Author's Note: Hi! My contribution to the Almighty Gondola (still hoping it doesn't get demolished by the Giant Squid of Ignorance, ahem) and my first Jogan fanfiction. All characters belong to the fabulous CP Coulter, pardoning the brief mention of one Kurt Hummel, the rights to whom (unfortunately) lie with Ryan Murphy. I'm also
Anyway, written out of a bizarre compulsion to write Jogan angst that wasn't solely related to Adam Clavell and/or unrequited love. That being said, enjoy, if possible. (:
Glazed brown eyes snap violently into attention, fingers tracing the length of the windowsill before falling back into his lap once more. "Go away, Wright."
"Julian, please. Just talk to me."
The actor presses his lips together, brow drawn as though in thought; it can't hurt, but… can it…?
His decision is made for him, however, when Logan moves forward just an instant too soon, an underlying urgency in his haste that gives him away. For the first time in weeks, his gaze flickers towards that of the senator's son; he's not sure what he expects to see there, but confusion seems to be as good of an expression as any. "That wasn't an invitation, Your Highness. Get out of my room." Even as he speaks, he can hear it- that indifferent weariness in the place of conviction, vague annoyance that's too numb to be genuine.
And if he can hear it, Logan most certainly can, too.
This time there's a brief eternity of silence on the blonde's part, uncertainty lacing his tone. "Julian, I know that you're-"
He cuts him off with a glance. "Logan," he murmurs, his voice suddenly dropping into the susurrus of the accompanying rain, "I'm fine. I just… need some time." When the prefect hesitates further, he adds, "To myself."
A sigh and a murmured all right punctuated by the click of a closing door, and he's gone.
It's only a moment later, when the emptiness swallows the dorm room and bleeds into his chest, the rain becoming his sole connection to the real world, that Julian wishes he had stayed.
One fine day, in the middle of the night,
Of course, it's not enough that he should simply have to run. He has to run through fire, over embers and ashes while flames arch endlessly overhead, licks of white and copper unfurling around him like ribbons.
In honesty, he can't remember where it began, why he plunged himself so willingly into a blazing inferno. There's something there, a slow ache tugging at his gut, a silvery sense of dread fluttering through his chest and in his throat, but it's fleeting- everything is fleeting, except…
Two dead boys got up to fight.
And suddenly he feels it- pain, pain, Please, Mother, just hold me, pain. The surreal impossibilities of his situation come crashing around him in one crushing blow; he can't breathe, can't function at all beyond Run, just keep running. His skin is blistering, and everything is a blur of black and bright, blinding, sterile white.
Back to back, they faced each other;
He finally falls, swallowed up by his own funeral pyre. His, but not his, dead, but not dead-
He's not quite sure what he's supposed to feel; relief that he's finally blacking out, that his pain is going to end in a blow of finality, fear of what's on the other side, frustration beyond belief at his utter helplessness…
No, he has no idea what he's supposed to feel, but he knows what he does feel. He feels needles in his skin, deep, retching convulsions in his stomach; blood in his mouth, ice in his veins. He feels nothing but complete and utter agony, agony that doesn't fade when sight does, when the fire overhead is doused by the death of a dream.
Drew their swords
He wakes with a start, a spasm so violent that it rattles the headboard. Breathing heavily and mopping a hand through sweat-soaked hair, he has to convince himself that it was a dream, that he's fine. Of course, it takes a moment or ten to do so, because his body's still convinced he's being tortured and his heart is hammering sporadically and he's not fine-
Eventually the hysteria fades just enough for him to note that he's never going to be able to get back to living if he doesn't stop feeling like this.
But then, his range of emotions is something of a mess right now.
So he simply feels
And shot each other.
Derek is the second one to see him.
He's actually surprised that the athletic Stuart wasn't his first visitor; Derek generally weaponizes audacity to the extent of bluntness, and to his memory has never shied away from his typical nature in a situation like this. But no, Logan was the one who barged into his room on his second afternoon back at Dalton, Logan who threw the door open and tried, in his tactless-as-ever way, to help him.
He's still trying to figure out why that is.
