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Reply to LucyAdded to the Roswell Slash Archive September 6, 2001
Fandom: The Forsaken
Status: New, complete.
E-mail address for feedback: email@example.com
Other website: http://members.tripod.ca/~angelspace/Lucy.html
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Nick thinks it's about time he and Sean faced reality.
Warnings: Not beta'd. Another long lj fic. Fun writing this way, you know?
Sunlight was streaming in through the window when Sean opened his eyes. He turned his head away from it, towards the wall, and stretched out, trying to remember why he was lying on his stomach in the bed, why there was a knot of pain in his left shoulder. When he tried to get up and realized that he was stuck to the sheets, it all came back to him, instantly.
He and Nick had had a fight, and a bad one. They'd been fighting a lot, lately - not really fighting, even, just sort of acting short with each other, snapping a lot, giving the silent treatment. It happened because they spent all of their time together, 24/7, and it just wasn't healthy, somehow, not to have breaks away from each other. It was mostly he who started it, because Nick was so goddamn mellow about everything all of the time, but every so often Sean took great pleasure in irritating Nick until he'd snap and blow up. It nearly drove him to violence once or twice, which was why Sean thought he held it in so much. It scared him - it scared them both - so he didn't do it much, didn't push that hard.
But last night. . . Last night he hadn't been able to stop himself, even though all the warning signs were there. He'd picked and picked and picked at Sean, trying to make him react, trying to make him mad, for fuck's sake.
They hadn't had a good lead on Nick's Forsaken in weeks, but neither had wanted to admit it. They just kept driving, cross-crossing through the same states, going back and forth over old ground that they'd already covered. Sean was starting to get desperate, but things really came to a head over dinner last night.
* * *
Sean was studying the tattered road-map on the empty half of the table, while Nick waved the waitress over and ordered dessert.
"We could go back up North," Sean said. "Try New England, maybe? I was thinking, because it was the part of the country that was settled first, maybe there's some old myths or legends or whatever there." He looked up. hoping that the desperation didn't show in his eyes or his voice.
"I've been thinking, too," Nick said, casually. "What about heading back towards LA?"
Sean was surprised. "Okay, sure. For any particular reason?"
Nick shrugged, stirring bubbles into his flat Coke with the straw. "You've been gone for nearly six months. Any chance you're gonna get your job back?"
"Nah, I'm - " Sean stiffened as Nick's words really hit him. "Wait, why?"
"I dunno. Maybe it's just about time the two of us started to face some reality, right? How long before we get another lead, if we do?" Nick's voice was perfectly calm and reasonable, like he was discussing whether they'd take highway 5 or 26 or would stop at this motel or wait for the next exit. Only, this wasn't a reasonable discussion. "You've got a life. You should get back to it."
Sean had to swallow hard against the anger swelling in his throat. "And what about you? You just going to give up, give in, quit fighting?"
"Sean, lower your voice." Even arguing with him like this, Nick's tone didn't waver. He didn't scold, didn't yell, just continued on being reasonable.
"Yeah," Sean muttered. "Wouldn't want anyone to hear your plans to kill yourself."
"I'm not going to kill myself," Nick said, sharply.
"What would you call giving up on finding your cure? And don't give me that 'facing reality' bullshit, either."
"Maybe I'm just tired, Sean, and would rather live the rest of my life than driving around in that fucking car with you for the next few months," Nick hissed tightly.
Sean could see anger rising in Nick's eyes; for some reason, instead of spelling 'danger' to him, he took it as a challenge. "So dump me, then. Go on without me. Don't fucking give up."
Nick shook his head, stood up, and threw down some money. "You don't understand. I'm getting my stuff."
Sean did the same and caught up to Nick by the time he reached the car. He wrenched Nick's hand away from the door handle. "I'm not going to leave you by the side of the road, Nick."
Nick smirked at him, leaning against the car and jutting his hips. "You think I can't take care of myself, for some reason? Who exactly has been watching whose ass all these months?" His eyes raked cruelly over Sean's body.
Nick leaned forward, so that his lips were inches from Sean's ear. "You wish."
His breath was hot, and the words had a nasty undertone, but Sean shivered, warring between anger and a sudden, unexpected spike of desire. He went with the anger - it was easier, more familiar, less frightening. "Just get in the goddamn car." He stalked over to the driver's seat and waited there until Nick got in, then squealed out of the parking lot.
He drove until they passed a motel, fuming and silent, then pulled in and stopped. When he came back with a room key, Nick was still in the car, and he didn't give any sign of moving, even when Sean grabbed his own bag and Nick's and took them inside.
