Author Topic: Uncomfortable Conversations  (Read 96 times)

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Offline Saiketsu

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Uncomfortable Conversations
« on: November 13, 2019, 01:56:33 PM »
For Cedar.

He had been able to make some convenient excuses to avoid Malakai while he figured his own shit out but after a few days of short texts and dead end conversations, Quinn decided to bite the bullet. And while he had figured out how he felt - more or less, anyway - he had no clue how he was going to breach the conversation at all with Mal. A large part of him wanted to just ignore the conversation with Jerry and just move forward past it, but the real possibility of not being able to advance the relationship into anything too physical clung to his every attempt to forget that conversation.

On the fourth day after talking to Jerry, Quinn dialed Mal's phone, his head in his hands and his voice tired. He did his best to not phrase it in a "we need to talk" kind of way, choosing instead to say that something that Jerry had said was bothering him and he needed to see him and talk about it. When there was a sigh and an impatient tone, apologies on behalf of Jeremiah Peterson, and a generous invitation to come and vent, Quinn knew that he had succeeded. For the millionth time, he wondered if what Jerry had said was true.

He took the train south and got off at a familiar stop a few blocks from the towering apartment building. He hadn't been to Malakai's place since they had started dating, and before that it had been months since their last social gathering together. Of course, Jerry and Zach lived in the same building - something Quinn had not forgotten upon asking to visit Mal. It was annoying to have so many reminders of Jerry when all he wanted to do was distance himself from the vampire.

Quinn was intimately familiar with the lobby of the building, being a familiar sight for almost two years, but somewhere he hadn't been in about six weeks. The familiarity of it was almost comforting. Almost. He stepped into the elevator and skipped the fifth floor in favor of the nineteenth, though his finger intuitively grazed the button lightly by habit.

Going to the nineteenth floor gave him too much time to think about things he didn't want to think about anymore, and Quinn spent the majority of his time in the elevator pushing the unpleasantness of his thoughts around on the plate of his thoughtfulness. When the doors of the cabin finally opened, Quinn thought about hesitating. The impulsive thought of returning to the lobby and sitting there for a time flickered through him and with difficulty he allowed it to pass. He left the cabin and knocked on the door to 1901.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 08:04:34 AM »
Things were going fantastic as far as he was concerned.  Dating Quinn was infinitely more rewarding than just being friends.  In his spare time, he'd taken to coming up with other date ideas - places he wanted to take the human, things he wanted to show him.  He'd been jotting them down in a note app on his phone as they came to him so he wouldn't forget, scrolling through the list whenever he was alone and the human crossed his mind.  Up until Quinn called him, over the last four days Malakai assumed that he was just really busy - which was okay, mostly, since Mal had his hands full between playing at the Rabbit and finishing up the seasonal rush of costume orders.  It was still too soon to worry about Quinn losing interest, even though the question pulled at the back of his mind with each abbreviated conversation he'd had with him.  From that same place in the back of his mind came a bit of urgency to come up with the perfect date idea next time Quinn had some free time.  Well, it was easier to ignore the things he left unsaid that way.  Push the guilt of that away for another day - life's too short and all that.

The fact that Quinn didn't give him any details about his conversation with Jerry left Mal hanging.  He hadn't gotten around to letting anyone else know that they were seeing each other because of it.  Not that it would've mattered, probably, but it felt like it would - that Quinn's conversation would inform how they would move forward.  Jerry wasn't really acting any differently the last few shows they played, so Mal assumed that everything was okay (not that Jeremiah Peterson was one to act as a gauge on how things were going). 

He'd wait for Quinn, deal with the anxiety - but he wasn't going to be pushy. 

Of course, when Quinn called asking to come over and talk about something Jerry said, it confirmed Mal's worst suspicions.  It was impossible to determine from Quinn's tone how bad it had been.  He sincerely hoped this wouldn't be the moment where Jerry had crossed over the point of no return.  Jerry said some stupid shit, and Mal was just hoping that the last awful conversation Jerry had with Quinn got it all out of his system.  But apparently Jeremiah was an endless fountain of trash.  Well, maybe trash was a bit harsh.  Not like he hated the guy. 

Anxiously in the second bedroom, he worked at his sewing machine with the door open.  He would've been a bundle of nerves just waiting for Quinn to show up.  It was just Jerry bullshit, no reason to feel so on edge - and yet he couldn't help it.  He hated seeing Quinn upset and had every intention of making up for whatever happened.

