Author Topic: Reconnection  (Read 124 times)

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Offline Trillian

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Reconnection
« on: November 20, 2020, 09:11:35 PM »
Ben's eyelids flickered open before he yawned and turned around in Kerr's arms to nuzzle into his chest.

The bedroom they were in smelt new and old all at once. Familiar and strange, all at once. He recognised the bedroom because they'd slept in it before but it had become nothing but a first-person-home-movie without any emotions attached. And there were so many emotions felt from being here.

He could feel the history of this place. He pulled in a breath so it would enter his body before he slowly let it out in a contented sigh. They'd only been here two nights so far but he was comfortable here in a way he never would have guessed. It brought an easy smile to his face and that was what he greeted Kerr with when his lover/sire/everything deigned to open his eyes and look upon him.

He wanted to say how much he loved Kerr in that particular moment. How much he appreciated him. How much of a fresh spark had returned to rekindle their fiery passion. How grateful he was for being out of a city that had slowly been poisoning him. How right his sire had been to insist they leave. How wrong he'd been to resist. Instead of putting all that into words he sent it as a wave of emotion. It felt... big.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 09:36:31 PM »
Kerr was drawn out of his reverie by Ben awakening. The shutters had slid silently away and allowed him an unexpected view of the moon, low and rising, framed just off-centre in the large window of the bedroom that had once housed his parents. Probably the room he'd been conceived in over four hundred years ago. It was an oddly humbling thought.

The ascending moon was a lot like his mood ever since they'd left the city. Coming here had been the right choice; not that he'd doubted it especially but he'd made the decision to come to Ireland for himself rather than for Ben. He'd craved the particular comfort only reconnecting with your roots can bring in a time of high stress.

Everything after the fucking election had been stress. Ben had been spiralling in a way he'd begun to feel helpless to deter, even if the destruction of Ichabod's apartment had been somehow cathartic. It had only left Kerr mildly reassured and infinitely more confused. When Ben agreed they should leave, he'd hastened to get them out, get them away, as fast and as far as possible, his only thought of the sanctuary his home offered him.

Amazingly, it had affected Ben just as positively and left him stupefied in the best way when the isolation and peace opened his lover up to him more rapidly than he'd expected. They were tentative but definitely connecting and it excited him. Every new night brought with it an innocent wonder because Ben was discovering this place and he was re-discovering Ben.

When his beautiful boy opened his eyes, Kerr turned from the moon to gaze at him, resplendent in the satellite's light. He blinked owlishly at Kerr with such trust and love that his defenses were already lowered when he was overwhelmed with a wave of emotion that made him inhale sharply, his chest swelling as emotions filled the cavity to the brim. The corners of his mouth lifted.

"Well. Good evening to you, too, sweetheart," he murmured, squeezing Ben a little tighter and pressing a kiss to his lips. Lazy starts to the night were the best.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 09:50:06 PM »
Ben kissed him back. Slowly. Lovingly. Soft lips and tongue, gentle touches and murmurs of pleasure. In between kisses - as well as through them - Ben smiled. The expression felt light yet and foreign on his face. He hadn't smiled so broadly or genuinely in a long time. He'd smiled all through the campaign but it had been different. His motivation had been different, even if the smile was sincere.

Once the kissing began to settle - five minutes? twenty? sixty? - he spoke.

"I forgot it can feel like this. I forgot it was like this for us, at the start."

At the very start, when he'd fallen for Kerr during a very long tour of his house, learning all about Kerr's history. It felt like they were there again. Even though Ben had come a long way from that innocent time, he was still the same at his core. His focus had shifted off Kerr many times. Too many.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 10:01:07 PM »
Kerr tilted his head and contemplated Ben's words, a smile lingering around his lips. The silence that stretched between them was comfortable and he'd forgotten that. "I know what you mean. We've come a long way but... " A frown arrived as he thought of all the impossible situations they'd survived between when they started and where they were now.

