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Private Fall Apart And Start Again (M)

Discussion in 'Pandora Town' started by John Silver, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    The small smile didn't escape John, oddly enough - he believed to see a touch of relief in the warlock's eyes at his agreement to stay for a mug of tea at least.
    Though staying the night sounded... good. Better than going home. Better than facing the cold and the quiet of his apartment, better than dropping onto the bed and fighting tears and feeling stupid and reaching for a substitute just because he had promised himself he wouldn't reach for the needle again until morning fell. As if swallowing pills was any fucking healthier or safer - it sure felt it.
    It was easier and faster, gave him less time to hate himself.

    When Magnus got to his feet, John pushed himself out of the chair, too, putting most weight on his right side first out of habit and only once making sure he was standing securely did he move to follow the other into the kitchen, trying to focus his thoughts on nothing other than tea flavors.
    "Do you have lavender?"

    Was it really this surprising that his favorite tea flavors were just as out of the ordinary as most of his style?
    "Or ginger and honey?"

    Nudging out one of the chairs, John sat down on it, glad that they were high enough for him to let his legs dangle.

    For a silent moment he just watched Magnus prepare the tea, his stormy blue eyes watching the warlock's hands as he worked - it was a common thing with John for those who'd ever bother to pay enough attention to such little details; the former pirate had a thing about watching other people's hands when they worked on something, be it as simple as making tea or writing or actual work, woodwork or similar things.
    "Why do you want to help me?"

    After the small while of lasting silence, the question almost felt heavy - there was genuine curiosity to it, no bitterness or sarcasm; John was honestly struggling to understand.

     
  2. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Ginger and honey I can do," he said, knowing already that he didn't have anything lavender in the cabinets here. He could go out and get some, maybe, but at this time of the night most of the places that might carry something like that were probably closed, and he wasn't about to leave John here alone.

    John sat himself down in one of the chairs in the kitchen and Magnus set to work putting water into the small metal kettle he had, placing it on the stove before turning the burner on. Once that much was working, and with a bit of time to wait while the water warmed up, he turned to a cabinet to his right and began rummaging through a few tins of various teas, all labeled so he wouldn't have to open and check each one to know what was inside.

    He was just grabbing the ginger-based tea from it's spot near the back of the shelf when John asked a question that hit him hard, and the warlock was thankful that he was facing away from him so that John wouldn't see the hurt in his eyes that flashed instinctively before settling back to a more neutral expression. It hurt because John didn't just feel he inherently deserved help - he was looking for a reason. "Because you're my friend," he said with a more relaxed look, turning away from the cabinet with the tea in hand, placing it on the counter top next to the honey. "And I would never turn away from a friend in need."

    He hoped that John understood that. That anything he might need during this, Magnus would be there for him. Whether it was simply to know he was there, to have someone to talk to, or anything he may need the warlock to actively do for him - Magnus wasn't going to turn away from this. From John.
     
  3. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    The kettle was placed on the stove, the burner turned on, honey was joined by a teabag on the counter and John felt himself easing into the setting of this, into Magnus' calming presence and the warmth which came with the mere anticipation of tea.

    Because you're my friend
    Looking up, John locked eyes with the warlock, seeking something that wouldn't sit right, a misplaced puzzle piece to this whole thing but finding none.
    The words didn't make as much sense to him as they probably did to others - even after all this time, John was always seeking ulterior motives in everyone. It wasn't obvious on first glance due to how extraverted he was, how much he genuinely enjoyed being around other people, how easy it was for him to get someone to trust him. But all of this was usually a one-sided thing, it was never returned.
    John didn't trust anyone or anything, he knew nothing in this life was for free especially not for people like him, and he refused to ever let anybody harm him again, and harm only ever came with care, which - much like a mere maths equation - meant that if he didn't get attached to anyone, he wouldn't get hurt.
    And it had worked well enough for the past years.
    Just that in this world this mindset was crumbling steadily, slowly, as much as he tried to hold it together.

    Nodding to the other's words, John decided to simply save them to memory for now and take them the way they were - a riddle which possibly didn't even require any solving.
    "Did I ever tell you that I had a wife?"