Malakai made sure the kettle was on just before Quinn was due to come over.  He always made sure to have some small comforts stocked for the humans (and others who ate things) that visited.  The kitchen table had been completely cleared off for hot chocolate, tea, a big mug, sugar, and marshmallows so it was the first thing Quinn would see when he walked in.  It was too short notice to see about food, but he figured Quinn might be interested in ordering something.  Or maybe going out, at least to get his mind off of whatever he was about to tell Mal. 

He jumped at the sound of a knock at the door, surprised that he hadn't heard the elevator or footsteps, and practically bolted to the front door. 

"Hey," he said breathlessly, a sympathetic expression on his face.  He'd felt caught somewhere between stepping out of the way and going in to give Quinn a hug - this manifesting itself in a strange mix of attempting to do both with a pained expression and hesitant glance. 
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 12:54:55 PM »
"Hey," he said perfunctorily, easing the transition into the house by hugging Mal as he came in, understanding but not commenting on the slightly awkward movement. The hug was as full as it had ever been before and he was briefly filled with loss because of it - would this be the last time he received such affection? God, he hoped not, but he could still feel his face flush as he held Malakai in an embrace. When it broke apart, he looked at him with a searching gaze he tried not to make obviously, searching for the answer to his question.

Was he...?

Quinn looked away quick with an awkward smirk. "It's good to see you." It was true, and a small part of him slipped into the comfort that he felt being around Mal again. Why couldn't that comfort be the only thing that mattered? Why couldn't all the questions just stop when he saw his partner's handsome face so alight with care? Why couldn't it be enough? He sighed and reached out for Mal's hand, weaving his fingers between his as soon as it was taken and taking a step closer to Mal.

"Can we, uh, sit down?" Quinn asked, rubbing the back of his neck, realizing he must be inciting panic. Every attempt to dissuade such a reaction would only bring upon more. "This time was a doozy of a chat and..." He stumbled feeling foolish and looking away until he found some words that weren't supposed to strike fear, "... I just need you to know about it."

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 01:09:07 PM »
The hug was reassuring, but barely.  Nerves widened his smile at Quinn's words. "It's good to see you," he squeezed Quinn's hand once he had it, trying to focus on the warmth to drown out the anxious questions swirling around in his mind.  Once they'd walked past the threshold Mal closed the door behind them.  The penthouse seemed too quiet after the sound finished reverberating through the rooms.  It was almost unsettling.  He should've put on some background music before Quinn got here - too late for that now, starting it up would just look weird at this point.

"Yeah, of course," he practically whispered, then cleared his throat.  "You, uh, want any tea or hot chocolate or anything?"  His tone was a little too hopeful, and internally Mal winced at himself.  Quinn wanted to vent - this wasn't about fixing everything.  The elevated heart rate wasn't making for a convincing argument, and Mal did his best not to wonder at it.  But how bad could the conversation have gone?  There was only so much Mal could imagine, none of it seeming to match up with the way Quinn was behaving.

"Where do you want to sit?"  He added hurriedly, glancing between the kitchen table and the livingroom area.
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 01:49:02 PM »
The gesture struck him as sweet and he smirked stiffly, caught between that same sense of preparing for loss and being the recipient of a kindness. "No, I'm good, thanks though," he said with a shrug.

There wasn't much debate in him as to where to go. "Let's do living room." I want us both to be as comfortable as possible, he thought silently and led Mal into his own living room by the hand after a quick agreement. He sat on one of the huge couches, gently guiding Malakai down next to him. He had imagined that the comfort of the living room - where they had friends over and laughter and fun - would be the best place to mitigate some of the discomfort. As he sat, he made sure to keep his knee connected with Mal's leg, an anchor of comfort for himself as he broke the proverbial ice.

"Okay, so," he began, nervously rubbing the back of Malakai's hand. "I first want to just remind you that Jerry is a complete ass and he doesn't get shit." As if Malakai didn't already know such things. "So when I tell you this, you can't just like, go approach him about it, ok? Like you can't..." He paused, wondering how much he could actually ask for without overstepping a boundary as a new partner and/or friend. "You can't hurt him, okay? But I need you to know what we're, uh, dealing with here. And that's the only reason I'm telling you."

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 01:56:50 PM »
Disappointment swarmed him for the briefest of moments at Quinn's refusal, but he pushed it away as the human led them to the living room.   

