Like summer rain

by Cockatrice

 Andrew and Clement are in a happy relationship, until Clement meets Andrew’s friends…

Added: Jul 2022 6,392 words 1,676 views 4.4 stars (5 votes)

2

20 years ago

Andrew stopped for a moment when he heard the sound of thunder. He was currently playing with his school friends on the playground but he had noticed the clouds had begun to darken in the last hour. He didn’t pay it much mind. As long as it didn’t rain he was fine.

But it was midsummer and a downpour could start from one moment to the next.

He remembered what his mother said. She told him to come home as soon as it started to rain, that he shouldn’t get wet under any circumstance.

Andrew had never gotten into a proper downpour, or into anything that wasn’t more than a drizzle. His mother tried to make sure of that. He didn’t know why she hated rain so much more than everyone else seemed to, but he trusted her judgement. She was his parent after all, one of the two most knowledgeable people in his life.

He shouted something to his friends and started running home. If he didn’t make it home in time, he would get wet and that would be horrible.

He was only two blocks away when he felt the first raindrops on his skin. If he was quick it would stay at a few drops.

Only one block away, he was running across a meadow of a small green area in the neighborhood, when suddenly the downpour started proper. From one moment to the next it was like a cloud was tipped over and all its water was released at once.

Andrew stopped, but more out of shock than anything. He was soaking wet.

He looked down his clothes and processed what was happening. He was so afraid to get in the rain, but now that it happened, it wasn’t as terrible as he was led to believe. Sure, wet clothes were uncomfortable, but after all the fuzz his mother made about rain he expected something way worse.

Andrew walked the rest of the way. There was no point in running now. Besides, it wasn’t that horrible.

It was just a warm summer rain.


present

Andrew had his eyes closed, lost in old memories, letting the AC cool him down. It was late June and it was uncomfortably hot outside. Part of him wished for rain. The other part knew that it wouldn’t cool the air as much as he wished and it would just make everything more humid.

He heard Clement leave the bathroom door and come towards the bedroom. Andrew was already naked and had the merging lotion ready. He turned around just in time to see Clement approaching the bed. He smiled and Andrew smiled back.

“Are you ready?” Andrew asked. It was a stupid question, sure. Getting ready was the whole point of Clement cleaning himself out in the bathroom. Still, it felt right to ask.

“Ready when you are.” Clement buried his face in Andrew’s neck.

“How long do you want to stay merged today?”

“If you want you can keep me in for an hour.” Clement looked up with a smirk. “But knowing you, it likely won’t be much more than twenty minutes.”

“I’ll try my best this time,” Andrew lied. He had spun the narrative that he got off from the merge so quickly that he could never keep Clement in for too long, and releasing him once he came just seemed right.

In truth Andrew was scared. Keeping someone in for too long changes the mergee. They become addicted to their host even after release. It happened to a friend of his and he didn’t want it to happen to his boyfriend.

The negative effects would start to develop only after days of staying merged but still, Andrew didn’t want to take any chances. He was worried, not that could ever admit it of course. He didn’t want Clement to think less of him.

Clement kissed his neck. “Just tell me when.”

“Now?” Andrew mentally hit himself. He shouldn’t have asked. He was the dominant partner. He should have told Clement, like he asked him to. He took a mental note for next time.

Clement meanwhile laid down on his back and lifted up his legs to give Andrew access to his asshole. He looked up at Andrew with the warmest of smiles. He didn’t seem bothered in the least at Andrew’s dominance slip-up. Or maybe he didn’t notice.

Andrew hoisted up Clement’s legs on his shoulders. He smiled down at his partner but made the conscious effort to lower his brows and eyelids. He couldn’t look like a boy in a candy store after all.

Meanwhile Clement watched as Andrew slathered the merge lotion onto his cock.

Once he was done, Andrew positioned himself to enter Clement’s asshole. He looked at his boyfriend, who simply nodded in anticipation.

“All right, here we go.” Andrew pushed in and saw Clement throw back his head. The merge lotion would start working immediately and while Andrew felt the pleasure rising in his cock, Clement would feel it in his entire body.

Andrew watched as his boyfriend slowly shrunk, his arms and legs melting into his body as it became increasingly shaft-like.

