Loskon in the Making
rating: +16+x

Kit's hand trembled, and he curled it into a fist.

He was scared. Honest to God scared, and Kit never got scared.

It all started with an innocuous text message.

'We have to talk.'

The four worst words, in the worst order, known to the English language.

Kit was under no illusion that their relationship was perfect. Pushed together, their emotions bounced off each other and caused war wounds, then intense make up sessions with bites of love and ownership. The highs were only a prelude to the lows – Kit should have realised what a fragile thing the relationship was. If he was aware, maybe he could have seen how he was setting himself up for a fall.

Kit curled his legs under him on the window seat he sat at. He put his palm against the cold glass to ground him. His therapist said, that in times of panic, changing his body temperature could make a huge difference. And with winter night gathering outside, touching the cold panel was just as effective as running his wrists under freezing water. He felt his heart beat in his wrist, felt it slow. All he had to do now, all he had left in him, was to wait.

"Love," he thought, eyes fixated on a robin that settled in the holly bush, "is easy. …Commitment? A little harder. But… it's the vulnerability that takes some getting used to." Being vulnerable wasn't something he was comfortable with, and he had just started getting used to the concept when the distracting, distressing text message came through.

He jumped when the front door suddenly clicked open, and then quietly clicked shut. He dropped his hand from the window and felt his heart race more, his breathing slightly shallow. The flat was tidy – painfully tidy. Suffice to say, he had learnt his lesson with burning rice on the stove. Gabriel didn't exactly appreciate that, and, in his current sober mind, he understood why totally. He scrambled to his feet, his bare toes curling into the warm carpet. He tried to focus on the sensation that caused him, and absently snapped the elastic band around his wrist, the sharp pang of pain bringing him back more into reality, just as Gabriel entered the room.

For a while, they just stared at each other. Kit wanted to run over, wrap his arms tight around Gabriel, greet him home, babble about his day – the squirrel in the garden stealing from the bird feeder, finding a book he needed, eating lunch without reminder or making a mess… But today wasn't the usual day. His phone, disregarded on the kitchen counter, painfully reminded him of what was happening now, and everything felt in slow motion.

"Kit…" Gabriel breathed, softly. He was in his work uniform – an insignia Kit neither knew or cared to know on the breast of his jacket. Gabriel worked hard, Kit knew that much. Most days, he disappeared early in the morning, came back for a couple of hours in the evening, then disappeared at night. Kit had gotten over his fear that Gabriel had someone on the side, and accepted the fact that the care home he worked at meant he had sleeping shifts. Kit suddenly realised that his whole world revolved around someone else, and that someone else said they needed to talk. The most cliché way in the world, the most inexcusable way also – through a text message, scared to say it out loud.

Gabriel stepped forward, his body position somewhat closed off, not inviting a hug or any contact, even though the look on his face was decisively caring.

"I'll make us some tea." He invited, daring to smile at Kit, who snapped the elastic band on his wrist again in response, silent for now. There would be time to explode later, Kit felt sure of it, and he was certain Gabriel could feel the tension in the air too.

Seeking familiarity, Kit followed him from the open plan living room into the kitchen area, still focusing on what his feet felt – warm, rough carpet, followed by cold, hard tile. He absently watched Gabriel go through the motions of preparing two cups of tea, before looking away to stare at his phone, the text message still open with half a reply written -

'You can't fucking do -'

Kit locked his phone so the screen went dark, then looked up as he grew aware of Gabriel standing right at his side, holding two mugs. "Living room?" He invited, as if talking to a stranger rather than his boyfriend of almost a year. Kit nodded, unable to find his voice, aware of the anger and fear that was bubbling up inside him. He followed Gabriel into said room, feeling like an alien in the flat he knew so well, knew well enough that the majority of his things had made their way over here, knew so well because he spent most days curled up on the sofa or window seat, waiting for his boyfriend to come home.

He decided to sit on the sofa, this time. Whatever was about to be said, he didn't want the memories tangled up on his favourite resting place, the window seat. The sofa could absorb all the badness that came from the conversation, the argument he felt certain they would have, and then the make-up session afterwards. The worn fabric knew all their most intense moments, and the various stains attested to that. As Kit folded his legs under himself, and hugged a cushion to his chest, he absently thought that they should buy a new sofa. It was amazing that he wanted to think about anything apart from what was going on.

For a while, they both sat in silence, Gabriel sipping his tea. Then Gabriel dared to – quietly, as if the silence was smashed with a brick if he raised his voice – ask about Kit's day. Kit sat on the normality for a short while, trying not to get his hopes up that something had changed between the text message and this conversation. Eventually, he told Gabriel bits and pieces about his day; applying for the college course, reading up on mortician practices, realising that he was reading about practices in the States and having to visit the library to find one based in the UK, and – he was rambling. His words were shaking, and he felt like he was desperately trying to prove his worth, that he would be focusing his attention on his studies, that he really felt that undertaking was the right job for him. But he realised midway through the sentence explaining that embalming was rarely done in the UK that Gabriel wasn't really listening. That Gabriel was just waiting for him to shut up, to get his words out.

