Brennan sat on the same sofa he’d seen Jesse lying on three minutes ago… sat in surrender, head bowed, resting on folded hands. He wondered if it was his imagination that he could still smell Jesse on the leather.
~There was nothing I could do. There is nothing I *can* do.~
Brennan wasn’t sure what to feel. Was he entitled to feel anger at Jesse’s actions after what he’d done to him tonight? Probably not. But at least he wasn’t out being unfaithful to his… his… what? Boyfriend? Lover? If it were so, why did he not acknowledge this lover of his in front of his friends? How could he just turn around and pretend like Jesse did not even exist? Brennan could only imagine what that must have felt like to Jesse. Cringed at the guilty memory… so lost was he in his past… he forgot he did not need Korso and his gang’s approval anymore. He forgot that Jesse was his family now.
How the fuck could he?
I would say I'm sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I've said too much
Been too unkind
The folded hands curled into each other and Brennan brought them down into the glass table before him. The glass cracked into a thousand piece jigsaw pattern but did not shatter. So damn unsatisfactory.
Jesse had been extremely understanding of Brennan’s inhibitions regarding their relationship. But obviously tonight had been the last straw. Something was off with him ever since they’d come to DC and Brennan suspected it might have something to do with Jesse’s history here though he hardly knew anything about it. On top of that, he’d managed to push Jesse over the edge. Was there no end to his bastard-ness?
I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Brennan bit back sobs of frustration. Stood up and paced the length of the couch. The image of Jesse beneath that other man painfully vivid in his mind’s eye. Closed his eyes, whirled around in a rush as if the movement could dislodge the images. It didn’t. He opened his eyes and tried to focus on something else… anything else beside the stupid couch.
A couple caught his eye, holding hands, enjoying the live band music. Were they this openly affectionate outside the club? Or would they part ways pretending they didn’t know each other? He remembered earlier that day in the mall… when Jesse had wanted to hold hands and he’d… well he’d made it clear he wasn’t interested. He remembered the way Jesse’s face had fallen just for that split second it took him to don his usual mask of nonchalance.
~Shit, what stops Jesse from assuming I am interested in nothing but the sex? I’ve given him no reason to believe otherwise.~
Breathing became an impossibility. Brennan couldn’t stand it any longer. He couldn’t stay put while Jesse was out there fucking a stranger only to get back at *him*. No, he wouldn’t let that happen. If he didn’t wish to be with Brennan anymore that was fine. But he won’t let him do anything he knew Jesse would regret the morning after.
“I love you Jesse.”
He announced to an audience of one. It was the first time he’d admitted that to himself.
~I always have…~
Brennan ran, fast as he could. Parking lot first. He fantasised about Jesse changing his mind at the last moment and Jack going crazy and then he would make his dramatic entry in true MutantX style and kick Ryan’s ass and rescue his love… and then Jesse would forgive him and come back to him and…
“Get a grip Mulwray. Get a fucking grip!”
I would tell you that I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it's no use
That you've already gone away
~Get a grip, you’re losing it Kilmartin.~
Jack finally left, drove away alone not looking back at Jesse who stood leaning against the wall. He didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. He didn’t know where to start.
The alcohol had lost its effect a while ago, back in the moment he saw Brennan… eyes flaming furiously at the sight of Jesse kissing Jack. The expression on his face as hurt as it was hurtful.
Jesse absently wiped at his right eye, his fingers coming back with a smudge of blue. Ah yes, he would have to be careful he didn’t start crying… took ages to get that thing right. Brennan hadn’t commented on it. Did he even see it? Jesse laughed at his thoughts… so all over the place. He’d given Brennan no chance to notice anything except Jack’s tongue in his mouth and Jack’s hand tearing at his brand new shirt.
~You hurt him. He is not coming back.~
~He hurt me too. Why then do I want him back?~
Too many questions. No answers. Jesse slid down the wall, sat with hands locked around his knees… knees pressed to his chest.
