THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:54 am GMT 
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Fast reflexes had never been a specialty of Casey's. The last thing he expected to see was the pill bottle sailing towards him through the air. He cursed, fumbled the bottle, and narrowly avoided dropping it. He shot Acel a dirty look, but the young man's back was turned.

"I didn't say I can't sleep," he grumbled, still feeling peevish because of the pill bottle. He opened it and fished out an aspirin, which he swallowed without water. "But the doc said my leg might ache more than usual while I get used to using it again. So long as I don't overdo..."

Something made him pause then, as he reflected on Acel's tone. Before reacting to it, one way or another, he wanted to hear a little more about what the young man had in mind. "...anyway, go on. You were saying you--Holy shit!"

As his young companion had turned back towards him, Casey's eye had immediately fallen on the sluggish crawl of blood from Acel's nose. He loathed the sight of blood and couldn't help but find it a little alarming. "Holy shit, kid, your nose is bleeding," he repeated, struggling to his feet again. "Pinch it, I'll grab a handkerchief--pinch it quick, would ya? Before the blood drips!"

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is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:19 am GMT 
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((Not going to lie, I laughed.))

Acel started some at the sudden exclamation, quickly backing up a step or two when Casey began to stand. It didn't really register at first what could have caused such a reaction until the words clicked in his mind, bringing the sensation of something warm on his face in to focus. Sinking dread pulled his stomach in to some dark pit of despair as he realized what had happened, and quickly did as told without needing the direction to do so. Acel was no better at handling blood than Casey was, in fact the young man was quite possibly even more easily frightened, but these nosebleeds was something he had been forced to grow accustomed to. Usually people just had to think about hitting him to give him a nosebleed, but cocaine hadn't been kind to his already sensitive blood vessels either, which meant that Acel had figured how to stem the blood without either having to see or touch it. Quickly his eyes clenched shut and he tilted his head back a fraction; just enough to hinder the flow some, but not enough to have the blood run the wrong way in to the back of his throat; he'd made that mistake before and didn't care to repeat it.

"Bloody hell, not again..." he muttered under his breath while he hoped Casey was too busy having a bit of a fit to hear him. This didn't help in making the sweat at his temples any less obvious, and a creeping nausea started up when Acel felt the thick blood which had already escaped begin to wander towards his mouth; his words were a bit clipped and shaky because of this new inability to move his mouth freely.

"One in my... jacket, c'mon mate, hurry up."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:29 am GMT 
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"Jesus Christ!" Casey grit out, nearly losing his balance as he stood too quickly. He was pale beneath the freckles as he limped over to where Acel had slung his jacket and started fumbling through the pockets with the clumsiness of someone in a hurry.

He hated blood. Hated touching it, smelling it, being around it. He was incredibly sensitive to its presence and, as such, couldn't understand how anybody could bleed without noticing it. One of the worst days of his life had been while he was still married and his wife had lost track of her menstrual cycle. He'd woken up in the middle of the night to find blood in the bed and, after a bit of vomiting and screaming, had stormed out of the house and checked himself into a hotel for the next ten days.

Remarkably, that wasn't even close to the low point of their marriage.

He thrust the handkerchief into Acel's hand and immediately backed away. As long as the nosebleed was ongoing, he couldn't bear to get too close.

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is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:00 pm GMT 
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((Oh my God Casey plz XD ))

Acel snatched the handkerchief from him the moment it was within reach and he pressed it to his nose, pinching it as he glared at Casey. The pupils of the eyes were big enough to swallow the pale irises, the anger uncharacteristic and as fierce as it was fleeting. "You're not the one bleeding, get over yourself!" the young man snapped, voice a bit stuffed up from the fabric stopping the blood and his breathing. A moment later surprise seemed to strike him and the angry scowled faded in to a look of brief confusion before he again turned his eyes to the ceiling.

"... I hate blood too," he then murmured out, closing his eyes quickly. "I... I was always prone to nosebleeds you know, got to get used to them. I get them all the time." This lie was one he thought he might be able to get away with, he wasn't sure Casey paid enough attention to notice that this wasn't something that was as frequent as Acel tried to make it out to be.

"I-I get a bit... touchy, sorry. I'm just... It scares me..."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:00 pm GMT 
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"What?" Casey demanded, suddenly incredulous. His first thought was that if Acel was prone to nosebleeds, he'd be driving him straight back to Saint Louis and making excuses not to see him until Acel finally went away for good. Then his courtroom instincts kicked in. "No you're not! Kid, how long've I known ya? I never once seen ya with a nosebleed til today. And believe me," he added, suppressing a shudder, "I'd remember."

