It’s an understatement to say that Lawrence was going nuts: he hated being away from Adam this long, especially when he didn’t know where he was, he hadn’t come back to the house in some days - at least not while he was home since Lawrence had indirect proof of life with the way Adam’s sheets were folded when he got back a day or two earlier. Adam’s cigarettes were definitely missing, and he was sure the scent of coffee wasn’t there when he left. If Adam wanted to make this hurt he was doing a great job.
By the fourth day, Adam was gone, Lawrence was spending a lot less of his time working than he’d planned. He figured if it didn’t calm his thoughts that there was no point. he had to continuously remind himself that his own reckless mistakes weren’t worth breaking his sobriety, he was undeserving of self-pity. So, he was stuck with his thoughts and the evening news.
Lawrence had a system; if he had an off day he’d sleep until he couldn’t make himself anymore, and then he’d drink coffee or water and watch TV, check his phone too many times. When his hands shook too much and the liquor store a few blocks down suddenly felt much closer, he’d go to work. When it got the worst he’d wander around the hospital in uniform and wait for something to happen that required his assistance. Sometimes pacing back and forth in the cafeteria proved to be more humiliating than soothing and he’d pray for his pager to go off so he could get out of his damn head.
One morning the air felt all too thick, his deadpan stare locked on his dresser, he’d slept more than ten hours by now and he still wasn’t well-rested. If the light hit it on the right angle a shimmer of silver would hit the wall, reminding him of the past, specifically the one he liked to forget. His family, his upbringing, disgracing god, and all that. Lawrence hardly even felt he had wronged anyone enough (or been wronged) to earn a prayer out of him. Lawrence tap-danced around the topic of his religion like it was a professional sport, it depended on who he was around; he’d pray with a patient if they wanted it, he’d go to a church if you asked him but he didn’t like God if God was real then God is an insufferable asshole.
Where was God when he needed him? What did God have to do with anything? Especially when his free will was in play. What did he do when he was stuck in a disgusting bathroom with the man he now loved? “The good Lord works in mysterious ways” are we sure they’re mysterious or are we just lying to ourselves? Where was he when all hell broke loose because he decided he wanted to divorce the shit storm he called a marriage?
There was something so comforting to Lawrence though and he hated it. Lawrence told himself that it wasn’t because he thought God was up there -- as he sat up, strapping his prosthetic on -- Lawrence told himself it wasn’t because he thought he deserved to be forgiven -- as he stumbled over to the other side of the room, -- Lawrence told himself he was doing this unavailingly, -- as he reached behind the stack of drawers, pulling the linked cross away from the wooden backing -- Lawrence told himself he was fine with this while he begged for forgiveness, for answers for anything at all.
Prayer was for peace of mind; that’s what he always told himself. He didn’t need God to “fix” him; he just wanted to tell him how pissed off he was at his situation.
Another night, maybe it was the seventh or eight? He stopped counting, it made it more agonizing. The doctor came home, throwing his keys off to the side and nonchalantly leaving his shoes and coat on the floor at the entrance, he tended to throw his manners out of the window when he was living alone.
Lawrence rubbed his temples, heading to his bedroom to decompress or rather repeat today until he heard a noise, he froze in his place, trying to identify its location, too many thoughts flew through his head all too fast
Damnit, what is it?
More shuffling noises led him to glance around
left corner, clear, right corner, clear, behind, clear,
quickly flipping his cane over his shoulder before investigating the house with unsteady hands. Looking over at the couch - the now clear source - he took a deep breath before fully approaching,
“Adam,” he sighed in relief, lowering the stick and leaning back into it. “Yeah, man, I kinda live here.” Lawrence chuckled feeling any adrenaline leave his veins. “What?” Adam sat up fully. “Nothing I just…” he smiled wider, closing his eyes for a second to breathe. “Just missed you a little, that’s all.” The younger man scoffed, laying back down and re-covering himself with the plush creme blanket. “Yeah, well, don’t get used to it too fast. I just needed somewhere to stay until I could land a different hotel room. I’m only home for the night.”
Something about Adam calling it home just secured the evening for Lawrence, he was fine with this as long as Adam was okay. Everything was static unless Adam was okay. The world lost its color without Adam. It felt good to finally be able to accept that. Well, at least a little. “You can take my bed if you want to be more comfortable.”.
“It’s not the same without you.”
Lawrence blinked a few times, replaying the sentence over and over in his head, It’s cold without you too. “I can go to bed with you. If that’s what you want, I mean.” Adam scoffed so Lawrence accepted defeat and left for bed without waiting for any other response. Lawrence tried to focus on the positive, Adam was alright and he was in the house again, so he wouldn’t have to stay up all night wondering if he was okay or not, that was comforting enough for now.
