Just Hold Me

Just Hold Me

[1x1 between Simple_Imperfections and SleepingInTheGardens]

336 readers have visited this universe since SleepingInTheGardens created it.

Introduction



Just Hold Me...

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"Isn't it lovely?
All alone
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone.
Tear me to pieces
Skin to bone
Hello...
Welcome home."


β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β—ˆβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

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β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β—ˆβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

NOTICE: Do not post here unless you are SleepingInTheGardens or Simple-Imperfections.
Please do not repost or take anything from this RP without consent.
Feel free to read along, but keep in mind that this story will involve:
Adult language
Drug/Alcohol use
Physical/Emotional/Sexual abuse
and other adult themes.
If any of these are a sensitive subject for you, please do not read.


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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

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【 RIVER LIN 】
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Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

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When he was young, River used to have a lot of dreams. He dreamed of a big happy family, of a fulfilling job, of being surrounded by people that loved and supported him. But he quickly learned that those dreams were just that, and that life had handed him an entirely different set of cards. To anyone on the outside looking in, River Noah Lin had a perfect life. A big, loving family, a doting and handsome boyfriend, all the money and possessions he could possibly want. However, if one thing in life had been proven to be true countless times is that money can't buy happiness. River knew this truth all too well.

His hand carefully traced the railing beside his bus seat, bloodshot eyes focused on the pouring rain outside the window. This was by no means the first time he rode the bus, nor would it be the last. His body trembled from the cold as he stepped out of the vehicle to catch a different one across the street. Where he was going hadn't been determined yet. He just knew he wanted to get away. Away from his family...away from Blake. Most nights Blake's tantrums were somewhat easy to get past, but there were nights like tonight when he seemed hell-bent on destroying every shred of dignity River had left if there was any.

"Care to tell me why you thought it'd be okay to flirt with the waitress right in front of me?"

Flirting...River wasn't entirely sure he even knew how to. Yet Blake was convinced he'd been trying to sleep with any and every remotely attractive person they came across. On nights like these, there was no hope for reason. That much was clear to River the moment Blake's hand gripped his jaw and neck, fingers and nails digging into his skin as he attempted to respond. Yet another set of marks he'd have to hide. The more he struggled to speak, the tighter the grip became until he'd been gasping for air, begging for Blake to either let go or just end his life and save them both the trouble. Eventually, he thought it best to just give up. Not that there were any hopes of him winning. Blake always had the last word. Blake always won, and River was merely his sex puppet.

The moment his body was brutally shoved onto Blake's bed, River knew how the night would end. His body sore and bruised, lying to Blake that he'd be going home. Lying to his parents that he'd be spending the night with Blake. Until he found his way to the other side of town, where buses ran late and no one questioned why there were tears running down his cheeks, or why there were red marks and bruises all over his body.

The rain picked up as River stepped out into the street and he wished he'd at least taken the time to grab a thicker coat. He'd been so desperate to go somewhere, anywhere, that dressing warmly hadn't been a concern. He shoved his hands into his pockets and kept his head down, dark locks falling over his flushed face. His eyes burned from the tears, his body ached, and his head pounded with thoughts so loudly that he hadn't even heard the car honking until it was nearly on top of him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

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{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }


Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears



Exhaustion is not a strong enough word to describe how Theo currently felt. His body ached and the dark circles beneath his eyes were bigger and deeper. His brain was working on autopilot and he could barely think. He just needed to finish cleaning up so he could go home. He had stayed later than normal today. His family needed the extra money and there was an open shift. Theodore wasn’t expecting the shift to take so much out of him. It felt as though everyone needed him the moment his second shift started. Being pulled in so many directions, he doesn’t even know how he made it through it. He shut the closet door after tucking the broom inside of it. It was just about time to head home. He had already counted the money in the register and returned all the loose books back to their shelves. Keys and backpack in hand, he left the bookstore and stepped out into the pouring rain. From inside the bookstore the rain didn’t seem as bad, but the sound of deafening. Theodore quickly locked the door and started making his way down the street to the bus stop.

The forecast did not say anything about rain so he doesn’t have a jacket or an umbrella. He could almost hear Tessa’s voice calling him a dummy for not being prepared for all of the weather. She was just like mom in that way. Wanting Theo to be overly prepared for just about everything. Sadness crept into his heart at the thought of his mother. She has been dead now for five years, but it only feels like yesterday. Just yesterday she was telling Theodore how he was destined to be great. And that he had a heart bigger than any other man. And that she loved him more than anything in the universe and that the stars were jealous of his smile. Theodore was almost grateful for the rain. It hid the tears that came with thoughts of the women who left a hole in his heart.

