Sep. 26th, 2006

power_absolute: (This House is not a Home)
[ooc: *blatantly ignores graphic novel "canon" with them meeting at 13 and sticks to movie canon wherein they "grew up together"* Please. Their parents would SO have raised them together and those boys do not act like they've only been friends for 4-5 years.]

December, 1996

He'd worried all week that the ice wouldn't be thick enough on the pond. The Danvers were hosting the party solely because of that pond and if it wasn't thick enough, he'd convinced himself that the party would be ruined. Everyone was bringing their skates. Didn't they realize that?

Caleb eyed his parents dubiously and doubted it. They were too...something. Being grown ups doing grown up things that seemed to involve whispering and holding hands and he'd even caught them kissing under the mistletoe. He slipped out every day to check the ice like Gorman had showed him, running back to the caretaker to report what he'd found and looking at him fretfully until the day before the party Gorman had finally nodded and said it was thick enough to skate on.

That was before the rain came. It fell in torrents all night, warmer than it should be and when they went down to the pond in the morning, Gorman shook his head. The boys would have to find something else to do. But the rain had left nothing but mud and slush in its tracks, and Caleb saw the promise of skates and sledding and snowball fights fading rapidly. Gorman tried to reassure him that they could do all that later in the winter, but Caleb pulled away and ran inside. It was Tyler's birthday and he'd wanted it to be perfect. Tyler was the youngest and with a birthday so close to Yule--Christmas, he corrected himself--Caleb had always thought he probably got a little gypped, lost in the shuffle of the holiday preparations with not enough for just him. The rest of them had turned eight to big parties with ponies for Caleb and harvest treats for Pogue and Reid with pumpkins and hayrides. Tyler deserved something equally special.

He was panting by the time he got to the house, and his wet shoes made him skid as he hit the wood of the hall. Warm, strong hands caught him up, keeping him from falling and lifting him high. It was a slightly undignified position for Caleb's new grown up age of eight, but he wrapped his arms around his father's neck anyway.

"The ice melted and it's too thin to skate on." He was a big boy now and wasn't going to cry, but his eyes were luminous when they looked up at his father.

"Is that so?" William's voice was deep, laced with amusement, though he looked back solemnly at Caleb.

"And the snow's gone, too." Not all of it, but near enough.

"I think I can probably do something about that."

"William..." Evelyn had come into the hall, and gave her husband a look Caleb didn't understand.

"The boys will be here soon, and the ice is too thin." He didn't look at her as he swung Caleb more on to his back, heading back outside.

"William!" Caleb glanced back, eyes more troubled at her look than by the ice.


But William didn't stop, moving down to the ice and swinging Caleb down to the ground. His eyes flashed in the scary way they did sometimes and he put his hand on the ice. Caleb clung to his coat, watching as the ice thickened, spreading out from his father's hand all the way across the pond.

Gorman clucked his disapproval, but a look from those black eyes silenced him. The ground under their feet seemed to harden as well, the mud crystallizing. William wrapped his fingers around Caleb's and looked up and to Caleb's delight, snow started to fall.

"There'll be enough for sledding by the time the boys get here," his father promised, looking back down at him as his eyes shifted back to a warm brown.

Caleb grinned and his father laughed, eyes dancing with exhilaration. Evelyn was nowhere to be found when they got back in, but she made her appearance when the other families arrived, smiling, the gracious hostess. The boys played outside until they were soaked through and there was hot chocolate and cake and presents for Tyler. Warm fires and laughter all around made for a lazy evening as their fathers joked and their mothers gossiped and the boys played with all of Tyler's new toys.

It was only the next day that Caleb sensed the change. When the grown-up preoccupation with each other shifted and the house went from quiet warmth to shrieking storms and the sounds coming from his parents' bedroom weren't so soft and loving, but raging words and crashing glass that echoed through too long halls and made the air as cold as the ice on the pond.


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Caleb Danvers

August 2009

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