Part Three (Or, Is Alex going to cry? Fuck yes he is.)
(Super-Secret, resident potty-mouth.)
Alex's face flushed, slight blotches appearing along his cheekbones and around the edges of his nose. Josiah looked almost panicked, broken momentarily out of his own misery by sheer surprise. In eleven months of dating and fourteen months total of knowing each other, he'd never seen Alex come anywhere even remotely close to tears. The kid was a brick wall.
"I am so sorry!" he exclaimed. "Oh god... I don't wanna go down in history as the guy who made Alex fucking Edevane cry..."
Alex sniffled delicately. "Yeah, well, you're alone there," he said, trying to get his bearings back with humor. "Half this town would probably kill for the sadistic thrill of seeing me snot-sob... Not that I blame them. I'd kinda deserve it."
Josiah sensed that his boyfriend was hedging, and knew that he had to play his cards right. It wasn't that he wanted to see Alex cry. He just wanted to break through what felt like the last hurdle in their relationship, the last little piece of his heart that Alex seemed to hold from him at arm's length. Hell, Josiah could possibly see himself marrying this boy. But in order to get there he had to have all of Alex-even the broken parts, even the parts he wouldn't let anyone else see.
"Maybe..." he said slowly, reaching over to push a lock of hair away from his lover's forehead, "...there's some stuff you need to talk about, too?"
Alex avoided his gaze. "What's to talk about?" he asked, his voice tense and a little shaky and his eyes-those cold, beautiful black eyes-damp but not overflowing. "My mom OD'd when I was four, not that she ever really was much of a mom to begin with, and from there on it was just my dad and whatever coked-up starlet he brought home that night."
He felt a prickle inside of his nose, behind his eyes. His throat felt tight; oh god, his stomach hurt. "...The only person who ever did show me any real love died right when I needed him the most... and you know, I thought to myself, 'why?' Why did he leave, why then?" Finally he turned to lock eyes with Josiah, wearing an unfamiliar lost-boy expression that broke the other actor's heart. "Couldn't he tell that I needed him...?"
Josiah put a hand on his boyfriend's heart. "People get sick, sweetheart," he said gently. "Sometimes they die. They don't choose it."
Alex looked away again, bitter. "Yeah, well... from there it was my first major movie, and VIP parties and cocaine at fourteen, rehab at sixteen, and now... Now every goddamm person I ever meet just wants something from me, and I can't so much as fucking sneeze without the paparazzi in my face. But you know, none of that really matters. It's just that I... I..."
"You what, Lex?"
"...I'm just so worried about your sister, and I just really, really hate seeing you c-c-cry..." Finally a tear spilled down Alex's cheek, the kind of perfect single tear directors dream about.
Josiah thumbed it away. "Aw," he said with a little smile. "Alert the press: You do have a heart."
"But I don't," Alex choked out, ignoring the irony of the fact that he said it right as his eyes started raining all over his face. "Not really..."
"You do," Josiah insisted, grinning mischeviously and petting Alex's hair before running a slow finger down the length of his chest. "I happen to know for a fact that your soul is totally made of... drippy, sappy, tender emotional stuff."
"...Now here." He folded the handkerchief nicely so that the messy part was hidden, and pressed it into Alex's shaky hand. "Take this super-emotional, sentimental thing that you've been like, painstakingly keeping for ten years. Which you really, really need, by the way, because you're kinda dripping everywhere."
The handkerchief seemed to be the invitation Alex needed, because he said nothing back. He just planted his face in it and let himself sob. It was such a tenderly desperate gesture, like a little kid giving up, seeking solace.
Josiah stared. He couldn't help it. It was kind of jarring. Alex didn't cry like he did everything else: cool, charismatic, enigmatic. It was noisy and indelicate and incapacitating. It was downright childlike.
After a moment he came to his senses and gathered the poor thing up in his arms, rocking him and stroking his hair. When Josiah spoke again, it was soft. All the teasing was gone from his voice.
"You know," he said, "some of the kids my mom works with have this diagnosis: hyper-empathy. It means that they hurt because they feel other people's feelings too much." He shifted, squeezing Alex even tighter, and kissed his hair. "Look at you crying for me now. I dunno, Lex, I think that could be you, too."
Somehow Alex found his voice enough to choke out the words: his deepest, most secret shame, the wound he'd never dared show anyone. "My dad's... psychologist said I... I h-had no empathy... He said I was a... a... a s-sociopath..."
"Uh-huh," said Josiah wryly, rubbing his back. "...And who's violently sobbing right now into their beloved hanky because they just love their boyfriend way too much?"
No answer. Just the sound of the aforementioned sobbing. Though now it had taken on the timbre and intensity of someone with a chest cold having a coughing fit.
"Your dad's psychologist can blow me," Josiah complained. "The guy's obviously a hack."
Again, no reply. Unless of course one were to count the sound of sobbing: awful, physically painful, horribly violent sobbing.
Josiah kissed his hair again. "I'm sorry, Lex," he said softly. "I know it hasn't been easy for you. Here, sweetheart, just go right ahead and cry. Just... try not to hyperventilate. And try and tell me if you're gonna throw up, okay?"
Then he was silent. The only sound in the room was Alex losing it. Josiah held him and reflected on the fact that he basically had the picture of privilege sobbing into his chest. Alex fucking Edevane, epitome of young Hollywood, beautiful sociopathic blond boy, force to be reckoned with: All of that was crumpled in his arms now, desperately clutching the soggy handkerchief that he was awfully-probably messily-weeping into.
Oh my god, Josiah thought, I love him. I can do it. I can marry this boy. We can buy a big house, have a few adorable kids, the whole nine yards. Just like Neil Patrick Harris... but, you know, with better taste in chairs.
It was some time before Alex could find any words again. When the tide finally started subsiding, the first ones he found were gasping, whimpered: "...I'm sorry..."
"Shh," Josiah whispered. "There's nothing to be sorry for. You're sad. I get it."
"Uh huh... ugh, here, just lemme... I need to..." Alex shifted away from his lover's grasp and re-folded his hanky, sighing shakily while he mopped his face and blotted his eyes. His nose was all runny-ugh, it made him feel like a kindergartener-and he kept having to sniffle to keep it back, with only marginal success.
"All better?" asked Josiah tenderly, smiling sadly through the tracks of tears on his own face. Seeing Alex cry had been too much for him.
"I'm a fucking trainwreck," Alex laughed dryly, sniffling and passing the soggy handkerchief to him so he could dry his eyes, too. "Oh my god..."
"Yeah, well, congrats," said Josiah, dabbing carefully at his eyes and nose with the edge of the cloth. "We just had an epic fucking meltdown together. An important couple's milestone if I do say so myself."
No reply. Just more cringe-worthily wet sniffling. He wordlessly handed the handkerchief back to Alex, who muttered "ugh" again and proceeded to blow his runny nose into it-a bit more loudly and excessively than he'd meant to.
Josiah grinned. "Ladies and gentlemen, Alex Edevane," he teased. "The epitome of young Hollywood, he will charm your panties off with his sexy, sexy ways..."
"Shut up, you jerkass," said Alex, crumpling the hanky in one hand and settling back into Josiah's arms. "I've been crying."
Josiah leaned down, ever so gently, to kiss his blotchy eyes and his damp blond eyelashes. "I know," he said, playing with Alex's hair. "And it's kind of adorable."
(Whew, felt good to get THAT out of me!)
Last edited by Super-Secret (April 30, 2015 1:55 pm)