After the Storm Chapter Four

Disclaimer: I own nothing; I intend no copyright infringement of any kind.

Warnings: Mentions of self-abuse.

The sound of footsteps were muffled by the carpet of the quiet apartment, and the only other thing that Will could hear was his heart beating in his ears. His lips burned madly, and the flames dancing upon them were put out by the pressure of someone else's. He closed his eyes and gave in to them, growing limp in the other man's arms.

A thousand thoughts were running rampant in Will's mind, and he was unsure of which one to address first. His mouth felt as if it was stuffed with cotton. But soon, it was stuffed with something else. He felt the man's tongue slide near the back of his mouth, almost to his throat.

Will pulled back and gasped for air. The kiss was too much for him. He wrapped his arms around the man and smiled.

"So," he said, surprisingly comfortable. "You never did tell me your name"

The man said nothing. He didn't smile, or show any emotion at all. He simply said in a low voice, "No one needs to know that"

What is this guy's problem? Was Jack right? Are all guys like this?

It didn't matter. He needed someone, and that someone was by his side now. Will figured that's what this guy was looking for as well. He just needed someone there to take him away, and to get his mind off of things.

Will it always be like this? He thought as he felt his pants slide down around his ankles. He looked into the guy's emerald green eyes and tried to smile as their clothes came off piece by piece. Will I always just go off with random guys, trying to get my mind off of the person I truly want?

He answered his own question. He closed his eyes in resignation and tried his hardest not to think of Jack. But like the night with Grace, it was no use. The green in the man's eyes faded into a crystal blue, and the stern line of his mouth became Jack's usual dopey smile.

Will felt his shirt leave his body, and he put his hands cautiously on his arms. The dark hid them from the man's view, but he still fingered to cuts on them awkwardly, scared they would be unmasked. He felt two more hands on his wrists, and he gave in as they led him into the bedroom.

Jack was there. That was all that mattered. Will couldn't scream or cry or anything else; he just walked into his arms, surrounding himself in Jack's warm embrace. Will pressed his cool cheek onto Jack's blistering chest and sighed. A few minutes passed, just them holding each other closely before Jack got impatient.

As jack slowly thrusted above him, thoughts of the past week flooded his mind. He saw himself with Grace. He saw his face contorted with pleasure as Grace moaned beneath him, and he felt disgusted with himself.

He saw Karen, her face set in an unrelenting frown, taking the words that he threw at her with no showing emotions, and in that moment, he hated her more than he ever thought he could. Now that Jack was gone, he didn't have to deal with her shit anymore.

But Jack wasn't gone. He was positioned above Will, whimpering almost soundlessly as he slid in and out of Will, grabbing onto his waist for support. Will's orgasm hit him like a train, and he gasped as Jack pitched forward a final time.

Will shut his eyes and lay his head on the pillow in front of him. He lost himself in all his feelings. He felt the pain and sadness of his memories and the previous week mingle with the pleasure of the past occurrence, and he sighed in exhaustion.

Arms slid around Will's waist, and lips pressed against his cheek. "I have to go," a voice unknown to him announced, and Will felt the anonymous man leave the bed and gather his clothes.

"Yeah, ok", Will responded breathlessly, suddenly feeling as if he had run a couple hundred miles. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling as he listened to the man open and close the door. Will let out a breath; he was alone again. A tear rolled on his face, but he wiped it away almost immediately.

I'm not going to cry anymore, he thought to himself, getting off of the bed and making his way into the hall.

Not over him. Not anymore.

He went into the bathroom and reached into the far left drawer. The one with his spare razor blades. He glanced into the mirror and looked at himself critically, hating what he saw. His eyes were red and itching from resisting the urge not to cry. He rubbed them rigorously, but nothing he did could bring them relief.

He's gone now, and I can't do anything about that. It wasn't his fault, and it wasn't mine. There was nothing I could do. I need to stop blaming myself, because there is nothing I could have done.

The shining metal glittered in his hands, bringing itself to Will's attention. He whimpered sadly as it called itself to his wrist again.

I have to stop blaming myself. It's not my fault.

Soon, all he could see was red. It gushed out generously, surrounding Will's arm with a thick coating of blood. Will grasped the cut in his hand, and shut his eyes. A searing pain shot through him, and he doubled over on the floor.

What happened to Jack happens all the time. It wasn't like I wanted him to die, because I didn't. I loved him. I still do. It never was my fault. It's not my fault.

Will huddled on the floor, breathing lightly. He closed his eyes to try and keep the room from spinning. A dull ache pounded in his temple from where his head hit the ground. He saw bright red glimmering on the bathroom tile, and he sobbed as his surroundings faded to black.

It's not my fault…

"Oh my god. This is the biggest mess ever," Grace said aloud to no one in particular, unfolding a piece of fabric. She looked at the blueprint for the latest place she was decorating, a spacious studio on Staten Island.

