Title: Love's Just A Four Letter Word - New Beginings
Warning: NC-17 - character death
Cutting his eyes to the side, the man slipped around the corner, slithering in the shadows of each building onwards, pulled along by some wayward, invisible force. His mind couldn't have been directing him, it was too busy thinking of other things; for example, it was wondering if he could have fucked up the situation any more than he had all ready. That, he concluded within a moment or two, was impossible. But then again, the vampire had never been good in love-only lust. Running one hand through his curls and then back onto his temples, his eyes fluttered, feet still moving with a purposeful tempo, carrying their master onwards to some unrecalled destination. The smell of people, cars, old cigarettes and the stillness of the hour seemed to press him down. Like black velvet smeared with silken white, the vampire's brain faltered with each coil of steam rising like some odorous phantom from the gutters; each one disgusting and rank. A city stank of putrid life, Edvard knew this too well. He had walked streets like this until dawn, when he scurried like vermin to the nearest building, trying to hide himself away from the sun's fatal rays, only to wait, sucked down in heavy thoughts like quagmire. The day was always the worst; if he wasn't sleeping in someone's bed, he was thinking of the one he had been in the evening before. Usually some young man's; whether they had been picked up off the street or charmed from a barstool would sum into the equation of his thoughts... And he forever felt empty when he remembered these times.
Turning a corner, he found himself looking into the face of a bar. It was hooded and quiet for a bar, as though half-deserted in this unwelcome hour. Sunday morning; well, technically. To anyone out so late, it was still Saturday night-not that these people would actually give a damn. Having the strain of thoughts cease for a short period, the tall man meandered inside, looking quietly about the bar. It was just as it should have been; haze was held in the air high above, soft, faded music burning up around him like a fire, and the sting of alcohol burning his nostrils like the residue of coal. This was where he wanted to be. After a quick trip to the bathroom-where Edvard had hurriedly washed his hands and straightened his hair to avoid own reflection in the mirror-the man tolled out, pressing past very few people, needing to at least brush by them to make sure they were real. As he strolled along the way, it occurred to him that all ready he had fallen back into the groove of his previous life. He was browsing, more or less. A man there, a man here... Which one was he-
The thoughts were once more stifled, crushed under the pull that the man had cast on him. Crumpled and young, he was sitting alone at a table far in the shadows of the corner, red-haired head bowed, looking solemnly into his liquor, lips parted. Dressed all in a dishevelled black suit, he curled upon his seat, one leg pulled beneath him, the other bent upon the lower wrung of the chair; it took no genius to see how much pain was crushing down upon this exquisite creature. With a soft sigh, Var's course swerved towards the long expanse of metal table, summoning the barkeep over with a look.
Soon, Edvard had a set of strong drinks in his hands. Falling so expertly into the shadows, the immortal steered towards the aforementioned man, stopping quietly beside his table, waiting to be noticed.
"That seat's taken... Go away.. please."
"Are you sure it's taken, love?" Var smiled understandingly, eyes filled with the same dark void as the ones that met his; simple brown rimmed with green stared up at him, tear tracks prominent upon his paled face. The clink of glass on wood bore on the silence, and then Edvard placed his own drink across from the young man. "What's your name?"
The red-haired boy, who couldn't have been much more than eighteen-yet somehow had a drink in his hand-continued to stare up at the stranger. "It's Ethan... Who are you?" Edvard slowly took the seat, fingertips lacing over each other as they placed themselves upon the table. With an almost fatherly smile, the vampire stated softly, not wanting his voice to rise above the other's choked tone, "I'm Edvard... I brought you a drink."
The youth nodded, lips never considering a smile as the soft fingertips ran over the glass' edge. "Yes, I see it... thanks." The eyes turned instead upon the mentioned drink instead of the newcomer; it's so much easier to focus upon a thing than a person-even though Edvard hardly qualified as that. "Well, Edvard... I hate to break it to you, but I'm really, not in the mood for... whatever you have in mind."
"You mean you aren't in the mood for sob stories... and free drinks? You, might I say, look like you need a few more... And so do I." Var sighed heavily and lifted the glass to his lips, teeth clinking, chattering upon the lip of the container as he took a long swig.
Ethan stared, bloodshot eyes noting the long, pointed nails and the elongated teeth... He wasn't one to believe in fairy-tales, or whatever nonsense this was... but someone to talk to sounded... pleasant. And complete strangers... they couldn't mock you. Not if they were in the same state you were. "Fine. What's your story, sir?" he choked, trying to make the snuffing in his voice sound like a cold instead of the coming on of more dammed tears. The hazel eyes quickly reverted back to staring down the glass that his fingers had wrapped around, Edvard watching with a careful expression upon his face.
"Well... have you ever fucked something up so horribly that there's really not a chance in the world of mending it?"
Var smiled wryly and gave a nod; humans, they thought they experienced everything. "Yes... true... Well... Ethan, that's my story. The story of me ruining a life and breaking a heart in the process... What's yours?" Keeping his face interested, he leaned his chin into his hand. The eldest was going to soak in every word, evoke each tear until it fell, make this man's pain his own, take it from him...
"My... he... he... I went to his funeral today.." the youth began, right hand going to his forehead, rubbing at the edge of his messy orange hair, salty droplets falling silently, supposedly hidden behind that palm.
The letter was written in blood. Simple, beautiful... romantic in the eyes of a deranged monster. The ink had run upon the fridge, the most of the note scrawled into the shape of a large heart, oozing congealed blood until it was yanked from the fridge. Then, it had been meant to see only by close observation, a note was scrawled at the edge of the paper-bottom right-hand corner. If Tyn squinted, he could read the smudged words, "Je vous aimerai, pour toujours. Âme, corps, esprit. -Edvard"
There was that thick, heavy silence about the room, in the whole apartment, was sickening. Like the air on a hot, humid day when even the shade burnt, and there was on way to get comfortable. That was how Tyn felt, stifled and nauseated and hopeless. And then his eyes slid from the blood stained fridge to the crumpled paper in his hand. He pulled it open, staring blankly at it, unseeing, but taking in every detail.
