Deep in my Heart

Chapter Four

A/N: Long, angst-ridden chapter ahead. You are warned.


And if there is disease in you

I want to have that disease too

'Cause I want everything

That is inside you

If there is disease in you

I want to have that disease too

'Cause if you die

Then I should die beside you


Will walked up to his apartment, saline freezing on his cheeks. His heart had long since stopped beating, either that or he couldn't feel it. The thin icicles clinging to his eyelashes melded into the tears rolling down his face. One fell and landed on the carpet separating him from the door. He used the tip of his shoe to blend it into the heavy fabric. He didn't want any evidence that he had been crying.

A heavy feeling settled deep in the pit of Will's stomach. He had Jack's test results clutched into a fist in his hands. The words of the doctor fluttered repeatedly in his mind.

"HIV"

He knew it was a worldwide epidemic. He knew that people all over the city were contaminated. He knew that everyone had to be careful. It was a sickness; one of the worst diseases to ever hit the United States, or the entire world. It could destroy you. It could spread to AIDS, for which there was no cure. You just slowly suffered until you were dead.

"Jack is suffering from much worse than the flu..."

Jack didn't know. Why did he know, and Jack didn't? Will walked into the apartment, uneasy at the sight of Jack sitting on the couch, waiting for him. He looked so calm. Did he know? He couldn't have known. He was too damn calm.

"Will? Did you get the results from the doctor?"

"Jack has Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV"

Will nodded. Tears shimmered in his eyes, and he pinched himself aggressively to keep them from falling. 'Come on, don't cry,' he told himself fiercely. 'Don't scare him.'

"Well?"

His voice was placid. It was so smooth, not at all shaking or scared. It was so light and uncaring, Will couldn't help but feel mocked by it. 'He just thinks it's the flu', he thought sadly. 'He thinks it's nothing. That's why he isn't scared.'

'I can't scare him. I can't tell him.'

Will sat down on the couch beside him. Jack noted the glassy look his friends eyes were displaying, but was reluctant on acknowledging them. "Will?"

It was too much. Will kissed Jack hard on the mouth, startling the younger man. Jack struggled, but Will used his hands to pin him down on the sofa. His mind went blank, and it was like he was numb. All he felt was his friends soft lips pursed against his. Jack paused, then gave in to the kiss.

"Will..." he sighed questioningly as he pulled him in closer. Silencing him with another kiss, Will reached up and unbuttoned Jack's collar, moving down to kiss his throat, which was still hot from the virus.

'I can feel it on him. The doctor said you couldn't get it from kissing. But I can feel it.'

As the kissing continued, Will still had the results in his hand. He used Jack's distraction to carefully shove the paper into the cushions of the couch. 'I'm distracting him. Why? I don't want to tell him. I can't tell him. I don't want him to know. Why am I doing this?'

Still, he went on. He removed Jack's shirt and pressed himself comfortingly against his friends body. 'I might get it . . . ' he thought, sobbing into Jack's chest, though Jack didn't notice. 'Maybe I want to. I don't want him to be alone.'

'This is crazy. Why is this happening to Jack? It always happens to him. Why can't anything bad happen to me?

It could happen to me. Right now. Then Jack wouldn't have to be alone. I could get it. We would go through it together.

We could be together forever. With or without the virus. We would have each other. We would be together.

"Jack," he gasped as he felt Jack's fingers move to undo his belt buckle. "Your test results came back."

"Forget them, they aren't important now."

"Yes they are, Jack. You have..."

"I don't care Will. I don't care about anything else right now..."

Sobbing lightly, Will kissed him again. He felt his pants unzipping and coming off slowly, but he wasn't sure if it was Jack doing it or not. Everything seemed to be happening so slowly, that he couldn't see or stop it. He could only feel the blistering heat from Jack's fevered body.

This isn't me. I don't do this. What am I doing?

He has to know. I can't tell him, but he needs to know. He would tell me, why can't I tell him?

He needs to know.

Will shook his head furiously, breaking the kiss. He grasped Jack's shirt with his hand and pulled it to him. He cried into it intensely and sobbed. "Jack..."

