|A Land of Cold Comfort - Hollyoaks - John Paul/Kieron
||[Jul. 14th, 2008|12:02 am]
where the daydreams reign
Title: A Land of Cold Comfort
Pairing: John Paul/Kieron
Word Count: 1100
A/N: Written for 7_deadly_sins_. Set while Kieron is in Aberdeen – I'm a week behind in the episodes so this may all be extremely AU.
Summary: Adjusting to a life back here – without him – is even harder than Kieron had thought.
He barely moves at first, sitting in a blind shock. There are so many things he should be doing but he can't make himself leave the house. He wants to hide away forever – because he's lost everything. He's lost everything. First there was the Church, his calling, but he could handle that because he still had John Paul. Now…
Now he sits in front of the television watching This Morning while he eats from his sodden bowl of cereal. His mother is hoovering upstairs: she's avoiding him, he knows. She's barely been able to look at him since he came home.
And that's fine. He can't look at himself either: the mirror's reflection is a cruel reminder of how far he's fallen since he last left home. He's right back where he's started. Every avenue is closed to him and his mind burns, his body aches, his skin screams for him to just go back to Hollyoaks. John Paul needs him; with Tina hurt, he needs someone to support him.
Kieron has failed on that front, he thinks as he sucks his empty spoon. The metal tastes dull and obtrusive in his mouth: a drop of milk has fallen onto his t-shirt and he's in dire need of a shave.
You need to get out of this place, he thinks. Fresh air. Fresh air will help. The thought of going outside crushes him further into the couch, but the roaring of the vacuum cleaner upstairs bores into his head. He can't slouch here and mope for the remainder of his life, he knows that. He moves his bowl away and places it on the coffee table in front of him.
A swipe of his hand over his chin leaves his skin burning with stubble – and he wonders, automatically, what John Paul would think of that, if he'd like it, if it would be a turn-on – and he looks mournfully around the living room. The curtains are drawn, blocking out the sunlight that tries to make it through, and Kieron is reluctant to get over there and open it, but it's time to face the world again. Two days spent mourning a relationship is all that he can afford himself. He closes his eyes and asks for the strength to move on. He's doing the right thing. He's doing the selfless thing.
He groggily gets to his feet and moves through to the kitchen: lunch. He'll make lunch then he'll get dressed and try to catch some fresh air.
He comes home with bags and bags and bags: he's not even sure what it is that he's bought but he's sure that his bank balance will feel the strain. The bags sag as they are thrown onto the ground and his feet ache. It's a relief to collapse onto the bed and stare at the ceiling.
There is a patch on his chest, right at his shoulder, that feels wrong, cold, light. John Paul's head should rest there. There should be an arm around his waist and he should be listening to John Paul telling him all about his day. His fingers long to thread through his fragile hair.
He groans and runs his hand over his face, rubbing at his eyes. You did the right thing, he tells himself. The thought is hollow. He wonders if it's too late to catch a train back home.
When he checks his shopping bags he'll discover that all the clothes he bought are shaped for a man a lot smaller than he is. He throws them under his bed and blocks the world out as best he can: even far away from John Paul, he can still feel him driving him crazy.
He can't remember this guy's name – and that's awful, isn't it? He's been standing by the bar talking to him for almost half an hour now and he doesn't have a clue what he's called. Kieron finds that he isn't too interested anyway.
The stranger is gorgeous. Tall. Dark eyes, full lips, a knowing smirk that says he knows just how good-looking he is. A long time ago Kieron would have found himself flattered that this godlike creature decided to speak to him: now he finds himself barely nodding along and longing for someone else.
"I've got to admit," the stranger says, "you're not the kind of guy I'd expect to find here. You're too… nice." His eyes glint in the flashing lights.
Kieron laughs – almost – and looks to the front of the club. He doesn't recognise the DJ: there's no way he could have, really. "Nice," he murmurs too quietly to be heard. He clears his throat – speaks louder. "What makes you think I'm nice?"
The man smiles and his finger tips trail over Kieron's arm: light like static. "Why don't you prove me wrong?"
His head turns, his stomach hurts and he closes his eyes: he doesn't want this. The disgust with himself hits him hard, hits him suddenly. He never wanted this. He places his beer bottle back on the bar top, still half-full, and shakes his head. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I just- I have to go."
He leaves without saying anything more, pushing his way through binge-drinkers and hen nights. What was I thinking? he wonders. It seems like forever before he bursts out onto Edinburgh's streets. It smells of stale beer. Winding his way towards Waverly Station he fumbles for the phone in his pocket – a new one; he left his in Niall's flat – and dials without thinking.
The voice that answers – "'llo?" – is sleep-soaked and groggy, but Kieron has to smile. That voice can chase away the depravity and overindulgence of the city around him. He should never have come here, he realises now. He should never have left – not Hollyoaks, not even Aberdeen.
There are so many questions to ask and so many apologies to be given, but he can't do this over the phone. He needs something more than John Paul's voice to hold onto.
"Mercedes, if that's you I swear I'm gonna kill you in the morning," John Paul grumbles.
Kieron wants to speak, wants to say something, wants to tell him how much he loves him – but his voice catches in his chest and he hears John Paul groan once in annoyance. The phone clatters and goes dead: cut off. He has to put it back into his pocket, though every cell in his body clamours to call John Paul back.
He carries on towards the station, shoulders set. He'll get a late train back to Aberdeen, pick up his things and get moving. It's time to stop moping, stop slumping, stop hiding: it's time to face John Paul again.