[takes place right after chapter 16 for lack of a better starting point]
Warnings: mild lemon, yum! (Jonas/Asher) but watch out for dreams and memories that don't count --; and maybe a little OOC?
This fic is dedicated to my Hee-chan and all the other poor students who have to read The Giver for school
For a few days after that, Jonas noticed little difference in his life or his feelings. Looking back, he thought he had still been numb over the terrible memory of war, or perhaps that the drug had needed time to completely leave his system. Eventually, however, the Stirrings returned in full force. Sometimes it was just a dream; others, a stray thought in school. The... experiences weren't always so bad, and occasionally he found himself wondering why on Earth anyone would want to take the pill. It was, of course, part of the rules, but he hadn't had to adhere so strictly to the Community's code lately and the effect of this was that he began to casually discard it.
One morning, he woke up after a particularly pleasing dream in which Fiona had actually pressed her face against his. It had made him feel, as was usual, very odd, especially because he had the nagging feeling that Lily or Asher or one of his other friends had been looking on in disapproval. He had also felt vaguely uncomfortable after he got out of bed, but that sensation had disappeared by the time he finished cleaning and headed off for school. Disposing of the restrictive pill as had become his custom, Jonas was more than a little distressed to watch his friend once again double back inside to retrieve his.
"Sorry, Jonas!" Asher called as he ran back towards their bikes, pill in hand.
"I accept your apology," the pensive boy returned. "Hey, Ash," he interrupted as his darker-haired friend moved to take the pill. "Don't take that today." At first the look on Jonas' companion sent him was one of incredulity, but Asher's usual grin returned quickly.
"Funny, Jonas," he said, swallowing the pill. It was so frustrating; the way the other boy just shrugged the honest request off... Jonas had lost hope for sharing his feelings and experiences with his family after their failed discussion of love, but he couldn't stand to just give up. Surely his friends, still young and learning as he was, could be shown. As he and Asher pedaled towards school, he decided to try again.
"Why not?" he called, slowing down a little so his bicycle rode lazily next to Asher's.
"Why don't you stop taking the pill? You usually forget it, anyway," Jonas reminded him, trying to keep his voice casual.
"Jonas, it's the rules. I don't want to be chaste."
"Chastised." Asher groaned, rolling his eyes.
"Whatever- should you be talking about this, anyway?" he continued, looking a little suspicious. "I apologize for being rude," he added quickly.
"I accept your apology," Jonas muttered, his feelings of hopelessness growing. There had to be some way to get his friend to understand... Maybe- maybe he could take Asher by surprise, get his guard down, but- how? He had tried before to pass color on with his hands unsuccessfully. So, how did one pass on emotions? Jonas resolved to ask the Giver after school that day.
* * *
"There were a lot of different ways, Jonas," the elderly man answered slowly, "but I definitely would not recommend trying them here."
"Why not?" Jonas asked, a little discouraged. To his surprise, the Giver laughed. "What's so funny?"
"Jonas," he said, smiling faintly, sadly, "They can't feel what you feel any more than they can see colors." Resting a hand on the boy's shoulder, he added, "Cheer up, Jonas... I can still show you, if you like. I don't have many romantic memories, but there may be enough to quench your Stirrings for the time being at least."
"Romantic?" Jonas asked, not recognizing the word. The Giver didn't speak; he merely gestured towards the room's small bed. Removing his shirt as usual, Jonas laid down and closed his eyes, waiting.
He was in a large room with several tables and dim light. Sitting across the round table in front of him was a woman who looked more than a little like Fiona, despite her dark brown hair. She was talking, smiling, laughing... there were plates set on the table with little bits of food on them, giving the impression of a meal. A man wearing dark clothes with the name "Bob" on them brought Jonas a slip of paper which Jonas signed, although he wasn't certain why. The woman stood up, walking towards him as Jonas stood. She reached him, smiling and wrapping her arms around him.
As Jonas nervously put an arm around the strange woman, she raised her face towards his, moving closer until her lips pushed against his as Fiona's had in the dream he'd had that morning. *Kiss,* something told him. *She's kissing me.* Then the memory faded.
"Does that answer your question, Jonas?" the Giver wanted to know.
"Yes," Jonas answered, "Yes, it does, and I see what you mean about not doing something like that in the Community." So much close contact- something like that would surely get you a serious reprimand... if you got caught, that was. He pushed the thought away, convincing himself that he couldn't pursue the matter any further. The Giver smiled again, looking as though he might laugh.
"Actually, that kind of affection was usually much less publicly appropriate. You've studied sexual reproduction, correct?" Jonas nodded. It was one of the few things the general public knew about the past, before the Sameness and designated Birthmothers. The process was described to all the children when they were tens, and was so thoroughly and completely disgusting from that point of view it put all thought of ever attempting it permanently out of their heads. "That was probably the most extreme way of displaying your feelings." Jonas wrinkled his nose.
"That's... repulsive."
* * *
He pushed his bike a few steps before climbing on and heading for home. It was late, but not too- the Giver had been letting him go home early for the past few days. No sooner was the House of the Old out of sight than Jonas heard something. He braked and looked around for the source of the noise. It wasn't quite late enough for curfew, so he supposed it might have been some of the younger children playing. He was about to push off and go on his way when he heard footsteps behind him. Turning, he was surprised to see Asher jog up beside him.
"Hey, again, Jonas," he greeted cheerfully.
"Hi, Asher," Jonas answered. "What are you doing out so late? Where's your bike?"
"Oh, I had to carry some things down from the center. They wouldn't fit in my bicycle basket, so I walked." Jonas nodded. There was an awkward pause. "Er... I apologize if this is rude, but... what did you mean this morning? About not taking my pill?" Asher shifted uncomfortably and glanced back the way he'd come as if expecting to be sought out and punished for his rudeness. Jonas was no more calm, his heart speeding with excitement.
