Something I've wanted to write for quite a while now, but never got around to. And it's such a good idea that I can only hope that I don't end up turning it into a very long novel instead of the one-shot I've intended it to be.
P.S I just spent the day watching Ouran, and my God, every single person in that anime is a vision of beauty.
The snow was so bad that Anthony kept falling. Every time he thought his footing was good, and he was safe, he'd suddenly find his leg being held in some unbreakable death grip, and the next thing he knew, he was laying face first in the snow.
Many times he considered turning back, but he couldn't. Not on today of all days. Even if he lost his shoes in the snow, he'd keep going. He would have driven his car, but he had a thing about driving on ice. It had always scared him. His best friend, Jeff used to tease him about that all the time. Until he told Jeff why he was scared of driving on ice. And then Jeff stopped teasing.
Two years ago, after he'd graduated, he'd moved out of town. This place held too many bad memories, too many things he didn't want to think about. He'd moved cross country, all the way to Boston, where he'd made a living as a taxi driver. But it wasn't the life he wanted, so after two whole years of being alone, he decided to come back. He'd already been back two weeks, and so far, had managed to secure a one bedroom apartment, and a job at at a restaurant as a waiter. It still wasn't the life he imagined living, but hey, it was better then being alone in a big city.
A few minutes later, after more trudging up and downhill, the cemetary loomed in front of him, covered in crystal white snow. The gates were already open, so he figured there must be some other people there. He went in, going up and down the familiar rows, reading the names he'd long ago memorized. He quickly came to his mother and father's, and he brushed the snow off their graves, so that he could read their names more clearly.
Dean and Marta Holtz.
You will be missed forever.
But that wasn't really true. The only one who really remembered them was Anthony, and his parents' family. But once all those people were dead, there would be no one to remember them, much less miss them. But for now, he'd just do his job, and look like them, so people would be reminded of them. His mom's beautiful black hair, their impressive height, his father's handsome facial features and blue eyes.
His thoughts were interrupted a second later, when a clump of snow fell off the tree above him, and dumped itself all over him, freezing him to the bone. He shook the snow off, and after a quick whispered prayer for his parents, set of for his next stop. After all, his parents had been dead for ten years. He'd visited, and pretty much said everything he wanted to say to them over the years. But there was one person he hadn't visited yet.
His grave was toward the back though, where the newer graves were. Well, the old new graves. He supposed that people had probably died in the two years he'd been away from this cemetary. It took him a lot longer to find this grave, because he'd only seen it once, the day of the funeral. But finally, right as he considered asking somebody for help, or even just giving up, he found it.
Our angel in Heaven
This was the grave he had come to see, not his parent's. The one he'd been trying to ignore since the day of Jeff's death, and had run away from. Having his parents die when he was a child was enough. Losing his best friend when he was old enough to comprehend it...that had ended him. So, he'd ran, all the way to Boston, and tried to pretend it didn't happen, and waiting for his phone to ring, and for Jeff to be on the other end, telling him to hurry up and get back to South Dakota.
But it never happened.
None of the stuff that he wanted with Jeff ever happened.
They never graduated together, never moved in together, never...got together. Never held hands, or shared a bed, or any of the things he'd dreamed of the whole entire time he'd known Jeff. None of it.
Because Jeff had died.
Anthony sat down in front of the grave, dusting off the snow, thinking that Jeff might be cold. Of course he was cold, he told himself a moment later. He was an unmoving corpse buried six feet under the cold ground. A second later he wanted to smack himself. He shouldn't be thinking this way. Jeff was more then that to him. All the time they'd spent together had meant something, and he'd known it, and he thought that maybe Jeff had felt it too. There was little doubt in his mind that the two of them wouldn't have gotten together.
He leaned against the grave, looking up at the sky, watching his breath cloud the air around him. He sighed.
"Hey Jeff." he whispered. "Sorry it took me so long to visit. I'm sorry."
He wanted to say more, because there was so much he wanted to say, so many things he'd been holding back. Things like, "I miss you." Or, "Why did you leave me?" And of course, "I love you."
But instead, he started to cry. He hadn't cried since Jeff's funeral, weeks before highschool graduation. He'd been sitting in the second pew, since Jeff's family was in the first, and he'd cried so loudly that they had asked him if he needed to step out. So he'd forced himself to quiet down, and not struggled when Jeff's twin sister, Jenny, who had sat next to him pulled him into her. And then she'd started to cry too.
