Maybe you could spend some time with him. Let him get to know you again. I mean, you two loved each other, probably more than any other couple I know. Something like that doesn't just disappear."
Andrew sighed and then looked up. "Peter, you're a doctor. You know it doesn't work like that. Love is not a cure for amnesia, however much I might want it to be."
"Then make him fall in love with you again. Do whatever you did the first time around."
Andrew laughed bitterly. "Fuck, Peter. We fought for three weeks. I'm not sure if that'll work a second time. In any case, he's almost ready to go home. I can't just show up at his house in the city like some weird fucking stalker type guy."
"You just go talk to him. Let me speak to Aaron and see if we can't figure something out."
Jackson smiled at Andrew when he walked into his room. He was glad for any sort of company. His parents and his girlfriend, or should he say ex-girlfriend, Jennifer, had been to see him, but it had been really awkward. Someone had finally told him that he'd been missing for a whole year before the accident. To him, it was like he'd seen them a few days ago, but for them it had been a long time, and they'd all but given up hope of finding him. It was almost funny how nervous they'd been around him. At least his two brothers had cheered him up, acting exactly like they always did.
"Would you mind if I stayed with you a bit?" Andrew asked, unsure of his reception.
"Of course not. This morning I was actually happy to see that grumpy old nurse with the hairy wart on her chin. So that should give you an indication of just how bloody bored I am." Jackson replied with a grin.
Andrew laughed, and took a seat next to the bed. Most of the hospital staff tried to avoid Jackson as much as possible, afraid that they might slip up and let on that they knew him. The resident psychiatrist had warned them that it might not be a good idea, as it would only confuse him.
"Aren't you on duty?" Jackson asked, noticing Andrew's jeans and t-shirt.
"No. I'm on leave as of today."
Jackson raised an eyebrow in disbelief. "And you come to work anyway? You must really love this place."
Andrew smiled ruefully and shook his head. "No. I just can't stand to be at home right now. I ... uhm ... I recently lost my lover, and it's just hard to be there. You know?"
"You lived there together before he died?" Jackson asked.
Andrew decided not to correct his assumption and just nodded. "His stuff is everywhere, he was a real slob." He laughed a bit. "I can still smell him in our bed and it tears me apart." He added softly, knowing he was revealing more than was probably acceptable when speaking to someone you apparently didn't know from Adam, but was unable to help himself.
"I miss him."
Jackson didn't say anything for a while. He couldn't imagine what it must feel like to lose someone like that. Actually, he couldn't even imagine what it felt like to love someone so much that it would break his heart to lose them. He still wasn't sure how he'd ended up with Jennifer as a girlfriend, other than the fact that she wouldn't take no for an answer. He couldn't believe she'd come to the hospital. The morning of the accident a year ago, he'd broken up with her and finally told his parents he was gay, which of course led to the big fight, after which he'd stormed out. The sound of Andrew's voice pulled him back from his thoughts.
"You know, you actually remind me of Stuart."
Jackson turned to look at the man and cocked his head to one side. "Did he look like me?"
"Well, yes, he was really tall, like you. Just over six feet, and he was built sorta lean like you." Andrew motioned at Jackson with his hand, indicating his dark brown hair and brown eyes, the tanned skin. "Same colouring too. But that's not really it. He also had amnesia after an accident. That's actually how we met. I was on duty when the ambulance brought him in."
"Would you like to tell me about him?"
Andrew looked surprised at Jackson's request and then smiled broadly.
"Stuart always wanted to talk. Well, actually, he wanted me to talk. He wanted to know everything about my life from the day I was born to the day I met him. I had to tell him every detail about my day; who I'd spoken to, what was said, which patients I worked with, what I ate. At first it just about drove me nuts, but I kinda got used to it and eventually he didn't have to drag everything out of me. I think a big part of it was the fact that for all intents and purposes he had no past."
"He couldn't remember anything?" Jackson interrupted.
"Nope. His whole life was a complete blank. He told me later that he imprinted on me the day he woke up like a baby bird does. He said that's why he had to fall in love with me."
