Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Charcoal pt 18

Woo! Finally the end is in sight after an embarrassingly many years.  I hope you enjoy!

Scott couldn’t believe it had actually happened, he felt resolved, like everything he had ever felt was finally settling into his skin.   An anxiety that had always been a part of him was lifted.  He felt satiated and calm and thoroughly exhausted.  And then he felt Soul’s arms wrap around him and heard the whispered  I love you  and nothing could have been more perfect.

Scott felt Soul drift to sleep and a feeling he recognized as not his own began to sep through his body, a lack of control, a soul deep longing to be his own person.  Absolute desolation and fear, Scott lost his breath as the feeling intensified overwhelming any peace he had felt.  He knew the feeling was not his own, and knew that it wasn’t as intense in him as it was in Soul but it still destroyed him.  Scott looked at the man next to him and understanding flooded him.  He put the pieces together, the days of working up to this moment, to joining.  The sudden calm, the last afternoon of happiness.  Soul had wanted him to see him happy, wanted him to know his leaving wasn’t because of Scott, it was to rid himself of this feeling.  Scott understood but he knew that he couldn’t let Soul complete the next part of his plan.  Scott concentrated on the bond, on the little piece of his heart and mind that had never been truly his and began to push, push the dark, raging desperation back, he tried to fill the hole with love and understanding and the piece he had felt minutes before, and while it left him slowly Scott came to understand that it was a part of Soul something he would never be able to fix.  It was something only Soul could take care of.  Scott felt the edges of his happiness begin to fold in on themselves again.  He had once again failed, and it was a failure he would never be able to fix.


Soul woke up slowly, sore in the most delicious way, and wrapped in Scotts arms.  For a moment he was content to simply lie there comforted.  But he knew that Scott would have felt his feelings and if he were to put his plan into action he would have to act quickly.  Unfortunately when Soul tried to wiggle gently from Scott’s arms Scott woke and only held him more tightly.

“I understand.”  Scott whispered and Soul could feel tears spring to his eyes.  It was what he wanted, or a part of what he wanted, something he had wanted for so, so long.  “I understand, but I can’t lose you- please?”  Scott’s voice started strong but lost its rigidity with his last words.  Soul felt the tears begin to streak down his cheeks but his resolve remained.  There was no way he would change his mind.  He needed to do this for himself, for everyone.  He needed to feel some power for once in his life and most of all he needed a rest.  A break from all of it and the only way he could do that was to end it forever. 

Soul felt the edges of his mind melt and knew that Scott was looking inside him, feeling what he was feeling.  He wanted that ability for himself, but didn’t want to wait around to learn.  The sooner he did it the less it would hurt Scott, and now that he was so deeply attached to Scott, even in love with him, going gently mattered a lot to him. 

Soul felt Scott begin to cry into his hair and willed his feelings to change.  But he could see no other way out but death.  His challenge now was to figure out a way to do it without Scott stopping him. 

When Scott had stopped crying they quietly showered and got dressed Soul found himself reaching out to Scott, but Scott seemed to always be just a bit out of reach, even when his fingers did manage to connect it was apparent that Scott had shut down his emotions and Soul didn’t have the tools to reach into him and pull the out.  It made him feel worse, if that was possible, but he told himself that it was better that way.  If Scott was already distancing himself it wouldn’t be so bad for him when Soul was gone.

The house was again almost unnaturally quiet.  But it didn’t have the feeing or atmosphere as it did the day before, something had been irreparably damaged between them.  Soul almost felt like drawing, but he wouldn’t let himself, he wandered through the house following Scott like a lovesick puppy. It was hours before he realized that Scott wasn’t really going anywhere, that he wasn’t doing anything.  The random objects he picked up and put down were just that- random.  The rooms they passed through didn’t have any meaning and the pacing through hallways was just pacing. 

When Soul realized that he wasn’t going to reach Scott he began plotting with more intensity.  He didn’t know very much about dying.  He could take some sort of pills- but he didn’t know where any were or how many he would need to take.  He could try to set up a hanging but it was unlikely he would be dead before Scott caught him, and honestly he didn’t know if he was brave enough to suffocate.  He could cut himself, but he wanted to avoid pain if he could.  There were no guns, and again he didn’t know if he could make himself do it.  He began considering the objects Scott had picked up in each room, wondering if there was some way to die with them.  He could think of ways for most of them, but ways he was not willing to attempt.  Cursing his cowardice Soul sat on one of the couches in one of the seemingly endless sitting rooms.  He had thought this would be so easy, but nothing here was easy, and leaving was the most difficult of all.

Scott watched Soul for a moment before resuming his wandering.  Soul felt acutely alone and desolate for a few moments then decided to use his free time to look for something that could help him.  He knew there were many bathrooms, and surely one would have some sort of pill he could take.  Sighing he levered himself off the couch with entirely too much effort and went on his own aimless quest through the house.

Knowing he had little to nothing to lose Soul opened every door that was unlocked and rifled through every drawer and cabinet he could find.  Finally when he was getting close to giving up, or taking a break as he told himself he found an unlocked room.  When he made it through the door Soul realized it was really a suite of rooms, something about the airy decorations mixed with pieces of heavy furniture told him it was Josie and Nova’s rooms.  Thinking of all the difficulty she had with her pregnancy Soul felt a renewed sense of purpose, there had to be something in here that would help him.  He was not wrong.  He found in one of the bedside tables a bottle full of small blue pills, take one for sleep, the label read.  Soul took the whole bottle.  He left the room as undisturbed as he could.  He thought he could take the pills immediately but didn’t want anyone to stumble upon him and make him throw them up- or worse take him to a hospital.  He would wait until it was almost time for bed, then his drowsiness would be natural and no one would know what had happened until the next morning.  Soul felt bad for a moment, imagining Scott waking up next to his cold body, but shook off the feeling.  They would have the night, and Soul would make it up to him by taking the bond with him.  Scott would finally be able to make the choices that were the best for him, and not worry about what might happen to Soul. 

Dinner was quiet in the best way, Sylvia was there, along with a few of the others, but she didn’t speak, just frowned at her food and seemed to shiver every now and again.  She seemed sick and Soul couldn’t summon an ounce of sympathy for her.  He knew the time was nearing for him to leave this place and if she died with him all the better for everyone, especially for Scott. 

Scott and Soul walked to their rooms slowly, still not recovered from the day and the unexpected exchange of emotion.  Soul still felt like Scott was pulling away from him, but by the time they were ready for bed, and Soul had the bottle of pills hiding under his pillow Scott was pulling him closer, and moments later kissing him, sliding his hands under Soul’s soft top.

“I don’t want to let you go.”  Scott whispered into Soul’s hair so quietly it almost couldn’t be heard.  Soul wanted to respond, to reassure him, but couldn’t find the words.  He tried to summon all the love he felt for Scott, all the pleasure he had felt in his arms, and tried to push that feeling toward the place in his chest he could feel Scott, tried to push that feeling into him so he would have something to hold onto when Soul was gone, then Soul put his mind to making Scott forget. 

Soul pulled himself gently from Scott’s arms, successfully this time, and gingerly swung his legs out of bed fighting his own post-coital drowsiness.  He could sleep forever in just a few moments, he told himself, willing his eyes to remain open as he quietly pulled the bottle from under his pillow.  The small pills looked black in the darkness of the room, and he wondered it this would work.  They were so tiny and seemingly innocent.  There were ten in the bottle, and Soul hoped it would be enough.  He had remembered to set a glass for water in the bathroom and he took the pills in one swallow, they tried to stick in his throat gripping each other and fighting all the way down.  Soul fought his gag reflex and sore throat and finally they were down.  Relieved and sad that it would be over soon Soul made his way back to the bed and crawled under the covers next to Scott.  He wanted to feel Scott’s arms around him but didn’t want to make the discovery of his body any more jarring, so he placed a pillow in Scott’s arms to replace his body, and curled around a pillow of his own and waited for it to be over.

