Follow up story to the fic Start of a Conversation. :) It's going to be more than one chapter, I hope you all enjoy.
He'd recognize that poster anywhere. Even after all the years that have passed since he had last laid his eyes on it. It was a poster for Haly's circus. It was brighter, and more glossy than the last time he had seen one.
The poster shinned against the beam of the street light, like it was calling him. Trying to get his attention.
How long had it been there?
How many times had he past it by during his walks to and from work and never noticed it?
The questions raced through his mind, over and over again, and before he knew it he had been standing in front of the poster for at least fifteen minutes.
The cold night air burned at his cheeks as his eyes traced the vibrant colors of the flier.
How long had it been since they had visited?
Simply looking at the poster brought back memories of the last time he had visited the circus. It also brought back the feelings he had experienced. He recalled only sneaking into the show for one reason, and that was to see a boy. He remembered those deep blue eyes that made butterflies flip in his chest and stomach.
Jason coughed into a tissue he held in his hand. Ever since the heater in his apartment busted, he'd been hit with a cold.
He read the date, the circus was only going to be around for the weekend, and the day was currently Friday. That meant they were preforming that day.
Looking into the poster brought back emotions and feelings, and thoughts of a boy with a forgotten name. That boy. That boy. That boy with the shinning blue eyes, who was always a little too happy, but had such control. That same boy had showed him things, how to flip, and stuff like that. He remembered, and he practiced everyday on the streets.
Jason coughed into his tissue a few more times, and pulled the hood of his jacket tighter around his face. He wanted to find the boy, and find his name or else he'd be up all night trying to think of it.
What he did remember was how the boy made him feel. That feeling of wanting to beat him up because he was just to damn happy, and wanting to hold his hand and kiss him on the cheek. He had not felt that way about anyone since then. Well, that was half true. He wanted to punch a lot of people – but nobody ever made him feel like he wanted to hold their hand.
He had decided, he was going to find the boy.
It was not difficult to find the location of where the performance was being held. There was a big tent, after all.
The show had already begun, and he had physically grown to much to enter it unnoticed. Sneaking in was not going to work, and he did not want to risk not being able to see his old friend. He could hear the crowd inside, shouting in excitement. There were a few men outside, Jason assumed they were security guards, and he hoped he did not look suspicious.
The cold stung the inside of his throat, and he had remained sedentary long enough to where the cold was beginning to eat at his toes. He shivered, he would not be surprised if he had a fever. Leaving and waiting until morning to find the boy sounded so appealing, and he should go find a hotel, and rest. That was the logical thing to do, but no. Jason wanted to find him, and if he had to wait for a million years outside that tent he would.
He needed to see him.
The nameless boy.
After about thirty minutes of standing and hoping that he would soon regain feeling in his toes, he caught sight of people beginning to step out of the tent. As everyone was leaving, Jason marched in the opposite direction. As he moved forward, his eyes scanned every individual that strolled past him. Searching for characteristics that reminded him of the boy.
He made his way to the entrance then waited, and waited. But eventually the muscular silhouette of a man stepped out. At first he did not notice Jason, he was too busy conversing with a red haired woman. Jason saw that even though he was dressed in nothing but a skin tight, glittering outfit, the man did not seem affected by the cold. If he was freezing his pretty ass off, he sure did not show it.
After the man – the performer waved goodby at the woman, he pivoted around and his eyes caught Jason's. The smile on his face was instantly pulled into a tight line.
Jason smiled softly, because he knew it was him. The dim light of the moon hiding partially behind the thin clouds caught was in his sapphire eyes. The same eyes from years before. Jason repressed a sigh as he admired how strong the other man had become, and it was more than just physical strength. His body emitted a radiating energy of protectiveness, and yet playfulness.
Dick brushed the hair out of his eyes, as if that would help him think and after a few more moments. A smile exploded on his face and rushed to Jason, giving him a tight hug.
Jason hugged him back, and finally let out that repressed sigh.
"It's been like forever!" Dick gazed into Jason's eyes. "I was hoping I'd run into you here!"
Jason was happy that there was not enough light out for him not see that the slight blush was beginning to bloom on his cheeks, he suggested, "I'm going to go rent a hotel for the next few nights, since the heat is out in my apartment, why don't come stay for a bit?"
"Like a sleep over?" Dick smiled, excited.
"I guess." Jason just wanted to be alone with him, even if it's just for a few hours. He wanted to relive the feelings he had, he wanted him to himself.
"Yeah, sure!" Dick decided, "Let me go grab a few things – you don't have a car do you? You know, it's okay, I can drive us." he grabbed Jason by the wrist and pulled him toward the parking lot, toward his car. "I've got most of my things in my truck, so I guess I don't have to head back to the camp. What hotel were you going to stay at?"
Dick let go of Jason, once they reached the vehicle and he realized he did not have his keys with him, "Wait here, I need to go back and get my jacket."
Jason nodded and leaned against the truck as he watched Dick walk away. It was a shame that he did not remember his name. He brought out the tissue in his pocket and began to cough in it. His chest hurt, but the need to be around Dick was enough of a distraction.
After waiting for about ten minutes, the performer returned, he was wearing a leather jacket and from one of the inside pockets pulled out a set of keys, "Sorry about that, I just got a little side tracked and forget to get my jacket."
