Because of me
Ludwig stood outside of the hospital on pins and needles. Seeing Gev out of the hospital put his already frazzled nerves on edge. He can’t stop blaming himself for what’s happened. He’ll never be able to take it back! Had he not kissed him, Yakusoku would still have been over at his house and not out on the road. And with the constant battle of guilt he’s going through, he knows that Gev and the others will see right through him. It’s what’ll happen next that just gets him.
They won’t understand, they’ll think he’s gay. People don’t like gay. Despite these supposed ‘changed times of a new world’, people still treat you like shit for being drastically different. But he isn’t different! It was just a really bad call on his part. He wanted to fit in- couldn’t they get that!? Probably not a jock like Clark. Not a religious guy like Nono... Or is he? And certainly not Yakusoku’s best friend Gev. He most of all would hate him.
He once thought that the Russian was in love with his best friend, but knowing what he does now... It’s only ever been a weird kind of friendship. But the two of them let him into the car that night, they let him be a part of their weird friendship... Would they understand that he was only trying to fit in with that weird molding that he may actually be comfortable with?
He physically winced when the bright sky flared against the double-doors of the front of the hospital as the two glass pannels slide apart for the exiting occupants; Ludwig steeled himself when spotting his could-be-ex-best friend exit the building in a wheelchair; his mother pushing it while his little sister bounced beside him then on him so that she could hitch a ride too.
“I’m going with Ludwig,” Gev says upon spotting the male. “You can go now.”
“Okay.” Replied his mother.
“Bye kid.” He says to Victoria.
Walking over to them, Ludwig offers a hand to the battered male. “Are you sure you’re up for searching? You’re just getting out of the hospital, and the cold might be a bitch on recovery.”
Shaking off his hand after the assistance, he looks at his palm. Ludwig should really stop touching people if he’s gonna shock them every time. It’s annoying. “Doesn’t make a difference. I’m gonna find Yakuza, and bring his ass back here. Plus, I’ve got my pillow tucked beneath my coat to keep me all safe.” He gave his plump upper body a pat.
Watching him get up from the chair was gut wrenching, he moved a whole lot slower than he should have- even with a helping hand- but overall he looked all right; and if the doctor said that he can go... he can go.
Ludwig glanced back to where Mrs. London and Victoria are, he sees that they’re only putting the wheelchair back in the lobby with the staff. “I parked over here.” He points.
“Wonderful. Lead the way.”
Great. He’s in a bad mood. Ludwig will definitely not be telling him about what happened. Besides, it may not make a difference in the investigation anyway. Why would the police need to know the exact reason that Yakusoku left his home; it makes sense to tell the guys, they may know of where the male would go if he were just hiding out from homophobic panic.
Gev snickered when Ludwig ran on ahead and opened the door for him. The guy could get weirder by the day. Gev rubbed his arms and when he got inside the car he quickly reached for all the vents so he could turn them on himself before Ludwig got in. With that settled, he lights up a much-needed cigarette.
Ludwig only acknowledged what happened by glancing around the dash, but he didn’t care; starting the car, he’s sure to crank the heat up.
“Now let’s see,” Gev whipped the letters of the progress of the investigation from his pocket.
“You’re gonna read those right here?” Asked the driver.
Ludwig shouldn’t have cared, but it was kind of an itchy feeling to be in the same place as someone reading notes that he’s given. The trauma was implanted in the fourth grade. He passed a sweetheart love note to a girl he really liked over Valentines. She liked it, sure, but she read it out loud to all her girlfriends, who laughed at him and all the guys in class shoved him around saying he was a sex-machine. How did that even make sense?! Kids are cruel. But then that’s his luck, it’s always been his luck. He’s a nice guy, puts himself out there, and he gets stepped on at every turn.
‘But I should tell him.’ He thinks. ‘He might know where Yakusoku would go to brood if a guy kissed him.’ Glancing over at Gev, he swallowed a hard lump in his throat. But his nerves wouldn’t go down.
“They found his car in a ditch over behind Gungy Whamp?” Gev read on off of the little yellow notepad paper. “But some eyewitnesses said they saw him parking at a vacant lot in front of a Save-a-Lot store.”
“The cops think he met up with someone, and that he then took his car over by that way and crashed it.”
“Why does that make sense?” Asked the muddled passenger trying to make sense of the little notes and situation.
“Don’t know. They’re still looking into it.” The car slows to a stop by the park. “Reeve’s been out day to night putting up posters and talking to people, but he’s gotten nowhere.”
Looking out the window Gev noticed the scenery has become still. Confused the Russian asked. “Why did we stop moving?”
Steeling himself, he draws in a long breath then quickly and quietly says. “Ikissedhimandheleft.”
Trying again, he closes his eyes and more slowly says. “I kissed him... and he left.” He literally scrunched himself up waiting for the punch.
Gev only looked at the panicked male, snorted, then went back to reading the last note. “Shit man.” He muttered to himself.
“Did you hear me?”
“Yeah. You kissed him and he left.” Opening the glove compartment, he stuffs the slips of paper inside, pulling out a stack of papers underneath them. “This picture is terrible. This is the only one the Lands had?” He waved the Missing flyer at his friend.
“That’s it?” He replied. Holding his breath, Ludwig wondered if it would really be that simple? Maybe Gev’s ignoring it because he doesn’t wanna believe it. “...You’re not mad?”