Scott woke with a feeling of dread building inside him.  He knew that there was little he could do to stop Soul from dying, but he didn’t think it would happen so soon, he didn’t think he would do it in their bed, and yet when he pulled the pillows from between them his fears were confirmed.  Soul was absolutely still and pale, a hit of blue shadowing his eyes and lips.  His chest was still and cool.  Scott sat frozen for a few moments; waiting for the desolation to hit him, for the ripping feeling of the bond being broken and it didn’t come.  He could still feel Soul, just out of reach.  It was worse than the years of wondering what feeling him would be like and with that thought Scott felt the tears begin to fall.

Soul had wanted him to be free of the bond, he knew that, but this was more trapped than he had ever felt, he was more useless than he had ever been and now there was no chance to redeem himself.  The only way he had gotten through the other long, long years was knowing there was a chance for everything to change.  It was all over and all his pain had been for nothing, all his pain was nothing compared to the long years awaiting him.  Scott couldn’t face seeing anyone, saying anything, he just wrapped his arms around the still body that had been his love and held him close.

Soul was drifting, it was dark here and peaceful.  Just like he had imagined death, and it was wonderful.  He had thought he wouldn’t be able to think, but the gently dreamlike suggestions floating through his mind didn’t bother him.  It was kind of nice to still exist in some way.  If it was this peaceful.  The only bad thing was he could still feel Scott, not distinctly but there was a niggling feeling where his heart would have been, if it had been beating.  Where a deep sadness had made its home.  Soul hoped Scott would feel better soon, for both their sakes. 

Soul drifted deeper and the thoughts became even less distinct, but there were images, dark swirling things that should have scared him but just felt familiar.  There were feelings that almost felt like memories.  Voices just out of reach, words he could almost understand.  Still he drifted through the inky shapes, his own body indistinct, only a thought surrounding his consciousness, gently, free of the rigidity of bones and skin.  He watched the shapes, and listened to the voices and drifted deeper, so deep it felt like he was beyond sleeping.  He would have wondered if he could, if this was sleeping to his spirit.  If being dead didn’t stop him from thinking why wouldn’t it keep him from sleeping?

Soul thumped solidly into a room or somewhere… he stumbled before realizing he no longer had a body.  He laughed to himself silently, and wondered for a moment if he could make a sound.  But his wondering cut of when he became aware of where he was.  It was the forest, the one made from hands and nails and smoke, the one he had been drawing seemingly forever.  He really didn’t want to be here.  The foreboding he had avoided was again closing around his throat choking him.  This was altogether too real.  This wasn’t just an image it was a place and here he knew bad things could and would happen to him.  He couldn’t breathe and even though he didn’t need to, it terrified him.

Slowly he looked around and realized this was the composite of what he had drawn for so many years, exactly as he had drawn it.  The image wasn’t a metaphor he didn’t understand it was a real place.  It was Hell. 

“Oh fuck.”  Soul whispered the words and no sound came out.  He turned to his right and found that there was a gate.  It was the only thing that looked manmade.  It was carved from rusting iron and towered over even the trees.  Soul began walking toward it even as everything that was left of him screamed at him to stop.  But the gate was opening and he couldn’t help himself from entering.  Thought streamed through his mind.  What had he done to deserve Hell?  He hadn’t really hurt anyone, except Scott, and that wasn’t on purpose.  He had never really believed in God but that would only send him to purgatory wouldn’t it?  He walked through the gates and it hit him.  He had killed himself.  That was why her was here.  But it didn’t explain why he had dreamt and drawn this place for so long.  At least, maybe, he would finally get some answers.

Soul walked and walked and the feeling of dread began to fade.  It wasn’t nice here, that was for sure but nothing was bothering him.  The scenery was creepy but nothing was trying to hurt him.  He could stay here if he needed to.  Maybe he could figure out why everything in his life had gone so horribly wrong.  Maybe in death there would be answers.  And even better his new non body didn’t seem to get tired, he walked for what could have been hours and felt no aches or pains.  Just the faint hint of foreboding and curiosity.  He hadn’t been able to stop walking, or turn in any direction that he chose, but he wouldn’t know how to choose.  This suited him just fine. And if this was his eternity- so be it.


Scott had begun to sob, and if he wasn’t holding Soul so tightly or if he hadn’t been hoping quite so hard he might have missed the soft exhale of breath.  Scott’s sobs stopped immediately though the tears continued to fall without pause.

“Soul?”  He asked quietly, there was no response, but there was a small hiccup.  Scott knew that people had just died sometimes made small sounds as their bodies began to decompose but that had definitely been a hiccup, a distinct muscular event, not a random- it happened again.  And Scott began to shake Soul willing him to breathe normally, to open his eyes, to take a breath or something, but he was still.  But Scott’s hope was unstoppable now. 

Scott picked Soul up and ran down the hall ignoring his lack of breath and clothing, with only one thing on his mind, making sure Soul didn’t slip any further away.  Scott could make his spirit come back, if only Soul had a body with enough life left to come back to.

Scott looked sadly down at the body that looked resolutely dead in the small hospital bed.  He had demanded the bed be brought to his rooms, his childhood rooms with the mural of poppies and familiar distance from the center of the house.  It was funny that this was the first time Soul had seen his room, or rather not seen it.  He was here finally but for all purposes gone.  He was propped up with pillows but his head stubbornly listed to the side no matter what Scott did to prop it up, the tube down his throat forced air into his lungs and the electronic box on his chest sent muscle spasm inducing shocks to his heart forcing it to pump. 

“If he’s dead it won’t help.”  Nova had told him as he attached the box.  “If he’s dead the blood will clot and you will just have a mess.”  Scott had known Nova wasn’t trying to be cruel but it had felt cruel.  He really believed resolutely that Soul was coming back and mess or not he would make sure his chances were as good as possible before reaching into the bond and pulling him back.  There were just a few things he had to do first.


Soul felt jostled for a few moments but he was not able to stop walking.  His throat began to burn his chest burned and it felt like things were punching him in the chest every few moments.  It was very uncomfortable and Soul really wished it would stop.  But he was soon distracted as the landscape began to change.  There began to be more different body parts, not just hands but arms, legs.  Feet, even, and here and there what looked like closed eyes.  Soul shuddered.  Not only were the body parts getting larger the forest they formed was getting deeper, the dread began to build again.  When the light was almost completely obscured and Soul began to be thankful for his inability to stray from the path because it ensured he wouldn’t fall or get hopelessly lost, or even worse, lead him to inadvertently touch some of the flesh plants.  He wondered for a moment what they would feel like, and if it would be worse if they were blood warm- or cold.

Soul’s dislike of being dead began to increase and he began to regret his decision to end it all when he came to another gate.  This one was smaller and at each cross of the iron bars there were eyes.  They blinked slowly at Soul and he wondered if it was worse that they could blink, or if simply staring would have made the whole thing worse.  Soul didn’t have to wonder too long because the doors opened and his legs began to move again. 

Soul waked for only a few minutes more before he stopped moving in front of a fountain, it was enormous and filled with something that he didn’t want to identify, it seemed almost like the shadows that had surrounded him on his way falling to Hell, they seemed more solid here, or rather liquid.  Soul was now free to move on his own but found himself unwilling to move, he waited, sure that something would show itself to him now the compulsion was gone.  He stared into the fountain, watching the shadows intertwined in ever narrowing fractals.  He found himself drawn to the patterns, even reaching out a hand to touch. 

“I wouldn’t if I were you.”  Soul turned; surprised by the voice even if a part of him was waiting for it.  The voice was as cool as it was deep, and even though the words held a hint of humor, Soul had the feeling the owner of the voice wouldn’t have a very good sense of humor.  “Well not if you don’t want to stay here forever.”

