A/N: These drabbles were written for my ficwife ahizelm based on a prompt she gave me when I was feeling particularly down and stuck. I fell a little bit in love with these boys and hope you will, too. Special thanks to ahizelm, EchoesOfTwilight, kimberlycullen10, naelany, and theladyingrey42 for prereading and being amazing sources of support, especially during all the real life fail I've had lately. Love you ladies!
The title for this collection is taken from a Neil Gaiman quote - "Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten."
The clicking is like a mosquito's buzzing – annoying and fucking incessant. My little sister Alice lowers the camera and grins.
"Why don't you put that down and help me out?" I ask wryly, stepping into the tiny dorm room to deposit more boxes in the center of the floor.
"It's just so exciting! This is a whole new life for you!"
I roll my eyes but smile as Alice hugs me fiercely. She murmurs, "I'm proud of you for telling Mom and Dad, Edward."
My smile grows as I feel the sense of freedom – and anxiety – from finally coming out.
My eyes betray me, constantly shifting to study my new roommate even as I try to pay attention to Alice – and all four parents in the room.
From the moment his seductive voice drawled his name, I'd known I was in trouble… and then I'd gotten my first look at him.
Tall, slender, toned. Messy blond hair. Eyes that I should really, really avoid looking at because they make me think of his lips and where I want them…
"Edward?" My mother's voice cuts through my thoughts, and I flush crimson. "Do you and Jasper need anything before we go?"
We're standing awkwardly on opposite sides of the room when the door closes, leaving us alone. We can hear people talking and laughing, furniture banging into walls, lamps breaking.
But not here.
Here, silence reigns. My palms are suddenly sweaty, my throat parched, and I am sure I could not say a single word. Surely not all new roommates are this… uncomfortable.
It has to be me. It's the knowledge I hold close to my chest – the knowledge that I'm gay and that I'm most definitely attracted to Jasper.
And to think I'd thought this would be easy.
Jasper hangs up his phone and flops down on the couch, shooting me a crooked grin. "Pizza'll be here in an hour-and-a-half. Said it's slow when the dorms open."
He shrugs, and I swallow, trying to figure out how to make it through one night with him, much less an entire year. The thought is exhilarating and terrifying at once.
The afternoon wasn't so bad because we were unpacking, arranging the room until we were both satisfied, but now there's… nothing. No distractions, nothing left to do.
"I don't know about you, but I'm fucking beat."
I nod, still mute.
"Finally," Jasper mutters, tossing the remote onto the couch as he goes to answer the door. He pulls his jeans up by the belt loops, and I find myself staring at his ass.
While we waited, we watched TV and made random comments about whatever was on. I still know nothing about him, and I wonder if he is even curious about me.
He hasn't asked anything. Not even my last name.
He hands me the pizza box and grabs napkins and two Cokes from our makeshift kitchen.
"Come on." He plops down on the floor, grinning up at me.
Jasper wipes the corner of his mouth with his thumb, and my eyes follow the motion, lingering on his lips. They're just full enough and look so soft. I wonder if they'd feel different than the girls I've kissed.
I hope so, somehow… and I hope I get to find out.
He wipes his hands on his jeans, clearing his throat. He looks anxious, making me realize that I've been staring at him too long.
I look away, drinking the last of my Coke. Fucking idiot.
"Edward, I… I think I need to tell you something. Don't freak out, okay?"
"You're gay?" I can hear confused disbelief in my voice as I say perhaps the dumbest thing that has ever left my lips.
"Yes." The single word is hard and cold, matching the flint of Jasper's eyes as his jaw clenches.
It takes me a moment to realize the misunderstanding, and then I'm on my knees, my voice far too fervent as I say, "Jasper, me too. I'm gay."
I catch myself reaching for his hands and snatch my own back. Just because he likes men doesn't mean he wants you, asshole.
But then he smiles, and my heart speeds.
"You're sure you're not fucking with me?" There's something in his voice – vulnerability? Fear?
"Jasper," I answer quietly, "I swear I'm not fucking with you." I resist the urge to add a middle school comment about how much I want to, but it's there in my head.
We're both smiling stupidly, but it's too quiet, and all my half-formed questions are making me crazy, so I ask the first one. "Is there… I mean, why did you tell me?"
"Oh, I…" Jasper licks his lips, glancing around the room before looking back at me. "Did you know you're fucking gorgeous?"
Jasper seems calm, but I'm a bundle of nerves. My skin feels like it's vibrating, beginning where his knee is pressed against my thigh.
