runaway tales ; blueberry yogurt #9: better off; verse: bounty

Title: Jealous
Verse: Bounty
Character(s): Martyn Alasev-Dol/Yaris Berkn’leter
Rating: T
Warnings: Toxic behavior AGAIN.
Prompts: Blueberry Yogurt #9 – better off
Toppings: None.
Extras: None.
Canon: Think so.
Spoilers: No.

The first time he leaves, it’s on a little planet on the edge of some system, and they’re drinking after a big fight, Yaris’ hands clutching his wooden cup of some bitter, strong drink. 

“I’m gonna stay here,” he tells his booze and he sees Martyn’s head swivel beside him, even in the dim lighting of the weird tavern they crashed in while Constance comes to fetch them. 

“What?” Martyn says gruffly and Yaris shrugs. 

“I’m gonna stay here. I saw a shipyard a ways that way.” He points, although he’s not sure that’s the direction the shipyard is even in, he’s also not sure it matters in the end. What’s Martyn going to do? Fact check him? “I can find some work, save some money, get a ship…”

“Are you on some kind of drugs?” Martyn says. “It’s okay, you can tell me, I won’t judge.”

Yaris doubts that very much. “I’m not on drugs,” he snaps. “I’m just staying.”

“Are you really this dumb?” Martyn snarls back. “Giving up Speeta because of a fight?”

Yaris stares at him. “It’s not because of a fight,” he says, “it’s because I’m very clearly not welcome!” He gets off the bar stool, grabs his jacket and turns to go, but Martyn grabs him, spins him back around.

“Don’t walk away from me!” His voice booms in the otherwise quiet tavern and people’s heads turn, which embarrasses Yaris no end, his pale face heating up.  He looks around, scowls at Martyn. 

“What is the matter with you? Don’t pretend you don’t want me to get out of here!” Yaris shouts at him. “You don’t want me here. It was a great fantasy while it lasted but the reality’s nowhere near as fun.”

“You need to get your head out of your ass,” Martyn says, closing the gap between them. “Just because we fought doesn’t mean I don’t want you here.”

“That’s exactly what it means,” Yaris snaps, “it’s what you said.”

“I wanted you out of my bathroom not my ship,” Martyn barks at him.

“Well, you get both,” Yaris bitches and storms away.

***

It turns out that the world — a somewhat backwash of a planet where most everything was made of wood, varnished with some kind of special mix that made things strong, including their spaceships — was nowhere near as fun to be on as Yaris thought, and before Speeta leaves he rocks up to the open ramp, bag slung over his shoulder.

“I don’t want a wooden ship,” he says and Martyn looks around from where he’s taking cargo on board for some kind of paid run. He snorts under his breath. 

“Their ships are wood too?”

“Unfortunately.”

Martyn pulls a face and gestures inside Speeta and Yaris trudges past him. 

“Welcome home,” he says and Yaris pauses in the doorway, halfway back to his room, the one he rarely sleeps in but is definitely not shared with Martyn. 

“Thanks,” he says gruffly and goes into the ship.

***

The second time he leaves it’s because Martyn said something stupid.

Shit happens, Yaris knows that better than anyone, and he shouldn’t let his feelings get hurt — in fact, he’s pretty sure that’s not supposed to be possible quite like it used to be, isn’t the chip supposed to suppress things like that? — but he does. 

“Fucking Tykavli,” Martyn says, slamming his fist down on the table between him and Constance. Yaris loiters in the doorway, watches him nervously. They’ve screwed them over again, stole something important out from under them and very nearly took Constance out with it, and Yaris understands the sentiment of anger, but then… “Fuck all of them. They’re all scum. Every last one of them.”

He walks out. He doesn’t know when Martyn notices he’s gone, he doesn’t know what comes next in their conversation about how every Tykavli is always bad, evil and deserves death. He doesn’t care. 

He packs his bags. He walks off the ship. He disappears into Station Freta and loses himself in a club, somewhere far away where no one will find him.

Martyn finds him, of course. He always finds him.

“I’ve been worried sick!”

Yaris sits up, rubs a hand over his face. He’s hungover, either from the special brand of drugs he did or the amount of alcohol he poured down his throat in a desperate attempt to forget. 

It’s not Martyn’s fault he doesn’t understand. Yaris hasn’t exactly sat him down and explained that Tykavli is an organisation not a race, that they’re usually child slaves that’re indoctrinated into the culture, that they all have chips in their heads that turn them into monsters, even Yaris. 

He’s still angry. And hurt.

“What’re you doing here?” he says and swings his legs off the bed. He’s passed out in some cheap hotel room, probably blew all his credits on the party the night before, rather than the room. 

“I just said,” Martyn says, “I’ve been worried sick. I thought the Tykavli took you!”

Yaris snorts out a sound of amusement and gets to his feet. He’s still got his pants on, the seams of the leather leaving deep imprints in his washed out skin, and he ambles over to the bathroom to try and get them off and take a piss. “Bit late for that.”

“What?” Martyn says.

Yaris ignores him until he flushes the toilet and leaves the bathroom. He leans in the doorway, looks Martyn up and down. “Is it the hangover or are you just this sexy when you’re angry?”

“I’m not here to fuck,” Martyn spits. “Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been? What if they took you, Yaris?”

Yaris waves him off and plods back towards the bed and his belongings. “I wouldn’t sell you out,” he says, which he realises is the wrong thing to say when Martyn comes out of nowhere, slams him into the wall and pins him there.

“I’ve been worried,” Martyn snarls in his face. Yaris shoves against him, fights, but Martyn’s bigger and stronger and he keeps him pinned, one hand grabbing his face to make him meet his eyes. “What is wrong with you?

“What’s wrong with you?!” Yaris bites back in anger. “All Tykavli are scum?! All of them? Do you think there’s no others like me that’re just waiting for the first opportunity to get out? Or are they scum too? Am I?” He doesn’t realise how much his voice is wavering until Martyn’s face softens and he draws back. That’s worse somehow, so Yaris tries to get past him but Martyn grabs him by the arm, bounces him back into the wall and pins him there again, far less rough this time but still holding him in place.

“I didn’t mean that,” Martyn says. “I was just angry. Running my mouth.”

“Yeah, well, it hurt,” Yaris says. He almost feels himself get smaller. “It really hurt.”

“Okay,” Martyn says, “I’m sorry.”

Unfortunately for both of them, Yaris has no idea how to handle an apology. He’s not used to apologies. He’s used to pain, followed up with the declaration that he should’ve been stronger and that if he was stronger he wouldn’t have to struggle to deal with pain, he’d just be okay. Accepting, even. He should probably even say thank you for the pain, no matter why it was applied to him.

He doesn’t know how to thank Martyyn for pain, at least not the emotional kind, and it he doesn’t know how to accept an apology. 

“Okay,” he says and Martyn looks at him, almost hurt. Well, good. Yaris is hurt too. They can both wallow in their hurt pain because there’s no way Yaris will ever apologise for hurting Martyn, because he just doesn’t know how. So where does that leave them? Yaris doesn’t know.

“Are you coming back or what?” Martyn says, hands stuffed deep in the baggy pockets of his pants. Yaris isn’t sure how those baggy pants that show little to none of his figure look so good on him, but they always do. 

“You want me to?” He doesn’t mean to sound surprised, he really doesn’t, yet here he is, looking at him with wide eyes. 

“Yes?” Martyn says. “Why wouldn’t I want you to come back? I don’t understand.”

“I’m Tykavli scum,” Yaris spits. He’s not angry anymore but he’s masking his hurt under a thick layer of faux rage. Martyn, of course, sees right through him.

“Yeah, and you’ve never had a home,” Martyn says. Yaris feels called out. He feels seen. He feels naked and it has nothing to do with the fact he hasn’t pulled a shirt on yet. “So you don’t understand how home works.”

“Yeah? How’s that?” Yaris snaps.

Martyn sighs so hard his chest expands and his height goes up an inch or two, then he sags back down, meets Yaris’ eyes and says, “You’re always welcome back.”

Yaris doesn’t buy that for a moment. “Bullshit,” he says.

“It’s true,” Martyn says. “It’s not bullshit.”

“So if I shot you,” Yaris says, “you’d welcome me back with open arms?”

“You wouldn’t shoot me,” Martyn says.

“I would totally shoot you,” Yaris replies and he means it. He’d totally shoot Martyn. There are definitely situations in which he would shoot Martyn. Just nowhere lethal. He’d probably aim for an arm or a leg or maybe a shoulder. He wouldn’t shoot to kill, but Martyn doesn’t need to know that.

“Well,” Martyn says, “if you shot me and I lived, I’d expect nursemaiding! And if I died, well, Speeta would be yours so…” He shrugs. “It wouldn’t really matter.”

That catches Yaris off guard and he swivels around from where he’d been reaching for his shirt to look at Martyn in confusion. “Wait, what?”

“What?” Martyn says.

“You gotta slow down, back up,” Yaris says. “Speeta would be what?

“Yours,” Martyn says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world, which it absolutely one hundred percent no question about it is not.

“Mine,” Yaris says, blinking slowly. “How? What? Doesn’t she just go back to Constance if something happens to you?”

“No?” Martyn looks as confused as Yaris feels now. “Why would she go back to Constance?”

“Well… she’s Ra’s sister ship,” Yaris says. “I figured…” He’s not sure what he figured. Did he figure that Constance would link the two ships up again and fly both off into a nebula? Or? “I thought Neval would have her!”

“Why would Neval have her?” Martyn says. “Why would Constance give a whole other ship to her girlfriend? What?”

In hindsight, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but nor does the life Yaris has found himself in. 

“So if you die,” Yaris says, “I get Speeta?”

“Yeah,” Martyn says.

“If I murder you,” Yaris says, slow and deliberate as though Martyn’s walnut sized brain won’t understand what he’s saying if he doesn’t take it a syllable at a time, “I get Speeta?”

“Sure,” Martyn says.

“Does that not strike you as a weirdly idiotic policy?” Yaris says.

“Probably,” Martyn says, “but you’re not going to murder me.”

Even Yaris isn’t sure of that. “You literally can’t know that.”

“Sure I can,” Martyn says, “I suck dick way too well for you to want that ended.”

He can’t tell if Martyn is being sarcastic, humourous, stupid, or genuinely believes that’s the only reason Yaris hasn’t run him through yet. 

“So if you die,” Yaris says, “if I murder you. I get Speeta.”

“I mean, it’s not all listed out in an official will or anything,” Martyn says, “it’s not like I have a lawyer, but I spoke to Constance and told her what I expect. Same as she expects Ra to go to Neval.”

Hm. Oh. That puts their relationship — or whatever it is — into a whole new light. In fact, it puts it into the lamp of Relationship with a capital R. They’re doing a Relationship.

“Like Neval and Constance…” Yaris says.

Martyn seems to realise what he said too and he folds his arms. “I mean I guess.”

“Are you seriously backing out now you’ve said that?” Yaris says.

“No,” Martyn says, then, “Maybe. Possibly. Depends.”

“On what,” Yaris says.

“How you feel about it!” Martyn exclaims.

“I feel good about taking your head off and walking off with my new ship,” Yaris says.

“I’m going home,” Martyn replies, turning away.

“No, wait.” Yaris catches his elbow, turns him back towards him. “I wasn’t… I’ve never done this before.”

“‘This’?” Martyn says. 

“Yeah!” Yaris says. “This!”

“‘This’ meaning?”

Is he dumb or is he faking? Yaris can’t tell. “Whatever it is we’re doing,” Yaris says, “that leaves me with Speeta if you die.”

“If you murder me, too,” Martyn says cheerily and Yaris decides he’s definitely faking because he’s run out of the ability to have emotions without panicking. Yaris can relate.

“I’m serious,” Yaris says. “I like what we have.”

Martyn softens. “I like what we have too,” he says. “Especially when it’s both of us on Speeta and neither of us are dead or murdered.”

“You’re such an idiot,” Yaris says and Martyn grins. 

“I know,” he says. “Your idiot though.” He flounces out and Yaris opens his mouth then closes it again, unsure how to respond to that. He can’t chase after him, he’s still not wearing a shirt and there’s no way he’s leaving his belongings to get stolen by housekeeping, so he takes his time, gets dressed, collects his things, and when he gets back to Speeta Martyn is waiting for him, feet up on the console, reading off a tablet.

“You good?” Yaris says, leaning in the doorway and looking at him.

“Am now you’re home,” Martyn says. “Stop running away from me.”

“I’ll do my best,” Yaris says in response and before he can amble back to his room he pauses, turns back and says. “Gonna toss my shit into your room. Got a problem with that?”

Martyn doesn’t even pause. “Only if you snore,” he says.

“I never snore.” Yaris grins to himself and wanders to their room. 

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