He hobbled a step closer, and looked at Acel--this time, really seeing him for the first time in weeks. His wasted muscles, the dilated pupils, that flash of anger. "Kid..." he began again, suddenly wary and tentative all at once, "what's goin' on with you?"

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is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:47 pm GMT 
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It took all of a second for Acel's heart to begin pounding hard and fast in fear.

There it was. The question that came after that moment of realization, the moment where it occurred to the man that something had changed. Acel hadn't dared prepare himself for it, instead helplessly hoped that it would never come up, that Casey would exercise benign neglect and simply not try to stir up something emotional and troublesome until that point where Acel could deal with things himself. Casey was the person who was not supposed to know, the one who it hurt so much to lie to but who he really, really needed to keep in the dark.

"What are you talking about?" The young man spoke from behind the handkerchief, a bit too flippant all of a sudden and a bit too dismissive. He quickly averted his eyes, brushing past Casey to make for his open suitcase and the drawers while leaving the all important suits to remain forgotten on the chair. He had the irrational and very intense feeling that he really, really needed to make sure that his vial was still safely nestled in his socks, but the moment he had opened the drawer with his free hand he slammed it shut again; of course it was safe, of course it was still where he left it. Quickly he had the next drawer open and being rifled through in an effort to hide his slip by bringing up a new handkerchief, as though there was a risk the other one would get too soaked.

"I'm fine, I just... get a bit shaken up when I start bleeding for no reason. Can you blame me?" A brief smile, but no true eye contact. Instead dealing with the suitcase, shutting it a bit too fast and shuffling it up against the wall to get it out of the way even if it was unnecessary.

Shit, are my eyes back to normal? Am I acting normal? Is he thinking I'm just tired? Am I overreacting? He knows. He knows. He saw the cocaine. He can't know. I promised Jean. He can't know.

"Really, you should have seen me and my brothers if we got in to fights with other kids, they just had to look at us to give us nosebleeds. A sensitive lot we are! There's a reason I'm not much of a fighter, I'm so scared of blood like you wouldn't believe. Nearly fainted lots of times, can barely put on a band-aid. Luckily my older brother is such a mother-hen that he is a bit of an expert with that, hah. Wouldn't have pegged you for someone like me, don't seem like the kind to be scared of blood."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:12 pm GMT 
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"Acel." It wasn't often that Casey used his given name. When he did, it usually meant a storm was brewing. His words were very level, flat, almost uncharacteristic in their sudden seriousness. "I'm a lawyer. And I've been 'round the block once or twice. I wasn't born yesterday. So if you're gonna lie to me, to my face, you're gonna hafta do a hell of a lot better than that."

He took another step closer, keeping one hand on the wall for better balance. "Remember, I worked for the mob a long time. I've spent a lot of time around them, and I know what they do. What they use." His eyes were clear and sharp, fixed on Acel with a bird-of-prey's unyielding intensity. "I'm gonna give ya another chance to tell me what it is that's goin' on here. Only this time, I expect ya to do it like an adult and tell the truth. Just... tell me what it is."

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is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:56 pm GMT 
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Panic was rising even stronger now and Acel wasn't sure if he actually was nauseous or if he was just imagining it. It was so easy to forget the fact, forget that Casey was a lawyer, trained to detect lies and to pick out the details necessary to use against someone so they would spill their secrets. The man was usually so... lazy, in a way, Acel didn't know how else to put it. Comfortable, perhaps. He could turn the thumbscrews, Acel had been the subject of that before, but it hadn't felt as serious as it did now. There was so much time invested in to this lie, that wasn't even a lie per se, but a simple omission of certain facts and developments, there seemed to be so much riding on it even if he wasn't sure what it really was that might happen. Like Casey put it, he had "been around the block" and perhaps he wouldn't even care, perhaps he had tried something like this himself.

And perhaps, he would get that same look of disappointment in his eyes that Jean had gotten. Perhaps he would refuse to look at him at all. Perhaps...

"Oh piss off will you?" Said with a smile, meant to be teasing, not offensive. "Do I look like a gangster to you? Calm down, old chap, I don't even know what you're on about."

His voice wavered. Fuck. Why did his voice waver.

