chatter

I wish they would just stop. I wish they wouldn’t utter a single word anymore. Nowhere is safe, nowhere is quiet and I don’t know what to do about it. I hear them chatter constantly in my head, as if someone had somehow opened a door and now everyone could get in and out as they want.

At times I tell myself I should head back into the woods where it was quiet, where it was peaceful but I know my chances are I will only get lost again and it is unlikely that I will be found a second time.

The chatter is bad once I’m in the apartment, as if the walls had grown absolutely paper thin and every word or thought was thrown at me, flung into my face.

A small part of me seems to believe I might be getting sick, that somehow I may have developed schizophrenia. I have to tell myself this is unlikely, I would have shown signs much earlier than this. The only way I have found to keep the voices out lately is by heading up to the roof. It’s a difficult task, made even more difficult by the fact that I need both hands to open up the heavy door that leads to the top and that’s just not an easy task for me.

It only helps a little. I can hear the quieting chatter for a few moments, half an hour at most before I’m bombarded by everything again. I don’t understand what’s going on. I haven’t spoken to my psychiatrist about this. When I lost my lover, I lost a little bit of myself and I started seeing someone, I thought I wasn’t doing well, I thought my whole world had collapsed and that I was going to collapse with it. I was on medication for a while but I’ve gotten better.

I don’t want to go back there and end up being drugged out of my mind again, even worse is that if I go there and somehow this is the onset of schizophrenia, I don’t want to end up locked up somewhere. I know it can be treated with pills and whatnot but I just don’t want to be on pills anymore.

I struggle with the door to the roof for a moment, fearing it might have been locked, just wanting to get away from the constant voices that I hear even when I cover my ears and I can’t. I panic briefly, wanting out up there and I struggle a bit more. I almost fall backwards and down the slim staircase when the door does open slowly and there, of course, my last time saviour, Eoghan, the manager. He blinks at me and then he smiles. I manage the ghost of a smile in return but the pain from all the voices must show on my face, he frowns and steps out of the way, letting me manage my way up to the roof.

He keeps his distance for a while, just watching me from a distance as I struggle to draw breath. In and out, slowing down eventually as the chatter eases to a low murmur and I can focus on my own thoughts for a few moments. I feel like crying, I don’t know what’s wrong with me and I’m terrified.

Finally he’s at me side, he looks down at me with those eyes, those bright eyes that don’t judge me. They’re just filled with some curiosity, some concern and I can’t understand that one. He touches my shoulder and suddenly it’s silent. Even the murmurs are gone. My eyes widen and the tears spill. It’s beyond my control that I almost stumble forward and I just latch onto him. He looks surprised, he stiffens even briefly for a moment before he rests both arms lightly about me. I just cry, it’s quiet, silent. It hasn’t been that way since—well since I went out to the forest and met him, actually.

He doesn’t release me. He actually lifts me off my feet and I cry out a little, startled. He only moves back to that single chair that somehow has always been on the roof and he settles down to it. It’s void of snow, the white stuff has been steadily melting away to nothing at this point. My cheeks burn in embarrassment but I still stay where he settles me, on his lap. My mind is quiet, it’s all I want.

He does move away slightly, just leaning back so he can look into my eyes and I feel shame wash over me. What he must think of me right now, a grown man, clinging to a stranger and crying for absolutely no reason. I do have my reasons but they are unknown to him, after all.

I was expecting to see some disgust in his eyes at this point but he’s only smiling lightly at me, studying me. He cants his head, looks off to the horizon before he looks back down to me.

“How about you tell me what this is all about before I decide that you just have quite the crush on me and you’ve been dreaming of hugging me to pieces this way?” His voice is light, there is a hint of playfulness and it calms me. Though the words hit something and I blush deeply. That hardly is the case, he’s handsome but I’m more than aware that even if I did somehow fancy him, I would not stand a single chance.

I take a deep breath, slowly in, then out and I close my eyes with a sigh. I enjoy the silence for a heartbeat more before I open my mouth to reply. “I’ve been hearing voices. Even if I put my hands over my ears I hear voices and they don’t stop. I’m not crazy, I swear I’m not. This is the only place where it dies down to a murmur. In my apartment it’s like the walls have gone paper thin, I can hear everything. When I’m in the library it’s a little quieter usually because it’s not very busy but I don’t know what to do and I can never focus on my own thoughts and when you touched me it just went quiet so I thought—I just—I’m sorry.”

