[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: Taste Like Sky [part 3]
Characters: Sin, Severen, Viridian Doll
Warnings: Some expletives, mildly adult concepts.
Notes: Severen talks about jealousy and the tour, flashback to how he ended up in a band. Lyrics are attributed, with the exception of the song performed by Viridian Doll, which is actually "Bauhaus Made Me Kill For Satan", by My Friend Maggot, circa 1994 or ’95. The band’s been broken up since about that year, too… *waves to Z and Boone* Hi, guys, please don’t kick my ass.
"You haven’t asked," Severen noted, sitting on the edge of the bed, drying his hair on a bath towel.
"You look like shit, Batty. I figured if you wanted to tell me, you would." Sin turned a page and pushed up his glasses — vanity kept him from wearing them, if he wasn’t reading in bed, but they really did make it easier to make out the words. "I’ve finally learned."
Severen let out a breathy, shaken laugh. "I’ve gotten so used to it, it’s strange when you don’t. I know I always have at you for it, and I shouldn’t, but it’s … Here I am getting tricked into stasis in my old age."
"I’m still older than you." Sin didn’t take his eyes off the page as he leaned out and caught a lock of Severen’s wet hair, wrapping it around his finger. "Would you please lay down before I drop the book? You’re making me jumpy."
The assumption that he would tell the story, regardless of his thoughts on the matter, amused Severen, but he would concede, privately, that Sin knew him too well. He tossed the towel at the bathroom door and slid under the sheets, curling up against Sin’s shoulder. Sin adjusted, easily, wrapping an arm around Severen’s shoulders and leaning it on the curve of his back, to continue holding the book. He knew better than to move much more than that — Severen was being morose, again, like he did after a tour, and being touched tended to unsettle him.
"They get younger every year, Sin. And not a one will be convinced I’m any less good looking when all the paint comes off. I’m going to do a show without it one of these days, just to prove the point. I can sing — it doesn’t mean I have a pretty face. And I love the shock when the smart ones notice." Severen breathed out, more than laughed, and shuddered, faintly. "I do it, because I love it. I love being a demigod, just for a little while. I love the music, I like the band, but I hate the fans. I can’t get away fast enough. I’m not perfect, offstage. I don’t want to be. I just want to be left alone."
It was the same rant, almost to the word, every time. Sin waited, skimming both the book and the rant, waiting for Severen to get to something he hadn’t said before — waiting for the right time to respond. It was almost like a play, after all these years, as Severen had noted when Sin didn’t ask about the tour.
"And you’re not with me. I have to do it alone, because you have your own love, here. I want you to be happy. I don’t want you to become what Sydney thinks you are, to me. I love you, Sin. Even more than the music. More than teaching. More than me. I love you. Oh, god, Sin… Don’t ever leave me."
Sin set the book down and wrapped his other arm around Severen, as well. Something particularly nasty must have happened, for him to worry like this. This was not normal — this wasn’t supposed to happen, yet. Severen never broke down until he’d gotten to the story. And the stories were never that bad to hear — most of them were funny, a few months later — but the strain of the surrounding time always made everything so much worse — he knew that. But this? This was different.
"I knew you had Sydney, here. You always have Sydney, these days. And before Sydney, it was Rhianne, Maureen, Eliza… Always someone while I’m away. But, you’re always here when I come home, just the same as you’ve always been." Severen’s voice caught in his throat, and Sin started to suspect. "It was horrible. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It was terrible. I couldn’t — I didn’t."
One of Sin’s ears twitched, and his hands tightened. He’d never even thought of Severen with anyone else. Severen had been his, wholly and solely, since the first, and to think that his track record would be broken by something so damaging to Severen simply infuriated him.
"Sin, don’t… I didn’t. I couldn’t. I tried, but… it was disgusting." Severen was shaking, now, his fingers and lips starting to chill, as he finally processed the horror of what he’d tried to do. "I can’t wash her off my hands. I shouldn’t even be touching you. I can’t get it off me."
Sin bent his head, as calmly as he could, and kissed the top of Severen’s head. Still, he said nothing.
"I made her leave. Called her a cab. She threw things and shouted." Severen finally half-smiled. "I told her I was gay. I thought that was the most obvious sentence I could have said, but I guess she thought different."
With a strangled noise of amusement, Sin tossed his glasses onto the nightstand, beside the book, and tilted Severen’s head back. "What, you thought I’d be angry with you? I’m angry that she couldn’t take a hint! We were all over Propaganda, last year, in poses that would make your mother spin in her grave! What did she think?"
"She thought I was like you," Severen offered, jabbing a skinny finger into Sin’s ribs.
"Oh, am I so terrible, then? I thought you rather liked me." Sin rolled his eyes, dramatically, and stared off into the corner of the ceiling with a frown, pretending to be offended.
"Yes, but what would the world do with two of you? Especially if one of you was me!"
"I think I’d be rather bored if you were me. I’m so predictable to myself." Sin slid down the headboard, a bit, snuggling closer to Severen.
"Yes, but I’m predictable to you, too." Severen reached over his head and swatted at the nightstand until he hit the off switch on the lamp.
"Not always," Sin confessed, as Severen stretched out onto him, head tucked under his chin. "Not this time."
Sebastian liked to sing. It wasn’t about being good, or being heard; it was just about hearing the tones and feeling them spread through his chest. Most often, he sang to himself as he cleaned up his classroom, at the end of the day — picking up scraps of paper and erasing the chalkboard, before he went home.
