Darren feels it is time for an upgrade in his relationship with Daniel.
PG-13 for language
Disclaimer: I do not know nor do I own either men from the band previously known as Savage Garden. This is not being written in order to harm any current careers. This is being for written for entertainment purposes only, and not for profit. Thank you for not suing.
Summary: Darren thinks it was time he was upgraded in his relationship with Daniel.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
Thanks: To my readers. You all know why.
Darren sat on his bed, flipping through a magazine, not looking at anything, not reading, just flipping. The pages flew to the side violently as he mumbled to himself. Leonie came in just in time to see him throw the magazine half way across the room. "Okay, Dare, what's up?" she asked as she ducked the flying magazine.
He rolled his eyes and rolled underneath his covers. "Nothing," he mumbled.
"You finally get to spend three uninterrupted weeks with Daniel and instead of coming back full of joy and mirth, you are throwing things across the room and singing 'Unlovable' better than ever. Seriously, Darren, what's going on?"
"Leave me alone, Leo," Darren burrowed even deeper underneath the duvet.
"Did Daniel break it off or something?" she asked as she sat down next to the lump. "I thought everything was going great. He finally broke it off with Kathleen, told you he loved you, couldn't wait to see you."
Darren's dark head came creeping out from his hiding place. "He didn't break up with me."
"Well thank God. What's up then?"
Darren finally sat up. "Well, you know how we decided we'd really start dating. No more hiding or lying?"
"Yeah," Leonie replied slowly.
"So we go out on my last night in Brisbane. We'd spent most of the three weeks at his house, or at our parents. But he says he wants to take me out for a goodbye dinner and so we get all dressed up and he takes me to this pizzeria. A pizzeria, Leo. And he tells me how the pizza is fantastic and he orders this cheap ass bottle of what the waiter called wine. And he's telling me how great it is that we're finally together and how happy he is that I came down. Finally, we decide to walk to a nearby pub. We're walking hand in hand, which was perfectly fine when we bump into a friend of his. Suddenly Daniel drops my hand and he's talking to this guy and laughing with him and then he turns to me and says, 'Steve, this is my best mate, Darren'. That's it, Leo, I'm his best mate. What the hell? I thought I had graduated past 'best mate' status to 'soul mate' status."
"Maybe this Steve guy is a homophobe."
"Yeah, that's what I thought until he introduced the guy with him as his life partner."
"So what'd you do?"
Darren shrugged. "What could I do? I told him I wasn't feeling well and that I just wanted to go home and sleep."
"And then you left the next day?"
"And that's when the problem was just compounded," Darren sighed. "He took me to the airport and we're standing there outside and he hugs me. Only not a loverly hug, a one-armed, 'it was good to see you mate' hug. No kiss. Nothing. He didn't even say I love you." Tears were starting to fall from his eyes and he palmed at them quickly. "Jesus, Leo. I honestly thought we'd gotten past all of that. When we were at home, he was loving and wonderful. I guess I was stupid to think it would be any different."
"Oh, Dare," Leo took her boss and best friend into her arms. "Do you want me to book him a flight here? You can break up with him face-to-face."
"I don't want to break up with him, Leonie!" Darren was full on crying now. "I just want to be upgraded to boyfriend! I want the fucking diploma that says I graduated from all the years of heartache and lying because he's a Jones and needs to be straight. I want the diploma that says I aced the nights of listening to him and Kat make love in the hotel room right next to me but now she would have to listen to us."
"That's a little voyeuristic, Daz," Leo grinned.
"Okay, maybe that's going a little too far," Darren grimaced. "But you understand what I'm saying, right?"
"Of course I do, Darren. You want to be upgraded from hidden lover to the guy he introduces as his life partner. Do you want me to book him a first class ticket?"
"No," Darren shook his head. "I don't want him to upgrade me because of pity. Now, what do I have the next couple of days?"
Daniel hung up the phone, his mind racing. He had tried calling Darren twenty times and either Leonie swore he was busy or it went straight to voicemail. He didn't understand. He had thought everything had gone so well when Darren had come for a visit. For three weeks they had made love and plans and everything had seemed so wonderful, and now Darren wouldn't return a single one of his calls. He tried to replay the last day of Darren's visit in his head and couldn't find a damn thing wrong with it. "Fuck," he whispered and then picked up the phone and called the airline to book a flight straight to London.
Darren was finishing up an interview when Daniel came bursting through the door, covered in London rain. They stared at each other for a moment and then Darren looked away, smiling as if Daniel were not there. After the interviewer excused him, Darren stood and walked up to Daniel, staring up into these green eyes. They just stood there, Darren frowning and Daniel trying to figure out what exactly to say. "What the hell are you doing here?" Darren finally spoke.
"I'm trying to figure out why the hell you won't return my calls," Daniel replied. "I thought we had a great time. Jesus, Darren, I had never been happier. So why the fuck won't you call me back?"
Darren stared at him, "Look, Daniel, maybe this isn't the right place."
"Where is it, Darren? Can you tell me what I did wrong? Because I know you're intuitive and you can tell when something is bothering me and you know the right things to say and do, but shit, Darren, I'm a guy. Simple as that. I say and do things cause that's what I do. And I don't know when it hurts you unless you tell me."
"Fine, you wanna know what's bothering me? I want to be upgraded Daniel. You promised me there wouldn't be anymore hiding and yet we meet a friend of yours, a gay friend of yours and I'm suddenly your best mate! You won't kiss me in public! You take me to seedy restaurants where no one will see us! You won't say I love you in public and all I want right now is to be upgraded! I want to know that you're not ashamed of who you are! And if I can't get that then---"
And suddenly, Daniel grabbed him and shook him just a little. "Darren, look, I'm sorry. Will you listen to me? I really am. I just broke it off with my fiancee because I realized I loved you. So this whole being in public thing is going to take some getting used to. And you know what?" And he turned from Darren to face the crowd of people that had gathered in the lobby. "I love this man. I love him. And I think he's the best thing that has ever happened to me." He turned back to Darren, whose eyes were filling with tears. "And yes, it's cliche, Dare, and I hate cliches, but sometimes they serve us so well. Now come here."
They began kissing, their tongues dueling and Darren knew very well there were people watching but he didn't care. "I love you," he murmured in Daniel's mouth.
Daniel laughed and pulled away. "How's that for an upgrade, lover?"
"Perfect," Darren nodded. "Just perfect."