"Listen, Duval, we didn't do all this work just so you could pansy out," President Sylvester muttered through clenched teeth, her face dangerously twisted, "How you will get in that room when I call you, or I will have you killed- right here, right now."
Shuddering slightly, Nick looked over to the metal door, behind which the interrogation room in which Jeff was being held stood. President Sylvester threw the door open and strode purposefully in, leaving Nick outside to weight his options.
You can run, he thought, but to where? The only place he wanted to be was Dalton.
A loud beep drew him from his thoughts, "Duval," the voice called, "Get in here."
Nick inhaled deeply, tugging at his tie as he walked in. He hated interrogation rooms- their cold atmosphere and sterility of it all made him shiver in fear. The brunette swallowed, not knowing where to look.
Jeff's gaze flickered between Nick and President Sylvester, until his eyes widened and something clicked in his brain, "You—you're, you're one of them," He choked out.
Nick didn't look up. He wanted nothing more to reach out and tug him into his arms, but President Sylvester stepped in front of him. "Take blondie here to the holding cell," she ordered with a jerk of her head. Four agents shuffled in, lifting Jeff to his feet and leading him out the door, with Nick powerless to stop them.
"Nice work, Duval," she congratulated, patting him on the shoulder before leaving.
Jeff heard the cell door clang shut as he slid to the ground, the cool concrete floor awakening his senses. How could he? How could Nick do such a thing? he wondered, "I thought—" he stopped, to afraid to continue. You thought you loved him, a soft voice inside his head finished. Jeff shook his head violently, pounding his fists onto the floor, "No, no, no!" he cried.
Yes, the voice replied calmly, yes you do.
Nick had stayed where he was for what seemed like ages, replaying that hour over and over again. You did it, he told himself. They captured Jeff, President Sylvester's happy, you can go home now. Nick frowned. He should be happy—ecstatic even—but all he could think of was the hurt he'd seen in Jeff's eyes. In fact, all he could think about was Jeff—the way he flipped his hair when he was trying to be confident, or crinkled his nose when he laughed, or even how he bit his nails when he was nervous. Nick pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to stop the tears that had gathered in his eyes and the dull ache in his chest.
He shoved his hands into his pockets before he pulled the left one out, a small keychain dangling from his fingers. He laughed a bit bitterly as he remembered Jeff giving it to him.
It was shortly after their two month anniversary—three months after Nick had arrived at Dalton—and Jeff had taken it upon himself to wake his boyfriend in the middle of the night, dragging him unceremoniously to a room in the East Wing.
"C'mon Nicky," he had pleaded. "Just look."
The brunette groaned, instead choosing to bury his face deeper into Jeff's chest and close his eyes even tighter. "No," he mumbled. Jeff sighed, wrenching the boy away and pushing him forwards. Nick reluctantly opened his eyes, "Wow," he breathed, "It's…wow."
Jeff smiled. The observatory— with its soft carpet floor (almost like grass, but better), walls that changed color in accordance to the time of day and season, and a clear glass ceiling— was perfect for stargazing. He left go of Nick's hand and lay down in the middle of the room, staring straight up at the sky.
Nick padded over and lay next to him, quietly slipping his hand into the blonde's. They lay there for a while pointing out constellations to one another or simply enjoying the closeness and the quiet.
Jeff sat up suddenly, his eyes growing wide in remembrance, "Nicky, I got you something for our two month, and— and I know it's stupid, but I know how much you love astronomy and the stars and all that, so yeah," he trailed off, holding out his hand to reveal a small, badly-wrapped present.
Nick smiled, "I-I didn't even think of getting anything for you."
Jeff shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly, "As long as you're happy, so am I."
The brunette grinned, scooting forward and kissing him on the nose, before he pulled back to open the box, gasping slightly when he saw the silver star dangling from the keychain.
"You said you always wanted to reach for the stars," Jeff explained quietly, "And now you've got one."
Nick shook his head, "Now I've got two," he murmured, leaning in to kiss him.
Nick pressed his lips against the star, curling his hand back around it and shoving it into his pocket, "Looks like I'm down to one again," he whispered, trying to disguise the hurt in his voice.
And that's when Nick realized—the reason he felt so badly, the reason he couldn't stop thinking about him, the reason he wasn't happy—and that was Jeff. Nick got to his feet, straightening up and wiping the tears from his face. He had to see Jeff.
Nick found the blonde curled up in the corner of his cell, looking strangely defenseless and vulnerable.
"Jeff," he whispered. The blonde didn't stir. "Jeff!" he called again. Nothing. "Dammit Jeff, I know you can hear me," Nick hissed. "At least look at me or something!"
Jeff raised his head slowly. "What?" he asked, his voice hollow.
Nick crouched down, holding onto one of the bars for support. "Look, Jeff, I'm sorry, I—"
"Bullshit." Nick froze slightly and Jeff took it as permission to continue. "If you really were sorry, you would've told me sooner. Or you wouldn't have even done this to begin with. Who the hell—" he paused, not wanting to say his next thoughts.
Nick looked over at the blonde, the pain carefully hidden away by a mask of anger. Nick had seen him do it a lot over the past few months, but always at someone else, never at him. He bit his lip, realizing that he'd been the only one who'd seen the true Jeff, the one who hurt and who cried and who was sweet and whom he…loved.
He struggled to get closer, the iron bars of the cell preventing him from doing so. "I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry I didn't tell you and that I took this stupid job, but I—I didn't lie." He looked down at the ground awkwardly. "At least not about us," he continued in a much quieter voice.
"I think I love you," he added even softer.
Jeff wasn't sure when or how he'd started moving, but he found himself clutching the metal bars of the cell, staring up at Nick. "You shouldn't—you can't just—I trusted you," he whispered, his voice breaking.
Nick reached through the bars to tilt the blonde's chin up. "You still can. Maybe I didn't tell you everything, but I would never ever lie about this." He leaned closer. "Trust me. Trust your heart. Trust us," he whispered, leaning forward and pressing his lips against Jeff's, the cold of the iron bars and the warmth of Jeff's mouth sending dizzying sensations soaring through him. Jeff slipped his hands through the bars, wrapping them as best he could around Nick's neck, as Nick did something cute or romantic of the sort.
When the two finally parted, Nick couldn't help the grin that appeared on his face, which only widened when he saw that Jeff was smiling. Reaching into his pocket, the brunette pulled out a key card, leaned back and waved it in front of the key pad, the iron door unlocking with a solid click. "C'mon," he whispered, pulling the blonde to his feet.
Jeff got up, tugging his jacket around him and leaving the cell warily. He half smiled as he felt Nick's fingers intertwine with his.
"Let's go!" Nick cried, pulling him forwards.
"But where?" Jeff asked nervously, "I'll be back in jail the minute they see me."
Nick shrugged, kissing him once more. "Anywhere's better than here."
AN: So there you have it, the final chapter. Thanks for sticking with me through it all- those who favorited, story alerted, reviewed, or simply read- I adore you all, and thank you so very much.