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Drama > (Medicine) Dea N Dee

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message 1: by DragonDreamer (last edited Jul 08, 2015 09:47AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Characters Rae and Vin are childhood friends and now roommates. Rae has accidentally fallen in love with Vin but hides it to prevent ruining the friendship. When tragedy strikes Vin's life, Vin falls into a dangerous spiral of drugs, alcohol, and partying. At first, Rae doesn't notice too much because of his lying and she's in the middle of finals. Eventually, though, his habits become more and more concerning, so Rae decided to follow him to find out what has gone wrong, but is otherwise convinced he is just dandy thanks to his silver tongue and his manipulation of her trust. The pair continue as normal, helping each other out in drunk and silly situations ((view spoiler))
until Tasha, Gavin's dealer comes into play. Tasha reveals Gavin's secret and Rae is left worrying over what to do next. Gavin gets so bad that he is taking more drugs a week than his pay check and services can cover and he's developing a debt that hadn't really been much of an issue until tasha found out about Rae and Gavin's feelings for her. After this, tasha decides that she's ready to collect his debt and comes to the apartment looking for gavin but finds rae waiting by the phone for his drunken call. Fueled by petty jealousy and her possessive nature, Tasha spills the beans on Gavin's secret. Rae wants to try and help him, but at this point anything she does, Vin rejects and she doesn't want to lose him so she lets him continue. Rae begins paying off his debt to Tasha in secret. As part of their deal, Tasha pretends that Gavin doesn't owe her a debt and he doesn't find out about it until it's too late. Rae knows he feels bad about what she is helping him with already, so, needing to save money, and not wanting to push him away, she starts starving herself or at least stops buying food for herself and this pushes her to collapse at work and become hospitalized. Vin, completely oblivious as to what was going on because he is off in drug and alcohol land is horrified by what's happened [i expect a cute as hell hospital visit that probably has a bitter/sad undertone] and leaves after visiting Rae (maybe he's with tasha when he gets the call from Rae's parents that she is in the hospital). They reunite later after he has is wounded from a fight and is sent to the hospital when she is working there. After he is hospitalized, he moves back in to try one more time--but on probation and required to keep a job and stuff--and he finds the guitar when he thinks he's alone. It'll be a pretty emotional scene, because I think I want the guitar to be the catalyst that finally breaks his barrier and forces him to start grieving his parents. Rae could walk in while he's either playing and/or crying or something and hold/comfort him. Then she can hold him while he cries and it will all be very sweet and touching and fun to write.
A week later, she confesses her feelings and the idiots realize they've been in love with each other the whole time. Things immediately escalate in the rain and they flee to the apartment where things escalate further until the lovely room mate Jessica interrupts them and leaves them feeling comfortable and confident in their relationship.

Flash forward to the epilogue that occurs 6 years into the future where the couple is married with one kid and another on the way. Gavin is graduating with a promising job outlook and everything is beautiful and happy.
(view spoiler)

Name: Raelyn Amelia Emmerson
Alias: Rae

Age: 22


Height: 5'6"
Weight: 130lbs
Hair: ginger; auburn; red
Eyes: hazel

Occupation:Waitress/Aspiring Nurse

Personality Traits:
∝ Loyal
∝ Innocent
∝ Protective
∝ Kind
∝ Optimistic
∝ Caring

History: Rae was born an only child to a neurosurgeon and a first grade teacher. Although the family started in a very wealthy neighborhood, Rae's parents eventually decided that there wasn't enough of a community feel amongst the large houses and moved to a smaller neighborhood. Not even months later, the fun-loving Chandler family moved next door and the neighbors meshed beautifully. Until she was five, Raelyn believed that she had two moms and dads (needless to say, a lot of people she explained this to had a very different idea of what she meant). The outgoing and adventurous boy was practically her brother. The children fit together like puzzle pieces, complementing each other's different personalities. Rae was always the more shy and Gavin. Growing up alongside one another, Raelyn and Gavin (Or Raevin as their parents lovingly called the partners in crime), hardly left each other's side. Sleepovers were frequent, playdates were expected, and food always shared. As far as she knew, Gavin and his parents were family and always would be.

Into their teens, they helped each other through the terrors of puberty. Raelyn grew more protective of her friend, ready to threaten anyone who made fun of his squeaking voice. Gavin even came to sense when Rae was going to have her period chocolate cravings before she did. And he was always ready with a bag of peanut m&m's for his best friend. He helped her find the courage to ask out the first boy she had a crush on and she talked him through his relationship problems. He'd help her study for exams and she'd listen while he played his new song in progress.

The day Gavin's parents died, he had been over at her house, playing his new song. She wasn't sure what it was specifically about that day. Perhaps it was because she had just been through a bad break up the week before. Perhaps it was because the idea of them being a couple was always circulating the school or that his song was really good. Whatever it was, she realized that day while he was serenading her that she loved Gavin. And not just a small crush. She wanted to be with him until she grew old and couldn't walk without assistance. She was in love with him. The epiphany hit her like a ton of bricks in the middle of the song and she thought she was saved by the ringing phone because he couldn't see her blushing madly, but then she saw his face drop and he left without so much as a word. It wasn't until later that night that she heard the news. Raelyn had been completely crushed, feeling as though she had lost her parents as well. She tried continuously to reach out to Gavin, but he was in and out of homes and no matter how many times Rae's family offered to take him in, Gavin wouldn't accept. He grew apart from the family, becoming estranged. Rae felt like she had lost a part of herself.

As years went on, Rae went to college, aspiring to become a nurse. She rarely heard from Gavin, though she never stopped texting him every now and then even if she didn't always get a response. Recently, he contacted her, telling her he was down on his luck and looking for a place to stay. Raelyn was happy to offer him a bed. She had been looking for a new room mate anyways since her last one was going off to graduate school. She knew he wasn't going to always be able to put in the rent, but she could handle that. And she knew if she was really desperate, she could ask her parents for a little help.

Raelyn hopes that him moving in will be a chance for them to reconnect and, hopefully, bring him out of the darkness.

Other: Rae has kept Vin's guitar ever since the day he left it in her room. She always makes sure it's kept in pristine condition and properly tuned just in case he ever asks about it. She knows his guitar is a sensitive subject, so she is cautious about when she brings it up. Her most open conversations with Gavin, lately, have been when he is unconscious.

message 2: by Deanna (last edited May 31, 2015 11:07PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Name: Gavin Reed Chandler
Alias: Vin; Chandler

Age: 22


(view spoiler)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 165lbs
Hair: sandy; straw
Eyes: pale blue

Occupation: Mechanic--sometimes

Personality Traits:

History: Though an artist and a motorcycle mechanic did not make for particularly wealthy parents, Gavin never felt poor or underprivileged growing up. "Nacho Night," "family time," and "be yourself" were common terms in their household, and if the sickly sweet couple suffered financially, they never showed it. The day they moved in next door to the perky, wide-eyed ginger and her parents, the families instantly clicked. Rae and Gavin became inseparable, both houses filled with their laughter, tears, fights, and other adventures. The families shared many a meal, Christmas, and birthday, and Gavin's parents--to his severe embarrassment--were convinced that the precious Raelyn would one day be their daughter-in-law.

As the two grew into teens, they stayed close, giving each other dating advice, patching up broken hearts, cramming for exams, and trying desperately to navigate the treacherous waters of puberty.

An aspiring artist, Gavin always went to his favorite confidant with new materials, and in return, she offered criticism and admiration at all the right times. He was next door at Rae's house doing just this the day he got the call that changed everything. On their way home from a weekend getaway, his parents had been in an accident. They were gone before the ambulance arrived. When he fled her room that day, he left his guitar, forgotten on her floor. He hasn't seen or touched another guitar since.

Gavin spent the year until he turned eighteen in and out of different group homes, sinking deeper into the dark and rebuffing Raelyn's attempts to comfort him. Once an adult, he spent a few years being evicted from various apartments and fired from even more jobs. Finally, out of options, he sought his best friend's help. He moved into her two bedroom apartment, paying rent when he could manage to hold down a job, and preying off of the kindness that, deep down, he knew he didn't deserve.

Other: Before the accident, Gavin was rarely seen without his trusty acoustic, Velma:
(view spoiler). He hasn't played since his parent's death and doesn't know or care where Velma is now.

message 3: by Deanna (last edited May 06, 2015 08:56AM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments "Every parting gives the foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Reunions between close friends are beautiful things. Hugs are exchanged, long talks expected, and memories shared. They say true friendship never dies, that the heart which truly loves never forgets. Why, then, was this so terrifying?

Gavin rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands and pushed his unkempt hair out of his face, taking another swig of his black coffee. He needed a cigarette and a drink. Though the coffee was helping ease his headache, nothing cured a hangover like a few shots of whiskey in the morning.

Glancing at this watch, he noted that it was ten fifty-five, almost time for her to arrive. Vin had opted to arrive a bit early, hoping to clear his head of whatever he had taken last night, so he would be presentable for their first meeting, and it was working, slowly.

The party the night before had definitely been memorable; too bad he couldn't remember it. All he knew was that he didn't know the not-so-hot blonde he woke up with this morning. He hoped he hadn't given her his number. Getting phone numbers blocked was such a pain in the ass.

Resting his scratchy jaw in his hand, Gavin's eyes lingered on the door, waiting for the first sighting of the girl he used to know as well as he knew himself. His stomach twisted at the prospect. What would she think of him now? He snorted bitterly. New and improved, he thought to himself, and drained his cup, wishing again for something stronger. He hated being sober.

message 4: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 07, 2015 12:35PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Four years.
For years of radio silence, of wondering, of hoping, and of nightmares. Four years of longing had brought her to this point.

Raelyn had been standing at the corner around the coffee shop for fifteen minutes, waiting. She had woken up early that morning, showered, and then spent the rest of the time having a meltdown about what she should wear, how she should style her hair and which body spray she should choose. She had been waiting for this moment for four years and was excited beyond belief, but horrified at the prospect of not being able to reconnect.

Eventually, the redhead had decided on ballet flats, a cream skirt that flowed just above her knees and a nice sleeveless blue cotton blouse with white polka dots. Her hair had proved challenging. At first she straightened it, then curled it, then decided the curls looked stupid, so she tried to re-straighten her hair and decided it looked terrible, so she ended up putting her hair up in a loose ballet bun, her bangs framing her face. Her heart was racing and she was thankful she was wearing deodorant and vanilla body spray because her heart was getting a work out from the pure anticipation of the moment. She checked herself in the window of a dry cleaner's for the umpteenth time before checking her watch and realizing it was time.

Making her way around the corner, she opened the door to the coffee shop, the handle ice cold against her skin. She paused for a moment in the doorway as she scanned the venue's current occupants. Was he here yet? Was she early? Had she read the time wrong? She began to mildly panic until her eyes landed on him. His appearance was unmistakeable, even though he had changed much over the years. His face was scruffy, but not in an unkempt way, and he had a tiredness about his eyes that told stories of late nights. He was just as handsome as he had always been. He was Gavin. She thought her heart had skipped a beat. So many feelings surged through her, but worry wasn't one of them. She was just ecstatic that he was there, right there. Waiting for her.

"Vin!" She waved enthusiastically, making her way over to her other half. Rae wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace as soon as she got the chance, she tried hard not to linger, but she couldn't help herself. She had four years worth of hugs to make up for.
"It's been so long..." She was finally able to tear herself away long enough to smile at him. "I really missed you." She said honestly. Learning to get on without Gavin around felt like having her arms amputated and learning to do everything with her feet. It was a rough adjustment, but she did her best.

She noted that Gavin had already finished his coffee. Had he been waiting long? Oh god, what time was it?
"Can I buy you another coffee? I hope you weren't waiting long." She said. Now that she was closer to him, she thought she smelled... alcohol? Was he alright? The pair hadn't parted on the best of terms. To be exact, they hadn't really parted on any terms. Gavin was moving about and he stopped responding to her messages and made it clear he wanted his space.

message 5: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Seconds ticked by and panic began to rise. Gavin twisted the cardboard sleeve on his cup restlessly. This was a bad idea. She shouldn't see him like this, his perfect, kind, accepting Rae. He wasn't sure if he could stand the pity and worry in her eyes.

He was about to stand, about to forget about this whole idiotic plan when a small, tinkling bell brought his eyes to the door.

The classic beauty who entered belonged on the silver screen, not in this dingy coffee shop. The woman was shapely and statuesque, her shining copper hair pulled into a loose bun to expose a graceful neck. Unable to resist, Gavin allowed his eyes to travel down her spine, and he decided he really liked that skirt.

She turned, and their eyes met. His breath caught. Rae? This dazzling vixen was his childhood buddy? She'd always been pretty, but long gone was the flat chest and boxy figure. More freckles than ever dusted her luminous skin, and her hair had finally grown out of the pixie she'd gotten their junior year. She was beautiful.

As the bubbly voice said his name, Gavin forgot his initial hesitation. This was still his Rae. All grown up, maybe, but it was her.

His arms dropped around her waist and squeezed gently, the embrace as familiar as breathing. She smelled like vanilla and laundry soap, and Vin felt his lips twitch slightly, a ghost of a smile tilting the corners of his mouth as they were parted.

