Sunday, August 10, 2014

Long Way Home

Long Way Home

*Story contains M/M relations and references to violent situations*

November – it was disgusting as far as Sean was concerned. When he left the house in the morning, it was dark. By three in the afternoon the little bit of light that did manage to find him through the office windows was already starting to fade. And the ride home was as black as midnight. It felt like the night never ended.

It had been drizzling since Monday—that cold, miserable November rain made famous by Axl and his crew—and Sean was quite sure that if he had to spend even one more fifty-five minute stretch staring through a watery windshield into piercing headlights, he was going to lose his mind.

One more day; if he could pull off one more day he’d have made it to the weekend. At least the weekend meant he could sleep in. It meant he could make his own schedule for a change. More importantly though? Better than any stretch of uninterrupted sleep or lounging potential? The weekend meant Mason. And Mason meant a whole shitload of good.

Mason worked outside the city, diligently helping to develop the new structure that would become the city’s power generation facility. From Monday morning to Friday afternoon Mason stayed in a small trailer on site. But Friday afternoons, Mason dragged his small frame into his 2008 Honda Accord and drove the three-and-a-half hours it took him to get back to their loft. He’d been doing it for eight months now. Two-thirds of a year. Somewhere in and around two-hundred-and-forty-five days.

And Sean hated it.

He hated how, five seconds after the door shut at 4:50 a.m. on Monday morning, the loft became so quiet Sean could hear the kitchen clock all the way into the bedroom. He hated how Mason seemed to take everything with him: the fun, the sun, the peace.

Sean hated how the empty could hurt so much it made his body ache, while at the same time made him feel like such an idiot. After all, they were both grown men. They both had careers they were proud of, even if Sean’s contributed significantly less to their overall take-home than Mason’s. So, Sean had long since decided he could hate it all he wanted. But he had no right to condemn it. No right to judge it.

Not even when the thought of Monday could do its damndest to destroy half of Sunday.

He sighed and flipped the controls of the heat to blow up onto the windshield in an attempt to clear the fog. He wished he had similar process for his brain. He wasn’t sleeping well; hadn’t, in fact slept well for months. The bed was too big, the sheets were too cold, and the dip in the middle was furrowed by two and not suited for one.

Still. It hadn’t been his choice to make. His cross to bear, perhaps, but not his choice.

It was a great opportunity, Mason had told him. The money was fantastic and three-point-five hours wasn’t really that far away. Besides, they had the laptop and the computer and the phone...

Of course, back then, they hadn’t realised just how tired they’d be after work. Or how busy Mason would be until the wee hours of the night sometimes. So it didn’t take long before lengthy phone calls became quick hello-goodbyes. Or hours of virtual play became simple emails. Within weeks it was nothing more than, talk-to-you-Friday and call-me-if-you-need-me.

Except, nothing really seemed to fall into the category of ‘need’. No matter how desperately Sean wanted it to. Need did not mean, “Oh my God, Mason I have to tell you what happened to this cat I saw!” Nor did it mean, “I was just feeling so broken today that I thought it would be nice to hear your voice.” Need was, “The water heater’s broken and I need to spend six hundred bucks to fix it.” It was, “Your Mom called and she needs to speak with you because your Dad is sick.”

Sean closed his eyes for a quick second while the traffic in front of him paused. The engine of the car rumbled as it struggled to stay dry despite the persistent spit of not-quite-winter. His car hated moisture. It would sputter and grumble, cough and hesitate. He needed a new one; one of the many things on their list of hopefuls. A house, with gardens, had been Mason’s first point – jotted in pencil beside the one and the dash. Car for Sean had been number two.

“It won’t take long,” Mason had said, frowning at the paper and twitching his pencil like he always did. “We can save up the difference, add it to what we’ve already got... It’s only a year.”

Sean should have said something then. When the first butterflies hit and the oh-God-no’s started to buzz in the back of his brain. But... how to deny the man he loved more than life itself? After all, it was Mason’s big chance. And Mason was good at what he did. He deserved to succeed.

So no matter how lonely Sean was, regardless of how hard it got to get out of bed or keep going to the gym, Sean could tough it out for Mason. They had a lifetime to be together. Miles to go, and years to enjoy.

