Title: Salvation
Author: smithar
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Bollywood - Kal Ho Na Ho
Pairing: Rohit/Aman, Rohit/Naina. implied Naina/Aman.
Notes: Oh noes, slash! Actually, this is the first slash fic I've ever written. I'm not gonna lie, it was tough to get through. This fic has not been betaed yet, so please forgive any errors. Written for a toftfroggy on LJ as an X-Mas present...
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There was no good reason for Rohit to feel the way he did about Aman. He couldn't explain because it wasn't rational. There was something otherwordly about the whole matter, just like Aman himself, who had come from nowhere and landed in the middle of their lives to bring mischief and fun like a gandharva come down from heaven. Aman wasn't like anyone Rohit had ever met. He turned everything topsy turvy, made you think about everything you ever knew from a new and exciting perspective. He was bold and flamboyant, as Rohit knew well from each time Aman dragged him into one of those ambiguous and compromising positions without hesitation or shame. He was lively and idealistic, an eternal optimist who made Rohit laugh harder than he ever had in his life.

It was everything about Aman. The cheeky grin he wore when he got one of his brilliant ideas (that shock of perfect white teeth), his unwavering confidence, the way he carried himself when he walked (that careless swagger and innocent stroll), the sound of his voice in animated conversation (every inflection and ennunciation), his hair, his eyes, his lips.

And at this point things would go from desperate to worse, and Rohit would imagine what it would be like if he stopped Aman from making those silly, unserious, smoochy faces at him and pushed his friend against the wall and whispered in his ear instead.

This new development bewilders Rohit. It hadn't taken long for them to become good friends. Aman from the start had been cool and collected, the kind of guy Rohit aspired to be. His friend was witty and amusing and everything he wanted in a friend. And then one day his mind began to casually examine their friendship and everything changed in the blink of an eye when he realized it wasn't friendship at all. Not on Rohit's part, at least. He was no longer thinking about treating Aman to a ferry ride to Staten Island, but what it would be like to touch Aman's lips and let go of this sudden need for restraint, consequences be damned.

Rohit had to stop himself from thinking any further. Aman was married. And there was also the fact that Aman was a guy and that Rohit didn't like guys that way. The injustice of it all never hestitated in sending Rohit into both sullen jealousy and deep hopelessness.

---

Rohit was the kind of guy who wore his heart on his sleeve, who said what he meant and meant what he said. He was straight-forward, did what he liked just the way he wanted it. His intentions and desires were always clear. But despite all this, Rohit liked to think that there were still small pockets of discovery within himself, unknowns that his family and friends weren't aware of. He still had his secret pleasures, one of which he was indulging at the moment.

The Barnes & Noble at Union Square was Rohit's secret respite. He would go in and lose himself among the shelves of books, sometimes simply wandering and other times sitting down to read something that caught his attention. When he was there he could let his mind unwind and wander, forget about life and its endless complexities for a while. And hai ram, were things ever complex at the moment...

Aman had totally worn him out for the last three days with his orders and elaborate schemes. Caught up in the fervour of his friend's passion to get Rohit to win Naina's affection, he had been jumping through the most ridiculous and illogical hoops ever. Rohit had no idea where Aman was getting his plan from, and sometimes he questioned the plan's sanity. But there had been something about the way Aman had said che din, ladki in ("Sirf che din.") that won him over. And then there was also the secret part of him that accepted because he wanted to spend more time with Aman.

Rohit shook his head and concentrated on the shelves that lined the wall, hoping he would find something that struck his fancy. Something with adventure and chivalry, and a beautiful damsel in distress. Something as far away from here as possible, where he felt crazy and hungry and completely at a loss.

---

When Rohit had asked Aman why it would only take six days to win Naina, his friend had glibly replied that he didn't work on Sundays. Somewhere in the back of his mind Rohit remembered that in the Bible, God took 6 days to create the universe and rested on the 7th. Just like Aman.

Rohit was beginning to wonder if he had found his salvation.

---

When Rohit arrived on Aman's front door he had a feeling that the other man had been just about to leave. He also had a sneaking suspicion that Aman's destination would have been to Naina's house, which was nearly his second home. But as it turned out, Rohit intercepted him as Aman was putting on his shoes.

There wasn't any good reason for Rohit to be there. It was just the two of them; Aman's mother was out. They just sat around and talked. Aman was animated as usual, exuding that unearthly confidence and light that made everything he touched that much more priceless. Rohit smiled at each pearl of wisdom and grinned foolishly at every joke, playing the part of best friend so well.

He couldn't go on like this. But Rohit couldn't see any way to stop.

---

Naina was laughing, carefree and thrilled, as Rohit twirled her around the dance floor. The salsa lessons had paid off in the end, and here he was. Che din, ladki in. Her laughter was infectious and warmed his heart.

They had known each other for so long, only taking this final step via the machinations of someone with their best intentions at heart. Naina was a perfect counterpart. She and him had so much in common, and above all the things they had in common was the ultimate fact that they were both hopelessly in love with their best friend.

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