    Why exactly his thoughts returned to Madi now, he didn't know for certain.
    Perhaps because he's loved her, truly. Because he had cared for her. Because he had been willing to sacrifice a war, a nation, a revolution to save her. Because there hadn't been any other reason for him to try and save her other than the fact that he's cared for her.
    In the end he's still lied to her and the anger and disappointment which had followed he'd never forget.
    He could only imagine just how disappointed she would have been if she would have ever gotten to see him now, like this, hung up on an addiction rather than being brave enough to face his demons.
    John wondered whether she would have tried to help him or turned her back.
    And even though he couldn't be certain, he liked to believe Madi would have tried to help him. It was the more comforting option of the two, the one he preferred to cling to.
    Even though in this world it really didn't matter.

    With a soft smile, he looked towards Magnus, steadily feeling like he didn't want to leave the warlock's place tonight, even less so did he want to leave the company of the other.
    It didn't matter what they'd talk about, as long as they only continued talking for a little while longer. John really felt like he needed Magnus around at the moment - a realization he didn't quite know whether he liked, but couldn't change much about either way.

     
  4. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    The look that John gave him lasted a few long moments, but Magnus didn't say anything more into the silence. He meant what he said, and though John seemed to be waiting for him to qualify the simple statement with something else, nothing else was coming. They were friends, and Magnus was going to help him simply because he wanted to, and that was the end of it.

    The next words out of John's mouth caught him entirely by surprise as they were not related to anything else that happened so far that night. A change of topic, and an abrupt one at that, but perhaps it would be best to steer away from the other things for the time being. After all, there was nothing Magnus would be able to do for him immediately - he would need to do some research, he might need to talk to a vampire or two - so the best he could do right then was to listen to whatever John felt like talking about, and keep him here, where he could at least watch over him for a few hours.

    "No, you didn't," he said, sounding surprised. Magnus didn't know why he was so surprised - maybe because he realized how little about John's personal life before Pandora he really knew, besides a bit about where he was from and that he sailed. Or maybe it was just that, much like Magnus himself, he simply had that too-charming-for-his-own-good personality that didn't often lend itself to the domestic life. "What was she like?" Figuring the other man wouldn't have brought her up on his own accord if he didn't want to talk about her, the warlock asked the question while he walked the honey, a spoon, and a currently empty saucer and teacup over to place on the table in front of John, the kettle on the stove just starting to hiss in its approach to being ready.
     
  5. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    The mug, honey and spoon were placed in front of him and John nodded his silent thanks at the other man, picking up the spoon just to turn it around in his fingers, watch the way the light fell onto the metal.

    What was she like?
    Madi was one of the very few memories which lured a genuine, warm smile from the former sailor.
    He was still watching the light upon the surface of the spoon when he allowed himself to remember - something he rarely did.
    "She was the most incredible woman I've ever met, and the only person I've ever loved."

    At least as of what he was aware. There was another person he's loved - but maybe John would never truly come to realize that, until someone would straight out tell him. And even then he might deny.

    Tearing his eyes off the spoon, he placed it aside again and looked up towards Magnus with a smile.
    "She was an actual queen with her own island to rule over. Smart and honorable, she was as reasonable as she was responsible. You know, we've met in times of war, formed an alliance with her people and when the war had ended she and I stayed on that island of hers and we lived there, for a little while. But...."

    Pausing there, John frowned lightly.
    He didn't know why he suddenly had the urge to talk about Madi - perhaps because he hadn't spoken to anyone about her, not properly, and it seemed unjust to bury her like she's been but part of the ruins of that damned nightmare of a war. Perhaps because it was getting exhausting to carry all these memories with him with nobody to share them with.

    "But it's never been enough for me. I loved her, I really did. But I couldn't sit around in peace in our house and be content with just having her around. How is it that it was easier for me to fight a war at her side than it was to simply...be with her in times of peace? How can it be that a person one genuinely loves isn't enough?"

    The question was a genuine one - John struggled to understand how everything had turned out this way and he liked to tell himself that Madi had simply been too good for him, too smart, too reasonable. That while he had feigned to be a King in the times when his men had needed him to be one, she's never feigned being a queen. That she would have always been too far ahead of him.
    But whether that was indeed the reason, John didn't know for the life of him.

    "Seeing you and Alec it reminds me of what I've once had and threw away. And I wish I could say I miss it.... but I don't. I miss her, or-perhaps I miss my idea of her, on occasion.
    And you've been around for so much longer than I have, and yet this life with Alec never seems to bore you. I just wonder.... is it him? Have you grown tired of roaming, are you content with settling down? But why now?"

    The hint of a laugh escaped John as he leaned back in his chair, eyes following the warlock with a certain kind of respectful curiosity.
    "I watch the two of you and try to understand how you made it work so... effortlessly, it seems."

