Summary: Friends were for the weak, for the ones that wanted to be hurt again and again.
AN: A little something I wrote for OCDJen's birthday. It's not exactly what I had in mind, as another story was in my head, but I woke up this morning sick, and Jen is sick, so here we are. I dreamed this while having chills of my own.
Hard, shaking chills wracked my body, the convulsions making my teeth chatter. Blankets piled high on top of me, leaving me no doubt that every single one I owned was on the bed. Warm pajamas and socks covered me. The problem? I had no idea how I got there in my fever addled mind.
Feeling the covers shift and the bed dip I tried to make out who climbed into bed with me. No one should be here, I lived alone. Nor did I have any friends anymore. Friends were for the weak, for the ones that wanted to be hurt again and again.
Without my glasses or contacts and the fever searing my eyeballs all I could see was a blur, but the warmth of the arms surrounding me were soothing. My eyes closed as I tried to get my body to stop shaking.
Hours later or maybe minutes, the shaking hadn't completely subsided, but it lessened. The person next to me seemed to be looking at me in concern, at least as much as I could see of him. How the fuck did they get in here? Who the hell was it? Warm lips kissed my forehead and felt like fire against my fevered skin.
The person next to me finally spoke. A male voice then. I had no idea what they said as I was quickly pulled back under again to sleep.
Finally my eyes opened again and no, I realized, I didn't imagine there was a man in my bed. Unless, of course, I was still dreaming or the fever was high enough that it gave me hallucinations. That was entirely possible.
Another kiss to my forehead and the owner of those lips visibly relaxed when they realized I was no longer as hot as before. I knew I wasn't as my teeth stopped chattering and I was beginning to be uncomfortably hot underneath all the blankets.
Turning over towards my nightstand I reached for my glasses. Now that I could see more clearly I gazed at the person in my bed. Gasping in disbelief, I knew that I was still fevered or dreaming. The blond man, with the sad blue eyes couldn't be here. When I tried to voice anything, anything at all, all that came out was a wheeze. My lungs felt tight and my throat burned. Jasper, if it was indeed Jasper, grabbed me and pulled me down next to him again, wrapping arms around me tightly. That time I heard what he said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Edward. I wish you had stayed long enough to let me explain, but when I came to my senses you were already gone." That I was. Gone, I mean. The last time I'd spoken to Jasper was months ago.
We'd gone to a party, a loud, drunken, tons of people there kind of party the day before I left. Wandering around on my own, having drunk plenty of liquid courage and cowardice, I found myself with a pretty boy pushed against a wall and loving every single bit of pleasure he gave. Jasper didn't find me this way, thank god, but his brother, James, did. An audible gasp made me open my eyes and my moan died in my throat. James was looking at me, at 'pretty boy', that I still didn't know the name of, and rapidly figuring out my darkest secret.
James left me alone then, but later sought me out to confront me. "Does Jasper know?" he asked me oddly quiet in the too loud house. Shaking my head no, he questioned, "Don't you think he has a right to know?"
"No, I don't think so. That's no one's business but mine," I snapped sharply.
"Edward, it would be better if he knew than to find out just like I did. You didn't exactly hide it, did you? You're best friends, he should know," he explained, running his hands through blond waves so strikingly like Jasper's that I almost stuttered my next words.
"J... Jasper doesn't need to know. He... I don't know what he'll do. He's my best friend and if I lose him then I have nothing," I got out haltingly.
"No, Edward, you have nothing now. You can't keep a secret that big from someone you are close to. It isn't right. If he'd stumbled upon what I just did, I don't know what his reaction to that would be, but I guarantee it'll be worse than if you tell him. Do it, Edward, or I will," James commanded and left me alone to think.
The morning after the party I had crashed on James' and Jasper's couch. Hungover, I felt cranky, my head felt like it weighed a ton and only slowly were the events of the previous night filtering in my mind. Oh, fuck. I was going to have to talk to Jasper, today. Giving him and me a little more time to wake up and fight off the effects of being hungover I went over what I wanted to say. No matter how many times I rehearsed it, there was nothing in my mouth when I told Jasper that we needed to talk.
