has_a_horn: (regrets)
has_a_horn ([personal profile] has_a_horn) wrote in [community profile] bigapplesauce2016-02-15 07:44 pm

i live in a city sorrow built [open to multiple]

[gabe will prob be here all day]

Gabriel smiles as he moves about the kitchen. It's still a little early for Johnny to be awake, but he's hoping that waking him up with breakfast will make up for the early hour. To add some time and give himself something to do, he's making pancakes from scratch rather than simply creating them. He'd made bacon first, much to Scout's interest. As he moves around the kitchen putting together the pancake batter, Scout follows, begging for a scrap.

"Okay," he smiles down at the little dog and grabs up one of the pieces of bacon. "Don't look at me with that face, you were getting a piece of this anyway." He eats half the piece himself then bends to give the other half to Scout. Scout runs off with it happily and Gabriel wipes his hand off on the front of his jeans as he stands back up.

The world shifts. He's gotten used to the feeling of the rift doing something or other - vomiting up new people or going into fits when it decides to fuck with all of them, but this is different. It feels violent, like the sting of being inside the rift. He braces a hand on the counter-top to keep himself from falling over until the feeling passes, but a gnawing feeling remains. Something isn't right.

He wings down to check on Johnny - still in one piece, still alive and asleep, then wings away again, this time to stumble into the ramble in central park. It's still dark, but out of habit he pushes through to where the TARDIS is supposed to be. Her mind doesn't reach out for him. There is no trace of that mind left here. Before he even arrives in the clearing he knows that she's gone.

He falls to his knees on wet leaves, not caring about the cold morning air or the water soaking through the knees of his jeans. His head dips and his hands fall to the ground to search out an indentation left in the leaves that would prove she was here, once. Instead, his hand brushes through leaves and dirt before it closes on the length of a feather- long and mottled brown and cream, bent and damaged at one end. This is one of his feathers. It's a shock to see it. He blinks away tears and looks around himself- there are more all around him, poking out from beneath the leaves. There are a lot here, but definitely not all that were in the TARDIS.

He realizes now what he'd felt, earlier. The pain of that moment in the kitchen was the pieces of himself aboard the TARDIS getting forcibly pulled into another universe.

He focuses on the hollow feeling in his chest. In the aftermath, the part of himself that's been ripped away is the only proof he has that the TARDIS was ever here. As the day brightens, the cold closes in around him. He doesn't move from the spot where she used to stand.
lonelyghost: (dark desperate)

[personal profile] lonelyghost 2016-02-16 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
Pain - immense and overwhelming, a horrible hollow where something else powerful once stood - not just something but someone, someone he never met but whose presence he can feel tangled up in all the hurt. She's gone, taken away, and left behind a broken heart.

Cole wanders deeper into the trees, seeking the source. This someone is powerful too, and very old. It feels both foreign and familiar. Cole is not afraid. He wants to help.

He finds the man who is not a man after a few moments of searching. He kneels in the nothing that used to be her, alone, pitted, pinned.

"She left," he blurts, his breath hitching, the pain so heavy and loud this close up that his voice quavers as though he might cry himself. "She left but she didn't mean to leave you. She loved you. Loves you." He steps forward, reaching out without an object, no aim to touch unless it's welcomed. He's not very good at touching, but sometimes it helps. "I'm sorry. I can't make the hurt go away. I want to help, but it's too much." He lowers himself to his knees, speaking softly from beneath the brim of his hat. "I can't take it away but I can share it. You don't have to be alone."
lonelyghost: (hide yourself)

[personal profile] lonelyghost 2016-02-29 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
The response is slow to come and difficult to give. Cole accepts it with no further words. His words hurt enough to begin with. The man is not a man, not a spirit, not like Cole, like something more. Perhaps like what Corypheus fancied himself to be. Perhaps like a God.

It doesn't matter. God or man, he is hurting, so, so much, and Cole will not leave him and will not ask him to speak. He stays there, then reaches out slowly and covers his hand with his own.

