Author Topic: No Explanations  (Read 11178 times)

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Offline Trillian

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No Explanations
« on: October 14, 2012, 09:25:22 AM »
BEN WAS FILTHY WHEN HE arrived at the Capital.  To their credit, none of the staff batted an eyelid as he traipsed dirt across the floor to the elevators, though he did notice a cleaner was summoned to the front desk and then kept there.  He supposed they probably didn't want to start cleaning up until he was gone.  He removed his shoes and socks, shoving the latter into the former and holding them in one hand so he didn't make any more mess walking around.  Looking back apologetically, he thought the cleaner nodded at him in thanks, but he didn't look happy about it.  Too little too late, perhaps?  Story of his life.

He pressed the button for Ichabod's floor and rode up the elevator in solitary.  The music was classical, as always, and he knew enough now (having attended symphonies with Kerr) to recognise it as Chopin.  He knew Kerr would've been able to identify the song.  He pulled in air and let it go out in a sigh and the elevator bonged in response.  He'd arrived.

He moved to the apartment door, feeling like he was coming home - but he wasn't.  This apartment had become Ichabod's, while Kerr and Ben had continued living at the Chambers.  This place, though, this apartment felt more like home than any of the others.  More than the Chambers, more than the beach house.  There was a strong urge to just pull out keys (that he didn't have) and unlock the door to let himself in.  Of course Ichabod was inside and wouldn't appreciate this move.

He couldn't tell him he'd almost gone to ground.  What could he say?  There was very little that would explain his state.  It had been two weeks and Ben hadn't contacted Ichabod much at all.  Before he lost his nerve, he rapped smartly on the door.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 06:09:13 PM »
Ichabod had had a miserable couple of weeks since moving back into the Capital. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this alone and found himself desperately trying to reach out mentally for Kerr and failing at each attempt. Sometimes he would do the same to Ben, but they were only the briefest of touches and he could instantly put up his blocks again, not wanting to accidentally offer an invitation for Ben to come around. There had been the odd text from Ben but Ichabod had only given the briefest replies.

He’d ignored any questioning mental touches from his upstairs neighbour as Ash had obviously realised when he moved back in. But Ichabod didn’t want to see anyone or do anything. He’d gone out to feed, but never strayed further than a block in either direction and heading straight back inside once he’d drunk.

He’d already fed tonight and then come straight back inside. He’d flicked on the TV but wasn’t really watching what was on as he’d stretched out on the sofa. His eyes were shut and he’d almost dropped off back to sleep when there was a knock on the door.

Ichabod sat up sharply, reaching out to see who it was then instantly withdrawing when he realised it was Ben. He sat quietly for a moment, debating not answering, but Ben would know he was here, what was the point?

He moved more swiftly towards the door once he had decided to answer it, running his fingers through his hair to unflatten the side he’d been lying on and glancing down at his t-shirt and jeans which he’d just chucked on, but as he opened the door he realised what he was wearing really didn’t matter when faced with what was before him.

What the Hell? Why was Ben stood in front of him covered in mud? Going to ground wasn’t the first thing which came to mind – his first thought was that Ben had been digging a grave – which could amount to the same thing although Ichabod assumed it would have been for someone else.

“What did you do?” he breathed, stepping back to let Ben inside without hesitation.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 09:07:23 PM »
He really didn't want to talk about it, because he didn't have a good explanation for what he'd been doing.  Making mud pies?  Making dirt angels?  Playing with piglets?  He said hello to Ichabod instead of answering the question.

"Can I use your shower?"

He had spare clothes still here, he believed, stored in the walk-in robe where he and Kerr had left some stuff behind.

"I'll tell you once I'm clean."

He'd make sure he thought of a good story for his grubbiness before coming out.  It might be a long shower, but that was okay, he felt like he needed one.  If he knew Ichabod was fantasising about his burying bodies in the woods, he would've been amused by it.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 01:09:30 AM »
Too stunned by Ben’s arrival and appearance Ichabod couldn’t do anything but give a small nod and gesture in the direction of the bathroom.

“Sure, you know where everything is,” he said, waiting for Ben to head off before wandering around the apartment aimlessly, tidying up a few things as he went since he hadn’t bothered cleaning up after himself much in the past fortnight.

Once that was done Ichabod sat back down on the sofa, but now with a straight back and his hands on his knees, his body full of tension whilst before he’d been really to sleep again a couple of minutes ago.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 06:51:08 AM »
Ben spent a long time in the shower before deciding to tell Ichabod that he'd just torn up the ground in the park.  Kerr had never wanted him to lie, and Ichabod was a part of that old life, so he would continue to honour it.  He'd thought up quite a few lies, some better than others, but scrapped them all.  Feeling a combination of relief and apprehension, he shut off the shower and towelled himself dry before finding some old jeans that had torn down the seam somehow on his right side but weren't indecent, and a burgundy polo shirt.  He came out into the living room to find Ichabod there, and plopped himself down on the armchair with a sigh.

Before he was asked, he answered.