And then, he let it drop, turning and leaving the room and flicking on the TV even before the paper had drifted down to the tiled floor, which was soon reverberating with the heavy baseline of the loudest punk-rock channel he could find. So what if it was only just past 3am? He was landlord; he could do what he liked, if his tenants didn’t like it, that could go fuck themselves over. After all, that’s what Edvard had done to him. Now, the noise pulsing through his home was blocking out all thought, all feelings, and he let himself begin. He pulled off his coat, his shirt, and dumped them on the sofa, moving into the bedroom, and beginning to right the objects Edvard had so callously pushed to the floor, chucking the few broken objects, many just bits of tack he had no feel connection to, onto the bed without feeling. And when that was done, he gathered up the bedsheet, and the sheet underneath, and then the pillowcases, fetching a large bin bag from the kitchen and dumping it all in there. He didn’t want to keep anything that still held Edvard’s scent, any of those memories. He’d get new furniture some other time, maybe ask Lysander to go with him.
While Tyn considered this, he moved back to the lounge, leaning against the back of the sofa to watch a particular music video; he didn’t understand it exactly, but he felt a connection with the anger, and the loss that the song portrayed, the need for revenge. He turned, staring at the blank walls of the room, one still stained with lighter fluid from Edvard’s first night there. Bastard. Utter bastard. And that note, "Love you forever, heart body soul" that was only meant to stir him up more. Tyn caught the sob before it broke from his lips, swallowing it down. That only caused more choking tears to rise in him, and he shook his head angrily. Revenge was good. It was satisfying. Teach Edvard a lesson, if the bastard ever came back. Tyn would not be treated like a toy. He was not, and certainly never would be. He was not some plastic doll to be manipulated and then tossed to one side.
French. In French as well, the educated tosser… Tyn growled against the tears, looking up at the blank wall opposite the front door. Tyn had always wanted to decorate differently… he smirked, although it was cold, and bit down on his fingertips, piercing them, before moving over to the expanse of white wall.
When it was down, he stepped back, feeling dizzy again from the amount of blood his little message had taken, and reached for his jacket, not bothering with the shirt, slipping it on, unfastened, over his torso, and walked out of the door, leaving it open. No one was going to walk into his house uninvited – call it vampire’s privilege. They were never robbed, or short-changed. It was just one of those little perks that came from not having an aura. Humans might not pick up on that consciously, but still they knew not to mess around with these people.
Tyn wandered back down the street, trying to keep the sickness at bay. Dawn was 2 hours away, maybe less. He’d find somewhere to curl up and hide, or he’d just die. Either way worked for him right now.
"Âme, Corps, esprit - libérez toujours"
Edvard stared, eyes filling with that same, empathising pain. It hurt him, broke him inside. As each tear splattered the table-top, he felt his cold heart wrench, aching under the heavy sob he was restraining with such effort. "Oh, Ethan... I... I'm sorry. My condolences... Was he..." the vampire let the sentence fade, wanting the other to fill in the blanks as his pale fingers wrapped the glass tight, eyes still upon the youth.
The boy sighed, lips still parted to suck in gasps of air, nose-tip turning red to contrast with that brilliant orange mat, all messed and drooping into his eyes. "He was my... I don't know what we were, lovers, boyfriends, companions... something like that. He was mine, that's what counted..." came the answer, delayed and gruff. The broken intervals dropped from his mouth to the table, Edvard hearing each word only because of his inhuman senses.
The vampire's lips parted, choking momentarily on the response as the longing for tears caught in his throat before he could push it back down. Shutting his mouth to regroup, he nodded, showing he understood, even as the hazel eyes were turned away from him. Black curls whisped over his collar, distracting him momentarily as he pulled at them. "May I... ask... what happened?"
Ethan nodded, letting one hand rise and rub at his Rudolph imitation of a nose and then scratch at the corners of his eyes, trying to pretend more to himself than anything else that the tears had to be from something besides his agony. "He was.. caught up in a robbery. Went to the convenient store to buy a card and a little batch of flowers, for my birthday, you know... he hadn't been able to get away from work earlier, so he just stopped at the store a few blocks from our apartment..." at this point, he picked up the drink Edvard had brought him, taking it to his lips and nearly draining it; letting the burn linger a moment before he continued. "He was a good man.. a really good man. They-the police-they told me he had been trying to help the cashier, short little fat girl you know, couldn't aim a gun or call the police to save her life... she was, was being held up by a couple of these amateur robbers; real winners, those two. High, drunk, and ready to steal money and smokes from a dollar store rip-off." he shook his head, tears once again pouring down his face. "And... well, he was trying to persuade them that there was no reason, no logic behind what they were doing; and then, after this knock down drag-out with the pair of them, they... they..." Ethan turned his eyes away from Edvard, the glass, his hands, and looked upon the floor, lower lip trembling. "And the girl too! They killed what my poor baby was saving! He died... he died... for nothing! Nothing!" He shook violently and then stared back, defiantly trying to stem the tears, eyes redder than his nose as they caught the golden ones, also bleeding salty droplets at this point.
"Oh, child..." he shook his curled head, face breaking. He couldn't keep it down anymore; all this time, all this harbouring of his agony... Var knew his composure had slipped several times, but nothing like this. Salted diamonds were pouring down his face, Ethan not understanding why this hurt him so. But then the vampire began to explain.
"My lover, or that... that's what I thought we were.... I hurt him-not physically, oh, I would never... I couldn't hurt him, not purposely, not like that..." with his words coming in confused fragments, he stopped, his fingertips tracing his lower lip as he tried regaining what he could of his thoughts. "I left him this evening, or rather... he left me; but it was my fault. I think I... made him stop loving me. In fact, I think... he would hate me if I went back... or he probably all ready does, since I wasn't there when he got back..." Edvard's words died off, eyes locked upon Ethan's, who was guzzling his drink and had just taken Edvard's from his hand, face still slack, ears intent upon the story. Someone else's grieving was like harmony, music to his ears. He wasn't alone in his agony.
"So, are you saying... that you won't go back?"
