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A Renewable Ressource

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“And then you won’t believe what Ohm actually said ! He turned to the girl and told her that…”

Sarawat breathes deeply and tries to ignore the sound of Tine’s voice, pushing it away so it becomes nothing but white noise in the background. He knows that his boyfriend is talking to him and telling him about his day, and truly, he realizes that it’s pretty shitty of him to not listen to a word Tine is saying. Right now however, he just wishes the other boy would stop talking for even a minute and just let him hurt in peace.

It’s Sarawat’s fault too. He came back from physical therapy half an hour ago and told Tine that he was fine when the other boy had asked how the session went. So of course, Tine had taken him at his word and had gone on to tell him about his day, just like he would have done any other day. Only he isn’t fine. His leg is hurting, he has the beginning of a headache and he is just so tired of the constant pain that he’s in right now. All he wants is silence so he can relax and maybe sleep to finally get rid of that stupid blinding pain.

But he can’t do that. Because his boyfriend just won’t. stop. talking.

And he loves him, truly he does. But Tine is sometimes non-stop and right now, the last thing Sarawat actually wants to do is listen to yet another tale of Tine’s friends being their ridiculous selves.

He moves a little on the sofa, trying to make himself more comfortable by rearranging his leg to put less pressure on his knee, and he hears Tine pause his speaking for a second, probably to check on him, before he resumes his non-stop yammering and Sarawat is just done with it.

“Tine !” he exclaims, and the other boy instantly stops talking and looks at him, surprise written all over his face. “Can you just stop talking for even a minute, please ?”

Silence reigns over them for a few seconds, until Tine comes in front of him and frowns down towards him.

“Are you okay ?” he asks, worry obvious in his tone.

“I’m fine !” he insists, and immediately hates himself for lying to Tine yet again. Why does he do those things to himself ?

“I just want you to stop talking so I can finally have a little peace of mind,” he says sternly, gritting his teeth to get through the sudden surge of pain that is going through his leg.

“You don’t have to be so rude about it,” Tine says quietly. “Are you sure you’re okay ? Did something happen during the session ?”

“I said I was fine !” he snaps. He sees Tine reel back slightly, hurt crossing his face at the words, and instantly feels guilty. Yet he can’t stop himself, the pain preventing him from even thinking clearly.

“Can’t you just leave ? Go annoy someone else for a bit and let me be ?” he pleads.

Were he feeling better, he would have seen the way Tine tensed at his words and taken them back immediately. Were he actually fine, he would have done many things differently, and would have realized how hurt Tine actually was at his words. Only he wasn’t fine. And right now, the pain is preventing him from even focusing on his own thoughts, and all he knows is that he wants quiet, and he’s not getting that with Tine in the room.

“You realize that I live here too, right ? That you asked me to move in here ?” Tine asks accusingly.

“I know that ! But like… Can’t you just go and see your friends or something ? Anything so that I can finally have a little peace and quiet,” he sighs, closing his eyes to slow the impending headache down.

“You know what ? Fine. I’m not going to stay here if all you’re going to do is snap at me, I know when I’m not wanted,” Tine says, gathering his things.

Alarm bells immediately ring in Sarawat’s mind and he knows that he should tell him that that’s not true at all, that he’s always wanted. However a surge of pain suddenly goes through his leg and he just grits his teeth, waiting for the pain to pass.

Tine who now has his bag in hand and his shoes on makes his way to the front door of their shared bedroom before he turns towards Sarawat.

“Sometimes, you can really be an asshole, you know that right ?” Tine asks turning towards him, and Sarawat instantly feels the guilt eat up at his stomach when he sees how hurt and angry Tine looks right now. He did that. “I’ll leave you alone, like you so desperately want, don’t worry. It’s not like I really want to be here when you’re like this anyway. You know I love you, but right this moment, I really don’t like you very much Sarawat,” he ends up saying before he leaves the room, door banging behind him.

Silence reigns in the room after his exit.

Sarawat’s first thought is one of relief. Silence at last.

His second thought however, comes not even a few seconds later.

Fuck, what did I just do ?

