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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The day had started so well. Dwight had woken up smiling for the first time since the accident. The dream had kept him feeling warm and safe throughout the night, clinging tighter to the pillow. He would whisper into the pillow occasionally, pretending it was Ethan. It was easier when he kept his eyes closed and pretended.
He whispered so many things into that pillow. He spoke of their past, of the things they did and the ways Ethan had made him feel. He murmured about the future, and all the things he planned for them. Mostly, he whispered of how much he loved Ethan, how much he always would.
He knew that moment wouldn’t last but that didn’t make it hurt any less when he finally opened his eyes. That didn’t mean he didn’t bit his lip and stifle tears when he woke up alone. It hurt. It hurt so much but he knew this was how it had to be now.
He was going to try to fix it though. That was the main plan. He couldn’t just try to avoid Ethan anymore. He had to actually try to talk to him, and get him to see things the way he did. Dwight just wanted to show Ethan that he really did love him with all his heart, and he wanted some sort of reassurance that just maybe Ethan might remember some of that, might remember that he loved Dwight too.
Dwight almost didn’t want to get out of that bed though. It was safe there. It was warm. It would never be as warm as when he had Ethan there, but it was still warm, still safe, still the only place he felt like he’d be okay. When he closed his eyes, it felt like Ethan was there. His smell still lingered around the room, and on his pillow. He wasn’t exactly sure how that had become Ethan’s pillow. It just was, and Dwight wouldn’t have it any other way.
Slowly, Dwight opened his eyes, groaning softly as the sun shone into them and quickly shut them again, rubbing at them tiredly. He figured the least the sun could do was cut him some slack with the day he had planned out. He still wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to say to Ethan, he just knew that this couldn’t go on much longer. Dwight was going to go crazy if it did.
He ran his hands through his hair, still reluctant to move from the bed. The bed was safe. He knew he’d be safe if he stayed there. Leaving meant finding Ethan, and telling Ethan about all the things he wanted him to remember. As exciting as that was, there was the terror building up in the pit of his stomach. What if Ethan didn’t want that anymore? What if Ethan didn’t want him?
He had to push those thoughts to the side though. He wanted his Ethan back and leaving things the way they were just wasn’t going to do that. He had to take action to get Ethan to see how much he loved him. How though? What was he supposed to say to make Ethan see? Sighing sadly, Dwight sat up, rubbing his face as he mentally prepared himself for the day ahead of him.
The first problem Dwight faced was finding the Tweedle. Normally, Ethan would come to him. Normally, they’d be together because they’d either spent the night together, or Ethan would know where to find him. He never really knew where to look for Ethan. He used to hide from him so often because of the pranks Ethan would pull on him, and now he’d been hiding to give him some space, so he didn’t know.
He had resorted to aimlessly walking along the hallways. He couldn’t be too far. Although, maybe he had a lesson Dwight didn’t know about. It was possible with the amount of lessons they skipped to be together that Ethan may have had a lesson at that time that Dwight didn’t know about.
It was quiet in the Windsor halls. Dwight should’ve noticed that. The one thing everyone knew about Windsor was that it was never quiet. The twins were always causing chaos, there were explosions almost daily, there was usually yelling, all sorts. Dwight usually hid away from it, but he knew it was there. You couldn’t miss it. So why was it quiet now? The quiet usually meant trouble.
A few more moments of the eerie silence passed before Dwight heard it. That ever so familiar sound of running footsteps and battlecries. He knew it all to well. He’d been caught in the lines of fire enough times to know. He even knew how to avoid it now, how to dodge most of the bullets as Ethan and Evan fired at each other. This hit him harder than he expected though.
I was thinking it was about time you and I had a date with some nerf guns. Ethan’s words from back in that café, before all this madness started were ringing through Dwight’s head. The way he said it, so flirty. Dwight was sure Ethan planned more. He’d probably planned to pounce on him again, to press their lips together and dip his fingers under Dwight’s shirt, running along his chest until he admitted defeat. Dwight would never admit defeat, though. Ethan always tasted amazing, his fingers always knew exactly where to touch. There was no way he’d ever admit defeat when Ethan got like that. He’d do anything for that little bit more, craving every touch.
