[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: Whisper Your Name
Characters: Sin, Sebastian
Warnings: Expletives, Sebastian’s neuroses
Notes: I’m actually working on something COMPLETELY ELSE, but I had to get this out of my system. (Yes, Jackie, I’m working on chapter three.) This is another look at Sebastian on a bad day. He has a lot of those, even after he’s successful and famous. They really don’t ever go away.
Sebastian lay in bed, staring out into the blackness between the blankets and the closet door, across the room. There was nothing. Everything had been for nothing. It always was, and it always would be. He curled around himself more tightly, unblinking, as his face twisted into a grimace of despair. If he blinked, the demons would come. If he slept, they would find him, and he’d never wake up. It didn’t make sense, but it didn’t have to make sense. It was just true. That was how things went.
He thought about getting up and calling Arkady. Yeah, it was the middle of the night, but Arkady had woken him up, a few times, for much the same reason. But, that actually involved getting up. If he tried to leave the room, the darkness would take him. It was just the way these things worked.
He tried to count the reasons he was still alive. Thirty-eight years old, and so hollow the emptiness actually hurt. What the hell was he still doing breathing, again? Sin. In the end, it was all about Sin. He loved Sin more than he’d ever loved anything — including himself, which was a bit of a stretch. If he stopped breathing, Sin would fall apart. But, somehow, it was hard to convince himself he did anything other than take and take… When he came home, broken and tired, Sin was always there to make things right. No matter what completely tactless thing he did, Sin was there to smooth it over. Yeah, sure, Sebastian was the one with all the money, but that wasn’t actually important. He was the one who could cook, but Sin didn’t do too badly for himself, when Sebastian was on tour. He really had nothing to give that mattered. And Sin loved him, anyway. Had loved him for almost twenty years. The thought nauseated him.
It was in the corner, by the bathroom door. He could finally see the demon, and the cracks started to show, in his nearly catatonic terror. He shook, uncontrollably, eyes watering, as he stared at the long-fingered, golden-eyed figure in the corner. He stared, and it stared back. It couldn’t do other than stare. It had no eyelids. It couldn’t blink, and he knew if he blinked, it would be on him, before his eyes re-opened. And he’d never wake up again, but he wouldn’t ever die.
Behind him, Sebastian could hear Sin making the low whine that preceded waking up. Sin always complained about being woken unexpectedly, and this time, Sebastian really hoped he didn’t wake up. Sin didn’t need to see this. It didn’t matter that Sin had seen it hundreds of times, while they were in college. They weren’t in college, any more. They were supposed to be rational adults. Contributing members of a relatively stable society — and for all that Sin insisted society was about as stable as a drunken sailor on land, he did a much better job of contributing and looking sane than Sebastian. This wasn’t supposed to happen, any more. He was supposed to have outgrown it. He was thirty-eight years old, and thirty-eight-year-old men weren’t supposed to be terrified of the creeping demons that couldn’t exist. They were supposed to be afraid of things like heart attacks and hair loss and mortgages. Sane things. Rational things.
It was just another sign of his failure. He was a god to thousands of fans who could barely spell their own names. He was a worthless, empty figurehead to a worthless and dim-witted generation. That, alone, was enough to make him want to slit his own wrists, most days. He really hated the fans. He resented their contented ignorance. It angered him that they strove so hard to maintain that ignorance, and then tried to inflict it on him. — Anger — that was something he could hold on to. Anger wasn’t completely empty. He could be wrath incarnate, if it would keep the demons away.
But, the anger crystallised into a brittle frame, as the demon slunk out of the corner, leading the way with its bright golden eyes, as it crawled across the floor. Sebastian stopped shaking, suddenly. He froze, perfectly still in the skin of sweat and tears that coated him. A low and desperate sound dragged itself out of the back of his throat, as the demon reached out toward him, with those blackened, slender fingers. His breath came in short, panicked sobs, as it knelt up, beside the bed, and stared into his eyes.
And then, Sin was awake.
"Shit!" Sin exclaimed, sitting up, throwing the blankets off the bed, and grabbing the half-full bottle of sake from his nightstand. It took him a minute to finish waking up and recognise what had woken him. He set the bottle down and stretched out on his side, behind Sebastian.
"It isn’t real. I’m real." Sin glared over Sebastian’s shoulder, into the darkness. He’d never seen the demons, but he’d never stopped looking for them. "They can’t have you, Batty. You belong to me. Winter in Boston couldn’t take you from me, and neither can some halfassed wraith that can’t even be bothered to show itself to me. You are mine, and they cannot have you."
"Sin…" Sebastian whined, jaw still locked, demon still inches from his eyes.
"No," Sin declared, grabbing Sebastian’s shoulder with one hand, as he swatted a line along the edge of the bed, with the other hand.
"Make it stop… make it stop… make it stop…" Sebastian pleaded, still panicky as the demon dispelled and reformed, grotesquely, in the path of Sin’s hand.