I had all the reasons in the world to apologize, I felt like I’d just somehow latched onto this still mostly stranger for no reason at all, at least to him those would be no reason at all and that’s just not how a grown man acts.

He only smiles at me, there is a bit of a worried crease to his smile and that baffles me. He doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy, he seems to actually believe me.

“I see, I think I might have something to help you with that. Let’s go back down, first to my apartment and then back to yours to make sure it works, all right?”

I want to believe him, it’s not hard to, by simply touching him, everything went quiet. I can’t stay latched onto him forever, even if that might be an interesting idea.

He brushes his hand briefly over my temple and I feel a sort of weight settle onto my mind, as if someone has decided to put a heavy blanket on me. I release him reluctantly and the voices do come back though they’re murmurs still, whisper soft. I know they’re going to get louder as we get back downstairs and I’m not looking forward to it.

We walk back towards the door and he pulls it open with a slight grunt. I’m glad to notice that it’s heavy for everyone and not just me, it makes my struggles to get it open a little less shame inducing.

I head down first, slowly since this is as dangerous as getting the door open, for me, and he follows suit. We take the elevator down to his floor and he walks me towards what I assume is his apartment. The voices are still quiet and I’m a little baffled, maybe it’s his presence.

He opens the door and lets me in. It’s a quiet, comfortable place. It’s warm.

“Alexis, brought in Armin for a moment. I think I need one of your special bracelets.” He calls the words out and I blink. Special bracelet, that’s a strange one. That and I’m so used to being called about by my last name that his use of my first name only makes something flutter warmly in me. What makes that flutter stronger and more heated however is the sight of Alexis, the owner whom I had only seen briefly twice, wandering out of a room beyond a hallway in nothing but pants. The sight is something I might never forget.

He gives Eoghan this sort of look, it’s a look I can’t decipher but it doesn’t look like he’s out to believe I’m insane. He walks closer and holds up a simple bracelet. It’s black with some engravings I’ve never seen both on the inside and outside. He looks it over briefly, as if to make sure of something or other and he hands it over to Eoghan who smiles and turns to me.

“Let’s have your wrist. I’d like to ask you to not take it off until I tell you to, all right? I think it will help with the voices.”

From the corner of my eye I can see the slightly startled look on Alexis’s face but I let it be. Whatever this is, it is between them. If this bracelet can somehow keep the chatter out then I won’t complain. I hold up my crutch-free arm but he shakes his head and moves to actually set the bracelet about my crutch arm. I look down at it a moment.

“What about when I need to shower?”

He smiles at me as he carefully turns me around back to the door and out. “It can go in the water, even pool water. So don’t worry about it. Please just don’t take it off.”

I nod and we head back towards the elevator. The voices are still down to murmurs. It’s not utter silence but it’s much better than the constant chatter that has been with me since I got lost. Once in the elevator to head back to my floor, again he touches my temple briefly. I blink but I don’t question. The weight that had been on my mind seems to lift but the voices still remain quiet. I don’t understand it but I’m not about to ask. I just want some quiet.

He walks me back to my door and I know the look on my face screams that I don’t want him to leave me alone. He only smiles warmly at me and brushes some hair from my face. The motion is almost brotherly. My breath catches and I close my eyes again to keep myself from crying. It’s been so long that anyone has touched me at all in any way, this makes me long badly for something and someone I no longer have.

“Go on.”

I open my door, step inside and I turn to look at him one last time. He walks away and I wait for the voices to come back but they don’t. Still nothing but murmur and I know I can handle that. I watch him disappear down the hallway and into the elevator and still it’s quiet.

I’m not taking this bracelet off for anything in the world.

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candy apple red

“This colour again, really?” Both Alexis and Eoghan look a little surprised by Quentin’s question. They’d been all looking over the little paint palettes that had been selected and brought back to check just what kind of colours they were picking to put on the walls to which room.

