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Title: Storm Tossed Treasures 1/?
Fandom: Original
Relationship: Memories of m/m
Author: SunnyD_lite
Prompt: Avulsion
WordCount: 675
A/N: It's harlequin-esque. Sorry about that.

Carl didn't want to be here. But being a grown up meant doing things you didn't want to do. The length of his absence could almost be counted by the number of big box stores and subdivision housing lining the once vacant road from the highway to the shore.

Everything changes. If only his heart believed that too.

It had come to a head the night of another hurricane. The fight. The screaming. The break up. The storm.
The leaving.

Well the weather hadn't anything to do with the leaving, but the results were the same. Part of him hadn't left, or rather his guts had held an emptiness since that fight, as if he'd been scraped raw at a fundamental level.

It had been a lose-lose proposition, but when he let himself dwell on it, he'd always wondered if he'd chosen the right 'loss'. It was a small town, and since everyone was on Facebook now, he'd kept up on the local gossip without trying. It wasn't pouring salt in the wounds each time he read about Justin's successes – although having horses win the top races was something would have heard even without social media. He was happy his...that Justin had managed to do what he loved. What he'd loved more than Carl.

Carl shook his head to clear it of the maudlin thoughts. What was done, was done. He'd made the decision and most of what had flown from it was good. The points on his eighteen year old self's five and ten year plans had almost all been crossed off. Law school, called to the bar in a real state, not North Carolina, partner at a good sized firm. Maybe not best of the best, but he had the respect of his peers.

The question of if Justin would respect him was one he pushed out of his mind. Again.

He pulled into his grandparents' driveway only to be stopped by a storm tossed tree a third of the way up. Biting back a curse, he realized that rushing here had been impulsive. His five hundred dollar Prada Durbys were not designed for post hurricane mud. There might be boots that fit in the house, but no way would his shoes survive the trek to get there.

He never could think straight about this place. It didn't matter. The shoes were a small sacrifice to make. He got out of the car, glad to only have to carry his gym bag as he navigated the puddles and other debris from the latest storm. At least his grandparents had started to weather hurricanes in town, rather than holing up in the house. If his grandfather hadn't managed to twist his ankle, Carl was sure they wouldn't even have called him.

But, thanks to that twisted joint, he'd dropped everything to come and help. This had been the worst storm to hit the area in years. There'd been word that some of the coast line had dropped away, and once making sure the house was safe, that was the next thing to check.

As he approached the house, Carl counted the windows blinded by both storm shutters and plywood. It looked secure from out here. Once he'd reached the side door, he scrambled for the right key on the chain that held so many links to his past. He really should remove the ones he didn't need. Justin had probably changed the locks by now.

He wasn't here for Justin. Just like he hadn't avoided the area because of Justin. Since he was making decent coin now, it was more fun to treat his grandparents to trips to see him in the city, that was all.

This was the first time he'd been back. The first time it really felt like an amputation, with a phantom heart lurking on the other side of the house.

Of course, when he did inspect the sea-side lawn. The tree, their tree, had been one of the storm's victims.

And, of course, Justin was standing there too.


Never apologise for harlequin-esque. Harlequin-esque is wonderful, and you write it beautifully. I am intrigued and looking forward to finding out what happens next.
If I can leave you wanting more...I win! Thanks so much for reading & commenting.
It's the obscure prompts that produce the best stories and this one, harlequin-esque or not, is very nice.
In so few words, you drew a vivid picture of teenage love lost and regretted. And then you finished it off with such a perfect piece of promise.
Very nice, hon.
*blush* Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it.
Very interesting beginning to the story. I liked it.
Yays! Thanks for reading & commenting. Glad you liked.