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Messages - Existentially Odd

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† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Mortal Reconnection
« on: December 24, 2020, 10:37:44 PM »
Kerr chuckled heartily at Ben's opening statement, delighted by his words because they were so unexpected. He grinned as he leant forward to kiss the tip of Ben's nose, enjoying the warmth that emanated in his chest simply because he got to hear Ben's sexy waking up voice.

"I don't actually just lie here mooning at you, you know," Kerr chastised playfully, shuffling down onto his side and supporting his head with his hand, his elbow burrowed into his pillow. His other hand was wedged between them, the backs of his fingers stroking Ben gently.

"It's just that, when you're about to wake up, you do this cute little wiggle with your nose and your lips twitch so I know exactly when to start looking at you so I can see you open your eyes." His grin turned mischievous, his eyes twinkling. "Plus, you finally stop kicking me, so that's a bonus."

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: London Calling
« on: December 18, 2020, 12:33:14 PM »
Harm stuck his tongue out in return and upped the ante with a head waggle and a nose wrinkle because he found using the money fun. He'd gone to the trouble of securing some petty cash for just this purpose and using a card seemed so usual in comparison.

He gasped and pulled back to smack Trick's arm when he was accused of flirting, his expression indignant. "I was not flirting!" he hissed in protest, though he blushed immediately after because he supposed telling the guy they were living locally might have been construed as a come-on. To avoid drawing attention to them, he dragged Trick down into a table for two near the front window, where they had an expansive view of the street.

"And I didn't tip him," he huffed, settling himself into the seat opposite Trick and nestling his bag on the floor between his feet. When Harm looked up, he noticed how the sun beaming through the window made Trick's tanned skin glow healthily and lit up his pale blue eyes deliciously, causing Harm's body to clench with longing. The water nymph was ridiculously beautiful. As if Harm would ever flirt with anyone again when he had Trick across from him or within touching distance. The very idea was preposterous!

"They don't do tips here like we do, I don't think," he reasoned and then pulled a troubled face as he leant across the table to get closer to Trick, glancing towards he counter to see the worker was preparing their order and well beyond hearing distance. "Do you think he thought I was flirting with him?" he asked worriedly, frowning at his boyfriend. It would certainly explain why the guy gave him those measured looks. "I was just excited!"

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 15, 2020, 11:47:06 AM »
Kerr smiled, pleased that Ben was listening to him. "Let's go," he agreed, turning them both and hurrying towards home.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 15, 2020, 11:37:01 AM »
At Ben's reassurance, Kerr quirked a skeptical eyebrow but when the (potential-but-totally-unlikely) breakup was mentioned, Kerr's expression became disapproving. "Don't even let it get close," he warned. "If they're monogamous and happy, you need to stay away."

Smirking, he stepped in front of Ben and cupped his cheek, threading his fingers through his hair. "Find some new playthings. Preferably not a council member that can take your head, though. I'm very attached to this head." He gave Ben's hair a tug for emphasis and leant down to press a soft kiss to his lips.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 11:53:51 PM »
Kerr's humour only grew as Ben listed off his Irish goals. He smiled and nodded along as Ben listed them off, pleased that they wouldn't be rushing towards any of the London councils just yet. It seemed they might have to negotiate a few Irish ones, though; Kerr suppressed his wince.

"I think there are four bedrooms, yes, but should we really intrude on their time together? I know how you like to toy with him, you won't get carried away and ruin their relationship, will you?" Kerr drawled, his tone playfully challenging.

He couldn't imagine the three of them - plus anyone else Ben decided he liked the look of and dragged home with them whenever he liked - would put Harm and his boyfriend at ease, especially if Ben's blatant attraction for the nurse was on display. They were probably monogamous. Merely the concept of Cain might be too much for them. Plus, it would feel more than a little disingenuous to have offered them a lovely place to stay only for them to crash the party when it was just beginning.

The whole concept made Kerr uneasy and he was looking for Ben to reassure him.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 11:22:32 PM »
Kerr laughed, the sound full-throated and appreciative. He resisted the urge to say something along the lines of 'so as long as Jake hasn't sparked destruction and chaos in our absence, we're golden' because he thought it would only upset Ben again.

Jake was still not an easy topic to discuss and Kerr much preferred his love teasing him and making him feel better about fronting up to some councils and hoping for a good response. With ancients, things could go so very, very wrong so quickly.

"Alright, so we're back to my other questions that you didn't answer. When do you want to go and where should we stay if your friends are in our place?" He swung Ben's hand a little, feeling lighter.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 11:04:18 PM »
"Brat Prince?" Kerr echoed, his nose wrinkling. He hadn't heard Jake refer to himself like that - the Black Prince, yes, and even the notion of royalty was enough to make Kerr scoff - but it didn't surprise him.

