Dwight Houston and Ethan Brightman are in love. Nothing could ever come between them, not until the car accident. Ethan loses all memory of being with Dwight but can love truly conquer all? Can Dwight find a way to trigger Ethan’s memories?
Meanwhile, Ethan is struggling with strange feelings he never thought he’d have. He’s drawn to Dwight and knows thaat there is something important there, something he’d forgetting, something just out of reach. If he could just figure out what it was.
Characters from CP Coulter’s ‘Dalton’
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Note: Once NaNoWriMo is over, this will be a purely Dwighthan blog.
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“Hello? Yeah…it’s Ethan…there was an accident. You need to come to the hospital. It’s hard to explain, just come. Okay…bye.” Dwight’s voice was cold and flat as he spoke on his phone, flipping it shut and carefully putting it back into his pocket.
They were worried Dwight might be concussed, but he wasn’t. They checked him over and it was nothing more than a bump. Nothing more than a light bruise. His leg was a little worse, but only a little. No broken bones. No bleeding. Just bad, bad bruises.
Why did he get off so lucky? Why wasn’t he the one in the bed? He should’ve driven. He should’ve let Ethan pay and then he could’ve driven and he’d be the one in there, not the Tweedle. Not his Tweedle. He could still feel the blood on his fingers. Ethan’s blood. It made him feel ill. He had Ethan’s blood on his hands, in more ways than one. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do.
He felt so useless sitting in the waiting room. He stared at the floor, his face emotionless. He was so tired. Emotionally and physically. He could barely stand and every now and then his eyes would close, but he wouldn’t let it stay that way. He had to stay awake. He had to be there when Ethan woke.
His mind was eating away at him. Telling him of how useless he was, how much he had done wrong. He couldn’t save his brother and now, here he was, unable to save the guy he loved. He was a failure. Why was he always the one spared while the people he loved were left to hurt? Why couldn’t he save him? Wasn’t he good enough?
His thoughts weren’t clear. They just kept jumping. He wasn’t sure what he was thinking at all anymore. It all sort of jumbled together. He kept thinking about Alan and then thinking about Ethan, the two blending together. He was terrified. He didn’t want to be too late again. He was too late for Alan, if he was too late for Ethan, he’d never be able to forgive himself.
Dwight didn’t even flinch as a hand rested on his shoulder. He wasn’t expecting it, but he didn’t much care anymore. The only thing he cared about could be dead in the other room for all he knew. A moment later there was someone sitting beside him and Dwight didn’t have the heart to move his head to the side. He knew who it was anyway. It was who he’d called earlier and he really didn’t want to look at him. He’d lose it if he did.
“What happened?” A voice that sounded so much like Ethan’s spoke.
“We went out for breakfast.” Dwight didn’t trust his voice over a whisper, “W-We go to breakfast most days, you know? A-And Ethan said he’d pay but I told him no, I said I would so he said he’d drive. I should’ve driven. He might be okay if I’d driven. Why didn’t I drive?”
“Okay.” The boy next to him wrapped an arm around Dwight’s shoulders, “But, what happened?”
“I’m so sorry Evan. I’m so, so sorry.”
“Shh. You didn’t hurt him. I know you didn’t. My brother loves you. You just need to calm down, and tell me what’s going on.”
Dwight nodded slowly, taking a deep breath. He didn’t want to relive it, but he knew he had to as tears started to well in his eyes, “He was driving us home. We were only a street over, ten minutes from Dalton a-and this car came round the corner a-and it hit us. I know Ethan had right of way. I know he did. He’s the best driver I’ve ever seen. T-The care hit Ethan’s side. His head was bleeding and he wasn’t moving.”