He couldn’t get himself to move from his spot, the thoughts of all the things he and Ethan could’ve done after breakfast that morning. There were so many possibilities it almost hurt to think about it. It could’ve been perfect. They were so happy. They could’ve still been so happy together.
As the twins rushed down the hall, armed with nerf guns and screaming as they fired at each other, Dwight couldn’t bring himself to move. He just let the bullets hit him and stayed frozen for a moment, until finally Evan stopped, walking over to him and brushing a hand over his shoulder.
He tilted his head to the side, frowning, “Dwight, are you okay?”
It took Dwight another moment to snap out of it, shaking his head, “Y-Yeah. Yeah, I was just thinking. Sorry.” He turned to Ethan, seeing the odd look in his eyes. Ethan looked so worried about him. He never saw Ethan look at him like that before they were together. Dwight let just a little hope creep into him as he spoke softly, “Can I talk to Ethan for a minute…alone?”
“Right.” Evan squeezed Dwight’s shoulder, smiling reassuringly at Ethan, “I’ll be in our room waiting for Ethan when you guys are done.”
Dwight watched Evan leave for just a moment, looking over at Ethan. Ethan watched Evan intently. It was like Ethan didn’t want Evan to leave him with Dwight all alone and the thought of that kind of stung. What was he going to do to him? Did he really think Dwight was going to do something wrong? He didn’t want to hurt Ethan at all, he wanted to show him the way he saw things, so that maybe Ethan would remember and see things the way he did before.
Ethan looked over at him, their eyes catching and Dwight almost wanted to look away. He didn’t know why. It seemed like that was what Ethan wanted, but he needed to look into those soft blue eyes again. He missed them. Ethan started slowly walking towards him and it was as though as the distance grew smaller, so too did the pain. Things were feeling more right in that moment.
“You wanted to talk to me?” Ethan smiled faintly, his voice soft and unsure.
Dwight held up a small rose, white with red tips and smiled fondly, “Y-You always said roses were your favourite…”
Ethan looked at the rose for a moment, unsure of whether or not to take it. As that small moment stretched on, Dwight felt more and more uneasy. Ethan blushed, taking the rose and Dwight sighed in relief, “You didn’t have to do that.”
“Yes I did.” Dwight looked down at the floor, shuffling nervously, “I promised I’d give you at least one rose a week. I guess you can’t remember, but I have to keep my promises.”
Ethan looked at the rose carefully, smiling softly, “Thank you.”
Dwight grinned, feeling a little better about everything. He didn’t think Ethan would accept the rose, so already things were going better than he had expected them to. He was still trying to gather his thoughts together in his head. He knew he had to show Ethan that he loved him, he just wasn’t sure how exactly he was going to go about it. “C-Come with me. We can sit down and talk.”
Ethan nodded slowly, biting his lip as Dwight went ohold out his hand. He was used to holding Ethan’s hand and he almost forgot. He quickly pulled his hand back, crossing his arms over his chest to stop himself doing anything more. He opened the door to the common room, sighing in relief as he found the room completely empty. Perfect. He needed some space with Ethan to talk about things.
Carefully, Dwight took a seat on the couch, smiling softly as Ethan sat next to him. He looked down at the floor, trying not to think about how close Ethan was to him. He wanted to move closer though. He wanted to lean against Ethan. He was hurting so much and usually Ethan was there for him in moments like these. Usually Ethan would wrap an arm around him and pull him close, looking after him. It wasn’t like that this time though and that kind of made him want to cry, want to break down and let Ethan see how much this was hurting him.
“How are you?” Dwight murmured softly, not trusting his voice. He looked up at Ethan, trying hard to stop himself crying. He hadn’t expected this to be so hard. This was his once chance to try to get Ethan back and he wasn’t about to blow it.
