New story. Or... a story. I would love it if some of those who have read my Malec also like Jeb. I ship it, even if FanFiction doesn't believe Seb is a character... Grr.
Anyway, this is a series of casual one-shots, all linked by chronological order. This could be the end, if you like, but if you continue, you may find it is only the beginning. Each chapter is about a new aspect of life after Surrender between Jamie and Seb. I hope someone reads this.
Random Fact No. 398394: The tongue is the fastest healing part of the body.
"I've been thinking," said Jamie, and Seb smirked. Jamie quickly slapped him before he had the chance to groan. "I can do that!"
"You thinking… God save us all."
Jamie decided to ignore him. "I've been thinking… that you are definitely my boyfriend, aren't you? I mean, probably." Jamie's voice was quickening, and Seb turned to look at him. "I didn't used to like you, even when you stopped picking on me, but then… then I figured that I had never loved another boy the way I love you and… I love you."
Seb's expression froze in place, the relaxed smile he wore around Jamie freezing up quite suddenly. Said boy nudged his arm.
"I don't… I-I didn't…"
Jamie's entire face seemed to fall as Seb sputtered words which all seemed to add up to nothing. It didn't matter, he supposed, if Seb was afraid of him. Just because he had held him when he needed someone and heavily implied that he had strong feelings for the blonde Crawford did not mean that he should have just expected Seb's affection for him to be a given. Pushing the other boy's arm off his waist, Jamie started to stand up.
"I guess I went in a little too fast, or too suddenly, or too much or…" Jamie shook his head. He couldn't even babble. He was usually so good at babbling. Seb pulled him back onto the couch, causing Jamie to fall back onto his chest, where he had been resting before he had ruined everything.
"I didn't say anything yet, Jamie. Why are you so worried?" Seb's voice seemed half amused, half terrified. Jamie wondered if he even realised that what he had just said made no sense whatsoever.
"You didn't say anything. I just made one of those sudden, movie like love confessions, and you didn't say anything. Or rather you did, but you were stammering out bad words like 'don't' and 'didn't', so of course I think it's going to be heartbreaking. And if my heart is breaking, I am obviously going to be uncomfortable around you because I say stupid things to ruin nice moments with exclamations of my love, which you do not reciprocate, which makes things dreadfully awkward, and you were doing such a good job at not being awkward, and-"
Jamie was abruptly and adequately cut off by the feel of a familiar pair of lips.
Seb's lips were interesting, not that Jamie had a terribly broad experience as far as boys' lips went. Yes, there had been Mark Skinner, but his kisses had always felt like something which was a terrible secret. It had been strange that kissing Mark had initially made him feel giddy, but never quite loved. During the later days, when Mark had been more rushed, as though he simply needed to kiss Jamie out of habit, their kisses had always made Jamie feel worse. He had felt Mark pulling away, and had always come back to him, even so.
He remembered the first kiss he had shared with Seb, when the boy had been in tears over killing a woman. It had been quick, and filled with a need and bursting desire. It had surprised Jamie, and afterwards he had pushed the boy away again, but in that one violent kiss, Jamie had felt what Seb had felt for a long time; fear, frustration, love, jealousy.
It had further surprised him that now, after going out with Seb for a long time, the boy was unnaturally gentle. When their lips met, Seb's seemed to trace his and cradle him like he was made of glass. He was so much taller and stronger than Jamie that the other boy was able to sit entirely in his lap as he held him as though he could break at any given time. His hand would occasionally clasp around the stump where Jamie's left hand had once been, and his thumb would brush over it so gently…
Seb broke away, looking at him the way he sometimes did. He looked a little sad, and Jamie found himself wondering if it was his fault.
"You know no one has ever really said that to me?" said Seb quietly. Jamie couldn't help but glance up from his own embarrassment. "Once, when I was seven, a little girl saw me crying, and she asked what was wrong. I told her that my newest parents were sending me away. She didn't understand, she couldn't have, but then she told me that she loved me. I knew she didn't, nobody could, but that was the only time a sober person ever said it to me. There have been petty girls talking about me being… pretty or whatever, but they only ever liked me as an object. I never figured it would happen." Seb paused, flushing red, his tone softening, as though he was unsure if he should even speak at all. "I never figured it could."
"You shouldn't feel obliged to say it back just because-"
Seb held up a hand. "I never thought you would say it, actually. I never thought you would forgive me enough to love me. I loved you from the start, Jamie. Always."
Now it was Jamie's turn to be surprised. "Well that's new."
Seb smiled. "Actually, it's about two years old."
Jamie's mouth dropped more than a fraction, words seeming to fall away.
Seb, using his constant and irrational gentleness, stood up from the couch and brought back one of his many green sketch books, a date scrawled across the front indicating it was used when Seb was fourteen. He flicked it to one of the middle pages, going past random sketches of broken beer bottles and a trashed backyard, showing a picture of a younger Jamie. Seb began to blush when Jamie took the book from his hands and looked at the picture, eyes wide.
