Mother (Max)

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Mother (Max)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:43 am



Verne had gone home with Charlie, hours after Maxwell Rose had left him staggering in the hallway. Cradled beneath a burdened sky, the two cousins had talked until the cold and the drizzle warranted a grateful retreat from it all. Verne didn't want to talk any more, and the stress had made him physically sick again before they made it to Charlie's little cottage, and clambered inside under the cloak of night. He longed for the milky light of a rainy dawn to come, to caress the form of their bodies curled together beneath the blankets of Charlie's bed. Two long lost puzzle pieces meant to fit together, meant to complete the picture. They'd been cast aside, lost in dusty drawers, but now they fitted together as they had when they'd been created. Charlie's hips cradled him from behind, their legs bent in mimicry, and he held onto the hand at the end of a warm and soft arm draped over his torso, and longed for dawn. Even sleep might be a blessing for once. The crooked halls of his childhood home would be a respite from the reality hanging over the two young man. There, he could rest, find every hiding place he'd ever known, and defy his demons in uneasy slumber. Staring at the paper thin curtains over the window and waiting for the sun was a slow torment, a cruel fate. His face felt hollow, as if his eyes might be pulled back into his skull, hot and weary. What am I going to do?

He never should have told Charlie about what had happened, he knew that now. Maybe a secret kept was less dangerous than one shared. There was no telling exactly what Charlie was going to do with the knowledge, but he knew for sure that it was dangerous. Max was not without his claws, and who was really going to believe the words of two young men with psychiatric records against the doctors? If Charlie breathed a word of this to the wrong person, or went against Max himself, he might be ruined. He might be sent away, locked in some dark hole where Verne could only hope to follow, if he had to crawl on bloodied knees to find him again. I can't lose you again. If Charlie had once tried to kill himself, then surely the loss of one another would drive them both to it now. It couldn't happen. The very realisation that this threat was real made Verne feel sick again, nestled with Charlie like tandem fruits grown of the same branch. He turned his face to the pillow and drew in Charlie's scent there, where it clung to the fibres of the sheets, and permeated below into the pillow itself. It was similar to his own, but different enough that he could place it anywhere, any time. It would always be filed somewhere in the dusty and decaying cabinets of is mind, readily accessible the moment he inhaled it again. And what if this was the last chance he'd ever get...

Dawn came slowly, too slowly, and with heavy eyelids, Verne almost missed it. So gradual was the change that it felt as fluid as walking, and as immemorable. It wasn't until the shapes of the furniture in the room could be made out that he realised the night was gone. Finally. The light of day would cleanse the nightmare from his hair and skin like summer rain. It always did. Except this time. No, this time, the fateful night that had come before clung to him like an unwanted second skin, soiled and stained. Even slipping silently from the bed -careful not to wake Charlie- he couldn't seem to shift it under the scalding stream of the shower. No amount of scrubbing could budge the remembered wandering hands from him, the imminent threat of something that seemed worse than death. I won't lose you... Can't... Something had to be done. Some resolution had to be met. The fear and uncertainty would surely be the thing that drove him mad most of all, if it continued on for much longer.

Some time around what might have been breakfast for the other staff members of Highgrove, Verne climbed back into the bed next to Charlie and tangled himself there, naked and hot from the shower. Now that dawn had come, he met Charlie's eyes in silent resolution, and then let his lids close, let the daylight hours melt away into the mildewed clapboards of that house. Dark hallways and plush, stained carpets. Clear your plate, young man. His mother's strained, stricken face looming from the other end of the dining room table, too clever, too watchful, too wrong. Why hadn't he noticed it then? Why hadn't he questioned the dark lines beneath her feverish eyes? Why hadn't Daddy? It was all right there, ready to be played over and over again in his head for years to come. Why? Furniture loomed in that place, black as pitch, peeling mahogany and stained chartreuse patterns, fading with age and rot. The floorboards splintered beneath his bare, child's feet when he stumbled and staggered along the hallway. The lights, dim and sickly, seemed to flicker. It was that home he had known, but it had been poisoned by what had happened there, and years of bitter reflection.

When he eventually woke, in much the same position he'd fallen asleep in, the dawn had stolen away into dusk again, and the space next to him was cool and vacant. Blindly, he groped at it as if to confirm that Charlie was gone. Downstairs perhaps, or called away on some errand. In reality, he had been slumbering for hours upon hours. It was no wonder that Charlie had not slept as long as he did. Verne shook off the leaden shackles that had held him fast to the mattress, and crawled out of the bed to find his clothing, likewise sullied by Max's touch. Pulling the garments on only felt like being violated all over again, and he imagined he could recall the scents of Max's office and the tang of the drug in the fibres, just as Charlie's scent had clung to the pillow. I won't lose you again. His stare was hollow, a thousand yards into the mirror, past himself, past the dark, strained lines under his eyes. Why hadn't he known? The reflection was grim and pale when he left it standing there, in the reflective glass above Charlie's dresser, and headed out of the room and out of the house. If Charlie was lurking somewhere within the cottage, he wasn't sure. His retreat was careful and quiet, clever and tense. He wasn't even sure what he was going to do until he was standing in front of Max's apartment door, having just knocked.

A brief look back in time, perhaps only ten minutes, would have shown Verne moving about the office in the stables, making two cups of tea. One for himself. One for Max. A detour. He's not feeling very well. I tucked him into bed after bath time. His expression hadn't changed whatsoever between Charlie's bedroom and Max's front door. He still looked pale and grim, eerily empty. The cups of tea burned his hands through the thin paper in which they were contained. Night had fallen at some point and he couldn't place when, wasn't sure what time it was. But the house was quiet and felt as vacant as the hallways of his mind. He almost seemed to stare through Max when the door opened, his voice a monotonous breath of a sound as one hand extended toward him with the cup of tea. "We need to talk. Can I come in?" Was it a peace offering? Had he come back for more? Was he here to bargain? He stepped in past the psychiatrist and punctuated his thoughts with a sip from his own cup.

