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TSN fic: Eternal sunshine of our minds

Title: Eternal sunshine of our minds
Author: sanann
Genre: slash, drama
Pairing: Mark/Eduardo, Chris/Dustin
Rating: R
Word count: ~6500
Beta: awesome twivamp92
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Warnings: angst, but I promise it won't end badly
Summary: Marks wants to empty his life of Wardo. TSN version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
A/N: I got obsessed with writing this story after seeing this amazing art. I was waiting for tsn-a-thon to post it but I guess it didn't work. Anyway, enjoy!


First time Mark brings it up, Chris laughs in his weird laugh like he heard a joke he doesn’t find funny. Mark turns his piercing gaze on Dustin, and Dustin’s fake smile slips off.

“Please, tell me you’re kidding,” Dustin pleads, voice wavering.

“You know better than anyone how to sort our contract language and handle paperwork,” Mark addresses to Chris, turning away from Dustin, voice leveled and not taking ‘no’ for an answer, “Start working with my lawyers.”

“This is insane!” Dustin shouts.

Mark tilts his head to the side and observes Dustin for a few moments in silence, “I consider this the most appropriate option. The moment you come up with something more efficient, you’re more than welcome to notify me.”

They both stare at him and this argument is already futile and tiresome. He’s only losing his time.

“This is good for Facebook,” he adds before leaving.
 

 

Mark gave himself three years.

Three years is a good number, a big period of his life, and it’s longer than he spent on learning how to talk or creating Facebook.

He didn’t waste a day of those three years, giving himself completely to reaching his target.

Which is why he is annoyed and on the way to getting pissed. Mark does not get pissed because Mark doesn’t fail.

But he is right where he started, still using only 50 percent of his energy and brain as his thoughts stuck on five letters of one name.

Mark searches for another way out and he finds it.
 
 


“How does it exactly work?” Chris asks, frowning, looking down at the papers in his hand, and displeasure in his voice meant to be for Mark, to deliver Chris’s opinion on the subject to Mark.

Mark lets himself a little shrug of his shoulders and looks around absentmindedly. They’re still here in Facebook headquarters, in Mark’s office, and doing what Mark knows is better for him and Facebook. Chris’s emotions are no valid.

Dustin puts his hand on Chris’s shoulder and Mark turns away, lips tightening.

Can they sign those damn papers already? Why people are so keen on wasting his time?

“Mark?” Dustin presses and Mark squints.  

“There’s a procedure that takes place while a person sleeps, by the end of which some part of his memory, along with memory of procedure, will be erased from his brain.”

“You mean Wardo? That part is Wardo?” Dustin’s voice is detached and Mark wonders if he finally accepted Mark’s conditions.

“Correct.” He gives a light nod. “The Wardo part will be erased. Eduardo Saverin part will be the one represented.”
He knows the questions will follow, and he doesn’t need to hear these questions in order to answer, so, he speeds up his speech.

Still, words rush out of his mouth slower than his thoughts. It’s always frustrating him.

“According to the standard procedure the erased person should be cut out of your life completely, to not be reminded of in any way, like getting rid of a tumor.”

“Wardo is a tumor for you now?” Of course, it’s Dustin. Always over dramatizing things.

Wardo is not a tumor, more like his leg or his hand, or part of his brain, a part that got infected and is poisoning the rest of his body. Mark is forced to make this amputation.

Mark doesn’t honor Dustin with the glance or reply. He goes on. Putting his thoughts into someone’s head takes a lot of time and words.

“In my case, the procedure is what they call experimental. Despite our luck that Wardo is in Singapore and is not planning to come back, press finds a special pleasure in reminding me of him. Taking into account that he can’t be cut of my life completely, only memories of him as a friend will be erased. I’ll be left with a knowledge of Eduardo Saverin, familiar guy from Harvard whose part in Facebook was money investing and after, suing me. Anyway, the procedure is safe and solid. I checked. Now, you two being the guys who know he’s more than just Eduardo Saverin to me, need to sign those papers. Sean did his part already. The terms of agreement are that you will not, by any circumstances, bring up Wardo when interacting with me, only Eduardo.”

They keep disturbing silence even though he provided them with all the answers. Mark sighs heavily and wonders what else they need in order for them to start signing the papers.

“Why do you keep calling him Wardo?” Dustin whispers, gaze intentionally fixed on papers in his hand.

Mark shoots him a frowning look. “Currently my memory is not erased. Why not?”

Dustin and Chris exchange the look and there’s a few seconds of them having a silent conversation before Dustin sighs and looks away.

“Did you try contacting him?” Chris demands, raising his voice, voicing their shared thoughts, and Mark gives him a blank stare, the one that he knows is pissing everybody off.

Chris sounds as if Mark is the bad guy here, as if he was the one to run on the other side of the planet and throw everything away.

It was strictly business.

