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Heartbreak or Death

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me and you were meant to be,

like stars in the sky, and leaves on the trees.

     Ross almost couldn't contain his excitement. He was recording some episodes of Steam Train with Barry today. He didn't even remember what game they were playing, all he knew is that he was playing it with him. Ross had an absurd, extremely gay crush on Barry for a long time; maybe for two years, by this point. Ross always felt this euphoric sense of happiness around Barry. All of the episodes they recorded together were filled with such a sense of glee because Barry forced him to forget about anything that made him angry or upset. 

     He's wanted to tell Barry about his stupid crush on him for a long time, but he often decided it was better left unsaid. Things would get too complicated if he did, so he decided to enjoy this while it lasted.

If only he stuck to his plan.

     It turned out they were playing some RPG game Ross couldn't recall the name of. He should have been able to recall it, but he was always in a constant state of amnesia when he was around Barry. He could only focus on him.

     "Awww!" Barry exclaimed, breaking Ross out of his reverie. "Look at how cute this art style is! Look at my little sprite how cute! Look how adorable!" Barry continued, excitement evident in his voice.

     "You're adorable," the words fell out of Ross' mouth before he had a chance to stop himself. Ross' eyes widened in realization of what he just said, and he attempted to act like he said nothing.

     After a few moments of silence, Barry spoke. "Next time on Steam Train... More cuteness!" He said quickly, too rushed for Ross' liking. He quickly turned off the recording equipment, and faced Ross.

     "Did you... did you mean that?" Barry asked quietly, seemingly star-struck. The only thought running through Ross' head was shitfuckshitfuckshitfuckfuckfuck.

     "I... yeah. Yeah, I did," Ross trailed off, his face flushing with embarrassment. He was expecting Barry to awkwardly thank him, or to say nothing at all.

What he wasn't expecting was the sudden kiss he was pulled into.

 

when times are tough, I want you to think

of you in my arms, me kissing your cheek.

     Ross almost couldn't contain his anxiety. He always had tunnel vision around Barry, and there were often things that he forgot about. The importance of said forgotten things ranged from a trivial level to life-or-death level. He had forgotten about something something so, so important.

Of all things, he had forgotten that he was married.

     Either Holly would be okay with his little gay crush, or she would be extremely pissed. He hoped that it was the first. The only thing that sucks about hope is that it doesn't do much for anyone in the long run.

     They had a fight, to say the least. Holly was upset, and Ross thought she was entitled to be. They had promised they only loved each other when they got married, but then this happened. Holly decided she needed a day or two away from Ross, which caused Ross' heart to shatter like a fragile glass.

He decided to give her her space. He called the only person he could think of staying with — Barry.

After a few rings, Barry picked up the phone.

"Hey, Ross! What's up?" Barry answered happily, causing a smile to tug at the aussie's lips.

"I... uh... I need somewhere to stay for a few days. Mind if I come over?" Ross asked, hoping not ruin Barry's good mood.

"No, I don't mind at all. Did something happen...?" Barry asked, sounding intrigued in Ross' current situation.

"I'd... rather not talk about it right now. I'll tell you when I come to your place," Ross responded, loading his stuff into his car.

"Okay. See you in a bit."

———

     "So, want to tell me the juicy deets now?" Barry asked as Ross put his stuff in the spare room. Ross smiled slightly at Barry's attempt to lighten the mood.

     "I... I told Holly about my... my, um... crush on you. She was kinda upset with me, but she's entitled to be, I guess..." Ross said, trailing off. Barry's expression softened. The next thing Ross knew, he was engulfed in a hug, which he gratefully sunk into.

"I'm sorry. I still love you, if that counts...?" Barry said softly, making Ross smile.

"Yeah. Yeah, that counts," Ross whispered back, only receiving a kiss on the cheek as a reply.

 

they say all good things have an end,

so will it be heartbreak or death?

     Ross almost couldn't contain his guilt. Over the few days he was staying with Barry, guilt and anger with himself began to build up. He hurt Holly, and he felt awful about it. He felt even more awful because staying with Barry was fueling his affection towards the man even more.

     Barry attempted to make Ross feel better, but to no avail. It was heartbreaking to see Ross so... well, heartbroken. Nothing was worse than being torn between two people, and Ross was suffering through that.

     Barry decided to do something to make him feel better. He wanted to go out and buy some coffee and donuts. He knew Ross would enjoy that, so he went to find his keys.

