For MidnightBlue88. Two men bond over a lost friend. One Shot.
The clouds were a dark grey, and for the first time that day, they released a thick downpour of rain. Trees thrashed about wildly, causing long and loud howls of wind to rip through the air and echo through the long open field of grass. The weather suited the day perfectly, for it was a day of loss and mourning.
Two men stood alone in the field. The rest of the funeral party had left a half hour previous, excluding two women and a set of parents. They left when the rain started to pour. Despite the weather, the two twenty-four year olds did not move; they stood as still as statues. No words were exchanged; no sounds at all were heard.
They didn't know quite what to say.
It had been the three of them together. They had wanted to go to a bar to get their minds off of things; Brian had finals, Andrew had a pregnant girlfriend, and John was fighting with his. The boys always counted on one another when times were tough, and that night was no exception.
It was funny how one night of drinking and partying had led them to the cemetery. All they had wanted to do was unwind and be in each other's company; one of them was left with broken bones, another with life threatening injuries. The third was dead.
"Are you sure it's important, guys? I really should be studying..." Brian sounded hesitant on the phone. He had two more final exams left; one test in anatomy, and the other in advanced psychology. He wanted to be a specialist in the nervous system.
All John did on the other line was laugh. "Fuck it, kid! All you've been doing is studying this and that...shit sucks out here and we want to party! Jockstrap here is ready to go homicidal, man."
"I suppose I could use a night to myself..." Brian paused. "I mean, spending time with you guys is way better than spending time with Walter."
"Your pansy-ass roommate?" Bender scoffed. "I'd hope so!"
Andrew grabbed the phone from John and cut in. "Brian? It's me. Look man, we don't want to mess up your tests, so if you want, we can have you home before eleven. What do you say?"
Brian chuckled on the other end. "That sounds great. I'll be ready in fifteen minutes."
Andrew and John had picked him up from the University campus and the three headed to a sport's bar in the North end. They preferred sport's bars because they weren't completely crowded with horny students looking to get laid, and they were almost always guaranteed a pool table.
They had all started drinking right away; however Brian had stopped after two. He was always strictly against drunk driving, and would hate to be responsible for an accident. It was his turn anyways. They had played about ten rounds of pool, each boy taking a turn to pay a dollar for each game. Andy and John had gone through three pitchers of beer between them, and by ten-thirty, they could hardly stand.
"I'm really glad that we decided to do this, guys." Brian stated with a smile.
Andy waved him off. "Man, we don't know what we would do without these trips."
John rolled his eyes at that. "Speak for yourself. I would be in the fucking cooler for sure."
Brian bit his lip. "What happened between you and Claire anyways?"
Bender scowled and sat down at their table roughly. "The bitch flushed my stash." His long hair hung loosely at both sides of his face, and his eyebrows were pointed inwards. He would have looked intimidating if it wasn't for the far off, glazed over look in his eyes.
"I thought she didn't care if you smoked?" Andy asked curiously.
"She doesn't!" John said exasperatedly. "She was bitchin' about me being a fucking bum or something, and said all I care about is drugs. And she fucking threw my shit in the toilet!"
Andy smirked at him. "You don't have a job. You sell drugs for money. Can't you see her side of the argument?"
John glared at him. "No. She has no reasoning behind her never-ending nagging."
Andy smiled at him. "Well I can hear you there." The two men rose their cups in cheers, and smirked at one another.
"Boys," Brian cut in. "Surely they aren't that bad. You just spend too much time together." Brian was always their voice of reasoning. He had a way of making sense of things that angered the other two boys. Brian was always good at that.
"Nah, Allison is just pregnant. Remind me keep my dick in my pants." Andy finished off his last glass and placed his cup on the table. "I'm happy and all, but some days are so bad that I wish she never got pregnant in the first place."
"I'm just glad it's you, and not me!" Bender said with a laugh.
Brian snorted. "You're saying that now, but you know that you will be all smitten when you see him."
Andy looked at Brian. "Did you just say 'smitten'?"
The three boys broke into laughter and stood from their tables. The night had been successful in terms of getting some time away from their 'stress factors', and they were ready to head home. They left a tip for the bartender and walked out the door.
