Niké walked at a slower pace than what he would normally. He noticed how badly in pain the leader was, even if he seemed to think that he was masking it well, still the grey-haired man kept quiet, he didn't mention it and instead just adjusted his speed and acted as if he just wanted to hold the man's hand instead of supporting him when he struggled to walk, which was true too, but it was also to support to leader.
"Promise me you'll try to rest when we get back? Please?"
The young man turned his blue gaze to look up at the leader before sighing softly and nodding, “Okay okay, I’ll rest once we get back but not before you're in bed, deal?” He said as he continued walking.
Resting and sleeping wasn't the same thing, he could rest without having to worry about his dreams haunting him as long as he didn't fall asleep. He had already slept enough to keep going for a bit longer. A full night's sleep to get him back to how he would usually sleep, waking up on his own every now and then, would be ideal but he couldn't sleep a full night, not here.
When the gang’s house came in sight, Niké gave the man's hand a light squeeze, soon the moment would be over completely and they’d have to pretend as if nothing happened. Like Theo had said, this was their secret, no one had to know about it, no one was going to know about it. It was better that they both just forgot it happened. It would at the very least be better for Niké’s own conscience that way.
As the pair reached the door, Niké stopped and turned towards Theo, grabbing his other hand too and stroking the leader’s rough hands with his thumbs for a bit. He felt hesitant to let go but he knew he had to.
Niké looked around quickly before leaning up and planting a soft kiss on the other man’s lips before letting go and taking half a step back.
“Thank you, this was really nice,” he said as he gave the man a soft smile, “We should both get some rest now, come on,” he sighed before grabbing the handle off the door and pushing it open.
Edited at December 26, 2022 09:13 PM by Ashes of Night
The gang leader walked a little closer to Nike than he would normally. Some of the reasoning behind that was because he wanted to stay close for support and the other...well he just wanted to stay close to the other man for a little bit longer.
He was still trying to process exactly what happened back at the tree. All he could understand was how much he enjoyed what happened. Even now, he could picture the warmth of his body against his own, the way his lips felt against his skin and lips....and how everything that happened made him feel content and happy which was two feelings he didn't feel quite often. It was something he wanted to hold onto, to let it linger for a little while.
Theo had paused to ask his question. He was a little out of breath and that masked it a little. He had a feeling though, that he wasn't doing that well of a job masking anything. Now that they stopped, he stayed that way to wait for an answer. It was his last attempt to get the Nike to listen to him.
And alas he got his answer. It pleased him to hear that the man would at least rest. Maybe, just maybe, he could coax him into sleeping. He wasn't quite sure on that though. He didn't want to push him to do anything outside of his comfort zone. Feeling satisfied and a pull on his hand because Nike didn't stop completely to say his answer, he continued walking. He took his place close to Nike. The only space that was left between their two bodies was where their hands connected.
He fell silent after that, focusing on walking through his pain and not letting it show or at least trying not to make it too obvious how much he was still drastically relying on pain killers to get through the day. When the house came into sight, he felt a strong urge to pull Nike away from it.
The house was a reminder that what happened by the tree was temporary. It was their secret. It's not that he was ashamed of what happened, it was that he wasn't sure of his own feelings. He needed time to think it through. He also had to do what was best for the gang. Having a relationship with somebody else might be a shock to them or interfere with his duties. He had to make sure they had their happiness before he had his.
When the door came into sight, he felt Nike stop and did the same. His green gaze turned to the man with slight confusion but mostly curiosity. He let the newbie take his hands and he squeezed them back, his gaze studied his features, taking in his face before dropping downward to his body and giving it the same treatment. He couldn't help but to be drawn to his attractiveness. Then he felt the other man's lips on his and smiled into the kiss. Of course, it didn't last long enough. There wasn't a single kiss Nike could give that could last long enough. He could never get enough of the feeling of his lips against his own.
"Thank you, this was really nice. We should both get some rest now, come on."