"I don't think I should... or at least, not yet. He wouldn't know how to take it, I'm afraid... and I don't know if I could face him."
"I would go back in a second. A moment. Anything to have someone to hold me. My poor darling..." the orange strands clumped and shook across the paled forehead. There were so few tears left to shed.
The vampire's fingertips smoothed across the polished black wood of the table, consolingly patting the hand resting upon the glass as those few tears began to fall, making their last trip down those reddened cheeks. Ethan cried then, soft sobs coming in his chest, making him look away, even as Var whispered encouragement to him in the shadows; he could only make soft murmuring sounds, having no words to give.
When the weeping ceased, there was silence between the two men for a long time, a silence that they both understood. It was one in which they were both trying to sew up their wounds, shield their hurt from the rest of the world and try to fake their courage. It was life, and the after-life.
"Come home with me." Ethan muttered in coarse tones, pushing his glass aside and taking the pale, cold hand. "You don't have to.. do anything... just come with me, for a little while... You're so cold... like Death; and maybe, if you come home with me, you can pretend we didn't have this talk, and take me to my lover. Sweet Death, come home with me." the young man managed a soft smile, that cool, dead hand being squeezed beneath his fingers. He wasn't so dull to see this was not a man, but something less... something more. He had said Edvard was the embodiment of death; maybe he was.
The vampire smiled, softly nodding his head. That slow turn of lips was forced, pained in every aspect... but he would accept. He would be the doll for this youth, be his pretend lover for a while, just one night, the first night...
It wasn't long before they had arrived in a classy, upper-scale apartment. There was plush red carpet beneath their feet in the halls that faded into gray when Ethan opened the door to apartment number 8. As Ethan flicked on the hall light, they both stepped inside, Var following, locking the door behind him. There had been no words said since that request at the bar; not one coaxing, gentle word. Just steely silence, each of them lost in their own thoughts too personal for each other. "Drink?" Ethan called, breaking off into the left doorway, the one to the kitchen.
"The livingroom is to the right," Edvard had all ready noticed this, but said nothing. "The bathroom is to the right in that little hallway there," he had seen this too. "And the bedroom is to the left. That door that veers past the couch there..." this was all stated in the flatest of tones, the dulled movements of the young man laboured by his muted suffering. Edvard nodded silently, waiting upon his 5'5" guide to pull him back to the bedroom where they could collapse right before dawn.
"What was his name?" the vampire asked, milling about the plush-furnished livingroom, eyeing the little coffee tables overflowing with books and picture frames, eyebrows raising at their leather furniture which must have cost a mint before they returned back to pay more attention to the contents of the frames.
Tyn had kicked off his shoes almost half an hour ago, tying the laces of the sneakers together, letting them hang over his shoulder as he wandered down the dirty streets, unheeding on the broken glass and other rubbish that cut his feet. The numbness in those extremities prevented him feeling even the worst of hurts; a numbness caused by the cold, and the dwindling quantity and quality of the blood in his veins. That guy must have been on something. Something not-nice, because Tyn was feeling sick. He’d felt sick back at the apartment, but it had grown since then, and now his head and lungs were effected, changing his breathing patterns and playing with his sinuses.
Every other step, he would turn, looking around, imagining that he had heard someone call him, but there was no one. He was going mad. Or maybe the gods had finally decided to seek revenge on him for all the lives he had ended, just to keep his own body going, going and going without giving anything back to the world. What A Selfish Creature, he could hear them saying as he stood before them, naked as a baby and without anything to hide the shame heavy in his chest. He could hear their laughter at his expense growing quieter and quieter, and the roar of flames becoming constant as he slipped down into hell, the deepest pit, where he would suffer with Judas the betrayer, and Tyn would take that title too, for betraying his love, for abandoning him.
His eyes were burning, not only the one eye that remained, darting around the dark highway, but the relics of it’s twin, the empty socket hot and uncomfortable. And not with tears, as he had first supposed. Once, twice, he caught himself trying to scratch at that still sensitive flesh, but stopped, reaching into his jacket pocket to pull out his wallet, and then looking about him as he walked. There would be someplace, somewhere that would sell him what he wanted, that would be open this early...
It was only half an hour to dawn when he stepped out the dark, crammed shop, run by a small, thin woman, dressed in a long black dress with fine, net sleeves. Her skin was paled with powder and her hair dyed black and pink. It was a specialist shop, she said. Dealing with societies forgotten. She sounded so fake, but Tyn smiled. These Goths, these wannabe-undead, they were cute. Foolish, but cute, especially when you were looking back at them from the otherside of the fence. Clearing his dulled, fogged and wandering mind, he let the door close behind him, and then, carefully, brought the fabric up, tying it behind his head when the patch sat comfortably over that blind side. It was wine-red, and soft, velvety to the touch, and he bought it, although he wouldn’t admit it, because it reminded him of Var; the shirt he had worn and that had been ripped and the way his hair felt, so pleasing to the touch. Tyn wouldn’t admit that, not yet. He was still angry. The damn light through the gaps in buildings angered him. He was on the outskirts of the town centre now, a place that within a few short hours, would be crawling with shoppers and commuters.
There was no where he could go, and it was too late to head back, even though he had no where now he would willingly head back to. He found an alleyway, narrow and dark, and hopefully, one humans would not venture down for the next 12 hours. He felt too sick, too… frightened to look for anywhere else, even though there must have been a hotel around somewhere he could have found, there was no time. He was ready to collapse, and the light was already filtering over the pavement.
He pulled his jacket tight around his bare chest, and fastened it, before sliding into a dank corner of the filthy darkness, and letting himself slump to the door, bringing his knees up to his chest and hugging them, trying to hide himself from the beginnings of the day as he fell asleep. It wasn’t a quiet sleep, or a peaceful one, full of confusion; innocent and macabre, demented and deranged and focus-less. He would wake, never to remember them, but as he slept, there was no freedom.
