A Storm Without Kisses
by Nix Winter
copyright 2010, all rights reserved
Please do not archive.
Work count: 3800
Note: Okay... this story is my version of wish fulfillment. All characters represent archetypes in my own imagination and do not represent any person, living or dead.
Second Note: I just finished it today... haven't really edited it today, but it was just a story for fun... so I hope it's enjoyable, at least a bit.
Soft, apathetic rain misted outside the windows, lazy and grey as life slept. Liet fastened the tool belt around his waist. "It's not going to take that long. I'll be back in time for dinner. We'll watch that movie like we talked about."
Nori padded to the windows. He laid a hand on the thick storm glass. "I could see the bay when I bought my house here. So many things have changed. I've seen storms rise like this. More turbines will go down before it's over. I have a month's worth of battery power. Everything will be okay."
"Other people don't have that. We need to get the turbine started again."
"Do you ever consider what you get into," Nori asked, hands on his hips, "Before you get us into it?"
Liet looked back over his shoulder, ruby red hair framing a wicked grin. Green eyes sparkled in the unsteady emerald fey light. "I didn't get you into anything. This is the best I've felt in months. I need the work. That's all."
The large one room loft that Nori shared with Liet felt warm, almost too warm. It had been Nori's apartment, his house, in the century before, but time and circumstances move forward. At a hundred and seventy-nine he was still fairly well to do, but that meant he owned a loft in downtown Seakyo, not the whole house he'd once had. The Shot ran between Seattle and Tokyo and made the space into a very premium location.
Other changes in those decades had erased years from him. It hadn't made him taller, but he looked fitter, younger than when he'd originally bought the house with profits from the 2015 boom. Long dark hair hung down his back, clasped off in three equidistant silver ties. Intelligent dark eyes watched his friend. He wore a thin tee-shirt with a swirly slogan for a local art school on the front and paint stains pretty much everywhere. His jeans were decades old, faded.
"It's dangerous work, Liet. The turbines are not to be taken lightly. Especially not in the coming storm. You don't need to do this. The city crew will take care of the issue. This isn't about work. It's about him saying that you're too flashy, that he feels smaller near you."
Liet's face clouded. "I don't want to talk about it. The quarter has been off the grid for twelve hours. There are people with batteries that won't last much longer. Some of them could be in real problems if the turbines don't get fixed."
They'd met at the train station. Liet's relationship had already been waning, coming to a drizzling end like the ever present Seakyo rain. One just never knew when it stopped or when it might want to start again. Leit's move into Nori's space wasn't official or even stated, just growing up slowly around them.
"It's dangerous fix. If it was a simple reset, the watch would have taken care of it." Nori sat down in his data space, one slender leg tucked under the other. Fine golden fibers woke and reached out from the wall for the mated connections hidden in his hair. "You haven't finished installing my kitchen yet."
"I'm waiting for parts. Anyone could finish your kitchen. I'm grateful that you let me stay here and all, but fixing things is what I do. I'm licensed to work on the turbine. It'd be cowardly of me to leave it hosed when I could probably fix it. It'll pay enough to let me get a place of my own, you know."
"You've made up your mind then? You're not going back."
"I'm not what he needs." Liet said quietly. "I'm just a fixer. I don't think he's what I need. I'm bent in some ways, you know. I got mad when we fought, but he left me. He threatened me. He called me dishonest."
Nori blinked slowly, his eyes opening to a smokey silver color as the data connection firmed up. "I want to offer you a contract, one year. I desire you. I don't want you to leave, Liet. I'll expand my space here, give you your room."
Liet cocked his head and frowned. "Making sweet love in the mornings and mutually self validating love notes just isn't my thing right now. Hell, Nori, I don't even know what my thing is. I tried so hard to be right for him and I just feel confused right now."
The smile on Nori's face lifted even has lose dark hair floated up around him, the data connection dancing and flowing. "You're not confused. You know what you want. You just don't want it to be true."
"Somethings I can't fix, no matter how much I want to." Sadness bleached the color out of Liet's voice. Chin tucked towards, he closed his coat. "I'd better go."
"I'll come with you." Nori blinked again, the silver gone from his eyes. Eyes dark again very human again, he sought out Liet's eyes and locked with his friend's green eyes. "I've just paid for my license and downloaded the basics of turbine repair."
"Don't be stupid! Just installing some data does not give you the experience to go scaling wind turbines in a storm. If there's enough man left in you to want to bang me, there ought to be enough to fear getting diced up into little bits."
