Rebirth – Chapter 43: Start Over
So what can I say, really? To everyone who read and reviewed? I suppose in the beginning, I really had no intention of writing this story, or making it so long. I thought to myself, "I want to see it happen, and I wonder if I could make it work, but then…Do I have the time to do all this?" I said no, but, well. I started writing, and now, here it is.
Hide-Fan: Thanks to you, because you always left reviews that let me know how you felt about the story. I'm glad that the happiness put you in a good mood, I figured I do enough stuff with a not-so-happy ending!
Hobbit-Luvr: I'm glad you liked it, I was hoping that a stupid, sappy dramatic end wouldn't turn you all off to the story. Thanks for reading my ridiculous drabbles!
Adnawun: XP Well I hope you don't erupt. I'm relieved that people went for a happy ending, I wasn't entirely sure. Thanks!
Lady Myotismon: Er, I love you too! Thank you for sitting through and reading all of it, and I hope that it gave you some entertainment in your boredom hours, as it was intended to try and do. I'm sorry that it made you cry! I'm not so sorry that it made you horny, though. Mwahaha. :D
Saz3: Thank you very much. I can't believe so many people liked it! I guess going with a happy ending was the right thing to do after all. Thank you for reading, and I'm flattered that you think my writing is wonderful. I am not worthy! Xx
Me: Ah! Don't worry, you won't be alone forever. Besides, look at this. You've got a whole, big, dorky AdamLawrence fetish group right here. You're not really alone. If you're still liking this whole couple thing, there is a livejournal community for it. Thanks!
Kendal: Oo Gosh, I don't know what to say! Thank you for reading it. You know, part of the reason I wrote this was for that reason. That I really loved the idea of the couple, but I doubted there would be much fanbase for it. So it was a challenge to see if I could put something out there that was decent in that aspect. Oh, and sex scenes are always the funnest to write. :D
Katie: Thank you! Ah, writing just makes me a gushing hack, but reviewing? I think that makes you twice as damn cool. I'm glad you liked it too!
Koroku: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make anyone cry! Alright, so maybe I intended to give a couple of people that depressed sinking stomach feeling, but you know…I sincerely hope that a happy ending fit your satisfaction. Thank you so much. I was worried about the characters being believable, I really was. I find (and I hope this doesn't sound condescending) that a lot of authors will put characters into situations and write them to react how perhaps the author themselves would react as opposed to what would make sense for the personality of the character. That's what makes it unbelievable. That, and the dialogue might be anachronistic or out of sync with how the creator of the characters portrayed them. Enough of my rambling, all I mean is thank you oh-so-much for reading and reviewing.
Damion Starr: Thanks! Yeah, I really cluttered up the whole happy sentiment with a lot of angst, huh:D
Rainyday101: Thanks, I hope you like the epilogue too! I dunno how well it wraps the whole thing up, but I guess we'll see.
GalleryofGhosts: Wow. Thank you. You know, I'm also honestly surprised that I finished this story. It will be the first long piece I've ever actually finished, and even if some things didn't turn out quite like I would've liked, I'm just happy that I did indeed finish it. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the story. So thanks for, er, not flaming! Thanks for the kind words, because they help a lot more than the 'you suck' comments. I already know I suck—I do it better than anyone I know. Now what does that have to do with the story, you wanna help me out? I appreciate the feedback, and I'm sure you can finish a larger project as well. Hell, I didn't think I could.
All in all, I'm breathing a sigh of relief here, and dreading my next fandom, whatever it may happen to be. In answer to those of you who asked whether or not I would be writing a sequel, I have to admit that I did cross over the idea. But then, it really wouldn't even be relevant to the movie at this point. What I pictured it focusing on was a more family type setting, as in Lawrence and Adam in the ups and downs an oddities of a modern homosexual relationship, and a slightly older Diana struggling to come to terms with the concept of a gay father and the estranged step father that is Adam. I don't know if I'd have the time to write something like that, and I don't know if it would be worth it when it has nothing to do with the movie anymore—not really.
But thank you all so much. I hope I didn't disappoint anyone, or dissatisfy anyone, though I'm sure there were some. If it weren't for the reviewers, trust me, this story really never would have finished. So without further hesitation, this last chapter is ultimately dedicated to a certain one-legged goose out there.
