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Spring 2167 // March April May

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 Drama? What Drama?, March 2167 | Leo
Murad Hassan
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 01:46 AM
Quote
Evolute
36 YEARS
APD
Carrier
107 Posts
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Lugia is Online



Murad laughed. “Didn’t know you were coming over or I would’ve invited you to join.” Then, his lips curved up into another teasing smile. “Or watched. I noticed you staring—maybe next time, huh?”

But while they could be light, and teasing, as soon as Leo stepped in the shower, Murad could tell that the man was deeply uncomfortable. He was focused on cleaning himself, not really making eye contact, and when Murad offered the bottle, he watched the man blush and almost flinch. Right. Powers. His mouth tightened, although it was more from feeling like an idiot than anger, but he nodded and just handed the bottle over instead, focused on cleaning himself instead. Part of him wondered how long Leo would look at him as if he was going to spontaneously burst into an angry fit, and how long it would take to let the man relax.

And then he reminded himself that this was probably not going to last long enough for him to find out. Murad was going to have to tell him, and he suspected Leo wouldn’t want to stick around when he knew. And rightly so.

Needless to say, he was pretty sober when Leo responded about the scars. “Figured,” he said. “For the record, I’ve never heard you ask for pity or sympathy or anything like that. It’s not a sob story if you aren’t crying about it, right?” But he was preaching again, and focused instead on getting clean and making sure Leo got enough of the water—always a challenge when two people were in it together.

He turned off the water as Leo stepped out and reached for the towel. He was much more careful with toweling off his hair and brushed it back off his forehead, then began working on towel-drying the rest of himself. He’d shaved earlier so he didn’t have to worry on that. He attached it to his waist as well and glanced up at the man, who was looking…sheepish. His expression, which had become quite serious and furrowed, eased, and he offered the man a crooked smile.

“You don’t have to say anything,” he said. “If you don’t want to. There’s stuff I don’t talk about either ‘cause it hurts, and saying something means I have to admit it exists up here.” He tapped his head. “And that it still bothers me. But if you want to talk about it, want to try to make it hurt a bit less, I’m here if you want.” And, because that was getting close to feelings again, he cleared his throat. “You know, I think you’ve made me hungry again, you bastard. Still have some of that chocolate cake around?”
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Leo Dobrowolski
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 01:26 PM
Quote
Evolute
32 YEARS
Cartel
Tier 4
112 Posts
If Leo touches a person's bare skin (alive or dead), he can tell you everything about their physical history. Medical conditions, healed breaks, pregnancies, surgeries, anything that has affected their body in any way. He can also feel anything they are currently feeling - pain, nausea, breathlessness etc, as if it’s his own body.
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Leo gave a small twitch at Murad’s words, the assertion that he’d never asked for sympathy. It was true, in technical terms, but Leo couldn’t help feeling that even talking about it was succumbing to self-pity.

Murad’s expression relaxed a little once they were out of the shower, though Leo was still beginning to wonder if he’d managed to ruin this (whatever it was) before it had even started. He listened as the other man spoke, turning the words over as Murad said them, trying to work out what he was getting at. His skepticism probably showed on his face.

Among his many qualities, friends had often remarked that Leo had a huge capacity for denial. He had studied mental health, extolled the virtues of therapy to his patients, but now, listening to Murad, all he could wonder was: how will talking about it make it hurt any less? He gave a small shrug - then realised he should probably say something, instead of just standing there looking like he wanted to throw a punch.

So Leo stepped forward, a small smile on his face, and closed the distance between them to place a soft kiss on Murad’s lips. A shiver ran through him at the contact, at the sudden sensory rush, and when he stepped away his smile had widened. “Thanks,” he murmured. “You’re - you’re a great guy. Thank you.” He grinned at the subject change, and dodged into the bedroom to exchange his towel for a pair of sweat pants. “I think I can rustle some up,” Leo replied, and when he re-emerged he had a second pair in his hand, which he held out to Murad. “Might be a bit short,” he said with a shrug. “But they’re clean.”

In the kitchen he cut two slices of cake, and flicked the kettle on: “Want something to drink?” and then he paused, watched steam start to rise from the spout. Make it hurt a bit less. Leo bit his lip, and didn’t look at Murad.