"I meant 'Don't take it!' There's all sorts of wonderful experiences you're missing out on and-"
"You mean you don't take your anymore?" Asher interjected, disbelieving. "I apologize for interrupting," he added quickly.
"Oh, quit apologizing!" Jonas exclaimed. This was great! He had finally gotten through, it seemed, by sheer luck. Asher looked decidedly uncertain about his friend's unusual behavior. "Asher, Asher, it's so wonderful!"
"What's so wonderful about forgetting your pills?" Asher now looked as though he would sooner run away than break the seemingly inconsequential rule. "Wh-what are you doing?" he demanded as the pale-eyes boy, having set his bicycle on the ground, reached out to grab his shoulder and pull him closer.
"Just trust me for a minute, Ash," Jonas instructed, grinning as the odd feeling from that morning returned. Doing his best to recall the memory, he leaned in and briefly touched his lips to the older boy's. Asher's eyes went wide and stayed that way as Jonas pulled away.
"What was that?!"
"It's called a kiss. It's because I like you, Asher, and I want to share that with you," Jonas explained, feeling a hot sensation spreading up his neck to his ears.
"A kiss?" said Asher, looking uncertain again.
"Did you enjoy it?" Jonas inquired eagerly.
"I... don't know. It made me feel weird, like... like when I had my Stirrings..." Nodding, Jonas waited for his friends to say something more. That was exactly what it felt like... the acute wanting had returned... He realized suddenly that he wanted, more than anything, to be pushed up against his male friend, to take off their clothes... the blushing became worse and it seemed to spread again, downwards this time, to the supposedly useless male organ in the young Twelve's lap. His educational experience had certainly not included this feeling. Jonas felt himself breathing more heavily, as though he had been running. "Are you okay, Jonas?" Asher wondered, stepping forward and stumbling over Jonas' bicycle, which fell with a loud crash.
Asher had followed suit, falling onto his friend, who, in turn, had been knocked to the ground underneath him. Asher moved quickly to get up.
"I'm sorry, Jonas!" he exclaimed, but before he could say anything else, Jonas pulled on his tunic, forcing him to fall back on top of the younger boy. They kissed again, lips lingering a bit longer this time. "Jonas, I-"
"It's OK, Ash..." Jonas said, his voice deeper than it should have been. He coughed, glanced around, and rose to a standing position. "Come on," he commanded, pulling on Asher's wrist as his sister, Lily, had done when she was younger. Leading his friend towards a cluster of trees and bushes not far from the path but out of sight Jonas began to see the appeal of having sex. The area between his legs seemed to throb as he finally reached the clump of vegetation. Not thinking clearly, he pulled off his tunic and turned back to his friend. Asher, unsurprisingly, was averting his eyes.
"Jonas, what are you *doing*?" Without responding verbally, the aroused Twelve stepped closer to hug Asher, pulling the dark-haired boy against him. Asher protested at first, but Jonas silenced him with another kiss. Experimenting, he opened his mouth slightly to brush his tongue against Asher's lips. "Mmph!" Before he could pull away, Jonas, acting on instinct, pushed his hips into his friend's. Both boys moaned at the waves of... excitement this action brought. Through the fabric of their clothes, Jonas felt something stiff brush against the sensation in his crotch. Asher slid encouraging arms around him.
"I- I don't know what you're doing, but it's making me feel very Stirred." Jonas laughed a little at this.
"Take off your tunic," he suggested. Asher quickly complied. Jonas' heart pounded as they embraced again. His skin was damp with sweat. To all appearances, it seemed as if he had been running a race. Still feeling as though he needed to be closer to Asher, he pushed his hips forward again. This time, he was sure he felt a problem similar to his own.
"What about our pants?" Asher panted, managing to sound nervous. Jonas grinned, pulling his own off and throwing them on the ground by their tunics. A pang of embarrassment and guilt fought its way through the storm of emotions, but as soon as his eyes found Asher's naked body, it was banished. "This has to be against so many rules..." Asher fretted, unable to resist starting at Jonas, the first unclothed young body he'd seen besides his own. "Now what do we do? This is starting to hurt..."
"I'm not sure, but... I think we're supposed to lie down." Asher was right; it was quickly changing from a pleasurable sensation to a painful one, although Jonas still found it blinding.
"On the ground?"
"We could lie on our clothes..." A few seconds later, Jonas found himself lying on top of Asher, skin to bare skin. Nerves all over the sensitive bodies created an almost electric charge between the two of them. Jonas found himself not thinking, just pushing rhythmically down and up in tandem with Asher. He felt so connected, so incredibly excited and happy and satisfied- there had to be a word for it.
"A-aaah, Jonas," Asher moaned. For a moment Jonas worried that someone might hear them, but then suddenly something sticky squirted out over Asher's bare legs. Moments later, Jonas felt a similar fluid spill from between his own as a wave of exhaustion finally caught up to him. Collapsing on top of his friend, he felt more tired than he had as long as he could remember. He raised his head slightly to kiss Asher again, softly.
"Is that why...?" Asher whispered hoarsely. Jonas nodded, laying his head on his friend's chest.
"I love you, Asher," Jonas said, closing his eyes and meaning it thoroughly. Somehow, the spent elder boy lifted an arm to wrap it around his friend.
"I think I 'love' you, too, Jonas."
OK, OK, OK, sappy ending. I wrote most of this... er, yesterday evening, and am up here at 4:30 AM finishing up the typing job, for _you_ my good readers... so don't you think you can at least review and tell me what you think? Ne? If you're nice, I might could write more someday...
BTW, flames will be added to either my Tasuki shrine or my Dilandau one, depending on sanity and alcohol content.
April 2002