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Was it a Dream?

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Loud music and screaming voices were coming out of the AR Live club on the Nation Street. It was a night in the middle of March. The winter was long gone but this night was a cold one. He was sitting in the yellow cab and despite thinking about this all day, he wasn't sure if he really wanted to do this.

 

Is he even allowed to?

 

The cab turned around the corner and he sunk deeper into the seat. Running a hand through messy hair, he closed his blue eyes and sighed. As asked for, the driver missed the main entrance and parked by the next block of old houses. He paid for the drive and stepped out of the car. A cold air hit his face and made him pull the zipper up to his chin. Despite all the noise of the traffic, the music could still reach his ears. He swallowed heavily and shook his head when he realized his fingers was moving in the rhythm of the song.

 

No, he should not be doing this.

 

He wanted to turn around and leave before it's too late, but it seemed like it already was. His body was moving on its own, ignoring the desperate protests in his head.

He approached the club and put black sunglasses on. There was no need of causing any commotion tonight. The show was in a full swing, a mass of people was still coming in though. He joined a group of young kids, dressed in black and red, waving a handmade flag with a red phoenix on the white background above their heads.

 

Yes, this is a cult.

How true that was.

 

He handed his ticket over to the security guy and entered the club. Somebody hit his shoulder while passing him and carelessly shouted her apology over the shoulder.

 

No one has recognized him. A few more months, and he wouldn't need the sunglasses at all. Was this what he'd wanted?

 

He didn't check his coat, he wasn't about to stay long anyway. A group of another people surrounded him and pushed him into the hall. And he regretted coming here for maybe a thousand time.

 

...
Your defense is where I'll hide
It was built deep inside
Yeah I'm a selfish bastard
But at least I'm not alone
...

 

Please, not this one...

He felt his mouth going dry. The sound of the acoustic guitar was like a blade cutting deeper and deeper into his body.

 

...
My intentions never change
What I wanted stays the same
And I know what I should do
It's time to set myself on fire
...

 

He was staring at the stage, where only two figures with their guitars were sitting now. Tomo, with his raven hair hiding his concentrated face and next to him, Jared.

 

The singer looked a lot more skinny then he remembered and long dark hair was hanging around his pale face. He looked worn out and there was something painful in the tone of his voice.

 

...

You're reflection I erased
Like a thousand burned down yesterdays
Believe me when I say goodbye
Forever is for good
...

 

He felt like he finally came to understand the lyrics. He needed to get out of here. He expected it to be anything but easy, yet, this was too much. He took a step back, but before he could make his way out, he bumped into young girl and knocked her to the ground.

 

"I am really sorry." He swiftly apologized and stretched his hand out to help her get back on her feet.

 

"Are you alright?"

 

A long haired blond smiled at him and nodded. Then she opened her eyes wide and raised both hands to cover her mouth.

 

He forgot he had removed the sunglasses.

 

She gave him a big grin and put a forefinger over her mouth to indicate silence, as if she could read his mind.

 

"You're not leaving, are you?" She asked then and touched his arm.

 

Blue eyes fell on the cross tattoo on her shoulder, then he noticed two black sleeves on her arm. The same he used to wear a long, long time ago. He hesitated.

 

"Don't..." She pleaded and disappeared in the crowd.

 

...
Was it a dream?
Was it a dream?
Is this the only evidence that proves it
A photograph of you and I
...

 

Somehow, he complied with her wish and turned back to the stage. How could he dare to come anyway? What made him? Did he finally realize the biggest mistake of his life? Or just hoped to see he had done right? He was such a coward.

 

A husky voice repeated the words that sounded like written with his own life.

 

...
Was it a dream?
Was it a dream?
Is this the only evidence that proves it
A photograph of you and I
...

 

He didn't realize he's not standing in the back, drowning in the darkness, anymore. Until the front stage light flashed in his face and made him narrow his eyes. He was right under the stage. He was watching Jared's fingers, caressing the strings of his guitar. With every tone, feeling somehow weaker.

 

Jared was playing with his eyes closed. Like he was for the last few months; trying to avoid the eye contact with everyone who was watching. Anyone who could see.

 

Like he was afraid. Hiding himself from the world.

 

...
A photograph of you and I
A photograph of you and I
In -
...

 

Then, Jared did something none of them expected. He opened his eyes and looked right at Matt.

 

-

 

Two hearts stopped beating.

 

Two pairs of blue eyes drown in each other.

 

And the silence seemed like eternity.

 

...
- love
...

 

Jared's voice broke down in something that was barely a whisper. A tall figure started backing away, realization spreading the ice blue eyes wider than possible.

 

'I didn't want to...'

 

A silent apology remained unspoken.

 

He turned around, trying to push through the crowd. Out of the club. Anywhere. He had to get out of there. Desperately.

 

"...Wait..."

 

A whispered plea made him freeze.

 

He turned his head to see a slender figure, standing on the stage. Broken. Hopeless. Tears welled up in his eyes.