What Quinn said had his frown deepening.  "Oh...kay," the word was drawn out with confusion and apprehension.  That didn't sound good.  The want to hurt Jerry rose quickly in his chest at the mere suggestion that whatever Quinn was about to unload would call for him resisting the urge.  Unconsciously his leg jiggled and he let a heavy sigh out from his nose.  He glanced into Quinn's face and attempted to give a reassuring smile that manifested a tad too tight. 
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 01:56:35 AM »
Fuck. By Mal's expression he was making this whole situation worse with his vagueness and he desperately wanted to just take it all back. Quinn looked away, unsure of how to say what he needed to, now that he was sitting next to the vampire. There was a want to reach out and cuddle up next to him, to soften the blow of the news somehow, but the need to maintain distance and be reassured that everything would - one way or another - be okay for himself overrode it.

He sighed, noting his partner's jiggling knee and feeling that anxious gaze on him. "Sooo," he drew out the syllable and sighed again, looking down at their hands clasped together. "I went out to the Rabbit with Jerry to... tell him we were..." he hesitated on the word, making himself feel like a total piece of shit, "...dating and that him and I were officially done - because apparently he still didn't get that message because, again he doesn't get shit, like at all --" He was rambling now, a pressure high in his chest like a dam about to break. He took a breath and rubbed the back of Mal's hand with his thumbs.

"And he essentially..." The words stuck in his throat. He didn't want it to be true or acknowledged or even fucking remembered. For a brief moment there was an image of Brian Hogan bursting into his room without knocking, rage on his face and liquor on his breath. There was a dull throb in his wrist and Quinn retracted the hand and shook it out unconsciously, leaving only his laced fingers with Mal. The words felt like vomit, hot and ugly and good to finally purge. "He... outed you to me. Like in a really terrible, thoughtless kind of way." He could feel his pulse in his ears as he looked from their hands, up to Mal, and then back down at their hands.


Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 02:14:49 AM »
At first he was nodding along with Quinn's words, knowing the set up of the story but letting the human go through it aloud.  This part seemed to go by in slow motion as Mal tried to still the jiggling in his leg as best as he could - all the while mentally repeating What Did The Fucker Say, like a mantra.  He watched Quinn's face, searching for a hint and finding nothing but anxiety.  By the time Quinn was shaking out his hand, Mal was so enwrapt with anticipating the human's next words that the action did not register to him.

He outed you.

He - what?

Disbelief flooded him, something white-hot behind his ears with the phantom-feeling of blood pulsing in his brain.  This was it then.  It was great while it lasted but now he looked like the bigger asshole by not telling Quinn sooner - probably.  Panic clambered up his chest, up his throat, and rushed through his face and he pulled away, retreating to the solitude of his own couch cushion and crossing his arms tightly across his chest.  This wasn't how he wanted Quinn to find out - and he could only imagine the kind of way Jerry would have said it. 

The insensitive, idiotic, good-for-nothing, piece of...
He shouldn't have even bothered with the whole -
                                                        no, it was done now.  The dates were sweet and maybe it was best they just -
                                                                                                                        nice memories.  At least there were those.


Mal's gaze was fixed on the floor in front of him, face stony, "date ideas" note in his phone burning a hole in his pocket. 
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 03:08:32 AM »
He watched as realization dawned on Malakai and the vampire withdrew from him, his cool hand slipping out from between his fingers. There was that sensation of loss again, made physical by his absence. Quinn couldn't bring himself to grip him as he left his grasp, the numbness of actualization striking him.

So it was true.

Knowing it was much different than he had ever expected and a kind of coldness washed through him. Without meaning to he started counting off all the things they would never be able to do together. Quinn loved sex, but he loved making love, having passionate, soul-connecting sessions of physical intimacy. It was as if all opportunity for such things slipped through his empty fingers.

Shame flooded him, fueling the anger inward at himself. He had brought this news to Malakai, he had caused this withdrawn reaction with his words, regardless of what Jerry had done. He was the one who had a problem with the news...

No, he told himself firmly. This was Jerry's doing. Quinn was doing the right thing by letting Malakai know that one of the closest people to him was betraying something that was probably relayed to him in confidence - something that was ultimate none of Jeremiah's business to begin with. Such people were poison and it was people like that that slipped information to Brian Hogan the night that Quinn ended up homeless at seventeen. He had no tolerance for people like that.

"I debated whether I was even gonna tell you," he said, not sure really why it came out of his mouth. He reclined into the cushion, angling his body slightly so that he opened his posture up to Mal. "I figured it was only fair to let you know. I think he thought that I already knew, but even after it was clear that I didn't know, he kept pushing as if it were some joke that I went from him to you. And I couldn't keep that from you." That dirty feeling came up again, the guilt, the anger, the frustration that he had been without for the past few weeks while dating Mal and leaving Jerry behind.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2019, 08:18:49 AM »
Quinn's words registered like an echo underwater as Mal sat stiffly beside him, message unabsorbed while he gnawed on what had just happened.  Whatever possessed him to try dating again was a mystery.  It always lead to these conversations, to everything falling apart.  At least Quinn wasn't in hysterics, he definitely wouldn't be able to handle that.  Though it wouldn't be the first time things ended like that.

