"Hey there." Ginger smiles at him. Truth to be told, he is a little embarrassed that he barged in on the boy like that, but Cyril does not seem to think anything of it. His cheeks a tad flushed, likely from spending time in a hot bath. He takes in his appearance; the borrowed clothes are too big for him and his hands are hidden in the sleeves, giving him a somewhat adorable look that reminds him of a kid who has to borrow his older brother's pajamas.
"Today was busier than most days, so I'm pretty beat. It was good, though. I brought some food and dessert for you, if you think you can eat a bit? I made the dessert myself this morning- they are left overs that need to be eaten, otherwise they'll go bad."
He motions for Cyril to come along to the kitchen and puts on a kettle of tea for them, then heats up the food and puts it in a bowl for him. "How do you feel?"6/08/2010 . Edited 6/08/2010 #61
The thought of dessert makes him feel as if he could purr loudly, the way Tabby was while she slept at his feet the previous night. He may not know anything about himself, but he now theorises that he must like sweets. He glances down at the bowl and nods a thanks to Ginger before taking a nervous bite.
It is delicious.
"I feel...a little better. I'm still shivery." Most likely he doesn't need to state this, it should be apparent. When he viewed himself in the bathroom mirror, he could see himself trembling. "And it's hard to get warm, other than in the bath. I don't remember anything yet, either."6/08/2010 #62
"That's alright, I'm sure it will come back eventually." The kettle whines loudly, so he turns off the stove and pours them both a cup, adding two spoonfuls of sugar in his own, and sits down across from him. "Listen…I get that you don't want to go to the hospital or see a doctor, but could you let one of my employees have a look at you? Jules is a med student, and I promise that you can trust him. It will just be a quick check up, nothing big." He pauses, then adds after a moment's thought, "And I will be there, if that makes you less nervous."
It feels sort of nice to come home after a long days' work and have someone to talk to other than his cat. Although Cyril is shy and soft spoken he provides pleasant company. It's good to see him looking a little healthier, too.6/08/2010 . Edited 6/08/2010 #63
Cyril takes a sip of his tea and then stares at his cup once he has set it down. Doctors. The very thought of them makes him nervous and he wishes he could explain why. All he knows is that his brain is associating 'doctor' with 'bad'. Very, very bad. His goal is presently to avoid them forever, but...
"You'll be there," The thought comforts him, makes him feel so much better. There is something so very comforting about Ginger. "You promise? If...if you promise, I'll...okay. But no...needles or anything like that...none."
Needles are another thing that touch a nerve. In trying to force himself to have some sort of recollection, he pictures needles every time. Long, thin needles that poke and prod, and he is not certain if he is the one being pushed at, but the thought still mortifies him.6/08/2010 #64
"No needles," he promises. "I don't do so well with doctors myself, if that's any comfort."
Whatever happened to Cyril to make him hate doctors so, he feels sorry for him.
He gets up to make himself a sandwich or three, acutely hungry, and they eat their meals in silence, mostly because he doesn't know what to talk about or bring up when the boy has no memories. The sandwiches soothe the hunger, for now, and he leans back in the chair, sipping tea.
Well, there is the matter of where the boy should sleep.
"Cyril, I need to talk to you about something," he begins, not knowing how to put this without coming across as rejecting. "We need to find out if someone is looking for you. I bet you have family, or friends, and they must be worried sick about you. It'd be best if you returned to them instead of staying with me, who is basically a stranger to you. I don't distrust you, but I had no plans of renting out my guest room or getting a roommate."6/08/2010 . Edited 6/08/2010 #65
The boy ducks his head, silent. He expected this. He has expected it all day long, and has tried and tried to decide how he ought to react. Despite all of his thinking, he has yet to come up with anything. All that comes to mind is 'don't make me leave' and he has no place saying such a thing to the man who has already been so kind to him.
Finally he forces himself to open his mouth and whisper, "And if there isn't anyone? What if there's no one who is looking for me?"
Images of needles and cold steel swim lazily across his mind.