"When did he start to remember things?"
Andrew looked at him blankly for a moment, then shook his head. "He didn't."
Jackson looked confused. "Then how'd you know his name? Did he have ID or something?"
"No. They'd barely gotten him out of his car when it burst into flames. Everything he had was lost. I gave him his name. I started to read to him at night while he was still in hospital 'cause he had trouble sleeping. There's this book by Steven King, The Stand. It always used to be one of my favourites and one of the main characters is called Stuart Redman, so that's where his name came from."
They were both quiet for a while, lost in their own thoughts. When Andrew looked up again, he noticed that Jackson had fallen asleep, so he quietly left him and headed home to his empty house where he spent another sleepless night.
"How'd you two get together?" Jackson asked the next day.
"Hell." Andrew laughed. "At first I actually thought one of us was gonna kill the other. We argued all the time. Actually, argue is too nice a word; we fought like bloody cat and dog. I'd come to see him and after about ten minutes we'd be screaming at each other and I'd stomp off, cursing him all the while, only to come back the next night. I don't know what it was about him, but I just couldn't stay away, and I guess he felt the same way about me. The one night I didn't show, he dragged his ass out of bed and stole money out of one of the nurse's handbags to call me from the payphone to tell me to – in his words – get my arse in gear and get the fuck down here. He made me give the money back to the nurse he took it from."
Andrew laughed again, his eyes staring out the window and into the past.
"I'm not sure how it happened, but one day we were still fighting, and the next we were actually talking. The night after that he grabbed the front of my scrubs when I leaned over him to adjust his pillows and he pulled me down and kissed me. Two days after that he was released and he moved in with me. We never even talked about it; I just checked him out and took him home."
"Weren't you curious about his life before the accident?" Jackson asked when he realised Andrew wasn't going to continue.
"I was, but Stuart said he didn't wanna know. He said he was happy with me and his new life and whatever was left in the past could stay there for all he cared. I thought he should at least find out if someone hadn't reported him missing in one of the bigger towns or cities close by, but he refused. He didn't see the point. He didn't want to go back to people he didn't know at all when he'd already started to make a life here in Angel's Haven. He said if someone wanted him that badly, they could find him."
"Did he get a job?" Jackson asked again, causing Andrew to laugh.
"You're just like Stuart. I always said he was like a five year old with all his constant questions; why? what? who? where? and on and on."
Jackson blushed and looked down at his hands. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be nosy."
"Hey, I don't mind. I love talking about him. It's just funny how alike you are."
Jackson didn't say anything for a minute and then looked up at Andrew with a grin. "So did he get a job?"
"Yeah, he did. He said he obviously liked books, so he made me take him to the library where he sweet-talked old Mrs. Jacobs into hiring him. I thought he'd get bored after a while, but he never did. He said he had time to read as much as he liked, and in between he got to catch up on all the town gossip. It wasn't long before almost everyone in town knew him. I'd lived here for six years and I didn't know even a fraction of the people Stuart knew after three months. He was stubborn and headstrong and persistent, and I loved that about him, but he was also kind and gentle and sensitive. He had a way of knowing the perfect thing to do to turn my day around. It was like he could get into my head and sort it out for me when I needed it. You know?"
"Yeah, I think I do." Jackson said with a soft smile, then looked up when the door opened again.
He waved his parents in and then grabbed Andrew's hand as he got up to leave. "Will you come back tomorrow?" Andrew just stared at the familiar sight of Jackson's hand wrapped around his for a moment and then nodded his head, not trusting his voice.
"What was your first date like? I mean I know you were living together and all, but you must've had like proper dates. I know I wouldn't stop dating just because I moved in with someone. That's part of the fun of being in love with someone." Jackson explained.
Andrew stared at him, remembering how Stuart had told him almost the exact same thing when he'd asked him why he wanted to take him out on a date.
