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“What are you saying?”

“I don’t wanna do the show anymore.”

“Don’t do that. Don’t leave because of this. We’ll figure it out.”

“That’s the thing, I don’t want to.”

A pause.

 “I’d rather be unemployed than work for you anymore.”

A beat.

“Take care, Tom.”


“Sam, wait.”

A sigh.

“Tom, I can’t do this with you right now.”



“Don’t leave.”

A choked laugh.


“I never wanted you to leave.”

A scoff. Unimpressed.

“If I recall, you were the one who pushed me into leaving for the tour.”

“I know.”

A look.

“And I hated it.”

A breath. Disbelieving.


A beat.

“Sam, look. I know I hurt you. I know this was really important to you and–” A falter. “And I’m sorry.”

A shaky exhale.

“I meant it you know.”

A shaky voice.

“Meant what?”

A deep inhale.

“When you came back, I–” A swallow. “I missed you.”

A huff.

“Would you at least look at me?”

Voice rising.

“Theatre is my life, Tom, these jobs are my life, and I left them for–” Quieter. “And I left them.”

“You said you left that tour for a lot of reasons.” Trying to catch his eyes. “What were they?”

A shake of his head, pulling away from his grip.

“Tom, I’m not going to–”

“Did you come back for me?”

A pause.

“Were you lying when you said you missed me too?”

A beat.

“You slept with me the night you came back,” Voice rising. “Despite the fact we hadn’t even seen each other for months.”

A swallow.

“I thought you were the one who said we wait.”

Trying to breathe evenly again, tightening his grip.


“Please look at me.”

A sigh.

“Let go, Tom.”

He wouldn’t meet his eyes.





“I don’t want to.”

Eyes snapping to his, sceptical.

“I don’t want to let you go.”

He held his gaze.

A pause.

“…And what if I want you to?”

A swallow.


“Then I won’t let you.”

A beat.

A shared, quiet laugh.

A sigh, longsuffering.

Eyes, searching his face for something.

A small smile.

Voice soft, incredulous.


Trailing off with a shake of the head.


Drawn out, hopeful.

Eyes meeting again.

Smile optimistic, anticipating.

Biting his lip.


Shifting his single-handed grip to around his waist, pulling him closer.

Looking away, pulling back, doubtful.


“I missed you.” Trying to meet his gaze once again. “I really missed you.”

Allows himself to be drawn back in.

Against his chest, resigned.


A breath.

“You don’t have to work for this shoddy upstart director if you don’t want to…”

A surprised chuckle.

A gentle expression he couldn’t see.

“But I really do want you here,” Sobering. “With me.”

Pulling back, looking him in the eyes, searching his expression.

A reluctant sigh, leaning back in, head resting on his shoulder.


“You’re an idiot, you know that?”

Hugging him even closer.


A comfortable silence, standing together.

Pulling back, hands on his shoulders, looking him in the eyes, eyebrows raised.

“You know I’m still mad at you right?”

A relieved laugh.

“I’d be surprised if you weren’t.”

A shared smile.

Shifting to snake his arms around the back of his head.

A lopsided smile, eyes soft.

“I missed you too.”

A moment, just holding each other, faces buried in each other’s necks, breathing in the scent that they missed.


“We’re standing in the middle of a path.”

“I know.”

They made no shift to move.

A pause.

“Aren’t you going out for drinks with Julia and Eileen?”


“But I’m pretty sure I heard–”

“Nope. Nothing,” Pulling away to meet his eyes. “Is stopping me from doing this with you.”

“Tom.” Reasoning. “This is your night. Celebrate it.”

“I am.”

Rolling his eyes.


Catching his gaze again.

“Hey, this is more important than them.”



Eyebrows raised.


An unconvinced huff.

“I’m serious.”



An uncertain expression.


“I’ll prove it to you.”




A kiss.

Soft, slow, chaste.

A sharp inhale, eyes shuttering closed, hands tightening on his shoulders, not drawing closer, but not pushing away.

Warm, stuttering breath, eyes firmly shut, afraid of what he’ll see, hands pulling closer, trembling, desperate, yearning.

A beat.


A soft moan.

Pulling away.

Eyes fluttering open.

Uneven breathing.

Mingled breaths.

A swallow.

Opening his mouth to speak.


“I want this to work out between us, I really do–”


“And I know I messed things up before, but I just–”


“Really want this to work, because you were the only person who I–”

He cut himself short.


A swallow.

A breath.

Unsure, shaky.

“This is the longest I’ve ever, you know, really, been with someone I–”

Another breath.


“I love.”

Eyes wide.

Mouth opening in surprise.

An unknown expression flooding his features.


Jerking away.

“God, I shouldn’t have said that. Shit, that was so–” A breathless laugh. “I should’ve written you a song or something, God, I’m an idiot, I should’ve just–”


Warm hands on his face, forcing him to look at him.


A soft expression.


A gentle voice.


“I love you, too.”

Hearts beating wildly.

Relived, ecstatic grins.

Breathless laughter.


A kiss.

Deeper, longer, harder.

Breaking away.







A groan.

Pulling away.





A cough.




A beat.

“Want to…” Hesitating. “At my place?”

A short sigh.


Looking away.


“I’m not sure if that’s…” A swallow. “A good idea.”

A pause.


Pulling away.


“No, yeah, you’re completely right. I mean we just got this sorted and–”


Covering his mouth with his hand.

“Listen for just a second.”

Opening his mouth to apologise.


His mouth falling closed.

“Thank you.”

An apologetic expression.

A small exhale.

A fond smile.

“I meant not now. I mean it’s…” Looking for the right words. “You’ve just done a preview, and there’s all that director stuff you gotta do.”


A smile.

“Get your drinks with Julia and Eileen.”

Resituating themselves into their previous hold.

“I’ll still be here tomorrow.”

Grip tightening slightly.

“You sure?”

A short peck on the lips and pulling away.

Attempting to deepen the kiss, following him forward.

A quiet chuckle.


A pause.

Enjoying the shared silence.

Stepping away.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Tom.”

A twitch of the lips.


A smile.


And he stood on the almost empty pathway, watching him walk away.


Whispering to himself the one word promise that he wasn’t going to leave.