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Author Topic: With Me [Neph and Draco!]  (Read 128 times)

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Offline Cheesigator

With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:43:03 PM »
If there was one thing Kirkley had never been in shortage of throughout his whole life, it was guilt.

It never mattered how hard he paddled, how desperately he tried to fight to break the surface; he was always drowning in some form of it, always reminded of the awful things he'd done, and the horrible things he would continue to do. Life handed him shit situations, and he had to make the best of all the horrendous options offered to him. Forever doomed to be the bearer of no good news, you'd think he'd have accepted and gotten used to it by now.

Such was not the case. It would never be the case.

The entire disaster with Shen was one that he wouldn't soon forget for the next few centuries. The horror he felt when he realized something was wrong, as he desperately tried to keep it together in front of his crew, tried to fight to keep them safe. There hadn't been any time to warn them, to explain to them that something was up and that he had to leave to find out what it was. Someone might have tried to argue, protest, something, and in a dire situation where every second counted and being off by one could mean life or death for them all, he'd bit the bullet and done all he could think to at the time.

Now he had to accept the repercussions of it, whether he deserved them or not, although if you asked him directly he would tell you he most certainly did.

He shouldn't have scared them like that, even if initially it had been meant only as a harmless prank. There was no fixing what he'd done, the trust he'd breached with all of them. He would be a lucky man if they ever wanted to see him again.

And yet he'd been forced to bed with Nero by his side, soon joined by Aesir. He'd wanted to fucking cry--so goddamn bad. Wanted to throw the pity party, the boohoo I fucked up now everyone is mad at me fit, or perhaps a better way to describe it might have been: I hurt the people I really care about and I'm a fucking dickhead gods dammit why do I have to be such a piece of shit.

That last one was much more accurate, though he was chiding himself for the first one.

At some point in the night, Nero had left. Kirkley wasn't sure if it was because he didn't want to be there, or because his tossing and turning was annoying as hell, but he didn't bother to try to find the man and ask. Every bone and muscle and patch of skin hurt, especially as it all regrew and healed. The image of the worms bursting out of the pores of Shen's skin all at once, all teeth and slime as they launched themselves at the intruder was one burned into his mind's eye, and he woke up multiple times panting and clutching desperately at the sheets until his knuckles turned white. Fuck.


He'd almost lost his crew, he'd almost lost Shen.

And it was there he found himself laying in his bed, staring up at the ceiling with Aesir starfished nearby that he tried to calm his anxiously beating heart for the umpteenth time, wishing that none of today had happened, that he could go back in time and make better decisions, as if there had been any at the time. All he could keep replaying over and over again in his head was the pure fury he'd felt from Otto, the stress he'd put on the poor man, the fear in Aesir and the worry and concern with Wolf, the tightness in Vargas's voice over the intercoms, it was all rattling around in his head and he couldn't help the tear that escaped the corner of his eye as he refused to look anywhere else but that ceiling, telling himself over and over again that he was a fucking monster and an idiot.

Offline nephero

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 11:14:24 PM »
   Otto stared into the void, and the void stared back. He didn’t know how long he’d been sitting there in the flight chair, how long he’d been staring out into the inky blackness that was only broken by distant twinkling stars and the occasional bit of astral flotsam and jetsam. It was comforting in its own way; a whole heap of nothing for miles and miles, utterly indifferent to anything that might possibly occupy it at any given time. It didn’t care to promise anything, or threaten anything, or keep anything to itself. It just was, and that was all, and Otto never had to worry, because the universe did not care.

   Staring out into all that nothing had a habit of putting things into perspective. Or at least, it helped Otto attain a kind of numbness that he usually had to dope up to achieve otherwise. He had no idea at what point Aesir had left him; the thought stung a little but in a kind of distant, echoing way. Like he was more aware of the fact than actually felt it. Kind of like he himself wasn’t even sitting there. Wouldn’t that be a kick? Just some residual data left over from communing with the ship, echoing in lines of code but never actually being there.

