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Apr. 17th, 2005 | 09:29 pm
posted by: dis0spj in albion_elite

Part 1 of... a couple of parts? Don't know when I'll be able to write more though. Not just yet - uni essay to do :-(

(Do I have to do all that POV / rating stuff? I never know... Well just in case - it doesn't need rating with reference to drugs/sex/violence/language etc - is that U then? And Carl POV.)

Disclaimer: Not mine, etc.
Self promotion: plastic_beads (all fics that are here, and some that aren't)
For Angela.

Carl realised he could date the last time he’d opened this poetry book quite precisely, from the two old sheets of paper, or rather pages, torn from one of Peter’s journals – a letter to Carl – folded carefully and placed inside the front cover of the book that Carl had just been about to read. In truth, he’d forgotten they were there; put there over five years ago, and this book not opened since. Silently, he read the words again.

March 29th, 2000

Watching you make a cuppa this morning, shuffling drowsily round the kitchen in filthy bottomed socks, collecting the dirt from the floor as your feet swiped across it, boxers and a dressing gown, sleepy bedhead hangover; I saw your thoughts, white comic speech bubbles above your head. ‘Shit, we’re out of milk again... should’ve nicked a pint from that milkfloat...’
Grumpy morning Biggles, never one to be full of the joys of spring at eight am – bedsprings suit you better, rings around your eyes. ‘Today I’m gonna quit’ you thought, like you do every morning. But you knew you wouldn’t. I knew you wouldn’t too, saw that in your eyes as well, ‘But if I don’t work, we’ve got no money’.
I can read you like this, in silence. Words twist and turn and betray us. Manipulate and misconstrue the things we want to say sometimes. When you’re silent, I always understand you – what’s underneath, in your heart, as long as I can see your eyes or slip my hand over yours. Not speechless, just unspoken. No words to mess things up.
I knew what was in your mind when you passed me the mug of tea and your fingers brushed mine fleetingly. You looked at me and your mouth just twitched into a curl. ‘Let’s stay in tonight when I get back, I’ll be tired and I just want to sit with you.’ Or I think that’s what you meant to say. There’s a good film on the telly tonight, so I fancy staying in anyway, one of those old Hollywood ones, you’d like it. We could just sit and watch it.
If I ever anger you one day, or you me, a real argument, not just the snappy squabble scrapples which are the habitual, ritual mainstay of the Bilo and Biggles Albion Rooms, I’m going to come to you that night, climb into bed and just hold you. Not say anything because I can’t trust myself not to inflame or upset, even from a well meaning beginning.
Just lie there and kiss your forehead and hold you to me, and look into your eyes – and you’ll look into mine and see that I love you, and that I’m sorry, and that I don’t want us to argue, even if your (forgive me for saying it) irritable harsh stubborn temper, and my wounded cat clawing pride found a good enough reason to spite each other at the time.
I do love you, brother, shipmate, I always will. That old saying, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all – from it I’ll take my lead. Hold you until I only want to say nice things again, and then we’ll talk it through.
I hope you could read me as well this morning before you left. You smiled and gazed into my eyes. They said ‘Sorry you have to go to a job you hate. I worry and I feel bad for you... I’ll get another job soon too... And don’t be too late back. I want to write love songs with you.’

Peter x

Tears came to Carl’s eyes as he read, and afterwards he didn’t feel inspired to plough through page upon page of verbose French alexandrines as he’d previously intended. Lacked the mental effort, too emotional to concentrate. He read Peter’s letter again, and then a third time. Didn’t know what to do with it, so read it a fourth time, in case it might somehow tell him. It didn’t, so he just sat on his bed for a forty minute eternity, staring without focus out of his window, and thinking too many thoughts to distinguish just one – simply a blur of memory across his mind. Occasionally, he blinked.

He slept – thankfully a dreamless sleep – from four fifteen until six, after having suddenly realised he was exhausted; woken by an utterly pointless text message on his phone about going to see some band play. It felt unimportant, so he ignored it – but found he couldn’t fall back asleep, even though he was still tired.

He declined any food; he wasn’t hungry, but while sitting aimlessly in front of the television, being told he looked distracted and pensive and asked if he was alright, the thought – the idea – that had been tentatively niggling at him finally took hold and a spark of hope and energy lit and buzzed inside Carl as he gave in and afforded it some serious contemplation. He knew what he’d said – his own terms and conditions, but he was unable to force himself to listen to them any more; quashed by the need to see Peter, speak to him, hold him, touch him.

Carl had always thought he’d been the one to see it all coming – the effect of the drugs and the drug people at least, but perhaps Peter had too, had foreseen a time when they’d drive each other away, mused on it then, five years ago, and planned ahead; decided how he’d get Carl back. That had been five years ago, however, and Carl didn’t even know if Peter wanted him back at all now. But it didn’t stop the flurry of ‘what if...?’s from hurtling through his mind. What if..? What if..? What if..?

It hadn’t taken much to find out the right address – there were at least a dozen mutual friends who could’ve given it to him; Carl had done it the next morning, choosing the most trustworthy candidate, least likely to run and tell Peter in advance. He’d posted it that day with shaking hands, fearful. The first fear was that the address was wrong. Secondly, that it would get lost in the post. Thirdly, that Peter would see Carl’s writing on the envelope and discard it immediately in a fit of bitter rage, without even looking inside. He should’ve tried to print the letters to make it look less like his handwriting, or should’ve got someone else to write it – but then that would’ve appeared too sneaky and suspicious.

And fourthly, finally, that Peter would read it and just not care. And maybe he should’ve made a photocopy or a transcription of the pages before sending them back to Peter, because if Peter was just going to rip them up and throw them away, then Carl would never see them again, and they were written to him, and he really would like to keep them – if nothing else as a memento to cry over, or to look at whenever he thought of the good times with Peter. Carl was plagued by such fears as he walked home, with a vague awareness of nearly stepping out in front of a car at one point – lost in his own word, and facing a painfully anxious wait.



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