goddamnit richard

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I’M NOT DYING ARE YOU DYING NOPE

So @ten-bobcats said “Richard’s wedding, Jared ties his tie” and I guess I thought it’d be a good idea to write THIS for some reason:

Why the fuck do I have to wear this, Richard thought, leaning toward the mirror in his embarrassingly-opulent hotel suite. If this is supposed to be the best day of my life, why should I have to spend it looking like a moron, in a sweaty, uncomfortable tuxedo, choking on a bowtie I can’t even tie right.

If it was up to Richard, he would’ve gotten married in a hoodie and jeans. He would’ve gone to City Hall, not to the Palace. He would’ve invited a few people he genuinely gave a shit about, instead of hundreds he’d never even met. But it wasn’t up to Richard. None of it was. Ever since the company took off, and the buyout, and the other guys left him, ever since his life had become nothing but an endless succession of media opportunities and investor dinners and soulless, phony, Hooli-Pied Piper Foundation charity events, nothing had felt like it was up to Richard at all.

“Goddamnit,” Richard murmured to himself as the loop of his bowtie came loose once again. “God god fucking damnit.”

There was a knock then, gentle and quiet, on the door to his room. Couldn’t they see he’d put up the Do Not Disturb sign?

Richard padded across the thick, plush carpet and, enough for the chain to catch, cracked open the door. He looked through the gap at the person standing before him. Surprise, surprise, thought Richard, and even more surprising (Richard thought, though he made no plans to admit it), it was a decidedly pleasant one. Like finding something you hadn’t realized was missing. Or like the glasses he’d finally agreed to get after months of squinting at his laptop; suddenly things he hadn’t realized were out of focus became shockingly clear.

“Jared,” he said, almost gasping. “I didn’t think you’d be here.”

“Yes, well.” Jared shrugged his shoulders. He smiled a little sheepishly. “I heard someone would be wearing a very nice tuxedo, and I couldn’t miss the chance to see.”

“Do you want to come in?” asked Richard. He gestured at the bowtie dangling lamely from around his neck. “Maybe you can help me tie this thing.”

Jared stepped back, moments later, admiring his handiwork in the suite’s dim, romantic light. How much he’d missed that look, thought Richard. That admiration, that dedication, that sense that when Jared focused on him, nothing could go wrong. And that even if it did, somehow it couldn’t hurt him quite as badly. He remembered how he used to go to Jared, even after everything. Nights spent in the dingy, windowless apartment where Jared lived then. Too hot always, because of the broken thermostat. Digging his fingernails into Jared’s broad shoulders, gasping his name into the dark. Then, back to Richard’s own house, cold and dispassionate, more of a museum, really, in the most glamorous part of town.

“You look so handsome, Richard,” Jared said. “I – I don’t mean to – but, oh, you must know that I – ”

“Don’t say it, Jared.” Richard pressed his eyes shut tight. He reached his hands up to rub at his temples. “Just. Please, please don’t.”

“Richard” – as much as he tried not to, Richard couldn’t help it then; he was weak for it, and he opened his eyes and looked up into Jared’s and he sank down into them, and back into their past together, too, all the memories so warm and comfortable and tender, and so accessible to him, as if years hadn’t passed but days, or even hours –  "Richard, I’ve never stopped loving you.“