Unlike Logan, Derek was smart about the ordeal; rather than opt for theatrics and desperation, he walks in silently and sits on the bed, not waiting for Julian to look at him before asking simply, "Do you want to talk about it?"
To which he replies, "No."
Derek doesn't sigh or roll his eyes, doesn't pry or attempt to scold him into submission. Instead, he nods, already making to leave when he says, "Look, I don't want to preach, here. You're going to need some time to yourself, to think, sleep, whatever. But at some point the shock is going to fade and you're going to need to talk to someone. And… I'm here when you need me." He shrugs and leaves as silently as he came.
He's not quite as regretful at this exit, but as the day drags on he begins to doubt it's because he's getting better.
The movie was French.
It was, of course, all over the tabloids. After all of the stalker business, the world had stopped holding its breath waiting for a new role; who could expect him to walk away from such a bloody mess unrattled? The fact that, not two weeks after Adam Clavell was officially committed to one of the top psychiatric wards in the country (and two weeks after Logan had dissolved into tears over Kurt Hummel's bloodied but decidedly unbroken frame, but then, that hadn't made the front pages of magazines), Julian Larson had stepped away from the collateral damage and accepted a role in a different country was astounding. He was internationally hailed as a hero and a martyr.
A blind man came to watch fair play,
Having taken the language for three years, French was the natural choice. As far away from Ohio as possible. His stalker was put away, wasn't he? He could escape the unwitting punishment that was Logan Wright once and for all, as he had intended beforehand…
A mute man came to shout "Hooray!"
Liberty was both harder and easier than he ever could have expected it to be. Hard, because he had to deal with the fact that no, not every head of blonde hair or pair of flashing green eyes belonged to Logan Wright, who he would never see again. Hard, because he was in love. Hard because for every voicemail, text, and email left unopened, there was just a modicum of a chance that one of them held the words he so desperately wanted to see and hear, that epiphany had struck with his absence and he could come back, live out the few dreams he had dared to permit himself-
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
But easier because he was busy. France was beautiful and the movie was legitimately good, both in writing and for his career. It wasn't long before he thought as often in French as he did in English, if only for practice, and he had formed a few semblances of friendships here and there. His agent and fans were ecstatic, promotion was big, and, in honesty, he was beginning to feel happy.
The first day he went without thinking of Logan, it all seemed just a little too good be true.
And came to stop those two dead boys.
In retrospect, he knows he should've seen something coming the second the thought entered his mind. But euphoria and weariness stripped him of cynicism, and he slept that night without nightmares.
Three weeks before the movie was slated to end production and five weeks after he had left Dalton (For good, he laughed mirthlessly as he stepped on the plane), a fully-packed black limo pulled into the outer gates, only to leave, emptied of its contents and passenger, in the middle of the night.
After a week, Logan begins coming daily.
The visits are short, at first. He arrives with coffee and food, as well as any make-up work and condolences for the particular day, asks if Julian's all right (Fine. I'm always fine.), then leaves. Not once during the visits does he lose his stiff, curt manner, and it's actually a bit amusing to see that he's managed to disgruntle the prefect so much.
Until Logan starts staying longer, just sitting on the corner of his bed, staring. Sometimes, if Julian's lucky, he brings a book or homework, anything to occupy his attention, but more often than not he simply looks at him, leaning against the wall for support. The universe apparently doesn't hate him completely, however, and the blonde almost always keeps his mouth shut. They drown together in symphonies of silence.
And then, after a week or so of that, Julian's phone rings.
He lived on the corner in the middle of the block,
"What?" he spits into the phone. He sincerely has no idea why he sounds so angry, but he hopes it's for a good reason.
The response is short, muted, and the conversation floats on formalities for a few moments until his father ruins the metaphorical dance with a bullet to the knee.
And suddenly his barrier is wavering and he's feeling it again, losing any progress with his emotional spectrum that he's managed to muster. Tears begin to sting his eyes and he can barely see; his throat's so tight that he can barely manage to choke out, "No, I don't want to come."
Of course, he does want to. But he can't.
