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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Ethan hated himself. He hated himself for what he did to Dwight. He hated himself for what he was doing to Dwight. He even hated himself for not staying in that room, but he couldn’t. He knew he couldn’t. He needed space from Dwight, no matter how much his heart was screaming at him to go back into that room, he knew he couldn’t. He had to keep moving, to keep going with his life.
That didn’t make it hurt any less to see Dwight like that. He was right. He was a complete wreck without Ethan, but he didn’t know how he was supposed to help Dwight. Every time he came near Dwight, he’d find a way to make things worse. It could’ve been something he did, or something he said, but every time, he’d have to leave the room. It was better that way, and it hurt Dwight less.
It wasn’t that he didn’t care about Dwight. He did. He wanted Dwight to be happy. He was tired of hurting Dwight and the more he hurt him, the more it hurt himself. The problem was that the only way to help Dwight was to give him something that he just wasn’t ready to give. At least, as far as he knew, he wasn’t ready.
The memories that cropped up in his head were strange. They came at the most unexpected moments. Ethan would see so many things from his and Dwight’s supposed past. He saw Dwight’s blush as they kissed for the first time. The way Dwight bit his lip afterwards, almost scared he’d ruined things even though it was Ethan that initiated it, made Ethan smile softly to himself.
He remembered their first time together. Dwight was so awkward, so nervous, so cute and he made every moment feel so good. Every moment with Dwight was tender. Which wasn’t to say he didn’t have a rougher side. Ethan had had flashes of Dwight pinning him against the wall, biting his neck, growling into his lips. Dwight gave just as much as he got.
Ethan wanted that back. He almost craved it, but he couldn’t just give that to Dwight right away. It was like he was starting over fresh. He needed time to figure out where he wanted to go and indeed, if he even wanted Dwight anymore. There was still something in him that was drawn to Dwight, he just didn’t know what it was he wanted to get out of that in the long run.
The truth was, Dwight Houston was the strangest guy Ethan had ever met. That should’ve been the first real indicator for him. In general, he and Evan were always the crazy ones but when Dwight was around, it seemed someone else was even crazier than they were. Dwight was always the weird one, making his salt lines, and filling up spray bottles with holy water. He collected the strangest things and refused to believe they were anything less than imperitive to own, to keep people safe. Everything about him drew Ethan in, and sometimes, Ethan liked that too.
The thought of he and Dwight actually being together was a near impossible one, though. Dwight was never affectionate. He would stiffen when anyone hugged him. He wouldn’t like to be touched, at all. Dwight had been that way for as long as Ethan had known him, so that was all he really knew of the knight. Yet here he was with these memories of he and Dwight kissing, hugging, holding hands. Dwight had kissed his cheek in the room when they were talking. Ethan didn’t flinch because he didn’t want Dwight to, he just didn’t think Dwight would want to.
Dwight seemed to want everything with Ethan. He wanted kisses, he wanted touches, he wanted to tell him he loved him, and that was the one thing that hurt above all others. He couldn’t tell Dwight he loved him, no matter how much Dwight wanted to hear it. He couldn’t lie, but the truth was, there was a part of him that did love Dwight. There was a part that wanted to reach out for Dwight’s hand, and to lean into him as he kissed his cheek. Somewhere, deep down inside Ethan, he craved Dwight’s attention and he craved Dwight’s touch.
Why would he want that though? Why with Dwight? Of all the people in the world, why him? It was like he woke up one day and they’d planted these thoughts in his head, these thoughts that weren’t his. Yet, when he remembered flashes if their past, he saw himself with Dwight, no matter how much it felt like it wasn’t him at all, he could see that it was. It didn’t make sense. It was like every memory wasn’t one at all, it was just a dream.
Ethan was almost bitter about it. Why was he forced to have these thoughts about someone he didn’t even know, not really? He didn’t want them. He wanted to give them to someone else. The thoughts and memories were pointless when he couldn’t really feel it. It was as though this was all being forced on him and he didn’t want that. He wanted to decide for himself, like Evan said, just keep living and figure it out as he went. He felt like these so called ‘memories’ were forcing it on him. He wanted it to be real, not forced.
He figured that if he really wanted it, it would come to him slowly, but the way the thoughts would bombard him at the most unexpected moments were doing nothing to help him, merely confuse him. He wasn’t sure what the memories were trying to do. It was like Dwight was there in his head and every time he started to doubt, started to think maybe he and Dwight weren’t meant to be, the flashes would jump into his mind and tell him that he was with Dwight and always will be. A life sentence he wasn’t sure he wanted.
Dwight was cute though. He was adorable. The way his black hair fell into his eyes, especially when he was reading always got to Ethan. It always made him smile. Dwight would get frustrated with it. He’d frown and even go so far as to grumble on occasion and Ethan couldn’t stop himself grinning at that. Then he’d blow it out of his eyes and somehow he even made that really cute.
