/Slash warning. Angstiness and emotional overload. I wouldn't even have written something like this if a friend wasn't going through a similar situation. Of course, I'm all for freedom, myself, but I do know that it can hurt.

Well, I love you, dear, so do what you have to do. I'll support you whatever your choice, and I hope that whichever path you take you find happiness./

Don't Wait

When footsteps sounded behind Lucas, hollow and surprisingly soft on the wooden deck, he tensed like he was waiting for a blow. He kept his eyes trained on the ocean, watching each wave crash on the jagged granite rocks below and sometimes spray up onto his bare feet.

"You didn't say goodbye," his visitor reproved quietly, still behind him and hidden from Lucas' view. Not that he really needed to see the one behind him; he had long ago memorized each feature, each expression. Right now green-gray eyes would be disappointed in him.

So be it. He didn't care anymore.

"I didn't feel it was necessary," he said quietly, feeling the words slash through to the heart. But what did it matter? The sky was torn apart; gray clouds spiraling around each other in a frenzy, but unable to totally obscure the sky. Everything had broken apart. The sun wasn't golden; it was a strange, bleak white.

Only the endless crashing of waves made sense anymore. There was nothing else constant.

Except the heart that still beat somewhere behind him. With everything in his soul, Lucas wished it would just stop.

"I think I deserved better than that,' the soft voice said, but now it was stuttered, trying to conceal bright tears.

Crying wouldn't help. Keep weakness inside, where no one can see.

"You're wrong," Lucas said shortly, gripping the railing of the deck tighter. He leaned forward and let the wind pull at his hair, dry his cheeks, and take him away for a moment. His ratty t-shirt, faded tie-dye, whipped around him and he wished the bottoms of his jeans weren't so encrusted with dry sea salt, that they might move around him too, and let him know he could still feel.

Pain can become numbing, after a while. A person sinks into it and he feels nothing ever again, so lost in the hurt. He forgets the hurt, lives in it like it's nothing, but he feels nothing else because nothing can cut through.

"Why won't you explain?" The words burst into the air, like popping balloons or champagne corks exploding up and out. Lucas hunched his shoulders and looked down, down, down; where there were no questions that mustn't be answered.

He felt the air twisting around him like silk and knew it was because the other moved, though he didn't hear any footsteps this time. He heard a strong heartbeat, though, that matched the booming rhythm of the sea. He was caught in wiry, naked arms and pulled back against a tall body, and he might have fought if he wasn't too busy trying to swallow the tears that tore at his eyes.

"Please," and the voice was chocolate and cream; it was a hundred precious nights held so tightly under satin sheets and it was warm, sweet love. He could hear the dark current of pain in it.

He shut his eyes and remembered how warm he had always been, held like this and safe like this. He reached up blindly and let his hand tangle in thick, blonde hair, trailing over parted lips and a smooth-shaved cheek on his way. This he remembered; this he knew.

"Lucas." It was as much as a plea as before, and Lucas felt his heart stutter and tears prickle behind his eyelids again. His face directed up and tilted so that he could be kissed. He wouldn't say it, even if it was true.

"I love-"

"Shut up!" he screamed, pulling away violently and whirling around, his back slamming painfully into the railing behind him. The waves crashed and he felt the spray land on the back of his neck, and he thought disjointedly that both seawater and tears had salt. "Don't say that to me!"

Full lips trembling with passion and fear, eyes wide and stricken, and hands half reaching out to hold him again, to touch and soothe him. Lucas felt his face twisting into a snarl. "Don't say that to me, Jacob."

"Why?" and his lover's voice was so low, so helpless. Lucas shook his head and tried to push himself even closer to the railing, maybe to break it and fall through into the sea.

"I hate you," he said, voice wild and breaking and he wanted to die for saying that lie, but he had to. He could make it true; yes, he would make it true. "I hate you. Leave me alone!"

Jacob shook his head slowly and stepped back, anger finally showing in his over-bright eyes. "I don't believe you."

Why did he have to make this so difficult? Lucas laughed like his soul was trying to pull itself apart and come out through his mouth. "I hate you. I loathe you. I never want to see you again."

The lie got easier. It was becoming more truthful, now; why had Jacob chased him and made him tell it in the first place? Why couldn't he just let Lucas go?

"It's not that simple, Lucas," Jacob said in a tight voice. The tension was arcing between them and Lucas wondered why it didn't set the deck ablaze. "You can't just say it's over, that it never meant anything-"

"Let me go," Lucas finally whispered, all his strength spent. He sagged back against the railing and only just managed to keep himself from falling to his knees. "Stop this, please. Just let me go."

Jacob's eyes, if anything, got wider. "I-"

"I don't want you anymore!" Lucas shrieked, choking on the words but spitting them out nonetheless. "I want to be free, damn you to hell! Let me go!"

"You don't know what you're saying," was the soft response. Lucas could hear the uncertainty in it. It gave him strength.

"I don't need you to protect me anymore," he said slowly and with complete truth. "I want to know what's out there, without you screening my heart and mind. I want to feel it, all of it, and I want to hold it all in my hands. I don't care how hot or cold or sharp it is. I want it, do you understand?"

He said it with a soft intensity that could not be denied. Jacob's eyes darkened with pain.

"I love you," the guardian said simply. "I wanted to keep you safe. I didn't want you to hurt."

Lucas smiled, and he was pretty sure it was a real one. "I love you. But I don't love me."

"But-"

"I know you think I'm beautiful, and wonderful, and whatever the fuck else," Lucas interrupted, looking down at his feet again and noticing finally that salt had dried on his toes, and they itched. "But I don't know that. I have to- I have to find it out. By myself."

Jacob swallowed and Lucas sighed.

"Will you come back?" Jacob finally asked, his voice trembling just a little. Just a minute bit.

"Perhaps," he answered and the wind took the word, whirling it out into the sky. Perhaps.

His guardian stepped back, and back, and turned to walk away. Lucas watched his slumped shoulders, his slow steps, and his hanging head. He wanted to say he was sorry, ask Jacob to come back, to stay with him, to help him.

But he wouldn't do that.

And, as much as he wanted to, because something in him was still afraid and alone and full of bitterness and sorrow and hatred, he would not ask Jacob to wait. He would not expect him to wait.

No, he wouldn't hope that Jacob would wait.

/Review if you like, flame if you have to, blink in confusion if you just don't get it./