Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
shadesong

[Shayara] A defense mechanism

Andrea's not a shitty waitress. She does bring him his hot cocoa somewhere in there. She just kinda ghosts in and out and neither Kieran nor I noticed her, I guess.

You gotta not push some people on some things.

EDIT: Unlocked, possibly for a limited time only. All of this = copyright me.

-------------


He saw him immediately upon entering Tyka’s. Well, Halloran was kind of hard to miss – they tended to give him a latte mug even when he just ordered coffee, just to preserve a sense of scale.

He hesitated – might as well go talk to him, though. Whatever the particular issue was, it most likely wasn’t going to go away on its own.

Halloran looked up and nodded at him as he approached. “Kieran. Join me?”

“Of course.” Kieran took a chair at right angles to Halloran. Catching Andrea’s eye, he signed for hot cocoa, then turned his attention to Halloran, who took a sip of his coffee and grimaced. “Drinking it black again?”

“Penance,” he smiled bitterly. “Look, Kieran – I’m sorry I chased you out.”

Kieran shrugged. “It’s your place, man.”

“Yeah, but it’s hers, too.”

“Still.”

Halloran looked down at his coffee. “Still.” He looked up at Kieran sharply. “I… am having a problem with this. But it’s my problem, and not yours, and I have no right to take it out on you. For that, I am sorry. As to the rest of it, the personal space issues… I think I’m moving out.”

Kieran stared at him in disbelief. “You can’t.”

Halloran laughed roughly. “That’s what she said.”

“Because it’s the truth. Halloran, you – you can’t move out.”

“I need to.”

“Why? If this – if it’s me – if it’s the sex stuff – I, we won’t do that anymore.”

“She said that, too.”

“I’m not surprised.”

“And you’re not upset?”

“No. Listen, I love Kip to pieces. She’s one of my best friends. But what she has with you… that’s way worth cutting the sex out of our friendship. You’re her kiri, man.”

Halloran shook his head. “That means a lot. From the both of you. It really seriously does. But… it’s time. I’m 24, man. She’s 19. It’s time we had… well, she can’t have a normal life, not yet. But it’s time she had it as normal as she can get. Her own space.”

“You want your own apartment?”

“It doesn’t matter what I want.”

“The hell it doesn’t. Seriously, Halloran – what do you want?”

“Her to be happy.”

“You think this is going to make her happy?”

“Not at first. But eventually, yeah.”

“I don’t think so. You know what she wants.”

“I can’t give her what she wants.”

“Why not?”

“Because she doesn’t – she doesn’t know, not really. She imprinted on me when she was a kid. And now she wants… this idea of me, this Halloran-on-a-pedestal. And Kieran, supposing I do give her what she wants… what happens when she finds out that I’m not the person she thinks I am? What happens when… shit, Kieran.” He leaned back, closing his eyes. “Our friendship… our friendship is the most important thing in the world to me. What happens when that’s destroyed?”

“What if it isn’t?”

“When she finds out-“

“Dude – you’re soulbonded. I think that she has a pretty good idea of who you are by now.”

“But with the rose-colored glasses thing –“

“I think she probably started out with rose-colored glasses, yeah. But it’s been six years. She’s older and wiser now. Those glasses have long since faded away. The only difference between you and her here is that she’s not constantly fighting the soulbond. She looks at you and she sees you. You look at her and… you’re afraid.”

“Not afraid.”

“You just admitted that you were.”

“You’re twisting words.”

“I’m telling the truth. You look at her and you get all tied up in knots. You’re so afraid of losing her that you won’t let yourself have her.”

“I’m not as obsessed with having her as you are,” Halloran snarled.

Kieran stilled. “Halloran. Look. I offered to stop that. You rejected the offer. I am not going to have you sniping about it.”

“I don’t like what you do to her.”

“Do with her, more like.”

“You started – you trained her to like this stuff-“

“Sex?”

“Other stuff. Other sex stuff.”

“I’m not making her do anything she doesn’t want to.”

“Bullshit.”

“She. Asked. Me.”

“You make her beg. You make her beg.”

“She. Asked. Me. She asked me to be her first. Because you refused her.”

“I don’t want her. Not like that.”

“Oh, now I get to call bullshit.”

“I don’t.”

“The fuck you don’t. She feels it sometimes, before you cut it off and throw up the shields. You want hurting her? You hurt her.”

You hurt her. I’ve seen the bruises. You hurt her when you… have sex with her.”

“Jealous?”

Kieran reacted almost before seeing the blow – his first conscious sensation was the jarring pain of Halloran’s fist hitting his forearm. Martial arts training still held. Upon seeing the shock on Halloran’s face, he cautiously lowered his arm from in front of his face. “Okay,” he said in a neutral tone of voice, trying to ignore the murmur of voices all around him. “Are we gonna do this? Because if we are, we owe it to Tyka to take it outside. Halloran – I do not wanna do this. Not just because you would almost definitely kick my ass. But I respect you, man. I do not want this.”

Halloran shook his head slowly, withdrawing his fist. “I don’t want this.”

“Okay. Cool.” He rubbed his forearm, wincing. “Fuck, that hurt.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What the hell was that?”

“I just – just the thought –“ His fist tightened in his lap.

“That, I believe, was a defense mechanism. You didn’t want to talk about her.”

“I don’t want to talk about her,” he agreed quietly.

“I’m surprised, though.”

“Why? Seems like you had this all worked out,” Halloran laughed bitterly.

Kieran watched him out of the corner of his eye. “I’m surprised because I didn’t figure you for violence.”

“I killed three Hounds bare-handed in the Purges, Kieran.”

“I forgot.”

“Seems like everyone did.”

“I didn’t figure it for being close to the surface.”

“Yeah, well, it usually isn’t. I did it then to save her life.”

“I don’t – I don’t hurt her in bed, Halloran, not much. Not really.”

Halloran set down his mug and leaned forward. “Let me tell you this right now, Kieran, right here and right now. I do not want to know what you do to her in bed. I do not want to know a goddamn thing about it. I do not want to be able to even imagine the shit you do to my kiri. “

“It’s not-“

“Shut. Up. I am serious. I am not going to be able to deal with you at all if you talk to me about this. I need to be able to deal with you as a fellow Kithrayn. And I want to be able to be your friend. But right here, right now, if I hear you say one more word about fucking my kiri, I am going to rip your fucking head off, and I’m not speaking metaphorically. You have a perfect right to be doing that shit, if she wants you to. But I do not want to hear it. I cannot stand to hear it. Do you understand me?”
Tags: shayara, shayara.halloran, shayara.kieran
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