"He actually woke me up at three in the morning and told me to get dressed, 'cause he was taking me out on a date. I was royally pissed at being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, but I got up. As I said, he was really persistent. He drove us out to this hill just outside of town. He had blankets and champagne and strawberries in the car. We sat there and talked and watched the stars. He told me to wait until I saw a falling star. He said it was important. We stayed there for quite a while before I eventually saw one. He told me that at that exact same moment, somewhere in the world, someone like me had found someone who was lost like he had been. Maybe not with amnesia, but alone and lost none the less. He said if someone fell into your lap like he did in mine, you weren't allowed to ever let them go, because the heavens ordained it."
Jackson stared at the man in front of him, watching the trail of tears running down his face as he spoke, aching for him and the love he'd lost.
"Did you still fight after you moved in together?"
"All the fucking time." Andrew laughed. "I'd call him a slob and throw his stuff at him when he left things all over the house, and he'd call me anal and mess up my things on purpose. He'd forget to put gas in my car and I'd be stuck by the side of the road somewhere and have to call someone to come and fetch me. He always wanted to cook, and he'd leave the kitchen looking like a tornado had gone through it and I'd end up cleaning because he said it was the cook's prerogative to put his feet up after the meal. I tended to forget things. He'd make a date with me and I'd end up getting home late and he'd lock me out of our room. He used to wear my t-shirts and sweats when I worked nights, saying it helped him sleep when I wasn't there and the things would be stretched all to hell because he was so much bigger than me. Stuart was like a damn teddy bear. He always wanted to touch me and hug me and kiss me. He never gave a damn who saw us or what they'd think. If he felt like kissing me while we were waiting in line at the grocery store, he'd just grab me and kiss me. I kept on telling him he would piss people off, but he said the only ones who would have issues would be people who were jealous because we were in love and together and they were fucking miserable and therefore alone."
Andrew was quiet for a minute before continuing.
"You know, a lot of the things that used to piss me off about him are actually the things I now miss the most. I hate going home and finding my house all clean and neat like I left it. I hate knowing that he won't ever sleep in my clothes again, never kiss me in the post office or dance with me right in the middle of Main street to some song playing in a bar when we walked home late at night. I might be a bit naive, but I don't think many people ever get a chance at the kind of life we had together and I know that once you've had that, life won't give you a second chance with someone else."
"I spoke to Aaron." Peter told Andrew when he came into the hospital the following day. "He said that he'd already told Stu... uh ... Jackson's attending physician to keep him here for another week. Dr. Ronson was only too happy to comply. We're all rooting for you two. So you've got seven days to get through to him before he leaves."
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Andrew grabbed his friend around the waist and hugged him. "You guys are the best!"
"You look happier today." Jackson remarked when Andrew walked into his room, a big smile on his face.
"I just got some really great news. So yeah, I guess I am happier today." Andrew replied, still smiling as he sat down next to Jackson's bed.
"So, you said you'd tell me about how you bought your house."
"Well, that was another one of those times when Stuart basically just ran over me like a bloody freight-train. He came back from work one day and told me that we needed to move. He said my house was fine, but it wasn't ours and we had to buy a new one. I was still trying to discuss it with him when the doorbell rang. It was an estate agent with a contract. The couple who wanted my house had already signed and she'd come for my signature. Stuart had met them at a coffee shop earlier that day and basically ended up selling my house to them. I dragged him into the bedroom and we screamed at each other for like fifteen minutes and then I went and signed the damn contract. Two days after that he came home and told me he'd found our house. He said since I got to pay, he got to pick. I told him his logic was completely fucked, but he convinced me to at least go and look at the place. It was perfect. We moved at the end of the month."
Jackson laughed. "Seems like you're a bit of a pushover."
"But that's just it!" Andrew exclaimed. "Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you the complete opposite. I always do things my way. Once I've made up my mind about something, that was it. It was just bloody Stuart. He could convince a nun to join an orgy and then have her believe it was all her own idea."
"It sounds like you guys were made for each other." Jackson spoke, smiling sadly, wondering if he'd ever find what Andrew had had with Stuart.
