Author Topic: An Optimistic Joy  (Read 761 times)

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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2019, 06:17:36 AM »
Mal's smile found its way through the tension as a waft of blood in the human's cheeks rushed at his senses.  The simplicity of this moment was touching, and fleetingly wished they could stay here suspended in time.

I'd want to know that too, so don't just be nice about it

Something in that sentence filled him with a rush of guilt, knowing that he was hiding something from him completely unrelated to their date.  But he couldn't focus on that now.  It would ruin everything and he wasn't about to do that now.

"I'm not just being nice," he insisted, seriousness edging into his voice, "I like spending time with you."  He stopped talking just before saying and I can't wait to do it again.  Unconsciously he held Quinn a bit tighter. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2019, 06:43:24 AM »
He tried to suppress the smirk that would have him grinning like an idiot as he beamed privately, the burn in his cheeks and ears increasing and his heart fluttering. It was one thing to feel the thing, express it in subtle ways throughout the night - laughs, looks, hand holding. It was something altogether different to hear it verbalized, normalized, legitimized in the cool night air. So their date was going good? Some dark part of him told him that it was a lie - Malakai was a nice guy being nice, that's all - but the good feeling fought hard enough to override it.

His first instinct was to give him a sarcastic, flashy response and avoid saying the thing that made him feel vulnerable. Had Mal not spoken up first, Quinn probably would have avoided it most (if not all) of the night. As it was, there was the temptation to reciprocate, though it still felt somewhat scary. His mind pushed for the protective sarcasm, but he forced out something more honest instead.

"I've been enjoying myself with you as well." Quinn looked up at his date, tucking himself closer as if in a physical conformation of the depth of his words. "I've always had a fun time with you." He hesitated before telling him something he had always tried not to be too obvious about. "I've been... wanting to," ask you out on a date, he thought to himself, "...spend time with you alone for a while now, actually."

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2019, 06:53:34 AM »
The unspoken thought flitting in Quinn's mind reached through the ether, making Mal freeze as he caught it.

For whatever reason, it was surprising to him that Quinn had been interested in him in that way.  Not when he had numerous other choices to pick from.  Besides Jerry with his nearly irredeemable assholery. 

"Oh?"  He let out a huff of a nervous laugh, looking around for something to stare at in order to regain his composure.  How long had they been dancing around this obviously mutual feeling?  Mal was at a loss for what to say, awash with discomfort.  Was it obvious he was scrambling for something to say?  He really hoped not.  "I always looked forward to, uh, hanging out."  Smooth.

He was going to ruin this eventually, he was sure of it.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2019, 07:16:53 AM »
Quinn blinked and tilted his head at Mal's use of the words 'hanging out'. The air between them went quickly stale and Quinn could feel Mal's dismay and awkwardness immediately. He chortled, his shoulders shaking with his suppressed laugh. "Oh yeah?" His amusement and adoration of the vampire was clear on his face. Their friendship had provided him with plenty of experience with this particular theme of wordlessness, though usually it was when he was confronted and not prepared with an answer. This shade of ineloquence may have been new to Quinn, but the reactions were all the same.

"Oh, Malakai," Quinn said with a smiling, resigned sigh, taking the arm that was around him off his shoulder by holding his hand again. In a smooth motion he lifted his arm and guided it until it was between them (with Mal's hesitance and lack of idea of what was going on). The distance between them was only temporary as Quinn wove his arm between Mal's ribs and arm so that their limbs were pressed together and their hands clasped in a tight weave of warm and cool skin.

"You're lucky you're cute," he said, falling back into a habit he had developed over the years - though now it had an extra level of meaning. Quinn was still confused how this bashful, adorable, floundering vampire had written some of the songs he had.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2019, 01:21:15 AM »
The distraction of Quinn's warmth competed with the awkward self-consciousness.  Mal huffed a light laugh through his nose, fighting the increasing fluster in his chest.  He stole a glance at Quinn's face as their limbs readjusted, pleased with the expression he found but too impatient for having as much warmth against him as possible to attempt to decipher it.

Lucky.  He didn't feel lucky.  His looks had gotten him into more uncomfortable situations than he would have preferred.  Again - not a topic he was keen on getting into now.  Which just felt like extending a lie.  Well, not that he had outright lied about anything, just...  Omitted information. 

No reason to get this caught up on it.  It was just a casual statement.  What were they saying nowadays - it's not deep?

After a sigh, Mal made a conscious effort to relax against Quinn, willing himself to exist in the space where their skin met.  His thumb rubbed a small circle on the top of Quinn's hand, deliberately more affectionate than the casual hand-holding from before.  Now there was no distraction of navigating through a crowd of people.  His gaze moved from their linked fingers to Quinn's lips, and he caught himself (hopefully) before it became obvious, looking out at the people by the food stands. 

Was it wrong that he wanted to kiss him, knowing that physically things wouldn't progress much beyond that? 