He sighed and took a step back as well. He knew that if they were out any later, his night guards would worry. He didn't go anywhere that often. He had never went outside during night either. He stepped inside, taking the door from Nike's hands and gesturing for him to step inside.
Most of the gang was asleep now, except for the night guards. There was one by the door and the others placed at the windows. Nobody was at his door, they already knew he was gone. Not to mention that he really didn't like them watching over him. He didn't want special treatment.
"Let me go check on Alleya," He whispered to Nike, slipping off into the shadows. If Alleya was still asleep, there was no way he was going to be able to sleep tonight. He couldn't sleep in the bed with her in it and he couldn't dare risk falling asleep outside with the rest of the gang. Not with his nightmares and that was only if he did fall asleep. He hadn't been too successful these past couple of days falling asleep without her presence.
The man gave a soft smile when the leader held the door and motioned for him to walk in first, the gesture was enough to even make him blush once again and his gaze went down to the floor the moment he’d come inside. Having been out with the leader caused the night guards to look at him extra it seemed, that or he was just being slightly paranoid.
"Let me go check on Alleya."
Niké glanced up after the man and gave a slight nod and mumbled a low, “Goodnight,” before continuing towards his own sleeping spot. Since Alleya had taken Theo’s bed, it looked as if Niké would be alone in his and Alleya’s corner tonight. The man didn't mind the loneliness too much, it meant Alleya wouldn't be asking him a bunch of questions about where he had been with the leader and what the two had done.
The grey-haired man reached his spot and sat down on the floor, he didn't want to sleep, not when he didn't have anyone to so much as wake him up. Niké let out a low sigh before he moved back and closer to the wall, leaning back against it and closing his eyes, he didn't even want to sleep so it didn't matter that he couldn't.
He needed to figure out in his head what had happened and why. How could he have let lust get the better of him like that? He wasn't here to have fun and find a partner so why did Theo have to be so good and nice? Why couldn't he just have been the cruel criminal that he had been supposed to be?
Niké hit the back of his head against the wall lightly and sighed again. “Why am I such an idiot?” The man said quietly to himself. He regretted having put himself in this position, things had been confusing enough before and now it would be even more confusing and hard after having kissed the man he was supposed to put away.
Theo was probably going to go back and lay in Alleya's spot if she was still asleep in his bed. She hadn't given him permission to lay with her and he would rather avoid that situation if it happened. Of course, when he got to the room she was still asleep. He could hear her snoring without even looking into the room. He wasn't about to wake her either, she needed to sleep and recover from the journey as well.
"Goodnight, Alleya," He whispered from the doorway before shutting the door gently and quietly making his way back to where everyone else slept.
He was looking forward to just sitting again and taking a moment to catch his breath. He had been on his feet most of the day, even if some of it had been volunteer pacing as he thought about the Rebels. He knew he had to do something about them once and for all, they were ruining his gang's reputation and a threat to them. He just wasn't sure what he could do exactly. Any action he took would have drastic consequences. If his gang attacked theirs, it might retaliate in a war. If he agreed to form an alliance with them, it would go against his morals. He was stuck at a standstill and there was nothing he could do about it other than increase patrols.
As he approached Nike, he heard the man mutter something about being an idiot. He paused briefly, wondering if he should settle down where the night guards sleep instead. The thing about having a damaged eye was that your other senses had to work harder. So he easily picked up on what the man said.
He couldn't help but briefly wonder if the question was directed to what happened back in the woods. Even more so, he wondered if he was the reason the question was formed. However, something in the back of his mind convinced him he was being silly. So he moved to Alleya's spot, purposely kicking a twig that had been tracked in the sleeping area to alert the other man that he wasn't alone.
"Alleya's still asleep so I guess I'm kicked out of my bed for tonight," Theo whispered as he slowly sat down on the floor, using the wall to help support him. Pain shot through his body but he ignored it. Once he was sitting, the pain began to dull to a nagging ache again.