Sin reached out and turned on the lamp on Sebastian’s side of the bed. The darkness and its creatures rushed away, in the flash of light, but Sebastian could still see the golden eyes, just past the edge of the lamp’s glow. But, the light made it safe to stop seeing — to stop looking. He sighed and closed his eyes and dissolved into tears.
"I wish I could do something useful," Sebastian mumbled, holding Sin’s hand. "I wish I could do something for you that actually had meaning. I wish I could do something meaningful — something that mattered."
Sin took his hand back and used it to roll Sebastian onto his back. He lay stretched above his sobbing lover, for a long moment. "Sebastian? Sebastian, for shit’s sake, stop sniffling and look at me."
Sebastian flinched, and Sin felt sick.
"I want you to see that I’m not fucking around. Look at me."
Sebastian finally looked up, trepidation in his eyes and hands. He was afraid of the one person who would never hurt him, and that didn’t make him feel any more worthwhile. It was idiotic, but reflexive.
"I want you to do something for me. I want you to do somethng that I can’t do." Sin put one hand on Sebastian’s chest. "You know I can’t see your demons, Batty. I want you to tell me if it’s gone. And if it’s not, tell me where it is, so I can make it gone."
Sebastian snorted and coughed, but he pointed toward the open bedroom door. The light hadn’t made it into the hall.
Sin dropped a pillow onto him, and got up. "Hold onto that, for me."
Sebastian wrapped himself around the pillow, as he watched the golden-eyed demon try to push itself into the light. And then Sin shut the door on it, and came back to bed.
"Did I get it?"
Sebastian nodded, smiled grimly, and started to cry again. "They’re never going to leave me alone."
"And neither am I." Sin said it as though that were the answer to everything. "I’ve heard Arkady talking. I know it’s never going to stop. Both of you are stuck like this, so I’m going to do the best I can to run the bastards off. I can’t see them, but I can see you. You matter. You make a difference. You make me happy, so I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you’re happy, too. It’s the least I can do."
"I can’t do enough. I can’t even show you how much I love you. It’s all trash. Everything I do is empty and meaningless."
"Bullshit. You have thirty seconds to show me how much you love me. Make me believe you." Sin cocked his chin up, in challenge. "Starting … now."
"Fuck — What? Are you out of your —"
Sebastian sat up, grabbed the edge of the sheet, and blew his nose on it. "I’m not dripping snot on you. How’s that for love?"
One side of Sin’s mouth curved up in a manic smile, and the other side pulled thin, suppressing a cackle — but it was only for a second or two, because then Sebastian was kissing him.
"I remember," Sebastian muttered against Sin’s lips, "the first time you kissed me."
He sucked at Sin’s lower lip. "I remember because I wasn’t cold for a whole twelve seconds."
The kiss ended in disaster, as they both started laughing. Sebastian sat back with one hand over his mouth. "Ow. You okay? I think I might’ve loosened your teeth, there."
"I’ve had worse." Sin licked his front teeth, just to be sure. "No blood. Hell, you’ve done worse to me, in your sleep."
"Oh, hey, way to make the depressed guy feel better about himself," Sebastian complained. "Jackass."
"Did I mention that you love me? Because I’m sure of it. Nobody calls me ‘jackass’ like you do." Sin pushed Sebastian backward and climbed up over him.
"Obviously." Sebastian rolled his eyes. "I know I love you. I don’t even have to c—" His face twisted, and the crying started again. "I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong. It won’t stop."
"I’m gonna call Betty, tomorrow. You guys are going on a shorter tour, this year. I don’t give a fuck what the label wants, you’re not going to be gone for eight months. Lir’s got a fuckin’ family, and so do you." Sin perched on Sebastian like an irritated mountain lion.
"They’re still not married, Sin."
"Neither are we. It still counts," Sin insisted. "You and me and your crazy-ass band. We’re all the family we have."
"Arkady has parents. So does Barry," Sebastian protested.
"We’re all the family you have." Sin squinted down at Sebastian, waiting for the next point of contention. Instead, Sebastian dragged him down into a tight embrace.
"They’re great, but you’re the best. I will never know why you put up with me," Sebastian mumbled into Sin’s shoulder.
"Clearly because you’re the sexiest thing living," Sin whispered into Sebastian’s ear.
Sebastian shivered warmly. "Stop talking. I’m trying to say something important. You can distract me when I’m done."
"Promise?" Sin purred.
"Yes. Shut up," Sebastian muttered. "You’re my everything, Sin. Even in the darkness, even in the nothing, you’re still there. You make it all go away. You make it stop. And then, when it stops, you do stupid shit like make me laugh and turn me on. I have no idea what you’re made of, but I’m still pretty sure you’re eighty percent pheromones."
There was a long pause. "I’m done."
"And I’m just getting started." Sin lifted his head and grinned. "It is not all pheromones. It’s my pretty face."
Sebastian started laughing, again, and it was the last of the talking from either of them for a few hours.