Author Topic: Bad Moon on the Rise  (Read 3952 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Bad Moon on the Rise
« on: March 03, 2008, 05:36:48 PM »
Kerr was surprised to hear the front door open when it did, and he looked up with a frown upon his face - not because he was unhappy that Ben was home, but simply because he was unhappy.  He was standing near the kitchen bench, fiddling with his left wrist because the cufflink simply wouldn\'t latch as it was supposed to, and growing more agitated by the moment.

It was bad enough that he had to be at work in twenty minutes, now he couldn\'t even present himself properly (though the sleek lines of the very-expensive black Armani suit clinging to his broad-shouldered body was convincing argument against that).  It didn\'t bode well, in his opinion, and his generally-surly demeanour wasn\'t enhanced by his inability to correctly manoeuvre the small gold cufflink into keeping the cuff of pale blue shirt he wore beneath his jacket closed.

"Hi," he greeted crisply, stepping forward and directly into Ben\'s way, holding his hands out in a rather awkward gesture - since his left was held stiffly and the right was attempting to hold material, cufflink and sleeve all at the same time, "could you help me with this?"  If his love was determined to get into the apartment, he would have to put some effort into it, for he\'d had time only to close the door behind him before Kerr hemmed him in.

"I\'m not sure if it\'s broken or whether I\'m just being unusually inept tonight, but I can\'t get the fucking thing to work, can you see what it is?" he added with a little lift of his hands, looking sternly at Ben the whole time.  Smiles of greeting and loving cuddles were only for nights when he didn\'t have to travel to his enemy\'s lair and pretend he cared what the fuck was going on with the supernaturals infesting this damn city, just to protect the lifestyle he\'d fallen in love with.  Or the man, whichever.  Either way, he wasn\'t in the mood to be soft and accommodating and his voice made it obvious... still, he felt a little guilty about being so abrupt and he was compelled to add another comment, after a pause.  "You\'re home earlier than I expected.  Not in the mood to wander tonight?"

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 05:44:24 PM »
Still feeling ashamed and unnerved by what had happened not long ago while out on his \'walk\', Ben was startled by Kerr\'s sudden domineering presence and was instantly washed with paranoia, which he blocked in perfectly with the training he\'d received about keeping his feelings and thoughts intact and to himself.

"Um," he began, hearing the accusation before his ears sent a different signal to his mind, he frowned at Kerr for a moment until the other vampire finished everything he was going to say and then Ben gave the cufflink a suspicious look.

what?
you know what you heard
you thought he knew
you thought it was over and that he was
what?
going to hit you?  hardly
going to do something anyway
but no, you\'re safe, he doesn\'t know, there\'s nothing to hide anyway
doesn\'t mean anything, what you did, doesn\'t mean a single thing


"No," he managed, then reached for Kerr\'s cufflink, feeling self-conscious about how he smelled - which was strongly of shampoo he thought, but that was his guilt talking for the ride on the bus and then the walk from the bus stop to the apartment had removed much of the scent, leaving behind only traces of the shower Ben had taken at Ichabod\'s apartment.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 05:52:11 PM »
Kerr watched Ben fiddle with the bit of gold for a few moments, then found his gaze drifting beyond their limbs to take in his love\'s countenance instead.  The teenager looked tense... probably because he expected Kerr to ask him for details about where he\'d been or something, and that annoyed the Irishman, ruffling his already-tousled plumage.  Did his fledgling think he was that stupid that he didn\'t know when to keep his mouth shut and not pry?  Fuck, wasn\'t it rule number one, to never ask Ben questions about where he\'d been and what he\'d done and - God forbid - who he\'d been with.

The silence seemed to prickle between them with these thoughts overrunning Kerr\'s mind, and he felt the need to

lash out

break it somehow.

"Can you see what it is?  Is it broken?" he demanded impatiently, shifting his weight to the other foot, while keeping his hands exactly where they were.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 05:56:53 PM »
Ben\'s frown only deepened.  Kerr was upset about something and it seemed a great deal more than just the cufflink.  Was he being paranoid?  Did Kerr know and was expecting him to babble out a confession so that the healing process could begin?  Would he bring up

Declan

Lazarus again, and blame him for corrupting the sweet and innocent mind that was Ben?  It was laughable, to think that he was infallable.  Oh God, he had so many flaws, was Kerr able to see them now?  Did he know?  Did he know?

"It\'s just bent," he said after a moment once he could tell what was going on with the clip, and he avoided looking into Kerr\'s eyes while he fixed the cufflink by bending the clip back so that it would attach correctly.  It was weakened now, by this action, but he figured Kerr wouldn\'t

know does he know does he

mind.  Feeling obvious and self-conscious, Ben\'s gaze drifted up to regard Kerr\'s expression, to see if he could tell what was

known

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

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 06:20:52 PM »
Kerr grunted at Ben\'s assessment, lifting his wrist and twisting the cufflink so that he could see for himself where the gold had been bent back into shape.  "Fuck," he declared emotionlessly, realising the cufflink\'s nights of use were numbered.  "Oh well," he continued briskly, dropping the hand and rolling his shoulders as he tugged at his shirt cuffs and set his clothing to rights, "I suppose it\'s about time I bought new ones.  Even gold can\'t last forever and three centuries is quite enough."

