Title: Conversations ch 1: "Question and Answer"
Name: falsechaos
Email: falsechaos@mail.com
Rating/Warning: PG-13 for language and angsty mechanics.
Notes: Formerly posted under the alias "Ayame Daae." That's right. I stole my own fic. FF.n account was eaten when Excite decided to 'experiment.' Account lay dormant for a year or so. Can't wake it up. Boo hoo. So here's a new one.
Disclaimer: Don't own. I just play with 'em

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Ah, Jim....

Why did you have to go and say it?

Why did you have to say you loved me?

You stood there. Just stood there and blurted it out. I ruffled your hair and said, "Sure Jim. Love you too." And turned right back to the computer game. I can remember that startled look on your face. Like you'd gotten what you wanted, but it went sour.

Why did you have to look at me with those wide blue eyes of yours? Like I betrayed you somehow. Like you'd betrayed yourself. I stopped and stared at you. Guess it finally registered. You didn't mean love like a brother or friend. You meant it.... like....

That's what scared me. You meant it.

I can't love you back. Not like you want me to. Not like you need me to.

I'm sorry Jim. I just....can't.

I want to.

Damn it Jim!

Why can't it just be enough? Why can't we just love each other as brothers and friends?

Why did you do this to me?

I didn't mean to turn away like that. I didn't mean to pretend I didn't understand. But what was I supposed to do? Push you away? I could never do that to you, Jim. Never. Or hold you and.... But I can't even say it.

And now we're on the bridge. You think I didn't understand. You think it went right over my head, once again. Thick headed Gene Starwind. It didn't. Why do you think I've been so quiet lately?

"Gene, there's something I have to tell you..."

I don't really know what to say. I know what's coming. "What's that, little buddy?"

The glare is priceless. Really, Jim, it is. "Don't call me little."

"Chum?"

"Or chum."

Again I ruffle your hair. Anything to stop what you're going to say. "But some of the ladies like 'em small. Or chummy."

"Leach."

"Leach, ladies's man, whatever."

"Stop it!"

"What?"

"Gene this is important!"

The anger and fear in your voice.... Why are you doing this Jim? Why do you have to repeat those words? We can just let it go, Jim. We don't have to go anywhere with it. Just let it go.... My mouth betrays me. Again. "What?"

Wide blue eyes. You should have those licensed as a deadly weapon. No one should be that....Cute? Adorable? Do those words even apply any more? You're too tall, too lanky to be called cute or adorable any more. You come to my shoulders if you stand on your tiptoes. As opposed to coming only to my waist four years ago. You're fifteen now. Beautiful...? I guess that would work in describing your eyes.

I asked again, pressing the matter when fear might have kept you silent. "Jim? What is it?"

"I...." Two small roses of blush cloud the clear skin of your cheeks. Your turning away again, Jim. Those eyes stare into mine again. Beautiful, blue, blue eyes. "I love you." I guess the words open a floodgate somewhere. "Not like a buddy! Not like a friend, or pal, or brother, or, or.... Whatever!"

I'm opening my mouth here Jim, I want to say something here, but you won't shut up.

"I've always hated the way you looked at Melfina or all those other girls! You're impulsive and hotheaded and reckless, but I don't care! I just need you. I need you like Mel did for a while, she needed you to find herself, to be whole. Please don't hate me, but I have to say this! I--"

"Just shut up!" I have to scream the words.

Oh that look. That look of pain and hurt and sorrow and even a little bit of hate. That look could start wars or world peace, Jim. I don't know what to say, now that I've got your attention. Guess I'll just open and close my mouth. Like a damned fish. "Just shut up."

"Why?" All the pain and hurt and sorrow and even that little bit of hate are all screwed up into that one little word. So are a thousand questions. Why can't you love me? Why aren't I worthy? Why can't my love at least be appreciated? Why are you hurting me? Why, why, why?

I have to lean close here, Jim. Now don't back away, you little baka! There. Pinned. My body pressed against yours. My face close to yours. "Just shut up so I can kiss you, okay?"

A new look. Hopeful and uncertain and something else I'm not quite ready to see right now. Much better than the first look. Much better.

I'm not ready yet, Jim.

I can't say those words.

Not yet. But I want to. Just help me along 'til then, 'kay? You've put up with me this long, a few more years won't hurt. Until then, until I can say what you want and need to hear, I guess this will just have to be enough.

For the both of us.

The feeling of your lips against mine.

I don't know where I'm going Jim. But if you're with me, I guess it really doesn't matter.