[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: So Many Thunderbolts
Characters: Sebastian, Sin, extras
Warnings: Expletives, dysfunctional family politics
Notes: So, I’ve made a reference or two to Sebastian’s mother. This fic — she’s not in it, quite, but it sets the stage for some potentially interesting things. I think (until I’m proven wrong) that this is 2002.
Sin answered the door. He usually answered the door, because the people on the other side of it were usually looking for him. Not this time.
"I’m looking for Sebastian Lindstrom," the slender man with the chocolate skin said. "My name is Sean Daley."
Sin nodded. "I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Daley. May I ask what this is about?"
"Can I take it that you’re Mr. Lindstrom, then?" Daley asked.
Sin looked terribly amused, and focused a corner of his attention on the man, quite firmly. "No, quite thankfully, I’m not. However, I must insist you tell me what this visit relates to."
Daley was not unaffected, although whether moreso by Sin or the weather remained uncertain. He rubbed his face and sighed. "Mr. Lindstom’s mother hired me. I’m a private investigator, out of Boston. Mrs. Lindstrom was very clear that she just wanted him to call her."
Sin blinked and held up a finger. "A sec." He leaned back into the house. "Batty, get your ass down here. Your mom’s looking for you!"
There was a long pause.
"Bullshit!" Sebastian’s muffled voice roared down the stairs. "Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit! My family disowned me! You can’t make me go back! Fuck right off!"
"Right Off’s sailed the River Suck, Batty. I’m not fucking around." Sin pulled the door open and stepped back. "You can see his opinion on the affair. Come in, and I’ll get you some tea, before I try to go reason with him."
"Thanks." Daley stepped in, and Sin closed the door. "I heard part of the story. I wasn’t expecting this to be an easy one."
"Sebastian’s about the least easy person you’ll meet in a lifetime," Sin said with a smile, gesturing to the couch, as he headed for the kitchen. "I think his goal in life has been to redefine difficult, if not stubborn."
"And still you live with him," Daley guessed, sitting on a couch.
"Oh, of course. He’s stubborn and I’m flighty. We’re perfect, together. Just wild enough to start things and just annoyed enough to finish them." Sin came back with a tall glass of iced tea, which he set on the coffee table. "Enjoy the tea. I’d say enjoy the books, but they’re mostly mine, down here. I don’t know how much of an interest you have in the politics of Early Medieval Europe. I’ll be right back, hopefully with Sebastian."
Sin shook Daley’s hand and headed up the stairs. "Goddammit, Sebastian, I’m not joking."
The door of Sebastian’s study flew open. "Neither am I," he snarled, greasy hair tumbling from behind his ear to hang in his face. "I am not going to Boston, for this. It’s crap. I promised that half-wit Philistine I’d never see his sorry ass again, and it’s a promise I’m looking to keep."
"The old man’s not asking for you, Batty. It’s your mom." Sin held out a hand. "You told me you loved your mother."
"I did, once. Then she sided with him. I’m not walking back into that nightmare."
"You don’t have to. There’s a man downstairs who says — says to me, and I asked — that she just wants you to call." Sin looked at his hand and then back at Sebastian’s face. "Come on. Neither of them are here. You can come ask Mr. Daley if your dad’s even still alive."
Sebastian looked at anything that wasn’t Sin, as he stepped out of the room and pulled the door shut, firmly, behind him. He wrapped his arms around Sin’s waist and rested his head on Sin’s shoulder. "I don’t want to do this."
"I know." Sin kissed the top of Sebastian’s head and stepped back, catching his hand. "Come on. I’ll stay with you. You say the word, and I’ll make it all go away."
Sebastian shivered at the thought of ever asking Sin to bend someone that sharply and that far. In fact, he’d never asked Sin to change any minds, for him, though he always suspected the record deal might have been more Sin’s doing than anyone knew. Of course, that might have been his own self-doubt talking. He nodded and followed Sin down the stairs.
"Mr. Daley, I presume?" Sebastian’s voice was hollow and cool, the tone he reserved for raising the hair on the backs of his students’ necks, when he taught.
"Yes, sir, I am!" Daley half-turned, to offer a hand, over the back of the couch. "And you must be Mr. Lindstrom. I can see the resemblance."
"My, how terribly unfortunate. I’d always hoped the nose had cured me of any tendency to look like that old slop-carver." Sebastian sat stiffly on the other couch, and Sin joined him.
Daley’s eyebrows lifted. "I meant you look like your mother."
"The poor woman. No wonder she married him." Sebastian’s tone hadn’t altered in the least, but the subtle tilt of his chin belied a dry humour. "Explain yourself."
