The evening of Ow: RP log with [profile] lieutenantwitch

May. 5th, 2010 09:51 pm
theirgoldenboy: (Pogue: Backup)
[personal profile] theirgoldenboy
ooc: Picking up shortly after this; same day.

Caleb: *sidles to and snuggles Pogue*

Pogue: *wraps arms around him, holding him close*

Caleb: *after a bit, just curls a little into it, forehead bumping lightly on his shoulder*

Pogue: *sliding fingers through his hair, cradling him close, other hand rubbing over his back, just there and solid and he's got him. he'll hold him as long as he needs to be held*

Caleb: *very softly, while at the same time kind of clinging* Sometimes... I wish I was really a simple kind of person.

Pogue: *soft, slow strokes over his hair, listening, thinking, after a moment* Things would be different, then. Not like this. *even this, the warm, soothing parts*

Caleb: ... *sighs, eyes squeezed shut. That is true. And he can't even get this right. awesome. Voice a little strangled* That's... true. *holding, fingers curling into the back of his shirt*

Pogue: *hugging him a little tighter, one hand rubbing over his back, his shoulder. it's okay. soft, a little worried, but calm and steady voice* I like you the way you are.

Caleb: I.. *small headshake. Doesn't deserve that. But also knows it's true. Just clings* Thank you.

Pogue: *small smile, hugs him tight for a moment, shifts a bit to kiss his forehead* Your complicated takes care of the rest of us. And keeps my dumb ass out of trouble. *faint smile* Your complicated makes you who you are. A really smart, occasionally stupid, inhumanly sweet and chivalrous, and probably the best guy I know. *quiet, and serious*

Caleb: *wants to whimper at all of that, arms tight around his friend. God.* I... *swallows* I just wonder how much I also hurt you in the process. *but faintly, and he shakes his head* Hey, keeping you out of trouble sounds good to me. *deep breath* Don't know about the best guy, though. You looked in the mirror recently?

Pogue: *soft laughter, rolling with the joke* Hey, just because I'm the prettiest... *smiles, rubbing over his shoulder again, a bit, fingers light along the back of his neck* Life hurts. Life is living, you live, you do things, you make mistakes, you get hurt. You fix them. And whatever mistakes you've made, you try to fix. Whatever hurt you know you've done, you try to heal. That makes you good. *quietly* And one or two mistakes here and there doesn't undo all the good you've done in the past. Doesn't take away all the, the camping trips, drives out, parties, conversations, hanging out, messing around... all the times you've been there. Doesn't change any of that. Doesn't change the fact that you're my best friend. Okay?

Caleb: *oh... ow. oh. just curls against him, clinging tight. Shaky breath* I think you just proved my point about being the best guy around. *swallows.* Okay. I'm... ... I'll fix it. And no, none of it goes away. Not ever. *and that's a promise.*

Pogue: *... now really kind of worried, hadn't meant to do that, one hand up cupping his cheek, pulling back to look at him* Hey. *softly* Hey. The only reason it's me telling you this is because this time you're ... aw, man... *softly, hugs him tight again, kisses his forehead* Not ever. Not ever, ever.

Caleb: *Pogue didn't do anything bad! He's just there and reassuring and everything and Caleb's feeling guilty and wallowing way more than he should, but, man. lips work a little before he can find his voice again* It's just way easier to deal with me being hurt than you *and the you is collective; his people* and when I'm the one who's done it... *but relaxing a little* Yeah... yes. Not ever. 'm sorry I've been... a bit out of it recently. *a bit out of the proximity. A bit more distant. All of it*

Pogue: *holding him close, relaxing as he feels Caleb relax a little* I know the feeling. *soft murmur. He can live with being hurt but when something hurts Caleb, Reid, any of them, hell, Caleb should know this, considering* Still... man, I know you got those beautiful broad shoulders and all? But you are putting way too much on yourself. Quit carrying so much, hmm? *softly, gently though. loving* Relax. You've been out of it, you've had reason to be. It's okay. *forgiven, of course, easily* You're still with us. It's okay.

Caleb: *he does know, very well indeed. but it's different when he's the one responsible for it. Very different* I... *half-chokes at the almost-laugh* Man. I didn't think... *deep breath* I didn't think it would be... that easy to do something ... ill-advised. *except 'easy' was not exactly a precise word. It had been... a relatively quick decision?* I am, I'm here. I just wonder how much any of us can trust my judgment. Especially as regards Chase. *swallows, it's still not easy to speak it, even if he's been doing it for weeks* It's why I've been stepping back and letting you decide if something concerns him, instead of... well. *making the decisions himself. ... uh-oh, has he really been that cocky?*

Pogue: *quietly* Taking the lead, like you usually do. Like we're all used to you doing. We were wondering. *doesn't say any more than that, though, on that subject* One mistake doesn't mean your judgment's faulty. It just means you made a mistake. You're not going to make that mistake again, so that's one bad call learned from. And, the rest of it? Before that, how would you say you'd been doing with regards to making decisions, especially as regards Chase?

Caleb: Hey, the world didn't come to an end while I wasn't. *taking the lead. God. But doesn't ask if that means he shouldn't have been in the first place. Not yet. Right now, too afraid of the answer* No? I... I don't know. I was so confident that I wouldn't let my guard down with him... and if the mistake was in the underlying assumption... *still looking down, still head on Pogue's shoulder, though, yes, now that they're talking specifics... something. A little easier* I don't ... know. He seemed to be doing better, you know? Steadier. Concentrating on his work, keeping away from using. Careful with Ginny. Working with us, when there has been a ... *small shrug* an occasion. Pushing and bucking at things at times, but not really trying to break them. And then... what he did. *quietly* The only good thing he could give them, he said, or something to that effect. And he believed it. So... I don't know. *a bit, thinking... trying to think things through, again. It's complicated!* He hasn't managed to fly off the handle since, though.