"I don't understand." Diana said plainly, through sniffles and through tears. She wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve and fondled the ear of a stuffed rabbit cradled in her lap. "Why are you leaving?"
Lawrence sighed as he looked down at his daughter, his heart wrenching at the sight of her. This was what he had been fearing all along—Diana's reaction to the situation. How could he make her see that he wasn't abandoning her? "Sometimes things just happen this way, Diana." He said, putting a hand on her head where she sat cross-legged on the bed. "It's time for your mother and I to be apart now."
"Does that mean you'll come back some day?" she looked up hopefully.
"I'm not leaving, Diana. I'm just moving out of this house. But you'll see me every day—in fact, you'll see me more than you did before. I promise." Lawrence assured.
"…You mean it?" she seemed confused.
"Of course I do. You couldn't keep me away if you tried." He nodded.
"But…but where are you going? Are you going to live with Adam?"
Lawrence withdrew his hand and looked down a little where he sat. "Yes, Diana."
"Adam's a man, Daddy." Diana pointed out. "I thought that men and women fell in love. That's what you told me before."
"It doesn't have to work that way. Not always." Lawrence shook his head.
"But how?" her question was without accusation, but clearly confused.
"Well Diana…we don't get to pick who we love…it's just something that happens." He touched the foot of her rabbit momentarily. "Like you. I love you no matter what—you can't ask for a reason for things like that. It doesn't always make sense. But it's always good. Love's always good." He smiled.
"Why do you have to leave?" she looked down again.
Lawrence bit his lip. It was so hard to explain to someone so young. That you were leaving their mother… "Because, Diana. People who are divorced don't live together anymore. It can't work that way."
"But you don't have to get divorced." Diana pleaded. "Can't Adam just stay here with us?"
Lawrence pushed back something between a blush of discomfort and an outright
laugh. "No, Diana, uh…that would still be wrong. Being married is the same as saying you're in love with someone. I can't be in love with Adam and married to your mother, otherwise it's lying."
Diana rubbed her cheek against the top of the rabbit's head and sighed. "No one'll be here to keep the bad men out of the closet."
"Now that's not true. Your mom can be just as scary as me." Lawrence decided, brushing his hand over her head.
"It's not the same…" she said.
"You'll spend a lot of time with me. And both me and Adam'll be there to stop the monsters. The monsters'll be too worried to bother you now that you've got two guys looking after you, huh?" He knew it was a ridiculous excuse, but then, worrying about monsters was a bit of a ridiculous problem.
"Will Adam protect you from the bad man?" she lowered her voice to something of a whisper.
"The bad man's gone forever, Diana."
"I mean other bad men."
"We'll look out for each other, yeah. And you too. So don't worry." He hugged her tightly.
"And I can see you every day?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah, every day." Lawrence agreed. "I'll tell you what; tomorrow I'll take you out for ice cream or something after school."
"I don't like ice cream." She reminded.
"Okay, well, something." He smiled and released her. "Well I've gotta go…but I'll see you tomorrow, huh?" he said, standing.
"Okay…" Diana nodded in agreement, not looking up.
"I love you—more than anything or anyone." He added, and she looked at him this time.
"…Bye, Daddy." She waved.
Lawrence swallowed and waved back before departing the room. It was so hard to say goodbye, even if he wasn't really leaving, not really…he'd just be across town. That was all…
"You got everything, Lar?" asked Allison as she caught him going.
He turned to her and looked around his house for a moment, not looking for anything in particular. "…Yeah. I do, actually." He smiled to himself slightly and nodded. "…I'll uh…I'll be back for anything else, but…" he cleared his throat.
"Well…I guess this is goodbye, huh?" she looked at him with a mixed sentiment.
"Yeah, it is." They looked at each other for a long while. "…So is it okay if I pick Diana up tomorrow?"
"Sure." Allison agreed. "It's gonna be kind of weird without you here."
"It's gonna be kind of weird not being here." He admitted. "But the way things are changing, I'm sure we'll get used to it."
Allison nodded again and touched his shoulder briefly as she passed him.