Scott held Soul’s hand in his own, the chill seeping into it was worrying him, and he couldn’t wait any longer.  He held the cup of tea in his other hand, the steam wafting from it didn’t smell very good but he trusted that it would help, and anything was worth getting Soul back, even if it meant following him to Hell.

Scott felt himself falling, it was an oddly peaceful feeling but he didn’t let the peace get to him.  He had to stay focused, he had to keep his eyes open and follow the thin invisible thread that was connecting him to what remained of Soul, if he let that intangible string break, of if he drifted too far off course he would have a nearly impossible task getting back to himself, if he would even want to after having lost Soul forever.  And so even as the voices whispered for him to follow them promising love, peace, anything he had ever wanted he had to resist, and even as the shadows slithered through his mind promising to tell him the answers to everything he had ever wanted to know he pushed them away, and as the flickers of memories he longed to relive danced at the edges of his vision he closed himself off to them and willed himself to fall more quickly, chasing after the thread. 

Soul had an unknown head start and it would take hours to follow him again and any distraction could ruin his hopes.  Scott focused himself, reminding himself that everything he wanted could be found with Soul, and that the only thing he really wanted was Soul.  With that thought in his mind he landed in a hand on the outskirts of Hell.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Charcoal Pt 17

As always any comments are welcome!!

Soul got into the car and buckled his seatbelt.  Anywhere was better than here.  Even the horrible house with its overwhelming miasma of disappointment, even the scarlet room and all the expectations that went with it.  Sylvia had won so why not just give her everything that she wanted?  Why should he drag out the pain when it was going to happen either way? Soul knew now that nothing in his life had ever been what he thought it was.  He had held onto his childhood somewhere inside himself assuring himself that all the craziness had started when he met Scott.  Learning about the twins had ruined that vision to some extent, but finding out that not even his mother was real was the final straw.  Nothing he had ever done, no one he had ever been close to just liked him for who he was.  No one had ever stayed and he had always been alone.
The ride home was silent.  Soul imagined this is what going to be sentenced for murder would feel like- an inescapable slow trek to nowhere.  He knew Sylvia would be waiting.  He knew they would all be punished.  He just didn’t know how.  And somehow that was even worse. 
The house was dark when they arrived and the sun was just setting.  It was about dinnertime but food was the last thing on any of their minds.  The huge doors were open when they pulled up and Sylvia was sitting on the staircase.  She was smiling the same smile as when Soul had first arrived.  It was as terrifying as it was fake.  Soul didn’t care, he walked past her without a word, and she let him go.  He almost imagined he felt a brush to his spirit and wished her well.  There was no need for her to make him feel awful; to take away his hope- it was already gone. 
Scott arrived to the scarlet room shortly after Soul; he seemed fine if subdued.  There was a hint of a red mark on his cheek.   He sat beside Soul and wrapped his arms around him. Soul didn’t move, he didn’t move as Scott undressed him.  He didn’t move when Scott left to shower and get ready for bed.  And even when Scott pulled him up and tucked him under the covers he didn’t resist.  Scott slept, his breath falling on Soul’s face is soft minty puffs, and Soul lay awake the whole night wondering if there was any way to gather any dignity, any agency.  And when the birds began warning that dawn was near he had one small idea.  Not hope, but an idea.  If it was going to end he could be the one to end it.  He would not be manipulated any more.  If his destiny were going to be this unyielding he would walk into it on his own power.
Scott woke slowly to the feeling of being touched, softly, slowly and all over his body.  It was one of his dreams, his favorite, most embarrassing dreams.  He didn’t want to open his eyes because then it would end.  It always ended, but he also couldn’t keep his eyes closed, on the off chance- Scott opened his eyes and they met the deepest pools he had seen.  Soul was looking up at him kneeling between his thighs.  It was his dream come true- almost. 
Soul didn’t look like he should. He was beautiful but his eyes were almost empty- deep still, but like a dead sea, there was no life in them, and there were deep bruises under them.  His touch was gentle, almost loving but Scott sighed.  Opening his eyes had ruined it again.  As much as he wanted this he couldn’t.  He couldn’t have Soul hate him and if he went through with this he knew something out be irreparably changed, and not in a good way.  Any progress they had made would be gone and Scott would be alone again.  He held Soul’s face in his hands and gently tugged him upward.  He wrapped Soul in his arms and pressed Soul’s face into his shoulder.  At first Soul was still rigid, but he melted soon enough and from the slightly shuddering breaths and wetness on his shoulder Scott knew that Soul was crying.  Scott tried to keep his own tears from falling but he couldn’t.  Once again he was unable to comfort his man.  Once again he was not able to solve the problems Soul was dealing with, once again he was a failure. 
Scott held Soul for hours while he cried and then when he slept.  Neither of them had much of an appetite.  Scott had begun to hope that everything would be okay but he couldn’t see it being okay now.   He rubbed Soul’s back and tried to think of anything that would make Soul feel better, to make him feel the same way Scott felt about him.
Soul dreamt of the end of everything.  He dreamt of his own death, and it was comforting, beautiful.  No one could hurt him there; there was only one problem.  In all the scenarios he imagined there was always Scott, devastated.  Soul dreamt of the picture he had drawn, of Scott crying over his dead body, and even through the picture had meant nothing to him just a few days ago, it now haunted him and ruined all his fantasies. 
Soul woke slowly but when he woke he had another idea.  If he could show Scott how he felt Scott would understand.  If Scott could feel the desolation he felt, the loss of everything he had ever thought he had known, he would know why Soul had to end it.  He would know why he needed to have one last act, his only truly autonomous act.  Soul knew that Scott would never finish the bond if he thought Soul didn’t want it.  But Soul had a plan for that as well.  He would just have to fake it- and with all his recent practice Soul was sure he could do it.  He could ignore the house, Sylvia, all of it, and just focus on Scott, and once it was over, he wouldn’t have to pretend or hide anymore he would have what he had always really wanted- complete understanding and then quiet, peace. 
When Soul finally opened his eyes the first thing he saw was Scott.  And Scott looked almost as bad as Soul felt, his skin looked dull and his eyes were rimmed with red, he had to have spent a lot of the time Soul spent sleeping, crying.  Soul tried to smile at him, but even with his plan firmly in place it didn’t quite come out.  Giving up and figuring it was unrealistic for him to feel better after one good cry Soul wrapped his arms around Scott and tried to offer the comfort Scott always wanted to offer him.  Scott didn’t respond for a moment but then hugged back, and for a moment it was like they were the only two people in the world. 
Soul and Scott showered separately but spent the next hours attached at the hip.  They didn’t go anywhere without each other, even if they hardly spoke.  Sylvia stayed out of the way, Soul guessed it was because she figured nothing she could think up would compare to the punishment he had brought upon himself, and if she couldn’t detect any happy emotions what was there for her to take away?

The next days passed similarly, almost in silence, and with few interactions with anyone other than Scott.  It was almost as if the house had been abandoned.  All the new guests seemed to have vanished and the siblings were only seen in passing and only around meal times.  They looked subdued, or determined but Soul paid them little attention.  He had only one goal at the moment and it only required his own powers of deception.  He had to convince Scott that he was feeling better, and that he wanted to finish the bond.  He didn’t mention it at all the first day, but began answering Scott’s queries to how he was feeling with variations of loneliness.  And as time went on Soul realized it wasn’t a lie at all, he was lonely, he did want to feel a connection with someone he did want at least one person to really understand him, to stay with him.  He found that the more he spoke to Scott he began to believe his own words.  Maybe everything really would be better with the bond in place; maybe all of Sylvia’s plotting would mean less to him.  And logically it made sense, Scott had survived her and Soul was only a promise of a future.   Soul did most of his talking when they were alone and in bed, right before sleeping with all the lights off and with the lurid color of the room hidden Soul found it was embarrassingly easy to spill his feeling and insecurities.  Scott was a wonderful listener and crying himself to sleep ensured that he slept without dreams. 
On the fourth morning after discovering his mother was only a shadow Soul woke feeling almost hopeful.  He knew that when he opened his eyes he could look into Scott’s and the feeling warmed a small piece of his heart.  He still felt disconnected and alone, he still felt like nothing would ever be okay, but his plan was working in ways he hadn’t imagined.  And soon it would be complete. 
Soul opened his eyes slowly and found Scott already awake, looking down on him with the strangest expression in his eyes.
“You were smiling in your sleep.”  Soul blinked sleepily. 

