• Donation Drive: We're looking to pull in enough donations to cover the server expenses for August and September ($140). Rest assured that the website will remain paid regardless of whether we meet our goal, but things will be financially tight for us until about mid September. Any donations that come in, in the interim, will really help ease things for us. See donation information for further details as well as information about our donation process. Thank you!

A Road To Us

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Mitch opened his mouth as if to try to give some words of comfort, or just anything. Instead, another cigarette appeared in his own mouth. His lips closed down around it and he lit Abel's cigarette with the Zippo before lighting his own. He took a long drag from it, to the point where it started to burn the back of his throat. He grabbed the cigarette between his index and middle finger and heaved a deep sigh, turning his head away from Abel as the smoke blew out of his mouth.

He looked down at the Zippo, tracing the outline of the bear with his thumb while the smoldering cigarette sat in between his fingers. After a moment of silence, he finally spoke. "This used to be my Ma's. Bought it just before the War. Was a lucky score because they stopped producing these until the War ended."

He brought the cigarette up to his mouth and just left it there, taking the opportunity to turn the lighter around in his hand. It was still in remarkable condition for its age, and the brush strokes of the artwork were still full and bold. "She painted it herself. Supposed to represent courage in the face of adversity, safety in our hardest moments, and..." He took another drag of the cigarette, more taking a moment to collect himself. "Nurturing and protecting your family."

A bitter melancholy fell over his eyes with those words. "I'm not blaming her for dying, of course I'm not. But I feel like I haven't really had a family in years. And the family I did have was only half of one. I thought I had one here, but..." He looked briefly behind him, and he noticed Ishade standing at the window of the music room. He sighed and turned to look back to Abel. "Well, Luka's departure certainly hasn't made things easier regarding that feeling, y'know... But you've been the closest thing I've had to family since she passed."
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
Abel listened, taking a few drags and exhaling the smoke. Behind them, Ishade left at some point. Not when he was looked at by Mitch, since he didn't quite react to that. But later. While the blonde listened to his friend talk about family, about his dead mother and her craftsmanship.

Finally though, his stupid brain managed to summon his sense of speech back.

"Well I got family all over this damn town. And you're still the closest to me out of all of them. Damn bastards, you're lucky you got to deal with me, you know... I'm the least annoying. And I will fuckin-, ugh, come here come on!." Alright so maybe he wasn't all that good with his words. Not just yet. But he did put the cigarette out on the porch, stepping on it after. And then stood there with his arms open in an invitation for Mitch to hug him. If he wanted. He better not leave him hanging!
 

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Mitch squashed out his own cigarette before reciprocating the hug, sort of stumbling into Abel's arms and resting his chin on Abel's shoulder. It was obvious that he was still holding back. Whether he was holding back affection or tears, he wasn't really sure. Regardless, he wrapped his arms around the other man.

"I don't intend this to be the last time I ever see you." He chuckled weakly. "I doubt that would even be possible, honestly."
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
The blonde closed his embrace around Mitch with surprising strength. He squeezed him, hard, struggling to hold back tears. Because he didn't want to look that sad and pathetic. And because men didn't cry. Fuck. He was going to end up crying wasn't he?.

"Not possible Mitch. I'm too hot, you know you'd come back" he joked, his mouth dry. But then he buried his face against his friend's shoulder, as he continued to hug him tightly. And quietly, unwillingly, he sniffled.
 

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Mitch could feel the time pass, and yet he couldn't build up the courage to let go. What could he say? What could he do? Abel's grip around him was firm, almost suffocating, but Mitch didn't mind that. He just sat in that moment, drinking it in before inevitably having to let it go.

He let his arms fall to his sides with a deep, tense sigh. "I, uh... I suppose I'm leaving." His words sounded unsure and timid. He wasn't unsure that leaving was the right idea; he was more unsure that leaving with nobody by his side was the right idea. Granted, he had traveled on his own before, and there had been no issue with it. But something had changed and he couldn't quite pinpoint the feeling.
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
When Mitch let go, be inevitably had to let go as well. Ikanov looked at his friend and bit his lip, because really? This was how it was going to go? He knew his eyes were glassy, shiny.

"I guess... You are" Said Abel, now back to avoiding Mitch's eyes. He wanted to kiss him, say a proper goodbye. But here they were in the light of day, and if they delayed much longer Keith might come in. He did often, since Selene left and he was suddenly in charge of two kids and a house. But not wasn't the time to think about Keith, he was fine. Happy, even.

Ikanov took Mitch's hands in his and looked at him in eye again.

"Take care, okay? Please..." He requested with a small voice. Unusual for him, maybe, but fuck it. He was concerned..

Ishade was back at the window, someplace behind them. They could see him, if they looked, but instead of looking at them he was sitting at the music room's desk.
 

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Mitch squeezed Abel's hands back, his grip tight and unrelenting. He would be crying, but instead he just felt cold, and... For some reason, he felt ashamed of himself; like this was a personal failure, an attempt that just didn't land. He turned to see if he could spot Ishade through the window, but noticed that he was no longer looking at them.

He turned to look Abel in the eyes for what he figured would be the final time in a while. All the things that he could say, and all the things that he could do in this moment, but he couldn't gather himself to say or do any of them in any tactful way. Eventually, he settled for bringing a hand up to Abel's left cheek and stroking it gently.