"I can't lose Charlie. I won't. I'll do whatever I have to do." He turned on his heels to peer back at the older man. "I don't want you to touch him, I don't want him sent away. If it means that I have to do anything, then I will." The words sounded strangely self assured, but then he'd had all night to think about this. Max could hardly be surprised with how haggard he looked, considering what he'd learned about Charlie and what had happened afterwards. He looked as if he hadn't slept in a fortnight despite the fact that he'd only woken up a couple of hours ago. A detour. He couldn't tell a lie to Max. Could he? When he spoke again, it was with the same strange but true monotone. There wasn't really anyone there behind the words, impossible to read. His face was a blank mask of sleepless despair and determination. "So, can we sit down and talk?" He sipped his tea again, watching Max over the rim with sage, clever eyes. "I'll do whatever you want me to do."

You're just like your mother, boy. Poisoned in the head.
One day you'll be behind bars too.


"What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin."
Henry Ward Beecher
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Verne Fitzwilliam

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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Dr. Maxwell Rose on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:20 pm

Max had gone alone to his apartment, leaving Verne staggering down the hall. He assumed Verne would either come to his senses or someone would come across him and shovel him off. If he had he known it would be Charlie collecting the drugged man he may have stuck around longer. Watching Verne squirm while he had a chat with the pretty teacher would have been a satisfaction he had yet to know. There had been the briefest of moments where he considered going to find him and have a little fun while Verne was unconscious but it passed without any action taken. He had other plans for the evening and taking the time to hunt Charlie down would most likely kill the high he was currently riding. He could still feel Verne’s skin on his hands; still hear the soft sounds he made in protest. Their encounter in the office had been unlike all those before but it wasn’t a disappointment. If anything, it gave the twisted psychiatrist a thrill. Hearing him begging for it to stop had only made Max want to touch him more, knowing that there was nothing Verne could do about it. He’d always made sure that his patients were consenting when he went for it but…but that had been fun. Perhaps this was an avenue to explore further with some of the others. He’d have to pick and choose carefully but it might work with the right application of influence and medication.

Max spent the evening alone, although he thoroughly enjoyed himself, and had retired to bed long before Verne and Charlie stumbled home. His dreams were peaceful, his sleep restful. He slept as though he’d spent the day giving food to starving children or helping lost puppies and kittens find good homes. No nightmares disturbed him, no haunting thoughts of the act he’d just committed or the thoughts he’d entertained once all was said and done. He went to work the next day with a smile, one that was a shade brighter than usual. Max had earned a bit of a reputation as a friendly doctor and today he wore it with pride. He’d even arranged to have a therapy with Keziah down at the stables. Verne would surely love to see him again. The girl would be a great excuse to be around and watch him wiggle on the hook.

By day’s end he was ready to go home and have some quiet time, maybe read a book or play some music. Once again he thought of Verne and Charlie, wondering if Verne had made it to him or if he’d crawled to the stables to hide. The stable master was so squashed down by this point he wondered what he’d say to his lover about all that had happened. Would he have the guts to tell him? Would he confront him with the information Max had given him? He hadn’t been lying after all. Charlie’s suicide record, while smaller than he’d let on, was fact and he had the paperwork to prove it. Perhaps he would call the young man in tomorrow for a visit. He then could find out exactly what he knew and then decide what he should do about it. He had Verne fairly controlled but Charlie was not under his thumb yet.

Max had settled in for the night when the knock came. His brow ceased in slight confusion, eyes glancing down at the watch he still wore. Hrm. The gentle nature of it and the fact that there was no urgent screaming suggested it wasn’t an emergency. He got along well with most of the staff but none of them had a reason to come and see him at this hour. No one except…A faint smile tugged at his lips and he stood from his couch, crossing the room to answer the door. Verne. “Of course you may.” He accepted the cup and stepped to the side, allowing him to enter his house. As unexpected as this was he couldn’t say that he was put off by his guest. This would be good for both of them, if Verne just accepted it and kept his mouth shut. He wouldn’t have to get any nastier than he already had and Charlie would stay safe. That is, he would stay safe as long as Verne kept to the deal he was attempting to make and Max didn’t get bored.

The door closed and was locked behind them and Max followed him into the room. His free hand slid into the pocket of his navy bathrobe as he raised the other to sniff the tea. He’d always liked this kind. Verne would know that too. He took a sip as he listened to him, nodding his head in understanding. “If we make his deal, Verne, you will do whatever I say. If you try to back out or go against me you’ll get both you and Charlie in a lot of trouble.” He gestured to the couch for them to take a seat, sipping his tea once again before sitting down and placing the cup on the coffee table. “We’ll talk about it. I want you to make sure you know what you’re signing yourself up for.”
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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:57 pm



It was a wrestle and a half to keep the triumphant smile from his face when Verne's eyes honed in on Max's cup of tea. He watched his mouth cradle the lip of the paper cup, watched a small measure of the hot liquid disappear between the lips. The muscles of the psychiatrist's throat worked to swallow, and he saw that too, drinking in this moment as if to hold onto it forever. I won't let you take him away. Max was speaking, laying down the ground rules as if Verne was some flimsy possession to be tossed about and discarded. As if he had no soul, no will of his own. This time last night, he would never have believed he would be standing in Max's apartment, drinking tea again. He also never would have believed that he could squirt an entire equine hypodermic of Dorminal into the bottom of the cup he'd brought over. Only one cup, of course, and he'd spent the entire walk from the stables focusing on which one of those cups it had been. Even though he was certain it was the right, he couldn't help the faint chill of doubt in the pit of his stomach. What if I forgot? What if I picked them up in the wrong order? But he hadn't, and as his unusually green eyes watched Max take another sip, he felt something else stirring in the pit of his stomach. Something unpleasant. Something familiar. Something old.