"Or........What if there's someone who is looking for me, but I don't want to go with them? If I don't trust them or...something else? What if I...would it be bad...or, would I be in the way here? If I have nowhere togo, am I boterhing you being here?"6/08/2010 #66
And he can't help but wonder exactly when this boy got so attached to him in the short time they have been together. He has to go easy on Cyril, he thinks, not to scare him or give him the wrong impression.
"You are not a bother, Cyril," he says, smiling kindly. "I'm just concerned for you, and I'm sure there is someone else out there who is too. It would be cruel not to let them know that you are okay. I'm not kicking you out or forcing you to leave when you have nowhere to go, okay?"
He catches his eyes, but Cyril is quick to look away, and Ginger sighs. "And if, against all odds, you are in a situation like that…we will work something out. You can stay here until we figure things out." Morgan's words from earlier ring in the back of his head, but he can't believe that the boy would do anything to harm him, meek and fragile as he is. "In the meantime, you can help me out in the café as a favour, maybe? Even something like cleaning the kitchen would take a great load off me and my employees."
Smiling he stands up. "I'm too tired to think much on it right now. What do you say that we watch a movie or something?"6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #67
(My god. I just reread my last one and I could tell I was doing it without my glasses for that one.)
No one is looking for me.
The voice in Cyril's mind is telling him this, insisting that it is the truth. Ginger cannot hear this voice, he knows, so he does not bother to repeat after it. He has no proof that it is correct, but it seems to him that it must be, and he would like for Ginger to believe it as well. Still, if the man insists on calling the police to see if there has been any report related to him filed, he will simply have to deal with it.
"I'll help out." This idea makes him smile brightly, interested in the idea. He doesn't want to be a useless burden, spending all of his time in the flat with Tabby, doing nothing helpful. "Whatever you want me to do. And...okay. You should probably pick the movie, though."
His smile weakens, but remains. "I don't remember what kind I like."
God, he wishes he remembered something other than his first name and his age. But there is nothing there for him. All he has is a stranger that he cannot tell all of his thoughts. He has no way to explain the fact that touching Ginger calms him, and there is no good way to phrase it as far as his brain is concerned.6/09/2010 #68
(That's okay- I correct typos and such when I paste it into my document :3)
Cyril has a sweet smile. For a moment that cute smile is all he notices, and the boy's words fly past his ears. He blinks, redirects his attention to his eyes and nods. "Yeah, I know just the movie. Bring dessert with you."
From the large collection of DVDs that cover an entire wall in his bedroom he picks Happy Feet, which is such a light hearted feel-good movie that it should pose as a decent distraction. Plus, it has dancing and singing, and that always puts him in a good mood. He pops the DVD into the player, grabs the remote and takes a seat on the far right side of the couch, his usual spot.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #69
(You have a document?)
The cream puffs are just sitting there, and he lifts up the bag to take it along with him. He peeks into the bag to see what exactly they are and the smell is absolutely heavenly.
Cyril doesn't recognise the movie's case when he sees it, but then, he hardly expected to. He's simply relieved that at least he knows the animals are penguins. Then he wonders why someone would want to watch a movie about penguins. Then he thinks it must be good, or Ginger wouldn't like it...unless Ginger's tastes are terrible, which he doubts.
He stares at the couch where Ginger is sitting, wondering where he himself should take a seat. After a moment he decides on the centre cushion, not so close that Ginger might tell him to move, but close enough that if he wants to, he can touch him.
He really wants to touch him, to make the shivering stop.6/09/2010 #70
(Of course I do. I save all RPs I write.)
A glance in the boy's direction tells him that Cyril sits close, but not too close, and he is still shivering badly. Since he does not have a fever, Ginger wonders why he can't stop doing that. Is he really so cold? He picks up the blanket hanging over the couch's armrest and hands it to him, saying "Here, take this."
He leans back and puts an arm over the top of the couch, behind Cyril's shoulders, and lets himself relax fully. The movie is a heartbreaker; occasionally he laughs or chuckles, humming along to the songs the penguins perform.
If Morgan knew what sort of movies he liked, the man would tease him senseless.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #71
(Ah. I don't usually copy them into a document becaues they're on file somewhere else...like here.)