   Unnerved, Otto reached up to comb his fingers through his hair, only then noticing that he was still completely suited for a space walk. At 0600 standard the following morning. Ugh. Where had any of the previous night gone? Had he really sat there sulking this whole time? Had he even moved? A short stretch and two cramping legs later said that he hadn’t. Everything hurt— his thighs, his back, his head— and it took some maneuvering to get out of that chair and out of the bridge. He needed a shower. And some coffee. And some sleep. And some morphine. And whatever might actually wipe the past few days from his memory. In lieu of options B and D, Otto shuffled his way down to the showers, peeling out of his void suit and letting the top portion hang around his hips while he got the water running boiling hot.

   It was a catch-22 of course— the water beating down on him eased his aches and pains, chased away that numbness until all that was left was the roiling in his gut.

   This was all his fault, wasn’t it?

   Otto chewed at his lip, breath catching in a stutter, his hair just one long wet curtain around his face. If he hadn’t been so insistent on this— if he hadn’t argued that Aesir needed to be allowed to get out and breathe and be a whole singular person all his own— none of this would have happened.

   The more rational, and espresso-bean-bitter side of him, however, reminded him that his point had been absolutely valid. Aesir didn’t deserve to be locked up all the time, and it wasn’t like Otto had suggested “fresh air” come in the form of a giant freaking goldfish! Just what the hell was that? What kind of fucking asshole threw their crew up against something like that without so much as a head’s up?

   The less rational, sludge-and-bile black part of him chose that moment to sidle up beside him, tucking his hair behind his ear and whispering, ‘well, he told you so.’

   Otto reached to the side of the shower stall, and yanked the knob all the way to the left, turning the water icy cold and rendering him shivering and numb once more. Anything to get all those awful, sneaking thoughts to shut the hell up. Somewhere in the interim of another lost hour, Otto scrubbed the grunge off, his skin raw and pink by the time he finally shut the water off. He was exhausted, barely able to lift his towel and dry off for how much he just wanted to crawl into a hole and sleep for the next eternity. It wouldn’t happen, of course; he rarely slept right on the best of days, let alone days where he wasn’t sure if he was angry or…

   Or terrified.

   He didn’t regret insisting that they do something. He didn’t regret speaking up and didn’t regret pushing Kirkley to let Aesir see more of the universe beyond the Loveless. What he did regret, however, was how he acted. Losing his shit on Kirkley like he had, giving him the cold shoulder, making him feel like shit and essentially sending him to his room. Like a petulant child. Like the petulant child here wasn’t Otto himself, him and his selfish need to stick his nose in and make everyone else’s business his own. Like he was any better, making decisions for Aesir instead of actually asking him what he wanted.

   Otto wrung the towel tight around his hair, scrubbing out the last of the moisture before pulling on clean clothes, the thin fabric clinging to damp skin because he was just too tired to care. He’d suffer for it later when he was shivering in his bed, but for now the numbing cold was a welcome stabilizer against the realization that he needed to make this right. He couldn’t avoid Kirkley forever, couldn’t avoid this forever. Couldn’t just scream at him and call it done.

   It was a bit early yet to ruin the best thing that had happened to him in years. And he’d already ruined his marriage that way. And the more Otto thought about it, the less he was willing to push Kirkley into hating him over something as small as righteous indignation. Otto at least wanted to apologize first.

   And so it was with tired steps that he made his way to Kirkley’s room, pausing outside that door and wondering if he should really even be there. After all the yelling Otto’d done, who was to say Kirkley even wanted to talk to him? Well. Only one way to find out. He gave the door a quiet knock, before letting himself in. If Kirkley was sleeping, he didn’t exactly want to wake him up and have him answer the door. At least this way Otto could also check on his injuries. Or do something actually useful. Anything useful.

   The room was dark when he entered, and after a few solid blinks his eyes adjusted to the low light, recognizing Aesir on the bed and noting the long, slow rise and fall of his ribcage. Asleep then. Poor guy. He really deserved a good rest after all he’d been forced to endure. That same pang of guilt shot up again, before Otto squashed it down. He could apologize to Aesir, too, later.

   Because as his eyes roamed to the side to the much larger figure, he knew that Kirkley was absolutely not asleep. Otto licked his lips, hesitated, before biting down on whatever courage he had left and walking over to Kirkley’s side of that massive bed.

   Otto leaned down, checking to see if Kirkley’s injuries needed any attention. A good excuse to try and collect his thoughts, figure out what to say, not just stand there in the dark like some kind of ghost. Eventually, though, something had to give, and Otto’s eyes met Kirkley’s in the dark.

