[identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] wl_fanfiction
*mumbles* I WILL get this story posted, I will get this story posted...

Author: Indy Baggins
Title: If Roses are meant to be red…
Pairing: Greg/Ryan
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Sixteen years after they met, Greg realizes he’s never let himself want anything quite as much as he wanted Ryan.
Author’s comments: This was my NaNoWriMo novel for 2006. The story of Greg and Ryan has for me, at its core, always been a love story. Needy, fucked up love, sure, but love none the less. And this is my attempt at telling their story, from the moment Greg met Ryan until the moment he let him go.

Beta-duty is done by Clay, for which she deserves many roses *smiles*

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five




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He had looked forward to the London tapings for over a full year.

To say he counted the weeks, or even the months until the late summer would have been an overstatement. He had a quite good life, performing in a different club every night, fucking a different guy every night if he wanted to, which he more often than not did, the second year of his marriage hardly as sacred as the first.

But they still were fourteen long months, in which he saw Clive a couple times (‘How are you?’ Clive would ask, and when he shook his head he would wordlessly put his hand on his shoulder and order him another drink).

Occasionally he did long for something as close to him as Clive, and so he kissed him after exiting the bar one night, wonderfully familiar and pleasing and Clive must have longed for it too because they ended up in a hotel (‘completely sleazy,’ Clive had noted in between undressing him with precise, small movements and Greg had agreed) and kissed and touched for a long time before having awkward sex, afterwards sharing a drained hug.

He saw Josie quite often; she came to his shows, or he to hers, and he even joined her and Richard at the Comedy Store Players regularly. She told him he looked like he was in love on occasion, and when he looked at his (empty) ring finger demonstratively, meaning ‘I have a wife’ (but knowing he had stopped fooling her a long time ago as well), she just laughed. She said she was looking forward to the new tapings as well, and in the end it was her, even before his agent, who called him to tell him the date of the first taping that year in late August, his heart making a jump in his chest.

He had heard from Ryan, twice. Once a couple days after Christmas, when Ryan had called on a creaky, rustling line from a phone booth somewhere in Seattle, wishing him happy holidays with a wonderful smile in his voice, and they had traded stories and jokes for over half an hour until Ryan’s spare change ran out and he started shivering so hard Greg could hear his teeth clattering through the crappy phone line and had ordered him to go in and get warm.

The second time Ryan had called from his home, late at night for him and in mid-morning for Greg, sounding drunk, maybe high but mainly aroused, with a low, raspy voice and a self-admitted hard-on. Greg, realizing that Ryan sounded more wretched than in high spirits, but hard at the mere tone of Ryan’s voice anyway, was trailing his hand over his stomach towards his pants before he even realized what he has doing. His wife was just in the other room, for one thing. But the thought of Ryan, alone in a bedroom somewhere, thinking of him while getting off, was enough to get him harder than he had been in weeks, to give him more pleasure than he ever felt with someone he just screwed for the heck of it.

In all, it was the strangest kind of phone sex he had ever had. Ryan was dead sexy on the phone, hell, he had been getting off on a fantasy about the man for months, he probably just needed to say “god Greg, I want to fuck you now” to make him come, but he also sounded sad, at the edge of tears even, so he was in turn replying with “yes I’m touching myself, fuck I’m so hard” and “Ryan? Hey, you’ll… it’s all right, ok?”

In the end, as he heard Ryan come while moaning his name, he came too, the sound enough to pull him into a violent orgasm, the phone momentarily forgotten next to him. A couple minutes later Ryan ended their half-conversation, saying he’d be able to sleep now, and Greg was left to wonder for the rest of the day what could have prompted him to call like that.

He tried calling him back a couple days later, but got Ryan’s wife on the line, ‘Pat,’ he remembered, who sounded like she didn’t have a clue who he was, or where Ryan was, shushing a nagging child and promising to give a message he was sure would never be delivered.

Right after he had heard the show dates from Josie he tried again, but when it was a female “Hello!” who answered the phone three tries in a row he stopped calling.

So when he was waiting in the parking lot, the one and the same where Ryan had stood waiting for him a year an a half ago, enjoying the slowly fading heat of the day and smoking a cigarette, he had no idea if Ryan even knew he had tried to call him, no idea if he was all right even. He felt slightly on edge, but just slightly, telling himself it didn’t matter that much (of course it did) but quite trusting (still) in the sense that it would turn out all right in the end, one way or another.

When Ryan’s cab pulled into the parking lot he could feel the tension in his body rise, and he threw his half-smoked cigarette to the floor, crushing it with his foot. He wanted to walk out of the shadow, but then decided against it and leaned against the wall, straining his eyes to see Ryan’s expression as he stepped out of the cab and looked around.

