Milo Ventimiglia, NPCs Jack Coleman & Beth Toussaint. The evening after.
[15 March, 2009. Takes place not long after Jack calls Adrian to tell him where Milo is.]
"Thank you for dinner." Milo puts on a brave face, though his plate is only half-empty. "It was very good."
"You're very welcome," Jack says, not making any mention of how much food Milo's left on his plate. They even had raw vegetables for him--not a single cooked vegetable anywhere on the table. "Can I get you anything else, Milo?"
Milo shakes his head. "No, thank you, Jack. I'm fine."
Beth reaches out and touches Milo's hand. "Since Jack cooked, I'll clean up. Why don't you boys go back to the living room and pay some attention to Katy?"
"But I should help," Milo said.
"Next time," Jack says, standing up and putting a hand on Milo's shoulder. "Let's go."
Milo looks up at Jack for a moment, and then he nods. "Okay." He gets to his feet and lets Jack lead him back to the living room, where Milo hesitates a moment, then sits on the floor at Jack's feet, letting Katy put her paws on his chest and lick his face a few times.
Jack watches Milo sit down, and decides that in this moment, it's very unlikely that Adrian will mind if Jack takes care of his boy for him. His hand squeezes gently at Milo's shoulder, then just rests there, giving him a point of contact.
Milo reaches up and covers Jack's hand with his own. "I love him," he whispers.
"I know, Milo," Jack says, very quietly. "And I know that this hurts." He can't promise that this will blow over. It's Sendhil. It might blow over. And it might not.
"Do you think he ever loved me?" Milo turns and looks at Jack. "Or that he just used me to stay close to Adrian?"
"I don't think he did," Jack says. "I can't say for certain, because I'm not inside his mind, but I don't think he did. I saw him with you, Milo. I know he cares for you. And he didn't need you to stay close to Adrian. So no. I don't think he was using you."
Milo nods and looks away. "I was awful to him, Jack. After he broke up with Zach and I was with Adrian and... I was awful to him."
"We've all done things we regret," Jack says softly. "I don't think that this is punishment."
"How can I be sure?"
"You can't," Jack says. "There are some things that maybe we can't be sure of. Did what you and Sendhil had feel real to you?"
"Yeah. It felt real."
"Then it was real."
Milo nods and rests his cheek against Jack's knee. He hears a knock at the door, and then Beth calls out that she'll get it, and Milo closes his eyes. "I miss him already."
"I'm sure you do," Jack says, stroking Milo's hair. "Give yourself some time."
"That's the part I don't like. Or want. Time."
"I don't blame you," Jack says. "And I'm not going to start spouting a bunch of platitudes about time being a healer, or anything like that. You don't need it, and I won't say it. It's allowed to miss him, Milo."
Milo nods. "Right. Of course."
"It's also all right to not have to say anything at all, if that's what you want. Or to talk. Whatever you need."
Milo keeps his cheek against Jack's knee, and wraps an arm around the back of his leg. "I don't know what I want. Is that allowed?"
"That's absolutely allowed. And that's what I meant by give yourself time," Jack says. "Time to figure out what you want."
"Okay," says Milo. "Jack?"
"I'm sorry I just showed up like this, but I didn't know where else to go. But I feel safe now."
"Any time you need to come here, for any reason at all, you are always welcome. Understand, son?" Jack says, very gently.
Milo smiles. "Thank you."
Beth joins them, sitting down on the couch and curling up against Jack, reaching down to stroke Milo's hair. "Sweetheart, someone dropped off an overnight bag for you. It's up in the guest room, whenever you're ready for bed."
Milo nods. "That's nice. Thank you."
"A change of clothes might do you some good," Jack says.
"Uh huh." Milo's in no mood at all to move.
Jack gives Beth a little smile. "No rush. Whenever you're ready." It might be a long night.
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