    There was not the slightest hint of envy in his voice, and in truth John wasn't envious. Yes, a part of him admired the other's relationship, especially since he thought him and Magnus weren't all too different. But another part of John understood that this life they shared might not ever be for him, no matter with whom he'd attempt it, no matter how much he'd admire that person and God knew he had never stopped admiring and adoring Madi.

     
  6. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus turned at stood with the small of his back resting against the edge of the counter, leaning ever so slightly against it as he listened. And that was all the warlock did for a long while, listening to John's reminiscence of a wife, of a Queen, who seemed to be all of the things one would look for in a partner. He thought that the story might have a happy end to it - well, as happy as being with someone who wasn't in Pandora with you could be, at least - but unfortunately it didn't come to an end during any of the good moments.

    He listened to it continue on to something that just wasn't quite enough, and for the man who lived through over 300 years of life and love and loss, he understood the sentiments John was conveying here. That restless desire for more even when what you had should be plenty. It should be enough. And if he was being honest with himself, he did feel it. He felt it here and now, settling into this world of relative peace, buying a house. Staying in one place with one person for the first time in... well, too many years to count, once you cleared the century mark.

    And with the themes of trust and truth that seemed to be the staple of the night, Magnus considered his answer carefully as the kettle began to whistle and he pulled it up by the handle, turning the burner off as he walked over to the table and took the seat across from John. How could he say what he felt about the situation without sounding as if he were diminuating his relationship with Alec?

    "It's far from effortless," he said with a small smile, as good a place to start as any while he began to steep the tea. "But for me, our relationship is the adventure. I haven't been with anyone like him before. I spent centuries staying detached, always on the move, never really getting close to anyone. I was used to that life, that was the life that grew tedious to me by now, because it's easy. Not caring is easy. This sort of commitment is more of a risk than anything else I could be doing." His expression grew a bit sad at that, and he considered leaving out the 'why'. Maybe John would piece it together. Maybe he wouldn't. Maybe Magnus could wait and see if he'd ask rather than supply the thing that weighed heaviest on his mind... but after hearing John's story, it only felt right to finish his own in full.

    "Caring for someone mortal is a feeling far from 'content'. It isn't something you settle on easily... to know that you'll still be here long after they're gone." Magnus swallowed thickly, suddenly busying himself with the act of pouring the tea, which was finally ready, into John's cup first before his own. When he looked back up there was a more natural resting expression in place of the contemplative frown he previously wore. "It's hard for it to feel like settling down when I know that, one day, it's going be taken from me and I'll be right back to moving on to something new, whether I want to or not. I can't get tired of roaming because it's all I'll ever do, in the end." And there it was, the truth that hurt the most to admit. He would never stop moving on to new things because nothing he ever had could stay with him forever, it was quite literally only a matter of time before it passed.

    "And honestly, I have no idea if this would've ever happened back home, in our own world. It certainly wouldn't have happened at all like this. I will admit it's easier here - knowing there's nowhere else to go nothing else to do, but make these little lives for ourselves within the walls of this place. "
    There was nowhere to run away to, even if he wanted to. Of course he knew what Alec told him - that he stopped the wedding, that they fell in love, that things were on a pretty uphill track for them. But that meant little in the tumultuous existence they both lead before. With councils and Claves and responsibilities to get in the way. He often wondered if things were the way they were simply because they were stuck here together. Not that it changed the way he felt in the slightest, but still sometimes he wondered...

    It was strange to admit all of this to John this way - but once he started talking it was like he couldn't stop. And maybe it would be a nice distraction, or maybe it would be too much on top of everything else already on the poor man's mind.
     
    #26 Magnus Bane, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  7. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    Magnus was silent while he talked, not interrupting and seeming to be listening.
    John couldn't tell why he had decided to talk about Madi now, when there were so many other topics to talk about - so many things the warlock would probably have wanted to know instead, important things.
    But maybe that was exactly the reason why.

    He didn't want to talk about the currently important topic anymore. He couldn't stand to hear or see it anymore. He had to put up with this addiction 24/7 without ever being allowed a break, and of course it was his fault more than anyone else's, but it was wearing him out and he wasn't ready to talk more about it right now than he already had.
    If only he didn't talk about it, didn't acknowledge it, it would maybe go away.