   “Cannot sleep?”

Offline Cheesigator

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 12:11:38 AM »
So lost in his own thoughts was he that the small knock on his bedroom door came as an utter surprise, making him jump a little as his heart started to race. Instinctively he started to push himself up from the bed, leaning over Aesir despite his wounds making his breaths run short as he expected to have to protect his pants thief from some strange alien monster with manners at any moment.

His head was foggy and everything hurt, but his nose at the very least still worked and he picked up that it was Otto that way before his eyes did. He relaxed as the man slipped inside, though only slightly, his shoulders still tight as his mind instantly jumped to the anger Otto had been absolutely teeming with a mere few hours ago. He wasn't exactly sure why the man had even bothered to stop by--it wasn't like he'd had to encounter Otto that angry prior to now, so he had no idea what to expect. They were still learning things about each other, and perhaps Otto had decided to sneak in here in the hopes that Kirkley was still asleep. To do what, he didn't know, but if he had to wager his best guess, he'd put it on that.

He laid back down, quiet as his bug (could he call him that? He wanted to.) inspected the wounds, some of which were already healing rapidly, others a bit slower so far. Overall he'd taken quite the beating, most of him being covered in bandages, not to mention his shoulder, which was taking the brunt of the regeneration powers that he did have--the chunk of flesh that had been ripped out there had mostly come back when he shifted but it was still a lot of restorative work that wouldn't be done for at least another day or two.

He avoided eye contact with Otto at first, not wanting to seem like he was challenging him or being aggressive or something--it was a more animalistic thing that most people often didn't think about. Staring him directly in the eyes might just be begging for him to start yelling again, so he waited until the other man spoke first, and then that mismatched gaze flicked over to him and held it for a moment as he thought about how to answer, shoving the swelling emotions of confusion and guilt and fear down to leave his voice as even as possible.

Rampant emotions never helped anything, especially when someone was mad at you.

"No, nightmares. Mostly about tonight." He admitted, his voice low and quiet, rumbling in his chest. "You too, hm?"

It was quiet, kind of awkward, but he didn't want to push too hard, or ask questions that would make Otto uncomfortable to try and find answers to. Otto had come here for a reason, and Kirkley would patiently wait for him to show or explain what that reason was on his own time. It wasn't like they were in much of a hurry to go anywhere now, after all.

Offline nephero

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 01:19:22 AM »
   Nightmares. Of course Kirkley had nightmares. So much had gone wrong, and so quickly, Otto had barely considered just how terrifying the whole ordeal had been to Kirkley himself. Shen was his son, after all, and the goldfish had almost died, Kirkley had almost died, they all almost died. And Otto had been so wrapped up in how he felt, in his own anger and his own hurt, he hadn’t even stopped to consider the hurt Kirkley was shouldering.

   Hurt that was partially his own fault, but not nearly enough to assuage just how terrible Otto felt then. He chewed at his lip, worrying the flesh there until it broke and hot copper flooded his tongue, permanently coloring the air a sensory red.

   Because of course Otto noticed how Kirkley avoided his gaze, and of course Otto noticed how Kirkley just held still and… let Otto do what he would do. Which involved sitting on the edge of the bed while trying not to invade his space at the same time.

   “No,” he said, just as quietly, looking away from Kirkley’s face and instead focusing as hard as he could on adjusting Kirkley’s bandages from where they shifted in the night— probably during one of those terrible dreams, “I mean… I have not slept yet. So no bad dreams.”

   They fell into silence once more, the tension in Otto’s gut twisting all the harder the longer the quiet lasted. All he wanted to do was fix it, make it better, whatever it took to get them back to how they were before… all of this. But some things didn’t have an easy fix, and the thought that this was one of those times just made Otto feel all the worse. Anxious, frayed, coming apart at the seams and stretched far too thin.

   It was a wild compulsion that had him speaking again, unable to take it any longer and needing to say something, anything, anything that would make it feel okay to be sitting in the same room together again. Otto didn’t want to lose that. Not so soon. Not ever, if he could help it, but…

   But that might just have been out of his hands at that point.

   “I am sorry,” he said, quick and quiet to avoid waking Aesir up, “I am sorry for being such an asshole. I was just so scared, I got so angry, I…”

   He trailed off, worrying at his lip again, before he took a deep breath and tried again to express what he was feeling.