Pogue: No, but ... *shakes his head slightly, lets it go* So. ... oh. *suddenly figuring it out, or thinking he's figured it out, having some kind of understanding anyway* So... he got close enough to it, pulled himself together enough to realize how really... how crazy he could be. How bad he was acting, and he got scared. I mean... having a kid, that's got to be scary enough for normal people. For someone who ... who does the kind of things he does. He panicked. *strokes Caleb's hair a little* And then you panicked, and fixed him, and that wasn't bad. But afterwards you were scared, too, and you'd been using, and that ... *small shrug. at least, he thinks that what happens, and it seems right?* I could be wrong. But it sounds like what happened is it was just a cascade of people freaking out.

Caleb: *sighs a bit, listens. Nods a tiny bit, and gods, the caressing, the voice. Just. All the signals Pogue is giving him. It's alright. It's going to be okay. They're kind of working* I... something like that, I think. He was tender with Ginny and the baby. He... kind of knows... what needs to be. And decided he couldn't be that good? Something like it. *eyes squeeze tight* Yeah. I ... used. A lot. And I... God, Pogue. I had no idea he wanted anything like that. With me. Took me by surprise, a lot. And... just. *small shudder* For all that at times I have wanted to kill him *even if not that many anymore?* just seeing him on that floor, in a growing pool of blood. It's scary. *even quieter* I don't want him to end up that way again. *long, slow breath* ... so... pretty much, I guess so. Mostly Chase and myself.

Pogue: *still rubbing one hand over his back, sighs* Well. If he knows, he can work towards it. *and that's about as compassionate as he's feeling inclined to be towards Chase at the moment, because he sighs at that next part; he's never brought anyone back from the brink but he can think how hard it would be* I didn't, either, I don't know if anyone did, but... *quietly* They say that coming close to death makes you want to live, or, you know. Stuff like that. People talk about sex and death being tied together all the time. So that part isn't all that surprising, kind of? *especially since Caleb doesn't have the usual american male homophobic tendencies, what with all the shenanigans growing up* And the rest... it's one thing to want to hurt someone, or kill them, because ... but actually having them there, dying? Yeah, I bet it was scary. *hugs tighter* So, no, you weren't thinking clearly. And no, it's not a situation that's likely to come up again, is it? *rubbing his shoulder again* We can make sure you're not alone with him anymore so if he does pull stupid shit like that again, you're not on your own. And the rest... it wasn't a lapse in judgment because your judgment is faulty, Caleb. It was a freaky, bad situation, everyone was stressed, and ... it was a pile up of things. Not something for you to doubt yourself over when things are calmer, more ... usual.

Caleb: *just... snuggles into him, nods a bit. Pogue's words, they work.* He'd better not try that again. The suicide, I mean. I'd... *snorts, frustrated.* I've no idea. But no, not something likely to come up again. I think it was also the shock of finally ... dealing with the reality of Isabel. Something like that. *a bit, just ... breathing in. The comfort, the meaning, everything. Lifts up his head a bit, to finally look at Pogue again* You know. That thing with... after death and clinging to life-affirming things and all, it's actually way more comfortable a way to see things than him harboring secret feelings for me, or something like that. *except. It only mostly explains things, and he knows it.* And it was... holding on to.

Pogue: *smiles slightly when Caleb raises his head again, relieved to see and hear and feel him doing better, more relaxed. calmer. still holding him, but, relieved* He tries it again, I'll kick his ass from here to Monterey. *more seriously* Do you really think he harbors secret feelings for you? And... *shakes his head, never mind that part for now* Man. If he does, that's a whole other pile of crap to deal with. *small nod* Holding on. Sometimes it's good to hold on. *gently, quietly* I mean, there are probably better ways, but holding on isn't a bad thing. *no, he's not yet prepared to say that maybe it was a good thing, but* I mean, it's better than the alternative, anyway.

Caleb: *yay smile! Totally still holds on back, too, and lips twitch a bit at the ass-kicking* Mm. *considers* Kind of... and not exactly. He wasn't just taking, but he wanted, so it was... something. And, *steady, and he means it* I told you. I don't like him that way. I know how that feels, and that's not it. It didn't even seem like a good idea at the time. Just... turning him down, just then, seemed like an even worse one. *quietly, eyes flickering down, but then up again* I'll make sure that the wiser ways of holding on are stuck to, in the future.

Pogue: *small nod* I remember. Just... well. Hopefully he doesn't like you that way in the sense that he's going to turn into a crazy stalker or anything. Chase on his own is bad enough. Chase... *shakes his head* Never mind. We can deal with that if it happens. *stroking his hair, down his cheek a bit* I believe you will. *more softly* And hopefully, we can all help more this time.

Caleb: *lips twitch, almost-smile, one eye almost closed with it* I kind of think that if that was going to be the case, the last few weeks would have ferreted it out. *leans into that caress, yes, oh yes* I think it'll be alright. I'll... be more careful. *small smile, now* You always do. Help, and more. You make sense of my complicated, remember? *slowly, ever so slowly, raises his hand along Pogue's back, and runs his fingertips carefully along a strand. A breath, then just cards his fingers through the blond hair* It's not that bad? I don't think he was even as much in control of what he was doing as I was, and that wasn't much at all. We can do better. It'll be okay.

Pogue: *smiles, even to see that almost smile, more to see Caleb smile, even a small one* Okay. *and then maybe some pink along the arch of his cheeks, but, ducking his head just a bit, more of an embarrassed/shy grin. that look. Caleb's probably very familiar with it. he keeps his head lowered more because of just loving the feeling of Caleb's fingers through his hair* Mmmm. *looks up, finally* Good. *that Caleb's saying it'll be okay, now, that he can say it* We'll all do better next time something happens.

Caleb: *he is, he is familiar with that look, and it both fills his heart and makes the guilt swell again, and he tries to swallow it, and the new bout of I'm sorry, I'm so sorry but... two wrongs don't make it right? So he just keeps caressing, lightly, so very gently* Yeah... yes. We all will.

Pogue: *soft smile, proud and relieved and happier, even if he knows it's just groundwork for more work ahead, it feels good to hear Caleb doing better* That's my boy. *proud, and it shows in his voice, quiet as it is. then* You wanna stay over tonight, we can talk this over some more?

