A/N- Hey lovely readers, what's crackatackalackafackatrackabacking in your neck of the woods I loved your reviews, as per usual, you guys make my fucking day :3
Also sorry for the lateness, my favorite band just broke up and I'm still grieving u.u But this is the chapter you've all basically been waiting for and yeah um remember 'blah blah blah' means it's been signed, "blah blah blah" means it's been said.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: I have a song for this one- Sea of Love, on the Juno soundtrack. Listen to it. On repeat. Please. No really. Do it.
Disclaimer- No okay but in all seriousness I'm just gonna stop putting these because it's clear to everyone that I don't own jack shit here.
The following days were a blur of the inside of the bar, cat hair, Alec's smile, and silent TV shows. I would go to work, come home to feed Chairman, then either cuddle up with Alec or stop by his house for a few hours. We saw each other quite a lot during the rest of the week, and one of us always ended up staying at the other's house. It was almost like we were living together, but not quite.
Alec didn't bring up the subject of his speech for a while, and when he did it wasn't usually on his own, but he slowly opened up about it. I have a coach, is what he told me. And apparently he'd had that coach for quite a while, basically ever since he went deaf, but he was much more comfortable just signing, which was very understandable.
And over those few days, I decided something- I was going to show him my progress in learning ASL. I figured that if he could share his voice with me, I could share my signing with him. After a final run-through with my ASL teacher that Thursday, I went to pick up Alec the next day for a picnic, a nice one, under a big tree in a park, somewhere we could be alone but as soon as I drove up to his house it starting raining. Not just drizzles; buckets. I sighed, my plan foiled by the weather, but then took the picnic supplies I had brought out of my car, carrying them up to Alec's house with me.
Alec had been looking worriedly out the window when I arrived, and opened the door for me immediately, greeting me with a kiss and knitted eyebrows. I smiled, held up the basket that contained all we needed for our picnic pleasures, and shut the door behind me.
We can have a picnic inside.
He looked up from the text, confused, and then saw me settling a blanket over his floor, taking food out of the basket, wine. Smiling shyly, he joined me on the floor, accepting the glass of red wine I offered him.
We sat on his floor, leaning against the big black couch he had, drinking good wine, eating good food, sharing the same glances and smiles. There were no words being said or typed, we just sat together, playing with the other's hands and giving sweet kisses.
It was near the end of our meal that the tickle of nervousness in the back of my head evolved into an irritation, one that was making my hands sweat and my mouth get a bit dry. As much as I had practiced, there would always be the fear of messing something up, of saying the wrong thing, that would be in my head… but then I looked at where Alec was sitting next to me, holding my hand, giving me the subtly but very happy look he always gave me, and I let go of him for a moment to get my phone.
I've been meaning to show you something for a while…
He looked at the text, then at me, a little curious but with the same sparkle in his eye that made my heart do something funny. I took a breath, swallowing thickly, and lifted my hands to begin the sentence I had been practicing for months, speaking along with the words my hands made, just in case.
'I've been learning sign language for you.'
I watched his face carefully and his smiled seemed to fade away, melting into a confused half-frown. I kept going, slower this time.
'Every Tuesday and Thursday I go to the community center for ASL classes,' I continued. My hands were shaking a little, and I had to pause to open and close them into fists a few times. Alec was still watching me, almost expressionless, but with wide eyes.
'I wanted to learn for you, so we could talk together in your language, instead of just using our phones.'
I saw him swallow, blinking away tears that were making his eyes glassy. 'You didn't have to,' he signed.
It wasn't exactly the reaction I had been hoping for. 'But I wanted to.'
He shook his head, sniffing, rubbing at his eyes. 'I mean you shouldn't have to.'
'What do you mean?'
'You spent so much time of your life learning this for me and… that's so amazing of you, but I'm not worth it.'
I raised my eyebrows at him, confused. 'What? No, you're-'
The rest of my sentence was lost on him, as he continued anyway, hands moving faster than before. 'I'm not worth all of this; I'm just some deaf kid. Deaf kids should be with other deaf kids, and it was selfish of me to choose you, of all people. You deserve someone better, someone who can give you everything you want. You'll always be missing something, and it's my fault.'
Tears were running down his cheeks and he kept rubbing his eyes, didn't look at my face. I tried to tell him that nothing was his fault, that I wanted to be with him regardless of his deafness, but he paid no attention to what I was signing. He stood up suddenly, to put our empty glasses on the table, for some reason, and started pacing, walking around while still signing to me.
