Abandon Hope (Charlie)

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Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:19 am



Help... Help me... Someone help me... Please.

For a time, Verne slept 'easily' where he had fallen. Easily meant that there were no dreams, REM sleep blocked out by the heavy dose of benzodiazepines in his system. It meant that he didn't stir, didn't get up and move around. He stayed exactly where he'd collapsed, half on the couch and half off of it, in the staff lounge a few doors down from the psychiatric wing. The lower half of his body was crumpled at the base of the couch, while his upper body was flopped over the leather cushions, face down, with arms curled protectively under his torso and his head. His last thoughts had been too jumbled to make any real sense. A vision of Charlie, the remembrance of Max's hands under his clothes, a whisper of some disaster past, when weak and sick he'd cried out for help like a babe abandoned in a bassinet. He had been so sick then, so violently, miserably sick. And so afraid. So confused. Help me... Someone, please... And it was the same mantra that had gone through his head as Max settled his weight softly onto the couch cushion next to him. Someone help me. The same silent words in his head. His clothing was still slightly dishevelled, his hands too clumsy to put it back together completely. His hair was worse, but then that was hard to tell, because it looked like he'd been dragged through a hedge backwards on a good day too.

And at first, he just slept, and time became irrelevant. There was no Max, and no Charlie. No nightmare and no dream. Just nothingness, the steady and slow rise and fall of his stooped ribcage in the rhythm of slumber. It could have been only minutes, or it might have been hours before something began to stir in his mind again finally, before anyone would find him passed out in the staff lounge. It was not like Verne to fall asleep in strange places. he simply never did it. He was far too paranoid of what would happen to him or others if he decided to get up and go walkabout in the middle of a dream. He slept in his own room, or -preferably- in Charlie's bed, with Charlie beside him, his guardian in slumber. But never somewhere like the staff room. Never somewhere so public. So to see him slumped over the couch as he was, as if he'd just sat down next to it and then abruptly passed out, must have been the first indication that something was wrong. Then again, maybe he had gone to bed in his own room. It was possible he had walked all the way up to the house in his sleep, and, tired from the trek, had sat down and continued his slumber at the base of the nearest couch. Possible but...

"Help..."

His voice was quiet, like the voice of a child in distress but too afraid or tired to really cry out. His head rolled on the lily stem of his neck, his forehead against the leather. The cool night air bent to kiss the nape, where fine dark hairs met unblemished, milky flesh. The collar of his sweater and t-shirt were crooked, tugged this way and that and generally dishevelled. His sweater had ridden a little up his back, leaving the hem of the t-shirt to poke out from the bottom. Where the hem ended, there was a sliver of pale skin exposed, one or two porcelain knobs of bone where the spine resided beneath. Then the inky fabric of his waistband finally. "Help me..." The sound was heart-rending to anyone who would care. It was always this way. The terrified desperation of a child in mortal danger. Even after all these years, even as his voice had lowered in inevitable octaves, it still sounded much the same as it had. It remained painfully innocent, achingly desperate. But was he dreaming of that house again? Was he dreaming of a mother gone mad? Did he see the still and cool form of his brother tucked quietly into bed? Did he smell the sharp tang of bile on the air, tangling with the sweetness of infantile shampoo? Or was it something else now? Was it roaming hands? Please... Don't... I won't cheat on him...

"Someone help me..." The curious thing, at least to anyone who knew what Verne was like in his sleep, was that there was an added element now. The tiny cries for help would not be shocking, though this particular dream had been quite rare in the last few months, since he had found Charlie. What was strange, however, was the quiet, hiccuped sob that followed the cry. And that Verne's face was wet with tears. He didn't cry much normally. It happened on occasion, but not for years now. He had soaked the edge of Charlie's pillow with tears when they were just boys, but the trauma had been so fresh then, still so real. As time had worn on, his tearful moments had seemed to dry up though. Except that he was obviously crying in his sleep now. The shuddered rise and fall of his ribs and his shoulders was an indicator, even if the sob hadn't been heard. "Please... stop."