Today, he made it all the way through ‘Who By Fire’ and halfway into ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, before he noticed the student leaning in the doorway.
"Oh, no, not me, I never lost control —" he spun, easily, snatching the briefcase off his desk, and turning toward the door, to leave. As he stopped, mid-motion, coat-tails settling at his back, the figure in the doorway stepped forward, out of the backlighting from outside.
"You’re pretty good at that, Mr. Lindstrom," the boy remarked, cramming his black-nailed hands into his pockets.
"Uh, thanks, Barry. Did you need something?" Sebastian looked shaken and slightly confused. Barry was the kid who sat in the back of his third period class, usually either sleeping or reading ‘Heavy Metal’. He had gotten nothing below a ninety on any of Sebastian’s assignments.
"Well, I was just walking by, and I heard you." Barry shrugged awkwardly. "Look, I’m in this band, and we need a singer."
"I wish I could, but the district has rules about fraternization." Sebastian was really just trying to be nice about it. He was a teacher. He had no need for a band.
"I graduate next month, and I’m the baby," Barry countered, blowing a falling spike of over-sprayed black hair out of his face. "Just think about it. We’re doing a show at Mitteran’s next weekend, if you want to see us, before you decide. It won’t be a good show, because fuckin’ Mike Leary’s singing, but it’s something."
"Watch your mouth; you’re in a classroom. And, I don’t go out much," Sebastian started, but thought about the fact that Sin hadn’t left the house for the last two weeks, because he was so caught up in his dissertation. "But, maybe I’ll be there. I need to make my roommate remember that studying’s important, but it isn’t all of life."
"Yeah, I’ll see you there, Mr. Lindstrom." Barry grinned cheekily as he sauntered out of the classroom.
Against his better judgement, Sebastian went, and took Sin with him. Sin managed to stop looking ratty, for the first time in weeks, but the deadline neurosis was sketched into every line of his body, all night. He wasn’t expecting much, when they opened with a screaming-loud punk song, regardless of how funny the lyrics were — "And when they ask me why I do / ‘s ’cause Peter Murphy dared me to / ’cause Bauhaus made me kill for Satan / It’s sad, but true".
But, by the end of the night, he caught himself testing his voice on a couple of choruses. Barry was right, he could do it, and do it well. The songs were mostly on the orchestral edge of Goth, with heavy synth, instead of seven extra musicians. It was terribly tempting. He did have the whole summer off. [[HEY, CAN YOU SAY GOTH, HERE? IT’S 1985.]]
Barry came to him, after the show, losing other members of the band to the fans, as he walked through the crowd. "I knew you’d be here, Mr. Lindstrom. What did you think?"
"He thinks you guys are really good. I caught him singing along." Sin leaned over Sebastian’s shoulder and stuck out his hand. "Singularity. I live with him."
"Sit down before you break something, Sin. And stop drinking." Sebastian shook his head as Sin shook Barry’s hand. "You guys are pretty good, though, Barry. A couple of years, and we’ll be hearing you on the radio."
"I’m only Barry to you, here, Mr. Lindstrom. To them, I’m Baron Von Nocturne." Barry laughed as the rest of the band caught up with him. "That’s Betty Noir, our keyboardist, Ebony Arkady, the drummer, and Lir Sanctmairie, our guitarist and bog-awful singer."
"Bog-awful. He’s being nice." Lir — clearly the Mike Leary spoken of earlier — smiled sheepishly and offered a hand. "You must be the Lindstrom guy the Baron’s been talking about."
"Sebastian. And you’re not that bad." He shook Lir’s hand and nodded to the rest of the band. "This example of neurosis and slipped wits, behind me, is my good friend Singularity."
"Give me another semester, and it’ll be Doctor Singularity, to you."
"Three semesters. No less, or you’ll be the dead Doctor Singularity." Sebastian shook his head and cocked a thumb at Sin. "Are you sure you don’t want him, instead?"
"Baron says it’s you we want," Arkady said, with a shrug, "but we haven’t heard you yet."
"Do you want to?" Sebastian asked, sitting on the edge of a table.
"You know any Sisters?" Lir asked, not expecting much. The guy was a high school teacher.
"Yeah, actually, I just got a copy of Floodland. I’m better at Bowie, though. Or Leonard Cohen, but I think I’m on my own, there."
Lir was the only one old enough to laugh. "Paul Anka," he demanded, teasingly.
"Put your head on my shoulder," Sebastian sang, without so much as a blink, "Hold me in your arms, baby…" He finished the song, singing most of it to Sin, and occasionally hamming it up. Sin did his best impression of a lovestruck teenage girl, just to get a few giggles, but all eyes were on Sebastian, whose voice was like walking through syrup.
Lir was stunned stupid. "Nice," he said, wide-eyed.
"Damn, Baron, he is good." Arkady sounded shocked.
Betty finally chimed in. "Sure, he’ll do. But, his name still sucks, and he ain’t as pretty as Lir."
"Pretty can be faked," Sin offered, grinning. He pointed at Arkady. "A little paint could make him this guy’s twin."
By the end of summer, Sebastian was calling himself Severen Bellamorte, and he’d called the school to arrange a year’s sabbatical. Viridian Doll was going on tour, and he wanted to be there. The money would be a little tight, but he and Sin would manage. They always did.