He finally spoke, voice scratchy from the cotton mouth the pill he'd taken last night had given him. "I missed you too, Raelyn," he replied honestly. "You look amazing, all grown up now." Guilt-ridden, Gavin sighed and pulled her toward him again, muttering, "It's been too long. I'm sorry," into her hair. In truth, he'd missed her fiercely since his parents accident. Her texts always thrilled him. How many times had he typed a hundred replies and promptly deleted each one? But he hadn't been desperate enough, until now, to show her what he had become.

As they separated again, he shook his head. "Not long at all, and let me," he replied, pulling out his wallet. His face warmed as he realized he'd been spent his last few dollars on his coffee and a pack of smokes this morning. Damn. Great first impression.

Giving her a crooked smile, Gavin stuffed the wallet away. "On second thought, I'm good. Prolly shouldn't have too much coffee anyway."

message 6: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 07, 2015 07:18PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "I missed you too, Raelyn," Those were his first words to her after all that time and she felt so relieved. The ginger couldn't help the tears from threatening her vision. Luckily, he had pulled her into another hug and she was able to collect herself while he couldn't see her face.

She chuckled at his comment, "You look pretty good yourself, though it looks like you still haven't tamed your bedhead." She teased him. She actually loved his hair. It was surprisingly soft and gave him that boyish, mischievous charm. The scruff was new. In high school, that used to be peach fuzz she'd tug at to tease him. He would have to let her assess it properly later.

"It's been too long. I'm sorry," He admitted, his breath tickling her ear and sending a shiver down her spine. She swallowed, rubbing his back gently as though to say, "It's alright. You had a lot to deal with."

They parted and she smiled at his offer. "I'm going to grab some water. I'm just coming out of midterms and drank way too much coffee to keep me awake for studying," Rae added, "I've become a bit of an addict." She admitted with a laugh. It was funny how quickly they fell back into their comfort with one another, but it felt good. Raelyn went to the counter to grab some water before returning to their table and taking a seat across from Gavin.

"So tell me about what you've been up to. When we talked last, we didn't have much time." When Raelyn had received Gavin's message, she had been at work, waitressing at a local restaurant called NOPA. She'd been taking a short break and called him back immediately, eager to her out her friend.

One thing that had made her nervous was her feelings for the recluse. The moment she realized she was in love for the first time, he had been ripped from her life. She couldn't have told him. The time was too fragile and he needed a friend more than her need to express herself. She had wondered if those feelings would still be there after all those years, but her heart still fluttered at the sight of him and his strong arms felt like home. She hadn't dated at all since their parting. No one else compared to or even held a candle to her feelings for him. Any time spent with another man felt pointless.

message 7: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Running a hand through his disheveled hair, Vin smirked. "and get rid of my number one pick-up line? Ladies go crazy for this," he said with a wink.

His guilt ebbed slightly as she smoothed a hand over his back, and he began to relax. Even when they were children, her touch had soothed him, made him believe that everything was going to be alright.

"I think if coffee is the only thing you're addicted to, you're doing alright," he said, trying to keep his tone light.

Gavin tried to force his wandering eyes away as his childhood friend made her way to the counter. Stop looking at her that way, he chided himself. She wasn't one of his booty calls, and she never would be. This divine creature deserved far better than the rotten excuse for a human he was.

The smile she graced him with when she sat down made Gavin feel worse about his previous lecherous thoughts, and he cleared his throat. "Well, you know, nothing much to tell," he breezed, "My last job wasn't really working out," I got fired "and my last roommate and I just didn't mesh well" he kicked me out because he was tired of paying all the rent and cleaning up after my wrecked ass. "I'm just glad you are willing to take me in. I was afraid you wouldn't want to talk to me after all these years."

His phone buzzed harshly on the table, interrupting his speech, and a picture of his dealer, Tasha flashed on the screen. (view spoiler) Flashing a guilty look at Rae, he considered not answering the call, but he couldn't risk pissing off the demanding woman. He already owed her for slipping him free merchandise. Plus, she got him into the sampling parties. Not a good ally to lose.

"I've gotta take this, Rae," he muttered, not meeting her eye. Standing, he retreated to the furthest corner of the shop.

"Tasha, baby, what can I do for you?" he said quietly, eyeing his sweet friend in the corner as shame tugged at his insides. "Sure, sure. I'll be there--" he paused as the demanding woman spat orders at him. "Of course. You know I'd anything for y-- okay, yeah--sure--okay later."

As soon as she hung up on his farewell, Gavin was back in his seat, rushing to distract Rae from the conversation he hoped she hadn't overheard. He wasn't proud of the way he kissed his dealer's ass, but he needed to stay in her good graces.

With a tight smile, he quickly moved the conversation along. "Enough about me. You look great, and seem like you're doing great. What's been going on in your life? Did you cure cancer yet?"

Rae's soft hand lay on the table next to her water bottle, and he resisted the urge to touch it, hold it like he used to when she was sad or sleepy. He snatched his hands off the table and rubbed them furiously on his pants as he waited for her response.

message 8: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 08, 2015 06:33PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Haha." She said dryly, rolling her eyes and fighting a smile. Why did he have to be so wonderful? She knew that she couldn't tell him about her feelings yet. They were just moving in together and if she told him, she knew she'd just scare him away and she couldn't allow that to happen for a second time. She didn't care if keeping that secret was like hiding an elephant under a potted plant. She would get a shrink ray and make it work.

"I think if coffee is the only thing you're addicted to, you're doing alright," He encouraged her. She shook her head.
"It's terrible though! Caffeine addiction. I tried to quit cold turkey once and I got physically ill! I couldn't work or volunteer for a week. Of course, I had to pick it back up again when exams came rolling in." She insisted, laughing as she sipped her water.

She leaned forward, resting her elbow in the table and her chin in her palm as she listened to Vin's epic tale that lasted a grand total of 30 seconds. "Wow, Vin, groundbreaking. Do tell it again, I hope I didn't miss a second of it." She teased, but was already letting it go. "Of course! Gavin, you're my best friend. I'll never turn my back on you. I was so excited to hear from you and your timing was impeccable because my old room mate just recently moved out. She's off to graduate school in New York." She smiled, wanting to reach for his hand to assure him she wanted him there. Unfortunately for Rae, he had call at that moment. Her eyes moved instinctively to the phone to see that a beautiful woman was calling him. Gavin flashed her a look apologizing before admitting he really needed to take the call. Was she his girlfriend? She did her best to appear as though she didn't care as he went off to take the call.

"Tasha, baby..." He cooed, speaking smoothly as always. It appeared that Vin was just as good with his words as ever. Rae had always admired that about him. He was always so helpful when she was writing speeches or that time their fifth grade class was doing a play and everyone had to speak. Rae wasn't good with words. Gavin helped give her confidence in her own voice. This also earned him a lot of popularity among the girls his age (sometimes even older). It had never bothered her before because it was just how Gavin was when she wasn't in love with him and now she was jealous of a picture on a phone... she was really pretty. And her hair was perfectly curled!

When he came back, Rae realized she had been lost in thought, biting her lip as a habit when something was on her mind. She managed a smile, trying not to appear too eager to ask, "Girlfriend?" She raised a brow.

She blushed as Gavin turned the conversation to her. "Well, only cervical and leukemia..." She managed to turn her shyness into a joke. "Nursing school has been tough." She shrugged, "And on top of it, I work as a waitress and volunteer at the hospital. I get Sunday and Monday completely off, though, so it helps." She smiled. "I love living in the city. It's so full of life and there's always something new to discover just around the corner, you know? And now," her smile grew, "now we can explore the city together." She noted the sudden removal of his hands from the table and wondered why he had done it, but tried not too think too much about it.

message 9: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments He couldn't stop the chuckle at her epic battle with addiction. The fact that caffeine withdrawal knocked her on her ass for a week was both sad and extremely adorable. She was so innocent, a fact which both warmed and unnerved him; he really didn't want to ruin that. "You better be careful. Dangerous stuff, coffee," Gavin told her seriously. "They say it's a gateway drug," he finished. Unable to hold his straight face any longer, he broke into the first real grin he'd expressed in quite some time.

Leaning back, Gavin smirked at her response to his brief history. "I thought so. It's pretty exciting being me." Her heartfelt admission made his heart swell. He felt like an idiot. Why had it taken him this long to reach out? Vin fixed her with a contrite stare, resting his fingertips lightly against the back of her hand. "I really am sorry, Rae. I should never have gone off the grid like I did. You didn't deserve that."

She was biting her lip when Vin returned to the table--a telltale sign that Rae was deep in thought. Was it obvious? Did she suspect who it had been on the phone? He wasn't ready for her to know about his habits, not yet. Hell, he'd prefer she never knew. However, at her question, his fears were replaced by a gruff bark of laughter. "Hardly. She's an . . . acquaintance. No one important." The idea of dating the psychobitch was ludicrous. Though he knew for a fact she was great between the sheets--having tested that theory on several occasions--she was completely insane, and he wasn't the dating type anyway.

A low whistle escaped his lips at her long list of achievements. "Damn, slow down girl. You're outta control. How're you not dead yet?"

"Now we can explore the city together." Her infectious joy tugged at the corners of his mouth. The idea of going somewhere in the city for something other than a party was foreign; the prospect of doing so sober, daunting, but he thought he could manage if he was with this ball of energy. Rae was still just as optimistic and full of life as she had been the day they'd parted. How had she managed to keep her glowing outlook on life? He both envied and admired her for it.

"We sure can, Rae," he said quietly, wishing he could take back the last five years and replace them with nothing but her.

message 10: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 08, 2015 08:53PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The bun-headed nursing student shook with laughter at his serious expression. God, she had missed his humor. She missed being able to be completely and wholly herself around a person. Now it was hard to believe she had ever been concerned about reconnecting with him. He was still the Gavin she remembered. His genuine smile melted her heart and she knew she was just as in love with him now as she had been those five seconds before the worst phone call of their lives. She was hopelessly taken by the cheeky artist.

Unable to resist the urge, she took his hand in hers. She felt a blush creep onto her face because she was holding his hand, but she wanted him to know she wasn't upset. His hands were rough, they had used to be softer, but when he started playing guitar, the callouses changed them forever. She admired his hand momentarily, wondering what kind of work gave him scars this time. Had he ever picked up the guitar again? Since that night...
"You lost your parents... It wasn't easy for you, I know. I'm not angry- well, not anymore. I went though phases of anger, sadness, and whatnot, but then I realized you had to grieve find your own way and all I could do was wait and be there for you if you needed me, because that's what best friends are supposed to do. So don't worry," She squeezed his hand gently and gave him a knowing smile, "I forgive you. Just don't pull that stunt again any time soon, ok? Then I might just take it personally." She grinned.

An acquaintance...? She sighed inwardly in relief. So he was just being regular old Gavin, she had nothing to worry about. Not that she should have worried. Whoever Gavin dated was his business. Raelyn answered with a short "oh" to show she wasn't committed to the subject. Then another thought occurred to her. If he wasn't dating the lovely woman in the picture... was he dating someone else?

Again, the redhead felt her cheeks warm in embarrassment. He made it sound like she was impressive. In truth, she wouldn't have made it through some classes without the help of tutors and other students seemed to breeze right on through, taking on the same challenges in addition to internships and traveling during the summers to third world countries to provide health care to those in need, while she stayed here.
"Oh, I'm dead. I'm coming to you from beyond the grave." She winked, grinning easily to match him. "Luckily, the term is almost over and I'm looking forward to relaxing the summer." She finished off her cup of water and smiled, imagining being able to actually talk with Gavin over the summer again, when she wasn't tied down by school draining her life away.

"We sure can, Rae." His voice was softer than before and she wanted to be near him, hold him, make up for all the time they had lost. She nodded, "But, we have to move you in, first. I already have a lot of furniture, but if you have some things you'd like to change, just let me know. I want you to feel at home. We can split up chores, you know, roomie stuff." She couldn't help but get excited. They would get to live together and she would get to see him every day!
"You haven't seen the apartment, yet. Do you want to come check it out?" She asked. He had finished his coffee and she her water, so now might have been a good time to give him the grand tour, or if anything they could get a nice walk.

message 11: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Anxiety clutched at Gavin's chest as she studied his hands. Would she recognize the old track marks for what they were? He'd stopped shooting up when he'd realized how easy the marks were to spot, but the scars on his hands never really went away. His fears were ungrounded though. She didn't look at him appalled, on the contrary, she looked thrilled.

The mention of his parent's made the man's ears ring, a chasm suddenly opening beneath him threatening to swallow him. The truth was, he never had the chance to grieve. He'd immediately begun looking for new ways to numb the pain, drugs, alcohol, women, fighting, anything to help him forget. Soft pressure on his hand brought Gavin back to the present, and he looked his favorite confidant. "I forgive you." She made him want to earn that forgiveness,. Maybe, just maybe, Raelyn could help him turn things around. Squeezing back, he replied, "don't worry. I'm not going anywhere."

Busy being repulsed by the thought of having a romantic relationship with his cruel dealer, Gavin didn't notice his friend's somber response and was glad when the conversation so quickly turned away from the awful subject.

