Birthday Fic for a friend.
Bill stood looking out the window, his eyes unfocused as he stared at a dark sky flittered with starlight. His thin arms were wrapped about himself, fingers idly rubbing at his shoulders. He'd gotten much thinner lately. He always did at this point of the year. The dark rings around his eyes stood out in dark contrast to his pale skin, too little sleep for the last few weeks and it was only going to get worse over the next few days. He could feel it. The soft...ache in the back of his mind...his heart. It was a constant reminder of just how close he was to falling. It wouldn't be that much longer now.
Digging his nails into his shoulders, he closed his eyes, trying to keep himself grounded. He needed to keep himself in reality as images flittered behind his closed lids. A laugh long since heard, a voice...His nails dug deeper into his skin as yet another memory slid through his minds eye, silent tears slipping down his cheeks. He was slipping again. But even so, he couldn't stop himself as he whispered back to a voice only he could hear. A voice so like his own, but one he knew by ever vibration to be different.
Three years. It was such a long time, but still, every fiber of his being screamed out against it. Against the knowledge that the only time he'd ever hear that voice again was through old videos and his own mind. Never again would he feel that warmth or feel that completeness around him again. He'd never be...himself again. Not really.
"...Bill...Bill, snap out of it. Come on..." A soft voice slid into his memories, disrupting that familiar....heartaching peace with the sound of another. He tried desperately to cling to the fragments in his mind, but each whispered word distorted the memories. And as much as he wanted to stay buried in those images...those sounds, no matter how they hurt, a part of him could not let another in them. Could not accept it.
"Bill! Snap out of it!" Another shout, heard more clearly, forced him to open his eyes. Slow at first, just a fluttering of his eyes as he resisted coming back to a reality without him. But the firm grip on his arms had him opening his eyes fully, as the hands were not his own. Turning his head to the left, he left tear glistened eyes fall on a familiar face. "...thank god...you're awake finally. Bill...I need you to let go now. Can you do that? Let go of your arms..."
Bill let his eyes slowly go down to look at his hands. His knuckles were white as he held himself. It was too tight. His mind was telling him so. The man in front of him was telling him so. Lifting his gaze back to the other, a single look at the dark eyes of the man in front of him had reality suddenly crashing down around him. Before he could stop himself, a loud sob fell from his lips and he dove into the others arms. He released himself to wrap his arms around the man, clutching tightly at the pajama top. With each new sob, what little strength he had left faded until the only thing keeping him up was the man holding him.
"H-he's gone! He can't be g-gone!" he sobbed feeling his knees his the ground as the man lowered them both to the floor. He could feel strong arms holding him tighter and he gave into the comfort they provided. It was his only salvation anymore. The strength of this one man. "...he can't be...bring him back...give him back to me..."
"I'm sorry...I can't..." was the whispered reply. And they stayed there, kneeling on the cold floor as Bill cried for a man lost to him. Every night he was reminded and every night the other would hold him as he wept for a brother that would never return. And he'd cry until the tears simply refused to come anymore, leaving him with nothing left but to cling to the warm frame holding him tightly. And just like every other night before, he did so again. So when the tears dried, he slowly settled. It wasn't the completeness he'd known his whole life, but it was there. It saved him from his own grief. If not for the other, he was sure he'd either be locked up in an asylum somewhere or lost to the world all together.
Slowly, his hold relaxed and a soft sigh escaped his lips. "Sorry...I didn't mean to wake you." Shifting around, he managed to sit himself down and lean against the other. Shifting his head, he listened to a heartbeat that had grown familiar. It soothed him, easing away the pain ever so slightly. Enough that he even managed to smile again.
"It's okay." Strong fingers threaded into Bill's hair, rubbing at his head to help ease what would soon become a rather strong headache. The routine was familiar now, but it was comfortable. For both of them.
"Thank you...Adam." Bill tilted his head back and leaned up a bit to place a soft chaste kiss to the others lips as he felt himself being lifted from the floor. He shifted his arms up, wriggling around in Adam's hold until he could wrap his arms around his neck as he was carried back towards their room. A warm bed just seemed like a good idea now. "I don't know what I'd do without you..."
Adam smiled softly and kissed his head using his foot to kick their bedroom door shut. Moving to the bed, he laid Bill down before climbing into his spot. He grabbed hold of the other and pulled him into his side before yanking the blankets over them. Kissing the top of his head, he gave Bill a small squeeze. "Try and get some sleep. You've had a long night..."
"Mmmm..." Bill snuggled into the other, shifting to rest his head once more over the heart beating in Adam's chest. He could hear the beat skip for just a moment, the single missing beat bringing a small small to his lips as he closed his eyes once more. Sure it wasn't Tom's, but Adam's heart was all he had now and...all he needed. As long as he had Adam, he'd be okay. "...good night....I love you."
Adam smiled a little. He knew better. He was sure Bill loved him. But he was no fool either. Leaning his head down, he kissed the top of Bill's head once again. "I love you too Bill. Go to sleep." And the two of them did. Each clinging to each other like a life line. And for them both, it was in their own way. For Bill, a life he didn't know how to live anymore without the other. And for Adam, a life he dreamed of. One they would build together.
Too bad they both knew they were settling.
- Second Best