 

No.

 

He ran out into the rain. He wanted to run away. Run as far as possible, to find a place where no one would be able to find him. But he couldn't. His body hurt like if it was burning alive and it felt like he would collapse any moment.

 

Looking for an escape, he hid in the shadow of the narrow alley. He leaned heavily against the brick wall and dried his face with a black sleeve. He wasn't able to tell tears and rain apart anymore. His body couldn't stop shaking and breathing was getting harder and harder with every breath.

 

A scream echoed from the club, as a group of fans ran after Jared. The security stopped them the very moment Jared slipped out on the street.

 

He could see him standing on the sidewalk, mixed up.

 

"Matt..."

 

His breath hitched hearing his name and he pressed himself closer to the wall.

 

"Matt!"

 

Jared was confused. Did he completely loose his mind? Was it only a dream? Again?

 

The rain made his hair completely dump.

 

No. Not this time.

 

"Matt!!"

 

He was spinning around, trying to find any sign where to find him.

 

"Matt, wait-..." His voice broke off as he burst out in tears.

 

Matt dug his fingers into the wall behind.

 

"Please..." Jared sobbed and sunk to his knees.

 

Matt felt the hot streams falling down his face.

 

He did that, because he thought it would be better for both of them. Because the only thing Jared had on his mind was him. He didn't care about anything but Matt, not even his own self. And it was getting serious. However, his leave seemed to have right the opposite effect. Despite everything, it looked like he just wanted to save himself from the pain.

 

How wrong he was. How deadly wrong.

 

*flashback*

"What do you mean 'I quit'? What do you fucking mean, Matt?!"

 

Jared was out of his mind. He slammed the trailer's door shut and threw his guitar on the bed. Its neck crashed into wall and they could hear an annoying sound of a string snapping.

 

Matt cast his eyes down and frowned.

 

"Jared-"

 

"How the fuck can you say something like this after all these years?"

 

Jared ran a hand through his hair and kicked to the plastic table. A glass of water spilled over it and started dripping on the floor.

 

"Jared..." Matt tried again.

 

"Because of one fucking screwed up show or what?!" He turned angrily to face Matt.

 

"Say some-"

 

"God damn it, Jared! You know it's not because of such a shit!" Matt gritted his teeth to stay calm. He had no other choice. He was thinking about this too fucking long.

 

"Then why? Why are you..."

 

Jared took one step closer, the anger suddenly fading out, pain replacing it.

 

"... leaving?"

It was like sliding a knife into Matt's heart. Deeper and deeper.

 

He was staring into Jared's azure eyes and something inside him was broken. A slight hint of hesitation made him doubt his decision again.

 

He was about to loose everything he ever cared for. The only person he ever loved. The sense of this fucked up life.

 

And for what?

 

He didn't want anyone to get hurt more than they've already been. He caused enough problems already, when he had allowed himself to do this. So he decided to leave... to give up and run away like a coward. With nothing but hope everything would be alright again.

 

At least for Jared. And for the band.

 

"I can't do this anymore, Jared." Matt whispered finally.

"I made a promise I will never hurt you, but I'm afraid I am not able to keep this promise anymore." Matt held the little hope he had for his strength to do this.

 

Jared shook his head.

 

"What are you talking about?"

 

"Jared, I..."

 

And so he made up that bloody lie.

 

"I am going to marry Libby."

 

What the hell is he doing?

 

Jared staggered. A shock of those words made him freeze. Matt wants to leave... him. Not only the band.

 

It's because of him.

 

"Matt..." Barely a whisper slipped out of his mouth.

 

"I am sorry..."

 

Jared looked up to Matt's eyes. This can't be happening. It must be some kind of cruel prank Matt's playing on him.

 

But the ice cold eyes staring back were telling him it was real.

 

Matt tried as hard as possible to keep his sanity. It was god damn hard not to take Jared into his arms and tell him he's just fucking lying.

 

I am sorry, Jared. I have to hurt you for this once. I must hurt you badly so you would hate me and forget the pain more easily.

 

Jared closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. A sudden wave of rage overwhelmed his body.

 

"How could you!?" He cried out and grabbed Matt by the collar.

"How could you play with me like that, Matt!? How cou- Fuck you!!"

 

The back of Matt's head hit the hard metal as Jared pushed him against the wall of the trailer.

 

He didn't make a move when Jared's hand slapped across his face. He couldn't fight back. He had no right. He would let Jared kill him then and there.

 

"Why did you do this to me? Was it fun pretending you loved me? How far would you go, Matt!?"

 

No! I wasn't pretending!

 

Matt caught Jared's attacking hands with his.

 

"No, Jared. There was never any pretending in my actions. I've never lied to you about my true feelings. I love you. More than anything, and that's why I'm doing this. I can't watch you getting hurt any longer. And I can't stand the fact it is me, whose fault it is."

