|sailorstarsun (sailorstarsun) wrote,|
@ 2011-09-27 22:41:00
One - 10/10
Ok, here we go. Last chapter.
So I say, but then just yesterday I decided some, uh... decisions, and now will have to re-write a bunch of stuff. But that won't affect this chapter, or even this particular story, very much at all, so if you've been reading thus far, you can go ahead and finish and not wait for the re-writes (since they'll take a while).
Anyway. Please tell me what you think! =D
Or wait for the epilogue and tell me then.
Title: One Last Chance
Genre: drama, romance, mm/yaoi/slash/gay/whatever you want to call it
Rating: R/NC-17 - there are some detailed sex scenes, but it's not a smut story
Warnings: Some of those sex scenes are a bit rough, but everything is consensual. Also, if you're perceptive, spoilers. >3
Chapter Notes: Maybe you will need tissues. Also, I just now did a bunch of edits to this chapter, so it's a little more readable. Also, tissues.
They had been searching for hours, covering the whole campus twice. Night had started to fall, and it was becoming harder to see, but they didn’t give up.
In his rush to go after Clay, Nicholai had only taken the time to throw on his uniform pants and the tank top he usually wore under his shirt. The nighttime chill froze his bare arms when they searched outside the huge school building, but he hardly felt it. Inside the school, he didn’t notice the stares of the other students as he ran from one end of the building to the other, screaming Clay’s name. At times, he forgot that Luciano was right behind him the whole way.
He’d fucked up. Because he had misjudged his feelings for Luciano, he’d continued to string Clay along, thinking he could have it all. Even if he had been able to get over Luciano after taking him, he should have been forthcoming from the start. Clay would have understood. But Nicholai was too busy being stupid and selfish and thinking with his dick, and now Clay was hurt.
A deep sense of dread rose within him.
For what must have been the third or fourth time, Nicholai ran out onto the roof. Nobody was there. “Fuck!!” He screamed loud enough to make his throat hurt, but the burning didn't quell his mental anguish at all. And then he crouched down, punching the graveled roof in frustration. Again and again, his fist connected with the blanket of small rocks, until his knuckles were bloody and Luciano was on him, pulling at his shoulders.
“Stop it! Nicholai! Stop!”
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
He stopped punching the ground, and his eyes followed where Luciano was pointing.
Far above the main building’s roof, a small silhouette sat at the top of the bell tower across the way. It was impossible to make out details in the low light, but Nicholai knew instinctively who it was.
And he ran, faster than he’d ever run before. He raced down stairs and through corridors. By this time there weren’t many people left in the building – most were in their dorm rooms, finishing up homework, or in the showers – so it was easy going, and within minutes he was back outside, running toward the tower. He didn’t even have time to wonder how Luciano kept up with his long strides.
In minutes they’d reached the bell tower, only to find the wooden door shut and locked tight. The large, heavy padlock that had been on it forever was still in place. Clay couldn’t have come in this way, but there were no other entrances or windows or anything.
He had to have gotten in somehow, so they circumambulated around the tower once, then twice, but saw nothing. No extra doors or forgotten hatches, just stone walls and weeds.
When they came to the door again, Nicholai’s teeth were grinding in rage from the fear and anxiety. Then he raised a leg and, in the same form as that day months ago – the day he’d first laid eyes on Luciano – he kicked, hard. And when the door didn’t budge, he kicked again. But the door was heavy, and remained intact.
He threw his head back and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Clay! Don’t do anything! Don’t move! I’ll be right there!” Then he began kicking the door again.
He hadn’t even noticed Luciano rounding the tower again until he heard him call “Nicholai, over here!” With a glare at the door, he stopped kicking and followed the voice. “Here, look.”
Luciano was pulling some weeds that were growing alongside the tower back, revealing a hole in the wall. It seemed the bricks were crumbling in places, they were so old. It was probably why the building was locked up so tight; no doubt it’d have to be torn down in a few years. But there were also signs that some of the bricks had been deliberately kicked in, making a hole just large enough for a small person to fit through. Clay was probably the only one on the entire campus who could fit through there.
