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24 September 2011 @ 07:51 am
FIC: The Kebab Killer, Chapter two – Cracks in the Wall  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Kebab Killer
Part: 2/10 (wip)
Rating: R
Configuration M/M
Warnings: violence, angst, borderline fairytale romance
Word Count: 1.500 / 25.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Sam/Yaden
Summary: Yaden seems to be recovering nicely after surviving the Kebab Killer's attack. But slowly, Sam and Yaden have to face the fact that maybe, things were not as simple they thought...
Feedback: Yes, please!
EDIT: There's now a map of Imperial City online. Might be helpful for some parts of this story. 

A loud, tinny, rumbling noise startled Sam awake.

But already a heartbeat later, he heard the staccato sound of Yaden cutting stuff down below in the kitchen. By now, this was so familiar that he knew everything was fine.

A lazy smile on his face, Sam took the time to turn around in bed once more, just a second longer savouring the peace of the moment.

Since the attack on Yaden's life, three days had passed. Taking a week off had been no problem for Sam, as all of his colleagues seemed to share his bad conscience in this case. So he had basically moved in with Yaden, into the tiny, crammed room above the Kebab Shack. Just to help him until he was completely recovered, and to make sure nothing went wrong again.

And Yaden had recovered remarkably well. Except for his memory loss, he was a good as new, no trace of the fact that he had been dosed with enough alien poison to kill a score of men. And even the amnesia seemed to be, well, manageable.

At least in so far as their relationship was concerned, Sam thought with a dirty smile, Yaden’s memory loss seemed to be of little hindrance. Yaden had no recollection of his time before he opened the Kebab Shack, and even the weeks since then were hardly there any longer. But he had instantly trusted Sam, and from there on things had developed rather swiftly. Those last days had been... very good days.

Not a single trace of the killer, though.

Yawning, Sam stretched and cursed as his hands got stopped by the low ceiling, as every morning. Here, in the corner of the room, there was barely enough space under the roof for the bed, let alone for a grown man lying there. But so far, they both had managed without any serious injuries. Even when their nightly activities were a little... boisterous.

Now grinning widely, Sam rolled off the bed. He didn't even have to look out of the minuscule window to know that the sun was shining outside. It was only mid-day, and the low room was already stiflingly hot. Default weather in Imperial City was drizzle, but every now and then, there were a few nice days in between. And these seemed to become the hottest days of the year, by the feel of it.

Considering his options, Sam decided against dressing properly and walked down the narrow stairway to the kitchen in nothing but his sleeping shorts. Downstairs, it was still noticeably cooler, a light breeze from the bay coming trough the back door.

Yaden was standing at the long, stainless-steel table that took up one half of the kitchen. Surrounded by dozens of bowls and boxes, he was cutting vegetables for tonight's salads and kebab toppings. He wouldn't have had to, but he had insisted on opening the Shack as soon as he was able to stand. And Sam really didn't find a heart to object. It was good for Yaden, it was good for the whole neighbourhood, and it consequence it was perfect for Sam.

Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, Sam took a moment to look at the man he firmly intended to share the rest of his life with. A few years younger than him, Yaden wasn't exactly the kind of guy Sam had seen himself falling for. He wasn't tall or athletically built, just healthy, tanned and confident. His dreadlocks were neatly tied up to a bundle on top of his head, gently bobbing with the motion of Yaden's hands on the cutting board. Dressed in khaki shorts and a white tee, barefoot as always, there was nothing truly remarkable about him, except maybe for the odd tattoos that covered large parts of both of Yaden's lower arms.
And Sam wouldn't have wanted to change a single thing.

Finally, Yaden looked up from his work, smiling.

“Hey love.” he said, grinning at the sight of his half-clad lover. “Slept well?”

“Like a baby. But you could have woken me up. I could have helped.”

“Nah.” Calmly, Yaden took another batch of greens and continued chopping. “I am up already for a few hours, and I needed something to do.”

“Sure. So, what about breakfast?” Sam asked, walking into the kitchen with the clear intent to cuddle his lover, sharp knife or not.

But only a moment later, he stepped into something squishy and wet on the floor, almost slipping on the tiles.

“What the hell...?!” he exclaimed, peeling a mangled piece of tomato from between his toes, laughing at his mishap. “What happened?”

“Huh?” Yaden leaned forward to see what was wrong and snickered softly. “Oh I am sorry.” Putting away the cutting knife, he fetched a paper towel and handed it over to Sam. “I was a little too enthusiastic this morning and I kinda hurled a whole bowl of sliced tomatoes across the place. Really thought I had found them all.”

“Well, apparently, you didn't.” Still laughing and wiping his foot, Sam suddenly noticed that there was something off with his lover's cheery mood. “Are you all right, love? How are you feeling today?”

Yaden started to answer, but then broke off before he had said a word. Standing silently in front of Sam, he seemed utterly at a lack of words.

“Well, it's definitely too late now for a credible 'I'm fine'.” Sam quipped with genuine concern. “What's wrong, love?”

“I... Well...” Still searching, Yaden's mouth worked silently for a moment Sam took his hands in support.