"I spent an entire day in a car, I'm tired, and I'm bleeding." He paused, removing the bloodied handkerchief and raising the clean one to dry his nose. "Or not anymore perhaps. Really, I didn't mean to snap. No need to be getting in to a tizzy over it."

All the while his stomach was sinking, sinking, sinking, his heart racing, the pulse ticking away at the side of the thin neck. But still there was that small hope, flickering fainter and fainter, that the matter could be smoothed over and dropped. Casey was a terrier, a red-headed, freckled terrier, and while Acel feared he might have sunken his teeth in to something and wasn't about to let go until Acel surrendered he still had to hold on to the hope that there was a chance to escape. If that hope was extinguished and there was no way out but to confess, the whole story would come out, all those things that hurt and made shame rise like bile —was it shame or was it actual bile? His stomach hurt so badly now— would break free because Acel knew he wouldn't be able to say A without saying B. But there was simply too much to just let it out, it would be like opening the cage doors of a zoo and letting the predators run rampant and swallow whole all the things you valued most; what love, what care, what hope of joy there ever was. He wasn't sure why he was so certain that opening those doors would be such an unstoppable disaster, but something was telling him it would be; there was a slight whisper telling him that no matter what he did it wouldn't be good enough, no matter what he said he could never be forgiven, unless he kept up this façade, unless he kept offering what was really wanted instead of all those childish troubles that he couldn't deal with because he was too weak, not good enough, not happy enough...

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up!

"Really... Casey, just... drop it. I'm fine. Everything's fine. Everything's always fine with me. Don't worry. Don't worry about me—"

Shut up.

The smile was gone. His focus entirely on watching the handkerchief come back a little bit less flecked with blood every time he dabbed it against his face.

"Can't we just get to bed? I'm really tired..."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:44 pm GMT 
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For a moment, it looked as though Casey were about to argue. He still had that hard courtroom look in his eyes. But at the last second, when it seemed the tension in him had reached a breaking point, he turned away.

"Fine," he said. His words were closed-off, sharp. Evidently this incident was concluded for the time being, though it had obviously not been forgotten. Casey had a long memory, though he didn't always show it. "You know where to find the bathroom. Go wash yourself up. And get all that blood-smell off ya before you come back, it turns my damn stomach."

Even with his back to Acel, there was a stiffness in Casey's spine which, added to the edge in his tone, suggested he would not accept any further argument. If he were going to let things rest now, there would be conditions that Acel would have to meet. It was a trade-off: obey me now and we'll let the other business slide until some other day. So it seemed.

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 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:55 pm GMT 
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"Whatever you say, love," Acel drawled back, getting the feeling that any joke more provocative than playfully rolled eyes might yet again put him under scrutiny from that painfully attentive stare --the lawer stare, he would call it-- and that was not in his best interest. It was too good to be true, really, and Acel was supposed to know that. Had he been feeling a little bit less hopped up on adrenaline and dragged down by withdrawal he might have even questioned how easily the tenacious man was convinced to relinquish the trail he had begun to trace. But instead all Acel felt was relief, a slight sense of triumph only hampered by the tension in his lover's shoulders. He had bought himself time, his secret was safe and if he got Casey to fall asleep then there was time for finding better hiding places for those secrets; the sock drawer wouldn't do if Casey was to be spiteful and pick up his scent again.

Leaving the room Acel made for the bathroom, for once making sure to lock the door behind himself. The thought of a shower was tempting but not tempting enough to have him start one, instead he began to wash his face as best as he could in the sink while soaking the handkerchiefs in water as well to draw the still wet stains out of them. The nausea was very real during this process; even feeling the pinkish water run over his hands made his skin crawl and it just became worse the harder he scrubbed.

He wished he could have snuck his veronal with him in to the bathroom, but it wouldn't have been possible, not with Casey in that mood, he would have started asking questions again.but there was time for that once the older man was asleep, Acel told himself, just like there was time for other thngs. It was too easy to start feeling completely reassured that he was back on thick ice, but the little flame of hope only needed a touch of kindling to light up strong again. Things were fine. Always fine.

Taking a deep breath Acel cupped his hands, filled them with water and submerged his face a final time, as much as he could. For a few moment he stood like that, covering his face, breathing through his palms before exhaling harshly, snatching a towel from a shelf and drying his face. Picking up the handkerchiefs he hung hem on the edge of the tub to let them dry. Things were fine, he told himself, ignoring a growl in his stomach and a feeling of something pressing in his throat. He wasn't scared. He wasn't relieved. He didn't feel like crying, he really didn't. He didn't want another hit.