"It's good to go back to the beginning. I was thinking something similar while I waited for you to wake up. I began here and so much has come and gone but... that moon's still the same, y'know? Still rising over the same fields. We get caught up in the minutiae and the grandness of it all but it's a lot of bullshit. We convince ourselves that we matter but the moon doesn't give a shit. I feel small, here. Grounded. And I like that the only thing that feels bigger is you and how I feel about you."

He watched the tip of his finger as it traced its way over Ben's shoulder and bicep, humbled that he was able to touch him. Reverence radiated off him unwittingly. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 10:12:11 PM »
Ben's smile twisted and his tongue poked out between his teeth as he considered his reply to Kerr's final statement. He chose not to give it a voice even though it was just teasing because he didn't want to ruin this moment. The cheeky look in his eyes flashed away almost as soon as it arose and he blinked slowly to finalise its death.

"We're both lucky, then," he said softly. Goosebumps travelled along his skin where Kerr had touched him and he shivered because of it. A good shiver. "Are we spending the night in bed?" he asked, curious. It felt indulgent and wilful and he kind of wanted to do it but at the same time he was keen to experience the place that had moulded Kerr's mortal years.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 11:22:13 PM »
Kerr gave a throaty laugh, amused by the way Ben asked so cutely if they were staying in bed. It was tempting but Kerr was enjoying their bonding vibe; staying in bed would definitely lead to sex, which would one hundred percent summon Cain and that was a level of complicated he wasn't ready for yet.

Their first night had been spent exploring the village a short drive away, mostly to stock up on food for Cain. The second night had been about getting settled in the house and wandering around the nearby land and stables. They hadn't ventured too far away from the house because they were nesting and it had been nice to take things easy. Kerr had managed to fill the night with stories and memories of his home and, somehow, his companions hadn't become bored. He wasn't about to push his luck tonight, though.

"We can," Kerr conceded, though his tone denoted his reluctance - despite his smirk at Ben's shiver. There was something ego-stroking about the way his touch could pebble his lover's delicious flesh even after all these years. "I was thinking that it's a nice night to do some exploring, though. The moon's out and there's no snow yet so we could go for a ride o'er the land. I'm interested to see if the safety cottages we used to have in the outer paddocks are still there, in case of inclement weather. It was always my job to ride around them and check they were properly stocked when the weather started to turn. It was boring as hell unless I could convince someone to meet me at one of them and make it more interesting."

He winked lewdly at Ben, letting his love know exactly what sort of 'interesting' young, mortal Kerr had craved - as if he didn't already know. It amused him to joke about it and imply that he and Ben could rendezvous at a distant cabin and fool around, even if he had no intention of letting that happen.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 05:53:09 AM »
"Safety cottages," Ben mouthed, though the words would still reach Kerr's hearing easily. The snow in Ireland must fall fast and hard. He breathed a soft snort of laughter at his own thought, realising it could make quite the erotic joke... but he kept that in, too.

Ben spoke next to Kerr rather than to himself. "If you had liked boys back then, I think I would've met you if you'd asked me, but I would've felt intimidated and overwhelmed. I never had the confidence in my mortal years that I do now."

Vampirism had forced Ben into a few crazy, twisted lifestyles but it had also oddly suited him. And now, with nobody else interfering, it was the thing Ben had wanted it to be thanks to Kerr; an exploration of the world and a discovery of self.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 12:59:53 AM »
Kerr smirked at the notion of liking boys and hooking up with Ben in his youth, something he'd never even contemplated back then; it was an implausible and crazy proposition but that didn't stop his heart leaping at the idea of it. Technically, Ben had been the one to teach him the wonders of being with a man, the one to seduce him. He believed it could easily have happened if they'd met as youngsters. The images of what he and past Ben might've got up to in an isolated cabin far away from his family's prying eyes were titillating and sent a throb of awareness straight to his groin.

