Author Topic: Paint It Black  (Read 5686 times)

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Offline Trillian

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Paint It Black
« on: September 28, 2019, 11:57:08 AM »
Ben had the taxi pull into the underground parking lot of the Luminary. He paid with a credit card and headed for the lift before the cab even pulled away. Ben knew - as he waited for the lift - that Kerr was upstairs in their apartment. The drive back from Grigori had taken a lot less time than the drive there, thanks to quiet streets. He had half an hour before sun-up. Ben would take advantage of that time by ridding himself of his clothes and having a shower in one of the VIP rooms.

The lift whisked him upward to the twenty-sixth floor and Ben's master keycard allowed him into one of the rooms he knew was vacant. Ben next rang the concierge and asked him to deliver clothes to his current room, a full outfit including underwear and socks. His clothes would reek of sex and Saraekiel, just like his body currently did. The concierge agreed without question and Ben stripped and shoved his clothing into the room's bin before hopping into the shower.

He went to work, unwrapping and using the soap, scrubbing himself clean with the loofah, inspecting the blemish on his chest. It was in the shape of lips positioned over his heart. Cute. He mentally berated Saraekiel's fucking decision to do that. Too late now. He was out of the shower and towelling himself dry when he heard the door open to his room, his clothing being delivered. Ben grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his hips before coming out to claim them.

He came face to face with Kerr, who was holding Ben's change of clothes in his arms. Shocked, Ben stared at him for a confused moment before he moved a hand to touch and gently tug on his lower lip, his arm hiding the mark on his chest. Of course Kerr had seen it, and likely he would feel the mixture of guilt, shame and fear that swamped Ben at being caught out.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2019, 01:07:18 PM »
Kerr had been stunned when one of their staff had entered his home and waltzed into his bedroom, turning the light on because they needed to see what they were doing. They'd about shit themselves when Kerr sat up in the bed, where he'd been waiting for Ben for the past many hours since he'd left Jake. When they'd calmed down enough to tell him what they were doing there, he'd dismissed them grimly and gathered a change of clothes for Ben himself. He pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and took his keycard to let him into the room he sensed Ben was in.

He moved in cautiously, hearing the shower and looking around. Ben was alone. It was something. Noticing the clothes in the bin, Kerr stepped closer to inspect them but recoiled long before he got there, retracing his steps so that he was back near the door. That scent was unmistakable and speared him right through the heart, his imagination feeding the revulsion and despair coursing through him with images of Ben fucking Saraekiel. He closed his eyes in an effort to block it out, his emotions getting the best of him as tears gathered behind his eyelids and pain seeped to every extremity of his body.

It was oddly commendable, really; Ben knew how to hurt him better than anyone. Kerr just wished he didn't do it with such ease and enthusiasm.

When Ben walked out of the bathroom, Kerr opened his eyes, releasing a couple of tears, though he wasn't sobbing. The first thing he saw was the mark on Ben's chest. A wave of disgust and hatred swamped him, dragging down the corners of his mouth, causing his chin to wobble and his lips to tremble even as his nose wrinkled. He knew Ben would feel everything because he wasn't shielding any of it; this level of repulsion and misery was too much for him to hide, even if he'd felt the desire to do so. He had to swallow several times before he found his voice and managed to lift his gaze to meet Ben's. Dawn was dragging at them, hastening his need to run.

"It's too late," he said thickly, referring to the time and not clear-headed enough to associate what else might be interpreted from those words. "I'll talk to you tomorrow night, when-" He trailed off, uncertain how to finish that sentence.

when I can stomach looking at you
when you visit
when I've built up some better defences against you
when my head is clearer
when you come to collect your things


Kerr tossed Ben's clothes on the carpet and backed out of the room, swiping the tears off his cheeks as he closed the door behind him with a gentle snick and retreated back to his own bed, to nurse his wounds in private.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2019, 02:23:09 PM »
The barrage of emotion that hit him pushed down even his own emotions. Ben felt like he was suffocating beneath them. Kerr's words

oh my fucking god
no no no no


made him think that he'd ruined everything between them with one trivial sexual encounter (really? after all they'd been through?) before he understood with Kerr's next statement that he was referring to the time, not about them.

He couldn't feel much relief, but it was there anyway. When Kerr's sentence faded, Ben focussed intently on him, wanting to know 'when' and mentally recoiled at the last one.

At least Kerr hadn't said that one out loud. He sensed that it wasn't for him to hear, but he'd heard it anyway. He watched his clothes hit the floor and stared at them instead of at Kerr leaving because it was easier to do.

