A/N: So... I agonized over this for a while. Finished it days ago but didn't post it immediately. If I don't post it immediately after I write it, without reading over it, then sometimes I might not even post it at all. Which is why there's a lot of typos and mistakes in my chapters and whatnot; if I wait to post it, I get nervous about it. Reading over it leaves me certain it is complete and utter crap. Ugh. Anyway. I'm not too sure about this chapter but oh well, I guess I can change it later.
Wavern16 wrote a wonderful side story for these two about the original deal they made when they got together, and about how there were to be no 'attachments'. Check it out :)
Chapter length: 4166
Chapter Six: Ending
He's going to end it.
He wasn't stupid; he knew what Spear wanted to talk about. He knew what was going to happen the next time they saw each other and got a moment alone together. He knew exactly what would happen. Spear was going to end everything between them. No more crawling into bed with each other in the late hours of the night or early morning. No more sleeping with the warmth of a body pressed against his side. No more sex, or kissing, or anything.
He said he wasn't attached. He knew this was a bold-faced lie, and he knew Spear knew it too. Being attached was dangerous, he knew this. It was why Spear was so reluctant to get with him in the first place. He was so reluctant to even kiss him, let alone have sex with him. In the end they only wound up having sex because it was a good way to relieve stress. The only rule was to not get attached.
And he'd broken it.
Broken it so much because he knew he loved Spear. Had loved him for a long time. Years. He was even stupid and said it to the man once, and things nearly ended then, too. Now…
He'd screwed up again, let too much seep through, and now Spear was going to end what they had. It was already over; he didn't need to tell Fix this. Fix knew there would be no late night meetings, no warmth beneath the covers, no touching that familiar body…
They didn't have to talk for him to know it wouldn't happen again.
Talking about it would make it real, though.
He scrubbed a hand over his face and tuned back into what Jem was telling him. He was trying to teach him more about explosives, but his mind was elsewhere. Jem noticed this and put down the charges he held in his hands, brushing the oil and grease, from the other tools, off on his pants, leaving new black stains in their wake. These were obviously his work clothes; they were covered in stains no amount of cleaning could clean.
"Sorry," Fix said, shaking his head. "My mind is elsewhere. What were you saying?"
Jem shook his head. "You could just talk to him, you know."
"Talk to who?" he asked warily.
He knew a lot of people knew about their relationship. They never came out and told anyone, but he knew people were aware of it.
"You know who," Jem said. "I hate seeing you two fight."
"We're not fighting."
Not a single thing had been said in anger.
They weren't fighting.
"Are you breaking up, then?" Jem asked, eying him.
"I don't see how that's any of your business," Fix snapped without meaning to. "Uh, sorry. My mouth got away from me. We're fine, just…"
"Talk to him," Jem suggested. "What's the worst that could happen?"
The worst that could happen was they'd go back to being friends, like they were, but without any 'benefits'. No more late night closeness. He knew it could and would probably end one day, but he never thought it'd be this soon.
They'd had three years together, though. He couldn't complain. It was more than he ever thought they'd have.
"Just tell him how you feel," Jem said. "Tell him you love him."
That's what got me into this mess, dammit.
"It's not that easy with him," Fix told him, before he shook his head and backed away. "I should go. I have other things to do. Sorry for wasting your time."
With that he turned on his heel and walked away.
He was proud of himself for managing to avoid Spear for two days now. Their supply run was postponed due to heavy rain; it wasn't safe to travel right now. This was the longest he'd been without Spear in close proximity, and he'd admit he was a little restless.
"I don't care," he snapped at Nixa, who was trying to talk to him about something, but he couldn't recall what. He'd been trying to tune her out.
She scowled at him. "Just go fuck him already."
"I don't see how it's any of your business," he said, echoing the words he said to Jem. But it was true; this had nothing to do with them, so they had no real input.
"You can't avoid him forever."
"I know. Shut up."
She sighed and shook her head before getting to her feet. She grabbed her empty plate and walked away from the table, disappearing around a small corner. Fix sat back, sighing heavily.