Gev threw his friend an exasperated glance then said. “First of all, if I were mad at you, there goes my ride around town since I don’t have a car. And second, Yakuza didn’t leave because you kissed him. So why would you tell me that?”
“Because you might know where he’d go-..”
Cutting him off Gev snorts. “What? If he were struck with a sudden case of homophobia? Dude,” And a thick cloud of smoke steam-rolled out of his nostrils. “don’t tell me you’ve been making stupid-face over that the entire time he’s been gone... That’s why you were so fucked every time you came to drop a note at the hospital?”
“Yeah.” The Canadian said and lamely dropped his head.
“You could have answered your own question, Lud, he’d of come to me.” He slowly nods when Ludwig cocks a brow. “And there he would say something like ‘guess what that weirdo did’ and we’d either never speak to you again- if it were that much of an issue- or we’d laugh it off and carry on as per usual.” He shrugs.
Rolling his eyes, Gev unbuckles himself from the seat. Turning in his seat he then leaned over the distance between them to grab Ludwig by the collar of his coat. Ludwig thought he was going to get head-butted so he defensively slung himself back up against the door, popping the back of his head into the window. But rather than a nasty slam to head, he got a- surprisingly pleasant- kiss on the lips. Gentle and sweet then rough and demanding. The startled Canadian would never have to wonder what smoking is like anymore because the taste is so palpable on Gev’s tongue it’s like his licking severely burnt paper. But who cared when a kiss could be that well made.
Backing away Gev cocked a brow, smiling at the flustered picture before him when he asked. “Was it like that?”
Letting out a held breath, he starts to say something. “You’re... not?”
Opening his mouth, Gev instead moved in for the male’s neck to clamp down like a clam before giving it a very firm suckling to a few audible kisses before finally backing off, plopping back into his seat.
“Or was it like that?” Bored with the subject Gev shook his head and scowled at the flyers again.
“But... I thought that...”
“We’re not homophobic, Lud’... At least I’m not. Yakuza is good to everyone, and I can’t speak for the other two clowns.”
“But, what about all that ‘pause’ stuff?”
Snickering, he replied sing-songy. “We’re just goofing aroooound.” Looking back at Ludwig he asked. “Can we head to the photocopy place? I’m gonna make some new flyers.”
“S- sure.” Starting the car, he swings back into the street.
Ludwig’s very surprised at how that had turned out. He’d expected disses and beatings. Let him have said that to his old friends before he moved away and he would have been dragged into the woods and mauled. Maybe this really was his place to be himself. He really has found it. And now a part of that place is missing. A part he didn’t even really think much about until it was gone.
Ludwig felt that he was best friends with Yakusoku, at least on his end. How did the Asian male feel about him? He’s not sure. Ludwig knows he can’t replace Gev in Yakusoku’s life, but he’d like to be somewhere in that range. To be a guy come to whenever shit was just dumb and needed to be discussed. To be cared about. And wanted there.
How fucked is your heart that it doesn’t officially pine for someone until they’re gone?
Snickering, Gev teases. “You’re so dramatic... Stopping the car and everything. This isn’t the soaps.”
“You’d do it too if you thought you’d lose your friends over it.”
“Nuh-uh, I can’t drive.” And he laughed on about the car being pulled over.
“Shut up. Besides,” wiping his hand across his mouth and neck; he decides to tease right along and back. “You could have just said it’s cool, you didn’t have to kiss me.”
Wriggling his brows, the Russian says. “Oh didn’t I?”
Ludwig chuckles quietly to himself, then cautiously asks. “And you’re sure that’s not the reason he left- that he would come to you?”
“Positive.” And he was shameless about how it could have, and did, sound like he was tooting his own horn.
“And... you’re not gonna spread it around school... about what happened? Because I’m not gay!” He was sure to say, though he wished his words didn’t come out so panicked. He himself has nothing against homosexuality. It’s your life. Unless you’re hurting someone, you should be able to live it as you want.
“Dude, you’ve become one of my good friends... The left hand to my missing right. I don’t care what you do that makes you happy. So be gay, don’t be gay- so what.”
Ludwig took that in a moment. “...Thank you.”
“Eh.” Gev waved it off. He’s more interested in thumbing through pictures on his phone. “I was wondering when you were gonna spring your feelings on him anyway. Didn’t think you had the balls to outright kiss him.”
Leaning his phone over to the driver, he shows him a picture of a distracted Yakusoku who just happened to glance the camera’s way. It was a good picture of the missing male. A nice clear shot.
“And look at this one.”
The next shot is from the same place, same time, only in this shot, Yakusoku noticed the camera and flipped it off. Ludwig chuckles.
“I could tell you liked him, sometime around after his birthday- all those stolen glances, the way you’d scan the room for tell-tale signs that anyone noticed your heart flutter from him talking to you directly.” He snickered. “Fuck me, you’d smile just hearing him talk.”
“Don’t make it sound so feminine.”
“I’m not. Don’t be mad... I just notice these things, that’s all. And if you’re worried about other people noticing, watch out for that.” He pats him on the shoulder. “Got it?”
“Okay.” Turning his attention out the window, he points. “There. Stop there.”
The two get out of the car after it's been parked in a vacant place in front of the store.