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Complete beauty in the breakdown

Discussion in 'The Docks' started by Aaron, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

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    He hadn't wanted to pull away. Not really, not when he wasn't so deep in his own mind, and apparently that wasn't even something that alcohol could manage to ignore. The mind really was a powerful thing, but after what he had just experienced, maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise in the same way it wasn't such a surprise that he wanted John there with him if not to take his mind off of the painful reality he had discovered.

    And even then, it didn't work.

    John was respectful as he pulled away from him, sliding off of his lap and returning instead to his side on the sofa, leaving Aaron sat there feeling stupid as he tried to stifle that longing he was sure he could still feel. Somehow, not looking at John helped a little bit, but the sound of his voice was still soothing and he appreciated that. He appreciated John's understanding, he appreciated his patience, and he appreciated the way he was trying to make things right.

    A bath sounded nice. So did a shower and sleep, but his mind felt too wired for any of that. Silence lingered between the pair of them for a moment as Aaron swallowed thickly almost as though he wanted to say something. And he did. The words were just so difficult to formulate.

    "Eric," he finally said softly, his gaze on the floor, on the wall, anywhere but John. "I had somebody back home who was very important to me, he was-- it was more than that--" It took all of Aaron's self control not to break down, his fingers curling into the edge of the couch as though he didn't know what else he could hold onto. "His name was Eric. I thought he was-- ... Well, I didn't know. I didn't know what I thought besides him just ... just not being here."

    He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, taking a deep breath. "But it isn't just that, he's gone. He's gone, he's-- he's--"

    I didn't know. I loved him. I loved him, and he's dead. Dead. It was the one word he just couldn't seem to say out loud, but everybody about the way Aaron seemed to be breaking down again despite the distraction, despite the alcohol, and the despite the effort, pointed to exactly that one word.

     
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  2. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
    No one, from nowhere, belonging to nothing.

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    No immediate response was granted, but John hadn't expected one - though perhaps he's hoped for one.
    There was more silence instead; the way Aaron refused to look at him ached in a way it shouldn't have. It ached in the way Madi's neglection had ached, in the way his best friend's words of disappointment had ached. Too close to the heart, too heavy to swallow.
    And John still didn't understand.

    So he remained where he was, just watching the other with concern that painted the sea of his eyes in stormier shades. Could it be that he was his most honest around Aaron?
    Even now, when the air was so heavy it crushed their ribs and every word was black ink dripping, when there was guilt and fear and worry and yet a certain urge to be close?

    Eric
    It was the first word that fell into the quiet and it was no word at all. It was a name.
    And suddenly, it made sense.
    Was there somebody important to you before Pandora?
    It was the grief in Aaron's words and the alcohol and his freezing hands, the despair in his kiss and the shattered sound of his voice.
    Before he even continued speaking, John already knew.
    In some way, to some extent. Not the way one would know a passage in a book learned by heart, but they way one knew what view would greet them at the turn of a familiar street-corner, even before having reached it.

    And there was also deja-vu. The memory that surfaced was from a world that wasn't this one. It was a warm night at a fire amidst tall trees and distant waves, a bottle being passed back and forth between two men and a question of curiosity, a need to know of a story so very important.
    And it was this story, that told of a man who had found his other half in another man when such things had been unheard and unspoken of.
    It had been the same struggle with words. The same he was very important to me and then more than that and then a look towards the stars scattered across the night sky endlessly. And then a look of grief and then, always, death.
    This merciless, finite thing that didn't need to be spoken aloud of to be recognized.

    John swallowed.
    He remembered, too, how he had thought Madi dead. How he had been told she hadn't made it, she had died, for this cause, this war that bit harsher than it barked.
    And he remembered the way his world had fallen apart.
    And he wondered whether he ever would have made it through this without the support of someone whom he still couldn't quite call a friend, for he's been much more than that.

    Softly, John reached for Aaron's hand. Feeling how tense the other's fingers were, how they were digging into the couch as if trying to hold him together.
    "I will help you through this. You don't need to take this on alone."

    He could have said This is terrible but that would just have been stating an obvious truth which was as useless as it was empty. He could have said I am sorry, but that would have been a cheap excuse, a way to escape an uncomfortable, tense situation and do his duty of saying what was polite.
    John didn't want to do any of these things though.
    He wanted to be there for Aaron. He wanted to make sure the other understood that he cared, that he was here, still, that this, too, would pass.

    "You don't have to suffer by yourself, even if it might feel like you do. I promise."

    None of his words were empty to the taste - they were heavy and full with an undelying undestanding of what loss was and the many ways it gnawed and broke and slowly murdered, the way it ached and suffocated.
    His promise was genuine and he hoped Aaron would believe him, he hoped dearly that Aaron would understand that no matter how unjust it felt that he was here and Eric wasn't - he didn't have himself to blame, and he would never need to carry this weight alone.