The blanket is acceptable, but it does little good. His shivering refuses to go away. Needles. There is little that he knows, but he knows that it was a needle--though he doesn't have the vaguest idea how--that caused this incessant shivering of his. It is irritating, and it makes him feel as if he is ill, and when he feels ill, he is quite certain he looks ill.
While he may be weak and still having coughing fits every so often, he does not particularly feel ill.
He finds the movie to be interesting, but more than that he is captivated by the way Ginger seems to be so interested in what is happening on-screen. And because he is so captivated, as well as so shivery, he cannot help but get closer.
It starts with an inch, sliding his knees in Ginger's direction, and then it is more than that, and it is the majority of his legs, touching the other man's, and he wishes it was more.6/09/2010 #72
(It's an old habit. I don't always have the net, and I like to read old RPs for fun when I'm bored. Besides, it feels neat and organized.)
Somehow, he doesn't notice just how much closer the boy has come during the movie until they are more than halfway through. Not that he minds, not really, if it helps Cyril calm down. He props both feet up on the coffee table, crossed at the ankles, and puts a hand on the back of the boy's head, trailing fingers through light strands of hair.
The effect is immediate, and it puzzles him enough to tear his eyes from the TV for a second or two to glance at him. Cyril melts at the petting touches to his hair, no longer shivering, so Ginger figures that it's alright for him to keep at it. Maybe the boy is just too scared and nervous to be able to relax.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #73
(Ah. That's logical ^^ Grr...my original answer vanished. So this is a less well-written one))
It is unconcious, but he is leaning into the man's touch. This brings him closer, just a little. It feels wonderful. Perfect. And it is calming. He does not like the shaking, and now that it has stopped, he can relax.
He knows there must be some reason Ginger's touch helps him this way, wonders if it has to do with it being Ginger, or if any other person would do. He wishes he didn't need this touch. Not that he minds Ginger touching him (on the contrary, he is enjoying it immensely) but if he is going to be useful, it will be a challenge if he shakes whenever the man's fingers leave him.6/09/2010 #74
(Aw, damn. And don't worry, Ginger will change his mind and come sleep with him after a little while.)
By the time they get to the credits the boy has snuggled up to him and sits pressed into his side, seemingly content to be so physically close to another warm body. It's something he understands well- his mothers always had to pick him up when he cried as a child, or let him sleep in their bed whenever he had a nightmare. In a way, Cyril reminds him of himself.
He removes his hand from the boy's hair to grab the remote control and turn the TV off. His eyelids are heavy with sleepiness now, though it's only half past ten yet, and he can probably use the extra few hours of rest for tomorrow.
"I'll be going to bed now, Cyril. Tomorrow will be busy, and we close late, so…" He trails off. "You can have the bed, if you feel better sleeping in there, and I'll take the couch, okay?"6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #75
Cyril's nod is slow, but he is trying to hide his disappointment. Much as he likes the idea of sleeping in Ginger's bed--it is comfortable there, and warm, and all-around appealing--he would rather have Ginger there with him. Still, he supposes being allowed to be there at all is better than nothing.
So he turns a little, snuggling his nose into the heat of the man's shirt before he stands up. The shivering starts back up the moment their contact has ceased. He crosses his arms over his chest, wrapping them around himself for some semblance of heat. Not that heat has helped this thus far. Even when he was in his bath, in water almost scalding hot, he was shivering.
"Thank you," he says, glancing around the room. The couch does not look comfortable. It is fine for sitting, but having attempted to sleep there himself, he does not like the idea of taking Ginger's bed from him. Nor does he like the idea of arguing with him about it.6/09/2010 #76
"You're welcome." He fails to suppress a big yawn and drags a hand over his tired face. "I think I've got an unused tooth brush somewhere in the bathroom."
It takes a bit of rummaging through drawers and cupboards in the bathroom before he can find it, but he does, and it's still unopened and ready for use, even if he bought it weeks ago when he moved in. All the sleep overs he had when he was a kid taught him that having an extra tooth brush can be a life saver. No one wants to have dog breath, after all.
"There you go," he says, handing it to him. "It'll just be five minutes, then you can use the bathroom." After closing the door he takes a leak, brushes his teeth and changes into pajama pants. He still wears his boxers underneath, but it is too hot to sleep with a t-shirt at night.