Data cables disengaged, dancing like golden static back towards their beds in the wall. "I fear you being diced up into little bits. I was so lonely before you came. I don't want you to leave me."
"I'm your friend," Liet said, looking up just a little, holding his hand out. "I don't want to go away. I just...."
The dark haired man had crossed to Liet already though, fingers caressing over pale skin. Liet's breath caught as the slightly different texture of Nori's fingers traced over his skin. Silkier, the finger prints long since transformed into data skin. "I know what you want, Liet. I want it too. Trust me."
Liet backed away, lower lip between his teeth. "I have to go."
"No you don't," Nori said, following him. "Let me touch you. I want to bind you. I want to penetrate you. I want you to trust me. I trust you. I will trust you with all that I am."
"I can trust you?"
"You know you can trust me," Nori insisted. "I will never lie to you. I will never sulk because I don't carry a script around in my head. I like who I am and I love you. I love you, Liet."
"Crazy. You've only known me six months. I fix your kitchen, take care of your cables, that's all."
"No, you wake me, bring me to life. I love being in your aura, if it's only what I've had from you or if it's the next hundred years. I will never betray you, Liet."
"I don't need your kindnesses old man."
"You don't know what you need, little boy," Nori growled back, following Liet back until he had him against the wall.
"I'm not a little boy. I'm twenty-eight. Let me go, Nori." The sadness lowered his voice. So many things he couldn't say, maybe not even say to himself. One disaster after another, betrayal on betrayal, he'd grown up in the sub-city with an addicted mother who had been willing to trade everything she had for what she needed. He'd learned young to trade whatever he had for survival. "I'm not going to give you anything! I haven't got anything to give, Nori! I'm broken, don't you get it? I gave him what I had and it was never enough. I don't have enough to give! I'm a worthless shit, Nori."
Wind crashed against the windows, rattling the thick glass. A tear tried to hide behind wisps of red hair.
Nori's sensitive fingers caught that tear, traced along the side Liet's face. His lips followed, kissing Liet's cheek, then brushing lightly over warm lips. "To give a gift to the one, one desires is a norm across species. Your flaw is that you give, regardless of what kind of pebbles you get back. I have something to give you and I want everything you can give me."
Liet's breath became a soft moan, pleasure sent will that should have stayed in his brain down to his cock. "I can't. This love shit... it's not good for me."
"Yes, it is good for you," Nori insisted, getting his knee between Liet's legs as red head tried to wiggle away. "You're just afraid."
"I'm not afraid of anything," Liet hissed. "You don't know me! I'm different!"
"As if I'm not different?" Nori's words were soft, gentle. Liet didn't avoid the kiss. Their lips touched. Nori moved his lips slowly over the shorter man's, not forcing the kiss deeper, just soft skin against soft skin.
Their breath mingled. When their eyes opened, Liet's were darker, bluer. Chocolate brown hair lay around his face and frightened eyes looked up at the data wizard. "Are you going to betray me?"
"No," Nori promised. "I only want to know you. I won't try to cling to you. I won't drown you to save myself. I'll be your safe port."
"But you want to have sex with me."
Nori backed off just a little, only a couple of centimeters, just enough to bring his hand up to touch the lips that this dark haired personality sharing a body with Liet. "I want to touch you, but I don't need to. Do you have a name?"
"I'm Chocolate. Liet does like you."
"I know he does. I like him too." Nori took a step back, hands relaxed at his sides. "Are you his protector or is he yours."
"We take care of each other." Chocolate said. "You won't love us. No one does."
Hands on his hips, Nori arched an eyebrow. "That's a little negative."
"You're not surprised that we ... swapped?"
"I'm a hundred and seventy-nine years old. You're not the first multi-soul I've met. I won't hurt you."
"How can you know that?" Chocolate asked.
"I suppose I can't, but I don't think I will and I'm willing to open the doors of my heart and trust to both of you."
"And Nyx? She's a woman."
Nori scratched his eyebrow, smirked. "I want to know Nyx too. Will you guys stay for a while?"
"Yes," Liet said.
It was only then that Nori realized the voice had changed too. "You can stay as long as you like."
"I won't pay for love or space with sex."
"I won't ask you to. I don't want you to. Do you think I have to pay someone to get my cock sucked?" Nori glared out of narrowed eyes. "I have ways to take care of my own sexual needs. Just because I want you, doesn't mean you're the only heat I want to stir."
"Uh," Liet scratched the back of his head. "I guess that makes sense. I don't like letting people down."
"Don't worry about that with me," Nori said. "Likewise, if you bug me, I might kick your ass out."
