manicdak: (pic#660571)
[personal profile] manicdak
Title: A Return to the Beginning
Prompt: Blood
Rating: PG
Series: This Thing That Happened This One Time
Content Summary/Notes/Warnings: Jared and Amos meet again

The smile on Amos's face was swept clean away as soon as he opened the door and found Jared Dawes standing on his doorstep.

"Oh, thank god!" Jared said, his voice flooded with relief. "I've been looking all over the state for you all quarter!"

"All over the state, really?" Amos arched an eyebrow dubiously at him. "California's a big state."

"You know what I mean." Jared smiled at him as wide as he could muster and moved to enter the apartment without being invited in. Amos blocked him with the door, leaving only a crack wide enough to peek his head through.

"Oh." Jared said, as soon as he realized that just the act of hunting Amos down wasn't gong to be enough to make things right between them. He wished he could just take it all back without having to talk about it, but that wasn't how Amos worked. He couldn't just look at him, nod acknowledgment, bump fists, stuff all his feelings down deep and go on as if nothing had happened.

He was going to have to have to find the words.

"How did you even find me," Amos muttered. "Stalker much?"

"Mark gave me your address," Jared admitted. "He's a real stand up guy. The only one who would talk to me. You know the rest of the soccer team was ready to kick my ass. You don't even want to know what Llewelyn and Wes had to say."

"Well, you're lucky," Amos replied. "Mark's a nice guy. Too nice. I would have let them kick your ass. I'm going to kick his ass for telling you where I live now."

"I can't believe you moved because of me," Jared muttered as he looked down at his feet. "And changed your number! Was I really that horrible?"

"Yes you were, but I sublet my place to Lyn and Wes while I was in San Fransisco. I wasn't going to kick them out when my internship was over. Moving had nothing to do with you." Amos rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "Do you still not get it? You are the biggest fucking asshole I've ever met, and I've met a whole lot of...ass...holes...uh..."

He paused when Jared started chuckling at his particular phrasing

"Shut-up! Are you five years old? Get it through your god-damned head that it's over between us, or it never was between us really. I don't even know why you're here. You've had your little fun, and aren't you proud of yourself? I was fine with us having a little fun, but you took it further. You led me on, so...fuck you."

"No," Jared said. "I'm not. That's why I'm here. I want to apologize. There."

Amos eyed him dubiously.

"For what?" He asked.

"For...y'know..." Jared shuffled his feet uncomfortably and refused to look Amos in the eye.

"Yeah. I know, but do you?"


"That's what I thought. Goodbye, Jared." He moved to close the door, but Jared moved quickly forward and held it open.

"For using you. I used you, and I blamed you when you broke it off because... It was easier that way. I thought it would be easier that way, but it wasn't. I treated you like shit for a lot of months, and you deserve more than that. You deserve a guy that's going to worship you, not someone who'll barely kiss you."

"What are you doing here, Jared?" Amos asked. He sighed impatiently.

"That's not what you're mad at me for?" Jared peeked up at him. "You're still mad? I said I'm sorry. Please don't be mad at me anymore."

"Yeah," Amos said. "That's exactly why I'm mad at you. It's not like I wasn't expecting to feel shitty because you had no intention of coming out, and I know you still don't... but you barely ever touched me when we were still fucking. An affair is one thing but that... A guy can only be someone's glorified sex toy for so long. It's over. Why do you care? You got what you wanted. I got what I asked for, so why are you here now trying to apologize? Why not just go on with your wanna be straight life and leave your little experiment out of it already? I am totally fine with that, okay? My feelings are not hurt. You don't have to make it up to me or apologize or anything.

It was only sex for you and there isn't anything else beyond that. It's fine. Really. You said it yourself...right to my fucking face if I recall. For some reason you can't even fathom being my just being my friend in public let alone being an actual couple. I'm not going to change how I am or what I like just because of you. Besides, I couldn't even stay in the closet if you built one around me without a door. Trust me. I've tried."

"Wouldn't that just be"

"Maybe. I don't fit in one of those either." Amos shrugged.

"See," Jared smiled at him. "That's why I love you...when you say stuff like that."

Amos glared at him.

"What did you say?" He growled.

"Uh..." Jared peered at the ground again. Whatever he had hoped to happen when he had planned to say those three words was apparently not going to happen by the look of things. Amos was still barricaded behind the door with an expression of fury far greater than the one he had when he'd opened it.

"I love you," Jared practically whispered at his feet. "That's what I came here to say. That's why Mark gave me your address, he uhhh....thought..."

"He thought wrong," Amos said. "Mark is a romantic. Mark...shit...Mark lives in some kind of fairytale world filled with Prince Charmings or something where he gets to go to the prom with his hot English boyfriend without causing a national incident. Mark is a jock. He hasn't had his head shoved in a toilet for the way he walks or talks or whatever it is I do to guys like you just by existing.”

"Guys like me?" Jared whimpered. "What do you mean?"

"You know exactly what I mean!" Amos said. "The only reason you were hanging out with me is because I was letting you..." He glanced away for a moment, feeling embarrassed, but he quickly turned back to glare at Jared with a hardened scowl. "We both got everything we were going to get out of our involvement, Jared. You're trying to make this into something it's not. We had sex; you liked it. It doesn't mean you're in love with me. I doubt you really enjoyed my company since I'm not a 'one of the guys'. Whatever that means," he said.

"And I don't really know what you're trying to do here now but I'm not going to fall for any fake love declarations."

