“Save it. We both know that isn’t true.” Jonas couldn’t even look over at Isaac.
“It is. Ever since we were sixteen, you’ve been the one saving me.”
“I’ve never done any such thing.” He didn’t even know how Isaac could think that.
“Sure you have. I don’t understand why you’re revising history now, especially when the truth makes you look so damn good. Just as it should.”
Jonas shook his head, but Isaac just rolled right on. “When you had just met me, you offered your friendship. I didn’t even know how to accept it, let alone the offer of letting your brother help me out of a bad situation. You offered me a safe place to go at your mom’s house without any other strings attached to it. You accepted me without question, including all my scars, the ones on my skin and under it. You showed me I could be loved, despite what my father had always said to me. You made me feel safe. I’d never had that before.”
Jonas still couldn’t let himself look up at Isaac. “Things were different then. I was capable of protecting you then. Now, I can’t.”
“I’m calling bullshit on that,” Isaac said, but his voice was soft. “You were a kid, we both were. You might have been strong and athletic on the soccer field, but you wouldn’t have been enough to stand against my father.” He reached out and ran his fingers over Jonas’ bicep. “You didn’t have these then. You were nearly as scrawny as me.”
That wasn’t quite true, but Jonas still laughed. He had been skinny back then, though he wasn’t sure scrawny was the right word. But, the amusement went away when Isaac’s other hand rested lightly on the socket of his new leg. And he remembered exactly why things had changed now. “They don’t mean much when I can’t even stand on my own two feet.”
“And I don’t need you to protect me, no matter how false that statement is. Keeping me safe isn’t the reason I wanted to spend all that time with you when we were younger. In fact, it had almost nothing to do with it.”
“Yet, you came right to me the first time you see your father again. Why else, if that wasn’t what you wanted?”
“Because you make me feel safe. That’s not the same as protecting me, though. Can’t you see that? Or are you as dense as your brother used to be?”
Jonas couldn’t help but laugh at that. His brother had been dense about his own love life at one time, and Isaac had told him something that had finally gotten through to him. He’d been wise even at sixteen, it seemed.
Isaac reached up and cupped a hand around Jonas’ cheek. Jonas closed his eyes. Until he felt lips caress his. His eyes popped open and he stared right into Isaac’s. Neither of them spoke. They didn’t really need to. But, as they deepened the kiss, Jonas found that for the first time in a long time, he was the one who felt safe.
This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use safe/save and bonus points for starting and ending with either one. This one comes after Like This Forever(which I wrote for Story a Day September), and, well, you can probably imagine where things are heading. 😉