Evan stared at him, frozen. Dwight didn’t even register it though, the images flooding his head again and suddenly, he couldn’t stop the tears anymore. He pulled Evan to his chest, crying softly into his shoulder, “I-I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…”
“No. Dwight, don’t blame yourself for this. Not for one second, okay? You weren’t the one who drove the car into him.” Evan quickly hugged Dwight, rubbing his back soothingly, “He’s going to pull through this, for us. He’ll pull through because he knows there’s no Tweedledum without Tweedledee, and he’s going to pull through for you because you have your whole lives ahead of you.”
“When they let us in, you can go in first, okay?” Dwight whispered softly, clinging to Evan. He just needed some form of human contact and this was the best he could get.
“No, it’s okay. You can.”
“No.” Dwight quickly shook his head, “Once I get in there, I’m not leaving. S-So you have your time, just you and him and then I’ll go in there.”
There was a small smile on Evan’s face as he pulled away from the hug, resting his head on Dwight’s shoulder, “Hey, Dwight?”
“I’m glad he chose you.”
“So am I.” Dwight looked down at the floor, “Do you think he knows he’s not alone?”
“He’s wearing the promise ring you gave him, Dwight. He knows.”
Dwight had almost forgotten about that ring. The ring he’d given to Ethan one night, when he took him out to the Dalton courtyards, finding one tree. The special tree that Dwight went to to think. He’d set up a picnic there. One of their first dates and Dwight already knew he wanted to give Ethan that ring. He hadn’t seen Ethan without that ring on since that night.
“Thank you.” Dwight murmured softly, resting his head against the wall.
It was hours before they finally came out to talk to them. Dwight wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Looking at his watch he realised it was already four o’clock. Where had the day gone? Most of it was spent staring at that wall. He wanted to go back to the morning and be in bed with Ethan, and just stay there. Insist they stayed home.
He kept thinking about what they’d be doing right now instead. They probably would’ve just had a lazy day in bed. Ethan would have his arms wrapped firmly around Dwight, brushing their noses together. He did that a lot when they were really close to each other. It felt nice. It always made Dwight smile. Dwight would look up into his eyes, close the distance between them in a gentle kiss. No words between them.
Or maybe they would’ve been doing more than that, kissing rough, and passionate, hands roaming over each other’s bodies. They could’ve been moving together, creating the right amount of friction to set each other on edge. They could’ve been screaming together as they lost themselves in the moment, in themselves, in everything.
Dwight liked to think that they would’ve been curled up together under the blankets, eating junkfood, not paying attention to the bad movies on TV, and pressing gentle kisses to each other’s hands, cheeks, necks, noses, lips. They’d just be wrapped up in each other, laughing, smiling, falling asleep in each others arms. In a perfect world.
But this wasn’t a perfect world. This was a cruel world. This was a world that seemed to like nothing more than to torture Dwight, to give him something, let him fall in love with it and then taking it away just as quickly. He was sick of it. He was tired of always being the one left behind. He was tired of being just a little bit too late. He was sick or the maybes and the what ifs. He didn’t want Ethan to be another maybe. He didn’t want Ethan to be another person the world took away from him.
Evan was fighting. He couldn’t sit still while they waited. He started by pacing the small waiting room hallway. Back and force. His arms were crossed tightly over his chest as he frowned, focusing on the floor. Dwight had no idea what was going through the other Tweedle’s head. He didn’t know.
Evan just kept thinking about what it would be like. Could be like. Ethan could be dying. Ethan could be dead. All those times they shared together, they could be gone. They were so close. They finished each others sentences. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to end. They were supposed to die together, old and grey. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It couldn’t. Evan wouldn’t let it.
He would stop every doctor or nurse that walked passed. He’d ask, he’d beg them to tell him if Ethan was okay. They’d all tell him they didn’t know and that they’d find out for him as soon as they could. They never came back. Evan figured they didn’t care. They were focusing on other people, like they didn’t think Ethan mattered, but he did. He was the most important thing in the world.
Dwight just sat in his seat. He couldn’t fight anymore. He had let that all out during the crash, while they were getting Ethan out. He had nothing left in him. No will. No strength. He was running on empty as he stared at the cold off white hospital walls. That white was enough to drive you crazy if you stared at it long enough, he was sure.
