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Cricket Fiction

Title: Change is the only constant Characters: Nathen Astle/Stephen…

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Cricket Fiction

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AJ nails
Title: Change is the only constant
Characters: Nathen Astle/Stephen Fleming
Rating: R
Complete: ???
Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to real life events.
Description: You are pissing me off right now, and I want you more than ever. My eyes drop to the v of your shirt front. The deep wine colour of the silk against your skin suits you. I settle my eyes on the skin visible below your throat, a slight glow of sweat lighting your flesh. I wonder idly how it would taste on my tongue.

A/N: *Gasp* Yes - some cricfic!!! Inspired by reading some of natheybear’s cricfics. Not that this lives up to her standard, but I had to have a go anyway, just to see if I could. I have no idea whether anyone will read this, so I can’t say whether there will be any more at this stage.

And yes, it’s fiction and I apologise in advance for anything that doesn’t ring true.

This is real person slash. Don’t like, don’t read, don’t complain.



I lingered by the partly open doorway, the smell of smoke filtering in through it reminding me of something I couldn’t place. As if I had stood in a doorway before like this, watching across a room only barely littered with stragglers, waiting for some reason not to be here; some reason to slip away, out the door, past the smokers, and forget everything, if only for a few hours. It was all too familiar, and yet it wasn’t.

Among all the things that stayed the same, the things that really mattered hadn’t, and right now, those were the things that kept me here, waiting, long after everyone I would have stayed here to talk to, have a quiet beer with, had left.

“Nath.”

I turned towards the sound of my name; my face blank, wondering why anyone who wanted to talk to me was still here.

“I’m taking off, you staying?”

Wide eyes looking me over; I looked bad. I knew it.

“Yeah, see you tomorrow.” I sounded no better. A small nod of the head signalled acknowledgement and I smiled weakly at the back of a departing team mate contemplating the near empty vessel in my hand and shoving my body off the wall I had somehow come to be propping up.

Beer, like I needed another.

I was past the point where stopping would prevent a fuzzy head in the morning. I idly wondered if anyone had noticed the number I had had. My head was dull and hazy, my legs less than steady, and I knew suddenly why the wall had been pressed against my back for so long.

I arrived at the drinks table, now littered with empties; the dregs of the evenings proceedings and let my tired eyes wander across the assorted remains, eventually finding what I needed.

The bottle wasn’t cold anymore. It was an observation, nothing that was going to stop me unscrewing the top and taking two large swallows, the slightly warm bitterness of the fresh alcohol didn’t even register in my mind. I just didn’t care.

I became aware of short bursts of conversation from behind me. Your voice, low and slightly weary, intermingled with another I didn’t recognise. No doubt some sponsor, hanging on your every word, being charmed by you. The way you were talking now was one of those things that hadn’t changed. You had done this so often, you were almost clinical in the way you nodded and smiled, talked about your goals for the new season, wheeling out the stock standard answers to the tired old questions you would get late at night, from slightly greying men in business suits. Men who wanted to use you as much as they wanted to be you.

I couldn’t see your face but I knew that you would be watching me; stealing a glance in my direction every so often. There was no doubt my mere presence was making you nervous. You must have known you couldn’t avoid me all night, but you’d done a damn good job of it so far.

I continued to stand there, letting one hand support my body weight on the edge of the table while I took frequent mouthfuls of beer and stared out the window in front of me at black night. I was prepared to play whatever waiting game I had to. Ironic I thought. Almost as if the tables were suddenly turned. You probably never realised until that night three weeks ago how much you sought my attention. I did of course. I had an entirely different view point though didn’t I? And after that night, so did you.

My head dropped and I dug blunt nailed fingertips into the corners of my eyes, letting them pinch shut, attempting to shake some of the fatigue I was suddenly struck with. I hated this. Hated having something consume me this much. This wasn’t the way a male was supposed to feel and act was it? We weren’t supposed to think about this sort of stuff. Yeah, well I guess I kind of gave up rights to standard male behaviour the night I let you kiss me. And that wasn’t the only thing I gave up.

