Author: Lune Nightingale
Genre: Comfort, angst
Fandom: House of Wax and Smallville
Rating: PG-13 (for implied themes)
Notes: This is played out like Jason never met Lana in Paris and came back to the states to finish off his college path. Wade also survived the events of the movie. This verse is an rp one with wantedafanbelt .
Warnings: There be abuse in here.
Disclaimer: I don't own either of these beautiful men. Though I'd love to. <3
Summary: It's hard enough hiding your feelings from your best friend... much less hiding other things as well...
Word Count: 2,481
The Masks We Hide Behind
“She's been calling you.”
“You're not answering.”
“Isn't that what you want? So what do you care?”
“Hey coach Teague, I heard your roommate got a date tonight.” Looking up from his clipboard, he barely registered the way his fingers tightened on the edge causing the whistle wrapped about his hand to dig into his palm. “Thought you two were an item?”
“Funny, Colby. You're not done running your laps.” Both brows rose and he tilted his head to the line of guys begrudgingly moving to run around the field. The teen smirked a little, little punk knew he hit a sore spot.
“Friday night and nowhere to go coach?” This time a dark haired running back called out from the edge of the field as he ran by. Jason bit into his cheek and half smiled in irritation. Sometimes working with teenagers taught you more patience than you ever wanted to have.
“It's exactly what I want. I see you got my warning.”
“Did you really think he slept with you because he wanted to, Jason? That's sweet.”
“Alright you clowns, finish the lap and you can go to the locker room. I think Coach Jenkins is done with your sorry butts for one night.” He had to smile at the resounding whoop that echoed from all over the field. Funny how they found the energy to suddenly run faster.
Jenkins must have thought the same thing as he smiled in bemusement. “Never hustle worth a damn till they're told they can go mack on their girlfriends on a Friday night.”
“Well, if it isn't sports, coach, it's hormones.”
“Speaking of, you're not going out tonight are you? Or are the boys just pulling your leg?”
Green eyes stared through the clipboard as his hand stilled in mid writing motion. “Nah...” Rolling his shoulders, he looked up at the elder man and smiled. “Got too much homework to do. No time for that stuff.”
“So you're not dating that Wade kid?” Jenkins looked way too damn smug as he rubbed at his chin smiling like a cat that caught the canary. Part of him wondered if the guy was plotting with his landlord. Sounded like something Colin would do. The old coots were likely in cahoots with each other, and considering the joke he and Wade played on Colin, he probably deserved it. Ok, he really deserved it.
“Now you can't believe everything you hear, sir.” Smiling amiably just like he'd done all his life, he snapped a salute. “Better head out if I want to get your paperwork done and my homework. You really are an awful slavedriver, you know that coach?”
“Being a softy doesn't win games, Teague. Get outta here.” The man jerked his thumb over his shoulder and Jason snorted. Shaking his head, he tucked the clipboard under his arm and turned to head inside. “And Teague... get out and do something. Too damn young to sit in your room with books all the time.”
“I mean it!” Waving over his shoulder, Jason just wrote it off. That kind of trust wasn't worth it. It never was.
“I sent him here to find you. It's amazing what your friends will do for money.”
“You... you paid him to...?!”
“Don't look so surprised, Jason. It was just a little reminder. Next time I won't be so nice.”
Dropping his keys on the counter, he stopped by the phone to see his roommates handwriting scrawled on a notepad. Picking it up, he slid his finger over the quickly written signature as his eyes darkened. 'Your professor called. You skipped your class? Seriously? - Wade'
Slowly ripping the top sheet off, he started to crumble it before stopping. Thumb pressed over the 'W', he folded it instead. And he wondered why the guys teased him about his roommate. Stuffing the note into his pockets, he looked up at the sound of the soft padding into the kitchen. Head turning, the corners of his lips rose as his roommates dog moved up against his side and proceeded to put her full weight into his hip. “You're not a retriever... you're lazy.”
