After assuring his Mother that everything was fine—stealing a small kiss from her and returning another into Damien's hair— Marco rushed out the front door. It had taken him a bit longer to get to the Michalchuk house on account of what felt like the longest ten minutes of his life spent searching for his blasted cell phone.
Too frustrated to search any longer, he arrived to his destination out of breath and worried sick for the condition of his best friend. Thrusting himself across the threshold, the college student barreled headfirst into something extremely solid and…achingly familiar. Before he could fall onto the Welcome Home mat, a pair of receiving muscular arms caught him around the middle to pull him upright and steady him on his feet. Marco stared bewildered at the bright red wool sweater knit just inches from his face. His brown eyes traveled upwards slowly to meet a set of blue eyes torn between confusion and shock staring right back at him. The mouth above him worked uselessly as soft distressing grunts passed recognizable and very pale lips.
"…This is a little awkward," Marco murmured, unable to move his hands gripping into the fabric of Dylan's sweater sleeves. Unable to move the weight of his chest from against the older man's.
The blond closed his mouth.
"Where is Ellie?"
Glad to break the suffocating tension attaching to the space around them— whatever type it was— Dylan gestured with a jerk of his chin, not breaking eye contact from grave dark brown.
"Upstairs. Paige is with her."
The younger blinked, speaking very slowly as if Dylan were a toddler, "I need to go to her. You should probably let me go now."
Catching the cue, the muscular arms providing favorable heat to cold, lonely form withdrew to Dylan's sides. Marco shook away any weird feelings of isolation he got from not having the other boy half embrace him with a couple swings of his head, racing up the nearby staircase. He'd never get use to this.
Paige told him, holding her pink-glittered bedroom door closed behind her as the sounds of heavy girlish sobbing leaked underneath the crack, that she wasn't hungry. So a untouched macaroni-and-cheese dinner grew colder by the hour as he stirred him own spoonful thoughtlessly in a circle.
Eleven at night.
The noise upstairs calmed eventually. Around one, when television couldn't keep his attention any longer, the hockey player went for the kitchen to reach for a beer in the fridge.
Appearing from thin air to wander into the dining room and slumping into an empty chair, a tired Marco buried half of his face into his right hand, closing his dark eyes. Reopening his weary eyes as the first came over to hold out an unopened can of beer to him— almost as a peace offering— "You look like you need one."
Marco murmured his thanks (though it was too low to distinguish) and took a small sip of the foam before closing his eyes again, speaking up, "I'm going to kill Sean."
The blond took this as an excuse to pull up another chair to join him, venturing further into this potential conversation, "That bad, huh?"
"He broke her heart. Ellie found him with his ex— that Emma girl from school. This is not fair at all, she didn't do anything to him to deserve this."
Marco shifted his face into his arms, no longer in the mood to talk.
Sensing this unceremoniously unpleasant territory mounting, Dylan cleared his contracting throat and went to get another can. As he rummaged around, grasping another cold one from the vegetable chiller and tapping the pull-tab with his index fingernail, as he got a chance to flip it inward— it spilled gloriously golden-brown onto the tops of his newly bought Nikes.
Tasting the very same alcohol on the darker boy's impulsive lips, ones both warm and wet cushioning around his mouth as an painfully forward tongue slipped between his still stunned by the sudden motion. Dylan numbly felt his back bump against one of the counters. He heard Marco moan once into him as if in hurting and summoned the nerve somewhere in the inviting haze to release the other boy's trap he had strongly on his left wrist by easing his larger fingers between the Italian boy's. Marco's other hand however remained pressed against the other male's shirt, middle finger resting in a tangle of striped material. The blond responded this time to Marco's dancing tongue, biting down a little and threading his free hand through very soft black locks.
Unprepared for the pressure, of Dylan's gentle hand or persistent teeth was uncertain, the dark-haired came back to his senses. Gasping, Marco shoved him back and stumbled backwards against the opposite countertop, undecided in the motion crawling up over it or not to escape. Dylan would not let this become his fault. He frowned, fighting to catch his breath.
"What was that just now? Didn't you say you hated me?"
Chest rising and falling violently, the younger looked down at the kitchen blue tiles.
"I had… to know…"
"Know—what! Just make up your fucking mind already and stop teasing me!"
Marco heaved a tight cry, brown eyes blazing with masked rage and emotion, "You're not the only one confused about this! I'm suppose to hate you but. . .that was. . ." He faltered, wiping his oddly dry mouth with the tips of his fingers and whispering uncertainly, ". . .I don't know what that was."
Dylan felt a tightness begin to build in his body, something wishing to explode— he wanted to punch him for the violation, he wanted forcibly drag him from the house, he wanted cleanse himself from this memory, he wanted— "When you figure it out, don't bother telling me because I'm done."
The older threatened, coming forward and grabbing Marco by the front of his light blue polo shirt, "I'm sick of you being able to pull me on a string, Marco. Of having your face appear in every stranger who passes me and of feeling like this all of this was my fault. I hate not being able to remove the taste of you from my mouth. I hate this game we're playing. You are going to make up your mind."
He licked his lips inattentively, now only inches from the other boy. "And you are not running away from me this time."
Dark brown enlarged with fear.