Adam knocked at his bedroom door, Lawrence looked up in mild denial as it opened, watching Adam stand for a few seconds and just stare at him ‘that’s weird- where is this going?’ then circle around the bed, and - with his assistance - getting under the blankets. All of this with absolutely no verbal communication. Adam, after a moment of silence, cuddled up to the other with his arms around Lawrence's stomach. If only he could get in Adam’s head, that would make things so much easier, sitting in complete silence with him with everything unsolved was complete torture. He had to fix this.
Lawrence waited again but cursed to himself quietly, of course he wouldn’t respond. “May I kiss you? Just one more time?” the younger man remained silent for a second, seemingly contemplating or just leaving Lawrence to marinate in the stupidity of his question before moving up and shifting to flutter at his mouth “Don’t say that like you’ll never get to do it again.”
Lawrence fought back a smile and swiftly lost at that when Adam weighed into him. He hesitated before daring to raise a hand to his cheek, a quiet and distant thought of 'God, I know I asked you for it but I don't deserve this. Especially not after all of the things I've put him through…’ More doubtful thoughts of how much he truly hadn't done anything that warranted the forgiveness Adam was giving him, though small it may be, it was genuinely an answered prayer in Lawrence’s mind that Adam had even wanted to be under the same brick and fucking plaster that he was.
He felt so undeserving of the shit that he was almost sure he was sinning with this kiss but fuck this sin felt good enough to risk an eternal stay in hell.
Adam moved away to stare at Lawrence, a look of nothing but admiration. Well - irritation was mixed in there, but Lawrence couldn't identify it, it was like meeting him for the first time all over again. For some reason, Lawrence wondered if before Adam met him had there ever been anyone like this? Anyone with such a passion for him or vise versa even? Too many things to ask, he kept finding himself wrapped up in his own aimless thoughts. All that kept him grounded was Adam moving his hair back to its normally impeccable positioning, a faint and distant smile of accomplishment crossing his lips afterward. ‘God, I really really don’t deserve this…”
If this was sin then it was truly, truly worth it. Lawrence would be damned if he had to give up Adam for anything.
Is he allowed to express that? What can he truly say that will explain everything? No matter what every lovesick brainstorm wound up feeling like slapping a bandaid on a poorly amputated leg. Too. Much. To. Say.
“Thank you, Adam,” was what he settled for, It didn’t feel like it was enough when the younger shrugged, laying back down on Lawrence's chest, “Lawrence, can we like, not, talk tonight?” The doctor furrowed, "Also what the fuck are you doing with your hands, I feel you doin’ this hovering shit, can you like- put them down?"
Lawrence laughed quietly, wanting the words Christ, I've missed you so much, my love to just fall off of his tongue, he felt exceptional disappointment when all he could manage to do was put his hands on Adams mid-torso, keeping it light much like the first time they got this close. "For being so gung-ho you’re so shy all of fuckin sudden, why are you so scared?" Lawrence blinked, unsure of how to respond
Why was he scared?
He shrugged, shaking his head at the same time, showing mutual confusion, "Then touch me like you've fucked me before." An excellent reminder of that bluntness Lawrence fell in love with on sight, and after contemplating whether or not he was right he worked his hands down to Adam's waist, gradually strengthening his grip to wait for a disagreement that never came.
Adam seemed to feel like he got what he wanted since he got comfortable, placing one hand to the side of Lawrence's face, and laying his head down on the other.
"Night prince charming."
Lawrence smiled softly, marinating at the moment
"Goodnight, Adam. I..."
They sat for a few more seconds,
Lawrence wanted to shoot himself at that moment, right in the prefrontal lobe, maybe he’d forget who, and what he was before he experienced a brain bleed and he could find a little solemn in it before his heart stopped flowing blood to his brain. Why couldn't he say he was sorry or that he wanted more, he could have told him his mothers maiden name for Christ-sake, literally anything, ABSOLOTUELY anything else would have been better but; ‘I care'
He couldn't help but think about how he reverted to his high school gay panic when dealing with Adam: his head spun like the exorcist and his hands got clammy. He never had this issue with Alison or a college fling that numbed the pain for a little while. Adam was different, Goddamnit, why was he so much different? Dying would be nice right now. Yes, either he becomes the most poetic man on earth - give Romeo Montague a run for his money or he could lie on the floor, and accept his fate.
That works too.