Just In Disclaimer: Boy Meets Boy property of K Sandra Fuhr. I own nothing except the story. The song is 'Here Without You' by Three Doors Down. I don't own that either. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope I didn't make Ty to out-of- character. Please let me know if you want a sequel.

I hate cleaning. I get dirty and dusty and sweaty. I hate it. The dust makes my asthma act up, so I need to carry my damn inhaler all the time. Did I mention that I get sweaty and dirty, too? I hate being sweaty, unless of course I'm getting sweaty in bed.

So, why am I cleaning, you ask? It's simple, really. Apollo asked me to, and it's not like I had anything else going on for that day, with him being out of town, and Skid's computer needing repairs. So, here I am, sweaty and choking on the dust I've kicked up in my closet, sitting on the floor staring at the one thing that needs to be put away. Once this box is back in the closet again, the apartment will be clean, and I can take a shower.

Curious, I pull the lid off the old shoebox. I can't for the life of me remember what all is in it. It's been a long day, and this should be the perfect way to sit back and relax. So, I settle in against the wall, and begin to examine the contents of the box. The first thing I pull out is a faded, much-read letter that was addressed to me. It was from the Dean of Finances from college, and it was telling me that I was eligible for a substantial tuition grant. Shit, just what I need. Memories of Mik. Of us. How could I have forgotten what I put in this box? For the love of God and all that is holy, it's not even *my* shoebox. For one, I have never worn steel-toe boots, let alone a size thirteen shoe.

I fold the letter and put it back in its envelope, fully intending to shove the box in a dark corner of the closet and forget about it again. Instead, I reach back into the damnable box again and pull out more memories.
The next thing I bring out is a bundle of letters tied with a blue silk ribbon. Each letter just as worn as the previous was, completely filled front and back, from margin to margin, with Mik's cramped writing. Believe it or not, Mik is an incurable romantic. I used to get two or three of these letters a week, and they were all the same. I'd find one on my pillow in the morning, telling me in detail what would happen to me that evening. Sometimes I'd find one stuck in the pages of my textbook, informing me that he had not slept at all that night, preferring instead to watch me sleep. I'd kept every single one of them.

I wonder if Harley does, too.

The letters lay scattered in my lap, no longer bound by the ribbon. I read every single word written; and I can remember exactly where I found each declaration of love. I close my eyes for a bit and take a steadying breath. I don't know why I am so determined to continue with this. Just seeing the familiar scrawl is enough to take my breath away. I pull the next item out of the box with shaking hands.

It's a soft cashmere sweater that I'd gotten him that final Christmas. I remember how I worked for so long, saving every penny earned, to afford it. The sweater was a light tan that made his hair and skin seem so much darker whenever he wore it. He looked like a god in that shirt. He wore it all the time, too. I lift the sweater in my hands, feeling its softness. I bring it up to bury my face in it, inhaling the faint scent that still lingers there.

I leave the sweater out and replace the other things I had taken from the box. Once I've got everything packed securely, I put the box on the top shelf, out of sight. I carry the sweater to my bed and set it there. I grab a clean pair of jockeys and a towel and head to the bathroom to wash some of the dust out of my hair. I set the temperature in the shower to just past the comfortable side of scalding, skin off my sweaty clothes and step into the stinging spray. I stand there for a long time, trying to get the water to penetrate the iciness I'm feeling inside.

Standing there, I let my mind wander, and I find it heading to the past. I was so stupid, so bloody damn stupid to let that grant come between us. It was only money. I should have just taken out another loan to cover tuition. Maybe, if I had, he'd be here with me, and I wouldn't have to dream about useless might-have-beens.

I feel the water start to cool, so I quickly soap up and wash my hair. By the time I'm finished, the water has gone completely cold, and I'm shaking as I step out of the shower. I roughly towel myself dry and head back to my bedroom in my shorts. Since I'm still shivering, I decide to pull on the sweater I left on the bed. As I lift it and shake the folds free, something heavy falls to the mattress. I hurriedly pull the sweater over my head and reach for the object lying on the comforter. Turning it over in my hands I gasp. The heavy silver frame holds a picture of Mik and I together. Not just any picture, but my favorite.

I stare at the print in shock. My legs go weak, and I have to sit heavily on the bed, or fall to the floor in a graceless heap. Still staring, I trace the lines of the photo with a trembling finger. I still don't know who took the picture, but whoever it was, they captured the best of us that day.

We are standing under a huge weeping willow tree that was in the center of campus. All around us there is snow in fluffy drifts. Some of these drifts are marred with angels, while others remain pristine, just waiting for us to come and play. Mik has his arms around my waist and still has snow in his dark hair. His cheeks are pink from the cold. I'm pressed up against his chest, my arms flung about his neck, standing on my toes since he's so damn tall. My hair is pulled back in a messy ponytail, damp and scraggly from the snow we had just been rolling around in. Mik's got his head bent slightly down and is kissing me softly. I remember that kiss like it happened five minutes ago.

Again, I close my eyes and take some nice deep breaths. This time, however, they don't work the way I want them to. I can feel the tears start to trickle down my cheeks, and I don't fight them. I gently, reverently, place the picture on the table by my bed. As I do so, I glance at the phone sitting there. Pulling a pillow into my arms, I sit there and rock for a moment. I reach over and pick up the cordless phone, contemplating making the call I know won't matter at all.