"It's fine, I don't mind waiting." was the best he could come up with, as Dick opened the door to his truck to let him in.
After starting the vehicle, Dick asked again, "Any hotel will be okay?"
"As long as it has a heater."
Dick nodded and drove out of the parking lot. After being in the cold for so long, Jason welcomed the heat. His muscles relaxed, and he felt himself want to fall asleep right there in the seat. He coughed into a tissue again, feeling his body defrost.
"Let's go get something to eat." Dick suggested, his smile bright. "Are there any places open this late?"
"It's not that late." Jason whipped his nose, and put the tissue back where it belonged in his sweater. "But yeah, we can go somewhere, there is a diner a few streets down that's open 24 hours."
Politely, Dick opened the glass door for Jason, who retorted, "I'm not a fucking girl, you don't have to open every damn door for me."
"Sorry," Dick apologized, as the pair sat down on stools at the bar. "It's a habit."
Jason actually thought it was sweet of him to do those chivalrous little acts, no one had never done that to him. He wanted to tell him thank you, but he could not.
Jason fell into another heaving coughing fit, and his tissue was already ripped to shreds. He ignored the concerned stare Dick was giving him, along with the little pout that formed on his mouth.
After they had ordered, Jason excused himself to the bathroom to clean up. He had used up all his tissues, and had to throw them away. Toilet paper would have to do, for now. He gazed at his reflection, and sighed. He really wished he was feeling better, he wanted to be more excited about seeing his old friend but he was just to damn tired. His nose was red, and so were his eyes. He looked like crap. With warm water he washed his face, and returned to the bar.
"Don't be mad at me, but I can't remember your name." Dick admitted, tilting his head to the side.
Jason gave off a tiny laugh, because he was having the same problem, "I can't remember your name either." the he added, "My name is Jason."
"And I'm Richard, but I go by Dick."
It was like they had just met. Which was more true that not. They were not the same people that had met all those years ago. People change over time, and so much time had passed that there was no way the could be the same. Certain parts of the personality never change, like how Dick was still so cheerful – and how just sitting right next to him made Jason's heart thump rapidly.
Dick's hand was resting on the marble bar, Jason really wanted to touch it, to grab on to it, and hold it tightly.
"So, why did it take you so long to come back?" Jason asked, as nibbled on the toast he had ordered. He was not very hungry, and did not have much of an appetite since he got sick.
"The owner doesn't like coming here," Dick stated, taking a bite of pancake, "I've been trying to convince him to go this year, and he finally said yes."
"I'm happy that you were able to visit." the words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, which caused his face to blush instantly. Jason looked down at his plate, trying his best to hide it.
Of course there was no hiding his reaction from Dick, who laughed, "Don't be embarrassed!" he slapped Jason playfully on the back. "The only reason why I wanted to come here was so I could punch you." Dick revealed.
"What do you mean?" Jason questioned, with a tiny smile.
"I was so pissed when we left and you did not come to say goodbye." Dick unveiled his feelings from years ago. "Then I saw you again by the tent and I was seconds away from hitting you, but I just couldn't. I was more happy than upset."
Jason fell into another coughing fit, he put the toilet paper to his mouth until he finished. The waitress set two pills in front of him, "You ain't gonna get no sleep with that cough, hon." she told him, with one hand on her hip and the other pointing at the meds. "These wont make you feel better, but they'll knock you out."
The woman was older, with strands of gray hair mixed with brown, pulled back in a messy bun. She smelled of an odd mixture of cigarettes and banana ice cream. Jason felt as if he'd seen her before, maybe in a porn magazine.
"My mother said never to take candy from a stranger." Jason joked.
"How old are you?" Dick asked.
"Um, not legal." Jason reached out and grabbed the pills and stared at them in the palm of his hand. "I wont tell if you wont."
"Whatever you say." she shrugged, and made her way back to the kitchen.
"You're not going to take them are you?" Dick gasped.
"Why not?" Jason questioned, he handed one pill to Dick, "Keep that safe, I'm only going to take one."
Dick sighed, and put the second pill in his pocket, "I really don't think you should -"
Before he could finish his sentence, Jason downed the pill with a mouthful of orange juice.
"Hey, is this hotel good?" Dick pulled his truck into a parking spot and peered over at Jason.
Jason however did not answer, because he had fallen asleep. That explained why he was rather quite on the drive. Dick smiled to himself, as he eyed his friend. Jason's chest rose and fell softly with every breath, he seemed so relaxed. The pill he had taken was working.
Not wanting to disturb him, Dick took out the keys and left him in the car while he went up to the main office to ask for a room. Once that was done, he returned to his truck and opened Jason's door.
"Hey, wake up." Dick tapped Jason lightly on the shoulder, "We're at the hotel, it's better to sleep on a bed than in my car. Trust me."
Jason moaned as he opened his eyes, "Yeah...?"
"Yeah." Dick confirmed. "Do you need help getting up?"
"No." Jason stepped out of the truck, but once he hit the ground everything started moving and he grabbed onto Dick's shoulders to keep from falling over.
"You're sick, aren't you?" Dick helped Jason steady himself.
"No." he lied, but allowed Dick to keep a hold on him as the pair made their way to their room.
Dick guided him to one of the twin sized beds, and he collapsed on top of the sheets. Jason instantly fell asleep as soon as his face hit the mattress.