    Magnus thought about his answer for a while, the kettle whistled through the silence.
    When the warlock did speak, taking a seat opposite him, the words hit home much more than John could have ever expected them to.

    Of course he was aware of how long Magnus had lived and he could guess how much the other must have experienced in his lifetime. But the things of which he spoke sounded all too familiar, painfully familiar, and John couldn't quite believe he's never guessed he'd hear the other say these things.

    I spent centuries staying detached, always on the move, never really getting close to anyone
    That, John knew well. Very much so. That was the life he reveled in and refused to abandon. That was the life he feared to leave behind.
    As long as he always had one leg out the door, no harm could reach him in time. He could always make his escape when required, could avoid all the issues commitment caused.

    John watched the other silently, with new-found respect for the man, trying to figure out whether Magnus was one step ahead of him or merely one step closer to chaos.

    Not caring is easy
    But Silver struggled to see why that should be a bad thing. Why make life harder than necessary? It was a struggle already as it was. Wasn't it smarter to make it as easy as possible?

    The question only became all the more relevant when Magnus mentioned the immortality issue which John, somehow, had never really taken into consideration before.

    The tea was poured and John gladly allowed the other to fill his mug before he added a rather large portion of honey, stirring it into the tea without hurry.
    I can't get tired of roaming because it's all I'll ever do
    And there it was.
    The life John had willingly chosen was the one Magnus had never had the chance to choose to begin with.
    And that, somehow, made John feel like he was being cruel about it.

    If he'd only want to, he could have all the things Magnus couldn't. He could have a home and a job and marriage. A partner for life to grow old with and be buried next to. To share life with, rather than share a mere fraction of it.
    But he had chosen not to take it. He had chosen the easier way.

    What Magnus said next, on the other hand, was something John was well aware of and one of the many reasons he was sat here now in the first place, bruised and hung up on a poison that was slowly ruining him.
    There was nowhere to run.

    Yes, Pandora wasn't a small place necessarily. But it was still limited and as much as he had tried not to think about that, he couldn't help but be reminded of it from time to time. Often enough to slip into despair and seek out a different kind of escape.
    He was stuck. Yes, of course, this was better than what he could have gotten instead but still he was stuck. And it made him sick.

    There was nothing out there he valued more than his freedom and independence. His ability to grab his very few belongings and leave whenever and to wherever he desired. Be a mere fleeting name in the crowd, never sticking around for long enough to be remembered for anything but possibly the trouble he's caused.
    And here that wasn't possible.

    That was why he had reached for the needle in the first place.
    It hasn't been the pain - that he could bear. That he was used to. That he knew wouldn't go away for long enough anyway, and he wasn't going to be the pathetic bastard who drowned chronic pain in anesthetics.
    It had been the burning need to get away which had driven him. The only proper escape he had been able to find in this world, and one he had badly needed.

    When Magnus finished talking, John was silent for a while. Those who knew him well enough also knew how valuable and rare this silence was.
    John hated silence, which was why he filled it with stories.
    But there was a very small collection of people with whom he had felt safe enough to allow silence to settle rather than urging to fill the space with meaningless words.

    Taking a sip of tea first, he then considered asking the one question which was sat at the back of his mind, bugging him.
    Was it worth it?
    But it was a stupid question, wasn't it?
    Mostly rooted in John's own determined refusal to believe that this really was worth it.
    Because Magnus was still here. In his own home, still with Alec and their cat and all of this.... still together.
    If it wouldn't have been worth it, he long since would have left.

    So instead of asking, he merely offered a warm smile to the other.
    "Thank you. You... gave me a lot to think about."

    The truth was as simple as that but also not at all. There was indeed a lot to think about. Even though John would much rather not think about any of this at all.
    Questioning one's own chosen lifestyle, one practised and well acted out and perfected for years, was... not something John was eager to do.
    But he owed Magnus that, at least, so he felt. Though he couldn't quite explain why.

    There was another thing he owed the warlock though.
    One of many, in fact.
    "It's an escape. It was never about the pain to begin with. I- I'm using it to escape this place, for a little while. The thought of being stuck in here with nowhere to run is unbearable for me, after a lifetime of running."

    Taking another sip of tea as if to erase the bitter aftertaste of the confession from his tongue, John met the warlock's eyes once more across the table.

    "I thought you should know. People always want to know why but you should know. The heroin has always been an escape, never a painkiller in the first place. I'm not afraid of the pain, I'm afraid of standstill. Of... not being able to turn tail and run, to leave and disappear when I need to."