He frowned at himself now, listening to the nonsense he was spitting out instead of asking what he would like to ask, simply because of Ben\'s rules.  Sometimes, he was glad he didn\'t need breath, for he could well have been stifled by now.

Straightening the silvery tie he wore and fidgetting with the buttons of his closed jacket, he eyed Ben grumpily, feeling resentful because he was getting ready to go somewhere he despised - as he did, dutifully, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a ten o\'clock start - and Ben was doing nothing to soothe him.

Usually, he was the leading member of Team Encouragement, telling Kerr he would like the Oligarchy eventually, that it was just the sort of thing that would suit him and that it would be fine.  Tonight, he was stone cold and didn\'t seem to give a shit about the anxiety Kerr felt every time he went off to work

could see Lazarus
Fuck,
please don\'t let me run into that cockhead
please let me maintain my Lazarus-free run for another five years

and hadn\'t yet seen fit to thank Kerr for his sacrifice - or at least do the usual, and remind him that it was a small price to pay for their continued happiness.  Well, happiness was being with Ben and being able to fly away to foreign countries on a whim whenever he liked as well, rather than being chained to this fucking city for no decent reason beyond the fact that Lazarus liked the idea of torturing him - in Kerr\'s opinion, anyway.

Feeling rebellious, he let his resentment get the best of him, just this once.  "So where\'d you feed tonight, anyway?"  It was an inconsequential question, really, but one that he knew would rile Ben, simply because it was pointless to ask.  Or to answer, rather.  These little things meant something to Kerr, however, for he wondered where Ben went without him and he liked to have an image in his mind of his love\'s whereabouts.  Well, he would like to, at least.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 06:32:06 PM »
he knows he knows oh god almighty he fucking knows
no way no way would he know and be this calm
no way he knows


"I took a bus out," he said truthfully, "so I wouldn\'t keep feeding around here.  Found a groupie by chance and fed willing," he said, mingling truth and lies before his silvery blue gaze burnt a path into Kerr\'s soulful brown.  "I can take care of myself," he said, not wanting the questioning to go further.

Funny how he could be turmoil on the inside and sound so together on the outside.  It had always been a talent of his.  He\'d never meant for it to be a skill at lying though, it was just... a skill he had available.

Use it for good instead of evil

He breathed a mocking sound at this thought, which perhaps fell too perfectly with his response to Kerr.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 06:51:21 PM »
Kerr\'s jaw stiffened imperceptibly, the usual wall rearing up before him.  Not even tonight, when he was anxious about having to go to the Oligarchy, would he gain an inch, it seemed.  "Well, obviously," he replied smoothly, his voice lowering in tone so that it was almost velvety.  "You\'re here, aren\'t you?"

He allowed a moment for that question to sink in.  "But I didn\'t ask how you got there or who you fed from, I asked where you fed," he insisted, sticking to his wording only because he hadn\'t received a direct answer and he never did.  He felt like making that point.  What harm could there be in Ben naming the suburb his bus had gone to, for fuck\'s sake?

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 07:00:41 PM »
"West..." he said, stifling the rest of the word that was about to come out.  He\'d almost said \'Westward Apartments\' which would\'ve blown things for him entirely.  "You know, that Old World place," he said afterward.  "Where the little antique shops are."

He was glaring at Kerr now, annoyed that his sire wasn\'t dropping it and also at the fact he\'d almost slipped.  What did it matter where he went?  What a weird thing to ask!  Why was Kerr being so obstinate?  Ben was sliding the slippery slope of mingling truth and lies and he wasn\'t liking the fact he had to be direct.  Yes, he had been in the Old World area, where the streets were cobbled and the lamp-posts were quaint, but he\'d not been in the commercial area, rather he\'d gone to the residential part of it, to Ichabod\'s apartment with Mandy - only she\'d not been there.

"What\'s it matter where I went?" he asked finally, trying to move around Kerr though his sire was blocking him well enough.  "Can you please move?" he queried, the irritation coming through in his voice now because he was worried about being discovered and Kerr\'s tone was grating his already frayed nerves.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 07:36:52 PM »
"Of course," Kerr answered in as mild and gentlemanly a tone as it was possible to use.  He was deliberately calm-sounding, stepping smoothly aside in order to make it seem like it was Ben who was being unreasonable, even when he knew it was his fault entirely.  He\'d goaded this antagonism because doing Lazarus\' bidding made him feel like shit, as did fighting with Ben, and having both happen on the same night served to feed the self loathing he couldn\'t shake, because he was unable to get out of thi deal and make a better life for the two of them.

