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James Hiwatari

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923 I Make This Look Easy


About James Hiwatari

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    Cool Member

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    Bisexual, leaning male
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    Glasgow, UK
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    I write stories, draw my characters, and compose/perform music for them. I like languages. And messing with people's expectations makes my day, particularly when it comes to gender-related stuff.

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  1. James Hiwatari

    63 - Family Connections

    Well, how many violinists called Arnar do we know? *cue villainous evil laughter* In a parallel universe out there Siggi and Gunni are siblings. That's all I'm saying.
  2. James Hiwatari

    63 - Family Connections

    Jó and I found Eiri in the kitchen shaking some ice cream off a slightly bent spoon into a bowl. He gave us a huge smile when he noticed us, but Jó nearly had a heart attack. My cousin had turned the kitchen table into a small battle zone, with one of the ice cream tubs ripped open and dripping melted red goo. A spoon bent to almost 90 degrees stuck out of it. The tub with the chocolate ice cream had its corners smashed and a brown stain on the table matched the shape of its lid. Two more bent spoons lay around the cookie dough ice cream tub, which remained closed and weirdly intact in the middle of the mess, like an indestructible fortress overlooking the battlefield. “You… You got us ice cream.” Jó forced a smile, but even Eiri noticed he wasn’t too happy. “I’m sorry about the mess, but I’ll it clean up, so don’t worry!” Eiri came around the table to personally give Jó his bowl. “The ice cream was a little more solid than I expected, so I ended up using too much force to get it out.” “You bent three spoons.” “Like I said, too much force. But don’t worry, those were the cheap ones. I’m sure our good spoons wouldn’t bend so easily.” “Three spoons…” Jó’s eyes lingered on the spoons while Eiri tried to make a serious face. Jó sighed, and finally accepted the bowl his husband handed him. “You’re proud of it, aren’t you?” “Well, now that you mention it…” Eiri winked at me. “It would’ve been more awesome if I’d done it with the powers of my mind, but I guess the power of my muscles can be just as impressive.” Eiri made a show of kissing his biceps, and Jó couldn’t hold back a laugh. I laughed too, now that I knew Jó wasn’t as upset as he seemed. “It’s true that your muscles were the first thing I noticed about you…” Jó squeezed Eiri’s biceps (which were almost as big as my thigh). The gesture itself was quite childish, but his tone carried such a sexual vibe I instinctively stepped back. Eiri enveloped Jó in his strong arms, getting on tip toes to kiss his neck from behind. “So am I forgiven for my use of extreme, uncontrollable force?” “You have some strong arguments in your favour. Two of them. Beautiful ones. I guess I can let it go this time.” “Good, because I don’t plan to let you go for a while.” Eiri winked at me again, but all I could think of was to take my ice cream to my room and finish it there. My cousins shamefully flirting at the tiniest excuse wasn’t anything new to me, and I usually got warm feelings from seeing them expressing their love so openly. But now, with my heart still bleeding out my feelings for Siggi, the last thing I wanted to see was a happy couple doing happy couple things. They must have noticed my discomfort, because all they did was a quick kiss on the lips. From then on, Jó tried to find conversation topics to distract me, but since Siggi’s presence lingered on everything I liked (music, my job, my boyfriend), we struggled to get a proper conversation going. By the time I went for my second serving, Jó and I had spoken very little, and Eiri had not said a word at all. “You’re very quiet, Eiri. Are you also thinking of something to distract Gunni with?” “Not, actually, but if you want to know…” Eiri leaned against Jó too and put the last spoonful of chocolate ice cream in his mouth. Some of it smeared around his lips, giving him the look of a messy child, but the rest of his face became so serious that the impression didn’t last. “Róska called me while I was out in the shop. She invited me to have lunch with her family on Saturday.” “That’s great, isn’t it?” Jó rubbed his husband’s shoulder. “You said your first meeting went well.” “Yes, but…” “What’s wrong?” “Nothing. I mean, nothing is supposed to be wrong. They’re all really nice, and we had a great time together. Magni and Sölvey were joking about how glad they were Róska was no longer their oldest sibling, and how easily I would become their favourite if only I let them play past bedtime! And their mother said that if my mother ever becomes too much of a handful, she wouldn’t mind adopting me too.” “So are you feeling guilty because they’re making you abandon your mother?” Jó rubbed Eiri’s shoulders still, though Eiri had stopped moving. “No. I feel guilty because it feels wrong to hide from them the most amazing person I have in my life.” Eiri threw his body at Jó, and they almost fell from their chairs. Jó held Eiri and tried to comfort him, but they didn’t say anything else. “But wouldn’t it be ok to come out to them?” I asked. “I know my gaydar has its issues, but Róska seemed anything but straight to me. If they’re ok with her, why wouldn’t they be ok with you?” “It’s not just about them being ok with me being with another man.” Eiri spoke with his face buried on Jó’s shoulder, so some of his words were hard to hear. “It’s about the possibility that the secret will reach Mum. The more people who know, the greater the risk. It used to be just Aunt Lilla, but now it’s you, Dmitri, his housemates, and Jó’s family. That’s a lot of people who can let it slip. That’s a lot of people holding my relationship with my mother in their hands. I can’t afford to spread this even thinner, even more so because out of everyone who knows, they’re the most likely to have opportunity and motive to spill the beans to her.” “You think Róska would tell her out of spite? Even if you explain to them how important it is to keep the secret?” “They already don’t have a high opinion of Mum, after her throwing a shoe at Róska and calling her the spawn of the devil and all that. It won’t take much more for them to decide that they need to be my only family and I’m better off without Mum. Telling them about me and Jó would be like handing them all the weapons they need to make it happen.” I bit my lip so I wouldn’t tell Eiri that I agreed he would be better without Aunt Margrét messing with his life. She caused him so much stress and pain that, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t understand why Eiri insisted in keeping their relationship. His sense of duty and unwillingness to abandon her like his father could only go so far. But this was Eiri and Jó’s business, it was not my place to convince Eiri to change his mind. “I’ll go to that lunch, but I’ll need to make up something to say if they ask me about relationships and what I’ve been doing with my life all this time.” “You can always tell them you’re busy now taking care of Gunni and being a responsible adult.” Jó caressed Eiri’s hair. I couldn’t tell what he really thought about Eiri’s insistence to keep the secret, or how much it hurt him to be Eiri’s secret. His focus was on making Eiri feel better and nothing else. “Then whatever they ask, just talk about Gunni like he’s your adored child who makes you proud of everything he does.” “Gunni is my adored child who makes me proud of everything he does.” Eiri glanced at me with a hint of a smile, though when he noticed how much I wanted to look away and hide from the compliment, his face brightened considerably. “I guess I