He was teetering, tapped in that precarious breath of space between deep sleep and violent awakening. Some part of his mind was telling him to wake up from the nightmare because it wasn't real, and the world was waiting for him, safe from that dream house and the roaming hands. But that was a lie. The world was not safe. The nightmare was not over. What did he have to wake up to? Reality. The foggy, drugged memories of what had just happened with Max, and the knowledge that Charlie had once tried to kill himself. The sun had set on their garden of roses, and there was the real danger that they would begin to wither and crumble to dust without that life-giving light. A real cry of a sound passed Verne's lips, disturbing the quiet of the staff lounge. It was not so loud that it would draw attention, but it was an anguished thing, perhaps at the volume of his normal, waking voice. Ragged and drawn out, it sounded for all the world as if the stablemaster's heart was being torn in two by unseen hands, unknown forces. The sound of it, if not Charlie's voice or hands, was enough to shift him from that fragile place of light sleep, and he came to life with a start. Each muscle in his back and his arms gave a little jerk, and he lifted a moistened face abruptly from the leather couch cushion and the crook of his arm.

Disorientated and still half drugged, he blinked at his surroundings first. It took a few seconds to realise where he was, and then a few more to ascertain that he didn't remember how he'd gotten there. After that, he quickly realised that he was not alone either. What had happened? Had he been sleepwalking again? No. Not sleepwalking. He had been... In Max's office. Blue-green eyes met Charlie's face, watery and distantly glassy with the heavy dose of benzodiazepines still clinging to the frayed edges of his mind. He looked confused at first, like he normally did when he woke up somewhere strange, but then his eyes turned pained and apologetic. He remembered. He remembered what Max had said, and he remembered what had happened after that. He wore guilt like a Venetian tragedy mask. "Wh... what... time is it?" He couldn't bring himself to say anything about it. He couldn't tell Charlie what had happened. Not yet anyway. It was his fault. He shouldn't have taken the medication. He should have left sooner. He should have recognised the look in Max's eye immediately. Unfaithful... With a little squirm of a motion, he rolled himself to sit upright, his leg asleep and the floor painfully hard beneath his backside. It also served to put a little distance between he and Charlie.

"I... I must have dozed off..."
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Re: Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Charles Wright on Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:28 pm

That bizarre, half asleep falling sensation brought Charlie soaring down through the clouds and back into the living room where he’d started to doze off. Jerking awake with a start, his bright eyes darted around the house as if expecting to see…something. He had no idea what but something was bound to be there. However, he was greeted by the silence and stillness of an otherwise unoccupied house. AJ must be on shift…. Charlie, who has drifted off in an awkward position of half sitting up half falling over, untangled his limbs from each other and the blanket that he’d curled up with and righted himself on the sofa. Rubbing sleep from tired eyes he attempted to talk himself out of looking at the clock hanging on the wall just to his right. If it was still early he’d feel terrible for watching it and counting down the seconds until Darcy was supposed to arrive. But…if it were late… It seemed like night after night he had to go out and hunt down his cousin, pry him from whatever corner of the stable he decided needed to be cleaned right then. It was beginning to bother him. Why wouldn’t he just come home? Charlie breathed a sigh, letting his eyes remain closed a moment before he peeled them open, taking the chance that the sun had only just set. The disappointment hit him almost instantly and nearly overwhelmed him. All hope vanished from his eyes and they slowly lowered to the ground at his feet. Late again…

Charlie had no idea that Darcy was currently going through unimaginable hell just beyond the terrace at the main house. To him, this was going to be like every other night. As he sat of the sofa, hands pushing through his sleep tussled hair, he wondered briefly if he should just leave Darcy be. What if he didn’t want to come back? What if he was only being polite and coming because Charlie sought him out? The very idea that what they shared was one sided made him sick to his stomach. But…it kept coming back to that, didn’t it? Last time he found Darcy in his office, the room trashed, he’d had similar feelings. Only then, there had been someone else on his mind. That perhaps Darcy had found another and didn’t have the heart to break it to him. What if…what if he simply did not love him anymore? That now, since they were older, he’d seen that loving him was wrong and that he couldn’t bear to continue? Charlie felt a knot forming in his throat and stomach, the first signs of upset taking over. He wanted to curl up, forget it all and try to sleep. If Darcy wanted to come to him, he would. Why should he force him?

But that was not Charlie. He couldn’t sit around and mind his own business while Darcy destroyed himself at work. He would at least get him back to his own house if he did not want to come to him. Even if the feelings they’d shared had started to fade for the stable master, they were still family. Charlie was really the only family Darcy had that didn’t look down on him for what had happened, both with him and what his mother had done. He wouldn’t leave out there alone.