Lawrence watched her walk back down the hall, disappearing into Diana's room. In one brief wander, he looked over the house that had held him in wonder. Here was a home he had been in every day, and yet still, it seemed so relatively new to him. He had only really looked at it after the incident, when he was stuck here because of his foot and had nothing else to look at. This place, that he had paid for. It never felt like his house anyway…with that, he turned and left for the last time.
"Alright, here, that's…off the Oregon coast, I think." Adam said, picking up a photograph by the corner and gazing at it as he leaned backwards against Lawrence's chest.
Lawrence looked down at the photo from over Adam's shoulder where they sat on the bed, arms cirlced around his waist. It was late at night now, and Lawrence had decided to bring up one subject in particular that Adam had previously been private about. At last Lawrence was allowed to see these elusive portfolio shots, and for that he was attentive to the fullest. His mind made some pointless little connection to this scene and looking at Diana's drawings with her weeks before. "Whose boat?"
"I don't remember." Adam creased his brow slightly and studied it. "I was with a group of people, it was one of theirs. I thought, you know, the reflection, right there off the water…it was good. Acutally I think the first shot was better, but some dumbass got their hand in the way and messed it up."
"Mm…" Lawrence sifted through a stack and picked up another. There was snow and sunlight, which washed everything white but not in an overpowering manner. Adam had a good eye for timing. "I like this one."
Adam turned to look down at Lawrence's hand. "Camping trip. I was…nineteen." He nodded to himself, pulling the memories back. It took a moment to have to pull those old memories up, around the event that they both tried hard not to remember. "One of those mornings where the snow stops in the night. It's still cold, but the sun just rose, and the ice hasn't even had a chance to start to melt yet." He spread some of the others out with his fingers to show Lawrence the rest of the set. "Found two elk here. And that's a snow slope that led right down into the woods. I uh, fell down that slope like, ten seconds after I took this shot." Adam smirked at the memory and winced at some phantom pain from the fall.
"This is all really incredible, Adam." Lawrence said, hugging him tighter. "It's no wonder you got that job, you're gonna do great."
Adam relaxed into the embrace and stared down at a picture of a pigeon on a ledge. "I wish I had the money to travel the country or something, you know? Photo opportunities are everywhere, but…it's also a good excuse to travel if you want to go look for them somewhere else."
"I think we both need a vacation." Lawrence suggested as he absently rubbed Adam's right shoulder in a tender motion. "Take our minds off of…all this."
"Maybe…" Adam smiled and touched Lawrence's knee from where he sat between his legs. "But I don't know about now, I mean—with the moving and the new job and you're still healing and everything…" his grip tensed in concern a little before loosening.
Lawrence gave a light sigh and nuzzled his neck. "So we'll wait a few months…But I'd still like to get you on a beach somewhere."
"Hey—I'm nobody's Baywatch whore." Adam veered away from his touch coyly.
"Oh don't flatter yourself." Lawrence disagreed and forcefully cuddled back up to the crook of his neck. "You could bring your camera—call it a business trip and get some cash out of it."
Adam chuckled. "I'd get sand in it…" he muttered.
Lawrence paused, then pulled back a little from Adam and turned his upper
body to the side of the bed. "Which reminds me, I-I sort of…got you something."
"You what now?" Adam tried to turn and look at what he was doing.
Lawrence returned up with an arm back around him as he gently placed a box in Adam's lap. "Call it a…house-warming present, I don't know."
Adam took it with interest. "Ah, Lawrence, man, you don't need to be—"
"Hey hey, it was a good deal." He shushed Adam with a gentle prod to his stomach.
"I just…don't want you to spend stuff on me." Adam shook his head. Lawrence was clearly still used to the customs of being with a woman, wasn't he?
"Just take a look at it, would you?"
Adam grunted and examined the box with curiosity. "A digital camera? Lawrence, these things aren't cheap, you know?"
"Have you ever used one?" Lawrence looked down at the package.
"Yeah, well…in college, on and off. They had some for us to use, but most of my course work required the bigger stuff…" he got the case open and pulled the camera out of the box, looking it over in his hands like it was made of glass. He turned over a shoulder. "…Thank you." Adam nodded a little and kissed him gratefully.
Lawrence ruffled his hair and grinned. "I hoped you'd like it."
"I do." Adam continued to look over his new toy with exploration, opening the battery hatch and finding the batteries to go with it. "The other cameras are pretty cumbersome and time-consuming, this one can be for…personal uses."
