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 You and Me {Falin & Sterling}

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Menel

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Posts : 58
Join date : 2018-05-07
Location : Nespa, France

PostSubject: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:06 pm

[[TW: NPC Death, talk of suicide.]]

Falin slumped back, VR helmet rising and falling with numb fingers. He heard it bounce to the ground in a distant sort of way and knew he should be more careful with it but... The image of Laven falling to his knees was still playing out in front of his eyes. That's what his last vision of the game had been before his avatar was dissipated like so much smoke.

Silver hair and a wicked smile vanishing and reappearing across the cave. Laven, falling to his knees with blood on his lips clutching his chest.

He closed his eyes but the image was still there waiting for him. It made his breath stutter in his lips as he began taking off the suit he took everywhere with him and started shoving it back into its case with none of his usual care. His breath caught in his throat and he stopped to press his hand against his own chest. Above a scar that made him place for a second the image of Laven with someone else in his memory.


"It is not the same." He took a long ragged breath and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He immediately started to text Laven... Sterling to make sure he was alright and stopped himself.

If he had still been Menel he would have asked if it had all been on purpose. No, Menel wouldn't have even suspected it. Would have brushed it off and gone laughing to his date. His date. Falin sat down on the bed in his hotel room. How many times had he wished for that? To meet Sterling and talk to him in person. And every time he was stopped from asking by his own impassible fears.


That was a mean trick. The words were typed out under his fingers and he pressed send before he could think about it too much, his lips curling into a small smile even as his fingers lifted to touch that scar beneath his shirt again. It ached like something was broken inside him.

With hope. With fear.

_________________
-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.


Last edited by Menel on Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Laven

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Location : Ireland

PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:30 pm

Sterling was still sitting with his VR helmet on when the sound of his phone getting a text message chimed through his study. He’d been adjusting some of the settings in the game HUD, waiting for the echos of pain to stop pinging through his muscles. If it was one thing he didn’t like about Savior, it was that the pain-receptor sliders were either too strong or too weak. He couldn’t have it too low or he would put his avatar at risk needlessly, and too high and any wound caused him to have… episodes. He’d only had a handful before he realized he couldn’t enjoy the game with the pain settings that high. Thankfully he’d lowered them before having any issues in front of Menel.

On the subject of the unlucky swordsman…

Removing and setting the helmet in it’s docking station Sterling stood and walked to his phone, unlocking it and smiling at the message waiting for him.


That was a mean trick.

He laughed, sliding his index finger over the keyboard and leaving a cheeky emoji at the end of his message.

Maybe so, but one of us was going to lose and my wager was far more interesting. If it makes you feel better I'll still buy you lunch. ;)

With the message sent the history professor stretched and slipped his phone into his pocket before walking out of the study. He had animals to feed, and papers to grade. Falin's in particular was making for a long night. The swordsman knew his history... provided there were martial weapons involved. Sometimes Sterling wondered if he sent in obtuse work just to give the professor a challenge.

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Menel

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Location : Nespa, France

PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:52 pm

In spite of the building pain in his chest Falin couldn't help but laugh at Sterling's response. Perhaps another lunch in the game was a poor thing to ask for, but it's all he could think of in the moment. He hadn't wanted to be too demanding, and he liked trying new foods in a place where he wouldn't put on any weight for it. It always amazed him how they could make it so everything tasted just right - or wrong if you didn't know what you were doing. Falin took several more deep breaths and finally rose to his feet again.

Are you going to come all the way out to London to meet me? Last time Falin had checked Sterling was still out in Ireland which wasn't exactly right next door. He shoved the phone into his pocket and started pulling the suit and helmet away more carefully. There was no way that he'd be playing again tonight, and what he'd done so far wasn't going to fit neatly into the box.

Idly from time to time he touched his chest, rubbing at the pain that just wouldn't subside. He was glad that this time it wasn't so bad. There were nights... Nights when he couldn't breathe at all. Where he thought that it might kill him.

He put it all away and stacked everything neatly beside his suitcase and his weapons case. There was another match tomorrow, but after that he had free time in London. He'd scheduled it that way because he'd wanted some time away from France for a bit. Time away from the little house that reminded him too much of the past. It seemed he spent less and less time there and more time on the road. Falin sighed and settled back to wait for Sterling's response.

_________________
-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:11 pm

The second message came as Sterling was spreading grain for the young hens he had recently added to the little farm he had grown up on. There were only three right now, but he’d been keeping in touch with a former colleague who had her own chickens and was willing to part with a rooster when her next brood reached maturity. He was cautiously excited about the prospect.

