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Okay, so maybe I didn't get quite as much done today as I had planned on. But I did write. I wasn't really expecting this part to be as massive as it wound up being. I wasn't really expecting it to take me this long either, but that's how it usually works.

March 2001...

Tim stopped flipping through the channels on the TV to glance at his watch. It was 10:24 PM and he figured now was an acceptable time to start being worried about where Marko was. He had said he'd be over a little after 8:00, and it wasn't like the guitarist to be this late for an engagement, even one as casual as hanging out at Tim's apartment. Tonight, though, was supposed to be more special than other nights they'd spent together, because they had something to celebrate: yesterday afternoon Sugarcult signed a record deal with Ultimatum Music. The band had partied last night until the wee hours of the morning in celebration, but Tim was still waiting to commemorate one of the best things that had ever happened to him with the most important person in his life.
As wasted as he was at the party, he could remember wishing he and Marko were alone. "I can't wait to be alone with you," he'd whispered in Marko's ear when no one was paying attention and tenderly kissed his lips. "Will you come over tomorrow? I want to have a private celebration with the person I love more than anyone else in the world." Marko had smiled nervously at Tim in response and placed a quick peck on the singer's cheek, telling him he'd be there around 8:00 before he moved on to socialize with others at the bash. Tim wondered now if maybe he'd forgotten all about it since he had left the party before anyone else without saying another word to him, leaving their plans unconfirmed. Marko had always been good about keeping dates and promises though, which is why Tim could feel his heart starting to race with panic, since he'd already gone two hours without even so much as a phone call.
Tim picked up the phone and started to dial Ben's cell phone to see if maybe he'd heard from their missing lead guitarist. Just as he was about to hit the send button, there was a quiet knock on the door. Tim immediately threw down the phone and turned off the TV as he scrambled from the couch to the door. Opening it, he saw Marko before him looking like such a rock star in his faded denim jacket and tight black pants. "It's about time," Tim sighed in relief at the sight of his friend. "I was starting to get worried about you."
"Sorry." Though he didn't offer any kind of excuse, he did sound genuinely apologetic as he stepped into Tim's apartment.
"Where've you been for the past two hours?" Tim asked as he secured the door's deadbolt and turned off the outside hall light. "I thought maybe you'd forgotten about my invitation. You left last night without even saying good-bye."
Again, nothing but a simple, however apologetic, "Sorry."
The sudden appearance of Tim's arms around his waist made Marko jump. "So?"
"So what?" Marko cursed the 24-year-old's ability to hold his gaze, wishing he could look away from Tim's eyes. They'd been sparkling with this childlike excitement and happiness since the band had first heard about the record deal, and a few days ago he had delighted in seeing Tim so happy, but now it just made what he'd come here to say even harder.
The singer laughed at Marko's inability to pay attention to the conversation. "Where have you been?" he repeated, squeezing the guitarist's sides playfully.
"I've been wandering, just thinking about things," he confessed.
"What sorts of things?" Tim asked, breaking away from Marko to cross the room to the fridge. He pulled out a beer and motioned to the guitarist to see if he wanted one.
Shaking his head, the guitarist held up a hand to politely refuse the beverage. Getting drunk, or better yet, getting completely wasted seemed like a wonderful idea to Marko, but he knew it wouldn't solve things, not right now anyway. He figured he'd probably wind up drinking himself to sleep tonight because that's the only way he'd be able to get any. "The band," he eventually answered. "The record contract..."
"Isn't it fucking amazing?!" Tim chimed in, putting his open beer bottle down on the counter so he had both arms free to pounce on Marko with. "I can't believe we've finally got a record deal! Someone is gong to pay for us to record our music! I knew that our hard work would pay off, and we never would've gotten as far as we've gotten without you."
"You and Airin and Ben have done just as much as I have," he corrected, staring down at Tim's hips pressed against his.