Nicholai’s kicking returned twice as strong on the new target. Luciano kicked at the bricks too, until the hole was double the size it had been previously. Even then it was a tight squeeze to get Nicholai’s shoulders through, but once he was in he was back to running full speed.
There was no elevator. The bell tower had to be some six stories to the top, but Nicholai didn’t dare slow down until he was all the way up, and Clay was in his view. The small boy was sitting on the sill of the tower’s bell loft, but when he saw Nicholai, he stood up. He was still crying as he hugged the little bear Nicholai had won for him to his chest.
For a moment, they just stood, until Clay finally whispered “Why?”
“Clay, I’m sorry.” Nicholai knew that was inadequate, but didn’t know what else to say. He took a step forward, but that only caused the other to take a step back, so he stopped. Any further and Clay wouldn’t have anywhere else to go but down. “Clay... I thought you were afraid of heights.”
“I am,” Clay said with a sad smile. “I’m so scared right now. I’m terrified.”
“Then come over here to me.”
Clay shook his head. “Everyone... everyone I’ve ever cared about has done this to me. Everyone I’ve ever loved had cheated on me and left me. I’m always being thrown out like trash for something better.” Their eyes met, and Nicholai could hardly stand the sight of all those tears. “I thought you would be different.”
“What about me is so unlovable!?”
“I’m sorry!” Nicholai dared take another step forward. “Clay, I’m sorry. So come here.” All he could do was apologize.
“No... I’ve had enough...” He took another tiny step back; his feet were at the very edge of the sill he stood on. There was nowhere left to go.
“Nico... I...” Then he shook his head again. He held up his little bear, pressing it to his cheek in a figment of a hug. Their eyes met again, and Clay gave Nicholai a smile, for the last time.
And then he took his final step backward.
Mouth hanging open in a scream that never came, Nicholai ran, reaching the ledge just in time to see Clay’s body hit the cobblestone ground far below. His mind reeled as an unfamiliar warmth spread across his face. He thought he was going to be sick, but then his feet sprang into action, turning and running out of the bell loft, past Luciano, and down the stairs. It was a miracle he didn’t trip on the way, but he managed to make it down, and scrambled out the hole.
There was nobody else about, nobody to see Clay’s fall. His body lay on the ground alone, looking even smaller than he really was. Nicholai ran to him, taking the boy up into his arms, calling his name. Luciano approached a moment later, but hung back. Nicholai didn’t have the mind to be grateful for the gesture.
Then he noticed Clay was still breathing. He was still alive.
“Clay!” Nicholai shook him gently. “Clay!”
Despite the blood leaking from his cracked skull, Clay managed to open his eyes. They were dull, not his usual shining brown, and his pupils had virtually disappeared. Nicholai didn't know if a fall could bust up someone's eyes like that, but it was very obvious Clay couldn't see anything. He was blind. Clay only had a few moments left, and they would be spent in darkness.
Wet spots fell onto Clay’s face, and that was when Nicholai finally realized he was crying. It was probably the first time he’d ever done so. “I’m sorry.” He needed to say it all, now. He had one last chance to try and make up for everything he'd put Clay through, or at least to apologize, to beg for forgiveness. “I wanted you to be happy. I wanted to be your boyfriend, but I had to sort myself out first. I messed up. It’s all my fault.”
Clay didn’t talk, probably couldn’t, but he managed to smile. He looked as if he were at peace as his eyes closed. Nicholai leaned down and pressed their lips together, giving their first and last kiss. It was weakly returned for a moment, but Nicholai could feel the life slowly drain from Clay's broken body, until there was nothing left.
Nicholai clung to Clay’s lifeless form, burying his face into the boy’s neck as he cried. He cried harder than he’d ever thought possible for someone everyone referred to as a monster. He’d never known how hot tears were, or how many pieces a heart could break into, until his hands were soaked with Clay’s blood.
He didn’t let go until he heard footsteps in front of him, and he looked up with red eyes to see Akira standing before them. Of all people who could have shown up, it was the one who would be most affected by the scene. The Japanese boy’s eyes were wide, and he was shaking. “You... you killed him...”
“No...” Nicholai replied in a low voice. “He jumped himself.”
