This forum uses cookies
This forum makes use of cookies to store your login information if you are registered, and your last visit if you are not. Cookies are small text documents stored on your computer; the cookies set by this forum can only be used on this website and pose no security risk. Cookies on this forum also track the specific topics you have read and when you last read them. Please confirm whether you accept or reject these cookies being set.

A cookie will be stored in your browser regardless of choice to prevent you being asked this question again. You will be able to change your cookie settings at any time using the link in the footer.

Convincing Confessions?

The back stairs to his small room above Kallisti was quiet, but everything was moving in the front. There was no way he could pull a shift and no way he was going to be functioning once he landed in bed. Healing was hard on the body.  And Morven had healed more than a minor injury.  The new arm felt strange and Nox pulled it off setting it on the desk in his room.  Nox wove a little water and filled his lotus bowl to a line he'd been monitoring.  He tried not to let it below that mark. Nox didn't want to kill the flower.

The healed arm felt cold without the wrapping of the prosthetic, but Nox was too tired.  He fired off a text before he sat down

@"Raffe" Wake me up when you are free. Have something to ask and show you.

Nox kicked his shoes and jeans off and crawled into bed leaving enough room for Raffe to join him if he wanted.  It'd become his habit, if Raffe let him sleep Nox would end up sneaking into Raffe's bed. The comfort of the other man let him sleep -- the nightmares warded by his body warmth -- at least that's what Nox told himself.  It had nothing at all to do with the fact he missed him -- nothing at all.

Nox closed his eyes and was instantly asleep...
Time blurred. Raffe was distracted. Nox was quiet. 

The push and pull of emotion as he warred with his new revelation made Raffe usually silent in turn. He needed the time to think it all through, and sinking into the fortress of his own skin was the way he did it. Carmen didn’t begrudge him the day off, or ask questions. He grinned at her, scrubbing a hand through his curls like he always did, but he knew she saw the strain.

For once he didn’t want company. The waterfront was naturally busy on a warm day, but it wasn’t difficult to find a quiet spot to roll a joint and watch the world ebb by. He laid back in the grass, clouds drifting overhead. Glad for the release.

He feared being a disappointment; feared the edges of Nox’s patience turning sharp on his reluctance to meet the challenge head on and conquer it. Feared that it changed something between them in some indefinable way. Nox talked so often of those he helped -- not in those terms, of course, but from the outside Raffe saw it. He didn’t want to be just another in a long list of duties. Saved from the power that might kill him otherwise.

He didn’t want saving.

His chest tightened, though the fear breathed out on an exhalation. Would the power be like poison to the darkest parts of himself? Raffe’s eyes half lidded, not willing to confront it even now. But therein lie the recoil. Memories of his father. Memories of the boy he’d beaten bloody, caught in the winds of madness. It sickened him, but it hadn’t stopped him either. And he remembered the thrill as much as the disgust.

Nox said it was his own choice to be a weapon; that the power might be used for other means. Raffe believed him. It wasn’t that. But god he didn’t want the temptation.

The day idled through his fingers. By the time he returned to the club, the girls were running through skits in the theatre, though he didn’t pause to check on them. He hit the showers instead, standing a long time under the weight of water, like it might sluice away the debris of his mood. Afterwards he pulled on sweatpants and finally discovered the message on his phone. He stared at it a long time, quiet, before he pocketed the device and headed upstairs.

The message had said to wake him, but Raffe didn’t want to, and not just because he was sleeping soundly. It was still light outside, though the thumping bass of music from rehearsals downstairs vibrated softly in the silence. He crawled into bed alongside, glad of the closeness and of the quiet rise and fall of breath, and closed his eyes.
The room was dark when hunger woke Nox. His stomach rumbled and food was scarce in the club. Even as the music down stairs thumped. The warmth next to him drew a smile to his lips even before he opened his eyes.

Even in their strange strangled relationship -- mostly Nox's doing they still found the time to lie next to each other. Maybe the slow beginnings allowed for it. The start to more than just a relationship. Nox didn't want to push anything. But something had to shift or he was going to burst. He'd lied a little when he said he had to ask him something, he did, but it was in that question that he wanted to imply more to. And of course he wanted to show Raffe the gift the Ascendancy had given him -- not only in the prothestic, but also in the healing.