"Be true to yourself, Abe," Mitch finally said. It was advice that he himself needed to take, and this felt like it would be his first step. He picked up his guitar case in his other hand and began walking towards the street.
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
He wanted so badly to stop Mitch. To forbid him from leaving, ever. To tie him down with promises and begging. Chains of guilt. But that would probably destroy him, and make him miserable. Abel couldn't do that to him, not ever. So he watched him go, and waved him goodbye. Stupidly so, because the other wasn't even looking. He wiped a few bold tears from his cheek, turned around and walked into the boarding house. It felt a thousand times colder, and sadder and... What?

Ishsde had stood up, and he was holding a travel bag. Big, full of things.

"Where the fuck are YOU going?, Huh?" Asked Ikanov, ready to remind the man before him he was NOT leaving, no way. He couldn't go and forget about the house and leave Abel in charge of everything.

"Nowhere, Abe. You are" That was even more strange and confusing.

"Are you kicking me out? Now??!!" Emhe exclaimed, walking closer to the younger Luseth.

"No! Jesus Christ, will you listen to me?" Exhasperated, Ishade shoved the heavy bag into Ikanov's arms. He didn't let the other talk more though, or answer.

"You're leaving, with Mitch, because you're both stupid. And should be together. It's about time you leave your God damned family behind. I'm not going to deal with your permanent bad attitude from now on, because you'll be sad and depressed if you stay. So go. We'll be fine here. This house has its days counted anyway." Said Ishsde, making sure Abel didn't drop his belongings. He had put them in the bag quickly while the other two talked on the front porch.

"What?... But.." Ishade shook his head.

"Just fucking go. And take good care of each other... Maybe write sometimes?" Now he was the one tearing up. Ikanov and him were good friends, great even. He'd miss him... Abel dropped the bag on the floor for a moment and hugged his friend. He then left the house without looking back, with his bag. He went to get his car, happier than he had been in weeks. Maybe even months!. And drove in the direction Mitch was bound to have taken.
 

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Now that Mitch had made his way out of the neighborhood that had once been his home, he felt a wash of uncertainty fall over him. On the outer end of the street leading into the town of Juniper Hollow, he turned to give one final regard to the neighborhood. It didn't matter how mixed the neighbors' opinions were of him, he still had made some significant connections. He recalled striking up conversations about music with the Dunhams, and dreaming in vain of a career in music. He recalled giving free car tuneups to Mr. Paisley, who seemed to carry quite the passion for luxury vehicles. Maybe Mitch would get a Thunderbird of his own some day. One could only hope.

He took a moment to breathe it all in. He pulled out his wallet. Alongside a "family" photo of him alongside the Luseths and the rest of the tenants at the boarding house was a money clip that carried just about $100. This may have been quite the sum, but it certainly wasn't liveable, at least not for the long-term future. Regardless, he would make it last as long as he needed it.

He decided he would just hitch a ride on the northbound train out of Juniper Hollow and see where it ended up taking him, just like old times. He turned back around and began to walk towards the town center where the train station sat before he heard the roar of a vehicle coming down the street behind him, to which he turned around to see the source of the sound.
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
And there was Ikanov, purposefully making noise. He stopped just by Mitch's side, and offered him a wide grin. His eyes sparkled with excitement, and his bag was sitting on the back seat.

"Hey, you look a bit lost, can I take you anywhere?" He said, sticking his tongue out at Mitch just by the end of the sentence. He was feeling playful and full of hope, after all. His heart was rushing, he had never done this before. Considered? Yeah. But he never thought he'd go this far.

"Isha helped me realize this isn't an opportunity to pass up, Mitch. I'm coming with you... If you'll have me?" He said to his... Friend. Suddenly nervous, his hands sweating a bit as he held the wheel. What if he was rejected? What if his friend didn't want company after all?.
 

TheZanta

Reproduces by Budding
Benefactor
Mitch barely even waited for Abel to finish explaining himself before he found himself bounding over to his car, his surprise being washed over with a feeling of glee.

"You've no idea how long I've been waiting for this," Mitch said with a renewed excitement in his voice. He tossed his bag and his guitar case into the back of Abel's car and circled around to the passenger side, hopping right in next to the blonde. He could hardly contain himself; he felt like a little kid ready to take on the world.

"I haven't even thought about where to go, or what to do, but that's the whole fun of it, you know? We decide the journey ourselves, we make our own decisions, we live completely free and independent. I can't wait, this is going to be so fun!" He rambled on, barely self aware of how insane he must have sounded. "You have no clue how happy I am to have you with me for this."
 

Machina Somnium

Tired Edgerunner
Mentor
Forum Moderator: Creative Forums
Benefactor
Life on the Edge GM
Abel laughed, Mitch's enthusiasm was contagious and it scared away his insecurity.

"Lets just get out of here then, and we'll figure out a destination on the way" He said. Before starting the car back up, he looked to the sides. There weren't that many people around. Some cars came and went, but not a lot of pedestrians. So he stole a very brief kiss from his friend, sort of just brushed their lips, before getting them on the road again.

His family would probably go to Ishade first, trying to find them. That didn't worry him much, that man had enough of a temper to bark his father away. Then they'd start making calls and more annoying shit, that would be a problem. But it wasn't, not just yet. It wouldn't be for a bit if Ishade managed to buy them some time. Maybe he'd have to paint the car, change his looks, or fly to Europe. But if he had Mitch to keep him company... He do all of it. Over and over. The pair of them drove out of the small town where Ilanov had spent most of his life. A bit too fast, and with the wind in their hair. Because nothing could stop them!
 
Top