Sam's shoulders slumped and his head bent down as he heaved a sigh. Tears prickled at the corners of his eyes but this time he let them slide down his cheeks, burning the tender flesh with all the pain and anguish they carried. Despite the lava effect they had, the tears brought something else along with them. Relief. Freedom. Weightlessness. It felt as though Sam had been in a nightmare for so long and now he was finally able to dream again. It appeared as though he had been drowning for so much time that this release was like a much needed breath of air. It seemed as though the heavy chains had finally broken and wings had replaced them. Yes, Sam was finally free.

Silence. That was all he could hear yet even the soundless room seemed too loud for him to take. Sam clenched his fists and tried in vain to keep his anger under control. He had been guarded, calm and collected; for fuck's sake he had been smiling! Smiling and even chuckling or laughing a few times when in reality he was torn and broken; he had been cheerful and happy when he was actually so angry and so hurt that he wanted to have nothing to do with the person before him. But Sam knew that no matter how much it hurt he would never abandon him because he loved him.

Sam never saw it coming. He hadn't figured out how he felt until it was too late. He thought that all that bickering, which later with great effort managed to turn into banter, meant nothing. Sam never allowed himself to consider having any kind of relationship with Peter Parker aside from teammates. He didn't remember when the spiteful glares turned into playful ones. He couldn't recall when the mocking smirks turned into friendly smiles. Sam couldn't say exactly when their petulant quarreling had started to dissipate. He couldn't quite remember when it had disappeared completely. It seemed as though there was a fog around all those moments when things started to change.

Suddenly everything seemed different about the way they conversed with each other. Sure they still called each other names and at times even played pranks on each other or went as far as to hurt the other's feelings but it wasn't the same. It appeared that they had become more cautious when topics that hit a little closer to home were discussed. It was surprising they had even managed to get to know each other that well. It was shocking how it only took them a few months to be able to tell when the other was upset, happy, sad, angry, disgusted or simply bored just by looking into their eyes.

What seemed like a pleasant acquaintanceship turned into friendship that gave the impression it could last forever. And neither Peter nor Sam could say they hated it, though they would never admit how happy it made them. They would never be able to say aloud how grateful they were that they had each other or how much they cherished those little moments of comfortable silence after a long day. They would rather be caught dead than be heard saying or even implying any of that. But despite their stubbornness to deny how close they had grown over just a few months, there were still those little moments when everything seemed in place and both Peter and Sam felt content with admitting if not all, then at least a part of their affection for the other.

Numerous examples could be listed; a thousand stories might be told but only a few of them are worth mentioning; like the time Sam was feeling homesick and Peter managed to convince him to fly all the way to Arizona just to see his mother and sister. Sam still didn't know how Peter had managed to cover for him for two days straight and on Christmas Eve and Christmas no less, but he didn't care. He had managed to see his family and spend a few hours with them and that was all that had mattered to Sam.

Another great example of how strong their connection actually was was when Uncle Ben's birthday had come. Both aunt May and Peter had felt rather dismal that day, but it seemed that Peter was having a harder time coping with the loss of his beloved uncle. Although it had been a few years since his death, the wounds were still fresh and Sam knew that something had to be done in order to lift their spirits at least a little. That was the reason why he had disappeared and after a few hours since his absence the words: Happy Birthday Uncle Ben had been written in the sky in beautiful moonlike hue and coincidentally both Peter and aunt May were just in front of the window when it happened.

Needless to say they were both shocked to see it but soon their surprise turned into joyfulness. Sam was glad that he had managed to make his friend and his aunt happy on such a tragic day. The downside of his little stunt was that he had drained almost all of his energy in order to sustain the words in the sky for a few minutes and had ended up sleeping for nearly 24 hours. When he had regained his energy, Sam had been surprised to see all the relieved faces hovering above him. Apparently he had worried all of his teammates. The only thing that irritated him the most was that Peter hadn't been worried. In fact he was wearing a cheeky grin and said something Sam knew all too well:

"About time you woke up Bucket-head."

Sam huffed and answered:

"Why the cheerful face Parker? For all we know I could've been dying all this time."

But the grin remained on Peter's face and soon Sam smiled as well because they both knew what those two sentences actually meant: "Thank you." "You're welcome."