"I'm-," his voice was strained, "I'm sorry you found out like this."  He let out a heavy sigh, uncrossing his arms in favor of cradling his forehead against the palm of his hand.

Jeremiah-fucking-Peterson stole any chance Mal had at...what, gently disappointing Quinn?  As if that was any better?

"I should have told you sooner."  He spoke through grit teeth.

And he was supposed to not go down to the fifth floor and strangle him?

"It's okay if you," he swallowed, throat suddenly very dry.  "If you don't want to uh continue.  I'd understand, I-"  He cut himself off, unwilling to finish the sentence.  Quinn would want intimacy in that way, and he deserved all of that - and more.  Mal knew this and, like an asshole, led him on.  Why couldn't he have just been content with staying friends?  Now there was no way things would just go back to how they were before. 

It was selfish.  This time would be the last time. 
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2019, 12:56:32 PM »
"Mal, don't," Quinn said, unable to resist the need to reach out and touch him, hishand landing heavily and meaningfully on his shoulder. "I don't want an apology from you for... being who you are." There was a small smile on his lips shining through layers of sadness and frustration. "You're not expected to, like, come out to everyone who you want to have a relationship with. Christ!" He gave a chuckle at his own words, realizing they did little to ease the tension in the room.

He was angry at first, of course, his impulsive nature telling him that he should have had some indication of it when they first started this little adventure. But the more he thought about it, the more unreasonable he realized it would be to simply tell a new partner, especially when things hadn't heated up in that way.

Hi, I'm Malakai and I'm an asexual gay man. Wanna date?

No, if there was anything unreasonable and stupid about all of this fallout it would be that expectation placed on Mal's shoulders that he should have told him something like this sooner. Sure the idea that he would never be able to have certain things with Mal hit him harder than he would have liked them to, but that was the nature of dating. He never knew anything that his other partners brought to the table until he was told or found out through trial and error. Like Mike Bennett. That was the beauty of trying a relationship out and for all the shit he had suffered through it would always be the most worthy part of a relationship, the places were he learned and grew.

"Jerry is a fucking asshole," Quinn reminded him, bringing him back to the real point of their conversation. "I didn't want to hurt you by telling you this..." He hesitated, trying not to be that partner but needing to be that friend instead. "You don't deserve to have Jeremiah fucking Peterson narrating your story to other people and I'm sorry that he did that to you. Because that's not a fucking friend, Mal." He secured his hand on the vampire's forearm as he sat holding his head. Despite his own discomfort with the situation, he just wanted things to go back to the way they were before Jerry opened his fucking mouth.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 01:48:38 AM »
Mal stiffened under Quinn's hand, absorbing the gesture to be one of pity - his body rejecting it reflexively.  When Quinn insisted that he wasn't expected to come out to every potential relationship partner, Mal lifted his head with an incredulous expression on his face.  He was halfway toward mouthing How but stopped.  Everyone brought assumptions with them in every engagement, why wouldn't it be his responsibility to clarify himself and his intentions at every turn?  Anything less was deliberately misleading.  However the human came to that conclusion - it just didn't compute.  All of this read plainly on the tumultuous range of expression playing across his features.

As the conversation turned back to Jerry, the storm in his chest gladly distilled back into a rage that had a face to be directed toward.  He let out another stiff sigh, glancing at Quinn's hand on his arm, and straightened. 

"I have to talk to him," he whispered darkly, a faraway look in his eye.  His arm broke free of Quinn's grasp to run his fingers compulsively through his hair a few times.  "I'm sorry - I don't -"  After another frustrated sigh he rubbed the palms of his hands against his cheeks before planting them firmly on either thigh. 

"Jerry is a fucking asshole.  But that's beside the point."  He paused, swallowing dryly.  "You deserve someone better than him, someone more fulfilling than me, and I shouldn't have taken advantage of your vulnerability after shit hit the fan with him, that wasn't right of me and-"  He stopped, hyperaware of the hurried manner in which he delivered his words.  An arm crossed over his chest as the other went to his forehead again.  Lifting his hand, he peeked at Quinn.

"I just want you to have everything you want and need."  Even if that means I can't be the one to give it to you.  Desperate, whiney, and he hated himself for how pathetic it sounded.
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 03:45:58 AM »
He tried not to take the rejection personally, understanding that there was something deeper at work, though he didn't know precisely what, but Quinn was hurt by it nonetheless. At first, Mal's words felt like a rejection of everything they had been together - not only the fun dates and nights out and laughing and affections, but the friendship, the welcomeness of Mal's arms, the family he had come to adopt as part of him - and a mountain of panic swelled in his chest until the anger and frustration took over instead.