Are you going to come all the way out to London to meet me?

Sterling checked the fencing that kept the hens safe from foxes and the other predators that lived in the hills around his home. Only then did he pause, leaning against one of the freshly stained wooden posts and answering Falin.

It’s only a short flight, I don’t see why not. You’re the one with a busy job after all.

After a moment of reflection after sending his reply Sterling frowned and sent a second text, less confident this time.

I haven’t pushed this on you, have I? It’s been six months after all, and you’re finally close enough we could make time to have a proper date without reworking your schedule.

Turning off his phone screen Sterling shook his head and went back inside, leaving the empty grain bucket hanging out of reach of mice and trying not to over think his second message. Falin would tell him if he wasn't ready to meet. Sterling was certain of that. At least he thought he was certain of it.

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Would that've betrayed you?




What you couldn't do I will
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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:29 pm

A little light buzz startled Falin for all that he had been expecting it. Waiting, and the pain that was only just beginning to subside made him anxious. He pulled out his phone and checked the message. Of course Sterling would come out to see him. He felt a moment of relief though he wasn't sure where it came from. A few seconds later another text came through and he found himself staring at it for a long time.

I haven’t pushed this on you, have I? It’s been six months after all, and you’re finally close enough we could make time to have a proper date without reworking your schedule.

He waited too long to answer and hoped that Sterling didn't take it as indecision on his part. He was simply so surprised over Sterling's concern that he didn't know how to respond. Only he knew though how long he'd wanted to meet Sterling. Six months of actually dating and much longer than that of being friends. Chatting and him being Sterling's student. That thought made him smile. He'd learned so much of history from Sterling though he knew he wasn't a very good student. Falin's attention seemed lacking at the most important times.

No. I'm glad. I've been wanting to meet you. He hesitated over the words, changing them more than once before sending them out. Then, a few seconds later he was typing again only to delete it all and stare at his phone for answers.

I'm staying at the Mariot.

You could get a room here or one close by.


He wanted to offer his suite to the other man, but fear stopped him again. So he left it at that and worried the whole time until Sterling responded that he'd texted something that would leave the other man rethinking his choice to come.

_________________
-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:21 pm

It took Falin so long to reply that Sterling had to stop waiting and instead actually do his job. He may only have one class to teach a week, but that didn’t mean he had nothing to do. There were lessons to plan, key notes to put together for the small group of online students that had signed up for his ancient history lessons, and of course, papers to grade.

He was back in his study when the group of messages did come in, sitting in his overstuffed chair in front of a cheerful fire with his tablet in hand. Falin’s paper would have to come last, or else Sterling would agonize over it and have to rush through the others. When the soft sound jingled from his pocket he paused, pushing the glasses he needed to read when he was reading for long periods of time up to the top of his head.

He smiled when he saw that his worry had been ill-founded. Of course it had. Falin had never been anything other than open with him in regards to their friendship and then their relationship. It had been Sterling’s own nerves that had made him worry.

The last text though…


You could get a room here or one close by.

That one gave Sterling some pause. Was Falin asking him to stay close by while he was in London? Or giving Sterling a chance to escape from him if the situation grew awkward? Now Sterling was the one who needed to formulate his thoughts before replying.

That sounds like a lovely idea. We can discuss more when we meet for lunch.

The fire popped and Sterling glanced up at it, smiling and shaking his head before shifting so that he was more comfortable in his chair. He would have to buy his ticket soon, and he would probably pay the price for the short notice. But it was worth it. He hadn’t been on a date in so long. Hopefully he still remembered how to act.

I’ll let you know when I'm landed. You should rest before your match. If we hadn't ended the game so early I would have given you a kiss for luck.

He chuckled and put his phone away to pick the tablet back up, marking the screen with his finger when he found an erroneous line about the roman army and the way they functioned as a unit.

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Would that've betrayed you?




What you couldn't do I will
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I'll forgive you
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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:44 pm

It seemed like an eternity before Sterling responded, but when he did it brought a smile to his lips. They could actually talk to one another, in person. He wondered if it'd be different than their hundreds of conversations with one another on Skype or on the telephone. If they'd have things to talk about. His match... they'd have that. Half of him wished that Sterling could come to that, but it was too late to invite him to an event that was closed to the public. Next time maybe.

Next time.

Sterling's next text had him flushing just a little, but he immediately sent another text in response.