Caleb: *throat tightens, and his lips part so he can try to breath more, through the mouth. Closes his eyes and just nods at the first part. he's been so stupid, and yet... Pogue thinks of him that way, still. It's a bit overwhelming, in the good way. Then looks at him again. Slowly.. he does want, even if he's not sure there's much more to say* I'm... I should talk with Sarah... but I guess that could... tomorrow. *swallows, dammit* I'd love to stay over. Thank you.

Pogue: *small nod, he's been thinking that, that Caleb needs to brace himself and should get his head on straight before he talks to Sarah about this, because, yeah* Anytime, man, you know that. *gently, softly, the message underneath being, yes, I still think of you that way. you're my friend, you're my guy, and you always will be, always welcome in my life*

Caleb: *just... nods. And huggles into him again. Chin on his shoulder, cheek to cheek. He can do this, he's not alone, even if he deserves to be, even if he wants to curl up and cry, not in the bad way, just being loved this much and that, with all. But holding on and holding back is better. Just... is*

Pogue: *just holds him tight, stroking his hair, and if he needs to cry he can cry, and if he just needs to hold on then he can do that too. He's not alone. Pogue has a better idea of what's going on now, and he's not alone, and they'll talk some more about it later, but right now, he thinks, Caleb just needs to rest*

((Mm, this is still between college, so they're probably still at their family homes for the breaks? *wry* Which means possibly Richard will come along and see the boys clinging to each other as he passes by the study or if he comes up to tell them dinner's on the table.))

((which. probably that means dinner with Richard and Pogue's mom, too, which might account for not breaking down yet. and. hah. maybe that, too.))

Richard wouldn't say anything. Just look over, eyebrows raised, and ask if everything's fine.

Cue Caleb v. v. embarrassed. And saying that he did something stupid, and Pogue was making sure that it is fine.

Pogue just looking over and nodding. "Everything's fine. We got it." Calm. Steady.

And then Caleb registering what Richard MIGHT think, and going, "Well, not that kind of stupid." meaning about power.

Heh. Richard will breathe a sigh of relief at that, and nod, and just say "supper's on the table, if you want it." and move on.

And Caleb's head with hang until it drops on Pogue's shoulder again.

And Pogue will stroke his hair and sort of murmur. "Don't worry about it."

"When I start making a fool of myself, I've no idea how to stop, do I?" A beat. "At least that much is true, though. I haven't been using, after that.." And that was an emergency.

"Good." Quietly, proud of him. "Eh, you weren't making a fool of yourself. I'm sure he's seen worse." Small wince. "And I've done worse, so. Yeah."

Blinks. Blinks. Looks up at him, and blinks again. "You've... um. Done... what worse?" Confused. But, look at him, he's taking his head a bit out of his ass and thinking of somebody other than himself!

"Made a fool out of myself." Faint, rueful smile. "Coming home drunk, for one thing. Remember that time Tyler gave me a lift after that party 'cause none of you were going to let me ride the bike?" Shakes his head slightly.

"Oh. Of course we wouldn't let you ride the bike. ... he was waiting up for you? Of all the times you've been out and about for it..." Rubbing his shoulders a little. In turn.

"He wasn't." Winces. "I, um. Woke him up clattering around in the kitchen. I decided I was hungry. Made a big mess. Never, ever try to make your own anything on the stove when you're drunk.

"Oh." Winces. He's noticed that effect from the other point of view, although his mother was rarely too loud. Still. "Are you, now? ... hungry, not drunk, I mean."

"A little." Faint smile. "No, not drunk." Though he's thinking of getting Caleb a drink, just to get him to relax a little. Some wine with dinner, though, rather than pouring him a scotch after and risking associations. "You up for dinner with my parents or should I grab us something for up here?"

Small smile. "Hey. I've been pretty much functional since then. I can do that." The thought of getting drunk has not really crossed his mind. "I think I'd like that." He's not too hungry, either, but knows better than to consider not eating. Really.

Broader smile, proud of Caleb for at least making an attempt to eat. "All right." But he keeps one arm around his shoulders as he leads them down to eat. "It'll just be the four of us, too, so that ought to make it easier."

"Hah. yeah... it should." But smiling a bit. Leaning closer to him as they go out of his room, and by the time they reach the dining room, he's easier, arm slung around his waist, but walking straight, a smile on his lips. No need to worry anybody too much, and, after all, nothing that tragic... fully happened.

And dinner. With Richard and Marian making small talk, asking Pogue and Caleb how their studies are going, how's college life treating them, is there anything they wanted to get done while they're back, how are the other two, etcetera.

And Caleb relaxing and answering, easy. He does feel good here, and just putting away the guilty and everything for a bit isn't that much of an effort. Might, after answering the questions, mention about a friend having a baby, yup, Pogue, that's okay, and traveling now and again to check on them. Asking after them, how their jobs are...

And it's normal. It's life as usual, Pogue's parents being loving and overprotective, of course, Richard's first thought after what he saw upstairs is that one of the two boys not present is the abrupt father, which Pogue hastily assures them is not the case, and everyone's doing all right. They even get waxed nostalgic at, for a bit, as the parents comment how they've missed the boys and soon they'll be all grown up, etc.

Caleb takes his cues from Pogue about... what to tell about. Then is promptly duly embarrassed as per normal child's reaction to 'they grow up so fast', ducking his head and smiling a bit. Eating slowly and not much, but still, does. Gives greetings from his mother, those are standard and standing orders!

So, then, yeah. Pogue makes sort of vague mention about not growing up too fast and the various problems that can cause, obliquely (very obliquely) referring to Chase, but, smiling, just, eating as usual.

And Caleb says that having a child is not necessarily a sign of being grown up, but "he" is working on it still. Not mentioning the name yet.

And Richard comments that while having a child isn't at all a sign of being grown up, it can certainly force one to grow up very fast. Which makes Pogue almost choke on his dinner.

"Yeah, but he has a lot more catching up to do than most. Pogue, you alright?"

"Fine." Water! Ugh. Oh man. Swallowing. More normally. "Yeah, fine." Richard looking over at him, somewhat amused, a little curious. "A lot more catching up to do?"

