Disclaimer: Characters belong to DCS. I have permission to torture them.



He sat in the car lost in thought. How long had it been? Two years? Three? He wasn't sure how it had happened but now he was here and he still couldn't stop thinking about the past.

Shaking his head to clear his mind, he looked over at the house beside him. His stomach knotted but he knew that if he turned on the engine and drove away, he'd never be able to make himself come again.

Glancing down at his hands, he saw he was gripping the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles were white. He forced himself to gently pry his hands from the steering wheel and get out of the car. Once out of the car, he stopped with the open door in one hand and the other hand resting on the roof of the car. He stared at the house wondering what he would find when he knocked on the door. Taking a deep breath, he stepped back from the car, closed the door and started his on his way to the house.

He stood on the porch in front of the door with one hand raised to knock but found himself dropping his hand unable to actually knock. He bit his lip and looked down at his feet that he was scuffing on the porch floor.

How did we get here? I never thought it would turn out this way. But one day turned into a week and a week turned into a month and then suddenly it was over two years later and we still hadn't talked. But, by god I need him…

That final thought spurred him to action and he was finally able to knock on the door.

After a moment, the door swung open and a tall, dark haired man stood looking back at him. A moments silence stood between the two men before the one who had answered the door asked, "Can I help you?"

"Oh, um, I'm looking for David Sharp." Oh god, I never let myself think he may have found someone else. What the hell am I doing here?

"Of course, one moment."

The door shut slightly in front of him but he could hear footsteps and soft voices. When the door opened again, he looked down at the familiar face that had haunted his dreams for years.

"Wasso? Oh, ah sorry, Brendan? What are you doing here?"

"Hi David, I, um, I got your address from Mark. I just wanted to talk, if…if that's okay with you."

"Of course. Ah, come on in Brendan." David said, stepping away from the door allowing Brendan to enter the house. "Uh, we'll use the den, it's pretty comfortable, we can talk there if that's okay with you."

Brendan nodded before leaning down to remove his shoes. He followed David down a hallway past a set of stairs leading up and a kitchen. Turning a corner, David led him down a couple steps and into a room lined with bookcases and a fireplace.

Seeing them enter, the man who had answered the door stood up and glanced at David. When David only shrugged, the man cleared his throat and said, "Why don't I go make some coffee and let the two of you have some privacy."

"Thanks Charlie." David replied, "Have a seat Brendan."

Brendan nervously sat down on the sofa. Now that he was in front of David, he didn't know what to say. David sat down on a chair across from the sofa and looked at Brendan. Uncomfortable silence filled the room for a long moment before David looked Brendan in the eyes and said, "You're looking good Brendan. I don't think I've ever seen you in a suit before."

"Oh, ah thanks." Brendan said looking down at the blue shirt, black tie and black dress pants he was wearing – he had left the matching jacket in the car and the dress shoes he left at the front door completed the suit. "I came straight from the funeral."

A small frown crossed David's face as he heard the hitch in Brendan's voice as he spoke. Brendan glanced up and seeing the frown explained further, "My…my dad died last week. Heart attack. The, uh, funeral was this morning. Mark came and we spoke a bit. He gave me your address. I'm sorry to just show up unannounced but…I had to see you. You…you're the only one who would understand…"

David got up and sat beside Brendan on the couch. Looking into Brendan's eyes, David saw the pain and sorrow. He took one of Brendan's hands in his, "I'm sorry Brendan. I didn't know or else I would've been there. I know how hard this must be on you."

Brendan looked back at David then down at their entwined hands. He was unaware when tears started to flow down his face.

"My dad…h-he never really forgave me you know, but he was my dad. I just needed someone today that would get it, you know?"

The sound of a throat being cleared interrupted them. Looking up they saw Charlie standing at the door with a tray in his hands.

"I brought you some coffee and some of that lemon loaf we had."

"Thanks Charlie." David said getting up and taking the tray from Charlie. He exchanged a few words quietly with the man before returning to the couch, placing the tray on the table beside them.

Brendan looked up with distress at David. Standing suddenly he said, "I'm sorry David. It never crossed my mind that there'd be s-someone e-else."