I have to get some sleep, so I'll take a goodnight kiss instead. 😚

He rolled off the bed and headed into the bathroom to brush his teeth. When he was done he stared at his reflection in the mirror. The image of a man that he sometimes didn't recognize as himself. He didn't look at himself very often. Shoulder length black hair so dark it had blue highlights in the stark lighting of the hotel bathroom. Eyes almost as dark but still very blue. Pale skin that hardly ever saw the sun. This was the man that Sterling would be meeting. Not the one that he usually saw in the game. The real him... All the times they'd shared video chats didn't count. He rubbed one wrist and licked his lips.

The light flickered off and he made his way back to the room. He stopped halfway there in the realization that he could kiss Sterling for real. Hold his hand. All the things he hadn't shared with anyone in so long. If only he was brave enough to try.

_________________
-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:55 pm

When Sterling’s flight from Dublin landed the following morning he couldn’t have been happier. It only took being trapped in a metal tube with over one hundred strangers for just shy of two hours to remind him that driving may have taken quite a bit longer, but was preferable in the long run. But it didn’t truly matter now. The flight was over, and he was in London. With an overnight bag slung over his shoulder Sterling made his way to the taxi depot, phone in hand and just waiting to send a quick message to Falin.

I’ve arrived. Don’t tell me how your match went, I want to hear about it over lunch.

He’d dressed a little nicer than usual for the occasion, New slacks that still had their original creases in the legs. Dark grey and soft to the touch. The weather was beginning to warm as summer bloomed so he had dressed in a light cotton shirt, the sleeves folded at the elbow and the color a silvery purple that made his complexion brighter and his honey brown eyes stand out. Normally he would have left his hair down as well, to let what little sun came through catch the pale gold strands and make him look even more like a fashionable fairy prince. But he’d piled it all up on the top of his head in a bun instead, deciding that travel required some sacrifices over his vanity.

Hopefully he would still be as stunning as he hoped he looked to Falin.

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Would that've betrayed you?




What you couldn't do I will
I forgive you
I'll forgive you
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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:24 pm

Lunch was to be had at some fancy restaurant that Falin had never even heard of until he googled it to find out what would be appropriate to wear. He was both surprised and not to realize exactly how nice it was. Surprised because it was always amazing to him to be reminded of how extravagant places in the city could get, and not because it seemed likely to him that this was Sterling's way of apologizing for 'tricking' him into lunch. He scrolled down the list of limited options and felt his eyebrows raise up. A very nice restaurant then.

Which left him wondering what to wear. He didn't bring a lot of very nice clothes since he hadn't thought to pack them. Most of his everyday clothing was suited for the purpose however, so he only had to pick between them. In the end he found himself sorting through everything and trying it all on several times before he found anything he was willing to walk out the door in. It was a dark blue turtleneck that made his eyes stand out and was long enough that it slid down his hands at odd times, and a pair of dark slacks that were almost black. He matched those with the only pair of shoes he had brought with him

Then it was out the door, brimming with the expectation of telling Sterling about his match and nervous about actually meeting the other man. It wasn't Sterling he was uncertain of. No it was himself. Worrying that he would do everything wrong and when this was all over he would have lost his one and only friend after it seemed like they'd only just become more than that to one another.

He arrived at the restaurant early, texting Sterling that he was arriving and then realizing as he came up that he didn't know what name Sterling had put the reservation under. Falin hesitated at the front and tried to get a quick glance around to see if he could see Sterling somewhere.
"I'm here with Sterling McGill?"

_________________
-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:39 pm

"This way, you two are lucky the weather held. Your reservation for the rooftop seating will be lovely today." The server was very nice, dressed all in black with a white apron around their waist. They led Falin up a set of stairs onto the roof of the old bike shed, opening a door to a charming rooftop garden and a few tables spaced far apart to allow the diners some privacy and room.

There Sterling was sitting and waiting, elbow on the table and chin in hand as he waited for Falin to arrive. When he saw the dark haired man he perked up, long eyes opening wide and a smile pulling the corners of his mouth. While the wait staff led Falin to his table Sterling stood up, smoothing down his shirt in a single display of nerves before he held out his hands for Falin to take.


"Falin." Sterling said the name softly, his eyes just for the other man as the wait staff left the table with it's two menus for the men to look over.

"It's nice to meet you." The professor laughed quietly at his own joke.

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Would that've betrayed you?




What you couldn't do I will
I forgive you
I'll forgive you
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