Well, this is nowhere near the best thing I've ever written. But it's done, so I'm going to post it anyway.-Kiyoshi'sGirl64 and Kiyoshi
Silas frowned at Daniel. His lover was sitting on the leather sofa of Daniel's apartment, head in his hands. Silas moved to stand behind the blonde man who was busy having a mild panic attack. He reached out and began kneading Daniel's shoulders with strong hands. He felt Daniel first tense at and then relax into his touch.
"Danny," Silas said softly, "We don't have to do this if you don't want to. I can leave and we can put this off for another couple weeks."
Daniel expelled the air from his lungs with a low whoosh. "No, that's not fair to anyone, Silas. Not to you, not to Drake."
"It's not fair to you to do this when you're not ready," Silas countered, moving around the couch to sit next to Daniel.
Daniel shook his head. "Silas, I have to do this. It's wrong to keep hiding you from him. You've been my dirty little secret for more than a year. I can't keep that from Drake. He's fifteen. He… he's old enough to understand. He was probably old enough to understand two years ago. He deserves to know the reason Marie and I divorced. He deserves to know that…"
Silas smiled at Daniel's inability to express himself. So Silas gripped the grey-eyed man's hand and said, "He deserves to know that Cole isn't the only new, permanent parental fixture in his life?"
Daniel smiled. "Yeah. And Silas, I really… I'm sorry. I… you know I don't have a problem with staying faithful, that commitment…"
Silas leaned in to kiss his partner's cheek. "Yeah, Danny, I know talking about it scares you even though I can see that commitment in your eyes every time you kiss me."
Daniel just rolled his eyes and blushed. Silas held back a snort; he knew Daniel didn't understand what he did. Silas understood that Daniel was someone who committed to whatever he did—even if the concept of commitment to another person terrified him.
Silas still didn't understand why Daniel had gotten married in the first place, considering his psychological barriers against commitment. And that kind of commitment to a woman, no less.
Silas had long wondered how Daniel had remained faithful to Marie for their nearly fourteen years of marriage. All he knew was that Daniel would never under any circumstances sleep with someone when he was committed to someone else—whether or not the forty three year old would acknowledge the commitment verbally.
Some small part of Silas wished that Daniel had never married Marie. It would have saved everyone involved a lot of pain, as well as meaning Silas could have made a move on Daniel a good seven years before he did.
But mostly Silas was just thankful Daniel had finally seen sense and divorced the woman who couldn't really make him happy. And that meant that a large part of Silas was actually happy Daniel and Marie had gotten married; Drake meant the whole world to Daniel.
Of course, how much Daniel cared for Drake was the real reason Silas was so willing to put this meeting off. Yes, he wanted to meet Drake. Yes, he wanted to have Drake's acceptance, if not blessing.
But even after dating Daniel for more than a year, Silas feared that, if worse came to worst, Daniel would choose Drake. Of course, Silas respected that—at least until Drake was an adult—he would always come second to the teenager.
He just feared that it was such a far second that Daniel would dump him if Drake asked him to.
And Daniel leaving him would break his heart.
It didn't help Silas' nerves any that Daniel still hadn't said I love you. Silas had said it, multiple times, and he did love Daniel desperately. He began falling for the slightly older man close to four years ago, two years before Daniel had even gotten divorced. Of course, then it was more of an obsession than anything else. It just meant he fell that much faster and that much harder when they finally did begin dating.
A loud knock at Daniel's apartment door yanked Silas out of his reverie. He stood, pulled Daniel to his feet and kissed his cheek. "It'll all work out, Danny, I swear. Now I'm going to go get each of us a beer and we'll behave as friends until you decide otherwise."
The small kitchen area looked out across the living room, meaning Silas could easily see the front door, even as he raided the fridge, fishing out Daniel's last two beers.
Daniel ushered in not one, not two, not three, but four people.
The woman with dark brown hair hanging just past her shoulders Silas recognized from the family photo Daniel still kept on the kitchen counter, in spite of the fact that he was no longer married to her. Daniel's ex-wife Marie.
