For HowdyRockerBaby who is so amazingly cool by the way. Give her cookies.

Ah, man, I had sooo much fun with this one. You just have no idea dear. (As can be seen by how looong it is. Yeesh.) But hopefully this is relatively close to what you had in mind. I feel like I did it wrong. I hope I didn't though. I hope you like it. Merry late Christmas.

also, I have not spell checked this at all. Just pretend you don't notice the typos. :P

Also to the last two of you: I am so sorry. I've just been really angsty lately so the fluff was just a bit harder yah know? But with all of the sadness out of the way I can concentrate on you two's. So look out for them!


It had been raining for a week solid. Not the drippy, fat, slow kind but the freezing cold, harsh kind that fell in stinging sheets and sometimes changed direction when you least expect it so you could never turn your head in time before it burned your eyes.

The apartment Dylan shared with Marco was on the ground floor and unfortunately the land the building was built upon was not very high up. Half of their kitchen and and all of their laundry room became flooded after only one day of the incessant rain. Water up to your ankles covered the ugly green tile and the reflections from the water bouced off the walls when it rippled. Not that they went in their often anyway.

They of course now had to do their laundry three blocks away and pay money for it now. Instead of cooking like they usually did they were now regulated to tasteless take out and boxes of chines food lined their refridgerator like a small army. It was sad.

Suffice to say, life at the moment wasn't going so well.

Dylan sighed and gently pushed his foot down on the break, staring in an almost trancelike state at the red sheen the water droplets made when the street light fell on them. Like a wall of red marble... translucent and beautiful. Of course in a few moments time the sheen would turn green, but by then his trance would break anyway and he wouldn't be able to appreciate it properly. The tiny memory of the beauty would fall alway and slip through his fingers like water.

Marco coughed, bringing Dylan's attention over to him in the passenger seat and away from the windshield. Marco had caught a cold unsurprisingly considering the weather. He had always been susceptible to illness and now was no different. Nursing him back to health had been an arduous task, made all the more difficult due to the flooded rooms, lack of good food, lack of sleep, and hockey practice to top it all off.

Suffice to say, they were cranky. All the time. And that didn't help matters at all.

The sheen of droplets turned green and Dylan sighed, throwing out a mental goodbye to his musings as he accelerated. Marco coughed again, louder, and sniffed pathetically. Dylan looked over to him in sympathy and petted his sweat damp hair affectionately. Hopefully the rain would stop soon. Hopefully they could clean out their laundry room and kitchen soon. Hopefully Marco could get better soon.

So many soons. They were like pipe dreams. Long, too close for comfort, and the light at the end was bright but very small.

Minutes ticked by in comfortable silence. They passed by the movie theatre and the grocerie store and every once in awhile the quiet would break almost shatteringly by another cough from the younger man, but that was okay, because the moment would return again in a second's time.

Dylan felt his eyes drooping, the lull of the car's motor and the hiss of the water on the tires slowly pulling him into an almost too calm haze. The cheap and annoying ring of a cell phone exploded in the car however and Dylan jerked to attention in surprise. Looking over, he found Marco huddled against the door frame fast asleep, completely ignorant of the loud noises coming from his jacket pocket.

Reaching over concerned, Dylan felt of Marco's temperature for the tenth time that day, worried just how bad this illness really was. Marco never slept through loud sounds and the horrid crack in his throat when he breathed didn't sound good. He'd have to call the doctor tomorrow morning. He didn't think he could go another week watching him suffer like that, no matter how much the dark boy insisted he didn't need medical help.

Quickly pulling into the laundromat parking lot Dylan reached over and as gently as possible moved Marco's arms and took the cell phone from his pocket.


"Ah, Deelan," came the wheezing voice of Marco's father on the other end. Dylan smiled.

"Hello Mr. del Rossi. How can I help you?" He hadn't spoken to Marco's parents since he came out to them, and according to Marco, their reaction had been wonderful. He was rather anxious to talk to them.

"I was just calling to ask how Marco's date went. You know with that girl...what's her name. Dela? The one he told us about in November."

Mr. del Rossi's voice seemed to fade out of existence momentarily and Dylan thought back to the red sheen on his windshield earlier. He saw red. That was when Marco supposedly "came out" to his parents. In November. Gritting his teeth tightly he glanced over at the sleeping form, still breathing wetly and sniffling every once in awhile.

"I'm sure it went fine sir. Um, he's asleep at the moment but I'll tell him you called. I'm sure he'd give you the details," he grit out, hurriedly muttering goodbyes and promises before hanging up. Dylan sat in stunned silence for several minutes before reaching up and cutting off the ignition, staring over at his boyfriend of three years with a scowl.

Marco had never really come out to his parents. He had lied to him. Flat out lied through his teeth, telling him he had come out a month ago when in actuality he just fueled his father's overactive imagination with the story of this girl.

He thought Marco loved him.

Jerkily, Dylan undid his seatbelt and went about getting the two baskets of clothes out of the trunk and carrying them inside. Toying with the change machine in the corner he forced himself to calm down. It never helped to be mad of course, so once he had a handful of corners he was cool enough to face Marco.

Walking back out in the neverending rain Dylan slid back into the driver's seat and poked Marco in the arm until his eyes fluttered open blearily and looked around as if he didn't know where he was.

"Come on. We need to get the clothes done and then we'll just order pizza at home." Without another word Dylan turned and stomped back off towards the building leaving a dazed and confused Marco alone in the car, listening to the continuous ping ping ping of the open door and the rain outside.

