[M] Call Your Name

Lars gets tired of his old roommate watching from a distance.

Anaxas' oldest and most prestigious University of Sorcery, the de facto cultural capital of the kingdom and a city in its own right.
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Lars
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 24
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
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Writer: fermin
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Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:23 pm

THE LAUNDRIES
OPHUS 14, 2718 IN THE EVENING
Image
He could feel eyes on him, curious emerald orbs burning through the back of his head as he worked. It wasn't that uncommon of a feeling when he was put on the same shifts as Clover; for the past... almost seven years now, he'd dealt with the older woman's gazes, dealt with the idle conversations, dealt with the delusions and fantasies that he'd finally allowed to live a few nights prior. Ever since her arrival, she had been put to work on the same late shifts as himself, and he'd gotten used to her presence, as irritating as it might've been.

He could count the amount of times that he'd actually enjoyed being around her on one hand. Still, she was a loyal one, a truly devoted woman to the Hessean - he had been her first friend in Brunnhold, first friend in the world really, and despite the injustices he'd backhanded into her in the years since their meeting, she had never seemed to care. She always... ignored it, as if she thought that it was all a ruse; all an attempt to disguise some deeply-buried love for her.

She could think what she wanted. Lars turned his head, allowing his eyes to fall upon her form for only a moment, gracing her with the subtlest of smiles.

"We can't let anyone know about us, Clover. They'll break us apart."

Clover was quick to return the smile, her face dusted pink as she looked down into the steaming water, back to her work. Lars did the same, his hands reddened from the heat, face a pale cloud in comparison to the auburn-haired woman's behind him. She wasn't his concern at the moment, not a major one at least, and there were far more important things to tend to while he had the chance.

The blonde by the door, for example. He wondered if he thought he was invisible over there, entering the laundries and sticking to himself, getting straight to work like a proper servant. It was a ridiculous sight, but then again, all he'd seen of him had been more of the same lately - he was someone's assistant now, wasn't he?

Wasn't that nice and cushy. Lars didn't bother to look over, didn't bother lifting his head when he already knew he was there - he'd grown rather accustomed to the younger being nearby, even when he wasn't supposed to be. He found it both unsettling and charming all at once, to have a follower. The man had spent over a decade being invisible to all but a few, and it was a strangely pleasant feeling to have an audience.

He continued working for a bit; letting his hands fall back into the routine, his eyes downcast, thoughts leaning toward the impulsive a bit more than usual. Speaking with his old roommate could go many ways, and he wasn't entirely sure what outcome would be the best - he suspected the younger wasn't planning on continuing their last encounter in Dentis, but his reaction was still... unpredictable. What if he was angry? What if he was barely containing the rage, and all that watching from a distance he did was merely him fantasizing his murder? What if he was still Ayden's lapdog, despite the changes that had been made in the passive dormitories?

He suspected not, though. Ayden wouldn't have approved of the lurking.

Reaching up, he pushed the hair out of his eyes, the strands having fallen over his face while he'd scrubbed at the dirty tablecloth. A moment's consideration led the Hessean to stop his work; leaving his station and passing by Clover wordlessly on his way toward the door. He could feel the stare again.

What are you doing now?

A soft sound escaped his lips, a quiet hush as the blonde walked by his fellow working servants and continued toward one station in particular.

He approached without hesitation despite the month since their last true encounter, despite any awkwardness that should've been there but wasn't. Seating himself swiftly at the edge of the washtub, Lars crossed his legs, a darkened blue gaze falling upon Fionn's tidied appearance.

"Are you still ignoring me?" questioned Lars in a low tone, as if disappointed, before his demeanor shifted - he leaned forward, reaching out with a delicate hand to tug gently at the boy's collar.

"You're... different," he murmured, eyes flicking upwards from the shirt to peer unto his face instead, "you look nice. Although I admit I kind of miss seeing you disheveled."

Lars took a breath, as if in consideration of his next words; steely eyes darted away for a moment, "sorry. He hasn't seen you in so long, he just - he had to come speak with you. He can leave you alone, if you want, but... he thinks we should speak, if that's alright with you."
word count: 876
I've been unruly

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Fionn
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
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Race: Passive
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Writer: Maximus
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Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:08 pm

Ophus 14, 2718 | Evening
The Laundries
.
Image
He mustn't look at Lars.

Affording himself glimpses of the older man, little observations of his day-to-day activities had initially started out as a treat. Well, not immediately. No one had bothered to tell the blond passive that the roommate he'd beaten so severely was actually alive so it had come as a shock - a welcome one - when he had discovered him looking hale and hearty while Ayden and his little network was coming tumbling down around their ears. Fionn hadn't cared that he'd gotten into trouble, in fact he'd welcomed it because no matter what, everything he'd done well... he'd done it, hadn't he? Before Ayden came back, he'd been a bastard, he'd done plenty of wrongs that couldn't be blamed on anyone else and while Ayden had manipulated him, he'd been glad to do his dirty work up until Lars.

He deserved everything that he got. Except that what he'd gotten certainly wasn't deserved. He didn't know why they'd decided to be kind to him, to care about his welfare when no one had ever done so before. The passive honestly didn't know why they'd chosen to try to rehabilitate him, to give him a frankly comfortable job after the ones he'd had all these years. Was it the remorse? Was it his willingness to suffer just as long as Ayden and his ilk couldn't hurt anyone again, especially Lars? Or had it been his injuries, the ones that when pressed about them, he'd claimed to deserve. Better him than anyone else. And oh, Ayden had done some horrific things before everything went to shit, perhaps sensing that the incident with Lars had crossed a line and that a reckoning was coming.