It was perhaps an hour before midday, when the hem of a long, white skirt brushed the bins that lined the alleyway, the wearer pausing as she knelt in front of the still, literally dead body. Reaching out to tip his head back, and then running her well-kept fingers over the fabric of the patch, she sighed, before gently, easily, lifting the body up, as if it was no more then a child, and moving him away, taking him back into deeper shadows, and into safety.
It was mortals that linked mothers and offspring so powerfully, with so much mysticism; something to do with dependence and the need for protection in their early years. But for this woman, who had never borne her own child, had the strongest connection to this limp corpse in her arms; her son, her responsibility. She had left him alone for far, far too long, and although she had always kept watch over him, she had never interfered. Now it was time to, time to save him before he did more damage to himself. Stupid boy. He had always had a flair for dramatics. But his temper-tantrums had never escalated to this self-harm before.
There had never been cause for Tyn to hurt himself before. Ever. He had always been so… unenthusiastic and cold about everything. Perhaps this… Edvard was the one. Even if he was male, and worse, French (she shuddered, unable to control that most natural reaction), that man had caused his pain and destruction to take root so quickly in her son, and he was to be blamed. She would see to that, unless he would fix what he had broken.
If he were the one Tyn wanted, and the one who wanted Tyn, he’d go back to that little penthouse. And even if he wasn’t, he might come back, for curiosities-, or decency’s sake. And then she would give him a piece of her mind. She smiled to herself, walking out of the misted shadows and into a very… neat bedroom. Plain, but nice. Well-kept, and with the bed-stripped of linen. Trust Tyn to make her after-life difficult. She moved out of the room, into the… well, it certainly wasn’t a parlour. Or any sort of reception room, but it looked like that was what it had been used for, even if the floor was now littered with the contents of a black bin-liner, which had tipped over as some point. She sighed, pulling the bedding from it, and then taking it back to the room, making the bed and then moving to reclaim her son from the sofa, pulling him out of the leather coat and tatty jeans, and then covering him in the blankets. Poor little thing. He needed his sleep.
She left him there, busying herself about his home, tidying, cleaning, nosing into his cupboards and draws and then to the wardrobe, fingering the hat box that she remembered vaguely from years ago, before shutting the door. This… Edvard. She had picked up his name from Tyn’s thoughts over the last few days, that and a few other odd details about him, but nothing more. She wasn’t going to pry into the helpless boy’s unconscious, just to satisfy herself about this unknown man. He would come, and introduce himself, and then she would know. Mothers always knew, it was something that just… happened. When you became a mother, you got powers. Hers were only… stronger.
Lady Rosalind of Cleeves stood pondering this as she faced the blood smeared wall, one arm folded over her chest and the elbow of the other resting on that, holding her shapely chin as her hair, as blonde as Tyn’s natural colour, fell from the ponytail, into her eyes. She sighed then, choosing to the leave words just as they were, even if it was French, and therefore heathen, making herself tea and settling back to wait. She knew it might be a long one.
"Elliot." Var echoed, the soft scuttling of human movement lost on him as his hand fell upon one of the frames, tips tracing one of the edgings done in silvery ivy-vines. They curled so decoratively, protectively about the picture in its care; it was winter, and two figures were dressed again the cold. Two maroon sweaters thick and heavy over both of the bodies made them stand out against the cold. There was his Ethan... and Elliot. A fine looking man, Edvard thought as his unenthusiastic brain waves merely shuddered. He must have been tall, 6'1" or so, from the looks of it, with his arm around Ethan, head tilted towards that red hair, neck muscles twisting to press a kiss there as dirt-brown curls fell into his eyes and over his glasses. Very business like, it would seem, as the golden orbs drifted away from the first picture to a herd of them in shabbier frames, mostly with Elliot posing in his business suit to receive some award or whatnot, his blue eyes all ways looking so sincere. Of course, there were pictures of Ethan too, but most of them were scattered among other tables over the room.
Somehow, Ethan had slipped up behind him, eyes shiny as he stared past Edvard at the pictures, face slack. God only knows what he was seeing at that point in for it surely wasn't the prints of their likeness holding his attention. Slowly, the immortal turned his face around, glancing down at Ethan, stock still, lips still apart to gather air. "Ethan.." he murmered quietly, hand reaching out to take that one that seemed nearly as cold as his own. With a start, the boy blinked, eyes turning upon Var as though he just realised he was there.
"Elliot..." came back the words, hazel eyes unfocused probably by choice, or maybe by a helping hand that Var could smell ghosting over that soft voice. Just how much liquor could this.. this... /child/ take? It was not... Edvard's concern. "Come to bed, I'm tired... Horribly tired." That hand, frozen in an outward grasp since Ethan had spoken, was now clutched, his side suddenly warmed as they moved forwards and around the corner to the bedroom. "You didn't... wear any of the cologne I bought you..." the young man uttered, more to himself than Edvard, or rather, 'Elliot'. Once they reached the bedroom, the vampire was temporarily loosed, just long enough for Ethan to dispose of his shirt and slacks, watching them crumple upon the floor from the safe haven of his Elliot's arms. Var held him carefully, fingertips messing that orange-clumped hair, nose nuzzling into it. Then, he was limply pulled to the maroon-comforter clad bed, one pale arm grappling the coverings and pulling them back, Ethan's body following, Edvard gently folding up behind him, his small charge nuzzling his back into the now shirtless chest, hands holding the ones that wrapped strong arms over his chest. The vampire craned his neck, letting his curls cushion his cheek, eyes resting upon the back of the youth's head, wondering what sort of emotion resided upon the other's face. "Oh, how wonderful this is..." Var thought he heard Ethan mutter, not sure if the words had been real in the imposing silence.
"Sleep well, Ethan." Var replied to the uncertain words, a kiss to the hair running a shiver through the frail little body in front of him.
"Yes, my love, sleep well..."
