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Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold, Part Three
Reply to MongibelloPosted to the allslash mailing list October 11, 2001
Title: But Not Too Bold
Pairing: Sean/Nick, really pre-slash
Ratings: PG-13 for language
Archive: List archives and anybody else that might want it. Roswell Slash Archive is welcome to it as well.
Feedback: I'm depressed because the first part didn't much feedback, (total of 1). Send anything, please, even if you don't like it. Send it on over to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Sean and Nick kiss, fight, and make-up. Not necessarily in that order.
Note: This is the continuation of Be Bold. Be Bold. It got a little longer than I thought it would so I split this last section up. Therefore, Be Bold is 1/3 for anyone who might consider archiving it. Please with the feedback, huh? I know I'm pathetic. More love to Lucy. Her Forsaken fic was my inspiration and re-reading it gave me the juice to continue with this story, which I loved writing. Again, no beta, but I actually looked for one this time, so I gave myself points for effort.
It was still early, the sun had only just set, and in the bar it was happy hour. A bucket of Bud for five bucks and I'm nothing if not frugal.
The bar was typical of its kind. A couple of pool tables in the back. A jukebox in the corner. And empty but for me, the employees, and what I guessed to be the regulars. All in all, less than a dozen people in the whole place.
I was half-way through beer number three, and much more buzzed than I should have been, when Nick showed up. Either that boy took a long time to dress or I drank a lot faster than I'd thought. His hair was still wet, whether from sweat or his bath I couldn't tell, and he was wearing an expression I interpreted as reluctantly sorry. But I was probably reading too much into it.
I watched him at the door as he scanned the room for me. I'd situated myself at a table in one of the darkest corners of the room. He didn't look angry anymore, of that I was glad, but he didn't look exactly happy to be there either. He turned his head in my direction. I averted my eyes in the childish hope that if I couldn't see him he'd never spot me.
I took a long pull at my beer, guzzling the last of it as I felt him approaching.
"How many have you had?" I expected him to take a chair, but he knelt down next to me instead.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?" His expression didn't change. As pissed off as I was, I didn't really have the energy to argue.
"Three. The ice melted, so they're getting kind of warm, but if you're real nice I'll share 'em with you." My head was starting to swim a little and my nose had gone numb. "Nah, I don't think so. You wouldn't wanna be seen drinking with a fucking fairy, would ya." Hmm, maybe I did feel like arguing.
"I'm sorry, Sean. I didn't mean that." He was still kneeling, looking up at me. "I can't even believe I said it."
"Oh, you didn't just say it, you shouted it in Dolby digital surround sound. Sean's a fuckin' fairy. Sean's a fuckin' homo." Sean's fuckin' drunk. Sean's starting to get weird looks from the regulars.
Nick stood, trying to pull me along with him. I pulled back and barely managed to remain upright in my seat.
"Let's just go back to the room, Sean. You can sleep this off and we'll talk in the morning." He made another attempt to pull me from my chair. I shook him off hard enough that he had to take a step back to keep his balance. The regulars were blatantly staring now.
"Aren't you afraid I'll try to molest you in your sleep? Ya fuckin' homophobe." I reached for another beer from the bucket and recoiled when Nick grabbed the back of my neck.
"It's not even like that, Sean. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, but you're drunk. And we need to get out of here now, before we become tomorrow morning's headline." The grip on my neck wasn't at all unpleasant and I hated myself for enjoying that touch.
"Fine, but I'm not going back to the room. And we're not waiting till in the morning to talk. I don't even know that I want to be here in the morning."
Nick nodded and removed his hand. I stood up of my own accord and gestured to Nick to precede me. I shoved two of the remaining beers in my jacket pockets. I popped the top on the last one and started drinking it on the way out the door.
The air outside was cooling with the coming night. Nick crossed the road to the motel's parking lot and watched me follow with a scowl on his face.
"Don't you think you've had enough?"
"When did you get so parental, Mr. Open Container? Besides what kind of pussy gets drunk on three beers?" Well, me.
I downed the fourth beer just to spite him and flung the empty bottle into the road.
"I'm sorry about the way I reacted. I didn't mean to hurt you." He started walking towards me, one hand reaching towards me. I backed up quickly to avoid him.
"Why'd you have to say anything, huh? Why couldn't you just go to sleep and pretend it didn't happen? It was a mistake, I knew that. I know that, it never would have happened again. You could have just ignored it and then we wouldn't even be having this conversation." And maybe I could have forgotten all the feelings and thoughts I'd been trying so hard to bury for the last three months.
"Maybe I should have. I was just..." He trailed off shaking his head.
"Just what? Disgusted? What's so disgusting? Is it me or the fact that I'm a guy?" I'd meant to sound indignant, maybe even a little insulting, but it came out sounding more like a plea.