"But you... you're so talented and wonderful and amazing," Tim said brushing the guitarist's hair out if his eyes. Marko looked uncomfortable but he usually acted that way when Tim gushed about how crazy he was about him. "We're so lucky to have you in the band. I'm so lucky to have you." Cradling the side of his face, the singer placed a long, devoted kiss on Marko's lips. After a minute he pulled away and just stared at his bandmate with a perplexed look on his face, wondering why Marko hadn't even attempted to kiss him back. "What's wrong?"
Marko took a deep breath, pushing away the dread he had been feeling for the past few hours. "I was thinking about us, too," he finally responded. His tone was serious, but the gentle look in his eyes comforted Tim a little bit, but then again, Marko's eyes always looked non-threatening.
"What about us?" he asked, nervously glancing at Marko's hand which had a firm grip on Tim's shoulder. He couldn't tell if the guitarist was going to push him away or pull him closer.
"I don't think this is such a good idea anymore... us, being together."
Tim furrowed his brow as he pulled away from Marko's grasp. "Wh-what? What do you mean? Where is this coming from?" he stuttered, grasping for words. He could barely think his heart was pounding in his chest so loudly.
Mark dropped his arms to his side as Tim retreated from his hold. He felt empty without the singer against his torso, but knew this would be easier with some space between them. "With the record deal, I don't think-"
"How does the record deal have anything to do with us?" Tim demanded, not letting Marko finish his sentence.
"This isn't kid's stuff anymore, Tim. We're a signed band now. This is our chance to really make it and I think we can really do it. But I don't want anything to get in the way of it." He paused and glanced up at his bandmate, waiting for him to interrupt again, but the singer just stared at him speechless, a hurt look of disbelief on his face. "I've seen relationships break up so many bands, and I don't want that to happen to us. We've all worked so hard to get here..."
"How can you say our relationship is going to hurt the band, when the only reason we're even a band today is because we're in a relationship?" Tim's voice was shaking with anger and fear as he spoke.
"It's not right. We've been lying to Ben and Airin this entire time. Do you really think we can go on like this?"
"We'll 'fess up then. Come clean about everything," he quickly suggested.
Marko shook his head, staring at the ground. "It's too late for that. Things just aren't going to work anymore. This will be best for everyone, I promise."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Tim could barely push out his words now as he was trying to fight back his tears. Crying like a little girl in front of Marko was the last thing he wanted to do.
"You can't tell me that you honestly want to do anything to jeopardize what this band has, can you? You love Sugarcult and making music more than anything else," Marko said, trying to reason with him.
Tim sunk down onto the couch, his legs feeling too much like Jell-O to stand on any longer. "No, Marko, I love you more than anything else," he said softly and despite his efforts to be strong, let a tear slip down his cheek.
"Don't be silly. Making music is your life," the guitarist responded, trying hard to keep his own composure. He hated seeing Tim anything but happy, and as emotional as he could get sometimes, the singer had never really cried in front of him before. "What we have as a band is so much greater than anything the two of us ever had together."
Tim knew that Marko was only trying to make him feel better, but each thing that came out of his mouth was just more and more painful. He wasn't sure what to say to the guitarist and wasn't even sure if he did, that he'd be able to get words out. Breathing at this point was a big enough challenge.
"Well, you have two choices here," the guitarist told him. "You can do what's best for the band or you can stay with me because it's what's going to make you happy right now."
Tim wiped the tears from his eyes with the heel of his hand. "That's not much of a choice, really, is it?" The singer knew that Marko had never intended for it to be a choice at all. There was only one answer that the guitarist would accept and Tim knew that. To be honest, he probably never would've signed that damn contract if he had known it would mean losing the only person he'd ever really loved.
"I guess it's not." Marko walked over to the man that was hunched over on the couch. "I'm sorry things have to be this way," he apologized, bending down to Tim's level. He moved to kiss him but the guitarist turned so Marko wound up kissing his cheek, the saltiness from Tim's tears covering his lips.