He knew he couldn't avoid Spear forever. He knew it was already over. Words wouldn't make a difference, would only solidify it in his mind. He needed to just get it over with, but this was hard to do.
Still, though, avoiding Spear was difficult. If he just let them talk, let Spear end it with words, they could go back to just being friends and he wouldn't have to stay away like this. He wanted to be angry with Spear, though. Angry with him for trying to end things between them without letting Fix have even a little input in this decision. He already made the choice without him.
The one rule, and he'd broken it.
He promised Spear, back when they first started doing this, that he would not get attached. That he'd be able to pick other people's lives over Spear's. That he wouldn't be in such mourning if the black-haired man was killed, because it could happen whenever they left the community. Death was always a risk.
He thought he could do it, back when he promised. He thought he could do as Spear asked, and not get attached. They'd been friends for a while, back then, and he wasn't attached. They were only friends, and they owed each other very little. He could pick others over him. Or, at least, he once thought so.
Looking back on it now, though, he wondered if he'd already been attached when he even suggested they get together. He thought he could do it; he thought he'd be stronger than this, but there was something about Spear which drew him toward him, and there was very little he could do about it.
The one rule…
And it was over now.
He stiffened at the voice, opening his eyes which he hadn't even known he'd closed, and focused on Spear. The black-haired man stood in front of him, hands stuffed in his jacket pockets as he leaned casually against the wall next to the table, those green eyes focused only on Fix.
"Hey," he said. "Been looking for you."
Spear quirked a brow. "Oh really?"
"I see. We need to talk, Fix."
"I already know," he said, averting his gaze down toward the tabletop. "So you don't have to say anything."
"As long as it's understood, I guess," Spear sighed quietly. "I'm sorry. It's better this way, Fix."
"I don't think it is."
"You're getting too attached."
"And you're not?" he asked, looking up at Spear.
Spear sighed, green eyes closing, his lashes long and dark against his pale skin. He always got paler in the cold months. Everyone did.
"Don't make this difficult, please."
"So you're saying you're not attached to me?"
"Because I distinctly remember you taking a bullet for me," Fix said, narrowing his eyes at his friend.
"I had to; I couldn't let you get hurt."
"Exactly," Fix snapped. "You know you're in charge of this community; they need you more than they need me. So the logical choice should have been for you to not push me out of the way. You know this."
The logical choice should have been to let Fix die. He didn't heal quickly like Spear did; he probably would have died in that situation. If Spear was being honest with himself, he had to know it made more sense to let Fix die than take the bullet himself, since so many people relied on him.
"That's not true," Spear said, narrowing his eyes at him, irritation sparking across his brow, his lips pulling back somewhat. "It's my job to keep everyone safe, and that includes you."
Fix shook his head. "That's a lie, but whatever you say."
"Just… stop, okay? I know it's over. You don't have to say anything."
It was quiet for a long time, before Spear sighed and nodded, pushing away from the wall.
"As long as we understand each other," he said, before walking away.
Fix watched him go, ignoring that taste in the back of his throat.
It was cold that night. Cold and wet, the sky filled with dark storm clouds and thunder and lightning. Fix lay awake, unable to sleep with the empty silence of his room. His fingers kept twitching toward the other side of the small bed, but there was nothing there for him. No warm body, no pile of clothes that weren't his… nothing.
And it would be like this from now on, he knew.
It was over between them.
Time to move on.
The next day he busied himself with fixing random things in the community, like jammed guns, chipped knives, and a new house they were trying to build. It was hard to build places, though, since their equipment and resources were limited. This house was almost finished, though, and they were trying to complete it before the snow hit.
He knew Spear was getting a group ready to leave on that supply run now that the rain had stopped, though the ground was still damp and muddy. A part of him wanted to go the planning room; another side protested against the idea of being near him right now.
Just because they weren't really together anymore didn't mean he would let Spear leave alone, though.