Morning came... and with it the promised rain that had floated on the air the evening before. Dawn had barely broken when the cold slate clouds hovered and clustered into the sky, heavy thunderheads commanding the heavens to break with the first burst of restless thunder. The blacktop and concrete of the city was splattered with cool raindrops; a Sunday morning rain. Most of the more intelligent people had stayed in, watching the droplets plaster their windows, those who had smelled country rain longing for the scent once again. Rain in the city is tainted, impure like that that forms over grass fields and falls upon the earth instead of that man-made black covering. However, the sounds and sights are the same; thunder broke, lightening striking every now and then through the sky, rain pelting down relentlessly. It was this noise, plinking so loudly upon the window pane, that awoke Edvard from his anxious dreams. He had his arms still wrapped around... a body. Shivering with an effort that knew it wasn't worth it, Var helplessly called out the name. "Ethan?" He had known there would be no reply to his desperate, grating requests... but he had not expected the effect it took upon him. It was then, sitting up and scooting away from the still form, that he began to mourn the loss. A life he had known but four hours, nearly five, was causing him the most pain he could recall. Sitting with his legs crossed, his eyes fixed upon the back of that still, cold shape huddled beneath the sheets, sobs escaping him so pitifully that he forgot everything, only able to concentrate upon this agony filling his insides. Weeping like a child, he continued to stare.
The medical examination that would soon take place would be unimportant. A coroner was going to declare the death a simple, quiet suicide aided by alcohol and an overdose of sleeping pills. This, however, would be most unimportant to the lovers, the romantics, the philosophers... they would proclaim his death for what it /really/ was, death by heartbreak. A tortured soul torn to pieces by the greatest loss ever known to it; the loss of love. In a heart so drenched with the emotion to cover its darkened, dried fibres of before, the lack of it would be fatal. Of course, logic would say that love is a chemical imbalance, aided in this case by a long history of mental illness and depression... Edvard decided that he preferred the latter, only because it was too hard to swallow that love could cause such an untimely death.
A truly broken man, he strode onwards through the pelting rain, feeling the droplets sting his eyes as he bowed his head, wind pressing hard against his front, making the stolen coat flutter gently as it brushed back his curls and let them unfurl in the wind. Damp as they were, they still held that feather-lite ability to flutter on the slightest of breezes; this time they were only hampered by the black plastic band over his head that lead each end to an ear now covered with a padded speaker. The sadest of things was flowing freely into his mind-static. He had let the headset-radio rest, unable to find a station to convey his emotions so clearly as the fuzz he heard now. Confusion.
Turning the corner, the man was slapped back, wind shifting again to cut into his half-covered chest, making him ache all over, even as he trudged onwards. Vaguely, he wondered what Tyn would be doing now... Sleeping, he supposed, it being at least noon.
Still asleep, the man shifted, only to be closer to the warmth he felt all around him, the soft covering of cotton rubbing at his thighs and backside, gentle fingers still cradling his back. Dreaming of nothing but darkness, Casper twisted in the grip, his nose bumping coarse hair-Lysander's chin. Licking his lips, the youth let his eye flutter, waking slightly. Yet, as soon as his eyes broke the darkness, he quickly shut them again, a searing pain burning up his spine and cutting across his forehead. Oh, gods! What agony! Cringing faintly, he merely settled to staying pained but warm, shut up in darkness as every droplet upon the window not so far off grated upon his mind, still unable to rightly place his current position. It had to be some time past nine, he was certain; an internal sort of clock told him that. He /never/ slept this late, unless, of course, with the rare hang-over he got... or now, with a new exception-'fatigue from lover'... or maybe it would be better to call it, 'content in his arms'. Whatever the case, he wasn't about to dare moving, so he stayed there, willing himself back into groggy sleep.
Var stepped inside, shifting his head and letting his curls drip upon the floor before lifting a set of pale hands, wringing the water from them. He eyed the stairs, lips set in a faint pink line, eyebrows sagging like everything else. Cold rain can dampen the spirits like nothing else. Edvard was certain of that. Making slow, hard work of climbing to Tyn's room, the vampire realised subconsciously what he was doing -stalling. He was making time, unable, unready to see the young man. Of course, the immortal expected the worse, a screaming fit, a slap, rejection, hate in short. All he wished for, though, was that the door would be unlocked, and Tyn would be sleeping. At least then, Var could pretend that the young man loved him.
Then he was there, down the hall, looking at the closed door. It seemed like years in a moment as he strode the corridor, resting his knuckles upon the doorframe and giving a soft knock. The faintest voice calling, "Tyn? Are you home?" Var did not expect to be heard, and listened intently for noise, ready to go inside anyway.
The brown-haired man shifted in reply to Kris’ soft, barely awake noises, his grip loosening on the soft, bare skin as from his own lips broke a small sigh, a faint, but audible groan. It was morning, he knew, why else would he be awake? He lay still, blue eyes veiled from the world as his fingers slipped from the other man’s back, letting Lysander roll over, facing the ceiling as it all came back to him. The cheesecake, the park, climbing a tree… and then home. Rosa wine. On the sofa… he gave another groan, letting his fogged eyes flicker open and his head turn, watching the other’s gentle breathing. He should have remembered to take his contacts out, but it was of no matter now.
Kris, Casper, had stayed. More to the point, he had enjoyed it, or so it had seemed to Lysander. Even so, before they had both been nervous. More then that. Frightened, of going too far, of each other, but now… it felt like those walls had come down, at there was nothing between them but their own skin. And there hadn’t even been that, a few short hours ago. He allowed himself a smile, a happy, satisfied grin, and shifted back towards Kris, wrapping both arms around him as their chests pressed together, adjusting his breathing to come in time with the relaxed inhalations of his lover. Let them both sleep a little longer in the little bubble of peace. God knew it probably wouldn’t last many more hours, if that, but it was Sunday, and Lysander was not going to deny himself a slice of happiness.
She leant forwards, setting the porcelain cup down on it’s matching saucer, and then setting that down on the coffee table in front of her. "I think you had better come in." Standing, the boy’s mother brushed off her skirts, turning to look at the damp, saddened face of… well, it would be Edvard, wouldn’t it. It had to be. The tone, the way he stood, the way his fingers were curled around the door. He was coming back home, to Tyn’s home. Her hands brushed again at her hips, her brown eyes flickering from the man’s hands to his face again, resting there as she stepped forwards. "That coat. It’s dripping all over the floor. Take it off, and give it to me." With one hand outstretched to take the sodden garment, the other moved to the door, shutting it behind this as yet unnamed visitor.