He is propped on one arm as he reaches his other hand up to cup my cheek. "You've really never kissed a guy?"
I shake my head, returning to my mute state with my heart in my throat.
"Do you want to?" he whispers, and I can feel his breath brush across my lips like unseen fingertips.
"Please," I manage, seeing him smile before my eyes close.
His lips are firm, his stubble prickly. I moan.
I lie in my bed, staring at the bottom of Jasper's mattress in stark disbelief.
I'm so goddamn hard that I'm literally aching, but it's a small price to pay for the hours of feeling Jasper's body on top of mine, his hips rocking rhythmically as our stiff cocks brushed through the thick fabric of our jeans.
My lips are raw and feel swollen as I run my fingers over them, seeking out every shred of evidence that tonight was real.
"See you tomorrow, Edward," he murmurs, his voice carrying a promise.
"Good night, Jasper." I close my eyes, smiling.
I wake to a thud and open my eyes to see the back of Jasper's legs. I feel my cheeks heat as I stare while he walks across the room and starts coffee. He is wearing boxers and a t-shirt like me, but I have a feeling I look nothing like that.
My nerves are back at once as I wonder what the hell to say. Last night everything made sense, but what if he was just lonely and afraid?
He turns, yawning, and sees me watching. "It's fucking early. Got room in that bed for me?" he says gruffly.
"Hey," Jasper says, and I glance up. A month has passed, filled with classes and papers and making out.
"Why don't we ever go out?" he asks.
"What do you mean?" I answer, putting my laptop on the end table. I know exactly what he means, though, because it's been haunting me.
"Out." He motions toward the door. "Restaurants, movies… other people?"
"Oh," I answer blankly.
"Are you…" He pauses, licking his lips. "Are you ashamed of me?"
Hearing my own fear in his voice, seeing it in his eyes, breaks me.
"God, no." I'm up instantly, reaching for him.
His lips are soothing against mine, our touches healing the pain we caused by never talking about us.
"You're mine," Jasper whispers, his hand slipping inside my boxers to squeeze my bare ass. "My boyfriend," he continues, and I can't stop the smile on my face.
"And you're mine," I answer. It's liberating, somehow, being claimed by him; as he kisses down my bare chest, I know I want to be his in every sense. "Jasper?"
"Mmm," he hums, his breath hot on my abdomen.
Not knowing how to ask, I feel ridiculous as I whisper, "Make love to me?"
My hands shake as I start to tear the condom wrapper, and Jasper catches my wrists. "Hey," he says gently. "Are you sure?"
I look into his eyes, seeing intelligence and support and love, and I know that's what I want my future to look like. I nod, my hands growing sure as I sheath his cock.
He inhales sharply, his eyelids fluttering when I stroke him. I love that neither of us has ever done this – it is ours alone. He is attentive and thorough, making sure I am ready, and then we are one.
"I'm yours," he whispers.
"Don't open it until Christmas morning," I remind him as we trade wrapped gifts.
He nods; his grin fades as he puts the box on our tiny refrigerator. He was heading out the door, so he's already wearing his massive coat, but he shrugs out of it. It falls to the floor as he yanks me close, wrapping his arms around me. "How many weeks?" he asks again.
"Four," I answer, not trusting myself to say anything more.
"I'm going to fucking miss you," he whispers before kissing me passionately. "I love you, Edward."
I smile. "I love you, too."
I spent most of my life in this bedroom, but it doesn't feel like home. It's too constricting, too lonely.
Jasper's gift – a new phone – is charging on my nightstand as I flip through the sketchbook he gave me. I smile, seeing myself and our dorm again and again.
The phone rings, startling me out of wistful thoughts of Jasper's lips. The text is from him, and I open it, finding a picture of his right hand with the Claddagh band I gave him, heart turned in.
His message is everything and nothing at once.
I love it. And you.
Mercifully, Alice goes back inside, leaving me to stand on the balcony. It is clear for once, the sky over Forks filled with stars. I reluctantly pull on the coat she brought out, letting the sounds of my parents' party wash over me.
As the countdown to midnight begins, I find myself wondering what Jasper is doing in Portland right now. I would give anything to be with him in my narrow, uncomfortable bed, laughing and kissing.
I'm not one for resolutions, but I make one this New Year. "We have to do something about this summer," I whisper aloud.
I can feel it growing stronger the closer I get to Seattle – the need to touch Jasper, to taste him. My foot on the gas pedal is heavy, my hands on the steering wheel restless.
