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Author Topic: Dark Days [Dalton]  (Read 3865 times)

Dark Days [Dalton]
« on: September 24, 2020, 01:42:42 PM »
Spring 846

Kilian had been laying on the bed in the room shared with a few other cadets. There were a few stuffed into every dorm room to save on building space. And while everyone else was peacefully asleep, Kilian had been wide awake, staring at the top bunk above him. He was exhausted and normally he would have been passed out, but the weather had decided that wasn't happening tonight. 

Now that spring had come back, so had the rain storms. If it was just rain itself, Kilian didn't mind. In fact he loved the sound of it. But it was the storms that brought thunder and lightning he was terrified of. And that's what was happening now.

Kilian listened as the horrid raindrops hit the window and the wind blew against the building outside. When a loud rumble of thunder could be heard, followed by a strike of lightning, Kilian squeezed his eyes shut, his jaw clenching. A strained whimper escaped him, though he tried to be quiet to avoid waking the others.

When another clash of lightning illuminated the room, Kilian opened his eyes and sat up on bed. He swung his legs over the edge of it, standing up after a moment. He glanced around the room, listening to the soft snores coming from his comrades.

His gaze soon settled on Dalton, who he shared a bunk bed with. Kilian hesitated before turning to face him fully, reaching over to gently set a hand on the other boy's arm. "Dalton? Are you awake?" He asked, wincing at how weak and shaky his voice sounded.

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 11:22:09 AM »
Dalton loved springtime, and the restorative rain that came with it.  It soaked into an earth ravaged by winter, encouraging new life to bloom, the longer days bringing a quiet sense of hope.  On a night like this, it was pleasant to doze off with the steady, drumming sound of raindrops beating against glass windowpanes and rooftops alike.  The room was cool, his bed warm, while a narrowly cracked window filled the dormitory with fresh air, the light draught drenched in the heavenly scent of petrichor.  Only a storm was coming, and even as Dalton slept he became aware of it, the distant roll of thunder bleeding into his dreams.  He shifted beneath his bed sheets, not entirely awake but most definitely disturbed by the sound of the rising wind, by the occasional flash of dazzling light that illuminating the dormitory starkly.

It took very little to bring him back to the waking world.  Green eyes cracked open at the sound of his name, focusing hazily on Kilian’s familiar face.  “Hey,” Dalton breathed, his voice low and raspy with slumber, the corners of his mouth catching in a faint, fond smile.  His friend’s fear hadn’t registered with him, at least not yet.  “Yeah, m’awake…”  The eldest of the Lightbody children, he was well used to being roused during the night, his younger siblings often coming to him for reassurance when they were disturbed by childish nightmares or raucous roaring from the tavern below.  Almost out of habit, he reached out to muss his hand through Kilian’s dark hair in a gesture of comfort, raven locks soft between his long fingers.  Then those verdant shades widened, growing more alert and focused, a flicker of suddenly aware of the shakiness in Kilian’s voice.  “W-Wait.  You okay, Kili?” « Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 11:25:31 AM by Dalton Lightbody »

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 11:43:24 AM »
Kilian watched as the boy stirred underneath his hand. He had debated on moving away and going back to his own bed. The poor boy needed his rest, yet here he was disturbing him. Kilian's eyes shifted down. He slowly withdrew his hand from his friend's arm, but had stilled when the other spoke.

As bad as he felt for waking him, the sound of his friend had been soothing. "Hey, Dalton." he greeted back. A faint smile worked its way onto his lips. He had to admit, the other looked pretty adorable having just woken up. He had opened his mouth to say something, but had been caught off guard when he felt Dalton's hand messing around with his hair.

Kilian had froze, staring down at the other. The gesture itself was comforting, if not a bit unexpected. Still, he found himself drawn to the simple touch, his head lightly leaning into the touch. Dalton was always a physical kind of person. Kilian had found that out fairly quickly in the months of talking to him. Yet every time, any simple gesture from him never failed to make him blush. And he was aware of the heat rising in his cheeks now.

Kilian hesitated for a moment. He really shouldn't bother him. This whole thing was pathetic on his end. He was about to reassure his companion that all was well until another flash of lightning lit the room up, as well as illuminating his fear stricken eyes and paled skin. The raven haired boy drew in a heavy breath. He still wanted to shake it off as if it nothing, but he couldn't lie to him.

