Summary: They've been meeting on the third Thursday of the month for years and finally-FINALLY something changes between them.
Author's Note: The idea for this story has been trapped in my head since I stumbled across this community. It's didn't come out as well as I wanted it to, but I hope you like it regardless. Man, I'm so obsessed with Anthony, it isn't even funny.
They meet every third Thursday of the month. No matter where they are, or what they’re doing, Thursdays were their day. When they couldn’t quite meet face to face, there was always a phone call, a post card, a letter. Something connecting them. No one would have thought it was odd-they’d shared the most memorable experience of their lives together-they’d been best friends and roommates 10 years ago, but they didn’t advertise it. Their business was their business.
“Hi.” A lot can be said with a word, and this one was no different. His body shivers in the morning cold, but he can barely feel it as it settles around him. He’s here, he’s finally here, and Anthony can barely contain his excitement.
“Hey, Ant.” Adam’s voice is gruff as he pulls him into a tight hug. For a moment, Anthony lets himself melt into it, enjoy the embrace as much as he possibly can, but only for a moment. He can never let himself forget where and who they are. He wants to laugh as he pictures the two of them; Adam guarded from view in his baseball cap and sunglasses even though it’s at least 5 below, and him in his heavy coat and tinted lenses. They’re a regular pair. They look conspicuous from a mile off, and he wonders if they’ll get stopped today.
“How long do I have you for?” The words slip out before he really thinks about them, and he’s grateful for once that its so cold out. The splotches of red on his cheeks can totally be attributed to that. Adam laughs awkwardly, and a pit forms in Anthony’s stomach.
“Cybele and the kids,” Casually, Anthony turns towards the bustling traffic to grit his teeth. “Are up visiting her parents for the weekend, so I could stay up until Saturday night.” Anthony’s eyes light, but he ducks his head and coughs so that Adam can’t see. He doesn’t want to seem too eager all at once.
“You’re more than welcome to stay for as long as you like, you know-” His fingers are practically brushing Adam’s arm when he hears the shrieking behind them. Here were go.
“Oh my god. You’re…” She’s pointing directly towards them, and for the second time in less than an hour Anthony feels his stomach drop. Adam hates this kind of thing.
“Hi.” He responds warmly, reaching his hand forward for her to shake. Tears spring from her eyes.
“I really can’t believe its you. You’re, you’re…I lost my father to…and your show it just meant so much…I really can’t believe it’s you!” Without warning, she catapults herself onto him, her arms squeezing around his neck. He pats her back awkwardly and glances at Adam over her heaving shoulders. His eyes are guarded. “I know you probably get this all the time, and you’re probably sick of signing your name everywhere, but could you possibly sign something for me? I’m like, your biggest fan. Ever.” Anthony smiles tightly as she produces a small pad of paper and black Sharpie from out of nowhere.
“Who should I address it to?” He asks kindly, interrupting her from her daze of staring at his face. His fingers are light against his shoulder, but she presses her own against the place where he’d touched her, and for the thousandth time in the 10 years since he’d started RENT he realizes just how deeply what he’d done-what they’d all done, had affected people. It’s a humbling feeling, that.
“Katrina.” She whispers, finding her voice. Her eyes are starry and he lets her voice bubble over him as he tries to write her the most meaningful inscription possible. “…keep in contact with any of the cast? You guys must be sick of each other by now though, huh? I mean I know that you and Adam,” He can feel Adam brace himself at his side. “And Jesse all lived together when you were doing the show, so you must be close, right?” She’s talking a mile a minute about how they must all be really great friends “in real life” and how he’s always been her favorite. He can practically feel Adam rolling his eyes, but as he glances over, he sees a small smile playing across his lips. Ending the message with a ‘love, Anthony Rapp.’ He hands the notebook back to her, capping the pen as he does so.
“It was very nice to meet you, Katrina.” He murmurs warmly, and the stars are back in her eyes as she gazes at him.
“Is this Rodney?” She stage whispers, winking at him, and he can feel all the good humor seeping from Adam. He wishes there was something he could do, but there’s no way he’d break his friend’s cover, so he just shrugs.
“I see you’ve read the book.” He responds; winking back, and her cheeks redden. “Thank you so much.” Taking her hands in his, he thanks her again, wishing her luck in the future. “It was so nice to meet you.” As they start to walk again, Adam is a step ahead of him the entire way to his apartment. So much for their perfect day.