Mark wants to repeat himself again but he knows it’s just a waste of air, no one gets it anyway.

Chris waits and Mark guesses there won’t be signing of any documents in near future until he replies.

He looks straight into Chris’s eye when says it, voice not giving anything away. “He doesn’t answer me. He made it clear he is not interested in my life anymore. I want this privilege as well.”

They sign the papers.
 



 
Mark is placed in the comfortable chair while the procedure starts.

His doctor in white gown, Jane or Judie, sits on the couch and scribbles notes on her pad while Mark talks, her assistant sits next to her and smiles at him.

Mark cringes and shuts his mouth tight before he bites out that it’s not archaic time period, and these days, people type their notes into the computer.

Mark knows the details of the procedure. He has to provide them with every memory he shared with Wardo for them to erase it from his brain one by one.

Usually, it takes two or three hours, they say.

Four hours later, he gets itchy and annoyed. He has to run his company; he can’t be offline for that long.

They make a break in which he glues himself to his laptop.

After sending fifteen emails and Dustin writing him back, “is this your way of avoiding the procedure and keeping some part of Wardo to yourself?” Mark jerks away and snaps his laptop shut.

They offer him a couch and it takes another three hours to get rid of Wardo memories.

In the end, exhausted assistant, smile long gone, asks in worn out voice, “Is there anything else you want to share?”

Mark thinks about how his heart rate speeded up every time Wardo looked at him or about the kisses they never talked about. But he doesn’t want to share this.

He looks the assistant in the eye and says steadily, “No.”
 


 

When they start process of erasing every bit of memory Mark hided close to his heart, Mark closes his eyes, knowing that he’ll wake up different, fingers twitching in his hoodie pockets, and whispers, “Bye, Wardo.”
 

 


Dustin knows he signed the papers and he can lose his share and be thrown out of Facebook (according to the terms of agreement), but when he sees Mark shuffling through Facebook doors in his flip-flops, he swiftly approaches him, nails biting into his palms to keep his nervousness under control.

He just has to know.

“Hey, Mark,” Dustin grins. Everyone expects him to.

“Dustin,” Mark nods curtly and attempts to pass him over.

“Mark, have you seen a new algorithm I emailed you yesterday? I called it Wardo. Nice, huh?” Dustin lowers his voice to deliver the name, instinctively afraid Chris with his super abilities to know everything, will hear, even though Chris is already one state away.

Mark bites into his lower lip, uninterested and trying to end conversation the fastest way possible, “Okay?”

“Do you like the name, Mark?” Dustin presses, slightly desperate, and Mark sighs, giving up.

“Why should I?” He says, voice getting irritated.

Dustin’s smile slips off, but Mark is already far away to notice, determinedly marching towards his office, glad to be left alone.

 
 


Chris is not working for Mark anymore, so, he allows himself luxury of not worrying over him 24/7. Except since they signed that damn papers he knows shit will hit the fun eventually.

Dustin calls and keeps him updated about new version of Mark. Robot Mark, less angsty version but even more composed and emotionless.

He looks sadder, Dustin insists.

In Dustin’s opinion, Mark lost his Patronus.

Chris tells him to stop calling his boss and their friend robot because he is still Mark. But when Chris doesn’t lie to Dustin, he knows their fault lies in how changed and screwed up Mark is now.

They signed those damned papers.

Though Mark is a big boy and not Chris’s responsibility, he is still the weight on Chris’s shoulders since Eduardo left the board.

 


 
Sometimes, Dustin calls not to talk about Mark.

Sometimes, he calls to scream ‘booty call’ into Chris’s ear.

It means they’re going to meet somewhere in the middle, on neutral territory, to have sex.

Like they did before.

Despite them being friends and ex-lovers, sex is never awkward, sex is always good.

Some things don’t change.

Dustin loves Chris and Chris loves Dustin, but it was never enough.

Somehow, all you need is love didn’t work for any of them.

It took four months after Wardo moved to Singapore for Chris to call it quits and offer Dustin to stay friends.
Chris didn’t voice out a reason, but it was pretty obvious – it was time to grow out of the relationship with your roommate.

When they broke apart, Chris moved to politic games and Dustin returned to fucking women.

So, now, booty call is. 

Understanding of how unhealthy their relationship is, helps them with Mark, helps to yell at him less and keep themselves from throwing something into his head. Chris and Dustin are not the ones to judge.

One time, Sean called them a dysfunctional four.

In answer, Dustin made a shirt, “One of dysfunctional four,” he proudly wore to the office; Mark shrugged non-committedly and went back to coding; and Chris pretended he didn’t hear it.

Eduardo didn’t have a chance to react since being miles and countries away.

That’s why when Chris’s phone rings he’s almost not surprised to see Eduardo Saverin ID on his screen.

“What the hell, Chris?” Wardo sounds pissed and alive, and a bitter smile lingers at corners of Chris’s mouth. He sounds like Wardo, the guy who was their best friend.