He cried like that now. Like it was the end of everything that he'd ever loved, and he was watching it happen, and couldn't do anything to stop it. He cried like his heart was being torn out, slowly, by the cold hand of death. He wanted to scream, so he did. He had to get it all out, after holding it in for so long.
It wore him out quickly, and he fell down, on the cold, snowy ground. He closed his eyes, and imagined Jeff. His friendly smile. His blond hair that looked like a drop of sun had fallen onto him. His dark eyes that showed the depths of his knowledge. After only a minute, he was freezing, but he didn't get up. And after a few more moments, he could feel himself drifting off. Sleeping? Death? He didn't care. If he didn't wake up, well then, who really would care? He had nobody. He had no real family. No real friends. Jeff's family had moved. Right after Jeff's death, Jenny and him had stayed close, but it hadn't lasted. He'd ran to Boston, and he'd stopped answering her calls, because she reminded him too much of Jeff.
The last time he'd heard from her was six months ago, when he'd randomly received a letter from her in the mail. He didn't even know how she had got his address. He'd checked the letter, and was surprised to see it was a wedding invitation. In a week she'd be getting married, a little over a mile from where he was. He'd torn the invitation up, and gone inside.
So, he had nobody.
As he was lying there, still crying lightly, he suddenly felt warmth beside him. He didn't open his eyes though, because he was probably imagining it. But it stayed, and it was keeping him from the total darkness he wanted to achieve. Then he heard an unexpected noise that sounded like a bark. So he slowly sat up, and looked over groggily. He was caught off guard when he saw a big dog, a male if he was correct, a Golden Retriever, with beautiful blond fur, looking at him with a seriousness that wasn't usually seen in a dog. It was like the dog had known what he was doing, and was disappointed in him.
"What are you doing out here, doggy?" he asked, reaching over and rubbing it between the ears. The dog woofed lowly in response, and scooted over, laying it's head in his lap, whimpering softly. He stroked it's fur softly, then looked back at the grave. Then back at the dog. The grave. The dog.
"Are you hungry?" he asked, and the dog looked up at him, and wagged it's tail. Despite it's large size, the dog was scary skinny, and he knew it was probably a stray, and had been wandering aimlessly through this cold weather. The least he could do, before attempting to die, was give this dog a good meal.
"Okay, follow me." he said, getting up and starting towards the exit. When he looked back, the dog was bounding after him. In seconds, it was beside him, and it pushed it's muzzle into his hand, wanting to be pet some more. He absently brushed his hand over it, and smiled. They had gone a few blocks when Anthony heard somebody call his name. Surprised, he turned towards the voice, only to wish he hadn't. It was Donnie, a guy he and Jeff had known in highschool. Anthony had never liked him, because he was always flirting with him, to an obnoxious degree. He thought he was God's gift to the world. He had picked on weak kids, made them feel like trash. Anthony would have been one of those kids, if Donnie hadn't taken an odd interest in him.
Next to him, the dog growled. Anthony hid a grin. Clearly, the dog had good judgement.
"Donnie." he said simply when Donnie was close enough to hear him. Donnie smiled.
"What's up? I haven't seen you since Jeff's death."
The words were so blunt, and sudden, and heartless, that Anthony couldn't hold Donnie's stare. He clenched his jaw and looked at his shoes, which were wet with snow. Oh well, he needed new ones anyway. These one's were ragged, and the color was worn out, and they were too big.
But he wasn't going to get new ones.
Because these had been Jeff's. He'd use them until they fell apart under him.
"Yeah." he said. "I moved to Boston."
"Boston? Really? Pretty far." Donnie said with an impressed eyebrow raise. Anthony nodded, but didn't say anything.
"So are you just visiting?" Donnie asked, stepping closer, thinking that his time to seduce Anthony was short. Anthony wanted to say yes, then book it the other way, and avoid him for the rest of his life, but there was no point, since they'd be in the same town.
"No. I moved back."