Then there was the tall, dark-haired man whose fingers were intertwined with Marie's. Silas figured it was a good bet that this was the woman's new fiancé, Cole.
Then was the teenage boy. He was several inches shorter than Daniel, obviously not having hit his growth spurt yet. His hair was fine and a white-blonde even paler than his father's. Drake.
Finally was the auburn-haired girl hanging onto Drake's arm. She was about his age and it was completely obvious she was Drake's girlfriend. Silas' first thought was that Daniel and Drake must share tastes, since the girl's eyes were eerily similar to his own—green and a mahogany shade that would flame a vibrant red in natural sunlight.
"Hey, Dad," Drake said with a bright smile. "This is my girlfriend Julianne. Julianne, my dad."
Silas watched as Daniel paled and stretched out a shaky hand to greet the girl; this obviously hadn't been included in even Daniel's wildest calculations. "It's a pleasure," he said. "Call me Daniel." After a beat, Daniel added, "This is my friend Silas everyone. Silas, meet Marie, Cole, Drake and Julianne." Silas didn't miss the flash in Marie's eyes at his introduction, making it abundantly clear that she knew exactly what Silas was to Daniel. And the word friend didn't quite cover it. Then Daniel said tersely—Silas detachedly noticed the anger that bordered on panic in the stormy grey eyes—"Drake, drop your things in your room. Then get something to drink for yourself and Julianne. I want a word with Cole, Silas and your mother."
And so Silas followed his lover and the two others into the hall. Once outside, Daniel demanded, "Marie, why is she here? I—how am I supposed to tell my now-obviously straight son that I'm gay when his girlfriend is there?"
Marie made a face and rolled vibrant blue eyes. "Daniel, he invited her on his own. He wanted you to meet her. What was I supposed to tell him? Sorry, Drake, but now. We've been lying to you for the last two years about why we got divorced. Your father's going to tell you about it and I don't think he's ready to come out to anyone but you yet. Daniel, I already told you I wasn't going to help you on this one."
Daniel groaned. Then Cole said, "Just calm down, the both of you. One thing I'm sure Daniel will agree with us on is that Julianne will not be spending the night. Daniel, Silas, you can tell him after she leaves, or tomorrow. Just calm down about it."
Daniel took a deep breath and nodded, much to Silas' relief; he had been afraid his boyfriend was about to have a mental breakdown. "Brilliant idea," Silas told him, wrapping an arm around Daniel's shoulders.
Of course, that moved the conversation in a different direction entirely. "So Daniel…" Marie began. "This is your… ah… boyfriend?"
"Yeah," Daniel said, sounding something close to relieved. Silas suspected it was because it was Marie; he had lived with her for fourteen years after all, and when he asked for a divorce—the way Daniel told it—she was more relieved than upset. Neither of them had been happy, and Daniel said they only stayed together as long as they did because of the child conceived on their honeymoon. Silas believed it.
Because the divorce was obviously a friendly one; Marie and Daniel didn't meet for coffee or anything, but when they met they were civil. They liked each other well enough. Marie eyed Silas for a long time before finally saying, "Well, at least you have good taste, Daniel. But do… yeah, could you do me a favor and not have sex while Drake is here? I know you don't have the marriage option, but I don't want to encourage sex outside of marriage, regardless."
"I wasn't planning on it," Daniel answered tightly. His face was bright red and Silas had to suppress a snicker; he only bothered because he knew Daniel wouldn't be too thrilled to know just how amused he was at the reaction the conversation was soliciting.
"Good," Marie said. "Well, Cole and I were going on a date tonight. Have fun with Drake and Julianne. I will see you on Sunday." She gave Silas a curt nod and said, "Nice meeting you." She then led her fiancé down the stairs.
Silas turned to go back inside, but Daniel stopped him. Silas looked at the shorter man questioningly. Daniel took a deep breath and said, "Silas, I know you're worried that… I know you're worried that I might dump you if Drake doesn't like you. But I swear, if he doesn't like you it will be because you're a man; I can't imagine anyone disliking you as a person." Silas didn't point out that there were people who disliked him as a person; he liked the fact that Daniel was so biased towards him that he obviously believed his own words. "And I am not going to leave you if he disapproves of my sexuality, Silas."