It was as if someone or something else controlled his feet when Max gestured to the couch and he moved toward it. In many ways, it was as if he was watching this whole scene from the outside, like a film reel playing. An impartial observer. Because he couldn't be doing this. Could he? They were right. They were all right. His seat on the edge of the couch cushion was uneasy, rigid, but those dark lines of stricken determination beneath feverish eyes lingered still as if etched in stone. Why hadn't he noticed? A small part of him -the inner child- cried out in miserable defeat and horror, and he watched the psychiatrist put down the cup of tea on the coffee table, feeling his heart drop like a heavy stone being slung into a pond full of scum. Plunk. Was it enough? Would he finish the cup of tea? He became acutely aware of his own pulse whispering behind his ears, racing, hurried and terrified like the wings of a bird beating against glass. Somehow, he nodded his head and parted his lips in a whisper. "Okay."

They would talk about it. For now. He would hear Max's selfish demands, his twisted logic. And maybe the psychiatrist's words would still the high note of doubt that was starting to scream in his head like the last dying string of a violin solo. What am I doing? What other choice did he have? Oh, probably many, many, but he couldn't seem to think of them now. There was only this. The only way out. The end of the rainclouds that were rotting his sunny garden of perfect roses down to thorny stubs. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Is this how she felt? "I told you, I'd do anything to keep him safe. I love him. Nothing will ever change that. And he loves me too." But could this change his love for me? No-one has to know... "I can't let him be taken from me again. Not now. I'm not that boy any more. I'll do whatever it takes to ensure our safety." For emphasis, and perhaps silent encouragement, he sipped his own tea again. It tasted weak, bland as dishwater on his parched tongue. The world around them seemed to have lost some of its life, some of its zeal. Colours faded to dark and dim ghosts of themselves, and while the room was well lit, he imagined the furniture pitch, scorched to charcoal like the spectres of his dream house. he would not verbally mention the tea. He couldn't press this. he couldn't be too pushy, lest he rouse suspicion. Quiet, meek little Verne would never do something like this. Would he?

"I thought about it a lot, last night. About all the times we've spent together, about everything I've done with you, for you. For a while, I thought I was doing it for me, that it was my own choice. But there was always a voice of doubt in the back of my mind. I always knew this wasn't right. I was just a child! I was just a child, and I needed help. I needed someone to help me, to comfort me. And I thought that was what you were doing. You made me think it would help. But it didn't Max. It didn't help me. I'm still broken. I'm still lost. They were all right, don't you see? I'm crazy, just like her. She poisoned me with that the day she took away everyone who cared about me. Everyone but one. And I can't lose that one person who can love me unconditionally." Another sip of his tea. There was something heartachingly earnest about his words, mumblings from his very soul. He hadn't spoken this openly in years.

"You violated me, last night. I told you to stop, and you violated me. You violated whatever little bit of trust I'd ever had in you. And so now we're left with this." He gestured idly to the room around them, indicating the world, indicating this fateful time in history. "And now I know who you are, I know what the world is. I know what I have to do to ensure my safety, Charlie's safety. If it means sacrificing myself, then that's what I'll do. So just tell me what you want. Tell me the rules. I'll listen. I can't live in any more uncertainty. I have to know how to keep us together, keep us safe." He regarded his own hand as if it were an alien thing, belonging to someone else. It reached out for Max, and came to rest cold and detached on the Psychiatrist's thigh. He wouldn't take this too far, but he needed Max to drink that cup of tea. Max needed to trust him, needed to feel safe. Verne needed to reassure him that all of this was for the greater good, just like Max had done to him as a young man. He was supposed to be Verne's salvation, but he had betrayed him. The nightmares had never left. Indeed, they were sitting in the nightmare now, and it would just keep going and going, wouldn't it?

"Your tea's getting cold..." He whispered, peering into Max's face encouragingly before he glanced to the paper cup. "It's your favourite. I remembered. I made it special. A peace offering. A token..."



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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Dr. Maxwell Rose on Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:40 pm

To Max, Verne was nothing more than a possession. He was something he could own and play with when he wanted. He could bend him, break him, put him back together, and then set him on the shelf when he was done. Verne was offering himself to be used as Max saw fit and he would take full advantage of that. Verne would surely regret this decision by the time the week was out. But his feelings toward him hadn’t always been this way. Years ago, when both he and Verne were younger, the curly haired boy had meant something to him. After all, you never forget your first. Verne had been one of his first patients and he did feel a special bond with him. When he took Verne into his arms and into his bed he’d done it because he cared. He wanted to share that with the boy and the way he went about it felt right to him. After Verne was transferred to Dr. Penhurst and no longer seeing him several times a week Max sought the comfort of other patients, boys just like Verne who were looking for someone to be there for them. It was somewhere along this road that Max’s want to help warped into a twisted kink that he now actively sought. He liked the damaged boys who trusted the gentle adult figure, who would do anything for a smile and a pat on the head.

