Pairing: Shane/Lem, mentions of Shane/OFC
The smell of cigarettes and cheap perfume clings to him, hovering just over his skin. He wants a shower because he can't stand the smell anymore, doesn't know how he ever thought it smelled good in the first place. The house is dark when he comes home, not that he expected Lem to still be awake. It's after one in the morning.
He slips quietly into the bedroom, using his cell phone as a flashlight so he can grab some clothes without disturbing Lem. He looks over at the bed and finds Lem on his side of the bed, face pressed into his pillow. The guilt hits him then, wrapping around his heart and squeezing tightly and he feels sick, disgusted at what he's done.
He turns away and hurries out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. He strips off his clothes and turns the water on as hot as he can take it and begins to scrub himself clean, getting that awful smell off of him. Finally he deems himself clean enough and gets out, drying off quickly and slipping into his clean clothes.
He walks back to the bedroom, shoving down the guilt as it threatens to overwhelm him again. He slides into bed next to Lem, nudging him over gently, trying not to wake him up.
Lem sighs and shuffles over. "Shane?"
"It's me. Go back to sleep." Shane kisses Lem softly.
"Hmm, are you just getting in?" Lem asks sleepily, not even opening his eyes.
"Yeah. Had some stuff to take care of. Nothing to worry about." Shane winces as he lies to Lem.
"Okay. I'm glad you're home." Lem curls into Shane's side, unaware of the effect his words have on Shane. They dig into his heart and the guilt latches on even more firmly than before.
He doesn't sleep that night. He listens to Lem breathe and stares up at the ceiling, wondering what made him think that fucking that chick was a good idea. Why he ever thought she would be worth hurting the man in his arms right now.
He knows part of the reason. The reason why none of his long term relationships ever last. He doesn't deserve his partners. They're always too good for him and he finds any way he can to fuck them up. He pushes them away, picks fights, does everything he can to show them that he isn't worth it. He sabotages every relationship he has because he doesn't deserve that happiness.
The next morning, the alarm blares loudly and Lem shifts, groaning, slapping at the snooze button a few times before it shuts off for another ten minutes. He rolls over and buries his face in the pillow and Shane smiles fondly down at him, ignoring another pulse of guilt before sliding out of bed. Lem lifts his head and blinks sleepily at him.
"Where you going?" He says, speech still slurred with sleep.
"Make coffee." Shane walks out of the bedroom without looking back.
Lem sighs and turns over onto his back, flicking the alarm off and getting up, wondering absently about Shane's odd behavior and why he came home so late last night.
He heads into the kitchen where he can smell the coffee brewing. Shane's sitting at the table, reading the newspaper. He doesn't glance up when Lem enters the room.
"You came home pretty late last night." Lem says, mostly making small talk.
"Yeah." Shane says tightly, not offering anything more.
"You okay?" Lem squeezes Shane's shoulder as he walks past him to pour himself a cup of coffee.
Shane knows he's going to tell Lem before the words even think to come out of his mouth. He knows he's going to tell him he slept with someone else and he's going to fuck this relationship up just like every other relationship. Lem deserves better than him anyway. He needs to know what kind of person Shane is and he's going to tell him and he's going to lose him.
"I slept with someone last night." The words fall from his lips like rocks, crashing into the air between them.
"What?" Lem's voice is startled, like he can't believe what Shane just said.
"I slept with someone else last night. Someone I met in the bar. I cheated on you." Shane's voice is blank, but there's an undercurrent of guilt to it.
Lem wants to ask if this is some sort of joke because, if it is, it's not funny, not at all, but he knows from that tone of voice that Shane is completely serious. He sets down his coffee mug and looks at Shane.
"Why?" Lem asks, voice going hoarse.
"I don't know." Shane says. That's a lie. He does know, but he doesn't want to talk about it, doesn't want to talk about how fucked up he is right now.
"So you just cheated on me? No reason for it?" Lem snaps, anger burning bright and hot inside of him as he stomps around the table to face Shane.
"I don't know, Lem. She was hot, I was drunk enough at the time for it to be a good idea." Shane snaps back.
"What am I supposed to do with this?" Lem glares at him.
"Break up with me, I don't fucking know. Do whatever the hell you want." Shane pushes himself up from the table, turning away from Lem.
He's almost out of the kitchen when Lem asks him a question that makes him freeze in his tracks.
"Do you still love me?"
"Yes." He answers unhesitatingly. There's no question in whether or not he loves Lem. He does.
Lem sighs and Shane turns around to face him.
"What now?" Shane asks.
"Well, I still love you. Do I trust you? No. Am I angry with you? Yes. But I still love you." Lem meets Shane's gaze.
"So we'll get through this. Somehow." Lem nods.
Shane gives him a small, hesitant smile. He dropped it a second later. "I am sorry. I know I made a huge mistake and I'm not asking that you forgive me right now, just that someday, you will."
"Someday. Just not right now." Lem agrees.
One mistake isn't enough to break them and their love for one another.