2010-02-05: Warm Comforts


Drew_icon.jpg Ethan_icon.jpg Kaden_icon.jpg

Summary: Drew approaches Kaden and Ethan with some news while Kaden and Ethan get to know each other more.

Date: February 5, 2010

Log Title Warm Comforts

Rating: PG

Kaden's Room

There is nothing personal about this room, and the only reason it looks like anyone lives in here is the fact that the bed isn't made and there are a few toiletries on top of a dresser, other than that, it's very plain. There's just a bed, a dresser and a closet. There is almost a feel that someone is just staying in here as a guest and not living in the room.

It's later at night and Kaden's lying on his stomach, on the floor at the moment. He's trying to study for his GED classes but is struggling, a lot. His cat is sleeping next to him, enjoying the warmth the fire spirit is giving off. He's been spending most of the night alone, using the quiet to try to understand this stuff. It's just not going so well. He's just dressed in a pair of boxer shorts at the moment. He looks at the cat and sighs. "I hate being dumb."

Ethan knocks, a bit hesitantly. This time of night, he's always afraid of disturbing Kaden and Drew, if they are together. And they usually are. But a little bit of companionship and a reality check are in order. He's added a t-shirt to his v-neck sweater, perhaps feeling the need to 'armor up' a little dress more conservatively for the moment and he's wearing his glasses, which he rarely does, because he both has contacts and only needs them for close-up work anyway.

Drew wasn't in the bedroom. Actually, he comes in right behind Ethan, carrying a folder. Unlike Ethan, he walks right into the room. He looks at Ethan and smiles, waving him to join them. "S'ok. You don't haveta knock." He says, patting Ethan's shoulders and giving him a caring look. The folder is thick. He's not showing what's in it yet.

Kaden looks up as there's a knock. "Yeah." He says but before anything else can be said, Ethan and Drew walk in. "Ugh, yes, a distraction from my studying. I'm never going to pass this test." He says shutting his book and moving to a sitting position on the floor. "I hate studying, I hate school work. It's to fucking hard." He complains but he's been at it for the last few hours. "I wish I could just burn the damn book."

Ethan smiles faintly at Drew and looks at the folder curiously. He says, "Ah, yes. I do. It's still private space." He gives Kaden a smile as he mentions burning the book and says, "No, then you'd just get another copy. AND people would be comparing you to Hitler." He sits down next to Kaden. Not intimately close but nearby and says, "Can I help? I'm moderately nerdy." And even adjusts his glasses as he says that.

"I don't understand privacy." Drew teases as he places the folder on the bed as well. It's… a new hire packet at a high end retail store. "Uhm… I won't be in bed much at nights." He bites his lip as he looks at the boys. "But… I can definitely help us get… situated. If…" He looks to Kaden. "That's what you still want. And if you want." He says to Ethan, as well. After all, in his eyes, Ethan is as much apart of him as Kaden is.

"I just read about Hitler, that guy was a douche." Wow, Kaden's seventeen and just now learning about Hitler? "Thanks, I can use all the help I can get. I'm kinda stupid." He does think that about himself when it comes to academics. Looking up at Drew, Kaden seems surprised. "What? You got a job? And yeah, I'd love to…find my own way. With you, both of you. I just..wow..fast."

Ethan blinks at the new hire packet but then again, that was his plan too. He asks, "Situated?" He /thinks/ he follows, but it's one of those things where you make sure before you comment. The 'douche' comment from Kaden gets a snerk and his thoughtful, slightly depressed expression shatters under the momentarily hilarity that Ethan tries to repress so Kaden won't think he's being laughed at. He says, "Wow. Understatement of the year. Perhaps of the century."

"Sweetheart, Hitler was a genocidal madman. But he was a charismatic genocidal madman, and thus one of the largest wars of our world went on." Drew says softly. "I'll start pricing places. And see what I can afford on this pay. It may not be much, but…" He pauses. Looking to Ethan, he grins. "We've been wanting out on our own for a while. We love Keith and Dmitri and Xane, but… we need to have a place away from them. Well, not all of them. Some are fine. We just need our space. And our freedom." He explains. "And yes, Ethan. You're perfectly welcome to come with us if you like. It won't be as nice as this, and I'll be busy between work and school, but I can do anything with the right people around."

"Yeah, I know Drew. We were studying World War Two before Christmas." Before that, Kaden didn't know much about it. "I'll try to get a job somewhere but I don't know if any where would hire me. Or how well I'd do around other people." Kaden's just not a people person, and it's obvious. "If there was a job where I could burn stuff all day and not have to talk to anyone, I'd be perfect for it."

