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[personal profile] nuchild
Title: Abandon, prequel to Forgo.
Author: Lonnie
Rating:R- to be on the safe side
Pairing: Marco/Jake
Fandom- Animorphs
Warnings-Un-beta-ed

Side Notes- This is for [livejournal.com profile] slipperieslope, who said that the last one needed a prequel. It really wasnt supposed to be this long.


Marco tossed and turned in his bed, twisting the sheets around his legs in a way that would make it hard if he were to try and, say, get up. He muttered to himself, face in his pillow, and cursed his apparent insomnia.

It was four in the morning and Marco hadn’t been to sleep yet. His mind was going a hundred miles per minute with thoughts that never would have plagued him in the daytime. He rolled onto his side, subsequently kicking the covers and blankets off too. The light from the clock flashed in his face, taunting him, and flickered as it changed from one past four to two past four.

Marco couldn’t help, and he really didn’t have a choice with the way his mind was running, but think about the day that had just passed.
~~~
The group had all met up at the mall to shop with Rachel, or rather, to watch Rachel shop. Cassie had taken her rightful spot at Rachel’s side and made the appropriate sounds at the right times to show her support. Marco had watched with the world’s biggest smirk; he knew Cassie hated it. And he wished the gods of irony to smite her for her kindness.

Tobias lingered back some ways from the group, and pretended he needed to keep Ax out of trouble, and away from food. Marco knew this was just an excuse to stay as far away from ‘The Shopping Queen”, as Rachel so gracefully put it, as he could. And Marco wished an even worse fate than Cassie’s for Tobias. He wished in his most not so secret of hearts that there would be a clearance sale at JC Penny’s and that Tobias would somehow be the only one that Rachel wanted to take. That thought made him smile deep down in his soul. Thoughts like those were the only thing that would get him through this day. But then there was…

Jake stayed back the furthest. Marco would have usually been back with him, making rude comments at the girls, but something told him Jake wanted to be left alone. Marco glanced back constantly because, and he knew he wasn’t imaging it, Jake look like he would bolt at any second. His eyes shifted everywhere restlessly. Everywhere except Marco. He hadn’t looked, even spoken, to Marco since he had came. This troubled Marco in a way that left his stomach in knots and his hands sweating.

It wasn’t that they were so close that Jake came to him with everything…except it was. That’s just how it was with them. Nothing was hidden or sacred. Marco knew who he could take anything to, good or bad. He knew who he could show his soul to with no shame or fear. Damn it, he wasn’t the most perfect friend in the world but he had worked hard at keeping their friendship going. Not saying that Jake didn’t do his part, but Marco wasn’t the one walking around with a stick up his ass.

Marco attention had been turned away from his anxious thoughts when Ax knocked over three rows of shirts and an entire rack of perfume. The pissed off clerk came over and not so kindly told them to get out. This made Rachel so angry that she grabbed Ax’s arm and stormed out of the store. Marco felt bad for the store’s economy; really, they had just lost half their earnings with Rachel.

Cassie and Tobias took Ax to the food court to get him something to eat and calm him down. Ax really did feel bad about it, but Marco guessed Ax didn’t know that the sale’s assistant was the tool of the devil. Marco decided to use the opportunity and talk to Jake, but as he glanced around Jake was nowhere to be found. Marco turned in a full circle looking for Jake, and he saw him making a beeline for the men’s room far down the walk. Running to catch up with him, Marco caught Jake’s arm just as he was walking through the swinging door.

“Hey, man,” Marco breath hitched out of him in little huffs. “Where you going so fast?”

“I…have to piss,” Jake tried to yank his arm out of Jake’s grasp, but Marco wasn’t letting go.

“Nope, I really don’t think that’s what’s wrong,” Marco kept a firm hold on Jake and looked directly in his face. “And until you tell me what is, your bladder is in high risk.”

Jake stared in blatant disbelief at Marco. Marco smiled coyly. It was amazing how you could know a person for so long and still be shocked by the things they do. Apparently that was what Jake was feeling, but Marco wondered how he could have thought that Marco wouldn’t corner him.

“I don’t know, man, I’ve been feeling kind of-“ Jake looked like he was struggling to find a word for it. “Scared, lately.”

The word “scared” didn’t process in Marco’s brain for a few seconds, and even after it did he still had trouble connecting it to Jake. He had no doubt that Jake, just like the rest of them, was scared shitless of this war. But hearing him say it shocked Marco, disturbed him. Jake’s arm had started to tremble a little in his hand and he let it go. The arm fell to Jake’s side heavily, but Jake hadn’t looked away from Marco.