"Not...really." Kilian whispered after a moment. He turned his eyes back to his friend. He shifted from foot to foot. One of his hands came to rest upon Dalton's arm that was outstretched to him. "I uh...i'm terrified of thunderstorms, as childish as that sounds." He murmured. He was ashamed that he couldn't keep this fear under control. He had never been like this before when he was younger. 

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 12:56:34 PM »
It was subtle, but Kilian tilted his head towards the contact.  Dalton took this as a sign of encouragement, his fingertips brushing gently against the boy’s scalp as dark hair slipped through his digits.  His locks were soft, silky, lovely.

For a long moment, silence stretched, and Dalton began to wonder if he was dreaming.  In the lull, he almost drifted back to drowsing, lost in the contact with Kilian.  At least until there came a great, stark flash of lightning, illuminating the dorm room, casting pitch shadows and revealing Kilian’s features.  He was pale, wide-eyed, stricken with fear.  As he answered, he shifted his weight unhappily, nervously, as though trapped uncomfortably between fight and flight.

Perhaps it was residual trauma, the mighty rolls of thunder stirring memories of rumbling Titan footfall, bringing Kilian back to the day Wall Maria fell.  Or maybe it was a fear rooted in childhood, in the same way Dalton still found himself afraid of the dark on occasion, almost paralysed with fear at the thought of places he perceived to be haunted or cursed.  The unknown was at the crux of his anxieties; that which might loom unseen in the inky pitch, that which seemed eerie or unnatural, defying explanation.  By comparison, an aversion to storms was a much more tangible, understandable thing.

“Not childish…”  Dalton insisted in a low, reassuring murmur, his long fingers grazing the helix of Kilian’s ear as they smoothed through his hair.  The hand that clasped his forearm was pleasantly warm, he noticed, finding he enjoyed the touch.  “You… do you want to come up here?  We can talk until the storm p-passes.  Or… count.  Figure out whether the storm is leaving or not.”  Even before he had an answer, Dalton shuffled and pulled back the covers, offering up the cosy well where he had been lying, the mattress permeated with body heat.  He would do the same for any one of his siblings, for any one of his friends.  Or so he was forced to remind himself when his heart suddenly rattled against his ribs, as a strange nervousness – excitement? – swept over him.  “Come on.”

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2020, 01:34:04 PM »
Kilian couldn't help but let his eyes close at the touch. It was such a small thing, but it helped him feel safe and at peace. He was grateful Dalton was here for him, but a twinge of guilt still resided in him. He shouldn't be bothering his friend. He needed his rest.

At the lightning, Kilian seemed to just stare out the window, listening to the violent rolling of the thunder and the pattering of the rain on the glass. Deep down, he knew this was stupid. Storms weren't going to harm him. The logical part of him understood that. But yes, it brought him back to that dreaded day when his, along with many others, lost their home. The thunder reminded him of the heavy footsteps and canon fire. And every time he looks outside when there's lightning, he's expecting to see that armored titan staring at him. He'd had a good look at it when he was younger. And it's image was forever etched into his mind.

A shudder escaped Kilian, but he was drawn back to the present by the voice of his friend. He turned his gaze away from the window to the bed where Dalton resided. He looked a bit shocked that Dalton offered to share his bed with him. Kilian took a moment to consider before pulling himself up onto the mattress, settling in to the spot where his friend had once been.

He was instantly enveloped in a warmth that caused his body to relax as he felt a heat flood his cheeks. He was vaguely aware of his heart racing in his chest. His eyes narrowed slightly at that. There was nothing wrong with this. They were friends and Dalton was just offering him comfort. Why was he so flustered over this?

"Thank you, Dalton." Kilian murmured after a moment, the strain in his voice finally fading out. He glanced over at the other boy, a small, tired smile tugging at his lips as he reached forward, brushing a strand of hair away from Dalton's face and lightly tucked it behind his ear. He really did appreciate this. He was really going to miss him once he joined the Scouts.

Kilian looked down at that, his smile slowly fading. "Hey, Dalton? Are you still going for the Garrison once we graduate?" He asked curiously. That's what Dalton had opted for when they first spoke a year ago. But he was curious to see if his choice had changed if he didn't manage to make top ten.