In a two-story house on a vacant lot.
The phone makes a sickening crack as it hits the wall, falling into pieces as it falls to the ground. He doesn't realize he's sobbing until Logan's beside him, murmuring Julian's name frantically as he attempts to grab him. When he finds his face pressed into Logan Wright's neck, feels a hand on his lower back and another in his hair, he lets go.
He cries at first, cries mindlessly and without shame for eternity compressed into fifteen minutes. Logan doesn't shift or speak, doesn't do anything but stroke his hair, breathe steadily against his wracking frame. The thought enters his head at random, a habit that's yet to be broken, and he would resist but he's just so fucking tired of resisting.
So he kisses Logan Wright.
He thinks there might be words coming out of the prefect's mouth, but he's not sure enough that he's going to stop now. Because regardless of the situation, if he's going to put this out there, he might as well really put it out there- three years of dealing with this idiot, he figures he's entitled to get something out of it. Logan makes a few feeble attempts to stop him before returning his attentions full force.
Heated kisses escalate within moments, desperate and salty with tears that return immediately. They both lose themselves in wandering touches and stretching boundaries, unfamiliar noises escaping their lips only to be lost in the sea of silence enveloping the House. Blazers and ties are discarded carelessly, thrown across the room with surprising force; they fumble with shirts, with buttons and zippers and…
"Mère," he hears himself moan, his voice muffled by the pillow he's buried himself in. Logan hesitates but doesn't stop completely; he hazily thanks God that he took to French so well and that Logan's so awful with foreign language before he's enveloped in another wave of painful euphoria. "Mon Dieu, Mère s'il vous plaît pardonnez-moi…"
A legless man came walking by,
Soon enough it's over; they lay panting, entangled in sheets and, for a moment, each other. Logan's apparently too tired to go back to his dorm, but he's awake enough to pull a blanket over them and hesitantly wrap his arm around the smaller boy's waist before falling asleep.
And kicked the lawman in the thigh.
Julian wishes he could do the same.
"It was wrong."
Julian looks up at him dubiously; they've both showered (separately) and awkwardly avoided conversation for the entire morning, and this seems like something of a waste of build-up. "I know." And he does.
Logan sighs, fiddling with his uniform sleeve. "No, I mean… Just- I was wrong. I'm sorry."
He blinks. "What?"
He crashed through the wall without making a sound,
"I'm sorry," the prefect repeats, this time meeting his gaze; he has to fight to not look away. "I took advantage of you, and I shouldn't have. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
He's not quite sure how to respond to that, so he shrugs. "Don't be. I was the one who started it."
Logan finally breaks the stare, absently runs a hand through his hair as he stares out the window. "You seem utterly unruffled about this."
"I suppose so."
There's a small stretch of silence as Logan seems to wrestle with himself, shifting for a moment before finally asking, "Did you mean it?"
He frowns, confused. "Mean what?"
"That you're in love with me."
Into a dry creek bed and suddenly drowned.
A pause. "…Did I say that?"
"Yes. Je t'aime. One of the few French phrases I know." He smiles slightly, a curve of his lips that's not quite a smirk but is still altogether too enticing. "Though My God is another, and I heard that once or twice, as well."
Still a little too starstruck to function, he nods. "Yeah."
The smile is gone, replaced by a careful, curious stare.
And the questions start.
The long black hearse came to cart him away,
"Freshman year," he answers passively, wishing there was something, anything he could reasonably be looking at. Instead he toys with his sleeve, obvious but comforting.
"When did you find out you were gay?"
"I didn't. I did, however, find out I was bi. Not really sure when, exactly, but probably about the time I was twelve."
He rolls his eyes. "No, it wasn't my first time. I'm likely more experienced than you, at this point."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
He shrugs again; that one's easy. "You're obsessive, you know that? I think I would've noticed if you reciprocated."
"Jules…" Logan slumps slightly, as though in defeat. "I just…"
"Stop." And he stands, navigating the room with as much grace as he can muster until he's standing mere inches away from the person he loves most in the world. "Look. I know you don't love me. You don't have to pretend because I'm not in the best shape right now."
