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Let it Rain

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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive October 25, 2003

      He'd known this day would come. No matter how bad it got or how sick Nick got, Sean had never let himself doubt that they'd make it this far. He was the one that kept pushing when Nick wanted to give up, the one who bullied him into driving to the next town, then the next until finally Nick forgot that he'd finally decided to throw in the towel. It hadn't been that hard to keep him going, because underneath it all Nick was a fighter. Maybe he was a pessimist and maybe he didn't believe in anything anymore, but he was a survivor and as long as Sean was around he wasn't going to get a chance to give up.

      So they'd finally tracked down Nick's Forsaken the right one this time and they'd actually managed to waste the fucker. Sean still wasn't sure how they'd done it; everything from the time they got to the graveyard to the moment the last of the vampires finally went down was all a blur, but when it was over he and Nick were standing in the middle of a run-down graveyard in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, and it was exactly the way he'd always pictured the end.

      Until Nick started to walk away.

      That Sean hadn't seen coming; the casual nod and the 'thanks for the help' right before he packed up the last of his shit and slung his bag over his shoulder. Oh, he'd waited until the morning after the big showdown, let them both get as decent a night's sleep as they'd had in the last six months on the road together. But when morning came he'd been even more quiet than usual, and when Sean came out of the bathroom and saw him packing up his stuff he'd known what Nick was planning before he said it.

      Maybe he should have expected it, but that didn't take the sting out of watching Nick get ready to walk away from everything like none of it mattered. Sean wasn't even sure what he'd been expecting after they finally did what they'd set out to do, but he'd expected more than...this. He knew what he hoped for, but he hadn't let himself think about that when Nick was still sick. Every time he caught himself fantasizing he told himself to stop being selfish, that Nick was still sick and there would be plenty of time to think about that later. Only now it was later, and Nick was just walking away.

      "So that's it?" he asked as he followed Nick out of the hotel room. Until that moment he hadn't realized it was pouring, but as soon as he stepped outside he was almost drenched through. He couldn't make himself care, though, because Nick was leaving like it was nothing like Sean was nothing and after everything Sean had done for him, he deserved more than a 'thanks, see you around'.

      Nick turned to face him, and if he even noticed the rain soaking through his clothes it didn't seem to bother him. "Yeah, that's it. Look, I appreciate the help, but we both had lives before this. You should go back to yours."

      Back to his life, as if that wasn't the biggest joke he'd ever heard. His life hadn't been much to begin with, but he'd given up everything to come after Nick. There was nothing left to go back to, even if he wanted to. And what he wanted...what he wanted he obviously wasn't going to get, which meant he'd spent all this time waiting around for nothing. "Fuck you," he shouted at Nick's retreating back, not sure if the other man could even hear him over the rain. "I gave up everything. Everything, man, don't you get it? There's nothing to go back to."

      As he spoke Nick stopped and turned to face him again, his expression telling Sean he was already annoyed with the conversation. Not that Sean gave a damn how Nick felt; he deserved an explanation, and he was going to get one if they had to stand out in the rain all day.

      "Nobody asked you to follow me."

      And that was just typical; Nick had taken his help along with his money and his entire life for the past six months, and now he was acting like none of it meant anything. Sean knew he shouldn't have expected any different; Nick had never wanted him, he'd always known that. For Nick he was just a means to an end, and now that he'd gotten what he wanted Nick didn't need him anymore. He should just accept it, just walk away and let Nick go back to whatever had passed for his life before he got bit. Sean could probably go back to L.A. and find another job in the industry, or maybe drive to Florida and stay with his sister for awhile. Nick didn't want him; that much was obvious, and if he had any pride at all he'd cut his losses and move on.

      "So...what, you're just gonna walk all the way back to Texas in the rain?"

      "I doubt it's gonna rain the whole way." Nick grinned as he said it and reached up to push his hair out of his eyes; it had gotten long since they'd been on the road together, and Sean couldn't count the number of times he'd watched Nick sleeping fitfully and wanted to run his fingers through that hair. He always told himself he was just worried; worried that they'd run out of time or that Nick would get too sick to go on, but he knew the truth. The truth was that he'd just wanted to be close to Nick any way he could before it was too late. He sure as hell wasn't going to admit that, though, especially not now that Nick was okay. He was fine, the infection was gone and he was just going to walk out of Sean's life. And Sean could live with that; he could deal with the fact that Nick didn't want him, as long as Nick didn't know how he felt.

