Title: So Close and Yet so Far Away
Author: Pip's Sister/Ms. Marvel 1
Fandom: Clerks
Pairing: Dante/Randal, Dante/Caitlin
Rating: R for non-explicit m/m sex and some language
Archive: Yes, but please tell me first. Unless you're the KS Archive or Led Astray, then you're cool.
E-Mail: felicitypirrip@y...
Disclaimer: Dante Hicks, Randal Graves, Caitlin Bree, Jay and Brodie Bruce are all the property of Kevin Smith and the View Askewniverse. They are used without permission and for non-profit purposes. (Monetary profit that is.)
Notes: Slash. Don’t flame me you immature bastard. You got a problem then go to Disney.com and be a good Christian. (Sorry, I’m just not in the mood for being nice at the moment.) A little praise at this time would be a nice thing. Constructive criticism, too. Oh, this fanfic has no relation to that male pregnancy one I wrote, by the way.

Acknowledgements: Written for my love of my own “Randal.” (Even if his voice sounds more like Dante’s.) I miss you and I hope you’ll forgive me soon.


He could feel that he was there.

That was the worst part of all this: to be so close and yet so far away. Dante could sense Randal’s presence on the other side of the bed. He could hear the other man’s breaths as he slept soundly. He could feel every movement he made. But that was it. He never touched him. He even turned himself away so he wouldn’t have to look at him.

It had never been like this. Ever since they’d moved into the apartment they’d slept in each other’s arms, legs entangled and fingers running through each other’s hair. Not tonight. They wouldn’t sleep that way for awhile now.

Dante pulled the covers up to his neck and looked around the apartment the two of them had shared for the past few weeks. How long had this relationship been happening? He couldn’t even tell. There’d been no real starting point. They just sort of fell into it after those punk kids accused them of being married. For some reason it got the both of them talking about a hypothetical relationship. And eventually that hypothetical relationship became… well, not so hypothetical. Dante still remembered his surprise when Randal first gave him a kiss. Randal was smiling after, acting as if Frenching your best friend was the most natural thing in the world.

Ever since then his life had been… well, not better, but happier. He was so much happier. Dante had been in love before, but something, maybe the fact that they kept it only to themselves, just made this time so much better. Randal could be extremely affectionate if in the mood. Dante smiled weakly when he remembered all of those kisses Randal would randomly give him whenever the customers weren’t looking. Funny, Randal had a real knack for not getting caught.

They had grown close these past few months. There were so many good memories, and not necessarily the “milestone” ones, either like “the first time we ever had sex” (although that was a very good one) or “the day we moved out of our parents’ houses and into our own apartment” (although that was in some ways even better). A lot of the really good memories were the little things. A certain kiss. A specific touch. A phrase that particularly stuck in his mind.

One of those phrases was sticking in Dante’s mind right now, one that came about one night not long after they moved in. Randal had rented some porn videos. Dante was sitting on the couch, Randal’s head in his lap as they watched a scene with a girl sucking two dicks at once.

“You have to be amazed by the level of talent,” Randal remarked.

Dante just shook his head. “Why do you say so? Thinking of hiring her for us?”

Randal snorted and stood up. “Nah. Believe it or not, I think threesomes are just for porn.” He gave Dante a light kiss on the lips. “I’m a selfish bastard. I don’t share.”

Dante remembered now how happy that phrase had made him. How after that they’d… well, they’d decided to stop watching and start doing. It’d been one of the best that time, too. So hot. So demanding. Dante had been the one to take it that time, to submit to Randal as he fucked him. He still shivered at the memory of himself writhing on the floor as Randal whispered, almost chanted, in his ear, “Mine… all mine.”

Dante loved it. Dante loved him. Everything about this felt so wonderful. Maybe too wonderful…

The letter from the mental hospital came yesterday morning. There’d been a sudden breakthrough in Caitlin’s case. For the first time in years, Caitlin had finally started to move again, to speak again. And she’d asked to see him.

