Hi Everyone, This is a one-off I've had in my head for awhile. Well, not the story itself, but I've wanted to use this song for awhile as the basis for a story. I'm back to Affirmation after this. Hope you like it. :) Amber

Disclaimer: This story contains homosexual themes and sexual situations. Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones are portrayed fictitiously. Invincible is from the album of the same name by 5ive.

I gotta find a way, to find a better day without you
And thoughts are hard to say, I miss you everyday,
Now you're not here with me.

Dawn. Birds chirping. Daniel propped himself up on one arm, watching his Darren sleep. Lying on his back, pale skin set off by the white sheets. Pink lips, full, kissable, and partially chapped from the dry night air. The top sheet tangled around his foot. His flaccid penis flopped against a muscular thigh. One hand on his forehead, palm up. A diva even in his sleep. His chest rose and fell steadily as he breathed. His Darren. He checked the clock. He could only call him that until he woke up. Then it was over. They were over. Not much longer now. Maybe 40 minutes at the most. Then Leonie would be ringing to wake them for an interview. He was actually going to this one. For Aussie radio.

They'd grown apart. That was the polite way of saying it. The impolite way was that his apathy had gotten the best of him. And Darren's ego. Tarnished soulmates. Cheshire cat stagemates with false smiles. Darren had pulled the "hold me" crap every night for the past two weeks. Those big, blue eyes boring into him, "might need you to hold me tonight. Might need you to say it's alright."

And he had held him, even after his voice lost the pleading quality and became flat, saying it only because they both knew the other option was "it's over." It hadn't been said, as such. But it was understood. Last night after Daniel whispered, "It's alright, Darren," and drawn him to his chest, Darren had lain stiffly until he'd thought he was asleep. Then he'd extracted himself from Daniel and slid away. He curled up with the blankets. All of them. Daniel thought about grabbing them back, but he didn't want Darren to know he was awake. It just wasn't worth it. So he shivered all night.

I never thought you could leave me
Ooh, I know the time will make it easy, baby

The apartment was theirs, both names on the lease. Daniel hadn't wanted it that way, afraid of raising suspicions, but Darren had insisted. Who would get it now? Daniel didn't want it. Too many memories of too many halcyon days. Even the dust on the mantel evoked a vision for him. Darren would want to get rid of it, too. He always got rid of everything after a relationship ended. Daniel glanced around at all the little trinkets he'd given him over the years. They'd all go in the fire. Darren's revenge, exacted even when no one was to blame. In a year he'd want them all back. He wouldn't look Daniel in the face again, too ashamed to admit what he'd done. And Daniel knew he wouldn't help, either. "Daz, where's that whatsit I gave you?" and Darren'd look sheepish, then shrug carelessly and say, "I don't know. Are you sure you gave me something like that?" This Daniel knew because he'd seen him do it so many times before to Colby and the others. Colby had cried after Darren denied ever seeing a small gold satin pillow. It had been a wedding gift. Colby's family heirloom. Daniel had watched him burn it, standing next to him, his stoic face reflecting the dancing flames that engulfed it.

And you'll never know how much I'm missing you,
and all of the things that I've been going through, oh, oh, oh

Daniel was almost surprised that he wasn't angry. Truthfully, he just felt tired. And that was the same as feeling nothing. Worse, maybe, when a relationship was at stake. He'd lost his motivation, unable to keep the momentum of their love going. It was wearing him down, thinking of all the things to say and do to get Darren back to him. And now he'd reached the point where he just didn't care anymore. Had Darren hit it yet? Had he noticed that Daniel's arms didn't wrap around him as tightly as they once did, or that his fingers didn't trip through his hair as frequently? Or was he too busy pulling away from Daniel's reluctant touch to absorb such things? Too preoccupied with finding a reason to stay out late so he wouldn't have to talk to his "soul mate" to know that Daniel'd had the same problem. Both stumbling in at 4am, accusing, embarrassed looks, falling into bed, touching for show 'everything's fine. Look, my hand is on your forearm' until one fell asleep and the other shifted away as from a scorpion's tail.

Daniel lightly traced his fingernail down the outside of Darren's thigh. Okay to touch him now that he was asleep. Blue eyes shrouded under lids couldn't accuse or be reluctant or obligated. Slumbering limbs couldn't dodge away from his slender fingers. Daniel's lips turned down slightly at the thought of being alone again.

No one ever thinks of the bad times when saying goodbye. But they hadn't had bad times. Ther'd just been "time"--silences, apathetic times that, put together, were worse than bad times because at least then there could have been some yelling, maybe Darren would have stormed out in a huff, or else, and he smiled at this, he might have, culminating in some sense of satisfaction wrought by action, not this empty nothingness gnawing at his gut.

And you'll never know how I got through it all

His hand settled on Darren's chest, fingers extended and curling, scratching the dusting of dark hair there. Darren shifted towards him, arching his back for more. Despite himself, Daniel smiled. Darren was a better cat than he was a man. He moaned and Daniel thought he was waking. No, the eyes stayed closed. This was the only way he could touch him. Awake, he'd have rolled away. He continued lightly scratching him and Darren settled into a purring noise. His face reflected utter contentment. Dreaming of himself, no doubt. He did, once, wake himself up screaming his own name. Daniel wondered what he was doing to himself now, deep in his subconscious. "Is it this, Daz?" he asked silently as he slid his hand between the pale one's legs.