Ethan frowns and says, "This isn't because I moved in, is it? Because I didn't want that to be a problem. And of course I want to be with you. But I'd miss Xane, too. And Dmitri. And Keith when he's not …." He breaks it off there and shakes his head, making a chopping motion. "And by the way, you're not stupid, Kaden. Trust me. I tutored the lacrosse team. I know stupid." He pauses and asks, "Maybe get a job where they dispose of garbage? They basically burn that, right?" He shrugs, "And I'm planning on getting a job and heading to college myself. If I can afford it. By myself!" That last bit is just a tad savage.

"No, no, Ethan. Not because of you. We've been wanting this for a while. Neither of us feel right living off of Keith's money when we can earn our own. We're able bodied. And yeah, I'd miss them. But…" Drew shrugs. "I feel like I'm being paid to be here and do nothing." He says, reaching out to put a hand on Ethan's. "I can't do that." He shakes his head, moving to lay next to Kaden.

Kaden shakes his head. "No, this is something we've talked about for a while, just, I need to learn how to be out on my own. I've never lived somewhere under my own terms, I guess you can say." Kaden shrug and looks to Ethan. "You don't have to be nice, I am dumb, and slow. I'm not smart or anything. And I'm probably as dumb as that lacrosse team. Whatever lacrosse is." Kaden doesn't have a clue about that. "I just need, we need, to feel like we can live on our own and survive. Not constantly rely on people."

Ethan nods at that. "Or have people assume you put on earth for them to screw. Which is, I guess, paying for it the old fashioned way." He rubs the bridge of his nose and takes off his glasses. "But yea, I get that. I really do. I'm just afraid that if we move out together, it will be me breaking up your home. Or at least look that way. And you're meant to be around each other. Even /I/ can feel the edges of a …synergy… between you."

"Who would tell someone something like that?" Drew asks, before realizing, he knows someone who would. He looks down sadly. "I don't care what it looks like. Yes, we all work well together. I work best with Dmitri. His earth and my water…" He shrugs. "But… I need to support myself. And support those I love." He says with a nod. "So, I will try. If I fail, I fail. And I've lost nothing but my pride. If I succeed, then… well… we're all better for it. Right?"

"Just cause we're…supposed to be together doesn't mean we have to 24/7." Kaden says giving Ethan a puzzled look. "Huh? You're put on earth for someone to screw? I hope you don't think us cause…I don't think that at all." Kaden says confused as he's not quick on the uptake. "It's not going to break up the bond we had and I dunno, this is a place I live, it's the most 'home' I've ever had but I still feel like I'm living on rented space."

Ethan nods and chuckles a bit grimly, "He's /almost/ beautiful and powerful enough to make me forget he feels that way. Almost." He shrugs and says, "Ok, um, can we talk to Xane and maybe Dmitri and get some opinions? Maybe even Keith too. Let him know we /all/ want to stand on our own two feet. Which I guess would be six feet if we're living together." He rambles a bit at that, but his brain is engaged in a problem now. Absently, he leans closer to Kaden and wraps his arm around the other young man's shoulders. "And if you keep putting yourself down, I'm going to make athlete's feet grow on you. /On your tongue/." It's the most comic-opera silly threat he can think of. Something too absurd to take literally. "But Xane especially. He gives amazing advice."

Drew nods. "I've tried to talk to Keith before. He says it's silly. That we should just stay here and be happy. But… that's not what makes me happy." He says with a nod and a shrug. "I tried telling Kaden that. But he doesn't listen to me." He says, sticking a tongue out at Ethan before he yawns. "I'm about to head to bed. You two are more than welcome to stay up." He says with a grin.

Kaden shakes his head. "Both of you shut up." He just thinks they're being nice for the most part. "Xane really does. And staying here will just be another place where I can't move forward but just feel like I'm staying in the same place. It's…nice here, I like Keith and Xane but, Xane's backpacked through Eurpoe, he's done stuff. You know what I've done? Nothing." He looks at Drew and nods, giving him warm kiss. "I'm gonna stay up for a bit, I'll join you later."

Ethan grins at Drew when he sticks his tongue out and murmurs, "Your face is going to freeze like that and all that." He looks momentarily torn, obviously thinking about asking to spend the night with them. But then he frowns slightly, apparently thinking about something and slips back on his glasses. "Night Drew. I'll see you in the morning. I'm going to see if I can give Kaden a hand and catch some sleep myself."

"You're more than welcome in there, too." Drew says, moving over to give Ethan a kiss as well. "Regardless of how someone else made you feel, even without that, I'd still love you." He says, tapping a finger on Ethan's chest. "Because you're you." And with that, he walks out and into his adjoining room.

Kaden watches Drew leave with a smile smile on his face before shaking his head and looking back at the book. "I really would love to just burn it." He says as he shakes his head. "Sorry if it seems like we're deciding this because of you, this is stuff we talked about before. I…need to get a job and my GED other wise, what am I going to do? Rely on Keith my entire life? I don't want that."