"Oh." Donnie said, feeling relieved. But he didn't step back. Anthony knew why. It was one of those stupid moves the Alpha males did. They invaded your personal space, so they would seem dominate, in charge. Anthony was sure it worked on a lot of girls, and maybe a few guys, but any dude with real dignity would see right through it.
And he did. He had Jeff to thank for that. Dozens of times, Donnie had used these stupid moves on him, but Jeff had taught him what to look out for, knowing Donnie's reputation of fucking and dumping. He'd promised Anthony he wouldn't let Donnie do that to him. But truthfully, Jeff never had to worry anyway, about anything. Anthony already had his eyes on somebody.
"Hey, you want to come to my apartment, and catch up?" Donnie asked with smoldering eyes, putting his hand on the wall behind Anthony's head and leaning over him, getting even more in his space. Anthony quickly lifted his hands and put them on Donnie's chest, keeping him at bay.
"No thanks. I'm tired."
"No problem." Donnie said, grabbing Anthony's wrist and pulling him from his spot, leading him across the street, towards a car. "We'll go to your house, then. I'll drive."
"Donnie, stop." Anthony said, trying to pull his arm away. Behind him, the blond dog was running over, barking wildly at Donnie, showing it's sharp teeth quite clearly. Donnie looked at it.
"Cool dog." he said absently, opening the passenger door for Anthony and starting to push him in. Anthony kicked Donnie in the stomach, and when Donnie pulled back, huffing in pain, Anthony started off, depressed that he lived so damn far from the graveyard. The dog ran behind him. After only a few minutes, they heard a car behind them, and when he looked back, Anthony wasn't shocked to see Donnie's car. It pulled up beside him, and Donnie rolled his window down.
"Come on, Anthony. Get in. I promise I'll make it worth your while."
Anthony rolled his eyes and kept walking. "Donnie, I don't like you. I never did."
Donnie smirked. "Because you liked Jeff, right?"
Anthony stopped walking, and the car stopped. Donnie was still smirking at him knowingly. Next to him, the dog was baring it's teeth. Anthony pet its back to calm it, and the dog looked up at him, and cocked it's head. Why shouldn't I, it was asking. He's clearly a creep.
"You were just at the graveyard, yeah?" Donnie asked, stepping out of the car, leaving it running in the middle of the street. "Visiting his grave?" he asked, getting close again. Anthony nodded mutely, feeling sad again. He didn't have enough energy to push Donnie away again.
He felt hands grab his waist, holding tightly. He looked up into Donnie's eyes. Donnie smiled. "Come on." he whispered, leaning down to whisper in Anthony's ear. "I'll make you feel better." The words were sexual, but they hit something in Anthony. After two years of this constant pain, all he wanted was comfort. Who cared if it was for only one night, with a dickhead? At least it would keep his mind off of Jeff. Or, maybe he could pretend it was Jeff.
Donnie was staring down at him again, smiling, realizing he had him. Anthony nodded slowly. "Okay." he whispered, feeling broken and defeated. Why not?
"Yeah?" Donnie said, in a silky purr, hand going up to the back of his neck, tilting it for a quick kiss.
"Yeah." Anthony repeated, and closed his eyes. Pretend he's Jeff. Pretend he's Jeff.
Just as Donnie's lips were about to meet his, he heard a loud, angry bark, and he opened his eyes, just in time to see the dog knocking Donnie over. Anthony stumbled, since Donnie had still been holding him, but didn't fall. He watched in horror as Donnie went down, impact cushioned by the snow, but a second later the dog was on him, and had it's teeth buried in his arm, and was growling fiercely, eyes mad with feral anger.
"Stop!" Anthony screamed at the dog, grabbing it by the neck and hauling it off of Donnie, who clutched his arm, hissing in pain. "I'm sorry Donnie." he said, but actually, he wasn't. If the dog hadn't done that, he would have made a huge mistake. "I better go." he said, and he ran off. To his relief, the dog ran after him. For a second, it stopped to look back at Donnie, who was watching them go, considering his options.
"Come on, Jeff!" Anthony shouted to the dog, then stopped, surprised. But what else could he name it? Especially after it had looked after him when it came to Donnie. "Jeff!" he said again, and the dog looked over at him, and wagged it's tail happily. Then it went after him, happy with it's new name.