“What was that, Ant?” His voice is as cold as ice as they walk from the lift into the living room. His apartment is sparse, but spacious and exactly the way he likes it. He removes his jacket, throwing it on the back of his recliner, and settles down on the couch that they’d bought together the first summer after the show opened. He wonders if Adam remembers.
“I get stopped by fans all the time. It wasn’t a big deal.” He’s trying to play it cool, but he knows he’s not doing the best job of it. He wishes it were the third Thursday of March already so they could start over again, and Adam has only been in New York for a little over an hour.
“And who’s Rodney?” He grimaces as he glances around the apartment, his eyes narrowing as he does so, trying to pick out anything that belonged to his former lover.
“A person.” He responds, settling back against the cushions, satisfied that nothing of Rodney’s had been left over. As if his life weren’t a hassle enough already. “If you’d read the book, you would know that.” He teases, smiling to let him know he’s kidding, but Adam is too far-gone to notice.
“Ant, you know I couldn’t read it. It…” He doesn’t have to finish his sentence for Anthony to know what he’s talking about. Thinking back brought all the painful memories back up to the surface. It was why he’d left New York as soon as his contract with the show was up. Anthony thought it a miracle that they were still blessed with their Thursdays.
“It’s Okay, Ad. Don’t-”
“Are you still with him?” His breath catches in his throat. Is he jealous? His heart skips a beat as Adam looks at him in the eye.
“Not exactly. He left me.” This isn’t exactly the truth. Rodney had accused him of what they all had. He’d been right, and at that point, Anthony had been sick of keeping up appearances, so he’d told the truth. Rodney had left, and Anthony had been left alone. Again.
“Oh Ant, I’m-” He starts to apologize, but he can’t keep the grin from tilting the edges of his lips. He hopes it isn’t too obvious. “I’m not really. Anyone that would be stupid enough to leave you is better off alone.” Anthony laughs in response, and socking him on the arm, Adam settles next to him on the couch. “Hey. This is the couch.” His eyes widen as he peeks under the knit red coverlet. “We bought this couch. When was it-right after our last show of that first summer. Before-” He cuts himself off again, before he mumbles the words they both know finish that sentence. “I’ve been here a hundred times since then, why didn’t you ever tell me you’d kept it?” Anthony’s ears go red, and though he pretends not to notice, Adam is secretly delighted.
“So, what do you want to do?” He asks, changing the subject. He would love to get into all the reasons he’s kept the couch, but he’s not sure if Adam is ready to hear them-if he’ll ever be ready to hear them, so smiling tightly, he asks his question, hoping that Adam doesn’t make it harder than it has to be. “Because my friend Ana was an extra in that Brokeback Mountain movie, and I never got to see it in theaters, because I was touring for the book, but she gave me an early release of it last week. We could stay in and watch that.” He watches Adam’s face for any contortion. It’s a gay cowboy movie, Anthony. He might not be as comfortable with it as you are. But instead of making stammered apologies, he merely pushes his glasses up, and stares straight into his friend’s eyes. He’d never hidden his sexual orientation, but they’d never openly talked about either. “I know the train ride can be rough. I was just thinking that maybe you’d want to stay in your first night here.” He curses himself for breaking, but the silence is killing him. Adam nods slowly, and he feels his spirits lifting again. Maybe this trip can be salvaged after all.
The end credits are rolling, and as Anthony shakes himself out of his reverie he realizes that neither of them has said a word in hours. Not the greatest sign.
“That was...” He can’t find the words he’s thinking of.
“Something. Definitely something.” Adam’s eyes won’t meet his, instead when he turns to look at him; he stares at the spot behind his left ear. Their shoulders are almost touching, and Anthony’s skin is tingling. He wonders if Adam can see the parallels between their relationship and the movie. Half of him hopes he can’t. This is definitely not something he wants to force. “Did…did they remind you of anyone?” He continues after a moment, his fingers rubbing at the nape of his neck.
“Who? Jack and Ennis?” Of course, you idiot. He can’t quite believe that Adam is asking this question, that finally-maybe, they’ll be taking this step.
“Yeah, they kind of…I don’t know. Do they make you think of us?” Anthony’s mouth goes dry. He’s looking down at his hands like they’re the most interesting things on the planet. He doesn’t know how to respond. “Or not,” Adam continues after a moment, color spreading to his cheeks. “Maybe it’s just-”
“It isn’t just you.” Anthony responds, and shakily looks up to gaze into his eyes. Relieved, Adam smiles, his fingers reaching over to wrap around Anthony’s, and he smiles back, his heart in his eyes. This could be the start of something good.