And then came the moments when either of them got quite hurt during missions. Naturally both Peter and Sam would be worried out of their wits when either of them was lying unconscious in a hospital.

There was this one time when Peter had taken quite a tough hit and had got knocked out. He ended up sipping in and out of consciousness for the next few days and although Sam did not visit him quite frequently alone in order not to raise any suspicion, he was still concerned.

It was a bit shocking at first for him to be that worried and even find himself caring for Peter but all the confusion had been taken away when Peter had woken up. And if the joyfulness and relief he had felt when that had happened wasn't proof enough, then Sam did not know what was. He was in love. He had fallen for his best friend and team captain Peter Parker aka Spiderman who was by some unfortunate twist of reality straight. Or so he thought.

Everything about their relationship was filled with clichés. It wasn't that Sam minded but he just couldn't help but confess that throughout almost all of it there was a voice in the back of his head that told him it would not work out. He hated that voice, abhorred its very essence, but he just couldn't shake off the feeling that it was telling the truth.

There was always something weird about the way they kissed. There was no fire, no passion, just a simple peck on the lips. Even their first kiss was not something one would remember for the rest of their life. It was slow, awkward and lacked everything Sam had expected and dreamt of. Alarming bells had started ringing back then but he did not heed their warning. He blamed it on the fact that Peter was still not certain about his sexuality and had his doubts.

A few months later something happened; something that should have made Sam reconsider dating Peter but yet again he ignored that little voice's pleads. It was their first date outside. Before they had only seen each other in Peter's house but that was only when Peter had made sure they would not get disturbed. Sam felt a bit hurt because he realized that Peter was hiding him but when the boy had agreed to go out with him for real, he had been so overjoyed he had forgotten completely about those feelings.

The thing that seemed weird for Sam was that Peter did not kiss him at all when there were people around. He did not even hold his hand longer than a few seconds. But even then it was not enough. Sam loved Peter and therefore he was blinded to the bitter reality.

The third time hit Sam with full force and that was when everything shattered. His perfect bubble had blown up and there was nothing left. The glass walls were broken and Sam was exposed to the horrible truth.

Peter had kissed someone else. And it was entirely different than the way he kissed Sam. It was passionate. There were hands running everywhere. There were teeth, tongues and everything. The temperature in the room had risen and you could feel the fire burning between those two even if you were a few feet away. And what hurt the most was not the fact that Peter had cheated on him. What hurt the most was that Peter had lied to him all those months. Every time he had kissed him had been a lie. Every time they had cuddled on the couch had been a lie. Every time they had said I miss you or promised to never leave each other had been a lie. Every time they had said I love you had been a lie. It had all been….a lie.

It has all been a lie. He's been lying to me all this time. And I did not realize it. How could I have been so blind? How could he do such a thing to me? How long has this been going on? Why did he lie to me? Why did he cheat on me? Why, how could he do this to me?

Those thoughts were swirling through Sam's mind as he ran away from the club. He and Peter had decided to go to a club and celebrate the fact that Peter had won a full scholarship. They went to a restaurant first but Peter felt it wasn't enough and managed to drag Sam to a club. Now that he thought about it something did seem off about his boyfriend that night. Peter was never the one to mention or even suggest going to such a place. Normally it would take a lot of time in order for Sam to even get him to consider the idea. Had Peter actually planned this? Had he wanted Sam to see it? Was Peter such a coward or was there more to his actions? He didn't know. And honestly he didn't care.

He ran back to the Helicarrier. Then he entered his room, hastily put his helmet on and flew away. He had been flying for so long that he didn't realize he had ended up in Arizona. The sun was rising and its rays hit Sam with their full force. His tear-stained face scrunched up slightly but soon his eyes adjusted to the change. After a few minutes it even felt nice to have the sun shining right before him. It gave him a sense of freedom and comfort, and maybe even hope; hope that something was left from the relationship; hope that it hadn't been ruined forever, though all the cards were in Sam's hands and it was up to him.

His eyes widened. Peter had not noticed him or otherwise he would've done something. Perhaps he would've just stared at him or only stopped kissing for awhile and then continued as though no one had interrupted him and that red-head, but still he would've done something! The girl had not made any gesture or given any indication that she had noticed his presence. And that meant that Sam had to decide whether there was something left he could salvage. Of course, there was the possibility of ending it all and trying to move on. He could do that. He could simply go back, break it off and turn his back on Peter.