Ethan returns that kiss from Drew and both the words and sense of truth behind them wash out from the Spirit of water like a healing wave, erasing lines that were just etched in sand, so soon, anyway. He smiles back at him and nods. "OK. We'll be in later." And it feels natural to say 'we'. When Drew leaves he looks back to Kaden with that same faintly stunned smile and says, "No book burning. You'll get it. We just have to figure out how to make it appeal to you. And I completely agree about the Keith thing. We need to be … us. Not adjutants to him." He pauses and then leans in to peck Kaden on the cheek as well. Just because. "All right. Let's get cracking."

Kaden leans against Ethan before nodding and grabbing the book. "It's math, I really don't understand this Algebra stuff. It just seems, pointless." Finding (x)? It doesn't make any sense to him. "I don't know what's better, being at Juvie where they didn't care, being at the center where they didn't care, or being here where they do care and it does matter."

Ethan looks sideways and says, "Being where people care. I think we /both/ get that one." He grins and says, "Ok, look at it this way, it's like a murder mystery. You like detective or cop shows? Because you're just finding out 'who did it' with all the clues they gave you." He scoots a little closer to Kaden, holding one corner of the book while the Spirit has the other and tries to help, as best he can. And just enjoy Kaden's company and the metaphysical sense of hearth and heat that comes from the Spirit as well, soothing his own problems.

Kaden sighs and tosses the book aside, leaning against Ethan to cuddle with him a bit. Nothing sexual, just a comfort thing. "You say that stuff like I watch much television." He says with a chuckle. "What was life like for you, before we met you? I know you complain about this lacrosse team, but at the same time you had a family." He's curious about learning more about Ethan, more than the fact that he's a mage.

Ethan blinks and says, "You sure you want to hear about this? It's kind of boring." He doesn't mind the cuddling. Enjoys it, in fact. He wraps his arms around Kaden's waist and says, "Ok, I told you I started seeing the lesser spirits as a kid, right? Well, that's not quite true. I think I've /always/ seen them. What I realized around ten or eleven is that nobody else saw them. My dad and mom, they're social scientists, they go looking at ritual sites. The temples and churches and graveyards of dead cultures and stuff. And they kept me with them until I was twelve. It was a good way to live. They tutored me and I saw cool stuff." He swallows and says, "But I kind of embarrassed them at the Christmas get together. Both of their families, mom and dad are kind of old school professors and teachers and researchers. They don't go for fantasy or childish behavior, even from kids, you know?"

Kaden puts one arm around Ethan's shoulder's and the other around his waist in return and listens. Once Ethan's done he looks at him. "Why would that be boring? I kind of find it interesting. You said you saw cool stuff. I'm kind of jealous." Kaden admits with a smile. "I kinda wish I had gotten a chance to make a fool out of myself in front of family. Also I'm glad you can see the spirits that you can, we wouldn't have met then."

Ethan grins and says, "Yea, but you really don't get these people. Fun is /not/ on the agenda. So anyway, one of my uncles brought back something from central Africa. And whatever it was, it drove the lesser spirits wild! They were jumping around and dancing and playing and so wild that they start to have real world effects. I was jumping up and down, thinking it was cool. When they finally set the box the artifact was in on fire, I got blamed. My parents decided I was too childish, too sheltered. So they found a school that billed itself as being strict and difficult and raising 'young men properly'. And that's the last I saw of them except two Christmases since then. And nothing from the rest of the family. But …. about wow, almost four years ago now, something weird and wonderful happened that changed /everything/." He glances sideways, "Bored yet?"

Kaden shakes his head. "No, I'm not bored at all. You don't understand, I grew up in a place where there was no 'fun' on the menu. It just wasn't something that they wanted any of us to have really. I /hated/ it there." Kaden says before looking at Ethan and brushing some of his hair back with a light touch. "Have you talked to them since, those two Christmases ago? Or have you not even talked to them in two years?"

Ethan winces at Kaden's recitation and says, "I'm sorry." He gives the Fire Spirit a hug and then grins at that hair brushing. He laughs a little as he says, "Do you mind if I stretch out, Doctor Kaden?" And before getting permission he scoots over until he can rest his head on Kaden's thigh looking up at him, and saying, "Wow. You're tall from this angle." And then a sigh. "And, um, yea. We talked this morning on the phone. I'm, uh, slightly disowned. Or they're going to throw me in a mental asylum for my own good. I'm not sure which. There was talk of coming here and 'seeing what all this nonsense is about'. Getting thrown out of school. Also coming here instead of staying with people in Boston I haven't seen in five years. But to answer the question? Other than today, nope."

Kaden raises an eyebrow, and looks down at Ethan. "Doctor?" He shakes his head then chuckles before listening to the rest of what Kaden says. "If they try to throw you in a mental hospital, I won't let them. I imagine they do horrible things in those types of places and you don't deserve to be locked up like that." He says softly but with conviction. If it's supposed to be a joke, Kaden doesn't pick up on it. "I don't get it Ethan. Why do parents have kids if they just throw them away when things get too tough?"