"I see you still can't take a compliment," he noted cheekily as he watched her cheeks darken for, was that the fourth time this morning? Had she always been this adorable?

As soon as the blush appeared, however, it was gone, replaced by a saucy grin and sarcastic comment to match. "Explains why you're so pale," he retorted, jabbing his finger softly into her cheek and pulling back quickly. "Maybe we can spend some time outside, reanimate that corpse of yours." He'd always picked on her for her pale complexion, though he found it charming. Rather than pasty, Rae seemed to shimmer, copper freckles contrasting nicely with the silvery undertones below. When they were kids, he'd secretly thought she was a fairy, and he'd never been able to resist touching her luminous skin.

"You don't have to worry about me changing stuff too much," he replied, lifting his over-sized backpack containing all of his belongings from beneath the table. A rolled sleeping back sat strapped to the top. "I'm good on the floor--wait chores?" he said, visibly deflating. Gavin suddenly felt pouty. "I hate chores." The last roommate he'd had had kicked him out for that very reason, that and he'd stopped paying rent. His suddenly somber mood didn't last, however; it was impossible with Rae around. Standing, Vin hoisted his pack onto his back and bowed, fishing his motorcycle keys from his pocket. "Lead the way."

message 12: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 09, 2015 08:53PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Raelyn silently noted the subtle tenseness her friend developed at the mention of his past trauma. Was it too soon? It had been five years... though, it would seem old wounds are easy to reopen. She wished she could have taken those three words back. The last thing she wanted was to make him uncomfortable on his first day with her. He reassured her that he wasn't going anywhere and she prayed she would never give him a reason to leave.

"I see you still can't take a compliment," He teased her. Rae had always been an open book when it came to her feelings because of her inability to conceal a blush. In the sixth grade, everyone learned about her crush on Peter Smithson because when they had to do a project together, a classmate teased that they made a cute couple and Rae's entire face (complete with ears and neck) turned bright red for a good five minutes, much to her devastation. The nurse-to-be hardly ever blushed against Gavin's usual teasings, but with her newfound feelings, the girl was fighting tooth and nail to restrain her blush to her cheeks. Perhaps she could blame it on the time she spent away from him.
"Y-yeah, well compliments are scarce these days." She meekly defended herself. "You know I can't help it." She sighed, feeling her hot cheek and willing her heart rate to subside.

"Maybe we can spend some time outside, reanimating that corpse of yours." Her face scrunched at his touch and she swatted his hand away. She responded with sticking out her tongue at his. "You know I burn up like a lobster in the sun. Or need I remind you of our Lake Trip when we were eight?" She raised an eyebrow. "Even the little sun I have gotten since high school has given me as many spots as a giraffe." She argued, pointing to her freckled face for emphasis.

What did he mean by not worrying about change? She had been counting on at least a little, considering they would be living together. She understood soon after, once her childhood partner brought up his backpack. It would appear that the bag was everything he cared to own. And he planned on... sleeping on the floor? Was that a joke? It didn't appear to be...
Her concern was cut by his sudden exasperation at the thought of chores. She laughed, not taking his woes seriously.
"It's not so bad. Just pretend we're playing house, but more realistic." She shrugged, picking up her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. Her eyes flashed to the keys in his hand. Something in her head clicked between the keys, his jacket and the playful gleam in his eye.
"Can we?" She asked, a smile creeping on to her lips. She'd never ridden one before, but motorcycles were handy to have in the city. Faster than cars and the bus system and easier to park, but intimidating and dangerous as well.

message 13: by Deanna (last edited May 09, 2015 10:28PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments "Y-yeah, well compliments are scarce these days." Gavin seriously doubted this. He knew that everyone she worked or went to school with adored her. She was impossible to dislike. He also knew, however, that she was so uncomfortable with praise she typically brushed it off and forgot about it. "I wish you'd just accept the fact that people aren't lying to you when they tell you how amazing you are, Rae," he said, meeting her timid stare with a stern one of his own. "They're not just being nice."

A laugh bubbled from his chest at the memory. She'd been red for days and he'd come up with every unoriginal name in the book to taunt her with. Clifford had been his favorite. He also remembered, though, how much it scared him. The burn had been bad, laid up on the couch with a fever bad. Gavin remembered carefully rubbing aloe on every burned area and replacing her cold washcloths regularly. He remembered not being able to hold her hand because it hurt. He remembered watching My Little Pony with her because the 'stupid girl show' had made her happy. "On second thought," he said seriously, "why don't you just never go outside? Can we make that happen? My little eight-year-old brain thought you were gonna die." He shuddered. "And you look nothing like a giraffe," he finished lightly, throwing an arm over her shoulder, "you're much too short."

He looked down at the parcel under his arm as she mentioned their favorite childhood game and smirked, "are we talking the version where I'm the dog, the son, the butler, or the husband?"

The nervous excitement shining on Rae's face made Gavin's stomach twist oddly. He enjoyed having a girl on the back of his bike, no question, but why was it so undeniably appealing to have Rae holding on to him like that? He shook himself, trying to force the wanton thought from his mind and grinned roguishly. "Your wish is my command, m'lady." Eyeing her skirt, Gavin pulled off his bag and fished out a pair of black sweats and a spare jacket. After a nonchalant pass under his nose to make sure they were clean . . . ish, he tossed them to her, nodding toward the bathroom. "I'm not sure you want to the world to see what you've got under that skirt, though, so I suggest you change," he said with a wink.

message 14: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 10, 2015 11:01AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "They're not just being nice." The thrill-seeking boy insisted. She couldn't count how many times he had told her that phrase. Rae wasn't sure why she had such difficulty accepting compliments from others. She was quick to assume people were simply being polite or "just nice," as Gavin put it. Gavin had been one of the few people she could accept praise from because she had known him well enough to know he meant what he said. He had made her feel special, talented, and admired. Still, she couldn't handle it now because she was the one admiring him and every context had changed. It was like everything was a reminder of how much she loved him and when he made her feel special like that, feel loved, she couldn't help but feel like just having those feelings were making her jeopardize their incredible friendship. And all those years of laughter, pain, adventures, and joy could be lost the moment he realized she was looking at him in a whole new way.

That lake trip had been one of the worst summers of her life, the first being the summer after Gavin's parents had passed. She remembered being sick and constantly in pain, sleep deprived, and incredibly bored when Gavin had to go. She remembered the first time looking in the mirror and crying because she looked like a maraschino cherry dipped in green goop. Gavin had tried to made her feel better by putting the aloe gel all over his face and in his hair before making monster noises and stomping around like an aloe beast. He always found a way to make her feel better...
She smiled shaking her head. "I can't always stay inside. I like to live dangerously. Today it's going outside, tomorrow-who knows? Maybe I'll unplug the computer charger while I'm working on my homework." She grinned, easily falling into comfort with him. His arm wrapped around her shoulder, eliciting a practically unconscious response of the nursing student to slide her arm around his waist and lean her head closer to him. "Just you wait, one day my transformation will be complete and you will have to eat your words." She challenged, raising a brow.

"If you were the dog or son, then I would end up with all the chores and if you were the butler, then you would get all of them, though I wouldn't mind that." She winked, putting the palms of her hands together and tapping her fingers against one another mischievously. "Or if you were my husband-" The realization of those words in sequence made her blush, but thankfully Gavin didn't have a direct view of her face through her bangs. "It would be a more even distribution..." She managed, images flashing in her head of waking up next to Gavin and making breakfast for each other and rubbing her hands through his soft waves-she stopped herself from going to far, trying to think of something to say. "And we could always say 'Honey, I'm home' like they do in the old shows. Actually, how about we just do a whole new one and pretend to be room mates that are best friends and split the chores evenly, yeah?" She finished, wondering why she hadn't just suggested that in the first place.

She was grateful when Gavin was suddenly tossing clothes at her. Now she had an excuse to run to the bathroom and compose herself.
"Yeah, good idea..." She agreed quickly, thanking him for the clothes and swiftly making her way to the restroom all the while alternating thinking about how much she really liked the way he said "m'lady" and how she really shouldn't like it as much as she did.

Rae changed quickly, as she had a lot of practice this morning finding the best outfit possible. Now her outfit wouldn't be matching or stylish in the least, but Gavin wouldn't mind, so she decided she wouldn't either. His pants were comfortable, but long for her smaller frame, so she had to roll up the waist band until the sweats fit better. It only left a thin strip of exposed flesh between the bottom of her blouse, which was tied at the bottom, and the top of the pants. She threw on his spare jacket as well and removed her bun. She didn't know if he had a spare helmet, but if he did, she didn't want him seeing her disastrous curl/straightened mix from her struggles this morning. She quickly tied her hair in a side braid before checking herself in the mirror. Her outfit didn't really coordinate, but she could always change when they got back to their apartment. She smiled, liking how she was already thinking of it as their apartment. She hoped he would think of it that way as well. Raelyn exited the bathroom and met up with Gavin.
"Let's go!" She cheered, excited to ride on his motorcycle with him.

message 15: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Noting the conspicuous silence at his assertion that she deserved praise, Gavin let the subject drop. They would have to work on that eventually, but for now, he'd enjoy the blush he seemed to be able to pull from her so easily. Maybe it was their lengthy separation, but he didn't remember her ever being shy around him in the past.

"I like to live dangerously," his sweet friend joked, eliciting a laugh from him. "Yeah, pretty dangerous there, little Daredevil," he chuckled. "And when you are taller than me and pulling leaves off of trees with a black tongue . . . " he paused, unsure where he had been going with the joke, and finished lamely, "well, I guess I'll just crap myself . . ."

As his sweet, admirable friend exited the bathroom, Gavin found his mind going places that were anything but admirable. His pants, which were far too big for her small frame, sat very low on her hips, and the small patch of milky skin revealed made it difficult to avert his gaze. Again, he was confused. As a man who was with a different woman--sometimes more than one, every few nights--he thought the female anatomy had no more surprises for him. Why did this tiny sliver of skin suddenly have his neck feeling warm? Looking away, Gavin's eyes settled on a pimply teenager in the corner and noticed he wasn't the only one who enjoyed the new outfit. Grabbing Rae by the front of his jacket, he tugged her gently closer and quickly zipped it halfway, tossing a dangerous glare over her head at the kid. "The breeze gets a bit chilly," he explained, clearing his throat to remove the husky quality that had suddenly arisen. Get your shit together, man. She's your best friend; off limits!

Picking up his bag, Gavin tucked her under his arm again and forced his face to relax into a smile as he led her from the shop. As he strapped his bag to the bike and handed her a helmet, he nonchalantly asked, "ever been on one of these before?"

message 16: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments She giggled lightly at his odd joke, finding it amusing how he had lost his train of thought halfway through his speech. She patted his shoulder comfortingly before moving on.

The sweet deer's breath caught as she was suddenly being pulled closer to Gavin. For some reason, her eyes were automatically drawn to his lips (they were pressed into a thin line, seemingly displeased with something), the moment was suddenly cut by the sharp zipping sound that made her jump slightly at the unexpected noise.
"The breeze gets a bit chilly," His voice was gravelly in such a way that made her heart beat faster. How would she ever live with this man? She wondered if his voice would always be like this in the morning. If so, she would soon become an even earlier riser or else fall victim to his unconscious charm and never want to leave the apartment again.

Being removed from the daydream, Gavin once again slung his arm around her shoulder casually as they approached his bike outside. A wide grin grew on her face from the anticipation of it all. She took her helmet, happily putting it over her head and clicking the strap into place.
"I haven't, actually... is this strap tight enough?" She had him check before continuing. "How long have you had her?" She asked, assuming the vehicle was, indeed, a her. She had always assumed, since Velma, that Gavin liked naming his things with feminine names.

Once she had been checked, Raelyn waited for Vin to slide onto the bike before she joined him. She found her balance beside him, steadying herself by putting her hands on his hips. "Is this alright?" She asked, wondering if she was doing it right or crowding him.

message 17: by Deanna (last edited May 11, 2015 04:49AM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments With his face turned away from his all too alluring new roommate, Gavin took a few deep breaths. He'd never had this much trouble controlling himself around women, especially Rae. Why couldn't she have been pimply or gained, like, a freshman 200? Why did she have to keep looking at him with those doe eyes and biting her lip and laughing at all his stupid jokes? Why--

He was suddenly pulled from his reverie and turned, easy grin back in place. "You're in a for a treat then," he replied, moving forward to assess the strap. Deft fingers tightened and loosened until the straps fit snugly without pinching, and the conflicted young man tried desperately to keep his gaze indifferent every time his fingers brushed her throat.

"About three years, now," he said, the words tumbling out on a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. Glad for the distraction, Gavin continued, "Matilda's given me hell, been a major fixer-upper, but she was worth it," he said, finished with her helmet. Smiling like a proud father, he said, "She's a 1968. A classic! I got her for almost nothing at auction; practically stole her. Wait--how'd you know it would be a girl?"

Gavin mounted his pride a joy, turned the key, the engine rumbling to life as Raelyn slipped onto the seat behind him. "Is this alright?" Her breath tickled his neck and he found her tentative hands with his, pulling her arms around his waist so her chest pressed firmly against his back. "That'd be okay if you wanted to fall off immediately," he replied sarcastically and flattened her hands against his stomach, pulling his own away to grasp the handles.

