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18 January 2007 @ 07:55 pm
I'm so ridiculously nervous about this...  
Title: Diamond Sky

Rating: R

Pairing: Freddy/Zack (is there any other?)

Summary: Zack is cold, Freddy warms him, and Zack is forced to consider the implications of his feelings, and the way he really feels about Freddy.

Warnings: slash, drug use

Author Notes: Hmmm :). I hope you like it.

Dedication: To the Freddy to my Zack.


Diamond Sky

Zack Mooneyham felt solace in the night, as her quiet darkness hid, and her shadowy silence held close. The infinite depths of the night asked for nothing from him, embraced him freely in the reach of her moonlight. He wasn’t expected to be Zack, the musician, or Zack, the student, or even Zack, the friend. He was just Zack. And that was enough.

In the night, he could be himself. With the protective cover of shadows, and the comforting whispered words of the wind, he could say whatever, do whatever, be whatever he needed to be.

He did not need to worry that the sky would pass judgment. The moon cast no ruling, and the wind kept his secrets silent. The stars would continue to smile on him no matter what he told them.

So, into the hours of darkness, he would let go of his pain. Into the night, he would tell what he had told no one.

This was why, long past when the clock had struck twelve, the lone figure, curled up and hunched over, was out on his front yard. Dark hair fell over darker eyes, which stared into nothing and everything all at once, and though he wore only a white undershirt and boxers, he did not feel the chill of the wind.

He had felt as though he was going to burst, as though he was not sure which way was up. But he did not speak his words of worry. Tonight, the silence was heavy and soft, obliterating and yet comfortable. A part of him wished to yell out, to end the crushing silence.

But another part of him, a bigger part of him, realized that the peace of this particular night was so rare, so rare, that he could not, with all the riches in the world, afford to have ended it.

He felt as though he had entered some sort of fairy world, cloaked in darkness and silence, with diamonds in the sky. This world was much different from the hectic life he knew. And he reveled in it.

That was when it began to rain.

Rain always seemed to start suddenly. For a moment the night would be silent, but in the next there would be a patter on the rooftops and the trees, and the night would drum a rhythm onto sleeping houses.

It took bare seconds for Zack to become completely soaked, but he didn’t mind. He liked the feeling of the rain tracing patterns down his face, of the heaviness of his clothes, and the way his hair clung to his neck.

He turned his face up, allowing the rain to wash against his lips, his eyelids, his cheeks. He smiled, and the sky smiled back, and he was at peace.

“Hey,” a voice murmured behind him, “What are you doing?” There was a pause. “Looks boring.”

If Zack had not recognized the sound of the voice behind him, he would have known beyond a doubt who it was at this point. Only Freddy Jones could take in the picture of Zack Mooneyham, child prodigy, sitting sopping wet in just a sheer white shirt and boxers in the rain and say it looked boring.

Zack turned to face Freddy, and gesturing at the spot next to him, smiled. “Sit with me?”

Freddy shrugged and sat. And Zack was impressed that Freddy would come out in the middle of the night in jeans and a tee shirt, and sit in the mud with his best friend even it was raining.

Now, pushed out of his thoughts, and unable to slip back into them, Zack began to feel cold. Thoughts could distract him from physical discomfort, but when he returned to reality, he could suddenly feel the cold drifting towards him, and around him.

He held back a shiver, and pulled his arms around himself. Freddy, noticing his movements, turned to smile at him. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Zack clenched his jaw to keep his teeth from chattering, “Just a bit cold.” A shiver overtook him, before he had time to even think to stop it. He felt Freddy’s rumbling laugh next to him.

“Give me your hand.”


Freddy grinned, “You’re cold, and I’m warm. Give me your hand.”

Zack paused a moment, unclenched then clenched his jaw, than, decision made, offered up his numb fingers. “Jesus,” Freddy yelped, upon touching Zack’s hand, “How’d you get so fucking cold?”

Zack’s jaw felt like it was going to shatter, it was clenched so tight. “How’d you get so fucking warm?”

Freddy laughed.

He held Zack’s hand gently, and rolled it between his. There was silence as Zack tried without result to ignore the way sparks were shooting up and down his arm.

His hand was warmed, and so, without ceremony, he pulled it from Freddy’s grasp, and shoved his numb one in the blonde’s warm grasp.

“What are you doing out here anyway?” Freddy asked as he worked at the icy hand.