With whom the latest interactions are short calls or email notifications due to another shareholder meeting Eduardo deliberately ignores.

Chris leans against the countertop in the kitchen and watches his drip coffee maker brewing him coffee.

There are some borders and lines four of them crossed, outrunning everyone, and now, they’re stuck, because no one else had reached them. It’s just a circle of four, suffocating and unhealthy.

“What does this asshole think he’s doing?” Eduardo storms on.

It’s so fucked up as Chris is almost smiling due to not hearing dry pleasantries like ‘tell Mr. Zuckerberg’ Eduardo gained to shield himself.

Asshole is good because Mark is always an asshole but he never is Mr. Zuckerberg.

So, so fucked up.

“I decide to visit States and then, I receive this damn paper.” Old part of Eduardo that can’t hide his emotions is right there, currently yelling at Chris.

“You wanted to visit us, Wardo?” Chris keeps his voice neutral.

“Doesn’t matter,” Eduardo cuts out.

Guess, not.

“Paper says that I should not contact Mark and remind him of myself. What the fuck, Chris?”

Chris starts feeling headache forming and he rubs his temples when he explains the whole procedure, every little detail.

Eduardo deserves to know.

There’s a hitch of breath on the other end of the line, and Chris is sorry, he really is.

“How could he?” Wardo involuntary lets out and shuts up immediately.

“I should be the one erasing this jerk from my memory.”

He’s back to being furious.

“This is not a competition, Wardo.  This is not about you, but him. Just let him be. Let it go.”

“Fuck you, Chris. I’m coming to Palo Alto.” He hangs up.

Chris didn’t expect less.

 
 


It’s a seventeen hours trip from Singapore to California, and when Eduardo closes his eyes, pressing his head against the cold window pane, every memory of Mark starts haunting him.

Eduardo wonders how it will be to erase every damn thing and stop to feel.

 
 


Dustin welcomes him on the steps of Facebook office and shakes his head in refusal, “No.”

Chris is always fast in informing.

There’s a smirk on Eduardo’s lips. “Hello to you too, Dustin. I need to talk to him.” He tries not to clench his fingers into the fists.

“No, Wardo,” it sounds almost final.

Unfortunately, Dustin is not Mark, he’s not even Chris, and his emotions are open book, flickering across his face.

Dustin looks sorry and Eduardo goes for another chance.

“I need to ask some questions from this asshole.”

Dustin’s face tightens. “He doesn’t remember, Wardo. And what do you care, anyway?”

Eduardo turns his back and leaves.

It’s okay, he can come back later.

 
 


Chris flies all the way back to California, and now he’s in Dustin’s office, fuming, and Dustin wants to hug him, hands itching to touch, but he doesn’t dare.

“I should have seen this coming. Now I have to babysit Mark to prevent Wardo from killing him or from any other shit he is planning to dish out.”

“It’s not so bad, Chris.” He doesn’t like seeing him like that.

“Not so bad?” Chris finds a target for his anger, his gaze pinning Dustin. “I had to cancel all my meetings. I had to cancel my date!”

Dustin staggers slightly.

“Your date?” His voice sounds stupidly hollow.

Chris raises his hand in protest, exasperated. “Dustin, not now.”

And Dustin shuts up and doesn’t tell him how it fucking hurts.

 


 
It takes four days for Mark to be left unguarded and Eduardo doesn’t miss his chance.

He just wants to look the bastard in the eye. That’s it.

He’s in front of Mark’s doorstep, cell phone in his hand because he put an end to the business conversation the minute he saw blue eyes and heard frowned, “Yes?”

Eduardo sneers at the guy with curly hair, trying not to let his violently beating heart hush his anger.

It’s been three years. Three fucking years and Eduardo still wants to beat the shit out of this guy.

“Hello, Mark.”

And the bastard clutches into his backpack, his frown deepening like Eduardo is some stranger. Like he is no one.

“You are–,” Mark looks at him, furrowing his brows in attempt to figure out some puzzle.

“Eduardo Saverin,” Eduardo supplies, not giving a damn about bitterness in his voice, “The guy you threw out of Facebook and your life, the guy who really wants to know who the hell you think you are trying to get rid of me this way.”

Mark doesn’t listen, keeps frowning until his face brightens, figuring the answer for his own thoughts, “You are the guy from my dreams.”

It’s like a hard punch to Wardo’s stomach.

He squeezes his eyes shut for a moment, mocking smile slept away. He runs his hand though his hair nervously, and behind his eyelids there’s still an image of Mark.

 
 


Eduardo opens his eyes and Mark looks at him, head tilted to the side, like he expects Eduardo to give him all the answers.

“Who am I?” Eduardo’s voice cracks.

“You are Eduardo Saverin,” He states like Eduardo is dumb. “You were not good to me.”