      "I can't believe you," he snapped, reaching up to wipe at the raindrops blurring his vision. Part of him was waiting for Nick to turn around and tell him this was all a joke, that he was just going to get them some breakfast and there was no way he'd just walk away from Sean after everything they'd been through. He deserved some gratitude for coming after Nick, for tracking him down and keeping him going until they found the cure for his virus. "Fine, go. Drown out there for all I care."

      The rain was coming down in sheets now, making steam rise off the pavement and where were they now? Arizona, maybe, or possibly New Mexico. Closer to home for both of them than they'd been in a long time, but somewhere along the way Sean had stopped thinking of California as home. When he thought of home now the only thing that came to mind was Nick. That was all he had they were all each other had and now that was gone too. It was pathetic, and it was his own fault, because he was the one who'd given up his whole life to chase after a guy he'd only known for two days.

      He felt his blush rising and was suddenly glad for the rain; if this...whatever it was between them was going to end in humiliation he'd rather Nick didn't see it. He sure as hell wasn't going to let Nick see him cry, no matter how worn out he was or how betrayed he felt. It didn't matter how much he wished things between them were different, or how alive Nick looked after months of walking around half-dead. The color was back in his face already and his eyes were bright again, his lips were full and red and when his tongue darted out to catch a wayward raindrop Sean's knees started to give out.

      By the time he realized he was falling Nick was right in front of him, and even though Sean had no idea how he'd managed to move that fast he couldn't make himself care when Nick dropped his bag and slid his arms around Sean's waist to catch him. So much for that plan, he told himself as his cheeks began to burn again. He knew there was no way Nick was going to miss it this time, not when he was pressed up against Sean and staring at him like he thought Sean might break if he let go.

      "Hey, man, you okay?" Nick asked, and now his hands were moving, torturing Sean with their heat as one arm locked around his waist and the other hand reached up to feel his forehead.

      And it just figured that he'd fall apart two seconds before Nick walked out of his life forever. It wouldn't have mattered if he'd just been able to hold out until Nick left; he didn't have a life anymore, so it didn't matter what happened to him after Nick fucked off back to Texas or wherever he was going. But Nick was still here, letting Sean lean heavily against him, and Sean couldn't resist the urge to put his arms around the warm body pressed against him.

      They stayed like that until Sean realized what he was doing, then he mustered all the strength he had left and pushed Nick roughly away, ignoring the pang of loss that came along with giving up all that body heat. What he wanted was to hold on as long as Nick would let him, but he wasn't going to give the other man the satisfaction of knowing how much Sean needed him to stay. If he wanted to leave Sean wanted him to go and get it over with, because he was pretty sure he couldn't take any long, drawn-out scenes.

      "Just go," he said, the sound of the rain drowning out his voice. He lifted his head to find Nick watching him, his expression unreadable. "Go," he repeated, louder this time as he turned to stalk back to the motel room. He was almost to the door when he felt a hand close around his arm, and before he could react Nick was spinning him around and studying his features with an expression Sean could only describe as desperation.

      "What do you want from me, Sean?" he asked, almost shouting to make himself heard over the rain. "All this time you said you were out here to stop Him that's done now, we made it a little safer to go out at night. What else do you want?"

      He wanted to tell Nick the truth; he knew this was the only chance he'd ever get to say it out loud, to tell Nick how he'd felt since that first night when Nick wouldn't let him take Megan's place as the decoy. Saying it out loud was a lot harder than Nick made it sound, though, and in the end he just shook his head and turned away so he wouldn't have to see Nick's face while he lied. "Nothing. I don't want anything from you. Go back to Texas, have a nice life. I don't care."

      They both knew it was a lie, but as long as Sean didn't look at Nick he didn't have to think about it. Any minute now Nick was going to decide it wasn't worth hanging around to try and make Sean feel better; he'd stop feeling guilty as soon as he was out of sight, and when Sean turned around again Nick would be gone. And maybe it really was better this way, maybe Nick was right and they both needed a clean break so they could get on with their lives. He told himself he believed that and reached for the doorknob again, only hesitating a little when Nick didn't stop him this time.

      He didn't look back to see if Nick was still standing there; he forced himself to focus on the dull brown of the carpet and the heavy air inside the motel room as he let himself in out of the rain, heedless of the water pooling on the carpet under his feet. He reached down automatically to pull his t-shirt off, registering vaguely that it was the last clean shirt in his bag before he let it hit the floor.

      The air in the room was thick enough to choke him, but he couldn't make himself care. Even opening the window seemed like too much of an effort now that he was alone, now that Nick really had walked out of his life. He knew he'd let it happen, but what else could he have done? If Nick wanted to go Sean wasn't going to stop him, he was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to even if he'd tried. Once Nick made up his mind about something that was pretty much it; if anything Sean had learned that lesson over the past six months.