can try that. Thanks.” “You know you can count on me for anything.” “I don’t know what I would do without you in my life.” “You would apparently bend all the spoons and make a mess serving ice cream. How about you eat some more? I think you and Gunni deserve to finish all three tubs today. I won’t even pester you about how unhealthy it is.” “And this is why you’re the best husband in the world!” Eiri pecked Jó’s cheek. “That said, you’re also the skinniest husband in the world, so there’s no way you’re walking out of here before us! Eat up!” The ice cream lasted another half hour, and we took another half hour to recover our usual mobility. The sugar rush did its job, though, and I could almost forget about Siggi while wondering if I would ever be able to get off of the chair. (...) Even lying in bed listening to Mozart’s Jupiter symphony with headphones and a sleeping mask wasn’t enough of a distraction once the sugar rush turned to sugar crash. I tried to block all my senses and concentrate only on the music, but it only made me picture the ISO playing the symphony with Siggi staring at me and being his usual lovely musical self. It was easy to forget his rudeness and mean words when he played like that. I could watch him all day, and forgive everything he ever did as soon as he sounded his first note. But I shouldn’t be thinking like that! I shouldn’t forgive him so easily! Siggi was mean and immature and his lovely playing was nothing compared to that! Mum had always been able to help me sort my feelings. I needed to talk to her, but she was still at work. I messaged her, and she promised we would be able to talk in half an hour. I spent that time listening to Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, though this time I followed it on the score so I wouldn’t be tempted by scenes of the orchestra making my heart bleed for Siggi’s good and unattainable self again. I almost dropped my phone in the rush to pick it up when it rang. “Hi, Gunni, I came home as soon as I could. Did something happen?” Seeing Mum’s tiny face on the phone’s Skype screen was a little underwhelming, but I didn’t have the energy to go all the way to Jó’s office to chat from there. “I’m trying to get over my feelings for Siggi. He’s a horrible person and I’ll keep getting hurt if I hope he’ll get better, but it’s so hard!” I told her everything about the events at the restaurant, my anger and frustration at Siggi’s behaviour and how it made me realise my feelings for him had to change. I hoped talking through those things would strengthen my resolve to get away from him, but the more I talked, the more I felt that anger and frustration going away. Should I really be so harsh to Siggi? What if I gave him another chance? He couldn’t be such a bad person if Dmitri liked him. “I know what you’re thinking, Gunni, and I can understand your wish to hang on to this idealised version of Siggi your mind created, but it’ll only bring you more pain. You talk about how Siggi made you angry and how you don’t think you will be able to face him tomorrow, but your feelings for Siggi are, for better or for worse, still strong, and it hurts to consider it could really be over.” “It does.” I wanted to cry. My eyes stung and my nose got blocked, but the tears didn’t come. “Can I really let it end like this? After everything, after looking up to him for so long… I don’t want to give up! I don’t want to be such a failure! What if Dmitri and I tried harder, if –” “Gunni, listen to me.” Mum brought her hand to the screen, like she wanted to wipe away the tears that weren’t there. “I know it hurts. I know this isn’t how you hoped your relationship with Siggi would turn out. I know how much you wanted to at least be his friend. But sometimes things happen that are out of our control and we have to accept it’s not meant to be. Siggi is only going to keep hurting you. It doesn’t matter what you do. Unless Siggi changes his behaviour considerably, the best thing you can do is stay away.” “But what if I can make him change?” “Wasn’t that what you hoped would happen over the last half year?” “I know! But if I tried harder…” “Gunni… I know I can’t make you understand this rationally. Feelings are complicated, and your heart will fight any advice that goes against what it wants. It will hurt, and you’ll cry over what could’ve been, and it’ll hurt so much you’ll want to do anything it takes to make it stop, even if it means letting Siggi hurt you again.” “I already feel that way.” “I know.” Mum gave me a sad smile. “I’m lucky that your father was the only person I was ever truly in love with, so I’ve never had the kind of heartbreak you’re going through now. But your father did, and you remind me of him now.” “Is this something he told you about?” I jumped at the opportunity to talk about my father not only because it would be a good distraction, but because this wasn’t a story I heard before. “It was more like a confession, actually.” Mum seemed happy to change the subject too. “He told me about this when we decided to get married...” (...) We were at grandpa’s farm to announce our engagement to my family. Our decision to get married had come out of the blue two days earlier, with him suggesting it in a joking tone. But the joke made us consider it for the first time, and we decided it would actually be a good idea. I had just parked my car in front of the house, and Hrafnkell grabbed my hand as I reached for the door. ‘Before we go, there’s something I want to tell you. I kept thinking about it the whole way here. It won’t leave me alone and I’ll feel horrible if I don’t say anything while you still have a chance to turn back.” ‘What are you talking about?’ Hrafnkell was as serious as I’d ever seen him, though his lower lip was shaking and his hands were sweating. ‘I have a confession to make. You have the right to know who I really am before we take such a huge step in our relationship. We’re the only ones who know about our marriage plans for now, but this will change as soon as we step out of this car. So if you’re going to turn back, the time is now.’ ‘Did you kill someone? Are you a secret agent spying on me? What is going on?’ ‘It’s none of those things.’ At least my guesses brought a short-lived smile to his lips. ‘You know I’m so completely in love with you I can’t imagine living my life without you by my side, right? You know I’ve never lied to you and that I want our relationship to be based on trust. So it’s only fair that I tell you about the only other person I’ve felt that way for.’ ‘Are you talking about an ex-girlfriend you’re still in love with? You think this could get on the way of our relationship?’ ‘It’s not an ex-girlfriend. We were never together this way. It was my roommate, back when I was at university. That was the first time I thought I loved someone.’ ‘That was before we met. How do your feelings for her affect our relationship now?’ ‘Him. My feelings for him.’ ‘Oh.’ I wish I could’ve been more expressive, but back then I didn’t know bisexuality was real. My mind was bombarded with thoughts that my soon-to-be husband was a gay man, and I couldn’t find words to express that building sense of dread in a way that wouldn’t hurt or scare him. ‘I know. That’s why I wanted to come clear with you now.’ He looked away from me. I was so confused, so scared he would break up with me, but I could see he felt the same way. ‘Arnar was two years younger than me. A violinist even more skilled than your father, if you don’t mind me saying. He was having trouble adjusting to university life in the beginning, having some family troubles, and I ended up taking him under my wing as a kind of supportive big brother. I helped him take care of himself, taught him to make his own food, took him clothes shopping so he would look good in auditions, that kind of stuff. We also played a lot together, and after a while I… I found myself more and more attached to him. I craved his company like a drug. I wanted to make him smile. I wanted to protect him and take care of him and reassure him he would be great at the next audition, even when I was a pile of nerves for my own auditions.’ ‘You loved that man.’ It hurt to say it back then, when my heart was racing and screaming I was about to lose the love of my life. I couldn’t understand how he could have held such pure, beautiful feelings for a man, and still want to marry me. ‘I panicked when I realised what my feelings were. I was sure Arnar saw me as nothing more than a big brother, or best friend at most. He was obviously attracted to women, and I… I thought I was too.’ So Hrafnkell wasn’t attracted to women after all? What was he doing with me, then? I wanted to shout at him to go away and never see me again, but he was so mortified by his own words I felt sorry for him instead. It wasn’t hard to guess he had never spoken about this to anyone, and his words were as much of a shock to him as they were for me. ‘I was scared. I still am scared. I figured I would only get hurt if I kept being around Arnar as much as my heart wanted, so I started putting some distance between us. We were still living together, but I would always “have something on” when he was home, pretend to be busy practicing when he wanted to hang out. I don’t know if he ever noticed what I was doing, and I know I’m the worst human being for lying to him like that, but I couldn’t face his rejection if I ever told him what was really going on.’ ‘So you just drifted apart?’ ‘After graduation I told him I would have better career prospects outside of Reykjavík. He must have seen through the lie, but he didn’t say anything. It was much easier to speak to him through the phone or write letters. Our friendship kept going that way. I called him when I got the job with your father’s quartet. He called when he got his first freelance job with the ISO.’ ‘What are you trying to tell me?’ If things were going so well with this other guy, surely now would be the moment he admitted he was gay. ‘That calling Arnar to tell him about how my boss’s daughter was the most amazing person in the entire world and I was completely in love with her was the most confusing phone call I’ve ever made?’ Hrafnkell almost smiled. ‘When I met you, all those feelings I had for Arnar came back with the same force. I love you, Lilla. I want to make you smile. I want to wake up in the morning next to you, and go to bed with you at night. I want to have a family with you. I want to sit next to you as an old man, with our grandkids running and screaming and being kids around us, and feel that I’ve had the perfect life because you’re there with me.’ ‘But you love another man at the same time?’ ‘I’m as confused as you are.’ ‘And that’s why you wanted me know?’ ‘I wanted you to know that I love you and I won’t hesitate to choose you as my life partner, but also know that my feelings have done strange things I still don’t know how to deal with.’ ‘So you think you’re not gay after all?’ ‘All I know is that I don’t want to be the gay guy married to a woman to keep up appearances. That’s not me. Though when your sister calls me “effeminate faggot” to my face I can’t help but wonder if she knows more about me than we think.’ ‘Margrét knows nothing. You can’t take her seriously.’ ‘I know. But other than being clear that you’re my life partner and I love you and I’m definitely attracted to your body too… everything else is a confusing mess I don’t know how to deal with and I figured I should warn you this is who you’re dealing with if you want to be my wife.’ ‘I see.’ I tried to smile at him. I knew he was telling the truth, and if he wanted to marry me and be with me for the rest of his life, then so did I. ‘Are you inviting this man to our wedding?’ ‘I won’t if you don’t want me to.’ We did invite him in the end, but he was busy with work and didn’t come. I never met that man, and I’m not sure I would’ve wanted to back then. We got out of the car, my father was over the moon when we told him the news, and the few years we spent together were some of the happiest days of my life. It would be many years after his death until I realised Hrafnkell would’ve likely identified as bisexual if he knew it was a thing, and whatever little fear I still had inside me that he would’ve left me once he decided he was gay and wanted to be with men was buried for good. “Thank you for telling me all of this.” My tears had finally come out around the time Mum mentioned how my father dreamed of making a family with her. She had started crying at that point too, and I wanted nothing but to be able to hug her and comfort her in the way she often did with me. “Though why didn’t you tell me when you realised I was gay? Didn’t you think I would’ve wanted to know it then?” “I thought about it.” She wiped her eyes with a tissue. “But I decided not to in the end because this isn’t exactly a happy story. Your father was struggling with his sexuality, he died without the reassurance of knowing there are other people like him and that his confusing feelings were perfectly normal. What you needed when you realised your sexuality was our acceptance and the confidence that you could be who you were. I didn’t want my reluctance to accept your father’s feelings for another man to come off as me rejecting all same-sex relationships and make you question my love for you.” “I think I understand. But would you have told me at some other point, if it wasn’t for this whole Siggi mess?” “Of course. I think it would’ve been unfair to both of you if the truth never came out. But you’re now so close to Margrét, hearing all the things she says about Jó and about your father… Her insults had always hurt, but after that day, after I realised how much Hrafnkell feared those words… I guess I didn’t want you feeling even worse than you already do when she berates your father like that. I’m sorry if I was being over-protective for no reason, but I know the sister I have.” “That’s true. I’m sure I’ll feel much worse now if I hear her talking about dad, but I’m still happy that I know more about him. It’s… It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, in a way. That my father was more like me than I thought. It’s nice.” “I’m glad. I think when he told me those things he was looking for some kind of closure. I don’t know how much he was aware of it at the time, but the feeling I got was that coming clear to me was also him closing off every possibility of developing his relationship with the other man. He was telling himself that, no matter how much it hurt him to do so, he had to step away and let life take him somewhere else. It probably wasn’t the closure his heart wanted, but it was what had to be done.” “So this is why you’re telling me that story now, because I’m also not getting the closure I want, but I’m doing what needs to be done for my relationship with Siggi?” Mum nodded. I had such an urge to cry I could no longer speak, and she too cried upon seeing me in that state. The cold, empty space around me on the bed never hurt so much. The silence filling the room felt heavy and suffocating when all I wanted was to be back home in Akureyri, lying on Mum’s lap and feeling her comforting hands on my hair, hugging her and being reassured by her warmth. I cried because I missed her; because I needed her next to me when she was on the other side of the country. I cried because I imagined conversations with my father that could never be real; because I missed him even though I shouldn’t be able to miss someone I never knew. And I cried because the Siggi-shaped wound in my heart still refused to close; because it didn’t feel right to force closure on something still so wide open.
  3. Sorry, everyone, but I'll have to take a break fro writing for a while. I've realised I've been a little too tired and burned out, and as a result my stories are not turning out as good as I wanted them to be (and it's frustrating me to no end).

