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 You and Me {Falin & Sterling}

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Whatever Sterling said, Falin wanted to explain. Felt it bubbling up inside as if it would rush out of his mouth without any rhyme or reason. It would be a mess he knew, so he clasped his teeth shut and tried not to say anything.

There was that first motion of movement which terrified him beyond reason. His body held tight as a coiled spring as Sterling moved toward him and then it faded. Faded with Sterling's fingers so soft on his. So unexpectedly gentle. He thought he would flinch away from Sterling's reach but he didn't. Falin let the other man touch his face and closed his eyes to it. Let himself imagine that he wasn't here. Neither of them were.

The scent of Sterling's skin held him in place. Comforted him more than the words that Sterling spoke. Words he almost lost to the rush of his own beating heart and the inexplicable needs that he couldn't place into words. Could he control himself? No. All of this was totally beyond his control or it wouldn't have happened in the first place. It was so startling to realize that this was the first meal he'd had out in two years. He hadn't thought of it in so many words. All of his meals were in hotels or at home. He'd sequestered himself from life without even realizing how much he'd done so.

"I am better." He was, so he opened his eyes. Without even realizing it he'd tilted his head into Sterling's touch. Falin lifted a hand and touched Sterling's fingers on his face. How was this so comfortable? He blinked back the sadness that rose up in his heart with an empty ache but could not offer the smile he wanted to give.

"I want to explain Sterling. I want you to know. You deserve to understand but... Not here. I want to share the meal we promised one another. Let us do that and then... If you're still willing I will show you my hotel room and tell you everything."

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-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}   Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:43 pm

Sterling nodded and risked crossing a boundary to press a real kiss to Falin's knuckles before letting him go and stepping back so that Falin had room. "Together then?" There was absolutely nothing to be done in the tiny room they were in right now. Though Sterling was unsure that going back to try and eat lunch as if nothing had happened was a wise idea either. Still, he had to respect Falin’s wishes.

After all, he had his own issues he had kept hidden. They were not likely to cause him to have an episode in a crowded restaurant, but they were certainly not something he had any interest in sharing with anyone but his most trusted companions. Which meant he would tell Falin. He owed the other man that truth while their relationship was still young.

But not today. Instead he went to unlock the door, pausing and looking back at the swordsman.
“If this is too much, we’ll leave. I don’t care about lunch if you’re uncomfortable.”

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:12 pm

In spite of the concern Sterling had the meal itself was pleasant and full of lighter conversation that was admittedly a bit strained at times if only out of awkwardness from their meeting. Still it was fun to finally be able to talk to one another in person. They left together, and headed back to Falin's hotel.

The Mariot was an extraordinary hotel wherever it was, but here in London it was particularly nice. His suite was near the top, and by the time they reached the room it was quite a bit later in the afternoon. Falin led the way in, and moved through the space with a comfort that suggested that this had been his room for years rather than the few days it had surely been. Though of course he made sure that the room was locked securely before he did anything else.


"Make yourself comfortable. Would you like something to drink?" Falin headed to the little kitchen and started pouring some water. It was for himself, but there was more than enough chilled for Sterling too if he wanted it. He brought the water around and leaned against the counter, watching the living space for a moment before looking at Sterling.

"In truth I hardly know where to begin."

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-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}   Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:34 pm

Sitting on one of the couches in Falin’s suite Sterling looked around the room, not so much out of curiosity but to give Falin some sort of privacy in his temporary home. At the offer of water Sterling stood and joined him, taking the offered glass and watching Falin pour a second one before he began speaking.

“I find that the beginning is usually the recommended place to start. But I also get the feeling that the beginning may be too hard for you right now.” Sterling stood beside Falin, close enough that they could have touched if they reached for each other, but with enough space that he wasn’t crowding the other man.  

After taking a small sip of water Sterling placed the glass on the counter, tipping his head and looking at Falin who was studiously not looking at him.
“If it would help, I promise I’m not here to judge you, Falin.” His name always rolled off his tongue so sweetly, Ireland’s accent embracing him if only just as a word. Even now, watching how small and sad he suddenly looked, Sterling found speaking to him to be a pleasure he didn’t want to ever get his fill of.

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:05 pm

Falin sat his own glass down without tasting the water. Begin at the beginning. That was in fact where he should start, but it all began with someone who he hadn't talked to anyone about in years. Every word that Sterling spoke was like a nail on the head of his fears. He feared talking about it, and what it would mean to say the words out loud. That Sterling would indeed judge him for his actions.

