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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
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight




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They woke up rather late, to a gloomy and overcast day. They had an “English breakfast,” and then walked over the beach together, back to the car. Compared to the day before, the beach was completely deserted, grey and desolate, the wet sand crunching under their feet with every step, some errant seagulls flying through the air. They walked close, the need for contact still there.

They didn’t talk about anything but he felt like they didn’t need to, not anymore. They didn’t have anything left to say. Most people would conclude it with ‘some things are meant to be and some weren’t’, but he knew for a fact that Ryan didn’t believe that ‘que sera’ crap either. The fact was they were both cowards, running away from everything and everyone, themselves the most of all. At least that they had recognised it in each other from the first evening they ever spent together.

They managed the drive back to London in a couple hours now, the weather still dreary and dim, even as they reached the city in what was the beginning of rush hour. Once they drove up the studio’s parking lot, they saw Clive waiting in the lobby for them, looking for all the world like a worried parent.

When they got out and broke out their smiles, hugging Clive for a thanks, Clive whispered “I was afraid you two would have eloped somewhere” and Greg blinked, realising he hadn’t even thought about the possibility of not coming back.

Neither of them would want to miss the taping, it was too important for their careers, but it went beyond that. Maybe they didn’t want to give up their lives. Maybe what brought them together was their mutual pain and once that was erased their need for each other would be as well. Right then, he didn’t care to know.

As they walked inside the studios, Ryan was behind him, Ryan’s hand placed on his shoulder, and he felt the warmth of it sting him.

Clive told them Colin had left already, as had Mike. Tonight would be their last taping of the year, and even Richard looked a little drained. They quickly caught up with Steve and Tony, and while he heard Ryan being purposely vague about where they had been before, he was ushered into costuming.

He didn’t see him again until they all filed onto the stage. After a sound and light check, Clive talked to the audience, and then the cameras started rolling. From the moment where Clive started announcing their names to the last re-runs of scenes, he sat through the taping with a perpetually acted smile. He was fighting the growing feeling of melancholy that hit him whenever he was sitting in-between scenes, looking at the backs of the people on the stage. They had a couple good scenes, mainly the ones he did with Ryan, they worked together very well now, they had their own rhythm, knowing smiles, meaningful glances.


It amazed him that after eight days of consecutive fucking, he could still feel as heated, as desperate for Ryan as he did by the time the taping was over.

Observant to tradition though, they all went to a bar together, he listlessly staring into his drink, Ryan occasionally meeting his eyes.

When Clive casually asked them when their flights left the next day he felt like hitting him in the face. It was Ryan who answered, and who apparently had both flight times memorised.

Near the end of the evening it was mainly Steve who wanted to keep on drinking, the rest of them somewhat worn out, and when Ryan excused the both of them he followed without question.

Once in the street, Ryan was up close and personal right away, rubbing him through his pants, sucking on his neck. They needed some sign of what they meant to each other, he understood, and they didn’t even make it back to the hotel. It was as urgent, as forceful as it had been in the beginning, but only now Ryan’s eyes looked at him too deeply, so he looked away.

They stumbled into an alley, paved with cobbles, dark-stone walls on both sides. Ryan pushed him against one, face first, and he unzipped his pants, hands shaking in anticipation. Ryan’s hands were clammy and cold on his back, grazing his stomach, and then on his dick. He sighed at the touch, longing for Ryan, for him to take him and he must have said something to that affect or maybe he didn’t and Ryan just knew, but a moment later Ryan’s dick was near his entrance, and he moved it in, slowly. It burned, the hurt sweet and intense, and he pulled out again, almost all the way to the tip. When he moved again it was faster, harder, the edge of hurt not giving way for pleasure right away, and he liked it, the surge hot and real and Ryan was breathing in his ear, his one arm leaning on the wall to keep them steady.

With Ryan’s next thrust, his dick bumped against the stone of the wall, and he wanted to move but Ryan stopped him, keeping his hands high, forcing him to take it. While he was tense, his entire being flushed, the pain and hotness perfect, he didn’t come, not even when he heard Ryan grunt his name, once, twice, and he was left to support their weight.

When Ryan came back to earth they both pulled up their pants, he painfully over his erection, and proceeded towards the hotel, not speaking.

Once in their room Ryan stripped immediately, and lay down on his back on the bed, watching him. He stripped too, and as he wanted to touch Ryan, pull him in for a kiss perhaps, Ryan stilled his hand, and led it lower. He hesitated. He had only done this once, and he knew Ryan didn’t like it, not as much as he did anyway. But Ryan looked at him with a strange fixation in his eye, and so he pushed Ryan’s long legs open with his one hand, taking the lube with the other.

They did it face to face, moving slowly. He knew he wasn’t hurting Ryan, his dick half-hard again, his eyes half-lidded, and he wondered if he was maybe slowly annihilating something inside himself then, every thrust adding to the loosening of the tension, the terrible ache inside. When he came it was a long, soul-tearing orgasm, and he slumped over Ryan.

He stayed there, his head on Ryan’s chest, and Ryan moved his fingers through his hair, almost hesitantly.

When they fell asleep it was slowly, their body heat between them, warm, secure.



---

Once in his room, he stares out the window. He stretches out, stands on the tips of his toes and looks for the glitter of sea Ryan had claimed to be able to see from there so many years ago until his eyes sting, but doesn’t find it.