The young man didn't like to think about Ayden if he could help it. Not only did the thoughts make him shake like a leaf, sometimes even pushing him to the point of hyperventilation, but they also made his nightmares much, much worse. It was funny really, he'd never been without nightmares since Ayden had initially violated him but they had improved when he'd gone away. Even before the incident with Lars, the night terrors had crept back with renewed vigour. They'd been pretty horrific; he'd been inclined to wake up sweating, heart ready to burst out of his chest and occasionally sobbing. Somehow, it had gotten a lot worse since Ayden's extremely violent attack on him a few days after Fionn had beaten up Lars. Physically, his injuries had healed (some had been slower than others) but psychologically...

There were only so many times you could wake up screaming hysterically before people started giving you certain looks in your waking hours and asking if you were all right, really all right.

Fionn knew that he was far from all right but he had no idea how he was meant to share it, how he was meant to cope with it. He didn't trust kindness, searching for some ulterior motive behind it. Even with Niamh, he searched for it and of course, he'd purposely tried to drive her off with cruel words but she hadn't gone. What was worse though was that she was incredibly soft so it was all too easy to make her cry but she still wouldn't move. He hadn't had the heart to keep up the nasty treatment, even if it would have been better in the long run. And while it was oddly nice to have his sister again and to be acknowledged by someone, he didn't have what he really wanted.

He might not be able to keep distance between himself and Niamh, but he could maintain the distance between himself and Lars. It was killing him though.

The boy had taken pains not to approach his former roommate. Lars wouldn't want to see him or talk to him, that was a given, wasn't it? He'd almost killed him, he'd been nothing but a nuisance before that and he also couldn't be trusted. Fionn had made promises and then promptly broken them after all. Not that it was as black and white as that but... the older man didn't need all of his excuses and pleading explanations. He was happier without Fionn, safer. The blond knew it well but that didn't mean that it didn't hurt though because it bloody well did but he had to keep an eye on him, from a distance at least, see how he was doing so he could see what he would end up destroying if he approached him.

Except... he didn't need to check on him quite so often. Being in places where he could catch glimpses of him was definitely a bit of selfishness on his part. It was nice to see him, strangely calming and it gave him the chance to examine him from afar, to see that the damage he'd caused hadn't been permanent - at least externally. Of course, it hadn't occurred to him that Lars would ever be looking back at him, that he'd register his frequent presence.

The fact that Lars knew he was in the same room came as a surprise but it wasn't as shocking as the fact that he not only approached but sat, looking quite comfortable. Fionn temporarily forgot how to breathe, not sure where he was meant to look, what he was meant to do, nothing. He lost the rough soap he'd been using, the bar just dropping from suddenly malfunctioning fingers so that he was forced to stretch to the bottom of the tub to get it. Even though he'd managed to roll his shirt sleeves well above the elbow, he felt the lap of water on the arm that he shoved in and swore softly to himself, inwardly cursing himself.

He'd gone to such efforts to be neat. He had his collar buttoned, he had his shirt tucked in and it was fucking boiling in here. The linen was already damp with sweat and it wouldn't have killed him to undo something but he was trying. And now his own clumsiness had helped fuck it all up.

He puffed upwards, stirring the damp hair that hung limply on his forehead. Brown eyes found blue, head shaken in denial.

"I haven't been ignoring you. Avoiding... yeah. Kind of," he admitted, unthinkingly rubbing a hand over the back of his neck and grimacing as he found soapy water dribbling down it to pool at the top of his collar. He squirmed, moving his hand back down to flick the droplets into the tub and that was when Lars reached out to touch his collar.

It didn't matter that it was Lars; he flinched. Eyes blinked rapidly, Adam's apple bobbed almost painfully and the blond froze. Part of him wanted to pull away and another wanted to lean closer. After the initial startle, the former desire began to ebb and the latter grew stronger. The tension left his body slowly, the young gradually relaxing visibly.

The comment on his appearance drew fresh colour to his face, which he prayed wasn't visible courtesy of the flush that the steam had brought out. His lips parted, the softest of sighs escaping him before his gaze dropped to his work, teeth pressing softly into his lip, swallowing hard.

Just wash this, Fionn, don't look at him. Please don't look at him, don't look, don't look, don't look," he told himself. The young man was convinced that his face had already conveyed a great deal but if he actually looked at Lars, properly looked at him then he was going to gawk and possibly faint into the tub. Or... maybe the heat was getting to him. Maybe he should untuck his shirt so that some air could circulate. And Lars apparently missed seeing him dishevelled. Which meant that he'd been watching him too.

Oh boy!

He probably didn't have to look at him to swoon. Sweet Lady, he was being an idiot. It wasn't like the other man wanted to have anything to do with him, not really. Except that he'd come to him. He wanted obviously, something he could get from Fionn, that was it. 'Speaking' didn't seem like a likely motive.

"No! You don't have to- I mean... I didn't think that you'd want to speak to me. Ever again. I just..." he stuttered out, scrubbing at cloth under the water so that he had something to do with his hands. It was better than rubbing water all over the back of his neck again. "I'm all right talking with you, that's not- it's not a problem for me. What... did you want to talk about? Is it about A-A-A-Ay- him?" he asked, swallowing hard, stuttering and wincing over the attempt of saying his former patron's name.

His legs had started to feel a little weak and his arms were trembling a bit but he was fine.