Realizing he had no clue where he was going, Gavin called to his passenger, "I'm gonna need some directions up here, Daredevil."

(view spoiler)

message 18: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 11, 2015 09:06PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae watched the people passing by on the street as Gavin adjusted her helmet strap, ignoring the swift brushing sensations that were making her arms prickle. A couple girls, approximately a bit younger than Gavin and herself walked by with shopping bags and iced coffees in hand. Rae smiled back at them in greeting and they did the same, though they seemed much more interested in the handsome man with the motorcycle beside her, probably wondering what this abercrombie model was doing with a sweat-clad slob like her. They hesitated a moment, wanting to stop and flirt with the bad boy (of course Rae knew he was about as harmless as a cupcake). The fiery-haired dame locked eyes with them and shook her head slowly, eyes pleading, while Gavin was focused on her strap. Thankfully, the girls took the hint and kept walking. She wasn't sure what had gotten into her. Certainly, she was protective of Gavin, but he didn't need much protection in the first place, at least not from a couple flirty girls. Apparently, Rae was getting possessive, and she frowned to herself momentarily, not liking how her feelings were making her behave.

"...but she was worth it." Rae came back to her senses as Gavin finished with her helmet. He went on to gush with pride over his baby. The way he talked about her made Rae's heart melt. She remembered when Vin first acquired his beloved Velma. He would tell her in detail all about how he got her, where she was made, how she needed to be taken care of, etc. She had been his most prized possession, the only woman he truly loved.

"Because," She shrugged. "Because you always named your most important things after women. Or have you already forgotten poor Velma and Rachel?" She smiled, referring to his old toy when they were still little.

Unsatisfied with where her hands were, Gavin pulled her closer until she was practically hugging him. It was nice being so close to him
"Hey look! I can be your hands." She insisted, "If we go through a flash mob, I can do jazz hands" She imitated the movements, "Or I could wave to someone or if something shocking happens we can do the Home Alone thing," She chuckled, putting her hands on both sides of his face and imagining him doing the face in her mind.

"I'm gonna need some directions up here, Daredevil." She smiled at his new nickname for her and rested her chin on his shoulder so she could see in front of them and let her hands fall into a comfortable lock around his chest. She had to speaking loudly over the engine's roar.
"Keep going straight down Haight, then take a right onto Stanyan until you reach Fulton and turn left. Then take a right onto Arguello and a left on Clement and we live on the corner of 27th and Clem- OH MY GOD!"
If they had been close before, they were even closer now. Gavin moved fast and Rae's arm lock slipped away. She immediately had grabbed him closer, one arm across his chest and the other across his stomach to his waist, her body pressing into his tightly. As Gavin had warned, her grip hadn't been tight enough before. With every turn, she found herself holding on more tightly. It was thrilling. She found herself enjoying the sensation of the wind on her face and the swiftly passing scenery. By the time they had reached Clement street, she had found a comfortable stance, hugging Gavin while resting her head against his shoulder. She laughed and hollered when they went faster. By the time they arrived at the apartment, she was pumped! She had so much adrenaline coursing through her veins and felt like running a marathon until she stepped off the bike and realized her legs felt like jello.

message 19: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments As he adjusted Rae's helmet, Gavin hardly noticed the two girls walk by. They were just like the girls he always ended up in bed with: hot, air-headed, and forgettable. Though he could flirt with the best of them, the man was finding himself increasingly unimpressed with the type of women he currently woke up to in the mornings.

The mention of his old guitar made the ex-musician tense. Too many memories remained attached to that particular object, which he hadn't seen since the day he found out about his parents. He hadn't touched any musical instrument since that day; he didn't even enjoy listening to music, really. Before, Gavin had loved the way a certain lyric or bar of a song could move him emotionally, bring him close to tears or fill him with elation. Now, he hated feeling that emotionally unstable. Anything evoking a feeling other than numbness was to be avoided. He tried to brush off the comment, breezily saying, "of course I remember Rachel. She was the coolest gender-confused male robot in the world. I wonder where she is now?" he asked in a mock-serious tone. "Probably in therapy."

Glad the subject was skirting away from music, Gavin allowed his goofy friend to cheer him with her adorable antics. Shaking his head and chuckling at the random thoughts that flew through her copper head as he kicked the bike into gear and shot away from the curb. A moment of panic struck the thrill-seeker as his passenger nearly lost her hold, but her grip around him was soon even tighter, and he breathed a sigh of relief, briefly letting go of a bike handle to pat her hand. "I said to hold on!" He shouted over the roar of the wind and the engine. "You really are a daredevil!"

The motorcycle came to rest at the curb leading up to a small, classy-looking complex. "Woah," the blonde breathed. He felt like he should shower and comb his hair before he entered the smart-looking community. Rae interrupted his thoughts, however, as she stepped off the bike and took an uncertain step. "Easy there, Tiger," Gavin said, chuckling at her unsteadiness as he hopped off of his bike and grabbed her elbows to steady her. "Give yourself a second to get your legs under you." Noting her flushed skin and bright eyes, the adrenaline junkie grinned knowingly. "Have fun?"

message 20: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae wanted to ask him about the music he had been working on, if he had been working on any. When her had left her house that night, he had left Velma in her room without a second thought. She understood that, in that moment, he probably could care less about the silly guitar. Still, she had expected a message or a call or note or something when he finally remembered his trusty instrument. So she had kept Velma all these years, taking care of her, learning to tune her, and even learning a couple chords. Of course, music had always been Gavin's forte. The most she could do was hum along to what she thought the tune should be.
"Ah poor, poor Rachel." She chuckled.

Amidst her heart pounding in her ears and the whooshing sound as they sped along the streets, Rae managed to catch Gavin's addressing her.
"Not intentionally!" She defended herself.

"Woah," Gavin exhaled in awe. She would have nudged him in that moment if she hadn't been busy regaining control of her heart rate and limbs. One wouldn't think that legs could get a workout from riding on a motorcycle, but in her momentary surge of panic, Rae had squeezed her legs against the bike so tightly that she and the bike would have been inseparable.
Thanking him for his steady arm, Raelyn's expression brightened considerably.
"Vin! Oh my gosh! That was wonderful! The way you just weaved around those cars and handled those turns and-just-wow! So exhilarating! Can we do that again sometime? Do you want to drive me everywhere? I will pay for gas-oh, right." She suddenly remembered the point for the transportation. "Sorry, it's just, I really didn't know what I was missing." She said, removing her helmet and handing it to him.

Turning to the complex, she outstretched her arms to the building.
"Welcome home! I can't wait to show you the inside. It's small, but this is San Francisco, so everything is small unless you want to sacrifice an arm, a limb, and pray to all the gods." She shrugged, pulling him in the direction of the building. She retrieved her keys from her purse before opening the door into the complex. They lived on the second floor, their view offering a peak at the ocean off into the distance. The apartment was a two bedroom, single bath complete with a kitchen and laundry machines. It wasn't much, but it was suitable for a college student going to school in the city. Rae had cleaned their dwelling all day the day before. She wanted it to look perfect for him. She bit her lip and smiled, watching his expression as he saw their apartment for the first time.
"So...?" She couldn't help herself, "What do you think?" She asked excitedly.

message 21: by Deanna (last edited May 14, 2015 09:49PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Shaking his shaggy head, Gavin let out a chuckle. "I've created a monster," he said with a smirk. "Consider me your two-wheeled chauffeur--until I get a job, that is. Then you're on your own." Reaching up to tug the end of her long braid, he winked, then turned, casually tossing out the words "Who knows? Maybe I'll teach you one day," as he removed his bag from his bike and slung it over his back.

"Welcome home!" Rae had gushed. The joy in her voice was contagious, and he let a smile rest on his face as she lead him up the stairs. At her reasoning for how small the place was, Gavin thought back to the studio he'd been crashing in with two other guys, always dirty, always crowded, and always filled with the curling vapors of whatever they were smoking that day. Looking around at the high ceilings, clean walls, and open windows of Rae's quaint apartment, he decided. No matter what he did outside of these walls, it couldn't come inside; he couldn't taint this place, her place.

There was that lip-biting again. He was going to have to lock himself in his room at night if she didn't stop. Shaking himself, he replied quietly, "It's perfect, Rae," moving to the empty room and rolling out his mat and sleeping bag. "I don't know how to thank you."

After the grand tour Gavin collapsed onto her couch, pulling her along. "So what's there to do around here?"


message 22: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments It had been a week.

Seven days since Gavin's last drink.

And it was killing him.

The nightmares had returned, every night a little worse. He hadn't woken up screaming, though, so he supposed that was a small victory.

I'm on the day the pair had become roommates, Gavin had decided he wanted, no, needed to clean up, for Rae. She made him remember what he had been like before, made him want to be that way again. The first few days, he'd spent hours alone in the apartment, calling body shops and mechanics, hell, he'd even called parts stores, and no one was hiring, not him, anyway, with his less-than-stellar employment record.

He'd finally ended his search by calling Tasha. She always needed runners she could trust and had a soft spot for Gavin. Though he dutifully refrained from self-medicating, the junkie arranged sales, retrieved new shipments, scheduled meetings, and performed various other tasks for the dealer. In return, she'd offered him a choice. Free merchandise, or enough pay to keep up on his bills. He'd chosen the paycheck.

"I'm a personal assistant to an. . . Entrepreneur," he'd told Rae cryptically, carefully avoiding any other questions she'd asked. It wasn't exactly a lie, right?

With the slowly worsening nightmares and the stress of keeping things from his best friend this early in their freshly reinstated relationship, Gavin was finding it more and more difficult to function during the day.

He had found a brief respite, however, in Rae's presence. Though he still felt the tendrils of exhaustion and addiction licking at his mind, the short stretches when she was around were bearable. Her quirky behavior and quiet understanding was a balm to his roiling thoughts; but it always had to end.

They had parted ways hours ago, and Gavin lay awake staring at the ceiling from his sleeping bag. Rae had offered to buy him a bed, but he'd staunchly refused. He didn't want the sweet girl spending her honestly earned money on him, not willingly.

As soft waves of sleep finally began to roll through his tormented mind, Gavin found himself begging whatever deity would listen to please, just once, spare him the dreams.

The tiny, blonde-headed boy couldn't stop laughing. He clutched at his fathers ears as he tried desperately to keep his perch on the tall man's shoulders. They were spinning and spinning, and every time they turned, he saw his mother's beautiful curls, blonde just like his, her face alight with laughter as she cheered and clapped. When they turned again, the boy's father disappeared, and he was falling. They appeared above him, unfocused at first, but recognizable, and he reached out them as he plummeted into darkness. They would catch him, he knew they would. As their blurry faces cleared, however, he pulled his hand back. Broken and bloody, his parent's stood over him, unseeing eyes looking on as he fell. Finally processing what he was seeing the boy let out a strangled cry . . .

and Gavin was torn from his sleep, unsure if he'd shouted aloud or merely in the dream. His throat was raw as he set up, pulling in ragged, gasping breaths and scrubbing his hands over his clammy face. He couldn't have just one night, one night, of peace.

message 23: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments It had been a week since the friends reunited.
Rae was busy preparing for finals, working, and volunteering, but all of her spare time was spent with her long time friend. The went to the park together on off days to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. It was a small glimpse of heaven, as far as Rae was concerned. Once she finished her finals, she would be free to spend even more time with him.

Velma was burning a whole under her bed. She wanted to present her to Gavin and watch his face light up with excitement, but every time she brought up his past musicality, he brushed it off as though it meant nothing to him. She wasn't sure why, but she supposed it must still be a sore subject for him. Either way, unveiling Velma now might be a bad idea.

Gavin had gone through a lot of trouble finding a job. He was in the apartment for hours upon hours to make calls to potential employers. It seemed, at first, no one was hiring. Rae had been worried about him, sure that it wasn't easy hearing so many no's one after the other. She had tried to cheer him up by bringing him home ice cream sandwiches from CREAM and chinese take-out (Rae was never much of a cook, but if she was she would have liked to make him dinner). Finally, his search ended with Gavin snagging a personal assistant job for some up and coming entrepreneur that Rae hadn't heard much about. His description was very vague, but she was just happy that he had a job he could apply himself to.

Gavin always appeared tired in the morning, even when he should have been getting ample amount of sleep. She wondered if he was sleeping alright, but he never complained. She thought, at first, that sleeping on the floor must have been hard on his body, so she offered to buy him a bed with some of her savings. She didn't mind. She worked hard for her money and would be happy using it to help him out. Still, the teasing boy never failed to brush off her offers with incredible ease. It wasn't until that night that she had any indication of the nightmares.