His lips quirked into a strange little smile. "I wasn't disgusted. You're not disgusting. I'm just worried. You can't get attached to me like that. Its not a good idea. You're a good friend and I don't want to hurt you."
The sun had finished its descent. The only light in the parking lot came from the motel's neon sign. It was too dim to really see Nick's face from where I was standing. I moved closer, sure that if I could see his eyes I could figure out what the fuck was going on. He had his head bowed, staring at the ground at his feet.
"What's going on with you, Nick? I thought you were happy I was here. I thought that's what you wanted. I mean, I thought that's what that note was all about."
"Oh that." He sighed heavily. "It took me an hour to write that. I didn't want to sound desperate."
"So I wasn't hallucinating."
"I was afraid I couldn't do it by myself. But I knew if I just asked you to come with me, you'd say yes. That's just the kind of person you are. You would have helped because you felt obligated. So I wrote that note and then I hung out in Miami for a couple of weeks, hoping you'd show up. And when you didn't I started thinking it was better I do it alone. I'm not the person you think I am." He slid down the side the of the car where he'd been leaning and lay his head in his hands.
I sat down next to him in the dirt. His breath was coming in great jerky gasps, his palms rubbing furiously at his eyes. Blood was trickling from his nose. Through his slightly parted lips I could see his teeth were also stained with red.
"Nick, you're bleeding."
He pressed a finger to his lips and pulled it away to stare at the blood. He might have sat there all night just bleeding and feeling sorry for himself if I hadn't hauled him up and led him back to our room.
My anger had dissipated completely and I found I was much less drunk than I'd felt before. I was back in 'protect this boy' mode, playing Flo Nightingale.
In the bathroom Nick rinsed his mouth several times, staining the porcelain of the sink brilliant red. I grabbed his pills from his bag and brought him the appropriate dosage.
He sat down on the toilet when he was done, dabbing at his nose with a washcloth.
"Do you know what I thought when I realized I was still infected?" His voice was bubbling with an odd sort of amusement, as though what he was about to tell me was some great joke he'd heard.
"I was glad. I thought, thank God." Yeah, the punch line sucked.
He didn't offer anymore, but my own curiosity was too strong to ignore. I asked why.
"I'm not like you. I don't have anything to go back to when this is over. Before I was infected...I was nobody. I was just a pot head with a crappy job and no direction. I got bit because I was too fucked up to realize she wasn't trying to make out with me." He gave a dry little guffaw at that. "Out here though. I might still be a nobody, but at least I'm a nobody with purpose."
We sat in silence for a few moments. Way too much had happened in the last couple of hours, I was going to need days to process everything. But there were a few things I was curious about.
"So, I guess we both have secrets, huh?" I perched myself on the edge of the bathtub. "Is that what you were talking about when you said you weren't the person I thought you were?"
"And what kind of person would that be?" If that had been his big secret it was disappointingly anti-climactic.
Nick didn't answer. He just stared at me with an adorable puzzled look on his face.
I shook my head at him and grinned. "If you thought that piddly little confession was going to change my opinion of you.. You'd have to do something a little more nefarious than that to make me not..." Love you. It went unspoken, poking its finger at me and demanding to be acknowledged. I still wasn't ready to go that far though. "You saved my life. You saved Megan's life. And no telling how many others who were infected by Kit and his brood."
"You did that. You were the hero there, Sean. I'm the one that got you into it for God's sake. You make it sound like you owe me something. Why are you here?" Nick was on his feet again, pacing. His voice had risen to Dolby proportions again, but this time it sounded less like anger than desperation.
"I'm here because you can't do this alone. I owe you, a lot more than my life and I care about you. I'm here for you and I'm not going anywhere. So stop bitching and get used to having me around!"
Nick stopped pacing and started staring at me again(lot of that going around.) He was opening and closing his mouth guppy-like as though he meant to say something.
"Hey, I promise not to kiss you again." I'd meant it as a joke, but Nick's face was dead serious.
"The hair thing. You did that in the hospital too. It was...nice."
"Jesus, Nick, do you ever sleep?" And I thought I was being sneaky all that time.
"I'm sorry about everything. About being an asshole. About dragging you into this, again. I'm glad you're here."
He closed the distance between us and held the hand with the ring on it up for my inspection. "I couldn't get it off. Think that's a sign?" He was so close I could feel his breath on my cheek. His voice was so soft I couldn't have heard him from any farther away. "Thank you. I understand why you gave it to me."
He leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine. I could feel his fingers just barely touching my jaw. The kiss was soft, but more insistent than the one I'd given him. Longer too, but when he pulled away it was still too soon for me. "We still friends?" I couldn't answer, I could still feel his lips on mine and I was afraid if I opened my mouth that feeling would be gone. I nodded slightly. He smiled and headed back into the bedroom.
Every possible reason for that kiss raced through my mind at Nascar speed. Pity or gratitude came out on the top, but in the end I decided it didn't matter. A kiss is just a kiss, right?
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