Nick hadn't come in by the time Sean got out of the bathroom, nor had he twenty minutes later, when Sean flipped the tv off. He didn't think Nick would leave without his stuff, but the thought briefly crossed his mind and he was relieved when he opened the motel room door and saw Nick still out there, in the car.
He yanked open the passenger door. "Get out of the fucking car, Nick," he said, tersely.
Nick looked up at him, sort of. Mostly, he seemed to be looking just past Sean's left ear.
Sean grabbed his arm, pulled hard. "Get up."
Nick allowed himself to be manhandled up to a standing position before wrenching away. He walked into the room and stopped suddenly, turning on Sean and slamming him up against the door. "You never know when to stop, do you? You never know when to shut up, and stop."
"Why should I? You're more than willing to stop enough for both of us." Sean shrugged. "Give up, quit, stop. Same difference."
"No. I'm pissed right the fuck off, Nick. I've put my entire goddamn life on hold for six months, and you want me to go home? No, okay - just no. You want to wallow for a while and feel sorry for yourself? That's great. Go for it. And then we get back on the road."
"I'm not feeling sorry for myself right now, Sean," Nick said, his calm, slightly sarcastic tone returning. "I'm feeling sorry for you."
He should have stopped and gone to bed and slept it off. They were both tired and saying things they didn't mean and would regret in the morning, but it didn't matter to him intellectually that he knew that. He wasn't prepared to listen to his calm and rational inner voice. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you're feeling sorry for me?"
"Exactly what I said. I, at least, have a reason to be doing all of this - a good one. It's my life that's on the line. But what are you in it for, Sean? What's getting you off?"
Sean tried to ignore him, tried to go around him, tried to get away from the door, where he was practically pinned in by Nick's physical presence, but Nick wouldn't let him. His only other choice was to leave the room, but - it was his room. If anyone was leaving - "You're my friend," he said, finally. It sounded weak even to him, and he winced.
"Doesn't sound that way to me. Friends let their friends live their own lives, make their own decisions, last I heard."
"Not if they wind up dead as a result."
"It's my life."
"Not anymore it isn't."
"And what the fuck does that mean, Sean? You scare me when you say stuff like that, when my life means more to you than it does to me! I could be - "
"Don't say it," Sean said, clapping a hand over Nick's mouth. "Don't you fucking say it."
Nick grabbed Sean's wrist and twisted the arm around, shoving him hard against the door, where his shoulder hit with a sickening thud. Every word that came out of Nick's mouth was carefully, precisely enunciated. "I could be dead tomorrow."
That made Sean crumple down against the door, his arm wrenched even more before Nick let him go and squatted down in front of him.
"I know," Sean said. "I know you could be dead. I know you probably will be, soon. I know we're not finding your Forsaken. I know the disease is going to overtake you, and I know that there isn't anything I can do about it. Don't you think I know?" He raised his eyes to Nick's face, and reached out to touch him. "Every once in a while, I just need to pretend." He leaned forward, and Nick pulled away, leaving him. "Right," he said, more to himself than to Nick. "What's the point of pretending?"
* * *
Nick was gone for two hours by the time Sean finally gave up waiting for him to come back and went to bed. For some reason he wasn't worried about not seeing him again, because they just needed time apart and he was almost, sort of, a little glad for the extra space.
He slept fitfully and yet was awakened not by the door opening or the feel of eyes on him but by a heavy weight that covered his entire body. He tensed, still half-asleep, even though he knew who it was, who it had to be.
It was dark in the room and he could see the dull glow of the white pillowcase pressed under his face and nothing else. He didn't know how Nick knew when he opened his mouth, but he did.
Fingers curled around his face, the palm cupping over his mouth. "Shut up," Nick breathed into his ear. "Just be quiet."
Nick's breath was warm and clean, no alcohol tinge, no taste of smoke, nothing that might explain away what he was doing after the fact. Sean stilled a moment and then nodded his head. He could feel himself growing harder, body pressed flat against the mattress, suddenly glad that he was on his stomach and not his back.
Nick pulled his hand away and then the only sound was the point-counterpoint of their breath, Sean nearly panting in stale air. Nick was breathing hard, too, and it wasn't until Sean shifted a little underneath him, not trying to get away but to relieve some of the increasingly uncomfortable pressure on his groin, that he realized why.
The heat and pressure seared him, even through the sheet and his shorts and Nick's jeans. It was unmistakable, and it made him moan, swallowing down the sound when he felt Nick start to pull away again. Sean was nearly helpless to stop him, but he twisted his left foot, hooking it around Nick's ankle and keeping him down, finding his hands twisted in the sheets and knitting their fingers together. Then, even though he was the one on top, Nick was the one who was trapped.