So like so many nights before, Charlie bundled up to face the cold of northern England and made his way out to the stables. His mind could clearly paint a picture of Darcy in his office or the tack room, having lost track of time and buried under a mountain of work. However, the stables were dark and the office locked. That was…odd. Where else would Darcy be? Maybe he had gone home after all. Maybe…he didn’t want to be with him after all. Still, Charlie knew himself well enough that he would not rest until he knew that Darcy was safe somewhere. He made the hike back to the terrace, noting that Darcy’s car was still in the lot on the way. Just like the stables he found the house dark and unoccupied. A sudden wave of panic hit Charlie, his hand shaking from more the cold. Oh god. Visions of Darcy sleep walking down the main flight of stairs and slipping flooded him and he turned to run. His legs carried him swiftly to the main house, faster than they had on any other day. If he lost him again…Charlie did not know what he would do with himself if he came upon Verne’s lifeless body at the bottom of the stairs. The very idea bright tears to his eyes that stung in the cold wind as he ran.

Once inside the house he came to a stop, eyes adjusting to the warm light of the few lights left on overnight. Most should be tucked in by now, both residents and staff alike. He knew there’d be a few people still in, like the wardens and security who were on the night shift. Charlie’s feet began to move, carrying him into the house and in any direction. He had no idea where Darcy would be in this house but he had to start somewhere and the staff lounge seemed like an okay idea. As he neared the room and saw the light under the door joy began to fill him. Yes, he had to be there. Something told him he’d find Darcy. But in the back of his mind he could not shake the feeling that something was in fact horribly wrong. And so his pace quickened, Charlie nearly at a job by the time he reached the door. He opened it without hesitation, blue eyes scanning the room quickly. What he saw nearly took the wind right out of him.

The sight and sounds of Darcy tore chunks out of his heart and for a moment he could only stand in complete silence. What…had happened to him? When his feet were able to move he took gentle steps, not wanting to disturb him until he could be at hide. Someone help me... Charlie barely registered the tears sliding down his face as he knelt beside him, slowly reaching out to touch his shoulder. “Darcy…” He whispered, hoping to gently bring him back to awaking. But his hopes were in vain as the other man came violently back to reality. His sudden jerk caused Charlie to jump a step back, eyes wide with concern and fear. “A-Almost midnight…” His voice crackled with emotion that he was attempting to keep under control.

“Please…don’t lie…” His words passed his lips before he knew what he was saying. There was no way he simply ‘dozed off’ here in the main house. Why would he be here? Charlie may have believed that if he found him slumped over his desk or curled up by his wood burning stove but not here, not now. “We’ll…talk about it at the house, okay?” He reached out for his love, aiming to put his arms around him and help him to his feet. Tears were still quietly sliding down Charlie’s face, a sniffle breaking his already unsteady breathing pattern. Whatever had happened, he wanted to know. But he knew Darcy well enough to know that he wouldn’t get anything out of him this minute.
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Re: Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:31 am



        Please... Don't lie.

"I don't want to lie to you... But I..." What could he say? How could he say it? How could he tell him all he'd learned that night, and what had happened afterwards? He couldn't even make sense of it all in his own mind yet. Through the haze, he only knew that it was all wrong, that life had gone terribly, terribly wrong, and this wasn't how it was supposed to be. None of this was how it was supposed to be. He and Charlie were meant to be happy, together, far away from all of the ghosts of the past. None of it was supposed to touch them here. In this story book countryside, where no-one knew their names, they could be truly happy finally, and god knew no-one deserved it as much as they did. Their lives had been a macabre farce outside of the precious few years they had had together. But here, all of that was supposed to be in the past. All of the things people had said about them, had said about Verne. It was all he'd ever wanted, and for a fleeting few weeks he truly thought he'd had it finally. Finally. The bliss he had prayed for, the happiness he'd deserved.

And then Max had shown up.

He knew the moment he heard the man's name in conversations in the staff room or out on the farm that, eventually, they would have to meet. Over the years, years with Sybil, he'd been able to restrict their interactions to phone calls only, or better, to Sybil requesting prescriptions. But there was no safehold at Highgrove House, and though he'd tried to convince himself that nothing would happen with Max now like it used to, his skin felt greased beneath his clothes, as if Max's hands had left an invisible, undetectable snail's trail. The story book illusion was crumbling in his hands like an ancient photograph, turning to dust and floating away, forgotten. And it was all the worse, all the more crushing, to be able to peer into Charlie's face now and know that their happiness was in mortal peril, and there was nothing he could do about it. It was his fault. If he'd just not gone... If he'd just left as soon as he'd had the prescription. If he hadn't listened to that... That poison. He should have recognised the look in Max's eye. he never should have trusted him enough to take medication from his hand. He was supposed to be the only person left who I could trust. He was supposed to help me. He was supposed to treasure my secrets and keep them safe. Now those secrets were only weapons, and he knew it. Max knew about Charlie, and he'd surely tell if Verne put up resistance.

