Chance meetings part 4
Wow, i actually finished a new chapter? Astounding. Anyway! More from Jack and Damien, the dudes are spending time together and Feelings might be Brewing...
Content warnings for alcohol use, some nonsexual nudity (just shirtlessness) and... that’s about it i think! This is a long one, 9000 words or so i think; i had most of it written a while ago so the writing styles a bit choppy because of that, but i’m trying not to obsess over making things perfect and instead just letting them.. be rough around the edges, i guess!
Part one: HERE Part two: HERE Part three: HERE
Part 4. Sleep
The large doors creaked shut behind him as Damien stepped into the barn, staring up with a gasp at the tangled trails of lights flickering on to illuminate the high beams of the ceiling they wrapped around; bathing all in the soft glow of a myriad of colours, from the rainbow of christmas LED's to the gentle glow of fairy lights. It was a mishmash, a web of wires and illumination- but there was something pretty about it, a certain charm that brought a smile to Damien's face as he wandered further in. What lay beyond the doorway was incredible, a large open plan room of furniture crafted from scrap wood and metal. Everything was fashioned large enough to bare the weight of the towering man who walked carefully and quietly behind Damien, following him inside; watching and waiting as if to see his reaction to it al, letting him explore as he saw fit.
"Wow..." Damien breathed as he walked under a giant-sized table, trailing his hand across one of it's rough wooden legs that stood taller than him. He could see the crude marks chisels and tools had made in it, fee; the cold steel bolts holding it all together: it was so simple, just a regular thing, and yet when blown up to such a massive scale it became incredibly fascinating!
"Who made all this?" He asked as he made his way towards a particularly worn out armchair constructed of old palettes, covered in soft blankets and bundles of cushions that looked big endogenous to take the place of an entire mattress.
"Me, mostly, Jack replied, a softness to his gaze as he watched Damien wander about, seeming so happy to see someone not afraid nor nervous to step foot in his abode,
"Mom used to get some folks from out of town to make shit for me, but i figured it was cheaper if i just learnt how to myself woodworking's fun anyways, i'm not great at it but it gives me somethin' to do at least."
"Not great at it? Jack, this stuff's awesome!" Damien exclaimed, eyeing up the cosy looking armchair with a glint in his eye. It took him no time at all to grab hold of the edge of a hanging blanket and clamber up it agilely, hoisting himself up and on to the giant sized seat with a huff; sitting there, looking positively tiny as he sunk into the soft furnishing with a beaming grin on his face.
"Reminds me of going on road-trips." he said, looking up at Jack as the huge man approached and lent against the back of the chair, staring down at him with an amused look.
"What d'ya mean?" He asked.
"Used to always pass these big sculptures people had made, like landmarks that'd say shit like 'World's biggest chair' or mango or... something!"
"Yeah? I've never seen nothin' like that before," Jack replied, "Never really gone much further than the outskirts of town; maybe i should take a hike out past the road sometime, see what i can spot."
"You could probably nick a piece or two for your place, it'd fit right in here!" Damien said, kicking his legs happily as they dangled high off the ground, comfortable and content on the massive chair.
Jack chuckled good naturedly with a shake of his head, pushing his long hair out of his face as he turned to walk to the corner of the barn; where a vast kitchen counter of gnarled wood stood with an amusingly undersized-looking fridge and cooker on top, both human scaled rather than giant and looking deeply out of place. They were large and industrial, but still, as Jack carefully pinched the handle of the fridge door to open it the thing couldn't have looked smaller compared- and yet he seemed to have no trouble using it, like he was so used to handling things that seemed tiny to him. Damien couldn't help but watch mesmerized as huge hands fished out two regular bottles of beer, handled like dolls toys, filling him with awe that someone so huge could be gentle enough to not so much as crack the glass- how much time and effort must it have took Jack to learn how to control his strength, he wondered, to learn how to simply exist in a world intended for a man a third of his size? he really was amazing, and as he wandered back over, ground shaking ever so slightly beneath his step, Damien felt his heart flutter as he watched; unable to tear his eyes from him as the man sat cross-legged in front of the chair, looking up at him...
What an odd angle to be in, sitting high enough to look down at a giant, even if just by a few inches...
As Damien gazed on, consumed by his own thoughts, Jack timidly reached a hand out, beer clutched between finger and thumb, and Damien took the offer of a drink; trying to ignore the tingle that ran down his spine as his hand momentarily brushed against huge, gentle digits. His heart was racing, he couldn't even figure out the specifics of why- but as he took a long swig he barely pulled his eyes from Jack's own, both just... staring silently at one another for a moment. As if studying each other, as fascinated as could be.
"You really gonna drink just that?" Damien finally broke the silence, beer bottle clutched to the edge of his smirking lips as he gestured to Jack's own drink. He was blushing, he could see the rosy toned flush in his cheeks, the flicker in his ruby red eyes as they darted down shyly.
"Oh, i uh...my tolerance is all fucked up 'cuz of the whole Jötunn thing; alcohol and magic don't mix good so i can only handle the same amount as a human." Jack explained with a smile, sipping from the comparatively minuscule bottle.
"Wow, so i could get you plastered on a few glasses of rum and coke, huh? Damien was teasing, enjoying watching his drinking companions cheeks redden and hearing the bashful chuckles rise from that broad chest.
"Mhm, yup," Jack nodded, pointing to himself with his free hand, "complete lightweight."