A feeling of dread shoot through Jack, and soon he was as numb as Will felt. It had to be bad if it had moved Will to tears. Was it cancer? Or something worse? Was he going to need surgery? Or worse, was he going to...

"Will?" He asked, his voice forced into a determined calm. "What do I have?"

Opening his mouth to respond, Will stopped himself. He could feel nothing but an icy darkness filling him up, filling his mouth so he couldn't speak; filling his soul so he couldn't scream.

"N-nothing. Just the flu, like we thought. But it's bad, Jack. You could get really bad."

Jack's mouth dropped open. He shot up off of the couch and stared at him accusingly. "Then why did you kiss me, dammit! You might get sick too! You can't stay home anymore; you already used up almost all of your sick days on me, you don't need to get sick now!"

"Sorry," Will smiled, laughing at Jack's matronly tone. "I'm sorry, I just got kind of-wrapped up in things, you know?" His voice was still shaky. He couldn't believe what he was doing.

'Tell him the truth, you coward. You're only hurting him more by doing this.

Tell him the truth...

But he couldn't. Looking into his ocean blue eyes, he saw someone that he had to protect. He had to help Jack.

He couldn't tell him.

He just couldn't.


Will went to sleep that night, wishing he would never wake up.


"Why? Why didn't he tell me?"

Jack stared at the crumpled papers clutched in his fist. It was hard enough living with the fact that he had a disease. That wasn't important right now. The thing that shook him up the most was that he wasn't finding this out from the person who he thought cared about him. He was finding it out the morning after he did, after Will had told him it was nothing. He told him it was only the flu.

"Is he ashamed of me? Is that why? Or is he scared of me?"

He took a hard look at the solid black ink above the dotted line.

Determined illness: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Jack wasn't stupid. He had heard that very illness diagnosed to many people during his time as a student nurse. It was serious. HIV. It could spread to AIDS if untreated. He could die.

"Is that why he didn't want me to know? He wants me to die?"

"He wants me to die."

Sitting back down on the couch where he found the papers, Jack sighed miserably. He didn't even mind that he had the disease, all he could think of was that Will wasn't there with him.

"Why did he leave me here? I want him right here, so much."

Jack ripped the test results in half. Then in fourths. Then in eighths. He ripped until there were tons of tiny strips of paper littering the floor around him. Then he started to cry. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hands, but more tears fell and took their place.

"He wants me to die."

"Will!" he yelled, his voice still hoarse. "Will!" He kept yelling Will's name, waiting only a few seconds in between calls. He gripped the arms of the sofa tightly, his knuckles growing pale with anger and confusion.

"Jack? What's wrong? Why are you screaming like this?" Will asked, running out in a night shirt and striped light blue pants. He walked in slowly and his heart broke. Jack glared at him, his eyes reddened and irritated from him rubbing them. "Jack?"

Jack shoved the tiny slips of paper at Will furiously. "When exactly were you planning on telling me that I was gonna die? Huh?" he asked viciously, standing up and yelling in his face.

"Jack, I-"

"No, stop it. I don't even want to hear you. Why did you hide this from me, Will? Were you ever planning on telling me? Or did you not want me to know? Why didn't you tell me?"

"Jack, I was going to tell you, I-"

"Well, it's a bit too late for that, isn't it?" Jack's eyes shone with tears. He let out an aggravated cry and continued, "Do you want me to die, Will? Is that why you didn't tell me?"

"Ja-"

"Do you want me to die? Huh? Do you want me to-"

"Jack, shut the fuck up!" Will yelled, running past Jack into his bedroom. He swiped at his eyes, furiously fighting the tears away. He sank into his bed, and the only thing he could think to do was sob into his pillow. "I don't want you to die!" he screamed into it, not caring if Jack heard him or not. "I don't want you to! I love you! I don't want you to die."

A sound from the doorway caused Will to pick up his head and look reluctantly toward it. A whimper sounded, and he saw Jack standing there, looking exhausted. His hair was messy and disheveled, and he took a hand and tiredly ran it through.