He just wanted to sleep.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:30 pm GMT 
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Casey was not particularly strong or coordinated under the best of circumstances, although a long eight months on crutches had done a little for his upper body strength. So it was not easy for him to lift the heavy, carved wooden chair and lug it out of the bedroom. The worst challenge lay in keeping it quiet as he did so, even with his leg as it was. No sudden slips or loud thumps. Everything careful and controlled. So when he tilted it at an angle and jammed it beneath the handle of the bathroom door, Acel would have no idea what was coming.

It wasn't the first time he'd pulled something like this. After all, he'd spent a childhood worth of summers in this house. He'd jammed these doors dozens, maybe hundreds of times. But the stakes then had been low. Child's play.

He straightened up, saying nothing to Acel. He could hear water running on the other side of the door. That was fine, for now. Let him think the door was just stuck, that it was an accident of some kind. Maybe he would spend a couple of minutes trying to figure it out himself. Casey could use the time.

Limping back to the bedroom, he cast a bleary eye at the half-unpacked suitcases. He didn't exactly relish the prospect of what he was about to do, but again, the stakes were far too high to do nothing. He didn't know exactly what he was looking for as he began rummaging through Acel's things--but he had a pretty good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:50 am GMT 
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When Acel first tried the door that initial, confused fear that is common when finding yourself confined, no matter the size of the space but especially in a room, made itself known. He went through the usual routine, wiggle the doorknob, the key in the lock, give a push with his shoulder. But it wasn't a faulty lock, it wasn't humidity having caused the wood of the door to swell, and he stepped back to try and glare the door down. What pride he had left didn't allow him to start trying to call for help; he wasn't a child, he could take care of himself. Gripping the doorknob again he gave the door a harder shove with his bony shoulder.

Thump.

That sound was wrong. He tried again. That hollow sound of wood moving against wood.

The lump in Acel's throat swelled to choke him. He had childhood experiences of using chairs to block doors too, he had done it to his brothers, they had done it to him.

Casey had shut him in.

"Casey? Casey, are you out there? Come on, mate, let me out."

At first the words were gentle, almost pleading but at the same time with the tone a child might use when trying to reassure themselves something unpleasant was just a joke. "Casey, please... It's not funny!"

At the lack of a response Acel's thought rapidly picked up speed, and discomfort gave way to that unnatural anger from before as they started to run amok. The bastard had lied. He had lied, he was planning something, no, he was pursuing a trail. Acel wasn't sure how he knew, but he did. Casey was looking for the drugs and he was going to take it, like Jean had, take it, scatter it to the winds, use it for himself, it didn't matter it would just be gone. There wasn't a doubt in Acel's mind that the older man would find what he was searching for, if he knew what it was he was looking for, —he most certainly did, the lying, thieving bastard, it was probably not the first time he'd pulled something like this— after all, the tin box with the white powder nestled amongst the socks wasn't that hard to spot after some rummaging. The glass bottle of Veronal was just stashed with the rest of his toiletries, and the over-the-counter sleeping draught was innocent enough on its own, but it wouldn't be hard to guess that Acel was as dependent on that as he was on the cocaine; it was hard to sleep when high after all.

"Casey!" Acel slammed the flat of his hand against the wood of the door harshly, leaning against it to try and hear any sounds of what was going on outside, but all he could hear was the pounding of his own heart. A strange edge was detectable in the previously so careful tone, a panic mixed with anger that wasn't his, and it deepened his voice. He knocked on the door a bit more urgently. "Casey, open the door. I know it's you, let me out of here! You're so full of shit! You're not going to find anything anyway so open the fucking door."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:41 pm GMT 
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Before long, he heard the rattle of the doorknob, the hollow thump of fists and body against unyielding wood, interspersed with the sound of Acel's pleading voice. His words were muffled by the heavy door, though Casey didn't really need to hear the words to guess what he was saying. His tone was clear enough. It was tempting to answer back, to say something--whether to reassure or taunt, whether to provoke him into possibly incriminating himself, or turn it into a joke, if only briefly, to buy himself some time. He knew better than to take the bait, of course. There was no point in engaging Acel now. He wasn't going anywhere.

Casey would deal with him later. He'd taken a gamble, and one way or another, would have no choice but to live with the consequences. It had made him a hell of a lawyer, though, that willingness to take risks. He'd been thorough, of course he had, and that had kept him alive in the end. But he was a gambler, too, and he trusted his instincts. Whatever his private doubts or fears, he knew intuitively that his judgment was sound. And while he told himself he'd be willing to face up to the aftermath if he'd made a mistake, on a gut level he already knew he hadn't.