He got back to school yesterday, so I know that in less than an hour, we will be together again. I am antsy, excited and nervous at once. What if something changed for him?
I can't take the uncertainty, can't fathom living with Jasper while not being with him.
I take a steadying breath, trying to rein in my fears and focus on my desire.
My smile is impossible to contain as Jasper kisses me hungrily, his lips roaming my neck and chest before returning to mine. My eyes drift continually to the ring on his right hand. It was the first thing I saw other than his excited blue eyes.
His nude body moves over mine, hard planes and smooth skin that have become my haven. I reach between us, taking us both in hand, and he groans, biting his bottom lip.
"Please, Edward…" he whispers. "I need to feel you."
Hours pass with soft caresses and rolling hips, and I am whole again.
"You all packed, babe?" Jasper murmurs, wrapping his arms around my waist and kissing my neck. I'm staring at my suitcase, packed for spring break tomorrow.
Silently miserable, I nod, reaching up to tangle my fingers in his hair.
He squeezes me tighter, then says, "Come talk to me for a sec?"
We move to the couch, where he begins, "I told my parents I'm not coming home this summer. A week is bad enough…" He caresses my cheek. "Much less two fucking months. I'm getting an apartment." I smile, and his next words stun me. "Move in with me?"
"Fuck," I curse as my fingers bang into the concrete wall of the stairwell.
"Damn…sorry, babe," Jasper's muffled voice answers from the other side of the couch several steps below. We lift again, shifting and maneuvering until we reach our floor.
Despite their reservations about our age, my parents are here helping us move into our apartment. Jasper's parents will arrive in about an hour, and I can't help but think about how eerily similar today is to the day we met.
Jasper starts to open the door, but I stop him. Our lips meet in this one perfect moment.
Silence surrounds us, broken only by our own plaintive gasps and shuddering breath. Gone are the noises of the dorm, gone the anxious feeling of being caught.
Jasper's tongue is leisurely as it licks tantalizingly along my length. Moonlight through the blinds falls on his face in lines, letting me focus now on his hooded eyes, now on his parted lips.
He is breathtaking.
He pushes me back onto our bed and settles between my legs, his strong hands gripping my thighs as he licks and sucks and nibbles.
My fingers tangle in his hair.
I marvel at his love.
I flip through the pictures from our trip to Hot Springs Cove, pausing on one of Jasper diving into the ocean. The image is blurry, his movement too quick for the camera, but I see him clearly.
His hair was plastered to his head and he laughed like a child, splashing and dunking me. My finger traces his form as I smile wistfully.
The summer has passed too quickly, a haze of work and dates and quiet nights at home. I am not ready for classes to start tomorrow, but like the camera couldn't hold Jasper, I can't stop time.
His growl is guttural, feral, and I jump out of my seat, my eyes wide as Jasper appears out of nowhere and grabs a fistful of the guy's pirate costume, yanking him around.
I've never seen this side of him, never seen raw fury in his eyes. "He said no." Jasper's low voice is threatening.
The guy stumbles away, his fake cutlass clattering to the ground. I pay no attention to him leaving as I watch Jasper calming himself.
"Sorry," he mutters finally. "Just… his fucking hands…" He shakes his head, trailing off, and I kiss him hard.
My chin is on Jasper's bare stomach as I play idly with the ring on his right hand, resting just in front of my face. We are spent, basking in the contentment that follows the union of our bodies.
"Hey," he murmurs, running his fingers through my hair. "I have something for you."
"You do?" I lift my head, surprise in my voice.
He nods and reaches into the nightstand, rummaging before lying back with his fist closed. He opens his hand, revealing a titanium band carved with simple Celtic knots. "Will you wear it?"
My smile is my answer.
I carry the last of the boxes into the home we just purchased together, setting them down before Jasper's arms snake around my waist. He kisses my sweaty neck, making me smile as I lean back against him. My hand covers his, my fingers running along the ring I gave him eight years ago, now worn on his left hand.
He refused to let me replace it when we married, saying it held more sentiment than anything new I could give him.
I turn to face him, wrapping my arms around his shoulders.
"Welcome home," he murmurs, kissing me tenderly.
A/N: There are still a couple of days left of Fandom Gives Back! Please check out the great deals there and make some donations for a fantastic cause!
Also, JOotG readers - I must apologize but I'm running a little behind thanks to some unforeseen complications with the surgery. My current plan is to have the chapter up within the next week. I am so sorry - thank you for your patience.