Lawrence watch him mess around with it for a moment with a small smile. "See? This way, you won't even get sand in it."
"Yeah yeah, well we can worry about that later. You're still moving in, or whatever." Adam gestured to the one suitcase that Lawrence had taken with him tonight. "Maybe you should give yourself a chance to unpack before you start, er, packing."
"Sure you have room here?" Lawrence asked, looking around.
"I'll move some stuff…get rid of some stuff." Adam assured. "I know I don't need ninety percent of the junk that's in here. I can finally get rid of all those…other pictures."
"I can help you clean out." Lawrence offered. "We could do it tomorrow, huh?"
Adam suppressed a yawn and shuffled through the options on his camera, which he managed to get running by now. "If you've really got nothing else to do. I'd appreciate it…" he trailed off for a while in thought, leaning against Lawrence with a kind of calm that almost seemed out of character. He was usually so nervous, spontaneous, always moving, but then whether that could be attributed to his personality or to the aftermath of the incident Lawrence wasn't sure. He guessed that it may have been a contribution of both. Either way, he was immensely glad for it. "…How did things go at home, Lawrence?" Adam asked quietly. He then thought about his statement for a second. "Or…well, you know, the house."
Lawrence took in a breath and let it out tiredly. "It was alright. Diana's not exactly thrilled with me moving out, but…I'm sure she'll understand in time."
Adam slowly rubbed his knee in sympathy. "She's welcome here anytime, man." Lawrence nodded. "Yeah, well, she doesn't like the idea of sleeping at home. She's always had problems with that. I was usually the one to calm her down, I feel like a jerk for leaving in that respect. I mean it's not like she can sleep here." He shrugged and thought back to the conversation he had with his daughter earlier that day.
"I've um," Adam cleared his throat. "been thinking about that…"
Lawrence looked at him curiously.
"Well I mean, it's not the best place, but I was thinking that I could clear out my old red room…I guess she could stay there, if she ever wanted to spend the night or something." He held his camera up to his line of sight and inspected the view.
"Adam, I couldn't ask you to do that." Lawrence declined. "That's your work."
"Yeah, but this is my life." Adam countered. "And anyway, you didn't ask—I offered." He smirked and turned a little to look at him. "Besides…I'll be using company equipment at Ryka. They've got everything. I won't need to do the work here. And I've got this," he held up his new camera, "for emergency uses. It's no problem, really." He insisted.
"…I don't know, I mean…"
"Then it's settled." Adam decided. "Let me take a picture."
"Of what?" Lawrence looked down, wondering how Adam got the camera working so quick.
"Us." Adam said lightly. He slipped an arm around Lawrence's middle and pushed him so that they were both lying back on the bed.
Lawrence pulled him over and started kissing him almost by instinct of feeling his back hit a bed. Adam laughed and held the camera out above them.
"Smile, dude." He warned.
Lawrence looked up at the camera with a somewhat annoyed but good-natured expression, his arms still playing about Adam's body as he took the picture. "How's that for a portfolio photo?" he jested.
Adam gave him a funny look. "With your hand on my crotch, yeah, I'm sure they'd love that."
"Accident, I swear." Lawrence lied, for his hand hadn't moved from said area. "So put the camera down already."
Adam immediately complied with that familiar aggressive purr, shutting off the device and setting it on the bedside table as his body began to react towards the hand on his groin. "Hey, I'm beginning to resent your bedside manner."
"Ohhh, come on, that was the best one you had?" Lawrence teased and clenched his fingers a little.
Adam snorted and watched his legs spread of their own accord. "It's hard to think, your hand is on my brain."
Lawrence laughed aloud and curled the fingers of his other hand into Adam's hair, looking at him intently face to face.
Adam's smile slowly faded and he thought for a while on the look Lawrence was giving him. Blue eyes…Adam reminded himself dimly from somewhere in the back of his mind. He reached up a hand of his own to stroke the hair away from Lawrence's eyes, close enough that he placed a small peck on his lips and dared him to follow it. "Uh…love you?" He whispered awkwardly.
Lawrence returned another small kiss and silently uttered something back in his ear, at which Adam grinned and shivered with a chuckle.
"No. No, for fuck's sake, seriously Lawrence, we're leaving the camera out