Obviously, he would be sleeping here tonight.

*

When Ben awoke he was confused about where he was and why he was in a different bed. That tiny moment of bewilderment was bliss compared to when the full memory returned. He knew it all in one sweep and wished he could've forgotten at least a few seconds longer.

He called up for a cup of blood and was dressed in the clothes Kerr had brought him before it arrived. Ben downed it quickly even though it was piping hot. After a moment's longer hesitation he left the room and headed for the lift to take him to the penthouse.

Ben found Kerr on the couch near the large windows, his head turned away from the view so he could watch Ben enter their home. He'd never felt so self-conscious and small in his life when making the walk across the entryway and aquarium, crossing the space to the lounge and then seating himself on the farthest edge of the closest lounge, away from Kerr, facing the window. He toed off his shoes and pulled up his foot onto the cushion, hugging his leg and using that as a physical barrier between him and Kerr.

He'd imagined what he would say but he'd lost his voice and all thoughts flew out of his head under Kerr's stare.

"Hey," he said. Fuck this was awful.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2019, 03:33:42 PM »
"Hi," Kerr responded, his lips performing some strange sort of stretching ritual that was supposed to be a smile but failed spectacularly. His expression settled into something more serene after that.

He'd cried himself to sleep, he'd slept through most of the day and woken up in the late afternoon, feeling restless and gritty-eyed. His body had still been aching - not as much as his heart - so he'd drunk some blood and felt his pieces knit back together slowly. He'd been sitting on the couch since an hour before the shutters rolled away from the windows, wearing the shirt and shorts Ben had last seen him in. Now that Ben was finally here, he was determined to present himself as rationally as possible.

Kerr watched Ben sit and curl up, his gaze sliding from Ben's hands to his knee, behind which he knew the mark rested, beneath Ben's shirt. A mark made by Saraekiel's lips. He gritted his teeth, wishing he could shove that thought aside, along with all the fury and disgust it conjured. Such emotions weren't going to help him... but he recognised that he might need to say something so that he could work past it to what he wanted to say. He sat in silence, debating, and eventually lifted his gaze to meet Ben's.

"Do you know why I walked out on you last night?" he asked calmly. Rationality had won.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2019, 03:46:59 PM »
Because I was angry at you

He didn't say anything because he knew it was more than that, but he couldn't think why.

"Tell me."
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2019, 03:57:54 PM »
"May I show you?" he requested politely, touching his head and gesturing in Ben's direction. It was odd, to ask permission from his own fledgeling to communicate with him mentally but there was an intimacy to what he wanted to share that Ben may not be prepared for.

Kerr was counting on it, in fact.

Ben's reply came without hesitation. "Sure."

Kerr licked his lips and closed his eyes, taking a moment to centre himself before he reached out to mentally connect with Ben. The familiar warmth of his mind roused Kerr's love for him, giving him a needed boost in a moment where everything felt upended and wrong. Where their consciousnesses melded was a safe place, a port in a storm and calm spread through Kerr. He loved that Ben could be his sanctuary. He hated that he needed to hide there from the wounds Ben himself had inflicted.

When he'd returned from his brunch date with Jake, Kerr had shared his experiences with Ben in an intimate and immediate way, allowing Ben to take his place in Kerr's psyche and experience everything as he had. Such unfettered access wasn't usual for them, for they generally conversed in their private room, projecting thoughts or memories up onto a screen between them as necessary. Movies, essentially. Tonight would be more of the former because he was planning to draw Ben into a space he'd never been. Into Kerr's past.

Aware of Ben holding his consciousness apart - because he was tentative about Kerr's feelings - Kerr swarmed close and encompassed him; it was like he pulled Ben over himself, as a second skin he could wear. He was instantly connected to Kerr's emotions and they would continue to thrum at him, dominating for the time being. Kerr needed Ben to be him completely in the moments he was about to share. He felt Ben's startlement at this unprecedented level of melding but there wasn't any sensation of balking or wanting it to stop, just surprise. Ben was curious about where this would lead, despite his understandable wariness. Kerr thought that that might change before he was done.

First, he took Ben to the last real thing he'd said to him, the night before. Ben became Kerr, watching himself vibrate with anger as he glared at his sire and snapped at him. Don't force your discomfort or an exit on me ever again. As Kerr intended, Ben felt the terror and the anger that rose in him in that moment, in a hundred percent crisp surround-sound style effect - the hurt and the exasperation, the decision to stop thinking - and accompanied him as he turned away in a maelstrom of despair.

