Title: "Ice"
Fandom: Dead Poets Society
Pairing: Todd Anderson [Ethan Hawke]/Charlie Dalton [Gale Hansen]
Author: MonaR. (aka Mona Ramsey, aka Mona)
Series: Probably not. These DPS stories seem to be unrelated, at this point.
Webpage: the bare skeleton of one is at:
Archive: Yes to The Marrow of Life.
Rating: NC-17.
Warning: Reasonably explicit slash (m/m) content between two 17-year-old boys. Don't read it if any part of this warning bothers you. "Ice" is by Sarah McLachlan.
Notes: I don't use betas. :( Any mistakes are solely my fault and the fault of my *#^&@ spellcheck. ** is used for emphasis, // for thought. Any weird characters should be hunted down and killed.
Spoilers: Set just before the end of the movie.
Summary: Mourning Neil leads to unexpected discoveries for Todd.

{I'm a little concerned about posting this story, considering what a huge, stupid flap there was over the *last* story that went out. However, I assume that everyone on *my* list is adult and mature enough to decide for themselves what to read and what *not* to read. Right? Right. :)
You lucky people, you.}

by MonaR.

the ice is thin come on dive in
underneath my lucid skin
the cold is lost, forgotten
hours pass, days pass, time stands still
light gets dark and darkness fills
my secret heart, forbidden

It was the morning I found out.

It wasn't until I touched him that I realized how cold it was outside; I couldn't feel my own skin anymore, but I could feel his. My entire body felt frozen, like the snow I had run through. I knew that all of the rest of them had left me alone, and I knew that he had followed me, first with his eyes and then physically, as I made my way blindly through the snow until my lungs were on fire, and then dropped down in a heap when I couldn't move anymore. He squatted down beside me without speaking, offering no comfort except for his presence. He knew that there weren't any words that would mean anything to me, not yet. I could see my breath, and that was probably the only reason I knew that I was still breathing.

He was colder than I was because he was still crying. I didn't expect that from him, and I don't know why. It wasn't until I saw those tears that I realized that no matter how much you think you know someone, you can never *really* know them; it isn't possible. There is no way that you can look into someone's mind and see out of their eyes. You can never know someone else's devastation, never feel their joy, never cry their tears. The tears were his, even though I brushed my hand across his face, and felt the cold wetness on my skin.

He just looked at me, and I knew then that he was crying for *me*, not Neil; we can only really ever mourn the living. And then I kissed him. I didn't even know where we were, or who was there, if anyone, who might be watching us, and I didn't care. I *cared*, of course, but I didn't think. I couldn't think. I just kissed him, over and over on the cheek, and tasted the salt of his tears. He was holding me, with his hands around my back, holding me up, but I couldn't *feel* him - there were too many layers of clothing and emotion between us, and I was too cold to feel anything. It was like being dead inside, only it wasn't. It couldn't be. I couldn't feel *that*, either.

I don't remember walking back inside, or going up to our room. I don't even remember thinking of it as 'our' room anymore, even though more than half of the things in there weren't mine. Neil's name was everywhere - all over his work, his clothes, his books - but I didn't see any of it. I couldn't look, yet; soon it would all be packed up and taken away and I would have a long time to look at the emptiness of it. The only thing I knew for certain was that I couldn't be alone, because being alone would be something so empty that I wouldn't be able to handle it. I held his hand in mine, clenched tightly. I knew then that I couldn't let him go.

His cheeks were red, flushed with the cold and the sudden heat of being inside, and maybe, just a little, with me and my kisses. I was brazen and hungry with him, fired with my own certainties and my loss, and I think he was surprised, but he said nothing. It took a while for my skin to warm up, and when it did the heat felt like little flames crawling across my skin. It might have hurt, if I'd been able to think about it, but I couldn't. I couldn't think anything. I could only *do*.

He didn't say anything when I warmed my hands against his skin, although I felt the shiver that raked his body. I peeled back his coat and dropped it to the floor, pulled up his shirt and pressed my hands against his bare stomach. My hands must have felt like ice themselves, but he didn't say anything, didn't move away from me. He just stood there, with my hands on him, until I kissed him again. He hadn't touched me at all, nor did he ask me what I was doing, or what I was thinking. He must have known how cold I was; he must have known how desperately I wanted to be warm. And somewhere in the back of his mind must have been the thought - just as it was in mine - that now, with Neil gone and our room empty, it was all right for us to be there together. Before, we never could have done it, never would have dared to touch each other when someone might walk in and find us. It was as if Neil had died just so we could be together. I realized the horrible perversity of that thought even as I was thinking it, and still it made me smile.