“Well, I want to say that you’re crazy,” Marco’s voice was light and humorous, nothing like what he felt inside. “And that you have nothing to worry about, but then I’d be-“

“You’d be lying.”

“Yeah, I would.”

“Are you?”

“All the time,” Marco could practically feel Jake pulling the comfort from him, from his voice. Demanding it, and taking it without thought or permission. And as Marco’s best friend, he had that right. “In fact, there isn’t a morning I don’t wake up covered in sweat and shaking with my sheets sticking to me. And that’s if I even wake up in my bed.”

Talking about what he went through made his chest hurt, but he knew that that was what Jake needed to hear. Jake’s face was all he needed to see to know that Jake was grateful for the inside look. His arm that had been hanging limp at his side since Marco had released it came up and rested on Marco’s shoulder.

“I don’t sleep anymore, Marco.” Jake said, then started to laugh. Marco would have been glad to hear that sound, he hadn’t heard Jake laugh in so long, but this was a little weird. Marco took the hand on his shoulder and held it in his own, hoping to transfer some sanity into his friend through touch.

Jake stopped his laughing almost immediately when Marco took his hand. Marco felt how cold Jake’s hand was and it was kind of strange to hold something that felt so dead. Jake stared at their joining hands with a curious expression on his face. Marco squeezed Jake’s hand once and tried to pull away, except Jake wasn’t letting go.

“Man, we can’t stand here holding hands in public like this,” Marco said playfully but with a hint of nervousness. He tried to pull his hand back again, and got the same result.

“Why not?” Jake’s hadn’t looked up from their locked hands this whole time, and Marco was starting to get worried. “Don’t you want to save me?”

“What?” Marco wasn’t pulling at his trapped hand anymore; there wasn’t anyone around anyway. But he was trying to figure out why Jake wanted to hold it so badly. The whole thing made his nerves raw with tension. He had a passing though that maybe, but no, this touch really didn’t feel sexual. And even with Marco’s bisexuality he had never looked at Jake that way. Jake was hopelessly in love with Cassie. The touch felt, almost, desperate. Like maybe Jake thought if he held on long enough, tight enough, he could get under Marco’s skin.

“Save you from what, Jake?” Marco used his free hand to hook under Jake’s chin and pull his face up. “Save you from what?”

“I don’t know anymore.” Jake let go of Marco’s hand and took a step from him. Only when he did this did Marco realize just how close they had been standing. Air rushed from Marco’s lips, and again he was amazed to realize that the whole time he had conversed with Jake he hadn’t been breathing much. Marco didn’t feel unusual or out of place when he pulled Jake to him and wrapped his arms around his friend’s back. He didn’t feel funny when his pats turned to rubs and then into kneading at Jake’s back and arms. He probably should have, though.

Jake moved away from Marco after long minutes and just stared. Marco took this time to sort out his feelings and come to some conclusion. But the only one that fit was that Jake was his friend, and his friend needed comfort, so that’s what he gave. No matter how many times he ran those words through his head, he knew there was more to it.

“You’re a good friend, Marco.” Jake said as if he could read Marco’s troubled mind. “Thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Marco ran a hand through his hair and look down the walk to see Rachel and the other moving towards them. “Anytime, you know.”
~~~
Marco rolled in his bed one last time before throwing his legs over and padding to the bathroom. Switching on the light and wincing at the fluorescent light filling the room, Marco slowly made his way the mirror. Looking at himself at five in the morning wasn’t one of his favorite activities but he had an urge to see how bad it was. Before he could get sucked too deep down in his own personal narcissism, his cell rang in the tune of “ I’m a Little Tea Pot” (courtesy of Cassie fucking with his ring tones), he could hear from the next room.

Walking out and snagging it off of his nightstand, Marco look at the face to see that it was Jake.

“Hello?”

“Did I wake you?”

“Dude, I wish.”

“Rough night?”

If Marco had been sharper he would have heard the “just finished crying” sound in Jake’s voice sooner. Marco sat down on the edge of his bed and didn’t answer Jake, just listened to the sound of his breathing which sounded off and irregular.

‘What’s wrong?” Marco finally asked.

“Can you meet me somewhere?”

“Now?”

The line was dead silent for a few moments.

“Yes.”

“Where?”

“The barn.”
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