He put up a hand in a gesture that he was fine to get up on his own. He didn't want Charlie's hands where Max's hands had been, as if that invisible stain would ruin them, taint their innocent purity somehow. Maybe Charlie would sense where they had been. Maybe he would see the invisible stain somehow. Verne couldn't stand to put him through that just yet, nor himself. He grabbed the edge of the couch and used that instead, to stagger to his feet, and once he was up, he managed a nod. Yes, they should go... somewhere. Home, whatever that was. Houses that they shared with others when they deserved a home of their own. Together. Maybe that would never happen now. Maybe fate had decreed that they should just never be happy. Perhaps they had been evil in a past life, needlessly cruel, and were paying the price for that now. Since age ten -or probably before that if he was honest- Verne's life had been an unending nightmare, with only the briefest glimpse of light in the middle. Charlie. And now Charlie was back, and everything was going dark again despite his presence. The last light going out, slowly but surely. And for now, he was too shocked and bereft to figure out how to stop it. He could only walk next to Charlie in uneasy silence, slipping through the drizzly night like a man lost. There was a haunt about his face, as if his every footfall was dogged by those faraway spectres that tormented him in his sleep.

They made it almost all of the way to the terrace before Verne's body finally won the little rebellion he had been fighting since he'd woken up. Abruptly staggering and veering away from Charlie on the wooded path to the terrace, he stumbled a few paces into the trees and bushes, and was abruptly ill. There wasn't much in his stomach to bring up, but it didn't seem to care. Hunched over, with trembling hands on a tree trunk, he dry heaved once there was nothing left, and began shivering against his damp clothing. This can't be happening. It's not happening. The scent of sweet bile clinging to his lips made his head spin, rousing other memories. The faint herbal undertone of his mother's special dinner, the way it had burned his lips. Chilli powder, that's all. Verne groaned a miserable sound when his body finally allowed it, and turned to slump his back against the tree so he could see Charlie.

"I... I want to tell you the truth... I do. I want to. I want to because I love you, because... Because you're all I ever wanted. Everything. But..." He shook his head, and heaving a distraught breath, lifted his hands to rub his face and rake back through the tangled swoops of his hair. "I don't... I don't know how. I'm... afraid. Afraid you'll hate me. Afraid of what will happen. ...Afraid you'll leave. I'm afraid you'll have to go, or I'll be sent away, or... Or just... Just afraid of losing you. I just want it to be... perfect, and it's not perfect! It's supposed to be, but it's fucked and I don't know what to do!" His voice rose toward the end of his outburst, but once it was done, he collapsed back into silence, leaning his head back against smooth bark. There were no stars to be seen overhead, only dull, rolling rain clouds. It seemed almost fitting, really. No stars, no light, no warmth. "Maybe... Maybe I'm meant to lose it. Like her. Maybe they were right. Maybe they were all right. Maybe we're not meant to be happy." Over the bottom sweep of his lashes, he peered at Charlie, forlorn, quietly distraught still. He was cold, soaking by now, but the rain was almost soothing in a way, as if it might wash away the stain.

"In Surrey, I..." Closing his eyes, he paused and sighed audibly. He couldn't say anything. What if Charlie told someone? What if Max turned around and told everyone about them, about what Charlie had done, about how mad they both must be? What if they were split apart again? But what if he said nothing? How could this go on? It was torment, and Max would only want more eventually. It would be cheating. Knowing that it was going to happen one day and doing nothing about it made him culpable, unfaithful. He growled in anguish and knotted his hands in the hair at the sides of his head. "I... can't. I can't. I don't know what to do."

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Re: Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Charles Wright on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Afraid was probably the most accurate description of how Charlie felt standing beside Darcy, watching him try to pull himself together enough to stand freely. He was afraid of what was happening to the man he loved, afraid for him. He was afraid of what all this could mean and of what would happen to them from here. Was this really the beginning of the end? Watching Darcy suffer so much brought back dark, haunting memories of how things had been when he first moved in and how it had taken years to get him to be able to live with some semblance of normal. They were never truly normal but seeing him smile on a daily basis had been the greatest moments of Charlie’s childhood and had stayed with him over the long, painful, and lonely years. He’d gotten to see that smile when they reunited at Highgrove and for a short time he was convinced all would be okay. That they’d finally have what they’d wanted all along. Darcy was here and they could build a life together, away from judging eyes and cruel whispers. He’d begun working up the courage to ask for a housing reassignment so that they could share a space and not worry about dodging housemates.

From where Charlie stood, all of this was still within their reach. They would have to work at it but they’d overcome unimaginable tragedy before. The optimist that made up much of his being said that all it would take is time. He shouldn’t let silly thoughts of betrayal and loss of love deter him from being at Darcy’s side. Such ideas would only aid the divide that seemed to be trying to tear them apart. He would be there for Darcy in any way he could, even if it meant hurting himself in the process. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to help his cousin. So even though it pained him to not help Darcy walk he maintained a respectable distance from him, his fears and worries clearly written across his pale face and in his bright blue eyes. He would save burning questions for the house, when they would be safe from the snooping ears that Highgrove’s walls seemed to have.

Lost in his thoughts, it took the teacher a moment to realize that Darcy was veering off the path and into the trees. “Darcy?” His mind struggled to process but the moment he heard the tell tale sounds of a man being ill there was not a force on earth that could have kept him on the walkway. He made a dash after Darcy, stopping a few feet behind him. Every fiber in him screamed to go forward and rub his back, perhaps keep some of his unruly hair back from his face. But Darcy had made it clear that he did not want Charlie to touch him. So, as difficult as it was, he kept his distance. Charlie’s hands fidgeted and twisted together in front of him as he tried to fend off another wave of tears that threatened to crash into him. He needed to be strong for Darcy, just like he’d been back then. But it was different this time. In Spalding he knew what had happened to him. Right now the torment his love was going through was a complete mystery and it made it all the more difficult to be the rock that he knew Darcy needed. Being in the dark allowed Charlie’s mind to come up with some horrible ideas and just the fact that they could be a possibility was shaking his mental fortitude.

Darcy’s words were like a wrecking ball to the damn that was keeping the flood at bay. It honestly sounded like he was trying to say goodbye or imply that their end was swiftly approaching. Tears slipped silently over the lash line rolled down his cheeks, leaving a glistening path more many more to follow. He wanted to say so much, but for now decided it best to remain silent. He wanted to let Darcy ramble, he wanted him to get everything off his chest that he needed to. Only then would Charlie speak. But the words were cutting him deeper and deeper, making him feel like they really were about to lose what they’d waited so long to have.

But as he continued, condemning himself to the same fate as his mother, Charlie could not just stand there and listen. “Stop it. Just…” He could not keep the distance anymore and he moved the last few steps toward Darcy, his hands lifting to hold the sides of his head, bringing his forehead against his. If Darcy resisted, Charlie would fight him, not wanting to let go of him. “Stop saying these things!” The tears that had been previously falling without much else turned to sobs, his words catching in his throat as he tried to speak. “Y-You’re not like...her. You’re not going insane and I’m not going anywhere! God Himself would have to strike me down to take me away from you! And no matter where you go I will be there. I love you, Darcy, and no one is going to split us up ever again.” He wanted Darcy to understand that. He wasn’t fifteen anymore. No one could take him away unless through illegal means or Death was waiting for him. “Darcy…just tell me what is going on. You’re scaring me to death but I could never hate you. Nothing you could do would drive me away. Just…please…tell me.”
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Re: Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:05 am



In recent years, Verne had sometimes wished he could still cry like he'd used to, like Charlie was doing now. Seeing his cousin's tears almost made him feel terrible that he couldn't seem to tap into his own and show that he was hurting to, that this was tearing him apart from the inside out. Maybe Charlie would think him cold, or indifferent. But where Verne didn't wear tears on his lashes, he wore his troubles and toils on his quizzical brow. His face had always been something of an open book, wearing the weight of the world in its faint creases, or the Charlie's light in a smile that was not to be paralleled. Now it was the former. Storm clouds had gathered in and above his eyes, and they couldn't be blown away. He looked positively anguished, torn, and when Charlie neared him and grasped his face, he wanted to say don't. But the word never came. Only a soft breath through his nose when their foreheads met, as if they could somehow think to each other, communicate through the contact of alabaster skull to alabaster skull. How many times had he wished that was true, in their youth? They had almost had their own language anyway, from all the time they had spent together, but it had never seemed quite enough, and it hadn't been enough to keep them by each others sides forever. And it couldn't do so now.

"If I... If I tell, you can't... say anything. You can't do anything. Because I need to think. I need time to think about this. Promise me, Charlie." From so very near, he couldn't fully see Charlie's eyes, only the blur where he knew they resided, behind soft eyelids like fine Italian parchment, and eyelashes too perfect to be true. But they were. There was no-one and nothing else he'd ever wanted in this life, and so everything about Charlie was perfection in his eyes. And no-one else had ever wanted him either, not like Charlie did. Max had made him think that he did, for a time, but there had always been the voice of doubt in the back of his mind that said you shouldn't be doing this. Something's wrong. Now he wished he'd listened all along. Would it have made a difference if he had? At once he wanted to push Charlie away, warn him that he was tainted, that some of that poison on his skin might ruin Charlie; but in the same breath, he wanted him to stay. He wanted this closeness. It was almost soothing if he tried not to think about Max's hands on him only hours ago, while Verne's limbs had been too heavy and clumsy to fully hold him off. He was supposed to be here, in Charlie's arms, but there was a blight growing on their roses, turning them to rot, and he was afraid it would spread.

An unsteady breath whispered in through parted lips, and it drew a tremble out of his bones, through the sinews of his arms and back. He felt ill again to even try to form it all into words, but he struggled to make his stomach be still, and realised only after he'd done it that he was grasping the sides of Charlie's head firmly too. Not enough to hurt him, but enough that a little of his desperation was translated in the flutter of his fingertips where they cradled Charlie's skull. They were right. You're going crazy. All this will drive you crazy. "In Surrey... They made me see a psychiatrist..." It's too hard. I can't do it! I can't... tell him. He closed his eyes and took another uneasy breath. Please... Don't lie. "I... was young, and confused, and alone. And he made me think... He made me feel as if... As if he cared. As if he understood me. I know now that I was wrong..." He had to keep going. If he stopped now, he'd never say it. This was the point of no return. He took another breath, and then his lips parted in those fateful syllables. "I slept with him. Or... he slept with me." There was the flutter of his fingertips again, anxious, terrified of what was to come. But still he forced his mouth to move, though the words were pained and reluctant in tone. "I thought it was over, I thought it was behind me. Until tonight. He... He drugged me. Dr. Rose. My old psychiatrist. He drugged me, and I should have seen it coming. I think I did see it coming, only he told me... He told me something that..." Just a tiny fraction, his forehead shook back and forth against Charlie's in denial. "And I told him not to. I begged him not to. I took a pill. He said it was my medication, but it... I'm... sorry. I'm so sorry. I wasn't true to you. All these years. It's my fault. I should have known better. It's why I've been... so busy. I didn't want him to find me."

Exasperated, he let go of Charlie's head, and let his hands drop back to his sides uselessly, his head tipping back again to rest against the tree. He didn't dare peer at Charlie's face, afraid of the betrayal he might find there, the hurt and the accusation, the anger. "If you... hate me, I'll understand. It's my fault. I never should have gone. I knew what he was like, I think I even knew why he wanted to see me. I was stupid and... and shocked and... upset. God..." And Darcy resumed his pose from before, with his hands pressed to the sides of his head as he turned his eyes back up to the rolling rain clouds. "I don't know what to do..."

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Re: Abandon Hope (Charlie)

Post  Charles Wright on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:05 pm

Promise me, Charlie ...Could he? Could he promise to keep something that was so clearly destroying the man he loved? Charlie had no idea what was being asked of him but every cell firing in his brain was strongly advising against agreeing to it. Darcy was falling apart before his eyes because of whatever had happened. Charlie would carry the burden with him but there was something very wrong with all of this. This was more than office whispers and water cooler gossip. They weren’t sitting under a blanket fort with flashlights and the last of the biscuits, speaking in hushed tones so mum wouldn’t hear. Whatever this was, Charlie had an overwhelming feeling that it would be something beyond his comprehension. It was something unspeakably wrong, something likely illegal. Why else would Darcy fear his rejection when Charlie had never once indicated that he wanted to leave? It had to be something monumental for him to think that it would drive him away after years of longing to be together. But Darcy trusted him enough to share the unimaginable weight that resided on his shoulders and his quizzical brow and so Charlie owed him his confidence. Even if he felt wholly opposed to agreeing to keep the secret until he knew what it was, he would do this for Darcy.