Around half a minute later, Clement had completely disappeared into Andrew’s cock, which now looked like the former’s cock rather than his own. He felt Clement’s presence inside his member like a pulse that was not his own, a second heartbeat inside his own body.

There was the familiar throb as Clement worked his transformed body, exerting on it what little control he had. Andrew put a hand around Clement and leaned back. He started rubbing him as if he had no time to lose. Part of him was impatient about getting off, the other part wanted to unmerge Clement as soon as possible.


Clement put his arm around Andrew. They had just unmerged and were still covered in sweat. Andrew was glad the AC was on. He couldn’t imagine doing this in 36 degrees.

Andrew looked at Clement who had his eyes closed. “I hope you still had fun, even if it wasn’t an hour.”

Clement let out an amused breath. “Don’t worry about it.” He opened his eyes. “You know the mergee has more fun than the merger anyway.”

“Heh.” Andrew smirked. “Makes me kinda jealous.”

Clement propped himself up on an elbow, smirking down at Andrew. “Jealous?”

Oh god, not this again.

Andrew decided to change topics. “Going to hang out with my friends tomorrow.”

“Oh? What are you gonna do?”

“The usual.”

There was a short break as Clement expected Andrew to elaborate. “Sounds exciting.”

A few seconds passed before Clement continued. “You know, I’ve been thinking. Mind if I come along?”

Andrew looked at Clement to see if he was joking. “Are you serious?”

“Sure, why not?”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

Clement lied back down and caressed Andrew’s chest. “Why? Do you think your bros are too manly and masculine for me to handle?”

Andrew could only produce a grunt.

“I think I’ll be fine,” Clement continued. “Besides, you hang out with my friends all the time. I’m curious about yours.”

Andrew looked Clement in the eyes for several seconds, but he seemed genuinely interested, like always. “Fine.”

The two lay there in silence for a few minutes.

“You know,” Clement began. “Next time we merge you can be the mergee if you want. Maybe—”

He was cut off when Andrew wiggled out from his embrace and sat up at the edge of the bed.

“You know I don’t bottom,” Andrew said without looking back.

“I know that we’ve never done it.” There was a short break. “Have you ever tried?”

“I don’t bottom.”

“I mean, you don’t even have to be my dick.”

Andrew turned around. “And be your butt instead?”

Clement shrugged. “Sure, why not?”

Andrew turned back, dismissing the suggestion entirely. “Do you think I’m—” He caught his tongue before he said something he would regret.

“—willing to try out new things?” Clement completed his sentence.

“Exactly.” It wasn’t the direction Andrew was going, but if it helped end the argument…

Clement threw himself back on the bed, arms stretched out. “Geez, there’s nothing wrong with bottoming, Andrew, or turning into someone’s butt.”

Andrew was not in the mood to continue this conversation. He never was. Instead, he got up and made his way to the bathroom. “I’m taking a shower.”


21 years ago

Andrew stood in the middle of the toy aisle, scanning the shelf. Today his parents allowed him to pick a toy, so while they were shopping for groceries he would have time to choose something to bring home.

There were a few things he wanted, but today his eyes fell on a pegasus. In a recent episode of his favourite cartoon the hero of the show befriended a pegasus to defeat the villain of the day. His mind was already coming up with adventures to play with his dinosaurs, robots and other toys he had at home.

He grabbed the pink box and made his way back to his parents.

“Papa, I want this one,” he shouted as he ran up to his father’s side. He handed the box to him with an excited smile.

His father took a quick look and handed it back to Andrew, turning his eyes back to the aisle in front of him. “Pick something else.” There was no disgust or disappointment on his face, just plain dismissal. “This is for girls.”

Andrew’s smile dropped in an instant. He looked at the box in his hand and made his way back to the toy aisle.

He did not pick a toy that day.


present

“Look at that guy over there.” Brian, one of Andrew’s friends, nodded over to a man at the other side of the room.

Andrew and Clement met the former’s friends at a club where they usually hung out. There they often scoped out the men, looking for someone to fuck. Well, Andrew’s friends did at any rate. Since Andrew and Clement became serious they haven’t met anyone else for sex.

“Dom or sub?” Brian asked. “What do you think?”