“I am so not touching this paint. You guys can do all the painting if you want.” There he goes, almost stalking off with a huff and I can’t help but laugh a little, I shake my head and take a moment to breathe in and out else I know I’ll just laugh again at how silly all of this is.

“When we were painting last time, when I moved in with him, we had this exactly colour picked. He started applying it on the walls and it turned out to be this ugly orange, burnt like colour. I applied it over, after him and it came out the way it should have. I don’t think Quentin should touch paint honestly. I guess, maybe, he thought there would also be something else beyond paint to do.”

Alexis’s lips quirk just slightly and I know he’s trying to keep himself from snickering. This is a bit of a silly situation now that we can think back on this. The colour as a whole is gorgeous, there’s no saying otherwise but Quentin doing the paint up with it just asking for terrible results.

Eoghan blinks, looks down to the paper palettes in his hands and blinks a second time. “No one asked anyone to paint yet, we’re just taping those to the walls so we know which colour goes where…”

I can’t blame him for being slightly baffled over Quentin’s reaction, it is a little out there but I guess it marked him in some way, that the paint he was trying to apply didn’t turn out to be right, whereas when I did, it was just fine. Makes me wonder what other colours could be different in our house if I had done all the painting.

Then again, all the colours are fine as they are now, I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world.

“Let’s just keep going, he’ll come back around, if not he’ll be home, huffing, waiting for me to get back to huff and pout a little more about it. I don’t mind. This candy apple red is a gorgeous colour and if you decorate just so, which Quentin would happily do in a heartbeat, your room will just absolutely pop.”

We walk through all three floors, looking through rooms, checking the plans to know where exactly we were and what colour was wanted where. Eoghan even has little sketches of how he imagines the layout of certain rooms to be done once the furniture is in, it’s adorable really. When I moved in with Quentin, all the rooms were done up except my own bedroom and my studio, so I don’t know how he went about all his setting up. I can’t imagine him scribbling down on a piece of paper how he wanted things. It’s just not like him.

At the top, on the room, we look through the glassless structure that will soon be the mock-greenhouse, mock-solarium. It’s big, I can see where the pool will be. It’ll be even bigger than ours. Then again they have the room whereas we only selected one room and settled for a slight pool. Still it’s more than enough for us. This is just going to be huge, honestly.

No sign of Quentin until we head back down to the bottom floor, where he’s standing near the palette we’d taped to the wall, with that one colour that just doesn’t agree with his painting skills. He looks a little torn and I know that apologizing is difficult for him though he tries his best.

When he spies us, he stiffens a little and I shake my head. I walk to his side, settle my arm through his and he manages a small smile for me. This is a little better.

“It’s all right, really. I know you didn’t think to really wander off as you did. I told them about the painting issue and they know it’s all right. When we get back home, I have a little idea for us to try, I think you might appreciate it and it will teach both of us something important, I think.”

He shrugs and sighs. Alexis and Eoghan approach us, both smiling as if nothing at all had happened.

“So next week all the floors will be completed, we’ll be able to set tarps everywhere, the paint will be coming in and we’ll be getting that process started. We might honestly hire a team to help us along. It’s a lot of painting to do and it might just take us forever if we do it on our own or even with the help of our future residents. I honestly don’t know that I trust them with a paintbrush yet anyway.”

I laugh softly again and shake my head. I squeeze Quentin’s arm gently and I see his lips curl slightly into the ghost of a smile.

“This place is going to be wonderful for the all of you. It’s going to be so peaceful that you won’t honestly know what to do with yourselves once you’re all settled in, I bet.” That had almost been the case for me after I’d moved in with Quentin. I hadn’t had to struggle to survive, find food or shelter. I hadn’t known what to do with myself for a while, it took some adapting.

We head back to our respective homes for the time being and when we’re inside, coats put away and boots off, I walk Quentin towards my studio. I set up two easels, two canvas and set up paint on two palettes. Exactly the same colour in the same spot on both. I hand Quentin one of the palettes, one brush and walk him through just painting simple shapes, or even just lines if that was what he wanted, in each colour. Then lower on the canvas, he can mix up if he wants.