The fact that Logan took so long to snap is a miracle, but hardly a lasting one; he pushes past Julian and halfway to the door before stopping abruptly and whirling around to face him. There's a fire in his eyes Julian's never seen before, a bright sheen that someone who didn't know him quite as well might've claimed were unshed tears. "How the hell are you so fucking passive about this? You've been shut up in your room for two weeks, won't talk to anyone about what happened, and all of a sudden you're fine? Don't you realize it's okay not to be? I mean, your mother just died and we slept together and apparently you've been in lo-"
Ten seconds and it's over; he's crossed the room and slapped Logan Wright in the face, then collapsed onto his bed in tears. It's decidedly less satisfying than he thought it would be- it's cold and empty and marked by shuddering silence, a certain emptiness and God, please, not again.
"Julian," Logan says in stunned disbelief, his fingers lightly brushing the flushed skin of his cheek. Realization hits like lightning and he's at his side, murmuring rapidly under his breath. "Jules, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, Julian…"
But he ran for his life
He sighs, irritably wiping at his eyes and gesturing towards the door. "You're going to be late for class."
"I'll take the day-"
"Logan." His glare is enough to make him falter, enough to make him stiffen and sigh and stand.
"…Logan?" he repeats when the boy in question reaches the door, lost and altogether unsure of himself. The prefect turns, staring at him expectantly; the words he wants to say turn to lead when they reach his tongue, and he can't breathe, can't think, can't-
"Would you come back tonight?"
And is still gone this day.
His voice is so small that he's sure Logan hasn't heard him, but the blonde, after a few seconds of pointed disbelief, shakes himself and nods dazedly. "Yes. Yes, I will."
He leaves, and Julian burrows underneath his blankets, desperately attempting to fight the hollowness that returned the second the door whispered shut.
Like a light, like a star blown into oblivion. He can see it- somewhere in the depths of his mind, in the rational center below all of the hysteria, he notes that he's not physically capable of doing this, and that center lets go of any guilt the second he sees her.
The rest of him, however, is delving into temporary insanity, because that's his mother sprawled out across the bed, sweat-drenched curls cascading over the edge behind her. There's a sudden heat in the room, dizziness and suffocation and fire, fire everywhere…
He trips over something of little interest to him when he panics, running to her side and carrying her out of the room. He's screaming for help at the top of his lungs, help that arrives with one of the hotel's staff members and later with blinding flashes of blue and white light, carrying her away and leaving him sitting numbly on the edge of the pavement.
He doesn't get to say goodbye.
Eventually the school takes action. He's made to visit a school councilor at least every other day; some help more than others, but he won't discuss the incident in France any more than he'll look at the tabloids detailing it.
It's not fair that he should be forced to talk to them, but he's known that life wasn't fair since he was seven, the first night his parents didn't bother to lower their voices during an argument.
But then, he supposes he'd do anything for that, now.
"Why is this eating up at you?"
Three weeks of their arrangement, three whole weeks and he doesn't ask questions- it's more than Julian ever could have hoped for, so he doesn't make him fight for an answer. Instead he simply looks at him, one eyebrow raised slightly in a plead to elaborate.
It works. "I understand grief. I do. I understand that you didn't deserve this, that you're not just going to bounce back immediately. But it's been, what, six weeks now? Seven? You hardly seem to be getting any better, and… I'm worried about you."
Julian thinks for a moment, searching for an answer, anything besides the truth. When nothing plausible comes up, he looks away, instead staring at the work in his lap. "I could have saved her."
"Talk to someone."
"Don't. Just… get it over with."
"Julian. Talk to someone. For me."
"…So I suppose I just feel like it's my fault."
There are tears in his eyes, leaving silver tracks as they streak over his cheekbones and into the hollow of his neck, but he's not quite crying- on the contrary, he's actually quite calm, not choked up in the slightest. He's hoping for something, anything to make life resemble normality again.
