Author Topic: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles  (Read 5609 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« on: July 09, 2011, 07:36:04 PM »
HE WAS FAIRLY SURE ICHABOD wouldn\'t appreciate his visit, but he was coming with good intentions.  He had to watch himself, too; had to ensure he didn\'t lose his patience.  Ichabod tested him quickly, and he found he had little tolerance.  It wasn\'t fair on Kerr that the two of them constantly be at one another\'s throats.  Ichabod had moved out because of it, and unless there was peace made between them, Ben couldn\'t see them ever getting back together either.  Considering making Ichabod a fledgling had been nominated by Ben two years ago, it was only just that he take the first step into making their family a more gracious one.

He was riding up in the lift, listening to a very famous piece of opera music performed by a lead violinist.  Puccini, he remembered - having learned such things thanks to Kerr and his extensive collection of classical music which Ben was gradually sorting through and educating himself on just because he found it interesting - but he couldn\'t remember the name of the music itself.  He thought it might have a german sounding title, but that didn\'t make sense, if it was from an Italian composer, though they\'d all written operas and such in languages other than their own.

The elevator bonged softly to announce his floor and interrupted his thoughts.  He moved out, feeling a striking sense of deja vu and his short journey down the corridor to the door of Kerr\'s old apartment felt unrealistic.  He waited for a long while outside of the door, not wanting to knock on it and announce his presence when he was still feeling detached and odd.  Most of it passed before he finally knocked, and now that he was concentrating, he could feel Ichabod inside the apartment.  Alone, thank goodness.

Kerr was out with Jenna, which was why Ben had come here.  By his watch, Ben had a good four hours to kill before even having to worry about Kerr coming home unexpectedly.  He doubted it would be spent here though.  There was a good chance Ichabod would tell him to fuck off.  If so, he would leave.  That was what this visit was all about, after all, to empower Ichabod and give him his confidence back.  If Ben had been the one to take it away, it was only fair he worked at giving it back.

It would be a long path, he figured, but he hoped that it would also be a successful one.  He stood at the door, waiting for Ichabod to answer his knock.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 08:00:28 PM »
When the bell rang Ichabod had been sat cross legged on the sofa with a notebook on one knee and an open novel on the other. Both had notes scribbled in them - in the novel in pencil and in the notebook a biro which Ichabod was holding between his teeth as he underlined a few words in the book. There were a few others scattered across the coffee table, around a large mug of warm blood Ichabod had only had a little of so far. Maybe he’d go out to find someone to drink from a bit later, but right now he was content enough to stay here.

The books he’d ordered for carrying on his degree had arrived the night before and Ichabod had got stuck in straight away. He’d ordered them as soon as the syllabus arrived and was looking forward to going to night classes, focusing on something other than how miserable and lonely he’d felt since the door had shut behind Kerr when he’d been left here. The fledging didn’t want to dwell on it too much though - he knew Kerr would be able to feel it and didn’t want his sire to think he couldn’t handle this.

The first few nights he’d focused on unpacking and trying to make it feel like his apartment, but at the moment it still felt like it was Kerr’s apartment and Ichabod was just crashing here for a couple of weeks. Even if they redecorated he didn’t know if that would ever really change.

Ichabod glanced around at the door in surprise, pausing for a couple of seconds before putting everything down and padding barefoot towards the door. He and Ben had never done anything to encourage their blood bond and mental links, and after even a couple of days apart it had faded (as it had done before during the day) and Ichabod didn’t think to reach out to find out who it was. He’d never lived alone as a vampire and Kerr had always been the one to think of things like that.

The brunette opened the door and despite his dislike for the blonde, a small smile flickered across his face in recognition.

“Ben, hey,” Ichabod said in a friendly voice, but without even thinking about it he kept himself between Ben’s eyeline of the apartment, one hand on the door and the other (now holding the pen which had been in his mouth) on the doorframe, not exactly welcoming. He was wearing a pair of comfy, worn jeans and a plain black t-shirt, since he hadn’t been planning on seeing anyone unless he went out later. His hair was messy, after his shower earlier he had just let it dry whichever way it wasn’t to and with hands occasionally running through it as he’d read, that was quite a jumble of directions.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 08:35:24 PM »
Ben, also, was dressed for comfort.  Wearing a white hoodie (but with the hood down, and with a splash of colour over the shoulder with a surfing brand), over faded blue jeans and purple chucks on his feet, Ben looked super-casual.  He wasn\'t a fan of dressing up much, it was Kerr that brought that side out in him.

"Hi," he said, shocked to have earned himself a smile, no matter how small. "How\'re you settling in?  I brought a housewarming gift," he said, though he didn\'t have anything obvious on him and wasn\'t holding anything in his hands.

