It all started when they were 14 years old.
Michael Davies and Arthur Ketch sat atop the roof of Kendricks Academy one warm summer night. This had become quite a habit for the two of them as of late. A note would be passed during the one class they had together - Occult Lore.
It would be a simple note, scribbled on the back of a tissue or a scrap of paper and simply reading: 'Usual Place. 9pm.' Meaning if it somehow ended up in the wrong hands, the note would be meaningless and the recipient would hopefully just toss it away without a second thought.
But to Arthur and Mick, that small scrap of paper spoke a thousand words. It meant: Let's meet on the rooftop tonight at 9. Between the lines a subtle hint to bring a blanket and maybe some food because they could be up there some time.
You see, homosexualaity was against the rules at Kendricks, and being caught in any kind of relationship, gay or straight, resulted in some serious punishment from the headmistress. And their life was hellish enough without the stresses of that being added to it. So the 14 and 15 year olds hid this newfound relationship from everyone that could possibly be a threat to them..and that included Arthur's brother Alexander and Micks best friend Timothy.
The rooftop was their safe haven. The one place in this God forsaken school where they could just be themselves and be together.
So it would come as no surprise that this is where the two found themselves tonight, a shared blanket wrapped around their shoulders as the sat side by side. Their hands were interlaced under the blanket, both holding onto the other as if they were afraid this might all be a dream.
Ketch was the one who spoke up first this time, his prim and proper English accent pitched low and quiet for fear they would be discovered.
"You seem deep in thought tonight Mick. Care to tell me what's on your mind?" The older boy asked, tugging the blanket tighter around their shoulders to keep away the slight chill.
It took Mick a minute to respond as he mulled over his answer, trying to find the right words and stitch them into a sentence that didn't make him sound crazy. Ketch liked that about the dark haired boy. He was smart. Extremely smart. He thought things over before he said them, unlike most people who attended this school.
Mick turned to look up at Arthur, his pale green eyes reflected the moonlight in a way that sent shivers down Arthur's spine. Then a smile spread across the young mans lips and he finally spoke up. "Do you ever think what life could be like if we escaped one day?"
"Escape?" Ketch asked with a raised eyebrow. "As in...if we left the Men of Letters and did something else?" He asked with a slight tilt of his head.
Mick nodded slightly. "Yeah. Exactly that. If circumstances were different and we lived...normal lives, what do you think we would be doing?" He asked. The younger man moved a little until he was settled between Arthur's legs, his back pressed to the other boys chest.
Arthur wrapped his arms around Micks waist and rested his head on Micks shoulder with a quiet hum of thought.
"I can't say I've actually thought about it much to be honest...but clearly you have, so, what would you be doing if you weren't here?" He asked, looking over Micks shoulder and out over the London skyline.
Mick, unlike Arthur, had thought about this a lot. In fact, in his mind he had it all set out. Knew exactly what he wanted to do and where he would want to be if he wasn't here. Of course, he had Arthur factored in to each part of this life he had dreamed up for himself, he wanted to be with the older boy forever after all.
"I think I'd be going to a normal school...doing some kind of regular degree...maybe English or history? They both sound incredibly interesting...then one day we would maybe get a house together. I would be a teacher at an Academy somewhere...you would be some kind of world famous architect…" he trailed off with a small smile, staring off over the beautifully lit up London skyline.
Though Arthur would never show anyone but Mick, he was an incredibly good artist. He had a little sketch book that he would fill with drawings. Everything ranging from cityscapes to little portraits of the people around him, there was certainly a few of Mick in his little book.
"Or maybe you'd just be an artist...I don't know. But I do know that we would have this nice house with a garden, maybe some pets. Probably cats because they require less attention." He shrugged a little. "We could get married, since not everywhere had banned gay relationships like Kendricks. Maybe one day we could even adopt. It would be perfect."
Mick knew he was starting to sound a bit like a gushing teenage girl, and a bright red blush creeped up his neck and across his cheek when he felt and heard Ketch laugh behind him, embarrassment washed over him and he started to think maybe he should have kept all that to himself.
But then Ketch stopped laughing and pressed a soft kiss to Micks shoulder, nuzzling a little against the younger boys neck. "I'll be happy to go wherever you are. And I certainly like the sound of this little dream world you've cooked up in that incredible brain of yours." Arthur said softly.
Mick closed his eyes and tilted his head back until it was resting on Arthur's shoulder. Their very own little dream world.
And it was perfect.
Song Listened to: Million Dreams - Greatest Showman
That rooftop remained their safe place and their escape for many years to come.
When Ketch was made to kill his twin brother Alexander, he and Mick met on the rooftop and Mick held Arthur through sobs and curses to God. It was the first and the last time that he had seen Arthur so emotional. Following that night, it was like the older boy had shut off all his emotions, hid them firmly behind a wall he had built in his mind.
Arthur may have changed...but he still cared deeply for Mick and was always making sure his boyfriend knew just how much he was loved. This came in many different forms. Sometimes it was just a long drawn out make-out session on the roof, followed by stargazing and whispered, "I love you's" exchanged through the quiet of the night.
Ketch had never struggled for money, he came from a rich high society family that had been members of the Men of Letters for centuries. But he knew Mick came from nothing. So he made sure to spoil him when it came to birthdays and Valentines day. His gifts and cards were always subtle, and he never signed the cards with his name, just a simple little 'From <3' just incase they were to be discovered.
On the night of Micks 16th birthday, Arthur invited him up to the roof as they usually did. Only this time, the 17 year old had been busy trying to make this a birthday that Mick would never forget. The rooftop had been covered with a pile of blankets and pillows, there were candles placed a safe distance away and a little picnic basket full of food in the centre of the blanket.
Mick was at a loss for words when he saw it all. He stood there utterly overwhelmed by it all, mouth agape and eyes darting between Arthur and the blankets on the floor.
"You did this?" He asked, of course it was a stupid question. Who else would have gone to these lengths for Micks birthday? There was nobody that cared for him like Ketch did. "I bloody love you Arth." Mick said as his shocked expression turned into a huge grin.
Ketch stepped forward, pulling his boyfriend up into a soft and sweet kiss, hand gently caressing the hair at the nape of Micks neck before he pulled back with a soft smile. "Happy 16th, love." He said before guiding him down to sit on the mass of blankets.
Once the food was all eaten and the candles blown out on the little birthday cupcake, Ketch shifted a little and pulled out a small bag of gifts from the basket, handing it over to Mick with a quiet and soft "Got these for you."
Mick wasted no time in tearing into the gifts. He had gone so long without any birthday or Christmas presents as a child that he still got excited and surprised when he received them now. He tore away the silver wrapping paper on the first two gifts to reveal a gold pen with his name inscribed into the side, and a leather strapped Rolex watch which must have cost an absolute fortune! Under the face of the watch there was a simple etching of '<3' which had kind of become their thing lately.
The last gift wasn't wrapped. It was a leather bound notebook and didn't seem like anything special until Mick opened it up and saw the note scribbled on the inside in Ketch's neat writing.
'For my clever boy. I bought you this notebook so you can document all of those little dreams we come up with for our future. Then, hopefully when they become real, and we make it out of this organisation to live those lives, we'll have a point of reference. Our own little scrapbook of dreams and things to come. I love you - Arthur.'
Mick couldn't fight the grin that spread across his lips once again and he threw himself at Ketch, hugging the other boy tightly. "Thank you. Its perfect. You're perfect." Mick said as he pulled back and looked into the deep brown eyes in front of him.
The smile that Arthur returned to his lover didn't quite meet his eyes, for now that Mick was 16, the real Men of Letters tests were about to begin. Mick would have to kill or be killed, and Arthur wasn't quite sure how it was going to affect Mick.
One thing that he was sure on was that he would be there for his boyfriend no matter what. He would do whatever it took to protect him.
Hey everyone! Thanks for the kudos and support in the last chapter! <3
The song I listened to while writing this chapter was Everlong (Acoustic Version) by the Foo Fighters.
Comments are much appreciated!
