Author Topic: Something Old  (Read 2004 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Something Old
« on: January 12, 2020, 09:43:39 PM »
Kerr pulled the car into the long, downward sloping driveway and parked it near the front door of the house. He turned the car off and sat for a moment, listening to the engine ticking as it cooled down. He glanced at the darkened residence sprawling on the other side of Ben's window and then at Ben in the passenger seat beside him. They were dressed similarly for the next part of their adventure, Kerr wearing light blue jeans, tan boots and a navy button up shirt. He smiled at Ben's expression and got out of the car, moving around to open Ben's door for him.

He took his hand and led him to the front door, shuffling his keys around in his other hand to find the house key as he walked.

"So. The reason we're here is to start in the past. Things are changing with us all the time, the election's coming," Kerr said while he got the door open and they walked into the foyer. His commentary paused while he inhaled, the scent of the oceanside property familiar and stirring his memory to life. He pocketed his keys and looked around, recalling the night he'd come back from the dead and found Ben acting strangely. His lips twisted wryly. So much had happened since then, even. So many changes.

"Our relationship grew here. We lived here," he said slowly, dawdling towards the kitchen and pool and patio area beyond it. It had always been one of his favourite places in the house. The sound of the ocean called to him but he wasn't moving so determinedly that Ben couldn't direct him to anywhere he might want to go instead.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 09:52:38 AM »
It was a strange sensation, being driven to their cliffside-beachside home. Ben's eyes roamed the house, the drive, the garage, the front door... and pulled his stare away to regard Kerr. This house was the place he'd loved Kerr and lost him, then it was the place he'd shut the world away and played with a pretend version. There were so many memories; good ones because of his time with Kerr here, bad ones because of his time without Kerr here. They mixed and mingled but mostly he was pleased to see the place.

Like Kerr, he wore tan hiking shoes on his feet and light blue jeans upon his legs, but he covered his torso and arms with a forest green turtle-neck. There was a different piece of jewellery on him this time as Ben loathed to wear anything bling - even a watch - so the chain from last night's trip to Venture had been retired back into its box. He'd found the ring gifted to him from Kerr, the one he hadn't worn since Kerr's death. Somehow it had been put away and never came back out. With a moment's debate he slipped it onto the finger of his right hand, heart pointing inwards.

Before Kerr finished stepping out of the car, Ben was out. He was always quick to get out; he'd developed a habit of leaving a car as soon as it was placed in park. His hand reached out for Kerr's extended hand and he walked behind Kerr to the front door, feeling surreal and lost in time.

He glanced up at Kerr when he spoke of the election, announced that things were changing. They would change very quickly because the election was looming over them. In less than a week they would know the results. They would know if their lives would change dramatically.

When Kerr smelt the ocean and breathed it in, Ben licked his lips and looked at his feet. The last time he'd come here had been upon his escape of the White Rabbit. The night of the rape. He thought he was over it but the memory of the last time he'd been here slammed into him and took him hostage as surely as Lisa-Joe had that night.

He didn't react other than to shut his memories, thoughts and emotions down, locking them away in that place that wouldn't travel to Kerr unless he actively looked. He knew why Kerr had brought him here. He was trying to tell their story. Ben did his best to summon a different memory but could only shift between packing in a hurry to leave or watching Kerr walk in through the front door while Kerr was sitting on the couch.

He didn't want to ruin this night so he tried his best to sound positive.

"Are we going down to the beach?" Ben asked, forcing his tone to be light and airy. It sounded peculiar to his own ears. He hoped Kerr was lost in his reverie enough to not notice.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 03:30:44 PM »
Kerr noticed Ben's absence from him but didn't pursue it. He regretted it, though, his heart heavy. It roused him from his thoughts enough to turn and look at his love as he asked his question. Although he believed he already had the answer he sought, he asked anyway.

"No. Not unless you want to," he told Ben softly, squeezing his hand as he gazed at him with a loving smile. "I was hoping you'd help me make a decision. Should we sell this place? It's just sitting here holding our memories... and I can't say whether there's more good than bad here, for you. For either of us, really. I think it might be time to say goodbye and move forward. What do you think?"

Offline Trillian

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 04:11:46 PM »
The idea of selling it brought forth his frown. Ben stared at Kerr, pensive, mulling over the decision because it deserved the weight of his consideration.

"I'm not in the right headspace to make that decision now. I don't want to sell it and then regret it later, when I can't get it back, or if we did get it back then it smells of someone else." He looked around before facing Kerr again. Any other words remained stuck in his throat, his thoughts jumbling so that he didn't know how to order them. He took a long moment that Kerr allowed him, likely because Ben kept looking like he was about to speak, and then he finally arranged his thoughts into something coherent.