      He was still standing in the center of the room feeling sorry for himself when the door opened again, and he glanced over his shoulder in time to watch Nick close the door behind him. He wanted it to mean something, but he knew better. Nick felt sorry for him, or maybe he felt guilty because of everything Sean had given up to be here, but that was as far as it went. A rush of bitterness twisted his lips into a scowl, and he turned an accusing glare on the other man. "What the fuck are you still doing here?"

      Nick shook his head and dropped his bag on the floor, rain dripping off him in large drops to soak the carpet under his feet. "Jesus, you're a pain in the ass."

      And that was just perfect; Nick was the one running out without so much as an explanation, but he was the pain in the ass. "Fuck you."

      "No, fuck you, Sean. For six months I've had to put up with you and your personal crusade to save the world. Why the fuck do you think I ditched you in the hospital in the first place? It sure as hell wasn't so you'd come chasing after me. You should have gone back to your little life in Hollywood and left me the fuck alone."

      "You're unbelievable," Sean muttered when he found his voice again. He knew his face was bright red now, but he was way beyond caring. All he wanted to do was hurt Nick as much as Nick was hurting him, but he had a feeling that wasn't even possible. "Maybe I should've just let you die. The problem is that I'm not you. I don't just bail on my friends when things get a little tense."

      "Friends?" Nick's laugh was high and unnatural, and Sean flinched in spite of himself. "You didn't even know me. When I left you in that hospital we were still pretty much strangers. One night of bonding over bloodsuckers and bad childhoods doesn't make us best buds." Nick paused and let out a sigh that sounded as weary as Sean felt, then his shoulders slumped a little and he looked up at Sean again. "We're a lot of things, Sean, but we're sure as hell not friends."

      And it was funny how easily Nick could cut him down, especially when they weren't supposed to be friends. Nick knew him better than anybody, though, and if he wasn't Sean's friend...he had no idea what they were to each other, what Nick thought they'd been doing for the past six months. "Then why the hell did you come back?" he heard himself ask, his voice echoing through the fog in his head.

      "Because you never answered my question."

      Sean's heart stopped as he watched Nick cross the room, beads of water still dripping off his bangs to land on his already soaked shirt. He wasn't even sure what question Nick meant; his head was spinning from the combination of adrenaline and six months on the road, and when Nick stopped in front of him he had to stop himself from reaching out to touch warm, damp skin. "What...what question?"

      "What do you want from me?" Nick repeated, his voice dropping an octave as he let his gaze wander down Sean's bare chest and back up to his face again. "Why'd you come after me in the first place?"

      "I told you," Sean began, but he could feel his voice shaking and he knew Nick could hear it. "I couldn't just go home and let that...that thing keep killing people. I couldn't...I couldn't just let you die."

      "Sure you could. You didn't owe me anything. You didn't even know me, Sean. You could have walked away six months ago and forgot you ever met me."

      He was shaking his head before Nick even finished speaking, but he barely noticed because Nick was still standing so close and it took everything in him to concentrate on not touching. "No. No, I couldn't."

      He looked up at Nick again, and this time it was obvious what the other man was waiting for. He wanted Sean to say it; he knew exactly why Sean had come after him, he'd probably known all along, but for some reason he wanted to hear Sean say the words. Sean's skin burned hot and he was sure he was going to have a permanent blush, but he was too angry to care. "Fuck you, Nick. You know why I followed you."

      "No I don't," Nick answered, and he sounded so infuriatingly calm that it was all Sean could do not to punch him. "We've spent the past six months sleeping in the same fucking bed and you've never touched me. You showed up out of nowhere acting like this was your personal crusade, and ever since then I've just been along for the ride. I don't know shit, Sean."

      And now he was really confused, because a few minutes ago he could have sworn that Nick would never be interested in him. Only he sounded like he'd given this a lot of thought, and he was looking at Sean with a hungry expression, like he was trying to decide whether or not to give up on conversation and show Sean what he'd been thinking about all this time. As soon as that idea occurred to him Sean was moving; before he realized he'd been thinking about it his hands were on Nick's chest, fingers curling around wet cotton to pull him closer. He still wasn't sure if this was what Nick wanted, but he didn't have anything left to lose.

      When their lips met he stopped worrying about it stopped thinking at all, really, because his head was spinning and his senses were flooded with the scent of Nick and rain. Then a warm hand landed on his neck, holding him in place as Nick's other hand found its way to his waist. The kiss was a lot less urgent than he'd expected it to be; Nick's mouth moved almost shyly against his, just a soft press of lips on lips before they both pulled back to look at each other.

