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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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Collision - Part 7 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Dwight was having a hard time handling it when he got back. It was bad enough being at Dalton all alone but then Ethan came back. Everyone ran up to him and they were hugging him, asking him what happened, making sure he was okay. He was smiling so brightly and they were all so happy to see him…and Dwight couldn’t do anything. He wanted so badly to go over there but he knew he couldn’t.

Dwight just wanted to rush over to him and wrap his arms around him. He wanted to run a hand through his hair. He wanted to press a gentle kiss to his lips. He wanted to whisper to him that he was so glad he was okay, and that he’d keep him safe. He wanted to tell him how much he loved him. He couldn’t do any of that though. The distance suddenly shoved between them was like a knife twisting in Dwight’s stomach.

It was hard enough, getting used to not having Ethan around. It was even harder when Ethan was right there. Right in front of him and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. He’d rather it that way though. He’d rather have Ethan there, with him. He’d rather be able to watch over him and make sure that he was safe than not having him at all.

It was still difficult though. He didn’t realise how much he relied on Ethan being there. He hadn’t noticed just how often they were around each other, even when they weren’t ‘together’. They were always near each other. Before, all Dwight had to do was smile the softest smile at the Tweedle and he’d come over to him, kiss his cheek, drag him off on another Warblerland adventure.

When he looked up at Ethan in the halls, and smiled softly at him, all he received in return was a small smile. He didn’t like it. Yes, it was exactly what he should’ve been expecting and yes, he couldn’t really ask any more than that from Ethan, but it didn’t mean he didn’t want more than that. Something. Anything. It was like the smallest of human contacts would never happen again and it hurt. It hurt so much that he couldn’t do anything about it. 

Evan had told him in the hospital to talk to him about things but Dwight couldn’t figure out how to start talking to Ethan. The thought of actually talking to him about things was just impossible. How was he supposed to get Ethan to understand that he was and always would be in love with him? How was he supposed to make him see that it would never ever change and that he needed Ethan to feel it too?

It was only day one of having Ethan back at Dalton but it was torture. Dwight would hide in his room a lot but there were things he absolutely had to leave him room for. He had grabbed a big bag of salt from his room, intending to go around Windsor and work on the salt lines. He had to make sure they were all right. The others didn’t seem to realise how important it was that he did that, how many lives he would be saving. 

Ethan and Evan were sitting in the corner of the room, Ethan had the biggest grin on his face and Dwight was trying so hard not to notice it. They were all used to Dwight going around with salt every day, they almost didn’t even notice he was there. Then Dwight heard that laugh. That adorable laugh that absolutely drove Dwight crazy. It made him smile so brightly and it made me want to wrap his arms around Ethan and hug him close.

He looked over at them, overhearing Evan starting the beginning of an Alice in Wonderland poem, “‘Will you walk into my parlour?’ said the spider to the fly, ’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy…”

Dwight watched them closely, a smile tugging at his lips. He loved when Ethan was with Evan. He was always so relaxed, so happy. He bit his lip as Ethan’s face lit up when Evan spoke. He couldn’t stop grinning as he continued the poem for his brother, “The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, and I’ve got many curious things to show when you are there.’…”

Dwight just sat on the window sill, entranced. The look on Ethan’s face was so perfect, he couldn’t quite bring himself to look away. He just smiled softly, the bag of salt laying forgotten beside him on the windowsill. He rested his elbow on his knee, his face on his hand and just watched the way they interacted. They loved each other so much, you could tell. Dwight envied them that. He missed his brother so much and it was amazing for him to see Evan and Ethan together, almost the same as he and Alan used to be. Nothing could ever be the same though, but it was one of the things that reminded him of the little brother he lost three years earlier.

They spoke the last two lines together, grins on their faces, “‘Oh, no, no,’ said the little fly, ‘to ask me is in vain, for whoever goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.’” 

Dwight almost knew how the little fly felt. Ethan was the spider. Ethan had lured him in. He had gotten him so caught up in everything, all the good, all the promises of tomorrows and Dwight went along with it. Then suddenly the bad came and there was no way he could go back. It wasn’t Ethan’s fault though. He knew that. He just wished there was some way to make it better again. It was so hard to pretend he didn’t want to kiss Ethan. It was so hard to act like he wasn’t in love with the Tweedle, and to act like his heart didn’t ache at the mere sight of him.

They laughed softly and so did the boy sitting with them. Reed Van Kamp. He was the smallest of the Windsors, at least among their group of friends. His strawberry blonde curls had a tendency to fall into his eyes from time to time and Dwight supposed that mustn’t have helped with his clumsiness. Reed was without a doubt, the most accident prone guy they had ever known. He’d been known to trip on air, to walk into walls, to cut his lip on cans. You name it, chances are, Reed Van Kamp has experienced it. 

In fact, as he sat there with the Tweedles, one couldn’t help but noticed a little bandaid by Reed’s jaw. Dwight was almost curious. He didn’t like when Reed got hurt, it just seemed to be something he couldn’t do anything about. Truth was, Reed was probably the one person Dwight felt most protective of, other than Ethan. So the clumsiness had a tendency to unnerve Dwight. He wasn’t sure how to keep Reed safe from himself.