“You were smiling in your sleep.  You haven’t smiled in days and you looked like you were dreaming of happy things.”
Soul smiled again and it didn’t feel forced.
“I was just thinking of you.”  And it was the truth. 


Soul sat up and gave Scott a kiss, when Scott sat up too; Soul wiggled himself into Scott’s lap facing him and looked into his eyes.  He had never thought that he had really been able to see anyone’s soul but Scott’s seemed to be shining out of his as surely as the early morning sun shone through the windows.  It was bright and sweet and full of love, and Soul wished he could reach inside and touch it.  Instead he brushed a finger against Scott’s eyelashes, and when Scott closed his eyes in response it was as if a bit of the light in the room had been turned off.  Soul brushed the lashes as they sat on Scott’s cheeks then kissed them.  His mind was made up.  Tonight was the night, he just had to convince Scott that he really wanted it, and in that moment Soul didn’t think it would be a difficult task because it was the truth, he did want the bond, he wanted to touch Scott’s soul.
Scott couldn’t understand what was happening.  Just days ago Soul looked like not only had his heart broken, but that his spirit and soul were gone.  And today just four days later he was smiling in his sleep.  Scott had been preparing himself for years more of torture, of knowing Soul was hurting and not knowing how to help him.  But it was like the devastation had opened something in him.  He talked to Scott, really talked to him, about all kinds of things, about what his dreams had been, and about how worried he had been that he would never find anyone to be with, about how alone he had always felt even with the twins.  Soul had cried but he was finally sharing himself, and now he was smiling.  Scott couldn’t stop smiling himself even though he was still wary of the change.  He listened to Soul humming softly to himself in the shower and Scott wondered if he would ever understand Soul even with the bond. 
“I’m finally hungry, starving really, can we make breakfast?  I feel like creating something.  Something yummy.”  Soul had just stepped out of the shower and still wrapped in towels flopped onto the bed next to Scott.
“I think probably.  There is probably breakfast made already though.”  Scott smiled at the bundle of towels wrapped around Soul and was rewarded with a bright smile in return.
“But I want to make something.”  Scott shrugged but in his mind he was going to make sure that Soul was able to create to his hearts desire, even beyond breakfast.  Scott hadn’t spent any time in his studio since returning home and he missed it.  He had a sudden urge to share it with Soul, to make something of the day, literally.  Something told him that today was going to be a special day.
“Okay then we will make something.  Put on something you don’t mind getting dirty.”  For a minute Scott thought Soul would put on one of the outfits Sylvia had gotten for him, just for the sake of ruining it, but he turned from the wardrobe after a minute of considering it and began to dig through the bag he had first brought with him.  Scott wanted to stay and watch the towels come off one by one but he dragged himself to the shower.  It wouldn’t do to ruin the day before it even began.
Scott was surprised when he saw what Soul was wearing.  When he had seen Soul dress before it was always in dark neutral colors, but this- Soul had a soft well worn t-shirt with a sunflower in faded ink on the front and soft green corduroy cut offs.  He looked like he had just been in an art studio, and he looked perfect.  The colors suited him, as did the careless feel of the outfit.  Sylvia would hate it and that just made Scott love it all the more.
Soul had a blast making the kitchen a complete mess.  It was spotless when they entered and didn’t seem at all homey like a kitchen should feel.  Soul had a moment of deep sadness when he realized the kitchen he compared it to, his mother’s kitchen, wasn’t really homey either, but this was sterile.  Even a fake mother infused a kitchen with more life than Sylvia, but in a way it’s clinical cleanliness and strictly ordered implements made it even more fun to play in. 

