A Ghost of a Chancebysachiaiko©
Sam was sprawled out upon the potato-chip wrapper strewn floor, one hand half wrapped around a forty ounce of bad, cheap beer. This was not the first time he’d passed out, all alone in his apartment, singing his own sad songs of remorse and self hatred. No, and to his way of thinking, it most certainly would not be the last.
It hadn’t been long enough; Sam was still distraught over the death of his best friend. A friend he’d loved till the day he’d died. Tristan was a bright guy, always laughing, joking and playing. Even his features had been bright and pure, blond hair, bright green eyes. A drastic contrast to Sam’s own black hair and intense brown eyes. Their friendship, and Tristan’s life, was cut short six months previous by a couple tons of metal slamming into each other.
To compound matters, a mere couple months after Tristan’s demise, Sam came home to find his high-school sweetheart in bed with his brother. Things just couldn’t get worse for him, and soon Sam had spiraled into a never ending pit of despair. He’d taken a couple terms off of college, unable to complete the work when his mind was in such anguish, and soon fell into a habit of drinking himself into a mindless stupor each and every night. Tristan would have slapped him senseless.
In fact, Tristan was contemplating doing just that, as he stood over his dearest friend, watching him sleep the mindlessness of his drug haze into wakefulness once more, only to repeat the same old thing again the next night, Halloween.
“Wake up!” he snapped, kicking at Sam with the edge of one spectral, yet fully corporal toe. “Wake up you worthless drunkard!” he said again, raising his voice as Sam turned over, groaning and shaking his head.
“Leave me ‘lone.” Sam huffed out softly, and then his breathed whooshed out of his lungs with sudden surprise when Tristan kicked him upside the back of the head. “Owww!”
“Get up!” Tristan tried again. “Dear god, if I’d have known you’d have wasted this much of your life crying over spilled me, I’d have crawled from my grave months ago!” Tristan crossed his arms over his chest, giving a good glare as Sam tried to cover his head, still completely and utterly asleep. Tristan pondered, tilting his head to the side as he regarded Sam. “Hmm... I bet you still hate sunlight as much as you did months ago.” Tristan muttered, walking over to the window and pulling the blinds. Sunlight streamed into the room, and finally Same sat up, taking beer bottle in hand and tossing it at Tristan across the room.
About mid-motion, it dawned on Sam, that indeed, this man he was throwing his bottle at was dead. Blinking, he watched Tristan dodge the oncoming projectile, then give the same grin he’d always given him. Playful, childish, and utterly charming, men just shouldn’t be allowed to have a look like that, Sam thought absently, that’s a look reserved for woman who want something. “Trist?” he asked in a small voice, then groaned. “I knew it, I knew it! I knew I was going to go insane. Now they’ll have to put me in a mental institution, and pretty soon I’ll walk around mumbling ‘I see dead people’ with drool leaking out of the corner of my mouth.”
“Dramatic as always, dear friend o’ mine, I always did say you had enough drama to be a Queen.” Tristan smirked as he stepped closer to his friend, who scrambled backwards until his back was pressed flush with the wall, wide eyes staring upwards.
“Your not real. You are a f-f-fig – Figment of my imagination.” Sam stuttered, closing his eyes tightly and giving a groan. “Figment of the imagination!” he repeats, voice growing a little frantic. “You know, how clichéd is it that I begin imagining my dead friend on Halloween? Really, Sam, one would think that I would have the good taste to manage this feat of mental instability on a perfectly meaningless day!”
“Its really me, Sam, though I wont argue about you being mentally unstable.” Tristan said, kneeling down beside his friend, grinning slightly. “Its good to see you.” He whispers, biting his lower lip, then reached out to touch Sam’s hair. “God, I cant believe I can touch you.” He said, staring as Sam’s face began to grow more and more terrified.
“Haaalp!” he screamed, “There’s a dead man in my apartment!” Sam was utterly distraught, and after a moment of watching his friend scream, Tristan just began to laugh, helpless laughter that rang through the room. He always did have a rich laugh, smooth and sweet, contagious in the way that most good laughs are. This startled Sam so much, that he stopped yelling to stare at the apparition in front of him.
“Sam, calm down or you’ll give yourself a brain aneurism and fall over dead, and this whole thing will have been a waste of every ones time.” Tristan told him, voice chiding, and incredibly amused. “Yes, I’m dead. Yes, I’m really here. Yes, it’s just a coincidence that it happens to be Halloween. I need you to listen to me, buddy.” He said, snapping fingers in front of his friends face. Sam simply stared dumbfounded and shocked.