“Not good?” Eduardo takes a step back unconsciously but Mark grips his wrist in attempt to hold him while he delivers his thought. Mark sets his gaze downcast, frowning while he recalls.

“Yes, you sued me.” Mark says in that flat tone of his, emotionless.

Eduardo wants to knock the ground out of his feet but Mark looks like he’s still trying to catch the tail of his slipping thought. “But you are the one I talk to when I’m not awake.”

He nods and looks at Eduardo like it should explain everything.

“What?” Eduardo snaps.

Everything is not how it supposed to be. He loses his ground again and he wants to be miles away. What does this asshole want from him? Didn’t he give him everything?

“I need your phone number,” Mark says hurriedly like he’s running out of time and Eduardo messes with his dead-line.

“No.” Eduardo answers, more stubbornness than resolution in his voice.

But Mark snatches Eduardo’s cell phone out of his grip, and starts clicking on display until his own cell phone in his hoodie starts buzzing.

Eduardo watches him dumbly, thinking, why am I letting him do this?

Mark shoves Eduardo’s cell phone into his chest and Eduardo takes it, staring at Mark in disbelief, while Mark promptly slips his hands into his hoodie pockets.

“I can’t talk to you right now. But I want to. Come tomorrow. ” Mark nods, rushed words giving away his mild eagerness.

And he’s standing there, waiting for Eduardo’s answer and it’d be so easy to say ‘fuck you’ and show Mark his retreating back.

Mark looks like he needs this, him, but Eduardo is smarter one lawsuit after and he plans to say ‘no’.

 


 
Eduardo grumbles ‘okay’.

The words leave his mouth and he stands irritated with himself and Mark, while Mark curtly nods and leaves, steps hurried, not looking back.

Eduardo watches him go, his ribcage tightening and there’s this bugging feeling like he already lost in the game he wanted to set up rules for.

 


 
The next day, Mark lets hovering in the doorstep Eduardo in before he changes his mind.

Mark leads him into the kitchen where he presents him fridge with beer in it – ‘help yourself’ – before leaving.

Eduardo takes a beer, and follows Mark into the living room where Mark is already typing, sitting on the sofa, completely engrossed in coding.

Eduardo has been through this before. He sighs, leans against the wall, taking a big gulp from the bottle and watches Mark.

He doesn’t have to be here.

He’s not going back on that road again.

“What am I even doing here?” Eduardo asks more himself than Mark, knowing he won’t get an answer while Mark is coding.

But Mark’s fingers freeze, and he raises his head from his laptop and looks at Eduardo, and Eduardo doesn’t know what to make of it. It takes a moment for Mark to rewind the words Eduardo was saying, frown lines crossing his forehead.

Then, he shrugs, lips tightening in irritation, “I don’t know.”

Eduardo shakes his head, huffing at himself, puts the bottle on the table next to him and turns to leave.

He ends it here and now.

Mark’s words stop him at the door, “I can think when you’re around.”

Eduardo glances back and Mark looks at him, not tearing his gaze away. In Mark’s book, it calls for begging.

Eduardo stays.

 
 


Eduardo spends weekend at Mark’s.

Mostly it’s him talking to Mark who hums in answer. But sometimes, Mark asks questions to the things Eduardo was talking about, he’s listening, and Eduardo can’t stop being surprised.

This Mark orders them real food (not pizza), and even offers Eduardo to cook him something in attempt to be a good host. But judging by the frozen look on his face, he is terrified by the idea, and Eduardo declines, cooking himself instead.

This Mark is different, Eduardo can tell.

 
 


The weekend is over and Eduardo has to leave.

His plane is in three hours and he has to leave, and he doesn’t know if he wants to come back.

He has his suitcase in his hand, and he and Mark stand in front of the open door in silence.

“Hey–,” Eduardo starts and doesn’t know what else to say.

“I had a dream,” Mark speaks slowly, looking Eduardo straight in the eye, and this is so not him, “You were smiling at me and I was calling you Wardo.”

Eduardo swallows thickly and braves himself for questions, tightening his skin against the accusations, heart beating crazily with fear.

There’s no hiding the truth if Mark asks.

But Mark doesn’t, he says, “Next Friday?”

Eduardo nods, swallowing the lump in his throat and wonders if Mark is scared as well.

 


 
Mark is so pissed.

They made a deal.

It’s Friday night, and Eduardo’s plane landed a few hours ago.

Mark has a very important project he wants to fucking finish.

Mark is back from work as he’s supposed to, as they’ve planned through emails, and Eduardo should be here already. Mark sent a driver to pick him four hours ago.

Mark blinks at the blank page on his screen and there’s nothing in his head to fill it with.

He stands up jerkily, thoughts focused on the five letter word.

 
 


Mark doesn’t tell anyone about Wardo.

Not like it’s some secret, but it will bring questions, and Mark should not be bothered with answering them.

People always ask him questions.