Fix knew his limitations better than anyone else. He knew what he could and could not handle. So it made sense for him to go with him. Besides, friends looked after each other.
If we're still friends.
He hadn't seen Spear or heard from him since their conversation yesterday. For all he knew, they weren't friends anymore, but he doubted Spear would end their friendship just because their physical relationship was over. He wasn't that kind of guy; he was loyal to his friends, and he and Fix had known each other for a long time.
He knew him better than anyone else.
Knew every inch of that body, inside and out. Knew just which way to turn his fingers when prepping the man, eliciting a pleasurable gasp. Knew just how to trail kisses down his sides, just what his mouth tasted like, every crevice and dip, knew the feel of their tongues rolling together…
Knew the feel of Spear inside of him. Knew the feel of being inside of Spear.
Knew how easy it was during the night, resting with their bodies forever pressed together.
And now it was over.
He watched a group heading toward the exit of the community. There was a large wall around the community, which they themselves had built. It was constantly being guarded in case zephroes or neutrohales, or even people, attacked. It helped keep them safe.
He approached the group, noticing the mop of disheveled black hair because Spear refused to use a comb. He fell in line at the rear, momentarily catching Spear's eye. Spear looked away quickly, barely acknowledging his presence, knowing he couldn't change Fix's mind on going with him and the group.
It was going to be a long day.
It's going to be a long week. Month. Year.
They took horses this time. The vehicles only had so much fuel, and gas was hard to find, so they only used those when they had to. Otherwise, they either walked or used horses. In this supply run they had two horses pulling a fairly large buggy, which they all sat in, all six of them.
The only downside to this plan was that if the horses were killed, they would have to walk back while carrying all of the weapons and supplies, and possibly helping a wounded member travel. They would try to keep the horses safe.
The trip was silent. A few people attempted stilted conversation but it easily withered and died when no one really joined in. Fix kept the back of the group, his gaze mostly planted at his feet as he sat in the back of the buggy, under the caravan tarp which left him the shade. It was cooler in the shade. It felt colder now anyway. Last night was…
His gaze wandered toward Spear, very briefly. The black-haired man was looking over his hand-drawn maps, brows furrowed as he attempted to look at them in the shadows, the lines sketched out in pencil. He turned his head enough to speak to the buggy driver who nodded and urged the horses to move a little faster, and their pace picked up. Then Spear's focus went back to the map, and he pulled out similar pieces of paper, eyes scanning over them.
And then he glanced at Fix.
Green eyes caught whiskey brown eyes, and Fix forced himself to look away, gaze flickering back toward his feet. He had no place with those eyes. No place up front. Why was he even here?
Because I don't know what else to do with myself.
This, he realized, was the sad truth. He'd been with Spear since they escaped the cells, which was only a few years after M-Day. They'd known each other a long time, and much of his life revolved around helping Spear with the community, attempting to get Spear to take care of himself sometimes, and not being alone at night…
Who was he without Spear?
He question made him frown.
Once upon a time he was an individual. Somewhere along the way his sense of self blurred into Spear's presence. It was hard to see himself without the other man, the two had become so closely interwoven. Not just romantically – It's just sex, Fix. Whatever you say, Spear. – but also in a multitude of other ways. They were battle partners; they knew the way each other moved in a fight, and how to compensate for weaknesses and give room for strengths.
They were friends. Fix wasn't an expert on friends, but he knew Spear was the best friend he'd ever had. He would do anything for the guy. He was a brother in arms, but it was more than that.
They were lovers.
Strictly physical lovers.
Except he got attached.
He sighed and closed his eyes, rubbing the heel of his palm into his forehead, feeling an ache behind his eyes.
He broke the one rule and got attached.
So did he.
If Spear thought he wasn't attached to Fix, then he was lying to himself. Fix wasn't the only one who broke the rules. Spear could lie to himself all he wanted but he couldn't lie to Fix.