"Yeah. I guess we were." Andrew answered softly, his eyes resting on the man he loved more than life itself.
"What was the funniest or the stupidest thing you ever did?"
Andrew smiled. It had been a week now, and every time he came to see Jackson, the man had more questions for him. Not that he was complaining, he needed to spend as much time with him as possible before he left, and this way he could tell him about their life together without wondering how to go about it.
"To be honest, life with Stuart was one long list of stupid, silly things. He always had an idea, and it was usually a bad one, but I tended to go along with him. He sometimes made me feel like I was a kid again. He made everything sound so simple and even his worst ideas sounded so logical at the time, that we often ended up in very ridiculous and embarrassing situations. There was this one night, in the middle of the winter, when he woke me up just after midnight and told me to dress warmly. By that time I'd gotten used to him waking me up at all hours of the night, so I tended to just go along with him without too much grumbling. He had two of those jumbo packs of laundry detergent with him, one for me and one for him. He said that since it was winter, we had to have snow. I tried to tell him Angel's Haven had so far survived every winter without snow, but he was determined. He made me go with him to every house in our part of town that had a swimming pool to dump detergent in the water. We climbed fucking fences and got chased by dogs and almost got caught more than once. We then walked to the centre of town where we dumped everything that was left into the big fountain in the town square. By the time we got home we were both freezing and filthy from hiding in hedges and shit. The next morning half of downtown was covered in bubbles floating on the wind. Kids were running around having a hell of a time playing in all the bubbles around the fountain. Most of the park was full of detergent bubbles. For the next week, every time someone turned on the pump to clean their pool in our neighbourhood, it would stir up the detergent and we'd once again have bubbles blowing around."
Jackson was laughing so hard by the time Andrew finished his story that he had trouble breathing.
"Damn, I would've liked to see that. Can you just imagine people's faces when their swimming pools started turning into bubble baths?"
"Yeah, Stuart said that was all he was sorry about; that he couldn't be around to see people's reactions."
"You said something about Stuart's birthday. Did you just pick a day?"
"I actually decided to surprise him for a change. I had the whole thing planned out really carefully, but in the end it still turned into one of our frequent public embarrassment situations. I told him the day before to dress nicely and that I'd pick him up after work so we could go and have dinner at the Chinese restaurant. He kept on asking what was going on and I just told him to wait and enjoy the evening 'cause we were celebrating. He'd mentioned to me once that he wanted to have sex in a pool, but that was before we moved to the new house, so we didn't have one yet. I knew that a guy who lived just down the street from us was away on holiday with his family for two weeks. They had a really nice pool, and the walls around their yard were quite high, so the neighbours wouldn't be able to see us, we could go in there and we'd be fine if we just kept it down. Well, after we finished our dinner, I drove back home and told Stuart to walk with me. We got to the house and climbed the fence. Once we got to the pool I stripped naked and wished Stuart a happy birthday. I told him that for his birthday gift he got to fuck my brains out in someone else's pool. It would've been fine, except for the fact that the old lady who lived next door had insomnia. She apparently heard something strange and called the police. We were still in the pool when they showed up. We were taken down to the station and booked. We ended up spending the night in the cells, but the next morning when my friend James came on shift he let us out and told us he hoped we'd learned our lesson. Unfortunately, Angel's Haven has a gossip chain that works faster than the speed of light and by the time we left the police station, half the damn town already knew what had happened. People joked about it for bloody weeks after that."
"I bet Stuart thought it was worth it." Jackson said when he'd stopped laughing.
"He said he knew for a fact that it was the best birthday he ever had even though he couldn't remember any of the others."
Andrew woke up to the sound of the phone ringing next to his bed.
"Hello?" He mumbled through a yawn when he finally managed to get the thing to his ear and the right side up.
"Andrew? It's Aaron. I'm afraid I've got some bad news."
Andrew shot up in his bed, suddenly wide awake. "Is it Stuart? I mean Jackson? Did something happen to him?"