One fine day in the middle of the night,
His hopes are somewhat trodden when the councilor remains as silent as she has throughout the whole session, staring at him in what appears to be stunned horror. It's a little annoying, actually- isn't she supposed to be comforting him, advising him or some such nonsense? He clears his throat expectantly and she snaps out of it, reaching for her bag as she says shakily, "You said your mother died in a hotel fire?"
Two dead boys got up to fight.
His throat tightens. "Yes?" Isn't that blatantly obvious, or does she not read the tabloids?
But evidently she does; she draws one out of her briefcase carefully, still staring at him like she's discovered some dark, horrible secret. In one swift, jerky movement, she lays the magazine flat on her desk and pushes it towards him, withdrawing her hand immediately.
Back to back they faced each other,
Curious, he picks it up, studying the cover. His blood runs cold and he regrets it immediately, staring in appalled fascination at the monstrosity spelled out plainly in yellow and white lettering.
Drew their swords and shot each other.
And all of a sudden he remembers- the dazed look in her eyes, the screaming, the pill bottle in the middle of the floor. The pill bottle he tripped over trying to save her.
He's going to be sick.
"-there was no fire."
One fine day…
Dolce Larson: Found Dead by Her Own Hand at French Hotel
One fine day.
He receives a number of visitors over the next three days, some more frantic than others.
"Julian, open the fucking door!"
There's an aching sense of guilt when Derek comes calling, or when Bailey drops by with food and coffee knowing full and well that he won't be thanked for his efforts.
But when Logan's outside of his door, kicking and cursing, or blazing elsewhere in the house with a tail of destruction in his wake, it's hard to feel anything but frustration.
"Julian, please, just tell me what's wrong."
On the fourth day, he receives no visitors, and he's beginning to thank God for it when, just before midnight, his door slides open. He knows it's Logan before he even looks up, but he's surprised to see the prefect so calm-- he's not yelling, not running, not asking questions and demanding answers. He's simply standing there, ramrod straight, hands behind his back.
And after a moment of staring at him with that devastating green gaze, he says, "I love you."
I watched from the corner of the big round table,
It's an explosion of sorts, a quiet storm of hope and wonderment in his heart; a jolt of lightning to his chest, electricity thrumming through his veins and buzzing at his fingertips. Trembling lips and fluttering eyes and I'm yours if you'll have me, yours if you can fix me…
Because, of all people, Logan Wright is the only one that can really fix him.
It's everything amazing he's ever felt and more, a fulfilled dream he never thought he'd receive, and yet all he can say is, "No you don't. We talked about this, if you remember."
The only eye-witness to the facts of my fable;
Julian thinks he might kill himself for saying that, true or otherwise, but Logan just shrugs. "I didn't want to say anything then. I suppose now I'm just taking advantage of the fact that I can get within ten feet of you."
And all of a sudden he's angry again, wishing there was something large and heavy within reach. "What? Are you really that desperate for sex that you'll go that far after three days without it? I knew you were dramatic, Wright, but I didn't think you were cruel." He pauses. "On second thought," he adds with a mirthless laugh, "I suppose I did."
But if you doubt my lies are true,
"Julian," he says, and the actor in question is a bit disquieted by the levels of self-control he was displaying. "I've known I've loved you since you left for France. If you ever bothered to check your damn phone, you would know that I wanted to talk to you about something."
"No." He shakes his head furiously, his throat tight and his eyes stinging. "No, you can't. You would've told me before."
"Yes, because the night after you had a mental breakdown would've been a fabulous time for an anguished declaration of love," Logan answers mildly, rolling his eyes. When he continues, his voice has softened to a murmur. "Look, I'm not saying that it would be perfect. It wouldn't even be easy. But if you'd take me…" He shrugs. "I want to help you. I want to be with you."
Ask the blind man,
"I… I love you."
"I love you, too."
And in that moment, nothing else matters.
He saw them, too.
So, my fellow gondoliers, may I officially come aboard?
Oh, Jogan. Where would I be without you two?
(And Julian, darling, I'm so sorry I wrote that. D: )
Reviews would be absolutely adored, but I won't push. Merci. (:
Oh, and by the way, Julian's French translates roughly into "Mother... My God, Mother please forgive me."