The scene changed without a pause (no fade-to-black transitioning here) and Ben was looking down at a boy of about fifteen years of age, dressed in grubby old-fashioned clothes, the dirt on his face webbed with clean tracks gouged by his tears. Ben-Kerr's hands were holding him close to his body, shielding him while he wailed hysterically. There was terror and anger swarming around Ben-Kerr's thoughts, laced with the bitterness of hurt and exasperation as he looked up, away from the sobbing street rat. It was the dead of night, the air cold enough that the mortal in his arms was effusing steam with his hitching breaths. They were in a park somewhere, beneath a gas streetlamp and there was a beautiful doll of a boy standing a few metres away, dressed in a childish blue velvet outfit, his fists balled by his side and his eyes blasting hate-filled blue ice at Ben-Kerr. Sawyl. He stamped his foot with fury, his curls tumbling about his shoulders and his fangs glinting as he spoke. How dare you interrupt me! He's mine! Give him BACK!

Another night materialised before Ben-Kerr's eyes. The sensation of horror and anguish was an overwhelming bubble around him, prickling his skin and turning his heart into a block of ice in his chest. This time he was holding a baby, swathed in a long white nightgown and blanket, a knitted cap atop its head, golden locks curling angelically out from beneath its brim onto its ruddy cheeks. It was warm and fat and slumbering innocently in his hands. Sawyl appeared at his elbow and Ben-Kerr looked away from the slumbering babe into that cherubic face, smirking so calculatingly up at him. Everything in him was fighting, with the desperation of an animal caught in a trap, clawing and biting to get out, but the only thing he could do was stare at Sawyl. Never force your judgement upon me again. Just because you're a boring waste of a man doesn't mean you have the right to tell me what to do. Now. Your lesson. Sawyl grinned furiously as Ben-Kerr lifted the infant to his mouth, its delicious baby smell causing his soul to weep as it awakened with a terrified squeal, one fang sinking into its tiny neck.

Blood, so thick and rich in the air he couldn't taste anything but blood. Ben-Kerr burst through a curtain, shoving it aside to reveal a rustic room of dirt floors and stone walls, poorly lit by a meagre fire in the hearth to his right. He was frantic, fear clogging his veins, his eyes wide as he took in the scene before him. There was a poorly-made bed in the centre of the room, a man lay upon it. He was fully clothed, apart from his sagging penis, poking out of the hole in his trousers. Sawyl was naked, perched atop his chest like a ghoul, splashing in the arterial spray spurting from his neck. Two more men were on the floor, one without pants entirely, the other such a mess of torn-out organs, intestines, glinting bones and blood that it was hard to tell if he was clothed or not. The twins hovered over the pants-less man on the floor, one noisily drinking while the other cooed approvingly at her. Ben-Kerr looked back in time to see Sawyl notice him, terror closing his throat as Sawyl pounced at him, clawed hands swinging and his open mouth screeching as he flew through the air. NEVER FUCKING INTERRUPT ME AGAIN, YOU WORTHLESS DOG!

After that, came a montage of Sawyl glaring at Ben-Kerr, his lip curled and passionate fury glinting in his beautiful blue eyes as he spat, snarled and screamed his imperatives for Kerr to leave him to his foul and murderous choices. Sometimes he was clothed, others naked, blood-spattered or clean, indoors and out, occasionally wheedling and tugging on their hand, often physically violent or wildly tantrumming, throwing objects at Ben-Kerr's head. In every scene, he had the same cold, hateful tone when he addressed Ben-Kerr, the same imperious attitude that conveyed his belief that he deserved to be obeyed, that Ben-Kerr was worthless, stupid, boring, a fuckhead, a dog, a curr, a cunt. The slander was a barrage of spite and resentment, the cumulative effect on Ben-Kerr's heart palpable as he quailed before it, questioning his own worth, broken down and diminished, reeling and helpless to stop the rampage of the monster before him.

The final scene, before Kerr broke the connection, was of Ben once more, with that angry, superior look in his eyes, his icily-spoken words and the sheer terror Kerr felt... then and now. He opened his eyes as he withdrew, feeling raw and filled with shame so intense his eyes were watering. He'd spent thousands of nights with his sire; some of them were pleasant, many of them were indifferent. Most of them were horrifying and he'd kept four hundred years of those memories buried in a deep and dark place in himself, one Ben had never touched. Until now, when he needed to show him exactly why he'd walked away last night and why he'd gone to a friend to ground him and yank him out of the whirl of his own horror.