Everything was fine.
word count: 1588
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Lars
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 24
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
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Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:38 pm

THE LAUNDRIES
OPHUS 14, 2718 IN THE EVENING
Image
Blue eyes followed the boy's movements; the arm extending down into the tub to grasp at the lost soap, the puff of air to blow the hair out of his eyes, the flinch when he'd touched his shirt's collar. It was clear as day that, despite the boy's new and more comfortable position as a personal assistant, the effects of his old life hadn't faded. Neither had those from Ayden's destructive path. The older didn't mention anything else on the subject of avoidance and ignorance; Fionn couldn't lie to him on that subject. Though he'd seen him lurking, he'd not seen him approaching, not once since the day he'd beaten him almost to death.

Lars hadn't forgotten all the blood. He hadn't forgotten the angry passion imbued into his kicks and punches after Lars had given up; as if the younger was mad at him for not fighting. He hadn't forgotten how Fionn had so willingly believed the lies Ayden told and came with fists ready for the punishment.

Still, he hadn't forgotten the softness of his expression afterwards either; the gentle kiss to his temple and stammered apologies. Lars wasn't entirely certain how the younger man felt about him, but the past month's frequent watching told him that it wasn't anything too bad. So did his reaction now as the older sat at the edge, eyes focused on the other servant.

He listened to the younger speak as he resumed his work, scrubbing at the fabric and keeping his own darker eyes downcast. Lars noted the stutter as he attempted to mention their former patron, took a breath before shaking his head.

"No, of course not," he gave softly, "no use in talking about that one, unless you're particularly inclined. No, he just wants to speak, he... well. He's missed you."

The admission was perhaps quieter, perhaps gentler, perhaps lighter in tone - his expression was the same, biting the inside of his cheek as he observed the younger passive work. Taking another breath, Lars reached out again, slower this time - wary of the boy and his newfound jumpiness - brushing fingers against Fionn's hair, smoothing the strands out of his face.

"And uh, he wanted to explain some things, because... he knows that he was probably very confusing before. He's learned to speak a bit better now; convey what he means and whatnot. A bit less moony."

He cleared his throat quietly, the blonde glancing away for just a moment, toward the other servants working at their stations. The blonde appeared lost in thought for a few brief moments, dream-like gaze hazy and unfocused, teeth continuing to worry at the inside of his cheek almost nervously.

Lars lowered his head, eyes falling to his hands; his fingers fiddled and tapped against each other idly, "I don't hate you, Fionn. I didn't before and I don't now. Things were... difficult for me, at first, I had a hard time understanding, but I think my head's been cleared. If that makes any sense at all."

Glancing back to the younger passive, Lars continued, "if you're not in a rush, could we speak in private? Or - just in the storage room?"

The storage room off of the laundries wasn't entirely private, but it had a door and it wasn't just a closet. It was a fine enough place to have a conversation away from all the curious ears in the laundries, at least.
word count: 633
I've been unruly
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Fionn
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
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Writer: Maximus
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Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:50 pm

Ophus 14, 2718 | Evening
The Laundries
.
Image
It was difficult to explain just how terrified he was at the notion that Lars wanted to talk about Ayden. He could talk about him, of course he could but... he'd prefer not to and he'd really prefer not to say his name. Ever again. He didn't need to bring thoughts of him into this conversation, into this meeting and yet... it seemed impossible to escape him. Even if he wasn't here, his influence was, his presence felt hanging over the blond's shoulder as he scrubbed away at fabric with greater enthusiasm than before; if he'd been using the soap on skin, he'd have been tearing off layers.

It was a relief to hear Lars say that he didn't want to talk about him and the young man was far from being inclined to speak of their former patron. He didn't ease up with the soap and he was still shaky - that adrenaline rush wasn't going to go away immediately - but he did feel better, more relaxed. Perhaps the loosening of tension was what made him drop the soap again at the older man's admittance. This time he had to stare, hand moving to lean on the edge of the tub instead of diving for the soap; he could easily drop it again if he wasn't careful.

The passive leaned on the tub for support, leaning a little closer that he wouldn't be overheard; there were always listening ears here.

"Missed me? Me? Are you- Why? Why on Vita would you miss me? I've only been an ersehole to you, I haven't been... a friend or anything," Fionn pointed out, his gaze more than a little incredulous as he scanned the other man's face. Oh the boy was definitely blushing now, unmistakeably ruddy up into his hairline and yet he couldn't look away. It was... all too easy to get lost in Lars' face, drawn by the sight of his cheek moving as his teeth worried at it on the inside. Clock the Circle, he was attractive, wasn't he? And it was so... dreamily, thoughtlessly that he held himself, his demeanour suggesting that he honestly wasn't aware of the effect that he had on others. Was he handsome or pretty? Honestly, Fionn couldn't decide. The femininity in his features was lovely but the jawline was definitely more-

Focus!

The older passive wasn't helping, reaching out to brush his hair aside, the blond doing his best to ignore the growing sound of his own pulse in his ears. It was a good thing he hadn't bothered to retrieve that soap...

Still, even though he was getting a little too caught up in this - he was always ready to fall foul of a man who bestowed such attention on him - he still succeeded in being confused. His brows pulled together, young man leaning back slowly as he tilted his head to one side, eyeing him in bewilderment.

"Things... you want to explain? Do you really feel-" he broke off with a shake of his head, brown gaze flicking to the side as he tried to wrap his head around that one. Lars thought that he'd been confusing? What on Vita had he done? Honestly, Fionn was the one who'd been giving mixed signals. He didn't get it. It wasn't fair though. It was the middle Madden who'd done things that required explanations - things that required apology.

