Some pictures from Nat (SebastianWouldBeAppalled)’s visit here, at the start of the month. We did promise to post a few every Munday, I think, yes? And I missed last week because I’m a douche, but HERE. HAVE OUR FACES, OKAY?
For those who are somehow unfamiliar with our mugs, Nat’s on the left, and I’m on the right :D
Have you ever heard of the red string of destiny? Maybe you have, actually you probably have, just maybe not by that name. Basically it’s an ancient belief that two people are tied to each other by a red string – sometimes around their ankles, sometimes around their pinkies – folklore says that these people are destined to meet, and help each other through a certain point in their lives, or that they are destined to be lovers. The string can tangle, but it will never break.
These two people, they’re like soulmates. And the string is fate.
He didn’t know any of this, not when they first met. He was too young. They both were.
The blue-eyed boy was hanging out of a tree, not so far away that his mother couldn’t see, but definitely out of ear-shot. He was being observed by a boy like he was the strangest of creatures; but he didn’t even notice until the watcher spoke up, and expertly recited the distance with which he would have to fall in order to do any serious damage to himself, and what kind of traumas could occur, exactly.
Hanging upside down from a branch like the monkey he was acting, the boy smiled and said, “you’re funny.”
And that was all it took.
Because the brown-eyed little doe had been called many things, but ‘funny’ wasn’t one of them. Dropping out of the tree, he asked, “what’s your name?”
“I’m Jim Moriarty,” he replied with such hesitance, as if he was waiting for the world to crash down on him.
But the other just smiled further, “I’m Sebastian.”
The Wild Bunny - memorable audio diaries
translation: to seem odd, weird
literal translation: to seem to be Spanish
John stopped short when Sebastian called after him. At first his shoulders tensed and he wasn’t sure what he was readying himself for. For Sebastian to lash out? For this all to take a strange twist for the worse? And then the question came and John sighed something that sounded like relief.
“Oh,” he answered. He slipped away from Sebastian and into the bathroom, leaving the door open and glancing around. There was an empty bottle with maybe a sip collected in the bottom of the bottle. He scooped it up and brought it back out to the other man and offered it up.
“Just this,” he confessed quietly. He’d taken it in the shower with him the previous evening. He was ashamed to admit that, and it burned on his cheeks, a flush of embarrassment. He was bad off. He knew he was. He slowly pulled away from the other man and took a few steps before stopping to look back again.
“Thank you for asking,” he said over his shoulder, and then he continued on to the shower. He needed to scrub his skin again. He shut the door but didn’t bother with the lock as he stepped across the tile to the knobs and turned on the spray, listening to it pour down in the shower box. He stripped out of his clothes and got in, letting it burn away at his skin until he felt raw, his breath coming hard through his nose as he scrubbed his skin.
He wished he could scrub his sickness out, his past, all of it, every single thing. He couldn’t though, and he stepped out before the water got cold and toweled off. Not wanting to slip back into his other clothes he wrapped the towel around his waist and made his way across the bedroom to his closet and pulled out a fresh pair of light shorts and a t-shirt. He slipped on his sandals after he’d dressed and ran his fingers back through his hair. He caught his reflection in the mirror above the dresser briefly and noticed three things.
He looked thin, he looked tired, and he sorely needed a haircut. He sighed and stepped back out into the rest of the flat and was greeted by his dogs.
“Do you guys want to go see Arbor?” he asked them, kneeling down on shaky legs to ruffle their fur.
“Sebastian?” he called out to the flat.
He took the bottle from John with a nod of gratitude. He could see the blood spreading across the man’s sallow cheeks, but it was less the cute blush you might expect from a naughty little girl and more a display of shame and regret. He didn’t know how to fix that, or ease it for John any so he just thanked him for being honest and let his arm drop to his side, feeling the press of the bottle into his hip as he clutched it there against himself.
He watched John walk away, but didn’t make any real move to start work until after he heard the shower turn on. It wasn’t a question of listening out for the clinking of a bottle or a metal cap slipping through shaking fingers and colliding with the tile floor — he just felt a little wrapped in wool through the whole ordeal. Not quite sure exactly what he was getting himself into, or if he would be enough. So everything took him a tick or two to react to.
