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 You and Me {Falin & Sterling}

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Menel

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Location : Nespa, France

PostSubject: Re: You and Me {Falin & Sterling}   Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:10 am

“Falin.”

Aviline mouthed his name but it wasn't her voice. Not that it mattered. Nothing mattered but the dagger that suddenly plunged into her chest. He reached for her. Always reached for her but it was too late. He watched her fall. Graceful his Aviline, even as blood bloomed from that so-small wound, even as she died. He watched the light go out of her eyes and felt the pain of it in his chest like the blood that always bloomed there. An echo of hers. Wound for wound.

He screamed.

“Falin wake up now.”

He was screaming like a man dying, choking on the taste of his own blood and a memory too vivid to be called a dream. Something - someone was holding him down and he grabbed the hand holding him.

And saw Sterling.

Falin's grip on Sterling's wrist was a bruising one, but he let go just as quickly, his body growing limp on the couch as a broken noise rose up out of him. He didn't mean to make it, but he couldn't stop it any more than he had been able to stop the scream. The hand that had grasped Sterling rose to cover his face and he took a sharp breath to keep himself from breaking into tears for a second time that day. It was already too late. He'd been weeping in his sleep.

His body shuddered with a need that he refused to give into, and his voice was choked when he finally managed to speak.
"Stars... oh Sterling..." Falin let his hand fall away, eyes still pinched with the edge of heartbreak. "I..."

What could he possibly say? That he was sorry? Admit that a few more seconds of confusion and he might have attacked Sterling too? Confess that he was entirely unsafe to be around? That he should be alone. Deserved to be. Water leaked out from the corners of his eyes, he wasn't crying, wasn't even aware of it but it came anyway. It took only a few seconds but he turned his head to the side and felt his world shrink with despair.

If he was less a coward, he would tell Sterling to run now, and never look back.

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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}   Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:58 pm

The pain that burst to life under Sterling’s skin when Falin grabbed his wrist made him curl forwards, the sound he made a whispering whine. And just as quickly Falin let go, slumping back and falling into himself as tears leaked out of his eyes. Sterling grasped his wrist, cradling it as he knelt over Falin. The swordsman was trapped under him, and as Sterling tried to get himself under control he could feel the way he was shuddering and shivering beneath his thighs. And even as tears were slipping out of his own eyes in response to the red and darkening bruise forming on his wrist, Sterling was reaching for Falin.

“Falin… Falin.” Relying on his core to keep him from falling over Sterling leaned down, his uninjured hand touching Falin’s cheek. “Why, Falin? What happened?” He couldn’t help feeling a mix of betrayal and concern. Concern for Falin, who had always been so sweet and gentle to him. And betrayal, because for all his kindness there was still the darkening skin as blood burst beneath Sterling’s pale pale skin.

But the look on Falin’s face and the lines of his body… Told Sterling that the swordsman was hurt deeply. Was scared. So Sterling lowered himself the rest of the way down, so they were chest to chest once more. When he could press the side of his head against Falin’s heart he murmured to it. Hoped the words would reach him.


“I’m here, you’re safe. I’m here, 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}   Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:30 pm

That pained sound that Sterling had made echoed in his ears. He'd hurt the other man, and not just a little. It could have been worse though, and it was that truth that terrified him. He was filling up inside with something dark, something like the thing that had nearly devoured him in the years after the event that had ruled his dreamscape. Every instinct told him to hold Sterling, to apologize. To somehow make things better.

He couldn't. Those same instincts had told him if only briefly that Sterling was a threat. Now the other man hovered over him, holding his injured wrist with a pained expression that he couldn't bear to see. It cut him so deeply if felt like he should be bleeding somewhere visible. It felt wrong that there was no injury for Sterling to look at so that he could understand what it was that Falin was feeling.

