Joseph reached out to feel for the warm body that had slept beside him. Instead he found the space empty, still warm, but empty. He kept his eyes closed. Of course he had left; he would always be gone when the night was over. There were times during the day that he'd think it was all a dream. It always seemed like a dream. But then his phone would ring and he'd check the caller I.D. : J. And then he'd know it was real. Well, as real as Jack would allow it to be.
After a few breathes he opened his eyes, readying himself for a pale dawn and an empty bed. But he was wrong. Jack's half dressed figure sat at the edge of the bed, facing away from him. Joseph couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as he whispered "You're still here."
"I am…" was Jack's reply. It was stiff, like his mind was somewhere else. Joseph crawled out from under the blanket and moved to where Jack was, carefully wrapping his arms around his lover's naked torso. He felt Jack's tense shoulders loosen at his touch, the small smile form on Jack's lips as he took Joseph's hand in his.
Joseph rested his head on Jack's shoulder as they sat in a comfortable silence, watching as the night began to fade into day.
Jack spoke first "I'm going back tomorrow."
Back. Joseph didn't even need to ask. Back to the North. Back to war with Gath. He closed his eyes. He wanted to get mad, to tell Jack that he didn't have to fight. That he was the Prince; he could choose to stay if he wanted to. But he knew he couldn't say that. The wars meant more to Jack than anyone could ever know. So he said nothing; instead, he buried his face in the crook of Jack's neck.
"Aren't you going to say anything?" Jack muttered there was a slight tremor in his voice as he pulled Joseph's arms closer around him.
"Don't die." He whispered, placing a small kiss on Jack's neck.
Jack shifted and turned halfway to look at Joseph. His eyes shining the way they did whenever they were alone together. He reached out and placed his palm on Joseph's cheek, pulling him into a deep kiss.
Joseph watched as Jack's black car pulled away from the building. He watched from the 38th floor, his hand pressed against the cold glass. The farther the car went the more his chest constricted with pain. "Be safe."