I think you worried for me then
the subtle way that I'd give in
but I know, you liked the show
tied down to this bed of shame
you tried to move around the pain
but oh your soul is anchored

the only comfort is the moving of the river
you enter into me a sigh upon your lips
offer what you can I'll take all that I can get
only a fool is here to stay


I had kissed him before, but I don't remember those kisses having anywhere near the urgency of what we shared that wintry dawn. Before, it had always been secret and dangerous, and the fear of being found out seemed to override the desire, but not that morning. That morning, the only thing that I could think of was the warmth of him, the softness and the tension and the trembling in his body, how smooth his skin was, how much I wanted to touch him everywhere that he would let me. I undressed him with fascination, with precision, and I studied his body in the gray light of dawn as if I might never see it again. I wanted it to be wholly mine. I undressed him without a word, without asking for permission or telling him what I wanted. Of course, he knew; he stayed, watched me like he was watching a stranger he was meeting for the first time, and maybe that's really the way that it was, for him. Maybe I was as much a stranger to him as we all were to each other. Maybe that's why we never knew.

I loved the way that he shivered whenever I touched him, especially the soft tremors in his belly. When he was naked I undressed myself, as he watched; when we were both naked I pulled him down on my bed, the empty, ghostly one on the other side of us, and blanketed my body with his. His cheeks were still wet, still rosy with the cold and the sorrow, and I kissed them over and over. He hadn't done anything until then, but when he lay atop me and I kissed him he started - as if finally he realized where he was and what we were doing - and grabbed me tightly by the wrists. I didn't know what he was going to do - I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd hit me, or shoved me away - but I melted underneath him when he started to kiss me on the mouth.

Nothing that we did in those few hours was about sorrow, or mourning, or even wanting an affirmation of life. I think I finally realized that no matter what I thought of Neil, or how I'd admired him and the natural way that he had, that way of pulling people in around him, drawing all of us moths to his bright flame - what I'd really been watching for these past few months was someone who was afraid of his own desire, and had finally been overcome by that fear. It had been too much for him, and he wasn't strong enough to either renounce it or to give in to it. /Poor Neil,/ I thought, /drowned by his own desire./ More than anything, that was the difference between us - although I sometimes felt that my fear was what guided me, I knew that I *was* strong enough to give in to any or all of my desires, no matter what.

I had often wondered what it would be like to touch someone else, but I never even thought to dream about being touched myself. It's a completely different thing to be touched by someone than to touch yourself - it's mysterious, surprising, and completely unexpected. I loved the tenderness of him, the underlying strength that he held in check, and became quickly addicted to the feel of his hands on my body, and his mouth on mine. Although we were alone and I could not imagine anyone coming in to disturb us, we were quiet instinctively - quiet enough not to be found out, uttering near-silent murmurs of encouragement to each other as we explored.

I couldn't have articulated what I wanted from him, but it didn't matter - he seemed to realize my desire before I did, and responded to it. Or perhaps it was simply that his need mirrored mine, and he gave me what he himself wanted. Maybe he knew what we were doing, and why, as well as I did. I could hardly think of him at all; I was greedy, I know that now - my thoughts were all about *my* need, not his. /I want,/ I thought to myself. /I want, I need, I will have/ - like a lesson in conjugation for Latin class.

His mouth drove me to the very edge of myself, and shattered me. His body was by now warmed through and even sheened with sweat as we arched against one another, his hands gripped my wrists and held them as if to let go would be the difference between life and death. I felt the rising heat in my body as it strangled the breath from my lungs and left me gasping, and when he locked his hips against mine and began to grind himself into me, I was completely lost. I closed my eyes and held on to him and thrust up as he pushed down, arched my neck as he bit into me, and thought of nothing but how clean and glittering the snow had seemed, and how cold.


I don't like your tragic sighs
as if your god has passed you by
well hey fool, that's your deception
your angels speak with jilted tongues
the serpent's tale has come undone
you have no strength to squander


We made love twice, if it can be called that. I suppose there is no other word for it; I felt him and he tasted me, I held him and he annihilated me. I wouldn't let him go, not even for a moment's rest; I clawed at his skin and bit him and forced him to spend himself across my belly once again, and still I held on, so that when he collapsed, he collapsed over top of me, and pressed me down into the bed. I wanted to feel so much of him that I couldn't cry, but I seemed to feel nothing but his weight and his heat and my own insatiable need. It was a little frightening, but then again, I didn't know what to expect. Everything that we did was new.

Finally, his breathing evened and he forced himself off of me, despite my protests. His body curled around mine and he lifted the blankets over me as I dozed. I didn't dream, and I didn't really sleep, either; I drifted in and out of consciousness, anchored only to the arms that held me, the warm breath on my neck, the close emptiness of the room. I might have spoken; I don't remember. The room wasn't warm but the bed was, and I didn't ever want to move from it. Moving away would have meant acknowledging the reality of the rest of the world.

The feel of his fingers tracing up and down my arm was what finally roused me.



I had to ask. I had to know. "Why did you stay with me?"

There was silence for a long time. I thought that he wasn't going to answer me, and then he said, "I wanted to." His arms tightened around my waist. "I think I owed it to you, didn't I?"

I shook my head. "No. You didn't - don't - owe me anything," I said, and I surprised myself by meaning it, too. I couldn't hate him for what he'd told me, or how he'd changed my world with just a few worlds. None of it was his fault. I gripped him tightly, afraid that he might disappear into my imagination, empty himself like the ghost that lay in the bed opposite us, watching.

the only comfort is the moving of the river
you enter into me a sigh upon your lips
offer what you can I'll take all that I can get
only a fool is here to stay

The End

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