     
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  3. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

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    IF LIFE IS LIKE A CANDLE BRIGHT
    death must be the wind

    He didn’t expect the touch, which was a bit silly in retrospect. John was a very physical person, physical contact was something he enjoyed. A hand to the shoulder, a tight embrace, the fondness that Aaron held for the other man had already gone beyond that if tonight said anything at all. Maybe it didn’t, though, and with his mind on Eric, he hoped it didn’t. Otherwise the guilt would just eat away at him.

    That was why he felt himself flinch at first at the touch to his hand, but eventually his fingers eased against the fabric of the sofa, the warmth of John’s skin admittedly more soothing than he may have wanted to admit then.

    “I promise.”

    Aaron found he believed him, and of course he did. John had gone all the way out to the water to get him, with no idea why he had been in the condition he’d been in. With no idea how he had ended up out there in the first place. There was the smallest urge to turn his hand over, to grip John’s lightly. For whatever reason, though, he didn’t. He just looked at him, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his lips, and the way he wore it suggested just how hard he was trying to wear it.

    “I didn’t mean to put this on you. I know you have-- you have so much going on and I-- I just--” He hesitated. He didn’t know what he was saying. “I’m so sorry.” He didn’t even know why he was apologizing. For letting this mess fall from his lips, for putting John in the position to go all that way to get him?

    For kissing him?



     
    #23 Aaron, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  4. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    The flinch of hand almost made him pull away first, knowing that sometimes distance was better than closeness - but the truth was, he was afraid.
    There were so many things he was afraid of, of course. But at the moment he feared the possibility of Aaron shutting him out. That, too, he would understand, but it would ache, and he'd fear for the man's well-being, for his health, for all bad that could happen which he might have prevented.

    But then Aaron didn't pull away, either.
    His fingers relaxed slowly against the warmth of skin and the softness of the couch. And John left his hand where it was, not doing anything else, just leaving it there.
    The broken image of a smile crept across the other's lips but for once in his life, John didn't return it. It didn't belong here. It was a broken, shaky thing which was trying to hold together what was destined to fall apart.
    Loss was a cruel thing. Oh such a cruel thing...

    I'm so sorry
    That ached, too.
    Because John didn't want him to regret. Because he didn't want Aaron to think he couldn't come to him about such things, couldn't tell him. He didn't want to be considered too weak to bear such darkness.
    And because it was not at all Aaron's place to apologize.
    Softly, the former sailor shook his head in response, just looking at wreck of a man for a moment and still, despite all, finding nothing but beauty in him.
    "No. Thank you, for telling me. I appreciate it."

    There was nothing but truth between them tonight and every splinter of it dug into his lungs painfully, fighting against being seen.
    But he didn't regret any of it.
    And he didn't think about how he almost wouldn't have come. How he almost would have fallen for the needle rather than helping out someone he cared about.

    "You need some rest."

    Some silence had passed between them once more, but John tried to chase it away just in time before it could stretch out its claws.
    Sleep would not come easy tonight for Aaron, he knew that too, but it was worth a try regardless because it would be much worse without it.
    Releasing the other's hand softly, he pushed himself a bit unsteadily to his feet and then reached out to help the other up.
    He'd sit at the bed until Aaron would fall asleep if that would be what the other'd need. But he wasn't willing to leave him alone. Not now.

     
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  5. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
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    Human
    Age:
    34
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link

    IF LIFE IS LIKE A CANDLE BRIGHT
    death must be the wind

    It wasn’t that he had never experienced a loss that mattered so much to him. The world was a cruel place, the world he had come from no less cruel. Crueler, maybe. Aaron had lost and each and every member of his family over the years, some he had last spoken to over the phone, others he had just never heard from again. But Eric had been a constant in his life for such a long time. His rock. His love, his life. And just like that, he was gone.

    Suddenly, it was difficult to think about how much he liked John. It was difficult to think about how he made him feel, how much he wanted him to stay by his side in the night. What did it mean? Was it a betrayal? Aaron knew exactly what he would have said to somebody else in his position, but that was different. That was somebody else, somebody else's love, and this was--

    This was Eric.

    John was gripping him gently but firmly as he helped him up off of the couch and although Aaron wasn't technically physically hurt, he felt slugg[ish. Hindered, emotionally. Damaged. Moving was difficult in the same way that moving on was difficult. But John was there, helping him every step of the way no matter how much Aaron wanted to apologize and apologize and apologize for tonight having happened at all.

    And he wanted to beg. He wanted to beg for him not to leave his side, and at some point in his distance, maybe he did. Because there John was, sat at his side the whole night, never leaving until Aaron was fast asleep.

    THE END



     
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