Unconsciously, the legs parted to offer easier access as Daniel stroked his inner thigh. Darren's body still set Daniel's heart racing, but right now he didn't feel any desire even as he brushed against his soon to be former lover's penis, trying to wake it without waking its owner. He spit in his hand and pumped his friend's growing hardness. He felt nothing but intense concentration. But he knew why he was abusing him in his sleep. He wanted Darren to give something back, something just for him that he couldn't control giving, something that came because he absolutely had to give, not out of some "aren't I wonderful? Look what I'm doing for you" divaesque crap.

Now baby, I'm invincible oh, oh

As Daniel licked Darren's cum off his fingers, he knew he'd never say anything to Darren about it. Although Darren might scoff at him and say how much he preferred being apart, and how Daniel never did anything for him, Daniel would just nod and not say a word. Because he knew how wrong Darren would be, and he would never, ever tell. Let him live in denial. In another hour, it wouldn't matter anymore.

Like sunshine after rain, I'm on my own again
Without you

Sadness swept over him, hurting him as the comfortable numbness battled against it. Somewhere, stirring inside him, was a need to bestow a gift on Darren. An unselfish thank you, as it were. He wanted Darren to have something that he couldn't throw in the fire, or deny having received. He wanted to make him happy, one last time. Glancing down between his legs, he saw that perhaps he wasn't as unaffected by the hand job he'd just performed as he'd thought. And he knew the perfect parting gift for Darren. He grabbed the lube from its hiding place between the headboard and the mattress. Squirting a dollop on his fingers, he parted Darren's legs.

I've had to let you go
I wanted you to know
That I'm still here for you

Darren thrust his hips up as Daniel gently worked a finger inside him, spreading the lube around. Then he applied a healthy amount to himself. He knelt and lifted Darren's legs to his shoulders. He hooked his arms around them and scooted forward so Darren's ass was halfway off the mattress. He rubbed his penis against Darren's bottom until he felt a slight pinch and knew he'd found the spot. He started pushing slowly. An inch inside, and Darren fidgeted slightly towards him, putting him inside him another inch. Daniel stopped, waiting. Nothing happened, so he pushed again, nearly insane from his molasses speed until, finally, he was all the way in. Another moment on guard. Then steady strokes, just halfway out and back in, enough to bring Darren intense pleasure, but not profound enough to rouse him. But it was too hard to maintain the pace when Daniel just wanted to ram into him, giving all of himself.

In an effort to prevent completely losing control, he bent over, crushing Darren's thighs to his chest, and gently licked a small, pink nipple. Mistake. Darren's cock twitched to life, prodding his belly button. Darren moaned, loudly, this time. Soon hands grabbed Daniel's head, pushing him down. He tried to pull away, scared Darren might hit him, though he never had before, but he just held Daniel down at his chest. And squirmed as Daniel kept licking him.

It doesn't work when we're together
Just good friends will last forever baby

Dazed, Darren dropped his hands, and Daniel raised his head to meet his gaze.

"What are you doing?" Darren asked.

It seemed such a silly question. Daniel answered by thrusting into him again, all the way this time. Darren put his arms at his sides so he could better lift himself up to meet Daniel's movements as he pounded into him. He almost rolled over as he grimaced and ground his teeth in ecstasy. The only thing keeping him from burying his face in the pillow was the fact that his legs were still held firmly in place on Daniel's shoulders. He moaned into the back of his hand. He'd forgotten how wonderful this could be.

And you'll never know how much I'm missing you
And all of the things that I've been going through oh, oh, oh

With a deep sigh rumbling up from his belly, Daniel came inside Darren. He released Darren's legs, letting them fall on either side of him. Immediately, Darren sat up, his butt on Daniel's knees, and wrapped his arms and legs around his friend. Almost hesitantly, Daniel hugged him back.

"What now?" Daniel whispered.

"Don't say anything," Darren murmured.

He was right. There was only one thing left to say. They both knew this didn't change anything.

"I wanted to give you something, Darren," Daniel said softly.

"Thank you. It's the best present." Darren kissed his ear. Chills shot down Daniel's spine.

And you'll never know how I got through it all

"It won't be the same with us, Daniel," Darren said.

"Do you think so?" Daniel tried to keep the hope out of his voice. He delicately bit Darren's shoulder, hiding his face.

Darren rubbed Daniel's neck. "I promise I won't burn your things," he whispered.

"Yes, you will. You'll burn all of me."


Daniel looked at him, his green eyes taking no excuses from Darren's blue ones. "That's how it is Darren. It's always that way."

Now baby I'm invincible oh oh

"You can't wait to toss my video of French Kiss in the flames."

Darren smiled slightly. "Well, that's true." Daniel hugged him tighter, knowing that they were both taking advantage of the uncharacteristic, final intimacy. Darren grabbed his hair unexpectedly, tilted his head back, and kissed him deeply. Daniel closed his eyes as their tongues battled for dominance in their mouths.