He didn't protest, though, and when Sean started to move again underneath him it was the heated groan of breath that Nick gave against his neck that spurred him on. Sean was awkwardly fucking the mattress, trying to find a rhythm that would get them both off. He knew what he really wanted but he also knew that he couldn't have it, that if he turned over right now Nick would disappear again and he'd probably never see him again. He thrust down and then pushed up into Nick's hard cock, settled against the crack of his ass. It was unsatisfying but more than he'd ever thought he would have with Nick, and that made him even hotter and unbearably sad at the same time.
It didn't take long before it was over; when Nick came, he pulled his fingers away from Sean's and got off the bed, leaving him there, sweaty and panting and still hard. He waited until Nick was in the shower before he gripped himself, still face-down against the mattress, and jerked himself quickly off, feeling dirty and needy and pathetic as he did so. He didn't even bother to clean himself up afterwards, preferring to lie there and gasp in air until he fell asleep.
* * *
He probably should have been a little taken aback that his entire life fit with relative ease into one battered leather bag, but the only thing he could think when he finished putting everything in was 'Good,' because he knew he wouldn't have to figure out what to get rid of or try to get another bag somewhere before he left.
He looked around the room one last time and then patted himself down, finding the keys to the car in his left pocket. He dropped them down on the round, chipped table by the window and picked up his bag.
The door opened before he could reach for the handle, and he wasn't upset at not making a clean getaway. He wasn't resigned. He wasn't anything.
"Where are you going?" Nick asked him, like Sean might just be taking his luggage for a walk to go get food, and could he get Nick some, too?
"L.A.," Sean said.
Nick nodded, and frowned when he saw the car keys on the table. "You walking?"
"Bus," Sean said, pulling out a ticket he'd gotten at the station two blocks from the motel.
"Oh," Nick said, scooping the keys up and jangling them in his hands. "You should take the car," he said, holding them out. "It's yours."
Sean shook his head. "If I never spend another minute in that fucking car - "
"Yeah," Nick agreed. "Okay."
"Bye," Sean said, and this time he made it all the way out the door.
The sun was setting and he squinted at it, walking towards the bus stop. The bus wasn't due for another half-hour, but it might come early and he didn't want to stay back there and stare at Nick for another thirty minutes. No, he did, hoping that it might change something, and that want hurt him, like so many other things had hurt so much. It was going to be a two-day trip back to L.A., and he wasn't looking forward to spending that much time in a cramped bus seat, but at least he didn't have to drive the damn thing. If he was lucky, he might just be able to sleep through the next forty-eight hours.
He wasn't entirely sure what he was going back there for; he couldn't call it 'home' anymore. His apartment, his job, his friends - all were left behind a long time ago. He should have gotten a ticket in the other direction, gone to Miami to spend some time with his sister and try to make it up to her for missing the wedding and giving one too many half-assed explanations why. He was going back to L.A. out of habit, because he didn't know what else to do, because it was as good a place as any to start again.
Because Nick had told him to, dammit. Because if Nick had told him to take a long walk off a short pier, he'd do it. And, in a way, that was exactly what Nick had told him to do.
The pier came to a sudden end abruptly under his feet and he stopped short, sitting down on a bench to wait.
* * *
He woke up when the bus stopped to let the driver and any passengers who were awake stretch and refuel. They were at a truck stop with a diner and a convenience store and a quick glance at his watch told Sean that they'd been on the road for a little less than six hours. He'd fallen asleep shortly after the bus started to move, lulled into sleep by a combination of the movement of the bus and a desire to shut his mind down and just not think for a while.
He wasn't hungry but went into the store to get some water and see if there was anything edible for later, snagging a couple of bottles of water and some trail mix. He felt cramped and stretched out his body, bending back and forth a couple of times to pop joints and vertebrae, happy yet again that he didn't have to stay awake to drive and think and brood. He wasn't angry even though he thought he should have been; he wasn't much of anything besides sad and disappointed and lonely.
The bored-looking cashier handed him his change and didn't return his half-smile, calling out "Next" to get him to move it along. He shoved the stuff into his bag and pushed open the door.
And came face-to-face with Nick.
There couldn't possibly have been any colour in his face. There wasn't any in Nick's, and Sean felt like he must look at least as bad. He stayed immobile in the doorway until Nick pulled him forward, out of the path of the irritated young woman with black hair who'd sat across from him on the bus, humming tunelessly to the goth music playing in her headphones.
"What are you doing here?" Sean asked, the first thing that came into his head, even though it was a stupid question because it was patently obvious what Nick was doing here.