Things got a little crazy when Ketch turned 18.
He was officially an adult now, but when most 18 year olds would be out getting totally smashed and celebrating the fact they were officially an adult, Ketch was given his first assignment.
The Men of Letters had decided that he would be a perfect assassin and would be the perfect soldier against supernatural threats. His training was complete and after this assignment he would be welcomed into the ranks as an official Man of Letters Operative.
Though part of his was excited about this, the other part was worried about Mick.
Arthur would shipping off up to Scotland to help take care of this troublesome cell of Sirens that had settled themselves into the waters surrounding Orkney. He didn't know how long he would be gone, but he did know that it was Micks birthday in a few months and his boyfriend would be turning 18 and would be assigned his own task to prove his worth.
They had said their goodbyes the night before, perched up on the edge of the rooftop, hands clasped tightly together and a few bottles of beer between them. A few muttered 'I love yous' and promises to stay in touch as much as possible were passed and then they had parted ways with a heated kiss.
When Ketch left for Orkney the next morning, he noticed a text come through on his phone just as he entered his car. It simply read '<3' and was sent from Micks number. Arthur smiled at the heart on his screen then glanced upwards, eyes quickly scanning the rooftop and then landing on the shadowy figure that stood in their usual spot.
He replied with his own little heart, glancing back at his lover one last time then getting into his car and driving off.
Things were boring without Arthur around.
Mick was well and truly alone now. He had murdered Timothy. And that made him swear that he would never ever get close to anyone but Ketch again. So he didn't even try to make any friends for those few months before he graduated.
Graduation...was a lot less intense than he had expected. He was called into Dr Hess's office on the morning of his 18th birthday and given his first assignment.
He had known from the start it wasn't going to be anything near as badass and cool as what Ketch had been given. Mick had always been much more bookish, better at logistics, spellwork and lore than most people he had studied with.
That's why Ketch always called him his Clever Boy.
So when Hess handed him a passport and boarding pass and told him he was going to Vatican City to train with their lore and spellwork expert, he was thrilled!
When he was told it would be for a whole year...that excitement seemed to ebb away. He would be away from Ketch for a whole year. There would be no more secret rooftop meetings filled with heated kisses and plots to escape this life.
He would be alone again.
Three years. It took three years before they could finally spend more than a weekend together.
Ketch had been counting down the days, marking off each one in his diary until finally, they had their first long term assignment together.
They were being sent to Japan to work together and take down a group of Tengu that had taken over a shrine in Kyoto. Mick would fly in from London where he had spent the last year working on Men of Letters logistics and strategy, and Ketch would fly in from the Middle East where he had been on the trail of some vampires that had turned up nothing.
They were finally going to be reunited.
Arthur had arrived first and had waited in the Airport Arrivals lounge for almost four hours before he saw a tired and weary looking Mick push his way through the crowds of the London arrivals. He looked different to the Mick that Arthur had left 3 years ago.
Mick was now 21, and Arthur was 22. But both of them had seen and done things way above and beyond their years. Micks usually clean shaven jaw was now covered in short, dark stubble. And it really suited him. Despite everything he had been through, his lover's green eyes were still wide and full of hope as he emerged from the crowd and they found Ketch.
Arthur couldn't help himself. He couldn't hold himself back any longer and he broke out into a run, sprinting towards Mick and pulling the other man into the tightest hug he possibly could before planting a long and passionate kiss to Micks lips.
When the pair finally pulled away from each other, panting hard for breath, Mick was the first to speak as a big grin spread across his face. "Oh god, Arth I missed you so bloody much." The younger man said, voice dripping with emotion at finally being back in his lovers arms.
"I missed you too love. But we're together now and that's what matters. We have two whole weeks before we have to report back to London...so let's make them count." Arthur said softly, taking a step backwards then clasping Micks hand in his own.
The pair walked off towards the exit of the airport, not caring at all about all the whispers and the people staring at them.
All they cared about was that they were together. And after all this time, they still loved each other.
Mick couldn't have asked for more.
Song Listened to: Waiting for Love- Avicii