Nox propped up on the stump of an arm -- there was no pain, not even a twinge. The skin was soft and supple and likely Nox would get a bruise so he relaxed against Raffe instead and pressed a tender kiss to his neck. He breathed in the other man's scent and closed his eyes relishing in how lucky he was. His mind rolled into infinity possibilities most of which always ended up badly but he focused on the fact -- right now Raffe had chosen to lie in his bed even though Nox was being a stubborn ass about things. He whispered in Raffe's ear. "You didn't wake me up?" His stomach rumbled again and Nox knew he wouldn't be able to lounge in bed long before the gnawing of hunger out weighed his desire to cuddly with his boyfriend... a word he wasn't still sure was applicable but it was how he felt... it was more -- so much more.
He fell asleep at some point. Shadows chased the room when he half opened his eyes some time later, Nox finally shifting beside him. Raffe wasn’t in any great hurry to wake up fully, though. The warmth of lips pressed against his neck, and a sleepy and content sigh responded. His arm strung out across Nox’s stomach, lids swooping low again. Things had been awkward. Not bad. Just quiet. Raffe preferred the solace of unspoken intimacy to confronting it, though he knew they’d have to eventually.

“No,” he agreed, voice a bare murmur. “You’re cute when you’re sleeping.” His mouth quirked into the hint of a tease, and he finally blinked his gaze a little more open, enough to sleepily meet the other man's eyes.
Nox chuckled at the comment and felt his skin flush. "I'm always cute." Nox released a content sigh. "I like this." He nuzzled closer to Raffe singing his face into the crook of his neck.

He closed his eyes. He could stay here forever. Nox wished he could. "I don't want to ruin the enchantment. But I have something to show you." Nox wove a dim ball of light above their heads and another to grab the arm, both while he sat up cross-legged in the space between Raffe and the wall. His legs pressed lightly against Raffe's body, his knees resting on top of Raffe so he wasn't stabbing him uncomfortably but still touching.

Nox tugged off his shirt, then held up the new arm. "Not only do I have a new arm to hopefully not break, I got an even better gift -- healing." His stomach rumbled in protest. Nox laughed. "I left me hungry and tired." And he knew he shouldn't let one hunger wane for fear of another being roused -- or an even more dangerous one lingering in the night.
He was happy just to lay there, pressed close, rocking on the edge of falling back asleep. It was the feeling of menace rather than the fact Nox sat up which finally drew him out of slumber. That was going to take some getting used to. 

Raffe pushed up too, rubbing a hand over his face and through his hair. He blinked a little before he really registered the prosthetic, and mostly found himself staring at the skin revealed when Nox pulled off his shirt before he eventually wrenched his attention to the wound. Or what was left of it, which was to say nothing, even in the soft shadows of the ball of light.

“They did a better job on you than Ilya’s girls did on me.” He grinned. The marvels of the Custody’s favour he guessed, and he was glad for it. There was no way Nox would have been able to take it easy long enough for it to heal naturally, and Raffe didn’t wish the mangle of his own scars on another. “I can go hunt and gather?” he offered. He’d felt shit himself afterwards, and ravenously hungry, though it’d been painful to swallow. He rubbed his eyes again, yawned. Okay, okay. Awake. And he should probably move before crawling into the other man’s lap began to sound more and more like a good idea. “If that’s the show, what was the ask?”
Raffe joked about it being a better job but there was a stab of guilt about his connections. Connections he stumbled upon really. He never set out to meet the Ascendancy when he came to Moscow. He never even dreamed of talking to the most powerful man on the planet much left receiving gifts. Though Nox was certain these gifts held a certain amount of ties that he could never undo, but what was another. He had been tied to the Atharim his whole life. The Ascendancy was no different.

Heat flushed his body as Raffe's sleepy gaze took him in. Nox wasn't shy, but he enjoyed when Raffe looked at him like that. It meant much more than other things. Nox grinned. "Maybe we can both go hunt and gather -- grab a late or early meal which ever it is." It was more a statement than a question but really it all was going to depend on the conversation they were about to have. Raffe's next question made Nox drop his gaze. What was the ask?

