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Italians and Englishmen
Explanations
Mon Sep 18, 2006 23:56
74.129.242.29

Jesus, it was already Friday!

John made a mad dash out of the house, giving Sean a perfunctory kiss on the lips, and promising to be back long before they were due to be in makeup for that night’s show. He was mainly heading to the base to get Michael, though he knew the man would want to wait until the last minute before leaving. Who could blame him?

Now that he knew his way around the city a bit better, the giant was able to use some back roads and cut down the travel time to a mere half hour, which made his life so much easier. Throughout the entire drive, the smell of baked Cavatini permeated throughout the cab of the Jeep, making him just the tiniest bit hungry. Devon was still on a clear liquid diet through an I.V., though he could have a bit of water each day. He would have felt guilty bringing food if he knew that Michael was eating properly; but he wasn’t.

“Hey,” John whispered, tip toeing into Devon’s room, noting the man was asleep with Michael’s hand in his. The bruises on the feeb’s face were turning that nasty mottled brown and blue, but his color was markedly improved. Maybe only another week or two and he’d be going home. “You’re not eating enough, Michael,” he quietly admonished, setting the bag with the food dish aside. “Its homemade, try some in a bit, all right?”

Michael’s responses were basically grunts, never agreeing or disagreeing, simply going with the flow so his attention could remain upon Devon. He was like that every day since the man had woken up, and it was driving most everyone a little batty. Well, everyone but John, because he had done the same damned thing when Sean was holed up in the hospital.

“Cigarette time. Let’s go.” He wouldn’t hear any protests, because John knew Michael left the agent’s side to use the restroom, and smoke a cigarette. That was it. Pausing at the bag with the food and an extra set of clothing in it, John drew out a carton of Players – which he only knew Mick smoked after having to listen to him bitch one day – tossing the man a pack. Then they were off!

“’Ey mate, does the Benny role have an understudy?” Michael asked a few minutes later, cigarette clamped firmly between his teeth. Unlike Caleb, John was known to give in to a bad habit every now and then, so he ‘borrowed’ one of the cigarettes and lighter.

“Probably one of the chorus members has it. They all seem to know the musical fairly well. Why?” Now he was suspicious. Michael couldn’t ditch the closing weekend of the show just to stay with Devon; he had to get out of this place every once in a while too.

“Don’t think I can sing,” Mick murmured, exhaling the smoke in a hazy fog that wrapped around them. John quirked a brow, not demanding to know why, but inquiring nonetheless. He was surprised when the man actually gave the information up! “Take a good look at my nose.” Huh? Crouching slightly so he was at an even level with the man, John’s eyes widened.

“Well, try to sing a few notes for me?” What came out of Michael’s mouth was disarmingly… well, terrible! The song he started with was off-key, and extremely nasally as if he had the world’s worst cold. Both of them cringed almost simultaneously. “Okay, for the love of all that’s holy, please?” He knew Mick was smirking beneath his glower at John’s discomfort. “Well, we can fix this.” John pulled his cell phone out of a back pocket – because who didn’t have one nowadays? – and punched a few numbers.

Greenwich Theater and Playhouse.

“David? It’s Geno. Listen, I’m up at the base right now. Yeah, that one.” Rolling his eyes heavenward and taking another drag of the cigarette, John pushed on. “Listen, Michael isn’t going to be able to make it this weekend since Devon is still pretty out of it.” The words on the other end were still indistinguishable, but growing louder. “Hey! You’ve seen the way those two look at one another. He wants to stay with Devon.”

But there’s no understudy!! The line was practically shrieked, both men able to hear it as clear as day.

“Then play the damned part yourself!” Yanking the phone from his ear, John ended the call and turned the blasted thing off, before turning back to Mick. “What?” John could only shrug.

“He’s an asshole, anyway.”




Devon frowned, eyeing the clock. He could hear voices just outside the room, Michael and John were talking quietly. Why were they still here? He knew the show was starting in just a few hours, they had to get ready.

The pair strolled into the room, Mick taking his usual seat beside the bed, while John stood near the doorway. Earlier in the week Devon had woke to find only John in the room, with his back turned, and for a split second he couldn’t stop the scream that had slipped from his throat. It was hard enough with Benny’s size when the kid visited earlier the other day, but John… He was downright scared.

“Hey, don’t you two have a show tonight?” John glanced at the clock, and quickly said something that sounded like a curse – always in Italian. It was like the bastard’s default language, or something. Shifting uncomfortably on the waterbed that was normally reserved for burn patients, Devon raised a hand to the large man as he left. But Michael stayed. “Aren’t you performing tonight?” The words were a bit muddled, but he was fairly alert, and the doctors said his speech patterns would likely clear up in the coming weeks.

“I’d rather stay here with you.” Devon frowned that much harder, which only hurt his face and head, but he was feeling beyond stubborn and wanted an explanation. “Why don’t you get some rest?”

“It’s your nose, isn’t it?” Mick nearly raised a hand to what was normally a very patrician and straight nose, now slightly kinked to one side. “Did Caleb do that? I swear I’ll fukking—”

“It was James.” The words were so quiet beneath his impromptu rant; Devon stopped cold, and stared. It was… who? “Right before I saw you when you woke up.” Oh Jesus.

“I’m so sorry, babe,” Devon murmured, even going so far as to reach out and touch Michael’s cheek. Not only was it the first time he felt well enough to do such a thing, but also clear-minded enough. “It’s just…” Sighing, his gaze turned toward the ceiling; it was a safer place to stare at. “Dad is proud of our family name. Sherlock was his father. When he died, not too long after Mom did, we were all pretty torn up. But Dad and Caleb took it the hardest.” He shifted again; the bed was becoming more uncomfortable by the day. “It isn’t an excuse, or even a good reason. They’re both military, but my brother is more forgiving than Dad.” He even snorted a laugh here. “Don’t ask, don’t tell, right? Bullshit.”

Frowning, Devon glanced down at their joined hands, lightly caressing Michael’s fingers before finding the strength to speak again. “I… I want to tell you what happened that night. I want someone to know what they did to me, since I sincerely doubt there’s a public, or secret, report considering you’ve sat here all week.” For the first time in a long while, Devon gave an honest-to-God grin, mischievous and roguish in all its glory.

So he did. From the conversation that he was having with Lucy and Caleb, to the absurd ice cream truck – with ice cream still in it! – and finally at the warehouse. Everything Devon could remember, he told Michael. Very matter-of-fact about the telling, though his voice began to quiver toward the end, certain that just by speaking of these ‘demons’ they would appear. Back from the dead, or some such nonsense. It didn’t make his fears any less real, though.

“I was so fukking scared, Mick. I wanted it all to end, and closed my eyes, just praying for it. Then I heard a gunshot.” Devon actually laughed, wincing at the pain in his ribs. But it felt good, too. “I thought I was dead, but then I realized it wouldn’t feel like I had the worst case of hemorrhoids in eternity.” Pausing, he smacked the back of Mick’s hand in jest. “You scared the hell out of me!” Was all the laughter hiding the fright that was so clear in Devon’s gaze? Or was he really trying to move past it already?

“I’m still scared, too, you know. I feel like if I say their names, they’ll jump out of the closet like a pair of boogeymen.” That was absurd. “I worry about us too,” he barely managed to whisper, toying with Michael’s hand again. “Is this something we’re not going to be able to get past?” He didn’t know, and suspected that Mick likely didn’t either. “And we were so well on our way to a nice, dysfunctional, homosexual relationship too!”

“Maybe… Maybe we can take it just a little bit slow?” Finally, for the first time since he had begun speaking, Devon looked Michael in the eye. “And maybe a kiss?”

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                      Michael didn’t wake up until he rolled over, attempting to burrow against Devon just a little bit more and found the man’s bed empty. Eyes snapped open, panic replacing sleep as quickly as he’d... more
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