I’ll do the same on my end, we’ll leave them be when we’re done and when they’re dry we’ll look them over. I’ll compare colours together and see just which colours he seems to affect more than others. See if it really is just the red from last time of if it’s every colour there is. I figure it’s a good sort of exercise, it gets us to a point where we know where things will differ.

He doesn’t look willing to do it, seems to think it might be a waste of time but it’s my paint and we have all the time in the world, I tell him as much. I know he just doesn’t want to waste time or paint but I think it’s a good exercise and it gets him trying something new, something he’s never really given a shot at before. Who knows, he might just develop a liking for art in this form. I wouldn’t mind sharing my supplies with him, if that were the case.

rebellion

“I can you tell I am more than glad I do not live there currently. All these fires, these explosions. I can understand that the people are unhappy but this is insane, there are so many lives lost. Don’t they see that they’re losing more people this way?” He still wears his heart on his sleeve, there’s not much I can do about that. He doesn’t have this kind of discussion with Quentin because he’d just shrug and utter something about how humans are foolish and doomed anyway. I can understand that trail of thought but poor Yael looks so torn. This is why they don’t usually watch the news but at times it does happen.

I reach out, touch the top of his hand with my fingers but the misery that’s printed everywhere and so clearly on his face remains. I guess this one is in a little deep. There’s not much I can do about it, I just have to talk him through humans and their habits. I know that demons might do the same if they were in similar situations.

“A lot of people are foolish. As a group, they just want to be heard, they’ll go to great lengths to make that happen, even if they lose a lot of theirs along the way. It’s their nature. I think it might just be our nature too, if we were in their place. I don’t think it’s just human in nature, is what I’m saying. When you put a lot of people together, a lot of angry people together, this tends to happen.”

He shakes his head and pulls his hand away from mine. He curls his arms about himself and I know that if he could he’d probably try to curl in his chair. Poor guy, he’s really too sensitive and sweet for this world. “Yael, we can’t save the world. It’s people who think they can save the world who end up losing everything and I don’t want that for you. Pretty sure Quentin wouldn’t either.”

This gets a bit of a reaction out of him, he breathes a sharp, somewhat startling bit of a laugh. I blink at him before shaking my head. I guess we both were thinking about the guy but for different reasons.

“Quentin would say that they’re foolish and they should just do whatever it is they’re doing and stop broadcasting about it.” His words are muttered, he shakes his head and hugs himself a little tighter. I have to keep myself from crossing to his side and just hugging him to bits. I want to, really, but I don’t think he’d want me to.

“Quentin has issues with a lot of people, there’s not much we can do about that.” I pause briefly to study him. “Did you two have a fight?”

He looks startled, his eyes wide, moist but not so much wet. He shakes his head and offers me a weak, almost tired sort of smile. “No, we even had a quiet evening up on the mezzanine two nights ago, just looking at whatever stars we could find as they popped up.”

Well that’s good at least, still he doesn’t look convinced, I don’t push, I know better than to push. It never brings out good reactions. He breathes in deeply and rubs his eyes. He looks tired, maybe he just hasn’t slept well. He gets nightmares easily from what I’ve gathered, things like these rebellion images could set them off.

“I’m just tired. I wish I wasn’t so weak, I keep on having nightmares over the stupidest of things.” There we go. It’s not a happy thought to have mostly guessed it but I know I wasn’t off, it’s a little comforting.

This time I do get up on my feet, I round up the table and crouch next to him. I set my hands just lightly on his knees, apply the calmest of smiles I ever have managed and I simply look up to him.

“Here’s an idea, why don’t you have a nap in our bedroom? It’s special, cuts out everything from the world, even for us demons.” He doesn’t look convinced, I don’t blame him. It’s hard to imagine everything being shut off.

“It’s your bed, I can’t sleep in it.”

Well there’s that too. I chuckle just softly and he frowns at me. “Yael, it’s not even ten in the morning yet. Even if somehow you end up sleeping a lot longer than you might expect, Lex and me, we can go a while without rest. Plus, it’s just for a while, we’ll wake you after a few hours. I’ll even call Quentin to make sure he knows you’re still here, alright?”

Still he doesn’t look convinced but he rubs his eyes and looks up to Lex as steps out of Adela’s room and into the kitchen.

“I just offered Yael a nightmare free sleep in our bedroom for a few hours, that okay?” Well it’s safer to ask.