Soul made pancakes and they were a horrible mess.  They didn’t even taste very good but the act of making made the day feel even better.  They ate the pancakes right out of the pan and the syrup crystallizing in the pan made it impossible to cook the later cakes correctly, but it didn’t matter.  The only things that mattered were the smile on Scott’s face and how thoroughly debauched the kitchen looked when they were done.  Soul felt a hint of guilt about not cleaning up, he knew it wouldn’t be Sylvia that did it, but it quickly faded as Scott lead him through a door he hadn’t been through before and down a very narrow flight of stairs to his studio.
Soul had imagined anything underground in this house to be damp and full of monsters but he couldn’t have been more wrong.   The room was filled with light. Two of the walls were a rich cream and the other two were covered in beautiful murals they seemed oddly familiar to Soul but he was quickly distracted by the rest of the room.  There were hundreds of small statues, some ceramic, both glazed and not, there were also racks for drying paintings, some full, some still waiting for paintings to fill them.  There were tall shapes that were covered with drop cloths, and in one corner there was a large kiln.  Soul was stunned by the number of pieces as well as their quality, and by the sheer size of the studio.  It was magnificent and Soul felt like he was seeing another part of Scott’s soul, of his life.  It was obvious that this was the place where Scott felt the most comfortable in his house, the space was filled with bits of him from the murals to the hint of his scent mixed with the smells of oil paint, clay, heat, and stone.  It was beautiful.
Soul spent hours looking through the racks of paintings careful not to smudge the paint even though it had been drying for ages.  He picked up the tiny figures amazed at their detail, he gazed at the murals trying to figure out why they were so familiar, but even though his fingers ached to uncover them he left the covered pieces covered.  As an artist himself he understood the need to keep some things covered.  Plus there was so many other things to look at he didn’t need to see more.  Scott didn’t say a word and just let Soul look, but even with the silence Soul felt closer to Scott than he ever had.  Seeing the studio reinstated the feeling Soul had had before of what could have been if things were different.  He felt a twinge of sadness that even just a few days ago he could have thought of it- however subconsciously- as what could be. 
After Scott led Soul out of his studio they went outside to the garden where Soul had met the twins to discuss their escape.  In the daytime the garden was even more beautiful, the flowers were open and their buds were magnificent, the colors were more vibrant that Soul could remember seeing.  Their perfume filled the air and though it should have been overwhelming it just smelled like paradise.  Even at the short distance from the house the oppressive feeling was less overwhelming.  The whole day was like a vacation from depression.  Soul knew it was waiting for him later but each moment felt like a gift.  Soul still felt a bit guilty that they were having such a lovely time and he was going to stick to his plan, but he also felt resolved. If this was going to be one of his last days it might as well be one of his best days, and it was a good way for Scott to remember him when he was gone.  Plus he hoped that Scott would be able to feel the happiness Soul had felt through the bond.  Maybe then he would be able to give up on his guilt that he had never been able to make Soul feel better. 
They went inside when the light was starting to fade, and even though they sat down to dinner with Sylvia, Scott’s father, Josie, Nova, and a few others, the meal wasn’t enough to ruin Soul’s mood.  And when Sylvia mentioned that she would be out that evening his spirits soared.  Not only would he get all that he wanted he wouldn’t have to worry about Sylvia listening in and peeking through keyholes.  Even her cutting comments about his outfit, which was now covered in soil and flower petals, did nothing to ruin his mood.  The only thing that came close to upsetting Soul’s levity was the desolate look on Josie’s face but he told himself that he couldn’t help her, that he couldn’t take on any other problems.  He could only focus on solving his own and hope that somehow it would make some things easier for the others.  Sylvia made it seem like he was the key to her plans, and if he was no longer around maybe the others would be able to come up with a better plan.  She would at least be distracted.  
Dessert was cleared and Soul didn’t spare a thought for anything other than getting Scott upstairs and naked.  After enduring Sylvia’s seemingly endless goodbye and list of instructions for taking care of the house Soul nearly dragged Scott upstairs.  Scott seemed surprised, but willing and Soul was willing to use anything to his advantage.  His excitement almost overcame his nervousness but when the doors of their suite were finally closed he couldn’t help but pause.  To finish the bond they had to have sex, and Soul really didn’t know what he was doing. 
Soul knew that he would have to initiate, he knew that Scott was terrified of pushing him too fast, but he hoped that Scott would take over.  Soul was second guessing himself and considering how he could somehow manipulate Scott into taking the lead.  Scott seemed to notice something had changed and was beginning to lose his glowing reflection of Soul’s happiness.   Soul reached into his limited knowledge of romance and blurted the first thing that came to mind.
“Do you want to take a bath with me?”  He cheeks flamed once the words were out of his mouth but the idea didn’t sound half bad, it was relaxing and he was a bit dirty, and it was an excuse to get Scott naked that Scott wouldn’t consider threatening manipulative- he hoped.  As the moment extended in silence Soul considered for the first time day that his plan might not work, that Scott might say no.  Soul felt the bubbly warmth that had filled his chest all day begin to fade, he ran a hand through his hair and waited for the rejection. 
“That sounds really nice, I haven’t taken a bath in ages- do you want candles?”  Soul almost cried his relief was so complete, even though the whole interaction took only around a minute it felt like his whole existence rested on it. 
“I would love candles.”  Scott’s smile brightened and the glow was back in Soul’s chest.  Everything was going to be all right.
Scott was surprised by Soul’s request and almost suspicious for a moment, but his happiness had remained steady all day.  Maybe his opening up had just been coming all along and finding out about his mother was just the key.  Scott wanted to believe it was real and with the option of just leaving gone he couldn’t imagine a reason why Soul would be faking.  Scott barely dared hope but something told him that not only could tonight be as special as the rest of the day, it could be the best night of his life, the night that would free him from the pain that had been his constant companion for his whole life.  Finally Soul would see- would feel what he had felt for so long.  Scott tried not to let the hope overwhelm him but it was almost impossible.  He could feel a tremor beginning in his hands as he searched for candles and matches.  He started the bath in the claw foot tub and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine what the perfect temperature would be.  He decided on just this side of lukewarm and added honeysuckle bubbles.  The smell reminded him of Soul and he figured with a neutral temperature it would be easy to adjust.  He hung towels on the warmer and finished lighting the candles but was unable to leave the bathroom for a few long moments.  What if none of it was what he had imagined?  What if they still didn’t finish the bond? What if?  The questions would have continued if there hadn’t been a soft knock on the bathroom door.
“Can I come in yet?”  Soul’s voice was soft, and further muffled by the door.
“You can come in- come now!”  The words were more forceful than Scott intended but when the door opened and Soul stood there with not a stitch on he forgot all of the things he was worried about.  Even if they only took a bath and went to sleep it would be worth it for the image of Soul’s pale skin and luminous eyes lit by the candles.  Scott didn’t want to stare but he couldn’t help it.  He wished he had his paints so he could immortalize the moment, but something told him that his memory would have to do.  There was no way that he could capture such perfection and if he really thought about it he wouldn’t want to ruin his memory by trying to produce what was bound to be an inferior rendering.  Scott willed his mind to quiet so he could really focus on the image, and as he did it was just made better by the blush slowly crawling up Soul’s body.  Scott stared for a minute more, then realizing that Soul couldn’t- yet- read his mind and he rushed to reassure him.
Scott stripped himself of his own clothes and invited Soul into the water.  And when they were safely in the water, Soul cradled between Scott’s thighs Scott was happy with the temperature he had chosen, if wasn’t cold enough for Soul to shiver, but it was just cool enough that Soul pressed himself against Scott’s chest.  It was heaven and Scott wanted it to never end.
The water felt wonderful, Soul would thought it would be warmer, but the temperature gave him an excuse to settle back into Scott’s arms.  Scott was always warm and with the water just slightly cool he felt amazing, especially because his skin was slick with bubbles and water and the candles flickered against the bubbles and the walls magically.  Soul couldn’t imagine a better last night.  He sighed happily and almost dozed off, forgetting his plan.  It wasn’t until the last of the bubbles had faded into the water and Scott began to wash the soap from his hair that Soul remembered that he was the one that was supposed to be doing the seducing.  But Scott was just so good at it.  Soul relaxed and enjoyed the feeling, there was no need to rush- they had all night.
When they were both wrapped in towels and Soul was sitting on the bed watching Scott rummage around in his dresser for something to put on Soul realized it was time to make his move.
“Scott, come here please.”  Soul had wanted to say something seductive but his worry about timing and the distraction of Scott’s naked back had robbed him of intelligent thought.
“Why?”  Scott turned and Soul was again robbed of words, Scott had brought the candles into the bedroom, unwilling to blow them out and the light played off his body in the most distracting way.
“Because… I- I want to touch you?”  Soul couldn’t help but sound unsure, he knew what he wanted but he was unsure of Scott’s reaction.  There was, however, no need for worry.
Scott grinned and pounced onto the bed crawling slowly up to meet Soul against the headboard.  His bounce didn’t quite match the mood Soul had imagined, but it was so indisputably Scott that it was perfect.
“You can touch me whenever.  But I want to touch you.”  Scott reached under Soul’s knees to pull him away from the headboard.  Scott began to kiss his way from Soul’s ankle and up his leg. Soul was stunned for a moment.
“Oh, that’s nice, but, but I want to touch you.”  Scott paused and for a moment Soul was worried he wasn’t going to stop and as much as Soul loved being in Scott’s mouth he had a different idea for tonight and he didn’t want to be distracted any more. 
Luckily enough for Soul, Scott placed a kiss on the inside of each of Soul’s knees then flopped down next to him against the pillows, placing his arms behind his head, and closing his eyes.  Scott hummed softly and Soul took a moment to just look at him.  From the soft waves of his hair to the crescent of his eyelashes against his cheeks, then lower across his collarbone and his sculpted chest, to his peaked nipples and slowly rising and falling stomach, Soul caught his breath as his gaze stopped at Scott’s cock, slowly filling beneath his navel.  It was beautiful and intimidating.  Soul knew it would fit but he felt his insides tingle with a new wave of nervousness.  He gazed at Scott’s long legs, falling gently open and finally finished at his feet.  Soul didn’t particularly care about feet, but Scott’s were like a stature’s feet, and fresh from the bath they almost looked sculpted, they were flawless.  

Gathering himself Soul took one finger to trace the path his eyes had taken.  Scott shivered as Soul’s hand traveled whisper soft across his skin, and when Soul got paused at Scott’s navel Scott’s eyes opened.  Soul looked up immediately sensing the small change.  Scott pushed himself up on his elbows looking down as Soul who was now kneeling between his legs.  Soul smiled taking confidence in Scott’s slightly dazed expression and enormous pupils, and still smiling took Scott into his mouth.
Soul found himself missing the smell of Scott, he smelled like honeysuckle and tasted like clean skin and soap, but the musky Scott smell was gone.  Soul tickled Scott with his tongue thinking of all the things that he liked the best and learning from Scott’s subtle movements and soft sounds.  Soul wanted to continue, wanted to test his skill but he wanted more.  As much as he took pleasure in Scott’s pleasure, his body was throbbing, and his skin ached with his desire to be touched.