Ethan grins up at Kaden at the first question and says, "Well, you're playing therapist." He nods at the promise, taking Kaden at his word. After all, he and Drew (and probably Xane) would do it. And nothing would stop them, he's sure. He wasn't entirely sure if he was kidding, given the rumors about what certain members of his family are capable of doing to disappointing offspring. The last question causes him to frown and say carefully, "I don't know. I guess some people just aren't supposed to be parents. Or aren't ready for it."

Kaden laughs and rest an arm across Ethan. He's really relaxed right now, not peaceful, but relaxed and comfortable. There aren't many people Kaden has allowed himself to open up to and really speak his mind, and this is the first who isn't a fellow spirit. "It's bullshit that people do that, who care if you're /supposed/ to be. You have a responsibility." He shakes his head and looks down at Ethan. "I'm sorry. Maybe there's a reason we found each other, to be able to look out for you." He says smirking.

Ethan grins as a warm feeling spreads out from Kaden's touch and the words. Not just physical and metaphysical, but emotional as well. He reaches up to cup Kaden's cheek for a moment as he looks up and says, "Yea. And I'll trade you help with your homework." Because Kaden /really/ doesn't need Ethan's help defending himself. After a moment, he adds, with a self-depreciating tone, "When I'm not trying to take over the world." He pauses and asks, "It was very different for you? Growing up, I mean?"

Kaden laughs and nods. "Sounds like a deal. And if you try to take over the world again, I'll be there for ya." He says running his hand up and down Ethan's arm lightly. "Things were really different for me. When I was six my Mom dropped me off at this facility where I never saw her again." Kaden doesn't even know who his father is. "She's someone I'd love to punch in the face if I ever saw her again. The center were I was raised was this shitty place were they didn't really care. The Juvie wasn't that much better. And with my temper problems, I exploded and got into a lot of fights at both."

Ethan catches Kaden's hand with his own as he lowers it from the Spirit's cheek and says, quietly, "Well, people care now. Drew. The other Spirits. Me." He grins faintly and says, "But if you're counting on bail money for fights, it's probably going to have to come from Dmitri, Xane or Keith." He pauses and says, "But yea, if your mom let you go for some reason, that's her mistake."

Kaden squeezes Ethan's hand and nods, leaning down to plant a small, affectionate, kiss on his forehead. "I know you care, and so do the others. And I am happy here, I really am. It's just, it bothers me, that my Mom ditched me. She couldn't handle it. Yeah well I couldn't handle it at center. I couldn't handle them drugging me up after I would get into a fight. I hated the place but I never wanted to burn it down. I never wanted to kill anyone."

Ethan nods thoughtfully and says, "You know, we could try to find her. It might be expensive but might not work, but we could give it a try. Maybe it would be worth it if you wanted to find out why?" A pause and then, "And I'm /not/ suggesting anything one way or the other. That's your call. But these days, with the Internet, lots of people are findable. And anybody who knows you knows you don't really want to kill anybody. Punch them in the nose? Sure. In a heartbeat. But not seriously hurt."

Kaden tenses and shakes his head, clenching his jaw. "No, I don't want to find her." Kaden says through his teeth. "I don't ever want to see her, or know her." He then looks down at Ethan, still a bit tense. "I burned down the school, and then it happened at Juvie. Both times happened when I was killed, when I died, and both times people died from the fire that happened. Sorry, my upbringing isn't as interesting.

Ethan winces at the raw pain in Kaden's voice and he sits up to wrap his arms around the Spirit. "I'm sorry for bringing it up. And I won't again. And we'll just have to keep you alive." He waggles his eyebrows and says, sardonically, "Because hey, between you and Drew? Who needs to pay for utilities?"

Kaden leans against Ethan at the hug as he's showing how vulnerable he really is. Kaden puts on a rough exterior, especially since he doesn't trust people. That he's let Ethan in and to him bits of what he's been through, he's really shown Ethan the side very people know. "You have your heat and water with the two of us. And you don't have to keep me alive, I can't die, remember? I've already died twice?"

Ethan points out reasonably, "Dying can't be fun. Not even for one of you guys. And I /know/ it isn't going to do anything for my nerves if one you gets hurt." He pauses and says, "And man, I'm not looking forward to trying it even the one time I get, thanks."

Kaden shifts the way he's sitting so he's lying on the floor next to Ethan, putting an arm around his waste. "It's weird, what causes you to die isn't fun. Getting stabbed or beaten hurts. But once you fade, it's like a dreamless sleep. You don't feel it till you wake up and you know you weren't just sleeping. It's like waking from incredible peace." He tells Ethan how it feels for him so it doesn't seem all bad. "But, you can make sure I don't die again."

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