I dream of Jamie again, as I’m back to my bunk and he’s applying lipstick in nearly circular short motions, making sure that it’s the brightest red you can achieve and he doesn’t look back at me, his hair pinned back so that he would be able to wear a wig. I wake up, realizing that I’ve never seen him in drag and I have no idea how he would even look in it. Through out the day I barely concentrate on anything and I feel bored during training even if we all understand that soon enough we will be all put on the line and I wonder if I had just chosen something boring after all, but it was the fact that I’d be locked with a bunch of other men and live some closed dystopia on a ship which attracted me the most. Of course, I wanted a carrier and I had the brief dream of becoming a pilot, but that was shot down by myself singlehandedly. I end up sitting in the turret, killing time because there’s plenty of the day to go.
Hince asks someone to fetch after me, because he wouldn’t go hunting down someone and I’m terribly surprised to see him in the corridor to his room. I see him holding from smiling as he bites his bottom lip and then straightens his back as another sailor passes by on his own business.
“Turner, you’ve been without shore leave for a long while. Rejoice, you’ve got it.” He says dryly and we wait for the sailor to close the door behind him, as we both crook our necks to make sure he’s left. Then his expression changes entirely. “Better for you to rest up before anything else happens.”
Jamie puts his hand on my shoulder, squeezing it. Not showing much affection, but I know that all is going to unleash once we’re alone in the night. I don’t know how to react from the sudden news, so I just say thank you, Sir, Jamie wincing jokingly at the formality, quickly patting my cheek before someone else comes in to tell him that Brian is looking for him. We’re left only with our eyes and soon enough, I ask to be dismissed and I can’t just go back to the turret, at least I don’t feel like I can be crammed into it again. The laziest days are always the worst and I couldn’t find the concentration to read books these days, it’s not even that guilt had started eating me completely about Julian, but it’s the sole fact that I seem to be the Devil’s advocate in everything I do which gets to me daily. I feel as if I am spiraling into nowhere and when the night comes both me and Jamie risk going onto the deck under the summer wine stars, as we’re allowed to see everything. We hold our silence, barely talking today since I’ve got shore leave and I know that I will be left to go back to my parents for a month and remind myself of how I’m not sure where to even go now.
I watch Jamie under the moonlight’s sun inhale his cigarette and I watch the tip burn divinely.
“I wish I didn’t have shore leave for even longer.” I blink, looking behind us to make sure that there is no one and my whole body aches from our recklessness, but we had both agreed to just go out for one cigarette and after that we would drown our sorrow in wine.
“It’s good for you, Alex, you’ll reflect on everything.” He blows the smoke out slowly and I regret not choosing to smoke, but it’s not too late, but I don’t want anyone to catch us.
“I already reflect on everything daily.” I mutter, putting my head on my arms and on the rail, watching him from the corner of my vision. I take the cigarette slowly from his fingers as our eyes lock and he doesn’t let go of it, motioning for me to take a drag from his hand as I follow him and do so, as his fingers go into my hair, messing up the day. I know that he somehow thinks that he’s not the best choice I’ve ever made, guilt has been eating him ever since we laid hands on each other, but he hides it so well sometimes that I forget. I continue mumbling as he strokes my cheek now fully. “I’ll miss you.”
“You’re saying that as if I’m not dreading it.” And he gets the hint from my whole tense body that we should be heading back into his room, which now I’ll be dreading not seeing and I can imagine him staying away and drinking alone or reading a book. I can imagine him doing anything besides being with me because I’ll be gone. Jamie finishes his cigarette and I can see that he is indeed dreading it awfully because he nearly pulls me into a kiss, but I step aside, telling him to hold his horses until we’re back.
And when we’re back into the room is when he doesn’t hold and pulls me tight. Now, he’ll be the one waiting and I’ll be the one killing my time aimlessly. I don’t know how to count days backwards, so I only am left in my bunk during the day and I feel more idle than I have ever been in my life and we both have crossing our own boundaries by Hince visiting me far too often in the turret to pick on me, which causes me to pull on his hair more rougher during sex, which he mocks me for. Or I make sure to stare at him in the mornings or during any meal, to which he had bitten me harder for. And I know that we’re both trailing down some insanity until the day where I have to leave. I’d be traveling back to my hometown, so we just hang out until we’re both due to leave. I’m not the only sailor leaving, but Jamie had told me that he doesn’t care about the other sailors.