Like when he found the real Cole - all he could do, all he can do, was, is, take his hand.
lonelyghost: (forget)

[personal profile] lonelyghost 2016-03-14 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
"She knows," he says quietly. "Her hurt touches yours. She knows." He keeps his hand where it is, keeps close without touching any more. Keeps his head tilted just a little, enough that Gabriel can look up to his eyes. Most people are afraid of him because he doesn't make sense. He's not real. But not Gabriel. Gabriel is different. Gabriel is allowed to see, to remember.

"She will be all right. She has her pilot. She misses you, and she knows you miss her, but she knows you will be all right too, even if you don't." He lowers his head after all. It's hard, feeling all of this. It hurts so much. "You have lost before, just as she has. Loss is like an old friend - sad, and sore, cold, wet, it clings to you, doesn't let you forget. You remember all their names. They are still part of you. You are better for having had them, even if they are gone. You are better because you knew her, even if she is gone. You will never forget her. She is part of you, and it's better that way, even though it hurts."

It's so much, all coming out at once, can't put it in order. Lifetimes upon lifetimes, all of them woven into the being before him. He curls his fingers slowly around Gabriel's hand.
lonelyghost: (I don't matter)

[personal profile] lonelyghost 2016-03-15 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
Cole sits with him as long as he needs, listening to him weep, wishing he could just take it all away and knowing he can't, and that's not what he needs. Feeling so much hurt is frightening, but it must be faced, fought, felt. It does no good to hide from it. He's understanding that better and better, bit by bit.

When Gabriel asks him to leave, he nods softly, understanding. He's done all he can. Gabriel must be alone now, or wait for someone else to help him. It cannot all come down to Cole.

"All right," he says, and stands up. There isn't anything more to say, so he simply slips away, but he lets Gabriel keep the memory of him. He doubts he could take it from someone so powerful anyway.
wildmage_daine: (let down)

[personal profile] wildmage_daine 2016-02-16 04:40 pm (UTC)(link)
It's mid-morning when Daine reaches the clearing, Sarge and Molly at her side. She'd missed saying hello during her morning rounds - she's long since stopped using the TARDIS as a convenient place to change, but that's all the more reason to swing by. She didn't want the ship to think she was only a glorified closet.

Now, she stops in her tracks. For a moment, she thinks she has the wrong clearing. She must. This one is too empty, somehow both too large and too small without the TARDIS standing in the middle. But Daine knows the ramble too well to get lost in it, and her head wasn't elsewhere when she came up from the path. This is where the TARDIS was, where she ought to be. But she isn't.

She's gone. Like Andrew and James and so many others.

Molly lets out a sharp whine, and that's when Daine realizes the clearing is still occupied. Gabriel is there, sitting so motionless that Daine didn't even notice him at first. He's hunched over as if nursing a wound, gaze fixed on where the base of the TARDIS used to rest. A distant memory rises in her mind, not really solidifying until she shuffles forward a step, and her shoe turns up a long, tawny feather. She stoops slowly to free it from the leaves, noting as she does so that it's not the only one. There are others dotting the clearing. It feels backwards and wrong, as if that long-ago nightmare was only an echo, and now, all out of order, she's hearing the original sound.

"Gabriel." Her voice doesn't sound right, either. "Your feathers."
wildmage_daine: (profile - concerned)

[personal profile] wildmage_daine 2016-03-06 10:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Daine frowns, bewildered. "But... what happened?" she asks. It doesn't even occur to her to blame him; he wouldn't have wanted the TARDIS to leave. From where she's standing, it looks more as if he got snarled up in the leaving and spat back out again. But even that doesn't seem right. They wouldn't have tried to leave without telling anyone else, surely. Gabriel's angered her before with his misguided idea of fun, but she doesn't believe he'd try to get back through the Rift without at least telling folk.

She looks down at the feather in her hands. It doesn't seem right to leave them lying about, and she has the vague idea that it'd be dangerous for them to fall into the wrong hands. She crouches to pick up another one, and Sarge helpfully noses through the leaves, nudging others into clearer view.
wildmage_daine: (sad frown)

[personal profile] wildmage_daine 2016-03-07 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
Four feathers are cradled in her hands, now. Daine straightens slowly, her brow knit with growing concern. She doesn't like seeing Gabriel like this - doesn't know what to do with him when he's like this. It's been so long since they were on good terms, since they even spoke. She doesn't want to just leave him here, but she's not sure how much comfort she could offer, or how much he'd even want, if it was coming from her.