He hoped Ichabod would think to invite him in, because he wasn\'t going to invite himself in.  If not on his best behaviour, he might\'ve made a comment about being polite to houseguests by now.  As it was, he was focussing on smiling politely and trying not to peer past Ichabod at the room beyond to see if any changes had been made (even though it had only been a week).  He didn\'t have time to think about being surly.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 08:56:54 PM »
A frown of confusion flickered across Ichabod’s face at Ben’s words - a housewarming gift? What was he talking about? He tried to smooth it away quickly though, he didn’t want to fight with Ben. But he’d moved away partly to get away from him, to spend some time apart… so why was Ben here?

The smile had only lasted a few seconds and after the frown it didn\'t come back, it hd been replaced by what Ichabod had hoped was a pretty neutral look. Ichabod didn’t want to invite his brother in, but after a moment he took half a step back, letting his hand drop from the doorframe. He knew he had to be polite, friendly, that was what was expected.

“Uh, yeah, it’s been… ok. Come on in if you want,” Ichabod said, holding open the door, his head bowing a little to the older vampire as he gestured for Ben to enter the apartment.

“You want a drink?” he asked, waiting until Ben was in before he shut the door behind him, lingering by the entrance as he watched Ben in Kerr’s apartment, feeling suddenly like he was the guest in their home, rather than the other way around. His dark eyes cast around the room, quickly judging how tidy it was - pretty good, it was just the coffee table that had stuff all over it, but it wasn\'t rubbish or anything like that.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 07:04:17 AM »
Ben came in, stepping past Ichabod into the entryway and walking a few steps further, so he wasn\'t crowding his blood brother.  He turned around and stood in the apartment, watching as Ichabod closed the door and turned to face him.

"Only if you\'re having one," Ben said in response to the drink offer.  He didn\'t really need a drink, but figured he\'d want one if Ichabod warmed some blood up.  The smell would no doubt get him going.

Ben pulled out a silver keyring from his jeans front pocket, which he\'d purchased from a watchmaker\'s shop on the way over.  The keyring had a miniature open book on it, and the detail was exceptional.  Ben suspected a vampire had made it, even though the person behind the counter was mortal.  The book\'s pages, each were one and a half centimetres wide by two centimeters high, had print so small he doubted human eyes would be able to read it.  As a vampire, he could, and recognised the text as being a couple of pages from the original Dracula.  It was the kind of thing he\'d buy for himself, but he knew Ichabod was a reader - like him - and figured it would mean something between the both of them.  Kerr didn\'t have an affinity for books and reading like they did.

"You can put your apartment keys on it," he said stupidly, and handed it towards Ichabod, feeling more like it was a peace offering than a housewarming gift.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 08:53:29 AM »
Ichabod gave a tiny nod at Ben’s response to the drink offer, intending on getting him one, but Ben holding out the glint of silver caught Ichabod’s eye and distracted him from his task. He paused for a second, almost suspicious of what was being held out, but then he reached out to take the tiny book carefully.

“Wow, that’s… beautiful,” Ichabod said, examining the key ring. He’d expected the writing inside to just be lines, because on things similar to this he’d seen as a human, that was what he’d seen. But this was actual writing, and a smile broke out on Ichabod’s face as he recognised it.

“Dracula, cute,” Ichbaod said, glancing up at Ben, still smiling, but it faded a little as he met the blonde’s gaze. He’d never been good at accepting gifts, with Kerr he would have hugged him, same with his parents. A friend, he would have given a friendly punch on the arm, but Ben? Maybe it was stupid and he should get over it, but with Ben it always felt like there was an agenda and Ichabod was just too stupid to see it. He half felt like he should reject it, like he would be a hypocrite for accepting a present from someone he didn’t like and who didn’t like him. But he was trying, and the token of peace was a sign Ben was too.

“You didn’t have to do that. Thank you,” he said sincerely, with an appreciative nod, before he remembered his offer of a drink.

“I got a drink earlier, it’s probably cold now,” Ichabod said, moving quickly to the coffee table to scoop up his mug, then key ring dangling from his fingers. He poured Ben one too (preferring another mug to the more exquisite glassware Kerr had stocked the apartment with) and popped them both in the microwave.

“You can sit if you want,” Ichabod had said as he’d poured the drinks, looking down at the mugs but gesturing to the seating area in the open plan living area of the apartment.

As he waited for the blood to heat Ichabod scooped his keys up from the bowl by the door. He only had the apartment key and the key to the car Kerr had insisted he take, as the key card to the Oligarchy was in his wallet. The keys were attached to a tacky looking rubber keyring from the university he’d started at, and he carefully began to attach the book to the bundle, focusing on that rather than what his brother had decided on doing, where it was sit down or loiter by the kitchen waiting for the blood.