"Damn," Damien whistled through his teeth, took another long drink, "so.... do you like, eat the same amount too?"
Jack shook his head.
"Nope, no food i gotta have a 'me' sized portion. S'just alcohol and stimulants i gotta have in small amounts; everything else is, y'know. Big."
"Ohh okay, gotcha. And by the way if i'm asking too much shit feel free to tell me; i don't wanna make you uncomfortable."
That was the last thing Damien wanted to do, he was just so damn intrigued by the towering giant that he couldn't not quiz him at least a little; afterall, when was he going to meet someone like him again? He just didn't want to scare him off, make him feel ogled and uneasy; Jack looked like he'd bolt at the slightest build of nerves, as skittish as a deer really under all that unintentionally gruff seeming exterior.
"Ah, s'fine," Jack shrugged, "i know you're just curious, no harm in that; and you don't make me uncomfortable Damien, i like hangin' around with you."
A beaming smile burst across Damien's face as Jack said those last few words, so proud and pleased that the giant liked being around him. A warm tingle crossed his face at the very thought and, with a hum of amusement, Damien took another swig of beer to hide his grinning delight. How incredible was it, he thought, that of all the people in the world this was the one whom he'd found a friend in; after nights spent at bars making only hostile acquaintances he'd somehow fallen into the stranges of circumstances, getting to know a real, actual giant....
It was fantastic.
"Hey," Jack piped up after a moment, eyes twinkling with an idea; like Damien could almost see the light bulb appear above his head, "y'know what? I know you wanna ask me stuff and... Well, if i'm honest i wanna know more about you to; so why don't we just make a game outta it?"
Damien raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah?" He said, unable to keep the light amusement out of his voice.
"What? You ask me something and i get to ask you something in turn, that sort of thing?"
"Mhm!" Jack replied, nodding enthusiastically.
"What is this? A sleepover?" Damien laughed, prompting a grin from the shy giant too.
"Alright, fuck it, sure; but you're going first. And-" He gestured with his now empty beer, drained in his usual fast pace- "you gotta get me another one of these."
With a smile Jack did just that, rising from where he'd sat (still an awe inspiring sight to watch someone that big move) and wandering over to the kitchen to fetch two more bottles, glass clinking as he returned; passing one to Damien with the same level of delicacy as he had before, a wry look on his face as he settled back down.
"Okay..." The giant clicked his tongue, head tilted to the side as he scrutinized Damien; clearly thinking of what question to lead with.
"How long you lived in town?"
"My whole life, born and raised in the same house i live in now," Damien replied, "How about you?"
"Ditto. I mean, i used to live in mom's house when i was real young, but i got too big pretty quick. Other than movin' from there to here i've... not really gone much further than the woods round town."
How strange it was, the two of them in the same small town for more than two decades; never once knowing of each other's presence...
"Alright," Damien said, "your go again."
"Hmm..." Jack pondered for a moment, leaning back on his arms for a slightly comfier position.
"So. Is it just you, out there in that big ol' house? No family or nothin'?"
"Oh, yeah it's just me," Damien said, close to downing his second beer faster than the first; noting that Jack had barely touched his,
"my folks are long gone, they left this shithole years ago and didn't look back. Used to live with my aunt but she's gone too, left with her new man a few years ago."
"Oh, i'm sorry." Jack's voice was steeped with soft sympathy, but Damien hand-waved his concern away.
"Ah, it's fine; trust me, you didn't know them. I much prefer having the place to myself." he said, flipping his now empty beer bottle in his hands and shrugging nonchalantly. He'd never seen eye to eye with his family, when they'd left it'd hardly been a situation that required shedding a tear over; it'd been a relief, really. Now he was alone he got to be...him. As rowdy or as quiet as he wanted without judgement nor pressure to be anyone else.
"My turn now," Damien lightened the mood again with a smile, "so, i know you've mentioned your mom, so i guess that's the question about your family answered." Jack nodded as he listened.
"So.....What about partners? Handsome guy like you's bound to have someone, right?"
The lightly teasing question did just as intended, reddening Jack's cheeks once more as he looked away with a smile, brushing long hair from his face; so easy to fluster there was hardly any game in it, and yet still Damien couldn't help himself. Every shy look or giggle he prompted from him made his heart flutter like it hadn't in years, it was wonderful seeing him like that in such a bashful, happy moment.
"Ah, nah," Jack replied with a laugh, "s'just me. Don't think anyone else would wanna put up with all this." He waved a hand to himself in good spirits, but, if he were to look closer, Damien was sure he could sense some hurt behind it all. jack cared what people thought of him, that much was clear; and it was obvious he didn't have the highest opinion of himself. No wonder though, afterall how much must it have stung to see peoples fearful reactions upon encountering him time and time again? Even Damien could hardly say he'd exactly acted kindly upon first setting eyes on the giant, he'd been petrified too...
"Aw, don't say that- i'm sure anyone'd be lucky to have a guy like you!" Damien exclaimed, reaching across to pat the giants shoulder, trying to ignore the jolt of his heart flying to his throat as he did so. Jack seemed to soften even with the slightest touch, watching Damien's hand closely; as if it were so alien to him to see someone so near.
"Well," Jack cleared his throat nervously, "how about you?"
Damien froze, eyes wide and brows shooting up, a gulp of nerves escaping him.
Had he just...?
No, surely not. Jack was just looking at him, like he hadn't said anything surprising at all; had Damien misunderstood? Because that almost sounded like he'd just asked him out.
"What?" He asked quietly, watching realization flood Jack's face in a split second.
"Oh!" The giant's hands flew to cover his face with a groan.
"Fuck, i-i'm sorry, i didn't mean...Oh my god, i meant the question, not.. not that, s-sorry."
"No, no it's fine!" The tension broke and Damien laughed heartily, flopping back in the enormous chair with a hint of... something that was surprisingly different than relief. Closer even to disappointment.
"But, yeah, i'm uh, i'm single too."
As Damien offered a soft smile, all teasing dropped to give his drinking companion some breathing room, he couldn't help but notice the way Jack seemed to mull over the answer for a moment; thinking to himself as he sipped from a beer that looked comically undersized, pinched between huge, black nail-polish adorned fingers. What was he pondering? he looked so serious when in thought, his face just naturally falling to that scowl-like expression that often gave him such a frightening experience; but Damien knew better now, he knew there was nothing hard nor menacing about him.
"You alright big guy?" Damien asked softly, and Jack seemed to snap from his thoughts at the sound; quickly swigging the last of his beer. Something had clearly been on his mind, but what? Exactly what it was it seemed he was not willing to share...
"Yeah, i'm cool," he replied gruffly with a nod, "m'gonna get another beer, y'want one too?"
"Sure, i could go for another!" Damien smiled. He could just about feel the start of a buzz coming on, the slow dulling notes of alcohol creeping up on him; he was nowhere near tipsy, of course, his constitution could handle a whole lot more than just a few fast-drunk beers. But he did feel relaxed as he sat there, watching Jack rise once more and make his way over to the kitchen...
Jack occupied himself with the fridge, trying to ignore the myriad of thoughts swimming in his mind, for he knew it wasn't worth dwelling on them; they were stupid, fanciful things, if he were to spend too long humoring them he'd only hurt himself. It was strange, he'd never meant it that way at all, but seeing Damien mistakenly think he was asking him out... Something had bloomed inside him, a feeling that quickly spread and became louder and louder; a thought, a silly little one, quickly multiplying into a million. Damien was funny and charming and the nicest person he'd met, his heart skipped a beat every time he looked at him; it was hard not to wonder what might happen if he did ask him...
Jack frowned as he swung the fridge door open and pulled two more beers out, opening one there and then with a quick tap to the side, it's cap flying off; letting him take one, long gulp as he pushed the idea out of his mind.
It was foolish, why would he ever think Damien's reaction would be anything good. The man'd probably laugh in his face at the very notion, either that or be frightened off by his advances- as easy as was to forget as he grew more and more used to his company, he still had to remember that he was a giant to him. A monster, too big and clumsy and beastly to be anything more than a friend he took a curious interest in. Why on earth would a man as wonderful as him want to be anything at all romantically involved with someone like him? Besides, it'd never work; Jack couldn't be seen with him, he'd send the whole town into hysterics! He'd never be able to hold his hand and walk down the street, or take him to a fancy meal out; what did he have to offer? Nothing. Damien would want someone he could be normal with, not some giant freak like him...
No, it wasn't worth dwelling on.
Jack looked down, noticed his bottle was already almost empty...
He had to be careful, pace himself. Sure, he could physically drink that much but...
He didn't need to get wasted, not with the chance of any of those ideas being said aloud once his tongue got loose enough.
Jack took a moment to breath, shaking off the myriad of feelings swirling through his head; he just wanted to enjoy the night, having someone round to talk to was a rare thing, he didn't want to jeopardise it by getting all wrapped up in his head. It was all going shokingly well so far, Damien seemed to be enjoying himself and the man really was a delight to be around! He just had to stop overthinking, just relax and everything would be-
Boom, Boom, Boom!
Three mighty knocks on the door rang out and both Jack and Damien froze, staring at each other wide eyed and shocked.
"Who's that?" Damien whispered.
Jack's heart raced, hands becoming clammy as he stayed as still as he could, lifting a finger to his lips to tell Damien to stay quiet; he knew just who was at the door, his mom, who he absolutely was not letting find Damien. She'd blow a fuse if she knew he'd gone so close to human's, never mind brought someone home! Sure, it was out of concern for him, but... He just hoped she'd pass on by, presume he was out if he didn't answer....
"Jackson i know you're there, i'm coming in."
No suck luck.
And using his full name? She knew something was up, she never called him that unless he was in trouble. Jack quickly hid the beer bottles back in the fridge and dashed over to Damien with a hiss of "Quick, hide!", heart near pounding out of his chest as he ushered the man off the seat and towards the large pile of mattresses that made up his bed. Damien followed without question, darting quickly along as the mighty barn doors began to creak; squirming under the covers just in time for them to swing open with a crash! Jack stood by the bed, glancing back to be sure Damien was well hidden as the ground began to shake with heavy steps- fortunately it seemed his bed-sheets were more than big enough to hide a human away, he could hardly even spot the telltale mound of where the man's body lay.... He just had to hope his mom couldn't either....
Hidden under giant-sized covers and blankets Damien lay as still as he could, barely even breathing; just like it were some childish game of hide and seek. Why Jack needed him to hide he didn't know, but he soon got an answer as he heard that gruff voice call out in a moan of protest.
"Mom, you can't just barge in here!" Jack grumbled. Gingerly, Damien lifted the edge of the sheets just an inch, peering out to see the tree-trunk like legs of the giant standing right there, facing away- facing... Her. A lady, so tall she made Jack look just over waist-high; her strong arms crossed over her chest and her long grey hair tied back in an elaborate plait. She was huge, thirty foot tall at least, and the ground shook with every step closer she took; her face, one of very familiar features, a picture of concern. She looked so much like him, same nose, same furrowed brow- but her eyes bore no red tone, instead glittering a strange purple instead as she stared down at her son, a look of suspicion plain to see.
"Jackson, you know i would never normally intrude," she spoke, voice husky and hoarse, sending a chill down Damien's spine as he listened to the thunder of her words, "don't you dare get huffy with me; you know full well why i'm here."
Damien could practically feel Jack tense from where he lay hidden mere feet away from the two giant's, watching with a pounding heart.
"I heard a voice; someone's here, aren't they; a human." Damien gulped down nerves as he listened to her continue.. The way she said that last word... It didn't sound good.
"No?" Jack responded, clearly trying his best to sound like he wasn't lying through his teeth. He wasn't doing a particularly good job.
"Don't lie, i can smell them on you; Jack, you know better than to go near the people in town," Her voice turned exasperated, concern and worry flooding through as she gazed around, trying to spot Damien and fortunately not once glancing down to the bundle of bed sheets, "i don't want you getting hurt, not like last time.."
"Christ, mom, that was years ago; i'm nearly thirty, i know better than t'go near people now. Besides, i can look after myself." Jack sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"I know, i know, i just.... I worry about you, about what they'll do to you." Jack's mom sounded so genuine, Damien felt his heart twinge; what had happened to Jack before to make her so afraid of him being near people? It seemed ludicrous to think that anything a human could do would be of danger to the sixteen foot half-Jötunn!
"You worry too much 'bout me." Jack's voice turned soft, quiet now.
"Mmhm, it's hard not to." A crackle of static filled the air, Damien's ears popping ever so slightly as he watched that towering lady suddenly change; where she had once stood so imposing she now seemed to shrink, her form changing to a smaller, regular 'human' one as Jack knelt down in front of her. She looked so different now, not menacing at all; just... normal. Like someone Damien could've passed on the street without a second thought, not once knowing what or who she truly was. She had to crane her neck back to look jack in the eye now, but it seemed any anger or wariness had passed, her gaze just full of care and worry for her son as she stepped forward and grabbed ahold of his hand.
"Jack," her voice was quiet yet firm, "just.... tell me the truth."
"I am, i swear," Jack lied, "there's nobody here, i just... i've been down to the lake, pullin' junk outta there some college kids left, that's why you can smell them on me, s'all it is. I promise."
Jack's mom's eyes narrowed, for a moment Damien thought she might not believe him, but...
"Okay." she sighed, standing on her tip-toes to give Jack's cheek a gentle pat, before wandering back off towards the barn's entrance.
"I believe you. I'm sorry. Just.... stay out of trouble? Please?"
"'Course." Jack nodded, trying his best to give a smile; it all came out rather shaky and nervous.
"Alright, Jack. See you tomorrow."
Once the doors creaked shut again a silent minute passed, neither man wanting to so much as move until they were certain the coast was clear; and then, with a sigh of relief, Jack sunk to his knees in front of Damien's hiding place. The giant closed his eyes for a moment, just breathing slow as tension dropped from his body, and then he reached out- gently scooping the covers up away from Damien to reveal him lying there, staring up nervously. He couldn't deny it, having to hide from someone who made Jack look pint sized had....shaken him a little. But once he saw that face gaze down softly it all melted away, and a smile crept across his lips.
"You alright?" Jack asked quietly.
"I'm good," Damien nodded, sitting up and ruffling his hair back into shape, "you?"
"Oh, m'fine; just sorry i made you hide like that." Jack sighed, a forlorn look on his face. He crossed his legs beneath him and stared down at the ground, hand absent mindedly fiddling with the edge of the bed-sheets; Damien could tell he was rattled by the sudden interruption, or... perhaps just embarrassed.
"I...i don't want you to feel like i'm ashamed or nothin', i just don' wanna get you in trouble." Jack mumbled, brow furrowing.
"Hey, it's alright; i get it man, don't worry about it." Damien said softly, scooting over to sit beside Jack, patting his leg reassuringly.
"But uh, just out of curiosity...how much trouble would i have been in if she found me? Would... would she have... y'know."
His voice wavered for a moment, he tried to disguise his nerves with a chuckle. It didn't work.
"Hurt you?" Jack sounded so surprised, a shocked look in his eyes, "Oh! No, no mom'd... she'd never do that, not ever. Shit, did you think she was gonna? I-i'm sorry, i didn't think she'd scare you that bad; i know you ain't seen a full Jötunn before, that must've been... a lot."
"Mhm. Just didn't expect how much bigger than you someone could be." Damien replied quietly.
"Yeah, i'm real small compared. She doesn't normally spend much time in Jötunn form, i think she was just prepared to have t'scare someone off if i was in trouble. But she wouldn't have hurt you, i promise; just chased you away. She's.... she's not bad, she's just worried 'bout me. Protective, y'know?"
Damien nodded. If she had chased him off he certainly wouldn't have stuck around; being around Jack made him feel fragile enough, he didn't fancy his nerves chances of not fraying if confronted with someone twice his size! But, he understood. It was obvious she cared about Jack, a great deal; his heart twinged at the thought of what the man must've gone through for his mom to be so scared of him going near people....
He looked around the room some more, trying not to dwell; taking in the side of it that clearly made up what could be considered the 'bedroom' in the large open plan space. Posters covered the walls, old horror movies, punk and metal bands Damien felt sure he recognized; and a smaller, familiar piece of paper taking pride of place amongst it all. His drawing, from that day at the lake. Damien's heart fluttered, his smile only widening as he spotted it- did Jack really like it enough to hang it up on his wall? His gaze carried on, over to a huge, white sheet hanging in the center of the wall, taking up most the space.
"That for a projector?" Damien asked, pointing it out. He was trying to distract himself, stop thinking about just how frightened he’d been, hiding there.
"Yup, haven't got a tv so i watch a lot of movies on there." Jack replied, following Damien's gaze with intrigue.
"If you like i could put somethin' on; most of what i've got's just horror, but if you like that sort'a stuff i got a pretty big collection. You could pick a film, maybe?"
Damien's grin couldn't have beamed wider.
"That'd be awesome, actually!" He said, watching as Jack reached over to a large cardboard box and pulled it over, the whole thing full of old horror films; everything from Nosferatu to The Stuff, like he'd bought every tape he could find in every charity shop in town. He glanced inside, rifling through excitedly like a kid in a candy shop; Jack even had some things he'd never seen before!
"Wow, i thought i was a bit of a horror fan; this is so cool, Jack!"
The giant chuckled, shrugging bashfully.
"Ah, it's not that impressive; it's hard to get my hands on stuff, but.. i got some good ones in there."
With that he reached down, hand swooping past Damien to reach into the box too; sending his pulse racing as he felt huge fingers lightly brush against his own, searching beside him until Jack pulled out an old, worn tape.
"Now this, this is a good one; Re-animator, fuckin' classic." Jack seemed to light up as he spoke about his collection, hardly seeming nervous at all now. he was in his element, comfortable and content- it was wonderful to see.
"Oh, fuck yes!" Damien exclaimed "You wanna watch that?"
"Sure, just gimme a sec to get it all set up." Jack said, getting up with a grunt and wandering off to tinker, the huge fabric screen on the wall soon lighting up with the glow from the projector as Damien sat himself down in a pile of cushions on the bed; reclining back like he were on some massive beanbag, watching as the title music began to play and Jack took his seat beside him. Sharp, harsh strings stung in the score, that bright green, glowing title card appearing in no time; all illuminating the two men sitting comfortably together in a soft light, smiles on their faces and not a care in the world as the movie began to play on...
Barely fifteen minutes in and Damien found himself scooting closer to Jack's side, leaning against him, head resting on the soft fabric of his shirt; watching as the giant responded by gently laying an arm around him, almost as if subconsciously. He couldn't have felt more contented there, barely paying attention to the movie he'd seen a million times before, just... enjoying the moment.
The peace and calm as time rode ever onward, until the barn grew darker and darker.
Soon, as if in a blink of an eye, credits were rolling and it was over, the screen turning blank and leaving the two there in silence once again.
"It's getting late, huh?" Jack murmured, glancing up at a skylight in the roof to see the inky blackness outside.
"Shit, what time is it?" Damien asked.
"Uh, just gone midnight," Jack clicked his tongue absent-mindedly as he thought for a moment, staring across the room at an old clock.
"Look," He said, "It's real dark out already, i don't want you walkin' home on your own. I could take you back if that's cool, or...."
A moments pause seemed to drag on forever as those ruby red eyes flickered down to meet Damien's softly enthralled gaze.
"You could....stay, if you like?"
Damien's heart jolted as he heard the words spoken, eyes wide as he stared on up at that looming, giant face looking down upon him with a gentle kindness he'd not often seen before.
"Stay? Like, here?"
"Uh, y-yeah," he said, rubbing the back of his neck with an awkward look, "i mean, if you're down with that i can set up a bed somewhere for you; i got spare blankets and stuff, s'no bother."
Damien gulped back the strange, airy light feeling that rose like butterflies in his chest, staring blankly as he found himself lost in thought; beer bottle clutched tight in his hand..... Staying with a literal giant? It seemed ridiculous, if he'd've gone back to the night they first met and told himself he'd even considered the notion he'd've laughed in his own face- and yet now that he sat there, watching the unsure manner with which Jack patiently waited for an answer, he found himself inclined to take him up on his offer. He liked the man. A lot in fact, and in a rather different manner than he'd first expected. Sure, he'd already been fascinated by Jack from the moment he saw that he was no monster, but this was more than just intrigue driving him to wish to spend longer with him; it was something more tender, more delicate and quite rarely felt or expressed by the often rowdy punk. Jack was just so gentle natured , he was like no-one else Damien had often had the fortune to meet; he felt safe around him, protected even- but even more than that he felt protective of the man. He may have been a towering giant but it was clear to see the world hurt him as it had Damien, not often offering him the kindness nor softness he so clearly deserved. Perhaps, in a way, if Damien were to think upon it, he rather felt he would like to be the one to show him those things he sorely missed out on; gentle touches and warm smiles, even just in the teasing manner within which he got to know him. He liked seeing his eyes twinkle with amusement, his cheeks flushed with shyness; he was, despite appearances, quite cute really.
So, with one last swig to finish off his drink Damien gave Jack a nod, grin spreading across his face.
"Sure, why not; hey, maybe if you're lucky I'll make ya breakfast in the morning." Damien teased, looking around the room for a suitable place to sleep. Not on the floor that was for sure, too dangerous; it'd be far too easy for Jack to stumble onto him if he awoke in the night.... No, Damien's eyes instead flew to that mighty chair he'd sat upon before, it's cosy surface calling to him once again.
"Can i sleep on there?" He said, pointing it out.
"Mh, oh, sure; that'll work alright!" Jack said, wandering off to grab some blankets and cushions for him and arranging them carefully atop the chair; ready for Damien to climb into and hunker down for the night, in a perfectly comfortable makeshift bed. The chair's seat was more than big enough to sleep on, and he'd be high enough to be out the way- just in case.
"How's that?" Jack asked as he finished arranging sheets.
"Perfect!" Damien exclaimed, a little out of breath as he hoisted himself and stood atop the seat; heart skipping a beat as he glanced across to see the giant so nearby, now leaning on the arm of the chair.
"Alright then, you, uh....need me to fetch anythin' else for you?"
Damien shook his head, and, satisfied that he'd done good by his guest, Jack wandered off towards the huge pile of mattresses that made up his bed. It seemed to be the one piece of furniture he didn't have- did he just find it more comfortable, lying on the floor like that? It did look somewhat cosy, like a nest full of hand-sewn soft things and pillows, each completely mismatched and some tattered and well worn. As Damien stared on, lost in thought, Jack threw his shirt off in a pile with a long yawn, stretching out tired muscles; the sight of the two, faint crescent scars under his pectoral muscles drawing Damien's eye. He'd seen them before, back at the lake, but he'd been too flustered to really process what he was seeing; it was only now as he watched, not even really meaning to stare, that he felt a light flutter in his chest in realization of what he shared in common with the giant before him. It was humorous really, the two couldn't have been more different in most ways- and yet so similar in others, both trans, both living in the same, small, sleepy town....
Both lonelier than they'd care to admit.
Damien felt so at ease, so comfortable there in the presence of someone who could've been a monster to him by all logic; it was the first time he'd truly felt that around anyone, and every moment he spent with him only endeared him to the kind, sweet giant even more.
"Y'want me to look the other way while you get ready?" That low, thunder of a voice snapped him out of his thoughts with a squeak. He looked up, met those deep red eyes from across the room; trying to discern if Jack was put off with with his staring. He seemed... comfortable, much more so than he had been before. Perhaps starting to trust he could be more relaxed in himself around Damien.
"Eh," Damien shrugged, "i'm not hiding anything you haven't seen before under here, i don't care."
He was not a shy man, especially not compared to Jack; though, had it been anyone else perhaps he would've hesitated, worried what their reaction might've been to seeing him...
But here, sitting curled up in a makeshift bed atop a giants chair? He felt safe. Secure. Damien took off his and shirt and folded them neatly on the chair's arm, before reaching for the edges of his binder and pulling the tight-fitting garment off too. He took a breath, stretched for a moment, and exhaled; looking up to find Jack had turned away anyway, far too polite to stare. A smile crept onto his face as he pulled the sheets up onto himself, huddling up all comfortable and warm.
"Jack, you can look; it's fine, really." He called. Slowly, unsurely Jack turned, a blush crossing his cheeks.
It was hard to keep any expression from going unnoticed on features as large as Jack's- perhaps Damien might've missed the way his eyes followed the intricate lines of the tattoo that covered his collarbones and upper chest if Jack had been the size of a regular man, or even not noticed the twitch in his lips that seemed to want to break into a smile, but as he sat there barely a third of the size of the giant before him he saw all clear as day.
"Uh," Jack spoke quietly, "i like... i like your tattoo. S'pretty."
"Thanks, it's supposed to be a hawkmoth," Damien said, "and those flowers around it, that's heather."
"It's nice; real, um, real fancy." Jack turned his attention to his own bed, climbing under the covers and lying down on his side, facing Damien with one hand propping his head up.
"You sure you're gonna be okay sleepin' there?"
"Should be. You don't snore, do you?"
Jack laughed softly, shaking his head.
"No, not that i'm aware of."
"Then we're all good, i reckon." Damien lay down too, watching over the man across from him, neither taking their eyes from the other, a soft smile on each face. A feeling spread through the space between them, a million unspoken things that each wished to say and yet pulled away from, deciding against it as they grew tireder...
"G'night then." Jack said softly, breaking the quiet moment.
"Goodnight Jack, sleep tight." Damien replied, huddling up into blankets like a cocoon, watching and waiting for the giant's eyes to slip closed before he too started to drift off to sleep...
And what a peaceful sleep indeed it was.
Damien woke up to a strange sound, not something loud nor booming but...quiet, unsettlingly so. Like a whisper, just on the edge of hearing, wavering through the air; coming from the large pile of mattresses that Jack called a bed. As he sat groggily up from the seat he'd slept upon he could make out the shape of the giant's arched back as he lay facing away from him, illuminated in the slight moonlight that shimmered down from the skylight above- looking enormous even from as far away as he was. At first he thought he was still, that he'd simply misheard the sound, but as he watched on that noise came again; Jack's back tensing as he curled up with a whimper, shaking ever so slightly. Damien frowned, what was that? Just a reaction to a bad dream? The sound came again, catching in the back of Jack's throat this time and turning to a quiet sob- whatever it was he was seeing while he slumbered it was clearly upsetting him, Damien couldn't help but feel bad for him.
With a sigh he carefully climbed down from the giant-sized seat and to the ground, walking as quietly as he could round to where Jack lay; heart starting to race even with as gentle as he knew the towering man to be. There was something more intimidating about seeing him the dark, as just a form there in the shadow's, the width from shoulder to shoulder as he lay on his side almost taller than Damien still. He was huge, that was hard to ignore even while he slept... but as Damien tip-toed around until he could see his face all nerves and unsureness faded in an instance, replaced with deep, soft sympathy that tugged at his heart. What a sight it was, that strong face screwed up, tears streaking down cheeks with awful, quiet whimpers; hands pulling a sewn together blanket closer as he muttered in his sleep. The man who could've been so petrifying, who's strength could do untold damage to all around him, who could've been a monster if he wished- he looked nothing of the sort right now. He looked fragile, afraid...
Damien gently knelt down and shuffled closer with bated breath, reaching a nervous hand out to gently stroke the side of that slumbering face, shushing quietly; feeling his heart start to thump louder and faster by the minute as each breath rolled past him like a breeze. He was so close now, closer than he ever had been before- it was...incredible. With a caring touch he brushed long hair from those handsome features, listening as the sounds of distress began to quieten and Jack fell still; it was working, as unbelievable as it was to think that he could sooth a giant!
"Easy now big guy," Damien whispered, a soft smile crossing his face as he gazed down at the sleeping man, in awe of how it was to be so near someone like him. He seemed so gentle like this, even more-so than usual; and yet even as he lay still and quiet Damien could still sense the immense power that he held, watching with mesmerized awe as Jack's eyelashes began to flicker ever so slightly. Whatever dark dream had fallen over him passed like a summer storm, his face softening from an expression of concern to one of peace once more. Damien moved closer still, curling up there against the mound of pillows atop which that mighty head rested, gently trailing the lines and shapes that made up every feature; heart fluttering as he wondered what on earth he might do if he were to awaken right now and find him there, lost in the tender moment. He lay down, racing pulse drowning out every thought that could've made him doubt his instinctual actions, or caused him nerves as he came so close; hardly able to take all of the man before him in now, his vision full of nothing but that gentle expression.
Then, as Damien lay there, Jack began to stir- the slightest motion freezing the smaller man as ruby red eyes slipped open with a grumble and a head the size of his torso moved, bumping gently into him with a long, tired sigh. Damien daren't move as that exhale billowed past, ruffling his hair as Jack nuzzled his nose into his chest; presumably still too half-asleep to register who or what was there beside him- and for half a second the thought of a giant not being fully aware of his presence struck sudden fear into Damien's heart.
But only for a moment.
"Dae, y'alright?" A mumbled, slurred voice so low it felt more like a mighty growl, muffled by sleep and yet quite clearly addressing him; Jack knew it was him who lay there next to him, gently soothing him in his dreaming state, had he known the whole time? Heard his voice pierce through the fog of nightmares? Damien blushed at the thought, gulping down nerves as he stared into that deep red gaze.
The fond nature with which the nickname had been spoken took him aback, not to mention the fact the giant's first thought upon awakening to see him there had been to check if he was okay. Jack was so attentive, so gentle even when half asleep; it was astounding.
"I'm okay bud," Damien whispered, "you were just having a bad dream is all."
Jack grumbled a reply, the words too mumbled to be discerned and yet intent made quite clear as a powerful arm arched round to scoop up against Damien's back and pull him closer, the comparatively tiny man stifling a gasp as he was gently shifted to lie against the giant's chest; held carefully and softly there over a heart that thudded with a slow rhythm, cradled in the most comfortable manner.
"Jack?" He asked softly, "What are you..."
As he looked up to see those eyes slip closed once more Damien realized the man had already fallen back asleep, his question fell on deaf ears as he lay there, half wondering if he should try to find a way to wriggle out from where he was held and slink back to the chair upon where he'd been resting before.
Did he really want to though?
It was warmer and more comfortable here beside Jack; and he had little concern that the sleeping giant would hurt him, he was just holding him gently, like he was the most precious, comforting thing in the world. Fingers curled against his back, pressing to him as if seeking the comfort of his presence; the giant's nightmare-filled sleep now becoming as calm as a still lake as Damien lay close by, watching his chest rise and fall with slow, deep breaths. He was being so still, completely frozen in the bizzarest mix of awe and nerves as he let himself be held, hardly even believing what one day and night spent with a man he barely knew had come to- though, Jack didn't feel like a stranger, he felt... Familiar. Less like someone new and more, as crazy as it seemed, like someone Damien had been missing for every one of the twenty five years he'd spent living in the same, miserable town. The last few days he'd met the towering man upon he'd wished dearly he got to spend more time with him, for their encounter to continue on; and now here he was, lying beside him as he slept peacefully on....
After a moment spent in still silence Damien gave in to the comfort and warmth of his new resting place, pushing all concerns over being awkward or too forward from his mind as he shuffled closer, lying himself against Jack; who, as he felt the comparatively tiny man huddle up, seemed to react unconsciously and wrap his arms protectively over him, surrounding him with softness. He was completely engulfed, wonderfully so, and as he rested his head against that broad chest and closed his eyes Damien found he'd never felt more comfortable and safe in his life than when he lay in a giant's hold; soon drifting off into his own peaceful, uninterrupted sleep there in the strange old barn....
Many hours later Jack stirred, eyes beginning to slip lazily open as the first rays of sunlight shimmered down from the skylight, warming his skin and prompting a slow, drawn out yawn from him as he curled up tighter in bed; pulling the blankets over his head in attempt to shut the morning out. He was tired, a few hours longer wouldn't hurt.
It was as he tried to return to sleep that he felt the most peculiar sensation that froze him in his tracks, the feeling of something else moving in his bed, right next to him- bumping lightly against his chest as the soft sounds of sleepy mumbling reached his ears.
Jack gulped, nerves jolting him awake.
He pulled the blanket slowly back, teeth gritted as he glanced down to see the small form of a man he recognized well curled up beside him, still sleeping; so close he was gently moved every time Jack so much as breathed, his comparatively tiny body just....sinking into the dip Jack's weight made into the mattresses.
Careful not to wake Damien he shifted backwards, shuffling away as gently as he could to put space between them, heart beating furiously fast as his gaze flitted about that fragile body, trying to discern if he'd hurt him in his sleep. What was he doing there? Jack could've rolled on him and broke his arm, or worse; was the man mad? Sneaking away from where he'd slept to curl up in a giant's bed?
A tingle across Jack's cheek reminded him of a memory from the night before, his fingers reaching up timidly to find the spot he could faintly recall a gentle touch meeting, a hand soothing him. His face turned as red as a ripe tomato at the very thought. It was a hazy memory, one born from a half-asleep mind, he could've thought it just a figment of his dreams but....it felt real.
Maybe i just want it to be, Jack thought as he shuffled to the edge of mattress pile bed, watching Damien roll over with a sigh. He froze, biting his lip as he waited, hoping the man wouldn't awaken. What if Damien didn't remember where he was? What if he was scared, waking up with Jack that close? Sure, he seemed fine with him most the time; but seeing him when he wasn't expecting to.. that'd frighten him, surely? But perhaps he'd stay asleep, simply getting himself comfortable now the wall of the giant's body wasn't there for him to curl up against...
Ah. no. Green eyes slowly flickered open, blinking, that handsome face screwing up in a frown.
Luck was not on Jack's side.
He went as still and quiet as a deer in headlights, watching as Damien glanced up to meet his panicked stare, the small man rolling onto his back with a huff.
"Ugh," he grumbled, rubbing sleep from his eyes, "what time is it?"
That....did not sound like the voice of a man petrified to wake up with a giant next to him.
"U-uh, like....six? I think?" Jack answered timidly, hands entwined awkwardly and fidgeting nervously.
"That's too fucking early." Damien huffed, rolling back over and planting his face into a pillow.
Jack swallowed his nerves, trying to stop his limbs from shaking as he just watched, unsure what on earth he should do. This was new territory, he felt like an idiot! He'd never thought he'd so much as make friends with someone like Damien, never mind let him get so close... Had he spent the whole night there beside him, able to sleep soundly without fear of him hurting him? How? Surely even if he trusted Jack he must've been afraid he might injure him on accident, he knew how big he was, how powerful he could be; could he really put that much faith in him to be so defenseless beside him?
A cushion bounced off of Jack's head, thrown with a grumble by the man beside him, snapping him out of his thoughts.
"Either get up or come back here, you're pulling the damn sheets up off of me, it's cold." Damien's muffled voice grumpily rose up and Jack couldn't stop a small smile from creeping onto his face. He was right, where Jack lay was now making the blankets rise as if lifted like a tent, rather than falling softly against the man. He glanced at the clock, the choice whirring in his head; to get up or shuffle back over to Damien's side, go back to sleep.... Damien really didn't seem to mind him there, as ludicrous as it seemed... and it really was early still, if he got up now no doubt the sound of him moving around the barn would awaken Damien; he got the feeling the man would hardly be in the best spirits if the incessant thudding of him wandering kept him from a few hours extra sleep, he seemed amusingly grumpy enough as it was. So, hardly believing what he was doing Jack moved back over, being as careful as possible as he brought himself right up against Damien, feeling the man softly fall against him and curl up contently once more, reaching a sleepy hand round to pat against his chest, sending him an even brighter shade of red.
"Good choice." Damien mumbled, turning to shuffle himself as close to Jack as he could, leaving barely an inch between them as Jack's heart raced wildly, hardly believing the sight of someone so close and so fearless.
"You...you alright there? I-i'm not gonna make you uncomfortable?" Jack asked, voice barely a whisper.
Damien's eyes flickered open for a moment, eyebrow raised as he let out a sigh, lifting a sluggish hand to press a finger to his lips.
"Oh, alright, yeah," Jack nodded, "i just....let me know if y'need me to shift or-"
"Jaaaaaaack," The long, drawn out groan of his name was accompanied by the soft thud of Damien planting his face in his chest in exasperation, "i'm fine, just.... go back to sleep."
Jack opened his mouth to apologize before catching the glimmer of an emerald eye glaring up at him. He swiftly stopped himself, taking the hint.
It looked like he'd be getting that extra sleep he wanted...
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