"Good night, Cyril. I'll bring you lunch tomorrow. Don't close the door, by the way, otherwise Tabby can't get in." He pats the boy's shoulder as he passes him on his way to the bedroom to pick up a comforter and a spare pillow.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #77
He flinches. When Ginger pats his shoulder, the shivering vanishes, only to return a split second later with the man's passing. It is nearly painful to go through the transitions in such quicky succession. He forces himself to move into the bathroom without uttering any noise of pain.
Brushing his teeth does not take him long, and he is unsure as to where he should leave the toothbrush. Unwilling to bother Ginger about it, he merely leaves it sitting on the counter, as close to the wall as possible so it is out of the way. He washes his face quickly and then heads to Ginger's bedroom.
The previous night, the man was sleeping with him. Of course, that was his own doing, because of crawling into the bed without asking for permission first. Now Ginger has told him to be here and he is nervous about spending the entire night on his own.
He tries to push the feeling down as he slips under the covers and curls into himself, keeping as warm as he possibly can.6/09/2010 #78
Once all the lights are off and the door is locked he flops himself onto the couch and pulls the comforter over him. The minutes pass. He is really tired, but…Something keeps him from falling asleep, and he isn't sure what.
His thought circle around, often coming back to the boy and his odd shivering, and he wonders if it's true that Cyril calms down only when he is touched. It certainly looks that way. Even that brief touch a little while ago made him relax.
Shit, there is no reason for him to be so worried.
But he is.
How much time passes before he gives up on trying to swallow down the concern, he does not known, but eventually he gets up, picks up the comforter and the pillow and sneaks his way into the bedroom. He leaves the door slightly ajar not to wake him, and crawls into bed. As soon as he rolls onto his stomach and buries his face in the pillow he is out like a light.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #79
(Look! Hints of Cyril's past that I know nothing about!)
Though he is tired and half-asleep already when Ginger comes in, Cyril notices him. He smiles at the sight of him, but does not make a sound.
After a few minutes he crawls close to him, moves one of the man's arms so it is covering him, and snuggles close to him. It feels so much better then. He can sleep much more easily now, and it does not take long for him to fall asleep with Ginger right there.
The problem is what happens after that--
He is plagued by nightmares. Men holding needles, prodding him again and again, someone carrying him down the hall in their arms, comforting, only to drop him and be dragged away, the sound of high heels clacking down a hallway and a woman's voice asking how he can best be utilised for their purposes, and then more needles, more voices discussing him, the fact that he won't eat, that someone else has died...
Rather than sleeping soundly, Cyril finds himself jolting awake, breath coming in harsh pants while tears run down his face. He wipes them away, frustrated that he has no control over anything his body does. His eyes turn to Ginger and he is pleased to find the man still asleep.
Thank God. He doesn't want to disturb him. The man needs his rest.
Cyril's fingers clap over his mouth as he comes to a realisation. He moves quickly off of the bed and out of the room, bolting to the bathroom so he can lean over the toilet and vomit...except he doesn't. He feels as if he will, but nothing is coming up. Rather than running the risk of returning to bed, he simply stays in the bathroom and dry-heaves until the feeling is gone.
Even then, he is worried about waking up Ginger, and so he stays in the bathroom, breathing erratic and arms rubbing his shaking body.6/09/2010 #80
(LOL. This is just as much of a discovery process for him as it is for you! Yay! Like I said before, Ginger sleeps like the dead.)
The alarm clock goes off.
Disoriented and half asleep, Ginger slams a hand down on it and rolls over. A thin layer of sweat covers his skin, and he decides that tonight he needs to sleep with the window open.
Something strikes him as odd when he sits up and rubs at his tired eyes.
After a minute's intense brooding he notices what- Cyril isn't there.
Where is he? Crap, he probably scared him by coming in here to sleep. Not good, not good. He could blame it on the couch being too hard for him to sleep, or something, but he isn't so sure he can pull of a lie, even a white one.
He leaves bed and puts on a kettle of tea before going to the bathroom for his morning routine. To his surprise he finds the boy in the bathroom, hanging over the toilet. The oddest part is that he is sleeping. That position must be mighty uncomfortable, and if the boy wakes up with a crick in his neck, he won't be shocked. He brushes his teeth and goes about his routine, then bends to shake Cyril's shoulder gently.