"No, no, it's nothing like that. He's going home this afternoon though. His parents called earlier and asked that he be released into their care. They were quite insistent and I'm afraid I couldn't stall any longer. So if you want to see him before he leaves you better head right over. I'm sorry." Aaron concluded softly.
"It's okay Aaron. Thanks for letting me know. I'll be right there."
"I hear you're going home today?" Andrew tried to smile at Jackson, but failed miserably.
"Yeah. Apparently my parents made a bit of a fuss to get me released." Jackson didn't look much happier with the idea than Andrew did.
"Uhm ... I just wanted to tell you ... to say ..." Andrew trailed off, not sure how you said goodbye to someone you already lost.
Jackson stared at him, unsure how to say goodbye to someone when it felt like you were losing them before you've even really found them.
Before either one of them could find the words, Jackson's whole family rushed into the room, all talking a mile a minute, and Andrew found himself pushed away from the man he loved. He almost turned around and walked out the door, but decided to at least do what he came for. He stepped forward again, pushing through Jackson's family and placed the book he was holding in Jackson's hand.
"I thought you might like this one." He said before laying a soft kiss on Jackson's forehead and turning around to go, tears blinding him as he walked out of the room, out of the hospital, and out of the best part of his entire life.
Three Weeks Later
It was after two in the morning, and Jackson found himself tossing and turning in bed. He'd been having trouble sleeping ever since he'd left the hospital. It was good to be with his family - especially now that Jessica had finally accepted that he was not going to turn straight and take her back - and the bed was definitely softer, but he couldn't get Andrew out of his head. He missed him. He missed talking to him and hearing him laugh with that beautiful throaty voice. He kept seeing the man's strange purple eyes every time he drifted off to sleep.
Finally giving up on trying to sleep, he got out of bed and started to head for his dad's study to see if he couldn't find something to read. As he was about to open the door he remembered the book Andrew had pressed into his hand on the day he left the hospital. He switched on the light and then went over to his cupboard. He'd dumped the back pack containing everything he had with him in the hospital on the top shelf without bothering to unpack it when he got home.
Jackson flopped down on his bed, holding the book with both hands. It was a battered copy of The Stand, by Steven King. The book Andrew had read to Stuart when he was still in hospital. He flipped through the pages, noticing that the book was obviously well-read. He turned back to the front and started to skip to the first page of the story when something caught his eye. Someone had written something near the front of the book on one of the blank pages. There were actually two notes, both in the same handwriting. Jackson smiled as he read the first note.
You've already fucked up my book by getting custard all over it.
You might as well keep the damn thing.
The second note was quite a bit longer, and addressed to himself.
I was told not to do or say anything to confuse you and mess up your life any further, but I felt as though I owed it to both of us to take a chance.
I love you.
I love you as Jackson Montgomery, the man who listened to the stories in my heart.
I loved you as Stuart Redman, the man who made those stories with me.
I know I've had my chance at holding a falling star, and I guess it's only fitting that you should disappear from my life as quickly and spectacularly as you first appeared.
Even if I had known beforehand that you would only be mine for a short while; I still would've jumped at the chance for even such a fleeting moment of bliss.
I will guard our memories for both of us.
"I'm coming!" Andrew yelled at whoever was banging on his door. "It's not even five in the fucking morning yet. What the ..."
He trailed off, staring at the man standing in front of him, not sure if he was only dreaming.
Jackson shifted from foot to foot, suddenly nervous.
"I ... uh ... I wanted to know ... to ask ..." He took a deep breath and then tried again. "I don't have the memories in my head yet; they might never come back. But they're still in my heart, and they always will be."
He looked closely at the face of the man he'd fallen in love with for a second time, waiting for a reaction.
Andrew stood frozen, not sure if he dared believe that it was really happening.
Jackson felt as though he'd been waiting for an eternity when Andrew suddenly stepped forward. Jackson wrapped the smaller man in his arms. A smile broke over his face as he heard Andrew's soft whisper against his neck.
"Who wouldn't be willing to take in their falling star a second time?"