Lex simply smiles warmly and nods. I knew he wouldn’t have any issues with the idea of letting Yael have some rest. If it does me wonders, it will do him wonder.

“Care to take him there and help him settle while I call Quentin to make sure he knows what’s going on?”

“It feels strange to be in your bed.” He’s settled, comfortable and even tucked in. Lex is in the living room with a book and I figured I’d make sure Yael was comfortable.

“Well it’s a bed and it won’t bite you. Bet you feel your head a little less stuffed right now, it’s one of the effects of the room. It’s especially useful for me but it tends to keep most nightmares away. Quentin knows you’re here and he said that in a few hours he’d come by to walk you back across. I know it’s not necessary but he said he wanted to make sure you were alright. He worries to no end about you, it’s absolutely sweet.”

He blushes lightly and shrugs. Finally he shifts, moves to roll over to his side and I tug the sheets back over his shoulder lightly. I turn off the lights, walk back out of the room and close the door. The room does work best when it is closed from all sides after all. I just hope he’ll manage to get some rest, he looked a tiny little bit zombie-like and that’s never a good way to go about anyone’s day.

A few hours later, when Quentin knocks on the door, I let him in, tell him a bit more about the situation. I don’t really see the need to bring up the part of the conversation that concerned him since it was about his little quirks that make it hard to discuss certain things with him. I do tell him about the nightmares and their source. He looks a little surprised but not that much, so I guess he has noticed that most anything that has to do with death or extreme violence has a bad sort of sway on Yael.

We can’t keep him away from that kind of thing forever. It doesn’t really do to shelter someone to the point that it would be like them living under a rock. It’s no way to go about life. We just have to try to keep his nightmares to a minimum.

Quentin is the one who heads into our bedroom to rouse his lover. I leave them be, it’s not really my place currently. They come back out together after a few moments, Yael rubbing his eyes but looking a little more rested. This is comforting a thought.

“If you guys wanted, I could ward one of your bedrooms the way I have ours, it would help with the nightmares.” I have to blink at Lex a moment. This isn’t something I’ve ever heard him offer before. I suppose I’m even more surprised because I only learned about our room being warded when my headaches were getting so bad I thought I was going to lose it. This man is still absolutely full of surprises and I learn new things about him every single day.

Yael actually nods somewhat as they gather their coats and bundle up slightly. I’m sure they’ll think about it. I don’t know how long it might take to ward the room and make sure it’s properly done but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too long and wouldn’t take their bedroom away from them for longer than necessary.

I walk them back down to the lobby, watching them step outside and across to their building. Once I no longer see them from my spot, I wander back upstairs with a sigh. What a strange day, really.

simple thoughts

“Breathe in, hold it inside, then slowly breath out. Let all your worries and uncertainties flow out and away from you. Feel lighter, more at peace. Now stretch-“

“What are you watching?” I nearly laugh though I still just focus on the voice on the television. Its words are corny but the slow flow of the voice helps in finding a relaxed sort of state of mind. Not that I’m stressed but I found this channel and I thought it might not hurt to give this relaxation thing a try. He sounds baffled, confused really and it does amuse me more than it should.

“I’m not so much watching as I’m listening. I thought I’d give this relaxation thing a try. For a while I wanted to think nothing but simple, short, mindless thoughts and just relax. Let it all flow out of me.”

I finally open just one eye to look at him. He still doesn’t look convinced and I can’t help the grin that curls at my lips. “I’m not really listening to the words, just the voice itself. Come on, sit down and try.”

He huffs slightly and considers what I’m essentially asking of him. It’s not much and I know he wasn’t doing anything else. Grumbling, mostly for show, I know, he sits down in front of me. I take his hands in mine and I feel a bit of tension ebb out of him. That’s a good start.

“Now just close your eyes, try to think of nothing at all. Don’t focus on the words, just listen to the tone, to the voice itself. If nothing else, focus on our hands, how they’re nestled in mine and how that makes you feel.” Touch is a big thing with us. Touching helps us relax, it pulls us along a road of peace. Never, when we’ve touched before, have I honestly felt stressed in any real way. It’s like there’s a connection between us and all we can feel is peace.

