For Everything You Are
A Warranted Discussion
"Jake….Jaaake?" the sound of muffled giggles getting clearer, Jake felt his body sway. "Jake?"
"What, Ethen?" he replied, coming round, his eyes still closed.
"Hey, no need to snap at me; you were asleep," Ethen said, as Jake snapped open his eyes.
"Yeah, Jake, and since this is your room, that makes me and Ethen your guests, and you the host, and it's not good for the host to fall asleep on the guests." Cody laughed.
"What the hell are you talking about?" retorted Jake, still disoriented and his expression angry.
"Hey, babe, are you OK?" Ethen asked, looking concerned.
"You're fucking him, aren't you? Admit it."
Ethen flinched, and the smile on Cody's face immediately disappeared. "Sorry, run that by me again," said Ethen, wide-eyed.
"You… and him, behind my back."
"Jake, are you ok, pal?" Cody asked, getting concerned.
"Jake, I might be guilty of a lot of things, but sleeping with Cody is not one of them. Now, what's gotten into you? We were just sitting here talking and you fell asleep. I tried to wake you, and the next thing I know, you're accusing me of… what's with you?"
"It was so real," Jake said to himself, more than anyone else.
"Jake, are you feeling OK?" Ethen asked.
"Uh, yeah, just a little sweaty, that's all."
Ethen regarded him as he stood there, looking as if he was thinking hard. "I think you had a dream, Jake."
"Uh, yeah, but it was real, it was happening," he said, slowly shaking his head. "Who am I?"
"Now you're scaring me, Jake," Ethen said, shocked by the question.
"No… no, I mean, who am I to you?"
"Last time I checked, you were my boyfriend."
"And you're not Cody's?"
Cody tilted his head at Jake and then laughed. "Huh, Jake? When did this happen, because I never agreed to it?" he joked. Jake ran his hand down his face. He was pale and felt odd.
"Jake, come here," Ethen said. Trembling, Jake did as he was told. Stumbling, he went and sat on the bed between Ethen's legs. "Jake, you're all clammy."
"I need the toilet," Jake said, but struggled to get up. "I feel sick. I wanna go to the toilet." He felt the strength draining from his muscles.
"Jake? You're slurring," Ethen remarked. "Are you sure you're OK?"
"Oh FUCK!" Cody yelled, quickly jumping up from the sofa. "Quick, Ethen, go get Jenny.
"Why what's wrong?" Ethen asked, starting to panic.
"He's going into diabetic shock."
"Oh hell, what… I mean how?"
"Fuck, Ethen, just go get Jenny." Ethen gently moved Jake and laid him down. He shot off the bed and ran down the stairs in to the sitting room, shouting Jenny's name. "Oh my God, please, I don't know…I mean, it's Jake, he's in some kind of shock… Cody said diabetic shock. What can I do?" Jenny's eyes went wide, and she jumped out of the chair and rushed up to Jake's room. Alan went to the sideboard and pulled out Jake's insulin, then ran after her, with Ethen on his heels.
"Jake, Jake, can you hear me?" Jenny shouted, getting on the bed with him. Cody moved out of the way.
"Jenny, you need this, right?" Alan said, holding out his insulin supplies.
"No, that's part of the problem, Go and get some chocolate bars and a bottle of Lucazade from the fridge, hurry Alan!" Alan rushed out of the room, brushing past Ethen, pale and in a state of shock, his hand over his mouth. Seeing Ethen's state, Cody went over and hugged him.
"Hey, he'll be OK, we caught it quick."
Alan came rushing back into the room with his hands full. Jenny pulled Jake up into a sitting position, asking Alan to unscrew the lid from the bottle.
"Jake, stay with me, honey, I need you to drink now." Alan passed the bottle to her and she gently tilted the bottle into Jake's mouth. Disoriented, her son tried to take down some of the liquid, but most went down his sweater. Ethen, finding the scene too much to watch, walked out into the hall, tearing up. Cody followed him out and took Ethen's head in his hands.
"Hey… hey, stop it; he'll be fine, I promise you."
"But… but, how do you know?" he stammered, wiping tears away from his eyes.
"Because I've been here before with him, twice actually; he's just useless at managing this. He thinks because he can't see his condition, it's not there. Now just breathe, OK?"
"OK, I'm sorry, it just looks…"
"Yeah, it looks horrible, and yeah, the first time it happened, I freaked out, too, but trust me, OK? He's gonna be fine."
"Can I go get some water?" Ethen asked, shaking.