"It's not very good, I was younger, and…" Seb ducked his head. Jamie looked at him incredulously. True, Sebastian had since improved, his drawings becoming finer and more detailed, but even this was beautiful. "It was just from memory, so the details are a little off. I meant for it to be more exact, but…"
"Why did you draw it? Just a fit of passion while thinking of me, or what?" Seb looked at him, like he was concentrating.
"There is a reason, for every drawing. Do you want to hear this one?"
Jamie nodded vigorously, and Seb commenced his tale.
Sebastian glanced at his foster parents. The father was the same old story; alcoholic who ignores him, but the mother was new. She felt the need to know where he was 24/7. The mystifying part was that she did not even seem to like him. She just needed to keep track of him.
"No… I'm really not." He wasn't lying. He had sports training that afternoon, and it was compulsory to attend. He had told her. "It ends at five. You didn't offer me a ride, so I walked. It's five thirty; I made pretty good time."
"I thought you had run away. Or you were lost. Do you know what would happen if we lost you?"
Sebastian honestly did not know the answer to that question. Then again, everyone seemed to take endless pleasure in reminding him how dumb he was, so not knowing the answers was nothing new. He let the silence speak on his behalf.
"We might have been sued. We might have been rendered unable to foster another child, and our income would have dropped like that." To emphasise this point, she clicked her fingers.
He could remember when he was younger, how he had not minded being in foster homes quite so much. It did not matter that he would always have burn marks from the cigarettes past 'fathers' had put out in his flesh, or the way they had been a little rough with him. He was not theirs, and it was terribly kind of them to look after him.
When he had grown up a bit, to about ten years old, he had realised that these people were paid to look after him. Then he had started to tell them that they were being unfair, and that he should not have to put up with them anymore. Cue more beatings.
Now he just didn't care. He just played dead for most of the day, and everything usually worked out. It was good that he was bigger and stronger now. Though he hardly ever hit back, people tended not risk it.
"Go on, Sebastian. Go to the room that we provide you, sleep under the roof that we lend." Sebastian almost sighed with relief.
It had been a miserable day, but he felt almost… excited. He had met another boy his age who had the same powers he did. He could feel it, like the pulsing rhythm of a drum in his veins. This boy was even stronger than him, though. He was so frightened that he alone had been cursed, but this boy was like him.
Everything about him was beautiful. There was almost an overwhelming sense of allure granted to this boy for no other reason but him being a freak too, but there was more. Dreadfully more. He wanted to touch him, to see if the magic radiated from his skin… but maybe he also just wanted to hold him. He was small, and cute, and almost girl like, but like a boy enough for him to-
No, he didn't like boys. That was why he had snapped at this boy. That was why he would never tell him that he could feel it too, the amazing recognition that they were the same. He had been alone long enough. He was used to it. He did not deserve to allow his stupid hands to touch this… this beautiful boy named Jamie.
What did he have, anyway, that could even make him worthy of this boy? His powers… they were beyond incredible. He could feel them, so vibrantly. If he were a girl, Sebastian would have… he would have…
He wouldn't have loved him. Or her. Because the way he felt for Jamie was special. He wanted to touch the magic boy, feel his skin simply to see if it flowed with electricity. And for that, he hated him just a little bit. That was why he had – and always would – push him away.
He was scared of what he was, and that this seemingly weak boy was like him.
He was scared to like a boy. He was a man, and men liked girls.
And he was just a little afraid to like someone, really like someone, and then be taken away again. And never see Jamie again.
"That doesn't explain why you drew it…"
Seb shook his head, cheeks red as though he had shared something very private. "When I saw you, I saw all of my fears in one person. That's why I was so bad, not because I didn't like you." Seb brushed his hand along the picture of Jamie, finding a spot which was a little smudged from being poorly erased. Seb laughed. "I drew a heart there." Taking a closer look, there was a clear indentation of a heart. "When I was younger, I thought this was the most beautiful thing I would ever draw. I was so happy with how it came out that I forgot that I wasn't meant to like you." Another laugh. "I guess I've forgotten for good now."
"Why?" Jamie wasn't used to being liked. He had had a few friends in the past, but with very few in the present, a boy in love with him was more than a little shocking. And for two whole years…
"Usually I was just moved to wherever there was a place. I went from city to city, back and forth, almost seasonally. I used to settle a bit better when I was younger, though. The people who take the little kids tend to be people who genuinely want to raise a child, to really turn someone's life around." Seb gave a nervous smile. "They were nice, but eventually they would always get tired of looking after a good for nothing dumb kid who wasn't even theirs. They always expected some kind of kid who would be their ideal child. I wasn't that. I used to tell them that it was okay, if they wanted to give me away. They always felt really guilty about it, so I always told them it was alright… I'm sorry, I must sound really pathetic. This is why I don't like talking about this…"
"I don't mind!" Jamie blurted out quickly. Seb rolled his eyes, but continued.