He sighs again but he closes his eyes and I feel his fingers curl slightly into mine. Good. I listen to him breathing in and out for a moment before I close my eye and I let my mind drift off to nothing again. I honestly barely even hear the voice from the television, I just hear a bit of a rise in the tone when it speaks and a drop when it goes again. My mind is empty. I am floating and at peace.

I’m not sure how much time we spend there, just sitting together, hands held carefully and just lightly, barely. When I open my eyes, I notice that his shoulders are a lot less tense, his posture is relaxed and I smile. It’s a small sort of smile but it’s there and I blink slowly, just willing myself to be relaxed and at peace. This is such a good sensation.

I squeeze his fingers gently and he opens his eyes. At first he looks a little confused, I guess I might have pulled him from whatever little floating world he had drifted off to, but then his focus settles and he smiles. It’s a slow, relaxed sort of smile and I chuckle lightly. I don’t know that we will do this on a daily basis but I think that it might honestly not hurt. It feels good to think of nothing, to not focus on anything at all. It feels right.

Slowly I ease up to my feet, I feel my back crack as I do and I know that this is just one of several good things that came from just relaxing and doing nothing for a while. That and well, I know I need to stretch a bit more often. I cramp up when I draw for too long periods of times.

As I stand, he follows suit, we haven’t let go of one another’s hands, after all. He cants his head, almost thoughtful and turns his gaze towards the television. I guess whatever we were watching has ended because now all we’re getting is some slow, relaxing type of music. It’s not such a bad thing. This is another channel to add to our list of channels-we-can-watch. We’re picky and spend most of our time with one of the classical or nature radio station playing instead.

The rest of the day is spent in peaceful, relaxed sort of silence. When we prepare the meal all we really hear is the soft clink of the dishes together, the sound of the fire crackling slightly as we prepare everything. The click of utensils in plates and bowls.

It’s not a bad kind of silence, it’s just a peaceful type. None of us seem to really have anything to say at this point and I have no true complaints. There is no harm to spending days in quiet. At times it’s honestly a good sort of thing.

When we’re done eating, he takes my hand and we head up to the garden, the second floor and then up to the mezzanine on the third floor. He settles on the couch there and I nestle against him. We’ve long since gone past the hour of the sun setting but spending time up here is always wonderful. Despite the city lights, though they’re a little dimmer here since we’re nowhere near the center of the city itself, we can see stars pop out in the sky, like tiny little lights coming on in distant galaxies.

I can’t help but imagine that this is all we are to anyone out there who might be alive in other galaxies. A distant sort of star in their sky, nothing but a tiny, minuscule speck of nothing at all. It makes you think when you really stop to ponder that briefly. We’re tiny beings, not even grains of sands in this huge world. It makes me feel so small at times.

He moves to curl one arm about my waist and I shift accordingly, I move to merely settle against him, half sitting on him as it is. It’s a comfortable position, he makes me feel warm and alive and I just want to huddle and stay against him until the rest of the day fades away.

Since the twins have more or less made it a habit to drop by here at least once a week, twice most of the time, we’ve slowly adapted our schedule again. We’ve become day folks for the most part. Though we usually are up around mid-morning and we’re up until much later in the night. It’s nothing close to how we were before, getting up in the evenings and staying awake all night. Not to say we might not head back to that lifestyle once they’re all moved in next door and have more to keep themselves occupied with, how schedule is always shifting and changing.

I find some peace in that. Routine isn’t something I honestly want to settle into, it’s not my kind of thing. I would rather have my life be different for every day I wake up to if I can help it. That way it’s more interesting.

listen to the song

He’s swaying lightly, it’s nearly an invisible sort of motion. His eyes are closed and I’m not sure I can understand why he’s sort of swaying like this until he turns just lightly, barely. Then I notice the ear-buds in his ears. I’ve been alive long enough, I’ve lived through most of the discovery of music all over the world. I suppose I prefer working in silence when I can help it but at times I know some songs will have that kind of slow, swaying effect on me too.

For a while I just watch him. He almost looks like he’s in a trance though I know better than that about him, still, it’s strange. Not in a bad way, just a new sort of discovery way. Every day I discover something new about him, something different. At times it’s baffling, others it’s absolutely endearing. I don’t know what I would qualify this one as just yet.