“Mmm,” Zack answered distractedly, “Thinking.”

“In the middle of the night? In your boxers? In the bloody rain?” Freddy looked up at him, but didn’t cease his ministrations.

Zack shrugged self-consciously. “It wasn’t raining when I came out here. I couldn’t sleep. Why’d you come out here, anyway?”

“I saw you sitting out here. You looked all white. I thought you were an angel. Imagine my disappointment.”

Zack laughed. There was a comfortable silence broken only by the rain drops, and the chattering of Zack’s teeth, and then…

“Oh bother.”

Freddy looked up. “What is it?”

“. . .My other hand went numb again.”

Though Zack couldn’t see it, he knew that the other boy was smiling. “Well,” Freddy said, after a momentary pause, “I guess that’s it then.”

Zack knew what was coming. They would have to go home before Zack caught pneumonia. But he didn’t want to leave. Didn’t want Freddy to leave. Didn’t want to lose Freddy’s warmth—not just yet.

It was nice, somehow, to feel Freddy’s warmth fight the night’s cold. It was nice to feel Freddy’s warmth at all. And, in this fairy land, anything was possible.

He was shocked, to say the least, when Freddy pushed him down and climbed on top of him.

At first Zack was too startled too move. Or, at least, that was what he told himself. “What,” he asked, as he regained power over his vocal chords, “Are you doing?”

“Warming you up properly,” Freddy said, and for some reason, the other boy’s voice sounded deeper, rougher, than usual. Zack felt it rumble against his chest.

And Zack was warm. He was warm because—because of the weight of Freddy’s body, and the way it shielded him from the rain. And yet it was more than that. He couldn’t find the right words.

He was warmed by something else, something deeper. He was warmed by the way their bodies molded together. He was warmed by the way Freddy held himself slightly off of Zack, as though afraid he would hurt the other boy. He was warmed in the way Freddy’s breath tickled at his ear, by the heartbeat aligned with his.

Freddy was, Zack thought drowsily, much larger then he would have expected. He covered all of Zack and then some. Or maybe that just meant that Zack was smaller than he thought.

And, suddenly, he understood. He was warm because this was Freddy. Only because it was Freddy. He was warm because it was Freddy who was warming him, Freddy lying on top of him.

And that scared him.

With quick, jolting movement, he pushed Freddy off of him. He didn’t think, he just ran.

And, alone in his bedroom, he peeled of his soaked clothes and changed. But in dry clothes, under comforters in a heated house, he wasn’t nearly so warm as he had been, outside, in the rain, with Freddy.

“Zack.” A pause, and he tried to slip back into the warmth of the covers, then “Zack!” Loud, sharp, right next to his ear. And Zack Mooneyham fell out of the bed, tangled in the thick comforter.

His mother bustled around the room, drew open the blinds on his window with a sharp snap. Zack wondered drowsily if his room was big enough to hold the energy of one frustrated mother. Sometimes, he thinks, Sometimes it doesn’t even feel big enough to hold me.

Without warning, all the blood rushes to his head, and, dizzied, he fell flat onto his back, hands covering his face. As though from a distance, he heard her highheeled footsteps click-click-click their way over to him, until she is above him, hands propped on ample hips, glaring downwards. “You,” she said in her best intimidating voice (the voice she uses when she tells him that his music isn’t going to bring him anywhere, the voice she uses when she wants him to major in something useful) “Are going to be late.”

He wanted to tell her that it didn’t matter anymore, but for some reason the words wouldn’t come (his throat felt swollen), so instead he disentangled himself from his cover, stood up… and promptly fell over again.

She made a sort of clucking noise, and strode out of his room. Her every essence oozed disappointment.

He pulled himself to his feet and this time, though wavering, remained standing.

He felt odd. Cold, and shaky, and like his legs didn’t want to support him. Regardless, he tried to ignore it; he’d been worse off before (like the first time he took a hit, like the time he got numbingly, pukingly drunk after a show-gone-wrong, and collapsed on Freddy’s couch because he didn’t want to face his parents). He pulled on a pair of ripped jeans, and a stained t-shirt, and left. Doesn’t even bother eating breakfast. Rock ‘n roll life.

It had become a rarity for Zack Mooneyham to pay attention in school. Straight A kid in middle school, as the years drug, and the drug(s) took it’s toll, he began to resent the system which his parents had created for him. Even so, he couldn’t abandon the idea which had been a founding point of who he was for far too many years: that schooling and education was important. So he went to school, but he couldn’t force his mind to focus. It escaped him too often.

