lilgryphon: (zephyr qull)
( Nov. 26th, 2009 10:02 pm)


I thought it was time I make a master post of my writing so that it is a bit easier to find what you’re looking for if you’ve found your way here.  This will also be the only time I'm going to 'warn' for slash. If M/M relationships bother you it's time to hit the back button.


Rajala Universe

If you spend time reading my journal you’ll find that I mention Rajala or Tiger Eyes frequently. TE is the novel that I’ve been working on for years, but have recently started a serious edit for it. I’ve been swaping chapters with Skimble, whose journal you should check out; she has some amazing characters of her own. I allow very limited access to TE, but I do have a couple short pieces that take place in Rajala that I’ve left public.

Judgment

A Royal Mage in service to Rajala is desperate to return home and confront rumors and truths.

Spider

My own little fanfiction with Bryan as my victim…A quick oneshot. 

Full Circle

This is a piece that I work on whenever I find the chance. It started out as a short story, but in most cases I tend to write things that are either very short or epic length. I don’t know which one this is going to be yet. I hate to give it a true summery because this is one of those pieces that needs to unfold for the reader. Still a WIP.

Part One
Part Two

Black and White

The Black and White series began with the short story – wait for it – Black and White. I had originally planned to use this concept in one of my Rajala pieces, but I couldn’t seem to make it fit with the characters that I had intended it for. Then one day I sat down and wrote almost the entire piece in one sitting. The series explores the life of Jack and his best friend David, and later Shawn. If the names sound familiar to anyone, I swear, Jack and David were purely random names I had picked and once *I* made the connection I was already attached to them. This began as something to work on when TE just wasn't flowing, and now it's become quite addicting for me.

Black and White

David’s having issues concentrating in class, and Jack finds the entire situation amusing.

It's Jack

Shawn’s facing finals and Yale in the coming fall, it’s time to leave a part of his life behind, and he’s not sure he’s ready to.

This isn't Arcata - WIP


Connecticut
isn’t Arcata and Shawn’s still trying to sort it all out.

Part 1
Part 2

 

It's here, finally!! This piece was a request from Skimble to take Kennan from my Rajala universe and Jack from my Black and White series and put them in the same story. I'm still not sure if I'm entirely happy with it for various reasons, but here it as.

 

All I Want to Touch is You )
lilgryphon: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2009 08:25 pm)

Well I'm getting ready to head to bed; tomorrow is my first day on the job. I’ll be up bright and early at 6AM!! Spent the last few days mostly with Jason and trying to get some stuff finished around the house I've been meaning to do. Looked over chapter ten some more; wrote a bit for the change, but I'm still messing with it. I don't want this to come off as me playing the 'but its fantasy’ card, or as I like to call it, vampire sperm. I'm also still working on my Kennan/Jack fic - it just keeps getting longer... I'm having issues with the opening scene (I think I've redone it five or six times) but once I'm happy with it I will make a post.

lilgryphon: (zephyr qull)
( Aug. 13th, 2009 01:02 am)

I thought it was time to post an update, as it's been just about forever since I've really posted anything on here. Some days life is just a struggle, and it has been for me a lot lately, but I think I'm finally starting to pull out of it. Nothing is really fixed or changed, it's just that I'm resolved to the fact that I can only do what I can do, and focus on the things that I do have the power to change. So as I continue to fight to find work and worry over where exactly we are going to move to by October, I'm trying to swing a big part of my focus back to my writing, where it should be. When I write I'm happier with life, even when it isn't going so great.

TE and other ramblings )

 



While we continue to swap things back and fourth, here's the next one for you. Don't forget this round we're throwing everyone we know and love right out the window...

Setting: I'll give you the same - Anywhere, anything you like, as long as it has nothing to do with anything you've previously written.
Colours: Blue and Yellow
Characters: well-worn cowboy/dentist
Event: pain, the more the better
Starting Sentence: It was too damn hot for this...

Now, *rubs hands together*, for you're closing paragraph I want to see 'where is that dog?'. 

Good luck, I know I need some!!

My mom and I flew in from Pittsburgh last night, it was good to be home again, but I'm already missing everyone. I missed Jason and my pups terribly, but I was sad to leave, too.

Our Trip )

Onto non-trip related news, I did get most of my challenge done for Skimble on the plane ride over to Pittsburgh. I'm hoping I'll get it typed and finished tonight so I can post it. Maybe I've broke through my writers block!

I don't know how busy I'll be in the next few days; now that I'm back I need to catch up on the job hunt front. I really need to find some work; Jason and I are kind of drowning over here. With Suz coming home it's also time to start searching for an apartment, and I'm a bit worried about what we are going to be able to afford...

 

With all that I’ll try to get the chance to go back through everyone’s posts in the last week and catch up with everyone. I’m dreading doing the same on deviant art…


lilgryphon: (zephyr qull)
( Jul. 1st, 2009 12:35 am)

I haven't written much of anything in days, things still aren't picking up for me. I did manage to write a piece with Gerrod I was somewhat happy with, but I don't plan on posting it until I get a bit more done.

This is, well, drabble mostly. I was on my way home and the song 'I Think His Name Was John' by Reba came on. I started thinking how sad it was for a woman to waste her life away pining for some guy she didn't even know, and came up with this. I couldn't turn it off and thought, what the hell, I'm not getting anything else done anyway. It's short, unedited, and complete. Enjoy it if you can!

 

His Name Was John )

I'm now off to see if I can get something else productive done.

lilgryphon: (Ari)
( Jun. 28th, 2009 03:21 am)

I’ve been feeling a bit out of it the last couple days and I’m hoping taking the time to just write it out will help me start things fresh tomorrow. I think part of the problem is I’ve just got so many damn projects going at once and the other part is I haven’t really had the urge to work on the next chapter of TE.

 

With TE the biggest problem I’m facing is how to go into the next chapter. I’ve tried a couple different angles and I’m just not happy with either of them. It’s frustrating me and I just keep putting it on the back burner even though I don’t really want to. This is the one that makes the story turn, the one that I feel like I need to just get done and things will start to flow so much better. The second half is already written, but the beginning, ugh. *head desk* I can’t even blame Cassandra for this one.

 

When I started with the rewrite things were going so much easier, but I have to remind myself that most of it had already been redone two or three times previously. Now I’ve branched off into a territory where what was there originally was crap and filler. I’m trying to make it interesting, say what I need to and get out so that we can move on.

 

Yesterday I was able to at least get somewhere with Frayed Bonds, but today I got out of the house (which was great) and managed to blow the rest of the night when I got home. I accomplished nothing today, absolutely nothing. Things have got to pick up soon, I haven’t even looked at Jack/Shawn in over a week and they normally cheer me…


Full post of It's Jack, just to simplify things.

        

It's Jack )

Some time ago when we first started swapping stuff I mentioned Spider and said I wanted to post it but was afraid of the spoilers. Well after your long week I wanted to post something short for you that required no real brain power (and I haven't gotten around to finishing J/S) so I read over this and removed what was spoilerish about it. Don't read too much into it, Bryan is so OOC it isn't even funny (well, actually it is), I swear, it's like I wrote my own fanfiction. As far as Kennan, yeah, that’s pretty much him…

 

            Kennan stalked after Bryan, hastily pushing an offending branch out of his way. Bryan had retreated into the woods near camp because Kennan had riled him again by mentioning his past. Now after a brief rise of guilt he was chasing after him.

            Damn the Gods if I know why I am following him. It would be a pleasure to me, the camp, and Daved if he would keep walking until he reached Raji. Why do I bother? He’s brought this pain on himself.

            He spun on his heel, fully intending to let the older man return on his own, when he heard an ear piercing scream.

            “Damn you, Bryan,” he muttered. “Only you would scream in the face of an enemy.”

            Swords drawn he ran in the direction of the scream, almost tripping over a fallen branch, and fully expecting to come upon an ambush. What he found was Bryan, alone back against a tree.

            “Kennan,” Bryan gasped, relief washing over him.

            Bryan?” he hesitantly inquired.

            Bryan said nothing, shaking slightly.

            Slowly Kennan sheathed the duel blades and then lowered his head to meet Bryan’s eyes, “I heard you scream, I–”

            Bryan’s arm shot forward, a single finger pointing to a nearby bush.

            Kennan followed his hand, but saw nothing, “Bry? There’s nothing there.”

            “Sp – spi – spider,” he stammered.

            Refraining from laughing, but only just, Kennan approached the bush and what could be now seen as a small, black spider, no bigger than his own thumbnail. He reached out with said thumb and forefinger to flick the spider out of Bryan’s way and then slowly turned to face him again.

            “Gods! One of the most powerful Mages in existence and you are afraid of spiders,” he chuckled.

            Bryan shot him a look, all fear gone from his voice, “Not one more word, Kennan Briars, or I will smite you from this earth.”

            Kennan grinned, “Why didn’t you just smite the spider?”

lilgryphon: (Jack/Shawn)
( Jun. 14th, 2009 03:12 am)

I really need a better name for this piece. I hope you don't mind these aren't really edited, I doubt I'll ever spend that kind of time on them. Here's another small entry, I thought I'd give you something light in exchange for chapter 10.  I'll probably have to write the conclusion tomorrow just so I can move onto something else.  I'm off for bed...


