A/N: Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you one of MadlyInLove's specialties: Angsty Adam/Lawrence one-shots! And by God, it's long… This one's a sequel to Comforting Adam, and it's a little song-fic-ish, but only a few paragraphs. Anyway, enjoy!
Disclaimer: James Wan and Leigh Whannell own Saw, and Hoobastank owns The Reason. I don't own Adam or Lawrence either, even though I take credit for using the first mentioned as my own little angst-bitch!
…The Other Is To Gain It
Lawrence doesn't have to hear Adam's apology to accept it. He never has.
Adam knows that, too. On some level, it's probably in his mind, the mind that's still ruined, bruised by nicotine, Jigsaw and bottled-up sorrow, but he can't accept it.
He knows that the way Lawrence smiles at him, the way he sweeps his hand over his cheek after tearing him out of his nightmares just can't be induced, not even by someone like him, by someone so kind and so loving, by someone you're mad at.
Lawrence loves him. Their love isn't clean and untainted, it's the result of something horrible, it's a phoenix that has crawled out of the ashes, half-dead and disordered, so ugly, so dirty and wrong in the eyes of others, that has grown, gone strong, tempered, beautiful. But Lawrence loves him no matter what he's like. What they're like.
So why is he standing out here?
Why does he stand out here and feels like a little boy that's broken his mom's pretty vase and has to say he's sorry, even though his guilty tears is more than enough as a proof of his remorse?
Why is he standing out here and looks up at his home? Why does he stand here and watches the light from the window of an apartment that now days actually feels like the first place that's ever been his home?
For a long time, that apartment was just a place he lived in, his apartment even though the walls seemed to close around him, even though it felt like he belonged to the apartment instead of the other way around. But now, Lawrence lives there, too, and Lawrence is his home.
Adam wipes some of the moist off his cheek away at this thought, and he doesn't know if it's tears or rain, but it doesn't really matter anyway.
Lawrence is the love of his life, his best friend, his home, his safety, his god. Lawrence is all he got, and the dark thing between them isn't really between the two. It's all inside of Adam, like a big, black ball in his chest that Lawrence doesn't care about but that still refuses to go away.
I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do…
He can't get a day of peace.
Not one damn day goes by without him wishing he'd never taken those pictures.
He tries to think it away. It's not like he's not happy, the past year has been the happiest one in his life. But he can't do it anymore. He just can't see Lawrence's smiling face above a bowl of cereals anymore, because the sight doesn't melt away that cold, black ball in his chest like it used to do.
It just makes one single thought gnaw in the back of his head: I don't deserve it, I hurt him, I tore his marriage apart, I don't deserve him…
So he's snapped.
He got up and left. Because even though Lawrence had been acting like himself, even though he's not even mad at him, it feels like he's put an ultimatum.
If Adam doesn't apologize now, he will lose him forever.
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away…
So now, Adam stands here.
The rain is pouring down, the thin t-shirt sticks to his skin, he's shivering, his teeth are clattering and the raindrops seems to penetrate his skin, burn their way into his muscles. His dark, wet bangs tickle his eyes.
He knows Lawrence is worrying. Why wouldn't he? Adam just untangled himself from his arms and left, and of course Lawrence is worried over that, because he's so kind, he loves Adam, he loves him so much…
The tears come back to the surface of Adam's eyes again, fresh and searing, mingling with the rain and fall down upon his t-shirt like tiny drops of truth.
He's so good, so fucking good, he loves me so much and I don't deserve him!
Adam wraps his arms around himself, sobs force themselves pass his hammering teeth, and he starts walking. On wobbling knees, squeezed by the jeans that have shrunken by the rainfall, he walks up to the street door that's just a few feet away, and still, for some reason, he feels like he'll never make it through it.
Because if he walks through that door, he has to apologize. It's an ultimatum, but it's not Lawrence who's put it.
He has to apologize. And he has to tell the truth. That's why he got drunk before he went here.
He can't be honest without the alcohol. Awful, yes, but true. If he'd been sober now, he hadn't been here, he would've made sure he'd get a girl at the bar and gone home with her, he would've pretended he didn't care. He wouldn't stand outside his own street door in the rain and weep.
He loves Lawrence. But he can't open up to him. He can be honest if he has to, but only if it's about something, anything but himself.
Adam lays a hand on the doorknob. He forces the other one out of the pocket of his jeans, lifts a trembling hand and moves it towards the keys to press the code, but his stiff, wet fingers refuses to stay on a button, it slips around, presses wrong, it can be the drunkenness or the fear or the sorrow or anything, but he can't press the code, he can't get in. And even if he could… God knows if he'd have the courage.
The streaming from Adam's eyes gets harder in pure despair, he grits his teeth and balls his hand into a fist on the cold keys.
"Lawrence…" He chokes out and leans his forehead on his fist as stubborn tears well up and fall down. "Lawrence… I'm so sorry… I…"
I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with every day…
And once again, it can be anything, it can be the exhaustion, the alcohol, the cold or his own damn, fucking weakness that he curses every day, but after that, Adam doesn't feel anything else. He feels himself sliding down, he feels gravel scraping his cheek, he feels his own thin body hitting the ground, but after that, he feels nothing more. And he appreciates that.
