why didn’t it happen to me?

It took several weeks, almost a month, following Quentin’s return, for the young man to begin to open up about whatever it was that had happened while he had been out wherever it was he had gone off to for a month. A short while is what had been said and Yael hadn’t been sure just how long that had been supposed to be. In the end it had turned out to be much longer than he had expected and the other demon had been easily angered since his return.

It had been like walking on eggshells no matter where he was in the house, so Yael preferred spending his time outside where it seemed to be safer. Being around Quentin, at the beginning, had been a learning experience, there had been good times and bad times but nothing half as bad as the way things had been during what Yael called the ‘getting better’ phase.

One evening, after nearly a month of careful eggshell wandering, Yael came home to his roommate sitting quietly on the couch, sipping whatever it was he was in the habit of sipping at night when he finally saw about getting up but the aura of anger, of don’t-approach-me-or-I’ll-maim-you wasn’t there. He wasn’t sure if it was a relief or not and decided on letting it be, letting Quentin be the one to do anything at all at that point, it seemed the much safer option.

So instead of stepping by the couch—though he did offer a half-smile to the other—Yael wandered off towards his room to hang his coat up, to set down the few things he’d brought back from his trip out to the store. Just a few more supplies. He’d been about to flop down on his bed when Quentin came knocking lightly on the door frame.

“I know I don’t usually bother to talk about my life and I know you’ve been avoiding me and I know it’s my fault and I don’t know how to deal with any of this but I know I need to talk.” It was all a bit jumbled but the general sense of things was clear enough. Yael motioned to the lightly cushioned chair settled in the other corner of the room and he moved to settle into the bean bag chair that was not far from it. He’d always found it comfortable when he did need to be as relaxed as possible.

“When I went back home, though it’s not really home, this is home but I grew up out there, in the cold and white and the snow-” he was talking in a rush but still his words were mostly understandable. Yael reached out, touched his knee just lightly and Quentin quieted, a startled laugh escaping him before he closed his eyes. He shook his head and dropped it to his hands, taking in a deep breath.

“I went back there, somewhere in the frigid cold of Siberia. Because they kept on sending me letters asking me for updates on my life. They’re the folks I grew up with but never really stopped to get to know because I felt so different from them that I didn’t want to know them, I didn’t want to befriend anyone else, I felt alone and I didn’t want to belong, I was different in too many ways and it just kept me from opening up to anyone.”

Shrugging, Quentin looked up to the ceiling before he closed his eyes once more and breathed again, he was rambling and was more than aware of it. “I didn’t want to write, I don’t even know how they got my address, it makes no sense. So I packed up and I went, I thought it’d be just a few days, see these people again, talk over whatever it was they wanted to talk about but it just didn’t work out the way I’d planned.”

It is rather rare that things go out as planned, much as this mostly one sided discussion Quentin had that went on much longer than he had thought it would. Still with everything he uttered off of his chest he did feel somewhat lighter. It was easier to wrap his mind around—though accepting was something else entirely—that he had essentially been kidnapped out of his hotel room and kept as a prisoner while they told him that they wanted to use him for his gift to take over something or other. He still wasn’t sure how he had actually gotten out and that one didn’t matter much, it wasn’t important, what was important was that he had made it home.

Yael remained quiet while they talked, or more aptly while Quentin talked though now and again he would half-squeeze the other’s knee as if in comfort. He didn’t expect the troubled demon to want to be hugged at that point. He doubted Quentin would ever want to be hugged really. The story was a troubling one, something he hadn’t much expected though his own childhood had been far from puppies and rainbows. There was nothing he could do, at this point, to really change the past, even though it tore at him to think of what had been done to his companion, his friend.

Over the course of the next few days, they saw to changing their phone number, Yael took over checking the mail and putting away the undesirable and slowly, ever so slowly, Quentin seemed to thaw out, the eggshells began to disappear just the same. Life wasn’t quite the same it had been before, it likely never would be but still it didn’t hurt to think positively and live life one day after the other, or in their case, one night after the other.

Yael kept a more than diligent eye on the mail. He made it his job to take it all to his room when it came in, usually when Quentin still was asleep so it was even easier. He went through each envelope and what was more than unwanted was put in a small box that he kept well under his bed. It wasn’t every day they had new mail so it wasn’t too complex a task. Before too long the troublesome letters did slow but they didn’t stop.

When a particularly nasty one came in with the rest of the day’s mail, he found himself sorely tempted to try to get the mail sent back with a notice that the address was wrong but he didn’t think it would work out. Quentin had mentioned something about how they’d found him even though he’d never kept in touch, so even if he did that, he knew more mail would come in, probably even more if he did that kind of thing.

He merely made it his job to keep the mail safe and it settled into his routine easily enough. It wasn’t much different than how things had been before the incident, at least in terms of mail, he was just a bit more observant.

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