The young man chewed on his lower lip, pliable flesh dragged back and forth against his teeth on the edge of pain, the motion only continuing with renewed vigour as Lars continued, providing words of absolution that were... exactly what he'd needed to hear. It didn't stop him from being confused though, wondering what had prompted this so out of the blue and what he meant by understanding? Gods, what had they told him? What had they told him about the alternative to the beating, about what had been done to Fionn, how he'd been coerced and the exact ways in which-

No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

He didn't want to think about what Lars knew, how he'd gained the understanding that he had into Fionn's character. The young man felt a little bit green about the gills all of a sudden. But he did want to talk to him, did want to find out what had prompted this and... what Lars knew. So he nodded, flicking water from his hands before carefully patting them dry on his trousers.

"The storage room will be fine. It's... more private than here," he pointed out. The young man straightened up, rolling his shoulders back with a soft cracking sound and a groan. He was careful not to look to either side, walking casually to the storage room, nonchalance in his posture as he stepped inside, leaning against one wall with a foot pressed back against the wall.

Fionn wondered what Lars wanted to talk about, what understanding he'd reached and how. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to talk about some of what had happened, offering some explanations of his own. Fionn wasn't sure if he could but if the older passive asked... he'd certainly try.

Reaching up to his collar, he tugged open a button with a sigh of relief, spreading the cloth apart to partially expose his throat. It made him feel a bit better, a bit more at ease.

"So... what do you think you need to explain?" he asked softly, running a hand through his hair, ruffling it to let some air circulate through it.
word count: 990
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Lars
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 24
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
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Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:58 pm

THE LAUNDRIES
OPHUS 14, 2718 IN THE EVENING
Image
Lars was quiet as his former roommate responded; the passive neglecting to provide answers as to why he had missed him - he could agree that the younger hadn't been the kindest during their time as roommates, and that their relationship hadn't quite been that of friends... but perhaps he'd grown attached to him nonetheless, despite the prickly exterior and the war zone their dormitory became. All things he wanted to explain; things he wanted to move past not just for his own sake, but for Fionn's as well.

He listened with an open mind, open heart - the older passive certainly had sounded genuine in his own words and admissions, and his expression seemed to say the same, fingers continuing to tap against each other anxiously as he awaited permission to speak privately. Things would be easier then, things would be easier to say and to explain, things wouldn't be so open to the public. He could bare his heart - all those emotions and all that turmoil that had crashed and burned within him since Dentis - and hopefully, the younger would understand.

Not that he had ever been all that hopeful in anyone understanding him.

Lars gave a small nod when the other blonde agreed, pushing off from the edge to stand and follow after the younger. He shut the door softly behind them, glancing back to make sure it was properly closed before letting his gaze wander back to Fionn. The casual posture was something he was more used to from the boy; the popped button another reminder of what he'd been like before the mess of blood and tears and near-death experiences.

"Ah," he started slow, glancing downward to the floor and staring at his shoes, "I wanted to explain my... behavior, to start. Back in Dentis."

Eyes lifted to sweep the room, carefully scanning for other little heads going about their work as normal - for the moment, at least, they were alone.

"Fionn - I - I never thought you were, uh, disgusting. I'm sorry, I know that's exactly what it looked like, but I - I didn't know how to react, or cope, and I... I saw something else when I walked in. Something I hadn't wanted to ever see again. It wasn't you."

The Hessean brought a hand up, touching fingers to the side of his face for just a moment before he approached the younger, blue eyes finally returning to look at him, "I, uh... I walked in on my old roommate, Bennett, a few months before you were transferred to our dorm. He had um."

For a moment it was almost as if the blonde was close to tearing up, gaze faltering briefly, "killed himself. When I walked in my head just - went moony. I just saw Bennett all over again and it made me so sick, so... scared again, and I - I didn't even think about how that would look or how it would affect you. I'm sorry, Fionn. Believe me, please, I didn't find you disgusting or weird or... or shameful, or anything even close."

Taking a slow, deep breath, Lars stepped closer, "maybe it was partly bitterness; no one's ever been all that... interested in me, of course," dreamy eyes followed the curve of the younger passive's jaw now that he was closer, filtering downward to the skin he'd revealed by undoing the top button of his shirt, "Bennett always liked Jamie too."

Jamie's handsome. Talkative, too, and oh - he doesn't kill people.

Lars closed his eyes for a moment, fighting the irritation that threatened to spill from his throat at the interjection.

Leave me alone.

Blue irises reappeared, framed between dark lashes. There was some sort of glint in there; something foreign in such a distant gaze, something focused as he met the other man's eyes - or at least, tried to.

"I just wanted you to know. It's alright if you don't want to associate with me still - I haven't gotten any less half-witted and weird. I just didn't want you thinking that I hated you, or that I -" he stopped for a moment, "ever found you unappealing. I am sorry, Fionn. I thought I'd made my feelings known."
word count: 756
I've been unruly
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Fionn
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
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Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:27 am

Ophus 14, 2718 | Evening
The Laundries
.
Image
Lars' behaviour in Dentis was a mystery to Fionn. So mysterious that he didn't have a notion what it was the older passive had done that was so godsdamned confusing but he wanted to talk about it, whatever it was, so he'd find out soon enough, wouldn't he?

There was a certain awkwardness in the other's demeanour, his gaze focused downwards and the middle Madden wondered if his mood was contagious. He settled for the opposite direction, examining the ceiling with a casual eye, head tilted back and resting against the wall in an attitude that was sure to grow sore after a time. Honestly, he couldn't stand to look at hi former roommate while he was clearly uncomfortable. His gaze only flicked downwards briefly, a puzzled tightening of brows as Lars explained that he didn't think that he was disgusting, brown eyes only returning to the ceiling when understanding dawned at 'walked in'.

He was talking about walking in on himself and Jamie.