There was mistaking that soft glow in his eyes on the nights he came to stay with Fix, or Fix traveled to his room. There was no mistaking that breathy quality to his voice when he said Fix's name on those nights, or the way his gaze lingered, his fingers slipping over sweat-slicked skin, their bodies falling easily into one another. There was no mistaking the way they were always so intricately wrapped around each other when they woke in the morning.
He was attached, but so was Spear.
But it didn't matter, because Spear ended things. Without even asking Fix if that was okay.
A growl caught in Fix's throat. He managed to swallow the sound down even as he opened his eyes and tossed Spear a quick glare.
Spear ended things without consulting him. This wasn't supposed to be one-sided; they were friends. This was a relationship agreement, strictly for stress relief at first, but now… it was more than that.
And he wasn't ready to give that up yet.
They made camp for the night near a river, refilling their canteens and letting the horses rest and drink to their hearts' content. Spear sat away from the others, pouring over his maps next to the fire, barely able to read through the darkness around them. Fix watched him for a moment, debating, before he finally sighed, scrubbed a hand across his face, and pushed to his feet, leaving the others behind.
Spear didn't notice him approaching, it seemed.
Fix stood behind him for a long moment, just watching. Spear could go so wrapped up in things. It was… charming, sometimes. Right now, though, he wished Spear was a little more observant because they really needed to talk. He had some things he needed to say, needed to get Spear to understand, and lingering here felt awkward. At the same time, interrupting Spear felt awkward as well.
So he stood there in this strange in-between, until finally Spear yawned and looked over, frowning at him.
"Fix?" he asked quietly.
Fix nodded at the ground next to Spear. "May I?"
"Of course," Spear said, pulling his papers closer to him to make room, "you don't have to ask."
Well, that's good to know, at least.
They were still friends, then. A weight lifted from Fix's shoulders but he was still angry.
"Why did you do it?"
"Don't play dense," Fix said. "I'm not in the mood. You know what. Why did you do it?"
Spear's gaze skittered away. Silence surrounded them for a brief moment, before he finally sighed, shoulders slumping. "You're getting attached. And we can't… You know we can't. You promised, Fix. And… and…"
"You're attached too," Fix said. "Admit it – you are. I know this isn't one-sided, Spear. Just… we both broke the rules, okay? We both did. I'm sorry if you think that's bad, but it happened and we need to deal with it. Ending things…" He closed his eyes. "Ending things won't make this better. It won't make it easier. It will just end up frustrating us, and…"
Spear's voice was heavy and tired. Fix opened his eyes, looking away from his friend.
"We entered this on an agreement," Fix said quietly. "You ended it on your own. I don't think that's fair."
"It should be mutual."
"And… is it?" Spear asked, voice oddly guarded.
Fix looked up and caught Spear's gaze, holding it. "You know it's not," he told him firmly. "You know I don't agree with you."
"Fix… it's better if-"
"I don't care what's better!" Fix snapped before he could stop himself, irritation spreading through him, frustration that he always, always, had to hide whatever he felt for this man because it would only make Spear push him away, and- "Fuck you and your 'no attachments'," he hissed angrily, jumping to his feet as he glared down at the black-haired man. "Fuck you. I'm attached. There, I admitted it! Nothing violent happened, did it? No. And it won't."
"Fix… look, just-"
Fix silenced him with a wave of his hand, slashing it through the air like a sword, halting the words before they could leave Spear's mouth. "I'm attached, and ending things won't change that. It's too late for that. Fuck, it was too late when we started this."
"I told you," Spear muttered, gaze slipping away from him, and more anger slid through Fix. "I told you it was a bad idea, and-"
"Look at me," he snapped, stepping closer to Spear, who dragged his gaze off the ground to focus on him again as he towered over the shorter man. "Fuck you, Spear. Fuck you so fucking much. I'm attached, and I know you are too. You can argue all you fucking want, but you can't lie to me."
"If you had to choose between a random person and me, who would you save?" Fix asked, glaring at him. "If you had to choose between a group of people, and me, who would you save?" This he asked a little softer, swallowing as he watched a shutter fall down on those green eyes, blocking the emotion within.