“Do you have…?”  Soul trailed off, hoping his inexperience wouldn’t ruin the moment, but Scott was too far gone to care.  He flung an arm to the side indicating the bedside tale on what had become his side of the bed.  When Soul let go of him to look Scott moaned like his heart was breaking and sat up fully.  Once Soul had found the small bottle and turned back Scott had recovered somewhat. He still looked thoroughly debauched and on the edge of his control but his eyes focused on Soul and his expression was guarded.

“Soul are you sure?”  Soul didn’t trust himself enough to answer with words; he hoped his body and his actions would speak enough for him.  He felt goose bumps crawl up his arms as he crawled back to Scott and straddled his hips.  Soul opened the bottle of lube and poured some on his fingers.  It was slipperier than he expected and cold, especially when he reached back to apply it to his hole.  It was more difficult that he had expected it to be, and the angle hurt his wrist.   What he had intended to be a sexy show of his desire was just awkward, but Scott saved him, again.  After very obviously stifling a giggle Scott flipped Soul onto his back and somehow took the bottle from him at the same time.

“Let me, I want to.”  Soul tensed at the initial movement but relaxed with Scott’s comforting warmth surrounding him.  It seemed like Scott wasn’t going to argue with him, and his plan was going to go off without a hitch. 

Scott circled Soul’s hole with just the tip of a finger, and the almost tickling feeling made Soul want to scream.  He could feel his muscles clenching and relaxing, wanting- needing something more.  Soul grabbed Scott’s wrist with the intention of making him do something.  Scott took that moment to gently press his finger inside Soul.  Soul gasped and dug his nails into Scott’s wrist.  It was a strange feeling and exactly what he needed.  It wasn’t a completely foreign feeling but his intentions made it so much more intense, he knew that this was just a taste of what was coming and the thought sent shivers rushing through his body.

“Okay?”  Soul nodded and Scott leaned down to add his tongue to his finger and Soul couldn’t think beyond trying to process the sensations rushing through his body.  He vaguely registered the cool lube in contrast to Scott’s warm breath and hot tongue, and the burning, stinging, pleasure as Scott added one than two more fingers.  Then all the sudden it stopped.  Soul dragged in a few ragged breaths; the first full breaths in many long minutes but the reprieve didn’t last long.  After sitting up and cracking his neck Scott looked intensely into Soul’s eyes and crooked his fingers and Soul saw fireworks.  He didn’t think he could feel anything more intense than the last few moments but the firm circles Scott was rubbing on his prostate were mind blowing.   Soul felt unbearably full and every synapse lit up with almost painful intensity.  Soul hadn’t known it was possible to feel such pleasure without coming, but it was too intense for him to relax enough to orgasm.  When he was finally able to gasp in a breath it left him in an almost incoherent stream of pleas that he didn’t understand himself.  Scott relaxed his fingers and slowly pulled them from Soul’s body one by one.  Soul felt the loss of each distinctly and longed for the heart stopping intensity if only it would mean having Scott so impossibly close to him again.

“Are you ready?”  Scott kissed him in between words and Soul nodded, fears forgotten in the face of even deeper intimacy.  Scott placed a pillow under Soul’s lower back and gently looped Soul’s legs over his elbows, placing his hands on either side of Soul.

“I love you.”  Scott said almost silently against Soul’s lips and he gently began to push inside Soul’s body.

Soul pulled in a deep breath waiting for searing pain and felt only an overwhelming pressure and then relief as his body relaxed around Scott.  He couldn’t help but hold his breath as Scott pressed impossibly deeper, and deeper still inside of him.  Soul imagined he could feel Scott replacing huge parts of him and instead of scaring him the feeling was the best Soul could imagine.  He felt as close to complete as he ever had.  He wrapped his legs more firmly around Scott and held him close knowing that Scott needed to move, but wanting to feel him as deep as possible for as long as he could. 

Scott cradled Soul’s head in his hands and began to press hisses to as much of Soul’s skin as he could reach, when Soul realized the feeling of near completeness wasn’t all that he wanted he began to move his hips.  With nearly all of Scott’s weight pressing him down he wasn’t able to move much, but it was enough for Scott to lean back a bit, just enough to meet Soul’s eyes and begin to withdraw as slowly as he had pressed in. 

Soul felt like he could breathe again, and moaned deeply, he wanted to say something that would express the perfection of the moment but he couldn’t collect his thoughts enough to find the words, he looked deep into Scott’s eyes and tried to tell him with his soul that this was perfect.

Scott maintained the smooth slow rhythm and Soul began to meet his thrusts digging his hands into Scott’s back for leverage.  The pace was nearly killing him with its slow deliberation, but Soul couldn’t force himself to move any faster.  The slow build was driving him toward a terrifying peak and he wasn’t sure if he would survive it.

The expression on Scott’s face suggested that he too could feel the inevitably devastating end coming; he looked like Soul felt, terrified and wholly consumed by the feeling that was building. 

When the sensations crossed the boundary of excruciating and mind blowing Soul closed his eyes and held on.  He hadn’t thought his nerves could take any more but a waves of heat overtook his body in the same slow undulating waves as the rhythm his body had been trapped in his vision went white behind his eyes and he could feel every muscle in his body contract and release clearly even as every other thought and sensation was scoured from his consciousness. 

When the physical feeling began to fade into devastating aftershocks interspersed with moments of exhausted calm Soul became aware that his mind felt more expansive, thought flickered through his mind faster than he could watch them and he felt a wealth of love that was unfathomable.  His heart ached for something he didn’t know he was missing and he could feel tears of exhaustion at the never ending feeling, the feeling of loving and wanting and wanting so deeply to be wanted in return.  The fear of pushing too hard, that he had pushed too hard.  The worry that he would never get what he wanted and the mirror desire of not caring about his own feelings if only…Soul was happy?  Soul slowly opened his eyes and realized this is what Scott felt for him.  The feeling felt old and as new as it was to him it felt like a part of his being, something that had always been there, something he would never be rid of.  Soul willed his aching exhausted arms to wrap around Scott.

“I love you.”  He whispered and the feeling began to fade, Soul could feel the edges of his mind returning to their usual safe boundaries and his feelings return to his own.  He was overwhelmed, he felt known, and he couldn’t stay awake for a moment longer. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Charcoal Pt 16

Oops I guess it has been a bit longer than I expected since last updating.  Vacation makes time pass oddly.  Anyway I hope you enjoy and as always any comments are welcome!

Soul was late to the table.  He had assured Scott that he was only going to wash his face but he has managed to speak with the twins, if only for a moment.  They had a plan; he had a plan, even if it was only to make a plan. 

Soul slipped into his seat as quietly and respectfully as he could, it was an unacceptable thing to be late, but apparently his and Scott’s earlier activities had tempered Sylvia’s ire.  She smiled tightly at him and continued her conversations, which included berating everyone for small indiscretions.  Her lack of attention was a gift and was almost worth Soul’s earlier embarrassment.  He had known that she would know what they were doing, known that she might even walk in.  Soul knew it, and still he had persevered.  He hadn’t imagined that he would be able to forget the oppressive house, the watching eyes and listening ears, but he had, yet again he had underestimated the power of Scott’s touch.  Soul sighed as he remembered.  It had felt so good, even as it had almost hurt.  He could feel a blush coming to his face as he remembered in more detail, the feel of Scott growing in his mouth, the feel of Scott’s hands, almost tickling-

“Even thought the library is not the most appropriate place for such activities.”  Soul looked up, startled from his revelry, right into Sylvia’s face.  She had apparently been thinking of similar things as Soul, he blushed and looked to his right, where he found others staring at him.  Scott took his hand under the table, for support Soul was sure, but he hated being talked about, he didn’t want them to imagine what he had been remembering.  His peace about having and fulfilling a plan began to fade.  He pulled his hand away and wrapped it with his other in his lap.  He knew that Scott would have a hurt expression on his face but couldn’t face it. 