So he looked at the other man, for the last time perhaps... No. Not for the last time.


"It begins with Aviline." Saying her name made his eyes burn, after all this time her name broke his heart just a little. "I loved her, and so we were married."

He smiled softly and guiltily. "I was married and we were to have a child but there was a man who could not stand to let her have someone other than him. He sent his friends to kill me in my own home. Kidnapped her and... in truth I do not know what he meant to do with her once I was dead because I survived and found them in the woods behind my house."

Falin stopped there and turned aside, tears burning in his eyes. "Heaven help me." The words were murmured under his breath. "He killed them both and I could not stop him. He would have killed me too but I..."

His fingers found his chest and he wept. No amount of time could pass and make this story something which did not hurt his very soul to speak of. He knew that Sterling would step toward him, and when the other man moved he looked up, the tears making his eyes look impossibly blue. Looked up and let the other man see the scars that had brought him here. Not the ones on his body, but the ones cut deep into his mind and spirit.

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-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}   Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:35 pm

Though his face was impassive Sterling’s heart hurt deeply for Falin the more he spoke. The more he delved into a past he hadn’t shared with Sterling and perhaps never would have if not for his episode at the restaurant. There was no way Sterling could possibly blame him for keeping this terrible moment in his life secret. No, in his place Sterling may have done the same. Would definitely have done the same, considering his own secrets he was harboring.

Once Falin began to weep Sterling couldn’t help stepping closer, reaching for the other man and seeing the agony in his eyes when they faced one another.
“I’m sorry, Falin.” Sterling could only gather him into his arms in this moment, a pang of shame lancing through him that he couldn’t keep looking at that pain any moment more. He hugged Falin all the tighter as if to make up for his failings, one hand cupping the back of his skull and the other around his shoulders. Now he could murmur to the other man, press a careful kiss to the ear he was whispering into.

Falin was crumbled into his arms and Sterling did what he had for others. He held him and told him the truth.
“You lived, despite the loss of your wife and child. And while I am so sorry they’re gone now I’m deeply grateful you’ve survived.” Firm fingers ran through raven black hair in steady sweeps as Sterling spoke. “I am here, and you are safe. Let yourself cry, Falin.”

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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}   Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 am

It was as though those arms were a permission that he had not known he needed. Falin let himself be enveloped by them. They were a warm, safe space in which he cried for those that he had lost in a way that he had not since they died. In a way in which he never really had. When he had first lost them it had all been fury and disbelief. It had been a willingness to give up everything - even life to have them back with him. Now though they were gone beyond him. So he wept for something else. For the man he had been and could never go back to, and for the fact that he could be happy now in the arms of this man here.

He had survived, and that knowledge too made him cry, arms wrapping around Sterling with the edge of guilt hard in his throat. The swell of sadness faded on the edges of that emotion. Was calmed by Sterling's fingers touching him so gently.

Falin felt the truth pulled from him by Sterling's hands, a truth which filled him with a simple sort of shame.
"I tried not to. For a time I all I wanted was to be in their arms once again." His tears had left a small wet spot on Sterling's shirt and he sank his fingers into the other man. Touching his spine through the material of his shirt. Soothing, but also just... holding on.

"Death held for me more sweetness than life could offer for so long." He breathed and pressed his cheek against Sterling, sighing and feeling better for it all. For the tears and his halting confessions. "It was a lie I know that now, but you deserve to know these things."

The swordsman took another breath and made himself - let himself - meet Sterling's eyes.  "You deserve to know these things because I have loved you from afar too long and left it all unspoken."

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-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}   Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:18 pm

As Falin spoke, as he continued to unveil bits and pieces of his trauma all Sterling could do was continue to comfort him. To touch his hair and squeeze the shoulders that were slowly beginning to stop shaking as Falin purged himself of the built up pain in his heart. Knowledge of how he had almost taken himself away from life and away from ever meeting Sterling wasn’t a surprise. Though it did surprise Sterling how deeply that pained his heart.

While he remembered once in a while in the time they had known each other, seeing Falin so hurting and so in need of care cemented in Sterling’s mind that the other man was young. There were only a handful of years between them but the way they had been raised was very different. It had made Sterling push down much of his emotions on the outside. And it had made Falin shoulder great burdens alone. But holding so much up for so long had a way of eroding even the strongest stones. Falin clearly didn’t have the foundation he needed to keep him together and allow him space to really grow. And perhaps Sterling had never had that either. But he had learned them, later.