    When I need to was such an easy, vague way of putting all his cowardice into a few simple words.
    Though at the same time it only revealed that he was too afraid to even explain what he was afraid of. Or, perhaps, he was so deep in self-deception that he didn't even know what he feared anymore. What it was that always urged him to move on.

    Another thing he owed Magnus was the time.
    How long since his first fix.
    But that information John easily decided to keep to himself if only to spare Magnus from self-loathing and misplaced guilt, to spare him from asking himself why he hadn't noticed sooner.
    Because, by God, it had never been Magnus' fault nor had it been his responsibility to figure this out and solve it.
    And the last thing John wanted was to be responsible for the warlock blaming himself even more than he was probably doing already.

     
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  8. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    A lot to think about... was that a good thing? John said 'thank you', so perhaps it was, though under these particular circumstances it was difficult to imagine that anything Magnus said would be particularly uplifting to consider at the moment. But it felt good to be honest with him, to be honest with anyone, about some of the doubts that he had about the way things were going here in Pandora. He didn't doubt his feelings for Alec, nor did he doubt the fact that what they were doing here was meaningful, at least to the two of them. But he had to question how much it was all worth, when it was just the life they build under such strange, forced circumstances. He had to wonder how much different things would be otherwise...

    ...but he didn't have to wonder all of that just then. No, now he could focus on John, and what he was feeling, and what he was thinking. And if Magnus' little reflection had given him something worth pondering, then all the better for it. But mostly he was just caught up in the moment of being open and honest and having a conversation that , the longer it went on, really started to mean something. It was nice to have this with someone he met here, rather than just continuing past relationships from his own world.

    "I can understand that. I may not agree with it, but I understand." And at this point, understanding what John was going through was a decent first step. It was more than he had to go on before John came to him that night, and it was much better than nothing. "Thank you for telling me," he said, and he truly meant it. He knew why John would want to keep something like this from those around him, but Magnus was glad that he knew now, even with the trouble and questions it brought.

    Was it worse knowing the 'why' was something that Magnus could do nothing about? A little, but it was better than not knowing at all. At least now he had something to go off of... something to work with. Magnus took a long sip of his tea, wondering where to go from here.
     
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  9. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    Thank you for telling me
    The honesty in the warlock's words was without judgement or expectation and it was the kind of gift John didn't think he'd ever deserve.
    The hint of a smile tugged at his lips and he wrapped his hands around his mug, feeling the heat against the palms of his hands like a shelter to hold on to until it burned right through his skin, until it grew warm enough to chase the cold out of his very bones.
    As if the warmth alone would somehow heal him.
    As if he would even want it to.

    Leaning back in his chair, John remained silent for a while, his thoughts drifting somewhere in the comfort of a home that wasn't his and the company of someone he shouldn't trust as much as he did in this moment.
    "If the offer still stands, I think I might like to stay the night."

    John had to actively prevent himself from adding excuses and explanations, from justifying such a pathetic decision.
    He downed the words in another sip of tea.
    But then his smile slipped a hint.
    There was something else he needed to take care of before he even considered staying here, something important.
    "Don't tell Alec. Please, I need you to promise me you won't tell him."

    Locking eyes with the warlock across the table, John made it rather evident just how important this was for him. He would wait for as long as would be needed for the other to agree to this condition - and John knew he was asking too much already, he had already allowed Magnus to offer too much. But this one point was much more important than any of the others.

    And so it was only when Magnus agreed, when he promised he wouldn't tell, that John dared move from his seat. Getting up and placing a light, fleeting kiss on the warlock's cheek in gratitude before letting Magnus show him the guest room, leaving the then empty tea mugs behind.


    __________________________
    __________________________


    The burning hot shower made the as-usual restless sleep easier to bear. It chased the tiredness out of his bones for a little while and made John feel a little bit less shaky, a little bit less dizzy and weak.
    It was early still and he was already missing it but so far it was bearable, as it should be for a few more hours. Enough to make it home and prepare another shot, no doubt.
    Though the lack of sleep was showing - the shadows beneath his eyes, though not as bad as they sure could have been, had become a somewhat constant. It was almost bitterly amusing how much more he looked like he had done during the war now, again. Always exhausted and tense and low-key expecting every shadow to jump at him.