Ignoring the guy Brian pointed out, Andrew glanced at Clement. He didn’t look happy and there was tangible tension between him and Brian from the start.

“Definitely a dom,” one of the others said.

“Yeah, thinking the same,” Brian agreed. “What a shame. I would love to merge him into my cock for a few days.”

Among Andrew’s friends, Clement seemed out of place. It wasn’t that he wasn’t masculine, but compared to his friends, Clement definitely exuded a softer aura. He was also the only one ordering a cocktail.

Clement caught Andrew’s eyes. “Since when do you drink beer?” He asked in a low enough volume so the others couldn’t hear over the music.

“I drink a little every now and then,” Andrew replied, half to the other side as if dismissing the topic.

“I thought you didn’t like it.”

“I do, occasionally,” he lied. He didn’t really like beer, but he couldn’t order a stupid cocktail in front of his friends. He often ordered a longdrink, but he needed to keep it real from time to time. He decided to divert the topic. “What do you have?”

Clement looked at Andrew before replying as if to check if he even cared. “It’s called—” He gave the glass an investigative look. “—a Hanky-Panky.”

“Sounds gay.” Andrew regretted his joke immediately. This level of humour was more up his friends’ alley, not Clement’s.

And sure enough, Clement gave him a look of unfazed disapproval. “Wanna try it?”

Funny.

Andrew raised his beer. “No thanks, I’m good.”

“What about that one?” Brian nodded to another guy carrying two cocktails to his destination.

“Dom, too,” the friend from earlier replied.

“Nah, look at him,” Brian continued. “Muscles and a beard aren’t everything. You see that subtle spring in his step? The way he keeps his elbows close to his body? And he’s carrying two cocktails, which probably means one’s for him. Definitely a bottom.”

“Since when does drinking cocktails mean you can’t be dominant?” Clement chimed up. “And since when does being a sub mean being a bottom?”

Brian eyed Clement with bored antagonism. Then he gave Andrew a look, the kind of face that said ‘I could start something, if I wanted to, but I’m keeping the peace.’

Before Andrew could react, Brian dropped the topic, licking his lips as if he just swallowed a remark. “Anyway.” He turned around to the man beside him. “How’s it going at the gym with you, Sergio?”

Sergio was standing close to Brian, subtly leaning forward. A few years ago Brian had merged Sergio into himself for almost half a year, way longer than what was recommended to leave someone merged in one’s body. As a result, Sergio had become literally addicted to Brian. If the two were removed for longer than a few days, Sergio would start to show withdrawal symptoms. He had effectively become Brian’s satellite and although Brian rarely used him for sex, he did love the attention.

“It’s going,” Sergio replied. “Slowly.”

“Well, you should pick up the pace then.” Brian flexed one of his arms, showing off his biceps. Sergio leaned closer to Brian and took a breath, subtly enough to miss it if you didn’t know what was happening, but obvious enough to everyone at the table save for probably Clement. “Twinks are for fucking, not for hanging out with. And you know what happens if you don’t hang out with me.”

Sergio furrowed his brow and lowered his voice but didn’t move away. “Yeah.”

“Hey Andrew,” Brian turned to Andrew, pointedly ignoring Clement while nodding at another man in the distance. “What about that guy over there? Hot or not?”


“Are you seriously mad that I said that guy was hot?” Andrew asked.

When Andrew and Clement got back home it was already late, though way earlier than if Andrew had gone alone. The conversation took a more heated turn and now Andrew found himself arguing with his boyfriend in the living room.

“What, no!” Clement countered. “This isn’t about you ogling guys, that’s fine. This is about Brian being a massive asshole.”

“You just need to get to know him better.”

Clement’s eyes went wide in disbelief. “Do I?”

“You two got started on the wrong foot, that’s all.”

“I don’t think there is a right foot with him. Why does he treat everyone like shit?”

“He doesn’t.” Andrew tried to wave it off. “It’s just banter.”

“Banter?! I talked to Sergio. I know what Brian did. That is not okay.”

“Sergio wanted this. He was fine with being merged for months. It was all perfectly consensual.”

“That’s not the point! As a merger Brian has a responsibility. Just because Sergio agreed to it doesn’t make it right.”