“Do you want to listen to it?” After a while I’d gone back to covering a few more of the details for the warehouse. They’re almost done with the walls, the plumbing and the electricity; the heat and the rest too. In a week or so, we’ll be able to head out across and start painting or moving in furniture or just about anything. It’ll be such a big step. The basic things are up, the water connections, the bathrooms are up, at least the sinks and the tubs, the showers. The same goes for the kitchen appliances, the rest we’ve left out for us to be able to do ourselves.

I blink up at him, a little startled. I don’t know how long he spent listening to whatever it was he was listening to, just slightly, slowly swaying to whatever beat it might have. He doesn’t usually share music with me, we have somewhat differing tastes, mostly that I prefer no music at all and he’ll listen to a little bit of everything but rap music, with a few slight rare exceptions.

He holds out the ear-buds and I look at them for a moment. I’ve never liked the thought of putting these things in my ears, just the thought makes me somewhat comfortable and it must show on my face, plus he knows this. He laughs softly and shakes his head. He puts the player on the table and disappears off into our bedroom. Moments later he comes back with a pair of over-the-ear headphones. I have those in case I need absolute silence. I’ve never honestly used them for music but they do have a noise cancelling feature, it’s what I had bought them in the first place.

He unplugs his ear-buds, plugs in the headphones and hands the whole thing over to me. He almost looks like a child who just discovered something really big and is trying to share it with an unwilling adult. The thought makes me chuckle wryly but I take the player and headphones. I slip those on, look at the player and press play. I lower the volume almost to nothing, just to be sure and I slowly turn it back up after a few moments.

I close my eyes and I focus. I hear no music, just distant calls of sorts, almost a song but not a human one. I turn the volume up a little bit and the sounds come to focus a bit easier. I’ve heard these before, I just have a bit of a hard time recalling where exactly. This is surprisingly relaxing though, these strange, almost echoing calls from I’m not sure where.

I open my eyes and look down at the player, I laugh softly and shake my head before closing my eyes again. Whale songs. That’s what’s written on the player right now. I suppose I can admit to being a little surprised. This is relaxing in ways I hadn’t expected. I knew humans had recorded whales calling out and talking to one another, I wasn’t all that aware that they’d made ‘songs’ out of them, however. It’s a pleasant sort of surprise. I guess not all music is bad, though I don’t consider it bad, just not really worth listening to, most of the time.

He looks quite pleased with himself and I get a chuckle out of that look. I love all his little facets, all those little looks he has, those tiny little quirks that make him who he is. At this point, he mostly has that cat has discovered its fresh bowl of cream filled to the brim look. This cat absolutely loves its cream.

It’s not to say that I will make a habit of listening to these whale songs or that I could fall asleep to them but they are an interesting alternative to absolutely and utter silence when I work on commissions that require a lot of attention to detail. Maybe now and again I might plug the music in to try to get me to relax a bit. I get tense easily when I work on those minuscule details and I get painful shoulder, arm and hand cramps then.

He’s put the player, ear-buds and headphones away. We’ve both settled back around the plan and set up for the floors of the warehouse. We’ve picked out colours and flooring and just about everything that is required to make the place more than just a home with walls, a half-done kitchen and bathroom.

We do actually have a team set up to come in the moment the other leave so they can start to get the floors done. It’s a big enough team, they should be able to get their works done quickly enough, that means that before long after that we’ll be able to get in and start painting. I’m sure Yael and Quentin might be willing to help us with that. Who knows, maybe Zora and the twins can be tempted in to helping us. I bet the twins would love to make a mess around with paint. I don’t mind if they do that in whatever room they’ll call their own though the rest might need to be done with a bit more care.

Thinking about all of this, that I’ll be living in a home of our absolute own, that I’ll be with him in a finally permanent way, it actually makes me giddy. It’s a strange word to use when it comes to my own mind but it’s fitting. I have no other terms as far as being with him is concerned. It makes me feel so peaceful, so right. I just want to spend the rest of eternity with him. I’m done running away when I start to feel like I need to leave. I’ll work this out as it comes and I know we’ll find a solution.