Kerr had spent the majority of his life bowing before the whims and fury of a beautiful nightmare. He wasn't capable of - or willing - to go through that again.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2019, 06:03:43 PM »
It was horrific, of course. What was even worse was the comparison. As Ben watched with disgust and despair, he was constantly reminded by the fact Kerr was associating his words with this. This horror. This violence. This murder. This was what Kerr had seen in him? While he couldn't argue that the similarity of his expression and tone had matched Sawyl's a little too closely to be comfortable, he despaired that Kerr would think this was a path he would go down.

How insulting. How offensive. How hurtful. Once he was released from the... exhibition... that was Kerr's past, Ben turned his face away, unable to speak. He threw up the heaviest, toughest barricade in his head that he could make, knowing his sire could tear through it like paper if he wished. If that happened, well, there could be no more trust between them. Once that was gone, there would be nothing left. Just remains.

Closed off and not speaking, keeping his whirlwind of emotions to himself, he wished Kerr had just ripped into him about going to Saraekiel instead. That would've been so much better than this. Their relationship would forever be haunted by memories of someone Ben reminded Kerr of. If Ben ever snapped at him again, this was what Kerr would think of.

It wasn't fair.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2019, 06:21:35 PM »
Kerr watched Ben lock himself away even more, despairing that the parallel he'd drawn hadn't provoked conversation. Instead, Ben was still acting like a wounded child. The one hard done by. The one wronged.

Was that what he'd intended? To smack Ben in the face and cause him to retreat? To reprimand him with lessons from the past? Reluctantly, he admitted to himself that he was still trying to feel his way through this mess and he wasn't sure he'd done the right thing in opening up his traumatic past to someone unwilling to listen or learn. He hadn't done this lightly but Ben didn't seem to care what it had cost him. He was committed to his own cause. Did he believe he was in the right?

The silence around them was punctuated with a splash in the aquarium as one of the fish took exception to another's intrusion on its territory. They were all swimming near the surface, hovering, expecting to be fed soon. Kerr watched them sightlessly, wishing he didn't have to tell Ben what he'd tried to show him. He'd thought himself so eloquent and his method so expert that nothing could go wrong. He really was a fool.

"It's less that I fear you'll walk his path and more about the way you make me feel," he said conversationally, moving his gaze off the fish tank and back to Ben. They'd had this fight before. It felt like they were always having this fight and Kerr had drawn conclusions about why; it had to stop or he'd lose his mind. Maybe the only way round was through, after all.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2019, 06:29:23 PM »
Ben turned back to face Kerr, angry, wounded. When he spoke, his voice trembled.

"So I make you feel the same way as him? A murderer?" It was all he intended to say, but the shock had cut so deeply and he was so astounded by how little Kerr thought of him, and the kind of emotion Ben gave him, that he couldn't stop there. Ben turned on the couch, his knee dropping down so his leg lay flat on the cushion, his hands moving to hold his ankle instead - to stop him from moving, to stop him from running away. A trick he'd learnt when dealing with Themba. "Why are you even with me? If you look at me and think of that?"
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2019, 06:36:14 PM »
"Because I don't. Always. It just smacked me in the face last night and I wanted you to know why I walked away. Why I was overwhelmed. I thought you might care. Not that my trauma stopped you enjoying yourself," he remarked blandly, lifting his hand to gesture... to the north? To Ben's chest? To his cock? His hand fell before it moved in any direction, limp in his lap.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2019, 06:46:05 PM »
Ben's eyes narrowed before he looked away, keeping himself in check before spitting out something he would regret. He couldn't be his own self around Kerr. He understood this now, and it was sad. It was just all terribly fucking sad. Kerr would never accept him as he was, he'd always hold up others against Ben, reflecting pain from his past and saying Ben was the same. For fuck's sake, there was enough in their past, couldn't he at least be compared to his parallel self? The one who he hadn't become?

And then Ben realised. The movie memories were one variation of how he'd turned out. Ichabod's tormentor. Almost a rapist. Certainly he'd relished being fucking evil, why else would he have gone back to torture him? And then he thought about Win, who'd seduced him with willingness. Through numb lips, Ben denied it all.

"I didn't even want anyone else last night. You brought Win here."

And still, even with this whole whirlwind around them, feeling despondent and depressed, anxious and horrified at the situation and at himself, he recognised that he still wanted to pursue that.