"It's said to be healthy not to wallow in the past," Ben declared, his words careful as though reciting an axiom made apparent over the span of decades, "but at what point do I stop learning from it? If I keep moving forward, reinventing myself, cutting myself off from what got me there, how do I look back and see how far I've come? Maybe it's not in the house, but I'll always associate Teal with calm, because of what you did for me here. Maybe it's not the house, but when you came back to me from the dead, it was here. They're... mixed memories, good and bad, but that's what it's like with me, isn't it?"

His gaze searched Kerr's face, unsure what he wanted his answer to be.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 04:37:29 PM »
Kerr smiled indulgently and cupped Ben's cheek with his hand. "It's what it's like for everybody," he assured Ben huskily, not wanting him to feel like he was so alien, despite the fact that he was going through the unique and terrifying experience of navigating a personal awakening in amongst  an election.

"My memories here are predominantly good. And I like the idea that you're not wanting to cut yourself off, that you're able to accept this mixed bag of the past. It was our foundation and we're building on it every night, for better or for worse." He chuckled at his phrasing. "Better, I think."

Kerr lowered his hand to Ben's hip and looked around. "It's powerful, regardless. We're stronger for our trials. Forged in fire and all that. Okay. We're keeping it. Ready to go?" he grinned at Ben, satisfied with the outcome of their visit.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 05:27:07 PM »
"Yes," Ben said, mostly staring at Kerr as he walked with him, looking forward every now and then to stop himself from bumping into anything though he had Kerr to guide him.

To think of his own mixed past made him think of Kerr's. To be told it was mixed for everyone made him realise that he knew nothing of Kerr's good life, the bits that kept him going in between the violence and horror that was the sick vampire nest he'd spawned from. Kerr always brought up his past as a warning or for shock value. Ben didn't remember a time he hadn't told him horrors. Even the first night they'd met had included a story about deception and an unwilling siring.

"You went through worse than I ever did," Ben said, thinking that three years' worth of movie memories was a welcome substitute for what Kerr had to deal with. Even Themba had been manageable because he'd been short lived. "How did you... come out... balanced?" he asked. "How did you not succumb?"
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 05:56:34 PM »
Kerr frowned, startled to have the conversation turned back onto him when he'd expected Ben would be ready to leave. It made him uncomfortable because he wasn't his focus and he didn't want to make tonight about him - but he wasn't about to deflect Ben's questions, either.

"I succumbed," he admitted, guilt flaring and eating at their blood bond. "I didn't usually have a choice but to. I just... didn't stay there. I regretted it, I tried to make up for it, I moved forward. I knew when I did wrong. I was sorry. But balanced... ? I don't know that I was, until I met you. Not properly. I was always in turmoil before that, fighting his darkness and my own. This beast can be ravenous and all-consuming, if you let it," he said sadly, tapping his sternum.

He shook his head, his expression sorrowful. "If there's a cosmic scale weighing our misdeeds, I'm definitely in deficit. I don't know that I'll ever compensate for the things I've done, I doubt it's possible. But I'm trying. I think it's all we can do. Acknowledge our weaknesses, do the work to counteract them, try." He shrugged, looking at Ben with a raw expression.

Kerr wanted to tell Ben that he was fine just the way he was, that he was beautiful in his mixed up ways and so was his exploration of himself. It was on his face and in his heart; hopefully implied in his words, too. He reached forward and kissed Ben's forehead, his head resting at the back of his neck. You're good enough, his gesture said, and nobody's perfect.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 06:53:20 PM »
"You didn't want me when we met," Ben reminded him. His words weren't callous but he was mindful of the conversation of their past. He didn't want to slip into the negative. "Okay, let's go. Show me what comes next."

Kerr's life was better now, for that change, but it wasn't hard to be better from the misery he'd had. Any change would have been better.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something Old
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 08:11:59 PM »
"Correction: I was afraid to want you when we met," Kerr countered, smirking at Ben as his hand slid from his neck to his chest, "but I definitely wanted you. You ere amazing. I got over myself. Obviously," he chuckled, pressing a quick kiss to Ben's lips.

He led Ben back out of the house and locked the door behind them. The beach house could hold their past safe for now and he was content with the knowledge that he and Ben were in agreement on that. He opened Ben's door for him to get back into the car, smiling as he did. Once he turned the car around, he headed back into the city.

(Continued in Something New)