But then he was hoaking through cupboards and drawers until he found a roll of bin-liners and shook the bag out; emptying bottles down the sink and washing them out before he started to fill the bag, circulating the whole space until he found everything he could, stacking any glasses by the sink to be washed. He tied the bag up and left it by the door, the heavy chinking sound causing the dogs to stir and look at him in deep puzzlement. He smiled, and later wondered why he had smiled.
With more haste than attention to detail, wanting to get most of this done before John had finished in the shower, he washed the glasses and cups and any sticky container once home to John’s various poisons. He was starting to get a hang of the kitchen, understand what went where, giving the man little privacy when it came to searching around for what he needed, be it a bin-liner, or a sponge, or a fresh tea-towel to dry.
He was halfway done drying when he heard the shower turn off, and he decidedly finished what he was holding, put it away, and opted to take the bag of bottles outside to whatever bin he could find instead of finishing the rest. Better to get these out of the way. Clean house, clean mind and all that.
Sebastian had dressed wrong for the heat, and somehow that became all the more obvious when he stepped out into the sun. He wiped the back of his hand across his brow before he got rid of the bottles and cans and any other odd rubbish he had managed to pick up, and took a quick look out towards the beach. It was a nice place, that much was certain. He had made the same observation when he had arrived, but the idea of sticking around had never occurred to him.
He turned after a few beats in reaction to his name being called, the sound hanging slightly on the thick breeze. He clapped imaginary dirt away from his hands and hurried himself back inside, “I’m here,” he said mildly, not able to suppress a chuckle at John’s attire. He knew it was more practical than what he was wearing, but something about it just stuck out more. This man, his past, their past — all of it came to shorts, sandals, and a flock of fluffy dogs?
About to ask if John was ready to go, something tweaked in Sebastian’s mind and he was by the kitchen sink again, drying with renewed determination and even more speed. But he couldn’t leave them to dry there in the heat. They would go streaky. But only three to go.
Damn that obsession of his.
Two to go.
Damn it all.
He offered John a weak smile before he asked, “so you want to go see this Arbor guy first?”
“Do you need to call him first, or is he expecting you?” It was barely thought-out chat to cover for the minute or two he would need to finish at the sink. Weak, weak.
He turned and dried off his hands with the cloth and pulled his lips taut, “do you need help with anything?”
Racing, that was what this was all about. His heart was racing, pounding in his chest, blood rushing at an immense speed, the sound of it drowning out almost all coherent thought he might have been able to conjure right now. He was absolutely convinced that the man could hear it, too - His heart, struggling to escape his ribcage and disappear, run away, only get far, far away from this menace, that ruffian of a man who would sooner beat the living crap out of him than have him explain. Not that he would ever explain.
His thoughts were racing as well, and they had an insanely ambitious competitor to beat: Time. He had been given three seconds, a third of which had already been wasted, and his head was horrendously empty of anything that could have been of use. Yes, he knew what route it was best to take in order to get out of here in under ten seconds, yes, he had studied this man’s physicalities long enough now to know which spots to hit, should he have to go for the counter-attack, and yes, he was aware of at least seven objects in his immediate vicinity that could be used as weapons, too. He had that knowledge, and that was all very well. But in the end, he remained a kid. Terrified, at that.
He had huge words and an even greater supply of sheer infinite facts and figures, but what was most dominant was his fear. All of the little things he had read about self-defence, the graphs and explanations he’d seen, all of that was theory. What was awaiting him, however, was merciless reality. Because he had experienced it before.
His father had never allowed him this much time to oblige, granted, but the resemblance was still striking. The tall figure looming above him, hand outstretched and ready to strike, gaze relentless, disapproving, scornful. You don’t fucking belong here. The added threat of seconds being counted down wouldn’t have been necessary, but of course it only made matters worse. Keen as he was on remaining calm, and as much as he was trying to appear unfazed, he was starting to panic.
“Let me guess.” He remained unmoving still, trying to let his arms hang slack on his sides, but his fists were clenched before he even realised. Tense all over, that was what he was. His tone was made to sound haughty despite his fear, but there was that unmistakeable doubt around the edges. He was not moving, but he was ready to run. He had to. It was a race, after all. “One?”
Sebastian’s features twisted into something horrid at that. And for a moment even he lost his control, with a spit of acid crawling up his spine and making his head incline before he unfurled himself from that static position and headed towards the boy in a fury with arms outstretched ready to grip and—
He was nimble enough.