    But the bed had been warm and comfy and he was thankful for the few hours of sleep he's managed to get - plus this shower was utterly amazing. Enough so, in fact, that John easily spend 40 minutes under the burning hot water before even thinking about stepping out and bothering to rub his hair as dry as possible.
    Feeling truly awake, however, didn't really happen yet - and wouldn't for about another hour. John was far from being a morning person.
    Which was probably one of the reasons he had forgotten to actually grab his clothes when heading for the shower in the first place.
    Which wasn't too big an issue, of course, just that he really didn't like running around with his prosthesis out in the open like that.
    With a little bit of luck Magnus wasn't up yet though. And even if, as long as only the warlock was around, John would be able to handle it.

    Wrapping the navy blue towel low around his hips, he sat down on the edge of the bathtub for a moment to fix the prosthetic limb back into place, securing it properly before applying weight and getting to his feet.
    A smaller, white towel was still in his hand as he lazily ran it through still wet curls, conveniently covering the bruised track marks on the inside of his forearm.
    Reaching for the door handle he stepped out of the bathroom just like that - nothing but a towel sitting just that touch too low around his hips.

    Nothing but a towel and the prosthesis and his scars, that was. The few occasional white spots of scar tissue upon his forearms and upper body from various fights and debris which had rained down upon him after cannon fire on the ship being by far not enough to be noticeable in any way, quite unlike the much more prominent, faded scars stretching all across his back which even a fool would have recognized as long since healed and scarred whip marks.
    The reason why, as revealing as John's shirts were, he usually didn't run around entirely shirtless. Not even in summer.
    As faded as the lashing-scars were, Silver preferred to keep them hidden.
    Not quite possible at the moment, though.

    A concern which was wiped away in an instant though when the former sailor took a few steps into the living room just to realize that in fact he wasn't the only one awake. And in fact, he had entirely forgotten that Magnus wasn't living here alone, either.
    He paused a little abruptly, taking in the view of Alec - hair messy from sleep - who was shirtless.
    Not that John's never seen shirtless men before, of course.
    And he had in fact seen Alec shirtless before, too. Just that it had been the middle of the night after a damned demon attack and he's had better things to do than stare.
    Which wasn't the case now.
    Now he did stare.

    The way those runes covered the other's skin above well-trained muscles and the generally sleepy look were all just a little too handsome to be ignored.
    Luckily, John had never really learned what shame was - which was why he didn't even attempt to hide his lingering stare.



    @Alec Lightwood
     
  10. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Of course," Magnus said, and tried not to look to relieved at the fact that John decided to stay over. He didn't want the other man to get the wrong impression, to think that Magnus no longer trusted him on his own, living his life... and alright, in a way that wouldn't be so far off, because Magnus knew that not a day would go by that he wouldn't worry, knowing what he did now. But he also didn't want John to feel the need to go just to prove to Magnus that he was fine on his own.

    He was about to go on and apologize for how small the guest room was, though it was a comfortable, new mattress and John would be the first to use it, so everything was clean and new -- but before he could John asked one last thing of him. He asked Magnus not to tell Alec.

    "John, I-" Magnus started, but the moment his eyes met John's his words fell away abruptly, and he grew silent for nearly a minute. He didn't keep secrets from Alec, not like this. Not when they were about a mutual friend, and not when Magnus was inviting that person into their home in his attempts to help.

    But it wasn't his secret to share. Magnus knew it took a lot for John to come to him about this. If he told Alec, Magnus had no doubt that it would be the last time John ever confided anything in him. It may, given the seriousness of the expression on John's face, be the last time John ever spoke to him at all if he didn't agree.

    "Alright," he said finally. He was hesitant, but there was no doubt in his voice. He could work on convincing John to tell Alec later. For now, he needed to make sure John trusted him enough to stay the night, and allow Magnus to continue to help him. "You have my word." Magnus did his best to allow the small, contemplative frown on his lips to turn upward into a small smile. "Now come on, I think we could both use some rest." He said, wondering as he showed John to the guest room before returning to clean up the mugs and kettle whether or not he'd be able to keep the promise he just made.



    Magnus made his way up the stairs from the basement when he heard the water finally shut off upstairs. He was already dressed for the day, unable to sleep much the night before, he'd stopped trying at around 5:30 am. He'd been in the basement most of the morning, looking through his books for something that might be useful and growing increasingly frustrated when he found nothing of any practical use.

    It wasn't until he came up the stairs and into the living room, catching the obvious look on John's face and the confused expression on Alec's, that he realized they were both already up, and not just one of them.

