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13 June 2011 @ 10:05 pm
close enough to hurt me; mark/eduardo  
 Pairing: Mark/Eduardo.
Length: 1,181 words.
Rating: PG.
Summary: Eduardo can't handle Mark's lack of caring anymore.

All that I say,
You always say more.
I can’t keep up with your turning tables.
Under your thumb, I can’t breathe.

close enough to hurt me

Eduardo closes his eyes, hand held up as though to knock on the door.

Do it.

He can’t.

Tears are in his eyes – and fucking hell, he’s a man, he shouldn’t be crying like – like –

“Don’t be a pussy, Eduardo. Be a big boy.”

- but he can’t help it.

Mark’s not enough for him anymore. He thought – well, he’d thought that he could deal with it, but this – this is too much.

“What do you want from me?”

“I don’t know!” Eduardo was shouting, mad enough to throw something at him. “Maybe some goddamn respect?”

“Why would I respect someone who can’t figure out a simple error?” His tone was sarcastic, biting, and Eduardo wanted to scream.

“I can’t deal with you when you’re like this.” He’s speaking in clichés, but he can’t make himself stop, because Mark, the coder with a chip on his shoulder, is a walking cliché himself.

“I’m like this all the time. You’re too blinded by your goddamn love to realize that.” Mark barely spares him a glance. “Is there anything else?”


Eduardo walks out.

It’s not like he’s regretting that – it’s more that he’s wishing that Mark did, that Mark was the one crying, biting a fist, holding back the urge to call him, damn it.

He’s not going to, this time. No matter how much he wants to, no matter how lost he feels without – without Mark there –

Well, he got over it the first time, didn’t he? He was able to move on.

But then, but then, Mark had –

“I’m sorry.”

Eduardo whips around, eyes narrowing. “What?”

“I’m sorry.” Mark shrugs. “And I miss you.”

Eduardo gives him a smile, and leads him into a hug, and then – and then –

And then he had woken up in Mark’s hotel bed, and he’d been convinced that it was real love, that Mark cared about him the way Eduardo cared, that they would finally, finally get the shot that they deserved.

But that wasn’t true, was it? It wasn’t intended to be that, at all, because Mark didn’t love him, and he never had.

Finally, Eduardo makes himself go to sleep.

By a cruel twist of fate, he’s awakened in the middle of the night by his stupid fucking ringtone, and it’s Mark’s stupid fucking number, and he’s livid, ready to throw the damn thing, but then he’s answering it, with a soft ‘hello?’.

“I’m sorry.”

It’s clipped, not at all heartfelt, and Eduardo snorts.

“You’re going to have to do better than that.”

“I miss you.” And maybe that’s better, and maybe, if Eduardo hadn’t been fucked around a thousand, a million, times, it would be enough.

He shakes his head, and he knows that Mark knows what’s going to happen. “Damn it, Mark, that’s not good enough, that’s not – you can’t keep doing this.”

“I was just worried, about Facebook.”

Eduardo smiles, a tight-lipped smile, and puts his forehead in his palm. “That’s not – I’m never going to mean more than Facebook.”

“Don’t give me that.” Mark is angry now, his tone just a bit more harsh. “You knew what you were getting into when you started – this.”

“This.” Eduardo laughs. “You can’t even call it what it is, can you? What it was. Could have been, really. It was dating, Mark, or is that too intimate for you? Perhaps you’d prefer fucking, eh? Can’t say it, though, because you want to jerk me around, and you have to keep silly little Wardo guessing.”

Mark is silent, and Eduardo feels his chest constrict.

“You’re angry.”

“No shit, Mark.” He’s done, and he’s ready to hang up the phone, block the number, anything to get Mark out of his life, before he speaks again.

“I love you.”

It’s the first time Mark’s said it, and Eduardo tries to keep his resolve, but he’s only human, all right? He’s only a human who’s in love with Mark, and he can’t help himself – he sighs, wanting to believe it.

“You – I love you, all right? I don’t mean to hurt you, but –”

“But it keeps happening,” because Eduardo isn’t taking this shit anymore, he’s fucking telling Mark what he thinks and if this ends their – whatever it is – then so be it. So fucking be it. “And you don’t – you only care when I make a fuss.”

“I always care.”

“About Facebook.”

There’s more silence.

“If you could go back and change it, if you could get rid of Facebook but never have lost me, then or now or ever, what would you do?”

Mark swallows; Eduardo can hear it through the phone.

“That’s the problem, then.”

“What about you?” Mark’s voice is weak. “Me or… or that money you made that summer. What would you pick?”

“You,” Eduardo says simply. “It would always be you.”

Mark’s voice breaks as he speaks. “And you’re leaving me now.”

“We want – we want different things.” And now Eduardo’s crying, fuck, but so is Mark and so maybe it’s all right. “We can’t be – like this.”

“I love you.” But Mark’s using it to hold on to something that’s gone, and Eduardo can’t listen to it.

“Stop saying that, it doesn’t –” Edaurdo can’t take this, okay, he can’t fucking take Mark’s breath hitching. “Meet me.”


“I’m coming over. I need – this can’t be done over the phone.”

And before he knows it, he’s at Mark’s, shoes untied, and there are fucking tear tracks on Mark’s face, and Eduardo feels himself falling forward, hugging him close, because – well, Mark is the world to him.

“I’m sorry,” Mark whispers.

“I can’t.” Eduardo’s voice is soft, and he pulls away to give Mark one last kiss.

Mark smiles a bit, looking down at his shoes, non-matching, of course.

“I love you, too,” Eduardo says.

“This is it, isn’t it?” Mark looks at him, his small smile widening, just a bit. “This is… well, it’s goodbye.”

“I’ll never forget you,” Eduardo offers, putting a hand on Mark’s shoulder. “You – well, you gave me – thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything for you. It’s you I should be thanking.” Mark looks down again. “So thank you. You – well, you were wonderful when I didn’t deserve someone like you.”

“You probably didn’t.” Eduardo shrugs. “But I enjoyed it.”

Mark smiles again, and the moment is broken.

“I’ll – well, I’m not going to call you, but I’ll probably see you around,” Eduardo offers, because he can’t stay here anymore.

“Yeah,” Mark says, and his voice is soft. “Around.”

Eduardo offers a smile of his own, and for a moment, he wants to grab Mark and throw him against the wall, fuck him senseless, let himself fall into the trap again –

But he won’t. He can’t. He has too much respect – for the first time in a while, he has respect for himself.

That’s all he needs.

He’s heartbroken, but… maybe now, he can try for happiness on his own.