“So, Ethan…what was it like? The crash I mean? Y-You don’t have to tell me, if you don’t want to. I’ve just been through so many things, I’m kind of interested.” Reed tilted his head to the side, his hair flopping to the side with it as he bit his lip nervously.

Dwight could tell Reed almost wanted to take it back. He felt like he was asking way too much and Dwight really didn’t want to listen to this but at the same time, he wanted to know what Ethan would say. He turned away from the three of them, picking up his bag of salt again and trying to focus on fixing up the salt line at the window. He really wasn’t sure he’d want to know how Ethan would answer that question.

There was a long silence in the room and Dwight glanced over to see Ethan staring right back at him. His breath caught in his throat as he took a moment to just look into those icy blue eyes. They were so perfect. He wished he could go over there and wrap Ethan up in his arms. The Tweedle looked so scared. He looked confused. He didn’t know what to say, Dwight could tell. He couldn’t so anything though. He had to leave them alone. It was easier that way. 

He was trying to annoyed that knife twisting in his gut feeling that had come back. He had relived in in his mind a million times over, trying to imagine what it would be like if he had done something differently. He didn’t know anymore. He was sure that he could’ve done something to have stopped it but it didn’t seem to be coming to him at all.

Ethan’s voice was soft, his voice cracking as he spoke, “I-I don’t…I don’t really remember anything.”

“Right.” Reed looked down at the floor, picking at his trousers absentmindedly, “Sorry.”

“D-Dwight was there.” Ethan murmured.

It was like suddenly Evan and Reed realised he was there the moment he said it. Dwight froze in his place, almost afraid to turn around, certain they were watching him now. He carefully finished the salt line, trying to pretend he hadn’t heard Etan’s words. He was sure they knew he did though. Anyone could tell by the way he was acting.

He knew he had to look. There was only so long he could hold off but he tried. he took his time to slowly close off the top of the bag, keeping his head down. Maybe they’d forget he was there.

“Dwight?” Ethan’s voice was still that same soft tone and Dwight melted just a little. It was so sweet, so innocent, how could he not? It was like Ethan was a afraid to ask Dwight. He didn’t want to know just as much as Dwight didn’t want to tell him but Reed wanted to know and yeah, Dwight knew Reed didn’t necessarily need to know but they couldn’t just leave him with no answers. That wouldn’t be fair on him, and he had been polite about asking, making sure it wouldn’t hurt Ethan’s feelings.

Dwight hesitantly, turned to face them, “Yeah?”

Ethan bit his lip, tilting his head just a little and Dwight was putty in his hands. Whenever Ethan did that, he was. He’d do anything for him. There was something about that, it was so cute and Dwight just couldn’t deny it anything. He shuffled a little closer on the windowsill, smiling reassuringly.

“W-What happened? In the crash?”

Dwight looked at the floor, wringing his hands together and took a deep breath, “You really want to know?”

Reed spoke softly, “You don’t ha-” 

Ethan quickly cut him off, shaking head, “No, I want to know too.”

Dwight nodded slowly, “Okay.” He took another deep breath, trying to remember it. He knew he’d never forget it but that didn’t mean it made sense in his head. It was fast and slow at the same time. It blurred. He still wasn’t entirely sure about all of it. He wasn’t exactly in the best state of mind as it happened.

“We were coming home from breakfast. I-I asked you if you loved me. If you’d always love me.” Dwight looked straight into Ethan’s eyes as he said that.

“What did I say?”

“You said, ‘forever.’ You were holding my hand and you turned to me and asked me what was wrong.” Dwight swallowed the lump in his throat, “A-And then I looked up at you and I saw the car coming at us but it was too late. I couldn’t stop it.”

“What happened after that?” Ethan was staring at Dwight so intently he was almost self concious about it. His hands shook, trying to think about it. Trying to get through it for Ethan’s sake. 

“It’s kind of a blur after that. Just a really loud crushing sound and I hit my leg and my head against the side of the car. You weren’t moving so I made sure you were breathing, tried to wake you up and then I called an ambulance.” Dwight’s voice cracked as tears filled his eyes, “I-I’m sorry. I need to finish with the salt.” He murmured, using the salt as an excuse to leave the room. He quickly grabbed the bag, walking out as fast as he could for it to be considered normal, but it didn’t matter. They knew why he was really leaving. He couldn’t even bring himself to keep the tears from spilling down his cheeks.

“Wait! I’m sorry!” Reed quickly ran after Dwight, calling his name and Dwight relucantly turned to face Reed, quick to wipe away his tears. He kept rushing towards Dwight, tripping and falling into him. Dwight reached out just in time to catch him.

Dwight acted on instinct. He quickly pulled Reed to his feet, looking carefully at him, and resting a hand on his shoulder, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re not supposed to run Reed. We’ve been through this.”

“I can run if I want to.” Reed grumbled, brushing his hair out of his eyes, “I’m sorry, okay?”

“What for?”