    So I'm going to take some time off, rest and get my head fresh for a new start. I'll be off in a work (!) trip to BiCon in the first week of August, and I'll probably need another week to recover from that. 


    That means I'll be back around mid-August, with renewed energy, new inspirations, and hopefully a few scenes for FOHT ready (and some chapters for the Orchestra too). 


    For those who have seen it on my Patreon, scene 69 of FOHT is already available. However, I've decided not to post it here for now. The reason for this is that scene 69 is really short (less than 300 words) and all it does is set up for what is going to be the longest scene in the story so far (at least twice the length of the longest scene we've had), which is also one of the most important plot-wise. So I don't want you guys to feel cheated being left hanging on such a tiny scene. What I'm going to do instead is post the two scenes less than a week apart when I get back. 


    This long and important scene is the main reason I decided to go away now. I've been struggling to write it in a way that reflects its importance, and I realised it's because I'm generally tired and in urgent need to recharge my batteries. 


    The Orchestra's chapter 63 is already on Patreon and will be posted as usual this Saturday. However, after that it'll also fall under "I'm on a break, come back later" situation. 


    See you after the holidays!

    1. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      Enjoy your break, you deserve it. Gives me time to read the latest Orchestra chapter. :) 

  4. FOHT this week is coming tomorrow!

    (Work is calling, there goes my whole day...)


    At least this time I remembered to warn people about it...

  5. James Hiwatari

    Scene 68

    Thanks! I knew it was just an observation (if I was happy to tell important plot points to anyone who asked on a comment, what would be the point of writing the story?), but I figured I could let my evil side have some fun in the replies... I hope you keep enjoying the story!
  6. James Hiwatari

    Scene 68

    Well, the consequence of the rescue mission not going well is our dear main character being lost forever in the clutches of the demons and their mind control. We can't have that, can we? Can we? As for why Nessa has been targeted... You know when the villains have this big badass plan and they make the crucial mistake of revealing it all to heroes when it looks like they're about to crush the heroes for good, only for the heroes to use that ill-timed gloating to turn the tables? I definitely don't want that. So I won't be playing the bad guy here and reveal all my motivations in one quick comment. That said, that something weirder I mentioned to Wesley might be of your interest too. Just saying...
  7. James Hiwatari

    Scene 68

    You're welcome! See you next week for something... weirder? *building up expectations for something that will take at least 2 weeks to properly appear)
  8. James Hiwatari

    Scene 68

    29th January 1995 Dear Nessa (and Kris if you’re still there) The drilling has begun! Lydia is carving the tunnel as we speak! (or rather, as I write!) It might be a while to get to you, though, because we decided it would be safer if we started digging from inside the house. Lóránt removed some floorboards (the kitchen is a mess! It’ll be gre—————————-at cleaning it all up when we get back!) (I bet you felt my eye roll through the paper right now) At least this way we also avoid the annoying reporters hanging outside. Can you imagine the fuss it would be if they saw the three of us leaving and Lóránt refusing to comment where we were heading to? That would definitely sound suspicious enough to tip off Zhofie. And it would be even worse if the paparazzi followed us and saw us digging. That would be our entire plan gone down under! (You better laugh at my puns. It’s a lot of effort to come up with good stuff to write while my entire body is rattling because Lydia can’t make perfect smooth surfaces for my tank.) Actually, it’s pretty messy around here right now. Lydia is covered in dirt, Lóránt has squashed their wings to fit Lydia’s tight opening (that sounded sooo wrong… and yet I made a point of writing it that way. Go figure…) and I’m doing the most incredible acrobatics to avoid getting water splashed on the diary. Bottom line is: we’ve got an awful long distance to go, so don’t expect us within the next hour or two. I know it’s going to be a boring wait, but trust me: watching Lydia dig through solid rock with the power of her mind is not that entertaining either. I mean, it was at first. I had no idea how dwarf elemental abilities worked, though I was sure it couldn’t be like mine (there’s no way dwarves can do ecolocating calls under water to command friendly sharks to slice your enemies to bits, is there? Didn’t think so). I think I know you well enough to assume you don’t know how Lydia does her magic either. When Lydia first touched the bare ground, I assumed she would go all psychic on it and order it to move with her thoughts. But no. It’s not often I’m wrong, and I hate whe it happens. She dug a small hole in the same mundane way you and I would do. Anti-climatic. I even worried she was planning to dig like that all the way to the demon’s lair (in which case it would be more efficient to have Lóránt do the job and that would mean my entire plan was entirely pointless! How dare she toy with my perfect machinations this way?). But no. Thanks Dwarf Deity (whatever you are)! Lydia sang into her little hole (again, that sounds wrong. Again, I don’t care. You’re Lydia’s girlfriend, so I’m sure you have a much more vivid picture of that wrongness than I do). She sang to the earth, and it crumbled away. It’s an upbeat tune, the kind that makes you want to march into the sunset and carry on until sunrise. I’m really sick of that tune by now because it’s the same one on a loop, and we’ve been hearing it for… I don’t know how long it’s been, only that it’s been long enough. Soon I might be able to transcribe the lyrics, even though I don’t speak a word of that language. The earth opens up slowly, though. It has to create a tunnel wide enough for a huge angel to pass through (I’m sure dwarves are not used to digging tunnels taller than themselves), so Lydia ends up focusing the song to make the tunnel big, and is sort of forgetting to make the ground smooth for my tank. When I complained about it she had the nerve to say we don’t have time for those “extra” comforts. As if being able to move across town in a tank that is not rattling and spilling water everywhere is an extra luxury! She’s making us go down again. I’m going to have to stop writing because this definitely won’t be pretty. We’ll get there. Some day. Unn
  9. James Hiwatari

    Scene 67

    I'm glad you liked the scene. Kris has plenty of reason to hate/distrust Zhofie even more than Nessa, so it's unlikely he would be working with her on this. And unfortunately, the success or failure of the rescue mission will take a bit more than a scene to become apparent. We're about to stumble on to... something important... on the way.
  10. James Hiwatari