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2020, 03:32:51 PM »
Watching Kilian as he stared at the window, Dalton had a sense of how sheltered his own life had been.  There were traumas and horrors his friend had witnessed that he would never hear tell of, that were now written into his very psyche.  Where did his mind go now, as he stared at the dark pane?  Dalton grazed his lip with his teeth, and was on the cusp of beckoning him to look at him, when Kilian did exactly that, a shudder rolling through him.  Another flash of lightning came, brilliant and bright, and Dalton could swear he saw colour rising in the boy’s cheeks.  Warmth, perhaps, or embarrassment?  Maybe even it was a flush of fear.

“You’re welcome,” Dalton mumbled, once Kilian had slipped into the bed beside him, his fingers coaxing a loose strand of hair away from his face, hooking it gently behind his ear.  He couldn’t help the dreamy smile tugging at his lips.  It was nice, lying face-to-face with the dark-haired boy, but the sleepy sense of contentment was soon strained, stretching with the question that followed.  That Kilian was drawn to the Survey Corps, easily the most dangerous of the three regiments, was something he struggled with.

“Yeah, that’s the plan…” Dalton conceded quietly, regretfully.  Graduation, while far on the horizon, didn’t hold much appeal.  Not when it meant his career with the military - something he had never aspired to - would begin in earnest.  Not when it meant he and many of the friends he had made would be forced apart.  Kilian, above all others.  Something indeterminate, something deep inside him, wrenched at the thought.  Dalton had realised early on that he didn’t have what it took to make the top ten, and he made his peace with his apparent mediocrity.  But between the remaining options, there could only be one choice for him and, seemingly, there was only one choice for Kilian.

“You’re still set on the Survey Corps?”  The question was asked softly, in the manner of one who already knew the answer.  “I was thinking about that, about how the scouts are based out of Trost.  I wonder… maybe I could get p-placed there too.  My folks would be happy to have me in the area and - ”  He hesitated, wondering if putting so much thought into a future that was still over a year away would seem clingy or peculiar.  They hadn’t been friends for all that long - not compared to the likes of Eren, Mikasa and Armin, or those like them - but there was a surprising intensity to his feelings.  The thought of them being separated wounded him, as though they were being robbed of something, something more than just one another’s company.  “It’d b-be nice to be near you.” « Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 03:35:01 PM by Dalton Lightbody »

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2020, 04:08:49 PM »
Kilian could feel his friend staring at him as he stared out the window. No doubt Dalton was worried, and he couldn't help but feel a bit guilty for that. He hadn't wanted to worry the other. Especially not this time of the night. When he had turned his attention back to Dalton, he worked up a small smile, trying to reassure the other.

Kilian couldn't help but let out a content breath once he had climbed into bed with Dalton. He felt safe next to the other. He enjoyed Dalton's presence and was grateful he seemed comfortable by him as well. He shared Dalton's smile, getting lost in his gaze. However, sensing his friend's discomfort with the question he had asked, his smile had slowly faded and was replaced by a worried look.

Kilian was secretly relieved to hear Dalton was still set on the Garrison. He didn't want to think of the alternative of Dalton putting his life in danger. Still, the thought of being away from Dalton had been in the back of his mind for a while now. And he would admit, he hated the idea of being away from Dalton. For a while now, he had developed feelings for Dalton as more then just a friend. Yet he had refrained from ever sharing his feelings with Dalton. They were good friends, and the last thing Kilian wanted to do was scare him off.

You’re still set on the Survey Corps?

He shifted his gaze down, staring at the mattress they laid on. "I...I don't know anymore." he admitted truthfully. That was a question he had been asking himself recently. For the longest time he had wanted to. He wanted to join the Survey Corps to reclaim his home, but now he was asking himself why. Why bother reclaiming a home that wouldn't ever feel the same? Why bother rebuilding if it was just him? For a while now, he hadn't thought about his home. Recently, he didn't see his future out there. "Recently, I was considering joining the Garrison as well. There's...There's someone I care for a lot. And I would like to have a future with them. I can't exactly do that if I'm out risking my life everyday." Kilian murmured, a faint smile tugging at his lips.