"Jake's preposterous. And immature. I don't need a command buried in my brain to feel naturally terrified of ancients, yet he taunts them and demands respect when he's done nothing but prance around looking pretty and swinging his sword. He deserves to be ignored. I... what if they think we're a joke now?" Kerr asked worriedly, relieved that Ben's hand was back in his to stabilise him. The thought had only just occurred.

"I mean, the ley lines make the city powerful and it draws all kinds of supernaturals. It's a nexus too strong to overlook. The councils sent Halen and the Sacramentum once, if they're truly not happy they could do it again. As much as I want to see Jake suffer and order restored, I'm more worried about our greeting here and now. I don't want us to be regarded as failures or accomplices in what the city's become," he mused, his shoulders slumping as the doubts invaded his mind.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 10:35:09 PM »
Kerr blinked, amazed by how much more Ben knew than he did. It took him a moment to process it all. So much for him thinking Halen might've been able to rule Europe, even he'd been a lackey? A fucking dragon?!

"Damn. Charon's good for way more gossip than I gave him credit for," he marvelled, his hands finding their way into his jeans pockets as he was complimented by Ben. Although it wasn't possible, there was a warm feeling emanating into his heart from Ben's hand upon his chest but it embarrassed him, too - hence the awkward joke rather than properly acknowledging Ben's words.

At what he perceived to be a pointed look from his love, Kerr sighed and relented. "Okay, I certainly hope that I gained some favour over here in my time as Luminary but I don't know if it's enough. Sawyl did a lot of damage. And I can't imagine me being in power when the Oligarchy fell was all that favourable, especially if they think I went into hiding or something while it was happening, rather than into another dimension," Kerr pointed out, deliberately not mentioning Ben's role in the Oligarchy's destruction. The Mimic demons were probably specifically summoned by Romania to be at Halen's side, too.

They should definitely strike Romania off their travel itinerary, just in case.

"I guess there's only one way to find out, though," he conceded, smiling a little at Ben. He was nervous but willing to give it a try and touch base with some councils in London. And other cities, too, although he didn't really feel like deviating to Dublin on the way. The Irish council were so hectic they always gave him a headache. "Hopefully they dislike Jake as much as we do and everything you tried recently counts as well, if they're still looking."

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 09:53:27 PM »
Kerr chuckled as Ben stumbled through an answer of 'no' but then essentially said 'yes'. Yes, he did want to meet Namri and present to some councils, he did want to dabble in the European supernatural political scene. Sure, it wouldn't be as boldly as trying to run a city but he couldn't help himself, Ben had to be annexed to power somehow. Kerr should be grateful it wasn't fucking Rae getting his attention but there were bound to be even bigger, stronger dicks in some of these councils. He shouldn't count his chickens.

Sighing heavily and allowing his laughter to die with the breath of air, Kerr shook his head as he marvelled at the irony of his life. "I had a sire that didn't give two shits about what any council said, ever, and only wanted to toy with humans night after night. And I've got a fledgeling that's the complete opposite, only dealing with a few, select humans when it suits him but wanting to get close to every council he can because he knows that's where the power's at. Hopefully Charon's name will be enough to get you through Namri's door, considering he didn't officially endorse you," Kerr warned, hoping Ben wouldn't be disappointed if they couldn't get an appointment.

"Your curiosity has provoked mine. I want to know what he's like now, too. When do you want to travel to London? Oh, but your friends are in our apartment, aren't they?" Kerr mused aloud, thinking the conundrum through. He was sure the pretty blond human and his boyfriend were staying indefinitely and Kerr had had some communication about them arriving from his caretaker so... should he and Ben buy somewhere new? Stick to a hotel? Share their own apartment?

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 09:10:41 PM »
Kerr's teeth tapped around his tongue stud as he thought about Ben's proposal of fealty. His experience with councils had been vastly different; he'd done his best to scout around them and avoid them at all costs, rather than acknowledge their existence and stroke huge, ancient egos. He snorted when Ben stumbled over describing Charon's interests, understanding exactly why there'd been more talk than action. He'd been stringing Ben along, fully aware of Ben's lust and attraction to power, dangling the ultimate prize in front of him to distract him while he fucked his brains out. The man knew his carrots, Kerr would give him that.

"The councils are partitioned," he assured distractedly, frowning and nibbling as he imagined what sort of reception they'd get from this Namri character. Thank Charon he was no longer at every ancient's mercy but still... Namri was fourteen hundred years old? What sort of impression could they hope to make, grovelling their way in, wielding only Charon's name? "They're just... competitive and like to test boundaries. So... are you saying you want to go to London and seek out this Namri? Are you sure you don't want to just... stay under the radar like the other times we were here?"