Raelyn had gone out to do some studying with a friend that night and by the time she returned, Vin had been fast asleep in his room. She had just finished getting ready for bed and sliding under her own covers, letting her mind drift off when she heard his heartbreaking scream. Rae shot up out of bed and rushed over to his room, throwing the door open. She found her childhood friend sitting up in his sleeping bag, breathing in gasps, and face pale and clammy as though he had seen a ghost.
"Gavin," She breathed, "Are you ok? Was it a nightmare?" The copper haired doe crawled up next to him, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him close. His cry had scared her brutally, but she was here now and it would be alright.

message 24: by Deanna (last edited May 16, 2015 05:32PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments In his semi-conscious state, Gavin momentarily thought an angel had literally appeared in his doorway. Ringed with the light spilling in from the hall, the silhouette both scared and comforted him. Was he still dreaming? Would this, too, turn into some sick, twisted scene?

As she stepped closer and murmured his name, however, Gavin knew who it was. He knew who it was when she crawled closer, when she wrapped her thin arms around his shoulders. The contact coaxed him further from the terrible dream, and he needed more. Taking his hands from his face, he gathered Rae into his arms and pulled her into his lap. He knew he shouldn't be holding her like this, but she kept him grounded, wiping away the remnants of the gory scene he'd witnessed again and again for the last seven nights.

His breathing quieted and the shakes wracking his body slowed as his forehead dropped to her shoulder. Taking a deep breath, he rasped, "I'm fine. It was just a nightmare."

Mostly awake now, Gavin leaned back--selfishly unwilling to let her go just yet--and looked at his friend's face. Worry creased her brow and twisted her mouth into a frown, and it was his fault. "I'm sorry I woke you up, Rae." Pulling her against his chest again, Gavin rested his cheek on her collarbone, muttering, "It won't happen again." I'll make sure of it, he thought grimly, his junkie's logic rationalizing rapidly and coming to one conclusion. He couldn't interrupt her life with his night terrors. He had to start using again, for Rae.

message 25: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 14, 2015 08:11AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The girl gasped as she was suddenly pulled into her friend's lap and held onto as though she was a life jacket thrown to a drowning man. What had frightened him so? She shushed him soothingly, rubbing her hands up and down his back gently as she had always done when she found a frightened Vin. She kissed the top of his head as though he was seven again and afraid of the bogeyman that would come to eat him in his sleep like the older kids had told him.

No nightmare ever seemed scary when they were together. She couldn't count how many times she had woken up crying and begged to go see Gavin because he protected her from the scary clowns.

Still, it had been a while since Rae had seen her knight in such a state. His voice was shot and he looked positively sick. She smoothed his hair away from his face as his forehead rested on his shoulder. Was this why he was always so tired? How long had he been having these nightmares?

He looked at her with broken eyes it shattered her. His pale blue eyes used to remind her of forget-me-nots and now they looked more like shattered pieces of the sky and it ripped at her chest because she didn't know how to piece him back together. She hoped if she just held him tightly for long enough, he would just stick.
"Shhh, I want to be here for you." She whispered, holding him close. His breath tickled her collarbone and send goosebumps rolling along her arms.
"I'll protect you from the nightmares." She promised, to him as well as herself. She wouldn't let his demons take him away from her. She would always be by his side no matter what.

Never again.


message 26: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments The next morning, the scruffy blonde pulled his hood over his head and stepped outside, eyes darting back and forth as he strode to the black motorcycle on the street.

Pulling a cell phone from his pocket, he sent a simple message: Let's meet

She'd know where and why.

A few minutes later, the black bike parked behind a nondescript building with darkened windows. With a quick glance around, the figure slipped in the back door, yanking his hood down and making his way down a short hallway. If he'd gone straight, the man would have found himself in a small nightclub, which would currently be empty, considering the time.

Instead, he ascended a narrow staircase off the hallway, finding himself in a small, dingy studio apartment. A small woman with big hair perched on the futon, her burgundy lips stretching into a smug, seductive smile.

"Couldn't stay away, could you baby?" Tasha asked in a sing-song voice, rising from her seat and prowling toward him. There was no denying the dealer was smoking hot. Short, curvy, and blatantly sexual, she could make a person do her bidding and have them believing she did them a favor.

Averting his eyes from the scantily-clad woman, Gavin glowered at the stained carpet, reaching around her for the open bottle of vodka on the coffee table. Skipping the empty, waiting glass, he took a long pull straight from the bottle. "You know why I'm here," he muttered harshly. "Did you bring it?"

She slipped two fingers into her barely-covered bra and pulled out a small bag of pills, playfully flipping them out of reach as he grabbed for them. "You know these will have to come out of your paycheck," the dealer murmured apologetically, a pout forming on her lips.

Sighing, Gavin stopped reaching for the bag and shoved his hands into his pockets. "How much?"

"Well," Tasha breathed, placing the hand holding the drugs on his chest and smoothing it upwards, "this should cost you a week's pay, but . . ." as her hand deposited the bag into the hand he'd lifted expectantly, it began to descend, down his chest, past his belly button, and came to rest on his belt. "I'm sure we could work something out. You could pay half from your check, and the other half, well . . . we could get creative."

The guilt Gavin felt as the viper loosened his belt pushed him to tear into the bag, tossing back one of the tiny, blue pills and washing it down with another sip of the rapidly disappearing vodka. The numbness had already begun, and soon, he wouldn't have to feel guilty; he wouldn't have to feel anything.

Taking another long drag off of the bottle in his hand, Gavin's hazy mind began to justify: this way, he could keep himself from trying to take advantage of Rae, prevent ruining their friendship.

As the junkie kicked the door closed, his thoughts fled, and he gladly succumbed to the dark.


message 27: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 15, 2015 04:31PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments His behavior changed after that night.

Rae hadn't realized right away, though. The sprightly ginger had been too busy with school and her other responsibilities to notice how often Gavin had been taking leave of the apartment. When he told her he would be going out to meet friends, she thought that it was nice that he was making himself at home in the city. She knew he partied occasionally, but that was because of his employer. It wasn't until Rae wasn't until weeks later that Rae began noticing the odd smell that always seemed attached to his clothing no matter how often she did laundry. Or that Gavin seemed less and less... well, Gavin. He had a numbness about him that she had originally chalked up to fatigue from hard work, but the more it persisted, her concern grew.

She knew something was wrong when he was gone for three days and showed up out of the blue without so much as a text to let her know what he was up to in order to cease her worried messages. She decided that morning that she would have to follow him. She wanted to know why he was behaving so strangely. What had gone wrong? She had promised him as well as herself that night that she would protect him and now it was time she needed to find out exactly what she was up against.

She had been eating cereal in front of the television in her robe when she heard him holler a goodbye before the sound of the opening then closing door reached her. Anticipating that he would be going out tonight, as he did most nights, she had ben prepared. Throwing off her robe and grabbing a jacket, a determined Raelyn Emmerson followed suit.
She had called a taxi for the next door neighbors so it wouldn't be so obvious it was for her. She watched from the door as her increasingly cryptic friend zoomed off on his bike. She grabbed her taxi and ordered that he follow the bike, just not too closely. The driver had sighed and shook his head at her as though she was some crazy girlfriend trying to catch her man in a disgraceful act. Rae would have protested if she wasn't so worried that the cabbie would lose her beloved.

Gavin had stopped somewhere in the panhandle district, where a party seemed to be happening. So far, nothing too worrisome. Rae always knew Gavin was a social butterfly... maybe his friends were just big on parties? She thought to herself, getting out of the taxi and paying the judgmental driver for his service. She even offered him a small, embarrassed smile, realizing her scheme must seem so incredibly juvenile.

((Rae's outfit (general idea): (view spoiler)))
The house was booming, with partyers littered across the front porch and lawn. Rae approached nervously, her relatively conservative attire likely making her stand out more than she was fitting in. She sported a little black dress that one of her more confident and curvy friends had lent her, a black leather jacket that actually used to be Gavin's in junior high until he grew out of it and Rae grew into it, and some nice black and gold heels that strapped halfway up her calf. Her copper hair fell in soft, natural waves just below her shoulders. Even though she felt rather risqué, she was a nun compared to some of the bikini-clad women also in attendance. Rae was uncomfortable, to say the least. The unfamiliar stares that landed on her made her skin itch and crawl and her stomach knotted nervously. Was this all a mistake?

Spotting a familiar mess of hair among the party-goers, Rae could finally release the breath she had been holding since she entered the residence. She snagged herself a piece of wall that gave her a better view of her subject of interest. Her heart pattered quickly as she watched him. He looked... happy. His smile was easy and confident as usual, but something still felt wrong and the nursing student couldn't exactly place what it was. He drank, sure, but who wasn't at this party? There was smoking as well... she couldn't quite catch if Vin was participating, though, through her own coughing. Not too much later, she noticed the small plastic bag of pills be exchanged for a handful of cash. At this, her heart dropped to her stomach and felt the organs squeeze painfully in unison. She thought she was going to be sick. She had to get out of here. She tried to push her way through the throng of endless bodies and wandering hands until she found herself outside, clutching the railing as though she would fall apart at the seams.
Oh, Gavin...
My wonderful, sweet Gavin...
What happened to you?
Why did this have to happen to you?
I want to protect you, but will I be strong enough?

The answer was clear to her: she had no choice. She would have to be for the both of them. She could do this. She dealt with addicts on a daily basis. Her training had prepared her for this. It had to. And that meant she had to get back in there and find him.

Taking a shaky breath, Rae pushed herself off of the railing and back into the madness.
"Vin!" She tried to call over the noise. "GAVIN!" She searched. He had to be there somewhere, right? He had just been there a moment ago.

message 28: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Everything was numb, just like he'd wanted. He hadn't woken Rae up with his screams after that night, he was pretty sure he was keeping up with his end of the bills (though Rae never confirmed nor denied, always saying "just pay as much as you can"), and he was able to get through the day without a massive headache and a bad attitude. Though they spent less time together now, Gavin thought this was best for Rae. She didn't need to see what was going on in his life, and he really didn't feel like explaining. She wouldn't understand.

Today's party was wild, but the junkie hadn't noticed. He'd taken one of his pills that morning and chased it with a few shots of whiskey, and the combo had lulled his emotions into a quiet haze, easily locked away and ignored. Cool and collected, Gavin strolled though the crowd, smirk permanently in place and his dark jacket stocked with single-serve baggies of Tasha's latest party favor.

He had just finished exchanging a few pills for a wad of cash and plans to meet later with a pretty girl trying way too hard when he heard his name. The voice was familiar, but never in a million years would he have expected to see Raelyn walking toward him when he turned, especially not dressed like that. Even as the shame bubbled to the surface, Gavin couldn't stop himself from scanning her long, uncharacteristically bare legs as she came closer. Damn . . . wait-- His panic grew. Why was she here? Had she seen him selling? Why were all the guys close to her staring at her like animals? Was that the way he was staring at her? Oh God, Rae, you can't be here.

Forcing the comfortable smile back onto his features, Gavin approached his friend. Maybe she hadn't seen anything. He could say he was here networking for his boss--technically he was.

"Rae," he said easily, wrapping an arm around her narrow shoulders and fixing her with his most charming smile. "What are you doing here? If I'd have known you wanted to party, I'd have brought you along." To a very tame party, he thought, one where I wasn't loaded with drugs.

As he began trying to lead the copper-haired vixen to the door, Gavin possessively pulled her closer. He may have been a philandering jerk to anyone else of the female gender, but no one needed to be looking at her that way.

message 29: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Eventually, Rae's hazel irises spotted her favorite musician among the fray. He had heard her and was now making his way through the maze of bodies to get to her. She had trouble getting a good look at him before, but now that he was closer, she could feel her stomach in knots, the exchange playing over and over in her mind as though she had missed something. She prayed silently that it hadn't been Gavin's hands delivering the drugs. He was the one handing over the cash, or better yet, he had just been standing too close and it was a trick of the light.

He smiled at her, eyes twinkling with ease and perhaps a hint of panic. She had come here unannounced and by surprise. She had never even intended to make contact with him. She simply had wanted to observe, but (the image flashed once more) this called for immediate intervention. Just what was going on with him?
"What are you doing here? If I'd have known you wanted to party, I'd have brought you along." He insisted. She wanted to believe him. That he was just living a life different from hers and he was safe and happy. But the face that returned her gaze did not belong to the man she reunited with not so long ago.

"Vin..." She started, but realized he probably couldn't hear her and she didn't want to have to shout. "I want to talk with you." She spoke loudly, hoping he interpreted her correctly. He was ushering her in the direction of the door. She followed him closely, not wanting to lose him or get pulled away by the force of the crowd.

Once outside, Rae felt like she could actually breathe again. The heat and palpable smoke filling the inside of the house was nearly suffocating. The relief almost made her forget about why she had come out in the first place. Almost.
"Gavin," She said, turning to look at his face once again. Where had her Vin gone? Where did she even start? Hey, what was up with that sly deal, man?
"What's going on? I feel like things had started off so well and now... you're partying in dangerous places like this and..." Should she accuse him? "... what was that exchange? Are you doing drugs, Gavin? Are things really so bad that you're resorting to that? Because if so, why didn't you tell me? I could help! I could... I don't know, but we could figure it out. Just talk to me, Vin, please." She grabbed onto his hands, squeezing them as she spoke because she was so nervous. What if she pushed him away? She didn't want to drive the wedge between them even further to severance.

message 30: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin heard the pleading in her voice as she shouted over the crowd, "I want to talk with you." What were the odds that it was something completely unrelated to this party? Maybe she wanted to know if he'd like to go to a movie with her? He'd gladly skip a deal to wipe that worry off of her face. Why had she followed him? He'd been doing so well--at least, he thought he had.