Small shrug, it's a matter that he's had a bit of time to get used to the idea of. "Chase needs to be normal first before he can be a father. He's working on it." ... he doesn't know that it'll result in explosions...

Not quite explosions, per se. Pogue does sort of explode in a coughing fit. Marian's eyes go really big. Richard just goes very still, and actually, when he's upset, he does look a lot like Pogue's intensity. "Oh?"

Caleb... catches the shift of things well enough, eyes a bit wide and surprised at Pogue. Then calmly at Richard. "He's the father in question. Not that he has been allowed to see the kid more than twice, Ginny does know better than..." Small headshake. "He's too complicated. But he is trying to do something for their sakes. Doesn't happen overnight, not with his load of baggage."

Pogue is so trying to melt into his chair and disappear. He's in trouble and he knows it, even if his mother is slowly relaxing, he'll hear about it from his father. A lot. At great volume. "I... see" Richard says, even though he doesn't. "Well. Let's hope this goes better than the last time he turned up in town." Ohhh, Pogue is so going to hear about this.

Caleb is so going to drag Pogue to talk with Richard, later. He is NOT leaving his friend to deal with that alone, dammit. "Definitely. I think the only person he has actualy harmed on purpose recently has been himself." Small twitch, but that's... about it. "School, shrink. Trying to actually work through some of that. The whole thing."

Richard's eyebrows shoot up at that. "Not the police?" Because the biggest thing he remembers about Chase is that he assaulted and almost killed his son, and, really, the police would be his first phone call if Chase turned up in town and he found out about it. "No police," from Pogue, sort of raspy from choking. Yes, he knows he's done wrong. Still sinking into his chair. "We can't exactly prove anything, anyway. And..." Grudgingly. "He is trying. He's not going to do anyone any good in prison, and he could do a lot of damage when he breaks out." Not if. When. Prisons aren't built for their kind.

Nod, acceding the point. When, not if. "He also got... we gathered he got much more of a lesson to reconsider what he's done than the police ever could hope to accomplish." Meaning Ginny spell, and hey, Pogue, did you tell dad about OTHER magic users? Or is that going to drop on him out of the blue, too?

Pogue starts turning somewhat red. He'd forgotten to tell his father about all of it. Yeah. He's in deep shit. Richard knows it. Everyone knows it. "I see you've been up to quite a bit in the last little while."

Caleb's eyes move from son to father to mother. Then, calmly. "Nothing is exactly happening right now. How about we finish dinner, and then Pogue and I can tell the story from the top. It's... got some twists to it. Not necessarily bad ones, but."

Death by mortification. It just might be possible. Nodding from Pogue, and from Richard. "That sounds like an excellent idea. I'm sure I'd love to hear all about what you've been up to." Oh he's pissed. Marian is... hurt. And pissed.

"I'm sure it'll give much food for thought." Quiet, steady, and yes, he does know his godfather's sarcasm very well indeed. "But Chase is ... not that kind of a threat anymore." All sorts of complicated and to a degree, still bad news. But no, their son's life wasn't in danger now.

Nodding; Richard trusts Caleb's judgment. Isn't so sure about his son's right now, but. "Well. You both seem to be intact, and hopefully he is telling the truth about behaving himself and not killing anyone else in the meantime." To which he gets a quiet "Richard." from his wife.

Caleb... is not going to repeat the bit about Chase harming himself, not right now. "There's been..." Shakes his head. "Later. It's a pretty safe bet, actually. And he really is working on it, for his daughter's sake." Let's see how this bomb goes over with Richard now.

Well, no one's eating now. Pogue's just sort of shifting his food around on his plate. Marian and Richard are staring. "His daughter..." Hoarse and whispered.

Small nod. Heh, he's not touched his fork since Pogue's initial choking. God, he had other things to be shocked about back then so this one went with a fuzzzz... but. He knows. He's read all the histories.
Sighs, and sits back, taking a sip of water, and looking at them, eyes tired for a moment. "I might as well start, shouldn't I."

Richard actually shakes his head on this one, stands. "I think this would be better discussed in less formal quarters" because, only four or no, the dining room is pretty formal. "And perhaps with a glass of wine." Or three. Or four. Pogue starts clearing the dishes out of habit and shamefacedness.

Caleb totally joins him in clearing the dishes. And when they're out of sight, slings an arm around his waist, and hold tight, stopping them still for a momen. "Hey. I didn't know they didn't know, but it was bound to come out, sooner or later. It'll be alright."

"I hope so." Leaning into him though for a moment, arm sliding around his waist. "Man, you should have heard... well, I guess you did hear some of it, but, I got yelled at... after I got out of the hospital and was pretty much fine? I don't think I've seen him so pissed..." Until now, of course.

"Yeah, well." Hugs tight, until Pogue moves on, but just. Damn. "'m here. Also, if Chase ever tries to pull another stunt like that, we drag him here to deal with your dad. That should satisfy his gluttony for punishment?"

Does move on. After a bit. To savor the moment. "That really ought to, yeah." Sort of laughing, before rinsing the dishes and sticking them in the washer and heading back out to face the music.

Yes. A bit of reassurance and a bit of laughter. That's... as good as Caleb can give, right now. Then follows back in, sits close to Pogue. And waits for either Richard or Marian to signify they're ready. He'll take water still for now, thank you. Maybe wine after the storm has passed, but.

Richard collects the wine and Marian has the tray of glasses and both of them nod to the boys to precede them. Richard approves of the water, actually.

Very quietly. "With knowing what the danger is... you do know I wouldn't have let anything happen to Pogue, right? And I could stop Chase on my own, again, if bad came to worse. It hasn't."

"Could you?" Quietly. "Do you know that for a fact? And are you willing to risk Pogue's life on that?" Pogue, of course, does not like this. At all.

"I do know it for a fact. And so does Chase." The stupid double burden of power. The night of fair and rain and loss and pain and exhilaration. Caleb crosses his arms. "He didn't come back looking for power this time. He wanted help. Ginny... She'd left him a message about being pregnant, but he had no way to reach her. He wanted us to help him find her. With power." Eyeroll, wryly looking up at Richard for a moment. "Which didn't happen, by the way, and not only because he didn't say why he was looking for her. Ginny had been around here the ... no, two summers before. I still had her phone. We went and talked with her before even letting him know that we knew her."