   “I am… I am trying to not want to be mad. But I am… I was mad. I am supposed to be your first mate, but I cannot do this job if you do not tell me these things. If you want me to do this job.” Otto’s heart twisted, clenched, pulled at all the veins and arteries that kept him alive until Otto felt like he may as well be suffocating.

   What the hell was he doing? What the hell was he doing here, dropping all of this into an injured man’s lap. He came to apologize, not rub every wrong in Kirkley’s face, but look at him doing just that.

   “Nevermind,” he said finally, waving his hand to dismiss his earlier train of thought. “I just… I wanted to apologize, is all, before I turned in. Systems are still nominal. Should remain this way.”

   Right. Smooth. Just super casual. And now he could go back to Ironsides and just… get well and truly blitzed out of his mind.

Offline Cheesigator

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 07:36:02 AM »
The tangy metallic taste of blood on the air was sharp as it was introduced; Kirkley picked up on it instantly, glancing over at Otto carefully before averting his gaze again until the younger man spoke.

He hadn't slept at all?

Kirkley's heart wrenched; a quick glanc at the security monitors along the wall, screens dimmed and hard to see, but he could tell that the rest of the ship was dead silent. Otto was the only one awake, or at the very least, the only one awake and moving. He had no way of knowing just how much time had passed since he'd been rescued, or even what time he had been, but he knew it was hellishly late. And that was his fault.

He said nothing, resisting the urge to gently scold Otto for not even trying, but who was he to talk? It wouldn't help anything right now, so he kept quiet still, watching the man carefully as it seemed Otto was tense enough that he wanted to say something else.

And speak, he did.

The fact that the first words out of his mouth were 'I'm sorry' made Kirkley's gut wrench in painful guilt and self loathing. Otto shouldn't be the one apologizing, and yet he was, trying to make ammends for this awkward, stiff silence between the two of them. Kirkley's brows knit with concern as he listened to his first mate speak, and stayed quiet for a moment or two after he had finished by dismissing his own feelings and valid experiences with a handwave.

He nodded at Otto, scooting over just enough to give the man more room as he opened an arm to invite him to lay next to him if he wanted; Kirkley wanted it. That closeness, to be able to hold Otto close like he'd never have to let him go ever again.

"Otto, don't.You have every right to feel the way you do." He rumbled; his voice scratched a little, it'd been shot to hell pretty good when he'd been fighting those parasites. "You shouldn't be the one apologizing."

He waited until Otto was comfortable, whether that meant snuggling or not and took a moment to try and collect his haphazard, pained and guilty thoughts to see if he could make sentences out of them that might make even a lick of sense.

"I'm so sorry, Otto. I'm sorry I stressed you out, that you got scared, that you had to do what you did. I know it doesn't help much, but you were fantastic. And I do mean that." He said quietly, reaching out to sift fingertips gently over the man's scalp and through his silky black hair if he let him.

"You're right, I should have told you at least where we were going. I just... I'm not used to having people to trust, to talk to." He swallowed the lump in his throat, looking away again to the ceiling as he thought things over.

He couldn't help but wonder if he had told Otto if the man would've even believed him. Most people didn't, but now that he thought about it, he had a feeling his first in command would have. Maybe.

"Y'know, Shen and I have done this hundreds of times. Not this, the parasite thing I mean, that was new. It was kind of our prank; I'd act like we were about to be eaten by a big monster and then Shen would show up, give everyone a scare and be his normal self. He's a sweet kid, I promise. Hopefully you'll still get to see."

His voice tightened along with the clenching feeling in his chest on those last words; he wanted to know if his son was okay. What if they had gotten here a week or two later? Would he still..?

"When I realized something was wrong I only saw two options, and if I tried to explain it I didn't know if that would take a half second too long. It was either wait, or do something about it and try to keep you guys safe; I'm sorry, Otto."

He looked over at him, letting the backs of his knuckles brush over the pale skin of Otto's cheek before he gently wiped away some of the blood on his lip with the pad of his thumb. He was too handsome to be doing that to himself.

"I'm so sorry." He whispered, his voice cracking just slightly under the weight of the guilt and fear that bent and threatened to break it. Guilt that he hurt him, hurt everyone, fear that he wouldn't be forgiven.