"This is my apartment." Anthony said to the dog, opening the front the door. The dog bounded in, and ran around the place, sniffing and pawing at his stuff. It stopped when it came to a picture he had on the table next to his couch. It was the collage he'd made of him and Jeff. One picture from their first time meeting, at a highschool assembly. Jeff and Anthony had both been chosen to go up and compete in one of those weird games they make you play, and since they were both sophomores, had instinctively chosen each other as partners.
And they'd won the three legged race. Their congratulatory high five had been caught by the year book staff, so he'd cut it out of his sophomore yearbook. Another picture was at the Junior prom. They'd both shown up with dates, girl dates. But their dates had wandered off, and they'd ended up near each other anyway. The picture was of Jeff and Anthony dancing. It had only lasted a few seconds, and Anthony knew it was just a joke, but he'd kept it anyway. After all, it was caught on camera anyway, also by the yearbook staff.
A picture from the Senior picnic, when Anthony and Jeff had both fallen asleep on the same picnic table. Also courtesy of the yearbook, whose students seemed to be following him around at this point. He'd actually figured out later that there was just some girl on the staff that was big on yaoi, and she'd realized his affections for Jeff, and had made it her mission to follow him around at picture opportunities, and get as many pictures of the two of them as she could.
"That's Jeff." Anthony said. "He was my best friend. But...he'd dead now." he said, swallowing to try and keep the tears away.
The dog whimpered and went over to Anthony. It stared up at him a few seconds, then suddenly grabbed his shirt with it's teeth, and started pulling him towards the middle of the room.
"What?" Anthony asked, and then laughed when the dog jumped up and started doing weird doggy twirls. "Oh, you wanna dance?" he asked, and the dog barked, and put his paws on Anthony's shoulders. Anthony shrugged, grabbed onto the dog's paws, and started moving across the room, singing to the song he remembered was playing at the Junior Prom, never really wondering why a dog could keep up so well with him.
He woke up that night crying again. All these sudden memories had upset him, and he'd dreamed of Jeff again. He wiped away the tears with the back of his hands, then felt a cold nose press against his face. He snuggled into the dog, and cried anyway.
"Why'd you leave me?" he whispered. "I love you."
The dog whined softly, and licked his hand, then snuggled into him, putting it's soft head on his chest. A few minutes later, Anthony was asleep again.
He didn't have work the next morning, so he tried to sleep in. But his new room mate woke him up around nine, barking to be let out. He didn't have a leash though, so he just walked along side the dog as he sniffed around. Once they were back up, he realized he didn't have any dog food either, so he just did the same thing he had done yesterday, feeding him left over meat he had.
When he was sitting on the couch, the dog jumped up and laid his head in lap. Anthony pet him absently, staring at the TV, even though it wasn't on. A moment later, his cell phone rang, and he looked at it, confused. Who would call him? Jenny hadn't tried contacting since the wedding invitation, and they was nobody else. He didn't recognize the number either, but a second later, he knew who it was.
"Hello?" he said, and as expected, Donnie's voice said, "Anthony, wats up?"
He hung up. Just the thought of what he had almost done yesterday shamed him. He turned off his phone and said to his new dog, "Let's go out today."
As if he could understand him, the dog jumped off the couch, tail wagging, and headed for the door, paitenly waiting for him to get ready. Once they were out, Anthony couldn't think of anywhere to go. After a few minutes, the dog suddenly barked and ran ahead, turning to look back at him after a few steps.
"Where you going?" Anthony asked, running after the dog. He followed it for a few minutes, stopping every now and again to catch his breath. Finally, the dog stopped, and when he looked to see where they were, Anthony was surprised to find that they were standing on an empty hill. But, he quickly recognized it, and his breath caught.
"Me and Jeff...we used to come here all the time. And just... talk." he said, and the dog looked up at him. "This is where we came in the summer to see..." he trailed off and shook his head. "Nevermind." he said. Talking about it would only hurt him again.
The fireflies. They came here to see the fireflies. When the two of them lay here, surrounded by the beautiful lights, he used to imagine reaching over and taking Jeff's hand. And he imagined Jeff would understand without words, how he felt, and he'd kiss him gently.
He'd never come here to see those fireflies again.
Okay, I really, really, didn't want to make this longer then a one-shot. But, those of you who read, "For my Birthday," you know me.
Please return for chapter two.