“He was really good at stuff that looked like an accident,” he murmured, and his voice was too quiet. “Once, he held my hand down in the sink and…” he gestured to the kettle, then shook his head. “It's odd, you know? When I think about him, I don't get scared or anything. But then I look back and think it probably made me how I am. You know?”

He clearly wasn’t very good at this. But Murad had said it was OK if he didn’t want to talk, so Leo was able to convince himself to relax as he made tea, and when he passed Murad his mug he let their fingers brush. “As you’ve probably guessed by now, the whole ‘dating’ thing is not my forte,” Leo said, and his smile was genuine this time. “Shoulda warned you, huh?” He leaned back against the counter. “I’m good at the other stuff, though, so...there’s that.” He took a swallow of scalding tea, and grinned. “Next time, we'll go to a movie. Something that doesn't involve talking.”


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Murad Hassan
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 10:32 PM
Quote
Evolute
36 YEARS
APD
Carrier
107 Posts
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Lugia is Online



Damn, he just couldn’t figure out how to say this right, could he? Figured he’d turn what had been a fun day and evening until then into something awkward and uncomfortable. He had gathered the details of Leo’s life through hints and statements the man had made. And it wasn’t like he hadn’t seen similar cases before, living and working in Jacks. He didn’t need the whole sob story, he really didn’t. And it wasn’t fair to make the other man talk to him when he didn’t know how things were going to turn out. So when the man looked at him like he’d grown an extra head, he just offered a wry smile to the man.

He was about to open his mouth, tell him that it was fine and to just forget about it, when Leo stepped forward and kissed him. His lips twisted up into a faint smile, but it vanished almost instantly at the man’s next statement.

You’re a great guy. Fuck.

But before he could say something, speak, tell him as he’d been meaning to do all fucking day, Leo had already darted out of the room and Murad was left speechless. When Leo re-emerged, grinning, with a pair of sweatpants even though Murad could’ve just gone next door for them, the moment was gone. Instead he offered a faint smile and took them with a nod, taking off the towel to pull them up. “We’re pretty much the same height,” he said, and sure enough, they fit well. He followed the man into the kitchen, grabbing the plate with the cake as if he were afraid the other man would take it from him.

“Uh, if you’re making tea or something, I’ll have some.” He preferred coffee, but not at this time of night.

He went still as the man spoke, staring at the kettle as if hypnotized. Ah. There were the sordid details that he’d been waiting for.

“Yeah,” he said. “I do. Doesn’t make you less, though. Kinda the opposite, I think.” He rested his hand lightly on the man’s shoulder, the touch brief since the man was still shirtless and he didn’t want to overwhelm him with contact. Then he cleared his throat. "My, uh, step-brother tried to--well." A flash of what might've been an embarrassed smile, but was more likely a grimace. "I was 11. He made a move. Got far enough to..." He waved a hand, then shook his head. "I made a fuss and that's how the cops ended up talking to me. So yeah, it shapes you. But -- thank you. For sharing.”

Ah, so he was correct—and Leo had finally admitted it. His mouth curved up into a warmer smile this time, and took the mug of tea with a nod. “You are very good at other stuff,” he agreed without missing a beat. “And you’re, uh, not bad at the dating thing either. Don’t think it’s supposed to be easy, really. Besides, how would you’ve warned me? ‘Hi Detective, have I mentioned that I don’t date much’?” He made a face. “That’s not awkward at all.” He sipped the tea, made a face at the heat, then went for the cake that he’d been resisting scarfing down. “Think you can avoid making a movie during the movie? I don’t trust your self-control that much, doc.”
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Leo Dobrowolski
 Posted: Apr 19 2018, 03:30 PM
Quote
Evolute
32 YEARS
Cartel
Tier 4
112 Posts
If Leo touches a person's bare skin (alive or dead), he can tell you everything about their physical history. Medical conditions, healed breaks, pregnancies, surgeries, anything that has affected their body in any way. He can also feel anything they are currently feeling - pain, nausea, breathlessness etc, as if it’s his own body.
Sandrine is Offline




Murad laid a hand on his shoulder and Leo relaxed a little at the touch. There was barely a moment for him to get used to the connection before the hand was removed. He took a breath as Murad cleared his throat - and then the other man’s words made Leo turn around and look at him, eyes wide.