"Following you," Nick said, seemingly resigned to being equally obvious. He handed over the car keys to Sean and took his hand. "I hate driving," he said, pulling Sean away from the bright glare of the convenience store and the pumps, further towards the parking lot.
"Wait, no, wait," Sean said, hanging back. "You can't just tell me to leave and then follow me and expect me to go with you."
Nick looked at him. "Why not?"
"Because - " Sean couldn't think of a reason, despite the fact that he felt like it was wrong of him - of Nick - to just expect Sean to follow his whims and moods. Of course, based on their relationship thus far, there was no reason for Nick not to expect that. "Because," he repeated, shrugging and feeling foolish.
Nick turned around; he was still holding Sean's hand. "Say no to me," he said, after a moment.
"You think you can't," Nick said. "You think you can't say no to me, and that means that you're weak, or something. So do it. Prove it to yourself. Say no to me."
Puzzled, Sean said, softly, "No."
Nick immediately let go of Sean's hand. "Okay," he said, nodded, and walked away.
"Wait, Nick - "
Nick stopped. When he turned around, he shook his head. "Do you want to come with me?" he asked. "Do you want to be with me? Because, it took me about half an hour without you - not just being away from you, but knowing that you were gone and you weren't coming back - to figure out that I want you with me." He smiled, although Sean would probably have called it a smirk. "You know what I think?"
"No," Sean said. "What?"
"I think you're too hung up on thinking that you can't say no to me, when the real problem is that you can't deal with the fact that I'm just always right."
Sean opened his mouth, closed it, and then burst out laughing. He laughed so hard he doubled over with the effort, the bag slipping from his hands. When he finally stopped laughing, he was breathless and tears were streaming down his face, and he was kneeling on the ground in the middle of the parking lot. Nick had squatted down in front of him, a bemused grin on his face.
"You going to be all right?" Nick asked.
Sean nodded. "I think so, yeah," he said, taking a deep breath.
"Come on, then," Nick said, taking Sean's bag in one hand and pulling him to his feet with the other.
"Wait, where are we going?"
"I don't know. I'm thinking, motel." Nick shrugged. "Frankly, I'm good with just finding the nearest flat surface to push you down and fuck you on."
Sean flushed, instantly aroused. "Uh - "
Nick leaned in closer. "Ever do it on the counter of a diner?"
His breath was hot on Sean's ear. "Nick - " he said, swallowing and trying not to shift in a way that made it too obvious that he was hard in his jeans.
"Come on," Nick said, again. "There's got to be a bed around here somewhere."
* * *
He should have asked his questions in the car, probably, but it was hard enough to drive and ignore Nick staring lusty holes in the side of his head without adding important relationship questions into the mix, as well. He might have done it when they finally found a 'flat surface' in the form of a motel with a lit vacancy sign and a free room on the ground floor, except Nick pushed him inside and closed long fingers over his when he reached for the light switch and held him still, breathing into his hair and the skin on the back of his neck, and, oh. He didn't want to talk, either, or even move.
Nick moved him through the darkness that wasn't unfamiliar - there were a lot of motel rooms in the past six months and they were all the same, just different ugly colours and ugly furniture and ghosts of temporary occupants. A quick tug revealed the dull whiteness of bare sheets and they were kissing and he was being stripped, and he wished he could see Nick to find buttons and zippers without fumbling but didn't quite want it enough because it meant he'd be seen, and he wasn't sure that he wanted that. It was just all so much easier in the dark.
The sheets were cool and smelled mostly clean but a little stale, like the air in the room itself but he forgot quickly, because his air was all Nick, and his hands were all Nick, and his mouth and his skin and his body was all Nick. He didn't know if his eyes were closed but guessed they weren't when the shadows deepened and then lessened a little, not letting him see, exactly, save for more shadows, and it didn't matter, because it was all just Nick.
He had the vague thought that he should be paying closer attention to who was doing what to whom, in case this somehow never happened again, but it seemed ridiculous to catalogue something so ephemeral and permanent. Nick was touching him, murmuring things in his ear, teasing and tasting him and it was all good, all overwhelming, all scattering his brain into separate little compartments that melted together into random thoughts he might have said out loud. He wasn't sure, except Nick seemed to answer him; it was entirely possible that Nick was reading his mind. It was entirely possible that Nick was putting the thoughts in there, in the first place.
He wished, at the last moment, that the light was on and he could see, because he wanted to know what Nick looked like when he made that sound, that lovely, deep, thick sound that poured out of his mouth when he came. He knew, though, what he felt, and what he heard, and how he tasted, and thought that maybe that was all that was important, after all.