He was handsome, in a way. More pretty, feminine then she had expected. But Tyn had never, ever shown any interest in men, other then what was natural for a growing boy. So perhaps… well, this… man... was only a fad. That would be forgivable. "Get yourself a drink. I’m sure you know where everything is kept. Then sit down. I want a word with you." She moved from the living room into the bedroom, and through to the bathroom, hanging it up in the shower to drip-dry, before moving back to the living room, careful to shut the door as not to disturb the still sleeping youth, curled in on himself and wrapped tightly in the blankets.
"You are my son’s lover, I take it?" She asked, holding out her hand as she stepped back into the room, blonde head held high and proud, and arrogant, her back turned to the bloodstained wall. "You may call me Rosalind. If you are staying. If not, you won’t be needing you call me anything, and you can get out of this house." She sat down then, pulling her teacup towards her and sipping at the cooling liquid, watching him carefully. "I’m not going to wake him up. He’s suffered a lot lately, and I would like to know why. And how you came to be here."
Lysander pulled away again, carefully, half an hour later, lips brushing Kris’ shoulder as he unwound himself from the bedding that had twisted around his limbs, pulling on a pair of dark pyjama bottoms to cover his nakedness. He moved through his cluttered apartment, into the kitchen where he began to make some sort of breakfast, although not knowing what Kris liked or wanted did hinder that plan a little. But the kettle was on, there was food in the fridge, there was oranges and grapefruit and toast and jam and almost everything else that could come together to create a satisfactory breakfast. Pouring himself a coffee, he heading back to his occupied room, sitting on the edge of the bed and stroking through Kris’ short messy hair as he swallowed a mouthful of the scalding liquid. "Kris love, I’m making some breakfast. What do you want?" Although now it was going to be more of brunch then breakfast, it would do. He didn’t want his new-found lover running off thinking he was late or had over-stayed his welcome.
Without a word, Edvard obeyed, stripping off his coat, too appalled by the unexpected meeting here, in his /lover's/ apartment, to disobey. Standing stock still, the door still open, the coat was handed over, eyes moving dully from the rather haughty, and yet beautiful woman's face to the dampened carpet, and then onwards to the wall, so appealing to the vampiric sense that he could not overlook it. With his mind as sodden as his clothes, he swayed, brain slow to take in even his native language. "Âme, Corps, esprit... Libérez toujours..." he read, mouth barely moving to form the words. "Oh, my Tyn..." the man murmured, shamed eyes flickering away from the wall once again, Rosa appearing from the bedroom before he could catch a snatch of Tyn, wound up in the bed coverings. Hearing the words and the so called introduction, he could not even muster a hint of passionate emotions; even the ones so usual for him as sarcasm and disdain. "I want nothing to drink, Rosalind." Edvard replied, not caring to answer the first question-it was all he could give of his defiant nature.
He turned his head, lips pushing back together from their parted state as he moved, fluidly to the couch, collapsing back into it. His eyes followed the mother, knees crossing placidly, the paled plum bags beneath his eyes seeming to darken as she moved closer, as more questions reached his ears. "You are... very fast to question me... without complete, proper introductions upon both parts, Rosalind." he replied flatly a few minutes after the tirade of words ceased, leaving silence thick in the room. "Do you suppose, that bleach will take the blood from the walls?" Var implied after another long silence, his mind back upon the wall. He didn't dare ask about Tyn yet, not wanting to hear those hurtful words pouring from her full lips in that accusing tone her proud manner promised to him. "Not to be rude, however, I'm sure that's how you will take it, I didn't really come back to be questioned by some woman that I don't even know... Especially if she's the one that left Tyn all alone..." with those quiet words, he was sure to strike a nerve, even though he had just sat down, even though he wanted to stay... even though he didn't want to come off as a prick in the first few minutes; however, he couldn't help it. Even in his confused pain, he was still an ass, through and through.
Trying to smooth over his words, he carefully let his fingers move over his sodden trousers, rubbing faintly at the wet fabric. "May I use a towel?" Edvard said softly, his dulled eyes moving to meet Rosalind's for the first time he had entered the apartment. Maybe, through those cold words, she would care he was hurting too... But he doubted it; a mother in the wild cares nothing of an orphan when she has her own offspring to worry with.
Kris shifted and curled up, knees to his chest, arms grappling at the quickly cooling sheets at his side. His warmth had moved, gone away. Oh god, where had it departed to? The hazed, stinging eyes fluttered open as the sounds of movement in another room sounded quietly, the routine noise of coffee being made heard in the young man's ears for the first time in what seemed to be /ages/. Then, he remembered where he was- completely, that was. He was in Lysander's bed. He had just been wrapped in Lysander's arms, and now he was rolled up in Lysander's sheets... Slowly, he lifted his head as the aforementioned man sat upon the bedside, fingertips running through his hair as Kris shut his eyes again, frontal lobe of his brain pulsating. "Breakfast?" he uttered, letting his emerald eyes cast over the room and land upon the other's face.
He gave a smile, small and soft and pleased. He wasn't being cast out, questioned for the reason he was still in this beautiful, wonderful, kind creature's bed. Carefully, he rose up, getting upon his elbows and letting his face fall carefully into the curve of the man's chest, eyes still caught on the soft blue ones. "Anything... as long as it comes with Ibuprofen." Casper replied lips dry and yet still gentle as they kissed the skin before them. "What time is it?" His worries of the night before were still lost upon him, too tired, too pained to give another thought to the consequences, if there were still to be any.