Andrew couldn’t think of a proper reply so he just rolled his eyes.

“And what’s with all that idiotic subbing and domming talk?” Clement gesticulated at everything. “Is that why you don’t bottom?”

“Oh my god, I’m not having the bottom talk.”

“This isn’t the bottom talk,” Clement countered. “This is the ‘What’s your issue?’ talk.”

“Holy fucking shit, really?! I don’t have an issue. Why do you want me to bottom so badly?”

“I don’t.”

“There’s tons of couples where only one partner bottoms,” Andrew pointed out. “It’s completely normal.”

“Look, Andrew.” Clement tried to bring down the heat of the argument. “I don’t want you to bottom if you don’t want to. I will not even ask you to try it if it legit makes you feel queasy for whatever reason. I am happy to do it. But—”

“But?” Andrew hoped the interjection would stifle the next sentence, that Clement didn’t have anything to follow up on.

But, of course, he did. “—but you keep bringing it up yourself. You’re clearly curious. I don’t care one bit if you don’t even want to try it out.” There was a short meaningful pause. “But I’m concerned about the reason why.”

Andrew saw that Clement was trying to establish eye contact, which Andrew avoided.

“If you really think that bottoming is something shameful, then—” Clement shrugged in search of answers. “What does that mean for us?”

Andrew looked at Clement. His boyfriend’s face was genuinely looking for a reply, which didn’t come.

“What do you think about me?” Clement continued.

“Babe, no. That’s not the same.”

“Is it not?” Clement’s head jerked backwards. “What’s the difference?”

Andrew genuinely didn’t know. He looked away, to the ground, anywhere that wasn’t Clement’s eyes.

A few seconds passed.

“I’m going to bed.” Clement finally broke eye contact. “You don’t need to hurry.”


22 years ago

Andrew looked at the steps in front of him. Could he do it? Could he make the jump?

His parents and him were on vacation somewhere in the south, near the coast. It was warm and they had rented a small house, a bungalow really, specifically for tourists.

The house had a veranda and Andrew was standing in front of the steps leading up to it. He had played in the surrounding garden for a while, finding all sorts of animals and plants, those he didn’t find back home.

But right at this moment the steps captured his interest. He had jumped them up and down. Then he jumped them up and down on one leg. He jumped them up and down by taking two steps at a time.

But now he was contemplating jumping them two steps at a time on one leg. A challenge to be sure, but one he was determined to find out.

He positioned himself, eyed the steps again, bent the leg and jumped.

No!

He didn’t make it far enough. His foot grazed the edge of the second step when gravity pulled him down again. His momentum caused his leg to crash against the edge, unbalancing him and sending him lying on the stone.

The pain was instant and he looked at his shin to see a fine screen of blood slowly rising from the scrape.

As Andrew was holding his leg, he did what all children his age would do: He started to cry.

Seconds later his mother came over to see what happened and saw the wound on his shin. “I’m getting a band-aid. Sit on the chair here, I’ll be back in a second.”

She disappeared and Andrew stood up. Putting weight on his leg didn’t hurt. It was just a scrape after all so he made his way to the chair, sobbing all the way.

His mother came back and sat down in the chair opposite of him.

She dabbed the wound with a wet cotton-ball to clean it.

Andrew flinched when the ball touched the exposed layers of skin. “Ow!”

“It’s okay. It’s just a scrape,” his mother comforted him. She put a band-aid on the wound and smiled. “Don’t cry. You’re a big boy, aren’t you? Big boys don’t cry.”

Andrew willed his tears away. He wanted to be a big boy.

His mother grabbed the leftover wrapping material and the bloody cotton-ball and held them in her hands, looking at Andrew. “Everything all right now?”

Andrew nodded.

With that his mother disappeared to do what she was doing before his accident.

Andrew wiped across his face with the bottom part of his shirt.

The tears were gone, but the clump in his throat remained.


present

“Why do you keep bringing up the whole masculine thing?” Andrew raised his voice. “I thought you don’t care that much.”

Bringing Clement along to his friends’ night out turned out to be a huge mistake. Ever since that evening, Clement and Andrew had been arguing almost on a daily basis, mostly Clement questioning how Andrew saw their relationship.