I couldn't catch what he was trying to say, his hands were moving so fast, shaking, and he wouldn't stand still. I got some things from him 'selfish,' 'my fault,' 'deserve better.' I wanted to tell him to stop, that it was okay, that I loved him, but he wouldn't even lift his head to look at me, I couldn't get his attention.
On instinct, I called out his name, but on the second syllable it died in my throat, and I paused, watched him. I suddenly understood what he meant, that I would be missing something, that it was 'his fault.' He would never be able to hear me, that was just a fact, but he felt like it was his fault he couldn't hear me, would never hear me say his name or tell him I love him or sing to him. He felt like it was wrong for him to love me, and he could never give me the relationship I wanted. It made tears start to prick my eyes, falling out of the corners, sliding down to my chin.
Alec was still pacing the floor, his face scrunched in an angry expression, his hands flying around to make words, rubbing his face, gripping his hair. He looked like he was in pain, like he was miserable, hated himself. It was frightening me, making me panic, and I had no way to calm him down. I tried to reach out to him, to make him look at me, but he kept moving out of my grip.
One of the wine glasses hit the floor, sent there by Alec's hand, sending shards every which way. I jumped at the sound of it shattering, but he just watched it break, hands going to his hair again. He doubled over and pressed his palms into his eyes, making a terrible noise of frustration that sent chills down my spine.
He kept moving, barely avoiding the pile of shattered glass on the floor, squeezing his eyes shut as more tears slipped out, rolled down his red cheeks. I stood there, shocked, with my arm outstretched towards him, but at that point I really couldn't do anything. He was shaking, stumbling around as he paced.
More noises ripped out of his throat, like he wanted to scream but couldn't open his mouth, couldn't breathe. My chest squeezed painfully with every sound he made, and my throat felt thick when I swallowed. I wasn't aware of anything anymore, there was nothing but Alec and I couldn't feel my legs or my arms as I went to him.
I finally took him by his shoulders, stopped him mid-stride, grabbed his wrists and removed them from his hair. He struggled against me for a moment, trying to wrestle his wrists out of my grip, but then he stopped moving all of a sudden, letting his shoulders sag. He looked at me through teary red eyes, stared into my own watery ones, and I saw his face completely break. His eyebrows crashed together and his lips pursed into a straight line, trying to keep himself together. He collapsed into my chest, burying his face into my shirt and clutching the fabric around my sides.
I caught him as he fell into me, letting go of his wrists and wrapping my arms around his shoulders instead, pulling him closer to me, keeping him from falling down. Sobs wracked his body, first because he was holding them in, but then because he finally let them out. He kept trying to breathe through it, to somehow catch his breath, but he couldn't, causing him to make more heartbreaking noises, muffled from his face being hidden.
The sound of him crying, weeping, like that just… ripped my heart out of my chest, made my arms tighten around him, trying to convey to him that I wasn't going to leave him, wasn't going to let go of him. Not now, not ever. I tried to stop my own crying, tried to stay strong, for him, but I felt my eyes overflowing with wetness, and my body shaking with the effort of keeping them in.
We stayed there for a long time, long enough that my shirt started to feel damp against my skin and Alec's sobbing turned into pitiful sniffles. The grip he had kept on my shirt slowly loosened, and I pulled away from his body to look at him. He kept his gaze on the floor though, embarrassed, wouldn't look at me at all.
I brought my hands up to his face, brushed my thumbs underneath his eyes, scattering the remaining tears there. He still wouldn't look at me, just closed his eyes, his head hanging. I kissed his forehead, his cheeks, his nose, the corners of his eyes, and he finally opened them, tilted his head up, to look at me through wet eyelashes.
He swallowed once and opened his mouth to say, in a very broken, strangled voice, "I'm sorry."
My heart broke all over again, and I felt my throat tighten, knew I wouldn't be able to say anything back. I put my hand on his cheek, and smiled very softly at him as watched the corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly. And I knew that he didn't need me to sign anything or say anything, he just needed me to be there. We didn't need any words then, whether they were signed or spoken or typed. We just needed each other. We were enough.
A/N- I don't know about you guys but this one hurt me. I hope I conveyed enough feeling in it, I hope I did Alec some justice here, guhh, I hope you like it uhurhg
I just, ow my heart. Eh heh, reviews are very very super awesomely wicked welcomed. Aka please review, I will love you for eternity.
-Ella, who is just kind of kjasdlfhliue