Sterling touched him gently and it burned. He couldn't breathe past the rapid heartbeat in his throat, the weight in his chest that wouldn't go away. He felt Sterling lay down on that weight. Bearing down on it as though he could stem the flood of blood that wasn't pouring out but should have been.
“Falin… Falin. Why, Falin? What happened?”

"I was dying. He was killing me." I thought you were him. His fingers clenched with the need to touch himself. To make sure that he wasn't bleeding. That he wasn't dying again. His breath wheezed out of his chest and he felt suddenly light-headed. "I... I'm so sorry."

He couldn't count the number of times he'd said those words, and it never did anything. Never mattered. He took another short breath and couldn't seem to take a long one. All of his breath was caught up under his rib cage. Trapped there and it wanted to be free but he couldn't let it. All that pain loved him, it knew the reasons why he couldn't breathe. That he was the reason she was dead. The reason he had been dead but couldn't stay that way. The reason everyone around him was hurt. All of it him.
"I thought you were him. I thought you were him."

The words were jagged and pulled out of him around breath he couldn't breathe. Everything came in but nothing came out. His arms were numb with pain, his chest burning and weighted down. His head ached with lightness. Maybe he was finally dying.

It would have been a more comforting thought, but this had happened before. Always happened after his dreams of her. Just this little bit of death refusing to let him go.

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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}   Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:54 pm

Ah, Sterling knew what this was now. At least in part. He pressed a little harder against Falin’s chest, his uninjured hand slipping down to steal one of Falin’s. “Breathe slowly, Falin. Close your eyes and focus on my voice.” Sterling used his most authoritative tone, forgoing gentleness until Falin could control himself once more. “Slowly. Count with me as you breathe. one… two… three…” He kept counting, to eight before trying to get Falin to breathe again. Then eight again, exhaling this time.

“I’m with you, I’m not leaving you. We are safe in here. It’s just us.” Sterling gentled his voice now, stroking his fingers along Falin’s hand. His bruised wrist was between them, the pain receding to a dull throb now now that time had passed. He was scared, in his way. Not exactly of Falin but for Falin and for their relationship. This was Falin’s second breakdown in twenty-four hours. Sterling had to wonder if he was the catalyst. Forcing Falin into new situations and drawing up dormant trauma.

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Could I have saved you?
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}   Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:16 pm

Oddly the sudden weight pressed down on his chest seemed to ease the pain a little. Forced a breath out of him for a change rather than all of his air coming inward. He made a small sound with it. Breathe slowly he was told, but it was impossible. For all that he tried it was as though he suddenly had no control over his breathing. Still, Sterling's voice was succeeding in calming him.

His eyes closed and Sterling's voice filled up his thoughts rather than his own. Counting up until he was supposed to breathe again. He could almost make it to the numbers that Sterling was counting. Falin was glad the other man didn't give up. Reminded him that he wasn't alone. It was far too kind after how much trouble he'd been. Tears leaked out from the corners of his eyes but he didn't start crying again.

Somehow he made it, all the way in and all the way out. Dark blue eyes opened and he found himself looking up at Sterling. So worried, so calm. His world had fallen out from under him but here Sterling was. The pain was still there, but it was almost bearable now. What really mattered was that he could breathe again.

Gently he twined his fingers with Sterling's and touched the one between them far more gently so as to not hurt him.
"Why Sterling... why help me... after this?" He was watching the other man carefully.

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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}   Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:20 am

“Because you’re in pain. Because you’re my boyfriend.” The word seemed almost silly considering Sterling was past thirty and Falin wasn’t exactly a teenager either. But that’s what they were. Dating for half a year, friends for much longer. How could Sterling do anything but help? Yes, his wrist would surely look damning to the outside viewer. But It really wasn’t Falin’s fault. He hadn’t known this would happen, no matter what he feared.

Sterling kept his eyes closed and his head resting heavy over Falin’s heart. He could hear it beating, the rhythm beginning to slow but still erratic from Falin’s panic attack. When Falin touched his injured wrist Sterling’s fingers twitched in pain, but he squeezed his other hand,  holding onto Falin tightly.
“Because I have my own demons. I am not about to abandon you for yours. But…” He tipped his head and looked up at Falin.