My head rose and I felt myself turning around, letting my body rest against the table and fixing my eyes on you. You were the same. The familiar parts of you were obvious; things that anyone would register upon seeing you for the first time. Taller than average, lanky but athletic body, dark eyes, dark hair, an intense stare. That was what people saw. Of course, there were certain other things that added to that, tinted what people thought when they looked at you. This was just as true for me, but I doubted if anyone else in the world saw what I did when they looked at you.

You caught my eye briefly. A look so subtle that I doubt anyone else would have picked it, coloured your features, bringing a small smile to my lips. It brought something else too. I loved it when you got that little lost boy look. I loved it any time you showed that vulnerable side. I couldn’t stop staring. I think I was willing you to squirm under my inspection. You wouldn’t look at me again now though, and as the man who had held you captive started making parting gestures I knew you were trying to stretch the conversation, a conversation that you hated having in the first place, so you could avoid someone infinitely more unpleasant; me.

My beer downed in two more swallows, I was making my way towards you just as you were shaking hands with the man who was about to leave you to my mercy. He was already moving his feet in the direction of the door and as he turned his body I caught his eye. I watched him cock his head at me in greeting before turning and waddling off.

“So, how’s Wellington treating you?” I really didn’t care for pleasantries right now, but it was a convenient enough lead in.

I watched you pull your gaze back reluctantly.

“Good. Well…actually I don’t know. I’ve spent two days there since I moved.”

I nodded, digging my hands into the pockets of my pants, suddenly wishing I had another bottle to hold.

“Yeah, figured you’d been busy.”

“Yeah.”

I watched your head fall, noting you were having the same difficulty with your hands I was.

“Yeah? Explains why I haven’t heard from you I guess.” My words laced with bitterness. Another thing I hated right now. You had the power to make me act like the biggest dick on the planet. I knew it, but it didn’t stop me.

It had the desired effect. I watched your head snap up, your eyes grown slightly wider, locked with mine.

I waited in the silence, returning you a neutral stare. I fucking hated you for this. Why didn’t this thing affect you like it did me?

“Three weeks it’s been you know.”

“Has it?”

Fuck you.

“Yes it has. Funny you don’t remember – ”

“ – Nath, I don’t want to…we can’t talk about this. Not now.”

Your slightly desperate voice lowered automatically. I smirk.

“Not now? When then?” I make a display of twisting my body from left to right shifting my gaze around the room. “There’s no one here.”

You scan the ground uncomfortably. There’s that lost look again. You are pissing me off right now, and I want you more than ever. My eyes drop to the v of your shirt front. The deep wine colour of the silk against your skin suits you. I settle my eyes on the skin visible below your throat, a slight glow of sweat lighting your flesh. I wonder idly how it would taste on my tongue.

You’re at a loss for several long moments. I can see it easily in your silent response. Your mouth opens once part way and then closes again several seconds later.

I smile.

“Is it really that fucking hard for you to talk to me now?”

“What do you want me to say?”

“Fuck, I don’t know, how about calling me some time and telling me how you’re doing? That would be a start.”

I felt the anger threading through my words easily. I wanted something, anything from you, to acknowledge what happened. At this point I didn’t care if you punched me and called me a fag. I just wanted something.

I watched you look uncomfortably around the room once more. You would have given a lot to be anywhere else right now. Too bad.

“Is it hard being you?”

“What?” You look at me in surprise.

“Having to make big decisions, be responsible and answerable for other people’s performance. Be the face of success and failure. Is that hard?”

You shake your head at me, screwing up your features, no doubt wondering what I am getting at.

“Nath, you know what it’s like, you’re right there.”

Exasperation fills your voice. You look at me as if I have completely lost the plot. Maybe I have.

“It’s not hard for you is it? It comes naturally. So…that’s what makes me wonder.” I pause, letting you digest this. Letting you form in your mind the vague idea of what I am going to say. “People rely on you for your strength of character don’t they? Your courage, your honesty.” I am almost spitting the words in your face, and I see you lean back a little in response. “So I wonder why you can’t face me anymore. You fucking kissed me three weeks ago Stephen. It happened. I was there. And whatever you think about that, it isn’t going away. So fucking talk to me.”