Offline nephero

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 11:30:04 PM »
   The initial silence was deafening. Otto half considered a hasty retreat; get going now and then it would just seem like it had been his own idea to leave the whole while. Like it wasn’t the part he had been dreading the most. The blankets shifted and Kirkley lifted one strong arm, and Otto’s breath caught in his chest, rattling around for a few burning moments before shaking out of him again in a sigh.

   He didn’t wait to be asked twice. Otto lowered himself onto the bed beside Kirkley, careful to avoid knocking into any of those still-healing injuries but still pressed as close as he could get away with. Besides, burying his face in an unmarred section of Kirkley’s neck meant he didn’t have to look into the other man’s face— or worse, vice versa. Otto chewed at his lip, caught in a feedback loop of digging into the skin until it was in agony, every last movement pulling at reddened flesh and bringing with it a new spark of pain.

   Anything to distract from the way his heart felt like it was going to twist right out of his chest and take half his ribcage with it. Because whatever Otto had been expecting from this, having Kirkley apologize right back to him was… not it. Apologize and have it be actually genuine. Good gods, when had his standards for relationships gotten so low? As if Otto didn’t know that exact answer. He shifted, uncurled an arm and reached up to touch at the side of Kirkley’s face. He pushed his fingers further, carding them through wild, dark strands before simply settling his palm against the Captain’s shoulder.

   “Somehow, this does not surprise me,” Otto said back, just as quietly. His eyes flicked over the network of fresh and faded scars and tattoos, tracing them even in the dark of the room. “The pranking, I mean. It is… it seems very you.”

   And it did. He might not have known Kirkley for that long, relatively speaking, but the idea of him and that strange goldfish teaming up to have a laugh, that was exactly the kind of thing Otto could see him doing. Didn’t make it any less of a surprise, especially when the prank went wrong, but still.

   But that wasn’t what needed to be said here. Otto turned his face into Kirkley’s hand as it passed over his cheek and lip, the welled up blood there smoothed away and only leaving a distant sense of rawness. An appropriate feeling.

   “I want… to know that you can trust me,” Otto said, mumbling his words a bit considering just how bit those thumbs actually were, “I want you to be able to talk to me. I can forgive, we can both forgive, but… please. Talk to me. Do not just sit me in a corner and shut the door.”

   A mess of a metaphor, but Otto was well beyond caring, head tilted even further to try and catch Kirkley’s gaze before giving him a smile. The gesture was small, barely noticeable except for the pressed lips and pulled corners. And then it was gone, leaving Otto with little else to do but continue to pet and play with Kirkley’s hair the longer he was allowed to do so.

   "So perhaps... we can agree to maybe be more honest with each other? And I can maybe be more patient about what you do not want to be honest about?"

Offline Cheesigator

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 08:26:30 PM »
Thank the gods that Otto didn't hesitate for more than a mere few seconds before he accepted the invitation to join Kirkley on the bed; had he waited too long Kirkley wasn't sure what exactly he would do, but he sure as hell would've felt like a real piece of shit then about it.

The moment Otto was close he had wrapped that arm around him and pulled him close, and there was something so reassuring about the warmth of the smaller man in his arms, in seeing that black hair fanned out across the sheets and mattress and pillows, it made his heart thud just a little less painfully in his chest.

Although Otto's words were gentle, they still had their unintentional sting; he had been keeping secrets from him, from everyone. And while he may have felt like his reasons for doing so were justified (after all, with so many lifetimes spent living under the damnation of others for trying to tell them his story, being judged, mocked and made fun of, it made it hard to trust or tell anyone anything remotely significant about himself,) that didn't make it any better that he had hid things from them.

But he still felt as if the best way to explain himself, and to a certain extent, Aesir, was to show them. Show them the Meeting Place, let them see that last bit standing of what life had been like before any of their times on that planet that used to be so beautiful, the place he used to call home.

He bit at his lower lip for a moment, nuzzling into Otto's touch as he closed his eyes and thought on it. Would Otto call him crazy? Would he yell at him for not taking this seriously, would he condemn him for lying when he wasn't?

He didn't think so--his gut told him no and how desperately he wanted to fucking believe it.

