Dammit - I know I should be updating 'Always' and 'I Could Always Make You', but I had this scene in my head this morning and just had to write it down. And I know I said I wouldn't write any more angst, but …
My First, My Last, My Everything
"So, that's it? You're breaking up with me?" Edward choked, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Looks like it," Jasper tried to say with conviction and without breaking down or scooping Edward into his arms where he belonged.
Edward took a hesitant step nearer to Jasper. He couldn't believe how this conversation had gone downhill so rapidly. "Just give me a little more time." He actually felt like he was begging now.
"I've given you more time. Four years to be precise," Jasper snapped back, blinking away treacherous tears that were already forming.
"You said, you'd give me all the time I needed because you loved me."
This was true and now Jasper was going back on his words. Was he finally resorting to blackmail?
"So how much longer do you think you'll need before you can admit you love me to our friends, that we are together and that you are gay?"
Jasper's patience had been severely tested over the past few months. They had been secret lovers since meeting at college and had been living together since they started work just over a year ago. To their friends and family they only admitted to being buddies who shared an apartment. Nothing more. Jasper had confided only in Emmett, but had made him swear not to breathe a word to anyone else. Deep down, he wished Emmett had outed them both, although he probably would never have forgiven himself for betraying Edward's trust if that had happened.
"Give me a few more … months," Edward offered pathetically, knowing full-well he was just trying to buy himself more time.
Jasper was tired of keeping their loving behind closed doors. He wanted their relationship to be open and truthful. He wanted the world to know how much Edward meant to him. He'd had enough of covering up, of near misses and of telling 'little white lies' to keep his feelings hidden from everyone but Edward.
"So what exactly are you frightened of, Edward?" Jasper said glaring at him, his eyes wide open for fear of betrayal. "You never really told me. Your parents seem pretty easy going and our friends don't seem to have an issue with gay relationships. What do you think will happen if you come out?"
Edward shook his head. He didn't really know the reason himself. Fear of ridicule and scorn, perhaps. The look of disappointment he expected to see in his parents' eyes. Lack of promotion or job prospects. Hell, what could he say?
"Perhaps, you just don't love me enough." Jasper knew this was not true, but he'd started this and he was determined to force Edward one way or the other. His hands were shaking because he feared what Edward would decide.
"Jasper, I love you more than anything." Edward's voice echoed his true feelings. "You know I do."
Jasper shrugged. Why couldn't Edward admit this to other people?
'If you want, we can still be friends," Jasper offered meekly, although he didn't have a clue how that would work out between them.
"Do you honestly think I could be in the same room as you and not want you, or not show how I feel towards you?" Edward replied desperately.
"You do now," Jasper returned cruelly. "We pretend we are just best buddies in front of our friends and family. You don't hold me or kiss me or even touch me in public, so what difference will it make to us?"
Blinking away the moisture in his eyes, Edward persevered. "What about when we are alone?"
"It might be best just to see each other in the company of our friends in future. They won't know any different." Jasper hoped they wouldn't all think he was miserable due to girlfriend troubles.
"Are you moving out then?" Edward said feebly, collapsing down on the couch where they'd spent so many hours cuddling and making out.
"Yeah, I think it would be for the best. I'll crash at Emmett's place until I find somewhere else to stay." Jasper sat on the edge of the couch as far away from Edward as possible. He really didn't want to leave.
Rubbing his hands nervously together, Edward asked, "Have you already arranged to stay with Emmett?"
"No. I didn't know this conversation was going to happen today," Jasper replied truthfully.
"But you knew it would very soon?"
Jasper sighed loudly. "Yes."
Edward brushed away a few errant tears. "How long have you been thinking about leaving me?"
"I hoped it wouldn't come to this, Edward," Jasper whispered.
"How long?" he tried to sound forceful but his voice quivered with emotion.
After rubbing his hands over his face, Jasper looked at Edward again. "A few days … weeks," he acknowledged because it was true. He didn't think Edward would ever admit to their relationship.
"So if I tell my parents we're together, you'll stay with me?" Edward offered.
Jasper searched Edward's face. "You'd do that for me?" Edward's indecisiveness shone through. "I'm not going to force you to come out, Edward."
"I'll tell them soon," he backtracked.
Jasper continued to stare at his soon-to-be former lover.
"Well, perhaps when you finally do, you can let me know," Jasper said bitterly and knew he would hate himself for all this tomorrow or even later on today.
They both sat hesitantly for a few seconds. The only sounds to be heard were the ticking of the wall clock, their rapid nervous breathing and the pounding of their hearts against their ribcages.
"What will you tell Emmett?" Edward asked in an attempt to delay the inevitable.
Saying the first thing that came to his mind, Jasper blurted out, "That we needed some breathing space as we've lived in each other's pockets for four years now."
Edward was trying to be rational. If Jasper truly loved him, he would wait for him. "Are you giving me a time limit?"
"What do you mean?"
"Before you start dating other guys, I mean." Edward felt truly pathetic now. He had no right to expect Jasper to give him any more time.
Jasper felt angry. He hadn't thought about seeing anyone else. All he wanted was Edward. "I don't want anyone else," he said firmly, rising out of his seat and walking away from Edward.
Going into their bedroom, Jasper opened several drawers taking out handfuls of clothing and stuffed them into a holdall. He ripped several pairs of jeans off their hangers and shoved them on top. All the time he was convincing himself this was for the best. He couldn't go on living this lie with Edward. He wanted to be able to call him his husband one day and, at this moment, that seemed an impossibility.
When he came out of the bathroom after collecting his wash bag, Edward was standing in the bedroom doorway. Jasper could tell he was hurting already and he hadn't even left the apartment yet. Edward looked so sad, biting on his lip and trying not to weep. His hair was dishevelled - a result of his hands repeatedly dragging through it with worry.
"Jasper, I'm asking you not to leave me," he cried desperately. "I don't want you to go."
Jasper closed his eyes briefly to remove the distressing sight in front of him. Opening them again, he focused on finishing his packing and zipping up the bag. He had to go now before he changed his mind.
"I'll let you know when I'm coming to collect the rest of my stuff," he said matter-of-factly. "It might be best if you are out that day. I'll post the key through the letter box when I'm all done."
He boldly marched towards the door and brushed past Edward. Turning around, he said the words he never wanted to say, "Goodbye, Edward."
Author's Note: Not sure if this will just be a one shot. I might write the back story to this or continue with it.
Let me know what you think :)