      "I didn't think...I thought when I first found you that you'd figure it out, but when you didn't..."

      Nick silenced him with another soft brush of lips on lips. "I was trying to give you an out, you moron. When I bailed on you at the hospital I figured you'd take the hint, but then you showed up in that fucking car..." Nick paused and let out a soft laugh, but this time Sean heard the affection behind it and he smiled in spite of the butterflies in his stomach. "Jesus, I was glad to see you when you pulled up in that piece of shit. I've never been so glad to see anybody in my entire life."

      "You could have said something, you know," Sean said, his hands finally releasing their grip on Nick's shirt to slide around his waist. He leaned forward and breathed in Nick's scent again, his head spinning a little as he pressed his mouth to Nick's neck.

      "I thought I was gonna die. I didn't want to lay that on you in case..."

      As soon as he heard the word 'die' Sean pulled back far enough to look Nick in the eye again. He swallowed hard against a sudden tightness in his throat and leaned forward, pressing their mouths together to silence Nick before he could say anything else. Nick was alive; he was fine, the virus was gone and there was nothing to worry about anymore. He reminded himself of that over and over as he pressed against the other man, trying to find a way to get closer to Nick.

      The kiss started off slow, but soon Nick was clutching at his skin and their conversation was forgotten as Sean's hands slid under Nick's shirt to push it up and over his chest. They pulled apart long enough to wrestle the wet cotton over Nick's head and toss it on the floor, but as soon as his shirt was off Nick pulled Sean forward and claimed his mouth again. He'd imagined this a thousand times over the past six months; he'd tried not to imagine it even more, but in the end his imagination hadn't even come close to the real thing. There was no way he could have known how good Nick's hands would feel on his skin, how Nick could send shivers of anticipation through his whole body just by moving his thumb in little circles at the top of Sean's spine. He couldn't have known how soft Nick's hair really was even when it was soaking wet, and there was no way he could have predicted that thing Nick was doing with his tongue.

      And God, he felt like he'd been waiting for this forever, even though they'd known each other for less than a year. They didn't really know each other at all, at least not according to Nick, and Sean knew he was right. He didn't want to admit it, but deep down he knew he couldn't just ask Nick to go back to L.A. with him and expect to live happily ever after. They'd lived together for six months, sure, but mostly that consisted of long stretches of mostly deserted highway and crashing at the end of the day without a word. Conversation consisted of discussion of their next step more often than not, and when they did talk about their lives before it was in vague, noncommittal terms.

      Sean had no idea what Nick did with his life before he got bit; he knew Nick partied too much, but he didn't know if he'd been in college or if he'd been your regular garden variety burn-out. He knew what kind of person Nick was, though, and he knew he was smart. That was good enough for Sean, and most of the time he could believe that they could work out any differences they hadn't already dealt with.

      The thought of 'happily ever after' with Nick made him want to laugh, but the sound died in his throat when Nick released his mouth with a gasp and reached for the button on his jeans. Immediately all the blood in his body rushed to his cock, and his rain-soaked jeans became uncomfortably tight. He sucked in a sharp breath when knuckles grazed his cock, but the denim was too thick to let him feel much and when Nick slid his zipper down and dipped his fingers under his waistband Sean had to swallow a moan.

      The denim was still soaked and clinging to his skin, and Nick could only get his hand in far enough to tease the head of Sean's cock. A frustrated growl escaped his throat as he reached down to tug at his jeans, regretting the decision to put them on when he remembered how hard it was to get wet denim off. Nick's teasing fingers weren't making his task any easier, so he pushed the other man's hand away impatiently and gripped the sides of his jeans. Nick reached out to help him, but several frustrating seconds later all they'd managed to do was nearly knock him off balance at least three times.

      "Fuck," he muttered under his breath, scowling when Nick laughed in response.

      "Not if we can't get those things off you," Nick answered, ignoring the way Sean rolled his eyes as he pushed Sean's hands away from the hopelessly twisted denim. "Here, let me try something."

      With that Nick dropped to his knees, and all Sean could do was nod dumbly and pray to whoever was listening that he wouldn't come in his jeans before Nick ever touched him. He'd imagined this a thousand times in the past six months too, but he never thought he'd actually see Nick on his knees in front of him, methodically inching his jeans down over his hips. It felt like years before the wet denim was finally pooled at his feet, taking his boxers with it to leave him in just a pair of socks and his shoes. He started to kick them off, but when he felt warm fingers close around his dick he froze and let out a low moan.