Voice soft and teasing, he smiled as she gave a happy whine when his fingers ruffled her fur. “Yeah, yeah, Shadow... we can watch animal planet after I get cleaned up all right?” The soft yip was his response before Shadow bumped his hip with her head and sauntered back out of the room. Following in her wake, he veered to the bathroom while she took to the living room.
Without looking in the mirror, he dipped his head down and washed his face. The process was slow, tiring, and pulling his contacts out proved painful. Snapping his case open, he slowly slid the wire frames onto his nose carefully before finally lifting his head to look in the mirror.
The crack of the hand to cheek rang out in the room, and all he could do was look down.
“Remember who you're talking to, son.”
“Not like I could forget, dad.”
Silence followed, then the sound of the man turning and walking out ended the conversation.
Dark purple and black edged in yellow stood out on his cheek. It ran from the corner of his left eye and down the plane of his cheek. He'd skipped class. But only because he needed to talk to his dad and deal with the aftermath. And really? You could only deal with so much of the girl at the drug store staring at your face like that and then at the make up on the counter. At least he didn't know her... last thing he needed was for any of the boys to get wind of their coach looking like a battered housewife.
Reaching up, he slid his fingertips slowly along the darker spot that he knew was his dad's class ring. Backhands always hurt worse than he wanted to admit. The sound of his phone ringing in his pocket made him wince. Not for the first time, he pulled it out and hit ignore. The name 'mom' was scrawled over the screen with a picture of his mother.
Placing it on the countertop, he pulled opened a drawer and pulled out the zipper bag hiding the makeup and set it next to his phone. Not like he wanted to wear makeup to bed... but he really didn't want to explain this to Wade. Running a hand through his hair, he slowly lifted his head and felt like the floor fell out from under him. “JESUS CHRIST!”
Wide green eyes met darker hazel in the mirror. Wade was leaning against the wall behind him, arms crossed over his chest. Wheeling around to look at him, he grabbed bottle of contact solution and chucked it at him. “Don't scare me like that!”
Easily dodging the flying projectile, the taller man stooped down to pick it up and didn't say a word as he sat it on the counter. Too close. Way too close. Tilting his head up, he could almost feel the body heat as the other man set his palm on the counter and boxed Jason in. Wade's eyes weren't on his, rather they were on his cheek.... and Jason wished he could melt into the floor.
“Guess that answers my question about you missing classes.”
He didn't like that tone. It was like the man was interrogating him without asking a question. “Well, you know how it is...” He put on his best smile as he tilted his head to meet those eyes. “Had to invest in some cover up so no one thinks you're abusing me.” For all the playfulness in his tone, he didn't seem to break through the set of Wade's jaw. “Weren't you supposed to be out tonight?”
Flinching just a little, he leaned back against the counter and let the expression fade from his face. He'd spent all day smiling and pretending like the world was fine. But it wasn't fine. How could it be fine? Breathing in slowly, he closed his eyes and shook his head. “I'm fine, don't worry about it.”
“Don't give me that. What happened?” And that's when his world came unglued as those fingertips slid over his cheek so airily. Even if it was curiosity and concern rather than tenderness... with his eyes closed he could pretend that it was more.
“Just... got a visitor today. He won't come back.” As long as he didn't get back in contact with his mother. The guy was so jealous, Jason almost felt sorry for him. But considering their life together, pity was a long stretch and he had little to none for him. Edward Teague made sure there was no sympathy left in him.
“Who?” Those fingers slid away and he wondered why he felt so lost.
“Please don't ask me that.” Eyes widened behind panes of glass as he finally opened his eyes and looked up at his roommate. He'd go so far as to call Wade his best friend. It was safer like that. Safer if they kept that line uncrossed... but he knew the only reason he'd not crossed it was because there was no way Wade wanted him.
Watching the tensing of the other man's jaw, he pressed his lips together and waited for the verdict. When Wade finally looked away frowning, he knew he was letting it go. “Put ice on it before you permanently mess up your pretty face, princess.”