Reed shuffled nervously, “I upset you. I didn’t mean to. I shouldn’t have asked. I didn’t mean to pry, and I’m sorry.” 

“Dude, relax. It’s okay. You didn’t upset me.” Dwight sighed, raking his hand through his hair, “It’s this whole situation that has me like this, not you. Believe me, I’ve relived that in my head so many times, one more time isn’t going to hurt me.”

Reed nodded slowly, raising an eyebrow, “Are you sure? I know you Dwight. You bottle things up.”

Dwight looked away guiltily. It was true. He was hiding a lot of it inside, but what else could he do? There was far too much to just let it all out. It was too much pain. He needed time. He needed to figure out what he was supposed to do next. Usually he’d have Ethan there to help him, but Ethan being the thing that’s got him so worked up makes it so much more difficult.

Dwight rubbed his eyes tiredly, “I’m fine Reed. Promise.”

Reed pulled Dwight into a tight hug. Dwight was never one for displays of affection. He didn’t like hand shakes. He didn’t like hugs. He didn’t like when people would greet you with a kiss on the cheek or anything like that, but it was different with Reed. Reed was just the opposite. He loved to hug people, to make sure they were okay. Reed was selfless like that. It was one of the reasons Dwight looked up to him so much. So when Reed hugged him, he let it take away some of the pain. He let it add another stitch to the wounds he was sealing up.

“I’ll come by later with juice and cake and we’ll have our own camp out in your room, okay?”

Dwight chuckled softly, “Not necessary.”

“Not taking no for an answer.” Reed replied sternly, “You need a friend right now, so I’m going to help you out.”

Dwight smiled fondly. It was true. He did. He was in dire need of a friend at that moment. He didn’t really have anyone he could call a friend in the first place. He was always locking himself away in the room. He preferred it in his room. He knew it was safe. He knew he’d be okay. So what was the point in leaving?

Reed understood that though, and he liked to make sure Dwight was okay despite all that. He liked to know that Dwight wasn’t lonely, and now that Ethan wasn’t looking at Dwight the same way anymore, Reed really wanted to look after him, to make sure it would be okay for the hunter.

Dwight nodded again, hugging Reed once more, “Thank you.”

“Any time.” Reed smiled brightly, “I’ll see you later.”

“Okay.”

Dwight watched Reed leave for a moment, turning around and freezing in his spot as he spotted Ethan looking back at him. He couldn’t help but look right back into those eyes. He wanted to go over there and ask him what was wrong. He wanted to take the sad look off of his face. He wanted to make sure everything was okay. He hated seeing that look on Ethan’s face.

It felt weird, not being able to look after Ethan. Normally it was so simple. He didn’t even have to go to Ethan, he’d come straight to him. Normally Ethan would wrap his arms around him, bury his face in his neck and murmur in Dwight’s ear all the things that are wrong. Dwight wouldn’t always know what to say, but sometimes Ethan didn’t even need words. He just needed the closeness and Dwight was always ready to give him that.

Now though, now there was this never ending divide. Dwight couldn’t get rid of it and as Ethan hesitantly raised his hand and waved  at him from down the hall, Dwight’s stomach churned. It should be so much more than that. All he could do though, it smile softly and wave back, walking towards the next window he had to line with salt.

***

Dwight was just trying to waste some time, and he had to read that book for english class. He needed a change of scene. His room contained too many memories, so he sat in the school library, reading. It was relaxing. It helped take his mind off things, right up until the point that Ethan and Evan walked into the room. Dwight slid down further in his chair in an attempt to hide but it was in vain. If anything, it made them see him more. Ethan looked at Evan for a moment, nodding and then walked towards Dwight.

Dwight panicked. He decided that maybe if he acted like he hadn’t noticed Ethan, maybe if he just kept reading, he would think he was disturbing him and not bother. Again, that was in vain. He was a Tweedle. Tweedles never minded disturbing people. As Ethan cleared his throat, Dwight looked up, not expecting him so close so soon.

“O-Oh. Hi.” Dwight smiled softly.

“Hey.” Ethan smiled, rubbing the back of his neck nervously, “I didn’t upset you before, did I?”

“What?” Dwight frowned, “What are you talking about?”

“Asking you to tell me about the crash, I didn’t upset you, right?”

“Oh, no. No, I’ve been through it all before, you know?” Dwight chuckled nervously. Ethan was so close. He wanted to kiss him. So badly. Just reach out, grab his hand and pull him into his lap. He’d done it so many times before, why couldn’t he do it now?

“Oh. Right.” Ethan laughed softly.

Ethan just kept looking at him. Dwight wasn’t sure what to think, “What’s wrong?”

“You’re wearing my hoodie.” Ethan murmured, tilting his head to the side as he took in the sight of Dwight in his hoodie.

Dwight blushed, looking down at himself. He didn’t even realise he had it on, “I’m so sorry. Do you want it back? I’m so used to wearing your clothes and it was in my room…”

“No.” Ethan shook his head quickly, brushing his hand over Dwight’s arm impulsively, “It suits you…I’ll see you around, okay?”

Dwight could barely trust his voice as he watched Ethan walk back to his brother, “O-Okay…”



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