Title: Good Things Come to an End
Prompt: "it took one second for everything to change"
Pairings: Tom/Doug
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own 21 JS or the characters, I make no profit, etc.
Warnings: angst
Summary: Insults lead to injury.


"Why do you have to be right all the time?! And so demanding?! And so….uptight?!"

"Well why do you have to be so sloppy, unorganized, and unreliable all the time?!"

"I suppose I'm immature too and you're just completely responsible every fucking moment of every fucking day!"

"One of us has to be!"

"Smooth, Tom. Real smooth."

"If you're so unhappy with how I am, then why don't you just go find someone else?!"

"Maybe I will! I'm sure I could find someone better and more worthwhile than you!"

Tom's mouth hung open in surprise, and the anger that had been present in his dark eyes rapidly changed to reveal deep hurt and painful realization. When he didn't respond with any other upset words, but merely stared at his partner dejectedly, Doug's features softened a little and he regretted having said something so spiteful. It had rolled off of his tongue before he could stop it, and he knew it wasn't true at all; despite their extreme differences, he loved Tom greatly and couldn't fathom being parted from him. He knew his rage had gotten the better of him and he didn't exactly mean what he said, but Tom wasn't like that – when things got heated, Tom took everything personally and very seriously, making him sometimes unable to tell whether or not Doug was being sarcastic or not. Doug could clearly see that Tom believed the insulting statement from the way he gazed with wide eyes at him and didn't move whatsoever. It was only when the older man broke the silence that Tom closed his mouth, swallowed, and let his posture slack as if it was a sign of defeat.

"Tom," Doug began in a much quieter tone than the ones they had been speaking in previously. "Tom, I-"

"I didn't know that you were really that unhappy with me," the younger cop interrupted in a tiny voice.

Doug took a step closer to his partner, looking at him apologetically. "Tom-"

"I hope you do find someone a lot better than I am who can make you happy the way I can't. I'm sorry we went on this long. I just didn't see how miserable I make you."

"Damn it. Tom-"

The younger man was quickly walking toward the door, his heart pounding hard in his chest as his emotions threatened to overwhelm him. Everything disintegrated around him; all he could focus on was getting out of Doug's apartment as fast as possible. He couldn't see anything other than the door, couldn't feel the hand that rested briefly on his shoulder from behind before he shrugged it off and escaped the place entirely.

He didn't hear the words "I'm sorry, Tom. I didn't mean it," or observe the look of utter remorse written on Doug's countenance. He half expected the other cop to follow him to the elevator, and even though most of him was wishing Doug wouldn't, there was a little part of him that prayed his lover would come and stop him – it would prove Doug truly did care for him and didn't want to give up and move on to be with someone else.

His finger pushed the down button numerous times as if it would make the elevator arrive to the floor faster. When the doors parted, he stole one last glance in the direction of his partner's apartment and waited a few seconds to see if the older officer would come and get him before he left.

Doug didn't. Tom swallowed to relieve his throat, stepped into the elevator, and covered his face with his hand to hide the tears.