The boy, Jim, slipped under his arms and ducked behind Sebastian as he teetered forward, grasping at the empty space the runt had previously occupied. After a moment that was extended through the blinkers of rage, he turned and started after Jim, stumbling over furniture and suitcases to get to the door, but Sebastian closed in on him far too easily and had him pinned to the wall, feet hovering inches from the floor, with a firm clamp on his upper arms as if he weighed nothing.
He didn’t have to say anything, Jim was struggling like a drowning fish plucked from a lake, spitting insults that sounded as pretentious as expected. Calling him an ‘uncivilized pig’ (ironic, considering the nature of their run-in), telling Sebastian to get his filthy hands off, telling him he would regret this. Ha. He could have laughed then and there. Probably would have forgotten his own rage if it hadn’t been for the fingers clawing at whatever they could reach and those bony little knees and feet kicking at him, and a little too close to somewhere a gentleman would prefer not to be injured. And as powerless and uncoordinated as the assault was, it still got to him.
That in mind and not quite knowing how else to follow-through with what he had done in his little fit of all-consuming anger at Jim’s complete insolence; he, in one swift movement, manoeuvred the boy so he had arms wrapped around his middle and took heavy, awkward steps towards the exit.
“One,” he said in a venomously harsh tone, right at his ear, before he threw. And he did throw, with as much force as he could muster, Jim out the open door letting him collide with the wall in the narrow hall, and observe this before he slammed the door shut and turned the key in the lock.
Only thing was… how did you come back from that? He looked around the apartment and just… stared. Letting himself come down from the tension that was piling upon him, squeezing his muscles, making him sweat. He was suddenly very restless and not tired in the slightest. Without really thinking, be began tidying. Picking up things that had been knocked over, returning the room to it’s natural order. Subconsciously marking the page in the book Jim’d been reading and returning it to the shelf it had been pinched from.
He was so zoned out and content in this obsessive routine that he didn’t hear anything from the other side of the door. Only barely managed to listen out for the sound of the building door slamming shut.
He would leave, wouldn’t he?
Sebastian fucking hoped so. He couldn’t have that kid out there, looking strange, acting strange, giving his neighbours reason to talk, especially if they heard that scuffle. He sighed and made his way to the door to check the peep-hole just in case.
That deliciously long moment - the moment that had Jeremy stand, shaking, staring, looking entirely horrified in amongst the remnants of what had once been three unhealthily angry Germans - that one moment was pure entertainment to Jim. He should have thought of pushing the persona this far earlier; it was the greatest pleasure to watch him crumble, watch that big man falter in front of what he’d done, watch the terror that reigned freely for a few wonderful seconds — And then slipped away completely. Oh well. Delightful as long as it had lasted. Sebastian was surprisingly quick to take over again; a sensible move, no doubt, but watching JerJer despair of his sinful deeds surely would have been worth some more trouble, would it not? Jim was certain, anyway. Drewie, however? Not so much.
The small man had, quite frankly, reached the end of his wits; which wasn’t so much of an achievement in itself, what with his wits being regrettably short, granted, but easy or not, it certainly left him clueless. Petrified. Frozen.
What to do, now that he had essentially managed to talk his boyfriend into killing a man? Wasn’t this the point where they were supposed to make a run for it or something? Weren’t they meant to be gone by now? He should have paid more attention to Jeremy’s action films, dammit.
Luckily, this was where the smooth transition back into Sebastian Moran made so much sense - An army-trained sniper could offer Andrew more advice on how to get out of a triple homicide than a disturbed primary school teacher. And advice he should be able to follow, too. Right?
He was still standing motionlessly when Sebastian had already stripped down to his underwear, and he was staring, clearly overwhelmed - predominantly by his boyfriend turning into an aloof criminal all of a sudden, but otherwise by pretty much everything, too. Most of his thoughts consisted of Oh God oh God what am I doing what is happening oh God how could this happen oh God what should I do what should I do what oh God; as precise as Sebastian’s instructions had been, it was quite hard to penetrate that constant stream of Oh Gods. Only when the first bottle was smashed against someone’s skull, only when he heard that sick crack, only then did he suddenly snap out of it. And nod frantically, all the way, no matter how irritating Jim found that to be.
