[Master Post – Glass]
Fandom: Viridian Legacy
Characters: Arkady, Some girl, Mr. Newkirk
Rating: M (L1 N3 S3 V0 D0)
Warnings: Dubious consent, teenagers screwing around
Notes: I’m working on Arkady’s damage. He just doesn’t have the force of personality to do any number of things without Betty to back him up, partly because everyone he knows is afraid of her, but no one ever takes him seriously, because he’s about as effective in a fight as a wet sock. And that affects his social packaging, so there’s all kinds of things he can get away with, because he’s just weird, but anything that crosses a small handful of lines will get him turned into lunchmeat the instant Betty’s not looking.
It wasn’t something he really wanted to do. Sure, she was pretty, and she obviously wanted him, but… She just wasn’t that interesting. He got that he was supposed to want her, to want to do this. He was supposed to wear it like a badge, to wield it like a shield. It’s what teenage boys did. But, he just couldn’t manage to be enthusiastic. Went with his jaded, dark image, he supposed. Couldn’t hurt to radiate ennui, right?
He was going to have to do something, though. Something. Hinting that maybe she should stop didn’t seem to be working, and he really didn’t want to come off as too disinterested. That would set off the whole school again, and there were so many less pleasant things that could be happening to him — would be happening to him, if he couldn’t make her think it was her idea to leave. And if he couldn’t convince her, he figured he could at least look like he was having fun. It wasn’t really that he didn’t want to, not so much as that he just couldn’t care.
His skin had felt thick and numb for months. He cut himself a few times, but it didn’t change anything. It didn’t really even hurt, so much as it just… he guessed that was some kind of pain, but it wasn’t what he’d been used to, before. It was muted and cold, not sharp and raw. Nothing was right, any more. But, maybe… Maybe if he could just do this, it would be right. He was supposed to want this. He was sure of it. Maybe if he could just do it, everything would go back to normal.
"Ebony…" she cooed up at him, from where she lay sprawled across him on the sofa.
The Atari controller slipped out of his fingers and he sat up hard, as his guts clenched. She didn’t need to be calling him that. Not here, not now. Not her. Not like this. He covered by faking a sneeze. "Jesus. Ew. Sorry," he muttered, wiping fake snot off his hand onto the back of the couch. It was too late, though. Liz had started calling him that, and now everyone did.
He looked down at the girl and suddenly realised he couldn’t even remember her name. He was mostly okay with that, except that it left him without anything to call her. Why did he ever think this was a good idea? Face. Right. As in, he’d like to keep his attached to his head. Teenage boys were like that, he reminded himself. There were so many ways he was different. So many ways he’d made himself different. But, this one was important, and he’d learned exactly how important it was. This was the one you didn’t break; not when you broke so many of the others.
She was talking again, and he had no idea what she’d said. He smiled teasingly and batted his eyes, hoping that would be enough of an answer, hoping the resignation didn’t show. Obviously, it didn’t, or if it did, she didn’t recognise it. He tilted his head back and stared up at the ceiling as she opened his jeans. It took every drop of his willpower not to pick up the controller and keep playing Flag Capture.
As her tongue flicked across his flesh, he choked back a protest. "Nnnnnnh—"
She took it as a sound of encouragement, and as she moved on, his eyes flashed wide and his hands dug into the fabric of the couch. He felt like he was wearing skin on his skin, like he could get up and walk away, and there would still be a body lying on the sofa under her. If he could just get out of the skin on his skin… But, no. He was supposed to want this. He was supposed to be enjoying this. This was supposed to make things normal again, he was sure of it.
The sound of a key scraping into the lock on the front door interrupted his uncomfortable reverie, and he pulled his leg up, shoving the girl off him with his knee.
"That’s my dad!" he hissed, sitting up and trying to untangle himself from her. A giggle burbled up from somewhere in his chest, as hysterical relief poured over him.
She sat up and straightened her hair, giggling back, a look of delighted delinquency on her face.
"Evan?" his father’s voice echoed down the short hall.
"Yeah, dad. I’m in here. Mom’s still at her book thing." He grabbed the controller off the floor, the relief settling into his bones as he took it in his hands again.
His father stepped into the room and took in the strained grins he was offered. "Oh, I see… Am I interrupting something?" Mr. Newkirk offered, jovially.
"What? Uh, no. Nothing. Just, you know, playing some games." Evan pointed at the girl. "This is, um…"
She interrupted him, thankfully. "Maria. And you two look nothing alike! I’d never have guessed!"
"Oh, he’s lucky. Got his looks from his mom. Spitting image." Mr. Newkirk paused, looking at his son. "It’s the lipstick that really makes it."
Evan groaned. "Thanks, dad. Really. Mom doesn’t wear black."
"Well, I’m going to go read the paper in the garden, until your mom comes home. Don’t set the living room on fire." Mr. Newkirk offered his hand to Maria. "You look like a nice girl. Make sure my boy doesn’t do anything too stupid, will you?"
She laughed and shook his hand. "I don’t know, he seems pretty smart!"
They laughed together, for a moment, and then Mr. Newkirk headed toward the back garden. Evan took advantage of the sudden dead spot in the conversation. "You should probably go. It’s almost dinner time, and my mom doesn’t like unexpected company for dinner."
"Oh, wow. Is it that late? Yeah, my mom will freak if I’m not home soon." She kissed his cheek, grabbed her bag, and stood up.
After a few more innocuous remarks, and a few steps in the right direction, he closed the door behind her. He’d have to deal with her, later, but he didn’t have to deal with her now. Back in the kitchen, he picked up the phone, but Liz wasn’t answering. He left her a message.
"Liz? Call me. Everything is horrible."
He wouldn’t tell her. Not everything. There were some things even Liz didn’t know, but she’d know what to do, if he told her just a little. She always knew what to do.