That might mean he's dying.
"Adam? Jesus Christ…"
The calling of a voice he knows, a voice he loves, wakes Adam up. And he feels again, he feels the cold, the grief, the wetness, the stone that chills his freezing body even more, but he doesn't see anything. Maybe it's because his eyes are closed, maybe he's dead and it's all in his imagination, but either way, he feels two strong hands grabbing his elbows and pull him onto his unreliable feet.
Adam falters and falls helplessly, and for a second, he hopes Lawrence will let him fall, that he'll let him crack his skull against the sidewalk so that Lawrence finally will be rid of him, free from the burden that is Adam Faulkner and live happily. At last. But Lawrence stands in front of him, and his arms are a securing life buoy that saves him and fills him with anxiety at the same time, wrap themselves around his waist and then lift him up with an surprisingly small amount of effort.
Adam feels Lawrence's breath on his face, feels the warmth of his skin, and he still can't open his eyes. Not even when he feels the familiar softness of two lips against his cheek.
He won't look.
Looking will make this harder. Even harder than it already is, and it's already so hard that even though the alcohol engulfs him in a numbing fog, it feels like someone rips the heart out of his body.
He feels Lawrence reaching for the handle. To their apartment. Home…
Adam whimpers, in an extremely undignified way, but he really doesn't care. Maybe it's the liquor that allows him to even wish for something like this, but he just wants to snuggle his face into Lawrence's chest, deeper into his comforting arms, listen to the safe beating of his heart. Hide away from the world and the pain it has caused him.
But before he does, and before he comes to his senses and realizes that he's still crying, shaking, shivering, he has to do something. Something important.
Lawrence carefully puts him down on the floor. Adam falters again, but he won't fall down, he won't! He'll say this, and he'll stand tall as he says it, not crumble like a fucking sissy!
He feels Lawrence grabbing the hem of his t-shirt and pull it over his head, and he shivers even more when the air hits his wet, cold upper body.
And suddenly, he feels Lawrence's arms embracing him again, but for a different reason than before. Lawrence loves Adam, and he wants to embrace him, he wants to protect him, and that's why he does it. He doesn't just help him because he doesn't want him to fall, he's not just a doctor who assists a stupid little drunk, and Adam cries helplessly into his chest as he realizes this, he sobs and snuffles like a child, since he is, the way he puts it, a sobbing drunk. As soon as he's gotten something to drink, he cries, a lot and aloud until he falls asleep on the couch and Lawrence puts a blanket around him, kisses his forehead and whispers that he'll never leave him again.
Adam has so much to cry about. And only when he's drunk, he grants himself that. Only then.
"Adam…" Lawrence whispers and brings his one hand up to the back of Adam's neck, rakes his fingers through the short, soaking wet locks he's missed so much during the past two hours. "God… You had to do that? You know how much I worry…"
Adam's sobs get louder behind his chattering teeth, and he clutches to Lawrence's shirt as if his life depended on it, and it does. It does as much as it did that awful, awful day, when so much worse things than rain stained his and Lawrence's clothes, and he cries as much now as he did then.
"Lawrence…" He whines, he pleas and presses his body even closer to his warmth. His comfort. "I'm sorry…"
"It's okay. I just wonder why you left…"
"No…" Adam says, and his teeth are chattering so violently, Lawrence barely understands what he's saying. "Not that… I…"
A new sob rises from his throat.
"I'm so sorry… You have to forgive me…"
Lawrence smiles in an overseeing way and plants a small kiss on Adam's cheek again, and now feel the smell of tequila on his breath.
"Adam… You're drunk, you…"
"No!" Adam interrupts again, louder this time, in a desperate prayer. "Or… I know I'm drunk, but… You… Forgive me, Lawrence, please…"
"You must… I wouldn't…"
Adam's crying makes it almost impossible to understand him, and when he presses his shivering little body even closer to Lawrence's, he realizes that the sentence he couldn't even finish is true.
Lawrence's warmth, his scent, his comforting words in his ear…
Adam wouldn't be able to live without it.
"You have to… Forgive me," Adam chokes out and doesn't care that the cold water on him seeps through Lawrence's shirt, wets them both along with his own tears of anguish and misery. "I'm sorry… I'm sorry I took… Those pictures of you… I'm sorry…"
And then, Lawrence opens the eyes he didn't even remember closing. And he almost laughs with relief.
Little Adam. Little, little, stupid Adam.
"Adam," he says with a chuckle and closes his grip on him even tighter, because he wants to comfort him so badly, wants to make him understand what an amazing fucking little idiot he is. "Adam, you wonderful, wonderful, stupid little thing, stop crying. I'm not mad over those pictures at all, okay?"
Adam barely seems to hear him. It's like comforting Diana after she's done something bad, but maybe his shakes calm down a little, maybe his flushed cheeks lose some color. Maybe.
