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Freedom through the flames
| Title: freedom through the flames|
Summary: Noah deals with his past
Characters: Luke, Noah
Disclaimer: This site is no way associated with "As the World Turns", CBS, P&G, or Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. This is not for profit. No copyright infringement is intended. Authors submit and write their own work.
“Do you really think I should do it?” he asked, not looking into the loving brown eyes of the man sitting next to him.
“I don’t know. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“I don’t know what I want.. Maybe I should do it.. Maybe Damian is right and this is the only way to put it all behind me.”
“It might be.”
Noah ran the hand that wasn’t holding Luke’s in a death grip through his hair and sighed.
“You’re sorry? What are you sorry for?” Luke asked, trying to get Noah to look at him.
“For everything. For being such an idiot and going with him even tried to help him leave the country again, for crying over him again, for freaking out over a box of his stuff while we’re supposed to be moving into our apartment. I’m just sorry.” Noah said in a small voice, still not trusting himself enough to look his boyfriend in the eye.
“Hey, don’t ever apologise for the way you feel. It’s ok. He was your father, you loved him and in his own way he loved you too.”
“Yeah he loved me so much. He killed my mother, tried to kill Dusty, tried to kill YOU.”
“Well.. I’m fine and as far as I know, so is Dusty. So quit blaming yourself for that.” Luke said and threw some twigs on the fire burning in front of them.
“Wont your parents mind that we lit a bonfire in their back garden?” Noah asked a few minutes later.
“What they don’t know, won’t hurt them.”
“Luke.. I don’t want your parents to kick me out for setting their garden on fire because I followed some of Damian’s crazy advice.”
“They won’t kick you out. They can’t because from tomorrow we’ll be living in our own place. And as for Damian’s advice.. I don’t think it’s that crazy at all.”
“So you think I should do it? That I should just burn all of his stuff?”
“I think.. you should do what YOU want. What would make you feel better.” Luke said and squeezed Noah’s hand.
“I just.. keep wondering..” Noah trailed off.
“I keep thinking that I shouldn’t have gone to the docks with him but that I should’ve taken him to the hospital right away. Maybe... I don’t know.. Maybe if I hadn’t been so stupid he would be still alive now.”
“Don’t do this Noah. Your father’s death is not your fault. You heard what they said, he had lost a lot of blood and the bullet had caused a lot of damage to his organs. They did everything they could but it was just too late.”
“Yeah but if I had called an ambulance instead of the police..”
“It probably would’ve ended the same way.”
“You don’t know that.”
“No.. you’re right, I don’t. But I do know you should stop blaming yourself for your father’s death. He was the one that didn’t go to a doctor, you didn’t keep him from getting help. This is not your fault.” Luke said, hoping he was finally getting through to his boyfriend.
“I know.. I hate it that he still gets to me like this.” Noah sighed and closed his eyes for a minute.
Luke used the moment to move from his place on the ground next to Noah and sit down behind him. He put his legs on either side of his boyfriend’s body and started massaging his neck and back.
“Hmm.. that feels nice.” Noah said moving his head to give Luke better access to his neck.
“You need to relax a little. You can’t make a decision when you’re all stressed out. Just let go.”
Noah chuckled at Luke’s choice of words.
“That won’t do anything to relax me, you know?”
“We’ll have plenty of time for that, later. Right now you need to clear your head and decide what you want to do with these boxes.”
Noah groaned but didn’t say anything and Luke continued to work his magic on his boyfriend’s tense muscles.
“If.. if I do this.. will you help me? I don’t think I can do this on my own.” Noah said softly.
“Of course I will. I’ll be there every step of the way.” Luke replied as he got up from the ground and stretched his stiff legs.
“I.. I’m not sure I want to get rid of all of it. I think I want to keep some of the pictures.. and I think burning the flag is illegal.”
“I won’t tell Margo.”
“I think I want to keep the flag. I don’t want you to get in trouble for burning it.” Noah said and got up from the ground too.
“Ok so you want to keep the pictures and the flag?” Luke asked as he started looking through the boxes.
“I think so.” Noah said looking from the fire to the boxes and back.
A few minutes later he had picked out the very few things he wanted to keep and was trying to find the courage to drop the first item in the flames. It was the hat of his father’s uniform. When he closed his eyes he could still see his father wearing it.
“Are you ok? You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. We can just put out the fire and go to bed. It’s getting late.”
“No.. I want to do this. I need to.” Noah said and took a step forward and carefully threw the hat into the centre of the flames. He watched as the hat started to melt and the canvas caught on fire. He watched the hat burn until it wasn’t more than some smouldering pieces of fabric. He thought it would make him feel better but going through these boxes brought back memories Noah had rather have left where they had been up until that afternoon. Safely locked away in a part of his brain marked too painful to open.
Luke watched his boyfriend stare at the fire. He wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around him and make him forget about it all. Forget about the boxes, forget about the past few days, forget about the upcoming funeral and most of all forget about Winston Mayer. But he also knew Noah had to find a way to move on and if this was the way to do it, then he would stand by him and wait until the very last of Winston Mayer’s belongings had been consumed by the fire.
