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Fic: What About Now - Chapter 5

December 27th, 2010 (05:17 pm)
Where I am: malaga

Title: What About Now?
Pairing: Jared/Colin
Rating: R
Feedback: Need it!
Disclaimer: NOT TRUE, and hopefully most will never ever happen. I own nothing.
Beta: The illustrious legolastariel , whom you should all thank for the delivery of this chapter in a readable condition.
A/N: Story begins at the O2 Arena concert November 30th.
   
A/N 2: Dedicated in its entirety to the ever lovely and always supportive legolastariel ! Thanks for the help with this.

A/N 3: Sorry for the delay. Work/holiday season got in the way. I’ll do my best to post more regularly. I can however promise that I have no intention of abandoning this. But RL sometimes have to take precedence, I’m sure you can all understand and relate. :)

Summary: Jared is fighting for his life. Colin is fighting with himself. And the press is fighting for a story.



December 2004

The streets of LA were covered in colorful lights, displays of flamboyant tinsel and extravagant Christmas decorations. There were still several days to go before the actual holiday was upon them, but that did not deter the many stores from proclaiming the spirit of the season through the many offers put on view in the windows of the shops.

After principal photography had ended almost a year ago, both Colin and Jared left for different parts of the world. Jared’s energy was centered on recording for the new album in the works for 30 Seconds To Mars and Colin had been busy with shooting The New World as well as visiting the set of Scrubs.

The Irishman had not seen Jared since the November premiere of Alexander, in London a month ago. After the screening, they had left Leicester Square and followed the rest of the cast to a party. But after only an hour, they had excused themselves and taken off in a cab, ending up in a nearby hotel where they had spent the night in each others familiar embrace.

That was not supposed to have happened.

They had agreed that their ‘sexscapades’ were over the moment shooting ended. Yet the moment Colin laid eyes on the singer in the crowded hall of the cinema, he had wanted to rip Jared’s clothes off and worship every inch of him. And the moment they were alone, Jared had responded with a similar urgency. But it was more than that, Colin had genuinely missed Jared, which was not part of the plan.


He had decided to take it upon himself to call Jared up for a little get together. The absence of the American in his daily life had somehow come to mean so much more than the presence of others. It was disconcerting to say in the least, but Colin was not dumb enough to not see what it meant.

“I saw the pictures of you and Scarlett.” It was not how Colin had wanted to start a conversation regarding their relationship, but the words had left his mouth before he had managed to catch them. It made Jared halt in his steps immediately and turn around to face Colin. The American had just returned from the kitchen where he had fetched a new bottle of water, as well as a second beer for Colin. For a second, Jared’s face was unreadable, then a certain self-righteous annoyance settled, making him look vaguely intimidating. It was the same face the singer used when trying to scare off interviewers wanting facts about Jared’s private life.  

“What are you doing, Colin?” The Irishman was surprised at the sudden anger in Jared’s demeanor, and even more surprised at how little it faced him. He knew that this conversation was going to be tough, yet despite his reservations; he knew he wanted more from Jared. He knew that he had missed him. Missed his touch, his scent, his crazy humor and even his candid way of talking.

“Because while your words might be construed as the buildup to a manly conversation between two good friends, about the wonders of pussy, the tone of your voice is betraying you. So what are you doing?” Jared asked calmly, blue eyes calculating.

“I missed you,” Colin eventually answered, like that somehow explained everything. And to Colin, it did. “I know we were only going to be fuck buddies. I also know that I was the one who laid down that rule, but I want more. I would like to have more of you. I don’t exactly know what yet, but take it for what it is. I really like you Jared and I don’t want this to go away just yet.”


“What happens on set stays on set. You can’t fucking expect me to drop everything and break it off with my girlfriend, because you suddenly changed your mind.” Technically, Jared had already broken off whatever unimportant fling he had going on with Scarlett days ago, but there would be no fun in telling Colin that. He wanted to know what the Irishman, who had gradually become more and more agitated, had to say.

“What do you want from me, huh? It’s not like I planned this. We weren’t even supposed to fuck at all! But honestly, mate, we are good together and you know it! What more do we need? Who says that it has to end now? I’m not proposing marriage, Jared, I’m just saying we should give it some more time and see where it takes us.” To Colin’s surprise, a wide grin broke out onto Jared’s face, all traces of the former anger gone. But then again it was hardly shocking; Jared was not known for staying in one mood for long. There was a moment of silence, the two men sizing each other up.