"Hey, wake up."6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #81
(Yeah, it's definitely that. It's me sitting here going, '...that sounds about right...' And yeah, I know. I didn't expect Cyril to be discovered until the morning anyhow.)
Ginger's voice wakes him up in no time and all, and he is immensely relieved that the man's hand is touching him. It means he isn't shaking--he's realised that shaking is not a pleasant state to wake up in. It makes everything seem worse than it already is.
"Morning," his voice cracks as he says this greeting and he winces. Dammit. He stares at him, wide-eyed, and then finds himself whispering, "Please don't go to the police, Ginger. I don't...want to go anywhere, because...because..."
God, he doesn't feel well. It is as if he is waking up in the cafe for the first time all over again. He isn't sick, merely unwell and he does not like the feeling. It's sheer torture.
Before Ginger can ask him to explain his 'because', he does his best to do so. Running through his nightmares is not easy, but he does it as well as he can, and he only hopes the man will take him seriously, because they felt much too real to have been false.
Even now he can hear the heels clacking in his skull and he can feel the needles prodding at his skin. He wraps his fingers around Ginger's refusing to let go. The mental torture is awful, but this contact makes it better, if only a little, and he does not want to release it yet.6/09/2010 #82
(By the way, do you want to name the other part timer working there? All five of them will be working.)
It sounds like something straight out of a thriller, what the boy tells him, and while he doesn't believe that all of it can be true, he understands that Cyril believes it to be, and it scares the boy witless. He thinks that maybe he has suffered a hard life before he showed up in the café, and the nightmares are his brain's way of working through that.
Anyone can see that Cyril is coming apart at the seams. He needs someone, and that someone can only be him right now.
So he kneels down and puts an arm around him, rubbing big circles on his back until the shivering lessens, then after some time ceases.
"Let's get you back to bed," he says gently and puts an arm around his waist to help him stand. It disturbs him how cold Cyril feels to the touch. They move slowly, but in a little while Ginger has the boy wrapped up in his covers, and he sits on the edge of the bed and pets his hair for a while.6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #83
(Please do, yes. I have no good names in my mind right now. ugh...it's hard to write this one, because of Cyril not knowing anything. It's hard to avoid being repetitive, you know?)
The boy is perfectly willing to get some rest in a comfortable place, especially after the highly uncomfortable evening he spent in the bathroom. He gets as close to the man as he can, resting his cheek on Ginger's knee. He knows that soon enough the man will have to leave, to go to work, and he wants this to last as long as possible.
"I'm sorry," he mumbles, fingers toying with the cloth of the man's pants, "that...I can't be helpful yet. I thought I'd be able to today--to help, and now I...I don't think I can."
Then the rambling begins, words tumbling out of his mouth like a waterfall before he can even think about keeping his mouth closed:
"I'm sorry you have to help me, or that you feel like you should when you don't have any responsibility to me. I'm sorry that I woke up in your cafe and that I can't tell you who I am or where I came from or any of that and...I'm sorry about any trouble I'm causing, making you take time from your workday to come and get me food, and I don't mean to make problems for you and...I'm sorry that I only seem to calm down when you touch me, because I don't understand it at all and there's nothing I can do about it, and..."
He runs out of steam as quickly as it began, and he falls silent, fingers still playing with Ginger's pants.6/09/2010 #84
(He should start remembering bits and pieces soon, then? Maybe once he feels a little safer?)
That cracked, frustrated voice touches something in him, something tender, and he frowns down at him. His fingers curl into Cyril's hair, stroking it, because that appears to be the only thing he can do to help him.
It's not right that someone so young should be so alone and uncertain.
He thinks on everything for a long while, aware that he is about to be late for work, before he says anything. "You don't have to apologize to me. Having you here is no problem at all for me, so I don't mind. I understand that you're scared, and that you don't want to be alone, and that's okay, Cyril."