His face warmed briefly before colour was blanched from his cheeks, not sure where this was going but remembering the look on his roommate's face, the dropping sensation in his stomach. It threatened to come back now, a nervous lick of lips giving way to a hard bite as he waited to see where this is going.

Maybe he's going to say that he feels sorry for you for actually liking dick, a snide inner voice suggested.

Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!

The blond knew that he was disgusting and pathetic and wrong for his tastes. There was nothing but ugliness there and hadn't his father said-

He couldn't forget the things he'd overheard that he definitely wasn't meant to, couldn't forget how he'd worked up the courage to ask Father about when men loved each other. In hindsight, his disgust and horror had been strong enough to win out against whatever negativity that he felt towards Fionn, the boy having felt oddly relieved not to have his head simply snapped off.

"That isn't love, it's a sick mockery of it. It's sick and it's wrong. Men shouldn't be together like a man and woman, women shouldn't either but it's worse for men. Men should know better."

That's what Toibin Madden had said perhaps a year before Fionn had been gated and they were words that the boy hadn't forgotten, least of all because he had so desperately craved the man's approval and he was worried that the man would see his interest and curiosity, see them as something else to count against him.

How he'd managed to hang onto that condemnation through everything was a mystery but he understood more now and his father's opinion... didn't seem wrong. His relationship with Ayden had been wrong on so many levels but there had been other men, other encounters, other mistakes so he knew that there was something wrong with him. Had known it even before Ayden had sneered about him actually liking men rather than simply making the best of things.

But this wasn't about that, not exactly. Fionn hadn't known about Bennett.

His focus shifted down from the ceiling, finding Lars' face and seeing the emotion there. He'd cared about him and he'd killed himself. Judging by what he was saying, he'd been the one who'd found him, which... was probably a lot. And Fionn had reminded him of the incident. Lovely.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, uncertain what else he was meant to say, what else he was supposed to do. Should he... hug him? The idea both appealed and repelled him at the same time. He wanted the contact and it might help, people found that comforting didn't they?

Comfort...

He couldn't even consider the notion without remembering... things. Ayden had tainted a lot but it wasn't like he couldn't hug Niamh. He'd managed that, hadn't he? And there hadn't been any link to sex there at all. It was possible to hug someone without it being a prelude to something. Touch didn't always have to lead to things, even if that was a bit difficult to wrap his head around.

The young man hovered in indecision, watching as the other stepped closer, his heartbeat quickening. Something fluttered within him as he saw Lars look him over with a definite interest. His mouth was dry, tongue feeling too thick to make words, too slow to say that a lack of interest wasn't something to feel bitter about, too slow to say that that inattention was moony. He did manage after a moment's delay to get out, "I don't like Jamie, he talks too much. He was just... there."

And he hadn't been Lars, which was kind of the point and he'd been available and willing and there had been control there. There'd be something safe in the exchange and when he had managed to get the boy to shut up, he'd been able to imagine that he was Lars. His cheeks coloured at the remembrance, eyeing the other blond, seeing the emotion in his face, the struggle to get the words out. Fionn could relate.

Their gazes met and... yes, there was understanding there, an understanding that didn't require the words that followed although the words certainly helped. All of the right words that had that mad pulse thrumming in his throat.

You know who else always said the right thing?

Shut up, they aren't the same. They're nothing alike.

He felt safe with Lars, comfortable but... he couldn't shake the doubt now that it was there. Ayden had been very good at faking things, those looks, those tender touches and they could be switched off. People lied.

Not Lars, he isn't like them. He isn't like him.

But he couldn't shake the feeling that Lars wanted something, the suspicion and the paranoia even though he could recall the reciprocal interest in the bathhouse after the older passive had killed Fred. It wasn't a lie, the interest wasn't a lie but it was good to hear it. Not unappealing.

Fionn straightened, taking a hesitant step towards the man, narrowing the gap between them, hands hovering slightly raised for a moment before he embraced him, moving to rest his head on the other's shoulder if he didn't try to pull away.

"Shut your head, would you?" he remarked, his tone oddly affectionate. "You don't have to be sorry for anything. I'm the one who- I didn't know you'd bleed that much, I've never seen anything like it and I thought it was better than what he would have done otherwise. I would have been wrong either way but... I did what I thought was the least bad and it was... wrong. All of it. I can't say sorry enough."

His voice was a quick whisper, the words coming out in a rush, words that he'd wanted to say. Words that he managed to choke on. It should have been easier because he wasn't looking at him but... how could he explain the alternative? He'd only learned the word 'rape' quite recently although the concept was an old one to him.

"He would have done worse. He still would have done it after I'd hit you. You didn't need that. You'd be better off dead than... that," he whispered, his body tense now, shrinking back against the wall to bend over, face buried in his hands, apologising in a whimper, trying not to cry and already beginning to fail.

Fionn would be better off dead. Better that then the memories and the agony. Even though he probably deserved it. All of it. It was nothing less than he deserved.
word count: 1375
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Lars
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 24
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:06 am

THE LAUNDRIES
OPHUS 14, 2718 IN THE EVENING
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Fionn's initial apology concerning Bennett was something easily dismissed, the older blonde shaking his head as if to suggest that it wasn't worth the words. It would be a full year soon since he'd found his old roommate that way, and while the wound still felt fresh, still felt sometimes as if it was tearing some part of him to pieces... it did no good to think about it too much. He'd given it out only to explain, and he hadn't spoken of the matter with anyone else - Bennett was gone.

You're the one that made him leave.