Jared suddenly laughed, opening his arms into a beckoning stance before shaking his hips in what was supposed to be a sexy little dance.

“So you want more of this?”

Colin thought the American looked absolutely ridiculous, yet also somewhat adorable. But he was pretty sure, that if he dared call Jared adorable he would get his ass kicked.

“You cocky little shit.” Colin said, walking over to Jared and wrapped his arms around the slender body pushing them both backwards until Jared had his back up against the wall. The older man moaned. “You’re lucky you’re cute, or you wouldn’t get away with nearly as much as you do.”

“I know,” Jared said somberly before possessively claiming Colin’s lips, wrapping his arms around the younger man.

¤¤¤¤¤¤

Evening arrived at the ICU and with it came the mind-numbing fatigue that was currently dragging down Shannon. He was well used to pulling all nighters, but this was more than that. The emotional duress had worn him out and there still seemed to be no end in sight. He still did not feel like he could let go and maybe get some sleep, as Jared’s slight fever had yet to break, and while the medical staff did not appear overly worried, Shannon could not help but be afraid.  He was familiar with his brother’s bad immune system and how often it messed with Jared’s wellbeing.

The beeping from the heart monitor broke through his thoughts. It sometimes did that. Stalled his mind for a few seconds and then brought him crashing back to reality, back to this wretched room. His eyes fell on Tomo dozing lightly next to him. The Croatian had barely left the room since it happened.

Neither had Colin Farrell.

Shannon let his gaze fall on the Irishman sitting in the corner of the room, trying to make himself appear inconspicuous. He was grudgingly impressed that the man had stuck around. Most would have left after the treatment Shannon had doled out in the waiting room and merely asked to be notified if anything changed. He could have done that. He could have asked the nurses to keep him informed, as his presence on Jared’s list of emergency contacts made that possible. Yet, he had stayed and seemed quite intent on hanging around.


Summer 2005:

Two bowls of unsalted popcorn were placed strategically on the glass table, along with a plate of cut-up fruits and two thermoses, one filled with hot cocoa and the other with steaming coffee. The brothers’ favorite way to relax. Everything was ready. Jared had already snuggled up under a thick blanket and Shannon was crouching in front of a small cabinet, riffling through their extensive DVD collection. This was the first night they had spent together in ages. Jared was at Colin’s house practically every night, and though he showed up almost daily in the house the brother’s shared, he usually left around dinner time to return to his boyfriend. Though Shannon always had been well aware of his brother’s bisexuality, this whole setup had left him more than a little uncomfortable.

Something was different this time around. It unsettled him. Which was why their impromptu movie night had been more than a little awkward so far. Something that was highly unusual. The two brothers had always fit together seamlessly; their interactions based on familiarity as well as shared passions. But these last few weeks had made Shannon feel like there was something about Jared that he had missed, something that had slipped past him.

He had never seen this side of Jared before, and while it thrilled him to see the newfound confidence displayed by his brother, accompanied by the constant smiling, it also confused him. Was this just a faze? Would Colin break Jared’s heart? Would Jared abandon the music and go play house with the Irishman? And who was this Jared and what had he done with his moody brother?

“This is really making you uncomfortable, isn’t it?” Jared asked looking slightly unnerved, snuggled under the heavy blanket.

“Yes. –I mean, no!” Shannon looked increasingly uncomfortable, “Well… Yes.”

“Shannon.” The singer exclaimed, exasperated with his older brother.

“It’s just –you’ve never been really serious with anyone before. It’s creeping me out to see you so … in love. You are usually just with someone not to be alone.” The smile abruptly fell from Jared’s face at his brother’s words. A few seconds passed, before a softer, more boyish one settled on the man’s face, making him look ten years younger – but somehow more mature.

“I guess something has changed.”



Suddenly desperate for some air, Shannon gave Jared’s limp hand a squeeze before leaving the hospital room. Without giving Colin a second glance, he dragged himself out into the fluorescently lit hallway. His eyes fell on the numerous flowers bouquets of every shape and size, taking up the waiting room. No additional objects were allowed in the rooms of the ICU, but seeing as half the wing had been cordoned off for security reasons, the nurses had simply placed all the stuff that arrived in the empty waiting room.