“It’s true,” Luciano said from behind him, approaching to stand by Nicholai’s side. “He took his own life.”
“You drove him to it! I know you did!” Akira’s usual shy demeanor was gone. He was upset, a touch freaking out, and simply reacting. “I’ve seen the marks you leave on him, and the bruises! I’ve seen how sad you could make him! You-! You may as well have pushed him yourself!”
Nicholai didn’t try to defend himself. While he knew in the back of his mind that this was obviously something that had been building over time, and not solely his fault, the fact of the matter was he was the one to eventually bring about this end. There may have been any number of men who’d hurt Clay in the same way, but he was the one who was there when the boy fell. As far as Nicholai was concerned, Akira was right; he may as well have pushed Clay himself.
But Luciano was right there next to him. “Did you also see how happy he made him?" he asked in an even voice. “This isn’t his fault.”
Akira’s fists clenched; his lip quivered. “You’re wrong! Everything... everything is his fault!” Then he turned and ran back toward the school’s main building.
Nicholai barely heard any of it. The rest of the night was a blur. Paramedics came some time later, and it took two strong men and coaxing from Luciano to pry his arms from around Clay’s body. The medics uselessly examined the small boy, then pronounced the obvious. Right alongside them were the police, who said Nicholai wasn’t in any trouble right then, but they were opening an investigation based on what Akira was telling them. Luciano had to do all the talking. Other students were also being interviewed, as were the teachers. The entire time, Nicholai hardly spoke or moved, just stared with dull eyes.
The only time he showed any awareness at all was when they informed him that they would be calling his father.
He sat alone in his room, staring at the empty wall across from him. The entire opposite side of the room was completely bare, his roommate having been moved out several days before. The desk that always held neatly organized stacks of books was deserted, and even the bed was devoid of sheets. They said it was for both of their protection that Akira should be moved out, but Nicholai somehow doubted the other boy could ever be any kind of physical threat to him.
He had missed a day of classes while being held at the police station, then didn’t bother going again afterwards. Within a few days he would either be in jail, or in military school, so it wasn't like it mattered if he skipped or not. Everything he’d done for the past few months – going to class on time, doing his homework, not punching the shit out of the spoiled bitches that went here – had all been for nothing.
Or had it? Since really his original goal in staying at this school a bit longer was to sleep with Luciano, he could say mission accomplished. He got what he wanted, in the end. But he knew something along the way changed. He still wanted Luciano, but at some point he had began to like being a decent student. Wearing the uniform wasn’t that bad, and he did feel proud of himself for bringing his grades up. Maybe he would have eventually started playing with one of the sports clubs. He was finally starting to see what he was capable of, but had lost the chance to make something of himself. And worst of all, he’d lost the first person who’d ever actually cared about him. So while he succeeded in having Luciano, he paid a much higher price for it than expected.
He wondered if it was worth it, but saying yes or no wouldn’t be fair to either Luciano or Clay.
As if summoned by the thought, a knock came to the door, then it opened and Luciano peeked his head in. “Ah, here you are.”
“I can finally be alone in my own room.”
“Mm...” The boy let himself in, shutting the door behind him. “It’s pretty empty in here.”
“It’ll be made official tomorrow at the pre-trial, but I’m being charged with sexual abuse leading to suicide.”
“Yeah, and since what's-his-face is testifying as a witness for the prosecution, they moved him out. Afraid I might beat him up or something.”
“Well... would you?”
Without a second thought, Nicholai replied “Yes.”
Luciano smiled as he shook his head. “You’re too honest.”
“Isn’t that what you like about me?”
Still smiling, Luciano climbed up to him on the bed, not stopping until their faces were close. “Yes, it is,” he said, then kissed Nicholai on the lips.
Nicholai returned the kiss, putting a hand on the back of Luciano’s head to press them closer together. It still felt good; it still felt right. No matter what had happened, it was a comfort to know he had this person on his side. He let the kiss linger a moment, then pulled back and pushed Luciano away. “It doesn’t matter.”
Luciano just looked at him, eyebrows knitting together.