As soon as he caught Ryan’s gaze, Ryan’s polite smile intended for the cabdriver (and maybe because he was back in London?) became a genuine, full-blown one, and Greg stepped up, a little. Ryan paid the driver, and then turned to him, walking fast, opening his arms, and then he was pulled in an embrace, a hard one; he could feel Ryan shaking (or maybe it was him). Ryan’s scent was enough to make him shiver, Ryan’s whispered “Greg…” and warm breaths next to his cheek enough to make him want to turn his head and kiss him but he didn’t, he just held on, hands gripping Ryan’s jacket, head buried in his neck.

Ryan hugged him back just as hard and when they finally stepped apart, both not that steady on their feet all of a sudden, Ryan smiled again, such a real and beautiful smile. He seemed tired, Greg could see, a dullness in his eyes that hadn’t been there before, more lines around his eyes, but his smile was there and so he smiled back, the both of them locked in what was a greeting and a memory at the same time.

When they heard a cough behind them they stepped apart, and Ryan greeted Clive, Richard and Tony in turn, never really breaking contact with Greg, and when they all headed inside to do the show, Ryan smiled at him again, a small, secret smile, full of promise and possibility this time, and he felt elated, pure, actually completely happy in that moment for the first time in a year.



The both of them were scheduled for six days of tapings, a two day break, and then one more taping, and on that evening it felt like it would be an eternity. Greg felt himself shiver with sexual anticipation every time he came even near Ryan, every touch sending a bolt of lightning through him, every look making him feel as if he was stripped naked, waiting to be pounced on.

While he was expecting to do the show on automatic pilot, just roll through the scenes until he could find the nearest flat surface and push Ryan against it, it turned out to be unexpectedly great to be taping again. Like a breath after a deep dive, or a cigarette when he didn’t know he wanted one until the exact moment he lit up, every snide comment exchanged with Clive, every joke with Tony, every song from Josie, every smile shared with Ryan… It instantly made him feel more alive, more substantial.

The audience ate it up too; he was on a roll, getting claps and whistles for everything he did, even outshining Ryan, who seemed strangely subdued for one evening.

Afterwards, he was hugging Clive, and Josie, and then there was a strong grip on his elbow. Josie covered for them by distracting the producers, and gone they were, half-running over the dark summer streets of London, grinning whenever their eyes met, a tingling and heavy sense of eminent explosion between them, and when they burst through Greg’s hotel room door he barely managed to push it back into the lock before they were falling towards the bed, already tangled in each other, moving, groaning, kissing.

They had fierce sex, every touch enough to up the tension until it was nearly unbearable, the feeling of Ryan’s dick inside of him making him lose it, and Ryan came before he did, trying to give him one more thrust, using his hand to milk him, and then he was coming too, his body spasming long and hard, reveling in the weight of Ryan’s body on his.

It took them a while to catch their breath, but as he lay there, watching Ryan breathing heavily, his face flushed, eyes glassy, he could feel the first stirrings of arousal coming back, and he knew they’d be having sex again as soon as possible.

They smoked a cigarette together, quietly, Greg seeing in the practised move Ryan used to light up that it was a continuous habit for him too now, a constant reminder of pain expressed without even thinking about it, and he wasn’t sure how he felt knowing that.

Ryan politely ignored his beginning erection until he stubbed the cigarette out and then told him, eyes on the black ashtray, “It’s been a year. More than that.” and then paused, ending on “I wish we could have… more”. Greg, a little startled, looked up, and said “I’m up for it if you are” motioning to his half-hard dick, cracking a joke Ryan didn’t laugh with. He knew he was supposed to say something back, something profound, but he didn’t have a fucking clue what.

Eventually he just leaned in and touched his lips to Ryan’s slightly chapped ones, in a kiss that was almost chaste, as gentle as smoke, as profoundly addictive as nicotine. Ryan kept his eyes open, and so did he, staring up into two eyes too close to see clearly, only seeing green, so very green. He had been lost long before then, and perhaps he had known that, but that moment was when he realized it in its full potential. He, who always went for what he wanted, had longed and waited a full year for this. Ryan moved a hand to touch his cheek, and he moved his own hand to lie on top of Ryan’s, entwining their fingers.

They moved again soon after, back to the territory they were both familiar with, Greg dragging his nails over Ryan’s nipples until he screamed, Ryan leaving bite marks on his neck. But something had changed, something inexplicable, something that caused Greg to hold Ryan in his arms, even after, and cause Ryan to burrow close for once, placing soft kisses on Greg’s neck.

When they fell asleep it was peaceful, both of them too sated to move any time soon, and when Greg stirred around dawn he woke Ryan by going under the sheets and using his tongue to coax his erection back to life. He gave him a drawn-out kind of blow-job, bringing him to the edge and back again several times, knowing it was costing him all his might not to move and do something about it himself, and when Ryan finally came he was one quivering mass.

Greg was hard too, but, for once, he found he didn’t care that much about getting off, and he fell asleep again alongside Ryan, his arm slung over his chest, their fingers just touching.