The day after, as he had begun to think of it (as though that gleaming moment was any sort of important) was no rarity. He slumped his way into the scratched desk in his homeroom class (late, as his mother predicted), ignored the half-hearted reprimand from the too skinny teacher marking something on the whiteboard in the front of the room (they always love him; he thinks it’s because he’s cute and something of a genius when he applies himself), and proceeded to doodle on the plastic wood of the desk in front of him. And thought.

He thought about Freddy. He didn’t know why, so didn’t think about that. Freddy’s his best friend, anyway, the one who made him into a true rocker, gritty and sensational. It’s normal that he should think about him. Right? Then again, his mind says in the slow languid way it has been apt to say things he doesn’t want to hear, perhaps it isn’t quite so normal to think about the feel of Freddy on top of him. About how good it felt.

Involuntarily, his eyes wander to Freddy’s desk. The teacher had been wise this year. Sat the boys on opposite ends of the classroom. If she hadn’t, Freddy’s nervous ADD, and Zack’s dreamy distraction may have been too much for her to take. Together we stand united we fall, thinks Zack, and smiles despite himself. Nobody was falling in that classroom. They were all manacled to their desks. Then he wondered if he was high and just couldn’t remember taking the hit.

Freddy was tapping on the marred desk with an uncapped pen. His leg jounced unceremoniously underneath. His hair is tousled, and his eyes looked like he didn’t get much sleep. As though he sensed someone was staring at him, he looked up, glanced around the room, met Zack’s eye. Smiled. Freddy’s smile was crooked. Imperfect. Ugly. Beautiful. He mouthed something Zack couldn’t make out. Zack shrugged his shoulders.

Freddy pulled out a notebook, scribbled on it with the pen that he had previously been tapping with, and held it up. Slanted, ugly-beautiful handwriting. “Wanna get high 2day?” Ugly-beautiful words. Zack paused a moment, then nodded. He needed the release. Peaceful repose. Freddy grinned again, then slouched back in his chair, put his feet up on the desk. Slouchy, worn, flamed converses, and the pants drew back a bit to show white white white socks, and a white white white leg. Freddy was never one who could tan. Burn maybe. But, then, he had never cared either.

Idly Zack thought he may be a bit worse off than he initially thought. His face feels warm and cold at the same time, and it’s difficult for him to breathe. Rattle-y. He coughs, tries to clear his throat.

The bell rang distantly, so Zack moved with the rest of the lemmings.

Freddy was more independent. As the others filed out, he sat at his desk waiting, feet still propped up to the displeasure of the teacher. Zack thinks about this, and the night before. And maybe he’s in love with Freddy. But a very large part of his mind wouldn’t let him think about that. So he didn’t. Instead, he walks with the herd. And when he approached within firing range, Freddy roped him in. “Mooneyham!” (he yelled) “Zack!”

Zack moved towards Freddy, slouchingly, then propped himself up against the classroom wall. Wondered if it should be awkward when you see the guy who treated you like a girl. But this is Freddy. Freddy doesn’t let anything be awkward.

“So, man, some friends of mine—you know, the real hardcore guys—they got some good shit. Pure. Nice. Better than the junk that little shit Arnie gives us.”

Zack nodded absently. He realized that he wasn’t in love with Freddy. At least, not this Freddy. Freddy has different faces. Well, Zack thinks, All of us do, now. But Zack doesn’t like this face much. This tough face.

He liked a lot of Freddy’s others. Like the face that Freddy got when Zack was puking his guts out after a particularly bad night, like the face he got when Zack took his first hit, like the face he got when he told Zack he thought he was doing too much too fast and eh was worried about him; that he wished he hadn’t pulled Zack into the world of afterparties and rock on. Zack liked the face Freddy had when they were both still kids, idealistic and believing that they could actually do something with their music. Zack liked the face that Freddy had worn the night before.

Freddy said something that Zack didn’t hear, and laughed at a joke that Zack didn’t get. Zack wondered if it was possible to hate someone you were in love with.

He said something: a question. He was waiting for a response.

“What…” Zack’s voice sounded cracked and rough, so he cleared his throat. “What was that?” Better. Not much. But better.

Freddy was giving him a funny look. “You okay, kid?”