Sean barely noticed when the taillights in front of him jerked towards the concrete divisor. He could not have ignored, however, the way the vehicle in front of him began to skim tarmac like a blade over ice. Bizarrely, the first thing Sean thought of was the radio; that he was going to die listening to Supertramp singing about taking the long way home. And Christ, but if that wasn’t the most ironic thing Sean could ever imagine.

There was a remarkable amount of beauty in the way the car’s movement was infused with fluidity. Sean watched, fascinated, as the car slid with Olympic-style grace, taillights winking cheerfully over the droplets of water on his windshield and headlights arcing gracefully through the dark as the vehicle spun...

The sound of the metal collapsing against concrete was the most brutal thing Sean had ever heard. The car literally folded when it reached the solidity; crumpling, tearing, metal screeching. He fought to pull his wheel to the left and avoid the mess of—God, there were people screaming in there, even with the windows closed in both vehicles he could hear it—and wrenched his eyes away from the wreckage to find placement. There was a terrified glance from a driver to his right, through the side windows they both sought each other out with please-God-no looks on both faces, and Sean slammed on his brakes. He heard the shriek of a responding driver behind him, and silently prayed for mercy as his car began to do its own deadly dance on the slick pavement.

He spun, while the metal heap that used to be the preceding car continued to reshape, his own tires seeking purchase when paved gave way to gravelled shoulder. Brakes thudded through their anti-lock process, shudders racking up from the underbelly of the car into his jaw, his teeth snapping with the assault. A horn cried out as a vehicle past and, gasping, Sean came to a stop on the side of the road, facing the traffic he should have been following.

He heard the taps at the windows, the frantic shouting, the tires skidding to stop and help, but all Sean could focus on was “Long way home, Long way home.”


Police and fire engines, tow trucks and spectators. Statements and insurance slips, blankets and rain. His car, the very car both he and Mason had sworn replacement of, had made it through with nary a scrape or dent. Sean sat in the back of the ambulance, swearing through clenched teeth that he was fine, and after signing both release and report, drove away with hands that still shook and teeth that still chattered.

He pulled into a free spot on the street instead of going around back and finding his own segmented place behind the building. He trudged through puddles and rain without even feeling the wet. The stairs were a welcome monotony, but a drain of all remaining strength in his legs, and he felt like he could have easily collapsed as he reached for the door handle. There was no dig for his keys. A quick tug met his gentle push and the passage opened with a flurry. “Where have you been?!”

Relief flooded Sean like it had been dumped on him. “You’re here,” he said and stumbled forward into Mason’s arms. “Why are you here? How?”

“I came home early,” Mason said, pulling Sean into the entrance. “You’re soaked!”

The tears began to fall even as Sean pulled Mason towards his mouth. “You’re here.”

“Baby,” Mason spoke around Sean’s clumsy kisses. “What’s wrong?”

Sean didn’t speak. He just let himself fall into Mason’s touch, his mouth, his presence. “You’re here,” he repeated. “I need you. I need you, Mason. Please.”

No more. He couldn’t do it anymore. Not when the guarantee of time was as obscure as the swerve of a vehicle in front of him on a rainy night. Sean had seen the remnants that had been extracted from that car. There would be no more kisses, no more moments of heated passion for some of those pieces. If it all had ended tonight would the money for the house or the car or the promises of gardens and futures have mattered in the least?

Sean lifted his hands and cupped Mason’s head. He fed from Mason’s mouth and swooned into Mason’s touch until he couldn’t take the wait for a single second longer and began to peel cloth from Mason’s frame.

Yes, he told himself. This was need. This wasn’t just want at all. He’d been a fool to think for a moment that his heart had somehow held less weight than something as small as work. Or money. Or houses.

He pressed Mason against the wall, touching everything he could without actually letting Mason go. “Fuck, Sean,” Mason whispered. “I missed you.”

All Sean could provide back in reply was a growl. He dipped a cold, damp hand into the front of Mason’s pants and needy fingers found hardening flesh. The hiss that Mason released at the touch was taken by Sean as desire, not as the much more likely reaction to ice-cold on sensitive heat. Still, Mason’s hips kept time with Sean’s stroking and eyelids fell quickly as Sean worked the familiar body with his fist.