* * *
He arched up a split-second before Nick's lips touched low on his back.
"I thought you were asleep," Nick said, and he could feel those lips smiling against his warm skin.
"I am," Sean mumbled, burying his face even deeper into the pillow.
Fingertips touched him, dragging lightly down his body in a straight line from just between his shoulder blades to his perineum and back up again. He shuddered, hips parting just a little further in an unconscious but unmistakable invitation. Nick straddled one thigh, and followed the trail his fingers had taken with soft, barely-wet kisses. When he finished the return trip, he stopped, mouth on Sean's skin, breathing. "We should talk," he said, finally.
Sean moved a little, still caught underneath, until Nick moved off of him and sprawled across the other side of the bed. He turned on the lamp beside the bed, making Sean blink in the sudden light, then raise his fingers to Nick's red and swollen mouth, shivering when Nick sucked them in, one at a time.
"Maybe I shouldn't have turned on the light," Nick said.
"Looking at you," Nick said. "It makes me want to fuck you again, not talk."
"And you didn't want to in the dark?" Sean stretched his body in an exaggerated motion that spoke of sex and promise, before re-settling himself on his stomach. He couldn't help but tease, a little; he felt liquid, and sexy, and he wanted nothing more than for Nick to turn off the light - or leave it on - and fuck him again.
"Stop it," Nick said, but kissed him, and Sean smirked and looked up at him through his lashes. "You're a tease."
"I'm not teasing," Sean protested. "You can have whatever you want, whenever you want it. You're the one teasing me."
"So you're just a sex-maniac, now? You don't care about the future - about what we're going to do, where we're going to go from here?"
Sean shook his head. "Not very much - I mean, whatever you decide - "
"You'll just go along with it?"
"Don't I always?" Sean frowned. "What?"
"I don't want you just - giving in to me, now."
"I always give in to you."
"Not always," Nick argued.
"Most of the time, then. You're always right, remember?"
"I'm serious," Nick grimaced. "You may have given in to me, but you always fought me, first. I don't want you just - rolling over whenever I want."
A slow, lazy smile crossed Sean's face. "You want me to fight you? I can fight you." He rolled over on his side, and pulled the sheet up over his chest. "What are you doing in my bed?" he asked, in mock-horror. "I demand that you get out, right now."
Nick rolled his eyes. "Sean, I didn't mean - "
"Okay," Sean said, throwing back the sheet and opening his arms. "I give in. C'mere."
"I'm serious," Nick said, but he was laughing, and he kissed Sean, and settled against his chest, resting his ear over Sean's heart. "You're an idiot."
"Takes one to know one."
"You're also five years old."
Sean laughed, too, then sighed. "This is the first time in months that I haven't felt a hundred," he said, and carded his fingers through Nick's shaggy hair. "I don't want to fight with you. I don't want to not be with you. I don't want to - waste time, anymore." It was a difficult admission, speaking of the limited time that they might have, but there it was. "I just want to go wherever you need to go, and do whatever you need to do."
"And your life's on hold while we do what ever I need to do, like it doesn't matter at all?"
"This is my life," Sean said, poking him in the chest. "You know what your problem is?"
"No," Nick laughed. "What's my problem?"
"Your problem is that you think I've been living this, all this time, just for you, and it was never just for you. Being with you has been my life. It hasn't exactly been a gigantic barrel of laughs, and it certainly hasn't been easy, but it's made me happy to be with you, and not being with you makes me unhappy. So," he shrugged. "What's my choice? I'd rather take the hard road and whatever happiness comes with it, then go back to a boring and easy life and feel nothing."
Nick frowned, toying with the sheets on the bed. Sean stayed silent, waiting for him to process what he'd said.
"Okay," Nick said, finally, nodding his head.
"You'll fuck me, then?" Sean teased.
Nick rolled his eyes. "You have a one-track mind."
"And that's a bad thing?"
"It's a wonderful thing," Nick said, and kissed him. "Just, promise me something, okay?"
"Keep fighting me." He waggled an eyebrow suggestively. "It turns me on."
"So that's what did it," Sean said. "Okay. I can fight you." He reached down and toyed with a nipple. "You aren't actually always right, you know."
"Yes, I am," Nick said, smugly.
"No, you're not."
"Yes, I am."
Sean smacked his face, lightly. "No, you aren't" He leaned over and kissed Nick deeply. "Turned on, yet?"
Nick was a little glazed-looking. "Uh-huh."
"So what are you waiting for, then, a written invitation?" Before Sean had the chance to say another word, Nick crawled up his body and covered his mouth with his own.
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