The conversation continued, Sylvia mentioning the bond and how important it was to ‘continue their work’.  She said she understood his hesitance but that she really needed them to proceed.  She spoke of how lovely it was that his drawings were becoming clearer, but also that he needed to focus on the abstract.  Soul focused on that, finding it much more comfortable to be frustrated than embarrassed.

“I can’t focus on something if I don’t know what it is.”  He spoke softly but clearly.  He could feel Sylvia’s eyes on him even though he didn’t look up.  “With Scott I focus on him, I can see him, it’s a very specific anchor.  But I don’t know what you want me to look for there are so many things in the world I can’t just know what you want.” 

Everyone was silent for a moment, talking back to Sylvia just wasn’t something that was done, and certainly not at her table with others watching.  There was a brief silence, as everyone held their breath. Sylvia sighed and when Soul looked up he saw the end of her nod. 

“You are right, it isn’t fair to keep you in the dark.”  Soul waited for her to continue, for her to finally explain something but she didn’t, she turned back to her place and delicately prepared a bite with steak and just a bit of potato.  She smiled up at him when she was satisfied by the food on her fork. 

“Just finish the bond, and everyone will be so pleased.”  She put the fork in her mouth and pulled it would very slowly, maintaining eye contact and Soul was reminded of a picture of a wolf he had once seen, its eyes almost glowing as it stripped the flesh from a deer carcass, he shivered and wrapped his hands more tightly around each other.  If he had had an appetite before it was completely gone now.


Soul had slipped from Scott’s arms easily.  His earlier actions were paying off.  Scott was relaxing around him.  Soul felt almost bad for manipulating him he did think that Scott was a good person, someone he could really love in different circumstances.  But for now he had to get out of here, to find his mother, to find some answers.

Soul walked quietly down the hall and out into the back garden.  He half expected there to be an alarm, for dozens of the newcomers to come pouring out of the house to drag him to some dark dungeon.  But there was nothing but the soft noises of suburban night, and the sweet smells of a well-tended garden.  Soul realized as he felt the dew on the soft grass that he hadn’t been outside in days.  He missed it then, deeply.  He wandered for a bit, smelling the flowers and picking small leaves off the plants in a small plot of kitchen herbs.  He was so engrossed that he forgot for a moment his reason for being here- meeting the twins. 

They approached quietly, and even thought their greeting was soft Soul was still more startled than he would like to admit.

“You were early.”
“And you wanted to speak with us?”

Soul nodded and looked around, still surprised that no one had come to shoo him back into the house.

“The garden is warded”
“There will be no alarm”
“Unless you try to leave.”

Soul nodded but still didn’t speak.

“There are still listening ears”
“There are everywhere”
“But fewer that in the house”
“And less attentive”
“Especially at night.”

Soul nodded again and took a breath.

“I need to get out of here.”  The twins nodded and shared a long look.

“It is sooner than we wanted.”
“But it is time to act”
“We have an idea”
“But you can’t tell anyone”

The plan was basic, but believable and Soul so needed something to believe in.  And if something did happen he did have his plan b, though now it was looking less attractive, something made Soul want to see this through, he didn’t want another generation fighting Sylvia, and he knew somehow she would still be there, fighting even after he was long gone.


Scott smiled, grinned really, when he opened his eyes, Soul was still sleeping in his arms.  Scott knew he had gotten up in the night but didn’t want to pry and now his patience was paying off.  He pushed himself up on his elbow gently, trying to avoid jostling Soul too much, and he was successful.  Soul grumbled something then snuggled closer into Scott’s chest.  Scott felt himself filling with warmth.  He had all that he wanted, right here right now. 

Scott’s shoulder began to ache as the minutes ticked by and the light from the window inched closer to Soul’s face, but he ignored it.  He would endure much more for this moment to last.  It was bittersweet when the sunbeam reached Soul’s eyes and after squinting for a moment they began to open.  Soul wrinkled his nose as he opened his eyes and Scott thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  Soul looked into Scott’s face warily for a moment, but then his eyes closed again.  Soul pulled away from Scott but flipped onto his stomach and pulled his knee under his elbow.  The movement pulled the sheet tight across Soul’s ass and Scott debated whether this view was better or worse than the other.  After a few moments Soul’s breathing evened out into an almost snore and Scott flopped back onto his pillow massaging his aching shoulder.  If Soul wanted to sleep more Scott wasn’t going to take it from him. The moment was too peaceful, domestic almost and Scott wasn’t going to let anything ruin it.  Not even his own libido.


At breakfast Soul looked happily rumpled.  He still had lines from sleep on his face and he ate slowly, putting jam on only the bit of toast he was putting in his mouth next.  He seemed absentminded but Scott didn’t mind, it was a continuation of earlier.  He imagined mornings like this in the future, the bond complete, sharing sleepy feelings and thoughts, away from this house and his mother.  Just sharing the bright morning together in piece.  Scott sighed and when he did Soul looked up, a small spoon filled with raspberry jam still in his hand.  His eyes seemed clearer now, more awake.  He smiled as Scott and it brought more warmth to Scott than the sun streaming in the windows.

“I need to get some things from school, I miss my pencils, and easel.  Drawing on the table is fine I just-” He trailed off and Scott didn’t mind.  Soul was moving some of his things in.  That was al that mattered.  Even thought this was not the house he had imagined sharing with Soul he didn’t mind.  It wasn’t perfect but for this moment, it was pretty damn close.

“Okay, do you want me to come?”  Scott knew what the answer would be but he still had to ask.  He knew that he had to continue to give Soul space even if he didn’t want to, but after yesterday he didn’t mind as much.  His efforts were working.  He just had to be patient a little longer and his lifelong torment would be over.  He smiled and took a sip of his coffee. Maybe they would get a dog when it was all over.  A big fluffy one that would knock Soul over when he walked in the house.  One that would sleep on the bed and they would take for long walks.  Scott sighed, they would do so many wonderful things and it would be perfect.  He just had to be patient a little bit longer, he just had to let Soul come to him, and it was already happening.


Scott looked so hopeful when he asked if he could come, and he looked so happy when he was sipping his coffee Soul felt badly about his deception.  Maybe Scott could come.  It would make it look better to Sylvia too and if he could get out without her suspicion it would make everything so much easier.  And it would make sense that soul would want to leave for a bit, to get to know his new-boyfriend? - In peace outside of his mothers home.  It was a change of plan and the twins might not like it but-

“Sure, you can come if you want.” 

Scott looked so deeply happy when he looked up Soul was glad that he had said yes.  He thought that Scott was probably expecting a no, but he liked being nice to Scott, he liked putting that smile on his face.  Soul liked putting any smile on Scott’s face and he was struck again with a strong nostalgia of what could have been. 


“We have to go and get some of Soul’s stuff.”  Sylvia had entered the room and Scott was eager to tell her the news.  She would understand the significance he was sure and her smile meant the world to Scott.  Soul smiled to himself, it was an excellent decision to bring Scott.  His mother was placated, and Scott was smiling.  Two good things and with just a word from him. 

They were ready to go just an hour later and Soul was almost bouncing on his toes as they waited for the twin to come and ‘escort’ them.  It was the perfect plan and nothing could possibly go wrong. 

The twins arrived ten minutes after they had been called and looked fresh out of a shower.  Soul wondered for a moment if they had showered together and decided he didn’t care.  It was time to get out of the damned house and get some answers.  He thought their first stop should really be at the school.  He did miss his charcoal and graphite sets and an easel would be nice if he did end up back at the house for an interim period.  Plus they could ask Professor White if he had any more information.  Soul wondered if he had guessed what had happened to him.  The long weekend was long over and they had missed a few classes.  Soul wondered if his mother had been notified.  But dismissed the notion.  It was college, nothing would be said until there was an emergency, and no one knew how much of an emergency this was except him and Scott, and maybe Professor White. 