Sometimes, Eduardo likes to ask questions as well, but the answers make him stay, so Mark doesn’t mind.

But currently, Mark is really pissed and he minds everything. He paces the room until there’s a knock on the door.

Mark opens the door and shoves Eduardo inside.

Eduardo babbles something about traffic but Mark’s fingers are already clucking on the keyboard as Mark breathes out.

 
 


Chris calls Dustin on his way from the airport.

Dustin is in the book store, talking to the girl he likes, and he wonders, how it would be to ask her out, if he is able to give his full attention to another person.

Dustin wants to play fair. He knows how it feels to get the crumbs of love, how it cuts deeper than having nothing.

But Chris calls and orders, “Dustin! In your place in twenty. It’s urgent. Try not to be late for once.”

Dustin should take this girl’s number before he leaves because she seems nice and interested in him, but Chris’ voice erases any interest he was having in her.

 
 


There’s a loud knocking on the door and Mark says automatically, “Wardo, the door,” expecting another delivery guy with green food Wardo forces him to shovel, except that he’s the one passing the door and he realizes with a sigh that he is the one to open it as well.

Eduardo is in the living room, in the process of emailing his providers, when he hears the voices of Chris and Dustin, and the first thought is ‘shit’, and then, ‘it’s good both of them are here, I don’t have to go through this twice.’

They walk into the room and freeze when they spot him.

“What is he doing here?” Dustin asks, and Eduardo almost sees invisible finger pointing in his direction.

“Eduardo?” Mark frowns at Dustin and turns to look at Eduardo. “He stays here.”

“What?” Chris asks in disbelief, stepping towards Eduardo, gaze cold.

Mark takes a step forward as well, air thickening.

“Do I need to repeat it, Chris?” There’s an edge to Mark’s voice, and Chris and Dustin glance at him in surprise.

“We’re having a dinner soon. Wanna join?” Eduardo makes his voice sounds as friendly as possible. He is tired of arguing.

“Yeah, like anyone wants to enjoy your Brussels sprouts, Wardo,” Mark snorts and sits next to him.

Eduardo shoves in his shoulder lightly, “You lost in Go Kart, Mark. Man up and face your punishment.”

Dustin and Chris glance at each other, but the air gets clearer.
 
 


Eduardo tries to keep balance between his work days in Singapore and weekends at California.

It’s exhausting and it seems like he’s always tired, catching some shuteye during flights, and stumbling through waking hours.

He lives two different lives on two continents, and soon, he’ll have to choose.

He tells himself that he spends next weekend at home but another weekend finds him at Mark’s.

Mark is not the guy he used to be. There’s a part of him that’s missing, that doesn’t remember things, and this part makes him confused and vulnerable instead of strong.

Eduardo won’t let him stay there alone unprotected.

 


 
Mark is furiously typing on keyboard, hunched over the table, and Eduardo is okay with the sounds, sitting on the floor, with his back against the sofa.

It is familiar.

He can concentrate on the papers in his hands as long as these sounds surround him.

Then, the sounds stop and Eduardo snaps his head up before he even realizes. Just to check if everything is okay, if Mark is okay.

Mark is bent over his laptop and he doesn’t turn his head when he asks quietly, “Why did you leave, Wardo?”

There’s no sound except for their breathing.

It is a simple question. Eduardo can give million answers starting with, “You betrayed me, asshole.

But it was then.

Now, this Mark wants to know, and Eduardo chokes on his emotions before he lets out quietly, “It was stupid. But back then, I thought I’m doing what is good for me.”

“Was it good?” Mark asks just as quiet.

“No.”

Mark nods, just a light jerk of his head, and goes back to typing.

 


 
Sean jerks open the door without ‘hi’, shouting, “Mark, I heard–”

His gaze lands on Eduardo sitting comfortably on the couch in front of TV, Mark sitting next to him.

And Eduardo is gonna remind Mark to lock the fucking door, but he doesn’t mind the picture Sean sees.
Mark sits with his legs thrown over the edge of the sofa, his back pressed against Eduardo’s side, typing.

Sean’s eyes turn into slits. “Get out, Saverin!”

Mark doesn’t stop typing or turn his head, voice steady when he says, “Wardo stays, Sean.”

“Wardo?” Sean sounds as shocked as he appears. 

“You don’t understand, Mark,” Sean sounds protective of Mark like Eduardo is taking advantage of him, and Eduardo wants to snort, “He’s not what you think– He’s not what you want.”

Mark stands up, putting his laptop carefully aide, and confronts Sean. His jaw set tight, eyes cold.

“And you think you know what I want, Sean?”

Eduardo feels his stomach twisting because he heard that tone before, during deposition time and after, addressed to him, and he knows how it feels to be on the receiving end.

Eduardo turns his gaze away from Sean. He remembers how the emotions cross your face after hearing this tone, emotions you don’t want anyone to see.

Sean’s next words are for Eduardo.

“Always knew under those ‘mama’s boy’ looks was a bastard. Glad you’re not hiding your true nature anymore, Saverin. But don’t fool yourself thinking that I won’t come back.”

Mark doesn’t move, and Eduardo just tilts his head to the side watching Sean.

Sean doesn’t slam the door on his way out, like Eduardo would, but closes it quietly.

Mark’s mouth is a thin line when he looks back at Eduardo, frustration and irritation mixed in one.

“Want a beer?” he offers and moves towards kitchen without confirmation from Eduardo.

And Eduardo doesn’t sympathize Sean at all, but the victory’s taste in his mouth is bitter.

 


 
Chris’ cell phone rings in the middle of the night, waking him up, and he groans and curses the caller.

The bedside clock tells him it’s 4AM, and Chris curses some more.

He grabs the cell phone off the table, and of course it’s Dustin. Who else would be calling him in this ass crack of the day?

“Do you know what time is it?” Chris asks in a deadly voice. And then, in afterthought, “Are you dying, Dustin?”

I hope you’re dying, he groans mentally.

“You were asleep?” Dustin slurs and he’s definitely wasted, and now Chris wants be the person to cause him death.

“Go to sleep, Dustin, before I fly all the way over there and strangle you to death.”

“I was wondering,” Dustin says as if he didn’t hear him, “Why am I never enough for you? Not good enough for you? I tried so hard to be.”

“Dustin,” Chris says, exasperated, and he wonders if they can turn it into another drunk joke of his. Dustin sounds hurt, really hurt, and it latches onto Chris’ insides and tugs painfully.

“I could not do that if I wasn’t drunk. So, I had to– This is–,” Chris doesn’t have to see Dustin to know that he waves a hand in the air sloppily right this moment, “This is over.”

He hangs up. Just like that.

Chris blinks and the pain spreads further, gripping his body so tight that it squeezes the air out of him, bringing tears to his eyes. 

 


 
Mark is having that nightmare. Wardo is leaving him. Again and again.

And there are unfamiliar voices murmuring, ‘Because it’s Eduardo Saverin.’

Mark wakes up feeling lost and empty, sweat beads forming on his forehead, while he shakes, stuck on his nightmare.

The feeling vanishes when Mark pads to the guest room and climbs next to Wardo, pressing his cold feet against Wardo’s warm ones.

Wardo wakes up, blinking at him, and Mark just stares back determinedly. He’s not going back to his bed.

Wardo covers him with a blanket, smiling sleepily at Mark before they fall asleep.

 
 


One day, there’s a call from an unknown number on Eduardo‘s cell phone and Eduardo answers it to find Sean on the other end.

Sean’s voice comes out firm, bringing unpleasant memories.

“Who knew you’d be the one to make him smile,” there’s a hint of surprise, and then, there’s a pause that Eduardo doesn’t want to fill. “Not that it changes my opinion on you.”

Sean hangs up before Eduardo can form a reply.

 


 
Whenever Chris is having a phone conversation with Mark, he feels envious.

Mark is happy, Wardo and him both are. And no matter how long it lasts, now they are happy. Chris knows it counts for something.

Even if they fuck it up again, it is still worth it.

Now, Chris knows that it is.

Dustin doesn’t call Chris. Not anymore.

 


 
Four months. Eduardo was completely happy for four months.

But then, Mark asks Eduardo, ‘Why did you need me so much?’ Tone inquisitive, and Wardo’s breath can’t find a way out of his throat.

Mark starts remembering things, and Eduardo wonders if he triggered the memories. He wonders if he wants complete Mark back.

Sometimes, he catches Mark looking at him as if he doesn’t recognize him. Eduardo’s heart clenches in his chest, gripped by fear.

He knows, the minute Mark returns to his old self, he has to leave.

 


 
Dustin is in a restaurant, on a date with a nice girl, and he’s having a great time, and if only Chris fucking Hughes could leave his fucking mind for a second, he’d feel terrific.

Dustin walks the girl home and when she smiles at him, Dustin can’t lie to himself, choking on his broken heart.

“I’m in love with someone else. I’m so sorry. I’m in love with someone else.” Dustin chants, body shaking.

He ends up sobbing into her shoulder as she holds him tightly.

  


 
One morning, Mark kisses Eduardo, and Eduardo answers.

They’re panting into each other mouths and Eduardo realizes with a perfect clarity that he could not run away from this, months or years apart.

Mark is four letter word written on his bones.

Mark pulls away to whisper, eyes unbelievably blue, “Wardo, it was strictly business.”

Eduardo closes his eyes, licking the taste of Mark from his lips, and nods in answer.

In the next moment, he lets go of Mark and goes into the guestroom to hurriedly throw his belongings into his suitcase.

When Eduardo’s almost out of the door, Mark calls out for him, voice desperate, but Eduardo has a plane to catch.