“Everything okay? With you? And Kerr?” he asked eventually, glancing up at Ben once the book was in place.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 12:29:47 PM »
Ben was very pleased with Ichabod\'s reaction, and impressed that Ichabod recognised the novel, though even though Dracula himself wasn\'t featured in the miniature script of the silver pages, the very famous Van Helsing had been mentioned.

"I know," Ben replied about not having to give Ichabod anything, and merely ducked his head when thanked.  He sensed Ichabod\'s awkwardness once the gift was in his hands and all things had been said, and busied himself putting his hands in the front pouch of his white hoodie.  It wasn\'t like his hands felt the cold, but it was something to do as he stood there and Ichabod acted the host.  It was also non-threatening, he thought, to stand idly.

He watched as Ichabod talked about his drink and collected the mug off the coffee table, and found himself a seat near where Ichabod had been sitting - evident by the placement of the books and notes.

"Thanks," he said, and when asked about Kerr, wasn\'t sure what Ichabod was trying to ask.  Did he think Ben had an argument with their sire and run here?  No, Ichabod was just being polite and asking after them.  Right?

Right.

"He\'s gone to see an opera," Ben said, not adding Jenna\'s name as the company Kerr had gone with because he didn\'t know how Ichabod would react to Kerr\'s going out with an ex, and Ben wanted his focus.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 07:19:07 PM »
“Oh right,” Ichabod said, wondering for a moment who Kerr had gone with, or maybe he’d gone alone, but things were awkward enough between him and Ben without him continuously bringing up one of the bones of contention between them. To be honest, it did hurt a little to know Kerr was off out at the opera when he hadn’t even come to visit his youngest fledgling, and Ichabod didn’t want to bother him by inviting him over when he’d thought Kerr would be busy at work.

He should change the subject… but to what? Asking Ben what he’d been doing? Probably much the same as usual, reading in the library, studying, feeding, fucking Kerr.

“Here you go,” Ichabod said, pleased for the distraction when the drinks were ready and he passed Ben his before settling down where he had been on the sofa, folding up his legs underneath him and cradling the mug in his lap.

“Have you heard anything else about Lazarus?” he asked after a moment, at a loss for conversation topics with the blonde and sure Ben must have another reason for being here, but Ichabod didn’t want to just blurt out ‘What do you want?’.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 08:02:17 PM »
"Thanks," Ben said when he was given the mug, and he rather preferred the heavy cup to Kerr\'s fine glassware also.  It was more him, and he figured it was more Ichabod.  The pair of them really did have more in common with each other than with their sire.  Funny how Ben had never looked at such a thing too closely, before.  More fool, him.

"No, surprisingly.  He\'s seemed to have slipped into the shadows, or something.  I\'m sure he\'ll turn up, sooner than Kerr would like," he said with a grin, though it was a humourless one.  He\'d figured Lazarus would end up causing their sire some anxiety before leaving the city again.

He waited a moment, letting the silence grow between them while Ichabod looked uncomfortable.  Fair enough too, for Ben had simply showed up without explanation.

"I don\'t want things to grow rotten between us," he said finally, after taking a sip of blood.  "I want to be friends.  I know I\'ve said it before," he said, rolling his eyes before Ichabod could point out his argument, "but I was still a shit about it.  I had no patience.  Now, that we have a little space from one another, I figured I\'d come and see you.  Visit you, you know, on your terms.  Whatever you want from me, you\'ll have."  He stared at Ichabod intently.  "If you tell me to leave, then I will.  If you tell me you\'re not interested in talking, then I\'ll try again next week.  If you\'re not ready then, I\'ll wait another week.  Whatever you want."  He watched as Ichabod chewed on this information, which was a lot to take in, really.  "If you want revenge..." Ben shrugged.  "I\'ll man up."
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 08:30:50 PM »
He didn’t want things to grow rotten? They already were, surely? They always had been, apart from their first night together, which Ben couldn’t even remember. After that it had all gone downhill, meeting at bad times, in bad situations, both of them behaving like brats. No wonder Kerr wanted rid of one of them, and Ichabod had always known it would be him (as much as he’d hoped otherwise). Even when Ben had suggested Kerr sire Ichabod, the brunette had known it wouldn’t end well. But he’d hoped the link with Kerr, that would make everything just a little more bareable. Give him something to hold on to.

His gaze dropped to his mug, taking a sip as Ben spoke, and as he lowered it again he was frowning at his brother. What the Hell was he talking about? He was saying he would do it on Ichabod’s terms, but if that was true then he wouldn’t be saying he would show up here every week until Ichabod wanted to talk to him. Hounding him, trying to be friendly until he lost his patience and he got pissed off.