"Sure, take some time out in the fresh air or something."
"Yeah," he replied, wandering off down the stairs. Cody went back into Jake's room.
"Are we good?" he asked, looking at Jenny.
"Yeah, I got about half a bottle down him. Give it another twenty minutes; he should be able to take a chocolate bar or two; that should stabilise him. Is Ethen OK? He looked white as a ghost."
"Yeah, he'll be fine; he's a first timer," Cody grinned. Jenny nodded.
Ethen stepped into the cool evening air and promptly vomited in the driveway. He leaned against the wall, gagging, as another wave of vomit left his mouth. Alan appeared moments later with a glass of water and a towel, resting his hand on Ethen's back.
"You OK, son?"
"Yeah, just give me a second," he said, as saliva hung from his mouth like string, his eyes watering profusely.
"You look like you been on the booze all night," said Alan, trying to lighten the mood.
"That's some scary shit," he half chuckled.
"Yep, it sure can be."
"Will he have to go to the hospital?" Ethen asked, taking the towel from Alan and wiping his mouth.
"No, maybe if it had been any longer before you noticed, it might have been a different story, but Jenny's pretty clued up on Jake. Which is more than I can say for me."
"It was Cody; he knew it was happening. Me, I didn't have a clue. He could have died, because I didn't know what was wrong with him." He looked at Alan, his eyes wide with fear.
"Hey, you can't blame yourself; you're not a doctor, and enough of the what ifs, OK? If it ever happens again, you'll know what to do; nothing like being thrown in the deep end, eh?"
"You can say that again."
"You ready to come back in? I'll throw some water on that later," Alan asked, eyeing Ethen's deposits.
"Uh, yeah, I think so, and… sorry about that."
"Hey, forget it; your adrenaline had to go somewhere, right?" Alan patted Ethen on the back and gestured him inside. They both went back upstairs, where Jake was propped up in bed. Jenny was sitting with him, while Cody was leaning against the wall, his arms folded.
"You gave Ethen here a scare, Jake," Alan declared.
"Hmm, I feel like some lab rat, with you all looking at me."
"You, Mr… how many times do I have to…?"
"Mum, please, let's not go there," he said, drowsy, waving his hand in front of her.
"But we will be going there when you are back to normal; I swear, one day, no one is gonna be around, and then what?"
"Jen?" Alan said. She turned to look at him and he shook his head at her. "C'mon, let's get out of the way. Ethen and Cody are here; give him some space." Reluctantly, she agreed and moved from the bed, after kissing Jake on the head. She and Alan left the room, and Cody quietly closed the door.
"You OK?" Cody asked.
"I've felt better," a husky Jake replied. His eyes wandered over to Ethen, still looking scared. "Sorry I accused you of those things. I… I don't know what I was… it was this dream, and I just remember you walking home, and…."
"Hey," Ethen said, rushing over to Jake. "You're OK, that's all that matters right now." He took hold of Jake's hand in his, and sat there looking at him. "I actually thought you had gone crazy, the things you were coming out with," he smiled.
"Hey, what about me, you accused me too?" Cody spoke up.
"Yeah, sorry," Jake replied, managing a smile.
"Anyway, let's get that top off you; you're all sticky," Cody said. Jake nodded and heaved himself to a seated position as Cody pulled the sweater up over his head. "Better do the T shirt as well," he advised, seeing the orange colour had gone through, staining the garment.
"Can I do anything?" Ethen asked, feeling pretty useless.
"You can jack him off later; he'll be raring to go, you wait." Jake just glared at him and tutted his disapproval.
"You're so shallow sometimes, Cody," Jake quipped. "Anyway, I really need the toilet; I'm gonna piss myself, otherwise."
"Are you sure you can get up?" Ethen asked, starting to help.
"Yeah, I'll be fine." Jake pushed himself from the bed and slowly walked to the bathroom.
"So, how are you feeling?" Cody asked, looking at Ethen.
"Ahh, I'll be OK, just glad he's up and about," Ethen replied.
"You really care about him, don't you?"
"I would have thought that was obvious," Ethen said, as if it were a stupid question. Cody stared at him, suddenly fascinated, his short dark hair shining in the light, his deep set big brown eyes thoughtful and soft. Ethen bit his bottom lip, watching as he was being scanned by Cody.
"I know, there is chemistry between us, and I know what you're thinking."
"Fuck, I want you so bad," Cody whispered.
"Don't do this."
"I'm sorry, I'm just… confused."