He didn’t bother getting up to talk to the doctor that came out to greet them. He let Evan, and just listened, only taking in some parts of the conversation. Evan was insistent on the information. He wanted to know every detail. The thing was, he really didn’t. Dwight knew deep down that Evan wouldn’t want to know. He wished he could form the words to tell him that though but he just couldn’t get them to come out.
He only got small details. The gash in his leg would heal, it would be fine in time. He had a cracked rib, and concussion. He wasn’t awake. He had been for a little while though. That hurt. Knowing that Ethan had been awake and he hadn’t been there to look after him. He said he wouldn’t leave him, but they made him. They said he needed to get some sleep and that they would monitor him over night, but that he should be out of the hospital soon.
He got out lucky they said. Dwight almost wanted to laugh at that. Ethan got out lucky. He was in the hospital with a cracked rib, blood spilling from his leg and head, but he got out lucky? How was that lucky? Dwight was the lucky one, but he’d never felt like he’d lost so much. Not since Alan.
There was one piece of information that caught Dwight’s attention above all others. They could see him now. It was eating at him. He needed to see him. He needed to know that Ethan was okay, but he knew that once he got in there, he wasn’t going to be able to let go. Clenching his fists, and biting down roughly on his lip until he was sure he could taste blood, he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
Evan pressed his hand to Dwight’s shoulder, “Are you sure you don’t want to come in with me?”
Dwight shook his head, tears welling in his eyes but he wouldn’t let them come. He couldn’t. Not again, “Y-You go. Let me know when you’re ready for me.”
When the doctor took Evan to the room, he just stared at the closed door for a moment, unsure of what to do. He wanted to go in there. He wanted to make sure his brother was okay, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to see his brother in such a bad state. He looked at the pale blue door a little longer, trying to figure out how he was supposed to act when he saw him, how he was supposed to feel.
Eventually he had to though and as he opened the door, he couldn’t help but shut his eyes, taking a deep breath. He looked at the floor when he finally did open his eyes, his hands shaking. He was so scared. He didn’t know what state he was about to find his brother in but he knew it couldn’t be good. When he finally looked up and his breath hitched. There were wires going into his arm and it almost made Evan sick, just looking at it. Ethan was paler than usual and there was a bandage wrapped firmly around his head. His eyes were loosely closed and his hands were laying lifelessly beside him.
Evan’s eyes immediately filled with tears. He couldn’t stop them as they just kept spilling from his eyes. He moved on impulse, not really realising what he was doing as he walked over to Ethan’s bed. The first thing he did was take Ethan’s hand, shuddering as he noticed the stark contrast between their skin tones.
He pulled up the chair nearby and sat beside Ethan. His eyes closed as he gripped Ethan’s hand tightly, his head slumping forward. He couldn’t hold the tears in anymore. He couldn’t hide it anymore. He had to cry. He cried for everything. He cried for what he could be missing with Ethan and he cried because he wasn’t there to protect him. He failed him as a brother. He wasn’t sure what it was he was supposed to do, but he knew it was something, if he could just figure out what it was.
He looked up at Ethan’s sleeping body, murmuring into his hand, “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there. I’m sorry this happened. I wish it was me…”
Dwight kept staring at the wall. He couldn’t help it. It was easier than focusing on what was happening. The pale white colour seemed to go on forever. It was like he could stare deeper and deeper into it but it never ended. Like running down a never ending hallway. If he turned back, he’d be left with the reality of his situation, the madness, the chaos,and the fear. The more he moved into t hallway though, running further and further, he would get more lost in the whiteness.
While he was stuck in that hallway, staring into the white wall, he had so much time to think. He couldn’t not think. All that was on his mind was Ethan. He kept wondering what he was supposed to do now. He had to help him but he didn’t know how to anymore. Maybe if he was awake, he’d know what to do next but as like as Ethan was asleep, Dwight felt completely and utterly useless.