Otto was asking him for honesty and that was something he had been so hard-pressed to give for centuries now, and yet for some reason this man he had in his arms right now made him want to spill everything. His heart, his guts, his mind. In one of the best ways possible--if that was possible.

He winced as he sat up a bit better on an elbow, keeping his arm under Otto as he placed a hand on the other side of him on the mattress, somewhat half leaning over him as he looked him steadily in the eyes for a moment, debating with himself just how much he wanted to talk, how much he wanted to give away--especially with Aesir in the bed next to him.

"Okay. Honesty." He took in a sharp breath, glancing away for a moment because suddenly it was hard to look Otto in the face while he spoke, gods how many times had he tried this before and been met with regret and hostility?

"Otto... The place we're going it's... It's the only place I could think of to take him. When you talked about letting him get some fresh air." He forced himself to look at Otto again, his eyebrows setting with the seriousness of what weighed on his mind. "I don't want to take any of you there, but it's the safest place I've got. If we took him to Edanith he would.." He looked over at Aesir's sleeping form, losing his words for a moment as the mental imagery of that poor kid being enslaved by the Edani people and used to enrich the soil like some fucking fertilizer made his gut twist as he shook his head. He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment to get rid of the mental image, grounding himself by clenching his fist in the sheets to try and maintain focus, not let all those fears bubble up and take over him.

"I uh... I don't want to explain too much because what I need to tell all of you is something that I've tried telling thousands of people and none of them want to hear. It's all I can think of to just... Show you." He looked at him again and when he made eye contact he felt all that nervousness and anxiety pile up on him again.

"The last thing I ever want is for any of you to think that I'm lying to you when I'm not. This universe is full of crazy things that millions can't understand and this I guess is just... One of them."

He leaned forward to rest their foreheads together, leaning on the arm that was propped up on the bed and still under Otto as he drew his other hand up to carefully cup his face, brushing a thumb lightly over his cheekbone as he swallowed the lump in his throat.

"There's two graves there, one soul. And I haven't visited in a really long time."

Offline nephero

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 01:55:22 PM »
   Kirkley was debating on telling him the truth. It wasn’t surprising— disappointing, but not surprising. At the very least, though, Kirkley was considering actually telling him the truth. And that said a lot.

   So, Otto was patient. Otto waited for him to think it over, watched the rise and fall of his chest with every long breath. He’d made his own promise, after all, his own little part of this agreement that if Kirkley tried, he’d try too. And that meant if this was one of those things Kirkley didn’t want to be honest about, well. Otto would have to wait it out.

   The colonist took a deep, calming sort of breath, and concentrated on their compromise. Because that’s what needed to happen, a compromise. It was just a pity it had to come on the coattails of so much awful.

   So lost in his own thoughts, focused as he was on keeping his shit together, Otto was surprised by Kirkley’s sudden movement, blinking wide eyes up at him through the dark as the much larger man leaned over him. There was another hesitation, and for some reason that had Otto’s heart stutter, some tiny, nibbling realization chewing through his chest until—

   “Okay. Honesty.”

   Just that, just those two tiny words had Otto feeling overly warm. His chest felt like it’d caught a buzz all its own, electrical feedback looping along his bones until he could feel it even in his toes. It meant so much to him, just knowing that Kirkley was willing to do this with him, and Otto had to blink hard and fast to keep from getting too worked up. This wasn’t even the hard part, and yet, here he was, getting misty-eyed because this man wanted to share with him.

   Good god, Ripley. Get your shit together.

   He took a breath, watched Kirkley avoid his gaze, and it was in that that he knew this was it. The real truth. Regardless of how much information was actually in it— someone else might’ve immediately started grilling for details. And they’d have been right to do so, but even just this step meant so much that Otto was… willing to compromise. Heh.

   Otto followed Kirkley’s gaze to the side, to where Aesir was still somehow sleeping (Otto envied him that, his ability to sleep anywhere and through nearly anything), and caught the implication almost immediately. Someone with Aesir’s affinity for plants would be terribly useful to a country whose entire end goal was to make a whole planet inhabitable. Green. Like how the world used to be before stars and poison smog.

   “Fresher than a garden salad in Margad,” Roy would say. How would something like that play out for someone like Aesir? Certainly not kindly.

