[ Sky – Master Post ]
Characters: Severen, Singularity
Warnings: Severen’s mouth, uncomfortable situations
Notes: This was another one that refused to play out for a very long time. I’ve lost two drafts, over the last few months, to sudden crashes. This is how Sebastian ended up living with Sin.
"Batty? What are you doing here?" Sin stood in the doorway wearing nothing but an artfully draped towel, gazing blankly down at the skinny, snow-covered boy on the other side.
"Freezing my ass off. What does it look like?" Sebastian stomped the snow off his boots. "I walked here."
"Sorry." Sin shook his head, long red hair swishing like a curtain. "Come in. I’ll make some tea."
Sebastian left his sweater and boots in the tiny entryway of the apartment, and followed Sin to the stripe of kitchen that ran along one wall. He huddled against the jutting edge that divided the entryway from the refrigerator. Sin set the kettle on the stove, unsurprised to see Sebastian hover toward the warmth of the gas range.
"So, I have to ask: What the hell inspired you to walk up here, in the middle of the night? Don’t you have somewhere to be that involves less getting cold on the way?" Sin leaned back against the sink.
"Not anymore." Sebastian stared intently at his reflection in the steel kettle.
"What happened? Who the hell would kick you out on a night like this?"
"I’ve been living in the library, this semester. Security finally found me. I didn’t know where else to go." Sebastian cracked his knuckles and rubbed his hands together. "I could have gone to the dorms, and waited for someone to open a door — then I’d have stayed in the hall, but I had no guarantee that anyone would open a damned door, this late. So, I walked, to stay warm."
"Did they take your stuff?" Sin asked, stepping away from the kitchen, to find something more like clothing.
"No, it’s downstairs. I didn’t want to carry it all up. My hands hurt and I’m tired." Sebastian glanced back over his shoulder as Sin pulled on a pair of sweatpants. "I’ll find somewhere else, tomorrow. I just didn’t want to freeze before then."
Sin stared long and hard, waiting for the last bit to make sense. "No, you won’t find somewhere else tomorrow, unless you absolutely hate living with me. You’ve been living in the library. Did it never occur to you to mention that to me? Did you think, perchance, that I wouldn’t help you?"
"I knew you would," Sebastian muttered. "I didn’t want your pity. I liked just having a friend, even if you are weird as fuck."
"Okay, so now you’re my friend who lives with me." Sin looked at Sebastian like it was the most obvious sentence he’d ever uttered. "And now, I’m going to go get your bags before somebody steals them. If the tea whistles, turn it off. I’ll be right back."
He headed down the stairs, muttering about ‘goddamn lunatic half-wit pride’, and Sebastian sat down on the floor, curling around himself as he leaned against the stove. Everything was fine, and it would continue to be so, until the sun came up. Then he’d deal with the rest of the problems.
By the time Sin made it back up the stairs with the backpack and the old Army duffel, Sebastian was half asleep against the stove, and the tea hadn’t quite begun to whistle, but he could hear the water beginning to bubble. Sin leaned across and turned off the burner, before he set Sebastian’s bags near the couch and made tea. All the while, Sebastian slept, fitfully, elbows between his knees, pressed as close to the stove as he could manage.
When the tea had brewed, Sin woke Sebastian. As the hand closed on his shoulder, Sebastian sprang to his feet, wide-eyed in terror, and just as quickly slammed back to the floor, as the neck of his shirt caught on the oven handle. He curled into a tight ball, hands laced behind his neck.
"Sebastian? Batty?" Sin fell back from his crouch, landing hard. "Hey, take it easy! It’s just me."
Sebastian made a thin, frightened sound, but his hands relaxed a bit.
"C’mon, Batty. It’s okay. Hey, I made tea. You should have some. It’ll warm you up." Sin kept talking. Talking had never really gotten him anywhere with Sebastian, before, but he wasn’t actually trying to talk him into anything, this time. "Chill out, and we’ll get some tea in you."
Finally, Sebastian looked up, almost unseeing, pupils blown far too wide for the light. "Sin?"
"Yeah, who were you expecting, Sidney Poitier?" Sin pulled his legs back, and reassumed his crouch.
"Sorry. I guess I fell asleep." Sebastian sat up, carefully, testing the floor and his hands with ginger movements. "I don’t always wake up full of sunshine. What did I do to my back?"
"You caught your shirt on the stove. Let me see it?" Sin held out his hand, but didn’t move, otherwise. Something about the way Sebastian moved reminded him of the time one of his parents’ hounds got caught in a wolf trap. He knew better than to move closer without an invitation.
"It can’t be that bad," Sebastian said, shaking his head, as he pulled himself back to a standing position. "I hope I haven’t damaged anything."
Sin cocked his head and spilled liquidly to his feet, like water flowing backward. "I’m just glad you didn’t knock the kettle onto yourself. Tea’s on the coffee table. Hope you like catmint."
"Cat… mint?" Sebastian stared, baffled. "That doesn’t sound very good."
Sin laughed. "It’s a word from back home. What do they call it up here… catnip! It’s just a mild mint. Very good for sleeping, not that it looks like you need much help with that."
"I like mint." Sebastian nodded, and started toward the table.
"I don’t know a man alive who doesn’t like mint. It’s mint. What’s not to like?" Sin picked up his cup and joined Sebastian on the couch. "So, before you pass out on me, again, I need you to make a decision."
"Hmm?" Sebastian was enraptured by the warm tea.
"You can sleep out here, on the couch, if you like. On the one hand, it’s all yours and it’s closer to the bathroom. On the other hand, it’s pretty small, and you’ll probably end up with a crick in your back." Sin sipped his tea. "Or you can share the bed with me. On the one hand, I’ll be in it, too. On the other hand, it’s enormous, warm, and kind of squishy. You probably won’t even notice me. I’m kinda skinny."
"I don’t want to take up more space than I have to. Don’t let me inconvenience you." Sebastian protested, into his tea.
"Then sleep in the bed. I won’t accidentally sit on you in the morning," Sin joked. "Vision’s not so great before brakfast."
"You’re not going to…" Sebastian raised an eyebrow.
"Try something?" Sin snorted. "Someday, maybe, but not tonight. You move like a hurt dog, and I’m not in the mood to get bit."
Sebastian smiled. It was the ugliest thing Sin had ever seen on his face, but somehow, no less endearing for that. "Good. I’d hate to have to take the fingers off of someone who’s been so good to me."
It was the first night Sebastian stayed, but it was far from the last.