My step-brother tried to. Leo didn’t need to hear any more to know what Murad was talking about. “Holy shit, man,” he said before he could manage to stop himself. “Fuck. I’m sorry.” His face was full of horror, horror at the idea of someone doing that to a child. Leo was in the Cartel, he’d spent time on the streets, he knew plenty of people who’d been through similar things - but that didn’t make it any easier to hear. He bit his lip. “Thank you,” he replied, shaking his head a little. “That can’t be easy to talk about. Fuck.”

They sipped their tea in silence for a long minute, before some of the tension eased and Leo felt like he could breathe again. Eventually he could give a wry smile when Murad said he wasn’t bad a dating. “Pretty sure that if I was good at it, we’d be having fun right now rather than talking about the shitty parts of our lives,” he pointed out with a shrug. But he was still smiling. “How about ‘Hi Detective, I’m great at one-night-stands but have zero experience of anything that lasts longer than two weeks?’” Leo asked with a grin, making a face at his own lack of experience. “Awkward? Me? Surely never.”

A bark of outraged laughter escaped him. “My self-control is awesome, thank you very much,” Leo replied, pretending offence. “I have a lot of patience. I never make a move before the credits, man. It’s the code.” He shook his head at the idea of interrupting a film, and took a bite of cake.

When he’d finished the cake, he looked up. There was a smear of chocolate on Murad’s lower lip. There were too many words between them now, too many feelings for Leo to deal with right now - so he reached out, ran his thumb along the other man’s skin and then licked the chocolate from the pad of it, a smirk on his face. Then he turned away abruptly to empty the dregs of his tea down the sink, and ran the mug under the tap. Time to change the subject. “I’m not used to sleeping next to other people,” Leo admitted as the water ran. “I dunno if I snore, or anything.” It felt like he’d managed to make this awkward, again. “Feel free to kick me if I shore.”


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Murad Hassan
 Posted: Yesterday at 08:53 pm
Quote
Evolute
36 YEARS
APD
Carrier
107 Posts
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Lugia is Online



Ah, shit. That hadn’t had the reaction he’d meant. He’d been trying to share, show that Leo wasn’t the only one who went through shit and that you could step out the other side anyways. But instead Leo was looking at him in horror, and Murad waved a hand, trying to get the man to stop. “He didn’t—it was fine, okay? I was fine, but thank you.” Besides, it wasn’t like he’d really talked about it. He’d hinted and Leo had gotten the message. Now, thankfully, they seemed to be moving on. Or at least, not talking.

Which was how Murad preferred it. This was yet another reason why not to tell anyone about what he’d been through. But the silence was…uncomfortable, at least at first. Eventually, it eased, and Leo even managed a smile. Not his usual exuberant grin, but Murad felt some of his own tension ease, and he breathed out. “Hate to break it to you, but this is being good at it. If you’re just doing the fun parts, you’re missing out.” He hesitated. “Okay, you’re not missing out but you’re not gonna have that much fun for long.” But then he offered the man a warm smile, intimate in its own way. “You know, this has been more than two weeks. So you got…one. Congrats. We’ve even got cake.”

Murad snorted at his comment. “Didn’t know there was one.” He would freely admit to ignoring that code once or twice, if it did exist. “How flexible is it? ‘Cause you might have a lot of patience, but I definitely don’t.” He flashed him a grin of his own, but then tucked into the cake. He still ate neatly—as best as he could, and when he finished, he settled back and tilted his head to study the man. But then Leo reached out—Murad checked the instinctive move back—and smoothed his thumb over Murad’s lip. There was chocolate there, and Murad watched, breath hitching just slightly, as Leo licked it off his thumb and dear God why was that sexy. But then Leo broke away and Murad had to shake himself out of it.

“I’m out of practice myself, but I don’t snore. I do talk, so try not to get my passwords or anything out of me, will ya?” He rose to his feet, bringing the rest of the dishes over and then sliding a hand gently over the other man’s hip. He pressed his lips to the man’s neck again, light and lingering, then pulled away and smiled. “I don’t kick someone like you out of my bed for snoring. C’mon, I’ll need to get some sleep before round two.”
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