This Eternal Love of Ours

Chapter Three: Fight

Author's Note: I've developed a schedule to hopefully keep this story running smoothly without much delay. While I can't promise perfect adherence to the schedule, be expecting updates on or around every Monday. The bad news is the story won't be finished until mid July. The good news is so far it has thirty planned chapters. Please read and review, it's hard writing a story with so little a following, and even less reviews, as it leaves me unsure of people's reactions, which doesn't improve my writing skills any.

Chapter Three: Fight

"Miguel, I really don't see how this is any of your business!"

"That's exactly what the problem is, isn't it Andy? You're too selfish to think how anything could affect me!"

"Well, maybe if you didn't think everything was about you we wouldn't have this problem!"

"Andy, why can't you accept that we're a couple, so whether you like it or not, your decisions affect me?"

"Because some things don't affect you at all. Some things in my life are about me, and no one else!"

"If something affects you that affects me!"

"Stop thinking you somehow have a say in what happens to me."

"We're committed to each other, Andy! That means I'm entitled to concern for your well being."

"No it doesn't Miguel, we're not married!"

"What the hell does that have to do with it?! By entering into a relationship with me you're acknowledging that we're equals and involved in each other's lives."

"I don't need you this involved in my life! I don't need to turn to you for life advice. You're a failed artist who decided to play it safe and become an English teacher because you were too afraid to try and fail at what you loved. I won't take advice from someone who can't live their own life to their satisfaction."

"That was so far over the line. Why can't you see this isn't about career choices, it's about your health? Why can't you see that? I'm trying to be mature about this, but you're acting like some kid. God, Andy! I don't need to take this crap from some child who is too self involved to put as much into this relationship as I am. You're just more trouble than you're worth."

"If I'm so much trouble, why don't I just rid you of your burden?"

Andy was regretting the words before they even left his mouth. He tried to stop himself, to pull them back in, but his pride was too much, so he turned around and walked out of the room, picked up his keys and left Miguel's apartment. He hadn't meant to push Miguel so hard. In fact, he couldn't believe he had brought up Miguel's art. One of Andy's favorite things about Miguel was that he was an artist. He had the soul of an artist. Sure, he was a great teacher—Miguel was great at whatever he decided he wanted to master. But in his heart, he would always be an artist. As such, he had the temperament of an artist, which Andy found both fascinating and an incredible turn on. He knew Miguel was passionate, and with that passion came a temper, it had just never been directed at him before. He and Miguel had never fought before. As he reached his car Andy sat in the driver's seat and put his keys into the ignition. He wanted to drive away and never look back, but he couldn't find it in him to turn the key and leave.

Miguel was sensitive to his shortcomings as an artist. It was his biggest insecurity, and he had trusted Andy enough to confide that in him. Andy was furious with himself for betraying that trust, and hated that he had hurt the person he so desperately wanted to protect from the uglyness and evil of the world. Andy just never thought he would have to protect Miguel from him. The more he realized how badly he had hurt Miguel, the more his anger dissipated, and his feelings turned to guilt and shame. Something inside of him fought the feelings, no doubt the part of him that felt the need to hurt Miguel in the first place. That part of him pointed out that Miguel had also drawn upon Andy's greatest insecurity.

It was hard for Andy to control his jealousy. He was very aware of just how attractive his boyfriend was, and often found himself fighting the urge to revolt whenever he caught women or even the odd man eyeing Miguel, flirting with him, Andy all the while powerless to stop them and let them know just how off limits Miguel was to him. Andy was constantly afraid of losing him to someone else, it made him incredibly self conscious, and particularly concerned about his age. The age difference between Miguel and Andy was enough that it made Andy self conscious about his own maturity level, and his ability to retain Miguel's interest. He could kill himself for just making his immaturity even more evident through his childish arguments, but he was also hurt Miguel had brought it up.

Andy was so distraught and so torn from the stress of the fight, the pain at hurting Miguel, the anger with himself for being so immature, and the fear that was dawning on him that he may have lost his boyfriend was too much. He put his hands over his face and began to sob.

His crying was interrupted when he heard the sound of a knock on the window of his car. Without even looking, Andy knew it was Miguel. Suddenly, he was aware of how foolish he looked, in his car in front of Miguel's apartment, not leaving, and feared Miguel was there to tell him to get away from his property. Andy hurriedly wiped at his eyes, knowing Miguel had already seen him crying, and fumbled to turn the key and drive away before he had to hear Miguel say it.