As they reached the grass Gavin pulled the alluring woman further from the house and all the wandering eyes, stopping behind a tree near the street.

"Nice jacket," he said cheekily, tugging on the sleeve as he tried desperately to divert the girl's attention from the questions swirling in her scared eyes.

She wasn't having it, it seemed, and as the questions began to pour out, each one felt like a punch to the gut. She had seen his deal, noticed his distancing himself; she even suspected he was using. What did he say? Did he deny? Tell the truth? Get offended?

As soft hands latched onto his and squeezed, he made the mistake of looking into her terrified eyes, and he nearly broke. For an instant, Gavin lost his facade; he felt his face crumple for mere nanoseconds into a pained expression before he quickly reigned it in. Forcing the cool, collected Vin to return, he made his decision. Obviously, he wasn't strong enough to quit. He'd tried. However, he also didn't want Rae's help. She was under enough pressure, and he couldn't add to that. He would just have to hide all this better. He could do that.

"Rae," he said soothingly and a bit condescendingly, "what? Why would you think that? Of course I'm not doing drugs. I'm here for my boss; she has a large clientele base. And what exchange?" Gavin ran a hand through his shaggy hair and pretended to think. "Are you talking about with Lucy? She's a friend of mine, and I lent her some money a few weeks ago. She was paying me back. And I was giving her . . . ibuprofen; she had a headache." Placing a gentle hand on each side of her neck, the sweet-talker tilted his sweet friend's face upward to look her in the eye--she seemed to respond positively to his touch, and he needed her to believe him. "There's nothing to talk about." His calloused thumb brushed her cheek, and he pulled her to him. Wrapping his arms around her shoulders, he whispered into his friend's hair, "I'm fine Rae, I promise."

Gavin hoped desperately she would believe him. She was the only person he could pretend with. The only one who believed he could still live a normal life, be a good person. He needed her to keep believing that.

message 31: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 17, 2015 01:25PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Nice jacket," His words reached her, but too many thoughts were crashing around in her head to give him anything more than a small, unsure grin.

She had accused him of dealing and, even, self-medicating. She had no basis for that, but it was a hunch. His clothes always smelled funny and that could have been due to marijuana-concentrated areas. Plus, based on her limited experiences with dealers coming into the ER, it would seem many were using and dealing at the same time. What if she was wrong and misread the signs? This would have really hurt their trust for one another. Well, she did want to trust Gavin. She never questioned his cryptic excuses or vague explanations for what had brought him to her in the first place. Did it hurt that Gavin probably wouldn't have even reached out to her if he had had other options? Unimaginably, but she did her best to ignore that and focus on moving forward. Was she pulling them back now?

She watched his face painstakingly as she spoke. She was so scared, she could feel the tears forming in her eyes. His face fell for a moment, showing such sadness and surprise, she wanted to reach out and touch his face, but he composed himself quickly, regaining his originally cool and mischievous demeanor.

"Rae," He began. The aforementioned girl felt a shiver run down her spine in anticipation. His tone was softer, though borderline patronizing. He continued to dismantle all her claims of the exchange, offering that it had simply been a misunderstanding and no indication that he was dealing drugs. Had she really been so stupid? The evidence had all pointed her to this conclusion and why should she ever think badly of her best friend? How could she have so terribly lacked faith in him? She looked down, embarrassed for having said anything. She had been so sure...

Vin held her face up, her blush becoming more visible now that her hair was unable to hide it, he stroked her cheek gently with his rough thumb. It felt nice to be touched by him like this. How could he be so understanding after everything she accused him of? She was about to say something when she was pulled into a tight hug, her arms falling into place around Gavin's torso and her head resting against his chest naturally.

"I'm fine, Rae, I promise." She wanted to believe him. She really, really did, but something felt wrong and the feeling wouldn't leave her.
"I'm sorry..." She sighed, "It's just that I worry about you because I'm hardly around and when I am around, I feel like something it different, but I don't know what. Your clothes always smell funny. You don't talk about your nightmare that night, we haven't really been able to hang out on my days off these last couple weeks, and I'm scared that I'm going to lose you again, Gavin. I can't go through that a second time." She sniffed, holding him even more tightly as though he could slip away at any moment.

message 32: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments The myriad of emotions playing across his friend's face was enough to crack the drug-reinforced barrier around Gavin's mind, and as the guilt seeped through, he found himself torn; another pill would numb the emotions, but right now, he could look at Rae and actually see her.

As he denied every one of her spot-on suspicions, however, the growing shame on her face made him wish desperately for the second pill. The adorable blush, which had so often drawn a round of playful teasing from Gavin, currently made him feel worse, and he gladly used the embrace to compose himself.

She had apologized . . . to him, and he couldn't take it any more. With one last squeeze, he pressed his lips to her head and pulled away, avoiding her eyes and her questions, Gavin gave what he hoped was a reassuring smile and breezed, "I'm not going anywhere, Rae."

With a cheeky grin that didn't quite reach his eyes, he continued, pointing at his bike "well, except with you. Lets get out of here." As they neared the bike, Gavin slipped his hand into his pocket, and when the girl's doe eyes were distracted, he quickly popped it into his mouth, swallowing it dry. Soon, the guilt would be gone. "So," he asked, dropping an arm over his friend's shoulder, "what do you want to do with the rest of the day?"

message 33: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 19, 2015 08:44AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments He denied everything. Was she the world's biggest idiot? Why had she been so quick to assume he was on drugs? She shook her head, hoping her doubts would fall away as well. She believed him, not having a reason not to trust his words. They didn't lie to one another. They never had before and believing him was like a reflex at this point.

As they pulled away, Rae wiped her eyes quickly and combed her fingers through her red waves. Gavin had been looking away and she felt bad for coming all this way to make him feel uncomfortable. She frowned at the prospect of taking her friend away from his party when he had only just arrived. "This was stupid of me, I'm sorry. I guess my imagination just runs away with me sometimes. I didn't mean to pull you away from your party like this. Please, you should go back. I'm sure you want to mingle more with your boss's clientele." She insisted, but Gavin was already escorting her over to his motorcycle.

Rae looked back at the house momentarily, wondering if this really was what Vin wanted. He didn't seem to have any qualms about leaving with her right here and now. Was he doing this for her? To comfort her when he shouldn't have to worry about her silly concerns?

"So," He began, "what do you want to do for the rest of the day?" Seeing as much of the day had already passed, their options were limited. Sunset had come and gone and the beach might have been too far. The shops were closed or closing, so no shopping. In all honesty, though, Rae was tired, physically and mentally and she just wanted to cuddle with Gavin and a bowl of popcorn while they watched a movie on the couch.
"Honestly, I think a movie night sounds just about perfect, but if you want to do something else, by all means say so. I think you should get to decide after I've been such a jerk to you." She noted, climbing onto the back of his bike after him and hugging him closely. She didn't have his sweats this time, but she did wear tight shorts under her dress to avoid unsavory situations.

message 34: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments As they made their way to his bike, Rae's words tore another hole in Gavin's barrier, and he turned; he may have been lying to her, manipulating her, and he hated himself for it, but he couldn't make her feel like she was stupid, like she was the one who was wrong. With a finger under her chin, he forced himself to look into her tumultuous eyes and told her simply, "You're the smartest person I know, Raelyn Emmerson. Don't ever say you're stupid." Clearing his throat, he retrieved the helmet, deposited it on her copper head, and dropped a leg over his bike.

"A movie night sounds great to me," he replied over his shoulder, "but I'm picking. I'm thinking pointless gore and jump scares." With a grin, he added, "you still has skittish as you used to be Rae?" and brought his motorcycle roaring to life.

Not long after, the pair pulled up to the apartment, and Gavin pulled her to his side. The numbness was returning, and with it, his easy nature. "Now," he said with a grin as they stepped inside, "you get the popcorn ready; I'll find the perfect movie."

message 35: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 20, 2015 03:18PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The girl's breath caught when he suddenly turned on her, lifting her chin to look into his eyes when he spoke to her. His face was so serious and determined, as though he was personally offended by her previous statement. She imagined a world where this was the point where he grabbed her face and kissed her, but that world was fantasy and it only served to turn her face red in time for him to turn away and mount his bike. Rae nodded dumbly before getting on as well.

" still as skittish as you used to be, Rae?" He called back to her before his motor roared. She took a moment to find her voice again.
"I wasn't that bad!" She defended herself pathetically. She was and always would be a scaredy-cat when it came to horror films. She liked to say it was because she was just too empathetic for the characters. Sure, she had no trouble with people bleeding in real life, but throw in an axe murderer and a dark room and she was under a blanket in seconds.

Once at the apartment, Gavin directed her to prepare the movie popcorn while he chose the movie for their fright night. She smiled and nodded, throwing a bag in the microwave before going to change into her pajamas (a stunning combination of old gym shorts from high school, a large, well loved old shirt from her ex-boyfriend and a sports bra because she felt wrong being around the man without a bra on nowadays). By the time she returned, the popcorn was hot, popped, and ready for movie enjoyment.
"Alright, Vin, you ready?" She asked, pouring the popcorn into a bowl and moved to the living room.

message 36: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments With a movie already in mind, Gavin rushed to his room, grabbed a pair of sweats, and entered the bathroom. He hated how parties made him smell, like sweat and weed and booze. It never used to bother him, but now . . . now he didn't want to smell like that.

Without waiting for the water to warm, he pulled his clothes off and slipped into the icy spray. After what felt like the quickest shower in his life, Gavin emerged from the bathroom in a pair of sweatpants, roughly toweling his sandy hair and smelling much better, in his own humble opinion.

The scent of popcorn danced around the room as he entered, and Gavin flopped onto the couch, pulling a blanket onto his lap and holding it open for his oldest friend. Since childhood, movie night had always been a sacred tradition; they would sit, curled together under a blanket, bowl of popcorn between them. No parents, other friends, or significant others were ever invited, which caused many a breakup in the pair's high school years. Though it never made sense to Gavin or Rae, the people they dated found it weird and typically asked them to stop, and when faced with the ultimatum, the friends unquestionably picked each other over fickle flings.

Waiting for the pajama-clad ginger to join him, Vin snatched the remote off of the coffee table, powered up Netflix, and chose a movie. Turning to the girl beside him, Gavin grinned. "Ready for blood, mass murder, and complete idiots?"

As he settled into the couch, the junkie thought to himself, I can do this. I can spend more time with Rae and keep my life from her. Things will be perfect . . . they have to be.

message 37: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 20, 2015 06:08PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments He. Was. Shirtless.
The copper haired lady fumbled with the popcorn bowl, spilling a few pieces before coming to her senses and checking her mouth, which had temporarily fallen open. By all means, seeing Vin shirtless should not have surprised her. Many of their movie nights had consisted of him like this and even now she still caught him without a covering in passing. But now... now they were going to be right there next to one another. And Rae was having new, but serious physical attraction to her friend. It was making her behave like her thirteen year old self when she discovered the men's swim team at school. She felt like it was wrong for her to want to be close to him. It wasn't fair for her to have these feelings and let herself enjoy their situation when he thought her to be so innocent.

She set the bowl down between them as she took her seat. She just had to imagine they were 15 again and act normal. She didn't want to tip him off to her weird behavior. This was just their Raevin movie night like they were kids again. She would get ahold of herself for the sake of their friendship. She thought of all the times she had broken up with boys that felt threatened by Gavin. At the time it had seemed so silly and petty. Who were they to tell her who she could or couldn't be best friends with? Now she wondered... had I really just been in love with him all along and not realized? Maybe they all just knew... that, in the end, it could only be Gavin. She wondered if she had known then, could she have avoided all the heartbreak?

"Ready for blood, mass murder, and complete idiots?" She could hear the grin in his voice, while she was busy getting herself situated under the blanket.
She pouted in response, "Never. Have mercy." She groaned, but all in good fun. Even with her constant jumping and flinching, she never refused Gavin's horror movie fetish. She pulled the blanket up to her shoulders, ready to cover her face if need be.

message 38: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Oblivious to the major discomfort felt by his friend, Gavin grinned as the popcorn bowl nearly slipped from her hands. "You start on that popcorn without me, Butterfingers?" he asked with a wink as he turned his attention on his freckled friend just in time to see her clamp her jaw shut, eyes wide.

The shaggy blonde wrinkled his brow. Was she . . . ? No, definitely not. In high school, Vin's body had been tan, defined, and muscular. He'd played multiple sports, surfed, and spent as much time outside as possible. Now? He looked down at his pasty torso, the six pack from days of old had flattened out, only a hint remaining, and shaking his head, the junkie thought wryly, she seriously needs to get laid if she's checking out my scrawny ass--wait . . . the idea of Rae with another man left Gavin feeling appalled and nauseated, and he shook himself, focusing on the girl next to him.

As he pulled himself from his reverie, he gave his friend a charming smile and ruffled her soft hair. "Come on now, buddy; you know I'll pretend to protect you while silently laughing my ass off."