"This doesn't go with anything, I'm going to get fired, I'll be living on the streets, and I'll starve to death…" she went on frantically, waving the piece of fabric in her hand and sitting down. She buried her face in her hands and sighed. "This is hopeless."

"Honey, of course it is. How can anyone focus wearing clashing diagonal stripes?" Karen piped up from the doorway, pointing to Grace's skirt.

Grace's head shot up and turned cautiously towards the door. "Karen!" she exclaimed, getting up and walking quickly towards her. "What are you doing here? I told you that you don't have to come in until next Monday because of Jack."

Karen rolled her eyes and settled behind the desk, martini in hand. She sipped it causually and replied, "Yeah, well, change of plans. Turns out riding Rosario around the mans wasn't a very good mourning process."

"Well, umm, Will told me he visited you a few days ago," she ventured carefully, an unsettling look crossing her face.

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Look, Karen, I know you're hurting," Grace started, walking near the desk again. "I'm hurting too. We all are. And I know that there are probably a million emotions coursing through you now, but we're here for you."

"Grace, that's all fine, but—" Karen tried to say, but Grace interrupted.

"I've been just as sad as you two, and I know how hard it is to lose someone that you really care about. I've been there, and I'm here for you, whenever you need me to. I have shoulders you can cry on, ears that can listen to you."

"Grace, I—"

"And if you ever need anything, just know that you can—"

Grace's words were cut off by a pair of lips landing on hers softly. She felt hands on her shoulders, not pushing her down, but supporting her, and caressing softly. Although she had much more memorized, all of those words flew away, and she got lost in what Karen was doing.

Finally, I'm getting her to shut up, Karen thought, pushing her tongue into Grace's mouth as she closed her eyes. The scary thing was, as much as she didn't want to, Grace was kissing her back…

A thoroughly confused Grace made her way through the dark hallway, stepping lightly so she wouldn't make any noise on the usually creaking floor. The building was getting old, and it was a lot noisier when you stepped on it hard enough.

There were many questions that day that never got answered, and Grace wasn't even sure she wanted to know. She touched her lips in remembrance. Even though Karen had stopped it and walked out abruptly, she still remembered every moment of their escapade.

She sighed tiredly and walked through the apartment, opening the door carefully. The lights were out; and there seemed to be no one there.

"Will?" she called out, not too loudly. She didn't want to wake him if he was sleeping. When no one answered, she put her purse down on the sofa and sat down next to it, putting her hands on her forehead.

"What am I going to do about this?" she asked herself, though she had no answer.

Tired, she went to the refrigerator, grabbing a bottle of water and setting herself to go to bed. "This day has just been too weird. I wonder what this means now," she continued, walking into the hallway. "I don't know what I'm going to—" she looked around, hair flying.

"Why am I talking to myself?"

She past Will's bedroom, looking in to check up on him. When she saw the bed empty, she stopped, and searched the floor. "Will?" she asked quietly, worry enfolding her face. "Where are you? Will?"

She stopped short of the bathroom, after glimpsing a flash of red.

"Oh my God…"


"This is nice," Jack said calmly, closing his eyes and letting the cool air brush past his face. Him and Will were standing hand and hand in the park, over-looking a crystal blue pond which was normally murky green with pollution.

"Yeah," Will agreed, smiling as he took Jack's other hand and whirled him around. "Will you do me a huge favor?"

"Sure. Anything for you."

"Dance with me."

Jack's eyes flew open, and he smiled in surprise. "What? You don't dance!" he exclaimed. Will laughed and gave him a quick squeeze. "I do too; you've seen me."

"Yeah, but we don't have any music."

"We don't need music," he replied, kissing Jack and twirling him around. "I have you."

Jack wrapped his arms around Will's waist and placed his head on his shoulder. "That was so corny."

Will smiled and grabbed his hands, guiding him in circles around the pond. He hummed to himself, keeping the beat, and jack smiled as he tried not to trip over the grass. The sun had just disappeared behind the clouds, creating a pink horizon, and a beautiful setting.

"Wow, you really can dance!" Jack grinned, his eyes shining as Will dipped him. They stopped, breathless, and Will whispered softly to him.

"I love you".

Jack lifted his head and smiled brightly, his cheeks red from the wind. His eyes beamed up at him, and he looked the happiest he had ever been since the disease. "What?" Will asked, confused.

"That's the first time you've said you loved me," he exclaimed, feeling as though his heart would burst at any minute.

"I've said it before."

"yeah, but you've never meant it like this."

Will grinned back and pressed their foreheads together, looking into his lover's eyes. "I really do mean it, you know," he whispered against Jack's lips, bringing his hands to his shoulders.

Jack nodded before kissing him, and they both looked at the sun setting over the park. The orange glow of the clouds surrounded them, and at once, everything around them was perfect.

"I know," he responded, glowing. "I love you too."