    "...no one gave me the 'Shirtless' memo. I feel overdressed." He said as casually as possible, doing his best to break any awkwardness he potentially walked in on just then.
     
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  11. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec had gotten home late from a patrol and he’d barely been able to keep his eyes open as he’d stumbled his way into a pair of clean sweatpants and collapsed into bed, planting a good night kiss in the vague direction of Magnus’ face. He slept so deeply that he hardly even stirred when Magnus got up in the early morning, and when he finally did emerge from sleep, groggy and fighting it, it was to the sound of the shower. He thought about going to join Magnus – there were few better ways to really wake up – but he was still sleepy enough that the thought wasn’t enough to rouse him from his nest of blankets.

    So, he laid there, listening to the sound of the shower, before he started to wake up a bit more. By the time it shut off, Alec was awake enough to get up, pushing himself out of bed and shivering at the slight chill as his feet hit the floor. He padded over toward the bedroom door, wiping sleep from his eyes, looked up and promptly froze.

    That wasn’t Magnus.

    He felt a little like his brain was short circuiting, a zip of electricity up his spine at the shock of seeing someone he hadn’t been anticipating. John Silver was standing in his bathroom doorway. Without a shirt. Actually, without any clothes. Just a towel. Alec felt his jaw drop just a little, even as his brows furrowed in confusion. Why was John here. In his bathroom? In his towel? It wasn’t a completely terrible sight – Alec was in love with Magnus but that didn’t make him blind but he was still left wrong-footed.

    He could tell John was staring too, but he was trying to get his brain working and so ended up just staring back, at least until Magnus’ voice broke through and he jumped, a little, turning to look at his boyfriend. “You didn’t tell me John was here,” he said, glancing back toward the pirate. He could take in more details now – the scars covering the man’s body. Alec imagined he might be just as scarred, if he couldn’t rely on iratzes. Then again, his runes were technically scars too. And his leg – well one of his legs was a prosthesis, which honestly Alec hadn’t known about. Or would have suspected anyway.
     
  12. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    In all honesty, John had no idea how much time had passed with just staring at the other - and, worth mentioning at this point: Alec staring right back.
    Somehow he had not expected that to happen, despite their awkward drunken cuddle session in early December.
    When Magnus words broke through the silence though, John - unlike Alec - didn't jump at all, though his brain kicked back into motion, too.
    And suddenly, from a moment of wow Alec's hot to oh my god the track marks and now he knows about the prosthesis, shit John's mind kind of just blanked.
    Despite that he managed to drape the towel he's had in his hand casually over his left forearm, covering up the bruised puncture marks there with well-learned skill without making it seem suspicious whatsoever.
    The fact that Alec knew about the fact that John was stood on only one leg made of flesh and bone though was still very much an issue and one the former sailor wasn't capable of covering up anymore - it soured his mood a bit. He never liked people knowing about this particular issue.

    You didn't tell me John was here
    Apparently Alec was more bothered by something else entirely though.
    Arching an eyebrow, John looked from the Shadowhunter to Magnus and back again. Well, that was a bit rude, no?
    "Sorry, it was kind of unannounced. I'll be leaving again in a bit, too."

    Running a hand through his still dripping wet curls, John couldn't help the grin that followed though as he almost casually turned to walk back towards the guest room - but not without winking at Alec first.

    "I see now, Magnus is a lucky man to have you to share his bed with."

    And then he didn't care anymore about the scarred whip-marks on his back or the hollow sound his prosthetic leg made against the floorboards, but rather he was too busy grinning to himself like the little shit he was.

    "Do you think I could get a hot chocolate before I leave?"

    He wasn't sure whether the question had been directed towards Magnus or Alec, so he simply left it to the others to decide on that.

     
  13. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    The leg, Magnus knew about. Not because John wanted him to, but because he noticed it when he was healing him after the demon attack the night they met. But the scars that Magnus saw on his back were new - not the ones on his arms which were already covered by the time he thought to look, but the ones that were obviously difficult to hide while shirtless. He wondered about them but knew better than to ask just then.

    Obviously it wasn't like he'd keep John's spending the night a secret, not that it could be a secret when he was still there in the morning. But smirking just slightly alongside John's comment about his 'luck' in sharing a bed with Alec it was obvious why this might be the sort of situation he might've wanted to avoid. Not that it kept him from biting back a smile at the comment as he cleared his throat, though his appreciative glance at Alec confirmed that yes, he was in fact very lucky.