Misjudged your limits
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more
Running footsteps behind him alerted Jesse there was company coming. Deserted parking lot, night time… how many times had they been caught unawares by the GSA like this? But somehow tonight he couldn’t bring himself to assume the defensive stance he was trained to. Fuck GSA.
~I will brood if I want to and you cant stop me.~
Jesse looked up, it was Brennan of course. No surprise there. But he felt too numb and also a bit sheepish to generate an appropriately witty reaction. Instead he settled for a nice long glare and then looked away. Back at the blue color staining his fingers.
Brennan was relieved beyond words to find Jesse, alone and still intact. He looked around though to check if they still had company.
“You look disappointed.”
The tall man whipped around at the biting remark from his (ex?) lover. Brennan bent forward and rested hands on knees, breathless from the running.
“I… was sorta hoping he’d be here so I could box his pretty face in.”
Jesse smiled sadly. “He left.”
Brennan gathered his wits about him, gut in knots. He had to know.
“Did he… did you… did he…?”
Jesse sighed and shook his head, and Brennan let a deep breath out with immense gratitude. Jesse wasn’t looking anywhere except his locked knuckles.
“Jesse… I’m *so* sorry…”
“There is no excuse, none. It was like I regressed two years I… I couldn’t stop… I still can’t believe it… Jess…”
Brennan ran out of words and still no response.
“I know there is no excuse but I… I just want you to know…”
He realised the other man wasn’t taking this very well. Jesse did not want to know his reasons, did not want to *understand*. He wanted only to cling to his rage, longer than Brennan would ordinarily prefer.
“Someday, if you’re interested… I’d like to tell you why, why I behaved the way I did.”
“Like a jerk?”
Brennan nodded. He was glad Jesse was finally participating in the conversation. He approached the curled up figure cautiously.
“Like a jerk. A complete, asinine jerk. An asshole. Bastard.”
Jesse snickered silently. “Good, so we agree.”
Brennan came closer, fearing Jesse would bolt.
“I know that you’re upset… and you have all the reason to. And… and I will understand if you… if you need time, but… Jesse…”
He waited for Jesse’s response, none forthcoming. Jesse just looked away, hiding his face from Brennan’s view.
“We do need to work together, live together at the Sanctary and… and we should really work this out don’t you think?”
~Something. Anything! Talk to me baby.~
Classic Jesse in sulk mode… complete and utter silence. Only Adam could make him talk when he got like this, and no amount of desperation on Brennan’s part would help. Brennan felt himself running out of patience.
He ran fingers through his hair, rubbed his eyes as if to clear the fog of frustration obstructing his senses. What could he do? What could he possibly say?
“When I saw you with that man…”
“You felt angry. Betrayed. Hurt.”
Brennan was taken aback, not so much by the words as by the dead tone in Jesse’s voice.
“That’s not what I was going to say.”
Brennan was nearer.
“Hurt yes but more than that, it made me realise that…”
“That I am not worth all this trouble anyway?”
“What? No! Why do you keep doing that?”
A second time that night Brennan heard Jesse demean himself and it disturbed him beyond words. Even angered him, and he went to Jesse’s side and sank to his knees beside him.
“Jesse listen to me, stop blaming yourself. I am the bad guy here, the asshole and the bastard remember? It was not your fault.”
Silence. But he could see Jesse trembling, not all from the cold.
“Jesse talk to me.”
Brennan was desperate. He wondered if he could touch Jesse without him ramming a solid phased fist into his jaw or worse, shrinking away from him to nothingness. Fought to hold back a frustrated sob.
“Can you forgive me?”
“I already have.”
Silence. Jesse looked up to meet the anxious brown eyes, brimming with shock and foreboding.
“But I can’t forget.”
Jesse saw the tears well up then, felt the complete misery radiating off Brennan and he ached all over. Wanted so much to let go of his own tears… to scream and rant until he was empty of all this bitterness inside. Wanted so much to take Brennan in his arms… there was so much he wanted to *say* to this man he… he loved. Yes he did. And yet…
“I’ll see you back at the hotel okay.”
Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Cause boys don't cry
Boys don't cry, Boys don't cry
Next Chapter >>