"Like I explained to your friend, here —"
"Fiancee. He’s my fiancee." Despite the truth of the information, it was a move intended to unsettle.
"Congratulations," Daley said with a smile, not missing a beat, and Sin rased an eyebrow and nodded appreciatively to him. "As I explained to your fiancee, I was hired by your mother. She wanted to find you and talk to you — that’s all she wants. Just to talk. I get the impression she’s been lonely, since your father died, last year."
"He’s dead? Oh, god. He’s dead. Sin, he’s dead. It’s over." Sebastian leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and rubbed his face with both hands. "It’s finally over. He’s not coming back."
"Good." Sin wrapped his arms around Sebastian. "Now, I don’t need to find out if it runs in the family."
Sebastian shuddered at the thought of Sin trying to break his father — not that the use of power would be at all out of hand, but there had always been that small chance that he’d inherited his resistance from his dad. The man had been a brick shithouse, and that would’ve ended poorly. But, now, there was no chance of it ever coming to that.
"Call her. Sin, get the phone. Call her, right now." Sebastian sat up so fast he hit Sin in the teeth with the back of his head, but Sin didn’t say a word, just hopped over the back of the couch, to get the phone. "I want you to tell her that you found me, and I’ll pay for a plane ticket, so she can come visit. I want you to do it before the euphoria wears off, and I change my mind."
Daley blinked in surprise. "Are you sure —"
"Yes. My father ruined our lives, but he’s not coming back. I won’t go home, but she can come here and see what I’ve become." Sebastian nodded, firmly.
Daley accepted the phone from Sin. "If you don’t mind me asking, what have you become? It’s clear that you make an awful lot of money, but I’ve been completely unable to identify your employer."
Sebastian laughed and ran a hand through his tangled, greasy hair. "I’m a rock star, if you can believe it. Probably not anything you’d listen to on purpose, but we do all right."
"You’re kidding." Daley looked at Sin, for confirmation. "He’s kidding."
"Mr. Daley, he’s about as far as one can get from kidding. I keep trying to convince him that I’m too old for him to be on tour, so damn much." Sin dropped himself back onto the couch. "I’m just a history professor. I get to stay here all by myself, half of most years."
"By yourself, with half the philosophy department. Don’t give me that. Your shenanigans outclass anything Evan and I get up to by a full order of magnitude."
"Barry?" Sin asked, with a smirk.
"Oh, Jesus, no. And may you never. You know he’s spending another month with Betty and Evan, right?"
"What is it, this time?"
"Fuck if I know. White powder du jour." Sebastian shrugged and returned his attention to Daley. "Things are never quite as boring as I might like them to be."
"It certainly sounds exciting." Daley tapped on the phone. "Give me just a moment to make that call."
Sebastian picked at the seam on his jeans while Daley dialled. The phone was likely ringing, in Boston, before a faint panic crept across Sebastian’s face. He looked up at Sin.
"I didn’t even ask you. I’m sorry. That was stupid. Is this okay? It’s not too late for me to change my mind…"
Sin just took Sebastian’s hand and smiled in mysterious contentment, like a skinny long-haired buddha. "I knew you were going to do something dramatic. For all that you avoid drama in others, you have a flair for flamboyance, under stress."
"Says the limp-wristed queen." Sebastian lifted an eyebrow, wryly, as Daley greeted his mother.
"That’s right, my pretty pop-tart! I’m flamboyant all the time, so I know what it looks like, when I see it." Sin’s serene smile turned slightly smug.
"I don’t even know what to say to you, sometimes." Sebastian shook his head, trying not to listen to the investigator’s conversation. "Are you sure this is okay?"
"Yes, but you’re cleaning the guest room, because I have lectures all week. And you’re making crepes, tonight, because if I have to meet your mother, you’re making it up to me with French food." Sin looked mostly amused. "I think my parents are either dead or still shovelling horse shit. If I ever have the poor taste to inflict my family on you, I suspect you’ll have to settle for my brother. I think I only have the one…"
"Mr. Lindstrom?" Daley interrupted, holding out the phone. "She’d like to speak with you."
Sebastian stared, for a long moment, as though Mr. Daley were offering him a dead mouse and not a telephone. Finally, gingerly, he took it, with a thin sigh. Sin wrapped an arm around his shoulders.
"Mom?" Sebastian flinched and held the phone away from his ear. "Yes, ma. Twenty years, at least."
One of Sebastian’s eyebrows arced toward the ceiling and all the knuckles in his left hand popped as it seized into a fist. "Yeah, that’s because you and dad told me never to come home, if I decided to go to college. I graduated, you know. Grandma would have been proud."
