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Luke’s heart burned as though someone had submerged it in peroxide, the sting being so intense that he was honestly worried that he might be dying.  Maybe he was actually dying, it’s not like he was really living anymore, holed away in his room avoiding the world and all the people in it.  It didn't really make much sense though, the band was really taking off and this should have been one of the best times of his life, but there he was with the curtains drawn, curled up on the large hotel bed immersed in the darkness of both the room and his own heart.  Alone with his thoughts was probably the worst way Luke could have chosen to spend his days, because his thoughts were cold and cruel, tormenting him with never ending self-hatred.


The only one who ever really tried to get through to him anymore was Ashton with his pleading eyes and soft words.  Luke just didn't get it, no matter how many times he pushed Ashton away he just kept coming back, like junk mail that refused to be deleted.  His voice was constantly ringing in Luke’s ears, a sweet melody replayed over and over in the quiet of Luke’s empty room.  Luke had to give Ashton credit for his unwavering persistence, calling and texting again and again until Luke would finally answer.


Honestly Luke felt like a train that was running out of steam, slow and sluggish, barely pulling himself through each and every day.  He had long since lost track of himself, unaware of how others might be seeing him, a cold calloused shell of a once gleeful boy.  But it didn't matter because his heart was broken even worse every time he would see Ash with his new girlfriend Annabelle.  You see the thing was that Luke had fallen in love with his best friend, and it hurt to see him with anyone else.  Luke felt slightly guilty when she had called him crying, telling him how Ashton had broken her heart and that they were no longer together, because secretly he felt such joy at that news.


Luke had told Annabelle after the break-up about he and Ashton’s short lived relationship that had ended when the band had gone out on tour.  She had been shocked, not believing that Ashton would ever see Luke as more than a friend, saying that Luke must have been mistaken.  But she didn't know all of the things Luke and Ashton had done, or the the things Luke had said just to try and get Ashton back.  But he’d had his chance and obviously he must have fucked up somewhere along the line because Ash had ended things as soon as the tour had been announced.


Luke was falling apart, wasting away as he hid from the world.  After a while even Ashton’s calls and messages were ignored, Luke’s heart breaking further every time he heard his voice or saw his face.  His eyes stung from all of the tears and his chest ached from the sobs that shook his thin frame.  He was just an empty shell, gutted and hollow from all of the misery.


Ashton had seen Luke as a beautiful rose in a field of thorns, too selfish the tell Luke that he himself was one of the many thorns in that field.  Ashton had just kept taking more and more from Luke until the younger had nothing but his own sanity left to offer, so Ashton had taken that too.  He had left Luke alone to deal with all the pain, and then showed back up as if what they had once had was never real as though it had never happened; and for Luke that had hurt worse than when the curly haired boy had left him in the first place.  But Ashton had never realized just how in love Luke was with him, having left to protect his own heart with the foolish fear that Luke had not loved him back.


Luke’s bloody fingers had trembled as he had dialed Ashton’s number that night, voice cracking as he spoke, “I-I’ve done something horrible Ash… and now I can’t get it to stop,” he had whimpered into the phone, blood trickling down his arm through the layers of gauze.  “Lukey what’s wrong?  Where are you?” Ashton had asked, panic clear in his tone. “‘M in my room… can’t get the blood to stop, Ash, ‘m scared,” Luke had whispered, his voice faint and weak as he breath grew shallow.  The line went dead and a moment later there was a pounding on the door.  “Luke, baby? Let me in, please,” Ashton had called, and after receiving no response he had forced the door open, gasping in horror at the sight that met his eyes.  Luke lay on his blood stained bed, red oozing from the cuts on his wrist, his body trembling.  “Oh Lukey, what did you do?” Ashton had cried, stumbling toward Luke’s crumpled body, pulling the young boy into his arms.  He had tugged his shirt over his head, pressing it firmly to Luke’s wounds to try and stop the bleeding.