Molly whines again, and Daine sends her a thread of mingled reassurance and encouragement. Whatever Gabriel's feelings about her, she's certain he won't take anything out on a dog. Molly approaches the angel slowly, then sits down beside him with a little sigh.

Daine, for her part, sits down on the still damp leaves a little distance away. Silently, she puts out a call for help. It isn't long before she gets answers. Squirrels and rabbits hop out of the underbrush, and crows drop down from the trees. Their sharp eyes and noses have little trouble picking the feathers out from the leaves. They work in near silence, taking care with their teeth and beaks, gently plucking the feathers out of the leaf litter and carrying them over to her. Daine opens her bag and pulls out an old hand towel, one that's already held plenty of injured animals while she worked on them. Now, she fills it with feathers, piling them lengthwise, keeping them as tidy as she can.

Once they've gathered all of them, she folds the towel over them in a neat bundle. Only then does she get back to her feet and cautiously approach the angel, crouching before him and setting the feathers down like an offering. "I'm sorry," she says quietly. "I'll miss her, too."
wildmage_daine: (listening - curls)

[personal profile] wildmage_daine 2016-03-15 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
Daine gives Sarge a silent nudge of encouragement, which is all the larger dog needs to offer his own brand of comfort: a rather sloppy lick to Gabriel's chin. She winces a little, but the dogs do seem to be helping, if only as a distraction. Gabriel's clearly hurt, but it doesn't seem like the lashing-out kind of hurt, just... the heavy kind.

She's a bit more familiar with the former, herself.

Daine sinks back onto her heels, her hands gripping her knees. Her throat tightens for a moment at the thought of the TARDIS missing her - she always felt like such a small thing compared to the ship - but she pushes her own grief aside. The last thing either of them need is for her to start blubbering in front of him.

She dips her chin and clears her throat, then raises her head again. "They've missed him," she says. "And you." As if that isn't evident from the way Molly's leaning against Gabriel's knee, or the way Sarge lifts a massive paw and plants it on Gabriel's shoulder. She sighs, looking sidelong at nothing in particular. Then, she ventures, "They could have a playdate." Her tone is dry and a bit cracked; she knows what an absurd suggestion that is at a time like this, but she isn't sure what else to say.
wildmage_daine: (apprehensive)

[personal profile] wildmage_daine 2016-04-06 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
There's a subtle shift in how Gabriel holds himself, as if he's bearing a new weight - one that has nothing to do with the TARDIS being gone. Daine's brow furrows in a sort of wary bewilderment as she wonders what to make of it. Has she hurt him? She didn't think she could. He'd been so unruffled in the face of her rage after that stupid prank, and then, after he'd thrown himself at the Rift, he'd seemed indifferent to her. He hadn't cared - and she'd felt foolish for thinking he might.

In the end, she'd figured, he wasn't so different from her own realm's gods. They only took interest in mortals who could prove useful (or who flattered them enough). She's no real use to anyone but the People here, and Goddess knows she wasn't flattering, so that was that.

She didn't think she could touch Gabriel, let alone hurt him. She didn't think he'd really miss any of them - the dogs or herself.

... Has he missed her?

Daine looks down at the feather bundle, feeling unsettled. This is a mess, and regardless of whether her avoidance hurt him or not, it isn't about her. A playdate for the dogs is a nice enough idea, but it's not helping him now. She's not sure she even can help him now.

"We can stay," she offers, a bit tentatively. "If you don't want to be alone."
johnny_truant: (devastated)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-03-15 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
As soon as he nears the Ramble he starts to run.