“Okay, I can see we’ve got a problem. So lets see here...” Tristan pondered for a moment, watching Sam’s big brown expressive eyes. “In that stereo that my mom gave you, the one that used to be mine before I died. I wrote a special letter to some one, and I hid it in a compartment in the back. Not even YOU know about that, so you cant say that as a figment of your imaginations I’m playing off your memories. I know you have the stereo, go on, look.” He said, sitting back on his haunches and crossing his arms over his chest.
Tentatively, Sam crawled to his feet, one eye on the ‘ghost’, the other eye on the stereo across the room. Once standing, he bolted for the thing as Tristan watched on, “In the back, no, no, flip it over, yea, beneath that plastic, its not ‘spost to come out but it does.” Tristan informed him quietly, comfortable in the supreme knowledge that his letter would indeed still be there.
Sam sat on the edge of he shelf on which the stereo had stood, fidgeting with the back of the box for a moment, and then finally the back popped open, making Sam blink in surprise. Inserting a couple fingers, for that’s all that would fit, he began to pull out a folded up envelope, and finally, when unwrapped, the front held the name “SAM” in the bold scrawl that Tristan always used. Before Sam had a chance to open the unsent letter, however, Tristan was beside him, snatching it away and blushing slightly.
“You can’t read it.” He told Sam. “You can read it when I’m gone, but not now.” He muttered, his cheeks flaming to the point that Sam absolutely knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that something unbelievably embarrassing was written in that letter. Eyes narrowed, Sam made a grab for the letter, only to have Tristan hop back and clutch the crumpled paper to his chest. “No! Not yet!” he shouted, cheeks aflame.
“Fine, Rat Bastard, always trying to make me go crazy—“ Sam stopped, stared at his friend, and the dawning slowly came. This was Tristan, and suddenly tears began to roll down his cheeks, and he threw himself at his friend, wrapping strong arms around Tristan’s lithe form. “Tristan, your back, your back.” He whispers, not trying to make sense of what is so obviously true, just trying to accept what he couldn’t understand. Tristan was there, warm arms wrapped about him. “I’ve missed you so much, I thought... I thought I’d never be able to breath again, and I cursed myself when every day I continued to do just that.” He whispered, sobbing softly. Tristan just held him close, stroking his friends back.
“Sam... Shhh...” he murmured.
“No, Tristan... I felt as if part of my heart was missing!” Sam explained his voice thick with his tears as he buried his face in against Tristan’s neck.
“Yes...” Trist replied, “I know.” The seriousness of his voice was so intense, that Sam blinked softly and pulled back, looking at his friend. “You need me.” He told Sam, who sniffled and nodded his head, a thick lock of black hair falling across his forehead, only to be swept away by Tristan’s caressing fingertips.
“Yea...” Sam said, not quite catching on to what Tristan was trying to say. “I need you.” He murmured, finding himself closing his eyes as Trist’s fingers moved from his forehead to brush away his tears. “Why are you here?” he asked quietly, big brown eyes wide with innocent curiosity, the kind that comes with grief, and the abatement of said grief.
Tristan bit his bottom lip, watching his friends expression carefully, then nodded his head. “I convinced certain important powers that my coming back would help a few people.” He said quietly, “Namely, You and I, but not just the two of us, there are others who will be affected by my return. However... there’s a catch.” He said, heaving a soft sigh. “I can’t exactly tell you why I’m here, if I do... I get hauled back. And... if I manage to accomplish what I’m here to accomplish, I wont come back as a human, but... something a bit different, sorta like a strange kinda angel.” He explains, “Although ‘God’ isn’t exactly what one would expect, and neither are the ‘angels’.” He explained for a moment, making a face of confusion before shrugging his shoulders.
“And... what does this have to do with me?” Sam asked, equally confused.
“Everything.” Was all Tristan said.
“Yes, everything. My success hinges upon spending time with you while I’m here, and keeping you from doing something unfailingly stupid. Do you remember Halloween when we were eighteen? Could you have been any dumber?” Tristan started to chuckle, and Sam’s cheeks flamed.
“Hey! That girl slipped me XTC!” he snapped, “Its not my fault I started rubbing against every person who walked by.” Tristan’s chuckles transferred into full fledged laughter. “And that guy was totally asking for it!” Sam continued, “He had all that long hair, I thought he was just a really FLAT girl.” Tristan’s laughter turned into rolling giggles, and he shook his head.
“Sam, your gay, get over it.” Tristan gasped out.
“I beg your pardon! I dated a girl for five years!?” Sam replied, looking indignant. Tristan smirked.
“Sam? Didn’t it ever strike you as odd that you never wanted to face her while you fucked her?!” Tristan’s voice dripped sarcasm.
“There’s nothing wrong with fucking a woman from behind, you get better depth!” Sam defended himself, “besides, you are one to talk, mister ‘I’m just exploring my sexuality.’ How many men did you fuck around with, Hrrrmm?” He asked, smirking at his friend.
“I got news for you buddy,” Tristan replied, “I wasn’t exploring my sexuality. I’m gay, and I have been for as long as I could remember. I never told you when I was alive because I thought you’d flip out.”
Sam stared at his friend in open mouthed shock. “But what about all the woman you fucked?!”
“Boasts, most of them, some of my conquest were real, but that was the real exploration. I don’t like fucking a woman facing her either.” He made his point, arching an eyebrow at Sam as if to say, ‘Hah!’.
“Oooh shit,” Sam said, letting out a long whistle, “You should have told me, Trist. You know me better then to assume I wouldn’t have understood.”
“Maybe.” Was all he’d say. “Now, run go take a shower, we’re going out!”
Sam frowned slightly, glanced around his meager apartment and arched an eyebrow at Tristan. “We are?” he asked dubiously. “Well... if I am going to go take a shower, you have to come visit with me while I do. I’m not letting my dead friend out of my sight. Considering I’m probably absolutely bonkers insane right now, I would like to have you within seeing distance so that you don’t disappear like the apparition I know you are.”
Tristan arched his eyebrow once more, it was an action he was well suited for, one he liked doing, and one that made him look utterly ridiculous with his choir boy charm. “You want to invite the gay man in to watch you shower? I’m stunned! Or does this prove my earlier point?” he wiggled his eyebrows in a lascivious manner, then chuckled as he followed Sam into the bathroom.
Clothes started coming off before they even hit the door, and Sam tossed a glance over his shoulder at Trist with a scoff, “You’ve seen me naked a time or two, it’s not like it’s anything new. Shit, when we were little we took baths together. It ain’t nothing you haven’t seen before.” He started to laugh softly, shaking his head.
“DON’T even remind me!” Tristan’s voice came warningly, and he too started laughing.
“Oooh, we were so young and innocent then, it makes so much sense now!” Sam nearly doubled over with laughter as he unzipped and dropped both pants and boxers. “I can’t believe you did it! You tried to grab my dick when we were taking a bath so many times. I thought it was just healthy curiosity.”
“It WAS just healthy curiosity!” Tristan argued, “curious about being gay!” Of course, Sam was completely naked by this point, leaning over to turn on the water, his perfect bubble-butt far to bared for Tristan’s comfort. He turned his head away, leaning against the bathroom counter with a soft sigh.
Turning his head, Sam noticed that Tristan was trying not to look, and smirked, wiggling his ass pointedly and teasingly at his friend. “Oh, suddenly you tell me your gay and you can start staring?” he teased him, but the truth was, Sam’s belly was clenched tight, and he couldn’t figure out why.
The warm rush of water started in a steady stream, and Sam stepped beneath it, getting himself good and wet and started the daily routine of washing himself. “Look, Sam, you shouldn’t tease a man who hasn’t tasted flesh for far too long.” Tristan admonished, chuckling and shaking his head. It was just far too strange, to be sitting here with the man he’d wanted to fuck since they day he knew what fucking was, while said man removes his clothes and begins to shower - - without him! Not fair, simply not fair.
Talking about Tristan’s time out of body was far to difficult for Sam, so he changed the subject. “Where are we going?”
“Well, I figured we’d do what we did every Halloween. Grab us some beers, head out to a good cemetery and tease the local teenagers until they run screaming from us in fear. Or we could head to a party and I could slip you some XTC and watch you rub yourself over every passing person, male or female. That would be rather amusing.” Tristan smirked, watching the incredibly erotic image of Sam’s form, hazy and outlined by the shower curtain, that hid just enough, and not enough at the same time. The pants Tristan was wearing began to grow tight around the groin, and he shifted to find some level of comfort.
“And some how your gonna accomplish what it is you’re here for going to parties and clowning around with me.”
“So I hope.” Tristan replied, “I’d very much like to be able to stick around, even if you’re the only one who can really see me still looking like the Tristan you used to know. I can’t even tell my parents.”
Sam sobered up, “How long do you have?” he asked, scrubbing shampoo through his too long locks.
“Until dawn.” Tristan replied, his voice so soft that it was barely audible over the rush of water.
“Dawn?? But that’s only twenty four hours, Trist! Is that enough time? I don’t think I could loose you again, I just don’t think I could survive it.”
“I know, and I hope so, Sam. I really, really hope that its enough time.” Tristan’s mouth went suddenly dry as Sam turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. His hair was slicked back, and his bronzed skin shone with little beads of water, trailing down his chest and along his abdomen. Tristan watched as a particularly adventuresome drop slid into the nest of curls between his friends legs, staring with open hunger.
Sam cleared his throat, and Trist’s head snapped up, his cheeks flaming a brilliant shade of crimson. “Sheesh, I’m not that tasty, and I’m the most vain man you know.” Sam said to his friend, leaning over to snatch a towel from the rack and dry himself while Tristan tried unsuccessfully to regain his composure.
“You know damned well your that tasty, in fact, I’m surprised you never caught on to how I looked at you all through school, specially in the locker rooms. Your rather dense, you do realize.”
With a laugh, Sam nodded his head, “Yea, I know...” he said, then “So… your attracted to me?”
Tristan blinked at his friend, smirking slightly, “I’d have to be straight not to be.”
“Huh.” Was all Sam said, but thoughts were whirling about in his mind. He’d always been curious about what it would be like to have sex with a man, and here his best friend in the entire world was making something akin to a blatant offer. Turning on his heels, before his thought could be read upon his face, Sam made a beeline for the door and into his bedroom, Tristan following close behind.
“So... what’s our first stop, then?” Sam asked as he began to draw his clothing on, a pair of old worn boxers, some faded blue jeans and a shirt with the headless horsemen parading around with a pumpkin in his hand instead of a head.
“Your mother bought you that shirt, didn’t she? She was always trying to make us get all dressed up for Halloween.” Tristan smirked as his friend laughed and nodded his head. “Well, I figured we’d drive around, maybe catch a bite to eat. I have been dying, literally, for a good Philly cheese steak sandwich, you know, the one at that old dinner that we used to hang out at in high school. After that I figured we’d just spend time together, talk, and when night fell, we’d have fun like we used to.”
Socks in place, Sam began to pull on his sneakers, nodding his head. “I’m about starving too, and it’s... eleven thirty, perfect timing. Come on.” He said, and with that the two of them went for the door.
When they arrived at the little dinner they used to spend so much time in as youths, Sam got one hell of a shock. His ex girlfriend was sitting at a booth all alone, staring at a half eaten sandwich and swirling her straw around her soda-pop.
“Shit, can she see you?” he asked Tristan, glancing at his friend.
“Yea, but I look like a short red head with dimples.” He grinned, winking at his friend. “Think up a name for me, in case she asks.”
They walked towards the table, figuring to get it out of the way, she would see Sam sooner or later anyhow, and then the hyjinx would ensue.
“Carolyn,” Sam said, his eyes frosty, which is a feat for some one who generally emits such warmth from his sparkling brown orbs.
She jumped, blinking up at him, and then offered him a weak smile. “Sam... How are you?” she asked, her voice soft. She was a pretty little thing, blonde hair, blue eyes, her figure was out of this world. And for the first time in a long time, Sam simply didn’t give a damn.
“Fine, this is my friend...” he glanced at Tristan, “Bruce.” Sam couldn’t hide the grin that came onto his face as Tristan gritted his teeth and Sam hummed the tune to the Saturday night live skit, ‘The ambiguously gay duo.’
“Nice to meet you, Bruce.” Carolyn said in that soft voice of hers that used to get Sam so hot he thought he’d cream his pants. Now, it was just annoying.
“Yea, you too.” Trist said, nodding his head to her.
“Hey... Sam, there’s this party going on tonight Josh’s house by the cemetery, you know, the one that he puts on every year. You gonna be there? It should be a blast.”
Sam shrugged, “Maybe, I guess.” He said, sounding noncommittal.
She placed a twenty down on the table and nodded, “Well, I’d like to stick around and chat, but I have to be getting on my way. I hope you show up… I really do Sam...” she paused, “I miss you.” And with that she got out of her seat and nearly ran for the door, leaving Sam and Tristan staring after her.
“Oooh, boy.” Was all Tristan said, and Sam nodded his head.
The meal went off without a hitch, they ate and talked. Sam told Tristan about what happened between he and Carolyn, but Tristan appeared to already have known. Throughout the meal, Tristan kept catching Sam glancing up at him, looking at him in this oddly tender manner, and his heart soared, he wasn’t sure, but he thought maybe he wasn’t wrong in assuming Sam too, was gay, but that was still yet to be determined, and as much as Tristan wished for it, he couldn’t be positive.