"It's a serious conversation." Nox admitted softly. "Before you think I'm trying to press you into doing something it's not that. I want you to come with me to The Monkey King's School of the Mystical Arts when I go later on. The owner is Tan Li -- martial artist and actor extraordinary. He's former Atharim and a channeled. He's trained with the monks in a monastery. I think he could teach you better than I can when you are ready." Nox shook his head. "And I can't keep waiting and hoping and worrying about you. I fucking love you and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it all. And I don't like the strain between us. It's ...." Nox didn't really know what it was, or how it felt and he realized the words he'd said in his haste to explain himself. He pressed his hand to his face wishing he'd attached the prostectic instead of held it in his hand. He only succeeded in smacking himself with the arm. Fuck! Nox growled under his breath and felt a right fool, but he didn't move -- he gave himself that credit. He didn't run when he felt the desire to leap to his feet and go...
He felt his stomach dip a little at the word serious, anticipating the subject to follow. It probably echoed the fall of his expression too; deflated resignation. Reluctance lingered, though he did listen. It wasn’t like he wanted to die. What he wanted was for the problem to go away. But he might as well wish for wings while he was at it. Raffe frowned down at his hands, and offered no protest. Guilt stabbed for the burden he presented, and he very carefully skirted around the memories of Nox’s breakdown at Christian and Ana’s estate, even as the other man’s emotion began to crest into an outburst.

Raffe blinked a little, and could not help the way the smile flickered unbidden to his lips even as his heart began to hammer. He wasn’t sure he even properly heard everything that followed. Then Nox managed to hit himself in the face with the arm, and by the look of him Raffe wondered if he rather hoped to ram those words back down his throat. Or at least one of them. He wasn’t sure if he ought to acknowledge it. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say at all, wondering if it was already a slip he regretted making. Raffe’s eyes were a little wide around the edges. The emotion was written all over his face.

There were things he ought to confide; about the power, and exactly why it scared him. He’d go to the dojo; of course he would. But he wasn’t thinking about that, just the rush of feeling in his chest. He reached to pull the arm free, and shifted closer. His forehead dipped close, his grip cupping the back of Nox’s head.

“You aren’t going to lose me,” he promised. Fuck but he’d fallen fast. The rush pressed a sudden smile to his lips, and his heart was beating like crazy. Its song felt like home.
Nox relaxed into Raffe. Nox whispered. "That's good. I meant what I said. I know I look like I want to take things back, but I don't." Nox pulled away so he could see Raffe's eyes. "I fell hard and fast and when iIwant to say it I can't, but it doesn't change the way I feel. I'm not good with feelings."

Nox leaned back in and took a slow breath. "I don't want to worry I'm not going to be able to help you when you are ready. So I'm taking it out of the equation. I will introduce you to all the men I know who can channel except with the exception of those who work for the Ascendancy." Nox laughed. "Even that has an exception. I'll gladly introduce you to Jay if I thought he could help you, but he's like me -- a weapon. But the point is I'll give you options for when you are ready."
Not good with feelings, he said, but Raffe didn’t find it so. Words, maybe, but Raffe didn’t confess to be any good at that either. He was better at showing what he felt rather than packaging it up, for usually what he felt was too big to communicate anyway. Right now the softness was written all over his expression. This time when Raffe listened, it was without the glaze that suggested it was an endurance for both their sakes, and more a measure of trust. Like something in him shifted, and he suddenly accepted that they were in this together.

“Fireworks guy,” he said absently, thinking of the hospital. And another weapon. He wondered how many channelers Nox actually knew. The care warmed him through, though, in a way he wasn’t really sure how to explain. Raffe had plenty of friends, and he was never short of company if he wished it, but this was something different.

“I’m a survivor,” he said. “I’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out.” It wasn’t empty reassurance. He believed it. Dying was way down on the list of his worries despite that it was top of Nox’s priorities, though. He rubbed at his jaw. As far as confessions went, his past paled to insignificance in comparison to Nox’s history. But he wanted to share it.

“He killed her when I was small. I guess I saw it, though I don’t remember. I sat with the body for five days before anyone thought to look for me.” He blurted it without context, then frowned. His jaw flexed, though honestly he didn’t feel much about it anymore. “My dad killed my mother, I mean. That’s how I ended up at the orphanage.” His gaze rose, then flitted away when he felt the emotion rise suddenly in his chest upon meeting Nox’s gaze. It surprised him. Not that he ever really spoke about it to anyone, but it felt raw again. “I think it’s in me too. That kind of anger. I beat a kid once, just for picking fun. I could have just walked away, but I didn’t. The power feels dark like that. What if it changes me?”

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)