Those eyes. Those beautiful dark eyes. Ethan had never really considered dark eyes to be all that pretty, but when he looked into Dwight’s he saw so much. He saw the depth, he saw the pain and the suffering. He couldn’t even begin to understand all the pain Dwight had been through but when he looked into those eyes, he wanted to make it go away. He wanted to take away Dwight’s pain and leave that little spark behind. He looked even better when that spark in his eyes that meant he was happy. He always wanted Dwight to be happy.
Above everything else, The thing about Dwight that really got to Ethan was his intense need to protect. With everything that happened to Dwight in the past, with his brother especially, Dwight was so focused on keeping everyone close to him safe, even those who weren’t so close. The salt lines around all of Windsor were his way of keeping the monsters away, making sure everyone would be okay. He had so much holy water and he always kept a bottle on him, just in case. Ethan had even found a bag of salt in his room. He supposed Dwight had given him that to keep him safe. There were so many herbs, wooden stakes, amulets and all sorts of other things Ethan couldn’t quite identify in Dwight’s room, all designed to protect them all.
There were so many good things about Dwight, really. Ethan wouldn’t doubt that, not ever, but that didn’t mean he would just fall in love with him in a snap. There had to be something that really made him fall but Ethan couldn’t find that. He wanted it all to be so much easier. All his thoughts were conflicted, because really, he’d do anything for Dwight. He was probably the best friend Ethan had ever had, but that didn’t mean he was going to love him. That didn’t mean he wasn’t angry that everyone seemed to know about his life, but Ethan himself, didn’t.
It was annoying, and frustrating and there were times when he just wanted to scream, but he couldn’t. Evan was always around. Not that he wanted Evan to leave, he needed Evan around to keep him grounded. He certainly couldn’t scream at Dwight. He wouldn’t let himself take out his anger on Dwight. He was going through just as much pain as he was and that wouldn’t be fair, Ethan knew that. Didn’t mean he didn’t want to scream any less though. He was angry and hurt and as far as Ethan was concerned, he had every right to cry, and break things, and scream until his throat hurt.
So after he had seen Dwight, he did the only thing he could think to do. He stayed away. He didn’t want to lash out at Dwight. He knew that Dwight was just trying to help, and that Dwight just wanted things back to the way they were. If he knew what it was he was missing, not just the few visuals he’d gotten, but the feelings too, maybe it would be easier, but as it was, he just felt like lashing out and Dwight was the last person he wanted to lash out at.
So the last thing he was expecting when he went into the library with all intent to study to find Dwight there. Dwight didn’t see him though. It was the first time since Ethan had woken up that Dwight hadn’t noticed him after walking into a room. It was almost scary, not to have Dwight’s attention. He knew something was wrong right away, even if he didn’t know what. Dwight wouldn’t be slouching like that if there wasn’t something wrong. Ethan almost didn’t want to know what it was, but he wanted to help. He knew that going over there would make things worse, but maybe if he knew what was wrong, he could make it better, somehow.
He grabbed Evan’s arm, causing his twin to frown, tilting his head in confusion, “What’s wrong?”
“This way.” Ethan dragged Evan to the book shelves closest to Dwight, “There were some good books around here I was looking at last time we came.”
“Oh, really?” Evan grinned, looking intently at the books on he shelf.
Ethan looked over the books at Dwight. He was sitting with Reed, and they both looked anything but happy. Dwight looked miserable. He had a little rose sitting on the desk in front of him and Ethan bit his lip, realising what that rose would’ve been for. It hurt just to look at it. The rose was different to the last one he’d given Ethan. It was pure red, so bright, so vibrant and Ethan almost wanted to reach out and touch it.
“Will you please just tell me what’s going on?” Reed murmured softly, Ethan almost didn’t hear it.
Reed was leaning into Dwight, sharing his warmth and Ethan could almost remember doing that with Dwight. He was sure he used to do that when Dwight was like that. He was almost certain that was the way he would look after him and it was odd to see someone else doing it.
“Ethan. What else?” Dwight sighed sadly, sliding further down in his seat. Ethan was sure Dwight could’ve propped his feet up on the table on that angle, and he was very sure Dwight had done that before. He could vaguely remember that too.
“What’s wrong now?” Reed wrapped an arm around Dwight’s shoulders, pulling him into a loose hug.
“He doesn’t want me anymore.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes I do.”
“How?” Reed furrowed his brow in confusion.
“I spoke to him the other day a-and he just…he doesn’t want me. I can tell.”
Reed sighed sadly, pulling Dwight into his arms properly. As Dwight’s shoulders started to shake, Ethan couldn’t take it anymore, looking down at the floor. He didn’t mean to make Dwight feel like that. It was never meant to be like this. He was meant to be Dwight’s friend. He was meant to stop Dwight from feeling like this, not cause it.
“Dude, they have Alice in Wonderland.” Evan said excitedly, frowning when he saw the sad look on Ethan’s face, “Hey, what’s wrong?”
Ethan wasn’t paying attention, caught up in his thoughts, because despite the guilt, he was angry. He was frustrated. Dwight was making him feel guilty. He had no idea what he was supposed to do and Dwight was making him feel guilty. It wasn’t fair. He had to find a way to explain to Dwight, to make him see.
Looking up at Evan, Ethan smiled softly, “I need a favour from the Warblers.”