Hurry back to the suitcase, blindly pick out a clean outfit with shaking hands, stuff phone and wallet into random pockets, nod, nod, nod. He was talking to himself as well, but that was just a jumbled compilation of his already incoherent thought process, so there wasn’t anything new or exciting there. It took him ages to get out of the onesie, mostly because the ongoing noises coming from Sebastian preparing their flight disturbed him greatly, and another eternity until he had stumbled into clean clothes. Wash your hands, wash your face, keep away from the blood, oh God, blood, oh God, nod, nod, nod. Simply watching Sebastian surely would have offered more fun than this ordeal, really.
And then, quite suddenly, it was over. When he’d hastily returned to Sebastian’s side, nearly tripping over his own feet, onesie in hand to leave it on top of a disfigured body, when he’d dropped it there, nodding, only now spotting the blood on the playful little bunnies all over the soft material — It was over. Maybe it was having to leave those beloved pyjamas behind, maybe the realisation that they would indeed be on the run now, maybe the symbolism of the whole innocence-now-stained-in-blood thing. Either way, he was done. He started sobbing, out of nowhere, and rather violently, too. Arms clutching at his own sides to hug himself, whole body shaking, face contorted in agony, he cried. Jesus Christ, did he cry. Jim was starting to become impatient at this point, but alas, at least the man was still nodding. There was a good boy. He’d manage.
As soon as the fire had started, he turned to the supposed love of his life, eyes desperate, voice small. “Can we go now?”
Quick to grab the gun back off of the TV and tuck it into the back waistband of his trousers, hidden under his jacket, quick to grab the few things he had set aside to save. And he was leaning with his lighter to set fire to the alcohol puddle that led to the mighty rivers that flowed through the room, to spread and light the bodies and the major blood splatters. It was only an afterthought that made him look up, remembering the possibility that there could be sprinklers in the room.
It should have been infuriating that Jim insisted on staying in character as that mumbling, bumbling sod Andrew Hickey. But he did. Sebastian couldn’t stop that, and to be honest he hadn’t enough time to really put thought into how frustrating it really was. Instead he looked into those big doe eyes (that Jim seemed to have the uncanny talent for magnifying when he slipped into Hickey) and nodded.
Flames swept up, with that beautiful sound of destruction as the swelled and spread and ate up everything in the room. Smoke started to pool at the ceiling, and the fire alarm was already blaring. He took Andrew’s hand to drag him out of the room and paused only to wedge the broken-down room-door shut as best he could before leading him onwards through the hotel.
His best oh darn it all, what’s going on, is there danger? oh no, oh god, oh no, i hope this is just a drill and not for real, a fire? oh yes, okay yes, single file, don’t panic kids, everything’s alright, just remember where the meeting point is… face was pulled into place as he led Ji— Andrew down. In case of emergency, use the stairs.
As he’d hoped, the others walking briskly around them, or walking, or running, took little time to notice that the couple were a little out of sorts, Drewie’s tear-streaked face, or the slight flecks of blood that might have remained. He pulled Drew close, once they were free of the stairs and making their way out of the building, winding an arm around his narrow waist so he could speak in lower tones, “still with me, honey?” he said, even making himself cringe at the sweet little pet name. “We’re going to stay as long as it takes them to roll-call, so it doesn’t look like we’re trapped somewhere inside, and then we’ll slip away and check out by phone, alright? We’ll tell them we’re going to check into one of the other hotels nearby while this is being sorted out, and we’ll just go home, alright?” Soft little voice, but not quite a whisper. Just too thick to be Jerry’s but he assumed in Andrew’s petrified state it would be enough to keep him calm.
How fucking ridiculous was that, eh? Having to keep him calm. Jim would be loving this. It was like he was saving some damsel in distress. That wasn’t in his job description, not often. And this jittery, petulant little queer was hardly someone he would choose to associate with, let alone be stuck in a situation like this with.
“Come on,” he said again, actually spacing out his words so he could be heard over the noise of alarms and people running and shouting for attention and discussing what was going on. Like they were in some awful nightclub trying to be heard over the music and people, red strobe lights flickering overhead with that piercing sound blistering his ear drums.
Clear of the building now though, and gathering with the other residents, he kept Drewie close, still. “You alright, love?”