He would never lay in the same bed as someone without permission, even friends. That's where he drew the line. It didn't matter if it was his bed or not. The thing that made him feel a little disappointed was that now he couldn't sleep. He was too afraid to.
"You don't mind do you?" He asked after catching his breath, his gaze sliding to Nike's outline. He didn't know why he was asking, this was Alleya's sleeping spot after all.
The hardest part of this situation was probably that Niké had no one to talk to, he couldn't sneak away and call his superiors so he was stuck trying to figure everything out on his own. Why had he ever thought he had what it took to do this job?
When the man heard the sound of someone kicking a twig, followed by said twig rolling into view, Niké instantly looked up to see the leader settling down at Alleya’s spot.
"Alleya's still asleep so I guess I'm kicked out of my bed for tonight."
It wasn't that he didn't want to spend time with the leader. In fact, he really did and that was the problem. How was he supposed to figure out how to move on from here when Theo was sitting right next to him.
"You don't mind do you?"
A soft blush took over his cheeks once more that night when he realized he'd just been quietly staring at the leader. Not that that was something uncommon for him, he often zoned out like that, he just felt embarrassed for having done it with the leader.
“Uh no, I don't,” the male answered, not sure what else to say. He couldn't really stop the leader anyway, it was his gang and also, he didn't want to stop him.
The grey-haired man pulled his legs up to his chest and leaned his head on top of them. His pale gaze moved to study the other man once again, taking in every little detail he could make out in the dull lighting of the house.
He wanted to move close to the other, to lean his head on the man’s shoulder and intervene his fingers with Theo’s. He wanted to feel the warmth of the other again. But it wasn't even to consider, there were people around and the night guards would see them immediately, despite the house not being properly lit up at the moment.
“She's probably really tired,” Niké said in a low tone, “these days have been rough for her and I don't think she's slept too well.” Between Taurus being an ass, meeting her ex and fighting the Rebels, there hadn't exactly been much time for any of them to sleep that well so it was understandable that the woman had passed out in Theo’s bed.
Ooof, sorry. The holidays and work had me with zero freetime.)))
Theo just really wanted to make sure Nike was okay with the situation. He supposed he could always wake Alleya so he could get some sleep but that was rather selfish. So instead, he asked Nike. He could always move elsewhere. No matter where he was, he wouldn't be sleeping.
However, the other man seemed okay with it. The gang was oblivious to him staring just prior to answering. He had been preoccupied with finding a comfortable way to sit where the back of the wall wasn't digging into the burn wounds on his back. He ended up sitting leaning a tad forward and sitting with his legs crossed. He didn't want to lay down and risk falling asleep.
He wanted to move closer to Nike and tell him the truth about his sleep schedule. Hell, he wanted to tell the other man every personal detail about himself. That even included...well it included his...father...as well. That was a difficult subject, more difficult than what happened to Finn. It was what happened to him during his childhood that kept him up at night.
Hearing Nike's response, he gave the faintest of nod. He wasn't sure if he saw the nod though, so he added,"That's why I'm encouraging you to rest too. I know the journey's been tough for all of you, I can see it on your faces."
He reached out and briefly rested his hand on the other man's thigh. A small gesture that would be hard to spot by any of the nightshift. Not in this lighting.
((It's fine ^^))
"That's why I'm encouraging you to rest too. I know the journey's been tough for all of you, I can see it on your faces."
It was true, his tiredness read all over his face. It was how it usually looked. He never slept even close to enough, and when his dreams were at their worst he’d stay up for days upon days, up until the point where he’d start hallucinating even.
For a second, the tiredness disappeared though, a soft smile finding his lips and his face flushing red at the touch from Theo. He wished that the man would have left his hand on there for longer but if he had, someone could have seen and then their secret would be no longer.