Randal seemed unsettled, but he didn’t protest when Dante said he wanted to go. Now Dante wished he had, wished Randal had asked him not to go. Then again, he didn’t know if he would have listened. He didn’t love Caitlin anymore. At least he didn’t think so. Still, they did have a nice history (despite the cheating and her fucking the dead guy). It was only right that he should have gone, right?

The visit had gone well at first. Caitlin was distracted, but at least somewhat responsive. She could tell Dante his name when he entered in the room, and even if she didn’t seem to understand what he said at times, she always nodded, as if making sure he knew she heard him. And once in awhile she would smile a certain way, or make a certain movement or inflection of voice and Dante would see a flash of the old Caitlin he had known and loved so well.

Dante was enjoying himself in an odd way, but the hour ticked away too quickly. At 3:00 he stood up. “I have to leave now, Caitlin. But it was great to see you again.”

Caitlin nodded. “Great to see you…”

He started to turn around.


He looked back at Caitlin. “What is it?”

“It’s been a long time.”

Dante shivered a bit. “I know, but…”

“I haven’t even… nobody in so long.”

She stood up and walked over to him and before Dante could stop to think his arms were around Caitlin’s waist. He pulled her close and they kissed. She tasted like hospital food.

When they stopped she was smiling, begging him to come again. Dante couldn’t speak. He couldn’t think. He kept thinking of Randal and a cold hand seemed to grip over his heart.

He didn’t go home at first. He wasted time walking at the park. He went to the mall and looked at all the Fashionable Male suits that he didn’t want, didn’t need and really couldn’t afford. He ate dinner by himself at the food court and took some time out to call a few people he knew, just because he could.

But he had to come home some time. And as 10:00 rolled around he finally did. Randal was there. His arms wrapped around him and he kissed him as soon as he stepped in the room. Dante hugged him back as tightly as he could, almost as if he thought he wouldn’t see Randal for a very long time.

“You’re back late. I was getting worried. So… how did it go?”

Dante hesitated for a long time, which probably only made things worse. Then he told Randal everything. He was apologetic, making no excuses, only saying that he was wrong and that it was a total mistake and that it didn’t mean anything and god, he was really, really sorry...

Randal’s face was blank. He didn’t say anything for a long time. Finally… “I don’t know what to say or think, really…”

“I love you,” Dante whispered. “I care about you so much. I don’t want to lose you.”

Randal shook his head. “You won’t. I’m not leaving you. In the big picture, this isn’t that big a deal. But… that doesn’t make what you did right.”

There was a silence.

“I’m going to go see Brodie tonight,” said Randal. “See you later.” With that, he was gone. It was the first time he never kissed him good-bye.

He never came home that night. They both worked the next day, but Randal never came over to see him.

“Holy shit,” Jay had said at one point. “What the fuck did you do?”

Dante could only sigh. When a pothead like Jay could see something was up, it must have been pretty bad.

He never felt so alone.

RST closed earlier than the Quick Stop, of course. So when Dante came home, Randal was already asleep, curled up on his side of the bed. Most nights Randal would never have done that. It was a game they played. Randal would spread himself out on the bed, taking up as much room as possible. Then Dante would struggle to move him, protesting weakly when Randal would just spread himself out further, or move onto Dante’s side of the bed. That would be Dante’s cue to get into Randal’s side. Randal’s arms would then wrap around his waist and… well…

It wasn’t going to happen tonight.

Dante had slept tonight, but not well, usually sleeping for two hours at a time then struggling for another two hours to get back to sleep. He just kept playing his confession over in his head, again and again. Kept hearing the phrase in his head. “I’m a selfish bastard. I don’t share.”

He should have known better. The kiss had meant nothing to him. And Randal… Randal had been everything. He wasn’t afraid of being alone, but being without Randal… that felt unbearable.

Dante tried to reassure himself. Randal wasn’t really going to leave him, he’d said that before. Eventually this would all be a bad memory, a sore spot among millions of good ones that would overshadow it so much that they’d forget it was there.

But until then, Dante could only lie in his bed, his body starved for rest and his heart and mind wracked with guilt. He could only lie in his bed, listening to Randal breathe. So close and yet so far away.

The End.