Liet grinned, a bright toothy grin. Hair now a light strawberry blond, he gave Nori a wink. "So don't fuck with me anymore right now. I have to go fix the turbine and Chocolate isn't mechanically inclined."
"I want to learn all about all of you." Nori said, holding out his hand.
Banging on the door drew both their attention. A long tendril of Nori's hair grew towards the jewel toned security pad, rapidly keying in the security code. The tendril then reached down and turned the burnished brass doorknob. A little girl tumbled in, bright cooper hair, dark green eyes, black cotton knee pants and a frilly white shirt. "Mr. Liet! My dad went up to fix the turbine, but he ain't come back down. Mayor Wolf said you was the only body that could go up after'im. He said cuz you were crazy enough to do it."
"Liet-san is not crazy," Nori said firmly and the little girl shrank back. He snapped the dark tendril of hair back.
"I will go up. I was going anyway. Who's your father?" Liet grabbed up a box of tools.
"Mikan Justice. I'm Daisy."
Mikan was HIS lover, the man He had gone back to when Liet failed.
Nori blinked, slowly, and Liet could have sworn he saw data streams take over the cyborg's eyes. A couple of quick blinks and Nori reached out to grab Liet's arm. "This man, Mikan Justice, he's in public record for wishing you bodily harm."
"Uhn," Liet said, shrugging Nori's hand off. "I'll be back."
"I'll come with you."
"I said," Liet said firmly, "I'll be back."
Nori took a step back, bowing, arms out to either side, long tendrils of dark hair dancing around with angry nervous emotion. "As you will."
At the door, Liet turned back and gave his friend a smile. "We're not done, you know."
"You're reckless with your well being."
"Yeah," Liet agreed as he closed the door.
The quarter had only one main wind turbine. Many people had other smaller ones, but the main one supplied energy to residents of the quarter. As soon as they were outside, even in the valley between Yesler and Alice quads, the wind wiped them, pressing them back against Empress Tower for a moment. Liet grabbed Daisy by the arm and shoved her back into the building. "Stay! This storm is gonna be rough!"
As soon as he got her back inside and the door shut, he ran off towards the turbine, hoping she'd stay.
The wind turbine towered over the buildings around it. Just small little shops. The fourth quarter had been downtown Seattle once, one of the first places to be settled in this area by white people, way back when that label had meant something. It had been underwater for a while when the waters rose. There were really two kinds of people who lived in forth quarter. There were the well to do like Nori of the people who served people like Nori. Nori's class would have plenty of battery. Everyone else could wait until the storm ended. They'd be okay, or they wouldn't. Either way the city crew wouldn't be out until after the storm.
Liet made it through the empty streets fast. Numb inside, he focused on what needed to be done, but both His words and Nori's words rumbled around in his head. Really it wasn't just His words, but the lover before, and the one before that, going back for most of his life. He had no idea how to do it right, this relationship thing. Nori had called him a multi soul, but Liet expected there was a better name for what he was. Broken.
He couldn't pass judgement on His behavior. He didn't trust his own reactions to anything except mechanical fixings. For all he knew, his cock was supposed to be working ways that it just didn't seem to do. Right or wrong it didn't rise on command. When he'd first gotten with his seemingly ex-boyfriend, there had been so much exploration. Nothing had filled his boyfriend up for long though. Then the rules had started.
Just kissing, exploring, doing what felt interesting hadn't been enough. For sex to be loving, it had to fit the definition. It had to go all the way through to orgasm and cuddle, no matter who got in late or when either of them had to be up. Failure to complete love making in the right way harmed Cory.
Liet ran the name through his mind, letting the harassing wind pick the name up and carry it away. In the complicated rules of physics that Liet was harming another was one of the strongest taboos. To harm was... Unspeakable, taboo.
He set his box down at the base of the turbine. High above the turbine didn't seem damaged, just stalled. A bit of yellow cloth fluttered in the wind just below the stalled blades. If Cory's new, er old, lover were up there, too close to the blades and the city crew sent a successful restart pulse that could be really bad. A flash of burning need ricochet through Liet. He needed Cory to be happy. He couldn't make that happen himself, but maybe Mikan could.
A tiny flash of hope flared. Maybe Nori would be good to Chocolate. He pulled a scale hook from his box, found a Jack point to imbed the long metal spike in the responsive skin of the turbine tower. He grabbed a couple more tools and shoved them into his belt. He took hold of the bar with both hands, thought 'fuse' then 'up'. The bar shot upwards, moving through the skin of the tower like it was butter. The pathway healed over the moment the bar moved on, carrying Liet stories up as fas as an elevator might. Wind clawed at him, twisting and lifting him, but the fuse command held. As soon as he got to the control booth, the skin opened a door sized space to let him in. He thought the release command. He shook off the cold, batted at his wind matted hair.
