A/N: Literally, it's been a very long time since I've written anything worth reading as far as the Tom and Doug pairing go. I've started two one-shots, neither of which I really liked, so I left for a rainy day (ironic how it's rained all weekend). I have my drabbles, if you read those, but they're not quite as rewarding as actual one-shots. I might be abandoning LAtEotT and Vandalism for a while; we'll see how that plays out. Anyway, I introduce my first ficlet, which was inspired after I listened to the cover of Apologize (originally by OneRepublic) by Charlotte Sometimes and New Atlantic. youtubeee - watch?v4fdKUUcg1U . That one's a little different than the one I have on my iTunes, but that doesn't matter. Still pretty amazing. So, anyway, this is kind of a song-ficlet, using the same song for the whole thing. Hah . Lyrics, by the way, will all be posted at the beginning of the chapter, since I've had too many issues with trying to work around them. This'll be roughly three chapters, maybe four, with a verse in each chapter. There are three verses, so, we'll see how this works out. I am truly excited to write this. Oh, and sorry for the long authors note!
I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin' what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...
It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
"I'm sorry," were the first words out of Doug's mouth when Tom answered the phone. Tom didn't dare say anything; he just stared determinedly at his television, trying not to say anything. "I know it was stupid, I shouldn't have done it. I don't know what happened Tommy, it was just-- I don't know. I know you probably don't want to forgive me but I need you to, Tommy. I didn't mean it, I swear to God; it was all emotionless fun. I wanted it to be you the whole time. Our fight was no excuse for me to do that-- Tommy, you there?"
'Don't call me Tommy,' Tom found himself wanting to say, but he couldn't manage to say anything. He let out a throaty noise that didn't resemble anything whatsoever, but Doug seemed to think that that was an okay sign to continue his apology.
"I'm so stupid, Tommy, please, please, please forgive me," Doug said, sounding desperate at this point. "I don't know-- I, uhm, Tommy, you-- I need you, Tommy."
"No," was all Tom managed to say, completely aware of how lame of a response it was. "No," he repeated, as if it was intended.
"No, what?" Doug asked.
"You don't need me, you already proved that when you--"
"Tommy, I don't know what came over me! I was upset! I wanted to make you jealous, to make you-- I don't know. I know I shouldn't have done it, but I was drunk. I wasn't thinking," Doug said.
"You're never thinking, Doug," Tom retorted. Doug didn't answer. "I don't need your excuses, anyway."
"What am I supposed to do to make this better, then?" Doug asked. Tom could tell it in his voice that Doug was becoming aggravated with him by now. But, no, Tom wasn't just going to forgive him that easily. As a matter of fact, he might never forgive him this time. Doug deserved it after-- after... Tom couldn't bring himself to even think about what Doug had done.
"Nothing," Tom said finally. "Don't do anything. You can't do anything. It's over."
"What?" Doug asked, as if in need of clarification of what Tom had just said.
"It's over," Tom said, in a composed voice, if barely. Somewhere in there, he could feel a twinge of guilt. "Besides, you just call me and think I'd forgive you for-- for--"
"Don't say it," Doug said hoarsely. "If you say it--"
"You slept with someone else, Doug," Tom said, unsure of how he had just mustered up the strength to bring the closure in on him. Suddenly, he felt claustrophobic-- the walls were closing in on him. "You slept with a-- another man."
"What does the fact that it was another man have to do with anything," Doug said in a monotone, thus unable to form a question.
"Because, it was like, you always made it sound like I was the only other guy you ever had feelings for," Tom said quietly. "I have to go."
"No you don't--"
"I have to go," Tom said firmly. "I'll see you at work."
"Don't hang up," Doug ordered. "I'm not finished trying to make you try and forgive me--"
"Yes, damnit. Fuck, Tom, I'm sorry, do I have to drive over to your apartment and get on my knees to make you understand how truly sorry I am?"
Tom kept his eyes averted forwards, still feeling as if the walls were closing in. Closer and closer. "I'm not appreciating the sexual innuendo, by the way."
"I didn't mean it like that," Doug said, sounding annoyed. "What the hell do I have to do? There has to be something."
"I already told you," Tom said, "there's nothing. It's over, Doug. Stop wasting your time. I have to go, still, Doug. Are you done yet?"