“I am so grateful, Falin. That you lived. That you didn’t turn away and fall beyond hope.” Sterling shifted so that he was leaning against the counter they had stood before, giving Falin all of his care and affection through the gentle embrace. When the swordsman lifted his head so that they were eye to eye once again Sterling offered him a rare smile, running his thumb Falin’s cheek.

"You deserve to know these things because I have loved you from afar too long and left it all unspoken."

Pale eyes widened, and a flush rose high on Sterling’s cheeks at the confession. He was struck dumb now, as if he had a script in his head on how this conversation would continue and Falin had easily derailed it with just a few words. It’s true that he cared for Falin. That he wanted to continue their blossoming relationship. The fact that there was so much pain in Falin’s past was daunting, yes. But everyone had trauma. It was a fact of life, and relationships that refused to overcome troubles never succeeded.

“The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love.” He quoted softly, pressing a careful kiss to Falin’s cheek. “Thank you, for telling me. I would love to know you better. To see love grow between us. I care deeply for you, Falin. And I think that… yes. Love is at the root of that.” He touched Falin’s cheek once more, pushing back raven hair and smiling a second time as he looked at the other man. “But right now, so fresh from sharing this pain I don’t think anything i could say would not carry heavy weight. Only time and help will lighten that burden. I hope that doesn’t disappoint you.”

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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}   Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:05 pm

It was adorable to watch the embarrassed expression that spread across Sterling's features. Clearly he hadn't expected the profession of love, but how could Falin not say it now standing here before Sterling? He'd waited far too long already. He knew without any doubt that love should be expressed in words without reservations. The weight of too many 'I love you's' lingered in his heart for the woman he'd loved. He wouldn't carry that regret again. Even if Sterling had loved him not at all he would have said it. Falin would never regret the saying of it half so much as his own silence.

He let Sterling's words seep into him, and they made him chuckle if a little roughly; his voice was made more harsh by the tears that he had wept. The swordman could not help but to lean into the touch, against Sterling. Then he gave the other man a hug and withdrew just enough that they were still touching, but Sterling had some space of his own.


"You are right. Some things should not be said without consideration." He smiled to himself. There had come a point in Sterling teaching him, during their long night conversations when he knew he was falling in love. That his life would be less than it was without Sterling in it. It was why they began dating in the first place, and every moment of that had led to this.

Falin lifted a hand and touched Sterling's cheek, smoothing the other man's hair though it was still perfectly coiffed as if he meant to fix it.
"It means much to me that you are still here. I am sorry Sterling. Really. To have all of this on our first meeting is too much. I meant to tell you in so many different ways - but not like this." He could not really think of a good way to learn that someone you cared for had killed people, had lost someone and nearly died. Much less that he had fallen so such dark places in the aftermath. However it seemed that there should be better ways than to learn because he had nearly attacked a waiter, and with him crying later in a hotel room.

The swordsman lifted a hand to wipe away the tears that he had wept silently save the shudders that had rocked his body and the quiet uneven breathing he had been unable to stop. He felt suddenly ashamed that he had done it all like this. Their first meeting should have been a joyous one.

_________________
-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}   Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:06 pm

“There is never a good time or a right place for this sort of thing, is there?” Sterling took Falin’s hand, breaking their embrace as he moved. But instead of pulling away he took Falin with him, leading him to the couch that he had been sitting on before Falin had emptied his secrets to him. He sat, his touch urging his boyfriend to join him. Once they were both seated side by side Sterling changed the positions of their hands, lacing their fingers together and pressing his shoulder close to Falin’s. ”But knowing would have been important at any stage in our relationship. So thank you, I know this must have hurt you deeply.” Reaching out, Sterling rubbed his thumb under Falin’s eye to chase away the last of his tears.

“Again, I’m sorry it was my insistence on a date that started this chain reaction. But I’m not sorry at all that we’ve finally met. Just looking at you… Ah, Falin.” Sterling let his head rest on the strong shoulder, looking down at their hands wound together. “You’re almost as pale as I am. Maybe our second date should be at a beach?” He would be under an umbrella the entire time, but he suspected Falin actually had some melanin; the sunshine would do him good.

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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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