The notion that the younger didn't actually like Jamie - not in any significant way, at least - didn't come as a huge surprise, but the blonde's expression still shifted ever-so-slightly, a display of confusion. Lars had certainly seen the bad aspects of the relationship they'd formed - Fionn hadn't been the kindest to Lars, sure, but he had been worse to Jamie from what he'd seen. It made sense.

But you already knew that. Fionn hasn't been following Jamie.

There was a brief silence, a few moments in which Lars was unable to do anything but stare; hazy blue eyes inspecting the younger's face from up close. He counted the freckles, for a moment at peace in the silence, even if there was an awkwardness lingering there - had he produced it, or did it radiate from Fionn instead? At the moment he couldn't tell, too concerned with numbers and hazel eyes.

So when the other passive stepped closer, arms extending out, Lars was surprised for the first time in a while.

Fionn had initiated contact this time - came forward to embrace him. He hadn't counted on that, especially given the boy's jumpy, flinching demeanor that had developed. It was all the more surprising than the fact that his sister had hugged him, despite the fact that the girl hadn't known him well at all - Fionn had dismissed all of his attempts to comfort him before. Brushed him off, plucked his hands from his form as if the notion of embracing Lars was something shameful or wrong.

A soft sigh broke through, the older man frozen still for just a moment before he returned the gesture, arms slipping about the younger man's waist to hold him close. With the other blonde's head on his shoulder, Lars leaned his own against it, blue eyes falling closed as he listened to the other speak, rushing out the words.

"It's alright, Fionn," he tried, but found it difficult to get his words out with the younger's composure seeming to deteriorate, "I understand, you don't have to - you don't need to explain."

Of course, the information was rather new to Lars - despite what Fionn might've thought, the older hadn't heard a word about any alternatives, any reasons, any motives behind the younger beating him besides rumors and whispers and ideas he'd formed himself. Still, in honesty the older passive didn't care for the reason behind his actions, and he didn't care for an apology.

"Oh," the Hessean just about gasped when the younger shrunk back, away from the other passive to lean against the wall. He observed as his former roommate buried his face in his hands, his attempts not to cry beginning to fail, needless apologies whimpered. Lars was at first lost as to what he should do - Fionn had just now embraced him, sure, but the fact that he'd pulled away every other time still rang true, and the older wasn't certain how he would react if he touched him again.

Hesitantly, warily, the blonde stepped forward, leaning down slightly to reach out and gently slip a loose hold around the younger's bent, distressed form.

"I'm sorry, Fionn," whispered Lars, "I didn't want to make you upset, I'm sorry. I - I want you to know that I'm not... I'm not mad at you, or upset, or anything for what you did. You didn't have a choice, Fionn, and it was a clocking rough one but I'm not dead, am I?"

Softly, a hand slid up to the boy's head, smoothing slowly through blonde strands in an attempt to be comforting.

"No, and neither are you. I know you... you might want to be, sometimes, but I - Fionn, I'm glad for it, I'm glad you're alive. I still think there's a light in you - I've seen it, I know it, and you can't convince me there's not. Gods, you almost killed me Fionn, and I still believe it. That has to mean something, right? Something... important. I might be a bit moony but I'm not delusional."

Aren't you?

"I'm tired of avoidance. I miss you, Fionn, as dumb as that might sound, I miss you."
word count: 872
I've been unruly
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Fionn
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: [url=http:/fullurl/]Plot Notes[/url]
Writer: Maximus
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Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:31 pm

Ophus 14, 2718 | Evening
The Laundries
.
Image
It was both a relief and upsetting for Lars to accept his embrace. He was glad not to be rejected outright, glad that the other didn't want to see him die screaming for what he'd done to him but to have the embrace returned, to have the older man lean his head against Fionn's own was deeply upsetting. It was incredibly sweet, incredibly nice and yet entirely undeserved. It didn't help that the returned embrace brought sexual confusion, the touch on his waist not exactly unwelcome but not sitting well in his traumatised mind. A hug didn't have to have anything attached to it, no touch had to but... he liked Lars, a lot, which was very strange and bewildering in itself, especially as his only real basis for such feelings was Ayden who was a very, very bad example. He was possibly the worst example for everything and he was the reason that Fionn hadn't allowed anyone near him sexually since Dentis - too traumatised. As far as casual and platonic contact went, Niamh was the only one who he'd let touch him until today. The fact that Lars was one of only two with the privilege and that he didn't feel anything platonic towards him like he did with Niamh left him bewildered. And yet the notion of doing anything with the other freaked him out a little. It was too soon and his limited trust so recently abused that he couldn't. Ayden had succeeded in breaking him in the end and he'd done a damn good job of it too.

And yet there was still feeling there and confusion and upset and the passive didn't know how to process it all, didn't know what to do with himself. Was it any wonder that he was ready to bawl his eyes out, even without saying what he was saying and touching on the abuse that he'd so recently opened up about for the first time ever. The blond wasn't even sure that he wanted to tell Lars about that. He hadn't told Niamh although sometimes she looked at him with tears in her eyes and had to excuse herself, the profound pity in her gaze more than he could bear. He didn't know if she knew but sometimes she looked at him as if she did. But he didn't want her to know. She already blamed herself for a lot of it but it was more than that; the young man was ashamed. It was why he'd given testimony but he'd begged that it be told to as few people as possible.

Unfortunately, he couldn't ever explain his choice, couldn't explain why he'd been so desperate to steer Lars clear of that alternative fate without spilling all of the agonising details. Some of it had been years ago and yet it was still raw if he thought about it, still felt keenly if he opened his mouth and tried to speak it. Maybe one day he could tell the older man but that day wasn't today and... he didn't want his apologies and explanations in any case, that small thing taking an extraordinary weight from his shoulders although much of the guilt still remained.