Tom heard a heavy sigh over the phone. "I'm sorry, Tom," Doug said, finally. "You have no idea."
"Fuck, Doug," Tom said, growing angrier by the moment, now feeling as if the ceiling was only an inch away from his head. "It's too late to apologize for this kind of shit. You don't just say 'oops, I made a mistake and slept with someone else!' and hope I accept it. It doesn't work like that here, Doug. I'm not sure where you came from, or whether that worked there, but, Doug-- just-- never mined. I've got to go. Bye."
With that, Tom hung up the phone, fighting off the urge to quite literally throw the phone across the room. Instead, he placed it with a shaky hand on the table. The only thing hanging up the phone had relieved him of was the fact that he was imagining the ceiling closing in on him. The feeling was gone now, but Tom still couldn't find himself completely assured that it wasn't just going to crash in on him any second. He didn't want to think about it, regardless of the fact he had been thinking about it quite obsessively throughout the past two days. The fact he had just had a conversation with Doug about it was beyond questionable. Tom didn't know where half those angry words had come from, considering he had spent the last two days sulking about it. But, no, as soon as Doug said that first word into the phone, Tom found that he was completely outraged, irate, infuriated. There were no words to describe how he felt, considering he'd just went from sulking, to rage, to nausea in the past ten minutes.
Tom put his head between his knees, in an attempt to soothe his qualms. It didn't help, and he ended up just staying there until he felt light-headed. He forced himself to sit up, leaning against the back of the couch. He only felt worse now, the nausea doubled by the fact that Tom was suddenly exhausted, as if his putting his head between his knees was a rather tiring task. He made no move to walk towards his bedroom, where he could lay in a somewhat comfortable position. Instead, he just extended himself on the couch, wrapping his arms around himself. Sleep was almost instantaneous, and Tom fell into a deep, dreamless sleep he wouldn't wake from until five thirty the next morning, marking twelve and a half hours of sleep.
"So, Hanson, Penhall-- are you ready to go over to South tomorrow morning?" Fuller asked, eyeing them suspiciously. Tom had an inkling of an idea that Fuller had noticed his sourness towards Doug.
"I think Penhall should work with Ioki for this next case," Tom said bluntly. "He might feel, uh, more, I don't know, appreciative towards Ioki than he would me?"
Tom felt the glare of the four other people in the room, but chose to ignore it. Eventually, Fuller spoke.
"Well, if you're that opposed to working with Penhall, are you two up for it?" The question was directed to Doug and Ioki. Ioki muttered something resembling a sure; he would have been more grateful for a case, seeing as he had been on desk duty for the past few weeks, but Tom's behavior was puzzling him. Doug, however, neglected to answer Fuller as he continued to gape at Tom. "Penhall?"
"Uh, sure," Doug said, returning to reality. Fuller's eyes stayed on him for a second, before scanning the rest of the room.
"Alright, Judy, you're off to school, and the rest of you are stuck here for the rest of the day," Fuller said. "You can go." Everyone made a move to leave, Tom behind them all. "Except for you, Tom, I want you to stay here." Somehow, Tom had been expecting this, so he sunk back in his chair, and stared at Fuller intently, who watched the door closely, as if it would help close it. Finally, when Doug slammed the door behind him, Fuller returned his gaze to Tom. "I want to know what's going on, Hanson."
Yea, well my useless ex-boyfriend decided it would be perfectly fine if he went and had an affair with another man, just because we had a disagreement.
What the hell was he supposed to say?
"Nothing's going on," Tom said distractedly, pursing his lips.
"Because it's completely normal for you and Penhall to completely avoid each other and for you to make sideways remarks about him?" Fuller asked with a raised eyebrow. "Tell me the truth, Hanson. Spend no time lying, I'll know the truth when I hear it."
"Nothing's going on," Tom said, crossing his arms over his chest. "We're just going through a little tough spot, y'know?"
"Yeah-huh," Fuller said, staring at Tom, who was now avoiding eye contact. "Okay. You can go, but next time you step into this office, you and your problem with Penhall better be straightened out."
"Yes sir," Tom mumbled, making his way out of the office as quickly as he could without sprinting. As he shut the door behind him, he knew that Fuller had let him off easy. Obviously, he hadn't been lying, per se, just hadn't told the whole truth.
"I need to talk to you." The tone the words were said in was actually kind of frightening.
"No," Tom said, as if the single-syllable word was the answer to all of his problems.
"I don't care." With that, Doug grabbed the shoulder of Tom's shirt (and some miniscule part of him took notice of how far away that was from his hand), and pulled him towards the stairs. "I need to talk to you, and I'm not trying to apologize here, Tom, I... just... need... to talk to-- fuck, Tom, move!"
"Fine," Tom said, relaxing his resistance as he allowed Doug to pull him up the stairs, although grudgingly. "What do you want?" he asked as he reached the top of the stairs, pretending to busy himself with something in his locker.
"What the fuck was that?" Doug said, almost growled, actually.
"What was what?" Tom asked innocently. Doug was silent behind him, and he took the first opportune moment to swing the locker closed, spin Tom around, and pin him up against it.
"Yeah, thanks Tom, for advertising it to the whole world," he said in a low tone.
"I didn't advertise it," Tom said, flinching at the awkwardly avoided closeness of their bodies. "I didn't say, 'hey, guess what! Penhall here cheated on me!' No, Penhall, they just know that we're fighting, and as far as Fuller knows, we're going through 'a tough time'."
"So that's what you told him?" The pressure of Doug's hands was lessened, if only a little bit.
"Yes," Tom said. "Contrary to what you're probably thinking, I'm just as ashamed for you as you are for yourself."
"Still," Doug began, talking through his teeth, "try to seem a little bit more discreet about our said 'dispute'."
"I'll consider it," Tom said, suddenly aware of how hard, for once, it was to keep eye contact with Doug. "In the meantime, why don't you let me down?"
"I'll consider it," Doug said, somehow managing to keep his glare staring into Tom's unfocused brown eyes.
"Penhall," Tom warned, starting to notice that his arms hurt where Doug put pressure into them.
"Where do you get off calling me Penhall, anyway, Tom? Far as I know, we've always been on a first-name basis," Doug said, his grip tightening once more. Tom flinched.
"Doug, you're hurting me."
The use of his first name, and then the announcement that he was hurting him, even if accidental, seemed to lighten Doug. He immediately let go of Tom, his eyes no longer seeming so damned angry as they lingered on Tom's face for only a moment. Tom could have sworn he heard a muttered 'sorry', but for all he knew, he was imagining it. However, it didn't upset Tom as Doug left him by his locker, left alone to gather his own thoughts as Doug scrambled down the stairs, where he could do the exact same, only at his desk.
"Doug?" Tom wondered if he ever came home. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. He couldn't' remember; he fell asleep rather early, anyway. Still, just like every other fight, Tom was ready to forgive Doug now. First, however, he would need to find him. Obviously, he wasn't in the bedroom-- and the next guess was the couch in the living room. "Dougie?"
There he was, completely passed out on the couch, facing inwards, towards the rough leather. Tom rounded the couch quietly, placing his hand softly on Doug's arm. "Hey," he said softly, knowing that if Doug was as passed out as he looked like he was, it would never wake up the other man. He shook his arm lightly, to no avail. Tom didn't want to rush waking up Doug regardless, hence why he didn't raise his voice, nor did he shake Doug's arm any harder. "Wake up, Doug. I wanna talk to you."
"Go away," Doug said, sounding completely awake. It surprised Tom for a moment, before realizing that it actually had been Doug talking, that he hadn't been asleep. Doug had been ignoring him, and now Tom wanted more to know why Doug was sleeping on the couch, not in the bed.
"Come on, Dougie," Tom said, trying to pull Doug so he was facing him. Doug pulled his arm, almost ferociously out of Tom's grip. There was a moment of silence. "Are you that mad?"
Doug was quiet for a moment, and his response wasn't nearly as well articulated as his order to make Tom go away, even though it was a pretty simple word. "No."
The response took Tom off guard; he had a million ways on his mind to apologize for the fight last night, which had, overall, been his fault. No excuses, it was simply him who had, like a PMSing female, gotten mad at Doug for the smallest of reasons. "Then what's wrong?" The words sounded foreign on Tom's tongue; he didn't like not knowing what was going on in Doug's head.
"Nothing," Doug said quickly. "Just go away."
"I'm staying right here until you tell me what's going on, Doug," Tom said, crossing his legs, as if that would announce his stubbornness. "Now, come on. Tell me what's up."
"Nothing," Doug said, pulling a blanket closer around him as he tried to push himself closer into the back of the couch. "I don't want to talk about it."
"You can tell me anything," Tom insisted, putting is hand on Doug's arm. "Now, come on."
"Don't touch me," Doug said quickly, pulling away. "And I told you, I don't want to talk about it."
Tom stared at the ground, trying to think of a better way to approach this, if there was one. His eyes traveled from his bare feet, to Doug's crumpled pants that were laid in a pile on the ground. Tom's shoes were sitting to the right of him, next to each other; Doug's shoes were at Tom's other side, two feet in between the shoes. Tom's eyes faltered back to the pants, where he noticed a folded piece of paper sticking out of the pocket. Suspiciously, he reached forwards, pulling out the strip of folded notebook paper.
A series of numbers followed the obviously masculine handwriting, and for a moment, Tom couldn't tell what to make of them.
"What is this?" Tom asked, his voice barely audible. "Call me?" Doug was uncomfortably quiet at this, apparently knowing what Tom had found. Tom's mind raced furiously, trying to find the meaning of the note. First of all, the handwriting was a guys, second of all Doug kept it, third of all-- "No. You didn't."
Doug was quiet at this, and Tom couldn't figure out whether he was enraged or about to cry. "Did you? Yes or no."
"Yes," his voice croaked eventually, after an uncomfortably long silence.
And it was just like that. It felt as if the world should explode, like that simple word 'yes' should be the trigger for some apocalyptic event. Tom was braced for it all; spontaneous combustion, an asteroid to burst through the ceiling and pin him into the earth. A volcano under the apartment building that was only discovered as it first erupted, right then. Perhaps a fatal disease that killed you the moment it reached you to just sort of float through the window? A tsunami, a hurricane that somehow reached them? Earthquake, tornado, anything? It didn't matter; a fucking 'April fools!' would be sufficient at the moment.
"Okay," Tom said, unsure of what he himself meant by that. "I'm going to work."
It was the only thing he could think to say. What he had said hadn't registered in his brain at first, and he ended up just staring at the back of Doug for a moment. He had to get out of there, it was obvious enough. However, for that moment, any means of escape were above him. It took him a second longer to remember that a door was the idea way to leave the apartment. And within a second, he was running out of there.
Tom woke abruptly, unsure of how he had let himself get that far into the dream without waking up. He hadn't needed to be there again. He hadn't needed to relive it. He hadn't needed it, period. Yet, somehow, he had been there, in a matter of speaking, and he had relived it. Because he didn't quite want to sit in bed and drown in his own thoughts, he sauntered off to the bathroom, noticing the digital clock, the only light in the room, announcing that it was three in the morning. How nice-- now he wouldn't be able to fall asleep again.
The light in the bathroom was half-blinding, and Tom had to sit on the lowered toilet seat, squinting at the wall, until the fluorescent lightbulb didn't seem to want to burn his corneas out. Rubbing his eyes, he was frustrated to find they were wet, even if just a little, even if it had nothing to do with the fact he might have been crying in his sleep. Goddamn, he'd been so sure he wouldn't cry over Doug. Not this time; Doug wasn't worth it if he was just going to cheat on him and try to just apologize for it. That was enough. Other than the fact that his eyes were annoyingly wet, he noticed how amazingly bloodshot they were once he stood to examine himself in the mirror. He actually couldn't help but gape at himself for a moment, before having the sense to look away from himself, as a result, splashing water in his face. Not that it would help his bloodshot eyes, but it helped something, evidently.
The water on his face (oh, so that's why his eyes were wet, hm?) helped him conclude that he was in need of a shower. Stripping on the spot, he turned the knob of the water and waited for it to get as hot as it would possibly go. Satisified, he stepped inside the water, where he could drown his thoughts, his worries, even if only for ten minutes.
A/N: Please don't kill me. 3 I am the worst fangirl ever. xD