"To be honest, I'm pretty glad you took them," he says and rocks Adam from side to side. "How else were we supposed to meat, huh? You thought about that?"
Adam's sobs slowly turn into a couple of jittering inhales as another confession sneaks its way over his stiff lips.
"That was… All those nightmares… All the nightmares were about… About that…"
"About what?" Lawrence says and pulls back to look into Adam's shining eyes.
"About you…" Adam begins. "You just got up… You walked away… I was so lonely after that, Lawrence… You can't… Can't do that!"
And then, Adam's drunken slurring helps Lawrence to get it.
Finally, he gets it.
All those nights, those countless, horrible nights when he felt Adam writhing in mental agony in his arms, saw his mournful expressions, saw his nightmare like a shadow across his face.
And he's always thought it was Jigsaw's fault. He thinks most things are Jigsaw's fault, and who can blame him? Jigsaw hurt the two people he loves most in the world.
He's always thought Adam's dreams were like his own had been those first couple of months. He's always thought they were an endless darkness, only stained with his own blood, only broken by Adam's helpless screams, only lightened by the grim glow of the fluorescent lamps.
But it wasn't like that.
Not at all.
In fact, Jigsaw has been away from Adam's nightmares since way back. Until Lawrence moved in with him, he'd always been there. But after that, his tormentor disappeared, the biggest fear of his life was replaced by an even bigger one.
Now, Lawrence is the only thing in Adam's nightmares.
And it's a Lawrence that gets up and walks away.
A Lawrence that's been lying, a Lawrence that made Adam let his guard down, made Adam believe that he actually was loved, unconditionally loved for the first time in his life. But it had been a lie. It had all been a lie.
"What did you say?" Lawrence asks and gets a steady grip on Adam's shoulders. "Adam, what the hell are you saying?"
The tears are streaming down Adam's face by now, he sobs and chatters his teeth too much to answer, but Lawrence still has to understand what he's saying, he has to, he can't walk away, can't walk away now!
"You think I'm going to leave you?" Lawrence asks, his gaze almost menacing as he tightens his grip. "Is that what you think?"
When Adam still doesn't answer, he shakes him a little, his head tips motionlessly back and forth, and Lawrence feels the shoulders in his hands shake.
"You can't think like that, Adam!" Lawrence says angrily as tiny tears start to form in his own eyes. "You can't ever, ever think like that! Do you understand?"
Adams nods, terrified, his eyes widened, and he's hovering from something unknown, or from Lawrence, he's afraid of Lawrence, afraid of him…
Afraid of him walking away.
"I won't leave you," Lawrence says and feels in remorse how sobs start burning in his throat. "I will never leave you. Never."
Does Adam really think that, does he think that about him?
Lawrence doesn't know what to say to convince him. He'll never be able to tell Adam how much he means to him, he'll never make him feel as loved as he really is, and he knows that. Adam is wounded too deeply, the thick gashes in his heart haven't healed just because they've stopped bleeding. And he knows that, God, how well he knows that, and it hurts, it hurts so bad…
But he didn't know that Adam thought this.
Lawrence closes his arms around Adam again in powerlessness, because he doesn't know what else to do. Adam's crying gets even worse when he feels the warm hands on his bare, icy skin, but right now, he mostly cries simply because he's drunk.
He doesn't cry about the pictures anymore. Because in some way, the same way as he knows that the pictures don't even bother Lawrence, he also knows how much Lawrence loves him.
Right now, he mostly cries because it's a liberation.
He mostly cries because of joy, because he knows, in his half-fainted condition, that Lawrence won't leave him.
He cries because Lawrence's whispering, the sentence he's whispered in Adam's ear instead of 'I love you' finally is starting to reach him.
I'll never leave you again.
He finally dares to believe it.
"Adam…" Lawrence sobs into Adam's hair. "I'll never leave you again, never… I'll never…"
Adam smiles through his tears, smiles through the fog of old despair that pours out of his eyes at last, washes him off, sets him free.
"I know," he slurs. "I know."
"Do you?" Lawrence asks sarcastically and presses Adam closer.
"I'm not that drunk," he replies and inhales the scent of Lawrence's shirt, and Lawrence chuckles.
And so, they stand like that until Lawrence feels the little body in his arms relax and fall down as Adam falls asleep in drunkenness and exhaustion, and he lifts him up again and lays him down on their bed.
Even in his deep slumber, Adam feels the soft mattress against his back. And even in his deep slumber, he feels Lawrence lying down next to him, how he curls an arm around his waist and whispers the same sentence over and over, like a mantra of tickling threads of silk in his ear, the whole night through: I'll never leave you again.
And later, when the sun paints a thin stripe of light along the horizon, Lawrence even dares to whispers, as quietly as he can:
"I love you."
And even in his deep slumber, even in the happy dream Adam finally can be in, he can hear him.
In case you haven't noticed, I'm a sucker for fluff! And Adam might be a little OOC, I know… But he's drunk! You can bash me for that if you want, but come on… Some of you have to like me! Kisses!