Max took the seat beside Verne, adjusting his robe and lounge pants as he got more comfortable. The decision to change right when he got home had been on a whim and now he was very glad he had. Once he was comfortable he did pick up the cup again, taking another sip before it was returned to its spot on the glass surface. He shifted his position so that he was angled toward Verne, not bothering trying to hide his wandering eyes. They ghosted over him, following the paths his hands had made the night before. As he watched the other man his thoughts took him back to last night, remembering the skin under his hands. He regretted not doing more, not letting himself properly explore and use more than just his hands. Tonight would correct those mistakes. If Verne thought he could come and only make the deal he was in for a surprise. He would have to prove his willingness to do anything for Charlie by staying long after this talk ended. Would little Verne be able to really go through with it?

He seemed willing to explain enough, babbling on and on about how far he’d go to protect his cousin. Verne was about to reach for his tea again when he paused, starting to find all of this a little odd. In years past he couldn’t get him to shut up, when they were involved and Verne trusted him with everything he had. Their sessions often ran late because he wanted to talk so much. But since then, since Highgrove, he couldn’t get a word out of him. The fact that he came to him twenty-four hours after their encounter was strange. Max had assumed it would take an act of God or even more leverage to get Verne to come see him without having to be called. Yet here he was with tea to talk about how he was willing to give himself to keep Max away from Charlie. He thought they would have run before this. Something was wrong. But for the life of him Max could not put his finger on it. Verne didn’t have the balls to attack him or lash out. If he didn’t take him down he knew Max’s retaliation would be swift and take out more than just him. He would come down hard on Charlie first, ruin his career and life before he came after Verne. But there was a twisting feeling in Max’s stomach that something was about to happen.

Oh wait…that wasn’t just a figurative twisting. Max blinked a couple times as he tried to sort out the sudden sensation of lightheadedness and a general feeling of off. It felt as if he were starting to come down with the cold or something. He was probably just tired from today. Perhaps age was starting to catch up and he ‘hit the wall’ a lot earlier than he used to. But I was fine a moment ago. He took another sip of his tea, hoping the caffeine in the beverage would help perk him back up. It didn’t help much but he would be okay. “I-…” God, this was strange. He didn’t like the feeling he had right now. Something was wrong. “The rules are that you’ll come see me here in the evening twice a week, just like we did for our appointments. Whichever days work for you will do. If I have to come find you, it’ll break the deal. If Charlie ever comes sniffing around or I catch him in my office it breaks the deal. When you’re here, you’re-….” Another wave of dizzy hit his head, this one causing him to wobble slightly on the couch. His hand fell on the one resting on his leg and he grabbed it, pinning it there and holding it tight. The fuck?! “You’re here. You will do whatever I say and you’ll leave when I say you can. If you try…any-…anything, it’ll…break the deal.”

Drink your tea Max’s eyes dropped to the tea as the dizziness continued to swirl in his head. The tea? Had…had he…No, not possible. Verne would never do that. Would he? Hadn’t he just said that he would do anything to keep Charlie safe? Questioning eyes turned back up to him and he sat back on the couch, rubbing his face some as if it would clear things up. “No, thank you. I’ve had enough caffeine for the night.”
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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:13 am



Plunk.

Verne's heart took another swan dive as he watched Max begin to derail slowly, to sway in his seat. He knew he shouldn't have mentioned the tea! He knew it would be too obvious! Max had only had a few sips here and there. He hadn't thought the dorminal would take effect this quickly, when taken orally. Max was supposed to finish the cup before he felt anything! Maybe he had put too much in. Maybe he'd fucked this all up. Was it enough to kill him? What if it just drugged him, damaged him? What if he woke up and knew what Verne had tried to do! He must know, musn't he? Just like her... He felt his pulse quicken beneath skin that was growing pale, cool and clammy, and for the first time since he'd walked in, some emotion other than grim resolution started to show on his face. Fear.

His eyes shot to the half drunk cup of tea sitting on the coffee table, and then back to Max's face. He'd probably drunk enough to seriously fuck something up. Maybe he'd suffocate. Maybe his heart would stop. But what if it didn't? If nothing happened, he was fucked, and probably not in the literal way either. Max surely wouldn't keep him around. He'd find a way to send him off to some seclusion cell to rot for the rest of his life. Patient tried to poison therapist with equine euthanasia drug. Considerable danger to himself and others. History of psychiatric illness. he snatched his hand back from between Max's hand and thigh, and wiped it on the thigh of his pants as if the contact had left a stain. Now what was he going to do? If Max didn't die... If Max didn't die tonight, this would all be over! It was a disaster! What had he been thinking? Why had he done this thing? He should have just come over and agreed to do whatever the psychiatrist wanted without trying to kill him too. Now he had no choice. He'd cornered himself. If only Max would drink the rest of the cup. But how? How to make him drink it? He was probably already suspicious by now. That must be why he'd grabbed Verne's hand, so pointedly told him he didn't want any more. Oh, fuck. Fuuuuck!

it was Verne's turn now to struggle to swallow. All the muscles of his throat were visible in this wrestling match against a suddenly dry mouth. He looked stricken now as well as strained. The same look his mother had worn when Verne had begun pushing his dinner around his plate, complaining about not liking it. It's too bitter. - Nonsense. He thought he understood how she'd felt now, the racing thoughts and pounding fears. Was his face hers? He had inherited many of her angles, her sea foam eyes. had he also inherited her malady? He must have. This was history repeating itself. A self-fulfilling prophecy set into motion, and there was no way back now. He had to do something. Inaction would almost certainly mean his ruin, the end of his dreams, the death of the roses.

Glancing back to Max's face again with that stricken, fearful look, he studied him for a moment as if in thought, and then looked back to the cup of tea. he could probably pin him, hold his nose and pour it down his throat. No-one would ever know he hadn't just done it to himself. Would they? Who really knew Max anyway? He didn't seem to get close to anyone except his patients. Would anyone out there mourn his passing? Panicked and desperate, Verne moved then suddenly, pushing his hands into Max's shoulders as he got up from the couch to loom over him. he put all of his weight into the motion, attempting to shove him backwards and to the side on the couch, to pin him down, as he had been pinned. "I won't let you ruin this for me!" He hissed, but his eyes were fogging with unshed, desperate tears of terror. Max's arms and legs were all alive now, moving, kicking and flailing at him, and the only way Verne could ride it out was by straddling his hips and sitting on them. Thighs and knees kept bumping him in the back, but he battled and wrestled to grab a hold of the psychiatrist's wrists. He hadn't planned for this. Max was just supposed to drink the tea and go to sleep, not flail like this!

It took a moment, but Verne was much stronger than Max, from long days and nights working with the horses and hefting bales of hay. He managed to grab both wrists, and he transferred them to one bruisingly strong hand, leaning all of his weight forward on them to pin them above Max's head. The other hand, his free hand, reached for the half cup of tea on the coffee table. He had every intention of pouring the drink down the psychiatrist's throat, but how to get him to open his mouth? The fingers about his wrists bit into the flesh, twisted them as hard as he could to try to get him to cry out. And if he did cry out, he would be met with a half a cup of tea being poured straight into his mouth and nose.

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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Dr. Maxwell Rose on Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:10 am

Max felt off but he was still willing to accept some other explanation as to why all of this was happening. He did not believe that Verne would have it in him to pull this kind of stunt. Denial was a powerful thing. Maybe he was just that tired or perhaps he’d dozed off on the couch and this whole exchange was all in his head. It wouldn’t be the first time the young man had come to him in his dreams and offered up himself. The reality, that he’d been poisoned by Verne, seemed too farfetched for him to believe. He wouldn’t dare. Verne simply would not dare. It would mean becoming the very thing he’d feared his whole life: his mother. Max could not count the conversations they had where he attempted to assure him that he wasn’t her and would never become her. Verne was not as damaged as she was. Little did he know but while they talked about these things Max was setting him on a similar road to the one that she had been on. The difference was that Verne wasn’t killing the ones he was supposed to love. He was trying to protect Charlie from Max and the evil things he could, and would, do to him.

Stilling silently, still trying to get a grip and come to his senses, Max’s eyes were trained on Verne. He watched the young man and his reaction to what was happening. Wouldn’t most people be concerned when someone suddenly started acting like Max? They would unless they knew what was going on and had planned for it to happen. He should have seen it. He really should have. But his ego and underestimating Verne had been his undoing. Max should have been suspicious of the sudden visit and the tea offering. He should have read into the lack of expression as emotion more. Verne wore his emotions on his sleeve when he was around Max. He’d never been able to hide anything from him. So for him to mask it all should have been a red flag that he was up to something. Max had wanted some sort of arrangement like the one Verne had supposedly shown up to make. Again, another sign that he blindly stumbled passed. Max would have expected that if he’d hunted him down and hung more threats of exposure over his head. Instead, Verne had come to him and offered himself over.

“Verne…you didn’t…” One last chance, once last attempt to be convinced that this was all in his head. Verne could say that Max didn’t look well and that he should lie down, tell him that he’d come back later. There were a number of things Max was willing to believe at this point if it meant sparing his life. He was a fucked up creeper but he did not want to die. It could be argued that he deserved this after the hell he had put Verne. He raped him as a teen and then molested him as an adult. He blackmailed him into seeing him and the drugged him when he was vulnerable. He had other plans to ruin their lives as well. Would a school hire a teacher who was sleeping with his cousin? Would Verne be able to live with himself if Charlie tried to off himself again? Would Charlie want a man who was fooling around with his psychiatrist? He had so many options and no one would know. No one would know anyway, it seemed. Max’s minutes were ticking away quickly.

“I’m so-…” He started, wondering if he could talk his way out of this mess. However, Verne was suddenly on him and holding him down. The stable master was much stronger then he was but the drugs in him only made it worse. He tried to fight, arms and legs flailing to knock Verne aside. If he could get away and into the hall he might be able to call for help. But he soon found that it would be no use. He was trapped on the couch by a frantic man, pinned down by his weight. His mouth clamped shut when he saw the tea cup out of the corner of his eye, now fully aware that the drink had been drugged. If he could fight what was in his system and not take in anymore he might stand a chance. But the nails in the skin of his wrists earned a pained gasp from him, his mouth falling open without it meaning to. He felt the hot tea splash into his mouth and down his throat, some into his nostrils, causing him to cough and choke. What he could spit out he did, spraying the tainted liquid onto Verne’s chest. What didn’t make it out slid down his throat, very likely condemning him to death. When the coughing subsided he turned terrified eyes up at Verne and for the first time Max looked raw. There was no psychiatrist mask, not cocky bastard jerking him around. “Please…I’m sorry. I will stay away…Just call the medical building…Please, Verne. I’ll never come…near you again. I swear it. Please. You’re…” He began coughing again, feeling himself growing more and more tired. “You’re not her…you’re not…please…”
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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:50 am



"But I am!"

Verne's voice was a pained cry, and he let go of Max's wrists as if they'd burned him, the paper cup falling to the carpet beside the couch. It made barely a sound when it hit the fibres and rolled a little way under the coffee table. He saw it go out of the corner of his eye, remembered the way orange juice had settled over the beige shag pile of the dining room in his childhood home. Plates clattering from the table top as the hulking form of his father tried to stand, failed, toppled the flatware to the floor in a clatter. Verne felt his insides twist and revolt in recollection, felt bile try to rise in his throat again and swallowed it back. He hadn't realised that he'd been panting, hyperventilating. He looked wild, untamed, unspeakably mad, straddling Max's hips with his hands knotted in his hair. What have I done! But there was a light at the end of the tunnel, a singular golden beam trembling through the tears shimmering on his dark lashes. I'm sorry. I will stay away. Just call the medical building. He sucked in a sobbed breath, his shirt soaking up the tea that had been spat on him. Weathered, strong hands seemed delicate again now as they fell down to Max's torso, cradled his ribs. He face was caught in deliberation as he stared back down at him through gathering tears. Some tiny part of him, some faraway, rational man made his head nod once, slowly. A silent, distant yes.

"You stay away from us!" He sobbed. "Stay away from us! Leave us alone. Or I'll kill you, I swear to god, I'll kill you with my own bare hands." He held them up in front of Max's face for emphasis, but they were trembling now, and he was dissolving into full-fledged crying. This was not something he had done since he was younger. Much younger. Even in front of Max he had rarely cried, and it had always been almost silent. Now he was openly sobbing like that little boy hiding in his brother's bedroom, wailing into the telephone receiver for help. "I am her! I am! I am my mother, and I'll kill you if you come near us again!" He knew he should get up now. He knew he should call for help. But he felt leaden, hypnotised by Max's tea splattered face, his desperate, feverish eyes. Was he looking at this man the same way his mother had looked at him? Did he look as crazed, as detached and broken? It took him a good few, long moments to roll to the side and stumble off of Max, weaving precariously on his feet. His gaze flitted fitfully around the living room, looking for the familiar walkie-talkie, the same sort he usually carried himself. "Wehreisit... Whereisit..." he was whispering to himself, creeping through the room, stalking after the thing. Tiny, child's footprints staggered down some distant hallway, to a telephone mounted on the wall. He felt the spiral cord stretch, tugging the receiver back from him as he dragged it clear across the hall, into his brother's bedroom, tried to shut the door. Verne's hands were back at the sides of his head again as he meandered aimlessly, seeking it out. If Verne had ever shown a fit of full-blown PTSD, then perhaps this was it. He was half here, half there, back in that house, ten years old again.

When eventually the walkie-talkie was located, on a side table beneath a bland, apartment lamp, he reached for it with violently shaking hands, and retreated to the far side of the room with it. He looked a mess, shaken right to the core and damp with tea. A little of Max's blood was under his fingernails, where he'd parted the skin of his wrists with short, jagged fingernails. His thumb pressed hard into the call button, the entire contraption trembling at the end of his arm as he raised to his lips. His back slid down the wall, between and end table and the corner of the room nearest the window. For a long, terribly long moment, he thought he'd lost his voice. he couldn't seem to make it work, and he stared, terrified, through the room at Max laying on the couch. You could just let him die... It's so easy... Seconds passed, Max's fate hanging in the balance. It looked for all the world as if he was about to chicken out, change his mind. He was very clearly psychologically unstable, but he wanted so desperately to believe Max. He wanted to believe he'd leave them alone. He wanted to believe that he wasn't his mother. He wanted to believe that he didn't have to kill him, that he didn't have it in him to kill another man. Not like her. Not like his mother. You're not her... you're not. Please...

Cracked at first, Verne's voice suddenly broke the sick, oppressive silence of the room in a sound that was pure, indecipherable gibberish. He paused and let off the call button, gathering himself as best he could, which wasn't much. Another sob escaped him. He looked so small now, crammed in the corner by the wall with knees drawn to his chest. He looked like that frightened boy he'd once been. When he depressed the button again to transmit his voice to every staff member at Highgrove who had one just like this, his voice was a whispery, terrified croak of a sound, almost a child's voice but unmistakably Verne to anyone who knew him.

"Help me..." He choked, tried t swallow a sob, and then rose his voice louder, clearer. Help. Help me! Someone help me! "Someone... Help. Please. I need help. Medical help. In apartment one. Please hurry, someone. Hurry!" And then he let the thing go. The walkie tumbled from his hand, deflected off of his knee, and rolled on the carpet a couple of times until it fell still and he took to staring at it. He didn't want to go near Max now. He wasn't sure if he was even still alive. The drink wouldn't kill him that quickly. Drink rather than injected, it could probably take hours before he simply passed away. But what if he already had? What if Verne had called for help and now the were coming to find a murder victim, and the murderer red handed. He longed for Charlie to come. He would figure it out. He would make it all better. He was the sane, sensible one, the happy-go-lucky dreamer. Verne wrapped his arms around himself, lowered his face into the space between his knees and chest, and began to sob openly again.

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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Dr. Maxwell Rose on Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:43 am

“No, you’re not…” He whispered, his mind scrambling to keep himself focused and awake. The drug wasn’t taking him down into an endless slumber quite yet but it was well on its way. He had to fight it, had to keep himself as alert as possible. He did not want to die and perhaps if he could get Verne to think he could save himself. “You’re better than her. You can…can break away from that…” Even as his final hour approach he was still in session, trying to break through the murderous intent and get Verne to change his mind. Using the young man’s mother was the only thing he could think of to get him to stop. She had always been a sore spot for him, someone he had always hated talking about and having to face. Now she might be able to save Max from a grave that was coming a lot sooner than he thought.

Max’s head rolled in a nod, eyes still focusing on Verne. He would stay away…for now. He had no intention of turning the man in for attempted murder. That would ruin everything. If he told security what had really happened the police would be informed. Verne would then be arrested for murder and taken away from Highgrove. From there, one of two things could happen. He would either go to prison or a mental institution. Max would testify that Verne was suffering from a slew of mental disorders and should be put in psychiatric care to keep him out of jail but he was only one doctor. His testimony might not be enough to save Verne from jail. Then there was the fact that if Verne took the stand to speak on his own behalf he might tell the court everything. If he began talking about how he was being molested and blackmailed the trail would no longer be about him, but Max. However, if for whatever reason that did not come out and Verne was locked up Max would lose him and very likely never get him back. Then there was Charlie to consider. If Verne was taken away like that it may push the young man over the edge. If he died and word ever got to Verne then he too might try to take his own life. Either way, there was no good outcome. Max wanted Verne still and in order to keep him he would have to not get him in trouble.

But that did not mean that Verne was entirely off the hook. He would pay for this somehow. Max would need time to set it up but he would figure something out. However, before any planning could begin he would have to live first. Right now he had no idea if he would survive it or not. Verne was off him now but his limbs felt as though they’d been turned to lead. There was no way he would make it into the hall if he tried to move now. He still had to stay awake and not let sleep take him over though. The drug was getting difficult to fight but he would push forward, thinking and focusing on whatever he could that would help him stay alive. He heard Verne in the corner somewhere calling for help and that helped some, but it was not enough to comfort him. Even if the medical staff got here, there was no gaurentee they’d make in on time.

“When they…ask what happened…” He began, trying to formulate some sort of plan to help Verne. “Tell them…I took too many sleeping pills on accident. Or that…someone tampered with the tea.” He did not know if Verne was with it enough to lie to the other members of staff like he had been when he walked in but he had to try. “Whatever you decide…you’ve got to tell me too. If the stories don’t match up they’ll suspect something…” Max would not press charges but attempted murder wasn’t something the police generally let slide.
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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Verne Fitzwilliam on Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:33 am



Verne was in no real fit state to answer Max's weak and willowy suggestions, but he did hear them, as if down a long, dark tunnel. A railway tunnel perhaps. An underpass damp and punctuated by the drips of city drainage from above. Slick with rot and primordial slime. A nightmare place all new, all his own. The degradation of his rose garden, paved over by bloodsucking corporations and turned to urban decay. Used hypodermics in the gutter, stagnant puddles of run-off reeking like the rancid steam escaping from the grates in a city's sidewalks on a hot summer day. The roses were a long distance dream, a lullaby on the lips of his mother when she tucked the blue and lifeless form of his little bother between dinosaur printed sheets and blankets. How gaudy and garish those bright, childhood colours had looked against the cooling death pallor of a near-infant. Georgie... Wake up... Max's voice seemed to echo, as if he was moving farther away. Did it mean that he was dying, or was Verne slipping further down the rabbit hole? Was he truly, finally losing it? Was this how his mother had felt? Did she live in nightmares to? Were he roses a tangled thicket of razorwire? He whined a low but loud pained sound from his hiding place in the corner, the only response Max got from him. You were supposed to save me! You were supposed to care!

He honestly didn't know how he was going to face the staff who were no doubt rushing to their aid now. What would they think of this grown man, cowering in the corner like a child? Would they immediately peg him for guilty? Max's words chased their tails around the tangled canker that was his mind. Verne, you need to wake up. You need to think about this. But the light was slipping farther and farther away, voices echoed, the tunnel spun beneath him wildly. Maybe he was wrong. maybe he had drunk the wrong cup of tea after all. More likely, however, it was because he could hardly breath through sobs, through his hyperventilating gasps. If he didn't pull it together soon, he would pass out too, and god only knew where he might wake up. He lifted a puffy and stricken face from the suffocating darkness behind his knees, and hiccuped little gasps at the air, trying to breathe, trying to calm himself. The room fizzled around the edges like alka-seltzer dropped into a hangover morning glass of water. Breathe. Breathe! You were meant to save me! Tipping his head back against the wall, he forced in one, deep, long breath, and then pushed t out again just as slowly. And another. Another. He was used to this. He could do this. He had to do this. How many times had he woken from nightmares in this very same state? Not many, actually. But he'd come close. He could control this. Max had told him how, years ago, shown him.

When he was sure he could form words, a tiny, cracked voice sounded from the other side of the room, intended for Max's ears. "It was dorminal." Silence followed for a moment, then a quiet, choked sob, a sniffle. He sounded in a bad way. Worse than he'd ever been around Max before. It was like his mind had been a fraying sweater, and Max had grabbed the loose strand and tugged it. Now all that was left was a nonsensical pile of yarn, scrambled and knotted, no good to anyone. "It's-" He choked on the phlegm in his throat, the dryness of his own tongue. "It's used for... animals. When they need to be put down. If I don't tell them what it is, they won't be able to stop it..." Whining a quiet sound again, he covered his face with his hands, his head still tipped back against the wall. He would have to tell them, or at least hint at it. he was terrible at lying, but he had to try, or else his life was simply over. Attempted murder. If he was lucky, he'd go to prison. If he was unlucky, he'd never see the outside of a psychiatric institute for as long as he lived. "I c-... could tell them one of the... One of the residents... got in. Tell them I found the vial empty." And as the stuttered words fell from his mouth, the idea was planted as a tiny seed, ready to take root and sprout a tree of pure bullshit. He would lie. He had to lie. And he had to make them believe him. He doubted Max would really cover for him enough to explain why he was so upset, tell them about Verne's past, his PTSD. He had just tried to kill the man after all.

* * *

When the lie had been agreed upon, it was just in the nick of time. He heard the house's skeleton key in the front door lock, and when the door swung open, he recognised a couple of the medical staff who stepped inside with emergency bags and puzzled expressions. Glancing between Max and Verne, they didn't seem to know who was worse off, or what they should do. It took Verne croaking out his little bullshit story before they scrambled for Max. Nurse Branbury was rambling something about atropine to the other nurse with him, and though the man wasn't technically qualified, the other didn't argue, and they stuck Max with a hypodermic of something. The rest seemed a blur, another nightmare to add to his stack. He was shell shocked by the time Max was on the stretcher and they were wheeling him urgently towards the medical building. He's been poisoned... One of the kids... I saw the dorminal vial but I didn't think... It's pentobarbital. A lot of it. He was grateful that they didn't ask any more questions immediately, because he didn't have any answers. The nurse whose name he couldn't remember looked concerned about Verne's state too, but Branbury waved him off, and wardens arrived to help them move Max. Seafoam eyes met dark blue for a moment, and the 'nurse' nodded his head as if he somehow understood everything, as if he knew, as if he wass silently saying 'it's okay. Everything's okay.' And then Verne was walking and he couldn't remember when he'd gotten up or how. He was weaving down the hallway, toward the exit, towards the medical building, and he'd fallen behind the stretcher and medical staff.

Looking dazed, tear-streaked and mad, he registered that someone was running towards him from that very same exit. It wasn't until Charlie was closing in on him that he recognised his face, and lost his balance, careening his shoulder into the wall next of him like a bouncy castle suddenly and violently deflated. He burst out into a new fit of sobbing and hid behind his hands again, leaning into the cool plaster. He wanted to tell Charlie everything, but he knew he couldn't. Not yet. Not until they were alone. And then, maybe, Charlie would hate him and want to leave. You're just like your mother... They were right all along.

"Charlie..."

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Re: Mother (Max)

Post  Charles Wright on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:23 pm

Help me... The radio clipped to Charlie’s belt crackled to life as he strode with purpose across the lawn back toward the terrace, eyes locked in the direction he knew his house to be. He’d only been away for a half hour, maybe a little more, and each second that ticked by made him feel worse and worse. As much as he wanted to spend the entire day curled up with Darcy, wrapped in sheets and lost in peaceful slumber, he had work to do. The quizzes from the other day stubbornly refused to grade themselves so he had to cave and do it. However, the quizzes were on his desk in the house and he would feel absolutely terrible asking someone to run and get them for him. But then again, leaving Darcy alone wasn’t high on his list of things he wanted to do today. In fact the idea didn’t make the list at all. He could always tell them that Darcy was ill and he wasn’t comfortable leaving him. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch given how he looked and what had happened last night. But, then again, if they called medical Charlie didn’t know if he’d have the self control to not blurt out all that had happened the night before. So he came to the decision that leaving all else out of this would be for the best. Charlie waffled on the concept of stepping out for hours, drifting toward the front door and then back to the bedroom as he could not build up the guts to go but was too restless to sit. Eventually, he managed to convince himself that it wouldn’t take him long. With the way Darcy was sleeping he shouldn’t be up for hours.

Someone... Help. Please. I need help. At first, Charlie didn’t properly register what he was hearing. The first words from the radio gave him pause, but not enough to stop him in his tracks. Was that…no…Oh God. The voice registered as Darcy’s and a chill took over the young teacher, one that seemed to freeze him at his core. His legs quickened in pace, nearly sprinting as he tried to close this distance between him and home as fast as possible. Was Darcy sick? Was he hurt? Had…Another wave of chill coursed through Charlie as the next idea came to him. Had Max shown up? Was he at the house with him? Now it was Charlie’s turn to suddenly feel ill. If Darcy was there alone with Max… Medical help. In apartment one. Please hurry, someone. Hurry!

Charlie stopped as if he’d suddenly collided with a brick wall, the chill in him now physically freezing him. He stood motionless for a moment as his mind attempted to process what he’d just heard. Apartment one? The terraces weren’t considered apartments. There were no flats in town either. There were a few in the house but those were for the administration so why would…Blue eyes snapped wide, the hand that was holding is briefcase going limp and dropping the item into the grass. All thoughts of the quizzes were gone now. Why had they been so important? They could have waited until he went back to work tomorrow. Why had he wanted them right then? Why? Oh god…Darcy…Charlie turned, abandoning the case, and ran full tilt back to the house. Fear gripped him unlike it ever had before, tears stinging his eyes from the cold air and the panic setting in. What had happened? What had Max done to him? Charlie’s mind could concoct thousands of scenarios of Max tricking Darcy into going, of promising to not touch him again, and then turning on him when his guard was down. What if Max had seriously hurt him? His mind painted a picture of Darcy lying abused on the floor while Max showered, using what strength he had to call for medical help. He hoped security had the bastard in handcuffs or they’d be pulling Charlie off him as he beat him to death.

However, once again, Charlie was brought to a sudden halt at the door when he saw a stretcher being carried out. “Dar-….” He began as he was about to run to the side of who he assumed was his love. But then his eyes focused on the face and…it was Max. Max was the one being rushed off to medical. A new fear replaced the old one but it was still for Darcy. He could hear himself in his mind telling his cousin that he was not like his mother when they were younger, that he would never be that way because Charlie wouldn’t allow it. Had he failed him? There was a knotting in his stomach as he watched Max being carried off but he could not stand and stare. He had to find Darcy.

It took Charlie a moment to get his legs to work and he entered the building, eyes fixing on the weak mean almost instantly. He jogged until he was before him, his arms stretching out to pull him against him and hold him tight. “Shhh. It’s okay…” He had no idea if it would be, but he had hope. He always had hope. “It’s going to be okay, Darcy.” One hand left his back to smooth his wild hair down against his head; his body gently rocking them like one might do to comfort a terrified child. “Let’s go home.”
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