His grin turned sinister in the dark room as the movie began. "Let it begin," he said in his best attempt at a scary voice.

The first scare happened mere minutes into the film, as the babysitter on screen swung the door wide, peering into a dark room. Gavin, however, was paying little attention to the screen; his eyes rested on his friend, who currently had the blanket pulled up to her chin and was poised to yank it over her head. Though he'd never admit it, the mischief maker had never loved horror flicks as much as he let on. The true entertainment came from the adorable reactions from the girl at his side.

message 39: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Had he seen her gawking? Oh god, Rae, act normal. ACT NORMAL! She screamed internally, her blush reaching her ears. Luckily, her red hair covered them.
"W-well y-you try holding onto a bowl with buttery fingers!" She stammered. Of course, though, her fingers weren't buttery to begin with but she would attempt to save her pride anyways. It was funny how she was so attracted to him even when his high school physique seemed to be a thing of the past. She had noted before his loss of muscle mass and paler complexion. Still, he was very handsome. His face with that devilish grin, his hair and it's damp, boyish charm, the curve of his chest that was ready to cradle her head, the way he held himself, but more than that it was just the fact that Gavin was Gavin and he was the kind of person that walked around half naked after showers because he couldn't be bothered to put on a shirt for the sake of decency. Rae thought to herself that one day she would have to repay him for this torture.

Her best friend ruffled her hair when she nested into her spot, preparing for all the horror to come.
"Come on now, buddy; you know I'll pretend to protect you while silently laughing my ass off." The ginger fought a knowing smile.
"Excuse me, when have you ever laughed at me silently? Are you Vin's nicer twin?" She teased, her eyes clicking to the screen as the opening title flickered into view.
"Let it begin..." Gavin said darkly, sending a shiver down her spine. She nudged him with her foot as though that would make him stop. Her eyes stayed on the screen, watching intently in order to grasp at least part of the general plot before she hid under her blanket for the rest of the film.

As the movie progressed the first scare came. As expected, Raelyn almost jumped out of her skin and squeaked in fright, startled at the character's sudden appearance. She hadn't expected the moment to come so soon! It had only been... what? Six minutes? She clenched the blanket tightly, but kept her eyes on the screen. The third scare had her blanket covering her head. One hand moved from beneath the cloth to the bowl of popcorn strategically placed between them. She grabbed a handful.
"Laugh and I throw this popcorn at you." She commented, a ferocious lion hiding not at all pathetically under her blanket with the oh so scary threat of the soft theater snack at her disposal.

message 40: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin stared as his oldest friend stammered out a defense, suddenly shy. She WAS checking me out! And to make matters worse, he was strangely into the fact. She was super hot, especially because she didn't seem to know it or even try. His eyes betrayed him, staring back, wishing she would choose a less conservative pair of pajamas, until his mind clamped down on the thought. Don't even think about it, asshole; she is so far out of your league you couldn't get there with a damn rocket. Averting his gaze, a bit embarrassed himself, Vin was glad when she finally sat down and covered what skin was showing with the blanket.

"Are you Vin's nicer twin?" At the question, he stifled a laugh, working to keep a straight face, and smiled sweetly. "Why, yes. I am. And the more attractive one, too," he replied, putting a hand under his chin and striking a pose reminiscent of Zoolander.

As her foot pressed into his leg, Vin forced himself to stay still; grabbing the oh-so-ticklish foot of his friend was far too tempting, and he wasn't sure he had the will-power to stop a full out tickle-war before it became something more.

Gavin remained conspicuously silent throughout the movie--though the mouse under the blanket had been too busy squeaking adorably to notice--and waited for the perfect moment. A mere twenty minutes in, and that moment had come. As soon as the ginger had yanked the blanket over her face, popcorn shrapnel in hand, he leaned close and ever-so-slowly reached for the blanket. Pinching the material between his thumb and forefinger, he flipped the protective covering away from her face and yelled "BOO!"

message 41: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 20, 2015 10:42PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Why, yes. I am. And the more attractive one too." He joked easily. Rae responded with an eye roll and a dry "ha ha." Before sticking her tongue out at him momentarily. He would be all cheeky and cute like that. Well damn him and his stupid Zoolander impression. She thought to herself, cursing the gods that had put her in this situation. Still, if he did notice her feelings, she was thankful he wasn't going to tease her about them. It was embarrassing enough as it is, having a crush on her best friend. It had been generally understood all their lives that they would just be friends. They never needed to discuss potentially dating each other because they both just knew it would be too weird. It would have been like dating a sibling, no matter how much their parents insisted on pairing the two as a couple. If he knew about her feelings, she would be devastated if he didn't return them, but more devastated if it meant they couldn't get over the weirdness and just be friends again. She could handle being friends. At least, she really hoped she could.

After her threat, her companion had been silent. She could still hear the movie going: the possessed child was currently hacking apart his older brother. She cowered under her blanket of safety waiting for the scene to end, when the the blanket was torn from her and a familiar face jumped out at her.

"AAAHHHH!" She screamed, throwing her hand of popcorn and curling into a ball defensively. "Gavin!" She shouted accusingly, "You butt! You're going to pay for that!" The fiery-haired dame declared. She threw more popcorn at him, un-balling herself from her fetal position and getting up to exact revenge. Without thinking, she grabbed a pillow from the couch and began hitting him with it. She found a laughter bubble up within her and a smile grew across her face. "You think you can just get away with that?" She laughed, challenging her first friend to join her in a pillow battle.

message 42: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Unthinkingly reverting to one of their oldest games, Gavin's hand shot out, snatching for the offending tongue, but he was too late, as always. And now his thumb was on her lower lip, and he wanted to leave it there. For a fleeting moment, he looked into her eyes, saw the turmoil there. Catching himself, Vin let his hand drop, exhaling and giving her a half-hearted glare. "I'll get you one of these days," he managed lamely, glad for the distraction of the movie.

As the banshee scream was emitted, Gavin fell onto his back, cackling maniacally at the tiny ball formerly known as Rae, and as he tried--and failed--to catch the flying pieces of popcorn with his mouth, the grown man collapsed into a very unmanly fit of giggles. He didn't question the emotions swirling in his brain, a fact that should have had him taking another pill. The junkie felt like he was five again, all the terrible things of the past erased as they fell into their old routines.

"You're going to pay for that!"The threat might have been more intimidating had it not been uttered from a woman cowering in the fetal position, and his wicked grin grew. "Is that so? And how do you plan on mak--OW!" he yelped, cut off by a pillow to the face. Snatching his cushion of choice from the couch, Gavin rounded on his friend, eyeing her warily. Though he had always been taller and stronger than Rae (except for about six months in middle school--they didn't talk about that), she was lithe and quick. When they dueled, she was suddenly a ninja, dodging his lumbering attacks and reciprocating with ease, but he never gave up. "You'll never defeat me!" he cried, leaping off the couch and swinging his feather-stuffed weapon toward her side.

message 43: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The moment she saw his hand shoot out, she smiled, waiting for the last moment to slip her tongue back where it came from. It was hard to believe he still remembered that game. It was so silly, but it made her happy. As expected, Gavin missed his mark, but his thumb landed on her lip. She had half a mind to teasingly chomp at it, but her mind was too busy reprimanding herself for her feelings to notice Gavin's own struggle reflected in his eyes.
"I'll get you one of these days," He commented. She shook her head.
I'll be waiting... She thought wistfully.

The copper-haired beauty huffed at her companion's fit of laughter. He would pay, though she was happy to have a distraction from this horrifying film. Not too much later, her opponent weaponized a spare pillow and sized up her advantage. The two entered into a raging battle, the screams and shrills from the television drowning beneath their laughter. Rae was surprisingly good at dodging his attacks, twisting and bending just out of reach. She was very flexible, having taken a lot of gymnastics classes in her youth. She took her fair share of hits, though. She may have landed more hits, but Gavin hit harder.

"We'll see about that, you fiend!" She countered, avoiding his flying attack to her side and issuing her own to his shoulder. They carried on like this for a little longer, Rae taking some hits when he caught her in a fit of laughter. Eventually, her pillow ripped after continual battery. Feathers dispersed into the air, floating, falling and swirling all around them.
"Oh man-oof!" She took another blow. Weaponless, she had to resort to other means of war.
"Kamikaze!" She called, throwing herself into his chest and tackling him to the ground.

message 44: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments The battle was epic.
Had it been seen by anyone but the two goofballs participating, it would have been worthy of the history books. Rae had, if possible, gotten faster and more graceful . . . even during a pillow fight, and though Vin may have grown skinnier over the years, it could never be said that his warrior's spirit had faded. His red-haired daredevil was quick; for every three hits she landed, he might have made contact once, so he made his volleys count. Corny insults filled the air, dotted with barks of laughter and gasps of pain in varying states of hyperbole.

Gavin hadn't laughed this hard in years, not since before the accident, and he never wanted it to stop. For the last few years, this euphoric feeling was one he'd only felt with the help of drugs, and even still, this one one was better, sweeter; he didn't feel dirty or guilty for enjoying this high. Though in the back of his mind, the junkie knew that tomorrow, his life would return to business as usual, he locked the thoughts away. Tonight, he would just be, for him and for Rae, and he would make time for her. He wouldn't let his addictions ruin the one good thing in his life.

As feathers filled the air, Gavin returned to the present, seeing his chance. Raising the cushion above his head, he mustered his best Mortal Kombat voice and yelled "FINISH HIM!" before realizing his mistake. He'd left his torso open for attacks, and attack she had. He gasped as the fiery ball of energy slammed into his chest, and suddenly, his back was on the carpet. "Cheater!" he complained, breathing heavily, to the dame sitting on his stomach. "You were disarmed. Victory should have been mine. You play dirty." But now, the playing field was even. There was no dodging his attacks. Grabbing her hips with the hands she had forgotten to secure, Vin quickly flipped them. His knees pinned her hips to the ground, and he easily secured both of her small wrists in one of hand above her head.

Staring into his friend's wild eyes, he worked to catch his breath, and moving his other hand to her side, he made his voice monotone: "I'm going to tickle you now, Raelyn," he told her seriously. "Struggling will only make it worse. Any last words?" Vin was struggling to keep the playfulness in his actions by this time. He wasn't sure when or how it had happened, but everything she did lately drove him crazy. And this? he thought, staring at the childhood friend pinned beneath him. This is madness.

message 45: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 22, 2015 11:26PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Cheater!" The fallen warrior had exclaimed. Rae's smile reached fully across her face at her victory. "Mwahaha!" She mock laughed evily. "Silly peasant, all is fair in love and war." She teased. After tackling her room mate to the ground, she landed on top of him with her face flush against his chest. She would likely blush terribly over it later, but in this moment she was caught up in the laughter and excitement of the game. She sat up on his stomach, thowing her arms into the air to claim victory. Thinking that their battle had ceased, the warrior princess dropped her guard, forgetting to secure her enemy's hands and hips. She kept her eyes on his face and the feathers that had inevitably gotten everywhere. She reached out to remove a couple from his hair, when all of a sudden she was now on her back with her hips and wrists properly pinned to the ground. She had been careless and it would cost her her sanity. She was now looking up at her bare-chested friend in such a compromising situation and her heart began beating madly in her chest, the blood pounding in her ears.

"I'm going to tickle you now, Raelyn," His voice was calm and monotone, but her stomach was dropping. Her eyes widened fearfully as she started shaking her head.
"No, no, no. I signed up for a pillow fight, not a tickle-fest!" She squirmed beneath him, fighting for freedom from his hand on her waist. The hand that would soon unleash all hell rested on her side threateningly. The neighbors would probably think she was being murdered, the thought momentarily before returning to the danger at hand. He had been the worst at tickling. He knew where she was too sensitive to speak if touched the right way and never failed to use it to his advantage.
"Any last words?" He teased. Raelyn didn't know if she would make it out alive tonight. He was over her, poised for... well, holding her down. Her position was compromising, though she didn't mind as much as she let on. She wasn't supposed to like that he had his shirt off and wasn't supposed to like losing like this. She had to shove on, though, for the sake of her little act.

"Come... closer." She sniffed jokingly, lifting her head up to get closer. When his face was in reach, she stuck out her tongue and licked the length of his cheek, then erupting into a giggle as she watched his reaction to her final revenge before she was doomed to torture.

message 46: by Deanna (last edited May 23, 2015 10:16AM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments As Rae's copper head landed on his chest, Gavin's heart sped. He clamped down on the shiver threatening as her breathy laughs danced across his skin, feigning bitterness at his defeat instead. He would be dammed if these weird new feelings were going to get in the way of his friendship. Rather than wrap his arms around her waist and hold her in place--which is what he wanted to do--he thought about what pre-hot-for-best-friend Gavin would do. Gain the upper hand.

"No, no, no. I signed up for a pillow fight . . . "
"Oh yes yes yes," he replied with a devilish grin. "You're the one that changed the rules. Soon as you carelessly tossed aside the number one requirement of pillow battles--having a pillow--all bets were off, sweetheart." With a wink, his fingers curled around her ribcage. He didn't apply pressure, merely reminding his friend that he remembered the place that would render her momentarily paralyzed.

