2010-04-12: Ask Me To Stay



Date: April 12, 2010


A certain smoke man seeks solace — in Tori's bedroom.

"Ask Me To Stay"

Tori's Apartment

It's been a long and tiring Monday. Tori had two classes in the morning followed by the beginning composition course she taught as as T.A. The students are bright enough, but being only five years younger than she is on average can tend to cop attitudes, and she just isn't always mature enough to be the grown-up at times. There had been a ridiculous and pointless argument over the reading for the week, and Tori feels that maybe the 18-year-old frat boy won — which irks her to no end.

After she spent the rest of the evening in grading papers and working a little on her own, she's called it a night. She pads to her bed, turning off most of the lights though she keeps the hall way light on — a bad habit she fell into after fleeing her crazy ex-boyfriend back in England. The Brit slips into her bed, reaching to turn off the light on her bedstand, before flopping over onto her side to try to sleep.

Smoke rarely wakes people up, when it creeps into rooms in late hours, which is why smoke detectors consist of loud beeping sounds, and occassionally flashing lights. The smoke detector, and the nose both, may fail to spot this cloud, as it rolls under the door and into the room. A little heat follows, but it's not a fire threatening her life, or that of the apartment and her studies, but a warm breath that seems to brush against her cheek as the smoke brushes by, over her sleeping form.

That might wake her before the smell. But the smell probably helps.

If it doesn't, the loud thump next to her, as something drops solidly to the floor in the darkess, and the nudging of the matress may do the trick. In the dark, it's hard to see more than shapes and shadows, but an arm lays over the matress for support, and Devon kneels beside the bed, breath unsteady.

The light from the hallway does give a little illumination, making his facial features easy to recognize, skin a little flush— and one other thing. Unlike the other times she's seen him, no leather jackets, no heavy coats. No shirt at all, for that matter.

The smell of smoke makes Tori's brows furrow together but it's the heat against her cheek that has her eyes fluttering open. Her lips part as if to possibly scream — is this a dream?

She sits up, knees drawing upward toward her chest beneath their sheet, backing up to the corner her bed is nestled against. Her eyes manage to focus on the shape and the features of the face that looks at her. Her breath slips out in a shuddery sigh, her teeth nipping her lower lip. Should she yell at him for scaring her? For coming into her bedroom? Her dark eyes flicker left then right across his face before she settles on a simple question: "What's wrong?"

"Found one of the buildings they're keeping people like us in," Devon says under heavy breaths, that even still smell of smoke, like part of him hasn't fully shifted all the way back. There's something unsteady about his breathing that's off, his skin is flushed, if she'd stayed close, he might well be heating the air around him still. That ripple effect of the air around him is back, like he's food just out of the oven. "I tried to help them, get them out, but…" he shakes his head.

"I can't go back to my hotel. I had the key in my pocket." And his pocket must not be with him, anymore.

This shows what trying to be a Knight does.

Blue eyes meet her face, tension across his forehead, and something else. Someone who had no where else to really go. Maybe he could have gone to Cody, but…

Now that she knows who it is — though part of her knew, at the first scent of smoke — Tori scoots back forward on the bed. "You found a building? What… did something happen to them?" she says, her voice little more than a whisper as she kneels on her bed. Her dark eyes scan his, and one hand raises, coming close to his face, but not touching skin — instead her fingers brush the space where the air ripples, her head tilting as she looks at the heat waves with wonder. "You're okay? Did they hurt you?"

Did they hurt him? Besides the remnants of bruising and facial damage, he looks more or less how he'd left, with the exception of lacking in clothes and looking more flushed. Devon's hand reaches forward as she moves a little closer, touching her hand. If he looked warm, he feels warm. Like someone out in the sun too long, or running a fever. The fingers stray along her hand for a moment. She asked a question, one that she can answer more or less with her eyes— physically he looks fine. But…

Opening his mouth, he starts to speak, but not to answer the question. "Ask me to stay."

Words flood her head, a plethora of possible responses — of course he can stay, what does he mean, she's only just met him, what kind of girl does he think she is… but the conflicting answers don't make her way to her lips. Instead her hand turns, to take his, using it as an anchor to pull herself closer to where he leans against the bed. She's only in a tank top and shorts, and her much-cooler body presses against his feverish one as she tips her head to answer him with not words, but a breathless kiss.

That may not have been what he expected, but from the way his eyes slide shut, and he leans up into the kiss and her cooling touch, Devon may have wanted this. The free hand moves to her neck, fingers sliding into the shorter hairs at the back. The heat seems to be equally through his body, the taste of cigarettes on his mouth, in the warm breath that plays against her cheek. That was one way to ask him to stay, certainly. Probably why he chose her place, rather than Cody's, too.

Despite how warm he might be, physically, there's nothing that beats the warmth of companionship.

"I wasn't able to help them," he says against her lips, forehead pressing against hers to break the kiss for a moment. Failing at heroics may never have bothered him before… Before his brother died, and left a void to fill. Of which he's just smoke and mirrors.

Her eyes close when he returns the kiss, a shiver running through her body though things are anything but cool. She runs her hands, cool compared to his body's heat, along his bare back and back up. His words make her press her lips to his cheek, a sweeter kiss than the first.

"You can't save everyone, Devon," Tori whispers, hand moving up to brush his hair out of his eyes, leaning back a little to look into them, though the hurt in them hurts her in return. Her hand lightly traces his face, from cheekbone to jawline. "You're so warm…"

There's the sound of a laugh, that seems almost like a snort. "I'm not even sure I wanted to save them," Devon mutters, as he meets her eyes, feeling her fingers against his face. "I just know Justin would have wanted it." There's some things he's better at than his brother, other things… "It's part of my ability," he suddenly adds, to perhaps change the subject back to what her fingers feel, rather than what he's trying to stop letting bother him.

"My body temperature raises when I change. I changed more than once before I fled, it'll pass." He'd changed more than once, though. Which may not make sense.

I hate to say, last change I— wasn't able to bring everything," he glances away from her, down to where he's still half hiding against her bed.

She listens, not asking the questions that probably have no answers anyway. She nods, her hand sliding from his jaw to his throat to his chest lightly. "It doesn't bother me," Tori murmurs quietly, then glances down when he does. Oh. Well then. It's not a half-naked man by her bed but a naked man by her bed.

There's a girlish giggle that suggests that, once more, she's not the hardened criminal that her past would suggest. "I wondered how you were able to do that at all, but I suppose it would be inconvenient if you weren't," she says with an embarrassed smile that she tries to push away with words that don't quite have the confidence she'd like: "Are you underdressed, then, or am I overdressed?" she whispers, her lips moving to his jaw.

"Oh, it can be," Devon says with a grin, the saddness getting replaced by something else entirely as he raises up a bit from his hiding place. If she doesn't mind, then no reason to worry about it too much. "It was at first. This is one of the few times it's not," he admits quietly, fingers trailing down from her neck to touch her shoulders, the tank top that she wears. It's a light teasing touch, like smoke brushing over skin, warm and featherlight. Until the finger loops under her tank top.

"I think you're a little overdressed." There's that smile starting to come back, illuminated by the light in the hallway, before he leans back in.

"I suppose that's something we can remedy," Tori teases back, first leaning in for another kiss, fingers curling around his shoulders before she slides back on her bed, tugging him with her. As she kisses him, the two small garments of clothing are slid off so that he won't be alone and feeling awkward in his birthday suit. Warm flesh meets warmer flesh and she smiles into his kiss. "Stay," she breathes out, just in case he wasn't sure of her stance on the issue.

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