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18 August 2011 @ 12:44 pm
in my dying hour - mark/eduardo  
Well, here's this. Warnings for, ah, character death.


in my dying hour

Mark calls Eduardo up a year after the depositions. His heart is racing and he squeezes his eyes shut, letting himself hope, despite everything. Please.

Eduardo picks up. “Hello?” There’s nothing in his tone for Mark to figure out how he’s feeling, nothing to decipher, and that’s frightening and heartbreaking all at once.

“Eduardo. Hi.” He doesn’t say anything else, can’t say anything else, because this – this is surreal and he just wants, so very much, wants to go back to what it was and look at what it can be now.

“Mark?” The tone belies no feelings whatsoever, and that – well, it feels like a punch in the gut, almost.

Mark swallows. “Yeah. It’s – it’s me.”

Eduardo snorts. “I wondered when you’d decide you needed to talk to me again. What the fuck do you want?”

And, okay, that he knows the meaning of. He tries again, his voice going softer. “I – I miss you.” It’s the truth, but not all of it. It’s silly and cheesy and pathetic but he doesn’t care, has to make Eduardo see that he needs this.

Eduardo snorts again. “Too bad.”

“Wa – Eduardo. Please.” He swallows. “I miss you. I just – I want to see you again. Just come out here. Sometime this month. Just for a bit. Please.”

Eduardo hangs up on him.

And, well, he was expecting that – but he wasn’t expecting the wave of hurt, the crashing realization that Wardo doesn’t love him anymore. Wardo’s not his Wardo anymore, he’s Eduardo, the suave businessman who lives in Singapore and smiles politely at clients and has no time for Mark anymore.

He’s never going to again.

()()

Eduardo doesn’t hear from anyone else on that side of the world for another two weeks.

And then he does, and he doesn’t know the number but he has to answer because no matter what, he’s a sucker for Mark, what he does and says – though he’ll keep that to himself.

It’s not Mark.

“It’s Dustin,” is the opening line.

Eduardo blinks. “Hello.” He doesn’t know what he can say to him, this boy who’s done nothing wrong but chose Mark all those months ago, and as silly as it is that still hurts. They haven’t spoken in – shit, at least nine months, now. He doesn’t know anything about this boy talking to him in hushed whispers.

“Listen, man, you’ve gotta – gotta come out here.” It’s reminiscent of that summer, of Mark, and Eduardo’s shaking his head before he even says anything. Dustin doesn’t stop, though, keeps talking. “Just – just a day or something, Mark’s –”

And then he hears Mark’s voice, and at least he’s not dead, Eduardo lets himself think.

“Stop,” says Mark’s voice, and there’s no intonation whatsoever, or at least none that Eduardo can hear. “Just – he doesn’t – I’m sorry,” he says, this time directly to Eduardo, and he doesn’t know what to do with this apology and this strange boy talking to him on the phone because that’s not the Mark he knew but it’s maybe the one he wants to get to know, the one he wants to befriend, the one he wants to be Wardo for. That Mark cut him out and this Mark begs him to stay – but he can’t, even if his stomach is twisting in knots at the thought of it, at the thought of what might be wrong with him.

He doesn’t care. He can’t.

It’s a bit before he realizes that there’s a message from Mark;

I’m sorry about that, and about everything else. Really.

And he knows he shouldn’t be but he feels himself forgiving Mark, just a little.

He won’t go, though.

He can’t.

()()

The third call he gets is from Chris.

“Mark’s dying.”

“What?” And Eduardo feels his heart stutter, because – no – that can’t – no. No.

Chris laughs, and it’s bitter. “That’s why – he has maybe a week left. Please. I know he fucked up and so does he but he just wants to see you. One last time.”

“I hate him,” Eduardo says, his voice weak.

Chris laughs again. “No, you don’t.”

And that’s true, so fucking true, and Eduardo can’t say anything.

By the time he’s finished with his sentence, Eduardo’s booked a flight to California.

He’s always been doing things like this for Mark, and now, at the end – though he hates calling it that – he supposes it had to happen.

()()

Chris is the one to pick him up from the airport – “Dustin’s staying with him” – and the idea that Mark can’t take care of himself, the unspoken he needs someone, is reminiscent of Harvard, of nights spent dragging Mark to bed, switching Red Vines for celery, Red Bull for water. This time, though, it’s different, and when they get inside Mark’s coughing up a storm and Eduardo has to help him.

He’s Wardo. He’s always been Wardo.

Dustin leaves when they get inside, and then it’s just Mark and Eduardo, as it always should be.

Mark smiles at the sight of him. He’s a wreck, but Eduardo doesn’t care, and he hugs him, holds him close, breathes him in because as easy as it is to stay angry it’s easier to forgive, or at least pretend to forgive.

“I’m sorry I didn’t listen,” Eduardo whispers against the curve of Mark’s neck, and he’s calming down, both of them are, because they need this. Now, at the end, more than any other time, they need to have each other, if only for a moment.

Mark smiles against his shoulder, and his breathing is erratic but he forces the words out. “I’m sorry I cut you out.”

It’s blunt and to the point and so, so sincere. “It’s okay,” and whether it is or not is irrelevant because Mark’s smiling at him now, that stupidly adorable smile, and Eduardo doesn’t think he’s ever stopped loving him.

He tells him so, whispers it into the corner of Mark’s mouth, and Mark’s relaxed and open and he doesn’t touch his laptop once. Eduardo lets himself hope, and Mark let’s himself believe he’s forgiven.

()()

Mark dies the next day. He’s in his room, and Eduardo’s talking to him, and Mark’s mumbling, and then he’s not anymore, and Eduardo feels his heart leap into his chest.

His last word is “Wardo”, muttered as though in a dream, and Eduardo doesn’t know what to do with that because he’s never loved anyone like this, never let himself love anyone this much, and now that he’s gone he can’t figure out what to do.

He doesn’t remember much after that, except the funeral, and Chris is shouting at him, because –

“You weren’t there! You don’t have any fucking right to be sad because you weren’t there and Mark needed you but you ignored it and it took us telling you he was dying for you to come out here. You didn’t love him, you loved his illness and you felt sorry for a dying man and that’s it! Don’t you dare tell me you know what this is like. You had one day to see him, and we had to watch it for a year.”

Eduardo can’t say anything to that; what is he expected to? Instead, he leaves, goes to a hotel. He sits in his room and drinks more than he should and very clearly doesn’t think about Mark being gone – only he does, and he’s biting his lip so hard he can taste blood and he’s drunk on the hotel room floor and that’s when Dustin gets him.

He hugs Eduardo, holds him close, and puts his own grief aside because this is what Eduardo needs. And that’s the brilliant thing about him – he always understands what others need, what they want, and he helps as much as he can.

They end up at the Facebook offices and Chris gives him a beer and it’s not an apology, but an acknowledgement. It’s more than Eduardo expected and he takes the beer with a nod.

They sit on the floor and pass stories about Mark back and forth and it’s This one time in college and Do you remember Facemash?

They lived those years around Mark and Eduardo knows he’s never going to think Harvard without adding Mark and death and it hurts but he doesn’t know what to do with the hurt.

They drink and talk until it’s more early than it is late and Eduardo stands up on shaking legs, standing by the window, watching the sunrise. It’s pathetically beautiful and he feels tears well up because Mark saw a million sunrises, stayed up a million mornings and always, if only for a moment, looked at them.

Everything’s tied to Mark, now, and Eduardo wonders if he’s ever going to be okay.

He supposes he will, eventually.

Maybe he’ll be able to accept that they never got a goodbye, that they never lived enough, that he never lived enough.

Maybe.
 
 
A.ohnvm on August 18th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
damn it

fuck you

i mean

love you

whatever

uguuughghghghg
A.ohnvm on August 18th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
i just... thank you for writing this now i have to write your prompt which is generally more hopeful than my prompt thank rah i have it half-finished on emac (cos i write it whilst pretending to work hahahahahahaaha) but ugh i am in a slump ;___; sorrrryyyy my angst is apparently at the cleaners
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 18th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
these comments sort of made my day you know you know. i'm glad you liked it and such! and nah, it's all good, take your time. that's a lovely way to spend time instead of workingggggg.
A.ohnvm on August 18th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
lmao it is isnt it? also ahahahah i am going to singapore soon and planning to, uh, creep the streets for rl sav um
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 18th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
i just snorted. but um that's wonderful.
mauralee88mauralee88 on August 20th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
oh God! Sobbing.