“I am fine Theo…” Niké mumbled softly, “When I need to sleep I will, I know my limits, trust me.” He gave the leader a reassuring smile as looked at him, trying to convince the man that what he said was the truth. Partly it was, he did know his own limits, the problem was listening to it, he usually didn't, he just pushed himself further when he couldn’t find a place to sleep alone.
The grey-haired man moved his hand slightly, putting his hand on the flooring between the two, a little in the hopes that Theo would grab it. He couldn't explain it but he really just wanted to feel the touch of the other man. He didn't know what was going on between them, there shouldn't be anything, he knew that, but that didn't change the fact that there was something between them. At least it felt like there was something between them.
He wanted to stop all these feelings, it was the smart thing to do. If he let this continue it could become a real problem for him and his job but maybe he could just let it be for a little longer? Most likely things wouldn't work out anyways so what was the harm in letting it continue for a little longer.
Edited at January 3, 2023 11:14 AM by Ashes of Night
It was very tempting to use his leader authority and make sure Nike got some sleep but that wasn't the type of leader he aspired to be. That wasn't the type of leader she was so he would never do that. He would just have to trust the other man and maybe, just maybe try again another time. Besides, it wasn't fair for him to be pushing sleep upon him when his sleep schedule was just as bad. He had been up for three nights, for the most part, and this was another night.
He wanted to tell Nike the truth. He didn't want the man catching feelings for somebody who couldn't sleep without company. He thought he would have been able to sleep without Alleya but he had been mistaken. He was too afraid too. Alleya would always wake him up if things got too bad and she never ever judged him for being afraid of sleeping. However, he held back on telling the gray-haired man the truth about himself.
"When I need to sleep I will, I know my limits, trust me.”
Theo gave a faint nod toward that. He wasn't going to push him any further. Not tonight. Besides, he trusted him. He didn't want the other man thinking he didn't. He felt movement beside him and turned his head so he could see. He noticed the newbie's hand move in between them. He gave a small faint smile, his head moving back against the wall and he closed his eyes, allowing a moment to think.
The gang leader wondered if he did that on purpose, if he wanted Theo to touch him more. He wondered if the other man was feeling the urge to get closer like he was. To get closer physically but also on an emotional level. He wanted to tell the man everything about him and not stop there. He fought the urge to grab his hand and pull Nike into a kiss. Something like that, it wouldn't go unnoticed.
So after a moment, he took Nike's hand. His eyes remained closed, he had the location of the hand memorized. One of things he always did uncontrollably was memorize locations of things in case something was on his blind side. Sighing, he brought their hands to his lips and kissed Nike's knuckles. Then brought their hands back in between them. He didn't let go of the other man's hand though, not quite yet. Small actions would go unnoticed by the night guards and anyone still awake. He didn't want to lose the feeling of their hands together. Not quite yet.
Theo's eyes briefly opened and turned to study Nike's face or what he could see of it in the dark lighting. Another smile danced across his face. his face was stunning, even in its tired features. It was a face that he could study forever, mural worthy even if he was an artistic being. His gaze turned away hesitantly, his eyes shutting again.
Thinking of Nike's face brought him back to his own. He couldn't imagine how ugly his appearances were next to the other man's. He had a lame eye, a scar, rough hair, and rough lips. He didn't see how anyone could be interested in that.
Maybe it was time somebody knew the truth about the one weakness he couldn't hide from anyone...
"My eye..." He whispered,"My blind one...it wasn't due to anything that happened after I left my fath-my family. It didn't happen because of a gang or the cruelties of being homeless..."
When the man felt Theo grab his hand, it was as if his heart skipped a beat, jumping in his chest and sending a wave of warmth through his body. As if that wasn't enough though, the leader brought his hand up to his lips and kissed it, causing him to start blushing, something that the dull lighting luckily hid.
Niké moved ever so slightly closer to the man next to him, squeezing his hand lightly. He wanted to lay his head on the leader’s shoulder, to just be able to relax and calm down, because that was the effect Theo seemed to have on him, a calming and relaxing one.