“Even if I make it through the trial, my father’s taking me out of here. Says he’s going to put me someplace where I can’t cause him any more trouble. Either way... we won’t be seeing much of each other.”
They sat quietly for a moment while the other boy took his words in. But Nicholai didn’t feel any sadness resonate from Luciano. Rather, there was something more like resolve. He could almost hear his brain working as audibly as he heard him lick his lip before speaking. “Let’s run away.”
“Let’s just go somewhere. Anywhere. We both need to get away, so let’s go together.”
Nicholai snorted quietly. “You know if I take off they’ll automatically assume I’m guilty.”
The hopeful light that had shone in Luciano’s eyes wavered. “I... Yeah, that’s true...”
“I was going to plead out anyway.”
Luciano looked at him with wide eyes. “So you’ll come with me?”
It sounded nice. They could be together, maybe find work or enroll in a school. They could go anywhere. He knew it would be difficult, but they did, each for his own reasons, need to get away. He couldn't help but feel that leaving, leaving everything behind – Wextbury, the trial, family – would be the most freeing thing. He craved that freedom more than anything. “Yeah,” he replied. “I’ll go.”
Luciano’s eyes shone brighter than ever, matching his smile. “Ok.”
“You know, you’ll be living with a fugitive.”
“I’ve been living with fugitives my whole life,” he laughed. “I’ve been trained for the past eight years to not be found. You’re safe with me.”
And Nicholai gave a small smile of his own. “I don’t doubt that.” Though he didn’t like the term ‘trained’, as if Luciano were someone’s dog, meant to do parlor tricks. But the boy didn’t seem to see it that way; he loved his ‘Papa’. It was something Nicholai didn’t think he’d ever understand. “What about your family?”
A sadness fell over Luciano. “I don’t know... I guess I can only hope they love me enough to forgive me, and allow me back into their lives some day.”
With that, Nicholai knew how serious the other was. Luciano had thought hard about this, and was prepared to go through with it. He knew he risked never seeing his family again, and he was taking that chance in order to find a life of his own. And he wanted Nicholai to go with him, and be a part of that life.
Maybe there was something like love between them after all.
Uselessly, Nicholai asked “Are you sure?”
And Luciano replied with a determined smile. “Yes!”
“Then let’s do it.”
“Ok!” Luciano was nodding enthusiastically, excited when anyone else would be scared. He was already climbing off the bed and heading for the door as he said “I’ll go pack my stuff and meet you at the front doors. We’ll go right now!”
When he reached the door, he stopped, pausing with his back to Nicholai, who, with a raised eyebrow, asked “Changed your mind already?”
“No, I just...” Luciano responded, then turned around. “I just want to say that I know a part of you will always be with him, but all of me belongs to you.” He smiled, and before Nicholai could say anything, he gave a wave and a “See you soon,” then was gone.
Nicholai stared at the door a moment, blinking after the other boy. Then he got up and dug a duffle bag out from under the bed. He felt a strange optimism, and for the first time ever, he felt genuinely spoiled. Even more than the rest of the snots here. He’d had Clay’s love; he had Luciano’s love. He didn’t need a perfect home life when he had the hearts of two beautiful boys. Had them without ever deserving them. It was true that Clay took a part of Nicholai with him, and that Luciano saw that and accepted it and gave all of himself anyway made Nicholai feel like he had more than anyone else ever could.
He looked around the room. He would take all of his clothes, but everything else could be left behind. His mind went over what was in the storage room, which he hadn’t been back to since that day. His uniform jacket he didn’t need, the futon he wouldn’t want to carry anyway, and he could buy more booze and cigarettes along the way if he wanted. The old MP3 player wouldn’t be missed either; he couldn’t think of anything worth going back there for. He nodded to himself, just his clothes, his world history book, and the small, blood-stained teddy bear.
It was time to go.
Though he paused at the door, he didn’t look back. This place held no attachments for him. He hadn’t spent much time in this room, and had little love for the school itself. Most of the students would be glad he was gone, and the teachers shocked that it took this long for him to run off. No, he wouldn’t miss this place, but he was glad he was leaving on his own terms. His future was in his own hands.
As he left, he closed the door gently behind him.