|03-29-2011, 08:46 PM||#1|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: pearl jammin'
Local Time: 10:20 AM
Out Of Control 30
Sorry, this one's long too!__________________
Seamus isn't all that bad. The other two, though...
And man, dialogue is fun
Day after the fireCiarán opened his eyes, letting in a grayish sort of morning—he wasn’t sure where the light came from—somewhere up near the ceiling? He couldn’t see that far up even if he craned his neck. This was a strange room…
When he looked around, he saw Seamus was asleep, blocking the door with his bulky body, coat pulled up to his chin and arms huddled. The bottle of water was empty next to him, which the sleeping Seamus didn’t seem too happy about.
His head felt fuzzy. He blinked, and some of the haze cleared, but he still felt a little disoriented. He coughed and sat up, and Seamus blinked dark eyes open.
Ciarán hadn’t seen him clearly in the dim light of nighttime. There was something he kept trying to place in his mind about this man, but he couldn’t quite. Had he seen him at the bar? Maybe that was it. He didn’t seem as huge as he had in the darkness. Ciarán realized Marcus could probably easily overpower Seamus just by physical presence, which answered the internal question that had been bugging him, of why Seamus didn’t just leave if he seemed so reluctant.
“Bloody hell,” Seamus growled, blinking again and shifting so he sat up. He looked behind him as if he could see through the door, then back, remembering how he’d lain awake most of the night hoping his body at least might block anyone from entering if they tried. He hadn’t been able to stay awake though…
“That wasn’t water, was it.” He glared at the empty bottle, and at Ciarán, who once more was shrinking into the wall.
“Oh, hell, kid,” Seamus said brusquely, “I’m not going to hurt you.” He crept forward, Ciarán daring himself not to move, staring at the dark freckles visible close up on Seamus’ face and his unreadable eyes, and whispered, so as not to be overheard, “I’d’ve jes’ let you out, if he wouldn’t have killed me in the morning.” Seamus gave a short laugh then, picking up the glass bottle and looking at it in irritation. “Though that might’a been his intention.”
“I can help you run away if you want, if I find a way out,” Ciarán said solemnly, and Seamus gave a great laugh. He still couldn’t help from flinching automatically, but he decided he liked this man. He might even trust him. The hard, unwanted fist of fear-anger Ciarán had kept hidden within himself, that he feared even having to have, loosened a little, then tightened viselike when he remembered it would still probably be impossible to leave. He looked up to the towering white ceiling, where it almost spired up beyond reach, in futility, searching among the cracked billowing walls for some impossible handhold.
“Not that way,” Seamus said ruefully. “Not unless we were meant to fly.
“Listen,” Seamus said, eyes darting over to wherever Marcus was, ears detecting loud snoring, “could I ask you to do something?” Ciarán’s eyes brightened and he felt an irrational, stinging surge of hope rocket through him; Seamus’ hand was on the bolted door.
Seamus shook his head, seeing that hope. “You’re not going to like it. Sorry.”
“I don’t care. I want to go outside, whatever it is,” Ciarán said, and coughed again, doubling over. His head still felt strange. He straightened up quickly enough to see the sudden doubt in Seamus’ eyes.
“Hope he’s not killing you when he musta meant me,” Seamus said in serious quiet anger.
The man shook his head. “Alright,” he said low, switching topics, and placed a heavy hand on Ciarán’s shoulder, effectively stopping him from moving. Ciarán blinked sharp moisture from his eyes and bit his lip. He could sense something about what this might entail. Seamus tilted his head at him in question, a light entering his eyes in question.
“Y’still want to go? I can’t let you leave, though,” and he muttered something hard and directed towards Marcus under his breath. “Really, if I could go against him, I would. D’you understand?”
Ciarán stared back at him, not answering. It was too much to take in at once.
“I have to get outside,” he said desperately, and the door opened a sliver as Seamus slid the bolt aside carefully, glancing again towards Marcus. Ciarán was oblivious to this, near tears, held in thrall by the little sliver of sun and wind. He wriggled past Seamus and out the crack of the door, racing haphazardly in the general direction away, the sun sliding over him with the ecstasy of sight to a blind man.
Sun—warmth—a few bars of a song, hummed in a woman’s voice…here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo…had that been Ali? He just remembered the vague impression of someone holding him, and rain somewhere far away pattering like a dance. A long long while ago.
Breathing hard, he stumbled, the ground suddenly feeling like knives, and looking around himself for the first time, saw the world yawned unfamiliar before him. He didn’t know where he was. He didn’t know where to go. There was no-one around, and a dark smell to the narrow street that came after sunshine. He shivered, and looked back. Seamus was standing in the doorway, his eyes yanking at Ciarán. He could make his way forward, or…
He walked back, recognizing something in that expression, and his freedom died, right there.
“Oh god,” Seamus choked in disbelief. “I was seeing my life right about there—“—he pointed in front of him—“—before my eyes, y’know? You are a strange little bugger, y’know that?” He looked down at Ciarán in amazement. “Are you actually here?”
Ciarán nodded, pained in a way that stayed slow within him. Everything was so complicated. He just…he couldn’t leave, thinking Marcus with the hard scarred face might kill someone. Might kill Seamus, with just as much nonchalance as he’d clicked the lighter on and off.
“And I couldn’t run,” Ciarán said in a small, cracked voice. “Something in the water’s making everything spin.”
“The hell was in there?” Marcus asked in confusion. “It just made me go to sleep. Come on.” He didn’t restrain Ciarán in any way, just walked down a few blocks and turned a few times, until they arrived at some shabby sort of convenience store, with a few of the windows blocked, a few broken (Ciarán was surprised; most of Santa Barbara seemed nice when he’d looked out the window on the drive over…).
He swung open the door, then shut it again and said intently to Ciarán, “I’m going to wait outside here. Here—“—he grabbed Ciarán’s hand and deposited some change into it—“—grab whatever you need. I don’t trust whatever food or drink Marcus has got.” He said under his breath, “And no wonder,” staring out into the distance as he leaned against the wall.
Ciarán clinked the change around with a small nervous laugh. “I think if I do get to escape, maybe I should save some food just in case.”
“Go right ahead,” Seamus said, yawning and looking like the only thing keeping him from collapsing into sleep was the wall behind him. He opened the door again and pushed Ciarán in.
Ciarán hadn’t really bought anything before, so this was new. The lady behind the counter looked at him with suspicion and said sharply, “now don’t you take anything,” and Ciarán just looked at her in hurt disbelief. He, take anything? Him? No.
It was odd, walking around like normal. Out in the open. He pretended he was there with his da…no, with Ali maybe…his da was usually busy. Once he had an armload of food and a couple unsuspicious water bottles, he deposited his armload onto the counter and looked up expectantly at the cashier.
“I’d like to get all this!” he said brightly. She looked at him like he was an idiot. “And you have the money for that, right?”
“Oh, yeah.” Ciarán frowned, setting it onto the counter. “Forgot.”
“I hope that was just you forgetting,” she glared. “This place used to have a security camera. ‘Stead I get to keep watch, now.” She looked down at the money, counted it, and shook her head, then looked at him, expression softening.
“It’s not enough but I’ll give you what it doesn’t cover.” She set his choices in his arms. “And make your old man carry some of it! That’s a lot for a kid to carry. Don’t want you to fall and hit your head.”
He looked at her strangely; Seamus didn’t look anything like he was his da! and then exited the store and shoved most of the food into Seamus’ convenient coat pockets.
“She thought you were my da!” Ciarán shook his head in disbelief. Seamus, meanwhile, had a sudden coughing fit then quieted. “I most certainly am not. You’re a good kid, though.” He sighed, looking troubled. Ciarán didn’t ask. He knew from various times speaking to his father, or sometimes even Ali, these things were explained when they were explained, if at all. Asking did little.
When they went inside, silent as a small death with their breaths held and their footfalls carefully muffled, Ciarán felt a sudden desperation to be back outside, a wild hatred of this stifling indoor space. He closed his eyes, leaning against the wall again, dizzy still, and heard a great hitch in the rhythm of Marcus’ heavy snoring before it ceased. Ciarán’s eyes shot open again; he peeked over.
“Where were you, Seamus?” Marcus said, rubbing a hand over his face, which mussed his hair and made it stick thinly up. His expression was bruise-angry already straight after waking up. He’d seen Seamus freeze, the bolt halfway back in place.
“Getting food,” Seamus muttered. Marcus sighed in relief, clapping a hand on Marcus’ back in unpredictable good humor. Ciarán’s opinion reinforced itself: he hated Marcus just as much as he trusted Seamus. Like a small dog convinced it could take on a wolf, he nearly shook with the effort to keep himself from the futility of landing a huge punch across Marcus’ face. He used that energy to keep absolutely still, hoping to be ignored.
“Good,” Marcus half-shouted, abruptly searching through Seamus’ coat pocket and taking out some bread and a can of soda. “That’ll probably do for breakfast.” He tossed a slice of bread over at Ciarán in afterthought. Seamus stared at the bread in disgust and didn’t touch his, probably feeling guilty. Ciarán just felt sick, that Marcus had discovered the foodstore so soon. He ate reluctantly, the figures before him more defined, less shaky and uncertain, with sustenance beginning to balance out the reactions of his body to whatever Marcus had put in the water. The world settled itself.
He heard an irritated moan in response to something Marcus said to the lump in the corner of the room. Someone else? Ciarán was curious, and a little afraid. If whoever it was was anything like Marcus…
Someone presumably eating, and then even more unexpectedly came the sound of flesh hitting flesh. Marcus hissed angrily, drawing back, but refused to hit them back.
“I wasn’t the one who left,” Marcus said, biting back other words.
“…Who?” the voice asked. A man. It was a little difficult to distinguish his words.
“Get up, you,” Marcus said in irritation and yanked this man to his feet. What Ciarán had assumed was some shadowy corner of the building was now gone, actually a person. His gait was strange, his features still very unsure in the dimness, and something about him terrified Ciarán utterly as he stumbled over towards the door—and consequentially, them. His hands scrabbled blindly over the door, catching at the bolt and then falling back, and he laughed in a sort of despair: “still here, are we?”
Marcus caught at his arm and pulled him away roughly. “What, you’re going to go out and get hit by a car or something? No.”
“I can see well ‘nough,” the man protested, but Marcus wasn’t done speaking. “You’re in here with the kid,” he said in dismissive finality, “and my unfortunate friend.”
The unnamed man reacted to that news like a slap in the face, turning around sharply towards the sound of Marcus’ voice and squinting past it into the shadows. He seemed to see straight to Ciarán.
“What kid?” He stilled and Marcus could haul him back away from the door. But the other man turned sharply and said even more sharply, echoing the violence earlier, “What—kid, y’bastard!” Marcus just grinned, laughing when the other, smaller man missed a punch.
Angrily he stumbled over to the wall, then looked down and surprised, saw Ciarán. He stared.
“How bout that?” he squinted. “There is a little bugger over here. You aren’t lying, y’tosser.” He turned away then for a moment, after his great clouded blue eyes squinted again at Ciarán, and said calmly to Marcus, “Whass’ he here fer. Y’should jes’ get rid of him. What in bleedin’ hell made you think we needed a kid to hide too?”
“He saw me, you eejit,” Marcus said just as dangerously calmly back. “What else could I do?”
“You coulda—“ The man drew his left finger across his throat. “Jes’ like that, da.” He peered intently over at Marcus—his father? Ciarán blinked—and his finger fell. “Wait…who did you say he was with?”
Marcus explained. His son stilled, looking abruptly back at Ciarán.
“No. That’s bollocks.” He laughed then, and just as soon as that, ceased laughing, looking seriously back at his father. “You’re serious?” Marcus nodded.
The younger man stepped back, into the light, and tentatively grabbed Ciarán’s arm. “C’mere, little fellow. Need to see your face.” He spoke more softly now, and Ciarán was utterly confused, as the man’s clumsy fingers tilted his face up into the light.
Marcus’ son was just as visible, in the light, as Ciarán was to him, and Ciarán winced, torn between curiosity and a sort of dread, seeing those confused, almost clouded-over eyes peering at him intently from the battered face, and something wrong about the hair, or was it his head. Something that Ciarán couldn’t quite place seemed off, or sad, about him, despite the hard cast to his features that had flared up before in anger like his father’s. It was probably those eyes, which he didn’t really want to see. Ciarán shrank back, as the man let out his breath in surprise.
“I can’t see him well enough,” he said wildly to his father, his head turning, and—there—an almost indent, very slight, at the back. Ciarán stared with huge eyes.
“But I think you might be right.” He turned back and almost smiled at Ciarán before stepping away, that second of openness gone in an instant, just as he left the light. He and Marcus looked quite similar, except Marcus could see…well, better…than his son, who almost frightened Ciarán even more. But if Marcus left briefly, Ciarán knew this other man would be easy to get past…
He did wonder, though, what he meant by Marcus maybe being ‘right’. Right about what?
“You’re an eejit,” Marcus said, though he winced a second later, looking like he regretted his words. “You’re just seeing what you want to see. But g’wan. He’s your responsibility, then.”
“Marcus, that isn’t quite fair to the boy,” Seamus began. “He can barely take care of himself.” Oh. They weren’t talking about him, Ciarán realized, confused.
“Yeah, and that’s his fecking fault, isn’t it? As well as this,” Marcus twisted his head and jabbed a finger to point at the scar on the side of his own face.
“I’d be careful,” Seamus said mysteriously, and sighed, refusing further comment so as not to reveal anything more to the men he knew were probably the farthest from friends or trustworthy out of anyone he had ever met. He’d seen a very different resemblance in the kid’s face, but he would keep his suspicions to himself. After all, what ‘the boy’ and his father suspected kept the kid alive.
Ruth kept replaying and replaying that kiss between her and Larry, as she walked with Oisín home. In the darkness while he fumbled with the key in the door, she felt Oisín next to her but the ghost of those few seconds was still electric on her lips. So befuddled was she, she paused for a long moment on the doorstep, and in her pause, noticed a folded piece of paper under the doormat. She picked it up with numb fingers and went quickly inside, slipping it into her pocket.
“What, did you get frozen into place by the cold?” Oisín laughed, grabbing her hands and drawing her near after she closed the door.
“Sure,” Ruth said, distracted. She looked up, seeing he was frowning, and wondered if he could read her mind. She and Eve used to sort of sense each other’s thoughts…and she’d wondered, a few times, if Oisín knew hers too well. Sometimes it happened, when you got close to a person…But he moved his hands up to her arms instead, saying “You really are freezing,” and rubbing his hands along her arms. She couldn’t help but remember that Larry had done that…Oisín, however, was fire-warm, and she embraced him hard. He chuckled. “Miss me that soon? It was only about half an hour, love…”
“It felt like a lot longer,” she said darkly.
“Alright. Hey, I’ll make dinner. I’d suggest hot water.” He sighed. “Pity I’ll be cooking; won’t be able to join you.” She raised her eyebrows. “You are such a man,” she said, swatting him.
“Hey! I can’t help it!” he yelled as she went upstairs. She sighed in relief when the bathroom door shut behind her, and she was alone with her thoughts.
She did almost wish Oisín wasn’t occupied with cooking. She wanted to block those thoughts thoroughly from her mind. She pulled her hand from her pocket and touched frozen fingers to her lips, remembering numbly. As she did, the paper fluttered from her fist to the ground. She put it on the edge of the sink, telling herself she’d look at it later.
Oh god, what if it’s from him. Wait, why the hell would he send me a note? This wasn’t high school. And she loved Oisín. Oisín. Not that bastard Larry…
He didn't kiss like a bastard, though, did he...
She stepped out of her clothes and turned on the tub, the hot water shocking her skin as the bath filled up. Trailing her fingers through the energy-sapping, burning water, she thought of Oisín again. He was too good. Almost the opposite of how his sister had acted, which was funny. She thought, with a pang, he probably would make a good father. He’d be happier.
If she’d had Isaac’s child, she thought suddenly, she might not have hated it…and maybe she would have met Oisín anyways and they could pretend it was theirs, and all would be forgotten. Really, it was a strange world…because that wouldn’t have happened; she wouldn’t have called him and he would have found someone else…
Ruth yawned, suddenly exhausted, but turned and found the soap and began scrubbing her body furiously, thinking still. That was the future. This was the present. He’d said he loved her all the same—he loved the her more, even, despite all the problems in her life—and that capacity of his, the depth of that, almost scared her. He loved her. He’d probably—god—he’d probably even understand if she said Larry had kissed her, but she would be lying if she said she didn’t want it to happen…she wrapped her arms around herself, feeling cold despite the hot water filling her body and her bones. She could keep that to herself and quietly forget it, or just never mention it. Oisín didn’t deserve to be pushed aside. He didn’t deserve to be an afterthought in her present life.
She yawned again, pulled the water out of her hair and made a face: Oisín didn’t have very large towels; her wet hair soon got her body wet again. Ah well. She grinned suddenly, remembering yesterday afternoon. They didn’t mind water…
Barefoot, she yelped at the comparative coolness of the air as she ran to Oisín’s room to look for something to cover herself up. “Didn’t fall down the drain, did you, Ruth?” Oisín yelled in half concern half amusement. “Want me to get you out of it?”
“Finish cooking!” she squeaked and shivered again, going back into his room. Man. She really did need to go back to Phoenix’s place and retrieve her clothes. Everything was in the laundry. That was one thing Oisín didn’t do—laundry. He couldn’t for the life of him figure it out, for some reason, to her surprise, and used to take it down two blocks to the laundromat, which she told him was ridiculous since he had a washer and dryer in his house… “I do?” he’d asked in surprise, and she’d showed him. Problem was, the washer and the dryer took forever.
Ruth sat on the edge of the bed and looked in despair at the heaps of clothing on the floor. This man was messy, too, but…oh. Those were clothes he’d taken off in a hurry. Right. He couldn’t help that.
She unearthed the closet and finally found a largeish shirt she could wear…ahh, that was comfortable. Didn’t matter that the highest button came about midway down her breasts; they were alone, and her legs were warmer.
Clothing settled, she came downstairs and devoured dinner, eating so fast Oisín laughed nonstop and there was no room for conversation. Which was fine; her mind was still muddled.
“Oof,” Oisín grunted when she sat down on him after depositing her dirty dishes in the sink. “That was like…ten pounds of food?”
“Shut up,” Ruth snickered.
“Hmm, your hair’s wet. Getting my shirt all soaked. Thanks.” He kissed the side of her face. “Shampoo smells really good,” he mumbled against her skin.
“Such a guy,” Ruth rolled her eyes. “An actual proper shower once in a while won’t kill you.”
“Really? Thought there were kelpies and such in the tub,” he shuddered, laughing. “I'd drown. Beautiful women locking me in the bathroom, more like.”
“Yep,” she said brightly. “But no need to lock you in the bathroom. I’ll make sure you don’t leave. C’mon. Shower time for you, mister.”
“What?” he looked at her in horror. He was actually a pretty clean guy, he just objected like hell to washing. More like a kid, actually.
“Oh come on, ‘Sheen. Little water won’t kill you.”
“I’ll come with you!”
“Sure you will.” He smirked at the double meaning, and she rolled her eyes, muttering something along the lines of “men…” and then, “Not what you’re thinking. I’m making sure you get clean.” He sighed and trudged up the stairs. Ruth giggled, noticing about two steps ahead of her put him in a very vulnerable position. Sneakily she leaned forward and swatted his butt.
“Hey!” Oisín yelled, picking her up and not setting her down. “No more of that. Ehm, not sure we’ll make it into the shower…”
“You. You’re going in the shower.”
“You’re going to watch?”
Ruth was overwhelmed with a sudden giggle fit. Oisín rolled his eyes and smiled down at her, stepping into the bathroom. “All right, my lady, make yourself comfortable.”
“Oh, I will,” she managed to say, and drew his clothes off of him.
“Hmm,” he murmured. “This is nice, actually.” Her fingers brushed over his shoulders. He sucked in his breath as she relieved him of his pants. “I think cold water, for me,” Oisín yelped.
“Don’t freeze,” she echoed him and kissed him. His naked body lingered against her fully clothed one…yeah, maybe they should separate. She pushed him back and sat cross-legged on the floor.
“You have a lot of freckles,” Ruth noticed. “Everywhere." Or just about. "When did you ever see sunlight? You would’ve gotten sunburnt.”
“Nah,” Oisín shrugged. “Everyone in my family has them. The buggers pop up when I just step outside, I swear.”
Smiling, he shivered, cursing the cold air, and stepped into the running water, yelling when it hit his skin.
“Bloody hell! This is burning! I’m going to be one big burn when I get out of this!” He looked at her accusingly. “Trying to give us matching scars? You’re cruel, you know.”
Ruth bit her lip to keep from laughing. It didn’t help; his muscles loosened and he relaxed and began striking silly poses, nearly falling down once in the process. The shower took much longer than it should have, probably because the water went freezing at the last minute.
“That’s what you get for using up the hot water!” Ruth called cheerfully. He stepped out, wrapping himself in a towel, teeth chattering, and looked at her with pleading eyes. “I’m cold.”
“Dry off,” she suggested.
“Infinite wisdom” he remarked thoughtfully, earning a smack, and, dried off, wrapped the towel around his hips, grinning. “Now where were we?” he asked, stepping forward, and kissed her softly, cold water on his lips. Ruth shivered and grabbed at the sink to steady herself. Oisín looked at her intently but was distracted by the flutter of something white falling to the ground. He picked up the folded paper.
“Yours?” he asked. “I don’t really ever have paper on me…” He handed it to her.
“Oh,” she said, stepping away from him quickly, though one of his arms still draped over her shoulder. “That.” She unfolded it quickly and nearly fell down.
“Ruth? What is it?” He would look, but he knew she’d say when she could.
“Look at this,” she said weakly. Oisín drew her closer, frowning, his other hand grabbing the paper. His face turned white.
it read in slightly crooked writing,
THURSDAY. MIDNIGHT. THE RUINS. BE THERE, OR BE WARNED WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU AREN’T. COOPERATE AND YOU MAY SEE THE BOY AGAIN.
“Oh god,” Ruth said, covering her face with her hands. “Why me? Did they feck up and not find Bono? I barely even know Ciarán,” she said sadly. She’d felt attached to the boy, for the short time they’d come across each other.
But it did say, clearly, ‘Ruth’.
“I have to go, don’t I,” she said to the still Oisín, whose towel had fallen. He was totally preoccupied with the words and hadn’t noticed. He turned intense eyes to her and opened his mouth to speak.
“No,” he said. “No, you aren’t going anywhere.”
“But—Sheen! What if they hurt—“
He sighed. “I’m calling Bono. If you can be completely silent, you can come along. But I’m thinking we hide behind the torn-down wall of the building next to the ruins of the bar…you know, the wall by the lampposts…and wait and see who shows up.” He turned hopeful eyes to her. “Maybe we can find out who this is. They are. I don’t know how many. But it’s worth a shot.”
She still felt numb, seeing so many things in her mind she didn’t want to.
“It’ll be all right, Ruth,” Oisín said, pressing against her briefly. “Really.”
“That’s what he said, in the hospital,” Ruth said, remembering.
She shook her head. “Never mind.” The memory was just the ghost of heat, like the steam stealing over the edges of the window.
|04-01-2011, 02:36 PM||#2|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Dancing out in space
Local Time: 12:20 PM
First half- Utterly confusing, especially with Seamus and Marcus's names getting mixed up a few times and then this third character at the end and talk of... another boy? Who is that?__________________
And Seamus can't possibly be related to Ciaran, but I would like to know what he found so familiar about him!
Second part- Just how well does Ruth know Oisin now? They sound like quite the couple.
Aw, it's turning into a mystery/ransom story. That's good, I like mysteries. Except I'm sure somewhere there's a huge misunderstanding. Because 1. why Ruth and 2. I don't think it's Ciaran they're talking about in the note.
|04-01-2011, 04:48 PM||#3|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: pearl jammin'
Local Time: 10:20 AM
It's hard to write so many people at one time! Sorry it's confusing. It's meant to be, at least a little.
Ciarán's probably seen Seamus before...just like everyone's probably seen Marcus before, etc. It's going to be a bit before everything about those two, and other random guy, is explained. Sorry Blue, you're just going to have to stay confused ^^
Well. VERY well.
That made me start wondering about Bono...I bet he's got freckles in odd places...
It was totally not planned to be that way in the start, I know. Weird how plots develop. Both 1 and 2 will be explained too. Man! I feel good that you haven't guessed anything yet...
|1986, bono, joshua tree era, larry, out of control|
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