A/N: I know I promised that I'd update OtES, but this little plot bunny just kept eating away at my flesh until I wrote it. And, yes, I know that Dally wouldn't talk like this, but I wanted to make it somewhat romantic, damnit! Besides, I felt like writing something poetic-ish.
Disclaimer: I am not S.E. Hinton. I am merely taking her characters, mutilating them and taping them back together, before returning them. (Wanders off singing 'Diamond Dogs,' by David Bowie and proceeds to tape Tim back together while laughing manically.)
Every night, it's like we die together. When we climax together, my heart beats faster and faster and then it's like it beats itself out, because it feels like it stops, frozen in that one, achingly beautiful moment. I cling to him like a child, and then we shudder together, and collapse on the bed, a tangle of sweaty arms and sweaty legs and his damp forehead rests against my temple and we fall asleep, with me curled against him.
Most of the time I would wake up first, and when I do, I try not to move. He wakes up at the slightest shift in movement, so lie as still as I can. When he sleeps, he looks so soft and innocent and maybe I like him looking soft and innocent, so that's why I don't wake him. I rest my head against his chest, and I can hear his heart beat, loud and like a drum beat against my ear.
After a while, he opens his eyes. Normally, his eyes are cold and hard and bitter, like him, most of the time, but in the morning, they're sort of warm and nice, and he smiles and kisses me. Sometimes we have sex again in the morning, but we do it quick and quietly, because there was no telling when his siblings would be up. Most of the time, we don't, though.
Then he's up, going about business, taking a shower and getting dressed, getting ready for the day. There's always another fight, another organized rumble, another stupid Soc or broad. But today, I glare at myself in the mirror, grudgingly nursing a black eye, given to me by one of Tim's gang last night, after I did something; I forget what. Of course Tim told him off later, but that didn't heal the black eye.
He comes up behind me and I can see him reflected in the dirty bathroom mirror. He has a cigarette and the smoke curls around above his head. "You've got a shiner," he observes, and takes another drag. "Make ya look tough. Not that you need a shiner to prove that," he adds, quickly. He stands there for a moment and runs a hand through his hair.
I think of the rest of the gang as he runs his hands through his hair. Do they know about us? Do they see the quick, darting glances across the room? Do they imagine him? They'd never guess that he has a mole on his stomach, or that the hair on top is two shades darker than the hair below.
They can never know. Curly, Sodapop, Johnny, the other guys; none of them must ever know. It was part of The Agreement, back at the beginning, when we were both drunk and he kissed me.
"They'll never know," I told him, back at the beginning as we lay in the dark.
"Right. They can never find out. It's Our Secret." Then he pauses, and says, "and no love either."
I shook my head, even though he couldn't see it in the dark. "We can't afford love," but I said it in a way that, even then, I didn't believe it.
But I've fallen for him. I really have. I love the way his fingers feel clutching my hair at night. I love the way he grins at me, across a crowed room, and his teeth are so white, and my skin tingles at the mark they made the night before.
I love you, I want to tell him, as he hands me an icepack to put on my eye. I love you. I want to scream it from the rooftops, to dance with you onstage, to forget this stupid Agreement. I don't want it to be Our Secret anymore; I don't. I love you, I want to say.
But he's already put the icepack in my hand and moving for the door. His hair is only a few shades darker than his shirt, and it's shining in the sunlight that comes through the window. I have to do it now. It'll be easier if I do it soon.
"Tim?" I say. He stops and turns.
I breathe deeply.
Just say it.
Let's drop The Agreement.
I don't want it to be Our Secret.
I love you.
"Thanks," I say, and smile slightly, touching my eye.
He nods, with the vaguest hint of a grin. "Anytime."
Then he's gone.