"What are you doing here?" Cory demanded, angry, accusatory eyes raking Liet over.
"I thought so. Sorry we're in your way!"
Liet took a step back. "I came to help."
"I don't need you."
The blades groaned, straining to turn to start collecting wind energy again. "Where's Mikan?"
"That is not your concern! You better get out of here! He wants to pound you for breaking my heart."
There had been a time, when this last phase of their arguing had come up when he'd thought that there could be a trio for them, maybe that moment hadn't fully let go until that very moment. "What did you tell him about me?"
"I've been very protective of you! But he knows you... you broke my heart!"
"How'd I break your heart? By not fucking you according to the numbers well enough?"
"You left me alone too much and you didn't desire me! I felt abandoned and unwanted. You abandoned me!" Cory wrapped his arms around his chest. "You only want me when I'm behaving like you want me to! I want to be loved all the time, not just when you're happy with me!"
What was there to say to that? Liet remembered the day Cory had said he'd be going back to Mikan. He'd held his lover that night, smoothed his hair, lain awake for hours wanting to find a waybto comfort Cory, to find a way to make things right, to find some measure of love for himself, to give love to his lover. Maybe that hadn't counted as love because there'd been no sex that night. "I'm glad you have him to take care of you."
Cory clenched his fists. "You don't care what I do, do you?"
Those words echoed around inside Liet, banging into old taboos, fears, pains older than either Liet or Chocolate, older and deeper in his mental system even than Nyx. The question confused him, bewildered Chocolate. Of course he cared, needed Cory's love and attention. He didn't know what he'd done to make it seem otherwise. Even if all they were was friends, he cared. He wanted Cory to be happy and Cory said that happy was Mikan. "I just want you to be happy!"
"Then why are you making him cry?" Mikan growled.
Liet failed to duck and got a large fist to the face. He hit the wall behind him and came back with a blow of his own. His strike became little more than a blocking blow to Mikan's next punch, but it was enough to let them both get into good combat positions.
"Stop!" Cory screamed. "Don't fight!"
"He deserves ton have his ass kicked for not taking better care of you! He's neglectful and stingy! I won't let Jim make you cry anymore. He's a fucking asexual whiny bastard!"
The blades shuttered and started, whirring to blurring speed with the storm winds.
One eye swelling shut, Liet bowed. As he bowed a bit of scaring showed on his chest.
"and you're a flashy show boating son of a bitch!" Mikan growled.
Liet smirked bitterly. "I guess I am." he held up his hand, near the wall and the hook zoomed through the wall to meet his hand. With his free hand he gave a flourishing motion.
"Wait!" Cory called. "I just want us to stop being dishonest with each other! I want you to tell me what you're not saying."
Liet's eyes shifted to a dark forest emerald color. His voice edged with dangerous rage. Inside though, he felt nothing. He couldn't have told Cory what Cory thought needed to be said to save his life or heart. "I am not a liar. Such a behavior is taboo."
"What does that even mean? People lie and hide things about themselves all the time! Why can't you be honest with me?"
"I have been honest with you. I have loved you. I have shared and shared who I am with you and you don't see me. You don't feel loved by me. It is you who only loves when you get what you want, not me."
"Fine then! I suppose you're leaving me?"
"I can't leave you. You never saw me in the first place, Cory. Merry meet. Merry part." Liet put both hands on the hook. The door opened in the skin. Hurricane winds roared and the skin closed just as fast as it had opened. The drop back to the ground only barely stayed within the parameters of safety.
An hour later it was Chocolate that showed up at Nori's place. Soaked to the bone, long brown hair hanging around him, he searched the almond shaped eyes of Liet's bus stop friend.
Nori didn't say anything. He just held open the door. He pointed to an open doorway, a door that hadn't been there before. Inside was a new bedroom, a set of clean and dry clothes folded on the narrow little bed. He changed. Studying himself in the mirror, Chocolate wondered when Liet would come back. It didn't really matter. He'd be back when he was ready.
Peeking his head out the door, Chocolate chewed his lower lip. "What's a contract?"
"Doesn't matter rig now. Come watch a movie with me? You're safe here. I promise."
"Don't you want to know where Liet is?"
"He said he'd be back. I trust him. Want a soda?"
And that was the storm without kisses....