-------

A few hours later, Sarawat is lying on his bed staring at the ceiling and hating himself a little for what happened earlier. The pain in his leg is still present, but it’s been numbed by the pain in his chest.

Had Tine just broken up with him ?

He did say he didn’t like him anymore... What had he actually done ? It’s true, his day had been horrible and Sarawat just wanted some quiet to deal with all of it and heal. He had been used to being alone for so long, this was how he knew how to deal with things. But how was any of this better ?

Now not only was his leg still hurting, but he also had no Tine on top of it. No Tine. Possibly forever.

Sarawat had possibly ruined his relationship, destroyed the love him and Tine shared and that he’d been craving for more than a year over something so stupid. Sometimes, he really really hates himself.

He hears the sound of the door opening up and he instantly sits up on his elbows, hope lightening the heaviness on his chest a little, while his head keeps reminding him that there is no way it could be Tine. Not after he… No. He couldn’t make himself even think the idea again.

Sure enough, Earn enters his viewing range and he deflates, lying back on the bed and putting his hands on his face to rub at his eyes, hoping more than anything that he could go back in time.

“Well you definitely look pitiful,” says his friend, and Sarawat doesn’t have the strength to say anything in answer. “I got a text from lover boy telling me that you may need me to come and check on you. Seems like he was right.”

Tine had sent Earn ? God, that was just like his boyfriend. Tine worried so much about the people around him, and even after Sarawat had been awful to him and he had potentially just dumped him, he was still thoughtful enough to send one of his best friends to check on him.

Earn makes her way around the bedroom to sit on the bed next to him, and simply studies him for a while.

“Are you sick or something ? You look kind of pale,” she says worryingly, one of her hands making its way to his forehead to feel for a potential fever.

Sarawat doesn’t have the motivation to actually address her question, so he just shakes his head in answer.

“Okay… Then why are you lying on the bed all dramatically and looking like the world is ending ?” she asks, pushing at his shoulder with one of her hands to get a reaction from him.

“I think Tine is going to break up with me,” he says, his voice cracking on the words a little. “Or he may have already, I don’t really know.”

Speaking the words out loud is even worse than it had been thinking them.

“I’m sorry, he what now ?” Earn says in shock, and Sarawat tries to hold back the tears that are pooling in his eyes.

He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t think he can actually repeat the sentence out loud, but it seems like Earn actually heard him the first time and doesn’t need him to continue.

“Why would he break up with you ? You just moved in together,” she continues, confused. “Plus I just saw you both two days ago and you looked as sickeningly happy and in love as you always do.”

“It’s my fault too,” he tries to explain. “I came back from physical therapy this morning and my leg was hurting, and Tine just kept on talking and I just wanted it to stop and for him to leave me alone to deal with the pain. But I didn’t mean for him to stop forever and leave me ! I just know how I can be when I’m in pain and I didn’t want to impose that on Tine. But now, I was an ass and I just ruined the best relationship in my life because of…”

“Okay, okay, slow down,” Earn tells him, putting a hand on his shoulder to ground him. Sarawat just sighs in answer, sadness still clogging at his throat.

“First things first. Did you take anything for the pain ? Does your leg still hurt ?” she asks, and Sarawat’s silence must be answer enough because she sighs deeply, before getting up from the bed.

She comes back not even two minutes later and throws a pill bottle on his chest, before making her way to the sink and filling in a glass of water before bringing it back to him.

Sarawat sits up on the bed and takes a couple of pills, downing them with the glass of water. Maybe the painkillers will help with the pain in his chest too.

“He said he didn’t like me anymore,” he finally whispers, and he sees Earn sit back on the bed from the corner of his eyes, before she drops her head on his shoulder.

“Look, Tine breaking up with you after one bad day doesn’t really sound like him. Have you tried talking to him ? I think if you maybe explain the situation, he’ll understand that you were just in pain and you didn’t actually mean what you were saying. Just try apologizing to him,” she says softly, but Sarawat begins to shake his head before she’s even finished her sentence.

“I can’t ! What if he doesn’t want to see me because he’s still hesitating about whether he’s going to break up with me or not and seeing me precipitates everything. I can’t risk that !” he says loudly, panic clogging at his throat at the thought.

