[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: Taste Like Sky [part 2]
Characters: Severen, Singularity, (briefly) Sydney
Warnings: Severen’s mouth
Notes: Sin is a complete weird-child, if you hadn’t noticed. This chapter’s flashback is about Severen learning his name, and being reminded of what an odd creature he can be.
[=EDIT :: 2010.04.15=] Timeline and consistency.
After dinner, Sin insisted that Sydney go home. She’d been there almost a week, and now that Severen was back, Sin really had no use for her. She was there to take up space while the great black bat was gone.
"It’s him, you know," he told her, at the door. "Perils of being raised with heavy heteronormative influences. He’s afraid you’re going to take me away from him, purely by virtue of being female and getting in my pants. I’d like it on record that nothing of the sort will be happening. I’ve loved Severen since I was probably about your age, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Not that I expect you think differently."
"I’m not stupid," Sydney snapped, but somewhere in her, he’d struck a chord she’d never realised was there. She did want him to leave Severen, which was part of what upset her so much, when she heard the house belonged to the great black bat. She dreamed of coming home to Sin, every night, not just the ones that Severen was gone for. She dreamed of him in his public face — Everett Nilssen, Professor of Political Science — instead of Sin, plaything to an arrogant, hatchet-faced rock star.
For all that Sydney wanted Sin, she really didn’t know him at all. And, he knew it, and made certain that, to some extent, things stayed that way. He watched her walk back to her car and wondered if she had any idea that Sin predated Severen by some years, as far as personae went, and that he’d fought a very long, uphill battle to be just that very plaything she hated to see him as. Probably not. He hadn’t told her, and she was too young and headstrong to realise that there is, in truth, no accounting for taste. And his taste, according to several thousand screaming fangirls, was pretty good.
Sin came back in to find Severen flipping through the papers he’d been grading, before he got distracted by the book on the coffee table.
"You’re too easy on them, Sin. This is a C+? I’d have set it on fire and mailed back the ashes." Severen shook his head and laughed, holding out a hand for Sin to join him on the couch.
"You also taught Language and Literature," Sin reminded him, taking back the papers and picking up his red pen, as he sat.
"I also taught it to high school students," Severen reminded him.
"Touché, Batty." Sin looked mildly annoyed as he tested the pen on the back of his hand, before starting, again. "I got some complaints from the department about my grading practices. Something about ‘too much focus on grammar’ and how I should really only take the content of the work into account."
"So, now you’re grading like a kindergarten teacher? Come on."
"Sebastian, it’s not my fault they’ve gotten into college with no idea how to construct a sentence. I believe that was your department, not mine."
"Ouch." One of Severen’s eyebrows arced up, in surprise. "But you’re still letting them get away with it."
"My grading is still stiffer than any of the T&As teaching composition, these days." Sin stared vacantly at the paper in his hands, for a long moment. "We’d have been shot in the street for writing like this, when we were in school, even if we did it in the Math department."
Severen laughed. "Never mind the Math department, what did you just call the teaching assistants?"
"It has to be what they were hired for. It’s not like they have the academic sense the gods gave a turnip." Sin put the cap back on his pen and threw his hands up in disgust. "No. No more, tonight. And if I ever said anything about your attitude while you were teaching, which I know I did, I take it all back. I’m eating my words, and it’s only with massive application of gummy strawberries that they’re edible at all."
Severen shuddered with disgust as Sin tossed a few of the strawberries into his mouth. "That’s even worse than your grading. You think you’re going to kiss me with that mouth? Go wash it out with whiskey, first."
"Ass," Sin accused, around the sticky, pink mouthful.
"I’d rather," Severen snarked back.
"Oh, really? That can be arranged, you know."
Sin was twenty-three when the divorce papers arrived, from a girl he’d forgotten he married during a drunken trip to Las Vegas, over spring break, his sophomore year. By twenty-three, he was working a dead-end job as a clerk at a veterinary clinic and writing articles for journals that most sensible people wouldn’t look twice at. It was funny, though, even with nothing, he wanted to keep what was his, and the arrival of the packet from a Virginia court made him fear for his property.
He left it, opened, but unconsidered, on the coffee table for three days, before Sebastian came by, one night, and picked it up. "Everett? Are you fucking serious? Your name is Everett?" [[IT’S 1980. BATTY’S LIVED THERE FOR A YEAR AND A HALF ALREADY. FIX THIS.]]
"No, it isn’t, but sometimes people call me that." Sin looked shaken, as he snatched the papers from Sebastian’s hand, setting them on a bookcase. "My name is Singularity. I am indefinity personified."
"You’re fucking bizarre, sometimes, Sin." Sebastian shook his head and leaned against the wall. "So what does the state of Virginia want with this Everett-who-isn’t-really-you?"
"A divorce. He married her in a drunken stupor." Sin managed to extricate himself with a carefully constructed string, implying he’d married the state, which Sebastian would take as him being weird again. "And what do you want with me, at this hour? I have a deadline tomorrow."
"Dinner. You look like shit, and you need to eat." Stepping away from the wall, Sebastian glanced over the pile of typed sheets on Sin’s desk. "Also, I’m hungry, and for once I don’t want to cook."
"Are you threatening to buy me dinner?"
"I am, and if you don’t take the nice offer, I might be forced to carry you out and feed you."
"You should be careful with what you say, people might think you’re asking me out on a date," Sin purred, grabbing his coat, and leaving Sebastian to sputter pointlessly, at his back.