"No, I can't do that. The least I could do is give him a chance to explain. Maybe…" Sam stopped in mid-sentence. He couldn't think of one reason why he should stay in this relationship. After all, thinking back to all the times Peter had turned him down when he wanted to go out with him. Hell even their friends didn't know. Aunt May didn't know. Who was he kidding? This relationship was over before it even began.

Sam stayed a bit longer and watched the sunrise. After a few hours he had found his answer and with a small smile he flew back to New York.

Peter paced around in his room. He didn't know where Sam was and he was starting to worry about him. He hoped Sam hadn't seen what had happened. What if he had? Peter's eyes widened at that question. He hoped no such thing had occurred.

What if he did see it? What if he hates me now? What am I going to do? I don't want to hurt him or ever see him hurt but…perhaps…this is for the better. No. No! I can't think like that. I mustn't think like that.

Peter had started waking around frantically again when something hit his window. He stopped and his eyebrows scrunched up. He then shrugged his shoulders and went back to worrying about Sam. The sound was repeated and this time Peter knew he hadn't imagined it. Carefully he opened the window and poked his head out. His eyes widened at the smiling face he saw. It was Sam looking happier than he'd ever been. And Peter would be lying if he said it didn't hurt him.

"Come down if you can." Sam said hesitantly and his smile faltered slightly when he saw no movement and didn't hear an answer.

Suddenly Peter closed the window and came rushing down the stairs. He unlocked the front door and opened it hastily. His eyes softened when he saw the painful look Sam gave him. Apparently he had seen it.

Peter bit his lip, not knowing what to say. Sam noticed how uncomfortable this was making him feel and couldn't help but smirk slightly, satisfied that Peter was feeling guilty. Why did it make him feel better? Was he really that mad at Peter even after he had realized what was best for both of them? Now that he thought about it, it really would seem weird if he didn't feel the need to have at least a teeny tiny little bit of revenge. After a minute or so Sam thought he had had enough for now and decided it was high time he relieved a bit of the tension in the air.

"I…I'm sorry I ran out on you like that. It's just I….I needed to take care of something." Sam lied through his teeth. It was probably better to pretend he hadn't seen anything and lock away the love now turned into self-consuming anger and bitter disappointment.

To say that Peter was shocked would be the understatement of the year. He couldn't believe it. He had thought that Sam had seen it; that he had found out about Peter's little 'slip' as he liked to call it, but it turned out reality was quite different. And he'd be lying if he said that he wasn't relieved by this new piece of information.

Suddenly the words and the way they had been said came back. Sam was lying. Peter knew that. Normally Sam would not hesitate to say what was on his mind. Normally he wouldn't lie. But what did it mean? Was Sam trying to save their relationship? Had they ever had one, a real one, in the first place?

Peter clenched his fists and was about to say something, when Sam beat him to it:

"Listen, Pete, I think it's time we broke it off."

Peter's eyes widened. His hands stopped moving and lay motionless beside him. He felt a pang in his chest. He didn't know why but there was something wrong with the way Sam had said that particular sentence. It seemed as though each and every word he had just uttered had caused him excruciating pain. But despite the fact that Peter knew there was more to what Sam was saying, he couldn't find it in himself to try to reason with Sam or intervene or say anything for that matter. He simply stood there speechless and motionless.

"Well?" Sam asked, trying desperately to fight off the anxiety that had started building up inside of him.

"Well what?" Peter questioned, still stunned by the whole situation.

"Say something Parker! For God's sake I have just broken up with you and all you do is stand there as though nothing I said has reached you."

"Ok." Peter mumbled.

Sam's eyes widened. Was that it? Was everything over? Was this the end? Those questions were swirling in his mind as he started walking away. Just as he was about to cross the street a hand grabbed his, startling him. Sam turned around only to find a heavily breathing Peter. Green eyes met blue, as the owner to the latter said:

"You know I love you right?"

The other could only nod and smile sadly as he answered:

"I know. And I love you. Unfortunately, mine is a different kind of love."

And with that he left.

A different kind of love huh? How right had he been.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.

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Until next time I update and/or post a story my fellow readers,

~ QueenofRhymes ~