He'd only been there twice, but he still remembers where the TARDIS was. He feels so gutted after Daine's text - all he can think is he didn't reach out enough, didn't ask her to visit his dreams, didn't find ways to speak to her when he could. She was so wonderful, and she took care of him, and he returned it so poorly, like he always has. And now she's gone, just like that, just like the Rift takes away so many, has taken away. More and more of his friends are gone. Anyone could be next.

Gabe could be next.

He runs harder. His heart is pounding, his skin hot with the sense-memory of blinding pain from that first encounter, his entire body and mind overwhelmed by the sense of her infinitude, and now, nothing.

Nothing left in that patch of ground that was hers, only the crumpled form of Gabe, his feathers piled before him like a weird offering. It doesn't take much for Johnny to guess, they'd been in her, got left behind when she was taken away. Little pieces of Gabriel scattered around.

He doesn't slow much, essentially crashes to his knees, throwing his arms around Gabriel and hugging him tightly, clinging to him like he might be swept up at any moment.

"I'm here," he whispers, his throat tight.
johnny_truant: (bad memory)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-03-15 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'm sorry," he says quietly. He doesn't know what Gabe means either, but it's okay. Nothing has to make sense right now. He knows Gabe is in agony, and that's all that matters.

He doesn't know what else to say. He doesn't know if he should try to speak. Offer asinine platitudes, verbal comfort that he knows doesn't work. He's never been in this position before - sure, he's offered Gabriel comfort at times, they've held each other and taken care of each other, but it's never been something so hard and solid and insurmountable. Not since Gabriel tried to kill himself has Johnny felt so helpless and small. So useless, when Gabriel needs him.

Enough. This isn't about your stupid insecurities, Truant. Not right now. You're here and that's all you can do. It has to be worth something.

"I'm sorry," he whispers again, stroking Gabe's hair gently. "I'm here. I've got you."

It sounds so weird coming out of his mouth. Being there for Gabriel where no one but Gabriel has ever been for him. He owes him this.
johnny_truant: (direct | unafraid)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-02 09:26 am (UTC)(link)
"No," says Johnny, firm and sharp. The question stung, but he can't think about that right now. Gabe is scared and devastated and he needs help. "I'm not going anywhere."

He squeezes Gabe's hand back. His skin is freezing - he can't die from exposure, but he can probably get hurt if he's not taking care of himself, and he's clearly not. Johnny slips off his jacket and wraps it around him, tugging him close. He wants to convince him to get up and leave, but that isn't going to be easy, and it won't help to push. "If you're staying I'm staying."
johnny_truant: (nowhere left to run)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-04 03:05 pm (UTC)(link)

His protest falls flat on his quiet apartment.

The jacket slips from his fingers, crumples on the floor. He wavers for a moment, staring at a fixed point on the wall.

He didn't want me.

Selfish fucking childish thought, but it sticks to him like truth, ink under the skin. He shudders and slumps down, slipping slowly to his knees. He feels like he's going to be sick. Gabe sent him away. When he needed someone most Johnny wasn't enough.

Of course he wasn't. He always knew that. That's why it hurt to be loved by him, that's why he clung so tightly and then pushed away. He will never be enough. Stupid to think he could be. Arrogant to think he could walk up to this heartbroken celestial being and offer it a fucking jacket.

He doubles over, sucking air sharply through his teeth, arms clenched around his midsection, rocking feverishly. He's so stupid. So fucking pathetic and naive. Feeling like everything was perfect and wonderful because he left a fucking jar of honey out. What is this, really? How can he be anything more than a holdover, a temporary plaything, when there are entities so much greater, when his lifespan is just a breath compared to Gabriel's, when the Rift could take either of them at any time?

He wants to run. He wants to get out, abandon everything like he did before, like he's done so many times, cut himself down and start from the ground up. He wants- he wants to-

Don't be stupid.

His hand pulls into a fist in the fabric of his jacket. He doesn't want that shit. He never wants any of it ever again. He wants to be safe. He wants to feel like he deserves to be safe. Gabriel makes him feel that every day, and he's already repaid it by being a shit more than a few times, but now, when Gabe needs him most?

Maybe he's not enough, but he's something. He knows if he tried to run he wouldn't make it. There's only one place to go and it's back to the park.