            Jack made it as far as his truck, feeling a little ill and wishing for a shower. He got in, slammed the door shut and was trying to decide if he should actually be driving when a monotone ringing started coming from his glove box.

            If that’s Shawn I swear to God I’m leaving for California.

            He reached over, twisted open the latch and pulled out his cell. David’s name was displayed on the screen, and Jack realized he had never wanted to be with him more than he did in that moment.

            Fumbling with the buttons he pressed send to connect the call, “Dave?” his voice was hollow, even to his own ears.

            “Jack!” David was clearly too excited to have heard the distress in his tone, “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all night, don’t you ever carry your phone?”

            “Sorry, you weren’t the only one,” he was starting to resolve that maybe he should start carrying the damn thing.

            This time around David caught the distress, “Shawn mentioned he’d been calling. Aren’t you home yet?”

            “Mostly.”

            “Mostly?”

            “I’m in the parking lot.”

            “I knew something was wrong when I talked to Shawn earlier, he was pretty upset. Spill it, Jack, or I swear I’m going to put you both on three way and you can hash it out over the phone.”

            Jack rolled his eyes, “It was just a stupid fight.”

            “Then why are you still outside?”

            Good question, Dave. “Because things are getting too complicated, maybe we moved to fast. You know how bad I wanted this to work, but it just – isn’t.”

            “Shit, Jack, seriously?”

            “Yeah,” he paused; he hated talking to anyone about this, even if it was David. “I mean things have been stressful, we’re both busy all the time, and I can handle that but – it’s Shawn, he’s turned into a complete closet case.” Jack waited, and began to wonder if the call had dropped, “Dave?”

            “Sorry, it’s just – I can’t say I’m exactly surprised. I had assumed it wasn’t an issue because you hadn’t mentioned it. I thought maybe the two of you had just worked through it.”

            “Worked through what?”

            “Honestly, you can be so dense. How many people, not counting roommates, know that Shawn is gay?”

            “I dunno, I’ve never really thought about it –”

            “Clearly. He told us and the other guys, but Shawn’s never really been out. He’s dated maybe twice, not counting you. His parents still don’t know, and I don’t know if they ever will. I can’t believe you have never noticed, I thought the two of you had talked about stuff like this, even before you were together.”

            If he had felt ill earlier Jack was now completely nauseous, “He was always so private about men, I just never pressed him. Obviously I didn’t want to play the ‘who have you been with’ game after we were dating, so I didn’t ask.”

            David snorted, “He’s lived with you for almost five years; I think Shawn knows your history.”

            Jack’s stomach continued to churn after every exchange, “Do you know why?” This was one of those things that made him feel like a fish out of water when he should be swimming in it. Jack had never really been in the closet, he’d told David he was gay when he was fourteen, maybe a month after he’d pieced it together himself. The entire concept had always seemed a little absurd to him, you were who you were and hiding from it didn’t make it go away.

            “I haven’t a clue, because it’s Shawn, and he doesn’t talk about it.”

            And now he needed to talk about it, and Jack was sitting in his truck after making this about him – when it really wasn’t. If he had just gone to Shawn when all this first started it wouldn’t have turned into the raging storm it was now. “I’m an idiot, Dave.”

            Another pause, and then honesty, “Yeah, you can be. Get back in your apartment, will you?”

            “I’m opening the door to my truck right now,” he told him, reaching for the handle, “What’d you want anyway?”

            “Nothing important, just go find Shawn and call me in the morning.” David ended the call as Jack headed back across the parking lot.

           



lilgryphon: (Jack/Shawn)
( Jun. 13th, 2009 05:22 pm)

This is because I cannot turn these two off - I can't! I'm not even sure I want to try anymore...I spent the entire morning typing this up. I 'm heading over to my mom's place for a few hours, and I'm hoping when I get back I can work on something else. If not, well, you'll get more Jack/Shawn and I'm not hearing any complaints...Watch out, angst ahead!!

          

            Shawn looked at the clock again and sighed, it was rapidly approaching seven. He had made dinner reservations for six and the movie he was supposed to be seeing would be starting in less than an hour. And still, no Jack. They didn’t get the chance to go out often, not with the amount of schoolwork he had faced in his first semester at Yale. After having just finishing his midterms he figured it would be a good time to leave his books and get the hell out of the apartment for an evening.

            Now he was sitting on the couch, copying notes from a text because his boyfriend had decided not to come home from work. Jack often came home late, but they had been planning to go out for more than a week. Shawn had tried calling his cell, and had picked his own up to do it again, before grudgingly setting it back down. There was already going to be four – maybe five missed calls when Jack finally got to his truck and realized he had left it in the glove box, again. If he bothered to even get it out; this wasn’t the first time that Shawn had come to the conclusion that Jack having a cell phone was not worth fifty bucks a month.

            As if glaring at the offending piece of electronics had willed it to come alive, his cell started to ring. It wasn’t Jack, he knew without picking it up, because when Jack called, on those rare occasions, the melody of I’ll Cover You, from Rent was his ringtone. No it was playing La Vie Boheme, also from Rent, which meant that it had to be one of his close friends, that small circle that had not so long ago been living under the same roof.

            Shawn picked it up, saw David’s name on the screen and sighed; he really didn’t want to talk to Jack’s best friend at the moment. Shawn was also close with David, too close, because he might say something about Jack’s absence that he would want to retract later.

            He flipped it open, “Hey.”

            “Shawn?” David’s voice was bordering on deliriously happy, and Shawn was already regretting answering the phone.

            “Yeah?”

            “Is Jack with you? I’ve been trying to reach him all night; I’ve got some fantastic news.”

            “Join the club; I’ve been calling him for the past two hours. He’s probably still under a car, you know Jack,” Shawn told him bitterly.

            “You guys okay?” David’s voice had lost the exuberance from the beginning of the call. Hearing the concern made Shawn guilty, David didn’t get that excited to often.

            “Uh huh,” he told him dismissively, “What’s up?”

            “I got a job!” The excitement was back, “A real job, I mean, it’s just at The Post and it doesn’t pay much – but I’ll be writing. Little stuff, of course, but it’s going to give me some experience, and you know you can’t buy that.”

            “That’s great, Dave,” Shawn said, genuinely happy for David’s fortune. He had been trying to find a job as a journalist for almost six months. David wasn’t used to failure, he had been at the top of his classes, and every time a job had turned him down for lack of experience it chipped a little more of his confidence away. When he had mentioned giving up and taking a job in retail Jack had threatened to get on a plane just to knock him over his head for the stupidity.

            “Look, just don’t tell Jack until I get the chance to talk to him, alright?” the concern returned, “You sure you two are doing okay?”

            “Of course. Things are just a bit – stressful, I suppose. We’re both extremely busy.” Just as Shawn was always in class or studying, Jack was always at work. He put in extra hours, trying to stash some cash into his savings after the unexpected move to New Haven had drained it. They got by, mostly because they rarely went out, and their apartment was a studio. Shawn’s family sent him some money, but they had been more than a bit stingy when he had told them he had chosen to live with Jack instead of his friend Tony. They had assumed that the two of them had an argument over the living arrangements, and Shawn hadn’t wanted to enlighten them. If they had known just how close the quarters were he kept with Jack they might have reconsidered his monthly stipend. He had his own money, left to him from his grandmother’s will, but it was almost exclusively a college fund, and Jack wouldn’t want him to touch it anyway.

            “Only busy?”

            “Yes,” he sighed, “I really don’t want to talk about it, Dave.” He had always gone to David with his problems before, but once he and Jack had started dating he tried to keep their relationship between the two of them. It wasn’t that they had a lot of problems; it was that their lives had been turned upside down in less than a year. Sometimes Shawn felt as if they had moved to fast, and other’s he knew it wasn’t fast enough. He loved Jack, wanted him more than anything he had ever wanted before, but sometimes between Jack and Yale it was a bit too much.

            “If you want to talk, you know how to find me? Tell Jack I called.”

            “I will.”

            “Take care of yourself, Shawn,” he told him.

            Shawn found the continued concern comforting, even if he thought it was an overreaction, “I will, Dave,” he repeated.

            He closed the phone, looked at the clock, again, and then back to his notes. I should have spent the evening watching Rent, he reflected, at least that would have been enjoyable.

           

            It wasn’t until Jack pulled into the apartment complex at almost nine that he realized what day it was.

            Shit.

            Shawn was going to kill him. He had promised to leave work by five so they would have time to go out, something that they were starting to only do every once in a blue moon. When had things became so complicated? Had it really been that long ago that they had begged Tony to bunk with Dave that last summer in Arcata? It had been simple then, Yale had still been months away, and their relationship had been blissfully new.

            Jack had waited until almost the last minute to decide to move to New Haven, in fact it had been when Tony was pressing Shawn to finalize the plans for an apartment near campus. They had discussed trying the long distance thing, one of them flying back and forth at least once a month, but after David had mentioned moving to a larger city himself staying behind seemed pointless. Besides, Jack had wanted to be with Shawn, he could work on cars just about anywhere. They could pool some money together and worry about where they would live after Shawn graduated. Those were big dreams for a couple that was just starting out, but Jack had never really committed to anyone before – and he wanted to commit to Shawn.

            Jack braced himself at their doorway, wondering how he was ever going to make up the night. He slipped off his shoes before unlocking the door and stepping inside. Shawn was on the wooden futon that served as couch and bed, legs crossed underneath him. There wasn’t a book, paper, or pen in sight, it was one of the rare occasions that Shawn had turned on the TV. His not so rare choice of entertainment – Rent. Shawn loved musicals, that one in particular, Jack had heard the soundtrack so many times that he had known all the words before they had ever dated. He had always teased Shawn that musicals were so stereotypical of gay men, but secretly found it cute that his lover could be such a fan boy.

            Shawn’s eyes did not move from the screen, “Good to know you’re still alive.”

            “I’m sorry,” Jack told him, shutting the door, “I forgot.”

            Shawn whipped his head to look at him, “You forgot? I’ve been calling you for the past four hours. Tell me, what is the point in paying for a phone that you don’t use?”

            “I don’t want to get it greasy,” it was a lame excuse. Jack hated the grime that came with his job, but he hated being tied to a phone more. He would never be one of those people that had to have their cell with them at every waking moment, or texting instead of talking to people because it was just more convenient.

            “Fine, leave it in your truck, but would it kill you to check it every now and then?”

            “Look, I said I was sorry.”

            “It was one night, one God damn night, Jack,” he snapped, “You’re never here.”

            “And you are?” Jack challenged him. Shawn had broached a touchy subject that they had both spent too long ignoring. “Even when you are here you’re not here. You’re too busy being buried in Roe VS Wade or some shit.”

            Shawn finally switched off the television, “Roe VS Wade, seriously? Do you even know why I even want to be here?” his fingers moved restlessly across the arm of the futon, “It sure as hell isn’t because I’m worried about women’s rights on abortion. I had one paper, one on Roe VS Wade over a month ago.”

            Jack sighed, “What do you want from me, Shawn?”

            “To know you care!”

            “To know I care?” it hurt, and stirred up more than the lack of time they had spent together. The argument no longer had anything to do with a missed dinner date. “Do you even comprehend what I’ve given up for you? I moved over three thousand miles to a city where I know no one save my boyfriend –”

            “Tony’s here,” Shawn felt compelled to point out.

            “Tony isn’t my boyfriend – who by the way, is still hiding in the closet.”

            “What?” the edge in Shawn’s voice was fading.

            “You are in the closet,” he spoke the words slowly, as if explaining it to a child, “and it’s driving me mad!” Jack hadn’t noticed when they’d still been in Arcata, but there they had been surrounded by people they had known. Even though David, Tony, Will, and particularly Ethan had been put off by the initial relationship the unease had faded quickly. It wasn’t until after, once they had reached New Haven Jack had realized that Shawn pulled away from his touch if they were anywhere public. He never brought anyone home, not even to study, and the few people Jack had met he had been introduced as Shawn’s roommate. The first time he had dismissed it, but every time thereafter it stung.

            “I am not!”

            Jack shook his head in disbelief, “God, do you really not see it? You won’t even touch me outside these walls. I’m not asking you to make out in the park, just to not freak out if I reach for your hand when were walking down the street. Have you told anyone that I’m not just your roommate?” he challenged, “You think it’s easy to tell a garage full of mechanics that you’re gay? Gay men aren’t supposed to know how to check their oil or tire pressure, let alone how to change a motor. They're supposed to be prissy and feminine – those guys give me hell all the time because I love you. I just can’t do this, Shawn, I can’t.”

            “What are you saying?”

            “I don’t know. I have to go, I need to breathe.” Jack had to get out; before he said something he would be unable to take back.

 



That's it, I'm going to have to write more about these two. I've got a couple more ideas in the works, *grins evilly* but I've got to spend some time in Rajala for a a few days at least. I hope you enjoy!!



           Where was he supposed to start? Shawn had been waiting for Jack to come home for hours. Once David and the others had left he had convinced himself that he was just going to say it, just get it out there, done and over with. He had ordered a pizza at around seven, fully expecting Jack would return before it got there. They could have sat at the table hashing out their day with a few slices that had everything on it (Jack’s favorite) and Shawn could have found some way to tell him.

            It had seemed like a perfect plan, or as near to it as Shawn was like to get; but Jack hadn’t come home. The rest of his roommates had returned just before ten, and after driving himself crazy waiting for Jack to return, Shawn went back to his studying, or had tried to.

            Now, thanks to David, Jack wanted to know what he had spent those hours worrying over, and saying it seemed all the more complicated with him actually in the room.

            “Shawn?” Jack asked, apparently he had waited a bit too long to answer him. There was no way to make this less awkward, he realized, and even if there was, thought had escaped him.

            Jack was standing in front of him, half naked. How many times had he seen him in that worn pair of pajamas? Shawn couldn’t recall ever looking, really looking at him before. He should have been thankful that the room was mostly dark, because if it hadn’t been –

            Say something, his mind screamed. He couldn’t, there was nothing to say.

            Jack stood, looking down at him, “Shawn?” he repeated, “Look, I don’t know what I’ve done but –”

            Was he really listening? All Shawn knew was that after he had stood they were so close. If Jack leaned down, just a little – Why was he waiting? He had waited all night for Jack to come home and now he was right in front of him.

            It’s Jack, he reminded himself, not knowing if that was a comfort or hindrance. Without giving thought to a retreat Shawn lifted himself onto his toes and pressed his lips to Jack’s. It seemed easier than words, but nervous and clumsy; the way a first kiss should be. Bliss lasted for only a brief moment before Shawn’s wits returned and he hastily pulled away.

            “Oh,” he mumbled, returning his heels to the ground, “Jack – I’m sorry, I –” His words were cut off when Jack pressed a finger to his lips.

            “Why?” he whispered. His arms encircled Shawn’s waist, pulling him closer. This time it was Jack that pressed his lips to Shawn’s, and for him there was no hesitation. Hands that had been firmly kept at Shawn’s sides found their way around Jack’s neck and he answered by deepening the kiss. Their tongues met, and one of Jack’s hands moved from his waist to his back, needing to somehow bring Shawn nearer. It was impossible, but that didn’t stop Jack from trying.

Just when Shawn thought he would pass out from lack of oxygen, and yet unwilling to move away, Jack broke the kiss. He still held him, and Shawn allowed himself to rest his head against his bare chest, content to just be there.

“When did you know?” Jack asked.

“Today,” Shawn told him, “But I think I’ve felt this way for a long time. You?”

“Just now,” he felt Jack kiss the top of his head, “All this time you’ve been right here.”

Shawn laughed; it seemed like the only appropriate response.

           

            David woke to the sound of his alarm clock’s shrill beeping. He had never been able to wake to the sound of music, any music, all it did was put him back to sleep. The beeping drove Jack crazy. There was no sound of complaint from the bed across from him, not even a groan, and when David groggily opened his eyes he found that it was empty. More then empty, it was still perfectly made.

            Curious he got up and made his way to the kitchen, and then poked his head around the corner to the living room. Jack was on one end of the couch, legs drawn up beside him and his hand supporting his head. Shawn, still fully dressed in his clothes from the day before, was curled up at his side.

            David was a little surprised, even after his talk with Shawn. This hadn’t been one of those attractions that everyone saw but the two people involved. He would be willing to bet every dollar he had that no one else who knew them had seen it either. Here the pair of them were, all chaste (which was not like Jack), and for lack of a better word, cuddling. He could only imagine the look on the face of Will or Ethan when they came looking for breakfast.

            Before he could decide whether or not to wake them Jack’s eyes opened, as if he had sensed his intrusion. “Shawn wanted to ‘talk’, Dave?” he smiled.

            “I couldn’t exactly tell you, now could I?” Jack’s grin was almost unsettling, like a cat in cream, “You might as well wake him up, or you’ll both be late for class.”

            “To hell with that,” he muttered, leaning his head back, “We were up until four in the morning, talking, mind you.”

            “Talking?”

            “Well, mostly,” the grin widened, “I mean to get some sleep. Besides, I never finished that paper anyway.”

            David shook his head and headed back down the hallway. It seemed he’d get to see the look on Will and Ethan’s face after all.




*So do you think I need a slash warning? Actually if people need a warning in regards to slash they are reading the wrong journal. Slash warnings bug the shit out of me, especially if there is no actual sex involved....why do you need a warning for kissing, honestly.
lilgryphon: (Jack/Shawn)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 10:50 pm)
I totally need a 'It's Jack' icon... Here's the next part in our little story, its still not finished, but I plan on finishing it up tonight. I just wanted to keep teasing you along the way.  :P


Jack hadn’t realized how late it was until he finally exited the garage after having spent countless hours at work.  It was full dark, the outside only lit by the occasional headlights and streetlamps.  He climbed into his pickup and turned on the ignition, startled that the numbers displayed on the digital clock on the dashboard, 11:05. He often left the shop late, but never before had it been this close to midnight.  Sometimes under a car he forgot about the outside world and his boss did not care how much time he spent in the pit, as long as he cleaned up afterward.  His best friend, David, however, wouldn’t approve of his lateness.  He would need to be up by six to reach his morning classes on time, and he hadn’t bothered to finish the paper that was due in the early afternoon, either.  That paper was going to be the first thing David would inquire about when he walked through the door. Well, at least Jack hadn’t been out drinking, that would have really agitated him.

It was only a short ride home, and from the driveway it appeared that most of the household had turned in for the night.  The windows were dark, save for the one in the back that marked the room he shared with David, no doubt David was still studying. Another soft glow was radiating from the front room window that couldn’t count as true light; likely Shawn had left his computer on as usual.

            Jack parked on the street, the driveway was already full with other vehicles; and cut across the grass to the front door.  After pulling off his grease covered work boots he slipped inside, trying to remain quiet for the benefit of his roommates.  Almost immediately his eyes fell towards the desk in the corner.  Shawn had left his computer on, but he was still in front of it, head pillowed on one of the pages of his giant text book he had left open.  He grinned, it wasn’t the first time he had found him the exact same position, but it would likely be one of the last.  For a brief moment Jack contemplated waking him, but decided against it.  Shawn never allowed himself to get enough sleep, and if he woke him he was just going to spend another hour, or more; trying to read over a text that he had already spent the day rigorously studying.

            After leaving Shawn to his slumber Jack made his way down the hall to the room he shared with David.  Light shone under the door, and he opened to find his roommate hunched over his desk, still pouring over notes.

            “Late night?” David inquired, not bothering to look up.

            “Yeah,” Jack replied, striping off his filthy shirt, “Looks like you’ve had one, too.”

            David closed the notebook, stood and then stretched, “I always do.  You see Shawn?”

            Jack was rummaging for a pair of sleep pants in his dresser, fully intending to shower and change before lying down on clean sheets.  The grease and dirt never bothered him while he was working, but once he had finished he had to remove it as soon as possible or it drove him mad.

            He flashed David a half smile, “He fell asleep at his desk, again.  Don’t know how he manages to pass any of his classes when they seem to put him to sleep so easily,” he joked.

            “One of us should wake him, or he’ll be there all night,” David paused, “He mentioned he wanted to talk to you.”

            Jack shrugged, “Alright,” he reached for a towel, “Just let me get the grime off first; you know it drives me nuts.”

            “Deal,” David told him, yawning, “I’m exhausted, don’t expect me to still be awake when you’re done.”  Without further comment he flopped onto his bed, and Jack couldn’t help shaking the feeling that he had just been dismissed from his own room as he left it.

            It wasn’t until Jack had finished showering and pulled on the loose drawstring pants that he realized that David hadn’t asked him about that paper. David always asked about his schoolwork, he kept tabs on it better than Jack ever had. He ran the towel roughly through his short hair to dry it, still pondering David’s behavior. Jack hadn’t been around lately, and neither had David, not now that Emily was in his life. Had something passed between them that Jack had somehow missed? David just wasn’t David tonight, he was certain of it.

            By the time he stepped out of the bathroom Jack had convinced himself that he had somehow upset David, and he wasn’t about to let it stew throughout the night. He needed sleep, hell, they all did, but finding out what had caused this rift was his new priority. The glow had disappeared from under his door; he reached for the knob, ready to turn it, when he remembered his promise to wake Shawn. It was starting to feel like a very long night.

            Jack trudged back to the living room, unsure if he should be cursing or blessing this new distraction from David. Shawn was still curled up in front of his computer, goldfish swimming across the monitor. He hated the thought of breaking that slumber, but, hell, Shawn was going to be sore in the morning if he stayed there all night – and the sooner Jack woke him the sooner he could get back to his own room.

            After Shawn gave him no response when he said his name, twice, Jack placed a hand on his shoulder and shook it lightly. Shawn twitched, and then seemed to jerk awake before bolting upright. He brought a hand up to his forehead, and turned his head slightly in Jack’s direction.

            “Jack?”

            “Who else?” he removed his hand, “You should stop studying to the point of exhaustion, it makes it harder to recall the information later when you need it.” He was grinning, hardly visible when the only light was from a screensaver, but even Jack was unsure if it had been entirely a joke.

            Shawn returned the smile, “You spend more time under the hood of the car than any of us spend studying, including David.”

            Jack shrugged, “I enjoy it, it hardly looks as if you are enjoying this,” he moved away from Shawn to sit on the corner of the desk, “Speaking of our friend Dave, he said you wanted to talk to me.”

            “Well – yeah –” Shawn's voice broke off and he rolled the chair backwards to stand next to Jack. His fingers moved unconsciously across the wood, and Jack knew that gesture all too well. Had he somehow upset half the household? His mind ran through the past week, and all he could come up with were blank answers. He hadn’t been there.

            “So?” he prompted, starting to feel like one of the animated goldfish behind him trapped in a very small bowl.


lilgryphon: (Jack/Shawn)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 01:12 am)
Alright Skimble, you got your wish, here's some Jack and David for you - although right now it's more Shawn than anything. This piece isn't complete, it came out a lot longer than I thought it would; but I reached a good stopping point. As always, its not really edited, I am *so* sick of editing right now! I'm off to work on Rajala some more, but if I get stuck you may see more of 'It's Jack' tonight.



            Shawn Collins took a deep breath, and wondered how many times he had already read the paragraph before him.  Absentmindedly, he ran his hand through his hair and then tried once again to focus his eyes and mind on the page of his law text.  After glancing at the clock he realized the same two pages had been in front of him for the last twenty minutes, and he didn’t even know what subject he was reading.  He had finals in two days, and he didn’t have time for distractions, yet distracted he was.

            If he ever managed to study and pass his exams he’d be graduating with a bachelor’s degree at the end of the month.  Which, he was forced to accept was part of the problem.  He had taken his undergraduate studies at a local collage, fully against the wishes of his parents.  Now that he had begun to seriously pursue becoming a lawyer they wanted him to finish at Yale, and he had been accepted.

            Money wasn’t an issue, his parents had more then enough on their own, and his grandmother had left him a sizable collage fund when she passed away.  It was his leaving that kept gnawing at him.  Yale was on the east coast, and his life had always been in California.  By taking classes in Arcata he had been able to be far enough away from his parents for the freedom of his own life; yet had been lucky enough to share that life in a house off campus with five of his closest friends.

Three of them, Ethan, Tony, and Will he had known since childhood.  Their parents knew his own, and therefore their living arrangements had been fully acceptable by all parties.  They were still fairly close knit, and perhaps of the three he was closest with Tony.  He seemed to share the most in common with him, and they were both studying law; which would give him one friendly face at Yale.  Ethan would be done with school after graduation, he had only attended to please his parents, and Will would be going on to medical school.

The other two, Jack and David, had been educated alongside them since elementary, but they had never even properly spoken until their senior year of high school.  After an accidental scuffle that had almost come to blows he and Jack had surprisingly become fast friends, and wherever Jack went, David did.  Of course, in the case of collage it had been more of Jack following David.  David was the resident bookworm in their household; and if it were not for him Jack wouldn’t even be graduating, not that he seemed to care one way or another.  He would be the first to admit that the only reason he had even attended collage was because David had.  When Jack wasn’t at home he was at his part time job in a garage fixing cars.  An odd choice, anyone who knew him would agree, but he loved it.

Shawn tapped his pencil impatiently alongside his desk.  It should be easy to study right now, the house was uncharacteristically quite.  Jack was working, Will and Ethan, the party animals, were both in class, and David was having a late lunch with his girlfriend Emily.  This only left Tony, who was also home, but submerged in his own studies in his room.  They were, after all, both facing the same tough finals.

What was it about leaving that agitated him so?  It would be sheer heaven to escape his parents’ watchful gaze, and they wanted him to go.  Tony expected that they would get a small place together, and the two of them had already shared a room for four years, he was an ideal roommate.  They wouldn’t have the constant coming and going of the others and could focus solely on their education, which was what one needed to do to survive Yale.  Distractions made it difficult to achieve the necessary grade to get a top spot in a firm after graduation.

It wasn’t Yale, that much he knew; and it wasn’t leaving California, either.  No, he slowly realized, it was that they had suddenly reached the end.  He glanced around the living room.  They had lived in the same location for all four years of collage, including the summers.  It had slowly become home to him, and a better home than his parent’s house had ever been.  There he had been an only child, but now he had five brothers that each had a unique place in his daily life.  Now he was about to leave them behind. 

Will and Ethan wouldn’t be there with their crazy antics at all hours.  He smiled, Hell, they are the ones that always seem to have beer.  They knew just when a cram session was too much, and how to get anyone to close their text when it was really sleep they would need to pass an exam.  Of course, they were the first ones there to celebrate when midterms and finals came back with passing grades.

David was always useful for those cram sessions, or when an assignment just didn’t make sense – even if he had never taken the class.  Perhaps even more valuable was the fact that you could always go to with a problem, even if you just needed someone to listen.  In that aspect, he didn’t always have the answer, but just knowing you could turn to him was a comfort they had all taken for granted. Whatever you told David, you knew he wouldn’t breathe a word of it to anyone, even Jack.

And Jack.  Jack was carefree, and yet always there with a helping hand, as long as it didn’t pertain to schoolwork.  He was also the one that managed to keep the household reasonably clean and tidy. He didn’t do all of the housework on his own, but he did more than his own fair share.  After he had spent over an hour to clean the kitchen while you studied it made you feel guilty if you couldn’t take three minutes to take out the garbage.  An apartment with only Shawn and Tony to clean was going to become a disaster zone almost immediately without him to rein them in.  Jack was so, Jack; hard to describe, and even harder to forget. 

That was when realization dawned, as he sought for words to describe someone that there weren’t words to describe – least of all ones that matched these feelings that were rising inside him.  Leaving the others wasn’t what he feared.  He would miss them, of course, but they had simply reached that point where it was undeniably time to grow up.  But the thought of leaving Jack – that was what caused the ache in his gut.  That sense of sheer loss and despair.

He tried to search his memories, to pinpoint exactly when Jack had ceased being a simple friend and had suddenly become so much more.  Try as he might he didn’t know when it had happened.  Every memory he looked back on now seemed to already contain these feelings.  As if he had always known.  Perhaps he had.

Finally after running his hand through his hair once more, he closed the textbook, completely giving up on studying and instead began to pace the living room.  His acceptance of this sudden attraction presented several issues if he decided to act upon it.  The very thought seemed maddening to him, and yet inaction even more so.

Thankfully, one thing he need not fear was that this crush – or whatever it was, was not someone that couldn’t return it. Jack had been open about his sexuality since before Shawn had properly known him, in fact it had been one of the things that had in a round about way led to their friendship. At the time Shawn hadn’t told anyone his own feelings, not even his friends, and he still hadn’t told his parents. Once they accepted Jack, and frankly, everyone in their high school knew, it had been a lot easier for Shawn to tell them. Jack wasn’t flamboyant, and he certainty didn’t fit any stereotypes, people knew because he had never attempted to hide it. When he had found his latest lover the world knew.  They were the only two that shared this preference in their little circle of friends, giving them a bond that the others could never really understand.  He swallowed, and then froze in mid-pace, but would Jack understand this?

It was a risk he didn’t know if he was willing to take.  Losing Jack forever would tear at him for the rest of his life, and would likely cost him David as well.  Even if some divine power intended for them to share a life together, he didn’t see how it was remotely possible.  It was too late for him to simply walk away from Yale, and he didn’t see how Jack could follow him there. 

Really, worrying about how to make a relationship work that didn’t even exist was getting a bit ahead, and he knew it.  However, this knowledge didn’t stop him from doing so.  First he had to figure out how to tell Jack, or rather, if he was going to.

As if on queue the front door opened, and David walked in.  He looked at Shawn a little oddly before closing the door.

“You alright?”

 He froze, was he really that transparent?

“Yeah, why?”

In response David walked across the length of the room and ruffled his hair like a small child.  Shawn recoiled; he loathed having his hair touched.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this,” he paused, as if trying to select the most appropriate word for the situation at hand, “Disheveled, not even after one of your all night parties.”  David didn’t approve of drinking, but aside from the various good-natured jokes he dropped now and then he had never berated the others for doing it.  Even Will and Ethan, which Shawn gathered must have been quite difficult for him. “Honestly, your hair is a mess.”

Appalled, Shawn attempted to smooth the ash brown locks back to where they should have been, but judging by the look on his friend’s face he was clearly not succeeding.

“Seriously, Shawn, what’s going on?”

He hesitated; he didn’t like to discuss men with anyone, except rarely someone else that shared his tastes.  Of course, the only person he would have felt comfortable sharing this with would have been Jack – if Jack hadn’t been the one that was the center of the issue.

“Your room?” Shawn finally asked, “Mine’s already occupied.”

David nodded, “Sure, there’s plenty of light out, so I wouldn’t expect Jack home from the garage for a few hours, at least,” he chuckled, “If he was only that enthralled with schoolwork Jack would surprise us all.”

Well, he’s currently surprising one of us, at least, Shawn thought humorously as they made their way down the hall. 

With Jack’s almost compulsive tidiness, which made little sense when one put into account that he always came home covered in grease; the room he shared with David was easily the best kept in the household.  David had once told him that even if he had been a complete slob the room would be spotless, because Jack wouldn’t allow even a sock to remain on the floor when it should be in a hamper.

David took up residency on his bed, and under normal circumstances Shawn would have taken the one across from him, but it was Jack’s, and right now that didn’t seem like the appropriate choice.  That left the floor, or the single wooden chair David kept at his desk.  He pulled the chair out, and sat down in it backwards, draping his arms across the back and exhaling audibly.

“Well?” David prompted.

Shawn glared, “This isn’t easy, you know.”

“Actually I don’t know; which is why we are in here,” his tone hadn’t changed, you had to know David to pick up when he was joking – sometimes it took one of Jack’s grins to let the entire room know. Clearly he was trying to help, but Shawn wasn’t in the mood for his not-so-witty remarks.  Maybe he didn’t want help.  Maybe it would be more convenient to simply pretend that he didn’t have this sudden reaction towards Jack.

“Don’t be an ass.”

“You can leave, if you’d rather.”

No, he didn’t ‘rather’.  He needed David, because if he didn’t tell someone he was going to lose his sanity. If it wasn’t David it would have to be Tony. Tony was a good friend, he accepted him, but somehow he thought discussing an attraction to Jack would be a bit too much for him. He couldn’t imagine trying to explain this to Ethan or Will, which left only David.

“It’s Jack,” he blurted.

“Jack?”

Shawn lowered his eyes, and took a deep, almost ragged breath, “Look, you know I have been dreading the end of the term, and Yale, and all that bull shit that goes with it,” he paused to search for more air, “Well, I finally figured out why and now I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do about it, alright?”

“And ‘it’ is Jack?”

David’s voice was so damn certain, even if the words had been formed as a question, and Shawn realized he felt a little ill as his stomach turned.  He continued to advert his eyes, looking at someone and saying it aloud seemed impossible.

“Yes,” he mumbled.

“Look, Shawn,” his voice had softened, any hint of teasing gone from him. “It’s a bit hard for me to hold a conversation with you when you seem to be having one with yourself and your shoe simultaneously while trying to pretend I’m not in the room.  Look at me, will you?” Reluctantly Shawn met his request, and David continued, “What is it about Jack?”

“Don’t make me say it.”

“You want me to say it? Because if what I think you’re trying to tell me isn’t what you want to say it’s going to get damn uncomfortable in here for the both of us.”

Shawn rapped his fingers across the back of the chair, and threw caution to the wind, “I think I like him, I mean really like him.” He was so naïve when it came to relationships, he could count the number of men (and women for that matter, because there had been a time when he hadn’t quite wanted to believe what his body was telling him) that he had kissed on one hand. He had never been shy, before, but after, once he admitted to himself he wasn’t like everyone else; he suddenly was reserved with those he didn’t know. Ask him to stand up and give a speech or hold a debate and he could command a room, but throw him in a social situation and he could become a mumbling idiot; and it was worse if he was there without someone he knew. On the rare days that he was honest with himself he knew it all boiled down to the fact that he still wasn’t comfortable in his own skin.

Shawn had expected David to be surprised, but there was no sign of shock in his features, but he didn’t toss out his classic ‘I know’, either. This left Shawn trying to puzzle out his thoughts on the situation. You always expected David to know – even when he didn’t.

“How bad?” he asked.

“I don’t know, I just know I don’t want to leave this – whatever it is – undone to go traipsing off to Connecticut.  Even if it’s for Yale – but I can’t imagine telling him either.” His fingers continued to move across the back of the chair, playing a tuneless song without a piano. He hated the piano, hadn’t touched one in years, and yet when he was agitated his fingers moved almost subconsciously across imaginary keys. 

“If you feel that strongly, then you need to tell him.” The fingers froze.

“It’s Jack,” Shawn told him, referring to the obvious.

“All the more reason to tell him, if you don’t then you’re going to spend a very long time playing ‘what if’. Trust me.”

“And if he doesn’t feel the same?”

“Then you’ll know, it is Jack,” David repeated, and Shawn reflected ‘It’s Jack’ was becoming a mantra. “He isn’t going to hate you for it. The worst it will do is feed his ego.” He was trying to calm him, and Shawn was halfway appalled that it was working. In some weird twisted way he felt as if David was giving his approval – and Shawn shouldn’t need David’s approval, he shouldn’t need anyone’s. David was also irrevocably right, Jack wasn’t likely to berate him over a confession – and then Shawn would know. If Jack thought he was crazy he could somehow pick up the pieces, being on the other side of the country would have to make that easier – and if he didn’t – Shawn pushed the thought away. He wasn’t going to start thinking about that until he knew.

Voices floated in from the hallway, even through the closed door. Ethan and Will were home, and judging by the decibel of their words they were not bringing a quiet evening with them.

“Sometimes I think those two are caged animals,” David muttered. “Look, I’m going to round them and Tony up and get out of here for a few hours. You’ll have the place to yourself, you can clear your thoughts and then talk to Jack when he gets home.”

He hadn’t left room for further discussion, and even if he had, Shawn couldn't find reason to argue.



lilgryphon: (Ari)
( Jun. 11th, 2009 05:24 am)
Because right now, that's the best "title" I can come up with! You may remember that some time ago I posted a piece simply titled "my new project". Well here is the next part to it, its not really edited, but eh, I like how its going so far. And now I am going to bed...at least Jason will be here in about three hours, so I'll get to spend the "night" with him!


            Ironically the first time I had seen Phillip was at an airport, or rather, the first time I had seen him as an adult, or nearly. I had met him once before, but it had been at least thirteen years, and that memory had become more than a little hazy since then.

            It was that day I had been desperately trying to remember as I had drove my father’s worn truck across the Nevada highway to bring back this long forgotten family member. I had been five, or there about, in a cemetery as everyone said their goodbyes to Uncle George. As a child, I could hardly recollect how it was I was related to this man, and death seemed so unreal to me at that moment. My attention had fully been focused on cousin Phillip, whom I had only been introduced to a few hours before. Something had been said, what, I had ceased to recall somewhere in early childhood. I don’t even know if it had been Phillip who had thrown the insult, or I, only that it had resulted in the two of us tumbling in the grass – and my furious father pulling us apart. While the reason for the altercation had been forgotten, the punishment had stayed quite vivid for years.

            Shortly afterward my aunt and uncle packed up their family to move across the country, resulting in the thirteen years passing without sight of any of them. Aunt Anna was my father’s sister, and when they had been children they had been close. Even after all those years of almost silence he would apparently do just about anything for his little sister with just a quick phone call. Her husband had passed on three years earlier, and now she was left with a stepson that had turned into a teenager she could no longer discipline. The picture she painted for my father was a rowdy, uncontrollable boy that came and left whenever he pleased and had her worrying constantly throughout the night. Now he was constantly skipping classes, and she had become worried about drug use. What, she had desperately asked my father, was she going to do with him after he had thrown away his education? He may have been her stepson, but he was the only child she had, and it was clear, even from my father’s conversations, she loved him.

            In the end they had agreed on two choices, which she presented to Phillip. He could join my family in Nevada, or she would somehow find the money to ship him off to a military academy. After a screaming match and battle of wills, that I have since wondered how my aunt had won after meeting Phillip, he reluctantly chose Nevada and us.

            Which had brought me to Las Vegas. After navigating the city streets, and in some ways, worse, the parking lot and airport itself, I now had to somehow find him. This was before 9/11, and the extravagant safety precautions that had resulted from it, allowing me to be right at the terminal, and hoping that at least one of us would recognize the other. I had almost missed the plane that time, as well, arriving breathless just as the first passengers began to appear. Most were too old, too young, or accompanied by a friend or family member. Anxiety began to rise, was it possible I had somehow missed him, or had he missed the flight entirely? I cringed at the thought of finding the nearest pay phone and explaining to my father that Phillip was somehow missing.

            Finally a lanky, yet average height teenager appeared, dressed in solid black, with his eyes cast to the floor. He wore black boots and the darkest jeans, loose, but not baggy.  A thick, black, studded belt was looped through the jeans, with a portable CD player clipped to his hip, wires disappearing somewhere behind him. His t-shirt almost seemed a size too small and was tucked tightly into his pants, while it named a band I didn’t know then and have long since forgotten. I almost dismissed him immediately, his hair matched the clothing, and I could have sworn that Phillip had been blond, but I also knew that deep inky shade had to be dyed. It was long, and had a soft wave, stopping to rest just above his shoulders. His right wrist had a spiked leather cuff, and as I continued to scan his appearance I knew that if this was him my father was going to, for lack of a better word, freak.

            He lifted his head, and I could now see the wires of headphones, along with a silver hoop piercing his lower lip. At the sight of those deep blue eyes, I knew my father was going to freak.

            I stepped forward, and he deftly removed the earbuds as I met him. I could still hear a loud buzzing coming from them that I supposed must classify as music, at least to some.

            He raised an eyebrow, “Mike?” he asked, sounding bored.

            I exhaled the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding and nodded. Automatically I extended a hand and wondered momentarily if I should shorten his name, as he had casually done with my own. It came out as a mumbled sort of Phil-l-u-up, which he didn’t correct, leaving me to assume he preferred it to Phil. He hesitated before taking my hand, and shaking it somewhat limply.

            “I was worried you wouldn’t recognize me,” I told him, as he released his hold.

            “I didn’t,” he scowled, and then, almost purposely, scanned his eyes from the toe of my worn shoes and back to my face, “You are just so – plain.”

            His words stung, but I didn’t reply, and he casually replaced the earbuds without further comment. I assumed he must have luggage, so we made our way through the airport, oddly without communication. It was about a ten-minute, excruciatingly silent wait for his suitcases to appear. There were only two, apparently, and we each picked up one, I somehow ending up with the larger. Afterward, I led him to the truck, or more accurately, walked toward it, and assumed he would follow.

            He was still quiet when we reached the faded blue Chevy I had learned to drive in, although he showed the distaste plain enough in his eyes. It was the only family vehicle I was allowed to use, and the only one we had besides my mom’s relatively new Ford Taurus. I hoisted the suitcases into the bed while he climbed in the cab, shutting the door relatively quietly. That surprised me, I had assumed he was stewing a silent anger, and had expected him to slam it shut. Unfortunatly you had to slam the doors on that old truck, or they didn’t latch.

            I went to the passenger side, re-opened it, and promptly shut it again with the force it required. He made no sound or movement indicating that I had done so, and with rising irritation I got in myself and started the engine. Ironically enough, I remember Chris Ledoux filled the air through battered speakers, earning another scowl. He reached down to his player, and I assumed he was adjusting the volume, although I wondered how it could possibly go any louder. Even more, I think I was wondering how long it would be before he would speak again.

            It turned out to be a long time. The drive home was just as silent as the drive to Vegas had been, and now my mind was occupied with worries I hadn’t had before. It was clear in those first few moments that Phillip and I were two vastly different individuals, and not only in appearance.

There was the obvious; I was at least a head taller than he was, and my body had already begun to fill out, passing the awkwardness of a teenager. I would never admit it to him, but he had been right, I was plain; although, everyone I knew was no less ordinary in their own appearance. My jeans were worn, but in good repair, my mother wouldn’t have let me pick up a relative at the airport with holes in my knees. While my sneakers were no longer the white they had been at the beginning of the school year they still had tread and would easily last until winter. I’m sure I had on a loose fitting t-shirt of some kind, quite possibly a solid color, likely brown or tan. My dusty hair was shaggy, but obviously short in comparison, even though I knew Mother would want to take the shears to it soon. In those days my father generally shaved it completely off two or three times throughout the year, while she would trim it up if it got too out of control between visits with the buzzer. It had never occurred to me to pay someone to do what we could at home for free, and I doubt it would have been within the family budget to visit barber or salon in any case.

Appearance however, was not the cause of my concern, although I wondered how my father was going to take the sight of Phillip on our doorstep, it was the indifference. I had never known anyone to be so impolite as to be able to ignore someone for over an hour in a vehicle where they were the only two present. How was I ever going to comfortably share a room with not only a stranger, but also one that seemed content to ignore my existence? I contemplated sharing that fact with him, doubting he had ever had to share a thing as an only child, while I had grown up with three older brothers and a younger sister.

Only Todd, Jessica, and myself remained at home. Shane, the eldest, had been the first to go, leaving in his early twenties, after he was married; but he was still there almost every day working in the shop. It hadn’t seemed that long ago that Daniel had moved out of the room we had shared my entire life and headed off for collage. He had defied all odds my parents had seemed to place on him by getting a scholarship and leaving the state. I had finally had a small place that was mine alone and was relishing in the solitary. Now I had to give all that up for this, unless Todd finally moved out tomorrow, which I knew wasn’t going to happen. Todd was two years older than Daniel; but he seemed content to stay at home for life, as long as our parents would allow him to – and my mother was never in a rush for any of her children to move out.

I could never understand his desire to stay home, even though I few complaints towards my parents. They were strict, but I was not the type of child that found need to disobey them or for rebellion. I wanted out simply because I hated the desert. Not that I had any idea how I would escape, I was a senior in high school, but I had no plans for collage. I just kept adding to my meager savings whenever I could, and hoped something would fall in my lap when the time came, as we all did at eighteen.

Home was about ten miles outside of Mesquite, a town that at the time consisted mostly of a handful of casinos. It was a bit of a retirement community, snowbirds often coming down for the winter from the neighboring state of Utah. Our land had once been a family ranch, cattle mostly, but my grandfather had given up livestock, sold most of the property and devoted his time making custom furniture. My father had shared his passion, and incidentally Shane did, too. There seemed to be one in every generation, but only one, that really enjoyed it. I helped out because it was expected of me, and that was where I was able to bring in some money.

I pulled down the dirt road, dust flying through our open windows that I ignored; and Phillip choked on dramatically before rolling his own up. Our black and white Border Collie mix and chocolate Labrador ran up to greet us before we even stopped, tails wagging and barking enthusiastically at my return. Once I had pulled over and stepped out I was mauled by them both.

            Jake, the border, had this horrible habit of jumping up at you, but none of us seemed to have the heart to try and break him of it. His paws were firmly locked on my chest as I scratched him behind the ear. Duke’s tail was thumping the side of my leg, undaunted as he waited for his own turn. I reached down to pat him, too, and then shooed the two of them. They didn’t go far; simply took it upon themselves to roam around to the other side of the truck, looking for the new victim, and found him. To my utter surprise he was eagerly returning their affection, and finally spoke since the first time at the airport.

            “What’s their names?” He asked, and I felt compelled to join him in the doggie love fest a second time. As soon as I stood beside him Jake was jumping on me again.

            “Jake’s this monster,” I told him, “And that’s Duke.”

            The sound of the screen door announced my mother, who froze on the back porch when she caught sight of us, or more, accurately, Phillip. He had ignored the sound, continuing to lavish Duke with affection. Eventually she seemed to recover, and started walking towards us; I braced myself for her words.

            “Phillip?” Her voice filled with an apparent disbelief that she had been unable to mask.

            He shrugged, “Who else?” His tone indicating that plainly he wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t been Phillip.

            She was taken aback, “I’m sorry, it’s just, you’re so – ”

            “Dark?” He supplied.

            “Different.”

“Uh,” I broke in, feeling absurdly uncomfortable standing between them, “How about we take your stuff inside and I show you to our room?”

            He shrugged a second time, apparently reverting back to silence. Taking it as approval I pulled his suitcases out of the truck and dragged him inside – knowing I was only postponing the inevitable.


lilgryphon: (Default)
( Jun. 10th, 2009 01:18 am)
Things are going a bit slower than I'd like, Cassandra is being her usual pain. I keep getting hung up on her next chapter and that isn't helping, seeing as it is THE next chapter. I've been able to work on bits and pieces of the ones that follow it, but I really need to get things laid out properly with chapter ten. I'm starting to dread working on it...

Oddly, I spent today mostly working on what is towards the ending of the second book in the trilogy. Kennan was just begging me to come back to him...It's a piece I'm pretty proud of, so that helps!
Tags:
So much that it should be illegal! I've been bad the last few days, as in I haven't been able to spend much time online or writing because when I have been home I've either been asleep or my brain was just fried and unable to compute. Some of my very close friends were in town for Pride this weekend and we got to hang out, but the hours were a bit odd for me.

On Saturday we went clubbing, which was the first time I've ever really went other then when we went to a dance/bar in Texas with my older sisters. For the record, I've been 21 for longer than I'd like to admit, but yeah, never really had the desire for the party scene. Mike and Jared's time was limited, though, and I really wanted to spend as much of it with them as possible. Jason had to work, so I dragged my friend Liz with me and we met them downtown.

This place was packed, four stories, and we had to wait around 45 minutes just to get inside. Females were outnumbered at least 40:1, and I am not kidding. I loved it though, because there wasn't a straight man in the place. I always have this fear of men getting drunk and hitting on me - not that I generally have to worry about getting hit on.

We had  a ton of fun, and also was reminded of what a small world this is. I have known Liz, Mike, and Jared for a very long time, but Liz had never met them before because they live in southern Utah and I've known her since high school. So here is the crazy thing, when Mike told me he was coming up he was all excited because he was going to see this couple he hasn't seen in years, Sally and Dani. He mentions them in passing last night, and Liz is like - who? Turns out, Sally is her sister-in-law. Small world, huh? I got the chance to meet both Sally and Dani this morning at breakfast this morning, and they seem really great. So now I have new friends to hang out with my old friends!


I did spend some time tonight working on my chapters, but it is a slow process. A lot is happening, I'm trying to piece it all together and make it flow right. At this point it looks like I'm going to be writing about 5 chapters before I will be able to settle on any type of finalization with them.
So I don't have anything new to post, but I am still working away. I've reached the part in TE that I knew was going to be difficult. I need to start explaining certain aspects of Mages/Rajala in general, and it can be hard to do without becoming overwhelming for the reader. This is also where the largest rewrite of the actual plot takes place.

I actually sat down yesterday and wrote, gasp, an outline. I don't generally do that, as I tend to piece everything together when the time comes, but it needed to be done. Things are going along about where I had them figured, so that was good. I've been working through the next 5-6 chapters, just a rough draft, as there are some parts that I am unsure which POV I'm going to put them in. Once I've got the main chunk of them written I'll go back and edit chapter ten so that it will be ready for posting.


On another completely unrelated note, Jason has found another job. He's now doing security and spa work, and working his butt off. I feel so bad, especially when I'm still struggling to find anything. *sigh* All I can do is what I can do, and I just keep plugging along. I always wanted to stay home and write, but this isn't exactly how I had it figured.

Alright, I've hacked through it, and here it is. I spent a lot of time removing bits, adding new ones, and switching the order of events, so if something gets repeated, please, please tell me. This chapter has been worked on so many times that I can almost recite it from memory, which does not help when one is trying to edit it! Skimble, I hope you're up for this one...

Tiger Eyes

           Dyrania, Goddess of destiny, can be a cruel woman, haplessly binding men to paths that they seem unable to find the strength to walk, and yet dare not turn away from. Her wants and wills are known only to the higher Gods, and many mortals will argue that her existence is only the fantasy of women and bards. I cannot claim to know the truth of Gods, destiny, or fate, but I can speak of what I have seen.

            This is the tale of my life, but in many ways it is the tale of another, and who Dyrania it seems willed them to become. One would never believe that from our meager beginnings we would face the tasks she had given us, to learn to fight, or die. Little did I know that She had intended for our paths to cross, entwine, and eventually become one from the very beginning, and She could not allow that to be altered.

 Chapter One

            Few men would call my beginning meager, although if one had bothered to take the chance to ask me, I, Bryan Desmond Masters, would have told them how insignificant I found them. Most would argue that I had been given a life of privilege. I had mentors and tutors blessed with the highest amount of qualifications coin could buy, from books to weaponry, and could have any possession I asked of from my mother. Of course, most would call me blessed simply because of the large amount of land and wealth I would some day inherit. It was that land and responsibility I did not want, and yet never dared speak those words.

I had the fortune of being born the eldest son of Darren Masters, Lord Holder and protector of Greensburrow, one of the eight providences belonging to the realm of Rajala. My family had held Greensburrow since before our country had taken its name, and for longer than we had written record. Our people were mostly shepherds and weavers, fate entwined with that of their flocks and the health of our grasses. Darren took great pride in his people and their sheep, even if he did not see directly to their care. He was not, however, a shirker of duties. Like his father, grandsire, and the countless before, his place was at his holding, and although he had overseers and servants, his own tasks numbered enough to keep even the strongest of men busy.

            He was titled, yet had always remained an irrevocably simple man. His clothing was only moderately superior to that of his men, and rarely was he seen in anything other than one or another shade of brown. A disciplined man of the sword, he was willing to live and die by the strength of his blade. We were close enough to the borderlands of Jaidan that war could easily reach us, and as with any landholder, there was always the possibility of a band of raiders in search of a weak leader or stronghold. As he constantly reminded me, our forefathers had sacrificed their sweat and blood into our lands, and it had fallen upon us to defend it.

            I suppose it was inevitable that the responsibilities he held made Daren a hard man, and I had certainly never seen him with a weakness. He expected, and was consequently given, complete and loyal obedience from all those he came in contact with, from his servants and peasants to his wife and sons. As a child I never questioned his authority, instead struggling to meet the expectations he laid for me. It never occurred to me not to strive to see them met, whatever the cost.

            Death would change that.         

It was the summer of my sixteenth year, and winter’s loneliness had left me increasingly bitter. The warmth of sun on my face had awoken me that morn, and although I attempted to ignore its unyielding presence, it was a battle I had clearly lost before it had begun. Judging by the amount of light that had infiltrated my chamber it was nearing midmorn and still far too early by my own calculations. Somehow I had developed the habit of sleeping until midday, leaving the outside world to continue without me. It had never been easy for me to rise early without being awoken, leading to the continuing dismay of Darren and so many others after him. Recently I had ceased to answer the summons from whichever page had been dutifully sent to pull me from my coverings, and eventually they had stopped making an appearance at all. Quite possibly, if I had only sought the comfort of my bed earlier in the evenings it would make the mornings easier to bear, but that solution had never appealed to me.

I intended to simply ignore the light, and try to return to slumber, as sleep had avoided me most of the night. Long before the first snowfall had I ceased to keep up pretences, outright defying Darren in almost everyway I had once obediently followed him. He seemed unconcerned with challenging me, but I knew better than to skip weapon’s work. As long as I was in the courtyard that afternoon with a sword in hand I would be left undisturbed in the sanctuary of my room.

Sleep had almost overtaken me again, when a nagging little voice filtered into my subconscious, which sounded suspiciously like Darren, today I had to rise. After muttering a half spoken curse I forced myself to sit up, even if I was still contemplating sleep. I knew if I delayed any further someone would be sent to fetch me, and it would not be a simple page. No doubt, that someone would be my younger brother, and only sibling, Rickon. He would be all too eager to stride in without announcing himself and then return to Darren to explain the state at which he had found me.

Reluctant, and yet resolved, I brought my feet to the stone floor. My head pounded from lack of sleep, and my limbs felt heavy. It was as if I should have been just climbing into bed, and not out of it. No amount of sleep seemed to lift the constant exhaustion, for with each passing day I only craved rest and solitude more, even if my dreams plagued me. In a failed attempt to become more coherent I ran a hand through my short, tousled hair, trying to force the present to overtake the past. As always, the dreams and distant memories were hesitant to fade in the sunlight.

Pushing back the fragments and images that remained from the night, I crossed the room and pulled on a pair of black leather riding breeches and a thin linen tunic I had gratefully laid across a wooden chair the night before. Still somewhat groggy I found myself fighting for balance as I attempted to put on boots that had been left in the same vicinity. Admitting defeat, I fell into the chair before finally getting them on properly. I laced up the tunic, absentmindedly hoping that it would not be too warm for the summer day. Once I had worn a wide variety of colors that I had known secretly irked Darren, but as they pleased my mother he had never commented on them. Now it was only the shade of death that appealed to me. Even the thought of irritating him with a change of garment did not sway me.

I scanned the room, searching for anything I may have forgotten the night before, having already sent a pack down to the stables previously. My eyes fell on the shortsword that had carelessly been left in a corner. I stood, unwillingly taking it into my hands. The blade had been kept by my family for generations, passed from father to first-born. Someday it would be replaced by the sword kept by Darren, once Greensburrow was mine – another possession I did not want.

The sight of steel brought back the grief, sharp and overpowering. The dreams were resurfacing, and I fought to quench them as I exited the chamber. It was too long ago, far too long to still think about. I had allowed my thoughts to wander too much as I lay in bed the night before, and yet, I had let them wander no more or less than the days or nights that had already passed.

In attempt to quietly leave the holding, I hurriedly made my way towards the stables. With luck I could leave before another meeting with Darren, the presence of Rickon, and a tearful farewell from my mother. Avoiding the main hallways and passages, I exited out the servants’ doorway of the kitchens. I knew every location of my childhood home intimately, where I was likely to come across another, and where I was more likely to pass alone. I had spent the last few seasons doing everything within my power not to let my daily whereabouts come to the attention of Darren. Far less of my time was spent on the holding then anyone realized, and I intended to keep that knowledge with my secrets.

I was able to escape without seeing another soul, save the kitchen servants, who were generally too busy to tell anyone anything save themselves until the day was out. When they gossiped, it was after nightfall. The stables, however, were not unoccupied. I had expected to find someone watching for my arrival, fate and Darren were not going to allow my leaving to go unnoticed. Once I stepped through the doorway I was faced with Rickons’s presence, who was altogether too cheerful.

Rickon and I had never been close, five years lay between us, and we were two entirely different sons. In appearance it was I that almost mirrored our sire, and I often mused that if I had not he would have questioned the loyalty of my mother, if only to rid himself of my presence. We both had the same dark chestnut hair and eyes, while Rickon’s hair was distinctly lighter and his eyes a shade of green that no one in our family seemed to share. While Darren was tall, and I could almost match his height, Rickon seemed to be growing at an alarming rate, and I fully expected him to tower over both of us someday. I had his round nose, which I despised, and our ears were the exact same shape, in fact the only difference between the two of us seemed to be age and the shear size of him. Darren had bulk and muscle, hard and defined from both practice and battle with a great sword I could not possibly hope to lift, where I was slight like my mother, even where I had muscle.

It was Rickon, though, that was Darren’s blessing. There were few things I did not have to struggle to exceed at, while he seemed to conquer almost anything naturally. There had been no need to question his parentage, for he had always seemed to know exactly what Darren would expect of him and fought with all he had to provide it.

Books and figures were a curse for me, and I relished in the tasks that brought me outdoors. I lived for the hours I spent on the back of a horse, and consequently excelled at horsemanship. That, perhaps, had gained me the highest of my father’s approval, even if it was grudgingly given, in his eyes I spent far too much time in the stables. Weaponry was the only other study I did not completely despise, even if I still struggled with it. Anything was better than sitting inside listening to a stuffy old man drone on about politics and wars. Rickon, however, devoured books, figures seemed to just come to him, and above all, he could defeat anyone his age, and in many cases years older, myself included, with a blade.

Oddly, I was content to let him bask in Darren’s praise. I never envied their easy relationship, the Gods, and even Rickon knew I did not want it. No, I had simply spent too many marks wondering why, if there were Gods, Rickon was not the eldest, he wanted it, and I could have spent my life perusing something I could find joy in. I only fought with my studies because I knew someday I would have to take my father’s place as Lord Holder, and even if I did not want it I was not fool enough to shy away from it completely.

I disliked him, simply because he was Rickon. In my opinion he desperately needed someone to knock him down to the same level as the rest of us, and he had not yet met anyone yet that could do so. Things came so easily to him that he was an overconfident, pompous, unbearable prig to everyone other than our parents and his tutors, and he was even worse with me. My mother had once said that he had come into the world taunting me, and I had never been one to ignore the taunts. We often fought, although we were both smart enough to never let it come to blows, or let it fall within Darren’s earshot. A true fight between us would have earned us both a sound beating, and we knew it.

A wide grin was spread across his face, causing me to fight the sudden urge to strike him. He was thoroughly enjoying that Darren was sending me to Havermoore, with the same force that I was dreading it.

“Good morrow, Brother,” he called out as I approached.

“Rickon,” I acknowledged, fighting the urge and slipping past him into the stables. The faster I could saddle my horse and ride out, the smaller chance I had of facing a far worse encounter. I made my way to Lightning’s stall, a black stallion that had been a gift from my mother to mark my fourteenth year. He was near perfect, and one of the few things that could bring me pure joy. His head appeared at the sound of my footsteps, and as I approached him he snorted, eagerly straining his nose toward my hand. I reached out and gave him a quick scratch behind the ear before unlatching the door to step beside him. Gently he nudged his nose into my chest, but instead I turned away from him to pull down his bridle. Normally I would have been more affectionate, but my mind was already screaming a warning that I had not been followed into the stables. I busied myself with saddle and tack, at a speed that only came from constant, daily routine. In moments he was ready, and after tossing my pack on his back I led him from his enclosure and out into the sunlight. There, as if waiting to bid me a proper farewell, stood Darren, Rickon, and my mother.

I had expected it. Where else would Rickon have gone, but to fetch Darren? Expecting it had not prepared me for the reality, and I inhaled sharply, willing myself not to let this turn into a full confrontation. As one would assume Rickon was still grinning, Darren stood beside him, his face a hard mask, while my mother sobbed softly on his shoulder. She looked as if I had been sentenced to exile.

My mother, Kathryn Ditrystan Masters, was a loyal wife, but she had always held me very close to her heart. I could see by her stricken, tear streak face that this had been one of the rare occasions when she had fought with her husband, and lost. She tended to think a little too highly of me, if the truth is told, and expected far less of her oldest son then his sire. Where he ruled with hard discipline, she preferred the power of coin and affection. Her sobs could easily smoother you once they started, but she never gave me reason to doubt her love. Admittedly, I hated to see her cry.

My hands drew into fists, and as my eyes moved from my mother to Darren the rage only grew. The events from the day before came rushing back, Darren’s words, mine, and those that had been left unsaid between us.

I had known the moment I was summoned from weapon’s practice to Darren’s study that something was terribly wrong. He had always told me that the art of the sword was more important than any other lesson, person, or task. To shirk that duty would only find you wounded or killed when you drew a blade. I always found his words on the subject a bit extreme, but I would never have admitted to the fact. I had been waiting for him to finally acknowledge my defiance, expecting it since my complete withdrawal from my lessons, but I knew he would not call me from the courtyard for a simple reprimand. I was not expecting to be told he was sending me into the hands of a Mage.

He knew I despised them, and yet he lay out his intentions to send me to Havermoore as if he were discussing the harvest. For the first time in my life I openly challenged him, cold, hard, betrayal was still fresh, clawing to the surface. I had no desire to seek the Mages, the handful of memories I had of them were enough to last a lifetime. My defiance was met with a white hot rage of his own, and ended with an ultimatum. I could either take up the task he had laid before me, or leave his lands and protection. It was time, he had roared, for me to accept the responsibilities as his heir and leave the follies of my past to rest. I had never expected to be faced with disownment, and knew I could not simply walk away.

Even his threat could not prohibit me from speaking out once again as I stood there, clutching the reigns and listening to my mother’s sobs. Words tumbled from my lips, and I knew almost instantly that I should have held my tongue.

“This is a fool’s errand, and I am loathe to play the part of a fool.”

Darren’s jaw clenched, “A fool you are, for questioning me again. A fool and a coward.”

“I do not wish to spend two days riding to see a murderer,” the grief tore at my gut once more, “That does not make me a coward.”

Genuine confusion seemed to fill his features, and for the briefest of moments the harshness was gone from him, “Murderer? Only the Gods know where you have filled your head with these –” he paused, trying to find words, “accusations. This is the Gods decree as much as law.”

It was law, and if legend was to be believed also the declaration of the Gods for every child in Rajala to seek the Mages in their sixteenth year. However, I doubted the Gods or crown backed Darren’s reasons for my departure.

“The Gods have no part in this,” I snarled, and my mother let out chocked sob, burying her head deeper into his shoulder, and in essence, sealing my fate.

Darren roughly shook her off and stepped forward, his face so red I thought he meant to strike me. Instead he brought a single finger up to my chest.

“I am done with words, boy, either take up the task, or leave.”

I backed away from him slowly. Wanted or no, Greensburrow was my home, and without skill or trade, it was likely the only one I would ever know. Silently, I turned from him and mounted. Once in the saddle my eyes locked with those of my mother.

Brusquely, I nodded, “Until I return.” With effort I spun Lightning and then dug in my heels, causing him to bolt. As always, he was eager to run, and I made no move to hinder him.

 
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