They don't talk with each other anymore. The silence between them is a wall of unsaid words, of unformed sentences. Hathaway is not certain why. Of course he can think of a few very plausible reasons - he's not an idiot. It has been months, and Hathaway intensely misses what he has lost. There is nothing which frames that particular fact as much as a bit of negligence from the man he often felt more or less married to, at least at work.
He puts the wine glass down on the coffee table in front of him. It's his third. Glass of wine, that is. The coffee table is new, and last in a line of honourable, however uncounted, coffee tables that Hathaway has owned.
He prefer the silence at home. The silence at the office is unbearable. He truly thought that Lewis had forgiven him; the preliminary exercises - apologies, shouting, joking, and finally a bit of laughter and smiles - have been taken care of. But still there is this reserved air around Lewis - a thin layer of ice that one doesn't see immediately - covering the usually so warm surface. But it is there, the ice; cold and sharp and frozen.
Hathaway doesn't know how to break through it, God knows he's tried, but Lewis seems to ignore it. Maybe he has just decided that the great thaw has to wait until... Yes, until when - that is what Hathaway wants to know. He feels as if he is wearing thin, unlike the ice which just seems to grow thicker, or at least not prone to melting.
Leaning back in the soft, beige sofa, Hathaway turns the wine glass, staring into the dark red fluid, as if he could read the answer there. The last time he saw Lewis's honest smile was before this business with Will, before Zoe's murder attempt and suicide... Before he outed himself as the bigot of bigots, as the utter fool he had been. Before Lewis looked at him with such a disappointment in his eyes that Hathaway thought his heart would break, there and then.
He thought he'd taken care of it, put things right between them. That it didn't matter any longer that he hadn't trusted Lewis enough to tell him the truth of his youthful idiocy and of the more recent indiscretions. As for orientation, the bloody Loaded magazine and the Yorkie bar should have been enough to put Lewis at ease. Of course Lewis would feel uncomfortable if his partner was gay, although...
Hathaway snorts, irritated. Anyone would be. They are in the police force, for God's sake. Lewis would never hear the end of it, and they'd both be shunned.
Hathaway closes his eyes. His head hurts, but the his inner pain is considerably worse. Without opening his eyes, he reaches for the wine bottle. It falls over with a sharp clatter and the clucking sound of wine pouring out. 'Oh, cock!' Hathaway looks at the mess on the table. Wine runs over the edge of it; a blood-red stream trickling down on the rug. It makes a rapidly growing spot that looks far too much as other blotches Hathaway have seen on murder scenes. But he just looks at the growing splodge, almost helplessly. He is too tired to even care. All he wants is things to go back to what they once were. He wants Lewis back, the way they were before.
'There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up…' Hathaway whispers softly, and wishes for a moment that Zoe had finished what she begun. 'No,' he tells himself, shaking his head in denial. He knows that is not how it is supposed to be. Burning thoughts and ideas and guilt is to escape. To self-destruct is to be without courage to face the appalling deeds he once committed, and the person he once was. He has lied to himself for too long, with dire consequences for the involved. He is determined not to make the mistake again, falling in love with a friend and denying it. If he is to atone for his part of this misery, there is only honesty left.
To himself, and to Lewis.
Taking a deep breath, Hathaway stands, determined. Yes, he will be honest, no matter it might cost him his job and his friend. He will admit that he is not entirely appalled by the thought of a male lover. He will admit that he liked Will, liked him more than as a friend. He will admit that his pathetic behaviour drove Will into despair and pain. He will admit that what he did was the epitome of hypocrisy: his actions were indeed created by his faith, but they also worked as a nice cover-up for the feelings he did not have the courage to face.
He thinks he has found that courage now.
He looks at the wine on the rug. 'If I'm going to clean house, I can just as well start with that,' Hathaway muses, slightly drunkenly, and fetches a bucket and a rag to wipe up the mess with.
When the door bell rings, he is almost done and rather drunk (being on his knees, head down, scrubbing away in a feeble attempt to save an innocent rug is not exactly helping when it comes to keeping sober). Two thirds of a decent bottle of claret certainly take their toll, and Hathaway sways a little as he goes to open the door.
The guest is a surprise. 'Sir?' Hathaway leans against the door post, trying not to look as if he is inebriated. 'Is something wrong?'
Lewis just stands there, making no attempt to move inside. Hathaway looks him over, as if that would give a sudden insight into Lewis's odd behaviour. 'New suit, sir?' is all he can think of asking. Lewis look as if he's dressed up; he looks almost fashionable.
'Yeah.' Lewis smiles; a smile that reaches his eyes. 'And new shoes.' He holds out a small, flat plastic case, maybe an attempt to make Hathaway take the thing.
'New shoes?' Hathaway cocks an eyebrow, the only sign of emotion he allows himself. His heart has begun an erratic thumping that makes it hard to breathe. 'And that?' He points at the DVD Lewis is holding. 'A film?'
'Two, actually.' Lewis's smile widens; a smile that reaches his eyes, and Hathaway senses a heat in them he has not seen before. 'Musicals. I didn't know which one you'd prefer, Les Miserables or Wicked.'
Hathaway feels decidedly faint. This is Lewis' reply to the Yorkie bar and the magazine? Lewis is... Robert Lewis is into... Hathaway blinks. There is no doubt about it; his heart is going to explode! Is Lewis saying that... he... wants?
A weak, hoarse sound escapes Hathaway's throat. His eyes widen impossibly and the world has come to a stop between two loud heartbeats. Paralysed, he just stands there, for an instant that drags itself out into an eternity. His body feel as if it is on fire. Out of the ashes of fire rises the phoenix, he tells himself, not trying to avoid the scorching gaze. The world moves again, and he takes a deep breath, prepared to either ruin or redeem himself. Hathaway's razor-sharp mind finally catches up, and although he is not sure what he replies to he reaches out and puts his hand on Lewis's.
'Wicked,' he says and sends Lewis a rare smile. 'I vastly prefer Wicked.'
'Good,' Lewis says, and steps inside. 'So do I.'