Now Ben would know he'd deliberately kept them to themselves on their prior visits, even though he'd had two fledgelings and a dead sire he could've announced, if he'd had the desire. After doing his best to dodge their attentions for a century, he hadn't been motivated to do the opposite. Would Ben think him a coward?

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 07:51:55 PM »
Kerr squeezed Ben closer to his side and kissed his temple reverently, the sound of their footfalls and an occasional sheep bleat the only noises around them while he processed Ben's words. They'd lost a significant chunk of time thanks to that fucking portal; enough so that by the time he'd re-emerged, he'd almost lost Ben for real. That close call was something he preferred not to think about but when the truth of it was plonked between them with such casual ferocity, he was given no choice. It always made him emotional.

Afraid his voice might be thick with it, he cleared his throat before he spoke, relaxing his hold on Ben's waist so that they could walk more steadily side by side again. "I know of the Sovereigns. Despite being ancient, they're one of the few with a normal-sounding name. Most of them are named in pretentious Latin," he remarked offhandedly. A sharp laugh soon followed as he thought of Sacramentum et Res. He wondered idly if his slur would offend or amuse Charon, it was always hard to tell with that man. Perhaps he'd opt for amusement for Ben's sake, rather than his own.

"I only know about them because I made a... friend in another London council called Crucibilum Hominis - I told you, lots of Latin," he chuckled, hoping his little joke helped Ben overlook his awkward use of the term 'friend'.

Sidra hadn't been a friend really, but she'd become an ally when Kerr had taken advantage of her attraction to him in order to have her influence the trial Sawyl wasn't able to weasel his way out of. He'd been flattered by her affections and ashamed of his behaviour to help his sire but he didn't regret their interactions - beyond feeling guilty for using her, of course. She'd known exactly what he was doing and she'd allowed it because she'd liked Kerr. He'd never suppose to call her 'friend' to her face (or in her mental vicinity), though.

"She taught me lots of things about the councils that a vampire as young as myself shouldn't know," he explained with a conspiratorial smile. "Most of it was gossip; useful only for blackmail purposes. But that was twenty years ago." He looked down at Ben rather than watching the road ahead of them. "Don't tell me you want to get into European supernatural politics now? You're at a disadvantage thanks to your grand-sire so I don't know that we should put our toes in that water," he warned, making light of it even though the sentiment was genuine.

He worried. Immortal beings were very good at holding grudges.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 06:33:31 PM »
Kerr exhaled an appreciative breath when told Ben liked history. He supposed there was that impersonal label to be found here, though his focus was the 'my' part of things; this wasn't 'history' when it was his past they were reliving. Ben's perspective was one he needed to embrace, to compartmentalise himself away from the negativity. That said, he really liked the fact that his love found him interesting. It would keep him delving into the twisted places in his soul until that interest was gone. The things you did for love.

"Oh, man," he said when asked about an Irish Oligarchy. He'd contemplated introducing Ben to the world over here but the fact that he'd asked first still made Kerr feel a little panicky. It felt too soon. Ben was still vulnerable and he felt far too inadequate to the task. He had allies that were too few in number to make this task less daunting but... he was curious, too. He'd been gone twenty or so years but he'd been busy in that time and he highly doubted his run as Luminary had gone unnoticed, even this far away. Maybe he'd helped redeem himself, even if only marginally?

"The setup in Europe is pretty... er, bohemian I guess you'd say. It's the wild fucking west over here. There are pockets of power all over the place, it's not democratic like it is in the States. They're in the major cities, yes, but pretty much in every major city. There've been movements to create a single ruling council but none of them have succeeded, as far as I know. Most councils include representatives for whatever species is in the area but they're often ad hoc and if it's an itinerant species, the representatives fade in and out. Only the oldest councils remain set in stone, otherwise it's very messy. It's nothing for there to be multiple opposing councils vying for control of the one city, controlling all of Europe is a pipe dream. It would be a very powerful, extremely well-resourced and heavily-populated council that could take over."

Kerr laughed bitterly at his final statement, realising he'd gone off on a bit of a tangent and not properly answered Ben but it was the mindset he'd held when last he'd lived in Europe. All the convoluted power structures had just meant more headaches for him than he'd known what to do with, because every night Sawyl seemed to piss off a new bunch with new rules he'd have to make amends for. Sawyl had not been interested in mea culpa contrition, either.