The city was just like any harbor city, not too big and the life revolved around the port. I wasn’t looking forward to the train ride, knowing that everything would end the same no matter if I looked forward to it or if I would grow to dread it even more. The outcome was always the same, just like seeing death at the end of life’s road. We decided to book in a hotel room, too terrified to have any sailor see us, so while we were in the room, something had turned us on that we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, unlike the time where Jamie was the one leaving. Instead my whole body was sore and I had wanted more, pinning Jamie down, not knowing where all this desire and energy was coming from. I didn’t know how to voice out my love. The only thing I had known was that somehow I wanted more of him and it was time for my train.
When I sat in the train, that was when I realized that I would get so many letters from Jamie, as much as he would fit in, as I pressed my face nearly against the window, watching him stand lost on the long platform among other men and children waving the same train, probably containing a lot of lost love. The problem is that when time flies, you don’t even realize how much you’ll end up missing your lover and when it departed, I actually started crying and a woman who sat opposite me said that I would see my love soon and next to Jamie I noticed a woman who stood, just as lost and I realized that she mistook my lover for a woman, as I waved viciously and thankfully she couldn’t see that I was crying for another man. Jamie noticed that and just held his tears back and the thought that I would know soon through a letter what he had felt was calming me down.
As the way went, I started thinking of Matt as the trees turned differently and we kept moving forwards. I had no idea where he would be and in the back of my mind I had a feeling that I would see him there, but I only told myself that it was wishful thinking. I ended up being far too depressed, not even opening the books Jamie gave me or the newspaper I had bought. I wondered about Jamie’s poetry and if he would send me some.
I tried to calm myself down, that somehow, someday we would live together. I smiled at the thought and seemed to bathe in the whole idea that I had finally decided to see a future with someone and that someone was no one other than Jamie, whom I had loved dearly. I fell asleep to those thoughts, waking up nearly to my hometown, allowing myself to walk out sleepily into my mother’s arms, who had told me that she was proud of me, because I was keeping America's borders safe and that if anything were to happen, I would be there and so would Matt and that she was terribly proud of us. It’s always odd to see her and dad because I always notice how much they age. I didn’t get a place of my own yet, as there was no need and I would always avoid shore leave as much as I could, rejoicing all the time when we would just have shore stops.
I didn’t like going back home and back to my room, which mom would make sure that would stay the same and same went with Matt’s mom. We would always nag about it. Instead I was greeted by even more photos of me in uniform, from the last time when I had shore leave. I felt like I couldn’t move on, but being a school boy again, now with Jamie’s divorce I wondered if we could have our own place, something Miles would’ve never even dreamed of. I wondered how did he actually feel about Alison and Jamie’s divorce since he had wished it so desperately.
But when I am left in my room to unpack, as mom cooks dinner, I am left to reflect indeed and I start thinking of Jamie. I don’t know what else is there even to regret and even rape feels far too away and even a casualty at this point, something that had just happened because the armed forces have too many tainted secrets and ways to humiliate men at all costs. I sit on the bed with my shoes, kicking them off and looking at the ceiling. Nothing had changed with the same dull colour of the walls and the scattered books on the shelves and photos of me and Matt.
I knew that I would think of Matt so desperately and my mom doesn’t shut up as we wait for dad to show up, after his small game of poker with his friends, such a religious tradition that he couldn’t break to see his son. But then I would be here for a month and if I was him, I wouldn’t either. Maybe there’s a reason why I’ll never be a father.
I eventually end up talking off my clothes, not feeling anything of my mom cooing how handsome I seem to look in them, but she would coo at anything I would wear. I feel more relaxed to wear a shirt with a suit, something I hadn’t done in a while and I only recall Jamie saying how he does that nearly all the time he’s out to keep sane instead of only wearing more leisure clothes. As I start going downstairs I hear a door open, mom exclaim something excitedly and soon enough I see a familiar face pulling me closer. My heart starts racing. I get scared about the sudden outburst of emotion I had shown with Matt, but my mom only sees it as something between two close friends. Unlike my parents Matt doesn’t look like he has aged, only his hair is shorter.