"It may be a silly word, but it's true. Are you excited to see what he looks like?" Brian had a grin on his face.
Andrew shrugged lazily and opened the back seat of the car. "Yeah; I hope he looks like me."
John piled into the passenger seat and snorted. "I don't, for his sake anyways."
The three boys shared a laugh as Brian started the car. Immediately, John went searching on the radio for something that he liked. Andrew and Brian did not mind this because John had been semi-successful into converting them to metal. He stopped at a station playing Van Halen's "Right now" and began singing the lyrics as loud as he could. Andrew only laughed and began to sing a long with him.
"So who is better?" Brian asked the boys. "Sammy Hagar or David Lee Roth?"
"Roth!" John blurted.
"Hagar!" Andy challenged. They proceeded to argue their cases over who was the better front man, not paying attention to anything else.
Brian grinned at the two boys and stopped at a red light. The intersection was completely empty, and the only sounds heard on the street were the bass coming from Andrew's car. Brian drummed his fingers on the steering wheel along with the song, until it changed to Guns N' Roses' 'November Rain'. The car went silent then.
The light turned green moments later, and Brian put his foot on the gas to proceed through the intersection. Only one of the boys remembered what happened following the green light.
The car was only mid way through the intersection when a Ford pick-up went barreling through a red light. It exploded into the side of the car, sending shards of glass all over the vehicle. Two of the boys had lost consciousness, while the other hung on in incredible pain. The last things heard were the blaring of a horn, twisting metal, and the haunting voice of Axl Rose:
"'Cause nothing lasts forever, and we both know hearts can change. And it's hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain..."
"This wasn't supposed to happen." A voice piped up. The blonde haired man looked at his companion with a frown on his face. The other man just continued. "We had a designated driver...drunk driving wasn't supposed to kill anybody."
The blonde man swallowed hard. "There wasn't anything we could do."
The other man just looked at him; hurt was burning through his eyes. It was something the blonde man was not used to ever seeing in his friend. "We should have just stayed home!" He was screaming then.
The rain continued to pour down, soaking the faces and hair of both men. The blonde haired man - deep down inside - completely agreed with his friend, but didn't want to say so in fear that he would upset him more.
Lord knows they did not need that.
"You know, I should've just kept my fucking mouth shut. I should have gone out by myself...I never should have dragged you guys out." His friend squatted down in the grass and stared at the concrete tombstone in front of him. The rolling raindrops made it hard, but the blonde haired man could see the tears rolling down his friend's face.
It was the first time he had ever seen John Bender cry.
"We wanted to come with you. We all wanted to go out." He replied coolly.
The long haired man looked down at the cast wrapped around his arm with disgust. The blonde man wanted to point out that he shouldn't have been getting it wet, but he held his tongue. John's eyes were wild and angry, and he suddenly reared back and struck the stone hard with the cast.
"Son of a bitch!" He screamed at the ground. "Fuck you!"
It was then that he felt his throat hitch. He had no idea what the fuck they were going to do without their friend. He had always been the one to give reason to their decisions; he had always been the one who knew what to do.
They were lost without him.
Andrew kneeled down and placed a hand on John's shoulder. It was hard for him to do so because the extent of his own injuries was still severe. He had been told - not only by his girlfriend and parents, but by his doctors that he should stay in bed. There wasn't anything he had that was worse than what Brian had suffered.
If he could do anything for Brian, it would be to shove his pain to the side and show up at his fucking funeral. He owed him at least that much.
John raked his hands over his head and pushed his soaking wet hair back. He looked at Andrew, obviously noticing the blonde's pain. "Do you need to go home?"
Andy only shook his head. "I'll live."
John only blinked at him. The words hurt the two of them more than anyone could have imagined. There were so many times that the two of them butted heads, and there were so many times that the two of them would one-up the other. Brian would sometimes laugh at them, or get annoyed with them. Brian was the one thing that had always kept the two from going over the edge together.
Now they were pretty sure that they were falling over that edge.
So they sat. They sat in front of the tombstone with the rain rolling down their foreheads and onto their suits. They didn't say anything to each other - for the first time in a long time - and just enjoyed each other's company - with Brian.
For the last time.