So Kit shut up, abruptly.

Gabriel almost instantly spoke, fumbling over his words. It was clearly a practised speech – something he was leaning on heavily to say right, and say clearly.

"I'm sorry, Kit. This isn't working. You can't just… burst in here and graffiti on my walls. You can't burn experimental blue rice in the kitchen and, at the very least, not clean up after yourself. I didn't appreciate that time you set the toilet on fire. And I really didn't appreciate the time you pretended to be dead.

I can't do this, Kit. I love you, but… I don't need you."

Kit felt himself nodding in reaction to the words, but they didn’t feel like they were sinking in. It felt more like the sofa was absorbing them, like it had so many times before. "Oh." He eventually said, emptily, staring down at his full mug of tea, focusing on how it was more green than brown, how the honey Gabriel had mixed in gave it an odd shine. "I… okay. I guess I'll… whilst you're at work, I'll…' He knew what he was trying to say, and he suspected Gabriel knew too. He felt oddly bad that he didn't have a speech to reply with, but Gabriel had had all day to think about what to say. What if it hadn't been just today, but days? What if he had been thinking about it the last time they slept together? What if he had been distracted at work? Had he been thinking about it when they domestically went shopping for a bookcase the previous week, for all the books Kit needed for school?

Gabriel finished his tea, raising an eyebrow at Kit's mug. "Drink your tea, love. Or you won't sleep." It was clear that the 'love' came from habit, and Gabriel flushed at the slip up, at the fact he still seemed to care about Kit, cared if he slept. Kit nodded, but stood, staring at the floor.

"I guess you're going to go to work, right?" He asked, very softly, slowly looking up to glance at Gabriel, who had the decency to look embarrassed and nervous, an emotion rarely shown by the unshakeable care worker.

"Yeah." Gabriel replied, simply, and stood too. He moved close to Kit, his body warm and safe, familiar with the way Kit's head automatically rested on his shoulder, the way his arms wrapped around his waist, resting on his lower back. A position that they had adopted many times – a greeting, a farewell, an apology, a forgiveness. What followed was almost painful in how familiar it was – Gabriel gently nuzzling Kit's head up and catching him in a kiss.

Kit thought he could make him stay and undo all the bad things if he kissed back hard, if his lips moved in the right way, if his tongue delved deeply, if he fisted the fabric of his lover's jacket hard enough and brought their bodies close together. But Gabriel broke away the kiss, gently used his hands to pry Kit free of his jacket.

"You don't have to…" Gabriel hesitated. "…Disappear. You don't have to leave quickly, and we should still be friends, and…"

Kit shook his head, stepping back, trying to take some control in the situation. "I'll be gone by the time you get back." He promised. Gabriel's twelve hour sleeping shift should give him enough time to pack his things and arrange a taxi to take him back to his dingy flat on the other side of the city.

Gabriel bowed his head, but nodded, his cheeks flushed with some emotion that Kit couldn't place – something akin to shame, but something was hidden under that, something he would never be able to dig out. "'Bye, Kit." He stated, finally, turning away, pausing only to dump his mug in the sink before heading to the front door. Again, it clicked open, then quietly clicked shut behind him.

Standing still in the living room, Kit couldn't help but to remember something he had read in a book once, long ago. '"The expectation or hope that two people are fated to be together does not necessarily mean unending bliss."' He hadn't been naïve enough to expect unending anything, but he thought maybe it would last longer than this. He thought maybe they loved each other, and he thought maybe they were meant to be together. But clearly, fate had other plans for them, as individuals.

Kit's stomach was roiling, and suddenly even his evening herbal tea didn't look appealing to him. He wouldn't get to sleep tonight, chamomile and lavender be damned, so he poured the lukewarm sleep aid down the sink.

Kit tried to pack up his stuff, but his hands were still shaking with the adrenaline that was leaving his body. Instead, he sat on the window seat for the last time, a long-forgotten sketch pad he had found under a pile of books in his lap, a mechanical pencil fisted in his hand. He stared outside at the encroaching night, at the garden where he had napped and kissed and fucked. He hoped he could get the image stuck in his brain, but, just in case, he decided to record his memory.

He sketched the ghosts of trees for a bit, and thought about memories.

He tried to capture the ethereal feel of the light, and thought about changes.

He drew leaves on trees that didn’t have them, and thought about the future.

He blocked in shadows as deep as the night, and thought about the past.

His past was just arriving at the secretive facility on the outside of the city. After passing all the necessary checks, he reported in to his supervisor.

"Good evening, Agent. Did you manage to get rid of the subject?"

Gabriel swallowed, and lied.

"Of course. Target was neutralised."

He thought of the amnestic in Kit's tea. He thought of the mission he was supposed to complete. He thought of the time Kit pretended to be dead. He thought that maybe he had done the right thing.

But doing the right thing was rarely easy.

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