At that same moment, his little sister came into the hallway. Spotting them, she charged in screeching and knocked Dylan away, "WHAT THE HELL, DYLAN! GET YOUR HANDS OFF HIM- NOW!" Pulling a dazed Marco into her arms and facing him away from her brother, Paige snarled, "I swear to God, if you've done anything to him—"
"I'm sorry," The blond man interrupted, running a hand through his curls anxiously and shaken, "Whatever I've done to you, Marco. What I did to make you hate me like this. I'm just sorry. There's no point anymore in staying mad. There's been no point for a long time now. You had to have realized this by now."
The very same dark brown eyes just about pushed against Paige's trembling shoulder grew heavy, a small tear working its way into his eyelashes.
"I don't care who was suppose to apologize first. If it will end this fight we're having, I will apologize until my face turns blue —"
"Dylan, that's enough." Both Michalchuk siblings turned around to glance at the speaker in surprise. Ellie Nash, pink-eyed and looking a mess with her snarled red hair, looked back into the man's fierce blue eyes solemnly and fatigued. "I think you got your argument across. Let him be for tonight."
But. . .how can I. . .?
By the light of the living room nightlight, he stood over the male house-guest sleeping deeply, touching the back of his cool fingers to his tanned cheek. Leaning into the caress for a second, Marco parted his lips and sighed quietly, making the blond smile broodingly.
When. . .he won't let go. . .?
"So, our plan is not going to work…is it?"
"Not at this point."
"…Ellie, do you think Marco still cares about my brother?"
"He's all he ever talks about. If anything…Marco is never going to forget Dylan."
As he slowly drifted back into conscious feeling of the sofa beneath him, Marco blinked slowly at a small note taped to the front of his shirt. Yawning slightly, he sat up and unfolded the notebook paper.
He had a feeling he knew that chicken scratch from somewhere.
Despite what his gut was telling him, the spiky-haired man ruffled the hairs on the back of his neck, trodding for the garage door near the basement. Morning sunshine spilled vividly from the open garage door where Paige's older brother sat fixing on a pair of plastic rollerblades. Sensing the other male's presence, Dylan held up another pair, smirking. "These are yours."
"Since when was it okay to be active so early in the morning?" Marco grumbled.
"It's only ten," the blond informed him and set down the black skates, moving down the driveway without taking his blue eyes off of the other. "I'm curious to know if you've gotten any better."
Sighing, Marco kneeled down to slip them on, somewhat surprised that they still fit. Though a bit snug at the toes. Following the first down the blacktop and past a neighbors front yard albeit wobbling, Marco shouted behind him, "All we are missing is a surprise dinner party hosted by your parents!"
Dylan chuckled, yelling over his shoulder and grinning, "Don't worry, they are long gone in Jamaica." Suddenly, he skid to a stop almost causing the other man to fall over in attempt not to hit him and frowned when the older asked softly, "Is this okay?"
Damn loaded questions. Marco rubbed the sleeves of his sweater anxiously. "Yeah. What you said last night. It was true."
"But is this, us, over?"
"It has been a long time."
That hurt. Dylan didn't understand why he was smiling so cheekily.
"But I've never been against second chances when they are worth it."
Skating confidently past him, stomach feeling considerably lighter, Marco nudged him.
"Last one down the street has to eat the molding egg salad in your living room."
Bright blue eyes flashed eagerly. Dylan said, "You're on."
Two females on the lawn in brightly colored and cartoon-printed pajamas watched from a good view as they raced, the blond figure snatching the smaller into his arms and laughing as he fought courageously to escape his burly, impatient arms.
"Thank you for the clothes."
Paige eyed her redhead friend (unexpectedly feeling this way) sympathetically, still not reassured by the dark circles under her normally lively hazel green eyes. "There was no way you were leaving this house, love. Marco would have hung me by my neck," she added, "What are you going to do about Sean?"
"It's not about him, it's about me." Ellie smiled gently. "Go on with my life. What else? I'm sure we'll have a nice long talk about everything eventually, it may include a couple well-deserved punches."
The blonde girl commented shrewdly, raking an intense and favorable stare over her, "Well, he's a loser for sure. I wouldn't think about anyone else if I had you in my manicured clutches." Tutting sadly, she walked back for the house leaving the other girl speechless. Ellie opened her mouth astonished, tilting her head to the side as if thoughtful before spinning around and chasing after her.
Well. It's over. Not exactly the ending I was working on originally (UNEXPECTED YURI! what have I been smoking?) but I think it suffices (because I was planning a little PaigeEllie moment anyway). Everyone got what they wanted in the end. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe. Hey, since I put them back together, I want my lollypops back Sonomi-chan. Yeah. I remembered. XP
I want to thank everyone individually who supported me through both stories of Marco and Dylan's struggles. Especially the reviews of LaC: anjel919, Kaitlinbell, Blood Angel, smoothNcreamy, ReRe04, blahblahblah9999, BlueBabyBre, Camellia, degrassicutie1, Chris, Lillei, chels, Dark Spell, PrettyPetalz65, drew's baby, citygal509, MirrorKisses, raven4darkness, Braids21, Christina, Read300300, Azure K Mello, tntiggris, heather, WiccanWonder, hphotshot, The Sagittarius Sage, TheseBrokenWings, Lulu, RandomAvocados, babygrl258, pkw, buffyboy363, TruFate, Roses of the Storm, WhyMe220, key of darkness, itsasledgehammer, Yamatashi, shirilyle, luvluv,and DegrassiMarcoLuv. You made it all worth it. I hope you'll be able to find this message since it's been so long. I LUB YOU.
Til we met again beautiful,