Warnings: Slash [M/M love], language.

Disclaimer: All characters [Elias, the speaker, Derek, and Justin] belong to me.

Feedback: Please.

AN: Some who read my other works could probably guess who the speaker is; that being said, this story has NOTHING to do with anything else I've written. It stands alone. Just a little story that appeared while I stabbed my muses for not helping me with underground.

what we really are

Soft, musical tones floated throughout the small studio; the muted sounds almost going unheard by my ears. The thick headphones I'm wearing reduce my tinkling to a distant hum, my mind's eye focused on the large movie screen before me. Familiarity guides me. I don't need to hear the music; I just know my fingers will tell me when I find the right tune for the scene that plays in a constant loop of blurred images. The film is one of Justin's; an independent film entitled Mine. From what bits and pieces I've seen, it comes across as a very raw movie and this scene was no different from the rest of the ninety-two minute picture.

It was a recently edited scene depicting a rape; a scene that in all its truthful, brutal essence was hard for me to watch at most moments due to the true personal places it tore apart inside me but Justin wanted this scene to have "killer" music and since he is the 'Mr. Director Sir' and I am just the lowly composer of music, whatever he says, goes. I have to do it, no matter what discomfort it brings to me. The fact that it's you doesn't make focusing on my job any easier. Deep in my soul, I know I shouldn't have…

Fuck it, though. It's too late to take everything back. Too late to wish it all away or even wish it all back. All that I have left are the memories of hot, passionate sex and whispered words of feelings that never should have surfaced in the first place, moments that can paint my day black at any hour. Against my demands, today has become a black day. I sigh softly, my focus wavering. Past images emerge and assault my conscious mind as the center of my waking dreams assaults the woman onscreen.

Where's a distraction when I need it?

The studio was dark and heavy around me, the only light coming from the flashing video screen and the small lamp at my side. Crumpled papers littered the floor at my feet and the soundboard was barely visible under my hard-bound notebooks and large pieces of dappled sheet music. My other two guitars leaned against the wall behind me, a little forgotten since I only use the one I hold in my hands. My favorite, or as the band likes to call it: my baby. I don't have the will to disagree. My fingers faltered on the frets, forcing me to chuckle darkly. I don't seem to have the will to do anything. No will to make music, no will to make myself forget.

As I muse, a sliver of pale light flutters across the dark screen, tearing me and my thoughts away from my tuneless wanderings. Spinning around in my seat, I glance at the figure in the cracked doorway, unable to see the person's face. Irritated, I pull the headphones off, frowning slightly.


The shadowed figure shifts from one foot to the other. "Hey."

That soft accent, the restlessness. My frown melts into a small sad smile. It could only be…


"Am I interrupting?" You step into the small room, the door shutting behind you with a soft click. "I mean, are you busy?"

I shake my head as I turn back to my work, grimacing slightly when I realize that watching this scene alone probably doesn't look good considering our past. Luckily, you don't notice and if you do, you don't say anything concerning the vulgar images.

"How's the music coming?"

I take a deep breath as I switch the movie off, turning to face you again. You are dressed simply, just jeans and a t-shirt. Uncomplicated. Dark hair is pushed away from your forehead, brown eyes sparkling-sadly?-in the dim light cast by the lone lamp. Fighting my emotions fiercely, I force a feeble shrug.

"About as well as can be expected. I've hit a bit of a snag though; it's getting…tough."

"I would think so." You tiptoe through the carpet of papers, softly sinking into the chair opposite me, immediately beginning to swing slowly back and forth. "You'll figure it out. You always do."

I laugh quietly, feeling a twinge of humor that I wasn't sure I actually possessed. "I hope so or else Derek will have my ass. He wants this done by next Thursday."


"Yeah." I set the heavy headphones on the soundboard, next to my composing book as I consciously run my fingers through my hair, yawning loudly. "I doubt I'll get it to where I want it to be by then but I'll try."

"Like I said, you'll find a way."

"I hope so. I want to live to see my twenty-first birthday."

You smile, an almost smirk, as you glance down at your twisting hands. Aware of the steadily growing tension between us, I suck in a gulp of air, my eyes focused on a blank piece of paper at your feet.

"So…how's everything going? You know, the reshoots and all that shit."

A shrug. "Not too bad."

I nod. "Good."

In the heavy silence that follows my short comment, I realize that it's going to be the unspoken moments like this that are going to hurt the most simply because these moments are when the past will choose to remind me of earlier engagements and sweaty nights spent wrapped in nothing but skin. Your skin. In you, around you, near you, with you…just you… God, I miss you so much.

I open my mouth to voice this thought; the thought that has tortured me every waking moment of everyday since whatever we had…ended.

You sigh; a sound that deafens me in the burdensome air, thus silencing me and ending the moment. "Well, I…I just w-wanted to see how you were doing. We, we h-haven't spoken since…"

"I'm okay."

No, I'm not.

"Good." You stand up, wiping your hands on your jeans. "I'll see you around then, right?"

"Yeah." My fingers tighten on the neck of my guitar, my baby. My baby. "See you."

You shuffle around my papers, open the door and step out into the brightly lit hallway, smiling faintly at me as you close the door. I open my mouth again, praying the words come out like I need them to…but they don't. The sound of the door catching causes me to wince: it's too late, too late for everything. I groan in annoyance as I set my guitar on the floor at my feet; the irritation flaring up solely based on the reasons why I had to go fuck things up.

I put my head in my hands, desperately ignoring the small pinpricks behind my closed eyelids. Its times like this that make me wonder if you hurt as much as I do. I know I was the one that called it off and that in itself should cause you pain but…is it a deep bone-breaking pain in your chest that threatens to swallow you up when you so much as think of me?

Sighing raggedly, I look up from my hands, eyes focusing on the remote that rests on my open song book. Pushing away as much hurt as I can, I reach for the small piece of wiring and plastic, switching the movie back on as my fingers close around the neck of my guitar. I hesitate for a moment when your image flashes across the screen for just an instantaneous second, all the pain and horror of letting you go rushing back like a newly freed river.

I guess that's what I get for falling in love with an actor.