Her expression didn’t change as she once again stood up from her chair, leaving the room and reaching him one of the large, cream towels, warmed on the radiator in the bedroom, moving back out and passing it over wordlessly. "I don’t think you should be the one commenting on leaving him all alone, should you? I mean…" she gestured back towards the bloody slogan. "I left him a small fortune to do with as he wanted. He’s never been short of anything. I provided for him…" she smiled, coldly. "And I went looking for him. Do you know where I found him? Sitting in an alley. In the middle of the day, sunlight streaming in. he would have died. I don’t know what you were doing. Would you like to share?" She asked, sitting back down, and resting her hands on her knees. "In fact, I don’t want an explanation from you. Not until Tyn is awake. I’m sure you’d rather not repeat yourself, would you, Monsieur?" she glanced over her shoulder, still smiling at the words. "I rather like it. But I think it is up to him whether he redecorates or not, don’t you? This isn’t your home, is it? Have you put anything into it? Helped Tyn in any way, or just sponged off him?" She stood suddenly, carrying her cold tea back into the kitchen. "There’s plenty of people who would. I’m no fool, but Tyn is, in some matters. He doesn’t see what is in front of his face, or he reads too deeply into things. I want to know what you want from him. Don’t I have the right to know that, at least? He is my son. And underage."
Lysander laughed softly, setting down his cup to coil his arms around Kris’ body, pressing a kiss to the younger man’s forehead, before slipping off the mattress. "I’ll bring you some. I didn’t mean for you to get drunk…" he sipped at the black liquid and moved back to the kitchen, returning a second later with a glass full of water and a box of the small white pills, setting back down on the edge of the bed as he handed the glass over, and then separated out two tablets from the wrapping. "If you aren’t feeling well, perhaps you shouldn’t eat for a while. Might be better if your stomach settles down before you fill it up again, don’t you think?" he asked softly, handing the pills over. "I wasn’t going to have much anyway, and I’m sure it can wait a little longer. You can get a shower if you want, before then. It’s just through there… or you ca sleep a little more. Or whatever you feel like, love." He smiled, leaning in for another slow, lazy kiss, fingers curled around Kris’ back and holding him steady, and then letting him go, but their faces remained close, Zan’s lips ghosting over his lover’s cheek as he breathed, and then moving over the man’s jaw to nip at the pierced ear. "You’ll spend today with me, won’t you, Kris? I want… to spend time with you. Properly. Now that we’re…"
"You must think I’m horrible. To be perfectly honest, think what you like about me. First impressions are so important, after all. But I want to know all about you. Everything. And if there is one thing, one tiny part of you that fails to impress me, I’ll be taking Tyn away from you. From here. And you won’t be seeing him again. So you’d better hope you come up to scratch, Edvard."
He couldn't keep himself from smiling as he took his feet, the towel slowly rubbing over the wet fabrics of his clothes, eyeing the woman with a scrutinising sort of expression. "Had I?" his lips moved ever so slightly. He didn't want to explain himself, he didn't... need to. She was right; surely, not in every aspect, but she was correct. Edvard was nothing more than a parasite-not that this was making him feel in better, something inside him still lamenting Ethan's death, a part of him questioning the coroner's supposed prediction. Turning on his heel, he moved, the towel laid over his shoulders, feet carrying him to the kitchen to pour himself a cup of tea. Subconsciously, he brushed off the feminine, aristocratic want to use that fine porcelain cup that was sitting, waiting for him in the cabinet and instead pulled out a heavy, tacky mug, pouring the liquid in there and watching the heat wreath up from it. Turning and letting his hips rest against the cold edge of the counter, his hands held the mug, letting it lift nonchalantly to his lips. It was hours away before Tyn would even consider rising from his sleep. Why not just go ahead and make small talk?
Kris gave a slow nod, eyes still feeling like hot coals as he rubbed at them with the heels of his hands, grinning against the skin of Lysander's chest. "Spend the day with you? Why.. I wouldn't have it any other way..." he unceremoniously broke their closeness, straightening his back as he took the offered glass and tabs, swallowing them down hurriedly, ready for relief from that burning ache. "Tell me," Kris began slowly, letting his chin rest upon the curved muscles of Lysander's shoulder, eyes fluttering shut as he took in deep breaths of the other. "What is it that you would like to do on a rainy day?" The hands holding his back were loosened, and then pressed back into as Kris shifted, grabbing up the covers and setting them over his lap as they had began to fall away.
"You sit there, accusing me. You might have been, and perhaps still are, a good mother-you are here, and that does count for something. Yet, you gave Tyn something that maybe he didn't want... Don't you think? Eternity is a very big responsibility." he took a long, scalding drag at the drink, face forcing into that lax, cold stare he had, ready-made for his countenance, one that had been practised for centuries. He had no intentions of sharing anything about himself. "And, since you are so keen upon ripping my story to pieces, let me at least try and defend one bit of it; he left first. Apparently, he did not want to be found... But that isn't important right now. Is he all right? Besides, of course, the obvious?" Var was staring at the opposing wall of the kitchen, not wanting to be judged from the livingroom, not wanting to meet those eyes. "And you never answered my question... Do you think that bleach will clean off the walls, Madame?"
"It needs repainting." She muttered.
"On a rainy day?" He repeated, picking up his own cup again, eyes blinking and unfocused as he thought about the question. "I’ve never really had any reason to do anything on rainy days before. Or rather, no one to do anything with…" he smiled, taking another long sip, before setting the china back down on the bedside table. "But… I don’t mind taking you out somewhere. To a restaurant or whatever, wherever you want to go. Or… we could stay in." he leant forwards, pressing his lips to the lowest bare skin on Kris’ abdomen, his blue eyes fixed on the other’s face. "You tell me what you’d like. Anything would be good. Brilliant, even. Just name it. We can go anywhere, do anything. Anything you want."
Rosalind was more then glad the kitchen wall hid her expression, at least, until she managed to fight off the look of pained despair. "If you think I would do that to my own son, then you are a very bad judge of character, Edvard." She said, almost snarling, before remembering herself. "I was already gone by the time I had found out. There was nothing I could do for him, and nothing he could have wanted me to do. I gave him the means to live comfortably. I gave him the inheritance he had always been promised. I did all I could for him, and I still am." She sighed softly, standing and moving to the bedroom door, pushing it open and looking in at the sleeping figure as she leant against the wooden frame. "I don’t know when he’s going to wake up. He was shivering before, and he looked so pale… I don’t know how long he’d been out there and…" she stopped, turning suddenly and marching into the kitchen. "If you tell me nothing else, tell me how he lost his eye. I deserve that, for all the worrying I’ve done."