Marian, frowning, looking over at Pogue, who has his hands jammed into his pockets. "Ginny... isn't that the girl who ... I think I remember her." Richard has a questioning look, too. "That sweet young blonde girl, she was with them around town." Richard blinks. "She... and Chase?"

"Yeah. It wasn't exactly what either of them expected, but she does care for him, and, somehow... in his way, he does care for her, too. Which is... one of the things that make the whole mess so complicated." And in the almost year since last August, they've had a chance to see that he does. "One of the other things..." he looks over to Pogue, trying to... decide... how exactly to say it. "They... before that. While we were freshmen." A year after Chase had been around. Dating it, at least. "Chase and Ginny dated, for almost the entire year. Then he tried to ... get too close. And then came the catch, which is among the ... big reasons we know both that he hasn't done... more than he has admitted to, until that point, and makes it very likely that he hasn't done anything too great after. She used a spell on him. Which more or less made him feel... all that he's done to others by his Use." And then quiet, to let them process. And ask.

Pogue is silent, and still trying to sink into his chair. He should have told them all this when it happened, but he couldn't figure out how to say it, and he kept putting it off and putting it off and, now. Yeah. Richard and Marian are... staring. Not so much at the part about Ginny and Chase dating, although that merits its own curiosity, but at the fact that she did a spell on him. In fact, Richard's all "That's... not possible."

Caleb sighs. Not Pogue's fault; HE knows precisely how hard it is, or some bits are, from trying to update first Pogue, then Sarah, then Reid and Tyler... God. Quietly. "Which part? That she can do spells, or that such a spell in particular was done?"

"That... she can't do spells. She doesn't have the Power." On the plus side, Richard's so stunned by this that he's forgetting about being mad at Pogue?

Quietly. "No, she doesn't have the power as we do. But she can do spells." Small, soft smile, remembering. "Pogue and I felt one of them, for a bit." Heartbeat. And now that heartbeat, the little fluttery hint of one, is a heartbeat of her own. "They use... symbols. Preparation. The power doesn't come from within, like ours; it's more... magic. They refocus energy that already exists, work with it or manipulate it, and make things happen that way."

Richard's just... blinking. Trying to rework everything he thought he knew about Power in his mind to whatever this new thing is, and the idea that it's crossed paths with them in such an intimate way... it's a lot. It's a lot to take in. Pogue, to his own surprise at least, speaks up. "We didn't find out about all of this until ... well, we found out most of it at around the same time. Ginny being pregnant, Chase, that she had magic, all of it. It was... a mess. It was a lot to deal with." And he is sorry he didn't tell his Dad before. But it was... a lot to deal with. Like he said.

"That's... putting it mildly." Small, wry twist of his mouth. "And I didn't take it exactly lightly. I was on edge all the time about Chase, watching, making sure he wasn't going to flip." No, he hadn't taken anybody's life lightly, dammit. "Pogue had his hands full with trying to keep me sane. And dealing with it himself. And then school started, and..." Shrugs.

Looking down at his hands, fingers twisting. Pogue isn't happy about any of this. "We just never got around to... I'm sorry."

Caleb just... reaches to rub Pogue's shoulder. Quiet. He knows questions, and a lot more, will come. Talking more right now will make things

Richard looks from one boy to the other, still gobsmacked by the whole thing. Still uncertain, hurt and angry at Pogue, but less instant-smite than he was before. Just quietly furious that his son didn't tell him. He'll get over it. Marian is still trying to deal with all of this, but then, she also didn't grow up with the Power. For her it's a little easier to re-work her world views a second time. "How is Ginny dealing with the situation?"

"... focusing on the baby mostly, right now." After Chase's most spectacular performance. Even if she is recovering. "She... went back for another semester of college. Then ... Isabel was born in February. Ginny's living with her parents, they help her ... everything. We go and help, too. And generally," swallows, "try to keep and help Chase along to... get somewhere closer to sanity. For her sake." Ginny's holding up as well and better than might be expected of her. "She's amazing."

Richard's first thought was more practical. "Are they in a position to help her?" he wants to know. Financially, but also in terms of time and space. Marian hisses slightly. "Richard." Reproof. Pogue looks down and, for the first time in a bit, smiles slightly. "They're doing all right. I think she'd be doing better if..." If Chase weren't so messed up. But. He shrugs. "She and Isabel are really doing incredibly well." Richard nods. Is still bemused, but nods. "And... her family. Is this... Is Isabel... That is to say, will Isabel, too, be..." He isn't sure what to call it. He also doesn't often stutter over his words this much. Possibly never in the kids' hearing.

Quietly. "Chase... hasn't..." Sighs. "He can't be there as they do need him. And he knows well enough. But he's set up a trust fund for the kid, did it even before we all went back to school." Looks up at Richard. "It's one of the things that... He really does want the best for the baby. And... Ginny's mother has the kind of magic she has. Ginny does. Isabel is a little to young to do much of anything, but my guess is that she will, too." But, and he hasn't discussed that with Ginny, she probably won't have Chase's power. That goes to the oldest male. Which, until now, has been the first child. God. Such a mess-up.

Richard is surprised that Chase would even think to do that, and his expression shows it. Marian nods slowly, approving, though her lips are still pressed thin with dislike for the boy. "I suppose it is thanks to her heritage, then, that..." shaking her head. "The first born child of the next generation is a girl." Richard gives her an incredulous look. Girls are unknown in terms of the Power, it'll take days to deal with it. He shakes his head, getting up, pouring a glass of wine and looking to see if anyone wants one.

Caleb blinks slightly. "That would possibly make sense. Maybe I'll see what Beth's and Ginny's takes on that are, next time I go down." Small, small smile. "I've been meaning to talk with them about things about magic again, but... since Isabel was born, things end up a bit hectic and tired and..." The baby keeps a tight clock. And rest is taken wherever possible.