He still feels jittery and nauseated when he pulls his jacket back on and gets up. He feels like this is just going to happen again. Gabe will keep pushing, and how much will it take before he just gives up?

He fists his hand again, so hard his nails bite into his palm. Fuck that. Fuck giving up. This is all he has and he's going to fight for it with everything he's got. He owes that to Gabriel, and, somewhere in there, to himself.

He goes back to the park. He doesn't run this time, just walks as fast as possible. He can't stop moving his hands - shaking, twitching, buried deep in his pockets only to slip back out and fidget. He's so scared. He's so scared.

He finds Gabe where he left him.

"You can send me back if you want," he says. "You can push me as far as the fuckin Brooklyn Bridge but I'll keep coming back."

He drops to his knees again, reaching out, desperate for contact and trying not to show it.

"Please don't," he says, his false resolve cracking a little. "Please, Gabriel. Let me stay."
johnny_truant: (helpless)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-05 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
Johnny is so relieved by the eye contact he almost breaks down in tears, but he manages to keep that inside for now. He has to be strong. He wants to protest the burning of the feathers, he's not even sure why, but he shuts that off, too. This is Gabe's business, some symbolic gesture that probably needs to happen. What would he do with all these anyway? They'd probably only serve to remind him of her.

Christ. He doesn't know how to deal with this.

He takes Gabriel's hand and gets up, pulling him up and taking part of his weight. "Okay."

He's not sure what else to say. What he can possibly say. He still feels so fragile after having been dumped aside like that, even though he knows now it wasn't meant in earnest. He doesn't want to say the wrong thing. He doesn't want to make this hurt worse.

He keeps silent, but he clings tightly to Gabriel as he walks him out of the Ramble, one arm braced around his shoulders, the other still gripping his hand.
johnny_truant: (cute when sad)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-05 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
Johnny is reluctant to detach himself, and watches Gabe closely as he greets Scout and then heads to the kitchen. He crouches down to command Scout's attention for the moment, glancing up when Gabe mentions making breakfast.

"If you want," he says cautiously. "That'd be nice." He straightens up, and Scout trots after him as he joins Gabe in the kitchen.

"I can help," he offers.

Is this pretending everything is normal, or is it simply therapeutic - allowing Gabe to throw himself into practiced domesticity instead of dwelling on everything? He's been dwelling for a very long time, and he probably needs a fucking break. Johnny itches to talk about it, and he's feeling terribly unsure, wondering if he should try to direct the conversation, offer comfort, advice... it all feels hopeless. He slips off his jacket and drapes it over a chair, trying not to fidget too noticeably.
johnny_truant: (defeated)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-05 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
"I don't mind," murmurs Johnny, standing up from where he's just refilled Scout's bowl. He turns back to see Gabe looking around the kitchen, seeming at a bit of a loss.

He steps over, ostensibly to get himself a piece of bacon, but his hand strays to touch Gabe's arm.

"Hey," he says softly. "I..." He freezes up almost immediately, words failing him, and he pulls his hand back, regretting it instantly. He shifts his weight and moves instead to the plate of bacon, picking up a piece and chewing on it.

He rests his free hand on the countertop and stares at it. It takes him a few moments to realize that what he's feeling is terror. If he says something wrong, if he pushes too hard, if he drags them from this place of drifting carefully over the morning's tragedy back down into the center of it - what will it take for Gabe to displace him again?

Fear is ugly. He's promised multiple times that he's not afraid of Gabriel, and it isn't Gabriel, really, but being shut out.

You know, like what you did to him.

He swallows and stops eating, just stands there motionless.
johnny_truant: (freaking out)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-05 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
The hair on the back of Johnny's neck prickles and his hand pulls slowly into a fist. He sets the half-eaten bacon down slowly, unable to keep from trembling, unable to stop tears from finally spilling over, dropping onto the counter.

"I-" His voice breaks into a sob and he lurches forward, braced hard against the counter. Everything hits him at once. The TARDIS being gone, actually gone, Gabe falling apart with no one else to help, sending him away, trying to make breakfast like everything is normal. He's still wearing his wet, muddied clothes. It's too much. He pulls back, staggering slightly.