"I was at the park," he said.  "I tripped over a piece of dirt that was sticking up, like someone played golf or something there, you know?  So I... ripped it out and kept digging.  I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing.  I didn't fix it before I came here, either."

That was all true, he'd just missed out a big chunk of it; like lying down in his grave and covering himself in it (but failing), and meeting Vincent.  He'd debated telling Ichabod about Vincent while he was in the shower.  Vincent could remain his secret, because nothing might come of it anyway.  Or it might.  Either way, he was keeping that knowledge for himself.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »
Ichabod watched Ben silently as his brother explained why he had been covered in mud – or at least he tried to. It didn’t really explain why Ben had started digging in the dirt, but to be honest it didn’t sound as though Ben knew why he had done it in the first place. Ichabod relaxed back against the back of the sofa, twisting a little to face in Ben’s direction a bit more, relieved that he wasn’t about to be asked to go help cover up a body.

“Oh… right, well… someone else will fill it in probably, I mean, there’s people who look after stuff in the gardens,” Ichabod said quietly, trying to ignore the fact that Ben obviously wasn’t doing too well if he’d just dug a hole with his bare hands. It sounded like he’d been trying to burrow himself way, but Ichabod didn’t really want to think of that. He wasn’t doing so well himself, but at least they’d managed to avoid the yelling matches which might have come if they had still been living together.

“So were you coming here anyway or was it just closer for a shower than the beach house?” he asked bluntly after a moment, unsure of why Ben was here. Neither of them were good company and they knew each other was alive so what was the point in doing more? He’d been thinking along those lines a lot more these days – what was the point in getting up? In getting dressed? Going out? Talking to people? None of it helped ease the pain and he hadn’t realised how much worse it had gotten since moving out and living by himself again.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 02:31:39 PM »
He ignored the sarcastic stab at him and answered it as though it was a genuine question.  It was some role reversal for them to appreciate.

"I was on my way here," he said, but didn't offer much more than that.  Did he need a reason to come here?  All they had was each other.  "Have you spoken to Ash yet?" he asked, thinking of the way the vampire upstairs had just barged in on him once and the two of them had ended up fucking before Kerr got home.  Back in the day when he and Kerr hadn't been together, when he'd come back from New York and had continued having sex with whoever, whenever.  Thinking of such things had him in a confessing mood, and because Ichabod didn't immediately answer about Ash (or if it was a short 'no'), Ben spoke next again.

"Murphy left the house," he said.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 06:26:46 AM »
Ichabod couldn’t help but glance upwards at the mention of Ash, then shook his head slightly with a quiet ‘no’. He frowned slightly at the news about Murphy, gazing quietly at Ben for a moment, wondering what had happened and whether what he had said had caused it. He knew if that was the case he should feel guilty, but in truth he was glad Murphy was gone. He didn’t want Ben to be miserable… but why would he deserve to fall straight into another happy relationship?

“What happened?” he asked softly, sliding back in his seat to lean back against the cushions.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 07:53:01 AM »
"I..." he paused, because there was no easy way to explain what had happened.

kissed him
was intending to fuck him
would've had sex with him except I
couldn't get it up
threw him out after that happened


Throwing him out wasn't exactly the case.  He'd insisted Murphy stay and sleep now with him, and had begged him to still be here when Ben rose at night again.  He'd wanted to see the reporter off with a hug and an apology, and for him to know that they would still be friends, that it hadn't ruined anything between them.  Hence the nightly texting to Murphy, making sure to keep in touch, considering how things had evolved between them.

"kissed him," Ben finished, and watched Ichabod for his reaction to this.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 04:26:53 AM »
Ichabod was stunned into silence – not that he’d had much to say before. He lowered his gaze, swallowing down a hundred angry comments and arguments, wanting to tell Ben to leave, to never come back, that he had no respect for their sire and the love Kerr had had for Ben.

Obviously from the way Ben had brought it up and the fact that Murphy had left afterwards meant that it hadn’t just been a small kiss, there had been more to it than that.

“And what? Then you chucked him out or did he want to go?” Ichabod asked quietly, managing to force down everything else into the pit of his stomach. He doubted a kiss would make Murphy want to leave his precious Ben. He couldn’t help hoping Ben was wracked with guilt about it. It would serve him right.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 08:19:54 AM »
Ben pulled his lips inward, making them disappear, not wanting to explain how things had gone but Ichabod guessed anyway.  He'd never thought Ichabod was stupid, quite the obvious, he'd always thought Ichabod was smart, and that belief was proving itself to him now.  Ichabod was much like him; nose in the books, wanting to educate himself further, still awestruck at the world and thinking it huge (but would they still think this way after going around it a few times, now they had eternity to do so?) but even though Ben was quite perceptive and understood underlying motives of people, Ichabod was perceptive and understood the undercurrent of emotions from people.  It was funny, how they were so similar yet complete opposites thanks to this one separation.

Ben undid his lips and looked at the floor, unable to make eye contact with Ichabod when replying.

