Prologue - Tears to Dry
Jesse sees only what he wants to see.
He didn’t see the appreciative glances, lusting looks. He failed to notice the heads that turned once and again to greet the strange stranger in their midst. All he saw was prying eyes, mocking, leering… disgusted eyes and his head spun. He gulped down another burning shot and escaped to the bathroom. Stood at the mirror and glared at himself.
Ugly… he was ugly. Worthless, insubstantial… ordinary at best.
Wait, this is wrong. He wasn’t supposed to feel this way… not anymore. They’d dealt with this a long time ago. Adam had worked so hard. Jesse was a beautiful and valuable person. He was sure of it… once.
When I want rain, I get sunny weather
I'm just as blue, blue as the sky
Since love has gone, I can't get myself together
Guess I'll hang my tears out to dry…
Brennan was *this* close to exploding.
If the bouncer knew what was best for him, he’d get out of his way right now. He did. Brennan burst into the club, breathless and desperate. Fists clenching and unclenching incessantly by his sides, eyes scouring without really seeing much. He had to find Jesse. He didn’t know what he would do once he did though… didn’t have a plan yet. But he knew it was not going to be easy. Jesse would not be the self-less, forgiving, understanding Jesse everyone knew and took for granted.
And dear God he *shouldn’t*… he shouldn’t.
Brennan walked up one direction until he reached the bar… didn’t find what he was looking for so he turned around and went the other. Ignored the many people admiring him openly, head to toe. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so… so… inadequate.
Jesse closed his eyes again, swallowed the memories. Remembered something, his eyes flew open and he reached into his jacket pocket. There, jangling with his platinum comlink ring was what he wanted. A gold cased sparkling blue eye-liner… stole it from Shalimar. Why were his eyes green? He hated green. Why couldn’t they be blue?
With trembling hands Jesse opened it. Of course it wouldn’t help, nothing could help his… ugliness. Brennan wouldn’t like it… Brennan wasn’t here was he. And never would. He would never come to a joint like this. Remington’s… not a place for people who hated themselves. Then what was Jesse doing here?
His hands shook and he waited for them to still. They didn’t.
Brennan tried the comlink again. No response. He then commed Emma and a second time asked her if she was sure *this* was the place. Positive, she sent back curtly. No assurances, no consolation… nothing but disappointment.
He deserved it. Deserved all the anger and hell this night could rear but not Jess. Never Jess. He took the stairs three at a time and reached another dimly lit room bathed in blue, a live band playing upfront.
Not a place he would come to if he was as upset as Jesse was right now. He couldn’t imagine why the usually quiet and reclusive man would come here either. Maybe… it was the freedom.
Everywhere he looked, he saw men… freer than they could usually be outside… in the real world. Here, they could be real. Brennan was only beginning to realize what might be going through Jesse’s mind. The band played a haunting soul rendition of some old classic… wasn’t that Sinatra? Jesse liked Sinatra.
Dry little tear drops, my little tear drops
Moving on a stream of dreams
My little memories, those precious memories
Remind me of our crazy schemes…
There were few people in this world who could reduce him to this… but Jesse had never, not once even in his worst nightmares ever thought Brennan would become one of them. In that moment, all he felt was cold and bitter hate.
Jesse came out of his hiding place… needed another drink. He let his longish hair veil his face, his now sketchily colored eyes, bitten through lips… didn’t like the way this guy kept looking at him. One drink… then you leave, he told himself. Go where? Don’t know. Don’t care. Drink. He didn’t see the tall figure in the familiar black duster walking away… towards the door, heavy slow strides… head hung low.
Then somebody says, just forget about her
But I gave that treatment a try
Strangely enough, I got along without her
Then one day she passed me right by - oh well
I guess I'll hang my tears out to dry…