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A Moment Lasts a Lifetime

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Parker’s breath stuttered as he looked down at Cib. He wasn’t quite sure just what had gotten into him that had made him straddle Cib’s thin frame. He had just seen that he was pinned down by a dumbbell, the weight pressing into the man’s jugular. He saw Cib flailing around under it, wheezing Parker’s name for help, like a fly with a broken wing; pathetic and captivating. Before Parker had known it, he had his knees on either side of Cib’s hips and one hand next to his head and the other gently hovering over the dumbbell.

It was only when he was ready to clasp his fist around it to help Cib out that he even realised the position he had put them into. Cib, obviously mildly shocked by how close Parker suddenly was, quietened, eyes widening in surprise. Every single instinct Parker had suddenly ignited with the sheer will to run away, to scramble backwards and apologise profusely, to blush in embarrassment and to just pretend that never happened and swear Cib to secrecy. But he found himself locked in place, his motor skills failing as he looked into Cib’s quietly stunned eyes.

Oh… Oh no.

Had you have asked Parker half a year ago who he loved, he would have stammered out a weak excuse to leave and run as far away as he could. The truth of it was that Parker had been desperately in love with Cib since they had first met, Steven introducing them and Parker falling hard before Cib had said a single word. So if you had asked him, he would have denied it, but his mind would have screamed out images of his best friend with thick, fluffy hair, and a crooked half smile. But for obvious reasons, he would never confess, and so he would have to keep his love for Cib a secret to the grave and evidently, he did.

Being killed by the person you love, by the person who you dreamt about at night, dreams of skin on skin and warm sleepy ice blue eyes looking at him, it took a toll on you. He remembered the single worst night of his life, sobbing as Cib threw punch after punch at his face, he had felt his heart break along with his nose, his cheek bone and finally his skull.

When he was brought back (supposedly by Autumn after she stood on a pentagram, he had been informed by Steve), he had been furious. Furious that he had been murdered first of all, furious that it seemed like he was immortal now, furious that being immortal came with some serious downsides (not that he liked to pee and poop anyway, but having a working digestive system would have been nice). Furious that he had been forgotten, it seemed, by every single one of his ‘friends’. Furious that the one person who he had always respected, always admired, always loved had been the one to do it. Furious that he had been the one to do it.

Getting murdered was bad, sure, but being murdered by the only guy he’s ever loved? Yeah. That wasn’t great either.

Parker was never truly the type to get mad, he had always been the “Don’t get angry, get even” kinda guy. His dad had always told him he didn’t have to fight, that it wasn’t in him, and Parker had agreed. The only time he had ever been in a fight was when someone accidentally elbowed him in the face on the Metro. But Cib murdering him… that had pissed him off.

Don’t get mad, get even.

Eye for an eye.

Parker had tried to kill Cib once. He wasn’t sure if Cib was even aware that it actually happened. Like everyone at Sugar Pine 7, Parker knew that Cib never actually locked his backdoor. Cib was notorious for sleepwalking and would sometimes go out into his backyard just to stand in the night air. He left it unlocked so that he wouldn’t search for a kitchen knife to use instead of the keys, which had happened far too frequently. (It had been a suggestion from Steven and Cib had almost tackled him in thanks for coming up with a solution so he wouldn’t keep coming into work with cuts all over his hands from trying to shove a knife into a keyhole.)

So, Parker had opened the back door with ease, slipping through the hallways and into Cib’s bedroom as quietly as he could. When he had closed the door behind him and turned to face the bed he felt a breath catch in his throat. It was his first time seeing Cib since he died. He was just sleeping peacefully, Sami Jo sleeping soundly next to him, her wild, curly hair sprawled out along her pillow and onto Cib’s chest. Parker had distorted the image of Cib in his mind in the months since his death. Contorting Cib into a horrific, nightmarish monster who was capable of murder.

But looking at him then, at the steady rise and fall of his chest as he slept. He wasn’t that monster Parker had made him out to be. He was just… a guy. A guy in love. A guy who was scared. And God, could Parker relate to that.

“Do it.” a quiet voice had said, Cib. “I deserve it.”

Parker had watched as Cib turned his head away from him, to fall back into his slumber, and felt his long since silenced heart drop. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get even. Eye for an eye. What bullshit. When the ‘eye’ is hurting the one person you love… how could he do that?

He hadn’t killed Cib. Obviously, but he also hadn’t stayed out of Cib’s life. He revealed himself to the boys not long after that, taking some sort of twisted pride in their awed expressions before they immediately started ripping into him again. About his clothes, about his stance, just like old times. Parker had wondered then if everything could ever go back to the way it had been. Cib walked over to him, eyes wet with regret and guilt, pulling Parker in for a much needed hug and Parker…

He had felt nothing.