With much staggering and coughing that nearly knocked him over Marco finally managed to get inside and Dylan looked up from a very old magazine upon his entrance, getting up and smiling at him. Marco smiled back as best he could fighting the urge to run off and throw up. He knew something was off and it wasn't the cold sitting like a rock in his stomach. It was the fake smile on Dylan's lips.

The blonde man hefted him up easily, setting him atop one of the unused washing machines and staring him down with almost brutal force. Marco couldn't remember ever being this uncomfortable in his life. He knew something bad was about to happen, like an itch underneathe his skin, but he'd be damned if he knew how to prevent it.

"So, you got a call from your dad in the car." Marco felt his heart stop momentarily, spluttering and tripping to right itself again.

" did?" Dylan's smile got thinner and Marco wanted to bury himself under a rock. Dylan knew.

"Look...Dylan,'ve got to understand. I....I tried. But then he was looking at me and pointing to a picture of his wedding and...oh god. Dylan please don't get mad at me. I just couldn't..."

In the distance Dylan vaguely realized the song had changed to something a little different as he continued to stare down his boyfriend. Oh, he was trying to understand. He was trying very hard...but he just couldn't seem to find any remorse in this situation at all. Marco had started crying now, hacking and coughing like he was going to lose a lung, all while the song kept playing in the background.

Well I can't sleep and I'm not in love.

And I can't speak without messing up.

Marco looked up with his heartbreaking face and for a moment Dylan was totally unaffected. How dare Marco lie to him like that? After all they had done together, after all they were to each other. But just as his anger began to melt away Marco jumped up from his position on the machine and ran out through the fogged glass doors. Dylan watched him go, still angry enough to not run fter him, but he could feel the great monster of guilt crawling under his skin as a fork of lightning flashed outside and the rain seemed to get heavier.

Dylan finished the clothes two hours later, driving home and not even seeing the stoplights change in the water droplets. Not ever hearing the car's engine drone or the splashing water. Just lost in a cloud of anger, and regret and concern like he had never felt before.

Letting himself in after the drive he put all of the clothes in the closet and drawers, sniffing a couple of Marco's sweaters sadly. He had found the house empty and by now his anger had abated completely and all he felt was shame eating him alive.

Upset and off-balance Dylan grabbed the bottle of scotch from the kitchen cabinet and lay on the couch in despair, ready to wait up for Marco until dawn and get completely sloshed until he couldn't see anymore in the meantime. An hour ticked by in guilty silence, the clock on the mantlepiece ticking every second, just to remind him how many times he had breathed without Marco in the same room. Reminding him, that at this time he usually was in bed wrapped around the love of his life instead of pissed and mad at himself.

At two in the morning, Alexander, their cat wandered into the den to find Dylan completely gone, seeing double and talking to himself, wondering when Marco would come home so he could apologize. Alexander pounced up from the floor and curled up in his owner's lap, mewling for attention.

"Oh, hey Alex. Do you hate me too?" The cat only stared up at him with it's large lamp like eyes and mewled. Dylan shrugged. "I would be. I was such an ass. You'd think I would have learned my lesson three years ago in high school. I almost lost him then and now I'm...I might have lost him again." Dylan cut himself off feeling a knot forming in his throat. Surely he wasn't crying. Not yet.

Out of the silence a great coughing fit erupted, muted behind the walls and so faint it was almost unheard. Breathing deeply and trying to keep his tears in check Dylan stood up instantly, dumping the cat to the floor and very unsteadily, almost falling over the whole way, he struggled to follow the sound.

It was from the laundry room.

Taking one huge deep breath Dylan stepped forward and turned the doorknob, almost fainting in relief at what he saw. Sitting on top of their dryer, soaking wet and shivering even after all these hours, was Marco. Flashes of light bounced up from the water in their swirling patterns across his tearstained face and moonlight from the small skylight filtered in through the grungy uncleaned glass.

Marco had never looked so beautifuly in his life.

With a sob Dylan stumbled forward, kicking the water on the floor all over place and not even noticing the cold as the water seeped into his shoes and soaked his socks. Coming to a halt two feet away from Marco Dylan simply stopped and looked at him, wanting to touch him so badly, but knowing now wasn't the time.

After what felt like an eternity of silence, Marco looked up from his hands and caught Dylan's eyes, still more tears leaking out and falling down his face. "I- I told him." Face crumpling Marco turned and stared at the water, unable to keep the gaze with his boyfriend, his voice stuttering.

"He...he said I was d-disgusting. S-slammed the door in the my f-face." Dylan felt his heart break, still unable to move, simply stunned that his father could be so cruel. Shaking like a leaf, Marco looked up from the water and dark brown met blue. Everything disappeared. The ankle deep water, the flooded kitchen, the disgusting cold. Only they remained.

"But, I-I couldn't handle the f-fact that you might not l-love m-much as I l-love you."

And Dylan only remembered the feeling of holding Marco, and kissing Marco in the middle of the cold, water covered floor. Of their clothes getting more soaked than they already had been. Of being freezing and yet burning up at the same time. Rolling, and kissing. Raindrops mixing with tears. And, most importantly....never, ever letting go.

Dylan smiled when he woke up in the five inch deep water the next morning, seeing the sunshine filtering into the room for the first time in a week. He got up, made the coffee, and called the doctor. He moved Marco to the bedroom after taking his wet clothes off and by the time he went back to the den, his coffee was ready and he turned the tv on, a familiar song meeting his hears.

Well I can't sleep and I'm not in love.

And I can't speak without messing up

Dylan still couldn't sleep. And he definitely couldn't speak without saying the wrong thing. But the one thing that should never change...was still exactly the same.

He was in love.