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

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2019, 07:55:12 PM »
Kerr raised his eyebrows, his lips pooching consideringly, affecting surprise.

"Ohhh! So what you're saying is it was my fault that you looked at Win like a delicious little treat you couldn't wait to gobble up, the second you realised how you could manipulate him? That it was my fault for assuming you wouldn't be able to turn away from an easy temptation like that - how ignorant of me! And it was my fault you got offended and went and fucked that winged filth because I just didn't understand the responsible choices you were going to make! No, no, you're right!" Kerr exclaimed, gesturing with his hands as emotion got the better of him.

His heart was breaking and he was terrified but no, Ben should absolutely have the right to sit there and tell him how this entire mess was his fucking fault.

Kerr realised he was done. He unleashed.

"Why the fuck are you with me, if I'm so goddamn awful? If all I do is force you into bad decisions with fucked-up consequences and I make your life so boring and miserable?" he asked angrily, sliding forward on the seat as his voice rose and his cheeks flushed with the emotions ravaging him (thanks to the blood he'd consumed earlier). "Because, you know what? If this is all my fault, then fucking end it. Stop putting me through the misery of loving you and hoping one day I'll be fucking worthy of you choosing me," he spat, standing up and preparing to leave. He couldn't walk out yet, though, he had too much more to say.

When he looked at Ben, his eyes were stained with sadness, his devastation hidden amongst his anger.

"Because I'm done waiting for you to fucking grow up and figure out that I'm the one that's been here for you this whole fucking time, through your torturing Ichabod, running away to New York, getting raped by Lazarus, going for District Leader - all of it!" he yelled, pointing from Ben to his chest to the city beyond their windows to waving an arm dismissively. He was moving closer to Ben because that's where his exit was but he was looming over his fledgeling, too, sick of pandering to his feelings all the time. Rationality was getting him fucking nowhere.

"I'm fucking here for you, every fucking night, choosing you, loving you, supporting you and how do you repay me? By ordering me around and letting someone I fucking hate put his filthy hands all over you and fuck you and mark you like you're fucking his! Well, fuck you! It's time you realised that all of this utter bullshit is not because of me at all! It's because deep down inside you're still that sad little boy whose mummy and daddy rejected him because he was gay, aligning himself with anyone big and bad and powerful because it makes you feel stronger and better than them and worthy of a love that they're too stupid and ignorant to feel and are never going to give you!"

Kerr could see Ben was reeling, that the force of his attack and his words were having an effect, that he could leave it there because it was enough. The problem was, he couldn't stop. The words and opinions and feelings he'd held in check so long, wanting to keep the peace, trying to sagely guide Ben towards his own discovery of these things about himself without interference would no longer be held back. Holding back hadn't helped. Ben was still looking at him as the sole problem.

"But I will! I do. I love you with everything I am, no matter how many times you leave me, or spread your legs to seduce them to you, or draw them into being obsessed with you just so that you can feel powerful by proxy and tell yourself you're not the try-hard little fraud you think you are - that teenager so unworthy of love that even his own parents rejected him. When are you going to realise that it's all meaningless? None of the power or fame or wealth or success is ever going to fill that void inside you until you look into it and start filling it up for yourself. I've been trying for fucking years to do it for you, watching you choose men older and more powerful than me, sexier or smarter than me, waiting patiently for you to notice that I'm the only one who genuinely believes in you but I'm done!"

He was horrified with himself, speaking so harshly to Ben, telling him he would stop loving him, delivering an ultimatum that made his insides recoil in terror. His mouth trembled again and he was quieter when he spoke next, doing his best not to unravel and walk away from this outburst with the last vestiges of his dignity fluttering weakly around him. He straightened up, squaring his shoulders and looking Ben in the eye.

"I'm not having you blame me for your weakness. I've been here through all of the shit with you and I want only the best for you but I won't stand by and have you belittle me while you slowly turn into a monster. I've lived that life and I won't do it again; take that as you will. I love you, Ben, but you need to grow up and own your shit. Stop making excuses; make a choice. Me and my love or your freedom to make all the bad decisions you like alone. Take as long as you need. You know where I'll be once you've decided," he said quietly and headed past Ben, intending to take himself down to his office to do some work and leave Ben to his thinking.

