Dominic disappeared nearly an hour later, claiming he was going up to his room to call a friend.
Chandler seemed to be the only one who knew that he was lying. He was running away because he didn’t want to see Rocco and Donny together.
It was silly, but he actually thought his big brother was jealous. He didn’t fancy either of them, but he was afraid that he would lose one to the other. That now that they were dating Rocco would turn to Donny before he would turn to him, and Donny would think of Rocco as his best friend, giving him Dominic’s status. It was stupid, because it seemed blatantly obvious that neither was going to happen.
“Hey,” he smiled as he ducked his head into Dominic’s bedroom, to find him sitting up at the head of the bed. He was hugging his knees, looking a little lost. “How are you feeling?” He wondered quietly, making his way over to the bed.
Dominic shook his head and ignored him, folding his arms on his knees and leaning his head on them.
“I told dad that I was going to call Koby, so we have some time to talk if you want to?” Chandler offered, as he sat down beside him. He leaned back on the headboard as he stretched his legs out.
“Not really.” He sighed, rubbing his forehead on the back of his hand. “I’m serious. I don’t want to talk.” Dominic snapped at him.
“Well, just listen then.” Chandler bit back, refusing to let it go. “Donny has been the only constant thing in your life, before dad adopted you. You feel lost because you don’t know who you are if you’re not Donny’s best friend any more.” He tried to let him know that he already knew what he needed to know. “But at the same time you’re the first person Rocco ever trusted enough to open up to. And now he’s got this instant connection with Donny.” He said.
Dominic didn’t have to say anything because he knew everything; all he wanted was for Dom to admit it.
“But here’s what you don’t understand,” Chandler continued. “Donny will never replace you. He loves you too much. And Rocco will always need you, just as much as he will always need me and dad.” He reasoned, reaching up to brush his hand over his bent head.
Dominic turned to look at him, resting his cheek on the back of his hand. He looked so sad. “You don’t know that. You saw them today; having private conversations, shutting us all out, sneaking up here to do God knows what.” He sighed and lifted his head, only to lean back and bang it off the wooden headboard.
Chandler frowned at him, but didn’t bother starting a fight about it.
“That’s because they fancy the pants off each other, not because they were trying to hurt you. You’ve had girlfriends before, Dom, you know what it’s like when you want to be alone with them.” Chandler hadn’t yet found a girlfriend he liked as much as Rocco seemed to like Donny, but he wasn’t going to bring that into the conversation right now. And he hoped Dominic didn’t either.
“Whether it’s to make out or just to talk about private things once you start dating you will always want to be alone with them at some point. You will always have secret conversations just with the person you’re dating.” He reminded him of how he acted, when he was dating. “Why should it be any different for them? Just because they’re dating each other and we love them both? That wouldn’t be fair.” He argued.
“I just,” Dominic stalled and licked his lips nervously. “I just didn’t think about it. When we adopted Rocco and I told him about Donny he seemed interested to hear about my friends, but not as if he was interested in Donny. And when I told Donny about Rocco, he never showed any hint either.” He admitted, as if they should have confessed their feelings just at the mention of their names to each other, before they even met. “Then, when I talked to Donny about it today, he said it was my fault. He said I’d made Rocco out to be perfect and he knew it was true as soon as he met him.” He complained quietly.
“You couldn’t have expected them to fall for each other.” Chandler agreed with that much. “But you can’t deny that they have. And you shouldn’t. They really like each other, but they still love you more than they love each other.” He tried to talk sense into him and he thought he’d won for a moment.
Dominic smiled and held his hand out, palm up the same way he did every single time they needed each other’s support. He put his hand in Dominic’s and held on, letting him know that he would always be there for him.
“It won’t always be that way, Chandler. One day they’ll love each other so much that I won’t be so important to them any more.” He smiled sadly as he looked at their hands. “I could deal with that if it meant they were happy together and they’d put real time into getting to know each other…but they haven’t.” He protested, sounding petty. “They’ve known each other for two days. That’s not enough time to really know someone. What if Donny hurts Rocco? How could I live with myself?” He asked, his smile slowly fading as he contemplated that dark thought.
“Let me ask you this, Dom,” Chandler cupped his chin and made him look up. He thought he was supposed to be the immature, over-dramatic brother. Suddenly he seemed the only sensible one out of all three of them. “What if you hurt him? How can you live with that?” He asked. Then, with a sigh, he let go of his hand and left the room. He would leave Dominic to think it over before he expected a reasonable answer from him.