Lysander stood, finishing his coffee and moving back into the kitchen, and then back again. "So…do you have any ideas or plans? I’m up for absolutely anything." He sat back down, legs crossed, as he lent his elbows on his knees. "I don’t normally give myself days off. Or even… have interesting people to share them with… never interesting and beautiful people. So… I want to make the best of the day, alright? Tell me what we should do."
She leant back against the opposite worksurface, and looked at him, her eyes only meeting his briefly before moving away, not looking at him again. "I’m trying to do the best for my son, you understand that, don’t you? What would you do, if you were me? Just let him carry on, let him kill himself over… over… a Frenchman? That isn’t right. No one who loved him would let him do something as stupid as that. If he loves you, then you better love him back. Or care for him, at least, because now you’re here, you aren’t leaving. Not till Tyn is ready to let you go, if he ever is."
"You would keep me captive like that?" Edvard was becoming more amused by the moment. As has been stated, the man was easily amused; why, he would find something just curious enough about a situation to let his lips curl back and offer himself a small smile even if he was sitting with one arm removed in a lion's den. Hey, what could he say? After so many years, you either break or bend. Turning his hands over the half-empty mug, he looked Rosalind up and down, eyes twinkling. He wasn't smiling, for he still had decency... but you could see that cold laughter in his eyes as they stopped back on hers, averted from his own. "And my dear Lady Rosalind, I have been accused before of being a horrid judge of character... your allegations do little to surprise me." Var was going to let the question hang as he moved, slowly turning around to make himself another cup of tea, attention still snagged upon the open cabinet, those perfectly delicate little porcelain cups calling his name.
"Why don't I fix a pot of coffee? Will you drink a cup?" Himself, he hated coffee, too bitter-even more so than his tea. Yet, it wasn't for him, this black-ground concoction; this was for Tyn... He knew his little lover disliked Var's precious tea.
"Mmm... I'm afraid I'm a boring person, you know. I don't get out and do things very often either... But I'll tell you what I'd like to do..." Kris lifted his hand, fingers running through the lofty clumps of messed brown hair, lips pulled back into a small smile as the medication slowly began to work its magic. "Have you ever just sat, and watched the rain?" he looked like a child, eyes all lit up, pink lips grinning as he tilted that cute little face to the side, staring straight at Lysander. He shifted, turning himself around and laying back against the folded legs, pulling the other man's arms around his chest, his head leaning back against Zan's collar bone. "Do you have a radio, Lysander?"
With the speed of a sedated sloth, the vampire moved about the kitchen, not waiting for an answer to the question about coffee. If this lady wanted some coffee, then so be it. If she didn't, well.... Var smiled, indulging in his momentary thought, and then he frowned again. This was most certainly no time for smiles. "I think, that perhaps you should ask him about his eye. I do not mean to be so insubordinate with you, Rosalind... But I'm not sure he'd want me telling the tale. However, I'll give it to you in short that that eye was for me." when the words came, whatever shame the vampire had been harbouring multiplied, ten-fold. Suddenly, he /was/ the bad guy. Just a terrible, terrible man intruding upon a family crisis in which he was the antagonist. Then, at the moment, he found he couldn't turn to meet the woman's eyes like he had before; so, to keep himself busy, he continued making the coffee. The filters, the ground beans, the water... It was all just a monotonous process at that point in time, his ears waiting for that mother's judgement. He even forgot to argue about the repainting of the walls and the bleach predicament.
"For you." The words were repeated softly, not angrily, or with any readable emotion. It was a plain fact, even if it was distasteful, her eyes still diverted from Edvard, now gazing out the rectangular window, streaked with rain, and it looked almost as if the world outside was weeping. And the world had the right to weep, for all the abuse it was suffering. "He lost it for you. I see. I suppose he knew who you were, then? It was not just…" her hand moved, waving away some thought, or perhaps trying to reel it in. "some sort of heroic act to a stranger? He was trying to impress you, knowing him…" Rosa sighed, softly, and once again leant back, falling silent and letting it press in around her like an invisible landslide.
Lysander smiled happily, leaning his head down to press another kiss to Kris’ forehead, his fingers idly stroking over the soft skin of the young man’s chest, the short, black hair tickling his own torso. "I do. Would you like that then? To sit and watch the rain?" As he spoke, his lips brushed over the dark sideburns, teasing the skin with the tip of his nose, before planting a kiss there, almost in payment. "I can’t say that… that I’ve watched the rain since I was little. My sister and I used to watch it fall down the car windows, and bet on which drop would reach the bottom first…" his voice stopped, smiling again against the warm cheek. "I think that’s what we should do, if you want. But before then…" his fingers moved, gently running down Kris’ sides, tickling and stroking, until they folded again over his stomach. "You are going to have something to eat. I can’t let you starve, can I?"
"A coffee would be… most welcome. Thank you, Edvard." She said in that same tone, a cold, distant and somewhat miserable whisper, as her eyes turned from the window to watch him. He was effeminate, almost graceful in the laboured, slow movements, doing an almost unnecessary task to distract his mind away from… whatever pressed down so hard upon it. His aura was that of a drowning man, a one too tired to even try to save himself. She could only hazard guesses about the cause, but perhaps part of the cause was Tyn, and whatever had passed between them. Rosa’s lips pressed more tightly together, holding back that question, swallowing it back down. She was not going to ask, because she would get details she didn’t want to hear. Tyn was still a child, in her eyes, and not capable of… adult relationships. Especially with a man. What was her little boy thinking?
"Come on, love. Breakfast, now." He said, gentling easing Kris up, and folding the blankets around him like some sort of attentive parent. "The bathroom is over there. You can steal some clothes off me, if you want, for today. They’ll be a little big on you but…" he smiled, kissing the other’s lips chastely, "I’m sure for one day, you can forego being the height of style, can’t you? And come have breakfast with me. Then we can squander away the rest of the day. What about that, hmm?"