"I don't want to die either, Will. I really don't."

Tears sprung up from his eyes and traveled silently down his cheeks. Man, I am so tired of crying, Jack thought to himself. " I don't want to. And I don't have to, right?"

Will sat up on the bed and patted a spot next to him. Jack wandered over, in a kind of haze. His eyes didn't focus on Will, but rather on a spot somewhere on the ceiling. It seemed like he was caught in a nightmare; everything around him was blurred and unreal.

"You're not going to die," Will replied strongly, wrapping an arm around Jack and instantly forgetting his anger towards him. "Not now, not ever." In an even quieter voice, he whispered, "I won't let you."

Their faces were inches apart. Will's voice was soft and husky, and even though Jack was off in another world at that point, he heard him loud and clear. Moving closer to the comforting warmth of his body, Jack whispered "I love you, Will".

Will responded by kissing Jack, and this time, it wasn't because he had something to hide from him. Jack didn't hold back at all, but instead climbed on top of him slowly, wondering if this was all part of the dream. He felt everything come into view, and at that moment, everything was so clear to him. The haze was gone, and for the first time since he got sick, he knew that there was nothing that could happen to bring them apart.

"Can you get it from kissing?" Jack asked, worried; though there was not much that would have gotten him to stop.

Will shook his head. "You get it from blood and unprotected sexual content," he said, bringing his lips up to meet Jack's again. Jack pulled away. "So, I guess we shouldn't do this, then."

Sighing, Will ran a hand through Jack's hair. He sat up, resting his legs against Jack's. "We're not having sex, sweetie. And if we were, we would use protection."

It was Jack's turn to give a sigh. "We won't do it, though."

"Why not?"

"Because," he replied, giving a sincerely sad smile, "Because I never want you to have to go through with this. Even if we do use protection, I don't want to take any chances of losing you."

"Wow," Will said slowly, hugging himself as a breeze from the open windows of the apartment glided past him. "I think that is the most serious thing you have ever said to me."

"Well, loving you is a serious thing. And I love you more than I've ever loved anything in my life."

"Even Kevin Bacon?"

"Don't push it."

Will smiled brightly and laid down on the pillow at the head of his bed, bringing Jack down with him. He gathered him in his arms and held him close. Jack rested his head on Will's shoulder and sighed contently. No tears passed between them, and Jack made a promise to himself never to cry in front of Will as long as they were together.

Jack sang softly.

If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear

"Jack . . . " Will warned, his eyes getting glassy. "Please, I've had enough crying for tonight." Jack just moved around slowly, gazing into Will's eyes as he continued his song,

For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you
Still in my heart this moment
Or it might burst
Could we stay right here
Until the end of time until the earth stops turning
Wanna love you until the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for

"Is that true?" Will asked and grinned, silencing Jack by planting a firm kiss on his lips. "Am I the one you've been waiting for?"

Jack laughed, and Will thought to himself, As much as I love his singing voice; his laugh is the most musical thing about him.

"You have no idea", Jack replied, thinking about just how long he had been wishing and hoping that a moment like this would come. He pushed Will off of him playfully and continued singing.

All this time I've loved you
And never known your face
All this time I've missed you
And searched this human race
Here is true peace
Here my heart knows calm
Safe in your soul
Bathed in your sighs
Wanna stay right here
Until the end of time
'Til the earth stops turning
Gonna love you until the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for

Jack sang, looking into Will's shimmering eyes. They both were about to fall asleep, and Jack's song got softer and softer as the promise of sleep became more prominent.

The one I've waited for

All I've known
All I've done
All I've felt was leading to this
All I've known
All I've done
All I've felt was leading to this
Wanna stay right here
'Til the end of time 'till the earth stops turning
I'm gonna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
The one I've waited for
The one I've waited for

"Will?" Jack asked lazily as his eyes closed happily.

"Yeah?"

"Promise me we'll be together forever."

Wanna stay right here
'Til the end of time 'till the earth stops turning
I'm gonna love you till the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
The one I've waited for
The one I've waited for

"I promise, Jack"