 
 


Eduardo turns his cell phone on when his plane lands in Singapore and there are eight missing calls and one text message, all from Mark.

Eduardo reads the text, palms sweating and gaze getting blurred.

‘I’m not sorry for taking that decision back then, for thinking that you were bad for Facebook. I thought it was right in the moment. I can’t be sorry for the decisions I took because it doesn’t make them change. But I know you need me to say ‘sorry’. Can you please accept my lie when I say that I’m sorry?’

 
 


Chris hates Dustin Moskovitz because Dustin Moskovitz is a bastard who doesn’t answer his calls, or emails, or even his Facebook pokes.

Chris goes to the Facebook office to confront Dustin there.

 


 
Dustin looks like shit and if he thought that he could take care of himself without Chris bossing him around, he was completely wrong.

Chris wants to yell at him and feed him chicken soup, and after, drag him to bed to fuck him boneless.

Instead, Chris doesn’t say a word and snatches the notepad off Dustin’s table to write a statement while Dustin looks at him with hurt in his eyes.

Chris includes 6 clauses to his statement before handing it to Dustin for reviewing.

Judging by the time it takes Dustin to throw the notepad away and slam Chris into the nearest wall to claim his mouth, Dustin didn’t go further than clause one.

But it is fine as clause one holds the most valid part.

“I, Chris A. Hughes, confirm that I will always love and take care of Dustin Moskovitz, and be the one to suffer from his silly jokes and sexual intercourses, and give the same treatment in return.”

 


 
Wardo wakes up to loud banging coming from his door.

He staggers from the bed, only in his black boxer briefs, to yell at the unwelcomed quest.

Eduardo doesn’t like to leave his bed lately. He works from home, and sometimes, forgets to eat.

Dustin is his unwelcomed quest who shoves past Wardo through the open door without being invited.

Eduardo looks at him numbly, not saying a word.

Dustin looks pissed, body almost shaking with anger. 

“You know, Wardo, you’re always leaving. But the thing is, the one who stays suffers the most.”

 


 
Eduardo opens Mark’s door with his own key at 6AM and goes to find Mark.

Mark’s bedroom is empty and Eduardo’s heart does crazy things inside his chest like it’s going to explode. But then, he finds Mark in the guestroom. The one they shared.

Mark looks like a kid, curls falling down into his closed eyes, with his one hand tucked under the pillow, blanket pulled up under his chin.                                                                                      
   
Eduardo takes his jacket and shoes off and makes a place for himself next to Mark.

Mark stirs and opens his eyes to look at him, and Eduardo’s breath gets stuck in his throat.

Mark stares and says nothing.

Eduardo reaches to touch Mark’s fingers underneath the pillow, voice breaking, “Sleep, we’ll talk in the morning.”

Mark closes his eyes and Eduardo is left to guard his sleep.

 


 
Mark doesn’t ask any questions in the morning, doesn’t want to press, or do something that is not welcomed. Doesn’t know what to do.

Wardo makes them breakfast, and then, sits Mark down on the sofa and lands next to him, and Mark’s hands twitch, not knowing where to put them, not knowing what he’s allowed to do. He just stares at Eduardo because he can.  

Eduardo sighs and Mark catches a worried expression flickering across his face for a brief moment, and sometimes, Wardo is so hard to read, but Mark doesn’t give up on trying.

Wardo looks somewhere over Mark’s shoulder when he talks, and Mark wants him to look at him.

“Why did you erase me?”

Mark thinks it’s obvious but with Wardo it never is, “I needed you.”

Wardo nods and lets out a shaking breath – Mark registers every slight movement for interpreting later in case he has to – and fixes his gaze on him. “We don’t have the best relationship history. We fucked up a lot. Both of us did. Sometimes, I wish we could have a simple story, the one people share. Our story is not about us being happy.”

“But this is our story,” says Mark, insisting and not understanding where it goes.

Somehow, it works, because Wardo smiles. “It is.”

Wardo smiles.

It means something has changed, and Mark reaches for a proof.

When Mark kisses Wardo, he encourages him by biting Mark’s bottom lip and slipping his fingers into Mark’s curls.

Mark was waiting this for so long, his touches are not gentle, but Wardo doesn’t seem to mind.

 
 


After, they take it to the bedroom, and Wardo’s body arches under his hands, every nerve is a snapped string with Mark’s palms mapping every inch. When Mark slips inside Wardo’s sinuous body, Wardo gasps Mark’s name, and Mark loses his mind.

 
 


It takes two months for Eduardo to move in with Mark. Mark tries not to get worried that Wardo will change his mind.

When Mark starts waking up every day next to Wardo, feeling of them being frail dissolves.

 
 


One night Wardo is out of home, on a business trip, and Mark can’t sleep without him. He told him he can’t sleep without him.

But one nightmare is lulling him, until he foolishly closes his eyes to be trapped inside it.

