The days were already noticeably shorter and autumn was well under way. Robin had already been back in school for about a month and they only did concerts on weekends now. Well, there were exceptions to that rule of course. But this meant weekends were the only time he saw Jimi.
It felt very weird at first. In school he would sit staring out of the window and think about Jimi. His parents would probably kill him for the phone bill later, but it's not like he had any other choice than to text Jimi all the time.
When the weekends arrived he had troubles controlling the way he looked at Jimi. It wasn't just once or twice that Samppa had to poke him in the side. Jimi would give him small smiles let his hand linger on Robin's shoulder. Once work was over they'd sneak off to Jimi's room to watch a movie.
Robin had never been one for movies. Sitting still for that long just watching something was boring. This of course meant that he had what Jimi considered a massive lack of common knowledge. Because movies were common knowledge, apparently. So this way they'd been going through movie after movie. Next to each other on Jimi's hotel bed, Robin leaning on Jimi, arms around each other.
It was nice. Cozy. Most definitely worth the waiting.
This time though Robin had brought a movie himself. Jimi did pick a lot of great classics and Robin had actually learned to appreciate a lot of movies. But there had been a distinct lack of something. That something being movies Jimi had starred in. So this time he'd rented a Pearls and Pigs DVD and handed it over when Jimi started digging around for something.
"…Are you kidding me?"
"No. I want to see you acting", Robin said with a grin.
Jimi looked at him for a little while before sighing and taking the DVD from Robin. After putting it into the DVD-player and setting everything up he crawled back onto the bed and sat down next to Robin, pulling him closer.
"This is a bit embarrassing," he mumbled into Robin's hair.
"I'm sure you're really good."
"Of course I am."
And he was. That didn't stop Robin from laughing every time Jimi showed up on screen, though. His hair, his shirts, his character… Everything was so far from the Jimi he knew today. He knew it was a role, but it's not like he didn't know that was Jimi's style back then.
Every time Robin laughed Jimi hid his face in his shoulder with a groan. And every time it made Robin laugh more. It was probably the best movie night they'd ever had. Very intimate in a weird way.
"You were cute."
"That's really not helping, Robin."
Once the movie was over Jimi would make Robin leave and go to bed. They needed to sleep, he always said. Never once did he let Robin stay or hold him some more. It did bother Robin a little, but he trusted Jimi's judgement.
September became October and for the first time there was a weekend without any concerts. Without any reason for them to see each other. Through the whole weekend and the following week Robin sulked and sent Jimi text messages. When Samppa asked what was wrong he even admitted the truth, that he missed Jimi.
So when, a Wednesday afternoon, Jimi's phone beeped in Helsinki and the message wasn't from Robin it probably wasn't all that surprising.
"Tell your boy to stop sulking -samppa"
A small smile spread over Jimi's lips. He'd been mostly ignoring Robin's texts in an attempt to get him to spend time with his family, but it seemed it hadn't worked. Well, that wasn't the only reason. He'd had a lot on his mind this last week. To be specific, Robin.
"Two more days, you can do it -jimi"
He put his phone back down and slumped down on the sofa. The last few weeks had been both heaven and hell. All those nice evenings and all the cuddles and innocent kisses. Jimi liked them as much as Robin did. If not even more.
What he'd tried to avoid all along was a simple crush, a simple interest and something that could have passed. Then Robin came as a tornado and moved it all around, making Jimi give in to that interest. What Robin didn't understand was that crushes easily develop when they're being fed. Robin made Jimi smile even wider, his heart beat even faster now. Jimi was falling in love for real and it was scaring him more than anything.
Because he had started to notice things. Had Robin's eyes always ben that bright and beautiful? Or did that come along with the suddenly strenghtened jawline? He noticed every centimeter Robin grew past him and every new shape his still developing body gained.
And mostly it was the attraction he felt that scared him.
Jimi had always been a sexual being. He enjoyed sex. He'd tried this and that but even for him the best times always involved love. And he was aware love caused sexual attraction. He wasn't stupid, he knew he'd never be attracted to Robin if it wasn't for his feelings. But did that help? Not really. These were dangerous waters. So very dangerous.
It wasn't even about him. Well yes, his life could literally be destroyed. But most of all he feared he'd lose it and Robin would agree. He was sure he could never live with that. Robin needed to have his own life, grow up in his own pace and find his own way.
Jimi could wait. He had to. It just took control. The other alternative was giving up and getting out. But that would hurt both of them. It wasn't an option.
Not until everything was close to breaking.
The following weekend they went to yet another town. Robin's energy on stage was amazing and the crowd cheered louder than most. The hug Jimi gave him afterwards was filled with pride and there was nothing strange with it at all.