He sighed and leaned against Sin. "No, I didn’t do it ‘all by myself’. I got some help from a friend."
"Yeah, I know I didn’t have any friends. I met him in college." After a long eye-rolling pause, Sebastian sat up so fast he smacked Sin in the chin with the top of his head, again. Sin just gave Daley a long-suffering look. "What? No! He’s not a serial killer, mother. He’s a serial polygamist, sure, but not a serial killer. A lady-killer, every time I’m not looking, and some times I am, but not a serial killer. How do I know? I still live with him."
He sighed and rubbed his nose. "No, ma, I’m not married."
Daley snorted and Sin grinned at him.
"Yes, it is because I still live with Sin. — Yes, ma, his name is Sin. It’s short for Singularity. — No, I don’t know what the hell kind of name that is; I didn’t ask." Sebastian dug his fingers into Sin’s thigh and ground his teeth. "Yeah, actually, I am going to marry him, as soon as it’s legal to do that, in this country, and I’m sure the record company won’t throw my contract in the toaster."
He held the phone away from his ear, and Sin grabbed it.
"What the shit are you doing? Give me that!" Sebastian grabbed for the phone, but Sin held him back with one hand and put the phone to his ear with the other.
"Mrs. Lindstrom? Ma’am? Please, calm down. Your son’s not gay," Sin said, softly.
Sebastian felt the room ripple. "Oh, shit. Oh, man, that’s my mom. Don’t lie to my mom."
"He’s not. He’s got absolutely no interest in any other men. Or women. Or sheep. I’m not joking, no matter how much I might wish I was, some days." Sin smirked at Sebastian. "Yes, ma’am, I’m Sin. — No, it’s not the kind of name a good Catholic boy should have, but my family was Lutheran."
Sebastian lunged for the phone, but Sin was both taller and faster.
"Yes, from Wyoming, actually. — No, ma’am, not a serial killer. A tenured professor of History." Sin stuck out his tongue at Sebastian. "No, ma’am. I can’t cook. In fact, I’m not allowed to cook. Sebastian does the cooking. He’s promised me crepes, tonight."
There was a squawk of surprise from the phone that was probably audible to the neighbours. Sin laughed. "Yes, ma’am. He’s exceptional. — Let me give him back the phone, before he chokes me for it."
Sebastian snatched the phone, with a sidelong glare. "Sorry about that. — Yes, he’s like that all the time. Couldn’t make him stop, if I wanted to. Casts the rest of the world in a rather dim light. He’s spoiled me rotten, since about seventy-nine."
With a sigh, Sebastian slumped against the back of the couch. "No, I have a job. It pays really well. The house is actually mine, on paper, and it’s all paid for. — Yeah, that’s the thing, I don’t want to tell you on the phone. It’s a real seeing is believing thing. — I mean you should come out here. — Stop that. Right now. I’m buying your ticket, and you’re probably retired, anyway, so don’t tell me you don’t have the time. — I told you, I make a lot of money. I’m not going to miss it. — No, ma, I’m not a drug dealer. Tell me when you want to come, so I can call in the ticket."
Sin leaned over the corner of the coffee table, toward Daley. "See this? This is why I don’t call my family."
Daley snorted in amusement.
"Next month? Sure. — No, I could do next week, if you wanted. — Okay, I’ll call you tomorrow. I just need to find you the best flight. It’s hard to get here, sometimes. — Yes, ma. I will. Take care, yeah?" Sebastian pushed the button on the phone and covered his eyes. "I can do this. Sin? Can you keep her from being …" He gesticulated vaguely.
"Moms are like that. I’ll do what I can, but she’s going to get on your case about something, the minute I don’t have her complete attention. She’s probably going to be a lot like sharing a room with Betty, and I know you’ve done that at least once." Sin stood up. "Thank you for coming, Mr. Daley. Would you like to take tea with us, before you go? I know Sebastian put up some cannoli a day or two ago. Did you already eat that, hon?"
"It’s cannoli. Why would I eat it? I made it for you," Sebastian reminded him.
"Thank you," Daley replied. "It’s always nice to meet decent people, in this job, but I really shouldn’t impose."
"Please, you’re not imposing. My mother will be imposing," Sebastian offered, with a grin.
"It’s not imposing! We’ve invited you to stay," Sin called from the kitchen. "Besides, we’ve got the only pastry worth eating, in this town."
With a laugh, Daley finally agreed to stay a little longer and celebrate with his client’s odd and long-misplaced family. In the end, they were right about the pastry, and the tea wasn’t half bad, considering he was a coffee-drinker.