He veered towards the bedroom as he realised he'd need his phone. He hadn't even turned it on since the night before. He felt like his legs weren't properly connected to his body and his head was floating somewhere up towards the ceiling, thoughts tumbling around it like bingo balls in their little spherical cage. He was looking forward to sitting down at his desk.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2019, 08:33:03 PM »
When Kerr spoke of Win and declared he knew the truth of Ben's interest in him, there was surprise and humiliation. Mentioning Saraekiel closely to that just brought the point home with tremendous accuracy. It was true and he'd resented Kerr for knowing it; Ben would've made a bad decision, and without Kerr he'd gone ahead and made one anyway. He'd specifically not wanted to sleep with the dark angel because he was a District Leader and potentially a rival. Being with him had now made everything messier and more personal.

And then Kerr mentioned it too; Ben's history with Ichabod. If he hadn't followed it up with Themba and Lazarus and District Leadership, he might've thought his mind had been swept. It hadn't, he knew it. Why had he thought Kerr didn't know him well? He knew more about Ben than Ben did.

His parents were brought up and Ben was shocked more deeply at his core. He wanted it to stop, the flood of words to just... stop, but they kept coming, swamping him with truths he hadn't been ready to hear

but you've always known haven't you, benny-boy
you can't escape my voice can you, benny-boy
you'll always be a fucking failure, benny-boy
you can't even be a real man


He felt sick. Nausea deep in his gut as he stared, wide-eyed at Kerr, the man who'd always been his saviour and who was now turning on him, lashing out and wounding him with reality. He couldn't draw in breath to talk, couldn't move except to shrink into the cushions of the couch, wondering when this would end and secretly hoping it wouldn't. He relished the pain, the punishment. It was what he deserved.

But those two words frightened him.

I'm done.

After Kerr declared he wouldn't be made into the monster and left, Ben got to his feet, watching him and stuck in place until Kerr turned and headed for the bedroom instead. Maybe to get something. He knew Kerr didn't mean to stay in the apartment. Ben followed him but stopped at the doorway, shouldering it to support himself as he replied.

"Please," Ben begged through tears that burned in his eyes. With a voice that sounded strained and choked in his throat he said, "please stay. Don't leave me. I need you." He rolled his eyes at himself, knowing after everything Kerr had said that his need was not enough. "I know it's not what you want." He pulled in shaky breath and plunged on. "I know loving me is hard. I know I've done everything you said. I know it. I... I do choose you, I do love you. I always come back to you. And I know what it's like being without you..." his words shifted in tone as his crying started to escape into his voice. He stopped talking because he didn't want to continue when unable to be understood, but once the tears started flowing he couldn't hold them back. He held his hands over his face, hiding away the ugliness, the shame, the guilt, the worthlessness. "And I couldn't move on."

It was selfish of him, to ask Kerr to stay because he would be destroyed if he left. That part of him, that goodness in him that Kerr saw and brought out of him... Ben didn't want it to die.

Why the fuck was he trying to be a District Leader? He destroyed everything he touched.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2019, 09:08:56 PM »
Kerr was frozen near his bedside drawers, having turned his phone on to hear it ding with a message he'd received from Jake.

Hey, I'm really sorry about how I left things. I'm so glad you're my friend. Please don't hate me. :(

He hadn't had time to absorb what he'd read when Ben appeared in the bedroom doorway and begged him to stay. His pain summoned Kerr, drawing him towards his love as if pulled by an invisible string, slowly and inexorably walking towards him. The regret lurking in his chest began to dissipate as Ben admitted his truth and finally took ownership of his behaviour. His tears burnt a hole in Kerr's heart and he embraced him when he reached him, his phone forgotten in his hand as it wrapped around Ben's back and his lips pressed to the backs of Ben's hands.

After a few moments of holding him while he sobbed, Kerr pulled away and peeled Ben's hands away from his face so that he could look him in the eye when he spoke. He still held his phone as well, though it was forgotten as he concentrated on Ben. "I'm here. I'll stay," he whispered, summoning a smile tinged with sadness that hadn't magically evaporated just because Ben had admitted fault. "Are you sure you're ready to face... everything?" He looked hard at Ben, wanting to see his regret, to believe it was genuine and know that Ben was willing to work on himself.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Paint It Black
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2019, 09:16:14 PM »
When Kerr said he would stay Ben cried harder and reached out for him, clinging to Kerr with relief. It felt stupid and dramatic and sincere. He hated that it had come to this, hated his decisions, hated himself, hated that he'd pushed Kerr out of his mind last night for a cheap romp with a good looking guy.

God, he was an asshole.

He didn't know what Kerr meant by facing everything, but he nodded anyway, his eyes closed, wetting Kerr's neck as he buried his face against him.

"Yes. Whatever it takes." It was easy enough to promise.
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