    "Sorry," he said to Alec. "I was asleep before you got in, and I didn't hear you up here while I was in the basement reading up on a few things." The comment was vague, but he hoped that John would know that the reading he was doing was looking for anything that might help him. That he was already trying to figure something out the best he could.

    "--who do you think I am, that I'd send a guest back out on an empty stomach." Though, thinking to what they had readily available in the kitchen, there wasn't an awful lot he could make that would be enough for three of them. "How do you feel about pancakes?" He asked, adding after only a moment's consideration, "-to go with the hot chocolate, of course."

    It was strange to see John joking and flirting and, well, just being so very normal after the night before, but it was also a bit reassuring to know that maybe he was alright. At least, as alright as he could be.
     
  14. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    It wasn't that he minded or anything. He knew Magnus and John were friends and while he still wasn't sure exactly what to make of the other man, he liked him well enough. Or at least, as much as Alec ever liked anyone outside his family.

    Alec's mouth opened and closed, a light dusting of pink spreading across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. He opened his mouth to say something, but then John was asking about hot chocolate and Magnus was saying something about pancakes so he kind of just stood there, eyeing the two of them.

    He nodded at Magnus' explanation - he had come in pretty late, so it wasn't like he would have expected Magnus to wait up for him just to tell him they had an overnight guest. He watched John start walking back toward the guest room, but quickly averted his gaze because. Well, just because. He swallowed.

    "Is this hot chocolate just for guests?"
    he asked, turning toward Magnus, mouth tentatively tilted upward at the corner, like he wasn't sure if he was teasing or not. He never got hot chocolate. Then again, he wasn't really the type to ask for hot chocolate. ​
     
  15. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
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    Before John had the slightets choice to wonder where Magnus had even been in the first place, and why he hadn't been around apparently, the warlock answered that question himself.
    while I was in the basement reading up on a few things
    At that John paused for a brief moment, looking back across his shoulder towards Magnus, locking eyes with the other for a lingering moment before the slightest hint of a grateful smile tugged at his lips.
    Of course he wouldn't have come to Magnus if he wouldn't have assumed the warlock would actually intend to help him but he had definitely not expected the other to bother with it right away.
    It was... a thought as warming as it was concerning and John could feel the guilt creep in, whispering that now he had managed to screw over Magnus' life, too, as if fucking up his own and Raphael's hadn't been enough.

    None of it was obvious in any way though.
    John was too good an actor to allow any of it to slip, so he just continued smiling like nothing was up.
    And it wasn't.
    It was just him, crashing at a friend's place and demanding hot chocolate in the morning. That was all there was to it.
    Being charming and grinning and teasing was easy, it was easy to play pretend because that's what he did most of the time, it came naturally to him.
    It didn't mean he was fine, by all means. But with John it was often near impossible to tell whether he was fine.

    At the mention of pancakes, John paused in his steps once more, turning around with an almost disbelieving smile on his lips.
    "Are you serious? I would live off pancakes if I could."

    Which was very much true and also certainly answered the other's question.
    With these words, John finally turned to return to the guest room, pulling the door shut and turning the key; better get dressed in time for the pancakes after all.

     
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  16. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "The hot chocolate is for everyone," Magnus reassured Alec, though the smile on his face faltered for just a moment as he said it. He couldn't tell if Alec was joking or not... or if he was, for some reason, actually upset at the fact that John was here. Perhaps it was simply the fact that it caught him so off-guard; Alec wasn't one for surprises, and this was quite unexpected, since Magnus didn't have the chance to warn him of the sudden house guest the night before. He supposed he could've left a note, but he assumed he would wake up when Alec got back, or at least catch him in the morning.

    He was wrong on both assumptions, but he hoped any tension he thought he might have caught there for just a moment was imagined on his end, just the product of paranoia after everything that was on his mind.

    "I'll get them started," he said, the smile returning with graceful ease at the confirmation that pancakes would be fine. Once John was back in the guest room with the door shut Magnus turned to face Alec, speaking in quiet tones that John wouldn't be able to hear. "I'm sorry," he said again, a bit more sincerely this time. "I could've at least texted you." For some reason the thought hadn't crossed his mind until that moment. He gave Alec some very convincing sad puppy eyes and planted a quick, soft kiss on his lips. "Can I earn your forgiveness with pancakes and hot chocolate?"

    Without waiting for an answer he was already turning to head to the kitchen to get started.

    The End​
     
    #36 Magnus Bane, Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018