Now that he has a room, a place to crash, finally -he’s been awake for too many hours- he finds he can’t, not yet. There’s still too much of Ryan in his mind, memories so close that they seem much more than the carefully constructed fiction they probably are. He wonders if his mind, through the years of loneliness and a purely fucked up existence, changed his memory of what he shared with Ryan to be more beautiful, to fit his perspective of ‘perfect’ even more. He wonders if his idea of what he had always longed for had been there before Ryan was, or if it was based solely on him.

Strangely, he can’t remember a true addiction before Ryan.

He opens the window and stares through it, elbows resting on the windowsill, until the room is flooded with the cold outside chill. Slowly, he starts swaying a little, his eyes closing, and he imagines a warm hand on his shoulder, a breathy whisper in his ear “you can’t sleep?”

He opens his eyes quickly, shaking himself. Truth is, he doesn’t dare to fall asleep. If he does, he knows there will be a comfort somewhere, maybe the in illusion of a lean, warm body next to him in the bed, in the split second where he thinks he hears Ryan’s breathing, in the dreams that are deceivingly real. He doesn’t allow himself to construct another gateway, not when the step away from it will hurt that much more. He wants to hurt now, maybe because he never knew any other way to grieve. Maybe because he’s never consciously grieved for anything before, always opting to dilute the pain by dulling it as well as he could.

Even now his mind is spinning in circles, occupying him with images, sentences, ideas, countless memories of times spent with Ryan, always skipping over the essential one, the memory he’s supposed to be feeling.


---



The next morning came around, small white clouds in an otherwise bright blue sky, a mocking sun shining into their room. Ryan put a arm around him before waking up completely, tightening his grip until it was almost painful, and so they laid in the bed a while longer.

“You know I don’t say goodbye,” Ryan mumbled into his neck, and he quietly grunted his approval. When Ryan removed his arm and got up, he squeezed his eyes shut, looking in the direction of the window, fighting with all he had in him to stay quiet.

A while later, he could hear Ryan turning the shower on in the bathroom, and then the sound of a broken curse and the muffled thud of a fist hitting the bathroom wall. He didn’t get up, he knew what Ryan was feeling, knew it perfectly. He only took his glasses from the nightstand and put them on. Checking the clock, he knew they didn’t have time for sex anymore. They missed that by staying so long in bed together without saying a word.

When Ryan came out again, smelling strongly of shampoo and spicy, cheap aftershave he didn’t even try to hide the red, swollen look of his hand, and Greg tried his best not to look at it. Ryan promised him to come back up, as soon as his own room was empty, the key back at the front desk, the cab called. He nodded, easily. When Ryan closed the door behind him it felt final already, and, knowing he had been dreading this same moment for too long now, he suddenly needed to get up, away from the bed that was still warm, still held the heat and smell of the both of them. He got dressed quickly and was on his second cigarette when he heard a soft, single knock on the door.

He answered the door with a sense of apprehension, swallowing against the deep ache that had started to swirl through him. Ryan looked as bad as he felt, hollowed out, a sad expression in his face, tense, his hands shaking slightly as he grasped his upper arms. Ryan didn’t step into the room, maybe he was hesitant to see the bed again too, instead pulled him out into the hallway, closer and closer until their faces were only an inch apart, everything blurry and real and he kissed him, hard and fast, a bruising sort of kiss and when Ryan pulled his hand away it was with a short, pained movement. When he turned around and walked through the hall, not looking back again, Greg stepped back into the room, closed the door and lit another cigarette, shaking, ignoring the tight band that had settled over his chest.

He didn’t know it yet, but they would say many goodbyes after that one. Again and again.





Part of him had always wished that it had stayed at that, at their one perfect summer in London, at the memories they had between them now, that they both could go back to their families and live life, be content. But it wasn’t that.

It took him six weeks, six weeks of drinking and drugs and sex to the amount that every friend he had was worried, to call Ryan. And when he did do it, slightly high and choking back some tears, it was both the high point of his month and completely anticlimactic. Ryan sounded friendly, kind, told him about his various projects and jobs and friends, and when he put the phone down he was, for the first time perhaps, completely aware of the fact that they would never go back to what they had been.

He flew to L.A. that February; he had practically begged his agent into arranging him a couple gigs down there, and met up with Ryan. A long, comfortable embrace (‘like coming home’) and a half-finished drink later they were running over the street, getting a hotel room together, grunting, pounding into each other, climaxing too fast, too pent-up, so they would do it again, until they were both too sore and spent to move, to think.

His entire time in L.A. was spent either on stage, or in a bedroom with Ryan. They had sex in the park on the second evening, a warm, starry night, and afterwards they laughed again at their own stupidity, just a little.

Mainly they were silent though. Not saying much that touches didn’t do all by themselves.

That time it was Greg who left Ryan, early in the morning to catch his flight, and he didn’t wake him, just pressed a soft kiss to his cheek and left.

By then he had known that it wouldn’t end. It would become shorter, if possible even more painful, more desperate as the years went by and the both of them added sorrows and hurt and lines in their face every time they met. People would tread between them, time would, but a succession of stages would time and time again remind them of a could-be. Through the years, the surroundings would change, but not what brought them together once.

They would never really stop needing.



Chapter Ten...




mood: crushed

January 2016

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