"Halen could've done it. Maybe. Probably. I'd like to think so, anyway.  A dragon would certainly have had more sway than the rest. Maybe that's what he was doing in America - firming up his seat of power before conquering the European radicals and pulling them into line. Fucking Lazarus," Kerr spat the ancient's name then sighed his way out of that train of thought. What could've been would never be now, there was no point lamenting.

"There are Irish councils, yes. I try to steer clear of all of them because they were the first ones Sawyl pissed off and they have very long memories. He was nothing if not thorough. Wherever we went, he and the twins broke someone's rules. We had to keep travelling because of it. A friend on an English council advised me to take him to the U.S. when the same patterns began repeating in England. The councils there were even less forgiving and they had a reputation to uphold. They were gunning for his death. Ironic, really." Kerr shook his head and smiled, able to be amused by Sawyl's insane antics now that he was finally dead and Kerr was no longer being tarred by his brush. His sire was born too late, really; he'd have done so much better in the really early days where the term 'civilisation' was as loose as his morals were.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 14, 2020, 02:31:33 PM »
Kerr chuckled, enjoying the crass stamp of approval Ben put on him. "Truer words had never been spoken," he murmured, grinning at his love as he nuzzled his temple lovingly. He pulled back to continue talking, one arm about Ben's waist. "Though they can't excuse all ills. Love accounts for the rest, I suppose," he offered, amused by his own words. He was probably a terrible person for whitewashing every tragedy he'd been part of but there came a time where he had to move on and being flippant was merely the manifestation of some heavy thought and internalised guilt.

"Shall we get out of here? This pretty veneer still gives me the creeps and I'd much rather spend my time walking and making new memories with you." He turned them towards the front door and strolled in that direction as he spoke. His telekinesis had unlocked it after Ben had disabled the electronics so he made sure to lock it again before he used his mind to pull it closed behind them. Not that his fingerprints would've been on file anywhere, even if he'd left any. "Not that I don't appreciate your efforts at consolation, but do you find revisiting my history interesting? I worry that a place so out of the way and steeped in history - that hasn't, honestly, moved on all that much - will bore you to death," he mused conversationally as they headed away from the manor.

Kerr found the tension coiled in his belly loosening with every step they took.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 13, 2020, 09:15:18 PM »
Kerr's mouth opened slightly and he marvelled at Ben, unable to express quickly how his love's astute statements affected him. He felt seen and comforted and it amazed him how easily Ben could do that. It was like he could tap into Kerr's heart and understand his motives with zero effort. Like he was made for him. He was truly his other half.

Realising he was gawping, Kerr shook his head slightly and smiled, blinking away the stunned feeling. "Thank you," he said quietly, aware that it wasn't really an appropriate follow-on from whatever Ben had said last but it was more important for him to express his appreciation than it was to keep up a cohesive conversation. As he spoke, he wrapped Ben in a bear hug, squeezing him briefly before releasing him. The feeling of connection and being understood still thrummed around them as he took a step back and looked around, attempting once more to assess their surroundings objectively.

"They were the worst sires," he mused. "I felt so bad, for so long, about killing Angus - even though he molested Sawyl, imprisoned me and killed my mother. I didn't want to be a monster like him yet the first thing I did was murder him. For Sawyl but because of him! It was so fucked up. Ugh, I'm so fucked up because of them!" he exclaimed, rubbing a hand across his hair agitatedly before turning to smile at Ben once more. "Welcome to where I died and was made and thank you for putting up with my shit. I wish this place was rubble but I guess it proves a point anyway. Everything can be broken down but come back stronger, given enough time and attention. Unless it's put down properly the first time."

His last words were muttered and sarcastic but truthful. He hadn't enjoyed confronting the truth of this place when coming back tonight but it was just a place. He and Ben would move on. The problem was that he now realised he'd never fully move beyond this place and that really sucked but he was strong enough to adjust. With Ben by his side, guiding and supporting him, he'd do it. They'd be fine.

† OUT OF THE CITY † / Re: Reconnection
« on: December 12, 2020, 07:26:17 PM »
Kerr turned to look at Ben, a frown dominating his features. "No, I... shouldn't it be easier by now? I mean... I've had four hundred years to adjust, it's... time, right?"

Troubled, he turned to look around himself, finally seeing what was there, in the present. It wasn't as intimidating when he wasn't remembering but it was difficult to maintain his focus. It hadn't been so bad when they'd been here last; he'd been enraptured by his new love for Ben, his infatuation buoying him through the experience of returning to this place. It had been near to ruin, too, the facade of it crumbling reassuringly.

He inhaled and held the oxygen inside lungs for a few moments, looking around one last time before he turned back to face Ben. "I'll be fine," he smiled, releasing his breath with the words. "Do you want to know anything in particular? Maybe... head towards the cellar?" he queried casually, steeling himself at the thought.

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