He wondered what Ethan would think when he woke up. He’d wonder if Ethan would hate him. He left. He didn’t mean to but he did and he felt so sick inside because he promised Ethan he wouldn’t go anywhere. Dwight was supposed to have stayed right there with him through everything. He wasn’t supposed to have let go of his hand. He should’ve still been holding it. It felt wrong not to be able to hold his hand. He needed to be threading their fingers together and he needed to be telling Ethan he loved him.
It felt lke an eternity sitting in that room, staring at that wall as he waited for Evan to come back and tell him he could see him. Dwight flinched as Evan pressed a hand to his shoulder, waking hiim from his day dreams and there were tear stains running down Evan’s face. Dwight’s heart sunk when he saw those tear stains. He wasn’t sure what that meant. Dwight had seen the worst though, right? He was actually there. He saw the blood, he felt it on his fingers. There was no way it could be any worse than that…could it?
“Y-You can come in now.” Evan sniffled, reaching out for Dwight’s hand. It took him a moment to actually take Evan’s hand. He just stared at it for a moment, unsure of if he should or shouldn’t.
He hesitantly got up from his seat, his legs shaking. Maybe if he took it slow, he could make it. It was like the long walk to the gallows. He felt like the closer he got, the further away from happiness he was going. Ethan was his happiness though. He couldn’t just not go. He had to get there, he had to go to him no matter how scared he was. He was always meant to be the strong one.
As they got to the room, Dwight looked at the floor for a moment. The guilt was creeping up on him again. He felt like he’d failed Ethan somehow. He hadn’t done enough. Maybe he could’ve done something more. There was no way he could be sure of what it was he could’ve done. The what ifs and maybes just started rushing through his mind again.
When he caught sight of Ethan, he felt like crying all over again. He was scared. He looked so pale. It felt wrong seeing Ethan like that. Ethan was usually so strong but as Dwight looked at his sleeping body, he looked so fragile. He looked like something, anything could send him over the edge and truly break him. He couldn’t let go. He had to stay with him. Forever. He had to look after him.
Dwight moved over to the seat, taking Ethan’s hand and shivering as he noticed their skin nearly matching in colour. It was all so wrong. His first instinct was to kiss Ethan’s knuckles. He wanted Ethan to grip his hand back. He wanted Ethan to squeeze his hand gently and rub his thumb along his skin like he had been before.
Dwight couldn’t trust his voice above a whisper but he had to say something, he had to talk and hope that Ethan could hear him, “I love you. I love you so much Ethan, please wake up. I need you. I need you to be here with me. We have to do all those things we promised each other we’d do.” He rubbed his thumb gently along Ethan’s hand, taking a shuddering breath, “I’m sorry I didn’t drive. I’m sorry I didn’t save you Ethan, I’m so sorry.”
Dwight stayed there for hours. He had to. He refused to leave. Evan stayed by his side, holding Ethan’s hand from time to time. Whenever Evan held Ethan’s hand, Dwight ran his hand along his arm. He did anything to just brush their skin together. He needed it.
When the nurse came in and told them they had to leave, Dwight panicked. He couldn’t. He promised he wouldn’t leave before, there was no way he was going to leave now. He had to stay and make sure nothing happened to him. They would only let one of them stay though and Dwight knew it should’ve been Evan. He just didn’t want to let go.
He held tightly to Ethan’s hand, “P-Please. Just a little longer. Please, I need to stay a little bit more. I need to be here when he wakes up.”
Evan looked down at the floor sadly, “You stay, okay? And you call me the second he wakes up.”
Dwight stared at Evan for a moment, trying to find the right words, “It’s okay.”
“No. I want you to stay here. It’s you and him now. Has been for a while and yeah, he’s my brother, but you’re the love of his life and he needs you right now, not me.”
A moment of silence passed between them before Dwight pulled Evan into a tight hug, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
“Just look after him.”