Title: The Distance between Them
Summary: Twenty-nine miles...it might as well be a thousand.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made, no harm intended.
It wasn't that far to Boston, not really, only twenty-nine miles, and just under an hour in good traffic.
He knew that, had memorized how long it would take to get there and how far that distance was in each painful minute. Numbers didn't help, not when it meant that Caleb was just under an hour from him.
Oh, he could fake it; pretend that he was happy for him, that he wasn't secretly screaming inwardly. He could smile and crack a smartass remark and sling a playful arm around Caleb's neck, demanding an obligatory tour around the campus so he'd be able to assess the place as being worthy enough.
He hated Caleb's roommate on sight. His lips had twisted with disdain and he'd given the boy his haughtiest smirk and deemed him uninteresting and therefore completely unimportant five seconds after they had met.
Much to his parents' dismay, he'd turned up his nose at the idea of going to college or university that year. He couldn't fathom the idea of going to school and acting like everything was fine when damn it, it wasn't. Not with Caleb twenty-nine miles from him.
On the last day before the new school year was to start, he'd shut himself away from his brothers, away from his parents, away from everything. He couldn't watch Caleb go, couldn't watch him drive away. He shut his door and sat in the middle of his room, staring at nothing, his clock ticking each second away.
He fancied that he could see Caleb driving down the road, could see Pogue and Tyler at the end of the driveway, waving goodbye, Tyler chewing on his lower lip, worrying as he was likely to do. He could see Caleb leaving...He blinked, refusing to let the hot prickle behind his eyes give way. Twenty-nine miles...
One hour and twenty-nine miles, it's not that far and he knows it. So why does it have to hurt?
He thinks it's his imagination when he walked out of his house and saw that car in his driveway. He thinks he's dreaming when he saw Caleb striding over to him, with that look in Caleb's eyes. He let out the most undignified of squeaks when Caleb pulled him into a hug, nearly squeezing the air out of him. He kissed Caleb like he was drowning, his lips tingling as Caleb kissed him with the same fire, the same need and desire. He held on, sure that he was falling.
"Reid," Caleb breathed and Reid understood. It wasn't that far, not really.