Bzzz Bzzz

Theodore pulled out his cellphone and only briefly saw the caller ID. It was Tessa. ”Hello?” he answered, choking back any hint that he had been sad a moment earlier. ”Teddy!” A smile crept onto his face. It was Hailey. ”Goodnight Teddy. I love you.” Theresa must have been putting her to bed. ”Goodnight princess. I love you more than anything in the universe.” Just as mom would have. There was some shuffling noises in the background before he heard Tessa. ”See you soon.” He just agreed, hung up the phone, and put it back into his pocket.

Under all the heavy rain, the bus stop was finally coming into view as was the silhouette of a man. It was hard to really see what he looked like and who he was, but he was out in the street. At this point, time slowed down and Theo’s body reacted on instinct. The car’s headlights allowed for Theo to see him and he ran out. The car’s honking overtook the sound of the rain hitting the ground. Theo quickly reached out with both arms and aggressing pulled the man out from in front of the car and into his arms. His arms were wrapped around the man, protectively, watching as the car drove by making sure to honk a few more times.

Theo only held onto the man for a second as he watched the car move further down the street. He moved them back onto the sidewalk and he pulled away. He couldn’t stop himself as he looked over the man, checking for any signs that the care might have grazed him. It was hard to see in the dark, but it looked as though the car had missed him. ”Are you okay? You could have been seriously hurt.” The concern for this man was evident in the tone of his voice. ”Do you live around here? I can walk you home.” He offered, knowing that he was possibly shaken up at the idea of almost getting hit by a car.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

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【 RIVER LIN 】
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Image

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【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
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Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
In River's mind, this was it. The painful end to an equally painful night. His dark eyes stared at the headlights of the car as they drew closer, and just for a moment, he shut his eyes. Preparing his body for the hit that never came. Instead, there was a sudden warmth that surrounded him, coupled with the feeling of being pulled back and the sting of pain that came with it. He let out a small gasp as his muscles contracted, sending painful shockwaves throughout his body. His hands instinctively gripped onto what he now recognized to be arms wrapped around him until they let go.

"-okay? You could have been seriously hurt." The voice slowly settled in as River's body carefully turned to face the owner of the arms. His own arms protectively wrapped around himself to shield his body from the cold. Even the slight shake of his head in response to the stranger's second question made him wince. The rain furiously pounded against the pavement, every drop that landed on him felt colder. It was difficult to hear and see. Rive could barely make out the man's face when he finally looked up, thankful that it was dark enough for the marks on his neck to not be seen. "N-no, I'm- I mean..." his throat felt tighter around the areas where Blake had his grip, making it a bit painful even to speak.

"Thank you." his voice was almost drowned out by the rain. He could only hope the man had heard him, or at the very least could read his lips. He needed to find a place to spend the night, and it most certainly wasn't going to be at home. "I was just- uh- I was headed to the bus stop." his right hand made a small gesture towards the stop on the other side of the street, avoiding any sudden movements that could cause his body more pain than what it already felt. "Actually...I need a hotel. Do you um- do you know of any nearby?"

Out of the corner of his eye, River could just barely make out the headlights of the bus. He couldn't see the number on the side or whether it was the bus he needed to be taking. He wasn't even sure he needed a bus. For all he knew, there could be a small hotel just a few steps away, hidden behind the thick rain blanket. He made a quick glance between the man and the approaching bus, assuming that's where he'd been headed in the first place, and slowly stepped aside to allow him enough room to step onto the walkway. "Nevermind, I- I'll figure it out-". A sudden sneeze shook his body, his eyes shutting instantly to avoid showing any signs of pain. He took a moment to recuperate before looking at the man again, wondering why he hadn't already left him for the dry warmth of the public bus.

"Thank you again...I'll be okay." There was some truth to that statement. Eventually, River would bounce back up just as he always did. It was just a matter of how long it would take this time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

Image

{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }


Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears


The rain seemed so loud in this moment. The honking from that car had disappeared down the street and now the rain pounding against the pavement was taking over. He could no longer hear his own thoughts nor the man that was in front of him. Theodore did not have this man engulfed in a hug, but he kept a gentle hand on his upper arm. He could barely make out his face, but it was obvious to tell that he was still shaken up. Theodore almost did not hear this man thank him for saving him. He stepped a bit closer to the male, wanting to be able to hear him and possibly get a better look at his face. But it was still too dark and the rain was too loud. If Theodore wasn’t so concerned about the male, he would have been annoyed by all this rain. "Actually...I need a hotel. Do you um- do you know of any nearby?" A hotel? The man had not only almost been hit by a car, but he wasn’t even from around here. And he was out in the dark by himself.

The bus headlights peaked from over the hill. He needed to be on that bus so he could get home to his sisters. If he missed it, the next one wouldn’t be around for another ten minutes. Theodore didn’t feel right just leaving this man to fend for himself. Different options bounced around Theodore’s head. "Nevermind, I- I'll figure it out-" His decision was made. ”Bless you. Now come on we are going to miss the bus.” He was not giving this man a choice and he was really hoping that he would not really protest. Theodore turned the man around and left his hand on the small part of his lower back. He guided him safely across the street to the bus stop, just as the bus pulled up. ”I know of a place better than a hotel. And it’s free.”

The bus doors opened and Theodore ushered the man inside. He quickly scanned his bus pass twice to cover him and then got him in a seat. ”Oh. And my name is Theodore. But you can call me Theo.”. The bus was relatively empty. Most people were settled in the back, while the two of them remained in the front. Now that they were out of the rain, Theo was noticing just how cold he was. He was looking forward to changing out of these wet clothes the moment he walked into the house. Theodore glanced over to man beside him. He was able to get a better look with the lights from the bus. He looked injured, despite having avoided being hit by a car. There were marks on his face and neck. Concern quickly return to him and his eyes wandered the man that was next to him. ”How did you end up all the way out here by yourself?” Theo asked, wanting to know more about the situation he was seemed to be inserting himself into.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

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【 RIVER LIN 】
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Image

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【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
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Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
River stood away from the crosswalk long enough to know that this man who, for whatever reasons compelled him to basically save his life, was not going anywhere. Or rather, he wasn’t going anywhere without him. Suddenly, the stranger’s hand was on his back as he was guided down the street to the bus stop. He didn’t bother to protest, being all too used to being told what to do and doing it without question, but he couldn’t stop his heart from pounding loudly against his chest as they stepped onto the bus. He didn’t even get a chance to tell him that he had his own bus pass, specifically for nights like this when he needed an escape. His heart was almost as loud as his thoughts as he followed the man to a seat, imagining all the possible ways in which this could end badly.

”Oh. And my name is Theodore. But you can call me Theo.”

Theo…

Theo didn’t seem like the type to want to hurt him. Then again, neither did Blake when they had first met. The thought of the latter sent a shiver up his spine, which he quickly attempted to hide with his response. ”Oh, um- I’m River.” his voice sounded weaker than what it actually felt, though admittedly his throat was beginning to burn rather than just hurt and the bruises around his neck never stopped throbbing. His eyes, too, felt heavy. He could only imagine how pathetic he must look to this complete stranger. Add the soggy clothes and hair and you got the worst first impression possible. ”Rin works too.” he added, his voice threatening to fade out.

He attempted to keep his statements as steady as he possibly could, but it was getting significantly harder to speak by the second, specially as the cold settled through his wet clothes and made his body shiver. While avoiding the man’s eyes, his gaze landed on his own arm that was outstretched to grab onto the railing in front of them. He hadn’t noticed it as much before, but now after a couple of hours and under slightly brighter lighting, the red mark around his wrist was obvious. A clear reminder of his night with his boyfriend and his attempts of getting away. He quickly let the metal go, wincing at the sudden movement, and placed his hands in his lap while hoping Theo hadn’t been so quick to notice the bruising.

His question made circles in River’s mind for a few long seconds as he settled on the most vague way he could answer it. ”I just needed to get away-β€œ he paused, taking in short breaths to avoid any extra movements. ”From things...I...don’t usually get this far.” his words trailed off as he realized he was beginning to sound like a troubled teen with a habit of running away from home. But he was no teen, far beyond troubled and running away from home was not an option. Occasional escapes to a place no one knew him was the best he could manage.

Another sneeze came, this time stronger than the last. His eyes remained shut for a few seconds longer as he allowed the pain in his ribs to subside. There was a good chance he was beginning to catch a cold as well. Maybe that’s why his head felt like a cinder block and his body shook like Autumn leaves. He wanted to ask where they were going, but was slightly terrified of the answer. Instead, he kept quiet and wrapped his hands around his own chest in hopes of keeping himself a little warmer. He did, however, finally gather the courage to look Theo in the eye for the first time since they’d gotten on the bus. His heart began to pound louder, to the point where he was almost certain Theo could hear it, suddenly losing the ability to speak. He could only stare in silence, hoping that Theo would speak up before his heart had the chance to jump out of his chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

Image

{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }


Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears


River was close to him now. Theodore took this opportunity to better examine the man. He was sure that he hadn’t been hit by the car, but he couldn’t help himself. He was worried. This man was cold, wet, and probably miles from home. Even more so, he was alone and it was dark. Every protective fiber in Theo’s body was telling him to make sure that River was safe. To protect him from the outside since the outside was not not doing him justice. He cursed himself for not having the umbrella or spare jacket. He has already apologized to Tessa in his head for it.

While waiting for his question to be answered, Theo’s eyes roamed River. He took note of the bruises on his neck and he had already seen the redness on his wrists while they had been filing into the bus. His mind started racing with various ideas to why he had these marks. He could feel his worry increase when he realized that these were the only bruises that he could see. There could be more. Much more. The ones on his neck are the ones that he was the most concerned about. They weren’t in a healing state which means they were new. ”I just needed to get away-...from things...I...don’t usually get this far.” Theodore held his tongue. What was this man running from? It had to be bad if he managed to get this far with ease. Rin did not even seem bothered by the fact that he was so far away. Whatever it was, River was obviously more willing to get lost in the dark and almost hit by a car than go home because he hadn’t even asked for the quickest way back to home. He only wanted directions to a hotel to stay away from whatever he was running from. Theodore was really trying not to jump to conclusions, but it was hard not too. He is always worrying and thinking about the worst possible situations. His sisters always called him out for it, but he always said that it was his job to worry like this. ”Well, this place isn’t as luxurious as a hotel but its warm.”

The bus driver finally finished loading everyone onto the bus and shut the doors. The bus started down the street and the two of them finally locked eyes. This is the first time Theodore has actually gotten to look at River since the two have met. His heart skipped a beat and the world seemed to slow around him. The rain became the theme song of this moment and he was willing to put it on repeat. Theodore couldn’t just keep staring at him, but that was all he wanted to do. ”Just...uh...sit tight. We will be there soon.” Theodore managed to say with a genuine smile. Regrettably, he broke eye contact to look out the window. He needed to pay attention to the roads so that they did not miss the stop.

His home was only three stops away, but the stops were pretty far away from each other. At his stop, Theodore stood up. ”Come on. This is us.” He ushered Rin out of his seat and off the bus back into the rain. The bus drove away and across the street was his house. It was decent sized but still rather run down. Inside it had 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. His father had his own room and the siblings managed to split the others. Theresa and Theodore had their own, but Hailey and Izzy shared. The rooms were rather small, but it was fine for them. Theo hasn’t found time to upkeep it between taking care of his siblings and his father. ”It’s right there.” He led Rin safely across the street. Theodore let them inside and locked the door behind them. Home at last and It was warm.

”Theo?” Theodore turned to see Theresa standing by the couch with her arms crossed. She must have been waiting for him. Her eyes moved from him to River. ”This is River. He needs a place to sleep tonight.” Theresa rolled her eyes at Theodore. His kindness showed no bounds as she was not phased by him bringing home a stranger. ”I’m Theresa and I will get you a towel.” She disappeared to get them both towels to dry off. Theo looked to Rin ready to explain, since he figured that he would be confused by the situation. ”This is my house. That was my sister. Since the other two didn’t come running, they must be asleep.” His dad was either asleep or not even home. Theodore was hoping it was the latter.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

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【 RIVER LIN 】
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Image

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【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
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Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
For a brief moment, while the two locked eyes, River was convinced his heart was going to jump out of his throat and not for the reasons it normally would. Thankfully, Theo broke the silence as well as the eye contact as he looked out the window. River quickly lowered his gaze to his hands, every inch of his body shaking from both the cold and the nerves. He had absolutely no idea where they were going. Theo wasn’t being very specific and Rin was afraid to ask. He kept quiet and still in his seat, every bump in the road causing his face to scrunch up out of pain, until eventually Theo announced that they’d reached their destination. Whatever that was.

The two boys got themselves off the bus, and as River watched it drive away, anxiety hit him like a dump truck. Now he really was lost with absolutely no idea how they got there or how to get back. Not that he could go back...at least not for the night. River’s eyes scanned the small house across the street and Theo led them both to it. The moment they stepped inside, there was a girl staring back at them. River could feel his pulse in his neck veins and couldn’t manage to say a word. Luckily, he didn’t have to. The girl spoke of getting towels and as soon as she left, Theo revealed her to be his sister. River could see the resemblance, but their personalities suffered greatly.

He habitable wrapped his hands around himself while he avoided looking around too much. He didn’t want Theo to think he was judging their home. Quite the contrary. Though much, much smaller than his...it actually felt like a home rather than a large space filled with furniture and strangers. ”Um- T-Theo…?” his voice still threatened to give out each time he spoke, so he thought it best to keep his phrases simple and to the point. ”Thank you...f-for helping me. But um- why?” he swallowed a small lump that had formed in the back of his throat as he slowly lifted his gaze to the taller boy. ”I mean, you just met me and…” just like before, any and all words he wanted to say slowly vanished into nothing the moment their eyes met again. Somehow, time seemed to slow down into a crawl and everything around them became static.

River was dying from nerves, that much was obvious, but he’d never felt anything quite like this. The longer Theo looked back st him the more River could feel his heart rate escalate. There was an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. Not quite bad, but not exactly good either, at least Rin didn’t think it to be. It almost felt as if someone had opened a can of fireflies in his stomach. He was only able to look away from Theo when his sister walked herself back in with a couple of towels.

River graciously took it into his hands and managed to give her a genuine smile. Probably the first time he’d smiled that day. When he was younger, his older sister used to refer to River’s dimples as β€œholes of happiness” because they shined the brightest when his smiles were wide and genuine. The one he gave Theo’s sister wasn’t quite that wide, but it was genuine enough. ”Thank you.”. He wrapped the towel around his shoulders, hoping to get some warmth out of it. He had no change of clothes or shoes and he was convinced he’d wake up sick the following morning. But at the very least he hoped he was safe even if just for one night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

Image

{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }

Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears



Theodore set his backpack down by the front door. Tessa would rip him a new one if he even thought about moving through the house while dripping water everywhere. Although, he was sure that he could sweet talk his way out of that argument, he thought it best to just avoid it altogether. His thoughts were preoccupied with how cold he was. He was shivering and he was only going to be able to warm up with new clothes and a blanket. He was just happy that the house was warmer than it was outside. ”Um- T-Theo…?” Immediately, his attention focused on the smaller male beside him. Theo was hoping that River wasn’t still nervous or worried about anything. He would do just about anything to make sure that Rin felt safe here. ”Thank you...f-for helping me. But um- why?...I mean, you just met me and…” Their eyes locked once again and the world fell away around them.

His heart had begun to pick up speed and his mind was fuzzy, filled only with whatever Rin was planning to say next. He seemed to be struggling with the English language. He couldn’t form any words or proper thoughts. Theodore wasn’t even sure how to answer the question. A man he had just met in the rain was now in his home. This overwhelming sensation to protect him and keep him out of harm's way was just too much to try and explain. It was taking more willpower than he would like to admit to keep from just holding this man. Luckily his sister walked back in with the towels, bringing him back to reality. ”Thank you, Tessa.” He ran the towel over his head and face before wrapping it around his shoulders. Much warmer. ”No problem. I’m going to sleep, Theo. I will set an extra plate for breakfast.” She pushed onto her toes and kissed her brother’s cheek. Tess flashed River a friendly smile. ”Goodnight.” Just as soon as Theresa came, she left.

Theodore appreciated that his sister was not questioning why there was a stranger in the house. Even more so he appreciated that she was so willing to make said stranger a plate for breakfast. He was already trying to think up ways to make this all up to her, but then he quickly remembered that he never actually answered the question that River had asked him a few moments ago. ”I just uh…have this feeling about you. You need help and I want to help.” He tried to explain simply, with hopes that he did not sound creepy or anything like that. ”You should change. You will catch a cold in those.” Theo gestured to Rin’s soaked clothes. ”Come on. I can find something for you to wear.”

He carefully walked through the house, not before picking up his backup, and led Rin to his bedroom. Luckily, all the moving around didn’t wake anyone else in the house. More importantly, his father wasn’t storming out of his room in a drunken rage about Theo coming home late. Once they were in the room, he shut the bedroom door behind him just to give them both a bit of privacy. ”Let’s see...you are much smaller than me..” he muttered mostly for himself as he made his way to his dresser. A simple t-shirt and sweatpants should get him through the night. Theodore turned to face Rin, handing over the clothes. ”You can wear these. I will go change in the bathroom.” He didn’t want River to think that he was going to make him change in front of him.

The older male grabbed a set of basketball shorts and a t-shirt, his normal sleep attire, and left the bedroom. He disappeared into the bathroom across the hall, shutting the door. He looked into the mirror and sighed. Even for Theodore, this was crazy. This kindness was beyond what his mom would do. But he can’t help it or justify it. River needs to be here. It’s safe here. And for some reason whenever he looks at Rin, Theo is no longer riddled with his anxious and worrisome thoughts. He likes that feeling. He shook his head and just focused on changing his clothes. It was just for tonight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

────────────────────────
【 RIVER LIN 】
────────────────────────

Image

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【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
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Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
So much was new to River...this place, this strange man and his family...this feeling of being safe. Perhaps that's what startled him the most. It had been years since he felt "safe" anywhere. Not even in his own home was he ever at ease. There was always something that kept him on his toes, looking over his shoulder, staring at the high ceiling for hours without being able to sleep. This place, this house he'd never been to felt so warm, so welcoming. Or perhaps it was just Theo. There wasn't much he could say at the moment, so he settled for returning the smile Tessa gave him and watched silently as she walked off to bed, leaving the two boys alone.

It was rather quiet in the house, but not the same type of quiet Rin's house usually held. Back at the Lin estate, River's thoughts always seemed to echo off the walls. Ninety percent of the time, he was alone in the large mansion with no company other than the antique paintings on the wall. The silence here felt different, soothing almost. It lasted a few more minutes, broken only when Theo spoke.

He...wants to help? Why? River's head couldn't seem to wrap around the idea that someone would want to help him simply because they felt like it. There was always a catch, and more often than not it had to do with money. But Theo knew nothing about River or where he came from. He had no way of knowing his family's economic status, so what could he possibly want out of all this? ”You should change. You will catch a cold in those.” Theo's voice was a welcome interruption to his wandering thoughts. The last thing River wanted to do right then was to think about owing yet another person something. Whatever it was that Theo wanted in return for his kindness could be settled later. "Okay." he said simply and quietly as he followed Theodore into what appeared to be his bedroom.

The moment Theo shut the door, Rin found himself in some sort of paralysis. He remained in one spot as Theo moved around the room, looking for clothes that wouldn't slip right off of Rin's body. He'd always been of relatively small stature, but it had never been as apparent as it was now. He felt so small despite the room not being too big. ”You can wear these. I will go change in the bathroom.” River carefully took the dry clothes with a nodded, adding a soft "Thank you" before Theo disappeared down the hallway.

Now that he was alone, somewhere private, River took a moment to analyze the damage. He carefully slipped off his damp jacket and shirt and eyed himself in the small floor length mirror that sat in the corner of the room. The marks on his neck led a fresh row down to his collar bone. They still stung, but not as terrible as they had been about an hour again. As he slid off his pants, the marks on his thighs began to show as well. Some of them were new, but most of them were old imprints of every one of Blake's temper tantrums. HIs legs felt weak simply from standing, so he quickly slipped on the dry sweatpants provided by Theo, thankful that they had an adjustment band around the waist. His eyes continued to fall on the marks that adorned his body, each one with its own flashback of how they'd gotten there. He hadn't meant to, but tears never listened to reason. Without warning, they began to silently fall down his face. The dry t-shirt hung from his hand, but he couldn't bring himself to put it on. His body felt paralyzed by the fear of what he would have to face when he went back home the next day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

Image

{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }

Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears



A sigh escaped the older male’s lips as he let the wet clothes slip off his body. Theo piled them up on the floor and used the towel to completely dry himself off. His muscles ached from being tense out in the rain. As he warmed himself up, they were beginning to relax. He was taking his time making sure each part of his body was warm and dry out of comfort, but mostly to give his house guest as much time as he needed to get changed. He didn’t want to rush him or feel like he was being rushed. There were still so many questions that he had, but all that mattered was that for the night that boy was safe. For better or worse, Theodore’s home was safe. His eyes found the mirror and he examined his face. He was so tired. Everything in his face read that he was tired. His exhaustion ran deeper than his dark circles, they were in his eyes and in his soul. Sleep only fixed what was on the surface. ”..no time to be tired…” he muttered to himself as he finally put his sleep attire on. For now he left the wet clothes in the bathroom. He will deal with them tomorrow.

Theodore slipped out of the bathroom and moved quietly back down the hall. He knocked lightly. He wasn’t really waiting for a response back, the knock was a warning to let Rin know that he was coming in. Once in the room, he shut the bedroom door behind him. ”I hope the clothes fit.” Turning around, he saw that the boy was just standing off to the side without the shirt on. Theo couldn’t help but look over him. There were obvious bruises on his neck and his arms. He automatically though the worse. All those questions that he had since he sat next to this man on the bus were on the tip of his tongue. Were the bruises related to why he had run away and why he had run so far? Are they why he was so willing to follow a stranger home? Does River think that Theo would give him those same bruises? He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. His mind was racing and he wasn’t even within arms length of the boy yet. He swallowed hard, trying to hold back on the personal and invasive questions.

”River..?” The taller male moved around to stand in front of him. He could barely tear his eyes off the marks. The ones of his neck looked to be the most fresh as they stood out in contrast against his pale skin. His eyes continued to roam River, taking note of the rest of the bruises. Some fresher than others. Theo held his tongue and offered his best and friendliest smile. ”You can sleep in the bed”, he said softly. Almost as if River was a child, he started to dress him. Theodore gently removed the shirt from River’s hands. He gently slipped it over his head and around his neck. He was careful to avoid brushing against the bruise. ”I am going to sleep on the couch and if you need anything, just come and get me”, he added. Theo wanted to give the man necessary space. It was already a lot that he was in a strange home with strange people. To share a bed with a strange might be pushing him over the bed. As he continued to dress Rin, Theo guided each arm into their respective sleeves, gently pulling it down to cover his back and torso. As expected, the shirt was big, but enough to keep Rin warm. ”There. Now you are warm.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

────────────────────────
【 RIVER LIN 】
────────────────────────

Image

────────────────────────
【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
────────────────────────
Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
Once again, River seemed to lose track of time. Everything around him dulled to silence and his visioned blurred more with every tear that fell. Every inch of him hurt. Not only the physical wounds, because as small in stature as he was, he could handle those, but there were also emotional wounds. Those never seemed to heal. Just when he thought he'd bandaged them up, they reopened and stung harder and longer than the tie before. There was no particular reason why River felt the overwhelming need to cry, but perhaps it was the thought of being in this house with a stranger that was kinder to him than everyone back home put together. Perhaps it was the thought that, come morning, he would have to leave this safe space and face the harsh reality again. Usually, a night away was enough for River to rebuild his courage, but this time it felt different. This time it felt much harder than before.

”River..?” nearly jumping out of his skin, River raised his line of vision to look at Theo. He was now standing in front of him, but Rin never even heard him come in. It was obvious that the marks on his body had caught Theo's attention as well as concern, and although River made no attempt at hiding them, he silently hoped the male wouldn't ask any questions about them. The point of coming this far was to run away from his problems. The last thing he wanted to do was talk about them. Thankfully, there were no questions. Instead, Rin was met with a kind smile and the offer for him to take the bed. River remained silent, quickly wiping away the stray tears with the back of his hand. He was afraid to speak, not wanting his voice to betray him. Theo then took the dry t-shirt from his hand and slipped it over his head. River's eyes never left the spot on the taller boy's chest, but he followed Theo's guide and slipped into the shirt. It was rather big for him, but it was dry and warm.

There was a part of River that just wanted to let Theo go. He'd bothered the man enough. He looked tired. No, exhausted, and his being there surely was not helping. But the other side of him, the side that wasn't used to this kind of care and attention, didn't want him to go. As Theo turned to leave, River's hand instinctively reached out. It caught onto Theo's wrist as he asked him to wait, but he instantly let go, afraid he'd somehow upset him. "I'm sorry-!" Had it been Blake, he would have instantly been met with a glare and a shove. Perhaps that's why, without realizing, River had taken a couple of steps back, the panic very clear on his face. His eyes met Theo's for a fraction of a second, but he quickly looked away, his words spilling out as his tears had. "I just, um- you should sleep on your bed. I don't mind." he paused for a moment, the panic only grew once he realized what he'd actually suggested. "I mean-! Not that you have to sleep with me- I can sleep on the couch. It's your bed, I don't want to take..." his words slowly began to trail off as he found it was probably best he just stopped talking. "I'm sorry, I'll just-" he gestured towards the bedroom door, suggesting he'd take the couch instead of Theo. He didn't want to sleep alone, but asking a stranger to sleep in the same bed as he was just asking to be insulted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK



{ theodore havers }

Image

{ dialogue: #FF4000 || outfit: XX }

Darkness hides behind the sun
Sadness comes like the wind
My smile hides the pain
My reality is that of nightmares
I dream a better dream
And I wake up in tears



Theodore was more than ready to take the couch out in the living room. This way River had plenty of space on the bed to sleep and rest. It would make him more comfortable probably as well. This place was already strange to him and having to share a room or space with a stranger was only going to add to the younger males anxiety. He can already picture Tessa getting upset with Theo about sleeping on the couch. Something about, it isn’t good for his back and it makes his sleep worse. She acted just like their mother at times, it was rather entertaining. After providing Rin a friendly smile, he turned to leave. Only to be stopped by the feeling of a hand on his wrist. It was only there for a moment. Enough to grab Theo’s attention. He looked back to saddened male to see that the pain he had been feeling earlier was replaced with panic.

"I just, um- you should sleep on your bed. I don't mind." And just like that, the younger male started saying words faster than Theo could process. It was late and he was exhausted. He was having a hard time keeping up with the word vomit. What he did understand was that Rin was trying to take the couch out in the living room while letting Theo take his bed. The gesture was kind, but he wasn’t going to let that happen. River tried to leave Theodore as he had tried to do earlier. He reached out and gently took hold of his small wrist, not letting him reach the door. ”You will not be sleeping on the couch.” He said firmly, but kindly. ”We will share the bed, if you don’t mind. Neither of them was going to let the other sleep on the couch. And as much as he was willing to take the couch, he knew his bed was going to be more comfortable for the both of them. This was the only way to please them both. And if River felt uncomfortable with that decision then, Theo was going to take the couch, no question about it.

Eventually he released Rin’s wrist and made his way to one side of the bed. He pulled back the comforter and made sure the pillows were distributed evenly. ”I will try to make sure to stay on my half. I tend to migrate to the middle of the bed.” He warned, a small and tired smile tugging on his lips. As he got into bed, his muscles immediately began to relax. The remaining reserves of his energy seemed to have vanished and his eyes were starting to get heavy. He, however, wasn’t going to sleep until he knew River was comfortable in the bed. Theodore didn’t care how tired he was. He would stay up all night, for this man if need be. ”I can uh-” his words interrupted by a yawn. ”-excuse me. I can get another blanket if you are still cold.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: River Lin Character Portrait: Theodore Havers

0.00 INK

────────────────────────
【 RIVER LIN 】
────────────────────────

Image

────────────────────────
【 dialogue: #003366 | outfit 】
────────────────────────
Oh I hope someday
I'll make it out of here.
Even if it takes all night
or a hundred years.
Need a place to hide
but I can't find one near.
Wanna feel the life outside
I can't fight my fear.

────────────────────────
As River mumbled his way through his words, his panic began to settle. Theo made no attempts at hurting him, not a single glare or raise of the hand. For a moment River thought maybe he’d missed the subtle signs, much like Blake gave almost no warning before gifting him with another fresh bruise, but Theo’s tired yet warm presence never faltered. Although, the moment he felt Theo’s fingers wrapped around his wrist, he froze. An irrational fear immediately took over, sending shivers down his spine and shortening his breath. His gaze was clouded with fright, and all he could do was stand, paralyzed with fear as Theo made it clear that no one would be sleeping on the couch. River’s heart pounded against his ears, making it almost impossible to hear Theo’s words. But eventually, his wrist was released. His skin felt tender, burning around the thick, red marks that adorned his wrists like bracelets. Of course, River knew that wasn’t Theo’s doing, but the touch reminded him of how the marks get there.

As Theo moved to settle the covers and pillows, River’s arms protectively wrapped around himself. A habit learned from instinct. He only nodded at Theo’s remark about staying on his side of the bed. River was rather used to having to keep his distance whenever he and Blake shared a bed. If he didn’t, he’d be promptly shoved away the moment the latter woke up. Though Theo’s bed wasn’t quite as big as the ones at the Hemsworth estate, it was big enough to allow them both plenty of room.

As the two settled into their respective side of the mattress, River being as careful as he possibly could so as to not hurt himself and cause alarm, the lights were turned off. A beam of pure moonlight seeped through the closed curtains, giving them enough light to see shadows. Theo offered to get Rin another blanket, and despite how cold he felt, it was obvious that Theo needed sleep. ”No, I’m okay...thank you…” he assured, his voice small and fragile. Though he appreciated the offer, River knew he wouldn’t be doing much sleeping. He pulled the comforter up to his chin, his eyes only partially opened as he gave Theo an honest ”Good night.” and allowed him to drift off to sleep.

Thirty...Forty...Fifty Minutes.

One hour later and it was just as Rin had predicted. As tired as his body and mind were, he couldn’t sleep. Images of Blake’s fists attacked him while his eyes were closed, and the sharp aching of his muscles did the job when he eyes were open. Everything hurt, right down to his fingertips, and River knew it couldn’t just be from the beating. There was a fever, no doubt about it. The muscle aches, the burning in his eyes, the uncontrollable trembling all over his body. His lack of warm clothes and proper protection from harsh weather had finally caught up to him. He laid in silence for what felt like a lifetime, the throbbing in his head never fading. Eventually, sleep started to become stronger than the physical pain. Carefully rolling onto his side, he slowly curled his body as much as he could without it being painful. He shut his eyes, willing away any bad thoughts in hopes of getting at least a couple of hours of sleep. If he couldn’t, it would be a very long night.

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