|Ficlet: "He That Believes" (Jesus/John the Apostle)
||[Feb. 14th, 2010|11:53 pm]
Title: He That Believes |
Pairing: Jesus/John the Apostle
Word count: 570
Summary: Compared to the true miracles he has witnessed, this should perhaps be less wondrous to him.
Author's Notes: This was written for deborah_judge, who generously donated money to help Haiti. I hope you'll like it! For the sake of this story, I went with the traditional interpretation that John is the 'disciple whom Jesus loved', although I'm aware that there are other opinions.
He finds Jesus behind the house, sitting in the shade of an olive tree, back against the trunk, eyes closed, hands resting in his lap. Right now, there is nothing of the passion about him; his features are calm and he appears to be at peace, so unlike the man who cleansed the Temple.
The sun is high in the sky and the air is uncomfortably hot; the others are indoors, resting. John knows his place is with them, strictly speaking -- and yet, he has never been turned away, so he approaches, his steps tentative. "Lord?"
The eyes open; a dark warm gaze meets John's, sending a shiver down his spine. Jesus's mouth turns upwards in a small smile, as if he's secretly been waiting for John to come to him. "Lie down," he says. "Rest here with me for a while."
Soon John is stretched out on his back, his head in Jesus's lap. It's not the first time they've sat like this. The shade is wonderfully cool, and the ground warm under him; Jesus's hand is caressing his brow in gentle, featherlike circles, and John feels his eyes flutter closed, his shoulders relaxing against the familiar warmth of his master's body.
Compared to the true miracles he has witnessed, this should perhaps be less wondrous to him. But he still can't stop marveling at it, this intimacy which manifests itself in everything from quiet moments under trees to shared beds at night, hands and mouths clinging to each other in the darkness. There is a desire in him to speak of it, to put into words the love with which his heart is singing, but he isn't sure it has any name -- and besides, he thinks Jesus may already know whatever there is to know.
"Everything is ready for the Passover meal," he says instead.
The hand stops for a moment, then resumes its stroking. "Good."
There is no particular reason why Jesus should care for him so. He is still so young and his beard is sparse; his body has not yet lost its lankiness. He is faithful, yes, but so are the others, and although Jesus loves every one of them, John is the only one he will take to his bed, although there is nothing special about him: a fisherman's son, neither beautiful nor learned.
But perhaps, John thinks, this is precisely what Jesus loves -- his youth and his imperfections. And at any rate, it is not his place to question, but to accept and receive with joy.
"Will you wait with me tonight, John?"
The whisper is so quiet he can barely hear it. When he opens his eyes to meet Jesus's gaze, it is to find a sadness there, and John bites his lip, worried.
"I will, Lord," he says. "But I do not know what we will be waiting for."
"There will be pain," Jesus murmurs, as if to himself. His hand keeps stroking John's brow. "There will be pain and darkness; there will be betrayal, denial, and doubt..."
John tenses, wanting to protest -- not me, Lord, surely you are not talking about me. But he knows that if he does, Jesus will just look at him with those dark eyes, smiling that small, sad smile of his which means there is so much John cannot ever understand. And so he keeps his eyes closed, silently vowing not to ask but simply to accept.