Mark is asleep but he can distinguish the voices. They talk about him. About him and Wardo while they erase Mark’s memories.

“Wardo. Why does that sound familiar?”

“Because it’s Eduardo Saverin.”

“That guy from Singapore?”

“Yes, the guy who already tried to erase this Mark guy two times in a row. Every time he ended up remembering him. Which leaded him to contacting us again and asking for the same thing. Like a crazy loop. Until we refused due to futility and possibility of a brain damage. We helped him erase just a fragment of him coming to us. Eduardo didn’t recall us after. But then again, we were not even remotely as important as Mark was.”

“But how can it be possible? We are erasing the memories from the brain!”

“Sometimes, it’s about getting rid of the person not just from your brain.”

 


 
Mark wakes up because his cell phone rings.

Eduardo says, “Mark,” and Mark stops gasping and keeps on breathing.
 

The End

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
savetomorrow
Dec. 4th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Oh my god, do you have any idea how fucking beautiful this is. ♥
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much.
Fucking beautiful is great, so great. I love it.
Just... thanks <3
moeexyz
Dec. 4th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
asfdghdsfghjgfgh

this is so painful, but like in a good way. it's just beautifully written. and they're all such idiots who just need to stop and be happy. and lol at the dysfunctional four, sean has never been more accurate. and just the ending.

i'm sorry i couldn't be more coherent. it's late and this fic kind of metaphorically punched me in the heart.
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
Gosh, I'm so bad at answering comments.
Thank you!
I'm thrilled that this story evokes such strong emotions.
(Deleted comment)
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Of course Wardo was trying to erase Mark, and his thoughts that he should have been the one to erase him make sense as he already did that before.
They could never forget each other.
Thank you for reading and commenting.


Edited at 2011-12-04 05:00 pm (UTC)
thedisgruntled
Dec. 4th, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
ahhh! i loved this! it was beautiful and mournful. i loved the simple sadness of it and how it turned into hopefulness. kudos.
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
I wanted to write something bittersweet and hopeful, because those guys are bittersweet and angsty, but I wanted to give them hope and happy ending.
jiainjj
Dec. 4th, 2011 10:26 am (UTC)
I love your way of describing how sad and lost four of the main characters are in the beginning and how you make the things get better and better.
I like how you write them for trying to give up something important and force themselves to move on and just fail to do so(it's like a parallel comparison, Mark and Dustin versus Wardo and Chris, the former try to forget while the latter try to leave).
I like all the OCs, especially the scene where Dustin hugs with a lady and confesses his 'unrequited' love.
This is beautiful written.
Thanks for sharing such beautiful story.
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
I like when my stories make my readers think about motives and see the parallels. It's a huge compliment.
I was wondering about the scene with Dustin opening up to another person, but the state he was in - desperate and broken, made it clear that it was easier for him to open up to someone who didn't know all the baggage he had to carry.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
jiainjj
Dec. 5th, 2011 10:49 am (UTC)
Yes, I agree with your opinion. Sometimes it's more easy to talk with another person who don't know everything about you. You don't need to worry whether what you say will affect the relationship or something like that.
And this make the whole scene more touching.
As I imagine the girl Dustin has dated would have some mix feeling toward his confession. Like surprise and a little bit angry at first, then of course she will feel sympathy with Dustin and will hug him protectively. Like may be she also feel the pain and sorry for him and just hope him to be happy.
Yes. I LOVE this scene and think too much about it.
It's not so much words you have used, but the effect is overwhelming.
sanann
Dec. 5th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I was thinking about that girl a lot, and I wanted my readers to think about her emotions without me writing about them.
And it's just my thing, I love using a few words and making my readers think about them, about what hides behind those words, because I have those mute scenes in my head and they are still there on the paper, between the lines.
skyearth85
Dec. 4th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched the film, but I'm in love with this trope.

Dustin loves Chris and Chris loves Dustin, but it was never enough.

It's so sad, but well, very true

“You are the guy from my dreams.”

Oh my, I can heard Wardo's heart explode

“Yes, the guy who already tried to erase this Mark guy two times in a row. Every time he ended up remembering him.


It's a perfect ending, bittersweet happy
sanann
Dec. 4th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
The movie has a different flow, but it still carries this familiar sadness of loving someone you wish you didn't.

It's so sad, but well, very true
yes, love's a bitch, but in the end it's the only thing that can save you.

thank you! I'm happy you could feel them.
harbingerofcake
Dec. 15th, 2011 05:40 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, this makes me happy but it haunts me a little. Imagine how much of a different person you would be if you didn't remember someone you loved and who loved you back. Thanks for the read!
sanann
Dec. 15th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
I like the effect it had on you.
I wanted my story to linger with the readers a bit more after they finish it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about not remembering a big part of yourself. One part of Mark (that is Wardo) was missing after all.
And I wonder how it feels to be with the one you love when he doesn't remember what two of you had.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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