“Why?” He had asked, “Why would you do this?” His eyes had search Luke’s foggy blue orbs as he had rinsed the younger boys arm before wrapping it tightly in a bandage.  Luke had just shrugged, leaning back against the bathtub, as he tried to avoid meeting Ashton’s eyes.  “I was tired of hurting, Ash, tired of being so god damn alone,” he had muttered, lips pressed in a thin line and eyes watering with tears.  “You left me and pretended like what we had was never even real, but for fuck’s sake, Ashton, it was real, okay? I loved you- I still fucking love you so damn much that it actually hurts because I know you’ll never feel the same.” Luke had ranted, tears rushing down his cheeks.  “Oh god,” Ashton had breathed, the guilt threatening to bring him to his knees, “Lukey, I left because I thought you would never love me the way that I had loved you.” he had said softly, scooping Luke up into a tight embrace.  He could feel Luke’s shaky breathing and the quiet sobs that had rattled his friends lanky body, his heart breaking at the realization the he himself had been to blame for Luke’s heartache.  


“Why didn't you ever tell me, Ash?” The younger had mumbled, rubbing at his red eyes and sniffling as he dried his damp cheeks.  Ashton remembered thinking that Luke had such pretty eyes, even when he cried.  “I don’t know, Luke, I guess I was just scared that you wouldn't feel the same, and that eventually you would find someone better and leave me all alone,” The older boy had admitted quietly, his hazel eyes brimming with tears that had remained unshed.  He had sighed softly, guilt clear in his eyes, before continuing, “So I left, I hurt you before you could hurt me.  I know it was stupid and mean, and I swear, Luke, that I am so unbelievably sorry.  I wish I could go back and do it all over, I’d never have left if only I had known,” and with that the tears waiting in his eyes had finally spilled over, running down his tanned cheeks, rolling down his face and leaving little tracks of wetness in their wake.  “I really fucked up, didn't I?” Ashton had asked, his tone bitter from the anger he had felt towards himself in that moment.  He had never meant to hurt Luke, god that couldn't be farther from the truth; he’d thought that he’d done Luke a favor by leaving.  He couldn't have been more wrong.


“Do you still love me?” Luke had asked quietly, his insanely blue eyes finding Ashton’s hypnotizing hazel orbs.  Ashton had rested his forehead against Luke's, closing his eyes before breathing out a quiet, “Yes, Lukey, I do; with all of my heart.”  With that Luke had tilted his head up, his soft pale lips finding Ashton’s plush cherry ones and pressing gently.  It was soft and sweet, and exactly what they had both missed so much in the past months.  Ashton had let out a soft contented sigh before cupping Luke’s face in his large hands, kissing back with slightly more force, savoring the feeling that he had missed so greatly.  Ashton had whined when Luke pulled back even though he was close enough he was still close enough that the the older boy could still feels their lips brush together when Luke had whispered his quiet plea.  “Promise you won’t ever leave me like that ever again.  Promise that you’ll stay,” Luke had pleaded softly eyelids fluttering as he looked into Ashton's kind eyes.  


Hours later when they had laid in the sheets of Luke’s hotel bed, chests heaving as they panted to catch their breath between kisses, Ashton had mumbled, “I promise that I’ll never leave again Lukey, I promise,” into the column of the taller boys throat, lips brushing over the sensitive skin of Luke’s neck.  Luke merely mewled in response, baring his throat for Ashton’s lips, tangling his long fingers in the drummers curly hair and pulling gently.  “I love you, Ash,” he had whimpered, tugging the older boys face back to his and pressing a chaste kiss into his already kiss-swollen lips.


And that was the night that both broken hearts had found their missing pieces, fixing one and other with soft kisses and gentle words.  That was the night that Ashton and Luke had rediscovered what it was to be loved, holding each other close and mumbling apologies into tattered skin.  Ashton’s lips had found Luke’s tender wrists, pressing faint kisses into the younger boy's raw flesh.  “Promise me that you’ll stop,” he had murmured against the soft skin of Luke’s wrist, his eyes finding Luke’s as he spoke.  “I promise,” Luke had breathed, blue eyes meeting hazel, honesty reading true in those electric blues.