Out of the darkness

Sometimes, Josh wondered if he even had a spine. He so much wanted to be strong. But lately...

Why hadn't Felicity wanted him? What was missing? There were always sleepless nights over that one. Then there was the whole Hannah fiasco with the eating disorder that he still blamed on himself even when again and again they(His Mom & Rhys) told him it wasn't.

There had just been too much of late. And he'd lost weight. Nothing could take this heaviness off his shoulders. What was wrong with him?

He had a talk with Newt in the boys restroom about the matter. Newt thought perhaps he was becoming a vampire. Honestly, Josh felt as if his blood now quivered through him. He wasn't sure how much longer he could go on. He certainly didn't want to be any-one's problem.

Of course, in all of Newt's counseling..he had no real solution.

A. get over Amy.
B. admit it Josh, Felicity was just a figment of your imagination.
C.live like you mean it.

Josh didn't like any of this, but then he didn't have faith in Newt, either. For all he knew Newt hated him like everyone else.

"Really, Josh...just relax." It was in the restroom that Newt handed him over a potion.

"You're sure its nothing addictive?" Josh was worried.

"No more than what a kitchen witch could conjure up." Newt slightly smiled. "Feel better, stop making yourself an old soul. I sense you need to liberate yourself."

"Liberate myself?" Josh wasn't sure if he understood.

"First you must elevate." Newt pushed the little brown bottle toward Josh's lips. "Then you must liberate." He shrugged at how simple it really was.

"Right now?" Josh squinted, wondering if the answers to all his problems were in the little brown bottle.

"Why not? Just get on with it!" Newt snapped. "Haven't got all day."

So he drank it.

Nothing happened. Nothing really changed. He walked the halls of school like always. He was practically invisible as it was. Maybe he was invisible. Invisible. Yeap, he thought it might be true. No one looked at him. Of course, he didn't make a scene, either. Maybe he should. But he didn't have the effort in him to do so.

After school he thought he might pay Newt a visit at the dog and tell him nothing worked. Nothing was going to help him now. Nothing. Naturally, Newt wasn't there. Frankie told him he was at the library. She said he'd been hanging around there a lot, lately.

Josh kept walking. He didn't feel like going to the library. He felt unusually tired. But then he was tired already. Pale too. Perhaps there was something to this vampire stuff, after all. The sun felt as if it was suddenly scalding him. Perhaps all he needed was a good confession. Maybe going to the church would be a better idea. Entirely. Perhaps Father Keiron should shed some light on this. But then what would he call Newt? Demon boy?

Suddenly, everything was becoming a blur to him. He felt suddenly cold in the brightness of a clear day. And then total darkness.

He awoke with a cold wash cloth on his head in bed at a room he'd never seen before.

"That was a warm wash cloth," John Paul said with a very sincere stare. "I found you in the shadow of the church. Seems you were on your way there. Perhaps."

"oh." Josh tried to lift his head up, but he was too dizzy.

"Stay still. Maybe a spot of tea would help." John Paul motioned for him not to move. "I'll be right up with a brew."

Josh felt miserable. He wasn't sure if he could explain.

"Have I been out long?" He asked when John Paul brought back the tea.

"An hour or two." John Paul set at the edge of the bed and watched him.

"I was really hoping I was invisible." Josh managed a sip of tea.

"What are you going on about?" John Paul almost laughed.

"Never mind, you wouldn't believe me anyway. Its just I might as well be these days."

"Don't get me started, mate. I know a thing or two about being invisible. Just I tend to be attracted to blokes that way." He grinned.

"Well, its not right." Josh wanted to stop being invisible.

"I see you Josh." John Paul leaned over then and brushed his fingers through Josh's hair. "Believe me, I do know you're here."

"What?"

"I don't like saying things like this. Its really not my place. But anyone could tell, eons ago. Bloke, you're gay." John Paul shrugged.

Josh blinked. "I'm not gay." There he said it. He'd believed it. Always. But why hadn't he ever really managed to do the thing with a female that Rhys kept pushing him to do?

1. he wasn't Rhys.
2. he didn't want to be Rhys.
3. he couldn't be Rhys

He couldn't be Rhys. There was the answer right there.

His throat was parched. He gulped down the tea.

"Right," John Paul nodded. "Keep telling yourself that, mate. But it doesn't go away." John Paul seriously looked him in the eye and took the tea from him and put it on the desk next to the bed. There was a silence. Josh stared back. He could barely catch his breath.

"Perhaps we could conduct a test." John Paul half smirked. "And if I'm wrong. Well, then it'll be a waste of my time. Right?"

Still Josh said nothing. He was quiet. The small truth was, no one had given him this much attention in months. He felt like a bud about to burst open.

John Paul touched his face with his fingertips then. Josh thought he might melt then and even more so when John Paul moved in to kiss him, delicately. Like a knot slowly coming untied, Josh felt himself unravel to the core.

Josh closed his eyes, sensed John Paul's hand coming from around his waist. Josh was practically in John Paul's lap now as John Paul kissed his neck and breathed into his ear that he wanted him. All of him.

Josh lulled back breathing in John Paul's sweet scent in his arm that rested under Josh's chin. Slowly, he felt this dark cloud lift from him. Finally, he might get some real sleep. But first he waited to find out everything John Paul had to offer.