His thumb stopped circling.  "I want to see you again," the soft declaration felt almost shy, and he avoided looking at Quinn's face in favor of the dirt in front of the bench.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2019, 05:49:30 AM »
There was that annoying heat in his face again as he watched Mal trace circles with his thumb on Quinn's hand. This simpleness kept him in his body rather than floating through his thoughts for entertainment, distraction, or the pressure to be interesting. It felt peculiar, this small action and Quinn examined it quietly as he relaxed against Mal, fitting together.

At first there was a self-consciousness that turned inwards, things that inquired if he were truly worthy of such affection, especially from Malakai, whom had always been untouchable to him before. That part was the part that reminded Quinn about the shitty men that had come and gone from his life - Mike, Jerry, and how many others? - and had spent years trying to convince him that those were the types that should be and always would be interested in him. But this? Was Quinn even worthy of this?

He detactedly dissected the peculiarity of the feeling to find it bound by the time he had spent without such simple things like genuine affection and care. He and Jeremiah had never been intimate in that way; their time was spent fucking and feeding and recovering from fucking and feeding, or around others like Malakai and the rest of the band. Sure, they had held hands on occasion - mostly when Quinn had initiated (and enforced) it or when he was being held down into the bed during a kinkier romp - but it had never felt like more than a casual touch, a convenient one. Before Jerry, it was John, who insisted on as many public displays of affection as possible when their relationship had started. Hand holding was something they had done often in the beginning, until Quinn had felt the rage, resentment, and social pressure build. He mused for a moment, figuring that the last time holding someone's hand meant something significant was almost three years ago now.

"I want to see you again."

Bravery.

Quinn smirked redly down at the ground, pulling himself back to the feeling of holding Malakai's hand, his blue eyes landing on where their skin touched. He heard the words, felt them as they entered his ears and swelled in his chest with a kind of excitement. Once again, that conditioned urge to hide his vulnerability behind a sarcastic or funny comment bubbled up and was fought silently by the human.

"Yeah," he nodded absently with a deepening flush. "I'd like that." He paused and looked up at the crowd without truly seeing them, and chuckled. "I can't even tell you how long I've been wanting to... go on a date with you." He looked over at the vampire now, his eyes flickering to his lips briefly before finding his gaze. "But... you know..." Quinn shrugged, not knowing whether his casual shrug was enough of an answer to excuse his stupidity for trying to make things work with Jerry. "Hindsight, and all that..."

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2019, 07:14:59 AM »
Mal scarcely heard what Quinn said after their eyes met. 

"Can I kiss you?"  His breathless request barely carried over the noise of the Carnival.  The instant it left his lips, regret mixed with a flush of excitement blooming in his chest.  His grip on Quinn's hand loosened, expecting the human to want to pull away.  "S- sorry, I just-"  Just what?  Pathetically he left the sentence hanging.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2019, 06:10:10 AM »
He lips parted to say something - to agree, to stop his apologizing, to invite him closer, anything - but nothing came out, save a gasp of air to accompany the flush of heat that filled his face. Words escaped him, danced on his vocal chords just out of reach, giving him the feeling of a stutter without sound - and a face to match. The corners of his mouth lifted and those butterflies in his stomach rose like birds into his chest now. In the moments before Mal's apology, Quinn couldn't stop himself from looking away from his date.

A million and one thoughts ran through his mind at that moment, but the one that snagged his attention the most was the back pedalling that Mal tried to do, complete with what Quinn interpreted as the beginnings of a physical retreat. He felt a brief flicker of panic, as if Quinn had done something wrong to cause him to withdraw and he returned his gaze to the other. Quinn grasped him tighter reflexively, unwilling to let the feeling that Mal brought him with his proximity go just yet.

The moment hung between them as he debated quickly what the most appropriate response would be - besides yes, obviously. Kissing Malakai... He had thought about it before dozens of times as a passing fancy, something fleeting and not worth paying too close attention to (especially while in his presence) before tonight. Now, there was an open desire on the table between them that both warmed him and made Quinn needlessly nervous in the same self-conscious way as before. For brief seconds he battled with that choked-up feeling, the melting in his chest, and the tension of the moment that was escaping between them, the appropriate range of time for an action or a statement rapidly slipping away... Should he say that? Just give consent to be kissed like some damsel in a Disney flick? There was a romantic aspect of that, of course, but it felt dumb.