Plus, it delayed the moment when he actually had to leave and even if it made him late, he didn\'t care; he was in a mood reckless enough to court those consequences, too.  It wasn\'t as if Lazarus would fire him, right?

"It doesn\'t matter," he responded reasonably, tucking his hands into the side pockets of his pants.  He gave a shrug that caused the svelte material over his shoulders to ripple attractively.  "I just like to know some of your secrets every now and then, and that seemed as good a place as any to start."  Somehow, though the words were unassuming, he felt threatening in saying them.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 08:46:39 PM »
"What secrets?" Ben blurted, stalking past Kerr and entering the apartment proper before he turned around to spread his arms out at Kerr.  "Just because I don\'t want to dwell on my past and feel sorry for myself about the bad shit that happened?" he prompted, hoping this would make Kerr drop the subject.  Anything was better than talking about where he\'d gone and who he\'d fed from.  Even Lazarus.  Even Declan.  "Do you really want to know the things I went through?  I thought we were doing fine keeping it to the present."

So much for not arguing anymore.  Europe was over, that much was certain.  The good feelings and romance that had blossomed from it was over as well.  Kerr had been on a downer ever since Lazarus had forced him into the Oligarchy, but it wasn\'t like it was a role so farfetched from Kerr\'s personality.  Ben believed it suited him, much like Lazarus had believed it.  The blonde Ancient had got more than one suggestion from Ben\'s pillow talk after all.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 08:59:35 PM »
Kerr\'s lips pursed as he gnawed on the metal barbell in his tongue, thinking about Ben\'s comment and measuring his own words, lest he respond with unnecessary harshness.  The truth he was able to reveal - thanks to Ben\'s response - was somewhat humbling also, and his voice was inadvertently soft as he spoke again.

"You do fine with it.  I feel shut out, like I\'m not entitled to know every part of you.  Sometimes," he amended at the last, realising he couldn\'t make such a blanket statement, no matter what his mood was.

Generally, he was fine with keeping things in the present too, he just... worried, though, and Ben\'s protective - and sometimes furtive - behaviour about what he did out there on the streets when he was alone didn\'t help that worry in the slightest.  It was all in his own head, but he hated the feeling that there was so much more about his lover that he didn\'t know.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 09:16:45 PM »
Ben was stumped by Kerr\'s response.  There was very little he could say to Kerr\'s words.  Ashamed of himself and seeking courage from the paintings and prints that hung on the walls as he looked at each one in turn, he could feel the tension in his shoulders and back slumping with resignation.

Kerr wanted to know him.  That was what this was about.  He wanted to know him.  Ben couldn\'t punish him for such a thing, but the things he wanted to know were too... shaming.

Quietly, Ben replied, his gaze finally resting on his sire.

"Do you want to know me by my scars?" he asked finally.  "I\'d rather live through them just the once."

If Kerr wanted to know all his secrets, from Declan to Lazarus and his newest, darkest secret, Ichabod, then Ben was scared that Kerr wouldn\'t love him as much, if at all.  He didn\'t deserve such a thing, yet he did, for all he\'d been through.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2008, 09:33:27 PM »
Kerr\'s frown returned and he was silent, trying to figure out a way to respond to that.  He interpreted the words as a wall he couldn\'t penetrate, a veiled accusation that Kerr was dwelling on the negative when Ben was entitled to be able to focus on the positive.  It made him feel like shit and even though he felt he was being somewhat manipulated into dropping the subject and he didn\'t want to... he did.

That was what love was; squashing down all the things you wanted to say, swallowing spiteful words like a magician chowing down on a plate full of razor blades and doing your best to hold them in, even if your insides ended up extensively lacerated because of it.  Better the one than the relationship, right?

I just want to know you

"Fair enough," Kerr responded quietly, his lips pressing together after the words were out, giving away the fact that he was letting the matter drop, but reluctantly.  His hands came out of his pockets as he came forward and half embraced Ben, cupping the back of his head with his right hand while he leaned over and kissed his fledgling\'s forehead.  "I hope I\'m not late.  Enjoy your evening," he bade, pulling back and pausing to look into Ben\'s eyes before he moved away and started looking for his keys.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Bad Moon on the Rise
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 09:39:30 PM »
Ben wanted to plead for Kerr not to go, there was a very strong force in him wanting to urge Kerr to stay here in the apartment with him, to talk things over, to show Kerr that he loved him and would share things with him, but he was too frightened about what might come out.

He had to let Kerr go, he simply had no choice other than ask him to stay and risk everything.  It was just bad right now because Kerr was in a foul mood about going to the Oligarchy, that\'s all it was.

But inside his heart, as Kerr made for the door and he let him, Ben knew better.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :