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Mark smiled and followed the boy and the dog into the bedroom, turning the lights from the rest of the apartment off and went to sit on the other side of the bed as Natsuo was curling up under the blankets and Hunter jumped up as well. Sliding into the bed he looked around the room and suspected he could move things around to get his desk and other necessities into this room so Natsuo could have his own room, or they could move to another apartment, larger and out of reach from his brother. And now that he thought about it, it only seemed right, if the boy was to stay with him, he should have his own place to be, a place to keep his own items and to have his privacy.
He stretched his arms above his head before sinking into the bed more, yawning and hearing the dog yawn as well. Taking off his glasses, setting them to the side. He wouldn’t need them at night. It would be stupid if he did or anyone did for that matter. He’d be at work tomorrow and he’d have to deal with the woman disturbing the peace in his own home. Plainly said it was rude. “Haven’t been to one of those in years.” He said rolling his eyes at the sleepover comment. Hunter whined lightly and came up on one side of him, pushing him closer to Nat. Snuggling close against his owner. He ignored the whining coming from the pup and rested his arm on his back and scratched the animals mid-back.
[Haha it's okay! You're on your phone, after all :P]
Natsuo gave a small smile when he felt his hair being messed up. It grew at Mark's words, and he glanced over to him through his bangs. Home. He thought to himself, closing his eyes. Home. He repeated the word in his head until he felt Mark move from the couch. He opened his eyes to look up at the other male, now standing in front of him. He smiled up at him and nodded, pushing himself off of the plush furniture. He stretched his arms up over his head, letting a yawn slip through his lips as he did so. "I'm tired." he mumbled, following after Hunter as the large pup trotted passed them and into the bedroom. He walked in after him, flipping the light's switch to brighten the room. He paused for a moment, looking around the space, before heading over to the bed. He wondered if he'd get his own room in the apartment; his own space. If he were going to stay for a while, it was only logical. But, even so, he didn't want that. He liked sleeping in the same bed as Mark. It was always very comforting, and actually helped him to fall asleep.
Crawling under the blankets, Natsuo brought his legs up closer to his torso as he lay on his side, watching as Mark walked into the room as well. He smiled over to him, just as Hunter decided to jump up onto the bed. The raven haired male gave a soft laugh, before shaking his head. "Feels like a slumber party." he joked.
Mark came and sat down beside Natsuo again and saw how the boy was staring at the key in his hand. He wondered if something was wrong but... he had no clue why that was the case. Keeping it to himself for the most part he reached up and ruffled the boys hair. "Welcome home." He said with a whisper. To the boy, this might be a big deal, to Mark he just didn't think the boy should have to leave and find a new place to stay.
It was getting late now. The clock read 9:30. Mark knew that he couldn't be the only one getting tired. He leaned his head from one side to the other, stretching his neck before he stood up again and turned to the boy still sitting on the couch. "Ready to go to bed?" He asked. He was glad to see the boy like he was 'family' he couldn't picrude him as close family but a friend didn't work. As an adult he couldn't picture anything else... not easily.
Hunter trotted into the living room watching the two males interact and converse before heading to his bed in the bedroom.
[ITS SHORT I'M SORRY!!!!]
Natsuo stared at the piece of metal sitting in Mark's palm for a long while before he stretched out his own hand and accepted it. A key. A key. To Mark's apartment. To his home. Did this mean, that if he should ever leave, he could...come back? His eyes flickered up to meet Mark's, but he was already standing, grabbing their empty mugs and bringing them into the kitchen. He stared after the older male, though his voice wouldn't work to call after him. A key...he'd been given a key. He remembered having one to his foster family's home before he was brought into Sean's care, then adopted by his older brother. When Sean had taken him, he hadn't been given anything like this. And, it made sense. He wasn't allowed to ever leave, so he wouldn't need a key to get back. And, at the same time, why would he go back?
But this was different. It felt different...that it's meaning was different. It wasn't the same as having a key to the house he'd lived in with his last foster family. It wasn't the same as the simple and meaningless house keys that most people his age had. This meant that he would have somewhere to return to...that was, if Mark didn't ever ask for it back. But he honestly couldn't see him doing that. In all honesty, with how well he'd come to know the brunet's personality, he could easily see the older male telling him to keep the key with him if and when he decided to leave. Because, how did they know that Natsuo would never need to return? Would never want to return? But of coarse, if he left, he would want to. Who wouldn't, after everything that had happened over the coarse of the last few days.
Mark waited for an answer from the boy and then when it came, the uncertainty in it made the male sigh. “I was hoping that might have been the answer. But.” He paused seeing what the boy’s reaction might be, he fingered the metal ring hanging on a ring that was hidden in his hands then picked them up from his lap, looking at the key a bit closer. “Here.” He said dropping it in the boy’s hand when it was outstretched. “As long as you’re staying.” He smiled then ruffled the boy’s hair, standing up and picking up the empty mugs and taking them to the kitchen.
Only putting them in the sink before Hunter came over and jumped up a little thinking he was getting some treat but Mark shook his head and he went back over to the boy. “Hope you don’t mind sticking around.” He said taking a seat and shaking his bangs from his eyes, wondering if he should get them cut. Mark glanced out the corner of his eye as he took his glasses off and wiped them off with the edge of his shirt before sliding them up the bridge of his nose. Waiting for some kind of reaction or response from the male. The way he had looked was as if he was going to be asked to leave rather than leave, honestly this place would feel empty, sure it hadn’t been that long but it also hadn’t been that short either. He liked having someone he could come home and say hello to other than his dog.
[Sorry its so short >.<]
Natsuo appreciated the remark about every room in the house that had a door, had a lock. But he wasn't really sure if that would change anything. It was a habit now, to hide in the bathroom - any bathroom - when he was scared, insecure, or anything else...Maybe next time I'll hide in the bedroom. He thought to himself. At least there's a bed in there. After hearing Mark's question, the raven haired male turned to meet his gaze. He was a little surprised by the question, but at the same time, he wasn't. It was only natural to start thinking about how long he would be staying with Mark and Hunter. And he found it a bit odd that he hadn't been thinking about it, the entire time. Where had his mind been? Staying away from Sean, that's where. Natsuo glanced sidelong toward the windows across the room, covered in drapes that kept out the dark night surrounding them. He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not sure." he confessed.
He really didn't know. What if Sean got too close again? Would he take off? But then Sean would be right behind him again, like he always was, wouldn't he? But what if this was Mark's way of telling him he'd overstayed his welcome? That it was time to go. He sort of expected the whole "I'll help you find a new place, and you can call me if you're ever in trouble" speech from the brunet, but at the same time, it didn't really sound like something Mark would do. But, the thought of leaving put an off feeling in Natsuo. He realized then that, even with everything he'd ever said, he didn't want to leave. He was actually happy there. Was it too much to ask, to keep it?
Mark could see that the boy seemed pleased by what he said, there was no reason for him not to be really. The brunet wanted to keep the violet haired male safe, for some reason it felt right to do so and to want to do so. Just… felt right and wrong at the same time. Relaxing he could feel his back sinking comfortably into the couch behind him. Tonight it went from perfect, to horrible and frightening with Lieke here, to calm and peaceful again. Hunter rolled over, off their feet as Nat started speaking the pup falling asleep as the night progressed.
“I hope you don’t have to hide.” He said with a light smile as he finished off his drink.“Every room here has a lock so the bathroom doesn’t have to be your last resort.” He said though he had a key to each room since there was a key lock on the outside and a turn lock on the inside. There were no extras to the doors either so they were locked solid when the turn was set. Holding the still warm mug in his hands in his lap he looked at the ceramic and thought. Pausing for a moment he reaches over to the side table and clicks open a drawer and pulls out a small metal piece. “You’re planning on staying for a while right?” He asked not showing what he’d grabbed instead waiting for the male’s answer as he closed the drawer and then put his mug down, the piece in his hand, clenched around it so the boy couldn’t actually see it yet. Waiting for an answer.
Natsuo stared at his mug as he listened to Mark speaking about his job, what he was supposed to do opposed to what he actually did. He smiled as he stared into his mug, hearing his words. He doesn't want me to leave. He thought to himself. It was nice thought, especially when it was about Mark. With Sean not wanting - or letting - him leave the apartment was suffocating. It was torture. For nearly two months he hadn't been outside; hadn't see the rest of his family; hadn't seen his friends. He was caged inside that giant space, with nothing to do at all times of the day. He spent his empty days trying to get to sleep; wandering around the apartment; waiting for Sean to come home from work and praying that he wouldn't. His nights had been spent in fear of his older brother, trying to get away from him; failing to. Sometimes he managed to lock himself in the bathroom, and would stay there until morning. But Sean always came back the next night. With Mark, it was different. He was hardly afraid of anything the past week and a half; he was always comfortable; he was always secure and felt at home. He didn't want anything to take that away.
Natsuo looked up to meet Mark's eyes as he told him he didn't have a case file with his name on it. But he already knew that. He nodded to him, the looked back down to his mug. He tilted his head back and drained the rest of the drink, then set the mug down on the coffee table in front of the couch. "Have you noticed how I keep running into the bathroom? Even when it's things like this?" He asked. "It's become a habit. At my brother's...the bathroom was the only room with a lock." He smiled, a tad embarrassed as he looked up to meet Mark's eyes again. "So, if something's ever wrong...you'll probably find me in there."
/ 6y 291d 20h 58m 51s
Mark waited but the boy seemed shocked, looked shocked by the way his attention was suddenly pulled over. Automatically, Mark regretted asking. But hearing the boy’s response he didn’t know what he should say at first. He would return him, it was his job, but he didn’t want the boy to leave now. Was that bad? He wasn’t out on his own, Natsuo had the brunet and Hunter. He paused not wanting to say something dumb to make the boy think he actually would just hand him back over.
“It is my job.” He said taking a sip of his drink letting the silence sink in. “But my job is to do what my gut tells me to.” He looked over sliding his glasses on because it was starting to hurt his eyes without them. “I’m a detective, not a true police officer, I help the police solve cases.” He shrugged leaning into the couch more than before. “Honestly… I’d rather not send you back to wherever unless it was your choice.” He set the mug on the side table that sat against the arm of the couch. “In other words, it would be up to you if you wanted to stay or not. But if its your brother, I wouldn’t really give you a choice.” He smiled lightly at the boy beside him after running his hand through his hair and putting it back into a thin pony tail he picked his mug up and pulled it to his lips.
“Don’t worry, there’s nothing with your name on it.” He said taking a sip, it was true, no case had come up with his name nor any description clear enough to be the male. Mark honestly didn’t care though.
Natsuo let his hand slip from Hunter's head, and watched as the German Sheppard slowly lay down on the floor, and across the two pairs of feet. He stared at his mug still sitting in his hands, warming his palms. The warmth was spreading up his arms slowly, and he could swear he felt it in his shoulders as well. It was nice and comforting, and he wanted more of it. He glanced around under his bangs, trying to see if he could find a warm blanket or something similar. When he didn't see one, he gave soft sigh and brought his mug to his lips once more. He took a calm sip, the liquid warming his throat and stomach as he swallowed the lovely drink.
At Mark's question, he was brought out of his worst of...day dream. He looked over at him, a tad shocked by the question. He hadn't suspected that sort of thing from Mark, especially at this moment. He thought they'd been through this; that they had fully covered the subject. Even though he really knew that they hadn't. Maybe Mark had realized that, too. Natsuo's mouth went dry, and he had to take another drink from his mug. He wasn't really sure how to answer that question. After a moment of thinking, he finally thought about telling Mark what he really thought about the situation, and what he thought Mark would do. There really was no reason to lie, was there? Not anymore. Not really.
Natsuo took a breath, let it go. "If I happened to come up in one of your cases...I believe that you would return me to the place I left." he said, eyes dropping into the dark liquid in his mug. "It's your job; your duty to return me. I'm a kid. I'm still underage, at least for a couple more months, which means I'm illegally out on my own. You would have to." He paused, and lifted his eyes to meet Marks. A small smile touched his lips. "But, as it is right now, if it were my brother that had sent in the report...I have a feeling you wouldn't."
Once they were both seated on the couch and Hunter has come over to be spoiled and to offer the warmth to their feet. After he’d been scratched by Natsuo, he laid down at their feet. Mark sipped at his own mug, pleased with the warmth going through his chest and stomach as the liquid fell down his throat. The boy seemed to be calmer now, less freaked out, though his cheeks were still slightly tear stained he didn’t say anything about it. Only smiled gently at the thanks given. He was about to say that he didn’t have to thank him, instead the boy started talking again.
He looked back down at the mug as he let there be a bit of silence. “I told you before, I want you to feel comfortable here if you’re going to stay here.” He said. Taking another sip of from his mug, he let his eyes fall to the liquid in it, and then lowered it again. He’d been the only one to hear about how Natsuo lost his parents, the way he saw it. But still, why would his brother attack him the way he did. It could just be that was the way that Sean dealt with things but to take it out on his brother as well. The question still stood in his mind, what if Natsuo was that ‘missing person’ that was in the case. “Natsuo… what do you think I’d do if you came up in one of my cases?” Asking as a general question. “I’m not saying you are in one of them, at all. I just want to know what you think I’d do. If say, your brother put in one?” he looked over to the male and waited. Hoping to disprove any bad assumptions and encourage the good ones.
Nastuo pondered whether or not he wanted to go with the older male, though after a minute, he slid his hand into Mark's. He let the other help pull him to his feet, then slowly followed him out into the hall. He wandered past the kitchen where Mark had disappeared to, over into the living room. He looked up as the brunet walked in as well, holding a mug of what smelt like the delicious drink he'd given the raven haired male the first night they had met. When it was handed to him, a small smile touched his lips and he held it to his face, letting the steam waft gently toward him and warm his features. Another minute passed before he sat down beside Mark on the couch, gradually sipping at the yummy hot drink.
It seemed like right as he did, Hunter was there, tail wagging, tongue hanging past his bottom jaw, silly grin on his face. Natsuo smiled again, shaking his head. He reached out a hand and gently scratched the top of the German Sheppard's head, then slid his hand down the side to scratch behind his ear. He watched as Hunter's eyes closed with the pleasure and he moved forward to put his head in Natsuo's lap. What a suck. He thought to himself, as he brought his mug up to his lips again for another sup. After a moment, he glanced over at Mark, still sitting beside him. "Thank you." he said, his voice louder than before, but still quieter than usual. "Um, not only for the drink...but for listening to me." He dropped his eyes, staring into the dark liquid in his mug. "I don't think I've ever told someone everything before."
Mark felt the boy lean into him and smiled lightly, knowing that he probably wasn’t feeling well, he gave a light squeeze to his shoulder then rubbed it gently. Since Nat didn’t answer he guessed that he was ok for now. Unless Lieke changed, a good bit, then she wouldn’t be welcome back here. She’d probably show up again… but he wasn’t entirely sure. Relaxing as well, he leaned lightly on the other male as they sat there.
He could feel the boys breathing slow down some and looked down at him, his eyes weren’t as red, his cheeks were lightly stained with tears but he wasn’t crying anymore. Whether Natsuo liked it or not, he was safe now, he didn’t have to worry about anything happening as far as Mark knew, or could tell. “Come on.” He said pushing himself off the ground and holding a hand out to the boy to help him stand. “Let’s get your mind off of that, you’re too young to be dealing with this kind of thing.” He smiled lightly, trying to lift the mood. Once the boy was up, Mark turned and left the bathroom.
In the kitchen he put away Nat’s bowl in the fridge so he could just heat it. It was Sunday tomorrow, he had to stop in at least so he could check in, get things done, if they were called he’d have to go out and help somehow. Making something light and warm for them to have, he brought out the same kind of drink he had made the first night he and Nat had met. “Here.” He said then sat down on the couch leaving one side for the boy, taking a sip of his own mug.
Natsuo glanced up at the other male when he heard his voice, soft and calm. He listened as Mark spoke, eyes flickering down to where the tip of his finger rested on his chest. He gave a small smile, then dropped his eyes again. It was a nice though, to think that they were "watching over him" and "guarding him". But, the only thing that made that difficult to believe was Sean. If their parents were watching over the two of them, surely they would have done something, anything in their power, to stop Sean's rampages. Surely they would have found a way to help their youngest child to escape if they couldn't stop their eldest; find some way to get him to safety without Sean ever being able to find him again.
Natsuo looked up at the man beside him again. He had found safety, comfort, and a place with which he wanted to call home, with Mark. If his parents had helped, did they help with bringing him here? Did they make Mark stay late at work that night, only to drive by Natsuo on the side walk and pick him up? The raven haired male let out a small breath. It was a nice though, but he just wasn't sure if he could believe in something like that. After all, Sean was still following him. He'd found him, after all. And, in the back of his mind, Natsuo knew that his older brother would find a way to get to him. The thought made him shiver, and he closed his eyes, leaning into Mark again.
Mark sat there avoiding his eyes from the other male as he had been asked but still he wanted to be able to smile at him and tell him everything would be ok. Though when he started to talk about the incident, Mark looked straight ahead to the cupboards in front of them and listened. This boy had met death before it was his time, he’d seen him at his worst and would fear events like that for the rest of his life. Mark felt like Lieke really should have heard this, then she’d realize not to mess around with death like that. Or even joke anywhere near it.
He looked down to him when he mentioned his mother, if that was the last sound he ever heard from his mother no doubt he’d wish she wasn’t dead… it was a scary thought to see that or hear anything close to it. Now, he wondered if that was why he was sick now. He rubbed the boys back with a gentle hand as he finished up, he needed to realize that Mark was here for him, feeling the weight on his side he sighed and shook his head lightly, the thought of him going through hell and still being able to stand, it was strange. “They are still with you.” He said quietly looking down at Natsuo now.
He smiled at him with soft eyes. “When my grandparents died my mother told me this.” He took his other hand and pointed to the boy’s chest where his heart was. “You see, people who have died, that loved you more than you will ever know end up here. And because they are with you, you can think about them and smile, because that’s what they want you to do.” He raised his eyes and wiped one of Nat’s tears from his cheek and then continued. “I’m sure your parents are watching over you, trying to help you get through this. I have a feeling that until they know you’re going to be ok, they won’t ever leave.”
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