"Kyrin, I didn't-" Elias frowned, watching the boy in front of him break. He could see those honey-brown eyes full of pain. His heart twisted in his chest; Elias had caused this. His reckless and selfish actions had caused Kyrin's break down. He had to do something, make Kyrin feel better or help him relax or- anything. He hated seeing people in pain, hated seeing people lose their way.
Elias approached Kyrin, but the son of Aphrodite had already turned his back towards him and was walking away. The blond frowned and began to follow the trail of smoke. He couldn't let Kyrin be left alone right now. Gods, he was a hypocrite. He had preached just a few seconds ago about leaving someone alone and trusting them- but this situation. It was different. It felt different. Imani's worries for her brother didn't stem out of anywhere. There was something in Kyrin's eyes that Elias could see. Something he had seen before in him long ago.
It worried Elias.
Kyrin could still hear Elias behind him. He ignored the footsteps and concentrated on the sound of leaves under his shoes. The crunch of every leaf and stick he stepped on. The sound of the trees above Kyrin dancing in the wind and the birds singing to one another. It was a sound Kyrin hadn't gotten used to yet. After years of living in camp, he was still not used to nature around him. Back in Cork, he was so used to the paved streets, the sounds of cars and sirens and so used to the demeaning insults and threats.
Kyrin could still remember his first day at camp. Imani had made him feel so welcomed, yet at the same time, he had been so afraid she was just trying to bring down his guard. She'd spent the first year convincing him that she truly cared for Kyrin. Yet, even after four years, he still had his doubts. It was difficult to see anyone ever wanting him after all the years of neglect he had suffered.
The trees around Kyrin began to clear as he walked up the incline. He found himself on the cliff of the island that overlooked the ocean. He had lost track of time. He wasn't sure how much he had walked until he laid eyes on the horizon. The summer sun was beaming down on his, but the cool breeze from the sea kept him cool enough not to be bothered by the heat. Kyrin took one last drag from the cigarette before he approached the edge of the cliff.
It would be so easy. Kyrin looked down at the rocky shore under him to the waves crashing over the rocks.
Elias had been following Kyrin for almost ten minutes now. He wasn't sure if Kyrin was aware that Elias had followed or if he was simply being ignored. Even then, he continued to follow the other boy, unsure of where he was going. It wasn't until Elias realized they were walking on an incline that he realized where Kyrin was going. Elias hurried his pace to catch up to Kyrin, afraid that he wouldn't see him there once he came up to the cliff.
But there he was. Kyrin standing by the edge, looking down. Elias could feel his heartbeat in his ears as he slowly approached the son of Aphrodite. "Kyrin- I-" For the first time, Elias had nothing to say. He didn't know what to say exactly. An apology would just fall on deaf ears and would probably just irritate Kyrin. Instead, he walked closer to the other boy without saying anything else. He wanted to be close enough, just in case. Elias frowned at the thought.
On my 11th birthday, I ran away from my current foster home to a lake. I think it was named Atlantic Pond, near River Lee." Kyrim looked over his shoulder when he heard the footsteps approaching from behind. He reached into his pocket, this time with still hands, and slipped out another cigarette. The trembling was gone now, along with the suffocating feeling that had overcome he a few minutes prior. Kyrin was back to his old boring self.
"I'd spend most of the day looking at the water." He continued as he lit the cigarette and took a small drag. "I would see other kids with their dads fishing there. I... I was jealous of them, you know." He didn't know why exactly he was sharing this with Elias. Perhaps it was because he had told Elias so many false experiences that Elias might not know this one was real. Or Kyrin finally wanted someone to know something real about him. "How could I not? Those kids had at least one parent that cared enough to take them out to fish, or walk, or do something with them."
Elias watched Kyrin as he stepped next to him. There were so many things he wanted to ask, so many things he wanted to say. To reassure Kyrin that he wasn't that little kid anymore. To tell him that he didn't have to run away and watch as others made connections, but he couldn't get a word out. Instead, Elias took a seat next to Elias and tugged the hem of the other boy's shirt to motion him to sit.
"I never told my mother, but I was jealous of other kids too. The ones that had two parents." Elias shrugged a shoulder as he moved his gaze to the ocean before them. He let his hands rest behind him, using them to prop himself up and feet dangling over the edge of the cliff. He took a deep breath before he continued, "Then I came to realize I didn't need another parent. I had the rest of my family." He glanced at Kyrin again, "Like you have your family now. You have Imani, Ariana, and Erin."
Kyrin felt Elias step next to him, making him move away just the tiniest bit further to the side. When he felt the tug on his shirt, he looked down, debating for a second or two if he should take the opportunity to run or sit. Kyrin, against all odds, sat down next to Elias. He tucked in his legs against his chest and rested his chin over his knees. There was something strangely soothing about all of this. As much as he thought he would want to get away from Elias, he had stayed, listening to him. It was... strange.
He didn't say anything when Elias stopped talking. It wasn't the same. Elias had had his mother, someone to care for him and nurture him since birth. Kyrin had no one. Although he had his two sisters and Erin now, it wasn't the same. He cared for them, all of them, but nothing would take away all those years he had suffered before coming to the camp. The beatings, the neglect, the scars would never go away.
"Imani always tells me to keep looking forward." Kyrin's voice was just above a whisper. "But I'm just so... tired." He brought up the cigarette to his lips to take a long drag from it. The smoke burned the back of his throat, using the slight pain to keep him grounded. He didn't even know why Elias was here talking to him. He had nothing to gain from him. Nothing at all. It wasn't a secret that Kyrin could be an absolute asshole at times, and Elias was no stranger to that either, so why?
It didn't matter. "I should go." Kyrin didn't want to be here anymore. To talk to Elias like he'd be able to do something or make him feel any different. He had already said what he wanted. Kyrin had no more reason to stay. Some of the weight had been lifted off his chest; as temporary as that was, it felt like he could go on without another break like this for a few more days. Gods, Kyrin felt pathetic. He took another drag before he began to get up from his seat next to Elias.
"Wait," Elias almost reached over to grab Kyrin's hand before he remembered. He lowered his hand and cleared his throat, "Just stay here, a little longer. I'll keep my mouth shut if you want." He hadn't been able to hear Kyrin's voice; all he had heard was the word "tired," and even that word alone made Elias's stomach flip inside out. Like his body was demanding him to do something- anything. Elias couldn't read Kyrin. It was so difficult to see if the boy was bothered by him or not, and honestly, He just wanted to get to know him better.
To prove his point, Elias made a zipping motion over his lips, locked the imaginary lock, and offered the key to Kyrin. There was a small smile ghosting his lips as he did so, hoping that Kyrin would take said imaginary key and pocked it. He wouldn't talk unless Kyrin allowed him so. Like this, Elias couldn't say the wrong things to the boy next to him.
Kyrin watched Elias with some amusement. As much as he hated to admit it, Elias could be a fucking dork sometimes. He started at the imaginary offered key for a second or two before he rolled his eyes and took the key. Whatever, as long as Elias kept his mouth shut, Kyrin was fine with this arrangement.
He settled next to Elias once more, the cigarette between his lips as he did so. Kyrin closed his eyes and listened to the waves crash against the rocks below them. It almost felt serene to sit like this.
Minutes passed before Kyrin opened his eyes again. His cigarette had burned to the butt at this point. He put it out, not caring that some of the ashes had fallen on his clothes. A few more minutes before he turned his head to Elias. "You managed to stay quiet for a while. Congratulations." An amused smirk played on his lips before he finally stood up, arms stretching over his head for a second. Kyrin hesitated for a second before saying, "... Thank you"
Without letting Elias reply, not that he could, Kyrin waved the imaginary key in Elias's face before turning on his heels and walking back towards the camp, leaving Elias on the cliffside.
Peace. That's what Elias had felt for almost thirty minutes before Kyrin decided he had had enough. He watched Kyrin get up, eyes trailing over the boy and catching a glimpse of his stomach when he stretched. Elias cleared his throat, looking back at the ocean for a second before Kyrin spoke. Thank you? While he had expected the former sentence, he hadn't expected to hear a thank you from Kyrin. It's safe to say that it took Elias by surprise. A smile spread over his features, giving Kyrin a small nod.
Wait. Elias watched Kyrin wave the key before he walked away with it. Elias blinked, once, twice, three times before he groaned. Great. Kyrin had taken advantage of their little agreement, and now Elias wasn't allowed to talk in front of the guy.
"That little..." Elias groaned to himself once Kyrin was out of earshot. He was sure Kyrin would use that to his advantage, no mistake of that. He shook his head before turning back to the ocean. Still, it was nice. To have helped Kyrin like this, as small as it seemed it made Elias just a bit more hopeful. He let out a small laugh, using his hands to cover the stupid smile on his face.