      He glanced down to find Nick watching him, his lips twisted into a crooked smirk as he slowly stroked Sean's cock. He knew he was going to come way too soon, but at least he'd managed to hold out until Nick actually touched him. That was something, anyway, and when Nick leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the tip of Sean's cock he forgot to worry about how long he was going to last. He'd been thinking about this for way too long, and he'd had nothing but his own hand and fantasies of Nick for company for almost a year, so there was no way he could hold out for long.

      When he did come it took them both by surprise, and he felt more than heard Nick gag a little as he swallowed around Sean's length. He stroked shaky fingers through Nick's hair in what he hoped was a soothing motion, waiting until the other man pulled off him before he tugged Nick back onto his feet. Nick's mouth found his again as soon as he was back on his feet, and Sean managed to kick off his shoes and socks before he reached for Nick's pants.

      He sent up a quick prayer of thanks that Nick wasn't wearing jeans, only struggling briefly with the other man's zipper before he got Nick's pants open and pushed them down his hips. The wet fabric clung to Nick's legs, but Sean managed to get it off without even breaking the kiss. Once Nick was standing in front of him in nothing but his underwear Sean pulled away, breathing hard as he took in the sight of Nick hard and panting in front of him. He swallowed a groan and pushed the other man back onto the bed, climbing over him to settle between Nick's outstretched legs.

      His hands landed on Nick's thighs, nudging them a little further apart before he leaned forward and mouthed Nick's erection through damp cotton. Nick groaned and thrust up against him, but Sean pressed down a little harder on his thighs and continued his slow, methodical exploration of Nick's cock. He glanced up and found Nick watching him, his eyelids heavy as he fought to keep them open. Sean grinned and let go of Nick long enough to ease his underwear down and off, dropping it on the floor with the rest of their clothes before he settled between Nick's thighs again.

      He could tell by the way Nick's thighs quivered when Sean ran his hands over them that he wasn't going to last much longer, but for now he seemed content to keep quiet and let Sean do whatever he wanted. Having that much control over Nick was intoxicating, and Sean felt his own cock twitch as he leaned forward again and let out a hot breath against the head of Nick's cock. He reached between Nick's legs with one hand and gently squeezed each ball before he reached behind them, pressing his thumb against the taut skin there. Nick moaned and pressed down against his hand, the tip of his cock brushing Sean's lips as he arched into the contact.

      Sean opened his mouth and let Nick slide in, using his tongue and fingers to bring Nick to the edge before he backed off again. He was determined to make this last as long as possible, to prove to Nick that all of the waiting had been worth it. He wasn't sure now why they'd waited so long, but he was planning to make up for all the time they'd lost, at least if Nick would let him. He wasn't thinking about that right now, though, because Nick was tensing under him and Sean knew he wasn't going to last much longer. Instead of backing off and forcing Nick's orgasm back down Sean wrapped his hand around the base of Nick's cock, stroking roughly in time with Nick's thrusts into his mouth. Less than a minute later Sean swallowed around his length as Nick let out a hoarse moan and came, his whole body melting almost instantly into the mattress.

      When he pulled away and looked down at Nick Sean couldn't help grinning at the sight, because he'd always figured Nick for the type to pass out right after he came. But when Sean stretched out on the mattress next to him Nick reached over, sliding one arm around Sean's waist and pressing close in the center of the mattress. For a long time Sean laid still and listened to the sounds of Nick breathing and the rain pounding against the roof; he knew he should try to get some more sleep, but his mind wouldn't shut off long enough to let him relax.

      Finally he turned far enough to see Nick's profile, catching himself just before he touched the other man. Nick's breathing was steady, but it was deep and Sean had listened to him sleep enough times over the past six months to know when he was awake. "You're not gonna try to ditch me again tomorrow, are you? Because if you're still planning to take off I want to know now."

      Nick didn't move for a few seconds, and Sean was starting to think he was just going to ignore the question when he finally opened his eyes and met Sean's gaze. "If you wanna know the truth, I don't really have anyplace to go."

      "I'm serious, Nick," Sean said, not bothering to hide the frustration that crept into his voice. "If I'm gonna wake up and find you gone..."

      "I'm not going anywhere," Nick interrupted, leaning forward to brush his lips against Sean's before he continued. "Even if I did have someplace to be, I wouldn't leave. Okay?"

      "Yeah, okay," Sean answered. He let Nick pull him forward again, parting his lips obediently when Nick's tongue teased his bottom lip. He let Nick push him onto his back and wrapped his arms around the other man, losing himself in the kiss so he wouldn't have to wonder whether or not Nick was telling him the truth.

For after all, the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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