With a revelation that made his heart skip a beat, Quinn released his hold on the vampire within seconds of doing so and pulled out of Mal's slackened grasp completely. He slipped his arm behind Malakai, on the back of the bench on which they sat, allowing his position to open up and turn towards his date. It was hard to breathe properly being so close to the other man, the tension tightening as they both knew why he was approaching, Quinn's eyes falling onto Mal's lips. His chest touched Mal's shoulder as he leaned into him, the surreal feeling of taking his cool, full lips onto his in answer.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2019, 05:35:03 AM »
At first, when Quinn pulled away, Mal was sure he'd fucked up.  They were on a park bench in this sort-of-shitty Carnival, in a less-than-romantic moment on their first (and a half?) date.  The conditions were hardly ideal, so why did he ask?  Nevermind the Secret Mal had been keeping.  Regret obscured any obvious signs that would indicate otherwise as his perception of time slowed, magnifying his mistake and words that couldn't be taken back now.  Different - more ideal - scenarios raced through his mind, instances that would've been more appropriate to ask.  Maybe with goodbye in the same breath, in the car in front of Quinn's apartment - that way the human had a way to escape if he didn't want to that would be less awkward than while they were still out and had the car ride back to deal with.

Maybe he was just overthinking it.

Quinn's arm continued to move around his body and a flash of confusion cut through the fog of panic, before blissfully giving way to relief.  No, he hadn't fucked up.  While he didn't need to breathe, Mal felt the tension in the stillness of his lungs as he waited, resisting the urge to close the distance between them until Quinn was touching his shoulder.  They leaned in together as if it were a neatly choreographed event, and when the warmth of Quinn's lips brushed against him it released the last of Mal's uncertainty. 

For a moment, he could just focus on this.  The heat of Quinn's face reflected on Mal's cheeks and for a moment he could pretend that heat was his own.  Gently he placed his palm against Quinn's cheek, punctuating the affection in the gesture as his lips moved softly and without urgency. 

No, this was perfect in its own right.

When they finally parted, Mal offered Quinn a small smile, unable to resist a nervous breathy laugh.  "Okay,"  he murmured, glancing away and back at intervals to break up the pressure of sustained eye contact. 

Okay? Okay what?
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2019, 09:14:04 AM »
The tenderness of the kiss, Mal's hand on his cheek made his heart swell and for a moment Quinn vaguely wondered if he would explode with the intensity of the feeling. The bashfulness that had kept him in indecision of how to react to Mal's request gave way to a comfort, an eagerness to have that moment last forever. He felt present, grounded in his own skin and decided that yes, he could get used to kissing Malakai like this.

The kiss was mostly chaste, lacking thirst and desire to advance towards some end other than just... being. There was no urgency for more than that kiss from the vampire, no assertion of dominance to control the actions, nor inspire any kind of naughtiness. When Quinn dared let his tongue brush tentatively against Mal's lip in appreciation of the hand on his cheek, they lingered there and didn't progress further, but parted naturally together. Quinn opened his eyes to see the closeness of his partner. To see him that close again brought more fluttering in his chest.

At his comment, Quinn snorted a laugh and buried his face in Malakai's shoulder, face flushing hard. That shyness returned and served as a forceful reminder that he had just kissed the man he had an affinity for for years, a man whom he had always viewed as so far out of his league, he was lucky to get invited to the house parties he had. There was a giddy novelty to the feeling that made him want to kiss the vampire again, public be damned. Passing thoughts of inviting Mal home with him tempted his self control, but Quinn thankfully kept his mouth shut. No need to ruin something so nice, refreshing, and new just yet with invitations of sex.

Besides, he was supposed to be good tonight and go home alone after this date.

"Yup," Quinn said after a while, needing to respond with something, though remaining at such a complete loss of words that he only realized how dumb his comment sounded after it was out of his mouth. He snorted another laugh against Mal's shoulder, hoping he was have something better to break the ice with.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2019, 10:09:47 AM »
There was a sort of phantom soreness in his cheeks from the smiling, intensifying as Quinn mirrored the shy sort of awkwardness that persisted between them.  Mal snaked an arm around the human as his hot face pressed against his shoulder.  The urge to overanalyze his own actions swelled, and he fought against it by focusing on Quinn's heartbeat.

Which was inconveniently mouthwatering.

"Do you, uh, want to go play some games?"  Needlessly he cleared his throat, attempting to change the energy between them to something more casual.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: An Optimistic Joy
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2019, 10:31:21 AM »
Quinn took his face out of hiding as Mal spoke, choosing to gaze off at the footpath in front of them as Mal snaked his arm around him, embracing him. God, how he missed this feeling. He sat with it a moment before responding to the question posed, enjoying the proximity, the lightness, the comfort of being with Mal. His flushing cheeks settled into a light smile as he turned inward to his own thoughts briefly. With a bit of shy hesitance - and contained reluctance - Quinn spoke up and took his head off of Mal's shoulder and sat up properly.

"I'd like that," he said in a small voice tinged with his smirk. He found Mal's gaze again and couldn't (didn't) resist placing another kiss on those full lips. When he was released, Quinn shifted and gathered his apple (which had started to oxidize and turn brown where the fruit's meat was exposed), the bag of popcorn, and the bag of cotton candy (now only a third full) before standing and offering a hand to Mal to help him off the bench. And to hold on their adventure through the rest of the Carnival grounds. The idea of weaving their fingers together as they walked made him grin. "C'mon, I'll win you a teddy bear."