Silas smiled, more relieved by Daniel's words than he wanted to think about, let alone admit. "Thanks, Daniel. That makes me feel a lot better, actually."
Daniel shook his head. "That's not what I wanted to say. What I wanted was… if this goes well tonight, would you move in with me?"
Silas stared at Daniel. He'd though he would have to be the one to suggest such a step in their relationship; Daniel was too afraid of expressing commitment like that. "I would love to," Silas breathed. "I love you so much, Daniel."
That made Daniel look distinctly uncomfortable, and Silas knew it was because Daniel still wasn't sure he was ready to say the L word, in spite of the fact that they were moving in together. "Silas, you just have to understand… we can't move in together if this goes badly. I'm not going to leave you or anything so stupid as that, but I want my apartment to be a place Drake feels comfortable. If he hates the fact that I'm gay that much… I want to give him time to get used to the idea before you move in. But I swear, Silas, before the year is out."
It was September, so Silas figured he could handle waiting two or three months, if absolutely necessary. Of course, moving in this week would have been preferable, but Silas wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. So instead he smiled, reached up and covered the peephole to the apartment on the off-chance that the two teenagers were spying, and leaned in to kiss Daniel deeply. Daniel responded as eagerly as always, and pulled away looking a bit more ruffled than Silas thought wise, but he just helped Daniel settle his hair back into place and then they returned inside.
The evening was spent eating pizza, drinking soda—well, Julianne and Drake drank soda; Silas and Daniel drank beer Silas bought when he was picking up the pizza—and playing a stupid trivia game. "So, how'd you guys meet?" Julianne suddenly asked Daniel and Silas.
Silas had the uncomfortable feeling that Julianne was in full possession of 'a woman's intuition' and knew perfectly well that Silas wasn't just a friend. "We met at work," Silas answered easily. "I moved here about seven years ago, but we didn't really become friends till this past year."
Drake frowned. "You two've been friends for a whole year? Dad's never mentioned you, Silas."
"Really?" Daniel asked mildly. "I would have thought I had…"
The night stretched on uneventfully, ending in Daniel taking Julianne home, with Silas tagging along. It would look rather suspicious if Daniel just left Silas alone in his apartment. Of course, it also looked suspicious that Silas came with them rather than just going home himself. But Silas decided that that didn't matter; they'd be telling Drake the truth soon enough anyway, and he was by now eighty percent sure Julianne knew exactly what was going on.
When they finally arrived back at Daniel's apartment—the place Silas desperately wished he would be able to call home before the week was out—Daniel said, "Drake, we need to talk."
Drake's dark blue eyes went wide. "Dad, no, I already got the birds and the bees from Mom. I don't need to hear it from you too. Besides, Julianne isn't ready. And I really like her Dad. More than just for sex, I swear it."
Daniel closed his eyes and let out a long-suffering sigh. "Well, it's good to know that your mother took the time to give you the talk. I wish what I need to talk to you about was that simple. Could you sit down?"
Silas watched as Drake sank onto the couch, eyes the size of saucers. "Dad… are you sick or something? Do you have cancer?"
"Once again… I feel as though that would be a simple thing to tell you. Because then at least you couldn't get angry with me for it," Daniel said slowly.
By now Drake looked genuinely worried. So worried, in fact, that he kept glancing to Silas for help. "Dad, what's going on?"
Daniel exhaled slowly and then said, "Drake, I've been seeing someone."
"Oh god, she's pregnant, isn't she?"
"She's only four years older than me but you still plan on making her my step-mother?"
"You left Mom because of her and you've been hiding it from us all this time?"
"No…" Even as he said it, Daniel blanched, the question hitting a bit too close to home.
"Then what?" Drake's expression had shifted from worried to confused.
Daniel thought for several seconds and then said, "Drake, your mom and I… I know we never gave you a satisfactory reason for our divorce."
"You think?" Drake muttered.
Daniel ignored the barb and continued, "That's because the divorce was completely my fault and I wasn't comfortable with you knowing. Now, though—Drake, the reason your mother and I got divorced is—the person I've been seeing is—Drake, this is so hard. Way harder than it should be. But please, Drake, understand that it in no way changes how much I love you."
Drake made a face. "Enough sentimentality, Dad, just get on with it."
Silas watched worriedly as Daniel said, "I'm gay, Drake. I've been dating Silas for over a year."
There was a painfully long silence before Drake finally said, "No." He began shaking his head. "No. You can't be gay. No, no, no. This is just—no! You can't—you got Mom pregnant! That defies the meaning of being gay! You're not gay, you just think you are!" Suddenly he glared at Silas. "And you're just confusing him. Go away! Leave! Don't come back!"
"Drake, don't talk to Silas like that," Daniel said wearily. "He's my boyfriend. That's not going to change any time soon. I understand that it's confusing—you have no idea how confused I was. I was always attracted to men, but I convinced myself that I was attracted to your mother. And I cared about her—I still care about her—deeply, so I convinced myself it was love. We got married. I think I initiated sex with her a total of three times, Drake. The rest of the time, it was her and I felt obligated, since she was my wife. Then there was you, and I couldn't bring myself to say it needed to end because how would that affect you. It just got so tangled up, Drake. And now… well… I should have told you the truth, but I was scared. But I have to tell you now. Silas is probably going to move in with me, and you need to know so you don't show up and find a random stranger sleeping in your dad's bed. But I am really sorry."
"You're sorry?" Drake snarled, standing up. "You're sorry? I had to live through a divorce, and now I find out the reason for that is because my dad likes to take it up the ass, and all you can say is sorry?" The fifteen year old looked ready to throw something or hit someone. But instead he just said, "I hate you," and stalked from the room, slamming the door to his bedroom behind him.
And it appeared that that was too much for Daniel. He collapsed into the brown leather of his sofa and began sobbing. Silas sat down next to him and wrapped his arm around his lover. "Shhh, Daniel, he's just confused. It'll be okay. He wasn't angry enough to leave the apartment."
"It would have been better if he'd shouted it," Daniel whimpered eventually. "But no. I hate you. Said so calmly. So… so… matter-of-factly. What have I done?"
"Let me talk to him," Silas whispered in Daniel's ear.
Daniel jerked away from the auburn-haired man. "What?"
"Let me talk to him," Silas repeated, stroking Daniel's hair.
"I… I think it'll help, Danny. Make him see that I'm not an enemy. I think I might be able to help him see that you're the same dad you've always been," Silas murmured.
Daniel finally nodded. Silas kissed his forehead and stood to go to Drake's room. When he knocked on the door, Drake growled, "Go away, Dad, I don't want to talk to you."
Silas reached down and turned the knob, thankful the door locked on the outside. He stepped into Drake's room and quietly shut the door. "Drake, you think you could talk to me?" he asked.
When he spoke, the boy's eyes snapped open. Then he complained, "You're not going to go away, are you?"
"Not until you talk to me," Silas confirmed.
"That's not what I meant," Drake grumbled. "I meant you're going to be here, in my life, for an indefinite amount of time. Possibly forever."
"Well, yes," Silas confirmed again. "Which is why I want to talk to you, Drake. I don't want to make things even more difficult for Daniel."
"He's made them difficult for himself," Drake muttered, not looking at Silas. Drake's arms were crossed behind his head, his blonde hair in slight disarray as he lay on his back glaring up at the ceiling. "Why should I care?"
"Because he's your dad," Silas answered. "Because he loves you. And Drake, I am not taking your dad away from you, please understand that. He won't say it because he doesn't want to hurt me, but if he had to choose between us, he would choose you. That is how much he loves you, Drake. Just because he's gay… that doesn't change anything about your father, except that he's being more honest with you."
"Yeah, and that's the real problem," Drake complained, much to Silas' surprise. "I don't have a problem with him being gay. I don't have a problem with you or him dating you. I'm not even particularly surprised about it. But I do have a problem with him lying to me about it. How am I supposed to trust him after this?"