“I’m good. Just trying to remember what I can, you know?” Ethan smiled faintly, looking at Dwight with eyes filled with concern, “How are you?”
Dwight bit his lip, wringing his hands together and looking away. He chuckled sadly, “You really want to know the answer to that?”
“Yes.” Ethan replied quickly, leaning closer, “I want to know because I know I’m causing you pain and I want to make it better, so tell me what I’m supposed to do.”
Dwight looked into Ethan’s eyes again. He always lost himself in the icy blue of those eyes. He bit his lip, tilting his head to the side in an attempt to see those beautiful flecks of green in them. He loved looking into Ethan’s eyes. There was something about them, Dwight could find himself staring into them forever and never ever getting bored.
“I’m scared.” Dwight whispered, leaning close and brushing his fingers hesitantly over Ethan’s. Ethan smiled softly, letting Dwight brush their fingers together. Dwight kept his eyes focused on their fingers. It felt so right to hold Ethan’s hand, to just be with him. He let their fingers thread together, “I don’t want to lose you.” He whispered softly, brushing his lips gently over Ethan’s knuckles.
Ethan took a deep breath, almost tempted to take his hand away from Dwight. He wasn’t sure what Dwight was expecting of them meeting up like this but he didn’t want Dwight getting too used to it. He couldn’t just take his hand away though. Dwight needed the comfort and he wasn’t about to just stop that. That would be cruel, “Dwight…I don’t know what you’re losing. I don’t remember. I’m sorry. If I could make this easier, I would.”
“Try. Please. I-I know I’m asking a lot, but you’ve got to try.” Dwight was desperate. The touch of Ethan’s fingertips just making him want more. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do. He needed Ethan to know, to remember. He needed Ethan to love him again, because no matter what the others said, Ethan simply didn’t love him at that moment.
The Tweedle looked at Dwight warily, unsure of what he was supposed to say. He couldn’t just turn Dwight down, but he couldn’t say yes either. He was trying, but he didn’t know how long it was going to take, or if he ever would get his memories back.
“Don’t.” Dwight squeezed Ethan’s hand, tears welling in his eyes as he realised Ethan was thinking exactly what he was; that this might be it for the rest of their lives now, “Don’t say you can’t. Don’t say you won’t because you’re everything to me and I can’t lose you. All I’m asking, is that you try to remember. Please.”
“I am trying.” Ethan looked away sadly, “Do you think I like being like this? I have these memories in my head of this life I had with you. I see these moments of us together, kissing, hugging, laughing…being in love a-and it’s like it isn’t me. It’s like watching someone else’s life and it hurts. It’s confusing.”
“You remember?” Dwight shuffled closer and bushed his thumb over Ethan’s cheek, causing him to flinch. Dwight bit his lip, gently rubbing Ethan’s cheek, the way he did when Ethan was upset. “I know it hurts. I know you’re scared, and you’re confused, but that’s you. That’s you and it’s me and we had a whole life together planned.”
“Two kids.” Ethan whispered, staring into Dwight’s dark eyes.
“No.” Dwight stopped his thumb’s movements, just touching his cheek for the sake of contact, “What did you say?”
“Two kids. W-We said we wanted two kids.” Ethan’s voice was soft and there were tears filling his eyes as he spoke, “You wanted two. You said you always wanted two kids but you were scared to mention it.”
Dwight smiled faintly, speaking just as softly as Ethan, “I thought I’d scare you away, but you just said they could be twins.”
A tear slid down Ethan’s cheek, Dwight quickly wiping it away. Ethan’s eyes were so wide, so full of fear, Dwight didn’t know what to do. He had no way to fix this for him. All he wanted to do was take the pain away but he knew he couldn’t. He knew it was going to take time. Dwight was just so sick of waiting, though. He wanted the guy he loved back. He wanted things to be the way they were before.
“I can’t trust my own mind.” Ethan whispered. “Sometimes there are these moments, other times there are these thoughts and I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.”