I don’t know how to ask him why hadn’t he continued sending the sensual letters he had started. And I certainly cannot ask that in front of my own mother, who sees Matt as another son, since she only had me and already in some harsh birth where the cord was around my neck and I hadn’t been breathing as they delivered me.
“Can you believe it, Alex, he’s got shore leave as well?” And now it crosses my mind that Jamie could possibly be jealous and I don’t exactly know how I would feel about that. I don’t know how I would feel about such a situation if it was Jamie as well. I still feel that both me and Matt have plenty to catch up on, specifically our own situation, but as the evening progresses and both families are invited over, Matt seems to be showing absolutely no change, as if we hadn’t drifted apart and I couldn’t even manage to send more letters, afraid of being desperate, even if Jamie had told me sleepily to send one more, because why would I want someone who would get angry at another letter from me.
I didn’t know what to reply and how to tell him that I was also in love with someone else. We didn’t talk much about other interests and I wondered if it was really easier for me to blindly think that I was the only one. All I had known is that Miles was over and that was the only other man he had loved. I tried to focus on eating pie, but I wondered how many shore leaves would be left for Jamie to enjoy other men and how come wasn’t I guilty of it as well? Was that something which would cross his mind as well with the fear I have? I couldn’t help but keep looking at Matt. I knew that I would allow my hands to wander all over his body once I would get the chance and that I would love to do so in my bedroom where I spent furiously touching myself to him as I was growing up, through so many years and other loves. I had loved Matt more than I had ever loved myself or anyone else.
Instead dinner seems to drag much longer, as if it would never end and everyone seems to be proud of us, even if death seems to be hanging and pulling the curtains over the table, showing the flashing night which might be our end if the war continues, but eveyone seems to be ignoring the topic of war. I only hope that it’s because of fear rather than anything else, because I’ve seen and heard of soldiers who have said that they are grateful that it isn’t Americans dying yet, that we’re in luck and that’s why the world isn’t as dark yet. But mostly everyone was filled with patriotism somehow. I just wanted to defend the people I loved, because I knew that a lot wouldn’t love me back for everything I had done. I would fight for Jamie, I would fight for Lana and Matt, who had known the sins I had commited and loved me through it. And that’s the soldier shoulders which wars are built on.
Can you believe that there hasn't been a chapter of To Miles since September? Me neither. I've never had such a long break from the story and I've missed it dearly and to be honest it was that one story which I constantly thought of, to be very honest. I always think of To Miles and if to think, it's the easiest for me to write because I've been writing it for such a long, long while.
There was literally nothing of this chapter so everything was written in the course of the past few days. I've been writing every day quite a lot of the next update, in this case which was To Miles. I don't know why I've been choosing the bigger stories as well xD I should choose something short for a change, haha.
I realized that there's no Jamie in drag in To Miles and I decided to change that, even if it's in a dream sequence. Also could be I've been thinking a lot about drag since RuPaul's Drag Race is back and I'm in love with it, as always. I'll keep my mouth shut on further x)
I've been in this idle, anxious haze so that's where the mood comes from and I've been jumpy through events, so that's why everything is rushed, I decided to give that to poor Alex, you see.
It's actually something embarrassing and maybe I shouldn't have shared, but I actually forgot about Alex's shore leave and thank fuck that it's not uncommon to go without a shore leave for a while, so that's how it went. Also this is a journal, so of course some details are things which Alex would prefer to leave out sometimes, like a steamy sex session even if he's a graphic motherfucker.
I'm actually struggling with reading due to anxiety, so I gave that to Alex, but I've found my way back into fanfiction and specifically Gryles which is the only pairing I care about to read. I read some milex sometimes, but there's very few authors I enjoy dearly, unfortunately. But I really enjoy a lot of AU and Gryles has that and has one of the greatest to be honest. But if I were to choose the best fanfics it would surely be Radiohead.
I picked up To Miles due to the latest Last Shadow Puppets single and I kept spinning it on repeat along with Kills' Doing it to Death naturally. That's why I clung onto the word reflect.
My mom has a shrine of photos of me after I moved out, so that was given to poor Alex as well.
I had planned on someone else showing up first, but I'm not sure about them, so I'll keep silent, but Matt was sure to show up x)
I haven't been as good in the second love department and Jamie's advice is Callie's advice to me to be honest and I decided to use it here for flavor.
I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for all the support, To Miles is over 150 k!