I'm here for you
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Hollyoaks except Counsellor Mary Wills who's mine.
Craig looked at the photo of him and John Paul, 'I can't do it I'm sorry!' his words still haunted him. He knew that he loved John Paul more then anything or anyone else in the whole world, How had it gone so wrong? He thought back to their goodbye, he had been as confident as ever that it was John Paul that he wanted to be with. But then reality had kicked in and he began to fear the possible bullying and harassment that they could endure, and this could get worse as they got older, he had heard of stories where gays had been violently beaten up and ostracized. He just couldn't do that to himself or John Paul, he admired John Paul's 'well that's the way I am!' attitude and wished that he could be like that. It was probably what attracted him in the first place. Craig could never really understand what John Paul saw in him, especially after the way that he had treated him two years before. Craig thought back to when they first met, he'd found John Paul in a classroom all on his own after he had defended him to Sonny Valentine. He had wondered why and John Paul just shrugged and replied that it was the right thing to do. So had begun a strong friendship. Never had Craig imagined that it would turn into something more. He remembered how making Sarah his girlfriend had been his one ambition and they did get on, he loved her well enough, their relationship was just too controversial. Whenever he was stressed, Sarah always seemed to aggravate it, by all talk and nothing done, he knew that she always meant well. With John Paul it was different, he was more constructive, always backing him up and coming up with ideas and suggestions on how to tackle the problem. Then, four years ago, he had revealed that he was in love with him. Craig had been unable to take this in, he had not known that John Paul was gay, let alone that it was him he was in love with. Craig had felt sorry for him as he was certain that he himself was heterosexual. Despite this, John Paul had never given up on him, Craig suppose that he had felt safe be cause he had always taken it for granted that John Paul would never give up. Then John Paul had met Spike, a DJ that had been at his sister, Jacqui's wedding, from then on John Paul lavished attention and affection on his new boyfriend and the torture and jealousy that Craig had endured was more then he could stand. Like anything in life, Craig needed motivation to have the courage to do what he really wanted. He couldn't abide the way that everyone thought Spike was wonderful and how John Paul's attention always seemed to be directed to him. Craig soon realised that he could loose John Paul forever unless he acted quickly, and so, on 15th May, gathering up all his courage he had set off to John-Paul's to declare his love, he hadn't expected a warm reception and John Paul's hospitality at the time was more then he deserved, he had then declared his love, and was more then relieved to hear that John Paul didn't love Spike as much as he loved Craig. Then, acting on his feelings, he had declared his love and kissed him emotionally which had led to them sleeping together. Never would Craig forget that feeling of love and warmth and he'd wanted more of it. Though first time he was shocked, it had been, literally, as if he had stepped into another world. And, he didn't know how to handle it, feeling annoyed with himself for getting into that situation, he had dressed, snapped at John Paul and left.
Then he would continue to torture himself by pushing him away, yet having strong pangs of jealousy whenever he saw him and Spike together when he knew that John Paul should be with him. Craig would kick himself every time he felt like this then get annoyed and push John Paul away whenever John Paul tried to get Craig to act on his feelings. A short while ago, Craig was sure he'd had it sussed, he could be with both, thinking back, he could hardly blame John Paul for reacting as he did. He still cringed when he thought of his cold, heartless reply: 'Well, I'm sorry if you thought there was something more.' Yet John Paul still came back, then in June he saw the light. Things with Sarah were alright but he yearned for the need to be able to talk to someone about absolutely anything, to someone as if they were a brother. And, when he went round to see John Paul, his love had come flooding back stronger then ever before. They slept together again for the third time, and, once again, it was like fitting pieces into a puzzle. Only this time he didn't freak out or let him know he was using him, it was real love, instead, when he woke up, he kissed him tenderly, enjoying the look of happiness on John Paul's face. Waking up the following morning only to find himself alone had brought tears to his eyes, he cursed himself for being a coward. Craig had reached the door by now, he looked at the plate, Counsellor Mary Wills it said, he hesitated then knocked, even though he thought it was a good idea that the university should have someone available to talk to. 'Come in!' said the cheerful voice, Craig opened the door, 'Ah Craig! Isn't it? What a surprise! How are you getting on here?' Craig smiled, 'Very well thanks, did well in my first coursework!' 'Excellent!' Counsellor Wills smiled, 'But I suspect that you're not here to talk about work!' Craig shook his head, 'no.' Counsellor Wills suddenly looked concerned, 'Is something troubling you Craig?' Craig hesitated, Counsellor Wills smiled reassuringly, 'It's alright, anything you say will be said in the strictest confidence.' Craig took a deep breath and Couns. Wills closed the door and sat down in front of him. 'Ok' began Craig, 'Ms Wills not long ago, I discovered that I was bisexual, I fell in love with my best friend.' 'I see!' Said Ms Wills, 'does he love you?' Craig laughed at this, 'he'd been pursuing me for four years! Anyway, after rejecting him a few times, I finally discovered that I loved him as well and we started an affair.' Craig shook his head ' I don't see how anyone couldn't love him, he's really sweet , he always does his best to support the ones he cares about. I couldn't help falling in love with him despite the fact that I had a girlfriend.' Counsellor Wills laughed, 'I see! A bit of running back and forth was there? You'd certainly started early!' Craig shrugged sheepishly, 'I've always been a one for fighting my emotions but this one was too strong.' 'As they very often are!' Replied Counsellor Wills smiling, Craig swallowed, to try and prevent the tears from coming, 'I had intended to bring John Paul with me but, I began to think of the repercussions and I left him!' Counsellor Wills went very serious, 'Homophobic bullying you mean?' Craig nodded, 'I-I just couldn't handle the thought and I couldn't do that to him.' Wills nodded, 'well, we get that in all walks of life, sometimes we have to make sacrifices and face consequences for something that we really love and think is worth saving. Craig, if you love this person more than anyone else then you shouldn't let things like bullying get in the way, yes it's hard to endure, but it's life's way of testing us to see if we really care about the thing that's causing all this hassle, the important thing is to think about what this relationship means to you, and, if it means as much as you say it does, then don't let it get away, otherwise you're going to regret it for the rest of your life.'