“Okay Wat, I get it,” she says softly. “But I seriously doubt Tine would throw away what the two of you have after one fight.”

“Well that’s basically what he inferred when he said he didn’t like me anymore, isn’t it ? I mean, those are not the exact words he used, but still the…” he starts to say, before Earn cuts him off.

“What are the exact words he used, then ?”

“He said he would leave me alone like I so desperately wanted. He said he loved me, but right now, he didn’t like me very much,” he whispers, pain intensifying as he repeats the words.

Earn who still has her head resting on his shoulder suddenly lifts up and whips her face towards him, before smacking him in the arm with the back of her hand.

“Wat ! You scared me you asshole. That’s not at all the same thing ! “ she exclaims, and Sarawat turns towards her, looking into her eyes where he hopes to find the truth.

“But he said he didn’t like me,” he whispers, and Earn just slaps him on the arm again.

Right now. He said he loved you but didn’t like you right now. That doesn’t sound like a break up at all to me.”

Sarawat desperately wants to believe her, but she wasn’t there. She didn’t see the hurt in Tine’s eyes at his words. He didn’t see how mad he was, didn’t see him leave the room.

“Of course he didn’t like you very much in that moment, you were being a jerk to him. But he was just mad Wat,” she explains. “Just talk to him and apologize, I’m sure you’ll be okay.”

Sarawat doesn’t know what to think. Him and Tine had never actually fought since they got together, and he had been awful to him earlier. Wasn’t a break up the only logical thing that could come from all of that ? Couples fought, and then broke up. Wasn’t that what usually happened ? But then again, maybe Earn is right and he could fix things with Tine...

He sighs deeply and drops his head on Earn’s shoulder, prompting her to put an arm around his shoulder to hold him.

Why were relationships this complicated ?

--------

A few hours after Earn leaves, Sarawat is still seated on the bed and debating whether he should send Tine a text or not, when he hears the front door open once again, seconds before Tine makes his way into the bedroom.

“You’re here,” he says in shock, his voice cracking a little on the word.

“Well I live here, where else would I go ?” Tine replies sarcastically, prompting Sarawat to swallow nervously.

Okay, so he was still mad. But he was here. Maybe Sarawat could actually fix this.

Tine doesn’t say anything else, moving around the bedroom silently to take off his shoes, putting his bag away and cleaning up some of the mess in their bedroom, while Sarawat just follows his every move with his eyes, afraid that he may disappear again if he loses sight of him.

He knows what Earn said, and he knows that he should be reassured by the fact that Tine came back, but dread still pools in Sarawat’s belly. After the way he treated Tine this morning, the other boy is bound to be furious with him, and he doesn’t know how to fix this.

A few more minutes pass in silence, before Sarawat takes a deep breath.

“Please don’t break up with me,” he ends up begging quietly, just as Tine starts to speak as well.

“Look Sarawat,” Tine, who spoke at the exact same time as Sarawat, stops in the middle of his sentence and stares at him, looking lost.

“Wait, what ?” he asks in shock, staring at Sarawat. “Who said anything about a break up ?”

Tine sounds confused by the mere idea, and Sarawat is trying to quell the hope growing within him, not wanting the hurt to be even worse later if it turns out to be for nothing.

“You’re not breaking up with me ?” he asks softly, the fear in his voice evident even to him.

“What ? No ! Of course not ! Wait, do you want to break up ?” Tine answers, the panic in his voice mirroring the one that Sarawat feels and helping the other boy settle down a little.

“No !” Sarawat exclaims in answer, before him and Tine just stare at each other in silence for a few minutes, neither boy knowing what to say next.

“Look, I’m really sorry Tine,” he says softly breaking the silence, as his boyfriend makes his way around the bed to come and sit next to him, still staring at him. “I was a jerk to you this morning, and I was being unfair, and just…”

“It’s okay Wat,” Tine says softly, taking one of Sarawat’s hand in his and Sarawat feels his heart start beating faster at the gesture. “Look, I talked to Earn and she told me that your leg was bothering you this morning. I’m really sorry that I kept talking about stupid things and I didn’t even notice that you were in pain.”

