Prompt: "What are you doing here?"
Copyright Jan 2013 © Lee Brazil
"What are you doing here?" Trey rolled over in the bed and pried one eye open. Yep. Jax lounged in the doorway in his usual, come and fuck me I'm home pose. In fact, he'd made himself so much at home that he'd already shed the disgraceful aged sandals he called footwear. Probably left them right inside the front door, where you can trip on them in the morning, Trey thought bitterly, letting his gaze roam hungrily over the lean figure slouched in front of him. Long dyed dark hair had been mussed by the wind, thin lips stretched in a hopeful smile, and damn it...it looked like the man had lost at least twenty pounds on this tour.
"The tour is over. Where else would I be?" Jax shrugged matter of factly.
Scrunching his pillow up and shoving it under his head, Trey sat up and glared, bleary eyed, at his ex, the rising star of the folk rock world. "We broke up before you went on this tour, or did you conveniently forget that?"
Jax rolled his eyes and strolled toward the bed, stripping off his tight band t-shirt and shucking his worn jeans. "That was just you being controlling and jealous. I know how your mind works. You wanted me to think about us while I was gone. It worked. I couldn’t get you out of my mind for the last three months."
If that could be interpreted as meaning that he hadn't been with anyone else, Trey would have scooted over and rolled Jax under him in a heart beat. Unfortunately, he knew better. "Right. In between all the glamour of life on a tour bus, you were thinking about me, about us, about life in a one bedroom apartment just barely on the right side of the tracks." He didn't even try to keep the sarcasm out of his voice. What was the point? Jax wasn't interested in the day to day minutiae of life and love. He wanted the sex, the companionship on his own terms, not the work.
"You painted the living room. The couch is three feet closer to the patio, that's a new coffee table, the plant your sister gave us when we moved in here two years ago seems to have spawned, and the picture of us at your graduation is missing from the end table." Jax knelt at the side of the bed. "Should I go on? I didn't check specifically, but I'd bet my cd's, movies, and books are all missing. The shelves looked a little skimpy. I'd have checked, but I was anxious to see you, you see."
Trey's jaw dropped in astonishment. "How long have you been here?"
"I've been watching you sleep, just for a minute or two. I wanted to store up the memory, just in case." Callused fingers stroked his exposed shoulder, pleading eyes met his gaze.
Trey shuddered. Stay firm, he urged himself. This close, it was easy to see the sparse five o'clock shadow of thin blond hairs, the tiny lines of fatigue at the corners of that pouting mouth. "It's so easy, when you've been away, to think that this is what you want." He argued. "But when you're the one who stays at home, who waits for someone to return, seeing those little reminders every day...It's too much to ask."
"I can't stay here; traveling is part of the job."
Jax sounded as weary as Trey felt. "I know. The music comes first, it always has. When will we come first?"
He realized his mistake when Jax's expression brightened. "So you admit there is a we still?"
Opening his mouth to issue a denial, Trey couldn't find the words to express himself. "Damn it, Jax. There's been a we since you pranced in to pre-school in a purple tutu twenty-three years ago." He ignored the bright flash of white teeth as Jax's smile broadened. "But sometimes, the we that we are isn't good for me. Sometimes, I have to think about me, not us. Just like touring is good for you, and your career, I have to think about what's good for me."
Blue eyes darkened with hurt, though Jax controlled his flinch quickly. "You're saying I'm not good for you?"
"You've never been good for me, Jax. Not even during those purple tutu days." His heart ached at the admission.
Jax reared back from him, eye's widening in shock. "What?"
"I've always stood behind you Jax, even when standing there got me made fun of, mocked, ostracized, beat up. Being your friend, being with you, made it all worth while. But when you're not here, how does that make it a we?" He wasn't making sense, he knew that. But his heart believed every word he said, and from the expression on his face, Jax understood what he meant, even if he didn't understand the mess in his head himself.
"There's always a we, right here." Jax tapped his chest. "You're always with me, every mile on every bus, every minute of every concert, every note of every song. Do you think I could step up on a stage anywhere and have the guts to sing about love, or friendship, or hope, if I didn't have you with me?"
His heart rate picked, up, a slow burn began in the pit of Trey's stomach. "Really? But..."
"But nothing. I told you, it's always you. Nothing ever happens on a tour that isn't just work. I crawl into my bunk exhausted after smiling til two am, and I dream of you, of coming back to you, of kissing you—"
Trey stopped his speech with a kiss, flinging aside the bedclothes to invite Jax to climb up with him, devoured his mouth with a hunger born of denial, of loss. He tore his mouth away briefly to mutter, "I love you." Then swallowed Jax's response with another demanding kiss.