For the first time in their years of knowing one another, Quinn scowled seriously at Malakai. "And who the fuck do you think gets to determine what I want and what I need?" He was a rooster with its feathers puffed, he knew, but he was also no damsel in distress, incapable of taking care of himself. That's where dear, sweet Johnny-boy had gotten it all wrong. Where was there room for Quinn's agency? Did he not remember how he had told him that he was interested in him even while he was with Jerry? How insanely attracted to him he had always been but couldn't act upon it due to some bullshit loyalty programming that only lead him to get hurt by Jerry time and time again? Ugh.

"This is the best relatio--" he stumbled on the word, suddenly feeling a blush fill his cheeks as he tried to maintain his anger at the vampire, "situa--",

No, he thought stubbornly, fighting his blush and saying what needed to be said, albeit a bit angrily, "relationship that I have been in in a long fucking time, Mal, okay? You're not taking advantage of shit. I fucking like you and I like being around you."

It was a painful thing to watch him struggle with accepting that someone might be interested in him despite his lack of libido - or whatever it was. He radiated a self-hatred that Quinn was all too familiar with. It pulled at deep wounds that still bled when he was alone and the thought that Malakai - who loved everyone and was nothing but fun and accepting and handsome and playful and annoyingly romantic - felt in anyway similar to that dark place inside Quinn made him ache. The fact that he would rather push Quinn away rather than try to continue was even more painful.

"Like, you realize you're worth more than whether you can fuck me, right?" He flushed furiously with a bashful anger. There was a nerve there that Quinn hadn't expected this conversation to hit, an exposed wound that made him feel like some kind of groupie looking for sex, like some disposable fucktoy because of Jerry. Was that what Mal actually, subconsciously thought? Quinn squirmed and began to withdraw into himself, the dark thoughts threatening like whispers in the back of his head.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 07:12:57 AM »
The sudden escalation of volume and emotion in Quinn's voice had panic swelling and pushing at Mal's insides.  He looked up sharply, expression reading shock.  This wasn't in any way how he expected this conversation to go.  He expected more awkwardness, eventually leading to a mutual parting because their interests didn't align.  At least that's what he felt prepared for. 

But acceptance?  The desire to keep going?

Quinn said it was the best relationship he's been in.  In a long time.  Mal didn't know whether to feel sad or glad, the two feelings swirling strangely in his gut.  How anyone could treat Quinn with anything less than what he'd been doing over the past few weeks was ludicrous.  The thought caused an unexpected flare of defensiveness to bubble up. 

His worth?  Mal lifted his gaze to meet Quinn's.  After so many relationships that left him feeling like half a person, those were not the words he expected to hear.  It warmed him, but made him nervous.  How long would Quinn be willing to go without what many would insist were integral parts of a relationship?

"Okay," he whispered, a hesitant hand reaching for Quinn's.  "I just,"  his eyes felt wet and he rubbed at them with the back of his other hand.  "I wasn't trying to dictate what you need," he said quietly.  "I just don't want to hold you back or limit you in any way because-" he searched Quinn's eyes, words failing for a moment.  "Because I really like you, and don't want to see you hurt."  His throat felt like it was going to close and he swallowed against it.

Malakai exhaled slowly.  "I don't really know what I'm doing," he admitted, feeling the strain of a would-be blush filling his face.   
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Uncomfortable Conversations
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:43:27 AM »
The contact between them was life-giving and something in his chest collapsed like the remnants of a house on fire. He felt weak now that the anger had been spoken aloud and then digested by someone who actually took the time to understand it, a situation he wasn't familiar with. Corresponding anger, a violent shove, coldness... He was prepared for those. But there was nothing of the kind, only a shocked expression and a kindness that he should have expected, but never could. It made him feel like a jackass. Quinn caved and leaned his head on Mal's shoulder, taking comfort in his closeness and wrapping his fingers around Mal's again, holding his hand tightly and pulling his arm closer.

"I don't either," Quinn answered tiredly, his voice slightly muffled from the fabric of Mal's shirt where he placed his face just behind his shoulder. For some stupid reason he was blushing too, hearing that Mal did actually like being with him making him annoyingly sheepish. "But the more I thought about everything, the more I realized I didn't want to worry about that. I'm having a great time with you, and I'll be damned if Jeremiah fucking Peterson ruins this too!"