"You should go now," Tim mumbled, practically choking on his words. Truthfully, he didn't want Marko to go. He still had so much more to say to him but he knew that it was all futile; once Marko made his mind up about something, there was little that could be done to change it. Besides, Tim knew that it wasn't going to be long before he lost any composure that he had.
Marko nodded and left in silence, feeling a million times worse than he had imagined he would feel.
The second Tim heard the door shut behind Marko he burst out in tears. He sobbed for what seemed like an eternity, to the point where he could barely breathe and began to hyperventilate. It was almost an hour before Tim calmed down and he didn't know what to do with himself. His head throbbed and his heart still ached like he was having some sort of coronary episode. With a shaky hand he picked up the phone and dialed Ben's cell phone.
"Hello?" the drummer finally answered after about five rings. "Hello? Tim are you there?" The wonderful technology of caller ID allowed Ben to know who was calling him. "Tim must've forgotten to lock his cell phone again," he heard Ben say to someone else.
"I'm here," Tim said, finally conjuring up the strength in his voice to speak.
"Tim? Hey! There you are. What's up?" The drummer sounded jovial as usual. He was probably drinking, but Tim just hoped he would remember the conversation tomorrow.
"I just wanted to call to let you know that I'm going to disappear for a while."
"Disappear? What are you talking about?"
"I need to get away for a while," Tim explained.
"Get away? Where are you going?"
"I'm not really sure yet. Just... away from here. I need to be alone."
"What's wrong? What happened?"
"Nothing... everything. I don't want to talk about it."
"T-Rex, you can talk to me about anything," Ben's voice was full of concern now. Tim felt bad that he was probably ruining the good time his bandmate was having. He was supposed to be having a good time right now, too, but instead he felt like driving his car off a cliff.
"I don't want to talk about it. I can't. I just need to get away."
"Don't run away from your problems. That never solves anything. Just tell me what happened."
"I'm going to go now. I just, I wanted to let you know. I didn't want you guys to worry, think I died or something." Tim's voice was hoarse and weak and it frightened Ben. "I'm not planning on that... at least not right now."
"On dying?! Now you're scaring me, man. Don't just disappear, please."
Closing his eyes, Tim massaged the pulsing sensation at his temples. This was probably the worst migraine he'd ever had and Ben practically screaming at him didn't help things. He couldn't really blame him for being afraid though; Tim was even scaring himself. "No, I need to do this."
"When will you be back?! We're recording in two weeks! What am I supposed to tell Peter and the guys if you're not there?!"
"I'll be back in time to record. Don't worry about me. Good-bye."
Tim hung up before his drummer could protest any further. He turned off his cell phone and when he turned it on almost two weeks later he had 27 voicemails, most of them from Marko. At first they were remorseful and sympathetic, repeating much of what he'd already said that night at Tim's apartment, then they turned angry, berating him for being so childish as to run away from everything, and the last few were concerned, confessing how worried he was about him and pleading for him to come home. Tim came home two days before they were supposed to be in the studio in time to record as he had promised and without any explanation as to where he'd been or why he'd left. Marko, of course, was the only one who knew why Tim had taken off that night with only a tooth brush, his guitar, a few changes of clothes, and his dog, Bandit. He was the only one who knew, too, the real inspiration behind half of the heart wrenching lyrics that he had come back with. Marko only confronted the singer once about his hiatus to make sure things were still okay between them. "I'll be fine, Marko," Tim had told him. "You were right. This is what'll be best for the band, and that's what we need to do: what's best for the band." That was where they left any talk of their past relationship or any thoughts of a future relationship.


nurse. leo. attention whore. punk rock princess. flexitarian. space case. deltasig. browncoat. fangirl. professional bridesmaid. lover. geek. only child. dreamer. former market researcher. aerialist. uconn husky. internet addict. twentysomething. enfp/j. crazy cat lady. gryffindor. bohemian. new england gangsta. democrat. narcissist. daughter. friend.

just me.

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