This had been going for a week now and the relationship was quickly deteriorating.

“That’s right, I don’t,” Clement countered.

“Then why do you care if you’re not masculine enough?”

“I don’t care about that!” Clement shouted. “But you and your friends seem to look down on people who don’t fit the—” He gesticulated for words. “—completely arbitrary criteria.”

“But what do you want from me? I have told you so many times now that I love you. It’s like you don’t even care!”

Andrew saw tears well up in Clement’s eyes. It was not the first time he saw him crying, but it was the first time that Andrew was the reason.

“The reason why I’m fighting is because I care, Andrew!” Clement’s voice was distorted by the clump in his throat. “If it was anyone else I might have left days ago. But I can’t continue like this.”

“So what.” Andrew shrugged. “You want me to ditch my friends.”

“I hope that you know that I would never ask this from you, but you’re so different around your friends. Around Brian. It’s like you’re scared of him.”

“What are you talking about? I’m not scared of Brian.”

The tears continued to flow down Clement’s face. “On that evening, we didn’t kiss, or hold hands. Whenever I tried to make contact, you turned away or reached for your glass.”

Andrew looked away.

“Whenever Brian talked to you, you seemed anxious, like seeking approval,” Clement continued. “And at every point he tried to drive a wedge between us. The ‘hot guy’ question was an attempted setup. You don’t have to cut Brian out immediately, but you’re not even willing to confront him.”

Andrew didn’t find any words and he couldn’t bear looking in Clement’s eyes.

“And your reluctance to address any of this makes me wonder,” Clement sniffed. “Do you care?”

Andrew finally looked at Clement, out of surprise at the last question more than anything. He didn’t know what to say, how to make Clement understand that he wanted to be with him more than anything, how to make him understand that it wasn’t that easy.

“It’s complicated,” Andrew finally brought out.

Clement shook his head. “It isn’t,” he forced through a sob.

“Babe—” Andrew began.

But Clement broke eye contact and turned to the door. “I’m leaving. Goodbye.”

After the door closed, Andrew continued struggling with his feelings. He had managed to fight back the tears, but he could do nothing against the clump in his throat.


“Everything all right, Andrew?” Brian asked. “You seem distant today.”

It was the weekend again and Andrew was in the club with his friends, though he didn’t really pay attention to the talk around him. Brian dominated the conversation as usual and Andrew zoned out. His mind whirled around the recent breakup like a tornado.

“Mmh?” Andrew perked up at the question. “Uh… Just, Clement and I broke up.”

“Oh?” There was the hint of a smile on Brian’s face as he lifted his glass to his mouth. “What was the reason?”

Andrew contemplated for a moment how much he should go into detail. “Bullshit, really.”

“Huh, isn’t it always.” Brian took a sip. “Probably for the better.”

“Why?”

“Clemence wasn’t good for you.”

“Clement,” Andrew corrected him. “And why was he not good for me?”

“He was making you soft.” Brian furrowed his brow. “You don’t want to be an effeminate gay, do you? Nobody likes stereotypes.”

Andrew looked around the table. Most of the other friends looked indifferent, if they were following the conversation at all. The only one who seemed somewhat sympathetic was Sergio.

“Now that you’re back in business.” Brian nodded at a guy in the distance. “What do you think of that one over there?”

“I don’t know.” Andrew didn’t really have other men on his mind right now. “Hot, I guess.”

“For fucking or boyfriend material?”

Andrew shrugged. “Don’t know.”

“See? That guy is way too effeminate. Nothing for the long term. Wouldn’t even have him as a fuckbuddy. You need to unlearn some of the stuff that bitch Clemence told you.”

“He’s not a bitch!” Andrew found himself shouting before he realized it.

Some of the other friends who didn’t pay attention now turned to the two.

Brian eyed Andrew from the side, raising a brow. “You don’t need to defend him anymore. You broke up, remember? Don’t let him get to you.”

Suddenly there was the same tension that was between Clement and Brian, except this time it was between Andrew and Brian.

The two looked at each other for a few moments.

“Yeah, fuck that guy,” one of his other friends chimed in. “You deserve better.”