It took everything in his power not to sink to the ground with deep, gut-wrenching sobs. Instead, he settled for his bent posture and the poor, sniffling attempts not to cry, which became truly pitiful failures when Lars followed him and put his arm around him.

He's not Ayden, he's not going to hurt you, he reminded himself, taking the opportunity to lean against his fellow servant, shaking his head as the older man apologised. He shoved the heels of his hands against his eyelids, pressing as if he could squeeze all of the moisture out and be done with it, settling for dragging his hands through the tears and spreading them around more than anything as he sniffled.

"Y-y-you didn't upset m-m-me," he stuttered out. It wasn't him, not really but their former patron, the one who was likely to haunt everything that the blond did for quite some time. Fingers moved to the inside of his arm, rubbing at the crook, unconsciously tracing the newer, round scars there; some of them actually had a bit of depth where the flesh had been damaged more deeply. They were what he deserved, those marks of slow and deliberate torture, those reminders of his own shortcomings. They were what he'd gotten for standing up for Lars and for himself too little, too late. He'd have been better off turning on Ayden early on and having Lars as backup but there was no guarantee that such a thing would have succeeded. Perhaps it was better that things had worked out the way that they had, with Fionn the only one to come out with a multitude of scars. He was already marked plenty so what were a few more. Lars on the other hand...

Brown bloodshot eyes raised briefly, the man straightening a little as he considered that treasured face that he'd only been able to gaze on from afar of late although it had been enough. He was so glad that his face had been fixed. He would have hated for those features to have been permanently marred by his cruel fists. Such a pretty face.

Don't you dare pet his fucking face, he groaned at himself, strangely tempted to do just that. Sweet Lady, could he be any weirder right now?

His mouth was being distracting though, for the words that issued out of it, not just the lips and there was that rapid blink, the slight lean away in disbelief when Lars seemed to know that he wished himself dead. Had the other read his mind? Was he as obvious as that? He hadn't said anything aloud, right?

A chuckle bubbled up from somewhere, damp and making him cough briefly to clear the lump that suddenly clogged his throat. He rubbed away tears. "Yeah, you are a bit moony if you think there's anything good in me. You sound like Niamh and I'm fairly sure that she is delusional, poor thing," he laughed, fingers tapping absentmindedly against his arm as he leaned back against the wall. "I'll admit that we're probably all pretty moony in here, you'd have to be but... don't call yourself that, all right? I almost beat up some guy in the bathhouse for calling you that so don't make me have to beat you up again for insulting yourself."

When he laughed next, there was definitely something a little manic in it, a slight hysterical energy in it as he channelled all of his nervousness and discomfort out through it although the mirth faded quickly, something sad entering his expression instead as he gazed down at the floor. He bit his lip, considering something before tentatively reaching out for the other's hand with the intention of enveloping it in both of his. In truth, he didn't know what the fuck he was doing.

"Do you know why he tricked me into beating you up? Aside from the fact that he knew it'd kill me to do it," he commented, his tone suggesting that the question had been purely rhetorical; he didn't expect Lars to have the answer. "He wanted to make you feel worthless, as if nobody cared what happened to you and I... I don't think you're worthless. You're better than most of the people in here for all the sanity they're meant to have compared to you. None of them ever helped me and I... promised to have your back and I know that I did in a sick way but... I want to do better if I can. If you need anything... well, at the very least I can stop keeping out of your way. If that's what you want."

Fionn bit his lip, swallowing hard, tears threatening to spring forth again.

"You're the closest I've had to a friend in here, do you know that? And... I have missed you. A lot," he whispered, cheeks flushed at the admittance.
word count: 1436
User avatar
Lars
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 24
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:16 pm

THE LAUNDRIES
OPHUS 14, 2718 IN THE EVENING
Image
The older servant was glad for his attempts at comfort not to be rejected; the arm around his former roommate hopefully providing him with some measure of strength. He could easily admit that he was still quite new to all of this, new to the idea of comfort and affection of any kind, and he wasn't certain what helped and what hurt. Fionn's sister had seemed to appreciate everything, despite receiving attempted comforts from a passive - but she was softer, he thought, softer in nature than her younger brother and definitely not as deprived. It was a strange mix; he got the sense that his former roommate wanted the contact but wanted to pull away at the same time, as he'd done before.

It wasn't something easily understood. Lars could ponder and theorize all day, but it was no use when the man was here before him, when he could be putting thoughts into actions instead and actually helping. He was relieved in some measure when the younger leaned against him, hands wiping at his face in some attempt to stop the tears.

The older peered about the room with a concerned gaze, glad to find that they were still alone - he doubted the boy wanted anyone seeing him like this, but a chuckle rising from the other's throat dragged his gaze back downward. Lars observed his dampened face as he straightened up a bit against the wall, continuing to speak as if the notion of Lars calling himself moony was somehow offensive. Was it not true? Did he not get called moony (among other things) almost every day by various other passives? It was a fact of life that he'd grown accustomed to, although something he'd learned to accept only recently.

Lars offered a hesitant nod to the request; if it could be called that. It reminded him of every time Fionn had told him to stop speaking in the third person.

I suppose he never liked me, even then. I guess you were right for once.

It was hard not to crack a smile, but the gravity of the situation at hand did well to ground him again, the man looking back to Fionn and taking a deep breath as he listened.

I told you. Moore and Niamh and Clover might like you but this one likes me. Me.

Well, that must be wonderful for you.

