power_absolute: (Can't even save myself)
He'd washed his face in Sarah's room, slowly, washing away the tracks of tears, though not much could be done about the redness. They'd curled back up on her bed, her head pillowed on his chest as she tried to convince him she could be there for him, help him through this, be whatever he needed her to be.

The problem was, of course, he didn't know what he needed right now. There were tastes in his mouth and skin under his fingers that he didn't recognize, that compelled and repelled at the same time and it all was terribly twisted up in sense memory, if not in thought. She felt different. He felt different, and it wasn't right to sully her with his difference...she'd already suffered so much because of him.

In the end, they agreed to a break to try and figure things out. She'd been exposed to so much, things she'd never anticipated, when all she had wanted was to get ready for Harvard. They were caught up and tangled in the secrets, and his mother's warning that he shouldn't have ever involved her rang louder than it had before. He was still here, if she needed him. She was still here, if he needed her. But both of them were too shell-shocked for romance, and the necessary intimacy in attempting to put him back together was too much to ask. She wouldn't say that, of course, but he wouldn't let her, all the same. He touched her cheek, kissed her lightly, and then he left. Things had gone too fast, propelled by Chase's plans, and everyone just needed to breathe.

So he did, leaning against the wall at the turn of the stairs, just breathing. In. Out. It reminded him of the pool table, bringing the balls back down, everything back under control. He knew if he opened his eyes they'd be black, so he didn't, until he could feel the power shift back under control.

When it had, when he could breathe, he walked the rest of the stairs and the hall back to Pogue's room.
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.
power_absolute: (Save me from the dark)
I'd fight for one kiss
On a night like this
You make me feel I could fly, like
I could save the world
Since the night your love saved me
Maybe I can't save the world
But as long as you believe
Maybe I could save the world*

I told her I wouldn't risk her. She couldn't go with me because I wouldn't risk her. It was stupid on a lot of levels, but even then, even with everything he'd done, none of us understood the depth of his power. That she wasn't safe anywhere. I was risking all of them by not having a better plan. By not having any plan. By not going to the families as soon as I knew who Chase was. Pogue's father. Reid's. Tyler's. Any of them might have been able to help at least protect the rest. Maybe they didn't have his power, but they're Ascended at least, and they've been doing this a lot longer than we have.

Even when Mom suggested it, though, I just couldn't involve them. I don't know if that was fear, or arrogance. Or if I thought they'd stop me from doing...whatever it was I thought I was doing. Is it bad that it's almost a blur now? I was operating in panic mode. Keep Sarah safe. Keep Pogue and Kate safe. Keep Chase from getting to Reid and Tyler and my mom and their parents and...over and over it was just there that I had to handle it.

I didn't want to risk her. I don't know why I thought they wouldn't, or couldn't, protect her. They would have tried, the same as Reid and Tyler, but they'd have underestimated Chase the same way I did and so it had to be me. That's the only solution I could come up with. He wanted me, so I'd give him me, but not what...Not what he wanted on any level. Not my power and not...that. He'd taken all he was getting.

It was stupid. I know that now. I only got out of there alive because of my father. I only saved her, saved all of them, because of him, and what he gave up. But I didn't think that going in. I didn't understand how strong he was. I figured once I ascended, I could beat him. Everything was going to be all right. We'd gotten so used to thinking we were invincible, that even seeing Pogue in the hospital didn't shake it.

It wasn't goodbye, when I kissed her. I told her I'd see her soon, and I meant it, but I wouldn't risk her. I thought being with me was the risk, that I couldn't protect her if I was distracted. So I kissed her and I put her in Tyler's truck and I figured I was the one Chase wanted, and he'd come for me and I'd handle it and everything would be fine. I drove away from the house still thinking I could beat him. She'd kissed me and she looked at me like I could do anything. With such trust that I would do what was necessary to keep them safe, and then come home to her. And with that kiss, she made me believe it, too.

How could I fail to?

Maybe I wouldn't have. I got a feel for the new power and I was holding my own. I was on my feet, at least. He hadn't squashed me like he gloated he would. But she was there, surrounded by fire and I kept thinking about that kiss and I started to think that she'd been wrong to trust me. Wrong to believe I could do this. He wasn't tiring, and I was.

And then it was over and it wasn't until I got her out of there, saw she was okay, that I realized what had happened. It's funny. That was the first time I actually felt scared. When the panic kicked in. And I keep wondering how many kisses it will take this time before it goes away.

ooc: Hello to rambly boy. I think there was a point in there, but that turned into far more stream of consciousness than coherence in my head. The beauty of 1st person journal entries? lol. Also, he didn't lock this, so feel free to rep if you feel so led. :)

Lyrics by Bon Jovi "Save the World"
power_absolute: (Using)
[Private Journal Entry]

September 13, 2006

It hurt. A sort of rending feeling that made me think he was trying to turn my insides out and twist them around me into a noose. Only he'd dropped his hands and I realized it wasn't him. It wasn't his power tearing me to pieces like it had been. It was mine. It washed the rest away--what he'd done, the bruises, the fractures, the pieces that hurt so much I thought they'd fall off and maybe then the pain would stop.

But all that didn't matter under the new hurt that was laced with exhileration like I'd never felt. Power. We sit there and recite our lessons. It's so seductive. It's addictive. It's your life. You have to control it. They drill them into us and my father was always the spoken and unspoken example held out. Not like that. Not like him. The quiet certainty underneath that he was weak. Addicts always are, right? Too weak to resist, so I had to be stronger. It's in my blood. My heritage.

My power was always greater. I was always stronger magically. Was he? Was my grandfather? Is that in our blood, too? Either way it's always there. Be stronger than they were. Resist that power. Don't give in. Don't be weak and embrace your strength.

It hurt as it grew. As I...growing pains, I guess. And all the words keep repeating in my head now, reminding me of everything else in my family. His power hurt, too, when it came crashing in and merging and twisting inside with mine, but I could handle it better, it seemed, at least then.

Now there's fire under my skin all the time, and I don't know if it's just adjusting or if it will always be like this. Too much power, and I keep listening to everything that they've always said, but something's becoming clearer. The addiction's not just from the psychological rush of being able to do whatever we want. Not just from the thrill of using, or the rush of feeling it leave your body. Yeah, that's there, but we'd all be addicted by the time we turned 18 if that's all it was. But what I'm figuring out is that Mom was wrong. That's not what it is. It comes later, from the release. The sweetness after you let it slide out of you. The few minutes after you've used, when for once nothing hurts.
power_absolute: (Nothing feels right)
Take a look around you, nothingĀ“s what it seems
We're living in a broken home of hopes and dreams

There's a scrap of lace on the dresser in the main bedroom. It looks like a doily, a little out of place in the rugged bedroom with its massive furniture, but a feminine touch to remind anyone who sees it that a woman does still exist, for all that she screams at the world to be forgotten.

He doesn't come in here often. He has his own room at the cabin, big enough to bunk with someone else when all four of them are up here, with the other two in the third room. This one smells like cedar, because Evelyn can't stand the smell of mothballs. She says they remind her of him, decaying in that room.

Only he's not in that room anymore. He's decaying somewhere else. The ceremony was private and quick. A man already dead the past three years couldn't be sent to the funeral home to be embalmed. Monday morning in the cool misty air they'd taken care of it. Caleb had dug the grave, since Gorman's back couldn't handle the strain. It wasn't like they could call the gardeners from the main house.

Caleb pushes it away again, wondering why he's in here, but he doesn't leave. His fingers brush the scrap of lace, picking it up and carrying it with him from the side table where she'd laid it so carefully to the bed in the center of the room. He sits there, holding it, fingers tracing the pattern of roses that were woven through it.

It just looks like doily, but he knows better. She told him once, tears in her eyes from grief and scotch, that it was a piece of her wedding veil. In the pattern of roses are woven all her hopes. Her dreams. Their future. The life they could have had that she's living alone.

He thinks of Sarah and the look in Evelyn's eyes when she came down the stairs. Was it only his imagination that it was pity mingled with the pride? She's so convinced he's just like him. The same promises. The same hopes. The same dreams.

The same power, now, running through him. If his grandfather couldn't resist, if his father couldn't, how can he? He knows she thinks it. For all that it was her doing, he saw the look in her eyes when the last shovelful of dirt fell. She was burying him in there with his father, too broken now to hope for anything else, knowing for certain inside herself that she'd saved him and doomed him in a single act.

Does Sarah think the same thing? He saw the fear in her eyes as the windshield came back together. A flicker, and then gone, and her hands wrapped tight around the hand he'd used to do it. To hold him down? Hold him back? Both of them tight there and clinging and the hand she held, clenching the lace in it now, shakes as he wonders if, like his mother, a scrap of a veil is all she'll be left holding in the end.
power_absolute: (Reflective)
You, I thought I knew you
You, I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me,
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath
Nightswimming ~ REM

The water felt the same as it always had as it closed over his feet, rippling away and splashing those in the next lane with the force of his dive off the block. Somehow, Caleb had expected it to feel different. He wasn't sure how, exactly, but he seemed so very much more aware of everything around him that surely that awareness would affect the water as well?

It didn't.

He settled into an easy stroke, arms slicing through the water that was a little too cold on skin that hadn't warmed up yet. Four strokes then a breath, as always. A voice whispered that he could do more, swim the entire practice without needing air, anything he wanted, really. He pushed it aside and kept to his rhythm.

He'd taken the week off, after his birthday. )
power_absolute: (Using)
They wouldn't have been safe if I'd done it. If I'd given in to Chase's threats, given him what he wanted from me, nothing would have changed except his power levels. And what then, when he felt himself sliding under from it still? He'd have gone after Pogue's power. Reid's. Tyler's. Just sliding through each of us, threatening the people we loved until he had it all.

I couldn't let that happen. I didn't know if I could stop him, but I knew I couldn't give in. He still would have killed Sarah. He liked the feel of it. I don't know about Pogue and Kate. After all, he could use Kate again to get Pogue's power in a few months, though I'm not sure he was thinking that clearly. But my sacrifice wasn't going to "save" them.

He wanted me to be a martyr. Ipswich's own Jesus Christ. But all those centuries of his family living away from the rest of the bloodlines left him not understanding the balance we found. You don't will your power away. It's against the Covenant. His father shouldn't have done so.

Mine shouldn't have either. Twice the power I should have, twice the seduction to use it. I'm holding on, but everything's thrown out of balance. I can't help but wonder if I'm the threat now.
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