“It’s all real.” Dwight brushed hair out of Ethan’s eyes, trying to smile as reassuringly as he could, “I know it might seem crazy but all of it is real.”
“Well then, you should know that I doubted!” Ethan took his hand away, rubbing his eyes. He raked his hands through his hair, trying to get his muddled up thoughts to be a little bit clearer. “He…I-I doubted us. I doubted myself. I thought you were going to leave me. I thought I wasn’t good enough. So if we were so perfect together, so right for each other, why would I ever doubt us?”
Dwight just stared at Ethan for a moment. He didn’t really think that? Was that the way Ethan really thought? He never wanted Ethan to doubt that he loved him. He wanted Ethan to know that he was always there on his mind, everything Dwight could ever hope for, ever want. “Y-You thought I didn’t love you?”
“No! No, I knew that…I think. I don’t know. It’s kind of fuzzy. He-I…I knew you loved me. I just didn’t know when you were going to turn around and find someone better.”
“And that’s making you doubt if remembering me, remembering us is even worth it?” Dwight tilted his head to the side curiously.
As Ethan nodded slowly, Dwight sighed sadly. He didn’t want past insecurities to mess this up. He didn’t know exactly how to get Ethan passed those. It wasn’t like he didn’t love Ethan. He loved him more than anything but getting Ethan to see that he was never going to leave him was a challenge. Even Dwight had those doubts from time to time, thinking Ethan might run off with someone better.
“Ethan, everyone thinks like that, okay? Everyone thinks they’re not worth it, they’re not good enough, but to me, you are. You’re everything. I’m nothing without you. Just look at the way I’ve been without you. I can’t cope like this. I need you in my life to keep me safe, to keep me happy.” Dwight smiled as reassuringly as he could, biting his lip nervously.
Ethan sighed softly, “I guess that makes sense. I just don’t like the thoughts that jump into my head sometimes. I don’t know where they come from. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with them, so I just try to ignore them, to get on with my life and figure things out as I go.”
Dwight leant forward, knowing it was probably a mistake in his mind but needing to do it. He just wanted to be closer. Moving closer still, he pressed a delicate kiss to Ethan’s cheek. His skin was so warm. Dwight had almost forgotten how warm Ethan’s skin was. He missed it so much. It wasn’t fair that Ethan was right there, so close to him and he couldn’t kiss him properly. He’d done it a million times before, he just wanted one more. Deep down he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop at one though and as he pulled away from Ethan’s cheek, he looked into his eyes, whispering softly, “I love you.”
“You know I can’t say that back, Dwight.” Ethan bit his lip. Dwight’s lips against his cheek felt so nice. His skin still tingled where they’d touched. He didn’t know why this was all having such an affect on him.
“Please.” Dwight murmured desperately, his voice cracking, “Just once. Just say it once, please.”
“I can’t. I don’t remember it, and I’m not going to lie to you. I’m sorry.”
“Ethan, I need you. I can’t keep living like this.”
“I can’t give you what you want right now. I’m sorry.” Ethan looked at Dwight for a moment, guilt digging at him as he saw the tears start to slip, falling down his cheeks. He couldn’t help him though. Every time he tried to help Dwight, it only hurt him more. Instead, he got to his feet, crossing his arms over his chest and looked at the floor, “I should get back to Evan.”
“No. Please don’t go. I haven’t spoken to you in so long. I’m sorry. I’ll stop.”
“I’ve made him wait long enough.” Ethan smiled sadly. He didn’t want to leave Dwight lke this, but he knew that anything he said to Dwight now, would only hurt him more. He was so tired of hurting him, “Thank you for the rose.”
Ethan left before Dwight could even say anything. He watched Ethan go, looking at the rose one last time before he left with it. He hated that he’d done this to Ethan. He’d made him so confused, and he was making it worse. Deciding it was better if he just stayed away, Dwight put his head in his hands, finally letting the tears fall. Without Ethan, he felt hopeless.