“Perhaps you need help with yours. More help than you’ve been given thus far.”

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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 21, 2018 11:51 am

Falin couldn't help but wonder a little what kind of demons haunted Sterling. It's a reminder that perhaps people simply do not live out their lives without collecting a few here and there. Hadn't he suspected that Sterling had some unpleasant things in his life? It wasn't often after all that such a talented teacher decides to retire and teach online classes so young. Right now though, it was a brief thought. One that brought a small warmth to his aching chest because it led back to what Sterling had said.

Sterling would not leave him alone. Their friendship had not been ruined because of this.

He smiled softly as Sterling settled against his chest; his breathing finally almost under control now though the pain had yet to follow. This was though, the fastest that any of his dreams had faded by far. It made him glad that Sterling was glad, and guilty that he was since it had led to the other man's injury. If Sterling had not been with him...


“Perhaps you need help with yours. More help than you’ve been given thus far.”

Falin nodded and lifted the hand not being held to wipe the tears on his face away. The leakage had finally stopped as well. "I did not know that going out to a restaurant like that would be so hard... and I have not shared a bed with anyone in years." Not since Aviline's death. It made no sense then that he had expected himself to know in advance what would happen, and yet he did. It was unforgivable to have hurt Sterling - whatever the reason.

He had thought he could live apart from the world, but caring about Sterling had reminded him that he missed being out in it. Missed restaurants and cafes. Movies and the simple pleasure of going wherever he wished to when the whim took him.
"How do I fix this Sterling? How do I fix... me?" He gave a broken laugh. "How do I find help for that?"

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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}   Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:47 pm

“By seeking help from people that can do more than my care and compassion can for you.” Sterling thought in silence for a breath, wresting his injured hand free to curl it over Falin’s head so that he was able to smooth his thumb along the smooth black hair. He could be direct with Falin, he knew that. But he wondered if Falin would be the sort of man that could handle the hard truth of what Sterling thought he needed.

“You need help from a psychologist. Therapy.” Sterling sighed and turned his face into Falin’s chest, remembering year and years of his own grueling struggle to find health. Health he was never sure he had actually reached. “Grief counselling, my dear Falin. You’ve never dealt with this, have you?” Sterling frowned, shaking his head. “You don’t need to answer that, or make any decisions on what I’m saying now. You need sleep, we both do.” They needed to rest. There was no way either of them could be rational right now. Sterling was in pain, Falin was frightened and hurting. The light of day would help them in more ways than one.

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Could I have saved you?
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 21, 2018 1:24 pm

In truth Falin wasn't entirely sure what to say to Sterling's statement. He'd never even considered grief counseling, nor had anyone suggested it to him. Although... thinking about it he could distantly remember a nurse offering him a card years back just after Aviline died. After he had tried to... But he hadn't been in any state of mind to do it. There'd been the mandated time spent under careful watch but afterwards he'd gone back to his life. Now though he had every reason to go.

He couldn't live with himself if he hurt Sterling again. He refused to be a constant danger to everyone around himself. He wanted so much out of his life, particularly now. All of this had been a reminder to him of all the things besides his wife and child which he had lost when they'd been taken away from him.

Had he ever dealt with that? He wasn't sure it was possible to deal with it, and certainly what he'd done by himself was not enough. Yet he couldn't promise that he would see a grief counselor. Not until he understood more about what that meant. With his scheduled it might not even be possible, as one thing he was unwilling to give up was the one thing that had kept him tethered to the world between Aviline's death and meeting Sterling.

So he said nothing, but tucked the knowledge away into the back of his mind and took Sterling at his words. It was time for both of them to find some real sleep. As they resettled Falin sent a prayer into the dark that he would have no further dreams. The dark listened, because the rest of the night passed as quietly as the wings of an owl passing by.

-End-

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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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