He might regret this, but at the moment it seems like the right decision to make. "You can stay with me for a while, until you feel safe enough to leave. How does that sound?"6/09/2010 . Edited 6/09/2010 #85
(Yeah, definitely. Which means I need to figure some of the stuff out. ...Shiiiit.)
There is doubt in Cyril's mind that he will ever feel safer, especially if he goes to sleep tonight and finds only that the nightmares persist. He hopes they do not. The last thing he wants is a repeat of the previous night. He would like to spend the full evening with Ginger next time.
It is a request he will not voice. He will force himself to be satisfied with all that Ginger is willing to give, and so he nods eagerly, turning his head so he can look at the man's face. "Yes. I'll...I'd like that. I want to stay here." His heart is pounding hard against his chest and he vows that he will try to remember something for Ginger's sake as much as his own.
And that he will help him somehow.
"I want to stay," he repeats, meaning it. He is smiling, feeling so much better than before as he says, "I want to learn to help you, too."6/09/2010 #86
"That can wait," Ginger insists. "Just take your time getting better first, okay?"
He smiles, trailing his fingers very gently through the boy's hair. The two of them stay like that for a while, until he absolutely needs to leave if he is to get everything downstairs ready on time. "Jules and I will come by during lunch so he can have a look at you. It's nothing to be worried about. He's a good guy- no needles, as promised."
As soon as he gets up, Cyril swallows and looks nervous again, and as soon as they no longer touch he can see that the boy starts shivering. It makes him frown, but there is nothing he can do about it. He tells him bye for now and leaves before his concern cons him into staying just a bit longer. At least Tabby will keep the boy company in his absence.
Downstairs Morgan and Martine have already arrived and are changing into their uniforms in the staff room. He hears them chatting about casual, meaningless things. "Morning, guys," he greets them.6/13/2010 #87
Morgan grins over at him, butterflies dancing in his stomach at the thought of going out with Ginger that night. He should be used to them drinking together, but he is not. There is something about the man's oblivious way of being--the fact that he doesn't seem to realise at all how Morgan feels for him--that makes it so the employee cannot help getting just as excitedly nervous each and every time they are together outside of work.
"Hey, boss," he says cheerily, "I was just busy teasing Martine about how she was left with no cream puffs last night because she rushed out of here with hardly a good-bye."
"Well," Martine shrugs, "I figured I should leave yo--"
"--to lock up without helping, Miss Lazy Bones?" Morgan interrupts swiftly. "Yeah, I thought so. Expect another busy day, ma'am, and you're helping finish up this time."6/15/2010 #88
(Drew is a girl, by the way.)
Ginger's lips twitch and form a smile. "The two of you are done around five o'clock today, so don't worry about locking up. Jules and Drew aren't coming in until eleven, so we'll be busy. Martine, help me out in the kitchen, will you? Morgan, I need you to take down the chairs and empty the dishwasher, stuff like that."
Mornings are extraordinarily busy, especially since they have to make new batches of cake, pastries and various desserts. Thankfully most of the dough and batter was prepared the previous day, so it's simply a matter of actually baking the goodies.
"I've considered setting the opening time to nine thirty," he tells Martine as they get started on the vanilla and raspberry pies. "I'm sure you all are exhausted after work. The shifts are a little too long. Wouldn't want everyone to get tired of working here, would I?"6/15/2010 . Edited 6/15/2010 #89
(I have never in my life heard of Drew as a girl's name, so thank you for telling me that...I have a cousin and an uncle Drew...and the site says you posted at 3:15. One minute earlier and it would have been pi. I notice this because I am a geek.)
"Oh, we would never get sick of working here," Martine assures him. "We all think you're much too adorable to go find someone else to work for." She eyes Morgan, who is already halfway finished with the dishwasher, "Right, Morgan?"
Her co-worker glares at her and subtly flips her off where Ginger cannot see, "I'm not working for him because of his looks. Unlike some people, I base my jobs on other things."
She pouts and peers at Ginger, "I wasn't saying it's our only reason for working here. Just that it's a little added bonus. Besides, I'm pretty sure Ginger hasn't had a date in the last million years, so maybe he's got his eye on one of us...another bonus."
Morgan rolls his eyes. "You sound like a junior high school girl, Martine."6/15/2010 #90
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