Had Cib hugged him before all this mess you could bet your bottom dollar that Parker would be screaming into his pillow about it later that night like teenage girl with a crush. But and Cib pulled him in, wrapped his arms around Parker’s frame and hooked his chin over Parker’s shoulder, nothing happened.

And Parker had thought Thank God for that.

But Cib had to go and get trapped under that damn dumbbell. He had to go and look so damn helpless and he had to go and look at Parker with those damn eyes.

Ba-dum.

Parker’s traitorous heart thudded for the first time in months against his ribcage, the sheer pulse of it shocking Parker’s system, fresh blood pumping through his veins. Parker gulped, his throat suddenly dry as the Sahara. He cursed his body for giving in to its stupid biological ways, cursing every artery that ran through his body as his heart drummed out a steady yet out of practice beat.

Parker watched Cib’s face, too keenly aware of every flicker of movement that happened in those few moments. His bottom lip quivered, his eyes flickered down to Parker’s lips, his eyebrows creased in- want? Arousal? God only knew. A part of Parker’s brain screamed that Cib was probably just uncomfortable with his apparently straight weird friend practically straddling him in public. His straight, weird friend that still hadn’t climbed off of him .

He jolted back slightly, pulling away his hand from the dumbbell and breaking the trance they both seemed to have been in only for his wrist to be held in place, thin fingers gently curling around his arm. He looked up at Cib’s eyes in shock, jaw slack, unsure of what to do. “Cib…?”

“Don’t-” Cib whispered, looking down, avoiding Parker’s wide eyes, “Not yet.”

“You, uh, want me to-” Parker gestured, somewhat lamely with his head at their bodies and at the close proximity of said bodies.

“No. Just-” Cib looked up then, looking right into Parker’s soul with those perfectly clear eyes, seemingly able to read Parker’s most intimate secrets etched on his heart. He raised one of his hands and lay it on the nape of Parker’s neck, rubbing a thumb over the fine pale hairs there, as he seemed to make his mind up about something.

Parker was about to enquire what was wrong when Cib’s used the hand at the back of his neck to gently guide Parker into a warm, sweet kiss.

Ba-dum!

Parker inhaled sharply through his nose, eyes widening in shock. The hand planted next to Cib’s head spasmed from the awkward angle and it collapsed so that he was leaning on his elbows instead. Their teeth clashed against each other as Parker fell and Cib let out a guttural ‘oof’ as suddenly Parker’s entire weight was on him. Parker instinctively started backwards, ready to apologise, but Cib just huffed out a laugh and grinned at him, effectively making Parker lose his train of thought.

God.

He had forgotten just how pretty Cib was.

And just like that, they were kissing again. This time, without any unwanted crushing and collapsing.

Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum!

Kissing Cib was what Parker had always imagined it would be: amazing. Not that Parker had much experience in the first place. His rushed and anxiety filled pecks in middle school with girls had never really satisfied him and he had always imagined that there must be more to them than he had experienced so far. Twenty million love songs describing the touch of your lover’s lips on yours couldn’t be wrong, right?

This kiss was nothing like those rushed, Chapstick covered kisses. Cib didn’t wear Chapstick for one. His lips were dry but still incredibly soft against his own. Every nerve in Parker’s body was alight and too sensitive for words, just the feeling of Cib’s fingers nestled in his curls sent tingles right through to his toes like a bolt of lightning. Cib opened his mouth and tilted his head, and Parker sighed contentedly. Even though Parker knew there was nothing after death, he knew this must be heaven.

Unsure of what to do with his own hands, Parker conceded to tangling his fingers in Cib’s hair too, since it felt so great for him. Cib whined in the back of his throat as he did and Parker felt a weird caveman sense of pride as he heard it, thinking, ‘Hey. I did that. I made Cib make that noise. Me! Hah!'

Suddenly getting a rush of confidence, Parker ran his tongue along Cib’s teeth, Cib willingly opened his mouth to meet him halfway. Parker tilted his head trying to get a better angle to kiss deeper, more passionately, to really show Cib everything that had been built up inside of him for years-

“HEY! THIS IS A FAMILY ESTABLISHMENT!”

The broke apart, both of them panting and out of breath and looked up at a red faced middle aged woman scowling at them from the treadmills. Parker’s face flushed and he ducked his face in the crook of Cib’s neck, too embarrassed to do much else. Cib just grinned and wrapped an arm around his waist, pulling him closer, “But we are a family! Right, bro ?”

Needless to say that were both thrown to the sidewalk by the scruffs of their necks.