“You think... Do you think I would have told you if I were psychic?” he finally asked.

“A psychic? Yes, you would. And no, you never have. What in all the empire makes you think you're a psion?”

Looking slightly embarrassed, Yaden looked at his feet.

Without saying, Sam knew that his lover was as freaked out about the thought as he was himself. Psions were immensely powerful people. They were sages in ivory towers far away somewhere, doing important things that never touched ordinary people's lifes. Psions were mad villains, bent on submitting or eradicating all of humanity. Psions were what good popcorn movies had either as villains or as heroes.

No normal people ever were psions.

“I can... move... things...” Yaden finally said with a crooked smile. “It's not working each time, but I am pretty sure.”

“Wow. That's... cool.” Sam knew he sounded hardly convincing. “Maybe that poison awakened some potential in you.”

“Or maybe I just never told you.”

“But if you had been a psion before, you'd be registered with the guild and be wearing your badge.”

“Would I?”

“Well, that's what they told us in threat-assessment class.”

Actually, what Sam had been told was that all good psions were always wearing their badges. Those without badges were rogues and probably criminals or insane. Probably both. But that really wasn't something he was going to tell the man he still fully intended to marry.

“Okay.” Still smiling weakly, Yaden lifted a hand, pointing at one of the metal bowls that were crowding the kitchen. For a heartbeat, nothing happened, then the bowl wobbled and flipped over as if kicked. “See? That's also what happened to the tomatoes. I'm still very clumsy.”

“That actually is... rather impressive. Wait, does that mean we should check on top of the shelves as well for hidden tomatoes?”

At first, Yaden seemed dumbfounded, than he laughed with relief. “Yes, I think we should check the shelves.” For a moment, he silently looked at Sam, then added gently: “Thank you.”

“Sure.” Gently, he nudged his lover's forehead with the tip of his nose. “I'll always be here for you.”

“I know.” Taking a deep breath, Yaden braved a smile, asking: “So, what do we do next?”

“I'd say we go to the psions' guild and have you tested. They'll probably know best how to deal with your new abilities or if it's just a temporary side-effect of the poison.”

“What – what if I have just lost my badge?”

“Well, considering the mess you have upstairs, I am afraid this is a possibility. And that was even before I moved in here.”

Yaden only grinned sheepishly, prompting Sam to thoroughly cuddle and kiss him. Psion or not, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this man. He was perfect.

And once they had registered Yaden with the guild, they would never have to do anything about it. Apart from wearing the badge, it could be as if he were a perfectly mundane person. Nothing would change.

“Well, this feels a bit weird, but what if I go upstairs and clean up all your stuff? I mean, if we have to go searching for a badge that's probably never been there, I can just as well get some order into our bedroom.”

“You said 'our' bedroom.” Yaden smiled widely, beaming with silent joy. “And I think it's a great idea. It's not as if you could find anything I would want to hide. All that stuff upstairs is equally new to both of us. And meanwhile, I can put my true talents to good use and make breakfast for us.”

“That sounds marvellous, dear.”

And with a final kiss, they parted in their respective directions, both determined not to change their life regardless the unexpected revelations that might still come up.

Current Mood: calm
idolme922idolme922 on September 24th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
Loving this story. They are so sweet together and their love will surely guide them through any difficult times that I'm sure are ahead!!

Looking forward to the next post.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 25th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
They are very sweet together indeed - thanks for commenting!
idolme922: Hiacynth McCawidolme922 on September 25th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Additionally, I just wanted to say that you are the first male fanfic writer that I've read (that I'm aware of) and I think about that when readying your story. I love that you write these men with such tenderness. I don't get that from male writers generally. It's really nice. :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 26th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC)
I... well... what am I to say? *blush* Thank you, first of all, this is such a sweet thing to say.
I just tried to write them in a way I think relationships ought to be, sweet and caring and just a little bit silly. And not just among men.
I am well aware that this is not very 'manly', but that doesn't make it any less right, imho.
BerthaBlueberthablue on September 24th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to see what they find! Just curious, does Yaden not remember anything about his life, or just some parts? He seems to be familiar enough with his work.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 25th, 2011 08:59 am (UTC)
Yaden has retained basically all of his skills, while almost all his personal memories are gone. There's a rhyme and reason to this pattern, but it's part of what Yaden didn't tell Sam when he still remembered...

Thanks so much for commenting!
triptyxtriptyx on October 1st, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
Now I am scared for them, not because what I thought before, that Yaden with amnesia wouldnt trust Sam, but because I now fear pre-amnesia-Yaden isnt what Sam thought he was! :S Will he be the psion villain or heroe? :S ;)

This is great, thank you!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 1st, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading and commenting!
No, pre-amnesia Yaden so very damn much isn't what Sam thought he was. But if that's a good or a bad thing still remains to be seen.
hab318princess on October 9th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC)
lovely chapter but can't help feeling they're in denial of what this means :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 9th, 2011 07:41 am (UTC)
Yeah. Denial is getting a crowded place in this story. ^^
hab318princess on October 9th, 2011 07:49 am (UTC)
well, it can be very comfortable :D (been there, done that, got the T-shirt)