"No, you're just free; you have a choice now, and you want to make up for lost time. If it wasn't me, it would be someone else."
"Maybe, maybe not," he said.
"I could give you what you want, but it would destroy your friendship; I would be betraying Jake, and breaking a promise to myself. I'm different now."
"Different from what?"
"From you," Ethen said, cryptically.
"You… you're taking the path I took when I first came out… when I first had a choice, when I first felt free. And trust me, that path leads to self-loathing."
"You don't talk like a seventeen year old, you know that?"
"I take after my mother. I strive for knowledge, and my meditation helps me. Sure, I can act seventeen; in fact, I do most of the time, but when I see someone, like you, who needs advice…"
"I don't need advice."
"Whatever… come tell me that when you have worked your way through the state, trying to have sex with any guy that looks at you. You'll feel cheap, used, empty."
"Hey, who says I'm gonna be like that?"
"Just days ago, you had sex with my boyfriend, your best friend, or whatever you two are, and now you're coming on to me."
"Cody?" said Jake, hearing the end of Ethen's comment, "You're coming on to Ethen, what the fuck?"
"No," he replied defensively, glaring at Ethen.
"Tell him the truth; you owe him that," Ethen said calmly. "But Jake, don't blame him for it, OK?"
"Don't sit there and act all innocent, I've seen the way you look at me."
"Yeah, I look at you, you're an attractive guy…."
"Ethen, what the fuck?" Jake hissed.
"That doesn't mean I'm going to have sex with him, Jake," Ethen snapped back. "That's my point. I think we all agree we all find each other attractive, but we all know the boundaries, or at least we should."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jake asked, frowning.
"Yeah, what do you mean?" repeated Cody.
"Look, Cody, if I wasn't with Jake, would I have sex with you? Yes, without a doubt. But I am with Jake. Jake, if you weren't with me, would you have sex with Cody? Yes, you would, but you are with me, so let's cut the crap here. Cody said he wants me, fine, nothing wrong with that. I find him very attractive, too. It's natural, we're human. It's how we act on our feelings that's important.
"Shit, this is heavy talk," Cody sighed.
"Hang on, I wanna know where he's going with this, Cody," Jake remarked.
"What I'm saying, Jake, if our relationship and your friendship is gonna last, we all need to trust each other, and accept there is an attraction between all of us. I wanna go home at night and not wonder if you two are sleeping together; if I can't do that, then, what's the point?"
"You know that was a one off."
"Yeah, I hope to God it was, but I also hope you don't think that while I'm up at the base with Cody, me and him are doing stuff, because your dream tells me it's obviously somewhere there in your head."
"Yeah, I don't deny that I was a little bit jealous when Cody agreed to go up there," retorted Jake. "But, it was a passing moment, and then I forgot about it, because I trust you."
"And I trust you, because I know you can't lie easily. But more importantly, because you respect our relationship."
"So, the only person who can't be trusted is me, is that what you're saying?" remarked Cody.
"The question is, Cody, can you trust yourself?"
Cody sighed, feeling the penny had dropped. "Honestly, I don't know." Cody went and slumped on the sofa, letting his head drop. Jake went and sat next to him.
"What do you want, Cody? Is it just sex, or a relationship?
"I want somebody to want me; I've never had that. The closest I ever got was with you, and now that's changed.
"And you can't accept that, right?" added Ethen.
"I don't know; I'm still new to all this. The whole thing is new to me. Look, I know I like guys; I want to have sex with guys, but I… I want what you two have. Ya know, like the fluffy feeling and the physical contact."
Jake looked at Cody sympathetically, not knowing what to say to that. He looked at Ethen for guidance, but for once, he just shrugged, not adding anything.
"Listen, I really ought to go. We all have to be up early, and Jake, you need to rest; I think you have gotten stressed out enough tonight." Ethen suggested.
"Yeah, I'm going to bed. Good night, Ethen, night, Jake." Cody got up from the sofa and left the room.
"I think he gets it now," Ethen said, as Jake heard Cody close his door.
"Were you testing him?"
"No, I was teaching him… not to be like I was."
"Oh… and us?"
"No change," he smiled. "Good night, handsome, get some sleep. I'll see myself out."
"OK, good night, puppy."
Ethen left the bedroom and poked his head in on Alan and Jenny, leaving shortly after. Reaching his own house, he quickly got into bed, and for the first time since Cody arrived, he actually felt totally relaxed. All three of them had been able to be honest for the first time about their feelings in front of each other.
A warranted discussion, he thought, drifting off to sleep.
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