“Where should we go first?”
“Just tell us where”

They had just exited the gate and already the feeling of being trapped was fading, Soul bounced in his seat feeling more energetic than he could ever remember feeling.

“To the school first, I really do want to get some of my supplies, then we can see if Professor White is in.”  The twins looked back at Soul with identical expressions on their faces, Soul couldn’t quite tell what the expression was, but it didn’t look the most complimentary.

“He was there?”
“He is teaching?”
“What an idiot”
“I can’t believe he is still alive”
“He really doesn’t know when to butt out”
“He must be waiting for your mother.”

Soul was confused.  Yes Professor White did seem to have had a weird thing for his mother, but he must have gotten over it.  He could easily find her, he just had to look in Soul’s file for his home address, but if he was as idiotic as the twins seemed to think he might have just not thought of it.  Soul didn’t let it bother him.  Their plan had worked, they were outside the gates and on their way, he couldn’t imagine anything that would ruin his mood.


The school was just as they had left it; soul went quickly to his room, relieved when he found it empty.  He grabbed his stuff and considered leaving a note, but decided it wasn’t worth it.  What would he write?   He looked around slowly thinking how odd it was that this small room could feel so familiar and homelike after living in it for just a few weeks.  He grabbed a small bag of more formal clothes, if they went back to the house he wanted to be able to wear something of his own.  Being dressed by Sylvia was a little to invasive, and it was a small enough thing that he might be able to get away with it.  And with her, even a small victory would help him keep his sanity while waiting for the big ones, and now free from her oppressive reach he could see them coming, there was light on the horizon and it was bright.

They walked to professor White’s office and Soul noticed the twins whispering to each other.  It was odd after their constant sameness.  It sounded almost like they were bickering about something, but their voice were quiet enough so Soul ignored it and grabbed Scott’s hand.  He didn’t know how long he was going to still be with him and wanted him to have a few fond memories.  Soul wanted Scott to think of him in a kind light.  He knew he supposed that Scott would never hate him, that he couldn’t hate him, but he wanted the feeling to be real.  With the end in sight soul allowed himself to be a bit sentimental.  There was no reason not to be.

Professor White’s office is empty and it appears that he has not been in for a while.  His inbox is filled with letters and papers, even some portfolios, the door is locked.  Soul shrugs, he hadn’t thought the Professor would be too helpful and even if he has disappeared there are much more pressing things for him to worry about, like getting home and finding his mother.   It may have seemed out of character but in this new world no ones character seemed to stay at Soul’s first impression, maybe the older man was really just a flakey old artist that had stick his nose where it didn’t belong like the twins seemed to think.  And even if he had gotten himself into trouble it wasn’t Soul’s problem.  With a shrug Soul tugged on Scott’s hand.


Back in the car the twins bickered more, they are becoming, as the moments pass, more and more like Soul remembers them from the past, similar, but just different enough that they can’t agree on anything.  Maybe things aren’t so different than they were, Sylvia’s influence must just have a bad impact on them. Soul smiled to himself and reaches again to take Scotts hand.  Scott answers with an unabashed grin that makes Soul’s heart flutter.  It was so easy to make him happy, Soul almost felt bad for all the opportunities he had missed to see that smile.  Now that he has known Scott for just a bit longer he sees how careful he must be being to not send Soul running for the hills, and even though Soul would be running for the hills if he thought it would do any good, he wondered if it would be so bad to bring Scott with him.

“You cannot do that,” Michelle says clearly startling everyone.  “I will not allow you to and I will throw your phone out of this window so help me.”  David mutters something under his breath and the car swerves as Michelle takes a swipe for the phone.

“What did you just say?”  Michelle asks once she has righted the car.  Her voice is cold and though her eyes are facing front Soul can tell that they would pin David to the seat if she turned his way.

“I said I already did it.”  David sounds chagrined and Michelle sighs.

“I might have to kill you for that.  I really might.”  David shrugs and looks out the window.  Soul would be worried but they are so close to his house, to his mother, who almost never left and is bound to be home, and answers, they are so, so close to finally finding some answers.


Soul was out o the car almost before it stopped moving, he was through the gate and knocking on the door before any of the others had even made it out the doors. 

“Mom! Mom! Open up, I have to talk to you!”  Soul was about to look for the spare key when the door opened.  It smelled like cookies inside and Soul felt all the stress melt from his body, if not an ounce of excitement. 

“Oh mom I have so much to tell you and you wouldn’t believe any of it if you weren’t a part of it.  You have so much to tell me I can’t believe-” Soul had to catch his breath, he had been talking much more than he ever had in the past weeks but still he was breathless. 

His mother hugged him, as gently as she always had and opened the door more widely for the others to follow her inside.  She set a plate of cookies at the kitchen table and brushed some flower on her apron.”

“Hi sweet Soul, why have you come to visit?”  Soul paused and looked into her face, he hadn’t done it for years and she almost didn’t seem real, she seemed too young, exactly as he remembered her, as he had always remembered her.  And she was so calm.

“I have lots of things to ask you-” He paused, he had caught Michelle’s eyes and she looked sympathetic, not something he wanted to see, he wanted eagerness, he wanted- something other than pity, he was so sick of pity.

“Yes darling you know you can ask me anything.”

“You know Scott-” and for a moment her eyes flashed, but the placid smile was back in a moment.  

“Oh yes Scott, your friend from school.”  Soul paused again, had he called and told her about Scott, or was she checking up on him?  Maybe it had something to do with Talent- and the flash, he didn’t expect her to like Scott after all she had done, but-

“How have you hidden for so many years, from her?”  She smiled again and turned to turn on the coffee maker.

“My sweet darling I am not hiding at all.”  Soul looked at her again.  Really looked and tried to remember any time she had lost her temper, any time she had shown strong emotion, and he couldn’t remember one time.  This was not the fiery woman that he had heard of. But maybe she had lost something protecting him.  Maybe.

“Honey, Soul, that’s not your mother, not really.”  It was Michelle; she placed a hand on Soul’s lower back and began to rub in small circles.  “That’s just her reflection.  A part of her she left to take care of you, to keep up appearances.”

Soul looked between them, the twins, Scott, his- not his mother.

“You aren’t really my mom.”  He spoke quietly, slowly, maybe that way it would turn out to be a joke.  If he yelled- cried- it might make everything all too real.

She kept working on the coffee humming now, it seemed this question didn’t have an answer.

“A part of her yes, like a reflection.  But not really your mother no.  Not all of her.”  Scott spoke softly, like he had known all along, and he probably had.

“We knew where you lived, and Sylvia too.  She would have made us tell her, if we knew where the rest of her was, you must know that.”  It was David.  The twins, since being away from the house had begun to separate into two people again.

“She kept waiting for your mother to really come, to take you back.  She thought if we lived close by we would notify her.  She thinks we tell her everything, and even though we don’t, we would have had to tell her that.  She knew where we lived, visited us even.”  Michelle added.

Soul nodded but it wasn’t okay, he wasn’t okay.  He didn’t know if he would ever be okay.  He tried to remember if there was ever a time when he could have figured out his mother wasn’t a real person.  That she was a shadow, and impression of what his mother really was.  He couldn’t remember.  He remembered moments, feelings, love, and support.  But they hadn’t really talked.  She had read to him but never paused to explain the pictures or ask him what he thought.  He had imagined that all mothers were like that.  Presences but not really people. 

Soul felt lost, more lost than he had ever felt.  He had been so excited for this moment, this little bit of hope.  He could have asked her everything, could have found out why she hadn’t stayed with him.  But she wasn’t a real person, and his real mother had left him.  Soul felt like there was cotton filling his mind.  There was the buzz of static filling his ears and pins and needles climbed from his toes up his legs.  There was no hope.  There was nothing left to try for, nothing left to hope for.  Sylvia was going to win.