     "Hey, Ross, I'm going to go out and get a few things. I'll be back in, like, an hour, okay?" He called out, receiving an "okay"  from the other room.

He walked to the room where Ross was, and planted a kiss on his cheek. "Love you," He murmured, and turned to leave.

"Love you too," He heard Ross respond quietly. He smiled as he walked out of the door.

     Ross' knee bounced up and down. It had been about 2 hours since Barry left, why wasn't he back yet? He was nervous, but he shouldn't be. It was just traffic or something, right?

A few minutes later, his phone rang. It was a number he didn't recognize, but he picked up the phone regardless.

"Hello?" He answered, a nervous twinge in his voice.

"Are you Ross O' Donovan?" A woman's voice asked over the phone. Ross froze, suddenly very anxious.

"Yes... why do you ask?" Ross replied nervously.

"What relationship do you have with Barry Kramer?"

"I'm um..." Ross began, but paused. It was a question he never really thought about. What were they?

"I'm his boyfriend." Ross decided, hoping Barry wouldn't be too angry with the statement.

     "Oh... we've been trying to find an emergency contact to call, but the hospital couldn't find one. With some searching, we found you were his most recent contact."

Hospital?

    "Mr. Kramer got in a crash, Mr. O'Donovan," The female voice continued on the other line. Ross tensed, not liking where this conversation amy be leading.

"How bad are the injuries...?" Ross asked reluctantly, almost not wanting to know. He was answered with a sigh.

"He died on the impact of the crash, sir. I'm sorry."

In that instance, Ross' heart broke.

 

maybe we can last beyond all time,

my hand in yours, and your hand in mine.

     Ross almost couldn't contain his anguish. He and Holly were still spending time apart, but he didn't care right now, and he hasn't cared about much anything for the past few days.

All he could feel was numbing pain.

     He hadn't eaten in a while. He realized that, when people got in moods like these, they often lost track of the time. Barry had died almost a week ago. Ross hasn't functioned since. He tried to eat the day after he received the call, but only ended up puking and sobbing. After that he gave up on eating, and along with that, everything else.

    He decided to pick up his phone for the first time in a few days. He scrolled through all of the text messages he'd received. He decided to look at the texts from Holly first.

From Holly at 2:45 PM, April 25, 2016

I don't know if we're going to work anymore. I'm sorry. You just.. left me heartbroken.

Ha, Ross thought, April 25th, the same day as the fucking crash.

From Holly at 7:58 AM, April 26, 2016

Shit, I just heard about the crash. I'm sorry. Come back home, please.

That was when Ross put his phone down. Holly didn't actually want him back, she was pitying him because Barry died.

    "Fuck it," he said aloud, and sprang out of the bed he had been laying in for the past few days. He rummaged around in Barry's cabinets, searching for something to ease the pain.

After a few minutes of searching, he found what he was looking for — a bottle of pills.

"Holly doesn't want me anymore. Barry is dead. What should I live for?" Ross muttered, uncapping the bottle, and downing the entire thing.

After that, his world went black. To him, it was better than the monotone gray that the world had become after Barry's death.

———

Ross' eyes fluttered open, but he clenched them shut once again due the bright light.

Where the fuck am I? was the first thought to come to his head.

He stood up and looked around. After a while, he came to the realization that this place looked a hell of a lot like Barry's apartment.

     "Fuck!" Ross heard a familiar voice shout. He whipped around to see the living area of the apartment. The TV displayed a game of Mario Kart, and he could see someone sitting on the couch in front of it. He stumbled over to the couch.

Sitting on the couch was Barry.

"Barry?" Ross asked in disbelief. 

This couldn't be real.

"Ross! You're... wait," Barry said, staring in confusion. "If I'm dead and I'm here, how are you here...?" Barry questioned.

"I... um... may or may not have... given up," Ross said meekly, looking away.

Barry sighed. "I guess the plus side is that I have company now," He said, trying to lighten the mood once again.

Ross smiled and said, "So, is this what heaven's like? We get to spend eternity together?"

     "I guess so. You and me, together forever," Barry said, smiling, as he patted the couch next to him. He handed another controller to Ross as he sat next to him.

"I can beat your ass at games for all eternity now," Barry said with a challenging smirk.

Ross smiled, and tossed his controller to the side. He pulled Barry into a kiss, intertwining their hands.

"You're on, asshole," Ross whispered with a challenging smile after they broke apart.