Should Sarah's mun be willing to thread, Caleb would like to talk with her about it.
((Iiii think. That would be a conversation outside. Possibly Pogue coming in from a bike ride, Caleb's there outside the Parry grounds. Perched up on a rock or something, knees drawn up. ALMOST like it's taken power to perch up like that, only it's not. And... walk? In, whatever. Spring sunshine. Hard to find words. etc. ))
((*sighs* Pogue would be... something. Wary, almost, except it's more worried than wary. And if Caleb invited him for a walk he'd be all, sure. Otherwise Pogue would just invite him in.))
((*amused* I think Caleb wants to give Pogue plenty of chance to a. get away from him, and b. ... well, whup his ass.))
((*laughs* Pogue doesn't want to get away right now. He's worried about his friend. Maybe a little scared.))
((Dude. It's Caleb at this point. Some days, HE doesn't really want to be around himself. Which is taking things to a ridiculous length.))
((I have mallets.))
Caleb: Hey. *a moment, then stretches his legs down and hops off the rock* Want to... take a walk? If you're tired or have stuff to do, that's okay.
Pogue: *tucks his helmet on the bike* Nah, sure, I could stretch my legs anyway. Let's walk.
Caleb: *small... smile. both nervous and relieved that Pogue didn't take that chance off. Moving closer so that they'll go the opposite way from the rock/s; fingers brushing the bike unconsciously. It's a part of Pogue, that's why.* Thanks. I... *walk is his usual one; voice probably sounds about normal. Except he knows he should speak, and the words... well. Doesn't know where to start.*
Pogue: *just headtilts at him, listening, walking easy, first with his hands in his pockets and then taking them out again, close to Caleb so he can sling an arm around his friend's shoulders if he looks like he needs it or something*
Caleb: *deep breath* Did anyone... do you know what happened when Chase... went to see Ginny and the baby ... the first time?
Pogue: *shakes his head slowly* No... he won't talk about it, anyway. Which, with him could be anything. *shrugs; is resigned by now to a grumbling approval as long as Chase behaves himself*
Caleb: *eyebrows rise* And Ginny didn't, either. *okay, so that was a place to start* He... didn't react well. Actually, he reacted well. And then slashed his own throat.
Pogue: *stops dead in his tracks* WHAT.
Caleb: Yeah. Ah... obviously, that didn't have the effect he intended, mostly because I made sure it didn't. For... Ginny's and the kid's sake. And because I couldn't just sit there and watch... *watch him bleed to death. With that expression of horror on her face. It wasn't something he could do. Weak. stupid.*
Pogue: *fists clenched, eyes dark. not black but dark, and muttering* Stupid fucking coward... *though, meaning Chase*
((*watches Caleb take it the entirely wrong way*))
Caleb: *snorts* Yeah. *takes it both ways, actually, since that was along the lines of his OWN reaction, after all*
Pogue: He just... after all that. After... Nngh. *wants to kill him. really wants to kill him. but looks sideways at Caleb* ... he didn't do it in front of her...
Caleb: *sighs* He did.
Pogue: *rubs his forehead, tired and... really, really pissed off. but there's not much he can do about this since it's after the fact*
Caleb: Anyway... that was... his stupid. *mostly. No, really, it was Chase's big, fat, stinking stupid, and that was a fact, and Caleb does know it* Mine came later. I'm not even sure how it... I was pissed. Like smack him into a wall as soon as Gin and the kid were out of sight pissed; I mean, went to his place, couldn't leave him alone, could I? He was pissed that I stopped him, and upset, and... something else. *runs a hand over his face* And somehow that ended up with us -- *can't say it, god, it looks so. incredibly. monstrously idiotic when trying to say it out loud.*
Pogue: *faint, crooked smile* If you say yelling and slapping each other like little girls I will laugh at you.
Caleb: I wish.
Pogue: Then what?
Caleb: *is by now kind of walking with his head tucked between his shoulders, now just... stops. As... remotely - distancing from himself, not Pogue thank you very much - as he can* Had sex.
Pogue: *stops in his tracks. again. blinks. blink blink*
Caleb: *swallows, and looks down. And gives him time to process. And get properly angry, and... all of that*
Pogue: *is just.. shakes his head slightly, rubbing his forehead* I don't... understand... *slowly, quietly*
Caleb: *is NOT going to give details to make Pogue believe it, he does know better, hell, he'd rather not have details to give. Quietly* I don't... know. I let my guard down, wasn't thinking straight, something. Was a big damn stupid idiot. *deep breath* So, demonstrably, I can't handle... Chase. Or myself. Something. *wants to talk about why that's meant deferring to Pogue's words, not taking up the usual head-of-the-pack position, but just... doesn't have the words again*
Pogue: *quietly, slowly, trying to think past the confusion and, yes, the hurt, and the disbelief and the quiet sadness* I'd say, yourself. We already know Chase can't handle ... anything. Including, apparently, the birth of his child. *surge of anger, he's going to be pissed about that for a while* But nobody's expected any one of us to handle him on his own. I just... *shakes his head slightly, looking off into the distance* What happened?
Caleb: *closes his eyes, nods* Can't handle myself. *what a surprise. Just what everyone, well, his mother and probably some of the other parents always expected of him. If not quite the same way* That's... pretty much it. I went... away. tried to wrap my mind around it. Realized how badly it was a mess up. The rest... you know. *small shrug* He's not tried to pull any more stunts like that. I've been... stepping back, to make sure I don't screw things up any further. 's bad enough as it is.
Pogue: *shakes his head slightly, that's not what he meant, he meant more like, what happened, were both... realizes he has to elaborate this* Stunts.. I mean, you both were... you both wanted to, right? *sort of pushing a hand through his hair, not quite believing he's saying this* Are you... I mean, you and him... do you... like him? Like... you know.
Caleb: No, I don't like him! *but it's just an immediate, steady denial, no hint of 'that should be obvious' because it isn't.* I just... blanked out. *deep breath* but he didn't force me or anything. I can... *shakes his head, he can remember the sequence of actions. But not the sequence of decisions which led to those actions* I was so, so pissed and out of it. Out of control.
Pogue: *sort of snorts* Not surprised. You keep yourself in control all the damn time, it was bound to come out sooner or later. *one hand rubbing lightly along Caleb's shoulder* But he's been behaving himself since?
Caleb: *... jaw drops. Blinks, and suddenly breathes a little, just a little easier* He... has, I think so. *cue. hope. suddenly dawn in those brown eyes*
Pogue: So, I don't have to kick his ass for that. Good to know. *blinks at him at the sudden change in expression* Oh no. What.
Caleb: I... I'm sorry. *seriously* If you think it was... bound to happen... *small headshake* If I had my druthers, I really wouldn't have chosen to lose control with him. *ever, in any way, but this was among the bad ones...*
Pogue: Well, maybe not... yeah, I wasn't expecting this, but... *shrugs, hand still on Caleb's shoulder* You don't let yourself go, man. At all. Sometimes it really is good for you, y'know. 'cause when you do, then, yeah. It's in places and with people you don't want.
Caleb: *hand rises very slowly and cautiously and hovers for a moment over Pogue's, then... possibly for the first time since that, reaches over and grips Pogue's shoulder in turn. Throat suddenly tight, even tighter than before starting to talk* You're not... I don't... *forces at least ONE slow breath, which comes out a bit ragged* You've... kind of mentioned before. I didn't realize it had gotten this bad. *he had been trying, too, to keep people posted, to let them in. Especially Pogue. All his friends. But then. That scene, in front of Ginny was maybe an overload, possibly?*
Pogue: *nods slightly, watching him, smiling faintly* Hey, if I'd known it was this bad, I woulda said something sooner. Or done something. Like, I dunno. Hogtie you over the bike and kidnap you to go camping or something. But... it wasn't that bad. It could have been worse. Could have been a lot worse. *quietly, not saying it, but he's glad it wasn't something that involved massive Power usage*
Caleb: *well, besides the however massive the entire stop-the-fucking-idiot-from-bleeding-to-d
Pogue: *stares at him for a second* You know. Caleb. You're the ... you're probably one of the smartest guys I know? But, goddamn, you can be such a moron. *pulls him into a tight, tight hug*
Caleb: *arms immediately around his friend back, just a long-standing reaction* I'm.. I thou-- I meant... *lightbulb moment. And then he clings. Clings. and when he can get his breath back for talking* Yeah. Yeah, I can.
Pogue: *soft chuckle, just holding him tight for as long as he has to. hours, if he has to* Good. As long as you realize that. *scruffing his hair, then kissing his temple* I'm gonna have to take care of you till you're ninety, aren't I.
Caleb: ... God, I hope so. Provided that I got the big fuck-it-up out of my system once and for good... *will cling. And slowly start to not so much relax as turn to semi liquid... um. Possibly end up curled/hunched a bit, face buried against Pogue's shoulder... oh wait. That's not familiar at all...*
Pogue: *just strokes his hair, holding him, sighing with a wryly amused smile, one hand rubbing his back* Someone's gotta take care of you. Better me than someone who's just going to fuck it up. *but he loves him, he does, and it shows in his voice* Caleb, man... don't ... do this, okay? *softly, gently* Quit beating yourself up over telling me things. I can take it. I'm big and strong.
Caleb: *annnd the tenderness just about makes him fall to pieces, mostly because over the past... since then. He's kind of given up on the expectation of it. Stifled against the leather jacket, the scent maddeningly familiar and welcome.* 'm beating myself up over being a damn stupid... for being damn stupid. But I know you are. I know you are. *fingers can't quite find purchase in the leather, so he lifts his arm around Pogue's back and fingers dig into his shoulder*
Pogue: *smiling into his shoulder* Yeah, you are. You're being stupid about having been stupid, now that's pretty special. *still soft and affectionate, making light of it and holding on tightly, trying to nudge Caleb into maybe laughing at himself a little and still not letting him off the hook, because he did earn that hook and it'd probably feel weird if he was off it* You made a mistake. It happens. I've made a lot of mistakes. *leans/pulls back, just enough to take his face in his hands and look him in the eyes* It's okay. Okay? *then will hug him again*
Caleb: *enough of laughing at himself to lift up his head a bit?* Being stupid about having been stupid... adding insult to injury? *why yeah, he's still on major self-depreciating go. Nor completely wrong. But.* You don't... make that many mistakes. *lips twitch* Considering that you'd probably be about as conscious of the consequences... I'm glad. *and then the pulling back, and the words. And his eyes slowly, very slowly rise to meet the fairer pair.* I'm sorry. And thank you. *very, very quiet, and very meaning them all words. All five of them. And the hug after that is less curled up, about as clingy, and a bit more Caleb. In a bit* I think it's raining.
Pogue: *calmly* It's been raining for, like, the last five minutes. *which does not incline him to move, hugging Caleb a little tighter at that last little 'I'm sorry.' It's nothing. It's just them, the way they are, it's just that he's Caleb and his best friend in forever. and he'll always be there for him* You wanna go in? *gently, quietly, but now just holding him close*
Caleb: ... oh. *preoccupied Caleb was preoccupied with, well, Pogue?* I... yeah, we could? It was nice... besides. I wanted to make sure you had clear lines of retreat or plenty of space if you wanted to blast me seven ways from Sunday after that revelation... *he would have taken the blasting better than the leaving, but was prepared to accept both.*
Pogue: *balls up a fist and grazes his knuckles against his shoulder* Pow. *puts that arm around him and balls up the other fist and grazes his knuckles against Caleb's temple* Bam. There. Now you're beaten up. *then taking his face in his hands again but this time just brushing a kiss on his forehead* No blasting. Maybe some going what the hell. But no blasting. No hitting. You're okay. *hugs him lightly* I forgive you, if you need it. *more quietly, because it's awkward, but he knows sometimes people need to hear it*
Caleb: *eyes. So. wide. And leaning a little into that kiss, because he just can't help it. Like you couldn't help it back then? ... shut up.* *very quietly, repeating* what the hell... That's putting it ... mildly. *and he knows that it's probably more than that, but it's... Pogue. And he won't say those words if he doesn't mean them, and three other words swirl in Caleb's mind and soften his eyes as he looks up to meet that forgiveness. Something he didn't dare hope for* Thanks. *simple, and quiet, and true. Then his hand shifts a bit from Pogue's shoulder, and moves to mock rub the knuckled temple* Ow. I... promise to do better in the future?
Pogue: *grinning broadly* Good. You better. Or it's the comfy chair for you, mister. Wet noodle torture. Wet willies. *but he's still not letting go, nor looking away. and he doesn't miss that look, either; he'd have to be blind to miss it. doesn't say anything towards it out loud, but the look he gives right back, the not moving away, it's there. returned, in spades*
Caleb: I think that's a formidable threat, indeed. *but slight, real smile at that look, at the feel of him this close. Fingers reach up, then retract, because what he did somehow took away something about these little gestures, a shadow of self-frustration passing through his face. Then he completes it, fingertips brushing, carefully, a couple of strands of wet, fair hair away from the face he knows so well, the pad under the thumb brushing lightly over cheekbone and temple* I'll behave, do my best. *Promise, certain, simple*
Pogue: Good. *something in his eyes softens at the gesture, or melts, or a word like that. even knowing that it cost him something to do that, and knowing that it was getting better. slowly* 's all you can do, man. *and he's just fine with that, one hand rubbing his shoulder, then coming up against his cheek just to rest there, warm and reassuring; he's there, always will be*