    62 - Flashback, Flashforward

    To be fair, I think Siggi is on the fence about Siggi... Glad you liked the chapter!
  11. Dmitri landed next to me on the bed. His hands fumbled not with my belt, but with my hair, taking my hairband away to let it flow freely down my back. “This is as safe a place as you can get, isn’t it?” The flowery wallpaper agreed with him. Gunnar had never stepped foot in Arnar’s house. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in this bedroom. I guess since you moved in with us?” “Probably.” “This room brings back memories, though, doesn’t it?” Dmitri grinned. Pulled me close until our shoulders touched and he could rest his head against the mess of hair around my neck. “I have four years’ worth of memories here. Care to be more specific?” “You. Me. In bed. Together for the first time. You being a horny virgin tired of having to rely on dildos for sexual gratification and desperate for the real thing. Me being a new hire in the orchestra worried that fucking the Leader’s son would ruin my career.” “I see.” Three years on, and still one of the most vivid fucks. Not that I needed to tell him that. “I consider that day to be the beginning of our relationship. That was when I got to know you not only as Arnar’s son, or the guy with a horrible past who could use a friend who had gone through something similar. You opened up to me in more ways than one then. No pun intended.” His chuckle coerced one out of me too. “I see what you mean. For me that was when I properly trusted you for the first time. Not only because Arnar said I could, but because I felt you were safe.” Dmitri’s arm closed around me. Just tight enough to make a point. “I want us to be back to that time. After everything that happened in the last few months, after failing as your best friend and neglecting your needs for so long, I want us to recover that trust, that closeness that has been drifting away. I’m sure we both know a lot of it is gone, but I want to rebuild it. And since this room is where everything started then, maybe this is where we should start now too.” “Is that why you brought me here?” “It seemed like the right thing to do. Though if it wasn’t for the dinner you would’ve come back here anyway, so it’s not like I’m changing your plans.” “No, it’s not.” Dmitri had a strange look on him. Harder to interpret than usual. “You know something we never really do?” “What?” Eyebrows raised. So he had some sort of plan already? “You mean you want to do something other than fucking my arse into oblivion?” “Yeah. I know we’re not a romantic couple, but have you noticed that we rarely kiss? I mean, it’s not like we never do, but the frequency of kissing compared to fucking or even blowjobs is… well, it isn’t.” “You want us to kiss more? What for?” “Just humour me this once, will you? I want to kiss you and check something.” Dmitri leaned forward, one hand resting on my shoulder, the other coming up to my lips. “Sure, whatever.” Kissing Dmitri had never been more than a spur-of-the-moment decision guided more by our erections than any conscious thought. Our lips would smash against each other, tongues clashing and dancing and exchanging far too much saliva. But as quickly as they started, kisses moved on to biting, sucking, and whatever else would leave a physical, permanent mark. Never had Dmitri run his finger down my cheek, a delicate brush like my skin would break with stronger pressure. Never had he held on to the back of my neck like I would fall apart without his support. Never had the look in his eyes been so lustful and yet so caring, so clear. Our lips touched, but so, it seemed, did the rest of our bodies. His warmth invaded me as if I had drunk half a bottle of vodka, but with no nasty side effects. The warmth became more than a physical sensation, the kind of feeling only music used to be able to give me. I broke the kiss. “What is this?” “So you felt it too?” “What are you playing at? What was this for?” “You sound like you didn’t like it.” Concern. Since when was his face so easy to read? “You were making me feel things. It can’t be good.” “How so? Don’t you want to be able to do that?” “Not when I don’t understand why. Or when the feeling I get is…” “…Is?” He inched forward again, the corner of his lip eager to shape into his usual grin. “Love.” The word came out sharp, like barbed wire cutting through my mouth and leaving behind a bloody taste. His eyes widened, that obvious surprise wiping the near-grin off his face for a second. “Is that your feeling for me or mine to you?” “I managed to get a feeling out of this mess. That’s enough of an accomplishment. Don’t expect me to be able to tell its direction too.” Dmitri’s forehead touched mine so I could not frown at him. “I’m sure it came from me, though I wouldn’t mind if it was a two-way street.” “You love me now? Or are you just manipulating our feelings to make a point?” “Why would I do that?” “I don’t know. Why wouldn’t you?” His lips twitched. “Because manipulating people’s feelings is not a nice thing to do? No, I’m not playing with you.” “Then what? Are you in love with me now that your boyfriend turned out to be scarier than we ever thought possible?” “No, listen.” His hand on my face again. Delicate. Caring. Another brief touch of lips. “I wanted to see if I could find another way to prove to you how much you matter to me. How much I treasure our relationship even when we screw up. Not all love is romantic, like how you love Arnar and how he would move mountains to make you happy. I’m the same. I love you.” “Not like you love Gunnar.” “Not like I love Gunni.” “But like how I love Arnar?” “Something along those lines.” “What is that supposed to mean, then?” “It means that here, in this room, I want our relationship to start again, like it did before.” His arms fell on my shoulders. Dmitri’s words sounded like music, an expressive melody that resonated beyond my ears into every part of my body it could reach. “I want you to understand you’re loved. That I hold you as an equal to Gunni in my heart, and I want to give you as much space as I give him inside of it.” “But you said it isn’t romantic love. It doesn’t make sense.” “It does because I figured that, if it was my love for Gunni that was causing me to screw up our friendship, then if I frame our relationship as love too, I should stop seeing Gunni as a subconscious favourite.” “I don’t think this is going to work.” “Don’t doubt the power of love!” Dmitri grinned and wiggled eyebrows at me. Neither of us said anything else, but our bodies moved on their own for a repeat of the previous kiss. This time, though, it came with skilled hands prying my shirt open and ravishing my chest with no time for delicacies or hesitation. My belt followed, and I kicked my trousers away before we broke the kiss. “Can your love sense what I want?” “Maybe, but it’s much sexier if you tell me directly.” Dmitri was no longer wearing trousers either. “Fuck me until I can’t get out of this bed anymore.” “Sounds like a plan!” He winked. Rummaged the nightstand for a condom and a brand-new bottle of lube. Kissed me, his body gently guiding mine to lie on my back. “One deep, unforgettable fuck coming right in! And out! And in again!” “Less talking, more fucking, will you?” The sound of my own laughter was not something I heard often, but it definitely joined his this time. Dmitri was still between a smile and a sexy grin when he broke into my arse. The usual pain came, turning into the kind of pleasure that made me impale myself against him even though my body tried to resist. Dmitri let me move on my own for some time before following my lead. Whatever I tried to say turned to grunts and moans. Dmitri smiled even as he quickened the pace and gasped for breath, though eventually he had to slow down. “I’m… not… done…” “Neither am I.” Dmitri took a theatrically audible breath and pulled out. “Turn around. You were on your belly when we fucked the first time.” “You want to redo the whole script?” I moved much quicker than he did. Arse up in the air, ready for him to grab and bury his cock into. “I don’t know if you’ll have the energy, though. Back then you were like a fucking machine.” “And I gave you the time of your life.” “That too.” “I’m ready when you are.” My answer was to stick my arse even higher up. Dmitri’s cock found no resistance. His hands gripped the bedsheets and his teeth found my neck. The bites came in time with the thrusts, and just as strong. “Someone will have to wear a turtleneck to the concert…” he whispered in my ear, then bit it too. “That is the opposite of a problem.” “I’m glad you and I are on the same page about this.” I could hear his grin. The sweaty warmth of his body left my back, only for him to grab my wrists and pin them to the base of my spine. “What now?” “You tell me.” His grip strengthened. “What do you want me to do to you now that you can’t possibly escape my sexy intentions?” “Can you tie me up for real? Then your hands will be free to do as you wish. Tie me to the bed. Use me as you please.” “Excellent choice, my friend!” Dmitri’s hands left my body, but his noisy trail of rummaging was easy to follow. “Get in a comfortable position. I don’t want you cramping while I’m working hard to pleasure every cell of your body.” “And here was I thinking cramping was part of the fun…” But I turned around anyway. Dmitri tied my hands above my head and tied them to the bedpost. I sucked his cock while he worked, if only to see how well he could multitask. He redid the knots three times before giving up and fucking my mouth instead. “You’re going to… you’ll have to stop… if you want me to fuck… fuck you after this.” Dmitri pulled out. He struggled to breathe more than I did during an asthma attack, and his face was redder than my arsehole, but his eyes screamed for me to keep going. Dmitri was easy to read when sex was concerned. “We have toys. If you want to dump a load down my throat, the time is now.” “Thanks.” He was done long before I could run out of air. “Feel free to play with me when you can move again. I’ll be here ready to be used and definitely far from satisfied.” Dmitri chuckled. He lay on top of me, leaving lazy kisses all over my jaw and neck while he tried to summon some energy back into his body. He put his weight on my groin, rubbed against it to let me know he was not done with me yet. “Let’s get you some dicks.” “Get two. I’m hungry and it’s been too long and you’re too much of a tease.” “Your wish is my command!” One last kiss (this one full on the lips with all the tongue and saliva he could inflict in two seconds) and Dmitri was gone again. “Do you want a dick for your mouth and one for your arse, or a double entry?” “Get three and do both. And I want all of them to be big ones.” “I wasn’t even considering the small ones.” He came back after more noisy rummaging, his hands full of cock and lube and condoms. “You’re going to let me douse those things in lube, right? This is not one of those times you need to make everything horrible, is it?” “Fucking without lube is not horrible. But no, this is not one of those times.” Was that relief in his face? “Good. It’s reassuring to hear you say that.” “What if I said I wanted you to ram them in without lube, then?” “I would be worried. There’s a difference between wanting pain because you enjoy it, and because you need an ever bigger pain to forget whatever is already hurting you. And I know you’ve been doing the second kind a lot. And I really don’t like it.” Dmitri put the fake cocks on the bed and sat next to my head. His hand played with misplaces strands of my hair. “But to have you like this… doing it because we want to have fun together… because we want to make each other feel good and not just forget bad things… I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve fucked that way, and you have no idea how happy I am that we’re doing it again.” He kissed my forehead to prove his point. “Just because I don’t have self-destructing wishes it doesn’t mean I want you to go easy on me. You better start kissing something else, or –” “Or what? It’s not like you can stop me…” Dmitri barely let me register his mischievous grin before he put his mouth to work on every non-sexual part of my body. I struggled against the bounds, wiggled his mouth towards places that mattered, but Dmitri only laughed at my futile attempts. And kissed my elbow with renewed vigour. “I’m going to strangle you with those ropes when this is over.” “Who said it’ll ever end…?” That fake innocent face did not fool anyone. “You’re in my power now, Siggi, and I’ll do anything I want with you.” Trust Dmitri to turn my most arousing fantasy into a long make-out session with my knee. Sexy face included. “At least one of us is having a good time.” He snorted into my thigh. I did not expect it to tickle so much. Or for the tickles to turn into arousal. This must have been the signal he was waiting for. “One of us, you say?” Dmitri wiggled his eyebrows at me while his hands brushed my inner thighs with the same weight as feathers. My body shook, struggled, wiggled, and could not decide whether it want to be free of that weird ticklish arousal or if I should demand Dmitri keep going. It settled for a desperate moan. “Aww, who knew your body was so sensitive…” Dmitri kept one feather-hand on my thigh, but the other found the side of my abdomen. “I wonder where else I can make you feel that desperate…?” The moan turned to laughter. My lips formed the command to ‘stop’, but my brain decided to not let it out. Dmitri tickled my sides until I could no longer breathe. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh so much!” Dmitri lay next to me while my body recovered its normal oxygen levels. “You have a beautiful laughter, you know? It gave me all sorts of warm feelings.” I knew for a fact the grin on his face was an exact match to my own expression. “I feel better too. Which is a worrying thing to say considering I haven’t even come yet.” “We’ll get to that, don’t worry.” He winked. “But on a more serious note…” Dmitri waited until my face was fully turned to him. He put loose strands of hair behind my ears as he spoke. “I know we still have a long way to go before we get there, but I am looking forward to the day you’ll laugh like that without being tied to a bed and forcefully tickled. I’m really sorry about how I messed us up. You were doing so well, you were even getting back to your old self after Arnar’s accident, and then my feelings had to get on the way and I almost lost you. And I was in such a weird place that I wouldn’t even have cared if you were gone.” His hands left my face. “You have no idea how much it scares me that I can even have those kinds of thoughts, let alone know them to be true.” “I feel I should give some sort of answer to that, but I can’t –” “No, it’s fine. I’m sorry I probably killed the mood too, but those thoughts had been eating at the back of my mind since the restaurant, and when I heard you laughing so free and happy I couldn’t keep them inside anymore. I feel like ever since I realised my feelings for Gunni I haven’t really been myself. I’ve stepped back and watched this other obsessive monster take over, and now is the first time I feel properly grounded, back to my old self, and able to see all the mess I caused. No wonder even Gunni thought I was too much. I’m really sorry, Siggi, I –” “Stop there.” I could not do this while looking at him. “You screwed up. You made my life hell for longer than I bother to remember. Since your birthday? It feels like years. Watching you and Gunnar every day was like falling into a nightmare after I struggled so much to wake up from my actual nightmares. I didn’t get a break. I felt our friendship break apart while you didn’t even care to move a finger to repair it, knowing fully well that I couldn’t do it by myself. You sent me to a kind of dark place I hadn’t experienced since before I moved in with Arnar.” His voice sounded as weak and exposed as I felt. “I’m really sorry.” “I’m not done yet.” How did my voice keep from breaking? “I don’t know how I’ve managed to say all those things. I didn’t realise I felt that way until I started talking. But it’s all true. And I know that being in that dark place has caused me to be a horrible person to others too. Lashing out at Gunnar today was just one of the bad things I did. I want to be able to apologise to our friends. Being in a dark place shouldn’t be an excuse to be horrible to others. Our housemates deserve better. The ISO deserves better.” “What do you want to do about it?” “I think we both owe everyone some kind of apology. I don’t know how I would do that on my own, but maybe the two of us together…” “You mean a public apology at the next rehearsal?” “Maybe. It’s a start, at least…” “Do you forgive me, then? For being that monster who took you to hell?” Dmitri’s eyes filled with water as soon as he spoke. His lips shook. Not even I could miss these signs. “I’ll forgive you as long as you’re also the friend who brings me back.”
  12. James Hiwatari