“Couch?” Mason shuddered. “Bed?”

Sean shook his head. “No. Right here. Right now. I missed you so fucking much, Mason. I love you so fucking much. And it was almost over. We almost lost it all. You have no idea how much I needed you to be here tonight. You have no clue how happy I am that you are.”

“Ahh,” Mason gasped and laid his head back against the wall. “I wanted to... ahh! Jesus, Sean... I wanted to talk to you... about that.”

“Later,” Sean lowered his lips to Mason’s exposed neck and took his time tasting it. “Talk later. For now just feel.”

When Sean lifted his attentions to Mason’s jaw, Mason turned and met Sean’s mouth with his own. A long, deep kiss complimented quickening movement, pressure and slide that urged Mason forward while Sean watched. He watched every sharp intake of breath and hard swallow. He watched eyelids debate between staring and fluttering closed. He watched Mason live. And need. And want. And he knew that nothing, ever, could possibly be more vital than being two living as one.

“I love you,” Sean hummed, brushing Mason’s mouth with his own and the words and touch seemed to clink the final link of the chain. Mason parted lips to gasp a reply, arching instead as fingers scrambled to grip Sean’s biceps. Orgasm found, and owned the moment.

Nothing ever felt more righteous then the wash of Mason’s cum falling over Sean’s skin. Hot fluid, slick release, baptised in life.


“They were hurt pretty bad then?” Mason asked, his body draped over Sean’s while they sprawled on the couch in front of the soundless flickering of the television.

“Really bad,” Sean agreed.

“You’re okay though?” Mason lifted his head and caught Sean’s eye. “You’re sure?”

Sean nodded, smiling. “The car...”

Mason cut him off. “Don’t worry about the car.”

“No,” Sean chuckled. “The car was awesome. It’s not hurt one tiny little bit.” He tugged Mason back against his chest. “I’m keeping the car, Mason. I don’t want a new one. Not yet anyway.”

“Oh?” Mason pressed a kiss to collarbone. “Well, good then. That might make this a little easier.”

Sean frowned as Mason sat up. “Might make what easier?”

He watched Mason snag a piece of lip with his teeth and begin to chew. “I know you were kind of pumped to buy a house, and we talked about toughing this out for a year but... I just... I don’t...”

Sean shook his head. “No. You. You wanted the house. I just agreed because you seemed so set on it.”

Mason looked up. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Sean confirmed. “I hate this, Mason. I hate you being gone. I hate being alone. I miss you like a lost arm.”

“Then you won’t mind me saying I don’t want to do it anymore?”

“Mind?” Sean sat up quickly. “Mind?! I’ll throw a fucking party! I’ll announce it in the goddamn newspaper! I’ll tattoo my thank you note onto my freaking back if you want me to!”


Sean caught Mason’s chin and gently moved him closer. “I have never been more serious about anything in my life. I love you. I want to be with you. Not just in spirit but in person.”

Mason lifted his hand and caught Sean’s. Fingers wove with fingers. “Even if there’s no extra?”

Sean lifted their clasped palms and kissed Mason’s knuckles. “I don’t care what we have. As long as I have you.”

Mason grinned, a boyish smile on a man’s face, and Sean lay back, dragging Mason with him. The rain continued to patter in tune to the gusting wind and Sean couldn’t help but think how very different things could have been playing out. Hospital beds, gurneys, hearses.

Time was so... fluid. It seemed unending looking forward, yet fleeting when looking back. He’d always thought tomorrow was some kind of promise. On the contrary, it was barely a suggestion.

Sean pulled the blanket a little higher up Mason’s shoulders and tucked their bodies closer together. At least for now, for them, there was still time. And Sean would make sure they wasted no more of it.

“When you look through the years and see what you could have been,
Oh, what you might have been if you'd have had more time...”

The End

Copyright © 2011 AF Henley

"Take the Long Way Home” ~ Supertramp, Breakfast in America, 1979
Written and composed by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson
Label: A&M

I make no claim on the lyrics referenced in this fiction.
All rights to both lyrics and song belong to their respective owners.

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