Kilian felt his cheeks heat up when Dalton said he wanted to be near him. He wanted that too, but maybe he was just misreading the situation and Dalton didn't mean it as anything more then just wanting to be near a friend. Still, it was sweet to hear regardless. "I would like that too, Dalton." he murmured softly, finally meeting his gaze again.

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2020, 12:41:48 PM »
Lying in the thunderous dark, Dalton’s heart almost split open with burgeoning hope.  Kilian was no longer certain about which regiment he was going to join.  Suddenly, he was aware of just how heavily the threat of the Survey Corps weighed on him, even in an ideal future where they might both live in Trost, and see each other regularly.  Horror waited beyond the Walls and, as capable as Kilian was, any mission could spell his end.  Even the most accomplished veterans could perish, all it took was one miscalculation, one momentary lapse in concentration.  The thought of one day having nothing to show for his friend but a tattered badge, the Wings of Freedom blood-stained and fraying, hurt Dalton more than he could articulate.  But he had to remain impartial, he wanted to be a good friend.

Before he had a chance to scrape together some semblance of a response, another revelation came.  This one that Kilian was considering the Garrison, if only so he could be close to someone he cared for.  There was a smile on his lips that sent warmth and fondness spreading through Dalton, even if he was smacked by the admission.  “You… you’re sweet on someone?”  The question was asked quietly, with a note of urgency woven through it, needing to know more, desperate for the suspense to shatter.  Dalton wondered how he had missed it.  Had there been signs?  And just who was Kilian interested in?  He was a nice person, kind and thoughtful, he got on well with just about everyone, even if he was a quieter sort.  For all of Dalton’s cosy, contented feelings, there was also a sinking sensation in his chest.  As if he was disappointed.  What kind of friend was he if he couldn’t be happy for Kilian?  The answer was there, and he brushed against it, feeling warmth rising in his cheeks.  “K-Kili…”

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2020, 01:11:53 PM »
Kilian stared at his friend, hesitating a bit. Maybe he shouldn't have said anything about him risking his life. He was sure that wasn't what Dalton wanted to hear right now. He gave the other an apologetic look. He opened his mouth to say something, but had promptly closed it again at Dalton's question. Was he sweet on someone? Yes, he was.

What had shocked him more was the subtle urgency in his tone. Why had that mattered to Dalton? Was he just worried as a friend and wanted to make sure he was making the right choice or was there some hidden meaning behind it? Kilian swallowed a bit, nodding. "I am." He murmured quietly after a moment, looking the other over. How truthful could he be without saying it outright?

"I've liked this person for a while, actually." he murmured. He glanced down, avoiding Dalton's gaze, mostly out of embarrassment. "I want to let them know, but..." he had fallen silent, looking at Dalton. Should he just tell him? Maybe that was for the best. After all, no one knew what the future held. What good was there in holding back when he had the chance now to be honest?

He turned his eyes back to his friend's. He waited a moment before moving his hand to lightly rest atop of Dalton's. "I...I like you, Dalton." he murmured softly after a moment. There. At least it was in the open now. If Dalton didn't feel the same, he would understand. But he had to admit, it was a weight off of his chest to finally admit it openly.

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 10:11:39 PM »
Whatever name it was that bloomed in Kilian’s heart, the roots had been growing for some time.  Dalton could only wait with bated breath, his head spinning, the faces of random comrades flashing before his mind’s eye.  Who was it?  Which one?  It was a puzzle he was sure he could solve, if given the time to fumble through his memories, to find the significance in each smile and every lingering look that had been written into his friend’s face.  It occurred to him then that they perhaps ought not to be lying on a bed together, in the dark, if Kilian’s affections belonged elsewhere.  Which in turn made him realise how brittle his earlier supposition was, that this was a platonic sort of intimacy.

A silver bell of recognition rang out, even as the intensity of Kilian’s brilliant blue eyes revealed telling emotion.  A warm hand moved to rest atop his own and Dalton felt he knew what was coming next, but he didn’t quite dare to believe it until the words were actually spoken:

I… I like you, Dalton.