"Drake," Silas said, "The only thing I have ever seen Daniel lie about to anyone is his sexuality. Now that he's told you the truth about that, he has nothing else he's willing to lie about."
"Why would he tell you and not me?"
"I don't follow."
"Why would he tell you he was gay and not his own son?" Drake elaborated.
"Ah," Silas said. "It was… there was a company function we both went to. Your father got a bit drunk. I'd been a bit obsessed with him for some time, and so I volunteered to take him home. And when I dropped him off, I couldn't help myself. I kissed him and, in his inebriated state, he didn't have his usual reservations and kissed back. He actually tried to get me into his bed, but I wanted our first time together to be sober, so I turned him down. He wouldn't have told me or showed me if he wasn't drunk. And then since I already knew, there was no point in hiding it from me. Actually… Drake, the only people who know Daniel is gay are me, your mother, Cole and you. Your mother knows because Daniel was honest with her about why he wanted a divorce. Your mother told Cole. So you are the second person he has intentionally come out to, Drake."
Drake nodded and then said, "I really hate that you're right. Can I just… can I pretend to be angry for the rest of the night? I'm not quite ready to drop the angst-y teenager act. And even though I'm not quite angry anymore, I can't quite forgive him yet."
Silas laughed and nodded. "Okay, Drake, I'll see you in the morning."
Drake made a face. "You're staying the night?"
Silas nodded. "Unless… does that bother you, Drake?"
The disturbed face Drake pulled at that almost made Silas laugh. "I just… I don't particularly care to think about my mom's sex life with Cole. The fact that my dad is sleeping with another guy is even worse." Silas was disappointed. Drake seemed to realize what he'd said and hurried to correct himself. "Silas, I just meant… I don't have a problem with it, but I could never even imagine liking guys. I don't need to think about two guys going at it, and the fact that one is my father…"
Silas laughed then. "Okay, I get it. I don't think your dad will be up for anything tonight anyway. He's exhausted himself building himself up to tell you, panicking about how you might react." He stood and walked to his door. He couldn't keep himself from teasing the teenager. "And Drake, you accused your father of taking it up the ass. So you know, he doesn't."
"But I thought—" Silas smirked as Drake paled, understanding that Silas was implying his father was the dominant partner in the relationship.
Silas left without another word, happy that Drake was going to forgive Daniel eventually, if not immediately. That was a good sign.
And Silas ready to go to bed, snuggled up to the man he was in love with.
The next morning, when Drake ambled out to the breakfast table, Silas served him eggs and bacon. Drake yawned. "Where's Dad?"
"Still asleep," Silas answered softly. "He had trouble sleeping last night, didn't get any till at least three in the morning." Drake looked at him suspiciously. "No, I wasn't keeping him up. He just kept tossing and turning. I think he was still upset about how things went with you."
"Oh," Drake said, poking at his eggs and looking vaguely guilty. "Silas?"
"I… I still don't know how to forgive him."
"Drake, just show him," Silas answered, sitting down opposite to the blonde. "I know you don't want to hurt him and he didn't want to hurt you. That's part of the reason he kept it from you for so long. He was afraid he would hurt you so much that you would never want to see him again."
"Drake, just remember that your father loves you."
Drake shrugged. "Yeah, I guess. Just… Silas, do you love him?"
Silas frowned. "How is that relevant?"
"I… I don't like that my parents' marriage—and apparently their divorce as well—was a lie. But if it had to be… I at least want this to be for someone who loves him."
Silas smiled reassuringly. "I love your father so much, Drake. I can't decide if I'm upset he married your mother, because we could have gotten together a lot sooner if he wasn't with her or if I'm happy about that simply because you make him so happy. I genuinely love him."
Drake nodded thoughtfully.
The rest of the weekend passed tense and awkward. When Marie came to pick up Drake on Sunday evening, Drake and Silas shared an awkward but friendly handshake. Then Drake turned and suddenly gave his father a hug. "I'll see you in a couple weeks."
Silas smiled at Daniel's shock, understanding that Drake trying to accept them was the most Daniel had hoped for.