"He didn't want to go," he said, and tried to soften this statement.  "You were right.  He shouldn't have stayed.  I got... confused."  Once his words were out, he looked up at his fledge brother.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 08:38:55 AM »
Ichabod couldn’t help but give a small snort of derision at the declaration that Ben had been confused. Fucking confused? What was there to get confused about?

“You wanted comfort and tried to get it from him. That’s not getting confused. So… what? You felt guilty and chucked him out? Felt like you had to come here and confess?” Ichabod said with disgust. He tried so hard to try to swallow things down all the time but there was no way he was about to give Ben any sympathy here.

He stood up, folding his arms across his chest and walking away from Ben, feeling like he needed some space. He didn’t want to hear Ben’s excuses and confessions. He was having enough trouble handling his own misery without having to deal with Ben’s as well. He’d needed to be close to Ben at first, needed to feel that connection when they’d been together dealing with it. But now he had his time to himself to mourn and he couldn’t go back to that, to holding up Ben.

But Ben had been going to the park and digging himself into a hole. And he lived by the sea, he could so easily so bury himself in the water. And if he did disappear Ichabod knew he would have lost everything.

“Did you tell him that? That you got confused?” he asked, turning back to Ben and wondering what Murphy would have done at being told to leave like that. Ichabod knew personally he would have been horrified in that situation and so upset. Maybe Murphy had handled it better than that though.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 06:39:21 PM »
"Yeh," Ben said defensively.  "He knows it's not his fault, that it's my fault.  It's always my fault," he said, but not sarcastically, like he might've in Ichabod's presence some time ago.  Instead he said the latter to himself, quietly, but of course his fledge brother would hear it.  "I do and say things that... "

He breathed a puff of laughter, of incredulity at himself.

"Look at that, story of my life.  I only figure out I've fucked up when it's too late to do anything about it."  He looked at Ichabod with a tormented gaze and asked a very serious question.  "Have I already screwed up with you?  Kerr was always the glue binding us together.  I thought it would be honouring him to stay in touch with you, but maybe it would be better to just leave you alone.  I mean, look at my track record."

He was conflicted.  He wanted Ichabod to tell him to leave, to breathe a sigh of relief and admit that he wanted Ben gone.  This way he wouldn't have to worry about hurting him again.  Doubtless he would, it was just his way.  Better to cut out the cancer.  At the same time, he wanted Ichabod to be merciful, to care about him even though Ben had done some terrible things to him.  Did he care about him, though?  Or was it obligation?  If it was the latter, it would be better to be cut loose.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 06:57:48 AM »
Ichabod met Ben’s gaze, hating that look in his eyes – even though it was Ben and Ichabod thought he deserved some of the blame he was giving himself – he didn’t want anyone to look like that. Ichabod sank back down onto the sofa on the far side from where Ben sat in his armchair, rubbing the palms of his hands against his knees.

So many times he’d wanted Ben to just disappear. And right now he wanted to smack some sense into him, to tell him he was acting like an idiot.

But then who would he have? What would he do when he needed family? He couldn’t go back to his parents anymore. Ben was all he had, which was horrible, but true. And he would hate to never see him again, as much pain as it caused him every time Ben showed up.

“You need to think before you act,” Ichabod said quietly, knowing he was probably just saying what Ben already knew. “But of course I don’t want to lose touch with you, but we… I need some time to just… not hear about how you’re not dealing with stuff because I’m not either and this doesn’t help either of us.” And if he didn’t hear from Ben he could pretend everything was fine with Ben and believe that if Ben could handle it he should be able to as well.

“And when we’re a bit better we can get back to… like we were in Austria. We were okay. We can do that again just not yet,” he said quietly, pressing his hands together and looking sideways at Ben. He didn’t want to cut Ben off completely, but listening about what Ben was screwing up next was only making him angry.

“But… you know where I am if you need me,” Ichabod added, knowing he was contradicting himself but as much as he hated moments like this he would hate it more if he found out something had happened to Ben because he’d told his brother he didn’t want him coming here.

Offline Trillian

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Re: No Explanations
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 09:39:52 PM »
Ben understood the contradictions for what they were.  He understood what they truly meant, it didn't matter that it didn't make sense in a straight-forward fashion. He knew Ichabod was offering him a helping hand if Ben really needed him, but not unless he really needed him, because Ichabod was trying to heal in his own way.  It was really good to hear him say that they could be alright eventually, that Ben didn't need to extract himself, that he could hang in there.  No more surprise visits though, but he could understand that.

"Okay," he said, nodding.  He'd lost someone truly special when he'd lost Kerr, because his sire had been his constant support.  He hadn't realised how much he'd leaned on him until he was gone.  Both he and Ichabod were feeling the hole he'd left.  Ichabod's blood bond was far greater with him, but Ben had also had him as a partner.  Ichabod had wanted that role for himself.  He was fairly sure that neither of them had trumps on the other.  They were both terribly hurt.  It sucked, that this would prove they were united.

"Should I go home, then?  I've already showered..." Ben prompted, and looked to Ichabod for his cue.

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