(takes place April 18)
Liam gathers up his magazines, a dish that'd had a piece of pie in it and still had a dirty fork, and an empty coffee cup, and heads into the kitchen. Jack's there alone, nursing a cup of coffee, but Christian's absent. He must've gone out through the pantry.
"There any coffee left?" Liam asks, looking over his shoulder as he tosses the magazines on top of the fridge.
"I think so," Jack says, half-absently. "Kind of hard to tell in the dark." He knows Liam has to know enough of the details to understand why he's not exactly feeling talkative right now. He knows he'll have to, but he's not ashamed to try and put it off as much as he can.
"Easy enough to remedy," Liam says lightly. He flips the light on and loads the dish and fork into the dishwasher before pouring himself a fresh coffee. He settles down on a stool next to Jack and takes a sip. "So," he asks. "How are you doing?"
"About as well as you'd expect," Jack answers. "Maybe a bit better in some ways." He sighs heavily. "This is just not something I ever expected to come up..."
"No, I can understand that." Liam takes another sip. Jack looks like hell, which is no kind of shock, but still. "So what happened, actually? Christian didn't give me anything but the bare minimum. Anything I should know?"
Trying to think, Jack is proud of himself for not breaking again. "Well, I guess you know the part about Christian being able to have sex," he says. "I came back early, got a call from work, and went upstairs, finding them... in the middle of it." He laughs, sounding a little bitter. "Do you know the most fucked up part, Liam? Even though this hurt me in ways I can't even begin to tell you, there is a part of me that is happy that he's actually been able to..."
"I don't see anything fucked up about it," Liam says, his voice low and calm. "I think that's likely why you're still here, yeah? Even though he hurt you -- and you've every right to be hurt and upset -- you love him enough to be happy that something positive came of it, even if you weren't a part of it the way you'd wanted to be. I'd say that's the one saving grace to this whole tangle and not a fuck up at all."
"It... is," Jack says, slowly. He hadn't thought of it that way before. "I do love him and this is everything we've been working for. So that's a good thing. Hadn't really considered that before. It's a step forward."
"Aye, it is," Liam agrees. "It went down a different road than the two of you'd planned, or so I assume, but it seems to be headed in the right direction. And you're a bigger man than many I know to be able to see that, and accept it."
"I'm not sure we had anything planned," Jack says. "But yes. It's not stopped. And I guess... I can't do anything else. I don't want to leave him and he doesn't want to leave me. So we'll figure this out somehow. We're getting there at least."
"Good." Liam holds the warm coffee cup in his hands and looks out the dark window for a few moments. Finally he looks directly at Jack and asks, "Are you going to be all right going home? You can sleep in the spare room if you like, or I can call for a car to come get you and you can come get yours tomorrow. I'd rather you not be behind the wheel if you're still a bit sideways of the world."
"I'll be all right," Jack answers. "I'm coming back tomorrow, I promised Christian, but... yes, I think a car would be an idea. Even with almost four cups of coffee I don't think I'd keep my eyes open all the way." Exhaustion has settled on him, almost without his realising it. "And I think you need to get up to Christian, so if you don't mind, I'll make the call. And I'll see you both tomorrow. Let Christian know that if he has any doubts." Knowing he probably will. It's Christian after all.
"I'll remind him," Liam promises. "And I'm sure the lad'll appreciate the reassurance." He finishes his coffee in a couple of swallows and puts the cup in the dishwasher, along with Jack's empty. "I'll trust the club driver to take care of you, then, and we'll see you tomorrow." He hesitates a moment, then walks over and wraps his arms around the man, lightly at first, but then more firmly when Jack didn't stiffen or back away. "You take care of yourself," he says quietly. "Or have that army of servants of yours take care of you for tonight. You deserve it."
"I will," Jack nods, letting the warmth of Liam's arms soothe him a little. Human touch and contact. "Thank you, Liam. For everything." He manages a smile. "I'm going to go bury myself in my bed and let the rest of the world think for a while."
"An excellent notion. I think I'll do the same." Liam gives one last squeeze, then releases him and steps back. "I'll be going up, then. Have a good night."
"Good night," Jack responds. "Talk to you soon, Liam." And he is actually feeling as good as he thinks he can right now as he moves to the phone to call a club car.
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