And Zack saw it. Beneath that awful face Freddy wore. There was concern in his voice, there was a look in his eyes. It was just a mask. The face that Zack saw yesterday was there. Zack smiled dreamily, but his face was too weak to hold it. He pressed a hand against his hot forehead, and tried to squeeze out the beating headache beneath his temples. He coughed.

“I’m fine,”

(he said)

“I’m fine.”

And falling over, he thought the stars behind his eyes weren’t quite as beautiful as the diamonds in the sky last night.

He’s been coughing all day

He hears it but doesn’t think about it too much.

He’s fine. The kid’s weak. He likes to make a big deal of little things.

What are these marks on his--?

He was fine this morning.

Just for attention

A really… wet sort of coughing.


It hurt to breathe.

Are these track marks?

We need to do further testing. We think that it might be more serious than we initially estimated. His body isn’t fighting it off. We need to do further testing. But there’s not need for worry. There’s no need…

He’s been doing drugs!

My son. What has he come to?

I didn’t mean to…

Don’t cry.


The white blinds him.

The light blinds him.

(piercing, sharp)

He winces, and tries not to think, because if he thinks he’ll remember. And if he remembers, he’ll hurt again. Hurting’s the last thing he wants.

(A voice, frail and fragile, echoing from far out of his subconscious)

Is he coming to? I just want to see him, I want to… Please, I need to go in there. He needs me.

For a moment he thinks it’s Freddy come to rescue him. He thinks it’s Freddy, riding in on a stallion, in full armor, saving him from the dragon that is his life and his insecurities and everything going wrong.

It’s not Freddy, it’s his mother, which he will be able to tell when he sits up, and squints past the light, but for now he doesn't move.

He drifts, and tells himself that disappointment is for people who live with their feet on the ground; but he can’t bite back the bitter taste, and he can’t ignore the sting.

The hospital, he realizes, I’m in the hospital.

He had believed for a moment that he was in Purgatory.

It isn’t any special day.

Zack doesn’t wake up and know.

It just isn’t that sort of a thing.

He’s just sitting in the white hospital bed with white hospital walls. The TV’s going but he’s not really watching. Just thinking as he watches the oatmeal (plop plop) into the bowl. Thinking about not thinking, and about Freddy.

(And for those few moments, he thinks, For those few moments we were infinite)

The doctor walks in, looking like a play doctor, a make pretend doctor, with his over-starched lab coat, and shiny metal stethoscope. Zack doesn’t look up.

“When you were brought in here, you were in an extremely unstable condition,” the doctor says, and something in his voice makes Zack take notice. “We thought it was just pneumonia, but your body wasn't fighting it.”

He pauses.

Zack looks back down at the oatmeal. (plop plop)

“We did some tests.”

And then, suddenly then, without warning then Zack knows. And it all starts to make sense. The weight he lost, the fevers. He had been so tired, always felt like he was falling apart. It all made so much ridiculous fucking sense that he felt like an idiot for not realizing it sooner.

“You tested HIV positive.”


“It was candidiasis of the lungs; this indicates to us that you’re in the stages of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.”


“There are treatments. We’re going to set you up with some post-exposure prophylaxis and antiretroviral”

But he’s tuning him out, now, he doesn’t care. He knows, and it hurts. He’s going to die. He’s 18 and he’s going to die. He was supposed to live forever, didn’t the World know?


He stares at his arms. Turns them over. Looks at the undersides of his wrists, and the angry red bumps marching up to his inner elbows, the lines he can trace of the hits he’s taken with God knows what needle, and he feels like crying.

And as he drifts out of consciousness, unable to force his tired brain to keep on trekking, all he can think about is Freddy.

(Every day is a battlefield)

He’s out of the hospital, and out of school and taking a cocktail of drugs that would make even the most hardass junkie cringe.

They told him that he had years, that lots of AIDS patients survived for years and years, and that he could live a normal life. But he didn’t think they were telling the truth. There was something in their eyes.

His dad was furious, but would never say it. Just looked at him. That was enough.

So Zack spent his days lying on his bed, guitar resting on his legs unplayed, trying to remember a time when he wasn't tired.

(the worn out soldier, unable to lift a gun, unable to go on fighting)

Fatigued they had said. One of the side effects of one of the drugs he was taking. One of the side effects of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. One of the symptoms of losing all hope.

Every day marched in and out just like the last, and Zack was left lying there, looking at the bruises on his arms, playing connect the dots on his track marks with a butter knife.

Idiot, he tells himself. And no good at best.