"When I got a bit older, they asked if I had a preference to stay in the area, and they would always try their 'best' to find me a home somewhere nearby." Seb frowned. "It hardly ever worked though, and usually not well enough for me to go to the same school. I drew the picture because I thought that I would lose you in just a few months, and I would have nothing to remember you by. No evidence that there was another person in the whole world who felt like this. They came back, telling me that they had a few people in the area who could take me, but they were rough. I told them that I didn't mind, just as long as I could stay…"
"Oh no." Jamie's voice was flat, his eyes horrified. Seb's expression twisted.
"For all the horrible, awful things I said and did to you, I could not have ever wanted to be away from you. I worried about you, when you took sick days. I used to think I had taken it beyond too far, and I would be a mess all day. I thought that one of the other boys might have hurt you… that I might have really badly upset you… I used to think how I couldn't live with myself if something ever happened to you, but continued hurting you when nothing came. The idea of moving away… it was worse than any of the families I had to live with."
Jamie had noticed a lot of things about Seb, but only now did they make sense.
The way he had looked at him during high school after he had been absent for a while. It had been strange, almost like relief. And when he had broken his arm when he was fifteen, Seb had been jumpy around him, seeming to hover several metres away. When Tim had tripped him up, Seb had managed to move in front of Jamie so that he fell on him, cushioning his fall. Jamie had always found it strange how gently Seb had stood up, not pushing him roughly at all, before pouncing on Tim, telling him that if he ever did something like that again, he would only ever be able to wish he were dead.
"So you stayed in horrible places with the soul intent of being horrible to me?" asked Jamie, causing Seb to flinch.
"I know it was selfish…" Jamie almost laughed. Yes, it had been selfish in many ways… but Jamie couldn't deny that Seb had suffered, just to see him. Seb never talked about the 'families' he had stayed with just so he could keep going to his school, but after the first few had sent him on his way, the green eyed boy had been scraping along rock bottom. There had always been rumours about Seb. Once he had heard that he was sleeping in a park because his foster parents had gone on vacation without telling him and had locked him out. Jamie hadn't believed them until he had seen the boy at school, with big blue bags under his eyes. He had heard Mark ask him why he hadn't just broken back into the house, to which Seb had mumbled back 'I wouldn't risk it'.
"And incredibly stupid," supplied Jamie. "Don't forget stupid."
Seeing the hurt expression on Seb's face, he almost regretted his words. People always just assumed that Seb was very unintelligent, but Jamie found that he really wasn't. He was incredibly observant, and seemed to notice everything around him as it changed and flourished. He could have been very smart, but Jamie supposed no one had ever really cared enough to tell him.
When Seb didn't reply, Jamie decided he had most definitely said the wrong thing.
"I don't mean you're stupid, I just mean that your actions, perspectives, morals-"
Seb smiled sadly. "No, I am stupid. For all those reasons, and so many others."
"No, you're not-"
"I let you hate me. It was the last thing I wanted, but I inflicted it upon myself deliberately… but it doesn't even matter if it hurt me, because it hurt you more. I was awful. I was stupid for letting myself become like… like this." Seb was cringing. Jamie did not like to remind Seb of their past, especially when he was trying so hard, but there was always something inside him which would bring it all back.
"I let myself become so… ugly. I thought, when I was little, that I had to become strong. More than that, I had to throw anyone off ever being mean or – or saying bad things. For some reason I thought I had to be tough. It never occurred to me that I didn't, because I thought that when people hit you, you hit back. When they say bad things, you say worse things back… I became good at it, and eventually I didn't get hurt so often. I never even stopped to think that what I had become was so…" Apparently Seb could not locate the appropriate words for what he had become.
Jamie considered this. He thought about how he had thought of Seb as being a very temporary person in his life. He had hated him for a long time. He had assumed that it would be nice to have a cuddly teenage romance for a while, before letting the tall green eyed boy go. He hadn't thought it would become like this.
Jamie sighed. This was the part where Mae was supposed to redirect the conversation. Where Nick would abruptly tell them to shut up about their stupid feelings. Where Alan would laugh at something in his own mind and smile brightly, the liar, and start a new conversation with Nick or Cynthia until the old one faded away.
They were all special in a way Jamie wasn't; they were less awkward. But there was something Jamie could say that they couldn't, and that was enough.
Seb turned his head, his face still flushed. "Yeah?"
"I love you."
And Seb's smile at that moment seemed to wash away the anguish for a little while.
I hope you liked it... so far. Hopefully there will be more chapters. Just hit the review button, and I guarantee it will speed up the process!