Somewhere far away, thunder rumbled, but the boy from Trost didn’t hear it.  There it was, the truth that had nudged him was now made clear in all its dazzling beauty.  A slow, warm smile spread across his lips, though it took a moment for him to speak.  “I like you too.”  It was the simplest response, one that he hoped would swiftly put Kilian’s mind at ease.  His friend had just bared his heart, and surely felt vulnerable.  Dalton released a breath he hadn’t realised he had been holding, exhaling with a soft chuckle, and unhesitatingly laced their fingers together.  Relief flooded him, joy and excitement too.  “I don’t think I realised it until just now.  When you said there was someone you cared about, I think my heart just about stopped b-beating.”  The peculiar feelings he couldn’t quite measure or define finally made sense.  They stood on the cusp of a heartfelt conversation, Dalton was quite sure, but he wanted to be sure - needed to know - what Kilian hoped for them.  “Do you want to go out with me, Kili?”  A pause then, as he realised that wasn’t quite the right question to ask.  “Will you go out with me?”

Re: Dark Days [Dalton]
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 10:39:24 PM »
I… I like you, Dalton.

As soon as the words left him, a weight had been lifted off of him. He’d kept silent for so long about his feelings towards the blonde boy, but it was a relief to finally admit them out loud. However, his relief was gone almost as soon as it came and was replaced by a rising fear. Dalton knew. What was he going to think of him now?

Over the past year, Dalton hadn’t shown interest in Kilian as anything more than a friend. Right? So surely Dalton wouldn’t reciprocate his feelings. A sense of dread hung over him at his thought. If that was the case, perhaps he shouldn’t have said anything. If Dalton didn’t feel the same, Kilian would only have accomplished making a fool of himself and most likely ruining the friendship they shared. Should he lie then? Say he was just joking?

No. He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t lie to Dalton. And yet, he didn’t know how he’d be able to face Dalton afterwards if he was rejected. Would Dalton despise him for having such affections for him? Would he want to distance himself? He’d be heartbroken if that were the case. He could handle Dalton not feeling the same, but he didn’t want to lose him as a friend all together.

As the seconds ticked by, the silence between them was deafening. And Kilian realized that perhaps it was unwise to get into bed with Dalton. Especially now that he just admitted his feelings to him. He should leave and go back to his own bed. He shouldn’t have said anything.

Although Kilian barely registered the thunder, it was enough to draw a flinch from the smaller boy, jolting him out of his thoughts. Darting his gaze down, he avoided looking towards Dalton. He soon rose to sit up on the bed, turning his back to Dalton. He was about to remove his hand from Dalton’s, when a voice cut through his thoughts.

I like you too.

A breath caught in his throat and his eyes widened. Dalton...like him? He felt the same way? Kilian’s lips parted in surprise, a quiet gasp leaving him as he felt Dalton lace their fingers together. While still tense, he turned to face Dalton again, his blue eyes finally meeting Dalton’s brilliant green.

I don’t think I realised it until just now.

He stared down at the other for a brief moment, releasing a shuddering breath that he had been holding. So he meant it then. This wasn’t just a cruel joke. Either that, or Kilian was dreaming. At this moment, he didn’t care. Dalton felt the same. Dalton liked him!

Kilian broke out into a beaming smile, a nervous, but relieved, laugh escaped him. He tightened his hold on Dalton’s hand, clinging to him as if he was afraid he’d disappear if he let go. Despite his heart still racing, his body had relaxed a bit.

Will you go out with me?

“Yes.” It was an immediate response, one he didn’t have to think long on. Giving Dalton’s hand a gentle squeeze, his smile softened. “I’ve wanted to for so long. The past few months, at least.” He’d stopped keeping track a while ago. But it didn’t matter anymore. It was finally out in the open. He didn’t have to hide his feelings anymore.

“I was so scared you were going to hate me for feeling this way towards you.” he admitted quietly, averting his gaze to their intertwined hands. He was thrilled that it wasn’t the case. Dalton felt the same, sure. But is this what he truly wanted as well?

“And what about you, Dalton? Do you...want to go out with me? Am I really someone you could see yourself being happy with?” He wasn’t perfect by any means. He had flaws. He was hardly boyfriend material, never having dated anyone before, or really felt any attraction to. This was all new to him. And if Dalton didn’t think this could work out, Kilian wanted - needed - to know now to save himself future heartbreak. « Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 03:04:48 AM by Kilian Richter »


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