You’re looking around again. This time checking to see if anyone nearby caught any of what I said. I have no idea whether I was overheard. I really have no idea if there is anyone else in the room at this point, and I continue to stare at you.

Satisfied that no one heard me you look back at me quickly, reaching out to take me almost roughly by the upper arm and start pulling me across the room towards a door which I assumed either lead somewhere more private or to the nearest alley way for you to toss me out into.

It turns out to be the former and I have to squint in the enveloping dark, my leg brushing up against something on the floor, as you feel around for a light switch. It turns out to be a small storage room. Chairs are stacked in neat columns against one wall and various sized boxes fill the rest of the space, leaving us barely two metres in which to stand. The lack of space isn’t lost on you, and I smile once again watching you trying to stand back as far as you can from me.

“Hm, cosy.” I take a step forward, noting your startled expression.

“What are you doing?”

“Hmn?”

Another step. There is now about half a metre between us and no where for you to go.

“You brought us in here my friend. You tell me.”

Or…you could just show me.

“Why are you…why are you being like this?”

“Like what?”

Like a cheap whore?

“Do you think I wanted that? That I…meant that?”

“It felt like it at the time.”

“I was drunk.”

“Really.”

Another small step forward. My, what big eyes you have.

“Stop it.”

“Stop what?”

“You’re drunk.”

“Yes, isn’t that just the best excuse?”

“Fuck you.”

Anytime you like.

“Are you scared you might do it again?”

“What? No!”

“Was it that bad?”

“I didn’t…I’m not gay.”

“Neither am I.”

Your shoulders relax visibly at that admission. You seem to think I am letting you off the hook. It’s funny how you don’t know how much you wanted that kiss. Funny how you seem to have forgotten the way you sort out my lips, letting me sit back while you leaned over me, nipping at my bottom lip twice before opening your mouth and pushing your tongue inside me. Then there was your hand around the back of my head, your fingers spread wide as you pulled me almost painfully against your angry mouth. The wild look in your eyes when you finally decided to come up for air. For those few minutes you had acted on pure instinct and I could clearly see the moment that reality kicked back in. You realised what you had done. You realised what it meant. And there was nothing else for you to do but run. That had been three weeks ago. The last time you had spoken to me. I remember lying back on the couch where you had kissed me, letting my erection subside as I tried to figure out how I felt about you now. You had just given me what I had wanted, and yet your actions told me that you hadn’t.

“So…it was just a mistake then.” The relief in your voice was obvious.

“I didn’t say that did I?”

You laugh nervously. “You just said you’re not gay.”

“Well I have never wanted another guy before. But things have changed.”

And the gapping goldfish is back. I congratulate myself on my ability to keep staring you right in the eye through all this. I guess that is made easier by your inability to do the same.

“Why?”

Have you looked in the mirror lately?

“I want you. Do you want a list of reasons why? You want me too. You just haven’t admitted it yet.”

Your face flushes instantly.

“I…I can’t Nath. What happened was…I didn’t mean it.”

I watch you intently. You’re trying to convince both of us and failing miserably.

“Didn’t mean it?”

“I don’t even really remember it that well.”

Huh. And how come I think about it fucking constantly; every little detail. At least make those lies believable.

“Let me remind you then.”

I watched your already wide eyes grow impossibly larger as I close the final gap between us in one quick moment, capturing the back of your neck with my hand and leaning up to press my lips to yours.

There is a moment of complete still. You are caught off guard and all you can do is stand there like a statue and let me work my active mouth against your passive one before suddenly adrenaline kicks in and you are wrenching your head back rapidly, an almost horrified look on your face before pushing past me and out the door of the store room.

You’re running away again and I have to wonder whether any of this is worth it. Did I really except you to act any differently?

The same thoughts that ran constantly through my mind when it came to you; followed quickly by the same answers.

Everything was worth it, and you would eventually admit what you really wanted; one way or another. And when you did, I would be there waiting for you.
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