Others joined in as well, each encouraging Andrew to move on, to find someone better or to stay single and enjoy the perks of a daily hookup.

The helpful intentions of his friends de-escalated the situation somewhat, but the entire time Brian didn’t break eye contact.

Clement’s words rang through Andrew’s head as he looked at Brian’s bored, yet expectant expression.

Andrew was the first to look down at his drink.


4 years ago

Andrew watched his mother and his younger sister. They were crying, their faces were distorted by grief, his sister held one of her hands to her face.

Andrew walked closer to the coffin as his mother and sister were slowly backing away. He didn’t know what to do with his hands so he simply held them in front of him.

Andrew looked at the photo of his father displayed next to a bouquet of flowers. It was strange to see his face and to know he will never meet him again.

He looked over his shoulder to his sister and mother. Now that he was the only man left in the family he felt the duty to be the pillar of strength, the one the rest of his family could rely on. He couldn’t show weakness now.

He looked back to the photo. Is this what his father tried to prepare him for? His father was always stern and his approval was hard gained, but when he smiled, Andrew knew he did something right. His father was smiling now, in the photo.

It was never easy. There were lots of moments when Andrew wondered if his father even loved him as much as his mother did. But he must have.

Right?

A tear threatened to blur his vision and he looked away, wiping the tear back into the corner with his lids. He couldn’t cry, not now. Not at his father’s funeral, when his family needed him most.

This is, after all, what he prepared him for. To be strong, to be a man.

Dozens of questions he never dared ask his father were swirling in his mind, but one kept floating to the top.

‘Are you proud of me, papa?’

There was no answer, of course, but Andrew imagined his father was. If only he could see him now, holding back his tears.

He slowly turned around and began walking away from the coffin towards his mother and sister.

And with each step he took there was another feeling creeping up his spine, one of guilt, as he felt a weight lifted off his back.


present

Andrew felt his shoulders relax as he hooked in the barbell in the weight-lifting rack above him.

He exhaled and sat up. For a moment he was just staring in front of him, lost in memories.

After a few seconds he shook his head to clear his thoughts, popped open his bottle and took a few gulps.

Thank god the gym was air-conditioned.

Andrew wiped the sweat off his face with his towel and stood up. He was done with his training for today and made his way to the showers. He wasn’t really in a hurry to get back home, but what was he gonna do?

Half-way there he saw someone familiar crossing his path.

“Sergio?” Andrew asked.

Sergio lowered his head but didn’t avoid eye-contact. “Hey.”

“I didn’t know you’re working out here.”

“Yeah.” Sergio looked crestfallen.

Andrew put a hand to Sergio’s shoulder and led him to a bench in a nearby alcove. “Is everything all right?”

“No, nothing is.”

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“Just the usual.” Sergio lifted up his hands as if the answer was obvious. “Brian.”

“What’s wrong with Brian?”

Sergio furrowed his brow. “What isn’t wrong with Brian?”

Andrew’s eyes went wide. “I thought you loved Brian.”

“What?” Sergio looked confused. “An addict isn’t in love with their drug. I hate Brian, but I can’t get away from him.” As if to sense Andrew’s follow-up question he continued. “I tried.”

“But… Didn’t you want this?”

“I mean, yeah. Guess I didn’t quite think things through.” Sergio gave Andrew a pained look. “Brian was hot, is hot. I didn’t think he’d end up like this though.”

“Have you considered rehab?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

Sergio thought for a moment, then he brought his hands to his face and let out a laugh. “Oh my god, it sounds so stupid.”

“Why?”

Sergio lowered his hands again and looked at Andrew. “I was afraid of what Brian would think.” He thought for another moment. “But I guess the point of a rehab would be to not care about him anymore.”

Andrew smiled, then immediately felt strange. Why did he just advise Sergio to ditch one of their mutual friends, if not the entire friend circle?

Before he could finish that thought, Sergio interrupted him. “Thanks, Andrew.”

Andrew smiled. It felt good to help Sergio, even if it put him at odds with the others.

The two sat there for a few seconds, before Sergio broke the silence again. “You know, I liked Clement.”

Andrew looked at the ground in front of him.

“We talked a bit that one evening,” Sergio continued. “Guy could read everyone at the table like an open book, including Brian.”