As difficult as it might've been to pierce through the veil, Fionn managed to do it as he continued on, admitting his thoughts on the matter of Lars' worth - something that the Hessean hadn't been expecting and wasn't sure how to completely handle or comprehend. Again the dreamily-constructed expression faltered subtly, the corner of his mouth twitching downward, steely-blue eyes darting down to the floor for just a moment before rising again to the boy's face. It was such a strange thing to hear, in fact, that he hadn't noticed the younger reach out to grab his hand at all until now, and the blonde brought his other hand upward to hesitantly reach for Fionn's face, gently settling his fingers against his cheek.

He was closer now, the space between them not nonexistent but barely there nonetheless, and Lars leaned his head forward, pressing his forehead against Fionn's. His eyelids fluttered down to disguise dreamy blues, the passive taking a quiet moment to breathe before choosing his words.

"I don't need anything from you, Fionn," he murmured, voice soft, "I just need you to stick around this time."

Lars' fingers brushed gently against his cheek, smoothing back past his ear to rest delicately at the base of his neck, fingers toying idly with locks of blonde hair.

"And of course we're friends; we have been since the start, haven't we?" Lars reminded, "it all started... here, actually."

A sudden noise from nearby opened hazy eyes, the blonde moving away from his former roommate - not all too quickly, however, the older seemed content to take his time; glancing back to meet the other man's gaze almost curiously before he stepped away, allowing a safe amount of distance between them.

It was just another servant, his gaze scanning over the two of them for just a moment as he walked to the little closet. He didn't seem to care about whatever they were up to or whatever they were talking about, as he got what he needed from the closet and retreated back into the laundries, leaving them once again alone.
word count: 801
I've been unruly
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Fionn
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: [url=http:/fullurl/]Plot Notes[/url]
Writer: Maximus
Contact:

Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:12 pm

Ophus 14, 2718 | Evening
The Laundries
.
Image
The glances he shot Lars' way were furtive, trying to gauge his reaction and he did notice that shift in expression, subtle though it was, a bit sadder than before. It was what kept his eyes on the other's face, biting his lip anxiously as he wondered if it was too much truth, too upsetting. Had he said it wrong? Should he not have said it at all? Gods, why was he such an idiot?

He was ready to apologise, to offer some mumbled excuses about not wanting to upset him but then Lars' fingers found his cheek and the older man touched forehead lightly to his.

Fionn forgot how to breathe.

There were a few moments where the only life in him seemed to come from the madly fluttering pulse in his neck, which the other would feel if he just moved his hand a bit lower and below his jaw. It wouldn't have been surprising if he could feel the vibrations of it as high as his cheek. At last, he gasped in a breath and that was from shock more than anything as the other found the back of his neck, lightly fingering the hair at the nape.

He was so hecking close and that touch was... well it was... it'd be so easy out and tilt Lars' chin up, to turn his head slightly and bring their lips together. It should be easy. It was a very small thing and yet... it felt like he'd be crossing a gulf to achieve it, strangely frozen as his gaze remained fixed on the other man's lips.

He watched them move, the words making his gaze flick up, eyes wide in surprise, an odd light in them that was somewhere between euphoria and pain. He remembered as well? He didn’t know whether to be glad or burst into tears anew. However, before he could press the matter, a nearby sound alerted him to the presence of another, his body tensing, ready to shrink back so that he wouldn’t be seen. To be seen in such a position... well, strangely, he’d have preferred to have been caught having sex than this. As if this was somehow shameful. It wasn’t that, far from it, it was just... private. As if privacy was anything other than fallacy in this godsbedamned place.

He leaned back against the wall once the pair were disentangled, examining his shoes with minute interest as freckles disappeared in a sea of scarlet that was still plainly visible even though his head was bent. The young servant hardly dared to look up, hearing the newcomer moving about but only risking raising his head when he heard the door shut.

Somehow Fionn had forgotten that the space could be invaded at any moment. Whatever moment had just been shared between them seemed to be gone now, the blond awkward and uncertain, unwilling to close the gap between them and ashamed for even thinking of kissing the other in here. Lars might not find him unappealing but that didn’t mean that he wanted that. A few words of mutual interest and apology and whatever the hells else had come out of their mouths wasn’t an indication that they should jump each other.

The fact that Fionn had even considered it was confusing, especially as even a spark of interest had him shuddering and trying to run in the opposite direction, thinking happy thoughts that had nothing to do with whatever person might have caught his eye for a moment. He supposed that Lars was different in some way, special but that begged the question of why, didn’t it?

"Well then!" he exclaimed, well aware that he was saying nothing much at all; he just needed to break the new silence left behind by the interloper. He had to give his brain moments to remember how language worked, how it could be ordered, how the tongue and mouth could be made to move in order to sound out words. Speaking suddenly felt very complicated and he was keenly aware of every syllable, how it tasted in his mouth.

”So you... remember how we first met then? Here. Have you- Did you know from the start or did you remember since? ‘Cos I only remembered... after I beat you up,” he admitted. He’d recalled it that very night in fact whilst in the midst of scrubbing the older blonde’s blood out of fabric. Surely Lars hadn’t known all along, had he?

”I forgot a lot of things from back then. On purpose. I... I don’t know why I forgot you. It was easier maybe or... I don’t know. Maybe he told me that you didn’t mean any of it. That you weren’t my friend really. I don’t know. I guess... he was always good at making me think that he was the only one I had. It’s... lonely when you think you have no one. It was my own fault as much as anything,” he added with a shrug, the phrase old and familiar to him, well-worn about the edges so that it slid out smoothly, sounding incredibly believable. It was something the other might have overheard before if he’d been paying attention then - and cared to remember.

Hands wrung and twisted before him, the teen tempted to re-initiate some sort of contact but nervous and uncertain about how to do that.
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