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Last Goodbye

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The air was tense. They both knew what it was, and Johnny's nails were bitten down to the nub in anxiety. He couldn't do it alone, he couldn't keep up without the man who was sitting on the floor with a cigarette between his fingers. He opened his mouth to speak, but decided to keep it shut instead, not wanting to ruin their last moments. He let his eyes wash over his saint, taking in his face and body. The scar on Jimmy's eyebrow, the tattoo on his neck, his arms covered in track marks, his bruised and scabbed knuckles. He wanted to commit everything to his memory, but feared he would forget these details in time, like everything else. Like his father's warm laughs and mother's hugs. He stood up when the other did, grabbing his arm with a childlike need. Jimmy got him the closest to God, he couldn't let that leave now. He needed it now more than ever.


“What are you doing?” Jimmy's eyebrow quirked at the grip on his wrist, emerald eyes dropping to where their skin touched.


Johnny swallowed down the lump in his throat. “Jimmy, don't leave me. Y-you can't.” His vision began to blur and his grip tightened ever so slightly. “I wouldn't know what to do without you.” He needed reassurance that the other would come back, return to his most faithful customer. That he was real. He heard a laugh, and the mumble of ‘fag’ before a hand was placed on his check. Two tears slipped down his face at the contact, it was certainly not purposeful. He didn't want to be seen as weak, or another one of the junkies clawing for the saint. He looked up to Jimmy's face, ashamed to see a smirk splitting that perfect face. He was being humoured because he was crying, and it was absolutely humiliating. He lowered his head slightly in submission.


The hand on his cheek patted him, softer than he was expecting, and Johnny let out the softest breath he didn't know he was holding. He didn't dare look up again, doubting he could handle the other expression. Either Jimmy was laughing at him and he would be embarrassed. Or, Jimmy was hurt to leave him, and he would be devastated. “We could leave. If it's because of money or Whatsername,” He tightened his grip, scared to let go. “We can go away from here. And leave it.” He whispered. He flinched when the other yanked his hand away.


“I have something going here. I can't leave, Jesus.” Jimmy muttered as he turned towards the door.


“Then stay with me.” Johnny pleaded, his voice cracking in the middle of his sentence. “You're fucked up- just like me. Let me help.” He froze when Jimmy growled low in his throat, and then he was in his face. He swallowed, half expecting to get hit. The look on the other's face he had only seen one other time, and the guy that Jimmy beat up barely go out alive.


“We’re fucked up, but we're not the same.” Jimmy hissed between his teeth, he grabbed the other by the chin to make sure their eyes met. “Your shit comes from your parents. Don't put me on your level. Got it?” He let the other go with a small push. He scratched at his neck absentmindedly, refusing to apologize. He deflated a small bit at the kicked puppy look Johnny was sporting, deciding to give in. The other deserved something to go right today. “I'm… I'm sorry.” He said the words as if they made him ill. “That was out of line.”


Like anything Jimmy did wasn't out of line.


Johnny let out a pitiful squeak when he was pushed, mumbling an apology. He stood up properly, not quite understanding at first that the other apologized. When the words clicked he blinked up. “You're making yourself look good.” He ran a hand through his hair. “This is really it?” He whispered. His head hurt, he felt as if a part of him was leaving. His heart ached, he needed Jimmy's religion. It was the fall of man and the fall of himself, he would fall when the other did. He gripped the hair at the base of his skull, trying to keep himself focused and  calm. His knees buckled and threaten to give out all together. He sank down to the floor in a pool of hiccups and silent sobs.


He was going to be let go. Alone to wander the world, and he hated it so damn much. An orphan without religion.


“You look good like that.” Jimmy deadpanned, placing a hand in the other's hair, slowly replacing the harsh grip with his own much gentler one. “Praying for guidance, Jesus.” He crouched down so they were at an equal place.


“Jimmy,” Johnny hiccuped, grabbing for the saint. He wiped his nose on the back of his hand, slumping slightly when gentle circles were rubbed into the back of his head. “It hurts. I don't- I don't want to be alone.” His eyes opened to the golden sunset seeping in through the windows, bathing them both in the pure light.


Jimmy pursed his lips together. “It won’t hurt forever. Eventually, you won't feel a thing.” He explained, scooting close enough that his shirt was touched. He leaned in and pressed his lips against the other's temple. The last time they would touch. The last time expert hands touched each other and healed the pains of their world. “Keep them alive. Keep yourself alive. And get clean. You're too stupid to tell when you're getting fucked over with your junk.” His voice became strained. He went to pull away when he felt a kiss being pressed to his temple.


“You're crying.”


“Shut the fuck up.”


Johnny smiled slightly at that, then reached up to wiped away the stray tear slipping down the other's angular cheek. He swallowed away his sadness to focus on the other. “Where are you gonna go, Jimmy?” He asked, worry soaking his voice. He went to stand up alongside his friend, but the hand in his hair kept him down on the floor.


“I'm gonna go away…” Jimmy visibly winced, it was unclear if it was because of the look on the other's face or because he was preparing for the worst. “... For a little while.” He corrected. “This town's a drag, need a new scene.” He muttered absently.


“I want to come with.”


The look Jimmy gave was a warning and a threat wrapped together. He gave Johnny one final grin with a muttered farewell. He shoved himself out the door, closing the door behind him with the thud of wood on wood.


Johnny was left alone in the middle of his floor, on his knees and already praying for Jimmy's second coming. He stayed in the same spot for nearly an hour, the sunset having passed and leaving him in the dark. He felt as if he was a husk of everything he knew, but still pushed himself to move. He crawled into his bed, leaving the sheets the way they were when Jimmy slept in them the night before. He pressed his face into his pillow and allowed himself to slip into the twilight of sleep.


His dreams were plagued, the same image over and over of Jimmy at the Bay with a gun in his mouth. He hears the gunshot. He watches the body fall. He smells the blood. When Johnny is awake he puts himself in Jimmy's place. He finds a sense of peace when he sees himself dying for Jingle Town’s sins instead.