Still, the rest of what Ben said muted his ardor and gave Kerr pause. He would've been intimidated and overwhelmed but still turned up? That made him sad for Ben. It wasn't so unbelievable. Even now, Ben was a peculiar mix of egotistical and vulnerable, his doubts eating into his self-esteem in unexpected and often destructive ways, while other situations bolstered him and could make him insufferable. Casting his mind back, Kerr remembered his initial fascination with the mortal boy. How disarmingly naive and worshipful he'd been; bold yet timid in his approach, humble yet confident about wanting vampirism.

Kerr had never met anyone like him and he was confident he never would again.

"I think you would've changed quickly, if we'd met as children. Just like when we met in real life, I'd have been helpless to resist your charms and you would've led me into temptation. I think you'd have intimidated me," Kerr winked, trailing his fingers along Ben's arm so that he could play with his fingers. When he spoke next, his tone was curious and pensive. "Were you confident when you were younger? Before you came out and your parents rejected you?"

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 09:07:03 AM »
Ben thought over Kerr's words even as he delved into his memory. "I remember being confident when I was very little. I remember thinking up games and bossing other kids about while I was teaching them to play those games. I remember how both teachers and kids liked me and called me things like 'outgoing' and 'popular' and 'natural leader'. My confidence changed earlier than the moment my parents knew. It changed when I was attracted to other boys. I'm frustrated and angry at my home city for not wanting me to save them from..." Ben pressed his lips together to swallow the name that had caused him so much grief. " But I will always love it for never making me feel unsafe for being who I was. I knew the rest of the world wouldn't be so understanding and I knew my parents weren't either because of past comments they'd made. I kept it a secret from them until I was old enough to fend for myself, just in case I wasn't loved enough to be accepted." Ben's smile twisted and his eyes grew into chips of ice as he spoke, his expression hard and cold even as he looked at his love.

"But it's not even that one thing, even though it's the biggest thing. There are lots of interactions I've had that have both chipped away at my confidence and also bolstered it. Like the time I had a crush on one of the jocks at my high school who would always say hi to me publicly and we'd handjob each other in the bathroom stall but he also threatened me not to tell anyone what we did. I don't know if he was bi or especially closeted because he had a new hot girlfriend every month. When I asked him if we could do more, we upgraded to blowing one another."

Ben took a quick breath and continued. "I knew how I felt about him was one-sided but I was super happy whenever he touched me or allowed me to touch him. I didn't care that it was a secret under threat of being beaten up because he didn't shun me in public. Every time he smiled at me or said hello when walking by, it was like he was acknowledging that we had a special thing between us. I knew he was ashamed of us so I never complained that I wasn't allowed to be more. Then I had to drop out of school to get a job after I got kicked out of home. After a couple of weeks I met him after school to tell him what had happened. I remember him saying 'That's awful, I'm sorry, man. Hey, how about we go somewhere for one last time?' and I was so disappointed in so many ways but I still went with him. He drove us deep into Meadowcrest because he had a four-wheel drive. Because we were so isolated, I knew I had a chance to talk him into having sex with me. I had to prep myself because he was just going to shove it into me. I remember being on my back and staring up at him, trying to burn the moment into my memory because of how much I liked him, but during all that staring I realised I didn't really like him at all anymore. I mean, I was still attracted to him but he no longer meant anything to me. After we were done and wiped up, he got angry with me and said I'd manipulated him and that he wasn't gay and he drove away and left me to make my own way home. I followed his tyre tracks to get out of the woods. Pretty much cried the whole way out."

Ben made a pfft sound before puffing light laughter. "How did I get onto that story?"
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 02:05:53 PM »
Ben’s story captured Kerr’s imagination in an unexpectedly vivid and visceral way. He was right there with humiliated, sobbing teenaged Ben when the amused question was asked. Kerr blinked his way back to the present and released Ben so that he could shuffle onto his stomach beside him, resting on his elbows so he was raised up, able to look at his beautiful face. The allegory was clear, to Kerr.