Perhaps what made it so hard was the idea that, by agreeing to the secret, he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. If it was something horrible, not done by Darcy but to him, he would have to stand idly by and continue to let it happen. That was where his reservations came from. He had no intention of turning his love in, or getting him in trouble. If it was something Darcy had done…no, he did not think that was the case. This was no mobster with bodies under his roses. This was his Darcy, the same boy who used to lay awake with him just so they could finish the next chapter of whatever Jane Austin book Charlie was rereading. The same boy who used to babble on and on while pacing a line in front of the tree Charlie sat under. He was no hardened criminal. He was just…Darcy.

Their close distance would hide all the reluctance in the world that currently filled Charlie’s eyes and he was grateful for it. Darcy didn’t need to see how hesitant he was to agree to the secrecy. His head nodded slowly in silent agreement for he did not trust his voice enough to say the right words. Darcy needed him now more than ever and he not let his reserves hold him back. After his nod, Charlie breathed a soft breath to prepare himself for whatever news was to come. He could not shake the feeling that he would need to be in a sound state of mind to process the information about to be bestowed upon him. He only hoped he had the resolve and composure to not react in a way that would offend Darcy or upset him anymore.

Darcy began his tale and Charlie would do just as he’d done before. He would remain silent throughout and wait until all was in the open before speaking. At least…that had been the initial plan. Nothing in this life or the next could have prepared him for the words that passed Darcy’s lips. He had needed that breath to calm himself but it did him no good. He hadn’t taken enough, hadn’t centered himself fully. The shock on his face could not be hidden by any amount of preparation or masking. Not that Charlie was ever good at hiding his emotions. He wore them openly and freely on his face and sleeves at all times, bearing his heart to the world. He always liked to see the best in people, give everyone a chance. The innocence and purity that Darcy prized in him didn’t come without a price however. Charlie had been fortunate to have not been burned by those abusing his trusting nature but now, as he stood before Darcy and listen to his story, he cursed himself for not seeing it sooner. For not thinking there was something wrong with that man. He felt that there must have been some flashing ‘molester’ sign floating above the head of house’ person and he’d been ignoring it. He’d only met Dr. Rose in passing a few times since his arrival but…he’d always seemed to nice and helpful. He was gentle with the kids and kind to the staff. And he always said hi to Charlie…

The churning in his stomach now was not due to nerves but to another emotion that Charlie rarely, truly felt: anger. Very few people had ever seen him properly angry. His mother was perhaps the only one to know that the end of his fuse could be reached. He’d gotten ruffled, a bit snappish with people before but he never wished ill on them. However, right now every inch of him ached to run for the house and tear that man apart. Had had been right to be reserved about keeping the secret because now that he knew, there was no way on earth he would be able to sit by. This was worse than…than anything his mind had been trying to come up with before. Charlie’s breathing increased as his blood pressure spiked, his heart pumping that anger into every corner of his usually gentle form. When Darcy finished and silence came over them Charlie took another minute to process what had been said. When his head was released his own hands dropped away and his head whipped around like it was on a string, eyes turned toward the house. He half expected to see the monster lingering in a window, or that his gaze could burn through the walls to see him lounging in his home or office. But all he was greeted by were dark windows and a veil of mist. Slowly, his head turned back around to Darcy. It was only then that he could find his voice again and speak the words that were spiraling in his brain.

“Darcy…” He began, once again reaching out for his cousin. However, instead of only holding his head he sought to pull him fully against him and hold him there. “Don’t you ever think any of this is your fault…Never. Do you understand? That m-…” He could not bring himself to call Dr. Rose a man. He was less than that. Rat would do a disservice to the scuttling creatures as well. “He…he raped you. He hurt you, he…” Charlie was shaking with emotion, trying to keep his words coherent and not just shout out and run inside to put a fire poker into Dr. Rose’s skull. “I’m so sorry…Sorry I wasn’t there for you. God, I wish I could have been.” He looked into the other man’s eyes. “I can’t…I can’t promise. I’m not going to sit here and let some bastard hurt you because he thinks he has some claim to you or whatever it is.” The bubbling anger was settling a little, enough that he could take some steady breaths. “I don’t hate you. I could never hate you, Darcy. I love you so much and I’m not going to let this happen anymore, that I can promise.”
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Charles Wright

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