Shiver

Note: This is my first try at a second person fic - that form of storytelling always intrigued me, so I just gave it a shot. Also, Howie is characterized here somewhat different from the way I normally portray him. It‘s kind of sad - you‘ve been warned!


You had known that you were in love with Howie for a long time. It didn‘t really surprise you to have this kind of feelings for a man - you had always known that your love was not gender specific. And after all Howie was probably one of the most loveable persons you knew. He was kind and gentle, compassionate and sweet, but also fun to be with and very passionate in whatever he was doing - and handsome, beautiful even, with his warm smile and his lively eyes and the gorgeous body.
No, it really didn‘t surprise you when you discovered yourself in love with Howie. What did surprise you was that it didn‘t go away, only became stronger and deeper until you thought that your heart might just burst from all the emotions contained in it.

But you didn‘t do anything about it for a long time, content to be friends with Howie, to enjoy the friendly hugs, the casual talks, the long bus rides in close proximity to him. You really didn‘t want to ruin their friendship - and you were realistic enough to see that it was bound to hurt your careers if things didn‘t work out with you. So you didn‘t do anything. You goofed around with your best friend, hung out with your cousin and sometimes went partying with AJ, as if nothing had changed. You even dated occasionally and discovered that you still liked women and their soft bodies.
But then you met Leighanne and somehow dating turned into a relationship. You couldn‘t explain how it happened - you just knew that you really enjoyed her company, the good times you had, the attention she paid you. You didn‘t want to stop seeing her, so you didn‘t - and she deserved your commitment, your love even. One thing led to another and you suddenly found yourself engaged to a woman you loved but were not _in_ love with. Because your heart still belonged to Howie.

That was the moment you decided that it was time to tell him about your feelings - you had to at least give it a try before getting married and live the life with 2.5 children and a white picket fence. So you cornered Howie in his hotel room one hot and dry summer afternoon, saying in a voice was almost inaudible even to your own ears: "I have to talk to you, D..." He just looked at you with his chocolate eyes and smiled encouragingly. "Okay, Bri - what is it?"
You fidgeted for a while, feeling nervous and excited, but finally you blurted out what had been on your mind for such a long time: "I‘m in love with you." You didn‘t dare meeting his gaze, afraid of what you might see.

"Bri..." His voice was soft and smooth and for some reason reminded you of the cat you had at home as a kid. "Look at me, Bri." His voice was insistent and you couldn‘t help but raise your eyes. People almost always did what he wanted them to when he use that voice - there was just something in it that made you _want_ to please him, to make him happy.
When you finally met his gaze it held compassion and tenderness - but you knew at once that your feelings were not mutual. "I‘m sorry, Bri", Howie said softly and you knew that this was all he was going to say about this. So you nodded mutely and tried to smile, even if it felt as if your face might just crack if you did.

Things were not awkward afterwards as you had feared they would be. But still, something seemed different, even if you could not put your finger on it right away. Was it that you looked at Howie differently now? Or did he look differently at you? But most of the times he didn‘t seem to look at you at all. Not that he ignored you - Howie would never be so rude - but it seemed as if he refused to see _part_ of you, namely that part that was in love with him. It was as if you had never told him about your feelings.
You didn‘t know if you should be glad or hurt by his behavior. You told yourself that at least your confession had not hurt your friendship, but still... You had expected some _reaction_, a sign that Howie actually cared about what he had told him.

But late at night when you lay in bed, specially after a long talk on the phone with Leighanne, a part of you wondered what exactly you had expected. After so many years in close proximity to each other you should have known that this was how Howie dealt with things that could become problems. He smiled and acknowledged them - but then he ignored them, subtly forcing things to go back to the way he wanted them to. And everything happened so smoothly that people never knew what happened to them. No one got hurt - a very important thing in Howie‘s eyes - and life went on.

But you knew what was going on, after all you had seen it happening on countless occasions. You had always admired Howie for the way he handled things like annoying PR guys, crying fans on his doorstep, AJ‘s alcohol problem - or being loved by one of is 'brothers‘. But now you somehow wished to see that your confession _bothered_ Howie at least a bit, that he acknowledged that things had changed. And of course there was this part of you that insisted on hoping and waiting. It was that part that refused to let go, that made you hold on to your feelings for Howie. Perhaps, if you were just patient enough, one day Howie would realize that he loved you, too.
You realized that this was the way it would be - there would always be this love for him inside you, this longing and wishing for more than friendship. It didn‘t matter if you got married. You loved Leighanne - but you loved Howie more.

Sometimes you would stare at him, on the bus, in a hotel room or even on stage, willing him to return your gaze and _see_ you, really see you and all you had to offer. Your heart, your soul, your life, everything would be his if he only asked.

But he never did.

~~~

Coldplay - Shiver

So I look in your direction,
But you pay me no attention, do you?
I know you don't listen to me,
'Cause you say you see straight through me,
Don't you?

But on and on,
From the moment I wake,
To the moment I sleep,
I'll be there by your side,
Just you try and stop me,
I'll be waiting in line,
Just to see if you care

Oh, did you want me to change?
Well I'd change for good,
And I want you to know that you'll always get your way
And I wanted to say

Don't you shiver
Don't you shiver
I'll sing it loud and clear
And I'll always be waiting for you

So you know how much I need you,
But you never even see me do you?
And is this my final chance of getting you?

But on and on,
From the moment I wake,
To the moment I sleep,
I'll be there by your side,
Just you try and stop me,
I'll be waiting in line,
Just to see if you care, if you care.

Did you want me to change?
Well I'd change for good,
And I want you to know that you'll always get your way
And I wanted to say…

Don't you shiver
Don't you shiver,
I'll sing it loud and clear
I'll always be waiting for you.
Yeah I'll always be waiting for you
Yeah I'll always be waiting for you
Yeah I'll always be waiting for you
For you, I will always be waiting

And it's you I see,
But you don't see me
And its you, I hear,
So loud and so clear
I sing it loud and clear
And I'll always be waiting for you

So I look in your direction,
But you pay me no attention,
And you know how much I need you
But you never even see me

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