Marian smiles. "I remember what having a baby was like, yes." Glancing at Pogue, who turns faintly red for an entirely other reason. Richard chuckles, passing his wife her wine. "I wouldn't rush. Whatever happened, or is happening, presumably it isn't going to abruptly stop happening. Although I would like to know how they came to this Power and what it is they do to ... well. Whatever it is they do." Pogue, faintly, is relaxing. He might get out of this without getting yelled at, yet. "And now." Or not. Richard's smile is gone. "Tell me more about Chase. You mentioned doctors, and school."

Caleb nods. "No, it won't stop happening. But it's still something to know." His eyes move again from father to son, and he takes a breath. "Brown. He's going to Brown, and he's doing well indeed. It's... he seems steady enough. Having structure around him, and something to do with his time. Dr. Stephenson... we asked Reid's mom for somebody who could deal with one of us. Then I talked with her. Chase has been seeing her... regularly? She's... most recently has been doing with PTSD, but before that apparently had a lot of good work with addictions, too. Which, on the other hand, is relevant." Looking down. "Chase... He's still likely to overreact and act rashly, but he's getting to be a lot better about setting up and keeping to a... an internal compass. It's slow going. But I do believe he means it."

"And what will you do if he does mean it?" Quietly. Calmly. But he's still pissed. "Will he be brought into the fold and among the families? Have you spoken of this to your mother, Tyler's parents? That the bloodline that died out is not quite so dead as everyone imagined?"

"Would you be rather he was out there and a loose canon? Would you rather he had a son, who was raised as insane as Chase was and came back to torture our children, or something further down in time?" He isn't snapping, no, but those are valid questions. Caleb rubs the bridge of his nose. "I've talked with my mother. She's not exactly overenthusiastic about it all," again, putting it mildly, "but she hasn't fought me about it." Either with arguments or with loud silence. "I have no idea just how into the fold he can be brought, precisely." But it feels different when there are five of them. Even with the great deal of awkwardness and fear still.
Then he recalls something, and sighs, because Richard won't like this bit at all, either. "My father knew Chase's father. He didn't do anything." Not... anything useful, at any rate."

Ow. Owies. Ow. "He... knew." Ow. Well, that was distracting. Pogue looks from Caleb to his father and back to Caleb again, sort of a 'was that really necessary?' Then back to his father, as he starts putting the pieces together. Which makes him make a face that's sort of hilariously between 'oh... oh wow.' and 'ohgod I didn't want to know that.'

Caleb blinks. And blinks again, and then his face gets on a guilty-puppy expression, his arms crossing tighter. He didn't mean to hurt... not that much. Just to say that he wasn't going to make his father's mistake, and ... god. Very quietly. "I'm sorry." They've been through this, in the years since William died. Richard valued his friend and loved him, still, no matter what, and wishes Caleb could respect him. Caleb... can't. Not the way he needs. And this...

Slow headshake. "It's all right." Eyes clearing for a moment. "It's not your fault." That William was a selfish man who kept secrets from everyone, his friend. His family. Richard sighs. "No. I suppose, since Chase does exist, creating another homicidal lunatic further down the line is far from what this world needs." Why no, he doesn't think much of Chase.

Caleb's not up to trying to make people like Chase. All he can do is get them to give him a little bit of a break. Not even a clean one, not after what he's done. So he nods. "Not to mention how much damage he could do if he's... had some hope and he's cut away from it." With two shares of power. Caleb shrugs slightly. "I don't know of another option that's any saner." Yes, he heard the implication about Chase's existence. He understands. God, too well.

Small nod from Richard. He's... out of question for the moment, and almost out of wine, rolling the glass a little between his fingers. "Well." Deep breath. Wryly: "You've certainly given us much to think about." Marian, shaking her head. "And as much as I'm sure we" and by we she means Richard, eying him. "Would like to stay and discuss this more, I think the more practical matter here is, what do you intend to do now?" And by now she means this evening, or the next day, but not more than into the next week.

What Caleb wants to do is just curl up and try not to think of anything. Blank out. No... please, no. Not after the last time he did. Deep breath. "Nothing.. momentous? Pogue'd asked if I want to say over and I think so... still?" Unless they have objections. "I ... tomorrow, I need to talk with Sarah about something. Then... Check on people. Spend time with my mother." Yeah, that did include checking on Chase, too. And having a talk with him, too. Yeah, no more than into next week? Plenty enough.

Marian nods. "That sounds like a very good idea." Given what Richard told her about how they were looking upstairs. "There is ice cream in the fridge if you boys would like some, but I think an early bedtime might be in order. You can ask the rest of your questions later," that, to Richard. Sternly. At which point Richard gives Pogue a 'will you talk to your mother?' look and Pogue returns him with a 'I am not getting involved in this!' look.

"I'll be around tonight, and tomorrow morning. I can check tomorrow evening, or the day after, if you round up some questions then?" Calm. Steady. Whichever of the evenings get designated, he's getting Pogue out to someplace else the other evening, he'll find an excuse

Richard seems to have finally ceded to the will of his wife. "I think we can manage that." Slight nod. "But, yes. There's no hurry." Finally actually seeing how wrecked Caleb looks, and back to worrying about him.

Caleb shrugs, interpreting the look. He'll be fine. And he'd much rather take the questions than get Pogue in trouble. Except, of course, he caused... more damage than anything. Great work. Just great. "Yeah. Everything seems to be happening... steady enough." Except for random bursts of shit. Of course. He looks over at Pogue again, checking with him. Am I missing something that should be said now?

Pogue tries to think back if there's anyhting they've missed covering. Like everyone's been saying, it's a lot. He does, however, bring a hand up to his throat, casually rubbing it like he's still nervous but a question in his eyes as he looks at Caleb. "Well. With little bursts and stuff where we wonder how the hell things got this confusing, but, yeah."

That would be Caleb paling a little bit. Then he sighs and runs a hand over his face, eyes flickering to Marian... then back to Pogue. "Some of which bursts aren't pretty, but nothing that really changes much the overall picture. I think."

Dryly, from Richard: "Are they worse than what he did the last time he was here?" Eyes flickering briefly to Pogue, then back to Caleb. Marian's turn to pale somewhat.

Sigh. "He's not physically harmed, or tried to, anybody... " Quieter. "Other than himself."

That gets a thoughtful look from Richard. Not the kind of behavior he would expect from someone who had done what he'd heard about the last time. Marian frowns. "Harmed himself?"

Deep breath. Faltering words, a little, mouth dry, trying not to close his eyes too much, because he can see it again. "It's... why he's only seen Isabel... twice. After the first time, after she was born. He decided that the best thing he could do for them was to... not be there anymore. I don't think he'll try that again."

Well, now they're all just staring at him. Pogue winces; he'd hoped Caleb wouldn't elaborate on that. Just for what it does to Caleb. Richard blinks. Marian sighs, a faintly 'poor young man' sigh. "Of all the reasons..." Richard says. Slowly. "I was expecting for him to be kept away from his daughter, I will admit, that was not one of them." Although it seems to be making him remember something. Something he'd forgotten, and would rather have stayed forgotten.

Quietly. "Maybe not. But..." Shakes his head. Notices the change in Richard's expression... the even MORE of a sour-lemon-bite look and frowns a little. Not sure he should ask. Not sure he has the energy for the judgment of it, eyes going to Pogue again. Then sighs. If it's going to be an evening of revelations? But all of the question he manages to round up is an "Hm?"

Shaking his head slightly, Pogue votes for no. He knows Caleb isn't up to much more tonight. Richard seems to be coming to the same conclusion. "Old history, Caleb." Quietly. "It's not the first time I've heard that sentiment expressed, is all." And no, he won't clarify that. Caleb is free to draw what conclusions he will.

Normally he would press, but he honestly has no energy to press with, and the conclusion he draws is making him even more sick to the stomach, and he just... nods.

Richard stands, goes over, crouches down beside him and refills his water glass. "Much as I have many more questions, Marian is right. You both should go to bed." Gently, quietly. "There will be time to talk about this later."

Caleb slowly unfolds his hand from where it's pressed towards his body by his arm and takes the glass, holding over Richard's fingers for a moment. Nods, small smile. Eyes as clear as he can manage. "Thanks." Takes... a few small sips. Which seem to help the dry mouth but not at all the churning stomach. So... he squares his shoulders a bit. "It'll be okay. And none of it is running away, so." Retreat whenever Pogue signals, really. But he is grateful to both of them for not pressing.

Richard, smiling slightly. "Much as some of it might like to, and understandably so." Yeah, Caleb definitely looks overwhelmed. Pogue stands, making sort of a show of it. "So, upstairs, huh?"

It's not overwhelmed, it's more like... emotionally drained. Mostly guilty, but also a few other strong things. But that does get Richard a small smile. Then he looks up at Pogue and follows the example. "Yeah. I'm... going to be around." Obviously. Sighs at himself. "Good night for now, I guess?"

Richard and Marian nod, say their good nights. Pogue snags the water glass at his mother's look on the way up. Not that they couldn't go get water if they wanted it, but, she's a mother. And she takes care of her boys. And Caleb's been like her boy since he was little. "'night," Pogue murmurs to his parents. Thank you for not yelling.

Caleb does love them both, too, and is sorry he hurt... at least Richard. And worried them both a lot, all of a sudden. And he just follows Pogue upstairs. Concentrating on walking, really.

About halfway up the stairs Pogue switches hands holding the glass and slides an arm around his waist. For companionship. Or so Caleb can lean on him if he wants.

Caleb doesn't exactly lean; but? His arm goes around Pogue's back, holding tight. Just about as soon as the door is closed, he sighs, and says, quietly, "I'm sorry."

"It's okay." Quietly. Surely. Slight smile. "See? You aren't the only one who does some real dumbass things on occasion."

Softly, eyes squeezing shut and then opening sharply almost immediately. "Like dropping a conversational bomb in the middle of dinner and ruining everybody's evening?" Yeah, Pogue, and also Chase, and even William might have set up the owie of the evening, but it was Caleb who had walked into almost every single one of those mines.

"Or like not telling your parents when a homicidal maniac who almost killed you years ago comes back into town," Pogue points out. "If this was anyone's fault, it was mine, okay?" He'll take the blame. Gladly.

Sighs, hand reaching up to brush through Pogue's hair. "Hey, I know how damn hard it is to even mention about him. I had the same problem with talking about it to you, remember?" That... is not blame. Caleb understands. Besides, it wasn't the only thing that Caleb was guilty of.

Small smile, leaning into it a bit. "Still should have told them way before this." Anything to get Caleb to stop from blaming himself for everything. Please, anything. "Or at least told you that I hadn't told them. It wasn't your fault. None of tonight was. And it's okay now, anyway."

Shrugnods. But something about the leaning into, or his face, or his voice catches at his attention. He sighs a bit, and his shoulders slump, a little, his eyes just... on his friend. It's better than trying to close them, and much easier than trying to keep them busy elsewhere. "It... is."

Softly, setting down the glass of water on a table (and a bike magazine) and cupping his cheek in one hand. "Hey." Sad eyes. He doesn't like that look on Caleb. He's not sure what it is, but... he misses when his friend could smile and be easy and be happy.

He's just tired. And guilty, things doubling over things over more things. But leans into that touch, oh yes, small smile, too, even with Pogue's sad eyes. "Yeah?"

"You okay?" No, scratch that, no one was okay tonight. "You're gonna be okay." There, that was better. He would be okay. Pogue would make sure of that.

Swallows, nods. "Yeah. I'm going to be okay. You?"

"I'll be fine." Reaching up to mirror his gesture of earlier, but just sliding fingers through his hair, since Caleb's hair is shorter. "Let's get to bed and get some sleep, huh?"

"Yeah.... let's." Way too wired to sleep yet, but lying down and curling up sound like a good idea. Deep breath, and an attempt for a smile, even if it might come out a bit ... wavery. At least his eyes aren't welling up. Yet. Hand drops down to his shoulder, clasping a bit. "Let's crash."

Wrapping his arms around him for a moment, just hugging him. It's going to be okay. "Yeah, you're about due for a crash, aren't you." Quietly, semi serious, but also smiling. He'll be there to catch him, he intends on it.

Insta!cling. A moment, capturing - and savoring - the smile. "Hey, I had one not that long ago. It was spectacular. I should be good for a while yet." Except he isn't. Just letting go is absolutely terrifying. Especially on top of all the damage already. Tonight, here.

Chuckling into his shoulder, still stroking through his hair. "Uh-huh." Softer. "I know you, remember?" He can tell he's not letting go. Can tell he's stressed. Is worried about him, will be until he lets go of whatever he's holding in. He may not always be able to tell what that is, but he can feel, can tell, somehow, when Caleb is holding on tight to something.

"Yeah." Very softly, leaning a little more into the embrace. The just... crumpling in. "God. Can't I be at least usefully complicated, just for a little bit?" Circles? Somewhat. But just. One moronic thing after another after another.

Gently: "You've been usefully complicated for over ten years, man. You're allowed to have some time to be taken care of for a while."

Mumbled, but a tiny bit lighter. "You make it sound as if it's alright." Being taken care of at twenty-odd. The whole mess he'd made, and god, he still has to talk with Sarah about it. Anything. Everything. Sigh. "Just wish it wasn't getting people hurt and upset, I guess."

"We all wish that. Every time we make a mistake." Taking him over to the bed, not letting him go. Just, arms around him, walking him over. Sitting him down on the edge of the bed.

Not letting go is good, so is sitting down. Really. It also covers for his kind of gaping as a fish. "I... guess... that's true." Just cling for a bit. Curling in a little. After some... time? Minutes? Sighs a bit. "Are you still going to be in trouble? With your dad, I mean?"

"Depends on whether an opportune time comes for him to yell at me without making something else explode." Holding him, tugging him close so he curls up against him. Stroking his hair, the back of his neck. He's calm about the whole father upset with him thing, or calmer, now. "He won't stay mad. He never does." Faint smile. "You know that. I'll get yelled at, maybe, but that's about it."

"Uh-huh..." Swallows, trying to concentrate; does curl against Pogue, and god does that feel good. Soothing. Doesn't know if he desrves to be soothed, but. Quietly. "Don't let him yell too much? No harm done, not that he could have prevented any better than us." The touches are almost like drawing his strings, except that it's not making him tighter, tauter, but relaxing him, bit by little bit.

One hand rubs over his shoulder for a little bit before going back to stroke the back of his neck. "I won't. He only does it because it freaks him out..." Faint smile. "Because I'm still his kid. I guess that's what being a parent is like. Thinking you can protect your kid from everything in the world and then finding out you can't." He's had that thought about Reid and Tyler, sometimes.

Ow. Winces, then buries his face into Pogue's shoulder. He's had these thoughts about Pogue, even though he doesn't consider himself... parental. For him. Any of them. And what was being a parent like for your father? Shaddup. William, Wilder, Chase, Chase hurting Pogue. Swallows. "It is good that you're still his kid." Because when I falter, he's still there to take care of you.

Pogue hugs him tighter. Strokes his hair, rubs his neck. He hadn't meant to step in Caleb's issues like that. But he can still feel the movements, hear the catch in his breath. "In some ways, yeah." Quietly. "It's good to have family in general." And that includes Caleb. And Reid, and Tyler, all of them. "People need other people to take care of them, sometimes."

Swallows, nods. "Yeah. It is." And Pogue and Reid and Tyler definitely are family. Small, but steadier smile. "You always do it. Take care of us, I mean."

"Someone's gotta," soft smile, there, now. That's a little better. "Besides, you've saved my dumb ass often enough. We all take care of each other. That's just how it goes."

Softly. Holding tighter. He doesn't WANT Pogue in danger in the first place! "Guess it is." Small headshake against his shoulder, then looks up. Tired eyes. Difficult to focus, for any length of time. "'m not going anywhere." The bit about letting go is still in question, but he is fully here, now.

"I know." Smile. Fingers brushing through his hair, hand to his cheek, thumb brushing from the corner of his eye back. Fingers lightly rubbing over his head. "Well, right now you're going off to dreamland, man. Okay? You're here, you're right here, we'll just go to sleep right here."

Small smile mirroring Pogue's. Mostly lips. Until the touches make his eyes melt, too. His own hand rises to caress back. Shaky breath, and nods. "I'm... yeah. Just, I'll catch you up there later. Don't want to close my eyes ... just yet." He will. Just wants for the image to go away.

"Okay." Soft nod, leaning into his hand a bit, as always. "Okay. Well, let's get comfortable, anyway." And, finally, tugging him down onto the bed, so that Caleb's cradled up against him, both of them against the pillows. Kicking the covers down far enough that he can pull them up over them when they're settled.

Helps with that; he's aware of what is happening enough, and wants to help. Just. Yeah. And ohyes, lying down. Under the covers, curled up, one arm slung... no, holding him tight. "Pogue?"

"Yeah?" Cuddled up, settling in, glass of water still by the door but hell if he's going to use his powers right now to go get it. If he has to he'll get up.

"Thank you." Simple, truthful. Shifts a little so that his other arm is up over the pillows, over Pogue's head. fingers caressing the blond hair, from roots, to where it's spread on the fabric.

"Anytime, man." Soft. Smiling. Closing his eyes a bit because getting his hair petted always feels good. Just holding him, still moving his hand over his shoulder and back. "Anytime."

((Pogue is still worried but as long as Caleb does sleep he'll probably sleep, too.))
((yeah. Caleb... will sleep. Petting, seeing Pogue slowly relax, enjoy, will fade out the image of Chase bleeding, so... yeah. In a bit, but he will.))
((Good. And then Pogue will probably drift off, too. And then they'll wake up in uncomfortable positions all tangled up with someone's head stuffed under the pillow.))
((*gigglesnorts* awww. but they so will.))
((And Pogue will have one sock half dangling off his foot. and be drooling on Caleb's shouler or something))
((and Caleb will love it.))
((His hair will be in Caleb's mouth.))
((It'll be great))


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Caleb Danvers

July 2011

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