Jasper's blue eyes pierced me as though he could see what I wanted to tell him, but I knew that was wishful thinking. It would make it so much easier if he already knew the truth. After opening and closing my mouth one too many times like a fish, I blurted out, "I'm gay." Jasper's eyes widened and he stared at me, just stared. No words were spoken. He didn't yell in anger, he didn't accept it, he looked at me as if I was an alien that just grew two heads. Fifteen minutes of that and me asking him to say something and nothing was getting through was too much for me. I ran, my heart breaking the entire way.
The door slammed shut behind me with finality. My own best friend couldn't accept me for who I was. I never changed, I was still me. It wasn't like I wasn't gay and then I was. We'd grown up together, been friends forever, and thought we would still be friends through anything. I thought wrong.
James had been right though. If that was Jasper's reaction to being told, I never wanted to know what it would be if he'd ever seen.
Packing up all my shit, which there wasn't much of, I headed out of town. The best place for me would be somewhere that I could start over. No one would ever have the power to hurt me that much again.
The hotel I stayed in the first week was a little seedy, but worked until I could find both a job and an apartment. My phone remained with me the first two weeks, in a tiny flicker of hope that Jasper would call. When he didn't I threw the phone out and got a disposable one, disposable just like all the people that would enter my life later.
Going to clubs to find someone or another became, not my favorite pass time, but my only outlet for sexual release. All I wanted were hook-ups, not boyfriends, not even friends with benefits. Those took too much work and ended up with a knife in your heart for your effort. Four boys made it into my apartment to spend the night, the rest were at the others' home or the clubs. No one stayed more than once, I didn't allow it. A few tried, tried to break this hardened shell, but they always failed.
"Why are you here, Jasper?" I finally managed to croak out.
Sad, watery blue eyes stared back at me. "Edward, I... I missed you. You were there, you were my best friend, then you tell me you're gay and then you're gone. I thought I lost you forever."
Opening my mouth to speak, Jasper placed a finger over my lips. "I'm not finished and you hurt too much to talk anyway right now. Besides, after my failure to speak at all, it's time I did, don't you think?" he asked and I acquiesced.
Taking a deep breath, Jasper stated, "I'm gay." My eyes widened in denial. He couldn't be or he wouldn't have reacted like that. "Yes, Edward, I'm gay. I was then when you said it, but I'd never come out to anyone, never done anything with anyone. James told me later that he knew. About me, I mean. The reason he pushed you to tell me is so that I'd stop denying it to myself."
Jasper's finger hadn't left my lips and slowly traced them. My lips felt dry and cracked against his fingers. "I'm sorry I couldn't have been stronger. I'm sorry that it took you leaving for me to figure out that I was in love with you. I'm sorry you had to go through that by yourself. I'm sorry it took me this long to find you once I figured it out. I'm sorry, so sorry," he whispered and pulled me even closer to him. My mind had gotten stuck on that he was in love with me, but was, as in the past, not present.
"Let me make it up to you, please, Edward. Please forgive me. I want my best friend back at the very least," Jasper begged, arms still clutching me tightly as if I was going to slip through his fingers.
Shaking my head no, I didn't let anyone have that kind of power over me anymore. The person he'd made me by his own actions was not the person he loved then, or was even a friend to him. Jasper finally cried then for the bitter person in his arms. "I won't give up on you," he sniffled.
Throughout my illness I couldn't kick him out and he had sneaked his way into my life without my noticing. Later, I'd have to say that was a good thing. Otherwise he'd be like the other boys that failed every time. Jasper refused to fail. He never gave up on me and slowly chipped the ice that surrounded me away.
There were probably as many months of Jasper's constant actions of love as there were of the time we were apart before I finally let go of all the bitterness. The day I realized it was gone was the day I realized I loved him. Wrapping my arms around him willingly, I pulled him tight to me. Surprised to be held by me, Jasper questioned, "What?" in confusion.
Smiling at him, finally feeling free and lighthearted and happy, I kissed Jasper, my best friend, my soon to be lover. The kiss was soft and gentle and finally I was able to tell him, "I love you."
Squeezing me to him, he breathed, "I love you, too."
"I know," I replied, he had showed me every single day by not giving up on me.