“Maybe I should’ve kept the uniform.” Noah said a little while later as the uniform jacket started to smoke.
“Why would you want to keep the uniform?” Luke asked, finally daring to step closer to his boyfriend and wrap an arm around his waist.
“I just thought.. maybe he wanted to be buried in it. I mean I couldn’t give him the son he wanted, I guess the least I can do is give him the funeral he wanted.”
“Doesn’t the army take care of that?” Luke asked and Noah shrugged.
“I don’t know. Officially he wasn’t in the army anymore. I think I will have to take care of things..”
“I’ll help you. We’ll all help you. We’re family and families stick together and help each other out.”
They stood in silence for a while and stared at the fire. Noah’s mind was being flooded with memories. Simple things like a piece of paper with one of their many addresses on it or his father’s expired driver’s licence kept triggering new ones. He barely noticed the tears running down his face anymore. He felt the heat of the fire on his face and was pretty sure his clothes and hair stank of smoke. It was like his father was still all over him via ashes and smoke. He hated it. He wanted to tear off his clothes and throw them into the waiting flames.
“What do you want to do with these?” Luke asked holding up a box with news paper clippings and some army papers mentioning what a great soldier Winston Mayer had been. Noah took the box and threw its content in the fire.
“I don’t need those. I don’t need to be reminded of him like that. He might have been an honourable man to the army but he definitely wasn’t to me. Whenever he got one of those precious medals or his name was mentioned somewhere he’d sit me down and tell me I had to do anything and everything I could to make him proud. To follow in his footsteps. To make sure people would remember the name Mayer in 50 years time. To become him.” Noah said, following a burning piece of paper floating through the sky with his eyes.
“You’re not him. You’re you and you’re a good man and I love you. I love you more than anything in this world.” Luke said, trying to pull Noah out of the darkness of his childhood memories.
“He’s a part of me Luke. Half of my DNA came from him. What if I turn out the same as him? What if the name Mayer will only mean killer in 50 years time because I turned out to be just like him?”
“I’m sure you won’t. You are the sweetest kindest man I know. The only thing the name Mayer will mean in 50 years is this amazing director everyone admires. The local carpenter will love you
because you’re his best costumer. He’ll put up shelves and make cabinets for all of the awards you will win.” Luke said, getting lost in his fantasies.
“Yeah.. like that will ever happen.” Noah said and Luke’s heart broke when he heard the sadness in his voice.
“It will. I know it will.” Luke said and felt cold when Noah untangled himself from his arms and walked over to the boxes standing behind them. He felt cold even thought he was standing right in front of the blazing fire.
Noah threw some papers and photo’s of his father on the fire and watched the paper curl in the flames. He looked through the boxes to see what was left in them and found the small box he’d recognise anywhere. The box that had meant more to his father than anything. More than his wife, more than his son, more than his family.
“What’s that?” he heard Luke ask.
“His medals and ribbons.” Noah replied and traced the box with his index finger.
“What do you want to do with them?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even know what they mean.”
“Maybe we can ask the army what they mean? Or sell them. If we put them online I’m sure we can find someone that collects these things. You might make some money.” Luke said carefully.
Money was still a sensitive issue in their relationship from time to time.
“I don’t want money from his things.” Noah said opening the box and taking one of the medals out of it.
“I recognise this one. I don’t know what it means but I recognise it. He was really proud of this one.” He said and closed his hand around the metal for a few seconds.
With those words Noah put the medal back in the box and carefully put the whole thing in the fire.
“I don’t think the fire is hot enough to melt the metal.” Luke noted.
“I don’t care. I don’t want them. They mean nothing to me”
They watched the fire blacken the small wooden box and watched it finally start to burn. Noah wiped the last tears from his face and got up from his place on the ground. He was tired, both mentally and physically, but there was still one thing he had to do.
“Do you want to go to bed?” Luke asked and silently thanked his parents for deciding to stay at the farm tonight with the kids.
“Yeah, in a minute. I just need a shower first. I need to wash it all off of me.” Noah said and gave Luke a small kiss and walked inside to Luke’s bedroom.
“I’ll just put the fire out and I’ll see you upstairs.” Luke told his boyfriend who nodded in reply.
When Luke walked into his bedroom a little while later he found Noah sitting on his bed, hair still damp and a towel around his waist.
“Hey, are you ok?”
Noah looked up and gave him a small smile.
“I didn’t bring my pyjamas and I don’t want to put those clothes back on.”
Luke smiled and grabbed the usual shorts and t-shirt Noah slept in whenever he stayed the night.
They changed and got into bed together.
“So.. did it work? Damian’s advice?” Luke asked his snoozing boyfriend.
Noah rubbed his face and thought about the question for a minute.
“Yeah. Yeah I think it did.”
Latest page update: made by Bijou_
, Jul 7 2009, 1:54 AM EDT
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