Playing along with the ginger's deathbed attitude, he dipped his head close, turning an ear to her face. "Ack! Gross, Rae!" he yelled, recoiling. As he wiped at his face with his free hand, Vin tried to decide which was more upsetting: the fact that Rae had licked his cheek or the fact that he was kind of turned on by it?

"You really do have a death wish, don't you, Daredevil?" the scruffy jokester said with a smirk. She would pay for . . . whatever weird things she was doing to his mind. Releasing her hands, Vin dropped both of his to her ribs. He squeezed her hips between his knees to prevent escape and rained hellfire on his friend, fingers jabbing and prodding all the familiar, evil places he knew would make her squirm. "I told you not to fight it, Rae! You'll pay for your insubordination."

message 47: by DragonDreamer (last edited May 25, 2015 09:38AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "I had no choice! My pillow broke!" She defended herself, the giggles intermixed with words did not help her case. His playful antics were charming to Rae. She loved that about Gavin. The spirit in his eyes and willingness to be a complete and utter dork with her made her always feel comfortable around him. Even now, when they were so close and he was going to torture her any moment now, she felt oddly at ease.
"You're just looking for an excuse to tickle me, you sadist." She shook her head at him.

The vixen laughed loudly at his reaction, the feeling of her tongue catching him by surprise. She loved the way his faced contorted in disgust, pride and victory welled in her chest. She had hoped that moment would have been her chance to escape since he only had one hand restraining her wrists, but, when she tried to free herself from his grasp, it was not use. Was it bad that she didn't mind this fact? Did that make her a masochist? Maybe only for a certain someone...

"No, doo-AAAAAAHHHH!" She burst into a combination of incurable giggles and shrieks. She tried swatting at him, but as soon as she'd raise her arm, he would prod her sensitive areas and she would cringe, unable to move. Her body alternated between complete rigidity and spastic movements. Her movements were so violent that she was able to move Gavin's lock on her hips some, though not enough for her to wiggle away.
"Sadist!" She yelled accusingly, "Jerk!" She laughed. The was too much for her to handle, but in such a way that she couldn't think about the scary orphan child hacking their sibling to pieces or the fact that she was in love with Gavin because she was too busy being tickled in this moment like she had been countless times before and the only thing on her mind was what she was feeling and needing to escape it.

Finally, Raelyn was able to grasp her opponents hands and hold them away from herself long enough to catch her own breath.
"M-mercy!" She breathed, "mercy!" She called, conceding defeat. Her chest heaved, finally able to slow her heart beat comfortably. The ginger-haired girl focused her vision at last on the face above her. Gavin's features were alive and expressive, his eyes twinkled behind the still-damp locks of hair that had fallen into his face. She couldn't keep her eyes off him. These last few weeks had been odd... he seemed vacant at times, as though he wasn't all there and she had wondered if something was wrong. Maybe it was all in her head. They just needed to reconnect like this and rediscover their relationship in a playful and organic manner. Maybe she was being silly about her fears of scaring him off. If anyone was going to reject her and stay friends with her it would be Gavin... right? They were supposed to be friends for life. If anything, maybe they could work together to cure her of her love affliction.
"Hey..." She began. How should she even begin? She watched his face hesitantly and it hit her that she could so easily lose him right now. If she messed up her wording even slightly, he might not understand her feelings or see her as some silly girl that's just shallow because they only just reunited and already prepared to ruin the friendship. Her words caught in her throat at this thought. She looked into his beautiful, kind, wondrous eyes, and she was absolutely terrified. She thought she would be able to tell him the truth in time, but she didn't know if she could lose his eyes. Not in this moment. If she told him now, it would ruin everything. The siren scream of a dying woman came from the television. Having forgotten the movie entirely, Rae gasped, gripping onto Gavin in surprise.
"C-can we, um, change the movie, please?" She asked, thankful the scream offered an alternative to her original topic.

message 48: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments "You're just looking for an excuse to tickle me, you sadist."
If only she knew.

"This is for your own good, Rae!" the sadist screamed over the sound of her squealed protests. "You can't just change the rules to a pillow battle! Next thing you know, you'll be cheating at rock paper scissors or cutting in line at the grocery store!" As his adorable friend bucked and squirmed beneath him, Gavin couldn't help but feel a tiny bit appalled with how much he was enjoying the contact--but only a tiny bit. Brushing the feeling aside, he laughed along. He loved the way her nose scrunched when she laughed, the glittering tears that streamed uncontrollably from her tightly closed eyes.

God, she was gorgeous.

Momentarily distracted by her, Gavin didn't notice he had slowed his teasing hands until his captive snatched them away from her heaving torso, begging for mercy. Of their own accord, his long fingers laced easily between his friend's, their palms lying flush with one another. "I think you've learned your lesson . . . for now," he conceded. As their laughter died, Rae grew silent, distracted by whatever was going on underneath all that copper hair. He cocked his head to the side, studying her far away eyes. He remembered the day he said he liked her blue eyes. They were ten, and being so close to preteen-dom, had begun to develop attitudes. She had sassily informed him that they were hazel. An argument had ensued, and he'd made matters worse by claiming that they were definitely blue, that they reminded him of his favorite pair of jeans. What he'd meant, but was unable to articulate, was that they were familiar, comforting, soft. What she'd understood was that he'd compared her to pants. With Rae offended, and Gavin completely confused, they parted ways in a huff--only to be reunited an hour later, all mistakes forgiven.

Though he understood his minor error now, her denim eyes would always bring those feelings: comfort, familiarity, softness, and something else . . .

A soft "hey . . . " roused the man from his thoughts, and he gently pulled his friend to her feet. Retaining her hands, he looked at Rae. She looked nervous, and suddenly, inexplicably, he was nervous. The war behind her eyes clued the man in that whatever she was going to say was important, and he remained silent, waiting.

As the shriek from the television sent his ginger friend's thought scattering, he felt himself disappointed at the ruined moment. What had she been going to say? Did he even want to know?

Expression softening, he smiled. "Sure, Rae," he replied, moving away from her to face the couch. "You pick and get it started. I'll try to do something about . . . all this." Quickly brushing the popcorn back into the bowl, Gavin decided to leave the feathers until morning, and opted for pillow nest rather than the couch. Searching the apartment for every pillow he could find, Gavin returned to the living room, arms full. "We can put it all back when we go to bed," he defended sulkily at her exasperated expression. "I'm tired of sitting."

As the opening chords of "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast flowed from the speakers, Gavin landed on the pile of cushions, stretching his long legs in front him. He grinned as his friend nestled in. "See? Nests are the way to go." Before the movie was halfway through, however, the junkie began to feel his eyelids grow heavy; his bedtime pill hid, forgotten, in his jacket, his need for the drug never crossing his mind. His sleepy eyes moved to the girl beside him, and he smiled lazily as she mouthed the words to the movie. I'll just close my eyes for a minute, was Gavin's last thought as he fell asleep, the smile still on his face.

message 49: by DragonDreamer (last edited Sep 22, 2015 02:09PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The ginger doe came to a stand beside her friend as he helped her to her feet. It wasn't until she tried to massage her smile-tired cheek muscles that she realized their fingers were, indeed, intertwined. The gesture was so natural for them, that often she used to forget the romantic implication behind it. Had this accident been her doing? She dropped their hands between them and nodded at Gavin's instructions.
"Be warned, sir, for every horror-sticken moment, I have to reciprocate with equal and opposite cuteness so I don't get nightmares. I'm sure you know we're in for a disney movie next." She grinned, moving to the television to sort through their Netflix movie options. She was in a toss-up between Beauty and the Beast and Lilo and Stitch. In the end, she opted for Beauty and the Beast because it reminded her of the times she and Gavin would watch it together on their movie nights. It was no secret that Raelyn was a huge disney fan, but it used to be a tradition of theirs to ballroom dance around the bedroom during the ballroom scene with Belle and the Beast. It had taken a lot of convincing on her part to get him to join her. It wasn't very "macho" or whatever enough for him, so she had to promise she wouldn't breathe a word to anyone and promise not to laugh at him to get him to agree. Rae had been involved in dance classes as a child, so she picked up moves quickly and taught Gavin the guy parts when he wasn't busy shaking his head.

When she turned around, Gavin had cleared out most of the popcorn shrapnel, though the feathers remained (she didn't mind. It was pretty much a given that they would clean up in the morning). In the old days, they had fallen asleep in much worse messes than this. Gavin entered into the room carrying all the pillow's from Rae's bedroom and the extra ones (she assumed that if he had a pillow, he probably would have brought that as well). She raised a brow at him, wondering exactly what he was planning to do until he plopped them all on the floor in front of the television and began arranging all the pillows he had gathered into a nest.
"We can put it all back when we go to bed." he assured the red-head. She chuckled at his antics lightly. She missed his weird ideas.

Once the movie started, Rae crawled over to nestle in alongside gavin in his pillow nest. "You know, with all these feathers and a nest of pillows, people might think we're a couple of birds." She grinned. Gavin's mothers' voice suddenly came to mind. A couple of love birds... She used to tease them. To which the children would respond with rolling their eyes and making gagging noises. Rae smiled to herself. It was funny. When she was a kid, marrying Gavin had seemed gross to her. He was Gavin! She saw him eat a live worm on a dare. But tell her that they wouldn't be friends forever and she would have laughed in your face for saying something so ridiculous.

"See? Nests are the way to go." He commented, to which Rae agreed easily.
"I have to hand it to you, Chandler. This nest was a lovely idea." She smiled, sighing in comfort as she watched the opening number to the movie. Not even twenty minutes into the movie, Rae felt his body slump closer to hers. He was out like a light. She turned to watch his peaceful face, a hint of a smile still resting on his lips. Using her free arm, Rae gently combed his locks out of his face. Noticing his chest was still bare, she grabbed the forgotten blanket that, thankfully, hadn't been too much of a stretch for her and draped it over him. Cradling his head with her shoulder, she bent down and kissed his temple as lightly as the feathers had kissed the ground. "Sweet dreams, Gavin," She whispered. "I love you." She breathed, smiling ruefully to herself. In the end, she couldn't tell him (not when he would actually hear her). She didn't know if she ever would be able to. She had anticipated being a little scared, but what she had felt when the moment presented herself was insurmountable terror. How did anyone ever confess their feelings? She tore her gaze away from his innocent, sleeping form, blinking away her tears of failure as she watched the screen, hoping the movie could distract her or offer her some optimism. Maybe it would all just work out, she thought. It had to. She hadn't intended to, but before the end of the movie, the sweet doe had fallen asleep as well, her head resting on top of his before her eyes shut.


message 50: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Soft sunlight played across his eyes, rousing Gavin from his dreams. They had been such nice dreams, though he couldn't seem to remember them--apart from the music; an unfamiliar tune swirled through his head, and he welcomed it. It had been years since the former musician's dreams had included a soundtrack--or been good, for that matter. In his semi-conscious state, Vin tightened his hold on the soft form wrapped around his torso, drawing it closer and resting his cheek against the soft head nestled in his neck. Taking a breath, he cracked his eyes, blinking slowly. Vanilla and laundry detergent . . . The recognizable scent made his heart thump erratically as he took in his surroundings. Rae was nestled against his right side, her copper head tucked under his chin; one of her arms was bent and wedged between them, the hand making a loose fist beneath her jaw, and the other curled around his neck, graceful fingers threaded into the soft curls at the base of his skull. The sleeping woman had tangled her slim legs impossibly around his lower body, upper thigh draped across his hips, bent knee bringing the top of her foot to rest against the inside of his thigh, while the lower leg was tucked neatly under his knee, their ankles loosely intertwined.

If he'd wanted to--which he didn't--Gavin wasn't sure he could have successfully disentangled their limbs. Instead, the man remained where he was, eyes drifting closed even as he became more aware. The embrace was as familiar as his feelings were foreign. Though they had spent many a night tangled together growing up, Vin could not remember his heart ever pounding this hard against her cheek, or her soft breaths on his neck causing chills to zip across his skin. Had their seemingly innocent cuddles always been this wholly unplatonic? And if so, how had he been oblivious to it? His confusing reverie was interrupted as the toes pressing into his inner thigh flexed and curled against his leg, causing him to suck in a breath as unsavory thoughts about his faultless friend raced through his mind. The soft buzzing of his phone near his head, however, saved him from his wicked speculation.

Removing his hand from the slender forearm around his neck, he quickly located his phone, reading through the increasingly annoyed texts from his boss/dealer/moment-ruiner. The final message brought reality crashing back down on the junkie:

Tasha: Where the hell r u, Chandler? Did u forget I own ur ass when you have my merch? I dont recall u bringing me leftover product and cash last nite. If u dont answer me, im gonna hunt ur bitch ass down, and it aint gonna be pretty. Dont make me cut ur pay...

With a dejected sigh, he quietly typed a simple on my way and dropped the phone on the carpet. Gavin dropped his gaze to his innocently sleeping friend, his free hand smoothing her mussed hair from her face before coming to rest on her cheek. "Rae," he whispered in a voice still husky with what he assumed was sleepiness. "Rae, it's time to wake up now. I'm late for work, Love."

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