“Maybe because you feel like the city has left you to walk home, alone and crying like the stupid bitch that boy was,” Kerr shrugged then leant forward to press a kiss to Ben’s shoulder before pulling back to look him in the eye. “But you’re not alone. And you’ve never been responsible for other people’s bad decisions - even when you lacked confidence, I believe you knew that - so you won’t start now. You know, I feel like life is a cycle of exploration, failure and reinventing ourselves. The length of time of the exploration and the decline of interest or connection or whatever it may be differs, but the end result is always the same. Reinvention. Reinvigoration. And a new determination.”

He smiled tenderly at Ben then, not feeling he needed to say that they were facing the process together. Again. Their own relationship had been through, what? Three? Five? Ten of those cycles? Now was different - it always was - but it was the same, too. And Kerr was infinitely pleased that they were still lucky enough to weather it side by side.

One day, he might well be the casualty in Ben’s next reinvention cycle or Ben might be his; but not yet. Hopefully never.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 03:43:26 PM »
Initially, as Kerr made a connection between Ben's rejected teenaged self and the rejection of his political interests, he shook his head no. After a second's thought, he stopped negating and reconsidered. During the walk through the woods, following the tyre tracks and grudgingly grateful that it wasn't too dark for such a thing, he'd been intensely angry and had cast hateful thoughts at the boy he'd believed he would always love. The rejection had hurt so much more with the smell and ghost sensation of their connected bodies still apparent. His hometown had been much the same; returning to what it knew rather than being set free with him. He hadn't been good enough for either of them.

A brief flare of hurt surfaced before it sank again at Kerr's kind words and touch. Yes, he wasn't responsible for another person's bad decision. Or that of his city. He doubted Jake would do anything beyond what he'd done before; indulge in his own life and leave everything in the city to run itself. He was the God of Lip Service. He wanted people to attend to him, not the other way around. And if they didn't run after him with the testimony of agreement or flattery then they were cast out or shunned from his life like a used tissue. Out of sight, out of mind.

"We're at the start of a fresh cycle," Ben pointed out, mirroring Kerr's thoughts. "A rediscovery of one another while in a new setting. The campaign might've failed but I feel like it brought us into a new territory that I really like. A true team." He kissed Kerr hard but quickly, moving forward to plant it and pulling away almost as fast. "I finally feel like your equal. You'll always be more powerful than me because of your age and because you made me... but it still feels more balanced, somehow."

His expression shifted back and forth between helplessness and thoughtfulness as he struggled to think of a better way to phrase it. Stuck for a better idea, Ben left it at that.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 05:28:26 PM »
Kerr tilted his head, his accompanying frown showing that he was thinking just as much as Ben was. "I... understand that my age and experience is unbalanced but... you've felt we were unequal? In our relationship? Just in general?" he queried, gently spoken because he was curious to hear more about Ben's feelings on this matter.

Surely the balance of power shifted with the usual ebb and flow of every relationship? One was strong if the other was weak, one was responsible when the other was weary of making decisions; that was how a healthy dynamic worked, right? He was of the opinion he and Ben traded places as required.

Hearing Ben always viewed himself as lesser somehow made Kerr feel anxious in a way an unreachable itch buried deep in his skin would.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2020, 08:38:45 PM »
Ben wondered why Kerr was prodding at their past inequality instead of discussing and developing where they were now. The past had shaped them until this point, beyond that it didn't matter. Ben used to go over and over the things he'd done wrong, thinking that would help him in a future circumstance, that he could learn from it. But every situation, no matter how similar, was different. Every person was different. 'Once burned, twice shy' was a terrible way to go through life, because it only meant future opportunities would be missed or forgiveness would be held hostage. Such as Kerr. Sawyl's murderous nature had burnt him and Ben had been measured against the shadow of that killer. He still remembered the threat Kerr had made to Ben years ago; if you go down that path I'll end you because I won't go through that again. Words to that effect. He couldn't remember under what circumstance Kerr had said it, just that he had. While he didn't blame his sire for saying it, thinking it, even believing it or knowing it to be true, it had stayed with Ben long enough for the memory to remain with him. Kerr would not go through that again. He would not try.