His car stalled, and he lost all semblance of control, breaking down into great sobs. Andy was only vaguely aware that Miguel had left his side, when suddenly he heard the sound of the passenger seat opening and turned to see Miguel sitting next to him. Before he knew what was happening, Miguel had wrapped his arms around him, his strong embrace comforting, as he held Andy and whispered soothingly to him as Andy's cries turned to quiet heaves of his body, and eventually, sniffles. When he had calmed down, Miguel wiped his tears with his thumb and turned to him.

"Andy, we need to talk."

"I'm sorry, I'll be gone in a minute."

"Andy, you're not getting out of this conversation that easily."

"Listen, I don't need to hear you tell me you want to break up. I got that message already when you told me I was more trouble than I was worth."

"Andy, you don't understand—"

"No, I do. It's okay. You don't have to explain. You were right. You deserve better. You deserve someone as intelligent and passionate and mature as you."

"You think I want to break up?! Because of some stupid fight? Andy, will you just shut up a minute and listen to me? I don't want to break up. It's the last thing I really want right now."

Andy averted his eyes and mumbled the words that had been haunting him for so long.

"You can have so much better than me."

Miguel was shocked. "Andy, there is no one better than you. What makes you think I could find someone who would make me as happy as you do?"

"Miguel, you could find someone as talented as you, and as passionate, and as intelligent, and as attractive, and as mature…"

Miguel shook his head, and grabbed Andy's hand. "Is that what this is about? Andy, I had no idea you felt so insecure. I'm sorry if I haven't told you how much you mean to me, that you think you're not all those things. The truth is, I want you Andy, and no one else."

"But you even said I was immature—"

"I said you were acting immature. Which you were. You need to realize that we're in a serious relationship, and you and your life affects my life."

Andy thought about that for a long time. Finally, he decided on saying what was in his heart. "I'm sorry I said you didn't make anything important of your art. I just think you have more talent than you're aware of, and you need to not be so afraid of failure. You need to let yourself out there and do what you love."

Miguel didn't know what to say. He was touched at Andy's words, but failed to find the words to tell him so. Instead, he leaned over and kissed Andy. The kiss was sweet and gentle, and conveyed all the feelings of gratitude and regret and apology that had remained unspoken. When they broke apart, Miguel was the first to speak.

"Maybe I'll go back to school for a little while, and get the proper certification to be an art teacher. It would be a shame to let my education degree go to waste."

Andy smiled. "Only if you actively try to sell and create your artwork on the side."

"Deal."

They sat that way for a long time, holding each other, and assuring themselves that the relationship held a future—a great future.

"Miguel," Andy said, "I think this fight was a good thing. I mean we survived it, and I think we're actually better off for it."

"I think you're right. It's funny. It seems like such a small thing we were fighting over in the first place."

"You're right," Andy said, running his thumb over Miguel's knuckles absentmindedly. "I can barely remember what it was about at all."

"You wanted to go skydiving this weekend with your sister and her boyfriend. I didn't want you to go because I was afraid you'd hurt yourself." Miguel supplied, his face sincere.

Andy laughed, "Miguel, I wasn't being serious when I said that. I remember perfectly well what we were arguing about, it's just a figure of speech. I'm not sure how I could forget."

Miguel's facial expression remained unchanged. "But you're not going, right?"

Andy studied Miguel for a long time. He sensed fear, not in a motherly concern for some possible broken bones, but a deep seeded, real fear that was hurting him. He squeezed his hand, and asked "Miguel, why don't you want me to go?"

"I already told you. I'm afraid you'll hurt yourself."

Andy remained patient, searching Miguel's eyes for the answer. "It's something more than that. What?"

Miguel sighed, and looked Andy straight in the eyes. "I'm afraid of losing you. If something happened to you, I mean something bad--really bad, and you got sick or died, I don't know what I'd do. I need you Andy, I need you with me. Without you, I'm not sure how well I'd function, or how long I could keep going."

His answer startled Andy. He had had no idea how terrified Miguel was of losing him, but he could see how real his fear was etched across every feature of his face. At that moment, Andy knew he would do everything in his power to shelter Miguel from having to realize that fear.

"Miguel, nothing is going to happen to me. You won't have to go on without me."

They both knew that Andy had no right to make a promise so far out of his hands. Andy and Miguel knew that there was no guarantee of a tomorrow for the two of them, but what they did know was that if they had the choice, they'd have that tomorrow—and that was enough for them, for now.

"I think I'll be calling my sister to tell her I won't be able to go with her this weekend."

"Do you have to call now? Can't it wait a little while?"

"I can wait as long as you need me to."

"I'm sorry you aren't going skydiving."

"You really don't want me to?"

"No."

"Then I'm not sorry."

Author's Note: The next chapter will be entitled "Love", so I'm sure you are all capable of making the mental leap to infer what happens, but in the chapter after that, the story will have a rating change to M, so if you're looking for it, please remember to re-adjust your rating filters.