The tone of Acel's voice had changed, and what Casey heard confirmed his suspicions. He'd made a career of knowing what a man sounded like when he had something to hide. He still couldn't hear Acel's words, but those were becoming increasingly superfluous. After all, a mans truth wasn't found in what he said, so much as how he said it. And at a time like this, the best thing it do was to say nothing. Let him keep talking into the empty air, or as the saying went: give him just enough rope and he'll hang himself with it.

Courtroom language, a courtroom pattern of thought. Why the hell not. He'd been soft on Acel for far too long. Acel had pushed him again and again, and he'd had enough. It was long past time to twist the screws.

Casey was thorough, but he worked fast. It couldn't have been more than ten minutes, and was perhaps even less, though to Acel it might easily have seemed an eternity.

"Too late, ya fuckin' liar." From outside the door, Casey's voice was flat and hard. "Shoulda come clean to me when you had the chance."

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 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:39 am GMT 
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When Casey approached the door Acel almost missed his steps across the hardwood floor, because of how his own heart was racing. It did feel like an eternity, There was no point in trying to deny it. He didn't doubt Casey had found what he was looking for, he would almost have been disappointed if he hadn't, so Acel didn't need to stand around waiting for the man to tap a finger against the lid of the tin box for confirmation. Still he could not help that he held his breath.

"What? Why? What are you going to do? Casey?" The young man's voice was shaking a little, and you could hear his hands shift against the door against which he was leaning for some sort of support; his legs felt as though they were as substantial as the threats he could throw out in this situation.

In a second it shifted.

"Let me out! What did you take? Did you take my things?" The hard tone was back. What did it matter what Casey was planning, why did it feel like something was cracking under him? There had been nothing there to break to begin with. "What do you care anyway? You just keep me around because I let you bugger me anyway! Isn't. That. Right!?" Every word was punctuated by his hands slamming against the door, and tears threatened at the edges of the words and at the corner of his eyes. This was the same reckless anger which had flared up in defence of heartbreak when he had lied to Jean, told the man that he didn't love him, told him that cocaine was all he needed.

"Open the fucking door! You bastard, you said you'd leave it alone!"

Jean... he had run after him. Told him the one thing he knew of French. He still hadn't told Casey the same thing. Was it even the same? Could Casey ever compare to that Frenchman who had saved his life and then... abandoned him.

Casey was going to abandon him.

The next wave hit, another emotion throwing him harshly in a whole new direction. There was something to break, and it was beginning to crack now. There was a reason he had tried so hard to hide it, why he had racked his brain for ways to be at his best around Casey. There was a reason why the thought of the door actually opening was so frightening, because it heralded the inevitable moment where the door would shut again and the train would leave— Acel would be left to find his way home alone.

The knocking on the door became more urgent, less like pounding, and the weakening voice with it.

"Casey... Casey..."

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 Post subject: Re: Up And Running (dvorak)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:18 pm GMT 
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When Acel's blustering insults reached their worst, Casey gave the door a savage kick with his good leg, though not hard enough to do any serious damage to either the door or his foot. Then he slumped against the far wall and leaned his head back. He'd been trying to stand up straighter, ever since noticing the war bad posture accentuated his unfortunate paunch. This time, though, he just couldn't muster the energy to care.

He was glad that Acel couldn't see him--because, he told himself, it would be important to keep up his facade. He wasn't really angry, he told himself. Just annoyed, really, because of the nosebleed and the jitteriness of Acel on drugs. Because he'd been fine with things the way they were, and this whole mess threw a spoke into the wheels of what should've been a perfectly nice, tranquil vacation. He was annoyed because of the complications this meant for him. That was all.

He would have to pretend to be angry, though. That was what he told himself. Because in the past he'd been too lenient with Acel. He'd given an inch and Acel had taken a mile. Casey had been too passive then, too afraid of scaring Acel away--Acel, who was lively and young and handsome, while Casey was old and getting fat.

It would be fine. Everything would be fine. He just needed to figure out what to do. And to act angry about it, even if it was just pretending. All just part of an act.

....wasn't it?

"I need time to figure out what I'm gonna do. You can cool your heels in there and think about your life choices."

((Sorry for the long wait! poor Acel's been locked in the bathroom for three months...))

_________________
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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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