Ryan walked slowly down the beaten dirt path. He still had some time to kill before meeting Brad at the bridge, and he was hoping the long walk would do it. Looking back for a moment, he could just barely see the bench that he’d been sitting on just a few minutes ago. He’d been waiting on that bench for a long, long time, waiting for Brad to come, though really it hadn’t seemed like much time at all.
He continued his walk, listening to some birds chirping away happily. The sun was shining brightly through the trees and it pleased him to think that Brad would be coming on such a beautiful day. He smiled at that thought. It had been way too long since he’d even seen Brad. Much too long.
Finally he reached the bridge. Brad hadn’t arrived yet; he still had a bit of time. He glanced up at the picturesque waterfall that was splashing into the stream that the bridge crossed over. Leaning against the bridge’s wooden pillar, he watched it, completely mesmerized. He hadn't seen it since he'd crossed the bridge himself.
He whirled around at that voice. That perfect, beautiful voice that he hadn’t heard in so long. Brad. Standing right there in front of him. The gray that Ryan remembered was gone from his hair, the only wrinkles he had were the laugh lines around his mouth, and his eyes had that youthful glint again. Just like back when they’d first started dating. A long time ago.
“Of course I missed you, you doof.” Ryan couldn’t help laughing; he just hadn’t felt this good in a while. He wanted to wrap his arms around the other man, to hold him like he used to. But it had been a long time, and he wasn’t sure he should.
Brad grinned, stuffed his hands in his pockets, then glanced around. “So this is Heaven, huh?”
“It is now that you’re here,” Ryan didn’t say. Instead he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t really know.”
Brad tore his eyes from the waterfall his glance had fallen on to give Ryan a puzzled look. “You’ve been here for almost five years and you don’t know?”
Ryan looked away, now thinking that maybe he’d been too sentimental. That maybe Brad would just think he was an idiot. “I haven’t really moved from this area. I got acquainted with a bench, over there somewhere.” He waved in the general direction of the path he’d just walked down.
Brad stared at him for a moment, eyes wide in disbelief. “You sat on a bench for five years?”
Ryan looked back up at Brad. “I promised I’d wait for you. I never broke a promise to you when I was alive, I certainly wasn’t going to start just because I was dead.”
At those words, Brad’s jaw dropped slightly and tears filled his eyes. Almost before Ryan could blink, Brad’s arms were wrapped around him in a nearly bone-crushing hug. “I missed you so much. So, so much…”
Ryan smiled against Brad’s shoulder, bringing his arms around him. “I missed you more.”
Brad pulled back with a weak laugh, sniffling. “I didn’t know you *could* wait for me. I was afraid I’d get here and never find you.”
Wiping Brad’s tears away with his hand, Ryan smiled. “I wasn’t sure if I could either, but no one’s tried to stop me. Even if we’re stuck here forever now, I think it’s worth it.” He dropped his hand down to hold Brad’s. “You’re all I need in Heaven, anyway.”
Brad grinned, and reached up to press a kiss to Ryan’s lips. “I’d nearly forgotten how corny you could be.” Then his eyes lit up. “If this isn’t Heaven, you think they’d still let us have sex when we get there? Or is that something we should do here?”
Ryan rolled his eyes with a chuckle as he pulled Brad towards the dirt path. “Just had to ruin the moment, didn’t you?”
“Hey, it’s a valid question!” Brad replied indignantly.
Ryan could only shake his head, his hand squeezing Brad’s harder as if he were afraid he was going to lose him again. But at least he didn’t have to worry about time anymore.
Now they had nothing but forever.