letsdropin: (It's complicated (cap: Reid))
Reid Garwin ([personal profile] letsdropin) wrote2010-09-03 04:09 pm

[profile] just_muse_me 34. (Part I)

1. In 300 words, write about 'deceit'.

Reid Garwin is an aspiring young doctor, blond, vivacious, a little too sarcastic for a lot of people's tastes, all blond hair and blue eyes and competency and laughter and surprising sharp edges, the best internist diagnostic in at least half the state already. A little random in his personal life, but never allowing that to get in the way of his work.

Pogue Parry has a garage for the motorbikes of the spoiled, managing through recessions and soaring through the better times. Living the life with his girlfriend, his fascinatingly fit pale body a good offset for her fascinatingly beautiful dark one whenever they show up around town - or other towns.

Tyler Simms is the heartthrob of a teacher at the prestigious boarding school, teaching English and coaxing his students to read through the sometimes difficult material half with soft-spoken, steady arguments and half with the fact that some of them would do much to earn a smile from him, the kind that makes those forget-me-not blue eyes glow a little at them. Not even the fact that he lives with his boyfriend slows any of his admirers down.

Caleb Danvers is a researcher of history, living with his boyfriend, Chase Collins, another young doctor, this time pediatrician, and the little girl they are raising between them, weak, disabled, but glowing with the love they both give to her.

Normal young men, or, well, normal for Massachusetts.

Except, not quite, the bond between them much deeper than growing up or schooling together, each's effort to not careen down the dark road they share putting the lie to the lives everyone else sees.

Resisted addiction, a secret to preserve their lives.

They are witches, and knowledge is the first power they knew, but not the only.

After all, magic exists.


2. Write about one of the most difficult decisions you've made in your life.

It was one thing to know about it, and a whole different thing to know.

All their lives, they'd been told, and warned. With words, with how Caleb's dad had been. Yelling at each other, well, well mostly Calleb yelling at him. You keep going like this, when you Ascend, you'll be as good as dead! and the like. Seeing first Caleb, and then Pogue, though slightly less, get those slightly haunted expressions, now and again, after they'd turned eighteen.

But nothing, nothing, could have prepared him for this.

Caleb was back home. He had muffled his excuses after school, and there had been something in his tone that cut through even Reid's excitement, and he nodded and shrugged, the quiet snideness swallowed up against the difficulty he could as good as see that the older boy was even talking through. "Be careful, okay? Please, Reid..."

"Yeah, yeah. Don't worry about it, git."

The brown eyes had leveled a look at him... but there had been gratitude, too. It gave him a bit of a shiver; it wasn't enough to frighten him.

Pogue had said he'd be here, except when Tyler looked up from the computer screen, his eyes suddenly wide and scared because the hour had come, they could hear the blond's and Kate's voices in their too-big-a-number-for-comfort-th fight. She probably had asked to come, too. The thought flashed through Reid's mind, and then, suddenly, it disappeared.

Replaced by pain.

Dimly, he was aware that he'd started screaming, and the even more scared look on Tyler's face before his eyes grew dark and the sliver of power he Used to contain the sound--

He could see that power.

And it was beautiful.

There were no words he knew about it. Through the pain flooding into his body, the magic... there was the magic. The power.

Everything was the power.

Even the pain was the power, blowing his body apart like a thousand hurricane winds all at once, hot and cold and everything in-between, it was the power. And it was beautiful, too.

Between the screams, his breaths in were gasps at the glory of it.

And then it was agony.

And then it was over.

He was curled in on a heap on the floor, and he hadn't been there moments ago. Or was it hours ago? He wasn't sure. Probably moments, because Tyler had just gotten up from his chair, not come that much closer.

The bouncy ball he'd been playing with, off the wall above the door across from his bed had rolled away, he could see it tucking Tyler's bed-cover in where it trailed to the floor, oh God, how he could see.

The power...

It was everything. He could still see the shape as he always had, of course, the familiar, room, Tyler... But it was all shifted a bit sideways, brighter, incredibly vivid, at the same time.

Where he had always thought his best friend's eyes were blue, now he realized that he didn't even have a word for their color. He wasn't sure a word existed. Unless Tyler's dad had come up with one, or something. Except he thought that maybe if Tyler's mood changed, the color would, too. Because... because the power let him see how things were interconnected, too. The warmth of the keys where Tyler's fingers had been a moment ago. The trace on the floor where his chair had scraped.

The spell wrapping the room in silence. Ohhh...

He reached a hand, just to direct the power, and 'touched' the weave of that. It resonated in a faint quiver that was almost a taste, all around.

The little ball that belonged in his hand.

He started to call it there.

"Reid!"

The blond head whipped around to his friend, all-black eyes widening. He hadn't expected sound to feel like that, running through all of him. Or maybe it was because it was his name. Or maybe it was because the single word meant many more words. It was like an electric shock with the gentleness of a tender caress. And it resonated. And as the pure sensation of it faded, the layered meanings got through to him.

Power down.

Please.

His lips parted, helplessly.

Because it felt so good, and so amazing, and so right.

Thy powers will kill thee.

The words from the Book of Damnation swam up in his mind.

He might have wept. The arguments fought out in his mind. But this is right. But his feels good. But it will drain me. But it would be leaving the rest behind. But I want to. But I want to live. But I want to live! But--

But I want to live.

Being like this was the easiest thing in his life.

Letting go was the most freaking difficult one, hands down. And he'd done some difficult things, well, sort of, before, too.

This was another kind of agony, this time one that he inflicted on himself. He slumped, crying with the loss of it, curled in around his knees, tightly.

Then Tyler was there, warmth against his back, arms holding him and soft lips on his temple. "Reid... Reid... you okay? Hey, talk to me, man, look at me."

He opened his eyes, and knew they were not black, or even fire-tinged anymore. "You can," he rasped, because he wasn't up to facing that question yet, "let it go. 'm done with the shouting."

"Reid..."

Reid just shook his head, and leaned sideways into him. "Give me a moment, Ty. Just... give me a moment." It wasn't that the contact could ease or replace what Using, now, was. But he couldn't handle it alone, not right now.

Tyler seemed to get that part, holding him tight, murmuring against his ear, "it's all right, blondie. It's okay."

A part of him wanted to yell that it wasn't, that it wouldn't be until he was fully alive again.

But he stomped on it and just slumped against the younger boy, moments before Pogue burst in, eyes wide and worried on the two of them in their heap on the floor.


3. Write about a heart that wouldn't quit.

She is tiny and she happens in his life when he has given up. Given up on trying to figure out life, given up on trying to find anybody for himself. Well, no, he has his boys, but somebody for him, like they have. Even if far from smoothly... hell. Both Tyler and Pogue have had to deal with being left and then the person in question returning. And Caleb... yeah, that is even more complicated.

But that's still different from how Reid is. He doesn't come short of expectations. Quite the opposite, he comes beyond that, and people move on because he's too much of a handful. Figuratively.

It shouldn't be that much of a problem, should it? Except each time, it has taken a little bit of him, of his already low faith in himself. (It seems high; it never was, not with the way his mother always was. Even if his friends make it more real.) Until he's running dry, rubbed raw and bleeding, hopeless.

He has his boys, he has his work. He'll stick to that, he figures.

Except, there she suddenly is.

She has a much better reason, withal, to be giving up. But instead of that, she holds on. And, even more, she actually sticks by him, drawing him out of the funk, despite what despair makes him believe, reinforcing, in a different way, what his boys tell him. Ending up on long walks with him that he enjoys way more than he'd thought possible not that long ago.

Until the day he asks if he may kiss her, because he wants to. He didn't think he would, again.

***

You cannot tell, by looking at her or talking to her, how bruised and battered she truly is. Hurt to the core by those who were supposed to nurture and protect her, three different kinds of betrayal, the kind that will never go away in truth.

You cannot tell, even if by some chance you see the visible scars remaining.

Although Reid gets the edges of the pain of it. Not from the scars themselves; from the anxiety that she tries to keep in check, around the scars.

She hasn't given up, though.

She hasn't given up on the belief that people can be good. That relationships can go right. That she can be content with what she has, somehow, one day.

(Or maybe she had given up, he thinks one day when he knows the whole story. But not given up far enough not to reach for help, not to reach for reassurance that holding on to hope is right.)

It is how she gives him a chance. It is how she stands him, at times, his own quirks all over the place as they are.

It is how when trouble comes to try to take her away, she grabs the gun pointed at her and shoots back, cost as it may pain to somebody she still cares for, despite all.

It is how in the peace of French countryside, her eyes can glow beyond the expected contentment and into happiness, brilliant and complete.

Because she never gave up.

***

Reid never thought how much it matters to him--

No. He never consciously did. Never allowed himself to truly consider the alternative. But it always mattered.

Almost more than breathing.

But then, Tyler never wavers. He may nudge, at times, press, complain, even honestly. But he never gives up on the belief in his friends. No matter what.

No matter if they falter. No matter if they fall. No matter if they run him through the grinder of their own issues.

Well, no, it's usually Reid who does that to him. Caleb, sometimes, very seldom. Mostly Reid.

But when Reid gives that sideways look, the one that means, yes, I've-got-an-idea, in the brief instant before the uh-oh-what-now reaction gets tugged on, Tyler's lips part, and his eyes widen, and the color rises a bit in his cheeks. Because he knows that his friend won't fail to come up with something interesting, something spectacular, no matter how it may seem along the way and how discouraged Reid may get with himself in the middle of it, or whatever.

Tyler never gives up on him.

Not as a friend.

And, in the time when his own heart batters wildly in his chest...

Not as a lover.

***

Reid cannot say how grateful he is, even if his words pour out in perfect ease for always.

It's more than words can hold, after all.


4. Weave a story that revolves around cliché "drown your sorrows".

If you ask Reid, he will tell you that he has no sorrows. He will mean it, too, and no matter how hard you press him, the story won't change. There may be shit he doesn't like coming down; he may even to being briefly unhappy with something. Pissed off, well, that, few people can mistake, even if he won't really start yelling. Pushing people around, yes. Yelling... no.

But sorrows? Things that stick around and upset him, or show up in the small hours of the morning and gnaw at him, over and over again? No, of course not. Shut up, Tyler. That was one time and doesn't count. And that. And that. And...

ANYway, nope, no sorrows.

He's a funny guy, Reid is. Sharp, and dirty, and abrasive, and far, far from inoffensive, but still, the smart-ass, funny remark will come to him way more easily than the whine (by far) or complaint; and his offenses sting that much more for being based on truth, sometimes the kind you don't want to hear, than being purposefully, made-up hurtful. Makes them all that more difficult to field easily, but, well, that's the way he is.

And oh, how so very easy it is for him to laugh at things. Laugh so loud and so long that any other things showing up in his head can be outshouted, silenced, or at least muted enough or talked on top of enough to take the sting away. He tells himself so, at any rate.

Besides, who'd be interested in hearing-- oh, never mind, look at that picture, now wouldn't you be a thousand times better if he drew mustache on it, hmm?

And if there's truth enough in his jokes or pranks to make you wonder if they are jokes - well, sometimes wonder, if you're paying attention - so what?

Besides, if there were sorrows - and there aren't! - the usual methods of drowning them would be such a crappy idea. After all, addiction is lurking right around the corner for each of them. No, really. Just look at Caleb's mother, that's drowning her sorrows away, and to hell with her son. Well, not quite, she does care about him a whole lot, but it should have been the parent caring for the teenager, you know, not the other way around. And everybody knows how things have been.

(And when he was little enough to be sitting at his father's feet while the adults were talking, or watching TV, or whatever, Joseph would try to hide the class of amber in his hand from the line of sight of his son. Not that he drank every night, but. Later, Reid would never know if the tumbler was there to dull the need for... or caused by, Meredith, or - well, something else.)

That is not to say that Reid's a teetotaler, duh, of course not. Give him a bottle of tequila and a good party and he'll set things on fire. Sometimes only figuratively. Or a good bottle of wine - or three - for an involved date. Or-- you know, we're not even going to go into creative cocktail making. Or we'd be here next month still.
But that's not the same, not if it's not because he cannot resist (either craving), not if it's not every day, not if he keeps on refusing to drink when he's alone. It's being a part of a party, sharing fun shit with your friends, not drowning anything.

Really. Not even for a moment.

And while on the topic of sharing fun shit...

Well, there is sex.

Well, no, first there's the whole physical contact thing. Yes, Reid will cling to those that allow it. Be it an arm slung around somebody's shoulders, or leaning in when then sling-arm him, or a random hug turning into burrowing into (or, in the case of girls or even smaller than him guys, burrowing around) people... yeah, clinging. Kind of like people will just up and leave him behind and go pursue their own stuff--

Not like they don't.

All but his boys, that is, but he's the last person to take something like that for granted. Not when he's just done something wrong, as per Caleb, again.

Anyway. Then there is sex.

As a rule, that's not a heavy, involved affair which ties people down to him. He's the perfect rebound guy, or a one-night-stand guy. He'll enter it cheerfully, and if he knows you mean no strings attached, he'll attach no strings. Or he will - it's easy for him to fall in love, you see. And he won't fight it, because, really, how much better is the world when the whole thing is running through your veins. And it's easy for him to have affection even if the whole love thing isn't working out. Genuine, if - of course - sharp and edged and complicated affection.

Not that those dull the edges of things that sometimes need dulling the edges of.

But it's when he is hot and sweaty and turned on and pounding away (or being pounded away at) with honest, all-out abandon, when he blows up so hard that his knees are genuinely shaking and his ragged breaths alone can make somebody (well, certain somebodies) climax that things also stop biting at him, stop, even if just for a little while, worrying at the edges of his soul, and all is well.

No, he's not a sex addict, or maniac, or anything like that. But he is... enthusiastic. Then again, nobody really complains about his performance. Or, well, hasn't since he really got the hang of it at seventeen.

Reid Garwin doesn't have sorrows to try to not see through the bottom of a bottle; he certainly doesn't go out to drown anything yet more literally (he likes being a good swimmer, even if he's not quite Pogue's and Caleb's level).
But there is... this, and that, and the other... that the few people who actually pay attention without being distracted by the shiny or the sharp know are signs (sometimes) that things aren't going too well.

But that's okay.

He doesn't have to deal with any of it alone, not when he looks back at shit at the end of the day (or week. or year). And even if he doesn't always say it...

He is grateful for - and to - the people who actually stick around in his life. Who tolerate his idiocies and stand him to hang around. Those who see things, too, without him ever having to talk about them. Or even that he does talk about them.

There's no drowning bad shit quite like losing oneself in a pair of caring eyes, anyway.


5. List seven reasons to turn down a marriage proposal.

... like somebody will go on proposing to me, I mean, usually it's people opting to have A Talk with me to tell me they're heading in a direction opposite from the one I'm moving, so, proposing? Or if they do, I'll end up turning it down-- oh well. Maybe. Dunno. Let's see a few that may be valid. Mind you, they would be valid for specific situations, not, you know, generally. And with some people, not a single one of them would be even remotely valid.

- ... really? I heard you were already taken.
- You are too much like my mom. What was I thinking in the first place? Oh, wait. I have a strong reason to believe this will not end well - and it won't take long to get there, either.
- I'm a prospective self-destructive addict less than half a step away from the object of addiction every single moment of my life, and if we have children, your first son will be one, too. Um. I might not be what you think. In case you don't know.
- And since when are you the kind of guy that does weddings? How do I know you won't change your mind about it again in a year or two?
- I have a bad feeling about this. Like, a really, really bad feeling. I like you, but I don't think I will ever be able to love you. Doesn't sound like a propitious beginning, does it.
- Come on, you don't even get my jokes or get turned on by what I do. I get marrying for money, but I don't subscribe to that newsletter, sorry.
- Sorry, can't do it. I guess I'm not as much the commitment type as either of us thought.

Muse: Reid Garwin
Fandom: The Covenant
Word Count: 300 + 1022 + 758 + 1129 + 300