"Is that all you wish to discuss?"
Fix growled. "No, you're not doing this again," he growled, snagging Spear's arm as he hauled him roughly to his feet. He pushed him through the darkness, away from the maps and the camp and the prying eyes – most were trying to sleep, so they were probably unnoticed for the most part, thankfully – and only once they found a secluded area behind some trees, downstream, did he shove Spear face first against a tree, twisting an arm behind his back as he held him there.
"Fuck you," Spear snapped. "That fucking hurts, you asshole!"
"Don't fucking care, do I?" Fix muttered as he twisted the arm up behind his back a little more, leaving Spear releasing a staggered breath as his forehead dipped against the bark of the tree.
"Say your piece," Spear muttered. "Then go."
"You're not doing this again," Fix said.
"What does that even mean."
"You know what it means. You're pulling away again. Just like before. Just like when…"
"When you said you loved me," Spear intoned, voice this emotionless sound and Fix wanted to step away and hide, feeling like a little kid left adrift somewhere foreign, because he hated that tone. Hated it so fucking much…
"Yes," he managed to say around the lump in his throat. "That. Just… Just admit it, okay? You'd save me every time."
"Why are you doing this? What are you looking for?"
"Just humor me, dammit."
"Because you know I'll always pick you," Fix said, leaning forward so he was growling the words into Spear's unguarded ear, earning a shiver for his efforts. Spear's ears were incredibly sensitive and having someone talk in them, or breathe near them, left his whole body trembling. "Every fucking time. I'll pick you."
"Fix… that's why… why we can't…"
Fix released a slow breath, focusing against Spear's ear, causing another shiver to travel through the too-familiar body trapped between him and the tree. "Just admit it," he said quietly. "Just admit that you're attached."
"What is that going to prove? What's it going to help?"
Fix leaned in a little more, the tip of his nose touching the shell of Spear's ear. "Just admit it." He swallowed and released a shaky breath. "Please. For me. Just… give me this. I'll… go, afterward, if that's what you want."
And we'll never speak of this again. And we'll never… do anything… again.
Because Spear ended it, without his permission. And he had no idea what he'd been hoping and expecting to do here, dragging Spear away like this, having approached him to speak about this in the first place… He had no idea why he thought this would be a good idea. It just seemed to make things worse.
He was hurting Spear.
He knew how much having an arm twisted behind one's back hurt, especially with the added pressure of Fix leaning into him. He didn't loosen his hold, though. He didn't even move back to ease off on the pressure. Instead he leaned in a little more, brown eyes falling shut as he took in a slow breath, remembering the scent, the feel of Spear so close to him, because after this…
It was over.
He'd be stuck with a cold bed and a lonely room for the rest of his life.
"Please," he whispered. "Just… this. Give me this."
"I… I'm attached," Spear said quietly. "To you. Fuck, you know I am. Why are you making me…"
"We're both attached," Fix said, voice equally as quiet. "And maybe we're both to blame, maybe no one is, but we can't change the fact we are attached. Ending things now… won't help anything. It won't stop us from being attached, Spear." He took a slow breath. "So don't… end it. Just let it play out. It will… It will be how it's going to be."
"I don't… I don't think that's a good idea."
"We… We can discuss it when we get back to the community," Fix finally sighed. Spear hadn't told him to go away just yet, so perhaps there was still hope. Nevertheless, nothing would be accomplished staying here.
They could do nothing while they were out here on a supply run.
It would have to wait until they got back to the community, and could discuss it in further detail.
But at least he got Spear to admit, finally, that he was attached to Fix as well. It wasn't much, and it was slow, but it was progress.
And maybe there was hope for them yet.
A/N: Uncertain about the second half of the chapter, really, but oh well. Please check out Wavern16's side story for this which she was kind enough to write for me for Christmas, it so far explains when they first decided to get together so long as neither gets attached, and mentions the deal they broke.. Anyway thanks for reading and please review and check out her story!
~Muffy the Dough Slayer~