Description: He’s wide awake and you’re way out of your mind, so saying a few truths won’t hurt, right?
Word Count: 1,4k.
N/A: Changing my writing style for a moment, trying new things. This is Ash’s POV, ok? (still written in third person tho)
“Now it’s three in the morning and I’m trying to change your mind, Left you multiple missed calls until my message you reply. Why’d you only call me when you’re high?”
It’s 3 in the morning and tonight just had to be saving him some surprise, Ashton thinks, because he can’t sleep for anything. He already watched two entire movies, heard four different albums on Spotify, had dozens of mugs of tea and is still wide awake.
While he rolls on his bed, his ringtone screams through the room, Kansas echoing loudly on his walls, and he takes the phone without much interest. The chance that Calum and Luke are calling him, drunk out of their minds, is way too big for him to be anxious about any calls this late. The one voice he wants to hear never comes out of the speaker, anyway.
Until it might.
He simply stares at the screen completely taken aback, the familiar letters making her name glow on it. His mouth falls into an “o” shape at the sight of that old contact without a picture because he never bothered to add one after they broke up. She never calls.
Until she does.
He answers it after a couple of seconds, trying way too hard to let go of all the years of memories and love she throws through his door every time she shows up. He answers it because God knows what she may want this late. Maybe she needs him, maybe she’s in danger, maybe her car broke in the middle of nowhere and he was the only name she thought she could call for help. But maybe, just maybe, she misses him. He tries to shut down the thought on the back of his mind, but he can’t lie, he just wants her to tell that she miss him like he misses her. That, somewhere deep down, she still wants him.
“Hey”, he says, voice low, careful.
She takes a moment to talk back, and her voice is slow, heavy and unnatural. And he missed it way too much.
“I didn’t really think you’d pick up”.
“When haven’t I?”
“You never do when I really need it. When I want you, you’re never here”.
He recognizes the bitterness in her voice, recognizes the pause she makes in between her words and the tongue that stumbles through the letters of her speech. He sighs.
“Have you been drinking?”
“So maybe I have” she bites back stubbornly. He can hear the fading sound of music and suddenly her location feels like an important mystery he just has to solve. He needs to know where she is. “I had like two shots. Four tops. Maybe six. But you can’t judge me. I’ve seen you gulp down bottles of vodka, and tequila is not really that bad”.
“Where are you?”, he asks, ignoring her mumbling.
“Does it matter? What matters is that you’re not here. Don’t you understand? We’re never in the same fucking place anymore. We’re never feeling the same things”, she’s slurring her words again, tongue heavy. His heart tightens on his chest.
“Do you want me to pick you up?”, he asks, even though he knows she’ll say no. But he’s sitting on the bed anyway, reaching for the car keys on his bedside table.
It’s been so long since they last seen each other.
“Of course I don’t want you to come. She wouldn’t like it”.
He freezes then, the hazel eyes falling painfully over the frame near the window, where a different face smiles at him widely. Of course. Another time. New chances. But the same old love is filling his lungs up when he speaks again.
“I don’t care. Not if you need me”.
“I don’t need you”, she lies. He knows it, but he accepts her words anyway. He always has.
“So why are you calling me instead of your damn boyfriend? Where is him when you need it?”
His voice is filled with jealousy and hurt and anger when he says the dreadful word, and he hates to even think she’s not his anymore. He hates that she moved on and he had to do it too.
“Isn’t it always you? Doesn’t matter how long it has been, it’s always you on my mind when the shot burns through my throat and hazes my mind. Your face just can’t wait to run back into my mind whenever I let my guard down, can it?”
Ashton breathes precariously, sharp intakes of air punching his lungs at her words. He keeps the things he wants to shove at her in, locking the feelings and everything else inside because it’s true for her, just like it is for him, but it’s gone. It’s been so long since it’s gone and they are not a we anymore. No matter how many times they try to pick that love back up, it always ended the same way. She misses him, he misses her, she cries, he hurts, she doubts them and he can’t stand it. They break up.
But maybe, just maybe, today is a different day and it won’t hurt to admit it out loud. He knows she won’t remember any of this conversation tomorrow anyway.
“I love you too, shorty”.
It’s a coward act, but he doesn’t care. He has to take it off of his chest, time and again. Her breath hitches and he can imagine those pretty grey eyes he loves so much watering just by the way her voice sounds next. He wants nothing more than hold her, but he can’t. And it kills him.
“We’re going to be stuck in this forever, right? Me and you? Not being able to fully move on, dumping perfectly nice people that just can’t ever be good enough ‘cause… they’ll never be us. And then we’ll end up calling each other again and again way too early in the morning, drinking our memories away, completely unable to ever find out the true color of your eyes. I can remember it perfectly, Ash, right down to every golden and green drop of it. And I’m so tired, Ashton, I’m so tired of this. I just miss you so fucking much”.
He runs a hand through his hair, her words ricocheting inside his head and making his heart skip a few beats just because he knows it’s all true.
“You know what to do. It has always been in our hands”.
“I’m not ready. And I want to be, because it hurts so much everytime we try again and we fail, but I’m not”.
“You know we could make this work if you’d just come with me. We’ve discussed this time and time again, Y/N. If we’re together, there’s nothing we can’t take, there isn’t anything I won’t have your back for. But this we’re doing right now, this can’t go on. It hurts me too, and we can’t keep doing it forever. Eventually, we’ll have to learn how to move on”.
“And you’re already there, right? Leaving me behind”, her voice falters and comes to a full stop right before a sob echoes through the call.
He doesn’t even have time to even open his mouth before a beep takes over and she’s gone. Ashton purses his lip, because not even when she’s drunk she’s honest. And as soon as the thought occurs, he sighs guiltily, because really, who does he think he’s fooling?
He’s not honest even when he’s sober.
He sighs and look for her contact again, pressing it so he can type the words that he couldn’t speak out loud. He looks at his new girlfriend on the frame by the window again and feels dirty, but he can’t help it.
“I lied. I’ll wait forever, if I have to. I just wish you wouldn’t make me”.
And pressing send, he drops the phone on the mattress beside him, his mind screaming wild at the vision of her alone in a bar, crying her pretty eyes off because of him. He can’t stand the thought. The truth is: he loves her. There’s nao way to run from that. And maybe it’s the cold air from the morning, but he can help but admit he doesn’t want to. He only wants her.
He picks up the phone again, sending yet another message, his chest feeling lighter with every word his fingers type.
“Let me pick you up. Let me love you. Just let me back in”.
And when the phone buzzes again, just one word on the screen, he picks up the car keys and stands up, going to get her.