“Please don’t apologize, you didn’t do anything wrong. Plus you shouldn’t forgive me this easily Tine,” Sarawat responds. “I was being…”

“A nuisance,” answers Tine, looking in his eyes and smiling a little for the first time since he entered the room. “You were being a nuisance. And yeah, I was angry, and hurt, and you annoyed me. But Wat, that doesn’t instantly lead to a break up, why would your mind immediately jump to that conclusion ?”

Sarawat can hear the sadness in his boyfriend’s voice at the question, and he doesn’t know what to do to fix this.

“I don’t know… I’ve never actually been with anyone before Tine. I just thought that because you were angry, because I was a jerk, and because we fought, it had to mean that…” he starts to say, and he sees understanding grow in Tine’s face.

“Saraleo, sometimes we’re going to fight, and one of us is going to leave while angry. That’s normal for any couple and it’ll surely happen again, it doesn’t mean that it will instantly lead to a break up,” Tine tries to explain, and Sarawat squeezes the hand that Tine is holding tighter in his.

He hates the feeling of dread that makes his way in his chest whenever he fights with Tine, he doesn’t want to think about the next time it’ll happen.

“You know you don’t have to be perfect all the time, right ?” Tine asks while staring at him, his eyes begging him to hear the truth in what he is saying. “Like I’m not going to up and leave just because we fought, or because you annoyed or angered me one time. I’m sure I do plenty to annoy you too.”

Sarawat looks at him in silence for a few seconds, before he smiles softly at his boyfriend.

“Well, it is kind of annoying when you leave the dishes all over the bedroom without cleaning up after yourself,” he ends up saying, tentatively teasing Tine, and he sees him nod in approval.

“You see ?” he asks, and Sarawat nods his head in understanding.

“It’s also really annoying when you invite your friends over without even warning me. Or when you…” Sarawat continues, before Tine cuts him off.

“Okay, I think that’ll be enough of that for now,” he says deadpan, and Sarawat laughs, the relief making him giddy.

“My point is, that sometimes we’re going to fight, and we’re going to get angry at each other. But I can promise that you and I ? I’m not letting that go this easily. Whatever may happen in the future, I promise that I will always try to talk to you and fix things before even considering ending this, do you understand ?” he asks earnestly, and Sarawat nods in answer.

“I promise too,” he says softly, and Tine just leans against him, lowering himself on the bed a little so he can drop his head comfortably on Sarawat’s shoulder.

“Welcome to a real relationship Saraleo. We’re going to fight and we’re going to be little shits sometimes. But then we’ll talk, and we’ll make up, and we’ll make out and move on,” he takes one of Sarawat’s hands back in his and starts playing with his fingers, while Sarawat just basks in his presence, and feels the pressure that had been there since this morning leave his shoulders entirely.

Not breaking up then. Just a fight. The first of many, apparently.

“I love you Tua Woon Wai,” he says softly.

“Yeah I love you too, Saraleo. You’re not getting rid of me that easily,” he answers back, before sitting up on his knees and pulling Sarawat into a hug.

The angle is a little weird, but Sarawat feels himself melt into Tine’s arms as he lets his own arms make their way around the other boy’s frame to hold him close. He closes his eyes and takes a moment to enjoy the feeling of Tine all around him. The reassurance that he’s not losing this quite yet.

They keep on hugging for a few minutes, Tine nuzzling his boyfriend’s neck a little before Sarawat breaks the silence.

“So, can we move on to the make out part of our reconciliation now ?” he asks teasingly, feeling a huge smile overtake his face when Tine laughs out loud in answer.

“Pervert,” he says, before pulling back from the hug. Seeing the fondness on Tine’s face even as he insults him, Sarawat smiles lovingly towards his boyfriend.

“First, let me put some cream on your leg so it won’t hurt as bad tomorrow. What did we say about you telling me when something happens to you, why didn’t you tell me this morning ? And don’t think I didn’t notice that you were still favoring your left leg just now,” Tine starts complaining, and Sarawat just keeps on smiling at him.

The hurt and fear he felt for most of the day may have been almost unbearable, but if being in a real relationship meant he got to have many more moments like this one with Tine, then that sounded pretty damn perfect to him anyway.