Seeing the leader turn his head and look at Niké, the young man smiled. He took the time to study the leader's face now that it was turned towards him. The urge to reach out and touch him was strong but he knew he couldn't so instead he just had to watch, study every little detail of the man's face. Taking in every detail and imperfection that added to the uniqueness and attractiveness of the leader's face. Theo didn't have the looks of a handsome model, no, he was far more rough-looking, but that was also what made him attractive to Niké.
"My eye… My blind one...it wasn't due to anything that happened after I left my fath-my family. It didn't happen because of a gang or the cruelties of being homeless..."
Niké tilted his head ever so slightly as he heard the leader whisper, he had been wondering about the man's blind eye but he had figured that the man wouldn't want to talk about it so the fact that he now was did shock him a little.
There was also that part of him who was still set on finishing this job and that was screaming to not let Theo tell him anything. He would feel worse in the end then, like he would be betraying him. Then there was the other part of him, the one causing problems, the one that wanted to know Theo inside and out, to always feel the other's warmth and to be able to taste his lips.
“You don't have to tell me if it's too hard,” Niké whispered, giving the leader’s hand another light squeeze, “I’m here and listening though if you want to, take your time.”
By the way the man was speaking, it was clear that it wasn’t something easy to say, that's why he wanted to make sure the leader really was ready to tell him whatever it was he wanted to tell him. He didn't want him regretting it later.
Edited at January 4, 2023 06:21 PM by Ashes of Night
He wanted to just scoot against Nike and allow himself to enjoy the man's company. He wanted to lay his head on on his shoulder, try kissing his neck, and try to sleep. Maybe the closeness of somebody else could trick his mind into sleeping soundly without the curse of his nightmares. However, he wasn't a fool. He knew better than to try something like that. What Nike and him had...whatever they had...it has to remain a secret.
For once, he longed the company of his room and bed. He longed to shut the door and allow himself to just be with Nike. He knew better though. Who knows what might happen if Nike and him were alone. After all, the temptation to touch each other was almost unbearable as it was. Nike had to be feeling it too.
So instead of touching Nike, he decided to share a secret. His eye was the cause of him becoming the gang leader that he was. His eye was the last connecting factor to his father and would forever be a constant reminder of what happened that night. He wasn't ready to share what exactly happened, he just wanted or felt like the gray-haired man needed to know the truth. Or a rather small part of the truth.
"You don't have to tell me if it's too hard."
He felt Nike squeeze his hand. He squeezed back.
"I’m here and listening though if you want to, take your time.”
He nodded in appreciation but he wasn't ready to tell the rest of the story. He didn't think he would ever really be ready to tell that part. It was horrible-what happened to him and it would be even more horrible to put the burden of his memories on somebody else.
"I-um-I just wanted you to know that it happened before I met the gang. Not well before but decently before, if that makes sense," He interlaced his fingers with Nike's, deciding then he wasn't going to ever let go of his hand-well maybe he would closer to daylight. Only when he couldn't hide their handholding would he let go.
"It-um-got infected and it was barely saved. My vision was the first thing to fail me once the infection set in," He sighed,"I can't see a damn thing on that side and then I'm cursed with the damn looks to make it look more ugly than what it is."
It was tough loosing his vision. It wasn't a rapid lost either. More like slow and painfully. It started out with blurry occasional vision, then went to blurry vision all the time, and then gradually worsened so there was nothing.
He remembered fighting with Flynn over it, her look of horror when he told her he saw nothing...her hugging him and crying over the fact she failed to save it. He remembered telling her it was already too late. Flynn was prideful of her work and prided herself in curing everything. It had almost been harder to her to admit that his vision was gone than it had for him to admit it.
"I don't think it could have ever been saved. It was deep and at this point of my life, the only thing I wish for is that I would have lost my vision quickly and painlessly, not the other way around," He concluded, sighing softly at the memories of young Flynn that the conversation of his eye brought up.