At the mention of revenge Ichabod shook his head slightly in disbelief. Was Ben serious? Revenge for what? For tormenting him when he’d been human - something Ben had never wanted to take responsibility for because it was so long ago, it shouldn’t matter, and besides, it hadn’t really been him, none of it had been him, apparently. Or revenge for having everything Ichabod wanted? For going away and hurting Kerr - but then coming back and dashing what could have been for Ichabod?

Ichabod wanted to tell him to go away, to not bother coming back. But he’d never been strong enough to really stand up to people and generally when he did everything went wrong.

“I don’t want anything from you,” Ichabod said eventually, unsure of what Ben had meant by that. “Why do you want to bother trying? I mean, if we couldn’t do it living together then what’s the point now I’m gone?”

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 09:02:48 PM »
Ichabod arguing his desire was expected, but still left Ben frustrated.  He took a breath, held it, released it.  It took concentration for him to do it, for he didn\'t breathe unnecessarily anymore - though it had taken him over a year to break the habit.

"It\'ll be easier to be friendly, now we have some space from one another," he said, imagining two caged ferrets living together.  "And you should know why I\'m bothering.  For Kerr.  We could\'ve given him something wonderful - an existence with two people he loved; he\'s lost his first family, we could\'ve been a wonderful substitute.  Instead we nipped at each other like disobediant pups.  He deserves me at least attempting a friendship with you.  A real attempt, not like the ones I made and didn\'t bother seeing through."

He took a large gulp of blood and wiped his lips with his hand afterward, though he\'d spilt nothing, not breaking eye contact with Ichabod.

"I won\'t be shitty about it, if you throw me out and tell me to fuck off every week, then I\'ll fuck off.  You can leave a sign on the door if you don\'t want to do it in person, but I have to at least give it a proper go.  If I can\'t stop being selfish now, imagine what I\'ll be like in a hundred years time."
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 09:23:12 PM »
Ichabod felt a swell of guilt as Ben said it was for Kerr. He wanted their sire to be happy, content with them, proud of them. But it didn’t feel like it should be this hard. Like they had to force themselves into it. This is how it was though. And if Ben was going to try Ichabod knew he should too.

“Okay, well… fine. If you want to. What... what is it you want to do?” he asked warily. Were they going to sit here and talk about all the things that annoyed them about each other? Or pretend that they were actually friends and hang out together, not mentioning how much they grated  on one another?

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 03:43:43 AM »
"That\'s my point," Ben said, tipping his mug toward Ichabod, to illustrate what had just been said. "I\'ve always taken charge, bossed you around. This time, you have all the power." He took another sip and spoke again before Ichabod did. "if you want to sit and stare at one another, then that\'s what we\'ll do. If you want to talk, then we\'ll talk. I\'m willing to do anything you want."
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

  • VIP
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2011, 04:22:38 AM »
“Right… ok then,” Ichabod said, not really liking the idea of himself or Ben having all the power. He’d never been a leader, he much preferred seeing what other people wanted to do and going from there. And after what Ben had said about revenge, this whole idea worried him. Maybe Ben was expecting him to slip up, to try to make him act badly. Ichabod didn’t think he would - but when he’d first met Ben he’d never thought the blonde would act like he had done.

He busied himself drinking his blood as he glanced around the room, trying to find inspiration, before he finally picked something. He had no idea whether Ben would want to do it, but he’d said Ichabod could choose.

“I’ve been playing a game on the X-Box, and I can’t get past the next level without someone to play with… it’s kind of stupid, killing zombies as more and more come at you, but it’s fun,” Ichabod said, beginning to mark the places in his books and packed them away as he avoided watching Ben to see his reaction to the suggestion.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11351
    • View Profile
Re: Consoled, Consoling, Consoles
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 07:57:01 AM »
Ben was staring at Ichabod while the other figured it out.  He knew this would be a slow process, and possibly a long one that would span years.  He hoped Ichabod would allow it.  Hell, he\'d made more progress tonight than he\'d thought he would, because he\'d been allowed to come into the apartment and hand over his gift.  He\'d really thought Ichabod would ask him to leave at the door.

At the suggestion they play X-box games, Ben nodded eagerly.

"It\'s been years since I\'ve played any kind of computer game, so I\'m probably not going to be much help," he said, "but I\'ll give it a go."

Ichabod would likely hear the smile in his voice as he said so.  Ben was genuinely pleased to begin with something simple, and he\'d never bothered with the console when it had been at the Chambers.  Only Ichabod had ever played with it, while Ben had looked down his nose at it, preferring to spend time with his books instead.  It appeared now all he\'d needed was an invitation.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :