|Ben Sorenson (agoodman) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2013-09-22 02:58:00
|Entry tags:||castiel, thor|
Who: Ben and Liam
Where: Ben's flat
When: After this
Warnings/Rating: Mentions of drug use, addiction, and some feels.
The phone in his hand went dead just as Liam heard the door to the apartment open, leaving him to freezing as he stared towards his own door. For a moment, he felt like he couldn't breath, his chest tight as he tucked his phone back into his pocket with a shaking hand. He shouldn't have been reacting like this, shouldn't have been behaving as though Ben was the enemy in any sense of the word, but there was no helping how he felt right then. It might have been like a child who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but this was far more serious than cookies. Liam hand known fully what he was doing when he met Deacon, had known the path he was starting down, but he had convinced himself that it was fine because it was just one time. Just once, just a couple hits to take the edge off of things, and most of that had worn off by the time he made it home. But Ben was right - he had still brought it into the house by even taking it.
There wasn't any time left to think about what he was doing though. The duffel bag was zipped, filled with whatever clothes he could shove into it in a short time. A bag with his laptop and a few other items, and they were both slung over one shoulder as he moved with purposeful strides towards the door of his room, his head down. There was no mistaking the reddened eyes, the way he couldn't meet Ben's gaze as he pushed towards the door with every intention of simply leaving, of pushing past Ben and out into the hallway.
He'd told Liam once that he wasn't his therapist, couldn't fill that role for him, but he could and did care for him as a friend. When he'd left that comment on Liam's journal, he was intending to have the conversation with him that Shailee urged him to have, but this had taken precedence, as it needed to. For as unbending as he could be on this rule, the single thing that he had wanted from Liam, Ben wasn't going to let him go out where he was likely to do it again and again and again.
"Liam…" He looked absolutely horrid, but before he could push past, Ben reached out for him, palms to his shoulders. "Liam, look at me." Ben didn't believe that he wanted this and a small, sinking part of him thought that Liam hadn't considered at all that he wouldn't be able to stay past using. Maybe he hoped to hide it, Ben didn't know, but he did know that he couldn't have that here, not around him and not around Ronan.
He wasn't surprised when Ben reached out to stop him, though Liam had been hoping to simply get by and out into the hallway where he might be able to breathe a bit easier. But no, Ben had to stop him, hands to his shoulders, but that didn't mean that Liam could look up towards him. "I can't. I can't," he insisted, his voice rough and his shoulders were hunched up towards his ears in an effort to shrink himself as much as was possible. It didn't do very good, however, chin to his chest, hands curled tight around the straps to his bags, white-knuckled and tense. "Just- just let me go, alright? Just let me go and you won't have to see me again and I'll leave and it'll be fine."
Is that what Liam thought? That he didn't want to see him again? "Liam, it's not fine. I don't want to not see you again." Considering the conversation that he was supposed to be having with Liam right now, he didn't want Liam to walk out that door and to never see him again. He wanted him to get help, to feel better about whatever it was that plagued him. Liam had told him a bit of it when they were in Mississippi, but Ben hadn't pressed for more than Liam was willing to give. Maybe he should have, but it wasn't the time to worry about it now as he tugged him in closer, up against the heat of his body. "Okay, it's not get out, I don't want to see you ever again. That's not what I'm saying. That's not what this is about."
A breath was drawn in as Ben pulled him in closer, refusing to let him simply run out like he wanted to. "You said you'd kick me out if I used. I used. So that's what it's about. And I'm trying to leave and you're not making this easy!" He didn't fight the arms that pulled him in, but he couldn't meet Ben's gaze either. His thoughts were racing a mile a minute, face-paced on a road to some destination he couldn't quite pinpoint. This was such a far cry from the morning, when his biggest concern had been trying to put words on the page, the last bits of the chemical rush still pricking at him, a pleasurable high that he could coast on for hours. But that was all gone now. It was all opiate crash and burn that left him aching on the inside. Liam found himself torn between screaming and crying, and the simple fact that Ben was there almost made it worse. Ben, the very definition of kindness, with that smile and those arms and the one person that Liam didn't want to let down. But it was the same ol' song, just another verse, just the disaster his life had become.
"Because I don't want you to leave and not have somewhere safe to go to," Ben said honestly. He knew that if Liam didn't, it'd be back to the things he knew, back to the drugs, and unknown hotels and god knew what else, but his imagination was running rampant with all the places that Liam could go. And while he knew that Liam did have to leave, that he'd broken their agreement, he wasn't so heartless as to kick him out on the street. Liam needed help, he knew that before the conversation with Sam, and he cared enough about him to want him to have it so he could come back here. "And you need to talk to someone. Someone that's not me, or Sam, someone that can help you. A professional. Someone that has experience with this kind of -- with addiction." He had to call it by what it was.
"No one can help me," Liam stuttered out, choking on the words as he pressed a hand up between them, working to lever himself away from Ben as best he could. "Just let me go, okay? Just chalk this up to something that didn't work and - and-" He stumbled over the words, the tears starting to fall. It was a mixture of frustration, at the situation, at himself, at being found out, tears of anger that burned on their way down his cheeks. "Just be happy," he finally said, his voice cracking on the last syllable. "I just want to go. Please just let me go." He hadn't wanted Ben to see him like this, upset and falling apart, didn't want anyone to see him like this. It was worse than it had been months ago at the hotel, when he called Seven begging for help. It hurt more, his chest tight and his breath coming in hard gasps.
"Yes, they can," Ben said, absolutely sure, even as he only went as far as Liam's hands pushed. It was a fight to do what he wanted and the desire to respect Liam's desire that he go and ultimately it came down to one undeniable fact: Liam was hurt. And Ben, in good conscious, couldn't let him to suffer alone. "I'll be happier if I know you're safe," he pointed out as he tugged Liam back and against his chest. "Liam, Liam, I'm not going to let you go like this. You're going to get yourself hurt if I do." And that was the last thing that Ben wanted for him. "I don't want --" he started, and abruptly shut off as the lights flickered and went off, light coming in only from the windows. "Shit."
When Ben pulled him back again, full against the warmth of his chest, it was hard to resist, hard not to just lean into it, to rest on Ben's strength a little while longer. But Liam knew he couldn't do that. "I'm not going to get hurt," Liam insisted, but he didn't push away. "I'll find a place. I'll get a room somewhere. It'll… it'll be fine. Okay? Everything will be fine." Fine was his favourite word at times, the salve to try and sooth people's concerns and worries, because everything seemed that much more difficult when people were worried. It felt like so much to live up to, all these people to disappoint, and all he wanted was some peace, some quiet, someplace to hide away for a while.
He started to say something else when the lights flickered for a moment before dying completely, and a glance out the window nearby showed that the city beyond was darkening as well. The sandstorm roared, buffered against the windows, and without even thinking, Liam pressed against Ben a bit more, his brow furrowed. "The storm's getting worse," he murmured, voice pitched quiet, rough with emotion.
"I was going to say that I know I paid the electric bill," Ben said quietly, all the normal noise of the apartment gone with the power. No air moving, just the dry rasp of sand on the windows. Getting Liam somewhere safe was imperative now. He couldn't let him go out on the streets in this, not if it was taking out the power, he couldn't do that to anyone, nevermind Liam. But at least Liam wasn't pushing him away anymore and Ben gradually lowered them to the floor without letting go of him. A deep breath in, a slow one out.
"You don't have to tell me everything will be fine," he said quietly, against the top of Liam's head. "I don't need everything to be fine, I need you to be okay." And you're not. He wouldn't be upset like this if he was okay. "I'll know you'll find a place somewhere, but I want you to have that before you go. So you aren't out in this. And I want you to call rehab and talk to one of the doctor's there." He didn't add that he hoped they still had power in this storm, but he did add, "I'm not saying you have to go back, Liam, but I want you to call and talk to someone. You can't do this on your own and I'd be a shitty friend to not tell you that."
Liam didn't say anything as Ben lowered them both to the floor, and it was hard not to lean against him even when every bone in his body screamed at him to leave. "I'll- I'll go stay at Passages. Find a room. There are empty ones, and I can crash there through the storm," Liam said quietly, his cheek pressed against Ben's shoulder, those blue eyes closed against the world. "And I'll call someone. See- see what I can do." There was a tightening in his chest at the thought of it, a shift of his voice that was different than normal. He opened his eyes after a moment, looking out at the sand that blew outside, the world bathed in tan with all the dust that swirled in the air. Part of him kept hoping Ben would tell him to stay, that he could figure this out there, but Liam knew that wasn't going to happen.
"I'll go once this dies down. In an hour, or so," Liam said a moment later, pulling back to press the heel of one hand against damp eyes. "And hey," he added soon after. "You won't have to sleep on the couch anymore. Ronan- he can have my room. So. It'll be good. Right?" He forced out a laugh, though there was no warmth to it, just a hollow sound in a quiet room.
"You are not staying at Passages," Ben stated, firmly, words tilting into humor at the end. "A real place, Liam. Not a dusty old hotel that we all use to transport us to different worlds. A real place. With a real bed, room service, wifi, whatever you need." Part of him did want to tell Liam that they could sort it all out here, but he knew -- he knew that if he let Liam go on his promise that he'd always think he could get out of them. It wasn't going to help either one of them for him to go back on his promises.
The reshuffling of the rooms made him laugh a little as he continued to keep Liam close. "I didn't even think that far," he said honestly. "Though I was talking with Shai about getting a bigger place. Where we all had rooms," he confessed, hands relaxing slightly on Liam's sides. "Maybe a house. With a real porch -- we're definitely taking that damn swing with us," he laughed, cheek on the top of Liam's head. "So, you see, you have to give up the drugs because I already reserved a room for you."
He wanted to protest about Passages being a place he could deal with. It was dusty, and the rooms were empty, but he didn't require much to get by. But before he could say anything more, Ben went on about getting a bigger place, more rooms, and then there was the added note about a room reserved for him. Liam didn't say anything for a long while, but slowly, his hands ghosted down to rest atop Ben's, tracing over his fingers before he drew his hands away. "Why? Why would you plan anything like that with me? I'm just- just an addict. Just a fuck-up. I'm not someone people make plans with." The words were said very quietly, just above a whisper, but they were loud in the room.
"I like having you here," Ben said simply. Even if nothing came to pass from the things he talked about with Shai, Liam and Ronan were part of his home now. There would always be room for them wherever he was. "Being an addict isn't all you are, Liam. It never has been. You're kind, and funny, and talented. And sometimes you make bad choices, but -- we all do that. We've all made choices that we regret, but asking you to move in has never been one of mine."
Liam was quiet as Ben talked, and even though he wanted to refute those words, to protest that no, that was all he was no, he knew better than to tell Ben he wasn't speaking truthfully on how he felt. "You'd have less issues if you just got yourself a puppy," Liam said a moment later, the corner of his mouth twitching up in a half-smile. "Less problems. Just as much love." His gaze dropped again, his shoulders inching up towards his ears. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, Ben. For all of this."
"They're more likely to chew the furniture and piddle on the carpet, though," Ben pointed out, a little grin curling his lips up. "I know you are. I know. I never thought differently," he said, quiet in the stillness of the flat. "But you need help that I can't give you. I wish I could, but I can't." Whatever it was that was hurting Liam, that drove him back to this point -- he wished he could make it stop, but it was beyond him. What he could do was this, make sure Liam got help, and support him through that. "There's no shame in getting help if you need it, Liam, but you can't, you can't do this on your own."
He let out a long breath, listening to Ben, and he knew he couldn't give a good argument against the words that were said. He didn't like it, not in the slightest, but Ben was right, painful as it was. "I know I can't," he finally confessed, just a whisper. "It's just hard to admit to it." Liam deflated somewhat, leaning against Ben as he closed his eyes yet again, growing quiet and still for a long while as he thought. He would call. And if he had to go back into in-patient, he would. It would be easier to just hide away, to find a hotel room and lock himself within and forget the world existed outside of it, but that wouldn't get him anywhere else but where he currently was, and his current situation wasn't happy. It was miserable, empty, and oh so lost. "Can I stay the night?" he asked after a moment, the question timid. "I'll be out in the morning before you're up. But. Just one more night?" It wasn't so much the flat that he was attached to, but Ben's presence there, the reminders around the place that he wasn't alone. Being out there on his own, it felt like too much right then, overwhelming to the point where his chest tightened in pain. A shudder worked through him, his breath hitching in his chest. "Just one more night. Please." He didn't look towards Ben, couldn't turn his face towards him, too afraid of seeing the answer he couldn't take right then.
The question made him stop, consider. Going out in this storm wasn't possible and wasn't something that Ben wanted for him. If Liam was going to call rehab, they might want him to come back for in-patient -- he didn't know. "Call rehab," he said quietly. "Find out what they want you to do." If he was going to go back there, there wasn't any sense in reserving a room somewhere when he'd never be able to use it. "You can stay here tonight, there's no sense in going out into this storm anyway, and you don't have to leave before I'm up. Get some breakfast in you, at least." A pause, his head dipping so his lips were close to Liam's ear. "Don't leave without telling me bye. I'd hate to have to chase you across the city before I get that."
There was nothing but silence for a long while, his heart hammering a furious rhythm in his chest as he gave a short nod in agreement to Ben's request. Though Liam had to wonder if staying another night would just make it that much more difficult to leave the next morning. But then the conversation turned towards saying goodbye and something about that, something about the finality of that word made all that pain come flooding back. Combined with the lips that were close to his ear, Liam reached up to grab a handful of Ben's shirt, fingers curled tight in the fabric, a violent shiver running through him. "Don't make me leave," he pleaded. "Don't make me say goodbye. Please. Please." The last several months had been spent running, running from things that had happened, from himself, and then he had finally found a home, someplace that he felt comfortable in, and he had to go and ruin it. His breath started to come quicker, his knuckles white with tension, control starting to unravel with every hitched breath he tugged in.
"It's not forever, Liam," Ben was quick to assure him. "It won't be forever." Because he still believed that Liam could be helped. That he wasn't beyond all hope and could one day come back here, or back to the house that Ben was still thinking of buying and have a home. It might not be Mississippi, or Britain for Ben, but home was never about the location, it was about the people. "It doesn't have to be goodbye if you don't want it to be, but don't leave without saying something, Liam. Even if it's not bye, just don't go creeping out of here like you don't matter, because you do."
He still had a hard time believing that, that he mattered, that it wasn't forever, because that wasn't how he felt right then. Liam didn't say anything in response, instead leaning forward with his forehead pressed against Ben's chest, his hand still curled in a fist around Ben's shirt. Every breath he took hurt, and he knew he deserved all of it, everything that he was feeling, everything that was happening, it was his fault when it came down to it. He had gone to Deacon, he had bought that little baggie of hell, and he had holed up in a hotel room to indulge. No one made him, that was all on him. And that regret was a bitter thing on his tongue. This was all his own undoing.
Ben left Liam's hands were they were as one of his own began to stroke up and down his back, trying to soothe however he could. Liam did matter. Ben wanted to see him get better, but the drugs behind so that he could stay here again. "You do," he murmured, both arms remaining tight around Liam's frame. "You do and I want to see you get better, Liam, so you can come back." It wouldn't be forever, just until Liam was clean again and ready to stay off the drugs.
Liam let out a long, shuddering breath, the hand that was tangled in Ben's shirt slowly starting to relax, finally releasing the fabric entirely as he spread his fingers over the area in silent apology. Some of the tension released from him, and slowly, Liam wound his own arms around Ben in return, pulling in close to him with the hug. Things in his head were starting to slow down, likely from emotional exhaustion, but the why didn't matter so much right then. "I'm scared, Ben," Liam finally murmured, his words muffled, spoken against Ben's shoulder where his face was buried with the hug.
"I know," he whispered. Though their situations had been different, he could still remember the night before he had himself committed, fearing that he was going mad, that he might hurt his family without meaning to. It had been terrifying. He hadn't been able to keep anything down and he'd all but fled the house that morning before something happened that he couldn't take back. Of course, learning that he wasn't going mad had been both relieving and frustrating. If someone had known then what he was going through -- that gave him an idea. "I know you are, but you're going to be okay. You'll get the help you need to get through this. And I'll still be here when you get out."
Liam wanted to believe him, wanted to hold onto the truth that things would be okay, that Ben would be there when he got through this, but the world was full of things you couldn't rely on, and people were included in that. He didn't want to doubt him, but with the world crumbling around him, it felt only natural that Ben would do so as well eventually. "How can I be sure? How can I be sure that this isn't all just smoke and mirrors, and when I turn around, you'll be gone, too?" The words wavered when they came out, choked up and caught up with emotion.
"Once, a long time ago, I ran. I promised myself I'd never do it again," Ben said honestly. Leaving now meant separating Thor from the world he loved, meant leaving behind Shai, and Liam and Ronan. It simply wasn't something that he could do. "And I like it too much here to leave now," he said, and grinned a little before he kissed the top of his head. "I'm not going to go somewhere else, Liam. I'll still be here. I'll still talk to you while you're not here and welcome you back when you've taken care of yourself."
There was something about Ben's tone, the honesty in his voice, that gave Liam the reassurance that he needed. Coupled with the kiss to the top of his head, Liam almost smiled, even if it was a sad expression. "Can we just stay like this for a while?" he asked quietly, even though it wasn't entirely proper. Ben had a girlfriend, and Liam felt like he shouldn't impose upon him like this. But he felt too safe right then to leave, to budge from the comfortable place he had worked himself into.
The question surprised him, but he nodded, his cheek rubbing against Liam's head in response. "We can stay here for as long as you need." If he was already staying the night, staying here, with the lights out and the flat quiet around them wouldn't be a hardship. They couldn't bring the power back if the storm caused it to go out and while he needed to contact Shai and Sam, make sure that Ronan was alright, they were all things that could wait a little while longer to give Liam a few more minutes of peace. "Whatever you need, Liam."
A murmured thank you, barely a whisper, and Liam was quiet against Ben once more. The flat was quiet, the sound of the sand pattering against the windows, and while it wasn't the situation that he found ideal, it felt, for the first time that day, bearable. A large breath in and released and Liam turned his face in towards Ben's neck, nose bumping there just against the pulse of his heart. There was nothing more in the gesture, just a moment of affection freely given.
The little touch left him smiling. He couldn't give Liam the professional help that the other man needed, but he could be here and give the comfort that Liam wanted. "You're welcome," he murmured, just loud enough to heard over the sand at the windows. Nothing more needed to be said after that as he curled around Liam until he was ready to part.