Title: The Love We Deserve [Like Self-Destruction]
Band: TBS/Brand New.
Pairings: Adam/John, and ...? Just read, dammit.
Summary: "We only accept the love we think we deserve."
Rating: If you're old enough to read slash I'm sure you can handle this, kids.
“GET OUT! GET OUT GET OUT GET. FUCKING. OUT.”
You want to. You want to leave, you want to run, you want to get as far away as humanly possible but your legs have stopped working and so has your brain, but your eyes haven’t. In fact out of those five senses every human has your sight seems to be the only one that’s continued functioning because now you can’t even hear his screaming. His lips are moving, his tongue is flicking up and down in his mouth, all signs point to him speaking, but nothing’s coming out. You can only see his eyes flaring, and the way his jaw bone seems so distinct against his cheek at the moment. His hands are in the air, one of his fists clenching. If you didn’t know any better, you’d say he was going to hit you.
… Okay so maybe you didn’t know any better. Your sense of feeling comes back as his knuckles collide with your jaw and you stumble back a little, falling back against the wall, eyes watering from pain as your head collides with the cement, everything going black for a moment. Great, now you can’t see. Stars erupt behind your eyelids like fireworks as you bite down on your tongue to keep from screaming, to keep from crying. The first thing you see when your sight returns is him. His eyes are a little less fierce; his lips form a straight line. There’s all sorts of regret in his eyes, and you want to spit on him.
He’s speaking again, tears flowing down his face, but you still can’t hear him. It doesn’t matter, anyway, nothing he could say would make him hitting you all right. You did nothing to deserve this, you would never hurt him intentionally, you would never lay a finger on him. So precious, so beautiful. You love him even if he hates you, he’s one of your best friends, he’s your past.
You falter a little as you hear yourself speak, and suddenly the noises in the room all hit you at once. The TV in the corner of the room blaring, his deep breaths as he stares at you, your hand sliding up against the wall as you push yourself off of it and walk closer to him.
His eyes fly up to your face, searching for some kind of forgiveness. You don’t offer any, you keep your expression blank, your hands at your sides. Maybe this time you won’t forgive.
“J…John. I…” He shakes his head, looking down at his hand, turning it over, flexing his fingers. “I didn’t mean to hit you I don’t know why I did that.”
You’re chewing on the corner of your lip, your eyes narrowed. You want to understand him, you want to know how exactly he got like this, or when, something, anything to have it make sense.
“Doesn’t matter, I’ve been hit harder,” you give him one more close glance before shaking your head and exhaling slowly. You move to the opposite side of the hotel room and bend over, grabbing your duffel bag in your hand and clutching it to your chest as you turn and pat your pocket, hearing your keys jingle and feeling the thick outline of your wallet. You know the rest is out in your RV in the parking lot, so you turn towards the door without so much of another look at him, and you’re an inch away from your escape when you hear his voice come out in a half-choked whisper.
“Where’re you going?”
You’d laugh, but you forgot how. “You told me to ‘fucking get out’, remember?” Your hand lands on the door knob, fingers curling around it.
You turn, your arm twisting behind you, the back of your head leaning against the wood. You could tell him, it would be so cruel, to actually say his name. Your solution to all of this is what caused the problem in the first place, the other man, your other best friend, your future.
He’s got his jaw clenched so hard that the bones are practically popping out of his skin, there’s a lock of brown hair brushing against his forehead and hanging in his eyes; that used to be sexy, now it’s just down-right annoying. He swallows hard, and you watch his adam’s apple bob as he does.
“Please don’t go to him.”
Now you laugh. It’s a bitter, hallow, melt-ice-worthy laugh, and you see him visibly shudder.
“Fuck you, Adam. Fuck you.”
You turn completely, your hand still clutched on the knob. With your eyes on the door, and your back to him you whisper quietly, “He’d never hit me.”
You turn it and slip out, your bag still in your hand, your keys still in your pocket. You walk down the hall, knowing he won’t follow, knowing he’s got too much pride. It’s 2 AM, it’s silent, the hotel halls are too bright. You stand outside of the elevator, the ‘bing’ making you jump a little as it hits your floor. You walk in, press the button clearly marked “lobby” and sigh to yourself.
It comes to the bottom floor, opening up to a less brightly lit lobby. Couches and chairs all in the same brown and pale red flowered pattern surround a fake fireplace and a small rectangular coffee table to your left, on your right is the desk, a middle-aged black man settled on a chair behind it, drumming his fingers against the counter, a newspaper settled on his knee which is bent up against the side of the desk. He looks at you over his paper and you offer a small smile before walking out of the automatic doors in front of you and into the warm air that is Virginia in the middle of July. You sigh and scratch at your cheek, walking silently over to the RV and opening it up quickly, gathering the rest of your possessions. You’re tired, you don’t want to be doing this…You lean up against the side and let your bags drop to the ground as you pull your cell phone from your pocket, speed-dialing his number and letting your eyes close.
You’ve woken him up.
“Hi. It’s John.”
“Mmph. John. It’s 2AM.”
“He hit me.” Your voice stays flat, you open your eyes again to look around the deserted parking lot. In the distance you can hear highway sounds.
He just groans, “Was he drunk?”
“Fuck, man. You okay?” He seems more awake already, but you’re getting more and more tired, your eyes are drooping closed on their own accord.
“M’fine. I’m coming to stay with you, I just got to get a cab and get to the airport. I’m sure there will be some flight to New York from here…”
You hear him shifting, fumbling around and a low moan before a muttered, “Fuck,” and then some more shifting. He inhales and then he’s back, “All right, man. So I’ll see you…”
“In a couple of hours, yeah. I’m sorry for waking you up.”
“It’s fine.” He pauses, “You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah. I’m gonna call a cab. See you later. Bye.”
You don’t wait for him to say it back, you just hang up and stare at the phone for a few minutes before taking your bottom lip between your teeth.
You don’t deserve him.