 

Jared gritted his teeth. This wasn't making any sense. He wrenched free, hair falling to his face.

 

"Get out of here." He muttered. "Get the fuck out of here, Wachter!!"

 

*end of flashback*

 

That was the last time they saw each other.

 

Matt left 30 Seconds to Mars and all went from bad to worse. Although he eventually got married, his relationship with Libby changed rapidly. He moved back to New York, hoping that something about this busy lifestyle would keep him busy.

 

He knew about Tim, replacing him on the European tour. Playing his parts on festivals. Becoming a part of the family. However, it didn't take a long time and Jared said goodbye to him, too. 30 Seconds to Mars had only three members, again.

 

He thought he might return to normal life somehow and joined his friend's group.

 

So many mistakes in only one year...

 

He desperately needed to do something right, anything, to find a reason to live. To get a proof his life wasn't over yet.

 

Matt squeezed his eyes shut. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out of the shadow. The scene before him made his heart twitch in pain even more. Jared was kneeling on the ground, his clothes drenched as he was crying and from the rain.

 

Matt deserved a cruel death for hurting that person so much.

 

"I am so sorry, Jared..."

-

 

Jared let out a gasp. He slowly raised his head, his vision blurred with tears. Was his imagination playing tricks on him?

 

Matt tried to smile but failed and it just caused more tears from his eyes.

 

Jared didn't move. He was staring at the tall silhouette, not sure what to believe anymore. Matt took one step forward and the street light revealed his features.

 

"I..."

 

This can't be a hallucination.

 

With no idea what gave him the strength, Jared suddenly stood up and threw himself into Matt's arms. He buried his face into his neck and sobbed. This was real.

 

Matt wrapped his arms around the fragile body. Despite the cold air, a wave of heat overwhelmed him. Resting his chin against the top of Jared's head he closed his eyes. He was such an idiot.

 

He felt Jared's hot breath on his neck, the shudders coming from his chilled through body. Matt swallowed heavily. He wanted to apologize, to tell Jared everything. How deeply he regretted all the things he had done.

 

There were too many things and he had no idea where to begin. All the words stacked in his throat.

 

"I thought..." Jared whimpered, "I thought I would never see you again."

 

So did I.

 

"I've made so many mistakes. I wish there was a way to take it all back."

 

He raised his head and waited for Jared to meet his eyes.

 

"I am really sorry for what I've done to you, Jared. I didn't want you to suffer because of me. I was confused and I thought leaving was the right thing. But I was wrong. I was fucking wrong and I regret every single day of that darn year without you."

 

Matt furrowed his brows. He was getting lost in the deep azure eyes, glimmering with tears. They were just as beautiful as he remembered them.

 

"I hope you will be able to forgive me one day..."

 

Jared rested his forehead against Matt's shoulder, tightening the grip on his black coat as he was trying to gather the last pieces of strength.

 

"It hurt." He murmured.

 

"It hurt so much because I didn't know what's happening. I thought I might have said... or done something..."

 

Matt shook his head and took a sharp breath.

 

"... Then I really started to believe you just... used me."

 

There was a trace of pain in his voice and Matt tensed. He softly touched the slender shoulders and drew away.

 

"I would never do such a thing to you, Jared." He said and frowned; the fact that Jared thought of him this way was breaking him down.

 

Jared leaned back against him and his lips curled in a tired smile.

 

"I know."

 

Matt managed to smile a little bit. First smile after a very long time. He didn't understand how he could let himself loose this. A content sigh left his lips. It seemed like he didn't loose the fight for life just yet. A sudden blow of chill air made Jared shiver.

 

Matt snapped back to himself and realized that Jared wasn't wearing nothing but a pair of worn out black jeans and grey oversized sweater, which was all soaked through from the rain.

 

He opened the front of his coat and drew him closer. Jared giggled, but then he disappeared under the long coat and wrapped his arms around Matt.

 

If this was a dream, Matt would never want to wake up.

 

They stood like this for a while, embracing each other and enjoying the closeness.

 

Jared's eyes were closed again. But he wasn't hiding from the world anymore. Inhaling deeply, a familiar scent teased his nose. A warm sweet scent that made him feel safe and loved so many times before. He smiled. A long nightmare was finally over.

 

The rain stopped.

 

Matt was caressing Jared's back with one hand up and down along his spine, while sliding the other unconsciously up to the back of his neck.

 

Long wet hair felt cold against the skin of his hand and the smell of the vanilla shampoo mixed with rain was intoxicating.

 

"Matt?"

 

Jared's voice wasn't more than a whisper.

 

"Yes?"

 

Jared raised his head. Matt noticed a drop of water, slowly running from one fine brow, down his cheek to the pale throat and disappeared under the collar of Jared's sweater. His mouth went dry.

 

"How do you feel... about me?"

 

Matt locked his eyes with the azure ones. He has never felt more confident about anything in his life.

 

"I have never stopped loving you."

 

He took Jared's face and covered those sweet lips with his own.