Everyone they had worked with the past ten years seemed to have sent something. Aside from the many floral arrangements, there were teddy bears, balloons and small present lining the tables. So many people cared it seemed. So many wanted to express their sympathies. But none of it mattered to Shannon. He wanted so badly to care about their fans right now, as many members of the Echelon seemed to be on the verge of falling apart, but he just did not have the energy. He felt completely drained.

Almost a hundred of their beloved extended family had congregated in front of the hospital, carrying signs and banners expressing their love, devotion and compassion. Another twenty had stationed themselves outside the police station holding Helmstrom in some sort of elaborate protest. Shannon wished they would stop. He truly appreciated the gesture for what it was, but if it were up to him, that man should die in a dark and dank room with no gratification from the outside world. He deserved to rot. He did not believe for a second that the man had done if for the attention, no matter what anyone might say. This was a matter of personal indulgence. A matter of insanity. Of depravity.

Sitting down on the couch, he picked up the remote. He had gotten a call an hour ago that the British Police were preparing a statement to take the heat off. Shannon was curious but wary. If Jared had been able, the statement would likely have been checked and edited into flawlessness by the perfectionist singer before allowing it to see the light of day. But Shannon could not even pretend to care about their image or their futures in the business right now. It did not matter what people said or what the fall-out might be. He was much too distracted by what was going on with Jared's immediate health to worry about any aftermath.

Looking at the clock, he turned on the shiny new flat screen hanging from the ceiling, stopping at the first news channel he landed on. And there Jared was. Fucking 9 o’clock news.

24 hours ago they had been playing the show of their lives. Now, just a day later, his little brother was one of the main stories on the evening news. It was surreal. And not in a good way.

… “and our first top story tonight, actor-turned-rockstar Jared Leto became the victim of a stunning attack by a stalker during a concert at London’s sold-out O2 Arena. Him and his band 30 Seconds To Mars were playing in front of their largest audience yet. We just received this footage from a press conference outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital only minutes ago.”…

The newscaster’s studio faded to black and suddenly the television showed Chief Inspector Anderson in front of the hospitals doors. The man was still wearing his black coat, but his rusty haired shadow was nowhere to be found. He looked grim, much more than he had appeared in the waiting room, and his voice seemed to lack the pleasantness that had shone through earlier.

…“The shooter is believed to be 24 year old Mason Helmstrom. He was first arrested in February 2010 threatening Mr. Leto, with what he later claimed were explosives, at a fan event on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Mr. Leto chose not to press individual charges after their first encounter in LA. Mason Helmstrom proceeded to send several threatening and obsessive letters and gifts from unconfirmed locations, forcing Mr. Leto into placing a restraining order. The order was granted making the attempts at contact from Helmstrom cease and he wasn’t seen or heard from until tonight. He was detained by security personnel at the 02 Arena in possession of handgun and a suicide note where he claims to have shot the artist. We believe that Helmstrom had plans to kill himself after leaving the venue.

“All memory cards from digital cameras were confiscated by the police, as they will feature in the on-going investigation. Any video of the crime shown to the media or general public will result in prompt legal action being pursued.

“Due to the extent of Mr. Leto’s injuries, doctors have deemed it necessary to place him in a temporary coma. His condition is described as critical, but stable.

“30 Seconds To Mars would like to thank the Echelon for their continuous dedication and love. As well as the rest of the world for the outpouring of support and concern. Regrettably all concerts, appearances and scheduled events have been cancelled until further notice. Thank you.”

The images shifted back to the news studio once more, but before the host had a chance to add any further summation to Shannon’s misery, the television was turned off. The drummer looked around in surprise and he was grateful to find that Tomo had joined him.

“Did we put that statement out?” Tomo asked sitting down on the uncomfortable couch, not needing to explain why he had cut off the news segment before taking a seat next to the tired drummer.

“I assume Emma took care of it. Why?”

“Nothing, it’s the right thing to do, that’s all. How are you, Shannon?”

“About the same as you, Tome.” Shannon got to his feet and started a slow pacing, tiredly shuffling his feet, but seemingly incapable of remaining still. He was relieved by the opening Tomo had provided for him to vent. He needed it. Needed to talk to the one person who – other than Jared – really knew him. “How could we let this happen to him? How could I not have been more careful? How could I have been so callous about my brother’s safety? I feel like I should have seen this coming.” With a defeated sigh, Shannon sank down next to Tomo on the uncomfortable couch. “But I didn’t. I just didn’t see it coming.” Then miserably added, the defeat clear in his voice, “I let him down.”

Tomo remained quiet. There was nothing to say. He felt as guilty as Shannon.

“We won’t ever let it happen again, Shan. This time, we will make sure he stays safe,” Tomo countered, his appearance exhausted, yet the brown eyes clear.

“And happy,” Shannon added as an afterthought.

The musicians got lost in a contemplative silence for a few minutes before Shannon spoke up, the usually strong voice still sounding lost.

“My mother, when did she say she would get here?”

“She said she would be on the first plane out of LA. I’m sure she’ll be here soon.” Tomo reassured. After they had been seated in the waiting room, Shannon had barely been able to function, let alone able to make all the necessary calls. It was a testament to the close bond between the band members that when Tomo offered to call the older man’s own mother to tell her that her youngest son had been the victim of a brutal attack that might yet claim his life, Shannon did not even bat an eye. Giving the responsibility to someone like Tomo seemed completely natural. There was no one he trusted more to be able to do what he could not.

A minute later a downtrodden Shannon left to have a much needed smoke. Tomo reentered the hospital room and claimed his own spot at Jared’s bedside. For some reason the silence in the room seemed oppressive to the Croat. He glanced at the defeated Irishman still staring into space, seemingly lost in thoughts. Colin had been silent from the moment they had entered Jared’s room, intent to remain ignored. Or so Tomo thought.

“Shannon hates me, doesn’t he?” Colin unassumingly spoke up, his voice free of any expectations as he gestured vaguely towards the drummer’s empty chair, still pulled up closely to Jared’s bedside.

“No, he doesn’t.” Tomo sighed, unsure if he should even be having this conversation. “I’d even say he rather likes you.”

“He punched me in the face.” Colin stated and Tomo was surprised to find no anger hiding behind the words. The Irishman was merely laying out the facts.

“You broke his brother’s heart and then dared show your face at a moment when Shannon really needed to punch someone. What did you expect?” Tomo asked. “But if you hadn’t been here now, Shannon would never have allowed you within a hundred feet of Jared. The fact that you stuck around makes a convincing argument in your favour.” The guitarist added, as he turned his head. He could see the tired Irishman nod faintly. As if he was trying to work out how much the world might have changed these past 24 hours. What was left.

“Look, Jared loves you,” Tomo continued, “Giving you an incredibly power over Shannon’s little brother. Jared is practically invulnerable when it comes to most people. You have the power in your hands to break Jared if you want and Shannon fears that. We both know just how protective they are of each other…” It was true. The brothers’ protectiveness of each other was practically legendary among their circles. Due in some way to their rather turbulent childhood and youth, the two brothers had learned to rely mainly on each other. They were a team.

“Shannon just wants Jared to be happy, which is why you’re still here. He hates the power you have over Jared’s happiness, but he respects it too. He will gladly give up his own reservations, if he sees a potential to bring back the smile to Jared’s face. Colin, you were the only guy who truly seemed to make a positive difference for Jared. Pissed or not, Shannon is reluctant to endanger that.


January 2008:

“Why the fuck do you keep pulling this shit!? What is wrong with you right now? Is this about your ego, Leto? Seducing her? I know you can! You know you can! Hell, she is dumb as rock and she probably knows you can!” Colin snarled, gesturing wildly, his face and body contorted in anger.

“It’s not like I had any feelings for her…” Jared countered dismissively, trying in vain to weasel out of the conversation. He was well aware that he had crossed a line. But not the line most people expected. This was not about jealousy.  

“I know! And that is probably what bothers me the most. Why do you need to do this? You tell me you love me, and yet you’re stuffing your tongue down the throat of the biggest whore in LA. Talk about cold feet. What is it you’re trying to prove? What is it you need people to see? That you don’t have any limits? That you’re a heterosexual man whore? What is it? You picked her at that party to make out with, to prove to the world that you could! I just don’t understand why? Hell, I’m not even sure you understand, Jared. Because I don’t believe you’re trying to prove something to me. You know I don’t give a rat’s arse about you snogging some bitch. I just wanna know what you’re trying to prove to yourself.”

Colin stepped closer. Jared was staring at the floor, eyes blazing and shoulders squared with his arms across his chest. He looked like a petulant, imperious child. Jared refused to look at Colin. Refused to acknowledge that he had been called out.

Colin put his hands on Jared’s shoulders, shaking him lightly, trying to get his stiff posture to relax. But the singer refused to relent. Giving up the futile task, he moved one of his hands under Jared’s chin, forcing him to look up into the warm brown eyes. Colin’s voice went soft and pleading.

“Talk to me. Make me understand. What is going through your mind when you pull shit like that? I’m not mad anymore. I just want to know why you snapped so utterly tonight. I’m looking into your eyes, but you are completely closed for business. There is nobody home. Talk to me, please?”

The closed off look did not change. Eventually Colin sighed: “Fine,” and started to walk out.

As he reached the door Jared’s voice stopped him. “Why do you even bother with me?” The older man’s voice sounded beaten. Humbled. Colin turned back around. Jared was staring at the floor, his shoulders hunched, arms surreptitiously hugging himself.

“Because you bothered with me. You’re not just my boyfriend and lover; you’re my best friend too. And when you pull shit like this, I worry for you. I know for a fact that you don’t respect her. I’ve heard you talk down people like her plenty of times.”

Jared whirled around, eyes challenging.

“I am like her! A whore for fame. A whore for money. A whore for the fucking spot light! I am no better than her, Colin!” Jared’s vulnerability from seconds ago was gone like a flash, his voice had sped up with each pointed statement, getting louder. Anger was in his eyes – but hurt too. As if Colin had touched a bruised part of his soul and was on dangerous ground. If the younger man kept pushing, something would break.

“Remember our first Christmas? When I got pitifully drunk and you told me that I was better than what I was doing to myself?” Colin asked with conviction in his voice.

“Maybe I’m not.” Jared stated simply. “Maybe I belong on a couch at a Hollywood shit party, with my tongue down Paris Hilton’s throat. I’m not better than that.”


“Neither was I. You made me better.”


“You did it by yourself, Colin.”

“Bullshit, Jared. I couldn’t have gotten back on my feet without you. You were relentless in your support. Talked me through every single craving, every single setback. Who picked up the pieces a few weeks ago when I drank that fucking beer and almost tore myself apart, as well as our living room, in rage at my own fuck-up? Who loved me and convinced me that all was not lost? How many times have you saved me from myself, from my demons?”

“You’re better than me, Cols.” Whispered Jared brokenly, tears brimming tentatively in the blue eyes.

"You made me better, by loving me for who I am. Let me repay the favor. I don’t care that you’re flawed, Jay. I don’t care that your demons sometimes make you mess up. Just don’t shut me out when I want to help you. Just let me love you.”

Finally some of the tension seemed to seep out of Jared. The blue eyes fell to the floor in defeat, like he could not bear to look his boyfriend in the eyes, afraid of how little he sometimes had to give to someone else. Colin stepped closer and hugged Jared to him. Wrapping his arms around the singer and merely embracing him. Holding him together.


After several minutes he released Jared, but he did not let him go. Grabbing one of the slender hands into his larger one, he started pulling the singer up the stairs towards their bedroom.


Stopping in front of the bed, Jared let his arms fall to his side. Vulnerable and ashamed. Colin put his hands on Jared’s cheeks, holding his head as he kissed him softly, almost reverently. Slowly he removed every single article of clothing on Jared’s body; like he was unwrapping the greatest gift a man had ever received.

Jared cringed in shame, yet Colin merely silenced his doubts with another searing, intense kiss, possessing his mouth, taking complete control over Jared’s mind. Laying the singer down on the bed, he kissed the soft skin, licking it, soothing every mark he made on the pale flesh.

Every time the blue eyes fell shut – sometimes in shame and others in ecstasy – Colin would sink his teeth into the smooth skin and not relent until Jared opened his eyes and looked back at him. Forcing Jared to watch as Colin loved him. And when the actor eventually buried himself to the hilt, he did it while keeping his gaze locked with Jared’s. No words were exchanged, as their hands and their bodies did the talking.

After they were both spent, Colin spooned up behind Jared. For several hours, they laid there, merely sharing the closeness. Neither of them feeling any need to break the silence that had settled. Both having said what they needed to say. As dawn broke outside Jared eventually drifted off to sleep, Colin following soon after.

¤¤¤¤¤¤

TBC

Comments

Posted by: shiralyndee (shiralyndee)
Posted at: December 28th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)

Wow looking forward to reading more:)

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: February 18th, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)

I'm glad, more will be up soon! ;D

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