   Kirkley tensed above him, and Otto reached up, sliding his fingers over heated skin and tracing Kirkley’s jaw with his thumbs. This was clearly something big, and from what Kirkley was saying, something that was almost impossible to believe. It was no wonder he was so keen to keep it close to his chest, if literally thousands of people couldn’t believe it. That in and of itself was daunting: could Otto believe it? He tried imagining the most outrageously fantastical scenario he could, each more unbelievable and terrible than the last.

   And yet.

   Otto searched Kirkley’s face in the dark. Tongued at one mutated canine.

   And yet, looking at the other man, hearing the note in his voice as he spoke about two graves, whatever that meant…

   Otto wanted to try. If he couldn’t believe it, he could at least try. Kirkley was worth that much. More than worth it, and again that same stuttering feeling started up in Otto’s chest, warming his skin and escaping his throat in a small, involuntary chitter.

   “The universe is full of crazy things, yes. But… you are you. If you say you are not lying then… you are not lying. I can work with this.”

Offline Cheesigator

Re: With Me [Neph and Draco!]
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 12:59:23 AM »
There were a few moments in between when Kirkley had finished what little he could give away, and when Otto spoke where he immediately regretted everything he said. It wasn't Otto's fault, no it had nothing to do with him; his brain immediately jumped to the worst conclusion, what he'd learned over centuries when it came to this kind of thing.

People wanted details. They had every right to. They had every right to know just what exactly he was hiding from them, why he was hiding it, especially when he made it sound so big and daunting and it most definitely was--just not in a way most people would expect.

He'd had partners guess lots of things at him before, all of which were true to an extent.

That he was a war veteran with PTSD, that he had undiagnosed mental disorders, that he was a massive criminal hiding from the law, a terrorist--one time he'd been accused of deserting a made up family with a loving wife and children who apparently still needed him. That one had been a little odd.

Even with Otto's comforting touch however, as he closed his eyes and let himself focus solely on that and the sounds of the other man's breath (with Aesir's in the background) he still had that nervousness, that anxiety. That he'd fucked this up beyond belief simply by existing, by being who he was and having led the life he did. No not all of it was sunshine and roses, in fact most of it wasn't, most of it was a crippling, depressing mess.

And yet when Otto spoke he stayed quiet a moment before blinking his eyes open and looking at Otto with slight confusion and disbelief.

So easily he'd just dismissed everything Kirkley had been scared of. So easily, as if he were shooing away a fly, he'd pushed away all the experiences Kirkley had had with partners in the past that had taught him what reactions to expect--none of them could have prepared him for this. For him to just... Accept it.

To accept it and just leave it at that.

And as the realization dawned on him how Otto had just done that (how?? how??) He couldn't help but smile, just slightly, and the surge of relief that flooded through him was absolute. His shoulders relaxed a little, and before he knew it he was leaning forward, catching Otto's soft lips in a sweet kiss that lingered with hope and a little bit of happiness--a big thing, given how awful the past day or two had went.

He brushed their noses against each other when he pulled back just enough to breathe and look his bug in the eyes, his heart thudding a little harder in his chest as he smiled at those little noises the other man made, realizing once again how utterly beautiful and unique Otto truly was.

Seriously, he'd had no idea when he'd looked at him that first time on Otto's colony that he would end up being someone so special.

"Thank you. I promise this is the only thing I try to hide; it'll make sense. I hope. Gods I really hope." There wasn't much else he could do, other than hope that it would all make sense when the crew saw those graves, saw the last remainders of the ruins carved with his and Amaranth's likenesses, standing so resolute in the remnants of what was once known as Fell.

Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn't, and they'd still call him crazy and leave. But the fact that Otto was willing to trust him with just this, and to follow him and believe in him anyways made his heart feel so much lighter.

Maybe when they all knew what he really was, what Aesir really was, they'd understand them a little bit better. And perhaps be a little less inclined to hate him when crazy things happened out of the blue, because if there was ever anything that could be trusted to always happen to Kirkley, it was those kinds of crazy mishaps that would rarely if ever involve mortals. But he brushed that train of thought away, in favor of pressing gentle kisses along Otto's jawline, nuzzling him and giving him a soft squeeze with the arm that was still underneath him.

"Thank you." He whispered, holding him close and kissing at his throat, feeling his warmth and hearing his heartbeat, smelling his unique scent and letting it all wash over him and cleanse him of those worries for now.