"I'm sorry," he whimpers, unable to look at Gabe. "I'm sorry, I - I can't-" He covers his face, trying to hide himself, shut this down. Gabe has enough fucking problems without him totally losing his shit.

"You always take care of me and I, I can't, I don't know how-" He cuts himself off, breathing too fast, too hard. He's hyperventilating. Dimly he's aware Scout has come over to nose gingerly at his foot.
johnny_truant: (fuuuuck)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-05 07:39 am (UTC)(link)
His breathing slows as soon as Gabe pulls him in. He curls inward against Gabe's chest, nodding gently at the clipped reassurances. He feels selfish and stupid, falling apart like this, but it's all he knew how to do, and at least they're talking, sort of. Now that Gabe is comforting him the possibility of being teleported away seems distant. He's just freaked out, just like Johnny, neither of them knows what to do.

"Okay." He pulls back a little and rests his forehead against Gabe's shoulder. "Okay." He pulls back more and rubs his hand across his eyes, sniffling a little. He reaches around, picks up the bowl with the wet ingredients, and slips it inside the fridge.

"We'll do breakfast in a bit, okay?" He turns to look at Gabe. Someone has to pull together here and it might as well be him. "Can you just let me... Can I just take care of you for a bit?" He needs to prove to himself he can, maybe. He rubs again at his face. "I want to get you cleaned up. And warm." He studies Gabe for a moment. What he wants to suggest seems to come from nowhere and feels a little overly mothering, but he doesn't back down from it. "I'm gonna start a bath, okay? Do you take baths? I'm gonna start a bath."
johnny_truant: (perspicacious | reserved)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-08 07:58 am (UTC)(link)
Johnny gives him a small nod, then a faint smile at the kiss. It's comforting, grounding. He feels more sure of himself when he turns away toward the bathroom, and he makes it a few steps before he realizes Gabe is still standing there.

"Come on," he says softly, taking Gabe's hand. He leads him to the bathroom and then drops his hand, crouching down to close the drain and turn on the water. He tests the temperature for a while, glancing over his shoulder.

"Why don't you take your clothes off and then you can get in," he says quietly. "I'll stay here with you, if that's okay?"
johnny_truant: (destitute)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-10 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Johnny averts his eyes when Gabriel finally speaks; he hadn't realized how closely he'd been looking, doesn't want to pressure him. But he is worried. This is better than Gabe bustling around the kitchen in a placid daze, but it's still so far beyond his power to help. He doesn't know what to do.

"It's-" He stops himself. His hands fidget uneasily. "You really scared me," he murmurs. "I'm just glad you're here now."

He looks up again, searching Gabe's eyes. He doesn't know if Gabe is ever going to recover from this. He can't see a way forward. This is cataclysmic. And of course his selfish instinct is to worry about things not going back to normal.

He sighs and reaches out to stroke Gabe's hair. He can't tell him it's going to be okay because he knows what a fucking lie that is. He can't promise he won't go anywhere because they've just been faced with terrible evidence of how little control they really have over that.

"I love you," he says softly, and it feels hopelessly inadequate.
johnny_truant: (cute when sad)

[personal profile] johnny_truant 2016-04-22 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
Johnny can't quite manage a smile back. He reaches up and covers Gabe's hand with his own, holding onto him for just a moment before letting go again.

He looks down for a moment, gazing hollowly at the lip of the tub, the somewhat cloudy water.

"I don't know what to say," he says quietly. "I wish I could..." His fingers curl slowly into a weak fist and release again, huffing out a breath at the futility of trying to speak when there's no comfort to offer. He wishes he could fix it somehow. He's sure Gabe feels the same way. Gabe, who can fix just about anything. Saying so won't help.

He settles down, legs folded under him.

"I'll stay as long as you need me," he says finally. They both know the writing on the wall there - as long as the rift allows it is really what they mean, but why voice that, why give it any power. Just like death, it could happen, but there's no point in thinking about it. "I just want to be with you."