You never told me it would end this way
I never said it was okay

Darren broke the kiss first. He slid off Daniel's knees, and focused on his hands, as though he was embarrassed to look him in the eye. The reluctance to touch was returning. Daniel saw it in him, and felt it in himself as he extracted his sleeping legs from beneath his body. The shift was there, the one that separated them by invisible walls the size of China. The apathy crept back into him and he didn't want anything at all, except to replace the numbness with something less dull.

"It's over," Darren said, half questioning and half flatly stating it.

Daniel nodded, just once. He avoided Darren's gaze, but it didn't matter because Darren was avoiding his as well.

"I didn't want it to end this way."

"What did you want?" Darren asked.

Daniel shrugged. "Yelling. Some harsh words. Maybe I could have smashed a guitar on your head."

Darren laughed, it caught behind his sealed lips. He glanced at Daniel, waiting.

"What about you?" Daniel asked.

"I feel," Darren hesitated. "Nothing," he finished.

Hearing him say it tore Daniel's lethargic heart, even though he reciprocated the feeling. It was just not what he'd expected emotional Darren to say. Knowing that Darren was swathed in indifference too only made Daniel's harder to bear. He should be pleased, he supposed, that now he was feeling this, as it was something other than ambivalence.

Darren looked at the clock. "We have to go in a half hour."


"Is Leonie coming to get us?"

"She's your PA. You should know."

"I have a PA so I don't have to know such things," Darren retorted.

Daniel almost laughed, forgetting himself. But he stopped in time for another uncomfortable silence.

"I'd better call her."

As Darren said it, the phone rang. A moment later, Darren hung it up. "That was her. She's coming to get me. I assume you'll want to take your own car."

Daniel nodded. "Then you can go with Leonie for the rest of the day."

"Okay," Darren said flatly.

"I guess I'll move my stuff out while you're doing the other interviews today."

I never told you to leave today
How could you leave me on my own

Darren nodded. "If you want that."

"Or did you want to move out? I just assumed you'd want me to go." Daniel surprised himself with his desire to cater to Darren, something he had grown sick of long ago.

"No, I just didn't realize you'd be going so quickly," Darren explained. "I thought we'd have time."

"For what?" Daniel asked.

Darren looked at him blankly. "I guess I don't know," he admitted. "I was just surprised."

"I don't want to drag this out," Daniel said. "It's best if we get it over with."

And you'll never know how much I'm missing you

"I'm going to have a shower," Darren said.


"Do you need one?"

"I'll go after you."

"Of course. That's what I meant," Darren said, not sounding like he'd meant it at all.

And all of the things that I've been going through oh, oh, oh

As the shower ran, washing the kisses and caresses off Darren, Daniel gathered his things. His cds, sheet music, the blanket from his grandmother. He set them reverentially inside a box he pulled from the closet. Just the important things. The things that he needed to protect from Darren's anger. If it was anger. Maybe, when he burned the sheets, as Daniel knew he would, he'd feel something akin to grief. Daniel stuffed a framed photo of the two of them, smiling, arms around each other, his head on Darren's shoulder, in the bottom of the box. Darren couldn't have that.

"You're packing already?" Darren asked.

"Saving time," Daniel said.

Darren had put his pants on and was toweling off his hair. Daniel was momentarily embarrassed at his own nakedness. Ridiculous to be modest so suddenly. But understandable and rather unfair, he thought, that Darren was seeing him naked last.

Darren nodded. "I'm out of the shower," he said, obviously.

Daniel walked past him, trying to ignore his freshly showered scent. He closed the door.

And you'll never know how I got through it all

Just before he stepped under the stream, Darren knocked on the door. He waited, almost forgetting all they'd been through to get to this point, and hoping Darren would say something to keep him from going, something to heal the rift between them. But he didn't. Instead, he said,

"Leonie's here. I'll see you at the studio."

"Okay," Daniel said.

He could feel Darren waiting on the other side of the door. Daniel knew if he opened it he'd have to either hug him or hit him. The inaction was driving him mad. He wanted some sort of resolution that didn't come from nothingness. He opened the door, stretching his fingers, still undecided what action to take, but he needn't have worried. Darren was already gone. Daniel stepped into the shower and waited for an emotion to sweep over him. When it finally came, he bashed his palm against the wall, over and over, until it turned red and he swallowed water to stop himself from screaming profanities. He stayed in the shower far longer than he should. He missed the interview, but Darren would tell them he was sick, or shy, or just Daniel, which was a standard excuse these days. But that's not why he didn't go. Now that the anger had taken him, finally, he knew that if he saw Darren soon he'd lash out, and get that volatile goodbye he so needed. No, better to just wait, and leave the apartment quickly. Disappear a few days and see then if he still felt like punching Darren's diva face and then sobbing in his arms. Anything to get him back. Anything but remember why they'd parted in the first place. Already he was forgetting. And only getting angrier and sadder for it. He dressed and grabbed his box. He marched out of the room, not even locking it.

Now baby I'm invincible oh, oh

The End

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