"It's not fake!" Jared looked up sharply and met Amos's gaze. "I mean it. I was stupid. I said some really stupid things. You are one of the guys. You're more one of the guys than all the other guys."

"Look, I've been fucked with a lot," Amos replied. "A whole lot. I'm not going to fall for it, and I don't exactly trust that you aren't just saying what you think I want to hear right now because you're horny. I'm not over in a corner weeping about it and waiting for you to ride in like a knight in shining armor and make some grand gesture for me. I'm moving on. Let's not pretend that you actually like me for my personality, so... You should just move on too. If you need some anonymous hook up there is no shortage of that around here! I'm not going to be anonymous anymore."

"I do like you!" Jared said. "Jesus, Amos..."

"If you think invoking the name of Jesus is going to win you favors with me..."

Jared bit his lip in an effort to suppress laughter. "You are such a pig headed..."

"Sorry, I'm kosher."

"Shut-Up, you are not. I know you're not. Stop changing the subject when I'm trying to talk to you!" Jared said, exasperation suddenly overriding any amusement.

"This is totally pointless." Amos rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "We are finished. Good luck with life. I hope you figure yourself out before it's too late to enjoy it."

He opened the door a small amount to create a greater impact as he prepared to slam it shut, but Jared moved quickly and, in a desperate attempt to continue the conversation, stuck his foot in the opening. It was too late for Amos to stop the forward momentum of the barrier. The door hit Jared's flip-flop clad foot and bounced back open leaving Jared howling in pain as he withdrew, hopping around the balcony in agony.

"You broke my foot!" He yelled after cursing up a storm.

Amos stood frozen in the doorway with a mortified expression completely unsure of what he should do. On one hand he wanted to slam the door and lock it and not have to deal with Jared, his confusion, or his possibly broken foot. After that moment of shock, he jumped to action, managed to get one arm around Jared and led him cursing into the living room where he sat him down on the sofa.

Jared pulled his hands away from his foot, calming down as Amos sat beside him; arm still in place around his shoulder.

"You're bleeding," Amos said. He kept his eyes firmly on the wounded appendage knowing full well that Jared's eyes were on him.

"I don't care," Jared whispered. He snaked his arm around Amos's waist and leaned in to kiss his cheek, but Amos jumped out of the seat with a startled gasp and whirled around.

"YOU..." He couldn't help but be swayed by the expression on Jared's face; a mixture of pain, defeat, and regret.

"...are not going to bleed to death on my couch, honey. Don't worry," Amos finished his sentence and disappeared. He returned quickly with a damp wash rag and a first aid kit.

"You're so fucking stupid," Amos muttered as he sat on his coffee table with Jared's foot in his lap, carefully cleaning the small cut and dabbing the wound with an antiseptic wipe.

"I know," Jared replied through gritted teeth. "That hurts."

"Big baby," Amos said. "You shouldn't stick your foot in when I'm trying to slam the door in your face. It's not that bad. Just bleeding a lot. You won't even need stitches."

"How do you know? You're not a doctor." Jared glanced down at his foot, which Amos had deftly bandaged up with a gauze pad and no longer seemed to be bleeding.

"And you shouldn't wear those things anyway," Amos said, nodding toward the discarded flip-flp. "They're hideous, and useless. You know I hate them."

Jared chuckled. "You're wearing knee socks that don't even match each other. I'm not even going to comment on the shorts. I don't think you get to pass judgment on my fashion sense."

"They're complimentary," Amos said. He glanced momentarily down at himself and shrugged. It was the weekend. He hadn't bothered to get dressed and was clad only in his boxers and a t-shirt. "I wasn't planning on leaving the apartment today anyway. I certainly wasn't expecting guests."

"Amos," Jared said, his voice soft and his foot no longer the focus of his attentions. He tried to look Amos in the eye, but Amos looked away.

Jared pulled his foot away and set it back on the ground then leaned forward on the couch and tried to grab hold of Amos' hands. Amos grunted and dropped the tape he was still holding on the ground as he quickly jumped from his spot and retreated to the opposite end of the room. He found himself facing a blank white wall pretending to be interested in it. It wasn't long before he heard Jared get up and limp towards him. He wanted to run as far away as he could, but he seemed rooted to the spot; tense anticipation radiating from every inch of his body.

He almost jumped out of his skin when he felt Jared's hands land on his shoulders and a warm breath soft against his ear.

"I meant what I said," he whispered. "I'm gonna prove it to you one day. I don't know how, but I'll figure it out."

He pressed is forehead against Amos' shoulder then kissed him on the neck behind his ear as he gently massaged his shoulders. Amos did his best to remain annoyed, but he knew it was hopeless. He leaned into the touch for a moment before turning around and pushing Jared away. He had to do something before his resolved crumpled completely.

"You have to go now." Amos whispered at him. "Please just go."

The heartbroken look that crossed Jared's face almost did him in.

"I really do mean it," he repeated. "Can I call you?"

Amos didn't want to give in, but to see Jared standing there, sincerely repentant with his head bowed down. Amos ducked around him and headed towards the apartment's kitchen where he grabbed a pen and a post it note and scrawled his new phone number down on it. He returned to find Jared still staring down a the floor.

"Here." Amos thrust the paper into his line of vision, and Jared's head shot up, an almost hopeful look on his face.

"Really?" He said.

Amos shrugged. "Just so you know...This doesn't fix everything. Not at all. Not one little bit."

"I understand," Jared said. "We can talk. That's probably all I can hope for."
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February 2013


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