(the flag’s fallen and tattered and he wonders if anything will make it fly again)

He’s cooped up with himself everyday now, the absolute failure, and he doesn’t know how much more of it he can take.

Four years, he thinks absently. Freddy gave him his first hit when he was 14—god knows where he got it—and Zack hasn’t look back since. Shot up for the first time when he was 15. And he wonders how long he’s been dying.

Since the day I was born, he thinks, and laughs.

“What’re you laughing about?”

It’s his mother. He turns his head, and looks at her, and wonders what she must see. Gaunt face, pasty, dark shadows and sharp points. He wonders if she can find her son in that face.

It’s not her fault. She didn’t ask for a junkie son. A junkie 18-year-old son who’s dying. She didn’t ask for it.

He wishes he could tell her he was sorry. He wishes he could tell her he loves her, even though he’s never shown it. And hethinks maybe she’s wishing th exact same thing.

But she’s flustered, now. Never could handle the silences.

“It’s just,” she says, tearing her gaze away from her son’s, and he recoils too, looking up at the ceiling, “It’s been so long since you’ve…”

Laughed? Smiled? Showed emotion?

“Well, anyway,” she pauses, and her voice turns colder, “You’ve got someone to see you.”

He doesn’t say anything.

“I’ll just—I’ll let him in.” She turns and walks away, and its something in the hunch of her shoulders, though that doesn’t make any sense. Maybe it’s something in the way she said it.

Zack’s heart leaps. He knows. His mouth gapes, and he pushes himself up, props the guitar up next to his bed.

Freddy walks in, and Zack’s heart stops.

“You killed me.”

“I know.”

There’s an awkward silence, and then they both laugh. It’s nervous, and frightened, but it’s a laugh. And that’s something.

“I went with you to the hospital,” Freddy is saying, and this is Freddy’s real face, and real voice, and Zack reaches out to touch Freddy’s real shoulder before it disappears, masked again. “There was an ambulance and everything. I told them I was your brother, and I don't know if they believed me, but they let me on. The lights were going, and the sirens were going and I was… man, you gave us all a scare.”

Freddy was looking at him, and there was worry in his look, and worry in his voice. And Zack realized suddenly and with amazement that Freddy cared.

“I stayed all night, I didn’t want to leave. I fell asleep in one of those hospital chairs, and ate out of the vending machines. I wanted to see you. I didn’t want to leave. But your parents made me, and—shit, Zack, they didn’t want me around. No, they don’t want me around. I’m the kid who killed their son, right?”

Freddy takes a breath, and Zack watches his collar bones shift up and down.

“I had to come, though.”

He pauses, like it’s hard for him to go on, and Zack realizes it is, and moves his hand on Freddy’s shoulder up to his neck then down to his elbow then back to his neck, because godammit he’s going to die anyway, and life is short.

“The doctors said—I mean, cuz your immune system wasn’t kicking in or something—well, they thought it might be…”




And now Freddy knows. And he’s looking at him intently, wonderingly, and Zack’s suddenly scared by those eyes because they understand. They understand everything, and pretty soon they'll understand that Zack is just a waste of time and emotions, and a failure, and he doesn’t think he could bear that.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

And then Zack breaks, and crumbles. “It’s my fucking fault,” he says. And withdraws. Pulls into himself. Shakes and doesn’t cry.

A hand on his shoulder, and then another, and they’re pulling him into a chest, holding him.

Erratic heartbeat.




And Freddy’s head is on his back, his arms are wrapped around him, and Zack thinks that if this is what Heaven’s like then maybe he’s not afraid to die. And there’s wet spreading on is shirt, and he realizes that Freddy—nonchalant, careless, strong Freddy—is crying.

“It’s not,” he says, “I fucked you over, Zack. I was a shit, and I fucked you over, and now you’re paying for my fucking mistakes, and I’m fucking sorry and—“ his voice cracks, and he’s left holding Zack as though there’s nothing else that matters.

And Zack realizes that he can’t cry because those medicines or maybe that illness have made it so he’s all dried up and there’s nothing left in him.

So yes.

I'm actually a writer from ff.net, but am glad to find this place. I'm Poisoned Honey on ff.net... don't know if any of you have seen this before.

This is my new writing journal! I would love friends on it, but if you want to be friends with me than I'm penguinsanity :).

Thanks for reading.
darkness173 on January 28th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
I liked it. A lot.