Choking on the last couple of words, Brendan started out of the room, "I should go, I shouldn't have come here. It's…it's too late I guess. I don't know what I was expecting but it's too late now."

"Brendan, wait. Please don't go. Please stay and we'll talk."

Looking back at the blonde man, Brendan choked back a sob, "I'm sorry David, I am. I just…can't."

Slipping into his shoes, Brendan opened the door and hurried to his car. Sliding into the driver's seat, Brendan let the harsh sobs take over.

Standing at the door to his house, David watched Brendan cry in his car. His hands clenched and unclenched in fists. David didn't know what to do. He wanted nothing more than to go to the man in the car but wasn't sure if he should. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, David looked back at Charlie.

"Go." Charlie said, giving David a gentle push towards the door.

Nodding David stepped out of the house and walked over to the car.

Brendan jumped at the knock on the window beside him. Looking up, he saw David standing beside the car. Trembling, he struggled to open the door. When the car door opened, David reached inside and took Brendan's hands. He gently guided Brendan out of the car until he stood in front of David. Reaching up, David wrapped his arms around Brendan and brought the other man into a hug. Brendan stood still in the embrace for a moment before bringing his arms up to wrap around David and pull him close. Brendan buried his face in David's shoulder and, once again, let the tears flow.

David let Brendan cry on his shoulder, rubbing circles on his back and murmuring quiet, soothing words in his ear. When the sobbing stopped, David stepped back and taking Brendan by the hand led him back into the house.

David gently sat Brendan on the couch, taking a seat beside him, never letting go of Brendan's hand.

"You know the worst thing about all this?" Brendan asked, "When my dad's casket was lowered to the ground, the pain was as harsh as losing my mom. When mom died, I was losing the one person I knew loved me unconditionally. When we buried dad, I was losing someone I knew I was never good enough for but I still couldn't help but love. But neither of those times hurt as much as the day when I realized you weren't coming back. I was torn apart when I realized that everything of yours was gone and that I had lost you."

David gasped as he felt the pain of their ruined relationship fill him again. Before he could think of anything to say, Brendan spoke again.

"The worst part is," Brendan took a deep breath, "Is that I can't even remember what we fought about. All I remember is that we argued and I left to clear my head. By the time I got home, you were gone. I figured you'd be back when you calmed down, only you never returned. One day turned into three which turned into a week. Then suddenly I realized that you had been gone a month. That entire first month I told myself daily that I would call you and we'd talk and you'd come back. When I realized I still hadn't made that phone call I talked to Mark who told me you had changed your phone number and asked him not to give me the new number. Mark said that you had promised him that you would call me when you could. So I waited. I threw myself into work. I saved up all my overtime wages and eventually had enough money to buy the garage from Duck. The day that Duck signed over the deed, I realized you'd been gone for nine months. I got so drunk that night that Mark thought I had alcohol poisoning. Mark spent a month with me making sure I didn't do anything stupid. Running the garage filled my hours and I barely spent any time at the apartment. I was happy to crash on a cot in my office so that I wouldn't have to go back to the empty apartment. I hate the place now but at the same time I can't sell it because it was ours and I couldn't get rid of the home we had shared together. Then I got the call from the hospital. My dad had had a heart attack and they weren't sure if he'd survive the night. I drove over to the hospital dreading facing my father. I didn't know what to expect. What if he was aware enough to kick me out of the room or refuse to see me? What if Lance was there and he refused to let me see dad? But I got there and Lance only nodded at me when I entered the room. Lance left me alone with dad who was awake but very weak. You know what he said? He said that he didn't want to die without letting me know that he loved me even though I had fucked up my life. He had heard I had bought the garage and said it was the only smart thing I had done my entire life and that I shouldn't screw it up like everything else. He fell asleep shortly after saying that. Lance and I were able to peacefully sit together throughout the night until dad took his last breath."

Brendan stopped talking and closed his eyes. David squeezed Brendan's hand in silent support. Brendan opened his eyes and looked at David.

"The entire time we were planning dad's funeral, the only thing I could think of was how much I needed you. I was barely able to keep myself together and the only thing that got through the fog of pain was your face. When Mark showed up at the funeral and handed me a piece of paper with your address on it, all I could do was get in my car and drive here. Do you know that I sat in my car outside the house for an hour before I was able to get out and approach the house? Then Charlie opened the door and I realized that I had truly lost you. You had moved on with your life and I'm truly alone."

David made a noise in his throat. He took a couple deep breaths and forced himself to speak.

"Brendan, you're not alone." Seeing Brendan's pained look, he continued, "You're not alone Brendan. And…and you haven't lost me. I'm still here, beside you. Charlie isn't…I'm not with Charlie. Charlie lost his wife last year and couldn't face living alone so he moved in here. He's an amazing friend who helped me survive the last couple years without you but he is nothing more than a house mate and a friend."

Brendan looked up at David, and for the first time in years he felt a small hope fill him.

"The night we fought and you walked out of the apartment, the last thing you said to me was that you hoped to never have to see my face again. So I packed a small bag and went to spend the night at Linder's place. After a night of tears, I forced myself to work on my thesis. I worked so hard that I didn't eat for two days and wouldn't stop because I didn't want to think about anything else. Linder literally stole the papers from in front of me and forced me to eat and sleep. If it hadn't been for Linder, I don't think I would've stopped working or survive those first few days. Linder and Mark tried to get me to talk to you but I refused, still hurt and confused. I lost my cell phone and had to get a new one. Mark begged to give you the number but I wasn't ready to talk to you so I told him I'd call you when I was able to. Much like you, I didn't notice time passing until it was suddenly it was time for me to defend my thesis. After I got back from the interview, I cried myself sick on Linder's shoulder. Months had passed and we still hadn't talked, I told myself that you had truly meant it when you said you didn't want to see me ever again. That weekend is when I moved all of my stuff out. I found out that you were going to be away at some conference so I asked a couple other grad students to help me pack and move. I moved in with Jeff who was struggling to pay rent and got a shitty job. A few months later, I received an invitation to teach at the university so I moved into this house and took the job. I've been here ever since."

David stopped speaking and turned so he was looking at Brendan face on. Taking both of Brendan's hands in his, David continued, "But I wasn't happy. I haven't been happy a single day since I walked out of our apartment. I had this hole in my chest that couldn't be filled. It's dark and painful and nothing could lighten the hurt. The day that Charlie moved in, he accidentally knocked over my desk. One of the drawers opened and all the contents dropped out. Charlie noticed it was all pictures of you or the two of us together and the letters we had sent each other over the years. Charlie confronted me and demanded to know who you were. You see, I had never talked about you with anyone but Mark and Linder. I even stopped mentioning your name to them. Charlie had never even heard of you before that night when I told him everything. I spent the night crying and the next morning he told me I needed to get over myself and call you. I couldn't though because I thought I had waited too long. I thought I had lost you forever and it was too painful to even think of contacting you. I was finally able to talk about you again and the more I told Charlie about you, the more I realized how much I wanted you and needed you, but no matter how many times Charlie to me to, I couldn't pick up the phone to call you. I was too afraid. Then suddenly I open the door and there you were. I swear my heart stopped and I couldn't breathe when I looked at you. I thought at first I was dreaming but then I saw your expression. I knew you were real because in my dreams you're always flashing me your grin but here you were in front of me in so much pain. I want nothing more than to take that pain away and make you smile."

"David…" Brendan whispered, unable to believe what he heard. "David…"

David let go of one of Brendan's hands and brought the now free hand up to cup Brendan's cheek. Using his thumb, David wiped the tears off of Brendan's cheek. Brendan reached up with his free hand and brushed David's hair out of his eyes. David closed his eyes at Brendan's touch, sighing deeply.

"Hey…hey, look at me."

David opened his eyes at the quiet command. Looking at Brendan, David saw the question in his eyes. He answered the unspoken question, leaning in and gently pressing his lips to Brendan's.

The moment David's lips touched his own, Brendan knew that no matter what happened in the past or what was to come in the future, he would hold onto David with everything he was. He would never let David go again.