Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2012 18:44:17 GMT From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com> Subject: Pieces of You chapter 5 Copyright 2011 by Dextrousleftie. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work, unauthorized duplication or use of the characters is prohibited. Please contact me at my e-mail address if you have any questions. Also, enjoy the story. :) Julian walked into his office for their next appointment, and Jonas was surprised to see him wearing a button-up shirt and a pair of tan slacks. The ring through his eyebrow was gone, the hole healing. He spread his hands and smiled a little, ruefully. "The new me," he said. "Although it's more like the old me, actually. So what do you think?" "You look nice," Jonas replied neutrally, ignoring a more visceral reaction. "How do you feel?" "Better," Julian replied, taking his normal chair. "A bit, anyway. I still wake up at night in cold sweats, though. I keep thinking that they're in my room again..." he shuddered. "It will take time for your natural fear to begin to recede," Jonas told him. "Healing is always slow, sometimes frustratingly slow, but it WILL happen. Just be patient." "I can do that. Believe me, even feeling a little bit better is amazing. Every day I used to wake up and think about just offing myself, because I couldn't stand the way I was. Always afraid, and depressed, and angry...I felt like I was falling apart a little at a time. Sometimes I just wanted to start screaming and never stop. I don't know why I never slashed my wrists, but I just couldn't quite bring myself to do it..." "Because you're strong," Jonas said. "Strong enough that you couldn't take the coward's way out even though you felt like you were falling apart." Julian rolled his shoulders. "Maybe you should keep telling me that," he said with a crooked smile. "After a hundred years or so I might start to believe you." "You already believe me," Jonas replied. "Huh. Well, Mr. Know-It-All, what next?" Julian asked wryly. "I thought we might talk about your childhood again today. I think it might be wise to tackle your trauma a bit at a time, in stages." "Whatever you think is best, Jonas," Julian said humorously. "I'll follow your lead." "That's nice to know," Jonas replied dryly. "But the quid pro quo still stands, doesn't it?" Julian asked, surprising him. "Err, yes. Of course," he said cautiously. Julian chuckled. "Don't sound so worried, Jonas. It's just nice to meet someone who's been through something similar to what I did, that's all. In your childhood, I mean. It makes me feel less alone." Jonas cleared his throat. "All right. I wanted to ask you about the summer your mother sent you to that camp. To `get you off her hands'. You were thirteen, right?" "Uh huh. That was an interesting summer," Julian remarked. "In what way?" "Would you believe it was the year that I got my first blow job? I already knew that I was gay, and there was this other boy at the camp. Pretty. He was pretty. And already kind of experienced, because he'd started to fool around with other boys at his school. He blew me in our cabin one day, and it was the most amazing experience of my entire life. I was a real cock hound after that. I did two things in high school -- I studied, and I found guys willing to let me blow them or vice versa. I have very fond memories of summer camp." Jonas's brows had flown up, and a little smile moved over his face. "I see. Not every boy has quite that kind of experience at camp. I certainly didn't." "Did you ever go to summer camp?" Julian asked him curiously. "I did. Band camp, actually," Jonas explained. "The place for uber geeks. I did a great deal of `blowing' those summers, but only on a French horn." "Poor thing. I can just see you -- a string bean with dorky glasses, marching along in short blowing hard on your horn," Julian said impishly. Jonas sighed. "Unfortunately, that's pretty close," he remarked ruefully. "I was never cool, I'm afraid." "You could have been if you'd given out a few blow jobs," Julian remarked with a twinkle in his eyes. "Now why didn't I ever think of that?" his voice was droll. "So Mother's been on my back lately," Julian remarked in exasperation. Jonas frowned as he looked up from his notepad. "About what?" Julian shrugged. "She's happy that I'm acting more like myself, but she STILL wants to know what caused my aberrant behavior in the first place. I told her it's none of her business, but she won't give up. It's driving me nuts." The therapist considered this. "She's worried about you," he pointed out gently. His patient blew out a long breath. "So she's just started worrying about me NOW?! Where was she when I needed her, like during my entire childhood?!" Jonas sighed. "I understand your wish not to tell her what happened to you, but if you don't tell her SOMETHING she's going to keep hounding you. You know that." Julian made a frustrated movement with his elegant hands. "Of course I do! But what do I tell her? I just can't...about what really happened..." he turned his head away to conceal a sheen of tears. "If you don't want to tell her the truth, you might have to lie," Jonas said quietly. Julian's head whipped back around, and he stared at the therapist with his mouth hanging open. "Let me get this straight...you're actually advising me to LIE?!" A nod. "Yes. In this case, yes. I can tell that you're afraid of how your mother would react to the truth, that she might say or do something hurtful to you. Based on her past behavior, that is not an unlikely scenario. And you simply don't need to go through that, not now when you're just beginning your recovery. So yes, I think you should make up a plausible lie for her." Julian's mouth slowly closed. "Every time I come in here, you surprise me," he said. "I should be used to it by now, I guess. It's just that you kind of expect one thing when you go to see a Jewish therapist, and then you get something else entirely. A horse of a different color, definitely. That's what I get for making assumptions." Jonas's lips lifted in a faint smile. "I've always enjoyed defying people's expectations of me," he remarked. "It's great fun, actually. They're always so shocked...it makes me laugh." Julian grinned. "Well, at least you keep your patients on their toes," he said lightly. "Anyway, I'll mull over a good lie that I can sell to my mother. It'll have to be something that she'll buy, or she won't stop bugging me. In fact, it'll only get worse if she realized that I'm lying, because she'll be even more determined to find out what I`m hiding from her." "Actually, the best lies always contain a grain of truth," Jonas told him. "You could tell her that you were devastated by the fact that Darryn has cheated on you, and that's why you began acting out." Julian snorted. "That could work. She doesn't know me well enough to realize that I'd never fall completely apart just because I kicked a cheating boyfriend out of my life. Especially one that I only thought that I loved. I know now," he added with a sigh, "That I really have no idea what being in love is like. I know this would be painful for you," he went on, looking at Jonas soberly, "But could you...talk about Chris? Even if just a little bit? I can tell that you really loved him. If you don't want to, I`ll understand. I don't want to cause you pain." Jonas sucked in a deep breath as he felt his stomach muscles tighten. But all he said was: "No, that's all right. I like talking about Chris. It keeps his memory fresh inside my mind, and that's all for the good. I never want to forget him even though I had to let him go. What do you want to know?" "Well," Julian looked uncomfortable as he thought this question over. "I mean -- what did it feel like when you were with him? I just wonder what love feels like, so I'll know it if I ever start to feel it for myself." Jonas considered this. "It's different for everybody," he pointed out seriously, "So the way you'll feel about someone you love won't be quite the same as the way I felt about Chris. But there are always some basic similarities as well. I think the most important part of it was that whenever I was around Chris I felt...happy. Completely and totally happy. Just touching him, or seeing his smile, or talking to him...it all made me happy. I think that's the basis of all forms of love, real love that is. That being with that other person makes you happy. And that you make them happy in return. It's as simple as that in the end. Of course you're going to fight once in awhile, or snap at each other when you're in a bad mood...but those are always just temporary problems at best. And it's good to fight or argue, as long as it doesn't turn ugly or mean-spirited. Chris and I used to argue about stupid things sometimes," he added with a wry, nostalgic smile. "Like who was more in the wrong -- him for drinking milk out of the carton or me for leaving my orange peelings on the desk in my study and forgetting about them? But we always made up in the end, and that was the best part of any argument," he smiled as he said this, as he remembered the fantastic bouts of `make-up' sex that he and Chris had had. Julian studied his face. A wistful expression slid over his own face, and he sighed. "I pretty much knew that I wasn't in love with Darryn, or he with me," he said mournfully. "But what you just said proves it. I wasn't happy around him most of the time...I couldn't be, not when he was always yelling at me or belittling me in public. He was such an asshole. I should have seen that sooner." "You had nothing to compare his behavior to," Jonas surprised him by pointing out. "Most of us base our behavior on what we see our parents do, but your parents were far too neglectful for you to be able to do that. You certainly didn't see any loving behaviors being exhibited by either of them. So you didn't know that the way Darryn treated you was wrong and not the way he should have treated you if he was really in love with you." "That's makes sense," Julian said slowly. "Thanks, Jonas. Every time I start to get down on myself, you point something out that makes me feel better. And it's always something logical and sensible, so I have no way to refute your argument. You're pretty amazing." Jonas shrugged. "It's what I do," he said with a twinkle in his eyes. "Besides, as far as I'm concerned the only thing you really did `wrong' was to look for love and someone to love you --and that's never really wrong. Every human being wants to love and be loved. It's as great an imperative as eating, sleeping, and defecating." Julian snorted at his last example, and grinned. It was a charming expression, and it made Jonas's breath catch and his body stir. He gulped as Julian remarked drolly: "So wanting to be in love is as natural to us as taking a shit? Good to know." Jonas lifted his empty hand defensively. "Hey, it's only a natural bodily function. We've managed to turn it into something shameful and wrong, which is ridiculous. Our body has to excrete waste or it goes toxic. So, yes, it is as natural as our wanting to find love. Just coming from the other end," he teased, and felt a weird fluttering in his gut when Julian laughed openly. "God, I don't think I've laughed like that since...that night," Julian said when he could speak again. "It feels weird, it's been so long. But good. Really, really good." "I'm glad," Jonas told him sincerely. "Hopefully you'll be able to laugh a lot more from now on." Julian's laughter haunted Jonas as he lay in bed that night. He was trying to read a book, but he finally lat it down on his lap and sighed. He rubbed under his glasses as he struggled with what he was feeling. This was SO not good! It wasn't just that he was starting to feel a sexual attraction to his patient -- and that was bad enough, considering the fact that Julian was a rape victim -- but even worse, he was starting to feel other things as well. He felt a chill go down his spine as he realized that being around Julian anymore made him feel much as he had whenever he was with Chris. Oh, hell! He couldn't be...falling in love with his patient? He took off his glasses and buried his face in his hands, groaning. He just didn't know what to do. He should recommend that Julian go to another therapist, but they were making such progress that he didn't want to derail it. He felt like a man caught between Scylla and Charybdis, and all he could do was wait to be smashed to bits by the churning tempest. "Oh, Chris," he moaned aloud to the empty house. "What do I do? Please help me, because I'm really lost right now." He didn't expect a response, so when he finally curled up in exhaustion and went to sleep; he was surprised to start dreaming about Chris. In the dream, his lover was sitting curled up in his favorite chair, his bare feet sticking out from under the too-long shirt he was wearing(it was one of Jonas's). He was smiling slightly as Jonas entered the room, and he cocked his head to the side in that familiar, beloved gesture of his. "Hey, lover," he purred. "How you doing?" Jonas sighed. "Not so great," he replied. Chris folded his arms over his knees, looking like a little boy as he set his chin on top of his arms and directed a keen look up at Jonas. "Tell me all about it," he urged. So Jonas did. He told Chris about his sessions with Julian, and his newfound feelings for his patient. He explained to his dead lover why it was such a bad thing -- that Julian needed him as therapist right now, not as a potential lover. That Julian was fragile emotionally, and didn't need his therapy derailed just because his therapist had gone off the deep end. That he'd have to recommend that Julian go to someone else if this got any worse, but that he feared that that would have a profound effect on his patient. Chris listened to all of this patiently, and at the end he chuffed out laughter as he shook his head a little. "You always somehow manage to get yourself in trouble without me, don't you, lover?" he remarked in amusement. "Yeah," Jonas groaned. "That's why I wish you were really here. But if you were, we wouldn't be having this conversation of course. Because I still love you, Chris. I always will." That delightful smile that was the thing that had first attracted him to Chris in college spread over his dead lover's face. "Of course you do. But Jonas, I AM dead. This is just a dream. I'm a figment of your imagination now. You need to move on, baby. And you can't do that if you keep clinging to me and my memory. I don't want that for you -- I can't stand the thought of you moping around alone for the rest of your days. If you'd been the one who died, do you think that you'd be happy if I never moved on? Of course you wouldn't be. I want what's best for you -- and what's best for you now is for you to find somebody else to love. It sounds to me like this Julian guy might just be the person who can help you get over losing me. So I'm giving you my approval, Jonas. No matter what it takes, no matter what you have to do...you find a way to be with that guy. And be happy, lover. Really happy. Only think of me sometimes, and remember how good we were together, that's all I ask. "He rose lithely to his feet and walked over to where a dumbfounded Jonas stood. "Don't look so shocked," Chris chided him. "This is really your subconscious talking to you, after all. And you're a trained therapist, so you know what's really best for you whether you want to admit it consciously or not. So listen to what I'm saying, Jonas, and don't get all tangled up in worrying too much. Everything will work out in the end," he stood no tiptoe to kiss Jonas's slack mouth, smiling. When he drew away, Jonas saw that he had started to become transparent. "Gotta go now, lover. Just remember what I said. Give Julian a kiss for me," he added with a merry wink, just before he faded out of the dream room altogether. Jonas sat straight up in bed, his mind in turmoil. He blinked the fog out of his eyes as he thought about the dream he'd just had. Had that only been his subconscious talking to him? Why had Chris seemed so real, then? He rubbed a hand over his head. This was what he got for asking Chris to help him. His lover had always been like this in life, too -- always poking and prodding at him whenever Chris thought that he was being dumb about something. Jonas groaned and rolled out of bed to take a hot shower, hoping that the water would soothe his aching muscles. He thought about Julian as he lathered himself up with soap. He still didn't know what he was going to do, in spite of dream Chris's advice. Julian was still his patient; to try to take advantage of him in his fragile mental and emotional state would be both unethical and immoral. Jonas sighed and rolled his shoulders wearily as he let the hot water pound down on his head. There was still no good way out of this situation; he still didn't know what would be the best thing to do. For now, he'd just have to continue with their sessions and try to hide his growing feelings for his patient. It was the only thing he COULD do. But, oh God, it was going to be difficult... Fortunately for him, his next session with Julian wasn't for two days after that. Jonas felt acute relief as he worked with his other patients and tried hard not to think about Julian, although that didn't work out very well for him. In idle moments, images of the younger man would pop into his head without his permission. This was very disconcerting, especially when he was in the midst of a therapy session with one of his other patients. He wanted to concentrate on them and their problems alone, but he was very much afraid that he wasn't giving them their money's worth because he was daydreaming like a smitten teenage boy. Finally the day of the last session of the week with Julian arrived. Jonas was restless all morning, and caught his attention wandering more than once during his scheduled sessions. He kept glancing at the clock, willing it not to move so fast. But it was relentless, and soon enough it was time for Julian to arrive. He was pacing his office while he waited, muttering to himself and fiddling with his pen, a nervous habit he'd always had. He heard the door open, and turned to see Julian amble in. The younger man smiled in greeting, and Jonas felt his stomach clench. Julian was just so attractive when he smiled, showing off his even white teeth. Jonas realized abruptly that he'd been standing there for who knew how long, just staring at Julian. The younger man was giving him a puzzled look. "Are you okay, Jonas?" he asked in concern. He struggled to make his tongue work, since it seemed to have turned to leather in his mouth. "Yes," he said rather hoarsely. "I'm fine, Julian. Just a little off my game today, I guess. UI think I might be coming down with something." "Oh, that's too bad. Did you want to cancel our session today?" Julian asked reluctantly. What a wonderful out! But he couldn't do that to Julian, since the younger man was obviously looking forward to their session today. He looked so disappointed... Jonas pulled himself together. "No, we can have our session," he said soothingly. "I'm all right. Let's sit down." Julian looked relieved, and Jonas sighed as he took his own seat. Somehow he'd get through today, and all of the days after that while Julian was his patient. He set his pen to paper and tried to put on as professional an expression as he possibly could. "How did it go with your mother?" he asked. "Did she accept your excuse?" Julian's lips twitched. "Yes, she did. But then, I tried my hand at thespianism, beating my breast and wailing about how terrible it was to find out that Darryn had cheated on me. Since Mother's an old hand at being cheated on, she understood. But she now thinks that I'm a total wussy," he added with sparkling eyes, "Since I fell apart so drastically just because of that. I had to struggle not to laugh in her face when she was sympathizing with me." Jonas chuckled. "I see. Well, your `fragility' should keep her off your back for a bit," he replied. "Yeah. Sweet freedom," Julian said, stretching his legs out in front of him. "So now I can concentrate on my therapy without worrying about her. I'm really looking forward to it." Jonas wished that he could say the same -- but unfortunately for him, his situation was a lot more complicated than his patient's... If you are enjoying this story, please check out my website: www.dlsyaoi-polloi.com.