He must have used up all his energy on stage though. Later when they were watching their movie, Robin's back against Jimi's chest, he fell asleep all too quickly. As his head rested on Jimi's shoulder, Jimi tightened his arms around the boy just a bit. Just to make him feel safe and warm, he told himself.
Jimi kept watching the movie, one hand playing with Robin's hair all the time. Then suddenly Robin started shifting in his sleep, trying to turn to the side. A hand came up and grabbed Jimi's shirt and that's as far as Jimi's concentration went.
With a sharp intake of breath he tried to push Robin a little away from his body. Instead Robin just squirmed closer, his hand moving up.
This was bad.
"Robin-- could you--"
He shook Robin a little, waking him up. He needed to get away from the boy. He didn't want to get turned on but that was exactly what was happening and it was so many kinds if wrong he just wanted to punch himself.
Robin groaned a little (no, don't make those sounds) and shifted again (no, please don't move). As his eyes fluttered open he smiled up at Jimi.
"Could you get off me."
He leaned up and placed a small kiss on Jimi's neck. And Jimi just had to get away. It was all too much and he was becoming afraid of himself now. Afraid of the way his body was reacting.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled as he pushed Robin off him maybe a bit too fast and scrambled off the bed. Quickly grabbing his jacket he hurried out through the door, leaving Robin alone in the room.
He continued all the way out from the hotel and into the already pitch black autumn night. He knew he was running, but he had no choice. He knew Robin would most likely be hurt, but this was for the best. For the first time in one and a half year he felt like he really needed a drink.
He didn't get one though. Instead he just walked around for hours, without any specific destination, just thinking.
Robin didn't know what to do. The next day he had barely seen Jimi at all and there hadn't been a single text from him either. If Robin had felt lonely last week, that was nothing compared to now. He wasn't sure what he'd done wrong, why Jimi had rushed out, and it pained him. He wasn't stupid, he knew that Jimi had been turned on. Because Robin wasn't the kid Jimi thought he was. He was interested too, he wanted to try things, especially with Jimi. But instead of letting him, Jimi had run away.
After he went back to Turku again that evening he kept texting Jimi every day. At first he apologized for whatever he had done wrong and then he sent several "I miss you"'s. They all went unanswered. He spent every evening at Samppa's place, trying to be alone as little as possible because he felt horrible and he wasn't sure he could hide it in front of his parents. But Samppa knew and understood.
They started working on a melody together and over the next few days Robin started coming up with words. It was a bit scary how the words came to him. There was still no word from Jimi.
Where are you going
What are you doing
Whom can I talk to
Whom can I talk to
When you're far way
Jimi had received every single one of Robin's text messages but replying was just impossible. He had never felt so guilty or disgusting in his whole life. That Robin seemed to think it was his fault didn't make anything better.
It wasn't. Jimi was the adult, the sensible one who understood the situation. He should never have let it get even this far. He wished so hard he could've controlled his feelings better.
Three days after he ran out he still hadn't been out of his apartment. That's when he decided he had to get out. He had to do something else than work with Robin for a while. It was all too much and it was going too far.
There was no helping that he was in love with the boy but he had to be responsible and get out. Robin needed to see reason, live his own life and find someone his own age.
But he'd try his best not to hurt the boy too much.
When Jimi was nowhere to be found the next Saturday Robin almost ran to Maki. Why wasn't he there, Robin needed him for the concert. He had never done one without Jimi. He wasn't ready for this. He didn't mention how much he needed Jimi in other ways too.
"Oh he's got an audition, you'll be fine."
And that was it. Jimi wasn't here this weekend and he hadn't told Robin. That hurt in ways Robin wasn't sure he'd experienced before. It was a bit like someone had stuck their hand in through his chest and was clawing at his heart.
Apparently Jimi had been considering auditioning for a movie again for a while but had never done it. Until he suddenly decided at the beginning of this week that now was the time. Maki had wished him good luck and promised to "look after Robin".
The concert went okay. It didn't feel right at all but it didn't seem like the audience noticed anything was off. The cheers were as loud as always. In a way it felt like only Robin noticed Jimi was even missing. That in itself hurt in weird ways. Didn't Jimi realise how important he was to Robin? Did no one else think Jimi had to be there? Everything just felt wrong to Robin.
Later that night in Samppa's cellar he was quietly working on that song of theirs. Samppa was off getting them some Pringles but when he came back he sat down right next to Robin and stared at him.
Robin looked back down with a deep sigh before starting his description.
"I'm not sure really… It was like he wanted to finally do more than just hug but then he just suddenly pushed me off and ran out… And he hasn't been replying to anything since then."