    61 - Hard Truth

    I feel you! Well, the next chapter will be here in a few minutes... hopefully by now you've had time to absorb the current situation... Does it help to say we're only sort of half way through the plot? (So technically they have as much time to fix the shit they broke as they spent breaking it...) I hope the next chapter comes out a little better than the last two...
  13. James Hiwatari

    61 - Hard Truth

    I agree Siggi is not the most likeable person in the universe and he does some pretty shitty things. That said, I am now curious about what you'll think after the chapter I'm about to post...
  14. James Hiwatari

    Scene 67

    29th January 1995 Dear Nessa and Kris Thank you for this comprehensive guide on the dangers awaiting in the demon’s lair. We found this extremely useful. Thanks to this information, we know exactly how to infiltrate and rescue you. Be ready. We should be with you in a few hours. As heroic and melodramatic as it would be to run the rescue operation on the last possible day at the last minute, in practice it only means delaying your rescue and prolonging your suffering for nothing. So we will come as soon as we are ready, and it will be today. You might want to stay away from the walls. Yours trully Lydia (...) 29th January 1995 Dear Lydia, I can see you have a plan. We will be ready. But it would be helpful to know what to be ready for? Nessa wants to take the diary away from me and write to you herself, but I do not trust her to make much sense right now. She’s happy we will be out soon, though. You put some glimmer of hope in her eyes. I hope you know what you are doing, Kris (...) 29th January 1995 Dear Kris, Of course we know what we’re doing! Do you think we would play games with your and Nessa’s life on the line? No! We have the most perfect, foolproof plan of all, and it was me, the amazing Unn, who came up with it. (I am smart, I know!) It just seemed logical to me that if approaching via the ground and via air is likely to result in our untimely, painful deaths, we should find another way in. You seem to forget Lydia is a Dwarf (though I don’t know how that is possible, given her height and avoidance of toilet humour). You seem to forget that Dwarves are Earth Beings and thus have a certain level of control over the ground we step on. You seem to forget that one time you almost became our friend because Lydia dug you out of a mineshaft using said control over the ground. Guess what: we’re digging you guys out of that cell! Lydia is going to get us 20 meters under the ground and part the earth away until we find you. That evil demon (no offense, but those words usually mean the same thing) will never even notice we’re here. If it sounds too easy, it’s because I’m just that good at making up escape plans. I escaped to the surface on my own, after all, so I have a lot of experience on that department. Now sit tight and wait for the earth to rumble around you. And tell Nessa that Lydia loves her very much and is making me write those lines because of course she has to. Unn (...) Kris here (can’t be bothered wasting time with all the formalities. It’s already hard enough waiting for you to finish your message before I start writing mine). Your grand plan is to dig a tunnel to get to us out? It definitely sounds too easy. I want to believe it can work. I don’t know about any magical wards around the underground. I can’t tell if Zhofie considered dwarves’ powers when she planned her defences. But I would rather believe she did. You have to be prepared to find some sort of barrier as you approach. Or something else that’s alive and can hurt you as much as all the other security stuff around the house. Don’t let your guard down just because you think Unn is too smart for her own good (for the record: no, you are not. But that is an argument for another day.) (Also you were not the only one who escaped on your own. I did too. I lost much more than my horns and probably caused the death of my best friend, but I got here in the end. And all my ingenuity was still useless against a fully powered demon. So don’t let your guard down). Kris (...) Fine. We’ll be paying attention to what we’re doing and Lóránt will be on the lookout for threats as Lydia digs her way in. Happy now? You’re so picky it’s almost like you want us to fail. Must be the demon in you. Unn (...) This is Nessa. Kris has now curled up in the corner (or I think it’s the corner. I can’t see beyond the light of the diary). He’s whispering something I can’t understant. I think he got upset that you compared him to Zhofie. Look, Unn, this is not the time to start an argument. I can tell you have been fertilising each other’s gardens, but now is not the time to pass on the pepper. Leave it for when we’re all safely out of here. I’m clinging to the hope that we’ll see each other again soon. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to take on that darkness. That cold that’s also unbearably (and weirdly?) warm. I’m scared. I don’t want to be here anymore. If you don’t come, I’ll begin to wonder whether being under the mind control spell is such a bad thing after all… at least I might see nature again… Nessa (...) No, Nessa, never dare to think that! (This is Lydia. I cannot wait another second to be next to you again) I would love to say that we will keep Unn away from the diary from here on, however we need her to be our communications officer while we put our plan into motion. I will be busy opening up the tunnel and Lóránt will be on the lookout for danger. That only leaves her able to talk to you. We have, however, asked her to refrain from putting Kris on the same tunnel as those he fought so hard against and sacrificed so much to get away from. This will be the last you will read from me for a while. But never doubt that I will be doing my best to get to you as soon as possible. I cannot wait to have you safely with me again. I miss you. Stay strong. Lydia
  15. James Hiwatari

    Scene 49

    Lóránt's pronoun is "they" - there's more to it than just a singular-plural difference... Isn't it great to look back to past scenes as we try to pin-point the exact moment when things started going downhill?

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