Craig stood waiting for the train, that talk with the counsellor had done him the world of good, for ages he'd wanted to talk to someone about this but he couldn't, being able to do this had given him fresh hope and he'd never felt stronger, he boarded the train, the whistle blew and it started off for Chester, he thought about all the good times they had spent, right up to the point of them parting. And all that time he'd been loyal to the core. Craig remembered the tears in John paul's eyes as the train had left and Craig's own tears began to well up. It was going to be different this time, THIS time when he returned to Ireland, John Paul would be by his side. He reached Chester late afternoon, he got off the train and immediately, made a bee-line for John Paul's. He looked around, same old place, he looked at the Dog, He bet Darren was doing the usual banter. He reached John Paul's and knocked at the door, 'Coming!' Said a voice, he knew to be Myra's, 'CRAIG?!! What are you doing here?' 'I've come to see John Paul.' Myra gave him a sad smile, 'That's lucky, his been very ill, missed the first few days of university.' 'Sick? What's wrong with him?' 'The Doctor just said extreme depression, whatever that means, but then again John Paul doesn't talk to me much nowadays, at first I thought it was a fever, he started to burn, then I thought it was a bug as he was sick, just shows you, the Doctor said there are so many reactions to depression.' Craig could feel his right now, the tears burned in his eyes, 'C-can I see him?' Myra nodded, 'Of course! He'll be glad to see you! He needs cheering up.' Myra called up 'John Paul! You have a surprise visitor!' Craig felt his heart drop like a stone, had he done this to him? He went into John Paul's room, same as always, he rushed to his side, He looked at John Paul, his John Paul, just lying there perspiration dripped from his forehead. Craig left and came back with a freezing cold flannel and put it on his forehead, 'Thank you…. Whoever you are.' mumbled John Paul, Without hesitation Craig bent down and kissed him tenderly, John Paul slowly opened his eyes, he stared at him for a while, 'then tears came into his eyes, 'C-Craig?' Craig's own tears started to fall, 'Oh John Paul, I-I-I'm so sorry!' And he bent down to kiss him lovingly and passionately. John Paul responded, then they parted, 'C-Craig, what are you doing her? I thought you were in Ireland.' 'I had to see you again, I wanted to say how sorry I am, I love you so, so much! I can't believe I allowed myself to do this to you!' John paul shook his head, 'Not your fault, if you can't handle it, I understand the fear, it is hard, we can't all cope with it.' Craig just gathered him up in his arms and hug him tightly crying softly, 'I'm not letting you go again' he whispered. John paul snuggled in his arms, 'It's OK, you were scared.' 'That's no excuse, it was crueller to raise your hopes and then just drop you like I did all because I'm a coward.' John paul looked at him, 'it's not like riding a bike, you can't just over come the fear in a session of lessons.' Craig's tears began to fall harder and he hugged him closer and tighter. 'One thing's for sure, you're coming back with me.' he replied kissing him affectionately. John Paul grinned, 'Which means that you put me on a train to Scotland while you take another to Ireland?' Craig laughed through his tears and they kissed lovingly and passionately.
'All ready then?' 'Yep! Would take time to unpack all this anyway! ' John Paul joked, Craig put an arm around him, 'I love you' he whispered, John paul grinned, 'Me too!' They kissed. 'You will phone won't you, John Paul, let me know you got there safely.' 'Yes Mum.' Myra looked at the two boys, 'well, good luck then!' She turned to Craig and smiled ' I knew you'd never really desert him.' Craig smiled, 'never in a million years.' 'How's that then Mum?' John Paul asked, Myra laughed, 'Mother's initiative!' She kissed her son, 'don't forget to keep in touch.' John Paul smiled, I'll see you during the holidays,. 'You'd better!' They said their goodbyes and went to the train station, while waiting for the train, John Paul suddenly turned to Craig, 'Craig?' 'Yes?' 'Could you push me out at a different spot this time? The train station starts to get a bit boring even though it's only the first time!' Craig playfully slapped him just as the train came into view, they boarded and the whistle blew and the train slowly started to move, Craig put an arm around him, 'A new life, a new start' And, taking John Paul's hand in his, he kissed him affectionately and lovingly as the train left the station to take them to their new life.