"You came onto him?"
"Well not really, but--"
Samppa laughed a little and was quiet for a while. Robin kept staring at the words on the paper before him. There was so much he wanted to say but the words didn't really come out.
"You know, Robbe… I can't even imagine how hard this must be for him."
And Samppa talked. He told Robin a lot of things, how he thought Jimi must feel. How it's probably quite scary to fall for someone so much younger and how dangerous it really can be. But mostly he told him how Jimi probably feels guilty, that he probably thinks he's accidentally forced this upon Robin because Robin is still young and doesn't understand.
"You live in different worlds. Maybe he thinks he needs to wait for you, but you need to wait for him too, you know."
Both were sure they'd always deny any tears and hugs that ever happened that night. Words flowed easier after that, and despite the sad facts there was no denying that Samppa was the best friend Robin could ever ask for. The distance to Jimi hurt just as much, though. But maybe with a little more understanding vowen into it.
A TV-screen and a warm embrace
Without you only cold fire
You know I want you to return
I'm waiting for you
and losing my joy of life
You know I want you to return
Things were a bit awkward the next time he saw Jimi, but it was still a lot better than not seeing him at all. They watched a movie just as usual and if they didn't sit as close to each other as before, neither of them mentioned it. And Robin stayed perfectly quiet when Jimi suddenly decided it was too warm and lounging around shirtless was the way to go.
Jimi never asked where his beloved Superman t-shirt went either. Maybe he never noticed it went missing.
But there were no kisses. Robin felt empty but he understood what it was about now. And he'd wait.
Which is exactly what he told himself when he heard about the role Jimi got. He was casted and the movie was to be filmed in America. It was a quite big project and would take at least several months to film. If Robin's parents wondered what he was crying about, they didn't ask.
A few times he tried to text Jimi asking to see him before he leaves, but Jimi was always busy. He had promises with other friends, he had to be somewhere or he wasn't feeling good. Always something in the way. And soon he was flying off into the world and leaving Robin behind.
Another lonely night
You're doing your own things again
Getting further away from me
Another important bridge for you
That I can't cross
I can't even see it's other end
"I'd like to take you out to sushi, if that's okay. -Jimi"
Never had Robin replied to a text that quickly before. He told his parents he had to go to the studio, which he technically did, and took a train to Helsinki. Jimi was waiting for him at the station and despite everything the hug was warm and sweet and made Robin feel quite loved.
Their usual spot was quite far away so Jimi took them to another sushi buffet. It couldn't have mattered any less to Robin where they ate, he was just so excited about the whole situation he could barely walk straight.
"Calm down, kiddo", Jimi said with a laugh.
"Yeah, yeah whatever!" Robin was grinning.
He consumed half of the sushi place before they even started talking. No matter how many times they did this Jimi could never stop staring at him when he basically swallowed the sushi pieces whole, so Robin just had to make a show out of it. Three pieces in his mouth at once? Piece of cake.
But all silly things come to an end soon enough and even Robin gets full at some point. And Jimi had been staring at him quietly for quite a while already. Finally he stopped eating, put down his chopsticks and looked up into Jimi's eyes.
"I'm going to miss you", Jimi said.
"I'll miss you more. All the time."
"No you won't. This is a lot better. You'll live your own life and get on with things and be completely amazing. I-- I'm not sure when I'll be coming back. But you'd better be world famous soon so I can read about you over there."
"I'll wait for you."
"Don't." Jimi started getting up as he said it, clearly trying to mark that this conversation was over right there.
"I will. And I'll be older then."
Now they were both standing. Jimi smiled sadly and got a bit closer, just as if he was going to give Robin another hug. But in the end he just squeezed his shoulder and turned to walk out the door.
The hug came later, at the train station again. These tears Robin would probably never deny, but he couldn't show them. In such a public place anyone could see. So the hug was quick, the good-bye simple. And then Robin was on his way back to Turku. There would be no more Jimi for a long time.
Be careful your bridge doesn't fall
Or that you hit your head
And when you return
You know who's waiting right here
The movie ran into some financial problems along the way and the shooting was delayed. In between Jimi got cast in a small TV-series, so there was no reason to return to Finland just yet. But he followed news on Robin and he was happy to see it was going well for him still. There was already another album in the making.
With him at all times he carried a small red notebook. In it he wrote anything and everything that came to mind that was related to Robin. Small letters and even lyrics.
Robin's next single "I want you to return" was released exactly 3 months and 14 days after they parted and that day Jimi wasn't able to stop the tears.
A TV-screen and a warm embrace
Without you only cold fire
You know I want you to return
I'm waiting for you
And losing my joy of life