---

As soon as he opens the door he’s struck again by the clearness of the air, the slightly salty tang to every breath and every gust of wind, the familiar feeling of sand under his feet. He’s parked maybe twenty feet from the edge, and he closes the car door behind him with a certain finality. His fingers linger on the cold metal for a moment until he lets go and then he walks, slowly, through the sand, his mind strangely clear, both dreading and enjoying every step.

When he stands there, on the edge, his feet firmly planted on the ground but his body leaning into nothing but air, stretching to see the white foam of the waves, imagining to hear them crashing on the razor sharp rocks, he cynically imagines he really should feel inclined to jump now. Instead, it’s cold, dark, the flickering of some vague light reflecting on the waves makes him feel nauseous, and loudly he swears a couple times, the wind carrying any sound away. He wants a cigarette, right then, so much even that he turns around, jogs the couple paces to the car, opens the door, rips the packet from his coat pocket, but then, before lighting one, swings it through the air, over the cliff. When he imagines he hears the packet hit the water with a sloppy thud, he knows he’s lost it.

He leans on the car for a couple minutes more, taking a cigarette break without the cigarette, (not) imagining that Ryan is there with him, the older Ryan now, with the serious face, sad eyes and a smile that never gets smiled anymore and he feels like screaming something or not saying a word again but instead gets back in the car, leans back in the seat and rubs a hand over his eyes, suddenly tired, suddenly broken, fighting tears that won’t come anyway.

In the end he starts the engine back up and drives, further on the winding sea road.


---

They didn’t stray from each others sides that day, from the shared shower (in which Greg got off, but Ryan didn’t, claiming he was spent), to the delayed breakfast, to walking through London in the afternoon with no real purpose in mind, they just wandered together, doing whatever felt right.

‘Maybe he thought Colin coming back would fuck everything up again,’ Greg wondered, but he somehow knew that wouldn’t be true anymore. He had fucked at least two dozen guys in the past year, he didn’t truly care if Ryan had been doing the same to Colin. They were there now, and that was what mattered.

In the end they went to pick Colin up at the airport together, and he could tell Ryan was nervous, smoking one cigarette after another. When Colin walked in the hall he hugged Ryan first, and then Greg, but he didn’t look as profoundly devoted, as almost childishly attached to Ryan as he had done a year ago. And Ryan, he didn’t look like anything at all, only pained maybe, and as they were back in the taxi, gently inquiring into each others lives, Greg suddenly understood that Colin had left L.A. in the past year, had left Ryan.

He also saw that, whatever had happened between them, they both looked the worse for it, their sadness tangible in the air. Until then, he had never realised he derived a certain calm from being around that steady foundation of friendship Ryan and Colin shared, and it left him feeling inclined to make it all better again, in a way. For a moment he wanted to push them back together, he had always known he could share if that meant getting them both back, seeing Ryan’s face light up, hearing Colin’s gentle laugh again. But then he decided against it, knowing Colin wouldn’t have left without a reason. He only wondered what that could have been.

When it was Colin who came to visit him in his dressing room, a good twenty minutes before the show, he wasn’t even surprised.

“Hello Greg,” Colin said, as if they hadn’t seen each other just the hour before, and he grinned in return. “What can I do for you Colin?” He knew he sounded cynical but part of him meant it, and he was surprised to see that Colin seemed to be looking straight through all the cynicism too. But then again, he was talking to the man who has been dealing with Ryan for over a decade already, and he shouldn’t have been surprised really.

When Colin took a chair it was not because he was being cocky, but because he honestly believed he was welcome there, and Greg was momentarily stunned at that, knowing he had never done much of anything that would indicate so.

When Colin, eyes (guiltily, could it be?) on the floor, asked him “how’s Ryan?” he thought he might want to either hit, or pity the guy. Colin looked up at him then, eyes brown and too freaking gentle and soft to be right there, to be a comedian, to be the friend of Ryan. He must yell too, Greg thought, he must hit things every once in a while, he must be imperfect, but part of him doubted that right then.

When he proposed “you want to get a cigarette?” he could see the physical relief in Colin’s eyes, see him relax, and when Colin smiled, shyly, it made him feel like he had done something right too, for once.

Their cigarette break was a quiet one, but a different kind of silence than the ones he had with Ryan. Colin was unexpecting, it seemed, wanting nothing more than company, and it was easy, comfortable to be like that.

Just a couple minutes later they were being called to the stage, and he put his hand on Colin’s shoulder while walking over there. They sat down, and applause and lights and a couple words by Clive later he was being introduced as “The all-American boy, Greg Proops,” and he knew it was Clive’s idea of a joke so he smiled, a crooked smile, a smile for the people that didn’t know him, or know how rarely he tended to smile…


Chapter Seven...




mood: anxious

January 2016

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