But in everything else, he had tried.

"We've talked about this already, the role that you play. You are my protector. My rock. My benefactor. But we agreed that you were to be my partner, not my parent. I don't need or want a 'daddy'. You've changed in that way. I no longer feel... claustrophobic."

It wasn't the right word. He'd meant to say 'restricted' or 'restrained' but they sounded oddly sexual so he'd veered away from their use.

INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2020, 10:41:43 PM »
Kerr was relieved to hear things had improved, though Ben highlighted 'not claustrophobic' instead of using 'equal' again. It was enough; he'd done an awful lot of gritting his teeth and letting Ben go in order to get as far as they had and he was content with the wording.

"That's good," he sighed, nodding as he lifted his left hand and rested his chin in his palm, looking past Ben as his gaze became pensive. "It's my flaw, I know that. It's not fair on you, my need to control everything." He sighed again, looking back into Ben's eyes, which made him smile wanly. They both knew it was Sawyl's legacy that Ben was left to fight in Kerr's head. It couldn't be more unfair. "I'm glad you think I'm getting better, though."

His grin widened, his brown eyes twinkling as he contemplated laying his head on Ben's stomach and pouting up at him, pointing out that Ben kind of didn't mind having a daddy in bed. He wondered what would happen if told Ben to daddy him. He had no idea what it would entail. It wasn't like they didn't take turns already but there was obviously more to the kink. Complete surrender? Spanking or paddling? It would definitely be weird to have Ben bossing him around but Kerr thought it might be hot, in bed. It might also drive him crazy but therein lay the thrill.

Deciding discretion was the better part of valour, he turned his smirk to the walls of the room they were in. "I'm at a disadvantage here, at least. I was born in this room and just looking at the fields makes me feel like a child again. Gods, my mother tried so hard to be proper and raise me right and my father never met an emotion he could express yet I still have the impression that he was kind." Kerr's expression darkened as he remembered the events that led up to his parents' - and his own - deaths and he was again immersed in the sense of helplessness he'd experienced beneath Angus and Sawyl's fangs. A grown man turned childe.

"Do you want to see where I was made?" he asked, knowing they'd visited the manor - now rather dilapidated - when they were last here but that Ben didn't truly remember that trip. Not with feelings. Besides, Kerr had been uptight and upset when they'd toured the manor and he'd rushed Ben through, locking down his feelings so that he didn't have to confront his own memories. Sawyl had still been part of his life, too. Things were different this time around and he was ready to be vulnerable in front of Ben in a way he hadn't been back then.

Maybe being equal was reliant on how raw you were willing to be in front of your partner; he and Ben had certainly torn off a lot of layers since they were here last.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Reconnection
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2020, 05:53:44 AM »
Ben studied how Kerr's face changed as he spoke, flitting from relief to mischief to contemplation before embarking on something much darker just moments ahead of making his offer.

"Not if it makes you feel uncomfortable," Ben said. He recalled how, in his movie memory, he'd been turned into a vampire in a room that he had no familiarity with. A bedroom belonging to his second sire, now long gone but still alive in a distant location in the world. Asia, perhaps. India? He'd been an attractive, contemplative sort that offered Ben his freedom but without giving the sort of emotional acknowledgement that Ben craved.

"I'm interested in history, not in dwelling over your personal torture," he said after a moment. "But I know that I would love to visit New York again if I had a guarantee never to encounter Themba." He thought of Daniel who he knew was currently touring the States to promote his fairly successful debut album, released after a couple of singles that had done well, though not quite hitting the top ten. "Sooo, I'm guessing the discomfort is just the memory?"
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :