Ok you guys, so I wrote this during the manteinance thingy. It’s Jarlos for a change (I just have a lot of Jarlos feels, ok?)
As usual, angst. But please, enjoy.
“It isn’t fair” the pretty boy spoke. His voice was soft, broken. There were tears running down his cheeks, for the first time in decades. He took a deep breath, trying his best to put himself together. He couldn’t break down, not now. Not when Carlos needed him to be strong. He washed his face, trying to hide the signs of tears; the man in the mirror mocking him. His face and hair pretty as ever, he hadn’t changed a bit. In fact, he hadn’t changed at all in over 980 years. Carlos, on the other hand…
The latino was currently 89 years old. He looked tired, a shadow of the boy he used to be. People would think James was a nurse, would assume the pretty boy was just taking care of the old man. But the truth was, Carlos had always been the one taking care of James.
The pretty boy had always been alone. He didn’t do friends, being more the lone wolf type. He’d push people away, surround himself with mystery and darkness, and protect himself. That had been the way he did it for years. Until the day he met Carlos. The latino had this force upon him, this magnetism that he couldn’t quite understand yet. He had heard about it, about soul mates, about destiny; but he’d never believe any of this. He couldn’t. So he tried to act cool about it. He tried to act as if his heart didn’t race every time the mocha eyes landed on him; as if he didn’t die a little on the inside every time someone else approached the boy who had easily grown into his best friend.
He was trying to protect himself. He was trying to avoid the pain.
James knew he was one of a kind. As a matter of fact, the only of his kind. It was his curse.
But it didn’t seem that bad. It didn’t hurt that much. Seeing people, strangers, growing old and dying. He didn’t care. He didn’t even know them.
But he knew Carlos.
“I can’t do this.” He said when the latino first proposed. “I am sorry, Carlos, but I can’t.” He remembered it as if it was yesterday; as if it hadn’t been over fifty years ago.
“You can’t?” the latino asked, tears on his eyes. “Or you don’t want to?”
He knew James too well by now. It was already too late, and James knew that. He knew in the moment he landed eyes on Carlos why his curse was, in fact, a curse. “I don’t want to!” he’d admitted, crying as well. “I don’t want to love you, I don’t want to care about you. Because you are going to die! You are going to grow old and die and I am going to be here alone.” The latino’s face dropped at this. He wrapped his short arms around James, burying his face on the pretty boy’s chest. He felt as James let a trail of kisses over his scalp. “I can’t lose you, ‘Litos”
That had been the last time he cried. Carlos had promised him it would be worth it, he had promised him those would be the best years of his life. He had promised to spend the rest of his life making James happy, to spend the rest of his life trying to find a way to stay with James forever. But James knew. He knew that what felt like a lifetime for Carlos was more like a three-day weekend for him. Fifty, ninety years; meant nothing for someone who has lived as much as him. But it was Carlos, and it was worth it. It would be worth all the pain if he’d got to spend this three-day weekend with him.
And now the day he feared the most had come. Carlos was 89, and he sure wouldn’t make it to 90. He was tired, he looked tired, and to keep him around would only be a torture. Would only be a curse.
James had never felt such pain in his life. Being shot, being stabbed, being burned in front of a whole bunch of strangers; none of that had hurt half as much as saying goodbye to the one person he loved. And as he left the bathroom, he made his way back to Carlos’ bedside, taking his place at the chair by his side. The man needed the help of a machine to do something as simple as breathing; and had no mobility in his body left. He shouldn’t be there, the only thing keeping him in that shell was his promise. The he made to himself every night before sleeping, the one that had never left his prayers. The promise to stay with James forever.
As the taller man took his hands, Carlos’ mocha eyes moved slightly, focusing on his husband. He couldn’t speak anymore, for over a year now. James would talk, and Carlos would look at him, and it was enough. After a while, James wouldn’t talk anymore. He would just sit there, and they would just look at each other, and that was also enough. But Carlos deserved better. And so, with the tears insisting to run down his face, he moved closer, placing his lips over his husband’s softly, barely a kiss. He tried to compose himself, to be strong. For Carlos. And then he spoke to his husband, for the first time in months, and for the last time. “You can go, ‘Litos.” He said, his voice barely a whisper.
And as if that was all he had to hear, the monitors near the bed announced James’ biggest fear. Carlos was gone.
And he was still there.