“He’s a psychiatrist.”

“Really? I take it he’s not a couples counselor.”

Andrew looked at Sergio.

Sergio’s eyes went wide. “Oh shit, I’m sorry! That was tactless. That was very tactless of me.”

“It’s fine.”

“I feel awful now.”

“It’s fine.” Andrew was looking at the ground again.

In the corner of his eyes he saw Sergio biting his lip. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you two break up?”

“He…” Andrew gathered his thoughts. “Wasn’t sure what I thought about him. He believes I don’t think of him as masculine enough. Took offense at a joke or two. Or something. I don’t even know.”

“Mmh.” Sergio thought for a moment. “Do you miss him?”

Andrew only shrugged.

“You know,” Sergio began. “You don’t need to bottle your emotions up like that.”

Andrew glanced at Sergio. Was it really that obvious to everyone how much he cared?

Sergio didn’t seem to judge. “Do you think he’ll take you back?”

Andrew looked away. “I think that train has left. I tried everything. I told him I love him. I told him that it doesn’t matter how masculine he is. I tried to give him some space to cool down.”

Sergio peered at Andrew, as if looking for one specific sentence.

“What?”

“Have you tried apologizing?”


The sound of thunder in the distance. Andrew stopped for a moment, but only to look at the sky.

He was on his way back from the gym. It has been two weeks since Clement broke up with him but there wasn’t a single day, a single night, that he didn’t want him back. Of course, Clement didn’t answer his messages and calls and Andrew had enough presence of mind to not visit Clement’s parents’ home.

The sky was dark, the air felt dense. It was going to rain soon. At least it will cool the air.

Still, Andrew didn’t mean to get into a shower. He just had one in the gym.

Another thunder, still distant, but somewhat clearer than the first. The rain is approaching fast. Andrew quickened his pace across the park.

He stopped. But not because of the thunder, but because he saw someone.

Clement. He was going the opposite direction, similarly in a hurry to get somewhere that will stay dry once the rain comes. He had not seen Andrew yet.

“Clement!” Andrew shouted and jogged over.

Clement stopped. He did not seem happy to see Andrew, but made no motions to leave. “What do you want?”

Andrew wanted to put his hands on Clement’s face, feel his touch again, but he knew better. “Can’t you give us another chance?”

Clement looked away. “No.”

Andrew’s heart dropped. He didn’t expect outright refusal. “Where did we go wrong? We were happy.” He looked into Clement’s eyes. “Were we not?”

Clement’s eyes welled up again. “I don’t know. You always seem so distant. You never open up. I told you everything, but you—” Clement gulped. “It often felt like you never cared about anything, about us.”

Panic gripped Andrew. Is that what Clement thought? “I do!” He put his hands on the side of Clement’s face, who weakly put one of his own on Andrew’s hand. “Of course I do!”

Clement looked down, tears running down his face. “Then why did you never show it?”

Thunder, this time it was close.

Something broke inside Andrew at that moment. All his attempts to control himself, to be strong for Clement, for his family, for everyone, it had ruined his relationship.

Maybe if he could show Clement what he was truly feeling he’d understand. He was always afraid of showing what he felt, to show weakness, but if there was anyone in this world he could be weak with, it was Clement.

Andrew decided to let go.

“I’m sorry.” Andrew’s vision became blurry, though he could still see Clement looking up , meeting his eyes. “Do you forgive me?” A single tear escaped and the clump in his throat threatened to swallow any further words.

Clement looked in Andrew’s eyes for several painful heartbeats. Finally he put his arms around Andrew and drew him closer. “It’ll take time, but if you’re willing to work on it, I’ll be there.”

It wasn’t a yes, but it was a chance, one Andrew was willing to take and glad to have been granted.

As Clement was holding him tight, Andrew realized that Clement didn’t think less of him for opening up his emotions to him. His fears were unfounded.

The sound of thunder was almost simultaneously accompanied by rain, heavy and thick pouring down from the sky, soaking the two embracing men.

Andrew’s tears flowed from his face and mixed with the rain. As he was sobbing into Clement’s shoulder he realized that crying wasn’t the end of the world.

It felt just like a warm summer rain.

 

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