He was trying. Slowly smiling at this, he felt some of the weight lifting off his shoulders even if he did feel cold as Wade pulled away. “Aw, you're so good to me, prince charming.”
Hearing the snort from the other man, Wade waved over his shoulder. “Better believe it. I'm grade A quality goods. You're so lucky, baby.”
Sighing dramatically, he spoke up in a purposely overdone dreamy tone. “My hero.”
Listening to him flop into the couch, he could hear the excitement of Shadow as she all but plowed into the man's lap and he talked to him. Closing his eyes, he simply listened to the inflections and the soft sound. Everyday he knew he was digging the hole deeper. Everyday he was becoming a little further gone. Running a hand through his hair, he wondered how long he would last. The thin veil of joking was wearing thin... and he could only divert Wade for so long.
But he'd worry about that tomorrow.
Finally leaving the bathroom, he went straight to the kitchen as directed and made an ice pack before grabbing Wade a beer and himself a bottle of water. Moving into the living room, he smirked at the tv. “I see she won that battle with you as well.”
“If nothing else, we'll be asleep before midnight. How pathetic is that?”
“Pretty bad. How many guys do you know spend Friday night watching Animal Planet?” Snorting in amusement, he slid the bottle into Wade's hand and dropped onto the sofa. Pressing the pack to his cheek, he started to sink down into the cushions... until one large hand wrapped around his bicep and tugged him down to put his head in Wade's lap.
Heat raced up into his face in a way that actually hurt even with the numbing cold. Shifting a little, he made himself get comfortable before half closing his eyes. “Well, the company's not so bad. So I think I can deal with it.”
“Shadow is a really awesome date.” Grinning under the pack, he laughed when Wade yanked softly on his hair.
“She's definitely less cheeky.”
“Aw... afraid one day she'll choose between us?”
The silence that followed made him stop and look up at the other man. When he found those hazel eyes on his own, he furrowed his brow at the silent questions in those beautiful eyes. “Why? Planning on leaving?”
“You wish.” The words were automatic and teasing... and seemed to put the man at ease. Long fingers slid slowly through his hair as a smile pulled at his lips. Obviously it was the right thing to say.
“God. I'm never getting rid of you am I?”
“Psh... Not a chance. Besides, you won't throw me out cause you don't want to go to court for custody of the kid.” Both brows rose in a matter-of-fact way that made the other man finally laugh.
“Damn.” Smiling easily in return to the beautiful smile on Wade's face, he waggled his brows a little. This earned him the rolling of eyes before Wade looked back at the tv and sank down further without disturbing Jason's position.
Taking a short moment to look at the man, he memorized the lines of his face and the slight curve of soft lips. Sometimes he dreamed about those lips. Because it was the only time he couldn't curb his thoughts. Sighing softly, he was about to turn his head to look at the tv when Wade's other hand moved up to curl around the undamaged side of his face softly.
Lips parted in a sudden breath as the pad of the thumb smoothed tenderly over his cheek. “I'd like to beat the shit out of them.”
The words were so soft, he barely heard them. But after close to two months living with the man... he learned how to listen for him. And those words made him smile a little. “I know.”
“Next time call me.”
“I'm not going to bug you over stupid stuff.”Jason planned to say more. Wanted to point out that it would be unnecessary to drag Wade into this... but the look in those eyes stopped him. Sighing slowly, he moved his hand to softly brush the inside of the other man's wrist. “Ok. Pushy giant octopus.”
Wade smiled finally. Fingertips pressed a little into his cheek before they slid down to rest partially on Jason's neck. “Knew you'd see it my way, short stuff.” Jason's eyes fluttered closed as those fingers in his hair began to lightly massage his scalp. “Jase...”
“Mmhm?” Curling one arm up, his hand pressed gently into Wade's hip.
“You don't have to hide it from me.”
Opening his eyes slowly, he peered up through heavy lashes and lenses. “I know... I won't. Promise.”
“Ok...” The smallest of smiles twitched at the corners of their lips before they both looked away.